Close to the release of the highly anticipated Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the voice actors for the game’s protagonist Byleth were revealed. This would have been a lackluster affair, were it not for the troublesome history of male Byelth’s english voice actor. Between allegations, admissions, and action, this story has been an interesting one, to say the least.
A Call To Action
Almost as soon as Chris Niosi’s name was revealed the screenshots began flowing. Alleged abuse victims’ statements posted online surfaced quickly and made the rounds on most forums. Several allegations of manipulation and psychological abuse were detailed in these posts; some of which date back multiple years. There was no room for speculation however, as soon after this evidence came to light something concrete was unveiled.
Niosi’s own admission of guilt and revelation of the truth behind the accusations was quickly presented. Personal opinions aside, this put Nintendo in quite the predicament. Given the fact that Byleth was the face of the game, Niosi’s presence there could have meant a PR or sales nightmare. Under the immense pressure and scrutiny, Nintendo had to come to a decisive conclusion.
And conclude they did, once it was swiftly revealed that Niosi would be removed from the game and replaced. The fanbase as a whole, though fairly divided on the topic, saw no real issue with the change. Byleth’s lines were limited, and the need to save face was understood. It was also reasonable to understand how Nintendo’s vetting process missed the allegations against Niosi. As a relatively little known voice actor, the allegations brought against him were not renowned either.
The move by Nintendo was quite unprecedented. Not only did the move vindicate those victims who came forward with their stories, but it also set a standard for the industry. Proving the replacement possible was a feat itself, despite Byleth’s limited dialogue making the task all the easier. Niosi has since been replaced following Three Houses’ 1.0.2 update. Zach Aguilar’s voice is now present in the game, and the young One Punch Man veteran has done a stellar job.