At what point does 13 and up become 17 and up?

So while I was brainstorming ideas for my hack, I ended up coming up with ideas for one of the characters which became a bit dark (physical abuse and forced prostitution. It will never be shown but will be heavily implied or outright stated to have happened in some dialogue) but then a thought came to my head and wondered at what point does a hack become 17 and up? To me, 13+ (preferably 14 or 15) is fine for this kind of thing but that might just be me who’s innocence was ruined at an early age.

Yes I will state that the hack contains these themes on it’s page in case you were wondering.


For me any themes that include sexual things, except sexuality, are an obvious 17 and up, even if it’s just stated. If it’s vaguely implied then you technically can make an argument for it to be 15 but I personally believe that you shouldn’t try to censor things just to get a “better” tag.
A good example of a 15 and up story would be both Tellius games: their stories talk about discrimination and slavery splicitly, and sometimes implied torture, but there’s no explicit blood (I think). Three Houses also has some dark moments, has blood, and I think is 15 and up, too. In most cases it’s not about the message itself, but how it’s being told.

I agree with most of this but I still think sexual topics should be around 15 and up unless it’s shown. Could you explain why you think it should be 17+? I’m not calling you oversensitive or something I’m just curious.

Yeah maybe I am oversensitive, but I just don’t feel like sexual topics should be in the 15-17 area. I obviously know people in this range know what sex is, but I think they see it in a romanticized or even “fetishized” manner? Like it’s just perfect all the time and everything that matters, and thus won’t see what the message means and just think “haha she’s a prostitute”
Idk, maybe I’m wrong here, and of course I’m just generalizing and exaggerating things. There are 30 years old that are still in that phase.

Ok that’s fair. Thanks for the clarification.

You can also stray away from these topics given you seem to lack education regarding them.

Nothing is worse than people who do not understand heavy topics doing them a disservice by painting them in a fetishized/glorified/comedic light.


I think it’s also important as to where this information is in the hack, is it a part of the main story or is it in something like a support convo? If in the main story, 17+ is definitely my vote, if in a support conversation I’d say you can get away with 15+ if FE8 can get away with Artur Tethys with an E rating.

Also yeah, I would recommend doing research on this type of thing, you can easily accidentally offend someone by portraying it in a certain way. I’m an advocate for using heavy themes to tell a deep and emotional story but I also believe that you need to be well informed in order to do such a thing.

Don’t worry I won’t glorify the topic. In fact I want the player to hate the character who did this to them and be happy that they are doing better now.

On a side note, I do try to educate myself as much as possible when trying to cover topics like that and if I feel like I can’t do it very well, I drop the idea.

It’s part of a single (maybe 2) support conversation. Like A support or something.

It used to be fairly common in RPGs made in the 90s to imply the existence of things like prostitution, brothels, and even human trafficking. But these are often very surface level references that might go over someone’s head. When I first played FE7, I was young enough that it went over my head just what the bandits were getting at when they talked about selling the women throughout Lyn mode. Sometimes these things get reevaluated upon rerelease, such as Earthbound going from the old KA rating to T because of how raunchy some of the dialogue gets.

And in my observations, the ESRB seems to come down harder on revealing clothing, alcohol, and gambling than violence and cruelty.


If you have to ask, veer towards the higher number.


Sex, drugs and rape.

Fair enough

Respectfully, if you don’t actually have a reason to include a topic as heavy as sexual violence beyond just “I want a tragic backstory for a character” or “I want to show that a character is villainous,” do not include it. Just don’t! Especially if you aren’t even going into it with enough of an understanding of how heavy a topic it is to answer this question yourself. Brainstorm something else. There have been a million amateur authors who have felt like they’re “prepared” to take on the topic who immediately went on to write something tasteless, crass, and pointless because they were incorrect in their self assessment; don’t be one of them.


What, in your opinion, would that look like then? Why discredit all “amateur” writers? What would your definition of “understanding” be for something like that? Having to have personally went through it? I don’t understand at all how it would be classified as “tasteless” or “crass” to try and delve into that topic. Granted this is Fire Emblem and it’s mainly a game rated E-T but in the context of someone’s story writing/building how would you go about this if “a million have done it and failed”? Imo it’s not fair to discredit and stop someone from writing what they feel like in their own story before it’s even been written.


It’s fiction and it’s your project.

Write whatever you want and learn from it.

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just read

here’s the policy.


I’m not discrediting amateur writers; we’re all amateur writers. I’m advising that, as somebody who has written, spoken with writers, worked with writers, etc. for more or less my entire life, it is very easy to overestimate how capable you are at addressing such a heavy topic in a way that’s tasteful. When the topic is something that has a lot of very real and very severe trauma behind it for a lot of people, that necessarily demands treading lightly.

My own experience, back when I was a high school teen, involved me having that moment where I felt like I was really starting to get writing, and then working to incorporate darker themes into my writing with my newfound “expertise,” and that included stuff like sexual violence. I wasn’t the only person I knew at my age doing that; a lot of my writing peers wanted to explore these topics as we became older and were starting to form more complicated thoughts on these topics. Exploring them, even tastelessly, was a valuable learning experience in not writing that kind of content unless I have a very good reason to. It wasn’t that we would have had to go through it to be able to write it well, but that it’s difficult to really appreciate the severity of these kinds of events when it’s your first time really exploring them. In essence, learning how to correctly handle the topic was to learn that 95% of the time, it’s better off not being handled at all, unless you have a point to make about it; this applies to a lot of these various heavy topics, like racism and the like; thoughtless inclusion is disproportionately harmful when dealing with topics that have affected, and currently still are affecting, people’s real lives in serious, traumatic ways. The vast, vast, vast majority of people working on romhacks don’t have the expertise to execute on such things. I don’t have the expertise for a lot of it, and I’ve been writing for most of my life.

Of course, this song and dance has been performed like a hundred some-odd times on FEU alone, where a project will have some very explicit sexual themes, it will be wildly inappropriate and off-putting to the vast majority of users, and the ensuing discussion overshadows everything else about the project. It isn’t that you can’t explore these topics, but that FE romhacking is a wildly mismatched venue with which to tackle them. Furthermore, if you can’t even personally grasp the extent to which this kind of content can affect others, to the point that you need to ask if it constitutes “13+” or not, then you definitely aren’t in a position where the inclusion will be productive. At best, it will be inconsequential and go unnoticed; we’ve had plenty of examples in the past of the “at worst” scenario with many a hack of yesteryear.

The issue is that these are publicly released projects, where that learning experience isn’t just “a thing you write until you grow old enough to want to bury it,” but is instead a project that dozens, hundreds, or even thousands (if you really pop off) of people will come and read. You are well within your rights to write whatever you want, no matter how heinous, but when working on a publicly available piece of work, you’re also going to open yourself up to criticism, and I’ve watched this exact story play out several times in the past. Hence, my advice; don’t touch this kind of content in this kind of space unless you have an extremely good reason to. Nobody is stopping anybody, except the forum mods if you land on the wrong side of the content policy :stuck_out_tongue:


My idea doesn’t seem to break any rules but I’ll let you guys read it to decide. Not like the conversation ever goes into explicit details anyways since she wasn’t and was never intended to be actually raped in her story. She simply was almost raped but purchased as a “slave” by a noble so she could be free. I know some of you will say it’s unneeded which fair enough but I like the idea plus it serves to showcase a few things about the world and one of its units which I feel could be one of the most interesting relationships in the hack romantic or otherwise.

All I need to make sure of is to not go too far into details which is relatively easy (hopefully, if not, I’ll do more research on the topic) due to how the support would be written and do enough research on trauma to accurately portray the character in conversation which is the hard part and will probably take a month or two of research just to make sure I get it right.

You know what? If I do severely f*ck it up, you all have my permission to roast the absolute hell out of me for it and do not sugar coat it. Bring all the “We told you so jackass.” I would deserve it.

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Those are not the only reasons I plan on having it in so don’t worry about it too much. If I notice that I can’t do it well or that multiple people in the discord server feels like it’s a terrible idea even after multiple attempts, I will simply not put it in. (it’s still canon but never mentioned in game)

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