Here’s why Zach Aguilar has replaced Chris Niosi as male Byleth in Fire Emblem Three Houses via update 1.02.
Fire Emblem Three Houses update 1.02 is an excellent patch that implements the gruellingly difficult but excellent Maddening mode, while also replacing English voice actor Chris Niosi with Zach Aguilar as protagonist Byleth.
The Nintendo Switch exclusive is one of the best games of the year so far thanks to its incredible assortment of characters and rich narrative, yet for some there has been a dark cloud hanging over it thanks to the inclusion of shamed voice actor Chris Niosi.
For those who don’t follow behind the scenes drama, you can find out below why the Fire Emblem actor has been replaced by Zach Aguilar.
Who is Chris Niosi?
Chris Niosi is a 31-year-old voice actor from New York.
He’s starred in several TV shows and animes such as TOME: Terrain Of Magical Expertise, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes and Mob Psycho 100.
Anime movies have also been a speciality of his as he’s provided English voices for films such as Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters and Ancient and the Magic Tablet.
As for video games, you could recognise his voice from Octopath Traveler as Therion and – of course – Fire Emblem Three Houses and Heroes as male Byleth.
In addition to being a highly utilised voice actor, Niosi is also said to be a writer, director and member of the animation department.
Why has Chris Niosi been replaced by Zach Aguilar as male Byleth in Fire Emblem Three Houses?
Back in July, Nintendo had removed Chris Niosi from the credits of Fire Emblem Heroes, and they noted that a future patch would remove his dialogue from Fire Emblem Three Houses also.
“After assessing the situation, we decided to re-record the character’s voiceovers in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Fire Emblem Heroes with another actor,” said Nintendo via Nintendo Life. “The new voiceovers will be included in a future patch.”
This change in voice actor can be seen in the Fire Emblem Three Houses update 1.02 patch notes: “Implemented new English voice for Byleth (male).”
As for the situation Nintendo had to address, a week prior to their statement Niosi’s ex-girlfriend from September 2017 to April 2019 had accused him of sexual harassment and abuse (via Kotaku).
Niosi confessed that the allegations were true, and he further admitted to mistreating several friends and former girlfriends through a lengthy personal post on Tumblr that opened with “for about half of my lifetime, I have horribly mistreated and abused friends, colleagues and even significant others.”
The voice actor also noted in his personal post that he had wrote several apologies to numerous people he had hurt over the years in an effort “to become a better person” for the first time in his life.
Who is Zach Aguilar?
Zach Aguilar is the new male Byleth in Fire Emblem Three Houses.
He doesn’t boast as many voice acting credits as Chris Niosi, but he has still been in a lot of renowned anime movies and television series, as well as video games.
Marcus Lithos in Sword Gai: The Animation and Nikaido Harunobu in March Comes in Like a Lion are two credits from his time in anime television, but his most famous role is probably Genos in the beloved One Punch Man.
As for video games, he’s mostly had unspecified roles in the likes of Pokémon Masters and The Letter, but he will now be recognised as the male Byleth in Fire Emblem Heroes and Three Houses.