Fire Emblem: War. War is Anime


#1

Hey, it’s that one strategy RPG what Nintendo makes.
Fire Emblem was created for the NES all the way back in 1990. And then people outside of Japan knew what it was when Smash Brothers Melee came out. Originally, the main hook of the series was “you get a lot of characters and if they die they’re gone for good.” Since then, in addition to actually making those characters more interesting, there’s been additional features to make the games less intimidating to newcomers, (and lessens the pain for those of us that just reset the map any time someone dies.) With that and the addition of the very difficult tactic of “actually advertising the game,” the series went from near death to one of Nintendo’s current biggest draws.

General rules:

  • Don’t use the term ‘waifu’ unironically. You can talk about which characters you think are cute without dumb internet shorthand, thank you very much. (And you are absolutely allowed to talk about who you think is cute.)
  • Elitism is dumb. You can talk about which way you lean in terms of difficulty, but don’t insult people for playing the game the way they want. Easy/casual mode exists, and is good.
  • Dunking on characters is allowed provided you’re not overly rude to other people about it, (you may think this is obvious, but I have seen Fire Emblem discussion boards before and, oh boy, they can get bad.)
  • Keep spoilers blurred. I’d say plot and characters from the mid-late game would fall under this category, and early game stuff should be fine.

Suggested talking points:

  • Well I mean that mobile game did just come out
  • Fire Emblem Echoes, the remake of Gaiden (the second game) comes out in May worldwide, (except Japan, they get it in April)
  • The other recent game that’s not a remake or a spinoff, Fire Emblem Fates. All three versions of it.
  • Favorite game(s) and/or when you started playing the series.
  • Favorite character out of… oh that’s a lot.

#2

Also, for a quick reference of what games are connected and what consoles they’re on:
NES:
FE1: Shadow Dragon and the Sword of Light – This is one of the ones with Marth.
FE2: Gaiden – Takes place in the same universe as FE1, but on a different continent. Shares some characters with the first game.

SNES:
FE3: Mystery of the Emblem – A remake and direct sequel to the first game. Marth is also in this one.
FE4: Genealogy of the Holy War – Technically part of the same universe as FE1, but it’s strictly backstory stuff.
FE5: Thracia 776 – Takes place partway through FE4.

GBA:
FE6: Sword of Seals – The one with Roy, your boy.
FE7: Blazing Sword – The one you probably played. It’s a prequel to FE6 and shares a lot of that game’s characters.
FE8: Sacred Stones – One of the few games that’s completely standalone.

Gamecube:
FE9: Path of Radiance – The one with Ike.

Wii:
FE10: Radiant Dawn – A direct sequel to FE9.

DS:
FE11: Shadow Dragon – A remake of FE1.
FE12: New Mystery of the Emblem – A remake of FE3. The first game since 6 to have a Japan-only release.

3DS:
FE13: Awakening – Takes place thousands of years after FE1 and makes some references to it.
FE14: Fates – The other standalone one.

Playstation:

  • Tearring saga was made by the original lead designer. I guess it counts???

#3

Heroes seems kinda ehhh. I appreciate the simplifying-for-a-smartphone ideal but I don’t know if I like the rest of the standard smartphone game trappings – orbs, random summoned heroes, all of that. Though I’m sure part of that is that the game will not give me anyone other than Eliwood. Also not a fan of how a lot of the early battles seem to have every enemy be a ranged attacker when movement range for most characters is 2.

It is making me eager for Shadows of Valentia, though, and I do want to get back to Fates and finish Revelation at some point. I was really enjoying Fates, it’s just I got the Special Edition and basically played two-and-a-half Fire Emblems back to back and got burned out.

What is the general opinion of Fates anyway? I got the impression in some circles that people seem to hate it even more than Awakening for some reason.


#4

Personal opinion of fates is that gameplay is pretty great, but characters and especially story are not great. Also don’t play Conquest on hard because woo boy that is a challenge.


#5

i started with Awakening, and liked it a lot. i played it a lot when i was bored at work, since i had a job at the time that was mostly just sitting around waiting for emails or phone calls. i only ever play casual mode.
i got fates, and liked it, but i didn’t get very far in either path. most of the time that i’m at home, i’d rather be playing something on PC or a console than on a handheld.


#6

I’ve played through Blazing Sword’s main campaign, and a little bit of the expanded campaign starring Hector (should probably return to that someday), and that’s mostly it as far as Fire emblem games go (other than Heroes these past few days). I was already a fan of Advance Wars, so Fire Emblem really clicked with me, especially with it’s selection of characters. The characters in Blazing Sword may be a bit tropey, but I still love the lot.

I should probably take a look at the other games in the series. Don’t really own a 3DS though, so the newer ones are out of the question for now. Maybe get Sacred Stones on the WiiU eShop?


#7

I loved Fates, Conquest especially. I also played it on Hard/Classic despite not having played any other Fire Emblem except Awakening (on Normal).

Okay, here’s the thing. Conquest is good as hell. It’s much harder than Birthright, but in an actually fun and interesting way. They didn’t just throw lots of tough enemies with high stats at you. Instead, they gave enemies interesting and sometimes pure evil skill combinations that you had to learn to work around, and used map layouts to turn every map into a tactical puzzle. Combine that with the lack of grinding (unless you get the grinding DLC, of course) and what you get is just this great little puzzle box of a tactical RPG. It’s so good!

I played Conquest after Birthright and decided to stay on Hard and, honestly, I don’t regret it. I had to reset a bunch, especially early on, but it really taught me how to play Fire Emblem and think about every move before I made it. By the mid-game I was finishing maps in the first try. The last two maps were really fucking hard, though, and I had to reset a lot on those and got very Mad At Video Games™, but the feeling when I finally won and knew that I’d beaten Conquest on Hard/Classic with zero deaths was magical. Maybe the most satisfying gaming experience I’ve had in years.

Anyway if you get easily frustrated by resetting, either don’t play it on Hard or don’t play it on Classic mode, but in my opinion, Conquest on Hard/Classic was the most fun I’d ever had with a tactical RPG.


#8

Replaying Awakening after getting tired of Fates and man do I miss those quality of life upgrades in Fates but I much rather like the main story in Awakening more. Which says something because it isn’t the greatest. Something about seeing Chrom/Fredrick/Lissa again after all the family drama in Fates is nice.

I’ve personally only played the 3DS games and I enjoy the ability to be a grand shipper of an entire army. To pick one’s own mate is fine and dandy but THE POSSIBILTIES of a whole army! Even though it likely takes a bit away from the whole war aspect of it.


#9

As much as I enjoyed the whole “pair up your characters and then recruit their kids from the future” thing in Awakening, I wish they hadn’t brought it back in Fates, specifically because the justification for it in Fates is ridiculous. They give birth to kids and then shove them in some pocket dimension where time moves more quickly to protect them from the war and it is crazy stupid.

I could also go into how that justification makes some character pairings really uncomfortable in ways that you could at least vaguely handwave away when there’s literal time travel involved but I don’t want to make this thread weird so let’s go back to talking about how much fun Conquest is


#10

The first defense map in Conquest is one of the best and most terrifying maps in the game. It’s so good and tense that even with Camilla and friends helping you out the battle still has you on the edge of your seat.


#11

That battle was the one time I thought maybe playing Conquest on Hard/Classic was going to be bad for my health. I really think it’s the hardest map in Conquest, because it’s before you could conceivably have built your non-Camilla characters into unstoppable battle-monsters, but it’s also a really tense tactical challenge where you’re badly outnumbered and in a bad position.

I eventually got past it, but damn was it stressful.

After that, the only map that made me actually angry was the very last one, and that only because I had to replay the second-to-last one every time I lost.


#12

That happened to me as well because the last map has the dual problems of enemy numbers being too high and there are no chokepoints to hold off those large numbers.I had to drop the difficulty down to normal to actually win that map and I beat it first try when I tried it on normal.


#13

My first FE was Sacred Stones because I got it for free thanks to the 3DS Ambassador Program (I bought the 3DS day one), and I will never love any FE character more than Ross. Even Donnel pales in comparison.


#14

Chapter 10 was one of those chapters that was stressful, but in a good way. It also stayed fairly difficult the second time I played it as well. Kinda wish I made it to the wall chapter as well, that one looked pretty fun. I never did beat Conquest, though. The gimmicky maps, (like Fox Hell,) annoyed me more than Revelation’s gimmick maps which were, technically speaking, worse designed. Because the end game was, like, 90% ‘moving parts’ maps.


#15

I own a handful of the games but I’ve only played all the way through the Radiant pair. I think Path of Radiance is a perfect story; the classic road trip around the world that shows a pair of unfamiliar eyes the sights and sounds, different races and environments, and the murky reality of every level of war, from foot soldiers to generals to everyone who gets sacrificed and left for dead in-between.

Radiant Dawn was such an intelligent progression from that, to show the world in the aftermath of war, how killing the monarch isn’t an automatic fix for everything, and that evil and corruption find their ways to just keep holding on. It’s the kind of story and game structure — starting the game as an incredibly weak party and regularly switching perspectives, putting you at a supreme disadvantage for the first third of the game — that can only come from such a strong foundation like the previous game, and the knowledge that the player has played through the previous game.

On that note, I actually played Radiant Dawn first, and had zero frame of reference for how difficult it was compared to the average FE entry. I was also witnessing characters regularly referencing events I wasn’t familiar with. In its own way that made playing through Path of Radiance a couple of years later powerful, now experiencing the war that had shaped the world as I had been introduced to. As a pair I think the two tell an ultra-compelling tale of war that makes me annoyed that I haven’t gotten to try some of the other games for their stories as well.

Something I love about the Fire Emblem games is how they characterise every boss on the opposing side. There are so many enemies with different places in the power hierarchy, yet even though you know that the boss of the current chapter isn’t that important compared to the overall threat and might cower to those above them, they are the current enemy that you need to deal with, and are dangerous in their own right. It’s something I notice Japanese media tends to be pretty good at evoking.


#16

As someone who knows nothing about Fire Emblem other than Marth and Roy from Smash I picked up the mobile game since it seemed neat and I’ve fallen in love it with. I know the actual games are a little more fleshed out but I’m not sure which one would be a good starting point. Anyone want to point me to a good starting point or should I just start from the very first one and make my way through them?


#17

Hello, I ship the fuck out of Ike and Soren. They are one of many otps I have. They endlessly support each other, take refuge and reassurance from each other, they totally hold hands and go on dates. They are boyfriends, ok?


#18

@Penvellyn I’d suggest either FE7 or Awakening, depending on what you’re going for. 7’s tutorial is a little intrusive, but after the tutorial there’s plenty of content. There’s also an alternate leader you can use after beating the game once. He’s playable normally, but choosing him changes the chapters up and even adds some new ones, and it also adds a bit of story, (that’s very hard/annoying to find.)
Awakening adds a lot mechanically to the series, and if you’re more interested in characters the support system is a lot more flexible than previous games, (supports exist in 7, but a character can only have five conversations total. In the entire game. Meaning you’re better off sticking one character with only one or two other people.) If you definitely want to play games before Awakening, it might be a touch difficult to adapt if you play this first.
Anything between those two is also fine, but I’d avoid anything pre-7 unless you’re really invested in the series. 4 & 5 are probably the most worthwhile out of all of those, but they’re also extremely different, in ways that I personally don’t care for. They are pretty cool conceptually, at least.

@Jenner I’d also accept Ike and Ranulf, but I can’t see Soren working with anyone else but Ike so that’s what I roll with.


#19

@Fefnir Alright I may have to check out 7 and Awakening(once I can get my hands on a 3DS). Thanks for the suggestions!


#20

I really cannot see any other ship for those two dorks because of how much content they get together. It’s not just the ending and Soren’s differing support dialogue in FE10, it’s also the way they’re written together as mutual partners basically all the time and that they have exclusive conversations locked behind getting them to A support in both games (it’s been 10ish years since I’ve looked at the requirements for that base conversation because I literally never A support them with anyone else, don’t quote me on that). …I should probably stop before I break out the conspiracy theorist post-it board for my thoughts on why Ike is Canon Gay.

Anyway! So far I’m enjoying Heroes as a fun little way to scratch the FE itch after Certain Character Designs drove me away from the games and later writing decisions reinforced my decision to stay to the ones I know. I could live without the IAP shit, but… free mobile game with a fair bit of money poured into presentation given the multiple artists and voice acting. It would be more surprising if it didn’t have IAP.