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Histories of the Emblem: A Fire Emblem Feature

Joshua CarpenterJoshua Carpenter RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
This is the official companion thread to the RPGamer feature, Histories of the Emblem. This thread is for discussing the feature as well as all Fire Emblem games new and old as well as speculating about the future of the series.

[Feature Link]


  • ClixClix Former Listmaster Full Members
    edited May 2018
    Fire Emblem is one my favorite series, so I definitely took the time to read this. I do want to say that I had never considered the possibility of a Gocha mechanic making it into the next game, so thank you for that nightmarish thought.

    As for my "brief" thoughts of the games that I have played, here's my rough timeline with the series:

    The Sacred Stones - Summer 2005

    My entry into the series was by borrowing this from my older cousin. After initially screwing up everything (like running out of weapons from attempting to grind on the overworld), I reset and was able to properly plug away and win. I do think that this was a good entry point do to its more amiable difficulty compared to the other older titles. I played it again later in high school, going through both routes simultaneously on separate save files. I do enjoy this title, but it does not hold as much nostalgic currency with me as I feel that it probably should. My favorite unit is Lute.

    Path of Radiance - Fall 2005

    Once again, I did a game swap with the same cousin, this time getting a hold of the first console entry to hit NA shores. I largely enjoyed it more than TSS, though I once again had to start over after bumbling through the first part of the game (this became regular habit of mine for these games). I really like the various win conditions of this game, which I feel have just the right balance, at least most of the time. I replayed it by chance in college when a roommate gifted it to me since he couldn't get into the game. While I still regard this entry fairly well, it has slowly been slipping down my personal rankings as I play entries that I enjoy more. That said, holding the number four slot is pretty good. My favorite unit is Nephenee; she may even be my favorite in the whole series.

    The Blazing Blade - Spring 2007

    I was able to finally get to try out the first NA entry during a band trip in my second year of high school. I was instantly entranced by it. I finally got a copy of my own in fall of that year for my 17th birthday, and I have replayed it a number of times. While the GBA titles are obviously fairly simplistic, something about the entire design of FE7 makes it winner to me. I love the cast greatly, both as characters and battle units. I feel like the number of duds is fairly low compared to FE8 and 9. My most recent playthrough was in college, where I played Eliwood and Hector Mode side by side. This one remains my personal favorite. My favorite unit is Lucius.

    Radiant Dawn - Fall 2007

    I am not entirely sure how I pulled this off, but I was able to get a Wii just as the game was released in NA. However, unlike before, my restart was not an instant turn around. This was back when I still bought physical guide books, and this game broke me of that bad habit. The guide was an utter joke, since it's "strategies" were to attempt a 1:1 playthough of the writer's outcomes, in a game with a heavy RNG. Furthermore, I made the common issue of trying to play on Normal (haha, screw you NoA), and I was unable to import my PoR data due to the Easy Mode issue (my younger brother had tried to play a bit on easy years before, and I could not delete the data since I did not own PoR). I eventually played the game from start to finish in 2008. Until a certain trilogy, I considered this the bottom of the franchise. The entire game design was just poorly done, and I was worried that the franchise would not be able to recover from such a blow. Haar is my favorite unit from this game, though I let him die against the final boss at the final turn and did not want to reset at that point. This is possibly my greatest FE shame.

    The Binding Blade - Spring 2008

    My first emulated game! I found a/the fan translation which was largely in the same style as the official GBA releases. This was my first hard FE that was meant to be hard (instead of whatever the hell was Radiant Dawn's excuse). I can see why NoA/NoE decided to ultimately pass on releasing this and went straight to its prequel; the amount of work that would be needed to make this palpable for a virgin market is just too great. Enemy reinforcements attacking on the turn that they appear was often too much, and clearing Chapter 8 with everyone alive is ridiculously annoying. One my first playthough, after countless resets, I finally just decided to let Ogier die and stay dead. Around the time that I replayed FE7 in college, I replayed FE6 and did significantly better that time around. I really do not like this title, so the though that this could be the next one remade makes me a tad sad. Really, it's just FE1/3 redux, and I don't like those games either. Roy is the worse Lord in the series, unless Leif drops the ball on me whenever I get to Thracia 776. That said, I love Roy's girlfriend. Lilina is a beast, especially with Roy's A Support (his only value for half the game).

    Shadow Dragon - Winter 2009

    I grabbed this at launch, and I was able to beat it in a week, no resetting. It was like a miracle. Of course, part of this is because I played on Easy in order to get the Prologue Chapters. Excluding Nagi (though I now know it was possible without permanently losing Tiki and the Falchion), I recruited every character. Emphasis on recruit; many were brutally sacrificed along the way to maintain the 15 member limit for the Gaiden Chapters. I was shockingly underwhelmed by this game, though I still did not dislike it as I had Radiant Dawn. I actually liked the purple prose localization, and I even like the artstyle. I do not have too many memories of this entry, likely due to the short amount of time that I put in it. I think that Caeda was my favorite unit, since a flier with a Rapier-esque weapon is just too good to pass up.

    New Mystery of the Emblem - Summer 2013

    Another foray into fan translations. On again, the translation was done to be on par with the localization of the accompanying game, meaning Shadow Dragon and its purple prose. Overall, this is a substantially better remake and featured a ton of new content and features, even more so than the class change feature of Shadow Dragon. While still limited, the large number of base conversations helped cover for FE1's big mistake, though it was still not quite the same as the Support system. The Avatar, while not terribly unique like Robin and Corrin, was still extremely useful and amusingly quirky. I did have fun with this one, but it got pretty rough at times, since recruitment is often insane in this game (like the half-a-dozen character chain in one map). I am still angry that NoA/E just straight up ignored this title. Sadly, it came out at the time when JRPGs were a pariah unless it was a Pokemon game. While I am glad Project Rainfall saved the three Wii titles it did, FE3's remake is a sore spot and finally made my worries from 2008 take form. I am so glad that they backpedaled for the following game. I believe Ogma turned out to be my best unit this time around.

    Awakening - Fall 2013

    Love at first sight, much like The Binding Blade. While many of the concepts of this game are virtually traitorous to me (return of Casual Mode and grinding), I actually found that the game made it all work out just right. I became addicted to grinding out characters for supports and abilities to make the best possible builds. I played the game twice, using a different gender Robin each time. I really love my original, female Robin. She was just too cool, and she fit in a lot better than my cutie pie male Robin the next time around. I was so disappointed by the lackluster options for Corrin in comparison. Awakening has so far been the only title that has nearly stolen my heart and unseated FE7. I do not want Awakening 2.0 (screw Fates), but I do want a game filled with as much passion and gusto as Awakening. Nothing good happens when IS rests on their laurels. Thanks to shenanigans in my male Robin run, Tiki became a one woman army (well, at least when paired up with Say'ri) and I greatly enjoyed breaking the DLC with her.

    Fates - All of 2016

    As I have said before, this entry is just embarrassing for the series. Its pandering is disgusting, and, while cut from the international release, a Fire Emblem game should not have some sleazy groping mini-game, even if it is tame compared to actually eroge. Almost nothing about these three games is worth an ounce of salt. I played Conquest first, and I think that I came out liking that one the most. Birthright is actual trash, and the Hoshidans are the most boring characters outside of the Archaeans, and the latter have the excuse of being from an NES game. That said, the Nohrians are only interesting by virtue of all being jokes. Fire Emblem characters are not always Grade A material, but this game did not even try. I still cannot believe that I was able to finish all three, let alone in one year. Yuck. Out of all my playthoughs, Charlotte in Conquest came out the best. She should not have access to Tomebreaker, but she does.

    Shadows of Valentia - Spring 2017

    This may be the best remake that I have ever played. Everything about it was top-notch in its own way. Sure, they did not touch as much as they could have, but it kept the game simple so that the odd features stood out without everything collapsing upon itself. I think that this might be the most solid cast of characters with such focused Supports and well delivered voice acting. Also, I was shocked to find that I never had to really bench anyone, since every map (minus dungeons) accommodated the full party of Alm or Celica. I plan on replaying this one day to tackle Chapter 6. After such a strong remake, I am hopeful that the next one is just as fabulous if not more so; IS seems to be getting really good at revisiting older titles, though I do not want them to make it too much of a habit. Really, I feel like they should stop at Thracia 776, since the GBA titles are largely fine by current standards. Sure, we missed out on Roy, but that's no real reason to remake FE6. Mathilda was my stand out; even though I did not take her into the final dungeon, she still outshined everyone by Alm in the final battle.

    Whatever happens to come out this year (or, more realistically for the international market, next year), I hope it does deliver something good, but I will try to keep expectations low just in case. There is just no consistency in this franchise's quality.

    Final note: I have a translated ROM of Genealogy of the Holy War that I grabbed at the same time that I downloaded FE6 a decade ago. I have made attempts to play it, but the mechanics and UI are just too weird for me to properly grasp, and the translation seems way rougher than the others that I have played. I am really, really hoping that the Jugdral games are "next" for remakes sometime early next decade, because they are the only ones that I am missing for series completion, and I am a nut about that kind of thing.
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    Given the level of voice actors they've recruited to voice Jugdral characters in the Japanese version of Heroes (here's Sigurd, for instance) I'd say we may see an Echoes: Holy War even as soon as next year if FE Switch comes together well enough. Given Nintendo's recent desire to push valuable digital content, I would hope for a Thracia expansion so I can use the game's breakout star (Reinhardt... yes, I'm aware he's a villain).

    I'm one of those people who came in with Awakening, largely because of my roommate who sherpa'd me through it. I really need to finish my replay at some point since I missed some major characters on my first playthrough - notably Tharja. I also grabbed the VC releases of Blazing Sword, Sacred Stones (starring xX_L00t_Xx) and Shadow Dragon, but the prices of the Tellus games disgust me beyond words.
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
  • Cassandra RamosCassandra Ramos Eternal Kyoshi Administrators
    Clix wrote: »
    Fire Emblem is one my favorite series, so I definitely took the time to read this. I do want to say that I had never considered the possibility of a Gocha mechanic making it into the next game, so thank you for that nightmarish thought.

    With the mobile game, I find this unlikely. I also thought it would unlikely for IS to bring back marriage and kids right after Awakening unless it were a Geneology remake and well...

    What I do see happening is paid DLC of characters exclusive to Fire Emblem Heroes (and maybe those twins from Warriors). Shadows of Valentia did this with three characters that are original to the Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher) card game.

    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

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