Fire Emblem The original strategy rpg and one of the most hardcore, ever. The funny thing about a lot of strategy games I’ve played is that few honestly felt like they were focused on strategy


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Fire Emblem – The original strategy RPG and one of the most hardcore, ever. The funny thing about a lot of strategy games I’ve played is that few honestly felt like they were focused on strategy. Real time strategy games felt more about micro managing ever larger throngs of units or dealing with more and more types of resources. Other strategy RPGs felt more like RPGs, where customizing characters, optimizing combinations of skills and equipment were far more important that placement on the map.

Fire Emblem is a rare gem. It offers challenges in actual strategy as opposed to masking challenge in exponentially increasing layers of numerical bureaucracy. It strikes an optimum balance between strategy with enough complexity to feel deep but not cumbersome and RPG elements where leveling is important, but it’s not as easy to simply grid characters to victory.

Nintendo released creator Shozo Kaga’s brain child, Fire Emblem: The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light on the Famicom on April 20th 1990. This mix of RPG-style character development, growth and storyline focus coupled with the tactical placement of units on maps of War Simulations(dubbed the Simulation RPG) was one of the first of it’s kind and gamers rejoiced. Fire Emblem immediately bloomed into a franchise with popularity on par with Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest and spawned many imitators. Fire Emblem retained many core characteristics that have yet to be replicated; surprisingly smart enemy AI, permanent player character death, weapons wearing out from use, recruiting new allies from enemy ranks and each iteration bringing fun new game play elements to the franchise.
Oddly enough, Fire Emblem’s introduction to the gaming world outside of Japan was through a party/action game, Super Smash Brothers: Melee for the Nintendo Game Cube. Rumors circulated that Nintendo of America planned to cut the Fire Emblem characters – Roy and Marth - out since no one knew about Fire Emblem and outcry ensued. Thankfully, they were left in, as they’re both remarkably good characters to play.
Fire Emblem: The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light

4000 years ago, the land of Akanea was occupied by a race of Dragons known as the Mamkutes. Humans fought the rule of the Mamuktes and formed the Holy Akanean Empire.

One Mamkute, Medius, built an Empire to revive Mamkute rule but was defeated by the hero Henry. After the war ended, Henry founded the kingdom of Aritia known as the Shield of Akanea.

100 years after his defeat, Medius is back with a vengeance killing off the remainder of Herny’s blood line. Dorua’s army is voraciously pursing Marth, embroiling all of Akanea in war.

Marth/Mars/Marus: Prince of the small kingdom of Aritia and main character of the game. He is the only Lord class unit in your control. His name has been translated several ways with “Marth” being Nintendo of America’s official translation.

After a recently revived Dorua conquers Aritia, Marth fled his home land with a small band of knights for the island nation of Talis.

Ellis: Marth’s older sister. She’s the sole unit capable of using the Ohm staff, which can raise a fallen unit from the dead.
Sheeda: The princess of the island nation of Talis and Marth’s major love interest. Sheeda is a skilled Pegasus Knight and wields a silver tongue, as she convinces more enemy units to join your cause than any other character.
Neina: The Queen of Akanea. Spared by a Grunian general, the infamous Black Knight Camus, Neina found sanctuary in the Kingdom of Orleans.
Hardain: The King of Orleans and a capable Cavalier. He joins Marth’s cause when Grunia invades his nation.
Chiki/Tiki: The last descendant of Naga, the God Dragon. She is a Mamkute, capable of using ancient stones to morph into a dragon. She hasn’t fully matured and cannot harness the true power of the God Dragon Stone yet.
Gato: An ancient priest who crafted the holy spell, Star Light that can defeat
Garnef: The evil priest that revived Medius. He wields powerful dark magic that can only be defeated by an ancient, holy spell known as Starlight.
Medius/Mediuth: An ancient member of the Mamkute race and king of the Earth Dragons. He originally started an empire in the land of Dorua and was defeated by the hero Henry. Rather than fall to his rule, the neighboring countries of Grunia and Macedonia opted to ally themselves with Mediuth.
Fire Emblem: The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light is the bedrock on which the franchise was born. Turn based strategy going from map to map, character growth and a vast majority of the game play that is distinctly Fire Emblem started here.

Boasting 25 potential player characters and 21 classes, Fire Emblem feels like a surprisingly big game for its time. The graphics are fairly bland but the music quality is pretty good by NES standards. Fire Emblem’s main draw is its game play. With more units than you can possibly bring out on the battle field at any given time, players had plenty of choices when it came to growing an army.

Fire Emblem: The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light enjoyed a remake that was included in its direct sequel for Super Famicom, Mystery of the Emblem.
Fire Emblem Gaiden

Two years after the release of Fire Emblem: The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light came Fire Emblem Gaiden. With a distant story tie in to its predecessor, it does more than just recycle graphics. Fire Emblem Gaiden is a radical game play departure featuring an open-ended class change system, random item drops from enemies, a new equipping system, using HP to cast magic spells and exploring areas like Shining Force.

In Fire Emblem Gaiden, characters always have a default weapon unless players specifically equip them with one. Encumbrance is also gone as well, so you’ll never have to worry about any party members becoming disarmed either. Characters can also be equipped with special shields or rings, but since everyone only has one equip slot, this gives magic users a very unfair advantage. Unlike the previous game where magic users needed spell books to cast, in Fire Emblem Gaiden, they use their HP.
Give a powerful caster a shield or ring that boosts their power or defense and regenerates their HP makes for a good, map-clearing combatant!

Thankfully, class changes are done at Statues of Mira rather than using items.

Alm starts with 3 young villagers from Lum in his army. You have the option of making these villagers a mage, cavalier, mercenary, archer or soldier. From then on, they’ll proceed down a linear class change path. The quirky thing about the mercenary path is after you’ve maxed level out as a Magic Swordsman – the final class in the mercenary path – the character will revert back to villager. Magic Swordsmen are overpowered. I personally never got any of my units to that class, they’re remarkably powerful as Swordsmen(the preceding class.)

Fire Emblem Gaiden takes place in the continent of Valencia where Mira the Goddess of the Earth and Douma a Demonic God was fought thousands of years ago. Valencia was split into 2 parts. The Kingdom of Script, Sophia was established in the south and the Kingdom of Knights, Rigel was established in the north.

King-nay Emperor-Rudolf of Rigel amasses an army in an attempt to unite Valencia under his rule. With the help of Dauze, a holy knight that betrayed Sophia, the Kingdom of Script is now collapsing.

The game takes you through 2 quests, one lead by Alm and the other by Selica. Unlike the previous Fire Emblem, all units under your control will be deployed. This is true even when Alm and Selica meet up and players have a 30+ strong army marching into the final battle provided they recruited everyone possible.
Alm: A young warrior from the Kingdom of Rigel from the village of Lum. Trained by the knight Maisen, he gathers and leads an army to free Valencia from the tyrrany of Rudolf. He promotes to Hero later on and gains the ability to use bows as well as swords.
Selica: The lost princess of Sophia. Under the watch of Mira’s Great Sage Nouma, she masters magic and the sword. She doesn’t know her country of origin, as she spent most of her childhood in Lum with Alm. Her quest starts out on an island far south of Valencia.
Maisen: This former holy knight of Sophia took a young Selica and fled to Rigel. He has been hiding in the village of Lum, training up an army to fight against Rudolf. Of all the villagers, Alm shows the most promise.
Cameo characters from the first Fire Emblem:

Katua, Paola and Est, the 3 Pegasus Sisters are ordered to go to Valencia and aid Selica. They still have their powerful Triangle Attack.

Hmm, these two also look familiar…

Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem

2 years after Fire Emblem Gaiden, Fire Emblem makes its Super Famicom debut. The story goes back to Akanea, a year after Marth supposedly defeated Medius and restored Akanea. Hardain and Neina have married, forming the Akanean Empire, consisting of Akanea, Orleans, Macedonia and Grunia.

Prince Marth is sent by Hardain to investigate a rebellion in Grunia and suppress it. There, he discovers that Hardain has been extraordinarily harsh on Grunia’s populous. Being the kind hearted fellow he is, Prince Marth gathers a lot of the previous game’s heroes out of retirement and fights corruption Akanea for the peasantry.
Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem plays like the first game without any notable innovation. The graphics and music got a considerable overhaul compared to the original Famicom game, but compared to the other Super Famicom titles being released at the time(notably Final Fantasy VI) Mystery of the Emblem’s graphics are relative antiquity. Unlike Final Fantasy VI, Fire Emblem’s animation is amazingly fluid for sprite animation. Clouds are always moving in the background, heat waves glimmer in the deserts, bow strings twang after arrows are fired and a number of other animated touches give Mystery of the Emblem’s primitive graphics a lot of life.
There are two games within Mystery of the Emblem. The cart includes a remake of The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light along with the second chapter, The War of Heroes. The remake of The Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light is quite true to the original but cuts a few maps and characters from the roster. The story and game play are all in tact.
Marth: The Prince of Aritia is bit older but not exactly wiser. After chasing rebellions in Grunia and Macedonia, Aritia falls into Hardain’s hands…
Sheeda: The Pegasus Knight Princess enters the foray again, fighting alongside Marth.
Hardain: The new emperor of Akanea has completely flown off the handle. He marches around with the Gradius lance that Camus used to wield.
Chiki: She’s grown up and as the God Dragon, she is now a force to recon with. She’s one of the few allies on your side who can damage Medius.
Medius: Who here isn’t surprised that he’s back? Only this time, he’s in an even more powerful form.

Fire Emblem Genealogy of Holy War

Released on May 14 of 1996, the fourth manufactured installment of the Fire Emblem series marks an introduction of major new game play elements, many of which current players of Fire Emblem are likely to recognize. Most notably, Fire Emblem IV introduced the “weapons triangle” a rock-paper-scissors relationship between types magic spells and melee weapons. If a mounted unit has any extra movement remaining, they can use it after attacking. The foundations for the support system and many others were also first laid in this game.

The back story of Fire Emblem IV is quite standard; 12 heroes vanquished the dark god Loptos using 12 divine weapons. After the war, each hero established kingdoms where the descendants of the original 12 continued to rule. Each heroic line kept one of the divine weapons to themselves and the balance of power maintained peace. The game’s story takes place when Verdane, the one kingdom lacking in any lineage to the 12 heroes invades Grandbell, a kingdom comprised of many houses of divine lineage. The whole continent is soon at war, as various little events occur that disturb the old balance of power. So much for peace through nuclear divine weapon proliferation!
Fire Emblem IV paved the way for a lot of new features to be refined in later incarnations of the game as well as deviated from the standard formula in ways that have yet to be revisited.

Of the cool new features that have yet to be revisited, the top one has to be “Love and War.” During the first half of the game, players can get their units to fall in love with each other. When they reach a certain level of intimacy, they’ll get married, have kids and pass on any divine blood and individual skills on to the children. When next to each other on the map, lovers will get a chance to score a critical hit(marked by swirling hearts around the attacking unit before the battle animation kicks in.) The stats of parent characters also determined the starting stats of the children too and how they’d level.

If certain characters fail to fall in love, there are some default units that will fill in the void. Most of them are pretty weak.

The way chapters are presented is a sweeping change as well. The maps are huge and feature multiple castles to conquer. If your main castle falls, it’s game over; you can assign defenders to individual castles as well. Shops, arenas, blacksmiths, storage and fortune tellers can all be found in castles, plus units can be promoted in the main castle without needing items.

Conquering castles on the map will trigger more events and generate new objectives. The sheer size of the maps gave mounted and flying units phenomenal advantages. There are some instances in the game that demand that players’ armies haul booty which can be a problem to characters not on a horse.

Armies have also been make smaller and each unit given a special skill to reduce the bench warmer count. All units are deployed at all times, and most are unique to their class.
Not all of the changes to existing and new features fared for the better.

The individualized skill system made certain staples you’d expect such as advancing attack(getting a 2nd hit in after your enemy attacks your unit if their speed is high enough) and critical hits into, well, skills that only a select few units had. Skills weren’t too well balanced which was bad and made worse in the 2nd half of the game. Many of the interesting skills were rebalanced and revived in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for Game Cube.

Characters also had 30 levels total; the levels didn’t reset after a class change which isn’t necessarily bad. To people used to maxing characters out before promoting, it felt like a rip off when characters couldn’t enjoy the full stat gains from their promotions.

The biggest peeve of Fire Emblem IV has to be the fact your characters cannot freely trade weapons. Each individual unit has their own wallet which they can use to buy new weapons and repair existing ones.

Key Characters:

Sigurd – Main character and descendant of the holy knight Baldo. He is heir to the holy blade Tirfing, which closely resembles the Falcion from FE3.

Arvis – Heir to the house of Verthomar and the great sage Fala’s amazing Fala Flame spell. He also carries the blood of the dark god Loptos.

Lex – Friend of Sigurd’s from the house of Dozel. He’s a descendant of Neir’s but cannot use the holy axe Sawanchika.

Cuan – One of Sigurd’s best friends and wielder of Noba’s holy lance, Geibolg. He married Sigurd’s younger sister Ethrin and rules the Kingdom of Lenstar.

Edeen – She is a noble in the house of Junguvi, the house of the hero Ulir. As a priest, she has no weapon skills whatsoever and is unable to fight when Verdane attacks her castle.

Ayra – A descendant of the master swordsman Ordo and inheritor of the Shooting Star Sword skill which lets her attack 5 times in a row. She is a princess of Isaac, a nation recently ruined in the current wave of turmoil.

Jamka – A prince of Verdane. He did not approve of the attack on Junguvi and joins Sigurd’s army at Edeen’s request.

Diadora – The mysterious maiden of the forest is a long lost descendant of Narga, the dragon of light and Loptos, the dark god. She weds Sigurd after fighting alongside him.

Lachesis – The prissy princess of Nodion and the younger sister of Eltosian the Lion King. The blood of Hezul runs through her veins but not the ability to wield the Rune Blade Mistoltin.

Levin – This wandering bard is really the prince of Silesia and heir to Holsety’s devastating wind spell.

Claude – Keeper of Blaggi’s sacred Vaklyrie staff which can raise fallen units. Claude is very calm and is looking for a long lost relative of his.

Tiltyu – A young noblewoman of the house of Friege. She is a descendant of Tordo but doesn’t have legendary abilities with lightning magic.

Bridget – Edeen’s long lost sister. She’s been living the life of a pirate after

Second Generation:

Selis – The son of Sigurd and Diadora and all around twerp. He must finish the war that claimed the life of his father and mother.

Yurius – The dark prince borne of all the bloode of Loptos extracted from Arvis and Diadora. He’s a master manipulator who rapidly usurps power from his father and plans to take over the whole continent.

Yuria – Yurius’ twin sister and polar opposite. The blood of Narga flows strongly in her veins and she’s very skilled with light magic, fire magic and healing staves.

Oifaye – Sigurd’s adjutant now takes to the battlefield. He’s a mighty Paladin and a force to recon with.

Ares – Eltosian’s son joins Selis’ cause, hoping to restore Nodion. He’s a very capable cavalier and wields the Mistoltin.

Leaf – The son of Ethrin and Cuan has matured into a strong fighter under the stewardship of Finn. Together, he and Finn try and protect Lenstar to the best of their abilities.

Shanan - Isaac’s lost king and wielder of the holy Balmnk sword. He’s a powerful Sword Master, versed in Shooting Star Sword, like his older sister Ayra.

Altena – Leaf’s older sister and wielder of the Geibolg. King Trabant of Thracia raised her as his own. She rides a dragon like her foster father and brother.

BS Fire Emblem Akanea Senki

It’s not really what you can call “online console gaming” but Fire Emblem got a game for the Satellaview. All of the objectives were time-based, seeing how the games were only on-air from 4 to 7pm. In 1997, Fire Emblem got 4 chapters consisting of the “Record of Akanean Wars” adding some welcome back story to various characters.

The objectives were all time-based, since the designers couldn’t rely on all players having a BS-X cartridge to download games to. The quality of the portraits is incredibly good and quite frankly the best in the series before Path of Radiance.

Akanea Senki’s 4 chapters:

1-Fall of the Palace

Akanea’s palace is surrounded by Doruan troops. Get everyone out safely.

Units Commanded:

Neina(High Priest)

Boa(High Priest)


Michelan(Armor Knight)

Thoms(Armor Knight)

2-Red Dragon Knight

Minerva, Princess of Macedonia is a renowned dragon knight. She was ordered to invade Orleans, but would have none of that. In this mission, she must save Frost, a High Priest from a renegade dragon knight general.

Units Commanded:

Minerva(Dragon Knight)

Katua(Pegasus Knight)

Est(Pegasus Knight)




Frost(High Priest) He becomes an allied unit if rescued.

3-Thieves of Justice

After hearing of the fall of the Akanean Palace, Ricard goes to loot it. Rena tries to stop him but she goes to the Palace with Ricard, Navarre and Kasim to make sure innocents aren’t being harmed.

Units Commanded:





Dyce(Warrior) He must be convinced to join your army.

Malice(Mercenary) He must be convinced to join your army.
4-The Time it Began

2 years after the fall of Akanea, the Grunian Black Knight Camus goes searching for Neina. Word has it that Medius has ordered Neina’s capture and sent a Mamkute named Bulzark to do it. The player’s objective here is to get Neina to safety.

Units Commanded:


Neina(High Priest)




Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

This is the last Fire Emblem game that original creator Shozo Kaga developed with Intelligent Systems and Nintendo. This Super Famicom game was released for the Nintendo Power system, where consumers purchased blank rewritable memory carts and had games of their choice written to them at various convenience store chains. This game is a throw back to the older Fire Emblem games featuring more and smaller chapters and a wide range of units to choose from. A lot of skills from Genealogy of Holy War have been taken, lock stock and barrel.

Thracia 776’s story follows Prince Leaf before he meets up with Selis in the 7th chapter of Genealogy of Holy War. Thracia has been eyeing Lenstar land for conquest for years, and while every nation is at war, why not take advantage of the opportunity, especially when supplied with extra soldiers from Arvis and company?
Leaf makes his way from the small village of Fiana nestled in the mountains towards the capital of Lenstar itself. He gathers a small force there and gathers rebels from across the land. A lot of things about the story fly in the face of continuity, since Prince Leaf starts off damn weak in Fire Emblem IV and Lenstar is still overrun with Thracian soldiers.
Thracia 776 introduced rescuing which has been a staple of Fire Emblem games ever since. If a unit has low HP, another with a higher Build stat can whisk him or her away to safety. Unlike later additions, characters had chances to raise their Build when they leveled up. Granted, these increases were extremely rare.
A lot of abilities incorporated the Build stat. Enemies with lower Builds could be captured, have their possessions pillaged and released. Thieves could steal unequipped weapons or items from enemies that weigh less than their Build stat. With all the waves of enemies that you’d be thrown against, stealing enemy weapons becomes a necessity at times.
One system that some players might find irritating is the Stress system. Every action a unit did bumped their stress meter up a notch. If their stress rating was higher than their HP, they’d have to rest for a map. Stamina drinks can eliminate stress, but they’re expensive and rare. With the introduction of gaiden chapters that really needed specific characters present, the stress system could screw players over a times.


Leaf – The main character and prince of Lenstar. He wields the Sword of Light which Diadora originally gave his mother Ethrin.

Finn – Cuan’s former squire and a lance knight of Lenstar. He rushed Leaf to safety when Thracia and Friege invaded Lenstar.

Evale – A sword master and mayor of Fiana. She turns out to be a member of Sigurd’s army that survived Arvis’ ambush and lost her memory but not her ability to lay the smack down.

Nana – Leaf’s main love interest and daughter of Lachesis.

Rinoan – Mayor of Tara, one of the major cities in Lenstar.

Quite a few characters from Fire Emblem IV make appearances in Fire Emblem V.

Note: There is rather irritating stat leveling bug where characters continue to gain in a stat they’ve already maxed out(alas, you don’t reap the benefits of this!) with the first version of FEV that did get fixed.

Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi / Sword of Seals

Lead Designer and Director Shozo Kaga left Nintendo to start his own company where he went on to create Emblem Saga/Tear Ring Saga for the PSX and Berwick Saga for the PS2. Purportedly there was a Fire Emblem being developed for the Nintendo 64 DD which never materialized.

After much hiatus, Fire Emblem emerged on the Game Boy Advance. As far as game play goes, it feels like a watered down successor of Thracia 776. Although unit death is still permanent, the huge drop in difficulty makes the game feel considerably more mass market than predecessors. This isn’t entirely surprising, seeing how the franchise really painted itself into the obscurity corner, staying on the Super Famicom.
The most notable improvement of previous features that Sword of Seals brings to the table is multiple support conversations between characters. Rather than lovers and siblings being the only means of raising chances of critical hits and other bonuses between friendly units, characters that fight together can have support conversations which serve to give the units more personality and explore back story.
1000 years ago, humans fought Mamkutes(the humanoids that can turn into dragons.) The war came to an end when the demon dragon by the name of Idoun was sealed. Bern has gathered an army in a bid to take over the entire continent of Elibe. Roy gathers and army to free his home land and the rest of the world from the tyranny of King Zephiel.


Roy – Son of Eliwood and Smash Bros. Fighter. Roy is the son of Eliwood, the main character of the first Fire Emblem game to get officially translated into English.

Lilina – This perky mage is the daughter of Hector, the Marquis of Ostia. She’s a childhood friend of Roy’s.

Zephiel – Bern’s tyrannical king, hell bent on taking over the continent. He poisoned his father to ascend the throne faster and uses dubious means to gain power. To think he was such a cute, sweet little kid when the English speaking world first met him.

Guinevere – Zephiel’s younger sister and not a big fan of Zephiels’ plans.

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword

Blazing Sword tells the story of Roy’s father, Eliwood and Lilina’s father Hector. Both men have their own quests in the game after playing through the first 10 chapters as Lady Lyn. Players start out going through Eliwood’s quest but should they decide to replay the game, they can choose to play as Hector, whose campaign is considerably longer, has different maps and has a wider cast of characters.

As far as game play is concerned, Blazing Sword isn’t a remarkable change from The Sword of Seals. Blazing Sword’s main achievement is being the first game in the Fire Emblem franchise to be officially released outside of Japan. For once, the English speaking masses would be able to purchase a Fire Emblem game in stores.
The main story is rather cliché but does a good job of supporting the game and giving purpose to all the characters. The evil lord Nergal wants to open the Dragon’s Gate – a portal to the realm Mamkutes were sealed into. He has powerful human-like creations called “Morphs” aiding him by creating chaos in the world. Again, it’s the characters that make the plot feel worthwhile. Many family members of other units in “The Sword of Seals” appear in “Blazing Sword.”

Eliwood – Hector’s father and your typical big hearted albeit dimwitted hero. Wields a sword and a sense of justice.

Hector – The hot headed Ostian Lord who swings a mean axe. He’s tough, he’s brash and has a biting sense of humor.
Lyn – The last of the Lorca tribe but she’s really a noble of Caelin. She’s your main character for the 10-chapter tutorial you’ll play before Eliwood or Hector’s quests then she becomes a member in your army.
Nergal – The main bad guy. Always gotta have one of these don’t ya?

Nils and Ninian – These two twins have unusual appearances(according to them they do…) and abilities.

Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones

This watered Fire Emblem Gaiden clone hit the GBA shortly after Blazing Sword and it shows. With numerous bugs and typos(even in the Japanese version) this game was horribly rushed to market. This installment of the Fire Emblem series was also released in North America, giving the world its first taste of Fire Emblem Gaiden’s over world map exploration, extra monster battles, branching class changes, monster battles and multiple main characters. Sacred Stones built upon class-exclusive skills as well.

Disappointments aside, Sacred Stones is still worth playing. It is still worthy of bearing the franchise name.
An ancient evil was sealed away with the power of 5 powerful stones. The Grado Empire seeks to collect and destroy these stones which have kept evil at bay.
Twins Eirika and Ephraim are twin heirs to the throne of Renais, both of whom have separate quests at firs. After the Empire of Grado suddenly attacks Renais, the king orders Seth, one of his most trusted generals, to get his daughter Eirika to safety.

Eirika – Start with her quest busting out of a freshly felled Renais then roam the world recruiting an army to rise against the Grado Empire’s aggression.

Ephraim - Eirika’s twin brother.
Lyon – Crown Prince of Grado that used the power of the Dark Stone to resurrect his dead father. The Demon King sealed away in the stone takes over his soul.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

Fire Emblem returns to the home console! The GBA Fire Emblems did a good job of keeping things clean and readable given the small screens but it’s good to be back on the big screen. Relatively speaking, that is.

Path of Radiance brings further refinements to established game play elements, new systems and map gimmicks. All of these aspects make Path of Radiance an evolutionary step in the franchise beyond the mere implementation of 3D graphics. Most of these changes come across as stealthy until you try playing a Fire Emblem game that doesn’t have the new systems in place.

Promotions are automatic. Once a player reaches level 21, they automatically promote to the next class. No more worrying if a character has the right promotional item in their inventory before they hit level 20. Items can be used to promote a character between the levels of 10 and 20 before the automatic promotion. These items are very rare.
All support conversations happen on base. The GBA Fire Emblems offered limited windows of opportunity for players to have these conversations on the battlefield and the game didn’t always make it clear to a player who could converse with who. It’s clear as can be now.
The Bonus Experience system lets players freely allocate experience points from a specially collected pool to any character they choose. This makes it easy for new recruits with low levels to catch up with the rest of the force. The game also baits players to try pursuing additional objectives to earn even more Bonus Experience.
Pushing and Smiting lets a unit move another unit 1(or 2 in the case of Smiting) space forward. Only allied units

One of the remarkable feats that Path of Radiance goes relatively unnoticed is balance. You can create a pretty kick-tail army using any of the units you get. With the right combination of leveling, support conversations and skill allocation, everyone has the potential to inflict massive damage. Some units are harder to nurture than others. Most of the Path of Radiance crew will reward players for their investments, rather than the previous games which had quite a share of bench warmers.

Got a GBA connector cable? Plugging in the 2 Fire Emblem carts unlocks art galleries and extra “trial maps” which offer extra challenge to the seasoned player. Two of the five total trial maps can be unlocked by beating the game, but GBA cable-less gamers may feel spurned. Find a friend or hit up eBay, the better maps are GBA-connect exclusive.

Path of Radiance is an excellent game within the series. The music is rather standard fare and the 3D characters animate the exact same way as they did in the sprite battles. And much like the sprites, the character models feel minimally tweaked between characters classes. Fire Emblem has established itself as being about game play and not graphics. Even with its graphical modesty, the visuals are Fire Emblem-y. And yes, I just made up a new word.
Ike – Your blue haired Fire Emblem hero.
Ashnard – The mad king of Daein which invaded the kingdom of Crimia. Rides a big black dragon, has 4 really nasty generals and loves inciting wars.
Elincia – The Princess of Crimia and sole survivor of the royal bloodline.
Laguz – The laguz are race of humanoids capable of transforming into powerful beasts ranging from cats to dragons to birds. Shunned by humans or “Beorc” as they call them, tribes of these beings live in isolation.
Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

Sothe, a thief from Path of Radiance has been featured in the illustrations released so far, along with a girl who looks like a happy version of Illyana, but isn’t Illyana.

As now, little is known about Fire Emblem for Wii beyond the return of Sothe and the subtitle of the game. Brief glances of the game were shown during a Wii promotional video. From the looks of it, the graphics are very similar to Path of Radiance’s. Don’t be too surprised to see scenery objects and some models recycled.
The most intriguing aspect of this game is what –if any- of the Wii’s unique capabilities will be utilized in this installment? Only time will tell.

Intelligent Systems’ FE page

Official FE Thracia 776 page

Pegasus Incredibly comprehensive data site


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