Calling Kitsune re: Fire Emblem

Hey Kitsune if you’re out there,

You mentioned Fire Emblem a while back, I think in relation to the fact that an English-language version is slated for the GBA. If you have a minute, could you enlighten me as to the game’s basic structure? Like, how the strategy/tactics/rpg stuff all fits together? From the brief preview I’ve read, it sounds interesting, but I’d like to hear more about it from someone who’s played it.

Thanks in advance.

It’s from the developer of Advance Wars and has similar characteristics–overhead turn-based tactical map, side-view statistics-based combat resolution, unit-to-unit battles. Think Advance Wars with fantasy-themed Japanese RPG trappings and more of a linear narrative. It also reminded me of the old turn-based Warlords games, though with more of a sense of style. The game’s got a great look to it, seems fun, and probably will be very good if Advance Wars is any indication.

I am really looking forward to a U.S. version of this game. Fire Emblem is a great series, and I am really surprised it hasn’t been brought over sooner. Anyone have release info yet?

Thanks, Greg, for your impressions.

Robert, best release info I can dig up is Q4 2003. I take it from your post you’ve played the game? Can you elaborate any on Greg’s rundown? I’m curious to know if it features standard RPG trappings like equippable items and units that gain experience.

Try this link. It can probably help you more than I can, since I don’t know Japanese. I only played a demo once, but I have read lots of import reviews about it:

http://www.allrpg.com/games/fireemblem/index.php3?page=review&num=1

Sorry, I’ve been gone for a while, travelling to see my family! (I have a NEW NEPHEW! WOOOOHOOO! I’m no longer the youngest kid in the family! Yes!)

ahem

Yeah, Fire Emblem. Like Greg said, the interface is very similar to Advance Wars, but with many of the most common aspects of RPGs mixed in: being able to equip characters, gain levels, buy items, talk to people, an emphasis on storyline and the ability todecide how your actions influence the game’s path. Traditionally, in Fire Emblem you command a rather Suikodenish “cast of thousands” (not really, of course :wink:) who each have their own stories and abilities. You can build friendships, combine forces into a mega-unit, exchange items and weapons with each other, rescue other characters and even, if you’re sly enough, convince certain enemies to betray their superiors and switch sides. (Some of these may sound like normal, but they’re all special and rather unique gameplay elements of Fire Emblem’s little world.) Units have a great deal of variety, with every single one being useful, you’ll also see a lot of traditional fantasy races and such.

What probably makes Fire Emblem most popular and gives it more of its acclaim than anything else are all the ways it integrates the plot with the gameplay. If a character dies and is important enough, the plot will shift to remove that character’s part as if their role in the story couldn’t happen (characters die permanently, well…at least they did.) Scenario’s are often cunningly creative, you can probably win them the first them through, but you probably won’t have the foresight to implement the strategies that will lead to secret missions, characters and branches of the plot until you see the whole picture. For instance, if you’ve been told to kill a dragon, but you really you shouldn’t, how can you win the mission without killing the dragon? Its also known for its sheer epicness, the whole saga has chronicled an absolutely massive interconnected story of continents, wars, generations and dynasties, one battle can take place in a cramped throne room corridor between the greatest few generals whereas another can pit quite large forces against each other across an entire continent with multiple towns and mountain ranges.

There’s tons of depth too, way too much to mention, because its the type of game where there’s always some nuance to something, like a character, or any ability, or an approach, or whatever. It has a lot of replayability as well. You’ll often open new modes, gain new maps and characters for the multiplayer modes (up to four players now), new fights in the colisseum, extras everywhere and different story branches and ranks depending on what you try.

Fire Emblem is also extremely simple in interface and ideas – compared to Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre, you might think it quite a bit less sophisticated, but really the opposite is true. Fire Emblem doesn’t give you stats for all of its intangibles – if it did, it would be too convoluted, but they make for a game that’s so well balanced with such complete and thorough AI and challenge that really, there’s no better console strategy game I can think of.

-Kitsune

Thanks, Kitsune! Wow, it sounds better than I had hoped – there seem to be some ideas in there (like the notion of expendable characters) that I’ve been wanting to see in RPGs for a long time. I think Fire Emblem just became my most wanted game.

EDIT: And congratulations on your new nephew!