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A Guide to Fire Emblem: Fates

todayFebruary 29, 2016 12

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By Brandon Deleon
Blog Content Contributor

February 19th, 2016 was the long awaited release date of Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Conquest. Two separate games that have been available since June 25th, 2015 in Japan. 2013’s Fire Emblem Awakening precedes these games and is one of the best-selling titles on the Nintendo 3DS, selling over two million copies in the west alone.

Fire Emblem Fates tells three sides of the same story (with the Revelations chapter coming out next month as a digital exclusive.) The protagonist, with amnesia, soon begins realize the king and kingdom (The Nohrians) he has known as his/her family is evil. Then the protagonist learns that he/she was kidnapped from the oppofireemblembirthsing kingdom (The Hoshido), who are actually his/her biological family. Once this moment in the story is laid out, it is up to the player to choose what side he/she will fight for. However, the choice is only available if you’ve purchased both copies of the game (hooray for strategic marketing.) These differences have caused confusion among gamers who intend on delving into the Fire Emblem experience, so I’m going to break them down.

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright – This game takes place in the storyline where the protagonist chooses to fight for the Hoshido (the good guys.)

Birthright has easier game play in general with more linear maps in comparison to Conquest and more options to level up weaker teammates. This is the title for first time players to begin with.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest –  This game follows the storyline in which the protagonist decides to stay with the family they’ve known their whole life.

Conquest has more difficult game play by excluding non-quest related missions and all of the experience points gained can only be gained through quests relative to the story. This change requires precise planning in order to allocate experience points to all the team members for a more balanced fight.

Brief History Fire Emblem did not appear in America until 2003 with the sixth game of the series being localized for regions outside of Japan. Developers thought that American audiences would find the tactical-strategy game to be too difficult. Fire Emblem’s American debut is largely attributed to the success of 2001’s Super Smash Bros. Melee’s inclusion of (at the time) Japanese only characters Marth and Roy. These awesome sword-fighters grew to be popular favorites and American fans had begun to question why we didn’t have the games they originated from. It has then had a gradual rise to popularity with four titles before the 3DS monster hit, Fire Emblem Awakening.

Who is Fire Emblem for? Fire Emblem, probably overlooked by most Nintendo fans over 20, is for fans of good story dialogue and people who enjoy tactical rpgs (role-playing games.) The game involves placing units (your fighters) strategically across a map where enemy units are also scattered. The game plays a lot like chess and Pokémon combined with a medieval aesthetic that fans of the Legend of Zelda can appreciate. The Fire Emblem series is known for its inclusion of permadeath. This means, that if any of your units die in battle they will be gone throughout the entire duration of the story. Since 2013’s Fire Emblem Awakening, players have now had the option to turn permadeath off but I recommend playing with it because it forces you to play in a way that’s beneficial and not detrimental to anybody. I think playing without permadeath defeats the purpose the game was originally going for in the early 90’s.

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