What is Fire Emblem
Most people know about Fire Emblem from Super Smash Bros' Marth and Ike!
Fire Emblem can be best summed up as a turn and grid based role playing game (it's a lot like Pokemon Conquest
) that takes place in a era with kings, queens, swords and magic. You're given a group of units. They have a name, a face, a unique arrangement of stats, some equipment, and a backstory for those of you who are like me and love character development. The object of the game is simple. You're given an objective (kill all the enemies, stay alive for a specific amount of turns, kill the level's boss, protect a castle throne for a specific number of turns or seize an enemy's castle throne). When you complete the objective, you win the level and move onto the next one. This process repeats. Each level starts off with some exposition about what's going on in terms of the plot, before the battle starts. After the battle, you get some more story and then you continue onwards to the next level. Games have been made up of anywhere from twenty-two to fifty levels in length. Upon getting to a new level, you may also be introduced to a new character or two who will fight for your cause. You usually start off with a main character who's story you're following (usually some kind of prince, but sometimes exceptions are made), and the game is all about their story. You watch them develop and grow up as you complete the game (whether it's about saving their kingdom from corrupt rulers or avenging family members). Characters are not expendable though. They have hit points, and when they run out of hit points, they are lost forever (baring a few work-arounds to this). Of course, this is just a small summary. Each of the games is different in its own way that makes it impossible to explain what goes on in each of them with one summary, but this is the raw core of it.Oh cool, I wanna try this. How can I?
Well beyond emulation, you aren't going to be able to find these games very easily, since they are rather old now (and quite a few of them didn't make it to areas outside of Japan. That said, if you're a 3DS ambassador, you can download Fire Emblem 8: The Sacred Stones from the eShop using the Ambassador program. This game is generally regarded as the easiest in the series, making it a great way to get started. For most games, you'll need to visit second hand / pawn shops, or eBay to get a hand on them.
Well, except for one case. Fire Emblem's newest installment, Fire Emblem Awakening, has been released in North America on February 4th. Anyone at all interested in trying out this series should pick up the free download from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. It takes just over 1000 blocks of memory on your SD card for 30 uses of the two chapter demo. Try it out if you have a 3DS.This all sounds kind of complicated. Help me out here!Here is a twelve video playlist (that wasn't created by me) that goes over basic Fire Emblem mechanics.
This series is pretty deep, and features a lot of different mechanics such as weapon effectiveness (the type of weapon you use affects the damage you do to the enemy, like types of Pokemon moves).
If you can't tell by now, it's obvious that I love this series. There has been some rocky parts in terms of getting publicity for it (lack of interest in the States and Europe is a major reason as to why not all the games have left Japan). I'm hoping that maybe I convinced a few of you to give this series a try.