Fire Emblem

A colorful strategy RPG.
Reviewed By: Aeolian Mode - Guest Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Violence: The game deals with wars, assassins, and combat. However, the battles are visually bloodless. There is mention of blood, though not a drop is shown on screen.

Sexual Content: A evil king has an illegitimate daughter. Some characters develop crushes on each other. All the females are well dressed save a very few who are evil and show very mild, barely noticeable cleavage.

Language: The language is harsh without cursing. Some characters, especially evil characters, use rather harsh terms, such as calling the good guys swine or curs.

Spiritual Content: There are some gods. Some characters have immortality. There are magicians who use standard fantasy magic.

Fire Emblem is a fantasy RPG/ game made in Japan and is the 7th game in the Fire Emblem series.  It was the first Fire Emblem game released in English and is the prequel to the (Japan Only) Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi.

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Storytelling Quality Ratings:
Character Development: A- (Some lesser characters are not developed enough; some lean a little bit towards the “mary-sue” side. Otherwise, wonderful development and designs.)
Story: B+ (Can be hard to follow as there are tons of names to keep track of, and it jumps this way and that. Some characters join your cause for believable reasons, others absolutely ridiculous.)
Art: A+ (Beautiful. For the Game Boy Advance, the pixels make up a tremendously colorful and detailed world. The characters are simply marvelously designed visually.)

The story follow three main characters: Lyn, Eliwood, and Hector as they journey through a war-trodden land and get embroiled in political conflicts. As you progress, you will meet tons of new playable characters and converse with many non-player characters. There are over 50 detailed characters in this game.

The gameplay is challenging, exciting and never loses its charm. New characters, weapons, and classes can be obtained throughout the game, keeping it fresh and entertaining. It plays as a turn-based game similar to chess and rock-paper-scissors. For example, certain characters have different weapons they use in combat. Characters who wield lances are strong against characters with swords. However, the characters with swords can easily defeat those with axes and the axe-wielding group can take out the lance-wielding group. This same triangle applies to the magic system, which uses fantasy-based magic of three categories: Light, Dark, and Anima.

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Speaking of which, Fire Emblem is rated E, but it deals with some heavy subject matter because the game portrays evil for what it. It does not glorify evil characters or show them in any way as likable, which I found as a relief. Younger children will be disturbed at just how gruesome the evil characters are. There are tons of scenes showing evil characters interact and it is hard to touch on them all, but here is an example. An evil mother sends her young daughter on a mission which could claim her life. Before her daughter leaves, she asks if she could hold her mother’s hand one last time. Her mother refuses, and says that if her daughter returns victorious, she will hold her hand as much as she likes. After her daughter leaves, the mother asks an assassin to kill her daughter whom she calls “trash”.

Another scene involves an evil king who been seeing a woman besides his wife and has an illegitimate daughter. The evil king has a legitimate son who is soon to claim his throne. The king plans to assassinate his son to keep his throne.

Even so, the good guys are shown as caring, empathetic, strong, merciful, and wise. They place an emphasis on love, teamwork, and redemption. Just a few of your characters can defeat countless amounts of evil if you take care of them and deploy them wisely. If a character dies in combat, you cannot use him throughout the rest of the game, which advocates wise and careful decisions.

The story unfolds through character portraits shown from the shoulders and up and dialog bubbles. There is no graphic violence in the cutscenes, though some characters are seen getting ’stabbed’ as one portrait moves near the other and a sound effect imitating the fling of a sword is heard. There is no blood on screen, and the violence is very tame in the combat scenes. However characters sometimes discuss murder, assassinations, and blood.

Overall, Fire Emblem was a wonderful experience, but this game should only be enjoyed by older and more mature children or teens because of how disturbingly evil the bad guys are.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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