Tag Archive for Editorial

Fire Emblem 2020 Retrospective

As the curtains fall on 2020, here’s a look back at the key Fire Emblem happenings this year.

Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to be an objective review of the year, but the author’s personal take on things.

Before we dive into things, overall, 2020 has been an unprecedented year. For many, I imagine it was a challenging year. The impact of coronavirus across the world cannot be understated–and it’s possible it’ll have a lasting influence for years to come.

There’s a small part of me that wanted to skip this year’s retrospective, but despite everything, there have been some good things–and I don’t want to pretend nothing happened.

For better or worse, Fire Emblem first made the headlines in 2020 with the announcement of Byleth as the 5th DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The reveal was made during a presentation on 16th January; Byleth him/herself would be available from 29th January. Since I don’t play Smash, I didn’t really pay attention to the comments at the time, but I could still imagine them…

Given the success of Three Houses and Sakurai’s admiration of the Fire Emblem series, it was almost a given that Smash would eventually get a Three Houses rep. Personally, I would’ve been more excited if it was somebody like Edelgard, to avoid yet another sword-wielder. But presumably Nintendo didn’t want to favour one particular house over another–and hence we got the neutral Byleth with all their relics.

Following that, concrete details for Three Houses’s final wave of DLC were unveiled. This was the moment we officially became acquainted with the members of the Ashen Wolves, whose story would be told in “Cindered Shadows” (previously, we knew some details via data-mining). The final DLC arrived on 13th February and thus concluded the tale of Three Houses.

On 17th January, the Switch port of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was released. The original game was developed for the Wii U back in 2015, as part of the Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei project. Back then, a lot of people were put off from trying the game and the Wii U’s lack of popularity didn’t help matters either. So this was a good chance for a new generation to discover and appreciate it.

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Regarding the Allegations Against FE YouTubers Mangs and Chaz Aria LLC

Last week, two prominent members of the Fire Emblem YouTube community–Mangs and Chaz Aria LLC–were accused on social media of sexual assault (the former) and sexual coercion (the latter).

Ordinarily, we wouldn’t get involved because, besides our shared passion for the Fire Emblem series, there’s nothing to tie us together. However, events escalated in such a manner that I think it would be wrong for me to stay silent.

Before I get into the details, I want to be clear: sexual harassment and abuse are completely unacceptable, whether you belong to the Fire Emblem community or elsewhere. If anyone has been the subject of sexual harassment/abuse, I believe they should have a safe platform to speak up. Although (judging by how events have unfolded) social media may not be the best place.

In addition, I must emphasise: the contents of this article are solely the opinion of myself. They do not reflect the rest of the Serenes Forest team, nor its community. Everyone should be entitled to their own opinion and I dare not claim to represent everyone. Also, I don’t know the truth behind the events and I probably never will.

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Fire Emblem 2019 Retrospective

Soon, we’ll be saying “goodbye” to 2019 (or depending on your time zone, it might already be gone). In any case, let’s use this opportunity to reflect on how this year treated the Fire Emblem series!

Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to be an objective review of the year, but the author’s personal take on things.

Three Houses

Obviously, the biggest event this year was the worldwide release of Three Houses, the latest installment in our beloved franchise. This game was important for numerous reasons; it was the first mainline game released on the Nintendo Switch and the first console entry in nearly a decade(!).

Leading up to the game’s release, signs were looking promising, but there was always a chance it might mess up the landing… Thankfully, when the game arrived, it received nearly universal praise and, at the time of writing, it’s currently the series’s second best-selling title (number one is Fates, although that one had 3 separate versions).

Recently, the game also won 2 prizes at The Game Awards: “Best Strategy Game” and “Player’s Voice”. The first one probably was expected, but the second award was a very welcome surprise! Especially because it was voted by the public. Against all odds, fans of Three Houses gathered together, beating the other candidates–including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate–by double the votes! Well done, everyone!

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Feature: The History of Official Fire Emblem Websites

Today, 20th April, is the anniversary of the Fire Emblem series–its 29th one to be exact. To celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d dig up a slice of Fire Emblem history that’s been partially lost to the sands of times: the various official Fire Emblem websites.

Now, as you’re probably aware, the Internet is an incredibly fast-moving landscape. One year of the Internet can feel like a decade–and decades, centuries. So when you try to look back at websites from long ago, it can be extremely hard to find them again.

Thankfully, there are “time machines (or capsules)” such as the Wayback Machine, which hold archives of many old websites. For this article, I’ll be relying a lot on those archives. But even archives can be incomplete, especially for more complicated media like videos and flash files.

Our first destination on this historical tour is the website of Intelligent Systems, the developers of Fire Emblem. Presently, their website mainly links to the Fire Emblem websites hosted by Nintendo. Although they do have pages for recent merchandise, soundtracks and events.

However, long ago, between late 1996 and early 2002, Intelligent Systems hosted their own Fire Emblem hub page. The design was fairly amateur and perhaps quintessential of the time period. There was a plain repeating background, chunky navigation buttons and a nostalgic visitor counter.

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