Tag Archive for Editorial

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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Fire Emblem 2018 Retrospective

Very soon, 2018 will be coming to an end. Just before we welcome the new year, let’s take a look back at how 2018 treated Fire Emblem, shall we?

Compared to the year before, 2018 was somewhat of a gap year for Fire Emblem. There were no notable releases, not even any spin-offs. However, things were far from quiet thanks to regular updates to Fire Emblem Heroes, which launched in 2017, as well as the Cipher card game.

In addition, we finally learned the true identity of the upcoming Fire Emblem title for the Nintendo Switch. Even if the game was delayed from its tentative 2018 release date to sometime in Spring 2019. So that gave us something nice to look forward to.

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

Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Fire Emblem series!

For this occasion, I’d like to discuss something that many Fire Emblem fans know and take for granted: the Fire Emblem games’ numbering system.

I imagine most of you reading this probably know the numbers like the back of your hand. But just for reference, this is how we usually number the Fire Emblem games:

Number English Title
1 Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light
2 Gaiden
3 Mystery of the Emblem
4 Genealogy of the Holy War
5 Thracia 776
6 Binding Blade
7 Blazing Blade
8 The Sacred Stones
9 Path of Radiance
10 Radiant Dawn
11 Shadow Dragon
12 New Mystery of the Emblem
13 Awakening
14 Fates
15 Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Note: Only the mainline Fire Emblem games are numbered. Spin-offs like Heroes and Warriors are not given numbers.

For us fans, referring to each game using numbers is very natural. Eg. if I said “FE6”, you probably know that I’m talking about Binding Blade. Yet for those observing from afar, or those new to the series, this system can seem a bit strange.

The main reason for this is of course because, officially, none of the Fire Emblem games are numbered. Unlike, say, Final Fantasy, where the latest Final Fantasy is explicitly titled “Final Fantasy XV [15]”. The numbering system is purely something we fans created.

Birth of the Numbering System

Some may ask: why exactly do Fire Emblem fans refer to the games by number?

The short answer, it seems, is because of a combination of tradition and convenience.

As for the long answer, we’ll need to travel back in time towards the early days of the Fire Emblem series and its then-developing fan community.

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