Fire Emblem (GBA)
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Fire Emblem (Japanese: ファイアーエムブレム 烈火の剣 Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame) is a Game Boy Advance game released in 2003, and later re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014. It is the seventh game in the Fire Emblem series, the second game in the series to be released on the Game Boy Advance, and was the series' first internationally-released title, spurred on by the sparking of interest in the series caused by Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Fire Emblem is a prequel to Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, set on the same continent of Elibe twenty years prior to its predecessor's events. It stars three main lord characters: Eliwood and Hector, the fathers of The Binding Blade's Roy and Lilina respectively, and a completely new character, Lyn. The game is divided into two segments: the first segment stars Lyn and revolves around her quest to save her grandfather from his treacherous brother, acting as a tutorial mode for the game. The longer second part stars Eliwood, Hector and Lyn as they oppose the schemes of the sorcerer Nergal, who seeks to summon the long-banished dragons back to Elibe for his own gain.
Fire Emblem is referred to as Fire Emblem GBA or Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade by some official sources and is colloquially called Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword or Fire Emblem 7 to avoid confusion with the rest of the series.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Characters
- 4 Chapters
- 5 Support Conversations
- 6 Development
- 7 Reception
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Etymology and other languages
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In Fire Emblem, the player is given a direct character role in the story, as a tactician who guides the armies of Lyn and later Eliwood and Hector to victory in battle. At the start of the game, the tactician's name, month of birth, gender and (only in the Japanese version) blood type are decided by the player. For this plot synopsis, the tactician's default name, Mark, will be used.
A tactician, Mark, wakes up in a house on the Sacae plains. A teenage girl introduces herself as Lyn of the Lorca, a tribe of nomadic plainsdwellers. Suddenly, bandits attack; Mark aids Lyn, who, with a sword, fights them off. The next morning, she decides to travel with Mark, to avenge her dead parents and the rest of the Lorca tribe, who were killed by bandits.
In the town of Bulgar, Lyn meets the womanizing cavalier Sain and his more serious partner Kent, both knights of Caelin, a territory in Lycia. She is disgusted by Sain's nature and leaves the city. Then, more bandits arrive to attack Lyn, and the knights go to their aid. After the battle, the knights inform Lyn, whose name is revealed to be Lyndis, that her mother Madelyn was the daughter of Hausen, the marquess of Caelin, making Lyn next in line for the throne. The bandits were sent by Lundgren, Hausen's younger brother, who aspires to be marquess. Lyn is a threat to this, so her life is in danger; the group decides to go to Caelin.
Lyn takes the group to a shrine to pray for a safe journey. There, her party defeats bandits seeking to steal the sacred sword, Mani Katti. As thanks, the caretaker of the shrine allows Lyn to hold the Mani Katti and pray. She draws it from its sheath, meaning the sword's spirits have chosen her. Since Lyn is the rightful owner, the priest allows her to take the sword.
Lyn sees her friend, the shy pegasus knight Florina, being bullied by a group of the Ganelon bandits. The bandits start a fight, during which an archer named Wil lends a hand. The group then stops at a small fort where they meet Natalie, a woman looking for her husband Dorcas. More Ganelon bandits surround the fort, including Dorcas, who had joined the bandits to pay for Natalie's illness. He is convinced by Lyn to switch sides; after the bandits retreat, he decides to join the growing party. As Lyn approaches the border, two other travelers, the talkative cleric Serra and her escort, a serious mage named Erk are caught up in another fight. Both join Lyn after the bandits' defeat.
Lyn travels to Araphen, whose marquess is willing to help. Suddenly, the castle is set on fire by Lundgren's assassins and Lyn is attacked; however, Rath, a high-ranking Araphen officer and a Sacaean nomad of the Kutolah tribe, comes to her aid. The cheerful thief Matthew joins and helps them enter the barracks by unlocking doors. After the battle, Lyn meets the marquess of Araphen. However, he views Sacaeans as savages and refuses to help Lyn. Rath, who overhears his comments, leaves the marquess's service and joins Lyn.
While passing through Kathelet, Lyn runs into a strange boy, Nils, who requests her help to get his sister Ninian back from a shady organization called the Black Fang. The two are traveling performers: a dancer and a bard, respectively. A monk named Lucius also joins, having heard Nils's plight. Lyn's forces manage to defeat the Black Fang; in the castle, they find that Ninian has already been rescued by Eliwood, the son of the marquess of Pherae. Lyn thanks him and tells him her story; Eliwood decides to help Lyn out. Ninian and Nils also start to help Lyn by using their powers, which allow them to sense approaching dangers. Ninian finds that she has lost her ring, Ninis' Grace, a keepsake from her mother. Lyn and the others are able to track the Black Fang down and reclaim Ninian's ring from them.
Lyn continues to encounter more numerous and advanced troops on the way to Caelin. Matthew learns that Lundgren has been poisoning Hausen. Furthermore, he has also been spreading false rumors that Lyn is an impostor. Eliwood helps Lyn by convincing the other Lycian territories to stay neutral in the conflict, leaving Lundgren her only opponent. The group encounters the hearty former Caelin general Wallace, who remains loyal to Lord Hausen and believes Lyn, joining her forces.
Lyn finally reaches Castle Caelin and, after a heated battle, defeats Lundgren. She is finally able to meet Hausen, her grandfather, who is near death because the poison. However, Lyn convinces him that they still have much they can do together, and Hausen decides to make an effort to continue living and begins to recover. When Lyn decides to stay in Caelin, Florina and Wil enter the service of House Caelin to stay with her. The rest of the characters go their separate ways, as described in their endings. The tactician Mark takes their leave to travel on their own for a time. Lyn’s tale ends here.
Eliwood's tale - Finding Elbert
Eliwood's tale takes place a year after the events of Lyn's tale. A month before the story begins, the marquess of Pherae and Eliwood's father, Lord Elbert, vanished while journeying abroad, along with several of his best vassals. Eliwood leaves Pherae to search for him, along with the paladin Marcus, an old family retainer, and the cavalier Lowen a new but skilled Pheraean recruit.
Bern and the Shrine of Seals
When Eliwood reunited with his father on the Dread Isle, Elbert lived just long enough to inflict a severe but not fatal wound on Nergal, and to warn Eliwood that Nergal would be back and that Eliwood and his friends would have to be ready when he was. During the return journey, Nils and Ninian informed Eliwood that Nergal was somewhere far to the east, i.e. in Bern. They stopped at a fortress near Ostia to rendezvous with Uther and inform him of these new developments, whereupon Uther suggested that they make a detour to the Nabata Desert on the Missur Peninsula to seek the "Living Legend" before heading to Bern.
The Living Legend was none other than the Archsage Athos, one of the Eight Generals of the Scouring, who agreed to help Eliwood and his friends in unlocking the Divine Weapons to aid in combating Nergal. For this purpose, he said, it would be necessary to travel to the Shrine of Seals in Bern. His friends Pent, Louise, and Hawkeye agreed to aid Eliwood as well. Athos teleported the group to Pherae, where they spent the night before setting out for Bern.
Eliwood and his companions clashed with one of the Reed brothers near the Bern/Pherae border, while Pent and Louise sought out an audience with Queen Hellene of Bern to ask her about the location of the Shrine of Seals.
Hellene had problems of her own, however, which she required Eliwood to resolve before she would aid him in finding the Shrine of Seals. Zephiel's coming of age ceremony was fast approaching, but the Fire Emblem, a vital component to the ceremony, had been stolen. Eliwood's task, therefore, was to retrieve the Fire Emblem and return it to Hellene.
Searching for clues as to the Fire Emblem's whereabouts, Eliwood and his companions traveled to the royal castle of Bern and, finding it unguarded, sneaked in. They overheard Prince Zephiel playing with Princess Guinivere, and King Desmond talking to Sonia; the latter conversation confirmed that the Fire Emblem was hidden in the Black Fang's fortress. After nearly being spotted by Sonia, Eliwood fled the castle only to find Vaida harassing Nils and Ninian. Because Vaida was empowered by Nergal, Eliwood was unable to do more than fight her to a stalemate, but eventually she tired of the fight and retreated.
Lyn used her tracking skills to lead the group in pursuing Vaida high into the mountains, to the Black Fang fortress. They arrived in time to eavesdrop on Sonia's next assignment for Jaffar, one of the Four Fangs: to kill Prince Zephiel that night. Eliwood and company were spotted by the Black Fang, however, and some enchantment prevented them from leaving the fortress until they had fought their way through to the source of the enchantment. One of the leaders of the Black Fang had the Fire Emblem in his possession, which Eliwood took before fleeing to the manse where Zephiel and Hellene lived.
They arrived at the manse that night and succeeded in stopping the attempt on Zephiel's life. The next morning, Hellene rewarded Eliwood with a map to the Shrine of Seals.
When they arrived at the Shrine of Seals, they found the surviving Reed brother and the last remnants of the Black Fang guarding it. After Eliwood defeated them, Athos teleported to the Shrine and admitted that while he could have simply teleported everyone else directly to the Shrine as well, he needed proof that Eliwood would not be swayed by the immense power of the Divine Weapons, and that the journey through Bern was a test of Eliwood's strength and determination. They entered the shrine and encountered Bramimond the Enigma, and they convinced it to open the seals guarding the Divine Weapons.
Hector's tale covers the same events as Eliwood's tale, but instead focuses on the former as the main character. Several events are changed slightly, and some extra chapters are added:
- Chapter 11 covers Hector's departure from Ostia with Matthew
- Chapter 15 is a Hector's tale-exclusive chapter that involves his party defending Laus from invaders
- Chapter 19xx is a Hector's tale-exclusive side-chapter that becomes available if the party kills Kishuna in Chapter 19x and if Nils is at least level 7 before the end of Lyn's tale.
- Chapter 25 is a Hector's tale-exclusive chapter that introduces a new character: Farina, oldest of the three pegasus sisters. She will join the party if paid 20,000 gold.
- Chapter 30, instead of dealing with Eliwood looking for Durandal, covers Hector's search for Armads.
- Chapter 31x also introduces a new character: the swordmaster Karla, sister to Karel. She can be recruited after a duel with Bartre, but only if he is at least a level 5 Warrior.
- Chapter 32x is a Hector's tale-exclusive chapter that concludes the Kishuna subplot. It can be accessed if the player completes chapter 32 in 20 turns or less.
In addition, many chapters feature different or additional enemies, so the difficulty of Hector's tale is generally increased when compared to Eliwood's.
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Overall, Fire Emblem features no significant changes to its gameplay compared to The Binding Blade.
Fire Emblem features 44 playable characters; however, only 42 are available in any given playthrough, as the player must choose between Karel or Harken and Wallace or Geitz, and two characters - Farina and Karla - are available only in Hector's tale. Of these 44, 13 are playable in Lyn’s tale.
From the beginning of Lyn's tale to the end of Eliwood or Hector’s tale, the game is 32 (Eliwood) or 34 (Hector) chapters long, counting the prologue and final chapter but none of the sidequests. The game features a total of 46 distinct map chapters, including sidequests and alternate versions of chapters.
Two prototype builds of the Japanese version of Fire Emblem were leaked to the public in 2008, and are available in patch form. Both builds are dated at approximately two months before the Japanese release and as such the bulk of the game is complete in both builds, but there are numerous unfinished and beta elements such as unfinished or different portraits, missing kanji, CG images which are either preliminary sketches or lacking the grainy sepia overlay, slightly or completely different music tracks, minor statistical differences, and numerous portions of The Binding Blade's interface left intact.
- In the Japanese release, certain functions in the game are unlocked by linking Fire Emblem to a copy of The Binding Blade and transferring data. As The Binding Blade was not released outside Japan, this functionality was removed from international releases, and instead the content is either available by default or unavailable. Linking with The Binding Blade achieves the following effects:
- Allows the player to skip Lyn's tale on their first playthrough of the game and start from Eliwood's tale instead. No counterpart function exists in the international versions.
- Two epilogue scenes are unlocked through linking, although both have alternate obtain criteria. A cleared Binding Blade save file which achieved the bad ending (where the game ended at Chapter 22) unlocks the first scene with Eliwood, Hector, Roy and Lilina, which can also be obtained by clearing the game nine times. A cleared save with the good endings (where the game ended at the Final Chapter) unlocks the second scene where Zephiel is confronted by Jahn, which can also be obtained by clearing the game eleven times. In the NTSC release of the game, both scenes are in the epilogue by default, but in the PAL releases the scenes are removed entirely.
- Of the official English localizations of the series, Fire Emblem is the only one where item names do not have their entire name capitalized - for example, "Iron Sword" is spelled "Iron sword" - and are accordingly presented as common nouns rather than proper nouns (aside from regalia weapons and the Light Brand). From The Sacred Stones onward, capitalizing the entire item name became the series standard. The gringe fan translation of The Binding Blade and "Project Naga" fan translation of Genealogy of the Holy War, however, handle item names the same way as this game.
- This game supports the ability to allow characters to wink and blink during dialogue, though the former is used once in the entire game by Matthew in his recruitment conversation with Guy. Because the wink animation plays at the same speed as the blink animation most players miss it.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|English|| • Fire Emblem
• Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
| • As the series' first English/international release, the subtitle was omitted, likely seen as pointless in the face of no predecessors with which to confuse it.|
• Used from Fire Emblem Heroes onward, matching Durandal's title like the Japanese name.
|Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword|| The game is almost universally identified by the fandom by a translation of its Japanese name/subtitle, or by its number in the series, instead of by its actual English title in order to avoid confusion with the rest of the series.|
It should be noted that in the English release, Durandal's epithet and thus the game's hypothetical subtitle is actually "Blazing Blade", not "Blazing Sword", but it is universally called by the latter name anyway. This name was used on the official website as a "loose translation".
|Japanese||ファイアーエムブレム 烈火の剣||Officially romanized as Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame. The title refers to Durandal, the legendary "Blazing Blade" wielded by Eliwood in the final chapter.|
- Fire Emblem official American website (mirror by Tanas Manor)
- Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame official Japanese website
- Fire Emblem Wii U Virtual Console website (European)
- Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame Wii U Virtual Console website (Japanese)
|Fire Emblem series|