Fire Emblem is a series of fantasy tactical strategy/role-playing games from the Real World, developed by Intelligent Systems and associated with Nintendo. In particular, it is known as one of the first examples of a turn-based strategy game: the first installment was released in Japan for the NES in 1990. Currently there are fifteen released games in the series (two of which are remakes), along with a crossover with Shin Megami Tensei.
All installments involve a mystical artifact (at least a mention) called the Fire Emblem. It takes many forms: a shield, a sword, a medallion, etc.
Interestingly, main characters Marth and Roy debuted outside of Japan before their games were released to the rest of the world. Their popularity led Nintendo to release the series worldwide from the eighth game on.
GameplayEditGameplay in Fire Emblem involves moving units around a map and triggering automated fights between adjacent units. There are many types of unit, ranging from swordsmen to mounted knights and magic-users, to bowmen and axemen, and even to units that ride pegasi or dragon-like wyverns... and sometimes, even real dragons and other shape-shifters. There are many different weapons each unit can use, depending on skill level, and the bonuses they impart vary wildly. Units gain experience for an enemy kill, a successful attack, or a successfully dodged attack — with an exception for healers, who gain experience for healing a target, and specialized tactical units which gain experience using their own skills. This experience is used to raise the level of a unit, and usually 'class-up' into a stronger version of that unit.
In each game, the main characters that the story is focused around are generally called 'Lords' and are of a custom hero-unit type. Usually by the end of the game, the main Lord is among the strongest units in the game... and if this main Lord dies, the game is over.
A particular point of note is that even though the main Lords are 'special', almost every character controllable by the player is named, and so are nearly all boss enemies. Units who die in battle are usually lost permanently, sometimes influencing the story if they were a major character.
Releases and TimelinesEdit
Unlike many video game series, many Fire Emblem games are not sequels, though some are. With the possible exception of The Sacred Stones, all Fire Emblem games take place in a single continuum, though the arcs are separated by thousands of years and usually vast distances.
The list of releases using original Japanese release date is:
- Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi/Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light*** (1990)
- Fire Emblem Gaiden*** (1992)
- Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo/Mystery of the Emblem*** (1994)
- Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu/Genealogy of the Holy War*** (1996)
- BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki/War Chronicles of Archanea*** (1997)
- Fire Emblem: Thracia 776*** (1999)
- Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi/The Binding Blade*** (2002)
- Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken/Blazing Sword* (2003)
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004)
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005)
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007)
- Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon** (2008)
- Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo ~Hikari to Kage no Eiyū/New Mystery of the Emblem*** (2010)
- Fire Emblem: Awakening (2012)
- Fire Emblem: Fates (2015)
The arcs are (named for the continents they take place on: Archanea, consisting of Shadow Dragon, Gaiden, Mystery of the Emblem and War Chronicles of Archanea; Jugdral, consisting of Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776; Elibe, consisting of The Binding Blade and Blazing Sword; Magvel, or The Sacred Stones; Tellius, which is Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn; and Ylisse, with Awakening. The Jugdral series is in the distant past of Archanea, which is in turn the distant past of Awakening. Elibe, Magvel and Tellius take place sometime between Archanea and Awakening.
* Called simply Fire Emblem in the western release, and the first Fire Emblem game released outside of Japan.
** Remake of Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi.
*** Unreleased outside of Japan.
Generally, in BadficEdit
Because ALL characters, down to the most minor (except for enemy mooks) are named and often have complex backstories, the list of all the possible shipping pairings for Fire Emblem can be considered astronomically huge. This may lead to shipping wars, arguments, and really terrible interpretations of relationships in enough ways that it would take an incomprehensible entity to fully grasp all of them.
Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi/Shadow Dragons and the Blade of LightEdit
These installments (also known as Book One) feature Marth, the prince of Altea and his quest in the country (continent?) of Akaneia/Archanea. His adventures revolve around his exile, and reclaiming his kingdom and rescuing his sister from the evil priest Gharnef... and stopping the newly-resurrected Dark Dragon Medeus.
Because of the original version's age, not much badfic is written about this installment — save when concerning the new remake Shadow Dragon. This game is the first appearance of Marth, who does happen to be a common Lust Object among fangirls. Part of this is his fame. He was showcased as a character in the Western release of Super Smash Bros. Melee before his game was translated and released for that region.
Fire Emblem GaidenEdit
A literal side story to the original Fire Emblem, this game takes place on a different continent in Akaneia/Archanea, and follows the adventures of two friends, Alm and Celica. Although it bears little on the narrative of the first game, several characters make a repeat appearance.
Virtually nonexistent. As a NES game that never saw a western release, you will be hard pressed to find a fanbrat that even knows this installment exists — or if you do, one that has played it.
Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo/Mystery of the EmblemEdit
Including a remake of 'Book One,' Mystery of the Emblem also includes a 'Book Two' and is a direct sequel. It once again follows Marth in the wake of his apparent victory over the Dark Dragon Medeus. However, not all is as it seems, for Marth is used by a traitorous ally, Hardin (who has now risen to become Emperor of Archanea), to conquer smaller countries to expand the empire. When Marth discovers this treachery, he becomes a wanted man, and he and his army go on to retrieve the Fire Emblem again and recover the Light Orb, which he uses to defeat and free Hardin, who was under the influence of a Dark Orb. Marth defeats Hardin, but is not able to do so without killing him. Two bonus chapters reveal where the new incarnations of Gharnef and Medeus reside, and Marth defeats them again.
Once again, this installment features the famed Marth, but both the original form and a Nintendo DS remake of it are unreleased outside of Japan.
Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu/Genealogy of the Holy WarEdit
Taking place in the world of Jugdral, this game follows Sigurd of Chalphy, and later his son Seliph. Centuries before the onset of the game, the Dark Lord Loptyr conquered the world and sacrificed many to the Dark God, but was defeated by the Twelve Crusaders. These warriors went on to establish the kingdoms and regions of Jugdral present to the game's events. The game's plot revolves around Sigurd's fights concerning Jugdral politics and a possible return of Loptyr. Eventually, Sigurd is framed and killed in a large betrayal staged by his friend, Alvis. His son Seliph picks up the story seventeen years later as leader of a resistance group, where he must defeat, with the help of his army, the Emperor Arvis, his son Julius, and Manfroy and the Loptyr Sect as they reign in terror over all of Jugdral.
Virtually nonexistent. This installment has not seen release outside of Japan, and it has not had a remake. Play of it outside of Japan is usually limited to very hardcore fans. Goodfic is scarce. Badfic is scarce. Fic itself is scarce.
BS Fire Emblem: Archanea SenkiEdit
These four episodes, broadcast on the obscure Satellaview, take place between the Prologue and first chapter of Shadow Dragon. Each focuses on a different group of units from the main game. Later remade with Mystery of the Emblem.
Most diehard Fire Emblem fans aren't aware that these games exist; badfic writers certainly aren't. Most 'fic involving characters from this will be based on the less obscure entry they originate in.
Thracia 776 occurs in the latter half of Genealogy of the Holy War, in the Republic of Manster and the Kingdom of Thracia on the continent of Jugdral. The main character is Leif, son of the fallen Prince Quan of Leonster, who journeys to restore the Kingdom of Leonster. It is set as a side story to Genealogy of the Holy War.
ALMOST ENTIRELY nonexistent. Even more obscure than Genealogy of the Holy War, so much so that knowing anything of this game is a badge of hardcore Fire Emblem Fan status on some forums. The casual Suethor player would really, really have to be impressively tenacious to even get interested in it, much less play it, as it is considered the most difficult in the series by far. Also, it's fit snugly into the narrative of two of the chapters of Genealogy of the Holy War (the two games even have some of the same characters show up), so arguably any fanfiction about Thracia fits under Genealogy as well. Practically no fanfiction at all is written about this game.
Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi/The Binding BladeEdit
Starring Roy, this game introduces the world of Elibe, which is under siege by the nation Bern. The sinister King Zephiel, having conquered many nations, sets his sights on the Lycian League and Roy's home of Pherae. Zephiel somehow commands true dragons as part of his army, and in an effort to stop them, Roy ends up mobilizing an army to take King Zephiel and his War Dragon effort down with the help of the mysterious Sword of Seals.
Elibe has exposure as a world in fanfiction due to this game's sequel being the first Fire Emblem game released in the western world, as well as the fact that Roy debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee (even in Japan) and thus has an army of misaimed fans that slaver over his fun, beat-em-up appearance rather than his true, canonical one.
Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken/Blazing SwordEdit
This game, a prequel to The Binding Blade, follows three main Lords and three stories. The first is Lyn, whose story revolves around reclaiming her father's kingdom from a traitorous baron. The second is Eliwood, who is Roy's father and goes on a quest to find his father and battle Nergal, a dark Shaman who seeks to unleash dragons on the world. Eliwood's friend Hector (who is the father of Lilina, a major character in The Binding Blade) is the third and final Lord, whose story is directly parallel to Eliwood's save that the point of view is changed. This game sets up the events of The Binding Blade and also provides a lot of backstory for the continent of Elibe.
This was the first Fire Emblem game released to western audiences, and there is a large demographic that still play it even today. In particular, this game allows the player a slot as a character known as the tactician. This player character is a non-combatant, but the potential for Mary Sues, self-inserts, and continuum abuse is still there. Self-insert fictions in this vein are known as 'Tactician Fics', and while (as with all self-inserts) it is very possible to do them well, they are done unskillfully more often than not.
Fire Emblem: The Sacred StonesEdit
Centered around a brother (Ephraim) and a sister (Eirika), this game takes place on the continent of Magvel, and its storyline is unrelated to any other Fire Emblem game. The game follows these two individually as Eirika flees her kingdom of Renais, but she and her brother later reunite to fight against the Grado empire that invaded their kingdom. The mastermind is the Imperial Prince Lyon, once the friend of Ephraim and Eirika, who is possessed by the Demon King of legends.
There is a presence, but this game was not as well-received and popular as Blazing Sword, and because of that the badfic-producing demographic usually passes it over in favor of Blazing Sword (if it plays a GBA installment at all). Also, possible twincest.
Fire Emblem: Path of RadianceEdit
Introducing the world of Tellius, this continuum is home to the swordsman Ike, who was originally employed as part of his father Greil's mercenary group. When the Greil mercenaries come across the surviving princess of Crimea after a coup and invasion made by the army of the country Daein, they are charged with escorting her to safety. Eventually, after Ike takes control of the mercenary group, the Greil mercenaries are employed at the head of the army to not only invade Daein, but also to retake Crimea from the mad king Ashnard, whose atrocity is astounding despite the Daein people's love and favor. Should they fail, the world will be plunged into war and awake the Fire Emblem — in this incarnation, with enough power to destroy the world itself and drive men berserk with a single touch.
Where to begin. This installment is the first on a fairly contemporary console (GameCube) and the first with full animated video battles. It gained high positive reviews from Nintendo Power, and the exposure it generated caused it to be the first Fire Emblem game for many fans. It has a stellar story, well-fleshed characters, and bonus conversations that cater to every possible fan kink, including yaoi, yuri, shotacon, non-con, shape-shifting, etc. Not only that, but it introduces a humanoid shape-shifter race called the Laguz (previously, only certain dragons called Manaketes had been shape-shifters) that come in feline, avian, and draconic varieties — perfect for those who want to create a cat, bird, or dragon girl/boy. At one time most Fire Emblem badfic written was Tellius-based, but this is no longer the case after the release of Awakening.
Fire Emblem: Radiant DawnEdit
A direct sequel to Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn picks up in the occupied country of Daein, which is short a king and a lot of morale and order. Hostile occupation troops have caused a rebellion called the Dawn Brigade to rise. The leader of this brigade, a young light-magic-user named Micaiah, discovers a possible heir to the crown of Daein and goes on to free the country from the occupation, but players in the darkness force the new king to proclaim war on the once-occupying superpower Bengion, and even the Greil mercenaries are caught up in the confrontation. The Fire Emblem is awakened, wherein the previous game that was prevented, and the goddess Ashera makes the people of Tellius pay for not living peaceably. Only the strongest (and hybrids of race) do not turn to stone, and an army of survivors go to try and talk the angry goddess out of her wrath, not knowing that another has been manipulating everything from the beginning to achieve the simple destruction of the world for his own end. Literally.
Once again, Tellius badfic was once the most widespread continuum in Fire Emblem badfic, and it's not thanks to the main Lord of Radiant Dawn, Micaiah, who is considered a Canon Sue by fans due to her backstory, appearance, power and role in the story. While she does indeed have Sueish traits, fandom blows them completely out of proportion and bashes her to kingdom come.
Ike, on the other hand, is as popular as always.
Fire Emblem: AwakeningEdit
The main character of Awakening is Chrom, a distant descendant of Marth and younger brother of the Exalt of Ylisse. He discovers an amnesiac in a field; this is the Avatar, a customisable character similar to the Tactician of Elibe. These two have to deal with invasions from neighbouring Plegia, then the Empire of Valm from the next continent over, before ultimately facing the Fell Dragon, Grima, who is resurrected by the Grimleal cult. Also contains various side stories confirming the single continuity of the Fire Emblem series. Roy and Ike are in this game as downloadable content, while someone claiming to be Marth has a supporting role in the plot.
As one of the best-selling games in the entire series, Awakening has a large amount exposure among badfic writers. Much focuses on the Avatar, as the character is capable of being used as a self-insert. Additionally, nearly any pairing between characters is available in-game, making it difficult to charge for non-canon pairings. Mary Sues are rare outside of Avatar replacement, but slash is prevalent.
Fire Emblem: FatesEdit
Taking place some time after Awakening, Fates focuses on the conflict between the Europe-like Kingdom of Nohr and Japan analogue Kingdom of Hoshido. A customizable character known as the Avatar serves as the game's Lord, who was born into the royal family of Hoshido but raised by the royal family of Nohr, and now must choose which family to side with. The game is split into three versions, one in which the Avatar sides with Nohr, one where the Avatar sides with Hoshido, and a third path where the Avatar sides with neither of them. Three characters from Awakening reappear in Nohr under aliases.
Having sales comparable to Awakening, Fates has significant exposure among writers. Bad slash is extremely common, especially given that Fates allows a male Avatar to marry another man. While slightly less prevalent, Suefic using the Avatar as a self-insert is also popular. Of particular note is that Suefic often has the Avatar paired with one of their Hoshidan or Nohrian siblings, which, while possible in canon, is something many people might find squicky.
Super Smash Bros.Edit
- Main article: Super Smash Bros.
- HAY Are Marth and Roy in this game?!
- —Unknown Fan and many forum trolls thereafter.
Both Marth and Roy debuted in Western countries with the game Super Smash Bros. Melee. Due to the cracky, unserious nature of the game, Marth and Roy's bishonen designs, the young audience that plays it, and a then-lack of information about the Fire Emblem series among Western audiences, Marth and Roy often pick up very stupid characterization in Smash Bros. fanfiction. At best, this is to the point of calling Roy a 'prince' or shipping Marth with anybody — Marth is actually happily married to the pegasus knight Shiida (Caeda in US translations). At worst, it is a crackfic nightmare of bishie-lust.
As of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Roy has left the roster and Ike from Tellius fills that gap. Annoyingly enough, despite his exposure among western audiences, he still receives the same treatment from fans.
Missions in this ContinuumEdit
- Agents Echo Kazul and Kat Daydream (APD - Fire Emblem)
- 'A Ryder's Legacy'
- 'A Tale of Two Stories'
- Part I - 'When Love Is Concealed xRevised Versionx', Agent Vyctori with Agent TFL
- Part II - 'Life and death of Kireion the falcoknight', Agents Echo and Kat
- 'Trap for the Heart'
- 'Bad Slash 101', Echo with Agent Dots (DBS)