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Fire Emblem

Preview By: Tikerman

Developer:  Intelligent Systems
Publisher:  Nintendo
Genre:  RPG/Strategy
Est. Release:  11-3-03
Posted:  9-18-03

In 1990 Intelligent Systems came out in Japan with the revolutionary Fire Emblem, and a popular series was born. Unfortunately, that series has to the day not made it to U.S. soil. Well, finally, someone down at Nintendo has decided that Fire Emblem is ready to hit the states. I’m very happy about this, and I must say, you should be too!

There are two halves to Fire Emblem: Sword of Fire. In the first a young girl named Lin, who has lived as a hermit in the plains all her life, befriends a troubled traveler, and begins to learn the way of the sword from him. Quickly, however, she realizes her destiny as the Queen of the neighboring nation of Rikea, much to her distress, as she has normally felt disdain towards nobility. As a battle for succession of the throne ensues, loyal knights come to her aid while those against her attempt her murder. In exchange for her help, the unnamed traveler aids her and teaches her military strategy. In the second half, you take control of Eliwod, who is a noble of the same district from which Lin’s ancestors hail, and continue adventures with him. He is apparently strong, but inexperienced…

Fire Emblem promises to be full of difficult strategy-based battles, against giant evil wizards and beasts, or against enemy armies. The game will also be full of side-quests and feature a branching storyline, in which you must defeat army after army to ensure the throne. Lin can use magic, her powerful Pegasus Knights (who seem to be able to fly), and she can join the battle and guide her foot soldiers. An interesting aspect of the Fire Emblem games has always been that each soldier is powerful and unique in his or her own way, but if that soldier dies, he or she is gone for good, so one must be cautious!

Also, there seems to be some kind of ‘relationship’ factor, in which by becoming better friends with certain characters, your own character will work better with them and gain new skills. There also seems to be some kind of romantic subplot as well…

Fans of the Advance Wars games will feel right at home with Fire Emblem. Its game engine also features an isometric grid, on which the player guides his troops (who can each move differently) along the battlefield. Fire Emblem features a more RPG-like gameplay, however, including experience, levels, and special moves. There are also myriad controllable characters, even more than the usual RPG, including Lin, Eliwod, Hector, Sain, Ninian, Dorcas, Flolina, Matthew, Guy, Osin, Rebacca, Serra, Pant (wow), Luise, Levyan, and Priscilla. Let’s hope some of these are transliterated for American release…

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