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A Sardonic Look at Fire Emblem Fates

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Fire Emblem Fates Plot Analysis

UPDATE: 4/3/16

Disclaimer

Please note that this thread will discuss the plots of the three Fire Emblem Fates campaigns: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation. There will be spoilers in my analysis, so read it at your own risk. To my fellow members: please put all spoilers in spoiler tags.

Also, I want to make it clear that I do not dislike this game. The gameplay is, by far, the best in the series. The music is almost euphoric, and the visuals are gorgeous. It is, objectively, Intelligent System's best Fire Emblem game to date (strictly from a gameplay perspective, of course). I only have problems with parts of the story. My analysis will go in the order that I played the game: Birthright first, Conquest second, and Revelation last. I did not have a clear picture of the Fates universe and lore when I began Birthright. On another note, I want to point out that character supports will not be apart of my analysis/review. I will refer to the writing team behind this game, excluding Shin Kibayashi, as "Intelligent Systems." Without further ado, I'll begin my analysis. Beware of the wall of texts in the spoilers below. Moderators, if this plot analysis and discussion belongs in Written Works, feel free to move this thread.

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Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

[spoiler=Lord Corrin the Crybaby and the Mystery of the Exploding Crystals]

Introduction: Fire Emblem Cliches

Past Fire Emblem titles have a strange obsession with, what I like to call, "the underdog verses evil empire tale." Whether it be the Grannvale, Grado, or Bern empire, previous Fire Emblem games almost always follow a young lord, determined to end the tyrannical reign of an evil despot. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, falls under a similar trope. We are thrust into the shoes of Lord Corrin, a sheltered, dragon boy youth who, after uncovering the truth about the atrocities that King Garon has committed towards the Eastern Kingdom of Hoshido, decides to side with his Hoshidian blood "relatives" (?) to put an end to the evil Nohrian kingdom. From there, Lord Corrin takes on a military campaign, full of death, drama, betrayal, and, strangely, utter hilarity. Despite his hardships, Corrin ultimately triumphs against the evil gorilla King Garon and helps his elder brother, Ryoma, ultimately restore peace between Nohr and Hoshido.

Part 1: Politics?

To begin, the words "brainwashed" and "deceive" stood out to me while I squashed the Nohrian armies in Birthright. These are terms that often come up when the Hoshidan protagonists come into contact with their Nohrian counterparts. Whether it be Prince Ryoma accusing Prince Xander of deceiving Lord Corrin, or Prince Leo warning his sister, Camilla, of Corrin's supposed attempt to delude her during Chapter 13, the two warring kingdoms do their best to demonize each other. During a few the chapter battles, some of the Nohrian royals' retainers even call the Hoshidans "fiends." Where did this tension occur between the two kingdoms? Was it simply the death of King Sumeragi at Garon's hands, the kidnapping of Azura and Corrin, and Garon's general aggression towards Hoshido that led to this divide? There is more to the story, of course, but Intelligent Systems should have, at least, put in more information regarding how the Hoshidian and Nohrian conflict arose in the first place. It’s treated simply as a given: Nohrians and Hoshidans hate each other. Period.

Prince Ryoma says something that struck me as odd during Chapter 23. He states that he had no idea Nohr was a destitute kingdom with limited resources. He then makes an interesting remark; he plans on extending a helping hand towards Nohr by offering them a share of their bountiful resources once the war is over. Was Ryoma as sheltered at Corrin? This was, again, a failure on Intelligent Systems’s part to address this issue even more; the political tension between the two countries was reduced as a mere side note. The lack of resources in Nohr could have been the primary reason why the partially demented Garon sought to invade Hoshido. Is this why the Nohrians refer to the Hoshidans as fiends and/or deceivers? Are they pointing out the duplicitous nature of the Hoshidans? If they are such a peaceful kingdom, why haven't they helped Nohr in the past? Are they isolationists? These are questions that desperately needed answering in this campaign.The Hoshidians were portrayed at goody-two-shoes; there was nothing about the Hoshidans that would make Corrin regret his decision siding with them. Intelligent Systems and Kibayashi could have done something with the Mokushu, but, sadly, their leader was only an egotistical, megalomaniac that simply wanted to be king of Hoshido. Whoopdeedoo. The only instances of true gray morality in this plot was Corrin's decision to side with Hoshido. Adding more political drama to the story could have afforded Intelligent Systems the opportunity to add morally questionable situations.

I understand that this campaign only tells a fraction of the overall plot, but I believe that it would have been better if Intelligent Systems focused more on the politics rather than Iago's booby traps and disappearing acts, Garon's evil schemes, and the mysterious invisible warriors. This issue partly stems from Garon's poorly constructed character. He is just a big old bully who got all sad (and possibly possessed?) when his wife died. If Garon were more calculating, emotionally manipulative, two-faced, and sly, he would have worked as a better antagonist. Kozaki should have designed him so he didn’t look so evil from the get go too.

Part 2: Lord Corrin likes to Cry

Corrin is more interesting as a lord than his predecessor, Chrom. Unlike Chrom, Corrin has a real dilemma to overcome--choosing Nohr or siding with Hoshido. Unfortunately, after Lord Corrin decides to side with Hoshido in Birthright, he seems to forget about his Nohrian siblings entirely. Save for the casual mention of his childhood here and there, Corrin hardly sheds a tear for abandoning the family he spent his whole life with. If he doesn't run into his Nohrian adoptive siblings on the battlefield, he doesn't express any doubts about his choice. All Intelligent Systems needed to do was add one cutscene (NOT a throwaway support conversation), perhaps with Azura, where he expresses his sadness about abandoning his adoptive siblings. That hypothetical cutscene would have made Corrin just a tad more of a three-dimensional character. Granted he does get distraught when he runs into Camilla and Leo, but he merely tries to win them over to his side. He doesn’t really empathize with them. If there were more cutscenes devoted to his regrets, Corrin would have been more of a real human being than an idealist.

After the deaths of his comrades and two of his Nohrian siblings in the last chapters of Birthright, Corrin gets reduced to a crybaby. Corrin’s sadness wasn’t earned, however. Birthright makes the player feel that they made the right choice from the beginning, because Hoshido does absolutely nothing wrong other than be racist towards Nohrians. All his sadness anger is shifted towards King Garon and his kingdom. For a game that started off with an amazing premise, it was reduced to good versus evil, black versus white. The story is written in a way to make the reader/player despise Garon. The plot's conflicts were all Garon's doing. Everything boils down to him, so his death absolves Corrin of his misdeeds he committed during his campaign, such as the slaughtering of the Wolfskins in Chapter 15 and the Wind Tribe villagers in Chapter 8 (conflicts started by Iago, Garon’s subordinate). I think Corrin's sadness is fine and justified for this kind of plot, it simply was not done well. It would have been earned if there were more instances of grey morality where the player questioned their choice.

Part 3: Death by Fire and Exploding Crystals

I applaud Intelligent system's attempt to create tragedy in Lord Corrin's adventure. Despite their valiant efforts, the deaths of Lilith, Elise, Xander, Flora, and (potentially) Kaze were utterly botched in execution (no pun intended), save for Elise’s, maybe. Let's start with the silliest death, Flora's. Because she betrayed her former retainer's trust after an unsuccessful attempt to kill him, Flora, overcome with guilt, LIGHTS HERSELF ON FIRE. No only that, but she also does this in front of Lord Corrin, Jakob the butler, and her TWIN SISTER. What an incredibly melodramatic and selfish act on her part. Perhaps a simple knife to the throat maneuver would have been better. I had no idea that members of the Ice Tribe could spontaneously combust. Her death could have been more effective if she stabs herself when Corrin, Jakob and Felicia leave the Ice Tribe's village.

Kate's potential self-sacrifice was also incredibly silly as well considering that Hinoka has a FLYING PEGASUS. Should the player have an A-support rank with Kaze, the ninja will notice a random crystal that explodes upon contact with a throwing knife. Who would have known that. I appreciate intelligent systems attempting to incorporate supports into the campaign's story, however, it could have been done in a more meaningful, less ridiculous manner. You have to step up your game, Intelligent Systems.

Sadly, there isn't much to say about the purpose of Lilith's death aside from being a cheap attempt at a tear-jerking scene. We saw her for a bit in the prologue, then she disappears entirely as soon as Corrin chooses to side with Hoshido. She is reduced to something to pet and feed in the game's My Castle section. There's no character to her; she's one-dimensional, unfortunately.

Now, I have more to talk about regarding Elise's and Xander’s death. It was, by far, the best out of the others. However, it still failed to deliver any emotional impact, simply because Xander IGNORES Elise’s dying words entirely. I know Corrin has to fight Xander for gameplay reasons, but I think that Xander should have learned from what his sister said. Perhaps Xander desired Corrin to put him out of his misery? Even though Elise’s death tugged at my heartstrings (just a little), I think Elise should have been slain by a Hoshidan. This would have better illustrated the horrors of war. This would have given Hoshido just the right amount of darkness that would prove that the kingdom is just as capable of committing atrocities as Nohr.

I think it would have evoked more of an emotional response from the player that way, especially since Iago kept foreshadowing that there was a traitor in Corrin’s army (sadly, possessed Takumi was not impactful enough for me). Unfortunately, Nohr and its inhabitants were treated as pure embodiments of evil. There were hardly and redeeming qualities to the kingdom. I’m not referring to Nohrian characters; I’m referring to Nohr as an entity. Hoshido is a peace-seeking entity where Nohr is the opposite. There needed to be more time devoted to showing good things about the country. Showcasing a few good Nohrians, like Silas, Elise, Scarlet, as well as others simply doesn’t cut it. What humanitarian efforts has Nohr done? Since Garon is such a crappy character, he takes away any potential depth to the kingdom. He just orders everything and everyone to die. Elise’s death at the hands of a Hoshidan would have been more emotionally impactful and would have given Xander a reason to kill Corrin and, ultimately, himself.

Final Thoughts: You're a Wizard Lord Corrin

The final chapter pits Lord Corrin against the evil Garon. Garon, in his dragon form, presumably slays Corrin after slamming his wing on the lord, breaking his Yato blade and presumably every single bone in the young lord’s body. Corrin wakes up in the afterlife(?) where he meets the ghosts of Lilith, Elise, Flora, and Xander. I take issue with this scene because it is almost identical to Harry Potter reuniting with Dumbledore in limbo King’s Cross station in The Deathly Hallows, down to the point where the ghosts tell Corrin that he has the choice to return to life, it could have ended with a heroic sacrifice, like Awakening’s ending did (Robin’s sacrifice was the ONLY thing I really liked about Awakening’s plot). Unfortunately, that honorific was passed to Azura. Even though Corrin was revived, I’m surprised he could walk, talk, and look pretty as ever despite JUST being squished.

Aside from the occasional hilarious moment, like the one just mentioned, I’ll give Birthright credit; it flattens Awakening’s pathetic excuse of a plot. However, it’s no masterpiece. We needed better antagonists. This would also give the Nohrian siblings a legitimate reason to be loyal Garon. Xander seems to be blindly following a CLEARLY demented king purely for loyalty’s sake. Had we had antagonists who were human beings instead of character tropes, the player would have questioned their choice to side with Hoshido more. Birthright’s (as well as the other routes) primary theme is about choices and their repercussions afterall. The Nohrians were demonized to a point where the player had no choice but to dislike them. Birthright needed to have Hoshido do some terrible things to make the player question if they made the right choice. Birthright’s only consequences were the deaths of Lilith, Xander, Elise, and Flora (and potentially Kaze too). That’s it. Even Camilla and Leo seem to get over the deaths of Elise and Xander a bit TOO quickly.

That’s all I have for Birthright. Let me know what you think. I’ll admit that it’s harder for me to write academically when I do not have the entire script available for me to reference.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

[spoiler=Lady Corrin Wishes King Garon Senpai Were a More Compelling Character]

Introduction: Law and Chaos in Conquest

The juxtaposition of order (law) and disorder (chaos) often emerges in many forms of artistic media, ranging from films to artwork. Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43), is the pièce de résistance of the blend between order and chaos. At a cursory glance, the arrangement of the blue, red, and yellow rectangles appear to have no rhyme or reason. Upon closer examination, however, they are all unified by thick yellow lines that crisscross and intersect, similar to the streets in a metropolitan city. It is an incredible piece that not only reflects the hustle and bustle of city life, but also the unification of order and chaos. Though many continue to debate whether or not video games can be considered art (I’d argue that they are), the dynamic between lawfulness and disorder often appear in the gameplay and narratives in various video games. Perhaps, I should define lawfulness as going with the flow (in other words, submitting to authority) and chaos as standing against the current (making choices that are not in accordance with said authority). Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest’s narrative is no exception.

This campaign in the Fire Emblem Fates universe places Corrin (now Lady Corrin, [i made Corrin female in this play through to match the game’s box artwork]) in the same, heart-breaking predicament as the male Corrin faced in Birthright: will she choose to fight with the Kingdom of Nohr or will she defend Hoshido? Unlike her Birthright counterpart, Lady Corrin decides to side with her heart and stand with the Nohrians. When the princess mentions that she had followed as her heart commanded, I began to question whether or not Lady Corrin was making a chaotic or lawful choice. Upon further examination, I believe that she made a chaotic one. It was her birthright to side with Hoshido, in other words, it was by order of her blood to be a part of the Hoshidan royal family. In Conquest, Lady Corrin rejects her birthright and stands against the Hoshidan royal family, who are, in all honesty, perfect strangers to her. The princess’s choice can be considered “chaotic” because she refuses to bend to the authority of her Hoshidan birthright and, instead, follows her feelings, not her mind. The narrative that follows in Conquest does display a unique blend of order and chaos that was not present in Birthright; everything that Lord Corrin did in Birthright can be considered “lawful”. He submitted himself under the Hoshidan, “peace-seeking” way, suffered the losses of Lilith, Flora, Xander and Elise and committed genocide on the Wolfskin. Lady Corrin wrestles with both law and chaos in Conquest. She simply follows Garon’s orders for the first few chapters, then, upon Azura’s shocking revelation regarding the king’s true identify, makes the conscious choice to deceive and, ultimately, backstab the king when having him sit on the Throne of Truth, a chaotic mindset. It adds depth to Lady Corrin that is not present in Lord Corrin. Though not free of absolute stupidity, I believe that Conquest’s story was more enjoyable than Birthright’s.

Part 1: Silly King Garon, You Shot Yourself in the Foot

I will begin this analysis by discussing the stupidity (for lack of a better term) present in this narrative. I believe it is better to start with the negative and end with the positive. After Lady Corrin reunites with her Norhian, adoptive family, she is immediately accused of treason by the nefarious Iago. If it were not for the whims of the childish King Garon, she would have been, most likely, executed on the spot. The King decides, by divine decree of the divine (most likely VERY evil) dragon Anankos, to send Lady Corrin down to the Ice Tribe to quell their rebellion, alone. Though Lady Corrin manages to peacefully resolve the Ice Tribe’s rebellion with the help of her friends, she almost suffered a terrible death at the hands of Iago’s Faceless. This, unfortunately isn’t the only time where King Garon and Iago try to make Lady Corrin’s life utterly miserable. Similar instances occur, again, through out the story, such as Iago’s attack in the Eternal Stairway.

Garon and Iago’s attempts to end Lady Corrin’s life do not make sense. Why would Iago and Garon want to kill the princess when she has not only proven her loyalty, but also been assisting Nohr’s conquest against Hoshido? In fact, she is the REASON why Nohr prevailed against Hoshido in the end. Garon attempts to hand wave this nonsense by claiming that making Lady Corrin suffer would only allow her to become an adequate sacrifice for Anankos. What purpose (other than seemingly pleasing Anankos) would the princess’s sacrifice serve for King Garon? It is, unfortunately, never addressed. This is, yet again, Intelligent System’s failure to adequately explain Garon’s reasoning behind this. I understand that all of this will (hopefully) get answered in the final campaign, Revelation, but as a standalone story, Conquest’s loose ends desperately needed to be tied.

Part 2: Failing IQ Tests

The problems with Conquest stem from the shoddily-written character that is King Garon. Iago and Hans are, like Izuka from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, rather meaningless in the overall scope of the plot. If I wrote this game’s narrative, I would have had King Garon fulfill a “Prince Lyon”, “King Pelleas”, or “Emperor Arvis” archetype, so to speak. These antagonists were better developed characters and were, somewhat, relatable human beings (what a shock). Iago could have, perhaps, fulfilled the same role that his Shakespearian counterpart did in Othello. Had King Garon at least pretended to be a caring, compassionate individual like his Hoshidian foil, Queen Mikoto, Lady Corrin and her sibling’s loyalty to him would have made more sense. Not only that, but the revelation of Garon’s true identity as melty-face abomination at the end of Chapter 15 (if I am not mistaken), would have been more of a shocking plot twist. The weak-willed façade Garon could have used would have made it seem like Iago was the reason behind Nohr’s corruption, when it was, in fact, King Garon all along. This way Xander and Leo’s allegiance to Garon would be justified, since they could have been emotionally manipulated all along. Consequently, their behavior in Birthright would make sense as well.

Many individuals who have played this campaign of game complain that Lady Corrin is stupid. I would not go so far to say that she is stupid, I would say that Garon’s poorly defined character spread to the other protagonists like a disease. I see what Intelligent Systems was trying to do. They wanted to have Lady Corrin feel so strongly for her Nohrian adoptive family, that she would turn against her (supposed) blood relatives, fight in the name of a corrupt king, and commit atrocities, all to bring the Nohrian kingdom back from the ashes. This is a similar character arc to “Law Route” Denam Pavel from Tactics Orge: Let Us Cling Together. Denam, when deciding to partake in the massacre of Balmamusa, knows that he is committing a terrible crime. However, much to the chagrin of Ravness and Vyce, he believes that the horrible means will justify a better future for the Walister. This is what Lady Corrin believes; by siding with the Nohrians, she can end the war through through the reformation of a corrupt kingdom, even if it meant rejecting her birthright.

As controversial as this sounds, Conquest’s premise is just fine. It’s amazing in all actuality. Since when did a Fire Emblem lord have to lie, deceive, and fight for the “evil’ empire? I loved that Lady Corrin was not a goody-two-shoes. The only thing that needed to be changed was King Garon’s character. Should King Garon have acted and, perhaps, looked a bit more like Prince Pelleas (an older version, at least), he could have successfully pulled off being a horrible monster disguised as a weak-willed king. He could have used his weakness to manipulate the Nohrian siblings to do his bidding. He would guise his selfish motivations as for the betterment, NOT GLORY, of their country. Despite the fact that Nohr’s destitute condition was established in Birthright, it is hardly brought up, if at all, in Conquest. Why did Garon never bring up Nohr’s lack of natural resources? I would assume a good half of the Nohrians would be starving to death, unlike their Hoshidan counterparts. Imagine King Garon commanding Xander to lead the charge against the Hoshidans for the survival of their people. That would have been more of a compelling motivation than simply “for the glory of Nohr”. What a missed opportunity. Rewriting Garon’s character would have made this campaign the best plot in the entire series. All the plot inconsistencies and the stupid decisions, made by the protagonists, stem from Garon’s horrid character. It’s as simple as that. Imagine if Prince Pelleas acted like King Garon in Radiant Dawn. I think the Dawn Brigade would have received a lot more hate had that been the case.

Part 3: The Butcher of Nohr

The most poignant moments in the entire Fire Emblem franchise came from both Lady Corrin’s entrance into the Hoshidian Capital with the Nohrian Army, and her mental breakdown after Ryoma’s seppuku. These moments actually made me shed a few manly tears. They were the very culmination of Lady Corrin’s struggles in the campaign. They signified the terrible price she she had to pay to remedy Nohr’s corruption. She was called a demon by the Hoshidans as she marched into the capital. There were also moments, where the Hoshidans questioned the reason why the Yato chose her, going as far to say that she did not even deserve the blade.

In addition to this, Lady Corrin’s reaction to Ryoma’s death showed the depths of her despair. She went as far to call herself a cold-hearted murderer. That line of dialogue revealed all the pain she had to endure. As veterans of the Fire Emblem series, we’ve NEVER seen anything like this. All the Fire Emblem lords never had to shoulder the enmity of the supposed “good guys”. Not only that, but we’ve never seen a lord lie about killing someone, like what Lady Corrin did to Ryoma regarding Hinoka. This is what real conflict is about. Fire Emblem is notorious for oversimplifying and hand-waving the absolute hell on earth that is war. Conquest had other great moments, such as the revelation that Takumi ended up getting possessed exactly like Garon did. I did not see that coming. In addition to that, Chapter 8 gave us a better glimpse of Nohr’s political climate. There were also decent interactions between the Nohrian siblings, especially when it came to Leo and Lady Corrin, but the aforementioned moments from Chapter 24 really stood out for me as the brief glimpse into what Conquest’s plot could have been. I applaud Intelligent System’s attempt to break the mold with Conquest, however, they went about it in a horribly misguided way. They seemed to focus too much on building up Revelation. If only I had been there to share these thoughts with the writers, we could have had a, potentially, more engaging plot. It had all the right set-ups, it just did not deliver.

Conclusion: Tactics Ogre Fire Emblem: Let Us Rewrite This, Please

The plot behind Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is the semi-spiritual successor to Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. It came so close to capturing the moral greyness of human conflict and war, in addition to blending aspects of law and chaos. Sadly, it was muddled by the horrendous monstrosity that is King Garon. Garon somehow made all the protagonists seem like stupid devotees, blindly following his bloodthirsty whims. King Garon needed a SERIOUS makeover. From what I discussed previously, had he been written differently, I speculate that many of the problems with Conquest’s plot would have been remedied. I thoroughly enjoyed this plot more so than Birthright and, perhaps, other Fire Emblem plots too. I do not deny that it is flawed; it was simply misguided. I think I am fond of the potential that it had to be a great story. Overall, Conquest is truly bittersweet.

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation

[spoiler=Lord Leif's Gay, Melodramatic Adventure in Invisible Land]

Introduction: The Importance of World Building

Every story requires a sophisticated description of its setting in order to help immerse the reader in a fictitious world. There is, however, a certain “je ne sais quoi” that authors must reach when they are building their respective settings. Authors not only have to detail their world enough in order to ground the reader in their world, but also avoid over-saturating their audience with too much information (take Moby Dick for instance). They run the risk of alienating readers. This crucible, if created masterfully, can enhance the interactions with the author’s characters. For example, one of the biggest reasons why J.K. Rowling found success with Harry Potter was due to her talent of building a memorable world of witches and wizards. Though the overarching narrative of Harry Potter was somewhat cliché, it was the believability of her world that made readers feel as if they were attending classes with Hermione Granger or thwarting Lord Voldemort’s nefarious plans with Potter. Though there are countless literary masterpieces that achieve the same effect, such as Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird, no other novel series, to my knowledge, has spawned eight blockbuster films and an amusement part. That is the power of Rowling’s world, not necessarily her plot or her characters.

Now the big question is: “What does this have to do with Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation?” My answer is this: “nothing, other than to reveal how poorly Revelation set up it’s setting.” The world of Fire Emblem Fates is, unfortunately, almost non-existent; we know next to nothing about Nohr’s, Hoshido’s and Valla’s history. Also, the continent, where Hoshido and Nohr reside, is not even named. That has NEVER happened in a Fire Emblem game. Even though aspects about the respective countries are told through character support conversations, they are almost never brought up during the actual story. It is unfortunate that Intelligent Systems focused too much on character melodrama, because if they had put more effort in creating a more believable setting, the story would have made more sense, such as Nohr’s reason to invade Hoshido, etc. This, along with the characterization of King Garon, is one of the many major problems that lead to Fates’s mediocre plot. These issues all come together and rear their ugly heads in the final campaign of this Fire Emblem game. As a consequence, they create the weakest plot out of the three campaigns. In this final campaign has Corrin the avatar (now named Lord Leif because he is my shameless self-insert), refuse to choose Hoshido and Nohr, only to make his own army to fight the evil Anankos. What could possibly go wrong?

Part 1: Where in the World is the Silent Dragon?

As I mentioned in the introduction, Fire Emblem Fates would have had a stronger plot had we been given more information about the kingdoms’ histories. All we know about Hoshido from Birthright is that it is a bountiful, isolated, peace-seeking kingdom that merely reacts to Nohr’s invasion with a devastating counter attack. We learn that Nohr is a desolate, impoverished, corrupt kingdom (thanks to Garon) in Conquest. Finally, all the information we receive about Valla is that the Silent Dragon, Anankos lost his mind and ravaged the kingdom, destroying almost all life in the land. Of course we get the occasional mention about the past rulers of each kingdom, but even with all that information, one can hardly ground themselves in Fates’s world. Why does Valla have floating continents in the first place? Why is Valla separate from Hoshido and Nohr? Why does Castle Valla resemble a Hindu temply when this kingdom was, clearly, inspired from Norse mythology? Why is Anthony still around when everyone else is dead? Why would he EVEN serve Anankos after the dragon destroyed everything? Why was Anankos such a prick in the first place (we learn why in Hidden Truths, which angers me a bit)? We never learn anything about this world. My questions were never answered. This is because Intelligent Systems focused too much on the melodrama between zombie parents and the main cast. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to critique about the setting, because there is hardly anything to talk about in the first place! This really is a tragedy because the art book that came with my special edition of the game had some impressive illustrations of the setting. I am very disappointed in you, Intelligent Systems.

Part 2: The Return of Evil Zombie Relatives

This is the real meat of Revelation’s plot and the source of its biggest weakness. Half of the plot is spent recruiting allies for the Avatar’s cause, and the other half is exterminating zombie Arete, Mikoto, Scarlet, Sumeragi, a possessed Gunter (kudos to Intelligent Systems for making a twist that genuinely surprised me), and a megalomaniacal Anankos. The Avatar looks like a raving lunatic attempting to recruit two warring nations against a single enemy he is not allowed to even name. How he got the two sides together is mind boggling. As mentioned before, we learn almost nothing interesting about Valla, other than some exposition to give our heroes a motivation to overthrow Anankos in the first place. All that there is to talk about is the unfortunate reunions that take place between the royals and their respective parents. The evil Anankos resurrected these individuals as ghostly puppets to work for him. Sadly, these reunions were about as emotionally impactful as spilling a glass of milk on yourself or accidentally stepping on a snail.

The reason why these interactions fail to deliver any sort of emotional response to the audience is due to the fact that we never get to know any of these characters. We only spend five seconds with Mikoto before she is blown to bits, see Sumeragi’s backside in a cutscene, and hear about Arete once in Birthright. We don’t even know what Arete even looks like until we see her in Revelation. Clearly, the protagonists are upset about this, but we are not given any reason to feel anything other than superficial sympathy for Azura, Ryoma, Corrin, etc. In all honesty, these resurrected invidiuals were simply there to be bosses for their respective chapters, nothing else. There is also unintentional hilarity with their deaths. We witness the cliché “as I lay dying” scene THREE times in a row (almost) towards the end of Revelation’s campaign. How many times must we witness the avatar and the gang bent over the corpse of a reanimated parent? At least Gunter’s “death” did something a bit different, though I didn't expect him to survive Anankos's mind control. Izana's death was rather hilarious since he seemed to be totally fine with it.

Overall, the character interactions and drama in the last few chapters can be accurately summarized by these clips:

and

Scarlet's death was the most effective out of all the unfortunate souls simply due to the fact that her passing deeply wounds the stiff and rather stoic Ryoma. This is especially tragic since Scarlet and Ryoma display a chemistry that is much more enjoyable than the majority of his potential wives.

Revelation frustrates me, not only for being more barebones than Birthright (and also reducing the significance of the previous campaigns), but also failing to take advantage of a unique plot premise. Once again, Intelligent Systems focused too much on characters we could care less about, and not enough on plot points that desperately needed attention. I have nothing much to say about Anankos’s final battle other than the fact that I was very disappointed to have to purchase DLC to learn more about him. Why they could not AT LEAST hit at his relation to the avatar is beyond me. Also, Lilith seemingly vanished from the plot entirely since Hans wasn't there to squash her, which very peculiar considering her relationship to the Avatar.

In the end, once Lord Leif, my avatar, overthrew Anankos, he and his husband Niles became the new kings of Valla. I wonder if, by Niles’s royal decree, he forced the people of New Valla to speak in nothing but double entendres?

Part 3: Come Together, Right Now

Nohr and Hoshido joining forces was the only good part of Revelation’s plot. It was nice, for once, not having Xander and Ryoma at each other’s throats, Takumi being a whiny little brat, Sakura and Elise being very sad, or Camilla being overtly crazy about the avatar's betrayal. I’m a sucker for long-time enemies becoming allies to fight against a common cause, due to the potential of interesting interactions. While we do get some comical and somewhat heart-warming interactions between the royals, the melodrama (discussed in the previous section) detracts from this dynamic. I would have rather seen cutscenes involving the royals sharing a meal or pep-talking each other than to witness the deaths of characters I did not care foe. Much like Iago and Garon staining the Conquest plot, it was Mikoto, Sumeragi, Anankos, and Arete that squandered any potential in this story. Not only did they take much needed cutscene time away from the royals, but also the development of the setting. Even the campaign maps, though gorgeous to look at, were very tedious and boring. Many of the issues with Fates’s plot have already been discussed already in the previous sections, so I will not waste my breath. Revelation, unfortunately, did not really bring anything new to the table for me to discuss, which is really disappointing.

Conclusion: The Future of Fire Emblem

I wonder where Intelligent Systems will go from here? Fates is essentially THREE Awakenings in one. Not only that, but the scale of the game is much grander than any of the previous titles. It was almost as if Fates was written to be the swan song of the series. Awakening, despite all the nods to past titles, felt more like a franchise reboot (which is ironic considering that it WAS thought to be the last game, but ended up revitalizing the series anyway). I am curious to see where Intelligent Systems will go from here. Will we finally have our space odyssey that will take place on the planet Mars? Regardless of what comes next, I will forever be a loyal Fire Emblem fan and will continually support the beloved series. I just hope that Intelligent Systems will spend more money hiring writers, who have experience writing for video games, because the series's gameplay is quite amazing. I suggest that the writer base the next Fire Emblem story off of real historical events, like the fall of the Roman Empire.

================================================================================================

Xenologues
Before Awakening

Coming Soon!

Hidden Truths

Coming Soon!

================================================================================================

Post Scriptum - Miscellaneous Things about Fates

[spoiler=Gays and Lesbians in Flaming Emblem]

This kind of analysis most definitely belongs in something other than my plot analysis, but I could not keep it in the closet anymore. To put it simply, I am not too pleased with how gay marriage was handled in this game. First of all, I should make it clear that, overall, I am happy that Fire Emblem is Nintendo’s first game (to my knowledge) to include same sex marriage. It’s a huge accomplishment on their part. However, even though I am blessed to have the option to make video game males marry another men, the options are, sadly, limited to one man and the (potentially gay) character in question is, Niles, the suave, yet creepy outlaw. Lesbians do not have it much better, unfortunately; they are only afforded the opportunity to court a woman, Rhajat, who is a stalker at heart.

To begin, the way the game set Niles up bothers me quite a bit. It’s not necessarily Niles himself (though some of the stuff he says to both Arthur and Mozu is VERY questionable), but, simply, the fact that he IS the only gay option. Why did Intelligent Systems decide to make a sexual deviant (in terms of his addiction to sadism) our option for marriage when other characters, like Silas for example, could have been better fits. In many forms of entertainment media, gays are portrayed with flamboyant qualities (most likely for comedic relief) and/or have villainous qualities (see Scar from Disney’s The Lion King and the two hitchhikers from Vanishing Point (1971)). Unfortunately, Niles fits into this category, based on his dialogue and support conversations. Though some of his conversations with a few of the characters can be sweet, such as his discussions with Elise, his primary gimmick is to be a flirtatious, sexually aggressive man. Not all gay men are this way, and it is unfortunate that Intelligent Systems limited our options to him.

This choice also has negative effects on gameplay. By making Niles the gay option, the gaymer misses out on not only Kana, but also Nina. This is especially detrimental in Conquest where experience is limited and the paralogues offer the opportunity to train your units even more. Beyond the detriments to the gameplay, the implication of Fates’s new DLC, Recollection of Bubbles[?], seem to point to the fact that all the second generation characters are, indeed, canon, similarly to how Awakening’s second generation units were confirmed to be canon in Future Past.

[Please note that I only read the summary of the new DLC because I didn’t want to spoil myself on plot points. I only read that the DLC revolves around the children characters, so I am assuming that Nina and Kana are in it.]

Should this be true, I can logically deduce that Niles ending up with a woman is canon in the Fates universe. This is a tad frustrating since this implies that gay marriage was nothing more than an afterthought on the writer’s part. It was almost as if they programmed that option at the last moment to prevent another “Tomodachi life” controversy and fill some form of a politically correct quota. I know this is simply a game with fictitious characters and, in the grand scheme of things, I really do not care that Niles is supposed to end up with a woman, if that is to be what the developers wanted. I guess I am just miffed that a game, designed to have players pair characters together, handled gay marriage so poorly. Japan is not at the level of social progressiveness that the United States is at, and I know that I should not hold them to that standard.

Another other strange thing is, is that Treehouse absolutely neutered the S-supports with both Rhajat AND Niles. In the Japanese version of the supports, both Corrins bring up their genders when they hear Rhajat and Niles confess their feelings to them (respectively). In the American translation, it’s only Niles who implies that he knew that male Corrin was gay all along when he says Ah, I knew I was right about you. How splendid!”. ​However, Niles S support conversation is virtually identical to his S support with female Corrin (since he says the same exact thing), which really is a shame. Though others may disagree, I think removing Corrin bringing up his gender with Niles (or Rhajat if female) removed depth from the characters. Consider the day and age in the Fates universe. It’s medieval/feudal Japan high-fantasy; I do not believe homosexuals were all too common especially in royal families where bloodline were SUPER important. I think it would be fair to bring up the fact that people (and even their own army allies) may not react all to favorably. All that was needed was perhaps a few lines of dialogue that addressed the issue, perhaps something along the lines like…

“But you know that I’m a man, right?”

“Yes, but who cares what other people think about our relationship!”

This would have made Niles and Rhajat, more three-dimensional in my book. But, the characters simply stuck to their gimmicks, which is really unfortunate. It was another missed opportunity. I am surprised that the Japanese characterized Niles and Rhajat better than the American version did, which is contrary to what I said about Japan earlier.

I propose two alternative ways Intelligent Systems could have better implemented gay marriage. Let’s start with the one they wouldn’t have ever dreamed of: REMOVE THE CHILDREN. As we know, children were shoehorned into the Fates story utilizing a more ridiculous plot device than time travel: pocket dimensions. Honestly, the parents abandoned their children by doing this. I am surprised that not all the children were furious with their parents. Nina, Shiro, Hisame, and Percy had legitimate reasons to be angry that their parents since they left them on their own to grow up for most of their lives. I think their parents are perfect strangers to them. I think those twenty-some paralogues could have been used to develop the universe more or better develop the first generation cast. We have just under seventy playable characters. That’s way too many. Had I had my way with the development of this game, I would have axed all the children. Unfortunately, IS included them again, simply because they believed that's what made Awakening sell so well. It was a business decision only.

Here is the other method: change the gay options to Shiro and Soleil. Soleil would have been the obvious and better lesbian option than Rhajat, because her whole character revolves around her flirting with other women! I don't know how IS screwed that up. Now, you may be thinking, “why Shiro”? he’s easy on the eyes Well, this way, a male avatar won’t miss out on another child aside from Kana and counter balance the Nohrian (Soleil) gay option I suggested. This would be similar to they did with Niles and Rhajat (one Hoshidan and Nohrian option respectively). Shiro takes somewhat of an interest in Nina’s male-on-male pairing fantasies in their support when the two go to various plays. However, should Shiro have been the option for the gay support, his character would have to be rewritten to an extent. Perhaps he could have been more of a free spirit? I still stand by the fact that Silas makes the better gay pairing for males (due to the fact that is entire character revolves around Corrin), but, like Niles, the player would miss out on both Sophie and Kana. Since children are tied to the fathers (save Azura) in this game, lesbians don’t have the issue of missing two children. Having a gay male second generation character would not have been as detrimental to the gameplay for those interested in having two men reach an S support.

Forgive this not-so-academic rant. I wanted to get this off my chest and hear what others thought about this. I really am thankful that Nintendo is just starting to become more inclusive in their games. Fates was a decent start, but Nintendo and Intelligent Systems need to step up their game to get with the times. As a gay man myself, I long to see the day where Nintendo will make a canonically gay male or female who is not defined by their sexuality. For now, I will settle for the table scraps that have been given to me and will proudly display my Niles badge in the hopes that in future Fire Emblem games and Nintendo games as a whole, we will have better handled gay pairings.

Edited by Leif

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That was an interesting read! I agree with you on the contrivances in the Birthright path, even Awakening had that line about Chrom's father being a warhound over Plegia compared to Garon's grrr get Hoshido.

I look forward to your other overviews.

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While I personally won't go as in depth as you did, I'll share my thoughts on Conquest and Birthright below.

[spoiler=my ramblings]I played thru Conquest first, and it DEFINITELY had issues in the story telling department, but I prefer it over Birthright honestly. I feel Conquest!Corrin is a very relatable character who, while he doubts weather or not he made the right choice thruout the entire narrative, is truly committed to his choice. I can't say that about Birthright!Corrin for the very reasons you listed in your analysis. Conquest, unlike Birthright, however has two elephants in the room that do hurt it's story severely, namely Garon the slime monster and zombie Takumi. I think the problem with these twists is less that they just come out of nowhere with little explanation, but instead that they DO NOT matter in Conquest's overall plot. Let me ask, what would change, if Garon and Takumi were not possessed, nothing, nothing would change. Conquest!Corrin would still go thru with the invasion of Hoshido, to both try and convince Garon to stop fighting, as well to prevent Garon from killing himself and the Nohrian royals for defying him, Takumi would still get pissed and attack Corn in endgame, and the only necessary change to what the story provides if you just removed the slime demons is that Garon would have to see you fight Iago and Hans, and choose to support them.

Now lets get to my problems with Birthright's story, Birthright Corrin has nothing of what made Conquest Corrin likable for me. As you mentioned, Birthright Corrin seems to feel no empathy towards his Nohrian siblings, and considering Conquest Corrin CLEARLY didn't want to fight his Hoshidan siblings, this just makes Birthright Corrin look like a huge asshole to me. While I can give Birthright credit for having less plot conveniences than Conquest, Birthright suffers from a much larger sin imo, padding, the first five chapters of Birthright don't have you do anything but look for the siblings YOU JUST LEFT on the plains of Hoshido. These chapters could of easily been fending off the initial Nohrian invasion whilst learning of the unrest in Nohr that leads you to Scarlet. I also think both routes don't do good enough of a job making me care for characters it kills off. This, while a problem in Conquest, is much more blatant in Birthright when the only reason I'm sad about 3 different deaths comes ENTIRELY from me liking the characters in Conquest. Conquest on the other hand, the few deaths that actually moved me did so because Conquest made me care about them, something Birthright couldn't do on it's own.

I have many more problems with both stories, but I will not list them tonight, as it's late and I need to sleep

Very good analysis btw, I definitely agree.

Edited by MCProductions

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First of all, your summary is excellent and well-written. I agree with most of it, too. And good for you for not being afraid to both say when you think the game did something right, as well as when it did something wrong.

I agree with almost all of what you wrote, to boot. Some thoughts in response / to add:

I am okay with the fact that Elise's words failed to reach Xander. It's a tragedy, certainly, but I get it. Xander's loyalty does not let him betray Garon, even with his sister's sacrifice - perhaps especially due to it. He already didn't believe he could live with himself if he betrayed his father, and now he additionally believes that he can't live with himself knowing he killed Elise. The scene after the battle (not to mention how easy the battle was, if we give gameplay any credit) suggests that Xander didn't give it his all, that he wanted to die. He realised that Corrin was right, but couldn't live with himself to let him/her by.

I do agree with your point that it would be nice if there was some direct victim of Hoshidan aggression in the plot (Elise or otherwise) but I am actually quite satisfied with this scene as it is.

I also agree that it would have been far better for the game's writing if Garon were a better person. While I don't mind that Xander is loyal to a scumbag - people do things like this in real life, especially when it's a parent sometimes - it does lose something. The final battle of Birthright just bores me because Garon, and Corrin's connection to him, falls so flat. When Corrin fought Camilla, Leo, and Xander, there was a real emotional connection to those fights. Even with Iago, who had dogged your steps and deliberately caused you misery throughout the game, it was nice to see him get his comeuppance. Garon had done nothing but be generically evil, and beating him had neither emotional resonance nor gave me any satisfaction.

Although I'm kinda used to this by now, I think a majority of FEs have main villains who are utterly uninteresting and blandly evil and they bring their games down.

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While it was serviceable, I felt like Birthright's plot was dull above all else. As much as we like to rag on Awakening's fairly vanilla plot, I feel like it at least managed to be pretty well-done if cliche. Birthright boils down to little more than leading a counter-invasion into Nohr and dethroning Garon. It was mostly just a linear trek from one filler fight to the next with the only real points of interest being inevitable confrontations with the Nohrian siblings.

The only thing I think it did well narratively was build up Xander. Even moreso than Garon, the game hypes up your eventual confrontation with him; the first chapter of the game has you sparring with him and it's clear he's holding back. Then once you've sided against him you get Camilla and Leo pretty much telling you "You may have beaten me, but Xander will utterly wreck your shit", the Rainbow Sage mentioning that Xander was one of the few who completed his trial, and the demo he gives at the opera house when he shows up as an obstacle to be avoided at all costs.

All of that builds up to a head; you've become stronger in your journey, and now you stand opposite of Xander once again; this time it's not him training you and letting you win, it's him fighting with all he has to KILL YOU while you try to overcome the last obstacle in your path before Garon. And suddenly... it cruelly subverts it and rips everything you AND Xander were fighting for apart by killing off Elise BECAUSE of your duel. Your duty to Hoshido and Xander's duty to Nohr cost the life of someone dear to you both who just wanted you to stop fighting. You still get your duel afterward, but it's just hollow and uncomfortable.

THAT, I felt, it did correctly compared to Ryoma feeling like little more than a minor boss in Conquest.

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Wow.

I wasn't sure what to think when I clicked on this topic, but dang, your summary was brilliant. Well done indeed.

Aww shucks, I threw this together just now. As I said in original post, I write better when I can reference specific quotes. I wish there was an entire script I could refer to because I feel like I could write a better analysis that way. Thanks for the complement though. I think I should write my next analysis in a word document first and paste it here, since I am catching and fixing some typos right now. My apologies guys, I am a horrible typist. :(

Edited by Leif

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In regards to Xander in Birthright...

After killing Elise, I think he went absolutely insane. I mean, this guy's whole world is pretty much crumbling around him: his army is getting curbstomped, his nation is losing the war, and all of his siblings have betrayed him. And to top it all of, he fucking killed his own little sister. He's probably so filled with regret and despair and anger, it's honestly not surprising (to me, at least) he would try to kill himself out of guilt, be it by his own hand or someone else's

Those are just my thoughts, though. Take that as you will

Edited by Pixelman

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And now for someone that's not Xander.

[spoiler=Have an Iago instead, a la Birthright]IMO Iago should've been the main villain, with Garon being a weak-willed king who was under his thumb. Build up a bit of a backstory about how Iago wants nothing between him and his power, but would rather work in the shadows, as opposed to take the throne outright. When Corrin is brought back to Hoshido, he's considered Enemy Numero Uno, since he knows more about the inner workings of Nohr/has connections to the royal family. Instead of having Takumi just possessed as a spy, have Takumi put in a position where he's found holding a nocked bow at Corrin's head, and it's only Takumi's willpower that's keeping the arrow from being loosed. Instead of a fever, have the break-in at Macarath (or however it's spelled) be some sort of herb that either breaks the spell or kills Takumi, and have the player choose whether or not they try to save him (with the "less than A support" ending with Takumi's death or something). There's so many things that could be done with a sorcerer who wants to rule from the shadows, yet it was unrealized. . .

Someone talk me out of rewriting all three paths. Please.

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While Birthright did use the FE often used trope of underdog nation vs. big bad nation in a way it made it feel more acceptable to me. No it wasn't new, or interesting, but it's a type of underdog trumps evil that I'm used to and that in some manner is enjoyable. It made it easily to go along with Birthright's story even if it wasn't that good. That said I'm really not fond of the unnecessary deaths that were written into the story. Kaze's in Birthright is probably the worst of the Birthright ones (the worst one I've seen so far is Lilith in Conquest. That was just pure BS.), as it makes very little sense, and only serves to shove in a mechanic that shouldn't have been in there.

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While I personally won't go as in depth as you did, I'll share my thoughts on Conquest and Birthright below.

[spoiler=my ramblings]I played thru Conquest first, and it DEFINITELY had issues in the story telling department, but I prefer it over Birthright honestly. I feel Conquest!Corrin is a very relatable character who, while he doubts weather or not he made the right choice thruout the entire narrative, is truly committed to his choice. I can't say that about Birthright!Corrin for the very reasons you listed in your analysis. Conquest, unlike Birthright, however has two elephants in the room that do hurt it's story severely, namely Garon the slime monster and zombie Takumi. I think the problem with these twists is less that they just come out of nowhere with little explanation, but instead that they DO NOT matter in Conquest's overall plot. Let me ask, what would change, if Garon and Takumi were not possessed, nothing, nothing would change. Conquest!Corrin would still go thru with the invasion of Hoshido, to both try and convince Garon to stop fighting, as well to prevent Garon from killing himself and the Nohrian royals for defying him, Takumi would still get pissed and attack Corn in endgame, and the only necessary change to what the story provides if you just removed the slime demons is that Garon would have to see you fight Iago and Hans, and choose to support them.

While I agree that both parts were unnecessary for the plot, the Garon possession is implied in C15 to be the only reason why Kamui rebels against Garon, and even finding out the truth of slimedad wasn't enough to convince the other siblings to join Kamui until Gooron tried to kill them all. It's a big weakness of Conquest.

Fire Emblem Fates Plot Analysis

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

Was it simply the death of King Sumeragi at Garon's hands, the kidnapping of Azura and Corrin, and Garon's general aggression towards Hoshido that led to this divide? There is more to the story, of course, but Intelligent Systems should have, at least, put in more information regarding how the Hoshidian and Nohrian conflict arose in the first place. It’s treated simply as a given: Nohrians and Hoshidans hate each other. Period.

Good analysis and I agree with it. Minor nitpick, while the game is definitely super weak on worldbuilding, I think the reasons for animosity between countries is easy to infer. Hoshido has plenty of things to hate Nohr and as for why Nohr might hate Hoshido, I'd say envy of their country, and the typical hatred that exists between two different races/nationalities.

I look forward to your next two sections.

Someone talk me out of rewriting all three paths. Please.

No. Start writing now.

Edited by NekoKnight

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I like what you've written and I agree with most of it. I've mentioned before how absolutely ludicrous it is that Ryouma had no idea of the living conditions in Nohr, and is immediately willing to help - I can only assume that the countries have absolutely zero diplomatic contact since the overly good kingdom willing to help doesn't do so or even seem aware of what's going on; maybe they're isolationsts or maybe Nohr is too proud to accept help, we simply cannot know, but it doesn't paint a pretty picture when a Nohrian diplomat could've just asked for some resources and any justification Nohr would have for invading Hoshido would disappear.

I am a bit surprised that you didn't bring up how slow the plot is. You spend five chapters looking for your brothers and wading through neutral kingdoms, duchies, villages and what have you. You then just sneak into Garon's castle to assassinate him and...that's the plot. As you touched upon, there's no gray morality here to speak of; everything is portrayed as being solved by killing Garon.

And, as I've mentioned more and more recently, one of my major gripes with the story in all three routes is that people don't talk. At all. They either discuss the plot, spew exposition or talk about Corrin being totally awesome. Why don't the Hoshido siblings ask Corrin about what his life was like in Nohr? In fact, why don't they talk to each other at all? What does Ryouma and Azura say to each other? Takumi and Hinoka? Where is the chemistry between these family members? We're just told that they all love each other because they're related but we see very little of it, and the siblings are casually thrown in to make some kind of remark every once in a while, but the lines could've been said by practically anyone. The only real exception is after the first chapter with the Nohrian siblings, and even though it's a bit charming, it's more than a little hamfisted.

This lack of talking is not just about character development either, but also actual plot elements. Corrin's ability to turn into a dragon? Not mentioned again after chapter five. Explaining the situation in detail to Camilla or Leo? Nope, just going to say that Garon is evil. Xander explaining his motives in a way that doesn't come across as a gutless coward not having enough courage to disobey something he knows to be wrong? Nope.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say about Conquest and Revelation.

Edited by Thane

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I am a bit surprised that you didn't bring up how slow the plot is. You spend five chapters looking for your brothers and wading through neutral kingdoms, duchies, villages and what have you. You then just sneak into Garon's castle to assassinate him and...that's the plot. As you touched upon, there's no gray morality here to speak of; everything is portrayed as being solved by killing Garon.

To be fair, Fire Emblem fates plot is probably one of the worst I read, right after awakening not that all the other fire emblems were amazing, they were average at best. Plus everyones death in Birthrigh- In every route is meaningless, except scarlet I suppose in revelations, cutscenes kill, #1 cause of death in video games. Btw about hoshido kids being related, well its a lie, the red heads are adopted, takumi and ryoma are the only ones related. All revealed by Ryoma to Avatar supports.

Another thing is that. only the SACRED WEAPONS belong to MALES, well except if you go female avatar then you're the only Female who gets her own sacred weapon. Where as your female siblings just get to play with generic weapons. I mean, why is that? How does IS explain this? they don't, the best answer you can tell Camilla, is simply because shes a girl, she doesn't qualify for a custom weapon like her brothers despite her being their betters in all my playthroughs.

Actually another gripe that the OP may have forgotten to cover, For the really nice cinematics in BIRTHRIGHT, after azura sings she gets this backlash for doing so(blue/purple lights on her skin) Everyone can see something isn't right about that Azura, yet we are forced to believe in her that she won't over do it yet we don't press her onto telling us about this SECRET of hers. I mean, seeing her skin flash with blue lights. I ain't a doctor, Azura, but I really think that you aren't gonna be "okay" after that, maybe you should tell us, or find a way to telling us your secret like you do in Revelations.

Last gripe! promise! the new fire emblem characters. They aren't fire emblemy anymore as they used to be. I mean some kinda are, but most of them are like Advanced Wars Characters e.g "I JUST KILLED A BUNCH OF DOODS, time to daydream and fall in some traps HEHEHE(don't get me wrong I love Setsuna and her convos but for argument sakes.) " or "I may be like 14 days old, but I resorted to stealing for candy." Pretty much like Advanced Wars characters if anyone recalls, ignorant of their actions and just takes everything casually most of the time. Like whatever happened to the non-main characters with amazing resumes or character that actually do amazing feats in front of you, w/o a cutscene to make them look strong. For instance Pent and his bandit hunting adventures where you gotta stop Pent from murdering every single poor soul out there so you can get some exp. Correct me if im wrong, but Did anyone feel like the backgrounds for most characters in Fates was alot less than what you would normally get, sure theres exceptions but overall, you don't get much good character lore as you would in the older installments.

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Really well-done analysis! I agree, the flat villains and the lack of worldbuilding are what ultimately tanked Fates' plot. I still think its average for a Fire Emblem game, but it could have been more. If Garon had been like Travant, a well-intentioned extremist doing terrible things for the good of his country, or if Hoshido had been hiding some dark secret? If the relationship between the two countries (and the various tribes and duchies) had been expanded on more, and if the morality had been less black-and-white, it could have been the best Fire Emblem game plot-wise since Judgral. Possibly ever.

My only qualms were that you seemed to call Corrin out on crying? Because I actually really like that, I like that we have a male protagonist who's not afraid to cry and show emotion, and doesn't get treated like a sissy for it. That's rare in media.

I don't really have anything else to argue with you about Birthright, you pretty much nailed all its' problems. I'm looking forward to your write-up on Conquest and Revelation!

EDIT: Actually, there is one more thing I remembered.

You mentioned that Xander's death failed to deliver a strong emotional impact because he kept fighting despite Elise's dying words asking him not to, and said that it should have been out of a desire for him to be put out of his misery. Corrin asks him why he let him win, implying it essentially was a suicide run.

Edited by Abvora

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Very nice analysis.

I'm not yet done with Conquest but I'll briefly talk about something I haven't seen anyone mention in this thread. The story actually tries to give more depth to Iago; first he accepts that you've fulfilled a mission, loopholes be damned, and reported to Garon as such. A bit later on, he shows concern in the fact that Garon wants to see his son suffer...just for the heck of it. Those two moments would imply that he's more than the one dimensional evil genius we've seen so far...but then he goes right back to being just that.

It also really irks me how the Chevois rebels only get one chapter. You'd think they'd play a bigger part in the plot, even have you ally with them seeing how they advertised conquest as ''revolutionzing a rotten country from the inside''. But nope, instead they all die and are never mentionned again (I will retract this statement if they're brought up again by the time I'm done)

Overall, what's sad about the game's plot is that it clearly is ambitious and had strong ideas. I'd really like to know just how much was cut from Kibayashi's original draft.

Edited by LeDom

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Another thing is that. only the SACRED WEAPONS belong to MALES, well except if you go female avatar then you're the only Female who gets her own sacred weapon. Where as your female siblings just get to play with generic weapons. I mean, why is that? How does IS explain this? they don't, the best answer you can tell Camilla, is simply because shes a girl, she doesn't qualify for a custom weapon like her brothers despite her being their betters in all my playthroughs.

This is one of my biggest gripes as well. Why do all the male nobles get special weapons, and none of the female nobles do? It's stupid. It's also one large part of the reason why I heavily prefer Corrin to be a girl. At least that way one girl can get a special weapon instead of it being only the guys.

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That was a great read! And I agree with everything you said, especially the cry-baby part. I feel like it got really boring and repetitive, especially near the end. Looking forward to your next analyses!

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I take issue with this scene because it is almost identical to Harry Potter reuniting with Dumbledore in limbo King’s Cross station in The Deathly Hallows, down to the point where the ghosts tell Corrin that he has the choice to return to life,

damn it

i KNEW that reminded me of something

this is a really interesting analysis! i haven't played birthright yet myself, so I'm not fully sure of how the plot goes (though I do have some knowledge of it from the Japanese version), but this was still pretty nice to read. I look forward to whenever you do Conquest.

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(spoilers for Birthright be in this post, just to be safe)

[CometChaserPleinair quote about only the males getting sacred weapons]

This is one of my biggest gripes as well. Why do all the male nobles get special weapons, and none of the female nobles do? It's stupid. It's also one large part of the reason why I heavily prefer Corrin to be a girl. At least that way one girl can get a special weapon instead of it being only the guys.

While this is slightly off-topic I have to second this, with fire.

I know that the families are set up strongly to be parallel, but still, nobody at IntSys stopped and thought about how bad the optics on this is? If you play as a male Corrin, the five princes get special Gary Stu weapons and the princesses get none? It's not a big deal gameplaywise (Camilla needs no special weapon to wreck everything, and Hinoka's good too), but flavour-wise... ugh. I'd probably have made it so just Ryoma/Xander had them, the younger brothers' weapons aren't really explained or justified in the plot anyway.

Between that and the fact that I find most of the sisters' relationships with Corrin to be more realistic and less pandering if they're of the same gender, I doubt I will play as a male Corrin until the inevitable replays where I start skipping the plot (as always happens with me and FE).

The only thing I think it did well narratively was build up Xander. Even moreso than Garon, the game hypes up your eventual confrontation with him; the first chapter of the game has you sparring with him and it's clear he's holding back. Then once you've sided against him you get Camilla and Leo pretty much telling you "You may have beaten me, but Xander will utterly wreck your shit", the Rainbow Sage mentioning that Xander was one of the few who completed his trial, and the demo he gives at the opera house when he shows up as an obstacle to be avoided at all costs.

All of that builds up to a head; you've become stronger in your journey, and now you stand opposite of Xander once again; this time it's not him training you and letting you win, it's him fighting with all he has to KILL YOU while you try to overcome the last obstacle in your path before Garon. And suddenly... it cruelly subverts it and rips everything you AND Xander were fighting for apart by killing off Elise BECAUSE of your duel. Your duty to Hoshido and Xander's duty to Nohr cost the life of someone dear to you both who just wanted you to stop fighting. You still get your duel afterward, but it's just hollow and uncomfortable.

I think this is very well said. The way the game builds up the conflict and then subverts it is excellent, and definitely one of the things the game's plot does really right.

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Well, I finished my analysis on Conquest. I really wish I had a script to refer to, but I did the best I could based off of memory and trying to decipher my crappy handwritten notes.

Let me know what you guys think. Was it good food-for-thought?

I have seven chapters left of Revelation to go. Soon, I can be done and not have to worry about spoilers anymore. jeez.

Edited by Leif

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For the FULL story, you need to dip into DLC.

While it explains a lot of things, the actual explanation is really bad and nonsensical.

I think the other problem with Fates (not just Conquest) is the sibling interaction. Conquest does a better job than Birthright, but overall, the siblings were somewhat of an afterthought in the story. IMO, they should've been giving direct advice to Corrin, and given Corrin's background, a lot of it.

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Great post. I only read Conquest, as is the only route I played.

Do you think Marth-Hardin in Mystery of the Emblem successfully pulled out the "obeying a tyrant, then rebelling against him"? I remember you start obeying his orders to attack a nation, then Marth start questioning him and later openly rebels.

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