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Runty

I hope to see a Middle-Eastern aesthetic at some point in the series

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Perhaps this is coming from playing some Age of Empires 2, but I couldn't help noticing that the Fire Emblem series has a serious lack of factions with a Persian/Indian/Arabic/Middle-Eastern aesthetic. Scimitars, turbans, camels, spice trade, and of course war elephants. These would all be great additions to the Fire Emblem series.

I have a few personal ideas on what sorts of things could be brought to the table by this aesthetic. For the purposes of the topic, I'm using terminology and mechanics from Three Houses as a baseline.

  • Camel Riders. These would be an Advanced-level sword-oriented cavalry that don't suffer movement penalties on various types of terrain (i.e. desert, wasteland, beach), though they aren't totally immune to terrain (i.e. stairs, forests, craters) and have a lower movement range than Paladins. Compared to Paladins, they would also be better in the speed stat and would have more resistance, but less defense and strength. Camels in medieval warfare had several advantages over horses in desert environments, and were an important element of military might for the Indian, Berber, and Egyptian empires (among others). A Master-tier version of the Camel Rider could be the Mameluke, named after Islamic slave warriors, with more movement range, better stats, and perhaps an additional specialty in a second weapon category.
  • War Elephants. We've all seen the Oliphant charge in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Imagine something like that in a Fire Emblem game. A huge band of elephants covered in armor, smashing through an army's lines with their sheer mass while archers fire down from howdahs mounted on their backs. This was actually something that happened a lot in medieval and feudal warfare, and while it might have been questionably effective it was still impactful. If you managed to get a group of elephants in among an enemy formation that was unfamiliar with fighting them, your enemies would almost invariably scatter. In Fire Emblem, I would have them as an AI-only unit that takes up 2x2 tiles, much like the beasts from Three Houses. Unlike the beasts, they would have no barrier mechanic, but would still be far tougher than regular cavalry (even Great Knights). The elephants would also be able to move through your units, inflicting "trample damage" as they do (you would be able to prevent this with certain skills), while also having a ranged bow attack in case you try to move into tight chokepoints. The elephants would be slightly vulnerable to lances (pikes were the weapon of choice against elephants), but resistant to other weapons.
  • Various mythological creatures from Hindu or Egyptian mythology. Creatures like the Anubis, Sphinx, Rakshasa, Yaksha, Djinni, and so forth could all be either referenced or make appearances as enemy beasts. Naga is named after a mythological creature from Hindu mythology, after all.

However, there are a few things that the FE developers would need to be careful of to avoid rubbing people the wrong way. Specifically, they would need to heavily downplay any jihad or caliphate elements to avoid being considered racist. Also, they'd need to steer clear of stereotypes like hookah pipes and the like.

But overall, I think adding a Middle-Eastern aesthetic to Fire Emblem would be a big improvement.

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Asking for the Japanese to develop a game and steer clear of stereotypes might be asking for a lot.

I certainly wouldn't mind mixing it up. Hoshido felt new. Even it's spells were very different. 
 

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The most devoloped idea for a FE game that i have is mostly set in a  Arabian inspired nation, and is based on the what if scenario of a war between the roman and chinese empires, mostly fought in the cushion state between them.

Personally i just made the mamelukes the arabian version of the paladin whit camel riders as their own thing. 

I had the same idea about elephants and as for the mythological creatures i would have Roc riders as the resident flyers and Djins would be the dragon vein equivalent/ summons if i decide to include this element. 

My idea is about Persia as it was a century or so before Muhammad, so the islam reference are limited in the S rank sword being named Zulfiquar.

I have really a lot of ideas and eventually i may post a thread about it into the fan section lol.

Edited by Flere210

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I TOTALLY would like a Middle East aesthetic in FE.😁 I have a sweet tooth for the arts of South Asia, East Asia, and definitely Southwest Asia too. I like Arab calligraphy and geometry.

You can still make a "Middle East" world with India in it, since the Delhi Sultanates and Mughal Empire were both part of the greater Islamic world. You could have:

  • A Mughal Empire country, you could have a Hindu undercurrent too.
  • A Safavid Empire (Persia aka Iran) country. Or go pre-Islamic with the Achaemenid, Parthian, or Sussanian Empire.
  • A country that is something Arab maybe the Abbasid Caliphate, or the Mamlukes in Egypt, and or perhaps the Omani Sultanate that once stretched to the African island of Zanzibar
  • Maybe throw the Ottoman Empire of the Turks too, they did rule much of the region for centuries even in decline.
  • I don't there would be room for Indonesia, but it'd offer a tropical island option. FYI, Indonesia, not something in the Middle East, is the world's largest Muslim-majority country in the present era.
  • Central Asia has been done by FE before with Sacae, and Issach is supposed to be Central Asia despite the absence of horse centrality. But, I think it seems too "boring" to include.
  • An Al-Andalus, Islamic Spain (711-1492), would be great! It'd allow for a European land alongside it, but possibly only at the world's political-cultural edge, which would make the "familiar" the most outsider-like of them all. Unless Al-Andalus was the focal point of the game, then the Europe country would be closer.
  • Another European option would be the Byzantines who often fought and lost against the Arabs and surrendered to the Ottomans. Byzantine is European, but often excluded as not-Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Vandals. It's semi-exotic.

 

The issue though, is that I don't think Japan considers the Middle East and South Asia interesting enough to make a grand game around it. Europe is more enticing for them, and East Asia is familiar being it's where Japan is located.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer
Decided to delete something which was questionable as rude on second thought. I shouldn't have included it at all.

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Sorry if I mistook India for Middle-East. But this was just me coming out of some Age of Empires 2, where the Indians in that one get strong Camels and Elephant Archers.

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1 hour ago, Runty said:

Sorry if I mistook India for Middle-East. But this was just me coming out of some Age of Empires 2, where the Indians in that one get strong Camels and Elephant Archers.

It's no problem, I was just being a little bit of a stickler to clarify a common misconception. I meant no serious criticism of you. 😉 -Though I could have phrased it more politely

India did interact with the Middle East via war with Persia and Central Asia. That is indeed correct. Sufis were popular, but Islamic rule didn't come to India because a Vaishnavite warrior-king converted to Islam and all his people chose to follow him of their own volition. Sadly it wasn't so peaceful.

And then there were all the Arab trades cross the India Ocean for luxuries such as spices. A splendid world or at least regional economy, all done without a single sword swung or shot of gunpowder fired. 

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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43 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Disney's Aladdin should be wiped out of history in a puff of smoke.

What does Aladdin have to do with anything?

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I'd say, a Middle Eastern aesthetic would be interesting to see in the series. Though personally, I do have bias of hoping to have something inspired more by colonial Latin America one day. Though that one might have even less chances to show up, as it were. Oh well.

Regading the Aladdin comment... yeah, no idea where that's coming from either. Admitedly, I haven't seen the TV series; but I'm pretty sure the movies make it clear it takes place somewhere in the Arabian peninsula. Or meant to, in a fantasy-counterpart way. Don't get me started on the original story where he's Chinese...

Anyway, 

1 hour ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

 

The "Middle East", or as it could be more neutrally defined as North Africa and Southwest Asia. It extends from Morocco and maybe Mali in the west, to either Iraq or Iran (both usually included), or Afghanistan in the east. You exclude Iran and Afghanistan, as well as Turkey, Israel and much of the Maghreb I believe (I'm not sure if anything past Egypt is truly Arab or more Berber, or Arab-Berber), if you mean the "Arab world". Afghanistan if excluded from the Middle East, which it should be outside of America's modern "War on Terror", is considered Central Asian.

Yeah... no, that's not how the Middle East is defined. The Middle East is truly only from Turkey to Iran, plus Egypt. By its very definition, it can't include Africa (Egypt is the sole exception.. at times), so no Maghreb. The Arab World is what includes the Maghreb.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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2 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Regading the Aladdin comment... yeah, no idea where that's coming from either. Admitedly, I haven't seen the TV series; but I'm pretty sure the movies make it clear it takes place somewhere in the Arabian peninsula. Or meant to, in a fantasy-counterpart way. Don't get me started on the original story where he's Chinese...

I was referring to having buildings that look like the Taj Mahal there. The Taj is in India.

Yes, Islamic architecture spread to India, so there should be similarities to Arabian structures. But mimicking it too closely is inaccurate.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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2 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I was referring to having buildings that look like the Taj Mahal there. The Taj is in India.

What buildings? Besides, the Taj Mahal is kinda multicultural in its construction. It has muslim elements, so maybe that's why there's some similarities.

I think the building itself shows up in the movie; but as a part of the "A Whole New World" segment of the animated one, where they are traveling to the regions near (and not so near since they ended the trip in China) Agrabah.

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28 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

What buildings? Besides, the Taj Mahal is kinda multicultural in its construction. It has muslim elements, so maybe that's why there's some similarities.

I deleted the flowery reference and stab at Disney's sometimes inaccuracies when it comes to tackling foreign places in its old cartoons. I shouldn't have added it in the first place. It detracted from the topic, which I do like, so I admit my wrong and apologize.

 

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It could be interesting if done tastefully. Although they've had some Middle Eastern motifs in past games. First, the dancers' costumes are vaguely reminiscent of middle eastern dancers (but more of an European interpretation of them, which is somewhat fitting?). Second, Claude's post timeskip design was inspired by a Turkish General's costume IIRC. And... I think that's it? There may be more costume references, but no cultural stuff.

2 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

I'd say, a Middle Eastern aesthetic would be interesting to see in the series. Though personally, I do have bias of hoping to have something inspired more by colonial Latin America one day. Though that one might have even less chances to show up, as it were. Oh well.

I am of the same bias, as I'm more familiar with that culture and its sense of aesthetics. Colonialism hasn't been too much of a theme in Fire Emblem so it could be an interesting concept in a story.

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On 9/3/2019 at 9:00 PM, Vince777 said:

Asking for the Japanese to develop a game and steer clear of stereotypes might be asking for a lot.

I certainly wouldn't mind mixing it up. Hoshido felt new. Even it's spells were very different. 
 

I just mean they shouldn't do things like "DIE INFIDEL!" and the like. That'd just seem racist.

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On 9/3/2019 at 9:13 PM, Interdimensional Observer said:

I TOTALLY would like a Middle East aesthetic in FE.😁 I have a sweet tooth for the arts of South Asia, East Asia, and definitely Southwest Asia too. I like Arab calligraphy and geometry.

You can still make a "Middle East" world with India in it, since the Delhi Sultanates and Mughal Empire were both part of the greater Islamic world. You could have:

  • A Mughal Empire country, you could have a Hindu undercurrent too.
  • A Safavid Empire (Persia aka Iran) country. Or go pre-Islamic with the Achaemenid, Parthian, or Sussanian Empire.
  • A country that is something Arab maybe the Abbasid Caliphate, or the Mamlukes in Egypt, and or perhaps the Omani Sultanate that once stretched to the African island of Zanzibar
  • Maybe throw the Ottoman Empire of the Turks too, they did rule much of the region for centuries even in decline.
  • I don't there would be room for Indonesia, but it'd offer a tropical island option. FYI, Indonesia, not something in the Middle East, is the world's largest Muslim-majority country in the present era.
  • Central Asia has been done by FE before with Sacae, and Issach is supposed to be Central Asia despite the absence of horse centrality. But, I think it seems too "boring" to include.
  • An Al-Andalus, Islamic Spain (711-1492), would be great! It'd allow for a European land alongside it, but possibly only at the world's political-cultural edge, which would make the "familiar" the most outsider-like of them all. Unless Al-Andalus was the focal point of the game, then the Europe country would be closer.
  • Another European option would be the Byzantines who often fought and lost against the Arabs and surrendered to the Ottomans. Byzantine is European, but often excluded as not-Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Vandals. It's semi-exotic.

 

The issue though, is that I don't think Japan considers the Middle East and South Asia interesting enough to make a grand game around it. Europe is more enticing for them, and East Asia is familiar being it's where Japan is located.

As someone from with ancestry from India, associating The Middle East with India would probably seen very offensive since many of those countries don't have good relationships  from India. This is from someone whose parents hold a strong rivalry of Muslim and Muslim-associated places. 

 

On 9/3/2019 at 8:33 PM, Runty said:

Perhaps this is coming from playing some Age of Empires 2, but I couldn't help noticing that the Fire Emblem series has a serious lack of factions with a Persian/Indian/Arabic/Middle-Eastern aesthetic. Scimitars, turbans, camels, spice trade, and of course war elephants. These would all be great additions to the Fire Emblem series.

I have a few personal ideas on what sorts of things could be brought to the table by this aesthetic. For the purposes of the topic, I'm using terminology and mechanics from Three Houses as a baseline.

  • Camel Riders. These would be an Advanced-level sword-oriented cavalry that don't suffer movement penalties on various types of terrain (i.e. desert, wasteland, beach), though they aren't totally immune to terrain (i.e. stairs, forests, craters) and have a lower movement range than Paladins. Compared to Paladins, they would also be better in the speed stat and would have more resistance, but less defense and strength. Camels in medieval warfare had several advantages over horses in desert environments, and were an important element of military might for the Indian, Berber, and Egyptian empires (among others). A Master-tier version of the Camel Rider could be the Mameluke, named after Islamic slave warriors, with more movement range, better stats, and perhaps an additional specialty in a second weapon category.
  • War Elephants. We've all seen the Oliphant charge in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Imagine something like that in a Fire Emblem game. A huge band of elephants covered in armor, smashing through an army's lines with their sheer mass while archers fire down from howdahs mounted on their backs. This was actually something that happened a lot in medieval and feudal warfare, and while it might have been questionably effective it was still impactful. If you managed to get a group of elephants in among an enemy formation that was unfamiliar with fighting them, your enemies would almost invariably scatter. In Fire Emblem, I would have them as an AI-only unit that takes up 2x2 tiles, much like the beasts from Three Houses. Unlike the beasts, they would have no barrier mechanic, but would still be far tougher than regular cavalry (even Great Knights). The elephants would also be able to move through your units, inflicting "trample damage" as they do (you would be able to prevent this with certain skills), while also having a ranged bow attack in case you try to move into tight chokepoints. The elephants would be slightly vulnerable to lances (pikes were the weapon of choice against elephants), but resistant to other weapons.
  • Various mythological creatures from Hindu or Egyptian mythology. Creatures like the Anubis, Sphinx, Rakshasa, Yaksha, Djinni, and so forth could all be either referenced or make appearances as enemy beasts. Naga is named after a mythological creature from Hindu mythology, after all.

However, there are a few things that the FE developers would need to be careful of to avoid rubbing people the wrong way. Specifically, they would need to heavily downplay any jihad or caliphate elements to avoid being considered racist. Also, they'd need to steer clear of stereotypes like hookah pipes and the like.

But overall, I think adding a Middle-Eastern aesthetic to Fire Emblem would be a big improvement.

Don't know about camels. Camels are more like Draft Horses in that they were bred for Manual Labor, not for war. Ostriches might be a cool alternative, since in Africa, Ostriches are ridden as an attraction, albeit controversially. 

Fun Fact, Claude has a lot of Persian references; from Fire Emblem Wiki:

  • Claude's design is heavily based off the Persian Achaemenid archers who were depicted as wearing yellow, having a singular earring, and wielding a composite bow.
  • In Claude's C support with Annette, Claude states he celebrates an Almyran ritual in reference to the real-life "Chaharshanbe Suri", a Zoroastrian fire festival originating in ancient Persia.
    • In Claude's C support with Ingrid, he also states that he practices meditation, which is another practice of Zoroastrianism.
  • Claude's timeskip design possesses what is based off a Kontush Sash: an ornate band worn around the waist which originated in Persia. At the end of this sash, Claude possesses a garland of Turkish püskül which wards off bad luck.
  • Claude’s last battalion is titled the "Immortal Corps" in reference to the Persian Immortals—the name given by Herodotus to an elite heavily-armed infantry queued unit of 10,000 soldiers within the grand army of the Achaemenid Empire.

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Hm. That sounds interesting. One thing I would like to see at some point is a Celtic aesthetic at some point in the series. The main reason I'm bringing it up is that it could provide a strong contrast with a Middle Eastern setting, and an FE game having both would be particularly interesting to see because of that contrast. 

For example, imagine if the two had to fight each other: the soldiers from the Middle Eastern civilization would hate the cold and the rain in the Celtic setting, and the soldiers from the Celtic setting would hate the hot desert climate. There could even be gameplay penalties for both warriors fighting outside their preferred climate.

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I can see a middle eastern or arabic Fire Emblem game happening in a story following two different nations like Fates, possibly with a Crusader theme.  At some point, the avatar and their small army change mind and side with the kingdom being invaded so the story start to develop in the Arabic or Muslim inspired nation. Look at Kingdom of Heaven movie, I can see a plot similar to that. 

 

Plegia also has an Egyptian theme and a prequel having Chrom father as the villain would be interesting. I can't see them returning to Awakening/Arachnea universe so early though. 

Edited by Mylady

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Genealogy of the Holy War has some mild mild eastern aesthetic. Namely the high use of shamshirs in Isaach. And maybe it's just me, but I see some influence in the lopt sect designs.

Portrait juphiel fe04.png

Portrait ctuzof dagon fe04.png

Portrait morrigan fe04.png

Maybe it's just my imagination and they're all just "generic robed mage design". But something about it strikes me as middle eastern. Maybe it's just because they live in the desert.

If the lopt sect does draw inspiration from the middle east, then the bird as long flown on avoiding the whole jihad issue.

Edited by Jotari

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I'd say it's more because of the desert. That's why those in the Middle East adopted that look. It's more for practical purposes due to necessity. For the Lopt Sect and those living in Darna, since they lived in the Yied Desert, makese sense they'd do the same.

4 minutes ago, Jotari said:

It the lopt sect does draw inspiration from the middle east, then the bird as long flown on avoiding the whole jihad issue.

Can't say I'm familiar with the phrase; but I assume you mean it's too late, considering Genealogy is all about them Holy War Crusading? Complete with Darna as the Holy Land.

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5 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

I'd say it's more because of the desert. That's why those in the Middle East adopted that look. It's more for practical purposes due to necessity. For the Lopt Sect and those living in Darna, since they lived in the Yied Desert, makese sense they'd do the same.

Can't say I'm familiar with the phrase; but I assume you mean it's too late, considering Genealogy is all about them Holy War Crusading? Complete with Darna as the Holy Land.

The bird has flown the coop? Really? Isn't that a common saying? I didn't make it up...did I? No. It's a thing. I think...

Early translations of Genealogy of the Holy War in Nintendo Power literally called the came Descent of the Jihad. Which while accurate, is a hilariously poor translated title.

On the subject of rubbing people the wrong way, I don't think avoiding the issue is a requirement. Jihadism is something that exists in the world and should be addressed. Ignoring it entirely just to avoid offense is just as bad as playing it up and depicting all Arabs that way. If the story can take a mature approach and show good and bad Arab inspired characters then there's no reason for it to be offensive. Give the story a bit of complexity. I don't think the writing of Three Houses was particularly fantastic, but they did at least manage to have some nuance in that regard when came to the Almayrians. With all that being said you can definitely take a middle eastern setting and avoid having caliphates and stuff. I just don't think fear of offending people is a good reason for doing so.

Edited by Jotari

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2 minutes ago, Jotari said:

The bird has flown the coop? Really? Isn't that a common saying? I didn't make it up...did I? No. It's a thing. I think...

Early translations of Genealogy of the Holy War in Nintendo Power literally called the came Descent of the Jihad.

On the subject of rubbing people the wrong way, I don't think avoiding the issue is a requirement. Jihadism is something that exists in the world and should be addressed. Ignoring it entirely just to avoid offense is just as bad as playing it up and depicting all Arabs that way. If the story can take a mature approach and show good and bad Arab inspired characters then there's no reason for it to be offensive. Give the story a bit of complexity. I don't think the writing of Three Houses was particularly fantastic, but they did at least manage to have some nuance in that regard when came to the Almayrians. With all that being said you can definitely take a middle eastern setting and avoid having caliphates and stuff. I just don't think fear of offending people is a good reason for doing so.

Well, didn't you recently learned I'm not from an English speaking country? The phrase isn't one I've seen much. Though now that you phrased it that way, I do recognize it.

Oh yes, knew about that.

Sounds nice; but sadly, these days we're more likely to see them still wanting to err to the side of caution, the closer the real-life analogue gets. Unless it suits an agenda somewhere.

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2 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Well, didn't you recently learned I'm not from an English speaking country? The phrase isn't one I've seen much. Though now that you phrased it that way, I do recognize it.

Oh yes, knew about that.

Sounds nice; but sadly, these days we're more likely to see them still wanting to err to the side of caution, the closer the real-life analogue gets. Unless it suits an agenda somewhere.

Although really, some of these things are so purely aesthetic based. I could see the lopt sect being totally okay even if they are a middle eastern design inspired jihadist group fighting a guerilla war against a much larger empire. Even if they were 100% based on ISIS or some such similar group, so long as they don't wear turbans or literally blow themselves up it could fly completely under the radar.

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