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Fire Emblem 7 begins with you, a training tactician, waking up in a hut which belongs to a young woman named Lyn. Already problems exist. For starters, in most role-playing games, the role you play is set and defined by the plot. Perhaps you are a knight of the kingdom fighting to save it from destruction, or a mercenary on a quest to liberate the world from tyranny. Here, though, you play the role of the player, and there is little point to that. You don't play a game to be yourself. Certainly, many games feature silent protagonists who are designed to help the player identify them, but in this instance the protagonist is you, you playing the game. All this really serves to do is separate you from the true protagonist of the game, Eliwood (Lyn in Lyn's Mode).

But regardless. The game starts and for the first six chapters you must fight bandits. In Chapter 1 this isn't so bad as the bandits are actually assassins sent by Lundgren but for the other five chapters the bandits are simply random. Lyn earlier states that she holds a grudge against the Taliver bandits for killing her people, so I guess there could be some kind of plot justification if the bandits were Taliver bandits. But they aren't. They're Ganelon bandits, who begin their scuffle with Lyn over a misunderstanding and then pursue her all the way to Lycia's border. There is no reason for Lyn to be fighting Ganelon bandits—they even have the smallest shred of dignity in that they don't want to hurt women—and yet they persist to annoy her (and you the player) for three chapters, while absolutely nothing happens in the main plot of Lyn's Mode. Now, as I said before, Chapter 1 is an acceptable chapter. In it we learn that Lyn is the heir to the Caelin throne, as her mother had eloped earlier with a nomad. Okay, this is acceptable. Nothing wrong here. The writing in this chapter is pretty good too; the dynamic between Kent and Sain is interesting and laden with nice quotes. However, for the story to go dead just as it started to get clanking is a slap in the face. In the very next chapter, despite the urgency that Kent and Sain said Lyn must go to Caelin, they go in the opposite direction of where they're supposed to go to pray at a temple. The temple is of course attacked by bandits. After you beat them, Lyn learns that she is the inheritor of the special sword of the temple; a hackneyed plot mechanic but I'll grudgingly accept it as there's far worse fish to fry with this story.

Chapter 6, for instance, is an affront to logic. Lyn finally arrives in Lycia and there are no more bandits to harangue her. Instead, Lundgren sends more assassins to kill her. She's staying in Araphen at the moment, which Kent and Sain describes as the second-largest city in Lycia, after Ostia. Lundgren's assassins, in all their intelligence, decide to burn down Araphen's castle. I don't understand how this is a good plan. Marquess Araphen would logically not be happy about this and perhaps retaliate against Caelin. His territory, after all, is the second-largest in Lycia, larger than Caelin. But Lundgren says "Political repercussions be damned!" and burns down the castle anyways. However, it's not clear how burning down the castle aids his assassination attempt. When an assassin finally does show up to kill Lyn, he is stopped by Araphen's captain of the guard, who was alerted due to the fire. So actually, the fire made their assassination attempt fail. So why did they set it? Why, too, did they take Marquess Araphen hostage? Again, Lundgren is set to be a new ruler, and forging political alliances would be a top priority. Wantonly attacking other territories and burning their castles down is not likely to gain him any friends. Anyways, during the fight, a thief joins your team. Later it's revealed that he is an Ostian spy. So, not sure what he's doing stealing treasure from Araphen's castle, but whatever.

After the chapter Marquess Araphen yells at Lyn for bringing the calamity upon his castle. This is funny because it was actually Lundgren who ordered the assassins to attack his castle—a fact he even acknowledges in the script. He then refuses to help Lyn because it seems like Lundgren is more likely to become the marquess and Araphen wants to remain in his good graces. But… Araphen is the second-largest city in Lycia. Caelin is a blip so insignificant that it does not even receive mention in Fire Emblem 6. And how, pray tell, is Araphen going to explain to his people that the person who burnt down his castle is now his ally?

Chapter 7 and 7x serve to introduce us to the Black Fang, as well as Ninian and Nils. As we learn later, Nergal needs two things to bring dragons into the world. Remember this, because it'll become important later. First, he needs either Ninian or Nils to open the Dragon's Gate for him. Then, he needs a large amount of quintessence in order to call the dragons, which he can do himself. This is all explained in New Resolve, the chapter after Elbert dies. But anyways, since before he can call dragons at all he needs the gate to be open, acquiring Ninian and Nils would logically be his top priority in the world. This is funny, because he sends the Black Fang's weakest members to catch them. Now, later, in Eliwood's mode, when Eliwood starts fighting weak assassins who are sent to kill him, it makes sense because at that point Eliwood is hardly a threat and thus mobilizing the Four Fangs against him has no point. But acquiring Ninian and Nils is absolutely necessary for Nergal's plans to continue. Now maybe he might have trouble explaining as to why Linus and Lloyd are needed to capture two random children, but he pretty much has Ursula and Jaffar in his pocket, so why not—Oh, wait. Ursula is there, in 7x. But she delegates the task of capturing Ninian and Nils to a subordinate, as she has "other matters to attend to." What matters? What orders does she have which are more important than capturing Ninian and Nils? Furthermore, if it was her responsibility to capture them, wouldn't she be held responsible if they got away? The Fang's law is that failure is punishable by death. Yet even though she fails to acquire Ninian and Nils, she's still alive and breathing one year later.

In Chapter 8 you finally begin to fight Lundgren's soldiers. This chapter and the next aren't too bad, or at least don't have any ridiculous logical leaps. In Chapter 8 you learn that Lundgren has branded Kent and Sain as traitors and Lyn as an impostor; a smart move, much unlike his plan to burn down Castle Araphen. In Chapter 9, we somewhat subtly learn that Eagler is fighting against his will, which makes for an interesting subplot (by somewhat subtly I mean that Lundgren doesn't appear onscreen laughing at Eagler because he has Eagler's wife hostage. A random village still basically tells you, though). However, Eagler's tragic nature is marginalized because he is never mention again after this point. Just completely forgotten. And this takes me to Chapter 10, the final chapter of Lyn's Mode. It starts off with a simple mission: Kill Lundgren. And you do. No problems there. The real problem is how remorseless Lyn is after the battle; all the Caelin soldiers who were forced to fight against their will or else tricked by Lundgren's lies are disregarded, as though there was never anything wrong with killing them. Lyn tells Hausen that he must lives in order to take walks and listen to music, and everything is happy and right with the world. This entire game will come to suffer from this upbeat and cheerful attitude. Hector, even, is kind of a psychopath, and I'll show you several quotes which indicate this. This game suffers from what I like to call "middle school logic." You see, after Kaga left the Fire Emblem development staff (he did this after Thracia, moving on to create the Tear Ring Saga and Berwick Saga games), Fire Emblem saw a notable shift in target demographics. Fire Emblem 4 and Fire Emblem 5 had been designed and marketed for a more mature audience; their plots involved incest and infanticide, tangled political webs, and in general more complicated and nuanced stories. Afterwards, the plots become much more simpler: The evil empire of Bern fights the good kingdom of Lycia; the evil assassin's guild of Black Fang fights the good kingdom of Lycia; et cetera. The character design was also much more mature; compare Fire Emblem 5's art to that of Fire Emblem 6. Gonzales has feet larger than his head. Allen, Lance, Saul, Klein, Wolt, and others, despite officially being in their 20s, appear like young children. Furthermore, Fire Emblem 6 stripped Fire Emblem of the gameplay mechanics Thracia had added, and instead emphasized the weapon triangle—the most elementary and easy-to-understand "strategic" mechanic possible. Instead of capturing and fatigue, which were elements that often made the game more difficult, the weapon triangle has always been considered something to help the player. Don't believe me? Then why did they remove in completely in Radiant Dawn's hard mode? Fire Emblem 6 tripled the hit bonus of Fire Emblem 5's weapon triangle and added an attack bonus, making mastery of the weapon triangle even more beneficial.

As I was saying, this all serves to show that the Fire Emblems which were made after Kaga's departure from the series were geared towards children, more so than previous entries in the series. Fire Emblem 7, I feel, was geared towards children even more than Fire Emblem 6 was, perhaps influenced by the series's move to America. Ask yourself: When was the last time you actually read Fire Emblem 7's plot? Many, I assume, haven't read it in two or three years, perhaps not since they were in middle school. Back then you identified with the childish, constantly-joking characters, and did not see the numerous major mistakes in the plot and saw nothing wrong with Hector's statement that "All the Black Fang must die" (he says this one chapter before recruiting Legault, by the way).

And that takes us to the main story of the game. When I start I'll cover Eliwood and Hector's version of Chapter 11 separately, and afterwards go by the Hector Mode numbering system for chapters. In Eliwood's Chapter 11, we learn that Eliwood's father has gone missing and he sets out on a journey to find him. Okay, fine. Nothing wrong there. He fights some more random bandits, and if we weren't already sick of random bandits from Lyn's Mode, there would be nothing wrong there, either. The problem with this chapter comes after you beat it, in which Ephidel speaks to Marquess Santaruz (remember Ephidel? Remember how awesome you thought he was? Yeah, well he's actually one of the most incompetent villains in the series). Santaruz claims that he knows Eliwood like a father and can't bear to lie to him. No problem, says Ephidel, we'll just scare him away with some soldiers, then you'll never have to meet him. Lord Helman… agrees to this plan. So, lying to him is a problem, but sending troops to fight him is not. Okay. Not to mention Helman could have just feigned illness had he truly not desired to speak to Eliwood.

Chapter 11 Hector is even worse. Hector flees from Ostia to meet with Eliwood and help him out. But why, why does the Black Fang send assassins to kill him? That doesn't make sense. They never explain why they're there. Do they want him dead because they don't want him to join with Eliwood and get Ostia involved? But… wouldn't killing him be even more likely to get Ostia involved? Even if they intend to make his body disappear like Wire says, Ostia has a large network of spies. Uther would at least investigate, and probably investigate Laus. Then wouldn't the plan for rebellion be ruined? Later, Oswin and Serra meet with Hector. According to Oswin, both of them were ordered by Uther to accompany Hector. But why would Uther ever send a cleric on such a mission? You didn't see Eliwood setting off with a collection of monks, did you? Not only that, but Serra? Serra, of all people, is who he trusts his brother's life to? Okay.

In Chapter 12 we see Ephidel's attempt to scare off Eliwood. He hires a bandit from Caelin (at least, that's what his in-game info tells us) to kill Eliwood in Santaruz. He could have just sent Black Fang, god knows they have enough members, but I guess not. Also, attempting to scare off Eliwood with a collection of soldiers that Eliwood's one knight can solo without even needing healing is fairly pathetic. Otherwise, though, I guess there's nothing wrong with this chapter—oh wait. There is that whole incident with Hector murdering the Santaruz soldier. Let's see how this plays out.

Hector: Hey! What's going on over there? Looks like some rough business. You! Soldier! Are you just going to stand there and watch?

Soldier: Who do you think you are? This is Santaruz. What occurs here is no affair of any foreign lordling!

Hector: I believe I'm going to have to disagree with you. You see, the man they're attacking happens to be a friend of mine.

Soldier: A friend? What? ...Urrrgh!!

Hector: Sorry, but I'm in a hurry.

I think this segment should speak for itself. Hopefully now you begin to see just what's wrong with Hector's character. He has many more instances like this, and I'll point them out as they come. What's even worse about this scene is that afterwards Matthew basically high fives him for doing it.

So in Chapter 13 Helman finally realizes the stupidity behind "scaring Eliwood off" and then tells Ephidel to his face that he's going to betray him and reveal everything. Obviously, Ephidel them stabs him. Of course Ephidel doesn't do a good job at all because he leaves Helman clinging to breath, just enough for him to tell Eliwood everything anyways. When Ephidel learns of this later in Chapter 14 he isn't too worried, as though it had been his intention all along for Eliwood to learn the truth and continue on his path. If that was the case, why stab Helman at all? If Ephidel wants to goad Eliwood into continuing on his path, why not just leave Helman alive to tell Eliwood everything? Furthermore, this begs an even better question: Does Ephidel want Eliwood dead or not? He keeps sending soldiers with the order to kill him and yet in the plot he doesn't seemed concerned at all that Eliwood continues to make progress. How does it help Nergal if Eliwood remains alive anyways? But if Ephidel truly does not want Eliwood to continue, then why did he not even bother to check if Helman was dead or not? Then we get Guy. Apparently he was starving so he took whatever work he could get. Apparently becoming a member of the Black Fang is one of the easiest jobs in the world to get. Apparently people just talk aloud about how they got saved one time by some guy named Matthew. There's absolutely no subtlety here at all in how you're supposed to recruit him; he goes out of his way to make it obvious.

Chapter 13x is yet another random bandit chapter. Wonderful. Honestly, it's not even trying to cover up how filler it is. It serves only as a way to bring Merlinus into the story. But what was the point? If you don't go to 13x, Merlinus still joins later, in Chapter 17. He kind of just walks up and says "Hey I'll be your merchant now." If that's honestly an acceptable way to introduce him into the story, then why not remove 13x altogether and just have Merlinus show up at the beginning of Chapter 14 saying the exact same thing? Were we really so desperate for MORE random bandit chapters that we needed to have this Gaidan?

Then we get to Laus in Chapter 14. We learn that Ephidel has Darin under his thumb. Ephidel then stats that he finds nothing worrisome about Ostia learning about the plot for rebellion. This is stupid. Why? Because if Ostia learned that Laus was planning rebellion before the rebellion was ready to begin, it could easily expose those plans and stop the rebellion before it even started. Darin expresses these concerns and Ephidel decides to have Darin stop Eliwood. So does Ephidel really care about this rebellion or not? Does he really want Eliwood dead or not? What are his motivations? Can anyone tell me? He's serving Nergal, right? Nergal wants a rebellion so he can get quintessence, right? Isn't that the entire point of the Laus sub-plot? Then why does Ephidel care so little whether the rebellion gets stopped or not? This chapter then gets worse. When Darin learns that Erik is struggling against Eliwood and friends, Ephidel advises him to take the rest of his soldiers and flee the castle. Darin has at least twice as many soldiers in Laus than he has deployed in Chapter 14 (he has enough to conquer Caelin, at least), as well as two more commanders (Bernard and Bauker) and he himself. Wouldn't the best plan be to swarm all of these soldiers and commanders and stop Eliwood from conquering his castle? What is the point of abandoning half of his soldiers and then running off to Caelin? Ephidel suggests this, of course, which again poses questions about what Ephidel is trying to do. Does he want the rebellion to start or not? Can anyone answer this question for me, based on this evidence?

You beat Erik and he tells you that Elbert supported the rebellion. This is mentioned again in Chapter 17 but is never resolved. Eliwood believes his father would never support rebellion and some things Elbert says imply that he maybe came to Laus to argue against it, but… if Elbert were truly against rebellion wouldn't the best thing to do be to warn Ostia? But if Elbert truly supported the rebellion why did Nergal imprison him? Hell, why did Nergal imprison him either way? If Nergal wanted his quintessence why not just take it and be done with Elbert? Keeping Elbert alive certainly doesn't work well for Nergal as Elbert releases Ninian and Nils later on, so… why?

Believe it or not, the plot only starts to make less sense from here. You see, a lot of these unanswered questions are put into the early chapters of the plot in order to build mystery around the Black Fang and Ephidel. But ultimately these questions are never resolved, often completely forgotten by around Chapter 20. Ephidel's actions are mysterious when you first play the game but make no sense in hindsight. And that is what this game does. It has plot holes all over the place and covers them up with tarp, makes you look the other way so you never learn that anything was wrong in the first place. It dazzles you with flashy effects in order to cover up egregious plot errors. I'll explain all of these later, and you'll be hitting yourself wondering how you never noticed such problems. They aren't minor, nit-picky errors either; some of them deal with the entire plot of the game.

Chapter 15. It's filler, which I guess is somewhat justified in how the chapter is Hector mode exclusive. Some random mercenaries attack. Heath makes a five second appearance. Then you beat the mercenaries. Then you decide to leave Laus castle because you learn that Darin has invaded Caelin.

Let me ask you one question. Why does Darin invade Caelin? I can't find a single thing in the plot that even tries to explain this. It makes sense for gameplay reasons, of course—brings Lyn back in the story. But can anyone explain to me what justification Darin—or Ephidel—have for invading Crimea? To get quintessence? That's the best thing I can come up with, and that's not even hinted towards anywhere in the story. So Chapter 16 and 17 both deal with this nonsense plot development. Oh, and in case you didn't think this game was childish by now…

Eliwood: Those archers almost hit you. You avoided the arrows, but you lost your balance and fell.

Florina: And yet... I'm not hurt. I fell from such a height. What--

Hector: You got lucky. I didn't. You landed right on top of me!

Florina: Oh!

Eliwood: Hector saved you.

Hector: I saved no one! I simply gave her someplace soft to land! A bale of hay could have done more than I did.

Florina: Eeek! Oh... Oh, I'm so sorry!

Eliwood: You were lucky, Florina. If you had fallen on me, I couldn't have caught you. Or your pegasus either!

Hector: They fell one after the other! I couldn't get out of the way!

Ha, ha… ha. But seriously, moving on. In Chapter 17 you recruit Raven, who claims that he's only joining your team to get close to Hector and kill him. That never happens. Also, his name is Raven, the stereotypical emo kid fan character name, also in case you didn't think this game was marketed towards children. Afterwards Ephidel stabs Hausen but likewise fails to kill him. Ephidel really can't do anything right. You then speak with Leila, an Ostian spy, who explains about Ephidel and Nergal. The game at multiple occasions (this being one of them) describes Ephidel and other morphs specifically as "creepy" and Nergal specifically as "mysterious." Just a note: if you have to explain to the player that something is creepy or mysterious, you're not doing it right.

That brings us to 17x. For starters, the Black Fang's role in this chapter is probably the only time in the entire game where they actually act like assassins. Instead of a giant army of expendables sent to overwhelm you with numbers, they send a small group of elites to kill you. That's good. That should have been the entire game, fighting small but powerful groups of enemies, not waves of weaklings. However, the fact that Damian appears out of thin air plotwise (ninety percent of this game is being somewhere and random enemies appear to fight you) and the fact that he's a Paladin, a class which has the in-game description of being a knight dedicated to justice, counts against this meagre victory. Furthermore, the chapter goes off the deep end of the sanity pool when the plot of the chapter is "Fargus will let you sail with him if you kill all his crew." And don't try to say they don't actually die if you kill them, that it's just a game or whatever, because Dart really does die if you kill him. Of course the explanation for why Fargus would do this is simply because "he's a tad off-kilter."

In Chapter 18 Nergal still isn't worried enough to send elite Black Fang members or even his morphs to fight you, despite you sailing towards his base. Not only this, but they aren't simply out to stop you but also to reclaim Ninian, who has escaped yet again. I explained in my description of Chapters 7 and 7x why it makes no sense that Nergal would send minor subordinates to deal with the task most critical to the success of him bringing dragons back into the world. Jaffar is even just lounging around at the Dragon's Gate, doing nothing but killing Leila. Why not send him? Admittedly, in the actual game the boss of this chapter can be fearsome with his Luna tome of doom and despair, but plotwise his role as "faceless recolor shaman boss" does not instill the belief that Nergal is actually trying to reclaim Ninian. Ninian also has plot-convenient amnesia. Wonderful. It's the most infamous cliché in video game history, and Ninian actually gets it twice, once here and once when she turns into a dragon. I especially love how they explain this amnesia later, in Chapter 21.

Lyn: When we pulled Ninian from the boat, she'd lost her memory. I can't believe we brought her right back to her captors. What a horrible thing to do. ......I'm sorry.

Ninian: Lady Lyn... Lady Lyn, you did nothing wrong...... When Nils fell overboard, I didn't know what to do. ...I became lost within myself. If only I'd been stronger... ......All of this could have been avoided... I am...truly...sorry.

That is honestly the explanation for her amnesia. She became lost within herself because she got separated from Nils.

Eliwood and friends land on the Dread Isle in Chapter 19. Nergal explains to Elbert that he's keeping him alive to use as a sacrifice. There's absolutely no reason to keep him alive in order to sacrifice him; Nergal can take his quintessence at any time he wants. So really, Elbert is only alive for dramatic purposes. Another person who is still alive who shouldn't be is Darin. Nergal has already stated that the plans for rebellion in Lycia are not going to come to fruition. Yet he keeps Darin alive in order to use him to defeat Eliwood. This is stupid. Darin has already revealed himself to be an incompetent leader, why would you entrust defense of the Dragon's Gate to him? Especially with Jaffar prowling around? Why not send Jaffar to kill Eliwood? He's right there, in the Dragon's Gate, he even kills Leila, and yet Nergal does not order him to do anything else? That makes no sense. Anyways so instead of Jaffar, Nergal sends Uhai to kill Eliwood and take back Ninian. Whatever. Also, around this time Dart joins your team. Here is the explanation why he does so.

Fargus: And I've got a half-wit sailor who wants to go sightseeing. C'mere, Dart!

Dart: I'm here, Captain! Ready to serve!

Eliwood: We're pleased to have you.

Sightseeing. Okay. So you beat Uhai and since he's an honorable man he tells you the location of the Dragon's Gate. Good thing Nergal sent him instead of Jaffar, right?

Chapter 19x. Again, instead of Jaffar, Aion is tasked with defense of the gate. Kishuna then appears and Aion can't think to move outside of his range in order to not be completely useless. The worst offense of this chapter, though, is why Kishuna exists at all. He's a sub-plot, I suppose, but a sub-plot who does not add anything new to the main plot whatsoever. He was apparently the only morph Nergal created with emotion. Okay. So why is that important? Why do we care? What is Kishuna doing? Why does he show up randomly and do things sometimes? Is he sad? Nils says he's sad in 32x. So why does he want to kill you? Is he mad at you? Isn't he mad at Nergal for abandoning him? Then why doesn't he fight against Nergal? The only time he does anything remotely obstructive to Nergal is here in 19x where he makes Aion useless. The other times he just goes where he pleases. So yeah, if anyone can give me an explanation here I'd love to hear it.

Then we get to Chapter 19xx, which for how hard it is to get to you'd think ought to be pretty awesome, right? Wrong. For starters, the writing is crap. Make sense of this, please:

Teodor: "I must have it at any cost." I believe every living soul has felt such desire. I know I have. Have you not, Lord Eliwood of Pherae?

Eliwood: What?!?

Hector: You… It was you!?

Teodor: Uhai and Aion's deaths were convenient… Your exhaustion is even more convenient… I, Teodor, lay claim to the deed of killing the young noble of Pherae. When I'm done, I will examine this building's treasures at my leisure.

For starters, Hector accuses Teodor of… something. I don't know who the "you" in Hector's line was supposed to be. I also don't understand how Uhai and Aion's death were convenient for him. I guess because he wants the glory of killing Eliwood? But he seems more concerned with examining the building's treasures. If he was a senior member of the Black Fang, then wouldn't he have had ample time to examine the building? Of course, the only reason this chapter exists at all is to imply that Ninian and Nils are Nergal's children. Which is good, it actually solves quite a few plot holes. Too bad this game is so rife with holes that there are still so many more it takes all this time to explain them all.

Finally we make it to the Dragon's Gate. Darin's defending it. Not Ephidel, not Limstella, not Jaffar, not Nergal himself, but Darin. Legault then appears and apparently he's second in skill only to the Four Fangs, which is funny because he's a Level 12 Thief. And despite Hector declaring that "every Black Fang must die," he recruits Legault here.

Hector: I don't care!! They're all responsible for attacking my homeland and my friends. I'm going to rip them apart with my bare hands!

Angry, much? Anyways whatever. You beat Darin and Nergal starts his ceremony. He opens the Dragon's Gate by mind controlling Ninian and forcing her to do it. Remember this for later, because it becomes important around Chapter 30. Eliwood and friends then confront Nergal and—finally—Jaffar appears to stop you. Then immediately Ephidel shows up and says this:

Ephidel: Even among the Black Fang, this man is feared for his skill... You are no match for him, not even as a group. ...You've done well, Jaffar. That is all. Return to Bern and begin your next assignment.

So if Eliwood is no match for him… then why does… why does Ephidel order him to leave? Don't… understand… Anyways Ephidel finally dies because even though he has the power to warp anytime he wants he just stands at the gate when it explodes. I guess that's a fitting end to his incompetence. Poetic justice, if you will. He was so stupid and unable to do anything right that he didn't even save his own life when he had the power to do so. I especially love when, just before, Nergal orders Ephidel to stop Nils. Ephidel, instead of warping over the Nils and stabbing him or something, simply tells Nils to stop. He tells him. He says, "Nils! Desist!" That's really going to work.

Elbert dies and Nergal takes his quintessence, which I suppose he couldn't have done earlier for whatever reason. The chapter ends and Eliwood sails back to Lycia. In Chapter 21 Ninian and Nils try to explain a lot of what happened earlier in the story. For starters, they explain the two things that Nergal needs to call dragons back to the world. He needs Ninian or Nils to open the gate and then a huge amount of quintessence to call dragons through the gate. Remember this, as the game completely disregards it later. So the rebellion was a way for Nergal to generate quintessence. Too bad he didn't really seem to care if it came through or not. Not to mention he nearly summoned the dragons anyways without starting the rebellion at all. Random Black Fang assassins then appear because all this exposition without any fighting is a no-go.

Then in Chapter 22 they go to Ostia to speak to Uther. Random Laus mercenaries then appear because all this exposition without any fighting is a no-go. Heath, who deserted from Bern's wyvern riders for reasons unstated, joins the team. You beat the chapter and speak with Uther.

Now, earlier, in Chapter 16, Hector says this:

Hector: It's Bern. We've received disturbing reports over the past few months. King Desmond is behaving oddly. If he sees even the slightest crack in Lycia's defenses, we believe he'll invade with all of Bern's might behind him. My brother has only recently become marquess, as well as head of the Lycian League. He can't allow another country to see weakness or discord.

Okay, so this explains why Uther's hands are tied, and why Ostia can't aid Eliwood. But there are other problems with this statement. For starters, later in the game the Black Fang tries to get Bern to start a war in order to get the quintessence that Nergal supposedly needed from the Lycian rebellion. He tries to do this by having the Black Fang assassinate Zephiel to put the King in their debt, and then use that debt to get him to invade a country. But if what Hector says is true, then why not simply assassinate Uther? Wouldn't that be a "crack in Lycia's defenses"? Notwithstanding of course later in the story when Uther actually does die and Bern does absolutely nothing. But I'll talk more about this later, when we actually get to the "Kill Zephiel" chapters. Right now Uther tells Eliwood and friends to go to Nabata.

So in Chapter 23 Eliwood and friends travel halfway across the world without a single Black Fang getting in their way, despite the fact that in Chapter 22 Sonia ordered the Four Fangs themselves to find and kill Eliwood. So maybe the Black Fang just didn't know where Eliwood was when he went to Nabata, right? Wrong. Here's a line from Chapter 24:

Lloyd: …Can it really be them? I thought they were in Nabata!

So… the Black Fang knows Eliwood is in Nabata, and the Four Fangs are given the order to kill Eliwood. Yet they do nothing. Jaffar is even off doing some other mission, as seen in Chapter 24. And Lloyd and Linus are just standing around in the same village in Chapter 24, also. The next time you see Ursula she even HELPS your team. So yeah, the Four Fangs aren't too good at following orders. Bummer.

Anyways, back to Chapter 23. It's called Living Legend, even though if you go to 23x the reason it's called Living Legend isn't apparent until after you beat 23x. Random bandits attack in this chapter, by the way. Yeah. Exciting. Meanwhile we're introduced to Pent, who is searching for a macguffin artifact in the desert which is never explained or revealed to the player. Paul and Jasmine are also joke bosses, in case you didn't think this game was childish enough yet.

Chapter 23x is another chapter with Kishuna, who I already explained makes no sense. What, for instance, is he doing in the middle of the desert? Why does he want Eliwood dead? To please Lord Nergal? Nothing in the plot suggests that. Also, even though at the beginning of the chapter Pent claims there's no way out of the chamber they sank into (yeah, sank. They sank in quicksand), after Kishuna flees they say "let's leave" and leave the chamber without any explanation as to how. Then you go and speak with Athos. Lyn seems absolutely clueless about the Eight Heroes other than Hanon the horseman, specifically unaware about Roland. This is funny because as a lord of Lycia for over a year you think she'd pick up on this. Really though she's just used as an excuse in this chapter to explain the eight heroes to the player, even though they were already explained in the map intro to Chapter 11 Eliwood. So Athos warps everyone back to Lycia and they travel to Bern to find the Shrine of Seals.

In Chapter 24 you happen to bumble into the same village where Lloyd, Linus, and Jaffar are all present. You then randomly fight them. Also, Geitz is a horrible character.

Geitz: I've nothing else to do. I'll fight 'til I get bored!

Let's look at his C support with Dart, just to drive in this point.

Geitz: Bored, bored, bored... Say, you're a pirate, aren't you? Let's do something exciting!

Dart: A word of advice, friend. Never sneak up on a man unfolding a treasure map!! Or...are you offering to come with me? That's why you're here, right?

Geitz: What's that?

Dart: Pfaw! That's why you never get anything done! If you've got time to complain, then you've got time to fight!

Geitz: I have an attention span of only about half an hour. Too bad, huh? Heh, heh!

Dart: Man, are you ever useless!

Geitz: God, this is all just so dull. Why can't something interesting happen?

This ought to speak for itself. I really want you to make sense of it. I really want you to try. It's like… no line logically follows the line that precedes it. It's a support of non sequiter. Geitz is basically fighting for you because he's bored. No other reason. Killing hundreds of people all in the name of boredom. This goes back to that "middle school logic" I talked about earlier. A middle schooler is going to find this entertaining, but anyone with more developed logic sectors would find it stupid, perhaps even distasteful. This game is loaded with "middle school logic" moments, especially surrounding Hector. No wonder Hector was such a popular character when this game first came out. We were all middle schoolers (or else not much older) and thought that slaughtered random soldiers was awesome! Yeah!

Murdock's also in a random house in Chapter 24. Murdock likes to hide in random houses in this game. Then there's the villager who gives you an Earth Seal because he "has the feeling you'll help the prince." And then there's the question of the Lycian spy who gives you the Silence staff. Was this spy Harken? If it was, then that brings up questions as the personalities of the two characters seem completely different. If not, then it's just another random incident that is never explained.

So we go to Chapter 25. It's a Hector chapter, and thus completely irrelevant to the main plot. First let's talk about Pascal. He apparently slaughtered a bunch of his servants and then joined the Black Fang. He even became one of the Four Fangs at one point. But wait.

Sonia: Pascal Grentzer, once and former count of Bern's Landskron. A man whose battlefield prowess was feared far and wide… Until you invited your citizens to your castle and slaughtered them. Stripped of your title, you fled the king and joined the Black Fang. Is that an accurate summary?

Isn't that the exact kind of person that the Black Fang TARGETED for its assassinations? Nobles who abused their power? Then how did he join the Fang? And furthermore, why did the Fang put him in prison? The Fang does not incarcerate its members, it kills them. So Pascal makes absolutely no sense and contradicts everything about the Black Fang. Great, this is a great start to this chapter. Maybe though this will lead to compelling and plot-enhancing drama about—

Hector: Yes, I paid a small ransom for this information. There's no mistake. Look! Do you see those three run-down fortresses? I was told the thieves who base themselves there stole the Emblem.

Nevermind, Hector's just stupid. So… sigh… this is yet another chapter where you simply fight random Black Fang members with no plot-furthering information or anything interesting at all happening. Great. Because we haven't had enough chapters which can be described as "Random ______ attack." You see, other Fire Emblem games aren't usually like this. Sure, all of them have one or two random bandit chapters. Maybe one or two filler chapters. But generally the reason you fight people at a certain place is for a specific reason. There are few chapters where "random soldiers attack" when you're just walking somewhere. But that is a perfect description of what happens in Fire Emblem 7. You're going somewhere and random assassins attack. Or random bandits attack. Or random mercenaries attack. Half the maps make it seem like the combat is just a random thing thrown onto the actual plot that is going on in the chapter. This is doubly unfortunate since FE7's plot makes no sense.

Oh, god, and now we've moved on to Chapter 26. Believe it or not, the story only begins to make less sense from here on out. I didn't think it was possible. But it's true. This is where the plot truly begins to unravel at the seams.

Hector: Defenders positioned higher up would have a clear advantage. Even the best soldiers would be taken out with ease. Hm… Look at that. They don't have any sentries posted. They must have a lot of faith in their defenses.

Yeah, Bern manse has no defenders. Apparently the natural defenses are so great they don't need people actually defending the castle. But… Eliwood and Hector just walk in. So obviously these defenses aren't good whatsoever. Also, Pent says this in Chapter 24:

Pent: Most likely. And if your identities are discovered, Bern will see it as an excuse to invade Lycia.

So obviously Eliwood wouldn't want to risk getting discovered whatsoever. But then he and his friends waltz into the Bern manse and spy on the king. That's no risky whatsoever. Also. Nergal wants Bern to start a war so he can get quintessence, right? So why not simply expose Eliwood and Hector? He doesn't even need to kill him, just reveal their identities. Vaida, a knight of Bern even discovers them prowling around outside the manse. Although she claims that she serves "only he who sits on the throne of Bern," she doesn't inform Desmond about Eliwood and Hector at all? Of course none of these concerns are ever brought up. Instead, Nergal's plan is to assassinate Zephiel to get Desmond in their debt and then convince him to invade somewhere in order to start the war to get the quintessence he needs to call dragons.

Also, Nergal makes Vaida ridiculously overpowered with magical power. Yet he does this for no other enemy besides Limstella. Why not? Who knows. I also like this line:

Vaida: Pah! I've had it with being pushed here and there! Withdraw!! Ground forces, pull back! And move quickly!!

Who the hell is pushing her? She's the only unit in the game that can utterly annihilate your whole team. She leaves for no logically explained reason. She doesn't even fight you, although at the beginning of the chapter she seems nearly frothing at the mouth in order to fight Eliwood and Hector.

Vaida: There's been far too much talking. Let's get started, shall we? I've long hungered for someone to test my strength against. Make this last awhile, will you? I want to enjoy this!! Listen up, everyone! It's playtime! Come on out!! The palace has promised to stay out of this! Be as wild as you will!!

Yeah she stands perfectly still the entire chapter if you just leave her be. After the chapter ends Lyn tracks her to the Black Fang's base, which is the first plot relevant thing Lyn has done since Lyn's mode and the last plot relevant thing she'll do in the story. Savor this moment, ye Lyn fans, as it is fleeting. Furthermore, despite apparently being second in ability to known other than the Four Fangs (as stated in Chapter 20), Legault doesn't know anything about the location of the Black Fang's base. Convenient.

We enter Chapter 27. The Black Fang has a snow base which Eliwood and friends infiltrate with ease. Apparently Eliwood is the master of sneaking around; first Bern manse, now this. Anyways, Sonia in this chapter details the assassination of Zephiel. She assigns Jaffar to this most important duty and Nino tags along to be used as a scapegoat. Here's Sonia's reasoning as to why there needs to be a scapegoat.

Sonia: The assassinations… Both come directly by the king's request. The prince is well loved, and his death will trigger much chaos. If the assassin is not caught and hanged immediately, the chaos will engulf Bern. A scapegoat is needed. Do you understand?

Okay. So Nergal's plan is this. They need to create chaos in order for Nergal to get the quintessence he needs to call dragons, so they're going to do this by killing Prince Zephiel to get Desmond in their debt to get him to invade a country to create chaos to get the quintessence. But if chaos is what they want, why not simply assassinate Zephiel? Do they want Bern to be peaceful instead of chaotic? What's the point of a scapegoat? They certainly didn't need a scapegoat when they tried to assassinate Hector. I guess they didn't care if Ostia was engulfed in chaos. But it was Desmond's order that there be a scapegoat. That still begs the question: Why is the Black Fang bowing down to Desmond? If all they need to do is assassinate Zephiel in order to create chaos, then why does it matter if Desmond is in their debt or not? Also:

Sonia: Then you must use the refuse to your advantage. Treat them as equals, and they will only drag you down. That woman Vaida is a good example. She treats the trash as though they were people. That dooms her to failure… …She truly is a fool.

Compare to:

Vaida: There's been far too much talking. Let's get started, shall we? I've long hungered for someone to test my strength against. Make this last awhile, will you? I want to enjoy this!! Listen up, everyone! It's playtime! Come on out!! The palace has promised to stay out of this! Be as wild as you will!!

Obviously, there is a disconnect between what the game is TELLING us (Vaida treats the trash as though they were people) and what the game is SHOWING us (Vaida wants to kill stuff). This is why simply telling us that the morphs are creepy or that Nergal is mysterious is useless. We're more apt to believe what we see with our eyes than what the game tells us. This mechanic is actually used wonderfully in Sacred Stones. The game spends the first half of the game telling us how great Lyon is, and then when he actually starts to appear in game we see for ourselves that he's actually horrendous. It's called juxtaposition. It's called subtlety. It's called everything that Fire Emblem 7 lacks.

Anyways, you finally get spotted snooping around the base and get into a fight. You kill the boss and discover that they had the fire emblem all along. That's silly. Why give the fire emblem to Kenneth or Jerme? Why not Jaffar? Why not Ursula? Why not Sonia? The fact is that the game wanted to quickly tie up the fire emblem subplot and just gave it to some random boss in order to tie everything up neatly. It's cheap, but I guess it's more than many of this game's subplots get (i.e. The rebellion, Darin invading Caelin, what the hell Ephidel is trying to do, et cetera). Then you have to run off back to Bern to save Zephiel.

Jaffar knocks Zephiel out and orders Nino to strike the killing blow. Why Jaffar didn't simply run in and kill Zephiel in one strike is beyond me. Nino then refuses to kill Zephiel. This causes Jaffar to shout:

Jaffar: Stop this foolishness! I told you! I will not permit you to ruin my opportunity!

This reminds me of a scene in Chapter 4 of Thracia where Leidrick says something about getting a promotion. Jaffar is already the most feared of the Four Fangs. What "opportunity" is this for him? If he's talking about the opportunity to kill Zephiel, that makes even less sense, as Nino is simply standing there offering to let Jaffar kill her. There's nothing stopping Jaffar from just killing Zephiel right then and there. Anyways, he decides that Nino is "worthy of life" and decides to leave with her. Then Ursula appears with an entire army of Black Fang assassins.

So Ursula came to check and make sure Jaffar did his job. According to Ursula, Sonia had been suspicious of him. If she had, why not simply send Ursula to do the job instead of Jaffar in the first place? And once again, you do not assassinate someone with an army. Can you imagine Sonia's orders? "Okay, Jaffar and Nino, go kill Zephiel. And Ursula, take about fifty or so of our best soldiers and follow them to make sure they do their job." Can you see how ridiculous that is? Ursula learns of Jaffar's treachery and then orders her soldiers to douse the lights. I don't see how dousing the lights is going to give the large army the advantage over the sole assassin. Turning the lights out seems like it would be something in Jaffar's favor. It'd let him escape easier, for starters.

I'll also use this time to call to attention the braindead nature of some of the writing here. Lyn, Hector, and Eliwood are oftentimes completely oblivious. Let's look at a few gems:

From Chapter 28:

Lyn: The lights have been doused. That's the sound of fighting. What's going on?

From Chapter 28:

Eliwood: Let's make for the Shrine of Seals. Once we make it there, something's bound to happen!!

From Chapter 26:

Hector: We'd better hurry and rejoin the others. Oh, no! Look! It's a wyvern rider!

I could post more but this essay is already over eight thousand words long so I'll leave it at that. Anyways so you defeat Ursula and even if you kill her Limstella still harvests her quintessence somehow. And if you don't Limstella just kills her, which means that two of the Four Fangs were killed by Limstella and a third was almost killed by Ursula. So the Black Fang likes to kill off its most valuable and skilled commanders, okay. I guess it's the law of the fang that failure brooks death. But… really? Come on. If someone fails but they survive and escape unharmed, like Ursula does, there's absolutely no reason to kill them off. Demote them, sure. But kill them? That's an utter waste. Not to mention Nergal's order to Limstella was to find him quintessence. Limstella is only seen to harvest that quintessence from Nergal's own henchmen. Why doesn't she just appear and kill Eliwood or Hector or something?

Hector: Me, I'd like to rip you limb from limb right now, but this kid Nino is here and all…

Hector says this last line to Jaffar after the battle. I don't know why. Hector at this point in time has no idea that Jaffar had killed Leila. In fact, this is all Hector knows about Jaffar:

  1. He is a dangerous man in employ of the Black Fang (as stated by Elbert in Chapter 20).
  2. He is ordered by Sonia to assassinate Zephiel (as stated by Sonia in Chapter 27).
  3. He goes against his orders and fights to protect both Nino and Zephiel (as stated in Chapter 28).

Those are literally the only times in the story so far in which Hector and Jaffar have interacted whatsoever. And yet Hector still wants to tear him limb from limb? The only thing Hector has actually seen Jaffar DO is betray the Fang and help save Zephiel. Shouldn't Hector be "Right on, Jaffar! You're a chill dude bro"? Grudgingly, Hector decides to let Jaffar live.

Hector: Bah… You live… for now. You're nothing more than a tool. It serves no one to break tools. It's more important that we stop Nergal. But don't forget, I don't forgive you anything.

Lyn: That's good, isn't it, Nino?

Nino: Mm! Thank you! Thank you!!

Yes, "you live… for now" is quite the heroic thing to say. And Lyn just acts like there's nothing wrong with thinking like this. In fact, nobody does. To everyone in this game Hector's unnatural bloodlust, murder of random soldiers walking by, and desire to see everyone in the Black Fang dead is a perfectly normal thing to feel. Matthew even gives him that high five in Chapter 12 when he kills the Santaruz soldier. Only Oswin has every reproached him, and even then not very strongly. This is that "middle school logic" coming up again. The Black Fang is bad guys, and so it's perfectly fine to kill every single one of them with remorse. Only Eliwood ever expresses any hatred of killing, once and early in the story with his speech about "envisioning families". Compare to Sacred Stones, where Eirika from the prologue is wondering why there can't be a more peaceful solution than fighting. Other than specific important characters such as Jaffar, Lloyd, and Linus, however, everyone in the Black Fang is evil and must be destroyed. Nothing else is logical.

Chapter 28x. Unfortunately, Serenes doesn't have the script for anything past this point, but I've played the game recently enough (a month ago) to remember the main plot fallacies from this point on. There isn't actually anything terribly wrong with this chapter, other than how strange it is that fighting Sonia happens in an easily missable side chapter. I recall Hector still shows great violence and hatred towards Jaffar, even after the fight. Also, according to Nino, the Black Fang has two bases: The snow fortress and the water temple. Legault knew of neither of them, apparently. Then how the hell was he even a Black Fang member? There are random myrmidons in employ of the Black Fang who know more than he does.

We then move on the Chapter 29. You fight Linus or Lloyd, and nothing's really wrong with that part of the chapter. Afterwards though, we start to get to the real, plot-critical issues that strike deep at the core of this plot. They involve Nergal, his motivations, and his means for achieving his goals. So you visit Bramimond, and he opens the seals on the legendary weapons with the power to defeat Nergal. When you leave the shrine, Nergal is waiting for you, and demands to take Ninian with him. Ninian agrees if he'll leave her friends alone. That's silly to begin with, but it gets even sillier when Nergal uses a giant explosion attack and then warps away.

This is a classic example of making an overpowered foe and then being unable to explain how he doesn't win. If Nergal can warp wherever he wants and has a giant explosion attack, then why couldn't he use this power to create enough chaos in Elibe to start the largescale war and rebellion he needs for his quintessence? He could warp to the homes of all the rulers in the continent and explode them. No problem. That'd create the chaos he needs. But Nergal can't use this attack for any practical purpose; in fact, he never uses this explosive attack again.

Most Fire Emblems place some kind of limit to the power of the main villain to avoid this kind of "Why can't such and such warp here and kill them" question. The Black Knight can warp anywhere but he says it drains his power to do so. Ashera has to charge up her stone attack and she can't leave the Tower of Guidance. Lyon/Demon King constantly has to battle himself, and never in the story is shown to have the kind of power that Nergal displays in this scene. Nergal has powers which he could logically use in many instances to kill the main characters and win, but he only uses these powers at the specific times that the main characters have the means to survive them (in this case, Athos puts a shield on Eliwood and protects him). Athos then states that if Nergal really wanted to kill them, he would have.

Why doesn't Nergal want to kill them? What's the good for him in keeping them alive? To harvest their quintessence? Why doesn't he just kill them then harvest their quintessence, the same way Limstella harvests the quintessence of Ursula after she dies? Believe it or not, though, this gets worse in the next chapter.

Before we move on to Chapter 30, though, I still have things to pick at with this chapter. For starters, the promotion of Eliwood/Hector. Earlier in the story it is revealed that the main lord can't promote with the Heaven Seals you receive up to that point. Only when at the Shrine of Seals can the main lord promote. There are two issues with this. First is a plot-related one; they never explain why the main lord can only promote at the Shrine of Seals (which is especially odd as the main lord changes between Hector and Eliwood, so that Eliwood who couldn't promote until the Shrine in his own story can now promote in Chapter 26.) Second, however, is a character development question. In most Fire Emblem games, the main lord promotes at a time in which they are forced to assume responsibility, when their character is forced to change in order for them to take hold of the leadership position they were destined for. It shows a development in their personalities from the young and naive youth to the strong and intelligent leader. This pattern happens in Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Sacred Stones, and Thracia. Marth has a similar moment where he liberates his castle, except without the actual promotion.

Neither Eliwood nor Hector have this kind of moment. They do not develop as characters. They remain the same the entire story through. There is no dynamism. They start as middle schoolers and end as middle schoolers. Their emotions of sadness are few and fleeting. They spend the rest of the game joking, playing around, and killing. They do not get better than this. This goes down to the very fundamentals of good story telling. Maybe you think Eirika and Ephraim were boring. Maybe you think all the lords or all the games were boring. But there is a difference between a character who develops and one who stays the same. You can't have a static main character. That does not make for a compelling plot. Change, inner conflict—that is the core of any story. Fire Emblem 7 lacks that. It has characters which were designed for children and thus can not be any more complex than children can understand.

But enough of that. We'll move on to Chapter 30. So I guess since the legendary weapons are the one thing that can defeat Nergal, as Athos says they are (I guess he forgot about Luna), Nergal would try harder than ever to stop Eliwood and friends from getting those weapons. Nope. He just lets them do whatever. After Eliwood and friends get the weapons they get attacked by a dragon and Eliwood kills it. Nergal then shows up and laughs—it was Ninian, you fool! Ha ha ha.

Nergal explains that he could not get Ninian to open the gate for him. Huh. So I guess he lost the magical mind control powers that he had in Chapter 20 when he forced Ninian to open the gate for him. Then, instead of trying to get Ninian and Nils together to open the gate for him, he has Eliwood kill Ninian because he thinks that'd be funny.

Athos tries to fight Nergal and does five damage. Nergal claims he could kill all of them right now… but decides to leave. Yeah. Just like that. He doesn't even try to take Nils with him, even though Nils is right there and Eliwood is immobilized and helpless when he realizes he killed Ninian. It seems like the only practical purpose for having Eliwood to kill Ninian would be to take advantage of his emotional despair afterwards to kill him easily. But Nergal does nothing. He just leaves. His reason for leaving? "Out of respect for an old friend [Athos]." Out of respect? Nergal's worried about respect? Not only that, but he later reveals that he despises Athos for injuring his eye. So why doesn't Nergal just obliterate him there? Why? Can anyone explain this to me?

My god, we're almost done. Chapter 31. They go to Ostia. Nergal sends random morphs to fight. Once again, we've got Fire Emblem 7's favorite method of scenario. "You go somewhere and random guys fight you." Not only that, but apparently Nergal sends them to tell Eliwood and friends to meet him on the Dread Isle. Why does he wants them on the Dread Isle? To kill them and harvest their quintessence? Why the fuck didn't he do that last chapter after Eliwood killed Ninian? Any answers for that? Huh? Huh? Nothing. No explanation at all. This game is a plot of cloth and stilts. It puts on a front face, gives the impression of depth, but underneath is nothing but sticks. There is no substance to this plot; everything it shows as indicative of substance, all the subplots and even the main plot, they are empty. This story has nothing, no shred of logic running through it that can support the entire structure. With the slightest bit of prodding it collapses in on itself. How else have I managed to prattle on for ten thousand words about the plot holes and falsehoods of this story? You start to take off the outer layer and the stilts inside just fall in on themselves, like dominos.

Uther died, by the way. And Bern didn't care.

So you accept Nergal's invitation to meet him at the Dread Isle. By the way, Denning is the most convincing morph of them all because nobody goes out and comments on how creepy it is that he says the same thing over and over again. I can't imagine him gaining such a following if everyone and their mother had made a big deal about his eerie speech pattern. If you want something to be creepy, you can not call it creepy. This is why Valter works so much better than any of Fire Emblem 7's morphs. Very few people even seem to see through Valter; he simply goes about his business. Eirika and Ephraim see him as a foe, nothing particularly deeper than that. They do not know his bloodlust, his insanity. We the player do, however, and Valter becomes more chilling than anything in FE7 because of it.

Chapter 31x is just a shopping spree, so whatever.

Chapter 32. Limstella informs Nergal that they've used up the last of the quintessence from the Black Fang. Remember this fact; it's quite important. Nergal says not to worry, however; a wonderful supply of quintessence is headed their way (he's referring to Eliwood and friends). Remember this, remember this, remember this. If you've been paying attention to the facts I've been specifically pointing out to you you may already by now have realized what my final, bone-crushing point against this game is going to be, my point which completely destroys anything this game does or tries to do. If not, keep reading; I'll get to it in due time.

You fight and defeat Limstella. If you care, you can go on to Chapter 32x, which is another Kishuna chapter and even more irrelevant than the last. It doesn't reveal much about Kishuna's character and it makes little sense why you would randomly go into his fort for no reason, if you're supposedly rushing to Nergal.

The Final Chapter. Oh god. Athos starts out by explaining that Nergal's power is much weaker than it was; that you've killed almost all of the morphs that he's had the quintessence to create. Remember that, please. He gives you your weapons and the final chapter begins. You fight a boss gauntlet of powerful morphs and finally get to Nergal himself, who can be defeated by Renault if you care enough. Then we get to his death quote. From here, do note, the story just goes off the deep end.

Nergal: Why? Why must I lose? More power... I must be...stronger... I... Why? Why did I... want power? ......Quintessence? ...Don't...under...stand... but... Gaa... Not like this... I will not die...like this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha...ha ha ha…

Make sense of this. In one line, Nergal goes from regretful at his loss, to wondering why he ever wanted power, to not understanding quintessence, to suddenly and inexplicably decided to crush you with his final breath. What. How does that make sense? You do not say "Why? Why did I want power?" and then immediately after "With my last breath tremble and despair." That does not make sense. What is Nergal's motivation here? Is he gaining his sanity back at the last moment, only to throw it away in one final spiteful plunge? What is he doing in this quote?

Then the real wall banger happens.

Nergal calls dragons through the Dragon's Gate.

Earlier I explained to you how Nergal needed two things to summon dragons. He needed Ninian or Nils to open the gate and then a large amount of quintessence to call the dragons. Nergal at this point in time has neither. When he took Ninian after Chapter 29, he later explains that she proved useless at opening the gate. Then Eliwood kills her. So how did Nergal open the gate? How did it happen? Ninian didn't open it. Nils didn't open it. Nergal is incapable of opening it by himself. So… why?

Then Nergal needed quintessence. This was the entire point of his rebellion. Yet in the end, even with Limstella and Athos both claiming that Nergal was almost out of quintessence, he still calls the dragons. So basically, everything up to this point about the rebellion in Lycia or Zephiel's assassination was pointless. Nergal summons the dragons anyways. In fact, Ninian and Nils were pointless. Nergal opens the Dragon's Gate anyways. Nergal could have opened the gate and called dragons any fucking time he wanted to.

This is so self-defeating that I hardly even care that Ninian comes to life in a Disney wannabe twist. I hardly even care. Nergal calling the dragons at the end just proves that nothing in the story up until then meant anything, anything at all. Fire Emblem 7 breaks every rule it places on itself.

So there. That's what I have to say about the subject. Fire Emblem 7 has a plot so full of holes it might as well be Swiss cheese. The characters are immature and do not develop over the course of the story. The villains are incompetent and allow you to live for no explicable reason. The most emotionally resonant moment in the game—Ninian's death—is marginalized when she gets better. The Black Fang is an assassin's guild with more bishops than assassins. Half the characters who join you don't join for adequately explained reasons. Ninian gets amnesia twice. Elbert is alive for no reason. Darin is tasked to defend the Dragon's Gate instead of Jaffar for no reason. Jaffar wants a promotion for no reason. Hector kills some Santaruz soldier for no reason. Uhai and Aion's deaths were convenient for some reason. Vaida is tired of being pushed around for some reason. Pascal was in jail for some reason. Nergal doesn't use his explosion attack more than once for some reason. Oh god, oh god, oh god.


Edited by General Banzai
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I assume that you're trolling?

No. I did not write 11,000 words just to troll some people.

I wrote this because this forum is the last scion of the Fire Emblem community still in existence, and I felt it needed to know just what is wrong with this story. I've seen hundreds of times before people praising this game's story and characters, and I feel that praise is misguided. I wrote this as a critical and reasoned look at the story and all of its many fallacies.

This is not a troll and I hope more than anything else to get logical, well-reasoned responses. I'd actually love it if someone could show up and adequately explain any of the flaws I point out in this post.

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Yes, I did just read all of this, and I agree with you. I never understood how people thought this game had a great plot. I noticed most of this stuff on my second playthrough. It feels like they wrote down a bunch of Ideas that didn't connect in the end.

On my first play I though Ephidel had a subplot in trying to screw over lundgren and making a rebellion.

I honestly have no clue what Elbert was doing, I was contemplating on making a topic asking why Elbert even went to see Nergal (I thought he was gonna try to infiltrate the rebels, or something). And I didn't understand wht Hector was all "It was you!" To Teador, I honestly thought I was missing stuff, but then another playthrough and this thread made me realize, nope.

About Nergal summoning dragons, I've heard people say he just used his own quintessence, but that's kinda pushing it. It's just a fan theory after all.

Yeah, this isn't trolling. You just pointed out just about every issue I've had with this games story.

Edited by L95
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Yes, I did just read all of this, and I agree with you. I never understood how people thought this game had a great plot. I noticed most of this stuff on my second playthrough. It feels like they wrote down a bunch of Ideas that didn't connect in the end.

About Nergal summoning dragons, I've heard people say he just used his own quintessence, but that's kinda pushing it. It's just a fan theory after all.

It took me around 15 playthroughs to notice. >.>

I just played through the game a month ago and decided to read the plot, since I hadn't read it in a couple of years. That's when I noticed a lot of this stuff.

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The Fire Dragons at the end were children, like Nils and Ninian when they crossed through the gate. That means that they were foolish enough to open it themselves. It probably just takes a lot more quintessence to locate and convince a juvenile dragon to come through the gate, as well as to penetrate whatever barrier the gate is. So we can reasonably assume that if Ninian or Nils had opened it, there would be an army of adult dragons at Nergal's command.

Edited by Whitefang
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The Fire Dragons at the end were children, like Nils and Ninian when they crossed through the gate. That means that they were foolish enough to open it themselves. It probably just takes a lot more quintessence to locate and convince a juvenile dragon to come through the gate, as well as to penetrate whatever barrier the gate is. So we can reasonably assume that if Ninian or Nils had opened it, there would be an army of adult dragons at Nergal's command.

Where in the story does it say that those fire dragons were children? Also, the fact that it takes much more quintessence to locate and convince a juvenile dragon to come through the gate doesn't explain how Nergal managed to do it, as he has no more quintessence.

Furthermore, it's heavily implied that the only reason Nergal convinced Ninian and Nils through the gate was because he was their father.

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Who said FE had to make sense?

It's a series renowned for its plot and storytelling capabilities. Not to mention the RPG genre is heavily plot-based. A plot which makes sense is typically better than one that doesn't, so...

I'm fairly certain Ninian says that at the end.

I'm curious to know where it's implied that Nergal is their father, though.

Show me the specific line in the script. No "pretty sure"s allowed.

As for the implication that Nergal is their father, we get first in Chapter 19xx.


…You hide and wait here. There's food and water in this pack. …If you ration yourselves, it should last about ten days.

Young Girl:

…What about you, Daddy? Are you going away?


Daddy has to go to Aenir. …I'm going to get Mommy.

Young Girl:

…Mommy? Where is she?


Some bad men took her away. They can't have gone very far, though. I have to go after them and save Mommy. You wait ten days… If Daddy's not back by then, take your brother and go to the other side. You're a clever girl. You know the way, right?

Young Girl:


Young Boy:

Daddy… Don't go…


…You're good children. Both of you. I'll come for you. I'll be back…

As Ninian in her amnesiac state runs to the temple (Lyn and Eliwood believe she's trying to remember something), the implication is that the girl was Ninian and the boy was Nils. And that Nergal appears at the end of the chapters and says this:


What is this place? I was supposed to be at the Dragon's Gate. Why am I here? Ah… Now I remember. I was here a long, long time ago… During the Scouring… I studied dark magic here. This… I left something here. Something valuable… Urrgg… My head… The pain… Bah. It must not be worth much if I never bothered returning for it. I have power now. Nothing else matters. I will open the Dragon's Gate and get even more power… The power to defeat anyone. Power…

It's implied that Nergal was the man. Certainly not flat-out stated, but the implication is clear. Furthermore, in Chapter 21 Ninian and Nils said that they recognized Nergal's voice when he called them through the gate.

Edited by General Banzai
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I'm fairly certain Ninian says that at the end.

I'm curious to know where it's implied that Nergal is their father, though.

Chapter 19xx, the man is nergal and the children are Ninian and Nils.

Nergal comes at the end of the chapter and says he left something important there, his children(which he doesn't realize.)

Gack, Ninja'd.

Edited by L95
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Weren't Nils and Ninian fooled/deceived by Nergal to avenge what Athos and others made him (wounded eye: scar)? I never read any paternal aspect in Nergal though.

I read that the fire dragons were Nils's and Ninian's friends.

PS: I haven't read the plot, I'll be reading it between Friday or Saturday. I've been busy lately.

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I stopped reading at your criticism of 7x, because I have something here I want to say to that in particular:

Your maybe level 10 to 15 unpromoted units versus promoted ones. Yes, it's not /logical/. But neither is an arbitrary gain of experience to the point where someone spontaneously becomes more powerful. LOGICALLY speaking, they'd just be more experienced fighters but it /wouldn't make sense/ for one woman to take on an entire force, even if it's small.

Or, conversely, if you want to say "oh she could do that," then how about this? Ursula comes in and curbstomps all of your units. Have fun getting past 7x. Wanna still play FE7?

Edited by Lux Aeterna
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I stopped reading at your criticism of 7x, because I have something here I want to say to that in particular:

Your maybe level 10 to 15 unpromoted units versus promoted ones. Yes, it's not /logical/. But neither is an arbitrary gain of experience to the point where someone spontaneously becomes more powerful. LOGICALLY speaking, they'd just be more experienced fighters but it /wouldn't make sense/ for one woman to take on an entire force, even if it's small.

Or, conversely, if you want to say "oh she could do that," then how about this? Ursula comes in and curbstomps all of your units. Have fun getting past 7x. Wanna still play FE7?

Oh, yes, many of the plot fallacies I point out here are explained through necessary gameplay reasons. Darin invades Caelin, for example, to bring Lyn back into the story. But if the story is completely at the mercy of the gameplay then there's a problem.

In FESS, for instance, as early as Chapter 10 in Ephraim's mode every boss from then on is an imperial general or else someone incredibly important to the story. Of course, Selena and Caellach are forced to leave in Chapter 10 and 12, but the reason is far more convincing than "they have other business to attend to". That other business is explained. Selena is deceived by Valter and Caellach realizes that his original order to capture Jehanna is compromised.

Saying Ursula has to leave because of unexplained "other business" is a cheap gimmick.

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I stopped reading at your criticism of 7x, because I have something here I want to say to that in particular:

Your maybe level 10 to 15 unpromoted units versus promoted ones. Yes, it's not /logical/. But neither is an arbitrary gain of experience to the point where someone spontaneously becomes more powerful. LOGICALLY speaking, they'd just be more experienced fighters but it /wouldn't make sense/ for one woman to take on an entire force, even if it's small.

Or, conversely, if you want to say "oh she could do that," then how about this? Ursula comes in and curbstomps all of your units. Have fun getting past 7x. Wanna still play FE7?

In my first play through I thought I was going to fight Ursula in 7x. But there's no way it would make sense to have a powerful late game boss to blow Lyn's Legion at the first, somehow boring, chapters.

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Isn't the main plot about Nergal's vengeance against the people who attacked him and betrayed him (Athos, for example (they were "good friends" but Nergal's hunger for power (quintessence) damaged their relationship))?

Edited by Quintessence
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Isn't the main plot about Nergal's vengeance against the people who attacked him and betrayed him (Athos, for example (they were "good friends" but Nergal's hunger for power (quintessence) damaged their relationship))?

Actually from Nergal's quote in 19xx and his deathquote he really just wanted power. He didn't like Athos for betraying him but that wasn't his main motivator. He had begun his research into stealing quintessence before they attacked him, remember? That was actually why they attacked him, because he had started to take the quintessence from the people or Arcadia.

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And therefore, he created Ephidel and Limstella to steal other people's quintessence (Linus, Brendan, Ursula, Lloyd, Sonia) for Lord Nergal. I'm not sure if Sonia is actually a morph because in her death quote (also talking with Limstella) she mentions she is human or felt as a human... :unsure:

Edited by Quintessence
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