A New Feel
Posted December 18, 2008on:
As strange as it may sound coming from the admin of a Fire Emblem site, I just haven’t been in the mood for Fire Emblem lately. It may have something to do with how many times I’ve played each game, but the fact is I just can’t get myself to pick up the game and play it. Ofcoarse you could just say it’s MY fault, but I’ve been thinking; maybe the series needs something more then new skill systems or a few added swear words (that EVERYONE has to try out atleast once ) . Maybe it needs a new feel.
So far, and to the best of my knowledge, every game in the Fire Emblem series has been based in what appears to be a Medieval European setting…complete with straw-roofed houses and horse drawn carts. The dialogue used by the characters also backs up this claim, especially when you look at characters such as Matthew from Blazing Sword. Weapons and armor also have a Medieval European look to them. While this is not a bad time to base a game on, far from actually, I can’t help but feel 10 games based around it are a bit too many. And though the gameplay works excellently with the theme, it could work just as well with others.
The first option I’ll cover is a Japanese based one. By adding a Eastern theme to the game, you could breath new life into areas and locations that have become somewhat redundant. Take a look at Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the only stage from the Fire Emblem series is….a castle. Just a castle, albeit it does transform over time. But my point is there is no clear indication of which game of the series it is based on. THAT is how much the castle is used in Fire Emblem. In a Japanese based Fire Emblem, however, the castles would have a much different feel to them, as both the design and materials used differ greatly between a European castle and a Japanese one. With a change like that, the castle could remain the place to be, without boring the player to death. Weapons would be easy to redo…Japan had it’s own unique style of weapons…ranging from long bows to katanas. And though it would get very sickening if every character had to be addressed with a -kun, -sama, or -chan at the end, it would be a lot more refreshing then having to hear “Lord” or “Sir” for every character who is remotely noble. To be honest, however, I do not think they would keep the Japanese terms since very few people would know their meaning, and even less would be able to keep them straight . Classes could either stay the same or adapt to the feel. For example, Soldiers could just have their sprites redone to a more Eastern looking style, where as Knights could be changed into Samurai, who were the famed warriors of Japan. Thieves could simply be changed into Ninjas, as they played the role of thief quite often. Brigands and Bandits? Pirates? No reason they cant stay. They are examples of completely unaffected classes. Wyvern Riders would simply have to change their names to Dragon Riders or something similar, as dragons play a large role in Eastern myths and legends. Upon promotion, classes like the Samurai or Ninja could simply turn into their real world counterparts. For example, the Samurai would turn into a Bushi (meaning Noble Swordsman) and the Ninja into an Assassin.
Another theme would be that of classic fantasy. Since fantasy really started picking up in the very time Fire Emblem is set in, there is no reason it wouldn’t work. Infact, almost every aspect of the Fire Emblem world could remain intact…only needing a slight remodeling. Weapons and armor would only need to be slightly stylized to fit the theme…perhaps something as simple as making bows more forest like and swords more slender? Forests and mountains would be given a more brighter feel, imbued by the planets magic. Classes such as the Knight or the Archer could be elf-ified a bit, especially in the case of the Archer, who wields the Elf’s favorite weapon. Mages and Shamans (the later being renamed “sorcerer” most likely) would fit perfect into the now magical world, not even NEEDING to be redone. And what about Fire Emblem’s favorite plot starter, the Dragon? Even more so then the mages, Dragons would fit perfectly in a fantasy based world. Much like Japan, Dragons played a large part in most every fantasy story, playing the role of the antagonist. Though they wouldn’t need to be evil, it would be that much easier to bring them into the plot. They could even be used as a new race or even class, as many sorcerers are said to have had dragon blood. Dialogue would benefit the most here, dropping the overused”knave” , “bah” , and “blackheart” , without picking something new up, as seen in the Japan theme.
And finally, the option that will most likely get the most criticism…a world without a theme. Though even I would have my doubts about it, I would like to see Fire Emblem put in a world that isn’t premade, and see what the makers can make on their own. As a result, I cant add my input on it, but hey! If I could it would be defeating the purpose!
One thing that all of these idea’s share in common is how they would affect the characters. Not everyone would need to have slanted up eyes for a Japan based game, or Elf ears in a fantasy one, but the option would be more accessible. Clothes would also be affected, as well as hair styles and even eye colors. I wouldn’t want every game to take on just one theme and stick with that though, I would like to see something different every time. And there you go. Feel free to post your thoughts and ideas here as well .
–Saint of Swords
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