Fire Emblem Blog

A Side Story To Fire Emblem

Posted on: October 6, 2007

 this article was written by Aveyn Knight

The second in the series of Fire Emblem articles aiming to raise awareness of the older Fire Emblem games. Not unexpectedly, this article is about the second Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Gaiden. This was a side story to the original game (gaiden means side story in Japanese), and it was released in 14th March 1992, in Japan, for the Famicom (the Japanese NES).

Some fans refer to this game as the “black sheep” of the Fire Emblem series, just as Link’s Adventure is to The Legend of Zelda series or Super Mario Bros. 2 (in the West) is to the Super Mario series. This is because, although the core gameplay and ideas are similar, many elements of the gameplay are vastly different to the first and later games in the series. However, many features of this game were re-used in TearRing Saga (a strategy RPG created by the original creator of Fire Emblem) and, later, in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.

user posted image
(Arum fighting a Thief)

The game’s focus moves away from Akaneia, the continent of the first game, to the nearby continent of Barensia. Long ago, Barensia was ruled by two sibling gods, Doma and Mila. However, due to disputes between the followers of the two gods, Barensia became divided into two halves- the northern kingdom of Rigel and the southern kingdom of Sofia. A period of long-lasting peace is broken when Rigel suddenly invades Sofia. Arum, a youth from Ram village, raises a liberation army to repel the Rigel invaders. At the same time Cellica, a priestess of the goddess Mila, journeys to determine why Mila’s influence on the world is fading. Eventually Arum and Cellica join forces to stop the evil at the heart of Rigel.

Initially the game doesn’t look too different from the first game, especially graphics-wise. Many of the battle sprites and map sprites were re-used, and the design of the menus are practically identical, as are the design of the character portraits. The most notable difference is the presence of the world map, where players can choose which location to visit (just like in The Sacred Stones). However, as soon as you play the game, the differences become more apparent.

user posted image[
(The world map)

The game itself is split into five chapters, each containing multiple battle scenarios. In the first chapter, the player controls Arum and his army. In the second chapter, control switches to Cellica and her army. In the third chapter, and beyond, Arum and Cellica take separate routes through Barensia, and players can choose to control either character, as long as they are on the world map. Only after both characters have achieved their chapter goal, can the whole chapter be passed. At one point in the game, one of the heroes must trigger an event for the other hero to pass through a certain area. Otherwise, the two heroes operate mostly independently.

During each chapter, players traverse Barensia’s world map, choosing which locations they wish to visit. Locations occupied by enemy forces initiate map battles, while other locations open up a village or dungeon map. In village maps players assume control of their main character, to freely move around and converse with NPCs (non-playable characters), like in traditional RPGs. Dungeon maps operate similarly, except moving into the next section of dungeons may trigger battles. At the end of dungeons, there are usually chests with rare items or a Temple of Mila, where characters can increase certain stats and/or class-change. Battles in dungeons can be repeated, so characters can train there outside of the main story.

user posted image
(Arum talks to a civilian)

Unlike in other Fire Emblem games, characters can only equip one item, whether it is a weapon, shield or ring. Characters can attack without weapons, although they gain no attack bonus. The magic system is also vastly different, in that characters learn different magic spells at pre-determined levels (like in traditional RPGs) and set amounts of HP are consumed to cast spells. Healers also consume HP to cast their recovery spells, although they come with the Resire spell (Nosferatu in the English games), which saps HP from enemies.

The class system is also quite different. Characters still only reach a maximum Level of 20, but the Level that they can class-change at varies from 3 to 20, depending on their class. All classes cap their (non-HP) stats at 40, which is the highest cap in the entire series. Four of the basic classes can also class-change twice, e.g. Knight to Paladin to Gold Knight. Finally some characters start life as a Villager, which is a class below the basic classes (i.e. similar to the Trainees in The Sacred Stones). Villagers can class-change into Mage, Archer, Knight, Soldier or Mercenary (the choice of class is randomly selected).

user posted image
(Jenny’s stats)

Aside from the differences mentioned, the gameplay isn’t too dissimilar to the first game, or even the more recent games. The similarities to The Sacred Stones (and more so to TearRing Saga) are also quite large. Like the first game, this game is often over-looked by most fans, due to its relatively primitive graphics and slow gameplay, and also because it was only released in Japan. However the gameplay is solid and has great depth, if only a little unbalanced and reliant on power-leveling. The music is also very nice, despite being on such an old system.

To finalise, this is one of the more unique Fire Emblem games, and quite a fun game as well. However, like many “black sheep”, people tend to neglect this game. Yet, without this game, later Fire Emblem games might not have been the same. In fact, classes like Sages, Soldiers and Falcon Knights made their debut here, as did the infamous Shooting Star (Astra), Moonlight (Luna) and Sun (Sol) names. So, if you want to completely understand the heritage and evolution of Fire Emblem, that’s also another good reason to seek this game (or information about it).

Anyway, for more information about the more detailed aspects of the game, such as characters (well, I actually haven’t gotten around to them yet), items and classes, please check out this link.


48 Responses to "A Side Story To Fire Emblem"

that sounds fun, too bad i’ll never ba able to get it ;_;

awww you have everything. ;_;

looks like FE9 got lots a stuff from this game

hmm i’m not sure. <__>

Aveyn Knight, did you import the Famicom?

Personally, I rather liked the “atlas” feature of Sacred Stones.

To Mario: I asked him that before, kind of. He said he does emulators.

I can’t wait for the new FE. It looks awesome.

Is there a way to get a TLed ROM of these?

Once again I say that JApan has all the luck!!! ;_;
and the new FE is only a month away 🙂

looks interesting…its a shame nintendo wont get there stuff together and release a five in one game with the older FEs. I think its interesting that you could actually walk around to talk to NPCs. was this game released before or after FFI was?

dunno, but that game is cool.

The FE game for Wii is coming out in a month!?!?!? (^.^ & -.-) I can’t get it right away. I have to get Super Mario Galaxy. Sorry, I’m devoted to it. NOVEMBER 12th!!!! ^.^

huh, all the Mario games are the same to me. all you do is get a star like 345 of them and bowser kidnips Peche or whateven her name you know? but i’m sure it will be good.

Wow this game looks awesome. I have a japanese exchange student coming here soon; I’ll get it off of him.

Are you sure he’ll have it, Lynmaster?

if he does get it it will still be in a different language.

I’m not sure he will have it, but I might be able to get him to get him to get it. As for it being in a different language, I’m taking Japanese classes, so NP.

awwww.. i will never get any old FE games. Aveyn Knight does. 🙂

I think you would either need a japanese NES or an emulator to be able to play it. if you do then congratulations 😀 .

were do you take these Japanis language courses cause I really want to know. That might be what we need to brak dwn the language barrier. No need to bring a battering ram SN!

haha. yeah. but i DO wish i could have those games. 😥

I’m taking Jap. thru my homeschool group-need a foreign lang. to grad. HS. As for the Jap. emulator, I don’t have one. Didn’t think of that… O_o

hmm, well I dont think they are that hard to find.

The emulation won’t be english. It’ll just be on the pc.

I Wanted to take Japanese but my mom wouldn’t let me. She said it would be impossible to get help for if I needed it. I’m homeschooled to. German isn’t proving any easier though.

foreign language as a general rule is hard unless your raised around it. German huh I have some friends that lived there thing give me a *popo schmersen* 🙂 sometimes. JK though they do get annoying.

i’de like to be able to understand french

not me.

My mom can speak very fluent French, and my aunt, Melissa, can speak German. Japanese is actually harder to read and write than to speak; since when does that happen ?_? Sometimes, I wish I’d stuck w/Latin.

Japanese just has letters that are too confusing. I don’t know how anyone could develop a language like that. Its ridiculous.

[removed a part because it counts as being un ethnical]

i like how french animes sound,i watch them in french sometimes cause i like how they sound ^_^ but Kurama doesnt sound as cute in french ;_;

if you want to learn how to speak a different language I would recommend this site:

though not much, it has taught me a bunch of words in several other languages 🙂 .

Words are easy. Grammar is the problem. I can memeorize words easily, but learning the grammar and the nuances of a dialect are very difficult.

Very true. thats the only reason im losing points on all my tests. We need to get everyone to learn 1 language preferibly………..?

Preferably not. That would detract from the uniqueness of cultures. Maybe as a second language, but even still. maybe we should all learn english. I vote english for the mandatory universal second language.

yea I see what you mean. Definitly english for me cause well it is the main laguage here in the US but spanish is slowly creeping to claim that title…. or so I hear. SOS whyd you close the RPing?

he said he was getting bored with it and it was getting no where. thats what he said.

-_- *mutters* …actually I closed it cause its been going on too long. if I where to keep it open too long it would clash with the next RPing. there needs to be a time where the role-playing isnt going on or 1) no one will be able to buy weapons and 2)everyone would tire of the idea 😛 .

so im not a selfish dictator using the role-playing as my own entertainment, im just thinking in advanced 😉 .

maybe. maybe not. 😉

I understand but Id rather finish this one though I think it was cheap for it to end with you necromancing some body.

yeah i almost won. i think. i liked that last last roll playing. but i can’t do that anymore. -_-‘ but it was fun while it lasted. ahhhhh.. *thinks about may*

Actually, English is said to be the hardest to learn because of all the oximorons we have… and Japanese has been around for almost a millenium… do they know something we don’t? <__> <_<

Yeah, English is a very illogical language. I prefer German or French, because they are easy to write, and are far more logical.

whats logic got to do with any thing? just because its the logical choice doesn’t mean its right or the best. ya gotta be free to live man. or are you a girl? either way its the same. ^_^

O, I’m a guy, (are there even any girls on this blog?) I just think Lyn is awesome. NeWay, logic has a lot to do with it. The way English words are spelled, the way they are pronounced, and our “proper” grammar make it, aside from Icelandic, make it the hardest language to learn. And trust me, livin free is my specialty.

haha its kinda funny, the older FE games always turn into language conversations :p did anyone here(besides the ones who go to TBE) hear that their remaking FE1 for DS?

No, but I’m definitely gettin’ that! SWEETNESS!

unfortunately it has no release date yet

Ima gon beat some nintendo goons if they don’t publish a release date before Feb. 28 (29?)- that’s my waiting limit for a game I want’s release date- 4 mos.

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