Fire Emblem [2003] ANALYSIS

7 thoughts on “Fire Emblem [2003] ANALYSIS”

  1. Nice wallpaper montage of some of the female characters in the game. I certainly liked the archers and Priscilla the healer. However, seeing Serra the healer again brings back not-so-fond memories, lol. It’s amazing how many characters have iris colors that match their hair or outfits. Hmmm…

    I see your completion time was similar to my own. I believe I spent more than 100 hours playing this game making sure I was able to save everyone I cared about and fulfilling the extra campaigns. I’d have to say this game was worth the extra patience and endurance.

    That is a startling number of characters now that I see all of them in one grid. This game was truly amazing in the sheer number of NPCs or PCs available. This grand, worldwide-feeling helped me enjoy the game that much more. And like you said, having up to 14 or so characters to bring with you on the field does make for long battles, but it expanded the game from merely a unit-based party to a character-based party. Thes units became people, not just generic tanks or healers.

    That “mini-map” gif is very well made. Bravo, very cool. It’s making me nostalgic for the game.

    “You are Conceited” — funny and true. I did enjoy being injected into the game and especially being acknowledged by my team. And likewise, I did not want to let any of them fall in battle.

    The music, whether old school midi or newly arranged orchestral, was fantastic in this game. Now that you mentioned it, I need to break out my FE collection and make sure it gets some necessary play time. Perhaps I can listen to it as I do chores. How epic!

    “Moving Pixels” — Perhaps my favorite part of this game (aside from nicely drawn character portraits). I am 100% about old school pixel graphics. I can’t get enough of them. This game satisfied a longing I had to go back to good ol’ chibi pixels, which in turn gives me lots of great animated gifs to add to my collection. I agree that the art design (on a large and small scale) was beautiful and creative in this game. And yes, how awesome were those animated battle animations. And in your next point about “Talking Heads” I really did get the feeling that these characters were more alive just by the subtle scene actions they took the time to add (i.e. shaking portraits).

    LOL, very fun Hector vs “Old Gentleman” montage. Oh, and great choice in using Priscilla as a cosplay example. She and her wings do rock. I wouldn’t mind cosplaying her wings and staff any day. (Maybe I can borrow a horse too…)

    The story was definitely the driving point for playing the game. The artists and producers did a great job of fitting in scene transitions and plot points between each chapter. Without those elements a great game like this would not have been worth the time.

    I did enjoy the battle animations immensely, and while time consuming, I think back and am truly glad to have had them. I understand for some it gets tedious (good thing for the on/off setting), but in the end I’d rather spend the time watching the detailed animation. So many games do not spend the creative time to make great animation on such a huge scale as FE.

    (I’m enjoying the little animated gifs you have plugged in here and there in this analysis.)

    Ahh, I understood the problem too with the counter attacks. I remember having to strategize where I put people, determining whether they could finish off an enemy in one round and hold out in the direct counter if they didn’t finish their opponent that round. Also, if they couldn’t defeat their enemy in that round would they be able to stand a direct attack in the following enemy round. Or another problem– in the following enemy round, an enemy unit might run around to a nearby weaker member of my party and bash them instead! Argh. Yes, there were many restarts on my end. But the nice thing is I think I learned a lot from this game mechanism and mostly thwarted it. PS – great montage of action screen caps!

    The Serra and Erk screen cap vs. cosplay is my favorite right now. That epitomizes how I thought of Serra in the game as well. Poor Erk! Their bantering is hilarious. Too bad I stopped using her immediately. Perhaps I could have developed their relationship? Shudder at the thought, lol.

    Rofl…that old lady and her auguries. I miss her frank humor. Nicely placed too, regarding quitters and in the “Bad” category. Noooo, just because there are some bad elements to a game does not mean I would quit. Not when there are so many good elements to counter them.

    Regarding fog of war: “Someone around a design table thought this would be fun. They were wrong.” Very true and humorously put. I cared little for sending the characters I cared for into unknown parts…possibly their final steps.

    While I liked the Pegasus Knight class (who doesn’t want a pegasus?) and even thought their battle animations were awesome, I too could never invest time into a single one of them. Instead, I put much of my experience into a Wyvern Knight who was more sturdy in my opinion, but even that flying unit had vulnerabilities. However, at least it was not the ridiculously timid female Pegasus Knight I had grown to dislike after the fourth or fifth time she cringed in a cut scene. Blah. I believe she even said “Eeek!” a few times. A cringing unit is not one I can stand behind or trust.

    PS – I never got a special amulet to protect my flying units. Darn, I feel gypped, ha.

    I agree that trying to do the damage math was troublesome for me, especially when I was trying to keep ALL of my units from death. If one died… restart. v_v It would be nice to have a more clear-cut chance of hit.

    “Morphs… they are so very creepy.” — Nice one!

    Fullness Through FAQs — Here here! I agree 100%. I would have liked to have known I was missing out on the chance to get a new character. But instead I only realized too late that I was supposed to have done this and that and the Hokey Pokey during a specific battle to gain a new cut scene or character opportunity. At least HINT at the notion that I might need to make a decision. And not something silly like “kill three or less sages on a particular level” etc. Ridiculous rules like that are impossible for thorough players like me to stand a chance upon without the use of a FAQ. (Which I ended up using…)

    Reading your final thoughts on the game and it made me a little sad, in a good farewell kind of way. I really enjoyed this game and would recommend this to gamers who like heart, strategy, and great art direction. It was a fulfilling game on many levels. Even I, a casual gamer, enjoyed this serious and challenging game. If I can do it, so can anyone. 😉 You won’t find many “gelled” games like this one today. Many current games are either too philosophical, random, disingenuous, and/or silly to truly care for, unlike the characters and plots in FE7.

    It’s been a fun ride and I enjoyed your game analysis very much. God-speed fellow tactician!


    1. Thanks for the detailed and thorough comment! This site is about deeper analysis and you jumped right in with that paradigm. It is interesting and pleasing to interact with others who appreciate the genre and this game in particular.

      We cannot take credit for that wallpaper at the top. We think it is from Japan, and it is nice.

      The game was expansive, especially in a GBA package. Yet despite the limitations, as you pointed out, units were not just units, they were characters. Hence our buy-in.

      Regarding battle animations: They need to be quick. Too slow and they are likely to be turned off. FE hit a good balance. Additionally, since they were characters rather than generic classes or vehicles, there was more reason to watch. Oh, and the fun critical hits.

      We are glad you noticed our cap placement. We did indeed place the old augury lady after “the bad” on purpose.

      Regarding using FAQs: Yeah, we like experiencing all the content in a game or having a choice about it at least. Player choice is good! Make it reasonably clear to the player, “Do you want this guy to join your troop? Then do X.” Or something communicated, implied or hinted that makes sense. Not obscure hidden criteria.

      We feel similarly about branching storylines or sections. We want developers to spend their limited time on content that is going to be experienced by most players, not half.

      We are glad you appreciated this game and its heart.

      She says it so poetically!

      Lyndis liked it too.


  2. I’m glad my comments resonated with you. Your analysis definitely reflected much of my own thoughts upon beating the game (and saving the world!).

    You brought to mind one other “hidden content” trick I do not tolerate: multiple endings that are based too much on hidden criteria. Thankfully FE7 limited this by giving everyone the same ending, but also the option for enriched endings dependent upon how you grew your character relationships. That was pretty fair I thought, and it pushed me to look for those “Talk” dialogues during battle. Too bad I didn’t figure out what that meant sooner… To contrast the ending(s) in FE7, just look at Final Fantasy X-2. Had I actually attempted to play the game (and thankfully I never did) I would have been horrified to find that at the end, well… to not ruin it for others, let’s just say 100% perfection was required to get the “good” ending. Hardly worth the ridiculous amount of time when I could just watch the cut-scene on youtube.

    Nice end picture there. Lyndis says it like it is.

    PS – Clever putting Ninian in the “Good and Bad” category.


    1. Ninian was ideal for that section heading. (Fellow players of this game understand what we are talking about.)

      Yes, additional ending material should add personalized content due to player choice. It should not rob a player of a the good overall ending if they have successfully completed a game. We can understand what you describe in FF X-2. Oh those dresspheres…

      Dresspheres for everyone!


      1. *shudder* Dresspheres: the bane of any good RPG. Please, let’s stick to the tried and true flame swords and magical staffs.

        At least it’s nice to know there are many RPGs and SRPGs (that I have yet to play) that do maintain standards still today.


    1. You have good taste. This game is in our opinion one of the best of the genre. A fine, moving story, well executed. Great music. Just good all around, though a little challenging.



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