Oh gosh, there’s a ton of stuff I like and am inspired by. I’ll put it in spoiler tags so it doesn’t clog up the thread, but…
Of particular relevance to Fire Emblem fan stuff
In terms of things from the Fire Emblem series I’m particularly inspired by, I really love the more Greco-Roman-inspired setting of the Archanea-Valentia trilogy (as opposed to how later games seem to lean more into medieval European-style settings). Kaga’s Fire Emblem games, in general, tend to have this feel to them that’s very… epic, in the classical sense, and at times almost mythological, and I really dig that vibe, too.
I also appreciate how his map designs feel very much focused on communicating a particular situation, both spatial and in terms of the state of the whatever conflict is being portrayed. It doesn’t always result in the most balanced maps, admittedly, but I rarely find (non-Gaiden) Kaga-era maps to be uninteresting.
There’s honestly just a lot I like about the classic FE titles that inspires me and that I want to draw from and tap into the appeal of… not uncritically, though, of course.
Maybe this is a bit weird, but I actually find myself inspired by the class roster of the Fire Emblem series as a whole sometimes. In particular, by the more obscure “flavor classes” such as are used in a number of the games, or classes with few or zero recruitable representatives (i.e. characters who are “canonically” that class; characters who can reclass into the class don’t count). This is more something that inspires me for individual characters, but those classes often get me thinking about, if there was a recruitable character of that class, what kind of person would they be? What factors in their life led them to being that class, and how and why do they find themselves allied with the story’s other heroes? The nature of Fire Emblem as a series starring a huge array of characters from all walks of life makes it really fun to come up with characters, and the weirder, more obscure classes make great “prompts” for that, I feel.
For non-FE stuff that I find particularly inspiring when it comes to FE fan stuff, I really love classic, like '70s, '80s, and '90s, manga and anime aesthetics. This is kind of by its very nature a strictly-visual inspiration, but I find that those sorts of fantasy designs combine very well with the sorts of stories Fire Emblem tends to tell, or at least the stories and worlds from the series that I’m most inspired by.
More general inspirations
This stuff does inspire my Fire Emblem-related ideas, but it’s more stuff I just find very inspiring and interesting and that informs my creative works in general.
Recently, I’ve been pulled back into Toby Fox’s stuff (Undertale and Deltarune, primarily), which I honestly just adore. I love how dense and packed with personality it is, and how it’s able to cover such a wide tonal range. It’s also helped a lot by the fact that Toby’s writing seems to almost always be coming from a place of genuine empathy and compassion for his characters… Not necessarily in the sense of always writing good things happening to them (goodness knows that’s not the case), but in the sense that nearly all his characters, even the most minor and incidental, feel, to me, like he’s seeing them as multidimensional (fictional) people worthy of being thought of, cared about, and recognized as such. It’s not easy to clearly put this into words, but it’s a feeling I get very strongly from what he writes and it’s probably the biggest singular aspect of his stuff that inspires me.
Following from that, the MOTHER/EarthBound trilogy is another big one. Yes, all three. Yes, even the first. In some ways especially the first, actually. Shigesato Itoi’s writing and sensibilities have their own charming je ne sais quoi, I feel. They are quirky and often silly, and there’s obviously EarthBound’s infamous swerve to borderline-horror for its finale, but the real heart of the series is how much, well, heart, it has. There’s a sense of warmth and humanity to it. Mother 3 is the only game in the series that I feel could really be argued to be “visually-impressive” in any capacity, but all three manage, at least for me, to be very evocative and compelling due to how much thought and care went into their creation and how much thought Itoi clearly put into giving even incidental set dressing NPCs personalities and even little stories. Undertale and the MOTHER trilogy also have something in common in terms of how they set up their final bosses with much greater emphasis on them being satisfying interactive narrative moments than on them necessarily being hard in a gameplay sense (Giygas is one of the easiest final bosses in the genre if you know how his attacks actually work, and Undertale’s true pacifist final boss fight is literally unloseable), which I’ve always found very interesting. There’s obviously a time and a place for it, and not every story or game calls for that kind of finale, but it’s definitely a tool I’m glad I picked up from those games.
Moving on from this, I think the biggest remaining one is… honestly most of Squaresoft’s classic Nintendo-era catalogue of JRPGs. The first six Final Fantasies, obviously, but also the early SaGa and Mana titles, Live-A-Live, Chrono Trigger, etc. Specifically Final Fantasies VII and X, I’d also include in this. I haven’t played many more of Squaresoft’s PlayStation-era JRPGs, so I can’t really weigh in on those. This is kind of too broad a category to go into too much detail on, but for a few specifics, I love how bizarre and experimental Live-A-Live and just… Every SaGa Game is, and I actually have a Fire Emblem fan plotline that’s rather inspired by Chrono Trigger in particular that I’ve been rolling around in my head trying to figure out the best way to construct it.
This is obviously incomplete, but this is the stuff that’s been on my mind lately in particular as inspirations.