Lament for the franchise and the industry

I was 10 years old when I played Fire Emblem for the first time. Sometimes, when I play the game, especially at the very beginning when Lyn fights Batta, a fraction of the feeling I had when playing it the first time comes back into my heart and memory describes the rest. It was at Christmas time and I received Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance at the same time. I remember being so excited to receive two new Gameboy Advance games and adding them to my (small) collection. I was completely immersed in these new worlds full of drama and magic.

I remember signing up for Fire Emblem Planet and being a member of their forums in 2004, when Windows XP was still the norm. I joined the written roleplay, hosted right on the forums and started doing pixel art too. I remember being so excited to come home from school, jump on the desktop and see what posts people left behind for me to read through and then write a response. I wasn’t very good at either of these things, but it brought me immense joy.

As time went by, I grew older, but my love for Fire Emblem never stopped. Life kept coming at me and throwing punches, but that fantasy world was still there to distract me from the problems. I faced homelessness, but still went to the library to try and find a way to follow my dream of making my own tactical RPG. I had a breakdown and ran away to a foreign land, where I was captured. But even during my incarceration and eventual deportation, I still dreamt of making video games. And now, today, there are dozens of tools I can use to create one.

But that’s my story. Not the story of the franchise. While I enjoyed the GBA versions of the game, I played the Tellius series at a friend’s house, where I only got so far. Later, I tried playing the DS versions, which lacked the individualized palettes for each character, everyone was blue. When the 3DS versions came out, I remember getting the console, just to play them. I loved the romancing option, including the ability to flirt and engage with my favorite characters. But others criticized this feature. When Shadows of Valentia finally came out, I remember playing it non-stop.

And then the Switch came out and gave us Three Houses… which deeply disappointed me. I didn’t even recognize it anymore. It didn’t feel like Fire Emblem at all. It felt like someone else’s pet project with the Fire Emblem name slapped on top of it. Engage was no better, just more insult to injury. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the ‘wrong’ people had control over my beloved franchise and were turning it into some kind of selfish, self-hating, inside joke. I couldn’t stop seeing these imaginary people, who were young and arrogant, boasting the fact that they are the new visionaries for many Nintendo games, especially after the death of Satoru Iwata in 2015.

So, why do I still want to make games, even if I feel this way? Because I know I’d be making a video game for the right reason. In a world that scrutinizes itself based on notions of ‘collective merit and mutual benefit’, with people that base their values in ‘practicality’, I see the value in any medium that involves story-telling. In the face of emerging AI, advanced technology, quantum computers, digitized currency and global socialism, I remind myself that I have something much more valuable than any of these things: genuity.

It is the very thing that gives anything and everything else value. Our honest opinions about these things are what give them meaning. And I believe that we all have a deeper awareness of the things that try to remove us from what we feel is human. The best work is done with care and consideration for others… (other what)? Other human beings, fellow-kind… you.

And so I lament for Fire Emblem and other games that are now only being created for the purpose of generating currency. I lament for those days when people came together to use their imagination and creativity, being replaced by a computer that does everything for them instead. Making a game has become a means to an end, because computers are learning how to “create” and the people who employ them only care about making more money for themselves, by cutting other people out.

So, I would advise everyone in this community to take the time to realize how precious it is, for us to gather like this. I want to believe that we, as human beings, will always be able to tell when something is created by a fellow person or when something has been generated by a computer trying to mimic creation.

Thank you.

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you do realize that you not liking something doesn’t mean it’s objectively bad

it just means you don’t like it

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Not to give OP reason to think I agree, but Three Houses and Engage have let the foot off the gas, having special relevance the DLC content for the latter.

I will disagree upon the thought of “well the DS games didn’t have colors” as a point that is enough to subtract from the DS remakes, but still, I don’t think this is time to weep and cry for the franchise.

At least without mentioning Heroes whatsoever.

I do want to point out also both how Engage has had a low sales start compared to the other late-gen game Three Houses itself, and the Fell Xenologue itself had the reception it had (as well as part of the Somniel interactions, such as gym simulator).

I don’t see Engage as a fully bad game, but I don’t think it does enough to qualify as a good game either.

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The DS games made me pretty mad as well. The palettes being a big sticking point but also needing to murder your army to play the paralogues.

I feel that 3 houses has lacked that “fire emblem feel” of old. Engage i enjoyed for what its worth.

Thank you for sharing your story and i cant wait to play your creation!

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usually this is said as a bit but sometimes real videogames are truly dying and its a damn shame.

'least the people who’ve been inspired by FE are going out to make something new from what they valued, always some hope for greater prospects. lotta 'em seem pretty cool, so the spirit of what was there before and felt by many can always live on in some form.

it really is a beautiful thing, yknow.

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price tags go up and development time goes down, it do be how it do be

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you shouldn’t get the gaiden chapters. they are there in case you really suck at the game and need extra units. they are not rewards

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Just because Three Houses sold the most copies doesn’t mean that it’s the most successful game. Consider the possibility that it is also the most returned game. Either way, that’s not even the most important point.

Since when do Fire Emblem fans care more about commercial success than the actual game-play?

the problem is you’re deciding that because you didn’t like it, no one else did nor should they
when that is simply not the case

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FE constantly reinvents itself. 13-14 didn’t appeal to me, 15 came around. Aspects of 16 didn’t appeal to me - though I enjoyed it on aggregate - and nothing I’ve seen of 17 has incentivised me to buy it, but it’s likely to change. Even if it does retain a focus on unit-building and base-building indefinitely, things which aren’t bad but aren’t at all what I’m looking for from an SRPG, well… we’re in the Romhacking community. There is more Fire Emblem Core Gameplay Loop out there than I will ever have the time or energy to consume.

Let’s be honest, it’s deeply abnormal for a series to continue on this long. My other favourite games tended to cap out at two or three in their series, if they even got sequels at all (and sometimes got sequels that should not have existed! Looking at you, Myth 3 / Majesty 2). Even if every Fire Emblem game from now on is shit, we should be glad to have had as good a run as we did.

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I am not stating that “Well Three Houses sold more than all the games so its better”, considering that the market for other games and consoles were different, those aren’t a subject I am dabbling on.

My point was - Three Houses was better received than Engage. I am using this fact as a basis to state that it was more successful than its posterior game on the franchise, Engage.

Now that I’ve cleared that point up - which was rather aimed at Dancer’s vague “well Glofrithu, that seems like a you issue!” about your dislike of both Three Houses and Engage - I do want tl make mention of something.

Recruitment themes, one of the main standards of Fire Emblem. Enemy recruitment, the other big pillar?

Engage? No recruitment theme, and one single character that goes from red to blue in-map, that being Lindon (Compared to Magvier, Ivy and so that are recruited posteriorly, and outside of the battle).

Three Houses? Very tame recruitment theme for in-Monastery recruitments, and very exceptional cases for actual in-field recruiting as the Monastery took that role instead (and also effectively killed the meaning of killing students since you could just Pokemon them all).

Hell, Fates and Awakening didn’t have ‘true’ recruitment themes like the series had been boasting for 10+ releases - there is no Arrangement of ‘Arriving with a boom, the kijan way’, and that is clearly for a reason.

Some of Fire Emblem’s defining factors are just gone.

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You’re right. I don’t like it. I don’t like half the cast of characters being lolis, running around in costumes, being optimistic and cheery about violence and warfare.

You know why I don’t like it? Because almost every other JRPG I’ve seen advertised in the past 10 years does the exact same thing.

So it’s not just about how the writing is awful, it’s about how a perfectly good franchise is being ruined by modern anime tropes and people who would rather pander to their own brand of meme than write something fresh and interesting.

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unironically one of the possibly more accurate parts of Fire Emblem with child soldiers going to war

except they dont turn into massive powerhouses

it doesnt go that well

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tbh I think builder and the romhacking scene does so much to keeping FE alive. And the constant reinvention of FE means that just like how growth rates makes each run unique, every FE is also unique in some regards. con wise, fans never know what IS is gonna cook up every game, but that’s also a plus where one game never feels like another game. Now if only the gameplay and story departments could both be working instead of alternating shifts lol, aka 3 houses good story meh gameplay, engage good gameplay meh story lmao

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I understand where you’re coming from and it seems ya do have a pretty deep attachment to the series but dancer is kinda right that it kinda boils down to personal preference. And ofc we can agree that caring only about money ruins series, like look at the quality downgrade of pokemon but money is a huge reason why games continue.

Like okay you can hate awakening, cause that’s the start of “Modern” fe. but just like the title suggest, if it didn’t exist FE woulda been doneza. And over all aside from FEH milking the crap outta 3h and Fates, imo there’s worst milking, like yknow how many damn persona 5 stuff is out now lol, least we didn’t get 3h ultra deluxe assdition or something.

Engage was pretty anime tho yea

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you’re complaining about the characters being optimistic and cheery about violence and war, so new fire emblems suck. But old fire emblem has loads of characters who are bright and keen about fighting for their life every day in political strife. this isn’t new

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You know why I don’t like it? Because almost every other JRPG I’ve seen advertised in the past 10 years does the exact same thing.

Play more JRPGs, please. For the love of god.

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This just comes off as elitist. Because you don’t like the newest entries in the series you believe it’s the right thing to do to make a post going nothing but tearing into them and expecting everyone else to nod along.
What of those who enjoy the games? Are they just supposed to not look at this post, do you want them to comment on how they disagree? Overall you just act like your opinion is the absolute truth, like look at the title. Do you think anyone who has any positive outlook on the newer games or even the series in general would respond well to it? Utterly tactless.

Because the newer games get enough flak I will now list the things that I find to be positives of the newer games

  • customization is at an all time high, allowing FE to be much more sandbox oriented. Allowing near endless possibilities in terms of team compositions and load outs, this shoots replayability through the roof for those that like to theory craft builds and refuse the homogenized strategies that inevitably develop with every game.

  • every game in the series tries something new, there is no real predicting what direction the series will take, allowing each entry to be it’s own unique experience.

  • Edelgard as a character is so divisive because she asks a lot of personal questions to the player. What’s their opinion on organized religion? Is what the church of Seiros doing even bad to begin with? Is her conquest warranted given all of this? Is her flimsy alliance with TWSITD warranted given all of this? And through all of this she still has a fascinating character that alone is the reason for a lot of people’s allegiance. No other character in the series in my opinion asks such questions of the player.

  • the series continuously draws in new people to the community, which is immutably a good thing. Allowing more people to experience and love these games.

  • the trend of remaking older games allows these older titles held back by their limited hardware to be much smoother experiences and stories.

  • there are still so so so many characters to engage with and learn about, no matter how good or bad you believe the writing to be, that is still sometimes to be celebrated, that so many players can interact with all these characters and find ones that they relate to and have a deep connection towards. I for example have a very personal connection with Forrest and Rosado for their gender nonconformity, Forrest in particular is actually part of how I even discovered this part of myself.

  • Engage got Scott the Woz to play Fire Emblem.

I can go on all day but most assuredly this is enough to show at least even a little bit that this series, and the newer games are valuable to people and don’t warrant such takedown posts.

All this post does is further cause a schism between those who like the newer games and those who don’t, a rift that should not exist. We all like this series, let’s stop drawing lines in the sand for this community’s sake.

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Ah yes, fire emblem, the series known for it’s fresh and interesting writing of trying to kill an evil dragon every time.

FE has always followed anime tropes of it’s time.

lol



This statement reeks of “I only played one JRPG and now i think all are like this”.

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I’ve been on the Internet long enough to know what I’m talking about. 3H and Engage have clearly been influenced by modern anime, memes and ‘hype culture’.

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