I’m not one to fanboy. Okay, let me take that back. I can be bit of a fanboy, but I don’t see myself being a fanatic for anything – except for Fire Emblem. I love Fire Emblem. I truly do. It’s my favorite video game series of all time. Thracia 776 is not only my first Fire Emblem game but it’s my favorite game of the series; as well as my second favorite Super Famicom game (my first being Final Fantasy 6). Genealogy of the Holy War is my favorite video game. Nothing can beat it. I could go on and on about how it made me appreciate politics, wanting to create my own linage with my last name, how I love the tone change Chapter 2: Disturbance in Agustria brings to the game, and how I almost got banned from Serenes Forest for “slut shaming” Lachesis: the Incestuous Slutty Half-Sister Wonder back in the late 2000s.
Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with Nintendo’s other franchises; I love Smash Bros, I think Zelda is a great adventure series. Pokemon, a childhood favorite, is still going 24 years later. F-Zero is dead. And Star Fox is a dead series for sexually confused furries in denial. But, there’s something magical about Fire Emblem that draws me into more than any other Nintendo series.
I’m glad to have witness the rapid growth, reinvention, and renaissance of the Fire Emblem series this past decade. Awakening saved the series (and yes, to you spaz ass emotional ass FE super fanboys who gatekeep the series because you’ll never create anything original worth gatekeeping in your lifetime; I know their marketing campaign saved the series). Echoes proved that the younger fans can appreciate unforgiving brutality of the classic Fire Emblem game’s mechanics. FE: Heroes is gacha garbage. If Cowmila was a real girl, I’d pay her to give me a lapdance along with Tharja while Azura sings over an Dirty South trap remix of Lost im Thoughts on my birthday because Azura and Camilla are the only good things about Fates besides Lost in Thoughts All Alone being a remix of this song. Finally, Three Houses has not only dominated the strategy genre, but proven itself to be a mainstream Triple A juggernaut of a game.
It is an understatement to say this is the best time to be a Fire Emblem fan. Words cannot describe the fact of how happy I am to be a Fire Emblem fan today. There is none. With that said, you will be surprise to learn that this wasn’t always the case. In fact, during the start of the Fire Emblem renaissance, I was a bitter, angry, gatekeeping old school fan that hated the reinvention of the series and the fans. And by old-school, I was one of those annoying, assholish Shouzou Kaga dick riding FE fanboys who thought he was superior for playing the older games (who am I kidding I’m still am an assholish Kaga fanboy).
Let’s go back to April of 2013.
Fire Emblem: Awakening made it to the states after a year after the Japanese release. The American Fire Emblem community was at abuzz. We were all excited to get our hands on the new game. Well, not me actually. My money management at the time was foolhardy at best; so I didn’t save up for both a 3DS and the game. Nevertheless, my excitedment couldn’t be contained for long, so I decided to check online for news surrounding the game over here in America.
I was met with the following:
“This is a fucking waifu simulator!” “This pissed on Kaga’s legacy!” “Fire Emblem should have stayed dead!” “Not only is Lucina’s a Mary Sue, she made me realized that at least I’m not AS flat chested and flat ass like her!” “The fanbase is stupid and refuse to play the older games!”
I was shocked. The beloved series that I loved since high school became a weeaboo waifu simulator pandering to new gen anime fans. The new fans are talking reckless about the older games. Worse: classic FE fans stated that Awakening was a cheesy anime game than a tactical game about warfare, life, death, and the horrors of war. Overtime, I became angry at the fandom – bitter even. How could a weeaboo trash entry of Fire Emblem outshine the rest of the games in the series ?
How dare this so called Fire Emblem game became the one to save the series from death!?
I wanted to talk about the other games prior to Fire Emblem (sans the Wii and Nintendo DS garbage FE games), but the newer fans only wanted to play Awakening. Some had the nerve to call Thracia 776 and Genealogy of the Holy War archaic…which is kinda true but man, that hurt. Nevertheless, I wanted nothing to do with Awakening besides bully the Thraja fanboys for being fans of an abusive woman and bully Lucina fans for thinking a Mary Sue character is a good one.
But, like the Grinch, something in my heart changed.
As time passed, it dawned on me: If it was not for the popularity of Awakening, nobody would be talking about the Fire Emblem series – because the series would had died. Because of Awakening, interest towards Fire Emblem began anew – especially the older games – and especially Genealogy of the Holy War. Awakening used the paring and generation mechanics of FE4 (where in the first half of the game, you must pair a male and female unit together in order for them to have a child unit to fight in the second half.) The newer fans started to get curious about the origin of Awakening parent/children system. Naturally, a few of them started playing Genealogy of the Holy War along with the older games.
Rather than gate-keep and bully them (as I saw a few older fans did), I welcomed the newcomers to the series and gave tips for Genealogy and Thracia. Some complained about the massive maps of FE4 and difficulty of FE5, but I appreciated the fact that they at least tried the older games. Some stayed with those two games while others went on to play the GBA era FE games.
Fire Emblem’s popularity was starting to rise again.
And my bitterness towards it began to wane.
While I was walking back to my hotel after hanging out with one of my Umineko no Naku Koro ni cosplay buddies at the convention center, I spotted a girl who couldn’t be no older than 16 cosplaying as Celice/Seliph: the second generation Lord of Fire Emblem 4. I was shocked. Normally, anyone who was cosplaying from the series were only cosplaying as the newer characters — not the older characters. I wanted to take her picture of the Celice cosplayer and tell her how I appreciated that she was cosplaying a character from my favorite video game, but by the time I had turned back around to get off the escalator, she was gone. Oh well. I was just happy to see the next generation of Fire Emblem fans taking appreciation of both the new and older games.
To see that somebody as young as her cosplaying as the classic Fire Emblem characters made me realize that the newer generation of fire emblem fans do have an appreciation for the older games. Plus, it made me fully aware how foolish I was to be angry at something as superficial as the popularity of Awakening. The anger temporary blinded me from seeing the bigger picture:
Fire Emblem – my favorite video game series – was receiving love and appreciation again.
Until next time
-Yuki The Snowman