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Fire Emblem 0

How to Bring Content to the Fire Emblem Fan Creation Community Table

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If you’re involved with the Fire Emblem fan community in any fashion, then you may be aware of the recent controversy that has plagued the community for a week dealing with a major Fire Emblem streamer accused of allegedly grooming minors and sexually assault a woman at an anime convention.

As such, there has been various blog/social media posts and YouTube video  on the controversy  from members of the F.E. community: ranging from fans within community expressing their concerns of the incident, revealing their own ill encounters with the accused,  and calls to improve the community to make fans feel safe.  In fact, there has been a lot of posts and videos of people talking about wanting to improve the community and welcoming new content creators into the fandom.

That is all fine and dandy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to see your (fnadom) community better itself after such an event.  However, (and this is no disrespect towards anyone who have spoken on the subject) I have yet to find anyone talking about how to use the controversy for the better of the community content creation wise.   There’s talk about welcoming in new faces to this scene, but there’s nothing about how to go about it (in terms of networking with other Fire Emblem content creators, putting your work out in the community, promotion your work, etc.)

It’s not to say there not out there, but I feel that as someone who has been in this community for 15 years, and as someone who has been on this Earth for 30 years and seen his share of controversy in many nerd communities, I want to use my information and knowledge to inspire those who may want to create their own Fire Emblem content as well as be a service for the community (or for any other fan community for that matter).

So, here are my ways that you can use to make yourself known as a Fire Emblem content creator.

 FULFIL/FIND A CREATIVE NICHE WITHIN THE FANDOM

Before entering the Fire Emblem’s creative community,  ask yourself this question: “What do I do and bring to the table that is both unique and beneficial to this fandom that will make people want to pay attention and support me and my content?”

Do you have an (actually funny and not tryhard edgelord) dark sense of humor will make people laugh at a disturbing situation in a Fire Emblem game that they normally wouldn’t laugh at while other Fire Emblem content creators tip-toe around it?  Can you use your bright, yet laid back personality to attract new viewers with no knowledge of who you are? Can you offer a service such as Fire Emblem fanart for another content creator for their YouTube channel, podcast, etc.?

How can you use your knowledge of one unrelated subject matter that nobody would have thought of to create content and make it not only interesting, but in relation to a Fire Emblem subject? Can you fulfill a niche that has yet to been targeted?

Example: Let’s say you’re into and have a passion for etymology, or the study of word origins and history.  Combine that passion with Fire Emblem and create a Fire Emblem YouTube channel solely dedicated to breaking down the name origins of Fire Emblem characters, nations, weaponry, and so forth.

If you know that Sothis’s name originates from the Greek translation of the ancient Egyptian/Kemet goddess of fertility named Sopdet, then you can create a YouTube video breaking down Sothis’s name and who was Sopdet in ancient Egyptian/Kemet mythology. You can do the same for any Fire Emblem character and game that you please.  And who knows?  Your knowledge on etymology – a subject seemly different from Fire Emblem – could inspire a young Fire Emblem fan to get into etymology.

sodpet_the_goddess

For my fellow musically gifted/inclined Fire Emblem fans: you can take the beaten path of covering songs from the series on your instrument of choice for people to listen.  Everyone loves musical covers (for the most part).  However, if you’re truly talented, you could go one step further and create a remix or new arrangement of a classic Fire Emblem song.

A classically trained jazz musician could take Divine Dragon from Mystery of the Emblem and turn into a Miles Davis inspired jazz track and post it on the fan-ran video game music arrangement website OC ReMiX.  Someone versed in sampling songs could easily take a song like As Fierce as Fire from Three Houses and make it into a bass heavy trap beat.  Take something already established and make it new again.

Finally, we’ve come to what is perhaps one of the largest creative circles in the Fire Emblem community: the fan visual artists.  The fan visual artists have it best when it comes to creative scene of this fandom, thanks to how many artists there are in the community.  People are willing to pay artists to bring their wild Fire Emblem fan-art fantasies to life.

Wild fantasies such as fanart of Edelgard as a cheating alcoholic housewife regretting her marriage to Byleth because Byleth has a cocaine addiction. We would love to see someone create a fan comic of Anna laundering drug money and running a prostitution ring with Tiki and Ceada. Someone out there in this great, big, wide world wants fan animation of Flayn  having a nice, fun little visit to the abortion clinic because Flayn almost ruined her life by wanting to do more than just hug Ferdinand.

If you can use your artistic talents to bring those ideas to life, people will love you for it.

(And by “we”, “someone”, and “people”, I mean me, of course.)

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Alcoholic cheating housewife Edelgard. Image source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLnHpJ4LQVY

If you can fulfill a niche within this community and put yourself out there, eventually, people will come to you.  Look at what the community lacks in terms of (original) content, take advantage of that lack of, and build upon it.  However, the only way to achieve this is through networking with other F.E. fans and promoting yourself online.

NETWORK

Look, the internet isn’t just for you sick nerds out there that enjoy downloading a ludicrous amount of L’arachel hentai because you have a thing for holy women doing unholy things and/or having unholy things done to them. Social media isn’t just a place where you can troll all day because you think trolling others to make them feel bad about themselves will cure your crippling depression (it won’t).

Use the internet and social media to your advantage by networking with fellow Fire Emblem fans and content creators.   Follow a couple of artists online and talk to them.  Share and comment on their art.  Chat it up with fans on Fire Emblem Facebook groups or message boards.  If you’re into the cosplaying and traveling to conventions, share Fire Emblem meetup cosplay events at major conventions  as a way to find people who also love to dress up as fictional characters to escape your lowly reality.

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An average discussion in the Fire Emblem community. 

Commutate! There’s no other way to find fellow Fire Emblem fans to talk to, learn game and information from, and share you creation with other than commination.  Plus, if you want people to support and share your works, you got to let them know who you are.  If they see you putting in work – solid work, mind you – into the F.E. community while building your brand up, then the people will grow to trust you.

Another benefit of networking with fellow F.E. fans is collaborations.  As you build your brand and continue to network with others, fellow content creators will take notice. If they enjoy your content and work, they might offer to do a collab with you for their channel, podcast, or art project.

By collaborating with other F.E. content creators, you’ll create a new network of creative types whom you can bounce ideas off of, exchange news relating to the series, and capture their audience and fanbase; adding them to your own.

Never neglect the advantage of networking and commutation. They’ll always be key in doing business, forging bonds, and personal growth.  Nobody will do watch and support a content creator who is unknown, which leads to my final point:

PROMOTE YOUR WORK!

You must promote yourself and your work in order to gain followers, fans, and traction. If you believe that your works should be viewed by others, then put it out there.

So, how do you promote?

It’s simple. You go wherever Fire Emblem fans hang out: may it be on Serenes Forest, GameFAQ, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, whatever.  Post your works there, ask for feedback, subs if they like your work, and engagements.  When somebody comment on your video, fanart, Podcast,  or whatever,  reply back to them.

Thank them for viewing your work and listening to your content. Keep it at and eventually people will promote and share your works for you on their page, groups, etc; organically growing your brand through word of mouth.

In order to gain what you want from this community, you must spread your name, content, brand, and products. Spread ‘em like how Manuela used to spread her legs on the casting couch for creepy, shady, corrupt stage producers for  Opera roles in her prime.

Now, there is one thing you must know when you’re promoting yourself: Not everyone will rock with you and your brand. There will be those who will be turned off by what you’re offering, saying, or producing.

Let’s take me for example. I know I just lost readers and listeners with my low-brow comments on Manuela being a ho-for-a-role nature (even through it’s the truth why you think she sleep around with young men so easily and often). If Manuela is their favorite and they lack a sense of humor, or they take virtual world people seriously because nobody in the real world take them seriously,  they’ve already left the blog or my channel.  They’re not fans of low-brow humor and commentary.

And that’s alright because there’s going to be people who appreciate someone who can approach Fire Emblem characters with low brow commentary. You have to be like that with you works and say to yourself “I know there will always be those who will never rock with me or my style. That’s cool: there are countless others who will regardless.”

Focus on netting those who you know will like your style of showing love to Fire Emblem (or anything else you do in life).  Don’t waste your time on those who will never get with you.

The Fire Emblem community needs more people to create content around this wonderful and amazing series. We need more folks to show their love and respect to Fire Emblem by the way of the arts, dialogue, romhacks, whatever!  Hell, myself included, as I’m planning to create Fire Emblem content on my YouTube channel in the near future.  I hope this video/blog post inspired you to do the same if you’re a fan.

Until next time, take care

-Yuki

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The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

Check out our first impressions on Fire Emblem: Three Houses here.

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Fire Emblem 0

A Low-Brow Ode to Fire Emblem Part One: Melee, An Holy War, And My Racism Towards Folks With Blue Hair

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Fire Emblem series (with the release of the first game of the series, “Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and Sword of Light released on April 20th, 1990), I will be doing a bit of a low-brow, personal “retrospective” of the games I played from the series. Join me as I talk about my first experience with the series through my first and second favorite Fire Emblem game: “Genealogy of the Holy War”.

[Warning: Foul language, low-brow commentary, and crude remarks  on the characters of  Fire Emblem.  Go watch some boring elitist cornballs with no real talent who think talking about video games on YouTube  is a real, viable job on YouTube if you want a serious retrospective on the series]

As with many of my peers who grew up playing video games throughout the 90s, I played such classics from that era such as Super Mario World., Street Fighter II, Sonic, Gran TurismoFinal Fantasy, and Pokemon to name a few.  It was thanks to the 1996 capsule monster catching RPG that I would find love within the RPG genre.  As my first RPG, I loved the idea of capturing and raising monsters to dominate the world of Pokemon  Blue.  Later, around the early 2000s, I was introduced to two of my top favorite RPGs of all time: Paper Mario and the original Final Fantasy 3 on the Famicom; which happened to be my first Final Fantasy game.

(For those wondering how and why Final Fantasy 3 was my first FF game: grew up in Nintendo dominate household and my Pentecostal mother thought RPGs were the devil because Christians, especially Black old-school Baby Boomer Christians,  live in fear of thinking for themselves and questing religion; so emulation was the way for me.)

I loved the idea of taking a traditional  2D-platformer Mario game and reimagine it as a turned- based RPG spanning across the Mushroom Kingdom as Mario, once again, must save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. As for FF3, the 8-bit charm of four young orphaned youths being the chosen ones of legend to save the world from darkness. While both games’ story could be consider “basic” to some (which, to a degree, they’re sort of right especially on FF3’s front), I enjoyed and loved them.

I would continue my RPG journey as the early 2000s progressed with classics such as Chrono Trigger, Shin Megami Tensei II, Final Fantasy IV, V, VI, and finally VII (mostly 16-bit emulation because, again, scared Pentecostal Christian mother).  They told such amazing stories of their worlds.  Time travel.  Nuclear holocaust. Tales of hope, life, and death. Yet, despite all of that, there was something missing from those games. Something that I could say in confidence would impact me for life.

Don’t get me wrong: it was a shock to see teen pregnancy used as a narrative theme in Final Fantasy VI with realism as Katarin struggles with the fact of becoming a teen mother in an world of ruin. Katarin, along with her lover and baby’s fathers Duane, the oldest member of the destroyed village of Mobliz in the World of Ruin. Chrono Trigger made me thought about my own existence in the universe as I watched Crono and crew ponder about how the universe and its inhibitors became to be during the campfire scene.

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Chrono Trigger campfire scene

 

Yet – those things didn’t fulfill a certain need of true, down-to-earth realism.  I needed something more grounded. Something that would make such sense to me as a young man. Something that I could relate to with absolute:

Super Smash Bros. Melee. for the Nintendo GameCube!

2001:

Through a summer school event, I managed to get my hands on a copy of a Nintendo GameCube demo disc for the PC.  Featured on the disc were video demos of upcoming launch titles for the GameCube: including Luigi Mansion, Star Fox Adventures, NBA Courtside 2002, and of course, Super Smash Bros. Melee.  Super Smash Bros. 64, the game prior to Melee, felt dwarfed compared to the raw graphical power and scale of Melee. I was aware of and hyped for Melee being created by Nintendo through elementary schoolyard conversations and magazines.  Seeing a demo of the preceded flawless game’s action and mass scale drove my desire to get a GameCube and Super Smash Bros. Melee for the 2001 holidays season.

So, did I eventually get Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube and the GameCube for Christmas of 2001 like every other good little boy and good little girl?

Of course fucking not!  My parents went bankrupt after buying a new house, having to bury my mother’s parents who both died a month apart from each other, and finally — said new house’s kitchen catching on fire; thus, causing us to  living in a downtown hotel then a temporary luxury apartment because we all have shit lungs (asthma). I was lucky to get a DVD/VCR combo for Christmas with a few DVDs.

melee

 

2004:

For three years, I had to live the Melee (and by proxy, the early 2000s gaming) life vicariously. One day, while working on a paper on the history of video games in 8th grade (2004), I discovered  the MIDI (Musical Insturmental Digital Interface) video game vgmusic.com. Musically inclined fans could upload their recreation, remixes, and close-to-the-original MIDI files for the nerdy gaming massive to indulge in.  Being curious about how the music of Melee sounded, I led myself to the Super Smash Bros. Melee section which had an impressed library of fan made songs from the game.

Scrolling through, there was one track that caught my eye: Hyrule Temple: Fire Emblem“I don’t remember a Fire Emblem in Majora’s Mask, OOT, nor Zelda II. Maybe I missed something like a secret item named ‘Fire Emblem’ when I had played those games.” I ponder to myself.

Curious, I clicked the link to the song.

Four taps on the artificial hi-hats rang out followed by Latin-like horns, a heavy bassline, and drawn out bass strings and horns building up to the meat of the song.

“Okay, did Link went to Mexico and fight Zorro in a Zelda game because this song sounds super Mexican as hell.”.  Rather than do the incredibly smart and not racist thing and Google search Fire Emblem (because I was too busy googling Princess Daisy, Terra Branford , Ayeka Jurai, and Sailor Pluto hentai images and doujins) I just assumed that it was some a weird Zelda thing.

 

Months later, after my parents recovered from their bankruptcy, they gifted me a Nintendo GameCube for Christmas (they couldn’t find Melee in any store sadly).  No worries.  I was given a Blockbuster gift card by a family member for Christmas, so I decided to rent Melee the day after Christmas.  Wanting to know how to unlock everything, I went online for answers when I came across two Nintendo characters whom which I’ve never heard of: Roy and Marth.

Again,  rather than doing the smart thing and Google search “Roy and Marth” (I was googling how to torrent anime illegally this time instead), I decided to play Melee for my answers. After defeating the original 13 fighters, I was alerted with the “Challenger Approach” alarm.  A shadowy figured appeared with a male wielding a sword.  We’re transported to Kirby’s stage with me wondering who I was going to face off against.

Then, that familiar Mexican sounding melody starts to play.

“Okay, this song sounds ever more Mexican than before now I’m hearing it how it meant to be heard.  Why is this white boy speaking Japanese to some  Mexican sword fighting music? Is this Zorro’s cousin? Kirby’s friend?”

After defeating Zorro’s half Japanese/Half Mexican cousin from Kirby (I assumed) I’m greeted with the following message:

“Direct from Fire Emblem, it’s Marth, the swordsman supreme!”

“Okay, what’s Fire Emblem, who’s this Marth dude, and why he’s a white boy speaking Japanese to Mexican music?”

Upon unlocking Marth, I ran him through his Classic Mode route to unlock Roy. Fought Roy.  Figured out why I thought Fire Emblem was Zelda related after a year (you fight Roy in Hyrule’s Ruins because I guess Roy was sleeping with Zelda behind Link’s back after she slept with Gannondorf). Whoop Roy’s ass and got Marth’s trophy. Wanting to learn more about Marth, I deiced to check out his trophy.

MARTH

            The betrayed prince of the Kingdom of Altea, the blood of the hero Anri flows in Marth’s veins.  He was forced into exile when the kingdom of Dolua invaded Altea.  Then, wielding his divine Falchion, he led a revolt and defeated the dark dragon Medeus. Afterwards, Altea was annihilated by King Hardin of Akanea.

Fire Emblem
JAPAN ONLY”

“Wait, he saved his kingdom only to have it annihilated by another king? So, a Nintendo hero failed at saving the day for once? That’s interesting.” Reading Marth’s bio deepened my curiosity towards Fire Emblem.  “Why was Marth forced into exile? Who betrayed him? How did he escape it?  Who’s Medeus and Hardin and how did they manage to destroy his kingdom?”

There was only one way to find out: download Fire Emblem through emulation.  But,  which one?  Visiting my preferred emulation site at the time, Emuparadise, I sought answers through the form of three Fire Emblem games: Mystery of the Crest (FE3), Genealogy of the Holy War (FE4), and Thrica 776 (FE5).

First Try: Mystery of the Emblem

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The game boots up with a shield with five circular groves and a flame crested embedded in the middle while a trumpet and French horn fanfare plays for a few seconds. Next, I’m treated to a tapestry with scrambled text. However, the imagery of men burned alive by dragons, sages praying to the heavens, a god armed with a mighty sword and shield descending to earth from the heavens to slay a dragon, and humans giving praise to their savior to a medieval musical motif told the tale for me.

Following, the intro ends with three strikes of lighting; causing the screen to flash. A known fanfare plays as the words “FIRE EMBLEM: MYSTERY OF THE EMBLEM” fades into the foreground as the Falchion pieces through the text.  Finally, I’m introduced to the playable classes and their stats through the game’s attract mode.

Due to the state of the game’s translation, the pre-chapter’s screens were an unreadable mess (a most common issue of Fire Emblem early fan translations days). For all I could had known, this could had been Roy’s game, which I would had been cool with, but I wanted to know Marth’s story.

Skipping past the mess of the “translation”, the game starts.

Axe-men swarming a lone island: pilaving and killing.  A young woman on a Pegasus flies away from the carnage to a castle.  It is here I’m introduced to Fire Emblem’s first ever characters: Jeigan/Jagan, Ceada/Shiida, and the poster boy of the series: The legendary Prince Mars!

“Yo, who the FUCK is Mars? Where’s Marth?” I asked myself in confusion.  I mean, he had blue hair like Marth. Wears a tiara like Marth.  Look like a chick like Marth. But, he was clearly Mars. Not Marth.  Disappointed (and utterly unaware that Mars is Marth and the translator took the Marusu name too literal), I stopped playing I FE3 and booted up FE4.

Prince_Mars
But MAAAAAAARRRRRRSSSSS!

Second Try: FE4 (or, my true first Fire Emblem experience)

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Immediately, I’m blown away by audio/visual presentation. While the opening text aren’t a jumbled mess unlike the “translation patch” of Mystery of the Emblem, they were in Japanese; a language which (at the time), I lacked understanding of. Regardless, I could understand the story though the art and sound.

Dreadful music plays as the red and black hellfire serves as the background while mighty warriors and fearsome dragons engage each other in brutal combat.  Twelve flames, representing the twelve  holy gods of Jugdral surrounding a lone tower. As the music reaches a peak and fades out,  A dragon of darkness and a dragon of light entangled in a fierce battle  and the screen goes black. Silence. Then, a golden wheel fades in with slow strings building up. The wheel is surrounded by glistering weapons in a celestial blue shade before flying off.

Finally, this specular ends with the Japanese Fire Emblem logo proudly appearing as the theme of the series plays in vigorous pride: as if it was an anthem for a militaristic nation.

Even if this wasn’t Marth’s game and even if I lacked the knowledge to understand the Japanese language, the ominous scene displayed for me alongside with the introduction of the actors and players of the world of FE4, I wanted to dive deep into the blood soaked tale of Jugdral.

After the marvelous introduction, I created a new file, got hip to the story of Jugdral thus far, and proceeded to play.

“Finally! That’s Mart- no, who’s the hell is Sigurd and why does he looks like he could be Marth’s older cousin? If that’s Marth’s cousin maybe Marth will show up in this game.” I proceed to play FE4; impressed by the scale of the map compared to FE3’s Book 1 first’s map.  FE4’s first map felt like a long-standing war was about to take place while FE3’s first book seemed like a meek, short skirmish.  In a way, this set the tone of the overarching theme of FE4’s maps: large armies clashing with one another non-stop.

Needless to say, this was going to be a long, uphill battle –and I was going to love it.  By that detail alone at was then that I knew that not only Genealogy of the Holy War was going to be something special for me, but the Fire Emblem series in general.

*****

Three turns passed.  The blue hair axe dude, Lex, wasn’t Marth.  The other blue hair guy, Finn, wasn’t Marth neither. At this point, I realized two things:

1. I’m racist against blue hair mid-90s anime-inspired  fantasy characters.
2. This wasn’t Marth’s game.

In any case, the first few minutes of gameplay impressed me. How should I  move my units?  Which weapon is best against the enemy’s?  Should I keep Arden guarding the castle or should I be bold and reckless by leaving the castle defenseless?  Midir wasn’t a girl? Azel have a thing for cute young nuns and so do I.

Hooked, I spent an entire weekend getting through the first three chapters of the game (Birth of the Holy Knight, Maiden of the Spirit Forest¸ and Disturbance in Augstira). By the time I reached Chapter 2, I realized something: I suck.   Ethlyn (Sigurd’s sister) got wounded, so these left the game alongside her husband, Quan: causing me to lose two units at once.

I accidently killed Ayra with Alec and my dumbass saved my game after the fact.  I also got Jamke killed because Adean, the priestess whom was supposed to talk to him so he could join your cause, was at the other side of the map. I made Azel kill him.  But, it didn’t matter.  All it matter was that I was having fun with the game and I kept at it.

Why?

Well first, I simply fell in love with the game’s story.  Who would had known that Sigurd  recusing his friend Aidean from the savages of Verdane was actually a part of a much more diabolical plot orchestrated by the underground cult, The Loptr Church and their leader, Manfory to control the world.

Manfory was the man running the show behind the scenes in an attempt to find the last two surviving decedents of a twisted, dark, demonic dragon god (Lopotsu) in order to revive said dark dragon to plunge the world into disarray, death, destruction, and darkness.  Using his pull and promise of power to politicians throughout the land, Manfory was able to install his plan of bringing the world into darkness.

Second, as a teenager, I wasn’t one for politics. It was a topic that bored me to no end. Yet, Genealogy of the Holy War opened my eyes to how brutal and ruthless politics can be. No. Inferior words such as brutal and ruthless are understatements.  Cutthroat fits better.   I was filled with disgust with Chagall killing his own father, King Imuka, to gain power in Agustria.  I took note at how one set of dukes and lords of  Agustira  bid their time as Sigurd cross blade against the other dukes and lords of their land.  Levin’s uncle was willing to kill him and his mother if it meant controlling their nation.

(As Leptor told Sigurd: “Politics is all about power!)

Now, let it be known that politics alone wasn’t the sole reason why I fell in love with Genealogy of the Holy War despite it being the driving force behind why I loved the game.  The countless tragedies after tragedies that transpired throughout Sigurd’s tale got me as well.  To understand where I’m coming from, let’s go deeper into what I mean by this.

Towards the end of Chapter 1 (Maiden of the Spirit Forest) we’re treated with a touch of “love at first sight” story narrative.  Upon conquering Marpha Castle, Sigurd encounters the beautiful and alluring maiden, Deidre, being harassed by a brigand.  After running the thug off, Sigurd and Deidre exchange a few words; with Sigurd being shocked that Deidre knows his name (through Aiden) and admitting that he’s everything  she imagine him to be. Sigurd ask for her name, which Deidre asks for his pardon for not revealing it before running off loves struck.

Curious about her (and not being able to shake off the feelings of love) , Sigurd asks a local elder about her.   The elder informs Sigurd of Deidre’s name, background, and warns Sigurd not to engage in any sort of relationship with Deidre; least disaster shall befall upon the world if she left the forest and found love. Not wanting to believe in such superstitions, Sigurd sets out to find Deidre. They encounter one another and admit that they had fallen for each other…

…And like any good woman and man who fall for each other upon a chance, first meeting, they both fucked later that night. This isn’t me being lowbrow (for once): that scene is in the official Fire Emblem 4 manga written and drawn by Mitsuki Oosawa.  Deidre totally fucks on the first date  (must be due to of all those years of living a sheltered life).

sigurd_embraces_diadora
Without context, this scene can be taken completely wrong…

 

Anyway, after conquering the Kingdom and Verdane, Sigurd and Deidre got married.  From their marriage, Sigurd started to change.  His sister, Ethlyn, notes how much Sigurd changed thanks to Deidre.  He’s no longer a slob.  His hot-headed attitude has all but disappeared.  He became more upbeat. From their love and marriage came their first and only son, Celice, whom they both loved dearly.

Sigurd was happy.
Deirdre was happy.

And then, Chapter 3 hits – hard.

After receiving news of Sigurd subduing Madino Castle, Deidre decides to leave their army’s home castle to check on her husband.  Despite pleas from Shanan (Prince of Issac, his backstory on why he’s in Sigurd’s army  is a tad long for this post for me to explain) to ensure that Deidre do not leave the castle as per Sigurd’s request, Deidre leaves; assuring Shanan that she’ll only be but just a second. As Deidre walks outside, she is attacked by Manfory, brainwashed, and taken away by the dastardly villain.

(Keep in mind: Sigurd is prepping to engage in combat against his own best friend, Eldigan)

After subduing Evans Castle, Sigurd is alerted by Shanan that Deidre went missing (in the manga version, Shanan engage in combat against Manfory and fails to rescue Deidre). Sigurd, still stressed out due to discovering the beheaded body of Eldigan in Silvali Castle, sets out to find Deidre.

To worsen matters, Sigurd hears that he and his father Vylon are accused of murdering Prince Kurth of Grannvale  (in truth, Vylon’s rivals, Lombard and Leptor, murdered the prince as an attempt to frame Vylon and take Castle Chaply from him).

Sigurd and company are forced to flee to the faraway frigid mountain lands of Silesse. Despite his justified anger/desires to storm Grannvale and expose Lombard and Leptor for their crimes, Sigurd is forced to resolve the civil conflict of Sileese while living as a refugee.

Once the civil conflict in Sileese subsides, Sigurd sets off to Granvale to combat against Leptor and Lombard. He revives his family heirloom, the Holy Tyfring from his father, who has been morality wounded by Lombard’s squad.  Sigurd is helpless as his dad dies in his arms and promises to rain wrath and revenge upon Lombard and Reptor for their crimes against the Chaply family and the land of Grannvall. Keeping to his promise,  Sigurd successfully slew Lombard and set his sights against Reptor and his unit.

During this time, Quan and his Ethlyn, along with Leonster Lance units, are to aid Sigurd and his army.  However, King Tribant (introduced in Chapter 3) ambushes their squad: killing them and leaving behind no survivors sans Cuan and his Ethlyn’s 3 year old child, Altena. Sigurd hears of this news and is devastated by yet another tragic event in his life.

Following, Sigurd eventually take the battle to Leptor, effortlessly defeating him with the help of his army.  Sigurd is greeted by Arvis’ aide, Aida, who tells him that Arvis and Kurth’s father knew Sigurd and his father weren’t involved in Prince Kurth’s death.  This relives Sigurd, a man who for the past two years dealt with soul-crushing pain.  For once, Sigurd is able to take a break and repay his allies  for their work.

Yet, all isn’t what they may seem.

While Sigurd and company are welcomed to Belhalla by Arvis in a faux celebration party, Arvis reveals to Sigurd that everything that has transpired within the past three years of Arvis’s doing.  He doesn’t pardon neither nor his father for crimes to conspiracy to usurp the Grannvall throne by murdering Prince Kurth. Sigurd is sentence to death.  Sigurd, now in absolute disbelief and believing that Arvis is joking, asks if this is a cruel joke, to which Arvis replies that he is not. Before killing Sigurd, Arvis reveals something that Sigurd has been looking for the past year:

Deidre – now recognized as the wife of Arvis.

Arvis insists that Sigurd must be confronted by the daughter of his victim. Deidre, lacking any sort of recollections of her (true) marriage with Sigurd, questions if Sigurd murdered her father. The man snaps, yelling at his wife that he’s married to him, not Arvis, and that he did not do such a horrible thing to his wife who, he loves dearly by killing her father.  Deidre is confused.  She ponders why Sigurd, the man who supposedly murdered her father, is speaking to her as if he was her familiar. She requests to Arvis that she is given more time to speak with Sigurd to clear things, only to have that requet deny by her new husband.

As Deidre is courted away by Arvis’s royal guards, Arvis believes that Sigurd has said more than enough and orders the execution of Sigurd and his army.

My jaw dropped as I helplessly watched the army whom I raised and the characters I grew to love lives come to a brutal end.

“Nintendo a company for kids and family…Did they just really let one of their main characters die so violently like that?” My teenage mind couldn’t compheren that Nintendo allowed the death of a main character (among many other controversial things) in one of their games.

Continued in Part II.

 

Battle_of_Barhara

 

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The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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Nerd Culture 2

Spoilers Don’t Mean S**t!

(Warning: Major spoilers for Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War and Doki Doki Literature Club. I’m not dealin’ with ya weebaboos and ya hurt feelings.)

I can fondly remember when my homeboy (at the time) “spoiled” the fact that Hotaru was Sailor Saturn (Sailor Moon S) in grade school.  I had just finished watching my first episode of Sailor Moon (episode 117: Higher, Stronger! Cheers by Usagi) the previous day and was hooked.  I expressed my love for the Hotaru character and her awesomeness. Unlike Usagi and Chibi-Usa (who had to transform in order to gain their powers), Hotaru didn’t need to transform for her powers.  My dude smiled and said “You know Hotaru is actually a Sailor Scout, right?  She’s Sailor Saturn.  That’s why she has powers. In fact, not only is she a Sailor Saturn, she’s being controlled by somebody else.”

“Ahh!” I replied.  “No wonder she could do those things like blasting a monster across a track field.”  The spoilers about Hotaru’s truth identify didn’t ruin her character for me.  In fact, it made me more excited to watch more Sailor Moon S. I wanted to see Hotaru’s journey as a sickly, lonely girl to the Soldier of Destruction (who ironically, would save the world from destruction).

 

hotaru_has_no_friends_just_like_me.png
Same.

 
Spoilers don’t mean shit.  Being spoiled about an event in the media we consume never ruin the emotional experience. In fact, it makes it better.  Some may say “But spoiling something will make you disappointed or change your mind about a character.” Okay, so what? Your views of a character are going to change regardless of you got spoiled on their actions or not. Why try to avoid the inevitable when it’s going to hit you sooner or later?

Let me change your mind about spoilers. I know I can.

 

final-fantasy-7-aeris-death-scene-930x487
Spoilers: Don’t click the first search result for “Aeris Dies” at your job.

 

Spoilers neither ruins nor replace the emotional experience that you’d otherwise witness.  Spoilers are just words. They don’t provide the gut hitting visuals of seeing your favorite character die.  Spoilers don’t give you the sense of anger of seeing a “trustworthy” ally betraying his best friend on screen. “But Ben!  What about twists and surprises!?”  Oh well.  Once you consumed media for nearly 25 years you tend to get bored with surprises and twists.

Recently, I’ve been playing the popular Western visual novel, Doki Doki Literature Club/DDLC (not to be confused with the obscure PC98 visual novel Doki Doki Vacation).  Through my adventures (of playing the game), people were trying (failing) to convince me not to read spoilers.  They told me that it’s better to experience the game blind so I could “truly appreciate” the game for what it is.

 

Doki_Doki_Literature_Club.png
DDLC Girls(left-to-right): Knife-Chan the Pervert, Princess of Daddy Issues, Tears of a Clown, and Machiavelli. 

First off, I had to laugh at those who believed I should play DDLC by their standards. Second, telling me to avoid spoilers won’t work – it’ll just make me read them. Through reading spoilers, I discovered that Monika was the true villain of DDLC. Monika was a manipulative, angry, jealous, and lonely girl who wanted someone to love her and grant her freedom (from her digital prison and self-awareness powers).  Did those spoilers impacted and change my views on Monika? Of course, but in turn, it made more interested in her character (given that I enjoy manipulative/Machiavellian-type characters).

 

Here’s where I still felt the emotional impact of Monika’s cruel deeds despite being “spoiled”.

As Monika brags about killing Natsuki, Yuri, and Sayori, your character is forced to sit across from her in the Literature Club (now the Room of Eternity).  The distorted music, dark orange tint filling the room, and Monika staring at your eye gave me a sense of unease.  I felt anger as Monika casually – yet coldly – discussed how she murdered her friends.  Now, do you see how spoilers don’t replace those emotions?  Again, they don’t give you that visual treat.

screenshot0085

Reading those spoilers didn’t provide me with those emotions – but playing the game did. The spoilers just enhanced my journey, which brings me to my next point.

Around 2005, I started playing Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War.  I “foolishly” spoiled the game’s ultimate plow twist – Arvis murdering the main character, Sigurd. Furthermore, Arvis manipulated the nobles of  Grandbell to wage war against a few nations:  just so he could have the nobles kill each other. Arvis’s schemes prove successful.

 

Rather than being mad at myself (for “ruining” the plot), I became curious about Arvis’s “terrible” deeds and did research.  I discovered the game development notes of Shouzou Kaga (creator of Fire Emblem); gaining information on Arvis (that changed my mind about him). Arvis was angry at the nobles of Grandbell who abused their power – subjecting their citizens to levels of extreme poverty (while the nobles spent their riches on themselves).

Arvis – in his head – thought himself as a liberating hero for the common man.

The spoilers didn’t ruin the plot for me.  In reality, not only did it made me want to play the game, it made me respect Kaga’s complex writing of Arvis’s character.  Kaga’s notes help me understood the tragic (anti) villain archetype of media.  It was the kick that I needed to see the game all the way to the end – to see how the events unfold through Kaga’s craftsmanship.

See how spoilers can work in your favor?

Spoilers do not mean shit. This was a fact that I discovered back in my childhood with Hotaru/Sailor Saturn, one of my favorite characters of all time. Being spoilers on certain characters might change my views on them.  That’s okay: it was going to change either way.  Reading spoilers helped me understand why villains such as Arvis and Monika had to do the things they did – and I still got emotional when I reached their villain reveals in their respected games. The spoilers got me in the head of the creator and made me felt what they felt.  To me, that’s the ultimate sign of respect for a creator: understanding their works.

Spoilers don’t ruin the story.  They enhance it.

 

SOURCES:

Spoiler Alert: Spoilers Make You Enjoy Stories More by Adny Murdock
https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/spoiler-alert-spoilers-make-you-enjoy-stories-more

Spoilers Don’t Spoil Anything by Jonah Lehrer:
https://www.wired.com/2011/08/spoilers-dont-spoil-anything/

Spoiler Alert: Spoilers Don’t Ruin Stories by Melissa Dahl
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/body-odd/spoiler-alert-spoilers-dont-ruin-stories-after-all-flna1C6437232

Shouzou Kaga’s Comments/Designer Notes on Fire Emblem 4
https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/holy-war/shouzou-kagas-comments/
https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/holy-war/fire-emblem-treasure/
https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/holy-war/playing-guide/

(Yuki’s notes: Arvis did nothing wrong as he fought for the greater good of the people.  Monika was wrong because she was a selfish simp.)

 

Fire Emblem 0

Touhou vs. Fire Emblem Romhack: Suika Dies (Video)

Just a little side project I’m working on.

Touhou Emblem 4: Emblem of the East is my rebalance patch of the hacking group FE4 Binary’s original Fire Emblem 4 Remodel hack “Touhou Emblem: Genealogy of the East”. Touhou Emblem Emblem of the East features classic characters of the PC doujin game Team Shanghai Alice‎ such as Reimu Hakurei, Fujiwara no Mokou Remilia Scarlet, and Yukari Takeba in the world Fire Emblem 4!

This patch aims to fix the balancing issues found in Touhou Emblem 4 (such as overpowered unit and classes, limiting holy blood,  nerfing and buffing certain weapons, etc.)

Plan Release Date: April 20th, 2018 (27th anniversary of the Fire Emblem series)

Original Touhou Emblem 4 Romhack:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/at13f89mz8tlf9z/FE4Touhou.zip