Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castles beyond this trite, melodramatic plot to take back the characters you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my headcanons as great.
All of this is to say that I have finally finished my tour through the trilogy of Fire Emblem Fates, and am now prepared to pass judgment on it. I’ve talked about some aspects of the game before, both prior to release and post-release. While I argued with myself for a good while before purchasing—especially before buying Revelation—what eventually won out was not the possibility of a long storyline delving into the grey morality of man during times of war, but my love for trashy dating sims. Make no mistake, though Fates arguably does have a story, it may as well be secondary to the relationship aspect of the game as the games don’t even try to include even half of the around 68 character cast (around 40 if you’re looking at Birthright or Conquest) in the main plot. And who can blame them: it would essentially be impossible. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
Spoilers for mostly everything beneath the cut, and a trigger warning for mentions of suicide.
Fire Emblem Fates has finally released state-side, to the joy of many and chagrin of many others. The translated and localized version unsurprisingly still suffers from the problems that it had in its original release, but I don’t believe those watching the game were that surprised with how it came out. While those problems deserve discussion, and talk of how the translated dialogue itself also deserves some scrutiny, today I’m not looking at any of those. (And probably won’t until I finish all three games.)
In the previous installment of Fire Emblem—Awakening—the player character had to help the royalty of their world to put an end to a war; not a particularly new theme to the series, but neither is it a theme that suffers from possible interesting and poignant takes on it. Again, in Fates, the player character must help to bring an end to a war that will devastate the world if allowed to go on. I don’t have a problem that Fates is using the same plot again—though I would say the writers added a sort of nuance to Fates that Awakening didn’t have—but I do have a problem that its catalyst for the characters getting “serious” is the same. That is to say, the war really only comes to a head over the death of a woman.
Spoilers for Awakening and Fates (Birthright and Conquest), and a trigger warning for suicide under the cut.
Last month had a lot of ups and downs, but two of the largest high points for me was the hope re-instilled in my cold, shriveled heart by this year’s E3 and the I-can’t-believe-it-took-them-this-long ruling on the constitutional validity of non-straight marriage in the US. Namely, that straights ain’t the only ones who can legally put a ring on it in all fifty states anymore. (Though without repercussions to the wedded party? We’re still working on that.) How do these two things connect? In a way that’s coincidental enough for me to use this as a jumping off point.
It seems like the United States isn’t the only thing giving this whole “gay marriage” and “equal rights” scenario a shot. If you read me and Dom’s E3 wrap-up, you might remember me calling Fire Emblem Fates “trash”. I am not taking that back. With interesting problems already surging over the game’s incestual supports (“supports” being conversations that give stat boosts to two characters), money grubbing distribution, and raunchy dialogue that may not be localized anywhere outside of Japan, it’s hard to ignore the waves Fates is making. However, back during the last week of June, Nintendo of Japan made a statement that Fates would be the first game in the series to offer the chance for a homosexual relationship concerning the player character. This should be a great thing, and part of me is still a little excited that they even gave the player this option, but the way I see it, Fates’s gay marriage option is more like a bronze-plated turd than an offer of goodwill and acceptance.
Slight spoilers for Fire Emblem Fates under the cut.