Sunday, 1 September 2013

Overview of Fire Emblem: Awakening


Fire Emblem: Awakening is the latest title in the Fire Emblem series by Nintendo and was published on Nintendo 3DS in 2012 (JPN) and 2013 elsewhere. The game is a Strategy RPG consisting of four different difficulties Normal, Hard, Lunatic and Lunatic +. Additionally the game allows the player to play on the classic permanent death-mode or choose a more casual play style, where the characters resurrect after each chapter. The game also offers various DLCs for a price of approximately 2-3 pounds each, latest one being published 31.8.2013. Like the other titles in the series, Awakening consist of a few cinematics, story scenes, and tactical maps consisting of squares. The player moves the units on the squared map to accomplish the map objective (mainly either Defeat the Commander, or Rout the Enemy).

For Beginners

Fire Emblem: Awakening is a great start for those not so familiar with the series or genre. The Normal mode doesn't require grinding or major knowledge on the tactical aspects such as the weapon triangles. Those do come in handy later in the game, but no chapter should be overly difficult even for a more inexperienced player, especially if you are not going for a no-deaths run. The game is still a good introduction to the genre and series, no matter which difficulty you choose, and will surely offer some challenge in the latter chapters and Epilogues. I wouldn't recommend Normal mode for old Fire Emblem fans, as at least I personally found it a bit too faceroll at times.

For experiences players

For more experienced players I'd recommend starting up with the Hard-mode, unless you are extremely familiar with the game and want to start out with Lunatic. Just a warning, but chapter 2 can be extremely frustrating on Lunatic. Awakening really meets the expectations and provides challenge for even those who have completed other titles in the series on harder difficulties. The possibility to grind DLCs almost endlessly and using Reeking Boxes to summon more enemies to grind, however, does sometimes defeat the idea of these harder difficulties. Some argue that even Lunatic can be laughably easy with all the grind, while others say it is necessary to beat the game. I personally grinded a bit on my Lunatic playthrough, as I was going for a no-deaths run and found it more enjoyable to play when my characters were on a slightly higher level than without grinding. This also makes it possible to enhance the relationships between the characters for ideal matches thinking about the child-units in the game. Don't forget to use Second Seals to obtain some of the skills you may want for your characters, or to pass it on to their children. 

Supports and Relationships

In Awakening, the supports between the characters actually matter. The higher the support level, the better the characters work as a team, blocking incoming attacks and attacking together. Pairing up the characters during the fight also increases their stats. If a certain female and male unit get to S-support level, they will marry, and depending on the female you might be able to recruit their child later on in the game. The child units are generally stronger than their parents, and I'd highly recommend you to recruit at least some of these, no matter what difficulty you are playing on. The children will also inherit some of their parents' skills, so make sure you have whatever skill you want to pass on to the child before starting the recruiting chapter. Passing down skills such as Galeforce is recommended (allows you to act second time if you land a killing blow). Remember, that also the parents' class will be partially inheritable; the child will be able to access the classes of both of their parents, unless the class is gender-specific. The children's hair colour is always inherited from their father, except for Morgan (Avatar's child).


In conclusion, Fire Emblem: Awakening is definitely one of the most interesting 3DS titles this year. It is not too overwhelming for beginners, but still offers lots of tactical challenge for experienced players. For those really into the series, there are plenty of available DLC content for rather cheap prices. The player can either choose a map that gives, for example, an easy way of making gold, conversation scenes between the characters to give more insight into them, or maps to recruit new playable characters or obtaining new playable classes. The gameplay is highly enjoyable, and the support system has developed a lot from the previous games. A must have for any RPG fan, especially those who have enjoyed other Japanese RPGs (e.g Disgaea, Atelier Iris, Suikoden)

I will later make a separate post on different characters and their builds, as well as recommended DLC contents, depending on your playstyle, difficulty, and interests. 

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