Fire Emblem and the Belated Support Ring

And my mother says Rebecca is as stubborn as they come
They both call to me with words I never knew

Sorry, I'm listening to Belated Promise Ring lol. I didn't understand what Supports were until it was too late, so I never paired my Rebecca with anyone. Or anyone else with anyone else. Except Jaffar and Nino, that was just OBVIOUS--


WELCOME to my REVIEW of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade for the GAMEBOY ADVANCE.

My first Fire Emblem game. Also, sometimes just called "Fire Emblem" since it was the first to be released in the U.S.

Uhhhhhhhhh. I loved it. I've got a lot to say about it, and this will be a bit disorganized so I apologize. Also I'll cover The Sacred Stones briefly too. I'm not going to just say "Gameplay good, story good" etc. The gameplay *is* good, and the story *is* good, but I wanna focus on a few things.

Fire Emblem is like... Game of Thrones for adults. lmao

Political intrigue, war, dragons, and there *is* death and unfairness, but it's still closer in spirit to Zelda than GRRM and his Brown Water. There are "morally grey" characters with their own ambitions, but there is also clear Good and Evil, and true Love and Heroism.

TWO things that I want to cover in particular-- the SUPPORT system, and the PERMADEATH system.

Before I get into that, yes, I will also say "it was a ton of fun being a strategist and directing battles" While many JRPGs will throw you into a single "battle screen" with your units on one side vs. the enemy units on another, in Fire Emblem you'll control where everyone's moving on a grid-based battlefield, which adds more to think about and is just very... fun. The first time(and every time after that) you place one of your big-ass knights in chonky armor at a doorway, and the enemy is powerless to get past him, you WILL be delighted. Have an archer like Rebecca stand behind him just laughing and shooting arrows? It's free EXP.


The best part of keeping units next to each other isn't that they become human-fortresses, it's that many of them will eventually start becoming friends or lovers.

Fire Emblem's more than just fun strategy, it's got gooooooood, fun writing.

"Save the world from evil" is just a simple, dumb story, right? Wrong, that's actually a timeless story and worth telling over and over. Uh, the power of Good, the power of Friendship, ayyy we've gotta stop the land from being engulfed in war, yooo let's meet these old guys who've seen this before and get their help, ayy maybe they'll have some legendary weapons or something for us. The main story is actually really cool, it drags on a bit, but it is *cool* The three main characters, Lyn, Eliwood, and Hector, are all heroic, perfect role models. They're kind, they're just, they're good decision-makers, they love their countries, their people, each other(Lyn and Hector afaik can get married). It's PLEASANT reading what they have to say throughout their adventure from Lyn finding yo broke ass in a ditch to Eliwood becoming king. But besides that, the *personal* interactions characters have with each other are just delightful to read. And much of it's up to YOU. Keep units fighting next to each other, and they'll be able to form friendships or develop romantic feelings, shown in these little unlockable "Support" conversations. The few that I did blindly stumble upon warmed my heart in a rare way. If I have one criticism, maybe I'd wish it had been easier to increase the Support levels-- keeping specific units planted next to each other for the hundred turns isn't always very useful. The game even acknowledges that, though, with an NPC telling you to not get distracted from fighting lol. It's hard not to get distracted though, and in some of the easier battles, you'll want to just take it easy and just increase some Support levels to see peoples' stories.

We've got some bone-headed axeman who has a one-sided rivalry with another fighter, and when he learns that the other man's wife is sick, he insists on helping pay for her treatment.

Lyn is an expert sword fighter. But she's also an average-sized woman(old-school average, not modern heckin chonker), and she insists on sparring with big lad Hector in his big lad plate armor. She has absolutely no chance against him, through no fault of her own. But that won't stop her from challenging him again and again. And it's charming. He's trying not to offend her, she's getting frustrated with her physical limits but not giving up. Maybe she'll finally at least beat him once, idk, I never got past their B Support.

A broken shell of a man who's never loved anyone in his life, a man who exists only to kill, finds his heart belonging to a girl who treats him with kindness. CAN HE BECOME HUMAN? Yeah probably.

There's a wannabe-knight is being scolded HARD by a veteran, but slowly improving and earning his respect and an affirmative smile. Bruh he's gonna be such a good knight.

These small "mini-stories" going on during the action of the gameplay *feels right*. There's never a dull moment not just from you trying to keep everyone alive, but from these characters interacting with each other in such beautiful, human ways.

These are people you want to keep alive beyond them just being combat units. Which is good, because the game has PERMADEATH.


What a load of crap, right? At first I hated the idea. Because obviously, there's NO WAY that I'd actually let someone die and then continue the game without them. These are good people! They have hopes and dreams, and loves, and THERE'S NO WAY THAT I CAN LET ONE OF THEM DIE. So if I mess up, I have to restart the whooooooole battle? Where's the fun in that?

The fun actually comes from GITTING GUD, that's where it comes from. It comes from competently directing your men and women through the battlefield and making sure every move that you make matters. Not overextending anyone, keeping everyone healthy, thinking about what the enemy's going to do.

Without the threat of DEATH looming over each and every one of your characters, why not have them just act as berzerkers mindlessly rushing forward to get as many kills as possible before being "KO'd"?

There *would* be no reason to not do that. Let someone be KO'd to move your army further, then another, then another, until the end. Sure you lost half your units, but just use a "Revive" on them or something, no problem.

NO, NGGA, in FIRE EMBLEM you BETTER NOT let you archers get caught in melee-range. You will NEVER SEE REBECCA AGAIN.

And since, thank God, it *is* a video game, if you make a dumb mistake and get someone killed, just restart the battle. There you go. Or if you're mentally ill, just continue on without the person-- there's plenty of archers or knights to choose from. One or two deaths won't slow your *gameplay* down. If you really just don't care because you have no soul.

So The System Works, right? YEA, RIGHT. Because not only do you have the power to restart chapters, if you actually play well, your units will become SO FREAKING POWERFUL by the end of the game, that 1/4 the time, nothing will even be able to hit them. Another 1/4, if they do get hit, they'll receive 0 damage. If an enemy DOES manage to deal damage to them, along come your 2 or more healers in your party, who are also incredibly powerful offensive magic users as if they weren't useful enough as healers.

So permadeath is, like IRL, a meme in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. And That's a Good Thing.

In conclusionsoiffnosifn...

Fire Emblem's neato. The story is a timeless classic, with plenty of cute a... ...cute and funny... side-stories between the characters. The tactics you have to learn aren't overwhelming at all, even if there are A Lot Of Friggin Numbers, you can still at least always see "I have a 90% chance of dealing 10 damage to this enemy, who has 9 health. Cool, I'll do that." Apparently Blazing Blade is considered mid difficulty for the series, and I didn't have many problems with it. So I'll be happy to relax with some even-easier ones.

But what about Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones on the GBA?

idk ill let you know soon-- it's great. I have all of the same praise for it. People say that it's an easier game, and I understand why, but I don't really agree with that.

(🫲 idk if I can call Tana BEST GIRL, but I will say she carried me the last 3 chapters of the game and even landed the final blow on the boss, she was basically unstoppable)

In Sacred Stones, there's now a World Map & you can travel freely between destinations that have shops and armories. The inventory system from the previous game (a goofy merchant who you could choose to bring into battles, but then you'd have to protect him) is now a "caravan" that moves with one of the main characters-- making her a walking stockpile. There's also a tower that you can revisit over and over to grind for experience and gold.

HOWEVER. The best method of getting both EXP and gold is still the ARENAS in the game, and unfortunately they still can't be revisited after you've left whatever chapter they're on. So there's new options for grinding, but it doesn't really make the game any faster or easier than the previous game. The mobile-inventory Eirika is useful, but not really necessary if you prepare for the battles well. I belieeeeeeeve people say that the enemies are weaker, and I feel like I did notice that. The game's also 10 chapters shorter.

It's a nice, tight story. I felt like I didn't actually think the story was as good as the previous game's, but I do still love the new characters. And I doooo like that it's 10 chapters shorter LOL. Short and sweet. And it is very sweet. Yes, I WILL save the world from Evil again, thank you. Both games are a solid


imho, and I don't really think one is better than the other.