Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Conquest Thoughts

WARNING: VERY LONG POST CONTAINS SPOILERS BELOW THE CUT

Prologue: I bought my copy of Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright on the release date and I’ve been hooked onto it ever since (bad idea since my thesis is due in less than 2 weeks). I didn’t get the special edition because it ramps up to $200+ CAN and that’s out of my budget for gaming (I wish I did, hurray for crappy Canadian economy) never mind, my friend was wrong about the price (why did I do this to myself lol). I’m only sticking with the game routes, I don’t think I’d buy the map pack tbh. I already had to spend an extra $29 (included tax) for a 32 GB Lexar memory card just to make room for Conquest and Relevations because my default card had so little memory left. Let alone an extra $20 or so for the Relevations Route too so…that went over three times the cost that I would typically spend on a 3DS game, yeesh. Even though I’m a casual gamer now, I still think it’s a lot on my end (*cough still worth it*). D8

Anyway I beat the Birthright route last Monday and Conquest route back on this Monday too.

Gameplay

I completed the routes on Phoenix Normal Mode (yeah there’s no real challenge to that because Phoenix Mode makes things so much easier for newbies) — I did regret choosing Phoenix Mode on my first Birthright file because you can train your units without worry, I  wanted to see what it was like on the first go (why did I do this to myself lol). I didn’t let my units die too much so I guess there’s no loss.

I guess it’s a bit more forgiving for Conquest Normal Mode since you’re so limited in your resources to train (which makes sense since Nohr lacks resources compared to Hoshido and you have to follow Garon’s orders) + if you’re playing without DLC content either (which is my case). I tried to avoid death counts for my units but let’s face it, I had enemies ganging up on Mozu just so she can level for her Merchant class, which resulted in her dying multiple times (especially with the first battle with Hinoka in Conquest Chapter 11) with her allies sitting on the side waiting until the shrine maiden runs out of her Sun Festal (oops hehe).

That being said, I did my first run in Normal Mode just for the story because there’s a lot of suspense within the chapters that convinces you to keep going (which they did a really good job with). I still paid attention to the battle system and stats since I’m still relatively new to the FE Series (Awakening caught my attention). |D I’ll definitely be ramping up the difficulty in the files after I get the Relevations DLC.

Speaking of stories…

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WHAT HAS THIS GAME DONE TO ME Q__Q IT’S MAKING ME GOING TO PURCHASE THE THIRD ROUTE SO ALMOST EVERYONE LIVES

I started off with Birthright and sobbed multiple times (uh-oh first sign). First being when Mikoto (Corrin’s real and actual mother) dies and then choosing your Hoshido siblings over your Nohr siblings, next when Lilith dies protecting you from Hans. When Elise overhears Garon wanting to use her siblings until they die (something like that), she expresses her sadness to Xander that she hates seeing her family break apart. She further explains this when she meets up with Corrin again where she says that her siblings barely even interact with each other anymore (omfg T_T) and she just wants to become family again.

The part where Elise’s retainers promised to have tea with her after Corrin’s confrontation with Xander and Garon and then she dies protecting Corrin. Omfg Q___Q And when Xander dies, he states that he still loves you as a family and can’t bring himself to kill you. T__T And with Aqua disappearing after constantly goes through pain just for everyone to live peacefully because of that “curse” associated with Valla. ioFESJIEFSIOHEFSIUOFESIUhu

I know that Flora and Gunter (still technically alive) died too but aggg, the other characters hit me the most. IUFHSIUESUI

orpp37a

I really like how Corrin goes around in this route, it really does retain the peacefulness as possible in every chapter (living up to the Hoshido name) and *almost* everyone is nice to him/her. I know that Takumi was a total meanie at first but he eventually softens up to Corrin and Aqua over the course — I really liked his character development in this route.

Speaking of Takumi, I married him in this route (there are so many lookers on the Hoshido side like Subaki, Kaden, Ryoma, and Hinata in combination with the neutrals, it was so hard to choose who to marry maybe that’s why I chose Birthright). Although this is typical of tsunderes, he really softens up to the avatar (sooo cute lol). I’m getting my absolute OTP (FeKamui x Silas) married in Relevations where it’s the “true ending” just cause. Again, wasn’t focusing on stats to inherit to the children characters — I pair up with whoever I think looks cute together (I’ll explain more in another post).

Unfortunately if Takumi’s your spouse in Birthrights, he’s also the final boss in Conquest (which left me in more tears and unease than in Birthright) you’re forced to kill. I can understand why so many fans dislike him because of Conquest but his reasons are justified:

  1. Not only does he blame Corrin for Mikoto’s death, he’s pissed that he/she still chose Nohr (the Hoshidans depict them as heretics even though Corrin tries to constantly prove that wrong), despite the fact she (Mikoto) and Sumeragi gave their lives protecting him/her from Garon (even though it’s technically Anankos’ doing). And after Mikoto dies, the barrier breaks and forces the nation to go to war with Nohr with Corrin as their enemy.
  2. “Birth” family fought for most of their lives trying to find their sibling, with their efforts “wasted” in the end for Corrin to choose Nohr. He’s more expressive  a nd aggressive about it than his other siblings, probably because he wants to vent out their anger for them since most of them are too nice to say anything (Sakura for certain since she doesn’t like confrontations, plus she refuses to fight Corrin regardless)
  3. The Yato was taken which is supposed to be with the chosen hero but in their eyes, Corrin’s the enemy.
  4. Aqua (their adopted “birth” sibling) also betrays them (even though Takumi didn’t really like her, her other siblings did) even though her siblings stood up for her against people who were discriminating her original Nohr background. Her betrayal would be understandable in this case since her mother and herself were disliked when she was younger in Nohr.
  5. (I’m pretty sure there’s more, I probably can’t remember all of the details atm)

The only thing that I disliked about Takumi in this route is him shooting Elise. D<

Other than that, it’s a rough emotional transition to choosing Conquest because I grew so attached to the Hoshido characters. Starting Chapter 6 already had me rolling in feels (I MAINLY BLAME RYOMA T___T). Meeting up with your Hoshido siblings again later along with related characters branding you as a traitor made me feel pretty uneasy and guilty. :c Taking Sakura as a prisoner and making her depressed is so heartbreaking. For Hinoka’s aftermath, it’s really touching that she still believes in Corrin when they explained their situation to her.

At least their retainers live unlike Ryoma and Takumi’s — Oboro dies while she was about to admit her love for Takumi (he’s unaware and she regret not confessing to him sooner) and she’s such a sweetie. T_T Corrin is also forced to fight Ryoma and admit he/she “killed” Hinoka (no thanks to asshat Iago) in order to show their loyalty to Garon, which made him super pissed about it. He only finds out the truth and intentions until after the battle is done and Corrin was caught by Iago saying that he/she didn’t kill him as ordered by Garon. Of course Garon tells Corrin to kill Ryoma in front of him for good just so he/she can prove their loyalty again (even though Corrin clearly doesn’t want to) and this is the part that got to me: Ryoma commits seppuku (suicide in the samurai way) for Corrin so they wouldn’t have to have the burden to kill their own “brother” because he still believes in his brother/sister in the end.

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Oh and don’t get me started on how you have to kill Takumi and free his spirit — Takumi always wanted to call Corrin his big brother/sister and just wanted to spend time together since the beginning (he’s more forgiving in the afterlife). AAGAGGH PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL Q_Q It’s also sad that Aqua dies too without anyone truly knowing where she went to. u_u

I understand why people would choose Conquest over Birthright because the Nohr siblings are the ones Corrin grew up and still sticks with you even when Garon and his bitches (*cough Iago + Hans*) are asshats to you. For Birthright, the birth family Corrin is supposed to grow up with fought so hard for most of their lives (emotionally and physically) trying to find their lost sibling with both parents died protecting him/her — I wouldn’t be able to make a choice between the two if I were in the same situation even though the Hoshido siblings and King Sumeragi technically aren’t related to you by blood.

Regardless, all of the siblings can’t bring themselves to despise/kill you in the end even though everyone else thinks otherwise.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH IT’S OKAY GUYS I’LL PURCHASE RELEVATIONS SO YOU CAN ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER IUESFHIUESFIUES

*ahem* Overall the storyline is really good, I can’t wait until the Third Route DLC so there’s more in depth to the plot. :)

Criticisms

There are a few things that still bother me about Fates and frankly, they would be unpopular opinions to most people (let’s assume no external factors such as no more room on the cartridge would be available are accounted).

  • The ending descriptions for S-Support couples: It’s so generic, there’s literally no unity between the spouse other than saying what they do, which is the same for any other spouse they marry (E.g. Hinata’s description stays the same no matter who he marries, Oboro’s description stays the same no matter who she marries). They’re far less unique and interesting compared to Awakening’s ending for the couples (at least they have some variation).
  • Re-using character designs: I’m looking at Odin, Laslow, Selena, Rhajat, Caeldori, and Asugi. It’s not that I don’t like them (I like all of them), I dislike the idea of re-using characters in general because it’s lazy character designing imo. The only exceptions would be beings who live hundreds of years (E.g. Tiki) and multiple family members (E.g. Anna).
    Sure, there are notable differences (E.g. Hair + clothes) but I’d rather see 6 new characters with different personalities instead of these guys (again). It’s boring to see the same characters again (just because they were the most popular in Awakening) implemented into a new story line (yes I get it’s technically a sequel) and taking on “new identities.” The only exception to this is if Awakening had a direct sequel with the original cast with everyone being years older with some new characters involved. It might be a different story if Owain, Inigo, and Severa aren’t from the same timeline where their parents died either but if you ask me, I’d rather have these guys as DLCs instead.

    Additionally the children characters (Asugi, Caeldori, and Rhajat) are pretty boring in dialogue with their parents — I particularly disliked Caeldori’s paralogue and support conversation (maybe that why I was reluctant in marrying Tsubaki because I don’t want a clone as a child). It’s just so bland. =T

    The only thing that sparks my interest are Odin and Lazwalds’ daughters/Caeldori as Selena’s daughter — that’s honestly about it. Other than that, these guys are only good for anyone who just wants to see more of what they do (not that interesting imo). I just don’t bother using them in battles since I like seeing a different cast instead.

  • Removal of dual audio + Voice Acting: This is a mixed opinion…I like the voice acting for most of the characters (I totally dig Hinoka’s VA), this would have kept the support convos more interesting. Although this can backfire because of some of the voice acting is downright bad — Felicia’s sounds like a prepubescent boy, Effie’s makes her sound super old unless she’s actually much older than we make her out to be, and I really can’t stand the female Corrin’s mature voice laugh (it sounds really dumb, why did I choose this in my first play through LOL). =T
  • My Room: As ironic as it is, I didn’t mind the fact they took out the skinship (I’d be embarrassed playing it if it’s not in Japanese tbh lol). My main problem with this one is there is too little variation in lines — if they’re going to take out the skinship, they should’ve at least made up by importing more lines to say. Ah well, I’m happy they kept the character animation though.
  • Translations: I was disappointed with some of the translations that were done in the game (E.g. Kana says something like “I want to be with you forever and ever mama/papa!”in Japanese vs Kana says “ROARRKHKHR that means I love you in dragon!” in the localised version), it took out a lot of its meaning from the original context. I can understand why they altered some characters like Zero’s (I refuse to call him Niles) dialogue (he’s very lewd in the Japanese version) though.
  • Naming: Like most people, I dislike the name changes to some of the characters. One being Zero to Niles (sorry but that sounds like some cheesy cowboy name LOL), Tsubaki to Subaki (What’s the point? It’s not hard to pronounce the hiragana ‘tsu’ and changing that one character changes his entire name’s meaning), and Joker to Jakob (aesthetic reasons). If there’s one name change that bothered me the most, it  would be Kinu to Selkie — that completely throws it out of the loop. It simply doesn’t fit with the Japanese intended background because ‘Selkie’ is of Scottish origin and it deals with shape shifting seals. Kinu is clearly a fox, just keep her original name. Q_Q
  • Corrin’s  “canon” gender: Probably a minor thing to most people, I don’t like how the avatar is suggested to be from a male perspective (again). Not to be bashing on male Corrin of course (I like his design and the fact that he’s a male manakete), but they should’ve kept the gender more ambiguous (in the movie cut scenes the  shoulders are really broad with a masculine face). Robin has been cannoned as a male in the franchise (see Smash Bros + DLC). Of course it doesn’t matter when you start playing but this is just my personal pet peeve. :P

Things I like about the game

  • Storyline, enough said and self-explanatory (obviously emphasized in my emotional train wreck description LOL); good variations. ^_^
  • Side characters get more screen time instead of just getting introduced and then left out until the ending compared to Awakening (E.g. Insert Cordelia in one chapter, then forgotten for the rest of the plot until Robin is about to die/ending).
  • OST: I LOVE IT MORE THAN AWAKENING. I can listen to the map themes without getting easily bored of it. I like ‘Lost In Thoughts All Alone,’ but I still prefer the Japanese version instead (biased cause it sounds better).
  • Characters and art: Self-explanatory, I really like the designs for this one (I don’t like Charlotte’s outfit but her Beserker outfit looks better). Yusuke Kozaki’s designs are really attractive and he makes characters far more memorable compared to the previous series, it’s one of main reasons why I started getting into Fire Emblem (since Awakening). The previous title characters are pretty generic looking (imo) except for some characters like Marth, Roy, Ike (emphasized in Smash Bros), Titania, Lyndis, and a few others that I don’t remember on top of my head.
  • Battle System: I haven’t tried the online castle battles yet but I do like how the battle system has a nice field transition and other new features (dual system, weapon system, etc). It’s also great for series beginners (like me) to get into as well.
  • My Castle: Much easier and faster to process events compared to Awakening plus moving your character around and more customisation are additional things I enjoy. I also like seeing more character interactions with this.

But yeah, that’s about it for my overall thoughts. I’ll make a post about Relevations when it comes out and I complete it along with my pairings in the game (that’s also another reason why I got into it because I’m shipping trash).

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