The last installment of What Is Fire Emblem is literally going to just be me talking about…Fire Emblem. Not the game, but the actual Fire Emblem, and what they’ve have meant (or didn’t mean) in each game. After all, why call a game something if the title is not gonna be important? Well…
Importance: Minor, Really
Role in the story: Princess Nyna of Akaneia entrusted the Fire Emblem, or the Shield of Seals, to be used in his battle against Medeus. Other than that, it’s importance to the story is that it’s a national treasure, only entrusted to a certain few…hence why Marth was the only one to hold on to it. It wasn’t much use after that.
Role in the story: Gaiden was the side story to the first game. What did that mean? That meant the Fire Emblem was nonexistent. And thus, this is the first game in the series where the title didn’t line up with expectations. So expected.
Importance: Slim, Really (Book 1); Major Importance in Book 2
Role in the story: Monshou No Nazo had two entries in the series: Book 1, which was the first remake of the Famicom game, and Book 2, which was the brand new entry and the direct sequel to FE1. Again, the importance of the Shield of Seals was not terribly important in Book 1; however, The Shield of Seals served a major importance in Book 2. For starters, you receive the shield early in the game where it takes up space. That doesn’t make me happy :| Ok, in all seriousness, you then learn that the Shield of Seals is needed to seal the Earth Dragons, who would have risen up and pretty much caused widespread destruction. But it was not just the Shield that was needed; you needed 5 orbs to activate its power: the Geosphere, the Lightsphere, the Darksphere, the Starsphere, and the Lifesphere. You fail to get all 5, you achieve the bad ending. What is that bad ending? Well I don’t know, I’ve never experienced it. Whatever the case, you fail to get all the orbs, that means you won’t be able to get the true ending. Once you have all five orbs, not only do you get a dragon limiting power, but you also get a major stat boost for Marth since he’s holding it.
Importance: None, Really
Role in the story: Geneology of The Holy War is a massive game, full of political intrigue and some pretty long and difficult maps. None of it involves the Fire Emblem. Well, ok, it is the crest of the house of Velthomer. And it is briefly touched upon in the Epilogue. But that is it. It doesn’t serve to be anything important like the prior games. Yet another title that proves it is Fire Emblem in name only.
Role in the story: This was the…midquel? Yes, I still always wonder if that’s an actual word. Anyways, this took place between Chapter 5 and 8 of Genealogy of The Holy War, and was only concerned with Leif’s tale. What about the Fire Emblem? Erp, shutout completely, really. This is precisely why the Jugdral games weren’t mentioned in the Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem trailer!
Importance: Moderate, at best
Role in the story: The Fire Emblem in The Binding Blade is the imperial seal of Bern, a powerful military nation. During the Scouring, the hero Hartmut used the Fire Emblem to gain access to the Sword of Seals, and subsequently used it to seal the Demon Dragon Idenn. For Binding Blade, Zephiel, the main antagonist of FE6, used it to unseal Idenn. He then promptly gotten it stolen by his half-sister, Guinevere, who then runs into Roy’s army. In the end, Roy eventually uses the seal to be able to use The Sword of Seals and once again stop Idenn from her reign of terror.
Importance: Meh, at best
Role in the story: Compared to some of the others, the seal mostly was needed to know the location of the Shrine of Seals. At the time it was used to prove Zephiel (in his youth and when he was kind) was able to be the legitimate heir to the throne, but his father was a petty dude and ordered members of the Black Fang to steal it. Otherwise, it didn’t have an overarching impact on the story.
Importance: Between Major and Moderate
Role in the story: This time, the Fire Emblem is more or less known as The Sacred Stones. They were once used by the Five Heroes, the founders of Magvel, to seal the spirit of the Demon King Fomortiis. Then centuries later, they were soon divided into two parts by Lyon after he used it to revive his father. Unfortunately for Lyon, his efforts ended up getting him possessed by the Demon King. That’s when all the Sacred Stones that each country had — Grado, Frelia, Jehanna, and Rausten — were on destroy alert. For everyone’s sake, it was good Renais’s stone did not break since that would have meant Fomortiis would no longer be able to be sealed, and who knows what horror would take place.
Importance: More moderate than Major, really
Role in the story: The Fire Emblem in Path of Radiance more or less drives the actions rather than be something completely dire, but nonetheless, it was fairly key to this story. Prior to the start of Path of Radiance, The Fire Emblem, now referred to Lehran’s Medallion, was once in the hands of Mad King Ashnard, who wanted to awaken the supposed Dark God, Yune, and have her judge humanity. But in order to awaken it, he kidnapped the heron princess Lillia so she could sing the Galdr of Release. Unfortunately, she was in no condition to sing it, and eventually dies. She does however pass the words of the Galdr of Release and gives the medallion to Elena, who happens to be Greil’s wife. Both Elena and Greil flee Daein, and were on the run for a number of years.
One day though, Greil touched the medallion. The power of it turned out to be immense, as he soon turned mad. He regained his sanity, but not without killing a number of people, and that includes running a sword through his wife. This event led Greil to slash the tendons in his sword hand so he could never be able to wield a sword again, to hire Volke, a skilled assassin, to kill him if he ever loses his mind again, and to give the medallion to Mist, who was able to hold it without any problems. He then formed the Greil Mercenaries. As stated, it didn’t exactly factor in storywise in PoR, but the events that occurred (Greil losing to the Black Knight, for one) was due to the medallion.
Importance: More Major than Moderate
Role in the story: Lehran’s Medallion was more fleshed out in Radiant Dawn though. We learn of the promise made between Ashera and Lehran. Ashera is convinced Yune is the reason perfection and peace has not been achieved in the world, and intends to destroy her. Lehran convinces her not to. Ashera is finally convinced, but sets up a rule that she cannot be awakened by war in a 1000 year span, or else she would destroy the world. Well, let’s just say thanks to the events of Path of Radiance, this almost comes to fruition — basically everyone is at war with each other, and it’s getting to the point where the medallion would have been awakened by war and that meant Ashera would have destroyed the world. But instead, she is awakened by the Galdr of Release, which saves destroying the world. Temporary, since just about everyone except for anyone that has anything to do with the plot is not turned into stone.
Importance: Slim, Really
Role in the story: The second remake of FE1. There’s no change in the story here: Marth gets it stuck with him, he has to use it to fight Medeus, and there you go.
Role in the story: Just about the same as Monshou No Nazo Book 2; you fail to get the gemstones, you can’t activate the Shield of Seals, you cannot achieve the good ending. So yeah, it’s pretty important!
Importance: Mostly Major
Role in the story: It takes on a similar vein to FE1 and FE3. Now called The Pedestal of Flames, this was the national treasure of Ylisse, and one of the treasures needed to awaken the Fell Dragon Grima. Grima was originally defeated by the first exalt 1,000 years ago, and subsequently sealed away. The varying degrees of importance stem from how it has affected the Future and the Present; in the future, Chrom dies, and that world is thrown into chaos; in the Present, the importance of the Fire Emblem ends up killing an important member of Ylisse, and soon enough, the shield and the jewels associated with it (Argent, Vert, Sables, Gules, Azure) is needed to awaken the true power of Chrom’s Falchion and also to awaken the divine dragon, Naga.