Come ye and come all…forget all the other Fire Emblem games, I want my blog hits, and thus, I will continue to milk the hottest series in the franchise until I can’t milk it anymore!
…Wow that sounded inappropriate. Let me just get started on what you need to know about Awakening before I make some reference to Queen’s Blade. And no, you don’t want to search Queen’s Blade. Honest to go–
…Now I regret mentioning that too.
The obvious new feature that has not been installed in prior Fire Emblem games is the ability to pair up. Pairing up does three main things:
- Increase your characters stats
- Increase your characters’s love points (or support points)
- Increase the chances of attacking twice in battle
Now, everything I described you can also do by having them placed side by side without pairing up, but take advantage of your pair up. You might as well pair up Chrom with Maribelle, but if you’re not sure you want to get them married in the end, you can keep Sumia or Sully close. You’ll not only get a few of their stats, but you’ll also get an increase in their love points as well. It’s called mixing and matching. Now…on the subject of supports…
As I mentioned briefly in my let’s talk about Awakening post, supports have evolved since probably the last true support rewards feature in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. There was support in Path of Radiance, but with the sequel existing, it’s not like you could see character specific endings like the games in the GBA line (though you still get increased stat bonuses though), and for Radiant Dawn, you do get an epilogue if you do supports with certain characters, but it’s not that lengthy for some, some are vague, and yeah, you get your rewards in battle, but the actual support conversations were lame. Because there wasn’t really any support conversations.
Fire Emblem Awakening however, not only brings back the GBA support style system, but it adds the marriage system to the game. This is not a new feature in Fire Emblem; this was seen in the Japan only Fire Emblem: Seisen No Keifu, or Genealogy of the Holy War. That game had two playthroughs: the first generation and the second generation. In the first generation, you can have certain characters marry, they’ll have children, and you get to play as the children in the second generation. Their parents skills, which is a special ability that activates at random or when certain conditions have been met, would be passed down to them, meaning you could have a really strong character to play as. That’s how it also works in Awakening, and generally speaking if you trained your parents right and they got certain skills, their children will be stronger than them. Also, as I mentioned in the talk Awakening post, you can do unlimited supporting in this game, as long as the characters are able to. I point that out as a way to use strategy, since you can still gain bonuses, even if your character does not get married.
Lunatic is not a difficulty level; it is a masochism level
Fire Emblem games are notoriously difficult. For starters, only certain classes will be really strong without a doubt, while others will fall prey to the RNG and get really crappy stats. You combine that feature with the desire to keep all of your characters alive despite the game not forcing you to do so, it only adds to the difficulty. Starting with Fire Emblem 6 (Binding Blade) though, difficulty levels were added and this feature has been in every Fire Emblem game since. Unfortunately, this has produced quite possibly the most torturous difficulty level in gaming history: Maniac/Lunatic mode. Maniac was introduced in Fire Emblem 9 and 10, higher levels of difficulty were introduced in Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of The Emblem (That includes Lunatic Reverse, oh boy), and Awakening has four levels of difficulty: Normal, Hard, Lunatic, and Lunatic+, which, in order to get, you have to beat Lunatic. Needless to say, these are not difficulty levels — these are Masochism levels. How high is your M rating? You get to find out since these modes will beat it into your head. Kind of like actual war, you need more than just strategy to actually beat those modes. It involves hitting the reset button a lot though.
Attacking Enemy Reinforcements
We outsiders of Japan had it easy for the most part when it comes to FE. I say this because in Japan, Fire Emblem games had another feature that ups the difficulty: enemy reinforcements…that move once they appear on the field on their turn. In other words, if you weren’t careful with where you placed your unit in your phase, an enemy sniper could pop out of that fort or screen and kill it. This feature was not included in the Western GBA games, and was apparently seen on Hard in Radiant Dawn. But if you play Awakening’s Hard mode, this feature returns, and if you’re careless, you can get yourself all caught up in it. So pay attention!
Luck, Luck, Luck!
Finally, always keep an eye out on your character’s luck, and increase it whenever you can. The higher your luck in games, the higher your character’s gonna stick around. Also, think of this game as luck based for the most part — obviously, your skills and your strategy matter, but as you start approaching the higher difficulty levels, you may come up with the superior strategy, but you may just have some plain Jane bad luck. Don’t get discouraged by it, honest!