Fire Emblem is a series as old as time… or at least it feels like that considering how established it is. While featuring one of the most simplistic weapon dominance triangles, it still stood to be one of the toughest games due to its perma-death system. However, time changes everything.
Don’t get all angry or worried, folks. The option to play with perma-death is still going to be there in the next title, Fire Emblem If. However, the very simple rock-paper-scissors flow of what weapons beat others is being changed, among other things.
If you’ve never played Fire Emblem before, the original system was that swords beat axes, axes beat lances and lances beat swords. Extremely simple, right? Though the triangle is still going to be there, new weapons types will change things up just a bit. Now swords and magic trump axes and bows, axes and bows will beat the brakes off of lances and concealed weapons and concealed weapons and lances will in turn put the hurt on swords and magic.
Though it’s not the massive upheaval of what we know and love that I may have led you to believe, the times, they are a-changin’. In this case, change might be a good thing as this alteration of the game’s mechanics will lead to more variety in terms of weapons.
Another change that will slightly dull the difficulty is that weapon durability will be removed from the game. Now the only thing you have to worry about “running out of” is the times you can shoot magic from your staves.
Although there were other changes and additions mentioned in the original Gematsu article, these gameplay mechanics ones stood out, seeing as they’ll directly affect the methods you implore when playing the next iteration in the series.
Fire Emblem If will be releasing in two different versions, Black Kingdom and White Kingdom. Black Kingdom will be the more difficult of the two and there will be differences in terms of story, allies and weaponry.
Though positive changes like this are welcome, I have to admit that it’s horrendously surprising. Fire Emblem has been around since 1990 and has been a hit ever since it released and its fame only skyrocketed when the series found its way to American shores in 2003. I usually subscribe to the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra, so I’m wondering what spurred these weapon changes on. Sure, they added a weapon type with concealed, but that could have just been fit into the original triangle of effectiveness. I also find the decision to make two versions odd, especially if there’s just more difficulty. That really seems like something they could have just made a mode and had everything on one cartridge. Regardless, it is Fire Emblem, so it’ll likely be just as successful as all of the others.