Opinion: Why Fire Emblem Should Have Won Best RPG at VGX

Fire Emblem Masahiro Sakurai

Recently at Spike’s VGX Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch won best RPG. Now, let me start off by saying, I think Ni No Kuni is a fantastic game, but I felt like Fire Emblem: Awakening was just more appealing and better as an RPG than Ni No Kuni to me.

 

**********SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!!!**********

 

As noted above if you don’t want spoilers about the games, mainly Fire Emblem, stop reading. Seriously, this is your last warning.

The reason I like Fire Emblem for starters is that you create your own character. That, to me at least, is a big part of RPG’s. If I just know the character the game just doesn’t feel as immersive to me. Don’t get me wrong, playing Ni No Kuni as Oliver was amazing. It was also incredibly depressing. I mean you lose your Mom in like the first 10 minutes of the game. Seriously, that moment kinda killed me a little inside. Not mention the whole Shadar, sort of, redemption story. Let’s get back on track though. In Fire Emblem your character wakes up knowing nothing about himself or his past. You immediately are thrown into combat and put into the role of Tactician. This is where I felt Fire Emblem excelled more so than Ni No Kuni.

Control

You control your characters. In Fire Emblem there is a mode where there is permadeath. Meaning that if you lose one of your party members, excluding you and Chrome, they’re gone forever. I like to try to play one full game without reloading a save. This causes me to play cautiously and own up to my mistakes.

I was very late in the game and I had married my character to Nowi. We were fighting and all of a sudden it hit me, “Damn, I forgot they were flanking the left, who’s there?” I looked and it was Nowi. I had separated from her to cover more ground and get some chests. It was a selfish move, but I thought we could pull it off. We had been through more than that together. A knight came with a sword that did extra damage to her kind. He killed her in one hit. She fell to ground, grunted, and said, “I’m so sorry” and died. I watched her die. That was brutal and at that point I reloaded the game and finished it.

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The reason I reloaded was because I thought I couldn’t finish the game without her. Every time I loaded it up and tried to battle I felt like it was pointless because I had lost the woman I loved. I went weeks without playing because of her. That is a game winning RPG to me. One that can cause you that much emotional distress over losing a virtual character. That’s not the only one, I became attached to everyone in my party and I had to lose some great people along the way.

One of the best scenes in Fire Emblem is when Chrom’s sister dies, but not really. She ends up sacrificing her life to save Chrom and the Emblem and it was devastating. No, wait it gets worse. Later on you can find her in a village, but she can’t remember anything since she fell to her supposed death. It’s just so tragic seeing that, because you want something so good to happen and it doesn’t.

Awesome Story and Ending

Nothing will compare to the end of the final chapter when I chose to sacrifice myself to kill Grima. Nowi, my wife, just says, “*Sob* *sniff* Michael’s not gone! He’s just…misplaced! I’ll wait a thousand years for him if I have to!” That one tugged on my heartstrings a little too much. I had done so much to lead up to that moment. I had gone through hell and back. I had lost a ton of good men and women in battle. I had kids! KIDS! I saw my friends grow up, fall in love, get married, and have children. I met new people and had new adventures. It was something magical. Trading with merchants before battle. Talking with my companions outside of battle. Setting up relationships and watching them grow. Another big thing I would like to mention is that the world feels bigger than you. Playing I always felt like I was against insurmountable odds and I wouldn’t win. Which made winning all the more sweeter. There was a ton of lore and background in Fire Emblem that it was almost mind-boggling. It made me feel like if it wasn’t for me the world would be doomed. I would go into more detail about the story and lore itself, but it’s way too much to put into one article. Seriously, the wiki has like a thousand pages just on Awakening.

The point I want to emphasize is that, while Ni No Kuni has a fantastic storyline and great gameplay, it feels scripted to me. It’s a story through and through that you can’t really control. In Fire Emblem I felt like you had more choice in how to handle situations and your destiny. You may lose some people along the way, but that was your responsibility and you have to accept that. (Or you can just reload the save like me.) That immerses you into the game, you don’t want your characters to die so you take caution. You study the battlefield. You ready your weapons and spells. You become your character. You save the world. Not some character, you do. I don’t want to become someone else, I want that someone to be me.

 

Note: I’m not trying to put down Ni No Kuni! I can’t emphasize how much I love that game! I just felt like Fire Emblem should have won over it at the VGX awards for best RPG and thus, gave my reason why.

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About The Author

I come from a small town in South Carolina and I'm going to school for Electrical Engineering. I grew up on Nintendo games. The first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros. for the NES. I loved that thing and still have it to this day. I have had every Nintendo system, save for the Virtual Boy, since the NES that was given to me. Nintendo has brought me joy where every other form of entertainment falls short. My favorite game is either The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask or the entire Mother series. (Yes, I'm counting the Mother series as one game. Deal with it.) I'm currently playing Super Mario Bros 3D World on Wii U and Animal Crossing: New Leaf and trying to finish up Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon on 3DS. NNID: Mr.Lockthorne

  • As always, great article! Thanks for writing so much great content :D