Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When I first played Fire Emblem

My first game was Path of Radiance. I read about it in Nintendo Power and I remember being curious about it before (thanks to Super Smash Bros. Melee), but I didn’t realize it existed until right before the ninth game in the series came out. I was excited because I knew I felt something special from this series, even before playing it. It was almost Christmas and my parents were fighting quite a bit; I was also dealing with a lot of illnesses at once and something else that I’m not comfortable with sharing, but I still have nightmares about it. Needless to say, I needed a new fictional world to escape to.

When I first started actually playing the game, I had rented it from a video store a couple of blocks down from my house. I was so excited to finally play this game that I just could not help but feel giddy about; I set my Chinese food down next to me, popped the disc into my Gamecube, and began playing. Needless to say, I was astounded. The art was amazing; I fell in love with Ike and a lot of the other characters; I was intrigued by the storyline and the development, and the turn-based strategy, which was a foreign concept to me at the time, so it was amazing to get to learn it through this game. The animated cutscenes, as few as they were, inspired me. I felt bad for Ike when his father died—at the time my own father was going through an alcoholism problem and he felt distant from me, so his plight hit me close to home. I had crushes on fictional men for the first time, and it was fantastic. I wrote fanfictions and drew art. I did everything that I could, despite being admittedly young, to display my support for this game and to spread its beauty to other people as well. I made my sister play it. I made the neighbor play it. I futilely tried to make some of my other good friends play it. I eventually bought the other games that I could get my hands on—8, then 7, then 10, then 11. I could not stop.

Yes; never before had I played a game of this genre, so being introduced to actual RPGs through Fire Emblem was a real treat. It was the first thing that inspired me to write something for hours on end that actually wasn’t a fanfiction. I took my mind off of my parents’ eventual divorce with this game. I listened to this game’s music for hours on end. I cried over a game for the first time since Hey You Pikachu, and it felt great.Fire Emblem is more than a game or some fantasy series to me; it’s something more wonderful and more beautiful than that. Seeing the fanbase die down a little hurts significantly because of this, but no matter what Nintendo/IS decides to do with the series from here on out, I will never forget the greatest joys that this game gave to me, my sister, and my neighbor (who is pretty much my little brother by now).

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