Happy Friday, everyone! The first month of 2017 has come and gone… How’s everyone’s resolutions doing?
Considering the hype that’s been buzzing around for the new Fire Emblem games coming this year, I figured this month’s Flashback will be dedicated to my first Fire Emblem game, the Sacred Stones.
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was localized in North America on May 23, 2005, the second in the Fire Emblem series to do so. In Japan, the Sacred Stones is the eighth game in the Fire Emblem series. While not the most popular game of the franchise, it received good reviews, receiving an average rating of 85 from Game Rankings.
Like the previous Fire Emblem games, the Sacred Stones is a tactical RPG, whereas the player controls an army of characters fighting against monsters and opposing soldiers alike. The stages are maps, generally having the condition to win be to rout out all of the opposition, with a few other conditions as well. The player must use strategy and be mindful of the magic and weapons triangles in order to perform the best attacks.
The Sacred Stones revolves around the royal twins Ephraim and Eirika, each going on their own journey to resolve the mystery surrounding the sudden appearance of monsters on their world as well as an invasion by a country they had believed to be their ally. The story progresses in chapters, with one battle map per chapter, and is split in the middle of the game between Ephraim and Eirika. The main protagonists eventually reunite with their armies to take down the final boss.
One of the best aspects of the Fire Emblem game is the perma-death for characters — if a unit’s HP falls to zero, that unit is dead for the rest of the game. There are no revives, and those units that you spent such care leveling up are easily lost with just one wrong move. It’s a great challenge to win each battle without losing any units.
If raising a character’s level and skills isn’t enough of a reason to keep them alive in battles, this game also has support conversations between characters. By supporting another, characters get stat boosts by being next to one another in a battle, as well as having conversations to further their development (and, possibly, relationship).
The Sacred Stones holds a special place in my heart for being my first Fire Emblem game. I can’t tell you how many times I used to reset stages just so I wouldn’t lose any units! It’s been a wonderful introduction to strategy games, and I’m looking forward to the new additions of the franchise later this year.