Fire Emblem, Conquest of my Brain Cells

So I’ve wanted to talk about this particular subject for a while now, not really having any special medium besides my own voice to the unfortunate ears of my friends, but ever since I created this blog that I can curse and yell a lot on and people are okay with it, I’ve decided to finally get all my words out about how I feel in particular about Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest.

Let me be clear.  I have never touched, played, or seen anything in particular from the brother game, Fire Emblem Fates: Bloodline, and I don’t exactly see myself getting to it in the near future, though I have heard from most who have played it, that it was a very good game worth playing if you like the Fire Emblem series, which is totally fine.  My main gripe, or I’d say maddening bloodlust, at the moment is directed entirely at Conquest, which I believe is a complete dumpster fire of atrociously written dialogue and scenarios that give the player absolutely no reason to feel good about anything that they do within the game.  Of course I’m gonna provide examples and stuff so people don’t whine at me but even then I don’t expect much love in the end.

To start off, for those that don’t know, Fire Emblem Fates was a special little project, never before seen in the series of Fire Emblem (though somewhat in the world of pokemon) in which the latest installment is broken into two different games, with a fast approaching DLC expansion.  The general gimmick here was that this time you got to pick a side in the war your main character took place in.  Both games tell relatively the same story with different backgrounds and characters and delve into entirely different focuses on how the main character should interact with the world, for the most part.  After a while you start to realize it didn’t really matter which side you picked as both families are basic carbon copies of each other with certain character traits thrown into the mix and the gameplay doesn’t shift for either.  The one true difference besides how the story plays out, is in the difficulty of the two games, as Nintendo declares even in the game itself that Conquest is the harder version.  I of course went out to buy one of the games as I am a general fan of Fire Emblem and of course bought Conquest because it looked fun.  Immediately, unbeknownst to myself, I made a huge mistake.  It’s not because the game is harder, no no no there are various ways in game to tone down the difficulty.  My major flaw was the fact that I bought Conquest first.  Yea that was my problem apparently.  To every single person I talked to regarding this series of games, apparently I played the wrong one first, or in this case, did not buy both of them and instead bought the wrong one first.  I apologize as I myself didn’t know there was an order to these things when the advertisement told me explicitly to “Pick a Side,” instead of, “Pick a Side but only after you get through Bloodlines first.”  The reason for this unforgivable mistake of mine was clearly not indulging enough in consumerism and buying both copies right away.  I’m terribly sorry.  According to everyone I know as well as the screaming masses on the internet, Bloodline gets you into the story in a fantastic way, truly motivating the player to progress and learn more about the world its created.  Conquest on the other hand was intended apparently just to see the other side of the war because EVERYONE ON THIS SIDE SUCKS.

From the get go you start to understand how little you were intended to appreciate the Conquest side of the game as you are immediately bombarded with reasons to hate them.  Your father, the king, attempts to have you assassinated TWICE, while you slowly learn you weren’t even his real child.  Yea within a few freaking minutes of the game you find out you were kidnapped by him as a child and are actually a part of the Bloodline family, but instead brainwashed and raised as one of their own.  You then get rescued by the Bloodline side and are given nothing but praise and warmth and comfort, having fantastic moments with your new family where they accept you wholeheartedly.  Yea I’ve been playing for like 10 minutes and the game already wants me to kill the king and love these other guys, but I have literally no choice in the matter.  As both stories start with the very same intro, even giving you the same choice of how you wish to proceed, regardless of which game you even purchased, you get this effect whether you like it or not.  Yet, as I only have conquest, I am literally being forced to go with these kidnapping murderous psychopaths, and my main character is trying desperately to argue that this is totally a legit thing to do.  Yea I get that your fake family besides your dad are honestly good people and want to look out for you, but that doesn’t stop them from being terrible.  Elise your younger sister is a complete idiot who starts a fight with a rebellion for no reason because she accidentally tells their leader that you were sent to kill him.  Your older sister is absolutely insane and murders people left and right for looking at you funny.  And your older brother Xander is just a hothead who tries to toss around reason and order while running his mouth off at anyone who isn’t his family.  Yea they love you but that’s about it, none of them have redeeming qualities besides loving you to death which is terrifying at certain points in the game.  Even after you come back the king freaks out, completely shocked and yells at you, asking what you’re doing here in the first place.  Yea I asked that same question, what am I doing here trying to make peace with the man who kidnapped me when I was young and currently wants me dead really really badly.  Oh yea you have another brother and he’s okay I guess.

This set up is terrible.  It gives me no incentive to play this game, no reason to continue when I hate everything about it. Everything presented to you is a struggle to have the main character convince themselves that they totally want to love these garbage people when their real family is literally trying to win you back as you decimate their friends in front of their eyes.  Oh you still have to fight them and they are so confused why you just up and left.  The plot only gets worse.  Later on you get thrown into some astral plane that barely ever gets explained and find out the king is being possessed by a demon but you can’t prove it at all through any of the means you used because of plot convenience.  I’m serious when I say this is the dumbest shit ever.  One of your teammates shows you the king’s true form with a crystal ball that shatters immediately after you use it because it would have been way too simple to just show everyone this thing.  After you learn a little bit about this other magical world you jumped into your guide says you can’t ever talk about it or shit goes down. Everything is just conveniently complicated, pushing the story’s absurd reasoning further and further in the direction it wants, regardless of whatever actually makes sense.

Besides all of this horrendous writing and dialogue, the worst thing about this entire vomit inducing display is the choice you are given after the intro.  I said before that both intros were the same but I didn’t really explain what that meant.  Both intros show the same scenes of you learning the horrific truth about your kidnapper family while you go on a magical rainbow journey with your real one, only to be thrust in between both and forced to make a choice.  This scene right here with the choice between games is actually the worst thing ever.  You are given the option to pick from both sides, regardless of what game you purchased in the end, but are only allowed to actually pick the one that’s currently sitting all warm and cozy in your 3ds.  If you were to pick the other side, like I and any other sane person that understands how life works, you would immediately be given a screen describing how you did not have the game, and can only play the other one.  HOWEVER!  The screen continues to explain that you do have another option at this moment, which is to keep pressing this button as it will eventually lead you to the shopping menu where you can then BUY THE OTHER GAME.  This right here drove me absolutely nuts.  I almost did it, I really almost shelled out the cash right there and bought the other game, simply because I had no reason to keep going with this train wreck of a scenario, and I’m pretty sure that was what Nintendo intending.  Intendo right there.  Great pun.  This was all just a ploy to make more money, not a legitimate attempt at creating two warring sides or dividing a fandom in a hilariously destructive way.  No no no this was all a mission to get us to fork over more money just to be somewhat satisfied and get the conclusion, or really just the game, that we wanted.  By giving us the option after showing such a one-sided story, you are pushed to want to buy the right side, the Bloodline side, not the terrible evil totally unredeemable conquest side that later on just sorta peters out into trying to fight off the real bad guys in the end.  You’re given a choice but at the same time not at all, both physically and emotionally trapping you, with your only real option is to put out more money to be happy.  It drives me nuts, thinking why they couldn’t have just put both sides on the same cartridge and saved us the trouble, instead of pumping out two relatively similar games with one just making sense while the other drools on itself.

The main gameplay is just Fire Emblem, if you were interested.  It’s still fun to play, because it’s Fire Emblem.  The characters are funny and somewhat likeable, because it’s Fire Emblem, and the fights are always satisfying and well designed. . . because it’s fucking Fire Emblem.  The gameplay never strays too far from the original concept of turn based strategy with your units versing waves of enemies and leveling up as they go.  If you like this kind of thing you’ll probably like Conquest, just as long as you close your eyes whenever anyone says anything ever.  ORRRRRR you could just go play Bloodline which is the far superior game in terms of absolutely everything apparently.

I could delve more into why I hate this game in its entirety.  I could explain how I think the marriage system makes no sense anymore because the astral plane is a crack dream kind of idea. I could even talk about the really creepy relationship function that lets you point-of-view kiss your significant other and even blow hot steam out of their face after they take a bath because that was a really important thing to add in this game about war.  Instead I am just going to leave you all with this, hoping I pushed my point across on why this abomination should never have been created in the first place, and you all come off as stronger from it.  I’ve heard arguments for this game talking about why it was necessary to have it but none of them really made me believe any less that this was just the asshole run of any choice making rpg turned into a thing of its own.  If you truly believe somewhere deep beneath the stroke-inducing storytelling that there is a legitimate reason for this game’s existence, please leave a comment somewhere below and I will most definitely pray for your health and safety.  Thank you all and have a wonderful day.  Oh and if you ever want to get into Fire Emblem completely ignore this mess and go play Awakening.  That stuff actually makes sense.  Blaakmage out.

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