Game Reivew - Fire Emblem Gaiden

Fire Emblem Gaiden

Completed on 30 August 2021

Ending Screen

Fire Emblem Gaiden ending screen

Notes & Commentary

  • The game isn’t finished yet; I am writing this note on 27 Aug 2021.
    • The reason I’m writing this now, before the game is even done, is because the battle system is such that when you need to just grind for exp, you can set it on auto-pilot while you do other things. I’m sure this was intended as a convenience thing, because there is a LOT of grinding in this game.
    • People have said this is the “black sheep” of Fire Emblem games, and I don’t think I can really tell that because I haven’t played enough of them. There are things about it that I really like.
    • This is the first, and I hope to God ONLY game, where I did use emulator features, specifically load and save state, to get through it. It does not feel great to do this, but I’m playing an English translation patch (the game was never officially translated) and I started out using these just to try and quickly learn game features (mechanics, etc) that aren’t explained elsewhere. I then learned that I could sometimes do it in battles, to get an edge, but really even those times were rare and I don’t think made or broke the game. I also NEVER ONCE used Rewind or Fastforward to get ahead. I tried to do it with Rewind, but it never worked to change the outcome of a fight. I did NOT ever fast forward through the extremely long battles just to farm for exp.
    • Also, just as a side note, the consequences of a disaster in a FE game are hilariously bad. Like, “lose 20+ hours of time and/or restart the entire game from the beginning” bad.
    • By the end of this, I was ready to be done. The final level is brutal, the final battle is brutal, there’s just a whole like 5-10 hours at the end of the game which are NOT any fun at all.
    • Everything else about it is great though. I liked the RPG elements, exploring dungeons, etc. Apparently this was the first FE game to do that (other FE games are battles only).
    • Graphics, music, and gameplay are all great. You can tell that this was made later in the life span of the NES; so many of the animations are really polished and nice looking.
    • This game was 🇯🇵 only, and I played a patched 🇺🇸 translation. For some reason, this doesn’t feel quite “right” to me, like I still wasn’t intended to play it any way other than how the creators made it, and because of that, I’ve ‘missed something.’ If nothing else, it surely would have been helpful to have a manual in english.
    • There are also guides in english, which are based around the patch I used and various other english language patches. Pretty much all of these guides are worthless. There isn’t a “grand strategy” or “secret” to getting good at these kinds of games. If you can’t get through a battle, a guide won’t really help you, you just have to grind it out.
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