About this Series:
Fire Emblem is a series of fantasy turn based strategy games by Intelligent Systems.You could think of it as perhaps midway between a classical strategy RPG like Final Fantasy Tactics and a traditional turn based strategy like Advance Wars (also by Intelligent Systems). Characters are persistent, level up and improve, and their deaths are permanent (Unless you restart that chapter of the game from the beginning, which you always do).
Notably, Fire Emblem games are almost completely standalone and set in different universes from each other (with a few exceptions). You do not need to know anything about the other games in the series to appreciate the story of this one. In fact, I predict that the less you know about the story of Fire Emblem/Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword/Fire Emblem 7/Not the One With Roy, the more you'll appreciate this one.
About this Game:
Fan translators can't seem to agree on whether it should be called Sword of Seals, Binding Blade, Sealed Sword, or Blinding Blade. I'm 99% sure that last one is a result of typos. The Japanese title is Fuuin no Tsurugi. If playing Yugioh in middle school taught me anything, it is that your deck should have the minimum number of cards your trading card game allows and also that "Tsurugi" means "Sword". Nevertheless I may flip a coin to decide between saying Sword of Seals or Binding Blade at any given moment, as I did for the thread title. Binding Blade is heads. Or I may just call it FE6, since this is the 6th entry in the Fire Emblem series.
This Fire Emblem was never released outside of Japan so no official translation exists, but there are several fan ones and Ill be using the most famous of those. Its generally regarded as one of the harder entries in the series and it has a small but fairly devoted fanbase in part because of that.
This game is erroneously referred to by many fans as the sequel to Fire Emblem 7, the first English fire emblem. Or even more erroneously referred to as the prequel to Fire Emblem 7. This game was made first, but 7's events happen first chronologically. That makes 7 a prequel to 6, and I'm pretty sure the English language has no word for what 6 is to 7. Im going to go with "Prequel^(-1)", "Inverse Prequel", "Prequel Inverse", or maybe "Arcprequel". So this game is the arcprequel of 7, but a lot of its story and character actions don't really make sense in light of 7. I would say that this makes 7 a bad prequel, except that the changes are usually improvements in my eyes. My (contentious) preferred interpretation is that 7 should be taken as occurring in an alternate universe in which (because of the events of FE7) the events of FE6 will never happen or will happen very differently. In my opinion, both stories make more sense that way and can be better enjoyed on their own merits.
Speaking of which, debates among fans about which FE game is the best can be heated, but I categorically agree with my own arguments that it is not this game. Nonetheless, as I play this game for the fourth time, I'm going to try to take a fresh look at it and see if I can take my own advice and try to appreciate it on its own merits. These include a high overall challenge for a veteran FE player, characters bleeding, characters swearing, Hector having a stylin' beard, greater early game access to interesting and powerful weapons, no lengthy tutorial to slog through, Karla not appearing, a much more straightforward and simpler plot, the edge of your seat excitement of never knowing what kind of enemies will be coming out of nowhere to attack before your next turn, and Gonzalez.
About this LP:
Just like my first LP, this one is going to be half strategy guide to achieving the maximum ranking on the maximum difficulty and half evaluation of this game as a work of art.
Although I'm going to try to forget about FE7s relationship with this game and just consider this game on its own, you should definitely consider reading my Fire Emblem 7 Let's Play (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3701153) first or along with this one. I went into a huge amount of detail about game mechanics and the like in that one in sections of most chapters that I called the War Room. Most of that stuff is exactly or nearly the same in this game, so I'm not going to waste pages and hours copy/pasting or rewriting my previous War Rooms when I could be writing new ones. For purposes of War Room talk and discussion of strategy in general, I'm going to assume you've read that stuff and I'll refer back to it by number. Conveniently, my table of contents in the first post of that thread includes what chapter you can find every War Room in and what each one was about.
Same as for that LP, I won't be posting the whole game script here. You can find it on several sites including Serenesforest (http://serenesforest.net/binding-blade/scripts/translation-script/) and also in Artix's LP of this very game (http://lparchive.org/Fire-Emblem-Sword-of-Seals/). Instead I'll focus on talking about important or interesting moments or lines and how they work -or fail- to develop the characters, plot, setting, and themes.
I didn't really abide by my own rules about spoilers very well last time and it would have gotten in the way of what I was trying to do if I had, so I'm going to pretty much scrap that. Expect spoilers from me and possibly others about every aspect of both FE6 and FE7. Oh and the Black Knight is Glass.
Previously, on FE6:
So I've never actually max ranked FE6, but I have max ranked every mode of FE7 and beaten FE6 twice on hard mode. So in other words, I don't actually know what I'm talking about, but I might be able to convince you that I do. Don't be fooled.
First off, let me show you the ranking screen from what I think was my most recent completion of the game:
That ranking screen is full of lies.
This version is corrected. Basically, 5 out of the 6 categories were mistranslated. I'll get into the details of what these mean later, but with a few key differences they're the same as in FE7. Think of the new 'Power' ranking as Exp 2: Electric Boogaloo for now.
Each category is ranked from D to A. If you get an A in each category on normal mode you get an S overall, and on hard mode you get an SS. That's what I'm going for.
Anyway, I was just doing a fairly standard playthrough the last time except I let anyone I didn't need and didn't like die. You can see that I still did pretty well on some of the ranking categories. That's because, just like in FE7, some of the categories are trivial. It's not all the same ones though.
Translation errors or idiosyncrasies like that abound in some of the less trafficked parts of the game and range from banal to hilarious to dangerous and problematic (like that ranking screen one). Here are a few from the demo screens that play if you don't press start:
That out of my system, I'd just like to say that I appreciate the work other FE fans put into translating this and that it's perfectly reasonable for the resulting script to have some oddities, particularly in unimportant areas like this. I'll generally refrain from bringing more up unless they strike me as either particularly funny or actually important for some reason.
Oh and I'd never noticed before, but after the first wave of demos about classes, you get this interesting little series of scenes. First some people running through a fog-bound Laus.
Then a sudden transition to Marcus and Roy sparring in Pherae.
Unless that was just supposed to be a particularly painful object lesson, I'm not sure what the point in telling him that is. It's not like Roy can use anything else or can force Marcus to use an axe or sword instead.
I've got to say, that was a pretty cool set of cutscenes even if it didn't all make sense. I'm not sure why they hid this where you would only see it if you let the gameboy idle for about 2 minutes on the menu.
In the Beginning:
I suspect I'm going to want all my save slots before this is through.
And the new file has begun!
The OrangeFluffySheep Art Gallery
OFS has drawn several great cartoons about FE6 over the course of this Let's Play. Here they are together, in the order they were drawn:
The optimal way to use Bors:
A doodle of Chrom:
The maps are too darned big:
Map support growth limits:
No more than 5 support conversations per character!
The character popularity poll:
Lugh and Ray take 1:
Lugh and Ray take 2:
Zephiel's choice of minions:
Ohtz's mysterious unpopularity:
Hoarding treasure for the funds ranking:
The forecast says there's a 95% chance of a random bandit battle in the next update...
Table of ContentsChapter 1 and The War Room Part 35 (The Goal)
Chapter 2 and The War Room Part 36 (Funds Ranking)
Chapter 3 and The War Room Part 37 (Supports in FE6)
Chapter 4 and The War Room Part 38 (Changes to Weapon Stats)
Chapter 5 and The War Room Part 39 (Estimating Enemy Hard Mode Bonuses)
Chapter 7 and the War Room, Part 40 (Route Choices)
Chapter 8 and the War Room, Part 41 (Uses of Rescuing)
Chapter 8x and the War Room, Part 42 (Maximizing XP Gain)
First Interlude (Ranking Progress So Far)
Chapter 10 and the War Room, Part 43 (Planning Supports)
Chapter 11 (Part 1)
Chapter 11 (Part 2)
Chapter 12 (Part 1) and the War Room, Part 44 (Split Party Battle Preparations)
Chapter 12 (Part 2)
Second Interlude (Ranking Progress Reloaded)
Chapter 13 (Part 1) and the War Room, Part 45 (Planning Rescue-Drops)
Chapter 13 (Part 2)
Chapter 16 (Part 1)
Chapter 16 (Part 2)
Third Interlude (Ranking Progress & the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Chapter 18 and the War Room, Part 46 (Choosing Characters)
Fourth Interlude (Ranking Progress: A New Hope)
Chapter 22 (Part 1)
Chapter 22 (Part 2)
Epilogue (A Good Day to Ranking Progress)