Part 1: Chapter 1, Prologue: Ram VillageMusic: Opening Theme
Gaiden takes place in a separate continent within the same 'world' as Fire Emblem 1. Hence, its designation as a side-story rather than a sequel.
Two local gods are fighting for control of this land.
Eventually they just take a page out of Solomon's book and divide the island down the middle.
The translation can be a little rough at times. Tactless, really?
I hate those contradiction years.
Good thing or we wouldn't have a game to play.
Holding both Start + Select while pressing the A button allows for the selection of Normal or Easy Mode (default is Normal Mode otherwise). Easy Mode, among other things, gives double experience points and allows free transfer of items between the two armies. Needless to say, we're playing Normal Mode. Unfortunately there's still no Hard Mode at this point in the series.
And we're immediately dumped into the start of the first chapter. Chapters in Gaiden are more like the 'Acts' of Fire Emblem 10, in that they're really groups of battles separated by large plot events.
The top guy runs back and forth for a few seconds before the lower guy finally addresses him.
Go and play, but don't leave the village. Bandits have been about.
And with that, we're left to wander around the village on our own. There's no battle or turns here, we just get to free-roam the village, explore, and talk to NPCs like we're in a Final Fantasy game.
Pressing the A button access the menu, which has a few options at this stage of the game. Rank shows the units in your army and their current HP, experience, and level. Item is for inventory management, Data shows our main character's numbers page, and Save, obviously, saves the game.
We're controlling Alm, a level 1 Fighter. The rest of the numbers don't mean a whole lot yet, but I'll go into them when we actually start fighting.
There's nothing to find in the houses, so we move to the right and find a group of people blocking the exit. Pressing the A button still just brings up the menu - talking to people requires ramming your face into theirs.
Each of the three people not actually blocking the exit say this line.
Luka here won't let us leave without giving us an expositional speech.
Sofia's castle was captured and the king has been killed. We formed a liberation force to fight against Dozer, but it's not good enough. So, I came to ask General Mycen to help.
Guess we should talk to Mycen. But first let's see what the other villagers think now:
Different lines this time, but they all amount to talking to Mycen and then going back to Luka.
Luka is still blocking the exit, so Alm moves off to give Mycen the good news. Mycen took advantage of his off-screen time to enter the house, so that's where we find him.
War brings only sorrow....
Mycen has some kind of mysterious-past thing going on. Oh well, better tell Luka he's out of luck.
The villagers re-arranged themselves while we weren't looking. Only Luka (now on the left) has anything different to say.
Sir Mycen has grown cowardly in his old age. To think he was once called Sofia's hero....
That seems a bit harsh. Let's see how Alm responds.
Oh, sure, that makes sense. In Fire Emblem, young rookies are far more desirable than old veterans.
My comrades will be pleased. Let's go to the liberation's base.
Luka is satisfied to leave with some kid he just met rather than the general who was "Sofia's Hero" in the past.
Music: Recruit Fanfare
And we get our first recruit for Alm's fledgling army.
One of the villagers is still blocking the exit, but Alm is feeling anti-social and doesn't want to talk to him.
A save, reset, and load later...
The villager moves upon reloading the game at this point, allowing Alm to leave the village and head into the Ram Woods free and clear.
But we don't really want to do that. Talking to the villagers yields:
But help me if I get in trouble!
I can already tell Cliff is going to be a winner in this army.
Let's go take back Sofia's castle!
I like Robin's attitude much better.
This village is bound to get attacked, too, so let's beat up that Dozer guy first.
And then there were five. Our starting army already has more personality than the equivalents in Fire Emblem 1, which had four units (Doga, Gordon, Kain, and Abel) start off already in the army with no lines whatsoever. Unfortunately these recruitment lines are the last we'll ever actually hear from our starting group (other than Alm himself, of course).
With the village emptied of able-bodied men, it's time to start our journey.