Fire Emblem (game)
|Name:||Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade|
(Japanese: Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (ファイアーエムブレム 烈火の剣, Fire Emblem: The Sword of Flame)
|Abbreviation(s):||FE7, RnK, Rekka, Fire Emblem|
|Country of Origin:||Japan, United States|
|External Links:||Official Site, Official Japanese Site|
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Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade was the very first game in the franchise released in the United States and the seventh game overall.
The story is divided into two parts: Lyn's tale and the main story. Lyn's tale is the tutorial mode for new players, mandatory on the first playthrough but skippable in subsequent runs. In the first 11 chapters, the player follows Sacaen plainswoman Lyn as she discovers her secret heritage as an heir to Caelin, a Lycian territory. She must reclaim her inheritance from her evil granduncle and in the process meets the grandfather she never knew she had.
The main story follows Eliwood and Hector, two Lycian lords as their search for Eliwood's missing father becomes a fight to stop a rebellion in Lycia and leads them into a plot to save the world. Lyn joins the main story several chapters in, serving as the third lead character. They must battle the corrupted Black Fang, once a vigilante group out to put corrupt nobles in their place but now under the thumb of the main villain, who is bent on bringing back the dragons from a time long past.
The player must complete Eliwood's path before gaining access to Hector's, which is another side to the main story. In Hector's path, you gain access to two characters not available otherwise; Farina the pegasus knight and Karla the swordmaster. The route also has extra chapters, both main and gaiden, and delves into the backstory of the main villain. It also focuses on Hector's tense relationship with his older brother.
Due to being the first Fire Emblem game to make it to America, the game has a huge following and is a cherished piece of nostalgia for a lot of people. Until Path of Radiance came to the States, FE7 was the most popular Fire Emblem game among the fandom and the most written about on Fanfiction.net. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the newer games, it remains a beloved favorite and discussions of the series will always bring up fans' fond memories of playing the game for the first time.
The game had a huge yaoi following due to the number of attractive male characters and support conversations that fans felt had a lot of subtext. Most notable were Raven and Lucius, who were more or less canon due to being each other's only paired ending and Raven even comparing Lucius to a wife at one point. Other popular couples were Matthew/Guy, Hector/Eliwood, Rath/Wil, Kent/Sain, and Heath/Legault.
Het was far from rare, however. The biggest pairing debates aside from whether or not Raven and Lucius were "really" gay involved the three lords: Hector, Eliwood, and Lyn. While Eliwood/Ninian was seen as more or less canon, other fans protested and felt Eliwood was a better fit with Lyn or Fiora. Meanwhile, Hector/Lyn was strongly hinted at as well, especially in Hector's path, causing fans to insist it was canon much to the irritation of fans who preferred Hector with Florina or Farina. As for Lyn, she had two other potential love interests in Rath, a fellow Sacaen, and Kent, her loyal knight. For yuri fans, Lyn/Florina was a fifth potential romance. While Rath/Lyn was often treated as canon due to the existence of Rath's daughter Sue in The Binding Blade, many Kent/Lyn fans disliked Rath strongly and felt he was too "cold" for Lyn.
The corresponding novelization of the game canonized Eliwood/Ninian, Rath/Lyn, and Hector/Florina. Oddly enough, though, it also made Guy/Priscilla official despite his being one of two Priscilla endings where her partner feels unworthy of her and leaves her.
There was a running thread of controversy about yaoi and yuri vs. het shipping. Most fans shipped a variety of pairings, but the gay-only and het-only factions were large enough to create wank now and then.
Fans who played the Japanese version of the game first via a ROM or an imported cartridge found this version superior, most notably the characterizations of Eliwood and Lyn. Japanese Eliwood was said to be very soft-spoken and submissive, while Japanese Lyn was a naive country girl; when the localization made Eliwood more confident and heroic and Lyn more of a strong warrior woman, the fans were turned off and raised a fuss. In addition, Lyn's age was changed from 15 to 18, though this may have been due to a translation error.