Fire Emblem Gaiden
|Name:||Fire Emblem Gaiden / Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia|
|Date(s):||14 March, 1992 (Gaiden)|
20 April, 2017 (Echoes)
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official Site,|
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Fire Emblem Gaiden, and its remake Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, are the second and fifteenth mainline entries respectively in the tactical role-playing game series Fire Emblem.
Gaiden and Echoes take place on the continent of Valentia. Valentia was founded by the gods Duma and Mila, who could not agree on how best to guide humanity, and so split the continent into two countries: Rigel, led by Duma, and Zofia, led by Mila. The player alternately controls armies led by each of the two protagonists, Alm and Celica, as they each go on their separate journies to discover the truth of their origins and find out what has become of Valentia's gods.
Echoes introduced five new characters who were not present in the original Gaiden:
- Faye (a new member of the Ram village childhood friend group, who has a crush on Alm)
- Fernand (Clive and Clair's childhood friend, who turned traitor after a disagreement with Clive)
- Berkut (Alm's cousin and Emperor Rudolf's heir)
- Rinea (Berkut's lover)
- Conrad/The Masked Knight (Celica's long-lost half brother)
Notable characters include:
- Alm: One of the lords and Rigel's prince.
- Celica: One of the lords, also known as Princess Anthiese of Zofia.
- Mycen: An ex-knight of Rigel, who raised Alm secretly in a Zofian village.
- Rudolph: Alm's father, Emperor of Rigel.
- Berkut: Alm's cousin, Rigelian prince and general.
- Halcyon: Ex-High Priest of the Duma Faithful, now residing in Sage Hamlet.
- Mila: Goddess of Zofia who has gone missing at the start of the game.
- Duma: God of Rigel, who commands his Faithful to kidnap Celica.
The original Gaiden's fandom was small to nonexistent due to the game's obscurity. Gaiden had several unique mechanics such as dungeon crawling and random encounters that are not common in Fire Emblem games, which made it into a bit of a black sheep in the fandom.
When Echoes came out, the Fire Emblem fandom was much larger, and the characters were given more life and personality thanks to the deeper story and voice acting. While this was a boon for fans who enjoyed Gaiden and wanted to see more appreciation for it, the climate of the fandom led to the same character and shipping wars that plagued other games.
The five new characters were divisive, at best. Faye caught the most heat for being another "unrequited tragic maiden" type who had a crush on the hero but could never be with him.
Echoes received a lukewarm reception with some finding its gameplay relatively weak due to retaining a lot of the original game's outdated mechanics and bland map design. However, its writing, voice acting, and characters have received a lot of praise and are generally cited as the main reason to play the game.
Echoes has several canonical pairings which are fairly popular in the fandom:
Common non-canonical ships:
- A Road Less Travelled by Pureauthor, an AU focusing on friendship between Celica and Faye, who are rivals for Alm's affection in canon.
- by the seashore by PinkHydrangea, a Tatiana/Zeke fic set in pre-canon Rigel.
- Fire Emblem Echoes: Mou Hitori no Eiyuu Ou | Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia tag on AO3
- Fire Emblem Valentia stories on fanfiction.net