If you absolutely adored Fire Emblem Awakening a few years ago, then Fire Emblem Fates was the equivalent of choosing your favourite testicle. One game, two distinct paths that were separated between the Conquest and Birthright campaigns. Birthright was the game on easy mode, a primer for what was to come while Conquest played out as an advanced version of Fire Emblem Fates that didn’t pull any punches along the way.
Thing is, both games were good. Damn good in fact as they spun a tale based on the choices you made when it came to siding with either your adoptive Nohr family or long-lost Hoshido lineage. Shades of grey were plentiful between the two stories, but each one had a definite emphasis on one particular family. And then there’s Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation. A middle child that accepts neither side in the massive war that plays out over the course of both games.
It’s also an oddly-slotted piece of DLC for Fire Emblem Fates. It’s only available as part of the special edition, or as an extra $20 purchase. Which is going to put many fans off, resulting in a community that will most likely ignore this content completely. And that’s a shame, because Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations is actually the best part of Conquest and Birthright, rolled into one package.
For starters, it actually fills in the gaps of the narrative that Conquest and Birthright never addressed, revealing the true puppet-master who is pulling strings to conquer the world, a big bad who cannot be named lest you run afoul of a highly specific curse. And it’s on that setup alone, that you have to convince both Hoshido and Nohr forces to join you in your battle to save the world. Ludicrous, yet intriguing because it all circles back to what makes Fire Emblem so magnificent: Trust.
And that also sets the pace for Revelations. Along the 27 missions, there’s a massive number of allies to collect and recruit. Enemies from either side of the previous game are now able to join your army, which of course opens up even more options for siring children and growing your militia even further. Even with permadeath on, you’ll steadily be growing your armed forces up like a lunchtime line outside KFC for R10 Dunked Zinger Wings.
It’s all about the middle-ground, finding a balance and running wild with it. Players can take on tougher missions ala Conquest, or grind their heroes to the max in infinite challenges just as they could in Birthright. Even the My Castle function receives the best of both worlds, as players can decorate their base of operations with architectural styling from both kingdoms.
All this, and it still has that unmistakeable feel of being a Fire Emblem game. All the core battle setups and tactics that makes Fire Emblem Fates one of the best strategy games that you can carry around with you. And of course, the sheer torment that the permadeath option brings with it. In many ways, I’d have preferred Revelation to be the main chapter of Fire Emblem Fates over Conquest and Birthright.
It’s as long as either game, packed with the best features of both titles and a story that makes sense in a ridiculous way.
Last Updated: May 12, 2016