Fire Emblem: Awakening was launched in Japan on the 3DS 10 years ago today. However, outside of its native Japan, the show’s primary fanbase has yet to grow beyond its numbers.
However, Intelligent Systems’ development and narrative abilities were undeniable, and the game’s origin story is now well-known and often recounted.
Once again, this was meant to be the last push for the series, with a large budget and a possible worldwide release on the 3DS if it didn’t do well.
What Is Fire Emblem Awakening?
Developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo SPD, Fire Emblem Awakening is a tactical role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS. It was released by Nintendo. It was released in Japan in April 2012 and elsewhere in 2013.
It is the thirteenth chapter in the Fire Emblem series and the first to be created for the Nintendo 3DS family of consoles. This Fire Emblem continues the series’ emphasis on tactical character movement over a grid-based battlefield and combat with opposing forces.
Other elements include the ability to create and cultivate relationships between characters to strengthen their powers, customizable difficulty levels, a mode that prevents the irreversible death of characters, and numerous camera viewpoints in combat.
Amnesiac Robin wakes up in a field and is found by Chrom and his Shepherds army, who take him back to their stronghold. Robin showed his tactical acumen when defending a neighboring village from Plegian bandits.
After forming an agreement with Regna Ferox, the Shepherds went out to battle Plegia’s army and the Risen, with the help of a disguised assassin called Martha. Validar and his thugs almost kill Emmeryn during a Plegia-Shepherd skirmish.
Assassination plots are foiled by “Marth,” who is discovered to be a woman. Shortly later, Emmeryn is arrested while trying to reach Plegia’s ruler, King Gangrel. Gangrel trades Emery’s life for the Fire Emblem. Emmeryn, a martyr for Ylisse and Plegia, intervenes by tossing herself over a cliff.
Plegia and Gangrel are beaten, and the continent is at peace. When Chrom assumed the Ylisse throne two years after Gangrel’s demise, he married and had Lucina. When Valm’s Emperor Walhart tries to overrun Ylisse, Chrom re-commands the Shepher.
Using a time-traveling spell invented by Naga, “Marth” is revealed to be Lucina (voiced by Laura Bailey) from another universe where Grima has been restored.
To destroy Grima, Chrom must perform the “Awakening,” a ceremony that involves uniting the Fire Emblem with five mystical stones scattered throughout the lands. The Shepherds recover four of the gems during and after the battle in Valm.
He then ambushes them, and Robin’s father becomes the new king of Plegia. Because of this, Validar takes control of Robin and flees with Chrom. He also claims Grima picked Robin as his vessel from her conception.
Lucina knows Grima used Robin to kill Chrom in her version. Chrom tells her to back off, believing the Avatar can break Grima’s control of history. Whether Lucina is Robin’s wife or mother, Lucina refuses to go through with it.
The Shepherds discover Validar, who uses Robin to attack Chrom in a nightmare-like manner. The Shepherds defeat Validar and reclaim the Fire Emblem after Robin foresees Chrom’s death.
A possessed Robin from Lucina’s future appears now, implying Grima’s failed possession attempt caused their amnesia. Robin will use the power gathered for Grima’s resurrection to reclaim its dragon form. Chrom has to hurry to awaken Naga. Despite Chrom’s new power to stop Grima, Naga reveals that she can only put him to sleep for a thousand years.
To really slay Grima, according to Naga, Robin must be destroyed, even if it means Robin’s death. An alliance with Chrom and the Shepherds is vital to Robin’s survival, says Naga. The Shepherds beat Grima in the last battle. To rescue Robin, Chrom offers to kill the fallen dragon. Based on the player’s ultimate choice, the game has two possible outcomes.
If Chrom kills Grima, he’ll sleep for a thousand years, but Robin will be haunted by guilt. They and Grima will die if Robin strikes. No one will stop searching for them until they are located and restored to their proper owners, save Chrom and the Shepherds.
In a post-credits scene, Robin and Lissa are discovered in a field similar to the game’s beginning.
Monster Hunter 4 and Bravely Default were both included in Nintendo’s 2012 3DS roster at the time of the game’s first announcement in September 2011.
A limited-edition Nintendo 3DS bundle featuring Awakening pre-installed was made by Nintendo as part of its launch. To make the game more appealing to a North American audience, a number of visual and gameplay changes were made early on in the development process.
Over the course of a year, Nintendo of America worked closely with independent video game translation studio 8-4, who had previously worked together on the Nintendo DS title Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
In February 2012, the game was announced for distribution in Europe, with the claimed release date of that year. A domain name for Fire Emblem Awakening was registered in April of the same year by Nintendo of America.
In June, Nintendo’s Twitter account indicated that it will be coming to North America soon. It was revealed in December that release dates for western areas will be set. It was released in both English and Japanese for its Western distribution.
In North America and Europe, a limited 3DS bundle with Awakening pre-installed was also developed, with Europe additionally getting the 3DS XL variant.
On its day of release in North America, it was available via Nintendo’s online shop, but many online merchants did not have it stocked.
Nintendo has been rather non-committal on the issue, however, they have said that shops may get goods on various days owing to variability in shipment.
After its premiere, Awakening was nominated for many accolades. Awakening received the magazine’s Excellence Award at the 2012 Famitsu Awards 2012. At the 2013 Spike Video Game Awards, it was nominated for “Best RPG.”
For Destructoid’s 2013 Game of the Year awards, it was nominated in many categories, including Best Role-Playing Game, Best Story, and Best Soundtrack. Additionally, it was a finalist in the Nintendo 3DS category of GameSpot’s 2013 Game of the Year Award nominations.
It was named the best 3DS strategy game and the best 3DS story in IGN’s Best of 2013 awards. It was nominated for a Game Developers Choice Award in 2014 for Best Handheld/Mobile Game.