Plus 10 Damage

Fire Emblem: Awakening is a brilliant game. I’m not going to deny that. The manner in which it combines surprisingly compelling interpersonal mechanics, individual characterization, light strategic gameplay, and JRPG storytelling is certainly unrivaled in today’s handheld market. Nothing comes close to satisfying me the way FE:A does. One of the most moving parts of FE:A — if you play on classic mode, that is — if one of your beloved characters dies, they’re gone for good. This is huge. This makes me sad. It makes me leak.

This emotional response is a product of Digital Satan, a lie told by a devil computer to make me feel stuff. But all games are. My brain, however, knows this nifty little trick called “suspension of disbelief” — or, to some, “becoming stupid so you can be happy for a little while.” The more my brain does that, the more I enjoy a game. The less my brain does that, the more likely it is that a game is failing to completely engage my entertainment receptors. If I’m remembering that characters aren’t real, the writing isn’t hitting the mark. I’m fairly confident that this principle could carry over into almost every fictional medium.

Fire Emblem: Awakening, like I said, has amazing characters that can die almost instantly and disappear forever. In a strategic game like chess, you — normally — don’t have any sort of empathetic connection to the rooks, the bishops, or the pawns. In Awakening, the pawns have faces / lives / one-liners. You grow to love the pawns, and then the pawns are wrenched away from you by Digital Satan. You mis-position an archer? Whoops. You lost Virion, the narcissistic bowman. This hurts. This is designed to hurt. This should hurt you, the viewer. And it should hurt Virion’s friends, loved ones, and distant relations.

This technically works — it achieves a sense of emotional weight — but not in quite as beautiful a manner as it could.

Once the battle is over and the character’s absence is felt — perhaps not until the next battle begins — it is only then that I begin to realize that I’m feeling a tactical loss on top of the narrative loss. This is ludonarrative cohesion at its finest. There is no part of me that does not miss the deceased.

I’m still paying the game compliments. Your eyes are flitting back and forth to your 365 Cutest Cat-Themed Sudoku Challenge Daily Tear-Off Calendar, making sure that you’ve got the date right. Yep. It’s Monday. Yep, this is still the Monday Mourning column. Never fear: like seasonal depression in mid-February Minnesota Winter, the complaints are imminent.

After a death scene, the deceased’s loved ones move on instantly. This is a storytelling issue. An enormous storytelling issue.

All my emotional and statistical investment in the character meant something to me. It meant something to the other characters too, in terms of interpersonal dynamics. Even if Person A thought Person B was an outright buffoon, they were still a trusted ally. There was still a bond, even one as basic as the natural human connection that comes from shared experience. As the player, I’m supposed to be bothered that one of my fake people is gone. This is supposed to shake me. But when the in-game reality starts to subtly deny the fact that the deceased ever even existed, I become less and less filled with appropriate grief or regret.

In fact, at this point, the game almost seems to be gaslighting me. Rather than providing natural mourning dialogue, the game promptly moves on without mention of the party’s recent human loss. Nothing. Not even a montage of mourning. Not even a passing quip from one or two important characters. Just one semi-dramatic death script from the dying one before they are forever swallowed into Unmemory.

Awakening won’t let me connect in the way it suggests I connect. By providing the “Classic” mode, Awakening is setting a stage for the experience of meaningful loss. The game is perfect for such an interactive theme. And yet, the devil on the other shoulder of Awakening has you rubbing your eyes and wondering if you should just move on. This sabotages any possibility of It is for this reason that I am compelled to play on “Normal” mode — the one without permanent character death. I was completely invested in the mechanic. I was ready to fall in love with the characters. I was fully ready to lose some of them. I was ready to be part of a beautiful tragedy.

But the system fails to deliver. I love it, in theory. But in execution? In attempting to deal with death, Awakening is its own downfall.


Sponsored Writing

As the number one Business movers, Dallas businesses rely on AM Moving Company. From packing to moving, AM Moving does it all.

AM Moving company is one of the best moving companies Dallas TX has to offer. With professional, reliable and highly trained experts in commercial relocations, these are the movers companies count on.

When searching for Frisco apartment movers , make AM Moving Company the first call. AM Moving helps to come up with a moving solution tailor-made to fit each client’s needs.

Looking for apartment movers? Allen TX  movers at AM Moving Company are the most experienced and trustworthy moving experts in all of Texas!

When struggling to find long distance moving companies, Dallas movers from AM Moving Company can help with the long haul!

Plano office movers are the most affordable movers around. At AM Moving Company, all employees are also screened and trained to ensure a safe moving experience.

Looking for apartment movers? Mckinney residents count on AM Moving Company for all of their moving needs. From packing services to furniture wrapping, their movers can help every step of the way.

Looking for the most reliable apartment movers? Fort Worth company AM Moving offers a wide range of moving services from top notch, professional movers.

Screened and trained to ensure the best possible moving experience, movers in Irving TX area from AM Moving Company are the professionals residents are looking for. Moving has never been made so easy! 

Southlake movers from AM Moving Company offer everything from free moving estimates, to packing services. Their trained professionals will also arrive with proper tools to disconnect or reconnect your washer/dryer, or other appliances.

Finding movers Dallas to Austin is never a problem when calling on AM Moving Company. Whether moving across the city or across the state, AM Moving professional movers are ready and willing to help you for the long (or short) haul!

Never fear if you are looking for the right movers from Houston to Dallas. AM Moving Company has yet to be confronted with a moving job they can’t handle!

Are you looking for a reliable, comprehensive, secure phone system for your business operations? Press8 Telecom offers affordable VoIP phone systems Houston companies trust to cut down on costs while providing all the latest features and tools.

Tired of paying for a traditional phone system for your office? Looking for an Austin VoIP provider that can save you money? The cloud-based, digital phone systems and accessories offered at Press8 Telecom will bring you into the modern age with significant savings.

Do you need a reliable, secure cloud-based phone system that offers flexibility for mobile and remote applications? Press8 Telecom is a highly respected Dallas VoIP provider using existing internet broadband to connect your employees and clients.

Stop spending money on a costly traditional phone system for your business. Internet-based phone systems offer more features at more affordable rates. The commercial phone specialists at Press8 Telecom can install a PBX system for small business that will save your business money.

Shadow theaters are orchestrated by the Dalang, or puppet master and accompanied by the unique sounds of the Javanese gamelan orchestra. With Indonesian shadow puppets that are handcrafted, one of these shows is a performance that will not be easily forgotten

Hand-carved out of soft Albesia wood, a handmade wooden jewelry box from Dewi Artisans are truly unique. Whether used to hold jewelry or simply for display, they make for a beautiful display in any living space.

Indonesian wooden masks are made of hand-carved wood and intricately hand dye-painted Batik motfi. In many cases, the Batik process creates a soft velvety like texture to the mask. These wooden masks are elegantly presented as well decor, in any room.

When looking for quality, authentic Indonesian decor, Dewi Artisans have the perfect piece for that room needing some truly unique style. At Dewi Artisans International, find hand-made goods from throughout Asia, and from the Archipelago of Indonesia, in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Burman is an expert in Robotic Surgery in Central Texas. He specializes in Hernia Repair with the fastest recovery in Austin TX. His patients recover in record time thanks to state of the art robotic surgery. Learn why Robotic Surgery allows patients to go home sooner and recover faster than ever before.

Dr. Burman of ATX Robotic Surgery specializes in Gallbladder Removal with the fastest recovery in Austin TX. Dr. Burman is a trained expert on the Davinci Robotic surgery platform by Intuitive surgical. Special instruments are then placed through the trocars and the surgeon controls the Robotic assisted instruments from a separate console. The surgeon is doing all the work in controlling the Robot arms.

Robotic Surgery is a minimally invasive approach to surgical procedures perfected by the surgeons at ATX Robotic Surgery. Dr. Burman places “trocars” or small ports into the abdominal cavity. The Davinci robot is then docked to the trocars, the Davinci Robotic surgery platform is the best way to perform Appendectomy with the fastest recovery in Austin TX.

Jeff at All Star Security has built a thriving home security business by offering a free consultation with no obligation in Austin Texas. All Star Security has grown into one of the best companies that deliver Home Security Systems in Austin TX. Jeff helps residents in Austin Texas understand their options and select a security system that works for them.

If you are shopping for the best home security systems in Cedar Park TX you should talk to someone you can trust with your family’s safety. Jeff successfully grew his Texas based All Star Security company by providing the best Home Security Systems in Cedar Park TX coupled with excellent service with personal touch.

Jeff at All Star Security has built one of the best home security system companies in Round Rock TX. Jeff is passionate about providing home security services at an affordable price. His team has tremendous experience installing and servicing the best home security systems in Round Rock Texas.

Jeff at All Star Security has built a thriving home security business by offering a free consultation with no obligation in San Antonio Texas. All Star Security has grown into one of the best companies that deliver Home Security Systems in San Antonio TX. Jeff helps residents in San Antonio Texas understand their options and select a security system that works for them.