Blazing Blade was localized simply as “Fire Emblem”, because it was the first FE game to officially come West. I wondered, playing this game, if it was a coincidence that the first FE they bothered to send to English speakers was far and away the best one, or if they knew they had a real gem on their hands and were like, “This shit is how we get American’s money.”
Blazing Blade, FE7, is technically the prequel to FE6, but not only do you not have to play FE6 to understand it, I’d go as far as to say you shouldn’t play FE6, since FE7 is so much better that it kind of sets FE6 up as disappointing. The entire plot also causes the plot of FE6 to make zero sense.
Unforutnately I waited too long to write this review and don’t remember nearly as much about FE7 as I should, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it justice. But this was a really great game, and I heartily rec it. Like I said, it’s far and away the best of the first 7 FEs. It’s not even close.
Blazing Blade tells the story of Eliwood, Roy’s father, Lyn, a nomad, and Hector, father of Lilina from the previous game. Lyn is the PC for the prologue, and then there is a playthrough as Eliwood which unlocks a playthrough as Hector. The overarching story doesn’t change as Hector, but you do see events from a completely differnt perspective, and there are some new scenes with new plot revelations. I personally didn’t feel the need to replay the whole game and just looked up the new scenes online, but it was an interesting way to try to give the game replay value.
The overarching plot the the typical FE setup — a peaceful country is subject to warmongering for unknown reasons. I found the character development to be much more compelling in this game than in the previous. Eliwood felt like more of a real person than a shonen archetype, and lategame revelations make the Big Bad fascinatingly complex.
Unfortunately the bulk of what I remember of the plot and such is just how badly it messes up FE6. For one, that everyone in FE6 is blindsided by what happens makes zero sense, because at the end of FE7 they already know it’s going to happen. The entire plot should have been stopped years before FE6 takes place. Similarly, there’s absolutely no indication of how Zephiel goes from a normal kid whose life is looking up to a raving lunatic.
Most baffling, though, some spoilers:
If Eliwood marries Ninian, which is the only thing that makes any sense, that means Roy is 1/4 dragon, and somehow absolutely no one notices or thinks to mention it during the entire plot of the previous game, which revolves around the possibility of dragons and humans coexisting and the existence of dragon-human children. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
My rec is honestly to skip FE6 entirely if you haven’t played it before and just play this one, imagining it to lead to a less nonsensical future.
That’s… all I’ve got, unfortunately. Great game, fucked up FE6 retroactively, excellent place to start the series since nothing that came before it was this polished or well done. Next up is FE8, Sacred Stones, the last GBA title.