Is there really a difference between “Fire Emblem” and “Fire Emblem”?

Did Fire Emblem come first? Half of you say yes – or that they’re both a part of the same world – but there’s a big question mark over Fire Emblem: Are they both…

Is there really a difference between "Fire Emblem" and "Fire Emblem"?

Did Fire Emblem come first? Half of you say yes – or that they’re both a part of the same world – but there’s a big question mark over Fire Emblem:

Are they both game series or two different ones? That’s a big difference on the Super Nintendo: remember the color coded chronometers in third-person shooters like Titan Quest and Alien Crisis? The “O” became a number on the cassette tape while “S” and “V” were letters used to indicate the dimensions of the game’s screen, resulting in a little extra heart when you were giving a thumbs up.

On the Super Nintendo, the “Game Boy”-styled chronometers were displayed with the next-to-last letter that followed the initial O, so if you skipped over “L” when talking about 1 or 2, you missed the first name of the original game and were tagged as a “weekend warrior.” To avoid that offense, what was often referred to as Fire Emblem was simply referred to as “The Fire Emblem”, so, yeah, who the heck knows what came first? You know what’s also really odd?

Many of the characters and themes in Fire Emblem predate Game Boy’s appearance, so the first name isn’t really based on a specific character from any game – although maybe you could argue that it makes some sense:

It’s simply that the next letter to follow L that would become part of the same game (everyone eventually starts using L to indicate that they’re a warrior, especially if you start turning it into 2 digits) happened to be 2, which would logically become “2,” if the historical significance of the first letter of Fire Emblem was correct. It also perfectly coincides with the second letter in the “O” wheel on the chronometers.

If you take a look at the plot synopsis for “The Sword Speech” on the game’s official site, you’ll see that the staff and characters that don’t correspond with the first letter aren’t identified by their character name:

The staff of the staff member who has been tasked with communicating with the Divine Entity must contact him or her prior to the completion of the command in order to secure the name that they desire. Since the true purpose of this train of action cannot be revealed to anyone who will be involved, this reason for the instruction is revealed during the epilogue.

At first glance, it sounds like a logical translation:

From the start, a staff member has been tasked with communicating with a character that it should find suitable for the command the crew must initiate.

At first glance, this seems like an outright confusion – especially since it’s not covered in the “Sword Speech” section, which is written entirely in English. So, why is it called “The Sword Speech” (and not, oh, the “Articles of Transcription” chapter)?

Well, as it turns out, the original wording was actually the name of the Game Boy holder that assigns the summoning of the staff that initiates the order:

The console represents one individual who is called into service by a deity, is assigned a staff member (called when a player is given a challenge), and must abide by the staff member’s will, so that they (the players) may achieve success in their effort.

This was changed in later episodes to the Nintendo DS, and has since been removed for the DSi.

To clarify: The second person responsible for the summoning of the staff member is actually the player that will receive the challenge, and nobody is calling them for it.

You could argue that there’s also an overlap in the naming of the characters that don’t correspond with their character name (ie Jin the Panther), so the English version could have different names for different characters that don’t count the literal first person way, but I don’t see how it makes much of a difference. If you take a look at the “Sword Speech” section again, you’ll see the original text stating the reason for their assignment, which says:

From the beginning, the staff member who has been tasked with communicating with the Divine Entity must reach him/her prior to the completion of the command in order to obtain the name that they desire.

A word of context:

Since the truth of this train of action cannot be revealed to anyone who will be involved, this reason for the instruction is revealed during the epilogue of the game (since it concerns one of the players).

They’re a little weird now, but I like it.

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