Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
|Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu|
Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (ファイアーエムブレム聖戦の系譜 Faiā Emuburemu: Seisen no Keifu?, literally Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War) is a tactical role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Super Famicom only in Japan. It is the fourth title in the Fire Emblem series, the second Fire Emblem title for the Super Famicom and was the last game produced by Gunpei Yokoi. The game has received recognition outside Japan through imports and console emulation. It was released on the Japanese Virtual Console service in 2007 for the Wii and in 2013 for the Wii U.
Seisen no Keifu, like all Fire Emblem games, is a turn-based tactical role-playing game. The player controls a small army of units (characters) as they travel across the land, fighting enemies and liberating castles. For basic gameplay information, see the gameplay basics. There is no limit on how many player units can be deployed; this is balanced by the player receiving fewer controllable units than in other games in the series.
At the start of each chapter, the player holds a castle that must not be conquered by the enemy. In allied castles, units can shop, store items, repair damaged items, and fight in the arena. Each individual unit has its own money; the only units who can give money to others are thieves and units who are in love. Units cannot trade weapons or items. The only way to "give" something to another unit is to sell the item at a pawn shop and have another unit buy it. By visiting repair shops, money can be spent to restore a used weapon before it breaks. In the starting castle, the player can also promote units to a more powerful class when they reach level 20. Rather than being reverted to level 1, the unit will remain at its current level. There are only seven arena opponents to fight for each unit per chapter, as opposed to infinite opponents in other Fire Emblem games. The arena opponents are predetermined for each chapter and are always the same. Units do not die when they have lost an arena battle; instead, they remain alive at 1 hit point.
The majority of gameplay takes place on the battlefield. Seisen no Keifu is the first installment of the Fire Emblem series to implement the weapon triangle, a rock-paper-scissors-like system. In the weapon triangle, swords beat axes, axes beat lances, and lances beat swords. There is also a similar trinity of magic: fire beats wind, wind beats thunder and thunder beats fire. There are also Darkness and Light magic which beat all three of those, and are neutral against each other. Higher character level and statistics can still overcome a weapon triangle disadvantage. Among the features of the battlefield are differing terrains, which give defensive bonuses, gates which can only be opened by triggering a plot event, and villages, which can be attacked and destroyed by bandit enemies. Enemies can only destroy a portion of a village each turn; however, the more the player allows an enemy to tear down a village, the less gold will be rewarded for rescuing it. As opposed to other Fire Emblem games where capturing the enemy's castle ends the chapter, Seisen no Keifu features several enemy castles per chapter, all of which must be captured to proceed.
Seisen no Keifu is the first installment of the series to assign special skills to individual units. Units may also gain skills by belonging to a certain character class. Personal skills may be activated by command on the field, activated automatically under certain conditions, or activated by chance. If units in the first half of the game fall in love, they will pass on their individual skills to their children in the second half. A similar skill system is used in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates.
Seisen no Keifu introduces a romance-based game mechanic to the series. The units in the first half of the game can fall in love after accumulating a certain amount of "Lover points". Units will build Lover points automatically, but they will gain more if the player ends the turn with the units adjacent to one another, and certain pairs have unique conversations at set points in the game, which give a large amount of Lover points. If two units are paired, and the mother survives the first half, the two parents will pass their weapons and personal skills on to their children, who are the majority of playable units in the second half. Weapons will only be inherited if the child can use it in their first class, unless it is a Holy Weapon, which is always inherited. The parents also pass on their Holy Blood and their stat growths, giving the player some manner of control over their units' growth rates. If some of the female player units in the first half die or do not fall in love, substitute player units appear in their children's place. The children can also fall in love, though this does not produce a "third generation". Units in love in either generation may activate random critical hits when they stand next to their lover.
Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu takes place in the continent of Jugdral (pronounced YOOG-drahl and based on the Norse mythological name Yggdrasil). The Fire Emblem does not actually appear in this game, but it is mentioned as the family crest of Velthomer nobility.
Jugdral is composed of eight countries which are the Kingdom of Grannvale, the Kingdom of Verdane, the Dominion of Agustria, the Republic of Manster, the Kingdom of Thracia, the Republic of Miletos, the Kingdom of Silesse, and the Kingdom of Isaach. They were founded by the Twelve Crusaders, who are Baldur, Hezul, Odo, Noba, Dain, Neir, Ulir, Val, Tordo, Ced, Blagi, and Heim. Heim founded the central country Grannvale with the help of Baldur, Neir, Ulir, Val, Tordo, and Blagi. Hezul helped found Agustria in the northwest. In the southeast, Noba founded Manster, and her brother Dain founded Thracia. Ced founded Silesse in the North, and Odo founded Isaach in the northeast. Between Grannvale and Isaach is Yied Desert, the home of the Loptyr Sect. Verdane, in the southwest, was founded by people outside Crusader lineage. At the end of the game, Leif merges Manster and Thracia into New Thracia.
Hundreds of years prior to the game's present, the Gran Kingdom was founded, and decades later, it became Gran Republic. The Dark Lord Loptyr conquered the continent. Hundreds of thousands were massacred and sacrificed to the Dark God. However, the gods descended and blessed the Twelve Crusaders, who defeated the Lopt Empire. The Twelve Crusaders subsequently established seven dukedoms in Grannvale and five regional kingdoms.
At the beginning of the game, the Grannvale Empire is at war with the kingdom of Isaach in response to Rivough barbarians besieging Darna Castle. When bandits from the country of Verdane attack the relatively defenseless Empire, Sigurd of Chalphy rides to battle in order to rescue his long-time friend, Adean of Jungby, who the Verdanish abducted. In the course of fighting, he gathers many allies, several of whom are descendants of the Twelve Crusaders. While invading Verdane and after running into Isaachians Ayra and Shanan, he meets a mysterious girl named Deirdre. She is revealed to be of Naga blood, a long-lost member of the Grannvalian royal family and the descendant of the Crusader with the power to defeat Loptyr. Sigurd and Deirdre fall in love and marry, and Seliph is born in Agustria. However, scheming Grannvalian dukes, in a bid for the throne, murder the Grannvalian prince and frame Sigurd for their deaths. The Archbishop Manfroy of the Loptyr Sect, meanwhile, also kidnaps Deirdre and erases her memories in order to revive the dark dragon lord Loptyr by having her and Duke Arvis of Velthomer marry - the two are, unbeknownst to them, siblings, and their union will produce a human vessel capable of hosting the consciousness of Loptyr. (While Arvis conspires with Manfroy on other matters, Manfloy keeps him completely unaware of his designs concerning Arvis and Dierdre.) Sigurd, forced to flee into exile to Silesse, returns to Grannvale some time later and defeats the treasonous dukes; however, he is betrayed by Arvis, who has married Deirdre and is now the Emperor of Grannvale. After Travant ambushes Quan and Ethlyn, Sigurd's longtime friend and sister respectively, as they lead a relief column of knights from Quan's home of Leonster, Arvis lures Sigurd's army into a trap and decimates them.
The second half of the game resumes seventeen years later in Isaach, where Sigurd and Deirdre's son Seliph has formed a liberation army against the harsh rule of the Grannvalian Empire. Seliph joins up with surviving family members of Sigurd's army, which includes Ayra's children Larcei and Ulster, Adean's Lester and Lana, as well as Raquesis' Delmud. Emperor Arvis's daughter, Julia the heir to Naga, also joins Seliph. Seliph and his allies travel around the continent, freeing countries from Grannvalian rule. His first act is to free Isaach from Danan's regime while Shanan is away. He alongside Leif fought battles leading up to the merger between Manster and Thracia. His final destination is Grannvale, where he must confront the forces of Emperor Arvis, his son Julius, the twelve Deadlords, and the Loptyr Sect.
The game title was originally going to be entitled as translated Fire Emblem: Light Inheritors. The same title was used as the title of chapter 6, and a similar title was used in the manga adaptations. Allegedly Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu was originally going to be divided into three parts, with Seliph's tale being the second part. The canceled third part was going to reveal the killings of some of Sigurd's generation and other issues. However, because of time constraints, it was shortened to two parts. The information supposedly came from a daughter of one of the programmers. She attempted to translate his notes into English.
According to Shouzou Kaga, it was originally planned that in Seliph's tale, only one child would be born per parent with the gender being randomly selected, with the exception of Seliph, Julia, Leif, and Altena. The third part was going to be a story of members of Seliph's party reuniting with remnants of Sigurd's army, and those who were not Sigurd's servants would be subjugated.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was originally released for the Super Famicom (SNES) on 14 May 1996 in Japan. It was re-released on 30 January 2007 for the Wii and on 27 April 2013 for the Wii U, both Japan only.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was the first Fire Emblem game to be featured in the Fire Emblem Trading Card Game. Some songs from the game were reused in the Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem games and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. The game's manga adaptations, including one by Oosawa Mitsuki, have been featured in the magazines Monthly Gangan Wing and Monthly GFantasy.
Twenty-two characters from Genealogy of the Holy War have since been released as extra playable characters in Fire Emblem Awakening via SpotPass, marking the first and only appearance of content from Genealogy of the Holy War in an English-language work; Seliph, Leif and Eldigan are also available as rewards for completing downloadable content packages in the same game. There are also weapons named after characters from Genealogy of the Holy War, such as Sigurd's Lance, Finn's Lance, Seliph's Blade, and Leif's Blade).
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was first officially represented in the Super Smash Bros. series in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, specifically in the form of two music tracks "Meeting Theme Medley" and "Coliseum Medley", which are used in Coliseum stage.
- (Japanese) Official website at the Wayback Machine (archived May 1, 2013)
- (Japanese) Official website for the Wii Virtual Console version
- (Japanese) Official website for the Wii U Virtual Console version
- (Japanese) Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu at Fire Emblem World
- (Japanese) Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu at Fire Emblem Museum
- Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu at MobyGames
- Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War at Fire Emblem Wiki