We’ve finally come to the last part of this loooong game: the third path. While you can side with either Hoshido or Nohr in the other games, Revelation gives you a third option where you side with neither kingdom. Will this be the best choice in order to achieve peace? Maybe for Corrin, but not so much for me, and this review will tell you why.
Note: This review contains spoilers so read at your own risk (it contains spoilers of Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fates Xenologue: Invisible History too). If you want to avoid them, though, just jump to “conclusive thoughts”. Also, since I played as a female, I’ll be referring to Corrin as a she.
Ever had this feeling when watching a movie at the cinema where you think the effects are super awesome but the story is so bad that it’s as if you were reading a terrible TERRIBLE fanfic? Well, that’s the same feeling I had after finishing Revelations.
This uncomfortable sensation didn’t start at the first part, though. The whole “let’s get more allies” situation was cool. What happens? Basically, Corrin decides she doesn’t want to side with any of the kingdoms so she is labeled a traitor by both. As she can’t really hide anywhere, Azura suggests going to a certain place available from the Bottomless Canyon, but she can’t say what place that is until they get there. Remember when Corrin followed Azura through the water in Conquest? And they appeared at a strange place? Well, this place is vital to the story, only this time they reach it by jumping into the Canyon (Jakob included). When they arrive, Azura explains that the strange site is the Kingdom of Valla. This kingdom is actually the one responsible for all the mayhem between Hoshido and Nohr due to a certain villain acting behind the scenes: Anankos. Anankos is the true antagonist in Fire Emblem Fates, he’s king of Valla and the one who controls Garon. Azura is from Valla too, a princess, and her mother, Arete, the former queen. Unfortunately, Anankos had gone mad and killed her husband so Arete took Azura with her and escaped to Nohr. So what now, right? Azura states that in order to regain peace, they need to defeat Anankos, but due to the fact that he is extremely powerful, they need all the help they can get, and that includes people from both Hoshido AND Nohr. Another important detail, is that they need to do this before the color of the sky between these two kingdoms changes, or the Valla portal will close until who knows when.
After reuniting with Gunter in Valla (remember how he was also here in Conquest?), Corrin and company return to the “other world” and begin their chase of allies. Since Hoshido is much more peaceful, Corrin decides to start with them. You can imagine how that goes. Even though she recruits a lot of allies, it’s only after a few fights that they agree to join her. And that is, because she can’t explain who the true enemy is due to the curse of Valla: if she ever spoke of it outside of the kingdom, she would vanish. So, of course, that makes the convincing a lot more complicated, and only after defeating them do they want to come with you. But not all are the same, naturally; Elise joins you without any struggle, for instance. Some even sacrifice themselves to help you, like archduke Izana, who dies after asking for a prediction that he pays with his life. And his dying wish is for Takumi to stop being all “I don’t trust you” and follow Corrin. Izana’s prediction is also very important, since it entails to meet a certain dragon. Nope, not Anankos but the Rainbow Sage. That’s right, the old man is a dragon. Only this time, they aren’t visiting to achieve more power, but to ask him about Izana’s prediction, not knowing yet that he is the dragon they seek. After a successful battle, the Rainbow Sage awakens the Yato and throws light upon the Seal of Flames. Much like Birthright and Conquest, Corrin will need aid from her brothers in order to fully awaken the Yato sword so that it becomes the Fire Emblem. Blah blah blah, Corrin successfully recruits people from both kingdoms (including the royals, of course) and, after killing Hans and Iago, the whole army jumps into the territory of Valla. However, Scarlet, who is the last one to jump together with Corrin, is murdered by a strange yet powerful dark beam when trying to protect her. Her death was very sad, I must say. And it’s a total bummer that she and Ryoma don’t even have supports together (much like Cordelia and Chrom from Awakening). Anyway, it’s after Scarlet’s death that the game takes a turn for the worse.
From this moment on, the story takes place in the kingdom of Valla. Corrin and company must fight with controlled puppets before they can take care of Anankos. Only these controlled puppets are none other than Azura’s and Corrin’s parents. We have Arete, Mikoto and even Sumeragi. But that’s not all, because, color me surprised, there is a traitor among the army. A very obvious traitor that doesn’t even get supports in this game and who joins you rather quickly. That’s right, Gunter! God, this whole business was so stupid. There was this scene in the game, for instance, where Ryoma wanted to surpass the boundaries of the RPG world and become a detective to unravel the “mystery” of Scarlet’s death. Saying stuff like “yo sis, I think there’s a traitor” with Gunter agreeing all the time. So, what happens? When Gunter talks to Corrin about Scarlet’s death, he slips out a matter that only Corrin, Scarlet AND her killer would have known: before jumping, Scarlet attaches a flower to her chest. A flower that is completely burned off after the dark beam kills her. This happens a few chapters before Gunter’s boss fight, and Corrin only realizes Gunter is the traitor when he accuses her and Azura of being the betrayers instead. Like, really Corrin??? It was so obvious that I wanted to get inside the 3DS and slap some common sense into her face.
Another thing that pissed me off was how, after certain revelations, nobody fucking reacted. When you defeat Queen Mikoto, she tells Corrin she (Mikoto) is Arete’s sister and, yeah, originally from Valla. In essence, Corrin’s reaction is “oh wow, I’m from Valla, who knew this could be”. Seriously, what??? What about Azura being your cousin? What about your father not being Sumeragi (to what she only reacts to if you do Ryoma’s or Takumi’s S supports)? What about your biological father? Not only Corrin was like this, the others didn’t so much as say a word. They were just embedded in this shounen-wannabe thing, where Anankos is the bad baaaad villain who wants to ruin their lives. Even though Hoshido was a bit similar in that aspect (since Corrin blamed Garon for everything), here, in Revelation, everything falls flat. First of all, we don’t even know Anankos intentions and, guess what, we never do!! The guy just went mad and decided to destroy the world, hmm how shocking. Hoshido at least had the fact that you betrayed the family who raised you, and gave you enough reasons to hate Garon, the flashback and Mikoto’s death being one of the strongest ones. So, okay, here you have a valid reason not to betray anyone; you just can’t bring yourself to turn your back on the family who raised you, but you can’t possibly ignore your suppossed birth family either (well, at least Mikoto was), so where does that leave you? Trying to talk it out and nobody listening to you in return. Then you travel to Valla and learn from this Anankos dragon, who is the puppeteer of the conflict. But, unlike Conquest, you never learn why in the heck he does that. He’s just bad for the sake of being bad. Disney has much better villains!! Even Garon and Takumi were better antagonists; in their cases, their negative feelings served as food to the witch of the west, Anankos. The archenemy itself, though? A flat as a pancake. It was very irritating, not only because the games weren’t cheap, but also because it felt as if you were getting this big-ass cake only to discover it has no stuffing.
The biggest problem, nevertheless, lies with how many questions this game left. Who was Corrin’s father? Who was AZURA’S father? Why did the curse make them disappear if they talked about Valla outside of it? Why did Anankos go mad? Where did Arete get the pendant she gave to Azura? Why was the pendant up to no good? Revelation my ass. What revelation? Gunter’s treason? Corrin’s no blood-relation to her Hoshidan siblings? The only revelations we got were that Azura used to be the princess of Valla and Mikoto and Arete were sisters. The biggest mysteries remained unchanged, unsolved. I actually talked about Revelation with a friend of mine, who also played it around the same time as me, and she gave me an opinion I completely agree with: “It’s as if they hired a writer for the first games, then came another writer and forgot what the plot even was”. THIS. THIS SO MUCH. Even though, in my opinion, Fates has a more interesting conflict than Awakening, the resolution is not worked out. They thought up a deeeeeep story for Corrin and the royals, but the whole backstory just wasn’t there. And, again, it fell flat. I literally had to google Corrin’s biological father only to find out it was Anankos all along. But, guess what. Turns out you only get to know this after playing Fates Xenologue: Invisible History. I can understand that a Xenologue would contain a sub-plot matter, like showing how Severa and the others reached Nohr. Invisible History actually shows that. What I’m not okay with, is the fact that an important part of the plot is given to you as an extra; like revealing Anankos is Corrin’s father. And that is also shown in Invisible History.
So, how does the game end? You beat Anankos (not before the scene where everyone’s about to despair and Corrin gives a “don’t give up wannabe-shounen speech” to give them hope once again) and become the queen/king of Valla. That’s it. No real extra scenes except for the Nohrian and Hoshidan siblings getting along with each other. Nothing else. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see that they finally achieve peace after all the heartbreaking moments you experience in Birthright and Conquest. But it’s just not what I was expecting. Not comforting enough. And, again, no change if you marry a royal. You’re still their sister. Yup. Still the same old sis.
Wow, I haven’t been so disappointed since I found out Ozmafia has NTR. When I was playing Birthright and Conquest, I was so moved by the story and how challenging it was because of all these hard decisions Corrin had to make to achieve peace. In Revelation, though, it feels as if either they changed their writer, or the same writer lost their will to finish the tale. Seriously, they created this incredibly complicated plot only to have it deflate by the end. Conflicts are important, but endings are just as important! You can’t just put dedication to only one of them, it’s a whole package. I know no story is perfect but, one thing is having certain troubles, another thing is not even bothering to put an effort because, who cares, it’ll still sell because it’s Nintendo. And the worst of all is that it’s true. I insist, of course every fiction narrative is going to have its problems. We’re only human. But Revelation felt as if they had forgotten their own plot. They just needed enemies, so they threw whatever came to mind without checking what they were doing. The children’s plot also falls in this discussion. Why would you include something that doesn’t add ANYTHING AT ALL to the story? In Awakening, there was a reason for them having children. Here, they’re just a reason for Corrin to have more marriage suitors. I like the little extra of being able to marry a character, Awakening has it, Avalon Code has it and it’s cute. But when it gets out of hand…it’s kind of discouraging. I still love the kids a lot, some of them are even among my favorite characters, but they’re not even relevant to the plot. Maybe if they had a xenologue released it’d be different. Anyway, my final verdict? Fire Emblem Fates is a really good game in terms of system, gameplay, art, characters and enjoyment. And speaking of enjoyment, I greatly enjoyed support conversations and the My Castle feature. The story, however, is a double-edged sword: it has fantastic scenes (mostly the ones in Birthright and Conquest) but terrible ones as well (mostly the ones in Revelation).
That’s all folks, hope you enjoyed the ride! See you next post! (≧∇≦*)/