I love stories. That’s the main reason I love reading so much. I love making up stories. I love hearing the first thing that comes to mind when I ask other people to tell me a story. I love discovering new ways for stories to be told, and old ways stories have been told that I hadn’t previously been aware of.
So while I haven’t been reading as many novel-shaped stories, I have been finding stories in the most interesting and unexpected places.
I’ve recently become obsessed with a videogame on my Nintendo 3DS called Fire Emblem: Awakening. I am terrible at most videogames, but I’m pretty passable with a handheld console. That said, please forgive me if I’m not up-to-date on all the gaming lingo.
Fire Emblem: Awakening is a fantasy, strategy RPG. You collect different characters throughout your journey and they all have different skills and I would still be obsessed with this game if it stopped at figuring out which combination of units will most effectively clear each new map.
But it doesn’t stop there, because every character has their own distinct personality. You even have your own customizable unit (which is my favorite part of any RPG), though the choices are limited (no skin color options? Come on). As your units fight alongside each other, they begin to forge relationships, and eventually have conversations which strengthen their personal and tactical relationships. So if you want your troops to fight better and more effectively, you have to team them up with the same person or people consistently.
Once two characters have fought next to each other, they begin to have “Support” conversations, and that’s where the fun begins. These conversations really allow you to explore characters’ personalities, especially those who don’t get as much face-time in the main storyline. It’s interesting seeing how different characters interact with each other and to get the opportunity to watch their relationships develop over time.
Unfortunately, there are no same-sex marriages. Trust me, I tried. I understand how reproduction works, yada yada yada, but in a fantasy world where magic is so prevalent? Don’t pretend it’s so far-fetched.
I currently have two playthroughs, mostly because I made some pretty dumb mistakes in my first playthrough and decided to go again, but also because I keep discovering new characters and wishing my old ones weren’t already married so that I could play matchmaker with them again. My current favorites, included in this post, are: Anna, a trickster and a merchant who I tend to use as a solo unit; Henry, a dark mage who is just so delightfully creepy; and Cordelia, a wyvern rider who’s pretty much a genius with a lot of unrequited love issues. In one playthrough I’m trying to match Cordelia and Henry. They make the oddest couple.
I haven’t even gone into the main storyline, which is pretty compelling in its own right, but honestly, I’m so much more invested in controlling the love lives of all my characters.