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Fire Emblem Gaiden
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Fire Emblem Gaiden (Japanese: ファイアーエムブレム外伝, literally "Fire Emblem Side-Story") is the second installment of the Fire Emblem series. It takes place on the continent of Valentia, where two heroes, Alm and Celica from the Kingdom of Zofia build an army to oppose the Dark God Duma of the Kingdom of Rigel.
The story begins with Alm, a youth of the village of Ram, finishing his sword training with an retired general named Mycen. Alm sees a group of villagers gathering near Luka, a soldier, who says that a General Dozer has captured Zofia's castle and killed the king. Luka is part of a liberation force, and has come to ask General Mycen to help them.
When Alm asks Mycen, Mycen angrily denies. Still, Alm tells Luka that he will join in place of Mycen. With Luka and the villagers Cliff, Robin, and Gray, he decides to travel to Zofia to help the liberation force, with several small skirmishes occurring throughout the chapter. In Thief Shrine, Silk, a priestess of Mila, is rescued and joins them.
Soon Alm's party begins to fight soldiers employed by General Dozer. At the Southern Fort, Clair, a pegasus knight of Zofia joins Alm. She says her older brother Clive is the leader of the liberation force.
In the Liberation Headquarters, and Alm meets Python, the guard of the cave. Python warns Alm of monsters, and in the next room, there are several skeletons and zombies. The monsters are defeated and Alm continues, meeting Clive. Clive asks Alm to become the leader of the force, and Alm accepts.
Force states that Dozer has been seeking help from northern Rigel. Alm, surprised, states that this violates the Gods' Pact, and that Mila would never allow this. However, according to Force, it is rumored that Mila has disappeared, which may explain the appearance of monsters. He and Python join Alm's group.
Finally, Alm travels to the Zofia gate, where powerful enemy troops are gathered. Dozer and Slayder are the two generals in charge. One is defeated, depending on which the player chooses, and they successfully liberate the castle. Thanked by many of the citizens, Alm goes to the roof and sees Mycen again. Mycen tells Alm to save Valentia, and mentions a red-haired girl...
The chapter begins with Celica, the red-haired Zofian heiress, talking to Bishop Nomah about leaving the abbey. Nomah warns her of the dangers of traveling, but Celica insists on investigating the fate of the goddess Mila. Nomah consents and lets her leave. The mages Mae and Boey and the sister Jenny join Celica as she departs.
Celica reaches Novis Port, recruiting the mercenary Sevr and talking to several villagers. She and her party set out on a ship to reach Zofia Port, her destination. After several skirmishes at sea with various pirates, she travels to the Pirate Fort and defeats pirates led by the aggressive Dahha. Three other warriors, the armored knight Valbar, the mercenary Kamui, and the archer Leo are present in the battle as allies helping Celica's party. After the pirates are defeated, Celica talks to the three in the fort, and they join her party.
Continuing, Celica lands on the Sea Shrine, on which a ferocious Draco Zombie is situated. By using the Angel spell, Celica defeats the dragon and continues into the shrine. Afterwards, she travels to the Zofia Port, where she meets the two pegasus sisters Palla and Catria, from the continent of Archanea, to the east. According to Catria, their younger sister had been captured by pirates.
Fire Emblem Gaiden introduces a variety of gameplay mechanics independent from those present in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. Overall, they contribute to a more complex system than that of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, while still keeping most core Fire Emblem features in mind. Although most, if not all, of these changes vanished in the next game, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, they still managed to reappear in later games.
Specifically, Gaiden introduced a traversable world map, though no Fire Emblem game since has replicated it exactly. In Gaiden when a lord, Alm or Celica, move, it counts as a turn much like in battles. Generally nothing happens, but later in the game enemy armies will move towards one of the lords after they move. If an enemy attacks, a battle commences and the enemy units get to move first. If one of the lords attacks first the battle proceeds as normal.
Another major difference between Gaiden and other games in the series is that all weapons have infinite durability. This changes the weapon dynamic in Gaiden immensely. Unique weapons are in short supply, for instance, there is only one javelin in the entire game. All units have one inventory slot, so available unique weapons must be weighed by the player on who needs them most, as weapons also compete for inventory space with shields and other beneficial items like the angel ring.
Gaiden also was the first game to introduce a third class change, and in a way, a 'reclass' system, if it is allowed to be called that, as well as split promotions. This comes from two things, villagers have many promotion options, and dread fighters can class change back to villagers, allowing any unit that can eventually promote to dread fighter with some level-upping to reclass to a completely different class, like, for instance, a mage.
Gaiden also introduced a primitive version of the order system that returned in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. In Gaiden there are only two commands, "Assault" and "Gather". Assault causes all player units to attack, while Gather has them move near the lord, Alm or Celica. Assault is similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening's Auto Battle, as well.