Learning from: Fire Emblem Fates

Learning from: Fire Emblem Fates

I have recently been obsessed with the newest Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Fates. If you’re not familiar with the series, it’s essentially glorified chess; you control an army of characters and rage war with other troops. The catch is that you grow attached to the characters you control and if they die in a battle, they are dead for the rest of the game. So, being sentimental, I attempt to go through the game without having any of them die, and it pushes me to my mental limits.

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I really love games that make my brain hurt; where I have to think about every possible action and reaction that my opponent can make. What causes Fire Emblem to be even more challenging than chess is that the characters have differing stats, a variety of weapons, and each battlefield has unique terrain. When fighting an enemy, the game calculates the amount of damage each character will do to each other, as well as the probability that the attack will hit or miss, and the chance of a critical attack (which is three times as powerful as a regular attack). Given this information, you have a decision to make that can end in the permanent death of one of your beloved characters. The fact that your soldiers can die puts more on the line from a strategic standpoint, as their death could place you at a vast disadvantage later in the game. On top of this, the potential for the character to develop is cut short, leaving their story unfinished and your attachment broken. So, you are required to make a mental list of pros and cons for every possible outcome in order to make the best decision you can.

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Games like Fire Emblem Fates can really help you maintain your mental acuity. The critical thinking and decision making used in tactical games are necessary in almost every aspect of life. If you’re faced with a tough decision in real life, such as changing cities to take a job, or even choosing an answer on a test, you should be able to think of every available option to try to get the best result. These skills are difficult to hone, but games like Fire Emblem Fates have helped me decide my own choices, both simple and hard. They’re not learned overnight and one of the only (and in my opinion, the best) ways to practice them is through video games. So, I always would recommend playing a game like Fire Emblem Fates, because when it comes to tough decisions in real life, you might not be prepared, but you will need to be sharp in order to make the best choice that you can.


Jeremy Zhen

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