Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (ファイアーエムブレム 暁の女神 Faiā Emuburemu: Akatsuki no Megami, lit. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn) or Fire Emblem: Radiant Light (ファイアーエムブレム 放射光 Faiāemuburemu: Hōshakō), is a tactical role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It is the tenth Fire Emblem series title and the first series title for the Wii. It was announced for the Wii on May 9, 2006 at the E3 convention, officially released on February 22, 2007 in Japan, and released in North America on November 5, 2007, in Europe on March 14, 2008, and in Australia in April 10, 2008. The game is a direct sequel to the events of the Nintendo GameCube title Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, featuring the same style of cell-shaded full motion video cutscenes and an upgraded game engine. It takes place in Tellius, year 648.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is set in Tellius as it is the sequel to Path of Radiance. Tellius is divided into seven nations that are governed by either laguz or beorc. The seven nations are:
Daein: Daein was once led by King Pelleas, the supposed son of King Ashnard. It is now currently ruled by Micaiah. Daein is a beorc kingdom and is home of The Dawn Brigade, who successfully liberated Daein from Begnion occupation. Daein is the main nation of Part I.
Hatari: Hatari is a laguz nation ruled by wolves. It is located east of the Desert of Death in Daein. It is ruled by Queen Nailah.
Crimea: A beorc kingdom ruled by Queen Elincia. Crimea went through a bloody civil war. It is the main nation of Part II and the home of the Greil Mercenaries.
Begnion: A beorc theocracy that worships the goddess Ashera. Begnion's figurehead is Apostle Sanaki. It is the main nation of Part IV and one of the nations in Part III.
Gallia: Home of the beast laguz, consisting of cats, tigers, and lions. It is an ally of Crimea and formerly ruled by King Caineghis. Is currently ruled by Skrimir.
Phoenicis: Home of the hawk laguz, ruled by King Tibarn.
Kilvas: Home to the raven laguz, ruled by King Naesala.
Goldoa: Land of the dragon laguz. They isolate themselves from the rest of Tellius. Goldoa was formerly ruled by King Dheginsea. Is currently ruled by Kurthnaga.
Serenes Forest: A forest located northwest of Begnion. Home of the heron laguz. It is starting to grow back after being burned down 23 years ago, along with all of the other herons. King Lorazieh, Princess Leanne, Prince Rafiel, and Prince Reyson are the only herons still alive.
Radiant Dawn is divided into four parts. Each part is structured similarly, beginning with a prologue chapter that introduces the situation, followed by a series of chapters that is resolved with an "Endgame" chapter. The game begins three years after the Mad King's War, which are the events of Path of Radiance. Daein, the war's instigator and eventual loser, and the victorious nation Crimea are still in the process of rebuilding. Although Crimea is ruled by Queen Elincia Ridell Crimea, Daein lacks a proper successor and is instead ruled by the occupation forces of the Begnion Empire. The Daein people are oppressed by the corrupt senate and imperial army.
Part I: Silver-Haired Maiden
Part I consists of 9 chapter stories, including a prologue and endgame about Micaiah and the Dawn Brigade's involvement with the liberation of Daein from Begnion occupation.
Daein is being occupied by Begnion after Daein lost the war from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and the people are suppressed and generally unhappy with the way they are being controlled. The Dawn Brigade partisan activity eventually gives Micaiah the reputation as the Silver Haired Maiden and becomes the focal point of the entire liberation movement. After a few chapters, they are joined with Prince Pelleas (the 'lost heir' of Daein), she leads the Daein Liberation Army to victory after victory (defeating the final boss, Jarod in the end), where in turn the prince is crowned king and Daein is once again under Daein's own control.
Part II: Of Countries and Kings
Part II is a five chapter story about the current state of Queen Elincia's three year rule over Crimea. After some discontent, the queen finds her country in a state of revolution led by Duke Ludveck.
At five chapters in length, Part II is the shortest of the game and begins not long after Pelleas's coronation. Queen Elincia, only three years into her reign, is struggling to find her way while some Crimean nobles plot rebellion against her; with Ashnard's son crowned the new king of Daein, they fear another war on the horizon and desire a more capable leader. The rebellion starts in a small country village, but is quelled by two peasants who fought in the Mad King's War, Brom and Nephenee. They learn that Ludveck, Duke of Felirae, has plotted to overthrow Elincia and take the crown for himself, and travel to Crimea's capital to warn Elincia of the new threat. Elincia's closest friend Lady Lucia leads an investigation to Ludveck's estate and finds proof of his treachery. After escaping Ludveck's men, she reports her discoveries to Elincia and then leaves to meet with an agent. Elincia sends a group of Crimean Royal Knights led by General Geoffrey to seize Ludveck, only to find that he has escaped and captured Lucia (and warns Elincia by sending her the hair he cut from Lucia.) Elincia's forces prepare for a final battle against Ludveck at Fort Alpea, but lack numbers until Geoffrey's forces arrive, drive Ludveck's forces back and imprison him. Ludveck's remaining forces threaten Elincia with the prospect of Lucia's execution if she doesn't give up her crown, but this last ditch effort is thwarted by the arrival of the Greil Mercenaries, who had been alerted to the plot by Elincia's ally Count Bastian.
Part III: Intersecting Vows
The third part of the game consists of fifteen chapters (the longest part) that follow Ike and the Greil Mercenaries. After shattering the rebellion, they receive an unexpected visit from Ranulf, retainer to the beast king of Gallia. He warns that a war between the newly formed Laguz Alliance and Begnion is about to spark following Begnion's execution of Gallian messengers. Ike and the mercenaries pledge their support to the Laguz Alliance; however, they also fear that Lehran's Medallion, which was currently radiating with a blue flame of chaos, will release the dark god with the chaos of this war. Three years ago, Ashnard attempted to ignite a continent-wide war to create an overflow of chaos great enough to free the dark god imprisoned in the medallion. The Alliance rapidly advances through Begnion until Skrimir, the hot-headed successor to the Gallian throne, challenges and loses to Begnion's most powerful general, General Zelgius. As the Alliance retreats back to Gallia, King Pelleas sends the Daein army into the war on Begnion's side.
Meanwhile, Valtome, a narcissistic member of the Begnion Senate, takes control of the Begnion Central Army, and demands safe passage to Gallia through Crimea. Although Crimea and Gallia have an alliance, Elincia wishes to remain neutral, and regretfully allows Valtome's passage. The Laguz Alliance encounters the passing army and prepares for battle; however, Elincia rushes into the battlefield, lays down her weapon to show Crimea is neutral, and demands that fighting be taken outside the borders. Valtome calls her a traitor and commands his army to kill her, but she is rescued by the Greil Mercenaries and the Crimean Army. Afterwards, Valtome attempts to execute Zelgius for not aiding in the previous battle. However, the Apostle Sanaki, Empress of Begnion, stops the execution. The senate had imprisoned her and Prime Minister Sephiran in an attempt to usurp the throne. Ike is once again put in charge of the army still loyal to the Apostle, much to his disliking.
In Daein, Micaiah and party learn why Pelleas ordered them to aid Begnion. Izuka, who was secretly aligned with the Begnion Senate, had tricked Pelleas into signing a Blood Pact with Vice-Minister Lekain, which Pelleas mistook as a treaty. If Pelleas opposes the senate, the pact will activate a curse, killing citizens of Daein each day. Micaiah's army returns to the battlefield to prevent the senate from invoking the pact, while Ike's army marches through Daein to reach Begnion. Pelleas discovers that the only way to destroy the pact is to murder the pact-maker, and asks Micaiah to kill him. In the second playthrough, the player can spare Pelleas; otherwise, he is killed. Queen Almedha then reveals that Pelleas is still bound to the pact, but the curse can be lifted by destroying the pact itself, which is in Lekain's possession.
During a battle, Ike's sister Mist receives telepathic messages to use the Galdr of Release to awaken the dark god within the medallion. When Sanaki sings the galdr, nothing happens, but when Micaiah sings, she releases Yune, the dark god. Yune possesses Micaiah's body and tells the party the truth about her and Ashera. The term dark god is a misnomer. Yune is a goddess of freedom and chaos, and Ashera is her counterpart, order and restriction. Yune was sealed away because Ashera thought of her as an imperfection. Because they are linked, if Yune is awake, Ashera also awakens. If they were awakened by the galdr, Yune and Ashera would meet to judge the world and decide its fate; if they were awakened by the spirit of chaos, the world would be destroyed. However, Ashera has already given her judgment and petrified everyone on Tellius, though everyone with a strong spirit was kept safe. This revelation sparks the fourth and final part of the game.
Part IV: Gods and Men
The final part of the game is divided into a prologue, five chapters, and a five-part Endgame. With all sides on equal terms, Yune organizes three armies to travel to the Tower of Guidance, where Ashera has slumbered these past years. Lekain has survived the petrification and restored many of the petrified soldiers to their normal states, forming them into the Disciples of Order to fight against Yune's forces. Sanaki confronts Lekain, who reveals that she did not inherit the ability to hear the voice of the goddess, a trait only given to the first-born children of the first apostle's lineage.The armies reach the tower and begin the ascent. They first kill Lekain and tear up the blood pact. In the second battle, Ike faces the Black Knight, who is revealed to be Zelgius, and kills him.
Next, they confront the Dragon King Deghinsea, who has decided to accept the goddess's judgment, and defeat him after Yune grants her blessing to the party. Outside Ashera's chamber, they meet Sephiran, who reveals that he caused all of the recent wars. Sephiran is revealed to be Lehran, who aided Ashera and the Three Heroes: Soan of the Beast Tribe, Deghinsea of the Dragon Tribe and Altina of the Beorc, in sealing Yune. They made a covenant promising Ashera that no war would be waged for 1000 years, and she would reunite with Yune to become Ashunera, the Goddess of Dawn. Due to the Serenes Massacre, Sephiran decided men could never live peacefully and wanted Ashera to destroy them all. In the first playthrough, Sephiran is defeated and willingly dies in Sanaki's arms, but in the second playthrough, he can be allowed to live and will join Yune's side. After Sephiran's defeat, the party enters Ashera's chambers. Micaiah gives Ike the remainder of Yune's power for one last strike (for only Ike can beat her). After Ashera is defeated, Yune saves all the petrified people and leaves as well.
The game ends as everyone leaves to continue their lives, which is told through a lengthy epilogue. Micaiah becomes the Queen of Daein. If Pelleas is still alive, he reveals he is not Almedha's son and stays with Micaiah as a member of the royal court. If certain conditions are met, it is revealed that Soren is Almedha's son. Sanaki realizes Micaiah is her older sister, and they agree to make peace between their countries. Ike leaves the continent forever to explore a distant land, either by himself or with Soren or Ranulf depending on his in-game supports. If certain support conversations are attained, characters may get married or have other changes to their endings.
See the main article, List of characters in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
Radiant Dawn features most of the Path of Radiance cast, including all of the previous game's playable characters, as well as a collection of figures new to the Tellius Fire Emblem universe. While Largo does reappear, he is not playable in this title.
See the main article, List of chapters in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
Radiant Dawn carries over the gameplay mechanics of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, with some changes.
At the start the original Japanese version of the game provides "Normal" and "Hard" modes, with the third mode, "Maniac", being unlocked after completing the Normal mode. In English-language releases the three modes were renamed to "Easy", "Normal", and "Hard". The easiest of the modes assumes the player has never played a Fire Emblem game before and includes in-depth in-game tutorials, whereas the other modes only include them as a reference. In the hardest mode, enemies are stronger and more numerous, and certain features, like saving during battle, have been disabled.
The game's 45 chapters are unequally divided into four parts. Each chapter features a "leader" character, comparable to the Lord characters in previous games. For example, the leader of Part 1 is Micaiah, and Ike is the leader of most of Parts 3 and 4. Tibarn is one of the main leaders of Part 4, along with Ike and Micaiah. Other leaders, such as Elincia, Lucia, Nephenee, and Geoffrey, play minor roles. A total of 72 playable characters are available, with 42 returning from Path of Radiance.
Radiant Dawn features two types of supports: Buddy supports and Bond supports. Buddy supports (simply called "Supports" in previous games) increase their characters' battle stats dependent on the elemental affinity and support level of both Buddies. Unlike in previous games, characters can be Buddies with any other character, but can only have one Buddy at a time. Also, Buddy supports can be deleted. Characters in Buddy supports can have a short conversation during each battle. Bond supports, which also appeared in Path of Radiance, are between two specific characters and are always present.
Because any character can form a support relationship with any other character, the conversations themselves have been simplified and are based on templates, in which the initiating character makes a stock statement while inserting the recipient's name, and the recipient will respond with a general acknowledgment. The more colorful dialogue that typified the support conversations in previous installments has been for the most part transferred to the Info conversations that take place between battles.
Path of Radiance Data Upload
If a GameCube memory card with a cleared Path of Radiance save is inserted, data can be transferred from the save file. Path of Radiance characters who have attained high statistics or weapon levels will receive corresponding boosts to their Radiant Dawn counterparts. Transferred A-level supports become Bond supports in Radiant Dawn, and the support conversations unlocked can be read in a support library after the game is completed. Coins collected are transferred to Ike in Part 3, where they can be used in the game's weapon forging system.
However, there is a bug with this feature that causes the Wii to freeze when any Easy Mode data is present in the GameCube memory card. Currently the only solution to this problem besides not using this feature is to delete any Easy Mode save data and use the save data of a completed Normal or Hard Mode game. In e-mails, Nintendo has announced a fix planned to be ready in mid-December. They have said the "solution will require sending in your Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn game disc in for repair. Once the disc is returned to you, you may then transfer the Path of Radiance save file information into a new Radiant Dawn save file". This bug isn't active in the European and Australian version.
New Beorc Features
Beorc (human) units can now promote twice, resulting in three tiers of character classes. Most first and second-tier classes are Fire Emblem staples, such as Myrmidons and Swordmasters. Third-tier classes are the strongest of all classes; the character automatically learns their class's Occult (ultimate) skill upon promotion. To promote most characters from a second to a third-tier class, they must be raised to Level 21 of their second-tier class or a Master Crown must be used at or after level 10.
Notice: In the Japanese version, only when the Master Crown is used can a second-tier character promote to a third-tier class.
New Laguz Features
The laguz from Path of Radiance also return. They can now counterattack when untransformed, using a new weapon called "Strike," though they are relatively weak in this state (when they transform, all of their stats double except for HP and Luck). Laguz can only wield one Strike weapon, but they can upgrade it by increasing its weapon level to SS. Laguz cannot promote, but they can reach a maximum level of 40 (instead of 20). They learn their Occult skill by using a Satori Sign at level 30 or above.
A new laguz tribe has been introduced; the wolves of Hatari. They have been added to the beast tribe and share similar weaknesses to the cats and tigers. Both have a weakness for fire. Also, a new type of dragon (though not a new tribe) has also been added; black dragons (like Kurthnaga,) who have the ability to fly and are only in the royal family. Notice: even though these Dragons can fly, they do not posses Canto.
Magic and Skill System
The game also adds a new magic type, Dark Magic, and a second trinity of magic, originally from the GBA Fire Emblem games: Dark beats Anima (Wind, Thunder, and Fire), Anima beats Light, and Light beats Dark. Skills, except locked skills, can now be removed and transferred as Scrolls. Skill capacities have been modified for beorc due to the new three-class system, and laguz have varying capacities depending on level.
For a list of weapons from the game see: List of weapons in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
The weapon forging system introduced in Path of Radiance also makes a return with some modifications. Unlike in the previous game, which only allowed the creation of one special weapon prior to each battle, the player can now use the forge as often as desired so long as the forge is available for use and there is enough gold in reserve to pay for the weapons. Furthermore, rare coins found during battle can be traded in during the forging process to further enhance the created weapon's stats.
The breadth and variety of weapons and weapon classes has also increased. Knives, which required a special skill to use in Path of Radiance, are now classified as a full weapon category with levels matching swords, axes, bows, and lances. The SS weapon level, higher than the S of previous games, has been added. The new low-tier bronze weapons do the least amount of damage of all the weapons in the game and prevent the character wielding the weapon from performing a critical attack, but are also the least expensive and allow the most uses. Additionally, Snipers/Marksmen and Warriors/Reavers have access to crossbows and bowguns that allow the equipped unit to attack and counter-attack from melee range. These crossbows and Bowguns are some of the only weapons that don't have a Weapon Level.
Terrain and Elevation
The height of the landscape now has a direct effect on gameplay. Characters can climb up to higher levels at certain points. If a character is higher than an enemy, they will have much higher accuracy and deal more damage; conversely, if they are lower they will have much lower accuracy. However, only units equipped with ranged weapons, such as bows and magic tomes, can attack an enemy on a higher or lower plane. Also, while most units can climb up ledges, paladins units must use a ramp or stairway to reach higher elevations.
The game has received generally positive reception from gaming critics. It has an average ranking of 80% on Game Rankings. The general consensus is that the game is extremely difficult, with solid gameplay, but the graphics are too reminiscent of its GameCube predecessor.
Game Informer gave the game a 7 and a 5.5 of 10 due to its staggering difficulty. The reviews emphasized that its difficulty would alienate new players to the franchise and that only diehards would have the resolution to finish. The lack of a compelling story compared to previous installments was also criticized.
Nintendo Power gave the game a 9.5 of 10. Scott Pelland, though calling the missions "fiendishly difficult," felt that it was a good thing, stating that the player must then utilize his resources fully to claim victory. He also compared it to its contemporary, the Advance Wars series, and a few older games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle.
1UP.com gave it a 9.0 of 10. Reviewer Michael Donohoe approved of the designer's addition of a mid-battle save option to slacken frustration. He also praised the gameplay, though largely unchanged from previous installments, as being "crazily addictive". However, he had "teensy problems" with the graphics, the changed support conversations, and the Laguz characters, which "still aren't very useful."
IGN writer Mark Bozon gave the game an 8 of 10. Though a generally favorable review, he complained of its likeness to its GameCube predecessor, the lacking overall presentation and graphics, and the absence of Wii-specific features. He did, however, give the game credit for being "a great tactical experience" with "well over 50 hours" of gameplay.
GameSpy awarded the game a 4.5 out of 5 and its Editor's Choice award. GameSpy praised the deep gameplay and story and even gave a nod to the "pleasant" graphics.
Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded the game a surprisingly positive 9.0, 9.0, and 8.5 score from its three reviewers as well as a silver medal. The reviewers praised the deep, strategic gameplay and the gorgeous FMV cutscenes.
GameSpot only gave the game a 6.0 out of 10, complaining about the "laughable enemies" and the punishing difficulty, which would alienate newcomers to the series. Furthermore, the game had little to no improvement graphically over the GameCube and it didn't make use of the Wii controller.
- It is the first Fire Emblem whose argument is divided into parts. Specifically, 4 parts with different numbers of chapters.
- As the player advances in the game, the intro movie expands.
- By completing multiple playthroughs, the class roll will start to show more classes.
- This is the second Fire Emblem game to have third tier promotions, the first being Fire Emblem Gaiden
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Owain mentions "Radiant Dawn" in one of his moves.
- In the European version of the game, the notification screen saying "Player Phase", "Enemy Phase", "Other Phase" or "Partner Phase" has still letters that fade in and then out, while in the North American version the letters appear with a special graphical effect.
- Unusual to the series, during preparation for the Part IV Endgame, the player must select a team of characters to take into the final battles. Whatever weapons are currently equipped by these characters is then given a blessing by Yune, giving them infinite durability. This can affect any weapon that does not already have infinite durability, including Silver weapons, Brave weapons, and custom weapons created at the forge. Ike's sword Ettard also cannot be blessed.
- This is the most expensive Fire Emblem game, because it was produced in very limited quantities.