How Fire Emblem teaches you to choose your friends

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    For those of you that don’t know Fire Emblem, allow me to give a brief explanation. It’s a strategy game, sort of like chess, except you have characters with names and faces, and they don’t necessarily die in one hit, like the pieces in Chess do. These faces, of course, include generals, mages, clerics, knights, halberdiers, etc. I’ve been currently playing a lot of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which has loads of different parts where you’re fighting Civil Wars, wars for revenge, and other such battles, all in a continent named Tellius. I definitely recommend this game, although, I suggest that you play its predecessor, Path of Radiance, before playing this game, because there are some references to the past game that might frustrate you, if not knowing things frustrates you.

    The premise of this post is to connect the unreal to the real. Video games are not simply torture weapons for the brain, which will cause your kids to go nutso. If you step into the video game realm with somewhat of a rational mind, you can actually learn from them. The people who develop video games probably never thought to themselves ‘oh, this will definitely make the children of today become shut-ins and cause them to develop violent tendencies’. They put in a lot of thought into it, and you can milk their thoughts and nourish your life.

    The reason why I use Fire Emblem as my example is because it is a fun strategy game, which has really good lessons to teach, if your imagination allows.

  1. All of your friends are important, but play on their strengths.

    A healer who does not have much physical strength is not going to scratch a full-armored general, because that’s not what they’re designed to do. However, someone who’s fast and strong will be the one to pick him off. However, a general can’t really heal anybody, and usually can’t hit archers, etc. This might be going over some people’s heads, but that’s okay, I’m getting to real life examples.

    Your friends are the same way. Some of them are going to be the ones who use their phones and text you all the time. Some of them are party people, some of them are introverts that go at their own pace. If you choose to be with them, then they will bring a different side of you, good or bad. The key is to find the people/units who will bring out the best in you, in your best and worst moments. Not everyone will be perfect for you all the time, sometimes you have to wait for someone to get hurt for the healer to come out, and etc.

  2. Some of your friends will be bad for you. And will always be bad.

    In Fire Emblem, the way units become stronger is that when their levels go up, their stats go up, for example, their strength, speed, magic, defense and some others. As you go on through the game, they get stronger and stronger, to match the units that grow in level with them. However, each unit has a generated amount of stats they get. Some units will never be good for the battle their fighting, no matter how much you train them. Inevitably, there are better, stronger units, who will not die on you quickly, that you could choose. In a game, it’s easier to tell who they are, because you can use the internet to investigate this. In real life, use your observation.

    The fact of the matter is, there are going to be people who are not suited for you. I’m not saying you should ditch someone because they fail your expectations in the beginning, but you have to know when someone is never going to be much of a friend to you. It’s the same in Fire Emblem, when you watch the unit grow, you can see how that unit is growing, and they can be some help to you. In all honesty, when dealing with real people, you can’t just exclude them immediately, as long as they’re there, they could be just what you need for some specific situation, like information or someone to hug when you need it. However, keeping someone who’s just going to ‘die’ out in your battlefield is not something that’s healthy. Then you spend all your resources trying to keep them from being completely destroyed, but in the end, that could destroy you.

  3. If you dont strengthen your connection, the time you need them most, they wont be strong enough to handle it.

    You’ve read the internet pages, you know this unit is good for fighting generals, and is a good unit overall, but you forgot to train them. Just when you needed someone to take care of that general over there, this unit can’t do enough to end it. Instead, they’re so weak the general takes them down when he attacks back. Now, there’s no one to defeat the general, and you have to keep this unit away until someone else can take care of it. This could also mean lost opportunities, and lost chances to have that unit grow.

    Same for real life. Although, it will never be as obvious as watching a unit die in a game, it is still true. We may never know if that neighbor could have been the girl who would sacrifice her time to come comfort you when you’re stuffing ice cream down your throat. The most frustrating thing is… you’ll never know. It might have been.

  4. There is no reset button.

    Need I explain? Fire Emblem can be reset. It just reminds me that I can’t reset broken relationship even more.

    What is most important in relationships though, is dedication. Your units, your friends, will be right up for the challenge of being with you, and your ups and downs. And of course, when your friend’s biorhythm is down, you’ll be ready for the challenge. What’s most important is that you have friends though. It can be a small mercenary group, or an army. Either way, your friends are important, remember that!

See you next week!


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