*Thanks go to Neighborhoodotaku over at Christian Anime Reviews for this guest post. If you or someone you know would like to submit a piece here at Gaming And God, be sure to email me.*
*There are miner spoilers to Fire Emblem Fates in this article*
In Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation), you play as main protagonist Corrin in an unknown time period. Both ruling kingdoms in the country, Nohr and Hoshido, have been locked in a deadly war for many years, and are fighting for peace in the region. More importantly, they are battling for possession over one particular royal family member that they both claim as their own: you.
Waking up on a bed with amnesia in the royal castle of Nohr, you are quickly informed by high prince Xander that you have had a sudden experience of memory loss due to a recent battle, and are actually a member of the royal family. You are told that you have always grown up in the Nohr kingdom since birth, and are the son of King Garon, the tyrant leader of the country. Being reaquainted with your other high class siblings, Leo, Camilla, and Elise, you are trained up by your brother Xander to develop combat skills for the war against Hoshido, and are soon sent by your father on your first scouting mission across enemy territory. Once you arrive at the destination directly over the border, your peaceful mission immediately turns into a blood bath, and through events conspired you are sent flying down the Bottomless Canyon by your own sword given from your father. At the precise moment, a dragon named Lilith saves you from your presumed death, and sends you back to the top of the cliff. Shortly after, you are captured by the woman chief of the Fire Tribe, and are brought against your will across the border to the Hoshido kingdom.
Being taken in chains to the royal castle, you learn from Queen Mikoto the truth about your complicated past: you are actually direct kin to the royalty of Hoshido. While your avatar was a young baby, the two dominate kingdoms had a peace conference at the Bottomless Canyon to discuss treaty terms for the future when suddenly the Hoshido were ambushed by King Garon’s forces. As a result of this conflict, you were kidnapped by the Nohr, and were raised in their country as though you were one of their own. You were lied to by your siblings for your entire life, and were robbed of a relationship with your true father, whom was killed by King Garon during the attack. As the story progresses, you also discover that your tumble down the canyon during your scouting mission was no mere accident: your Nohrian father had every intention to murder you by your own sword Ganglari. Even your own mother, Queen Mikoto, was murdered right in front of your own eyes by trying to protect you from a deadly mage from Nohr.
Taking all of this information in, which family would you choose? The family that had raised you from birth or your actual birth family? The corrupted Nohr kingdom with your siblings since childhood or the justice-seeking Hoshido with your true siblings since a few days prior? In Fire Emblem Fates, you are given this difficult decision, and even have the option to not choose a side, being neutral in the whole ordeal. Morals are tested, and everything that you know about good and evil is flipped upside down, making the task extremely challenging even to the most hardcore veteran.
While I was playing this game for the first time, I had the sudden revelation that I had already made a similar decision in my own life, but in a spiritual way rather than physical. I mean, if you really think about it, isn’t the entire Fire Emblem Fates plot just a reflection of the life change that a non-believer has when they become a Christian? This whole theory may sound a bit drawn out, but let me explain it with some insight directly from the Bible.
At the very beginning of time, God created mankind in His own image, and by definition we are a part of His family. Death and pain were nonexistent, and God had intended for people to live in serenity and perfection with Him forever in the Garden of Eden. This is similar to how Corrin was brought up in the peaceful Hoshido family for the first few years of his childhood, living a happy life with his mother, father, and siblings. However, once death and destruction entered the world, mankind was deeply stained by sin, and, being separated from God, we were adopted as children of Satan. Again, this is similar to how Corrin was kidnapped by King Garon of the Nohr during the peace conference, and how he was sent to live his childhood with Xander, Camilla, Leo, and Elise.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV)
At first, we are all oblivious to this around us; we had no clue that we were a part of a greater family than what we were from. Everything seems so familiar to us, sin feels so good, and once we learn the truth, we are apprehensive about choosing the right choice, that is God. Corrin had spent his entire life living with his family in the Nohr kingdom, and had learned to love the life that he was living. However, once he discovered the true origins of his lineage to the Hoshido and was faced with the choice, he was not sure about what to do. This is why the player is given the reigns to make the decision for Corrin.
In our world, the leader of our “Hoshido” kingdom is Jesus Christ, the son of the living God and king over all the earth. And He has done something that nobody in Fire Emblem Fates could ever offer: He bore the weight of the cross. Only through the payment that Jesus gave by shedding His blood could wipe our sins away and allow us to be accepted as sons in God’s family. Because we are sons and daughters of God’s family, we are no longer bound to our old life when we were enslaved to sin, and have the opportunity to fully experience all that God has for our lives on earth and in heaven. This is in fact the Gospel, and Paul explains this perfectly in Galatians.
“In the same way we also, when we were children, we were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:3-7, ESV)
Fire Emblem Fates truly is a beautiful picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and shows the path in which all Christians have been saved by God. All of mankind has been stolen by the King Garon of our world, being Satan, and have been ultimately adopted by the God that made us at the beginning.
6 thoughts on “Choose Your Family: Gospel Symbolism In Fire Emblem Fates”
Join in our prayer in our song
Of Birthrights and Love (Showing His greatest love at the cross John 15:13)
Come the sun
Illuminate the sky
Pray that we may quell the dark (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Light take the Throne (Christ’s Millenial and Eternal Kingdom)
Lost in Thoughts All Alone
Adam, similar to Esau, sold Man’s God-Given Birthright to the enemy, the “Nohrian Scum” being Satan, but like Sumeragi, he didn’t know it was a trap. And so mankind was coerced to
Join in the tale, in the blight
of Conquest and LIES (Satan being the father of lies)
Come the sun
To tarnish in the sky
Vow that we shall tear the light
Dark seize the throne (Antichrist reign yet to come)
Lost in Thoughts All Alone
But back to my point. You can tell I really love the Amalee straight Jap-to-Eng lyrics lol. Mankind, until Jesus arrived in the fullness of time, was made to fight and to suffer pain and death under the Conquest of sin.
However Christ has given us the Revelation of the truth, and our original Birthright was restored to us when he took the keys of Death and the Grave after descending into Valla or Hell and rising the third day triumphant and all-powerful. Note I didn’t refer to Garon as Satan (SPOILER AHEAD); for even he bows to a greater evil than himself that he is a mere vessel for; the dragon which rules over the Forbidden Kingdom. It is his desire for the End of All.
It should behoove us to witness to those in our families and friends who are still under satanic threat, matters not the kingdom (Both the Hoshidan And Nohrian Siblings, Retainers, and Allies on either side of the conflict respectively) and pray for those who are still under Satan’s influence and would try to undo us at every turn (the Iago’s and Hans’ in our lives) that they would come to the knowledge of the truth, for they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, ergo Hoshido worshipping the Dawn Dragon and Nohr worshipping the Dusk Dragon.
SPOILERS: Note I didn’t refer to Garon as Satan, for even he bows to a greater evil than himself that he is a mere vessel for; Anankos, the dragon which rules over Valla, the Forbidden Kingdom deep down in the Bottomless Canyon. He is the one-in-the-same dragon that both Hoshidans and Nohrians worship and pray to, referenced in the prior paragraph (similar to how people will worhsip the image of the Beast of Revelation 13) It is his desire for the End of All, just like Satan, who was also depicted as a dragon in Revelation.
I’m still on Birthright, will start on Conquest soon, Revelation purchase soon after. I know some things because I watched a couple random gameplay vids, fell in love with the song first and then the story, and of course saw too much. Please forgive me.
Yeah, I had a lotta time to think about this LOL. But that’s all for now. Back to my castle, God Bless!
Jeez, I typed the thing about Anankos twice…..
Got a little bit excited there.
Great comment, thanks for that breakdown Paul. Yeah, we definitely need to be praying for our family members that still don’t know Christ or experienced Him as their savior.
I literally just got a DS yesterday, so I will be picking up Fire Emblem very soon. It’s a series I have always wanted to play. Never played any of the games, and this one seems like there’s plenty to reference back to the bible and Christian living with. God bless ya!
Revelation: Will get started soon.
End of All by the way is the name of the soundtrack for the endgame map, and, depending on which path you chose Azura will sing the lyrics respectively.
I feel the Revelation verse speaks more of what Jesus did down in Paradise
Descend into the abyss thou see (Jesus’ Death and Burial)
Where the hearts of many wander quietly
They wish and weave
Placing hope inside their one pure dream
(The Old Testament Patriarchs e.g. Abraham, Moses, David, Hezekiah, the prophets, etc. who died hoping for God’s promised redemption of His people and the whole world)
After the storm stills its wake (That first Resurrection Sunday Morning, and eventually when Christ returns)
May all be blessed (All who have seen and heard Him, and those who haven’t, ergo us)
So the fate and fallen can find rest (Those Old Testament saints and New Testament Saints/Martyrs)
Your will the water reflects (Jesus’ life reflected in our lives)
So all will know
Your hands brought the morrow (The gospel message being preached to all, Jews and Gentiles, about what Christ did for us on Calvary)
Yes, beautiful lyrics! I just went to Youtube and am listening to it. Very compelling and interesting choice of words. I love Japanese music because of that. To me, I’ve never seen lyrics so well crafted poetically than theirs. Thanks for sharing, and hope you beat the last part! I finally got a 3DS so I can buy Fire Emblem thank God.
I also appreciate how this game also deals with the subject of death, as Corrin discovers, is sometimes unavoidable, even for the ones we love. My father died two months and ago. So basically I’m got them real-life Sumeragi feels DX. It helped me move through in its own way; it’s still a process, some up days, others down.
The hardest death in-game for me in Birthright and Conquest was killing the opposing high prince. Corrin looks up to both of Ryoma and Xander as his “big brothers”. And both in their own ways congratulate Corrin for how strong he is and how much more willing he is to spare the lives of even his enemies than just be another killer or dumb grunt soldier fighting for his chosen cause. They both love him so much they don’t want to kill him–they want him to come home with them and be a family despite in their last confrontation being a duel to the death with the “big brother” you sided with making sure no outsiders of any kingdom interfere–yet another picture of God and Christ calling the sinner to “come home”. “Come home, little prince!” says Xander. “It is your birthright to defend your homeland of Hoshido!” says Ryoma. I forget the exact Ryoma quote, sorry. And Corrin feels remorse for choosing one over the other because, as he learns, he loves them all.
Honestly, I’d choose neither, as well. “I make my own fate!”
To choose truth over the world’s definiton of right and wrong (Birthright being seen as the right path, as you see the brightness of the day on the game cover, and Conquest seen as the wrong path, the night and darkness covering everything in the background). Man, I could get deep into the light and dark symbolism! But Xander summed it up well in one of his support convos “There is no justice in this world.” But back to seeking the Truth of the Word of God, which is Jesus Christ. When one chooses to seek said truth, and does not make a choice the world tries to force them to make, they are branded a traitor to be hunted down and destroyed. (Found that out, Fates Revelation Path part 6). Here is where the english lyrics become key:
A Burdened heart sinks into the ground (Picture of us being dead to sin but alive to Christ)
A veil falls away without a sound (Picture of the ripped veil in the temple)
Not day nor night
Wrong nor right (As the world defines it)
For truth and peace you fight
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. — John 15:18