Chrom, the protagonist and king of the 13th instalment of the series, Fire Emblem Awakening is said to have descended from the Hero King Marth himself. This would mean that the continent of Ylisse would have once been the continent of Akaneia, and upon playing the games Shadow Dragon (FE11) to Awakening (FE13) and back to New Mystery (FE12), it is interesting to see how the land has evolved over time and where the new kingdoms sit compared to the past.
First, let’s explore the geography of both continents. After finishing the prologues of New Mystery and beginning Chapter 1 The Grustian Expedition, I noticed straight away that the map seemed horribly familiar. Where on earth had I seen such a map before?
Well, it reappears in Awakening’s Chapter 18 Mad King’s Lament (the chapter you are able to recruit Gangrel) almost identically!
Out of curiosity, I drew up maps from both games to figure out exactly where this place was. Sadly, Awakening does not name the beach other than “towards the South Sea” but this island is indeed the former Grust of Akaneia.
Upon this discovery, I began to link the newer kingdoms of Ylisse with those of Akaneia. Despite the way their continents have moved slightly like ours due to shifts in the earth’s crust over time, and the eroding and changing coastal lines, it is still clear where these places once were. Marth’s kingdom of Altea is now part of Plegia (indeed in the same place you first ‘kill’ Gangrel). Chrom’s kingdom of Ylisse is deep in the heart of the old empire of Akaneia where Hardin once reigned. It is curious to see how our protagonists’ kingdoms seemed to have swapped places with the antagonists’. Princess Shiida/Caeda’s hometown of Talys becomes “The Table” of the Fell Dragon. The older kingdoms of Khadein and Aurelis become one as Ferox (both West and East respectively), thus the need for two khans.
Moving to other similarities, besides the obvious Falchion that has been passed down through generations, I was surprised to see that the Fire Emblem was shockingly familiar. New Mystery presented the Fire Emblem as a shield with five round sockets (compared to Shadow Dragon’s round red gem) and a sixth in the centre.
While these five place holders appear in slightly different positions compared to Awakening’s shield, it is safe to assume that like Falchion, it has been modified over the years and similarly inherited.
I only started playing New Mystery yesterday but these were just a few thoughts that came to me as I worked through the prologues and beginning chapters (currently on Ch3). I was overjoyed to meet again characters from SD and am really delighting in the newer characters introduced. The fact that this game was never translated and internationally released is a tragedy, especially considering it could have redeemed the reception of the very traditional gameplay of Shadow Dragon.