FMA Extended Media Recommendations - Gold Tier (Second Place)
Continued from here!
The Abducted Alchemist (Novel)
This novel is a classic example of FMA’s fantastic combination of humor and seriousness. It all starts with an irritated Ed pranking Roy by pretending to be his son while Roy’s chatting up some women. Yep.
An odd series of terrorist attacks has been going on, with bombings targeting train tracks, family of military officers being targeted, and most strangely, no casualties. The public is growing increasingly hostile towards the military as they continue to fail to catch the culprits in this bizarre case. Fortunately, Roy gets a hilariously ironic lucky break when the terrorists, apparently having overheard Ed’s prank, mistake him for Roy’s actual son and kidnap him.
Upon hearing the news, Al and the soldiers at East City have a unanimous reaction of “Oh god, those poor terrorists. Maybe we should send flowers.” But there is still a mystery to be solved, and the story has a wonderful mixture of suspense, humor, and drama.
Fullmetal Alchemist Profiles (Book)
Known in Japan as “Perfect Guidebook 1″, this one one of few FMA guidebooks released in English. The reason it’s not red tier is because it’s a very old book from early on in the series, and doesn’t include characters like Ling, Olivier, or even Father. A lot of the information included is also fairly basic.
But nonetheless, it’s a great book with interesting insight into characters, fun trivia, quizzes, a look at Arakawa’s office and gossip from her assistants, bonus manga, development notes, and more. As old as it is, I actually refer to this book for trivia and fact checking all the time. It also includes an original bonus manga, the Blind Alchemist, which the OVA of the same name was based off. It’s a fantastic book that I would highly recommend to any FMA fan.
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel (Game, Playstation 2)
Broken Angel is the first of the PS2 games, and thus not as… nice-looking as the second one, but the plot is a lot more FMA-like than Crimson Elixir. Like Crimson Elixir, the gameplay is very similar to Kingdom Hearts. I haven’t played this game in a long time and I have never fully understood the plot at all, so bear with me as I try to give a summary!
After a train crash, Ed and Al arrive in the town of New Hiessgart. Ed and Al meet a girl named Armony Eiselstein, whose father is an alchemist working on developing I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Philosopher’s Stone!™. Ed and Al hope to learn more about this item, known as the Philosopher’s Catalyst, while Armony wants them to teach her alchemy behind her father’s back. But strange things are afoot, with chimeras overrunning the town, and corrupt military groups going rogue. There may be more to the Eiselstein family than even Armony knows…
My favorite part of this entire game is the hilarious recurring boss, Genz Bresslau. Genz, the Armor-Piercing Alchemist, is a corrupt military officer with an automail arm of which he is very proud. After getting totally trashed by Ed, Genz makes it his goal to prove that his automail is better. Despite having little to no bearing on the actual plot, Genz repeatedly reappears for fights with more and more automail, defying all logic, though Ed keeps trying to explain that he really just does not care about this whole automail superiority complex or Genz at all.
Prince of the Dawn (Game, Wii, Japan only)
Really, the picture says it all. Prince of the Dawn and its sequel, Daughter of the Dusk, are very zany games. If you ever happen to come across something that looks like Brotherhood official art, but seems too ridiculous to be real, it’s probably from one of the Wii games. This game takes place some time in the middle of the manga’s plot, and unlike other games, it does include later characters such as Ling and Greed. It also gives more worldbuilding information, with the first real detailed mentions of Amestris’ southern neighbor, Aerugo.
I can’t say much about the plot, because I never made it very far in the game. I know Prince Claudio Rico of Aerugo has come to Amestris to negotiate and hopefully end the ongoing border war, and a festival is held to celebrate. But it seems the homunculi are trying to frame Roy for an assassination attempt on the prince… I think? I’m really not sure. Rather than being a fighting game like most FMA games, it’s mostly a point-and-click game, with multiple choice dialogue options to try to solve a mystery. There’s also a lot of minigames that make use of the Wii’s motion controls.
Because the game is based around discussion and mystery-solving, unfortunately it’s really not for anyone who isn’t fluent in Japanese. I’ve tried to play it several times, but my Japanese isn’t good enough to really understand what’s going on, and it took me forever to figure out this one mandatory Biggoron’s Sword-esque trading sequence because I couldn’t understand what my orders were. But if you do speak Japanese, it’s a fun and ridiculous game, and great for people who might not be into fighting games.
The Tale of Teacher (OVA)
We’ve all heard about the legendary incident in which Izumi Curtis stole rations from the Briggs mountain guard for a month, but have you ever wondered why she did that? This short OVA tells the story of 18-year-old Izumi’s quest for an alchemy teacher, her harsh initiation test, and how a dead bear helped her find true love. If you thought Ed and Al’s month on Yock Island was brutal, Izumi’s apprenticeship story will make you go “Woah, she really coddled those kids.”