• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

A Loving and Excellent Tribute to Fire Emblem

Aurora Wing is a Fire Emblem fan-game. DFalcon has no reservations or pretensions about this; he would be the first person to admit that. What sets this apart from the hundreds of other RPGMaker fan-games out there is that Aurora Wing plays every bit as well as its inspiration.

Just like Nintendo's strategy series that has inspired it, Aurora Wing is a tense, turn-based strategy wargame that routinely pits the player against overwhelming odds in unfair situations. As in most games of this genre, your primary weapon as a strategist is that you are probably smarter than the computer. While it is not unusual to start a mission surrounded by enemies in a small space, the means to victory is relatively straightforward.

In Aurora Wing, you have access to a diversity of unit types. Each character has a specified role (such as fighter, healer, or mage) and has access to a narrow field of equipment (such as swords, bows, or magic books). There are a few characters who can swap between two different types of weapon, but there is no real character customization to speak of.

Aurora Wing is a challenging game on its default setting, but not an unfair one. There are three difficulty settings to cater to players of different ability. It is also very forgiving compared to the Fire Emblem games it imitates; this is most significant when your characters die in battle. Death is normally permanent, but the player has access to a limited number of Revive Crystals that can bring back lost teammates. This is a limited resource, however, so while the player needs to be cautious, he does not need to be flawless.

The is no polite way to say that Aurora Wing is ugly and that its story is not good. I cannot recall exactly, but Aurora Wing's events retell the exploits of a small band of elite heroes out to overthrow an evil empire. Every one of these heroes fulfills the stereotype you would expect them to.

The graphics in Aurora Wing are Spartan and functional. All of them are lifted from some other source (such as various versions of RPG Maker), but none of them are taken from commercial games. The resources are used competently, more or less, but Aurora Wing is not a flashy game.

For those who are interested in RPG Maker psuedo-programming, Aurora Wing is an enormous technical achievement. It is a tactical RPG, with menus full of statistics, functional pathfinding, and intelligent enemies with workable AI. It runs without a hitch, never bugs out, and even includes an options menu. Most players are interested in how a game turns out and not necessarily how difficult it was to make, but it is a nice thought that DFalcon stretched the limited toolset of RPG Maker 2000 this far without making compromises.

Aurora Wing is one of my favorite amateur games. It is a genuinely good turn-based, tactical RPG with well-designed scenarios and gameplay systems that are forgiving without being pandering. It's a little rough around the edges and the writing is pretty bland, but if you fall into the category of people who like walls of statistics and blue squares on the ground when your turn is up, this game is for you.


Pages: 1
Well written! Although I'm not a big fan of the Fire Emblem series (I didn't even recognise any of the music that was from the first FE game) I thought the game offered a lot in terms of tactical decisions. Having looked back on the game I'd say it's more or less like the FE games, lacking in story but has a great battle system. There wasn't the same quirky dialogue like it's aspirator though.
Pages: 1