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Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is a tactical role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube video game console. The game was released on April 20, 2005 in Japan, October 17, 2005 in North America, November 4, 2005 in Europe and December 1, 2005 in Australia. It is the ninth Fire Emblem series title, and the third Fire Emblem series title to be released in North America and Europe. It was the first Fire Emblem series title to feature voice acting as well as being the first title to be rendered in a three-dimensional, cel-shaded manner. It is also the first Fire Emblem game to be released for a home console in North America, Australia and Europe.
The story is set on the fictional continent of Tellius and is totally unrelated to any of the previous Fire Emblem installments. It introduces a new system for battle preparation as well as a new set of races named laguz (humanoid shapeshifters). A sequel to Path of Radiance, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, was released in Japan for the Wii on February 22, 2007, and in North America on November 5, 2007.
Path of Radiance averaged 86% on Game Rankings, which makes it the second highest rated Fire Emblem game. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the game's main character, Ike, appears as a playable character.
The storyline of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is completely unrelated to any of the previous Fire Emblem titles in the series. The protagonist, Ike, the son of Greil, begins the game as the newest member of his father's mercenary company, the Greil Mercenaries. The company operates within the borders of Crimea, a nation of humans (referred to as "beorc") that shares its southern border with Gallia, a nation of beast laguz, or humanoids capable of transforming into animals. A few chapters into the game, a neighboring beorc nation, Daein, invades Crimea. Soon after, Ike comes across an unconscious woman in a forest that turns out to be the Crimean princess, Elincia Ridell Crimea. Faced with the ruthless Daein assault, Greil leads the mercenaries out of Crimea and towards Gallia, but is mortally wounded by a Daein general known only as the Black Knight. These events mark the beginning of a long journey that will take Ike, Elincia, and the mercenaries across the continent and back in an effort to defeat Daein and restore Crimea's royalty to the throne.
Over the course of the game, Ike and his companions must overcome long-held racial tensions between the beorc and laguz in order to form an alliance against their true enemy, Ashnard, king of Daein. In particular, Ike manages to reestablish relations between the beorc nation of Begnion and the few remaining members of the heron laguz clan, which was annihilated in an act of genocide known as the Serenes Massacre. With this accomplishment, Ike is given command of a patchwork army that he leads into Daein and finally back to Crimea, where he confronts the Black Knight and ultimately King Ashnard himself.
A map of Tellius. The highlighted nations are Gallia (green), Crimea (gold), and Daein (red).Path of Radiance is set on the fictional continent of Tellius, which is divided into seven nations that are either governed by beorc or laguz. They are:
Crimea: A beorc kingdom that is home to the Greil Mercenaries. At the start of the game, it is invaded by Daein. Daein: A beorc kingdom that had become antagonistic ever since King Ashnard ascended the throne. Begnion: A beorc theocracy worshiping the goddess Ashera. The figurehead and empress is Apostle Sanaki. Gallia: Home to the beast laguz; it had recently improved relations with Crimea. Ruled by King Caineghis. Phoenicis: Home to the hawk laguz; its king is Tibarn. Kilvas: Home to the raven laguz; they are considered more cunning and dishonorable than the hawks. Their king is Naesala. Goldoa: Home of the dragon laguz; it isolates itself from the rest of Tellius. Their king is the legendary Deghinsea.
The Fire Emblem
In Tellius, the Fire Emblem takes the form of a simple bronze medallion also known as Lehran's Medallion. It allegedly holds the soul of an evil god whose energies disrupt the level of chaotic energy in a person. For example, when Greil touched the medallion, it caused him to go berserk and kill everyone in sight, including his wife, Elena. It was only when she took the medallion from his hand in her final moments that Greil regained his sanity. Only a person with a high level of balance is capable of holding the medallion without losing his or her mind. Ike's mother, Elena, and his younger sister, Mist, are two such people.
The medallion once belonged to the heron laguz clan that dwelt in the Serenes Forest within Begnion. They were charged with protecting the medallion so that the evil god would not be released. However, the Serenes Massacre forced Lillia, a member of the heron royal family, to flee with the medallion, only to be captured by Ashnard's forces. Lillia was ordered to free the dark god, but she could not. She befriended Elena and gave the medallion to her. Mist eventually inherited it from her mother. Over the course of the story, Ashnard repossesses the medallion. In the final chapter of the "Difficult" difficulty (and "Maniac" in the Japanese version), he uses the medallion after his initial defeat to gain godlike power, but is still defeated by Ike and the party.