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Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

aka: Fire Emblem 8, Fire Emblem: Seima no Kouseki

[ All ] [ Game Boy Advance ] [ Nintendo 3DS ] [ Wii U ]

Critic Reviews 85% add missing review

UOL Jogos ( )

ÓrfĂŁos de "Final Fantasy Tactics" e "Shining Force" terĂŁo uma boa oportunidade de conhecer as raĂ­zes desses tĂ­tulos neste clĂĄssico da Nintendo. Com o modo de iniciante, bastante amigĂĄvel, os novatos tambĂ©m terĂŁo a chance de experimentar o gĂȘnero RPG com estratĂ©gia, sem muitos traumas.

Jun 1st, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Deeko (9.5 out of 10)

In the end, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is a fantastic srpg that does the series justice; and then some. While some of the changes may make for a slightly easier gameplay experience, the changes as a whole only serve to make the game all the more exciting and fun to play. There are a number of side missions and quests to undertake, giving players a thirty plus hour tour de force. The gameplay is simply addictive, the graphics and sound are stellar and the storyline is incredible making Fire Emblem a must buy srpg for the GameBoy Advance!

2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamingEvolution (9.25 out of 10)

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is without a doubt one of the best games on the Game Boy Advance, and one of the best handheld games to be released in a long while. Nintendo definitely made a smart choice to bring this tough Strategy/ RPG to the US. The Fire Emblem series has now set a new standard for strategy games, and it is sure not to disappoint gamers. This game is definitely recommended, and it is a must have on the Game Boy Advance. Go get is ASAP if you want a title that will give you many hours of fun filled gameplay!

2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Fragland.net (90 out of 100)

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones a.k.a. Fire Emblem 8 is the series' second appearance on the GameBoy Advance. Fire Emblem (FE7) still stands as one of the greatest games on the platform, next to equally great titles such as Advance Wars I & II, Golden Sun I & II and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the expectations of the ever so loyal fanbase for this sequel were insanely high. Ridiculously high, perhaps?

Dec 12th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Game Informer Magazine (9 out of 10)

Nintendo first-party developer Intelligent Systems is quickly becoming one of my favorite studios. The company’s GBA strategy offerings are uniformly amazing, and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is no exception. Everything that was great about the first GBA Fire Emblem returns – the at-times punishing difficulty, interesting maps and missions, tight strategic gameplay, and the improvements to the basic formula do nothing but enhance this sequel.

Jul 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) (9 out of 10)

During one of the driest seasons for the Game Boy Advance, it’s great to finally see a title that is worthy for a purchase. Not only is this title many times better than the original, it offers one of the best and fulfilling experiences for the Game Boy Advance. A must for Game Boy Advance owners and strategy fans alike.

Nov 1st, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamePro (US) (4.5 out of 5)

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is a great little game that instantly sucks you into a deep fantasy world of conflict and combat. The learning curve is average for an RPG game, but the rewards are well worth the study time. If you're an RPG fan with a mind for strategy this game belongs in your GBA.

May 25th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamerDad ( )

I was very pleasantly surprised to find out how much I liked this game. The resource collection, allocation and micromanagement have hampered my past experiences with strategy games. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is more of a strategy role-playing game, blending an excellent story and interesting characters with a deep and enjoyable combat system. I highly recommend that Game Boy Advance owners give this one a try.

Nov 7th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GameSpy ( )

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is easily one of best GBA titles to ever come out for the handheld system. Its rich story, colorful characters, and excellent gameplay all add up to make this a truly satisfying experience. Anyone who is even slightly interested in the strategy genre owes it to himself to pick it up. It's definitely one of the "must have" titles for Game Boy Advance owners everywhere.

May 25th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Nintendo Power (9 out of 10)

It’s easy to find flaws with a game as deep as this one. In fact, I’m surprised to have found so few. Sacred Stones brilliantly treads the line between depth and accessibility, and Intelligent Systems has gone to great lengths with the difficulty settings to please gamers of all skill levels. In addition to a finely tuned system, the developers also raised the bar on the visuals; the battle animations are stunning and plentiful. FE:SS is only the second Fire Emblem game to reach our shores, but it’s sure to capture the attention of strategy fans here just as it has in Japan.

Jul 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GameSpot (8.8 out of 10)

Another epic, memorable adventure awaits in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the follow-up to 2003's similarly excellent strategy RPG, Fire Emblem. The previous game was actually the seventh in a series that had long since established itself in Japan, and at last made it to these shores. That makes The Sacred Stones the eighth Fire Emblem title, though it features an original, completely self-contained story and is equally well suited to new players as well as returning fans.

May 27th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

64 Power / big.N / N Games (88 out of 100)

Alles in allem ist auch The Sacred Stones eine weitere Strategie-Perle auf dem GBA und gehört zweifellos in jede Sammlung!

Sep 2005 · Game Boy Advance

Worth Playing (8.8 out of 10)

I have a love-hate relationship with Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. I'm aware of its faults and I often snap off my GBA out of sheer disgust with the game, but I keep coming back just the same.

Jun 16th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Portable Review (35 out of 40)

After 6 games in Japan, Fire Emblem on the GBA came out in the US. It was highly acclaimed for its turn based tactical combat and its RPG level up elements. Throw in the really compelling story and it made for a GBA game to remember. Now, Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones or FE8 has arrived. The question is though; does it live up to the hype? Well, for the most part, yes it does! It’ll be a fun fight to death as you lead your troops across the plains of war.

Oct 23rd, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

N-Zone (87 out of 100)

Mit Fire Emblem verhĂ€lt es sich wie mit einem guten MĂ€rchen: Man vertieft sich in eine sagenhafte Welt und wird vollstĂ€ndig von ihr in den Bann gezogen. Auch die ErzĂ€hlweise des neuen Teils ist unglaublich ausgereift und besticht durch alternative Dialoge, je nachdem, welchen KĂ€mpfer ihr habt sterben lassen. Diese Tatsache motiviert, eure FeldzĂŒge mit möglichst allen Mannen zu planen. Langfristig fesselnd!

Dec 22nd, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20)

HĂ©ritier d'une sĂ©rie de T-RPG qui n'a plus Ă  prouver sa valeur, Fire Emblem : The Sacred Stones n'a pour seul dĂ©faut que de vous rendre complĂštement accro aux jeux de rĂŽles tactiques. Le soft reprend tous les Ă©lĂ©ments qui ont rendu culte son prĂ©dĂ©cesseur, en attĂ©nuant la difficultĂ© extrĂȘme qui avait pu rebuter les adeptes du prĂ©cĂ©dent jeu. Pour cette raison, et parce que les scĂ©narios n'ont pas de lien entre eux, il est prĂ©fĂ©rable de commencer directement par ce nouvel opus si vous voulez dĂ©couvrir sereinement la sĂ©rie des Fire Emblem sur GBA.

Nov 4th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Just RPG (85 out of 100)

All told, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is a great handheld game. Though it doesn’t offer the sort of depth or complexity your typical RPG will, the game is perfect for the sort of places a handheld was made to go, entertaining without being overly taxing. Those who enjoy the series’ bare bones approach will also find plenty to like, even if the ease of the quest is a little disappointing.

May 23rd, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GameZone (8.5 out of 10)

I've had a serious problem these past few days. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones hit stores across the nation, and with its release came the need to review it. In a perfect world, this would be absolutely wonderful. I love the Fire Emblem series. Why wouldn't I jump at the chance to review the sequel to a game that held me hostage for more than 30 days and 30 nights?

May 31st, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

IGN (8.5 out of 10)

More than a year ago, Nintendo of America made the long-awaited plunge by unleashed Fire Emblem in the US. This Game Boy Advance title -- among several in a series that has enjoyed a long and fruitful life in Japan -- finally introduced the series' unique mix of fantasy RPG elements and turn-based strategy game design to Western gamers. And it was good. Very good. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones isn't a sequel more than it is simply a revisit to the franchise's game design in an entirely new setting and storyline. This GBA title doesn't have the novelty of "the first of its kind" working for it; instead, it simply relies on memorable characters and skillful storytelling for its "new" experience.

May 24th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

1UP (B+)

If you haven't given your GBA some lovin' these days, fire up Sacred Stones and spend some lengthy but enjoyable quality time with your portable. Sacred Stones plays like a good full-scale RPG and the replay value is up there. Building up a foundation group of character during the campaign can be done over and over again (with good patience, of course) with the numerous permutations made possible by the branching story line and the myriad cast. The successful parsing of battle, dialogue, and set-up sessions in Sacred Stones demonstrates again that the GBA might not be a Revolution, but it's something I sure would revisit time after time.

Jun 3rd, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

RPGFan (82 out of 100)

Put succinctly, if you're a rabid Fire Emblem fan, you'll love this game. It's more of the same style with a new plot with new characters for you to match up, and the added bonus of extra dungeons to try to complete as fast as possible. If you're a casual fan of the series you may find yourself longing for more lasting changes or wondering why you're suddenly having an easy time of things, especially since you are likely to be most prone to noticing the problems above. At the same time, it will remain more of the same stuff that you liked before. New gamers will find it a light, fun strategy RPG that makes for some fine time-wasting.

Jun 14th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review


Intelligent Systems seem to have a knack for somehow imbuing a very rich and complex set of game mechanics with a soul. Advance Wars is what it is because of the idiosyncrasies of its array of characters and their interaction on top of a top notch turn based battle engine. Fire Emblem has all the features of the best strategy RPG games, variety, tactics, long term strategy in leveling characters, all of which are the basis for a story told well and wrapped in astounding quality, attention to detail, polish, and beauty.

Feb 14th, 2007 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Pocket Magazine / Pockett Videogames ( )

L’un des meilleurs jeux de stratĂ©gie nous revient sur GBA dans une version encore plus aboutie. Plus cohĂ©rent, plus complet et plus Ă©quilibrĂ©, Fire Emblem : The Sacred Stones constitue le choix du moment en matiĂšre de Tactical-RPG sur la petite console de Nintendo.

Nov 4th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Diehard GameFan (8 out of 10)

Fire Emblem is one of those games that comes along and is fairly hard to put down. Many times I would be playing and get a sudden case of “just one more battle” syndrome. Of course, farther into the game that “one more battle” would easily last 30 minutes or so. The game is easy to play while still being fairly intricate, with a good story, and tons of character development if you take the time to delve into the support units. If you take full advantage of everything this game has to offer, it can become fairly addictive. But if you just find yourself going through each battle without slowing down a little bit to examine its intricacies, you probably won’t get as much out of it as others will.

Jun 3rd, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Legendra ( )

On ne change pas une recette qui gagne, voilĂ  comment rĂ©sumer le dernier Fire Emblem sorti sur Game Boy Advance. Pourtant, la difficultĂ© revue Ă  la baisse le rend plus adaptĂ© aux transports, et le scĂ©nario est plus intĂ©ressant que ceux des deux prĂ©cĂ©dents Ă©pisodes sur la mĂȘme machine. Un jeu Ă  possĂ©der absolument !

Mar 30th, 2008 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Games TM (8 out of 10)

'Yes, yes,' we hear the experienced player cry, 'but what's new? What more can I expect from this instalment?' Well, the answer is: not much, really. There are a few new classes, some new enemies, a few minor tweaks and, of course, a new storyline, but the basics of the game are essentially the same. However, you can't expect a series so long-established and refined to change itself fundamentally with every new instalment. Don't be discouraged by Sacred Stones' similarity to the previous Fire Emblem game; we wouldn't change it for the world.

Jul 14th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance

Game Informer Magazine (8 out of 10)

Other games could learn a lesson form one character in particular who says "what harm could a little reckless besieging cause?" Amen, brother. If only you and Animal Crossing were on the same page.

Jul 2005 · Game Boy Advance

Cheat Code Central (4 out of 5)

The blend of RPG and turn based strategy is an excellent combination, at least for this game. You can replay the single-player campaign countless times and never have the exact same experience. For a change, the single-player mode is actually better than the multi-player mode. Expect weeks upon weeks of pure gaming fun.

2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

GamerDad ( )

Anyone wanting a second helping of Fire Emblem-style RPG/Strategy hybrid gaming will find plenty in this title to keep them satisfied. With an involved storyline, and a rich combat engine, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones proves once again that Intelligent Systems lives up to their name.

Jan 8th, 2006 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (8 out of 10)

They say that true love is blind. Who "they" are can be a sub-quest for later. For now, let's consider the second bit of that sentence - and let me bash myself round the head with it sufficiently that I can write about Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones without glossing over some of its weightier flaws. Because, love it as I do, I have to admit that it's more of an acquired taste than I first thought - back when I stumbled giddy and excited out of the back-end of the first Western instalment in the strategy-RPG series last summer.

Jun 16th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Game Critics (7.5 out of 10)

Technically sound but leaving me feeling hollow and unsatisfied, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones reminds me quite a bit of the series I mentioned earlier, Advance Wars. Both games hooked me immediately and sucked me in the first time around, and both sequels left me hungry by staying too close to the original formula and coming off like add-ons or extended missions instead of being true sequels. I guess I can't complain since quality GBA games are getting harder and harder to come by, but while first-timers should check it out, those who had their fill of Fire Emblem the first time around will find little reason to come back for seconds.

Jun 20th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

JeuxActu (15 out of 20)

Certes, la plate-forme fait que Fire Emblem : The Sacred Stones doit se contenter d’une rĂ©alisation somme toute mineure, mais une ambiance attachante et une durĂ©e de vie importante, eu Ă©gard Ă  la possibilitĂ© de choisir entre le cheminement d’Ephraim ou de Erika. De plus, quelques thĂšmes sonores sympathiques achĂšvent de faire de ce dernier Fire Emblem un reprĂ©sentant grande classe du genre sur la petite Game Boy Advance qui, au milieu de Final Fantasy Tactics Advance ou des Advance Wars du mĂȘme studio, ne manque dĂ©cidĂ©ment pas de jeux de stratĂ©gie de qualitĂ©. Au risque de voir toutes ces petites bombes s’auto-concurrencer, d’ailleurs.

Nov 4th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Netjak (7 out of 10)

Combined with slightly above-average aesthetics and the chance to go through the game again as a different twin, The Sacred Stones is a solid and worthy diversion for the tactical fan. Its frustrations and quirks mean that it's not exactly everyone's cup of tea, though, especially if you're coming from a more contemporary tactical system like FFT or Tactics Ogre. At its default level, it makes a great introduction into the world of tactical games for players new to the genre, as well. There's no doubt it's a good game, but the amount of enjoyment you'll get is very closely related to how much you expect out of it.

Aug 30th, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Computer Bild Spiele (2.6 out of 6)

UnauffĂ€llig ist der Redefluss im Spiel, der anfangs in GeschwĂ€tzigkeit ausartet. Die nicht eben einfache Hintergrundgeschichte wird zu Beginn in langen Dialogen erzĂ€hlt. Und auch spĂ€ter erwartet den Spieler vor und nach jeder Aufgabe eine lange „Lesestunde“. Das ist nett – und immerhin auch abschaltbar. Grafik und Ton sind durchschnittlich und die Bedienung problemlos. Vor allem aber wird der Spieler schnell selbst ein Bewohner von Magvels. Und das kann „befriedigend“ sein.

Dec 1st, 2005 · Game Boy Advance · read review

Player Reviews

It took me 2 years to beat that little gem, but I did it !
by Bregalad (967)

The Good
Here you are my review for the eight game in the oldest (and in my opinion best) strategy-RPG series ever, it's name is Fire Emblem : The Sacred Stones. I've personally known about the Fire Emblem series for a long time, back in the early emulation days I've heard about a NES game called Fire Emblem and downloaded it. Unfortunately this game is Japan only and I didn't understand much of it, but I still immediately fell in love for it. Everything was awesomely designed in this game. I could play the first two missions or so, but the fact that you never know what you are doing becomes quickly annoying. There is also a sequel of it on the NES, called Fire Emblem Gaiden which was similarly cool, but featured nonlinearity, also in Japan only. But I finally heard a Fire Emblem game would be released on the GBA outside of Japan, and after getting a GBA I almost immediately bought a copy of it. I loved the game very much, but couldn't finish it due to extremely high difficulty. Then came a sequel to it, and after a while I've heard a couple of time people saying it was easier than the first. So I bout it in the hope to get skills in order to play the first again (with better results). And while this game turns to be still very hard, I managed to beat it after two years or so.

A good thing with the Fire Emblem series is that, aside of graphics and some cosmetic changes and minor improvements, the series haven't changed since the NES days. This may sound bad, but in fact it's great. Think a second of how many series used to innovate and completely change themselves to 3D and eventually end up to some game that is completely unrelated to it's prequels in terms of gameplay ! I'm not against innovation, but Fire Emblem definitely sets traditions before innovation, which make a very solid series that is not going to fell soon. You can bet no Fire Emblem game with fan services girls in bikini shooting with guns will ever be released (yes, I'm referring to Final Fantasy X 2. This make Fire Emblem one of the only series among Dragon Quest and some other little unknowns gems true sequels to what they were in the early '90s.

However, Fire Emblem : The Sacred Stones (from now on FE8 for short, as it's the 8th Fire Emblem game) still made some changes from it's predecessors. The main change is the re-appearance of nonlinearity since Fire Emblem 2 (Gaiden) on the NES. Just like in this older game, you have a map and can go where you want when you want (however main missions still take place in a set order, only secondary missions are nonlinear). Only this time the game is in English (and in most other common languages too) !.

You take the control of Prince Ephraim and Princess Eirika, who used to be the two children of the king of Renais, but their neighbor Grado attacked their castle for some weird reason, and killed the king in doing so, so they just fleed. Below their (and yours !) leadership, you will meet with many people of all social classes (ranging from Princes(ses) to thieves) and from all styles of personality, and that have very varied fighting skills, and varied motivations to fight with your team (ranging from more or less honorable motives). What I like about Fire Emblem games is that there is so many characters and that every single of them is just TOO cool in it's own way. Just for this reason you don't want to let them die (if you do they actually die, if you didn't know yet). You also kill (yes kill) your enemies in your game, giving another dimension of realism in a sad way absent in most video games. Unlike in most other medieval-fantasy games, you don't just kill monsters, and unlike in GTA you're never proud or make fun by killing someone, you just do it for your own safe. Most principal enemies have monstrous personalities, but unfortunately most people will follow their orders without asking questions. So the story is really cool and the characters are perfectly developed. In one particular point in the game you have the choose between two paths, which adds to the replayability.

In FE8, monsters are still back like in FE2 for the NES (just like the map), so you fight both humans and monsters. Each type of human and monsters has it's "class". You units are archers, fighters, mercenaries, etc... (there is quite a lot of them) while monsters have weird names. Each unit levels up to 20, and is able to change it's class to a better one if you use a particular item, but being at least level 10 is required. In addition to this, the game also added a lot of new classes absent in previous Fire Emblem games, and added the opportunity to chose between two classes when you upgrade your units. Do NOT do like I did : ALWAYS wait for the units to be level 20 before upgrading them, else they will just SUCK !

By the way most of the units are pretty weak at the stat, and you will need to level up a lot already at the beginning. Fortunately you can do (theoretically) infinite level up in this game, which isn't the case in previous FEs (except for 2). This make the game potentially easier, but just having more level up isn't just enough. You should also buy good weapons (and they run out quickly, and you don't have infinite money !) and you should keep characters well balanced, and have them never change classes before they're level 20 ! By playing this you will learn how a small error is capital, and how easily can a character you trough be strong die. Just like real life, this game is unforgiving.

Finally the graphics are basically the same as the previous Fire Emblem, slightly improved, but with a lot of new classes (including monsters). The battle scenes with a big plan on the two fighting characters are incredibly cool, especially when you're doing a critical hit. The music is really good, you won't be disappointed by it either.

I think I didn't mention it but the control interface is perfect, and the game is automatically saved, allowing you to turn off the console anytime, your game is never lost.

The Bad
I didn't like the fact that close to the end of the game some enemies have powerful very long range attacks, they could just kill any weak character from half-a-screen distance or so. This is annoying, since you have no chance to counter. Also, some of the characters lack development and are barely present in the storyline, unlike the previous FE game on the GBA. I also didn't like how weak are most of the characters straight from the start. Level up doesn't replace initially strong characters. Ironically weaker character are those who have the best potential of being brutes later, but this is a hard task.

The Artificial Intelligence is not bad, but just too simple. They always attack the weaker they can, and if the weaker is incredibly strong they still attack it. So if you place a weak unit, everyone will rush on it, and if you place a strong one they will commit suicide on it. They could do something better. A thing I disliked is that if a strong enemy happen to hit one of your units hard, but your unit just kills it, this leaves a slot for another similar enemy to come, but if your character wouldn't have counter-attacked, the enemy unit would have blocked the path to it's friends, making your unit survive the round just by avoiding to counterattack. They should have allowed you to cancel counterattack with the B button or something.

Finally the music is good, but by far not AS good as the music of the previous FE. And yes, I like challenge but sometimes having to restart a mission about 25 times to beat it without any dead on your side despite your efforts is a bit frustrating. It took me some 2 years to beat the game, so much times you have to restart the game if you want everyone alive. This game allow faster levelup and infinite monster missions in order to help you, but finally the monster missions are hard as well, and if you place the wrong unit at the wrong place and the wrong time, you won't have much warning before having it killed in one hit (two if you are lucky).

The Bottom Line
If you like challenge and strategy medieval-fantasy RPGs, this is your game, you shouldn't miss it. I'd still recommend the previous FE over this one (by the way I'm going to play it again), but this one is great too. It's a proof of what the GBA can do, even when the DS has been out for a while. If you have the luck to have a Game Cube (or a Wii) you might also want to try FE9, because I won't be able to try it personally.

Nov 18th, 2007 · Game Boy Advance

Plus 26 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by chirinea, Spenot, Wizo, Sciere, Jacob Gens, Alsy, nyccrg, El Bosso, Patrick Bregger, Flu, Xoleras, Jeanne, Numphie, Alaka, Axi, Tim Janssen, Big John WV.