Time and time again, I've heard from people who have become Fire Emblem fans because of Fire Emblem: Awakening and after, that they would be interested in playing Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GameCube) and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii), but they are prohibitively expensive. I tell them there is a giant quality difference between the Tellius games (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn make up one saga) and every Fire Emblem game that came after, and their attachment is to inferior experiences.
I don't even call myself a Fire Emblem fan anymore, since I want nothing to do with where the series has gone after the Tellius games. Still, I want to advocate that people play the Tellius games, especially deluded modern Fire Emblem fans. I also advocate for the truth.
Here's the truth: You might be spending more money on the modern Fire Emblem games than it'd cost to buy Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance can be pricier, but depending on your confidence in second-hand markets, it's still pretty reasonable.
It's true. You can buy Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn on Amazon, right now, for $80. It's said to be new. Physical. On the other hand, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is listed for $300, which is... you know, a bit absurd. But on eBay, you could get Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance for under $100 if you're fine with getting a pre-owned disc.
Compare that to the prices for modern Fire Emblem, and remember that the Tellius games are both complete masterpiece experiences with one payment, as opposed to spreading out your money over multiple smaller purchases for a shoddy experience.
|Fire Emblem Awakening uses the dreaded Sword-Arm Ike as the DLC representative.|
Rather than be teased by an inferior Ike form for an inferior Fire Emblem, why not buy Ike's actual superior Fire Emblem games with superior character design?
Fire Emblem: Awakening's prices are a bit all over the place for the DLC due to the existence of so many packs, but here is the best pricing you can get if you want the maximum experience:
I know for a fact that a lot of the metagame or whatever for Fire Emblem: Awakening revolves around the paid DLC. People keep talking about content in Fire Emblem: Awakening that I have no idea what they're talking about, and I've actually played through that game and its Paralogues. It then follows they're talking about the DLC.
Meanwhile, Fire Emblem Fates works like this: You buy either Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright or Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest for $40. The one you bought unlocks a 50% discount for the one you didn't buy, so to get both costs $60 total. Then, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation costs an additional $20. That's $80 for the three games, and then on top of that, you'll want Map Pack 1 ($18) and Map Pack 2 ($8), for a total of $106.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia has the base game at $40, and the get-everything-Season-Pass at $45, for a total of $85. (And that saves you over 30% from buying everything individually...!)
...The point is that each of the modern Fire Emblem complete experiences can get you over the cost of either Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance or Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and being a big modern Fire Emblem fan will have you spending more money than both of those put together. I don't accept the cost excuse. If you're willing to pump DLC money into inferior games but not a one-time purchase for some of the best games ever made, then you deserve all of the crap that you get for being a modern Fire Emblem fan.
There's a possible complication that you don't own a system that can play GameCube games (a GameCube or some versions of the Wii) or Wii games (the Wii or the Wii U). That's another discussion entirely — you're missing out on some really good games in general.
It's also another discussion entirely that the calculus would be transformed if Nintendo ever re-released the Tellius games on a Virtual Console service or a port or whatever. ...I wouldn't put that as likely, though.
Ludwig firmly believes that Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn are worth their historically-inflated prices. He's written many articles in the past about his feelings on those games, as well as modern Fire Emblem, and you're welcome to use KoopaTV's search bar functionality to find them yourself.
Ludwig doesn't lump Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia in with mediocre stuff because of when it was released, but because of what it's a remake of. (He also doesn't know how Valentia is spelled, apparently.)