A little sugar
in my tank

jonesing for ginger mancandy in ylisse

by tate

2013 was an incredible year for gaming, one of the best in recent memories. Nintendo was on a role (even if the #1 Nintendo story was the Wii U). The games they released are proof to me that ome of the best work they’ve ever done: Pokemon X and Y, Super Mario 3D World, A Link Between Worlds, Pikmin 3...I could go on. However, none of those games compares to my #1 game of 2013, Fire Emblem: Awakening.

What made FE:A so rewarding wasn’t just the deep, brutal gameplay, beautiful writing, even prettier graphics, the enormous, wonderful cast, it was the game’s ability to show me a world that I had never been to before. Well, my only previous experience with the FE series was downloading (but never playing) The Sacred Stones (I’m a 3DS Ambassador, what what!) and a swoonworthy crush for a brawling, bruising Ike and that giant sword he uses to “protect” his friends. But back to the point, all of my favorite games that came out last year were from huge franchises I’ve played for most of or a vast majority of my life -- I started playing Mario and Zelda with my parents in ‘86, I became the Kanto Champion ten years later and now my army of little monsters is 885 strong.

And then came FE13. And it made gaming new again.

Awakening was the game I’ve been waiting my whole life to play. The story of these sad, desperate children who were given a second chance to right their parent’s wrongs (play the glorious and completely devastating Future Past DLC) was made all the more devastating by permanent death. It’s a dose of realism that you rarely see in games. Could you imagine if pokemon died instead of fainting? That would be some sick shit. Oops, I killed Xerneas, Kalos is destroyed. Awakening was the first war game that I’ve ever played where there were real stakes. You are a tactician, keep your people alive. I blasted through the game on Classic/Normal, and remember being so devastated by **SPOILER** Emmeryn’s suicide **SPOILER AGAIN** not really **END SPOILERS** and the **SPOILER** betrayal of your avatar **END SPOILER**.

awakening was the game I’ve been waiting my whole life to play

And the chapter that comes right after Emmeryn, the escape from Plegia in the rain, with the exquisite music and Chrom shouting, “don’t say her name” and “don’t mock her words”. Up to that point, I had done soft resets anytime my tactics weren’t solid and I killed someone, but there was no soft reset for this. My male Avatar, Quintus, was paired with Gaius at their A-Support (I have a thing for gingers and candy, so this was a no-brainer) and my only concern was keeping him alive. And this is what the game is about at its core. The bonds between us, the love we have for each other. My Quintus and Gaius were in love, no doubt about it. So, why couldn’t we get married?

Before I started playing, I was well versed at how important relationship building was in the game, and when I got into it, I fell head-over-heels for this aspect of gameplay, especially when several of the male characters started coming on to my male avatar and the other guys in the army. Examples: Avatar-Gaius C-Level: Avatar catches him in the bath and Gaius doesn’t mind one bit. Avatar-Frederick A-Level: “My body is ready, Avatar.” (Reggie reference, sure. Food reference, sure. But clearly Frederick is gay and in love with Chrom. And how cool would it have been if Frederick was an openly gay character - the strong, loyal, cautious, smart, unafraid leader of the army. Oh, he’s also super handsome and one of the most vital characters {at least in the beginning}). Avatar-Stahl A-Level: “Someone has to look after you. And I’ve decided that someone is going to be me!” Avatar-Ricken A-Level: “Sorry, it's just that hat and those cute wittle cheeks just begging to be pinching.” (That’s some Avatar daddy action going on there).

I could go on and on, just about the Avatar, but gay flirting is present in almost all of the male characters supports. And we haven’t even begin to talk about the woman. Another missed opportunity is Flavia, who is clearly a lesbian (the whole Female Avatar/Flavia supports are not so subtle about this) and Khan (ruler of Regna Ferox). [[FE13 is one of the gayest games I’ve ever played and yet it’s not gay.]] There’s not a single openly gay character. No bisexual characters. No gay romances, just the endless hints, flirtations and insinuations. And sure, there is the argument the children forward the story, and that’s true, but if the relationships are just for the children, why do same sex characters have any supports? And why do the children get supports?

gay flirting is present in almost all of the male characters supports

And to add insult to injury, there are two types of marriage options that could be considered “alternative”: interspecies (Panne and Yarne are rabbits and Nowi, Tiki and Nah are dragons, both can marry humans) and incestuous (Owain can marry {though they call them companions rather than husband/wife with Lucina, a Chrom-fathered Cynthia or Kjelle or an Emmeryn-mothered Morgan). That makes Owain capable of marrying his cousins. Where are the gays?

But the children. Won’t somebody think of the children?

Lucina is the only child who is mandatory, well her and the child attached to whomever Chrom marries (unless he marries that weird villager). Side note: marry Chrom to the Avatar, Maribelle or Olivia, you get a son with Galeforce and Rightful King.

hint: it's not a man!

So, if only Lucina is mandatory, why not have the gay option? You don’t have to get gay married, just like you don’t have to get straight married. And why can’t the kids have gay parents? Why can’t Chrom have some Frederick on the side (again you know Frederick wants it, those naked pictures he keeps hanging up). The second generation in Awakening is great idea. I love it, but guess what, they’re optional. I don’t particularly like Severa or Yarne, and I never have to marry Cordelia or Panne, and what if I want to marry Cordelia to Panne (lesbian interspecies!)?

Maybe I’m putting a gay angle on it because I’m gay. I’m sure I’m hard-wired to pick up on any gay hints, because that’s how I grew up. Even though I was lucky that I wasn’t bullied and have an incredibly supportive family, there wasn’t a strong gay presence in the media, so you took it where you found it, and most often the only thing you could find was strong innuendo. But again, the bonds between people. You are constantly reminded of it in the game, it’s just a shame that these bonds between men can’t be romantic or sexual, especially when the world is ending. Take and make love where you find it I say. The closest romantic thing we get is the Hubba Tester, which is more than a little derisive.

hot arrow on arrow action

All I wanted was for my Male Avatar to marry Gaius. And since I wanted Gaius, I started a second game with a Female Avatar, just so I could do that and I got an adorable ginger Morgan (though my Morgan is a badass, he was not so much a concern of mine). And for my Female Avatar, I wanted her to marry Tharja. So, I married my Male Avatar to her.

It’s 2014, gay characters (Mass Effect, Dragon Age) can have hot gay sex and in games like Skyrim, where your character is whatever you want him or her to be they have the ability to have a wedding (no one refers to it as gay, Mara in Her Benevolence frankly doesn’t give a shit). [[I’m not saying Luigi has to come out of the closet, but it’s time for Nintendo to add a gay character]] (and not one who is villainous and thinly-veiled {Ghirahim anyone}). Give the gays an otter (Sycamore in Pokemon Z), or a sweet, ginger thief.

sticky and sweet

Amen, Anna the Merchant. Amen.