Letters to Summer

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Hello Pen Pals! Welcome to our Video Game Club—it's like a book club, but for video games. For the next few weeks, the two of us will be playing Fire Emblem Awakening at the same time and chatting about it, and we're putting those chats here in an extra-special bonus letter just for you, to thank you for supporting us on Patreon. We hope you like it!

In this chat, we’re talking about the first 10 chapters of Fire Emblem: Awakening. There will be spoilers, so be wary!

Summer: HELLO

Jillian: HELLO

i’m so excited for this

our very first video game club



Jillian: this is so cute

ok yes! so here’s what’s happening: summer and i both started playing fire emblem: awakening at the same time. every 10 chapters in the game or so, we’re going to meet to talk about it. like a book club! but for video games!

and also we’re going to publish those chats here because why not

i think that pretty much covers it

Summer: we know everyone is itching to hear us discuss fire emblem yet again

Jillian: oh of course

so for our very first chat we both played up to chapter 10

Summer: it went by way faster than i thought

Jillian: i literally just finished two minutes ago because i even procrastinate video games

the first few chapters went by VERY fast but the last 3 or so felt slower to me. maybe because the battles started getting harder, maybe because i started spending more time preparing for battles by making sure everyone had good weapons and stuff?

i also spent a lot of time today just doing paralogue battles, so that takes up some more time too

Summer: okay i LOVE that you can just hit L and it’ll redistribute everyone’s weapons before a battle

Jillian: i haven’t done that yet! should i

Summer: omg yessss

it’s great

it means especially an inactive unit isn’t hogging weapons

and it’ll auto-give everyone a healing item

Jillian: ok i’ll try that for next time because honestly it’s kind of annoying having to check everyone’s inventory before a battle

that sounds amazing

why…..didn’t…..fe3h have that

Summer: that’s something i wish carried over to three houses!!!

Jillian: there must have been a reason why they didn’t include it but like. why. it’s great!

Summer: i guess it’s worth it to say we’ve both only played three houses so a lot of this convo will be like “This is different than fe3h”

Jillian: YES! true

this is only the second fire emblem game either of us has played

Summer: the fact that the monastery was so revolutionary for fire emblem….b/c it’s’ a Home Base….

kind of amazing…i think i feel it a lot with the supports lol

i bet that’s why the fandom for fe3h exploded….

Jillian: yeah omg it’s really cool actually to play an older fire emblem game and realize how much stuff was added to fe3h

Summer: like there’s no way i’ll get all of these supports

Jillian: having the monastery and being able to eat meals with all the characters does really help farm supports

i think i’ll have to do a lot of auxiliary battles in between chapters if i want to try to get a lot of supports in this game

because outside of battles and whatever is going on in “the barracks” there’s no other way


everyone has these low impact random convos

i love it

frankly the supports are kind of ridiculous overall…chrom/frobin’s support chain is driving me insane

Jillian: i’m literally still decompressing from watching chrom and robin’s S support just now


Jillian: i actually screamed

Summer: i love them

Jillian: you will scream

all of their supports are very romcom-y

Summer: i don’t think i’ll ever play a fire emblem game and not fall deeply in love w/ the lord character


i mean, i’m still excited to see robin’s S supports with other characters but i’m already so invested in her relationship with chrom oops

Summer: NO SAME

Jillian: the thing about fire emblem games is that you caaaaaaan romance other characters and still enjoy it of course but so much of the plot revolves around your character and whoever the lord is, so,

by default it’s going to feel like a more complete, satisfying relationship

Summer: i wish you could be gay though

Jillian: yeah ome

Summer: like i don’t think there’s a single same gender ending for any characters?!

Jillian: fire emblem awakening does not have any gay options at all, afaik

i’m pretty sure there are a few women characters who don’t even have supports with other women at all lol

Summer: jesus christ

allegedly there’s some sort of marriage/child mechanic but i still think that’s a shitty cop-out

like obv i am enjoying the game but damn imagine playing as mrobin and not being able to marry chrom!

Jillian: that would be such a bummer!

let chrom be bisexual


Jillian: for all that i’ve complained about the restrictions of fe3h’s endings at least they gave us a few gay options

Summer: yeah, and i do think whatever iteration comes after 3h will have even more gay options

Jillian: i hope the next game is just full gay

Summer: oh my god imagine

Jillian: it won’t be but imagine

wait ok so we should actually talk about the plot so far

Summer: YES LOL

Jillian: i feel like it’s really starting to kick off now

Summer: so chapter 9 ends with emmeryn killing herself

Jillian: right lol

Summer: i literally lost it

Jillian: emmeryn is like, the “exalt” or basically the queen and is also chrom’s sister so the whole thing is very weird and traumatic

it was honestly so funny because she made a little speech before she did it and the whole thing was supposed to like, have a point i guess. like she was doing it to stop a war or something? but……..it had no impact except making everyone upset

like……girl you didn’t help at all

she was like bye this isn’t my problem anymore best of luck to you


so upsetting jesus christ

ok i LOVE chrom i know we’ve established this

but he is so expressive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jillian: he is! lol

he has a lot of feelings

Summer: like he actually has really surprising emotions and is kind of silly

i love him

btw in this game there’s an actual Fire Emblem that people want

which is kind of funny after playing 3h…where byleth is the fire emblem

Jillian: yeah i feel a little silly but i never knew why the franchise was called fire emblem

and in this game it’s like, an actual object

which makes sense

Summer: i know robin has some sort of Mysterious Past but tbh i feel like the way byleth was positioned made them more…obviously important than robin has been so far

Jillian: yeah so far we don’t really know anything about robin

i’m sure that will be fun and important later but for now she’s just a tactician who showed up and is hanging around i guess

Summer: it’s so funny that a basic trait of blank slate protagonist characters is they just…don’t…REMEMBER???? THINGS?

Jillian: absolute classic

Summer: theyre like “ah yes….who am i…where am i….teach the player character about the world through my forgetting”

Jillian: fire emblem has a lot of reused tropes which i love

like, it’s very comforting to me that although this is a different story and has some different game mechanics and is on a different device and stuff…….it’s still just a fire emblem game. i know what to expect from it. i know what it’s going to give me.

Summer: it’s great

i love the villainous monk librarian type

Jillian: the villainous monk librarian trope is so funny it’s always like, who’s that suspicious old guy? and someone will be like oh him? he’s been around forever, we trust him.


Jillian: boom: two seconds later he betrays you and dies


and i love every second of it…

i think the paired battle is actually SUCH a fun mechanic

Jillian: OH wait yeah let’s talk about the paired battle stuff

i like it a lot especially early game when some of my units aren’t as strong on their own

Summer: ok yes. like in fe3h i would put sylvix next to each other all of the time do not separate and like do little fanfiction battles in my head but i love that you actually see character ssupporting each other

Jillian: i like that awakening has both of those

like you can fight paired but you can also just fight side by side which is different somehow

and either way it improves your relationship

Summer: exactly, it’s really cool strategically

Jillian: the paired fighting feels like the adjutants in fe3h

so i think it’s interesting how in awakening it’s something you set up during the battle and can change mid-battle, instead of the way it is in fe3h where you’re basically just adding extra units as adjutants at the beginning and can’t change it during the battle

Summer: i also realized that in bad terrain you can just pair someone with a pegasus rider or mage and move them together then separate to fight if needed

Jillian: wait that’s so smart i didn’t know you could do that

wish i had known that before struggling through all these sand maps

Summer: lkxjffdsklfj it was great i was like these little sword guys will never get anywhere unless i get them to sumia for a sec

Jillian: oh ok so who are your favorite units so far

Summer: OKAY i love sumia and cordelia

Jillian: i like cordelia and i want to like sumia but she’s so weak for me…..both of them die really easily but cordelia at least does more damage

so sumia is mostly benched for now but i’ll try to build her up in auxiliary battles

Summer: and lon’qu

Jillian: LON’QU. GOD.

he’s so good

Summer: he’s great he’s just a pre felix


except he’s actually cool whereas felix is just a feral cat trying to be cool

lon’qu and frederick are my best units

Summer: my ricken is also crazy strong i dont know how that happened ;ladskjgrlkefsdj

Jillian: RICKEN?????

Summer: the little boy himself!!!

Jillian: ok maybe i should use him that’s hilarious

Summer: YES IDK HOW HIS STAT GROWTH GOT SO GOOD LMAO. i am also going to make libra and tharja part of my main rotation probably.

Jillian: YES i’m very excited about libra and tharja and i want to use them for sure

i really like pairing sully and stahl together also

Summer: omg i don’t use either of them…

Jillian: i have a soft spot for sully because her VA also did sailor jupiter’s voice

Summer: i use panne a lot i love her

i kind of want to use the little dragon girl but i hate that trope of ancient being in the body of a 9 y/o lmao

Jillian: ugh yeah……dragon cool tho so i have been using her

(she’s one of the ones who only has supports with men i think lol! go figure)

Summer: GOD that’s so fucked akldsfjgrkeflj

Jillian: yeah it’s gross

i haven’t seen any of the supports yet tho so who knows

Summer: i feel like fe3h was a little bit less bad with that trope wrt sothis and flayn

but rip

Jillian: do you have any supports other than chrom and robin’s yet

Summer: YEAH i’ve gotten supports robin + frederick, sumia, ricken

and i have like B support with miriel + lon’qu for some reason?!

Jillian: omg that’s funny

Summer: cordelia and frederick’s support is kind of funny they are both just like…good servants lmao

Jillian: aw i love them

i need to focus on getting more of robin’s supports with everyone else…..now that i’ve got her S support with chrom lol

Summer: i feel like it’s harder than in fe3h to even know who has supports…

Jillian: chrom and frederick’s C support is really funny also

Summer: OMG YEAH IT’s SO FUNNY SLDFKjslkfjdsl i love frederick !!!

Jillian: their B support gets more into their relationship but i can’t wait to see the A support

sully and stahl have kinda fun supports, i think they’ll have a cute ending

Summer: i know immediately after i finish the game im gonna look up everyone’s support chains

Jillian: YES

Summer: i wanna watch chrobin’s w/ mrobin so badly

apparently it’s very good?

Jillian: ohhhh interesting

maybe i’ll watch that right now honestly

Summer: srerksjdfjgle honestly…no spoilers at this point

damn i love this game

i feel so energized thinking about it…

Jillian: i love fire emblem!!!!!

Summer: OH we didn’t even talk about “marth”

Jillian: OH


kind of a huge plot point

Summer: ok like. that’s lucina right

Jillian: i think so

Summer: of Super Smash Brothers Fame

Jillian: alskdjfsdk yeah that’s how i recognized her

but i wonder what the whole story is

Summer: GOD i’m so intrigued

Jillian: me too

i honestly don’t know where the story is going to go from here other than like, war

Summer: same right

ok i know that fire emblem games have a crazy history of racism but i’m glad that like ,,, there are at least brown characters ,,,, on the same side as you LMAO

what’s her name. flavia

Jillian: god right

flavia and the other guy

Summer: i’m a little worried about playing the earlier games sdkfjslfjs

Jillian: yeah rip

Summer: they’re really fun characters they’re like the judith and nader

Jillian: oh we love judith and nader

Summer: but yeah i love seeing the seeds of a lot of stuff that fe3h built out a lot but then also the really cool things unique to awakening that i ADORE

also like, i use anna in awakening lol she rocks as a unit

Jillian: ooooh yes like what


Summer: ok so paired battles rock. i think the locked classes is kind of cool, like working w/in the constraint of your healer unit not being able to battle??? idk it makes things more strategic

Jillian: ugh yeah…it’s annoying me but you’re right

Summer: i do like that you sort of just have a ridiculous bank of characters, i know that it’s because of classic mode but it’s fun to swap out people for the heck of it vs in fe3h it felt more intentional to recruit

also when i recruited people i didn’t use i felt bad for some reason…brain broke

Jillian: oh yeah we’re just picking up characters left and right

Summer: like i got that villager dude and i was like. man i am never using this guy

Jillian: something about playing in casual mode vs playing in classic that i think is fun to think about is how much it changes your gameplay? like, i’ll send people out to fight in some corner of the map by themselves with half their hp because i know that even if they die i’d rather have them go out doing damage than waste a turn getting healed sometimes

Summer: YEAH OMG

like how much more careful will i be in classic…

i might even look up strategies…

Jillian: i’m also already dying without being able to undo turns like in fe3h lol


Jillian: i had to do chapter 9 three times because robin kept dying

Summer: like sometimes i’ll just do something stupid and be like wow i wish i didn’t do that!

Jillian: yeahhhh

and in fe3h i can be like, ok that move sucked but if it doesn’t work out i’ll just go back and redo it

but in awakening i’d have to start the whole battle over

Summer: yup! god robin kept dying so i wouldn’t let her battle on her own

Jillian: YEAH SAME

Summer: but now she’s doin better shes level 16 or something crazy

Jillian: after she died twice i was like, ok stay paired with chrom

Summer: i do love it though they are a Powerhouse

Jillian: they do work well together

Summer: apparently when people play lunatic mode they just pair them together and solo it

Jillian: omg

Summer: i don’t think playing like that is my style HOWEVER


Jillian: romance!!!!

battle tactics are all about narrative and romance

not so much about winning the fight

Summer: EXACTLY !

oh my god when chrom blocks a hit for robin


Jillian: very cool and sexy of him

very husbandly

Summer: it is so funny that they make the mostly male lord characters like

so fucking dreamy

Jillian: he’s literally a prince

Summer: and yet the prodominent market for these games is cishet men ?

Jillian: GOD RIGHT

is it actually though

that seems so funny

Summer: like…sorry who did you make this prince with the cut off shirt for ???

Jillian: sldkjfsdklfh

Summer: i always forget what the makeup of these fandoms are like until i go on the wikis and read about fan shit

and how controversial the choice to maybe allude to a lesbian in the gamecube fire emblem game was

Jillian: oh my god lol

Summer: it’s funny though tbh i feel like as the games become more neutral with their marketing and as companies stop pretending video games r for 10 year old boys….more gay options will become normalized lmao

Jillian: yep!!!!

Summer: i watched the video game documentary on netflix and i was thinking so much about fire emblem actually

Jillian: oh i should watch that

Summer: b/c they were talking about how they thought they could get girls to play street fighter by adding a Single Lady Character, b/c they thought girls would wanna play as a girl

Jillian: omg

Summer: which like, sure, true to an extent – but it was so funny that they were like “well, maybe one girl will want to play….not possibly two girls. we don’t want to pretend there’s a possibility for that.”

Jillian: jlksdfjksldghskfldsg

Summer: but then the main marriage you’d want in fe:a

which is to chrom, is gender locked!

but not by the gender that these games are marketed towards!

make it make sense….

Jillian: interesting!!!!!

Summer: anyway i love video games and marketing is crazy

Jillian: same with fe3h……you can’t marry dimitri or claude as mbyleth so what’s the point


you’re DEPRIVING people of a tied up story

Jillian: what a weird franchise i’ll never understand it

i love it so much tho

Summer: can’t wait for them to announce the next one

even though there are literally 14 for us to play in the backlog

Jillian: i’m still waiting for a second DLC

Summer: GOD

Jillian: as if that will happen

let me pay more money for extra dialogue

Summer: i want a fifth route….lords against byleth

Jillian: WOAH

summer that’s a very cool idea

Summer: thank you i think i stole it from a redditor

Jillian: jfslkdjgskdf

Summer: it could be cool….byleth gets fully corrupted by rhea and the lords ban together to defeat/save her…



Jillian: wow sick

ok any last thoughts about the first 10 chapters of fire emblem: awakening?

Summer: i just love chrom he is a prince

Jillian: wow yes i agree

Summer: head empty chrom only

Jillian: yeah!!!!!!

ok time to go lose my mind about the chrom/robin S support some more

i’m so happy we’re doing this it’s so fun


Jillian: ok byyyyye friend

see you in the other tab