For those who have never even seen Japanese lettering before, playing FE for the first time can be completely overwhelming. Many give up just because they can not understand the sheer mechanics or the storyline of the game. While this is all Nintendo's fault for not allowing us to experience FE in all its glory here in the states, fear not. I'm here to help. Here you'll find an in-depth walkthrough for both Book 1 and Book 2 of Monshou no Nazo, with pictures to help your poor English-reading mind along.
Menus and Controls
In order to get anywhere in your game, you'll first have to understand the controll system of Monshou. Unlike many games, the controlls are quite simple. The game moves at your pace, so you don't have to struggle to hit the right button before you're eaten by a dragon or killed by a giant spider. You use the controll pad to move your units and the cursor, A to select, and B to cancel. The X button can be used to see the current stats of both your own party and your enemies. The commands are pretty much universal for all units. Some have special abilities, such as Transformations and Dancing, but it's pretty simple to distinguish these from the other items on your menu. In addition, there is an overworld menu that allows you to check the overall progress on your level. Below I've got the translations of the different menus, in pictures so you can understand them.
When entering a new level, (except for the very first one) you'll see a menu like this. The mechanics of it are very simple. The "Explore" option allows you to look around the level to see what units you might need to bring. "Equip" takes a bit more explaining. "Equip" lets you select a unit and then allows them to configure their weapon and item inventory. You can arm them with a new weapon, trade a weapon/item with another character, or discard that weapon/item, respectively. "Party" is pretty much the main purpose of this menu, as it allows you to select which members you want to bring out on the field with you. "Save", I would hope, is pretty self-explanitory. If at any time you deselect this menu before starting the level, you can always call it back up by pressing A over a piece of the map that doesn't have a person on it.
After selecting "Party", you'll come to a menu like this. This confused the hell out of me first time I played, but in actuality it is as simple as anything else. Each level has a limit of the number of party members you can bring out with you. This limit ranges from 11-15, depending on the current scenario and if there is anyone you can recruit on the field. The number in the "Remaining" box will continue to count down as you select your units. When your party is full, it will show the maximum number again. Note that you don't have to take the full limit of party members, but I always recommend that you do. The units you currently have selected are highlighted and in white. The inactive units are greyed. To select a unit, move the cursor over to them and hit A. To deselect them, do the same thing. The box at the bottom will tell you your unit's Name, current Ranking, Level, Experience Gained, Max Hit Points, and whatever weapons they are currently equipped with. At any time you can use "Done" to return to the main menu. If you are satisfied with your current selection, hit the B button twice.
Once you have started the actual game, you'll find your units standing together awaiting your commands. You can bring up the main in-game menu by puting the cursor over an empty space and hitting A. This will bring up a menu which you can access at any time. The "Party" feature lets you take a look at your current active party members out on the field with you. You can check their stats or move directly to them this way. "Inventory" lets you take a look at Marth's inventory. Only Marth can carry more than four weapons or items with him at a time, but that doesn't mean he can use them all. "Inventory" lets you see what all he's carrying for the other characters, but you can not select or discard anything through this option. (You will have to do that through Marth) "Level" gives you information about the current stage you are in. It tells you the chapter number and name, number of enemy units remaining, and the number of your own units remaining. "Save" explains itself. "Configure" brings up an options menu where you can turn the music on/off and select which way you want the battles to be executed: full or real-time. Messing with either takes the true experience out of the game, so don't bother with this option. "End Turn" ends your current turn. When you have moved all the units you wish to move, you end your turn and allow your enemies to make their move. It's like a big chess game.
Each unit you have has a standard set of commands. The commands shown above are universal for all units, but some units also have special commands and abilities. (See below) The options you see above may appear or disappear depending on the following:
A)If your unit is standing by an enemy
B) If your unit is standing by another of your units
C) If your unit is standing by an enemy who can be recruited
D) If your unit is standing over a house
E) If your unit is nowhere near any of the above.
"Attack" is enabled if your unit is standing next to an enemy. (For archers, this is only enabled if they're one square away from the enemy either straight across or diagonally. Mages, Mamcoots, and units equipped with either javelins, thunder swords, or hatchets can also do ranged attacks like this) If you don't wish to attack anything, or simply can't attack anything, use the "Wait" option to end that unit's turn. "Weapons" lets you configure their arms. You can equip them with one they're currently carrying, trade with another unit if they're next to you, or discard one if you no longer need it. The same applies for "Items". Note that some items can be used by that character to boost stats or premote classes. "Options" is pointless. Don't touch it. If at any time your unit can use a special option, such as "Recruit" or "Speak" (at a house), a new command will appear at the top of the menu.
For some characters, there are special options. The menus you see above are from Chiki and Marth. Chiki, being a Mamcoot, can transform into a dragon. Each character's special abilities are always listed second on their menu, so, for example, a Sister's "heal" option would also be listed second. The option circled in red on Marth's menu allows you to configure your inventory. You can equip and swap weapons and items with all your units this way, granted they're next to you. Marth carries whatever your other units can not.
Hopefully, that will explain a lot to you. You will always gain more experience with the menus the more you experiment with them. Hey -- the first time I played this game, I couldn't speak a word of Japanese, but I completed it. There's hope for you. ~_^
Anri's "Ten Commandments"
In Fire Emblem, as in any other game, there are some things you do and don't do. Some things are musts for survival, and others are neat tricks that can simply give you an advantage. If you're a beginning player, definitely abide by the following:
1) Don't ever put a flying unit near archers, nor an archer into melee combat.
2) Don't waste healing staffs if a fortress is nearby. Fortresses heal for free if you place a unit on them.
3) If you see a cluster of fortresses together, it's likely that enemies will begin to emerge from them later in the game. Cover these with one of your units as fast as you can to prevent the enemy from massacring you. Sometimes enemies may materialize on terrain squares on the map instead. If this happens, do the same thing.
4) Most magic and weapons do not work on dragons. Flying dragons are weak to wind spells and arrows; fire dragons are weak to ice; ice dragons are weak to fire; earth dragons are weak to nothing. All dragons are only seriously effected by a dragonslayer sword, or the Falchion.
5) Keep an eye on your enemies. Select them and tap a direction on the controll pad to see how far they can move. Stay just out of their range so you can have the advantage in the next turn.
6) Always keep a thief with you. Thieves ensure that you never have to worry about keys.
7) Magic wielders are prone to weapons, but weapon users are prone to magic. Remember this when fighting bosses.
8) Don't premote right away. Allow your character to get up to level 20 before premoting them. This ensures a better chance of them maxing out their stats. (20 is the highest in any stat) Premote only if you're in desperate need of strength in your ranks. Because of the way the game's stat engine works, already-premoted characters you get in the game such as Jeigan and Minerva tend to actually be less powerful than their unpremoted counterparts. Sirius and George are the only exceptions to this rule.
9) Arenas are great for power-leveling, and are also a good source of money. However, be wary...whatever unit you send in there is randomly matched against an opponent. You could end up fighting a lowly thief, or you could end up fighting a heavily-armed dragonrider. Note that the arena owners discriminate against Mamcoots. (hint hint)
10) All weapons have an advantage over another. This could determine the outcome of a battle, so be prepared! This "balance" goes as the following:
Axe over Sword
Sword over Spear
Spear over Bow
Bow over Axe
Magic over all weapons
It's like a big game of rock, paper, scissors. Note that if you use sword-on-sword or spear-on-spear, there usually isn't very much damage dealt and the units only deal one blow instead of the usual two. (which can be used to your advantage in the case of the enemy)
Quit blabbering! On with the Walkthroughs, Paola!