A Gaiden chapter or a Paralogue (also known as a Sidequest, particularly in the Japanese version of Fire Emblem Awakening and Side Story in the European version of Fire Emblem Awakening) are side Chapters that require certain conditions to be met in order to play.
Thracia 776-Sacred StonesEdit
This feature was first introduced in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, then appeared in The Binding Blade, The Blazing Blade, The Sacred Stones, Shadow Dragon, and New Mystery of the Emblem after that. They often feature Fog of War, and contain recruitable characters that are normally unobtainable. In chapter listings Gaiden chapters are listed as the number of the chapter before it, but with an "x" after the number. Chapter 19xx of Fire Emblem The Blazing Blade is unique, in that it is the only sidequest of another sidequest. A Gaiden Chapter can be quite hard to unlock sometimes. Major exceptions are Chapter 29x/31x of The Blazing Blade and Chapter 5x of The Sacred Stones, which are accessed automatically.
They are not part of the main story, but unlocking Gaiden chapters may impact the ending. For example, in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, unlocking all Gaiden chapters is required to access the "true" ending of the game (since the player needs to obtain all legendary weapons and have them intact while facing King Zephiel in order to unlock a few extra chapters that will lead to the real final boss, Idunn). However, in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, Gaiden chapters are chapters that can only be accessed by having fifteen units or less (in the whole army). These chapters contain recruitable units that are quite useful (like Athena or Horace). However, there are many characters that will eventually become worthless in the end, so if the player feels that they want to go to these chapters, they have to sacrifice these units.
Shadow Dragon features Gaiden Chapters which involves recruiting brand-new characters that were not in the original Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. There are 6 Gaiden Chapters. These chapters are only accessible if Marth's army has less than a specific amount of units in his army at the point of the chapter starting. The sole exception being Chapter 24x where the only means to play this chapter is to have Tiki dead and the Falchion is lost.
Fire Emblem Awakening introduced alternative chapters called Paralogues which are chapters outside of the main storyline of the game. Unlike previous Gaiden Chapters, these chapters can be completed at anytime after they are unlocked. There are 22 Paralogues in Awakening which are divided into 3 different types. Four Paralogues are side stories of the Shepherds helping out villages in Ylisse and protecting Tiki. These are unlocked once certain chapters have been completed. 12 Paralogues are side stories where the Shepherds meets their future children who accompanied Lucina from the future. These are unlocked once specific a female character or a male Avatar has achieved an S-Support. The last 6 Paralogues are side stories where the Shepherds re-encounter story units who have survived the events of the story. These were initially unlocked once the player reached the Endgame and has downloaded the chapter from SpotPass.
Fire Emblem Fates adopted the Awakening Paralogues and features 22 Paralogues. Only one Paralogue is unlocked by completing a specific chapter. The other 21 Paralogues are achieved once a specific male character, Azura, or a female Avatar has achieved an S-Support.
Fire Emblem Heroes has Paralogue chapters that are released from time to time which also feature events that lie outside of the main storyline. These generally involve Seasonal Heroes and related festivals, others are side stories involving normal Hero units. Each Paralogue Chapter has three sub-chapters compared to the Main Story which normally has five sub-chapters.
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