My Fire Emblem Awakening Head Canons

This post is a shitpost. Just warning everyone of that right now. In fact, this post was caused by a bit of nerding out I did on Twitter with Evey and Dem1Though mostly Dem, as she’s finished Awakening.. I recognize that I’m going to lose a lot of you very early on in this post — even more than I do with a typical Fire Emblem post and especially because I just did one on Monday — but we’re going with it.

In the more recent games within the Fire Emblem series, you have the option of pairing many of your first generation units off and marrying them. This is done mostly for the purpose of creating stupidly overpowered child units, though the parent units do get benefits from being paired together. The parent units also tend to get some of the best conversations and backstory in the game, which is to be expected as you spend over half of the game using them2Sometimes longer on higher difficulties. This is particularly true in the Fates games, where the children aren’t as overpowered.. That said, since there are numerous pairings of parents you can make in the game, all of which impact their future children in various ways, there really aren’t any canonical pairings of adults in either Awakening or Fates3A lot of people will make the argument that Sumia and Chrom are as close to canon as you can get in Awakening. While I see where they’re coming from — and I do tend to pair them — I don’t know that I consider it canon..

In doing multiple playthroughs of Awakening, I’ve developed my own mental pairings, or head canons, of the parent units in spite of the lack of rigidity in that regard that Awakening provides. As a result of my aforementioned Twitter discussion, I was inspired to write a post about this. Three things before I do though.

  1. Spoilers ahead. If you care about that.
  2. Again, these are my own head canon pairings. Clearly there’s nothing set in stone in Awakening, not to mention a few of the pairings I mention below aren’t even the most logical ones in my mind (for reasons you’ll see below). If you disagree with these, or if you have your own head canons for the game, please share them in the comments.
  3. I’m basic this list off of the female units in Awakening, as they control the children. That said, you’ll see at least one male repeat for reasons that will become clear below.

Female Robin

Because female Robin can be paired with any male in the game, regardless of generation, there are so many more options opened up to Robin than any other character. Even beyond that, she does take away a potential father from someone else in the game if you use her as a unit4Unlike Birthright which all but requires you to play as Female Corrin to get all the child units.. That said, if you’re playing as a female Robin, the most logical marriage in my mind is RobinxChrom5All marriage pairings will be notated in this post as Female Unit, then an x, then the male unit.. It just adds to the depth of Lucina’s character once she does join the game, not to mention that Chrom has the best written supports with Female Robin. While Female Robin isn’t the best person for Chrom6Probably Sumia? Or village girl., he is the best pairing for her.

Lissa

As I was mapping out my post, I wrote down who my head canons were for every single female unit to help structure things. Except Lissa. I just wrote “fill” for her. I kept going through the possible pairings with her in my head, only for all of them to sound lackluster. Then it hit me. I had forgotten Henry exists. Think about it. Both Lissa and Henry are a bit childish without being too whiny about it. Owain already has a dark streak running through him, not to mention a weird sense of humor that only Henry has. LissaxHenry might be the most logical pairing in the game. I have no idea why I couldn’t think of this.

Sully

I like Sully much more for her character in cut scenes and her introductory chapter, as well as her interactions with her daughter, Kjelle, than I do in any of her support with her potential spouses. Yeah, Stahl gives the red/green cavalier trope that Fire Emblem has, and yeah, pairing her off with Libra gives Kjelle double honorable parents to develop her personality. But I enjoy having SullyxDonnel as my pairing the most because of the amount of respect the two of them give each other throughout their support. Donnel is one of the males that’s a pretty good pairing with most of the females, but he’s particularly well paired with Sully’s brash mannerisms.

Miriel

The only support I enjoy because of the way they talk about combat and training with one another, I find that MirielxFrederick happens in most playthroughs of Awakening for me. Laurent’s personality is so much a mirror of his mother that nearly anyone could be his dad. But Frederick is such a good pairing with Miriel in terms of how they learn from each other on the battlefield that I feel like they’d naturally end up together anyway. Granted, that could be as battle partners more than lovers, but I think they have a weird chemistry to them anyway.

Sumia

Sumia’s so bland and has so few supports that there’s not really any good options. In reality, I nearly always pair her off with Chrom. But I do that because I want to give Lucina the Galeforce skill and because Chrom’s conversations with Cynthia in her recruitment chapter are genuinely some of the funniest in the game. That said, Sumia doesn’t have a good pairing available to her with any of the adults. My true head canon here is SumiaxInigo, as not only would Sumia totally swoon for Inigo’s charming ways, Inigo would be a hilarious dad for Cynthia.

Maribelle

Maribelle, like Panne below, is a character whose child plays a bit more into my head canon of them than most units. Maribelle’s son, Brady, is a common speaking behemoth of a man with the sophistication of a noble musician. Clearly his class came from his mom, but who did the uncouth ways7As Maribelle terms them. get inherited from? Considering our available options, only MaribellexVaike makes sense for a pairing. You might be able to make a small argument for Gregor or Stahl as Brady’s dad, but neither one of them is quite as perfect of a fit as Vaike.

Panne

Panne is one of the most underappreciated units in Awakening, largely because she starts out with the terrible Taguel class. Her offspring, Yarne, is also one of the more annoying characters in a cast of children that can be one-dimensional at times8Outside of Lucina and MAYBE Gerome…but unless you pair Lucina and Gerome, that’s hard to see.. For whatever reason, Yarne’s scaredy cat tendencies lead me to believe that PannexRicken is the only acceptable head canon. Like his dad, Yarne has to go through the whole ugly duckling phase, only he also has to do it as a member of a race that’s in single digits. It’s a big, awkward family.

Cordelia

Chrom. It’s fucking Chrom. But it can’t be Chrom. Because you can’t pair CordeliaxChrom even though it’s the most logical pairing in the entire game. Princely dad, heroic prodigy mother, heir to the thrown prodigy older daughter, spiteful younger daughter who resents everyone else. WHY ISN’T THIS PAIRING A THING? I usually marry Cordelia off to Stahl or Henry, but I don’t like it.

Nowi

God. They’re all pretty creepy. Nowi’s support are so cringeworthy that I skip them. That said, I feel pretty strongly that NowixKellam is the only logical answer here. Since Nowi is pretty much immortal and since Kellam is lost to the annals of history in nearly all of his endings, it’s a sad though apt way for Kellam to be married off. He becomes a forgotten blip, even in the extremely long life of a manakete.

Tharja

Tharja is sadistic. In nearly all of her supports she’s cruel to her potential mate or she’s busy stalking Robin. This is the case with TharjaxGaius too. Yet with her supports with Gaius, it almost comes across like Tharja — oh evil dark mage who’s just cruel to everyone — can’t get the upper hand on the happy-go-lucky bandit. And that amuses me to no end. I’m also of the thinking that this is the parent set of Noire for another head canon of mine, NoirexMaleRobin.

Olivia

I don’t know that there’s really a good pairing for Olivia in the game. My head canon for her is OliviaxStahl, but I recognize that it’s not a good pairing. It’s basically Lon’qu’s supports, only Olivia is scared of Stahl. Mind you, Stahl is as imposing as a piece of bread. But they just belong together. I say this even though Inigo has a much closer personality to Vaike or Virion than he does to Stahl. Maybe it’s the hair? Maybe I just like Stahl and want to see him happy, even if he does have to hide his engagement ring in a letter? I can’t really justify this one. It just is.

Cherche

There aren’t a ton of feelings in the support conversations of Awakening once you get outside of the main characters9For this, I’m going to classify main characters as Chrom, Robin, and Lucina, as well as Chrom’s immediate family of Emmeryn and Lissa.. And in many of the supports, Lon’qu’s entire gimmick is that he’s afraid of women. But do a playthrough with CherchexLon’qu and try to tell me that you’re not immediately 100% more invested in both of them as characters. Cherche has some great supports with many of the male characters10Frederick, Henry, and Stahl come to mind.. But…fuck. The first time I read their supports, I wasn’t expecting the hard left turn into murdered ex-best friend/lovers.

Special Honorable Mention – Flavia

You should be able to marry Flavia to any male adult in the game. She’s that kickass of a character. Since you can only marry her to male Robin, clearly that’s her pairing. But might I present Flavia’s true pairing: FlaviaxFrederick. Think about it. You have the man with the single most badass line in any Fire Emblem game and you pair him with a woman who looks like she could rip your head off with her bare hands in the morning before ruling from horseback in the evening. How isn’t this a pairing?

Assessing Fire Emblem Birthright Personal Skills

Around six months ago, I did a post where I assessed the various skills1Well…when I originally wrote this, it was 6 months. Now it’s closer to 10 months. that units could obtain in the main story of Fire Emblem: Awakening. Even earlier last year, I theorycrafted some personal skills for FE: A characters as if they were in the Fire Emblem: Fates edition of games. That said, I realized a few weeks ago that I had never gotten around to writing a post I’d meant to create along with either (if not both) of those posts. What are the best personal skills in the Fire Emblem: Fates trilogy of games?

In the Fire Emblem: Fates games — Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation — each unit gets a skill that’s exclusive to them. This skill cannot be inherited by child characters, nor unequipped by the character that has it. The intent is to give each character their own quirks, so that even units of the same class has slight advantages or disadvantages over one another depending on the situation.

Instead of doing Fire Emblem: Revelation as a whole game2Revelation is essentially the combination of both Birthright and Conquest, the two main storylines in the Fates series., I decided to look at Birthright and Conquest as separate entities with separate character rosters. After all, the two games play very differently. What’s good in Birthright and its more casual play style might not be as good in Conquest and its more objective based maps.

As was the case with my analysis of Fire Emblem: Awakening’s mainline story skills, I’ve broken the 41 personal skills from Fire Emblem: Birthright down into tiers. In this case, however, I’ve gone with six unbalanced tiers, as I do think there drastic differences in the quality of some of the personal skills, especially at the lower end of the quality spectrum. The largest tier features 10 personal skills, while the smallest tier features only 4 skills. Like the last skill assessment post, I factored my own personal preference and the activation rates of these skills into my thoughts, as well as the usefulness of the skill in the main storyline of the game. Since each of these skills can only be accessed by one unit, accessibility and inheritance were not considered.

Tier 6: Worthless in the Main Story

The Skills: Capture (Orochi), Sweet Tooth (Asugi), Pyrotechnics (Saizo), Born Steward (Dwyer), Divine Retribution (Azama)

The Why: Let’s lead off with the most polarizing skill in the Fates series: Capture/Kidnap3In Conquest, Niles has an identical skill to Orochi’s Capture skill called Kidnap.. If you could capture the main story units from the other kingdom, this would be a great skill. If you could capture units that you could support your units with so that you’re not forced to play female Corrin to get all the kids, this would be a great skill. But all you can capture is fodder. So no. Of the Wait skills4Skills that require your unit to use the Wait command instead of attacking/healing/rallying., Asugi’s is the least useful, not because recovering HP is bad, but because you recover so little HP that it’s pointless. Pyrotechnics requires the already squishy Saizo to be at low health for it to activate, while Azama’s skill requires you to unequip all your weapons. In a war game5I get that you can stack Divine Retribution with Counter for MASSIVE damage if Azama survives, but I’d rather he just be able to defend himself.. And then there’s Dwyer, whose Born Steward skill is nearly exclusively used in online play. Congratulations, Dwyer! You made me not think everything about Azama is the worst.

Tier 5: Waiting For Death

The Skills: Perspicacious (Yurimara), Competitive (Takumi), Perfect Pitch (Shigure), In Extremis (Scarlet), Optimist (Kiragi), Calm (Hisame), Shuriken Mystery (Kagero)

The Why: Yurimara’s skill is super useful, but you’re likely never slotting him into your team at the expense of a better unit. Similarly, while Competitive is amazing, Takumi is all but guaranteed to outlevel whoever he’s partnered with unless it’s Ryoma, Hinoka, or Corrin6And let’s be real. None of them need Takumi.. Scarlet’s skill is Wrath on steroids, which would be great if she wasn’t extremely weak to bows. Kiragi and Hisame’s Wait-procced skills give them needed stat boosts, but it’s almost like they should be receiving the other’s boost. Kagero’s anti-dagger abilities are great when you need them, but by the time she arrives in the game, you’ve likely got other ways to deal with dagger users. Finally, Shigure’s skill heals anyone nearby when he uses Rally, but his Skill and Strength growths make him a much better fighter than a cleric.

Tier 4: Playthrough Dictated Skills

The Skills: Devoted Partner (Felicia), Evasive Partner (Jakob), Vendetta (Rhajat), Highwayman (Shura), Perfectionist (Subaki), Pride (Hayato), Vow of Friendship (Silas)

The Why: If you’re using Felicia, Jakob, or Silas as Corrin’s S or A+ support, their skills are amazing. If you’re not, they have zero use in that playthrough7M-Corrin/Felicia is my OTP for Birthright. Unlike Awakening, where I have very strong feelings about shipping, this is the only one in Fates I feel strongly about.. Like Yurimara in the previous tier, Shura has a good skill, but he’s hard to slot on a team since he has limited supports. He’s at least a better unit than Yurimara, so it’s easier. Subaki and Hayato’s skills require you to keep them at full health and underleveled, respectively. If you can do that, great, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Finally, while Rhajat’s skill looks great on paper, she’s not tanky enough to keep battling the same units over and over again on a map to get Vendetta’s boosted damage.

Tier 3: (Mostly) Situational Skills

The Skills: Mischievous (Sophie), Fiery Blood (Rinkah), Optimistic (Setsuna), Supportive (Corrin), Morbid Celebration (Reina), Forager (Mozu), Haiku (Mitama), Reciprocity (Kaden), Triple Threat (Hinata)

The Why: Mischievous is the only true defense dropping skill, making it pair well with Luna. That said, it doesn’t drop defense enough for it to be great if Luna doesn’t proc. The remaining skills here all require you to meet certain conditions for them to work right. Most of these skills, save for Supportive, require your unit not to be at full health in order for them to trigger. Reciprocity provides some support to your healers, but not enough to set it apart from this tier. Similarly, the healing amounts you get in this tier are either too small (Haiku, Forager) or so far overkill (Optimistic) that they’re frustrating to use. Triple Threat, Morbid Celebration, and Supportive are all good skills, but all have something holding them back. For Triple Threat, it’s the low HP threshold, for Supportive, it’s the fact that Corrin will usually be a lead unit, and for Morbid Celebration, it’s the fact that it’s on Reina. Fiery Blood is the best skill in this tier, but is held back slightly by the fact that you have to take a hit to get it to kick in. And considering Rinkah’s low resistance growths, that’s not always a good thing.

Tier 2: Great, But Not Overpowered, Skills

The Skills: Miraculous Save (Kaze), Noble Cause (Shiro), Lucky Charm (Midori), Fearsome Blow (Hana), Bushido (Ryoma), Draconic Heir (Kana), Peacebringer (Izana), Prodigy (Caeldori), Healing Descant (Azura)

The Why: Miraculous Save is a skill you never hope you need to have, but you’re happy when it’s there. It’s major downfall is that it’s trigger is based on the Luck stat of the unit that’s hit, not Kaze’s. Ryoma and Shiro’s skill are perfect for the father/son duo’s roles as protectors of their group, as they’ll generally be paired with lower-level and full HP units, respectively, anyway. Midori’s Lucky Charm skill is a more limited version of Rightful King from Awakening, and though it’s not as good, it still stands above many other skills. Hana’s personal skill works well if she’s leading the charge into battle as a Master of Arms, though Vantage users can give her teammates trouble if Hana accidentally triggers that threshold. Kana and Azura’s healing skills are much more reliable than lower tiered healing skills, so they get the bump to this tier. Izana’s damage reduction skill is the best skill you’ll encounter in a support limited unit, not to mention it stacks really well with Sakura’s tier 1 skill. That said, since it lowers your own units’ damage output too, it gets stuck in tier 2. Finally, Caeldori can get one of the biggest damage boosts in the game at nearly all times, so long as she’s careful about picking her opponents. The fact that she has to be careful at all is the only thing that keeps Prodigy from the top tier.

Tier 1: Burn Nohr to the Ground

The Skills: Nohr Enmity (Oboro), Playthings (Selkie), Quiet Strength (Sakura), Rallying Cry (Hinoka)

The Why: Sakura and Hinoka give damage reduction and damage boosts, respectively, to those close by them, meaning you want them in the middle of your army at all times. For Sakura, this is much easier, though Hinoka is a bit more flexible, given that her mobility allows you to use her damage with other mobile units to outflank your enemies. Selkie’s Playthings ability is a more reliable, albeit less powerful, version of Hana’s personal skill. The fact that you don’t have to put any guesswork into if a kill will happen to know if you’ll get Selkie’s splash damage is great. And then there’s Oboro. Nohr Enmity is not only one of my favorite skills in the game8My favorite skill is Haiku. I know it’s not great. But it’s just so well thought out with Mitama’s character., it’s also the one skill that’s going to come into play in nearly all situations in Fire Emblem: Birthright. Takumi may have a grudge against Nohr, but Oboro is the true vengeful being.

My Top 10 Favorite Fire Emblem: Awakening Official Arts

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite YouTube channels, Ghast, made a video talking about his favorite official art pieces from Fire Emblem: Awakening. If you’re interested in watching the video to get his thoughts, you can check it out below.

Awakening is, as I’ve said before on this blog, far and away my favorite video game. Despite its shortcomings and plot holes, it’s an incredibly fun game with an insanely high replay value. Beyond that, the art in the game is breathtaking, even now with the game just having passed the six-years-old mark1I unintentionally started writing this post on April 19th, which just happened to be six years to the day after FE:A was released in Japan.. My brother-in-law got me the Fire Emblem: Awakening official art book for Christmas a few years ago, and I’ve gone through it a few times since then. In addition to having some wonderful art in the book2Which will be part of the focus of this post., the cover is pretty stellar too.

In the book, you get to see the official character art for all of the characters in the game itself. Much like how some of the characters in the game are written much better than others, there are definitely some characters whose official art is more striking than other characters. It’s worth pointing out that there isn’t necessarily overlap between these two lists, as two of my favorite characters in the game – Noire and Morgan — have some of the worst official art.

With that, I decided to follow Ghast’s lead and write a post sharing my ten favorite official character arts from Fire Emblem: Awakening. I likely will get into spoilers here, so if you don’t like those, don’t read. All official art comes from fireemblemwiki.org. Except for Virion’s which comes from a different Fire Emblem wiki which I won’t link to as it tends to have scummy ads.

Before I hit my actual top ten, I’d like to point out that this list was difficult to cut down to just ten. My final cuts from this list were Kjelle3Let’s talk about how inconsistent the official art work for the children characters is for a moment. For some characters like Cynthia, the official artwork has their mother’s hair color. Which totally makes sense, considering all children characters are tied to their mother in Awakening. But for other children, they have seemingly random hair colors. If you go off of official art, it seems like SullyxKellam or SullyxLon’qu is canon because of Kjelle’s hair color. Be consistent. Also, I’m fairly sure a major reason I don’t like Noire’s official art is because in my headcanon, she’s a redhead thanks to TharjaxGaius., Basilio4Good art, despite being the warrior class, which I can’t stand the look of. Ghast calling out the fact that Basilio is basically wearing a wrestling championship belt made my day., Sumia5Arguably the best fit of character to official art in the whole game.Sadly, it’s because Sumia’s character is basically the Mary Sue trope that dreams of love and horses., and Chrom6Chrom’s amiibo is badass. His art is good, but not quite as good., in that order. Think of them as 11-14 on this list.

10. Gregor

As long as you don’t support him with Nowi, Gregor is one of the most entertaining characters in Awakening. He’s fun, he’s lighthearted, and he’s a flirt without being obnoxious about it like some other characters7Looking at you, Inigo and Virion.. Gregor’s official art captures his easygoing nature really well between his baggy clothes and his mid-laughter smile. He’s not my favorite art by a long shot, but he is one that I think anyone who has played the game can look at and go “yep…typical Gregor”.

9. Lon’qu

Lon’qu is very much the silent assassin archetype with a heart of gold underneath8I would have gone with tall, dark, and handsome, but Lon’qu is decidedly pale. Though he almost qualifies as tan by Awakening’s standards. There’s not a ton of racial diversity in Awakening, but we’ll get to that later in the post.. His paralyzing fear of women combined with the fact that he’s a hell of a swordsman keeps people from getting too close. But when you read into his supports, Lon’qu is just a gentle protector who never wants to fail at keeping someone he loves safe ever again. The butterfly on his scabbard is a nice touch, as it symbolizes the kindness Lon’qu has without overtly stating it.

8. Cherche

As Ghast said in his video, Cherche is muscular as all hell. While many of the female characters in Awakening are demure or have relatively petite builds, Cherche is one of two female characters in the game to be well-toned. Even the notorious tomboy Sully isn’t as muscular as Cherche, which is goes to show how much better the writing in the game could have been had the built out the fact that Cherche looks like she could complete an American Ninja Warrior course without breaking a sweat. The goofy wyvern wing collar is offputting to me, which is really the only thing that keeps Cherche outside of this list’s top five.

7. Cordelia

Let’s start with the frustrating thing — this isn’t even Coredlia’s best official art. Her Warriors art, while clearly designed for a higher power system, is so much better. Maybe it’s because she’s less pink-themed in the Warriors art. That said, of course the prodigy of the game is going to have a Brave Lance in her default art. She can do everything perfectly, so why wouldn’t she carry the lance that takes the most experience to use. Cordelia’s story pre-child is one of the most frustrating of Chrom’s army9Her unrequited love for Chrom wouldn’t be so bad if Chrom’s supports with all of his marriage partners aside from Robin weren’t garbage. That said, the what little bit of the Cordelia/Severa relationship we get once Severa is born is amazing., but her art and usefulness in the game more than makes up for it.

6. Say’ri

I get that at a certain point you have to stop having marriage-capable characters. And yes, Say’ri joins three chapters after you get your last marriage-capable adult character (Cherche). But that art though. It’s like a L’Oreal ad spontaneously started in the middle of Mulan. The gale force winds that Say’ri has to be standing in during this shot are clearly not pushing enough hair into her face to be realistic…but come on. This is art is a main character waiting to happen. Instead, we’re stuck with Say’ri being a character that moves the plot along because she just happens to be yet another minor-role noble that isn’t Chrom10Between Say’ri, Virion, Flavia, and Basilio, you recruit a surprisingly high number of nobles from other kingdoms besides Ylisse..

5. Gerome

I get it. He’s Batman. Clearly he’s a walking, talking Batman motif11Just like Batman, he doesn’t talk much.. But good lord, do I love it when good guys wear black in films and video games. It really messes with people who expect good guys to wear white while bad guys wear black that was once a huge deal. Gerome was going to make this top 10 anyway because he’s well designed, but that fact by itself vaults him over some of the other art on this list. Even if he’s forced to wear his backup mask because he gave his real one to Lucina for her Marth cosplay.

4. Lucina

Lucina has a lot of official art. Not only that, she has a lot of good official art. That said, of all of the art that’s been officially released of her — and even if you include most of the fan art I’ve seen — this is still one of my favorites of her. Despite the fact that you have to use Chrom on every map and despite the fact that your avatar character is in the game, Lucina is the real hero of Awakening. This pose manages to combine the regal nature of Lucina’s background and status as heir to the Ylissean throne with the innocence of her youth at the time of the game. It’s not my favorite official character art for the game, but it is one of the most emblematic.

3. Virion

Virion is a TERRIBLE character. He’s almost Azama levels of bad12And Azama is cringeworthy. Seriously though, Azama’s only redeeming factor is that he has the most entertaining kid in Birthright.. I mean, yeah, he’s a fine archer, blah, blah, blah. But I skip every dialogue where he talks. He’s just that grating of a personality. And yet his official art is amazing. He’s a pompous nobleman who thinks he’s god’s gift to women who deserves a date for tea with any attractive woman he sees. And you know what? This art captures that. Bravo on the art. Still skipping his dialogue.

2. Cynthia

Of all the official art for Awakening, Cynthia’s feels the most real to me. I could definitely see this ball of energy young woman bounding around on a pegasus acting like a super hero trying to save the day. She’s just so happy at all times and that comes through in the art. Beyond that though, she’s one of the few characters that really still feels like she’s trying to cling to whatever little bits of her childhood she has left, if only because it keeps her sane. You know you have great art when all of that can come through from your official photo. Yet, it wasn’t quite enough to get the top spot on my list.

1. Flavia

Flavia can kick your ass. Period. Remember how I said earlier that Awakening doesn’t do a terribly good job of having a racially diverse cast? I mean that in the sense that their main characters really aren’t. Yes, you have the taguel and manakete species represented, but they’re not human. And you do have some minority race villain characters. But the only two minority race characters that have any positive importance to the story are largely NPCs for most of the game. Yes, you can get Flavia and Basilio in Chapter 23, but you’re limited to marrying them to your Avatar then. And that’s unfortunate. Wouldn’t you want your main character’s child to have a mother who looks like she can kill a dragon with her bare hands, yet still uses her sword just because it’s fun? Her art practically screams hero13And not just because she is part of the Hero class either.. It’s so good. How isn’t Flavia a bigger part of Awakening?

What’s your favorite character art from Fire Emblem: Awakening? For that matter, who’s your favorite character from the game? Drop by the comments and talk Awakening with me…it’s a damn good game.

How Did They Do?: 5 Things I Want To See in Brave Frontier 2

Back in October of last year, I wrote a post talking about five things I wanted to see in the newest version of Alim’s mobile game series, Brave Frontier. The original version of Brave Frontier is the best mobile game I’ve played ever, enough so that I once made the argument that it’s in my personal top ten video games that I’ve played1I don’t know that I’d keep my original list the same, particularly now that I’ve played Pokemon Black and Civilization VI, not to mention the original Brave Frontier’s regression as a game over the last 12 months. That said, those changes wouldn’t be enough to remove the original Brave Frontier from my top 10 list.. Last month, despite confusing release news coming out of Alim throughout the end of 2017, Alim released Brave Frontier 2 for Japanese audiences. A global (translated) port of the game has not yet been announced, but I did pick up the game2The game itself is free, but you can make in app purchases. in Japanese to play.

While this means I have no idea what’s going on in the main story, playing for the last couple of weeks allowed me to form some thoughts on the game specifically related to the things I was looking to see in my previous post. So how has Brave Frontier 2 done in terms of improving on Brave Frontier? Let’s look at the five items on my original list.

1. Top-tier evolutions available for all units

My suggestion: Implement a Fire Emblem: Heroes style system where all units get a top-tier evolution out of the gate, even if it takes a lot of time and resources to get to them.

What BF2 did: Brave Frontier 2’s evolution system is almost a weird hybrid between Fire Emblem: Heroes’ unlock potential system and the original Brave Frontier’s evolution system. While you still need fodder units for evolution in Brave Frontier 2, you don’t lose level progress when doing so. Additionally, every non-fodder unit does have a full, five-star evolution as of right now. That said, the original Brave Frontier started out this way too. I can give a grade on this, but it’s definitely one that’s partially incomplete one.

How BF2 did with this want: B, with the potential to go higher if fodder units get higher evolutions, but the potential to go much lower once they start releasing new units.

2. Eliminate the gacha system

My suggestion: Eliminate the gacha system by implementing a system where you pay for units with in-game currency.

What BF2 did: Eliminate the gacha system by implementing a system where you pay for non-fodder units with in-game currency. Fodder units still have a gacha system, but no resources of note go towards this system.

How BF2 did with this want: A. The fodder unit system remains from the original game, but it was the only gacha system of the game that received no notable complaints. The cost per unit is a little steep, but the unit bundles that Alim has released thus far look like they’ll offset this. Time to hoard gems3Brave Frontier 1 and 2’s in-game currency. in the event the chosen one’s batch shows up in Brave Frontier 2.

3. A better arena experience

My suggestion: Keep, or improve the speed of, regular arena mode while replacing Challenge Arena and Colosseum with a chain battle system similar to Fire Emblem: Heroes’ Arena Assault mode.

What BF2 did: Replaced all arena modes with an Arena Assault style mode, only a more hardcore version where you can’t pick new units after each round.

How BF2 did with this want: C-. Alim found the one way to make a chain challenge unenjoyable, all while removing a reliable way to get in-game rewards. It’s definitely a different experience, but it’s not a better one.

4. Reduce the number of social game features required for top-end rewards

My suggestion: Like the title says, reduce the amount of the game that requires having in-game friends/guilds to complete.

What BF2 did: No social features outside of equipping a friend unit in each map exist.

How BF2 did with this want: B+. I’ve never said this in a mobile game before, but Brave Frontier 2 actually needs slightly more social features. I’m not advocating for the return of guilds, but the ability to send items to friends would be nice. Add those in and this jumps to an A+.

5. Improve the build customization system

My suggestion: Extend Brave Frontier 1’s summoner customization mode — a feature not released until three years into the game — to all units from the game’s launch.

What BF2 did: Extended the summoner customization mode to one additional unit, Rin, but scaled the customization features back fairly significantly in the process.

How BF2 did with this want: D-. Seeing a second protagonist unit get the summoner treatment is good, and this grade could be slightly higher if I understood the story. That said, this game is supposed to be set around 20 years in the future, so you’d think weapon and summoner technology would have advanced. In that time, we’ve gotten…a knockoff of the Ember Celica…and that’s pretty much it.


Featured image By Source, Fair use, Link

My Least Favorite Pokemon of Each Type

Early last year, I had this bright idea to write a post talking about my favorite Pokemon of each type. That post, much to my surprise, was my 5th most viewed post in all of 2017. Fuck if I know why. But between that and my compulsive addition to having Poketube videos on in the background as I do systems adminning, I ran across another video that made me want to make a Pokemon based list.

One of my favorite Poketubers, Ace Trainer Liam, recently put out the video below wherein he goes through his least favorite Pokemon of each type.

As I did in my last list, I will not reuse any Pokemon on my list even if they’re dual type. For example, if Pidgey was my least favorite both Normal and Flying type1It’s not. Pidgey may be garbage, but I don’t hate it., I’d only use it once on the list, so as to make this list as diverse as possible. Additionally, since I made my last list, I’ve played through Gen V, but still haven’t had the chance to play Gen VI2As my life in the last six months has been a ball of chaos.. With that said, since some of those Pokemon do resurface in Sun/Moon, they may show up here. All images are courtesy Bulbapedia.

Normal – Blissey

Let’s begin with a Pokemon I detest because of how annoying it is to take down in both the mainline games and Pokemon Go. Blissey is the definition of a wall. You’re probably not going to get hurt by it unless you’re massively underleveled, but you’ll need to spend far too much time and far too many resources to beat it. Had Chansey never gotten an evolution, it would have been difficult to beat, but fine. Blissey takes the worst things about Chansey and cranks them up to eleven.

Sighs of Relief For: Zangoose, Watchog

Fire – Charizard

I can already hear the rage coming from the internet for this one. That said, as someone who played Pokemon Blue within six months of its release, then didn’t play another Pokemon game for nearly ten years, I ended up playing through Gen I a ton of times. This led to developing some very strong opinions about Gen I mon, of which I always felt that Charmander was objectively the worst starter. Yeah, Charmander itself was cute, but all its evolutions served to do was to ramp up the difficulty of a buggy game. I get that the anime made Ash’s Charizard a pseudo-god, but it just feels like they were compensating for something3See also: Charizard getting two mega evolutions when all other Gen I starters only got one..

Sighs of Relief For: Pyroar, Typhlosion

Fighting – Hitmontop

I understand Hitmontop is arguably the best of the Hitmon line. I get that it has a purpose in competitive battling. It’s a good Pokemon. I just hate it. It is one of the worst designed Pokemon to ever get put out by Game Freak. Just…why.

Sighs of Relief For: Passimian, Medicham, Chesnaught

Water – Goldeen

I understand Goldeen’s place in Super Smash Brothers as a joke Pokemon. I hate when it pops out of the Poke Ball every single time, but it’s still objectively funny. In the games, Goldeen and Seaking are not great. They’re outclassed across the board by nearly every Pokemon. So…why bother making the signature move of this weak goldfish a necessary HM to complete later games? I get that this isn’t Goldeen’s fault, but the fact that it happened further soured my opinion on a Pokemon that I wasn’t fond of initially.

Sighs of Relief For: Mantine, Feraligatr

Flying – Zubat

GO AWAY CAVE HERPES! I’M JUST TRYING TO GET TO THE NEXT TOWN!

Sighs of Relief For: Ledian, Mega Pinsir

Grass – Meganium

Gen II is arguably the best generation of Pokemon to ever be made4My ranking would be Gold/Silver > Black/White > Diamond/Pearl > Red/Blue/Yellow > Sun/Moon > Pokemon Go > Ruby/Sapphire. There’s only two things that make this statement one that can even be debated. The first is that the Elite Four just isn’t that good5A problem is shares with Sun/Moon.. The second problem is that Gen II’s starters are all hot garbage. I generally find myself abandoning whoever my starter is no later than Goldenrod City. I usually pick Chikorita because it’s the one I feel the least bad about leaving in a box. I know the Pokemon Center and Professor Not Oak will take good care of it. That way it doesn’t have to grow up into a Meganium.

Sighs of Relief For: Chesnaught (Again), Cradily

Poison – Tentacool

Zubat, but for water.

Sighs of Relief For: Garbodor

Electric – Luxray

Remember how on my favorite Pokemon list I talked about how a major reason I hate the Electric type is because of how cute everything is? Nearly every Electric Pokemon I hate is cute. Except Luxray. Luxray is a beloved Pokemon that I can’t understand the admiration for. It’s…fine? But people treat it like it’s a godsend to the Electric typing. Yeah, it has three evolutions. But so does Magnezone. Sure, it’s a lion, but lions are the worst of all cats6And I LOVE cats.. If you’re going to pick an overrated Electric type, just pick a Pikachu clone. Don’t talk about how Luxray is so great when it’s basically the Bernie Kosar of Pokemon7Decent, but grossly overrated by its fanboys..

Sighs of Relief For: Plusle, Minun, Dedenne

Ground – Groudon

It’s not that I hate Groudon. It’s an overpowered beast. That said, it’s one of my least favorite legendaries, from one of my least favorite Pokemon games, in a typing where I like a ton of the Pokemon. In the end, it was a debate between a legendary Pokemon and a bat with a ball sack dangling from it. Groudon loses solely based on the childish humor factor.

Sighs of Relief For: Gligar

Psychic – Spoink

Psychic has a ton of wildly divisive Pokemon. On one hand, some of my favorite Pokemon are Psychic typing, either singularly or in part. That said, some of my least favorite Pokemon are also Psychic typing. The most detestable of these is Spoink and its Sisyphan task of bouncing for the rest of its life otherwise it dies. I get that it’s a gimmick for an otherwise weak Pokemon. But…that’s just not how animals work. Just no.

Sighs of Relief For: Unown, Bruxish, Espurr8I have super mixed opinions on Espurr. On one hand, I love its evolution line and move set. On the other hand, THOSE SUPER DEAD EYES.

Rock – Onix

Look. I want to like Onix. I really do. It got screwed over in the anime. It’s the anchor Pokemon of the very first gym you face in the main games. But here’s the thing — it’s a disappointment. It’s bulky, but not as much as you’d think it would be. It’s faster than you’d think, but not fast enough to actually do anything. And it doesn’t hit hard. At all. Really after Gen I stopped having Wrap/Bind be trapping moves, Onix was worthless. Of all the Pokemon on this list, it’s by far the one I have the most disappointment with.

Sighs of Relief For: Minior, Archeops

Ice – Glalie

Despite what the internet might tell you, there’s no such thing as a bad ice type. Sure, they have tons of weaknesses and are often frail, but they hit hard and have some of the best designs in all of Pokemon. The exception is Glalie. Glalie is terrifying. How do you go from the adorableness that is Snorunt to…that? Throw in the fact that Snorunt also evolves into one of my favorite Pokemon, as well as Glalie’s horrifying mega evolution, and you’ve got literally the only ice type I can’t stand. There’s honorable mentions below, but it’s not close.

Sighs of Relief For: Beartic, Walrein

Bug – Ledian

Has anyone ever beat a Pokemon game with a Ledian on their team? I can justify using almost any Pokemon in game9Though Gen II does have some rough Pokemon base stat wise., but Ledian is one of those rare exceptions that I can’t see any use for. I mean, I guess maybe you could use Iron Fist Ledian with Mach Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch, and Focus Punch. But at that point, why not use Hitmonchan?

Sighs of Relief For: Armaldo, Buzzwole

Dragon – Haxorus

I know a lot of people hate Lickilicky, but the real worst name in Pokemon belongs to Haxorus. I’m sure it’s a fine Pokemon in battle. But between its disappointing design and its horrendous name, I’m never going to use it.

Sighs of Relief For: Turtanor, Guzzlord

Ghost – Gengar

I recognize that this bias is 100% is due to my Gen I and Gen II experience with Gengar. There’s just so many other Ghost Pokemon I’d use than Gengar, even though I know full well that Mega Gengar is an awesome. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t get one of my own as a kid because I had no friends to trade with10Thank god for the GTS.. Maybe it’s because I just preferred Haunter because of its appearances in the anime. Regardless, I just don’t care about Gengar.

Sighs of Relief For: Trevenant, Alolan Marowak

Dark – Shiftry

How is this a Dark type? Really though. I don’t get it. I mean, it’s clearly a Grass type. But how isn’t this Grass/Fighting? I understand that it would have been inferior to Breloom within its own generation, but I don’t care. Of all of the Pokemon types that don’t make sense, this one frustrates me the most.

Sighs of Relief For: Mightyena, Stunky

Steel – Klefki

Very much like the Ice and Ground types, there aren’t that many Steel types I actually dislike. I’m just indifferent about them. Skarmory and Magnezone are great, and Metagross and Aegislash are powerful as all hell. Beyond that though, I genuinely don’t care strongly about any Steel types. Klefki gets this spot solely because of how tired I got of seeing it as a Spikes setter when battling online in Pokemon Moon.

Sighs of Relief For: Bronzong, Forretress

Fairy – Azurill

I get why baby Pokemon were implemented in the games. There needed to be something more to the breeding system than just passing down broken moves for competitive battling. That said, Azurill is bar none the worst baby Pokemon out there. It constantly looks like it’s going to cry. I get that I’m not the target market for this Pokemon, but why release just a sad looking Pokemon as one of the first you reveal for a new generation? Gen III was terrible.

Sighs of Relief For: Dedenne (again), Magearna