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 throne 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?

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.

Assessing Fire Emblem Awakening Skills

It’s been a while since I did a proper Fire Emblem post on this blog. At one point in time, I had this grand idea that I’d do a whole series comparing Fire Emblem: Awakening with Fire Emblem: Fates. Here’s the thing though — Fates wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. While it’s an okay game that I enjoyed playing through a couple of times, its relatively boring storyline, strange weapon forging system, and limited reclassing options took away from some of the game’s improvements1Mainly the reintroduction of knives/shurikens and the introduction of personal skills. I have mixed feelings on the removal of the weapon durability feature. It’s largely a positive, though I think it could have been done better. There’s no reason to ever use anything above a C-class weapon in Fates, particularly due to the penalties you pay for high-rarity weapons..

Awakening, though not a perfect game, is easily one of the most replayable games I’ve ever played. Part of the appeal to the game — along with the great storyline and engrossing characters — is the ability to build characters with skill sets to suit your play style. Although I would love the personal skills mechanic from Fates to be added to Awakening, there’s still plenty you can do with the five skill limit that your characters have.

This got me to thinking though. What are the best skills to have in Fire Emblem: Awakening? In a game with 84 skills available even before you consider DLC, you certainly have plenty of options at your disposal. I took a look at all 84 skills and considered their usefulness in the main game, importance as inherited skills, activation rates, accessibility, and personal preference to put those skills into 9 tiers with roughly 9 skills in each tier. This post focuses on the importance of these skills in the main game, as wireless play can be a whole different beast.

Tier 9: Replace As Soon As Possible

The Skills: Speed +2, Skill +2, Magic +2, Strength +2, Rally Skill, Rally Speed, Rally Magic, Rally Strength, Rally Luck

The Why: Despite the fact that much of the Fire Emblem gaming community loves the Rally skills2Not to be confused with Rally Skill, which boosts your Skill stat., I personally can’t stand them. They waste an action for a promoted unit in exchange for +4 of one stat (with two notable exceptions). It’s rare that such a boost will turn the tide of a level or even one battle. You’re better suited to having other skills. If you must have a Rally skill, there’s better options than the five in this group. As for the +2 stat boosts, you’re generally not using them deep into the game. If you must though, use the survival boosts rather than offensive ones.

Tier 8: What You’re Probably Replacing Second

The Skills: Odd Rhythm, Even Rhythm, Underdog, Beastbane, Tantivity, Focus, Defense +2, Resistance +2, Rally Defense, Rally Resistance

The Why: The Defense and Resistance skills for Rally and stat boosts are slightly better than those in tier 9 for survivability, so they get the bump to tier 8. Odd and Even Rhythm only work 50% of the time, which limit these otherwise average skills. Similarly, Focus and Tantivity are limited by the fact that your unit has to be all alone to gain benefits from them, which isn’t a common play style for Awakening. Underdog is a useful skill for Donnel and Donnel alone, but it pales in comparison to his other skill options. Beastbane is handicapped both by the plethora of other units and weapons that deal with mounted units, as well as the fact that taguels are just awful as a class.

Tier 7: Weaker Niche Skills

The Skills: Wyrmsbane, Pass, Relief, Outdoor Fighter, Charm, Discipline, Patience, Special Dance, Hex, Solidarity

The Why: Wyrmsbane gets ranked higher than Beastbane because manaketes are at least competent statistically, even if you’re probably not using Nowi and Nah in that class. Special Dance, Charm, and Solidarity are useful on the adult units that get them, but they have limited usefulness in inheritance3Special Dance in particular cannot be passed down at all, even if Olivia is Lucina’s mom.. Pass and Relief are similar skills in that their usefulness comes most commonly behind enemy lines, which is situational at best. Discipline is great in the early game, but you’ll drop it once weapons are maxed. Patience and Hex are avoidance impacting skills, but there’s better options out there. They’re good in conjunction with those other skills, but they’re not required. Outdoor Fighter would be better if more outdoor maps had choke points, but that’s not the case.

Tier 6: Above Average Early Game Skills

The Skills: Avoid +10, HP +5, Luck +4, Indoor Fighter, Despoil, Veteran, Rally Movement, Prescience, Anethema

The Why: All of these skills except Rally Movement (a promoted unit skill) and Despoil (requires a class change) come very early in the game with units you can acquire relatively easily. That said, aside from Luck +4, which helps Olivia’s survivability in her recruitment chapter, none of these skills are critical for units to keep past mid-game. Avoid +10, Prescience, and Anethema are similar in function to Patience and Hex from tier 7, just stronger or less situational. Indoor Fighter is helpful due to choke points on indoor maps, but it’s still not a great skill overall. The only skills I can see keeping end game are HP +5  and Veteran, but only if you have nothing else better to replace them with.

Tier 5: Healers and Killers

The Skills: Hit Rate +20, Lethality, Renewal, Slow Burn, Gamble, Dual Strike+, Dual Guard+, Miracle, Healtouch, Demoiselle

The Why: There’s not a ton of good healing classes in Awakening, so you’ll likely find yourself using the healing skills less frequently than most other skills. Miracle is awesome in permadeath mode, but only in that mode. Healtouch and Renewal aren’t skills I typically keep until end game, though that’s more a function of my dislike for the War Monk and War Cleric classes than anything else4I like the actual cleric characters, particularly Lissa, but the class is just awkward.. Dual Strike+ is a good skill, but since only Chrom and Lucina can get it, it’s hard for me to rank it higher. Dual Guard+ is more available, is overshadowed by Great Knight’s Luna ability. Lethality is my favorite skill in the game, but is also has the worst activation rate of any skill in the game, so I can’t rank it above this tier. Slow Burn, similar to the Rally skills, is loved by many Fire Emblem players, but games don’t last long enough for Slow Burn to fully take effect. Demoiselle is the only skill in the game that allows you to avoid critical hits, which pairs well with male units running Miracle for extra bulk. Gamble and Hit Rate +20 are acceptable skills, but I usually find myself replacing them with one of the skills in the next four tiers.

Tier 4: Niche Skills and Crits

The Skills: Bowfaire, Counter, Movement +1, Rally Spectrum, Defender, Wrath, Astra, Locktouch, Zeal

The Why: Unless you have a unit in the Assassain class, Bowfaire isn’t worth your time to learn, as hit rate is more critical for Snipers and Bow Knights5That said, Bowfaire on Yarne as an Assassain is awesome.. Rally Spectrum is the only Rally skill worth a damn, but considering the amount of skills Robin and Morgan can pick up, good luck slotting it somewhere. Locktouch is 100% situational, but indispensable when you need it for door or chest-heavy maps. Wrath and Counter are loved by those who play a melee heavy style, but they’re limited by a need for low HP (which is hard to do for Berserkers thanks to their inherent access to HP +5) or low defense (which isn’t terribly common for those with Berserker access). I’d rather take Zeal’s lower crit boost and call it a day. Astra would be much higher up if it had a better activation rate, but it’s a good skill nonetheless. Free movement is always good, and Movement +1 is one of the few movement skills a non-flying unit can pick up. Defender is terribly underrated, as you’re picking up +7 overall stats along with any pair up bonuses you’re already getting.

Tier 3: Avoidance Is Your Friend

The Skills: Axebreaker, Lancebreaker, Swordbreaker, Acrobat, Luna, Deliverer, Tomebreaker, Quick Burn, Vantage

The Why: All of the -breaker skills give you +50 avoidance if the foe is using a specific kind of weapon, making them stronger than any other avoidance skill in the game by 20. Even though they’re situational, they’re so strong they must be considered top-tier. Acrobat and Deliverer greatly boost movement for infantry/mounted and paired up units, respectively, which is great for quick strike offense. Luna is one of the better offensive skills in the game, but is inferior to Aether due to its lack of healing (despite having a better activation rate). Vantage is one of the few early game skills you’ll want to use in the end game for units with access to it. Quick Burn is far superior to Slow Burn thanks to the fact that most battles don’t go beyond 7 turns, giving you extra avoidance early in a battle.

Tier 2: Damage Boosts Galore (Mostly)

The Skills: Lucky Seven, Swordfaire, Tomefaire, Axefaire, Lancefaire, Bowbreaker, Ignis, Aether, Dual Support+

The Why: Lucky Seven is Quick Burn on steroids, though it lasts half as long. The -faire classes all give +5 damage when using that weapon type, making them end-game staples and good inherited skills if there aren’t better options. Bowbreaker is better than all other -breaker skills due to all flying classes having a weakness to bows. Aether would be one of the top skills in the game if more than Lucina, Chrom, and Lucina’s sibling got access to it. Similarly, Ignis triggers at a great rate, but only Robin and Morgan can access its overpowered abilities. Dual Support+ is broken as all hell, but considering only the extremely uncommon Valkyrie class can access it or pass it down, that caused me to place Armsthrift in the top-tier over it.

Tier 1: God-Tier Skills

The Skills: Rightful King, Galeforce, Aptitude, Lifetaker, Vengeance, Aegis, Pavise, Sol, Armsthrift

The Why: Rightful King allows all other skills to activate 10% more of the time. It’s wonderful on Chrom6Who gets Aether and Aegis access., Lucina7Who gets Aether and Aegis access from Chrom, but also potentially Ignis, Lethality, Armsthrift, Sol, Miracle, Vengeance, Pavise, or Astra, depending on her mom., and Brady/Inigo. Aptitude is only accessible to Donnel and his child, but it gives the best growth rates in the game. Aegis and Pavise are chance based skills that lower damage received while Sol and Lifetaker heal you while attacking. Armsthrift saves your weapon durability with the best non-100% activation rate in the game, which is important because only the Falchion and Parallel Falchion are indestructible. I feel like Vengeance should have had an activation rate of Skill divided by two instead of Skill times two, as it triggers almost constantly on child units who have it. And then there’s Galeforce…a skill so broken that they had to make it DLC in Fates just so you wouldn’t beat the game in your sleep. Since nearly every female parent has access to the Galeforce skill and since all children except Lucina and Morgan are tied to their mothers in Awakening, nearly every child unit can be given Galeforce with proper planning. This essentially assures you taking 2-3 full turns for your entire team per every one turn your enemy gets. Galeforce is crazy.

 

What are your favorite Fire Emblem Awakening skills? Do you disagree with my tier list? Sound off in the comments.

What If Fire Emblem: Awakening Characters Had Personal Skills?

For the handful of people who actually cared about these posts, it’s been quite a while since I did my last Fire Emblem related post. As you might imagine, I’ve decided to drop the series I originally had planned. After writing the character comparison post (and the fact that it went nearly 8,000 words by itself), I realized I was in way over my head for the level of detail I wanted to put into those posts. It was either drop the series or make this blog completely into a gaming blog. I chose the former.

One of the features of Fire Emblem: Fates that I preferred to Fire Emblem: Awakening was the implementation of personal skills for each character. While there where some characters in Awakening (Chrom/Lucina, Donnel, Robin/Morgan) that got unique classes based off of their starting class, most characters picked from the same skill pool. While that’s still true in Fates, each character was also given a personal skill that could not be removed, adding uniqueness to those characters.

In replaying Awakening recently, as well as getting the Fire Emblem: Awakening artbook for Christmas, I began to wonder what the personal skills for each character in the game would be. I’ve tried my best to base these skills off of the character’s personality or story in the game. Since there are three characters (Owain, Severa, Inigo) that overlap between the two games, I’ve addressed them in comparison to their personal skills in Fates.

Warning: Spoilers for Fire Emblem: Awakening. Also, if you don’t care about video games, this is a theorycrafting post. You’ll probably be bored.

First Generation Characters

Robin

Personal Skill – Invisible Ties – All units adjacent to Robin with C support or higher receive +10 Hit Rate/+10 Dodge/-5% Damage Received. Bonuses increase by +10/+10/-5% with each additional level of support.

Analysis: Similar to Corrin’s skill in Fates, Robin’s skill as the avatar of the game is tied to the support levels between them and your other team members. Since Robin is a tactician, it only makes sense that the better he knows his comrades, the more the bonus increases.

Chrom

Personal Skill – Ylissean Brand – Increase the frequency of dual support events by 10% and increases their strength by 10%

Analysis: Though Chrom’s personal weapon, Falchion, and his shield, the Fire Emblem, both play critical roles in the game’s story line, they don’t gain their power until too late in the game for them to be tied to his personal skill. Building off of Chrom’s Lord skills makes more sense from a game long utility standpoint.

Lissa

Personal Skill – Hidden Lineage – When Lissa is the support unit, enemy critical hits are negated. Weapon and class weaknesses still apply.

Analysis: Most every story line involving Lissa in the game is about how she’s self-conscious that her family brand didn’t appear on her. Giving her this skill leaves players a tough choice on difficult maps early in the game — expose Lissa to level her up as a cleric or keep her as a support unit but sacrifice her growth?

Fredrick

Personal Skill – Pick A God And Pray – When Fredrick is supporting either Chrom or Lissa, +10 critical hit rate. +5 critical hit rate when supporting any other unit.

Analysis: I covered this last time, but I hate Fredrick. His only purposes in Awakening are as an XP suck, to be a better dad than Libra/Virion, and to deliver the most kickass critical hit line in the game. His personal skill reflects this.

Sully

Personal Skill – Dame of Valor – If Sully’s opponent is male, damage dealt increases by 10%

Analysis: Considering almost every support of Sully’s involves her kicking the crap out of her future mate in training exercises — usually because they underestimated her — this makes logical sense. She’s not one of the guys, but she’s probably a better soldier.

Virion

Personal Skill – Thorn of Roseanne – Adjacent female allies deal +10% damage when attacking, however Virion also takes 25% of damage dealt.

Analysis: Virion is loathed for his flirtatious ways, which both helps his female companions fight harder, but also hurts him. Playing him would require a lot more strategy, particularly in middle levels once more female units are recruited.

Stahl

Personal Skill – Ravenous – Effects from items used in battle have double impact.

Analysis: Considering the fact that Stahl is constantly hungry, having a benefit from his consumption of items seems only natural. Suddenly Gaius’s Confect gives him +4 Strength, Skill, and Speed, which is useful in a pinch.

Vaike

Personal Skill – Tenure – If weapon skill level is D or lower, experience growth is doubled. If weapon skill level is B or higher, experience growth is halved.

Analysis: Vaike has always struck me as a guy who got by on strength alone for the longest time, meaning he’s only useful for teaching and learning for a beginner. His weapon growth rates should reflect this.

Miriel

Personal Skill – Meticulous – If Miriel has been engaged in combat with a unit before, Miriel gains +20 Hit Rate/+20 Dodge.

Analysis: Considering the number of support conversations Miriel has where she gives advice to other characters on how to improve their battle style with small tweaks, she’s definitely one for small details. Those details will let her dodge and hit better once she sees an opponent in battle.

Sumia

Personal Skill – Animal Whisperer – Mounted, Pegasus, and Wyvern units deal 10% less damage to Sumia.

Analysis: Probably the most natural fit skill in the game considering how we meet Sumia. Her power over animals causes opposing animals to pull up just enough before engaging her that she takes less damage.

Kellam

Personal Skill – Wallflower – Kellam can end on the same tile as any friendly unit, even if that unit is paired up. If an opponent attacks that tile, Kellam can neither be attacked nor defend.

Analysis: No one notices Kellam. Basically his skill would be Pass on steroids.

Lon’Qu

Personal Skill – Protector of Ke’ri – When paired with a wounded unit, Lon’Qu gains +20 Hit Rate and +15 Critical Rate.

Analysis: Despite never appearing in Awakening, Ke’ri’s existence is critical to understanding why Lon’Qu fears women. He’s now a sell sword bent on protecting those he supports, making him dangerous if his allies are wounded.

Maribelle

Personal Skill – Dignified Entrance – Gains +10 Magic/+10 Skill at the start of each battle. Bonus decrease by 1 each turn.

Analysis: I have to admit, of all the people on this list, Maribelle is the one character that I had a much better name for a personal skill than I did an actual skill itself. Nothing I thought of seemed to really suit her. The magic/skill bonus is at least useful.

Ricken

Personal Skill – Apprentice – When paired with another tome user, both Ricken and his support gain +2 Magic/+2 Resistance.

Analysis: Despite the fact that we don’t actually know most of the the characters’ ages, Ricken certainly feels like the youngest character in the game. Yet he’s always trying to learn how to do better magic. The skill is an extension of that.

Panne

Personal Skill – Last of My Kind – If Panne is the last unit to move in a turn, she gains +1 movement.

Analysis: Yeah…both taguel skills are going to be based on their ability to move. Just want to warn you about that now.

Gaius

Personal Skill – Sticky Fingers – If Gaius battles a unit with a better ranked weapon in the same class, Gaius has a 40% chance of stealing that weapon.

Analysis: Dear god do I wish this were a real skill. It’d be very situational, however if you were to put Gaius with a Bronze Sword up against someone with a Killing Edge, Gaius would have a 40% chance to take the Killing Edge for himself. Provided he survives, that is. And yes, sticky fingers is a play on both his thief class and his love of candy.

Cordelia

Personal Skill – Genius – Additional damage dealt to Cordelia by weapon weaknesses/advantages is halved.

Analysis: Fates took the good names for Cordelia’s skill with Caeldori and Subaki’s skills. Point stays the same. Cordelia is underappreciated. She can do everything. I mean, she can reclass into classes that let her use literally every weapon class. She’s a genius.

Nowi

Personal Skill – Playing House – When Nowi is paired with her S-Support or child, +2 Strength/+10 critical rate. Otherwise, -2 Strength/-10 critical rate.

Analysis: Nowi’s supports with Lon’Qu reference her desire to play house and have a family. Needless to say, being paired with her actual family makes her far more vicious than when she’s not.

Gregor

Personal Skill – Smash – Critical hits do 6x damage instead of 3x damage, but also use two uses of weapon durability.

Analysis: I really wish there was a relevant skill I could come up with referencing Gregor’s broken English. But alas, the best we’ve got is his love for smashing things.

Libra

Personal Skill – Incantations – When Libra heals another unit, he recovers 75% of HP healed.

Analysis: I originally had Libra’s skill as a Nosferatu-like heal-when-attacking skill. That said, considering his high crit rate and penchant for Killer Axes, stereo healing seemed more balanced.

Tharja

Personal Skill – Shadow – If Tharja is adjacent to or paired with Robin, her S-Support, or her child, Tharja can only attack second, however her skills trigger 10% more frequently.

Analysis: Depending on what skills you give Tharja (hellooooooo Vengeance), this has the potential to be broken as all hell. However, considering how situational it becomes unless you’re constantly using Pair Up, it should be fine. That said, you’re constantly using Pair Up. Meet Chrom with Vengeance.

Olivia

Personal Skill – Risque – All male units within 2 tiles receive -20 Hit Rate/-20 Dodge. This applies to both enemies and allies.

Analysis: The first couple of times I played through Awakening, I considered Olivia to be a very demure character. Then I read her support logs. And her other dialogue lines. And saw her official artwork. She’s basically trying to be a stripper. Seems distracting on the battlefield.

Cherche

Personal Skill – Loyal Servant – When paired with any noble character (Chrom, Lissa, Fredrick, or Virion), grants +1 to all stats except Movement and HP to that character.

Analysis: I know Minerva is her dragon and having dragons is her thing, but her support lines indicate she’s a damn good servant and diplomat. She’s arguably the unit I underrated the most in my first assessment, so I’ll make up for it here.

Henry

Personal Skill – Bloodlust – Gains +1 Magic for every 15% of HP lost.

Analysis: Here’s a dilemma for you. With this skill, the more Henry is damaged, the stronger he becomes. Combine this with Vengeance and you’ve got a monster if he has high Skill/low HP. But what do you class Henry as? Do you take him out of the Sorceror class to prevent using Nosferatu? Do you leave him in Sorceror so he doesn’t get Lifetaker from the Dark Knight class? Do you just make him a Dread Fighter and say fuck it?

Donnel

Personal Skill – Farmer – Donnel receives +3 Defense and +10 Dodge if he ends his turn on Plains or Desert.

Analysis: Honestly, I like Mozu’s personal skill from Fates for Donnel, but I didn’t want to repeat it. So let’s make him slightly less frail when recruiting him. Doesn’t help build XP, but doesn’t let him die so easy when defending.

Second Generation Characters

*Note: While Owain, Severa, and Inigo have retained their personal skill titles from Fates, I’ve changed the skill slightly to better reflect their usage in Awakening.

Lucina

Personal Skill – Iai Counter – If Lucina lands a critical hit on an opponent with full HP, the opponent is killed and Lucina heals 25% of her max HP.

Analysis: Smash references! Smash references everywhere! But seriously. The kids are broken without personal skills. This is about to get nuts.

Owain

Personal Skill – Aching Blood* – When Mystletainn is equipped, +10 Critical Rate/+2 Strength

Analysis: As much as Owain makes sense as a Dark Mage in Fates, he’s not quite the same without his trusty blade from Awakening. Even though it’s clearly an inferior sword, Owain is empowered by it.

Inigo

Personal Skill – Fancy Footwork* – All female units within two tiles gain +2 Speed. Inigo gains +1 movement if he starts the turn within two tiles of any female unit, ally or foe.

Analysis: Considering Inigo’s use of Rally commands in Awakening is pretty limited, playing off of Inigo’s flirtatious mentality as his skill still makes great sense. Just don’t tell Noire. She might go crazy.

Brady

Personal Skill – Bard – Whenever Brady heals an allied unit, he gains +1 Magic/+1 Resistance for the remainder of the battle.

Analysis: Similar to Henry’s skill, you’ve got some interesting choices to make with Brady. Do you focus him on healing early to build him up as an indestructible Sage near the end of a level? Note that the skill says heals, meaning using the Rescue staff wouldn’t impact Brady’s stats.

Kjelle

Personal Skill – Duelist – Only receives 50% of Pair Up Bonuses. Kjelle receives +1 Strength/+1 Defense/+1 Skill/+1 Resistance for each turn no allies are within two spaces at turn’s end.

Analysis: Kjelle’s entire recruitment level is all about she wants a one-on-one duel with Cassius. Why not play to it in her skill? Sure, she’ll be handicapped as you’re trying to build her marriage supports, but if you reclass her into a Paladin/Great Knight, she becomes your sweeper.

Cynthia

Personal Skill – Valiant Hero – When Paired Up with another unit, Cynthia’s Dual Guard trigger rate is increased by 25%

Analysis: Basically the inverse of Kjelle. Cynthia wants to be the one to save the day. Needless to say, she becomes quite good at it.

Severa

Personal Skill – Fierce Rival* – When supporting her S-Support Unit or her father, if the lead unit triggers a critical hit, Severa is guaranteed a critical hit (if the attack connects). When supporting Cordelia, if Cordelia triggers a critical hit, Severa is guaranteed a critical hit dealing 6x damage (if the attack connects).

Analysis: The one skill that Fates got essentially right. Just add in a rage factor for Severa when her mom gets a critical hit and you’re golden.

Gerome

Personal Skill – Minerva’s Wrath – Gerome receives 10% less damage from Wyvern/Griffon units and deals 20% more damage to Wyvern/Griffon units.

Analysis: Did you need an anti-wyvern unit? No? Are you really going to turn Batman down though?

Morgan

Personal Skill – Amnesiac – If weapon skill is D or lower, weapon experience growth is halved. If weapon skill is B or higher, weapon experience growth is doubled.

Analysis: Inverse Vaike. It makes sense considering his/her backstory.

Yarne

Personal Skill – Rabbit’s Foot – If Yarne receives a hit that drops him below 50% HP, he has a 50% chance to retreat, even if the enemy is mid-attack, as long as there is a free tile to move to.

Analysis: Yarne runs from everything. Easiest skill to write in the entire post.

Laurent

Personal Skill – Mirage – Once per battle, Laurent may use the Mirage tactic. This ends his turn without attacking. The next attack Laurent takes will deal no damage.

Analysis: The skill is a clear homage to Laurent’s recruitment level, wherein you must find a mirage village. Like his recruitment level, Laurent’s skill is underwhelming and ultimately a disappointment.

Noire

Personal Skill – Blood and Thunder – Noire receives one extra hit per attack.

Analysis: A simple skill, yet a useful one for a unit that will likely be a Sniper or a Nosferatu tank in the end game. If Noire doesn’t have Armsthrift, you’re going to go through some weapons, but it’s worth it. The skill is more a nod to her obnoxious speed growth than anything else.

Nah

Personal Skill – Blade Catcher – Damage from all swords except Wyrmslayers is halved. Damage from Wyrmslayers is doubled on top of existing bonuses.

Analysis: One of the better battle related supports is that between female Morgan and Nah, where Nah tries to learn to catch swords to save herself from her only weakness, Wyrmslayers. Nah realizes she can’t catch Wyrmslayers in her manakete form, which is when she needs to the most. Hence the doubled damage.

 

Fire Emblem fans…what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Fire Emblem: Awakening vs. Birthright (Characters)

Miss the introduction explaining why I’m writing these posts? Click here. Looking for other comparison posts in this series? The storyline and game mechanics posts are found at the preceding links.

Within this post, I’m going to take a bit more of a detailed look and comparison into the characters between my favorite game within the Fire Emblem series, Awakening, and Birthright, one of the three parts of the most recent iteration of the Fire Emblem series, Fates. As you can probably guess, there will be spoilers in mass quantities[1].

Introduction and Format

As I’m going through the various characters in both Awakening and Birthright, I’m going to break each game’s character sets down into two sections — first generation characters and second generation characters. While I recognize that there are some additional side characters you’ll recruit either naturally along your story path (Anna and Tiki in Awakening, Scarlet and Izama in Birthright), I’m 0nly going to address characters that are either first generation characters that can have children with a unit other than your avatar and any second generation[2] character in the game. This is mostly for space and character count.

For each character, I’ve broken out my analysis into three sections. These areas pros, cons and my takes. Since there’s approximately a metric fuckton of characters in each game, I’m going to limit my analysis for each character to two sentences per section with a couple of notable exceptions.

Awakening Character Analyses

Quick overview for the non-Fire Emblem fans out there. In Awakening, your main character (or avatar) is a customizable character named Robin. You team up with Chrom, the Crown Prince of Ylisse, his liege, Fredrick, his younger sister, Lissa, and a host of other characters to win a war against undead soldiers, win another war against an invading tyrant general, then defeat a dragon bent on destroying humanity. All good? If not, just assume every Fire Emblem game ever ends with you needing to kill a dragon.

Oh…and in most editions of the Fire Emblem series (pre-Awakening), if a character dies in a level, they’re dead for good. As a filthy casual, I was happy when this practice was ended.

All pictures below come from my copies of the respective games. Characters are presented in the order you recruit them in the main story, or by chapter number if certain chapters can be done out of order.

First Generation Characters

Robin

Your avatar unit. Can be made male or female, given a custom name, and can marry any opposite gender unit in the game. Tactician class[3] that wields tomes[4] and swords by default. Father/mother of Morgan and potentially one other kid[5].

Pros: Wildly customizable character that can do pretty much anything in the game. Arguably the one of the few first generation characters that can be used reliably in the end game.
Cons: 
Not enough scales to tip.
My Take: 
I love customizing units and Fire Emblem is no exception to that rule. Robin is one of the better units in Awakening in terms of usage, storyline, and supports[6].

Chrom

Prince of Ylisse and the game’s other protagonist with Robin. Lord class that wields swords by default. Brother to Lissa and Emmeryn[7], father to Lucina and at least one other character.

Pros: Great early game unit without being an experience hog.
Cons:
You have to take Chrom in every chapter in the game, which is annoying as he becomes a fairly weak character by end game[8]. Also, he wasn’t awesome enough to make it into Smash Bros.
My Take: 
One of the least entertaining protagonists in a Fire Emblem game ever. That said, he’s useful in game for a while and Emmeryn’s death make him instantly likeable.

Lissa

Princess of Ylisse. Cleric class who heals by default. Chrom’s little sister and mother to Owain[9].

Pros: She can become a dark flier class, which gives her access to the overpowered Galeforce skill. That’s really it.
Cons: 
Levels up more slowly of the two staff wielders at the beginning of the game, making her very hard to keep alive at higher difficulties. Arguably has the most boring support convos in the entire game.
My Take: 
Lissa is only important because she’s Chrom’s sister and because her son is one of three character’s that’s in both Awakening and Fates. That’s it.

Frederick

Chrom’s bodyguard/retainer. Great knight who wields swords, lances, and axes by default. The first advanced class unit you get in the game.

Pros: Pick a god and pray.
Cons:
An experience vacuum in the early game that keeps your units from leveling up, arguably the worst end game unit once he’s appropriately leveled.
My Take: 
You have the most badass critical hit quote in the entire game and you’re the shittiest unit in the game. This is why I don’t like you, Frederick.

Sully

One of Chrom’s shepherds[10]. Cavalier that wields lances and swords by default. Mother to Kjelle.

Pros: She’s a well-written strong female character, even in (most of) her S[11] supports.
Cons:
Despite being a strong female archtype, she’s one of the worst end game units out there, rivaling Frederick and Virion. The worst possible mother for Lucina.
My Take: 
Sully’s inconsistency in her portrayal versus her skill bother me. Either make her a kickass woman who actually kicks ass or make her weak across the board.

Virion

Archduke of the neighboring nation of Roseanne. Archer who wields bows by default. The JRPG equivalent of the cowardly heel archetype in pro wrestling.

Pros: There are no pros to Virion. Nobody likes him.
Cons:
Let’s see…can’t defend himself in melee combat, weak stat growth with one exception, is outclassed as a ranged combatant by chapter 8 at latest, is essentially the same character as Inigo[12], and runs away from hard times at least twice. Also, his hair is ugly.
My Take: 
Objectively, Virion is useful early in the game. But I don’t use him any longer than I need to.

Stahl

Male Sully. Another one of Chrom’s shepherds, also is a cavalier. Literally a red oni/blue oni thing going on here.

Pros: Generally a slightly more capable unit than Sully. At least he’s not Virion.
Cons:
Pairing him with Sully — who seems to be his natural wife[13] — yields you an exceptionally worthless Kjelle. Since Kjelle is one of the best second gen units in the game, you don’t want to hamstring her with a dad that weakens her.
My Take: 
Arguably one of the few first gen male characters that shows character development in the game outside of Chrom/Robin, as he becomes a more confident and complex individual in his supports. That in itself makes me like him.

Vaike

A shepherd and Chrom’s teacher/fighting instructor/childhood best friend. Fighter class who wields axes by default.

Pros: His strength is off the charts, making his kids hit like trucks.
Cons:
Imagine a pot smoking surfer who was unemployed but thinks highly of himself and teaches teenagers how to knife fight in his spare time. Congratulations, you’ve created Vaike.
My Take: 
Great dad, terrible teacher.

Miriel

A shepherd. Mage who wields tomes by default. My headcanon wife for Stahl and mother to Laurent.

Pros: Her post S-support interactions with Stahl are some of the most endearing conversations in the game. If you can level her up to an advanced class, she’s pretty tanky.
Cons: 
Joins so ridiculously underleveled that it’s not even funny. Laurent is such an annoying prick that there are games where I won’t even level Miriel up just so his paralogue doesn’t show up.
My Take: 
Miriel is essentially your high school librarian if your high school librarian wore a witch’s hat and puritan collars.

Sumia

A shepherd and Chrom’s canon wife. No. Really. Read their support chain. Look at the fact that the way Chrom builds support with females that she’s almost always the default choice for marriage unless you actively avoid her. See that Sumia is the only female that can’t marry almost every other guy. I get that nothing is supposed to be canon in Awakening, but this one is the exception.

Oh, and she’s a pegasus knight who wields lances. Mom to Cynthia and possibly Lucina[14].

Pros: Despite being lesser known, probably the best true pegasus knight/dark flier in the first generation. One of the few first gen units you may use in end game.
Cons:
If you don’t marry her to Chrom, her supports essentially make her a clumsy, female version of Stahl.
My Take: 
Her kids are awesome, she’s a sweetheart, and she’s naturally on track for the best class in the game. Sumia’s not my favorite unit, but I spent a lot of time using her.

Kellam

Shepherd who is ignored or not noticed by literally everyone in the game except Frederick and whoever Kellam marries[15]. Knight who wields lances by default.

Pros: Is the only unit that can be recruited for the purpose of being ignored. The end credits of the game will only acknowledge Kellam if you marry him to a female Robin.
Cons:
The I’m invisible gig is only really funny at the two points listed above.
My Take: 
Useful as a wall and a dad, but not much else. Has the best armor in the game.

Lon’Qu

Sellsword from neighboring Regna Ferox. Myrmidon[16] class that wields swords by default.

Pros: Do you like critical hits?
Cons:
Is essentially Dirty Harry, only he carries a sword instead of a gun.
My Take: 
Despite being one of only two characters in the game that can make Tharja seem human, Lon’Qu is pretty boring when you pair him up with anyone else. Except Cherche. Then there are feels…many, many feels.

Mirabelle

Lissa’s best friend and a Ylissean socialite. Troubadour[17] class who heals by default. Mother to Brady.

Pros: If you can keep her alive long enough to promote her to the Valkyrie class, she becomes insanely overpowered in a hurry. Makes for a nasty dark flier for the same reasons.
Cons:
Really doesn’t do Brady a lot of favors other than giving him Galeforce, making him one of the few children more reliant on his dad than his mom.
My Take: 
Trashy celebrity meets video game royalty. Tries to wear drills, but isn’t Misha.

Ricken

Shepherd who looks at Chrom as a big brother/childhood hero. Mage who uses tomes.

Pros: Is slightly less terrible as a mage when joining than Miriel was.
Cons:
Still woefully underpowered when joining. Really should have been a child character as the canon child of Donnel and Miriel.
My Take: 
Just make him a dark knight and get it over with. You know you’re only training him so his kid (likely Owain or Brady) can get Lifetaker.

Panne

Shapeshifting bunny/rat/rodent mercenary hired to protect Emmeryn from an assassination attempt. Taguel class wielding a beaststone, which allows her to shapeshift, by default. Mother to Yarne.

Pros: You can reclass her. Has the most unique support conversations in the game.
Cons: 
Beaststone wielding characters are shit in Awakening. At least they fixed that in Fates.
My Take: 
If Panne was literally any other class, I’d love her. But she’s a taguel, and taguels are terrible in Awakening.

Gaius

Thief who is part of a raiding party sent to kill Emmeryn, but Chrom talks him out of it. Thief class wielding swords by default.

Pros: His diet is essentially the same as mine was in middle school. Is one of only two dads that can pass down the ability to get Galeforce to his daughters.
Cons:
Unless you marry him to Maribelle (who doesn’t need help giving Galeforce to Brady), you’ll never find out about one of the most intriguing side plots of the game.
My Take: 
Tied with Donnel and Chrom as being the most useful non-avatar fathers in the game. Gives nicknames to every character. He might be one of the best characters in either game for entertainment value (non-Setsuna division).

Cordelia

Sumia’s best friend and the golden child of the Ylissean military’s pegasus knight division. Might be the most tragic character in the entire game outside of Emmeryn. Pegasus knight wielding lances by default. Mother to Severa.

Pros: Her story starts at a 10 on the intensity scale and really doesn’t calm down until the second generation units arrive. Is probably the most unexpected closet intellectual in the game.
Cons:
Ends up being the weakest pegasus knight in the game, especially if you reclass Lissa, Olivia, or Mirabelle. Can’t pass down her awesome red hair.
My Take: 
People either think Cordelia is unimportant to the game or love her. I lean towards the latter. I mean, her entire military division gets mowed down in battle and she has to flee for her life while hearing the sound of everyone dying as she runs away. And then her former commander gets killed right in front of her during an ambush attack. And then you realize that her unrequited love for Chrom will always go unfulfilled because Chrom cannot marry her. And then she has the most rebellious teenage daughter known to man. Cordelia is a cheating husband away from being a Lifetime movie.

Nowi

Manakete[18] who joins Chrom and company while fleeing from bad guys. Uses a dragonstone to shapeshift into dragon form. Mom to Nah.

Pros: TANK. 
Cons:
You have to reclass her to make her anything beyond an above average unit. Also, despite being over 1,000 years old, she looks like she’s 12. Terrible at naming children.
My Take: 
TANK.

Gregor

Sellsword who tends to break contracts if the person he’s set to kill causes an ethical quandary for him. Mercenary class that wields swords by default.

Pros: His lines are spoken with the combination of Rickey Henderson’s third person prose, Dikembe Mutombo’s syntax, and Ivan Drago’s accent. I would play an entire game with him as the main character.
Cons:
You’ll want to marry him to Nowi because they join together, but I assure you they’re both better with other people.
My Take: 
I’m not convinced that Gregor isn’t just Lt. Surge from the original Pokemon games in hiding.

Libra

Priest who has a serious devotion to the dragon Naga and to Emmeryn. War monk class wielding axes and healing by default.

Pros: One of the few characters who you can recruit midchapter who can stay alive without your help.
Cons:
Looks a lot like a girl. Not quiet to the extent of Forrest in Fates…but Virion hits on him.
My Take: 
Libra is the worst dad in the game stat growth wise, but he can pass down some of the best skills in the game, particularly Renewal, Tomefaire, and Lifetaker. He’s a preference character as to if you want to use him.

Tharja

Dark mage in the Plegian army who defects to the Shepherds because she is infatuated with Robin. Dark mage class wielding tomes. Mother to Noire.

Pros: Literally the only useful first generation mage unit.
Cons:
One of the worst human beings in the game. Stalker, unethical spell tester, and child abuser are just her three most common problems.
My Take: 
I could write a small novel on Tharja. First off, she’s the one unit who made looking for pictures for this post hard because of the fact that about one-third of the stuff about her on the internet is porn[19]. Second, she’s all kinds of creepy stalkery, even after she marries most of her S supports. She routinely tests curses on her loved ones and her daughter, giving her daughter a complex that is essentially a very violent form of bipolar disorder. And yet…in one of the xenologues of the game, she sacrifices herself to save her daughter’s life. She’s also one of the most helpful units in the game, ridding Lon’Qu of nightmares, helps Stahl realize his modesty is his greatest strength, creates a charm to help Kellam protect his family, and helps Gregor find closure for his brother’s death. Tharja is both really hard to like and really hard to hate all at the same time.

Olivia

A dancer. Seriously. Dancer class who wields swords and dances to give units another action that turn. Mother to Inigo.

Pros: The dance function is useful. You know, if you could keep Olivia alive longer than two turns after you recruit her.
Cons:
Depending on when you acquire Donnel, Olivia might be your lone weak late-joining character. Probably the weakest written female character in the game.
My Take: 
I honestly don’t understand how you’re expected to keep Olivia alive and marry her to Chrom on any difficulty higher than casual. At least her kid is useful?

Cherche

A soldier[20] from Rosanne loyal to Virion’s family. Wyvern[21] rider class who wields axes by default. Mother to Batman…er…Gerome.

Pros: Cherche’s has one of the more entertaining backstories in the game, as she tamed her wyvern as a child. Her support track with Lon’Qu is the closest thing to a redemption path that you get in developing Lon’Qu’s character.
Cons: 
She’s essentially Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, only female, redheaded, and wearing slightly more revealing clothing.
My Take: 
Cherche gets overshadowed by the fact that peagsus knights/dark fliers are so stupid overpowered, but she’s a really good blitz attack unit, especially as a griffon rider. Should have died to stay consistent with her son’s backstory, however considering we’re not introduced to Alfred, this may be before she dies.

Henry

Plegian dark mage who likes crows. Uses tomes by default.

Pros: Hey! A second not sucky mage! Plus he’s arguably one of the nicer people in the game from Plegia.
Cons:
Pretty much everything else. He joins too late for you to use him as a fighter, he’s rather average as a character by that point, his entire gimmick is essentially Optimistic Emo Kid, and even though he’s a better dad than some of the other men, he joins so late that you’ve likely married off all of the women with the possible exception of Cherche.
My Take: 
Had Henry joined around the same time as Libra/Tharja, he’d be awesome. But he joins in the same chapter your first child unit (Lucina) joins…so no…

Donnel

A scrawny villager that joins the Shepherds after his village is attacked. Villager class that wields lances by default.

Pros: Starts out as the weakest character in the game, but his unique skill, Aptitude, gives him the best growth rates in the game. Oh, and he’s the only other guy besides Gaius who can pass down access to Galeforce.
Cons:
He can be killed by a semi-powerful sneeze. The pot on his head sadly isn’t a Pastafarian religious headdress.
My Take: 
Other than the fact that Donnel sounds like he’s from the backwoods of Appalachia, he’s pretty awesome to have around. Just keep his talking to a minimum and you’re fine.

Second Generation Characters

Lucina

Princess of Ylisse and eldest child of Chrom. Lord class that wields swords by default.

Pros: Pretty much shows up in every other chapter’s video cut scenes before she joins in chapter 13, making her the only child you don’t need to complete a side quest to recruit. Like her father, seems to have one of the few strongly hinted at desired relationship partners in the game[22].
Cons:
Her support conversations make her seem childish to a fault despite the fact that every other video/interaction with her in the game makes her appear wise beyond her years.
My Take: 
I main Lucina in Smash Bros. I like her. A lot. To the point where there’s only one character from Awakening that I’d even consider using over her if they were in Smash[23].

Owain

Swordsman son of Lissa. Wields swords. He’s…unique.

Pros: If the cast of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann were put in the Fire Emblem world, they’d all be best friends with Owain. After all, you have to name your weapons and your moves.
Cons:
Since almost all weapons in Awakening break after a certain number of uses, you need to constantly buy new weapons. Unfortunately, Owain’s unique weapon also breaks. 
My Take: 
The BBC recently referred to Fire Emblem as a “tactical role-playing game that users control of a small anime army“. Realistically, only Owain would fit into most animes.

Inigo

Womanizing swordsman who is the son of Olivia. Wields swords.

Pros: He’s a useful version of Virion.
Cons:
He’s essentially Virion, only useful.
My Take: 
If you make Virion his dad, it’s a like father, like son situation. Otherwise, I’m very confused how Inigo turns out the way he does.

Brady

Tough looking priest who fights by healing. Mirabelle’s son.

Pros: Amuses me greatly with the juxtaposition of his rough exterior and his love for playing the violin and making tea.
Cons:
Probably the closest thing to a crappy unit in the second generation[24]. Is the one character I’d hope would have called Severa out on her self-centered attitude, but instead encourages it.
My Take: 
Just reclass Brady to a Sage and you’ll be fine. That said, Brady is a wasted opportunity in Awakening, as they should have brought back the Bard class from Thracia 776 just for him.

Kjelle

Fair-fighting knight who doesn’t understand that she’s weak to magic when she chooses to accept a dual. Daughter of Sully. Wields lances by default.

Pros: She’s Sully if Sully was written correctly or consistently.
Cons: 
Seriously though…does she not understand the fact that knights are weak to mages? I understand wanting to avenge someone, but think this through.
My Take: 
Her personality fits better into the first generation characters than the second generation, but her stats say I’m a child character. A surprisingly useful person to pair with Owain.

Cynthia

Sumia’s pigtailed daughter. Wields lances as a pegasus knight by default.

Pros: Statistically one of the best child units in the game, all while getting to be a falcon knight while still getting Galeforce.
Cons:
The single most annoying plot hole in the story occurs with Cynthia if you marry Chrome to Sumia. In Cynthia’s recruitment chapter, Cynthia is fighting for a group of bandits whose leader has convinced them that he is Chrom. For most of the bandits, the fact that their leader looks nothing like Chrom is a non-issue. But to Cynthia, who has very strong and vivid memories of her father, you’d think she wouldn’t fall for this ruse. Yet, she believes some guy who looks nothing like her dad is her dad, then struggles to believe that Chrom is actually her dad. I get that Cynthia’s gimmick is to charge headlong into things without thinking, but this is just stupid.
My Take: 
Giant plot hole aside, Cynthia’s one of the more adorable characters in the story, particularly if she’s Lucina’s sister. Their support actions as sisters are absurdly believable.

Severa

Cordelia’s very angsty mercenary daughter. Fights initially as a mercenary class wielding swords.

Pros: Normally support convos don’t give you hints about how to build characters, but Severa’s insistance on not being like her mother saves you from reclassing her as the ridiculous dark flier class. She’s better served as a mercenary/hero or a dark mage.
Cons:
Fits every stereotype of teenage girl that would make me dread having a daughter one day.
My Take: 
Severa is one of three characters from Awakening to show up in Fates[25], yet is the the only one to reverse how I like her. In Awakening, she’s an annoying personality with great skills and class. In Fates, she’s a decent, though fiery personality with a rather annoying class set. The hell, Nintendo?

Gerome

Cherche’s mask wearing, anti-social son. Wyvern rider class who wields axes by default.

Pros: He’s fucking Batman on a dragon.
Cons:
Plays the dark, mysterious soul to the point where he’s annoying.
My Take: 
Pair him up with Lucina and let her become the Selena Kyle to his Bruce Wayne. You know, if Catwoman wielded an all powerful sword and Batman rode dragons.

Morgan

Robin’s son or daughter[26] who may or may not be from the same timeline as the other second generation kids. His starting class and weapons capabilities vary depending on who Robin’s spouse is.

Pros: Can be literally any class in the game. Considering Robin can marry any of the second generation characters, this makes Morgan a gamebreaker. As in he or she could solo most maps.
Cons:
You can only let him/her have five skills at once.
My Take: 
Remember how I said Nowi was a tank? Morgan is a giant death robot.

Yarne

Panne’s taguel son. Runs from everything, but wields a beaststone to shapeshift into taguel form if he must fight.

Pros: At least he’s not as squishy as Panne? His supports with Cynthia are mildly amusing.
Cons:
He’s still a taguel.
My Take: 
If it weren’t for the Shepherds, the taguel race would be extinct.

Laurent

Miriel’s magic using son who is somehow even more nerdy and socially awkward than she is. Starts off as a mage class wielding tomes.

Pros: Is the one person who actually makes Severa a relatively decent person, not to mention a productive one.
Cons:
His recruitment level is complete and total bullshit if you go into it blind. The entirety of the conversations in and surrounding the level talk about a mirage village that you need to find, and you’d assume it’s to recruit Laurent. Nope. It’s to get a single use item (which is useful, but still). Laurent is the only second generation character that cannot be recruited by Chrom, meaning not only that you have to know (or guess luckily) which village to send Miriel to, but you have to keep Laurent alive after the fact. At least he’s not as weak to start off as his mom is.
My Take: 
A surprisingly useful character, especially if his dad passes down Armsthrift. Still weird when he talks though.

Noire

Timid, anemic daughter of Tharja. Archer class by default who wields a bow.

Pros: Has the most unique personality in the game…
Cons:
…but it’s because her mother abused her and used her as a lab rat as a child.
My Take: 
I love Noire as a character. She’s very likable, particularly in her bashful yet aggressive interactions with Inigo. Her supports with a female Robin are downright heartbreaking as Noire just wanted a mom who actually cared about her. Even Tharja in the story’s timeline[27] becomes likable with Noire eventually. Noire brings out the best in people, hence why she’s my favorite character in any of the Fire Emblem games.

Nah

Nowi’s oddly named daughter. Manakete that uses dragonstones to shapeshift.

Pros: Tank…plus one.
Cons: 
Pretty much every one of Nah’s support conversations leads to her calling her eventual husband her “big brother”. It’s just as creepy as it sounds.
My Take: 
Probably the second most powerful unit in the game behind Morgan[28].

Birthright Character Analyses

First off, apparently I’m at 5,000 words and I’m only halfway through this post. Time to shorten my analyses. In Fates, your avatar is a man or woman named Corrin who was born into royalty[29] in the Kingdom of Hoshido, but was kidnapped at a young age and raised in the Kingdom of Nohr. If you play the Birthright path, you side with your birth nation of Hoshido and fight against Nohr.

First Generation Characters

Corrin

Your avatar unit. Manakete that wields swords and a dragonstone to start (though also staves for healing later). Can be the father or mother to Kana and possibly to other children.

Pros: Significantly stronger than Robin was, plus is actually the main character in this story[30]. All nobles including Corrin have access to a special power known as Dragon Fang that lets you change the maps you’re on or do other ridiculous actions mid-battle.
Cons: 
If you want to get all of the kids in Birthright, you’re either required to be a female or marry a non-storyline character such as Scarlet. Dragonstone is significantly weaker in Fates, so you’re better off using your swords most of the game.
My Take: 
One of the few characters that destroys his/her Awakening counterpart straight up. The kidnapping angle is far more interesting than Robin’s “hey…I woke up in a field and don’t know who I am” story.

Jakob

Your butler and one of your two[31] retainers from when you were a Nohrian noble. Wields daggers and heals with staffs by default. Father to Dwyer — all children except Kana and Shigure are tied to their fathers in this game rather than mothers. Joins at different times depending on if Corrin is male or female.

Pros: If he joins early, Jakob is incredibly useful. Arguably the best non-ninja base class dagger user in the game.
Cons:
If he joins late in the game, his only usefulness is to be Dwyer’s dad.
My Take: 
Jakob is essentially the stereotypical butler I’d imagine lives in a house that is on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, only 25 years younger.

Felicia

Your maid and one of your two retainers from when you were a Nohrian noble. Wields daggers and staffs like Jakob. Also like Jakob, joins at different times if Corrin is male or female.

Pros: Similar to Jakob in that if Felicia joins early, she’s useful to have around. While Jakob is bulkier, Felicia hits a lot harder. The fact that she can change to a hero class gives her kids access to the underrated Sol technique.
Cons:
In Birthright she’s a plot device that fights. At least that’s more than her sister, Fiora (NPC).
My Take: 
I really wish Felicia’s involvement was better written, especially when you have a female Corrin. She just shows up, fights her sister, and has a kid (in some order).

Kaze

Hoshidian ninja who you originally meet as a prisoner of Nohr. Wields shurikens by default. Father to Midori.

Pros: As the only ranged unit you have until chapter 7, Kaze is incredibly useful in the early game. His access to the mechanist class line gives him a ton of advantages over other characters.
Cons:
If you don’t have his support at least at an A level with Corrin by chapter 15, he dies[32]. Even if you’re on Casual or Phoenix mode. It’s bullshit and I’m so happy I read spoilers in advance to avoid this.
My Take: 
His chapter 15 death mechanic is the biggest piece of bullshit in a video game since one hit and you die platforming games.

Rinkah

Member of the Oni fire tribe native to Hoshido that doesn’t really like either set of royalty. Uses clubs by default.

Pros: Not many until you promote her to either an oni chieftain or blacksmith.
Cons:
Until she’s promoted, she’s the most fragile unit you’ll have outside of healers and Mozu. Her personality is essentially Severa from Awakening, only with no good points.
My Take: 
Generally a disappointment as a character, but at least she can pass down Counter.

Azura

Songstress from Nohr who essentially went through the same kidnapping ordeal as Corrin, only in reverse. Mother to Shigure. Songstress class by default who wields lances/naginata[33] and can sing to give characters an additional action.

Pros: The other character who is a straight upgrade to the Awakening character she mimics (Olivia). Her higher end skills make her worth training, even if she is a little squishy earlier in the game.
Cons:
You have to play Revelations for her story to make any fucking sense.
My Take: 
I like her as a character and she adds a lot to the cut scenes. But her story could be written a lot better without spoiling everything that you learn in Revelations.

Sakura

Shrine maiden and Hoshidan princess. Corrin’s youngest sister[34]. Heals with staves by default.

Pros: Lissa with better stats.
Cons:
Lissa with a worse storyline and crappier class access.
My Take: 
Her Nohrian equivalent — Elise — is so much better than Sakura that it’s almost worth getting Conquest just for her.

Hana

Swordswoman and retainer to Sakura. Wields swords.

Pros: Hey! This is what Sully was actually supposed to be like!
Cons:
Not all that great of an end game character.
My Take: 
Awesome character for the first ten chapters or so, not all that useful otherwise.

Subaki

Sky knight and retainer to Sakura. Wields lances by default. Father to Caeldori.

Pros: At least he’s not Reina?
Cons:
His perfectionist gimmick fits his daughter better than it does him.
My Take: 
Essentially a male version of Cordelia, though not nearly to the level that Caeldori mirrors her. Since fliers are greatly nerfed from Awakening, he becomes a second-tier character.

Silas

Nohrian knight who was Corrin’s best friend since childhood. Cavalier class who wields swords and lances by default. Father to Sophie.

Pros: The best written non-noble unit in the game with the possible exception of Setsuna. One of the strongest too.
Cons:
Unless you marry him to Azura or female Corrin, he can’t father two kids. Sophie’s that good.
My Take: 
When considering first generation units, he’s right up there with the nobles in terms of utility.

Saizo

Ninja who is the retainer of Ryoma and twin brother to Kaze. Ninja who wields shuriken by default. Father to Asugi.

Pros: His Pyrotechnics skill is super useful as a last ditch attack skill.
Cons:
Sadly, you won’t use Pyrotechnics much because he’s the bulkiest and most durable of the three first generation ninja units.
My Take: 
His personality is essentially Lon’Qu, but they serve totally different roles.

Orochi

Fortune teller who was in the service of Mikoto (Ryoma/Hinoka/Sakura/Takumi’s mom) prior to her death. Diviner class wielding scrolls[35] by default. Best friend to Kagero.

Pros: Decent ranged unit with a competent skill set.
Cons:
Her capture skill is worthless unless you’re playing on higher difficulties.
My Take: 
Her supports with Kaden talk about her fear of rats, yet her primary scroll is a rat spirit. Hooray continuity errors!

Hinoka

Sky knight and Hoshidan princess. Sister to Ryoma/Sakura/Takumi. Wields lances by default.

Pros: The only useful first generation flying unit in the game, unless you plan on marrying Scarlet to a male corrin.
Cons:
Has a very odd defensive build that makes it difficult to slot her well to be a mom to a kid who needs defense while not overlapping dragon fang skill.
My Take: 
Would make a far better ruler than Ryoma or Takumi. Yet another thing Conquest got right.

Setsuna

Archer unit and retainer for Hinoka. Likes to fall in pits and holes. Wields bows (yumis) by default.

Pros: Setsuna’s support conversations about her endlessly falling into holes were of great entertainment to me. And archers finally don’t suck anymore!
Cons:
The Awakening archer attire was better. That’s really it.
My Take: 
The most underrated unit in Birthright by a huge margin.

Azama

Priest and retainer to Hinoka. Father to Mitama.

Pros: His daughter has the single best gimmick in the game.
Cons: 
He’s an asshole.
My Take: 
Literally the only reason to level up Azama is the make sure Mitama gets access to Renewal.

Hayato

A member of the wind tribe who joins your party after a battle with the wind tribe’s chief. Diviner who wields scrolls by default. Father to Rhajat.

Pros: Has access to the ridiculously overpowered Quixotic skill.
Cons:
Don’t wear a pot on his head.
My Take: 
He reminds me a lot of Donnel, despite the fact that they have nothing in common. Maybe it’s the babyface.

Hitana

Swordsman and retainer to Takumi. Wields swords. Father to Hisame.

Pros: He’s got the whole idolizing the man he’s protecting thing down.
Cons:
Father to one of the most boring units in the game. At least it runs in the family.
My Take:
He’s so bland that I forgot about him while writing this. Twice.

Oboro

Spear fighter and retainer to Takumi. Wields spears.

Pros: Her bonuses against Nohrian units make her damn near unstoppable once you promote her to an advanced class. The only non-noble/non-child unit you’ll consider keeping around in the end game.
Cons:
Doesn’t have particularly good growth rates.
My Take: 
Probably one of the best written characters in the game, especially when you consider how much the game focuses on her two hobbies — fashion and killing the enemy.

Takumi

Archer and Hoshidan prince. Wields bows by default. Father to Kiragi.

Pros: Takes everything good about Setsuna and does it with better base stats.
Cons:
You can see the twist ending involving him in Birthright coming a mile away.
My Take: 
So. Fucking. Predictable.

Kagero

Ninja and retainer to Ryoma. Wields shuriken by default.

Pros: The only ninja unit who actually acts like a ninja in their supports.
Cons: 
If you say you like her as a unit, people will automatically assume it’s because she has giant boobs.
My Take: She joins at an odd time in the game when you really don’t need a third ninja unit, but it’s not bad to have one around either. Just marry her off to Ryoma and make Shiro hit for death.

Kaden

Shapeshifting kitsune[36] class unit that wields a beaststone to fight. Father to Selkie.

Pros: The gap between dragonstone and beaststone users is still there from Fates, but it’s not nearly as large.
Cons:
His evolved form may be called a nine-tails, but it doesn’t fight with fire attacks like the Ninetales from Pokemon.
My Take: 
The kitsune are everything the taguel should have been in Awakening. Just reclass him to something other than kitsune so that Selkie can stay in that class for herself.

Ryoma

Swordsman, Hoshidan prince, and heir apparent to the throne of Hoshido. Father to Shiro.

Pros: Wrecks everything. Is the best meme to come out of Fates.
Cons:
He’s basically Frederick, only he joins at the right time but doesn’t yell ‘pick a god and pray’.
My Take: 
Once you get Ryoma, you can basically solo the next 5-6 maps with him.

Mozu

A villager who joins your party after you save her from an attack. Wields lances by default, but makes a surprisingly good apothecary unit.

Pros: Female Donnel.
Cons: 
Female Donnel.
My Take: 
Female Donnel.

Second Generation Characters

Kana

Son/daughter[37] of Corrin and whoever you married them off to. Nohrian Noble class that wields dragonstone, swords, and staves by default.

Pros: The youngest unit in either of the two games. I’m just happy they don’t let you marry Kana off to anyone[38].
Cons:
Isn’t as stupid broken as Morgan.
My Take: 
The second generation units as a whole aren’t as powerful as their Awakening counterparts are, but there’s a few of them that are still map wreckers. Kana leads the way in that regard.

Shigure

Son to Azura. Sky night class by default that wields lances.

Pros: Has a unique skill that allows his rally command to heal surrounding units if they have less HP than him. Considering how I never use any rally command, this finally caused me to start using them.
Cons:
Still a flier, which makes him a fast healer, but underwhelming otherwise.
My Take: 
Meh. His mom is a better unit than he is.

Dwyer

Jakob’s also a serviceman son. Starts off as a troubadour class that can only heal.

Pros: Can make a surprisngly adept Strategist if he has the right mom[39].
Cons: 
The troubadour class isn’t anywhere near as awesome as it was in Awakening, but at least men have access to it now. Easily one of the weirdest looking characters in the game.
My Take: 
Similar to his dad, it’s all about when you get Dwyer in the game. If he’s ready to advance to a higher class, he’s great. Otherwise, he’ll be a bit of a struggle to level up.

Sophie

Silas’s high-energy daughter who rides around on a stubborn horse named Avel. Cavalier class wielding swords and lances by default.

Pros: One of the few units who appears to be an expy on an Awakening unit[40] but doesn’t beat it into the ground and make themselves seem stupid.
Cons:
Doesn’t have access to dark magic like the similarly named Sophia from Fire Emblem: Binding Blade.
My Take: 
While she’s not my favorite unit in the game, I find that Sophie is one of the ones I like using the most. Her supports are so optimistic that it’s ridiculous.

Midori

Kaze’s entrepreneur daughter. Apothecary class unit that wields bows by default.

Pros: One of the two units (along with Mozu) who can competently fill the apothecary role. Midori’s luck bonuses make her REALLY hard to kill if you’ve passed Miracle down to her.
Cons:
It’s very difficult to tell how old she is. I’d argue she looks younger than Kana, yet you can marry Midori off, but not Kana.
My Take: 
Hey! A dedicated healer than can defend themselves competently. What a novel idea.

Shiro

Ryoma’s son. A spear fighter class wielding lances by default.

Pros: If you reclass him to a Lodestar class, Shiro looks like Ike.
Cons:
His recruitment chapter is a pain in the ass because Shiro feels the need to charge headlong into enemy troops. Who does he think he is, Blackstar?
My Take: 
If you can get to him before he dies, Shiro is awesome to have around.

Kiragi

Takumi’s young son. An archer who wields bows by default.

Pros: Probably the only unit that fills the kinishi knight class correctly. His supports with Kana are adorable because they just want to go play in a treehouse all day.
Cons:
The only treehouse in My Castle is Corrin’s house, which is unfortunate, as Kiragi just wants a treehouse.
My Take: 
Will someone please get Kiragi a treehouse?

Asugi

Okay…here’s where I start to get ragey. First the facts. Asugi is Saizo’s son who wants to be nothing like his father. He’s a ninja class by default and wields shurikens.

Asugi, Caeldori, and Rhajat are all meant to be expy units on first generation units from Awakening, as they are supposed to remind the player of Gaius, Cordelia, and Tharja, respectively. All of the Fates characters’ names mentioned are anagrams of their respective Awakening characters. In one of the DLC chapter, Chrom makes an appearance and actually calls Caeldori out on this if she’s in the map. Since they’re supposed to be character expies, I’ll reference that in my notes for each character.

Pros: Probably the most powerful ninja you’ll have by end game
Cons: 
Would have made a better first generation character.
My Take: 
Repeating Gaius’s candy loving gimmick was really unnecessary. Gaius is a fine character, but he’s largely forgettable outside of the fact that he’s one of the two dads to pass down Galeforce. Asugi doesn’t even have that going for him.

Selkie

Kaden’s playful daughter who doesn’t understand what the concept of hunting is. Since she’s a fox, that’s bad. Kistune class that uses beaststones by default.

Pros: The most well-balanced unit in the game.
Cons:
Unless you reclass her, she doesn’t have access to ranged attacks.
My Take: 
Selkie kills everything. That’s all there is to it.

Hisame

Hinata’s equally boring son. Swordsman who uses swords.

Pros: One of only two units (Kiragi being the other) who gets a bonus out of using the Wait command. It’s a pretty useful gimmick for a samurai.
Cons:
I had to replay the game a good bit just to remember why I liked him. He’s really not all that important.
My Take: 
He somehow manages to be even more forgettable than his dad, Hinata. The only reason I remembered Hisame was because I was writing Hinata’s entry.

Mitama

Azama’s daughter who speaks primarily in haikus and loves to take naps. Shrine madien class by default who heals people.

Pros: Her inherent skill, Haiku, heals in a 5-7-5 pattern if she’s in the middle of a vertical line with two other characters. That’s a nice touch that fits her gimmick amazingly.
Cons: 
Her recruitment chapter is deceptively difficult if you’re not prepared for it. That’s it though.
My Take: 
I love Mitama nearly as much as I love Noire. She’s pretty fantastic.

Caldori

Subaki’s daughter and giant Cordelia expy. Sky knight that wields lances by default.

Pros: If you’re playing the Revelations route and make Selena[41] her mother, the support conversations are filled with shoutouts to Awakening.
Cons:
She’s just as good as Cordelia, which would be fine if she was a first generation unit, but is less so since she second generation.
My Take: 
A better written version of Cordelia. The only one of the three expies that I don’t totally cringe at.

Rhajat

Hayato’s dark and twisted daughter. Essentially an expy on Tharja, though less violence, abusive, and stalkery. Diviner that wields scrolls by default.

Pros: HOLY FUCK THERE’S ACTUALLY A LESBIAN CHARACTER IN FIRE EMBLEM. I mean, Soleli in Conquest is, but they didn’t write her to be. Actually, can we just switch Soleli and Rhajat now?
Cons:
For being as creepy as she is, you’d think she’d use dark magic. Nope.
My Take: 
A tamer, less interesting, yet more diverse Tharja.


That’s all for this post. I’ll get into the game mechanics and storyline in a later post. If you made it through this entire post without shutting down your computer or wanting to murder me, congratulations.