The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Play Through Ever: Chapters 5 and 6

The following post is part of my series “The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Playthrough Ever”. Spoilers ahead for a six year old game.


Welcome back to the worst Fire Emblem Awakening play through ever. When we last left the Shepherds, a tween was getting upset that he couldn’t come to war and blonde Carmelita Spats was about to cause an international incident. In no way will we come back to that storyline for any reason. Also, added more people to our ragtag party of an army, including the strong, silent type, our resident Mary Sue1And Chrom’s future wife. and a talking suit of armor. I’ve also been down a rabbit hole of Awakening content on TV Tropes. I cannot be held responsible for what I say or do as a result of this.

In this post, we’ll be playing through chapters 5 and 6. While these chapters are a bit on the longer side, I feel like I go long enough between posting updates in this series that it’s worth it. Plus, these aren’t the most time consuming chapters I could write on.

Chapter 5: The Exalt and the King

Chrom, Lissa, and Emmeryn are walking through a canyon when they come up on King Gangrel. He’s clearly a bad guy due to the cocky way he stands, as well as his gigantic fur neck covering. Emmeryn tries to negotiate to avoid political turmoil, but she’s quickly interrupted by another baddy, Aversa. Aversa appears to be one part sorceress and two parts see-through clothing. Gangrel and Aversa have captured Maribelle, who is doing her best Chris Jericho impression by calling people troglodytes. Aversa is arguing Maribelle’s insolence is an act of war, and though I know Maribelle is supposed to be on my side, I’m thinking Aversa may have a good point, despite the fact that she and Gangrel are clearly overreacting.

Gangrel accuses Maribelle of being a spy, however instead of arguing Maribelle is too much of an asshole to people who she sees to be below her station to be a spy, Emmeryn’s idea of diplomacy is to say please. Gangrel says no, Chrom gets angsty, and then Gangrel wants the Fire Emblem — which is also the name of the mythical shield belonging to the Ylissian royal family — in exchange for Maribelle. Emmeryn and Gangrel then have a short expositional dialogue explaining what the Fire Emblem is and its powers2To save the world before bedtime., before Gangrel mentions that the whole reason he hates Ylisse is because Emmeryn’s father was a mass murdering sociopath of an exalt.

Chrom then shoots fir…er…kills someone with a sword first, actually starting a war. Great job, hero. You broke it.

Aversa then tries to shame Maribelle into feeling like she started this war when a blast of wind magic kills the guard that’s beside Maribelle. Our teen from last chapter, Ricken, is here to save the day. The level then begins with Ricken and Maribelle cornered, because while Ricken is brave, he is also quite stupid.

I accidentally skip the short cut scene between selecting units and the level actually starting, only to be reminded that the boss in this level is Randy Orton. Because Ricken and Maribelle are cornered, it’s in my best interest to save them first3Despite my desires to the contrary., which means we get another dose of Frederick Emblem, as he and Miriel go off to save our captive friends. I have Lissa and Sully follow, as both Ricken and Maribelle are particularly squishy at this point. Meanwhile, the rest of our crew takes the long way around, picking up XP and items along the way. Except for Vaike, that is, who will be Maribelle’s support partner in the long run.

We get Maribelle and Vaike teamed up, transferring Lissa over to Ricken in the process so Sully can run solo. This doesn’t go amazingly, but she doesn’t die, so it works out. Christopher and Sumia are particularly good at killing our attackers, so the left side of the map is cleared quickly. Even Ricken manages to get in on the fun and games, cleaning up where Vaike misses.

Despite reinforcements being a thing for the first time in this level, we clean up pretty easily because Sumia and Chrom can double hit most anyone when paired. But wait. Breaking news!

Frederick crits someone and we get that beauty of a line. Despite having a 2% crit chance. It’s so good.

We finally advance on the boss, who tries to deliver an RKO out of nowhere to Ricken, but Ricken dodges it. This allows Kellam (of all people) to come in and clean up for the win.

After the fight ends, Lissa and Maribelle reunite. Chrom apologizes to his sister for starting a war and Emmeryn says that it’s okay. Frederick reminds everyone that if this is, indeed, a war, more troops will likely show up and want to battle, so they should get a move on. We do, ending the chapter.

Chapter 6: Foreseer

Outside Ylisstol castle, Chrom is staring into the distance, reenacting the cover of Faith +1’s debut album. Christopher Robin wants to know why he’s out so late. Chrom is dealing with the fact that his father committing brutal war that killed several people on both the Plegian and Ylissean sides. We have a War is Hell moment before Chrom brings up that his father’s death made Emmeryn the ruler of Ylisse at age 10. We’re 15 years on now, but Ylisse seems to be in pretty good shape for having a young person run the country. It’s almost as if the real world could learn something from video games.

The conversation is interrupted by clearly-not-a-girl Marth, who warns Chrom and Christopher that an assassin is here to kill Emmeryn. Marth spends far longer than should be necessary convincing them that a threat on the life of the ruler of an entire nation needs to be taken seriously, but she manages to get the point across by slaying a second assassin that has arrived to kill Chrom. A third assassin then shows up because reasons. While he manages to get the drop on Marth — splitting her mask in two with his sword, Chrom kills him. Everyone is then shocked…SHOCKED, I SAY…to realize that Marth is a girl. She then gives speech about how she’s impressed she managed to fool everyone, leading into the beginning of our level.

Some guy named Validar is here to take over the castle and Emmeryn is encouraging us to flee while we still can. That said, the Shepherds aren’t going anywhere — in fact, we gain a few new members on turn two in the form of Gaius, a sticky handed thief, and Panne, the last of a rabbit-like shapeshifting race called the taguel. Marth is an ally for us in this level and she’s here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. It’s evident by the critical hits she’s dealing out that she’s all out of bubble gum. Cleaning out the incoming army takes a little bit longer than expected, as I didn’t do a massive amount of reeking box grinding prior to this level, but it’s still not too much of a challenge. Eventually, we draw out Validar and let one of the newcomers, Panne, get the final blow to end the level.

After the level, Chrom is excited to see Emmeryn safe, while Phila feels as though she’s let Emmeryn down due to the assassination attempt. The gang realizes Marth is now gone and nowhere to be found. Chrom runs off looking for her and finds her in the castle courtyard. Chrom offers to repay her for saving his life, but she turns him down. Her logic is that history has been rewritten, which may be true, but we’re clearly not even close to the end game, so there’s more of the story rewrite, I’d presume. Marth then vanishes into the darkness, as she’s Batman.

Emmeryn thanks Panne for her assistance in saving her life. We then get backstory on the taguel and let’s just say humans have been super shitty to them. Emmeryn tries her best to make amends for humanity’s terrible treatment of the taguel and Panne is annoyed, but appreciative. We then cut to Validar trying to sneak around in the darkness after his failure to kill Emmeryn, only he’s confronted by a mysterious figure named Grima who is displeased with him. Grima spares Validar’s life, but that’s all we learn for now.

Back in Ylisstol, Phila is playing the role of inept detective quite well, while Chrom is busy blaming foreigners for the attack. Emmeryn tells him to STFU and not be an asshole, because Emmeryn is basically purity personified. Chrom and Frederick convince Emmeryn to let them relocate her for safety’s sake, which is where our level ends.

End of Level Recap

Below are the unit progress and support progress we made in these chapters. I did a touch of reeking box grinding between chapters 5 and 6 for sake of getting some levels on our healers. This leads to some of the massive growths in terms of both levels and supports you see below.

Units

  • Vaike – Level 10 Fighter
  • Chrom – Level 8 Lord
  • Miriel – Level 8 Mage
  • Kellam – Level 8 Knight
  • Sumia – Level 7 Pegasus Knight
  • Panne – Level 7 Taguel
  • Christopher – Level 6 Tactician
  • Lissa – Level 6 Cleric
  • Sully – Level 6 Cavalier
  • Maribelle – Level 6 Troubadour
  • Ricken – Level 5 Mage
  • Gaius – Level 5 Thief
  • Stahl – Level 4 Cavalier
  • Lon’qu – Level 4 Myrmidon
  • Frederick – Level 3 Great Knight
  • Virion – Level 2 Still Here Because I Can’t Get Rid Of Him

Supports

  • Christopher & Kellam: None to C
  • Chrom & Sumia: C to B to A to S
  • Frederick & Miriel : C to B to A
  • Chrom & Vaike: None to C
  • Vaike & Maribelle: None to C to B
  • Ricken & Panne: None to C

The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Play Through Ever: Chapters 3 and 4

The following post is part of my series “The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Playthrough Ever”. Spoilers ahead for a six year old game.


Welcome back to the worst Fire Emblem Awakening play through ever. When we last left the Shepherds, we had just gained several useful new units to our party, and also Virion. Sumia saves Chrom from a pegasus being angry at him, Frederick is still tired of everyone’s shit, and Miriel is squishy enough to die from a stiff breeze. We’ll work on that last one once we get access to reeking boxes4The reeking box is an item that allows you to call a small amount of lower level enemies to a map for sake of experience and money grinding. We will be taking full advantage of this because A) I’m a filthy casual. B) It’s fun. and C) Certain units are going to die quickly if I don’t do this. I will not be writing about reeking box levels..

In this post, we’ll be playing through chapters 3 and 4. Chapter 3 is the last formal tutorial-ish chapter, while getting to chapter 4 allows us to access the last menu area we’ll need to play the full game. After this post, I’ll toggle between playing one and two chapters per post, depending on how much I feel like writing.

Chapter 3: Warrior Realm

It’s snowing in Ylisse, which should be a happy time. Instead, Lissa is complaining that it’s cold outside. The Shepherds have arrived at the Longfort, which straddles the border of Ylisse and Regna Ferox. Frederick warns us that such a situation calls for diplomacy. Chrom stresses that he isn’t good at diplomacy, but he’s going to try anyway. We’re fucked.

The scene ends and immediately transitions to Frederick telling Chrom that the Feroxi troops are mobilizing. We don’t get to see what Chrom said to the Feroxi, however we can faintly see a Feroxi soldier drumming on his helmet in the background. We finally get to pick our units this map, which is convenient, as we drowned Virion under the bridge in chapter three.

As we go to start the level, we get yet another cut scene where the Feroxi commander orders his soldiers to attack. Chrom thinks it’s a good idea to try to deflect a barrage of spears with his sword, clearly not understanding how the weapon triangle works. Sumia flies in for what would be a meet cute in literally any other story, but since we met her a chapter ago, I’m just annoyed. I hit Start and skip the rest of their conversation out of spite.

With the level formally started, we run into our first allied unit, the disembodied suit of armor from the cut scene before chapter two. Chrom goes to talk to the suit of armor and HOLY FUCK BALLS THERE’S A HUMAN IN IT. Apparently the human’s name is Kellam and he says he’s been with us for a while now. That said, we didn’t see him at all last chapter. Kellam is clearly a powerful warlock and we will use him accordingly.

For the first time, we’re battling other humans rather than risen5We’re ignoring the fact that Garrick might have been human.. I’m typically a conscientious objector, however, these fools are trying to kill me. I set everyone’s medieval weapons to stun and charge forward, gaining XP for kneecapping Feroxi. Christopher Robin suggests pairing up units to make battling easier, apparently forgetting that I’ve been doing this since the premonition chapter.

It takes a couple of turns to finish taking out everyone in front of the fort and gathering keys, mostly because I’m trying to build up some experience for underleveled units like Chrom, Lissa, and Miriel. Sumia is underleveled at this point too, however there’s far too many archers in the lower level for me to risk leaving her out there at this stage. After healing and picking up items from the ground, we advanced toward the two sets of doors leading to the fort proper.

Once we open the doors, we’re greeted by a highly defensive knight on the left. While Christopher knows that friendship is magic, he realizes that magic is also magic, taking out the knight in one shot with Thunder. Vaike kills things but takes a ton of damage, because that’s his thing. We thin the opposing forces out to a single unit, which we should be able to defeat mathematically. As much as I want Sumia to get the experience, she hits about as hard as using a room temperature brown banana as a hammer. So we let Vaike get the knockout with an actual hammer.

I say knockout rather than kill because after the level, the Feroxi commander apologizes for the attack. If she thinks she’s getting off this lightly for acceptable war reparations, she’s likely right, as Chrom is also shitty at negotiation. Lissa wants us to get a move on, so we end the chapter.

Chapter 4: Two Falchions

Our intrepid heroes have arrived at Arena Ferox just in time for a grand battle between the champions of Regna Ferox. This battle occurs between a champion selected by the East Khan and the West Khan of the empire. Christopher makes the mistake of assuming the East Khan’s gender, but instead of it being a broadchested, chiseled man like Christopher thinks, we get the woman with the best official art in the whole goddamn game, Flavia. The world is better for it.

Flavia tells Chrom that the dust up at the border was Plegia’s fault. Chrom still sucks at diplomacy, but that amuses Flavia, so she says that the Shepherds should be her champions in Khan Bowl XXVIII. If Chrom wins, Flavia will lend military assistance to Ylisee, but if Chrom loses, he’ll have to spend years answering why he didn’t run the ball on the one yard line when he had Marshawn Lynch in his backfield6FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PETE CARROLL, WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?.

Chrom agrees to fight for honor, but also for hustle, loyalty, and respect. We get to pick six units, so we’re going to take in Chrom7Who is required in most every chapter., Sumia, Miriel, Frederick8Frederick and Miriel will be marrying later in this play through, so Frederick will show up quite a bit until Miriel can hold her own in battle., Kellam, and Stahl. It appears the West Khan, Basilio, has recruited none other than the masked fighter themselves, Marth. Who is, again, clearly not male from all of the art. Chrom and Marth have a sword off where Chrom notices that not only does Marth have a copy of his personal sword, Falchion, but that Marth’s father happened to teach her to fight in a style suspiciously similar to Chrom’s. The foreshadowing in this game is so thick you’ll have to cut it with a flamethrower.

We let Stahl and Kellam be our scout and bait units in this level, as it’s much easier to bait out Marth’s teammates than to deal with her head-on9Apply directly to the forehead.. Doing so allows us to pick a couple of units off with Sumia and Miriel, albeit at the expense of Stahl ending up on dangerously low health. Kellam gets in a stalemate with another knight in the process, but as a whole, taking out all of the not-Marth units goes quickly and smoothly. Sumia even says sappy shit to Chrom in the process10Their support levels grew from a random event space. I hate Sumia’s support event space dialogues. They’re rough, even by her standards..

Miriel gets to be the first to engage Marth because swords are not throwing devices, yet fireballs are. Because she’s paired up with Frederick, dual support kicks in and Frederick gets the knockout. I’m too busy laughing to read the rest of the dialogue of the chapter, however Basilio gives us the quiet swordsman Lon’qu to help us on our journey to the west.

Just kidding. I can’t help but mention who part of the post chapter dialogue is Lissa talking about how dreamy Marth is. Don’t worry. I’ll be linking back to this down the line. Chrom snips at Lissa, which I’ve never caught before this run, but it’s MUCH funnier having played the game before than it would be playing it blind. Also, Lon’qu says, and I quote, “He gives orders. I stab people. I think our roles are clear”. Spoken like a man who understands his place in a video game plot.

We end the chapter with a seperate cut scene of Chrom sharing the good news of Regna Ferox’s help with Emmeryn, only for them to find out that Plegia is invading. Maribelle has been taken and, despite my best judgement, we’re going to have to save her. Emmeryn tries to be diplomatic and remind everyone that one spoiled brat is not worth starting a war over, however Lissa, Chrom, and Phila11The head of Emmeryn’s royal guard. are off to save Maribelle. Some middle schooler is coming to join us. His name is apparently Ricken and because Chrom tells him he’s too young to join the mission, that’s a sure fire sign that we’ll likely have to save his ass too at some point.

End of Level Recap

Going forward, this section will have two areas — Units and Supports. Units will be where I share what level and class units are, while Supports will highlight any support growths between units, regardless of whether or not those units can marry. For those not familiar with supports, they go by letter grades — C to B to A, with level S available as marriage.

Units

  • Christopher – Level 5 Tactician
  • Kellam – Level 5 Knight
  • Lissa – Level 5 Cleric
  • Vaike – Level 5 Fighter
  • Stahl – Level 4 Cavalier
  • Miriel – Level 4 Mage
  • Lon’qu – Level 4 Myrmidon
  • Chrom – Level 3 Lord
  • Sully – Level 3 Cavalier
  • Frederick – Level 2 Great Knight
  • Sumia – Level 2 Pegasus Knight
  • Virion – Level 2 Being Dead to Me

Supports

  • Chrom & Christopher: None to C
  • Chrom & Sumia: None to C
  • Frederick & Christopher: None to C
  • Frederick & Miriel: None to C
  • Stahl & Sully: None to C
  • Stahl & Kellam: None to C
  • Stahl & Miriel: None to C
  • Lissa & Vaike: None to C

 

The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Play Through Ever: Chapters 1 and 2

The following post is part of my series “The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Playthrough Ever”. Spoilers ahead for a six year old game.


Welcome back to the worst Fire Emblem Awakening play through ever. When we last left Chrom, Christopher Robin, and the rest of the Shepherds, they were busy saving a burning village from a man with an axe and a match. We’ve learned that Chrom is a prince and his home kingdom, Ylisse, is at war with its neighbor, Plegia.

In this post, we’ll be going through chapters 1 and 2 of the game. Pretty much everything through chapter 4 is — like last post’s chapters — a glorified tutorial, so we’re going to somewhat breeze through these chapters while still giving the shitty text play through you’ll come to know and love.

Chapter 1: Unwelcome Change

Chrom, Lissa, Frederick, and Christopher are venturing down a dark road when Lissa realizes a change to an insect based diet might give us more protein, but at a terrible cost. The group clears a campsite with limited background objects, a la RWBY season 1, wherein Frederick feeds everyone but Lissa bear meat, all while being smart enough not to eat it himself. The group dozes off, only for Chrom and Lissa to wake up and realize THE WHOLE GODDAMN FOREST IS EXPLODING. A cut scene from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood drops in and Chrom and Lissa are attacked by extras from The Walking Dead. A masked figure who in no way will be central to the story’s plot saves Lissa’s life, beginning the chapter itself (though our masked friend is no where to be found).

We learn that the zombies are called Risen and we’re going to have to kill them to get out of Smokey the Bear’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, we can hole up some of our units in conveniently placed forts that would totally be in a forest in any other situation besides learning the game. Chrom finds a fancy staff that Lissa will be able to use later in the game as our first turn ends.

Our second turn begins with the introduction of two new characters. The first is Sully, a woman who fights better than any man and speaks like an angry white pensioner from Tennessee. She’s quickly followed by Virion, a shitty ladies’ man wannabe who we’ll be benching as soon as I can select units because good fucking god he’s annoying. Sure, he’s not as annoying as Azama in Fire Emblem: Birthright, but he’s also not as useful. Virion tries to flirt with Sully, only to get shut down faster than a sixteen year old’s internet browser when their parents walk in to him watching porn. And yet, this dialogue still goes on for way too long.

Sully, Chrom, and Christopher do some zombie slaying, while Frederick hits a Risen archer so hard with a critical hit that he’s demoted to a bit part in World War Z. We don’t get the best critical hit line in the game on this hit, but when we do, you can bet your ass I’ll be showing a video of it. Lissa gains some XP solely by stepping on a shiny space, making the grind of leveling up a healer slightly less painful. As was the case in the last chapter, we’re going to let Frederick kill the boss, because I like watching the heads of Fire Emblem purists explode for giving kills to The Jagen of this story.

The chapter ends with Zorro — who is clearly a girl — being referred to by everyone as sir and insisting they be called Marth. Even though Fire Emblem is progressive as a game series, something tells me this isn’t a matter of gender identification and instead may lead us to a plot twist. Marth gives a warning that the world is about to go to shit before walking off into the still burning forest all dark and brooding like.

We arrive at the Ylissian capital of Ylisstol where the peasants walking around the streets are unaware of the fire just outside of the city. Chrom’s older sister, Emmeryn, begins walking through the streets. Considering she’s both the leader of a nation and a spiritual leader, you’d think she’d be in an armored car like the Pope. Instead, she’s just walking around with the equivalent of the medieval Secret Service at her side. Christopher finally makes the connection that Chrom and Lissa are royalty.

Chrom introduces Christopher to Emmeryn, both he and Lissa praising Christopher’s help. Frederick says that Christopher could be a spy, but Emmeryn shrugs him off because this cut scene really needs to move along already. Chrom runs off to join Emmeryn at a council of leaders, mercifully ending my endless mashing of the A button.

Chapter 2: Shepherds

We’ve unlocked Support Conversations, but have none to do at this point. In future posts, I’ll have a section of the post dedicated to that feature, for reasons that’ll become clear when we get there12Spoiler: I’ve already called this Fire Emblem: Shipping Simulator once.. That said, we’re not going to dive into the support conversations in great detail, as I don’t want to permanently scare off all my readers.

We start chapter two with Lissa in a room with a bunch of people we haven’t met yet, telling Christopher to feel comfortable around strangers. I personally find this strange, but our amnesiac friend clearly hasn’t forgotten how to make small talk with strangers. Rarity from My Little Pony is here, only her name is Maribelle and you will quickly learn that we’ve been sent the Equestria Girls version, not the Friendship is Magic version. We’re also introduced to Vaike, who has the IQ of a bag of hammers, and Sumia, who nearly everyone hates despite the fact that Intelligent Systems basically preordains her to be Chrom’s wife. Sumia is the stereotypical horse-loving country girl from a romance novel, only she doesn’t speak like it. It’s very confusing, but will come in useful down the road for about three seconds. Vaike burps.

Chrom enters the scene and Sumia tries to run toward him, only to fall flat on her face. Chrom then asks if Sumia has tripped and fallen again because of her boots, which would make total sense if any character in Awakening actually had feet. Seriously. Look at this shit.

Image courtesy @AustinEruption on Twitter

We’re off to Regna Ferox, which is another kingdom that isn’t Ylisse or Plegia. Everyone’s excited to go on this trip, as is an empty suit of armor that begins talking and is promptly ignored by everyone. The suit of armor is apparently named Kellam, which is weird, because his name should be Alphonse or John Cena.

After even more talking, we leave the bunkhouse and are introduced to Stahl, who is a fat man in a skinny man’s body. Vaike has forgotten his axe because he’d forget his own head if it weren’t attached. Frederick teaches us about the game’s weapon triangle, which is basically rock paper scissors for 14th century warfare. Our first turn is spent baiting out some of the forward enemies while we wait on the Shepherd’s mage, Miriel, to bring Vaike his axe. We have to waste an entire turn on her giving him his axe, which is extra annoying because Miriel is already squishy and underleveled compared to the rest of the team. Lissa starts going around healing people because I’m going to get tired of her not being able to attack pretty soon.

We advance on the bridge in the middle of the map, only for Frederick to talk about the auto battle feature that I’ve never once used. I’d genuinely forgotten it’s in the game. We bait some more enemies out with Sully and Christopher, Chrom and Stahl kill some people, and Vaike get swole from some XP laying on the ground. Risen go down quickly and easily and, as is tradition at this point, we let Frederick kill the boss. Just kidding. Stahl actually gets the kill this time.

The chapter finishes up with a cut scene with Chrom, Lissa, and Christopher encountering a pegasus. It’s angry, but Sumia is there to calm it down because of course she is. Sumia falls on her face yet again for reasons that still don’t make sense when you take science or logic into consideration.

End of Level Recap

  • Christopher – Level 4 Tactician
  • Lissa – Level 4 Cleric
  • Vaike – Level 4 Fighter
  • Sully – Level 3 Cavalier
  • Stahl – Level 3 Cavalier
  • Chrom – Level 2 Lord
  • Virion – Level 2 Archer
  • Frederick – Level 1 Great Knight
  • Miriel – Level 1 Mage

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 Dem13Though 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 them14Sometimes 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 Fates15A 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 unit16Unlike 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 RobinxChrom17All 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 Chrom18Probably 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 ways19As 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 times20Outside 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 characters21For 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 characters22Frederick, Henry, and Stahl come to mind.. But…fuck. The first time I read their supports, I wasn’t expecting the hard left turn into murdered ex-best friend/lovers.

Special Honorable Mention – Flavia

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

Assessing Fire Emblem Birthright Personal Skills

Around six months ago, I did a post where I assessed the various skills23Well…when I originally wrote this, it was 6 months. Now it’s closer to 10 months. that units could obtain in the main story of Fire Emblem: Awakening. Even earlier last year, I theorycrafted some personal skills for FE: A characters as if they were in the Fire Emblem: Fates edition of games. That said, I realized a few weeks ago that I had never gotten around to writing a post I’d meant to create along with either (if not both) of those posts. What are the best personal skills in the Fire Emblem: Fates trilogy of games?

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

Instead of doing Fire Emblem: Revelation as a whole game24Revelation is essentially the combination of both Birthright and Conquest, the two main storylines in the Fates series., I decided to look at Birthright and Conquest as separate entities with separate character rosters. After all, the two games play very differently. What’s good in Birthright and its more casual play style might not be as good in Conquest and its more objective based maps.

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

Tier 6: Worthless in the Main Story

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

The Why: Let’s lead off with the most polarizing skill in the Fates series: Capture/Kidnap25In Conquest, Niles has an identical skill to Orochi’s Capture skill called Kidnap.. If you could capture the main story units from the other kingdom, this would be a great skill. If you could capture units that you could support your units with so that you’re not forced to play female Corrin to get all the kids, this would be a great skill. But all you can capture is fodder. So no. Of the Wait skills26Skills that require your unit to use the Wait command instead of attacking/healing/rallying., Asugi’s is the least useful, not because recovering HP is bad, but because you recover so little HP that it’s pointless. Pyrotechnics requires the already squishy Saizo to be at low health for it to activate, while Azama’s skill requires you to unequip all your weapons. In a war game27I get that you can stack Divine Retribution with Counter for MASSIVE damage if Azama survives, but I’d rather he just be able to defend himself.. And then there’s Dwyer, whose Born Steward skill is nearly exclusively used in online play. Congratulations, Dwyer! You made me not think everything about Azama is the worst.

Tier 5: Waiting For Death

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

The Why: Yurimara’s skill is super useful, but you’re likely never slotting him into your team at the expense of a better unit. Similarly, while Competitive is amazing, Takumi is all but guaranteed to outlevel whoever he’s partnered with unless it’s Ryoma, Hinoka, or Corrin28And let’s be real. None of them need Takumi.. Scarlet’s skill is Wrath on steroids, which would be great if she wasn’t extremely weak to bows. Kiragi and Hisame’s Wait-procced skills give them needed stat boosts, but it’s almost like they should be receiving the other’s boost. Kagero’s anti-dagger abilities are great when you need them, but by the time she arrives in the game, you’ve likely got other ways to deal with dagger users. Finally, Shigure’s skill heals anyone nearby when he uses Rally, but his Skill and Strength growths make him a much better fighter than a cleric.

Tier 4: Playthrough Dictated Skills

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

The Why: If you’re using Felicia, Jakob, or Silas as Corrin’s S or A+ support, their skills are amazing. If you’re not, they have zero use in that playthrough29M-Corrin/Felicia is my OTP for Birthright. Unlike Awakening, where I have very strong feelings about shipping, this is the only one in Fates I feel strongly about.. Like Yurimara in the previous tier, Shura has a good skill, but he’s hard to slot on a team since he has limited supports. He’s at least a better unit than Yurimara, so it’s easier. Subaki and Hayato’s skills require you to keep them at full health and underleveled, respectively. If you can do that, great, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Finally, while Rhajat’s skill looks great on paper, she’s not tanky enough to keep battling the same units over and over again on a map to get Vendetta’s boosted damage.

Tier 3: (Mostly) Situational Skills

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

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

Tier 2: Great, But Not Overpowered, Skills

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

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

Tier 1: Burn Nohr to the Ground

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

The Why: Sakura and Hinoka give damage reduction and damage boosts, respectively, to those close by them, meaning you want them in the middle of your army at all times. For Sakura, this is much easier, though Hinoka is a bit more flexible, given that her mobility allows you to use her damage with other mobile units to outflank your enemies. Selkie’s Playthings ability is a more reliable, albeit less powerful, version of Hana’s personal skill. The fact that you don’t have to put any guesswork into if a kill will happen to know if you’ll get Selkie’s splash damage is great. And then there’s Oboro. Nohr Enmity is not only one of my favorite skills in the game30My favorite skill is Haiku. I know it’s not great. But it’s just so well thought out with Mitama’s character., it’s also the one skill that’s going to come into play in nearly all situations in Fire Emblem: Birthright. Takumi may have a grudge against Nohr, but Oboro is the true vengeful being.