Characters / Fire Emblem
for Fire Emblem
series and the tropes that accordingly apply. Characters for specific games and game universes are on specific pages for that universe, and this page will only cover universal character tropes, archetypes, classes and recurring characters.
Every character page, including this one, is CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS
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General Character TropesFire Emblem
tends to regularly feature recursive expies
in the games' casts, so some character tropes arise in practically every game.
- Action Girl: Pretty much any female who's not a White Mage, and even some of the white mages after they get promoted.
- Anti-Villain: It's rare that every single enemy you slay obviously has it coming. Many are sympathetic characters who have their reasons for opposing you (see My Country, Right or Wrong and Honor Before Reason below).
- Ambition Is Evil: There's usually someone that eventually opposes your group that falls under this trope. Most of them also tend to be used as pawns of the Big Bad.
- Badass Adorable: Some of your units will turn out like this if you train them well, particularly the Magikarp Power ones. See the Est on the archetype folder.
- Beauty Equals Goodness:
- This franchise tends to play this straight. There are good Gonks on your side, but most villains tend to be really ugly with a personality matching their ugly looks; this is especially true of minor bosses who show up for one chapter. If an enemy is good-looking, expect them to be either recruitable, or sympathetic, or even outright tragic. If not, sometimes their portrait will be frozen in an unflattering expression.
- Of course, part of the Camus archetype is having an utterly stunning character, who seems like they should join you, never actually do so. Expect at least one of these per game.
- Blood Knight: Many across the series. Some will be in your army, some will be fighting you.
- Bodyguard Crush: If a person is hired/commanded to protect someone else, the lord/lady and bodyguard are extremely likely to fall in love.
- Defector from Decadence: Plenty of high-ranking enemies tend to ditch their respectable positions and join your army when asked out of an inclination to do what's right. This also applies to members of bandits, pirates, and ruffians.
- Disappeared Dad: If they are even alive, expect them to die five minutes in. Only two lords in the entire series have gotten to the end of their campaigns without their fathers dying: Roy and (technically) Lucina, and the latter had to go through hell and back to tear Chrom from the jaws of death.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Non-magical critical hit animations usually incorporate this in some way, shape, or form.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Often, they can actually fight.
- Genius Bruiser: The huge guys in armor or with the axe? They'll often be much smarter than you'd think.
- Gonk: Numerous bosses, including a Running Gag of having Those Two Bad Guys be identical gonk cloudcuckoolanders. As if to compensate and seem vaguely fair, they'll throw one or two gonks in as recruitable characters. Interestingly enough, most are Axe classes.
- Heroic Lineage: Almost every lord, as well as a few minor characters.
- Honor Before Reason: A common motivation for antagonists who are not villainous.
- Lady of War: Around half of the playable female characters.
- Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Often an In-universe example, as the main lord can usually be paired with any of a number of partners. The exceptions are Sigurd, Marth, and Alm. Roy and Eliwood are middle ground examples, as while they can be paired with a number of eligible bachelorettes, their games and other materials lean fairly hard on "correct" choices for them.
- Love Makes You Evil: If someone has bad luck in love, s/he might change for the worse and Face–Heel Turn.
- Magikarp Power: Tends to come in two types:
- The first type is referred to as the Est Archetype among fans, which are something of a logical inversion of the Jagen Archetype: they will show up in the last third/quarter of the game, often being the last character before the 11th Hour Superpower, will be of an incredibly low level (often Level 5 unpromoted), often will be quite squishy with little to no defense, and accordingly are incredibly difficult to level up and promote; if they are leveled and promoted, though, bodies start falling. What distinguishes these from the other type is that their base stats are typically quite good for their level coupled with their good growths, but that they are plagued by an extremely late join time for their level as well and, consequently, the time you have to train them and use them tend to be small.
- The second type are the Trainee units: These guys will typically show up early in the game, be of a trainee class, and can either get more levels than normal units (promoting into a base class) or possess a skill that boosts their growth rates. What distinguishes them from the Est Archetype is that their base stats are extremely poor compared to their level, and their early join time means they have to compete with other units for early-game experience at a point where the other units benefit more. There is, of course, an advantage to these units over the Ests: their availability is generally much better (and because they often have fifty or more levels to work with, their final results can be positively meteoric).
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: The Arran and Samson archetype, where recruiting one character locks another out of the player's grasp. A variant of this archetype involves fulfilling certain requirements instead, which locks out one character or a group of characters out of the player's grasp, but allows another character or a group to be recruitable instead, typically used when you have a choice of two different paths that lead to the same end. The characters of this archetype typically vary in stats and class, but tend to be counterparts and/or Foils to one another. They may also overlap with other archetypes (and both the Arran and Samson might even be of the same archetype, in which case your choice is typically based on preference for one character over the other).
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Many of your foes will stand by their kingdom's values, even if their superiors have evil ulterior motives.
- Missing Mom: The lord's mom often won't even be mentioned. There are only three protagonists (Eliwood, Sharena, and presumably Alfonse) who have their moms alive in the beginning of the game, not counting Deirdre, who was around for the entire first half of the game before Seliph was born. If you count Lucina as a main protagonist, her mom survives too.
- Reincarnation: Fire Emblem Fates offers this as an explanation as to why certain characters seem so similar across games.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Although some are Fan Preferred Couples, there are a few that are canon or at least possible in the specific game.
- Worthy Opponent: Some enemies will commend your fighting prowess after they're defeated.