Ho Yay: Fire Emblem
There's plenty of Ho Yay/Les Yay subtext in the Fire Emblem games, most notably with Florina/Lyn (Blazing Sword) and Ike/Soren (Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn). Due to the emphasis on Relationship Values to build trust between comrades, anyone can theoretically be paired with anyone. Yes, even Oliver/Reyson, although that's... not exactly stretching it...
Examples from the Jugdral games:
- Most of it is from the manga adaptations, but even the original game has a moment where Sigurd suggests that once everything has cooled down that he and Eldigan "find a cosy little spot, have a little wine... just like old times".
- In game and in the Oosawa manga, Eldigan seems distressed when he has to fight Sigurd, but when the time comes to actually confront him, he seems surprisingly excited. When Sigurd can't bring himself to fight Eldigan, Quan steps in to save him, with Sigurd begging both of them to stop. Come to think of it, Sigurd and Quan have a bit of this themselves, despite Quan being married to Sigurd's sister. When Sigurd says something cruel to Quan after Quan tries to comfort him for not knowing about Sandima's Fenrir spell, Quan says he's "heartbroken" and Sigurd is quick to apologize. When Sigurd returns the next morning, Ethlyn says that Quan was especially worried.
- When Arvis appears to give Sigurd the Silver Sword in the Nuts Fujimori manga, he asks if Sigurd is willing to accept it as "proof of our love". He says he's joking, but Sigurd isn't sure he sees it.
- Also in the Nuts Fujimori manga, Oifey seems enchanted by Midayle even after learning he's a man.
- The Nea Fuyuki adaptation of Generation 2 has a bit between Seliph, Leif and Ares.
Ares: Oh, light that guided me. Now, I shall swing this sword for you...
- Shortly after meeting, Leif cheers Seliph up when the latter starts feeling The Chains of Commanding. Seliph later returns the favor after Leif learns the truth of what happened to his parents.
- Despite Ares's attempt to kill him, Seliph extends his hand to him, offering him a place with the army. He argues that even if Ares does kill him, the emptiness he feels will still be there, and Seliph doesn't want to leave him alone any longer. Even though he doesn't seem entirely convinced, not only does Ares end up halting his attack, he flat-out tells Seliph that he doesn't want him to get hurt and gets pissed both when Ishtar aims an attack at him and when she manages to land a hit. There's also this line.
- Leif convinces Ares to enter his tent by saying he has booze. Ares ends up drinking too much and falls asleep in it. The next morning, Leif asks if Ares enjoyed sleeping in his tent.
Examples from the Elibe games:
- Perhaps the most infamous example of all is the very close bond between "angsty, angry, and Seme" Raven and "are you sure it's not a girl?" Lucius. And yes, if you play the support game, you can get a ending with them together... and tellingly, neither of them have paired endings with any other characters.
- Also Legault/Heath. Legault is all but stated to be bisexual, but it's most overt with Heath. Their supports involving Legault telling Heath that they were "made for each other" and that he was interested in him because of a thing called love. Turns out he was joking around.
"Even as a zombie, you're a handsome one, Lloyd..."
- Legault has asked Matthew if he was falling for him after he was asking him too many questions.
- Not to mention, Legault and Lloyd Reed. This quote from Legault says all:
- Rutger and Dieck from Sword of Seals don't have an ending together, as in this game only Roy can have an ending with another character, but their supports really make you think. Especially after Dieck called Rutger his 'partner' and vowed he'd go help him and get his revenge, even though Dieck would get absolutely nothing out of this.
- Nino from Blazing Sword has some Romantic Two-Girl Friendship vibes with Rebecca and Florina. Who have some RTGF subtext among themselves, too.
- And what about Rebecca's hero worship of Louise the Lady of Violets? Including pretty much drooling over her for being so beautiful, ladylike and strong?
- Let's not forget that, for two women who are both incredibly shy and nervous, Ninian and Florina become very comfy with each other's presence through their supports...
- The most prominent example before you meet Raven and Lucius is, of course, Lyn/Florina. Florina is very attached to Lyn, and even tells her she loves her in the ending to Lyn's Story. In her supports with Farina, she's more worried Farina will tell embarrassing stories from their childhoods to Lyn as opposed to Hector (her only other paired ending). Lyn in turn is quite protective of Florina and invites her to come back to the plains with her when the war's over.
Examples from the Tellius games:
- Discussed in Radiant Dawn; early on Micaiah mocks Sothe's hero-worship of Ike, describing the latter as "'hero' of the Crimean Liberation, leader of the Greil Mercanaries, and father of Sothe's children..."
- Just about everything Heather says in Radiant Dawn is a come-on toward another girl. It's even more blatant in the Japanese version, but the localization team was really just toning down her perversions, rather than hiding her orientation at all.
- While theoretically "anyone can be paired with anyone," only certain couples get paired endings, and that's usually pretty telling. A pretty obvious example is Ike in Radiant Dawn: despite Ship Tease throughout all of Path of Radiance between him and Elincia, he has paired endings with two characters, neither of whom are her, both of whom are male. If you're wondering, they're Soren and Ranulf.
- Ike and Soren's entire relationship could be read as a combination of a Rescue Romance and a Childhood Friend Romance, and the Ho Yay involved is mountainous. To wit:
- It essentially consists of Soren blatantly flirting with Ike, throwing out lines that sound like love confessions to the effect of "you're the one" and in one case a marriage vow (Radiant Dawn A support response) while Ike more subtly reciprocates by giving him a suspiciously high amount of compliments (even about things that are not commonly thought to be true or positive).
- They're both quite protective of each other and both sense each other's moods so well, and Soren in particular has both catalogued a facial tic Ike has and a useful method with which to woo Ike.
- Notably, neither is very emotional or gets very personal, except alone around each other.
- They are deliberately paralleled to Sothe and Micaiah, the game's main indisputably romantic couple, multiple times. Micaiah even explicitly states that Soren's feelings for Ike are melting his frozen heart. Soren's response—a defensive non-denial—is rather telling as well.
- Then at the end of the game, Ike can have a conversation with Soren where they bond over how they first met, Soren admits to traveling through several countries just to see Ike again, and Ike hugs Soren while he cries.
- Various hints emerge throughout the game that Ike is disinterested in dating women, while Soren has a clear boundary for everyone who isn't Ike.
- Every single one of Soren's death quotes and two of Ike's deal with the relationship between the two. In Soren's real death quote (RD endgame), he literally prioritizes Ike over the entire world.
- They have a paired ending. While Ike also has one with Ranulf, his paired ending with Soren is much more personal, and Soren's solo ending leaves him never using his talents for anyone but Ike.
- As for Elincia? Her relationship with Lucia went from Romantic Two-Girl Friendship in POR to blatant lesbian ship tease in RD!
- It's a tradition among Fire Emblem yaoi fangirls to slash the red knight and the green knight. From Kieran/Oscar in "Path of Radiance" to Kent/Sain in "Blazing Sword", all the way back to Cain/Abel in the very first Fire Emblem, it can't be avoided. (Until Awakening broke the trend with a female Red Knight, making the pairing het...while giving the Red Knight plenty of Les Yay of her own.) Some of them are significantly more slashy towards each other than others. Kent and Sain, for example, have paired endings with other female characters, and even in-story, outside of supports, Kent has a Bodyguard Crush on Lyn and Sain is a Handsome Lech. Oscar and Kieran, on the other hand, don't seem to show interest in female characters: Kieran is obsessed with Oscar, and Oscar, while initially dismissive, grows friendlier towards Kieran, even giving him a special skill scroll in a base conversation in Radiant Dawn because Kieran has the tendency to hurt himself while practicing. D'aww!
- Considering that all of Kieran's A rank support consist of him saying he wants to fight together with someone forever, complete with several awkward pauses centered around "fight" and "together," it starts to sound like he's coming on to everyone.
- What about Tibarn "tying Reyson to the bed"? Not only that, there's also a bunch of little hints between the two.
"Tibarn, I...owe you my life. You took me in, made me a part of your family... I owe you so much. No matter what happens in this war, I will stay by your side, be it in body or in spirit."
Examples from The Sacred Stones:
- In Sacred Stones: Ephraim/Lyon, and Eirika/L'Arachel are the biggest ones with Lyon telling Ephraim how he simultaneously loved and hated him and L'Arachel compliments Eirika's beauty as much as she talks about herself.
- Eirika's not just limited to L'Arachel, either; she has her fair share of Les Yay with childhood friend Tana as well. At the very least, she has a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship going with both.
- Also, if you get an A support between Gerik and Joshua, Gerik follows Joshua to Jehanna and serves him for the rest of his life because he is impressed by his swordplay.
- There's also Artur and Joshua's supports, in which Joshua, as payment for a coin flip he wins, gets Artur to do some late night training sessions with him. All of which occur offscreen. In their B, a big deal is made over whether Joshua is "exhausting [Artur] in training." And at the end of their A, Joshua says, "I want you to keep being my partner."
- Speaking of Tethys and Marisa, while their A support is primarily just good-natured teasing, sometimes it really sounds like Tethys was slipping in some under-the-radar flirting...
Tethys: What an interesting reaction. Youth is so cute.Marisa: Wh-why are you smiling?! Ah...Tethys: Don't be so embarrassed. We're going to be around each other for a long time. We should talk.
- Marisa also goes through a serious Defrosting Ice Queen routine with Tana. And Tana mentions that she "doesn't know what she would do" if Marisa said no to being friends with her.
Examples from Awakening:
- The fortune telling in Awakening gives us a look into the hearts (minds?) of various characters you have supporting each other, with hearts going back and forth between them if they wanna make babies...even if they can't. The fortune teller is a Scrappy for mocking this in the Japanese script, asking two male characters what they're thinking (they're both men!) and considers Les Yay to be a "rather extreme friendship". He's significantly more tolerant (and zany) in the English script, however.
- Virion and Libra's supports have Virion gush a lot about how delicately beautiful Libra is. Towards the end, Virion switches gears to praising how much of a Hunk he is, but his comments are no less appreciative in nature. It's really not helped by Libra's unmarried ending flat-out stating that he was courted by both men and women.
- Kjelle and Severa's C support involves Severa berating Kjelle for having her shirt open. She is momentarily distracted by Kjelle's killer abs. Kjelle outright asks her if she's getting the hots for her, and Severa replies that she couldn't handle her for an hour. Severa's known for her abrasive behavior, but someone with a filthier mind might think she's talking about something else entirely...
- Maribelle is a bit too fond of Lissa for them to just be "girl friends".
- Maribelle and Olivia's A support has the two of them going out on the town and hitting on noblemen, complete with Wolf Whistles and pickup lines. Olivia turns a few of her cheesy pickup lines on Maribelle, whose reaction boils down to "how vulgar!...eh, works for me." Olivia then says she'd much rather hang out with Maribelle than men. And of course, both ladies are blushing the entire time.
- Sumia and Cordelia's supports get to the point where one could easily see them going S.
- Tharja is utterly obsessed with the Avatar, and will pine over you nonstop even during supports with other characters. Even if you're a woman. It seems that Awakening decided to make up for all of the Ho Yay in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn by heaping on the Les Yay this time around.
- Gregor and the Male!Avatar's C support has Gregor offering to tell Robin a secret only men can do. It involves suggesting the Avatar to sleep with him, though in a literal sense, in order to share body heat. The Japanese version of the conversation has Gregor telling the Avatar that he knows a great secret for sleeping together that way. Their B Support has the Avatar flustered at the sight of him because he had a dream involving the Avatar resting his head on Gregor's lap. Gregor notes that his charm hasn't affected another man before.
- Inigo and Gerome's support while it's obvious that Inigo is referring to going out with other chicks, its easily taken out of context as talking to Gerome instead of the girls. Also, in the A support, Inigo cries about wanting to be "manhandled".
- Owain and Brady's supports with Owain accepting Brady for the emotive person he is, not having him change who he is, like many other of Brady's supports, along with Brady being one of the few persons who does not make fun of Owain's heroic dramatizations of everything end up being very shippy.
- In the Future Past 2, if you manage to save all of the kids, you get this cutscene where part of it involves Brady breaking into tears because he was worried sick about Owain when he decided to use himself as a decoy. Owain promised him that he'll never do it again
- The "Harvest Scramble" DLC map, being centered specifically around conversations between characters of the same sex, is an absolute goldmine of this. To wit:
Maribelle: Hogwash! You are MINE and mine alone, and I am SICK and tired of sharing you!
- The chapter starts with Frederick declaring to Chrom that they should be like Victor and Vincent. Their conversations in-map consist of Frederick pleading with Chrom to flip a coin into a fountain, as he heard a legend that says they would be bonded for life if he did so. Chrom points out that sounds an awful lot like marriage, and Frederick denies it, because marriage implies a union of equals and they're of different stations. Yet, Chrom can marry Sully, another knight under his service...
- Inigo gets injured, so Gerome offers to help. Lots of statements like "Please be gentle!" and "I just never expected you to have such a strong, firm touch..." are made.
- Inigo swipes Gerome's mask off his face and notes he can't see why he wears it as Gerome is very handsome.
- Gerome also enjoys watching Inigo dance and wishes to watch him again in the future, Inigo is glad to hear and told him that he'll be waiting for him.
- Then their one between Donnel and Stahl. After Stahl tells Donnel about his old flame that spent the last festival dancing with his friend, Donnel offers to dresses like a girl and dance with him in order for Stahl to get out his old "frustrations." Prior to that Donnel did tell Stahl he was a handsome man and he probably was a hit with the ladies.
- Another for Gregor who dresses up Ricken like a girl and pretends to be dating him to get another crazy girl off his back. Gregor constantly tells Ricken that he looks cute for a girl and wants to dance with him.
- Kjelle downs a shady drink, thinking it to be a strength potion. She ends up drunkenly complimenting Severa on her looks and groping at her clothes. The best part is, that wasn't an alcoholic drink. It was a truth potion.
- It has to be seen to be believed.
- Kjelle and Lucina deciding to spend the day together at the feast isn't suspicious, even with Kjelle's strange obsession with Lucina. What might be more interesting is that they decide to call it a date. Additionally, this is also unchanged if they're sisters.
- Maribelle and Lissa...why don't you judge for yourself?
- Nowi feels up Tharja in her sleep after talking about her "boingy bits".
- Severa and Noire, too. Severa fixates quite a bit in a very cute necklace in the Harvest Scramble... and by the end, she gets matching necklaces for Noire and herself.
- Inigo and Owain have their fair share of Ho Yay. While the supports are just them teasing each other, their Harvest Scramble talk goes deeper into Inigo's issues and Owain is a very serious listener. Then in The Future Past 2, Inigo refuses to let Owain sacrifice himself...right after Owain says he was glad to spend his last moments with Inigo!
- In The Future Past 3, Grima in the body of MU says that the last owner of their body loved Chrom. They say this even if you have a male MU.
- Also in The Future Past 3, Severa is the first to lay down her life for Lucina, and is Lucina's personal guard in the epilogue. When all the other characters run off to fight Risen, Severa stays by Lucina's side. Given the series' history of Bodyguard Crush, you can bet people found Les Yay in that.
- The Hubba Tester is a really weird example, since his readings are as likely to confirm whatever theories one might have about the character relations as they are to shoot them down, since the readings are random (and change every time the game is saved, too). Nonetheless, it can create interesting results. Doubles as a potential source for Incest Yay Shipping for those that are into that.
- It has been commented on in the fan base that the relationship between Chrom and the male Avatar is on par with that of Ike and Soren. If the dialogue from the male avatar's supports were transplanted to the female avatar's, the S support would still make perfect sense. It really drives the point home when both Chrom and the Avatar state they are "Two halves of the same whole."
- Not to mention that early in the game when you, as a male Avatar, complain about getting tired after walking long distances, Chrom offers to carry you.
- Henry and Ricken's A support has Henry give a passionate and kinda scary Declaration of Protection to Ricken, saying he'd bloodily murder anyone who cut down Ricken, then quickly trying to change the subject when Ricken asks if he considers him a friend. And in their Harvest Scramble talk, Henry says he would've liked to see what Ricken looked like all grown up.
- In Kellam and Henry's Summer Scramble conversations, Henry offers to keep Kellam company since he's lonely... by squeezing himself into Kellam's armor. The dialogue is incredibly suggestive.
Maribelle: So are you ready to finally accept Lissa's superiority to Sumia in every respect?Cordelia: Never! I'll stop at nothing to make you appreciate the beauty of Sumia's soul!
- Cordelia and Maribelle's SS conversations are a straight-up waifu war. Seriously. Maribelle, out of nowhere, tells Cordelia that Lissa is so much better than Sumia, which prompts Cordelia to feverishly defend her best friend's honor.
- And speaking of Henry again, during his and Cherche's S Support Cherche asks him something by the lines of "hey, someone's coming with us if we marry, don't forget mentioning them". Henry's reply? Dropping Chrom's name without any reason. He then corrects himself via mentioning the one in Cherche's mind, her mount and companion Minerva... and yet Cherche doesn't forget about the "Chrom bomb"
"... Wait, was your first thought REALLY Chrom?!"
- For all of her jerkassery, there is one person that Severa can't bring self to be mean to — and that person is Noire. That's borderline Romantic Two-Girl Friendship material, there.
- Say'ri and Tiki have some of this. Say'ri overall is borderline overprotective of Tiki that she scolded her for wandering off alone at one point. Tiki, on the other hand, really wants to be friends with Say'ri rather than for her to be her guardian, and despite Say'ri having a shorter livespan than Tiki, she still wants to keep her close.
- There is also Laurent and Gerome' support chain. Laurent notices Gerome's Ineffectual Loner patterns and tries to do something about it, telling him to open up and stop isolating himself while also trying not to step on Gerome's boundaries too much... and in the end, it works magnificently.
- In Tharja's and Vaike's C Support, Vaike becomes concerned that Tharja is stalking the Avatar. When he confronts her about it, he admits that he understands since the Avatar is quite attractive, regardless of gender. Vaike starts to list off the features that he finds attractive about the male Avatar, including his soft, silky hair and his strong, bulging- before he gets cut off by Tharja.
Examples from Fire Emblem Fates:
- This is the first game where you can have an actual gay marriage. It's only for the Avatar, and there's only one per route, but compared to the "just friends" same-sex endings of the past and the het-only mechanic of Awakening this is a big deal.
- You'd expect protective big sisters Hinoka and Camilla to Cat Fight over who's the Avatar's "true" big sister, but instead they get along splendidly. Camilla even teaches Hinoka how to sew and tells her how cute and strong she is.
- Heck, Camilla as a whole brings a lot of this via her supports with Luna and Belka, and her affection for the Avatar is just as suggestive if the Avatar is female.
- There's also plenty of this between the other sibling foil pairs: Leo/Takumi, Xander/Ryoma and Sakura/Elise. Sakura and Elise even hold hands and frolic in a cinematic for the third route!
- Soleil. Her personal skill is even called Girl Lover! Sadly, she can only marry men due to Bi the Way and Syalla being the Gay Option rather than her, but marrying the kid characters to each other doesn't give anything other than support bonuses, so she can just as easily remain at A support with another girl...
- Odin and Zero are very devoted to Leo, even fanboying over his body during Leo's Paradise Scramble.
- Zero and Leo's supports have Zero in a very vulnerable role as he and Leo discuss the night they met, when Zero's former comrades threw him under the bus and sent him into such a Despair Event Horizon that he didn't try to beg for his life when Leo attacked him. While the memory itself is painful, Zero considers it precious because Leo gave him a home and a true purpose.
- Effie is so devoted to Elise that it overtakes most of her entire support chain with a male Avatar...just like Maribelle's devotion to Lissa in Awakening overtook most of her proposal talk with Chrom!
- Hana isn't as extreme, but she's extremely dedicated to Sakura, even having a rivalry with Sakura's other retainer Subaki over who's the most devoted to their princess.
- Orochi and Kagerou go way back, and the former teases the latter quite a bit in their A support.
- Azura and Jakob's devotion to the Avatar remains the same no matter what gender the Avatar is. Especially Azura and the Avatar, whose relationship garners quite a bit of focus during the story. Even if only a male Avatar can romance Azura, a female Avatar is still very close to her and their supports are exactly the same, Ship Tease and all.