Video Game / Fire Emblem

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Together we fight, together we live.

Fire Emblem,
Your spirit shall shine
Across the generations - now, and for all time!
Fire Emblem,
Heroes bringing us hope's light
Journey from distant worlds to still the coming night!

For the game in the series released under the title Fire Emblem in western countries, see Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade.

Fire Emblem is a Medieval Fantasy Strategy RPG series developed in-house by Nintendo's Intelligent Systems, also responsible for fellow Turn-Based Strategy series Nintendo Wars. The series innovated strategic role-playing games, later popularized in the West by games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, and has spanned fourteen games so far on seven systems. Moreover, Fire Emblem, being roughly as old as genre mainstays Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, helped make and codify many elements of the Strategy RPG genre.

The series has an interesting history for one of Nintendo's longest-running franchises. Started in 1990, Fire Emblem was originally Japan-exclusive with no western releases, with its first games on the Famicom and later games landing on the Super Famicom. Its existence was relatively obscure overseas until 2001, when characters Marth (from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem) and Roy (from the then-unreleased Game Boy Advance title Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade) made their debut internationally as unlockable fighters in Super Smash Bros. Melee. The two characters proved to be very popular among the English fanbase, garnering enough interest in the franchise to warrant the international release of the next game, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade; all subsequent games in the series have been released worldwide bar the twelfth title, New Mystery of the Emblem. Incidentally, Marth and Roy were originally only supposed to be in the Japanese version, included to promote the upcoming release of The Binding Blade; the intent was for the localization team to dummy them out in the translation process as they would theoretically hold no interest to international gamers.

The series' appeal comes from its unique flavoring of the typical grid-based strategy game with RPG Elements. The games emphasize Character Development and story in addition to strategy and unit building — even relatively minor characters (of which there are a great many) included mostly just to flesh out the player's army receive lots of backstory and interaction with the other characters.

Another thing to note about the series is how it handles the deaths of playable characters: if somebody in the player's army dies, they usually stay dead. If a game does have a method to undo death, it is usually hard to come by and has limited uses. Later games downplay this aspect with an optional Casual Mode, which revives any downed characters at the end of each chapter at no cost.

While Fire Emblem games can range in difficultly depending on the title, they are generally on the harder side relative to Nintendo's standard fare. Games from New Mystery of the Emblem onward include more beginner-friendly features (like the aforementioned Casual Mode) to be more inclusive, though they are still capable of giving you a run for your money with the higher difficulties.

In terms of narrative, the series is semi-linear. While each game takes place in a Medieval Fantasy setting with similar motifs shared between them, there are multiple verses with their own canons. Games sharing a verse might not even be directly connected by the story; for instance, Awakening takes place thousands of years after Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light but doesn't build off of the latter's plot.

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    Main Games 
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (Famicom, 1990): The very first game, starring Prince Marth and taking place on the continent of Archanea. Due to being the first game, Early Installment Weirdness abounds.
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden (Famicom, 1992): The second game of the series, following protagonists Alm and Celica. While it takes place in the same universe as its predecessor, the plot is unrelated and focuses on the continent of Valentia. Notable for having more traditional RPG elements like towns and explorable dungeons, and being one of the only entries to not have Breakable Weapons.
  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (Super Famicom, 1993): The third game of the series, once again starring Marth. Unlike Gaiden it is a direct sequel to Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and even includes an abridged remake of that game's story.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (Super Famicom, 1996): The fourth game, set in the same universe as the previous ones but hundreds or thousands of years in the past, according to Word of God. The Hero is Sigurd, but after a Time Skip his son Seliph becomes the protagonist. Notable for having the darkest storyline of the entire franchise, introducing the Weapon Triangle, and being the first Fire Emblem to utilize Relationship Values.
  • BS Fire Emblem: Archanea War Chronicles (Super Famicom / Satellaview, 1997): A collection of four Satellaview broadcast maps based on the Mystery of the Emblem engine, telling a number of side-stories set before the beginning of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. The nature of these games' distribution system makes them difficult to emulate at all, never mind with accuracy, so they generally go overlooked. These four maps are generally considered to comprise a single game and are for the most part not counted in the numbering scheme of the Fire Emblem series, though Guinness World Records does count them.
  • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (Super Famicom, 1999): The fifth game in the franchise. An interquel to Genealogy of the Holy War that takes place during its Time Skip. Stars Leif, Sigurd's nephew and Seliph's cousin, as he tries to liberate his country. Introduces Fog of War to the series and has the unique fatigue mechanic, which potentially makes units unusable for a chapter if they become too tired.
  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (Game Boy Advance, 2002): The sixth game, starring Roy on the continent of Elibe in the first brand new continuity. Introduces the Supports system, a revamp of the Relationship Values used in Genealogy of the Holy War that would go on to be used by most later games. Also the first game to have multiplayer in the form of Player Versus Player battles, which became a semi-recurring feature strictly for the handheld titles.
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (Game Boy Advance, 2003): The seventh game, a prequel to The Binding Blade. It stars Eliwood, Roy's father, as teams up with friends Lyn and Hector to fight the group known as the Black Fang. The first game to be released internationally and the first to utilize alternate story paths with the unlockable Hector's Tale. Also the first Fire Emblem game with a defined and customizable Player Character (known as the Tactician), though they are a noncombatant. In the west, it was initially released with the simplified title Fire Emblem; the "Blazing Blade" subtitle was retroactively applied in 2017 to reduce ambiguity coinciding with its content appearing in Fire Emblem Heroes.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (Game Boy Advance, 2004): The eighth game in the series, taking place in the new world of Magvel. It stars the twins Eirika and Ephraim of Renais as they deal with the sudden antagonism of their southern neighbor Grado and try to stop the resurrection of the Demon King. It serves as something of a Spiritual Successor to Gaiden, bringing back some of said game's exclusive mechanics such as a traversable world map and random monster encounters on said map, as well as implementing its own ideas like branching class promotion. It was re-released on the Nintendo 3DS as one of the ten GBA games distributed for free as part of the Ambassador Program.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (Nintendo GameCube, 2005): The ninth game in the series, taking place on the continent of Tellius. Stars Ike, the first protagonist to not be royalty or nobility. Also the first console Fire Emblem to be released internationally and the first to make the Video Game 3D Leap.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (Wii, 2007): The tenth game and a sequel to Path of Radiance, centered around a new protagonist, Micaiah, alongside recurring protagonists Ike and Elincia. Introduces a mechanic where discrepancies in terrain height would affect combat (though this was never used again) and reimplements 3rd-tier Character Class promotions from Gaiden.
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (Nintendo DS, 2008): The eleventh game in the franchise, a remake of the first game Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. Changes the gameplay of the original to be more in line with the modern titles and introduces the ability to reclass characters.
  • Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow (Nintendo DS, 2010): The twelfth game, a remake of the third game Mystery of the Emblem that was only released in Japan, and includes remade versions of the four maps from BS Fire Emblem as extra content. The Avatar/My Unit, first seen in The Blazing Blade as a Non-Action Guy, returns in this game as a fully-playable character with more customization options (default name Kris). Also introduces Casual Mode, a difficulty option that turns off the Final Death mechanic and would become a mainstay in all future titles.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening (Nintendo 3DS, 2012): The thirteenth game in the series. Stars yet another royal blue haired swordsman named Chrom alongside another playable Avatar/My Unit (default name Robin), set in the same universe as the first five games but thousands of years in the future. The game brings back the world map system of Gaiden and The Sacred Stones, reintroduces the skill system along with a graphical style reminiscent of the Tellius games with CGI models for cutscenes and a Seinen art style for character portraits, with a 2˝D map and 3D fights. A new feature introduced allows units to join in on allies' attacks or block enemy attacks for one another.
  • Fire Emblem Fates (Nintendo 3DS, 2015): The fourteenth game, also known in Japan as Fire Emblem if, developed by the same team behind Awakening with the story written by noted manga writer Shin Kibayashi. The game takes place in a whole new universe, centering on conflict between the glory-seeking Nohr and the peace-loving Hoshido. This time around, the Avatar/My Unit (default name Corrin) is the main character, born to the Hoshidan royal family but raised by the Nohrian royal family. In conjunction with this background, the game has for the first time three distinct storylines (which also have different gameplay styles) depending on whether the player choses to ally with Hoshido, Nohr, or neither nation. Also featured in this installment is the first new major weapon type since the original game, shurikens and daggers designed for debuffing targets, and a return to Gaiden's unbreakable weapon system.
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Nintendo 3DS, 2017): The fifteenth game in the series, and a remake of the second game, Gaiden. Sticks to the original's mechanics while also implementing modern offerings like Supports and Casual Mode. Also introduces Mila's Turnwheel, an item that can undo actions or even restart battles a set number of times, and adds a fatigue mechanic that inflicts stat penalties on units that are used too much. The setting is also expanded upon with a more in-depth story and new post-game content that ties into Awakening's backstory.
  • A currently unnamed title releasing on the Nintendo Switch in 2018, set to be the sixteenth game in the series.

    Spin-Off Material 
You can vote on the best game in the series HERE.

As previously mentioned, Fire Emblem is one of the franchises featured in Super Smash Bros., Nintendo's Massive Multiplayer Crossover series, debuting in Super Smash Bros. Melee due to popular demand from the Japanese fanbase. Melee features Marth and Roy as unlockable playable characters; Brawl keeps Marth but drops Roy in favor of Ike, adds Lyndis as an Assist Trophy, and features the Castle Siege stage, a nonspecific amalgamation of typical location themes and tropes present throughout the series as a whole with a stylistic focus on the Tellius games. The fourth entry has Marth, Ike, and Lyndis reprising their respective roles, and introduces content from Awakening, namely Lucina and Robin (taking on his/her default name and appearance, while retaining the choice of both male and female variations) as playable fighters, Chrom making a cameo appearance to assist in Robin's Final Smash, and Regna Ferox's arena as a stage for the 3DS version. The Wii U version features a nonspecific Coliseum stage instead. Later DLC brought back Roy as a playable fighter and also introduced Corrin (available in both male and female variants).

See also: Tear Ring Saga, the next game made by Fire Emblem creator Shouzou Kaga after leaving Intelligent Systems and the franchise, which is basically Fire Emblem on the PlayStation!

This series as a whole provides examples of:

    A - H 
  • Action Girl:
    • Tons of them. Once you start playing a game, expect your army to be joined by plenty of enormous badasses both male and female, including some beautiful girls who kick tons of ass. Armies and mercenary groups in Fire Emblem are very equal-opportunity as far as gender is concerned, which is quite surprising considering the medieval-fantasy setting the series takes place in.
    • Cranked up a notch in Awakening, where females have mostly exclusive access to the crazy-useful "Galeforce" ability, which lets them have another full turn if they defeat an enemy. Watch your Amazon Brigade smash their way through the map!
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • The remakes of the Archanea games feature characters that are much nicer looking compared to the original ones, where the amount of detail on characters is restricted by hardware limitations and the lack of an actual artist on character design.
    • Similarly, Shadows of Valentia gave this treatment to the cast of Gaiden, as well as rectifying the previously very inconsistent designs of the cast.
  • Aerith and Bob: There are normal names like Guy, Joshua, Mia, and Edward, names that are rarely used modernly like Kieran, mythological references like Ogma and Roland, and Biblical names like Nabal.
  • Aliens Made Them Do It: Manfroy brainwashes two half-siblings into breeding as part of his plan in Genealogy of Holy War.
  • All Swords Are the Same:
    • Non-magical weapons are broken down into four categories: swords, lances, axes, and bows. Not accounting for all of the different styles and variations of weapons that different classes can wield, any character that can use a weapon type can use every weapon of that type. It's absurd enough in the GBA games when any sword used by a Hero becomes a claymore while it becomes a katana when wielded by a Swordmaster, but when it gets to where equipping it to an Assassin turns it into a pair of knives, it starts to get just a tad silly.
    • Averted in the Jugdral games and 3D games in general: a weapon has the same appearance regardless of who equips it.
    • Also subverted in some games, as there are weapons that are class exclusive, like the Myrmidons, who are usually depicted as katana wielders, wielding the more Japanese-styled swords in the series such as the Shamshir or the Wo Dao that the other sword-wielding class, Mercenaries, can't use.
    • Awakening averts this, as well, by giving each weapon its own unique model. Thieves and Assassins even use the full-size sword in a Reverse Grip style instead of using daggers like in past installments. Killing Edges are still represented as katanas, though.
    • Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Fates and Heroes puts daggers into their own weapon class, separate from swords.
  • All There in the Manual: A crapload of info about Genealogy's universe and background story is only revealed and / or told with more details in author's notes and guidebooks, such as the Treasure book and the now-closed blog of Shouzou Kaga (the creator of the series). The same applies to the Akaneia games, with notably the Fire Emblem: The Complete book, and Drama CDs.
  • Always Female: The Pegasus Knight and Troubadour classes were composed of nothing but women, until Fates introduced Subaki the Sky Knight and Forrest the Troubadour.
  • Always Male: Likewise, the Fighter class was male-only until Fates introduced Charlotte. The Brigand/Barbarian class remains exclusive to males for now, however.
  • Ambition Is Evil: A recurring theme in the series, there will typically be at least one villain who is so ambitious that they often commit terrible crimes, such as Michalis, Caellach, or Ludveck.
  • Anachronism Stew: Happens a lot where fashion is involved in the pseudo-European worlds of Fire Emblem. The biggest offender is Vika, whose outfit looks like it came hot off the runway in modern Milan.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Done in some of the games:
    • In The Blazing Blade, you play as Lyn for the first 10 chapters, then switch to Eliwood for the rest of the game.
    • In The Sacred Stones you play as Eirika for the first 5 chapters, switch to Ephraim for one "sidequest," then back to Eirika for three more chapters, and then you choose which character to follow for the rest of the game. (Whichever one you choose, you won't see the other for six more chapters.)
    • Radiant Dawn is split into four parts, and each part follows a different group. Although part two has a single plot, each chapter follows a different group within that plot; part 4 does something similar, with everyone split up into three groups.
  • Animorphism: Various titles in the series feature characters that can shapeshift into dragons, called "Manaketes". Path of Radiance adds different species of felines and birds, and Radiant Dawn adds wolves, all of which are called "Laguz". Awakening adds rabbits, called "Taguel", though the one you get (who is called the last of her kind) says that there are Taguel in faraway lands that can turn into other animals, suggesting they're just different words for the same thing. Fates introduces Wolfskin, werewolf-like shapeshifters, and Kitsune.
  • Anti-Air: Bows and wind magic are often effective against flying units such as wyverns.
  • Anti-Armor: Armorslayers, Heavy Spears, and Hammers are effective against armored foes, as are most Lord-exclusive weapons. Magic is a less extreme version of this, receiving no damage bonus but using the target's Resistance stat (which for armored units is generally quite low) instead of their Defense.
  • Anti-Cavalry: Long Swords, Zanbatos, Halberds, and Horseslayers are effective against mounted units, as are most of the unique weapons your Lord units start with or receive early on.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: In Awakening, if you've been playing for a long time, Anna will pop up on the bottom screen to remind you to take a break every so often, just like most 3DS games.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • With how they treat death, the game was apparently designed with that thought in mind. The player can avert this, but it becomes irritatingly difficult. The latest games in the series introduce a "Casual" mode that Averts this, but most Fire Emblem fans stuck with "Classic". Most also choose to count any death as a Game Over and reset. However, if any of the main characters or protected die, it's a legit Game Over.
    • Completely averted in Fire Emblem Fates with the "Phoenix Mode" option, which is only available on the easiest difficulty setting. Even if your Lord character dies, they'll revive on the next turn and you won't get a Game Over.
    • Played with in the case of Heroes, in which sections like the "Grand Hero Battle" require for your whole team to survive the battle and a single death yields a Game Over. Other sections like the "Story Maps" allow you to spend Orbs (the in-game currency) or "Light's Blessing" to both recover your dead units and poise them with their Special immediately. If you're out of Orbs, better ready your wallet or otherwise hit the roof.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Yes, the games do expect you to fight armies of fifty to over a hundred enemies with only twelve to fifteen people. When you usually have about thirty to forty characters to choose from at that point. Averted in the fourth game, but you only get up to twenty-four units at a time anyway.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: The Ballistas work this way, but regular bows-and-arrows act like this too. If you surround an archer with four units, they can't move and can't attack.
  • The Archer: One of the classes is the Archer, who can normally attack only from two spaces away from an enemy.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Inverted. Nearly all of the heroes are of royal or at least noble lineage and except for the occasional Big Bad, nearly all other characters of blue blood, especially rulers, are usually shown to be open-minded, kind, helpful, and actually caring for their people. It's simultaneously played straight since many enemies are also nobles, with a tendency for minor enemy nobles to be of the simply jerkish, power-abusive type, whereas enemy kings tend to have greater, world-changing, but malevolent plans and intend to pull them off at all costs.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The spell, Luna, as well as the skill of the same name in games that have skills, ignores defense and resistance. The second half of Aether (Ike and later Chrom and his family's signature skills) is also Luna. The mage/sage/archmage mastery skill Flare negates enemy Resistance before attacking.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The series used semi-realistic sprites for battle until the GBA era, where it switched to a more cartoony, expressive style. As of Path of Radiance, they've switched back to realistic models, although Radiant Dawn uses more vibrant colors to make the models stand out.
    • The Sacred Stones had also been experimenting with pre-rendered 3D graphics for some of the new units and spells. The next handheld game, Shadow Dragon, then primarily used a semi-3D style. Needless to say, gamers weren't too pleased with that style in either game.
    • Part of the reason for the Game Boy Advance titles' Art Evolution was that they were on the Game Boy Advance, at a time when the standard model was still out there. When Sacred Stones came out, the frontlit SP was around for awhile, and thus they used a slightly darker palette (especially evident in the menus, which are a lot darker brown.)
    • Also, you can really see the Art Evolution when you look through the series. They couldn't afford a dedicated artist until around the Jugdral series.
  • Art Shift: Awakening was designed by a different artist than the previous titles, looking more Seinen.
  • Artifact Title: Averted. With the exception of Jugdral (where it gets a brief mention in 4's ending and calls it "seal of fire" instead of Gratuitous English), every continent is given its own "Fire Emblem".
  • Artistic License – Statistics:
    • In early FE games, hits were checked by rolling a number between 1 and 100. For FE6 onward, it instead rolls twice and takes the average. For a 50% hit chance, the result is the same, but the further you get in one direction, the more skewed the probability becomes. In this way, the outcome of a fight will usually adhere to human misunderstandings about RNG; a 90% hit is nigh guaranteed and a 10% hit is extremely unlikely.
    • This is averted in critical percentage and is the reason with the rage against critical hits. Unlike the "roll twice, take average" of hits, the numbers shown for critical activation are actually those numbers as percentages. Thus a 10% critical rate activates more often than a "10%" hit rate, which is actually more like 1-2%.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As a rule of thumb, any sort of authority figure or leader in the series is very likely to be a capable combatant just because they're in charge.
  • Autosave: The Game Boy Advance titles all have a continuous autosave in case of battery death. If the game is turned off, you can choose to continue from the start of your most recent turn when you play again.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Triangle attacks give an automatic critical, but require three specific units of the same type (usually pegasi) to surround an enemy, and many enemies you'd like to Triangle have at least 2 sides blocked, preventing its use.
    • If you're playing one of the games where the units who can Triangle Attack are fliers, and the game has movement conservation after attacks for mounted and flying, you can execute up to three Triangle Attacks in a turn (four in Radiant Dawn). It's still a lot of hassle, though.
    • Mages in Path of Radiance, upon promotion, can learn to use knives instead of staves, if they want. While it sounds theoretically awesome to have a unit that can both use weapons and magic, in practice, it's really useless, because: 1) Physical strength and magic are separate stats. Guess which one knives use, and which one mages barely have anything of! 2) Mages are really squishy, so they're better off attacking from range anyway. 3) The most practical use for knives, therefore, would be to defeat an enemy with a high magic resistance. In that case, you'd be better off using a physical fighter to begin with. 4) Healing staves in Fire Emblem are Boring, but Practical to the max and even grant a mage extra EXP when in use. Trading them off for knives is a very bad deal.
  • Back from the Dead: The games occasionally allow you to skirt the Final Death mechanic, but there's always some sort of drawback that makes it Awesome, but Impractical.
    • The Archanea games have the Aum Staff. It can resurrect one unit, but it is always found in the second-to-last chapter, it requires an A-rank in staves to use in the remakes, and it is locked to Elice and Yuliya (in all appearances) and Caeda, Maria, Minerva, Sheena, and Nyna (in the remakes).
    • Gaiden is the kindest about this: it has the Lion Shrines. There is one on Alm's route and one on Celica's route that can revive up to three units, for a total of six. Echoes: Shadows of Valentia makes them harder to find, but puts a third one on Alm's route for a total of nine resurrections.
    • Genealogy of the Holy War has the Valkyrie Staff. It comes surprisingly early for a resurrection staff (Chapter 3 in the first generation and Chapter 8 or 9 in the second) and can revive one unit before needing to be repaired, but this is astoundingly expensive, costing 30,000G a pop. It is also locked to Claud and his staff-wielding son, if he has one.
    • Fates gives us Bifröst. It has the loosest usage requirements among the resurrection staves; you only need to have an S-rank in staves. However, it is found in the second-to-last chapter before the two part endgame in Conquest and Revelation, it is totally unavailable in Birthright, and it can only bring back the last unit who died on the map it is used on.
  • Badass Army: It is entirely possible for the player's army to slaughter their enemies to the man while sustaining no casualties while up against armies between twice and five times their size.
  • Badass Family: Genealogy of the Holy War and Awakening are pretty much defined by this, as both involve children characters whose parents depend upon your support decisions.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Raven's Hero outfit, Lloyd the Swordmaster, Soren and Sothe's 3rd tier outfits, etc.
    • The art design for Genealogy of the Holy War (going by the pictures for the Trading Card Game) uses this for about half the characters...
  • Badass Normal: Any character who only uses physical weapons has the potential to become just as strong as any of the magic users.
  • Bag of Spilling: Zigzagged in all of the sequels in the series.
    • Fire Emblem Gaiden: Played straight by Palla and Catria. Justified by Est since she has retired from active military service. Averted by Camus/Zeke.
    • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem: Generally played straight. Some people avert it (like Hardin and the Wolfguard), while Est's above-mentioned excuse still holds water and Arran has contracted a deadly illness during the timeskip.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776: Due to the latter's status as a midquel, any second generation character who appears in Thracia retroactively plays it straight in Genealogy. Finn, a surviving first generation character, also plays it straight in Thracia.
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade: Generally justified. 20 years have passed since the prequel, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, and anyone who appears in both games are way past their prime in the former (with the exception of Karel).
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Generally averted. With the exceptions of Ilyana and Jill, all of the returning characters start as mid-level second tier units or better.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening: Averted by Tiki. She starts out as a level 20 manakete who will usually be statistically superior to Nowi at the same level.
    • Fire Emblem Fates: Played straight by Owain/Odin, Inigo/Laslow, and Severa/Selena, who all start as mid-level first tier units.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The attractive characters are usually good while the ugly ones are usually evil.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • At the end of Act 2 of Radiant Dawn, Lucia is about to be executed by rebel Crimean forces with Queen Elincia looking on helplessly. Just as Lucia is about to be hung, the Greil Mercenaries show up out of nowhere to rescue her in such a heroic fashion that it really counts as Crowning Moment of Awesome as well.
    • Also, in Chapter 1 of Genealogy of the Holy War, Eldigan and the Cross Knights massacre Elliot's soldiers when they attempt to capture Evans.
  • Big Fun: Brom and his daughter Meg of Tellius are pretty much our heaviest characters of their gender. However, they both remain rather upbeat and cheerful, if not slightly oblivious.
  • Black Knight: Camus from Shadow Dragon, Ares from Genealogy of the Holy War, and the Black Knight of Tellius are all knights with black armor.
  • Black Mage: The Anima mage (sometimes just called "mage") class can typically use all three types of elemental magic.
  • Black Magic: Dark magic, which is often used by series villains and is said to have a corrupting influence that the weaker-willed normally succumb to. Gaiden has a set of magic literally called "Black Magic," but it's the Elemental Magic seen in other games, only Cast from Hit Points instead.
  • Black Screen of Death: If you get a game over, the screen will fade to black followed by a giant GAME OVER sign as sad music plays in the background.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Spanish translation of The Blazing Blade has an amount of typos that counts by dozens, and Fae was turned into a boy for no reason. Later games avert this, except Amelia from The Sacred Stones, who also refers to herself as male when promoting.
  • Blow You Away: Wind tomes, which conjure everything from slicing blades of wind to tornadoes and even ice.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Most of your primary Axe-users are loudmouthed musclemen, and it seems to be a personality requirement for Berserkers.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Its common for a bodyguard to care for their liege in more then a platonic fashion.
  • Bootstrapped Theme:
    • "Together We Ride" (the character recruitment theme from the original game) is commonly associated with the series thanks to its prominent usage in the Smash Bros. series, as well as its reuse in FE7.note 
    • The general theme for divine dragons, Legend of the Divine Dragon - A, is usually associated with Tiki after she was given a slightly remixed version of this music in Shadow Dragon and later, in Awakening.
    • The music used for bittersweet victories, called After the Battle in the remake of Dark Dragon, was later used as a recruitment theme for knightly characters in Blazing Blade and as a theme for Elincia's knights in Path of Radiance, forever associating it with the idea of loyalty and knights rather than its original use as a bittersweet victory theme.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Cavaliers are probably the least "exotic" of all unit types, yet their mobility, ability to use two weapon types before promotion (with exceptions in the Jugdral and Tellius sagas), all-around good physical stats, and powerful promotions (which in earlier games were among the only physical units that would have any Resistance to speak of) make them the default go-to combatants.
    • Iron weapons are the weakest in each game (compared to Steel or Silver) but cost the least, have the most uses, and are among the lightest, meaning that they are perfect for when low-leveled units can't effectively use Steel ones. Their cost-effectiveness also means that they're still usable as cheap secondary weapons to use on weaker enemies.
    • Heal staves are both the weakest and the most cost-effective staves in the game, and a good source of experience besides, especially in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn where promoted characters get as much experience from using them as non-promoted characters.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord:
    • Alm, after his promotion, Lyn, after her promotion, and the Nomad/Ranger/Horseman classes. Warriors can use both bows and axes, although they're limited to crossbows in Radiant Dawn. Certain generals and paladins can opt to use both lances and bows, too.
    • Assassins get this in Awakening, and the possibility of close and far ranged attack coupled with the ability to land an instant kill and pass through enemy spaces makes them the deadliest incarnation of the class yet.
  • Bowdlerise: In many of the games, mentions of drinking and swearing found in the original Japanese script get omitted by the localizations.
  • Breakable Weapons: Almost all of the weapons, including tomes, have a finite amount of uses. The only two games that don't have them are Gaiden and Fates. In Gaiden, characters had "iron" weapons equipped by default and could equip weapons found in the field for additional power at the possible expense of certain stat penalties, while magic was learned by leveling up and was Cast from Hit Points. Fates has all the offensive equipment unbreakable, with each weapon quality tier providing certain stat bonuses and penalties, while healing staffs/rods still have limited uses.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: When the pre-battle preparation screen lets you choose which units to deploy, the main Lord is normally forced to participate. This sometimes extends to other characters relevant to the plot of the chapter or the game as a whole.
  • Cap:
    • Typically, characters can level up to level 20 in a base class before changing to a higher class and again going to level 20, making a combined cap of 40. While you can promote once you hit level 10, it's inefficient to do so: the promoted unit automatically becomes level 20/1, but loses out on the possible stat increases from between the level they promoted at and level 20.
    • In Genealogy of the Holy War, promotion occurred at level 20 and the character then went on to cap at level 30. In addition, each class has stat caps that play a large part in determining Character Tiers.
    • In Radiant Dawn, laguz go up to 40, while beorc classes go up to 60 (20 for first tier class, 20 for second tier class, 20 for third tier class).
    • In the Shadow Dragon remake, Marth, ballista users, manaketes, and thieves can go up to level 30 to make up for not promoting — funnily enough, units with a level 20 cap but capable of promoting are always (barring certain game-breaking exceptions) superior since they get more stats, total.
    • Awakening works the same way as Shadow Dragon, where Dancers, Villagers, Manaketes, Taguel, and Conquerors can reach level 30 to make up for not promoting. Reclassing resets a character's level to 1, meaning you can effectively level them beyond their cap many times over, although an unseen internal tracker will severely slow down the experience gain.
    • Fates keeps the 20/20 level cap, but there's nine classes and two characters that can't promote at all, but have a level cap of 40, rather than the 30 from Shadow Dragon and Awakening. To balance it out, the Songstress, Dread Fighter, Dark Falcon, Ballistician, Witch, Lodestar, Vanguard, Grandmaster, and Great Lord classes have incredibly low stat growths. Felicia and Jakob, while they start as pre-promotes, have the stat growths of an unpromoted unit rather than a pre-promoted one. There's also an item which has been added called the Eternal Seal, which lets the character who uses it increase their max level cap by 5 each time they use one. However, there are three limitations to it: they can only use it as a promoted class, they can only use it when they're at max level, and each Seal is very expensive.
  • Career-Ending Injury: In some games, if a non-protagonist falls in battle but is too critical to the plot to die, they instead suffer this; still being alive but too crippled to fight anymore.
  • Casanova Wannabe: A fairly common character type in the series is the flirtatious male character, whose goals include impressing as many women as possible: Homer of Thracia 776, Saul of Binding Blade, Sain of Blazing Blade, and Gatrie of the Tellius series, to name a few.
  • Cast from Hit Points: All the magic in Gaiden is cast using a unit's HP, as is Micaiah's "Sacrifice" healing ability in Radiant Dawn.
  • Cast of Expies: A very strong example of the trope, and often a positive one at that. The series is filled with "Archetypes" which lays down a Recurring Element and what role they play such as a Jeigan, Medeus, or Camus. It allows for a great deal of diversity while still keeping a solid base to compare and contrast such things as stats or personality. Even outside of the archetypes there will be one or two characters who take up the idea of a unique character from a previous game and reinterpret it.
  • Casting a Shadow: Dark tomes, which conjure shadowy tendrils to attack enemies.
  • Chained by Fashion: The Fighter class in Awakening sports fashionable chains hanging from their collar guard.
  • Character Development: One of the reasons why the series is such a hit. It was rather sparse in the original three games, but four and five started to get better with it. It didn't really become notable until Elibe, which added supports that also allowed the player to affect the ending, with certain characters having paired endings.
  • Character Level: Every character has one, even the healers.
  • Cherry Tapping: It's a good idea to use your weakest unit to finish off an enemy so they gain experience with little danger of death.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Sanaki, the 13-year-old empress of Begnion in Radiant Dawn, who was 10 in Path of Radiance.
  • Child Soldiers: Many recruitable units are young children. The darker implications of this trope are occasionally discussed.
  • Church Militant:
    • Several character classes such as the Monk, Bishop, and Valkyrie who can use magic to attack. There are also Priest and Cleric classes, which, while unable to do damage, can heal units and put enemies to sleep/berserk/silence with the right equipment.
    • Awakening does away with Light Magic. There goes the Monk class. Valkyries use the same magic as everyone else, but having a Cleric/Priest promote to a Staff/Magic class makes them indistinguishable from sages, so instead they promote to War Clerics/Monks, which is this trope as far as the series goes, using staves to heal but always keep an Axe on hand to deal heavy physical damage. Libra is the only natural War Monk you get, and personality-wise seems like a god-fearing pacifist through and through, but he appears as an NPC unit that you have to hurry to recruit quickly — not because he'll die, but because left alone he'll kill too much of the enemy, including another recruitable unit, with his Killer Axe and lines such as "Repent, Sinner!" and "Gods, forgive me" right before each slaying.
  • Class Change Level Reset: In most games, after a character reaches a high enough level in their base class and uses a special class-changing item (in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, one only needs to gain a level after reaching level 20 cap), that character's level reverts to 1. However, their stats, stat caps, and abilities sharply increase in the process. The exception being Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, where you don't reset to level 1 and have a 30 level cap instead of the traditional 20. Fates did away with the mechanic for characters reclassing via a Heart, Partner, or Friendship Seal. Reclassing keeps the character's current level, no matter which class they switch to, although the classes that can't promote will change their level to the combined equivalent if the character in question is promoted.
  • Clever Crows: One of the bird laguz tribes in this series is the raven tribe. They fit most of the archetypes — often ending up being fought as enemies early in the game, but ultimately having had a perfectly good reason for their actions — and their leader's Leitmotif is called "Wheeling Corby".
  • Climax Boss: The series tend to have one of these in the early-game, usually of the General class. A decent number of them tend to be a Disc-One Final Boss as well.
  • Color-Coded Armies: A Type I in the sprite-based games, moving to a Type IV with the move to 3D models.
  • Combat Medic: There are a number of Character Classes that can both heal allies and fight, such as the Sage and Strategist. They are usually not available as basic classes, only becoming available via Class Changing midgame or lategame.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Enemy units are completely unaffected by Fog of War.
    • In some games, the enemy units may receive reinforcements — at the start of the enemy phase. This basically means that, short of prescience on your part, an enemy can appear out of a fort or the edge of the map that you thought was safe and beat down your helpless healers and archers before you can react.
    • In Seisen no Keifu, when enemies have, say, an Iron Axe (close range) and a Hand Axe (can be thrown, but weaker), they will switch between these weapons depending on what range you are attacking them from. Naturally, you cannot do the same thing. Also, in this game, enemy weapons have unlimited uses, which is especially annoying when the enemies have powerful healing or status-inflicting staves (which usually have less than 10 uses when you are the one using them).
    • Because critical hits are calculated from the Luck Stat, and faceless enemy units typically have 0 luck, you are safe from crits for the most part. However, for the enemies that do have a chance to crit, even as low as 1%, a good rule of thumb is treating them as if they had 30% or better.
  • Convenient Color Change: When units switch alliances.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • Archers are helpless in a melee unless they're the kind who have swords and horses too, and some classes, like Clerics and Priests, have no combat skills whatsoever.
    • Radiant Dawn attempted to balance this more by giving Crossbows to Archers and allowing staves to be used as weapons should a staff-user be attacked (though "No damage!" is a common reaction to getting hit with a staff). That being said, Healers should still never be attacked, though through a combination of several factors that does not include said Crossbow, Shinon is almost a Game-Breaker. Also, as long as a healer has a staff equipped, they treat themselves at the beginning of each turn with it (if the staff inflicts a status effect, it cures it) with no cost. This brought about a new way of Level Grinding.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Can happen due to the Point of View-change mechanics in Radiant Dawn. Of all characters, Jill probably holds the record for the total amount of times in a Verse where a character can be persuaded into switching sides note 
    • Naesala's no slouch in this department, though.
    Tibarn: King Kilvas has betrayed us? Again?!
  • Critical Hit Class: The Swordmaster is the traditional critical-reliant class, but later games added Myrmidons and Trueblades (part of the same promotion chain), Berserkers, Assassins, Snipers, and Halberdiers into the mix. All of them have a boosted critical hit chance.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Examples in every title, being something of an ever-present. The first of the archetype, Jagen, is famous in this role in the FE community, and they are, in fact, called "Jagens" within the fandom. In fact, he used to be the Trope Namer. The idea behind "Jagens" are that they tend to be extremely high-level (usually promoted) troops who have stats that would be terrible for that level, but are very strong compared to what you have when you get them.
    • ...which, in the harder games, makes them handy to keep around for a while either as a meat shield by unequipping their weapons (so that enemies attack them, do no/little damage because of their stats, then can't counterattack) or a nuclear option to kill off a dangerous enemy that would be able to kill one of your other characters if left alone.
    • That said, many of them have terrible stat growths, meaning that they don't get much stronger even if you bother to level them up. Others, however, have growths that range from decent to genuinely good, with a few actually being pretty damn amazing (but you still don't want them taking too many kills in the early game).
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The churches in most of the games are vaguely Roman Catholic in organization, but they usually worship "saints" — i.e., legendary heroes. A few of them, most notable in Awakening, worship Naga, though, a rather literal dragon Jesus, though not made of crystal.
  • Cute Bruiser: The entire series is rife with presumably adorable characters, usually quite young, who can kick untold amounts of ass.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Some of the female characters sport miniskirts, and of course are capable of clearing out enemy groups.
  • Dark Is Evil: Many times dark mages/sorcerers serve as the villains of the series; especially in Genealogy, where there's an entire Cult of dark mages bent on resurrecting their dark god in order to bring an era of suffering upon Jugdral.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Well, in some games, the player can recruit users of Dark Magic for his party, who usually are pretty decent people. They often prefer to call it "ancient" magic rather than "dark" magic, though.
    • However, while Dark isn't evil, it's still not a toy; just look at Bramimond, likely the most powerful heroic darkness user in Fire Emblem history. It practically cost him his soul to master the darkness.
      • Or get some of Canas's supports, in which he explains that his three brothers, also Shamans, fell victim to exactly the same fate.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • On the whole, when really looking at the various installments, Radiant Dawn could seriously be considered one of the darkest, or at least more mature, of the Fire Emblem games. Most certainly if you look at its former, Path of Radiance.
    • Path felt like a coming-of-age story centered around Ike gradually going from untrained ranger, to dealing with his father's death, to finally growing into his new position of command and becoming The Hero, saving the world from the Evil Overlord's war-mongering as well as the Dark God. Happily Ever After, right? Wrong...
    • At the opening of Dawn, we learn that Daein, formerly viewed as a completely one-dimensional empire, is now under the thumb of Begnion, who isn't being so nice to the war-torn country. Though understandable, seeing how nasty Daein had been, some of the Begnion soldiers are shown to maybe enjoy their dominance over their former enemy a bit... too much. The game unfolds from there with increasingly complicated and intricate plots, characters who were once one-dimensional getting more developed, becoming more sympathetic and believable, and country-to-country relations being realistically portrayed, with the past war actually weighing heavily, namely how Begnion practically bailed Crimea out in the first game becoming a serious point of contention. Where the first game definitely ran on Rule of Drama and even a bit of Rule of Funny, the sequel takes everything from the first and makes it much more... hard-hitting.
    • However, the darkest of the series, of course, would be Genealogy of the Holy War. That one, though, seems to be deliberately going for a Crapsack World, rather than Radiant Dawn's more "realistic" approach.
    • Mystery of the Emblem basically pissed in the face of the very optimistic tones of the ending of the first game.
    • In fact, the whole series is darker and edgier than most other Nintendo series.
  • Defector from Decadence: A defecting Dragon Rider is a recurring character archetype ("the Minerva"), and beyond that each game will usually have a few additional characters defect to the player's side as well.
  • Desert Skull: These can be found in the desert levels of the Game Boy Advance games. Rare items can be dug up in the nearby sands.
  • Difficulty by Region: The bosses had their stats lowered slightly in the US/PAL version of Fire Emblem. On the other hand, several player characters in The Sacred Stones had their stats raised.
  • Discount Card: The Silver Card halves all shop item prices when held by the buyer.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • Dragon Riders and Pegasus Knights were essentially the same class in most games, using the same weapons and having the same vulnerability to Bows and (where applicable) Wind Magic. The former had more Strength and Defense, and the latter had more Speed and Resistance. Radiant Dawn switched the Dragon Knights' Lances for Axes, and switched their Bow/Wind vulnerability for a vulnerability to Thunder magic.
    • They even had a common second tier class (Wyvern Knight) in Sacred Stones, but they diverged more in Awakening which enforces that Pegasi are female only and Wyvern Riders are both genders; in addition, they lost the common promotion. Now Wyvern Riders can promote to Wyvern Lords and Griffon Knights, which use axes/lances and all axes respectively, and have high physical stats; and Pegasus Knights become either Falcon Knights, which can heal with staves as well as attack with lances, or Dark Fliers, which can attack with lances and tomes. On the other hand, they share the common weaknesses of bows and wind magic again, though bows hurt the less physical pegasi more whereas wind hurts the low resistance wyverns a lot more. Fates continues this divergence by making the wyvern and pegasus lines belong to two different kingdoms, with Wyvern Riders promoting to Wyvern Lords (as in Awakening) or Malig Knights (using axes and tomes), and Sky Knights promoting to Kinshi Knights (lance/bow wielding air superiority unit) or Falcon Knights (as in Awakening). Notably, though, Sky Knights are a unisex class.
  • Doomed Hometown: Most of the games begin with the heroes' entire country being invaded.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect:
    • All but the last of Shadow Dragon's Gaiden Chapters require that you keep your army at 15 or fewer units to unlock them — and the last one exists to give you another chance if you're missing both Tiki and Falchion, your best bets at beating the final boss. Of course, there are ways of getting both....
    • This can apply to the overall game mechanics. If you have a character who's killing everything that comes but is also getting hit on every turn, you'd better hope you get lucky on those last few blows, otherwise that character is in serious trouble.
  • The Dragon: One per game, the most notable being the Black Knight, who acts as The Dragon for Ashnard and later, Micaiah and Sephiran.
  • Dragons Are Divine: In many of the games the most powerful members of the dragon races are typically treated as gods by the human populations.
  • Dragon Rider: A group of character classes; initially renamed "Wyvern Riders" when the games started being translated, probably to prevent Fridge Logic regarding how the main point of The Blazing Blade was to prevent dragons from returning to the world; from Radiant Dawn onward, they reverted to being called dragons. The Japanese version is also inconsistent on this; in the Archanea games and Awakening, they are wyverns (here a degenerate dragon subspecies). Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is thus far the only game in which both types of Dragon mounts appear together (as separate but related classes).
  • Dressed to Plunder: The field and battle sprites for the Pirate class have bandannas. Most recruitable pirates have them too. Exceptions are Geese from Binding Blade (who has a Badass Longcoat) and Briggid from Genealogy of the Holy War, who was a pirate captain by profession but a Sniper by class.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Assassins and Pirates in the GBA games, though this is purely aesthetic and happens even if they just have one sword/axe. Gameplay-wise, this simply isn't possible. Also, in the backstory of the Tellius games, the ancient hero Altina duel-wielded a pair of legendary BFSs.
    • The Swordmaster class in Awakening appears to dual wield on the map tiles and has two scabbards that have swords inside them. Just for show, though, as they apparently sheath those swords and stick to using a single two-handed sword that they are equipped with.
  • Dub Name Change: Used often, with everything from corrections like "Reyvan" to "Raven," to something completely different like "Kilroy" to "Rhys." A few weapons were even given this treatment; Ike and the Black Knight's swords, Ragnell and Alondite, swapped names in the English versions of the Tellius games.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Lucius of Blazing Blade started the trend of male characters with extremely feminine features, and he's been succeeded by the likes of Libra of Awakening, and Forrest of Fates, among others.
  • Dump Stat:
    • Skill. Typically, you already have enough accuracy as it is that you don't need it. Luck is another for being a relatively irrelevant stat. Strength for magic users (except in the Tellius games, where it determines their ability to effectively wield heavy tomes). Magic for non-magic users (except in Thracia 776, where it doubles as their magic defense). It says something when the Tier-Induced Scrappy of all classes typically focuses on skill, and the Secret Book and Goddess Icon are basically considered to be an "always sell" kind of item.
    • Subverted in Awakening, where in the post-game it's defense, resistance, and luck that are considered to be the dump stats, and skill is actually quite valuable for every unit since it increases the rate of skill activation and dual strikes. Played straight on higher-difficulties in-game, where skill is considered the least important.
    • Also averted, or at least downplayed, in Binding Blade, where accuracy is actually an ongoing issue due to a number of factors.note  You would need every bit of help you can get to raise your own unit's accuracy, and this includes raising your Skillnote . This is the reason why Warriors, promoted Generals, and Bandits/Pirates/Berserkers note  are ignored as axe-users, with the preference given to Paladins and Heroes. Luck also becomes somewhat important both for the above reason note , and also to reduce the critical hit rate of Swordmasters and especially Berserkers, which get a massive 30% boost.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Most, if not all, of the mechanics from the original Akaneia games, as well as Gaiden, are gone by the Jugdral games, and even then, Genealogy of the Holy War is a beast in itself and it differentiates itself from the others by having massive maps that require multiple castles to capture, and those castles acted as something of a "home base" — you could get EXP in the arena or go shopping. Also, Genealogy is the only game that allows you to fix weapons ad hoc: if you had enough money, you could fix them in a shop, whereas later games dropped this, and the only way you could fix weapons was by using the extremely rare Hammerne Staff. Among Akaneia's mechanics that were dropped include:
      • You couldn't tell where your units could move in the first two games.
      • Weapon Rank went up with levels like any other stat. All later games had the level go up with weapon usage, though Genealogy had it so that Weapon Rank was set in stone based on the user's class and holy blood.
      • In the first game, no one got any sort of Resistance growth. Also, staff users gained EXP by entering battle, while in Gaiden, magic was cast from the user's HP.
      • While a walkable world map was re-inserted into the series in several ways, Gaiden, to this day, remains the sole Fire Emblem game to have players freely roam towns and villages a la Shining Force.note 
      • Thieves could not promote into a stronger class until Genealogy. Likewise, thieves in Genealogy could get EXP from stealing and trading gold with other units.
      • Magic was all lumped under one category (Fates actually brings this back, though "Dark magic" can still only be used by certain classes), with no differentiating types until Genealogy. For the Akaneia games, many spells could only be used by one unit (Excalibur for Merric, Aura for Linde, etc.), and in Mystery of the Emblem, Nosferatu in particular could only be used by female mages! And while the Jugdral games created the magic triangle along with Light and Dark magic, there were oddities:
      • a.) Light and Dark were equal to one another and superior to Anima.
      • b.) There was no playable Dark magic user until Thracia 776, and he could only use two of the Dark tomes used in that game (Fenrir and Yotsmungand).
      • In Mystery of the Emblem, Tiki could gain several types of Dragonstones and turn into other dragon types, and she could even turn into a Dark Dragon or spew Fire Breath if those stones were given to her. Also, she had to take a turn to transform, and would change back after attacking at least twice. All later games that include dragons drop both of these.
    • There was no Weapon Triangle until Genealogy. In the earlier games, weapons had no inherent advantage or disadvantage against each other.
    • Most have agreed that Thracia 776 is the forefather to the "modern" games as we know them, albeit with its own oddities that were dropped: the fatigue meter, capturing enemies, the fact that healing staves could miss, movement stars, growth rates for Build and Movement, and enemy Dancers.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery:
    • In Shadow Dragon, if you enter a chapter with fewer surviving units than the maximum allowed for the map, you be given generic replacement units. The names of the replacement units at first follows numerical theme naming (Unil, Dua, Quattro, etc). However, if you still keep suffering casualties, the new unit names will be Auffle, Wymp, Lucer, Owend, Rejek, Wieklin, Laim, etc.
    • An unintentional version exists in early NTSC copies of Radiant Dawn, where just having Easy Mode Path of Radiance save data on your GameCube memory card when attempting to initiate an Old Save Bonus from said game will cause Radiant Dawn to crash. This was rectified in the PAL version and in later prints of the NTSC version, or by sending the disc to Nintendo for repairs.
  • Elemental Crafting:
    • Typical order is Iron < Steel < Silver in terms of damage output and the reverse for durability, so weapon selection is not as straightforward as in some other games. Legendary or unique weapons typically have high damage and decent durability. In Genealogy of the Holy War, all weapons had a flat 50 uses, so there was no reason not to switch to silver weapons when available except maybe the cost of keeping them in good repair.
    • Weight is a strange issue — Steel is often heavier than Silver, and thus carries a higher penalty to attack speed, but by the time you get Silver weapons, your units will likely be too strong to care.
    • Still an issue in some of the games, as a few installments base speed penalties on the character's constitution, a stat that does not increase on level-up, only slightly on promotion and due to magic items. Having Fiona use a silver lance is still a tradeoff with her constitution of four. It's even worse with some mages, who can have tomes with weights up to 20 and only boast constitution scores under 5.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The magic of the series works this way, with the magic type that has the advantage dealing more damage to and taking less damage from the user of the disadvantaged magic. Fire magic has an advantage over wind magic, wind magic has an advantage over thunder magic, and thunder magic has an advantage over fire magic. Light magic normally has the advantage over dark magic, anima magic (the elemental magic) has the advantage over light magic, and dark magic has the advantage over anima magic.
  • 11th Hour Ranger:
    • Usually at least one character in several titles, who joins at nearly maxed-out level. The very first was the Bishop Gotoh from the first Akaneia game, and the archetype related to this trope is named after him.
    • There's no real ranger in Genealogy, though since Julia can use the one tome that can effectively damage Julius, she's the closest Genealogy gets to one, despite joining the group in Chapter 6.
    • Thracia 776, meanwhile, gives us Galzus, a Hero toting two amazing swords, and Ced, who can use Forseti. Sara is a case of Magikarp Power, but she's the only character who can use the Kia Staff.
    • For Binding Blade, there's Karel, although you can only get him if you managed to get all the requirements for the true ending; for The Blazing Blade, there's Athos.
    • In Path of Radiance, there's the Laguz Giffca, Tibarn, and Naesala — you can only choose one for the Final Boss, but they are all powerful in their own right. In Radiant Dawn, we have Gareth, Nasir, Caineghis, Giffca again, and Renning, and during your second runthrough of the game, you can also use Sephiran/Lehran.
    • Awakening has Basilio and Flavia join you during Chapter 23, but if you've been diligently training all of your units, then they will greatly outclass them by the time they join. Straighter examples are all of the Spot Pass characters — all of them excel in one or two stats, and Walhart and Aversa each have their own exclusive skills that can be potentially passed down to Morgan, as the Avatar can marry them.
  • 11th Hour Superpower:
    • There will always be at least one weapon that can effectively damage the Final Boss. Depending on the game, it may be the only weapon. The most nefarious example is Genealogy of the Holy War's Naga Tome, which can only be wielded by Julia, is found near the very end of the final chapter, and is the only weapon capable of canceling out the defensive effects of Julius' Loptyr Tome. Whereas most of the other characters, Seliph included, can have a hard time damaging Julius, Julia can nail him with four attacks in one turn. Other examples include:
    • Falchion in all of the Akaneia games. Gaiden also has several other weapons (the Astra and Sol lances) that have additional effects, but you can get them from some monsters every so often. Awakening gives us a variant with the Exalted Falchion, which is the Falchion blessed with Naga's power. It is the only thing capable of heavily damaging Grima, which becomes more evident on harder difficulties because Grima has more defensive skills available. Though Lucina's Parallel Falchion certainly works just as well.
    • Any one of the Holy Weapons in Genealogy of the Holy War, although the above example (the Naga Tome) is the most outstanding case.
    • The Holy Weapons in all of the GBA games; you get all of them in The Binding Blade, but only four, plus a unique sword for Lyn, are available in The Blazing Blade. Finally, in The Sacred Stones, there is one Holy tome for each school of magic, two swords, two lances, an axe, a bow, and an all-healing staff on top of that. The Elibe weapons can fight off dragons (and are the only things aside from Luna capable of significantly damaging the Fire Dragon in The Blazing Blade), while The Sacred Stones weapons can kill monsters, the undead, and the Final Boss in one to two hits.
    • Ragnell is treated this way in the Tellius games, as it can nullify enemy criticals.
    • Done slightly differently in Radiant Dawn. At the start of Part 3 of the Final Endgame, Yune blesses each of your character's equipped weapons (and the claws/talons/breath of each of your laguz members). This doesn't make them any stronger, but it does make them unbreakable and they will be the only weapons that can damage the final bosses.
    • Yato in Fates has seven forms: the base form, Noble and Blazing in Birthright, Grim and Shadow in Conquest, Alpha and Omega in Revelation. The Omega version is the Fates version of the Fire Emblem.
  • End Game Results Screen: From Genealogy till The Sacred Stones.
  • Epic Fail: In some games, such as 7 and 8, it is possible for a unit to kill themselves by attacking a wall or snag with the Devil Axe. Here is an infamous example.
  • Escort Mission: Sort of; some missions have you defending NPCs, but the NPCs in question are either irrelevant to your success, powerful fighters in their own right, or very easy to defend, so it's not really all that frustrating. In some cases, you can have one of your tankier units Rescue the NPC and turn the map into a simple survival scenario.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Every Fire Emblem has at least one scene where one of the villains — and not a sympathetic one — comments on how even more evil one of his comrades is, and how that's terrible. A good example is how Caellach and Riev view Valter in The Sacred Stones, due to the way he is implied to victimize women. Caellach is a sociopathic Professional Killer who killed Queen Ismaire and Riev is a fallen priest who worships and seeks to resurrect the god of evil.
    Caellach (to Carlyle): I'm not like that freak Valter. I'm kind to women.
    Riev: Ah, Valter... You're a beast. You're bound to no country. You care nothing for friend or foe. Kill a man, claim a woman... You live for nothing more, you wretched beast.
  • Everyone Is Related: Especially in Genealogy of the Holy War, where it's a game mechanic. Additionally, the degree to which the main characters and antagonists are all related in that game is nothing short of boggling.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Many, many critical hit animations in some way, as well as every other winpose in Radiant Dawn.
  • Evil Overlooker: Many game covers or promotional artwork depict the villain overlooking the player's army.
  • Evil Old Folks: The villains always have a couple of old men on their side. They'll usually be a Sinister Minister or Mighty Glacier.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Lots of 'em. You can tell whether or not you can obtain an item from an enemy if the name is flashing in its menu. Lightened up in Ike's games, where you could finally use Thieves to steal enemy equipment, provided the enemy didn't currently have it equipped and its theft wasn't specifically prohibited.
    • Thracia 776 did this in a rather odd fashion. Since it was possible to capture enemies and raid their inventories, any equipment that was meant to be enemy-exclusive (e.g. most of the Dark magic tomes) would actually turn into something else if moved into a player character's inventory.
  • Expy:
    • The Archetypes, in which characters later in the series are modeled after earlier characters in stats, growths, and possibly looks and personality.
    • In New Mystery of the Emblem, the female default "My Unit" can easily be mistaken for Mia while the male "My Unit" looks more than a little like Ike (it gets even closer when you add a headband through an info conversation). They both even share a default class note .
    • Used often in Fates, with characters from Awakening; Asugi is a carbon-copy of Gaius, Rhajat is one of Tharja, and Laslow, Odin and Selena are similar to Inigo, Owain, and Severa, or, rather, they actually are them.
  • Extra Turn: The Dancers (Mystery of the Emblem onward), Bards (Binding Blade and The Blazing Blade), and Heron Laguz (Tellius games) can give Extra Turns to their allies. There is also Azura the Songstress, who can sing in Fates.
  • Eyepatch of Power:
  • Faceless Goons: You can easily tell whether a character is a nameless mook or a main character by whether their eyes are visible. Soldiers will always be shown with their helmets obscuring their eyes; in the Tellius games, Laguz soldiers' eyes are (mostly) obscured by their hair.
  • Fake Difficulty: Radiant Dawn, where Hard Mode disables the ability to check the enemy's movement and attack range. You have to count them yourself.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The various shapeshifting Laguz tribes are called "sub-humans" by many beorc/humans. This is not limited to your enemies; some between chapter dialogue has your own characters referencing your own laguz characters as sub-humans. And it goes both ways, too... a laguz calling a beorc 'human' is the same as a beorc calling a laguz 'sub-human', and it happens more than once.
    • Most characters get better, though — except Shinon, who is a Jerkass and remains unrepentant even throughout Radiant Dawn.
    • While Lethe learns to treat beorc better, she still makes sweeping generalizations about them, implies they are inferior in their customs, and the word "human" escapes her lips sometimes.
    • There's also the Sacaens in The Blazing Blade, which are referred to as "nomadic mongrels" and such by the villains.
    • Radiant Dawn takes this to a new level with the Branded, who are despised as mongrels with no place on Tellius by both beorc and laguz alike. It doesn't help that laguz have a sort of acquired sense for sensing them which manifests as uneasiness if not outright hostility, they can be mistaken with people who have made pacts with a spirit by beorc, and lies have been spread about them being "unnatural" creatures resulting from the "forbidden" union of beorc and laguz (who are "punished by Ashera") as a way to prevent anything like what happened to Lehran with Altina.
    • Even earlier than in the Tellius games, the games set in Archanea have the Earth Dragons degenerating and attacking humanity, which leads to them being sealed away. Later on, several dragons became the manaketes, who were apparently mistreated by humans. This led to Medeus and other dragons making a new empire that would attack humanity, with Naga helping the humans through Falchion. Xane and Gotoh both didn't rate humans that highly as well, although Gotoh eventually regained his faith in humanity while Xane gets along with Marth.
  • Faux Action Girl: Stats notwithstanding, there are a few of these. See the character page for more details.
  • Final Death:
    • Everyone, if you're careless enough to lose them. The series is notable for this, and keeping all units alive is the main source and major contributor to its difficulty.
    • Though important non-Lord characters just get a major injury so they can still participate in the plot.
    • Or because it's the Prequel and they're confirmed to live. If you're not confirmed to live, good luck with that.
    • Marth's games and Genealogy of the Holy War have the Aum and Valkyrie staves, respectively. Each can revive an ally that's died in battle, though they only have a single use and can only be used by certain people, and while the Valkyrie staff can be repaired, it's incredibly expensive to do so.
    • New Mystery of the Emblem introduced Casual Mode, which allows you to turn this off, but you still lose any units that "die" for the rest of that particular fight.
    • Downloadable units in Awakening can be re-recruited after death, either at their initial levels or (if you remembered to update them in the Avatar Logbook and have a lot of gold to spare) closer to where they were when they died.
    • Fates not only kept Casual Mode, but introduced Phoenix Mode, which brings back any defeated units on the next turn. However, Phoenix Mode is limited to just Normal difficulty, since Normal difficulty is explicitly said to be for beginners to the series.
    • The Blazing Blade didn't enforce permadeath during Lyn's Story — defeated units retreated and were unusable for the rest of the story, but they still could be recruited in the main campaign. This was repeated in Fates for chapters before the route split.
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning: The trio of anima (elemental) magic, with "ice" being substituted for wind instead (although a few wind tomes, like Blizzard, conjure ice as well).
  • Fishing for Mooks: There are enemies that only move when you're in their line of sight. Thus the best way to defeat them is putting a strong unit just on the edge of their movement range to kill them one for one, or lure them out with an unarmed Crutch Character and then rush them (or recruit them) with your other characters.
  • Fog of War: Some stages are covered in fog, darkness, sandstorm, blizzard, or anything else that would hinder your vision. Be sure to bring Torches, a Staff Chick with a Torch staff, and/or Thief-type classes.
  • Fragile Speedster: Myrmidons, Pegasus Knights, and Thieves usually have low defense, but extremely high speed.
  • Gaiden Game: Fire Emblem Gaiden (set on a continent distant to Akaneia) and Thracia 776 (set between the first and second generations of Genealogy of the Holy War); the former actually has the word Gaiden on its title.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Subverted with the Crutch Character you get at the beginning of the game, who have a justified in-story reason for not being able to grow well (e.g. old age, sickness). Also, the defining characteristic of the two different types of fans of the games.
  • Geo Effects: If a unit stands in certain terrain tiles, such as a forest, they can get an Avoid bonus during combat. Forest, mountain, and desert tiles also reduce movement by varying amounts or potentially block passage through them. Flying units ignore the potential movement penalties and are able to move over tiles that other units are unable to cross, but they also cannot receive any terrain-based Avoid bonuses.
  • Gladiator Subquest: The arenas/coliseums, which appear in all the games in the series except for Gaiden, the Tellius duology, and Awakening. They're generally used to grind for experience and money, except for Fates, where they're used to gain more resources and experience can only be gained in the Hoshido version of the Arena.
  • Glass Weapon: Glass is a semi-recurring weapon type. Glass weapons are just as strong as Silver weapons (usually the second-strongest type) and don't require a high weapon rank to wield, but because they're literally made out of glass they can only be used three times before they break.
  • Global Currency: Some nations are implied to use different coinage, but the merchants there take your money just the same.
  • Gonk: Many bosses will be this. There will always be at least one on the side of the good.
  • Good Costume Switch: Recruited enemies change sprites from red to blue. Generally averted with the 3D games.
  • Good Hurts Evil:
    • Played with: Light spells in the GBA games are more effective against people wielding Dark magic, and Bishops in Sacred Stones do massive damage to the Demon King's monster servants. But then, in every game, you'll infallibly face an evil holy man as a climax boss, who is subject to the same rules as yourself. On top of that, by the end of each game, you'll typically get ahold of some divine weaponry designed specifically for dealing with the final boss and/or its ilk.
    • Genealogy of the Holy War also zigzags this. On one hand, Light and Dark magic are neutral against each other (and everything else for that matter). On the other hand, the only way to do anything beyond scratch damage to the final boss — a dark god possessing prince Yurius — is by using the strongest light spell, usable only by one particular unit.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Many recruitable units are scarred, normally due to some dark or dramatic incident in their past.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Variation; characters use archaic slurs like "Craven cur!", "Blackheart!", and "dastard!" (the root of dastardly).
  • Greater-Scope Villain: A common scenario for the final battle is that, following the climactic battle against the Big Bad, the Eldritch Abomination / Dragon that the Big Bad was trying to summon to destroy the world will appear to be the true final battle. These greater scope villains have varying influences on the plot and the Big Bad's motivations, but the general feeling for these battles is usually one of simply cleaning up the mess caused by the real Big Bad. In all, we have:
    • Medeus from Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem to Gharnef.
    • Duma from Gaiden to King Rudolf.
    • Loptyr from Genealogy of the Holy War to his current incarnation Julius and servant Manfroy
    • Inverted in Binding Blade, where you defeat Big Bad Zephiel first and then take the fight to Idenn, his Dragon in both senses of the word.
    • Sephiran in Path of Radiance (though we don't learn this until the sequel) to Ashnard.
    • Anankos in Fates to King Garon. In a twist, Anankos is completely absent unless you're playing Revelation (he gets mentioned a few times in Conquest, but the Avatar thinks he's a part of Garon's delusions). What's more, the Garon seen in the game is actually Anankos speaking through him; the real king's been dead for a long time. He does something similar to Takumi in Conquest.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Happens pretty often in Fire Emblem, although the fandom does not consider it an archetype per se:
    • Wallace in Blazing Blade is the Crutch Character and 11th Hour Ranger of Lyn's tale and shows up much later in Eliwood's and Hector's tale, fighting much more powerful enemies than you fought in Lyn's tale. And that's assuming that he shows up at all in the main story; if you leveled up your Lords quickly enough in the midgame, he won't.
    • Orson in Sacred Stones is the Crutch Character in chapter 5x, and the next time you see him, he turns against you (and takes all of the equipment he had at the end of chapter 5x).
    • Shinon and Gatrie in Path of Radiance are only playable for about four chapters at the beginning of the game before quitting your party to find other work. You recruit them both again later in the game, although figuring out how to re-recruit Shinon is a Moon Logic Puzzle at best or a Guide Dang It! puzzle at worst.
    • Radiant Dawn has several.
      • The Black Knight, similar to Orson, is only playable for a few chapters and ultimately must be fought as an enemy boss.
      • Tormod, Muarim, and Vika are similar to Wallace: Crutch Characters for a few chapters in the early game, unavailable afterwards until very late in the game, and underleveled relative to the enemy forces when they do rejoin you (although, unlike Wallace, they're at least guaranteed to show up again). Furthermore, if you treat them like the Crutch Characters they are early on, Tormod will probably be completely unable to fight except from ultra-long distance unless you bring an extra tome for him—his starting rank in Fire Magic is A, but when he rejoins, his only non-siege tome is the S-ranked Bolganone.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Let a character die? They'll give some final words meant to elicit an emotional response out of you for letting that happen. Continue on and finish the game after they die instead of Save Scumming? The various epilogues explaining what happened to the characters after the story ends will bring up the people that died and remind you of your failure. "W fell in battle in chapter 2 and vanished from the pages of history." "X fell in battle in chapter 14 and vanished from the pages of history." "Y started up a flower shop after the war, and is known to grow the best specimens in the land." "D fell in battle in chapter 9 and vanished from the pages of history." etc.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Several of the series' blond characters are extremely kind and compassionate, including Lucius and Louise of Blazing Blade, and Elise of Fates.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Hybrids of humans and other species appear in many games; in Fire Emblem Elibe, Nils, Ninian and Sophia are half-dragon, while Fire Emblem Tellius has the Branded, who have both beorc (human) and laguz ancestry. Nah and Yarne of Awakening are always half-dragon and half-taguel, respectively. Corrin of Fates is the half-human, half-dragon child of Queen Mikoto of Hoshido and Greater-Scope Villain Anankos.
  • Healer Signs On Early: Clerics and other healers are normally among the first few units that join your party.
  • Healing Factor: Many units can get skills that heals a portion of their HP at the beginning of each turn, Imbue being one example.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • If one of your enemies has a name and a face, either they are a boss or they will join your party if you fulfill certain conditions (usually just talking to them with a certain character in your party). Occasionally both.
    • Another easy way to tell if a unit is recruitable is to check its stats — if their Luck Stat is reasonably high for his level, then it is usually safe to conclude that it can be recruited. Mooks and Bosses in many of the games either have really low Luck or none at all, as a balancing measure to having superior numbers and equipment than your own units (among other things, it affects the likelihood of getting a Critical Hit, as well as decreasing the chances of falling victim to one).
    • Subverted by Gale in Binding Blade. Highly prominent non-boss enemy, with strong ties to two recruitable characters (his girlfriend Miledy and her younger brother Zeiss)... yet he cannot be recruited himself.
  • Heir Club for Men: Played mostly straight in the Archanea and Jugdral games; typically averted from the Elibe games onward:
    • In the Archanea games, Marth is the heir to Altea's throne, despite having Elice as an older sister; the same applies to Yubello of Grust, as he has Yumina as an older sister. Despite Nyna being Akaneia's sole heiress, she marries Hardin (which kicks off Mystery of the Emblem's plot), and he is clearly established as Akaneia's regent. Gaiden seemingly averts this with Alm and Celica both being the respective heir and heiress of Rigel and Zofia, but they marry at the end of the game, and both kingdoms are united under Alm's rule.
    • The biggest players across Jugdral are men, and they are usually presented as heir apparent to whatever castle, territory, or land that they were born to. This is also enforced with many of these rulers inheriting the Major Holy Blood needed to wield one of thirteen almighty weapons that were made in ancient times. The very few women who have inherited Major Blood are either living away from their homes (Deirdre, who has Major Naga blood, lived in the Spirit Forest, albeit this was because of her Minor Loptyr Blood, which is considered to be a "cursed" bloodline, and Briggid, Major Ulir, was kidnapped by pirates during her infancy), or are encouraged to marry for power (the second generation's Ishtar, who has Major Tordo, is engaged to Julius). A notable case is Altenna, possessor of Major Noba blood for the second generation; while she was kidnapped by Trabant of Thracia during her infancy and was raised as Thracia's princess, she is Leif's older sister, she does find this out, and what she does after the war is left ambiguous, as Thracia 776 makes it clear that Leif will become Lenster's king. At the end of the second half of the game, any female characters who have rights to rule on her own, or even some form of Major Holy Blood (this can be done with at least two female characters) will live with their spouse if they marry instead. In Thracia 776, it is mentioned in passing that Leif is the only male heir across the Manster District, and Princess Miranda of Alster was up for an Arranged Marriage with him.
    • This is thoroughly averted starting from the Elibe games onward. Lyndis is the clearly established heiress of Caelin, as is Hector's daughter for Ostia. Guinevere is an interesting case — she's an illegitimate child sired by King Desmond, and she has an older brother (the Big Bad of Binding Blade, Zephiel, in fact), but once said brother kicks it, she's able to become Queen Regent of Bern. All male heirs apparent in The Sacred Stones are established as only children (Joshua), older brothers (Innes), or at least the same age (Ephraim), and L'Arachel becomes the Queen of Rausten at the end of the game regardless of who she does or doesn't marry. In Awakening, Emmeryn is the oldest of Ylisse's royal family, and Chrom only becomes Exalt after her execution. Plegia seemingly has an elective monarchy, as shown in Gangrel's backstory, and Regna Ferox has two non-dynastic lines ruling the east and the west, with the victors of a tournament held every so often to decide who rules and who gets the lion's share of power. In-game, the two khans shown are a man and a woman. It's even gender-reversed with Begnion's offices of Apostle and Empress in the Tellius games. Fates both plays it straight and averts it; in Hoshido, Hinoka mentions that Takumi is second in line for the throne if Ryoma kicks the bucket and only becomes queen at the end of Conquest because both men die during the war; in Nohr, Camilla is second in line for the throne if something happens to Xander, but she abdicates to Leo at the end of Birthright because she feels he is better suited for the position.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Blazing Blade allows you to name the army tactician, and Awakening and Fates allow you to name the Avatar in each game, respectively.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Varies; in the old games, all knights, paladins, and generals wear helmets, while cavaliers don't. In Path of Radiance, Titania and Mist (upon promotion) are the only mounted units not wearing helmets. In Radiant Dawn, the only characters who have helmets are Aran, Nephenee, and Haar; Jill is back to being helmetless, and Kieran loses his helmet upon promotion.
  • He Knows Too Much: In Seisen no Keifu, this is certainly Arvis's excuse for killing Sigurd at the end of Chapter 5.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The vast majority of main character lords in the series have been sword-wielders (with a few able to use another weapon as a secondary). The only exceptions are Hector (axes, but he gets swords upon promotion), Ephraim (lances) and Micaiah (light magic).
  • Heroic Bastard:
    • Soren in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn is the illegitimate son of King Ashnard, but he helps bring down the Big Bad Ashnard and stop the Mad King's War, and save the world from destruction at Ashera's hands.
    • Guinivere in Fuuin no Tsurugi is the illegitimate daughter of King Desmond and his mistress, serves as a major ally to Roy during the Disturbance of Bern, and even becomes queen at the end.
    • The Nohrian royals Camilla, Leo, and Elise of Fates are the illegitimate children of King Garon, but they help kill the Bigger Bad of the game, Anankos, and stop conflict between Nohr and Hoshido in the Revelation path.
  • Heroic Lineage:
    • Genealogy of Holy War has this as a game mechanic; while some of your male units in the first generation lack Holy Blood, your second generation party will be comprised almost entirely of units who have inherited the blood of the legendary heroes (only Hannibal, and possibly Ced and Fee if they didn't inherit any from their father, will be completely devoid of Holy Blood if you don't get any replacement units—and Thracia 776 says that canonically, Ced and Fee do.
    • The Archanea/Ylisse timeline also uses this, with only descendants of Anri being able to wield Falchion, and Fates likewise gives the royals a special power related to their lineage. Blazing Blade vaguely suggests that the Elibe saga utilizes this as well, but the Holy Weapons can be utilized by any unit with an S rank in Binding Blade, so it's not really a big deal.
  • Hero of Another Story: Genealogy of the Holy War is particularly susceptible to this, given the epic nature of the storyline and cast. Examples include Eltshan and Leif (who actually gets to BE the hero of his "other story" in Thracia 776.)
  • Hide Your Lesbians:
    • Strangely enough, Heather has a line about "joining because of all the pretty girls" removed in the localizations, but her homosexuality is still kept obvious.
    • Also, Florina's horrific androphobia, in addition to the way that she flat-out says "I love you!" to Lyn at the end of Lyn's Mode...
  • Hit Points: Every unit has them to measure how close they are to Final Death. In later games, units tend to look tired at low HP, and some skills have a higher chance of activation at lower HP.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: All of the Fire Emblem games except Awakening feature offensive Light-based magic, and even Awakening features, among the legendary weapons from previous games in the series, the Book of Naga from Jugdral.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: In Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, normal humans are referred to as "beorc," though beorc usually refer to themselves as humans, while laguz (the game world's other humanoid race), who dislike beorc, use the word "human" as an insult.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Colm of The Sacred Stones repeatedly tells his childhood friend that she's useless and getting in the way on the battlefield, causing her to cry — which is something nobody else is allowed to do, only he is allowed to make her cry.

    I - P 
  • I Let You Win:
    • The Black Knight in Path of Radiance, according to a Woolseyism. Greil also in Path of Radiance.
    • It is also implied that Joshua rigged the coin toss he makes with Natasha, allowing her to win so he can join their side. And also so he won't have to kill her.
  • Implied Love Interest: Courtesy of the Support system that was introduces starting in Genealogy. You can create a hodgepodge of couples, but some are favored more than others. This is also what was done for the Lords after the Kaga-directed games; none of the Lords after Thracia 776 are part of a cemented Official Couple. That being said...
    • Elibe: In Binding Blade, Roy has six potential wives, but childhood bestie Lilina get the biggest nudge. They get a unique bit of dialogue during the ending if you pair them up, and Lilina's feelings for Roy are also touched on in her support chain with Marcus. The same goes for Eliwood and Ninian in Blazing Sword: not only is their A Support one of only two (the other being Nino and Jaffar's) where the words "I love you" are stated, but the dynamic of a dramatic scene - where he accidentally kills her while she's in dragon form - changes drastically if they're paired up. To a lesser extent, there's the other two Lords, Hector and Lyn, who banter with one another throughout the story and get some extra scenes together on Hector's Route.
    • Tellius: Unlike the other Lords in the franchise, Ike borders on being completely Asexual, although there's...something to be said about his bond with Soren. As for Micaiah, she is another exception, in that the player has to completely go out of their way to not pair her up with Sothe.
    • Awakening: In a game where most of the cast can marry one another, Chrom stands out by having only five choices (four if your Avatar is male). Mechanically and in-story, the game leans toward Sumia: they are paired together in the opening cinematic, his Support growth with her is the fastest among his choices, she gets top priority to marry him due to in-story reasons, and Sumia herself has a very small pool of love interests to boot. While it's not as prominent as Sumia, you can change a few story scenes if you marry Chrom to a Female Avatar instead, namely the scene where Lucina tries and fails to kill her, due to being Grima's vessel.
    • Fates: There's no instance of this for a Female Avatar, but a Male Avatar has the Deuteragonist Azura. Her love confession is the only one in the game that changes depending on the route the player picks; everyone else has one.
  • Inconsistent Dub: In the Spanish translations, it's almost impossible to find a class that has has the same name more than twice in a row. Particularly bad for The Sacred Stones and Path of Radiance, as they were published on the same day in Europe yet have wildly different translations for several classes.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Some maps require seizing a specific tile as the objective, and doing so is an automatic victory regardless of other factors. You could be surrounded by enemies you can't beat and only have one character left, but it doesn't matter since you completed your objective.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Any given chest key will work on any chest you come across. Ditto for door keys.
  • Insufferable Genius: The mage Lute from The Sacred Stones comes off like this, as well as Hayato the Child Prodigy and very arrogant diviner of Fates.
  • Item Crafting: The forging system was first introduced in Path of Radiance. It allows the optimization of basic weapons like Iron, Steel, and Silver weapons and give boost to a certain stat at the cost of gold. Shadow Dragon allows the forging of any weapons as long as it is optimal, and Awakening changes it where you could only optimize 8 times and the cap of 5 for might, hit rate, and critical rate. Expect the enemy to use the forged weapons with better bonuses than yours. Come Fates, you essentially combine two of the same weapon to make a stronger version of that weapon, which can be done all the way up to a +7 weapon if you're tenacious enough...but note that you have to combine two weapons of the same level, so a single +7 weapon requires 128 (2 to the power of 7) base-level weapons. Shadows of Valentia introduces weapon evolution, allowing you to upgrade a previously upgraded weapon into a different weapon altogether at the cost of gold marks.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Cavalier and Mercenary classes tend to have well-balanced growth rates.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The Jugdral and Tellius games play this trope at its best. Both have rather rich worlds, developed characters, and complex story lines with mysteries that are delivered little by little.
  • Justified Tutorial:
    • Ike is still a rookie in Path of Radiance's prologue, and the tutorial is his father's way of making sure he's up to task.
    • Shadows of Valentia adds a prologue chapter that was not in the original Gaiden. The tutorial is the experienced Mycen teaching the young Alm, Celica, Gray, Tobin, Kliff and Faye the ins and outs of combat during a sudden attack on their village.
  • King Incognito: Two of note, both of whom happen to have Strong Family Resemblance to their respective mothers: Joshua in The Sacred Stones and Soren in the Tellius saga, both of which are based off of Lewyn, Prince of Silesse traveling as a bard. Though the latter legitimately didn't know of his parentage.
  • Knife Nut: Knives are weak physical weapons typically wielded by thieves, though Path of Radiance allowed Sages to use them as well. Fates gave knives debuffing powers, and introduced shurikens as a close analogue. Some knives are throwable, and can attack from range as well.
  • Large Ham:
    • Sain, the Casanova Wannabe extraordinaire from Blazing Blade, who spends most of his time flattering any pretty woman he sees with increasingly sappy and loud compliments.
    • Kieran from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn is loud, excitable and is constantly boasting about his strange fights with giant scorpions and snakes, and the like. Calling him Hotblooded would be an understatement.
    • Oliver from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn in a more literal sense on top of the actual trope's meaning; he's not only portly, but quite obsessed with physically beautiful things...and himself.
    • Sain pales in his hamminess and bravado in the face of Wallace, who is never shy to remind everyone and everything that "A GIANT WALKS AMONG YOU!"
    • Virion, Owain, and Inigo from Awakening. Special mention to Owain going on about his "uncontrollable sword hand," naming his moves after previous games in the series. RADIANT..... DAAAAAAAWWWN.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • Fates actually returns four old mechanics that were otherwise only used once: in both it and Gaiden, the iconic breakable weapon mechanic was absent, meaning weapons could be used infinitely, albeit with particular stat buffs and debuffs. Units could equip stat-boosting items, which was given a spiritual successor with the Accessory mechanic in Fates, although said stat boosts only matter during the online My Castle battles. Capturing from Thracia 776 also makes a return in Fates, albeit heavily modified (not all units can be captured, and you can have the captured enemy join your side instead of stealing items from them). Finally, magic is now part of the main weapon triangle, and all spells (sans Nosferatu) are all lumped under one category; the latter fact holds true in the Akaneia games.
    • Echoes brought back many mechanics that originated from Gaiden, including magic casted from HP.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Fire Emblem Awakening, Lyndis believes the Avatar to be the same person as the Tactician from Fire Emblem Elibe. If you played both games, then it's technically true.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Lord character often gets a hold of a powerful weapon of legend, which may or may not be a MacGuffin or Sword of Plot Advancement.
  • Level Grinding:
    • Arena Abusing, though Sacred Stones also had the Tower of Valni and various Revenant skirmishes to use between chapters.
    • If you have a healer and attacker with several spare staves and weapons, you can trade hits with a (not overpowering) boss and gain experience for participating in combat and healing your attacker. Lots of conditions, though.
    • In Thracia 776, giving items with the steal command counts as stealing. The ways that you can abuse this feature are basically uncountable.
  • Life Drain: Many weapons have the ability to restore an amount of health to the user based on damage done to enemies; the Holy Weapon Mystletainn of Genealogy, and the dark tome/spell Nosferatu, for example.
  • Light 'em Up: Light magic tomes conjure offensive beams and bursts of light to attack enemies.
  • Light Is Good: Used often, with the light tome, the Book of Naga, in Genealogy being especially effective against the Big Bad, dark mage Julius, as well as light magic being extra effective against monsters in The Sacred Stones.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • In Radiant Dawn; the Big Bad Ashera, the Goddess of Order uses primarily light-based attacks, and to a lesser extent Binding Blade.
    • Also Kenneth, who says that he delights in the suffering of man, then proceeds to pull out some holy spells on you.
    • Renault is also an example of this; just look at the information revealed in his supports, though Good Is Not Nice might be a better fit in his case.
    • Riev, a very clearly evil bishop of Grado. However, he is noted to have been dubbed a heretic, and he was originally from Rausten but was kicked out for said heresy.
    • Chances are, you will encounter enemy healers and bishops regardless of what FE game you are playing. So really, this trope applies throughout the entire series.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Ike of the Tellius games, and Sigurd and Seliph of the Jugdral games normally turn out like this, while many other units are capable of becoming this with some luck and a blessing from the Random Number God.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: In most installments of the Fire Emblem series prior to Fire Emblem Fates, most spellbooks can only be used for a set amount of times before breaking.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The various nonhuman species of the games have minor animal features in their humanoid forms; Manaketes sometimes have claws, wings, and fangs; laguz, depending on the tribe, have animal ears and tails or wings; the Taguel, Wolfskin and Kitsune have the animal ears and tails as well.
  • Living Crashpad: Hector finds himself in the "something soft" position to both Florina AND her Pegasus! Which is ironic in that he wears so much armor, you'd hardly expect a soft landing.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Each game gives the player at least a few dozens of characters to be deployed on the battlefield, as well as dozens of big and small NPCs on the heroes or the villains' side as well, and considering how many games there are... Well, the total number of playable characters for all the games combined as of 2016 is around 550 characters.
  • Lost in Translation: Bandits and Pirates are literally "Mountain Thieves" and "Marine Thieves" in Japanese, hence why they can cross those tile types.
  • Love Ruins the Realm: Duke Victor of Velthomer, King Desmond of Bern, and King Ashnard of Daein had their realms ruined by their affairs.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Battle Before Dawn in The Blazing Blade gives no guarantee that you'll reach Jaffar in time to keep him alive in Hector's Hard Mode. If he dies, you don't get a side chapter.
    • Also Ike's fight with the Black Knight in Path of Radiance. Ike at capped strength does 9 damage, you have 10 blows (if you raised Mist and Ike doesn't have to waste a turn on an elixir), the Black Knight has 60 HP and recovers 6 HP every turn for 5 turns. It involves no skill whatsoever and hinges entirely on whether he activates his Aether skill at least once (or whether he hits the Black Knight on every single attack). If he does, you win. If he doesn't, you don't. Simple as that. The odds are a bit better (but still random) if you use the Wrath/Adept combo instead of Aether, but the opinions for giving that to Ike are mixed.
    • If you want to unlock Lehran in the sequel, you need Ike to have at least 27 speed if you want to survive an encounter with him again. This is easy enough if you're using a PoR save file, but if not your Ike will have only 23 speed initially, meaning you need to Save Scum in order to make sure he gains speed at least four times in, at most, nine level-ups. (It's still fairly likely you'll get it, especially if you gave him the Blossom skill, which improves growth rates at the expense of halving EXP growth—which isn't a huge problem because you don't even have to average 1 level-up per chapter to get him to the second-tier level cap before his plot-induced promotion to third tier.)
  • Luck Stat: Luck is a recurring stat in the series. Its full range of effects can vary by game, but it has two constants — lowering the chance of getting struck by Critical Hit and giving a small boost to Hit and Avoid.
  • MacGuffin Title: The titular Fire Emblem is an item found in almost every game of the series. Its exact form, function, and importance varies wildly between titles, with weapons imbued with powerful magic properties being common.
  • Mad Lib Fantasy Title: Try typing Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light with a straight face. It's not easy.
  • Mage Killer: Pegasus Knights and Paladins, with their high resistance and access to physical weapons, are good at taking out enemy mages.
  • Magikarp Power: The Est Archetype, in which a young and inexperienced unit starts off at a much lower level than the majority of other units, with similarly low stats. But if trained patiently, they tend to become Lightning Bruisers in their own right.
  • Man in White: Clerics and bishops tend to dress in long white robes.
  • Master of Unlocking: The thief, assassin, and rogue classes can open chests and doors without needing the proper keys, though they usually need a lockpick to do so.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Roy has origins in words meaning both red (hair) and king. Ayra/Ira, while not the name's real life origin (where it is short for Irene), is wrath in Latin. These may be coincidental, though.
    • Marth is a weird example; early translations gave his name as Mars (you know, after the god of war?), but now Marth seems to be the primary translation.
    • Most of the common names have meaning, too. Hector was named for Hector of Troy, Leila was named for a harem girl in a poem, Raven was named for the titular raven from Edgar Allen Poe's poem, etc.
      • Hector has a double-meaning; since he has a brother named Uther (you know, like the biological father of King Arthur), he might also be named after Ector, Arthur's foster father.
    • And most characters in Seisen no Keifu are named for someone suitably obscure in Celtic mythology. You'll never read The Fate Of The Sons Of Usnach quite the same way again...
    • Soren (Senerio in Japanese) is an interesting case of having two different names, and both of them being meaningful. In Japanese, it's a play on the word "scenario" (Soren being the Tactician), but his English name, Soren, comes from the Italian name Severino, which means a short, grouchy guy.
    • Nearly every place-name in the series is either cribbed from or suspiciously similar to the old name for European territories; Crimea, Gallia, Ostia... there's also the world of the Ike games, Tellius, based on Tellus, the Roman name for the mother earth goddess. It's best not to think too hard about these names, as most of them seem to be totally random.
      • Macedon and Lycia are also real places, Lycia being a region of Turkey and Macedon being the famous home of Alexander the Great.
    • "Elphin" is a pretty good description of his appearance.
    • See the shout-out page for names of characters that have meaning.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: The Dancer class. Dancing allows another character to make a second action that turn.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: The primary setting of the series since the first game. It makes Fire Emblem Fates stand out due to the fact it isn't purely European, but also features a Japanese-style nation as well.
  • Medieval Stasis: Hundreds of thousands of years' worth in Archanea. Perhaps justified in part in that the widespread use of magic means there is less motivation for various technological advances, but it's still surprising how little technology changes over the ages in the Fire Emblem worlds.
  • Mercy Rewarded:
    • In particular, the Capture feature of Thracia 776, in which units captured will join your team as fighters.
    • In Path of Radiance, sparing the Laguz bandits in chapter 15 and the priests in chapter 22 also rewards you with bonus experience and one of the best staffs in the game, respectively.
  • Merging the Branches: In Shadow Dragon, several characters were only recruitable in Gaiden chapters that required several playable characters to die to access them. In New Mystery of Emblem, however, all returning Gaiden characters except Nagi are treated as if they joined Marth's army despite the fact that every playable character from the previous game survived to see the sequel.
  • Mighty Glacier: (Armor) Knights. Clad in full plate armor, wielding heavy spears. Very hard to kill without magic, powerful enough to one shot many other classes, but slow as molasses and have the lowest movement.
  • Monster Arena: Several maps may have an arena where you can bet gold on whichever unit you enter into it for single combat. Since it's an arena, there's no taking turns or moving around. Both units just keep attacking one after another until someone's HP drops to zero.
  • Mook Chivalry: Zig-zagged. Depending on the game and chapter, enemies will either sit around and wait for you to enter their movement/attack range, start to move toward you once you enter a certain zone, or just outright swarm you. As a general rule, whenever the party is attacking a location, enemies will attack when you go near them. If your party is holding the line or trying to rescue someone, prepare to be swarmed.
  • Mr. Fanservice: You've got the Bishonens, manly muscular men, children, and Hot Grandpas.
  • Multiple Endings: Usually determined by specific character supports. 'Mystery of the Emblem and Binding Blade'' both end early if you didn't get all of the items you need.
  • The Multiverse: General dividers between different sub-series depends on the continent the story is set on, most of which also takes place in a different universe. Archanea, Valentia, Jugdral, Ylisse and Valm are notable as all of them are within the same physical universe, with Ylisse and Valm being Archanea and Valentia thousands of years in the future, while the stories set on Jugdral are hundreds of years in the past. Some works also delve into exploring the multiverse to provide some Canon Welding between different works.
    • Archanea: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Mystery of the Emblem and their remakes
    • Valentia: Gaiden and its remake
    • Jugdral: Genealogy of the Holy war, Thracia 776
    • Elibe: The Binding Blade, The Blazing Blade
    • Tellius: Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn
    • Magvel: The Sacred Stones
    • Ylisse: Awakening (also involves Valm)
    • Unnamed continent composed of Hoshido & Nohr: Fates
  • Musical Nod: Traditionally, the Arena and Trial Map themes reuse musical tracks from prior games:
    • Genealogy: Arena entrance theme is a remix of the player map theme from FE1, and the arena battle theme remixes the player battle them from the same game.
    • Thracia 776: Arena entrance theme is a remix of the first player map theme from FE3 Book 2.
    • Binding Blade: Arena battle theme is a remix of the player battle theme from FE4, and the Trial Map player and enemy map themes are based on their equivalents from FE2.
    • The Blazing Blade: Arena battle theme is a remix of the player battle theme from FE5.
    • Sacred Stones: Arena entrance theme is a remix of the FE4's Prologue player map theme, and the arena battle theme is a remix of the FE2 player battle theme.
    • Path of Radiance: The Trial Map map theme is a remix of FE4's Chapter 10 player map theme.
    • Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem: Arena entrance theme is a remix of Ephraim's first map theme from FE8, and the arena battle theme is a remix of the FE9 player battle theme.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Pretty much every single game features multiple bosses that fight you only for this reason. Some of the potential recruits also follow this until you recruit them.
  • Near Victory Fanfare: Most Fire Emblem games have a tune that plays when there's only one enemy left on the map (Often the Boss, but not always), which can get annoying if you grind for Supports.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • In The Blazing Blade, if you get the best Tactician rating, the game says that you "changed the course of history" and that "Bern and Etruria (the countries fighting in Binding Blade) so desired this skilled mind that they went to war". Granted, they still go to war if you do poorly, but...
    • Pretty much sums up the first generation of Genealogy. Although as the side story Fall of Lenster revealed, Quan is the grand champion of this trope.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • The series is not that notably hard until Thracia 776 comes along, followed by the series introduction to a proper Hard Mode.
    • Even amongst them, Thracia 776 should be the winner of Nintendo Hard for its "unique" flavor of difficulty. Seriously.
    • New Mystery of the Emblem has Lunatic mode, which between hindrances (certain items no longer exist, certain shops are inaccessible) and buffed computer stats (and buffed computer weapons), is a real trial to beat. However, it unlocks Reverse Mode, which is just like Lunatic mode, but enemy units always attack first.
    • Averted with Awakening, Path of Radiance, and Shadow Dragon, as these three games hold GameFAQs difficulty ratings of around 3.35, thus failing to meet the 3.50 difficulty criteria for Nintendo Hard. ...As long as you don't attempt the former and latter's highest difficulties, which are obscenely difficult.
  • No Hero Discount: Played straight in every game, but taken to ridiculous extremes in Radiant Dawn when the last three merchants IN THE WORLD still charge you full price for supplies, as they accompany you on your quest to slay GOD. If you fail, they will turn to stone, but apparently they're not even willing to hand over another silver card. Even worse because there are certain cutscenes in which they give you free items, explicitly because you're their only hope of survival.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Ties in with the Aerith and Bob naming and lack of voice acting in many of the games. Usually you can make a good guess, but it can get a bit out of hand sometimes (How do you pronounce Elibe anyway? Ehl-Lee-Bay? Ehl-Leeb? Ehl-Lee-Bee?).
    • Fates makes it a point to have each of the children's names spoken in a voice clip in their respective recruitment paralogues, and Shadows of Valentia completely averts this by having full voice-acting.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The Black Knight is buried under Nados Castle when it collapses. He survives.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The various swords named Falchion have never been actual falchions, instead being longswords.
  • Non-Linear Sequel: There are several different universes. However, it's been confirmed that Archanea and Jugdral take place in the same world, and so does Awakening.
  • Nostalgia Level: If a game is made in the same continuity as a previous one, expect to see a couple.
    • Chapter 8 of Mystery of the Emblem and it's remake takes place on the same bridge where the Sable Knights were fought, the very next chapter has you fighting through the desert of Khadein again, chapter 15 and 16 is retaking Altea yet again, chapter 17 is another battle at Gra keep, and finally chapters 19 and 20 take place in Archanea like the previous time.
    • Thracia 776 has a few of it's own like chapter 19 taking place at the very same path where Leif was stranded in during chapter 7 of Genealogy.
    • Chapter 14 (with 1-10 being a tutorial) of Blazing Blade is in the same place and identical to Chapter 4 of Binding Blade, with the same character as the boss. Hector Chapter 25 of Blazing Blade has an objective to capture every castle, mirroring the objective of every chapter from the 4th game.
    • If you look closely in chapter 29 (31 in Hector's story) of the same game, you'll find the starting area is the exact same place as the boss' area in chapter 8 of Binding Blade.
    • There are a lot of these parallels in areas between Blazing Blade and Binding Blade, especially near the end.
      • Chapter 27E/29H has the same boss area as Chapter 21 of Binding Blade, but approached from the other direction such that it's in the northwest corner of the map rather than the southeast corner.
      • Chapter 28E takes place in the same cave as Chapter 8x of Binding Blade, while its Hector's Story counterpart, chapter 30, matches up with Chapter 12x.
      • Chapter 29xE/31xH takes place in the same town as Chapter 7 of Binding Blade.
    • Ostia Castle in Binding Blade's chapter 7 and 8 is almost identical to Manster in Thracia 776's prison break chapters 6 and 5 respectively, except with slightly changed positions. Roy in chapter 7 is outside Ostia and wants to enter, while Leif in chapter 6 wants to escape from the castle and ends where Roy starts. Both Leif and Roy start in the same position in chapter 5 and 8, but Leif is trying to escape and Roy is trying to enter.
    • Many of the DLC maps in Awakening are based on maps from previous games in the series.
  • Official Couple: Interestingly, all of the Shouzou Kaga-directed (Archanea/Valentia, save for Awakening, and Jugdral) games give the Lords official love interests, whereas all of the ones that came after Thracia 776 do not; the later games go for the Implied Love Interest route instead, with remakes of the Kaga games being obvious exceptions.
    • Archanea: Marth and Sheeda are engaged by the end of Shadow Dragon, and only hold off their wedding due to the War of Heroes come Mystery of the Emblem. They tie the knot for real when the game ends.
    • Valentia: Celica and Alm, who are both the Lords of Gaiden, are an example of a Childhood Friend Romance. While they initially clash in how to deal with the incoming war with Rigel, they still look out for one another. After they join forces against Duma, they marry, unite both of Valentia's two kingdoms and combine the faiths of Mila and Duma into one super-faith.
    • Jugdral (Genealogy): Sigurd and Deirdre marry after the first chapter of Genealogy, and by the time Chapter 3 comes around, she's already given birth to Seliph. Seliph, curiously, is an exception to this rule, and though he insists that he's uninterested, his half-sister Julia appears to be very much in love with him, to the point where she stays with him at the end even if they're both paired with other people.
    • Jugdral (Thracia 776): Since he was a regular second-generation unit in Genealogy, Leif can be paired up with any of the other female members of Seliph's army. In the game where he's the main Lord, however, should Nanna survive, he proposes to her, and her ending states that they marry after Seliph finishes liberating Jugdral.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Most units in any game become this if leveled up high enough — come endgame in pretty much any FE incarnation, it's not uncommon for a high level character to be able to solo the final chapters by him/herself.
    • Jeigans are also this early game if you choose to use them.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Speed, due to affecting evasion and the ability to double attack. Also, (Physical) Defense in some of the games.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • A few exceptions exist, like Aran from Radiant Dawn and Arran from Shadow Dragon, but the first was named Brad in the Japanese version. A legitimate exception is Lynn from Genealogy of Holy War and Lyn(dis) from The Blazing Blade as well as Linde/Linda from Archanea and Linda from Genealogy of the Holy War (recurring NPC Jake will comment on how Jugdral!Linda's name is familiar).
    • Radiant Dawn has Amy and Aimee in the same game. This is another example of a name change clash, the 2nd originally (she keeps this original name in Shadow Dragon) being Larabel.
    • Sacred Stones had Marisa, whose original name was Marica, which makes Marica and Marcia.
    • And then you have Arthur from Genealogy of the Holy War, *another* Arthur from Fates (though justified in that he's named Harold in Japan), and also Artur from Sacred Stones.
    • There's also Selena from Sacred Stones and "Selena" from Fates, although the latter is using a pseudonym.
    • There are cases that the name are the same but are of different versions of them like Alex (Alec (Scottish) and Lex in Genealogy of the Holy War and Xander in Fates) and Elizabeth (Liza in Shadow Dragon and Genealogy of the Holy War, Lissa in Awakening, Elise in Fates).
    • Shadows of Valentia and Gaiden are a strange (and funny) case. In the Japanese versions, the character renamed Leon in the English version is called Leo; the Nohrian Prince from Fates is Leon in the Japanese version, and Leo in the English version. Additionally, the mercenary Kamui (named such in both languages) has the same name as the half-dragon Avatar Kamui in the Japanese version of Fates (renamed Corrin in the English version).
  • Optional Party Member: If you didn't steal soldiers from the opposing side, you'd almost never make it through the game.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Virtually every boss guarding a seize square. Because they are typically bulky Knights/Generals, they will just sit there while you whittle down his health at a range and not getting a single hit on your party, except for the rare one that wields weak throwable javelins over high-end spears. However, certain bosses (sometimes depending on the difficulty) do avert this, which is usually troublesome, especially if this behaviour isn't known in advance. In the later games such as Awakening, the range markers will helpfully indicate when the boss won't be moving.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: And not even consistent across the various games due to differing designs, and inconsistent size:
    • More specifically, there are two different kinds of humanoid dragons, Manaketes and Dragon Laguz, that transform into dragons using separate methods. Then we have Wyvern Riders who ride non-humanoid dragons, usually called Wyverns, akin to the Pegasus Knights. Two games had Draco Zombies, and a few other varying examples exist throughout the rest of the series.
    • Furthermore, the Dragon tribes in several Fire Emblem universes started going insane without warning, in addition to going sterile, the only known solution was sealing their dragon essence/form into a common stone, creating something known as a Dragonstone.
    • Finally, the Fire Emblem verse has multiple types of Dragons (Manaketes or Laguz) that represent their element. Oftentimes, the element they represent leads to a power dichotomy, where the weakest tends to be fire and the strongest tends to be ice or water, with a whole spectrum in-between. They can also wildly vary in appearance based on the element they make use of; Silent Dragons that command waves are the furthest from the image of a traditional Western Dragon, lacking eyes, having antlers, and making use of bubbles and water plumes in combat. Fire dragons, in contrast, almost perfectly mimic the Western interpretations of Dragons, breathing fire, being capable of bipedal movement (though they prefer flight and going on all fours), and having wings.
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation:
    • Some of the stronger spells in each game. Luckily, you can turn off battle animations.
    • Armored units in Genealogy of the Holy War also have fairly long animations, especially if they have to cover a lot of distance to get to the opposing unit (certain units have their attack animations back them up).
    • Averted in Fire Emblem Awakening, which allows you to fast-forward or just skip individual fights at will without turning them off entirely.
  • Panty Shot:
  • Pegasus: The mounts of the Pegasus Rider/Pegasus Knight class are these.
    • Winged Unicorn: They either grow horns or wear armor with them when their riders promote to Falcon Knights.
  • Perfect Run Final Boss:
    • Binding Blade: Defeating Zephiel with all legendary weapons intact unlocks a few extra chapters, including the real final boss fight.
    • Medeus is this in Mystery of the Emblem.
  • Personality Blood Types: The Japanese version of The Blazing Blade allows you to choose' the blood type of Mark, the player character. To absolutely no effect.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate:
    • Axes do quite a bit of damage, but they also have lower accuracy than swords and lances.
    • Dark magic has the most raw power of the magic types, but it's also the most inaccurate.
  • The Player Is the Most Important Resource: In 7, the characters of your party will be stunned at your great abilities upon victory, and especially grateful at the end of the game. However, this is optional — you don't need to "create a tactician" for the main characters to address.
  • Playing with Fire: The many fire tomes, which do things like calling down flaming meteors to shooting fireballs at the enemy.
  • Plot Armor: While most of the time when a unit's HP reaches zero, they suffer Final Death, when a unit is crucial to the game's plot, they'll retreat and never be deployable again instead, explained in-universe as a Career-Ending Injury.
  • Plotline Death:
    • Lorenz in Mystery of The Emblem's Book 2, Sigurd and almost all of his army halfway through Genealogy of Holy War; Hector near the beginning of Binding Blade, Leila roughly halfway through The Blazing Blade and Ninian towards the end; Greil and Rajaion in Path of Radiance; Pelleas in Radiant Dawn under most circumstances; your decoy in Shadow Dragon.
    • Except not really on that last one, according to New Mystery of the Emblem - Hero of Light and Shadow.
  • Power Glows: From Mystery onward, the series has been quite a big fan of it — whenever a unit attacks with an Infinity +1 Sword, the weapon lets off a split-second Audible Gleam which covers the entire screen. This often applies when enemy units have them.
  • Power Up Let Down:
    • Kieran's Gamble. Not so much if you take it off of him and give it to someone with a high accuracy.
    • Snipers in The Sacred Stones have a skill that randomly activates, ensuring a hit... but the game is so easy and Snipers typically have a very high Skill stat, so they almost always have 100% accuracy anyway.
      • In the Radiance games, Snipers are given "Deadeye" instead, a skill which puts enemies to sleep. Would be useful if Rolf and Shinon were even halfway capable of not one-shotting anything they touch.
      • In Path of Radiance, Deadeye also had the passive effect of increasing accuracy by 100% — so any attack that would have had even the slightest chance to hit normally will never miss, and even attacks that would've been guaranteed misses are likely to hit. Most likely nerfed in Radiant Dawn because the change in skill capacity would've made it possible to combine Deadeye and Gamble.
      • Most Beorc Mastery Skills in Radiant Dawn triple the attack's damage on top of their effect (the Sentinels' Impale quadruples damage, but has no other effect; Sages' Flare and Saints' Corona negate Resistance instead; and the Black Knight's Eclipse is Luna with quintuple damage rather than triple, because he cheats). Needless to say, few enemies survive long enough to suffer those effects and the ones that could have abilities that prevent them from activating in the first place; strictly speaking, it is literally impossible for anything in the game to survive a hit of Eclipse, including Ashera.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the NA localizations, The word "damn" is reserved for the worst moments (e.g. main character dying).

    Q - Z 
  • Quickly Demoted Leader: Titania in Path of Radiance. While never actually demoted, her subordinate and student Ike gets promoted to leadership. Unlike most examples, this was actually a source of conflict and everyone there had to choose whether to follow him or not. Some of them don't. Titania does.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: A trope this franchise loves. Typically, it's a set of notable enemy commanders. Examples include the three princes from Verdane in the fourth game, the three Dragon Generals of Bern in the sixth game (and Etruria's Three Generals on your side), the Four Fangs in the seventh game, the six generals of Grado in the eight game, Daein's Four Riders in the ninth game... this sometimes goes hand in hand with the use of Red Baron, for example, all the generals of Grado have titles that are related to gemstones. Sometimes, one of them can join your army instead. Usually, when you start fighting them, it's a good sign that you're approaching the game's finale, due to the Sorting Algorithm of Evil kicking in and the enemy finally sending his elites after you.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits:
    • The player usually starts with a small core of professionals that know each other, but by the end will have recruited and used a whole bunch of miscellaneous weirdos.
    • In The Blazing Blade, the player is given both the magic general of all of Etruria (the most magically proficient country in the world) and an illiterate fourteen-year-old girl you recruit from the bad guys. The girl has the potential to be one of the best magic users in the game (it is debatable if she has enough time to realize that potential, though).
    • Lampshaded in this support conversation from Path of Radiance:
    Largo: That's strange...
    Tauroneo: ...
    Largo: Hey, Tauroneo!
    Tauroneo: Hmm?
    Largo: Don't you think this army is a little odd? I mean, heck! It's not every day that you see soldiers from this many countries all mixed into one army. I've traveled and fought in a lot of strange places, but this is the first time I've seen anything quite like this.
    Tauroneo: You're right. There are even former Daein soldiers in this army. There is no shortage of nationalities, to be sure.
    • Also Lampshaded by Raven in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade when he wonders how Rebecca doesn't know his face or name despite their being a small ragtag group.
    • Don't let the title of "army" fool you. In most games, your units are just a unusually large bunch of skilled individuals, not bothering with normal army stuff like uniforms or anything resembling ordered formations.
      • In the GBA installments, however, you can disable the character-specific color display, resulting in them all adopting blue clothing the way they would wear a uniform. Formations are entirely up to you, you can let them loose on the enemy lines if you're confident or go for actual tactics.
    • Leif's army in Thracia 776 has a combination of a band of village mercenaries, a former bandit leader, (multiple) princes and princesses, the leader of a thief guild, a fallen prince and his daughter, and the commander of a squad of Pegasus Knights that joined after being kidnapped by your army.
    • Downplayed in Fates, in which a large fraction of the playable characters are either princes or princesses of Hoshido or Nohr, or retainers formally sworn to the service of those royals.
    • Also downplayed in Alm's route in Gaiden, where the vast majority of the playable characters are professional or volunteer soldiers. The only ragtag guys Alm picks up are two clergywomen and two mage siblings.
  • Random Number God:
    • In addition to the usual complaints about misses and critical hits, the leveling/stats system used in many of the games can, at the whim of the RNG, turn a character into an unstoppable monster or a useless waste of space. Characters with 'average' stat growths (around 30%) are particularly prone to this.
    • Despite RNGs being present in many games, this series somehow has a reputation as the cheapest when it comes to unlikely random events, usually involving the phrase "1% chance". Any unit with an even mildly decent Luck Stat will usually only get a critical hit against them if the enemy has some sort of bonus to criticals, but early-game myrmidons/mercenaries, wielders of light (GBA games) or thunder magic, and any enemy attacking Knoll can get a tiny chance of a critical. (Swordmasters, Berserkers, and wielders of Killer weapons and higher-level Light/Thunder magic (or Luna in FE7) usually have a better chance and are legitimately dangerous.) These enemies really don't get criticals that often, but you know how it is when they do.
    • A level that really accentuates this is the church chapter in Path of Radiance. The map is very small, so it's all closed quarters, but there are tons of bishops that are blocking your way, but not the enemy's. It takes time to shove the bishops out of the way (or kill them, which is discouraged). The bottom line is that the bad guys are definitely going to get a few hits in, which wouldn't be so bad if they weren't all axe-men with decent critical chance. The boss exaggerates everything above, carrying both a Killer Axe and Killer Bow (high critical chance), high strength (better chance that the critical will kill you), and seems to know exactly when he should pop out to kill someone and when he should hide in the back behind a whole stack of bishops. In other words, unless you really take your time in this chapter, the boss will get some hits in; just hope he doesn't get a critical at the wrong time. Although, if you can get a Thief in position next to the boss, you can steal whichever weapon he hasn't got equipped at that moment, and then exploit his blind spot in the spaces he can't target.
  • Red Baron:
    • Nearly everyone has a nickname, from Karel "The Sword Demon" to most of the bosses you face; in particular, in The Blazing Blade, any Black Fang worth his/her salt has a nickname, from Jaffar, "Angel of Death" to Lloyd the "White Wolf". Even the weaker members get their own nicknames, like Teodor the Shrike Shadow Hawk, that they prefer to go by rather than their real names.
    • In character endings, each is given a nickname.
    • Grado's generals in Sacred Stones are each given a gemstone nickname by the emperor when they are promoted to that rank (Moonstone, Blood Beryl, Fluorspar, etc).
  • Reincarnation Romance: Julius and Ishtar is essentially Azel and Tiltyu's romance reincarnated, one born from a bastard child and the other forced to continue the bitter legacy.
  • Red Mage: Promoted magic users normally become Combat Medics, with those who started with staves gaining offensive magic and those that started with offensive magic gaining staves. Awakening lets Sorcerers/Dark Mages wield Anima magic as well as dark magic.
  • Relationship Values: If characters fight near or alongside each other, they will build up points that can unlock special conversations called Supports. Supports give characters Status Buffs when they are near each other and, in some games, may potentially lead to marriage if enough Supports are unlocked.
  • Religion Is Magic: Light magic and healing magic are the result of bishops and light mages worshipping gods.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Wyvern Riders are traditionally the feature class of the enemy country in each game, in contrast to the more 'graceful' Pegasus Knights. Oftentimes, you face more of them as enemies than Pegasus Knights, and those which are recruitable are almost always on the enemy side.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity:
    • Gotoh's lost his belief in humans because they used the magic he gave them for fighting wars. Marth restores his faith by... fighting a war (for a virtuous cause, sure, but still...).
    • Ike can also restore Lehran's faith in humanity in Radiant Dawn, albeit only on the second playthrough, and after fulfilling an insane amount of requirements besides.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The most important characters and many protagonists are frequently royalty who fight on the front lines and end up trying to save the world.
  • The Sacred Darkness: There occasionally is a dark tome among a series' set of Holy Weapons, such as Gleipnir and Apocalypse, though Gleipnir is the one Sacred Twin that doesn't get bonus damage against monsters. Fates also introduced Xander's magical blade Siegfried, which is said to be sacred despite pulsing with dark magic.
  • Saving the World: In many games, when a Greater-Scope Villain is revealed, the plot switches from a local conflict to the characters attempting to stave off the destruction of their world.
  • Say My Name:
    • In Radiant Dawn, Tormod yells "SOOOOOOOOOTHE" when first announcing his presence to the rogue.
    • Also, in The Blazing Blade, a good half of the dialogue between Eliwood and Ninian consists of them saying each other's name.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: The "X"-reaver weapons reverse the Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors system. For example, Swordreaver axes are good against swords instead of being weak to them, but they are also weak to lances instead of being strong against them.
  • Secret Shop:
    • You'll need a card to get in, and the secret shops are usually an out-of-the-way panel that just looks slightly different from the rest.
    • Became an Artifact Title of sorts when Anna is referred to as "The Secret Seller" in Awakening, even though she pops up all over the place in clear sight, but still with rare and valuable items.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop:
    • The series has been relatively easy until Thracia 776, which is followed by The Binding Blade which has a rather absurd Hard Mode. The Blazing Blade is considerably easier than The Binding Blade and Sacred Stones is even easier. It goes up from there.
    • Awakening is a weird case. While New Mystery is far and away the hardest entry in the series thanks to its absurd highest difficulty mode and game mechanics, Awakening's Lunatic Mode+ is potentially the hardest mode in the series, but only because it is a Luck-Based Mission. Awakening's Normal and Hard modes are extremely easy, while the Lunatic Mode can be easily trivialized.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • This would be a straighter example if the enemy actually had more (and more effective) healers on their side; alas, they don't. Rest assured, put your own Clerics in harm's way, and the enemy will go right after them.
    • The AI priority in the first game is basically Cleric and Archers > Marth > the rest. And your cleric gets exp by being attacked.
    • One very poignant example, however, is during Ike's first duel with the Black Knight. On the third turn, some reinforcements will appear, including a Bishop with a Physic Staff. If he manages to heal the Black Knight, you won't win.
  • Shock and Awe: The thunder tomes, which zap enemies with conjured lightning.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss:
    • Lyn and Hector, Farina and Dart, Serra and Erk or Matthew, L'Arachel and Innes/Rennac/Ephraim, Clarine and Rutger...
    • During Rebecca and Wil's B Support Conversation, she kicks him in the stomach.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism:
    • Titania and Soren, respectively, serve as mouthpieces to each side of the scale. Path of Radiance itself tends towards realism and cynicism for the most part.
    • Also, this sums up the major personality differences between Eirika and Ephraim.
  • Snow Means Love:
    • The fourth chapter of Genealogy of the Holy War takes place in snowy Silesia and gives us three possible relationship-boosting talks between Azel and Tailto, Lewyn and Ferry, and Claude and Sylvia. In the second case, this will automatically trigger their Relationship Upgrade.
    • The player can make the trope happen if his/her preferred romantic couples reach the highest level of support in stages that are covered in snow.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Played straight in Genealogy, Thracia 776, Gaiden, and to a lesser extent, any of the games with no weight stat. Otherwise, stronger weapons are mostly kept in check by their heavy weight and low number of uses.
  • Sound of No Damage: In the Game Boy Advance games, any attack that does no damage will make a high-pitched "ping" sound.
  • Spanner in the Works: Kishuna in the first chapter he appears in The Blazing Blade. The boss of that chapter (who, incidentally, comes off as a chessmaster-type character, what with remarks like "battle is an equation") has long-range magic that will do some nasty damage to your non-magic party members... had the aforementioned Magic Seal not made his conveniently-timed unexpected appearance.
  • Spell Levels: The series does this with both spells and weapons, by dividing them up into Weapon Levels dictating when a character is skilled enough to use stronger weapons. Usually the ranks range from E-S, although games prior to Binding Blade stopped at A (Awakening does this as well, and Genealogy also didn't have anything lower than C) and Radiant Dawn added SS as an extra level above S. The typical progression for weapons is Iron, Steel, Silver. Magic was further standardized in Radiant Dawn, giving basic magic, 'El' magic, 'Arc' magic, a named long range attack, named high level, and then 'Rex' for the ultimate (e.g. Wind, Elwind, Arcwind, Blizzard, Tornado, Rexcalibur).
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • None of the titles before Fire Emblem have official English releases, the inevitable result (combined with the rather scattered nature of the fanbase) being that different sources have different names for pretty much everyone and everything. Due to the vagaries of Japanese transliteration of foreign names (usually of legendary weapons), the Gae Bolg has been referred to as the Gay Borg in more than one FAQ for Genealogy of the Holy War. For that matter, Nintendo themselves seem to have trouble, turning Turpin into Durban and Almace into Armads. Admittedly, once Archbishop Turpin from The Song of Roland became an axewielding berserker, all bets were off.
    • Nabal/Nabarl/Nabaaru/Navahl/Navarre/The guy with the killing edge in chapter 3 of the original game that you can recruit takes the cake. He doesn't even have the same translation in the American and European releases of Shadow Dragon. Neither does Shiida/Caeda.
    • Eideen/Edin/Aideen/Edain/Adean isn't too far behind the above.
    • The European version of The Blazing Blade can't seem to decide whether it's Ostia or Ositia; Laus or Lahus; Bern or Biran. The world map tends to use the former name, while the rest of the dialogue uses the latter.
    • A strange case is Seliph, the second protagonist of Genealogy Of the Holy War. He's near-universally referred to as "Celice" by the fandom, but in their summary of the history of the franchise on their The Blazing Blade website, Nintendo of America calls him "Serlis". It's possible this was done to differentiate him from Celica, protagonist of Gaiden who was mentioned several paragraphs before, but...
    • Awakening's release rectified several names from Genealogy, including Celice being localized as Seliph. Heroes rectified many names from Binding Blade and before, as well.
  • Spiteful A.I.:
    • In many of the games, the enemy will attempt to kill your lord and trigger a Game Over via We Cannot Go on Without You, tactics or wellbeing of its own units be damned.
    • If neither the lord nor your cleric are in range, the AI will attempt to gang up attackers on one of your units in an attempt to kill it in one turn before it can retreat.
    • The AI also loves to attack even when it would not do any damage at all; it values more wasting charges of your Infinity -1 Sword than the wellbeing of his troops. Alternatively, it'll do exactly that to deny you an Optional Party Member, which is even more frustrating. Though mercifully rarer.
  • Squishy Wizard: Most magic users have terrible defense. Some try to compensate with crazy dodging skills.
  • Staff Chick: The clerics featured in the earlier games were almost exclusively kind women in white, while later games changed it up.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Enemy units that join you typically keep their original armor color.
  • Straight for the Commander: Zig-Zagged. Sometimes missions can be won instantly by killing the enemy commander as soon as possible, other times you have to kill every enemy soldier regardless.
  • The Strategist:
    • The player character in The Blazing Blade.
    • Soren in Path of Radiance and Malledus in Shadow Dragon.
    • August and Dorias in Thracia 776 and Elphin and Merlinus in Binding Blade as well.
    • Ephraim in The Sacred Stones.
    • The player character again in Awakening. Being an amnesiac with only recollection of how to use strategy in battle, this becomes their entire personality, especially with such battle lines as "Checkmate!" and "Now that's strategy."
  • Subtext: Florina and Lyn from Fire Emblem certainly seem to share a Xena/Gabrielle dynamic early on in the game. Well, mostly Florina, a Shrinking Violet who admits to being afraid of men. She eventually matures and recovers from it, but the subtext is still clearly there, so much that she and Lyn have an ending. Heather from Radiant Dawn joins because "of all the pretty girls" and refers to every female she has a conversation with (and one she doesn't) as cute or lovely. For dudes, look no further than Raven and Lucius, or Legault mock-flirting with Heath. Also, fans have theorized potential for Joshua and Gerik, especially as their paired ending (that alone is suggestive) describes Gerik as never again leaving Joshua's side.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Inverted, many of the characters from 7, a prequel, are explained as not appearing in 6 by dying. Canas is killed by continuity errors... ahem... dies in a blizzard in his ending. Shin's recruitment has Sue express concern about her grandfather, but not her father (her mother can be explained as being sent away with the women and children like she was). Nino vanishes so her children can be left orphans. Hector started as a character whose main purpose was to die. Eliwood is ill and close to death.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Whenever you elect to attack, the game shows your expected damage and chance to hit. Enemy units other than bosses tend to have poorer stats than your average player character, and will regularly try to hit when the expected damage or chance to hit (or both) are listed at zero and the PC has a 100% chance to kill said unit in a counterattack. Apparently, using up charges on your weapons are worth more to these idiots than their own lives.
  • Suspiciously Small Army:
    • Takes this Up to Eleven. The Arbitrary Headcount Limit is, on a huge map, around 20 people. 4 has no headcap limit (though single characters are taking entire cities), 7 avoids having an "army" under the player's control or fighting against one, 9 and 10 state the player controls a vanguard during the parts the story says is army vs army. This doesn't explain every other game though.
    • The Shepherds in Awakening start off as basically law enforcement, but led by a royal with a couple of actual knights. Then the pegasus knights that were implied to be Ylisse's main military force all die out along with the country's ruler and the leader of the mercenaries is promoted to king. Two years later, they fight another war and the Shepherds are the entirety of Ylisse's military force. No small wonder they need Regna Ferox's help all the time.
      • Perhaps justified by the fact that a generation before the events of Awakening, Ylisse was a war-mongering nation that terrorized its neighbor Plegia. Perhaps as part of the reparations following that war, Ylisse's armies were disbanded, leaving the diminished forces seen in the game.
    • In Jugdral, a group of +10 Units is an 'Army'. This is, however, justified by most of them being a One-Man Army due to being descended from a demigod and the fact that they're fugitives in the eyes of The Empire a quarter of the way through the game and, therefore, don't get an unplayable Mook legion like most other Emblem protagonists.
    • If the Vitality Bar was reinterpreted as "number of soldiers" instead of "life", then this trope is averted.
  • Support Party Member:
    • The basic White Mage classes such as Cleric usually don't have any way to defend themselves, only being able to heal allies.
    • Dancers and their variants either cannot attack enemies or have limited combat ability, but can refresh player units and enable them to act twice in one player phase.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The Weapon Triangle dictates that Swords beat Axes, Axes beat Lances, and Lances beat Swords. Some games play with the system by including weapons that invert the triangle or add other weapon types to it, but the base idea is constantly used throughout the series.
  • This Cannot Be!: Every boss has a death quote, so it's quite unsurprising that some of them say variations of this when they're defeated.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Yes, this game loves this trope. This stock phrase is used on certain times when you choose to have certain characters attack certain enemy or boss characters, like Ashnard or Nergal, for instance.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: It's a running gag in the series to have the party attacked by a duo of very Gonky bandits with over-the-top personalities. Some examples, all of them encountered in the middle of a desert:
    • Rose and Maggie in Binding Blade
    • Jasmine and Paul in The Blazing Blade
    • Pain and Agony in Radiant Dawn
    • Victor and Vincent in Awakening, only this time they're not fought in a desert, and the Art Shift makes them significantly less Gonky.
    • Lloyd and Llewellyn in Fates.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Every game has two cavaliers, one red and one green, who fit this trope. They usually come as a pair. Oscar and Kieran, Kyle and Forde, Sain and Kent, Sully and Stahl. Heck, in a support conversation, Sully and Stahl discuss the original pair, Cain and Abel...
    • Traditionally, they also have a Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic, with red being red and green being blue; furthermore, the red one usually has higher strength and defense while the green has higher speed and skill. The Blazing Blade inverts this fully, while Sacred Stones returns the personalities to their original colors but keeps the statistical inversion.
    • Kaze and Saizo fill the role in Fates, but rather than being cavaliers, they're ninja.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • Ike's Aether, Mercenary and Hero critical hits invoke the attacking unit tossing their blade into the air, catching it, and striking.
    • Oddly enough, however, swords are the only weapon type that doesn't have a common throwable version. The rare sword types that do have a ranged option are usually magical. Awakening finally adds a throwable sword in the form of Amatsu, Yen'Fay's signature weapon, dropped by him when defeated and useable by only Myrmidon classes, and in Fates the Kodachi, a throwable katana, is fairly readily available.
  • Timed Mission: In terms of turns, not actual passing time.
  • Tomato Surprise: Alm in Gaiden and Micaiah in Radiant Dawn learn of their respective royal heritages this way. Alm is the son of Rigel's king, and unlike his childhood friend Celica, he's been kept in the dark about it (Celica is aware of her own heritage — her real name is Anteze, and she's the sole surviving member of Zofia's royal family). According to a boss that Alm defeats, the king's son has a cross-shaped birthmark on his arm that notes his lineage. Micaiah learns of her heritage in a similar manner, as she is Empress Sanaki's older sister, making her the true heiress to Begnion's throne.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Legendary weapons, Hammerne staff, Mines, and more.
    • Radiant Dawn averts this by giving a selected weapon for each character unlimited uses for the last 3 chapters.
    • Manaketes seem to fall under this category too (once the Dragonstone runs out, they're useless). However, give one an endgame chapter and no doubt they'll near his/her level cap by the end with several charges to spare. In Mystery of the Emblem and Awakening, there are stores that sell Dragonstones, so you can go ahead and use Manaketes with aplomb.
    • Awakening also gives the main lord TWO signature weapons, the rapier most lords in the series use for effectiveness against armor and cavalry, and the Falchion, an infinite use Iron Sword that's effective against Wyverns.
    • Averted with a vengeance in Fates, where Breakable Weapons are no longer a thing.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the prologue of Shadow Dragon, someone has to disguise himself as Marth and run off to distract some soldiers. Any of your units can be used, including Marth himself. He even gets his own death message, though you get a game over right after.
  • Translation Style Choices: The various localizations offer different angles on characterization. It makes for a lot of Squee! amongst fanfiction writers.
  • Trope Maker and Trope Codifier: For the Strategy RPG genre, at least for the Japanese side of the genre's market. It certainly wasn't the first, but it was responsible for many of the defining features and themes now taken for granted in the genre.
  • Tsundere: Is quite often seen in the games:
    • Some notable ones are Lyndis, Hector, Lethe, and Severa.
    • In New Mystery of the Emblem, the My Unit system and the newly made Base Conversations expanded the characters' personality more. Some newly found tsunderes are Navarre (Has a tendency to blush when he is teased), Rickard (When he cooked food with My Unit, he says "I-I didn't make that for YOU anyways..."), Wolf (He says that the Altean Knights are weak and makes other rude remarks when he talks with My Unit, but with the female My Unit, he goes on his dere dere side by asking her to take her to his homeland), and Yumina (in one of the 'How's Everyone' convos that concerns about raising bond points, her line is typical Tsundere line "I-it's not like I care about him, or anything!")
  • Underrated and Overleveled: In fact, any Role-Playing Games (like Fire Emblem) that emphasize a massive cast of recruitable teammates tend to be particularly guilty of this. The huge hosts of characters guarantee at least a few will be mundane people with little or no combat training, and the inability to focus much plot on each character means that the developers don't have time to give in-story justification for everyone's combat capabilities.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Marcia from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn swears with food items. "Oh, crackers, I don't have time for this!"
  • Utility Party Member: Thieves and dancers/bards' combat skills tend to be lacking (the latter sometimes cannot fight at all), and the main reason to have them is to steal items/pick locks and give your other party members extra turns, respectively.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • It depends on the game, with some having a bigger scale than others. Genealogy of the Holy War averts this trope, with the last boss fight taking place outside of Barhara Castle, and is set up like the other maps in the game, only smaller in scale. The Crimean Royal Palace from Path of Radiance also averts this trope.
    • Both temples in Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light and Mystery of the Emblem; both of them are somewhere in the kingdom of Archanea.
    • The Duma Tower in Gaiden.
    • The Altar of Loptyr in Thracia 776, which is divided into two parts (Chapter 24 and the Final Chapter)
    • The Dragon Temple in Binding Blade, which is seven levels in height with Idoun waiting at the top.
    • The Dragon's Gate in The Blazing Blade.
    • The shrine in Darkling Woods in The Sacred Stones.
    • Ashera's Tower in Radiant Dawn.
    • Subverted in Awakening; while the last battle takes on Grima's back, the only thing standing in its way is a small army of Risen on a lone island with a volcano.
    • In Fates, the final map depends on the route you picked: you either fight in the throne room of whatever side you didn't pick (Castle Shirasagi's throne room in Conquest; Castle Krakenburg's throne room in Birthright), or you fight in the depths of the Kingdom of Valla against Anankos in Revelation.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Every character you control is named and has their own head-shot. Add to the mix a bit of Final Death (minus restarting the game), specific endings for every character, and lots of character interaction, you wind up with having to/wanting to restart every level multiple times so that no one ever dies.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • In most every game, there is at least one instance of friend-versus-friend, lover-versus-lover, or family-verus-family thanks to family White Sheep or a subscriber to My Country or Master Right Or Wrong, and sometimes even Brainwashed and Crazy. So you can easily force a sister to kill her brother, a mother to kill her daughter, or a son to kill his father.
    • In Genealogy, you can...
    • In Thracia 776, you can free innocent civilian NPCs from their prison cells, then sit and watch as they are recaptured and taken off the map by enemy soldiers or brigands.
    • Averted in Radiant Dawn. Most characters with significant story relationships (for example, Brom and his daughter Meg or Sanaki and her trusted chancellor and distant ancestor Sephiran) are mechanically prevented from attacking each other.
  • War Is Hell: A major plot point of the Tellius saga was that a war engulfing all nations on Tellius would awaken the Goddesses and trigger the Apocalypse.
  • Weapon of Choice: Swords, lances, and axes are the main three weapons in the series (starting with the Jugdral games, they are a part of a rock-paper-scissors based weapon triangle), with bows, while out of the triangle, allowing for distance combat and super effective damage against fliers. The Tellius games added knives, and others had unique weapons such as dragonstones.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: The recurring Wyrmslayer sword does extra damage to dragon units, be they Manaketes or the dragon riding classes like Wyvern Riders.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Unless Casual Mode is on, the death of your Lord character means an automatic Game Over.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Many games give each character their own short epilogue explaining what happened to them after the story is over.
  • White Mage: Cleric and Troubador are classes that purely use healing magic. They can usually Class Change to a Red Mage and/or Combat Medic class of some kind.
  • White Magic: Light and healing magic, as well as any Status Buff staves, are explicitly faith-based, and Gaiden has a set of magic literally called "White Magic" that is Cast from Hit Points, but does many of the same things that other divine magic in the series does.
  • Wind Is Green: The wind blades and other effects conjured by wind magic are colored green.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A recurring element in the games are the issues caused by the madness that comes from the most powerful dragons living for too long, and what must be done to avoid this or Mercy Kill the victim dragon.
  • The Worf Effect: While Midia herself is an acomplished knight, it's pretty hard to show your competence when your opponent is Camus and Hardin, two of the most badass characters in the entire series, and the designated wielder of the Gradivus.
  • The Wrongful Heir to the Throne: Subverted in the tenth game. After spending the first chapter getting the "legitimate" heir on the throne, he turns out to be horribly incompetent, and easily manipulated for the purpose of creating a world war. But he isn't really the real heir in the end, and the "legitimate" heir never finds out. After Pelleas reveals that he's not the legitimate heir or is killed, depending on the path the player takes through the story, the country winds up being run by the person who was actually the legitimate heir of the neighboring country of Begnion; she did find out the truth, but her sister had been running the place pretty well, and she considered Daein her home more than Begnion.
  • You All Look Familiar:
    • All generic enemies look the same. Justified -- sort of — that nine times out of ten, you're fighting an opposing army and your enemies are uniformed soldiers. However, if there's an enemy unit that both has a name and isn't a boss, there's a very good chance they can be convinced to defect.
    • In The Blazing Blade, some of the characters share mug sprites. For example, Puzon, who is the boss in the level where you meet Merlinus, was apparently killed by Rath in an earlier chapter. And Rebecca's father can be found in a variety of locales. And Marquess Araphen seems to have gotten a dye-job and joined the Black Fang in the intervening year.
    • The earlier games used shared mugs as well (FE4's "Harolds" are a popular example), but the Famicom games are ridiculous with this: each game has maybe 3 or 4 mugs that are reused for all the oneshot bosses, and even for some of the plot-important ones (like Jiol in the first game, and Dozah and Judah in Gaiden.)
      • Not to mention a few of the playable characters having the same face. Shadow Dragon, the remake of the first game, lampshades this with Dolph and Macellan.
    • In Awakening, the bosses of certain side missions reuse portraits from the main story. In fact, the only enemy portraits that aren't used anywhere else are those of the Valmese generals.
    • Indeed, it is almost Color-Coded for Your Convenience, with the change that rather than being 'white' and 'black' it is 'dead sexy' and 'generic or hideous'.
    • Also, justified at one point in Elibe. You start fighting Morphs, mass-produced artificial humans.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Hair in this series comes in all colors of the rainbow. In regards to the Lords, there have been a few common hair colors shared between Lords of each game, with blue being the most common. They are:
    • Blue: Marth, Sigurd, Seliph, Hector, Eirika, Ephraim, Ike, Chrom, and Lucina. Eirika and Ephraim's hair are more of a turquoise color, but still lean towards blue. Meanwhile, though he/she isn't a Lord per se, the customizable My Unit/Kris from FE12 has blue hair by default. Alfonse from Heroes, while mechanically not a lord but archetypically one, has blue hair with a blond gradient at the tips.
    • Red: Celica, Roy, and Eliwood.
    • Green: Alm and Lyn.
    • White: Micaiah, Robin, and Corrin. The latter two are self-inserts like Kris, but have white hair by default, and spinoff material features them with white hair.
    • Leif, the Lord of Thracia 776 and a regular unit in Genealogy of the Holy War, is the odd Lord out: his hair is brown.
    • The other character from Heroes that is a Lord in archetype terms, Sharena, has blonde hair with pink tips.
  • You Killed My Father: Most games in the franchise have characters seeking revenge on the villains who killed their parents. Cranked Up to Eleven in part 2 of Genealogy of the Holy War, where it would be easier to list the characters you can recruit who haven't had their parents killed by the villains.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Lots of heroes and villains alike kill the leaders of some country and take control afterwards. Michalis, Desaix, Almnote , Marth, Arvis, Seliph, Zephiel, Guinivere, Ashnard, Micaiah (possibly)note , Anankos, Conquest Xander, and Revelation Corrin all inherit kingdoms through regicide, either by committing it themselves or assisting those who do.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Thigh high boots are standard issue among pegasus knights across all games, excepting Subaki. Justified; the reason they're an Amazon Brigade is because women weigh less than men on average, and pegasi can't carry as much weight as horses without sacrificing their ability to fly effectively. Since they have to be lightly armored in order to do their job properly, pegasus knights use thigh boots as a compromise; it covers the most skin possible without becoming full-on metal armor. The issue of weight is also why they almost never use axes (Swords as a general rule don't weigh that much, and the length of lances allows the weight to be evenly distributed across itself).

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