Two sleeping dragons—one a sacred ally of mankind, the other its sworn destroyer. Two heroes marked with the symbols of the dragons. Their meeting heralds the dragons' awakening—and the world's ending.
Accidental Pervert: In their B Support, Chrom walks in on a female Avatar naked, and she returns the favor in their A Support.
In their Supports with Vaike, the Avatar (male or female) is also accused of being one by Sully's horse when it catches the Avatar trying to stop Vaike from peeping on girls. The Avatar, of either gender, will also accidentally walk in on a bathing Gaius, and a female Avatar will walk in on a changing Say'ri in their Supports.
Action Girl: As usual in the series, all the female playable characters. Although this time they can be upgraded to Action Moms.
Adorkable: Characters being adorkable in all of their opposite-sex Supports is the standard, not the exception.
Adult Fear: Think of it. You're an amnesiac young man/woman taken in by a kind prince's troops. You're rebuilding your life, fighting by your companions, making friends, and maybe even getting a girlfriend/boyfriend of your own if you're lucky. And then you and your True Companions find out that... you are not just the son/daughter of a Evil Sorceror, but you are to become the Soul Jar to an Evil God. And kill your prince (who may or may not be your female self's husband). And doom your world to a Bad Future, where all your newfound friends are dead and their children (including your kid/kids, if you're married) are fighting a hopeless war. WOOOOOOOW.
Aerith and Bob: The named Plegian characters are: Gangrel, Aversa, Tharja, Validar... and Henry and Robin.
Some characters avert this by having symmetrical character designs.
Oddly enough, Chrom is the only asymmetrical character with two different portraits. Other asymmetrical characters, like Basilio (who has an eyepatch) and Vaike/Brady/Donnel (who have scars), play this trope straight with mirrored portraits. This results in their facial features flip-flopping sides during conversations.
This game seems to be designed to be played in small increments. Usually after a Chapter, a Risen horde or a merchant shows up so you can train characters or buy stuff respectively. But they won't show up more than once in one sitting. So if you want to play for more than an hour, you better be prepared to go through multiple save files. Also, events in the Barracks only show up once every couple of hours, or a whole bunch at once if you leave it off for a day or two. In Hard Mode, the Reeking Boxes which summon hordes of zombies are 9x more expensive, making grinding not an option. Nintendo seems REALLY concerned about eye strain.
After completing a chapter, Anna will sometimes remind you to take a break.
If you play the game very late at night and go to the barracks, all of the characters will comment on how late it is, with most them advising you to go to sleep.
Anti-Villain: Mustafa and Yen'fay are Type II, both being forced to fight the heroes because their hands are tied behind their back. Walhart is a Type I and Type III, in that he chose his villainous path but does it to attempt to avert an even larger disaster.
Even with permadeath, all of the first-generation female characters will only retreat, as all the children (save Lucina and female Morgan) are tied to their mothers. The same can be said for some of the plot-important characters, such as Frederick, Say'ri, and Virion (and the latter only because he shows up in a single scene that has minor significance to the plot).
Later on, when enemies with Rally skills start showing up, the A.I. knows how to use them so they affect as many units as possible. And if the enemy has a Dancer (which usually only occurs in StreetPass teams, though it can also occur in Paralogue 22), they know how to use them.
The enemy A.I. in Paralogue 17, a Hold the Line mission that has you protecting a defenseless Tiki, has enemies that employ a very simple, yet brilliant, strategy: They'll always ignore your units and head straight for the NPC you're guarding instead. (Unless they have no choice but to fight you to get to her, of course.) Given that most missions like this in earlier games were won by by positioning your troops in the enemy's path and waiting for them to suicidally charge into you, it's a wonder why the series has never tried this behavior before.
Artificial Stupidity: Enemies will sometimes attack units who will most surely kill them on a counterattack. While normally, the series' A.I. will do this to weaken them so another unit can eventually kill them, they'll even do this when none of the enemies nearby that unit could even scratch them. They may also body-block their own units by throwing a ranged weapon at someone behind an easily killable target very early in their turn.
For that matter, it doesn't even matter if an enemy literally cannot do any damage to their target - if they're the only PC in range, they'll almost certainly waste health and effort trying anyway.
The enemy A.I. will also always use the maximum amount of movement required to get in range of your units. Most of the time all you have to do is move a few of your toughest characters into the edge of their range with the rest on standby right behind them, and watch as the enemies all charge forward and leave themselves vulnerable to a counterattack.
This is especially obvious if you've put a lot of effort into hitting max level on just a few characters very early (particularly the player character and Lucina.) You can put a single over-leveled unit in the middle of the enemy forces and watch your foe rush to their death!
The villagers' A.I. in the third Paralogue. When you're being attacked by Risen that can easily kill you and you can't fight back, what do you do? If you answered "Run right towards them", then you surely know the frustrations players had trying to save them.
Anna's A.I. in the second Paralogue is a Double Subversion. She's supposed to be protecting a village from bandits out to destroy it. So naturally, her A.I. prioritizes the enemies that go for villages. That's good. What's NOT good is that she prioritizes killing bandits over any sense of self-preservation. Even if she'll die in one more hit, she still won't use her healing potion until there are no enemies around.
Severa in the Paralogue you can recruit her in. Even when you get Cordelia to talk to her, Severa will remain A.I. controlled until she reaches a mission-critical NPC. Unfortunately, this means she'll just charge blindly forward into the enemy fortress, ignoring the fact that any one of the enemies inside can kill her in a single attack and turning the whole thing into an Escort Mission (or a good time for staff-users to grind, if they brought a fresh Rescue staff).
In fact, it can easily be proven that the NPC A.I. in this game will prioritize sacrificing itself even to only weaken enemies. This is fine in the DLC chapters, where there's no penalty for allies dying, but when it comes to recruitable allies in the main story...
Art Shift: The series as a whole seems to have shifted its art style towards more of a Seinen look and feel. With the exception of Nowi and Nah, everyone has realistic eyes.
Western fans probably won't know, but the game apparently ascends several of the Japanese fandom's memes, at least in the Japanese version. Most obvious is the option to identify yourself as an "Emblemer" in your StreetPass profile: that's actually a Fan Community Nickname for FE players in Japan. You can find a full list of others here, if you can read Japanese.
A good chunk of the fandom tends to call Anna the RNG Goddess or some form of mystical deity. With this game, not only does she have infinite identical sisters, they're all hinted to have divine powers. The alternate boss for the Apotheosis DLC map is a Level 30 Merchant class Anna with stats way beyond what her class allows, a forged Brave Lance and Spear, and the skills Aether, Counter, Dragonskin, Rightful God, and Vantage+.
The idea that all the games are in the same continuity didn't have any official support before, but this game seems to confirm it.
The Atoner: Gangrel, in his supports with the male Avatar at least.
Expect War Clerics to be this. Considering how low Lissa's strength growth is, it's unlikely that this class would be the most practical outside fighting mages. Libra, on the other hand falls under Boring, but Practical.
The DLC characters, as they cannot support other units.
Ax-Crazy: Evil Plegian King, Gangrel. Until he joins you.
Back from the Brink: The entire point of The Future Past DLC pack: Outrealm!Naga sends the party to a version of the Bad Future where the end of the world is all but assured without their intervention.
Background Music Override: Used in Chapter 10, both in the preparation screen and in the actual chapter, to amazing emotional effect. The final chapter also does this once you gain control of your characters.
Badass Family: Due to the existence of second-generation characters, you can get lots of these.
Special mention to Chrom's family, which can get HUGE if you marry the right characters. Specially crucial is to marry a male Avatar with Lucina. If you get all the second and third generation characters, you can fill the entire party just with Chrom's family tree and still be awesome!
You can also achieve the same effect by having a male Avatar marry Lissa while Chrom marries someone else, though that means you'd only be related to Chrom's children by law rather than blood.
Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted this time around, albeit it's mostly because of the art style. All of the heroes are still incredibly good-looking, and most of the villains, bandits included, are nowhere near as ugly as previous titles (they all lack buck teeth, for one). Even Victor and Vincent, the resident Creepy Twins bosses, don't look so bad (alternate versions of them appear in some DLC maps where they are made into comedy relief, so that also helps).
The only truly ugly villain is Excellus, and the only thing deterring from Validar and Gangrel's appearances are their creepy facial expressions and really bizarre skin colors. Validar in particular is a frightening looking sorcerer, but he still has a six-pack...
Beef Gate: The Paralogues where you recruit the Kids from the Future are available as early as Chapter 13, provided the parents are married. Most of them, however, contain enemies far beyond what the average party at that point is capable of handling, forcing you to come back later. And given that the higher the parents' stats, the higher their kids' stats will be, this is highly recommended.
The Deadlords' names are Latin words for the animals of the Chinese zodiac.
Birthmark of Destiny: The Brand of the Exalt, carried by members of the Ylissean Royal Family as proof of their Heroic Lineage. Emmeryn has one on her forehead, Chrom on his right shoulder, Lucina in her left eye, and Chrom's other child (or at least Chrom!Inigo) in his/her right eye. Lissa doesn't have the Brand, making her fear she's illegitimate, but her son Owain does have it (on his arm, covered up by his sleeve).
One dark example is Grima's mark on the back of the Avatar's right hand.
Bishōnen: There are a fair number of male characters who fit this. It's also a definite possibility for a male Avatar.
Black and White Morality: Seemingly, the issue between Ylisse and Plegia on the surface. Ylisse worships the benevolent Divine DragonNaga, ruled by the kind and just Emmeryn, and minus the Shepards, is mainly peaceful. Plegia, on the other hand, worships the monstrous Fell DragonGrima, ruled by the cruel Gangrel, and at least a portion of its people are Barbarians who like to Rape, Pillage, and Burn. Even the Token Heroic Orcs, Tharja and Henry, don't even seem to be that heroic. However, Emmeryn's predecessor had oppressed Plegia in the past, so relations between the two countries were naturally sour by the time she took over, and Gangrel's supports reveal that the people of Plegia may not necessarily worship Grima because they choose to do so...
Book Ends: The opening scene takes place with Chrom and Lissa finding the Avatar passed out in a field. In one of the possible endings, the Avatar's fate is left somewhat ambiguous and ends with this same scene as the The Stinger, with only one extremely heartwarming change.
Bowdlerisation: One of Tharja's conversations (Nowi asking her about her "boingy bits") in the "Harvest Scramble" DLC was altered in the Eurpoean version (but not the American version). Then in "Summer Scramble", Tharja's swimsuit Fanservice was censored◊ in the American version (though some think this actually made it look more risque than before...) but was surprisingly left alone for the European version.
Any possible incestuous pairings (only of the Kissing Cousins type though, thankfully) are labeled as "companions" instead of husband and wife. The most common cases are if Owain marries either Lucina or either Cynthia or Kjelle if one of them has Chrom as their father.
The "Golden Pack" DLC contains three levels blatantly designed for easy grinding. They also contain hilariously flimsy Excuse Plots, so even if you're not interested in farming lots of cash/EXP/gear you can still play them once to watch Chrom play the Only Sane Man.
Cordelia will even call you out on it during EXPonential Growth.
The Limit Breaker manual, which boosts all of a character's maximum stats by 10. Sounds totally broken, exclusive to the last DLC chapter... Then the second batch of DLC was revealed, and let's just say you're going to NEED it.
Honestly, SpotPass and the DLC in general is this, since they all give you strong weapons and new units for free... as long as you have internet and a credit card.
SpotPass isn't so bad, thanks to being free. Doesn't make it any less useful, though.
Brick Joke: When Tiki wakes up and sees Lucina, she mistakes her for her "Mar-Mar."
Cordelia mentions reading a book called Make Him Fall for You in a Fortnight, and feeling embarrassed over reading it. Severa—her daughter—finds the book and wonders who would read something like that.
Panne wonders that pretending to have buck teeth makes people feel more comfortable around her. Her son Yarne complains that she lied when he used the same trick himself and everyone looked at him funny.
Maribelle tells Olivia that the best way for her to overcome her shyness is to talk to men, only for the two of them to find out later that the book Maribelle derived the advice from was meant for men to hit on girls. Inigo later reveals that the reason why he's so forward with women is because Olivia told him the same advice.
Brother-Sister Incest: Averted for once in the series - Chrom cannot marry Lissa, and their relationship is far more healthy and sibling-like compared to, say, Ephraim andEirika. Also, should Lucina have a male siblingnote can be either Brady, Inigo, or a male Morgan, she cannot marry them, nor can the other male siblings marry a female Morgan if she is their sister.
Bucket Helmet: The badly-equipped Villager class wears these. Donnel, who starts off as a Villager, keeps his through all of his possible class changes - even when he's a Hero or Warrior swinging around weapons old enough to have songs written about them, he'll still have that old tin pot on his head. Kinda justified, as he uses it to hide his very curly hair.
But Thou Must: An interesting variation. In Chapter 9, you're given the choice of whether to give up the Fire Emblem to save Emmeryn, or to listen to her warnings and refuse the offer. Which option you choose makes no difference, not because you're forced into one option, but because Emmeryn Takes A Third Option and makes the choice for you.
There are several choices throughout the game, none of which actually matter due to the actions of another character. Only the very final choice makes a difference.
The Cameo: A LOT of characters from past Fire Emblem games will appear in the extra content. Using SpotPass, many characters from previous games can be fought in Skirmishes and may be recruited upon defeat. Most of the main Lords from previous games can also be won as prizes for completing certain downloadable chapters.
Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: About half of the legacy characters make their first international appearances here. note Averted for Marth himself even if Super Smash Bros. is ignored, as Shadow Dragon received an English translation. Fellow Smash Bros. fighter Roy, on the other hand, made his first in-series European appearance here.
Canon Welding: Even WITHOUT the dimension-warping aspect of this game, there's overwhelming evidence in this game that every other Fire Emblem game is indeed in the same universe.
The Avatar's child is a tactician named Morgan, who, because they dress like their parent, shares the same outfit as Mark the Tactician from Blazing Sword, and even shares their name in Japanese (though Morgan's name is spelled Marc). The best ranking in the Japanese version of Blazing Sword gives Mark the same "Grandmaster" title as a promoted Avatar, and Morgan, like their parent, also has access to the Grandmaster class.
Valm is the future form of Gaiden's Valentia, as Ylisse is to Archanea. Chapter 16 takes place at the "Mila Tree", and the setting of chapter 18, the Demon's Ingle, is where Duma was defeated (it's named "Doma's Remains" in the Japanese version).
The Holy Weapons from the Jugdral games make an appearance (and anyone with the appropriate weapon rank can use them now), as do the twelve Deadlords, some of whom are in possession of said Holy Weapons.
Ricken and Olivia's C Support reference Sigurd and Deirdre. Sigurd being a prince who fell in love with a forest maiden (Deirdre).
And Stahl and Sully's Supports reference Cain and Abel, and Sully even lampshades the fact that she and Stahl are part of the archetype.
The conversation with Lyn('s Einherjar) after her DLC chapter (Smash Brethren 3) makes her speculate that Avatar is the Tactician of Blazing Sword due to their mostly similar appearances and shared habit of waking up in unfamiliar locales without any knowledge of how they got there.
This also doubles as Fridge Brilliance and Leaning on the Fourth Wall, since the Avatar is the player. She is essentially asking if YOU played Blazing Sword. The player has the choice of confirming or denying her hunch: "Yes" if you were the Tactician or "No" if you weren't. It may also reference the player's resemblance to their child Morgan. See the first example.
The last Bonus Unit, Priam, claims to be a descendant of Ike. Yes, THAT Ike.
Cast of Snowflakes: As per Fire Emblem tradition, each playable character has a unique design and personality.
Subverted for enemies and some Paralogue bosses that reuse generic portraits.
Cel Shading: Uses this in the CGI scenes to give a look much like that of hand-drawn anime.
Cerebus Syndrome: Not in the main story, but in the "Golden Pack" DLC episodes. The first two are hilarious Excuse Plots that don't even try to hide their status as Bribing Your Way to Victory. The third, "Infinite Regalia", is not only considerably more difficult, gameplay-wise, but contains a lot of Fridge Horror as it hints at who the Deadlords really are.
Character Development: The entire point of the Support conversations. Many of them feature the characters learning new things or getting over their issues.
Forgotten Aesop: Of course, they're also cumulative and don't adapt to one another, so just because Cordelia finally found a lover she is truly happy with and got over Chrom in one Support conversation doesn't mean she won't be back to fawning over Chrom anyway in a Support conversation with another character. The same applies to Event Tile and Barrack conversations if characters aren't paired with their spouses or family members.
Childhood Friend Romance: Two of Chrom's love interests (Sully and Maribelle) have known him since they were young; Sully was a playmate and fellow sparring partner, and Maribelle, being the daughter of an Ylissean duke, probably also spent time with him when they were young. This also applies to most of the children from the future, as all of them grew up together. In particular, if Cynthia is paired with Inigo, she reveals that she has always liked him; the same can be said if you pair her with Owain, except that he's the one who had feelings for her; finally, should you pair Gerome with Lucina, he'll note that he always loved her.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: None of the other Manakete tribes of Akaneia make an appearance in Awakening for unexplained reasons. Also Xane and Gotoh, though the latter may have died of old age.
Although, Nowi mentions recently making a new friend, heavily hinted to be Bantu.
Class Change Level Reset: In addition to traditional promotion, the Second Seal allows switching to a new basic class at Level 1.
Climax Boss: Gangrel is the early game climax boss, and he is also a Disc One Final Boss. He stands out from his peers in that: A. He's of the Trickster class, rather than the General class. B. He uses a magic-casting sword which goes off his Magic stat, rather than his Strength stat. C. The battle is fought on a plain, rather than in or near a castle/fortress that tends to be the usual spot for a climactic early game battle. D. He moves towards you along with his troops, rather than sitting on a throne or gate and waiting for you to battle your way through to him.
Colossus Climb: The endgame chapter is like this, with all of your units fighting on Grima's back to take it down.
Comic Trio: Probably the most realistic example of it. Inigo, Owain and Brady give off the impression of being three best friends, but their overall place in the Comic Trio varies from conversation to conversation. Brady is usually the Only Sane Man, but Inigo and even Owain have played it from time to time.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: From Serenes Forest's page on forging: "There is an overall limit of 8 intervals that can be raised per weapon. For example, you can raise Might by 5 intervals and Critical by 3 intervals, but no more than that. [...] Enemies on higher difficulties can have weapons that exceed the 8 interval limit." That should tell you enough. And then there's the enemy-exclusive Skills for Lunatic+ Mode, which include one that always makes them hit, regardless of stats and a Luna that ALWAYS activates.
In Paralogue 22, savvy players may reason that since the Wellspring of Truth creates reflections that the fewer members in your party, the fewer enemies you will face. The game responds by spawning multiple copies of said characters.
Convection Schmonvection: Averted in a DLC scenario, which has you rescuing a bunch of NPC merchants from a lava cave, while they're taking damage (presumably from the heat) every turn.
Played straight, however, in Chapter 18 of the main story. The showdown with Yen'fay takes place inside an active volcano with magma on all sides. If a unit falls into the liquid molten lava, they're hit with a whopping... 10 damage.
Cult: The entire nation of Plegia is a theocracy dedicated to the worship of the Fell Dragon Grima.
However, Gangrel tells Male Avatar that while said Religion of Evil is a state religion, people do not necessarily worship Grima out of choice...
Critical Hit: A staple of the Fire Emblem series, this time each one paired with a Pre-Mortem One-Liner and a Super Move Portrait Attack. The animations for the said attacks are a lot less fancy this time around, though, with the Hero's double flip slash probably being the most elaborate. At least Luna and Lethality have their own unique class-specific animations.
Custom Uniform: A few, albeit most of them being fancier Palette Swaps, like Anna's red Trickster outfit or Brady's dark purple robe. The biggest examples are Frederick's tapered and less bulky Great Knight uniform, Henry's modest sweater for his Dark Mage outfit, and Aversa's Stripperiffic getup (she's a Dark Flier).
Dangerously Genre Savvy: The developers themselves, when designing the "EXPonential Growth" DLC chapter. Its very existence shows they know full well that players love to exploit Entombed for easy EXP, but made sure if you just blindly rush in and started beating them up, you'll be met with a nasty surprise... Level 30 Entombed with Counter. Given that Entombed have massive HP, but abysmal Defense, that's an awful lot of damage coming right back at you...
Even worse is that occasionally these Level 30 Entombed will have Miracle equipped, which seems to have a high activation rate. If that Entombed had more health than your attacking unit, well... we hope you weren't too fond of that unit.
The Entombed encountered in the Harvest Scramble DLC map. Every single one of them has their Luck boosted to 50 and have the Miracle skill, as well as a random assortment of skills that take advantage of the fact that they're likely to survive with little HP left. The map may not be hard, but they weren't gonna make it that easy to blow through.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Every possible pairing has a totally unique set of Supports justifying it, and every pair of children who could potentially end up as siblings have unique supports if they do.
The only aversions are conversations between children and fathers (which all seem to be the same), since the children are tied to their mothers, with the exception of Morgan and Lucina, who are specifically tied to the Avatar and Chrom respectively. Lucina's sibling and mother Supports are also the one exception to the above, as her Support with her sibling is the same across all possible siblings/mothers (which makes sense, given that she has five candidates each for such).
Even then, this is not completely averted, at least in the Western version: While the events are the same between children and fathers, the fathers' speeches alter depending on who the father is (so, for example, Vaike will still speak in third person occasionally no matter who his child is, Henry will mention curses). Similar modification occurs with Lucina and her mother supports, and with a female Morgan and her mother supports.
One certain plot point roughly halfway through the game will have different dialogue depending on who Chrom married a few chapters ago. explanation When it is revealed that Lucina is Chrom's daughter, Chrom's wife, who is late to the reveal, will suspect that Chrom is cheating on her with Lucina. Sumia picks flowers apart saying, "He loves me - he loves me not." Maribelle immediately confronts Chrom about it. Sully is about ready to kick Chrom and Lucina across the room. Olivia is crying and saying "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy." Interestingly enough, if Chrom is married to a female Avatar, her reaction is unchanged until Lucina speaks to her; she simply notes that she trusts Chrom but the situation might look bad to others, exactly the same as the reaction of an Avatar with whom Chrom is just friends.
Things get particularly crazy with Morgan, the Avatar's child, as each of the other children could potentially be their sibling, spouse, or parent, and naturally each possibility has to have different supports.
The devs even alter a certain character's appearance based on the story events, despite the visual effect being so minor: Chrom's Great Lord in-battle model normally wields the Fire Emblem as his shield. When the Fire Emblem is stolen, the model also loses the shield until the Emblem is retrieved. A similar effect occurs if you somehow manage to promote him before he obtains the Fire Emblem.
Due to plot reasons, Chrom must be married to a female character by the end of Chapter 11. However, if the player doesn't manage to get an S Support level between Chrom or a female character, the game will default to the female character with the highest Support level with him. If none of the female characters have any Support points with him, Chrom then marries a generic village girl.
And if you manage to marry Chrom to Olivia (who he literally just met), the game will add an extra message making fun of this.
The Hubba Tester actually has quite a variety of responses. The two characters being both single, married, parent and child, siblings or one married and the other not all produce different sets of potential messages.
The SpotPass version of Marth can use the Falchion, despite it being restricted to Chrom and Lucina, since it was originally his weapon.note The Falchion's weapon description is "Chrom and Marth only", so technically he isn't restricted. (Oddly enough, the same doesn't apply to Alm.)
If a character does an attack that makes them continue past the enemy and has that enemy survive, a crit or activated ability instead shows the character's activation portrait facing the opposite direction due to trading positions with the enemy.
On a desert level, Lissa doesn't wear the stockings she normally does due to the heat and sand.
Manakete are still vulnerable to anti-dragon weapons after changing to a normal class - because they're still shapeshifted dragons getting hit with magic anti-dragon weaponry, even if they are fighting like humans.
Same deal with Taguel, except that they're weak to anti-beast weapons instead.
Characters have multiple level up quotes depending on how many stats they end up increasing, with fittingly disappointed quotes for most of them if they only manage a increase a single stat or no stats at all and multiple quotes depending on the number of stat caps they've already reached for their current class.
Those attempting to boss abuse for EXP in early game to make it easier on themselves in Lunatic and Lunatic+ will find themselves hitting a wall, as this video shows.
What's even worse is that said difficulties also turns every Reeking Box encountered Risen into SNK BOSSES as early as CHAPTER 4. You want to know how? They have capped stats in all but maybe one area that they will never need, all of them are promoted and equipped with Hit Rate +10, they possess skills from their previous classes (while not as aggravating as The Future Past 3 enemies, it's still not a good thing), and all of them have broken forged weapons. The dev team made level grinding virtually impossible without DLC.
You first meet Anna as a unit in Paralogue 2, defending a village from a group of brigands, and later meet one of her identicalsisters getting assaulted by a group of brigands led by the previous brigand band's boss's brother/twin/Identical Stranger, having mistaken her for the first Anna. This is the way most people will do things, but since Paralogues are optional, you are completely free to wait for Paralogue 4 to show up, get Anna, then go do Paralogue 2 and watch as there are two completely identical units on the field at the same time, with the dialogue changing to reflect your unorthodox approach. Sadly, there is no special scene or Talk event to be had with the other Anna even if you do this.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: No matter what, you'll defeat Grima. If you let Chrom kill Grima, then he's put back to sleep just like Marth did. If the Avatar delivers the final blow, then it's a step above, because this means that Grima is permanently dead and can never come back, with the added bonus of finding out that the collective strength of the Avatar's bonds with the many friends s/he made along the way turning out to be stronger than the Avatar's connection with Grima, and will survive Grima's death.
Difficulty Spike: Chapter 12. It's not the first time you faced promoted enemies... however, it is the first time you faced promoted enemies mixed in with squads of four or five enemies who move as one, mixed with large amounts of cavalry and infantry. (Whereas before, a huge number of your enemies were on foot.) Oh, even despite the game giving you a unit equipped with anti-infantry weaponry, you better keep her out of range of the bow knights. In addition, you also get confronted with bottlenecks, forcing you to either let them come to you or hope your units are strong enough to survive the onslaught of the squad on the other side of the map. The fact that Master Seals become available in the shop pretty much shows that if you haven't already promoted some of your units, you should do so soon. (And it's not like you'll be short on money if you've been fighting the optional maps that give bullions like candy.)
The next chapter is even worse, as you're surrounded right from the start, with ranged troops hammering you from cliffs on either side. It also features more reinforcements than ever before, including one particularly nasty group of promoted reinforcements that spawn all at once and will gladly pile in on anyone weak in range. And the chapter after is the first one to feature reinforcements you're not warned of in advance. It's safe to say all bets are off in the Valm arc, which delights in handing you Asshole Reinforcements in nearly every single chapter.
Chapter 17 officially marks the point that NOTHING you face is unpromoted anymore, save for a select few Paralogues.
Some of the side missions can be this as well, forcing you to farm random Risen groups to complete several story missions before your characters are remotely strong enough.
Or the Exponential Growth DLC. Or the SpotPass Teams.
The transition from Hard Mode to Lunatic Mode. And how!
Disc One Nuke: Averted with the DLC characters, such as Alm and Eirika. There are a vast number of DLC characters and weapons you can acquire, but you have to be strong enough to complete the DLC mission that unlocks the characters, and most of the weapons are of a very high rank and can't be used until you have a unit skilled enough to equip it. You won't be blitzing through the early-game with any of these.
Played straight with some of the other DLC maps, however, with the most notorious example being "EXPonential Growth." You can actually purchase any of the maps as soon as the Outrealm Gate opens (which is nefariously early in the game), and they'll always stay when you start a new file, so if you want to get that Galeforce or Zeal skill passed down to one of the children right away, more so if you want to get certain skills for Lucina, as she's forcibly recruited after Chapter 13, or if you simply want to grind for the much-harder DLC maps, then with enough effort, spamming EXPonential Growth among others is possible.
Renown points are carried over to new game files as well, so while you may not get to use them for a while, you can have a buttload of incredibly powerful weapons and items at your disposal from the get-go, including a free Second Seal and a copy of the Book of Naga.
Having the maximum possible renown of 99,999 points carried over to a new file gives you access to the Supreme Emblem, which you can sell for 99,999 Gold. Combined with the Large Bullion at 1000 points gives you enough gold to recruit a Limit Breakered, max stats Avatar with a plethora of skills in your logbook as soon as you get access to the wireless features at Chapter 4.
Disney Death: No major character who has a plotline death actually stays dead (except Yen'fay, whose SpotPass chapter explains that he's a different Yen'fay who came from the bad future where Lucina and all the other children came from), with characters such as Emmeryn, Gangrel, and Walhart all being revealed to have survived their apparent deaths, though not entirely free of consequences.note Gangrel and Aversa suffer from enormous guilt over their actions and are never forgiven, plus their pride keeps them from begging for forgiveness. Similarly, the alternate Yen'fay blames himself for not being able to save his version of Say'ri. Walhart appears to actually be dead (he tells Chrom his heart stopped beating), but either possibly revived as a very powerful Risen with free will or simply is a Determinator of the highest order. Emmeryn has it the worst, suffering heavy, incurable brain damage that essentially does mean the Emmeryn we know is dead, it's just that her body and a few of her basic personality traits are still left.Validar technically gets revived twice. Fully averted for most your entire army if played on Classic Mode as some of them for story purposes "retreat" never to be seen outside of cutscenes.
Dysfunction Junction: Most of the first generation characters are merely quirky, but practically all of the second generation characters are either a little insane or have some other sort of personal complex as a result of having to survive day by day on their own in the hellish world of the future. See the Fridge subpage for details.
Predictably, half of Aversa's quotes are littered with these.
Double Meaning Title: Chapter 13: Of Sacred Blood. Validar provides the Title Drop, referring to the Avatar as his child and thus "destined" to become the new vessel of Grima. But said chapter also features The Reveal of Chrom's Kid from the Future Lucina who, having the Brand of the Exalt, is also "of sacred blood." The exact opposite variety, in fact.
Downer Beginning/Spoiler Opening: The game begins with the player character being possessed by Grima, and murdering Chrom after seemingly defeating Validar. It turns out to be a premonition of things to come (at Chapter 23).
Eleventh Hour Ranger: In the main story, Basilio and Flavia will join you automatically during Chapter 23, but they're weaker than the usual trope. Straighter examples are the SpotPass Characters - not only do each of them excel in a particular stat or have unique skills (Walhart's Conquest skill, Aversa's Shadowgift skill, and Priam's mishmash of skills that he could not obtain normally), but you can only obtain them right before the final chapter.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Exalted Falchion, obtained two chapters before the final battle. True in form, it's super effective against Grima.
Elite Tweak: With the return of the Inheritance system and the new Modifiers system (where each character possess unique additions to their Caps across all classes) and the changes to the Reclass system, as well as how the Skills play out, the ways to maximize a character's potential now goes far beyond just leveling up — it's mind-bogglingto the eleventh degree.
Encounter Bait: The Reeking Box item causes a company of Risen to show up on the map.
Enforced Method Acting: In-Universe example. The Avatar and Basilio fool everyone into thinking the latter was killed at the hands of Walhart, and the green gem on the Fire Emblem is replaced with a fake, meaning that Grima cannot actually possess the avatar. In order to put up a show for Validar, the avatar still "kills" Chrom, so that everyone's reactions will be legit.
Gangrel may be a murdering psychopath, but at least he doesn't worship Grima like the majority of his people.
Pheros and even Walhart himself don't like Excellus's manipulative tactics which involve turning the enemies against each other. Moreover, Walhart wants to conquer the land. Not destroy it with Grima's revival.
Even the Guys Want Him: Invoked in-universe, with the Skills system. If it occurs that a male character gets the "Demoiselle" skill from his mother... And what's more, with the exception of one character who can't have any children, all of the potential troubadours will have sons.
Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the Bad Future Lucina hails from, only the second generation characters survived. (DLC spoiler) Only them. Grima's dialogue in the second "flash-forward" cutscene and The Future Past DLC in general suggest that the entire rest of humankind is dead and/or Risen by the time Lucina and crew go back. And even they only escape by the skin of their teeth.
Excalibur in the Rust: One of the top-tier legacy weapons is an aged and worn-out looking Ragnell. Its owner is Ike's descendant, explaining why it has aged. Granted, the blade was still pretty worn even when Ike wielded it, as shown here.
Fake Difficulty: Lunatic+ in a nutshell. Right from the start, Mooks are given unique, stupidly overpowered skills. The problem is that these skills are distributed randomly. This renders a lot of the difficulty a case of Luck-Based Mission. To illustrate:
If the random Mook with the Hammer in Chapter 1 gets both Hawkeye and Luna+, Frederick is guaranteed to die against him unless you get a lucky Dual Guard, as shown here. And since he's your Crutch Character, if he can't survive something, no-one can.
This video shows that early chapters can become flat-out Unwinnable before they even begin if too many enemies are given the combination of Hawkeye and Luna+.
But don't let that make you think the non-Lunatic modes are free of this, no sir. This particular game delights in shoving swarms of enemies at you, usually coinciding with a complete lack of chokepoints to manage them.
Reinforcements that spawn at the beginning of the computer's turn. It basically punishes the player for not being able to predict exactly where and when they're going to spawn. While this isn't the first game in the series to do this, it's the first to make it out of Japan.
All characters (except Henry, who has a unique sprite) in the Dark Mage class. Females have what amounts to a bikini, and males have a wrap around their waist. Aside from their cloak (not that it covers much), that's all they're wearing.
For no discernible reason, the Annas in Five Anna Firefight are all wearing bikini tops. Granted, they're in a volcano, but even the one in town wears it.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Played with. At a glance, the world map appears similar to a real world map (if not the whole world, then at least North America, Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.)◊ But Ylisse, which is notably European, is where the Middle East/East Asia would be. Plegia is similarly Western but is located where Africa would be, though its Dark Mages seem to at least draw some Egyptian inspiration. Ferox is home to the only brown skinned characters and is located where Europe should be. Valm is home to the most Swordsmasters (who look more like Samurai in this game than any other in the series) and its most powerful sword is based on Japanese regalia, but the land itself is shaped like the Americas.
Females Are More Innocent: Aversa seems to be the one truly evil woman throughout the game not counting a female Avatar, with any other women merely being antagonists and/or mooks. But if you receive the SpotPass chapters, you suddenly find out that she was practically mind controlled for the entire game, she then joins your team. To compare, Gangrel was a genuinely messed up individual, with a long list of atrocities to his name; he joins too, but he actually has to bear responsibility for his actions, instead of shifting the blame to someone else.
Filler: The chunk of the game with Walhart as the antagonist has absolutely no impact on the overall story, outside of supplying Chrom with a few MacGuffin gems he could've acquired otherwise. Combined with the fact that he's a generic evil emperor with generic motives, it makes his section probably the weakest part of the game, story-wise. It's still fun to play, though.
Flirts With Everyone But You: Comes up in Inigo and Noire's S Support. Noire was the only one he never flirted with. He even flirted with a sign in front of the baker's shop one day, but never with her. As it turns out, Noire just wanted a chance to turn him down too...
Early in the game, Frederick believes the Avatar could be a Plegian spy. Later on, it's revealed the Avatar is indeed Plegian (by birth) and an important part of the Grimleal's plan.
Lon'qu loses to "Marth", much to everyone's surprise. Turns out "Marth" is a woman, something Lon'qu fears.
During their Fearful Symmetry cutscene fight, "Marth" states he learned his skills, which are identical to Chrom's, from his father.
The "Premonition" chapter as soon as you start a new game: Chrom and the Avatar kill Validar, but then the Avatar gets possessed and kills Chrom.
Right after Premoniton, you get the only shot of the Avatar barehanded as Chrom helps him/her up. It has a mark similar to yet entirely distinct from the mark on Chrom's shoulder. As you might have guessed, it's an opposing mark from the Mark of Naga; the Avatar is of Grima's bloodline.
Owain says "By the ghost of Ike!" in the chapter he's recruited in. It makes sense because Ike's long dead and you meet his descendant, Priam.
During the epilogue of Chapter 18, a messenger informs the gang of Basilio's death. While the others are shaken by the news, the Avatar says nothing and in fact doesn't even flinch. This suggests that there might be more going on than the others, including the player at this point, know of.
Chrom immediately identifies Henry as Plegian, and, if you pay attention, you can see marks on Henry's collar that resemble the ones on the Avatar's sleeves, thus further hinting that he/she is Plegian.
Fourth Date Marriage: Played straight. The game's support system has marriageable characters tie the knot in their fourth and final unlockable conversation.
It's very common for supports to take a sudden swerve from platonic friendship or camaraderie to romance going from A Support to S. This is because unlike previous games, every character can reach A Support with all of their options, so including romance in earlier Supports would be problematic if one of the parties is already married.
Chrom/Olivia and Chrom/Generic Village Maiden in particular stand out among the others, and both are lampshaded by the game.
Friendship Moment: The selling point of the Scramble DLC. Humorous, and even heartwarming banter is available between characters, even those that usually don't get along well.
Full-Contact Magic: The Avatar character's Ignis ability is a variation of this and Spell Blade in that they add half of their magical strength to a physical attack or vice versa.
Funetik Aksent: The "alternotte" Anna in the EXPonential Growth DLC. Parodied, as it turns out she's faking it, and she herself points out how ridiculous it is.
Funny Foreigner: Gregor is this in spades. He has a Russian accent in the English versions.
Game-Favored Gender: Somewhat interestingly done: Females (including your Avatar if you choose female as the gender) have access to the Dark Flier, a Magic Knight class which gives you Galeforce, which allows them to move again if they defeat an enemy, which is a Game Breaker. However, males (including your Avatar if you choose male instead) can all get access to the male-only Dread Fighter class, a Magic Knight which learns Aggressor, a skill which increases your Attack by 10 if you attack on the player phase, which is also a Game Breaker (as well as Resistance +10 which is basically a fuck-you to enemy Mages). And because Galeforce is able to be passed down to a second-gen male, while Aggressor cannot, the best units in the game are actually males of the second generation with access to Galeforce. Avatar-wise, you may think this gives the female Avatar the advantage because the child she bears is male, compared to the male Avatar's daughter, but the male Avatar has the choice of marrying no less than three women who all have sons who can get Galeforce through their mothers' genes, but who can also choose to marry one of three women who can't pass down Galeforce to their daughters, but who can learn Galeforce through Avatar's ridiculous genes (and male Avatar marrying a spouse that can have a child results in the child being able to go through every normal class + the class they start out with, granting them super customization) instead. Female Avatar is restricted to only one spouse with a child on his own. This makes the genders surprisingly well-balanced in regards to the Avatar.
Gameplay and Story Integration: Very late in the game, when the Fire Emblem is stolen, it vanishes from Chrom's model, since he was using it as his shield.
If you promoted Chrom too early, the Fire Emblem isn't present on his arm.
Lon'qu's gynophobia extends beyond support conversations and story; whereas everyone else has the same dialogues for barrack conversations and event tiles, Lon'qu will act more hostile towards female characters for those two events in particular. Even during the final boss fight, when everyone else is calling for the Avatar to wake up, Lon'qu will stutter if the Avatar is female.
In the Harvest DLC map, Lissa wears a party hat that's present on both her conversation portrait and her battle model.
A minor one, but in Cherche's support conversation with Vaike, she offhandedly mentions that she was originally training to become a cleric when she met her wyvern Minerva. Her two reclassing options with a Second Seal are the cleric and troubadour classes.
In fact, most reclass options are based on character backstory. For instance, Kellam can become a thief because of his talent for staying hidden.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The class-changing feature using Second Seals is not part of the plot or support conversations, so characters like Kjelle or Kellam will always be in heavy armor in their portraits and talk about their armor even when, say, class-changed into Assassins. This is especially jarring in scenes that involve portraits and models, because, unlike the portraits, the character models do change according to class. (Heads always remain the same, though, so Donnel will always have his pot.) The lack of class recognition in supports is a necessary evil and makes some sense in that characters still have the past and training that ties them to their original class, but it is nonetheless a bit silly when Cordelia asks Severa why she didn't become a Pegasus Knight while Severa is one and Cordelia isn't.
Additionally, some characters, in-story, are significantly less badass than others. However, they can be just as powerful and deadly as any other unit in your army. Yarne, for example, is said to spend the most of his time in battles running and hiding, even if you've had him take on the entire enemy force singlehandedly.
Some support conversations (e.g. Sully and Frederick, Lon'qu and Gregor) involve the characters practicing against each other and one character easily beating the other... even if the losing character is significantly stronger in-game.
Cherche has a lot of intimacy for her mount, Minerva, a black wyvern, and talks to her or mentions her in conversations in every chance she can have. Cherche can also reclass, via Second Seal, into Troubadour or Gryphon Rider. Hilarity ensues◊.
Nah: "I don't know what you see in her. Unless... you rushed into marriage for some reason? Like you got her—"
From Maribelle and Lon'qu's A Support:
Maribelle: "I could bring you to an establishment where a pack of lovely ladies wait on you? Lon'qu: "Pass. ...Wait. How would you know about such a place?" Maribelle: "Rude! A woman must have her secrets."
Giant Flyer: The fell dragon Grima. It's so huge that the final chapter takes place on its back.
Glass Cannon: Invoked with the Glass weapons (Bow, Sword, Lance, and Axe). They have a low weapon rank (so that even underleveled characters are allowed to use them), have the same damage and accuracy as Silver Weapons, but only 3 uses before breaking. There is also a tome variant called Dying Blaze.
One cutscene showing the bad future has a few moments where people are killed by the Risen barely offscreen.
Also, when Lucina impaled a Risen, it was not completely displayed.
The skill "Lethality" instantly kills an enemy. As the hit connects, the entire scene goes red, except for the black silhouetted characters and a spurt of Black Blood.
Gosh Dang It to Heck!: A common Ylissean trait, but special mention goes to the Avatar's "Gods bless it!" while berating Lissa. Also averted on occasion; "damn" and "hell" are clearly spoken at several points, and Brady says "piss" and "ass" repeatedly in supports.
Also, characters use the term "dastard" (as in "dastardly") as though it is completely interchangeable with "bastard." Granted, nowadays it is; however, "bastard" actually gets the slip a few times, namely in Sully and Chrom's S Support conversation.
The Greatest Story Never Told: Averted, as the epilogue reveals that all the central events of the game's story were well-chronicled and remembered, right down to the time-traveling children. The only exceptions are Kellam, who's name will be forgotten, and the Avatar's past before joining Chrom. It will be noted that the only thing all the scholars and bards could agree upon about the Avatar was his/her valiance and how s/he loved his/her spouse with all of his/her heart if married.
Guide Dang It: Chrom's wife. While the game does in fact tell you Chrom's four options (five if the Avatar is female, as the Avatar can romance anybody of the opposite sex), it does not tell you that you will commit to his marriage roughly 42% of the way through the game. It also does not tell you that there is a priority, beyond dropping a few hints in-story about who is first on the priority.note If all of them have the exact same support points, it's Sumia. After that, in order of priority, it's Maribelle, Sully, Olivia, and a female Avatar. If all of them can access C Support, but have not initiated the C Support, it's Olivia. After that, in order of priority it's Sumia, Maribelle, Sully, and a female Avatar. That's the one thing that might trip up players, and did in fact trip up a few uninformed players.
While the game does tell you that Chrom can in fact marry Olivia, getting this to happen is the Guide Dang It.note To get Chrom to marry Olivia, you must never access Sumia, Sully, Maribelle, or a female Avatar's C Support. To make it easier, you can try to avoid giving Chrom Support points with any of them, or marry them to other characters. Finally, if Chrom has enough Support points to access Olivia's C Support, they will marry. In fact, there is an option that happens if all of Chrom's candidates are married off, or he has no Support points with either, but getting this is the trueGuide Dang It.
Harder Than Hard: Think beating the game on Lunatic makes you a master? Think again; accomplishing this feat unlocks Lunatic+.
Gaius and Panne's supports start off with Gaius climbing a cliff to gather honey and requiring Panne's help to get back down. When Panne mentions the impossibly sweet berries at the top of the cliff, Gaius starts climbing again, and gets stuck... Again.
Chrom says this during the Champions of Yore DLC when Old Hubba starts acting up again.
Heroic Sacrifice: One of the possible outcomes from the final battle has the Avatar doing this.
Heroic Suicide: Emmeryn commits suicide in Chapter 9 to spare Chrom the guilt of choosing A) Give the Fire Emblem to Gangrel, or B) Say no and let Emmeryn get executed.
This can also get subverted if you have SpotPass enabled.
The Hero's Birthday: Each character has a unique birthday. If you visit the barracks on their birthday, they'll get experience, a random item, and a random skill surge. However, if it's the Avatar's birthday, all the characters will wish him or her a happy birthday.
He's Dead, Jim: In the ending where you sacrifice the Avatar to kill Grima, when Chrom is reunited with the Avatar, you can see that Grima's Seal on his/her hand is missing—confirming Grima's death.
Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe, several thousands years really glossed over some details of other Fire Emblem games. Very visible in Donny and Olivia's Support (in the Japanese version), in which they sing a ballad of Naesala and Leanne. The Serenes Massacre is still there, but there's no trace of Naesala's more questionable actions and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder or his reason of such actions and instead goes for a more fairytale-like story of prince meets a princess along with their happily ever after.
Hopeless War: In the future world, the few surviving humans banded together and settled in the one place that they still have left, but everyone knows that it's only a matter of time before the Risen overwhelms their defenses and wipe out all of humanity.
Really though, the character design in general is this to the entire series, particularly the women's uniforms. It's not uncommon for female classes to sport Minidresses or Leotards of Power along with Zettai Ryouiki while in combat.
Briefly in the final chapter, but it doesn't come into play because Naga heals your units before it matters.
Happens to Lucina, Severa, Gerome and Laurent in the final chapter of The Future Past DLC. It doesn't change back, so you'll have to heal them if you want them at full health.
Human Mom, Non-human Dad: Inverted, with the exception of half-taguel Yarne being able to get together with Nah, the Avatar, or his fellow female humans from their timeline. The taguel Panne and the manakete Nowi can get together with a slew of their fellow human men in the army, manakete Tiki can get together with a male Avatar, and half-manakete Nah, as mentioned, can also get with the Avatar and the men from her time.
Hybrid Power: Players have the ability to pair units in marriage, and allows their offspring to inherit their last equipped skill (one from the father and one from their mother) as well as letting their base stats be influenced by the stats of the respective parents at the time the player encounters each kid on the game. One useful niche of skill inheritance is that a gender-specific skill, such as the Dark Flier's (female) Galeforce skill, or the Berserker's (male) Zeal skill, can be passed down to children of the opposite sex.
Hyperactive Sprite: Par the course for a Fire Emblem game. Awakening adds a few nice touches to it by giving some character sprites their own unique animations. For example, Virion can be seen tousling his hair and Miriel adjusts her glasses as a Dark Knight.
I Call It Vera: You can forge weapons and give them names if you wish. Owain also loves to name his weapons.
I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: During the Valm campaign, it was revealed that the nation of Ferox held onto one of the gemstones for the Fire Emblem (Gules). Guess what Basilio gives away when killed by Walhart several chapters later.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Whereas the entire franchise so far has generally maintained a (relatively) realistic and practical bent in its character design, this game leans much more in the direction of this trope. The best examples by far are the knight characters.
Impoverished Patrician: Ricken and his family. The reason is never explained, but he says that his house is the laughing stock of the Ylissean aristocracy.
Intercontinuity Crossover: 120 Characters from all past Fire Emblem installments return here, through a dimensional portal that exists in the land. The player can face them, hire them to join their army, or buy items from them. And this is mostly unrelated to the game's main story. However, aside from their portraits, they just use generic classes and models colored like their original designs. Only a few characters, who are paid DLC content, actually get their own models and personal classes. The story of the paid DLC does involve many past characters though, including the ones that use generic models.
Every character's Support library shows shadowed map sprites of the support partners you haven't recruited yet. Since the Avatar can support with everyone, scrolling to the bottom of his list can spoil some of the secret characters if you look hard enough. Since Walhart has a unique class, it's pretty obvious one of them is him. Gangrel's sprite shows his trademark crown, and Yen'fay and Emmeryn are similarly recognizable.
Interestingly, this trope (in the form of blank spaces in the Support library and a name in the Japanese voice credits) was the only indication the final SpotPass character, Priam, even existed before his reveal!
In-Universe Game Clock: The barracks go by one. The other characters make different comments depending on the time of day.
Emmeryn and Gangrel's profiles reveal that Emmeryn is the most resilient in the army while Gangrel is afraid of heights. This is darkly funny when you remember that Gangrel had trapped Emmeryn on a cliff, and Emmeryn enacted a Heroic Sacrifice.
Yen'fay's profile reveals that he can resist intense heat better than anyone in the army. It's ironic because his other self died in a volcano, even if it was from combat rather than the heat.
A particularly painful example is Chrom's frustrated declaration to Emmeryn before the events of Chapter 9: "Walking to your own death will not bring peace to anyone!" That is exactly how she dies, and that is exactly the result of her actions. It's a bitter consolation.
Joke Item: Each part of the Weapon Triangle has a joke weapon. Soup ladles are axes, logs are lances, and tree branches are swords.
There's also a Slack Bow, a Kneader (healing staff), and a Miniature Lance (javelin).
Lethal Joke Item: The Miniature Lance. It has a crit rate of 35, beaten only by the Sol Katti and Dark Magic tome Ruin. And this is unmodified. Give it to someone with high strength to make up for its measly 1 attack, and you've got a powerful weapon on your hands.
The other weapons are surprisingly effective in the hands of powerful units as well, or at the very least useful to save your stronger weapons for later.
Just in Time: The concept behind Dual Guard. A supporting unit will jump in and perform a Diving Save on the attacked unit.
Kissing Cousins: The Support conversations between Lucina and Owain, who are first cousins, were changed in the English translation to remove any hints of incest. They still can S Support, but they're referred to as "companions," not husband and wife. The same thing will happen if you pair him with Cynthia or Kjelle if either of them are fathered by Chrom.
It's still possible for Morgan to marry her uncle/his aunt. Pair Chrom with Maribelle or Olivia. If you then pair the Avatar with Lucina, Morgan can still marry Brady or Inigo. If you have the Avatar paired with Brady or Inigo, Morgan can still marry Lucina.
Female Morgan can also marry her cousin(s). Pair Chrom with Maribelle or Olivia. Pair the Avatar with Lissa or Emmeryn. If paired with Emmeryn, pair Lissa with any other character. Now Morgan can marry either Inigo/Brady or Owain. If the Avatar is paired with Lissa, Morgan can marry Inigo/Brady.
In an early tutorial, the Avatar mentions that they "see things", such as information on enemies and their weapons, and can reveal more info if they focus. This leads in to a tutorial on how to check enemy stats using the bottom screen. A second one occurs later, at least in the demo version, with masked Marth saying "what you just saw was but a prelude", subtly alluding to the fact you're playing a demo which is about to end.
At the end of the Champions of Yore 3 DLC, Old Hubba tells Chrom of the other things he can expect in the Outrealms, which are to the players the content of future DLC.
Chrom: *sigh* "Why do I feel as if I'm being sold something at market?"
The swimsuit and kimono scenes of Summer Scramble and Hot-Spring Scramble respectively will have Anna allude to the actual character popularity polls of the Japanese fanbase.
Leitmotif: "Id," the Avatar's theme, which is remixed into several different songs over the course of the game - there's the base version, "Serenity," that you hear at the beginning of the game, the "Sorrow" version, which plays at certain points like Lucina trying to find the resolve to kill the Avatar (and failing if they're Avatar her mother (female) or husband (male), "Dilemma", heard when the identity of the mysterious Hierophant of Plegia is revealed, "Darkness," which is a further riff on "Dilemma" and is used when the Avatar's true heritage comes to light, and then "Return" and "Purpose," which are the set-up and stage theme for the final chapter, respectively. The last one even mixes the main Fire Emblem theme into it! The Future Past DLC includes another remix of the Avatar's theme: "Hope," which plays when you enter battle with the Morgans, and with FoD!Grima.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: With the exception of the Grandmaster line, spellcasters are weak compare to physical attackers at the beginning of the game; Sages tend to be extremely fragile, Dark Fliers tend to do low damage due to low MAGIC stats, and Sorcerers and Dark Knights, the sturdy spellcasters, tend to have both low SKILL and SPEED, making them both weak AND fragile. However, during endgame or if you are over-stat compare to the enemy (such as due to grinding or lower difficulty settings), rallying and pairing up will cover their weaknesses and allow them to outperform physical attackers in most cases due to the tomes' attack range of 1-2 squares.
If you manage to cover these fatal flaws, Nosferatu-type tomes can be a relatively easily obtainable game-breaking setup outside of Lunatic+ mode.
Tome's ability to attack 1-2 squares were off-set by the Brave weapons, which gave physical attackers superior damage. However, with the inclusion of Brave-type tomes, the advantage has been nulled.
Loads and Loads of Characters: A staple in all Fire Emblem games, although the cast of this game has received particularly high praise both by critics and gamers. Most people agree that the characters MAKE Awakening, both the story and the gameplay.
Locked Out of the Fight: Chapter 23 where Chrom and the Avatar face Validar while your other units face the Mooks. At least until Chrom and the Avatar defeat Validar for the first time, upon which the barrier shatters, and allows them to join the others, as well as allowing Validar to be defeated for a second time by anyone else.
Kind of subverted in that it's also entirely possible for one of your Sorcerers to kill him with a Mire tome (which has an attack range of 3-10 spaces) if their Magic stat is high enough.
Lolicon: Nowi's husband, in his A Support conversation with Nah, mentions that he was attracted to Nowi because of her youthful appearance. In the English versions, it's changed to a Shotgun Wedding scenario.
Nah's Father:I'll tell you anything you want to know, even the embarrassing story of our courtship... As you know, your mother has always looked young, and...
Long Song, Short Scene: The boss battle themes can be up to six minutes long and are absolutely epic. Sadly, battles play our fairly quickly in this game, so you'll only hear about twenty seconds of them.
Lost in Translation: Kind of a weird example. The localisation is truly excellent (and, given the quality of past installments, that says a lot) and—in a first for the series—the UK version actually has British English spellings and edits some of the dialogue (as some things just aren't shared between the two). So far, so good. However, some of these dialogue edits mesh with how the American voice actors read the lines. For example, Brady's British English text could very well be read in a Cockney accent but, since an American accent is the one you'll hear, any attempt to localise said accent ultimately gets lost. Surprisingly, though, nobody seems to mind.
Lovecraft Lite: Grima and the Grimleal wouldn't look out of place in a Lovecraftian horror story, given Grima's unknown motives and the Grimleal's fanatical worship of him. But you are able to kill Grima for good. That said, given the way that Grima has to be killed in order for him to stay dead (which was only made possible through a loophole created by the Time Travel shenanigans that Lucina and Grima engage in), and the way that Time Travel works in the Fire Emblem universe, it does go from Lovecraft Lite into a borderline Cosmic Horror Story at some points.
Love Theme: When two characters reach S level Support (marriage) either "Id (Serenity)" plays if the Avatar is one of them or "Ha, ha! Yes, it will take some getting used to" if between other characters.
Luck-Based Mission: Success in the Paralogue where you can recruit Anna is solely dependent on how well she can dodge incoming attacks. If the RNG really hates you, it's possible she can die as early as the second or third turn.
What makes it particularly annoying is that she always attacks if an axe-wielding bandit is nearby. She does this to protect the town, but she could just stand in front of the town's only entrance and drink her healing items there. Axes have a very poor hit rate against her sword.
Luminescent Blush: Applied to the characters' dialogue portraits mostly during their S-rank Supports.
Olivia has it almost all the time.
Mage Killer: A character with the new Tomebreaker skill gains an extra 50% hit rate and 50% evasion when fighting a tome-wielding enemy.
Tricksters and Falcon Knights also qualify, since they use staves as well as weapons. So do Dark Knights and Dark Fliers, which are closer to the traditional Magic Knight class from FE4 and FE5.
DLC Class "Dread Fighter": Swords, Axes, Tomes.
As well as its followup, the "Bride" class: Bows, Staves, and Lances.
Magikarp Power: Donnel. At first, he may seem weak, but his skill Aptitude increases the odds of each of his stats by leveling by 20% — For example, the chance of his HP increasing when leveling up increases from 85% to 105% with Aptitude equipped — meaning that now not only is there is a 100% chance his HP will go up by 1, but there is also a 5% chance that it will go up again! This can make him turn him into a powerhouse — if you take the time to train him. And by marrying him with a character who can have children, he can produce a child who can become extremely strong. This page has more details.
Donnel actually teeters back and forth on this one a little. While it's true that Donnel's growths are boosted to pretty ridiculous levels, which gets him very strong early on if you get him past the Villager class (the "Magikarp" stage), his actual stat caps, as well as the abilities he has available to him (and can pass to his children), are fairly lackluster compared to most characters. That leaves him a little underwhelming later in the game once the others catch up.
Donnel's class inheritance depends on who he pairs up with, because two of his classes are male only. If he has a daughter, the classes she receives as replacements can learn some of the best abilities. The only down side is that she can't naturally learn the Aptitude skill and must have Donnel pass it down to her directly.
Though like with everyone else in the game, the better his stats, the smarter it is to Pair Up him to anyone you want to grind and/or survive against a group of enemies.
Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: Every first generation character has the potential to become this when they marry and have children.
Fail O'Suckyname: On that subject, "-plegic" comes from a shortened form of "paraplegic." So they're the Kingdom of Paralysis?
Medieval Stasis: It's been well over a thousand years since King Marth's reign and very little has changed. It's implied that Grimahassomethingtodowiththat, as several of the old nations—including Altea—have been reduced to little more than a lifeless desert.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: Seems to be almost exclusive to this game and taken Up to Eleven. All mothers that produce future offspring only "retreat" when killed, even on Classic Mode, to prevent time paradoxes (as well as avoiding having to create a substitute character system like in Jugdral and the Akaneia remakes). The fathers, on the other hand, are free to die. The only exception to this is Olivia (who is actually implied to die in Classic Mode instead of retreating, making her the only mother of a future kid who can seemingly die). Plot-important characters do not count as averting, subverting, or playing this straight such as Chrom, either Avatar, Lissa, Frederick, Virion, Cherche, Lucina, Say'ri, Basilio, and Flavia. Lucina is an odd case in that while she does not actually die, you get a game over should you lose her in Classic Mode. The rest of the playable female characters avert this.
And to top that off, the only time you encounter female enemies in the game are those who belong to female-specific classes (starting at the late Chapter 14), a scarce amount of those in non-gender-restricted classes (only in a few Paralogues, however), or the female Deadlords, and they are almost guaranteed to be vastly outnumbered by the male enemies (Chapter 17/Inexorable Death, Risen encounters, some SpotPass teams, and possibly Infinite Regalia are the only exceptions). The two out of three non-DLC female bosses (Pheros and Aversa) belong to gender-specific classes rather than classes accessed by both genders. One (two actually) out of those three bosses survives (Raimi and Aversa since she's a SpotPass character). A Sage from Cynthia's Paralogue chapter has a male's model but a female's voice (for some reason). This either means that they don't even have female enemy models for the majority of the classes, or they messed up that Sage's voice clips. Seliph's DLC conversation with Lucina from Rogues and Redeemers 1 even lampshades this.
Mid-Season Twist: Chapter 6 (which when you count the Prologue is the actual seventh Chapter of the game) reveals that Marth is a woman who somehow knows of the future. Also introduces Validar, the Big Bad from the Premonition Chapter, and has him meet the fell dragon Grima (the obviousBigger Bad) in human form for the first time. Chapter 7 is when Emm gives Chrom the Fire Emblem to protect as she splits with the rest of the team to lead the war against Plegia.
Mineral Macguffin: The five gemstones that empower the Fire Emblem. The Emblem starts off with only one gemstone, Sable, and the other four are spread across the two continents.
Mildly Military: The Shepherds do not place much value on formality, coming off as more of a group of wacky teenagers than an army. Even their Red Shirt Army counts. There's also the fact alone that most of them marry each other...
Mirror Match: Paralogue 22, due to the Wellspring of Truth casting mirror images of the Shepherds, which include their skills although their stats cap only goes to a point.
Mood Whiplash: Chapter 16, after an intense build up for the battle at hand, you're treated to... Cervantes and his mustache.
After the climatic battle against the evil Validar in Chapter 23, come Chapter 24, you find yourself in a beautiful valley covered in rainbows and sunshine.
The post battle scene of "Infinite Regalia" as the leader of the Deadlord tells him to come back again and gives him the Silver Card and an Einherjar card. The whole thing is oddly lighthearted as they come off as lonely and want company. This is after being bombarded with bits of Fridge Horror during the battles.
More Hero Than Thou: The main conflict between the nations is this. Ylisse was a warmongering kingdom at the time of Chrom's father, who had exhausted their resources in the last reign around 15 years ago, opting to be The Atoner by becoming a nation with a very small military force but was unable to make it up to Plegia for a while due to Emmeryn being stuck mending her own country (justified considering she was nine at the time and Ylisse had almost no resources). They end up getting kicked around many times in the present. Valm, on other hand, tries to unite its dividing countries like its first king and maintains order under Walhart's rule. He's a good king, it's just that many of his men either don't want that and prefer to spread chaos (Excellus especially), don't understand said motivation, blindly throwing their lives into a wrong cause in the name of following their king's will, and that Walhart himself has an odd style that not many people like. Hell, even Plegia jumps the bandwagon. Valm's unification war made Plegia's memory of Ylisse's orgy of destruction come to the surface and Gangrel makes a unification plan on his own to prevent that before Motive Decay takes place. The Shepherds (a primarily Ylissean militia, no less) are the only ones who actually banded up members from all over to take down Grima once and for all, and they are the only ones who are more concerned with saving the world than deciding who is going to save it or how (though they do believe that they will be the ones to do so).
More than Mind Control: Aversa's backstory reveals that she was a victim of this, thanks to her having a power that interested Validar — he murdered her family, friends, and her entire village, and wiped her memories so she'd believe he had saved her life so she'd serve him...
Mukokuseki: Except for Nowi, who isn't human, most everyone's eyes are proportional to their faces.
Inigo's Paralogue map is a throwback to Chapter 4 in Gaiden, complete with a boss who's a loyal follower of a Religion of Evil (both bosses even share the same name), while Gangrel and Emmeryn's Paralogue maps are based on the first Chapters of Mystery of the Emblem and Gaiden respectively.
Lucina and Cynthia's non-sibling A Support references the Triangle Attack, a recurring technique in the series. (One that's sadly missing from Awakening, in fact.)
Noire has a talisman that, when touched, causes her personality to go 180 and become an Ax-CrazyBlood Knight. Sounds an awful lot like Lehran's Medalion from the Tellius installments.
The forging system seems to have had one, compared to how utterly broken it was in the previous two games. You can now only give a limited number of "buffs" to a single weapon, meaning you can no longer forge both Might and Critical up to max. You'll need to choose between a weapon that hits really hard all the time, or one that's slightly weaker but criticals more often. Needless to say, this limit does not apply to enemies. While they have used forged weapons on the harder difficulties in FE11 and FE12, they now go past the forge limits.
Skills in general also were hit HARD with the Nerfbat. While attacks that hit more than once no longer use up durability for each extra hit, every single one of them has its effect only do half of whatever the max is of what's being added, rounded down, and none of them get the damage buffs Radiant Dawn threw in. For example, Sol (and the Nosferatu tome by association) only restores HP by half of the damage inflicted on the enemy. If the enemy with 13 health left was killed by an attack that does 40 damage, you only get 6 HP back. If you kill an enemy with only 1 HP left, you get nothing.
New Game+: After beating the game, future playthroughs will start with the same level of Renown that the previous playthrough ended with. Also, the Avatar Logbook carries over between saves, making it possible (with a lot of gold) to buy back high-level troops earlier than you originally got them.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It isn't mentioned immediately, but another reason for Walhart's massive conquest, in addition to world peace and unity, was to stop Validar and the Grimleal in their own conquest. He actually would've at least caught up to him if Chrom did not fight him when he did, so Chrom and his army unintentionally allowed Validar's plans to carry on.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Future Grima really messed up by following Lucina into the past. His attempt to merge with the Avatar early inflicted amnesia on them (which likely allowed the Avatar to form stronger bonds with Chrom's group), gave the Avatar memories that allowed them to make the fake gemstone plan, and his being in the past allowed for a loophole that could get him Killed Off for Real. All-in-all, Grima should probably have just stayed in the future.
Noodle Incident: The Avatar accidentally sees a tattoo given to Gaius that marks him as a thief. In order to convince Gaius he won't blackmail him, the Avatar tells him an embarrassing secret involving a cow.
Not Using the Z Word: They're called Risen. However, Henry does refer to them as zombies when he first appears.
Frederick and Henry, the serious lieutenant and the carefree sociopath.
Miriel and Vaike...
Official Couple: Given that it used Genealogy's pairing system, the game pretty much lacks this, except in one case where it is heavily hinted as such but never outright stated. Chrom and Sumia are shown to be together in the game's opening cutscene (holding baby Lucina); among all the characters in the game, only these two are not free to marry anyone (instead being restricted to those in their support pool). The cutscene where Sumia saves Chrom is titled "Lovebirds", even if they are not in love with each other at that point. They have other Ship Tease moments such as Sumia punching Chrom in the face to jolt him back to his senses and their proposal in Chapter 11 includes a hug in front of everyone which further pushes their status as canon since this does not happen with any of the other girls. Chrom being a Lord and Sumia being a Pegasus Knight resembles Marth and Caeda, the original Official Couple (in fact, the Lord marrying or being able to marry a Pegasus Knight is a bit of a tradition within the Fire Emblem series), while game developers liken Cordelia to Catria, the Pegasus Knight that lost in their Love Triangle. When Chrom is forced to get married in Chapter 11 if he hasn't already, Sumia takes priority over any other girls if two have equal affection with him. Of course, the player is free to pair them up with others if they wish.
If you've paired all three (or four, if your Avatar is female) possible love interests with other units, he ends up marrying a static NPC.
Word Of God from this interview says that the dev team wasn't sure how many bones and joints they could put on the character models. Turns out, the CPU for the 3DS had more than enough power to allow it.
Ornamental Weapon: Some classes, like the Assassin and Swordmaster, carry additional knives or swords on their person, but these are merely part of their model and cannot be drawn even if their other weapons break.
Piñata Enemy: The gold Entombed variant of the basic Risen gives out a lot of EXP when taken down, up to 100 points for a unit of sufficiently lower level. Thieves also give rather more EXP than other units of their level.
Player Character: The Avatar; you get to select your gender, name him or her, select a character portrait and model, and select his or her voice. You're locked in with the Tactician class, though, but you can use Second Seals to change into almost every other class.
The entire game has its basic mechanics thrown back to the semi-nostalgic feel of Shadow Dragon and New Mystery, with no in-battle supports or proper rescue mechanics, and the weapon triangle's effects (when applicable) only becomes noticeable the better you get with a certain weapon, and only with the basic physical weapons, not magic.
Rank Inflation: Notable aversion in that the S rank for weapons is absent in this game for the first time since the Jugdral games. This means an A rank is sufficient to wield any weapon of the category, so there is no need to specialize in one type anymore.
Recurring Riff: There is one that functions as some sort of main theme of the game. Although it's always attached to other themes and never appears on its own. A clear example is the first 20 seconds of the Opening Theme. If you pay attention, you will hear those notes very often throughout the game.
The Risen, in both their portraits and battle animations.
Played with by the party. Just about every redheaded character, as well as Maribelle, Panne, Brady, and Yarne, all have russet brown eyes (which are more red on the redheads), but they're only dangerous to the enemy, naturally.
Red Mage: There's no longer any magic triangle whatsoever. A unit with a Tome weapon level can use all three regular varieties, and Dark Mages can use dark tomes on top of that.
Redundant Rescue: Lucina blocking the Risen that ambushes Chrom at the end of Chapter 13 can become this if Chrom's level is high enough.
When certain characters obtain an S rating with each other, they will also have children. These children are dependent on the mother, except for Chrom, who always has Lucina after Chapter 12 no matter who he's supported with, and the Avatar, who has Morgan.
Respawning Enemies: Unlike other chapters with reinforcements, the final chapter will have infinite reinforcements that do not stop spawning after a set number of turns, meaning you have to take out the boss or you will eventually be overwhelmed.
The game is merciful enough to warn you about this upfront, and it even tells you just kill the boss as quickly as you can.
Retraux: The Champions of Yore DLC recreates the first level from the original game (And by extension, Shadow Dragon). The Lost Bloodlines one recreates part of the first level from Seisen no Keifu, and Smash Brethren is the last level from Blazing Blade. They also use the musics from these games, in their original forms.
The Reveal: "Marth" is actually Lucina, Chrom's daughter from the future.
Reverse Grip: The Thief class branch and Dancers wield their swords like this. The Dread Fighter only does it in his Victory Pose. Since all the weapons in the game tend to be rather big, it looks a bit unwieldy and, in the case of a Dread Fighter wielding an axe, painful.
Rewarding Inactivity: Like stated above, a new event is triggered in the Barracks every 2 hours regardless of whether or not you actually play the game, with a maximum of 5 of them. Then again, since this means that you should optimally play at least once every 10 hours to avoid missing any events that can give you temporary stat boosts, free items, EXP or increased Relationship Values, it's not certain to which degree of this they were actually going for.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Actually quite a few characters, among those being Chrom (the prince of Ylisse), Lissa (Chrom's sister, and therefore the princess of Ylisse), Marth whom is actually Lucina, Chrom's daughter from the future, Maribelle, and several others. Of course, Chrom gets lots of crap from the other chars for putting himself in danger, but he always ignores them.
The Avatar, too, once Validar becomes King of Plegia.
On top of this, pies are mentioned rather frequently in Support conversations.
Everyone except Lissa and Frederick being into bear meat, with Maribelle even saying her favorite tea blend is mixed with the still-warm blood of an adult male grizzly (she quickly says it was a joke when Lissa freaks out about it).
Samus Is a Girl: Marth, but it's pretty easy to tell because of the voice. It's revealed fairly early on, but her gender is far from the biggest reveal about her...
Satellite Love Interest: The generic "Maiden" (yes, that's what she's called in-game) Chrom marries if all his other options are taken fits this to a T. She has practically no characterisation and only exists so Chrom can have a kid. In fact she isn't even present when Chrom's Kid from the Future reveals herself, while all Chrom's other potential wives get special scenes. Lissa even lampshades the hell out of it.
Scenery Censor: Tharja in the "Summer Scramble" DLC in the NA version of the game. You can see the original CG scene and the censored version here.
Scenery Porn: The whole game is very pretty, but Chapter 16, The Mila Tree, really stands out.
While the game is grid-based, very few elements of the maps are recycled tiles. Most of one chapter takes place on a perilously narrow path with a mountain range on top and a steep cliff on the bottom, making 90% of the map inaccessible to non-flying units. Where previous games would show a Cliff and probably pitch black darkness beyond it, this game has the "cliff" tile that takes up most of the map be a very detailed canyon with a river running along the bottom.
Another map takes place atop a series of plateaus connected to each other with bridges. The background consists of the trees in the valley miles below, with wyverns and smaller birds flying in between it and the plateaus where you fight. Other maps have chickens searching for food on a farm, fish swimming past the boats you're battling on and a lazy cat on a roof paying no attention to the fight in the streets.
Secret Character: Six of them. They are recruited through playing six Sidequest Chapters unlocked through SpotPass, and are only available at the very end. Thanks to DLC, they aren't really Bragging Rights Rewards, and each can Support with the Avatar, and potentially marry him/her if they're the opposite gender. They are, in order of the first to last unlocked through SpotPass: Gangrel, Walhart, Emmeryn, Yen'fay, Aversa, and Priam.
Self-Imposed Challenge: One player has suggested using the Casual Mode as a form of this. The suggestion is to select Casual Mode to let you save anywhere, but if somebody dies, you restart the entire chapter or from where you saved last.
Laurent's S support with Severa features a confused Laurent asking Severa if she's speaking in riddles, and if she's going to ask him what she has in her pocket, a reference to Bilbo Baggins' impromptu "riddle" in The Hobbit.
Significant Reference Date: Some of the characters' birthdays reference the release dates of the earlier games in the series or holidays. Nearly all of the second generation characters' birthdays are the same as the Japanese release dates for most of the games in the series. note Japanese-only releases do not have a region assigned to them.
Sully's birthday is December 5th, the European release date for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
Ricken's birthday is May 23rd, the North American release date for Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
Cherche's birthday is October 17th, the North American release date for Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
Henry's birthday is November 13th, which is World Kindness Day.
Aversa's birthday is November 3rd, the North American release date for Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword.
Lucina's birthday is April 20th, the release date for the very first game, Fire Emblem: The Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light, and the Japanese release date for Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
Owain's birthday is July 15th, the release date for Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem ~Heroes of Light and Darkness~.
Inigo's birthday is August 7th, the Japanese release date for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.
Brady's birthday is February 22nd, the Japanese release date for Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
Kjelle's birthday is September 29th, the release date for Fire Emblem: Akaneia Saga.
Cynthia's birthday is May 14th, the release date for Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. Incidentally, the in-game record of this game, "Ribald Tales of the Faith War", is her mother Sumia's favorite novel.
Severa's birthday is January 21st, the release date for Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem.
Gerome's birthday is September 1st, the release date for Fire Emblem: Thracia 776.
Morgan's birthday is May 5th, which is Children's Day in Japan and Cinco de Mayo in North America.
Yarne's birthday is March 14th, the release date for Fire Emblem Gaiden, the European release date for Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and White Day in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.
Laurent's birthday is April 25th, the Japanese release date for Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword.
Noire's birthday is October 7th, the Japanese release date for Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
Nah's birthday is March 29th, the release date for Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals.
Skippable Boss: Male Morgan and Female Morgan in The Future Past's first and second chapters respectively, achieved by talking to them with an Avatar of either gender. Talking to them with the opposite gender Avatar will yield a longer conversation for your trouble.
The Smurfette Principle: The protagonists of all types (regular, Paralogue, and SpotPass) avert this. It's played with in regards to the villains; out of all of them, only four bosses (Raimi, Pheros, Aversa, and Lucina!Marth) are women, and two of them (Raimi, a Feroxi soldier, becomes an ally because of a misunderstanding, while Masked Marth is really Lucina, Chrom's daughter) are allies (the player can also opt to recruit Aversa in a Paralogue), so Pheros is the only "villainous" female boss.
SNK Boss: In the higher difficulties, bosses gain more skills to use. The most ridiculous examples are in Lunatic+, which is basically The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Game. On Lunatic+, enemies and bosses receive broken skills like Luna+, which always ignores half of your Def or Res, Hawkeye, which ensures all attacks hit, and some of the harder bosses get Rightful God, which adds 30% to skill activation rates. The most ridiculous examples are in the DLC map Apotheosis, where not only every enemy receives skills like these, they all have Dragonskin (which halves damage that you do and prevents you from using Counter or Lethality), most will also have Pavise+ and Aegis+ to further reduce the damage to the point you're doing single digit damage, but every enemy will have stats beyond regular limits, reaching up to 70 in a stat.
Someone to Remember Him By: A father dying in combat would mean that the wife is already pregnant at this point, leading to this trope.
Nowi's daughter is named ンン in the Japanese version, roughly pronounched un-un or nn-nn. How are you supposed to spell that?! Because of this, the fandom jokingly called her "n_n" until her English name "Nah" was revealed.
Up until the first English trailer was released, everyone called Chrom "Krom."
Spiritual Successor: Awakening is this to the Jugdral times in several ways, including a few plot details (though not nearly as grimdark), the Jugdral legendary weapons are one of the few of which the full set is provided (unlike, say, Elibe's or Magvel's holy weapons), and there are a few similar gameplay mechanics too, including the emphasis on skills and a children/inheritance system. Also, the Tactician and Dark Knight classes are basically Mage Fighter and Mage Knight under a different name.
Spit Take: Lissa does this in her C Support with Maribelle when the latter jokingly claims her favorite tea is mixed with bear blood.
Spiteful A.I.: In two flavours. If the AI can deal enough damage with its units, it will send all of them toward a single character, even if it causes the death of every unit in range. If there are a few characters in range but none of them can be killed and all can counterattack, the AI goes after the highest leveled character to deny experience points to your weaker characters that would get more out of it.
Spock Speak: Miriel and Laurent. So much so that it's been pretty much Fanon that they're autistic.
Miriel never stops speaking this way, even during her S Supports. Laurent does break off from his mother's speech patterns every so often, though, particularly when he speaks to his father. In fact, in both his A Supports with whomever his father is and in the Japanese version of his love confession to the Avatar, he speaks normally.
Stop Helping Me!: invoked In-game, some of the more proud characters may actually get upset if their allies "steal kills" from them via Dual Strike.
In the Champions of Yore 2 DLC map, Old Hubba's attempt to reason with the Einherjar only serve to piss them off even more. This is after the first map, where he says that you can't reason with them.
Storm of Blades: The Feroxi knights use this tactic on Chrom in order to steer the Shepherds away from their outpost. It fails thanks to Sumia who arrives just in time to save him.
Story Branch Favoritism: Main character Chrom is the only character forced to get married to progress the game, and has a noticeably restricted set of possible lovers. He has to choose between Sumia, Sully, Maribelle, Olivia or a female Avatar. However, the game makes it very clear that Sumia is its preferred choice.
Take Your Time: You're free to spend as much time as you want doing Paralogues, random skirmishes, and DLC chapters before progressing in the story, in spite of a sense of urgency. In a specific early-game example: a Paralogue chapter is unlocked right after finding out Emmeryn is scheduled to be executed and you're told have to hurry to save her. Another becomes available immediately after Emmeryn commits her Heroic Sacrifice, and Basilio specifically told you to hurry and flee the area.
This also applies to the postgame. The postgame in Awakening occurs right before the fight with Grima, which means that everything you do during the post game will be occurring while Grima is flying in the air doing god knows what.
Terminator Twosome: Chrom's daughter Lucina was sent back in time to prevent a Bad Future happening. The Big Bad Grima sends himself back in time to prevent her from altering the past.
The Theocracy: Two of them, the Halidom of Ylisse and the explicitly-named Theocracy of Plegia.
This Loser Is You: Completely inverted. Not only does Avatar have a special class and is the first true Magic Knight since Judgral, but he/she can also get paired with Chrom and Sumia, and even have kids. Way to go, stud!
It gets inverted even harder when dealing with the game's inner mechanics. Specifically, the "children" units can inherit classes to promote to and certain skills from their parents. The classes they can change into will decide their final skill list, since multiple "mastery" skills can be learned and carried through class changes, with some of them halving damage, healing half HP when defeating an enemy, granting another turn when defeating an enemy, causing an instant KO, or the like. ... What's that? Avatar can reclass into and pass down ANY non-gender specific class? Well, at least they won't be getting the Aether skill... but their son/daughter Morgan can, if paired with Chrom or Lucina. With lots of change seals and the right supports, one can have a Morgan with all of the extremely powerful attacking skills (Lethality, Astra, Sol, Luna, Aether) on at the same time. Even worse, if it's a Morgan with access to Galeforce (entirely possible by passing it down for Male Morgan, or just learning it directly from the Dark Flier class if Female Morgan), he/she will rip holes in the enemy army. All this from the Avatar's stupidly powerful genes.
Time Travel: Of the Alternate Timeline variety. One timeline has Grima revive and turn the world into a Zombie Apocalypse, killing everyone except Lucina and whoever came with her to the good timeline, which you're in. Then there's Morgan, who may have come from the good timeline instead of the bad, or a third, entirely different timeline.
"Awakening," being a flexible Stock Subtitle, can refer to any number of things in the story but in particular:
The Avatar's awakening at the beginning of the story. And, should they sacrifice themselves, their Book End reawakening after the story.
The Awakening of Grima to wreck havoc on humanity.
Naga awakening to bless the Falchion.
One Chapter is actually titled "Awakening."
The title of Chapter 20, The Sword or the Knee, comes from the conversation Chrom has with Walhart should the two fight each other.
Took a Level in Badass: Axefighters. With no weight system slowing anyone down, axes have gone up from powerful, yet inaccurate, to the best weapon type in the game.
Tournament Arc: In order to gain the help of Flavia, you have to win a one-round tournament so she will gain regency. Justified in that it's the country's custom for determining which Khan will rule for a term, and even more justified why strangers are doing the fighting — Flavia explains the Khans won't fight themselves because they don't want to leave dead Khans left and right and have the whole country collapse due to blood feuds.
Mustafa: "So be it! Those of you who are unwilling to fight are dismissed!" Soldier: "But I don't wish to abandon you, sir!" Mustafa: "I cannot defy the king, lad. I know him well. He would murder my wife and child to set an example. I will accept the blame for your actions today. Now go!" Soldier: "W-wait, General! I see a cause worth fighting for, one I believe in: loyalty to my general." Mustafa: "...Aye. That's a good lad."
Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Reinforcements on any difficulty above Normal invoke this, since they can act immediately after arriving. The game will (early on) warn you that reinforcements are coming, but not when, where, who they are, what they have equipped, or for how long they'll be coming. Left a flyer within the range of a bow-wielder who wasn't there a turn ago? Got your Squishy Wizard killed by a spawning Pegasus Knight? Tough. About halfway through the campaign, the game drops all pretenses and stops letting you know if reinforcements will even be coming.
Uncle Sam Wants You: Fredrick's idea of a morale boosting recruitment poster is having picture of Chrom naked with a sword and scale in each hand with the phrase "Chrom Wants You!" posted underneath his feet.
SpotPass allows you to recruit Gangrel. Yes, THAT Gangrel. And later, Walhart and... Aversa.
The DLC Bride class. Let's just say no-one saw that coming and leave it at that.
The first chapter of The Future Past DLC features Male Morgan as its boss!
And the second chapter of The Future Past DLC has Female Morgan as the boss!
Unexplained Recovery: Done with most of the SpotPass characters, which makes their being alive—let alone recruitable—egregious. Gangrel, Walhart and even Aversa should, by all rights, have been slain in combat against Chrom's army (especially since they are all dangerous individuals who threaten peace, and you'd think the army would ensure they killed their enemy commanders), yet they show up with no explanation for surviving. Emmeryn somehow survives stepping off a cliff—while the game lampshades how hard she is to kill, one would more likely be a broken, lifeless mess on the ground at that height, and her injuries miraculously aren't as severe as you'd expect. Subverted with Yen'fay and Priam — the former is explicitly stated to be from an Alternate Universe were he lived and his sister died, the latter is a Secret Character who you mightn't know exists if not for the DLC.
Uriah Gambit: After finding out about Excellus' plans to abandon him while the Shepherds and their allies begin closing in, Walhart generously "promotes" him to be the captain of his personal guard, ensuring he will be forced to fight on the front lines rather than trying to escape.
Vague Age: The age of the characters is never stated, but most first generation characters look in their early-to-mid 20s, if not teenagers, while the second generation characters look and sound to be around the same age as, or older than in some cases, their parents. The problem is that according to Lucina, her and every other second gen character come from an ambiguous 10+ years into the future, meaning that they were probably in their mid to late teens when they traveled to the past. This is averted in the non-English translations, though, since in them it's stated that they come from 15+ years into the future, instead of just 10. The most controversial characters would be Lissa, Ricken and Donnel, who look the youngest. And then, you have Nowi and Nah, the explanation for them being that manaketes age slowly.
In Chapter 6, Chrom tells the Avatar that his father, the previous exalt, died 15 years ago and that Emmeryn was just under 10 at the time, which would make her about 24 or 25 at this point in the story. Chrom and Lissa are also implied to have been born a few years apart, since Chrom tells the Avatar in Chapter 6 he was old enough during the time of his father's campaign against Plegia to remember it firsthand, whereas Lissa tells the Avatar in their C Support she never really knew her parents.
According to an artbook, Emmeryn is six years older than Chrom and ten years older than Lissa, which would mean that Chrom is 18 or 19 and Lissa is 14 or 15 in the game's first story arc.
Lissa tells Donnel in their C Support that he's one of the very few Shepherds younger than her, meaning he could potentially be under 15.
In Flavia and Basilio's B Support, Flavia tells Basilio that he's twice the age of future Lucina, and he retorts that she's old enough to be Chrom's mother.
In her B Support with the Female Avatar, Aversa claims to be 8 years older than Chrom, though the Avatar suspects this number is actually 12. Since Chrom is at most 21 at this point (see above and then factor in the two-year Time Skip after Chapter 11), Aversa can be inferred to be in her late 20s or early 30s at the youngest when she is recruited late in the game. Additionally, Aversa tells the Male Avatar in their B Support that she's older than him, meaning the Avatar cannot be more than 7 or 8 years older than Chrom.
Cherche (who joins after the two-year Time Skip) tells Vaike in their A Support that she's been with Minerva for over a decade. Considering that Cherche tamed Minerva when she was nine, she's no younger than 19 and likely no older than her early 20s.
Variable Mix: When field actions like battles or healing are initiated, the music segues into a more intense version while the scene plays out, and goes back to the original version when it ends.
Video Game Caring Potential: Word Of God says they were aiming to further heighten the series' penchant for this with this game. The expanded supports, marriage system, and voice acting were all intended to give the players a greater sense of attachment to the characters. To say nothing of the fact you can make everyone in your party Happily Married, kick major ass as Battle Couples, and later become full-fledged Badass Families.
In the Outrealm chapters, it's entirely possible to have Tiki fight to the death against Marth and his army, many of whom were probably people she knew personally when they were alive (including Tiki's past self!)
Or even better, in the paralogues where recruitable second generation characters start off as hostile, you can have their own parents unknowingly kill them or vice versa.
Villainous Harlequin: Gangrel wouldn't look out of place as a villainous court jester. His class is Trickster, but he's the king of a whole nation, though. He can also join you come SpotPass Sidequests, dropping the villainous part.
Wake Up Call Chapter: Chapter 12. While not the first time the game pits you against promoted enemies, it still ups the levels of the Valmese forces, who proceed to run as a group to attack you. At the same time, you're forced into multiple bottlenecks, meaning you have to either let them come to you and hope your defenses are solid enough, or you go to them and risk another squad getting the jump on you.
The second chapter in Lunatic mode qualifies, due to everyone but Frederick dying in two hits. To make it worse, any Risen with swords are able to double most of your units.
We Cannot Go On Without You: Present as usual on your main Lord, as well as the Avatar, however, depending on the mode, one additional character has this: You can afford to have Lucina get her HP depleted to 0 on Casual Mode, but on Classic Mode, it's an instant Game Over instead.
Chapter 18. Previously, Basilio went to take on Walhart's main forces to buy the rest of you time. Before the start of the chapter, you witness him being presumably killed in battle by Walhart himself. Your next opponent is Yen'fay, Say'ri's brother, who seems reluctant to fight you, though he doesn't reveal why. But after his death, Excellus is all too willing to. Turns out that Yen'fay only joined Walhart on the condition that his men spare Say'ri's life. He was fighting to save her, and she never knew. Cue My God, What Have I Done?. And after all this, Chrom and the Avatar officially learn that Basilio is dead and they'll be facing Walhart himself next.
Chapter 21. Outright confirmed that the Avatar is Validar's child and Lucina later reveals that the premonition the game opened up with wasn't just a bad dream, he/she actually did kill Chrom in Lucina's time, causing her to attempt to take his/her life.
Chapter 23. Well, the chapter starts off almost identical to how the game begins, with the added reveal that the Avatar is the host for the soul of the Fell Dragon. At first, it seems that the Avatar kills Chrom and is possessed by Grima. But, as it turns out, things aren't as they seem. The premonition experienced at the beginning of the game was a dream the Avatar had, and he/she remembers it well. So the Avatar took steps to avoid his/her fate. Thanks to Lucina's intervention, Basilio survived his encounter with Walhart in Chapter 18. The gems in the Fire Emblem that Validar received are fake, meaning he cannot use it to awaken Grima. And Chrom survived the Avatar's attack, foiling Validar's plan entirely. But then, after defeating Validar, the Hierophant, previously seen in Chapter 13, reveals himself as the Avatar from the future Lucina escaped from. In that future, Grima possessed the Avatar and killed Chrom for real. When Lucina went back to the past, the Avatar (who is now Grima) followed her. Grima then tried to possess the present Avatar, but failed, causing his past self to lose his memory. Grima then went into hiding, occasionally intervening with events, such as reviving Validar in Chapter 6. Now that Validar has failed, Grima begins Plan B, reviving the Fell Dragon with his power. Phew!
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Manaketes live for thousands of years. Humans do not. Most of Nowi's supports involve her and her partner promising to be with each other forever. Yeah. (This also goes for Nah, Nowi's daughter, and Tiki.)
Also for Tiki, who's far older than Nowi. One of her generic Barracks conversations has her stating something to the effect of "I want to make friends. I know I'll lose them all eventually, but it beats never having them at all." Ouch.
The Worf Effect: After Chapter 12, you find out Basilio and his army took a devastating blow from the Valmese forces off screen. The characters explicitly comment on how "they must be tough if they beat his forces."
Poor Basilio gets used for this twice; the second time, he's going up against Walhart himself, and gets his ass handed to him in proper fashion to show off how much of a beast Walhart is in combat. That said, it also ends up being a huge fake-out, as Basilio fakes being dead thanks to Lucina's warning so he can come back and be a Big Damn Hero later on.
Wutai: The nation of Chon'sin isn't shown in-game, but it's easy to see after seeing Say'ri's Support conversations (she mentions cherry blossoms being a common sight and that fish and rice are staples of her people's diet, and the way that she, Yen'fay, and Lon'qu dress (outfits that vaguely resemble kimonos, at least on top) also adds to this.
Yandere: Tharja, as one could tell from her various Support conversations, especially the ones she has with the Avatar.
Yank the Dog's Chain: It's possible to recruit Emmeryn from a SpotPass chapter, despite her supposedly having died through making a Heroic Sacrifice. You'd think that this would result in everyone living happily ever after as one big family. Instead, it turns out that she's become heavily brain damaged and has developed amnesia. She has no memory of Chrom or anyone else and she never recovers (aside of remembering the Avatar's name in their Supports)... unless she dies (in Classic Mode) after you manage to recruit her, where she remembers her siblings in her final moments. Whether or not Chrom succeeds or fails to save her, he's either heartbroken that she doesn't remember him and Lissa or he's forcing back a second Heroic BSOD in the event that she dies. This family just can't seem to catch a break.
You Can't Fight Fate: At first, this seems to be the case, as most of the changes Lucina makes to the timeline (such as saving Emmeryn from being assassinated) are eventually undone (Emmeryn dies later anyway). Some characters believe that this is the timestream trying to return to its original flow, however, Lucina's efforts are secretly being undone by another time traveller: the Fell Dragon Grima.
You Can't Go Home Again: The party asks Lucina what she will do after the world is saved, whether or not she will stay in the past, or go back to the future. Lucina tells them it's not a question of whether or not she can go back to her own time, it's whether or not there's a world for her to go back to.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Grima's Awakening ritual fails due to the fake stones in the Fire Emblem, and Validar is killed for good. That should be the end of it, but then the Avatar's mysterious twin shows up. Said twin reveals him/herself to be the future Grima, and decides to use his power to awaken the present Grima.
Zettai Ryouiki: All of the women. The T&A is modest and realistic on everyone (except Aversa), but all the women except Lissa (who wears a dress) have it. Thus far, the biggest examples are males, in the form of Chrom and Marthnote both the masked "Marth" and the DLC Marth, who score a grade-A!