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.
100% Completion: Getting every possible support log is a monumental task requiring multiple playthroughs. You can technically cut down on that number via Save Scummingnote By viewing the S rank support, saving into another file. Completing the paralogue for that child, getting A support between the child and their father (since he's the only variable) and Morgan (if they are your Avatar's child, but if they aren't AND they are the opposite gender, then they will also have to marry him/her, unlock Morgan, then get the A support with him/her anyway), then going back to the save from before they married. Yes, this will take a while, probably best saved for toward the endgame, but at the very least you will need one for every possible spouse Chrom has, since she won't be able to marry anyone else for that game.
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.
Gaius has one for everyone, like "Blue" for Chrom, "Sunshine" for Tharja, or "Bubbles" for the Avatar.
Frederick is known as "Frederick the Wary", a title he wears with pride. On the other hand, the Avatar calling him "Fredericson" (if male) or "Freddy-bear" (if female) during their supports are very much a Embarrassing Nickname to him.
Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the Plegians. At first they're treated as warmongering assholes, but after Emmeryn's Heroic Sacrifice they start deserting en masse and chanting her name, forcing Chrom to realize that his sister was right about them all along.
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.
Which is ironic for a game entitled "Awakening" to be so obsessed with sleep
Anti-Frustration Features: In older Fire Emblem games, some recruitments required you to send one of your units to chat with the character in question to acquire him/her. This could be problematic, since there is a chance the character could be too weak to reach the character, if not already dead (and this is assumming that you would even know who to send). In Awakening, all recruits are done by Chrom, who is forced into every level, so is likely to be strong enough to hold his own to reach the recruitee. The flip side of this though, is that you now have to put the one person you can't afford to lose in harm's way.
Taken even further with the kids' paralogues: either Chrom or the mother (or father if your Avatar is male) the child is tied to can recruit them, and the opening cutscenes usually make it obvious who the mother is if you haven't read a guide (Lissa talks to Lucina in Owain's paralogue, Olivia talks to the Avatar in Inigo's, and so on). Some of the children can be told who their mother is at face value, especially Yarne and Nah, with the two exceptions probably being Kjelle and Severa.
Depending on who you ask, the inclusion of the Casual Mode can be considered this for those new to the series (or TRP Gs in general). In this mode, the permadeath is removed and you're allowed a limited number of mid-battle saves.
Many key elements of the series are re-worked to be less frustrating or more clear. The best example is probably Supports, characters are no longer limited to 5 conversations (though they can only have one S support), all possible supports are listed (including potential S-ranks) for each character, relationships between units are improved by fighting together instead of just standing adjacent to each other, and finally, the numerical benefits of fighting together are made explicit.
As for item management, it is now possible to purchase items for specific units and shops are in every point of the map for easy selling. Also, the convoy has unlimited space (which is great, given the number of items you can randomly pick up) and there's a Restock option to replenish a weapon's uses by combining with another item in storage, eliminating the problem of having useless single-digit durability weapons lying around.
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). Anna is the only first-generation female in the army who can die for real since she has neither a pre-destined child nor story significance (unlike Say'ri and Flavia), although Tharja can die in-story (from the 11 females with predestined children, she is the only one who starts as an enemy and whose recruitment isn't mandatory).
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.
Zig-zagged with the rally skills, however, in that they pretty much always use them at the end of the turn, meaning none of the enemy units actually benefit from the rally effects on any turns but yours.
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).
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.
Certain skills that require killing an enemy to activate (including the Dark Knight's Lifetaker skill and the infamous Galeforce skill that Dark Fliers can learn) can either make or break a unit and leave them vulnerable.
Lethality, a skill learned by Assassins, can One-Hit KO an enemy. The catch is that it has an absurdly low activation rate (the unit's skill divided by 4), so even if a unit has a high skill cap, Lethality still infrequently activates.
The Swordmaster's Astra skill allows five attacks in one hit (which goes up to ten if the unit is using a Brave Weapon), but each attack is cut in half from a normal attack. On harder difficulties, enemies gain defensive skills (i.e Pavise+) that will always activate, so Astra becomes useless on Lunatic mode and some maps.
Counter can become this. Having an enemy's attack bounce back at them is great, but it becomes pointless if the unit using it becomes a tank. Since it relies on the unit having low defense, it can become risky. The same can be said for Wrath (+20 critical), which activates if the unit's HP is less than half.
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.
The Future Past DLC is an even darker scenario, which is quintessentially saying that all the second generation characters got lucky to escape when they did.
Bait and Switch: Since Awakening mostly adheres to Fire Emblem unit archetypes (early level 1 Paladin, red/green cavalier duo, etc.), one would expect Phila to join the party to finish the pegasus knight trio who can Triangle Attack archetype since you already have two of them. Said character dies a plotline death unexpectedly and the archetype never gets fulfilled.
Barehanded Blade Block: You don't need a weapon to dual-guard, and if it activates while the partner unit is unarmed, and isn't using a class that has a shield or anything, they will stop the enemy's weapon with their bare hands.
Bash Brothers: Chrom and a male Avatar are a textbook example of this trope.
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.
Bechdel Test: Some of the female to female support conversations pass this game. One example being Lucina talking with her mother about clothes shopping (due to being from a Bad Future, and always having wanted to just enjoy simple pleasures such as clothes shopping with a parent).
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.
Befriending The Enemy: There's a variant involving Tastes Like Friendship. Gaius, a Thief, is working for the Plegians in a mission to kill "the Exalt" the Yllissean leader, but he doesn't have the heart to be a part of killing her. If Chrom talks to Gaius he'll offer him sweets, and they instantly become friends and he joins your army.
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. There a few mentions, 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 many members of the Grimleal treat it like a normal religion. However none of this is really seen ingame, every Grimleal member encountered is a Card-Carrying Villain for example.
Black Humour: Henry and his incessant jokes about blood and death.
Blocking Stops All Damage: When a partner unit pulls off a Block, they intercept the enemy's attack and take zero damage themselves. This gets a bit silly when characters with nothing suitable to block with end up stopping a giant axe swing or a huge fireball with just a magic tome.
Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Chrom's romance choices, Sumia (Brunette, sort of note it's more of a grayish-brown), Sully (Redhead), Maribelle (Blonde), plus a pink-haired Olivia and a variably-haired female Avatar.
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.
On Normal and Hard, the classic Bronze/Iron/Steel/Silver line of weapons. Not as flashy as the weapons you can find, but they're reliable enough that you can finish the game using mostly those. They're also practical in that they can be infinitely resupplied, making logistics easy by hitting Restock before each battle to have a fresh weapon at hand. Note that on Lunatic mode, you'll need the fancier weapons just to get by.
Unless you're playing the game on Lunatic+ or are tackling Apotheosis, where the enemies have a skill that guarantees a 100% hit, all of the "-breaker" skills are this. Each skill grants a unit an additional 50 points of Avoid depending on the weapon, which in turn can make certain boss fights much easier. In addition, all five skills are available from five highly accessed gender-neutral classes.
Aegis and Pavise reduce damage from a set of weapons (depending on the skill) by half, though like the -breaker skills, they don't always work.
The Valkyrie's Dual Support+ skill, which gives a unit the ability to pair up with another unit and grant them A-support level bonuses from the get-go, even if they cannot have a support conversation with them. It's also a female-exclusive skill that can be passed down to some of the male children.
The Veteran skill, which the Avatar has from the start, and if he/she has kids, they can also learn it. It grants the unit 50% more EXP if they fight while paired up. It's because of this skill that the Avatar is usually the one who promotes/class changes first.
The mercenary's Armsthrift skill, which prevents weapon degradation based on the unit's luck. This can be all too vital when you start getting the Brave and Holy weapons, since both sets tend to have low durability.
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.
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.
Broken Aesop: Sacrificing one person for the sake of many, regardless of who the person is, can be worth it. Except that the two people sacrificed, Emmeryn and the Avatar, don't actually die. Emmeryn survives her apparent death, and the Avatar just returns from the dead despite supposedly being Deader than Dead.
Possibly justified. The Avatar's sacrifice was averted because the bonds between them and their friends were stronger than the bond between the Avatar and Grima. In this case it's a matter of one aesop breaking another.
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. However, you can still get someincestuous pairings
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.
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. Taking the dimension-warping into account, it seems that some worlds are historically connected while others are Mutually Fictional, such that characters have heard the stories of the other games as folklore and songs rather than history.
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.
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.
Church Militant: The only possible explanation for War Clerics/Monks, who use both staves and axes.
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.
Fun note about the Gangrel battle: it takes place in the same part of the map where Altea, Marth's original homeland, was located. This may or may not be intentional.
Colossus Climb: The endgame chapter is like this, with all of your units fighting on Grima's back to take it down.
Combat by Champion: Justified. Ferox does this to decide which khan rules (despite being a Proud Warrior Race nation) since having the khans fight each other would result in a lot of dead khans and bitter rivalries.
Combat Medic: An ever-growing number of classes can use both staves and a weapon, from the classic Sage and Valkyrie (tomes and staves) to a few surprising ones like Falcon Knight (lances and staves), Trickster (swords and staves), and War Monk/Cleric (axes and staves).
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.
Commonality Connection: Many supports between characters that don't know each other previously will employ this to get the two characters talking. Taken even further if the reason they end up marrying is because of this one shared interest!
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.
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.
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 developers do it again in 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.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Every possible pairing has a totally unique set of Supports justifying it. In short, cutscenes and support conversations always account the different possible relationships between characters.
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 the one at the top of the list, excluding the ones that are dead or married. If they are all dead or married (Olivia has to be dead, because she joins in the previous chapter and can't get married in time), then Chrom 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 and DLC versions 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 tights 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. The same applies to the 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.
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.
The game recognizes if the birth date of the Avatar overlaps with another character's, in which case it will say "Today is Avatar and (other character)'s birthday." instead.
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 to Medeus. 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 but 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.
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 claims to actuallybe 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 essentiallydoes 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 losing their parents and struggling to survive in a Bad Future. See the Fridge subpage for details.
Predictably, half of Aversa's quotes are littered with them.
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.
Bonus points for this being the chapter that introduces us to Henry. What's his favourite thing again?
Even more bonus points if the Avatar is Lucina's mother as Lucina will have the sacred blood of both dragons
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).
Downloadable Content: Loads of new playable maps that range from rewarding you with classic characters to letting you grind for money and EXP.
Some characters had their names changed in the Non-English European versions as well, for some reason. See the character pages for details.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Avatar literally had to die to earn the True Ending, though he/she is later brought back to life.
El Cid Ploy: In one sidequest, a leader of a band of thugs passes himself off as the legendary hero "Chrom". For some strange reason, the townsfolk he's terrorizing seem to mistake the real Chrom for him even though they look nothing alike.
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 Paralogue 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 a male character gets the "Demoiselle" skill from his mother.
Libra, who was courted by women and men alike in his solo ending.
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.
Evil Sorcerer: Validar, the leader of the Fell Dragon-worshiping Grimleal.
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 on any mode harder than Normal. 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.
Fantastic Racism: Far less of it in this game compared to the others. Panne treats her human companions with disdain due to how her own race was nearly wiped out by them, but it's not plot-vital.
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.
Fake Difficulty: Plenty of it in Insane and Insane+ modes, but then again you really didn't expect those modes to play fair, did you?
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.
First Girl Wins: If Chrom and a female Avatar end up marrying. A female Avatar is arguably the easiest romance option to build Support with, since they fight alongside each other from the very start and can reach C Support level by the end of Chapter 2 or 3.
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.
Similarly, Chrom remarks on the Avatar's unusual name and asks if it's foreign. A new player will likely dismiss this as as lampshadingHello, Insert Name Here, but considering the Avatar's past, their name likely is Plegian in-universe.
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.
The first time that Validar lays eyes on the party is Chapter 6, and when he does, he seems to have great amounts of interest in the Avatar for some reason, which is easy to write off as him surveying the enemy commanders. He's intrigued with how his child has grown up and thinking on the particular significance he/she has to his plans...
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.
The Anna from the EXPonential Growth DLC has a French accent, which she is apparently faking!
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.
There is one situation in which Lon'qu won't stutter in the above scene: if he's married to the avatar, because their S-support establishes that his gynophobia doesn't apply to her anymore.
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. Not only can Cherche reclass into a Cleric or Troubadour, but one of the promotions in her default class also has her ditch her wyvern, replacing it with a Gryphon. 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.
Also, the Avatar, if you decide to give your life to kill Grima.
Henry too, if he dies in battle. Then again, he's always smiling.
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.
During Owain's Paralogue, he claims he's searching for the legendary weapon Mystletainn. The weapon turns out to be a fake weapon that Owain nonetheless believes is real and is called Missiletainn, but the game never tells you you need to speak to a specific Sage with Owain in order to obtain it. Finding the Goddess Staff in Laurent's Paralogue is even more difficult, since it requires you stand on a specific tile after visiting the mirage villages.
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 Comedic Sociopath: Many of the characters casually discuss mangling and butchering their enemies, all of which is played in a heroic, humorous light.
Henry gets this most of all. He enjoys blood and killing so much he even gets a small high off of the sight of his own blood.
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 get subverted if you have the Emmeryn SpotPass Paralogue.
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.
Hidden Depths: For most non-Lord party members, you can roughly summarize their personality and background in two sentences. However, their characterization mostly comes from Support conversations (true to form for Fire Emblem) and usually their characters get fleshed out or their various oddities get explained.
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 Fighter'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.
Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The Annas. It should be noted that some translations, such as the French localization, refer to them as sisters, which explains things somewhat.
Infinity–1 Sword: The Parallel Falchion and the Exalted Falchion, upgraded versions of the Falchion that retain its infinite-use propety, but also gain a nice boost in attack power and can be used as healing items that restore 20 HP per use, again with no usage limits. The only requirements to obtaining them is to complete Chapters 13 and 24, respectively.
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.
Jack of All Stats: The Avatar has balanced stat growths as a Tactician and Grand Master, making him/her equally good at melee fighting and magic. You can customize your Avatar by selecting a stat to receive bonus growth to and a stat to have reduced growth.
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.
Justin 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.
Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Winged cavalry have a crippling weakness to bows and wind magic. Nearly all campaign missions (plus several of the paralogues) have enemies wielding one or both of these to prevent the player from blitzing the map with pegasi/wyverns/griffons.
Last Boy/Girl Wins: Olivia is the last of Chrom's love interests to be introduced - she's recruited in the very chapter he's supposed to get married in. If you didn't S-support with any of his other love interests but have enough support points, you get a special conversation with them (either Female Avatar, Sumia, Maribelle, or Sully) at the end of the chapter; Olivia doesn't have one. The game does lampshade and lampoon you a bit for it though.
In a similar vein, since Sumia has a small pool of love interests, her falling for Henry is this, as he joins after the two-year Timeskip (after Chrom is married with a daughter).
And while the Avatar can marry anyone, marrying any of the Spotpass characters takes it to a new level, as you can only play their chapters and recruit them right before the Endgame. Marrying Priam to a female Avatar is probably the biggest case of all, because he isn't seen at all during the game proper, whereas the other five are.
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. To wit: Chrom, Gaius, Cordelia, and Tharja are the most commonly paired-up units for Japanese players, so they get their own little shots of changing into modern swimsuits.
LEGO Genetics: Second-generation characters will have exactly the same skills and stats (averaged) of their mother and father (or at least their canonical parent if he/she wasn't paired up)
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.
Level Grinding: Since the map system is back from Sacred Stones, it's possible to fight Risen for EXP and Bullion (to sell for gold). However, this time the player is restricted to map encounters (no designated grinding spot unless one pays for DLC) and on Hard/Lunatic modes, Reeking Boxes cost 4500 instead of 500, which greatly restricts how much you can powerlevel.
Lineage Comes from the Father: Averted for the most part, as only Lucina and Female Morgan come after their fathers. All other children characters, male or female, come decidedly after their mothers.
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 out 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: As expies of Loptyr and the Lopytrians, 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.
Luke, You Are My Father: Lucina does this to Chrom when she accidentally cries out "Father!" while protecting him. She explains herself afterwards.
Luminescent Blush: Applied to the characters' dialogue portraits mostly during their S-rank Supports.
Olivia has it almost all the time.
If you tap their face in the information screen to watch their attack animation, any married character will have this, provided they're paired up with their partner at 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. As usual for Fire Emblem, Pegasus Knights are adept and killing mages, having enough resistance to even shrug off wind magic (usually).
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.
Presumably "Plegian" comes from the Greek root "plege" (yes, like the second half of paraplegic) which means "a blow or stroke".
Medieval Stasis: It's been well over a thousand years since King Marth's reign and technologically little has changed, going by the absence of Cannons one could even argue technology has gone backwards. Some blame this on Grima, though its not known.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: If a female unit falls in classic mode, she only retreats. The only male characters who don't actually die are the plot-important Frederick, Basilio and Virion. Plus, almost all the bosses are male and one of the only three female bosses can even be recruited. Also, the only heroic manaketes to survive the 2,000 year stretch between the Akaneia saga and Awakening are female, while the three male manakete characters don't appear at all, though Bantu is mentioned as appearing offscreen.
Subverted with the Spotpass and second-generation characters; female characters in these groups die when defeated just like the male characters.
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, Argent, 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. This isn't too noticeable at first, as they are officially a peace-keeping force, though once they get promoted to Ylisse's main wartime army the silliness doesn't go away. 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...
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.
This is revealed as the case for Miriel as well in the time the second generation characters are from, as mentioned by Laurent in both Future Past 3 and Infinite Regalia.
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.
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.
This is soon followed up by the Hierophant/Grima out-gambit the Avatar.
Pair the Spares: It's possible to do this if one feels like pairing off their entire party and the two odd ends happen to be compatible romantically.
Penultimate Weapon: Brave Weapons. The Regalia weapons are statistically the most powerful and offer interesting stat bonuses, but the Brave Weapons let a unit double up their attacks, allowing a unit to strike up to four times. They can also be purchased from a regular shop near the end of the game.
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.
Play Every Day: This seems to be the designers' intention, as opening up the game on a daily basis results in 5 new barracks events and at least a few random encounters naturally spawning. On Hard/Insane mode, this is especially important since those encounters are the main renewable sources of EXP and gold.
The Power of Love: An actual mechanic. Units in relationships with each other (i.e. have Support ranks), whether platonic or romantic, give better stat bonuses fighting together and have better chances of getting an attack in with their partner or blocking a hit for them. Naturally, the highest ranking (S) between married couples has the best bonuses.
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.
Protection Mission: As a staple of the series, this naturally shows up. The first instance is Chapter 6, where the party protects Emmeryn from an assassination attempt and the second is Chapter 15, where they have to save Say'ri from a horde of Valmese troops. Both count as Badass in Distress since both protect-ees would be capable of fighting back if not for their lack of weaponry.
Ramming Always Works: How the Avatar decides to deal with the Valmese fleet, which outnumbers the Ylissian/Feroxian/Plegian fleet by severalfold. The twist is that they set half their own boats on fire and jump off before the ramming happens, since the remaining ships have enough room for their whole army. This crazy plan actually works.
Rank Inflation: Notable aversion in that the S rank for weapons is absent in this game. 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.
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.
Excellus very nearly gets this treatment for wanting to abandon Walhart after Chrom's army starts to turn the tide of the war. Walhart, having heard this, gives him the option of spearheading Walhart's defensive line, or facing Walhart himself on the spot.
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.
Rousseau Was Right: Emmeryn truly believes that deep down, everyone is redeemable and just wants peace, in contrast to the slightly more cynical Chrom. After Emmeryn sacrifices herself, Chrom realizes that even Plegian soldiers are just regular people.
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.
Senseless Sacrifice: Inverted actually. Not sacrificing yourself turns out to be the foolish choice in light of the sacrifice ending, since you survive anyway, with the bonus of killing off the Big Bad for good. So you actually screwed over future generations for nothing.
Serial Escalation: The previous addition to the Fire Emblem series, Shadow Dragon, featured a story and multiplayer mode, and class changing. Awakening has all that, and throws in new classes with branching promotions, a fully-customizable Avatar, ability to Pair Up units in combat, a new Skill system with new Skills, limited voice acting during conversations, more Support options without limitations, a return of the world map, allowing grinding, downloadable content, Event Tiles on maps, full 3-D fights (naturally), the option for characters to marry and have children in-game, and PLENTY of cameos from past Fire Emblem characters.
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.
Cynthia's hotblooded nature, penchant for heroics, and her concept art pose are veryKamen Rider.
In his B support with Owain, Morgan lets loose a special counterattack—Flamingo...PUUUUUUUNCH! For bonus points, it's even a fireball.
Donny and Olivia's C support has them talking about a swan princess who sounds suspiciously like Princess Leanne.
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.
This can get a little bizarre when the Avatar is concerned, since it's heavily implied that Morgan is the youngest of the second generation. This creates the strange implication that, if a female Avatar's husband dies in combat, every single female in the army must already be several months pregnant.
In one support conversation, Laurent (who is older than Lucina, the only second-generation character to be born in the "current time") implies that there's a valid reason why the childrens' ages are so weird, but then dodges the question and leaves. note His B Support reveals that the children all arrived at different points in time in the past. Laurent, for instance, had arrived two years prior to Lucina's trip to the past.
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.
Temporal Paradox: Averted. The Avatar understandably worries when Adult!Lucina makes her reveal, asking what happens to Infant!Lucina. Apparently the two of them can exist at the same time with no harm done.
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.
Axes and Lances behave like this. They'll return to your hand (somehow), too!
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.
Token Evil Teammate: Played with. As usual in Fire Emblem, you can recruit from the enemy side. Here, both Plegians you can recruit are Dark Mages, have something of a creepy or mentally unstable streak, and show no intent of atoning (Tharja pulls a Screw This, I'm Out of Here! and is self-serving while Henry joins because he can spill more blood that way). However, both of them are alright people deep down, as their supports reveal, despite their dark streaks. The Avatar is Plegian too, and the embodiment of a god of evil no less, but he/she is the ultimate Anti Anti Christ.
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.
A major oversight by the developers, however: why can't you just ignore Flavia and get help from Basilio, the reigning Khan? This is never Justified.
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."
Averted in that, off-screen, the vast majority of the Plegian army deserted on the spot when Emmeryn committed suicide, chanting her name as they went.
The rebels-turn-turncoats in Valm seem to be this at first, but it turns out they only sided with Walhart because he threatened them. When Chrom and the Avatar show up in Valm and start putting the boots to Walhart, they side with Say'ri and the rebels again.
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. He puts one such poster in every tent, much to Chrom's dismay.
SpotPass allows you to recruit Gangrel. Yes, THAT Gangrel. And later, Walhart and... Aversa. Emmeryn also joins the Spot Pass characters. The final Spot Pass character, Priam, also happens to be the DESCENDANT OF IKE.
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.
Ricken is weirded out by Miriel's use of magic to do noncombat-oriented things like alchemy. Apparently turning solid metals into other metals has no use in combat.
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.
Nowi: Oh, I'm a thousand... something? But look, no wrinkles!
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.
Vendor Trash: Bullion of three different sizes get dropped at least once per Challenge map and are commonly lootable during Story missions too. Their only purpose is to sell to the shop for gold.
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 Paralogue chapters, there are several instances of helpless villagers or less useless but still vulnerable NPC's surrounded by enemies. There's even a physical reward for saving them or helping them survive.
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.
The DLC Chapters. Full Throttle. Just replace "Tribe" with "Cameos."
Paralogue chapters basically have an Excuse Plot of "bandits/thugs/jerks are terrorizing innocents, go stop them" so you can unlock optional characters or get goodies. You can easily finish the game without doing them, though recruiting the children characters can certainly help.
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.
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. 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.
Hammered even further in Ricken's Support with Henry, which gave Ricken a Heroic BSOD.
Played straight later on when the characters are surrounded by all sides in Fort Steiger and Basilio is sent to the north with some Feroxi troops to engage Walhart in a hopeless battle to buy some time for the others to escape. He outright tells them that it will result in the deaths of many of his men.
Where Are They Now: As is custom in Fire Emblem games, the end credits has brief summaries on what every (surviving) character does after the events of the game.
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.
You Have Failed Me: Aversa kills a Plegian soldier who failed to bring back accurate information about Chrom's army. Gangrel actually comments on "trying not to kill all the help".
You Shouldn't Know This Already: It's possible for the player character to know about the Risen's names from Lissa's C-rank conversation, despite not actually being named yet. This is averted in the PAL version, due to all mentions of Risen being changed to "bandits" instead.
Rushing through some Supports (like the male Avatar and Chrom, for example) will have the two talk about being in a war even if there isn't one currently.
In Cordelia's supports with Frederick or Stahl, she'll mention Phila's death... even if you haven't been to that chapter yet.
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: Fairly common with female units, particularly the Pegasus Knights. There are exceptions, however, most notably the Cleric and Troubadour class lines, all of which include either pants or long dresses.