Once, dragons and men coexisted. They shared a peace forged in wisdom, a peace that lasted many generations. All that was lost when mankind disrupted this balance in a sudden onslaught. Man fought dragon in a savage war that shook the foundations of their world. This war was called The Scouring. Defeated and humbled, dragons vanished from the realm. In time, man rebuilt and spread his dominion across the land and on to the islands beyond. A thousand years have passed since those dark days ended.
— Opening of Blazing Sword
The sixth and seventh games in the Fire Emblem series, comprising its third canon and timeline, and being the first to be completely separate from its predecessors. It was this canon which was both responsible for sparking interest among western gamers, then actually following through by being the franchise's international debut. It was also the first set of games to come following the departure of series creator Shouzou Kaga.
Fire Emblem: Binding Bladenote Japanese title Fuuin no Tsurugi. (Game Boy Advance, 2002) stars Roy, Fire Emblem's other representative in Super Smash Bros. Melee, as he attempts to repel the invading forces of Bern. The game was well-received in Japan, but in the west, the reception among fans was more mixed. On the one hand, it was praised for introducing the super-popular "Support" feature, which allows characters to build their relationships by spending a lot of time together in battle and remains a big draw for the series. At the same time, due to technological constraints, it was forced to drop many of the mechanics introduced in the console-era, though it was able to add its own as well.
Fire Emblem: Blazing Swordnote Released as just Fire Emblem in the west, but near-universally called by its Japanese name - Rekka no Ken - or by its number for the sake of differentiation. (Game Boy Advance, 2003) was the franchise's international debut and the beginning of it finally averting No Export for You. A prequel to Binding Blade, it stars Roy's father, Eliwood, as he investigates the disappearance of his own father with his friends Hector and Lyn, leading them to clash with a brotherhood of assassins called the Black Fang. This game remains a favorite of many western fans because it features one of the longer quests of the Western released games, features a large amount of replay value, and boasts a story that's rather unique in relation to the rest of the franchise.
Rounding out the Elibe canon was a 11-volumes manga adaptation, Fire Emblem: Champion's Swordnote Commonly known just by its untranslated Japanese name, Hasha no Tsurugi. It revisits and slightly modifies the plot of Binding Blade through the point of view of four original characters exclusive to this manga: young swordsman (well, teen) Al, Princess Tiena of Tania Castle, her loyal knight Gant, and Master Swordsman Kilmar. They help Roy and his troops in the war against Bern, while on their own quest: searching for the FireEmblem.
Bag of Spilling: Justified. Twenty years pass between the two games, meaning there is plenty of time for characters to lose their edge through old age, injury, and inaction.
Beauty Equals Goodness: Binding Blade gives us some subversions in a series that plays this trope straighter than an arrow most of the time: the axe-wielding Gonzalez (whose ugliness and low intelligence makes him feared), and the plain-looking Dorothy (with her small eyes and plain, boyish clothing).
BFS: Exaccus, which somehow turns into a trident when not in use.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: The first thing Zephiel does when he reaches Lycia is lead a direct assault on Lycia's main army, going personally with two of his best generals to make sure Hector doesn't make it out alive. The result being that Lycia is very nearly defeated by Bern days after the two go to war.
Despair Event Horizon: King Mordred of Etruria is sunk in a depression from the death of his son Mildain and is almost apathetic about what's happening to his country. He gets better when Elphin the bard reveals that he is Mildain.
Early Installment Weirdness: Due to Blazing Sword being a prequel, there are several instances where characters are ignorant of elements that were also key plot points twenty years ago, although it's not difficult to rationalize things away given the time the heroes spend undercover, Canas' determination to keep the events out of the history books, and the fact that Eliwood would probably not want to talk about the painful events his Infinity+1 Sword caused.
The Empire: The game kicks off when Bern decides it's going to be this and starts a widespread campaign of conquest.
Faking the Dead: It is revealed that Zephiel did this after a failed assassination attempt in order to turn the tables on his would-be murderer, King Desmond. This event is alluded to in the epilogue of Blazing Sword. Prince Mildain of Etruria did likewise.
Fan Remake: A remake of Binding Blade was made by a fan called Superluigi, which is built upon the Blazing Sword engine (itself a slightly modified version of the original Binding Blade engine) with a bit of content taken out but a lot more added.
The Federation: The Lycian Alliance is a confederation of independent fiefdoms that unite militarily when faced with an outside threat. In the end, it's united into a single country under Lilina and possibly Roy.
The Grotesque: Years of mistreatment had led Gonzales to genuinely think he's a monster, as he'd been rejected by villagers and used by his lord as a mindless pile of muscles only good for spreading havoc, until Lilina saw through his scary exterior. A rare subversion of Beauty Equals Goodness in the series.
Humans Are Bastards: Zephiel's firm belief in this is why he's able to gain allies in disaffected dragons. They believe that all of Elibe's suffering can be laid at mankind's doorstep, starting with The Scouring. As such, they want to purge the continent of them. And humans did strike the first blow in the Scouring after generations of peaceful coexistence.
Karma Houdini: Subverted with Erik. After helping his father's attempt to start a war in Lycia and kill Eliwood and Hector in Blazing Sword, he apparently "reforms" and becomes the Marquess of Laus after his father's death. Years later he betrays Lycia again, but this only leads to him getting killed by Roy.
Last of His Kind: Yahn claims to be the last dragon, even his battle theme is named after that fact. Technically, there are other dragons around, but Idoun is not a "true" dragon since she became a Dark Dragon and the war dragons she created are not real dragons, either. However, there are dragons on the other side of the Gate and in Arcadia.
Lighter and Softer: The art style, sprites, and battle animations when compared to all of the previous games in the series, especially the Jugdral Series. Colourwise, this was actually justified because by the time these two games came out, the original Game Boy Advance (The one without backlit screens) was still commonplace - it made it easier to see. You can spot a change in Sacred Stones gaining a more brown tone compared to these games, while still retaining the artstyle, though.
The Load: Roy receives his promotion via story event very late in the game. It's not hard for him to ram level 20 long before this, so he can't fight or else the rest of the party loses experience.
No Export for You: Most Western players know it through a fan-created translation patch, as the game has never been officially localized.
The Ojou: Clarine, the daughter of an Etrurian noble, is haughty and pretty loud about her sense of refined beauty and how none of those uncouth plebeians could hope to compete with her marvelous brother.
Perpetual Storm: Chapter 14 takes place in a desert with a perpetual sandstorm, which is supposed to protect the dragon-human settlement Arcadia from outsiders. Though the sandstorm does end on Turn 25.
Polar Opposite Twins: Raigh and Lugh, respectively. The former sports a snarky grin and has a reputation for being cold and heartless, whereas the latter is kind and cheery. Both are potent magic users, though.
Recycled Script: There are many aspects of Fuuin that are extremely similar to Mystery of the Emblem, including some of the characters (Miledy is a very blatant Expy of Minerva in terms of class, looks, and personality) and parts of the plot (mostly about Idoun being the "Dark Dragon", all of the liberation that Roy does). There are also plenty of differences, but it's one reason why its prequel is considered superior by many.
Sorting Algorithm of Evil: In Chapter 3, Zephiel, Idoun, and Narcian—all of them very powerful fighters—are all present at Araphen Castle. Idoun, the Final Boss, offers to take out Roy's band of low-level fighters and mercenaries, but Zephiel declines and departs with her, leaving the matter to Narcian. He promptly turns the matter over to a low-level knight so he can lech on Clarine. This happens again in Chapter 13, but instead to a low-level Wyvern Lord and a large force of Etrurian cavalry.
Timed Mission: Apart from Durandal and Aureola, the Divine Weapons are found in bonus chapters that require you to win the previous battle within a certain number of turns. Otherwise the enemy goes and trashes the shrine they're housed in to keep you out.
Elphin: Fae...the name has a unique feel to it. Is it your real name?
Fae: No, Fae's real name is verrry long. But they say that it's a sound that humans can't hear. Fae's the only part that you can.
Unwitting Pawn: The Lycia Alliance army is sent to the Western Isles to fight "bandits," but their would-be foes are rebels who have very legitimate reasons for opposing the government. You are eventually informed the the reason for this "mission" is that the Etrurian official who gave it to you, Advisor Roartz, is The Quisling.
I Have Your King: King Mordred is held hostage by Bern forces at the instigation of his Trecherous Advisor, Roartz to force Etruria's top generals to fight Roy's army.
Weather of War: Including a sandstorm that hinders movement and causes fog-of-war.
The Worf Effect: The Lycian Alliance is thoroughly routed in the first few chapters of the game, with Hector of Ostia dying of his wounds. It's all the more dire if you played Blazing Sword first and have firsthand experience of Hector's badassery.
Written by the Winners: The Scouring, a brutal war between humans and dragons, was started by humans after generations of peaceful coexistence. The eight human generals are now revered as the "Eight Legendary Heroes," with one even having a religion dedicated to her.
Tropes in Blazing Sword
Alas, Poor Villain: Quite a few examples, actually. Even some villains who seem really nasty are revealed to have sympathetic qualities upon dying, such as Limstella.
Lloyd and Linus. You fight one before the other, the first one is always misled into thinking you're a gang of corrupt nobles and evil people (who the Black Fang was originally founded to combat) but upon finding out you aren't, begin to question the leadership of the Black Fang, and refuse to fight you through underhanded methods and do not want to hurt any non-combatants. They don't join you because they had to do some thinking, but are killed by Limstella for their quintessence. The other is similarly misled because they think you killed their brother. If you especially want this trope, have Nino attack them...
Their morphs in the last chapter just make things even worse.
Artificial Stupidity: An example where it's actually exploitable by the player. The enemies are programmed to pick on weaker foes - so during the chapters where you have a set of third-party allies on the map who're always weaker than your characters (and usually unable to do more than simply cherry tap the enemies at best), the AI will prioritize them.
Enemies will also prioritize allies that can't fight back... cue players stripping Marcus of all weapons and using him as an extremely durable meatshield for the first part of the game.
Pent, who can completely destroy the enemy forces in "The Living Legend" and entirely by himself if left alone.
Bad Ass Army: You will end up with one of these by the end of the game, if not long before (assuming that the Random Number God doesn't screw you over) when everyone is finally at level 20 promoted.
Awesome but Impractical: The S-rank weapons in the final chapter are too heavy to use compared to their effect. High Mag combined with Luna does better than any of the legendary tomes.
Plus, you get them in the final chapter, with almost no enemies worth using them on.
The Sol Katti in particular. Sure, it looks cool, being a BFSRoyal Rapier larger than Lyn herself... until you realize that it's too unwieldy on Lyn's Fragile Speedster frame to double attack, something her fighting style depends on.
Badass Bookworm: Canas in particular, although most mages qualify. Nino subverts it, as she's illiterate.
Badass Longcoat: Raven and Linus (Heroes), and Lloyd (Swordmaster). Both are custom sprites, by the way. Because they're that awesome.
Badass Preacher: His poor stats aside, Renault used to be a highly skilled fighter, and is implied to have gathered many bodies for Nergal's morph experiments. He became a bishop in an attempt to atone for his past actions.
Fridge Brilliance: His poor magic stat stems from the fact that he spent most of his life as a weapon-user. Units with both a "Strength" stat and a "Magic" stat don't exist in the GBA games, but if they did, his Strength would probably be abnormally high for his class. This also explains why his Defense is almost as high as his Resistance.
BFS: Durandal is about the same length as Eliwood's horse. And he holds it with one hand.
Bittersweet Ending: Reading the epilogue about all the characters after the final level really feels this way if you let a lot of them die...
Even without any casualties, Fire Emblem 7 still has a bittersweet ending. Sure, the Dragon Gate is closed, Nergal's mad schemes have been put to rest for good, and Eliwood and Hector went on to rule Pherae and Ostia for fifteen or twenty years... but Bern's royal family is still royally screwed up, Athos and Bramimond are dead (not that anyone missed Bramimond, but still...), all of those Robin Hood types from the Black Fang have been killed or scattered to the winds, and fifteen short years later, a new tyrant sits on Bern's throne...
Not to mention that Ninian either has to say goodbye forever to the man she loves, or to her brother; and either way in turn, Nils won't ever see any of the new friends the two of them made ever again.
Priscilla has three potential love interests and a large slew of male characters for her supports, but the only one she can actually end up marrying is Erk. The other two (Guy and Heath) wind up leaving her due to class differences (Guy is a nomad, Heath's a mercenary from Bern, while Erk studied under noblemen). In both, she winds up crying. Good grief.
Without support grades to change their ending, the following disappear and are never seen again: Dart, Raven, Renault, and Jaffar.
Matching up your supports in particular ways can lead to the worst possible endings. Get Ninian with Eliwood, and it's implied she dies. If Nino gets with Erk, they both disappear. In Karel and Dart's supports in Binding Blade, it's impliied that Karel killed Vaida. If Vaida got with Heath, then he probably died alongside her. Priscilla's issues are mentioned above, and finally, if Isadora gets with Renault, then she ends up in a covenant, and if she gets with Legault then they end up fighting each other in battle. Cheers to a happy ending!
Book Ends: If one reaches maximum support level between Eliwood and Ninian, the story ends the same way the two of them are introduced in Lyndis' story: Eliwood holding Ninian in a Bridal Carry. They even provide the image for the trope page Rescue Romance.
Boss Bonanza: Blazing Sword pits you in the final chapter against NINE bosses, though not all at once, thankfully. And when you're done, you fight the Final Boss, though that's technically another stage. Otherwise, you face one or maybe two bosses per chapter, tops.
Dual Boss: Lloyd and Linus are super pumped during the Boss Rush and challenge you simultaneously. Also That One Boss due to their insane equipment and their A-level support with one another. Ursula and Jerme are also Dual Bosses, albeit not nearly as frustrating since Jerme doesn't come at you wielding anything unusual (in fact, his weapon choice is downright stupid).
Interestingly, two of the bosses you fight during this Boss Rush (Jerme and Kenneth) were mutually exclusive when you fought one of them earlier, so for the first playthrough, you'll most likely think "Wait... who's that guy?"
Brother-Sister Incest: Less blatant than the 4th game, but present in the form of Priscilla, who made a marriage promise to her brother Raymond/Raven. In this case, Raven doesn't accept this, thankfully.
The Computer Is A Lying Bastard: Nils' augury for chapter 30 recommends both moving as a group and avoiding entering the temples strewn across the map. Moving as a group will essentially result in being surrounded, moving in three separate groups being far more practical, and the temples contain a few stat boosting items and a playable unit. Thanks for nothing, Nils.
Crash-Into Hello: Hector meets Florina, one of his possible love interests, when she plummets out of the sky and he winds up breaking her fall... and that of her pegasus.
Dark Is Not Evil: Canas will remind people that Shamans study ancient magic, not dark magic, but he also knows firsthand that the forces he's handling are extremely dangerous and must be treated with caution. His three brothers succumbed to it, and ended up as Empty Shells.
Canas lost his brothers because of it and knows that he may lose himself as well.
Teodor knows the risks perfectly well and deliberately pursues the forgetfulness.
Bramimond has no personality of its own and simply mimics the personality of those to whom it converses. Athos even considers it to have No Biological Sex anymore. Subverted in that Bramimond does remember who Athos is, though.
Nergal... well, by the time he got the above-mentioned power boost, he had forgotten all about his family.
Defector from Decadence: Why some recruitable characters leave the enemy side. Legault left the Black Fang because he was forced to kill a wounded member of their team he cared about and Heath left his mercenary company because he refused to kill women and children (in your party).
Detect Evil: Nils and Ninian have the strange ability to sense impending danger, but can't do much about it. It's the first sign that that they're not... normal.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Various villages and houses will give you different dialogue depending on who visits there. When Hector appears in an Early-Bird Cameo in Lyn's story, there's even different dialogue if you send Matthew or Serra there!
Doomed by Canon: Nino, Jaffar, and possibly Erk are killed by bounty hunters or are in hiding. Roy's mother is implied to have died giving birth to Roy, meaning this can either be Fiora, Ninian, or Lyndis. Whoever Hector marries is never mentioned in Binding Blade, and the possibilities include Florina, Farina, and (again) Lyn. Karla dies of illness some time after giving birth to Fir. Canas dies trying to stop a blizzard, and his son is raised by his grandmother - both appear in Fire Emblem 6. Not to mention, the Black Fang. Hector dies onscreen in Fire Emblem 6, and he's actually told that he'll die a violent death for taking Armands. Athos and Bramminond don't make it to 6. Rath's grandfather and daughter are both in 6, but neither of them mention him, implying the worst. Nino is on the run, regardless if she's married or not in her endings, and her sons mention that the priest who ran the orphanage they were in was killed - in Lucius' ending, he starts an orphanage, so it's possible that he died as well. This has a lesser impact on western players who never got Fire Emblem 6.
Dual Wielding: Assassins and their daggers. However; they wield swords instead.
Apparently Pirates do this with axes, then promptly drop it for a gigantic battle ax as Berserkers.
Dub Name Change: A few of the character's names, and Caelin is named Ciaran in the Japanese version. The European version also changes Ostia, Laus, and Bern (all of which are the names of real-life cities in Europe) to Ositia, Lahus, and Biran... except on the map scenes, where they're still called Ostia, Laus, and Bern.
Elopement: Lyndis's parents did this in the backstory to Blazing Sword. Her mother, Lady Madelyn, was the daughter of the Marquis of Caelin. Her father, Hassar, was the leader of the Lorca Tribe, one of the three tribes of Sacae, a group of nomadic people. In order to stay together, Madelyn left Caelin to live with her lover on the Sacaen plains.
Even Evil Has Standards: Uhai holds Lyn hostage, but only to deliver a message to the enemy so they won't shoot him, and to make himself look like a more vicious opponent. Even though he could have easily killed her, he lets her go because he says it is shameful to hold hostages during battle. When he dies, he tells the party the way to the Dragon's Gate.
The Ganelon Bandits are disgusted by the way the Taliver bandits work. And they are even offended when you ask if they belong to them.
Even such a ruthless assassin as Jaffar balked at the way Sonia treated Nino.
Fantastic Racism: The Sacaeans are treated poorly by most of Elibe's other countries due to both their nomadic lifestyle and their intensive pride. This becomes a point of contempt for Lyn during her story, and in her supports with Eliwood, she expresses fear of being ousted in Caelin's court due to her mixed blood.
Forced Tutorial: Blazing Sword, the first game in the series released outside Japan, contained "Lyn's Tale", an unskippable ten-chapter prologue to the main quest that explained the game's mechanics in excruciating detail, complete with forced moves and luck manipulation. Japanese veterans of the series were none too pleased with it (though linking the game to Binding Blade allowed you to skip the tutorials), and western players who had read the manual routinely curse it as well. Later games made the tutorials optional, and replaying Lyn's quest in "Hard Mode" allows the player to ignore the tutorials (though you lose Sain's dialog to a female tactician), with the option to skip Lyn's mode entirely (not recommended, but possible).
Foregone Conclusion: Many characters are the parents of people who appear in Binding Blade, yet were never mentioned by their kids. To handle this, the Where Are They Now epilogue mentions several characters were killed offscreen in between games. Doomed by Canon indeed.
Hector swears to protect his children until the day he dies. Early on in Binding Blade, Roy meets a dying Hector.
We learn the Bern royal family is having...trouble, but after Eliwood saves their life, they promise to try to make amends. Yeah, that didn't turn out well.
To make things clear, the dad tries to kill the prince many times and almost succeeds, the embittered prince kills his dad, locks up his little sister, sets out to take over the world. And nobody knows what happened to his mom.
As for other classes, Myrmidons and Swordmasters are possibly even more fragile, but have the advantage of high critical hit rates.
Gameplay and Story Integration: Pent and Louise are happily married. They also start with an A support ranking because of it. If one of them falls, the other permanently leaves the party too in order to help the other off the battlefield and the two return home.
Gay Option: Somepeople see quite a few of these, such as Legault for Heath, Kent for Sain, Florina for Lyn, and Lucius for Raven. The latter two are strongly hinted at even outside of supports. However, none of them are explicit, and there are het pairings for all of these characters, etc. Interestingly, despite the common pairing of Raven/Lucius, Lucius possesses a rather cute het option with Serra as well (though no common ending). The same could be said for all the other pairings listed getting straight options. Regardless, the game, even outside of supports, strongly has hints of Raven/Lucius and Lyn/Florina, which is why those two pairings are the two most popular pairings regarded by thefans.
Genki Girl: Subverted with Serra, who acts genki but is more of a Stepford Smiler. Rebecca is more of the real deal. Nino also acts rather Genki in some of her supports.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Played with; most characters follow conventions, but Brendan, the leader of the Black Fang, has noble intentions despite being on the opposing side and evil in appearance.
Many of the gaiden chapters require you to complete a chapter in a set amount of turns or to visit a certain village, but Chapter 19xx is notorious for having very strange ones: Leveling your Spoony Bard to level 7 (which means Level Grinding and lots of it) on your second playthrough of Lyn's tale (see Forced Tutorial above) and killing the Bonus Boss in Chapter 19x (itself a Side Quest).
There's also a gaiden chapter unlocked by making sure your party gets a certain amount of experience while the enemy throws itself at a One-Man Army NPC, and the boss for one chapter is determined by the total EXP of your Fighters versus your Clerics and Mages.
On a similar note, while you will inevitably fight and kill both of the Reed brothers, the game uses a somewhat obscure method to determine which one you fight first: The combined levels of your three Lords.
Good luck finding the Secret Shops and all their incredibly useful wares without a guide (though at least these are supposed to be secret). Or for that matter, the locations of treasure on the desert map.
Some of the rankings mechanics are not as obvious as they look. For example, the "Funds" ranking is not just how much cash you have on hand; it counts the value of all items in your possession too, right down to their their number of uses left. (The buying value of your items, not the selling value; if you sell that White Gem for 10,000 gold, you actually lose 10,000 gold.) Have fun getting an S rank without knowing that...
Hate Sink: Nergal and his minions are evil, sure, but even they have their fans and Nergal has a fairly sympathetic backstory if you jump through hoops to get the secret sidequest mentioned above. The Black Fang are ultimately sympathetic despite their terrible deeds. But pretty much the entire fandom wants King Desmond dead.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Subverted with Vaida. She has her stats buffed to max in the chapter she appears as a boss, but she can be defeated by highly leveled units with an A-support level. She can also be rendered an easy kill by using the Mine Glitch note lay down a mine, wait for an enemy to walk on it, then reset the game. Upon resuming, all enemies are controllable for one turn to take her Spear (her weapon is the source of all her overpowered stats) though killing her means that you can't recruit her later.
Doubly subverted with Fargus in The Port of Badon. He can be defeated with enough Arena Abuse BUT no matter how the fight goes, the very act of attacking him gives you a Non-Standard Game Over.
I Am Not Left-Handed: Hector, arguably. Through almost all of the game, he only uses his right hand to cleave through just about everything in his path. When he equips Armads, he switches to his left...and swings it like it's nothing. Eliwood and cavaliers in general also switch hands after promotion (Eliwood from right-handed to left-handed, cavaliers from left-handed to right-handed) with no discernible effect.
Informed Attractiveness: Lyn is repeatedly stated by numerous characters to be extremely beautiful, despite that, this being Fire Emblem, there are many other female characters who are far above average in the looks department.
Eliwood mentions Lyn's Sacaen heritage, that she's "striking" — so perhaps it's something in her movement or her complexion. Her battle animations are decidedly elegant.
Informed Attribute: General Bauker of Laus is allegedly not such a bad guy, according to the NPCs, but he never displays any sympathetic traits or a hint of regret for the sack of Caelin. Made particularly jarring since his commanding officer Bernard, the boss of the very next level, accepts his own death as justice for Laus's brutality.
Island of Mystery: The Dread Isle again. Investigating it is one of the main points of the game.
Jack of All Stats: Kent, Sain, and Lowen, the cavaliers of the game, all fall into this category, with certain specialties emerging from otherwise-balanced stats; Kent has the best skill and speed, Sain has the best strength, and Lowen has the best defenses. Eliwood serves as this role among the three lords, although care must be taken to avoid letting him end up a Master of None.
Last of Her Kind: Twofold for Lyn: she, along with ten or so escapees, is the last of Sacae's Lorca Tribe (they were slaughtered by bandits months before the game proper begins), and she becomes the sole member of House Caelin - if not before the game's end, then not too long afterwards. In regards to the latter, her mother was the sole heiress before running away from home and died six months before Lyn's story begins; her grandfather, Caelin's marquess, had to deal with his own brother poisoning him for months, and was brutally stabbed almost a year later - though he received treatment for both and survived from both his willpower and robustness, he'd still be close to sixty if not older and the damage to his body would have taken its toll until he finally expired.
Leeroy Jenkins: Certain NPC's (recruitable or not) will run in and attack the first enemy they see no matter how suicidal it is. Watch as Erk the squishy mage picks a fight with a decent-sized army if left to his own devices.
The AI in general is this; unless specifically programmed not to, it will always attack if it's able to.
Mercifully averted with Zephiel, who's smart enough to stay put and use cover, and other mission-critical people.
Leitmotif: Lyn, Eliwood, and Hector each have one, although technically they're variations of the same theme, of which you will hear plenty in this game.
Lightning Bruiser: Don't let Hector's armor fool you, he's quite fast in addition to being strong and and well-armored. Lyn also tends towards this as a hard-hitting speedster, although her lack of armor means she could also be a Glass Cannon depending on how the Random Number God smiles on you.
Other classes in general count too, especially mounted and flying ones who have sturdy attacks and defenses and unrivaled movement speed.
The Load: Whoever your main lord is before they get the item that promotes them. It's possible for them to hit 20, and then they can't gain any experience, so you have good reason to not let them fight.
Long-Lost Relative: It's all but stated that Nergal is Ninian and Nils' father, with the biggest hint being his extended death quote, which you can only get by doing an extremely obscure sidequest in Hector's Hard mode. In it, he mentions the children's mother Aenir. Other relatives are Dart, who is Rebecca's long-lost brother Dan, Priscilla's brother Raymond is Raven, and it's strongly hinted that Canas is Nino's uncle. The main plot of Lyn's story has her discovering an entire long-lost side of her family, as she was unaware of her Lycian heritage up until Chapter 2. What's more, by the end of her story, only she and her grandfather are the remaining members of House Caelin.
Lord British Postulate: Fargus. Although an enemy, fighting him is implied to be rather a bad idea, and to end the chapter, all anyone has to do is talk to him. However, it is quite possible to kill him, especially with an arena on the same map that can used to bring a member of your party up to his level. It's still rather a bad idea, as killing or even attacking Fargus will still result in a Nonstandard Game Over.
Vaida in "Unfulfilled Heart" is similar; although you don't get a Nonstandard Game Over for attacking her, you don't gain anything from it either, and you won't be able to recruit her in "Cog of Destiny."
Love at First Punch: Bartre met his future wife Karla when she beat the crap out of him in an arena, gradually falling for her when they meet again much later.
Also, Lyndis was almost hit by Hector swinging his axe around and then she told him so. That was the start of their Slap-Slap-Kiss.
Luck-Based Mission: In Battle Before Dawn, there's no physical way to reach Jaffar in time to guarantee that he will live on Hector's Hard Mode. If he dies, you don't get a side chapter (and you can't recruit him). In fact, Zephiel, who you need to protect, can be killed before you can get to the area.
In Blazing Sword, attempting to defeat Kishuna in "Prisoner of Magic" can be tough. He has an incredible health, good defense, enough Evasion to ensure that nobody at this point in the game except Lyn, Eliwood, and Guy will have more than a 50% chance to hit him at all, and is a living Anti-Magic field. He won't fight back, but you have to take out every last hitpoint in a single turn or he'll disappear. While you aren't required to kill him to proceed with the game, you do have to kill him to reach Chapter 19xx.
Even more so trying to kill him in "Genesis", where he retreats as soon as you attack him or open the door to his chamber. (And his position makes him impossible to hit with anything other than a Longbow, though in Hector's Story he at least moves around enough to be within range of a regular ranged weapon.) Thankfully, there's nothing lost if he retreats rather than being defeated.
Chapter 11 of FE7 in Hector's story involves Hector and Matthew sneaking out of a castle while being pursued by assassins. There are only two of you and over a dozen of them. Good strategy helps, but a lot of the mission is praying you don't get screwed by the RNG.
Mage Killer: Pegasus Knights are very good at this by having abnormally high resistance for a weapon-using class and having superior movement. Eliwood also sets himself apart from Hector and Lyn with a decent resistance growth.
Magikarp Power: Nino is infamous for this: she comes at a low level very late in the game, but train her up and she'll be able to blow away anything that comes her way. Also a case of Lamarck Was Right: one character mentions that Nino's family is filled with extremely skilled magic users, including Nino's own sons Lugh and Raigh.
Most units that you get at level 1 qualify for this, though to less infuriating extents. Beginners are often nonplussed at how weak Rebecca and Florina are at first, but veterans know to train them up and really achieve impressive results.
Master of None: Eliwood can be like this, if the RNG goes badly. While by no means a terrible character, his "balanced" stat growths are pretty lackluster when Lyn and Hector's unbalanced ones enable them to kick so much ass.
Mighty Glacier: Knights and Generals, full stop. They can tank just about anything (sans magic users) and hit hard, the problem is having them keep up with the rest of your units.
Modular Epilogue: If certain character pairs max out their Relationship Values via Supports, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue describes their shared (often romantic) relationship instead of giving them individual endings. Many of these are mutually exclusive, since each character can only get the full A Support with one other character. For example, Eliwood gets one of four endings depending on which (if any) of his love interests he gets an A Support with. The previous installment, Binding Blade, has the same system, but the only alternate, paired endings are ones with Main Character Roy.
Motive Decay: The Black Fang were always a group of assassins, but apparently they started off as a noble one that targeted the unjust. This slowly slipped away when Nergal had Sonia infiltrate by marrying their leader, Branden, and so Nergal had his own group of psychopaths and fanatic followers added...
Mugging the Monster: In the desert chapter, a group of bandits rob CountPent of his magical artifact he just dug up. Even as they attack him, he expresses regret in having to fight back. The results are so messy that the player might have a hard time getting EXP before he wipes the floor with all of them.
Near Villain Victory: It won't be apparent on your first playthrough, but Lyn's group stumbles by sheer chance upon Nils about halfway through her story, rescuing Ninian from the Black Fang in the process, holding up Nergal's plans for a year.
Another one that won't be apparent on your first playthrough: the brigands that Ephidel sent to "scare" Eliwood away from Santaruz outnumbered Eliwood and his company; if it weren't for Hector's timely arrival, Eliwood might never have reached Santaruz or learned anything about the rebellion plot until it was too late. And if he and Hector hadn't quelled the rebellion, they never would have been in a position to interfere in Nergal's dragon-summoning ritual. As Nergal said, Hector's presence was his "greatest miscalculation."
Yet another not-so-obvious one, but in "Port of Badon", the only thing between Nergal and success is Fargus and his boat. If you attack him, he gets angry and withdraws his aid. Cue a Non-Standard Game Over.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If you get the best Tactician rating, the game says (and I quote) that you "changed the course of history" and that "Bern and Etruria (the countries fighting in Binding Blade) so desired this skilled mind that they went to war." Granted, they still go to war if you do poorly, but…
Etruria and Bern go to war even if you don't do excellently, but for completely different reasons that have nothing to do with the Tactician. In light of Desmond's tyranny and paranoia and the Tactician's many attacks on Bern troops throughout the game (which had to be done very efficiently for an A or S Rank), and the fact that the Tactician revealed the location of the Shrine of Seals (thitherto a closely guarded national secret of Bern) to the Mage General of Etruria, it's likely that the war mentioned in the "best" ending was started by Desmond rather than Zephiel.
Nothing Is Scarier: In one of the final battles, you fight many of the previous bosses... and none of them can talk.
Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: For once it's justified how Nergal keeps throwing larger and larger numbers of increasingly better units for your army to fight. After dispatching with the Black Fang, he has logically run out of cannon fodder to throw at you... so he uses stolen quintessence to create vast armies of elite Morphs, beings that resemble humans but come straight from Uncanny Valley
It's implied that even before the destruction of the Black Fang, Nergal was placing Morphs into their ranks.
One-Hit Kill: A specialty of Assassins. For each attack, they have half of their normal critical hit chance to deal a OHKO, immediately terminating the enemy unit even if a critical hit would barely scratch them.
Our Zombies Are Different: Many of the Morphs are basically reanimated corpses.note They are actually made of quintessence which is like life force. New "people" can be made out of the quintessence of the dead or people can be brought back if they are strong enough.
Parental Favoritism: Guinevere is adored by her father Desmond, while he despises his son Zephiel. Hellene shows affection to her son, but it is fueled by the need for power more than love. Desmond loves Guinevere far more because she was conceived with a mistress that he was genuinely in love with, whereas he had Zephiel with Hellene, and their marriage is a loveless one. To make matters worse, Zephiel is a hard-working prince who desperately wants his father's approval, and Guinevere is stuck beneath his shadow, because she's a girl. It reaches a tipping point when Desmond hires the Black Fang to kill Zephiel (hence the crux of Chapter 26), so that Guinevere can become the heiress apparent.
Plot Armor: Important non-lord characters will retreat when defeated rather than die, though they remain unusable for the rest of the game. In Blazing Sword, this also applies to Bartre and Karel, since they're still around in Binding Blade.
Also, allowing Zephiel to die would create a TIME PARADOX, as he's the villain of Binding Blade.
It also applies to Karla, since she marries Bartre between the two games and has Fir, a character in Binding Blade. It's a little unclear if it applies to Rath or not due to the way his "death" scene is written.
One strange omission of plot armor, possibly an oversight, is Rebecca, who is heavily implied to die when she is defeated despite being the mother of Wolt from Binding Blade.
Poor Communication Kills: Queen Hellene seems rather unconcerned that an attempt was made on her son's life, and is clearly confused when Eliwood accuses her of putting Zephiel's life at risk for her ambition. In reality, this is because she didn't know an assassination attempt was made on Zephiel the night before. This very nearly leads to the party losing her support to reach the Shrine of Seals, but Murdock fortunately explains the situation to her.
And even so, neither Murdock nor Eliwood told her that the attempt on Zephiel's life had been ordered by King Desmond; she might not have made her ill-fated decision to make it up to him if she had known about his involvement in the attack.
Hellene does (very quickly) mention something about hearing that assassins broke into the manse the previous night, but she still doesn't know that Eliwood and company were the ones that saved Zephiel until Murdock tells her. Of course, she doesn't find this out until after Eliwood calls her out, so it still fits this trope.
Prolonged Prologue: Lyn's Story is basically ten chapters of tutorial disguised as a storyline which, while important to her character, means little in the grand scheme of things. This was intentional, as Blazing Blade was intended to be the first Fire Emblem ported overseas, so the goal was to accommodate for new North American and European players.
Retcon: The Dragon's Gate concept seems to be something like this; going by what Jahn says near the end of Binding Blade, the dragons, bar himself, Idenn, and the population of Arcadia, were all slaughtered at their weakest by the humans in a brutal genocide. Blazing Sword reveals they were simply chased into an Alternate Dimension. Granted, Jahn was sealed before that happened so he had no way of knowing, but it still smells faintly of backpedalling.
Schmuck Bait: Dart lays it out in no uncertain terms that attacking Fargus would be a bad move, and just in case you do, you get hit with a double whammy; not only is Fargus practically a Hopeless Boss Fight (he can be beaten with some tweaking and Arena grinding, though), but if you try to fight him, you get a Nonstandard Game Over no matter what happens next.
Many players will often skip Lyn's story and go straight for Eliwood's or Hector's, which you can do after beating the game for the first time. However, the characters that appear in Lyn's story will carry over whatever growths and items bought in her story to the next. Matthew in particular can get hit hard with the nerf bat if you don't play Lyn's story, because if you jump into Hector's story, he's available from the start...at Level 2, on a map that's far harder than Eliwood's first map. This can actually be a big deal if you did her story on Hard Mode - since the tutorials are off, you don't have to forcibly promote Wallace, so you can have either Sain or Kent swipe his Knight Crest.
Ship Tease: The game's endings are open-ended for supports, but the game drops a lot of hints for Eliwood/Ninian, including a different ending if they reach A support. Additionally, Hector's story has a ton of Hector/Lyn moments.
Considering that in the novel version, Eliwood does marry Ninian, it really isn't a surprise.
Sins of Our Fathers: An odd example, since Eliwood was going to fight Nergal anyway, but Nergal specifically wanted Eliwood dead because Eliwood's father had severely wounded him. "The man who did this to me is dead. I'd like his son's death as compensation."
Spanner in the Works: Kishuna in the first chapter he appears in Blazing Sword. The boss (who, incidentally, comes off as a chessmaster-type character, what with remarks like "battle is an equation") of that chapter has long-range magic that will do some nasty damage to your non-magic party members... had the aforementioned Magic Seal not made his conveniently-timed unexpected appearance.
Hector himself is acknowledged by Nergal as an unexpected variable that ruined everything by helping Eliwood.
Eliwood in Lyn's tale could count too, since he was responsible for keeping Caelin's neighbors neutral in the conflict between Lyn and Lundgren.
Suspiciously Small Army: One has to wonder, how *small* is Caelin's fighting force? Laus, a neighboring Lycian territory, has enough Mooks to fill up 3 chapters, yet when you come to Lyn's rescue, she has only 4 members of Lyndis' Legion (now sworn knights) with her. She states that half the guards were killed in the attack, but the next chapter shows the survivors imprisoned... all 3 of them.
Of course, Lyn had fought her way through Caelin's army for three chapters herself, but that was two years previously.
Caelin's army before the attack included those three soldiers, Raven, Lucius, Kent, Sain, Wil, Florina, and possibly Lyn herself, plus that many again who were killed in the attack. Granted, an "army" of 18 or 20 isn't that much more reasonable than an "army" of 6.
Inverted by the Reaver weapons (Swordreaver, etc.) that reverse which weapon they are strong and weak against.
The Church: The Church of Saint Elimine. Most monks, clerics, and bishops are members of it. Not clear what they actually teach, though, other than it was founded by a light magic using member of the legendary heroes who drove away the dragons in the ancient war. (said founder was vaguely referenced as later having Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence.)
Theme Naming: The ladies of Caelin all seem to have "lyn" somewhere in their name: Marquess Hausen's wife Lyndis and daughter Madelyn; his granddaughter was named Lyndis as well. And arguably, if Lyndis II is paired with Hector, she continues the tradition with her daughter Lilina.
Too Awesome to Use: You'll come across several awesome weapons of which there is only one (perhaps 2) obtainable copies and probably be too reluctant to actually use them, save for the final chapter. The best example of this is Harken's Brave Sword, a powerful sword that guarantees a doubing of your overall strikes (meaning two attacks if too heavy or slow, and four if said character can doubled-attack normally)... and thus uses up its durability fast.
The Social Darwinist: The Nergal/Sonia-corrupted version of The Black Fang apparently has this as a part of their creed. Jaffar even berates Nino for treating his wounds instead of abandoning him, reminding her to "discard the weak, salvage the strong."
The Unfought: Turns out Ephidel is just a villainous Mauve Shirt. Sonia can also become this if you choose to skip her side-chapter, and Limstella will dispose of her instead.
Zig-Zagged with Brendan. It appears like you might have to fight him since, well, he looks evil and is the commander of the Black Fang alongside Sonia. However; he is killed off-screen....and you DO fight a morph in his liking in the final chapter.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Eliwood's supports with three characters (Lyndis, Ninian, or Fiora) can lead to him marrying them and having Roy. Ninian is the only one stated as actually loving him without having a support conversation. This means that you can literally have Eliwood fall in love with Fiora or Lyndis right in front of Ninian. Eeeeeeeep.
Also, if you make anyone fall in love with Eliwood or Hector? She's doomed to die young. Hope the paired ending was worth it!
Since Harken appears as an enemy, you can have Isadora, his fiancee, kill him.
Attacking any of the Reed family bosses with Nino.
Attacking them with Legault, while less cruel than with Nino, is still pretty bad.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Eagler in Lyn's story is the second-to-last boss and the first promoted one (being a Paladin). He's also the first boss to not be a pushover and will punish any unpromoted unit you send against him unless you trained them up.
The sidequest Port of Badon is the first one that isn't just an easy source of free money and items. Either come to sidequests prepared for a rough fight or die.
Wham Episode: Chapter 19/21: The Dragon's Gate. Nils and Ninian are free, Nergal is defeated (for now), and Ephidel and Marquess Laus are finally dead... but the gate opens for the first time and a glimpse of, guess what, dragons is seen and Elbert had to pull a Heroic Sacrifice.
Wham Line: "The ice dragon there... The beast slaughtered by your hand... That is Ninian. The girl you loved." note Or if Eliwood and Ninian do not have A support, "the girl who adored you".
Will Not Tell a Lie: The people of Sacae have a reputation for being too proud to tell lies. Matthew isn't above exploiting this particular attribute...
You Bastard / Take That, Audience!: If you play with a Tactician in Blazing Sword and get an E or D ranking overall, several characters on the Battle History screen will say something along the lines of either "What were you thinking?", "You need more practice", or just flat out say "You suck" (though some units, namely Karel and Jaffar, will say things like this even if you played decently and got a C or B rank). And the ending notes that future historians were baffled at how you led Eliwood and co. to victory with 'such incomprehensible' strategies.
You Have Failed Me: The Black Fang has such a policy. Jaffar goes so far as to berate the girl who saved his life for failing to adhere to this policy and nursing him back to health. (And yet he pretty much decides to pull a Last Stand for her a few stages later.)
This was actually the reason whyLegault left the Fang, since he had to kill an Action Girl from the group because she was crippled.
Foreshadowing: Several times Al has shown extreme displays of strength and traits not seen in other protagonists, such as blocking Kruzard's BFS twice, cutting through Jemmie's super-charged Elfire, and blocking Zephiel's Eckesachs (which is an even bigger BFS). Another hint is that he's able to ride one of the wyverns used exclusively by Bern's Wyvern Riders with ease, something which only those that train extensively to be Bern's wyvern knights are able to do.
Fragile Speedster: Al's the fastest of the quartet (Kilmar coming in close), but while not entirely "fragile" as he's able to take a few hits, Al's strikes don't carry as much force compared to Kilmar.
Half-Human Hybrid: Al is half-dragon courtesy of his mother, being one of the last arch-dragons.
Heroic RROD: The first time Al Class Changed to Dragon Lord due to the Fire Emblem's influence, he's not able to maintain his Dragon Lord class for long and almost dies from the unexpected power usage.
Idiot Hero: Al at the beginning. He had a habit of forming many Indy Ploy out of nowhere that sounds ridiculous on paper, but actually works. While he's usually called naive or a fool early on, due to having lived on a mountain for much of his childhood, he matures as the story progresses and some of the other characters actually gain some of his enthusiasm.
It Was a Gift: Sort of. Al's sword was given to him by his father, a blacksmith, before he left his mountain home, and Al has mentioned that his father was always tempering it in the forge. In reality, Al's sword is more of an Ancestral Weapon because it was born from his mother's body after she died protecting son and adopted father during their escape years ago and is the titular "Champion's Sword".
Modest Royalty: Tiena dressed somewhat plainly as a child in a flashback. As an adult while on the run, her clothes resemble more of those of what the upper class would wear, instead of full royal combat regalia.
The Reveal: Al is the son of a dragon mother and human Harmut, one of the Eight Legendary Heroes who founded the country of Bern, surprising everyone, including Al himself.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Tiena providing magic support on the front lines. If you want to get technical, Al as well, being Harmut's son and thus would have a much stronger claim to Bern's throne than Zephiel or Guinivere.
Sealed Good in a Can: In a matter of speaking. Al was originally sealed as a child some time after the Scouring War by his own father, Harmut, but was later unsealed alongside his mother some time after Blazing Swords takes place, as he's roughly the same age as Roy is.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Zephiel was a talented youth who did his best to win approval from his father, the king of Bern. But the harder he strove, the more distant his talentless father grew, and the fact that he was born from a loveless marriage didn't help either. The final straw came when the king poisoned his heir's drink, several years after a first assassination attempt failed. Zephiel's closest retainer, Murdoch, came up with the idea of faking his death to get him out of there. However, the king opened the casket, causing Zephiel to finally snap and stab him. According to his half-sister, Guinevere, Zephiel never smiled again. Years later, he (now king of Bern) was stirring up quite a bit of trouble in neighboring countries, trying to offer the land back to its rightful owners because Humans Are Bastards. He had to be killed... with his crestfallen sister's help, no less.
Fire Emblem Blazing Sword, Fire Emblem Sword Of Seals, Fire Emblem The Sword Of Seals, Fire Emblem The Binding Blade, Fire Emblem The Blazing Sword, Fire Emblem The Sword Of Flame, The Sword Of Seals, The Binding Blade, The Blazing Sword, The Sword Of Flame, Fire Emblem 6, Fire Emblem 7