Video Game / Fire Emblem Fates

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The path is yours. From left to right: 

You are the ocean's gray waves, destined to seek
Life beyond the shore, just out of reach
Yet the waters ever change
Flowing like time
The path is yours to climb
Lyrics to "Lost in Thoughts All Alone"

Fire Emblem Fates (Fire Emblem if in Japan) is the fourteenth installment in Nintendo's Fire Emblem series of Turn-Based Strategy games, developed by Intelligent Systems. It was created by the same team that worked on the previous game, Fire Emblem Awakening.

The game was revealed in a Nintendo Direct on January 14th, 2015, exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS, featuring the same graphical and art style as Awakening. The story was penned by notable manga author Shin Kibayashi, writer of series such as Get Backers, Kami no Shizuku and Psycho Busters. Said story revolves around the choices made by the player, split between two kingdoms — the "peace-loving" Hoshido, and the "glory-seeking" Nohr.

Like other Fire Emblem installments, Fates begins with the creation of a custom Avatar, who has the default name of Kamui in Japan and Corrin in the West. Unlike previous entries, the Avatar takes the role of the main protagonist of the story rather than a faceless tactician or a deuteragonist. Born among Hoshido nobility, the protagonist was raised by the Nohr royal family and, on the brink of war between the two kingdoms, must choose between allying with their Hoshido or Nohr families.

The game is split into two main versions, Birthright and Conquest, each with their own campaign. Birthright has the Avatar side with Hoshido, which is more straightforward. It has a simpler story more reminiscent of older Fire Emblem games, and plays more like Awakening, with the return of a world map and allowing the player to grind. Conquest has the Avatar side with Nohr, and revolves around trying to reform the more morally-questionable kingdom from within. It is more challenging, with gameplay more like older Fire Emblem installments (such as limited resources), and has a more complex plot. There is also a third campaign, Revelation, which can be purchased as Downloadable Content or packaged with the Special Edition. Its gameplay is a balance between the ease of Birthright and the difficulty of Conquest, while the story resolves several unanswered plot threads found in the other two versions.

The general mechanics of Fates are similar to Fire Emblem Awakening, though there are some balance changes: the secondary unit of a Pair Up is no longer able to attack or defend at the same time, but whether they are able to do either is no longer determined by randomness; reclassing has been altered to be more straightforward, but at the same time it is also more limited; the influence that the Weapon Triangle has on combat has been increased, and it now includes magic and bows as a part of the system; Breakable Weapons have largely been done away with, but stronger weapons now incur debuffs to the user.

The game features support for amiibo, allowing players to use the Fire Emblem figures from the Super Smash Bros. line. Meanwhile, Corrin him/herself appears in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U as the penultimate downloadable fighter.

Fire Emblem Fates was released on June 25th, 2015 in Japan, Febuary 19th, 2016 in North America, and May 20th, 2016 in Europe. The official preliminary website for the game(s) can be found here (English).

Fates is followed by Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, also released on Nintendo 3DS.

Preview trailers: Teaser Trailer, Choose Your Path Trailer, "My Castle" Trailer, E3 Trailer, "Revelation (Invisible Kingdom)" Trailer


Fire Emblem Fates provides examples of:

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    A-C 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: The jars of poison and medicine in one chapter of Conquest look almost identical to each other (one is ever so slightly greener than the other), but fortunately, the game will inform you just what jars are poison and which jars are medicine.
  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: The English version of Azura's song contains the line "Yet the waters ever change", putting the wrong emphasis on the "ers" in "Waters". Additionally, it also features the lyric "A douBLE-edged blade cuts your heart in two".
  • Action Girl: All the females, as usual. Even healers can eventually be raised into this.
  • Adult Fear: Realizing that the Player Character is not merely choosing between two opposing factions but between two different families. One who raised them as their own in spite of their foreign blood and the shady circumstances behind their "adoption", and the other who still loves them deeply even after years of separation and looks forward to seeing them again. What really drives the message home is that they both have sweet little sisters (Sakura, for Hoshido, Elise, for Nohr) who clearly adore the protagonist. And they can't choose both. Family matters indeed.
    Sakura: "Big brother/sister?"
    Elise: S/He's my brother/sister!!
    • Subverted by the third route with extreme impunity. So now those who want both little sisters (and both parties by extension) can rejoice.
  • Aerith and Bob: Nohr has plenty of exotic or regal-sounding names like Prince Xander, Princess Elise and Dark Mage Nyx. Local Gentle Giant Nice Guy Benny is the odd name out.note 
  • All Just a Dream: The prologue. You're on a battlefield where Hoshido and Nohr troops are calling you their sibling, the music sounds off... and then you're woken up.
  • all lowercase letters: The Japanese subtitle of if is, at least.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The male characters generally have more...suggestive lines in the skinship minigame. Out of the female characters, only Camilla gets close to being as risqué as them. Case in point:
    Niles: "For all that I had to endure...you better prepare yourself tonight. Even if you cry or scream...I won't stop." "Close your eyes...Don't worry...I'm just going to touch you."
    Forrest: "Everything suits you so there's worth in making clothes. But...I...really know that you look best when wearing nothing."
    Jakob: "In front of everyone else, I am only your butler. But right here and now, I want to make a mess of you."
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Occasionally your home castle will come under attack by invaders. You can pull this on other players' castles if you wish.
  • Alternate Universe: The Fire Emblem characters encounter via the amiibo feature are from an alternate world: the world of Super Smash Bros..
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Characters with asymmetrical features (such as Saizo's scarred eye, Camilla's Peek-a-Bangs, etc.) will be flipped depending on which direction they're facing.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: While maybe not a simple house, there is a customizable village known as "My Castle" that will let the player create their own village, placing buildings around the pavement.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When starting a new game file, the game gives you the option to skip the first five chapters and go right to chapter six, which is where the path branches into one of the three routes. However, this will not allow you to pick the difficulty, and it will automatically use the same difficulty as your last playthrough.
    • The paralogues for the second generation characters are scaled to your progress in the story - and the second generation characters can't join promoted. At this point, they come with a "Child Seal" that auto-promotes them to the average level of the enemies on the map, allowing you to use them immediately.
    • If the player is having a particularly difficult time, Phoenix mode is always an available option, though difficulty can only be lowered and not raised.
    • If you have enough copies of a base weapon and enough ore, the game will allow you to forge higher-level weapons in a single command rather than going through the arduous process of combining them 2 at a time into +1 weapons, then combining those 2 at a time into +2 weapons, and so on. If you're forging at discount, this could potentially mean making a +6 weapon.
  • Anti-Grinding: Striking a balance between the ability to class change and grinding, Fates removes the ability to reset levels when changing classes. In classic Fire Emblem fashion, only by promoting can a unit's level reset to 1, this means the unit effectively stops growing once they hit level 20 while in a promoted class. However, the new, highly expensive Eternal Seal can raise a unit's level cap by 5, allowing for further growth.
  • Anyone Can Die: Lots of important characters die regardless of what path is taken. Aside from obvious gameplay unit deaths, certain character deaths are avoidable depending on the player's choices, and some will die depending on your chosen route no matter what. The characters who are confirmed to die under the above listed reasons are as follows: Sumeragi and Mikotonote , Kazenote , Flora note , Kaden or Keatonnote , Charlotte and Bennynote , Lilithnote , Arthur and Effie note , Elisenote , Laslow and Perinote , Xander note , Hinata and Oboronote , Saizo and Kageronote , Ryomanote , Garonnote , Azuranote , Takumi note , Shuranote , Izananote , and Scarletnote . That's a lot of characters.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Once the player fills out their army, the game only allows bringing a certain amount of units into battle (which varies based on the map). No reason is ever given for the changing limit.
  • Arc Words: The opening verse to "Lost in Thoughts All Alone" ("You are the ocean's gray waves, destined to seek / Life beyond the shore, just out of reach") is sung by Azura several times over the course of each story. The entirety of the song is about the Avatar, the 3 major routes they can take, and Anankos's pleas for help.
  • Archnemesis Dad: It was hinted that Garon and his son Xander will eventually share this relationship. Actually, they don't; it's Garon's posthumous impostor that the cast comes to blows with.
    • The player character, however, plays this absolutely straight, since the Greater-Scope Villain on both routes (and flat-out Big Bad of the third path) is their dragon-god father.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted somewhat. Some skills and weapons have a secondary effect of lowering the defense stat of the enemy they hit, and its visual effect on the character models is always Clothing Damage.
  • Art Shift: The first trailer opens with fairly realistic-looking CGI before switching to a more stylized version like that of Awakening's pre-rendered cutscenes. The game itself also does this from Awakening's artstyle and a more traditional anime style most noticeably when the Avatar transforms into and from their dragon form the first time.
  • Artificial Brilliance: While the AI will still send generics to their deaths to wear your powerful units down and make you restart if you're playing Classic, it has learned a few tricks to annoy you. Some enemy ninjas have the Lunge skill, an ability that allows them to swap places with targets who survive their attacks. Naturally, the computer always figures the best order to send units, pulling them away from a partner they may be supporting, trapping them behind enemy lines, or just in general cherry-tap them. They also use Shurikens, which are rather weak, but rarely miss, and they significantly reduce your stats - meaning the tank you put in the front may suddenly become too weak to hold the line against them.
    • It is possible to reduce maximum health temporarily via staves or traps. Sure enough, if you put a Fighter (Who has high health, but very low Defense and even lower Resistance) in the way, guess who's going to get hit with it? They become an even bigger Glass Cannon, since a single attack they could normally shrug off will become fatal.
    • One way the Pair-Up mechanics have been adjusted is allowing the enemies to do it. Naturally, they will take advantage of this.
    • On the Conquest path, enemies are smart enough to stop charging at your units if they have no chance of damaging them. However, if they can debuff a unit (using Shurikens or Seal X skills) or deal damage via skills (Poison Strike, Grisly Wound etc.), they will do it and send more units to take advantage of this.
    • An AI unit that has low health and is near a fort will make it a priority to head straight to that fort so it can get healed.
    • Sometimes the AI is smart enough to wait until a unit is in range of multiple enemies before attacking them all at once.
  • A Taste of Power: Chapter 6 of Conquest/Birthright lets the player control all the royals of their respective routes before they're permanently recruited later. Played a bit straighter in Conquest since all the Nohr royals are promoted and more powerful.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A golem seen wearing the Mouth of Truth is seen, and Xander is briefly seen battling a large, ogre-like creature, suggesting a return to monster battles seen in previous installments.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Lost In Thoughts All Alone" or "if~ hitori omou" in Japan, the game's main theme and the recurring song that Azura sings, is a rather somber example. The full version, played over the end credits, even makes good use of sparkly synth and Truck Driver's Gear Change.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Forging weapons much beyond +2, maybe +3 if it's a basic Iron weapon or something else easily obtainable. The way forging works is that you take two of the same weapon and merge them into a weapon with a bonus 1 level higher, and you also have to spend an amount of a certain type of ore (based on the weapon type) equal to the bonus of the weapon you're trying to create (minus one if your Smithy is of a class that wields that weapon type, though this can't reduce the cost of making a +1 weapon from 1 to 0). So a +1 weapon requires two unforged weapons and a single piece of ore, but a +2 requires two +1 weapons and either 1 or 2 pieces of the proper ore. The maximum is +7, which gives +11 to might, +20 to hit rate, and +15 to crit rate if the weapon is capable of making a critical hit and +11 to might and +30 to hit rate if it is not—which puts most Iron weapons on par with the S-ranked weapons in raw might without the drawbacks that the stronger weapons come with, but also requires 128 copies of the base weapon and 184 pieces of the proper ore (at discount). Note that this also means it's impossible to forge a +7 weapon from scratch in a single go, since the Cap on each type of ore is 99.
    • In a downplayed example, the A-Rank weapons, while devastatingly powerful, have significant drawbacks to discourage spamming them. For instance, the Ginnungagap tome has a crushing Might of 15, but after use in combat, it halves the wielder's Magic stat for their next attack, which severely cripples their damage output (albeit temporarily).
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: All three routes end with one. In Birthright, Ryoma is crowned king of Hoshido, with Leo's coronation as king of Nohr on the way. In Conquest, Xander is crowned king of Nohr, with Hinoka's coronation as queen of Hoshido on the way. And in Revelation, the Avatar is crowned the king/queen of Valla, along with Ryoma and Xander being crowned kings of their respective nations.
  • Badass Family: Both the Hoshidan and Nohrian royal families are full of Warrior Princes and Badass Princesses. In the third route, Revelation, you can have all eight of both the Hoshidan and Nohrian families in your army, and their children. Much like Chrom in the previous game, you can theoretically have an entire battlefield of nothing but the Avatar's extended family.
  • Badass Princess: Azura and the Female Avatar, (whose class takes this further: Nohr Princess) and the female members in their families, including Camilla and Hinoka.
    • Sakura and Elise can become this when they promote.
  • Bag of Holding: While every character has an inventory of 5 items, there's also a Convoy that holds all of your unused equipment. The Avatar has access to this Convoy at all times if you need to grab something during battle.
  • Balance Buff: Heartseeker (the Fates equivalent of Fire Emblem Awakening's Hex skill) had its effectiveness increased. It now lowers enemy Avoid by 20 instead of 15.
  • Bald of Evil: Hans, a bald Nohrian soldier, is clearly not a friendly fellow from his intimidating appearance alone. He later reveals that he is only in it for his own gain.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Chapter 16 of Revelation features walls of fire that rise and fall. Naturally, they can be manipulated with Dragon Veins.
  • Becoming the Mask: In Birthright, Zola puts on a masquerade of a Heel–Face Turn, and when his masquerade ends, asks Garon to spare the Avatar's life because he's come to respect the Avatar.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The leader of peaceful Hoshido, Queen Mikoto, is beautiful and serene-looking. Garon, the king of Nohr, is old and sinister-looking, while the noble Prince Xander is more handsome.
  • Beef Gate: Downplayed, as it can be passed at any time (in fact, there's no real way to prepare for it), but Revelation's notoriously difficult Chapter 7 (in which you're direly undermanned for the game's only Fog of War level) seems designed to chase off players who haven't completed the other two routes yet, especially since the difficulty swiftly levels off right after.
  • Big Bad: The Nohrian ruler, Garon, is an antagonistic force in both Birthright and Conquest, but in different capacities.
    • In the Hoshido path, he is in a more straightforwardly-antagonistic role as the ruler of the invading kingdom and (somewhat predictably) is the Final Boss.
    • In the Nohr path, it's his glory-seeking influence on the kingdom (which is actually a Genghis Gambit) which you are ultimately trying to reform.
    • Then there's the third path, where he gets demoted to The Dragon of the real Big Bad, Anankos.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Birthright and Conquest both end in this way.
    • In Birthright, King Garon is dead, the most corrupt villains of Nohr are killed off, and both Kingdoms are now at peace with the implication that Nohr will be rebuilt into a better land. However, the road also involves the Avatar's adoptive family and friends being killed off, including Xander, Elise, and Flora. Lilith dies protecting the Avatar from Hans. Kaze could potentially also end up being a casualty (if you don't have an A-rank support with him). Along with numerous people being forced or tricked into fighting against Hoshido and dying against them.
    • In Conquest, King Garon is revealed to be an imposter and defeated, along with the corrupt individuals Iago and Hans. However, Hoshido was still invaded, causing many innocent lives lost in a pointless war, but the Avatar was able to save some even at the cost of others. In addition, Ryoma commits suicide in order to save the Avatar from execution, Lilith dies protecting the Avatar from a Faceless, and Takumi is lost to corruption and must be killed off.
    • To make matters worse, Azura dies on both routes with the Avatar unable to save her, along with the fact that the true Big Bad that instigated the Hoshido/Nohr war is still alive, with the implication that it will one day make a return.
  • Blade on a Stick: Naginatas appear for the first time in the series and are used by the Hoshido army. They function more or less like their lance counterpart but with just slightly different stats.
  • Blatant Lies: In the Before Awakening DLC map, the Avatar tells Chrom that the invaders they're chasing after are actually "invisible boars". Chrom is at least willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, while Frederick views the party with suspicion (although he still helps the Avatar).
  • Blood Magic: Overlaps with Royalty Superpower and Royal Blood. Nohr and Hoshido's royalty have blood from divine dragons, which let them use dragon veins to manipulate the environment. You can also literally drink divine dragon blood to gain dragon vein powers for a time, as demonstrated in the Hidden Truths DLC.
  • Book Ends: In Birthright, Xander is the boss of the second chapter and the second to last chapter. In Conquest, Takumi is your first ally and your last foe.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The lower tier weapons, while obviously weaker than higher tier weapons, don't have major secondary penalties attached to them.
    • The Cupid Bow replenishes the enemy's health. While it is usually a Joke Weapon it is helpful for grinding low level archers.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • The face-rubbing skinship minigame was removed from the Western releases. Calling allies to the Avatar's Private Quarters or having the Avatar bond with their spouse will skip the minigame, playing the session completion dialogue and rewarding the support boost for free. The minigames for waking up the Avatar's spouse and blowing away bath steam still remain.
    • The support conversations between male Corrin and Soleil were rewritten in the Western release, as the original context made them come across as the Avatar applying gay conversion therapy on Soleil. Instead of the "magic powder" in the Japanese version, Corrin has Soleil wear a blindfold and perform a visualization exercise.
    • The C support between Saizo and Beruka is utterly devoid of text in the Western releases, as opposed to the Japanese version's heart-to-heart over their respective careers.
    • Almost all of the remotely risqué body pieces have been Dummied Out of the Accessory Shop in the Western release, with the only thing left to purchase being the Bath Towel. Characters can now only be seen in their swimsuits while visiting the Hot Spring or in the swimwear option in the Accessory Shop, while their underwear is only visible if they receive sufficient Clothing Damage or are hit with certain skills.
    • A lot of Niles's dialogue was toned down due to how innuendo-laden it was in Japanese. For example, the C Support with Arthur originally had Niles say an innuendo about wanting to "ram something else in him", but the localization is just him teasing Arthur about saying something offensive.
    • In Fuga's C Support with the male Avatar in the original Japanese, he mentions that he and Sumeragi would get kicked out of brothels when they were younger. The localization changed this to him talking about Sumeragi being a prankster that would play tricks on the royal servants.
  • Boyish Short Hair:
    • Hinoka the Sky Knight sports short, bright red hair.
    • Scarlet wears her hair short, as well.
    • It's also a choice of hairstyle for a female Avatar.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • In Conquest, while the Avatar's group is having trouble passing through Wind Tribe territory, Elise notices that Camilla's feminine wiles failed to sway them. She concludes that they must not like Nohr, women, or Nohrian women.
    • If Sakura fights in the Boo Camp DLC, she asks if the creature she's facing is a ghost, a monster, or a ghost monster.
    • In Ignatius's C support with his mother, the mother asks if a spider or a worm got into Ignatius' tent. He replies that it's a spider riding a worm.
    • In Laslow and Saizo's Revelation supports, Laslow mentions having lost girls to a masked man and a scary-looking guy (Gerome and Brady, respectively) before. He then concludes that he had no chance against a scary guy in a mask. To which he proceeds to cry hysterically over.
  • Breakable Weapons: Averted for the first time in the main series since Fire Emblem Gaiden in 1992. All weapons are indestructible, with only healing staffs/rods still having limited uses.
  • Breather Episode: Conquest Chapter 18 involves the party dealing with Izana, the very eccentric Archduke of Izumo, and him forcing the Nohrian royal siblings to attend a peaceful party with the Hoshidan royal siblings. The humor of the situation gives a break from the serious tone found in the rest of the version's narrative.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Avatar and Azura are allowed to marry their siblings from Hoshido or Nohr, and even have children with them. This is made possible by the fact that they are not directly related and are not blood siblings with either royal family.
  • Call-Back:
    • Keaton and Laslow's "C" support has Keaton excitedly showing a massive bug to Laslow, who responds with disgust and fear after Keaton had done that to him previously. As one of Lucina's possible siblings in Awakening, it's fully possible for him to have been terrorized by a huge bug in the past.
    • Caeldori's A support with Mitama has one to, "Make Him Fall for You in a Fortnight", a book mentioned in Cordelia/Severa's exp tile events. Funnier still is that Caeldori intends on having Mitama reading said book, and with Severa's comments on it in Awakening heavily implying it to be a trashy romance novel at best.
    • Asugi mentions in his C support with the Female Avatar that he was going to give them the nickname "Bubbles" but "but something about it just didn't sit right." "Bubbles" was Gaius' nickname for both Avatars.
    • Should you defeat Garon on Chapter 12 Birthright, he says "This is a waste of time. My men can take it from here." - just like how in Genealogy of the Holy War, Julius said "Playtime is over - I'm going home" if you beat him during his Final Boss Preview.
    • Some of the Spear Fighter/Master animations are very similar to those of the Halberdier/Sentinel class in Fire Emblem Tellius, especially the critical animation and the final hit of Astra.
  • Camera Screw: If your units fight in a very cramped area (such as an alley or a narrow hallway), the camera has very little room to move around. Fortunately, this is a rather minor trope.
  • Canon Welding: When spoken to, the amiibo characters mention their experiences in the Super Smash Bros. universe.
  • Can't Catch Up: Averted by the new Child Seal, which, in addition to promoting a child unit, will also adjust their stats to match how strong they should be depending on how late in the game it is used. As a result, child units are still usable regardless of what point in time they are recruited.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: The Avatar cannot be removed from the party for any of the story missions.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The upgraded version of Ganglari (only obtainable by doing 400 Castle Battles) has a very high Might stat, but it also causes the wielder to lose 20% of their health after attacking.
  • Central Theme: A general one is Conflicting Loyalties and Thicker Than Water vs Family of Choice.
  • Character Customization: The Avatar (with the default name of Kamui in Japan and Corrin in the West) can have their appearance, name, and voice customized by the player.
  • Check Point Starvation: There is no option to save between Revelation chapters 16 and 17, so if the player is defeated or a unit is killed in chapter 17 and the game is reset, the player will be forced to restart at the beginning of 16.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the Hidden Truths chapters, Owain, Inigo, and Severa are given a stone that can help them return to their homes whenever they want. This stone is never seen being used in the main story line, but it shows up again in Heirs of Fate, being the strange stone Ophelia and Soleil were given by their fathers, which they use to go back to Shigure before he gets to sacrifice himself to Anankos.
  • Child of Two Worlds: The Avatar is born from the Hoshido royal family, but was raised in the court of the Nohr royal family. Azura was originally the princess of Nohr, but was taken prisoner by Hoshido. Although Revelation shows that it's three worlds, as the Avatar and Azura are originally from Valla.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: The English Nintendo Direct stated the player can choose which side to serve — the peace-loving Japanese-like Hoshido, and the glory-seeking Medieval Europe-like Nohr. However, it was later revealed that the game is split into two versions, with each sending the player off to one of the two kingdoms — removing the ability to choose which side you join — though the other route will be available as DLC, as will a "Third Path" campaign, called "The Invisible Kingdom" in Japan and "Revelation" in the West. The digital release will apparently allow the player to choose which campaign to pursue, but you must download the campaign you want to play to continue playing the game, as it will not have either version in the base game, and a DLC purchase is required to be able to play the other campaign (it was initially thought that both versions were on the game as opposed to neither version being on the game). Only the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition has all three campaigns accessible right from the start.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • If a unit is brought down to half health or outright defeated, parts of their armor/uniform will visually break off or be torn.
    • Raider weapons and the Disrobing Gale can shred a target down to their underwear if they are at a weapon disadvantage when hit, regardless of how much health they have left. Silas's daughter, Sophie, can do this naturally with her personal skill regardless of weapon advantage.
  • Color-Coded Armies: As per Fire Emblem tradition, during battle, the player's army is colored blue, while the enemy army is identified by the color red, invaders by the color purple, and allies are green.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Weapon Triangle is distinguished this way, with two weapons are assigned to each color. Much like the Grass-Fire-Water triangle from Pokémon, Red (Swords and Tomes) beats Green (Axes and Bows) beats Blue (Lances and Daggers) beats Red.
  • Combat Stilettos: Camilla is wearing some very tall and very sharp heels on her boots.
    • All maids happen to wear high-heeled boots, even to the point of having one of their melee critical animations that involves kicking their opponent.
  • Comes Great Insanity: Like in previous games, the dragons here eventually become insane due to their instincts taking over unless they do something about it. Anankos fell victim to this pretty bad, and it's implied that the Avatar isn't entirely exempt from it either.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Naturally, there are many missions where the enemy can get particular and serious advantages over the player, such as access to special Dragon Veins. In addition, the game has the annoying habit of spawning enemies behind or perilously close to your army with little warning or reason, forcing you to play extremely conservatively or restarting the mission to change up your strategy through trial and error.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: The revelation that the Avatar has familiar ties with Hoshido, but was brought up with Nohr brings up a dilemma of where their loyalty truly lies. You'll even be called "a traitor" by people of the side you don't choose. You can choose neither, but everyone will come after you except for Sakura.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A wall decoration similar to the Mouth of Truth appeared all the way back in the second Fire Emblem installment, Gaiden.
    • Odin and Laslow's A Support has the former referencing the conversation they had in the Harvest Scramble DLC.
    • Laslow's B Support with Saizo in Revelation has the former referencing how he lost girls to Brady and Gerome in their Supports under similar circumstances after he loses.
    • Selena's Supports with the Avatar have them trying to find a yukata for her after she mentions the one she wore during the events of the Hot Spring Scramble DLC, and ropes them into helping her.
    • In the Before Awakening DLC map, you team up with Chrom, Frederick and Lissa to fight some monsters. Shortly after you leave, they find an unconscious person and begin the dialogue from the start of Awakening when they find the Avatar.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: The last few bosses in all three path are immune to statuses, indirect damage (e.g. Poison Strike), and stat debuffs. Many bosses are also immune to the Entrap and Freeze staves due to how they interact with movement and the bosses being stationary.
  • Cool Crown: Xander wears an iron laurel, helping with the Roman Empire connotations.
  • Cool Sword:
    • The new "Katana" sword type, staple to the Hoshidan army.
    • The Avatar wields Ganglari at first, a dark blade with an ominous eye (even though its purpose is far from cool), and then Yato, a long bronze sword with prongs on its hilt which in the third route becomes a chainsaw sword with Yin-Yang Bomb powers.
    • Ryoma and Xander have their own holy swords; the former has Raijinto, a katana constantly wreathed in lightning, and the latter has Siegfried, a sword with dark flames and two separate long blades that join together at the tip.
  • Creating Life: The Avatar is able to make Bond units by bonding with another players Avatar. The two breathe life into the earth itself to create new Avatars. This power is likely inherited from Anankos, who could give his own emotions/mental state and heart human form.
  • Creepy Cemetery: Leo's boss fight in the Birthright route takes place in one of these. The cemetery is located in the Woods of the Forlorn, making it even creepier.
  • Critical Status Buff:
    • Scarlet's personal skill, In Extremis, increases her Critical Hit rate by 30 as long as her health is at 25% or lower.
    • The Awakening skill, learned by Great Lords, increases the user's Hit, Avoid, Critical Hit rate, and Critical Evade by 30 when their health is below half.
  • Crutch Character: True to Fire Emblem, you do get early prepromotes who are around to help lessen the stress on your weaker units and help you through the Early Game Hell. Zig-zagged, however, in that a lot of them are actually quite feasible and that they don't "steal" experience. (Unless you play Conquest).
  • Cultural Posturing: One of the few things that make the generally benevolent Hoshido grey is their tendency to characterize all citizens of Nohr as wicked monsters, when the truth is that it is really just Garon, his advisor Iago and Hans. This has the result of making the Hoshido characters look a tad racist during the Conquest route, as they insist that the player character must have been brainwashed as they continue to plead for peace between Nohr and Hoshido.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Averted. In the Hidden Truths DLC, Owain, Severa, and Inigo all get their hair colors changed by magical means before their portraits even appear on screen so as to not give any confirmation on who their fathers are.
    • The Hidden Truths DLC does however imply that Inigo, at the very least, is not Chrom's son, as he does not seem to have a brand at all when Owain is surprised to see his Brand being hidden.
    • In the Before Awakening DLC, none of the above three characters have any dialogue with Frederick, which implies that he isn't the father of any of them.

    D-G 
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: There are a number of ways to lower the enemies defensive stats, such as knives/shuriken, the Enfeeble staff, and the "Seal Defense", "Seal Resistance", and "Draconic Hex" skills.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The Pair Up system has changed drastically compared to Awakening: joining two units in one square always puts the rear unit in defense, and main attacks from the enemy will only be blocked if the gauge beneath the health bar is full. Meanwhile, having two adjacent unjoined units is the only way of having the rear unit attack. So if you're used to Awakening's system, which does not regard whether units are joined and runs on RNG, things may get a bit tougher for you.
    • Some skills returning from past games have been reworked to focus less on RNG and be more of a direct Status Buff, for example Demoiselle now makes males within 3 spaces take 2 less damage rather than get increased accuracy and evasion. This can cause issues for players of those games when trying to mentally-calculate damage.
    • The method of recruiting the child characters in Awakening (talk with either the main Lord or their fixed parent) doesn't always work here, and some of the kids have to be fought before they join, something that players of previous games would normally avoid at all costs.
  • Darker and Edgier: Namely, there's the sheer amount of playable character deaths (including Flora's self-immolation while her twin sister looks on, Xander's accidental murder of Elise (who took the blow for Corrin) before his own death at the hands of the Avatar, and Ryoma killing himself to prevent the Avatar from being the one to do it) and the flagrant incestuous vibes running wild in Fates (even though none of them are actually related to you at all except for Azura). That's not even everything that the game covers...
  • Dark Is Evil: While they don't seem to be entirely evil, the more morally-questionable Nohr all wear armor that is primarily black in color.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Nohr is associated with dark colors and the country is a hellish landscape, though very few named characters from there are actually evil. Even when they're the main antagonists in Birthright, many Nohrians are just doing their jobs and fighting for their country.
    • The grotesque Golems and Faceless can be used as personal servants/defenders of the player's My Castle on the Conquest and Revelation routes. Up to three Golems (A, B, and C) can be set up to act as defense.
    • Despite the Nohrian legendary weapons being associated with darkness, their actual effects are far more conventionally virtuous than the Hoshidan ones, focusing on protecting the wielder rather than allowing them to do more damage or move around more easily.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: One of the ways to recruit certain units is by defeating them in battle. All of the amiibo characters require this method.
  • Defector from Decadence: Potentially, on the Hoshido path, where the protagonist, despite being raised in the Nohr court as a member of the Nohr royal family, defects to join their blood relations in protecting The Kingdom and reforming The Empire.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • To preserve the game's advertised feel of being like classic Fire Emblem titles with limited resources and Level Grinding opportunities, playing any of the DLC in Conquest (with the exception of Boo Camp, which is designed to allow grinding) will not award any experience. Support grinding is still possible in all DLCs however.
    • In Casual Mode, you normally don't get a Game Over if the Avatar dies... except in Chapter 5. This is because the boss of that chapter would likely be unbeatable without the Avatar.
    • In Chapter 10 Conquest, if you manage to make it to Takumi and defeat him before he uses the Dragon Vein, he actually won't do it anyway.
    • The game clearly does not want the player to fight Garon when he shows up in Chapter 12 of Birthright, as he's exceptionally powerful and the goal of the map is to flee the area. If the player decides to take him on and somehow beats him, he has dialogue for being defeated.
    • In Chapter 7 of Revelation, there is a short cutscene where the party meets up with Gunter that is supposed to trigger once one of the player's units enters the second-to-last room of the map's maze. If the player is able to skip this roomnote , the cutscene will still play so Gunter can join the party.
    • During the Duel Boss fights with Xander in Birthright Chapter 26 and Ryoma in Conquest Chapter 25, the game does not allow you to have the Avatar start the chapter Paired Up in order to sneak a third unit into the duel.
    • In chapter 25 of Birthright Iago carries the skill Bowbreaker, which adds +50 hit and +50 avoid to the unit if they're attacked by a bow-wielder. Given that you find out he's been controlling Takumi like a puppet for practically the whole game, it seems that Iago anticipated Takumi turning on him.
    • Depending on who wields it, the Umbrella weapon takes on a more European or Japanese-style design.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Dragonstone that the Avatar is given at the end of Chapter 5 has a Might of 14, which is stronger than most weapons available for a good chunk of the game, and provides a increase to their Defense and Resistance stats. It's very useful during the early-game to allow them to safely shrug off hits and potentially one-shot enemies.
    • Should the Avatar be female, if the player reclasses Jakob into a Paladin/Great Knight, he will have good stats for a good amount of chapters.
    • In Birthright, Takumi and Reina. Reina is an already promoted class that, despite eventually being outclassed, does fairly good damage for the time. Takumi is a pretty strong Archer unit that gives the player a good ranged option early. Additionally, both of them join on maps where bows come in very useful.
    • Camilla in Conquest is a prepromote with a very good personal skill and a nice skill set. Sure she won't gain a lot of experience from enemies around the time she joins, but she's more than well off at the time and will indeed be feasible into the endgame.
    • In Revelation:
      • The Avatar becomes one. S/He is essentially the only source of offense until Chapter Nine, meaning that s/he'll wind up gaining a ton of levels and will probably be well into the teens when most of your allies who join will be around 7-10. This is going to be quite helpful since the game tosses promoted enemies at you far earlier than in other routes.
      • Takumi joins pretty early compared to the rest of the siblings - and he still has his Fujin Yumi. Reina joins one chapter later as well, but by then you might not need her as much.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Both the Avatar and Azura go about barefoot. Kana is also barefoot by default.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Azura's dance has been making some rounds on the internet, and a lot of viewers are giggling over Garon's undignified reaction. What's actually happening is a purification, where Garon, who turned out to be a monster disguised as the real guy, is damaged by Azura's magic.
  • Double In-Law Marriage: Three possibilities:
    • Hinoka and Sakura could marry Saizo and Kaze.
    • Quadruple In Law Marriage: Marrying the Hoshidan and Nohrian royals together.
    • Shigure marries the female Avatar's daughter, and Kana marries Azura's daughter.
    • Double Subverted if the male Avatar marries Flora and Xander or Leo marries Felicia: the Avatar's not blood related to Xander and Leo, but certainly still regards them as his brothers. In the Revelation route, Takumi or Ryoma could instead marry Felicia. It's still a subversion as they're not blood related to the Avatar either.
  • Downloadable Content: Plenty of extra maps can be purchased, which include ones that give easy experience and supplies, side stories, extra classes, and more.
  • Dragon Ancestry: Both the Hoshidan and Nohrian royal families are descended from the First Dragons, and the Avatar in particular is capable of transforming into a dragon as a result of Anankos being their birth father. Kana, being the Avatar's child, has the same ability.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The Avatar's dream in the prologue mirrors the events of Chapter 6, with the Nohrian army on Hoshido's border and the royal families fighting over them. Additionally, the map features units that wouldn't be in the army if not for the Avatar's presence later on, such as Nyx, Keaton and Kaden.
  • Dracolich: The new Malig Knight class ride undead wyverns with glowing red eyes.
  • Dual Wielding: Uniquely, the Swordmaster class can dual wield when equipped with certain katanas. This is an entirely aesthetic feature, however, and does not count as two attacks, etc.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Forrest is mistaken for a girl by the Avatar, Elise, and some ruffians on several separate occasions due to his long hair and effeminate clothing.
  • Dual Boss: Takumi in Conquest. However, you only need to kill one.
  • Duel Boss: The Avatar must fight both Ryoma (on Conquest) and Xander (on Birthright) alone while the rest of the team takes care of the brother's subordinates. Both fights feature a kink though: Xander will never do any damage to you, and your team can eventually get to where you and Ryoma are through Dragon Vein if you beat Kagero and Saizo.
  • Dying as Yourself: Many characters whose corpses are possessed by Anankos have a few moments as themselves after the party defeats them, which they often use to say a few parting words before they really die.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Aside from the royals, the prologue's map consists almost entirely of named units that neither the Avatar nor the player have been introduced to.
    • Saizo and Kagero also have a brief appearance at the end of Chapter 3; neither of them reappear in the story for at least a few more chapters, regardless of route.
  • Early Game Hell:
    • The first chapter of Conquest (technically Chapter 7) features several hard-hitting monsters, all while the player slowly accumulates a small amount of units (maxing out at six), even the hardiest of whom can be broken easily at this point if the player isn't careful.
    • Revelation Chapter 7 only gives the player 3 characters: Corrin, Felicia or Jakob (depending on Corrin's gender), and Azura. Only Corrin can take a hit out of the three, the map is initially a maze of twisty passages layered in Fog of War, and there are treasure chests that the player will probably want to grab. The saving graces are Corrin's Dragonstone and a Crutch Character showing up near the end of the map, but if Corrin's Defense is the chosen Dump Stat, there will be trouble.
  • Easier Than Easy: Phoenix Mode causes defeated units to be revived the turn after they are defeated. Even if the enemy manages to defeat all your units in one turn, they'll all revive on the next turn so it's impossible to lose unless there's an additional condition for defeat. Unlike Casual Mode, it can only be used with Normal difficulty.
  • Easter Egg:
    • If the Avatar dies during Chapter 2, their death quote changes to reflect the circumstances in which they're dying, and Xander gets an appropriately horrified reaction to seeing his little brother/sister die in front of him.
      Avatar : I can't believe I failed...in front of Father...
      Xander: Avatar? What have we done?! We should never have let you leave the fortress!
    • If Takumi reclasses to a Samurai via Partner or Heart Seal, his outfit will be based on Sumeragi's, his father's. Similarly, Shiro gets an outfit based on Ryoma's if he gets reclassed into a Swordmaster.
    • Midori has special Ninja and Master Ninja outfits that not only have unique clothing, but a special green palette as well.
    • Engaging and and defeating certain bosses with specific characters will lead to unique conversations. For example, Kotaro will taunt Saizo about how he killed Saizo's father, and say Saizo won't land a single blow if he's anything like his father. If Saizo kills him, he will taunt Kotaro back and say he did get a blow.
    • In the Before Awakening DLC, Chrom, Lissa, and Frederick can be talked to by various characters.note  There's no real benefit to this outside of reading the conversations, which are different depending on who they're talking to.
    • If Selena is Caeldori's mother in Revelation, she will show up in the cutscene at the end of Paralogue 13. Selena's A Support conversation with Caeldori also has extra dialogue where she will compare Caeldori to her own mother.
    • Unlike in Awakening where a child unit's lines would essentially be set in stone for their non-determined parent (or sibling in Lucina and female Morgan's case), the second gen's supports in this game will actually contain noticeable (though rarely significant) changes depending on who their parent/sibling is. Such as Mitama changing/adding/dropping haikus depending on her mother, male Kana reacting uncomfortably to Odin's antics, and Caeldori having a unique line at the end of her B-supports for each of her possible mothers.
    • Clothing Damage taken by units carries over into cutscenes that use 3D models.
    • In the amiibo battles, Odin, Selena, and Laslow can have a unique conversation with Lucina and Robin. They'll each find Robin familiar, but also recognize that he's not the same Avatar they knew from their Ylisse.
    • Giving Odin, Selena, or Laslow any of the four accessories obtained from scanning the Robin or Lucina amiibo will garner unique responses from them, such as being disgusted if handed the Dragon's Feather.
      • They also have special reactions if you give them the Emblem Shield obtained by having Street Pass data from Awakening.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Defied by the developers, who state playing on Phoenix Mode won't give the player a worse ending.
  • Eldritch Location: Valla, at least, by the time of the game's events. Usually, you get there by falling into a canyon since most people don't have the ability to use the entrance at the bottom of lakes, though then there's a chance you'll get possessed by the evil god in charge either way. If your sanity is intact upon arrival, you can see clouds and the ocean if you look through the holes in the foggy white sky, which is also where some pieces of the ground are, and it's populated by the invisible, reanimated corpses of the original kingdom's soldiers. You also die if you talk about it outside.
  • Elemental Powers:
    • Dragon Veins allow manipulation over various elements, such as water, fire, wind and earth.
    • Water is frequently manifested by the Avatar and Azura via their unique abilities.
    • Individuals hailing from various clans, such as the Ice, Wind and Fire clans, all produce an appropriate elemental effect when their attacks land. These effects are purely aesthetic, however.
  • Elemental Weapon: The royal brothers' weapons, which each oppose that of their counterparts:
    • Ryoma wields a lightning-imbued katana called Raijinto.
    • Takumi wields a yumi called Fujin Yumi that forms arrows of wind.
    • Xander's sword, Siegfried, shoots beams made of darkness.
    • Leo's tome, Brynhildr, manipulates earth and gravity.
  • Establishing Character Music: Azura, the songstress, is introduced when the player character hears someone singing and a cutscene shows Azura singing by the lake (Seen toward the end here). The song itself, in addition to being her theme, proves to be a key plot point and has strange powers which become more apparent as time goes on.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: As seen in the Choose Your Path trailer, the kingdom that is not sided with will carry this sentiment towards the Avatar. Xander and Takumi flat out call the Avatar a traitor depending on which side they are on. This even happens in the Revelation route, where the Avatar is initially considered a traitor to both of them.
  • Excuse Plot: Most of the children characters' Paralogue chapters are contrived random encounters with bandits, monsters, etc. to prove that the child is capable of fighting alongside their parents.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
  • Evolving Weapon: The Yato becomes more powerful at key points in each story path. In Birthright it gains Speed and Strength buffs, in Conquest Defense and Resistance buffs, and both sets of buffs in Revelation.
  • Expy: Caeldori, Rhajat, and Asugi, who are all nearly identical to Cordelia, Tharja, and Gaius from Fire Emblem Awakening respectively, right down to the latter's names being anagrams of the former. Funnily enough, subverted with Odin, Selena, and Laslow, who actually are Owain, Severa, and Inigo.
  • Faceless Goons: Generic enemy units are the only ones who allow their faces to be obscured by helmets/hats. Actual enemy monsters called Faceless also wear masks.
  • Fake Difficulty: The Endgame chapters don't let you save before starting them. If you screw up, you have to redo the preceding chapter as well.
    • On Revelation, Chapters 16-17 don't let you save between them, either.
  • Fanservice: Fates introduces a number of extra features, such as the ability to "pet" any playable character between battles,note  the ability to dress up characters in a variety of accessories, and the hot spring.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Hoshido resembles feudal Japan, complete with unusually Japanese-sounding names for the series, like Hana and Hinoka, as well as curved weaponry such as naginatas and katanas. Nohr looks similar to Medieval Europe, with one of its major characters, Xander, wearing a laurel crown.
  • Final Boss Preview: Chapter 12 in Birthright features King Garon, the Final Boss of Birthright, on the map.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Mikoto's sudden death right before the Branch of Fate section is this. Only supports with the Hoshidans and Revelation help extend how she used to be.
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning: Ice takes wind's place in the Fire-Wind-Thunder trio, without the strengths that wind tomes usually come with (i.e. effective against fliers). Excalibur is the only wind tome here, and it is an S-rank tome exclusive to Conquest and Revelation.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The games likes doing this a lot with map sprites. The start of Birthright involves searching for Takumi. In Chapter 10, he shows up on the second turn... in enemy colors. The player has just enough time for an Oh, Crap! reaction before the reveal that he's Brainwashed and Crazy. A similar thing happens with Flora in Chapter 17, except there's no brainwashing involved this time.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings:
    • Any marriage between the Avatar and their Hoshido "siblings" is revealed to be this.
    • Similarly, Azura can marry her step-brothers Xander and Leo in Conquest and Revelation.
  • Floating Continent: Several small, floating islands are briefly seen in the first trailer. They even appear to be upside down and/or sideways. They're said to be part of the "Invisible Kingdom", as the one time you visit islands like them in the Nohr route, you're swarmed by "Invisible Demons".
  • Flower Motifs: Cherry Blossoms represent Hoshido, roses represent Nohr, and both and/or water lilies represent Valla.
  • Foil: The royal families of both Nohr and Hoshido fit this to a T.
    • Their parental figures, Garon and Mikoto, are an Evil Overlord and The High Queen. Garon is actually biologically related to his children (with the exception of the player), while Mikoto is only the biological parent of the player character.
    • The eldest brothers, Xander and Ryoma, are respectively an Aloof Big Brother and Hot-Blooded on the surface, but both care equally for their younger siblings Corrin and Azura included no matter what getting to the point that Xander lets the Avatar kill him after having accidentally killed Elise who took the blow from his sword for the Avatar and Ryoma kills himself to spare the Avatar of a Sadistic Choice.
    • The eldest sisters, Camilla and Hinoka, have their Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic examined in their third-route support line and both of them are very protective of the Avatar.
    • The younger brothers, Leo and Takumi; the former is a Teen Genius who is very fond of the player, and the latter is a boy who prides himself on his work ethic while being distrustful of the player character even if they side with Hoshido.
    • The youngest sisters, Elise and Sakura, downplay this, as they are both The Baby of the Bunch Little Sister Heroines who seriously look up to their siblings and try to bring out the best in everyone. However, Elise is much more upbeat and sociable, while Sakura comes off as rather shy.
    • The retainers who serve the royal siblings are also like this. Their respective character pages cover their personalities; as a whole, the Hoshidan retainers, and most of the other Hoshidan units, are either from nobility or from other prominent families (Hayato being the ward of the leader of the Wind Tribe, for example), with the retainers being from families that have served the royal household for generations. The Nohrians, by contrast, are from all class backgrounds. Beruka and Niles were criminals raised in absolute poverty, Shura is the fallen duke of the Duchy of Kouga, and Odin, Laslow, and Selena are really Owain, Inigo, and Severa, all under pseudonyms.
    • Hoshido and Nohr as kingdoms foil each other as the Revelation support for Azura and the Avatar explains. Hoshido was able to be peaceful and prosperous because of its beautiful, eden-like land, whereas its equal and opposite Nohr had to be ambitious and warlike in order to survive their hellish environment.
    • Even the protagonists, the Avatar and Azura, are this to each other.
      • First, the way they each became a Child of Two Worlds oppose each other, with Nohr-born Azura being raised in Hoshido, where the Avatar, raised in Nohr, was born.
      • Second, the results of their unique upbringing contrast: the Avatar's character emphasizes how both sets of royal sibling love them and consider them family no matter what, while a large part of Azura's character has to do with how neither kingdom truly accepted her. Interestingly, this is played with: even if the Avatar chooses a side, they feel ties to the land they're fighting against and will never truly hate the kingdom they oppose. Meanwhile, although Azura had faced hostility in Hoshido, she prefers it overall compared to Nohr.
      • Third, the Avatar always begins as a Wide-Eyed Idealist, but changes differently depending on the path, while Azura starts off a coolheaded, reserved Knight in Sour Armor and always stays that way.
      • Their outfits serve as a fourth foil: The Avatar wears rigid silver and black armor (the latter being a color associated with Nohr) with stiff clothing underneath; Azura wears a puffy, flowing white dress (white being associated with Hoshido) with gold accents. Tying with the second point above, the Avatar's main promotions have them don either all-white (Hoshido Noble) or all-black (Nohr Noble) armor, and they can freely promote to both in Revelation. Meanwhile, the only time Azura ditches her white dress is in the Conquest version of the dance at Cyrkensia, where she puts on a dark purple version of her dress and wears a veil over her face.
      • Finally, We learn in both Revelation and the Hidden Truths DLC that both of them aren't from Hoshido or Nohr at all - they are actually royalty from Valla. Azura is the daughter of its last king before its destruction; the Avatar is the son/daughter of Anankos, the dragon that destroyed it and usurped the throne. To take this even further, if you beat Revelation, the Avatar - the child of the usurper - will become the new regent of Valla, while Azura, the actual heiress to the throne, will disown her claim to it; the only way she can become a ruler is by marrying a male Avatar on that path, and even then, she acts as his Queen Consort.
    • Though the comparison breaks the pattern above, Elise and Takumi are polar opposites in terms of character and story role(s):
      • Elise is the best-adjusted of the Nohr siblings, with loads of self-confidence despite being the youngest and least experienced, unconditionally loves and admires her siblings, and completely believes in/fights for peace between Nohr and Hoshido. Meanwhile Takumi's lack of confidence and trust as well as his suspicions of being The Unfavorite causes several points of conflict between the three routes, and has a hatred for Nohr second to only Oboro (whose hatred is so great it translates to a personal skill), extending to his adoptive sibling Azura.
      • Story and gameplay-wise, they have a number of parallels and points of contrast. In the route where one falls ill near Macarath, the other dies near the end of the story, along with their oldest brother (Elise while saving the Avatar, Takumi after failing to kill them.) Among the siblings, Takumi is the most recurring boss, fought four times in a single path, while Elise is The Unfought and is even sometimes required to turn enemies on the map into allies.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Some of the characters' support conversations as well as the lines in their facerubbing sequences foreshadow their deaths or ultimate fates. See Scarlet's A support, or Xander, Takumi, Flora, and Azura's facerubbing lines when you've reached S-support with them.
    • If siding with Hoshido, the Avatar tells Xander that they believe Garon is no longer human, he's pure evil. This statement turns out to a a lot more literal than they probably thought... There are many more hints to Garon's Demonic Possession as well, he's earlier overheard having a conversation, but the characters enter the room to find no-one else there, he doesn't seem to recognise Azura when she returns on Conquest, the lyrics of the Conquest version of Lost in Thoughts All Alone mention "a legacy of lies, a familiar disguise", and, of course, his reactions to Azura's singing on both routes.
    • On the Birthright route, having the Avatar engage Leo in a fight triggers a conversation where Leo threatens to "knock some sense into [them]" but makes it clear that he takes no pleasure in the act. This proves early on that his antagonistic attitude towards the Avatar in that route is all an act.
    • In Conquest Chapter 10, having the Avatar engage with Hinata and Oboro (Takumi's retainers) result in unique dialogue. Their reactions are best summed up as out for their blood (Hinata) and disappointment they aren't on the same side (Oboro), which are especially notable as both are quite out of character considering how they normally are in Birthright. They're hints of what is to come for their lord in later chapters of Conquest.
  • Forged by the Gods: The five legendary weapons were originally created by dragons to stop the ancient war between, um, other dragons. They were, however, made for humans, which back then were subordinates to the warring dragons.
  • For Want of a Nail: A major part of the game's premise is seeing how certain events change depending on which country the Avatar sides with:
    • The biggest case involves Takumi. He always falls into the Bottomless Canyon and ends up being slowly possessed by Anankos. On Birthright, Azura meets up with him shortly after this happens, and so is able to use her song to (mostly) cure him. On Conquest, he isn't so lucky. As his possession did not become apparent until much later on, it's far too late to save him by the time Azura realizes. This, combined with his greater resentment and bitterness on this route due to the Avatar's betrayal, means he eventually gets so consumed that the original Takumi is outright dead and Anankos is able to turn his corpse into a puppet, which serves as the Final Boss. On Revelation the Avatar manages to reach him while he's still in Izumo, meaning his fall into the bottomless canyon is prevented entirely. However, it's not all good news. Without him to use, Anankos possesses someone else who fell into the canyon: Gunter.
    • Another example of this is the fate of the Ice Tribe. In Conquest, the Avatar was sent in a Uriah Gambit to quell the tribe's rebellion. The rebellion is stopped through a diplomatic method (though not without a fight), and Flora much later joins as a party member. What happens to them in Birthright, where the Avatar and Felicia aren't there to talk Chief Kilma down from his plan? Garon steamrolled the tribe with impunity, slaughtering most of them, and had Kilma executed. Flora then gathered the survivors and pledged loyalty out of fear, which Garon used as a bait to lure out the Hoshidan Army. At the end, Flora was broken because of the entire affair and immolates herself out of grief.
    • Gunter is thrown into the Bottomless Canyon by Hans early on in the game. On Conquest, the Avatar and Azura later end up in Valla (the world at the bottom of the canyon), where they are able to rescue him. On Birthright however this does not happen, and so he never rejoins the army. Finally, on Revelation, he rejoins the party, though much earlier than in Conquest... and turns out to be under Demonic Possession.
    • Another character, Kaze, can suffer a Plotline Death on Birthright but not on Conquest. The death itself is a case of this too if he does not have an A Support with the Avatar, he has to pledge his loyalty right there, which distracts him enough that he can't find a way out of their situation without sacrificing himself. If he does, he has enough concentration to notice something he can use to save them both.
  • The Four Gods: The Four Dragon symbols for Dragon Veins are based on them. The Fire Dragon is birdlike, similarly to the Vermilion Bird, the Water Dragon has a snake for a tail like the one that accompanies the Black Tortoise, the Ground Dragon has fur and is vaguely feline in shape like the White Tiger, and the Wind Dragon has a lean appearance much like the Azure Dragon.
  • Gainaxing: Camilla's very ample chest jiggles noticeably in her Birthright cutscene. In addition, her battle model, along with Kagero and Charlotte's, also has significant bounce to their animations.
  • Game-Favored Gender: Done interestingly. The female Avatar has the freedom to marry whoever she wants without consequence (whereas the male renders one child Permanently Missable if he marries a first-generation non-Avatarsexual), in addition to having multiple children who can become a Hoshido/Nohr Noble, whereas the male can only marry Azura if he wants a second child. On the other hand, the male has twice as many gender-exclusive DLC classes as the female, and the one great skill of a female-only class, Warp, is available to males through a Warp Scroll (whereas male-exclusive skills are not available to females).
    • Female Avatars are also favored in terms of unit availability. Whichever assistant doesn't accompany you at the beginning of the game only joins much later. A female Avatar will get Jakob first, and have Felicia be the late joiner. It is entirely possible to get all the children without having Felicia available if Mozu is recruited, the only problem coming if the player really specifically wants Felicia to mother one of the children. A male Avatar will get Felicia first, and need to unlock Jakob later, which makes both Jakob and Dwyer unavailable until relatively late in the game.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • In general, a unit's personal skill will either have something to do with their personality or their class. For example, Ryoma, the game's prototypical samurai having "Bushido" as his own personal skill or Niles, an outlaw being able to kidnap units.
    • At one point in Conquest and Birthright, Elise/Takumi comes down with a fever, causing the party to sidetrack so they can get them access to medicine. In the next battle, Elise/Takumi cannot be deployed.
    • The 'My Castle' Arena works according to which campaign you are playing: the Conquest version doesn't let you gain experience, while the Birthright version does.
    • Arthur's quirk is that he has the worst luck of anyone in the army. He has a Luck stat of 1 when he joins, as well as a very poor luck growth.
    • Leo's stats during his main confrontation on Birthright are unusually low for a major boss, even on Lunatic Mode. He reveals after the battle that he never had the heart to kill the Avatar and all his hatred was a lie, so he was likely holding back.
    • A similar example happens with Xander's boss battle in Birthright. His stats are also lower than the player might expect, due to Elise's Heroic Sacrifice a few minutes prior. The Avatar even notes that Xander isn't fighting as hard as he usually does in the following cutscene.
    • Ryoma's fight in Conquest follows the same trend as the above two examples. His stats are high enough to give even prepared players a challenge, as he's enraged at the Avatar for (supposedly) killing Hinoka.
    • The swamp on Birthright Chapter 18 is stated to specifically not affect Nohrians, and tires anyone from Hoshido. Both Corrin and Silas don't take any damage from standing on them, unlike every Hoshidan member of the army.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • It's possible for support conversations to mention people who haven't joined the army yet; Arthur and Elise's B Support involves trying to make Xander laugh, and Odin mentions Leo and Laslow in his B Support with Felicia.
    • In spite of the curse placed on the land of Valla, the player can take any units there for Challenges on the Chapter 7 map in Revelation.
    • Saizo and Kaze's C-rank support has Kaze expressing concern over Saizo's strong desire to avenge the death of their father, treating it as a current issue Saizo's still facing despite the fact that it's entirely possible for you to have allowed Saizo to do just that by having him kill an early boss in both the Birthright and Revelation routes.
  • Gay Option: Fates includes same-sex marriage options for the Avatar — however, which gender gets the option depends on the chosen game version. The Conquest story has Niles as a possible male love interest for the male Avatar, the Birthright story includes Rhajat as a female love interest for the female Avatar, and Revelation includes both. Children still come with the marriages, though it's only mentioned that they're adopted and you can't recruit them.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The siblings and their retainers are split perfectly down the middle. There are two Princes and two Princesses, each with one male and one female retainer (with the exception of Camilla, who has two female retainers, and Leo, who has two male retainers.) Combining all playable units together (counting children but not counting captured units and DLC), there are two more males in the army than there are females. When adding the siblings together, you can either subvert this trope by playing female (as Azura, the Avatar's counterpart, is always female, thus giving the royals two more females than males) or play it straight by playing male (balancing out Azura for equal genders overall).
  • Gendered Outfit: Both male and female Avatar wear identical clothes, save for the fact that the female leaves her inner thighs bare.
  • Gender Flip: In a reverse from Awakening, it's now the fathers that the children come from, with their mothers determining hair color. This means that now female Avatars can receive two children from most first generation males, while the male Avatars can only get two from the plot-central Azura (much like how Chrom was the only male who could give a female Robin two children).
    • Azura's son himself, Shigure, will always inherit his mother's light blue hair, much like Lucina would always have Chrom's dark blue.
  • Genre Throwback: The Conquest campaign is closer to classic Fire Emblem gameplay, with a much more difficult campaign, more various victory requirements, and limited chances to gain experience and funds. The Birthright campaign is closer to Awakening gameplay.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The strap across Camilla's left breast doesn't seem like much most of the time, but when viewed from a certain angle, say, like her official profile art the strap takes on a new form as a thick, erect piece of cloth with a obvious change in coloration at the rounded point.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Implied to be the case with Kaze and his wife in Birthright. Why else would one be unable to unlock Midori's paralogue unless he survives Chapter 15?
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • Transformed Nine-Tails and Wolfssegners have glowing red eyes, and their generic untransformed portraits also depict glowing eyes under their hoods.
    • The portraits of the invisible warriors have eyes that glow pinkish purple.
    • Takumi's possessed corpse has glowing red eyes that are given ample focus in its introductory cutscene.
  • Golden Ending: The third route, Revelation, compared to the other two paths, ends with this trope. The true Big Bad, Anankos, is defeated, King Garon is dead, the most corrupt Nohr villains, Iago and Hans, are also dead, the Avatar becomes the rightful heir and ruler of Valla, and to top it all off, the other two kingdoms, Nohr and Hoshido, are finally at peace, along with the implication that Nohr itself will be rebuilt into a better land. Even though there were still some unavoidable deaths (in this case, Izana note , the Rainbow Sage note , Scarlet note , Arete, Mikoto, and Sumeragi note ), most of the cast from both sides, including all of the siblings survive the events and become very good friends with each other. Also, unlike the other 2 routes, Azura lives.
  • Golden Path: Revelation was definitely intended to be this. Hoshido and Nohr unite against a common foe and save the continent from collapse, defeating the mastermind behind the war.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The peaceful Hoshidan army feature a lot of white, red and blue in their uniforms. The more antagonistic Nohr army are identified by their predominantly black and purple uniforms.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The first chapter of the game begins with the player being woken up by Felicia and Flora.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: For the Birthright and Conquest routes. Naturally, you end up fighting insane water dragon Anankos as the regular Big Bad in Revelation.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Despite Hoshido being portrayed as a "peace-loving" kingdom while Nohr is portrayed as a "glory-seeking" empire, neither Hoshido nor Nohr are outright portrayed as "good vs. evil." In fact, the royal siblings from both Hoshido and Nohr are genuinely good people at heart that care about the Avatar very much, but have very different ideas of what is best for them. The Nohr royal siblings want the Avatar to accept their life in Nohr, but also play a key part in reforming a militaristic empire within in the Nohr route. The Hoshido siblings want the Avatar to return to their birth home and take pride in their bloodline, but also want to defeat the Nohr militaristic empire in the Hoshido route. Also, despite their light and dark themes from Hoshido and Nohr, their appearance is not all what it seems. Garon, the Big Bad king of Nohr, does have some justification in declaring war on Hoshido note . Hoshido, despite being the "peace-loving" kingdom, also has some uncouth secrets, such as the aforementioned kidnapping of Azura, the princess of Nohr, in retaliation of Nohr kidnapping the Avatar and if the Avatar sides with Nohr they send ninjas to assassinate the Avatar. But in the end, both Hoshido siblings and Nohr siblings care deeply for the Avatar even if you have to fight most of them in the diferent story lines.
    • It's also reflected in both original routes to some degree. Birthright has a lot more named-character deaths, while Conquest has a higher civillian death toll.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: As a result of the Choose Your Own Adventure nature of Fates and the natural exclusion of units from one path or the other, certain characters will temporarily join your party but end up leaving for one reason or another. Gunter on the Birthright route. The Hoshidan siblings and Rinkah on the Conquest route, and Scarlet on the Revelation route. Interestingly, most of these guest star as a result of being playable in the prologue with Scarlet being the exception.
  • Guide Dang It!: A few minor examples:
    • Kaze's death in Birthright comes somewhat out of the blue and it's quite easy to be surprised. Before that specific point, the character in question must have an "A" support with the Avatar otherwise the character is removed from the group entirely, despite that you can actually have this character form an "S" relationship with any other potential characters. (Meaning there is no Interface Spoiler). The only way to tell that something is up would be if you notice that Midori's paralogue is not available despite putting him together with someone, a hint that is very easy to miss on your first playthrough - and even then, this hint doesn't tell you what you have to do.
    • The gimmick of Birthright Chapter 21 is that you need to use the Dragon Vein points at the statues to open paths through the map, but each statue has two points and only one opens a path, the other floods the area you're standing in with lava, resticting your movement and damaging your troops every turn, while also summoning reinforcements for several turns. While is is possible to figure out which Dragon Vein is the right one, it's whichever is under the hand the statue is holding an orb in, the game doesn't mention what to do if you pick the wrong one: you have to wait several turns for the right Vein to reappear. It's a long time before this happens, and Dragon Veins have never respawned in any earlier map, so a player who chooses wrong might think they've rendered the map Unwinnable by Design as there is no way for non-fliers to cross the lava without the Veins. And Birthright never explains the gimmick of a map before it starts, like Conquest does, making this even more confusing.
    • Also rather minor as well - Flora, Izana, and Yukimura. They are recruited via reaching specific objectives - you must have a structure upgraded to level three and they must be on a route where they survive. There is nothing actually telling you which structures must be built. While Yukimura's can be guessed (Any puppet that defends your castle during invasions), Flora's seems completely arbitrary (Any orb, launcher, or ballista). Fuga can be a bit of a Guide Dang It! as well, since he only joins in Revelation and uses the same structure that Izana uses in the other two routes (and since said character dies in the third route, the player might not think to upgrade their respective building).
    • The goal of Nina's Paralogue is to rout the enemy before she escapes. Nina herself is an enemy, and can't be talked to by Niles, indicating that you have to defeat her too. Except that when she's reduced to 0 HP, the music cuts and plays the normal character death theme, which usually indicates a recruit has been killed permanently. But she isn't, she'll still join at the end of the chapter. This is probably an oversight or a poor translation, as all other child characters you're forced to defeat in battle to recruit don't play the death theme. Inversely, if Benny's son Ignatius is defeated in his Paralogue but you still manage to finish it, the dialogue with him at the end of the chapter will still play, but he actually is Permanently Missable. While a player can figure out just what happened to make him missable, the fact that the dialogue doesn't change is what confuses you.

    H-O 
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Zig-zagged - for some stages, the bosses are indeed threatening. Others aren't much more than a Damage-Sponge Boss, but getting to them is really difficult. Play on harder difficulties like Lunatic, and it becomes:
  • Harder Than Hard: Lunatic Mode makes an appearance once more, ramping up enemy stats, throwing promoted units at the player much earlier than normal, outfitting enemies with frustrating skills like Counter and Countermagic throughout a good chunk of the campaign, and even giving enemy units access to devastating enemy-only skills (like Inevitable End, which lets debuffs stack).
  • Healer Signs On Early: Like many Fire Emblem games, one of your first allies is a healer (Felicia or Jakob depending on the Avatar's gender).
    • Elise and Sakura, both of whom are the healers of their respective royal families, are the first of their siblings to join in their respective route. Sakura is also the first royal sibling to join you in the Revelation campaign.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In Birthright, Zola begs for the Avatar's life but Garon has none of this.
  • Heir Club for Men: Zig-zagged. The line of succession for the throne is by age, regardless of gender. However, when Xander dies at the end of Birthright, Camilla passes the Nohrian crown to Leo because she has no desire to be queen, and when Ryoma dies at the end of Conquest, Hinoka says that she would have passed the Hoshidan crown to Takumi for similar reasons, except Takumi died too, so she wound up forced to become queen herself. However, in the original Japanese version, it is clear that Hoshidan rules prefer men as their rulers. Also the case regarding the divine weapons: so far, except for the female Avatar and female Kana, there are no canon female divine weapon wielders.
  • Heroic Albino: The Avatar's default look. Similar to the default Avatar in Awakening, they have white hair, although Fates's Avatar takes it into true albino territory with red eyes and notably pale skin. (S)he is also ultimately well-intentioned, no matter whose side you take.
  • Heroic Resolve: Channeled through the new Mercenary skill, Stubbornness (renamed Good Fortune in English), giving the unit a chance to recover 20% of their health each turn based on their Luck.
  • Hero of Another Story: Selena, Odin and Laslow. The Hidden Truths two part DLC focuses on their origins, what brought them to Nohr, and the origins of the one who will be known as Anankos.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Any same-sex unit (except Gay Option units) can support with each other once they have A+ support. Doing this allows the same-sex partner to access each other's classes. Double goes with former enemies where someone like Ryoma and Xander if Ryoma becomes a Paladin and Xander a Swordmaster and Leo and Takumi with each of their classes can achieve this once the third path is chosen.
  • History Repeats: In Revelation, Sumeragi explains that he met and fell in Love at First Sight with Mikoto when he met her by a lake. Mikoto's child, the Avatar, first meets Azura by a lake, and if male and romancing her is also suggested to have fallen in Love at First Sight with her.
  • Hold the Line: The goal of Conquest Chapter 10 is to defend Port Dia from an invading force of Hoshidians for 10 turns. If any enemy units enter the town, you lose.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Character designs in general (both male and female) have more Fanservice compared to previous entries.
  • Hulking Out: The Avatar's dragon transformation is some variation of this. They're stricken with strong emotion, they transform into something twice their size and functioning on Unstoppable Rage, it takes someone (Azura in this case) to talk (sing) them out of it. The conversation with Azura afterwards implies that it's prone to happening again, with worse consequences, without the Dragonstone.
  • I Let You Win: A reverse example. The Avatar says that Xander let THEM win after they mortally wound him in their duel in Birthright. Considering the events that happened before the battle, they are almost certainly right.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: The Avatar uses this in Revelation this to flush out Scarlet's murderer hiding in their group. While making their way to Anankos, Gunter mentions the flower Scarlet pinned on her armor just before she jumped into the Bottomless Canyon. Only the Avatar, Scarlet and the murderer should've known about the flower, since the former two were the last to jump, and it was burned away in the attack.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A few key events will always happen regardless of which route is being played.
    • Scarlet's uprising at Cheve always occurs.
    • Azura always ends up singing for Garon at Nestra's Opera House, except in the Revelation route, where the opera house is destroyed before she and the Avatar arrive.
    • The Avatar's group always visits Izumo, only to find out that Archduke Izana is being impersonated by a Nohrian named Zola.
    • In Birthright and Revelation, the group is tricked into killing innocent Wind Tribe villagers due to illusions that made them appear as Faceless.
    • The group always ends up fighting Kotaro at Mokushu, in the process freeing Kagero, who is always a hostage.
    • Takumi ends up possessed by Anankos in both Birthright and Conquest.
    • Lilith always dies in a Heroic Sacrifice in both Birthright and Conquest.
    • Flora will always turn against the Avatar as part of a key battle in all three paths of the game.
    • Most tragically, Azura has to weaken the Final Boss with her song, and dies from overusing her pendant on both Birthright and Conquest.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: At the end of the first trailer, a dragon, later confirmed to be the Avatar, is seen choking the mysterious dancer Azura before he/she turns into a human. This is nothing new to the series, as humanoids who can transform into dragons have existed since the very first game. It is, however, the first time said shapeshifter has been the main character.
  • Instant-Win Condition: The victory condition for Birthright Chapter 12 is to get the Avatar off the map. You win the moment they step foot on one of the designated exit tiles, regardless of the status of the rest of your forces (who also escape) or the enemy's forces.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • When Silas first shows up as a boss in Chapter 7 of Birthright, his personal skill (which explicitly involves the Avatar as an ally) is visible in the HUD when he's scrolled over. After seeing this, it becomes obvious that he joins the Avatar's army upon defeat.
    • Once the player notices that S-supports are possible between the Avatar and every other opposite-sex character including the Hoshido royal family, the plot twist that they're Not Blood Related is self-evident.
    • Gunter seemingly dies at the end of Chapter 3. However, the heart symbol indicating Support points were gained still displays when he fights alongside the Avatar and Jakob (despite the function not being available yet), indicating that he's not gone for good. Unless you choose Birthright. Then he's really gone.
    • When Gunter rejoins at the end of Chapter 7 in Revelation, he does not have the ability to Support with anyone, despite the fact that he can in Conquest and the Avatar can freely Support with every single player unit. This implies that there's more to him than meets the eye.
    • Accessories given to characters will still be worn during cutscenes. If Gunter happens to be wearing something distinctive enough that it can be identified while a character is semi-invisible (like the Invaders), his identity as Scarlet's killer can be given away before the game wants it known.
    • The mysterious cloaked swordsman boss of Chapter 5 has a crown indicator besides their name, usually a symbol of Hoshidan or Nohrian royalty. He is also of the Swordmaster class, which is associated with Hoshido in this game.
    • Mikoto appears as a Priestess in the Birthright class roll. It seems strange for a character who gets killed off before ever appearing in combat to have a full battle model, with unique Voice Grunting to boot... She's a boss on Revelation via Came Back Wrong.
    • Averted in Birthright with Kaze. There is actually nothing telling you that he must have an "A" or above support with the Avatar prior to a specific point in the game, despite that it is fully possible for him to marry another character before then. However, if this is not your first playthrough, it is fully possible to spot that something might be off since Midori's paralogue will not unlock until after Chapter 15.
  • Internal Reformist: While Birthright is a fairly genre-standard "fend off The Empire" story, Conquest focuses on the Avatar and their adoptive family trying to reform Nohr from within.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: The "strength" you gain from climbing Notre Sagesse and meeting the Rainbow Sage really is the strength you gain from climbing. Granted, meeting him is tantamount to a weapon upgrade for the Avatar, but that isn't so for the four people who did it before them.
  • Joke Item: There are a slew of mundane objects that can be used as weapons, such as a bottle or parasol being used in lieu of a sword or a frying pan substituting for an axe. Many of these weapons have a low Mt stat for minimal damage and may have a negative attribute, such as the parasol lowering the wielder's Speed by 5 points.
  • Kill Streak: All the Taker Skills save for Lifetaker allows the user to gain a +2 bonus to the appropriate stats up to a maximum of +10 if they defeat an enemy. To balance it out these skills do not overlap with each other.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • The second generation characters are allowed to marry their cousins. For example, it's possible to pair Asugi and Midori in the Japanese version even though they are related via their fathers, brothers Saizo and Kaze.
    • A lategame reveal in Revelation shows that Azura and the Avatar are cousins; their mothers, as it turns out, are sisters. The game still lets the player marry them before or after the reveal.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • In Chapter 18 of Revelation, the player's units are tasked with reaching eight separate Dragon Vein points on the map; using one chips away at the statue near where all your units spawn (as well as preventing enemies from respawning from this Vein), and completely destroying the statue allows passage to the chapter's boss. Azura counts how many of these the player has completed, lampshading the dullness of the task at four:
      Azura: Four down. Four more... this is quite boring...
    • After the Avatar accomplishes their mission, albeit not in the way Iago assumed, he of course curses your loopholes.
    • The units are, just like since Path of Radiance, all rather quirky. After several sets of silly retainers on Conquest, the Avatar asks themselves "Where do my siblings find these people?"
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: If you attack Garon during the Final Boss Preview of Chapter 12 Birthright, his lines sound a little as if he's talking to the player directly.
    • In Orochi and Nyx's Revelation supports, the two wonder who people will come to now that there are two powerful spellcasters in the army. The way they discuss who is needed more makes it sound similar to gameplay strategy.
  • Leitmotif: "Lost in Thoughts All Alone" (or if~Hitori Omou in Japan), the song that Azura sings. It pops up frequently throughout the game in various remixes, such as the title screen song and multiple levels themes, with the "true" version only playing during the end credits of each route. The song itself is tied to both Anankos and the Avatar, being sung from Anankos' perspective to the Avatar and the prophecies he foretold.
  • Lethal Chef: Anyone who's on chef duty in My Castle's cafeteria can flip-flop between this and Supreme Chef. For the Lethal Chef case, their food can cause their consumers' stats to decrease temporarily.
  • Level-Locked Loot: Standard to Fire Emblem games, a unit's Weapon Proficiency rank determines what weapons they are capable of using, with the most powerful weapons requiring a higher ranking. The S rank proficiency makes a return, but only certain classes are capable of attaining it.
  • Ley Line: The Dragon Veins are hinted (thanks to images inspired by The Four Gods appearing every time they're used) to work the same way that the Dragon Veins in Feng Shui do, but instead of Chi flowing through them, it's the earth-shaping power of the First Dragons.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: The series is somewhat more favorable towards Hoshido regardless on what path the player chooses, as the real Big Bad, the "fake" Garon and Anankos, is hiding behind Nohr's shadows. Even if the Avatar sides with Nohr, the Hoshido characters do have some justifications on sending ninjas to kill you, as you somewhat take part in conquering Hoshido in addition to trying to reform a militaristic empire. The endings are also contrasted as well, as the Birthright ending does involve rebuilding Nohr and bringing peace between the two kingdoms while the Conquest route involves reforming Nohr with Hoshido invaded and conquered at the end. The worst that can be said of Hoshido is that they send assassins to kill Corrin, Hoshido factions sending assassins to kill Azura for being Nohrian even on Birthright, as revealed in the Subaki support with her, and Takumi starting a surprise attack during Chapter 13 of Conquest to shoot the Avatar for their betrayal and Elise. And it is the Nohr siblings that save all four Hoshido family members during a Nohr plot to take them hostage.
  • Living Toys: The amiibo characters subvert this. All Smash fighters, including the amiibo characters in Fates, are living versions of collectible trophies in some (ambiguous) way. Fates seems to establish that the characters' trophy forms (in this case, the physical amiibo) summon a living version of the character in some imaginary universe (in this case, the canon Fire Emblem universe), as the amiibo characters are just like any other unit with no reference to their trophy forms.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • In Conquest, one of Garon's first mission for the Avatar is to suppress a rebellion in the Ice Tribe by themselves. They manage to do this through diplomacy, and with the help of Elise, her retainers, and Leo's retainers. Because Garon never told them they had to kill the rebelling Ice Tribe members, and because they didn't outright ask for them to help, he allows this.
    • While the Avatar is visiting the Rainbow Sage in Chapter 11 of Conquest, Iago appears to relay Garon's orders to kill the Sage. The Avatar resists since the Sage just helped them power up the Yato, but he drops dead on his own to prevent the Avatar from having to do the deed. Garon lets it slide, since the end result he desired - stop anybody else from accessing the Sage for power - is ultimately the same.
    • In Chapter 25 of Conquest the Avatar is ordered to execute the defeated Ryoma. He commits Seppuku before the Avatar even has a chance to do anything, which Garon accepts (but not Iago).
  • Lord British Postulate:
    • Takumi fits into this in Chapter 10 of Conquest. He's a little too dangerous to approach, but if you're risky enough with Camilla, you can rush him and beat him before he uses the Dragon Vein against you.
    • Garon is actually on the map at one chapter of Birthright. You are clearly not supposed to attack him, his presence is supposed to frighten you into finishing the map as quick as possible. But if you have grinded enough, you can actually attack and defeat him. Should you accomplish this, you actually will get a few lines from Garon.
  • Male Gaze: A certain cutscene features gratuitous close-ups of Camilla's butt, crotch, and breasts.
    • In the Conquest ending, you get a great close-up of Camilla's breasts when you accidentally run right into her.
  • Market-Based Title: Primarily, there's the title change from Fire Emblem if (the Japanese title) to Fire Emblem Fates (the English title). Secondarily, the names of the games' three versions also change - the Japanese titles of Fire Emblem if: White Night Kingdom, Fire Emblem if: Black Night Kingdom, and Fire Emblem if: Invisible Kingdom are all altered to the English titles of Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, and Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, respectively.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Hana, of the myrmidon-esque Samurai class, wears a white headband.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: The Hexing Rod reduces a target's max HP by half for the remainder of the map.
  • Meaningful Name: Nohr, pronounced like "noire", the French word for "black," while Hoshido, besides containing the Japanese word for "star" (hoshi), which matches the kingdom's light motif and the shape of its associated symbol, was probably chosen for its American English pronounciation, that would end up sounding as as "Hoshiro," containing the Japanese word for white (shiro).
    • Both names also relate to how each nation carries itself in war: replace the first two letters of Hoshido and you get Bushido, rearrange the letters of Nohr and you get Honor.
    • Many of the weapons, more so than the people wielding them:
      • Raijinto and Fujin Yumi respectively mean "Thunder God Blade" and "Wind God Bow" and are named after the oft-paired Japanese deities Raijin and Fujin.
      • Siegfried is named after the hero of Nibelungenlied, and Brynhildr is named after the Queen of Iceland in the same poem.
      • Yato means "Blade of the Night", which ties with the names of the two warring kingdoms... at least, in the original Japanese, where Hoshido and Nohr respectively were originally Byakuya (White Night) and Anya (Black Night). Though one could argue that the translation still retains that part of the meaning, since the night is still associated with both the color black (Nohr) and stars (Hoshido), it's not as blatant, and people without knowledge of the needed Japanese might miss it easily. Its full Japanese name, Yato-no-Kami, refers to a kind of snake deity from Japanese folklore which were rumored to bring familial extermination on anyone who saw them. Fitting for a character whose choices will end up claiming the life of at least one family member, regardless of route.
      • Ganglari (the Avatar's sword before Yatolater the possessed Sumeragi's) and Bolverk (the possessed King Garon's axe) are both pseudonyms of Odin (the real one), though not without their own meanings. Bolverk means "evil worker", which is straightforward enough, and not only Ganglari does contrast Yato's name by meaning "wanderer", but when it's not one of Odin's aliases, it's that of Gylfi, the first Scandinavian king, when he had to disguise himself.
      • Skadi, the possessed Takumi's bow, is named after Skadi, the Norse goddess of bowhunting, among other things.
      • Then there's Ophelia's Missiletainn, sharing a name with the sword her father had in Awakening.
    • Many characters in the game also have names referencing Imperial Japanese Navy ships.
  • Mega Twin Tails: Elise, whose hair dwarfs her head.
  • Meido: Felicia and Flora both have this style of outfit as they are both of the new Maid class.
  • Mercy Rewarded: Completing missions without smacking around named underlings can adjust the plot in a more idealistic direction, within reason. Also, you can gain a new ally by not killing them.
  • Miko: The Shrine Maiden and Priestess classes and outfits are based on this.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: One of the promotional images, which the games' box art uses, has the Hoshido nobles and male Corrin on one side, the Nohr nobles and female Corrin on the other side, and Azura in between them.
  • Missing Secret: The Armor and Beast Shield skills appear in game data, but remain unused in any form and it is unknown whether they can be obtained via DLC or are enemy-only like Wing Shield.
  • Mordor: Official artwork for the Kingdom of Nohr depicts it as a hellish landscape.
  • Motherhood Is Superior: The game inverts this, where the children are tied to their fathers (again, with the exception of Azura and the Female Avatar). It makes a point of giving the children supports with the parent they aren't tied to, however.
    • Played incredibly straight with Mikoto, as demonstrated in the fifth chapter, not-so-subtly titled "Mother." It's played with in regards to Garon; the game presents him as the wicked, distant, and stern father to Mikoto's angelic mother. However, the Garon that's dishing out orders throughout the game is a fake, and the real Garon was said to have been a kind and doting father to all of his children (hence Xander's reluctance to turn on him); he also loved all of his concubines and both of his wives. The concubines in turn, all turned on one another, fighting against one another to get their respective children on the throne. The end result was the Avatar's four Nohr siblings being the only survivors of the turmoil, and Garon eventually loses his kindness as a result. It loses some impact, however, because most of this is spoken in Supports, and the real Garon is never seen, even after dead characters (namely, the Avatar's Hoshidan father Sumeragi) are revived in the Revelation route.
    • And related to the above, it's also averted with Sumeragi, the Avatar's adopted father; he took the Avatar in with no hesitation, and even compared to the real Garon, he's portrayed as being as saintly as his wife.
    • Averted with Anankos' Heart. He loved the Avatar and wanted to be with his family until his memories returned and he tried to stop his insane half. Also averted with Gunter who effectively raised the Avatar in Garon's stead, like turning punishments into playtime and feeding them when the fake Garon would have them starve.
  • Mukokuseki: Nohr is a Medieval European Fantasy country with some German and Roman influences and Hoshido is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture for Japan, but there are only a handful of characters that look distinctly white or Asian. Despite this, all of the Medieval European Fantasy characters from Awakening's Ylisse decided to blend in on the Nohr side. This makes Corrin another interesting case who they claim is the child of Hoshido's Queen Mikoto (who does look Japanese) but for years passed as the child of Nohr's King Garon (who does look European) possibly looking mixed In-Universe. Granted, being raised in a secluded tower, very few people that weren't in on the masquerade ever interacted with Corrin to draw attention to his/her appearance, or resemblance to the parents.
    • The only real distinction that can be made between the people of the two kingdoms is that Nohr has a sizeable amount of units (including one of the aforementioned Awakening characters) that are blonde, whereas other than Kaden's daughter Selkie (because she is a Kitsune), Hoshido has none. Some civilians from Valla also seem to have sky blue hair and golden eyes as prominent traits (Arete, Azura, Lilith, Shigure, and Anankos' sane half), but at the same time, Mikoto has dark brown hair, and the Avatar's appearance is customizable.
  • Multiple Endings: Depending on which side is chosen, the story and endings are vastly different. Even after that, it appears that multiple in-game factors affect how the story pans out.
    • Generally speaking, both Birthright and Conquest end with the war being won by whichever country the Avatar fights for, and a peaceful alliance being restored between Hoshido and Nohr. In addition, Garon is finally exposed as an inhuman beast and is promptly defeated. However, two of the Avatar's siblings from the opposing side die in the process (Xander and Elise, or Ryoma and Takumi), leading to one of the surviving siblings (Leo or Hinoka) serving as king/queen in their stead, not to mention the various amount of Non Player Characters (party members from the alternate campaign) who have fallen in the process.
    • Revelation has a happier ending, in comparison. The Avatar is able to get both of his/her families and their respective armies to cooperate against Valla and Anankos, restoring the lost kingdom to its former glory. He/she is crowned the new ruler of Valla, and all three countries establish peace between themselves for good.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: Kitsune will promote into the appropriately-named Nine-Tails class, which features an animal form with one large tail and eight smaller tails sprouting out of it.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • In the Beach Brawl DLC, Hinoka's vacation picture shows her using her naginata to cut apart coconuts.
    • Leo uses his legendary tome Brynhildr to grow tomatoes.
    • In the Museum Melee DLC, Xander mentions that he does not want see his legendary sword Siegfried used as a "glorified whisker shaver."
    • Female Kana uses her ability to turn into a dragon to quickly dig a hole during a game of hide and seek, letting her beat Asugi.
    • If Saizo ends up marrying a female Avatar, he mentions in his C Support with his son Kana that he gave his wife a magic whistle that emits a sound only he can hear. It was originally created for the Hoshido Royal Family as a tool to summon bodyguards, but he says that she'll use it to get his help carrying heavy objects or when she wants sugar for her tea.
  • Musical Spoiler:
    • Your royal siblings each share a unique boss theme; "You of the Light" for the Hoshidans and "You of the Dark" for the Nohrians. Takumi, however, uses the standard Invader/Vallite boss theme, indicating that something is very, very wrong with him.
    • When Takumi joins your team in Birthright, the song that's used is "Implore the Dawn" instead of "Guest of Light", the usual Hoshidan recruitment theme. Takumi is unwittingly and unwillingly supplying Iago with information of the Hoshidan army and as such is not completely on your side. When he's finally freed of Iago's influence in chapter 25, "Guest of Light" finally plays before the battle begins.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules:
    • Enemy playable units are sometimes equipped with skills that the player cannot obtain, or require reclassing into units from the opposing nation. For example, Hinoka has "Wing Shield" (negates the weaknesses of flying units and lets them benefit from terrain effects, AI only) and Sol (heals user for half of the damage they deal with an attack, requires reclassing into the Nohrian class Hero) when fought in Conquest.
    • Iago can use staves, despite the fact that his class (Sorcerer) should not have the ability to wield them.
    • The Staff Savant skill lets the owner use staves without them consuming charges, on top of boosting their range to 10. The skill is exclusive to AI units.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Played straight for Xander in all three routes, especially in Birthright. Heavily Deconstructed for the Avatar in Conquest. Let's just say there's a whole laundry list of shit the kid has to go through on that route and leave it at that.
  • Mystical White Hair: This Avatar's default appearance, reminiscent of the previous Avatar's standard look.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Japanese name of the protagonist's class is Dark Prince(ss), a class that formerly belonged to Julius, another noble raised by an evil emperor, who has a connection with dragons.
    • The maps for Rhajat, Caeldori, and Asugi's Paralogues have Conquest and its Ablaze variant playing, likely due to the fact that they're expies of Tharja, Cordelia, and Gaius respectively.
    • The implication that Corrin is a reincarnated Robin, or a previous incarnation of Robin, this may be directed at the player themselves and not the character, as many who play Fates likely played Awakening, similar to a conversation with Lyn in one of Awakening's DLC chapters.
    • The amiibo Robin mentions that he came from a world where he was launching fighters, implying that he's the Robin from Super Smash Bros..
    • One of the skills learned by the Lodestar class, Dancing Blade, is named after a move used by Marth and Lucina in Super Smash Bros..
  • Named Weapons: Several significant weapons have a Meaningful Name as listed above, but you can name any weapon you forge, and Odin's personal skill, Aching Blood, even encourages you to give long names to weapons you intend to give him.
  • Nerf:
    • The Pair-Up mechanic from Awakening has been extensively modified, as it was easy to just keep units in a Paired-Up state and not separate. Only individual units can have adjacent units assist them in attacks, while combining two units together will only have one unit attack while the other unit only defends the first. Not only that, enemies can use this mechanic as well.
    • To mitigate them being unbreakable, more powerful weapons now have negative attributes to them, limiting their potency and forcing players to have greater forethought before equipping. For example, Nosferatu now hinders the user's evasiveness in addition to being incapable of inflicting criticals or double attacking with.
    • Many ranged weapons now make it harder to double attack (or cannot double attack at all) and/or lower the wielder's Avoid, and some, such as the Spear and Tomahawk, can only hit from 2 range instead of 1-2.
    • The returning magic weapons now give huge penalties to Avoid, can no longer crit, and cannot trigger offensive skills.
    • Some returning skills from Awakening have been rebalanced. Galeforce (once per round, a character gets to act again if they nab a kill) will no longer activate if the owner of the ability is in Attack Stance or Guard Stance. Counter (if damage is taken, deal it back to the opponent) now only activates in battles triggered by opponents, preventing AI units with Counter from kamikaze-rushing player units. Vengence had its trigger rate reduced from (Skill x 2)% to (Skill x 1.5)%.
    • Staves have seen a considerable decrease in the number of times they can be used before breaking (e.g. the Rescue staff now has 2 charges instead of 5). In addition, ranged staves now have a set range instead of having it based on the user's Magic stat.
    • Most items have had their uses decreased as well as their potency. For example, Elixirs now only heal 40 HP, and the Boots now only increase movement by 1 (though now the limit for how many boots a unit can be given is 2 instead of Awakening's 1).
    • The class system for the Avatar and their child has been reworked. While the Avatar of Fire Emblem Awakening and their child (Morgan) could class change to almost anything that wasn't exclusive to specific genders or characters (and could do so as soon as they hit Level 10), the Avatar of Fates initially only has access to the secondary class chosen during character creation. New classes now have to be unlocked by A Supporting with other characters of the same gender, granting that character's base class as a reclass option. The Avatar's child (Kana), meanwhile, only gets to reclass into his/her non-Avatar parent's class, the Avatar's secondary class, and the class of whatever Second Generation unit they S Support with.
    • Only one Wind magic tome exists, the S-Rank Excalibur. It only appears near the end of the game in two of the three paths (Conquest and Revelation). As such, magic's effectiveness against flying units has been greatly limited.
    • Magic-based classes are less effective against the otherwise magic-weak Knights and Generals. Tomes and Scrolls now fall in the new weapon triangle where they are grouped with swords, which are at a disadvantage against spears and lances (the main weapons used by Knights and Generals). Generals also have the "Wary Fighter" Skill that prevents any double attacking when they are in combat, so it's more difficult to snipe them from range with magic. This means that best way to deal with them is either using a weapon designed specifically for killing armored units (i.e. Hammer and Armorslayer), or use a magic damage dealing weapon other than tomes or swords (i.e. Flame Shuriken or Bolt Axe), or even one of the rare weapons whose effect reverse the weapon triangle (i.e. Calamity Gate).
    • Dark Mages have lower bases and growths in this game, making them hard-to-raise Squishy Wizards instead of Mighty Glaciers they used to be. They also have lower selections of dark tomes as mentioned above and the ones that are left are powered down.
    • The forging mechanic was changed so that it requires obtaining a number of a specific same weapon and a certain number of gems to upgrade the weapon. The stat boost for each forge upgrade is also very minimal when compared to the previous installations. However, the total stat gain surpasses by a notable margin those acquired in the previous game, but the new rules enforce the player to really work for it (for the record, getting +7, the upgrade cap on a weapon, requires a Lv.3 Forge, 128 of the same weapon and 247 of the same gem).
    • The second generation is nowhere near as powerful as they were in Awakening. There, children always started on level 10 and their stats were essentially the average of their parents', easily giving you a level 10 base class unit with stats that look decent for a promoted unit if you choose to grind before getting them. Now, children level along with the story, and their stats are determined by their growth rates, so they'll only be slightly better than a unit of the same level. On top of that, the enemies also scale along with the story, so you can't simply wait until late game then just steamroll all the Paralogues. This leaves the children as still usable, but they no longer overshadow the first generation.
    • Warp returns from Fire Emblem Gaiden as a skill that can be used by the player, but it now only allows the user to teleport next to an ally instead of being able to go anywhere on the map.
    • The Spy's Yumi replaces the Longbow, and it is locked at a range of 3 instead of having 2-3 range. It also cannot double attack like the Longbow can.
    • Unlike in Awakening, unused keys cannot be sold or saved for later. You have to use them in the Chapter they're obtained, otherwise they just disappear from your inventory.
    • Dodgetanking gets even harder in this game due to lowered HP growths and caps and the introduction of skills that debuffs and deals damage to the target post-battle, leaving less room for error.
    • Sky Knights are not as powerful as Pegasus Knights from the previous games, particularly Awakening. This is due to the removal of the Dark Flier line from their promotions, the prevalence and damage boost from bows, the nerfs to dodgetanking and having most of their skill set being more situational than before.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Some of Famitsu's claims about the game before its release were patently false or at least misleading, perhaps the most flagrant of which being that both Mikoto and Garon would be playable on both Birthright and Conquest. Neither of them is known to be playable on any of the three routes whatsoever; Mikoto bites it before the route split (and Came Back Wrong on the third route), and Garon was Dead All Along.
  • New Game+:
    • After completing the game, you are allowed to save up to 5 of your units into your unit logbook. When a new game is started, you may purchase them back into your army as einherjar units, or purchase their skills for your current units.
    • Captured enemy units who have been recruited to your side are similarly saved into your logbook.
    • All rewards earned through battle and visitor points are refreshed for use when a new game is started, allowing easy, early access to useful weapons and items.
  • Ninja: The game features a Ninja class, basically a Japanese-flavored Thief which uses shurikens and can wield katanas or yumi when promoted to Master Ninja or Mechanist, respectively. Kaze, Saizo, Kagero and Asugi are playable characters that are of this class.
  • Ninja Maid: The new Maid class, in addition to healing staves, is able to wield weapons like knives and shuriken. They kick their weapons out of their heels and their running animation is the same as the Ninjas.
  • Nintendo Hard: Conquest is designed to be the harder route, with difficulty akin to earlier Fire Emblem titles. This includes limited experience and money, more complex victory/defeat conditions, and maps that are quite fiendish by Fire Emblem standards. Even those playing Phoenix mode will find challenge in this route.
  • No Fair Cheating: While not needing any cheat devices to do it, the Witch skill Warp doesn't let you teleport next to Corrin in Birthright chapter 26 when fighting Xander to secure an easy, one turn win.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Maps with alternative win conditions or gimmicks can lead to this. It's also more prominent on Casual Mode, as the death of the Avatar in this game's Casual Mode does not lead to a Game Over this time around (which was the case in Awakening).
    • Chapters 12, 15 and 18 of Conquest, Chapters 6 and 21 of Revelation, Asugi's Paralogue, and Nina's Paralogue are all timed, although it's downplayed for the Paralogues. Conquest 15 and 18 and Revelation 21 need to be cleared within 20 turns, while Revelation 6 needs you to defeat both commanders in 5 turns. You will fail Asugi's Paralogue if he successfully flees the map (he is an allied unit and cannot be spoken to), and the same applies to Nina's, except she's an enemy unit and you can defeat her to assure this doesn't happen.
    • Siegbert's Paralogue requires you use all of the Dragon Veins on the map to prevent more enemies from spawning in addition to routing the enemy. If all of your potential Dragon Vein users (which include the royals, any of their potential children, and any unit that's been given the First Blood DLC item) are killed, then you automatically lose, even on Casual or Phoenix mode.
    • Chapter 10 of Conquest requires you to defend the port town of Dia for 11 turns. If one of the enemy units lands in the green tile zone you're supposed to defend, you lose.
    • Chapter 12 of Conquest requires you escape within 15 turns or defeat the boss, which in this case is Ryoma, and unless you've been abusing DLC/grinding (which is difficult to do in Conquest in the first place), he's a Hopeless Boss Fight. Not escaping leads to a Game Over.
  • Nostalgia Level: Various DLC maps are based off of levels found in previous games:
    • Before Awakening, Hidden Truths I, and Anna on the Run all use maps from Fire Emblem Awakening (in order: Chapter 2, Chapter 16, and Paralogue 4)
    • Vanguard Dawn is based off of the map used in Chapter 2-E of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
    • Witches' Trial is based off the Fear Mountain map in Act 4 of Fire Emblem Gaiden. It is where Alm first encounters a boss who can summon Witches.
  • Numerical Hard: Actually averted for the most part. Enemy stats are virtually identical between Hard and Lunatic, and the stat gap between Normal and Hard isn't too significant. What makes each difficulty level a major step above the last is other factors, like more enemies with stronger weapons and skills (such as the Inevitable End skill, exclusive to Lunatic. Staff Savant is also a lot more common there), changed enemy distribution, additional reinforcements, changes to enemy AI (e.g. Xander in Birthright Chapter 12 won't move on Normal unless you enter his range. On Hard, he charges for you right from the start), modifications to mission objectives (Conquest Chapter 25) and deployment positions (Conquest 27) and even altered Dragon Vein effects (Conquest 20).
  • Off-Model: In the official artwork, the female protagonist has two left feet. This is rather hilarious considering the previous game was a little infamous for having no feet for in-game character models. Subsequent releases of her artwork have since fixed the foot issue. They still haven't fixed Elise's four fingers issue, though.
  • Oh, Crap!: Your units will make this expression in their portraits if you send them into battle with unfavorable combat odds. Conversely, enemy units will do the same if you have the advantage.
    • On occasion, BOTH SIDES can have this expression. You'll be able to take out the unit, but not without the possibility of taking hefty damage. Same goes for the enemy as well.
    • Endless Nightmare is this trope in musical form. It plays whenever the game calculates that one of your units has a serious chance of dying, and Oh, Crap! is likely to be the player's reaction.
  • Old Save Bonus: If there is StreetPass data from Fire Emblem Awakening present on the Nintendo 3DS, the game grants the player a special Emblem Shield accessory. Specifically, it's the Ylissean Fire Emblem from Awakening, which Chrom used as a buckler on his promoted class. It is equipped on the left shoulder, much like the Mercenary class wear their own shields, and grants -2 damage taken for the wearing during online PvP battles.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: Or three as the case may be. Thoroughly subverted as of the 4Gamer interviews. Unlike, say, Pokémon, which is essentially the same game with small differences here or there, the two versions of Fates not only split into two completely different stories (complete with different campaigns within each and different sides of the characters in them), but also different gameplay styles. Birthright, Hoshido's campaign, will play like Gaiden, The Sacred Stones, and Awakening, in which the player will be able to grind in between chapters and overall provide an easier experience. Conquest, Nohr's campaign, will provide a more challenging experience akin to the rest of the series, sticking the players on the rails of the plot with no breaks and more limited resources in addition to further mission completion requirements. The Third Campaign is a mixture in between the other two in terms of difficulty as the Avatar's party works to uncover the true mastermind behind the conflict between Hoshido and Nohr, the Invisible Kingdom. A more apt comparison would probably be the Oracle Games.
  • One-Woman Wail: Present during the songstress Azura's first scene in the trailer.
  • Oni: The Oni Savage and Oni Chieftain classes are based on these youkai, particularly in the way they wear oni masks and wield clubs as their main weapons.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: The 4 divine weapons Raijinto, Siegfried, Fujin Yumi, and Brynhildr can only be used by their rightful heirs in the royal family, while the Yato goes to the person destined to bring Nohr and Hoshido to peace.
  • The Ophelia: Despite literally being named after the Trope Namer, Ophelia isn't really an example of this trope. She is a downplayed example instead. She is a bit of Bunny-Ears Lawyer, but that's it. Takumi in the Conquest path is more qualified for this trope despite the fact that he is male. He is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy who, in this particular path, falls into madness for several reasons: his hate and jealousy to the Avatar, also from his sorrow from losing his mother (actually, his Parental Substitute), his Inferiority Superiority Complex, and the depression he got from all of that. Following the water theme of Ophelia, his clothes are mostly blue and white, unlike his siblings who wear red and white - blue and white are both common color themes for water. Not to mention, the kanji for his name can be read as "ocean" . Granted, he is actually under a huge More Than Mind Control state caused by a water dragon god, but it doesn't change the fact that he exhibits several archetypical traits of this trope. While both hate and sorrow are the reasons for his madness, the game emphasizes more on his hatred while fanworks emphasize more on his sorrow, perfectly depicting the "beautifully broken" trait of this trope (and sometimes reducing him solely to that). He also often babbles to himself in that path.
  • Optional Stealth: There are rewardsnote  for completing Revelation chapter 24 without battling any of the unpromoted enemies. Getting said rewards is easier said than done, as each unpromoted enemy will move as far as they can during the enemy phase and if the player is within their line of sight, they will attack, failing the stealth mission and the rewards to be moved elsewhere.
  • Outside Man, Inside Man: This is how the Nintendo Direct describes the two different paths. The Hoshido path is fighting the enemy from the outside, while the Nohr path has you fight important leaders and change Nohr as a member of the "evil" team.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: In ancient times, dragons were numerous across the land. During wars against each other, humans would side with the different dragons and aid them in their wars. In exchange, the dragons gave them land, and the leaders of those armies became the royal families, with dragon's blood running through their veins as proof of their loyalty and right to rule. Eventually, dragons became corrupted as their primal instincts took over, driving them mad. Most dragons escaped this fate by discarding their physical form and becoming spirits. Others were not so lucky, as they lacked the ability to discard their bodies and went mad as a result.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Wolfskins, a race of Little Bit Beastly wolf people who can shapeshift into giant, bipedal wolf-like creatures. One particular Wolfskin, Keaton, can be recruited to fight for Nohr.

    P-Y 
  • Pacifist Run: The Avatar does their absolute best to avoid killing anyone whenever possible. Deconstructed on the Conquest route, where despite being merciful and making sure their own troops do not kill anyone, the Avatar is unable to stop much of the death and destruction surrounding them, with Xander finally explaining to them that trying to save or spare everyone in war is pointless.
  • Panty Shot: Played with. Azura wears a bizarre one-legged tights, which gives it the appearance of a panty shot when seen through her dress's side slit.
    • Oddly, Camilla seems to prefer riding wyverns while wearing only thigh-high armored boots and a pair of black panties. Her armor can be seen here.
    • The Nohr Princess class's half-skirt just barely reveals their underwear on their right side and more when moving around.
  • Papa Wolf: A few men, should they marry, will go berserk if their child is in any immediate danger in their respective paralogue. Examples include Gentle Giant Benny, Takumi, and even the Avatar.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • If the player marries their male Avatar to any of the 1st generation females that can also S-rank with a "fertile" male, then it becomes impossible to get every 2nd generation unit. This is because the males are given just enough options so they can all get married, but the developers did not factor in the player character.
    • Kana cannot join the army if the player picks either Gay Option, as they are never born. This also applies to Nina if a male Avatar marries Niles.
    • Some characters, such as Nyx in Chapter 9 of Conquest or Benny and Charlotte in Chapter 14 of Revelation, have to be talked to while they are present on the map to get them to join the Avatar's army. If the player doesn't do so and moves on, those characters are permanently gone.
  • Pet the Dog: Surprisingly, Iago. He clearly doesn't think much for the Avatar, even saying that if he had his way, the Avatar would be dead at his hands. But he does in fact laud the Avatar for following Garon's orders.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The color of the background when performing skinship in My Room differs depending on the character's gender; pink for girls, blue for boys.
  • Play Every Day: You can visit a specific castle only once per day.
  • Player Mooks:
    • By using Capture, you can "recruit" most enemy units (generic or unique) to your side. These units cannot Support and lack personal Skills, but they are also readily available in high numbers (useful for Classic Mode due to its Final Death mechanic) and disposable if you need to sacrifice somebody.
    • You can install Puppets or Stoneborn to guard My Castle. They act as autonomous friendly NPCs that will always respawn whenever you enter a new My Castle battle.
  • Plot Armor: Characters that have a role in the story merely retreat when defeated, instead of dying, when playing on Classic. Though for some characters, this is just so they can die at their pre-determined time. They will no longer be usable, however. In addition, like the mothers of Fire Emblem Awakening, even normally expendable units will retreat if they have a child unit tied to them, as to not cause complications with those child's paralogues. In this case, it would be the fathers. Anyone who doesn't meet either qualification will die as per usual.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Hoshido's military occasionally employs poison as a weapon. The new Ninja skill, Poison Strike, takes an additional 20% of health off their target at the end of a battle the user initiated. Some of the Faceless (enemy-only golem-like creatures constructed from the flesh of corpses) can use Poison Strike as well, but they hit with their fists, not with weapons.
  • Pointy Ears: The protagonist has noticeably pointed ears, unlike the other human characters shown thus far, just like the Manaketes. There is a very good reason for this: it turns out that the Avatar is a Half-Human Hybrid, being the result of an affair between Mikoto and the dragon god Anankos which took place before Mikoto married Sumeragi.
  • Polar Opposite Twins:
    • Felicia is a skilled fighter, but pitiful at domestic chores. Her twin sister Flora is less adept at fighting, but she is also perfect maid.
    • Kaze is calm and collected, and chooses who he serves based on his personal loyalties. His twin brother Saizo is hot-blooded and obeys his family tradition of serving the Hoshido royal bloodline only.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Basically, you could make a drinking game out of the number of times a battle would have been avoided if the characters just agreed to listen to what the Avatar wanted to tell them. The biggest examples are the battle with the Ice Tribe on Conquest and the battle with Yukimura at fort Jinya near the beginning of Revelation. In both cases, they only agree to listen after they got their asses kicked and things are then settled peacefully. But things would have been settled more peacefully if they listened immediately. (Although it's justified in the Ice Tribe case, as the Nohrian army outside of the Avatar and their siblings belives in the Rape, Pillage, and Burn strategy.) They were lucky that the Avatar believed in Non-Lethal Warfare.
  • Power at a Price:
    • Silver weapons are very strong and accurate, but they lower the user's stats (specifically Strength/Magic and Skill) by 2 every time they enter combat. Silver weapons also lower Dodge by 10, increasing the chances of getting struck by a Critical Hit.
    • The "Life and Death" skill increases the user's damage by 10, but they also take 10 more damage per hit.
  • Power Floats:
    • Diviners and Sorcerers will float for their regular and critical attack animations, respectively.
    • In the final map of Heirs of Fate, Anankos' final phase - resembling his cloak-wearing human self in this case - also does this for his regular attack.
  • Power Glows: Raijinto, Fujin Yumi, Brynhildr, and all the Yato's upgraded forms emit some kind of light when in use. Inverted with Siegfried.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Just like Awakening. However, special mention goes to the retainers from both sides, all who share a one-liner their lieges use themselves (with little to no alterations). Then there is the Avatar's one-liners reflecting the kingdom they picked or turning their back on both kingdoms.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: The DLC map "Before Awakening" has you team up with Chrom, Lissa and Frederick from Awakening.
  • Punny Name:
    • The black-clad Kingdom of Nohr, whose name sounds an awful lot like "noir."
    • Camilla's class in the West is called "Malig Knight", which is similar to "malignant", which is fitting for a class riding on a zombie dragon.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: While the royal siblings generally have normal personalities for the most part, their retainers are often very strange or quirky. Collectively, they make for odd little groups of powerful potential enemies.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Compared to previous titles, this is heavily downplayed. The majority of Corrin/Kamui's army is made up of princes and princesses of Hoshido and/or Nohr (including Azura), the retainers and soldiers that serve them, and a number of people who either have an important status or title (three of your allies are the children of the leaders of three independent tribes, the token beasts are leaders of their packs, and Charlotte and Benny officially work as guards for the Nohrian border). The only allies that really fit the "ragtag" part are Mozu, Shura, Nyx, Scarlet, and Silas.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Azura sports nearly floor length, light blue hair. The female Avatar is also shown to have rather long hair by default. Camilla also has some very long wavy hair, reaching just below her waist.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The Rainbow Sage is an incredibly ancient wise man who can unlock the power of legendary weapons. Naturally, being so old, he dies of natural causes shortly after you meet him. Or so it would appear until the Revelation route, where he's revealed to have been one of the ancient dragons, and had been holding onto his power until he could help make things right.
      • In Conquest after the Avatar meets the Rainbow Sage, Iago appears and orders them to kill the Rainbow Sage. As much of a Kick the Dog as it is, removing such a powerful neutral factor from the war is a pragmatic strategy, especially after in Birthright Xander was able to gain a boost in power from the Sage.
    • In Revelation, the Avatar tries to convince people on both sides to stop fighting by claiming there is an unseen enemy but cannot give any further details, asking them to take their word on it. Needless to say, this hardly works.
      • Also in Revelation, Xander and Ryoma finally manage to call a truce after Chapter 17. In their supports however, both of them find it difficult to dis-spell bad blood between their nations.
    • Charlotte's flirtatious and inappropriate behavior around the men gets her in trouble during her support conversations with Xander. Her attempts to woo him also fall flat. He's hardly going to fall for the exact same routine he's already been told about in reports.
    • Although it was for their own protection, putting the children in the Deeprealms causes many of them to resent their parents for "abandoning" them without any good reason for it. Even if they don't get mad at them for doing it, several kids such as Kana develop personality issues that make them struggle in their supports.
      • Shiro is a good example. Not only was he put into the Deeprealms like the others, he was never told he was actually royalty, but was treated as one by his caretakers and never knew why. Once he did learn, he became angry for being treated differently for a factor he never knew about, and clashed with his father Ryoma because of it.
      • On the other hand Siegbert is told from a young age he is a prince, but this causes him to grow up knowing he has a looming responsibility he will have to accept and deal with. The stress of it causes him extreme Heroic Self-Deprecation as he feels unworthy of becoming king and constantly compares himself to his father Xander. All of his supports deal with him struggling with what he needs to do and if he can even handle the pressure of an entire kingdom.
  • Reconcile the Bitter Foes: Nohr and Hoshido have hated each other for years (if not generations) due to their preconceived notions about how the opposite acts, ultimately leading to the war. One of the Avatar's goals in Revelation is to get the two countries to make peace.
  • Recurring Riff: "Lost in Thoughts All Alone", particularly the opening melody, is played several times throughout the soundtrack in different forms.
  • Remember the New Guy: Lampshaded - Anankos's good side had given false backstories for Laslow, Selena, and Odin when they come to Nohr, and are subsequently appointed as retainers to the royals. Xander points out how odd he finds it that he had never heard of Laslow until his appointment as a retainer in spite of having records suggesting his existence in Nohr - but regardless, Xander won't argue with the results. Niles additionally points this out as well saying that Selena basically appeared out of thin air.
  • Required Party Member: The Paralogues that involve the Second Generation characters require you to use their fathers (or their mothers for Shigure and male Kana) for the duration of the map.
  • Reverse Grip: Ninjas and Master Ninjas hold their daggers and katanas backwards.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: Played with in the Conquest route. Despite Hoshido STILL being portrayed as sympathetic and heroic, even the most ethical characters are not above making morally ambiguous choices. Ryoma withholding medicine from an ill-stricken Elise in particular stands out.
  • Resist the Beast: Anankos had been resisting his primal urge to cause destruction for years, if not decades or more, as his sanity deteriorated. The entire game is essentially his last effort at this, in the sense that it's an effort to keep him from causing any more harm.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In Birthright, Hinoka figures out that the Archduke Izana of Izumo the party meets is an impostor based on how casually he talks, believing that no royal would ever act that way. The real Izana does indeed speak that way, and she just happens to be correct that he's being impersonated.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: As per usual for the franchise, with the Avatar him/herself being related to Hoshido royalty. Azura also counts, being the princess of Nohr and all. And just about every other royal counts as well.
  • Rule of Three: The game has three versions and there are three kingdoms that are pivotal to the plot, each being the focus of one version.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Nohr reveres the Dusk Dragon in the same way Hoshido reveres the Dawn Dragon. Siegfried and the Grim/Shadow Yato forms are also sacred weapons that draw power from darkness.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The player is presented with one near the beginning of the game that determines the course of the rest of the game: Do you side with Hoshido, the kingdom from which you originally hail and the family that you were taken from? Do you side with Nohr, the kingdom you were raised in and the family you grew up with? Or do you choose neither side, and in doing so, possibly become an enemy of both kingdoms?
    • The Conquest storyline has the Avatar forced by Garon to commit a number of atrocities, or risk death for insubordination. One of the most prominent examples is near the end of the campaign when s/he is ordered to execute a defeated Ryoma. The Hoshidan prince, realizing the trouble the Avatar is in, chooses to spare them from being forced to make such a decision by committing Seppuku.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: Dual Weapons and the Calamity Gate reverses Weapon Triangle advantage.
  • Second Hour Superpower: The Avatar's dragon abilities only appear after the first five (four if you count the initial rampage) chapters out of 28.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • It is popular to have to do runs of just one class. Due to the prevalence of seals that change class of close allies, you can increase the number of characters in that class. It's actually possible to have everyone on the Nohr route to be Heros. Other one class runs include Maid/Butler Runs, and Malig Knight Runs.
    • Another one, which adds a bit of Video Game Caring Potential but is a lot harder than it sounds, is to spare any named character you aren't forced to fight. In any chapter that's objective isn't Rout (this is more common on Conquest due to the greater objective variety), non-boss named characters do not need to be killed. Since some of them are directly in your path and have brutal skill combinations, you often have to go very out of your way to spare them without losing any of your own characters, and you'll miss out on exp. But to some, avoiding the deaths of beloved characters is worth it.
    • Another is similar to the "Casual Challenge" in New Mystery and Awakening, but with Phoenix Mode as an anti-frustration feature if you give up. You select phoenix mode... but play as if you are on "Classic" mode wherein you try to avoid letting any units die.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: The Killer weapons have their edges jagged, even the Killer Bow's arrowheads. And they do inflict a lot of pain, with their high critical rates and dealing 4 times the critical damage instead of 3.
  • Share Phrase: All of the royal siblings have one Pre-Mortem One-Liner they share with both of their retainers.
    Ryoma/Saizo/Kagero: You have breathed your last!
    Hinoka/Azama/Setsuna: I won't lose!
    Takumi/Hinata/Oboro: Oh, that's it!
    Sakura/Hana/Subaki: It's all me!
    Xander/Laslow/Peri: You're right where I want you!
    Camilla/Selena/Beruka: Time to play!
    Leo/Odin/Niles: You can't hide from me!
    Elise/Arthur/Effie: No more holding back!
  • Shout-Out:
    • One to Pulp Fiction, of all things. One of Scarlet's critical hit quotes is "I'm gonna get Nohrian on your butt!"
    • Another in Flora and the male Avatar's A support, in which, after starting a small blizzard she asks if she can "Let it go a little longer."
    • Forrest and Kiragi's support has Forrest mentioning being attacked by a horde of chickens, and Kiragi pointing out that Forrest did hit one a few times. This is obviously a reference to the cuccos in The Legend of Zelda, which will attack the player if they are hit enough times.
    • One of Arthur's lines in My Castle is "Listen, Lord/Lady Corrin, I wouldn't lie! I'll make you believe a man can- er, prevail.
      • Another one from Arthur, "It is a great honor to spend time with a fellow friend of justice. We should form our own league."
    • In one of Kaze's My Room lines, he expresses support for Corrin's "quest for peace."
    • Percy's wyvern is named "Ace" (in North America), likely a reference to another superhero's Non-Human Sidekick, Ace the Bat-Hound.
    • Arthur's entire design is one to American superheroes, as he looks like a mix between Captain America and Superman.
    • The generic Hero class (which is Arthur's canon promotion in Birthright and some DLCs) resemble Thor instead, especially with the enemy's red color scheme. They can even wield Hammers!
    • Laslow and Xander's B-Support has the latter make a reference to the famous phone scene from Taken while threatening the former.
    Xander: I will seek you out, I will find you, and I will punish you.
  • Sibling Switch Squick: Shigure and male Kana can have several different sisters depending on who their mother marries. If their fathers are changed between playthroughs, one playthrough's sister can become another's potential wife.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Elise declares Sakura her arch-nemesis in Conquest solely because she's the Avatar's birth sister, and doesn't want to share. Sakura is far too nice to hold anything against Elise despite being on opposing sides of the war, and is more confused about it than anything.
  • Smug Smiler: Most of the generic units have a very smug-looking grin, especially when they have the advantage in battles.
  • Socialization Bonus: The resources used to develop "My Castle" can be obtained through StreetPass and online visits to other players' castles. You can also buy items and equipment and possibly recruit new units or learn new skills this way.
  • Splash Damage: The "Savage Blow" skill causes all units within 2 spaces of a target to lose 20% of their max health whenever the user initiates combat.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: While overlooking the map during battle, characters are depicted with sprites while the geography uses models.
  • Stance System: The reworked Pair Up mechanic, splitting the old benefits into two stances. Attack Stance allows adjacent units to make follow-up attacks when one of them attacks or defends, while Guard Stance offers the stat-buffs of the old pair up, passively negates all follow-up attacks, and will negate one enemy attack after a guard gauge fills up, but prevents the unit from either making or using any follow-up attacks.
  • Stealth Sequel: Fates is set in an entirely new universe (technically the sixth in the series, as Awakening is set in the same world as Akaneia and Jugdral), but the presence of the Outrealms and the presences of Owain, Inigo and Severa (here living under aliases and often referencing events that happened during Awakening itself) imply that Fates is a very loosely connected sequel to Awakening - emphasis on "loosely," as the three aforementioned characters have little to no impact on the story, Hidden Truths notwithstanding.
  • Stock Subtitle: This trope only applies to one version of the game, and only the English release, at that - Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation.
  • Story Branch Favoritism: While there are 3 main paths with their own narratives, Revelation is the only one that actually involves stopping the real villain, Anankos, and uniting the two kingdoms with minimal bloodshed. It also lacks a Bittersweet Ending with lots of scripted Character Deaths in favor of having the Golden Ending with a very small casualty count, along with it being the only branch where Azura and Lilith live.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: If a character gets a Critical Hit or triggers and offensive skill, a portrait of their face shows up and they say a line just before the attack animation.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Woods of the Forlorn are so dark that even the trees struggle for what little light they can find, and parts of it are Faceless-spawning bogs that also hurt anyone who isn't Nohrian. One boss in Birthright exploits this when battling the Avatar's group.
  • Sword and Fist: Many classes, like the Swordmaster and Vanguard, incorporate kicks and other strikes during their critical animations.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Yato. Its upgraded forms are necessary to continue each route, and the Big Bad can't be defeated without it.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The norm for the series, though the system has been expanded in this game. Now, the triangle consists of a pair of weapons being effective against another pair of weapons; swords and magic beat axes and bows, axes and bows beat lances and concealed weapons, and lances and concealed weapons beat swords and magic.
  • Take a Third Option: At the Branch of Fate, the player is given the choice between sticking with Hoshido or going back to Nohr for the inevitable war. If the Revelation DLC has been purchased, a new choice is added: refuse to side with either and instead go stop Anankos from destroying humanity.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • The Guard Stance, a modified version of Awakening's Dual Guard system, allows one unit to protect the other from enemy attacks from their follow-up attacks and, after filling a gauge, from the main unit attack.
    • This also shows up at four/five points in the story: In the backstory, Sumeragi shields the Avatar from arrows; Mikoto throws herself in front of the exploding Ganglari in the Prologue to protect the Avatar; and in Birthright Elise throws herself in front of a lethal attack from Xander, protecting the Avatar. And in both Birthright and Conquest, Lilith throws herself in the way of an attack meant for Corrin.
  • Tank Goodness: The Ballistician DLC class rides around in a medieval tank with shields protecting the wheels and the Ballista/Bow acting as the cannon.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Selena decides to act overly flirtatious towards Laslow in their B Support to teach him a lesson about how his own flirting makes women uncomfortable (and thus dislike him).
  • Team Switzerland: The Principality of Izumo refuses to get involved in the war between Hoshido and Nohr. It's able to enforce this because it possesses the best medicine on the continent, which it can choose to withhold.
  • Theme Naming: Sakura and her two retainers, Hana and Subaki, all have floral-themed names. Sakura is a cherry blossom, Hana is a general Japanese term for flower, and Subaki is derived from Tsubaki, a camellia flower.
  • Theme Song Reveal:
    • Boy, that demon swordsman had a cool boss theme. But why is Takumi suddenly using it?
    • On both routes (though it has greater impact on Birthright), Shura, who appears to be a Nohrian bandit, uses the Hoshidan boss theme when fought. The playable Hoshidan boss theme. This is a big clue that he's more than he seems.
  • Thicker Than Water: The Avatar was born into Hoshido royalty, but was raised by the Nohr royal family. One of the biggest choices in the game is deciding whether or not the Avatar will invoke this trope and side with their newfound kin against their lifelong adoptive family.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Revelation aside, the defining note of Corrin's speech when choosing a side comes down to whether they believe Garon using them as a pawn to kill Corrin's mother and thousand of innocent civilians is this, or if they want an explanation first.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: A pair of bandits named Lloyd and Llewelyn show up in a Paralogue and several Xenologues as recurring enemies.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Swords now have a proper ranged, throwable variation in the form of the Kodachi and Wakizashi blades.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Chapters 15 and 18 of Conquest both have a 20 turn time limit. Chapter 15 requires you defeat the boss or escape the map entirely, while Chapter 18 requires that you defeat both Zola and two enemy Generals. Conquest's version of Chapter 15 appears again in Revelation (as the 21st Chapter instead) with the same requirements, except you have your entire army with you instead of just the Avatar, Azura, and Gunter.
    • The mission of Chapter 6 of Revelation is to beat a commanding officer from both Hoshido and Nohr within 5 turns to distract the armies.
    • There's no specific turn count, but Paralogue 9 requires you to beat the boss before Asugi flees the map.
    • Nina's Paralogue also requires you to rout the enemy before she flees the map.
  • Title Drop:
    • The versions of "Lost In Thoughts All Alone" that play during the Endgames of Birthright and Conquest mention the corresponding title's name in the lyrics. The full version of the song, which plays during the credits of the 3 stories, mentions both.
    • Owain references the titles of all three games in Hidden Truths.
      Owain: I suppose being heroes is our birthright. Or maybe we crave the thrill of conquest... the seduction of revelation.
  • Token Enemy Minority: Kaze is this in Conquest, a Hoshidan retainer who overhears the Avatar explain how they want to end the war and change Nohr for good. Combined with his guilt for not preventing their kidnapping originally, he asks to join their noble cause. In Birthright, it's Silas, a Nohrian knight who was friends with the Avatar as a child, and happily chooses to defect to Hoshido because he doesn't want to fight them.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Non-healing staves have very useful effects such as freezing an enemy in place, but they cannot be purchased indefinitely and each one only has very few amount of charges before breaking down. The S-rank Bifröst staff in particular revives the most recently killed unit, but it only has a single charge and only one exists in the entire game.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: The Avatar first turns some of their limbs into dragon limbs after they see Gunter fall into the Bottomless Canyon. Then when they see their mother die protecting them, they get the full deal, mind and all.Similarly, their child Kana goes on full-transformation in their paralogue when attacked by bandits.
  • Truce Zone: In Conquest, the Principality of Izumo hosts a banquet that has attendees from both Nohr and Hoshido despite them being at war.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: Unlike the previous games, the weapons in this game are unbreakable, with the only Breakable Weapons being the staves (which can be subverted with an AI-only skill). To compensate, the stronger weapons now inflict various penalties on their user's stats.
  • Underwear of Power: Both genders of the Sorcerer class and the female Dark Mage class wear bikini bottoms over their leggings/bodysuits.
  • Undying Loyalty: Any characters that are allies regardless of which path is chosen likely has this toward the Avatar, considering the fact that following the Avatar may entail them defecting from their home kingdom.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Birthright Chapter 12 is an Escape mission in a game where every other chapter (excluding the first five that are the same in all routes) are either Rout or Defeat Boss missions. Your goal is to get the Avatar off the map as soon as possible.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Like most Fire Emblem games, only very specific items that are indicated as droppable (marked via green text) can be obtained from slain enemies. Typically, when an enemy is defeated, their weapons are lost with them.
  • Variable Mix: Similar to Awakening, there are two versions of of each gameplay track; a calm one that plays on the map, and an intense one that plays during battle animations. The soundtrack seamlessly switches between them as appropriate.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Camilla pulls a map out of her bra (her breasts in the Japanese version) during her support conversation with the Avatar. When they question her about it, she retorts that it was the only place she could carry it.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: It's possible to spare some bosses instead of killing by using the Capture command to place them in the My Castle jail.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • In Chapter 6, you can choose seek out and attack Elise or Sakura (depending on your route) when it's not necessary to do so. Both sisters only want the Avatar's happiness, they are easily the nicest member of their respectively families, and neither are even capable of fighting back.
    • You can make Felicia fight her own sister in any of the routes while playing as the Male Avatar. It's even worse in chapter 17 of Birthright. It's nothing compared to what happens to Flora afterwards, but it can make her fate even worse.
    • Kaze will go with the Avatar no matter which route you choose, while his brother Saizo is only playable in Birthright and Revelation. This means if you choose Nohr, you can potentially have Kaze fight his own brother.
    • In My Castle, you have the option to wake your spouse gently or violently. The results can be pretty humorous if you choose the latter.
    • In Revelation, many of the later chapters involve fighting the re-animated bodies of the protagonists' parents. You can force the Avatar, Azura, and all the Hoshidan royals to fight and kill their mother or father, and all of them are affected by it—Ryoma even starts crying. You Bastard.
    • Also in Revelation, Scarlet is resurrected a few chapters after her death and is fought as a mini-boss. Fighting this character with Ryoma will trigger some special dialogue where it's very clear that he's not happy about this fight.
  • Villainous Rescue: Inverted. The Ice Tribe's chieftain Kilma rescues the Avatar from freezing to death in Conquest, not realizing they've come to suppress their rebellion.
  • Visible Invisibility: "Invader" enemies are supposed to be invisible, but the purple distortion aura is so obvious that they're easily spotted.
  • Voodoo Zombie: The insane dragon god, Anankos, can reanimate the dead and make them do his bidding. These undead soldiers seem to have varying degrees of conscience and personality, which can involve retaining the original body's personality with major or minor changes, or just be mindless puppets.
  • Warrior Prince: The male Avatar (whose class takes this further: Nohr Prince) and the male members of his blood-related and adoptive family, including Xander and Ryoma. Also their possible sons, and possible sons of whoever marry the princesses.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Birthright Chapter 12 marks the first time you encounter promoted units as regular enemies, plus a moving Hopeless Boss Fight in the form of Xander if you are on Hard difficulty or above. It is also an Escape mission in a game where every other chapter unique to that route is a Rout mission or has you defeat a boss.
    • Conquest Chapter 7 has a lot of enemies and very few units to use against them. The next chapter has a staff user much earlier than the other routes proving how difficult Conquest is.
    • Conquest Chapter 10 is the first chapter on Casual mode in which one of the defeat conditions is something other than a Total Party Kill, and the first chapter on Phoenix mode where you can actually lose, warning you that just because your units simply retreat instead of dying for real doesn't mean the game will hand every victory to you on a silver platter.
    • Revelation Chapter 7 is the game's only Fog of War mission. You also only have three units: your Avatar, Jakob/Felicia who is primarily a healer and Azura who will most definitely not be fighting.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You:
    • In Classic Mode, the Avatar's defeat under any circumstance results in an immediate Game Over. In Casual Mode, this only applies for Chapter 5 since it's very difficult (if not impossible) to beat the boss without them. In any other circumstance, the Avatar simply retreats from the battle and will be ready to fight after it concludes; subsequently, they will return the following turn in Phoenix Mode if it's active.
    • The final part of the Heirs of Fate DLC is automatically lost if either of the Kanas or Shigure die, since their powers are required to beat the boss.
  • Wham Line:
    • The first comes as early as Chapter 3 (note that this line is fully-voiced):
    Kaze (a Hoshidan): "I'm glad we found you, Prince(ss) [Avatar Name]."
    • Birthright Chapter 17:
    Flora: "Nothing will change the fact that I betrayed you. Not to mention my own flesh and blood. For that... I deserve to die."
    • Conquest Chapter 27, if you are deluded enough to think it's over after you finally defeat the Big Bad:
  • What the Hell, Player?: If you make Laslow, Selena or Odin equip the Dragon's Feather, they will chew you out for it.
  • White and Grey Morality: You know about how Hoshido kidnapped Azura? Yeah, turns out they did that because Garon kidnapped the Avatar first when he and his men ambushed Sumeragi, who was visiting Cheve to establish some relations between it and Hoshido, while Hoshido simply kidnapped Azura to trade her back for the Avatar despite treating the princess very well regardless and Nohr had yet to invade Hoshido after the incident until the present day, apparently establishing some form of Non-Aggression treaty prior. All in all, both sides are neutral at worst with only a few exceptions.
  • With Us or Against Us: In the Chapter 6, the Avatar is forced to choose whether to support their blood relations or their foster family in the war between the two. Even worse in Revelation where both sides consider the Avatar a traitor but most end up joining the Avatar to fight a bigger evil.
  • World in the Sky: The Kingdom of Valla consists of a number of floating continents.
  • Wutai: Hoshido is clearly based on feudal Japan, with soldiers and citizens wearing samurai armor and traditional period garb, at least one map showing a Japanese-like mansion, and medieval Japanese weaponry, including katanas and naginatas, appear to replace the series standard weapons of swords and lances.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Characters have a wide range of colors for hair, but special mention goes to the songstress Azura, who bears the signature Fire Emblem blue hair of plot-importance.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/FireEmblemFates