The fourth and fifth Fire Emblem games, which constitute the second timeline and canon of the franchise. It was the only other canon with ties to another before Awakening, being set in the distant past of Archanea according to Word of God; in practice the only real tie between the two is the Divine Dragon God Naga. The two are quite the fan-favorite gamesamong the English fanbase as a result of their radical but effective changes and differences, as well as their deeper and darker story.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996, Super Famicom) is a game that spans decades and generations — after several chapters with one party, the game continues with the children of the original characters. The game is quite unusual elements for the series - its chapters are enormous, requiring the capture of multiple castles, and shipping is a gameplay mechanic upon which the ability to use several Infinity +1 Swords hinge. Even so, it's consistently popular among the base and is argued by many to be the best game in the series as a result of its engrossing plot and deep character development system.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (1999, Super Famicomnote this was actually one of the last games released for the Super Famicom, as it became clear that a Nintendo 64Fire Emblem wasn't going to happen) is a midquel taking place toward the end of Genealogy's decade-long Time Skip. It's both more like a normal Fire Emblem game than its predecessor and quite different to most others - it returns to normal-sized chapters and maps, but it implements a few new gameplay mechanisms including the now-standard Fog of War, and the completely-forgotten fatigue meter. It's also notoriously Nintendo Hard, even by the standards of the franchise as a whole.
There are also two prominent manga adaptations of Genealogy, one by Mitsuki Oosawa and one by Nuts Fujimori. Both offer rather different interpretations on the events of the game, and both contribute to filling out the back stories and characterizations of numerous characters.
Provides Examples Of:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: Most of the first-gen females, if you pair them up. Even if we assume that there are years between chapters, it seems unlikely that all of them were even 18 by the time they gave birth. Truth in Television though when we consider the more The Dung Ages-like approach this games takes in comparison to other FE titles.
Adaptation Expansion: The Oosawa manga gives a lot of characterization for the side characters, and goes into more detail on what happens within the countries where the battles happen. For instance, it creates a rather big subplot on the...uniquesituation between Eldigan and Raquesis... though at the cost of making Eldigan's wife a jealous bitch.
Adapted Out: Although said manga also 'decreases' a possible expansion as it wrote out Holyn and Beowolf from the story.
The "child hunts". A horrifying project in which boys and girls from all over the Jugdral continent are kidnapped, brought to different cities, and then are forced to fight until they die. The few who survive will end up as nobles of the empire. This "privilege" means they are little more than puppets for the Loptyr Sect. The parents are more often than not killed when they try to oppose this. The heroes, several of them being very young teenagers not much older than these kids, have to fight themselves to save these poor kids (and in Thracia, more than one character who joins the troupe actually does so specifically either to thank them for saving the children, or to make up for having been in the side of the Empire). Meanwhile, more than one villain in the game is troubled by the existence of such deals, and those who aren't are very cruel.
Even worse for Emperor Arvis, whose teenaged son Julius is the leader of the child hunts. In fact, the boy is actually the vessel for the Loptyr God, and has stripped Arvis of his authority so he almost can't do anything about it.
Mareeta's backstory involves a lot of these. She was an innocent girl living in hiding with her fallen prince father, who did what he could to keep her safe and next to him. They were doing fine as travellers, but once Galzus was distracted for a mere second - BAM! Young Mareeta was kidnapped by slave traders and taken into a slave market. Thank God Eyvel was there for her, but if she didn't... This is invoked again at the beginning, when Mareeta and Eyvel's other daughter Nanna get caught by the enemy, and you have to fight a Brainwashed and Crazy Mareeta who's under the influence of an Evil Weapon...
King Travant is Genre Savvy enough to exploit adult fears, and does so twice. In the first part, the whole Yied Massacre happens when Travant attacks Ethlyn, Quan and their troops and, after killing Ethlyn, he stages a cruel Sadistic Choice to Quan: either he drops his powerful Gaebolg lance or his three year old daughter and heiress Altena dies; as a result, Cuan drops the Gaebolg... only for Travant to kill him anyway and take both little girl and sacred weapon to his kingdom. In the second part he forces a powerful general named Hannibal to fight Seliph's group via taking his adoptive son (Sylvia's son Corple, or his expy Sharlow if she died childless) as a hostage; either Hannibal wipes out the rebels, or his child dies. So you first have to find and release the kid, then send him out to talk to Hannibal so he can join Seliph's troops too. Otherwise, you lose two recruitable characters. (And if Corple's dad is either Lewyn or Claud, you will also lose a Sacred Weapon: either the Holsety tome or the Valkyrie Staff)
Ares is also brutally slapped to the face with one of these, when his prospective love interest and companion Leen (or her expy Laylea) is incarcerated by their boss Bramsel, who is a known Dirty Old Man. As Ares finds out, he LOSES it and rushes back to the castle, despite his leader Jabarro's warnings. It's strongly implied that, while he finds Leen/Laylea mostly unharmed, she has already been molested or downright raped by Bramsel.
Bag of Sharing: As averted as possible. Each character even has his or her own money. The only way to trade items between units is to sell an item to the pawn shop and then buy it back with the other unit. Thieves can give their money to any unit, but otherwise, only lovers can trade money with each other.
BFG: You will encounter Castles that are defended by enemy-exclusive Ballista Turrets. All of them require only one man to operate and have unlimited ammo and extreme range.
Bittersweet Ending: Sure, you killed the vessel of a deadly dragon, ended the oppression of an empire and have had your leader crowned as a benevolent Emperor. But no fewer than 2 holy weapons note Assuming Saias will eventually inherit the Valflame will be unable to be used for at least one generation in process, one of them probably longer.* Neither Tordo nor Neir will have a living character with Major Holy Blood, but if Johan/Johalva was paired up with Lex's daughter, Helswath could easily be back in action just one generation down the line.
Boss Bonanza: Many chapters have multiple bosses per section, but the final chapter of Genealogy takes the cake. The four sections have, in order, 3 bosses, 4 bosses, 2 bosses, and 20 bosses (though one of them doesn't have to be defeated and one of them is a Brainwashed and Crazy member of your own army who can be rerecruited after beating a certain other boss in that section.
Break the Cutie: Happens to several characters in the game, but most prominently the (seemingly) unbreakably cheerful Tailto. After watching almost all of her comrades (and likely her love interest, depending on who she's paired with) get slaughtered during Arvis's betrayal. Tailto is forcibly separated from her son, and spends the late years of her life enduring brutal mental/physical abuse by the hand of her own family, partially to protect her young daughter. It's hinted that in her final days, she simply lost the will to live. Ouch.
Brother-Sister Incest: While other games have it relegated to subtle subtext at best, this game actually has it happen as a major plot point, occurring no matter what you do.
To be fair, the main brother-sister couple in the game didn't know they were (half-)siblings. She never found out either, and when he did, he was already past the Despair Event Horizon and didn't give a damn anymore.
This is the only game that makes two of the potential couples cases of Brother-Sister Incest and Kissing Cousins at the same time, if you pair up a kid of Adean with one of her twin sister Briggid.
A glitch in the Relationship Values system allows the player to potentially pair up the main character of the second generation with his Mysterious Waif half-sister. Said sister is the result of even further Brother-Sister Incest. This is actually a pretty popular pairing among the fans but it’s not otherwise possible, plot-wise.
Cain and Abel: If a party member is stated to have a sibling and that sibling doesn't eventually join your team, they will show up as an enemy.
Cutscene Incompetence: You simply cannot prevent Deirdre from being mind-wiped and abducted by Manfroy. Even if you leave a few units at the exact area where the incident occurs, it won't do anything except make for a rather amusing sight.
Darker and Edgier: The hero's home country is actually The Empire, which he doesn't realize. Even nobles descended from legendary heroes are capable of being very petty, evil, and corrupt and for all his efforts, Sigurd is branded a traitor and executed along with most of his friends. In the second half, the evil cult abducts children to sacrifice them to their god. Oh yeah, and there's probably more incest in this game than in the rest of the series combined.
Deconstruction: The game takes apart a lot of tropes from the Archanea games. The Big Bad is very bad and the heroes are good people, but a lot of the in-between bosses are just trying to defend their sovereignty after Grannvale, Sigurd's home country, invades Isaach and makes the other countries edgy. Sigurd's personal mission to rescue Adean snowballs into fighting every other country on the continent, while the not-so-noble nobles back home take full advantage of the chaos he leaves to lay groundwork for The Empire. Viewed in an independent light their actions aren't any different from those of their enemies. No matter how peaceful or well-intentioned Seliph might be, he (once victorious) parcels up sections of the now-conquered empire amongst his supporters, which is exactly the same thing Arvis did when he took the throne.
It also takes a look at what would happen to the followers and descendents—or people who are even suspected of being such—of the Dark Dragon. Namely, persecution, execution, and forced seclusion in the Spirit Forest or the harsh conditions of the Yied Desert.
Going further from that, the game also examines just what the resident dark priest needs to do in order bring back said dark dragon and what kind background such a priest might have. Which if the dialogue of another character is anything to go, is one that wasn't necessarily all that pleasant.
Dead All Along: Lewyn in the second half is heavily implied to be this, with the Wind Spirit, Forseti, inhabiting his body.
Deader than Dead: Par for the course for the ‘’Fire Emblem’’ series: when anyone is defeated in battle, they die forever, All Deaths Final. However, there's exactly ONE way to bring back a dead unit: The Valkyrie Staff. It has one use before it breaks and can only be used by someone with Major Blagi blood; i.e. Claud, and either Ced or Corple if Claud is their father. Still, Continuing Is Painful, since the Valkyrie Rod is outrageously expensive to repair (30,000 gold per use).
Death Equals Redemption: The more sympathetic villains are generally shown to regret some of their worse acts, and usually predict their own demise before the engagement that confirms it.
Decapitated Army: It's unclear exactly how many members of your army die in the Battle of Belhalla; in fact, it’s quite possible that the vast majority of them somehow survived. Yet, with Sigurd dead, they scatter to the four winds rather than try to renew the fight, claim their inheritances, or clear their names.
Defeat Means Friendship: Averted, as with most Fire Emblem games. Defeat usually means no-frills death when it doesn't mean "now I'm running away and you'll have to fight me again."
Demoted to Extra: Meta-example. This is the only canon to have almost no representation whatsoever in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. All other sets of games (Archanea-Valentia, Elibe, Magvel, Tellius) have trophies, stickers, songs and either a playable character or an Assist Character. The Judgral games? A Palette Swap of Ike vaguely resembles Sigurd and one of Marth vaguely resembles Leif. That's it. And to add things up, Sigurd, Seliph and Leif didn't even appear in the trailers of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem while all other main characters from other series (excepting Gaiden) appear.
In the Oosawa manga, this applies to the three knights Sigurd starts the game with, as well as Holyn and Beowulf (who don't appear at all), probably due to mainly being fighter characters without too big of an impact on the storyline or particularly notable connections to other characters.
Sigurd's Silver Sword is obtained halfway through the prologue and serves as his best weapon until he gets Tyrfing a quarter of the way through the last chapter before he dies
Lex's Brave Axe is by far his best weapon, weighing far less than other axes and letting him attack twice in a row. It's obtained halfway through Chapter 1.
If you went with the Tailto / Levin pairing and passed Holsety down, Arthur will join with it halfway through the first chapter of second generation. While he'll never quite be as powerful as Sety with Holsety, he can and will thoroughly annihilate any enemy for the first half of Gen 2, and continue nuking the opposition clean through the end of the game.
It should be noted that Arthur has one major advantage over Sety. Having a horse, in Mounted Emblem
Dropped a Bridge on Him: "Welcome to the party we're throwing for you, Sigurd! Meet my wife, who was your wife before she was kidnapped and brainwashed! Now we're going to drop huge flaming rocks on you."
'80s Hair: The artstyle of this game's character portraits was angled rather strangely and in particular fluffed up the front parts of everyone's hair to absurd degrees, giving almost everyone this look. Thracia 776 stopped doing this and any characters who returned from Genealogy were all redrawn with normal-looking hair.
And sprites notwithstanding, there are a few characters who have actual mullets.
Also Sigurd and Seliph with Tyrfing- if not quite as awesome, it does have a good deal more availability. Book of Naga is closer to Eleventh Hour and Fifty Minutes God Mode since you get it solely for the last castle of the last chapter.
Likewise, Blume is pretty okay with letting Hilda torture Tailto (or Ethnia) to death, but he doesn't support the child-hunting whole-heartedly, and is somewhat kinder to Tailto/Ethnia's daughter, Tinny/Linda.
Arvis himself hates the child hunts. So much that he deploys a small Batman Gambit to stop them, with some help from Julius's girlfriend Ishtar.
Everyone Is Related: Many members of the first-generation party are either nobility or royalty, and these nobles and royals end up breeding with one another to create a second-generation rebel army whose members are related not only everyone else on their own side but are also related to everyone on the other side, too. It's like one huge FamilyFeud.
Evolving Weapon: Kill 50 units with the same weapon, even if it's a holy weapon, and the weapon will gain the Critical skill, with the critical chance increasing by 1% with each additional kill up to a maximum kill count of 100 (a +50% critical bonus).
Face Death with Dignity: In chapter 5, it is obvious from the conversations that most of your characters can sense their impending doom. Claude outright states that he knows they are going to lose the war. Yet, they all go to Valhalla anyway.
Face-Heel Turn: Arvis. Pretty much all the information given about him states that he's an intimidating but upstanding and well-intentioned servant of the crown. He even appears as a guest character in the first chapter and gives Sigurd a Silver Sword from the king.
Hell, this never stops being true. While Arvis might veer into Well-Intentioned Extremist territory, he's only doing what he does because he's sure it's for the best.
Less controversial of an example: Eldigan's first seen being the very best of friends with Sigurd, and even prevents another Augustrian lord from attacking Sigurd from the rear; see Lawful Stupid for the turn.
Game-Favored Gender: The general rule of inheritance is that sons inherit their father's traits, while daughters inherit their mother's traits. Only two of the potential mothers have major Holy Blood, and one of them (Deirdre) will always be Sigurd's lover. Generally, the sons will be the ones who inherit any major Holy Blood from a father who has it (Lewyn being the most notable example), even if the inheritor has a class that conflicts with it. For example, while Lana, a Priest, seems to be a phenomenal option for either Lewyn's Forseti blood or Claude's Blaggi, she'll never inherit it, with the major blood going to her older brother Lester instead. The two gender-swapped inheritors are Briggid (her son Faval will always inherit major Blaggi blood) and Quan (whose two children are automatically set in stone anyway, as is major Naga blood inheritor Julia). On the other hand, only one of the potential mothers from the first generation has no Holy Blood (Ferry), yet she's superior in growths compared to many of the holy blood-free men, and she's the mother of a male sage who is considered to be one of the game's most overpowered units, particularly if Lewyn is his father.
There are two strange instances where both children for a pairing can inherit major blood: Ayra's children can inherit major Odo blood if their father is Holyn, and Sylvia's children can inherit major Blaggi blood if their father is Claude (which may or may not be incestuous; hints are dropped that Sylvia is Claude's long-lost sister but Word of God says she isn't. Ayra and Holyn are both nobles of the same kingdom, which is why they have the same Holy Blood, but Ayra's part of the main royal family and Holyn is of a lesser house so they're only distantly related and so this is probably less incestuous than a lot of real-life royal marriages). However, both subvert this: Sylvia's children are a daughter who is a Dancer (hence is unsuited for combat), and her son is a Level 1 Priest obtained during Chapter 9. And while Ayra's children are both of the Swordfighter class, neither can actually wield the Balmung, even with major blood as Holy Weapons can't be sold thus locking the Balmung to Shanan. (Though there is a glitch that allows them to acquire it.)
Genki Girl: Tailto starts out as a super cheery girl.
Sylvia is also one.
Fee and Patty and their replacements Femina and Daisy. They also go through quite the crap, but manage to keep their cheeriness.
There's also a Genki First Cousin Adjutant Who Looks Like A Girl in first-gen Oifey. He's pretty relentlessly upbeat, and he naturally believes that Sigurd can do anything.
Guide Dang It: Even though the word "genealogy" is in the title, it isn't obvious (or, Hell, even implied) what you're supposed to do in terms of pairing people up. Without prior knowledge one is more than likely to only have half of their possible moms produce kids, the other half dying childless, and the entire process can look remarkably scripted unless you're lucky enough to have been placing your units so an unusual pairing brews. This can result in most of the best stuff from the first generation being lost forever.
Some of the villagers do give hints about how the mechanics work, but they make absolutely no sense unless you are aware of the mechanics in the first place. “Sons tend to inherit characteristics from their fathers, and daughters tend to inherit traits from their mothers” sounds like meaningless gibberish unless you know what’s coming.
Heel-Face Turn: Many characters (including one or two of the best) start off as enemy units who can be somehow convinced to join your cause.
Hotter and Sexier: The Oosawa manga gets away with cranking up the sexiness in the storyline quite a bit, with several scenes in which those appearing are shown either having sex (nothing that graphic, though, more like R-rated), in the middle of sexual afterglow, or having rather saucy fantasies about their romantic prospects.
Some examples: the scene in which Deirdre and Sigurd confess their mutual love has Deirdre naked since she was bathing in a river before he came in, and they go through Their First Time right after their marriage ceremony. Lex and Ayra are naked in bed and clearly in the afterglow when Lex both explains his issues with Langobalt and proposes to Ayra; Raquesis and Eldigan are this close to have sex after recognizing their feelings for each other, but he decides not to "taint" her and the settle for a Last Kiss; and Raquesis and Finn have sex right after their love confession, though this one is more understandable since it happens right before Finn leaves for Lester not knowing if he'll ever be back to her, and both of them were very emotionally exhausted after Eldigan's death.
Incest Is Relative: At least two examples that are canon. Arvis and Deirdre are half-siblings. Raquesis and Eldigan are half-siblings (and were very close to doing it in the Oosawa manga). Holyn can be matched with Arya, but they may be more distant than third cousins. Julia and Seliph (half-siblings is possible using glitches in the jealously system. Lana can be matched with Faval as can Lester with Patty and since their mothers are identical twins that makes them genetically half-siblings. Sylvia and Claude are implied to be full siblings who were separated when they were young (though Word of God says that they are cousins) and can be paired. Shannan can be matched with his cousin Larcei. Ares can be paired with Nanna and in their lover conversation in the final chapter, they even lampshade the fact that they are cousins as well as confirming that Raquesis was in love with Eldigan though Eldigan's feelings are not revealed.
Unconfirmed details from the prototype of the game only increase the amount of incest. Deirdre was originally planned to be the daughter of Vylon. If Sigurd too was still the son of Vylon in this prototype, that would make the main couple of this game sibling incest. Raquesis may have originally been the mother of Ares, her brother's son. And in Chapter 8, Seliph and Julia would automatically become lovers.
Inconsistent Dub: Parts of the fan translation - for example, Ayra is called "Ira" in gameplay, but a conversation with Quan refers to her as "Ayra".
Infant Immortality: Averted. In a certain "Protect the Civilians for free levels" event, the civilians are little children of the "child" class (which is Civilian, except, justifiably, weaker). The enemy also explicitly kills children in the plot.
Inferred Survival: How did the second generation children get their hands on extremely powerful, unique artifacts, if the previous bearers of said artifacts all perished in an ambush?
Gameplay Mechanic only, really. Not to say there weren't survivors of the Battle of Belhalla, but where the kids got their gear has no meaning on that outcome.
Infinity–1 Sword: Sigurd gets one of the best generic swords in the prologue chapter, a Silver Sword (it's the only rank-A weapon you will have until at least chapter 2). If used even sparingly over the next few chapters, this Silver Sword will probably rack up the necessary fifty-plus kills to give it Critical. Once it’s passed on to Seliph (or any sword-user) in the second generation, it's overwhelmingly powerful. If it’s given to Larcei or Ulster, either of them can usually wipe out armies from the very beginning of chapter 6.
Any character with Major Holy Blood can count, really. PCs in general have much better stats than Mooks, and Holy Blood gives stat-rate boosts as well as increasing the inherent bonus of that bloodline's weapon type, as much as doubling said bonus for Major Blood. Said characters will have higher stats as well as a hefty invisible bonus. This is not, however, enough in itself to make any Major-Blood character unstoppable.
Infinity+1 Sword: The Holy Weapons; each provides magnificent onscreen bonuses to the Major-Blood characters wielding them and are always the best (or, since Swords and Spears have multiple Holy Bloodlines, second-or-third best) weapons of their class. This is ignoring the usual free Skill or Skills that these weapons provide.
TheBalmung Sword and especially TheForsetiTome cross into Disc One Nuke territory due to how early it is possible to get them and their whopping +20 speed bonuses. Shanan can pick up the Balmung on the first turn of Chapter 7, right after you recruit him. Lewyn has to wait until the penultimate chapter of the first half to pick up Forseti, but if you pair him with Tailto, then you'll get the tome again about the halfway point of Chapter 6. However, the extremely high prices for repairing these weapons can make them Too Awesome to Use.
Lewyn himself can qualify as an Infinity Plus One Sword. He joins as a fairly low-level best Mage first class (the Bard) with Major Sety blood and better-than-average stats which go up at an alarming rate. Sety blood, in addition to providing a boost to Speed growth rates (Lewyn will probably max out Speed very early) means extra bonuses for using Wind tomes (in this case, extra Speed), and Wind tomes are among the lightest weapons in the game, providing very little in terms of a Speed or Technique penalty for their use. This translates to (without taking his very good Skill-set into account) Lewyn almost always very accurately attacking twice with magic against enemies whose magic defenses are lacking when they aren't nonexistent, and routinely (if not automatically) dodging the attacks that would hurt him the most when you get him. He only gets more powerful from there.
Interface Spoiler: On the Holy Blood Screen, Arvis and Deirdre have a small, purple spot in the middle of the circle which isn't present with normal units, indicating their Loptyr Blood without spelling it out by name.
Any character you can recruit will have a Luck score higher than 1.
Except Holyn in Chapter 2, who starts with 1. However, he doesn't show up on the map for you to be able to tell this before you recruit him, since you just have to beat the arena and you're not allowed to see the stats of the fighters.
Units occupy set spaces in the castle screen, usually in order of when they're acquired; if you have a visible empty space surrounded by units, you're either going to recruit someone very soon or you missed someone.
It's also possible to figure out Seliph and Julia are related by the same method as figuring out Deirdre's Loptyr Blood.
Inventory Management Puzzle: You literally have to sell your items then buy them back at double the price if you want to trade them around your units.
Invulnerable Civilians: Averted, civilians that are on the map can easily be killed by enemy troops if they are not protected. The villages that all the bandits and pirates go after will only last about ten turns worth of damage, too.
Kill 'em All: The ending of Generation 1, or Chapter 5. It's even worse when you consider that they're dying to Meteor, so nearly your entire First Gen party is killed by rocks- though Sigurd is killed by Arvis himself.
Kicking Ass In All His Finery: Not quite the same as the usual trope, but if the character portraits are anything to go by, the majority of the noble/royalty units are wearing finely tailored uniforms. Sigurd and Quan in particular are wearing cravats, and certain manga adaptations kick this Up to Eleven. Here's◊ what Sigurd wears for most of the game, for one.
Kissing Cousins: It happens quite a few times with the preset stuff alone, but it has crazy potential depending on how you set up your pairings in the first generation.
(takes deep breath) Patty and Lester & Faval and Rana (Their mothers Briggid and Adean were not only sisters, but identical twins); Holyn and Ayra (both part of the royal house of Isaach, and so are distantly related), and by extension their children if they're not paired up; Shanan and Larcei; Ares and Nanna; Johan/Johalva and Lex's daughter; Azel's son and Julia; Claud and Sylvia (who are also canonically distantly related but the game implies that they could be long-lost siblings), and by extension THEIR children if you don't pair them up.
Lethal Joke Character: Dew, from the first generation. Starts at level one, with almost no offensive capabilities whatsoever, and he has without a doubt some of the best (base) growth rates in the first generation (sans HP). He's not likely to contribute meaningfully to battles in the first generation; instead, his usefulness lies in the fact that he is one of the best fathers in the game because of those growth rates' being passed down, in addition to the Bargain skill. His biggest flaw, his low HP growth, is mitigated by the HP growth bonuses granted by all degrees of Holy Blood; he is one of the best to pair with Briggid, and he is a strong contender for other mothers of physically-oriented children such as Ayra or Raquesis, all three of whom pass some degree of Holy Blood onto their kids.
Though it's true that Dew passes on some very good growths, Bargain (everything's half price), and Sun Hit (absorb damage dealt as HP), he's still usually considered inferior to other partners such as Lex or Holyn for Arya (both give Arya a Hero Sword to pass down, Lex gives Arya's kids Minor Neir blood, Elite (double experience gain) and Ambush (always attack first when HP is lower than 50%), though Lex doesn't pass any weapons onto Ulster since Ulster can't use axes, and Holyn gives Arya's kids Major Odo blood, giving them twice the stat bonuses of their usual Minor Odo blood as well as twice the benefit for using swords, which are the only weapons Arya's kids can use, and gives Ulster his inventory; he also passes down Moonlight Hit, which is a mixed blessing since it competes with Arya's Comet Hit (which, 98% of the time, is much better) for activation and Beowulf and Finn for Raquesis (both remedy Raquesis' lack of skills to pass onto her kids, providing them with Pursuit and, in Beowulf's case, Charge, both skills considered vitally necessary as they give units more attacks per battle; Delmud is also able to inherit Beowulf's equipment)
Lord British Postulate: Of the "If it has health, he can be killed" variety. Julius appears in chapter 10 and can actually fight you. If you're lucky enough to score some criticals (or get a couple good shots with Forseti) or just Cherry Tap Julius, you can beat him.
Data also suggests that Julius was intended to be fightable in Thracia 776, meaning that we could have had a true example of this.
Lost Forever: Several characters if you don't recruit them, accidentally kill them, or don't manage to rescue them from the far-more-powerful-than-they mooks who spawn near them. Thracia 776 even makes some characters become Deadlords if you miss them.
Sometimes requires a great deal of effort to avoid losing recruits, such as in Arya's case: you must avoid damaging her since you might inadvertently kill her (she has the fewest HP you have yet seen on any enemy unit as well as the lowest defense), she's unbelievably dangerous as she has the opportunity to one-shot literally everyone in your party, and you can't recruit her until you take the castle she's guarding, being physically in your way. It's necessary to lure her away from the castle so you can kill the guards and take it, then run up to her and talk to her, all while being very careful never to engage her lest she pull off one of her relatively common ten-hit combos or lest
Love at First Sight: Famously, Sigurd and Diadora, and they even get married after Chapter 1 (Diadora can't be found until near the end of it). Most of the manga adaptations feature this in various ways.
Love Ruins the Realm: The birth of Julius (one of Arvis and Diadora's two children together) solidifies Manfroy's plans to allow Loptyr's resurrection, as Julius is born with Major Loptyr blood. Subverted in that Deirdre was brainwashed by Manfroy, and Arvis was not knowingly helping his schemes - and when he does figure it out (along with the fact that Diadora's his half-sister), he becomes remorseful.
A more cynical take on Sigurd marrying Deirdre is the fact that Loptyr's descendants live in the Spirit Forest in order to stay hidden from the outside world. Since Deirdre was specifically needed for Manfroy's plans, Sigurd taking her away from the forest could count as this.
Mad Dictator's Handsome Son and Mad Scientist's Beautiful daughter: Lex and Tailto, the kids of Langobalt and Reptor, respectively, in the first generation. Second Generation has one of Danan's kids, Johan/Johalva (depends on which one you recruit, though the other isn't that bad either compared to others), and Travant's son Areone can end up joining Seliph army because of his love for Altena.
Magikarp Power: A surprisingly large number of party members (especially Arya and Dew) in the first generation start off slightly too weak to qualify as Glass Cannons; they require some leveling to be anything other than nerve-wracking to use in open battle, as they have few HP and relying on their defenses turns their use into a Luck-Based Missionat the best of times. Therefore, without some tender, loving care, they'll have to remain behind the more solid characters. Once they rack up some levels, though, they pass almost immediately from terrifyingly fragile to remarkably solid (usually, at least in the case of the Magikarp-struck Mages, when they promote to their second class, though all Arya and Dew really need are a few levels, Arya to cement her speed advantage, and Dew to enjoy his remarkable stat growth, though admittedly Dew's prowess as a fighter truly comes to the fore when he promotes since he then gains other useful battle Skills) and, rarely stopping there, then travel directly into the lands of wickedly powerful. This is usually averted in the second generation, as even though most characters start off weak, enemies are also generally weaker to begin with, making it a much more level playing field.
The other Magikarp Power, Arden, requires intense care and planning to use as he moves too slowly to consistently hit his enemies (even when not screwed by the Weapon Triangle, as he can only use swords to begin with) and his movement range is smaller than literally everyone else's, in some cases by a huge margin. Not only that, but his defenses aren't rock-solid enough for the hits he's going to take to be manageable. At class-up, his weapon choices expand dramatically, vastly increasing his ability to adapt to different kinds of enemies, he gets the skill Big Shield which flatly negates a percentage of incoming attacks, and his defenses against all types of attacks have solidified remarkably.
This forgets PrincessRaquesis. The Prince/Princess/Lord class had, for the most part, usually been a rather bad one in Fire Emblem; they were extremely plot important and were required to do certain things such as take castles or convert enemy units, but were otherwise The Load in battle, and Raquesis is no exception. She's able to use C-ranked staves and up to A-ranked swords (thanks to her Hezul blood), but her piddling native stats and stat growth, low HP, and lack of combat-related Skills makes using her to fight a losing proposition; this is not helped by the fact that, when you get her, swords are the worst weapon to be using (since most enemies are using either lances or swords, making a weapon advantage impossible) and Raquesis can't use anything else. When she classes up, she changes to the Master Knight, which is by far the best obtainable Player class and is possibly the best class in the game, its only competition being the enemy classes Queen and Emperor. Master Knights can use A-ranked everything (well, except for Light Magic, which is C-ranked, and Dark Magic, which is unobtainable anyway), gets a massive boost to all of her stats (including movement range, which goes from the "on foot" range, the second-shortest (with "heavily armored" being the shortest), to "riding a thoroughbred warhorse," the longest save "riding a flying thoroughbred warhorse" and "riding a dragon,") and gains as class Skills all of the Skills necessary to equal or surpass any of the normal front-liners in hand-to-hand combat whose lack prevented Raquesis from kicking much ass as a Princess. Because of her fantastic second class, Raquesis is one of the few (if not the only) first generation characters who is not surpassed by her offspring; neither her daughter Nanna, whose statistical growth is by default better than her mother's, nor her son Delmud, who gets one-half of Raquesis' stat growth on top of whatever growth rates his father had, are pushovers, and neither child them have particularly bad classes (well, Delmud's is pretty bad, though not atrocious), yet the two of them combined aren't as useful an addition as Master Knight Raquesis. While PrinceLeif also gets to be a Master Knight, he's still useful as a Prince due to his awesome parentage bequeathing him a decent Skill set and good stat growth.
Nintendo Hard: It's part of Nintendo's long-running Fire Emblem series, noted for not being terrifically forgiving.
Thracia 776 sits at the top spot of GameFAQs' difficulty charts for turn-based strategy on all platforms, with an difficulty rating of around 4.4.
Genealogy of the Holy War holds an average GameFAQs difficulty rating of around 3.7 which implies a low-end Nintendo Hard.
Non-Combat EXP: Because of the unique mechanics of the game Genealogy of the Holy War, each unit has a separate amount of currency, and characters will not give money to others. However, thief units (Dew and Patty or her replacement) can, and they gain EXP for giving their money to another unit.
Rescuing a civilian also grants an instant level up to whoever did it.
Non-Lethal K.O.: Mostly averted; when characters are defeated on the battlefield, they almost always die. Deirdre is... well, interesting in this regard. Every time she "dies", she'll come back at the end of the chapter, unscathed because the enemy merely captured her. This is justified: The bad guys NEED her alive and well in order to marry her to her half-brother and thus create an evil god.
Sorta happens with Julia too, since Julius initially wants her dead, but eventually comes to want her alive so she can be brainwashed into becoming his follower and use the Naga tome against Seliph.
Although, Prince Arione CAN in fact kill Julia, unlike most enemies. This can cause some weird glitches, because she's not supposed to die, unless killed as an enemy or after getting her back on the final chapter...
When Quan, Ethlyn, and Finn join Sigurd's army, they're protected by a special script that causes them to go back to Lenster in the event that they are defeated. The special script stops working when they leave for good at Chapter 4.
No Woman's Land: Women in Jugdral do not have a happy lot. Bandits frequently Rape, Pillage, and Burn villages, and even being a noblewoman with a castle doesn't help when an enemy lord invades to abduct and forcibly marry her. In fact, such an abduction is the touch point for Grannvale's invasion of Verdane, setting off the conflict. It gets worse in the second half, with one young woman saying that it's "scary just being a girl" and another potential recruit becoming unsettled when male units stand near her for too many turns.
Overlord Jr.: Adean, Briggid, Lex and Tailto have not so nice older or younger brothers that took after their dads and then have villainous kids of their own. And the True Final Boss is Arvis's power-mad son Julius.
Or antivillainous in the case of Johalva, Johan, Burian, Areone, Ishtar and Ishtore. The first two can be recruited (though only one at the time), and Areone can be made into an allied unit (not under your specific control, but fights for your side anyway) by Altena.
Power Up Letdown: Leif's Promotion to Prince in Thracia 776 is one of the worst in the entire series, with only a +1 to all his stats except Build and Movement. Considering that Leif's stats are already pretty dang anemic...
Properly Paranoid: Some villagers in the first half speak of periodic hunts declared by nobility to kill those accused of being of Loptyr descent. You witness a major justification in the second half.
Pseudo Crisis: Turn-based game variation: in Chapter 1, after subduing Genoa Castle, Elliot arrives from Agustria to the north leading a large squad of knights with the intent to take on Sigurd's army for daring to invade Verdane, and his knights start moving toward Evans Castle, Sigurd's home base for the chapter. At this point, the bulk of the player's forces are probably way to the south, dealing with the enemy castles down there, so even with Ethlyn's new Return staff it looks like you're doomed and you're probably panicking while trying to do something about it in your turn... until after the next turn's enemy phase, where Eldigan leads the Cross Knights from Nordion and curb stomps Elliot's forces.
Self-Made Orphan: Chagall and Andrey killed their fathers for power. Julius killed his mother in a fit of madness (and almost kills his sister Julia, but Mom manages to save her before dying) and later leaves his father to die.The player can make Lex, Tailto, Johan, and Johalva do in their fathers.
Fire Emblem Awakening, where many of these characters and items appear in English for the first time, blows the lid off of this. Some long-preferred romanizations are made canon (like the Tyrfing problem above finally being put to bed), but it also uses some decidedly left-field names for some characters and renames a few of them outright - Ayra's kids most prominently (who have become Larcei and Ulster for the girl and boy, respectively).
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Leif and the Thracia storyline in Part 2. Theres a good reason why the next game in the series is all about Thracia.
Star-Crossed Lovers: The most notable and soonest example is Sigurd and Deirdre, who married and did have a young child, but Deirdre was kidnapped, brainwashed into marrying her half-brother only to bear children that would have major Loptyr blood. Finally Arvis shows his beautiful wife to Sigurd only a moment before killing him.
There's also almost any couple coming from the first generation as well. Ethlyn and Quan perish in the desert during the Dragon Rider ambush, all the males over 15 years old except for Finn die in Barhera alongside Sigurd (and Lewyn, but then he's Back from the Dead via Forseti), and the girls either are missing (Ayra, Briggid, Raquesis, Sylvia), retired (Adean), or dead (Tailto, Ferry) as well.
Storming the Castle: While many Fire Emblem games do this, every chapter in Genealogy literally involves storming multiple castles.
Strong Family Resemblance: Over many generations, apparently. Take a look at the Holy Crusaders◊ and try telling me that Shanan doesn't resemble Odo, that Lewyn doesn't look like Sety or that Fala doesn't remind you a little of Arvis. It's less obvious with the rest, but there are still a few traits that the main characters obviously got from their Crusader ancestors.
Ares is a spitting image of his father Eldigan.
Suspiciously Small Army: Due to hardware limits, a group of +10 units constitutes an 'army'. Or in the case of the Thracian Military, a 'Battalion'.
Tracia had, at most, 87 dragon riders which were divided into 8 'battalions'. In real-life, 87 riders is barely enough to qualify as a whole Company.
Take Care of the Kids: Sigurd says this to Oifey and Shanan after capturing Luveck, and they take baby!Seliph to Isaach to keep him safe. It's debated how many of the other kids join them at that point, or if it's just Seliph and the other children are dropped off later.
Also, more than one of the love talks in Chapter 5 involve this.
Too Awesome to Use: The Holy Weapons are very powerful, and anyone using one is granted numerous bonuses to their stats in addition to the high numbers attached to the weapon itself. It also does not take much work to wear them down, as it is not unusual for a player character to attack twice or three times per exchange, and Holy Weapons are painfully expensive to repair. Using one to fight in the arena will usually involve a repair bill swallowing up at least half the prize money, and using one to fight Mooks is overkill to the point of waste, especially in the case of the faster Holy Weapon users who trade harder hitting for more attacks. As such, Holy Weapons tend not to see much use outside of boss battles.
The one big exception to this is Altena, since she's very physically strong and the Gáe Bolg is very powerful in its own right, she'll wear it down less quickly while doing a similar amount of damage.
Crutch Character: Eyvel is probably the best example of this in the series. Yeah, Jagen and Marcus in Fire Emblem Elibe are probably considered the archetypical examples; but Eyvel is removed from the player's party relatively early on, and doesn't return until very late game, and even then only if you visit a certain side chapter. Furthermore, the game will literally rig the RNG so that she can't die early in the game, in order to ensure that she gets turned to stone by Veld in chapter 5.
For the characters that can be considered one, theres Finn, Dagdar, and Bryton. Finn actually has a good stats growth, and is a solid unit throughout the whole game, but he is put on a disadvantage for the late game indoor chapters thanks to dismounting,which means he can't use Lances, including his signature Brave Lance. Dagdar is a prepromote with bad growth, but good enough base stats to be used for almost the entire game. Both of them are essential to build up your resource through capturing, since they are basically tailor made for capturing. Bryton is a bit of a special case. His base stats and growth rate are not particularly good. To make up for it, he has a mounts outdoor, has awesome durability, and has the skill Wrath which allows him to consistently scores a critical hit during counterattacks. Bryton is pretty much the closest replacement to Finn, Dagda, and Eyvel during the Manster Prison Break.
Dark Is Not Evil: Thracia is notable for having Salem, the first playable "dark mage" in the series' history.
The Holy Sword is a 17 MT weapon with 20% Critical rate, increases Magic by 10, grants the Prayer ability, is effective against Horseback units, and can attack consecutively. To acquire it, you need to use Olwen(a Glass Cannon) to speak with Reinhardt in Chapter 22, and it can only be used by Olwen. Easilly a That One Sidequest thanks to how ridiculous the chapter are.
Last but not least, is the Forseti, which is equipped by the Eleventh Hour Ranger Ced/Sety. It gives the wielder an extra 20 in skills, and 20 in speed(a total of 14 thanks to its weight), alongside 20 MT with 30% critical rate and can be used 50 times. Ced/Sety equipped with the Forseti/Holsety can one round pretty much every single enemy in the remaining chapters with or without an M Up/Barrier or Holy Water boost, and can only be killed if you are REALLY unlucky against Physical Attacks.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Played really straight, in a much bigger extent than the rest of the game in the series. Late game warriors can kill an enemy, and be a target for status staves. Late game Sages/High Priest kill an enemy, laugh at the status staves, and played a practical joke with the game as a whole. Its not an exaggeration to say that most of the late game chapters are pretty much a Staves vs Staves combat.
Magikarp Power: Carrion is acquired right after Manster Prison Break, and comes underlevelled. However, he has solid bade stats and best growth out of the potential Cavaliers who is even more underlevelled than he is. It helped that he gets the fairly powerful Elite Sword that helped him in surviving, doubled his exp gains and has plenty of uses.
Pretty much every character with reasonable Staff Rank and/or High Magic Stats can be this. Thracia takes Linear Warriors Quadrastic Wizards to the absurd length, so much that late game chapters can be utterly trivialized by using the right Staves at the right time. Anyone who promotes into a Sage count as one, thanks to the ridiculous promotion gains the class offered.
Official Couple: In Genealogy of the Holy War, all pairings except Sigurd/Deirdre, Quan/Ethlyn and Arvis/Deirdre were optional and customizable. However, Lewyn/Levin x Ferry was canonized in Thracia 776 through the presence of Ced/Sety and Forseti in the game. The marriage didn't end very happily though, due to either personal difficulties or Lewyn/Levin having his memories and/or personality messed with upon being revived/possessed by Forseti.
Also, this game strongly hints at Raquesis/Beowulf and Raquesis/Finn - yes, both of them, as Beowulf is Delmud's daddy and Finn is Nanna's. Also, Beowulf seems to have another son with an unnamed noblewoman of Conote, Fergus, who's a playable character here. This makes Delmud, who already has Nanna as a maternal half-sister, have another half-sibling on his dad's side. Yes, the families in this game are really fucked up.
Nanna/Leif, assuming Nanna doesn't die during the course of the game.
Likewise, Fred and Olwen marry if neither kicks it. Same goes to Machua and Brighton, and Tanya and Orsin. While not as openly stated, Princess Miranda is hinted to have married Conomore, which doubles as May-December Romance since he was her father's retainer.
However, it should be noted that Thracia's difficulty are not because of the lack of good characters, terrible Lord, or powerful enemies. Thracia 776 is notable for its extremely underpowered enemies, alongside an extremely powerful cast of player characters, so the game relies on surprise factor and some clever map design for most of its difficulty.
Non-Lethal K.O.: Capturing can generally only be done at low HP, and when you release a unit, they leave the battlefield and don't return. The benefit from this is that you can take the enemy's equipment, in a game in which equipment doesn't have much durability and is very expensive to purchase.
Taken for Granite: The Big Bad's modus operandi. Eyvel gets hit with it early on. You can get her back in a sidequest chapter later on, if you meet certain requirements.
Trope Codifier: Sort of, in a series internal sense - for all its unique features, Thracia 776 still plays much closer to and feels more like every Fire Emblem game since, Archanea remakes aside, than its predecessors do; as such, it could be said to be the game which set the mold for the franchise's modern incarnations.
Video Game Stealing: This game is notable for being the only Fire Emblem game where thieves can steal anything, even the weapon your opponent has equipped (if they have enough strength and speed). This makes them some of the most valuable units in the game, behind staff users.
Main Characters - On the white end of the scale you have the heroic and sheltered Prince Leif and the remnants of the Leonster Knights. Around the grey area you have you have Lifis who wreaked havoc on Thracian civilians, Pahn who's a thief, a good natured thief no less though. Not to mention there's a couple of Punch Clock Heroes that join just because they're there at the right moment (Fergus, Shiva, Trewd, and Ralph). Also, there's the Bishop August who seems to have a morally ambiguous past and holds a cynical view towards the Manster nobles.
Enemy Characters - Around the Grey end, there's a good amount of enemy bosses who fit here such as Largo (Dorias even commends Leif if he captures Largo instead of killing him), Rumay, Gomes (a bandit no less), and Reinhardt. Around or near the black area is Kempf (a man who even his fellow commanders view with disgust), Rayrick, and Veld.