->''In an age long past... Evil flooded over the land. Creatures awash in the dark ride ran wild, pushing mankind to the brink of annihilation.\\
In its despair, mankind appealed to the heavens, and from a blinding light came hope.''

''Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones'' is the eighth ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' game, released on the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance in 2004. It is the only game with a completely self-contained story; no other ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' takes place in the universe of this game.

The story takes place on the continent of Magvel, as the southernmost country, Grado, attacks Renais. Renais had been allies with Grado for years, and was caught completely off guard. The game itself starts with Renais' princess, Eirika, fleeing from her castle as it is overrun. She then goes off in her search for her twin brother Ephraim, and her childhood friend, Lyon, the Prince of Grado, in hopes of finding out why Grado attacked, and how to stop the war.

The story of the game can be easily divided into [[ThreeActStructure three separate parts]]:
* #1 (Prologue - Chapter 8). Eirika serves as the protagonist, and most chapters are based in Renais. Ephraim and his men are used instead during the game's only Gaiden Chapter.
* #2 (Chapter 9 - Chapter 16): This point allows you to choose which of the twins will be your main Lord gameplay-wise for the remainder of the game. Chapters 9-14 each feature a different route before both twins reunite. Whichever route you choose to follow, the army thus far will follow that Lord, and though all recruitable characters are the same they are received at different points in-game depending on the route chosen. After Chapter 16, you will be able to promote your Lords.
* #3 (Chapter 17 - 21/Final Chapter): The endgame. You will progress with whichever twin you chose to be your main Lord. Most of the story remains unchanged, save for several conversations.

The game shares some mechanics not seen since ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'', the biggest of which is the ability to traverse the world map. Instead of going to the next story point immediately, the player can fight the monsters roaming the map, or can visit monster-infested areas. This allows for LevelGrinding, a luxury not available in most other ''Fire Emblem'' games. Additionally it has a unique branching class tree, giving almost every unit multiple class options for promotion.

''Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones'' is one of the ten GameBoyAdvance games available to participants in the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS Ambassador Program, having been given a limited rerelease to early adopters of the system for free on its [=eShop=] as of December 2011. As of January 2015 in the PAL regions and June 2015 in North America, it is also available on the UsefulNotes/WiiU UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole.

''The Sacred Stones'' is followed by the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube game ''VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance'', which takes place on the continent of Tellius in a different continuity.

!!This game has examples of:
* AlwaysAccurateAttack: The Sniper class has the Sure Strike ability, which ensures the next attack will always hit. Unfortunately, the Snipers you get will have high enough accuracy, so it's rather useless unless it's in the hands of the AI.
* AmbitionIsEvil: While Valter and Riev are a BloodKnight and demon worshiper respectively, Caellach is simply an ex-mercenary who will stop at nothing to become a king.
* AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent: Chapter 5x has the player controlling Ephraim and his knights despite taking place before Ephraim's route proper.
* TheAlliance:
** Your party eventually obtains members from every nation on the continent to fight Grado [[spoiler:and then the Demon King]].
** When the game starts, Frelia and the Renais government-in-exile (read: Eirika) are trying to hold off Grado.
* BadassAdorable: Amelia, Ross, and Ewan are very cute kids (none of them is over 16), but if properly leveled and promoted, they can kick your ass. Myrrh count as well, since she looks like a harmless little girl, and Neimi also fits.
%%* BadassArmy: The group as a whole.
* BadassBeard: Garcia, Gilliam, Dozla, and Duessel sport some awesome facial hair. Gerik has a nice goatee too.
* BadassBookworm: Knoll, Lyon, Saleh, Artur, Lute. Ewan is on his way to become one through Magikarp Power. Saleh has the in-story bonus of being ''[[BadassAdorable Myrrh's]]'' bodyguard.
%%* BadassFamily: Ephraim and Eirika, Innes and Tana, Vanessa and Syrene, Forde and Franz, Garcia and Ross, and Tethys and Ewan.
* BadassGrandpa: Duessel is obviously older than the rest of the cast by far, but age does NOT slow him down. Moulder is also in this age bracket or reasonably close to it, as is Gilliam.
%%* BadassLongCoat: Colm comes closest in the official artwork, though Joshua's Swordmaster sprite counts too.
%%* BadassLongRobe: Saleh and Lute.
%%* BadassMustache: Moulder.
* BadassPacifist: Tethys. Has no direct offensive capability[[labelnote:*]]barring a GoodBadBug that allows any unit to learn Dark Magic[[/labelnote]], but she can give those who do the ability to kick ass more than once. Also, Innes tells her and Gerik to flee at one point when certain death looks likely, and like Gerik, she stands her ground.
%%* BadassPreacher: Artur, Natasha, L'Arachel, and Moulder. Riev counts for the villain team.
%%* BadassPrincess: Eirika, Tana, and L'Arachel.
%%* BadassTeacher: Saleh (as Ewan's magic instructor) and Duessel (as Ephraim's combat instructor)
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Still present (all of the protagonists look beautiful), yet subverted at the same time; many of the human bosses range from homely to almost as good looking as the heroes, three of the heroes are mildly [[{{Gonk}} Gonkish]] (Garcia, Dozla, and Gilliam), and the truly "ugly" opponents are undead monstrosities. However, to tell which of Grado's top generals are morally firm and [[AxCrazy which have nary a screw left in their head]] is pretty easy to tell: Valter, Caellach and Riev all look like they haven't slept for a month, and they have creepy facial expressions to match (''especially'' Valter, combining with his [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil lust for Eirika]]).
* BittersweetEnding: Erika and Ephraim manage to end the war with Grado and prevent the Demon King's return, assuming leadership of Renais afterwards. But their father was killed in the conflict and they had to fight and kill their [[BigBadFriend best friend Lyon]], who was responsible for starting the war and causing the Demon King's revival. [[note]]And it's implied that he's the one that killed their father.[[/note]] Several countries have been devastated by the war, including Renais and Grado; and many people have lost their lives. Then Grado is further devastated by an earthquake shortly after the war.
* BloodKnight: All Valter cares about is being able to keep on fighting forever...[[IHaveYouNowMyPretty and raping Eirika.]]
** According to General Duessel, Valter was a mere borderline case (as much, a JerkAss), until he broke his lance in the middle of a battle and grabbed one of Duessel's... which happened to be an EvilWeapon. WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity kicked in, and oh booooooooy.
* {{BFS}}: The battle sprites for Mercenaries show them holding huge swords. %%but Generals take the cake.
%%* BoisterousBruiser: '''DOZLA.'''
%%** Ross is one in training.
* ChekhovsGunman: Saleh appears in the cutscene before Chapter 5, asking Eirika and Seth where Myrrh is, and politely disappears. He doesn't show up again until the characters have to climb the mountains to Rausten (or even later in Ephraim's route).
** A woman in Chapter 2 mentions that she received help from a man who dressed like a mercenary but acted much more elegantly than expected. The player initially assumes it is Ephraim in Chapter 5x, which makes a nice counterpoint to Eirika's own mercenary disguise. However, 1) Ephraim is dressed like a prince with princely weapons, 2) he's been in Renvall, making a point to avoid villages so citizens stay out of the crossfire, and 3) no one ever refers to him with a fake name. [[spoiler:In Chapter 5 proper, the poorly-dressed but charming Joshua is recruited in Serafew, which is much closer to the village.]]
** Selena shows up in another village in Chapter 2. While Eirika never actually fights Selena, she still shows up several more times (purely in cutscenes in Eirika's route, and as a boss battle in Ephraim's).
** Tethys appears in a village in Chapter 5 to hand the player a Dragonshield. Depending on which route you play, you might not see her until quite a while later, either fighting alongside [[spoiler:Innes]] in Eirika's Chapter 10, or coming to your aid against [[spoiler:Selena]] in Ephraim's Chapter 13.
** Amelia appears in a village in Chapter 5 as well, dropping a torch as she leaves to join the Grado army. You won't be seeing her again until Chapter 9 on either route.
** Marisa appears in a village in Chapter 10 of Ephraim's route, two missions before she is recruited. She leaves behind a Hero Crest, saying she can't use it yet. [[SlidingScaleofGameplayandStoryIntegration She joins at Level 5]].
* BrutalBonusLevel: Lagdou Ruins, unlocked after completing the main story.
* CameBackWrong: [[spoiler:[[EmptyShell Orson's wife Monica]] and [[DamagedSoul Emperor Vigarde of Grado]]]] both died and were resurrected with the power of the stones. [[spoiler:Vigarde]] promptly crumbled to dust when Ephraim defeated him. And the less said [[spoiler:of Monica,]] the better.
* CentralTheme:
** Your actions may have unintended consequences, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
** You must accept it when your loved ones die, either in body or in spirit.
* CharacterMagneticTeam: Regardless of which route you take, you'll still run into all the recruitable characters (bar two, who join with the other twin when you meet back up) on both Ephraim and Eirika's routes, in spite of the routes taking place simultaneously on opposite ends of the continent.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: L'Arachel and Dozla are ''energetic'' versions of this, much to Rennac's dismay and Eirika's confusion.
* ClimaxBoss:
** 1st Story Arc: Tirado (Chapter 8)
** 2nd Story Arc:\\
Chapter 14: Carlyle (Eirika's Route) & [[spoiler:Vigarde]] (Ephraim's Route)\\
Chapter 16: [[spoiler:Orson]]
** 3rd Story Arc: [[spoiler:Lyon]] (Final Chapter)
* CrutchCharacter: Seth, but of the Oifaye subtype rather than the Jeigan (meaning that while he does hog experience early on, he has good growths making him viable later in the game). Averted in that even though he ''does'' take experience, there is an infinite amount of experience to be gained so you can just get it better.
** This is pretty much standard for Paladins in the ''Fire Emblem'' series. They are very powerful in the beginning or when they join you, then slowly become more balanced with the rest of the party.
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow: Eirika and L'Arachel, among others.
* DarkMagicalGirl: Oh, Selena. In terms of personality, she's actually a decent person, just chained by [[MyCountryRightOrWrong Grado's will.]]
** Lyon and Knoll are gender flipped versions.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Knoll, Ewan if made a Druid or Summoner, Lyon before hitting the DespairEventHorizon, and the Sacred Twins of Grado: The Black Axe, Garm, and a dark magic tome, Gleipnir.
** Like Canas in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'', Knoll says that it's actually ancient magics, not evil.
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler:The Demon King attempts to possess Lyon through the Dark Stone; how successful he is depends on which character route you chose. During Eirika's route, he completely controls Lyon and devours most of his soul, occasionally mimicking the Prince's softer personality to emotionally manipulate Eirika.]]
** NotBrainwashed: [[spoiler:In Ephraim's route, Lyon is instead manipulated more subtly by Fomortiis, who manipulates his fear of being a weak leader, his love of Eirika, and his jealousy of Ephraim in order to trick him into serving his ends.]]
* DoubleInLawMarriage: It is possible to pair Eirika with Innes as well as Ephraim (Eirika's brother) with Tana (Innes' sister), resulting in this.
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: Often in ''Fire Emblem'' it turns out the other way around, but in this game, roughly the last 7 chapters feature a string of dangerous bosses that either have a high critical hit rate, some other trick up their sleeve (Pierce skill, [[spoiler:Defense-piercing dragon breath]]) to deal/tank a ton of damage, or both. [[spoiler:[[AnticlimaxBoss Sadly, the final boss snaps this streak.]]]]
* TheEmpire: Grado. While it does feature most of the usual tropes (the largest territory, ruthless army, led by evil...), prior to the events of the game, The Emperor and his son were really nice and caring fellows. In fact, Grado was allies with Renais, and its two monarchs were friends.
* EmergencyWeapon: Averted in gameplay (as per ''Fire Emblem'' usual, empty-handed units cannot attack) but present in a different way. The battle setup screen gives access to an armory that sells the most basic weapons and tomes, making it that much harder to save yourself into an unwinnable situation.
* EndGameResultsScreen: {{Averted|Trope}} for the first time after it was introduced in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Genealogy]]''.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: This is par for the course for ''Fire Emblem'', but here, one of the main Lords is the princess of Renais, and her two closest friends, Tana and L'arachel, are the princesses of Frelia and Rausten, respectively. That's three princess of three of Magvel's major countries.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** With a hefty dose of DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything, Grado possesses a predominantly blond (or otherwise light-haired) populace which uses its extremely large army to attack a former ally without provocation and nearly wipe out all the other nations by surprise. Incidentally, one of its generals is named [[GratuitousGerman Duessel]].
** Jehanna is a more innocuous mix of Egypt, India, Israel, and other Middle-Eastern countries. While their strength is also in arms, it is composed of loosely organized mercenary bands who take up the work simply because there are very few other options.
** Carcino is practically Renaissance Italy, notably being a merchant-led republic.
* FieryRedhead: Averted. The redheads are either the most relaxed in the game (Joshua, Tethys, Ewan), or the most dutiful (Seth, Artur, Queen Ismaire).
* FourStarBadass: Ephraim, Eirika, and Innes are by virtue of commanding their nation's best fighters and by being the ranking combat worthy nobles. Duessel was already one when he joins your cause. [[spoiler:Joshua becomes this by the end of the game.]]
* FragileSpeedster: Marisa in particular falls into this; she'll often be one of your fastest characters, but have some trouble doing and taking damage without good weapons and supports. Rogues in general fall into this as well, being quite speedy and good at dodging but not much use in a fight compared to Assassins.
* FreezeFrameBonus
** [[spoiler: For a split second when the title screen starts up, an image of Fomortiis, the Demon King and GreaterScopeVillain of the whole story flashes on the screen.]]
** In the prologue, an enemy Necromancer and General appear in the throne room of Castle Renais just before Fado dies.
* GameBreakingBug: In the English version, having a Wyvern Knight attack with a javelin can crash the game.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: L'Arachel has an excellent Luck stat, while Joshua's is rather mediocre. The two end up gambling in their support conversations; as it turns out, L'Arachel is so much luckier that she wins their bets even when Joshua is cheating.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: The Grado Empire [[spoiler:is defeated halfway through the game, rapidly dwindling their forces to Lyon, Riev, and what remnants the army has left]], yet is still capable of throwing massive swarms of enemies at you, particularly in [[HoldTheLine Chapter 19]].
** Dozla and Garcia's B-level support conversation is the two talking about their failed attempt to practice archery, including Garcia nocking an arrow backwards. This ignores that Garcia may be a Warrior at this point, and is perfectly competent with a bow. Even if you get this conversation before Garcia's promotion, he can still become a Warrior with no problems.
** While Artur claimed he was afraid of spiders in his C-level support conversation with Lute, he has no problem facing them in battle.
** Any support conversations involving Tana or Vanessa that mentions their pegasus becomes this if they are done after promoted into wyvern knight. Taking Tana and Cormag's support for example, their C and B-level one is about how to remind each other of incoming arrow with both their wyvern and pegasus sound.
** The world map feature also causes this. According to the story your army is in a campaign, having to press on and deal with the circumstances, the twins being worried about each other, but too busy dealing with their own troubles to help each other out. However (with a few exceptions) after each chapter you can traverse the world map at will, which for some players will amount to returning to the tower of Valni (said tower being in Frelia, which is quite a trip distance wise) every time you get some new characters to grind them up.
*** Participating in monster skirmishes also counts, since you always have to backtrack to get to them.
* GenkiGirl: L'Arachel, Tana
* GlassCannon: [[SquishyWizard Casters]] like Ewan and Lute tend to have high power but bad to downright terrible HP and defense (and some, like Knoll, can't even dodge well on top of that).
** '''Dozla''' of all people is one. Being a Berserker, he naturally hits hard and crits very often. Albeit having good HP and HP growth, he has horrible Speed and Speed gains (meaning he gets hit VERY OFTEN, and is more likely to get hit TWICE), and at best average Defense, he gets a good start, but his growth is barely better than his Speed growth, which means if he gets hit, he takes a load more damage compared to say, Ross.
* GoodPowersBadPeople: Riev, who is a Bishop.
* GoryDiscretionShot: King Fado's death in the prologue. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment shows a Necromancer (presumably Lyon, since there are no other Necromancers in the game) and a General (possibly Vigarde) approaching him in his final moments, before the screen fades to black.
* GovernmentInExile: With the fall of Renais, the loss of the King, and refuge in Frelia, Eirika and Ephraim are this.
* GuestStarPartyMember: [[spoiler:Orson, who performs a WutaiTheft on you. In fact, his stats compared to the rest of Ephraim's group should be a dead-giveaway that he is the traitor mentioned at the start of chapter 5x.]]
* GuideDangIt: It's easy enough to figure out how to unlock hidden characters that require finishing certain sections of the tower or ruins when going through them, but not so much for ones that require beating them three times.
* HiddenElfVillage:
** Caer Pelyn, an independent village isolated from the outside world. It's also the only place that knows the full story of the Demon King's fall. Home to Saleh, the location must have been known to Gerik's Mercenaries as Ewan and his sister were part of the group and Gerik and Saleh have been very good friends for a good while prior to the story.
** The Manakete tribe residing in Darkling Woods. Purposely unknown, Morva and Myrrh are content with protecting Caer Pelyn.
* HighHeelFaceTurn:
** Parodied. Marisa arrives as part of the enemy's reinforcements in one chapter, but she was originally part of Gerik's guild and they weren't even ''supposed'' to be fighting on different sides.
* IncestSubtext: Eirika and Ephraim. Though never explicitly spelled out, the {{subtext}} is thick enough to cut with a knife. Two of Eirika's love interests even seem ''jealous'' of Ephraim. [[spoiler:Of course, Lyon's soul was being eaten at the time, so he wasn't that clear-headed]].
** Remember the name of their sacred twin weapons? Both named after an incestuous brother/sister couple in Norse Mythology (most famously retold in ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung'')
* ItsPersonal[=/=]NothingPersonal: While it comes up on Ephraim's route when Joshua fights Caellach, it's possible Joshua's response might have been a veiled attempt at ItsPersonal, while Caellach, while more authentic, might have been mocking at the same time. The main factor? [[spoiler:The fact Caellach killed his mother, though this mainly comes up in Eirika's route.]]
* ItsAWonderfulFailure: Lute's death quote seems to be the prototype for the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius 9th and 10th games]] having very disturbing death quotes.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Colm, but only to Neimi. Also Innes, though sometimes he's just an outright JerkAss.
* TheKingdom: Renais, Frelia, and Jehanna. They're all attacked by Grado. Renais and Frelia are out and out honorable and virtuous. And while Jehanna may hire out mercenaries, it's only because they have nothing else to trade (being mostly desert, it doesn't seem to have very much).
* KingIncognito: Eirika, L'Arachel, possibly Ephraim during the early chapters, and [[spoiler:Joshua]]. The last one to be revealed was the longest and most successful. L'Arachel, thanks to her hammy nature, ends up immediately revealing her royal nature.
* LadyOfWar: Eirika, Syrene, Vanessa. Tana, Amelia, Marisa and Neimi grow into these too.
* LetsSplitUpGang: After Chapter 8, you have the choice of two completely separate paths, Eirika or Ephraim. The recruitable characters follow whichever lord you choose, and everybody reunites in Chapter 15. In addition, you recruit the same characters although at different times (although two of the characters only join you when the twins are reunited).
* LevelGrinding: The primary reason fans dislike this one, as every other game (bar ''Gaiden'') has only Arena Abuse (risky without save states), Boss Abuse (takes forever, also risky and limited by weapon durability), and infinite reinforcements (very rare, generally happens very late or is intended to be very dangerous and also limited by durability) allow for more XP than "normal".
* LightningBruiser: While everyone can become this to a certain extent with stat-ups, Gerik starts out as one and gets ''better''. Amelia will become one if she promotes into a General.
** Ephraim is basically Hector, but with lances instead of axes. It's not unheard of for him to cap out ''several'' stats even before promoting.
* LoveTriangle: Support conversations reveal that Marisa and Tethys both have romantic feelings for their leader, Gerik. They're both friendly to one another, though, and naturally, either one can come out on top.
** Weirdly, both [[spoiler:Innes and Lyon]] love Eirika, and they feel ([[spoiler:Lyon]] in a flashback and [[spoiler:Innes in his support conversations]]) that they have to compete with Ephraim, her ''brother'', for her hand.
* LuckStat: Standard for the series, but Knoll, whose base luck stat is ''zero'', is [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration certainly unlucky in other things.]] You recruit him when you conquer a castle and search the dungeons. He initially assumes they moved his execution date up a few days after you let him out of his cell.
* MagikarpPower: The Trainees. L'Arachel is a more traditional late game arriving Est, despite being a healer.
** ''Myrrh'' is kind of this, too; she can rip apart monsters right from the start, but in Chapter 19, where the enemies are all human, she's actually a liability as she doesn't get bonus damage and her low starting HP means a Druid with Luna can rip her apart in one shot.
* MarathonLevel: The optional dungeons. Tower of Valni is eight floors long with no checkpoints. [[BrutalBonusLevel Lagdou Ruins]] is ''ten'', and every one of them laughs in the face of the rest of the game's ItsEasySoItSucks reputation. However, you CAN use the quicksave function, so you don't really have to beat them in one sitting.
* MusicalSpoiler: Averted with Joshua's recruitment. The recruitment music doesn't begin playing until after he announces that Natasha won the coin toss.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Half of Grado's generals, specifically the three who aren't newcomers. Duessel eventually realizes that continuing to serve Vigarde in is current state is ''not'' acting in Grado's best interests and switches sides; Glen seems to eventually realize the same thing [[HeelFaceDoorSlam but Valter doesn't let him do anything with this realization]]. Selena, for all her doubts, remains loyal to Vigarde until the bitter end.
* {{Nerf}}:
** The powerful Luna tome from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'' has had its CriticalHit rate cut in half, its accuracy reduced substantially, and had its price hiked up so it's bank-breaking to purchase.
** Paladins can no longer use Axes to help differentiate them from the Great Knight.
* NiceHat: Joshua, though it's mostly in the fandom's view. It's to the point that said hat has reached [[MemeticMutation memetic]] levels.
* NintendoHard: Averted, even without level grinding, the game is known for being very easy (outside of the 2nd BonusDungeon), not even by just the series's high standards.
* NoFairCheating: This is the only game in the ''Fire Emblem'' series to give you more than one Hammerne staff with more than one charge (although the second one comes with Lyon, who is pretty much a BraggingRightsReward), and Hammerne staves can be used to repair any weapon, tome, or staff... except the other Hammerne staff.
* NothingIsScarier: The fact that you never see Monica's face lets the player fill in the gaps with whatever horror they can imagine.
* OneManArmy: Seth starts as this in the beginning of the game, and unlike most [[CrutchCharacter Jeigans]], he's still quite viable as a mounted dealer of death by the end of the game.
* OurNudityIsDifferent: The [[http://www.serenesforest.net/fe8/support/011.html L'Arachel/Ephraim support conversations]] have L'Arachel panic at the sight of Ephraim's bare shoulder (which he exposed so she could heal an injury to it).
* PantyShot: Played with in one of Eirika's support conversations. Forde questions the [[LampshadeHanging practicality of wearing a miniskirt on a battle field]], Erika pretends to flash him as a joke. Though it's all text.
* PoorCommunicationKills: If only Vigarde had let Lyon tell his friends about the earthquake that he had predicted, Lyon's whole DespairEventHorizon and all of the resulting tragedy might have been averted.
* ThePowerOfLove: Subverted. [[spoiler: It doesn't fix possessed Lyon.]]
* PowerTrio: [[ThreeAmigos Ephraim, Eirika and Lyon.]]
** Id: Ephraim is confident and decisive.
** Super Ego: Lyon is intellectual and shy.
** Ego: Eirika has a mixture of both qualities.
* PowerUpLetDown: Snipers have a randomly-activating skill that results in an auto-hit... but snipers are the most accurate unit in the game already. Likewise, Generals have a skill that nullifies damage, but their defense is so high that anything but magic or a hit from a boss will bounce off anyway. Although, if you promote Amelia into a General, she ends up shrugging loads of damage due to the skill, even though she does not have that high HP or DEF/RES gains, and is one of the main reasons why she is a damn good LightningBruiser.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: Joshua, Gerik, Tethys, Marisa, Rennac and Caellach. Erikia pretends to be one, and Gerik leads a company of them.
** In general, both sides employ mercenaries, with a Guild providing assignments. There are a disproportionate number of Jehannans as mercenaries, as their kingdom is noted for that profession.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Averted. While Jehanna is obviously proud of its 95% mercenary population, to the point where its widowed queen has an A-level in swordsmanship, the Jehannans are the most casual and friendly characters. The only Jehannan who does act like this, Marisa, is seen as ''really'' weird.
* PuppyLove: Amelia/Franz (or Ross, or Ewan). Colm and Neimi may count as well, though they appear to be at the older end of the scale.
* RagTagBunchOfMisfits: Outside of various members of royalty, we have two childhood friends (Colm, Neimi), a mercenary leader and dancer (Gerik, Tethys), several technical traitors (Cormag, Duessel, Knoll, Natasha, and Amelia) and various thieves (Rennac), former soldiers (Garcia), and of course...[[AndZoidberg L'Arachel...]]
* TheRemnant: The Grado Remnant, led by Prince Lyon [[spoiler: and Fomortiis]] after Grado is taken by the heroes. Eventually [[spoiler: Renais is taken back, and the Remnant's only goal is to revive Fomortiis' body.]]
* TheRepublic: Carcino, a mercantile nation with the only democratic government in Magvel.
* RenegadeSplinterFaction: Carcino seems to have allied with Grado, but [[spoiler: it turns out it's divided into two factions. Pablo, which leads the Grado supporting faction, has used force to take over Carcino. Once Pablo is defeated, Carcino returns to being allies with Frelia]].
* RetiredBadass: Garcia still is one damn fine warrior, even after several years of retirement.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Eirika, Ephraim, Innes, Tana, L'Arachel, and [[spoiler: Joshua]] for the good guy team.
** Lyon and technically Vigarde for the villain team.
* SchrodingersGun: It doesn't matter if you chose Eirika's route or Ephraim's route, you will always encounter the same recruitable characters.
* ScriptBreaking: It's possible to get some support conversations that refer to characters that haven't joined your party yet. Notably Neimi's A-level support with Gilliam refers to Cormag being intimidated by her stare, even if Cormag is still a soldier of Grado.[[note]]This was a translation error. The Japanese script refers to "Coma", which is the Japanese name of Colm, whom Neimi DOES know.[[/note]]
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: The earthquake that devastates Grado in the epilogue is viewed by the people as divine punishment for Grado's actions throughout the game- actions that originally stem from Lyon's desire to protect the people of Grado from said prophesied earthquake.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Demon King.
* ShoutOut: Chapter 8 is titled [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi "It's A Trap!"]].
* SlapSlapKiss: Basically, anyone paired with [[{{Tsundere}} L'Arachel]] or [[TheComicallySerious Innes]]. (Except for Vanessa, due to her BodyguardCrush on him.)
** And don't forget that L'Arachel and Innes ''can end up with each other too''. Their supports are this, [[SerialEscalation and then some more.]]
* SilkHidingSteel: Natasha, who managed to defect from decadence and survive. Queen Ismaire as well; though, since Jehanna is a rather more martial country, she rules alone after her husband's death with no apparent problems, and [[LadyOfWar has an A-level in swords]].
* SoullessShell: As mentioned above in CameBackWrong, [[spoiler: Orson's wife Monica, and Emperor Vigarde.]] But in the Final Chapter, [[spoiler: the party inflicts this on Fomortiis, imprisoning his soul in the last Sacred Stone. As a result they now only have to deal with the now-mindless resurrected body as the final boss.]]
* SpiritualSuccessor: The game takes several mechanics from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'' (which are present in most [=RPGs=] but not in ''VideoGame/FireEmblem''), such as infinite XP, use of a world map, monsters as enemies, and branched promotions.
* StalkerWithACrush: Valter develops an ''extremely'' creepy obsession with Eirika after a while. He also seems to devote attention to [[DepravedBisexual Eirika's]] ''[[DepravedBisexual brother]]'' Ephraim, according to some, although he mostly discusses his desire to [[InterplayOfSexAndViolence hunt him down and kill him brutally]].
** On a more [[PlayedForLaughs humorous note,]] Lute has a "monk-watching habit." Which is downplayed when the player remembers that they already live together.
* StaticRoleExchangeableCharacter: The twin protagonists Ephraim and Eirika follow different questlines, but reunite in the final chapters. The protagonist chosen prior to the split continues to spearhead the plot through the same endgame sequence of events, but with different dialogue and personal scenes.
* SummonMagic: Summoners and Lyon can summon ghouls.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Lyon in Ephraim's path, which arguably makes him less sympathetic in Ephraim's path: [[spoiler:Everything he did, from killing Fado and Ismaire to shattering the Sacred Stones, he did of his own volition rather than the Demon King's.]]
* TheTeam: The implicit wielders of the Sacred Twin weapons, and the nobles and advisers who drive most of the plot.
** Ephraim and Eirika share a joint role as TheLeader / TheHero, but which gets more focus depends on who you choose to follow.
** Seth and Innes share the TheLancer role. The former as chief adviser and NumberTwo to the Renais Twins. The latter a cunning strategist that considers himself Ephraim's {{Rival}} in all things.
** Tana and L'Arachel share TheChick role as both as characterized by their femininity and for being emotionally grounded. Tana is a more traditional PrincessClassic while L'Arachel is a CloudCuckooLander ChurchMilitant.
** Duessel is TheBigGuy as a heavily armored FourStarBadass and Ephraim's combat instructor.
** Knoll is TheSmartGuy who has been most involved in discovering the secrets of the Sacred Stones, and Lyon's research.
** Saleh is a WarriorMonk who guides the team when dealing with the supernatural.
** Myrrh is a MysteriousWaif from Darkling Woods
** Joshua is the "SixthRanger" as the secret prince of Jehanna who poses as a wayward gambler until his identity is revealed (in Eirika's path at least)
* TheManBehindTheMan: Lyon to Emperor Vigarde and Fomortiis to Lyon.
* TheTheocracy: Rausten. Pontifex Mansel, L’Arachel's uncle, seems like a pretty cool guy - pious, kindly, raised his niece, and even bent the rules to aid the heroes.
* {{Tsundere}}: L'Arachel, BIG TIME.
** Tana also shows shades of this, but more towards Ephraim. She's much more dere towards Cormag [[RomanticTwoGirlFriendship and Eirika]].
** Innes can be seen as a male {{Tsundere}}, too. Most noticeably when paired up with [[ChildhoodFriendRomance Eirika]] and [[SlapSlapKiss L'Arachel herself.]]
* TragicMonster: [[spoiler: Lyon, who [[DemonicPossession falls under control of the Demon King]] while trying to save his country (on Eirika's route) or [[SuperpoweredEvilSide becomes so addled from suddenly gaining phenomenal cosmic powers from the Dark Stone]] (also while trying to save his country) that he may as well have been possessed (on Ephraim's route).]]
* TraumaCongaLine: Grado. Yes, the entire country. Besides having its army completely obliterated and the entire ruling family wiped from the face of the earth, it suffers a massive earthquake some time after the events of the game epilogue.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Artur, if you don't pair him with Lute. Innes and Tana, if you don't pair them with Eirika and Ephraim, respectively. [[spoiler: It doesn't matter ''what'' you do, [[TearJerker Lyon ends up as this to Eirika]].]]
* WackyWaysideTribe: Some have claimed this about Eirika's half of the LetsSplitUpGang sequence, as Ephraim [[spoiler:saves General Duessel, sinks the ghost ship, and conquers Grado among other things]] while Eirika [[spoiler:fails to save Jehanna's Sacred Stone and is rescued by Ephraim when they reunite]]. However, this is a rather unfair interpretation as Eirika learned about Carcino's treachery (and did something about it), rescued Prince Innes, and participated in some of the more dramatic moments in the game (which only get a HandWave mention with Ephraim). Besides which, even Ephraim didn't realize Eirika was going to run into ''all'' of that trouble--her original mission was only to make it through monsters and mercenaries to warn Rausten while he was specifically aiming for most of the crises he was involved in.
* WarriorPrince: Several, but especially [[LightningBruiser Ephraim]].
* WeaponTwirling: Several characters do this as part of their critical hit animations. Ephraim in particular looks like a deadly member of a school color guard.
* WeDoTheImpossible: [[spoiler: Subverted when Eirika tries to save Lyon.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler: Lyon.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The game doesn't really tell you the details of what happened along the other twin's route, so certain story important details, including the fates of certain characters, are suddenly never touched on again. You obviously need to play both routes to get the whole picture.
** One of the houses in chapter 15 does give you the general idea of what happened to [[spoiler:Glen and Selena; they both died. We're not told ''how'', though: Glen's death is only shown in Eirika's route, while Selena's is part of Ephraim's.]]
* WrittenByTheWinners: A version of this occurs in the game, in regards to the defeat of the Demon King 800 years ago. [[spoiler: It turns out that Morva - leader of the Manaketes - led the ''Five Heroes'', and they defeated Fomortiis. However, in the nations the human heroes founded, there is no mention of Morva or his help. The people of Caer Pelyn are rather unhappy about this, believing the other nations are being ungrateful to the Great Dragon. Morva himself, though, was much more chill about it, and actually ''refused'' to take his share of credit so he could live the rest of his life in the Darkling Woods with Myrrh.]]
* YouCantFightFate: Lyon had a vision of an earthquake that would destroy Grado sometime in the future. This vision prompts him to start messing with Grado's Sacred Stone for the purpose of preventing it. He ends up starting a war instead and the earthquake happens in the epilogue, which is viewed as Grado's divine punishment for starting the war.
* YouKilledMyFather: In Eirika's route, [[spoiler:Joshua calls out Caellach for killing his mother, and Cormag calls out Valter for killing his brother.]] Lyon in Ephraim's route [[spoiler:also taunts Ephraim by claiming to have killed Fado, and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in the prologue reveals that Lyon was indeed present when Fado was killed.]]