YMMV / Fire Emblem Elibe

General Tropes:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Both Florina on the heroes' side and Ursula on the villains' are commonly interpreted as closeted lesbians with feelings for their respective liege ladies Lyn and Sonia.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The Binding Blade is popular in Japan for its more back-to-basics approach following the more complex Jugdral games and for its characters feeling familiar, while everywhere else, it's considered to be a rather weak title for all of these reasons. This stems from another case of this trope, as Mystery of the Emblem, which The Binding Blade is a Whole Plot Reference to, is the most beloved game in the series by far in Japan, while it was never officially released anywhere else, even when it was remade for the Nintendo DS (in contrast to Shadow Dragon being localized), leaving Western fans with no Nostalgia Filter. Judging by review scores, Japan seems to consider Blazing Sword a case of Sequelitis, while Western fans think the exact opposite.
    • And by extension, Roy. In Japan, he's one of the most popular characters in the entirety of Fire Emblem, while in the west, though he does have his fans (particularly the Super Smash Bros. crowd), he's usually regarded as a boring character and the worst Lord unit in the series.
  • Anticlimax Boss: In The Binding Blade: Idenn is barely any stronger than the boss that just preceded her, has less HP than said boss on Normal mode, can't do ranged attacks, and the Binding Blade destroys her so utterly that a moderately trained Roy can one-round her... and an untrained Roy, at his base stats with no more than promotion gains, can still take off 75% of her health by himself.
    • By the time you've found a way around Nergal's Story-Breaker Power, you'll have a weapon capable of killing him in three hits. He is also killing you in three hits, though, so watch out!
    • In "Four-Fanged Offense" on Eliwood mode. Lloyd, despite being very powerful, just stands there at the top of the map, waiting for you take him on, and has no way to fight back against ranged attacks. An entirely different story in Eliwood Hard mode and Hector mode, though, since he has a ranged sword that deals magical damage in Hector mode, and he now moves in both. Combined with his dangerously high stats, you'd better have a good lance-user to take him down.
    • Just how badly is Jerme this? Unlock the door Jerme is hiding behind. Park Merlinus in front of it. Provided he has levelled up half-decently, Jerme will most likely be unable to hit the cowardly man in the slow donkey cart blocking his way. Then send in your mages and laugh.
      • Specifically, his assassin class amounts to little more than intimidation; his stats are low, and his weapon prevents him from critting or silencing you. This is even true in the final chapter. The Morph in his image is just as laughable.
    • Aion, thanks to Kishuna's appearance. You'll probably be freaking out planning how to deal with his Bolting. Then it's made completely useless, due to Kishuna's magic-sealing property. And he doesn't even move out of Kishuna's range to put it to use.
    • The Fire Dragon in Blazing Sword seems intimidating at first, since it has high defences and a 3-range attack that negates the defenses of your units... but then you realize that it's vulnerable to the Luna tome. And the game gives you the strongest magic user in the game in the final chapter, who can use the tome at that point to boot. A different story if you're doing a no-Luna run, though.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Durandal and Sol Katti, in Blazing Sword. As powerful and cool-looking as they are, they're also absurdly heavy, and considering neither Eliwood nor Lyn have enough constitution to wield them without a massive speed penalty (without at least one Body Ring), you might as well let them use a lighter generic weapon instead (if not their respective early-game unique weapons, the Rapier and Mani Katti) so they can double attack (or at least, avoid getting double-attacked by the enemy). Armads doesn't have this problem because Hector's constitution makes him a perfect fit for it.
  • Awesome Music: As to be expected with Fire Emblem games, there's a lot of great music to be had from these two games. Here are some of the more notable themes:
    • "Rise To The Challenge" from Blazing Sword.
    • Also from the Blazing Sword: "A Knight's Oath" and "Into the Shadow of Triumph", along with "Softly with Grace" (Black Fang Boss Theme), "Blessing of the Eight Generals", "Everything Into the Dark" (Nergal's Battle Theme), and "Campaign of Fire" (Fire Dragon's Theme) are all great as well. Can't forget "Together we Ride" (Recruitment Theme) as well.
    • "Strike!" from the Blazing Sword is an upbeat battle theme for when your units attack.
    • "Battle for Whose Sake" from The Binding Blade, is an awesome Boss Battle Theme Music in a game where sound quality was less than stellar.
    • "Shaman in the Dark", also from the same game. It's a tragic theme when you realize Idenn's backstory, but it's nonetheless a fitting final boss theme.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Marcus in Blazing Sword. At one part of the fanbase, he is a hated Crutch Character. At another part of the fanbase, he is regarded as Game Breaker. Working out his average 20/20 stats shows that probability leans towards the latter. In The Binding Blade, his growth rate is atrocious and his base stats, in relation to the enemy stats is not as good as his Blazing Sword version. However, he is necessary in the game's Hard Mode, and is especially useful to weaken the enemy to feed kills to your weaker party members.
    • Florina. The player base is quite evenly divided about her. Some love her for her usefulness in-game, her Moe qualities, and her supports, while others (particularly in the west) perceive her as annoying, flat, or even misandrist. That most of the other cast members have to deal with far more problematic issues, but do so far more calmly, probably doesn't help.
  • Best Level Ever: "Cog Of Destiny" (Chapter 27/29 from Blazing Sword) is generally and genuinely regarded as one of the most intense, challenging, and goddamned fun chapters ever programmed into a Fire Emblem game. The difficulty level earns a lot of respect for forcing many gamers to take genuine tactical measures, and the story elements introduced and/or developed during the chapter don't hurt, either.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Overlaps with Punny Name for the Pegasus Sisters. Florina and Fiora are both variations on the word "flos", a Latin word meaning "flower". Their sister Farina, on the other hand, is named after the Italian word for flour.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: There's a point in Blazing Sword where the characters suddenly have a rather long conversation about the Ostian economy, which is relevant to nothing in either that game or The Binding Blade, never comes up again, and doesn't affect gameplay at all.
  • Cargo Ship: Lowen and breakfast, thanks to a support where he nearly faints because Eliwood forgot to eat breakfast.
  • Character Tiers: Hard mode and Hector Hard Mode bonuses (Characters that start as enemies in The Binding Blade's hard mode and Blazing Sword's Hector Hard Mode gain the same random stats boosts that enemies have) cause interesting and notable shifts in the tiers.
  • Catharsis Factor: As with games coming before and after these two, having certain units in your army fight named enemies who have history with them often gives you special battle dialogue, and just feels generally more satisfying to defeat them. Probably the crowning jewel of this in Blazing Sword is having Nino kill Sonia, which is very difficult, but quite doable.
  • Cliché Storm:
    • The Binding Blade. Evil nation invading the land, the ruler turns out to be a Disc One Final Boss with darker forces at work, and the game's cast largely follows archetypes set by the very first Fire Emblem title to a T (read below). Blazing Sword, however, did its utmost to avert this.
    • If someone were to watch gameplay/read info on the story and the characters of the Archanea games, more so Mystery of the Emblem, then you will find that The Binding Blade has some pretty glaring similarities to it. Just compare the appearances and stories to Wyvern Riders Minerva and Milady. The story of Blazing Sword, which revolves around corrupt duchies and mercenaries, and deals with just how delicate the situation between humans and dragons has gotten for both parties, is considered to be one of the series' best plots for a reason. That, and the fact that the final boss is just a regular dragon. Not some great evil, or some demonic king or deity, but a really powerful dragon.
  • Come for the X, Stay for the Y: Come for Roy, Stay for the Story and Strategy-based Gameplay.
  • Crazy Awesome: Sain.
  • Critical Backlash: While Roy is hated by much of the Fire Emblem fandom he isn't without defenders. Some see his relatively low stats for a lord as actually being a point in his favor, helping add to the strategy that the series is famous for, and defenders tend to accuse haters of wanting their lords to be Game Breakers. When it comes to his characterization, some argue that he is a perfectly likable and competent character instead of boring, and that his support conversations get too little credit.
  • Die for Our Ship: Thanks to the multitude of romance options, there are almost too many to count. Lowennote , Priscillanote , and Niniannote  get hit pretty badly with it.
    • In general, discussing the parentage of Roy and Lilina (and occasionally Wolt and Sue) often results in very heated arguments.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Batta The Beast and Glass are two minor easy bosses, made into Memetic Badasses by the fanbase due to their overconfidence. Denning is a boss with literally one line. Lloyd Reed is probably the most popular Black Fang.
    • Narcian is pretty popular despite being an irredeemable Jerkass who thinks only of himself if only because he's so fun to watch. The higher-ups seem to be aware of his popularity, as he's prominently featured on advertisement for series 5 of Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher) along with main character Roy and Lilina, and his card was one of the first shown for The Binding Blade.
    • On the heroes' side, Canas and Nino both ranked very high in the popularity polls. Can't be a coincidence that they're related, can it?
    • You can't spell Oswin without "win".
    • Karel is also pretty liked due to his transformation from a vicious Blood Knight to a wise and reliable Warrior Poet. He was also the only character next to Roy that was originally conceived for the cancelled Fire Emblem 64, now subtitled Ankoku no Miko ("Maiden of Darkness"), that was then carried over to Binding Blade.
    • Lyndis. Not exactly the most relevant Lord after the tutorial stages, in fact her importance kinda waned after that with Eliwood and Hector taking center stage. Yet, she's still probably the most popular lady in Fire Emblem series, behind only Lucina and Tiki. Also see, Germans Love David Hasselhoff.
    • Ekhidna from The Binding Blade is a powerful, useful pre-promoted Jack-of-All-Stats in a game with a lot of Tier Induced Scrappies, and a somewhat unique female member of the Hero class with a forceful, yet playful Action Girl personality. Not coincidentally, the path that recruits her is very popular, especially with those seeking a good challenge.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Sonia, if you don't mind the gold eyes.
  • Fanon:
    • The child Sonia mentions in her battle conversation with Nino is commonly accepted to be Jaffar, as it would place his age close enough to Nino's that it doesn't feel squicky to ship them.
      • On that note, there is the issue of how old Jaffar is supposed to be. Lots will say he's 17 for the exact reason above, but there's literally no evidence to support or debunk this.
    • Fanfiction usually has Lilina's mother die defending Castle Ostia from the rebels, as fans feel it's a much more dignified way to go for Lyndis/Florina/Farina (or whoever else) than something like dying from childbirth or illness.
    • Roy's full name being "Elroy", as it would continue his family's Theme Naming of having an "El-" prefix in their names.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Erk and Priscilla, helped by the fact that this is her only romance option with a happy ending.
    • Sonia and Ursula are popular with the Yuri Fan crowd. It doesn't help that Ursula's thoughts on Sonia are VERY easy to see as a Subordinate Excuse to the very end.
    • Jaffar/Nino is pretty much everyone's OTP in Blazing Sword.
    • There's also Lyn/Florina, which is supported by the fact that they too have an A-Support ending where they become friends forever.
    • Lyn/Tactician is also pretty popular. Despite the Tactician having almost no role in the story (Aside from, you know, commanding three armies to total victory), it does make sense: The prologue begins with Lyn rescuing him from certain death and nursing him back to health. He then wakes up, demonstrates his tactical prowess to her, then consoles her (to the point of hugging her while she cries). They then go on a journey where Lyn makes new friends, finds a new family and saves the world... and it all starts with the Tactician.
    • Binding Blade has this in spades, due to the fact that the only male character with any paired endings is male character Roy. That there's blatant Ship Tease between several of the secondary party members (and some canon crushes) certainly doesn't help. If the forums are any indication, this even applies to most of the potential love interests of Roy who is rarely paired with anybody but Lilina while most people prefer to ship for example Sue with Shin or Wolt or Sophia with Raigh.
      • Rutger/Clarine, to a ridiculous extent. This is one of those rare pairs that is shipped both story (their interactions in and out of supports are both hilarious and heartwarming) and gameplay (with their support bonuses the already extremely useful Rutger famously gets over 100% chance for critical hits) by pretty much everybody who plays The Binding Blade.
  • Franchise Original Sin: As the series that overhauled Genealogy's "Love and War" system into the modern Support mechanic, fans often consider the Elibe titles the gold standard when it comes to Support writing quality, character development, and proper romantic escalation when appropriate. But, while the five-Support cap left most players unable to see most of them in one play-through and did much to disguise the problem, Elibe saw just as much broad comic fluff, poor character development, and weakly developed romance in its conversations. Later titles merely had quality control issues from the sheer number of Supports and the "marriage and children" mechanic muddying up the issue. Awakening in particular got hit pretty hard just for removing the five-support limit, which many fans wanted to see gone before realizing what would happen as a consequence.
  • Game Breaker: Arenas can get you theoretically infinite amounts of money and EXP.
    • The Luna Tome is the most accurate weapon in the game, has a high Critical Hit rating, and ignores Resistance, allowing its wielder to inflict guaranteed damage even if the target is magic-resistant or a Light magic user. Any of these traits makes for an excellent tome in its own right, but combined, they make Luna the ultimate boss killer. Given that the only two mages who can wield it, Athos and Canas, are considered to be some of the strongest in the game, it is not out of the ordinary for a Luna-equipped Canas or Athos to defeat both final bosses in a round or two each. Because of this, Luna got a huge Nerf in The Sacred Stones, rendering it circumstantial at best.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Fire Emblem, or Blazing Sword, was the very first title in the series to receive official localization in the West. Between that, its complex plot, well-drawn characters, tough, but fair, gameplay, and great presentation (including those lovely splash-art slides none of the other GBA titles had), it is one of the most popular installments of the series outside its home country. There, however, it is generally seen as an inferior follow-up to its predecessor due to being a prequel and deviating too far from the series' standard formula, fulfilling the other half of the trope. The Lyndis campaign is also a painfully slow tutorial for series vets that could only be skipped via the link-up feature. It's not hated over there, but it's still seen as weaker.
    • Lyndis is also widely considered one of the most popular female characters in the entire series overseas, regardless of her waning importance in-story after the first few chapters. Having a Badass Action Girl for a Lord class for their Gateway Series really helps both her and the series in general in the Western regions. While her popularity in Japan is no slouch either, since she's a consistent DLC character in later titles and an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros., her mini-campaign is generally seen as an obnoxiously long Forced Tutorial for anyone familiar enough with the games' mechanics to not need it.
  • Goddamned Bats: While you're trying to kill the Dragon, there are Morphs positioned way out of reach trying to snipe at you with long-range tomes and status effect staves. Of course, they're not much of a concern if you either get everyone out of their range, or optimally, kill the Dragon in one turn (which is quite doable).
  • Goddamned Boss: The game neglects to inform you that the range for the dragon's fire breath is three spaces, not two like most ranged attacks. You can imagine how many deaths can be attributed to those not aware of this, and getting somebody fragile fried to a crisp. (Selecting the dragon will show you, though.)
    • Lloyd is this in Four-Fanged Offense in Hector mode. If you don't find out beforehand that not only has he moved to the middle of the map amongst hordes of other mooks, but that he also moves when approached, you're very likely to to pay for it with a dead ally, since he's probably one of the most dangerous bosses in the entire game. And the chapter objective is to defeat Lloyd, so if this happens too soon, it's either restart or miss out on the rest of the goodies in the chapter. Oh, and all this occurs in Fog of War. Fun.
      • This also applies to Eliwood's hard mode, where while he's still up by the castle, he will move once you're in range and while he lacks the range of the Light Brand that he has in Hector mode, him having a Silver Sword means he'll hit much harder.
      • In "Cog of Destiny" (either story), whichever Reed Brother you're fighting is carrying an Iron Rune (negates your chance to crit), but magic swords don't crit at range either, so all it takes to win is a barrage of ranged weapons... but since he's a Swordmaster/Hero on a throne, good luck getting any to hit him. Something the game doesn't tell you is that if you send Nino up to talk to him (Lloyd will never attack her on his own, but Linus is a bit too far gone by this point in the game), he'll actually move off the throne to attack any nearby units.
  • Hollywood Homely:
    • Dorothy from The Binding Blade. Her plainness/homeliness, particularly in the full artwork, comes from the fact that she has brown hair, brown eyes, and brown clothes. Her sprite portrait gives her a less flattering haircut, too.
    • Vaida from Blazing Sword. The only thing that makes her less pretty than the rest of the female characters is the big scar on her face.
  • Ho Yay: Most characters in the 7th game have their endings changed depending on wither or not they have an A support with certain characters of the opposite gender. Except this is also true of the Florina/Lyndis, Lucius/Raven, and Marcus/Merlinus, relationships which are all same gender pairings. In fact, Lucius, Raven, Marcus, and Merlinus ONLY have their endings changed with these pairings. Also, Legault likes to hit on Heath. He says he's kidding, but he also says he's a liar... And he also sorta hits on Lloyd.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Attacking Fargus leads to a Non Standard Game Over, presumably because he was your only chance of getting to the Dread Isle and disrupting Nergal's plan to summon the dragons and wipe out all of humanity.
  • Iron Woobie: All three of the Lords in Blazing Sword.
    • Lyn vows not to cry, but there are entirely justifiable reasons why she can't always keep to it, such as when speaking of her tribe's slaughter and reuniting with her grandfather. She's faced with bandits, improbable odds, and prejudice for her heritage throughout her quest, but never hesitates to press on.
    • When Hector talks about losing his parents to illness, he comes off as this in demeanour. Then there's the way he deals with Uther's offscreen passing, from the same Incurable Cough of Death (i.e., tuberculosis).
    • Eliwood is almost shattered by his father's dying in his arms and killing Ninian in her dragon form thanks to Nergal's trickery and Durandal. Almost.
  • It Was His Sled: Ninian and Nils are dragons.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Being the first Fire Emblem released after the franchise's international debut, many got into Fire Emblem to see Marth or Roy only to genuinely love the whole franchise afterwards. On another note, The Binding Blade tends to get this opinion for Roy alone (outside Japan), as the game otherwise tends to be criticized as being poorly designed and having an overly basic plot compared to the Jugdral games and its prequel.
  • Les Yay: Florina will do anything for her beloved Lady Lyndis, and their paired ending is very commonly interpreted as a lesbian marriage in all but name. Ursula and Sonia on the bad guys' side have a similar relationship.
  • Love to Hate: For a character only appearing in several scenes in Blazing Sword and being dead before The Binding Blade, King Desmond's actions have sure earned him a lot of hatred. Of course, being responsible for trying to murder your own son at least two times - out of pure jealousy for his talent — and indirectly turning him into a misanthropic tyrant as a result tends to do that kind of thing to a character's reputation.
  • Memetic Badass: Batta the Beast and Glass, of course, but Marcus is seen as the Chuck Norris of Blazing Sword among the fandom... when he's not seen as a gigantic metal waste of space.
  • Memetic Mutation: It became a common joke among the fanbase to write support conversations that couldn't happen in the game. Some featured certain characters staring at each other going "..." while others featured crack pairings.
  • Memetic Loser: Roy, due to being seen as the worst Lord in the series statwise and (less frequently) characterization-wise. He is treated as a Memetic Badass for his appearance in Super Smash Bros., however, but only for Super Smash Bros.
  • Mind Game Ship: The majority of Legault's supports indicate he likes messing with heads as much as he might like his support partner.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Sonia's is either her mocking revelation to Nino that she killed the girl's real parents or killing Brendan while mocking his love for her (but not without taking a grave wound from him in the process); you have your choice.
    • If you don't hate Ephidel when he stabs Lord Helman, and you don't hate him when he stabs Lord Hausen, you'll definitely hate him when he has poor Leila slaughtered, then has her mutilated corpse posed in the woods to look like it's still alive, just to mock you.
    • Nergal is no slouch either. Okay, so dark magic has made him forget that Ninian is his daughter. It's not an excuse for mentally breaking her when she attempts to in-fight him (and with dialogue that sounds a LOT like a rapist mocking his victim), to the point of having her revert to her Dragon form and wander aimlessly until she's killed by Eliwood under the control of Durandal. And to twist the knife more, he appears in front of Eliwood after he has slain Dragon Ninian, gleefully explains what happened, and mocks Eliwood's grief as the now-human-again Ninian dies!
    • Zephiel definitely crosses it in The Binding Blade when he kills Hector, the man who saved his life 20 years earlier.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The stinging crack of a Critical Hit landing, so long as it's your unit's attack and not the enemy's.
    • The ting of an enemy's attack bouncing off your unit for zero damage.
  • Narm: Roy's promotion is probably supposed to be epic. It just turns out cheesy, considering his sprite-set is the same in both classes and literally all that's changed is the position of the sword.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Desmond appears in all of two scenes, but he leaves a lasting impression, and it's not a pretty one.
    • Denning may also be an example. He appears in all of one chapter as a relatively easy boss, but everyone remembers his one line.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Serra was hated by more than half the fandom in the old days, but she's much more well received now that her heartbreaking reasons to act like a Rich Bitch are widely known.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Karel in Blazing Sword often sees his murderous persona exaggerated by the fans, particularly those unaware of where his character was going in the previous game, to the point of painting him as a villain rather than an antihero. Thankfully, he managed to get quite a bit of Character Development in his supports, which led to his change prior to the events of The Binding Blade.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Though it helps characters' fighting abilities, those of us who like shipping will get frustrated about characters having only one love interest and sharing that interest with another person in support conversations. It distracts from the game a little too much and it takes a very long time to get the supports done. Arguably made worse by the fact that not everyone's shared endings are necessarily happy.
    • Recruiting Vaida in Blazing Sword. If you spare her in chapter 24, you can recruit her in chapter 27. However, she is still an enemy and comes with a entourage of Wyvern Knights who don't back down when you recruit her (even to her, for some reason). The entire mission is a very long gauntlet of fighting a lot of enemies and Vaida comes in relatively late in the chapter with very tough allies. If you have been trying to power level Nino or even have an unpromoted Eliwood or Lyn a little too close to their position and you have no one around to rescue them, it takes two hits from a knight to kill either of them.
    • Bolting, Berserk, and other long-range spells, more so in The Binding Blade than in any other game; nearly every chapter in the second half has several mages with Bolting hidden behind walls or swarms of enemies.
    • Building supports in all of the GBA games. They require that you tether two characters to each other for a long period of time (upwards of 240 turns for some characters) before you can unlock a support conversation. It's even worse in Binding Blade, where you can only accumulate a total of 120 support points for ALL characters in any given chapter.
    • For experienced players, the Forced Tutorial that is Lyn Normal Mode that comes up if you're on a new copy of Blazing Sword is a pain in the ass full of railroading in a scenario that is already laughably easy on the higher difficulty setting that doesn't hold the player's hand the whole way through.
    • Merlinus — until he gets a cart, he has to be guarded. This would be all right... except that Asshole Reinforcements arrive all the time and go right for Merlinus. Is it any reason why this was tossed?
    • The all-around low hit rates in The Binding Blade are one of the major reasons the game is so disliked among fans. Rather than allowing the player to overcome the RNG through competent strategy, it makes the game even more based on RNG than is expected from the series. The lead developer of the most recent fan translation, gringe, would even make a hack to address this.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Lyn's story in Blazing Sword suffers from this to those who've played later games in the series. It was the first truly in-depth tutorial in the series, which was necessary at the time due to Blazing Sword being the first game released outside Japan. The issue now is that the tutorial is not only completely unskippable on a first playthrough (aside from a Japan-exclusive game-link), it lasts for ten chapters (i.e., a full third of the non-sidequest chapters in the game), and very little of its plot is connected to the rest of the story. The actual tutorial itself also hasn't aged well as, rather than letting the player experiment with the mechanics, it outright forces certain moves on the player (Prologue is entirely scripted, Sain is forced to attack an Axe user with a Lance just to demonstrate Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors, you're forced to promote Wallace the moment he joins). You can skip straight to Eliwood or Hector's story after beating the game once, but this isn't a good idea as all of Lyn's party misses out on valuable experience. Thankfully, playing Lyn's story on Hard (which removes the tutorials) still allows you to change the difficulty to Normal for Eliwood or Hector mode, so players who don't want the tutorial aren't forced to play Hector Hard Mode... but that's only available after beating the game once.
    • Meanwhile, the Support Conversation system was considered awesome when it was first released. Until latter games where its weakness starts to get more visible, aside of the primitiveness of the conversations, only certain Supports with Roy can change that character's ending, unlike newer games where a non-Lord character can be shipped with another non-Lord to have a paired ending. Back in those days, people would call Roy a pimp, but after this, people could easily say Roy is a 'relationship hogger' that gets all the fun, not sharing it with his army.
  • Sophomore Slump: Inverted with regard to the GBA games as a whole. Blazing Sword, the middle one, is generally considered to be the best of the three, with more refined gameplay and a better story than The Binding Blade and without the numerous controversial changes of The Sacred Stones.
  • Stoic Woobie:
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Although it is technically a prequel in story, Blazing Sword is this to The Binding Blade. The latter is often criticized for its Cliché Storm story and stripped-down gameplay, whereas the former has a much more original story and added back some of the removed features. Being the first member of the series to be officially released in the West also doesn't hurt its perception.
  • Squick: Jerme's sadistic remarks towards Lyn. What, you may ask? Oh, just an inquiry about if her cut-up skin would feel like silk. You know, the usual.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Certain supports, such as Nino and Rebecca's.
  • That One Boss: Zoldam on Blazing Sword's Chapter 17 (or Chapter 18 on Hector's Story). Remember the Luna tome described under Game Breaker up above? Well, it's his primary weapon, and it's just as effective against your units as when you use it against the enemy. Thankfully, you don't have to fight him (the chapter is a survival mission), but if you're trying to get the valuable loot that he's carrying before the time runs out, your only option is to send someone with high HP, like Marcus or Oswin (since Luna negates resistance — not even Pure Water will help) and pray to Anna that he doesn't crit.
  • That One Level:
    • Chapter 21 in The Binding Blade. Reinforcements arrive every turn for 12 turns, almost all of them in a group of three Wyvern Riders and one Wyvern Lord. Also, the boss of the level is incredibly hard if the units brought are not experienced enough. To make things worse, you must finish this within 30 turns, or you cannot go to Chapter 21x and obtain the Apocalypse dark tome necessary for the Good Ending.
    • Chapter 14. Not one, not two, but three things to hinder your movement, plus enemies out the yin-yang, the forced deployment of two characters who can be easily killed, and treasures to find, one of which can only be found by one of those fragile units. Oh, and if you want the Gaiden chapter? You have to finish in 25 turns or fewer and keep alive one of the aforementioned fragile characters.
    • Chapter 11A in Binding Blade can be freakishly hard if you want all the rewards from a perfect run, which involves recruiting several units that spawn in different portions of the map and saving numerous villages. Oh, and your on a timer: Brigands spawn on the other end of the map within two turns of two of those villages after five turns. So you have to Leeroy Jenkins a map with a lot of enemies just right to make sure you recruit everyone just right, AND prevent them all from dying to get several items that can promote several units who will likely really need them, which is really annoying since several of the units you have to save are low-level archers that the enemy AI will target and murder if you aren't on top of everything. Oh, and there's more: The AI of the units you need to recruit is notoriously finicky, and one of the units you need might not move and you will be walled off from him by a squad of units you cant kill if you want those rewards. Good luck getting all that done perfectly in seven turns.
    • Chapter 7 in Hard Mode really stands out. Swarms of powerful enemy units, including cavaliers and mercenaries, storm your still developing army, a pair of wyvern riders with abnormally high stats for this point in the game will fly amok and pick off your weaker units (there's a third, but he'll only attack when you move into his range), and the three recruitable characters will quite often gleefully commit suicide (though Zelots can last a while, being a pre-promote and all). To top it all off, if you take too long and hang around the southern portion of the map, cavalier reinforcements will rush you, with one in every four always being a level 15 with a Silver Lance. Without proper training and supports, especially for Allen and Lance, this map can force a player to restart their entire file.
    • Chapter 16 of The Binding Blade; aside from all of the irritating enemies with Bolting and Purge, there's a powerful enemy general running around who you must leave alive if you want to go to the gaiden chapter. And you can't simply rush through the level avoiding him, unless you want to skip all of the treasures.
    • Battle Before Dawn on Hector Hard Mode (Chapter 28). Oh, dear God, this is gonna be one unpleasant ride. To elaborate: It's a Fog of War Protection Mission where the protectee in question, Prince Zephiel... is on the other side of the map. What makes it difficult is: Whichever path you take means you're screwed. You'll either be in range to be sniped by Ursula's Bolting spell, or be ambushed by Maxime. Splitting the party is a no-go as the enemy units will overwhelm you if you do so, unless they're beefed up enough. What mitigates it somewhat is that Zephiel is Genre Savvy enough to hide in a pillar tile that give him a nice evasion boost and he can actually defend himself for a while... until Artificial Stupidity kicks in and Zephiel moves off the one thing that's helping him stay alive if he uses an Elixir (although he might just move onto another pillar tile). As if that wasn't enough, to recruit them and get the extra chapter, you need to keep Jaffar and Nino alive. Easier said than done. All three of them could very well be killed before you get to them, effectively turning this into a Luck-Based Mission. And if you haven't taken her out by the time the battle reaches its 13th turn, Ursula starts to move. And with her stats, she can double Zephiel with her Bolting. Even worse, one of the treasures in this mission is a Rescue staff, which would trivialize this mission by an unbelievable amount had it been obtainable earlier. The same goes for all the other treasures found in this chapter, which seem to be tailor-made to make this mission less of a headache. And for the final nail on the coffin, you were put through all that only to see Zephiel pull a Face–Heel Turn in The Binding Blade and kill Hector, the man who saved him.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The reaction by vets to the magic triangle's change from fire, wind, and thunder to anima, light, and dark. Oddly, this happened in reverse when the Path of Radiance returned to the original triangle, since Western fans signed on as the change was being made.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Marcus, being a Crutch Character, is often this. However, he can be quite useful to reach remote villages and rescue units (which gets them out of danger and weakens him enough that he will just miss one-shotting enemies, allowing other units to finish them off for the EXP).
    • Renault gets this too, being a Bishop recruited in the penultimate chapter with very poor magic stats for his level, though he has some good equipment.
    • Cecilia from Binding Blade. Although Valkyrie is a strong class, she's not very powerful, has limited room to grow, and just to rub it in, she takes a massive movement penalty in her first chapter, due to being a horse-mounted unit in a desert. It doesn't help that the previous Mage General was Pent, whose main downside was that he was so powerful that the problem with his chapter is that he steals all your EXP when you're supposed to rescue him (and you need to gain 700 on that level to unlock a gaiden chapter) and is out-competed by Nino if you put a huge amount of effort into raising her.
    • Nino qualifies for coming at Lv. 5 unpromoted ridiculously late in the game. Magikarp Power or not (her final stats are, on average, the highest in the game), that's a lot of Level Grinding. A big fissure between the Broken Base is whether Marcus or Nino is the best or worst unit in the game. Marcus is, admittedly, incredibly useful for tasks other than KO-ing units despite, statistically, having the worst stats in the game.
    • Rath, like the other Sacaean characters, can score critical hits like a madman, but otherwise, his stats are sub-par, even when promoted. It doesn't help that he comes a little late in the game and the chapter following his recruitment is a desert chapter, making it impossible for him to get anywhere due to being a mounted unit.
    • Jack-of-All-Stats characters often don't do well in either games; Eliwood and Lowen get hit hard with this (Lowen as a cavalier is much like Eliwood with the other two Lords — cavalier Sain is one of the strongest physical fighters if used, and cavalier Kent is fairly fast and can actually develop high luck when promoted, though he does have a specialty, that being his very high defense, which does give him a valuable niche as the most mobile tank in the game).
    • Eliwood's case really boils down to having to share the spotlight with Hector and Lyn. Although compared to other lords outside his own game (including Roy, his own son), he fares much better.
    • Roy is incredibly notorious among the fanbase for this. He has pathetic base stats, unreliable growth rates, and a REALLY late promotion even by Fire Emblem Lords standards. And being the main character, you're forced to use him. While his promotion also give him an amazing Eleventh Hour Superpower in form of the Binding Blade, it did not stop him from being mediocre for the majority of the game. There is a good reason that he is almost always considered the worst Lord unit in the series.
    • Wendy and Sophia. Their reputations as Tier Induced Scrappies are outright LEGENDARY when compared to other Tier-Induced scrappies in the entire series, which is saying something.
      • To clarify Sophia, she's similar to Nino but next to impossible to train since she joins at a point where virtually every enemy will kill her in one round. And unlike Nino, the result isn't all that worth it as her final stats are near identical to Lilina's, who was already a Base-Breaking Character as to whether she's good or not. What makes players really hate her though, is that you're forced to use her in the chapter she joins... which happens to be a Fog-of-War Desert map with tons of flying enemies, and she has to survive to unlock the sidequest chapter, turning the whole thing into an annoying Escort Mission.
    • Over half the playable cast of The Binding Blade qualifies, with poor stats and subpar growths. It really helps breed Complacent Gaming Syndrome, especially on hard mode, when some of the already well-regarded recruits get some ridiculous Hard Mode Perks.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One of the most widely praised things about the Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem games is the battle animations. Whether it's physical or magic, they look amazing, especially when it's a Critical Hit.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Eliwood is considered weak for being a Jack-of-All-Stats (whereas Hector and Lyn specialize in strength and speed, respectively), and for being a Nice Guy who hates war and openly weeping when his father dies in his arms, and again when he mistakenly kills his friend/potential girlfriend Ninian, with the legendary sword he had just obtained. It should be noted that the West really tends to favor Rated M for Manly protagonists like Sigurd, Hector, and Ike, so this view isn't entirely surprising.
    • Ninian suffers from a case of Die for Our Ship with Eliwood, and shippers really hate that its strongly implied she is Eliwood's canon lover and thus, Roy's mother as well. Her combat prowess, or lack thereof, can be a point of contention. Although most fans usually adore characters of the Dancer class for their extreme usefulness, there are some who think the mother of Roy should be an Action Girl like Lyn.
    • Lyndis herself gets hit with both sides of this trope. On one hand, she was one of the main leads in the first game the West ever got, and a female lead at that. For fans who haven't gone out of their way to play older games (which have characters like Caeda and Ayra, (especially Ayra), she is the female character against whom all others are subject to, and barring Lucina, they never measure up. On the other, while she is the lead of the prologue, she fades into the Tritagonist for the real leads: Eliwood and Hector, both of whom are important in The Binding Blade, which some fans find annoying.
  • The Woobie: Nino for having an abusive "mother" who orders her death and killed the girl's real family. Priscilla for her biological parents' deaths, brother's disappearance, and having all but one of her romances ending badly. Nils and Ninian for, well, the whole plot of the game happening to them.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The Scouring was simply called the "Dragon/Human War" in the Japanese version.
    • Many fans like Lyn's Age Lift from 15 to 18, mostly it makes her age match her looks a lot better and removes some of the creepier undertones to her supports with male characters who are obviously much older than that.
    • gringe wrote the fan translation of The Binding Blade with the intent of making it feel like an official localization, including the use of official names whenever they exist.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/FireEmblemElibe