These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Anticlimax Boss: Julius, the final boss of Genealogy, if you use the plot-dictated method involving Julia and Naga. If you want to do anything else, the final boss becomes a SNK Boss. It is still entirely possible to kill him without Naga, but it requires a lot of patience, as you can only do a tiny bit of damage every turn (20 to be exact, assuming Seliph's attacks hit), and he regenerates 15 HP every turn. (He's immune to skills and criticals thanks to his Awareness.) And hope that he doesn't decide to cast Meteor on whoever you have healing Seliph- he's known for charging (Charge or Duel, a skill that causes combat to act as though another "attack" command was issued, and it can proc on itself, causing combat to last until death in some cases...) those in his meteor range to death (he also has Wrath so if he's at 35 HP and decides he's gonna meteor someone, say a quick prayer for that character, cause he/she is dead).
The final boss of Thracia 776 is widely considered to be the most pathetic final boss ever. Most other final bosses can be one-shotted because the character (Often the main character or someone with a special weapon, i.e. Julia in Geneology and Tiki or Nagi in Shadow Dragon) has a weapon that almost doubles the damage done to them and bypasses defense entirely. Veld (Beldo/Berdo/Beld), meanwhile... is practically just an Upgraded Mook. You can literally take him out without even using a special weapon or having Leif lay a finger on him. It's kind of a disappointing end to a Nintendo Hard game.
Asspull: King Travant of Thracia murders Quan and Ethlyn in cold blood and kidnaps an infant Altenna. While it's made known that he is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who desperately wants to improve Thracia's welfare (which is down the tubes, as the game lets you know), his acts are heinous. Come Thracia 776, we find out, very cheaply, that the Loptyr Sect manipulated him into killing Quan and Ethlyn.
It is known that Julia is Deirdre's daughter and has major Naga blood, so this is averted when she gets the Naga Tome at the eleventh hour...however, it's not explained as to why the Naga Tome is superior to the Loptyr Tome (as it can pierce right through its defensive powers), when it's made known that light and dark magic are on even ground in terms of power in this game.
Hilda tortures and kills Tailto, then brutally abuses Tinny (and if in any case Tiltyu died during the first generation, Hilda would instead torture and kill Tailto's little sister Ethnia; then abuses the hell out of Teeny's substitute/Ethinia's daughter Linda), goes on child-hunting for fun (and that's when her husband Bloom, Tailto's brother, had second thoughts of child-hunting despite being an overall bastard as well. She also manipulates her and Bloom's Dark Magical Girl daughter Ishtar into marrying the guy she loves, Julius, solely because Hilda wants to use said marriage to get more power for herself..
Archbishop Manfroy is responsible, directly or indirectly, for almost everything that happens in the plot, to the point that he's considered the game's true Big Bad.
First Generation: He manipulated various rulers and dukes, causing the war against Isaach by using Duke Reptor of Freege to assassinate Ira's father, King Mananan, while also manipulating King Chagall into killing his father and sending his envoy Sandima to stir trouble in Verdane. During this time he worked primarily with Arvis, whom he was blackmailing with knowledge of Arvis's Loptyr blood in addition to his Fala heritage, thus poisoning him with hatred and envy. Later, he kidnaps and brainwashes Sigurd's wife Deirdre (and in one of the mangas, he outright mind rapes her and laughs about it), then manipulated her and the emotionally-weakened Arvis so they'd marry and have children who could be used as Loptyr vessels (and they're half-siblings, by the way). And as the cherry on top, he killed Lewyn of Selisse with his own hands in the Battle of Belhalla (With Forseti becoming a Dragon Ex Machina to let him escape death).
Second Generation: A while before it started, he gave Prince Julius the Loptyr tome, causing him to become the vessel for the Dark God and kill his mother Deirdre while attempting to kill his twin sister Julia (who Deirdre is just barely able to save with her dying breath), shaping him into the horrible rival we'd meet later, and also attacked his pregnant daughter and his son-in-law purely because they broke his Parental Marriage Veto, killing him and driving her into insanity, which would cause his soon-to-be granddaughter Sara to be pissed off at him forever. And after all of that? He organized and helped commit the horrible child hunts already mentioned, and later he kidnapped Julia (who had been taken in by Lewyn, and later by Seliph's army) and brainwashed her so she'd become his and Julius's Apocalypse Maiden. Go. To. HELL. Manfroy.
Once the player understands how the romance and inheritance mechanics work, and if they start pairing people up for items and stats rather than for their in-story relationships, a lot of the resultant pairings are like this.
Early Game Hell: It is generally agreed that the hardest part of Thracia is the Manster section spanning chapters 4 through 6. The late game chapters, while still difficult, are not nearly as dependent on your RNG luck for survival.
Ensemble Darkhorse: This timeline in general, Genealogy of Holy War amongst titles, and Ayra.
Finn, for being a character who survived part 1, including being usable in both Genealogy and Thracia 776, and being a solid character for both of them.
Foe Yay: Ayra's fight with Lex in the Oosawa manga reeked with this.
Game Breaker: If you play your cards right with the pairings in the first generation of Genealogy, you can end up with a whole army of Game Breakers. Justified, since most people wouldn't have a clue on their first time through that pairing people up was actually extremely important, never mind which pairings were good or bad, and the game doesn't take it easy on you, so the few couples that the game does push on you (i.e. Lewyn/Ferry) result in characters that have to take up the slack for the generic replacements.
Special mention goes to any magic user who inherits Forseti. Especially Ced or Arthur.
In Thracia776, the various warp and rewarp staves come as close as you can get, allowing a player to abuse Instant-Win Condition to get around some of the more difficult chapters.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Despite being a fan-favorite among English speaking Fire Emblem communities, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave the Jugdral games the lowest review scores of the Fire Emblem series.
Famitsu might not have liked them, but Genealogy of the Holy War was the best-selling Fire Emblem game ever in Japan. Thracia 776 didn't sell very well, but then again, it was released for the SFC in 1999 and in regular cartridge form in 2000, being the second to last SNES game. (For reference, the Nintendo 64 debuted in 1996).
It Was His Sled: The ending of Chapter 5 in Genealogy in which Sigurd and almost everyone else in your army are murdered seems to be known by everyone now.
Magnificent Bastard: Arvis plays Sigurd, Grannvale's unscrupulous nobles, and the king for all they're worth, eventually becoming the head of Grannvale's new Empire after removing all of his potential rivals—Sigurd included. Manfroy, meanwhile, is manipulating Arvis and the leaders of several other nations on the continent to bring about the resurrection of a dark god whose followers had been driven into hiding for centuries.
Magnum Opus: Many fans argue this timeline to be the best of the series thanks to its deep plot and characters.
Ayra is considered by some to be theAction Girl of the series, being the first female Myrmidon-typenote the game was released before the name "Myrmidon" began to be used. She can easily be made a Game Breaker if she's given the Brave Sword, which combined with her Astra skill can allow her to hit an enemy ten times in a row. Her kids are just as badass as she is.
Finn for being a Badass in both games, not to mention the only character who is not only playable, but manages to survive the entirety of the game's events. Like Ayra, he can also get a Brave weapon, and his role in the story is pretty significant too. Some compared Finn to Marcus in this respect.
When arguing about broken Fire Emblem characters, Sigurd also gets mentioned a lot. His main competitor in this category is Seth. Unlike every other Lord in the series, Sigurd is a pre-premote and yet avoids being a Crutch Character.
Memetic Mutation: "I kill X for Y". Literally, for some characters whose substitute children are considered more preferable character-wise or stat-wise, then the mother (X) must be left childless or get thrown off to a bunch of enemies to die so you get the substitute (Y) instead. Two characters that are unfortunate enough to get this usually include either Tailto or Sylvia (for either Linda or Laylea)
And Ferry? She. Has. FURY!!
Moral Event Horizon: Arvis brings the brainwashed and amnesiac Deirdre in front of her husband, Sigurd, to taunt him, just before he kills Sigurd and his entire army. And shortly beforehand, Travant assaults and slaughters Quan's entire army in a desert. The catch is, Travant's army are flying Wyvern Knights, Quan's army is made up of Cavalry hindered by the desert. Quan's beautiful wife Ethlyn got killed, her 3-year-old daughter Altena is captured by Travant and is used as a hostage so Quan drops the only thing that could save him: the Gae Bolg. Then Travant killed Quan out of cold blood, and takes Altena and the Gae Bolg to Thracia.
Narm: As if the narmification of the Battle of Belhalla via limited graphic quality wasn't enough, a veryantiquated word usage in some fan translations ruins it all over again.
Sigurd: " ARVIS, YOU DASTARD!"
It doesn't help that the whole Battle of Belhalla (the incident mentioned above) is represented as tiny little Super-Deformed mages casting Meteor over an equally cutesy army. Wha…?
'YT commenter: There's hardly a more faith-rocking experience than losing this many friends in one sitting. (...) Though, to be honest, the little Fire Emblem sprites of the mages casting Meteor are just a little too... cute... to truly affect any person. I'd love a remake of this game.
Many of the lovemaking scenes in Mitsuki Oosawa's manga adaptation are this, natch, as is Sigurd's ridiculously heartfelt declaration of love to Deirdre:
The very idea of how the Battle of Belhalla developed. Think about it: Not only do you see your leader being burned to death by the local Magnificent Bastard, but immediately afterwards your whole army is decimated via a particularly horrifying and fiery Death from Above via a Meteor shower of sorts.SERIOUSLY, NOT COOL.
The Child Hunts. Children are forcibly taken from their families to be sacrificed to an evil god.
Older Than They Think: Genealogy is where the weapon/magic triangle and weapon ranks originate from, although Thracia 776 was the first game to use the "modern" weapon ranking system (ranks from E to A; weapon usage increases the rank). The biggest mechanic of all, though, is the marriage system that Fire Emblem Awakening cranks Up to Eleven; due to the fact that all of the kids in the second generation had their classes set in stone, only a small selection of fathers are optimal for each child (admit it, are you really going to have Arden be Ced the sage's father?), so anyone who knew of Awakening's marriage system first is in for quite a shock should they play Genealogy.
Player Punch: In Chapter 5, it is quite painful to watch Quan and Ethlyn ambushed and cut down in the Yied Desert. Your army is, by then, technically in the area—but there is no way to reach them in time. And that's just the start of the hits in this chapter.
Scrappy Mechanic: Dismounting in Thracia 776, Knights specializing only in Lances spontaneously losing their ability to use their Weapon of Choice and being forced to use Swords when they get off a horse is completely illogical. This also turns makes all of the Lances acquired Vendor Trash in the later chapters.
Thracia 776 doesn't allow players to reposition their units before entering battle. Instead, players have to manipulate the system by selecting then deselecting the characters to use on the map so that they're in the correct order.
The lack of item trading in Genealogy. Because units cannot just give each other items, they're forced to sell their items to the shop and have another unit buy it back at twice the price it was sold for. Units also have their own separate gold reserves that they can only trade to each other under very limited circumstancesnote Lovers can give each other their gold, and thieves can give gold to other units, but can only receive gold from their lover, which means some units will end up perpetually strapped for cash if they need pricey items but aren't the ones who first acquired them, doubly so if they're poor fighters who can't earn gold in the arena.
The crowning jewel has to be escape chapters in Thracia 776. Leif MUST be the last unit to exit the map. Any of your characters still on the map when Leif leaves are automatically captured by the enemy and cannot rejoin you until a gaiden chapter late in the game. The game does not tell you this beforehand.
Shipping: It's a game mechanic in Genealogy. Who you pair up determines what characters, with what stats, you get in the second generation. Thus, Ship-to-Ship Combat is about mechanical benefits as much as it is about romantic chemistry and sex appeal.
Squick: A lot of the incest can fall into this, with half-siblings Dierdre and Arvis marrying and having children (albeit Dierdre was hypnotized at the time and Arvis didn't find out that they were related until later in life) being the biggest, and arguably most well-known, example. Taken even further with Julia, who's all but stated to be in love with Seliph...her half-brother. Julia herself is the result of inbreeding (she's one of Dierdre's and Arvis' children), taking this particular example Up to Eleven. Yikes.
And the best part?Arvis remained heavily in love with Dierdre, even after discovering that they were related. This is the same guy who's implied to have something of an Oedipus Complex. Just look up pictures of Dierdre and Cigyun, Dierdre and Arvis' mother. They almost look identical...
Strangled by the Red String: Finn and Raquesis are pretty close to an Official Couple. The Oosawa adaptation of Genealogy goes in-depth into the relationship, Finn can have a conversation with Nanna if he's her father, and Thracia 776 drops some very strong hints that he and Raquesis were married before she vanished in the desert. The only thing is that during the time Fin and Raquesis are both playable in Genealogy, they have no love conversations the way other plotted pairings do. It comes off like the writers forgot to put that in there.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: Arden, dear lord. Also, do NOT mention wanting to use your high priests as combat units. Ever. Sylvia and her children (Leen and Corple) aren't well-liked either, forum discussions will practically implore you to kill Sylvia or not pair her up and take the substitutes Laylea and Sharlow. Tailto and her children often receive similar reactions; while most would agree that Teeny and Arthur are usually better than Linda and Amid, Tailto herself is regarded as an awful unit who requires too much babying to be worth it, and pairing her with anyone but Lewyn or Azel (who both have other, potentially better pairings) is generally regarded as pointless.
The replacement characters in general get hit with this (aside from the aforementioned Laylea, Sharlow, Linda, and Amid, though even they have their detractors). By far the worst hit is Radney, who replaces Lakche but lacks the ridiculous skillset that makes Lakche useful, and is regarded very negatively because of it.
Lance knights, with the exception of Finn, are considered totally inferior to cavaliers in Thracia 776, since the former cannot use swords unless they dismount while the latter can. Axe knights are also looked down upon for similar reasons.
In Thracia, there's also Ronan, an archer who has poor stats in everything but speed and magic; Marty, who shares a class with the Crutch Character Dagda and is completely inferior to him in every meaningful way; Selfina and the knights accompanying her, all of whom have poor stats in every area; and Eda, for having worse bases and worse growths than her brother, Dean.
What an Idiot: Eldigan employs Honor Before Reason like there's no tomorrow which eventually proves to be quite fatal for him. At the start of chapter two, Chagall is preparing to invade Grannvale after widespread (and true) rumors that he killed his father. Eldigan dismisses Raquesis' belief that a father-killer is not to be trusted and rides off to talk to Chagall. He gets tossed in the dungeon for the whole chapter while Chagall tries to seize his lands and attack his little sister. And then Eldigan rescues Chagall from Sigurd and pledges his continuing loyalty to the king, continuing into chapter 3 when Agustria is clearly losing. If Raquesis asks him to try reasoning with the now-losing Chagall, he goes... alone, leaving the Cross Knights on the field. Chagall immediately has him beheaded. If she doesn't, Eldigan insists on fighting Sigurd despite their years of friendship and Chagall's obvious evil, and dies.
The Woobie: Both games have plenty, but it pretty much sucks big time if you are a heroic character from House Freege.
Tailto: Starts out as a super cheery, devil-may-care Genki Girl that has the markings of a Plucky Girl. The pluckiness starts to shatter the instant her father brands her a traitor along with Sigurd and she felt that only her childhood friend Azel is the one she can turn to. It breaks again when confronting her father and eventually losing contact with her husband after the Battle of Belhalla. Then she gets kidnapped with her infant daughter Teeny to Freege, losing contact with her son Arthur, and broken beyond belief due to the torture and abuse of Hilda just to protect little Teeny that she degenerated into a depressed woman that dies losing her will to live.
Teeny: See above. The prospect of being kidnapped since infant age, seeing her mother die protecting her and spending the rest of her childhood taking further abuses by Hilda now that Tailto is gone (like being called 'traitor's daughter'), and Bloom still acting like a controlling uncle instead of protecting her... it's not doing any favors for Teeny's insecure self. It was a good thing that there were some kind souls like Ishtar and Ishtore to prevent her going off the rockers.
Arthur: Unlike any other children, Arthur pretty much had his life as a normal child robbed from him at the tender age of 7, including the kidnapping of his mother and sister. Other children may have their noble upbringing (Ced/Fee), being in an Orphanage of Love (Seliph & co, Faval/Patty, Leen), be in good retainer/parent's hands (Leif, Nanna, Julia (yes, Arvis and Deirdre were very kind to her before things went to hell)), or be Happily Adopted (Corple). Arthur only had a stranger old lady that picked him up and the rest, he had to fend for himself since young age, shaping up his 'cold' self as mentioned.
Woolseyism: Most characters' names are Japanese renditions of various figures from Nordic or Celtic mythology. With the release of Fire Emblem Awakening, the localization team is rendering many of them as the original names (e.g. Sigurd and Deirdre, rather than Siglud and Diadora). On the other hand, some of the changes (Raquesis? Quan?) seem to be just rendering the Japanese renderings back again and making them weirder.