The final boss, Fomortiis the Demon King, can easily be defeated in a single turn by simply Zerg Rushing him with the numerous sacred weapons that are given to you for free as you progress through the story.
Also, Valter goes down way too easily and without much ado for someone who's been a major threat for about three quarters of the game. This is especially glaring when you consider he's fought in the same map as Caellach. To be more specific, there are two big things that make Valter the easier boss. First, while he has a Fili Shield to protect himself from arrows, there's nothing stopping you from just stealing it from him. And second, you can get a Dragon Axe on that very level, which is tailor-made for taking down Wyvern Knights.
Each floor of the bonus dungeons has a promoted "boss" monster. In Lagdou Ruins though, most of the enemies will be promoted, and the boss is the only one who doesn't scale — so it's often the weakest enemy on the field by far and has about 2/3 the stats of the surrounding flunkies.
Eirika. Some people think she's fine for being a Naïve Newcomer and goes through realistic Character Development to become a strong Lady of War by the end, given that her upbringing was solely focused on diplomacy and she made a personal effort to learn swordplay before the game even started. Others think that the game script is sexist for handing her the Distress Ball a few too many times while her brother gets Cutscene Power to the Max. And whether or not handing Lyon the Sacred Stone was stupid, or understandable given their long friendship and the Demon King's silver tongue.
Amelia, though unlike most characters it comes entirely down to whether or not it's worth raising her. On the one hand you have those who don't mind Level Grinding in order to get her to catch up with the rest of your army, and thanks to Magikarp Power the results are usually quite good, but on the other hand there's those who think her base stats are just irredeemably awful for her joining time and training her is more trouble than it's worth.
Gheb. While he became an Ensemble Darkhorse meme character (as seen under that trope's entry below), he's notoriously ugly, and some people consider all the rape jokes surrounding him to be in poor taste.
Broken Base: The Tower of Valni, an optional side area that unlocks in Chapter 10 (and also the Lagdou Ruins, though they don't unlock until the final chapter). Critics claim that it trivializes the game, as the ability to visit it as many times as you like makes gaining experience easy, while defenders point out that, being optional, one doesn't have to use it, so if it's a Game-Breaker it's entirely your own fault for visiting it in the first place, and it's a good place for beginners to the series and casual players. (Specifically the Tower of Valni — the Lagdou Ruins are a Brutal Bonus Level.)
Common Knowledge: No, Eirika and Ephraim do not get married in their Japanese paired ending. The ending is identical to the English version, any accusations of censorship never happened. There's definite Incest Subtext there, but it never goes beyond that.
Contested Sequel: Among the Fire Emblem fandom; detractors say it was too easy and short compared to other games, fans love it for its worldbuilding and the return of various mechanics from Gaiden. Similarly, there is debate as to whether the complex and interesting characterization of the main antagonist makes up for the generally-cliche nature of the plot.
Complete Monster: The Demon King Fomortiis, especially on Eirika's route, shows himself to be a particularly depraved and sadistic monster. After possessing the Prince of the Grado Empire, Lyon, Fomortiis resurrects Lyon's father into a soulless puppet and uses him to initiate a series of brutal invasions to destroy the Sacred Stones of the other countries that have sealed the rest of him away. With a huge war and massive amounts of death, Fomortiis eventually reveals himself while also reviving monsters and undead creatures to run rampant throughout the land and kill those in their path. In Eirika's route, where Fomortiis possesses the prince completely, Fomortiis explicitly leaves a part of his mind intact to torment him as Fomortiis destroys everything around him, and also kills the heroic dragon king Morva before reviving him as an undead abomination while seeking to corrupt and dominate the world itself.
Kyle is a dead ringer for Spike Spiegel, minus the tragic aspects of Spike's backstory.
Gameplay-wise Morva is a slightly weaker version of the Fire Dragon from the end of The Blazing Blade and can be beaten with the same tactics.
Eirika's growths and bases are almost dead on with The Blazing Blade's Lyndis. Also, they can both use weapons that are normally exclusive to the Myrmidon lines, and Awakening features SpotPass/DLC missions that include them as either a Myrmidon or Swordmaster, drawing even more similarities between the two.
Innes is a grey-haired prince of a nation who wears blue and uses a bow. Fire Emblem Fates features another grey-haired prince of a nation who wears blue and uses a bow in combat. Not only that, but they act somewhat antagonistic towards a main protagonist: Innes has his Friendly Rivalry with Ephraim, while Takumi takes a while to warm up to either of the Corrins. Both also have a retainer who has feelings for them, Vanessa in Innes' case and Oboro (who bears some resemblance to Tana) in Takumi's.
Similarly to Eirika with Lyndis, Neimi's stats are almost identical to those of Rebecca. Unless you make her a Ranger, becoming more similar to Rath or a promoted Sue.
Demonic Spiders: The Baels are actual demonic spiders, but they have obnoxiously high enough physical attack and defense to fall under the spirit of the trope as well.
Gheb was just some random gonk that takes little to no difficulty to kill, but the fandom sees him as a Memetic Molester who stabs others to death with his penis.
Lute is also definitely one of the more popular mages in the fandom, thanks to her odd habits, her endearing braggadocio, and the related fact that she can back that boasting up with results. (Her married endings being adorable are also a plus.) For someone who's not even related to the main houses and nobility of Magvel (she's just a particularly odd citizen of Renais), that's an achievement. Her popularity rose further thanks to a parody video showcasing her awesomeness in a memetic way going super viral that she ranked REALLY high in Fire Emblem Heroes' Choose Your Legends event and then earned her a spot in the game's roster as of November 2017, and yes, she's still having her endearingly odd habits and braggadocio on full force.
L'Arachel is one of the most popular characters in all of The Sacred Stones, thanks to her hilarious delusions of grandeur, devoted belief in justice, wacky personality, and pretty design.
Artur has a small, but devoted following due to being one of the best units in the game, as well as being just plain adorable and sweet.
Myrrh has had a small, quiet but very devoted fandom for a long time, partially because while she is another "little girl dragon", she pointedly avoids a lot of the "acts like a child" tropes that tend to skeeve out people in regards to Awakening's Nowi and the general perception of Marth-era Tiki. Myrrh's only real childish aspect is her difficulty understanding that she's feeling (romantic) love, and given her previous lifestyle, that's still a perfectly logical situation in-universe. Her release in Heroes brought these fans to the fore a bit.
Fanon: Some fan depictions of Amelia as a General is that she is actually piloting a bulky mech suit due to how small she is in comparison to the suit of armor.
Fan-Preferred Couple: When it comes to ships involving Eirika ignoring Ephraim/Eirika, Eirika/L'Arachel is generally the one that gets the most love thanks to their interactions in and out of support conversations. This is very ironic, since as of all the people Eirika can support with, L'Arachel is the only one she does not have a shared ending with.
The S-class weapons deal ridiculous damage to monsters. The game compensates for this by throwing a heck ton of monsters at you in the final levels.
Bishops have a class skill that makes them deal triple damage to monsters. The majority of the enemies you face are monsters, so bishops are very powerful indeed. Plus, they're your party's main healers, so their utility does not just extend to monster levels.
Seth, the game's Crutch Character, actually has really good growths, meaning he both starts off and ends up good. In fact, he averages equal to or better stats that the game's non-Crutch Character Paladins. Seth is regarded as so good that a Solo-Character Run with him is considered easier than playing the game normally. The most common Self-Imposed Challenge for the game is simply to ban using him.
The Tower of Valni, a revisitable dungeon that you can retreat from at any time, in short, an infinite source of experience. It's optional, but if you really want to put the screws to the game this is the place to do it.
Goddamned Bats: Gargoyles. They're flying units, and as such they can move around the map with ease. They have well-rounded bulk as well, so unless you have an effective weapon such as a bow, they're not gonna take too much damage regardless of what type of weapon you use. Finally, they're rather fast, so you'll often have trouble doubling them.
The enemy control glitch from Blazing Blade returns, and is now even easier to trigger, as the range of tiles that cause it is much wider, and there's now a tiny window to trigger it even on ordinary tiles.
The Gorgons' Stone spell is treated as a regular Dark Magic spell rather than a monster-exclusive attack, but it lacks a proper weapon level, so if acquired via hacking or the enemy control glitch, it can be used by any of your units except Myrrh. As there are no E-ranked Dark Magic tomes in this game, it takes 8 uses of the Stone spell to permanently teach a unit Dark Magic. This is primarily used to give Tethys attacking capabilities and allow Sages access to all four types of magic.
The enemy control glitch also lets you repair Myrrh's Dragonstone, which otherwise isn't possible. She can also use monster weapons like claws or fangs.
Ephraim states he would rather be "traveling the land as a mercenary", and Eirika chides him for it. During the game, Eirika is pretending to be a mercenary leader.
In their C support, Ephraim attempts to comfort Eirika by stroking her face. Years down the line, Fates would feature an infamous relationship-building minigame centered on stroking various units' faces which was exclusive to Japan.
Garcia and Dozla's supports (in the English version) have them trying to use magic and staves and failing in spectacular ways. Later Fire Emblem games introduced reclassing, which lets characters actually do this in gameplay. And it's very likely that with their stat builds, these two really would be that terrible in tome or staff classes.
Taken even further, Awakening had the War Monk class, which uses axes and staves, while Fates had the Oni Chieftain and Malig Knight classes, which use axes and magic. The fact that two axe men tried out staves and magic seems oddly prophetic with that in mind.
Ho Yay: There's a fair bit in the game, most prominently in the mixture of admiration and rivalry between Ephraim and Lyon and Eirika's Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with both L'Arachel and Tana.
Hypocritical Fandom: Eirika is reviled and hated by fans for needing to be rescued twice. Innes needs to be rescued twice as well, and in one of these times it's Eirika who bails him out... but no one picks on him.
It's Easy, So It Sucks: Since The Sacred Stones is a relatively easy game in an otherwise Nintendo Hard series, Fire Emblem fans who've played other titles first often don't find it to be very fun.
Love to Hate: Valter and Riev are just too hilariously and unrepentantly evil.
Novala from Chapter 6 gleefully traps several Renais citizens in the mountains to be killed by giant spiders during the fight after they fail to work as hostages for Eirika's surrender. When Eirika is horrified by this display of pointless cruelty, Novala just laughs and says that this is war; any atrocity is fair game as long as you win.
Everything Valter does, but special mention goes to his cold-blooded murder of Glen and subsequent lying to Cormag about who killed Glen in order to send him on a misguided Roaring Rampage of Revenge that could possibly get him killed as well. Riev's approval of Valter's savagery puts him over the line too.
Never Live It Down: Much of Eirika's Base-Breaking Character status comes from her being tricked into giving the Sacred Stone of Renais to the Demon King-posessed Lyon, resulting in its destruction. The Fire Emblem Awakening DLC even aludes to this by having Old Hubba claim Eirika was "quite naive. Gullible, even".
One-Scene Wonder: Morva makes a badass entrance at the beginning of his chapter and looks like he may be the 11th-Hour Ranger. Instead, he gets killed and subsequently turned into a dracozombie.
Caellach can be notoriously hard to defeat. He has a close-combat axe... AND a hand-axe. He hits like a damn truck with either one of them, and not even the Lords will survive at Lvl. 20. You have two options: hope that one of your units survive his attacks, or take the easy path by summoning mooks to slowly waste the uses for his hand-axe to THEN bombard him with magic from far away. Also, his in-story rival, Joshua, is a Myrmidon/Swordmaster, and Caellach comes equipped with a Hoplon Guard, which prevents critical attacks. That being said, there is a simple way to defeat Caellach with Joshua. Bring a thief to steal his Hoplon Guard. As a bonus, this gets you a free Hoplon Guard — just make sure to get the thief out of dodge afterwards.
Carlyle on Eirika's route may be even more annoying. He's a Swordmaster, so that automatically means high speed, hit, and avoid. Avoid is boosted even further by the throne he's on. Good luck hitting him, and there's no way you're doubling without powerlevelling Joshua or Colm. Both of whom will probably go down in two to three hits. And he has a crit bonus. And a 2-range sword (though he cannot critical at range because of his weapon).
Fighting him is optional, but those trying to finish Eirika's Chapter 13 early are going to have a really hard time with Aias. He's a Great Knight on a Fort (heals every turn, plus a defence bonus) with enough Con not to be weighed down by his weapons, so doubling him is surprisingly hard. And his assortment of weapons is terrifying: in addition to a 1-2 range spear (to threaten Mages trying to bypass his defence), he also has a Silver Blade (one of the strongest swords in the game) and a Swordslayer (an axe that not only reverses and amplifies the weapon triangle, but deals bonus damage to sword-wielders). His class may make him weak to both armour and cavalry-slaying weapons, but all of those but the Armourslayer have unreliable accuracy, made even worse by him being on a fort. And those using Armourslayers will risk getting one-shotted by his Swordslayer (which will also ruin the Armorslayer's accuracy due to the aforementioned amplification and reversal of the weapon triangle). Even though he is also weak to magic, you have to hope that whichever magicians you send against him will be able to either dodge his attacks or be able to tank at least one. The writers seemed well aware of this, since his death quote is praising Renais' tactician for managing to beat him.
And after that, there's Landing at Taizel, which isn't quite as difficult, but still a pain in the ass. Part of the problem with this level is that, while you do get to save beforehand, you don't get to go back to the world map in between. So if you needed to do some Level Grinding? T-O-O B-A-D!
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Morva, the Manakete hero who defeated the Demon King during his first reign of terror, is introduced, killed off, and revived as a zombie slave of the selfsame Demon King within the space of the opening scene of one chapter.
A lot of the more controversial elements that were criticized as making the game too easynote easy level grinding, being able to revisit old maps were adopted into Fire Emblem Awakening, whose Newbie Boom will define Fire Emblem for the foreseeable future.
The game as a whole became a lot more popular after the release of Awakening and Fates, going from one of the biggest cases of Contested Sequel in the series to near Sacred Cow levels in some sectors of the fandom. While the plot is still considered mostly cliché, it's still seen as well-written with good characters (with the real primary antagonist, in particular, having a very believable motivation for doing what he did compared to many FE villains), and as Gaiden, the inspiration for the above-mentioned controversial mechanics, also experienced a Vindicated by History surge with the help of a remake, the gameplay became a lot more liked.
Eirika and Ephraim as well. While they're still base-breaking, both made a pretty good performance in the Voting Gauntlet in Fire Emblem Heroes, with Eirika curb-stomping Elise and Ephraim managing a very close victory over Chrom, the Lord of the most popular game in the series. Considering Eirika used to be among the most reviled Lords in the series and Ephraim had a lot of detractors, this says something.
Though to be fair, fans could only pick one character to support. Most of Awakening's fans and Chrom's would-be supporters during his matchup with Ephraim were over in the other bracket helping Lucina grind Eirika into a fine paste.
Visual Effects of Awesome: As with the Elibe games, the battle animations are considered one of the best aspects of the game.
When Fado gave his children bracelets that act as a twin key to Renais' Sacred Stone, he ordered Seth to not tell them what the bracelets were until "the time was right." Seth, who is usually smart, inexplicably refuses to give Eirika a detailed explanation of its true nature — this while her brother is missing, possibly dead or captured, in enemy territory with the second and they themselves are on the run. He only tells her that losing it puts the whole continent at risk from the Demon King after Novala demands it in exchange for hostages and she — not having any idea that it's more than a very important but not magical or world-risking royal artifact — decides that it's not worth people dying over. Admittedly, he didn't know that Grado knew, but after the bracelet had already been stolen once and necessitated a desperate detour, he really should have given her the whole story.
Somehow, Seth also seems to forget that he shouldn't be calling Eirika "Princess" or "Your Highness" in front of other people. In fact, in the Easy Mode script (which differs in some areas from the regular script), Neimi actually calls Eirika "Your Highness" later. It's probably how Binks manages to find them so easily in Chapter 9, too.
Carlyle somehow thinks selling out her country to Grado is the best way to win over the queen he's in love with. She even calls him out on it!
Duessel, Selena, and Glen's continuing loyalty to Vigarde for what is probably weeks or months after the initial invasion of Renais. Everything we learn about Vigarde in life points to him being kind, fatherly, and gentle. The second that Vigarde opens his mouth in-game, it's very obvious that he's anything but at this point. Yet the three generals treat it more like Vigarde had a bad day. Even Glen, who is the first to voice his criticism, still planned on returning to Grado and confronting Vigarde about his actions when Eirika proves that Vigarde lied to him. In Selena's case, Ephraim calls her out on it, since Myrrh tells her everything and yet she still remains loyal to Vigarde. Though Duessel at least doesdefect to Ephraim's side eventually.
This has become worse ever since Fire Emblem Awakening has her in the Bride class, despite still being a fighter on top of a staff user. Even more baseless because one can download a version of Eirika that is still a 100% Swordswoman (more exactly a Myrmidon, which makes sense since her Lord class is VERY similar to it), so the above "Bride Eirika" is an optional event that can be taken or not.
Woolseyism: Ismaire's original name was Ishmael. Since that's a male name, it got approximated to the more feminine sounding Ismaire.