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Broken Base / Fire Emblem Fates

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Fire Emblem Fates has proven to be one of the most, if not the most, polarizing game in the entire Fire Emblem franchise. Many of its issues concern its story, characters, in-game content, and localization, and thus is often subject to lots of passionate debates and arguments regarding the merits of its quality... and trust us when we say it's best left at that.

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    Broken Base 
  • The fact that there are two separate versions of the game, each with its own story, with the other version and a third route both separately available as DLC, has understandably been controversial. Many argue that each version of the game is different enough from each other version of the game in story and content to justify the split, and, indeed, the two do diverge quicker and more completely than, say, the two routes in Sacred Stones. But just as many see it as paying for something they used to get for free and having the Golden Path locked behind a paywall rather than unlocked by gameplay (beating the other two stories, for instance) didn't help. A common criticism is that the game has been "carved up" into three pieces to be sold separately, with a player needing to spend more than seventy American dollars minimum into the title for the complete experience. In particular, most fans are deeply upset that it appears that key information and plotlines were withheld from both routes in order to play up Revelation as the Golden Path, leaving both feeling somewhat incomplete. This issue only intensified when the overall story of Fates was deemed underwhelming as a whole.
  • Phoenix Mode, where beaten allies come back on the same map after a turn. Detractors claim that it goes against the series' strategic nature and unnecessarily cheapens newcomers' first experience with the game when they would have enjoyed a harder mode otherwise. Its defenders argue that the feature is optional and intended for newcomers to the series, often insinuating that those objecting to it are really just unhappy to see new players in their fandom at all.
  • The Hotter and Sexier upgrade has become divisive due to incorporating more fanservice than the previous installments. While some do not mind and/or welcome the upgrade, others decry it for taking focus off other aspects of the game and series. While the majority of the women on either side are dressed rather sensibly in this game (i.e, Hinoka does not have the Breast Plate that the Awakening Pegasus Knights had), some of them, Camilla and Charlotte being the biggest offenders, are notorious among the fanbase for their absolutely ridiculous design. The addition of the Maid class quickly became the most polarizing class in the game, with believing this class was created just to pander to the otaku fanbase, increasing the amount of fanservice for the game (the Panty Shot in the finishing move does not help), while defenders argue it's a good class which adds more strategy to the gameplay. Another offender included a costume editor with different "pieces", including swimwear and undergarments for both genders. When said swimwear was Dummied Out for the localization, the base was split on whether it was a needless, but understandable and tolerable removal of gratuitous fanservice, an insulting bowdlerization that gave the international audiences a more incomplete game than Japan, or a ridiculous change that resulted in more prudish members of the cast overreacting ridiculously to being given a simple towel as a present.
  • The return of the marriage mechanic with children from Awakening. Issues with the marriage system in the previous game such as immediate marriage, the very wide support pools creating some below average supports, or Strangled by the Red String return in this game. As for the children, while most of them have been well-received and are well-liked, many issues fall with the implementation of said system. The children being completely optional and having no impact on the plot, as well as the ridiculous justification where the children could fight with their parents due to being placed in an alternate Narnia Time universe immediately after birth, was seen by some as Executive Meddling or yet another example of Pandering to the Base since they feel that the mechanic was just shoehorned in without any regard to whether adding the second generation fit in with the overarching story.
  • Of all gameplay features, none is more divisive than the big one: The Face-Rubbing. When the character visits their room in My Castle, they can invite a member of their army to their room to spend some time together. This takes the form of a minigame pretty much taken from Pokémon Amie, where the player character can use the DS's touch screen to pet/touch/rub the character's face. The character then talks to you during the game, and their responses depend on their support level with the Avatar. At lower levels, the characters react pretty much how you would expect: a mixture of confusion ("I thought you summoned me to give me orders?") and a general what-the-hell-are-you-doing? attitude. While weird, most fans don't really have a problem with it until you get an S-rank with that particular character (i.e. get married). At that point, the game pretty much turns into foreplay, complete with a shot of the character kissing you and giving you several innuendo-laden comments. Whether this, in addition to the Hotter and Sexier upgrade in the game, has ruined the series forever or not is a matter of raging debate. This feature being Dummied Out in international versions has only put things into overdrive. Many detractors of the feature are relieved it was gone and find it being only dummied out a fair compromise for people who really wanted it, while others think that censoring/cutting it is simply pandering to PC Moral Guardians and Media Watchdogs (especially in light of two controversial changes).
  • The localization itself. The base is fractured on whether Treehouse tried their best to make a generally-flawed game better or whether they had adulterated issues by changing features and dialogue in the game. The face-rubbing and swimwear being Dummied Out is arguably the biggest points of contention for the international version. However, some other contentions with it include:
    • The support dialogue being completely rewritten. This has resulted in conversations such as Saizo and Beruka's C Support being unfaithful to the original Japanese text, and Soleil losing a lot of her characterization. Saizo and Beruka's C Support is notable for being changed from them discussing their work as assassins to one long lighthearted joke about both being The Quiet One. Not helping matters either way is that their B and A supports reference part of the original C support's script for both versions of the game. In the Japanese version, this is all well and good, but in the translation, it now comes off as a Mood Whiplash from a silent joke to an abrupt discussion on their work.
    • Another issue included almost all of the S-Supports for both Kanas being rewritten so they were non-romantic. The base is divided on whether said rewritten dialogue was better than the original Japanese dialogue (due to the originals having a character implied to be no older than 12 get married), or whether the dialogue was too derivative from the original meaning of the Japanese text.
  • A level example, but The Conquest/Revelation version of the Wind Tribe map is somewhat contentious. Many players find it a creative map with interesting mechanics, but some find it to be incredibly annoying, particularly on Hard/Lunatic where the wind moves all units on the map instead of just the enemies. In short, those who went in expecting a challenge loved it, while a good deal of the annoyance comes from more casual players.

    Base Breaking Characters 
While every character in any Fire Emblem game has seen its fair share of supporters and detractors, these Fates characters are arguably the most contentious among the fanbase:
  • Corrin/The Avatar, particularly their Conquest iteration, is arguably the most divisive and controversial Lord in the series. The main arguments against them are that their sheltered upbringing (and indeed most of the cutscenes in the game) indicates they're wholly unqualified to lead the army and are generally incapable of strategy, and that the game's insistence that their actions in ''Conquest'' were noble, heroic and self-sacrificing, and the Hoshidan family's eventual acceptance of their choices, are both completely unwarranted and undeserved because, they argue, letting Garon get 95% of the way to succeeding with his Evil Plan to conquer and devastate Hoshido before stopping him just so their Nohrian siblings could see the truth was an incredibly inefficient, destructive, and cowardly way to end the war that, far from being self-sacrificing, Corrin stood the most to gain from since it was the only way to keep the love and support of their Nohrian family. Corrin is far from without their supporters, however. Many contest the above interpretation of Corrin's actions by arguing that critics seriously overestimate how many options Corrin had and underestimate how difficult it is to go against the wishes of the people you love no matter how wrong they are. Others embrace these criticisms by arguing that Corrin's various flaws and the resulting downward spiral of tragedy and failure that their plan becomes make for both a refreshingly flawed protagonist who's allowed to be weak and an engagingly dark and tragic story. Others also argue that Nohr Corrin's naive and optimistic pacifism is far more relatable and sympathetic than Hoshido Corrin, who is far more willing to kill than Nohr Corrin is, often citing the fact that in Birthright Corrin kills Xander(albeit after trying to persuade him to give up on the duel after Elise's death) whereas in Conquest Corrin spares Ryoma, who later commits suicide to protect them. This last camp sometimes goes as far as to argue that despite the majority of the people in charge of the Nohrian army being bloodthirsty psychopaths while the leaders of Hoshido are generally merciful, the differences between the routes in Corrin's willingness to kill actually result in the Nohr path having the lower body count than the Hoshido one (at least when it comes to named, on-screen characters). Finally, there's a third crowd that acknowledges the flaws in Corrin's writing, but enjoys the character anyway for their cool designs and Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot aspects. Fire Emblem Heroes and Fire Emblem Warriors have helped in this regard because they play up Corrin's Combo Platter Powers while ignoring the controversial aspects of their character from Fates; Super Smash Bros. did the same thing a year earlier, but stirred up its own Corrin controversies over character selection and representation for the game (which can be found on the corresponding page).
  • Takumi. The single most polarizing character in the game, he is seen as either a wangsty brat and a bother who actually causes a lot of trouble in particular in Nohr when compared to the rest of his family, or he's the best of the bunch for not paying lip service to the player character. His Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality, his personal insecurities, and frequently calling out the normally faultlessly-treated Corrin, are either justified by the years Corrin spent in Nohr, or derided as a poorly-handled characterization that has frequently been used. And this isn't even getting into his gameplay viability — as an ally in Birthright and Revelation, some fans appreciate getting such a powerful Game-Breaker early on, while others feel like using him is "cheating" or resent him for essentially making the other archers on Birthright useless. On the other hand, as an enemy in Conquest, he is a Recurring That One Boss that you encounter four times, including as the Final Boss, and each time you meet him, he gives you hell, something that older fans appreciate to make Conquest really hard, and something that new fans don't like for the ridiculous difficulty. Combine all this with the #BlameTakumi meme that spawned in the fandom's early days, which quickly became one of the things he was most known for, and you have the biggest Base-Breaking Character in the game.
  • Xander. While some love him for being a very powerful Royal Who Actually Does Something with a very heartwarming Big Brother Mentor relationship with Corrin, to others his blind obedience to Garon despite his extremely obvious Sanity Slippage and Motive Decay, which causes a lot of problems on all three routes, ruins his character and makes him irredeemably Lawful Stupid. Others feel this is justified by it being a recurring character trait of the Camus archetype in the series, but still more don't feel it's a valid defence as, among other reasons, Bryce in Path of Radiance being undyingly loyal to an Obviously Evil king was pointed out and mocked by the villain himself to Bryce's face and Eldigan doing the same in Geneology got him killed, while Xander is still supposed to be sympathetic. At the same time, others point out that turning against your king is one thing, while turning against your own father is another. It can also be argued that Xander's conflict over his obedience to Garon is at least part of him rationalizing Garon's behavior, which isn't uncommon among abused children. Yet another faction argues that there's enough dissonance between his behavior in the supports and in the story (essentially being more reasonable and trusting of Corrin in the former) that he may as well be entirely different characters in each.
  • Azura is also polarizing, for similar reasons. Being a beautiful dancing Mysterious Waif obviously made her quite popular with many and a common marriage choice. However, her role in the story is often decried as "walking exposition" and with all the promotion and Ship Tease with Corrin, accusations of being forced on players is not uncommon. Her personality also gets pretty divisive, among those who find her mysterious and endearing, those who find her flat and dull, and those who can see where the second party is coming from because of the plot, but find her far more interesting and three-dimensional in her supports. She also gets flak for being the one to introduce some of the most disliked-by-fans plot points in Conquest and Revelation, such as the curse of Valla, the crystal ball, and her plan to use the magic throne in Hoshido to expose Garon.
  • Soleil has shot to this status due to her supports with a male Avatar. Most agree that they are clumsily written, that the Male Avatar needlessly holds onto an Idiot Ball, and that Soleil comes off as a cliche character, although people dispute whether it's a case of Cure Your Gays or not. The fact that it was changed for the localizations only added fuel to the fire. She's basically right behind Takumi in terms of "most contentious character".
    • Players tend to tear at each others' throats when debating if Soleil is bisexual or a lesbian.note  Those who think she's bi accuse the others of believing in No Bisexuals or other such biphobic attitudes (not helped by actual biphobic slurs occasionally being slung around), while those who think she's a lesbian maintain accusations of Cure Your Gays and that her interest in the opposite sex is limited to If It's You, It's Okay. There's also a third group who believe that Soleil is straight and her interests in girls is limited to the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship trope, and decry the localization for "changing her character".
    • Soleil's characterization as a Yuri Fan is also divisive due to the fact that most of her support conversations revolve around that single aspect. Some fans find it a big source of Funny Moments, while others, even those who don't care about the Unfortunate Implications aspects of it all, consider it to be an Overly Long Gag that makes her extremely annoying and simplistic.
    • She's also criticized for the nature of her flirting. While the game repeatedly says that she's better at flirting than her father and implies that it's because she's more ethical about it, her critics will readily argue that she's even worse than her father and crosses several lines he never has or would, between stalking Ophelia all over camp when she wants nothing to do with her, spying on girls who are total strangers to her from behind bushes, and in the Japanese version doing the same thing to Forrest that she did to Ophelia, and refusing to stop stalking him until he "proves" he's not a girl. Thus she's not only criticized for being, in their eyes, a total creep, but also for being yet another instance of making light of female sex offenses for comedy.
  • Nina's in a similar vein as Soleil. Many people, particularly in the West, dislike her for being a one-dimensional Yaoi Fangirl. However, an equal amount find her antics hilarious, enough to make her the most popular female child on the official popularity poll and 10th female character overall. She even outranked such popular first-gen girls as Selena and Felicia.
  • Kana, the child of the Avatar, is also rather controversial as well. Dissenters claim they have no personality aside from being a Cutie Daddy's Girl/Momma's Boy, also claiming that they can be especially annoying, especially Male Kana's voice. Furthermore, those same people say Morgan was an infinitely better son/daughter who was also entertaining. On the other hand, however, people counteract those claims by saying Kana's endearing for their innocence and love for their parents, while also citing their Parental Abandonment issues and Hidden Depths as counter evidence to them being a Flat Character. Additionally, those same dissenters say Morgan's Not So Different from Kana in the sense that they're only Older and Wiser compared to Kana, and some people even think Kana's a marked improvement over Morgan, especially Female!Morgan with her Jerkass moments as evidenced by Yarne and Inigo's supports. Overall, people tend to debate frequently whether or not Kana is either an improvement or downgrade from Morgan.
  • Camilla is this game's counterpart of Tharja. She is still popular overall for being a Miss Fanservice Cool Big Sis Action Girl whose relationship with other strong girls is fun to watch, her devotion to the Avatar can be very amusing (especially in her supports with Jakob), and she has an interesting past as one of the very few survivors of Nohr's blood-stained Decadent Court, which deeply messed her up. But just like Tharja, plenty of fans find her obsession with the Avatar creepy due to her overbearing attempts to get close to them, not to mention the heavy incestuous undertones in her interactions with them. She also gets a lot of hate for the yandere spell she has in the Birthright route, and, other than her Dark and Troubled Past, her lack of character not in relation to the Avatar. Not helping is the "Cowmilla" Fan Nickname she's been getting, on top of being a walking wad of Fanservice that's arguably more blatant than Tharja herself. The heavy amount of attention Camilla receives in Fire Emblem Heroes adds to her divisiveness, as for every fan who rejoices over it there's as many who mention being sick and tired of her for it.
  • Izana in the Western localization, seeing how often he gets brought up as a point both for and against the localization. Some love his Keet and Cloudcuckoolander traits being played-up and find his dialogue to be a Fountain of Memes, while others think the localization removed his moments of seriousness and turned him into "one big joke". (His solo ending is often cited here, with the localization re-writing it into the punchline of a Brick Joke.) Some find his dialogue too Totally Radical, while others point out that the ways his Cloudcuckoolander tendencies were portrayed in the Japanese script (elongated syllables, informal speaking style from someone expected to use Keigo, tilde) don't translate well into English, so the localized dialogue was the best way to convey the same feeling. The fact that Kantopia, one of the fandom's biggest sources for translations of the Japanese script, is known to dislike his localization portrayal only adds fuel to the fire.
  • Peri, for her childish personality and the fact that she's essentially a serial killer who is only working for the royal family because of how well she fights and Xander's Horrible Judge of Character. Fans are divided on whether her tragic backstory witnessing her mother's murder as a child is enough to excuse the way she is. Her detractors think her backstory isn't notably more traumatic than what other characters who didn't turn out like her went through, while her defenders think it is, and many believe her characterization is more justifiable with the implication that her father at best did nothing to stop her insanity and at worst actively encouraged her down this path, something that is only mentioned in two of her supports. Her detractors also criticize the fact that she sometimes comes off as a Flanderized repeat of Henry from Awakening, but with a lot of the nuance and Hidden Depths removed and the insanity exaggerated (Henry was just a creepy kid with a macabre sense of humor and an unhealthy fixation on blood and death, whereas Peri is an out-and-out serial killer), making her feel like a one-note Sociopathic Hero. Her defenders do feel she shows signs of Character Development and more to her character than just bloodlust in some of her supports, particularly with Xander and Laslow.
  • Rhajat, particularly in the West. It's a given since she's already an Expy of the already hugely base-breaking Tharja, but the fact that she's the only Bi Option for female Avatar players and her Stalker with a Crush traits are made even more prominent in the localization does not endear her to many fans. Meanwhile her defenders either find the stalker traits part of her charm or cite her emotional vulnerabilities such as her issues with loneliness and argue that the former aren't being fair to her positive traits.
  • Iago. There are many who dislike him for being a shallow villain whose looks and motivations undermine the Grey-and-Gray Morality that the developers were aiming for. But there are also a growing number of fans who find Iago to have a cool design and consider him to be an entertaining enjoyable Love to Hate villain along the lines of Narcian and Valter, as well as considering him to be a more interesting villain than his peers Garon and Hans. Then there's a third group of fans who don't necessarily mind Iago as a character, but feel that he'd work far better as a minor villain to be dealt with early on or at the half way point like the aforementioned Narcian and Valter, rather than as a major villain with screen time lasting nearly the entire game. This is evident in how he's killed off much earlier at the halfway point in the Revelation route, unlike in the Birthright and Conquest routes where he's killed off in the last quarter. His appearance in Fire Emblem Warriors as this game's villain representative has given him a number of new fans who consider him to be better there than in this game, though he's also gotten fan detractors who wanted the potentially more unique Garon as this game's villain representative instead.
  • Azama. Fans like him for being a hilarious Troll who also has a knack for making harsh but accurate points. Detractors, however, consider him to be too much of a Jerkass to be likeable, and fear that any relationship he's involved in is doomed to be unhealthy.

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