Somewhere between General Character Tropes and Class related tropes, the series is known for recurring archetypical characters that serve the same role either in gameplay, story or both. More explanation and archetypes can be found here.
Take note that some archetypes from the aforementioned link might not exist in this page, as well as some of the archetypes listed here might not exist in that page as well. Or Archetypes here may have different, probably looser definition than the link's definition, which means the examples could be different, but the core meaning remains similar. Archetypes can differ between communities.
To see the central character index for the entire Fire Emblem series, go here.
- The Lord: The protagonist and POV character of the game. Usually young nobles thrust into the center of an international conflict.
- Peaceful Lord: Avoids unnecessary conflict, and relies on strong bonds within the army.
- Martial Lord: Prefers to settle conflict directly, cares little for royal etiquette.
- The Avatar: A customizable character that serves as the lord's confidant, as well as the POV character if present in the game. Often a tactician.
- The Heroine: The Lord's opposite gender counterpart, and sometimes love interest with an optional main story dialogue modification if they were kept alive throughout the game. Either a Lord herself, a pegasus knight, or a mysterious waif.
- The Cornelius: A parent, sibling, or mentor that meets with a terrible fate, making the journey personal for the Lord.
- The Nyna: A high-ranking noble that specifically sought help from your army to restore peace in their homeland by driving out the bad guys. Serves as your army's Big Good.
As characters, the Lord can be subdivided into two types: the peaceful lord, and the martial lord.
- Blue Blood: Every Lord is either royalty or discovers they are such over the course of their journey. The only exceptions are Ike, a common mercenary note , and Itsuki, an Ordinary High-School Student.
- Composite Character: As with many long runners, increasingly the archetype is played with by either combining aspects of other archetypes, or mixing and matching traits of previous Lords. In particular, Hector has been enough of a direct inspiration for future Lords that he's created a sub-type.
- Sigurd is a mix of the Lord, Crutch Character, and Cornelius archetypes. Like most Lords, he starts off as the main character and gets exclusive access to the Infinity +1 Sword; like Crutch Characters, he is a prepromoted unit who has early access to Silver-grade weaponry and can kick ass far harder than the rest of the party at the beginning; like Corneliuses, he is murdered halfway through in order to give motivation to his son Seliph.
- Ike is a mix of the Lord and the Ogma. His Ranger Class is the Tellius equivalent of Mercenary, promotes to Hero in the sequel game, and eventually gains access to Axes. Instead of a prince, he's the head of a mercenary company. He becomes the loyal sword of a pegasus-riding princess (Caeda/Elincia). His starting party even references this by getting Bord (Boyd), an axe fighter like Ogma has, and Abel (Oscar), a cavalier like Marth has, instead of a pair of either.
- Micaiah is a mix of Lord and White Mage. While she has Light Magic to engage in combat, she's an innate healer through her Sacrifice skill before she gains staves. She's assisted by a Julian (Sothe) as well.
- Corrin is explicitly a mix of Lord and Avatar, as the customizable self-insert character. Class-wise, however, they are a manakete instead of some type of magic class.
- Edelgard is the first to be both the Lord and the Rudolf, acting as the main protagonist for the Crimson Flower route, main antagonist for the Azure Moon route, and a major secondary antagonist in the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes.
- Frontline General: They always fight in the thick of combat alongside the common soldiers.
- The Hero: The main POV character who stands on the side of justice.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Later games have the Lord and the Avatar getting into this sort of relationship with even an option of an S-support.
- Primary-Color Champion: With the exception of Corrin, who wears different shades of black and white, the main Lord and most supporting Lords have red, blue, and yellow somewhere in their base class outfit. The Lords of Three Houses, Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude, each sport the respective primary color.
- Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: Played with. While they do always get the Sword of Plot Advancement, they are sometimes also locked into a plot-based class promotion. If it comes late enough in the game, they may actually end up weaker than the supporting cast that the player can level grind consistently.
- Rookie Red Ranger: Even if they've had training, the beginning of the game is typically their first brush with actual warfare.
- Weapon of Choice: The game's main legendary weapon, of course. However, they also typically have a starting weapon that's both an armor and horse slayer to ease their journey fighting the backbone of The Empire's troops. The original prince style lords get the Rapier (except the Jugdral Lords; Sigurd and Seliph start out with normal, common weapons before getting the Tyrfing, while Leif starts with the Light Brand). Myrmidon Lord Lyn gets the Mani Katti. Axe General Lord Hector gets the Wolf Beil. Soldier Lord Ephraim gets the Reginleif. Mercenary Lord Ike has the Regal Sword (and later Ettard, but without the bonuses), Mage Lord Micaiah gets Thani. Chrom gets both his Rapier and a weak version of his legendary, the Falchion, to start with that later gets powered up through the plot. Corrin starts with the Ganglari until it self-destructs, at which point it's replaced with a weak version of the Yato which gains different boosts depending on the route as the story goes on. Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude each get legendary weapons, neither of them being swords.
The Peaceful LordThe more peaceful of the two Lord subtypes. Young and kindhearted, they generally hold an idealistic view of the world, and thus prefer to resolve conflicts with as little bloodshed as possible. However, they can also be naive and easily distracted by smaller matters, and they can be easily manipulated due to their trusting nature. Through Character Development, they learn to be less naive and more intelligent while still keeping their idealism and hope for peace.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Dimitri is basically the Peaceful Lord put in a very harsh and dark situation that eventually causes his idealism to get impaled thoroughly and his Character Development takes a darker turn than usual, becoming a darker variant of the Martial Lord below as a result. It takes him accidentally getting one of his vassals killed in his deranged attempts to get revenge to finally snap out of it and return to his peaceful nature.
- It is thanks to his mixed heritage that Claude has become Peaceful (to a degree), wishing to make the world a safer place instead of despairing over it by metaphorically tearing down the walls that separate different peoples all across Fódlan. In other routes beside his own in post-Timeskip, he instead becomes a Hero Antagonist, having the noblest motives, merely does what he thinks is right for his home, and is the only one that is not automatically killed in the story. Claude is also peculiar in his attitude among other Reluctant Warriors; Claude actively cultivates a reputation as an untrustworthy schemer and is more willing than other Lords of this archetype at using underhanded methods like ambushes and secret alliances to secure victory. Ultimately, his bark is a lot worse than his bite when it comes to schemes, though.
- Humble Hero: Lords of this subtype generally downplay their accomplishments when given praise.
- Martial Pacifist: They generally prefer to resolve conflict diplomatically. But make no mistake, they'll come down hard on their enemies when pushed. Claude takes this further by becoming a Guile Hero.
- Nice Guy: They're among the kindest and most generous people in their respective games, though Claude chooses to portray himself as a more scheming variant.
- Reluctant Warrior: While they are trained, capable fighters, they would rather solve conflicts peacefully than raise their swords.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to the Martial Lord's Manly Man when both are present.
- Took a Level in Badass: Stories following the Peaceful Lord generally involve them growing from naive, inexperienced greenhorns to confident and powerful leaders. More often than not, this is reflected in their stats, as they tend towards low bases and high growths.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: They're always full of hope that things will work out for the better, though Character Development later decreases this to more sensible levels.
- The Wise Prince: Naturally. They always put the needs of their people before their own, but their idealism can take a toll on them until they undergo Character Development.
The Martial LordThe more aggressive of the two Lord subtypes. Unlike their more pacifistic counterparts, these Lords are more willing to fight and kill for their beliefs and are much more willful and blunt when interacting with others. Because of their willful nature, they tend to be reckless and charge headfirst without thinking of the danger involved. They often undergo Character Development in which they learn to think about the consequences of their actions and to solve problems without charging headfirst into them.
- Action Hero: Unlike the Peaceful Lord, their primary instinct when confronted with a problem is to stab it until it stops breathing.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Sigurd. His recklessness and lack of hesitation towards using violence to achieve his goals allow the villains to play him like a cheap kazoo, ultimately get him and most of his followers killed, and leave his son Seliph to fix the devastation left in his wake.
- Ephraim. His gallivanting in enemy territory doesn't endear him to the populace one bit, to the point that when he liberates Renais, the people only cheer because The Caligula's rule is at an end. After this incident, he begins to mature.
- Micaiah. She dislikes fighting but understands it's important to stand up for what she believes in, and so fights with the goal of resolving conflict. In the first act, she was fighting a tyrannical regime, so while conflicted, she was reassured that she was doing the right thing. In the third chapter of the game however, she is forced to fight on the side of a war she is morally against, and with a nation that she is also against, leading to her focusing her efforts on the war by winning through whatever means possible. When it turns against her, she becomes willing to betray her own beliefs for the sake of her country, and it isn't until she gets a large What the Hell, Hero? from Tibarn that she cracks under the pressure of knowing she is betraying her own beliefs and also being too loyal to stop, leading to her confronting Pelleas about the conflict. To put it simply; she was a Peaceful Lord forcing herself to become the Martial Lord, without being able to handle the realities this conflicting nature would bring once the conflict becomes less clearly defined.
- Edelgard takes this trope to the extreme, becoming a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose goal is to destroy a somewhat Corrupt Church and unite the entirety of Fódlan through any means necessary, even disregarding her own people. On any route other than her own, she takes this methodology to outright Rudolf levels.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Characters of this sub-archetype had some elements of the Peaceful Lord with Alm, Sigurd, and Leif, but fully diverged with the popularity of Hector, leading to several other lords being based around his personality. Micaiah is the only one of the most recent lords that doesn't fully embrace either side, being proactive to take action but also hating war.
- Hot-Blooded: Oho, if they see a fight about to get on, they get more excited and less reserved to bash some dastards in the face. This only started to show more from Hector and any Lords succeeding him. Edelgard mostly averts this, acting through logic and ambition instead. Micaiah similarly prefers a more strategic approach, with her disliking war and pointless conflicts.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Tend to hold a more cynical view of the world compared to their more peaceful counterparts, but they're just as willing to make it a better place. This can be particularly be seen with Micaiah's view of the world, despite loving it (specially Daein) and its people, she knows the world is against her, because of her brand.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Their Fatal Flaw is that they're a bit too eager to fight, reaching Blood Knight levels in a few cases.
- Rebel Prince: A lot of the time, they would rather serve as a warrior rather than fulfill their royal/noble duties.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to the Peaceful Lord's Sensitive Guy when both are present.
- Trope Codifier: While elements of the archetype were present before him, most modern Martial Lords follow in the footsteps of Hector from The Blazing Blade.
The Avatar's narrative role has fluctuated over time. Mark is basically an extra in The Blazing Blade, Kris is a Supporting Protagonist in New Mystery of the Emblem, Robin and Byleth are the deuteragonists of Awakening and Three Houses respectively, Corrin is the protagonist of Fates, Kiran of Heroes returns the Avatar to their roots of being a faceless extra.
- Ascended Extra: The first fully playable Avatar, Kris, wasn't a particularly important character to the plot, mostly because Kris's game was a remake. In Awakening, Robin has a vital role as the Deuteragonist, in Fates, Corrin is the main character, and in Three Houses, Byleth is the character who explicitly tips the scales in favor of their faction in the player's chosen routenote . This also applies to the idea of the Avatar archetype itself, as it grew out of a minor featureless character, Mark, in The Blazing Blade.
- Canon Name: All Avatars have a default name for when they are customized.
- Character Customization: Their whole schtick is being the player's customizable character, though the more fully customizable are just Kris, Robin and Corrin. You can only change Kiran's gender (and they'll look the same due to being stuck with the hood, though later updates added artwork for females and males, and the option to keep the hood on), and you could only customize Mark and Byleth's genders and birthdays (Mark can also change Blood Type in the Japanese version).
- Chick Magnet: Male playable Avatars except Kris can have a large number of female love interests. Even Female Byleth has more female romantic options than some male Lords. There are even some characters who can only be matched with the Avatar, whom the fandom has collectively referred to as "Avatarsexuals", and these are not limited to just females.
- Dude Magnet: Female playable Avatars except Kris can have a large number of male love interests. This can apply to Male Byleth too, to a lesser extent.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Avatars are most often associated with swords. Robin may be associated with tomes, but they can also use swords. Kiran is an exception: They instead use Dire Breidablik, which is a weapon that has similaries with small firearms.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: With the exception of Corrin, each Avatar serves their game's Lord. They end up being the most powerful unit and/or are stated to be the key to be the army's success.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: They have good growth rates across the board by default; thought in the case of Robin and Corrin the player still picks one stat to specialize in and one Dump Stat.
- Job System: Notable in that, before Fates, the Avatar could reclass into virtually any other kind of unit in the game, allowing them to gain whatever skills or training they wanted with enough time and patience. Fates toned it down significantly: they have their own class/promotion, but can only choose one alternative class at the beginning, and later can acquire their spouse's and the people of the same gender that they get A supports with (save for Niles and Rhajat, who are the bi options). The Job System is a default element of Three Houses, with Byleth starting in what is essentially a trainee class.
- Lethal Chef: A Running Gag is that the Avatar's cooking tastes like steel. Downplayed in Three Houses, where Byleth can take part in an extracurricular activity with a house member where they cook a dish that grants buffs for the month to every party member, and it increases motivation and affection in party members that like cooking.
- Lightning Bruiser: When playable, their stats are usually off the roof because of various factors such as high growth rate, fast EXP gain, and perfect availability. A common Self-Imposed Challenge is to beat the game's most difficult game mode with only the Avatar in applicable games as a result.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Two of the four playable Avatars have turned out to have evil and unsavory heritage.
- Magic Knight: Three of their four playable appearances give them a class that can use both magic and swordplay, or let them promote into something that does.
- Non-Entity General: Mark do not exist in gameplay and barely exist in-story, and their whole existence is very much just used for characters in-game to refer to the player. Played With in the case of Kiran: While they do make an appearance in Mjölnir's Strike post update 5.2.0, they are almost never seen in the main story.
- Single-Target Sexuality: From a gameplay perspective, maybe internally as they cannot support with anyone else, but oftentimes the Avatar will have three or four characters who can only support with the Avatar and no one else. Usually, it's because they came that late in the story, or are DLC. The fandom has collectively referred to them as "Avatarsexuals".
- The Strategist: As befit their role as the extension of the player, many characters defer to them for strategy. Kris is an exception; Jagen and Katarina serve as strategists in their game.
- Virtual Paper Doll: In The Blazing Blade, you could only choose gender, name, and birth month. New Mystery, Awakening, and Fates added face, body shape, hair color and style, voice, and sometimes even accessories.
As games from The Binding Blade onward gave more freedom to the player to pair the Lord with whoever they please, these characters would usually end up being the Implied Love Interest. The game might 'encourage' the player to pair these characters with the Lord by providing extra story perks if they are chosen as the main pair of the Lord, but in the end, the final say is in the player's hands: follow the implications/suggestions or not.
The character's class is rarely the same in each passing game (though we've had repeats of Pegasus Knight, Mage, Dancer, and complimentary Lords). However, they have a tendency to be nobles, whether or not they have a Lord or another unique class. Gameplay-wise, they are also usually the second-best recruiter after the main Lord, and they have a knack for being able to recruit a complete stranger that you have no idea that they are related (a job usually reserved for the main Lord). Particularly if they happen to actually be Lords, or have a unique Lord-like class, they may be the main character of their own side conflict.
- Action Girlfriend: If a female, she'll usually be able to defend herself from the beginning or will start leveling up as the game progresses. Even moreso if the boyfriend/Lord in question has their promotion time locked and stuck at Level 20 unpromoted while the heroine can promote any time she wants.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: A few get to be the main hero or the Arc Hero of their own adventures.
- Celica leads her own party that doesn't join Alm's until the final chapter. Similarly, Micaiah is a mage-like lord that doesn't join with Ike until the 4-part endgame chapters.
- Lyn, Eirika, Micaiah, and Elincia all have prologue/tutorial modes where they are the main character before the male Lord shows up (Eirika can even remain the main character after).
- Katarina is the focus of an ongoing sidequest arc. Lucina gets the Future Past arc in DLC that focuses on her world if she didn't go to the past. Azura is technically the sibling that Corrin sides with in Revelation (before all the other siblings join). Byleth is for all intents and purposes the main hero of Part I of Three Houses - and arguably the Lord on the Silver Snow route as well.
- Each season of Heroes has introduced a new female lord-like character to play opposite Alphonse.
- Deuteragonist: If a character of this archetype isn't given equal protagonist billing note (see the Lord archetype above), she will most likely fill this role in the plot. (We didn't say "always" because there are plenty of exceptions.)
- Early Installment Weirdness: Shadow Dragon's Heroine (Caeda) was a fourth Pegasus knight, separate from the White Wing Sister Trio. In future games where the Heroine is a flyer, she's typically combined with the Est/Youngest Sister of the trio (Sumia, Elincia, Tana, and to a lesser extent Florina to Lyn for Lyn's prologue mode only). See also The Caeda in the physical unit section.
- Implied Love Interest: If they aren't explicitly the Love Interest of the Lord or Avatar due to a marriage or paired ending mechanic, the games give some hints to indicate that they should hook up.
- In the Archanea games, if you finish the game after somehow letting Caeda die, the ending dialogue changes into either Nyna or Gotoh lamenting that the war costed Marth his dear childhood friend (and in the latter, future wife).
- Lana/Muirne are a subversion. While they are the predestined partner for Seliph and their hook-up dialogue is achieved the same way as other predestined dialogues in the epilogue chapter, they're the first to join Seliph and have the biggest Love Growth points, enabling them to become lovers even in the chapter they debut in; this is to make up for the bug that Julia got stuck with. Moreso, for a substitute character, Muirne gets a special privilege of having a conversation with Seliph where he actually talks about his own insecurities, something he never does with any other prospects.
- Pairing Lilina with Roy in The Binding Blade switches the scene where Roy greets Guinivere after the coronation for one of him talking with Lilina about the future that will come. Roy x Lilina is also the fastest growing support in the entire game, with a large margin, the C Support is unlocked the turn after they reunite.
- In The Blazing Blade, Ninian for Eliwood, in consideration of how strongly she's tied with his story, including accidentally killing her, and if paired together, Ninian stays in Elibe instead of passing through the Dragon Gate. In the case of Lyndis, it's for Hector: There are exclusive scenes between them together that are available only in Hector Mode.
- Near the end of Ephraim's route in Sacred Stones, Tana manages to confront and snap him out of a Heroic BSoD, while in Eirika's route (or if Tana dies in Ephraim's route), the role goes to L'Arachel, and they cannot pair together. In the case of Eirika, many characters are jealous of her closeness to her brother Ephraim. They are also one of the few sibling teams to have a paired ending.
- Elincia is a Red Herring to this archetype in Path of Radiance. While she gets a Ship Tease with Ike and has a Pegasus Knight-like class, she also fills the same role as Nyna and Guinivere (who is never paired with the hero for various reasons), and as such she and Ike never get to hook up. She ends up with Geoffrey instead.
- Sothe serves as this for Micaiah in Radiant Dawn: if their A support is maintained to the end, they marry and when she's crowned as the Queen of Daein, he becomes her Hot Consort.
- Katarina in New Mystery of the Emblem is actually an addition to the remake and serves as the Love Interest for the Avatar, not Marth. While they are not shown to marry or live together in the end, Katarina has her own whole subplot that the player can choose to follow, and completing the subplot depends on how the player manages the Avatar.
- In Awakening, Sumia and Female Robin split the difference for Chrom Sumia is the only female character who openly shares screentime in Animated CG scenes with Chrom (both her debut stage and the opening movie holding baby Lucina), and the game prioritizes her for Chrom's scripted marriage. A Female Robin is the only one of Chrom's lovers who keeps her plot importance after marrying him, a non-Robin Lucina openly lampshades how close she is to Chrom (to either Robin herself or a non-Chrom!Male Morgan), and he has a modified scene where she's confronted by a Lucina mothered by her. Lucina serves as this for Robin in both ways since she also has the modified scene when confronting Robin and contemplates killing him to stop Grima, if she marries a male Robin beforehand.
- In Fates, Azura is the only character to get different Support conversations with Corrin (of both genders, though only the Male one can marry her) and altered Love Confession scenes depending on the route. Her Support ranks with Corrin also increase faster than her other Supports.
- The Gaiden remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, also has a subversion: Faye fits the archetype surprisingly well (beauty, devotion to the guy she loves, starts out physically weak but can become a very skilled fighter, etc.), but since Alm and Celica are set in stone as the game's Official Couple, she's a Catria instead.
- In Three Houses, Female Byleth's is Dimitri or Claude (and vice-versa) on their respective routes, and either gender's is Edelgard (and vice versa) on the Crimson Flower route. Their close bond with their respective Lord is highlighted constantly throughout the story; Edelgard even gives the equivalent of a love confession just before the final battle, while Dimitri outright tells Byleth she was the light in his darkness. Claude on the other hand, flirts with Byleth at the ball and is the only character who gets a cutscene with Byleth during the dance, as well as frequently telling Female Byleth in part 2 of Verdant Wind how he wants to see a changed world with her.
- Love Interest: In older games, they are the main girl that the Lord is interested in and ends up marrying. The newer games are more lax about it.
- This is subverted by Julia in Genealogy of the Holy War: pairing Seliph and Julia is flat-out impossible outside of glitches due to the negative love point system placed upon them only, though Julia can't be killed until the last chapter. This is due to both of them being half-siblings through their shared mother.
- This is also subverted by Elincia: It may have been a possibility with Ike in Path of Radiance, but Radiant Dawn puts an end to it as seen below.
- Three Houses is pretty unsubtle about shipping the Lords and Byleth, especially on Crimson Flower, where Edelgard's route-agnostic crush on Byleth isn't doomed.
- Magnetic Hero: They're the second best recruiter of their army, or in case of Byleth, the one doing all the recruiting.
- Mystical Waif: A notable subtype of this archetype is a non-physical unit with a Mysterious Past and possessing special abilities that make her valuable and/or a significant threat to the villains. This subtype was pioneered by Deirdre and Julia in Genealogy of the Holy War, and later followed by Ninian, Micaiah, Female Robinnote , Azura, then looping back around to Celicanote . This makes Lilina the only magically-inclined member of the archetype to not have some great latent potential.
- The Not-Love Interest:
- Despite fulfilling a lot of the traits of this archetype and having quite a bit of Incest Subtext, Eirika serves as this to Ephraim, as they are siblings.
- Elincia serves in a similar role as a Love Interest in Path of Radiance, complete with Ship Tease, but she and Ike go their separate ways and have no Support ending in Radiant Dawn. She has one with Geoffrey, and Ike only with Soren and Ranulf. Plus, even if they're both left unpaired, Ike leaves the continent.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A lot of times, they're given exotic hair colors that stick out like a sore thumb. There's just about three of them that have hair colors that can be considered normal: Celica (redhead), Nanna (blonde), and Sumia (grayish brown).
Since they die early, the Cornelius tends to be an unrecruitable NPC.
At times, there are cases where it's not the Lord who has a Cornelius figure, but instead a party member, usually of the Linde archetype. When that happens, the Cornelius can be referred to as a 'Miloah' (named after Linde's dead father), but they can overlap with the original Cornelius since they have the same role.
- Breaking Old Trends: Hector is unique among those who serve this role in that he's the Love Interest's father, not the hero's. Roy's father Eliwood, for his part, survives the game just fine and dandy.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Lambert shows how this trope can backfire as a motivation. As he lay dying during the Tragedy of Duscur, he told his son Dimitri something before passing. Whatever Dimitri heard was interpreted by him as a demand to avenge his death, causing Dimitri to become obsessed with avenging his father, and those who died in the incident, to the point of going nearly mad when he thinks he found the one who did so. Regardless of if Lambert told him to or not, his death caused most of Dimitri's problems.
- Flat Character: They exist to get killed off, so they usually don't get much development within the game/timeline where they took up the archetype role, most of their development are usually accessed via backstories or supports. Some later games try to avert this by allowing them to live a bit longer and showcasing their personalities before they finally die.
- Posthumous Character: Some of these characters get their characterizations post-mortem.
- Sacrificial Lamb: The short-lasting ones such as Hector, Fado, and Mikoto die very early in the game, mostly to instill righteous fury in the hero to finish the job.
- Sacrificial Lion: The longer-lasting ones such as Greil, Emmeryn, and Jeralt have significant development to establish them as important characters to the main heroes, making their deaths all the more impactful.
- Satellite Character: They're defined largely by their relationship with the Lord and how their death affects the Lord, at least in the scope of the game of said Lord. Intelligent Systems would eventually try to avert this sometimes by making them live longer and showcasing how other characters are affected with them while they lived.
- Sole Survivor: Only Emmeryn manages to survive being a straight example of this archetype, and even she suffers irreversible brain damage. Gunnthrá is also a weird case of this thanks to the game mechanics of Heroes; she can be summoned by the player even before her death scene, and nothing stops the player from summoning her afterwards too (nor does her death scene remove any of her playable versions from the player's party).
- You Killed My Father: A common motivation for the Lord is to avenge these guys' deaths. Ike in particular wants vengeance for his father Greil's demise.
- Big Good: They serve as why your army fights. Most of the time, they get spurred to help out this lost noble.
- Blue Blood: They are always of nobility. Even Archbishop Rhea has this trope within her veins (namely having the Crest of Seiros).
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Pelleas shows just how bad it can turn out when a Nyna tries to enter the battlefield. Namely, his inexperience and naivete ended up getting him manipulated into entering the Blood Pact which put his people in danger and can outright kill him. When he realizes this, he invokes Suicide by Cop in the hopes it will free Daien of the Blood Pact, but unless on a second playthrough where he can be spared, his Heroic Sacrifice doesn't fix the problem, but arguably makes things even worse.
- Elise's desire to find a peaceful end to the war and the conflict within her family is what ultimately ends up getting her killed when she throws herself in front of an attack aimed at Corrin, resulting in the death of her brother Xander.
- A Lord/player character is always loyal to a Nyna. So in the case of Rhea, if Byleth chooses to betray her (Crimson Flower route), she has a breakdown and turns into a deranged villain obsessed with revenge on Byleth and Edelgard.
- Distressed Damsel: More or less, their nation has been invaded, subjugated or being run to the ground and they are helpless to stave the invaders off, and they need your help. Guinivere's distress is less because her kingdom was invaded, but more or less because her brother, the King, went crazy and led their kingdom to invade others and she's unable to stop him. Rhea might subvert it since Garreg Mach and the Church of Seiros seem fine but there have been a lot of bandit strikes pre-Time Skip, and after the Time Skip, unless you're on the Crimson Flower route, she gets invaded and captured by the Adrestian Empire.
- Non-Action Guy: Early examples are not taking the front lines. However, Nyna does join your team in the last battle of Mystery of the Emblem, but she's just fresh from being un-brainwashed. Those who join you for more than a scenario, Elincia and Pelleas, start out really weak and require a lot of babying. Rhea's more blatant moments of action are contained in cutscenes or when she becomes an antagonist.
- The Not-Love Interest: Defying the Standard Hero Reward, after you clean up the Nyna's realm (assuming the Nyna survives), the Lord does not win the Nyna's hand in marriage, simply because the Nyna stands in a way higher level of nobility compared to the Lord (and usually because both of them don't want to deal with the possible political upheaval that such marriage could cause). This situation was actually highlighted in Mystery of the Emblem, where Marth and Nyna's respective ancestors, Anri and Artemis, were barred from getting married with each other due to the opposition from Archanea's nobles at the time. The only one that can avert this trope is just Rhea, but only in a specific route and it's still optional.
- The One Guy: Thus far, Pelleas is the only dude in this archetype.
- Politically Active Princess: Or Prince. This character tends to have a great presence in the political world, though they usually strive to be a good politician.
- Took a Level in Badass: A Nyna that is playable will usually start weak like an Est archetype, but if the player babied them, they can turn out formidable.
- Elincia is the only one who also takes on this narratively, as by Radiant Dawn, she grows into a competent princess even in the political world.
- Rhea is particularly notable for being the Final Boss of two routes, a recurring boss in one, and the hero of the ancient setting shaping war of her game. She also appears as a very powerful allied NPC repeatedly.
Availability vs. GrowthThese characters are marked by their gameplay impact on the player's party, and can shore up your strength at various points in the game.
- The Crutch Character
- The Jagen: An early-game old veteran that can't keep up due to poor growths.
- The Oifey: A early-game experienced lieutenant who has growths to keep pace.
- The Magikarp Power
- Est: A late-game young rookie with amazing growths if you invest in them.
- The Trainee: A rookie with a unique weak class that can be recruited at anytime.
- The Eyvel: A Taste of Power Guest-Star Party Member that returns when they may no longer be relevant.
- The Gotoh: A Crutch Character given at the very end of the game to make the last chapters easier if you're unprepared.
The JagenThe Jagen is a Crutch Character granted early in the game. They start off at a high level or are already a promoted class when the game begins, but they also have average to poor stat growths. Relying on the Jagen too much can hurt the player in the long run, as they will steal the majority of EXP if they're on the front lines killing enemies. They are generally an older mentor figure and bodyguard to the Lord, almost always of the Paladin class and come equipped with a Silver Lance. The typical justification for a Jagen's poor potential is usually advanced age or sickness.
From The Blazing Blade onward, the Jagen archetype was phased out of the series (sans remakes) in favor of the similar Oifey archetype, though the Jagen makes a comeback in Fire Emblem Fates through the Great Knight Gunter.
- Blade on a Stick: The Paladin Jagen typically has a lance (usually a Silver Lance) as their Weapon of Choice. In several cases, their weapon ranks are such that they're the only one who can use it for a while, which can push their lowish stats a lot further than you'd expect.
- Boring, but Practical: Oftentimes, they'll be able to pull their weight throughout the game doing stuff like chasing down thieves, or handling weak mooks while the other characters go after the main objective. It helps that many of them are in the very mobile and versatile Paladin class.
- Cool Horse: Almost all Jagens are Paladins.
- Character Select Forcing: In several games' hardest difficulties, using the Jagen (or Oifey) is basically mandatory for the first several chapters.
- Crutch Character:
- Jagens are quite useful in the early game, starting out as Disc One Nukes due to their stat advantage. They start losing steam starting from mid-game due to their low stat growths, receiving little EXP early on due to scaling, and other characters with higher stat growths catching up. Using Jagens to kill a lot of enemies early on can actually hurt you in the long run, as their initially low EXP yields and the limited EXP available lead to other characters being deprived of levels. That said, it's generally accepted that it's okay to make use of them; just don't try to solo the game unless that's deliberately what you're shooting for.
- Dadgar is a bit special in this deparment thanks to Thracia 776's particular way of balancing its characters; he actually doesn't start to show his age until very late in the game when magic enemies become pretty much omnipresent (which is his biggest weakness), thanks to the fact that unlike other Jagens his bases stats are actually quite high and the enemies aren't particularly bulky most of the time.
- Disc-One Nuke: Jagens start out able to flatten run-of-the-mill enemy units, and usually can take the early bosses without breaking a sweat.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Their lack of long-run potential is entirely justified by the story; they are old veterans who have little to learn in the way of combat and are hampered by their years compared to the more youthful units. Thus, they serve as mentors to the younger characters, which is conveyed through gameplay as being explicitly designed to feed kills to the younger, weaker units in the early game.
- The Mentor: As the elder statesmen they may train the younger units early on in hopes that they'll be surpassed in time.
- Old Retainer: Most of them are veteran knights old enough to be the Lords' grandfather, and they take pride in their years of loyal service.
- Old Soldier: Characters of this archetype are up there in their years, being no less than 40, when most of the main cast are between their mid-teens and early twenties.
- Stone Wall: Another reason why they are favored is their ability to tank attacks from enemies early on as well, and they're fast enough to avoid being doubled. Marcus is an good example of this, as his bulk allows him to transport Roy across the level to the seize point.
The Oifey is an evolution of the Jagen that generally fulfills the same role as the Crutch Character and shares many of the Jagen's tropes and elements (retainer/mentor of the Lord, tends to be a Paladin, starts out wielding a Silver Lance), but the Oifey continues to be useful in the long term due to having higher stat growths. The Oifey is also not much older than the Lord they serve unlike the Jagen, who has a decade or two on most of the cast and may have a Bodyguard Crush on their liege if they're of the opposite sex.
From The Blazing Blade and onward, the Oifey essentially replaces the Jagen archetype bar the remakes Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem. Oifeys would continue to be a staple of Fire Emblem games until Fates reintroduced the Jagen archetype through Gunter.
- Blade on a Stick: Being pretty much a Jagen, the Paladin class Oifeys typically have Silver Lance as their starting weapon. Oifey himself is an exception to this rule, by not having any kind of Silver weapons and specializing in Swords over Lances.
- Bodyguard Crush: They may crush on their Lord. Seth to Eirika, Titania to Greil, Sothe to Micaiah. Played for Laughs between Frederick and Chrom. In Fates, when the main Lord and customizable Avatar were combined into Corrin, you get one of two Oifeys that will always be Corrin's opposite sex if you want to invoke this yourself, and you'll get the same-sex one later in the game.
- Boring, but Practical: Much like their older counterparts—Oifeys do have above-average stat growths, but their bases are comparatively a little low for their levels, so their stats don't tend to hit ridiculous heights. They're still usually strong enough to handle just about anything when fully leveled, though.
- Breaking Old Trends: Titania was the first to be female. Sothe was the first to not be a mounted or otherwise knightly class line, instead being part of the thief family of classes. Interestingly Felicia combines both of these attributes as the Maid class is a mix of troubadour and thief characteristics.
- Character Select Forcing: In several games' hardest difficulties, using the Oifey (or Jagen) is basically mandatory for the first several chapters.
- The Consigliere: They're often the only non-Lords that remain core characters throughout the story, and the one who talks sense into the heroes as they go on their adventures.
- Cool Horse: Almost all of them are a promoted horse class like the Jagens.
- Crutch Character: Unlike the Jagens, though, these guys will typically remain a viable unit for the majority of the game, and maybe even well into the endgame, though Frederick is generally considered much weaker (but also extremely necessary).
- Disc-One Nuke: Like Jagens, they start as this. Unlike Jagens, the end result is much better.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: While Jagens tend to be old and greying, Oifeys tend to be merely older than the rest of the cast, seemingly in their twenties or thirties. It's especially pronounced with Marcus, who drops off in most of his stats between Blazing and Binding.
- Lightning Bruiser: As most are paladins, this is the usual result of their class and stat layout: hit very hard, soak up a lot of damage, and streak across the map. In the mid-to-late game, they tend to end up in Jack-of-All-Stats territory.
- Mercy Mode: In less difficult installments, they serve to help less experienced players overcome difficult segments such as that game's Early-Bird Boss, at the cost of losing out on experience for their other characters. This is averted in more difficult games, where there's a much heavier obligation to use these characters to get past the Early Game Hell or to achieve a higher ranking, regardless of the player's skill level.
- Plot Armor: As mentioned under The Consigliere, Oifeys usually appear in cutscenes throughout the story, so in games with Permadeath they will only suffer a Career-Ending Injury if they run out of HP. They still won't be usable as a unit, but they will continue to appear in cutscenes.
- Trope Codifier: The earliest Oifey units were unorthodox in how they overlapped with other archetypesnote and served niches outside of being exclusively a Crutch Character.note It wasn't until Marcus of The Blazing Blade where the archetype was finally solidified as "a Jagen but with better longevity".
The EstThe Est is the opposite of the Jagen. While the Jagen is a Crutch Character that is older than most of the cast, the Est is one of the younger characters that joins the group late in the game and embodies Magikarp Power. They may start off at a low level and as a basic class, but they'll become very powerful when trained thanks to their high stat growths. The original Est was a physical unit, though from Genealogy of the Holy War onward, they are more likely to be magic users.
Since Radiant Dawn, there have been no new characters of this archetype. Instead, their role as the Magikarp Power unit has been replaced by a character using the game's equivalent to the Trainee class, who is available earlier.
- Badass Adorable: Often cute or among the youngest of your army, but they can still fight and are potentially one of the strongest units.
- Difficult, but Awesome: They take up way more time and resources than your other units, especially because they join at a point where almost everything can kill them. But once trained up, they're fun as heck to unleash. Unfortunately may also overlap with Awesome, but Impractical, especially as the metagame shifted towards availability and speedruns, which favors those factors more and those are the areas Ests lack, in which it may be awesome to see them wreck things once properly trained up, but if you want to get good grades, trying to finish the game as quickly as possible or is in a rather difficult mode, you may end up reconsidering whether they'll be worth the difficulty or not.
- Late Character Syndrome: Despite their potential, they tend to come rather late, and at such a low level that it's almost not worth it to train them.
- The Load: If you're not willing to invest the effort to train them, they might as well not be there.
- Magikarp Power: They start off very weak and at a low level, but become one of their game's strongest units when trained.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: If not slender adults, Est characters are often children or small enough to pass as them. This actually can be a gameplay handicap, as a low Constitution (or Strength in some games) limits their ability to use heavier weapons.
- Squishy Wizard: Even if their growths are impressive overall, most tend to have mediocre HP or defense and low stat caps besides. A player wishing to use one of them should have some boosts handy.
- Unbuilt Trope: The Trope Namer becomes captured twice over the course of Gaiden/Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Mystery of the Emblem. In spite of her potential as a fighter, at the time of capture she's unable to free herself and relies on the heroes to rescue her. She loses her self-esteem from these incidents, and later abandons Abel in the belief that she's a burden to him. This becomes all the more tragic for players that have made the effort to level her up: while they see the potential in her, she can't.
The TraineeSimilar to the Est, but with much more variance in availability. These units tend to have a unique Trainee or Villager class. Through branching promotion, this gives them many more final class options than most units. Their versatility is appealing, but like Est, they start so weak they'll just be doing scratch damage with no special advantages for a while.
Trainees are almost all small town youths who are just getting their first taste of war.
Fire Emblem Three Houses offer a different twist on this archetype, in that every members of the academy starts out as a trainee classes (Commoner/Noble) and can be trained with any classes/skills you want. However, each academy members had their own set of interests and aspirations which influences what classes/skills will they be interested at that they eventually would also fit into other archetypes.
- Country Mouse: Donnel and Mozu fit squarely here. Many of their predecessors were at least small town heroes, with the exceptions of Lachesis and Leif, who were both royalty.
- Job System: Especially in Gaiden and Echoes, where the Villager class can split into 5 other unrelated class trees (in Echoes, Faye gets 4). In Sacred Stones, Ross gets access to all axe fighter variants, Amelia all armored and mounted knightly classes, and Ewan all anima and dark magic classes. In the beta, there was also a Probabtion Flier trainee class that presumably would've gotten access to all flying units.
- Late Character Syndrome: Averted, one of their main distinctions from Est. The Gaiden crew on Alm's route can all join before the first chapter (or can be saved and picked up later) while Celica gets Atlas midway in the story. Lachesis joins midway through Sigurd's half of Genealogy, while Leif joins in the second chapter of Seliph's story. In Sacred Stones, Ross is early game, Amelia mid-game, and Ewan closer to late-game. In Awakening and Fates, their sidequests become available early in the game, but it's up to you when you want to pick them up.
- Magikarp Power: Like proper Ests.
- Optional Party Member: In Awakening and Fates, they come from optional sidequests. In the original Gaiden, Alm could leave his home town without them, and in the remake, he can still leave Kliff and Faye behind. In Three Houses, recruiting Cyril is optional on the Azure Moon and Verdant Wind routes, while on the Black Eagles routes, he either joins automatically (Silver Snow) or does not join at all (Crimson Flower) depending on the major choice at the end of Chapter 11.
- A Taste of Power: What they essentially amount to.
- Can't Catch Up: Their bad growths prevent them from staying up to par with the other units.
- Crutch Character: They act like a Jagen at the start, being a powerful unit you can rely on for a short period.
- Disc-One Nuke: Like other Jagens, they murder the early chapters, but they're not even available again until Disc 4. Almost literally in the case of the Radiant Dawn examples.
- Fragile Speedster: While some, like Muarim and Geoffrey, are of the big, tanky classes common to other Jagens and Oifeys, there are also two Swordmasters, a Myrmidon, a Sniper, and a Raven all classes characterized by speed and skill rather than strength.
- Late Character Syndrome: By the time they return, they're essentially superfluous. The only exceptions to this are Gunter, who does have improved stats in the interim with the exception of speed, and Nailah and Mycen also double for the Gotoh role.
- Plot Armor: Most of the time, they'll suffer a Non-Lethal K.O. if defeated early on, although Geoffrey and Lucia are acting Lords on their chapters and therefore instead get We Cannot Go On Without You. Eyvel herself actually can't be defeated in "Disc One" Thracia 776 never allows any attack to have a 100% chance of hitting or missing, and it will cheese the RNG to ensure that any potentially lethal attack to Eyvel will miss.
A good amount of Gotohs tend to be royalty or Famed in Story in some capacity, possibly even being Living Legends with a title to match.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: Always joins very late into the game, but has stats that ensure that they remain useful. Nailah actually shows up late in Part 1 for a couple of chapters, but doesn't return until Part 4.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Their purpose is to make sure the player can still complete the game even with a decimated and/or RNG-screwed army.
- Living Legend: Many of them are well-known for many of their previous deeds possessing some kind of title, some of them take this to the extreme and are actually legendary figures from the distant past, living in the present.
- Mission Control: Usually serves as such before actually joining.
- Red Baron: Often, as they are typically famous In-Universe.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Sometimes the Gotoh is a ruler of a whole nation.
TeamsThese units are of the same class, but have different stat distributions to fit different playstyles and are personality foils. They are complementary when fielded together, and may give strong support boosts or team attacks.
- Cain and Abel: A Red and Green knight duo that typically serve the main Lord.
- Bord and Cord: A Red Oni, Blue Oni pair of axe fighters that may serve the Ogma.
- Pegasus Trio: A The Three Faces of Eve trio of fliers, mostly of common background, that can use the Triangle Attack.
- Wyvern Duo: A Red and Black Wyvern Knight duo (with clear distinction of who is superior in rank) from the enemy territory where both or one of them realize the error of the countries and defect.
- Personality: One is more relaxed or detached, while one is more serious or hot-blooded.
- Stats: The two have different stat specializations, with the specifics varying by game. For example, one may have high Speed and Skill while the other has high Strength and Defense.
- Color: One wears red, the other wears green, but other colors might fit, as long as it falls in line to You Gotta Have Blue Hair.
- Class: They have the same class, the most common being a Cavalier.
- Blade on a Stick: One tends to specialize in Lances, the other in Swords. Some games allow one to specialize in Axes as well. Exceptions include Kaze and Saizo, as both specialize in Hidden Weapons, essentially knives/daggers. Mae and Boey as well, since they are mages.
- Character Select Forcing: Their early availability, high mobility, all-around good stats, and (in some games) wide range of available weaponry make them two of the most versatile characters the player will have in their disposal.
- Chromatic Arrangement: The red Cain and green Abel are typically close with the (usually) blue Lord character, oftentimes serving as the Lord's loyal retainers.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Usually, the one in red is the red oni and the one in green is the blue oni; Mystery of the Emblem changed red for blue with Luke. The Blazing Blade is the only one that reverses this (and possibly Thracia 776, where the duo filling the archetype are little more than extras). Their stat specializations also tend to follow a pattern where the red one is strong and the green one is swift, though both The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones reversed that one.
- Cool Horse: Are always of the Cavalier class, with the exception of Kaze and Saizo, who are of the Ninja class (which itself is a counterpart to the Thief class), Lukas and Forsyth, who are of the Soldier class, and Mae and Boey, who are of the Mage class.
- Foil: Almost always of clashing personalities, which gets brought up (or even emphasized) in support conversations.
- Force and Finesse: A common distinction between the two, with one having greater Strength and the other having more Skill and Speed. They could be considered mounted counterparts to the Fighter and Myrmidon classes, respectively.
- Lightning Bruiser: For the most part, they are durable, strong, fast, and mobile with weaknesses that might as well not exist.
- Non-Indicative Name: Named for the original Biblical figures Cain and Abel. Absurdly enough, the two times the Cain and Abel trope actually comes into play (Mystery of the Emblem and Fates: Conquest), it's the Abel who betrays the Cain. Please note that this is only in a matter of 'betraying the homeland', not 'betraying the hero', since Abel ended up betraying both the hero Marth and his home country Altea, while Kaze betrayed Hoshido in Conquest, but sticks with the hero Corrin. And despite the namesakes of the archetype, only the Fates duo are actually siblings, though most of them do share a brother-like relationship with each other.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Usually one is intense and the other is calm, or one takes their knightly duties seriously and the other pursues other interests or hobbies. While the original Cain and Abel are the former and latter respectively, other games occasionally swap around the aforementioned traits.
- Those Two Guys: They generally act like this.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: Occasionally, there will be a third cavalier who is closely associated with the main duo, but isn't as close as they are to each other. Examples include Frey (to Cain and Abel as another one of Marth's retainers), Cecil (to Luke and Roderick as part of their trainee division), Franz (to Kyle and Forde as the latter's younger brother), and Kagero (to Kaze and Saizo as the third ninja, and Saizo's fellow vassal to Ryoma). Ironically, the one who originated this tendency was from the brother archetype of this archetype (Bord and Cord): Barst.
- An Axe to Grind: Their Weapon of Choice.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first Bord and Cord actually came as a trio with another axe fighter named Barst. Barst was the Blue Oni to their collective Red, and a Jack-of-All-Stats between the two about equal with Ogma.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Usually, one is calm and the other is a Boisterous Bruiser. For instance, Garcia and Nolan are older and more level-headed war vets while Ross and Boyd are young in their careers and eager to fight. Dorcas is doing mercenary work to save money for his sick wife, and Bartre is throwing himself into battle to get strong enough to fight his rival.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: The two will often share this dynamic, with one being a Blood Knight eager to take part in battle, and the other being The Everyman that just wants to be with their family. However, both play the Warrior to the Draug's Soldier, being independent mercenaries as opposed to members of an army. This is best shown in Dorcas' conversations with Oswin in The Blazing Blade where the former (himself the Soldier to Bartre's Warrior) turns down the latter's offer to join the Ostian Knights, so that he could continue fighting on behalf of his wife.
- Those Two Guys: They are usually friends, join at the same time, and even tend to look alike. Garcia and Ross are a father-son duo.
Personality-wise, the youngest is the most innocent, the eldest is the most mature. The middle child varies, but tends to be extremely dedicated to one thing, whether her duties, her family, money, an unrequited crush, etc. They're typically knights of the kingdom or mercenaries, with the eldest being The Captain of their own squadron. Rarely are they nobles with the exception of the Sacred Stones and Warriors entries.
Notable for being one of the only typically-player-side archetypes that has been used by the enemy: a Pegasus trio of Meng, Maybell, and Bleg appears in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. Furthermore, a enemy trio of Banba, Fetra and Eliu also appears, with largely the same dynamics except that these three are mages instead.
The Triangle Attack is absence from Awakening (barring a reference) and Fates being somewhat succeeded by the Pair-Up mechanic. The move returned in Three Houses as a universal mechanic that all female characters reclassed to pegasus knight can learn. However none of the default pegasus-aspiring units have any of the other elements of the archetype.
- Awesome, but Impractical: While definitely cool, setting up the Triangle Attack is often more trouble than it's worth.
- Blade on a Stick: Almost all of them can use Lances. Upon promotion, most of them typically gain Swords as well. Of special note are the Pegasus Knights of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, who start with both lances and swords and gain healing staves on promotion.
- Boyish Short Hair: One or two of them tend to have shorter hair than other girls.
- Chromatic Arrangement: Sometimes. The original White Wings had a very clear red, blue, and green color scheme. However the ones that reprise this closest are the non-pegasus trios that can Triangle in Binding Blade and Path of Radiance.
- Breaking Old Trends:
- In Genealogy of the Holy War, the archetype is assigned to a trio of enemies during the final map that aren't given much characterization. Also, a similar trio of enemy mage sisters appear in Chapters 7 and 8 with similarly limited characterization and access to the Triangle Attack.
- In Binding Blade you have a trio of armor knights that can Triangle Attack, and are close on the other counts of the archetype. The eldest is still the captain of the guard, but the youngest is the most driven and the middle is the most gentle. Only two out of three are siblings.
- In Path of Radiance you have a trio that can triangle and arguably even closer, despite some key differences. The eldest was a high ranking knight (before resigning to take care of the family), the middle is the most battle focused, and the youngest is the most naive. They're brothers however, not sisters. And they all have different classes, Paladin, Warrior and Sniper. Despite this they can still Triangle Attack because of their shared weapon, bows.
- Combat Medic: Only in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (though the relevant characters are enemies, and while none of them are equipped with staves, they all carry Earth Swords to heal themselves with) and Elincia in the Tellius duology.
- Combination Attack: The Triangle Attack. The effect is always a guaranteed Critical Hit on the unfortunate enemy. Yes, the trio of enemy Pegasus Knights can do this as well, and while they will seldom pull it off thanks to their AI canto-ing out of range, they do have the Critical skill, which hits just as hard as a Triangle Attack.
- Composite Character: Some games incorporated traits from Caeda into their resident youngest Pegasus Knight. Shanna, Florina, and Sumia are the starting Pegasus Knight in their games while being acquaintances with the starting Mercenary (Dieck) and a Lord (Lyn and Chrom) respectively. Elincia has elements of the Heroine archetype, and conveniently Ike is a Lord with elements of the starting Mercenary. While Tana's age is vague in relation to Vanessa, she is the least experienced fighter in the group and is close friends with Eirika and Ephraim. And there is Farina who fits into the Beowolf archetype that players had to pay to recruit her.
- Cool Horse: Well, Cool Pegasus actually.
- Fragile Speedster: Most of them tend to be this compared to other units, having high speed but mediocre to low defense.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: The eldest of the sisters (Palla) always has long hair to emphasize their 'wife/mother' status in the The Three Faces of Eve dynamic and being the caretaker. The only exception for this rule is Tanith during Path of Radiance, but in the sequel, the more feminine, long-haired Sigrun takes over the 'eldest sister' part.
- Mage Killer: Because most of them tend to have high Resistance as well, they tend to excel at slaying mages.
- Rule of Three: Three Pegasus Knights who all know each other and who can initiate the Triangle Attack exist as recruitable characters in most games.
- The Three Faces of Eve: Tend to have this dynamic. The Est is the Child and the Palla is the Wife. The Catria is the odd one out that they are usually the Serious One instead of the Seductress.
- Utility Party Member: The initial Pegasus Knight tends to have underwhelming combat abilities, with Speed being their only quality, not helped by their restriction to lances if the early game is dominated by axe-wielding enemies. However, they are nonetheless invaluable for their high Movement and ability to bypass terrain obstacles, not only allowing them to reach villages before the Bandit Mooks, but also ferry other units to where they're needed, but couldn't easily access on their own.
In the earlier days, only the red Wyvern Knight would join you, but eventually both would join, forming this archetype. If that happens, usually it's the female who joins first. This is why at first the archetype used to be named after the first female example of this: Minerva. There are other instances of this, however.
There's also another similarity in traits for this. Unlike Cain and Abel, who are more or less equals in rank, the rank hierarchy is clear in this archetype: One would be a senior/senpai, the other one would be a junior/kouhai.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Red and black, similar to Cain and Abel (switching green for black).
- Defector from Decadence: They always hail from the enemy empire, which is often made to be the only place capable of breeding wyverns. This is also why both Cherche and Gerome from Awakening don't quite make the cut despite being a duo of wyvern knights: the country they're from isn't antagonistic.
- Dragon Rider: They're always of the Wyvern Knight class.
- Foil: In a way, to the Cain and Abel archetype. Two color-coded mounted knight duos. One uses horses (mostly), one uses wyverns. One is from the Lord's country, one is from the enemy country. One seems to be equal with each other, one has a distinction in who's more experienced or in higher position.
- HeelFace Turn: They are always defectors from the enemy nation (with the exception of Camilla in Fates: Conquest), and often must be recruited directly from the enemy.
- Lightning Bruiser: As Wyvern Knights, they've got very good speed and power and even defense, although arrows still deal a big chunk of damage to them.
- Sempai Kouhai: Unlike Cain and Abel, who are almost always equal, the Wyvern Duo usually has a clear distinction of seniority or who has more experience, or in the case of Fates, which one is a noble and which one is a commoner. The junior usually joins first (excepting Melady), and the junior is almost never the one to refuse to join (excepting Scarlet in Fates: Conquest). For more details:
- The juniors are Minerva, Altenna, Eda, Zeiss, Heath, Cormag, Jill and Scarlet.
- The seniors are Michalis, Arion, Dean, Melady, Vaida, Glen, Haar and Camilla.
Recurring Physical UnitsUtility physical units. Some join early-game to teach core mechanics of weapon variants, and common strategies like taking advantage of chokepoints.
- The Draug: A Stone Wall armor knight to shield weaker units who came from commoner background.
- The Archer
- The Sword Fighter:
- The Ogma: A well-rounded Mercenary good for any situation.
- The Navarre: A Critical Hit Class Myrmidon who usually has to be recruited from the enemy.
- The Ayra: An aspiring female warrior who lives by the sword. Often an outsider among her group.
- The Julian: A Lovable Rogue street urchin or spy to teach the mechanics of the Thief class.
- The Caeda: An early game female Pegasus Knight and the earliest access of aerial units. Usually a noble and has links with the Lord. Cannot perform any combination attacks unlike the Pegasus Trio and may end up as the sole Pegasus Knight of the team.
The Draug is usually characterized by their loyalty and humble nature despite their imposing strength. Even if they are in service to nobles, they are typically from rural or lower-class backgrounds.
- The Big Guy: They're the muscle of your army early on.
- Breaking Old Trends: Raphael is the first one who's not an Armor Knight, but instead specializing in one of the classes just introduced in Three Houses: Brawlers. It acts similarly to Armor Knights, except they have slightly higher attack power while sacrificing defenses; and at the very least, Raphael does consider Armor Knight as his secondary interest and has the proficiencies and stat spread to work very well in the class. Interestingly enough, Dedue himself considers Brawler as his secondary interest.
- Fragile Speedster: In the games with reclassing available, they can be surprisingly squishy outside their base class, yet with tremendous speed to offset that.
- Gentle Giant: They are all humble or stoic, but no one is unfriendly when approached. Kellam takes this to its logical extreme by being outright ignored, and sometimes even invisible to friends.
- Skill Gate Character: They are useful by players who are new to the game due to their ability to soak up damage without needing to dodge. As they become more experienced, however, their lack of ability to double enemies due to their poor speed becomes a problem, though later games that have reclassing systems did allow them to transfer to much faster classes.
- Stone Wall: Their biggest claim to fame is their high defense, making them ideal for holding chokepoints to protect weaker units.
- Super Strength: They are known as great soldiers, if not capable of superhuman feats of power.
The GordinThe Gordin is an archer, often the first one you recruit. He's the youngest of your starting army or a villager who decides to help out. They lack war experience but are good with a bow, optimistic, and eager to join the cause. However, their lack of war experience sometimes translates into being shy and deprived of confidence. They tend to be pretty good hunters, too. This unit is used to ease players into the adventure, to understand ranged vs. direct attacks. As such, they are the antithesis of the Draug, and often need to be defended by other units until they're fast enough to dodge.
- Friendly Sniper: Many of them are upbeat and friendly towards others, especially the younger ones due to their age. This is in contrast to Jeorges, who are usually more cold or level-headed.
- Glass Cannon: They can't defend themselves against direct attacks, but are useful for picking off enemies with proper training.
- Magikarp Power: If you can stand their low base damage and raise them properly, they can finally pick up the slack and be powerful archers on their own, though not to the extreme degree of Est characters. It also helps that they have early availability.
- Scratch Damage: When first recruited, they'll only be doing a little damage. You can use them to weaken units for your other fighters to swoop in for the kill, or have them pick off the last sliver from an already ailing opponent.
- Shrinking Violet: Several Gordins don't exactly have the best self-esteem due to either lack of war experience or just their inherent personality, although with early availability and Magikarp Power at hand, they can one day turn this around. Neimi and Bernadetta are primary examples of this.
- Tag Along Kid: Usually the youngest of the early-game roster.
The JeorgeThe Jeorge is usually an upgraded version of the Gordin archetype. There's usually a mid/late-game prepromoted Sniper that will nicely answer to the player's need of an immediate archer if they have neglected to raise other low-leveled archers, since they usually possess good base stats. Their prepromoted status means that if there's an unique bow within the game, then they will need only a little time to start utilizing it, based on how Jeorge himself receives the Parthia bow come Mystery of the Emblem, or sometimes, that unique bow is locked exclusively towards them. If a Jeorge comes unpromoted and a bit early-game, then the exclusivity of that unique bow would make them ahead of the curve of archery compared to other Gordins. Much like Merric and Wendell, the Jeorge in this case often tends to be a Big Brother Mentor figure or sorts to the Gordin character or a literal elder sibling to someone else.
- Aloof Big Brother: They tend to be a more aloof/stoic elder sibling of someone or mentoring a junior archer. Jeorge mentors Gordin, Louise (while not being totally aloof) is looked up to by Rebecca and Igrene, Igrene herself acts like a big sister figure to Fae and Sophia, Shinon mentors Rolf. Brigid is Edain's big sister, Febail is Patty's big brother, Klein is Clarine's big brother, Innes is Tana's big brother, Takumi has Sakura as his little sister and the young archer Kiragi as his son, Shamir mentors Cyril. Zig-zagged with Jamke, as he's actually the youngest brother of the Verdane Princes, but he's also the Only Sane Man of his siblings.
- Archer Archetype: They usually possess a cool and calculating attitude when compared to the more eager Gordin.
- Cold Sniper: Most of them can be a bit of an asshole (save Jeorge, Klein, and Louise), and they all favor bows as weapons.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the later games, their aloofness can veer into Jerkass levels to the point that they may look like a Cold Sniper with a bow, but they will always have a Hidden Heart of Gold somewhere.
- Master Archer: They're noted for their expertise in archery, and even most of them start out as prepromoted Snipers or the class equivalent of them, even nearing or at a high rank of bows.
- Weapon of Choice: They are usually prepromoted Snipers, thus specializing in bows. However, some of them come with unique bows that only they can equip, such as Yewfelle and Fujin Yumi. Other non-exclusive unique bows include Parthia (locked to Jeorge in Fire Emblem Heroes), Mulagir, Nidhogg (locked to Innes in Fire Emblem Heroes), and Silencer (named Shinon's Bow in the Japanese version), and the Jeorge is a very likely candidate to wield them ASAP due to their already high affinity with bows.
The OgmaThe Ogma is the first Mercenary, joining early to mid-game. He usually has overall high stat growths, ending up well-balanced or focusing on Strength. He tends to be either a mercenary leader, or, in the case that there is no group of mercenaries involved, a mercenary who joins the player army on his own. If he's not part of a mercenary group, he might be employed by the enemy army as a Hired Gun and need to be convinced to join your cause. Appearance-wise, the Ogma is usually a heavily muscled man who might have scars here and there.
In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, the Ogma will often vanish without a trace.
- Dark and Troubled Past: They don't often have very bright pasts; whether it be the conditions they were raised in or the loss of loved ones or their status in the world, they haven't had an easy time. However instead of brooding about it they put up a strong front for those around them, with the exception of Raven.
- Force and Finesse: The Force to the Navarre's Finesse. Usually muscled men, the Ogma usually prefers massive swords and uses a rougher fighting style to go with it. Once they class change, they can even wield axes.
- Only in It for the Money: They usually start off tagging along because they're getting money out of it. Their difference with Beowolf characters is that their policy is "Job first, pay later."
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Typically have overall solid stats.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: They often have seen enough in their day and tend to not be optimistic, usually being very cynical, but no less loyal to the army.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: The Soldier to the Navarre's Warrior, using the sword as a means to an end, which, as the class name "Mercenary" indicates, is usually to make a living. This is reflected in their stats. Their well-rounded stats give them a decent chance of surviving and they gain axes to help with the weapon triangle.
The NavarreThe Navarre is the first Myrmidon (Mercenary in Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Mystery of the Emblem), joining early to mid-game. They always need to be recruited from the ranks of enemies (usually bandits) and have a Fragile Speedster build (high Speed and Luck for dodging with lackluster defenses, occasionally also lacking in Attack) with some Critical Hit Class flavoring thanks to a good Skill stat. The Navarre carries a Killing Edge to further drive home their propensity to crit while simultaneously making it dangerous to approach them for recruiting.
The Navarre usually has some sort of pre-established relationship with another character, usually the Lena or the Julian. They also have a code of honor alongside a desire to fight to hone their skills. Like the Ogma, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue will mention that the Navarre faded into obscurity after the conflict.
- Blood Knight: They often have a particularly strong obsession with improving their skills in battle.
- Breaking Old Trends:
- Aran fits most of the hallmarks of the character archetype (recruitable enemy in fact, he's the only unit in the entire game that needs to be recruited from the enemy ranks in this fashion with a pre-established relationship with the Lena and a Critical Hit Class), but he wields a lance rather than a sword and he's so slow that he can still come off as rather fragile early on despite his Stone Wall growths.
- Jamke actually fits the archetype despite being an archer rather than a swordsman. He is initially an enemy unit who must be recruited by the Lena, and comes equipped with a Killer Bow.
- Zihark and Guy stand out from the rest in that they lack any of the aloofness or blood knight qualities of the rest they're completely genuine nice guys.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Despite their haughty nature, there are always kindhearted female members in the army that they would be more open to, forming this dynamic.
- Code of Honor: Legendary and often paid professional killers, they may hold themselves to some code that prevents them from killing certain targets, such as women, children, or in the case of Zihark, the laguz. Lon'qu plays with this in that he has a paralyzing fear of women.
- Critical Hit Class: Their starting weapon tends to be a Killing Edge or some other high-crit weapon, which makes getting to them to recruit them more dangerous. Two exceptions are Ayra and Felix. Ayra doesn't have a Killing Edge or similar weapon, but she has the Astra skill, which allows her multiple consecutive hits that acts like her Critical Hit. Felix also doesn't start out with a Killing Edge, but he has the Crest of Fraldarius which randomly boosts his damage and activates more often than a Critical Hit in exchange for less damage and the Sword of Moralta associated with said Crest does indeed have souped-up crit rate.
- Divergent Character Evolution: The myrmidon class that the archetype is known for was actually split off from the mercenary swordfighter class to make them more obviously distinct.
- Force and Finesse: The Finesse to the Ogma's Force. With their more lean build, the Navarre utilizes swift swordplay in battle to dodge hits and perform follow-up attacks. They rely on their equally high Skill to potentially deal critical hits to make up for their relatively low Strength.
- Fragile Speedster: Always fast, (nearly) always fragile, and depending on their growths, may be lacking in strength.
- HeelFace Turn: Most Navarres are found on the enemy side and must be persuaded to join your army. Subverted with Lon'qu, in that he is a sullen swordsman with the Killing Edge who was intended to fight you in a gladiator-style match, but he was replaced as champion at the last minute by "Marth". After "Marth" is defeated, he still joins anyway. This is also averted by Felix in Three Houses, as he is recruited automatically with the rest of the Blue Lions, though it's noted that he has a strained relationship with his house leader Dimitri and you do have to go out of your way to recruit him on the Black Eagle and Golden Deer routes before he becomes an enemy.
- Master Swordsman: The Navarre is often noted for their exceptional prowess with a blade.
- Rocket-Tag Gameplay: What makes recruiting them as enemy units so difficult is that their high Critical Hit rate and low defense makes it so that either they easily kill one of your units, or vice-versa. Even if either one survives the encounter, the ensuing injuries make either one of them susceptible to being picked off by a nearby enemy (especially when encountered in a space crowded by enemies). The solution is to somehow talk to them without engaging in combat with them, which in itself can be difficult as the required units are often themselves Fragile Speedsters or Support Party Members.
- Rōnin: They're lightly-armored swordsmen that wield katana-like weapons (in their attack animations, at least), and are normally first encountered working as a mercenary for an enemy group.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: The Warrior to the Ogma's Soldier, being dedicated swordsmen that are either Blood Knights or seeking to become a Master Swordsman. This is reflected in their stats. They focus on the "live hard, die young" fighting style and rely on the flashy but unpredictable Critical Hits. When promoted, they simply focus more on their swordmanship instead of trying to diversify.
- To Be a Master: Those who are not Blood Knights typically seek to become a Master Swordsman.
- Unbuilt Trope: Samuel, one of the first "Navarre-style" Mercenaries/Myrmidons to be recruited in the series, was a Costume Copycat who was much weaker than the original, and not portrayed as awesome in the slightest. One could think of him as a Deconstruction of the Archetype and Expies in general, but he was probably the series' first.
The AyraAmongst your army, you may find certain ladies that specialize in sword fighting rather than traditionally "feminine" interests (or if they try to, they'd be horrible at it). The original Ayra is a foreigner to the main Lords country, hailing from an Asian-inspired region with a unique sword style. This is reflected in members of this archetype having troubles with customs foreign to them, though it can be mitigated with time.
They enjoy finding sparring partners and worthy opponents to improve their sword skills. They won't take kindly to people insinuating that they can't swing their sword well enough because of their gender or hertiage. Usually of the myrmidon class they can be seen as a variation on the Navarre-type but may have key differences.
Their reason for picking up the sword are usually more noble, typically from admiring their family member, being a successor to the lineages sword style or doing so as a way to protect their liege. Stat-wise, they tend to take a more speedy approach to Navarre, sacrificing even more power in exchange for more speed.
- Berserk Button: Many take offense if their prowess in swordsmanship is being questioned based on their gender. No, sir, they swing their sword as hard as the men could, or probably even better!
- Breaking Old Trends: While Petra does have a proficiency in swords... she also had it in axes, bows, and flying. Her canon class as an NPC is a swift sword (Myrmidon-Assassin) but she has equal aptitude for being a wyvern rider.
- Yuzu is the only member of this archetype that is not part of a Critical Hit Class in Echoes due to mechanics, but is instead an Priestess class which uses both swords and magic. That being said, this doesn't just apply to Echoes only, as in Cipher, she is part of the Samurai, Swordmaster, Hero, Sniper, Dread Fighter, Master Ninja, General, the aforementioned Priestess, and Nomadic Trooper.
- Critical Hit Class: They always belong to a sword class focusing on dealing lots of critical hits such as Swordmaster, Assassin, or Lyns Swordmaster-esque Blade Lord class.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Ayra herself is an example of the trope despite naming the archetype. Unlike other fellow Ayras, she is more cold-blooded and stoic than Hot-Blooded and she wasn't exactly social or looking for challengers, shooing off flirtations (although she bonded normally with Chulainn), and she actually took a lot more from the original Navarre. However, her clear foreign state and cultural code of honor around swords and her mastery over it (therefore she's less vocal about self-improvement) helped codify the archetype and perfected by her daughter Larcei, carrying the genes that laid the foundations of the archetype.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: They usually hail from a country not belonging to the main Lord, having differing customs or a thick accent. Since most games are in a western Medieval European Fantasy, this foreign land is typically eastern. Far East, Middle East, or at least Eastern European. While Hana is not a foreigner within her group, her kingdom is Japan-based.
- Fragile Speedster: They dodge even better than Navarres, but they don't hit as hard, which can cause trouble when they just can't deal even 1 damage, since that would reduce their critical to nothing.
- Hot-Blooded: They are a lot more eager in battle, as opposed to the Navarre, who's got more cold delivery.
- Master Swordsman: They're experts at swordsmanship or aspire to reach that status.
- Spirited Competitor: A lot of their dialogue revolves around finding a sparring partner to hone their sword skills.
- Tomboy: Don't ask them to do feminine things. They will either refuse or be genuinely horrible at it.
The Julian is the first Thief (or its equivalent), making him the go-to guy to teach you how to lockpick things without the need of keys dropped by the enemy, or steal items from enemies. His combat ability isn't exactly superb due to being a Fragile Speedster lacking in Strength, but he's usually strong enough to not be useless.
Despite his less-than-lawful ways, the Julian is still a generally good person with some sort of moral compass and is often a Gentleman Thief. He tends to join your army alongside another character, usually one that he already has a close relationship with.
- Knife Nut: As expected from the Thief class family, this is their primary Weapon of Choice, even if the "knives" are actually just short swords most of the time. Averted with Niles and Ashe, who prefer bows instead.
- Lovable Rogue: With the adult examples as Gentleman Thief and the kids the Artful Dodger. Ashe takes this to another level by leaving behind his roguish way and acting more like a chivalrous knight (while still having his old lockpick skills).
- Morality Pet: On the flipside from the above. As the original was paired with Lena, the partner they pair with tends to be similarly squishy, even if not The Lena. Julian has Lena. Matthew had the NPC Leila (emphasis on "had"), and to some extent the playable Serra. Colm and Neimi. Sothe and Micaiah.
- Token Evil Teammate: Amongst the many Julians, Lifis is the only one who isn't a Lovable Rogue. Instead, he's a sleazeball who lies and cheats to get what he wants, and he routinely pillaged villages before joining your party, too, and while Safy's presence can mellow him down to 'fight for the good cause', he's only doing that in exchange of 'personal' favor from her (and he's actually not planning to honor that too). He's only balanced out with the fact that at the same time, he's made to suffer by several other characters.
They serve as your earlier flying unit, until you recruit the Pegasus Trio (who are mostly not of nobility) and learn to utilize their teamwork (or not, sometimes a game (or a big portion of it) didn't have a trio of Pegasus Knights), therefore a Caeda can never do a Triangle Attack within their game, they fly solo for the most part (but they'll still mingle with friends within the army, even the Pegasus Trio who more likely had commoner backgrounds). However, their early availability means that they have a LOT of room to grow and they rarely ever become obsolete. The Caeda might not be able to utilize the more advanced Triangle Attack, but they can still hold their own.
- Blade on a Stick: Goes without saying that they prefer spears over swords, though some also carry a sword as a backup, usually post-promotion.
- Blue Blood: A pretty much high-class Pegasus Knight. Even Erinys, who started out as a commoner, would end up becoming one since she would become the Queen of Silesse regardless of whom she marries.
- Boring, but Practical: As opposed to the Pegasus Sisters, they lacked the Combination Attack and 'obvious friendship link/traits'. However, the attack tends to be considered Awesome, yet Impractical and just by having the Caeda alone means you can still put different two members with varying utilities and the Caeda will still do the job as a flyer just fine, their fullest potential already unleashed as long as you just deploy them.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Because the original Caeda was also The Heroine, some of them (particularly in the honorable mentions) have some downplayed Heroine traits. This is especially true of the members that end up being part of a trio, and are Composite Characters with the Est.
- Fragile Speedster: It's a common trait for Pegasus Knights and they'll teach you just that, having innately high Skill and Speed, although their Strength stat may suffer.
- Lady of War: The primary example of the series, flying around and swinging and stabbing spears from the sky on a majestic winged pony look graceful and deadly in the same time.
- Mage Killer: Again, as Pegasus Knights, it makes them perfect to strike on mages with their innate high Res.
- Modest Royalty: They get along just fine with the more common-born Whitewings. Even if they're solo flyers, they are not lone wolves.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: They may be nobles, but they simply choose not to stand idle when others are also fighting for the good of the land.
- Skill Gate Character: They are usually the one who teaches you the ropes about flyers and being a Pegasus Knight: Great mobility, spear-fighting, avoid archers at all cost (this is before you get the more advanced flyers: Either the Pegasus Trio and their Triangle Attack, or the Wyvern Duo with their bulkier flying stats)... It helps that they're always available on early game, and at worst just mid game.
Recurring Magic Units
- The White Mage: Typically a young girl that can only heal until promoted. The line between personality and class may be interchangeable from game to game.
- The Lena: The early on-foot priestess, typically religious and demure.
- The Maria: A healer who joins later, typically a noble, mounted and enthusiastic.
- The Black Mage Prodigy: Early-to-mid-game mages that specialize in offense, particularly Wind.
- The Merric: A social optimist who takes pride in the power of magic.
- The Arlen: A socially distant bookworm who values their studies.
- The Linde: Mid-game feminine auxiliary mage who compliments the Prodigy, and has had a family member killed by the bad guys, giving them a Revenge and tragedy angle.
- The Wendell: Mid-to-late-game pre-promoted Mage who mentors the Prodigy.
The LenaThe Lena is one of the early-game healers, more often than not the first you will recruit. She usually ends up joining up with your army because she was rescued from some sort of tight situation, such as being kidnapped. Just like how the Gordin is used to teach you about how bows work, the Lena is used to ease players into the healing mechanic.
The Lena tends to be a young and pure-hearted girl who is part of the faith/religious group of her country, and is also good friends with and/or the morality chain for another character. She starts off as a Support Party Member and needs to be defended until she can Class Change, at which time her high magic potential that has been used for healing can also be used for powerful attacks.
- Damsel in Distress: You usually meet them when their home is under attack, or when they're on the run from the enemy. There were only a few that were met not in distress.
- Healer Signs On Early: The Lena is usually your first medic (and if not, they're usually the secondfor example... ).
- The Medic: Will most likely be your main healer and joins early most of the time.
- Morality Pet: She may be paired with at least one guy who has a soft spot for her despite usually being more nonchalant. As the original was paired with Julian, they tend to be Fragile Speedsters. However, they are not always the Julian - sometimes it's the Navarre, and there have been some completely different entires. Lena has Julian. Serra and Erk (in Lyn's story, and to some extent Matthew in the main story). Natasha and Joshua. Rhys and Mia. Laura and Arran. Mercedes and Jeritza.
- The One Guy: Rhys is so far the only male that's ever been considered part of this archetype. He even gets a female partner in Mia the Myrmidon.
- Proper Lady: The older examples are always demure and polite, and even Rhys is like this even though he's a guy. The younger examples like Genny, Marisha, Serra and Lissa tend to avert this.
- Team Mom: The older ones tends to become the 'mommy' to the crew, working extra hard to care for the younger ones.
- Token Religious Teammate: Not just using the stock RPG class, they are almost always literal clerics and priests that are part of the fantasy faith tradition of the continent.
- White Mage: It takes a lot of effort to get her to level 10 to promote, or level 20 to get her maximum potential before attacking. But it's usually worth the wait.
The MariaThe Maria is the female mid-game healer, joining later than other healers, typically because she has somehow been sidelined. To justify using the Maria over previous healers you've obtained, she often comes equipped with more potent staves or has a different class. Starting from Genealogy of the Holy War, this class is usually a Troubadour or other mounted healer class.
While the Lena is typically a healer because she's part of the faith, the Maria is often of Blue Blood and became a healer because it's an Acceptable Feminine Goal for a noble. The Maria also tends to focus on her family, with her siblings usually being playable. In many games, the two white mage archetypes are personality foils to each other, but who takes what role depends on the game.
- Blue Blood: The Maria is often from a family of nobility, and sometimes this has an effect to make the Maria a snobbish princess, but still a good-hearted one.
- Damsel in Distress: Almost all of them are held against their will at some point.
- Magic Knight: Almost as often as not, they'll have a promoted class that will give them access to swords (or knives in Elise's case) rather than tomes, and Ethlyn, Lachesis, Nanna, and Mistnote don't even need to promote to be able to start slashing.
- Proper Lady: Tends to be a noble, or have secret noble lineage.
- Sibling Team: Most have at least one recruitable sibling. Usually an older brother.
- White Mage: Like Lena, she's primarily a medic.
The MerricThe main mage archetype, The Merric is an early-to-mid game youthful mage who belies a lot of potential in magic and studies quite hard to achieve it.
As the "warm side" of this archetype, they tend to be eager and social, but overall a bit more passive. They could be a little shy or cowardly, or just too much of a Nice Guy to confront those that taunt them. They are often underestimated due to their age, but a lot of times, it doesn't bog them down.
Keeping with the warm theme, since Sacred Stones a dead giveaway is also their reddish hair.
They usually have early joining time, allowing time for the players to invest in them as a magical powerhouse ASAP.
- Badass Adorable: They're young, youthful, and positive boys, they can be precocious, but they still pack a punch with magic tomes.
- Badass Bookworm: Well read, and they fight with tomes.
- Blow You Away: In games where Wind magic is distinct, many of them start with a wind tome and are associated with Excalibur and its equivalents. Hayato plays with this by being from the "Wind Tribe" despite Hoshidan mages using animal spirits instead of elements.
- Child Prodigy: A young teen or preteen that is often the best student of a well-known Sage, if not just having The Gift.
- Composite Character: Three Houses attempts to merge their main Merric and Linde (see how it goes for the Linde below) with interesting results. Annette retains Merric's typical wind mastery and cheeriness and the fact that she had to study hard in order to master magic, but has Linde's gender and a variation of her 'father issues': She has a Disappeared Dad, though he is actually still alive and under the alias Gilbert. In Crimson Flower, if you recruited Annette, you could have her attack and possibly kill Gilbert in an inverse situation with Tailtiu and Reptor, or if you haven't, you effectively turned Gilbert into Annette's Miloah and she'll have a serious bone to pick against you.
- Magikarp Power: Downplayed; all of them join a little underleveled (except Azelle and Revelation Hayato), meaning you have to work a little to get them up to scratch.
- Nice Guy: All of them are mostly pretty nice to others, actually quite similar with the Peaceful Lord.
- Playing with Fire: If they are not using Wind Magic, then they would instead specialize in Fire Magic. They never do Thunder Magic.
- The Smurfette Principle: Annette is the only female member to represent this archetype.
- Tagalong Kid: Some of them are very young, to the point of not being taken that seriously by the rest of the army. Ricken and Hayato in particular find this frustrating.
The ArlenA subtype and foil to Merric. Their roles overlap to the point where you may only have one (like Oifey to Jagen), but its becoming more common to have both.
The tend to be a little older and they're not paragons in personality in comparison. Some traits that are more on the Arlen side of the spectrum include being more comfortable studying than talking to others. While they may share some of Merric's natural talent, they tend to focus on the scholarly side of magic, than raw power and intuition.
The "cool side" to the archetype, the Arlen is standoffish and doesn't always get along great with others. They're confrontational, sharp tongued, or maybe just so socially awkward that they come across as 'The Asshole Mage.' Despite having a dark air around them, they're just as dedicated in blasting evil with magic. Keeping with the cool theme, they usually have darker clothing and hair than pure Merrics.
- Aloof Ally: Every one of them probably wouldn't be the most friendly mages you'll meet, but they will still fight the bad guys.
- Badass Bookworm: Much like Merrics, of course.
- Blow You Away: Like Merrics, some of them also specialize in this when Wind Magic is distinct.
- Breaking Old Trends: Linhardt is the only member of this archetype that actually specializes in White Magic. However, he's not part of any faith and applies a majority of 'curious, distant magic researcher' personality like many members of the archetype, he just picked White Magic because it'll shed the least blood and he doesn't like shedding too much blood.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Another part that makes Arlen differ from Merric is that sometimes they're not afraid to dabble in dark arts, sometimes even actively pursuing it, when compared to Merric. whose bright personality would make them unsuited for dark magic. Regardless, they still kept their sanity to use the dark arts for good goals.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Hubert at first looks like a typical 'asshole mage', but his Undying Loyalty to his liege Edelgard essentially make him the closest thing the series has to a heroic Gharnef. The harsh setting of the game and Edelgard's ambitions turn him into a puppet master, assassin, and generally a 'fixer' for her in the shadows; ironically mirroring the warnings given to the original Arlen that he might end up like Gharnef if he didn't temper his jackass attitude; in case of Hubert, he literally takes that route out of loyalty.
- Foil: Personality-wise, they serve as this to Merric, mirroring the originals' near-deadly rivalry. While the Merric is more open and social, the Arlen is more antisocial and comes off as jerkish.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: They may be more confrontative and less social, but they're still decent-hearted people when you get to know them. Some of them hide their decency really well.
They can be quite social too, bonding with mostly Merric characters due to their shared interest with magic, or just as well to start a relations with other non-Merric characters. They appear plucky, but they may be hiding a personal tragedy, since most Lindes end up in the Lord's army because the bad guys have done something horrible to their family members, mostly parents. And most of the time, it's going to be about death, not any other horrible things that would be inflicted when they still draw breath.For example
They tend to join later than Merric characters, thus people often have to choose which one would be their main magical powerhouse, their stat growth could be quite stellar that they could surpass the Merric character if the player invested their time, even if their starting stats and availability might not be that hot.
- Badass Adorable: Due to their youth, they tend to be very cute, but they pack a very heavy punch with their magic. Even moreso, the combination of adorableness and magical prowess (and a lot of times, tragedy angle) tend to make them high candidates to become fan-favorites.
- Black Magician Girl: They're young girls with the gift of magic.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Downplayed. They're not lazy, but due to their talent with magic, some of them can afford to focus on other personalities instead of 'studying magic really hard'.
- Composite Character: Three Houses attempts to merge their main Merric and Linde (see how it goes for the Merric above) with interesting results. Lysithea retains Linde's immense gift of magic without a lot of studies as well as family tragedy angle, but she also possesses a trait seen in modern Merrics like Ricken and Hayato: Getting snappy when someone treats her like a child.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Lysithea pretty much deconstructs the concept of natural talent in magic within this archetype. In her case, her talent was experimented on her in form of having two crests, it gave her great magical talent, but it heavily shortens her lifespan, despite her still trying her best to live her short life the fullest.
- Foil: They tend to be a more positive foil to Merrics and are often seen paired with the Merric. Their growths also often differ with the Merric in a similar way with Cain and Abel.
- The Gift: They're often someone who's just born with magical talent, thus requiring less studies than some of their fellow mages.
- Glass Cannon: Their stat growths or weapon focus tend to favor this approach compared to the speedier Merrics: low Defense, as is typical for mages, and usually comparatively lower Speed, so they can't dodge very well, but in exchange, they either have a much higher Magic growth or have a magic type or tome that hits really hard. Quite often, they compensate for failing to double by hitting so hard they kill the enemy in one shot. (One of the few cases of Male Might, Female Finesse being inverted in these archetypes.) It may have something to do with how a Linde tends to rarely to never ever specializing in Wind Magic, something that a lot of Merrics (or Arlens) tend to favor, and winds are associated with speed.
- Magikarp Power: Though not as much as Est characters, a Linde can come a bit late when you have already developed your Merric, but they have a chance to grow exponentially more powerful than Merrics.
- Parental Abandonment: Most of their parents are dead, usually by the hands of the bad guys.
- Linde's father Miloah was murdered by Gharnef.
- Tine's mother Tailtiu (or Linda's mother Ethnia) was tortured and driven to death in depression by Hilda. Tailtiu herself would see her father Reptor, who she still cared about despite how power-hungry he is, killed by her army or herself (and mainly due to the betrayal of Arvis).
- Miranda's whole family and relatives were slaughtered by the Friege army. Meanwhile, Sara's father were outright murdered by her own grandfather Manfroy due to not agreeing with the latter.
- Lilina's father Hector was killed by Zephiel.
- Nino's original family was killed by both Nergal and Sonia, and later, her new foster family, the Black Fang, was completely ruined and destroyed by them.
- Sanaki's grandmother was murdered by Lekain, who proceeds to manipulate her and use her as a figurehead ruler.
- Katarina's parents were killed by bandits, and then her other foster families die one by one at the hands of her own foster mother, who was brainwashed by Gharnef.
- Ophelia might look normal, but during the Heirs of Fate scenario, her father Odin was murdered and raised as a revenant by Anankos.
- Lysithea's parents lost the majority of their power and influence after they were Forced to Watch as she and her siblings was experimented by "those who slither in the dark" to have two crests, which results all of her siblings dead and she's the Sole Survivor, with shortened lifespan to boot.
- Revenge: If they lost a relative as stated above, chances are, they want to exact the trope on the ones responsible within the enemy ranks.
- Ship Tease: Much like Linde's crush on Merric, they tend to contain one to mostly fellow mages that may belong to the Merric archetype, or even Arlen. This is mostly seen with Mae, who'd end up as Boey's future wife; Delthea, who is the little sister of Luthier; Tailtiu being a childhood friend and strong predestined for Azelle, which results in Arthur and Tine being siblings; Sara having Support Bonus the dark mage Salem (and they're the only Loptous cult ex-members of the group); Sophia having a Support with the non-elderly non-Nabata dweller fellow dark magic user Raigh; Nino being able to support and marry Erk (despite her default pair deviating from the rule, being the Assassin Jaffar); Lysithea needs to be paired off with a mage (Linhardt or Hanneman) or Byleth and the Lords (Claude or Edelgard) or else she suffers a Deadly Distant Finale. The ones who deviate from the 'Mage-mage' rule include Miranda, who's implied to marry the knight Conomore; Lilina, who's instead paired with Roy (who ironically played the 'studious Merric' role when they studied under Cecilia); and the aforementioned Nino, who is primarily teased with Jaffar.
- Stepford Smiler: They mostly put up a strong front, but hide great anguish about losing a loved one.
- You Killed My Father: Oftentimes, the murderer of their parents are amongst the enemy ranks and they have a chance to exact direct retribution for it.
- Mentor Archetype: Obviously. Claude's case is between-games, though it might be easy to think that Tailtiu is the student, but it's actually Sleuf.
- Student and Master Team: They're the 'Master' in question. Student can be any of the three mage archetypes.
- Surpassed the Teacher: The Wendell will often remark that the student will surpass them. This is true to an extent: if you have been training the student, the Wendell would look like they're Overrated and Underleveled or a Crutch Character, though Ced is an exception because he also pulls double duty as the Gotoh as well, so he'll still be very strong even when Asbel can hold his own.
Other Mid-Late Game UnitsThese units show more variance between games. They are marked by similar story or gameplay impact, but exactly what that impact is changes depending on the arc of the game as you get deeper into the story.
- The Dancer: A unit that allows other units to act twice per turn. Commoner dancers are often perky teases. Plot-relevant dancers are elegant Mystical Waifs.
- The Tiki: A Really 700 Years Old manakete/dragon unit taking form of a little (often childish) girl that packs a massive punch but powered by a rare resource.
- The Lorenz: An enemy general with a strong conscience. They may have a complicated recruitment, but a HeelFace Turn is possible.
- The Secret Noble: A character pretending to be a common traveler who turns out to be some sort of nobility.
- The Beowolf: A optional soldier for hire that actually charges you to use them.
- Arran and Samson: Mutually exclusive party members where only one can join depending on the choices you make.
The resident Quirky Bard of the army. Their dances allow characters to take an extra action during their turn and sometimes provide stat boosts. Commoner dancers are beautiful girls that make their livelihoods as professional, or street performers, to climb themselves out of poverty. These ones are often perky, flirtatious, and wear clothing that shows off their features. After being Recruited from the Gutter, they may have to contend with the pressures of being a Penny Among Diamonds if they end up in the company of nobles through adoption or marriage especially if married to the main Lord through supports in the latter case. After the war, if still unmarried, they return to traveling the land inspiring the masses through their dances.
Starting with Elffin from The Binding Blade, the series introduces mysterious plot-important bards, a foundation that is laid by Lewyn from Genealogy of the Holy War (who is a travelling street performer in the "Bard" class, but lacks the ability to refresh allies in gameplay). These traits are then inherited by Ninian in The Blazing Blade, giving rise to a subtype of dancers who focus on elegance rather than sultriness and are often imbued with some magic ability. This carried somewhat into the heron laguz, and directly succeeded by Azura in Fates. These dancers are usually nobles or otherwise heir to powerful bloodlines (such as dragons) and have a much larger impact in the main storyline.
- Belly Dancer: Many Dancers are designed with an Arabian Nights theme in mind.
- Dance Battler: In some games they also wield swords while a handful of them wield tomes. The Fates version, the Songstress, wields lances/naginata instead.
- Genki Girl: The commoner dancers often have outgoing, bubbly personalities. Olivia, as a Shrinking Violet, is played as a intentional inversion.
- Lamarck Was Right: If there's more than one person with the dance or Magic Music ability, odds are they're related. Silvia's daughter will be the only dancer in the second generation of her game. Ninian and Nils are siblings, as are the heron in the Tellius series. Inigo and Shigure inherit Olivia and Azura's abilities, if only in the plot (or during special circumstances in gameplay in the former's case).
- Made a Slave: See the descriptions under Street Urchin below. Many have been kidnapped, or forced into abusive and controlling enviroments or relationships at one point or another in their lives.
- Magic Dance: Mostly averted; the ability of Dancers to grant other units an extra turn is mundane, although it functions like magic. The only exceptions are Ninian and Peony.
- Magic Knight: Dancers in Three Houses use swords and magic.
- Magic Music: Nils, the Heron Laguz, and Azura can all play Magic Music. Although Elffin plays music as well, he's more like other dancers in that he has no magical ability.
- Ms. Fanservice: Dancers tend to be this to some extent, thanks to their minimal clothing and sultry dances. The only one who doesn't solidly fit this description is Ninian.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: If there is more than one Dancer in a single game, circumstances will conspire to ensure that they can never be in the party at the same time; this is a safeguard against infinite action loops. The main exception, being Fire Emblem Heroes, has an Obvious Rule Patch to have them never refresh each other if the other unit has Dance or Sing equipped.
- Quirky Bard: Actually not that spoony. It's true that they have (depending on the game) little or no means to defend themselves and low-to-average defense/HP, but a well-trained character of this class can have massive Speed and Luck, thus they will dodge a good part of the attacks thrown at them. (Additionally, Tethys has good HP growths.)
- Status Buff: In certain games, their dances/songs can occasionally give 1-turn stat boosts to their recipients.
- Support Party Member: Dancer variants from the GBA and Tellius games can't attack enemies at all, and rely solely on their refreshing abilities. And even in the games where they are capable of fighting, their refreshing ability is so valuable that they'll rarely see combat.
- Street Performer: Most of them come across as this, either as a Wandering Minstrel, or as a plausible cover story for their real role in the plot. And many of them return to this lifestyle after the war.
- Street Urchin: Related to the above, or just Conveniently an Orphan. Many are parentless and divorced from kin by their backstories for various reasons.
- The original Phina just got lost in the woods and separated from her performance group before joining the main party.
- Silvia was orphaned, and then had an abusive foster father who she fled from. She was later Recruited from the Gutter by Lewyn and became attached to him. And there's a decent chance she's actually Lost Orphaned Royalty and Duke Claud's younger sister.
- Lene was abandoned by her mother Silvia and she became a dancer to find her. She was kept in a dungeon by Bramsel for refusing his advances before being rescued by Ares and Seliph's army.
- Lara was sold into slavery and forced to become a dancer at a young age. She was saved by Perne, but he eventually let her go due to feeling weird about her being so young.
- Larum was happily adopted off the street by General Douglas.
- Ninian and Nils' mother was kidnapped, so their father went to go look for her and never returned. They posed as traveling street performers at the time of Lyn's story before being hunted down by the Black Fang an organization being controlled by their long-lost father Nergal, years after he'd long since been corrupted by dark magic and lost his purpose.
- Tethys (and her mage brother Ewan) were abandoned on the street as children. As the big sister, she forced herself to imitate dancers she saw on the street to have some sort of skill she could use to support them. They were later Recruited from the Gutter to be part of Gerik's mercenary company.
- The three Heron Laguz royals are the few survivors of the Serenes Massacre, which decimated most of their tribe. Their father did survive as well, but he stays offscreen and is presumably mostly incapacitated. Reyson, Leanne, and Rafiel became wards of the leaders of the Hawk, Raven, and Wolf Tribes respectively in the aftermath. They also all ran afoul of being "adopted" or sold in slavery by the Begnion clergy at least once.
- Olivia was a traveling street performer that was almost forcibly married off to a corrupt noble before being saved by Basilio.
- Azura is an orphaned princess of Nohr (by her mother's second marriage) that was raised by the Hoshidan royal family with her maternal aunt. Her biological father was also the king of Valla.
- Dorothea was a street urchin that was noticed by an opera company for her singing talents and good looks. She was able to segue that career and her connections to become a student of Garreg Mach.
- Peony, along with the other álfar in Heroes were once mortal children abandoned or mistreated by their parents before transformed by Freyr and Freyja and put under their service.
- The Tease: Of the commoner dancers, many of them are serial flirts (sometimes with both men and women) and quite proud of their beauty. Ninian and Azura are much more reserved and above such things, and Olivia is very self-conscious about the Male Gaze, whether she's getting too much or too little attention.
In terms of relationships, this archetype often has an attachment to one of the Lords, and an adult caretaker figure (despite usually being older than they are). Like the original Tiki, they may also have some sort of relationship to holy powers, or another legendary dragon.
- Badass Adorable: They look like young, but their main feature is the ability to turn into a dragon and lay waste to the enemy.
- Breaking Old Trends: Instead of being directly playable, Yune introduced the idea of being part of another character's subconscious and bestowing extra power on them or possessing them when necessary. This would later be reprised by Sothis.
- Cute Monster Girl: At least appearance-wise. Most look like young girls but with dragon-like features like odd-colored eyes, pointy ears, fangs, or even wings.
- Hidden Depths: They are often much wiser and more mature than they first seem.
- Immortal Immaturity: Despite being hundreds of years old, they are still young by dragon standards and tend to act as such.
- Interspecies Friendship: Implied in their bond to the Lord or another figure. Some of these relationships overlap with Precocious Crush towards these figures. Tiki to Marth, Fae to Elffin, Myrrh to Ephraim. Sothis to Byleth. As Ninian presents as an adult, it's allowed to become a full Interspecies Romance with Eliwood. Nowi and Adult!Tiki also have some marriage options due to Awakening's marriage/child mechanics, but the former may attract some... troubles to some people.
- MayflyDecember Romance: If the precocious crush below is allowed to blossom. Even on a platonic level, they are all very aware that they'll outlive their allies. Subverted with Ninian, who chooses to live a shorter life if she marries Eliwood.
- The One Guy: Nils splits the traits of the archetype with his sister Ninian. He's the childlike one, but she is more valued for her latent powers, and has the crush on the Lord.
- Parental Substitute: A few of them may have an 'older figure' looking out them. Bantu to Tiki is the straightest example as he's also a manakete. Fae has the guardians of Nabata, both Hawkeye and Igrene. Saleh to Myyrh. Nowi comes in the company of Gregor. Nils, despite being the younger sibling, plays a Bantu-like role in being protective of Ninian.
- Token Mini-Moe: Tiki (particularly her younger self) is bound to appear in spin-off titles as the cute mascot of the series, only right behind Marth in terms of the "most marketed Archanea character". She's the originator of the trend of young-looking girls who are actually Really 700 Years Old dragons who join the player's party.
- Too Awesome to Use: In some games, there are only a handful of dragonstones, so once it's used up, they become useless. It's a delicate balance of saving it for when it counts, but still letting them get enough EXP somehow.
- Weredragon: Played straight with all of them except for Ninian and Nils. While they can transform, Ninian only does it once during a cutscene and Nils not at all in their first game. When she comes with a proper dragonstone in Heroes, however, Ninian can function as both a full-time manakete and a dancer.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: None have natural hair colors. Most often, it's some shade of green.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: While not as much as the Gotoh archetype, they join late, but have good base stats and growths.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Lorenz himself wasn't that hard or tricky to recruit, unlike his successors. All he needed was just Caeda talking some sense to him. note
- Foil: To the antagonistic Camus and Murdock archetype. Both archetypes are renowned enemy generals and Anti-Villains, but while the Camus is too mired in Honor Before Reason and Murdocks are too mired with Undying Loyalty to fight for what's right, the Lorenz's virtue ultimately wins out and he can join your side.
- Guide Dang It!:
- Subverted. If a Lorenz has a special condition to join, you're usually told via dialogue about what's keeping them from joining, so the only way you'll not know how to recruit them is if you don't pay attention to the story.
- Played Straight with Zeke. You are told how you're supposed to recruit him... after you've killed him as a boss and lost Tatiana forever. The NPCs will chew you out for this.
- Mighty Glacier: The ones appearing up to Path of Radiance tend to be slow armored classes, and even when they're not in those types of classes, their stat spread often tends towards power and defense. The ones appearing afterward have more mixed statlines, but Xander still qualifies.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: This is a common trait for many characters of this archetype, though unlike Camus type characters, they're always recruited in the end.
- Permanently Missable Content: While other characters can suffer this fate, Lorenz characters can be really prone to this due to the difficulty of their recruitment method. Miss out on one step, and say goodbye to the prospects of them existing within your ranks. Zeke takes this further, in that no one tells you his issues until you have already fought and killed him. This means that unless you actually knew his issues ahead of the encounter, you can end up missing him out and having to reload to get him (if you haven't already saved your progress).
- Blue Blood: They hide it for whatever personal reasons, but they are always high-ranking members of the nobility or royalty. Seteth and Flayn, however, live amongst nobles and already had high position in the Church, therefore they take the archetype Up to Eleven by being of Nabatean/draconic heritage usually held by a Naga figure.
- Chekhov's Gunman: They are usually introduced as some random unit you get, but then they prove to have hidden noble heritage, about three quarters of whom are plot-relevant.
- King Incognito: They are a part of the nobility, but somehow have a need to hide it.
- Only in It for the Money: They're only helping you because the cast paid them. Differing from Ogma, their policy is "Pay in advance".
- Optional Party Member: Recruiting the Beowolf is optional and requires payment.
- Shadow Archetype: They're what the Ogma would be had they been put in more desperate circumstances, which would make them more concerned with the payment aspect of mercenary work, thus more demanding for payment upfront.
It's possible for the Arran and Samson (or just one) to belong to another archetype, and it's also possible for there to be multiple pairs of them. It's also one of the archetypes that has been used by NPCs: Gyrall and Dalen in Awakening, leaders of opposing mercenaries, may attempt to recruit your army to their side, with the one you didn't recruit becoming the boss of the chapter. Similarly, in Chapter 6 of Genealogy, your female swordfighter can recruit one of two enemy characters, but the other one will become the next miniboss.
Fire Emblem Fates takes this archetype to the extreme: The majority of the characters in that game will only join you on certain paths as a result of a choice you have to make, and as a result affects the story a fair amount. Most of them, however, can be recruited in the Revelation path. However, there are a few characters who are only fully available permanently in just one route, and in other routes, they don't fare very well or are not exactly playable. And they also still manage to get some traditional examples of the archetype.
- Competitive Balance: If the pair fulfills the same role in your army, regardless of who is chosen, one member will typically be much better in a set of stats than the other and vice versa.
- Cool Horse: A popular way of differentiating one from the other is to make one in the pair into a member of a horse-riding class.
- Foil: Often, but not always.
- Late Character Syndrome: Can fall victim to this. Other times, they're the 11th-Hour Ranger, which is popular if they're part of the Gotoh archetype.
- Mercy Mode: Oftentimes, the deciding factor between one or the other depends on how well the player does at fulfilling a certain requirement. If they fail to meet those requirements, they'll get a Boring, but Practical Lightning Bruiser to compensate for the player's inability to keep their characters alive etc., in contrast to the Difficult, but Awesome Glass Cannon they would have otherwise gotten.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: The choice is never taken lightly, as one of the pair will always be barred from joining your army.
- Schrödinger's Player Character: Typically averted. The other character of the pair is typically alluded to in some form.
Personality ArchetypesThese archetypes are defined solely by personality. Their gameplay utility and class can vary, and may even overlap with other archetypes.
- The Casanova Wannabe: A (usually) male skirt chaser, who's typically unlucky in love.
- The Unrequited Lover: A (usually) female romantic, but their crush will never notice them.
- The Beautiful Priest: A pretty boy that can easily pass for a woman.
- The Malledus: An adviser for the Lord behind the scenes. May overlap with the Jagen, and was essentially replaced by The Avatar.
- The Sibling Worshipper: Someone who's a wee bit too obsessed with their siblings, most of the time their big brother.
Unlike most archetypes, there's no pattern at all as to which Character Class gets this type of personality. They've been everything from priests to knights to swordsmen.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: When they put their heart into it, they are very competent in their area of job. Of course, most of the time they just prefer on hitting the ladies.
- Butt-Monkey: Hilarity Ensues whenever they get rejected or fail to impress.
- Casanova Wannabe: They try to be suave and impress the ladies, but almost always fail. Any success they achieve is usually very limited.
- Chivalrous Pervert: They're clearly just trying to get some tail, but they also have standards and usually know when to stop. In fact, some of them tend to be some of the more heroic figures in the army, since they want to be a Knight in Shining Armor to any potential ladies they find and so try to be as helpful as possible.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Sylvain. He sure acts like how this archetype does, but he only does so because he knows that the girls he woos are just interested in his Crest and hoping that they can have a Crest-bearing child, which has made him a lot more bitter than the normally happy-go-lucky examples of the archetype and led him to hate the girls he dates. This also lead him to develop a negative view of most woman. He only gets over this if he manages to score for real (with a girl that sees him for who he is, not his Crest).
- Cannot Spit It Out: Even if these characters is given the chance to confess, they will have trouble doing so. The reasons vary from one character to another, but in most cases, they never actually admit their feelings directly.
- Hopeless Suitor: The Unrequited Lover is never able to be with the one they are crushing on.
- Second Love: Games with optional marriage will often let them to settle with a different person from their initial crush. Most games usually note that they end up becoming a happy couple in the end, showing the character moved on from the event.
- Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Or Lord. Whatever first love feelings they had, the game itself will go out of its way to make sure it'll never happen, so their best bet is just Second Love.
The characters of this archetype tend to be members of some church organization, thus giving them access to the more 'girlier' tools like healing magic or light magic, or make them look like a Non-Action Guy to reinforce their ambiguity and the surprise element once the cat is out of the bag.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: The gag of the archetype is that they look very feminine and often get mistaken for women.
- Even the Guys Want Him: The guy's beauty will often be praised by other men. Libra's solo ending straight-up says that he was courted by both women and men, and Linhardt can be romanced by both female and male Byleth.
- Friend to All Children: Elffin befriends Fae, Lucius and Libra both open orphanages after the war.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: They try to play the role of redeemers. Claud is a bit of a prude also.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Identifiable by their flowing blond locks. Forrest wears his in Ojou Ringlets.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Can induce such, and it usually led to hilarity, as seen in Lucius and Libra.
- White Mage: Associated with healing abilities, or restoration in Elffin's case. Lucius can also wield light magic.
The Malledus is an NPC advisor that either serves as a Mr. Exposition or gives advice to the hero. However, they are not at all playable, or if they are somehow controllable, they can't even fight. Their official positions are usually 'adviser'. In a way, they serve as a prototype of the Tactician/The Avatar, in a way that they're not playable, but is considered a strategist and gives your Lord someone to talk to when there's no other NPC from another side.
Starting from The Blazing Blade, the archetype is mostly 'retired' of sorts, as in either not present or merged with other playable classes or archetypes.
- The Artifact: They were conceived as a side effect of the Permadeath mechanic so that the Lord character has at least someone else to interact with in their army. Once subsequent games start to give important playable characters Plot Armor, their presence sticks out more (such as Oifey and Shannan being sidelined for Lewyn in Genealogy of the Holy War's second generation and Merlinus being essentially the only character Roy talks to in The Binding Blade) and this archetype is barely revived ever since.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Rodrigue in the Azure Moon route. He attempts to play this trope straight and provide tactical advice to Byleth and Dimitri, but while Byleth listens without issue, Dimitri is so consumed by rage and revenge that he ignores Rodrigue's advice, causing Rodrigue to become a borderline Yes-Man to Dimitri, as he is too loyal to stand up to him. As a result, when he attempts to guide Dimitri, Dimitri snaps at him for it, leading to an ill fated encounter at Gronder Field with the Empire and the Alliance, ending with Rodrigue taking a knife wound to save Dimitri and dying. It's also reconstructed in that his dying words snap Dimitri out of his rage fueled state, and his advice is heeded after.
- Mr. Exposition: Their main job is to dispense exposition of the world they're in, for both the Lord and the player.
- Non-Action Guy: They never take to the front lines of battle. Rodrigue and Judith are a bit odd in that they do fight in a paralogue and two versions of a main chapter as an NPC between them and serve as bosses on the Crimson Flower route, but they are never directly controllable and remain unplayable when travelling with you.
- Non-Player Character: They are generally not direct members of your party. Merlinus is the exception, and he's a Non-Action Guy.
They sometimes overlap with the Maria, but they do not always take the healer role and a Maria usually did not take their adoration to their elder siblings too far. The elder sibling usually recognizes how much loved they are, but tends to focus on somewhere else, rarely did they ever fully reciprocate, and thus the incest image of the series did have some covers.
- Berserk Button: Talking crap about their elder sibling is generally not a good idea... or even to kill that sibling.
- Big Brother Worship: Hoo boy. They like to think that their big bro (or sis) is the best ever and nothing you say can convince them otherwise!
- BrotherSister Incest: It's only shown in subtexts and such, but they might as well be the poster girl/boy of the franchise about this trope.
- Character Exaggeration: Believe it or not, their traits are not always about being sibling-worshippers, they can have other traits they can claim on their own. Unfortunately, sometimes they tend to be vulnerable to Poe's Law, thus their Big Brother Worship tends to get focused the most by the fandom.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: At times, if said elder sibling decided to focus their attention to another, they may admit for being jealous, but they still have enough standards to not try to Murder the Hypotenuse. With the exception of Camilla, but that is usually when she's on the opposing side of Corrin.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Despite being an age-inversion, Camilla provides a two-part deconstruction of this kind of archetype: Being the Sole Survivor of a brutal succession feud of her own family left her horrified and overprotective towards any of her little siblings, especially one who had potential to just leave her and relive her memories about losing her siblings again. Unfortunately, Camilla herself prefers a rather... ahem, hands-on and overly forward approach that it caused many to get unnerved at her, even Corrin themselves at times.
- Having their worshiped sibling killed usually was just treated as a Berserk Button (albeit a severe one), as shown with Lachesis (after clearing it up, they calm down). However, there are times that this character was so overly adoring of their sibling that they suffer a mental breakdown as a result of their sibling killed. This is shown in the Mitsuki Oosawa manga version of Lachesis (she doesn't take the death of Eldigan that well beyond avenging him and contemplates suicide a lot of times before being talked down by Finn) and the Azure Moon version of Fleche (she turns into an unhinged vengeance-obsessed woman against Dimitri and relishes in describing what kind of pain Dimitri will suffer for killing Randolph unfairly (as she thought); Rodrigue dies stopping her, and Byleth is forced to put her down).
- While she's only a partial example on the basis that she's the Big Bad of her arc, Freyja deconstructs this by presenting this question: What if the one who worships their elder siblings was landed in a villainous role? The result is a destructively vicious Yandere that will cause a whole heap of chaos at the slightest hint that her sibling (Freyr) takes even a slight turn from her. Not a good thing.
- Little Sister Heroine: A majority of the members of this archetype are little sisters being obsessed with their big bro.
- The Past Legends: Backstory characters, a group of legendary heroes that fought in the past war and founded nations or weapons that would shape the present day stories.
- The Naga: Backstory character, a god-like being who empowered the heroes in ancient history.
The Past Legends is a group of elite heroes that has already passed away, but had a hand in the game's world-building. In the distant past before the current events of the Fire Emblem series, there was a big chaos, initiated most likely by the Medeus archetype (and perhaps even Naga or her derivatives had a hand in it), but then heroes rose and quelled the chaos, being the one who would first wield the legendary weapons and even found the nations that shaped the land. Their time has passed and their names only appeared in history books, but their presence is still vital to how the world was shaped.
- Badass Crew: In the past, these guys banded together and quelled the past chaos instigated by the Medeus archetype character.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- The Twelve Crusaders, to the point of being an Unbuilt Trope. They were heroes through and through, but it's shown that their more unscrupulous descendants can and will use their lineage to commit heinous actions (Reptor, Lombard, Andrey, and Hilda, just to name a few examples).
- In a similar way, Elibe's Eight Legends, or limited to just Hartmut. All fellow Legends' descendants are heroic, and his descendants had some shares of heroism. But it only took one of his descendants being a prick of a father (Desmond) which caused his perfectly good son to spiral down into misanthropy and became heinous enough to wage war against the humanity that Hartmut fought for; had it not been for that ONE pathetic father, his legacy could have been as squeaky clean as the rest's, and he was supposed to be the leader of the Eight Legends.
- The Ten Elites. They were only propagated as heroes to hide the fact that they're accomplices of Nemesis in murdering the goddess Sothis and advance Seiros' own personal agenda, and they are overall not at all heroic.
- The Ghost: They're already dead, so you rarely ever meet them in person. Only a few are alive (most notably Athos in The Blazing Blade), more likely taking the Gotoh archetype above and are probably not long for this world anyway. And then comes Three Houses where two of the Four Saints (Cichol/Seteth and Cethleann/Flayn) are playable (and available early too unlike Gotoh), the other two are bonus bosses, their leader Seiros is the Nyna, and one of the Elites who was written out of history (Maurice) is also a bonus boss.
- Heroic Lineage: The originators. A lot of your heroes might have descended from them and inherited their virtues except the Ten Elites. That said, merely being descended from them does not guarantee that you will be a virtuous person; just look at some of the nastier characters in Genealogy of the Holy War, the Elibe duology (Blazing Blade and Binding Blade, the descendant of the main hero of the legend (Hartmut) is the Big Bad of Binding Blade) and Three Houses (which turns out to be an inversion: Merely being descended from the Ten Elites does not guarantee that you will be a 100% nasty bastard.).
- Living Legend: Those who lived might be considered as such. And boy, what a long life they lived.
- Precursor Heroes: Their defining trope. They are groups of ancient heroes who banded together to seal away the ultimate evil.
The Naga is a god-like being who is directly responsible for empowering the Past Legends or other precursor heroes. They are typically extremely powerful dragons. Generally acting as a divine champion for humanity, they stand as the natural opposite of the Medeus, but sometimes, they are not alone. The Naga may consist of several Gods banding together. Of note, there is a possibility that the Naga themself might not remain a hero; the chance of falling to corruption is always ever present (the humans that worship them may unwittingly play a part in it), which may degrade them into a Medeus themselves.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Many Naga archetypes degenerate into Medeus archetypes. Most of them suffer from draconic degeneration, although Ashera genuinely lost faith in humanity's goodness.
- Big Good: They are the biggest and most powerful force of good in the setting.
- Breaking Old Trends: Nearly all of them are extremely powerful divine dragons who are worshiped as gods. Ashera and Yune, on the other hand, are Pieces of God, and their true form Ashunera is a legitimate creator deity.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Almost literally. They are often the deity worshiped in the religion of the continent, and may even be the figure depicted in the Goddess Icon stat boost.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype:
- Ashunera started out just fine, but her inability to prevent the beorc and laguz from coming into conflict caused her to accidentally cause a flood. In horror and regret, she split her logic and emotions into Ashera and Yune, but Ashera saw how flawed mankind was. This made her bitter and unleashed her own worst impulses, thus turning her into a Medeus archetype.
- Sothis was just like these fine fellows in her backstory. Unfortunately for her, a human named Nemesis decided that he wanted the sort of power she could grant and took it by force. He murdered her, drank her blood to gain the Crest of Flames, forged her bones into a sword, and proceeded to slaughter nearly all of her descendants to grant this same power to his followers. In the present day, her surviving daughter Seiros takes advantage of her reputation to advance an agenda which is selfish at best and flat-out tyrannical at worst.
- God Is Good: They are all worshiped as gods (or in Ashunera's case, actually are gods), and are the biggest forces of good in the setting.
- Good Counterpart: To the villainous Medeus archetype. In fact, many Nagas turn into Medeuses by the time the story starts; Duma and Anankos suffered from draconic degeneration-induced mental breakdowns, Mila was well on her way to the same fate by the time Rudolf put her down, and Ashera lost faith in humanity and ultimately decides they need to be purged.
- Good Is Not Nice: Just because they're paragons of goodness doesn't mean they're always going to be super duper nice guys, although they don't cross into Jerkass Gods territory. Sothis is known for her snarky tongue, Mila was almost degenerating, Forseti erases Lewyn's memories and turns him into an uncaring father unless he marries Tailtiu; after hearing her tragic fate, Forseti shows that Everyone Has Standards and allows Lewyn to shed a tear. Taken to the extreme and we get those who fell from grace, especially Ashera.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: When not directly present, they are still responsible for the heroes being able to combat the evil forces.
- Super Empowering: They are all capable of granting divine power to their champions, typically through blood-bonds.