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Ensemble Darkhorse / Fire Emblem

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Fire Emblem is chock-full of Ensemble Darkhorses, mainly due to having Loads and Loads of Characters. A lot of them, such as Gheb, Glass and Batta the Beast (minor boss characters in both regards, or so the game's creators would have you think), have been elevated to Memetic Badass status.

Archanaea Saga (Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and their remakes)

  • One of the earliest Fire Emblem darkhorses was Catria, who is so popular she inspired a whole archetype (which also influence the equally fan-favorite Cordelia from Awakening). Between her utility as a pegasus knight and the whole unrequited love for Marth.

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

  • Ayra the sword mistress, probably due to the fact that she's one of the most powerful units early in the game due to her Meteor Sword skill. Her looks and attitude (cold, tough, ass-kicking on the outside, but quite a sweetie on the inside) also help out. In fact, you can be assured that if there's some fans wishing that Genealogy of the Holy War gets represented in other games, if it's not Sigurd, or Seliph, it's her. Ayra's equally badass daughter Larcei also has quite the fan following. Finn, also from Genealogy qualifies as well. Since he is the only character playable in all parts of the Jugdral saga

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

  • Nino qualifies, taking first place in a Nintendo of Japan popularity poll (ahead of the main characters), likely due to being an adorable Woobie who becomes extremely powerful if trained.
  • Matthew, who also placed high in the popularity poll.
  • Although he is an optional character who can only be recruited in a sidequest, Canas received 7th place in the above popularity poll and is often considered as a must-have character. This is likely due to his well-balanced stats, being the only dark magic (arguably the best magic in the game) user until the last chapter, his usefulness as a healer due to his magic stat, and being capable of dealing more damage than even Athos with Luna. People also seem to like his curious, passionate personality which contrasts with the typical brooding or evil stereotype of dark magicians.
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  • Denning, a character who only appears as an optional boss (killing him is not required to complete the mission) near the very end of the game fits this trope. He is found in almost every ROM Hack of Fire Emblem and was popular amongst the Fire Emblem fans, and his one-line vocabulary was found in a lot of people's signatures. A Denning was actually reported trolling World of Warcraft for two years.
  • Despite its reputation as an Anti-Climax Boss and being nothing more than a raging and hateful beast, the nameless Fire Dragon remains memorable as a final boss for it's intimidating appearance even among other Elibian dragons, hellish roars, an epic Leitmotif, a Badass Normal by final boss standards because the previous and next games was a Demon Dragon and Demon King, this one was a plain Fire Dragon, Breaking the Fourth Wall with its hit point counter exceeding that of other bosses, the Fixed Damage Attack wiping out anyone in the game with only two hits, and overall being a mighty dragon that shames the last game's final boss!

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

  • Joshua, the game's first Myrmidon. There was a lot of Nice Hat involved, with a side of Handsome Lech. His great stat spread doesn't hurt either.
  • Pretty much all the trainees fit in this category, really, especially among the more casual side of the fandom. Amelia, Ross and Ewan are all loved for being adorable Token Mini Moes with very sympathetic backstories and interesting personalities, all of whom growing into utter badasses should you choose to use them. Alongside that, there's also the heartwarming and very well-written dynamics they have regarding Garcia and Ross, Duessel and Amelia and Saleh and Ewan. Ironically though (and rather unfortunately), they're generally regarded as among the worst of the game's units gameplay-wise, but they generally avert Tier-Induced Scrappy status due to how likable and appealing their characters are, coupled with the inefficiency of their performance being offset by how fun they are to use for some. Bonus points for the fact all three trainees can be shipped with each other, leading to some really cute Toy Ships.
    • Amelia deserves a special mention, as she's practically the Nino of her game; on top of being prime-time waifu material, there's her adorable dynamics with Franz, Ross, Ewan and Duessel making her among the most popular characters in the entire continuity. Even more impressively is that the fandom widely regards her as the worst unit in her game, and she's still quite popular due to the inherently satisfying nature of taking a mediocre unit and making them good. It's telling that in spite of the general popularity of the Trainees, she was the only one who made a debut in Fire Emblem Heroes before any of the other trainees, which says a lot.

Tellius Saga (Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn)

  • In the same vein as Ayra, Mia (Wayu) has an equal fandom without actual importance. The Myrmidon/Swordmaster/Trueblade classes always have some amount of fandom especially when said character is a Genki Girl with a Cool Sword, Among other reasons.
  • Similarly, Boyd also boasts a strong cult following, being one of the most popular Fighters in the series. Common reasons to loving him come from his likable personality, awesome design, as well as being a Lightning Bruiser unit in both games, a rarity for the Fighter class.
  • Path of Radiance has Oliver, a fat and ugly slave trader with an incredibly ironic love for beauty (which he sees himself as the paragon of), who as a boss dies so easily that the only challenge is getting to him before the allied NPCs kill him. He is loved for two reasons: his characterization being ridiculously over the top to the point of hilarity, and his Leitmotif, the famous Power-Hungry Fool. He returns in Radiant Dawn, where he was revealed to be Not Quite Dead, and becomes recruitable.
  • Nephenee is a major one, mainly for her asskicking abilities.
  • Haar for being a flying tank with an eyepatch, and liking to nap everywhere. He also has a surprising amount of dialogue with many of the bosses in Part 4 of Radiant Dawn. Explanation 
  • In Path of Radiance, Sothe was a small (teenager-ish), weak thief with limited use. In Radiant Dawn, Sothe is a strong, developed Loveable Rogue. He appears as one of the main characters.
  • The silent assassin Volke. He's pretty damn good at what he does, too.
  • Radiant Dawn has the 3-13 archer. He's a non-playable AI-controlled character that manages to actually help you out a lot in a difficult chapter of the game.

Fire Emblem Awakening

  • Owain, who is an incredibly popular character based on how eccentric he is. His catchphrase "down, sword hand!" also helped make him one of the most popular characters.
  • Tharja, the dark mage, proved very popular due to her unorthodox personality, attractive design, and being one of the strongest first-generation characters. She not only placed high in the popularity poll for Awakening, but placed fourth in one of Choose Your Legend polls for Fire Emblem Heroes, which had almost eight hundred characters.
  • Mustafa, the boss of chapter 10, is by no means a major character, debuting in the same chapter he's fought and defeated. But his A Father to His Men tendencies, offering to allow any of his men who feel uncomfortable continuing to fight after Emmeryn's sacrifice to desert and he'll take all the blame from Gangrel, made him immensely popular—many fans wish that Chapter 10 wasn't a Rout chapter and therefore there's no way to spare him. As a result of his Anti-Villain tendencies, he became the first single-chapter boss to become playable in Heroes—and what's more, his first appearance was on a banner, not as a Grand Hero Battle reward (the usual method of distributing villains).

Fire Emblem Fates

  • Oboro was popular with the Japanese fanbase, placing higher in the character poll that some of the main female characters. This made her the only non-main character to appear in the Top 3.
  • Charlotte is a very interesting twist on this trope, as she was initially The Scrappy due to a lack of information on her character (when she was announced) making many people assume she was a remorseless seductress who barely cared for anything except gold. This was very quickly amended when people got their hands on her supports, with her having some hilarious or downright heartwarming supports, with her supports with characters like Xander and the Avatar being hailed as some of the best supports in the series. Add to this a surprisingly deep character arc that explores the ramifications of being a Ms. Fanservice, the image of what a "perfect girl" is, and the fact Charlotte is a critical hit machine with insane Strength and Speed, and you have a character who wasn't just Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, but managed to go from The Scrappy into one of Fates' most adored characters.
  • Speaking of Fighters, Arthur is also really popular among the fanbase, especially in the west. This is due to his hilarious bad luck, being basically a superhero in a medieval fantasy setting, the fact that he never lets it be an excuse from doing what's right, and especially for how darn sweet he is. Matters are absolutely helped by Cam Clarke, who gave a bombastic and scenery-chewing performance that was one of the few things in a very divisive localization to be universally regarded by both defenders and critics as good. Matters are also helped that he can be spared in Birthright alongside Effie.
  • An unnamed enemy found near the end of Conquest who starts off with four Rally skills, dubbed "Rallyman" by the fandom, is popular to capture and recruit.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

  • Lysithea is one of the most popular characters in the game, from a combination of factors that combine story factors (which includes being a Woobie), a recognizable design and voice actress; as well as being consider the best mage in the game (having access to one of easiest ways to trivalize the Bonus Boss during the early game, and access to Warp magic, a staple of great utility units in the franchise). She has the honor of being the first non-main character to win a Choose Your Legends poll, during the 2020 edition.
  • Fans quickly latched onto the nameless gatekeeper who greets the player outside the monastery. His chipper attitude despite all the chaos surrounding him, combined with his "Greetings, Professor! Nothing to report" Catchphrase (almost always right before giving you a report of current events) and the voice talents of Kyle McCarley helped contribute to his popularity. It's saying something that when he was included in the 2021 Choose Your Legends poll for Heroes, he was outright 1ST place overall, beating Marth by a whopping 25,000 votes.

Fire Emblem Heroes

  • Heroes makes these out of lesser-known characters from the franchise, but the absolute king of these has to be Reinhardt. Reinhardt went from a non-playable boss in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, one of the least well-known entries in the franchise, to a thunder-spewing death machine in Heroes. Tellingly, his placing in the Choose Your Legends polls jumped from 584th in the first to 11th in the second.

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