- As the series that overhauled Genealogy's "Love and War" system into the modern Support mechanic, fans often consider the GBA titles and Path of Radiance the gold standard when it comes to Support writing quality, character development, and proper romantic escalation when appropriate. While it's true that, overall, having to write so many Supports has led to a bit of a quality-control problem for latter titles, just as many GBA and Path of Radiance supports contained exactly the same problems: one-note characters that don't really develop, badly-written romances, or entire conversation trees that amounted to little more than broad comedy fluff. But, since any given character could only have five conversations total per playthrough, and because characters in general had much smaller support pools, these flaws weren't quite as obvious to their detractors as they would later become. And since children weren't part of the equation, due to losing that aspect of the "Love and War" system, every male character didn't need a romantic relationship to be possible with every female character.
- Genealogy itself counts as this. Among fans of the retro era of the franchise, Genealogy is often cited as one of the best games the entire series has to offer. However, it introduced countless mechanics that are the bane of classic fans' existence these days, namely the aforementioned "(almost) everyone can pair with (almost) everyone of the opposite gender" mechanic and the presence of a second generation of playable units, ensuring the statistically best combinations of which being a difficult balancing act in and of itself. However, their presence was entirely justified, since the first half of the game ends in fire, and the second generation picks up many years later with the now-young-adults as the new protagonists. While Awakening caught a bit of flak for the dubious quality of writing and the children, with the right parental combinations, being Game-Breakers with little impact on the actual plot, the child characters were altogether still a collective Ensemble Dark Horse for their generally-agreed-as-top-notch characterization and aforementioned Game-Breaker status. Fates, however, ramped all of the problems with the second generation of before and topped it off with a less-accepted excuse for why they even exist, on top of much less of the child units being well-received. And since they were conceived during the course of the game, Fridge Horror is born of leaving them alone in a Year Outside, Hour Inside dimension until whatever age they were designed to be, and the fact that several of the parent units are very young (or at least so young-looking so as to raise some red flags from certain sectors of the fanbase).
- The seventh installment gave players an ultimately plot-irrelevant Hello, [Insert Name Here] tactician who would, on increasingly rare occasions, be addressed by other characters and could potentially give an affinity bonus. Expanding upon this five games later, New Mystery of the Emblem introduced a self-insert mechanic called My Unit, putting a playable unit of the player's choice in class and gender in the game's roster. While they had a major role in the newly-added prologue and sidequest chapters, the main plot was largely unchanged beyond a few minor moments of other characters' being given to the My Unit. In Awakening, however, My Unit made a return, being vital to the plot and a Spotlight-Stealing Squad to the supposed protagonist, Chrom. Since this was met with contention, the choice was made to have the My Unit character be the protagonist outright, like many other traditional RPGs, come Fates, which proved to be just as contentious, if not more so.
- The Camus Archetype began to be accused of this after Fire Emblem Fates. After Xander proved to be a Base-Breaking Character for a number of reasons, fans found many of the issues with his writing had been present within the archetype for decades: My Country, Right or Wrong bordering on Lawful Stupid, Undying Loyalty to an Obviously Evil ruler, refusal to be swayed by the protagonists' arguments even when they have a very good point and their deaths being portrayed as tragic even if they brought it upon themselves. The first few games got away with this, however, because the original Camus survived and eventually underwent Character Development, while the next example, Eldigan, was a Deconstructed Character Archetype whose continued loyalty to the Obviously Evil Chagall ends about the way you'd expect. After a few games where the Camus was framed for having good reasons such as fighting for love, country, or because they were forced to, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones had Selena, who became the face for all the issues with the Camus Archetype down the road. This was because her reasons for ignoring her king's obviously evil actions were never explained, and she stayed an antagonist as a result despite multiple characters pointing out how ridiculous her loyalty is, especially when her fellow generals Cormag and Duessel do eventually turn against their country after they can't stomach it anymore. From Sacred Stones onward, the archetype became heavily criticized for missing the point about the characters based on it; the fact that they usually have understandable reasons for fighting the heroes. Many members of the archetype who were previously popular are now a lot more polarising.
- The Catria Archetype (a female character in love with someone they cannot get with, usually a lord or someone of similar status) has become one of the most despised character archetypes in the series by fans, largely because the archetype is seen as a poor way to handle character relationships, and tends to reduce potentially interesting characters to being simply love-hurt puppies the audience is supposed to like. The archetype existed since the first game, but the writing for the series in its early days was very minimal, and characters like the namer herself, Catria, were made more interesting for having a character flaw like that, and the whole archetype itself was not as common in the series at that point, so it was not seen as a big deal or issue. Awakening is where this started to turn; Cordelia's inability to get with Chrom despite pining for him was seen as frustrating to many players. However, Cordelia was incredibly popular because of her crush on Chrom, as it made her sympathetic, and the fact she finds a Second Love and can get over it made her even more popular. Fates had Flora having unrequited feelings for Jakob, but it was only mentioned in passing, and was not treated as a big deal. It was when Echoes: Shadows of Valentia introduced Faye that people turned to hating the archetype, as she was never in the original game that Shadows of Valentia is a remake of, and unlike other characters of her archetype, she was solely defined by her crush on Alm. Characters before her had personalities beyond their unrequited feelings for someone; Faye simply had nothing besides her crush on Alm. In addition, Gaiden already had an unrequited lover for Alm in the form of Clair who, unlike Faye, has a personality beyond her crush on Alm which she moves on from by marrying Gray and starting a family with him, while Faye never moves on from her crush on Alm even after marrying someone else and having a new family, making this even more of an issue.
- The localization for Fire Emblem Fates gets a lot of flack for liberally rewriting huge portions of the script, such as altering characterization (thus making a lot of characters more flat) and changing supports and other lines of dialogue with the intent of making things more "humorous". In reality, both of these were present earlier in 8-4's localization of the much less base-breaking Fire Emblem Awakening — while some of this can be pinned on Fates having a much bigger gap between its Japanese and international releases and most fans remaining unaware as a result, Awakening got away with it because the rewrites still generally fit the serious tone of the game and aren't as obvious or intrusive; the rewrites in Fates tend to be rather jarring and clash with the swords-and-sorcery fantasy tone of the game. Awakening certainly doesn't have any lines like "Welcome to attitude city, population shut up."
- When criticizing Awakening and Fates, fans will often be quick to attack the over the top and blatantly Fanservicey character designs, with Tharja, Camilla, and Charlotte being the most common examples, as well as questionable armor designs such as female mounted units like cavaliers and pegasus knights not wearing any pants. It's easy to forget, but Blazing Blade was the first game in which Fire Emblem armor designs became less practical and more fanservicey. Barely anyone noticed at the time, but it became increasingly unsubtle in later games to the point where it was much harder to ignore.
- On the topic of Blazing Blade, while many think that the multiversal shenanigans that are so prevalent in Awakening and Fates, and thus in the dedicated crossover games (Heroes and Warriors) got started in Awakening, it was in fact this game that featured a gate to another world, and travel through it, as a direct plot element. It was a background element in Binding Blade too, but Blazing Blade is the first game where travel between worlds using a gateway is directly plot-relevant and you even fight something that comes through said gate. Now, it was also more innocuous there and crossover shenanigans weren't directly suggested, but this is where the concept started.
- One of the most criticized aspects about Fire Emblem Heroes is the over saturation of variants (different versions of characters that are already in the game), especially of characters from Awakening and Fates, whether they were seasonal or part of the regular summoning pool. In truth, variants have been part of the game since the very beginning:
- To start with, both Robin, Corrin, and Tiki had two different versions of themselves available in the game at launch, and all of them were part of the summoning pool except for Female Robin, who was a Grand Hero Battle. More or less the same thing that the game would later be criticized for, but it was accepted and seen as justified, since both the young and adult versions of Tiki are very popular, and there are fans who prefer the different genders of Robin and Corrin over the other. In March of the first year, the concept of seasonal variants based on various holidays was introduced, with the Easter banner featuring bunny versions of Chrom and Lucina from Awakening and Xander and Camilla from Fates. From then on, seasonal banners were accepted by fans, but were frequently criticized for putting too much focus on characters from Awakening and Fates before eventually giving seasonal variants to characters from older games. The Brave variants of Ike, Roy, Lyn, and Lucina were also welcomed by fans as they were variants for the winners of the first Choose Your Legends poll that took place before the game was released. Then the devs started adding variants to the regular summoning pool in Book 2, the first instance being a variant for the Black Knight on the Radiant Dawn banner that featured him without his helmet and thus spoiling his true identity as Zelgius. Needless to say, this angered a lot of fans who never got the chance to play both of the Tellius games at that point, especially considering how rare and expensive both games are. From then on, almost every new banner afterwards featured a variant of some sort, such as Mage Knight Eirika or Kinshi Knight Hinoka. Where before variants were nice tributes to characters that were already in the game, now they were basically taking up spots in the regular summoning pool that could have been characters who were not already in the gamenote , leaving fans of those characters annoyed that they have to keep waiting for their favorites to be added just because a variant for an already added character took their place. The backlash towards variants was at its most vocal with the Adrift banner, where practically the entirety of the banner were variants of characters whove had several variants beforenote , with Mikoto being the sole new character on the banner. Even the Tempest Trial reward, Child Azura, was a variant. What didn't help was that the Adrift banner came out not long after the last Fates banner was released, and Azura would receive yet another variant a month later as a Legendary Hero, causing many players to get sick of all the Fates pandering as a result.
- Relating to the Adrift banner, it wasn't even the first non-seasonal banner to add almost entirely variants to the regular summoning pool. Before that, there was the Fallen Heroes banner where, like the Adrift banner, almost every single character, including the Grand Hero Battle reward Takumi, were variants of characters who have gotten at least one variant before (or in the case of Celica, was to get a variant in the future due to her winning the female category of the second Choose Your Legends), with Dark Emperor Hardin being the sole new character on the banner. The difference however, was that the Fallen Heroes banner had a unique theme to it where all the characters were, well, fallen heroes, and were based on certain plot elements from their respective games. In addition, all the characters added in the banner were from various different Fire Emblem games rather than just one specific game like the Adrift banner, making it easier to accept.
- The game was always criticized for its blatant overuse of Camilla (an already divisive character from her home game to begin with), but it didn't really start to get out of hand until the Adrift banner and the Hostile Springs seasonal banner, both of which are universally cited as the low points of the game. With her first variant, it was excusable because the Easter banner was only the first seasonal banner, and it made sense for a Fanservicey character like Camilla to be wearing what is clearly a Play Boy bunny outfit. With her second variant, there was some grumbling about Camilla getting a New Years variant over Hinoka in what was supposed to be a Hoshido themed New Years banner, but for the most part there wasn't too much backlash. Likewise, there was some annoyance over Camilla getting yet another seasonal variant over a character who didn't already have a variant of some sort in 2018's batch of Summer Heroes, but there still wasn't too much backlash. It was the Adrift banner where people started to become absolutely sick of Camilla getting so many variants. As mentioned above, not only was Adrift Camilla the fifth version of herself, but the Adrift banner was also Valla themed, and yet Camilla was a Nohrian Princess who had no ties to Valla whatsoever compared to say Arete, Azura's mother and the former Queen of Valla who wasn't even part of the banner. And if that wasn't enough, Camilla would receive yet another seasonal variant as a Tempest Trial reward for the Hostile Springs seasonal banner a few months later. At this point, people had become so sick of Camilla getting so many variants within such a short gap from each other, with many fans criticizing the devs for neglecting to give variants to other popular characters who either only had one variant like Eliwood or no variants at all like Alm. This would lead to wide spread division among the community when Camilla won 2nd Place in the female category of the third Choose Your Legends poll, effectively guaranteeing her a seventh version of herself as part of the third batch of Brave Heroes.note
- The increasing amount of armored units in Heroes not looking like one, especially seasonals and variants. It started with the release of Amelia, whose design combines her lightly armored trainee outfit and the Generals from the GBA titles. She was fairly popular, so many players give her a pass. Come the 2017 Halloween banner, Jakob and Henry received armored variants while merely wearing suits, but Henry is carrying a coffin like a shield, while one of Jakob's legs are tied to a heavy iron ball, mimicking armored units' low movement range. Their weapon choices are also different, so people give them a pass for diversifying the movement type's weapon selection, as most of the canonically armored units prefer swords, lances and axes. As more seasonals are introduced, their outfits look like anything but that, with the release of units such as Winter Tharja and Halloween Kagero.
- The use of Females Are More Innocent began early in the series, with Shadow Dragon not having only female enemies, most games not including female Mooks outside of Always Female Classes and no female minor bosses at all, with only Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776 having relatively common female mooks, even then only the former having generic female bosses. By the point of New Mystery of the Emblem, Awakening, and Fates which all had every female antagonist tell a Monster Sob Story about how a man was controlling her, often done at the very last minute, it became almost impossible to ignore the gender stereotyping in the writing. Echoes: Shadows of Valentia adding in a new story about how all the female witch Mooks in the game were sacrificed against their own will, unlike the original Gaiden, as well as giving the newly attractive Nuibaba a tragic backstory, only added more fuel to the fire.
- Some of the complaints fans have with Fire Emblem Warriors can be traced back to other Dynasty Warriors games such as Hyrule Warriors:
- The roster was criticized for almost exclusively focusing on characters from the 3DS era of Fire Emblem games (Awakening and Fates), with the only exceptions being Marth, Caeda, Tiki, Navarre, Minerva, Linde, Celica, and Lyn. What people tend to forget is that most crossover Dynasty Warriors games always start out focusing on only a few specific games at first. For example, the previous Nintendo Warriors collaboration, Hyrule Warriors, started out focusing only on characters from Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword. This was well received, with only a couple small complaints with regards to lacking popular characters like Skull Kid, the unique character movesets, and them being generally popular without being milked to the point players were sick of them like with Heroes helped quell the flames, as did Hyrule Warriors having movesets, items, enemies and other references to a wide variety of games like the Wind Waker, Bow-Wow from Link's Awakening and the moon from Majora's Mask. With Fire Emblem Warriors, on the other hand, the favoritism towards the 3DS games came across as far more blatant, since one of the three focus games, Shadow Dragon, only had three playable characters in the game at launch and no stage or even a real role in the story, whereas Awakening got six and Fates got nine, as well as the DLC packs being for the same three games rather than branching out with other games like Hyrule Warriors did with Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker. It also lacked movesets or items from other games and generally had few references outside of Awakening and Fates, with even the game's version of Anna being based on the Awakening and Fates versions. This, combined with Executive Meddling and poor PR from Koei saying they wouldnt include fan favorites such as Roy and Ike unless there was a sequel as well as claiming including popular characters like Hector would result in too many swords despite the game having a cast almost wholly composed of sword users and missing obvious Fire Emblem stables such as Knights, Fighters, and Lance wielding Cavaliers, made the game feel like the cheap 3DS plug that fans widely condemn it for.
- One of the biggest complaints with the game was the sheer amount of Moveset Clones among the roster, with the only unique characters in the roster (DLC included) being Tiki, Linde, Corrin, Azura, Xander, Oboro, Frederick, Lissa, and Olivia. Even the NPC villains (Gharnef, Validar, Iago, and Darios) were clones of some of the playable characters. While fans have criticized and accused Koei for being lazy, the entire Dynasty Warriors series was practically built off of having most of the roster be clones of each other; the actual number of unique characters has always been quite low compared to the sheer number of clone characters. The main reason this proved to be such a problem for Fire Emblem Warriors was because the previous Nintendo Warriors collaboration, Hyrule Warriors, had no clones at all, and there were fan favorite heroes and villains alike that fans were hoping for that got left out in favor of less-popular characters who seemed like they were only included due to laziness (such as Iago, whose inclusion was met with widespread derision and bafflement). What didnt help matters was that each of the three DLC packs added more clones, and four of the nine DLC characters (Navarre, Owain, Oboro, and Niles) were already in the game as NPCs (whereas the NPCs in Hyrule Warriors were made playable in a free update), adding even more fuel to the fire.
Franchise Original Sin / Fire Emblem