The Fire Dragon won't move, unlike the other two Final Bosses of the Fire Emblem GBA games. Why is that? Because it has to stay near the Dragon's Gate to stay in Dragon form. If it moved away from it, it would be subject to the laws of reality that the Ending Winter set in place; it would have to change to humanoid form between attacks, which is what doomed the dragons during The Scouring. Since the Fire Dragon is designated as a survivor of that war, it'd know better than to weaken himself that way.
That also explains why Ninian was able to revert to her original Dragon form without using a Dragonstone. The whole "Nergal verbally pressures Ninian and makes her go Dragon" incident happened when she again refused to open the Gate for him; as Nergal gave her the Breaking Lecture, Ninian (who already was a bit emotionally unstable, judging by her talk with Nils in Bern and, if obtained, her Eliwood supports) snapped and accidentally let the Gate's power flow through her, which made her shapeshift into her Ice Dragon form.note (Which isn't her original one, a certain flashback shows her as a human little girl in the times the Scouring took place.) How did she last so long in her Dragon form until she was slain is more questionable, but it could be inferred that as a dragon Ninian saved up her energy via simply flying as fast as she could to find Eliwood instead of attacking anyone in her path. (Not to mention, by looking at the map, it seems that the Dread Isle isn't that far from the Ostian cavern where Durandal was sealed; by flying at top speed, she could have covered such a distance with ease in few hours.)
Also, Ninian is an Ice Dragon. She may very well be less strongly affected by the Ending Winter than other types of dragons.
Serra has notoriously slow-building supports. This reflects the fact that many of the characters, including those she can support with — Erk being the prime example — canonically find her annoying, so it takes them a lot longer to warm to her, only seeing her Hidden Depths when they're able to go past the "annoying little girl" facade.
Same goes for Vaida and Renault. Vaida is extremely difficult to approach and hold a conversation with, even if you're not afraid of her, and Renault is an angst-filled atoner who prefers to keep to himself. Heath and Legault are similar to Renault in this regard. There is also the point that they are former enemies to most of the other characters. They are only saved from isolation because that trait also makes people curious as to why they left their organizations, which comes up in most of their support conversations. Also, Lucius has many slow moving supports because he's very withdrawn due to his horrible past. Also, Matthew, Oswin, Raven, and Sain all have relatively low support gains. Matthew is attracted to shady people like him who are usually the quiet types. Oswin IS a quiet type who is also very critical of others. Raven has good support growths with the only two people he trusts, otherwise he is annoyed greatly by his other supports. Finally, Sain is a perv and most of his supports are women. His personality makes it hard for women to take him seriously.
Similarly, the following characters only have three support options each. Each one has good reasons for it:
Ninian is quiet and asocial, feeling uncomfortable around the army due to her being different from them. She approaches Eliwood to thank him for saving her a year ago, Florina due to their common shyness, and Hawkeye approaches her.
Rath is Not Good with People due to spending most of his life alone. His fellow plainsfolk (Lyn and Guy) are the only ones he'd feel comfortable talking with, and Wil hangs onto him like the social, friendly fellow he is (leading to a Heartwarming Moment in their A support). In addition, Guy comes from Rath's tribe, and was curious to meet the son of the Kutolah leader since Rath left the group when Guy himself was a toddler.
Furthermore, it probably helps a lot that Rath had already met Lyn and Wil before, making it a heck of a lot easier for him to feel comfortable around them.
Hawkeye is a serious guardian who would rather focus on duty than socialize, so of course he'd only take time to chat with his friends Pent and Louise. As for Ninian, he already knows of her mixed heritage and their conversations are all about Arcadia, a hidden paradise where dragons live alongside people.
Jaffar is a confirmed murderer and Not Good with People either, as he only very recently has started to develop anything similar to human-like emotions. So naturally only his best friend/prospect love interest (and the person whom he's redirected his loyalties to), former fellow Black Fang members who know him from the start, and the lover of the woman he killed before he pulled his HeelFace Turn (which forces him to see the consequences of his Kick the Dog moment) would be especially interested in talking to him.
Who wants to stand around and chat with the transport? Marcus, serious and dutiful. Nino, cheery and curious. Merlinus' third option is Vaida, whom he's absolutely terrified of.
There's an interesting bit of Gameplay and Story IntegrationFridge Brilliance involved with Marcus and Merlinus' support. In the early chapters, before you have enough units, you'll deploy every unit you have in your army, including the Crutch Character Marcus. Since you don't want him gobbling up valuable experience, you're likely to leave him behind while the rest of your army goes off to fight. So you keep him by Merlinus, protecting him in case surprise reinforcements come in. As such, their supports show that Marcus was assigned to guard Merlinus and protect the supply lines.
Eliwood and Hector's potential wives not named Ninian or Lyn are all Pegasus Knights, matching the first game in making the Lord's love interest a Pegasus Knight herself. For those who interpret Lyn/Florina shared endings as a Gay Option, this counts too.
Taken further is Hector's future daughter Lilina, who takes her name from her potential mothers, the L- from Lyn and the -ina from Florina and Farina.
Many people have noted how Sain and Lyn have no supports, which seems to clash with his claim that he has a crush on her. You see, Sain makes his claim when he's talking to Kent about *Kent's* crush on her. (Which can be taken to the next level if they have an A Support). In-story, Sain has no supports with Lyn because, being both a knight and the closest friend of another knight whose Bodyguard Crush on Lyn he's VERY aware of, he doesn't want to be alone with Lyndis. He's afraid that, if this did take place, he'd give her a Love Confession and completely bypass Kent's feelings in the process; a Love Triangle like that in the middle of war would be extremely uncomfortable, and with good reasons.
Of the three anima mage units, Erk is the one most susceptible to RNG screwage, especially where his magic growth is concerned. But when you read his supports with Nino and Pent, you find out that he not only has a tendency to overwork himself to exhaustion but that it took him longer than his mentor or Nino to learn to commune with the spirits, as is crucial for anima masters. Plus, there's his inferiority complex in general. This coupled with his over-focusing on the technical and intellectual aspects of magic mean his growth is going to be a bit slower than a seasoned master and a prodigy.
Assuming that Hector's version of Chapter happened at around the same time as Eliwood's one, this meant that the Black Fang was targeting Hector before he and latter were even aware they were a potential threat. Why would they be going after him that early? Nils reveals that Elbert had told him and Ninian tales about Eliwood and Hector... thus why Nergal knew where Hector lived and that he would likely come to Eliwood's aid. Meanwhile, he never knew to target Lyn. Nergal's miscalculation was that Hector would die - and thus go to Eliwood's aid.
Early in the game, it's mentioned that the Sacae people still have shrines for the spirits. Nils and Ninian mention that their rings are blessed with the power of the spirits, and that Ninian's dance is meant to appease the spirits. When it turns out that they're both dragons, it further emphasizes that humans and dragons are not so different. Even the dragons, who are seen as gods in Archanea and Jugdral, have someone to pray to. The same spirits as humans, no less!
The elemental affinities present in both games (and in The Sacred Stones for that matter) seem to be rather arbitrarily set (with Fire, Ice, Lightning accompanied by Wind, Light, Dark, and Anima). But if you compare them with the Legendary Weapons of Elibe, each weapon matches up with a particular affinity: Durandal with Fire, Maltet with Ice, Armads with Thunder, Murgleis with Wind, Aureola with Light, Forblaze with Anima, and Apocalypse with Dark.
Some archetype characters between The Binding Blade (which closely follows Archanea's standards) and The Blazing Blade are almost complete opposites. Elen is a sweet priestess, while Serra is a loudmouthed, bratty cleric. Clarine is spoiled but goodhearted, while Priscilla is ladylike. Rutger is super serious, while Guy comes across as a bit clumsy. Lugh is a cheerful kid who fights because he has to, while Erk is training hard to become a great mage. Raigh is cold and cynical, while Canas is a Genius Ditz. Dieck and Raven are both mercenaries, but Dieck is loyal to his bosses, and Raven intends to kill Hector as soon as he has the chance. Shanna is outgoing and all her mercenary companions are men, while Florina is terrified of men.
It's a little weird that the Anima tome of The Scouring, Forblaze, would have different animations between Binding- and Blazing Blade, but it makes more sense considering the fact that Forblaze is Athos's tome, which is especially apparent in the seventh game since only the Archsage himself can use the mighty Scorching Reason in that game. This explains why the animation for Athos using Forblaze and the animation for any other Sage using Forblaze are different, and who's to say that Aureola couldn't have had a different animation if St. Elimine were around to wield it?
Note how, despite being the son of Canas, Hugh's stats are quite a bit lower than his father's stats. However, remember that Hugh is an anima mage rather than a dark mage, which he likely inherited from his mother. Canas's wife is said to have been an Anima magic user (and if his supports with Nino are to be believed, a member of a very powerful clan of Anima mages), which Niime tells Hugh about in their A Support. Hugh inherited his aptitude for Anima Magic from his mom, but he's been raised by his grandmother who uses Dark Magic; it's no wonder that his full potential couldn't be brought out by Niime, since she simply cannot train him at their best thanks to how different Anima and Dark are. If only Canas's wife or Pent had taught him...
As revealed by a revelation in Fire Emblem Gaiden, Nosferatu was the only spell that did not Cast From HP in that game... which stole life force from your opponents. In-game, Quintessence is treated as being interchangeable with life force (in fact, it can be used to extend life) - which means that by this logic, Canas is using the exact same ability (albeit in a much toned down version) as Nergal is! The very definition of Bad Powers, Good People.
Brammimond looks a lot like the Tactician: they wear the same green robe and hood over their face and they look to be about the same age despite the former having lived through the Scouring. You could chalk this up to both of them being Featureless Protagonists, but another explanation is that the game is played from the Tactician's own perspective. From the perspective of anyone else present, like Eliwood, Lyn, Hector, or Athos, Brammimond looks like them. Brammimond looks like a hooded enigma to you because you're a hooded enigma.
So, Marcus was a Crutch Character with poor long-term potential in The Binding Blade. In this game, he is the opposite. Why? Well, in The Binding Blade, he was maybe in his 50s-60s, here he's in his 30s-40s - in the prime of his life. This actually holds true to the rest of the Jagens from here on out - Seth, Titania, Frederic, Felicia, and Jakob are all much much younger than Jagen and FE6!Marcus were.
It's easy to miss, but in Nino's A support with Canas, she shows him a picture of her real family and mentions that she has a twin brother (in the original Japanese; this was mistranslated as having a pair of brothers who are twins, though she only names one afterwards). This means that she is in fact genetically predisposed to be more likely to later give birth to twins herself, which she does (though this is somewhat subverted by the fact that Lugh and Raigh appear to be identical twins, which are always a chance occurrence and never genetically predisposed for).
In both the chapters where you can recruit Wallace — one in Lyn's story, the other in Eliwood's/Hector's (if you fight Lloyd first rather than Linus) — the map is a Fog of War. This would seem to be a coincidence — except that Wallace has No Sense of Direction! Even if this was not a deliberate joke on the character, the appropriateness of it all is still very impressive — especially since the alternate 'Four-Fanged Offence' (where you fight Linus) is noticeably not a Fog of War.
Renault spent most of his life as a mercenary and only became a bishop late in life. This explains why his magic is so abysmal and his magical resistance is only a few points higher than his physical defense (which is actually pretty high for a magic-user). If strength stats for magic-users and magic stats for weapon-users were available in the GBA games, Renault would probably have an abnormally high strength stat for a magic-user, quite possibly even already coming capped (since the Bishop class would probably have a very low Strength cap) — not that this would mean anything, as a Strength stat would be completely useless for a magic-user given the operating mechanics in these games.
Why does Karla only appear in Hector's Story, when the chapter she appears in is not one of the ones exclusive to said story? Well, quite simply, it's because in that story, she happened to be passing through a village on her search right as it was attacked by bandits and was killed in the attack. I actually discovered this completely by accident. There was one time when I was playing through Hector's Story and she didn't show up, and then I realized that on this particular run-through I had failed to get the Elysian Whip in Chapter 25 — an item that is handed out by Karla when you visit the chapter's lone village. And since Chapter 25 of Hector's Story doesn't appear in Eliwood's Story at all, your army couldn't possibly have saved that village. This also proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hector's Story, not Eliwood's Story, is canon.
To explain: The Blazing Blade is the prequel to The Binding Blade, and in-game, the Myrmidon Fir has ties to both Barte and Karel (Supports reveal that Barte is her dad, whereas Karel is her uncle). How is she related to both of them? Karla had to be her mother — in Karla and Barte's ending in Hector's Path of The Blazing Blade, it mentions that they had a daughter together before Karla died of illness after the events of the game. This explains why Karla doesn't appear in The Binding Blade if she had survived the war. Thus, in order to for both games to remain canon, Karla had to survive the events of The Blazing Blade.
Not necessarily. Bartre's ending is the same in both Hector's and Eliwood's stories: He marries his mortal enemy, who is none other than Karla. So Karla obviously exists in both paths, even if you never see her in Eliwood's.
Thieves can't promote in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, but they can in The Blazing Blade, which takes place twenty years prior. Early-Installment Weirdness, maybe? Consider that the only two Assassins in The Blazing Blade, Jerme and Jaffar, are both Black Fang operatives, one of your two thieves is Legault, who is an ex-Black Fang member, and you obtain the Thief promotion item from Sonia, who has ties to the Black Fang. The Thieves can't promote anymore because the Black Fang, the largest assassin league ever to exist in Elibe, no longer exists by that time!
It gets better; Matthew, the only non-Black Fang who could become an Assassin, inevitably spends quite a bit of time in the same party as former Black Fangs Legault and/or Jaffar. Also, you could get a Fell Contract from the Secret Shop in the penultimate chapter... but to gain access to the Secret Shops, you need to steal the Member Card... from a Black Fang thief. And the Secret Shop that sells Fell Contracts is not too far from the building where you encounter that Black Fang thief.
Their dialogue also thematically fits in with villainous archetypes from this and other Fire Emblem games: "The drums of war are beating! No man can be trusted!" It's always the bandits who react with glee to a war starting, because it gives them opportunities to pillage and plunder without the usual authorities getting in their way. Likewise, the big villains who employ said bandits often talk about how foolish it is to trust other people (see Nergal ranting to Athos about how friendship and trust bring weakness and betrayal, or Sonia mocking the family she killed), in contrast to the heroes emphasizing The Power of Friendship and Trust.
Geitz has a Weak, but Skilled stat spread, which is unusual for a Warrior. He's from a wealthy merchant family that used slaves, so of course he's not as strong as others in a medieval setting — up until leaving his family, he probably had never worked a day in his life. His weapon skill is probably attributed to some proper instruction that his family's wealth could afford him.
As mentioned in Gameplay and Story Segregation, the Black Fang employs healers to patch up their injured members - when they "eliminate the weak" as a policy. They also have numbers in the hundreds despite being a "Small elite group of assassins". This actually might not be as Gameplay and Story Segregation as thought...
Nergal, though Sonia, replaces much of the Black Fang - some with actual people (such as criminals who are less likely to follow their beliefs) and some with Morphs. Who's to say that this wouldn't end up changing some of their perceived policies?
Despite having hundreds of members? It's possible for them to be "Small". They are essentially a private military. Nergal's private army. By the end of the game? He's only using Morphs. He's dropped the vainer of the Black Fang and is resorting to flat out mass-produced morphs.
There's a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration with how Limstella has more HP than is allowed any playable unit and higher defense and resistance than allowed any playable Sage. She's a Artificial Human whose power is boosted to inhuman levels.
Most Western gamers have played The Blazing Blade before The Binding Blade, blissfully working for the A-level supports with Eliwood and Hector for their preferred ship. Now try the previous game and—hey, guess what? That woman is doomed (whichever lady you choose) to dying soon afterwards! Hope you enjoyed that moment of Squee, youdastard.
Well, if you pair Eliwood with Ninian, it's stated she's not going to live very long anyway if she remains in the human world. Whether or not that actually makes it better is debatable, though, and Hector's poor wife is still out of luck either way.
Actually, not necessarily. It was just said that her lifespan was shortened but, since dragons live far longer than humans, we don't know HOW shortened it would be. It could have just brought her to a normal human lifespan.
Similarly, Eliwood and Hector's supports take on a very different tone if you've played Binding Blade first. (As was the intention, since Blazing Blade is a prequel) Their B Support is direct foreshadowing, but their A Support, with them promising each other they'll stay alive, and Hector's line "Well, then lets live long and in health! I dont want to hear any excuses about not being able to come help when were old men" is tragic Dramatic Ironyas Hector dies very early in Binding Blade, and Eliwood wasn't able to come and help him.
Except she goes home and lives a long life instead.
Considering Kent's Bodyguard Crush on Lyndis (which is referred to by Sain in their supports) and Florina's Pseudo-Romantic Friendshipwith her, this could be also applied to them if you have her romanced by Eliwood, Hector, or Rath. Unless you have them paired off with others, which is relatively easy in the case of Kent since he has potential endings with Fiora and Farina... but Florina only has endings with Hector and Lyn, so if both Hector and Lyn are with others... Poor Florina.
Hey, remember when the dragons come? Well, Ninian is forced to kill them. After the battle, she says a Blink-and-You-Miss-It line by saying the dragons were "children". That could mean that they are young by their race's standards, even if that means they are a few centuries old, they still would have the minds of children. Oh, and by the way, if those incredibly powerful dragons are children and the last dragon was already wounded by Ninian, then how un-godly powerful is an adult, healthy dragon like?
Considering that Ninian at least looks equivalent to mid-to-late teens/maybe early 20's, and she managed to kill two and wound the third, that ought to give you a pretty good idea. Also, it makes you pretty glad that Ninian is otherwise gentle by nature and locked out of her full blown powers because the BF's took her and Nils's shared Dragonstone away, huh?
On a related note, these implications about the power of a true dragon make it much harder to believe that Jahn was a full strength dragon. Either he had regained much less of his power than he seems to believe in his battle quote, or...
In his epilogue, Karel eventually becomes known as the Sword Saint. Guy also gains that title which is most likely a mistranslation on Guy's part since his character title still says that he's the Mounted Swordsman, and many consider Karel to be the true Sword Saint.
To be more specific, during their support conversation, Karel and Guy agree to have a match a year later after Guy becomes as strong as he can. Given both Karel's nature and Guy's resolve, this most likely will be a death match. Since Karel appears as an aged man in Binding Blade, it can be assumed that he won the match and killed Guy for good. Though for an additional brilliance, if this happens, then perhaps Guy's death becomes another factor why Karel developed into the Sword Saint, in addition to what happened to Karla.
When you achieve the HHM extended ending, you learn a lot about Nergal's past. You can infer Nergal's motivation for doing what he does. You learn that, when Nergal went to search for his missing wife (the dragon Aenir), he sent his half-dragon children, Ninian and Nils, through the Dragon's Gate. His only goal, throughout the entire game, is to call dragons through the Dragon's Gate. That's all he wants. He just wants his children back. He has been so corrupted by the power that he needed to get his children back that he has completely forgotten them and the reason he needed the power in the first place, and he doesn't even recognize them as they stand in front of him. He has become so corrupted by the power that he laughed as his daughter was cut down by the man she loved, and he laughs while his son falls to his knees in pure agony as the only thing left that he cares about dies. Going even further, and even darker, imagine how Ninian and Nils feel throughout the entire game. Imagine what they are going through, because they know.
Caelin having a Suspiciously Small Army one year after Lyn's Tale can be explained by the end of Chapter 8: Lundgren had ordered Caelin's forces to watch out for "two traitorous knights and a baseborn child" aiming to claim Castle Caelin, and is heavily implied to have silenced Hausen's loyal retainers who could've exposed his poisoning. Most of Caelin's forces that weren't already silenced by Lundgren may have been slain by Lyn's party (whether as complicit traitors, unaware subordinates, or victims of coercion like Eagler).
Rebecca can be in a relationship with Wil, Sain, or Lowen. Rebecca, Wil, and Sain all have brown hair. Rebecca's son, Wolt, has green hair like Lowen. However, the father doesn't have to be Lowen due to the creators wanting to keep all possibilities open. How is it that Wolt can have green hair if the father is Wil or Sain?
Rebecca's hair is green. Granted, Wolt's hair color is closer to Lowen's than Rebecca's, but Wolt getting green hair because of Rebecca isn't totally impossible. (We never see her Missing Mom, so for all that we know Wolt got his hair from his dead grandmother.)
Also, Wolt can be seen as a physical mixture of all of his potential fathers. He has Wil's hairstyle and fighting class (the latter shared with Rebecca), Lowen's hair color and personality, and Sain's eyes and features. (And he is specifically mentioned to not really be a lot like Sain anyway.)
In Four Fanged Offense, Nino takes refuge inside of a house and yells at you to go away even if you visit the place with Legault, someone that she has known fondly for years.
Maybe she stayed in another room and didn't look at who was coming in?