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Video Game / Fire Emblem Gaiden
aka: Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows Of Valentia

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The Way of the Sword or the Way of the Heart.

“The earth split, the seas parted, and the heavens themselves threatened to come tumbling down. The battle transcended any that history had yet known.”
The Book of Valentian Revelations, Chapter 15.

Fire Emblem Gaiden is the second game of the Fire Emblem series, released only in Japan on the Famicom in 1992. While it takes place in the same world as its predecessor, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, Gaiden focuses on the continent of Valentia, located to the west of Archanea, and its plot has minimal relation.

Many untold years ago, there were two sibling gods: the brother Duma and the sister Mila. The two had conflicting philosophies on how humanity should live, and their disagreements led to them fighting endlessly. Eventually they made a pact to end their conflict, which led to them dividing the continent of Valentia into two nations that would live for their god's beliefs. The nation of the south, Zofia, followed Mila and her teachings of pleasure and luxury. The nation of the north, Rigel, followed Duma and became a strong empire of proud warriors. However, as the years went by, both nations took their god's teachings to heart a little too much, and now the threat of war looms over the continent of Valentia.


The game is the odd duck of the series, featuring a lot of gameplay elements that have either not been replicated by its successors or only revisited once. There are more traditional RPG elements like towns and an overworld map that can be navigated, aspects of dungeon crawling, no Breakable Weapons mechanic, and Magic is learned via level-up and is Cast from Hit Points. It's also the only game Anna doesn't appear in. However, Gaiden also introduced the branching class changing system that would be refined by later Fire Emblem titles, leaving a significant mark on the series even if many of its ideas were abandoned or underutilized.

Following the worldwide success of Fire Emblem Fates, Gaiden was given a remake (made with the Awakening/Fates engine) for the Nintendo 3DS titled Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, released internationally in 2017 after 25 years of it staying in Japan. Besides the prerequisite overhauls and upgrades to the game's presentation, the remake faithfully retains the original's mechanics while including more recent series elements such as Casual Mode (which turns off Permadeath) and Supports. It also introduces an item called Mila's Turnwheel that can rewind time to undo your actions, and there is now a fatigue mechanic somewhat similar to one used in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 that inflicts debuffs on characters that are used too much (but only in dungeons). It features full voice acting for almost all dialogue in the game, with only minor NPCs and small-scale environmental exposition going unvoiced, and cutscenes animated by Studio Khara. It also includes a number of characters not present in the original Gaiden and features DLC like the previous 3DS Fire Emblem games.


Shadows of Valentia also has amiibo functionality. Scanning figures based on protagonists Alm and Celica unlocks a Bonus Dungeon and save the in-game character's stats, a copy of whom can then be summoned as a temporary AI-controlled ally. Fire Emblem amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. series, including Roy and Corrin, summons an image of that character. Other amiibo provide you with generic Player Mooks.

Gaiden is followed by the Super Famicom game Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, which acts as a direct sequel to Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. Shadows of Valentia is followed by Fire Emblem: Three Houses on the Nintendo Switch.

Fire Emblem Gaiden provides examples of:

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  • 20 Bear Asses: Some sidequests require collecting random enemy drops and taking them to whatever NPC requested them. For example, there's a man that asks the player to bring him some Gargoyle ears.
  • Accordion to Most Sailors: Echoes has "Sea Winds and Travelers", the Port Town theme, with a melody featuring an accordion and flute duet.
  • Action Girl: Plenty, naturally. Celica is the predominant one, but we also get Claire, Sonya, Mathilda, Mae, Delthea, Faye, and the Whitewings (Palla, Catria, and Est).
  • Actually Four Mooks: Out of battle, enemy parties on the map and in dungeons are represented by a single person or creature. There are a few battles as well where there can be one to four enemies, though these are rare and often done with Cantors.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The remake takes advantage of the newer graphics to give many characters facelifts and some are even redesigned from scratch to look more attractive.
  • Adaptational Consent: Gray tries to win over Clair. They marry each other after the war, but her ending in Gaiden implies she only caved in to his aggression (though she does remain single if he dies, lamenting that she was "going to let [him] win"). "She gave into Gray's persistence and reluctantly got together with him [...]". Shadows of Valentia paints this in a more positive picture, where Gray decides to leave when she says she is not interested, only for her to approach him and give him a second chance, which ended in marriage. "In time, Gray's tenacity won her over, and she became his wife..."
  • Adaptational Hairstyle Change: In Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia, several characters received very new character designs in order to better distinguish them from one another and update them for modern preferences. For example, the original Luthier had a generic short hair style that he shared with many other characters, so new Luthier has a much more unique long low ponytailed style.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Shadows of Valentia expands greatly upon the plot of the original, adding a number of new characters like Prince Berkut, his girlfriend Rinea, the Girl Next Door Faye, and the traitor noble Fernand. There is also an extra chapter after the main game that goes into the origins of the Fell Dragon Grima.
    • It also expands enormously on the characters of the various members of your army, most of whom only had one or two text boxes of dialogue, total, in the entire game in the original. Here, every one of them is as fully-realized as one would expect of a modern Fire Emblem, and for some of the old friends of Alm and Celica in particular (Gray, Tobin, Mae, and Boey), this leads to them having nearly as much presence and character as some series protagonists.
  • Adapted Out:
    • One boss, Seazas, was replaced with Berkut. However, the former didn't have any lines, not even battle or death quotes.
    • In the Gaiden manga, released in 1993 (the year after the original Gaiden's release) and covering only from Act 3 onwards, several characters are left out: Delthea, Luthier, the Whitewings, Tatiana, Valbar, Leon, Kamui, Forsyth, Python, etc.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Fernand, Berkut (plus Rinea, though she wasn't exactly a villain), and Rudolf get very sad send-offs.
  • All for Nothing:
    • In the "Flight from the Ruins" Downloadable Content, Clair and Mathilda barely escape an underground ruin with a ring that bestows magic resistance that they'd came for, only for the ring to disintegrate upon contact with sunlight.
    • Berkut was obsessed with proving his strength and his worthiness to inherit the Rigelian throne from his uncle, Emperor Rudolf, but when he discovers that Alm was Rudolf's long-lost son and the heir to the Rigelian throne, Berkut does not take it well at all.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The characters' ages in Echoes can be found in internal data, but cannot be seen in game. This is likely an artifact of the cut system where only characters at the age of 20 and above could consume alcoholic products littered in the story.
    • Much of the background and history for some of the characters can only be found in an artbook released after the game came out. For example, the reason Berkut is so obsessed with power is only given a brief line or two in game, where as the artbook goes into detail on his life and why he ended up the way he did.
  • Alternative Calendar: Valentia has its own calendar, with month names like "Pegastym" and the years labeled as V.C. Days and months will pass as you traverse the map, complete dungeons, or hit certain points in the story. The months, however, don't seem to have a set number of days, depending entirely on how long the player takes to complete each Act. That being said, the final month in-game, Forstym, can have hundreds of days since it extends to the postgame.
  • Anachronism Stew: At least the remake, similar to the other 3DS Fire Emblem installments, the game is based on medieval/Renaissance Europe, but the script features grammar and turns of phrase from various historical periods peppered with modern slang like "Noice," lots of Buffy Speak, and the modern usage of the term "bastard".
  • A Taste of Power: In the tutorial, you get to control Mycen, who has 40 HP and can down the enemies present in one hit.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: Some bosses drop whatever they were carrying when defeated. This includes food.
  • Animal Motifs: Rigel has a motif of lions to go with their war-pride and strength. They appear on their war banners and flags, and two Arts tied to weapons of Rigelian origin have lion-related exclusive skill names (the Royal Sword's Double Lion and the Emperor Lance's Leonine Poise). Zofia averts this, as its symbolic counterpart to Rigel's lion is a tree.
  • Anti-Air: Most Bows come with the Anti-Fliers bonus, and the Brave Sword's "Grounder" Art deals extra damage to flying targets.
  • Anti-Armor: The Steel Lance's "Armorcrush" Art deals extra damage to armored units. A DLC weapon, Warrior's Sword, also has the "Armor Disruptor" art, letting it deal extra damage to armored units when used.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: From the remake:
    • Support levels can be gained if 2 units that can support are 1-2 squares away from each other, as opposed to strictly 1 range (as well as Pair Up range in Awakening and Fates).
    • Mila's Turnwheel allows the player to undo their actions in battles.
  • Anyone Can Die: The game is notably one of the only Fire Emblem titles where none of the secondary playable characters are "essential" (as in getting critically wounded instead of dying outright if defeated), including plot-crucial units such as Clive, Mae and Boey, meaning that the plot and endings can vary wildly depending on who you let die and when.
  • Art Shift: Cutscenes in Shadows of Valentia are animated in a stylized fashion that differs from the normal ingame style.
  • Artistic License: In-Universe. When talked to in a town or base, Genny may state that she plans on writing down Celica's journey as a story. While summarizing the plot, she mentions how Celica and her father end up reuniting, which never actually happens (and couldn't have anyway since he was murdered).
  • Ascended Extra: As mentioned above in Adaptation Expansion, several characters who previously became a Living Prop upon joining you and didn't have much characterization prior are outright prominent, fleshed-out characters throughout Alm and Celica's stories. Gray and Tobin, as well as Mae and Boey, both become their routes' respective Those Two Guys/thirds of a team of three with their protagonist, while another early party member stands as a recurring contrast to their less wordly viewpoints. In Alm's route, this is Lukas, while Saber takes it up for Celica. Beyond that, former Deliverance leader Clive is also given ample importance by the narrative. Claire gets lots of screentime too, as The Chick in Alm's party (especially in Act 1). Starter Villain Slayde has a major part in the prologue and backstory, as well as being guaranteed to survive being defeated at the end of Act 1 and return in Act 4, rather than simply being an intended first boss who simply disappears if not killed.
  • Ascended Glitch: In Gaiden, there was an oversight in regard to Nosferatu that allows you to still hit the final boss even after it becomes immune to anything besides Falchion, due to it having a hard-wired 50% hit rate. In Echoes, it is one of the few things that can still kill it.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: The Whitewing pegasus sisters, Palla, Catria and Est, can perform the devastating Triangle Attack art so long as all three are standing adjacent to the same target, and all three are of the Pegasus Knight class family.
  • Award-Bait Song: The ending credits song - "Heritors of Arcadia", follows the trend of its predecessor for being a sorrowful ballad with sparkly synth and a Truck Driver's Gear Change and, in English, is sung by another blue-haired Mysterious Waif.

  • Back from the Dead:
    • Both Duma and Mila have created Sacred Springs capable of restoring life. Mila's resides in the Dragon Shrine guarded by loyal Necrodragons, while Duma has one hidden in the Secret Shrine and as an award for besting one part of his Fear Mountain Shrine Trials.
    • One sidequest had a son try to use Mila's spring to revive his father, only to die in the shrine to Mila's loyal Terrors and his mother to curse Mila for it.
  • Babies Ever After:
    • If Gray and Clair both survive, they ultimately marry and have a child together. If Tobin died during the game, they name the child after him.
    • Assuming neither of them die, Mae and Boey are stated to marry in their epilogue and end up having many children.
  • Background Music Override: In Echoes, Rudolf's map theme keeps playing throughout both player and enemy phases, as well as all combat scenes. A similar thing happens during the final battle with Berkut and in the final battle at the Altar of Duma, except Berkut and Duma have their own boss themes, and Jedah shares his battle theme with Nuibaba.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: The spell "Nosferatu" is the only spell that actually has zero cost - and it drains enemies' life force. It's considered "Black magic" since it inflicts harm, and in the other 3DS games it is "Dark magic". Yet Nosferatu is actually a stock magic for the Cleric class.
  • Bag of Sharing: Easy Mode in Gaiden allows Alm and Celica's parties to trade items despite them being separated until the final battle. It's removed in the remake.
  • Battle Couple:
  • Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple: Mae and Boey are a downplayed example with Alm and Celica. While the former do bicker in their interactions, Alm and Celica have an argument that indirectly causes them to be separated until the end of the game.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In the end, Alm and Celica bring peace to Valentia and lay their gods to rest, making way for a future built by mankind. However, countless innocents were sacrificed along the way, all for the sake of Rudolf's gambit to unify the continent through war, and without Mila and Duma's blessings, both lands are left infertile. Though rebellions and brigands will threaten the One Kingdom now that there are no more gods to protect it, Alm and Celica are confident Valentia will overcome it by working together.
    • A lot of side quests end like this. A tired woman in the Mountain Village asks the player to find her son, only to find his journal revealing he died in the Dragon Shrine. The woman, heartbroken, sells all her possessions and leaves the village to start over, but thanks the player for at least giving her closure.
  • Bonus Boss: At the bottom of the below-mentioned Bonus Dungeon, you get to have a match with the Fell Dragon Grima himself.
  • Bonus Dungeon: After beating the main story of Echoes, you get to fight your way through a 9-floor zombie fest with no saves, no Mila statues, and no mercy.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Expel spell can be learned by most Clerics, and, even though it costs a whopping 12 HP to cast, has a 65% chance to straight up kill any basic Terrors in range. This includes Revenants, Bonewalkers, Gargoyles, Necrodragons... and the higher the Saint's attack, the wider the range. It makes fighting Cantors considerably easier.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: A Mercenary that appears in Act 1 carries a leather shield, and thus has very high Defense at that point in the game. He serves to teach the player that they need to have a Mage on their team so they can defeat foes who have low Resistance, such as said Mercenary. Some of the Death Masks, AKA the Risen, that appear in Thabes Labyrinth take this Up to Eleven. They're only Level 1, have Rusted Weapons, and are basic Class enemies, including lowly Villagers and run of the mill Brigands. However, their stats are absurdly high, with their HP in particular being too high for the game to properly show. Approach them at your own risk.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Both Mila and Duma believed in creating nations through a specific form of ruling (Duma through a variation of Might Makes Right, and Mila through making life easier). In doing so however, both Rigel and Zofia respectively became corrupted by their own beliefs; Rigel made powerful warriors, but it also made an empire that sees itself as better then others because of the hardships they endured, while Zofia was a nation of prosperity, that ended up making people lazy and become subject to their vices. Without moderation on either front, both nations became perversions of their ideals.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A relatively downplayed example with Echoes, which sells more class upgrades as DLC (which, granted, you'll need to grind to use, but still).
  • Brick Joke: A few jokes can be had by observing certain objects with one protagonist, and then later coming back and observing them with the other to compare their opposite and sometimes identical reactions.
  • Broken Bridge: Alm's path in Act 4 has a point where a rockslide at Mount Dragonsblight keeps his party from progressing forward. In the original, Jedah uses this danger as his main point of leverage against Celica, as he threatens to have the dragons kill Alm if Celica doesn't cooperate, and the roadblock only disappears after Celica finishes her part of Act 4. In Echoes, the roadblock keeps the same conditions for passing, but Jedah has Mila's freedom added to the ultimatum.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Thabes Labyrinth, in Shadows of Valentia's secret sixth chapter, is the toughest dungeon in the whole game bar none. It has over nine floors, there's no saving or Mila Statues, enemies are significantly tougher than they first appear, and to top it all off, the dungeon's boss is ridiculously strong with absurd stats and abilities that nothing else in the game has. If you haven't been Level Grinding your entire party, you'll have a bad time for sure.

  • Call-Back: Palla, Catria, and Est in their final battle quotes reference the fact that they have fought dragons before.
  • Call-Forward:
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Alm and Celica must always be deployed as active party members during their campaigns. Once Act 6 is reached in the remake, the parties are merged and the player can drop one, but not both.
  • Cast from Hit Points:
    • Casting magic and using Arts cost the caster some of their HP, with the amount of HP required varying based on the spell or Art.
    • Using amiibo to summon phantoms costs Alm or Celica 10 HP.
    • Healing and utility spells (such as Warp and Anew) also cost the user some HP.
  • Casual Danger Dialog:
    • Unlike other games, in which most support conversations take place at camp, the Support Conversations in Echoes are initiated on the map. While usually one can chalk this up to Gameplay and Story Segregation, a few conversations actually point out that they're in battle. Taken to an extreme in Lukas and Forsyth's DLC supports, where they talk about whatever book Forsyth happens to currently be reading on the battlefield.
    • For a non-support example, once Celica's party gets warped into the basement of the Duma Tower by Jedah, Boey and Saber get into an argument over whether or not Saber's planning on running off to make everyone else fend for themselves. Conrad angrily lampshades this and reminds them that talking is NOT a free action.
  • Central Theme:
    • A person's worth is determined by their actions and character, not blood or title.
    • Following any ideology to the extreme will cause negative consequences.
  • Chekhov's Skill: By examining Ram Village, the player can find traits of classes that best suit Gray, Tobin and Kliff:
    • A fence was broken by Alm and Gray during sword practice.
    • Near the watchtower, there is a place where Tobin practices archery.
    • There's a scorch mark near Alm's house as a result of Kliff's fire magic.
  • Clothing Damage: Repeatedly taking heavy damage will result in slight damage to certain characters' attire. For example, Saber will lose his eyepatch, Silque's wimple and Valbar's helmet can be knocked off, etc.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every single character has their own color palette for every class they can potentially change into, in a step up from the previous 3DS games' having only characters' "canon" classes be a special color/an outright Custom Uniform. The most notable are the Clerics and the Pegasus Knight sisters wearing the primary colors (with the most commonly used secondary): Silque and Catria wear blue, Genny and Est wear pink (which is a lighter shade of red), Tatiana and Palla wear green, and if you reclass Faye into either a Cleric or a Pegasus Knight, both of her respective outfits will be yellow.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Palla, Catria, and Est from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light are in Valentia due to Est getting kidnapped by pirates. All three end up joining Celica's party.
    • If Celica speaks to Palla after saving Est, she mentions how kind their queen is, but that her siblings were not exactly nice people, which is a clear nod to Minerva and Michalis, who become major characters in Mystery of the Emblem and have a... complicated relationship with Marth's army.
    • Zeke (who is actually the amnesiac Camus from the same game) also appears and joins Alm's party. His ending if Tatiana dies states that he was last seen in Archanea. In Tatiana's ending if Zeke is alive, her ending mentions him leaving her several times but always come back to her. Furthermore, in Echoes, the Memory Prism featuring how Zeke met Tatiana has him specifically mention Nyna from the Archanea games.
  • Coup de Grâce Cutscene: The final boss gets one. In the original, Alm has a special animation for the final blow. In the remake, it starts just before the final blow, if the attack used is from the right weapon and the game calculates a hit.
  • Creepy Cemetery:
    • Several early maps are in cemeteries, which are prime spawning spots for Terrors.
    • In Echoes, Shade and Yuzu's recruitment map takes place in a cemetery as well, which is creepy because Shade falls under Demonic Possession.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Mycen, seeming to take after Jagen, is actually a subversion of the archetype as early as the second game, refusing to fight alongside Alm until the final chapter, where he's more than capable of keeping up with the youngsters. In the prologue added to Echoes he briefly gets to play it straight, though. Since the villagers are just weak little kids, even when a big show is made of how they all need to fight back, the only feasible way to deal with just about everything on the map is to put Mycen in its range and wait for it to die.
    • Downplaying it to varying extents on Alm's route are Gray, who starts at a much higher level than the other villagers and can promote without needing to grind at all, but by the lategame the gap has closed (though he's still more than solid in the right class, there's a lot less he can do well than Tobin or Kliff); Clive, a cavalier with all-around solid base stats and mediocre-but-passable growths meaning he's likely to be supplanted by similar yet later units; and Luthier, who might be Alm's first mage if you didn't turn any of your villagers into one, coming with the crit-enhancing Excalibur spell off the bat, but has rather poor offensive growths.
    • On Celica's route, Saber is a straightforward example. Recruited early into her adventure, his physical bulk and tankiness fill a niche none of the rest of her magic-heavy party can. In the original Gaiden, however, his stat growths are rather abysmal aside from defense, and you get a lot of better mercenaries later on. He has much more longevity in Echoes, thanks to being one of many units with significant boosts to growth rates.
    • There's also a crutch weapon in the Lightning Sword. It locks itself into 15 base damage and targets the opponent's likely weaker Res, but it falls behind later on in the game as enemies become bulkier and your characters become stronger.
  • Cult: The Duma Faithful has become this by the start of the story, no longer being viewed as a proper church even by those who also worship Duma. Even the clergy has been replaced by Witches and Cantors.

  • Damage Reduction:
    • The Baron's "Heavy Armor" skill halves damage taken from Bows.
    • The Dread Fighter's "Apotrope" skill halves damage taken from magic, including the HP to 1 Medusa spell.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Final Boss has so much HP that the game doesn't even properly show it to you: it's listed in question marks. Many enemies during Shadows of Valentia's postgame share this trait.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The weapon triangle being nonexistent in Shadows of Valentia will likely cause this in veteran players.
    • Similarly, generic bows are not effective against Fliers in Echoes, and even the ones that are don't gain nearly as much Might when attacking a Flier than in earlier games (where Bows vs Fliers were practically a One-Hit Kill), meaning Pegasus Knights can fight Archers one-on-one without much worry.
  • Darker and Edgier: While simplistically told, Gaiden tackled much darker material than Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light such as sacrifices to an Evil God, Patricide, and the presence of horror elements such as a Zombie Apocalypse. Shadows of Valentia expands on this in a proper manner, making some of the scenes suitably horrific thanks to the larger script and upgraded visuals and adding Berkut, one of the most disturbing and tragically twisted villains in franchise history.
  • Dead Guy Junior: If Tobin dies, Clair and Gray (assuming they both live) name their firstborn after him.
  • Deal with the Devil: In Echoes, Jedah's Duma Faithful and associates are shown to dabble in soul trading.
    • A person can give his/her soul (including their personality, identity, humanity, physical appearance, etc.) to Duma for phenomenal magic power. One of the biggest examples is anyone who becomes a Witch.
    • According to Jedah, the souls of royalty and Brand-bearers have a special value. If sacrificed, Celica's soul is powerful enough to free Mila from the Falchion and greatly appease Duma. The choice of going through with the deal or not hangs over Celica's head for much of her story. Just as she's about to go through with it, Celica hesitates and tries to make Jedah release Mila before she offers her soul, but Jedah just seizes the princess and brainwashes her.
    • When pushed over the Despair Event Horizon, Berkut sacrifices not his soul, but his fiancee, Rinea, for the power to defeat Alm. The result is a unique storyline battle with his own legions of undead, a new weapon, and a semblance of Rinea fighting by his side as a flaming humanoid thing of destruction.
    • Nuibaba also mentions having made a pact with Medusa for more power.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Late in the game, the player will encounter Sacred Revival Springs which can be used up to three times each to revive fallen allies before drying up.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: This game is notably the only one in the series where minimum damage is 1, so you can take down enemies with far more defense than you have attack through sheer attrition. Case in point: Desaix in Zofia Castle, where he has a dracoshield that increases his defense and resistance by 13. No one in your army can damage him significantly at that point, and he recovers 5 HP each turn. You don't have to defeat him, but you get his shield if you do.
  • Decapitated Army: Justified and Invoked. Rudolf mentions before the map begins that Alm is merciful and that if he (Rudolf) were defeated, anyone left should lay down their weapons and surrender. Sure enough, when Rudolf is defeated, the map ends - because the remnants surrendered. It's also notable in that while this happens fairly often in later games, this is one of the very few cases of this trope in Gaiden/Echoes.
  • Depending on the Artist: The official art for Gaiden is very inconsistent with character designs; characters have different hair and eye colors depending on the piece of art, and a lot of the time their in-game sprites look completely different from their artwork. This is not helped by the series being the only one to not get represented in the Fire Emblem: TCG, which covers all Kaga-directed games up to Thracia 776. Shadows of Valentia rectifies it all, with a huge dose of Adaptational Attractiveness along with it.
  • Developers' Foresight: Echoes has a surprisingly large amount of attention on the developers part, and has many situations where player choice actually is accounted for.
    • A cowardly bandit is encountered the first time you visit the Thief Shrine who flees exclaiming he's just a watchman. If the player for whatever reason leaves without defeating the Brigand Boss and returns to the dungeon, the watchman will be back, and wondering why you keep coming back before fleeing once again.
    • Desaix isn't meant to be defeated the first time you encounter him on a map, but doing so anyway gives you the infamous reveal that that Desaix was just a double.
    • If Valbar dies in Chapter 2 during the battle against Barth and his pirates, both Leon and Kamui have unique base conversations that allow you to recruit them: Leon doing so as to not let Valbar's death be in vain, and Kamui joining so that Celica takes his contract.
    • Normally, a cutscene plays in Chapter 2 where Kamui objects to going to fight the Necrodragon at the the Seabound Shrine. If Celica does not recruit Kamui, then a different cutscene plays featuring Boey and Saber instead.
    • There is a very short window in Act 2 where Celica is able to explore the southern part of Valentia (after she hits the mainland but before she talks to Alm in Zofia Castle), which is where Alm starts out in Act 1. If you skip having Alm recruit Kliff and/or Faye in Ram Village, Celica can go back and recruit them. Other characters Alm can skip recruiting (Silque, Python and Forsyth) have dialogue for meeting Celica, too, despite not being recruitable, and even the generic Ram villagers react to Celica's return, noting how she's grown.
    • If the player fails to save Mathilda in Chapter 3 on Alm's route, Clive will chew Alm out for his failure, resulting in a scene where Gray and Tobin jump in to defend Alm just like they did if she lives, but with the added effect of them acknowledging Clive's harsh words to Alm before Clair jumps in and calls out Tobin and Gray for being Innocently Insensitive.
    • Zeke is an Optional Boss who can be fought and killed if Tatiana is not rescued beforehand. If the player does this, then the Rigelian villagers (who are amicable and welcoming to the Deliverance, if Zeke is spared) are instead angry and bitter, chewing out the Deliverance for killing a good man. Meanwhile, Tatiana vanishes from Nuibaba's Abode, with the implication that she was sacrificed by Nuibaba.
    • If you save Tatiana but don't recruit her, Alm himself tells Zeke that he has freed Tatiana and he doesn't need to follow Jerome's orders, with Zeke trusting his word on it by the mere factor of Alm knowing about his situation in the first place.
    • Alm's Falchion is one of the only weapons that can finish off the Final Boss. An amiibo Alm is capable of dealing the final blow, but only if the Alm data saved to it had the Falchion.
    • Speaking of the final boss, should it be defeated by means other than Alm's Falchion (like, say, a Nosferatu cast), it actually has a death animation and voice line for the occasion:
      Duma: "Where did mankind... find such power...?"
    • Many characters have unique endings that are obtained due to other characters tied to them. With few exceptions, every character has two endings that are brought about if someone they care for dies for good. For example, due to the Love Triangle between Gray, Clair, and Tobin, all three characters effect each others endings in some manner. Normally, Gray and Clair marry and Tobin has his own son, but if Tobin dies, Gray and Clair marry and name their first child after him. Meanwhile if Clair dies, Gray leaves and never returns. If Gray dies, Clair stays single forever and Tobin leaves for a while and returns, though serious and no longer as relaxed as he was.
    • A minor one but every playable unit has a unique victory animation after battle. If the character is somehow reclassed into a class with different animations than their original class, the game will account for this by keeping the same victory pose but slightly change the start to accommodate the classes differences, for example Python as a Archer and Sniper just puts his bow away and shrugs, but if a Bow Archer, his animations adjust to account for being on a horse. Alternatively the game will give them a new animation if the differences are enough to where their pose is impractical, such as Saber's changing from him planting his sword and than leaning on it, to him putting it across his shoulder since the inclusion of a shield changes the model somewhat drastically. Another example is that Valbar normally holds up his shield at the end of a battle, but if he winds up as a Myrmidon thanks to the Pitchfork, he still does this, but holds it in a slightly different position and sheaths his sword under it.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Lightning Sword is extremely powerful during Act 1 thanks to its fixed Might of 15, 1-2 range, and Transmute property causing it to deal magical damage. Enemies in Act 1 have a Resistance stat of 2 at most if they are lucky, so they will take major damage or outright die after a single round of combat even on Hard. Its usefulness begins to peter out starting around the late-midgame, since any sword-using unit worth using to begin with is going to eventually be capable of doing more damage with an ordinary sword and enemies begin to actually have competent resistance stats.
    • Celica's party will quickly come upon the powerful Shadow Sword. It has an exceptionally high Might of 13 and heals the user when they net a kill, but the weapon also has a curse that sometimes causes it to deal no damage and instead hurt the wielder. You can choose to take the Shadow Sword to a smithy to evolve it into Brave Sword for a mere 50 Silver Marks. While the Brave Sword is far weaker, it's much more accurate, still stronger than most other weapons available in Act 2, boosts the wielder's Critical Hit rate by 30%, and isn't cursed like the Shadow Sword.
  • Distress Ball: Many of the playable characters will need rescue at one point or another. The list includes Silque, Clair, Mathilda, Delthea, Est, Tatiana (and by association, Zeke), Jesse, Shade and Randal from the Cipher group, even Alm himself...
  • Dracolich: One of the types of Terrors is the undead Necrodragon. They are far stronger than most other Terrors, acting as Mini-Bosses in the early-game and Elite Mooks in the late-game.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Two characters unceremoniously die in their endings if someone they care about dies during the war, while a third has the possibility implied. In addition, any character with Plot Armor who is defeated in Classic Mode will succumb to their wounds and die after the war's conclusion.
    • If Clive outlives Mathilda, he is killed in a skirmish with pirates a few years later.
    • If Python outlives Forsyth, he is killed suppressing a rebellion a few years later.
    • Sonya leaves to search for a cure for witchhood; after she vanishes, a new witch is rumored to have taken up residence in Nuibaba's abode.
  • Dub Name Change: Actually not nearly as bad as some recent entries, with obvious effort being made to keep the names as similar as possible between languages. Some of the differences arose simply because of similar names in other games, while a few others are simple transliteration interpretations (Cliff vs Kliff or May vs Mae, for example). A few were still changed slightly, but not majorly:
    • Lukas is technically "Luka" in the original Japanese, with nothing at the end that could be interpreted as an "s". As Luka or similar names are often seen as a girl's name in English, however (with at least one very famous example out there), the "s" was added to make the name more masculine.
    • Forsyth is a more classic example - he's "Fols" or "Force" in the Japanese. Since the latter in particular isn't really used as a name, a -th was added to the end to make it a more typical Anglophone name.
    • Clive is a bit of an example, as his name's Japanese pronunciation is a bit closer to "Cleve" or "Clerbe".
    • The biggest examples (save insignificant chapter bosses) are definitely Luthier and Delthea, who are "Ryuto" and "Dyute" in Japanese, respectively. The exact logic behind these changes is a little unclear, though it's been similarly unclear for a long time whether those are even the intended romanizations of the names or what, if any, mythological references they make.

  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Like Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, the Weapon Triangle system that's a mainstay of the series doesn't exist yet. Unlike that game, however, the remake does not add it in — likely because the remake still had no playable axe-using classes. Weirdly enough a splitting axe can be found fairly early on, and it even has stats like a weapon, but is unable to be equipped by any character, including Atlas, an actual woodcutter.
    • Weapon Levels and Weapon Ranks don't exist, so a unit can freely use all weapons that their classes have access to from the get go, even the strongest ones.
    • This is also the only game in the series to use Cast from Hit Points for magic. The types of spells and what levels they are learned also depends on the character and offensive magic is cast directly from the user instead of from tomes. Similarly, healing is also Cast from Hit Points, and clerics' utility spells are learned by level-up as well.
    • The Brave Sword is the first among the Brave weapons to be introduced in the series, but in this game it acts more like a Killing Edge, as it increases the wielder's Critical rate instead of allowing the wielder to strike twice consecutively like in Genealogy of the Holy War and beyond.
    • This game introduces the Falcon Knight promotion for the Pegasus Knight class; As a consequence, there is no equivalent class for the Wyvern Rider/Wyvern Lord in this game. In addition, they have the trait of being super effective against undead enemies by default, a trait that later games dropped.
    • Character inventories consist of a single slot, and whatever is equipped is put into use in every instance of combat the unit is in until unequipped, unless it's food, which can be eaten at any time. This is a bit shocking to players more familiar with the five-slot inventory system.
    • Related to the above, the game in both versions also lacks weapon durability (since you can't purchase replacement weapons). It's no longer the only game to lack such, but it has a much heavier influence on character builds than in other games.
    • Not being able to purchase replacement weapons and spells being cast directly from their casters means that there is no need for any sort of currency. The remake added a currency system, but only for forging weapons.
    • The terrain effects are among the most pronounced to date, with certain terrain providing a whopping 60 points of avoid. Magic ignores these bonuses as well.
    • Archers can attack from minimum range and have their range increased even more upon Class Change, but to make up for it they tend to have lower accuracy. They also have no Anti-Flier bonus when using the default bow, though nearly all equippable bows have this bonus by default, with the exception of the Rusted and Venin Bows.
    • With the exception of a handful of bosses, the vast majority of enemies encountered have zero points of Luck, making them all very easy to land critical hits against.
    • Class Changing is done in special shrines instead of requiring special items to do so, each class can only promote starting at specific levels (which vary slightly from class to class), and promotion only takes characters up to their new class's base stats instead of giving a flat bonus like most Fire Emblem games do. Genealogy of the Holy War is the only one to imitate the first mechanic by allowing Class Change in home castles, while Three Houses would also imitate the latter two mechanics.
    • Gaiden is very experimental with map designs. There would be huge maps with unused space, battles fought on ships, and entire maps made out of mostly sand or poisonous swamp. It shows its age when the maps are faithfully recreated for the remake. Mystery of the Emblem would later revert back to the map design of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. The concept of ship maps won't be revisited until Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, 11 years after the release of this game.
  • Easter Egg:
    • If you skip out on having Alm recruit Silque in Act 1 and then have Celica travel down to the Thieves' Shrine to meet her during Act 2, Silque and Celica will engage in a unique conversation.
    • Celica has unique dialogue with Python and Forsyth if you have Alm pass them up.
    • Have either Rudolf or Alm engage the other in combat. Rudolf won't attack his son, and Alm will notice something is up.
    • In the first battle against Jedah, engaging him in battle with Sonya plays some pre-battle dialogue that sheds light on their backstories.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Echoes feels like this at times, in stark contrast to most other Fire Emblem games being the opposite. Most regular enemies aren't a threat, except for magic users vs low Resistance units, but starting in Act 3 bosses usually have very high stats and powerful weapons, such as Deen's Brave Sword.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As revealed in the amiibo dungeons, Duma had the potential to kill Mila at any point he wished. He never did, and presumably never tried. Just like how Mila was willing to leave behind her fellow Dragons to be with Duma, Duma loved Mila enough that even while going insane, never dared attack her directly.
  • Exposition Fairy: In Alm's party Lukas often acts as this and catches Alm/the Player up on events.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: All of the Duma Faithful are ugly as sin due to the influence of the power of their insane god, with off-colored skin and Technicolor Eyes.
  • Evil Overlooker: The cover of Gaiden depicts a shadowy warlord looking down at the heroes. Echoes references this figure as the human form of Duma.
  • Evolving Weapon: As weapons or shields are used in combat, they gain their own experience and eventually let the character wielding them learn Arts. Arts allow for the use of special commands, like an attack that deals extra damage to armored enemies or a buff that doubles the effects of terrain bonuses. Like magic, Arts usually consume HP to use.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: If your Rusted item takes a Gold Mark to become usable, then it's either the Astra sword, the Sol lance, the Luna bow, or a Dracoshield, all of which are among the strongest equipment in the game.
  • Fauxshadow: In Act 2, Celica has a seemingly-prophetic dream where Alm fights Rudolf and gets killed. In the dream, Alm shouts at Rudolf claiming he stole Zofia from him and killed his friends; Celica is present in a spectral form, unable to be seen or heard and therefore unable to intervene; and before killing Alm, Rudolf starts glowing as if he is enhanced by Duma's power. However, when the actual climax occurs, none of this happens. note  It's never explained why Celica's dream is so different from what actually happens, though it's possible that it was a vision of an alternate what-if future (similar to Alm's vision).
  • Fertility God: Mila is the Patron God of Zofia, keeping its lands constantly fertile and overflowing with life as a source of comfort to the humans living there. Because of this, she has a devoted following of worshippers who praise her as the Earth Mother. But her gifts have also made many Zofians slothful and hedonistic, as shown by the debauchery of the king before his assassination.
  • Fixed Damage Attack:
    • The Lightning Sword always inflicts 15 points of damage minus the target's Resistance.
    • Dagons' Water Breath and Fire Dragons' attack ignore all defenses and always deals damage equal to their Attack + 8 and Attack + 5 respectively.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Chapter 1, Alm mentions that in addition to a sword, he was also taught how to use a bow. When promoted to a Hero, he can use a bow.
    • Zeke takes note of Alm's Birthmark of Destiny and was told by his superior to follow the brand-bearer even though Alm is opposing Rigel, the empire Zeke is serving until that point. This further hints Alm's ties to Rigel and Rudolf's Thanatos Gambit.
    • Similarly, in the prologue of Echoes, Alm and Celica comment on their brands, saying they must be special to each other because they have similar marks. This foreshadows their respective heritages as royalty.
    • Echoes gives several additional hints regarding Alm's true parentage that weren't in the original:
      • Numerous characters who knew Mycen, including Desaix and an old man met within Castle Zofia, note that he had no blood children. Desaix in particular refers to Alm as "Rudolf's pup" as he dies, having figured it out independently.
      • When Berkut hears Alm's name for the first time, he takes a few seconds before asking if Alm is of noble heritage before being told he came from Ram Village.
      • His ability to wield the Royal Sword, which requires royal blood.
      • At the sluice gates bordering the two nations, Alm's companions note that Rigel is uncomfortably cold compared to Zofia. Alm isn't as bothered by it, instead wondering why the air seems familiar to him somehow.
  • Four Is Death: Jedah's death, but still... He is only vulnerable to attack every fourth turn (in Gaiden) or every fourth time he is attacked (in Echoes).

  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • The "Royal Sword" is usable only by royalty. Sure enough, only Alm is able to equip it.
    • On Alm's conclusion of Act 4, Rudolf mentions that if he should fall, the others should lay down their arms and surrender. Sure enough, the defeat of Rudolf concludes the map. Additionally, Rudolf will not attack Alm, because Alm is in fact his own son, and he wants Alm to kill him as an act of Cruel Mercy.
    • Early in the game, Celica offers up a Golden Dagger as payment to Saber for his services. When Saber joins, he automatically has it equipped, taking it away from whoever had it.
    • Enemies such as the Duma Faithful have zero points of Luck, representing their lack of Mila's blessings in favor of Duma's power. After Berkut requests Duma's power, he also has zero Luck when battled.
    • Characters have preferences when it comes to provisions they enjoy and gain additional fatigue recovery from, and these preferences often tie into their backstories. For example, Silque enjoys "Rough" provisions like Mana Herbs and Flour because she taught herself to forage and eat anything during times of scarce food. Boey loves "Plain" food because his family were poor fishermen, so he is accustomed to eating simple things like Herring and Bread. Mae loves sweet food, and she starts out with a Sweet Cookie in her inventory. A list of these preferences can be found here.
    • Act 3 ends with Celica reassuming her identity and role as Princess Anthiese. This translates into gameplay as an automatic promotion. In a similar vein, the power that Halcyon grants Alm upon Celica's request is access to the Hero class promotion.
    • The landslide and onslaught of dragons in Alm's path requires story progression in Celica's path to overcome, because the one responsible for it is Jedah, the villain of her path.
    • Clive's horrible Resistance stat becomes a plot point in Echoes' "Flight From the Ruins" DLC, where Clair investigates some old ruins to find a ring that can negate all magic. Also, Mathilda notes that Clair doesn't have much of a problem with magic. Sure enough, Clair has a significantly better Resistance base than Clive does.
    • Faye is the only character in the game with a support bonus having a negative impact on her stats, being that if she is near Alm the enemy has increased Hit Chance. Faye has a huge crush on Alm, implying that the increased Hit chance effect is because she gets so distracted watching him that it allows an opening for the enemy to attack. That, or she's so focused on attacking the enemy to impress Alm that she forgets about her own safety. Incidentally, Faye and Alm's support chain ultimately concludes with the former coming to terms with the fact that her feelings for Alm will never be reciprocated.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Despite the Royal Sword being a gift from Rigel to Zofia and only requiring royal blood to wield, Celica can't use it.
    • Atlas is also a lumberjack, but can't ever use axes in combat. note 
    • Alm can blunder right into Nuibaba's trap on Fear Mountain in an attempt to rescue Celica from her "imprisonment"... never mind the fact that Celica can potentially have reached the Sage's Hamlet, contacted him for real through Halcyon, and dispelled any notions of being captured.
    • A minor example: When Celica hires Saber in the story to help them fight pirates so ships can sail, since he is just another recruit the player can freely choose to not use him at all and let the other characters do all the fighting.
    • At least in Echoes, if you have Faye promoted to Cleric, you can technically rescue Mathilda from her cell during your raid at Desaix's Fortress. However, she will miraculously return to her cell after the battle is over. In a similar sense, you can use Silque to Warp someone into her cell, and they will be with you even after the battle is over.
    • The game repeatedly notes that there is a severe food shortage in Zofia during the main part of the game's events, but food can easily be found just lying around for the taking in most every town or village you enter. Additionally, a drought is mentioned once or twice, but there's no real shortage of water, either.
    • In Echoes, the newly added town of Furia Harbor, which is located on the continent of Archanea instead of Valentia, contains a Mila statue. It exists solely for the player's convenience, due to the amount of time it would take to travel to a different shrine, as there's no in-universe reason for an Archanean town to prominently feature a statue of a Valentian deity; at most, examining the statue results in a comment that the statue is slightly different from its Valentian counterparts.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The first few maps of Act 2 take place on ships at sea and involve fighting brigands.
  • Gentle Touch vs. Firm Hand: The central element of the game's conflict comes from the sibling gods having conflicting philosophies on how to treat humans. Duma and his empire of Rigel embody the Firm Hand, focusing on discipline and strength. Mila and her kingdom of Zofia embody the Gentle Touch, celebrating peace and pleasure. Both methods, enacted to lesser extremes, worked well for many centuries and both kingdoms flourished and were good friends, but the game opens on a time period where both philosophies have gone to insane extremes just like the sibling divine dragons.
  • Geo Effects: Standing in certain terrain tiles can affect combat by significantly increasing a character's Avoid. The effects are far stronger than in other Fire Emblem games, with some tiles providing bonuses as great as 60%. Magic attacks have the advantage of bypassing them by virtue of their fixed accuracy.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Zofia and Mila, characterized by their peace-loving nature and bountiful lands, use blues and greens for their banners, faith and royal attire. Meanwhile Rigel and Duma, known to be warriors built by hardship and harsh lands, keep a motif of red and gold, exemplified by their own banners and the armor of their emperor, Rudolf. This dichotomy is shown in the murals in Mila's Temple, but there are notable, meaningful exceptions and twists to this scheme:
    • Alm's color scheme fitting perfectly with Zofia runs against his true identity as Rigel's prince. Similarly, the outfit of Zofian princess Celica (colored red and gold in Gaiden, and containing red and gold elements in the remake) is more in-line with Rigel's colors.
    • In addition to their symbolizing the destined unity of Rigel and Zofia, Echoes takes Alm's and Celica's long-established motif colors and runs with them to foreshadow one of its biggest additions to the plot of Gaiden, namely, that they come to blows while carrying out the wills of Mila and Duma, respectively.
    • The Brands of Duma and Mila each glow with the color of the dragon's opposing nation when their owners use their ultimate arts.
    • Echoes presents another mural of Duma and Mila with their colors reversed in Duma's Temple, on the doors that require Mila's two Turnwheels. Alm's happens to go on the blue side, and Celica's on the red.
  • Gossipy Hens: Taking time to speak with villagers and soldiers yields exposition on characters and the continent of Valentia that the player wouldn't learn otherwise.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Neither of the rival nations of Rigel or Zofia are shown to be in the right. Both followed the philosophies of their gods, but have done so in excess and thus fell victim to different vices: Rigel became violent and glory-seeking while Zofia became lazy and hedonistic.
  • Grim Up North: Rigel is north of Zofia, and happens to be much colder and darker, with a reputation for savagery due to Duma's emphasis on power above all.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Nothing in the game tells the players which characters learn which spells, which can be a problem when deciding what to Class Change the Villagers into. Among the starting Villagers, Kliff and Tobin are good picks for the Mage class: Kliff due to learning the most spells, and Tobin for getting the high-crit Excalibur spell far earlier than most, although the latter is nudged into becoming an Archer. In the remake, Faye learns a unique White Magic spell called Anew that acts as the game's only way of providing an Extra Turn. Class Changing Faye to anything other than Cleric means that the player will need to use a rare Pitchfork to remedy this. In Kliff's case, the only hints at his natural aptitude for magic come from an easily missed comment by Almnote  and his epiloguenote , and there's no hints to Faye's unique spell at all.
    • There's also no indication of class looping: Dread Fighters can loop naturally back to the Villager class after a certain point, which allows them to pick a brand new class that they haven't had access to previously. This can lead to some unique combinations, with one being that not only can Saber become a Mage, but he's also the only male member of the cast that can learn the Seraphim spell.
    • The item-fetching sidequests, especially ones that require you to have a Peddler bring an item to the other party's convoy. One in particular involves Celica needing a draconic hair for a fishing rod that can get requested for early on in Act 2. The item in question is found on Alm's route much later in the story. Because Peddlers are also one-time only and there are a limited amount of them to boot, item management and remembering who needs what can get tricky.
    • Lord Rion asks Alm to find the Rion Shield and assumes that Desaix has it. By the time Alm gets there, it's already been sold off. Celica can find it in Grieth's Citadel, which wouldn't be too bad if not for the fact that this is well past the village where Celica's first Merchant is found, so the player may have already used it to send something else over.
    • An ongoing chain of sidequests involves the merchant Alessio, who asks the player to help him meet his orders by giving him items from your inventory. If you fail to fully help him before the end of the current Act, he vanishes and is never seen again (his are the only sidequests that cannot be completed in the post-game). His first two sidequests in Acts 2 and 3 are not particularly hard to complete on time. However, he requests five Steel Lances from Celica for his final sidequest in Act 4, which is difficult because Celica gets very few lances and thus must either grind them from enemy drops or have Alm send some over through the Peddlers, plus it's depriving both of them of valuable weapons. Also, once Celica completes Duma Tower, she is no longer able to backtrack and so the sidequest cannot be completed at this point. At the very least, there is no real reward for helping Alessio in Act 4 beyond Silver Marks.
    • During Celica's part of Act 3, she can recruit several characters who have some personal grudge with Grieth: Catria, Palla and Atlas. These three will actually leave your party if you try to go too far North, towards the Temple of Mila, before defeating Grieth. While they return their items and their levels and exp are thankfully not reset, this can be a stumbling block for players looking to promote Atlas immediately. The Dragon Shrine is right above the village he's recruited at, but he'll leave if you try going there. You can, however, backtrack to the Seabound Shrine and promote him there, despite this being even further from Grieth's Citadel.
    • Recruiting Sonya or Deen on Celica's route. You are given a choice between two paths where you have to encounter one or the other. Usually the way to get a unit you want is to choose the path they are on while the one you don't encounter will not join you. However it is the other way around here, since if Sonya is defeated Deen will join you instead and vice-versa. Not helping is that the other unit will not join you until Grieth is defeated.
    • Recruiting Nomah is easy to miss. After completing Act 3 and opening both sluice gates, return to Mila's Temple with Celica and venture down into the now emptied basement and down a few hallways to find Nomah, looking to join Celica but apparently having lost his way.
    • At one point, the game encourages Alm to visit Nuibaba's Abode to the east before continuing on the main path to the west, but unlike Celica's case with Atlas, Palla, and Catria, there's nothing to actually stop the player from going west first. Unfortunately, doing so means engaging Zeke's army without Tatiana present in yours, meaning he won't make a Heel–Face Turn on the map and be possible to recruit later. Encountering Zeke in battle locks out Tatiana, too, so by taking a single wrong turn you can lose two potential recruits.
    • During the final boss battle, Jedah is stationed right in the middle of the way to Duma. Logically, you'll try to kill him, only to have your attacks be stopped somehow while Jedah will attack you for massive damage. Jedah can only be damaged every fourth turn of the battle in the original game, while Echoes changes it to every fourth round of attack launched against him. However, the only hint the game gives about this is from a villager in Sage's Hamlet, who says "4, 8, 12".
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Zig-zagged. While this is mostly played straight in regards to the classes male and female units have access to, this is inverted in respect to their class promotions for the mage class: male units become the purely magic sage class, while female units become Priestesses, who can wield swords as well as magic.

  • Healer Signs On Early:
    • Alm can recruit a Cleric named Silque in Act 1 by saving her from some bandits in a cave, and if the player's gotten Faye to level 3 by the time they reach Silque she can become one too.
    • The second protagonist Celica is able to learn healing spells once she gets enough levels, but before that she has the option of recruiting a Cleric named Genny at the start of Act 2 until she can start healing.
  • Healing Factor: Some items, like the Blessed Sword, heal their owner at the start of each turn.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Celica does this to herself upon examining the treasure room in the pirate fortress:
    Celica: My my. Look at all this pirate booty... Heh.
  • Holy Pipe Organ: Echoes has two songs: "Song of Peace" and "The Pinnacle of False Belief". The former plays in the Priory and has a traditional saintly-sounding organ piece for the peaceful monastery. The latter plays in Duma's Tower and is an Ominous Pipe Organ piece as it has become a Religion of Evil since Duma fell into madness.
  • How We Got Here: The very first scene of Echoes shows Alm stabbing Celica, a scene from the end of the story shown without any context. The clock then rewinds to nearly a decade before to show a snippet of their childhood, and after a Time Skip the actual narrative begins.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Narrator concludes the story by stating that whatever madness lies in the gods, a greater darkness resides in the hearts of man.
  • Humiliation Conga: Doubling as Break the Haughty, this trope happens to Berkut. Firstly, Alm thwarts the coup d'etat in Zofia he was guiding and he later challenges him. Despite mocking and looking down on Alm for being a commoner, Berkut gets defeated by him. He afterwards goes to his uncle Rudolf, who heard what happened and is clearly unhappy with him, to beg him for forgiveness. Then Jedah, who Berkut hates, disses him several times. He later tries to stop Alm again outside the floodgates of Rigel, and he loses to him again. Desperate to stop him, Berkut breaks a mirror which was given to him by Nuibaba and unleashes the Duma faithful's magic. It fails, which also meant he let down Rudolf. (Though, said magic did disgust Berkut.) During Alm's final assault on Rigel's castle, Berkut begs Rudolf for another chance, which he turns down. He afterwards learns Alm is his cousin and he lost his claim to the Rigelian throne to him despite all his effort to get the latter. Berkut later tells Rinea, the one person who stood by his side, that he wanted her to be empress. She then tells him she was never interested in becoming empress and that she only hankered be with him. However, he misinterprets it as her saying she never thought he'd become emperor. (Though, his dialogue towards her when she becomes a Witch implies he realized he misinterpreted her.) Despite receiving new power from Duma, he loses to Alm again.
  • Hybrid Monster: In the postgame Act 6, a young Grima is encountered. Records left behind in its dungeon reveals it is a hybrid of an experimental insect, divine dragon blood and human blood.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: As opposed to the usual Vulneraries and Elixers the series has made a staple, Echoes features a wide array of food-based Provisions that heal upon consumption.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: In Echoes, there's a class of "Tasty" food that's so delicious, everyone loves them. It also has an inversion with Duma Moss, which is so disgusting, nobody likes it.
  • Interface Spoiler: In Echoes, it's posssible to unlock Alm's Scendscale from the Royal Sword before learning that he's the prince of Rigel. Using this in battle grants the award Duma Incarnate, revealing that he does have ties to Zofia's enemy nation.
    • A minor one, but every nonmagical class in Echoes has a unique animation for dodging/blocking an enemy’s nonmagical attack, in which they will taunt them and then counterattack. However, every class also has a unique animation for finishing off an enemy, and it takes precedence over all other animations if the lethal attack is calculated as a hit. That means if a unit’s counterattack is enough to kill the enemy, and they do the dodge-and-counter animation, it is guaranteed to miss.
  • Irony:
    • During the final battle most of the Zofian-born party members (excluding Celica and Nomah), Tatiana, and the Whitewings dismiss and insult Duma and his beliefs, showing themselves to be lacking in Mila's love. Silque and Conrad on the other hand, who were born and raised in Rigel respectively, show the compassion that they lacked.
    • Alm's speech in the final battle has him declare that Duma had tainted Mila with his power, never learning that Mila was actually corrupted by her own power.
    • Despite the insistence on not depending on gods, it was a prophecy from the gods that told of how Alm and Celica would save Valentia. It was likewise the interference of Mila that allowed Celica to be restored from being a witch and for her friends to join up and help mercy kill Duma.
  • Javelin Thrower:
    • While the standard Javelin exists as well, the Iron Lance can also be thrown from 2 squares away once it gets the "Longearche" Art.
    • A more powerful Saunion can be obtained by transforming an upgraded Javelin in the forge. However, it can only be thrown from 2-3 squares away.
    • The Archanean regalia Gradivus is basically a stronger Javelin with the same range and has Healing Factor on top of it.
  • Justified Tutorial: During the prologue of Echoes, the Ram Village kids are forced to defend themselves. Since they don't know how to fight, Mycen gives them instructions on some of the basic game mechanics.
  • Kid Hero: Deconstructed. What happens when a bunch of 8-10-year-olds who were just being threatened with rape and death have to fight for their lives? They're completely hysterical, and even when they manage to focus, every one is a complete liability who'll only survive by staying out of the way while a competent adult does the fighting.
  • La Résistance: The Deliverance is a group fighting against the Rigelian Empire and trying to liberate Zofia from the treacherous Desaix.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • All battle skills are tied to weapons and other items, and a unit only has a weapon or item's skills/bonuses if the weapon/item in question is equipped.
    • The remake brings back the fatigue mechanic previously exclusive to Thracia 776, albeit it is not as debilitating as it was there and is more relevant in dungeon crawls than individual battles.
    • Echoes is also the first Fire Emblem game since Genealogy of the Holy War in 1996 to change the Level-Up jingle.
    • The only units with blue hair are not plot significant, unlike in other entries in the series wherein they are either a main character or a very important character.
    • The Resistance stat is very difficult to raise compared to other games, with the growth rates ranging from 0% to 8%.
  • Leaked Experience: Gaiden and its remake Shadows of Valentia are the only game where any units that participates in a battle will receive experience based on a pool. The pool is accumulated based on how many times the unit entered combat and deal damage and the experience will be added to every units at the end of battle.
  • Level Grinding: Unlike most Fire Emblem games, it's possible to endlessly fight foes for infinite EXP by revisiting dungeons or fighting the enemies that spawn in the world map. Unfortunately, doing so will become much more of a chore as you gain less experience the stronger you are compared to the unit you combat with.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: While Magic strength is based under "Attack" (very much like it is in the GBA Fire Emblem titles), the stat that defends against it, Resistance, is often low for enemies save for the mages, meaning that mages are very good for destroying bosses and high-defence opponents. This is meant to be somewhat balanced by completely fixed accuracy that only takes a tiny number of modifiers into account... but the 80% on Fire is sure good enough for Deliverance work, never mind the 90% on Seraphim. Because of the more pronounced terrain bonuses in the game and the fact that magic attacks ignore terrain bonuses, magic units with high Resistance and hiding under a terrain to avoid physical attacks are practically untouchable.
    • Amusingly, the trope even applies between different types of mages. Mages learn effective spells for killing a single foe and eventually a close-range healing spell, but Clerics begin as frail healers and ultimately learn competent attack spells as well as a toolbox of absurdly useful utility spells, ranging from polykilling Terrors over a wide area to teleporting allies across the battlefield to summoning disposable warriors to their side.
  • Lord British Postulate: You're not supposed to actually defeat Desaix at the end of Act 1, but if you do Slayde will remark that the Desaix present wasn't the true Desaix, and he'll retreat to either never show up again in the original, or be present in the Last Bastion in the remake.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Tobin and Gray pursue Clair, who has a crush on Alm. Celica and Faye (from Echoes) also have feelings for Alm, while he only has eyes for Celica and she likes him back. In the end... Alm and Celica marry; Clair either marries Gray or stays single if he dies, Faye marries but never fully gets over Alm, and Tobin always remains single.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: A tragic example at the end of Act 4, when Rudolf reveals his relationship to Alm a few seconds before dying from the wounds Alm inflicted on him.

  • Mad Scientist: Forneus, who conducted such insane experiments of alchemy that "the Council" sealed him inside his own workshop to keep society safe from him. His dungeon, Thabes Labyrinth, can be explored in Act 6, post game.
  • Mage Killer: The Dread Fighter class has a special skill that halves any magical damage they take and sport a decent Resistance stat on top of that, making them excellent units for combating magic users. You can also obtain a Hexlock Shield, which halves all magical damage.
  • Magic Knight: The Priestess and Princess classes use swords alongside magic.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Blessed weapons start off as relatively weak, albeit useful, weapons whose biggest advantage is being effective against Terrors. However, they can eventually be evolved into the Archanean Regalia, with the Blessed Sword becoming Mercurius, the Blessed Lance becoming (another) Gradivus, and the Blessed Bow becoming Parthia.
    • All the villagers follow this trope in the remake, especially Kliff. He start as the weaker of the villagers but if he levels up he can become one of the strongest units thanks to his growth rates (notable are his Skill, Speed, and Defense respectively of 40%, 60%, and 40), to the point that he can become a Lightning Bruiser.
    • Est joins late as a basic class (Pegasus Knight), but her stat growths are generally very high and she'll turn out strong with training.
    • Jesse, a Mercenary (the third or fourth depending on your choice) recruited on Celica's side, will join behind the curve, but he has nice stat growths that the remake also buffed.
    • Delthea, though slightly more in Echoes than Gaiden. She's recruited at the very end of Alm's side of Act 3 as a Level 3 Mage, but she has a huge Attack growth coupled with decent speed and luck, making her a magical Lightning Bruiser if leveled up enough.
  • Market-Based Title: Internationally, the 3DS remake is subtitled Shadows of Valentia. In Japan, it is subtitled Another Hero-King, playing up how Alm is Valentia's counterpart to Archanea's Marth, who is also known as the Hero-King.
  • The Maze: The Lost Woods is a large labyrinth of an area. You actually start the maze about two rooms from the exit, and about three rooms from the entrance to a story-related village, but in order to get all the treasure, you have to navigate the entire place and fight all the enemies, which can be tricky thanks to the existence of "lost squares", rooms which endlessly repeat themselves until you exit through the direction you came in.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Arrow spell is named "Sagittae" in the localization for Echoes, tying it to the Sagittarius star sign - the archer - and the Sagitta star sign - the arrow. It alone is also, fittingly, Latin for 'arrows'. Also arguably a Punny Name.
    • "Thanatophages," the name of the insects Forneus experimented with, is derived from "Thanatos" (Greek for "death"), and the suffix "-phage," which means "to eat."
    • In-universe, the Scendscale and Ragnarok Ω Arts' names share the common meaning of killing the world's god figures. On the flipside, they're also Non Indicative Names.
  • Men Use Violence, Women Use Communication: Alm wants to fight off the Rigelian army while Celica wants a more peaceful resolution without war. Their disagreement over each other's methods leads them to rift apart immediately after their reunion at the end of Act 2.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The remake includes a prologue that takes place seven years before the story officially starts, letting the player control child versions of Alm, Celica, and the villagers from Ram.
  • Multiple Endings: In both the original and remake, some characters' endings change depending on whether other characters survive or not:
    • Mae: If Boey lives, they work together in the Church of Zofia (original) or marry and work together (remake). If he dies, she falls in depression over his death (original) or remains single for all her life and works for a monastery (remake).
    • Boey: If Mae lives, they bicker all the time (original) or marry and work together in Zofia (remake). If she dies, he mourns her loss heavily (original) or becomes a hermit and then Nomah's succesor as High Priest of the Zofia church, but carries a torch for her through the rest of his life (remake).
    • Leon: If Valbar lives, he retires from the military due to a Career-Ending Injury but opens a shop and lives in peace. If he dies, he suffers a Heroic BSoD and disappears for a while, and when he returns he dedicates himself wholly to a military life and to be an instructor for the next generations. note 
    • Clive: If Mathilda lives, he becomes a Valentian commander and they marry. If she dies, he also becomes a commander, but dies fighting pirates.
    • Mathilda: If Clive lives, they marry and she retires from the military. If he dies, she stays active and inherits his post, but never falls for any other man.
    • Gray: If Tobin dies but Clair lives, Gray becomes so depressed that he turns to alcoholism; the remake adds that Clair helps him through it, then they marry and name their first child after Tobin. If Tobin lives but Clair dies, he leaves and never returns.
    • Clair: If Gray lives, they marry (though Gaiden states that Clair never fully gets over Alm) and, in the remake, she stays in the Valentian military. If he dies, Clair refuses to marry and, in the remake, dedicates herself solely to her career.
    • Tobin: If Gray lives, he becomes a well-respected knight and is made a noble. If he dies, Tobin is so shaken by the loss of his friend that he disappears for years, returns and then becomes a well-respected knight, but it's said he never recovers his smile.
    • Kamui: If Jesse lives, he joins the newborn Mercenary Kingdom, but later disappears. If he dies, he founds the Mercenary Kingdom himself and becomes its well-respected King.
    • Tatiana: If Zeke lives, the two get married. If he dies, Tatiana falls into depression and either cuts her hair in sorrow (original) or locks herself away in a monastery until an unnamed friend helps her through her depression and they marry (remake).
    • Zeke: If Tatiana lives, he leaves for a while but ultimately stays with her, and never fully tells her about his past. If she dies, he disappears, and some reports state that he might be in Archanea. note 
    • Forsyth: If both Clive and Python live, he becomes a knight and serves under Clive's orders. If Clive dies, he takes his post as a commander. If Python dies, he volunteers to go to the borderlands and settles down there with a local girl. note 
    • Python: If Forsyth lives, he becomes a border knight and he and Forsyth stay friends for the rest of their lives. If Forsyth dies, he becomes a very diligent and promising knight, but dies during the suppression of a rebellion. note 
  • Nerf:
    • For the remake, spells that used to have infinite map range like Warp or Physic have had their ranges reduced to a factor of the user's Atk stat.
    • The Angel Ring was hit the hardest by the equipment nerfs. It no longer offers double stats at level up/increased growths. Now it just gives a nearly useless +20 Luck increase and the Recovery effect. The role the ring used to have has been relegated to the shards from the DLCs— particularly the Taurus Shard, which gives a small 5% increase chance to most stats except Resistance, which instead gets a 2% chance increase instead. Complete the Starsphere, however, and you get a similar effect to the original Angel Ring.
    • Aside of the range nerf, Expel now only has a chance of killing any Terrors in range instead of killing all but one or two Terrors in the entire map. It also only works on unpromoted Terrors.
    • In Gaiden, Alm would receive a 100% crit rate by standing adjacent to Celica in battle, which could be done only once their parties merge in the final map. In Echoes, the boost is lowered to +20%, but the new Support system puts it in effect as long as Alm is within 3 spaces of Celica, along with a +10% boost to his Critical Evasion, and postgame availability.
    • The Triangle Attack has been hit hard by the nerf bat this time around, as not only does it cost a huge sum of HP, but it no longer guarantee a critical hit.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Dread Fighter is a Ninja-based class, yet several of the characters who have it, like Saber and Grieth, are pirates.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted for the first time in the series come Echoes. If an archer is shooting from three or more tiles away, they will fire their arrow in an arc. This is actually a case of Shown Their Work - Bows can fire arrows with a large amount of force without an arc.
  • No Ontological Inertia: If a Cantor dies, any Terrors they have summoned will instantly disappear. The same goes for any units summoned by a slain player character who used Invoke.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Celica's Golden Dagger is more along the lines of a short sword, as the blade's length is far too long.

  • Odd Friendship: One Memory Prism, "The Flirt and the Faithful", shows that Jesse met Silque after saving her from bandits who were chasing her on her way to the Thief Shrine. They get along well despite one being a devout servant of Mila and the other being "a mercenary of the unwashed rogue variety", and outside of Alm, Celica and the Ram villagers, they're the only units on different parties with mutual support bonuses.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "Forbidden Sanctuary" from New Mystery of the Emblem returns for the battle against Grima. It's as ominous as ever.
  • One-Hit Kill: Expel can kill all Terrors within a variable radius (Attack stat divided by 2) of the caster.
  • One-Woman Wail: The remake's title screen theme, "Echoes", is this accompanied by just a piano and a steady marching drum beat.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield:
    • Zofia's Royal Blade can only be wielded by somebody with royal blood, though not necessarily Zofian royal blood. Anybody that is not worthy will find it too heavy to lift.
    • The remake has Beloved Zofia, a sword that can only be used by Celica. To obtain it, her Golden Dagger (the weapon she starts off with) must be forged to its highest level, and then converted for a Gold Mark.
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: The early game plays out like this. Due to low Attack stats across the board and no access to equippable weapons yet, both the playable characters and enemies do very little damage to each other, and it'll be a while before anyone in Alm's starting party can reliably one-round enemies. (As opposed to other Fire Emblem games, where you usually have a Crutch Character who can do this from the get-go.)
  • Patron God: The countries of Zofia and Rigel worship Mila and Duma respectively as their patron gods. Under Mila's protection, Zofia remained fertile and abundant with resources. But this abundance meant that the people of Zofia grew slothful and hedonistic. Meanwhile, Rigel's philosophy that Misery Builds Character leaves Rigel cold and inhospitable, but this hardship also gives Rigel a powerful military and sense of order at the expense of their compassion.
  • Penultimate Weapon: Alm receives the God-slaying Falchion in time for the final battle, but his Royal Sword he received in Act 3 already has access to Alm's ultimate art Scendscale, can easily rival Falchion's power with forging and has access to the powerful Double Lion art which lets it perform double hits.
  • Permadeath: Subverted. While units who die will stay dead, there are a few shrines that allow you to revive fallen units, though you have limited usage of them. Echoes adds Casual Mode, in which defeated units merely retreat and will return to your party after the battle ends. Plot-important units will "retreat", but end up unable to participate in battle for the rest of the game. They also are mentioned to have succumbed to their wounds and died in their endings, rather than saying which chapter they were defeated in. In addition, the plot-important units will actually die in the post-game.
  • Point of No Return:
    • Once Act 2 ends, a landslide separates Alm and Celica's parties. Celica cannot access the continent further south from Zofia Castle from that point on. Alm can freely traverse his half of the map for the rest of the game, however, including the same area Celica is cut off from. Justified for Alm's case, in that the landslide is specifically to the east of Zofia Castle rather than the south.
    • In Act 4, once Celica ascends Duma Tower and talks to Jedah at the summit, she and her party cannot be used again until Alm meets with her for Act 5. Further compounding this is that Alm will face a roadblock at Mount Dragonsblight that he cannot cross until Celica's half of Act 4 is completed.
    • In Act 5, once Alm enters Duma Temple, his party is stuck there until the Final Boss is defeated. The game even warns you before entering that you won't be able to leave.
  • Poisoned Weapons: The Venin weapons can inflict the Poisoned status effect to units they strike.
  • Power at a Price:
    • Cursed weapons like the Shadow Sword have incredibly high Might stats, but they also have a chance to not deal any damage and instead hurt the user.
    • The Duma Faithful are given vast magical and summoning powers by Duma but they must willingly offer up their souls.
    • Berkut sacrifices his fianceé Rinea's soul to obtain the power to exact his revenge on Alm midway through Act 5.
  • The Power of Friendship: Echoes brings Support bonuses and conversations into the mix.note  By standing within 3 spaces of each other, units can receive bonuses to their stats in battle, with characters that share special relationships like lovers or family giving each other the biggest bonuses.
  • Power Up Letdown:
    • At forges, some weapons can be completely changed in exchange for highly rare gold coins (typical stat upgrades for weapons usually only require silver coins, with a few exceptions). The potential weapons you can make, however, can turn out weaker or less efficient than the weapon it initially was; an example being that the Brave Sword can be converted into a Rapier. Not only is the Rapier far weaker with a lower crit rate to boot, but its extra damage to armored units rings hollow if you're either playing Act 4 onward (where most of your enemies at that point are Terrors, especially on Celica's route) or have Mages and Clerics that have had good level-ups.
    • Combat Arts that are effective against certain units can end up much weaker than expected due to weapon effectiveness being lower compared to the other games and using them prevents the user from being able to naturally double attack. Critical hits or Arts that adds up stats to the damage output are much more useful.
  • Precision F-Strike: Done by Mycen in the beginning of the remake:
    Mycen: Before you dream of changing the world, learn your damned place on it.
  • Pre-existing Encounters: Enemies can be found roaming in dungeons. If the player runs into them a normal battle begins, but if the player attacks them first, the party's initial position will be closer to the enemy, and some of the enemy units will start the battle with partial damage. On the other hand, if the roaming enemy catches the player from behind, then the enemies will get the first turn in battle.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Done by Faye in the beginning of the remake: "I'm staying with you no matter what! End! Of! Discussion!"

  • Quieter Than Silence: On the 10th floor of Thabes Labyrinth, before the final showdown in the dungeon.
  • Rain of Arrows: The black magic spell Sagittae conjures a flurry of arrows to skewer the target. The Longbow's Encloser weapon art also fires a hail of arrows down on the enemy, blocking movement for one turn.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: In contrast to Alm's party, which is comprised mostly of actual members of the military, the team Celica assembles has her mage friends, a few mercenaries with their own agenda, the former ally of a thief leader, three sisters from a foreign country, a regular lumberjack...
  • Rare Random Drop:
    • There are three lances that can be very rarely obtained from certain monsters. Sol negates enemy terrain bonuses, Luna has 20 Might, higher than the actual legendary weapon Gradivus, and Astra boasts an extremely high 50% critical hit rate; additionally, all three grant the wielder 5 HP recovery per turn. They have a 0.25%, 0.055%, and 0.014% chance of dropping, respectively.
    • The remake retains the incredibly low drop rates, but changes the weapons themselves. Astra is changed into a sword, and its Art is the same as what the skill of its namesake does (5 hits for half damage), Luna is changed into a bow, though its Might is halved, and has an Art where it fires an arrow that is guaranteed to hit (+500 to Hit), and Sol remains the same.
    • The Angel Ring, which also grants Regenerating Health, elevates the wielder's Luck to the maximum, and doubles the stats earned from level ups, can be dropped by enemy Brigands at a 0.014% chance. Unlike the lances, though, an Angel Ring is obtained during the story, so this is only an issue if you're after extras. The remake nerfs the ring by only giving it a +20 luck increase and the Recovery ability.
  • Razor Wind: The DLC Overclasses, Conqueror and Rigain, for Alm and Celica, respectively, utilize a shock wave from their swords in their attacking animations.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: If an enemy has a high amount of health (over the cap of 52), their HP total will only be listed as question marks.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: In Echoes, characters have a preference for provisions which determines how much Fatigue they recover when consumed. When it comes to "Meaty" provisions, the majority of characters who enjoy them are the most masculine of the cast.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: While Sweet provisions are often liked by girls, the vast majority of characters who dislike them are males.
  • Recurring Riff: Melodies from Echoes credits song, "Heritors of Arcadia", appear in several other tracks made for the remake, including the opening, title screen theme, Alm's second map theme, and the final map theme.
  • Relationship Values: Echoes adds Support Conversations, which weren't present in the original game.
  • Religion of Evil: Subverted with the Church of Duma. The religion isn't inherently evil, it's just that the head priest is extremely cruel and forcibly took control away from a benevolent leader.
  • Required Party Member: Most of the party members can be potentially passed up if the player wishes. The only ones that are required for the plot to progress are Lukas, Gray, Tobin, Clair, Clive, and Mycen for Alm's route and Mae, Boey, Saber, and Conrad for Celica's route, with the latter being exclusive to Echoes.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: See any pots or boxes in a dungeon? Smack 'em. They probably contain food or silver.
  • Royal Blood: Excerpts from the Valentian Book of Revelations found in amiibo dungeons make reference to royalty given divine dragon blood and powers associated with it.
    • The true power of the Falchion is stated to be granted only to "those who carry the divine dragon's blood and bear her mark," and that it's a royal power. note 
    • Duma and Mila, after they split the territory, granted their own divine blood to two champions, and "allowed their respective nations to prosper." Presumably, these refer to the first royalty of Rigel and Zofia, although only Alm and Celica are stated to bear a brand like that which Naga gave to the Ylissean royal bloodline.

  • Scratch Damage: Unlike most Fire Emblem games, characters will always receive at least 1 point of damage if they get hit, even if their corresponding defensive stat is higher than the opponent's attack. Only the skill Phalanx (which can only be obtainable via DLC) can outright change Scratch Damage to No-Sell.
  • Sequence Breaking: Contrary to the intention of the writers, it is possible to rescue Est from Grieth's dungeon before meeting and recruiting her sisters (who are supposed to give the player the mission of rescuing Est in the first place) if the player either ignores the sisters or doesn't notice them in Zofia Harbor.
  • Self-Made Orphan: At the end of act 4, Alm is a tragic example.
  • Shield Bash: Classes that have a shield visible even if they don't have a shield equipped like Knights and Barons use their shield in some of their attacks, but these are just aesthetic qualities.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Act 3 of Celica's path forces her to cross paths with the pirate king Grieth, who has stationed himself and many of his men in a large desert near the Temple of Mila.
  • Ship Sinking: Genny and Saber were often shipped together in Gaiden to the point of being considered Implied Love Interests on the basis that they were the only two characters who got unnamed lovers in their endings (even though those endings didn't change upon the other's death), with the fact that they never speak easily ignored since almost nobody got much development. Echoes gave them no interactions, which is much more glaring when every Official Couple now has supports, memories, or mourning quotes, revealed that Genny's only 15 whereas Saber is 34 and old enough to be her father, and added endings where several other characters find love with someone unknown, removing the only thing that could imply Saber/Genny. However, it did have Genny state she likes older men in what many interpret as a nod to the fan pairing.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Implied in Sonya's ending in the remake. In the original, it was just stating that she's Jedah's daughter and having her sisters sacrificed for Duma by him explaining her hatred to him. In the remake, she attempts to find a cure for Witches, only to disappear after a lot of traveling, and it's implied she became a Witch herself taking residence in Nuibaba's Fear Mountain. Her ending is pretty much the only ending that changes from neutral to worse (though it is unknown whether her becoming a witch is bad or not, since after Duma's death it isn't known if witches lose their souls).
  • Soul Eating:
    • The Duma Faithful frequently offer people's souls to Duma, in exchange they gain great magical prowess. The souls themselves are essentially Duma's lunch.
    • Nuibaba also captures women and sacrifices them to Medusa in order to maintain her youth.
  • Spell Blade:
    • The Lightning Sword plays a similar role to the Levin Swords of the other games, allowing non-mage units to deal magic damage and boosting the user's range.
    • The Ladyblade has two unlockable combat Arts, Hexblade and Flamberge, that allow the weapon to target enemy Resistance.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Zofia is called "Zophia" in one of the English Shadows of Valentia trailers. This is likely a typo.
  • Sprint Meter: Echoes adds a Fatigue system, something that hasn't been seen in the series since Thracia 776. If a character gets used too much, they'll become tired and suffer a penalty to their max HP. However, this is only in dungeons, and can be remedied with food.
  • Status Effects:
    • Poison causes the afflicted character to lose 10 HP at the start of each turn, but it cannot directly kill them. It's inflicted by Venin weapons.
    • Stun prevents any movement and lowers Avoid by 20 for one turn.
    • Silence prevents the use of any magic for a turn. It can be inflicted with the aptly-named Silence spell or the Silver Bow's "Ward Arrow" Art.
  • Stealth Sequel: Echoes' post-game content is a stealth prequel to Fire Emblem Awakening. The Bonus Dungeon explains Grima's origins, and Grima is the Bonus Boss.
  • Stellar Name: The weapons Sol, Luna and Astra are named after the sun, moon and the stars respectively. These names would eventually be carried over to other Fire Emblem titles as the names for certain skills.
  • Story Breadcrumbs:
    • In Echoes, one may find items called Memory Prisms lying around. They unlock the ability to see flashbacks of past events that give some optional context to the story, including: how Zeke and Tatiana met, how Mycen rescued little Celica from Slayde, how Berkut and Rinea met, how Rudolf entrusted baby Alm to Mycen, etc.
    • Also in Echoes, Grima's origin story is done this way, with various tidbits being revealed on stone tablets scattered through the above-mentioned post-game dungeon. They contain an explanation on how an alchemist named Forneus wanted to create a perfect creature and raise an army of the dead, and how Grima grew beyond what he originally intended.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Downplayed in Alm's half of Act 4. You don't technically have to fall for Nuibaba's obvious trap, and are free to continue west towards the castle. However, doing so loses you two potential units as well as the loot to the east, so springing the trap is the objectively better option.
  • Summon Magic:
    • The Invoke spell conjures a number of NPC phantom soldiers to fight for the one that calls them.
    • Cantors have a unique spell that summons Terrors. While it varies from Cantor to Cantor, each one will summon a type of Terror specific to them (usually either Bonewalkers or Gargoyles). The Guru overclass has a variant of the spell where they summon random Terrors.
  • Sword and Fist: Some of the higher tier classes like Dread Fighter and Baron add kicks and punches to their attacks and counterattacks, but these are merely aesthetic.

  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Averted in Shadows of Valentia. While previous Fire Emblem remakes added the Weapon Triangle system when it wasn't present in the originals, Shadows of Valentia doesn't - largely to stay faithful to the unique mechanics of Gaiden, and likely also because neither the Deliverance nor Celica's pilgrims have axe users among their ranks.
  • Take Your Time: Averted in the original Gaiden: during Alm's final dungeon crawl, you'll get constant reports of the damage Celica's party is taking in battle; take too long, and her forces will be in dire shape when he joins the battle. Played straight in the remake due to the altered dungeon mechanics, though the story was tweaked to accommodate this.
  • Tempting Fate: The opening sequence before the title screen begins with Alm and Celica as children promising never to fight like Duma and Mila did in the legends. Come actually starting the game, the first thing the player sees is a shot of Celica having been fatally impaled by Alm, apparently in a duel. Then we rewind to ten years prior...
  • Thanatos Gambit: Rudolf's plan relies on his own death as a necessary price for his actions, which would make Valentia hate him enough for many to wish for his death. Exactly who would end his life was out of his hands, but his own son being the one to do so makes it a Mercy Kill in his perspective.
  • Together in Death: In the Valentia Accordion art book, both Mila and Duma were buried on the highest peak of Valentia. When the trees grew there, the two conjoined together and became a massive tree which would later be known as the "Mila's Tree."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Echoes features an expansive list of Provision items that serve as healing items in place of vulneraries. To compliment this, each character has specific provision foods that they particularly favor and dislike, and will reap greater Fatigue recovery if they eat a Provision they like (like giving Mae cookies, or handing Leon yogurt or honey). The characters will even respond positively (or negatively) if they eat their favorite (or least favorite) food.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: One of the questlines in Echoes features a merchant who asks you to provide him with goods to sell to your enemy. Alessio asks Celica to give him some coral to make a ring to sell to Desaix, but Alm defeats Desaix before the deal can be made, so Alessio sells the ring to Alm instead. Then Alessio offers a deal to Celica to buy lances from her; any lances that she sells him will be equipped by Slayde and his men when they fight Alm.
  • Turn Undead: The sole function of the Expel spell is to instantly kill Terrors.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The story consists of two separate plot threads. One follows Alm as he leads the Deliverance against Rigel, while the other follows Celica as she searches for the missing goddess Mila. The game will switch between the two threads at fixed points until they converge late into the story.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: Gaiden was the first — and for a very long time, only — game in the Fire Emblem series where weapons don't break after a set number of uses.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Several elements of Gaiden's plot look like radical deconstructions or subversions of typical Fire Emblem conventions, but the game was only the second in the series and thus they had yet to be codified.
    • Zofia and Rigel deconstruct the Black-and-White Morality of a small, peaceful nation being invaded by a warmongering evil empire before it became a fully established trope in the series. While Rigel is militaristic, Zofia isn't squeaky-clean either: their peaceful, prosperous lifestyle led to them becoming decadent and corrupt and actually pushed Rigel to the point where they had to resort to war to not starve to death from their famine. You end up fighting antagonists from both countries, and if anything the Zofian villains come off worse.
    • Rudolf was the first Tin Tyrant in the series. To people who have played later games, it comes as a major shock that he's actually an Anti-Villain and A Father to His Men, whose villainy was a Zero-Approval Gambit to create a hero who would unite the world by killing him.
    • Duma, the series' first true God of Evil isn't really all that evil. He accepts his defeat by the heroes gracefully and wishes them luck for the future, imploring them to not make the same mistakes he did.
    • While Duma's faith seems like a series-standard Religion of Evil at first, with the Obviously Evil Jedah as its head priest, it later turns out that Jedah took over by force and the former High Priest of Duma, Halcyon, is actually benevolent and even helps the heroes. The faiths of Mila and Duma end up united in the ending.
  • Uriah Gambit: Lukas's brother sees him as a rival, so Lukas was told to join the Deliverance on the reasonable chance that he would die fighting. Not that Lukas surviving would be bad for his brother anyway...
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Silque's Invoke spell falls into this in the main game by being too strong. Unlike Genny and Tatiana having super weak meatshields that primarily exist to draw the AI's attention, Silque has Dread Fighters that are more than capable of holding their own in combat. Which, in turn, means that they eat lots of kills and deprive you of experience and makes you less prepared for later fights. This is averted in the postgame due to the sheer level of annoying, strong enemies, however.
    • Should you make him a mage, Grey learns Sagittae one level before he learns Lightning, the former of which is an upgrade to the latter. As he also has a massive HP pool in the class line to offset the higher cost from Sagittae, it's very rare you'd ever have any reason to ever use Lightning on him.
  • Victory Pose: Every playable character has a unique victory pose after killing an enemy.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: Zofia, where The Hero Alm hails from, is blessed by the goddess Mila to have lush, fertile vegetation and a comfortable climate. Meanwhile, her brother Duma is the patron god of the militaristic Rigel, which is cold and barren to force its inhabitants to grow strong or die. Rigel invades Zofia at the outset of the story, prompting Alm and his friends to join a rebellion to push back the Rigelian forces.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Well, Boss in Mook Clothing at any rate. Ram Valley features an enemy Mercenary with a Leather Shield, boosting his Defense to the point where most physical fighters only inflict Scratch Damage, and he's fast enough to double-attack almost anyone. You're supposed to use magic to bypass his Defense, teaching you that you probably should make one of your starting Villagers a Mage at the nearby Thieves' Shrine. Silque's (and Faye's, if she's reclassed into a Cleric) Nosferatu spell also works, but its hit rate is unreliable.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: The Blessed Sword/Lance/Bow and the Seraphim spell deal triple damage against Terrors.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If Alm or Celica die, it's Game Over. In the remake, they are the only units that Casual Mode's removal of Permadeath does not apply to. Interestingly, there are some cut lines for Celica dying that show there were at least plans to be able to continue without her.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Act 4 on Alm's path, right after the battle against Emperor Rudolf:
    Rudolf: You've... done well... I'm proud of you... my son.
  • Wham Shot: In Act 6 of Echoes, after fighting your way to the bottom of the Bonus Dungeon, the final door bears the Brand of the Defile, the Mark of Grima.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • If Mathilda is killed during the siege of Desaix's Fortress, Clive will rip Alm a new one for costing him his best friend Fernand and his lover. In turn, Clair will tear into Tobin and Gray for attempting to call-out Clive when he rips into Alm.
    • Palla, Catria, and Atlas join Celica's party on the condition that she takes them to fight Grieth. If Celica tries to go Mila's Temple before defeating Grieth, the three will get upset about her not honoring the deal and will leave the party.
    • If Zeke is killed on the Rigel Plains (which also locks out the player from recruting Tatiana), the villagers in the Rigelian Village will be hostile to the cast and hope they'll get eaten by a necrodragon. Plus an old man explains the I Have Your Wife deal with them.
    • If Valbar is killed off before being recruited, Leon will angrily curse Celica before offering to join her so Valbar's death won't be in vain. If refused, he'll get even angrier and warn Celica that she'll be a cruel Queen if she's not careful.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Lukas's older brother told him to join the Deliverance so one of two things could happen: either the Deliverance loses and he could claim Lukas acted on his own (which would let him escape any guilt and potentially kill Lukas off), or the Deliverance wins and he would be seen as one of its benefactors. Even Lukas admits it was clever.
  • You Bastard!: If any of the player's units are defeated, but they still win the battle, the remaining units' post-battle dialogue is changed to have them mourn, with some specific units having special dialogue for when their lover and/or family members are killed. Here's all of them compiled in a single video. Of course, playing on Casual adjusts this to less serious banter about how others get knocked out easily. Most of the time.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Characters in Echoes are much more talkative during combat compared to previous games, and several of them will mock their opponents when they dodge or block their attacks.
    Saber: Saw that comin' a mile away!
    Gray: I thought I was the funny one!
  • Zero-Approval Gambit: Rudolf has one spanning decades. He abandoned his son, ruled Rigel with an iron fist, and attacked Zofia unprovoked... all so that his abandoned son would unite Valentia against him, win his crown by force of arms, and be in a position to kill Duma.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Due to Rigel's invasion of Zofia breaking the gods' covenant of peace, all throughout the continent, the dead are cursed to rise from their graves as Terrors (zombies, basically) and attack the living.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fire Emblem 2, Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows Of Valentia



The opening scene of Gaiden's remake, ''Echoes'', opens with Celica having been killed by Alm and him grieving her.

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