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Video Game / Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

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In an age long past... Evil flooded over the land. Creatures awash in the dark ride ran wild, pushing mankind to the brink of annihilation.
In its despair, mankind appealed to the heavens, and from a blinding light came hope.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is the eighth Fire Emblem game, released on the Game Boy Advance in 2004 following Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade.

The story takes place on the continent of Magvel, as the southernmost country, Grado, attacks Renais. Renais had been allies with Grado for years and was caught completely off guard. The game itself starts with Renais' princess, Eirika, fleeing from her castle as it is overrun. She then goes off in her search for her twin brother Ephraim, and her childhood friend, Lyon, the Prince of Grado, in hopes of finding out why Grado attacked, and how to stop the war.

The story of the game can be easily divided into three separate parts:

  • #1 (Prologue - Chapter 8). Eirika serves as the protagonist, and most chapters are based in Renais. Ephraim and his men are used instead during the game's only Gaiden Chapter.
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  • #2 (Chapter 9 - Chapter 16): This point allows you to choose which of the twins will be your main Lord gameplay-wise for the remainder of the game. Chapters 9-14 each feature a different route before both twins reunite. Whichever route you choose to follow, the army thus far will follow that Lord, and though all recruitable characters are the same they are received at different points in-game depending on the route chosen. After Chapter 16, you will be able to promote your Lords.
  • #3 (Chapter 17 - 21/Final Chapter): The endgame. You will progress with whichever twin you chose to be your main Lord. Most of the story remains unchanged, save for several conversations.

The game shares some mechanics not seen since Fire Emblem Gaiden, the biggest of which is the ability to traverse the world map. Instead of going to the next story point immediately, the player can fight the monsters roaming the map or can visit monster-infested areas. This allows for Level Grinding, a luxury not available in most other Fire Emblem games. Additionally, it has a unique branching class tree, giving almost every unit multiple class options for promotion.


Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones is one of the ten Game Boy Advance games available to participants in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Program, having been given a limited rerelease to early adopters of the system for free on its eShop as of December 2011. As of January 2015 in the PAL regions and June 2015 in North America, it is also available on the Wii U Virtual Console.

The Sacred Stones is followed by the Nintendo GameCube game Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, which takes place on the continent of Tellius in a different continuity.

This game has examples of:

  • Always Accurate Attack: The Sniper class has the Sure Strike ability, which ensures the next attack will always hit. Unfortunately, the Snipers you get will have high enough accuracy, so it's rather useless unless it's in the hands of the AI.
  • Ambition Is Evil: While Valter and Riev are a Blood Knight and demon worshiper respectively, Caellach is simply an ex-mercenary who will stop at nothing to become a king.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Chapter 5x has the player controlling Ephraim and his knights despite taking place before Ephraim's route proper.
  • The Alliance:
    • Your party eventually obtains members from every nation on the continent to fight Grado and then the Demon King.
    • When the game starts, Frelia and the Renais government-in-exile (read: Eirika) are trying to hold off Grado.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Among the GameBoy Advance titles, this game uses a darker and more saturated palette for the official artwork and in game. The reason for this is that when The Sacred Stones came out, the frontlit SP was around for awhile, allowing the designers to get away with using slightly darker palette (especially evident in the menus, which are a lot darker brown.)
    • The new classes have slightly more intricate and smoother animation compared to the other classes, which are recycled from the previous two games. Rangers reused animations from Cavaliers and Nomads however.
  • Badass Adorable: Amelia, Ross, and Ewan are very cute kids (none of them is over 16), but if properly leveled and promoted, they can kick your ass. Myrrh count as well, since she looks like a harmless little girl, and Neimi also fits.
  • Badass Bookworm: Knoll, Lyon, Saleh, Artur, Lute. Ewan is on his way to becoming one through Magikarp Power. Saleh has the in-story bonus of being Myrrh's bodyguard.
  • Badass Pacifist: Tethys. Has no direct offensive capabilitynote , but she can give those who do the ability to kick ass more than once. Also, Innes tells her and Gerik to flee at one point when certain death looks likely, and like Gerik, she stands her ground.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Still present (all of the protagonists look beautiful), yet subverted at the same time; many of the human bosses range from homely to almost as good looking as the heroes, three of the heroes are mildly Gonkish (Garcia, Dozla, and Gilliam), and the truly "ugly" opponents are undead monstrosities. However, to tell which of Grado's top generals are morally firm and which have nary a screw left in their head is pretty easy to tell: Valter, Caellach and Riev all look like they haven't slept for a month, and they have creepy facial expressions to match (especially Valter, combining with his lust for Eirika).
  • Behind the Black: Eirika apparently can't see Myrrh's wings until her sprite moves slightly forward and they are visible to the player.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Eirika and Ephraim manage to end the war with Grado and prevent the Demon King's return, assuming leadership of Renais afterwards. But their father was killed in the conflict, and they had to fight and kill their best friend Lyon, who was responsible for starting the war and causing the Demon King's revival. note  Several countries have been devastated by the war, including Renais and Grado; and many people have lost their lives. Then Grado is further devastated by an earthquake shortly after the war.
  • Blood Knight: All Valter cares about is being able to keep on fighting forever...and raping Eirika.
  • BFS: The battle sprites for Mercenaries show them holding huge swords.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Saleh appears in the cutscene before Chapter 5, asking Eirika and Seth where Myrrh is, and politely disappears. He doesn't show up again until the characters have to climb the mountains to Rausten (or even later in Ephraim's route).
    • A woman in Chapter 2 mentions that she received help from a man who dressed like a mercenary but acted much more elegantly than expected. The player initially assumes it is Ephraim in Chapter 5x, which makes a nice counterpoint to Eirika's own mercenary disguise. However, 1) Ephraim is dressed like a prince with princely weapons, 2) he's been in Renvall, making a point to avoid villages so citizens stay out of the crossfire, and 3) no one ever refers to him with a fake name. In Chapter 5 proper, the poorly-dressed but charming Joshua is recruited in Serafew, which is much closer to the village.
    • Selena shows up in another village in Chapter 2. While Eirika never actually fights Selena, she still shows up several more times (purely in cutscenes in Eirika's route, and as a boss battle in Ephraim's).
    • Tethys appears in a village in Chapter 5 to hand the player a Dragonshield. Depending on which route you play, you might not see her until quite a while later, either fighting alongside Innes in Eirika's Chapter 10, or coming to your aid against Selena in Ephraim's Chapter 13.
    • Amelia appears in a village in Chapter 5 as well, dropping a torch as she leaves to join the Grado army. You won't be seeing her again until Chapter 9 on either route.
    • Marisa appears in a village in Chapter 10 of Ephraim's route, two missions before she is recruited. She leaves behind a Hero Crest, saying she can't use it yet. She joins at Level 5.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Lagdou Ruins, unlocked after completing the main story.
  • Came Back Wrong: Orson's wife Monica and Emperor Vigarde of Grado both died and were resurrected with the power of the stones. Vigarde promptly crumbled to dust when Ephraim defeated him. And the less said of Monica, the better as she was dead for several months before being resurrected.
  • Central Theme:
    • Your actions may have unintended consequences, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • You must accept it when your loved ones die, either in body or in spirit.
  • Character-Magnetic Team: Regardless of which route you take, you'll still run into all the recruitable characters (bar two, who join with the other twin when you meet back up) on both Ephraim and Eirika's routes, in spite of the routes taking place simultaneously on opposite ends of the continent.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: L'Arachel and Dozla are energetic versions of this, much to Rennac's dismay and Eirika's confusion.
  • Climax Boss:
    • 1st Story Arc: Tirado (Chapter 8)
    • 2nd Story Arc:
      Chapter 14: Carlyle (Eirika's Route) & Vigarde (Ephraim's Route)
      Chapter 16: Orson
    • 3rd Story Arc: Lyon (Final Chapter)
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Lyon, compared to Nergal and Zephiel, but he is especially this compared to the rest of the series. He is a ruler of a foreign nation who leads it to its doom... but he's not an Obviously Evil person with a sympathetic backstory (like Nergal and Zephiel) - he's actually nice, with his acts of villainy happening mostly onscreen with little buildup.
  • Crutch Character: Seth, but of the Oifaye subtype rather than the Jeigan (meaning that while he does hog experience early on, he has good growths making him viable later in the game). Averted in that even though he does take experience, there is an infinite amount of experience to be gained so you can just get it better.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Eirika and L'Arachel, among others.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: During the Creature Campaign, Orson joins you as a Secret Character with the inventory he had as a boss on Ephraim's route instead of Eirika's.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Oh, Selena. In terms of personality, she's actually a decent person, just chained by Grado's will.
    • Lyon and Knoll are gender flipped versions.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Knoll, Ewan if made a Druid or Summoner, Lyon before hitting the Despair Event Horizon, and the Sacred Twins of Grado: The Black Axe, Garm, and a dark magic tome, Gleipnir.
  • Demonic Possession: The Demon King attempts to possess Lyon through the Dark Stone; how successful he is depends on which character route you chose. During Eirika's route, he completely controls Lyon and devours most of his soul, occasionally mimicking the Prince's softer personality to emotionally manipulate Eirika.
    • Not Brainwashed: In Ephraim's route, Lyon is instead manipulated more subtly by Fomortiis, who manipulates his fear of being a weak leader, his love of Eirika, and his jealousy of Ephraim in order to trick him into serving his ends.
  • Double In-Law Marriage: It is possible to pair Eirika with Innes as well as Ephraim (Eirika's brother) with Tana (Innes' sister), resulting in this.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Often in Fire Emblem it turns out the other way around, but in this game, roughly the last 7 chapters feature a string of dangerous bosses that either have a high critical hit rate, some other trick up their sleeve (Pierce skill, Defense-piercing dragon breath) to deal/tank a ton of damage, or both.
  • Easter Egg: If you complete both Eirika's and Ephraim's routes and start a new game; Ross, Amelia, and Ewan have access to their exclusive "super trainee" classes (which are similar to their starting "trainee" class, but with added extra quirks).
  • The Empire: Grado. While it does feature most of the usual tropes (the largest territory, ruthless army, led by evil...), prior to the events of the game, The Emperor and his son were really nice and caring fellows. In fact, Grado was allies with Renais, and its two monarchs were friends.
  • Emergency Weapon: Averted in gameplay (as per Fire Emblem usual, empty-handed units cannot attack) but present in a different way. The battle setup screen gives access to an armory that sells the most basic weapons and tomes, making it that much harder to save yourself into an unwinnable situation.
  • End Game Results Screen: Averted for the first time after it was introduced in Genealogy.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Grado, being The Empire with a semi-legendary founder and a vaguely Germanic culture, is one for the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, particularly during the reign of Frederick I.
    • Jehanna is a more innocuous mix of Egypt, India, Israel, and other Middle-Eastern countries. This is reflected in their desert geography, Tethys' Belly Dancer design, their Myrmidon-exclusive sword is Shamshir-which is modeled a scimitar instead of a katana like Wo Dao. While their strength is also in arms, it is composed of loosely organized mercenary bands who take up the work simply because there are very few other options.
    • Carcino is practically Renaissance Italy — particularly the Venetian Republic — notably being a merchant-led republic and its Council of Elders being a dead ringer for the Senate of Venice. Much like its real life counterpart, Carcino is ruled by its wealthy mercantile upper-class in all but name, and is divided into two large factions over its loyalty to one of two large foreign powers (Frelia and Grado in-game, The Pope and The Holy Roman Empire in real life).
    • Caer Pelyn is a stand-in for a variety of cultures that took up residence in and around the Himalayan mountain range. Saleh is shown practicing Valega, a spiritual practice that bears a strong resemblance to the kinds of meditation practiced in Tibetan Buddhism, and the legend he tells Erika of the warrior princess Nada Kuya resembles that of the famous warrior queen Anu.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted. The redheads are either the most relaxed in the game (Joshua, Tethys, Ewan), or the most dutiful (Seth, Artur, Queen Ismaire).
  • Four-Star Badass: Ephraim, Eirika, and Innes are by virtue of commanding their nation's best fighters and by being the ranking combat worthy nobles. Duessel was already one when he joins your cause. Joshua becomes this by the end of the game.
  • Fragile Speedster: Marisa in particular falls into this; she'll often be one of your fastest characters, but have some trouble doing and taking damage without good weapons and supports. Rogues in general fall into this as well, being quite speedy and good at dodging but not much use in a fight compared to Assassins.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus
    • For a split second when the title screen starts up, an image of Fomortiis, the Demon King and Greater-Scope Villain of the whole story flashes on the screen.
    • In the prologue, an enemy Necromancer and General appear in the throne room of Castle Renais just before Fado dies.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Wyvern Knights have two glitches attached to them in the English version. You can crash the game if they attack with a javelin or when they trigger Pierce and attack again while the HP bar is scrolling. The Pierce bug is fixed in the European version.
    • If Tethys is given a Dark Magic weapon via a bug and double-attacks with combat animations on, the game will hang due to her lacking a "return to ready" animation.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • L'Arachel has an excellent Luck stat, while Joshua's is rather mediocre. The two end up gambling in their support conversations; as it turns out, L'Arachel is so much luckier that she wins their bets even when Joshua is cheating.
    • At the start of he game, Seth is injured by Valter while trying to protect Eirika. Throughout the rest of the game, Seth's wound is mentioned several times, making it clear the wound has not fully healed during the events of the game. This serves to explain why Seth is a Crutch Character at the start, while still being able to be a strong unit: him healing is him leveling up.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Grado Empire is defeated halfway through the game, rapidly dwindling their forces to Lyon, Riev, and what remnants the army has left, yet is still capable of throwing massive swarms of enemies at you, particularly in Chapter 19.
    • Dozla and Garcia's B-level support conversation is the two talking about their failed attempt to practice archery, including Garcia nocking an arrow backwards. This ignores that Garcia may be a Warrior at this point, and is perfectly competent with a bow. Even if you get this conversation before Garcia's promotion, he can still become a Warrior with no problems.
    • While Artur claimed he was afraid of spiders in his C-level support conversation with Lute, he has no problem facing them in battle.
    • Any support conversations involving Tana or Vanessa that mentions their pegasus becomes this if they are done after promoted into wyvern knight. Taking Tana and Cormag's support for example, their C and B-level one is about how to remind each other of incoming arrow with both their wyvern and pegasus sound.
    • The world map feature also causes this. According to the story your army is in a campaign, having to press on and deal with the circumstances, the twins being worried about each other, but too busy dealing with their own troubles to help each other out. However (with a few exceptions) after each chapter you can traverse the world map at will, which for some players will amount to returning to the tower of Valni (said tower being in Frelia, which is quite a trip distance wise) every time you get some new characters to grind them up.
      • Participating in monster skirmishes also counts, since you always have to backtrack to get to them.
  • Genki Girl: L'Arachel, Tana
  • Glass Cannon: Casters like Ewan and Lute tend to have high power but bad to downright terrible HP and defense (and some, like Knoll, can't even dodge well on top of that).
    • Dozla of all people is one. Being a Berserker, he naturally hits hard and crits very often. Albeit having good HP and HP growth, he has horrible Speed gains (meaning he gets hit very often, and is more likely to get hit twice), and at best average Defense, he gets a good start, but his growth is barely better than his Speed growth, which means if he gets hit, he takes a load more damage compared to say, Ross.
  • The Good Kingdom: Renais, Frelia, and Jehanna. They're all attacked by Grado. Renais and Frelia are out and out honorable and virtuous. And while Jehanna may hire out mercenaries, it's only because they have nothing else to trade (being mostly desert, it doesn't seem to have very much).
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Riev, who is a Bishop.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: King Fado's death in the prologue. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment shows a Necromancer (presumably Lyon, since there are no other Necromancers in the game) and a General (possibly Vigarde) approaching him in his final moments, before the screen fades to black.
  • Government in Exile: With the fall of Renais, the loss of the King, and refuge in Frelia, Eirika and Ephraim are this.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Orson, who performs a Wutai Theft on you. In fact, his stats compared to the rest of Ephraim's group should be a dead-giveaway that he is the traitor mentioned at the start of chapter 5x.
  • Guide Dang It!: It's easy enough to figure out how to unlock hidden characters that require finishing certain sections of the tower or ruins when going through them, but not so much for ones that require beating them three times.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • Caer Pelyn, an independent village isolated from the outside world. It's also the only place that knows the full story of the Demon King's fall. Home to Saleh, the location must have been known to Gerik's Mercenaries as Ewan and his sister were part of the group and Gerik and Saleh have been very good friends for a good while prior to the story.
    • The Manakete tribe residing in Darkling Woods. Purposely unknown, Morva and Myrrh are content with protecting Caer Pelyn.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Parodied. Marisa arrives as part of the enemy's reinforcements in one chapter, but she was originally part of Gerik's guild and they weren't even supposed to be fighting on different sides.
  • Incest Subtext: Eirika and Ephraim. Though never explicitly spelled out, the subtext is thick enough to cut with a knife. Two of Eirika's love interests even seem jealous of Ephraim. Of course, Lyon's soul was being eaten at the time, so he wasn't that clear-headed.
    • Remember the name of their sacred twin weapons? Both are named after an incestuous brother/sister couple in Norse Mythology (most famously retold in The Ring of the Nibelung).
  • It's Personal/Nothing Personal: While it comes up on Ephraim's route when Joshua fights Caellach, it's possible Joshua's response might have been a veiled attempt at It's Personal, while Caellach, while more authentic, might have been mocking at the same time. The main factor? The fact Caellach killed his mother, though this mainly comes up in Eirika's route.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Lute's death quote seems to be the prototype for the 9th and 10th games having very disturbing death quotes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Colm, but only to Neimi. Also Innes, though sometimes he's just an outright jerkass.
  • Joke Character: Amelia. Joins halfway through the game, at level 1, with utterly garbage stats all around and abysmal movement speed. Despite being a lance-fighter, she can't even take on a single sword-fighter on the map she first appears. Her awkward, dorky personality contributes to this. Can become a Lethal Joke Character if you're willing to grind, as she can promote to the highly useful Paladin and Great Knight classes.
  • King Incognito: Eirika, L'Arachel, possibly Ephraim during the early chapters, and Joshua. The last one to be revealed was the longest and most successful. L'Arachel, thanks to her hammy nature, ends up immediately revealing her royal nature.
  • Lady of War: Eirika, Syrene, Vanessa. Tana, Amelia, Marisa and Neimi grow into these too.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: After Chapter 8, you have the choice of two completely separate paths, Eirika or Ephraim. The recruitable characters follow whichever lord you choose, and everybody reunites in Chapter 15. In addition, you recruit the same characters although at different times (although two of the characters only join you when the twins are reunited).
  • Lightning Bruiser: While everyone can become this to a certain extent with stat-ups, Gerik starts out as one and gets better. Amelia will become one if she promotes into a General.
    • Ephraim is basically Hector, but with lances instead of axes. It's not unheard of for him to cap out several stats even before promoting.
  • Love Triangle: Support conversations reveal that Marisa and Tethys both have romantic feelings for their leader, Gerik. They're both friendly to one another, though, and naturally, either one can come out on top.
    • Weirdly, both Innes and Lyon love Eirika, and they feel (Lyon in a flashback and Innes in his support conversations) that they have to compete with Ephraim, her brother, for her hand.
  • Luck Stat: Standard for the series, but Knoll, whose base luck stat is zero, is certainly unlucky in other things. You recruit him when you conquer a castle and search the dungeons. He initially assumes they moved his execution date up a few days after you let him out of his cell.
  • Magikarp Power: The Trainees. L'Arachel is a more traditional late game arriving Est, despite being a healer.
    • Myrrh is kind of this, too; she can rip apart monsters right from the start, but in Chapter 19, where the enemies are all human, she's actually a liability as she doesn't get bonus damage and her low starting HP means a Druid with Luna can rip her apart in one shot.
  • Marathon Level: The optional dungeons. Tower of Valni is eight floors long with no checkpoints. Lagdou Ruins is ten, and every one of them is extremely difficult. However, you CAN use the quicksave function, so you don't really have to beat them in one sitting.
  • Morality Chain: Inverted with Caellach, Riev, and Valter, the three new generals Vigarde appoints to join Duessel, Selena, and Glen. They're all Obviously Evil, and clearly there to ensure that the original three don't try to subvert Vigarde's evil plans. While Selena, Duessel, and Glen all comply with Vigarde's orders, the new generals make sure to brutalize their targets even more. And when Glen decides he can't unquestioningly accept his orders anymore, Valter is quick to murder him.
  • Musical Spoiler: Averted with Joshua's recruitment. The recruitment music doesn't begin playing until after he announces that Natasha won the coin toss.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Half of Grado's generals, specifically the three who aren't newcomers. Duessel eventually realizes that continuing to serve Vigarde in his current state is not acting in Grado's best interests and switches sides; Glen seems to eventually realize the same thing but Valter doesn't let him do anything with this realization. Selena, for all her doubts, remains loyal to Vigarde until the bitter end.
  • Nerf:
    • The powerful Luna tome from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has had its Critical Hit rate cut in half, its accuracy reduced substantially, and had its price hiked up so it's bank-breaking to purchase.
    • Paladins can no longer use Axes to help differentiate them from the Great Knight.
  • Nintendo Hard: Averted, even without level grinding, the game is known for being very easy (outside of the 2nd Bonus Dungeon), not even by just the series's high standards.
  • No Fair Cheating: This is the only game in the Fire Emblem series to give you more than one Hammerne staff with more than one charge (although the second one comes with Lyon, who is pretty much a Bragging Rights Reward), and Hammerne staves can be used to repair any weapon, tome, or staff... except the other Hammerne staff.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The fact that you never see Monica's face lets the player fill in the gaps with whatever horror they can imagine.
  • Oculothorax: One of the monster from the Demon Hordes is the Mogall and its upgraded form, the Arch Mogall, which are floating eyes with tentacles that attack with dark magic.
  • One-Man Army: Seth starts as this in the beginning of the game, and unlike most Jeigans, he's still quite viable as a mounted dealer of death by the end of the game.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: The L'Arachel/Ephraim support conversations have L'Arachel panic at the sight of Ephraim's bare shoulder (which he exposed so she could heal an injury to it). It should be noted that L'Arachel's own shoulders are constantly exposed.
  • Panty Shot: Played with in one of Eirika's support conversations. Forde questions the practicality of wearing a miniskirt on a battle field, Eirika pretends to flash him as a joke. Though it's all text.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Unlike most other Fire Emblem games, this games allows the player to gain unlimited experience in optional dungeons, the Tower of Valni (after Chapter 8) or the Lagdu Ruins (after Chapter 19), and the occasional monsters spawning on the world map.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If only Vigarde had let Lyon tell his friends about the earthquake that he had predicted, Lyon's whole Despair Event Horizon and all of the resulting tragedy might have been averted.
  • Power Trio: Ephraim, Eirika and Lyon.
    • Id: Ephraim is confident and decisive.
    • Super Ego: Lyon is intellectual and shy.
    • Ego: Eirika has a mixture of both qualities.
  • Power Up Let Down: Snipers have a randomly-activating skill that results in an auto-hit... but snipers are the most accurate unit in the game already. Likewise, Generals have a skill that nullifies damage, but their defense is so high that anything but magic or a hit from a boss will bounce off anyway.
  • Private Military Contractors: Joshua, Gerik, Tethys, Marisa, Rennac and Caellach. Eirika pretends to be one, and Gerik leads a company of them.
    • In general, both sides employ mercenaries, with a Guild providing assignments. There are a disproportionate number of Jehannans as mercenaries, as their kingdom is noted for that profession.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Averted. While Jehanna is obviously proud of its 95% mercenary population, to the point where its widowed queen has an A-level in swordsmanship, the Jehannans are the most casual and friendly characters. The only Jehannan who does act like this, Marisa, is seen as really weird.
  • Puppy Love: Amelia/Franz (or Ross, or Ewan). Colm and Neimi may count as well, though they appear to be at the older end of the scale.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: Outside of various members of royalty, we have two childhood friends (Colm, Neimi), a mercenary leader and dancer (Gerik, Tethys), several technical traitors (Cormag, Duessel, Knoll, Natasha, and Amelia) and various thieves (Rennac), former soldiers (Garcia), and of course...L'Arachel...
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Nearly all the Sacred Twins of the major kingdoms are named after figures and objects in Norse Mythology, with a little bit of Theme Naming between the pairs:
    • Renais' Sacred Twins Sieglinde and Siegmund are long-lost twin sister and brother, respectively, from the opera The Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner.
    • Frelia's Sacred Twins Vidofnir and Nidhogg are named after beings related to trees, with Vidofnir being the rooster that dwells on top of Mímameiðr, while Nidhoggr lays at the bottom that eats away the roots of Yggdrasil.
    • Jehanna's Sacred Twins does not follow the Theme Naming of pairs. Audhulma is named after the primodial ox that accompanied Ymir, the first giant. Excalibur, however gets its name from King Arthur, making it one of the Odd Name Out.
    • Grado's Sacred Twins Gleipnir and Garm are names related to canines and the children of Loki with Angrboða, where Gleipnir is the bindings made of impossible things for Fenrir, the eldest of Loki's children, and Garm is the guard dog of Hel, the youngest of Loki's children.
    • Rausten's Sacred Twins does not follow the Theme Naming of pairs. Ivaldi is named after the father of Ivaldi's Sons, dwarves who forges sacred weapons for the Norse gods. Latona, however, gets its name from Classical Mythology, also making it one of the Odd Name Out.
  • The Remnant: The Grado Remnant, led by Prince Lyon and Fomortiis after Grado is taken by the heroes. Eventually Renais is taken back, and the Remnant's only goal is to revive Fomortiis' body.
  • The Republic: Carcino, a mercantile nation with the only democratic government in Magvel.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Carcino seems to have allied with Grado, but it turns out it's divided into two factions. Pablo, which leads the Grado supporting faction, has used force to take over Carcino. Once Pablo is defeated, Carcino returns to being allies with Frelia.
  • Restraining Bolt: The Sacred Stones serve as one for Fomortiis (and, by extension, Lyon). Notably, Lyon is statistically much more powerful after the Renais Stone is destroyed than before.
  • Retired Badass: Garcia is still a damn fine warrior, even after several years of retirement.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Eirika, Ephraim, Innes, Tana, L'Arachel, and Joshua for the good guy team.
    • Lyon and technically Vigarde for the villain team.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: It doesn't matter if you chose Eirika's route or Ephraim's route, you will always encounter the same recruitable characters.
  • Script Breaking: It's possible to get some support conversations that refer to characters that haven't joined your party yet. Notably Neimi's A-level support with Gilliam refers to Cormag being intimidated by her stare, even if Cormag is still a soldier of Grado.note 
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The earthquake that devastates Grado in the epilogue is viewed by the people as divine punishment for Grado's actions throughout the game- actions that originally stem from Lyon's desire to protect the people of Grado from said prophesied earthquake.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Demon King.
  • Shout-Out: Chapter 8 is titled "It's A Trap!".
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Basically, anyone paired with L'Arachel or Innes. (Except for Vanessa, due to her Bodyguard Crush on him.)
    • And don't forget that L'Arachel and Innes can end up with each other too. Their supports are this, and then some more.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Natasha, who managed to defect from decadence and survive. Queen Ismaire as well; though, since Jehanna is a rather more martial country, she rules alone after her husband's death with no apparent problems, and has an A-level in swords.
  • Soulless Shell: As mentioned above in Came Back Wrong, Orson's wife Monica, and Emperor Vigarde. But in the Final Chapter, the party inflicts this on Fomortiis, imprisoning his soul in the last Sacred Stone. As a result they now only have to deal with the now-mindless resurrected body as the final boss.
  • Spiritual Successor: The game takes several mechanics from Fire Emblem Gaiden (which are present in most RPGs but not in Fire Emblem), such as infinite XP, use of a world map, monsters as enemies, trainee classes and branched promotions. The two-protagonist setting and their ideals also brings Alm and Celica to mind, and the Arena theme is based from Gaiden's battle theme.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Valter develops an extremely creepy obsession with Eirika after a while. He also seems to devote attention to Eirika's brother Ephraim, according to some, although he mostly discusses his desire to hunt him down and kill him brutally.
    • On a more humorous note, Lute has a "monk-watching habit." Which is downplayed when the player remembers that they already live together.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: The twin protagonists Ephraim and Eirika follow different questlines, but reunite in the final chapters. The protagonist chosen prior to the split continues to spearhead the plot through the same endgame sequence of events, but with different dialogue and personal scenes.
  • Summon Magic: Summoners and Lyon can summon ghouls.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Lyon in Ephraim's path, which arguably makes him less sympathetic in Ephraim's path: Everything he did, from killing Fado and Ismaire to shattering the Sacred Stones, he did of his own volition rather than the Demon King's.
  • The Team: The implicit wielders of the Sacred Twin weapons, and the nobles and advisers who drive most of the plot.
    • Ephraim and Eirika share a joint role as The Leader/The Hero, but which gets more focus depends on who you choose to follow.
    • Seth and Innes share the The Lancer role. The former as chief adviser and Number Two to the Renais Twins. The latter a cunning strategist that considers himself Ephraim's rival in all things.
    • Tana and L'Arachel share The Chick role as both as characterized by their femininity and for being emotionally grounded. Tana is a more traditional Princess Classic while L'Arachel is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander Church Militant.
    • Duessel is The Big Guy as a heavily armored Four-Star Badass and Ephraim's combat instructor.
    • Knoll is The Smart Guy who has been most involved in discovering the secrets of the Sacred Stones, and Lyon's research.
    • Saleh is a Warrior Monk who guides the team when dealing with the supernatural.
    • Myrrh is a Mysterious Waif from Darkling Woods
    • Joshua is the Sixth Ranger as the secret prince of Jehanna who poses as a wayward gambler until his identity is revealed (in Eirika's path at least).
  • The Man Behind the Man: Lyon to Emperor Vigarde and Fomortiis to Lyon.
  • The Theocracy: Rausten. Pontifex Mansel, L’Arachel's uncle, seems like a pretty cool guy - pious, kindly, raised his niece, and even bent the rules to aid the heroes.
  • Tsundere: L'Arachel, BIG TIME.
    • Tana also shows shades of this, but more towards Ephraim. She's much more dere towards Cormag and Eirika.
    • Innes can be seen as a male Tsundere, too. Most noticeably when paired up with Eirika and L'Arachel herself.
  • Tragic Monster: Lyon, who falls under control of the Demon King while trying to save his country (on Eirika's route) or becomes so addled from suddenly gaining phenomenal cosmic powers from the Dark Stone (also while trying to save his country) that he may as well have been possessed (on Ephraim's route).
  • Trauma Conga Line: Grado. Yes, the entire country. Besides having its army completely obliterated and the entire ruling family wiped from the face of the earth, it suffers a massive earthquake some time after the events of the game epilogue.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The game doesn't really tell you the details of what happened along the other twin's route, so certain story important details, including the fates of certain characters, are suddenly never touched on again. You obviously need to play both routes to get the whole picture.
    • One of the houses in chapter 15 does give you the general idea of what happened to Glen and Selena; they both died. We're not told how, though: Glen's death is only shown in Eirika's route, while Selena's is part of Ephraim's.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Present only in the Japanese version: In Joshua and Artur's A support, Joshua says "Out of 21 flips, you won 15 and lost 16." However, that adds up to 31, not 21. The English version had him say Artur won 11 out of 21 instead, and didn't even bother mentioning how many he lost.
  • Written by the Winners: A version of this occurs in the game, in regards to the defeat of the Demon King 800 years ago. It turns out that Morva - leader of the Manaketes - led the Five Heroes, and they defeated Fomortiis. However, in the nations the human heroes founded, there is no mention of Morva or his help. The people of Caer Pelyn are rather unhappy about this, believing the other nations are being ungrateful to the Great Dragon. Morva himself, though, was much more chill about it, and actually refused to take his share of credit so he could live the rest of his life in the Darkling Woods with Myrrh.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Lyon had a vision of an earthquake that would destroy Grado sometime in the future. This vision prompts him to start messing with Grado's Sacred Stone for the purpose of preventing it. He ends up starting a war instead and the earthquake happens in the epilogue, which is viewed as Grado's divine punishment for starting the war.
  • You Killed My Father: In Eirika's route, Joshua calls out Caellach for killing his mother, and Cormag calls out Valter for killing his brother. Lyon in Ephraim's route also taunts Ephraim by claiming to have killed Fado, and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in the prologue reveals that Lyon was indeed present when Fado was killed.

Alternative Title(s): Fire Emblem 8


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