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  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Sigune in the Ilia route suffers from being a boss who can't use her biggest strength... her mobility. She also has no countermeasures against bow-users and has somewhat mediocre stats. It's a bit of a let-down for the current Flightleader of Ilia.
    • Idunn is barely any stronger than the boss that just preceded her, has less HP than said boss on Normal mode, can't do ranged attacks, and the Binding Blade destroys her so utterly that a moderately trained Roy can one-round her... and an untrained Roy, at his base stats with no more than promotion gains, can still take off 75% of her health by himself. The nicest thing most players can say about this battle is "At least she's not as bad as Veld."
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  • Anti-Metagame Character: The Bord and Cord duo of this installment, more so than anywhere else in the franchise. Wade possesses all of the typical faults of the Fighter class, while Lot - despite fulfilling a unique niche as a defensively-oriented Fighter - is highly susceptible to Empty Levels. Meanwhile, both units use axes as their primary weapon, in an installment where axes have particularly severe accuracy issues. However, their access to axes and later bows make them vital for dealing with the Demonic Spiders from the toughest chapters in the game: they can use the Halberd in Chapter 3 to One-Hit KO the Cavaliers of Chapter 4 and 7,note  and bows to deal similarly large amounts of damage to the Wyvern Riders of Chapter 21. While other characters may be able to similarly equip these weapons, the only other unit capable of weilding axes in Chapter 4, Marcus, is a Crutch Character that might not even have a high enough ranking in axes to use the Halberd; meanwhile, the primary bow users will need all the backup they can get in dealing with the swarms of Wyvern Riders in Chapter 21. Wade and Lot may be mediocre infantry units that are susceptible to being replaced, but they nonetheless contribute where it really counts.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • While he has a massive and vocal fanbase among the Super Smash Bros. crowd, Roy is among the most divisive Lords in the series. Character-wise, his detractors consider him a Flat Character with no interesting character interactions and who fails to have an arc, while his fans consider his supports to give him a much-needed look at his character and his role as the Static Character a fitting role considering the story. Gameplay-wise, he is universally agreed to be a subpar unit, but fans are divided on whether this makes the gameplay less interesting for turning many maps into Escort Missions or more interesting by making the player rely less on their Lord as a powerhouse. Taking both gameplay and character into account, his fans often point out that his low stats tie into his insecurities and lack of experience as revealed in his supports, considering this Gameplay and Story Integration making his journey more believable, but his detractors argue that this was done better by other Lords, often pointing to Leif as being a more effective execution of the concept.
    • Sophia. She's infamous among players as a Tier-Induced Scrappy, but she's been shown to have quite the fanbase, as she retains rather high positions in popularity polls concerning The Binding Blade characters, so people either find her one of the most interesting characters despite her flaws, or just a waste of space in the roster.
    • Larum, either you find her shtick of being out-there and excitable hilarious and cute, or you find it incredibly annoying. It even gets to the point where people are divided on whether her inclusion on the A-route makes it even better than the B-route, or it just entices one to go down the B-route to gain the overall solid Elffin, which brings ire from those who like Echidna, because that means you can't get Elffin together with Echidna and the blame is usually put on Larum.
    • Ogier is in the well-liked Mercenary class and shows up with great growths and an Armorslayer (good!)... at level 3 with poor bases, Hero Crests at a premium, and jockeying for room as a swordsman against Rutger, Fir, Roy, Dieck, six Cavaliers, and possibly Shanna (bad). He also has a decent design and an interesting support with Lilina where he displays a sad background as a result of his Humble Hero origins and the Values Dissonance of his upbringing (good!)... and most of his other supports are just bland conversations about sword training or Larum being annoying (bad). His fans adore him and consider him one of the game's most worthwhile units, while detractors nickname him "OJ" and put him on permanent bench duty with his fellow Ostian knights.
    • Though Lilina is well-loved in terms of personality, she is this in gameplay. Her magic growth is ridiculous, she supports with Roy easily, and she's required to recruit certain characters. She also has catastrophic speed and defense growths, and joins at level 1 at a point where Lugh (who is on par with her) should be around level 8. It's generally agreed that she's very effective when babied a bit, but this sparks the question of whether it's worth it to do so. Opinions tend to be either "she's the best unit in the whole game" or "she's a ball and chain."
    • Cath has a sympathetic background that comes to the fore in her supports, and one of the more involved recruitments in the game. Said recruitment also involves her impeding your efforts for multiple maps, and when she finally joins, her stats really do not impress, even with her maximum Hard Mode Perks. Fans tend to find her a fascinating character who isn't really worse than any other Thief considering her role, or an incredibly annoying character whose only utility is that you can steal her lockpicks when she shows up.
    • Cecilia. Some regard her as one of the game's worst units for her terrible base stats and growths and poor performance on her joining chapter. Others consider her one of the better choices, because she happens to be in the excellent Valkyrie class and her poor stats aren't especially relevant to her role as support (and Clarine, the other Valkyrie, has pretty poor stats herself). There's also the people who like her personality versus the people who are grossed out by her nature as a possible love interest to Roy.
  • Best Level Ever: Chapter 22, The Neverending Dream is often regarded as a solid chapter both gameplay-wise and story-wise, serving as a climax to the story and being one of the hardest chapters in the endgame for the right reasons. Add in the fight against Zephiel, and you get a very memorable chapter.
  • Breather Level: Chapters 8x and 21x come off of two particularly difficult chapters and aren't really as difficult as the chapters that came before them. 8x Is mostly a chance to get some easy kills for your freshly recruited Magikarp Power characters such as Lilina and Ogier, with the only remotely difficult part of the map coming from the boss, Henning. 21x on the other hand is just incredibly lax compared to the warfront that is Chapter 21 and doesn't have much beyond the fog-of-war gimmick. Both chapters also have traps that are either incredibly easy to spot, or are practically a non-issue due to their pityingly low damage.
  • Broken Base: The game's cast. It's one of the largest casts in the series (discounting the games that added to a previously established cast such as Radiant Dawn or New Mystery) and there are certainly many to choose from, however many argue this makes the cast much more underdeveloped or flat since the quality of their supports and characterization had to be thinly spread out, and that they're hard to get attached to, while others still enjoy the cast and find with so many characters to choose from, it's a fun and varied one that still has several interesting aspects about them.
  • Cliché Storm: Evil nation invading the land, the ruler turns out to be a Disc-One Final Boss with darker forces at work, and the game's cast largely follows archetypes set by the very first Fire Emblem title to a T. That being said, the game does play a bit with some of Fire Emblem's most conventional tropes, most notably the dynamic between Zephiel and Idunn being a complete reversal of the usual human conqueror/royal + supernatural benefactor who's the true villain (i.e. Lyon & Vigarde/Fomortiis, Validar/Grima, Garon/Anankos, etc.) since Zephiel is the real Big Bad while Idunn is just a puppet to him; furthermore, he's not really "cruel" to Idunn or out for personal power or whatever - he really is just that much of a nihilistic misanthrope, but by that token he sees no reason to be "unnecessarily" cruel, especially to those who can help him.
  • Common Knowledge: No, Zephiel did not fight Hector directly, he merely left him to die. Narcian and Brunnya were responsible for the damage he received.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The majority of playthroughs take the "A" paths of the Western Isles and Ilia/Sacae (the former for having certain units be better, the latter for being easier), which means Dayan, Bartre, and Elffin tend to get discussed somewhat less.
  • Contested Sequel: The Binding Blade is a rather divisive title, particularly outside of Japan. Being the followup to the very creative (both gameplay-wise and story-wise) Jugdral games, it let go of many of its revolutionary additions, preferring a back-to-basics approach reminiscient of Mystery of the Emblem. As such, there are fans who consider it to be not worth their time in light of its prequel, while other fans enjoy it for what it is in spite of this and may actually enjoy some of the simplification considering some of the more glaring mechanics of those games. Some fans, both those who like and dislike the game, are eager to see a remake (possibly acting as a second generation for The Blazing Blade) that fixes its issues.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Cavaliers are this in Hard Mode Chapter 4 and 7: not only are their stats obscenely high at this point in the game, but they also fight in swarms and can easily outmaneuver the player characters in the flat, open areas they're encountered in. These enemies are so dangerous that the game gives the player a Halberd in Chapter 3, and while this weapon can One-Hit KO Cavaliers, it's not a guarantee due to its shaky accuracy and the low speed of the characters that can wield it.
    • On the Sacae route, the Nomadic Trooper unit is extremely fast, has access to bows to one-shot most fliers or poke melee units outside their range, gets fought in open plains that favor it heavily, and has access to swords, meaning surrounding them or confronting them inside their range isn't as viable. It's not uncommon for players to refuse to raise Sue or Sin just because it avoids the risk of going to Sacae.
    • Wyvern Riders are always some of the strongest enemies due to their Lightning Bruiser status, and the later parts of the game are absolutely flooded with them. Dealing with the Wyverns is so important that Klein and Igrene often see use in the lategame solely because they can one-round Wyverns on Hard when given decent equipment. Their promoted equivalents border on Boss in Mook Clothing and will require either a Legendary Weapon or a crit to bring down.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • In general, discussing the parentage of Roy and Lilina (and occasionally Wolt, Sue, Raigh and Lugh) often results in very heated arguments.
    • Marcus provides an amusingly literal example, in that his A-support with Lilina has him convince her to confess her feelings towards Roy. However, the mechanics of the game make it impossible for her to get A-supports with both Marcus and Roy at the same time, so the only way for the player to see both of them is to deliberately kill off Marcus.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Lilina is very popular among the fanbase for being a very capable Mage unit, being the daughter of the popular Hector, and having heartwarming interactions with much of the cast, particularly Roy. A lot of fans wish she was a secondary Lord like her father in the prequel as opposed to being a "disposable" unit like most of the castnote ; in fact, many fans (particularly in Youtube, for those who like to make lists) like to say that she 'has more presence than Roy' despite her not getting the adequate push from the gamenote . In the first Fire Emblem Heroes Choose Your Legends poll, she placed 49th overall (out of 791), beating other fan-favorites such as Masked Marth, the Black Knight, and Sigurd.
    • Narcian is pretty popular despite being an irredeemable Jerkass who thinks only of himself if only because he's so fun to watch. The higher-ups seem to be aware of his popularity, as he's prominently featured on advertisement for series 5 of Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher) along with main character Roy and Lilina, and his card was one of the first shown for The Binding Blade. On top of that, he appeared in the first Fire Emblem Heroes gameplay trailer, complete with English voice acting provided by Kaiji Tang (who, interestingly, voices another Ensemble Dark Horse in the series - Owain).
    • Karel is pretty liked due to his transformation from a vicious Blood Knight to a wise and reliable Warrior Poet.
    • Fir is one of the most popular swordswomen in the series for her captivating appearance, naïve yet likable personality, and ties to Karel, Karla and Bartre. The fact that she also just so happened to look like Lyndis may have also contributed to her popularity overseas.
    • Echidna is a powerful, useful pre-promoted Jack-of-All-Stats, and a somewhat unique female member of the Hero class with a forceful, yet playful Action Girl personality. Not coincidentally, the path that recruits her is very popular, especially with those looking for a good challenge.
    • Niime is also very popular despite joining late into the game, both for being a snarky Cool Old Lady and for being surprisingly good by late-game pre-promote standards. It also helps that she's the mother of Canas from The Blazing Blade.
    • Rounding out Canas' family being Ensemble Darkhorses, there's Hugh, who many love for his hilarious lines, great bases, and cool design. While he does need to be paid in order to use him, he more than makes up for it with his performance in battle.
    • Shanna's positivity and optimism have endeared many to her. It helps that she can be one of the better units if she's trained up thanks to her tremendous speed and acceptable strength.
    • Clarine might just be one of the most popular troubadours in the entire series, with her hilariously dialogue with Narcian and amazing dodge rates earning her a ton of fans.
    • Klein, with his good looks, pleasant personality, and overall solid unit power (especially considering he's a prepromote Sniper). The boost in popularity he got from Heroes doesn't hurt either.
    • The twins Lugh and Raigh are loved by many for their tragic yet heartwarming story, their usefulness in gameplay, and for being the sons of the very popular Nino from The Blazing Blade.
    • Not long after the release of Heroes, Fae has become a very popular character, thanks to her adorable cheerfulness and her dragon form resembling a chicken.
    • Class-wise, Nomads are one of the most popular choices among pre-Bow Knight classes for their Mongolian feel and being an incarnation that has a horse before promotion, with many preferring the characters amongst this class more than their Archer counterparts. On an individual level, the characters Sue and Sin both have pretty solid followings for their great performance in combat, to the point that most feel they singlehandedly render foot archers obsolete.
    • Rutger ranked second in the popularity polls, and for good reason: his character design was well-received, his personality, and for the fact he is useful throughout the entire game.
    • Among more competitively-minded fans, Percival and Melady are well-loved for both carrying entire maps on later portions of Hard Mode and having fairly interesting supports—Percival being a rare Camus Expy that doesn't choose My Country, Right or Wrong, and Melady for her well-written angst about her status as a traitor. They're also the main figures in some of the more popular fandom ships.
  • Evil Is Cool: Zephiel utterly destroys everyone in his path until endgame, and he goes about it in the most awesome of ways. His combat animations alone are dripping with coolness. In fact, if you turn off the game's music, his theme overrides the option.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Taking The Blazing Blade into account, there is quite a bit of fanfiction and fanart that explores the possibility of Roy being quarter-dragon through his implied mother Ninian.
    • It's also a popular topic among fans to speculate what happened to Lyn after The Blazing Blade, as since this game was made first and she debuted in the prequel, she gets no mention of her existence.
  • Fanon:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Roy/Lilina is an absolute behemoth of a ship not only in this game but in Fire Emblem as a whole. Already one of the most popular implied canon ships, this one is so omnipresent that even people who haven't played this game are on board with it just on the basis of them being Eliwood's son and Hector's daughter, and gets to the point where even Intelligent Systems themselves make nods to it, such as with a certain illustration for the Fire Emblem Cipher TCG and the entire Love Abounds event in Fire Emblem Heroes.
    • Rutger/Clarine to a ridiculous extent. This is one of those rare pairs that is shipped both storynote  and gameplaynote , resulting in a ship that almost everyone who plays FE6 supports.
    • Among old-school parts of the fandom, Melady/Guinivere and Percival/Elffin are quite popular, and tend to show up together.
  • Franchise Original Sin: As the game that overhauled Genealogy's "Love and War" system into the modern Support mechanic, fans often consider the Elibe titles the gold standard when it comes to Support writing quality, character development, and proper romantic escalation when appropriate. But, while the five-Support cap and slow growths left most players unable to see most of them in one playthrough and did much to hide the problem, Elibe had its fair share of broad comic fluff, poor character development, and weakly developed romance in its conversations. Later titles merely had quality control issues from the sheer number of Supports and the "marriage and children" mechanic muddying up the issue. Awakening in particular got hit pretty hard just for removing the five-support limit, which many fans wanted to see gone, which in turn made the issue much more blatant.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of Binding Blade and its predecessor game Thracia 776 tend to be on surprisingly good terms, given their difficulty, large casts containing both Memetic Badass and Memetic Loser characters, abuseably-fun mechanics, and low-key obscurity in the wider fanbase owing to No Export for You.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Just like the other two GBA titles, the Arena can net you theoretically infinite money and experience. Unlike the latter two however, support bonuses are actually added to characters whenever they challenge the arena. This results in much less defeats, and can even max the levels of characters incredibly early. It's easy to see why the future arenas no longer do this.
    • Hard Mode Perks are famous in this game, and are considered one of the most fun reasons to play Hard Mode—certain characters, such as Melady and Perceval, become almost explosively overpowered upon recruitment.
  • Good Bad Bugs: The first game to feature selectable difficulties, but it had a rather clumsy way of managing it: rather than hard-coding different stat bonuses on Hard, it instead effectively gave enemies a bunch of invisible level-ups worth of stat increases. Recruitable characters had hard-coded stats... unless they appeared after the first turn, in which case they got those free levels too. In some cases, this meant they effectively started with ten free levels.
  • Hollywood Homely: Dorothy. Her plainness/homeliness, particularly in the full artwork, comes from the fact that she has brown hair, brown eyes, and brown clothes. Her sprite portrait gives her a less flattering haircut, too.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: It's very common to play the game just to learn what Roy was actually like.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Despite Roy being a Memetic Loser and having a Fan-Preferred Couple with Lilina, that has not stopped Roy from being shipped with literally all of his support partners and more.
  • Magnificent Bastard: King Zephiel of Bern was once a cheerful, idealistic youth cruelly betrayed by his cruel father King Desmond. Faking his own death, Zephiel killed his father, becoming disillusioned with humanity and helped to unseal the dragon tribe, including the Demon Dragon Idunn, to punish humanity for its sins. Leading Bern in a war of seeming conquest, Zephiel instead intends to unleash Idunn, using the war as a clever front. Even when cornered by the young hero Roy, Zephiel uses himself as bait to keep his plans going, unrepentant to the end.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Rutger, aka "Critger", thanks to his ability to get over 100% chance for a crit with a support triangle with Clarine and Dieck. Many players use him to take on the rather dodgy bosses this game sports.
    • Lilina is often considered the one running the pants in the relations with Roy due to her immense magical power and being the daughter of Hector, who was widely known as a massive ass-kicker that she inherits his ass-kicking genes. It also helps that Roy is often seen as a Tier-Induced Scrappy during the game's run, so Lilina is often the go-to character to carry the game (between the two anyways) once Roy hits Level 20 and has to wait until near end game when he gets the Binding Blade. And so, at times, Lilina is often seen as a Violently Protective Girlfriend (in canon, she's actually much more meek).
    • Melady's ridiculously overpowered nature tends to make her this among fans of Hard Mode. Hell, even in Normal Mode she's one of the best units in the game, to the point of almost being a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Roy, due to being seen as the worst Lord in the series, statwise and characterization-wise. He is treated as a Memetic Badass for his appearance in Super Smash Bros., however, but only for Super Smash Bros. This is starting to die out after the results of Heroes' poll, however.
    • Good lord, Wolt. Despite him being Roy's milk-brother and showing up very prominently on the packaging, due to his really poor base stats and merely OK growths, Wolt is a character who usually becomes really irrelevant really quickly, especially compared to other archers, and he has zero presence in the story outside of a single line of dialogue in the first chapter. He is almost always considered the worst character of the Gordin archetype.
    • Gwendolyn tends to receive mockery along these lines, with a lot of jokes about her laughably bad performance on her joining chapters, her lack of payoff for the effort you need to put into her, her incredibly generic supports and personality, and her Heroes redesign being seen as one of the worst. Her oddly fervent defenders in the early days of the fandom only spiced things up. It's not uncommon to claim that the javelin in her inventory contributes more to the war effort than she does.
    • Sophia is seen as one of the worst, if not THE worst unit in the game for having terribly low base stats upon joining that make leveling her up or just using her in general a major pain. She also debuts in a map with Fog of War, meaning it's very possible for an enemy to suddenly one-round (or even one-shot) her in enemy phase. It also doesn't help that she is a level 1 shaman that appears two chapters after the debut of a recruitable level 12 shaman with better stats and viability.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • YOU! Guess what? Money is important!Explanation 
    • The scene where Zephiel wipes the floor with Cecilia is verging on this, with jokes about Zephiel kicking her ass in ridiculous ways becoming increasingly popular. For example.
    • Do you even crit?Explanation 
    • Lilina-Marcus S Support.Explanation 
    • FE6 RNG BUGGED Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Zephiel definitely crosses it when he remorselessly has his forces trounce Hector, the man who saved his life 20 years earlier, in an unexpected surprise attack, not even recognizing that the former saved his life, and then letting him rot in the dungeon to die from his wounds.
    • Narcian crossed it when he used his lieutenant, Flaer as cannon fodder to escape the Lycian Alliance.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The stinging crack of a Critical Hit landing, so long as it's your unit's attack and not the enemy's. Bonus points if it coincides with the sound of a killing blow.
    • The klang of an enemy's attack bouncing off your unit for zero damage.
  • Narm:
    • Roy's promotion is probably supposed to be epic. It just turns out cheesy, considering his sprite-set is the same in both classes and literally all that's changed is the position of the sword.
    • The sheer number of non-Bern people defecting to Bern for no explained reason other than fear of Bern's military might, is hard to take seriously.
  • Player Punch: Hector's death. As a reminder, many Western players started out playing the prequel, the first localized game of the series, and witnessed Hector being an all around fun and badass dude. And then they play the next chronological game and finds out that he's killed off not so nicely. God damn it.
  • The Scrappy: Merlinus is grumpy and bitter for good reason, but many fans found him to be an asshole who took up way too much screen time before the real meat of the plot kicked in. Gameplay-wise, he takes up a spot on your roster rather than the game asking if you want to deploy him, and if his HP reaches zero at any point you lose all the items he was holding for you. Luckily, unlike in FE7, you don't have to bring him out to send items. In recent years, he has also started earning a lot of ire for being seemingly the reason most of the cast (particularly Lilina) gets shafted, due to him being Roy's adviser and the just about only person he interacts in the story with, whereas fans feel other characters such as Lilina, Marcus, Klein, Cecilia, Perceval, and Douglas were more deserving of his role while characters like Elffin and Guinivere (both who occasionally chime in) could use a little more screen time.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Building Supports require that you tether two characters to each other for a long period of time (upwards of 240 turns for some characters) before you can unlock a support conversation. It's even worse in this game, where you can only accumulate a total of 120 support points for ALL characters in any given chapter. Also, there's only one love interest per character, and only Roy gets paired endings.
    • Bolting, Berserk, and other long-range spells, more so in this game than in any other game; nearly every chapter in the second half has several mages with Bolting hidden behind walls or swarms of enemies.
    • The all-around low hit rates are one of the major reasons the game is so divisive among fans. Rather than allowing the player to overcome the RNG through competent strategy, it makes the game even more based on RNG than is expected from the series. Granted this applies to the enemy too, (In fact, usually moreso than the player) but it's still a major annoyance.
    • Breakable walls are absurdly bulky in this game, with 100 HP at its highest. This makes it more annoying and tedious for units to break through them, not only for wasting weapons used just to break a single wall, but it also hinders the player's tactical progress.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • The Support Conversation system was considered awesome when it was first released. Until later games where its weakness starts to get more visible, aside of the primitiveness of the conversations, only certain Supports with Roy can change that character's ending, unlike newer games where a non-Lord character can be shipped with another non-Lord to have a paired ending. Back in those days, people would call Roy a pimp, but after this, people could easily say Roy is a 'relationship hogger' that gets all the fun, not sharing it with his army.
    • The game itself suffers this. At the time it came out, it was considered a good step in the series due to scaling back the overly complex systems present in the previous two games, making it accessible, and set many gameplay standards the series would use going forward. The story also was simple but effective in the same vein. Nowadays though, its seen as one of the weaker entries in the series due to lacking the same complexity later tiles have in either gameplay or story, and the cast is considered weak due to a lack of characterization for a large majority of the characters.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: While the opening chapters do a good job of subtly teaching the player how to approach the game, they can be very tedious and are comparatively simple compared to the other chapters. The Western Isles is where the game starts to pick up massively, as the chapters are much more complex while still being very manageable, and this generally holds true for the rest of the game. This is especially present on Hard Mode where there are quite a few candidates for That One Level in the beginning.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Beneath a New Light" is an almost note-for-note copy of the main theme from Independence Day.
  • That One Boss: If you're in a breather level, the boss can and will kick your ass.
    • Leygance, the boss of Chapter 8. He's the first boss to be a promoted unit, with an appropriate jump in stats. On Hard, he totals 59% Avoid and 19 Defense on his Throne, meaning characters who can hit him barely scratch him and characters who can hurt him can't hit. As he's a lance-user, the reliable old Armorslayer gets weapon triangle disadvantage, while the Hammer has advantage but has terrible accuracy anyway (even Zelot will miss more than he hits). His 10 Speed also puts him out of doubling range for most characters.
    • Henning, the boss of Chapter 8x. He's a Hero, meaning he's extremely fast, and he hits extremely hard. On Hard, he totals around 41% base Avoid... and he's sitting in a Throne for another 30% on top of that. He also has a decent Defense of 12, boosted to 15 by his Throne, meaning when you do hit him, it isn't gonna kill him (Marcus or Zelot with the Silver Lance do only 9-10 damage and get doubled in return). His Resistance is comparatively terrible, but the Throne patches that up, too, and with his Hand Axe, he can easily one-shot Lugh or Lilina after they scratch him. Pretty much the only character who even has a chance of taking him down quickly is Rutger, and that's only if Rutger's been promoted.
    • Murdock, as befitting a Camus. On Hard, he's actually stronger than Zephiel in some stats, with higher Defense and hitting harder with his Tomahawk (that's right, he outdamages Zephiel). The Tomahawk also gives him permanent 1-2 range with a powerful weapon, and while its accuracy is poor, Murdock has 23 Skill, making it not a problem for him. He's quite slow and easy to double, but it hardly matters because he has an absolutely ridiculous 31 Defense on a throne; at that point, even legendary weapons struggle to do more than annoy him. Oh, and he's on a time limit.
  • That One Level:
    • Hard mode is notorious for its Harder Than Hard difficulty, but these two spikes are particularly egregious and really stick out.
      • Chapter 4. The initial waves of cavaliers have absurdly high stats for their level that make going around them a pain, not helping are the nomads who while relatively squishy have good enough stats to maim, if not kill quite a few of your units. That's not even accounting for the pirates who put your team on a very strict time limit to reach the south most village (which has the highly valuable Angelic Robe). Chapter 4 is the point where the difficulty of hard mode shows its true colors and puts your team through the wringer. Expect to see characters die quite a bit.
      • Chapter 7. Swarms of powerful enemy units, including cavaliers and mercenaries, storm your still developing army, a pair of wyvern riders with abnormally high stats for this point in the game will fly amok and pick off your weaker units (there's a third, but he'll only attack when you move into his range), and the three recruitable characters will quite often gleefully commit suicidenote . To top it all off, if you take too long and hang around the southern portion of the map, cavalier reinforcements will rush you, with one in every four always being a level 15 with a Silver Lance. Without proper training and supports, especially for Alen and Lance, this map can force a player to restart their entire file.
    • Chapter 11A can be freakishly hard if you want all the rewards from a perfect run, which involves recruiting several units that spawn in different portions of the map and saving numerous villages. Oh, and you're on a timer: Brigands spawn on the other end of the map within two turns of two of those villages after five turns. So you have to Leeroy Jenkins a map with a lot of enemies just right to make sure you recruit everyone just right, AND prevent them all from dying to get several items that can promote several units who will likely really need them, which is really annoying since several of the units you have to save are low-level archers that the enemy AI will target and murder if you aren't on top of everything. Oh, and there's more: the AI of the units you need to recruit is notoriously finicky, and one of the units you need might not move and you will be walled off from him by a squad of units you can't kill if you want those rewards. Good luck getting all that done perfectly in seven turns.
    • Chapter 14. Not one, not two, but three things to hinder your movement, plus enemies out the yin-yang, the forced deployment of two characters who can be easily killed, and treasures to find, one of which can only be found by one of those fragile units. Oh, and if you want the Gaiden chapter? You have to finish in 25 turns or fewer and keep alive one of the aforementioned fragile characters.
    • Chapter 16. Aside from all of the irritating enemies with Bolting and Purge, there's a powerful enemy general running around who you must leave alive if you want to go to the gaiden chapter. And you can't simply rush through the level avoiding him, unless you want to skip all of the treasures.
    • Chapter 21. Reinforcements arrive every turn for 12 turns, almost all of them in a group of three Wyvern Riders and one Wyvern Lord. Also, the boss of the level is incredibly hard if the units brought are not experienced enough. To make things worse, you must finish this within 30 turns, or you cannot go to Chapter 21x and obtain the Apocalypse dark tome necessary for the Good Ending.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The reaction by vets to the magic triangle's change from fire, wind, and thunder to anima, light, and dark. Oddly, this happened in reverse when Path of Radiance returned to the original triangle, since Western fans signed on as the change was being made.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • In general, this is a big issue with supports: many characters have fairly deep arcs and even development, but because supports are such a Guide Dang It! without a walkthrough and tedious to achieve even with one, most people will never actually see them, leading to the cast coming off as flat.
    • Some of the more positive opinions on Roy amount to this. His supports hint that despite his savvy, intelligent nature and down-to-earth personality, he struggles with being the leader of an army at such a young age, and that he has an inferiority complex about being unskilled and inexperienced in combat (something that would logically tie in to his weakness as a unit). Unfortunately, this angle of his character isn't explored very much either in the main story or his supports.
    • Many fans consider Lilina to be this in light of the prequel. A lot of people believe that she would have made a fantastic Deuteragonist for Roy to play off thanks to their well-written interactions in their supports and because their respective fathers played off of each other very well in The Blazing Blade. But since she can die like all plot-unessential units, their interactions are limited to their supports, her debut chapter, and a special ending where Roy and Lilina marry; she's just another face in the crowd otherwise.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The relationship between Guinivere and Zephiel is underused in the games story. They interact once, and Guinivere spends most of the game wanting to stop him without doing much to convince him otherwise. As a side effect of this, the games attempt to make Zephiel look like a Tragic Villain ends up being wasted as despite Guinivere telling Roy their backstories, nothing is done with it and Zephiel remains just a fairly straightforward villain.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Roy is incredibly notorious among the fanbase for this. He has pathetic base stats, unreliable growth rates, and a REALLY late promotion even by Fire Emblem Lords standards. And being the main character, you're forced to use him. While his promotion also gives him an amazing 11th-Hour Superpower in form of the Binding Blade, it did not stop him from being mediocre for the majority of the game. There is a good reason that he is almost always considered the worst Lord unit in the series, as even the other Master of None Lords tend to boast some redeeming factor.note 
    • Sophia. She's similar to Nino but next to impossible to train since she joins at a point where virtually every enemy will kill her in one round. And unlike Nino, the result isn't all that worth it as her final stats are near identical to Lilina's, who joins far earlier. What makes players really hate her though, is that you're forced to use her in the chapter she joins... which happens to be a Fog-of-War Desert map with tons of flying enemies, and she has to survive to unlock the sidequest chapter, turning the whole thing into an annoying Escort Mission. Thankfully, she has full movement in it, but she's still an easy liability.
    • Then there's Gwendolyn, who some consider even WORSE than Sophia despite joining earlier. She's very fragile for an Armor Knight and in fact can be one shotted in her joining chapter, with it being difficult to give her the levels she sorely needs due to her being limited to lances (until promotion) having the usual Armor Knight movement and coming before a very axe-heavy portion of the game. Even once trained she still has the movement issue that Generals suffer from and isn't very practical to use thanks to the constant seize format of maps in the game. Thankfully, she isn't necessary to keep alive like Sophia, but she still has little going for her. Tongue-in-cheek debates over which one is worse are common.
    • The route-exclusive characters Juno and Dayan are the very embodiment of Late Character Syndrome, with poor stats and growths with very little room to grow as well as being outshone by their competition in their fields. The only saving grace they have is that they can make for good rescue-chaining, Juno has the Triangle Attack (though that in itself is Awesome, but Impractical), and Dayan comes with an A-rank in bows right before the wyvern-infested hellhole that is Chapter 21.
    • Wade, as far as axe users go, is by far one of the worst in the series. His lack of speed and strength will get him doubled, then likely killed by the enemy. In a game where Final Death is enabled, using him is just asking for trouble, particularly when there are better axe users to use, such as Gonzalez.
  • Vindicated by History: Towards the end of the 2010s, the game became this, due to people starting to appreciate the more down-to-earth War Is Hell story being simple yet effective, Roy's story-gameplay integration of knowing he's not as strong and relying on others (while not being presented as weak and hopeless and instead smart) being expressed in his supports, the hard mode being challenging yet fun and fair, the map design being rather strong, and the large cast being more developed than people would think. Shifts in the meta also helped, as Binding Blade is very friendly towards more modern Fire Emblem playstyles of early promotion, using prepromotes whenever possible, and prioritizing speed over raw power. It helps that other games like the DS Marth duo and Thracia 776 were getting vindicated too.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Starting with this game, one of the most widely praised things about the Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem games is the battle animations. Whether it's physical or magic, they look amazing, especially when it's a Critical Hit.
  • The Woobie: Gonzalez is treated poorly by people in-universe, and it's easy to feel sorry for him. Seeing him get Character Development through some of his support conversations is quite heartwarming.

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