Accidental Innuendo: Chapter 6 of Lyn Normal Mode teaches the player how to unlock treasure chests by using a key/thief. Matthew says "Hey! Unless my eyes deceive me, thats a chest!", which is actually referring to treasure chests, not... um...
By the time you've found a way around Nergal's Story-Breaker Power, you'll have a weapon capable of killing him in three hits. He is also killing you in three hits, though, so watch out!
In "Four-Fanged Offense" on Eliwood mode. Lloyd, despite being very powerful, just stands there at the top of the map, waiting for you take him on, and has no way to fight back against ranged attacks. An entirely different story in Eliwood Hard Hode and Hector Mode, though, since he has a ranged sword that deals magical damage in Hector mode, and he now moves in both. Combined with his dangerously high stats, you'd better have a good lance-user to take him down.
The Fire Dragon has all the makings of being That One Boss; it has high defence AND resistance and a 1-3-range attack that negates the defenses of your units... but then you realize that it's vulnerable to the Game-Breaker Luna tome. And the game gives you the strongest magic user in the game in the final chapter, who can use the tome at that point to boot. Athos+Filla's Might+Luna can crit it to death in one shot, and so can a sufficiently leveled Canas with enough magic and some supports with the same setup. A different story if you're doing a no-Luna run, though.
Just how bad is Jerme? Unlock the door Jerme is hiding behind. Park Merlinus in front of it. Provided he has levelled up half-decently, Jerme will most likely be unable to hit the cowardly man in the slow donkey cart blocking his way. Then send in your mages and laugh. Specifically, his assassin class amounts to little more than intimidation; his stats are low, and his weapon prevents him from critting or silencing you. This is even true in the final chapter. The Morph in his image is just as laughable. You will appreciate it once you see Jaffar in action, however.
"Cog Of Destiny" (Chapter 27/29) is generally and genuinely regarded as one of the most intense, challenging, and goddamnedfun chapters ever programmed into a Fire Emblem game. The difficulty level earns a lot of respect for forcing many gamers to take genuine tactical measures, and the story elements introduced and/or developed during the chapter don't hurt, either.
Many of the other defense missions are also very well liked. Primarily some like Chapter 29/31 - you're always outmatched.
For those who do not find it That One Level, "Battle Before Dawn" can be surprisingly fun.
The three lords. Gameplay wise, Hector eventually drops off due to his class, Eliwood gets better because of his horse and Lyn never gets better. Storywise, is Hector overly hard headed and brash (which gets Flanderized in games such as Heroes), is Eliwood unfairly compared to Hector (and Ephraim sometimes) and does Lyn get the short end of the stick once her prologue is finished?
Marcus. At one part of the fanbase, he is a hated Crutch Character, while in another part, he is regarded as Game-Breaker. In a lot of respects, he codified the idea of Crutch Character units being useful from beginning to end (arguably moreso than even the common codifier Oifey), but he does so largely by virtue of his starting-line bases being excellent enough to carry him against very weak enemies even with subpar growths, rather than the later route (seen in Seth, Titania, and Frederick) of abnormally good growths for a prepromote. This makes him disliked among players who want to see capped stats, but well liked among those who value his strengths.
Florina. The player base is quite evenly divided about her. Some love her for her usefulness in-game, her Moe qualities, and her supports, while others (particularly in the West) perceive her as annoying at worst or flat at best, and consider her shaky Strength growth and low Constitution dragging down her high Speed a major flaw in her viability.
Karla. Some like her simply for the fact that she is the mother of Fir in The Binding Blade, but others see her as a very useless character (at least gameplay-wise). Her far better treatment in Heroes merely fanned the flames: her detractors state her star treatment is so egregiously disproportionate to her actual role in Blazing Blade to the point of favoritism (and at the expense of the far more popular Canas) while her supporters are ecstatic Heroes breathed new life into a character that the game should be doing more with.
The Prolonged Prologue. Is it fun or is it just a boring bit about unimportant characters? To go along with this, should Lyn's Tale have been the entire game or not? There are fans who are uninterested in Eliwood and wanted Lyn to stay the protagonist.
As seen elsewhere on this page, Battle Before Dawn is either the worst chapter in the game or the best one. Detractors bring up having to protect three NPCs who can all die before you can get to them if you're unlucky, and it being a Fog of War mission. This has led to Critical Backlash and some fans re-evaluating it as one of the better-designed defend maps in the series, as the protectee starting far away means you need to rely on strategies other than mindless turtling, the actual odds of Jaffar and Nino dying without your input aren't too high, and the mission having a good variety of side objectives (recruiting Jaffar, getting the treasures, killing Ursula, stealing an Earth Seal) to keep you busy while you wait out the time limit. It is agreed, however, that the Hector Hard Mode version of this chapter is brutal.
Cargo Ship: Lowen and breakfast is a popular joke pairing thanks to a support where he nearly faints because Eliwood forgot to eat breakfast.
Catharsis Factor: Having certain units in your army fight named enemies who have history with them often gives you special battle dialogue, and just feels generally more satisfying to defeat them. Probably the crowning jewel of this is having Nino kill Sonia, which is very difficult but quite doable. On the flip side, the penultimate chapter is populated with nothing but wave after wave of nameless, faceless morphs with unlimited reinforcements. It's very possible, and satisfying, to split your army into small squads and cleave a path through the enemy's army to their leader.
Character Tiers: Hard Mode and Hector Hard Mode bonuses cause interesting and notable shifts in the tiersnote Characters that start as enemies in The Binding Blade's Hard Mode and Blazing Blade's Hector Hard Mode gain the same random stats boosts that enemies have.
Ephidel is one of Nergal's most trusted and wicked Morphs. Preying on the envy and power lust of Lord Darin, the Marquess of Laus, to organize a rebellion against Ostia, Ephidel intends on the quintessence of all the dead to be harvested in a prospective Civil War. Gleefully sending his forces to murder the young heir Eliwood and his friends under the pretension of scaring them off, Ephidel stabs his reluctant ally Marquess Santaruz for calling him out on his actions and leaves him to die a drawn-out death. Ephidel convinces Darin to send his son Erik to eliminate Eliwood and when that fails, abandon him to likely death. In their subsequent attack on the neighboring Caelin lands, Ephidel attempts to murder the local Lord Hausen to further ensnare Darin, privately relishing his control over the man after the remaining Laus army—and eventually the renegade Marquess himself—are left to die as distractions. Discovering Leila, the rookie Black Fang operative, is a spy, Ephidel has her murdered and strung up for Eliwood's allies to find the body. Later manipulating the brainwashed dragon girl Ninian to open the Dragon's Gate, Ephidel taunts Eliwood and his friends over the unleash horrific devastation being unleashed upon the world.
Sonia Reed, one of the chief Morphs of the mad sorcerer Nergal, is a heartless seductress who wins the heart of Brendan Reed of the Black Fang. Subverting the Fang to Nergal's purposes and using them to cause conflict and enact assassinations, Sonia commits them to bloody conflicts to harvest quintessence for Nergal's plots. Getting one of Brendan's sons killed, Sonia is also a horrifically abusive mother to her daughter Nino, whom she adopted on Nergal's orders after murdering Nino's family. Sending Nino on an assassination, she gives orders to murder her as a "scapegoat", while later cutting down Brendan himself. Fancying herself a perfect human, Sonia intends to assist in the opening of the gates to the dragon realm, uncaring of the mass bloodshed.
Critical Backlash: "Battle before Dawn" is considered to be one of the worst maps in the entire series, and gained a reputation for this. Some people came in expecting this to be one of the worst maps, but instead found it to actually be quite challenging and fun. One of the things that did not help however was that many evaluations were based upon Hector Hard Mode, which is something almost universally agreed upon to be That One Level.
Demonic Spiders: All promoted magic enemies in the mid-late game are this, particularly in Hector Hard Mode:
Among them, Bolting Sages they deal the most damage. While they're not as prevalent as the previous game, they could also carry status staves such as Sleep, Silence and Berserk that are difficult to avoid for most of the playable units.
Normally enemies with long range magic and staves are stationary and are weighed down by their weapons, but late-game Valkyries ignore these drawbacks by being mobile, move in groups, and have enough speed to dodge attacks or being harder to be doubled against.
Designated Hero: In Binding Blade, the Eight Legends seem like an unexplored case of Written by the Winners—it is stated outright that humans started the Scouring with no apparent provocation, and the Eight Legends who brought the decisive victory went on to be revered as founders of the major nations. Although the characters themselves don't angst much about this fact, nothing discourages the players from developing a jaded view. This game gets into Designated Hero territory by having two of the Legends appear—Athos the Archsage is treated as a wise, knowing guide, and Braimmond also gets a sympathetic showing. They were likely not the ones who started the war (those Eliwood at least has the decency to condemn at the end of the game), but they're never questioned about the fact that their people waged a brutal and nearly one-sided conflict that ended with the exile of dragons from Elibe except in a highly weakened form.
Difficulty Spike: Teodor shows up as a level seventeen promoted boss at a point where the game is only just starting to fully phase out unpromoted bosses, and his map throws in fog of war and tons of enemies just to twist the knife. All justified though, considering that to unlock 19xx, you have to finish the story first to open up Hector mode, play through Lyn's 10 chapters again so you can raise Nils to at least level 7, advance to Hector mode, fulfill the conditions to go to 19x, and in that chapter, KO Kishuna in the one turn that you get the chance to do so before he flees. Short answer: you mostly have know what you're doing at this game to earn the right to fight Teodor.
Disappointing Last Level: Final Chapter: Light has several problems. You're locked into using Athos, an overpowered character you've never used before and have little connection to and who will likely overshadow most of your army. The first half is a boss rush with zero terrain advantages for you to use and a tiny map that offers very limited strategic options, and the 'legendary weapons' that Lyn and Eliwood have just been given will horribly penalize their speed if you choose to actually use them. The boss fight against Nergal can be decently fun, but it's followed up by an utterly grueling and tedious fight against the Dragon, who will one-shot the majority of your units, once again limiting your strategy.
Discredited Meme: Jokes involving Hector accusing Roy for trying to date his daughter Lilina are slowly starting to become this not only for its oversaturation in the fanbase, but also because of their out of character nature, which leads to concerns that Hector himself is very misunderstood in general. It also doesn't help that in the Elibe Duology, he was okay with letting his daughter spend time with Roy.
Lloyd Reed is the most popularBlackFang, ranking 7th place in the popularity poll mentioned below.
On the heroes' side, in spite of their relatively minor roles Canas and Nino both ranked very high in the popularity polls, with the latter outright taking 1st place! Can't be a coincidence that they're related, can it?
The Memetic Loser status of Dorcas ironically propelled him to this position as he somehow reached the Top 20 male characters in Fire Emblem Heroes Choose Your Legends event and as of November 2017, joined the game's roster, and even got a Halloween variant as a Tempest Trial reward for The Land's Bounty banner.
Evil Is Sexy: Sonia, if you don't mind the gold eyes, pale complexion, and generally creepy demeanor.
One particularly big and frequently discussed piece of Fanon is that the Dragon's Gate is in reality an Outrealm Gate which leads to Archanea, with the dragons who were banished during The Scouring being the same ones mentioned in the backstory of Marth's games. This probably wasn't the intent when The Blazing Blade was written, but elements of Awakening and Fates make it a fairly tidy explanation for a lot of things, and it could be canonized easily enough.
The child Sonia mentions in her battle conversation with Nino is commonly accepted to be Jaffar, as it would place his age close enough to Nino's that it doesn't feel squicky to ship them (though these people have to contend with Sonia saying that she killed that child afterwards).
While Jaffar is the only character not to be Really 700 Years Old whose age (or even his approximate age) is unknown, most people assume he's 17.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Although both are viable marriage candidates for Hector, and the light novel adaptation for Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade states that Hector ended up with Florina while Lyn ended up with Rath, Lyn and Florina are each other's most popular pairing, considering that Florina Does Not Like Men initially and seems to be crushing hard on Lyn. It doesn't hurt that they have a paired ending if they A-rank each other's support, and said ending basically has them retire to live together.
Franchise Original Sin: Just like The Binding Blade, which introduced the Supportmechanic, fans often consider The Blazing Blade the gold standard when it comes to Support writing quality, character development, and proper romantic escalation when appropriate. But, while the five-Support cap left most players unable to see most of them in one playthrough and did much to disguise the problem, The Blazing Blade also had its 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 (Radiant Dawn is where it is at its worst, where Support conversations are very generic) and the "marriage and children" mechanic popularized by Awakening 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, while Fates retained all that except that the kids are not integral to the main plot, which in turn made the issue much more blatant. Echoes: Shadows of Valentia reintroduces the GBA-style supports without the 5-support limit, but the pool of characters that have support conversations are far more limited, and some characters cannot support each other even if they should(e.g. siblings Clair and Clive), swinging the problem towards the other side of the pendulum.
You can't spell Oswin without "win". From the very start of the main story to almost the end, you'll be hard-pressed to find a single generic enemy in the game (bar early axe users in HHM) who can actually pose a threat to his monstrous Defense or stand any chance of survival against his equally monstrous Strength. Even weapons that deal extra damage against knights won't end up being any more dangerous to him than to the other units. He doesn't fare quite as well against magic units, but he'll also end up with respectable Resistance higher than most physical units can consistently achieve.
Marcus is almost a requirement for clearing early levels on Hard Mode. Being a promoted Paladin not only gives him good stats (at least for that point), but also absurd movement that lets him easily rescue characters and save villages. He does fall off a bit in the late game, but he still retains enough utility to be a decent choice for a long time.
The Luna tome is one of the most accurate weapons in the game, has a high critical rate, and most importantly ignores Resistance. Any of those traits by themselves would make for a decent weapon, but combined you have a boss slayer that can match Nergal in damage output, limited only by the number of tomes in the game and the fact that Canas is your only Dark-magic user for most of it. It's very telling that Luna got a heavy Nerf in the next game, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
This Fire Emblem was the very first title in the series to receive official localization in the West. Between that, its complex plot, well-drawn characters, tough but fair, gameplay, and great presentation (including those lovely splash-art slides none of the other GBA titles had), it is one of the most popular installments of the series outside its home country. There, however, it is generally seen as an inferior follow-up to its predecessor due to being a prequel and deviating too far from the series' standard formula, fulfilling the other half of the trope. The Lyndis campaign is also a painfully slow tutorial for series vets that could only be skipped via the link-up feature. It's not hated over there, but it's still seen as weaker.
Lyndis is one of the most popular female characters in the entire series overseas, regardless of her waning importance in-story after the first few chapters. Having a badass Action Girl for a Lord class for their Gateway Series really helps both her and the series in general in the Western regions. While her popularity in Japan is no slouch either, since she's a consistent DLC character in later titles, an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros., and more recently, a playable character in Fire Emblem Warriors, her mini-campaign is generally seen as an obnoxiously long Forced Tutorial for anyone familiar enough with the games' mechanics to not need it.
Goddamned Bats: While you're trying to kill the Dragon, there are Morphs positioned way out of reach trying to snipe at you with long-range tomes and status effect staves. Of course, they're not much of a concern if you either get everyone out of their range, or optimally, kill the Dragon in one turn (which is quite doable).
The game neglects to clearly inform you that the range for the dragon's fire breath is three spaces, not two like most ranged attacks. You can imagine how many deaths can be attributed to those not aware of this, and getting somebody fragile fried to a crisp. (Selecting the dragon will show you, though.)
Lloyd is annoying in Four-Fanged Offense in Hector mode. If you don't find out beforehand that not only has he moved to the middle of the map amongst hordes of other mooks, but that he also moves when approached, you're very likely to to pay for it with a dead ally, since he's probably one of the most dangerous bosses in the entire game. And the chapter objective is to defeat Lloyd, so if this happens too soon, it's either restart or miss out on the rest of the goodies in the chapter. Oh, and all this occurs in Fog of War. This also applies to Eliwood's Hard Mode, where while he's still up by the castle, he will move once you're in range and while he lacks the range of the Light Brand that he has in Hector Mode, him having a Silver Sword means he'll hit much harder.
In "Cog of Destiny" (either story), whichever Reed Brother you're fighting is carrying an Iron Rune (negates your chance to crit), but magic swords don't crit at range either, so all it takes to win is a barrage of ranged weapons... but since he's a Swordmaster/Hero on a throne, good luck getting any to hit him. Something the game doesn't tell you is that if you send Nino up to talk to him (Lloyd will never attack her on his own, but Linus is a bit too far gone by this point in the game), he'll actually move off the throne to attack any nearby units, where he thankfully loses the evasive boosts but will send your units running for their behinds.
It's possible to take control of every active enemy unit for a turn by damaging them with a mine and soft-reseting the game during a specific window.
Whereas it's fully expected that player characters will occasionally have their percentage chance to hit exceed 100% and thus the game is coded to display any hit chance of at least 100% as "100%", the same is not true of critical hit chance; only the final two digits will be shown. If two digits are showing for the critical hit chance and the first is a 0, you will see a critical hit.
Various dancer buffs like Nini's Grace can be preserved by rescuing a unit at the end of their turn. With careful use of a dancer and a rescuer, a unit thusly buffed can act for many turns without depleting the durability of a dancer ring.
Most characters have their endings changed depending on wither or not they have an A support with certain characters of the opposite gender. Except this is also true of Florina/Lyndis, Lucius/Raven, and Marcus/Merlinus, relationships which are all same gender pairings. In fact, Lucius, Raven, Marcus, and Merlinus ONLY have their endings changed with these pairings. Also, Legault likes to hit on Heath. He says he's kidding, but he also says he's a liar... And he also sorta hits on Lloyd.
Female example: Florina will do anything for her beloved Lady Lyndis, and their paired ending is very commonly interpreted as a lesbian marriage in all but name. Ursula and Sonia on the bad guys' side have a similar relationship, what with Ursula's thoughts on Sonia being VERY easy to see as a Subordinate Excuseto the very end.
Hype Backlash: The game has gotten some flack from fans who grew up with The Sacred Stones, the Telliusgames, or the 3DSgames, as well as fans of The Binding Blade. They see it as a rather bland Fire Emblem game without the Nostalgia Filter, and especially criticize the Prolonged Prologue/Forced Tutorial that is Lyn Mode. The map design has also gotten some major knocks, with many criticizing it for overly-weak enemies, inscrutable gaiden requirements, tedious defense-based and rout chapters, and gimmicks like weather that fail to add to strategy, compared to the much more straightforward seize-focused chapters and sturdier enemies of the DS games, Conquest, or Binding Blade, or the more wild and gimmicky chapters of Thracia or Radiant Dawn. Even the story, generally seen as its big strong point, has come under fire recently for its rather messy structure and awkward continuity with its predecessor.
Lyn vows not to cry, but there are entirely justifiable reasons why she can't always keep to it, such as when speaking of her tribe's slaughter and reuniting with her grandfather. She's faced with bandits, improbable odds, and prejudice for her heritage throughout her quest, but seems to never hesitate to press on.
Ninian and Nils are dragons. Spin-off titles even expect fans to know this fact; Fire Emblem Heroes has Ninian and Nils as Manakete units, while Fire Emblem Warriors has Lyn outright mentioning it in her support conversation with Tiki.
Another potential spoiler that most people know these days is that Jaffar defects from the Black Fang.
It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Some of the more negative opinions about this game are thrown at the difficulty. While it did add some minor adjustments that made certain aspects of its predecessor more tolerable, it's for the most part an easier version of that very game and can get rather stale at times. This made it a perfect entry point for the franchise when it launched in the U.S., but newer fans, hardened by the likes of Lunatic Modes or just naturally harder titles, will probably find anything outside of Hector Hard to be somewhat of a walk in the park.
Just Here for Godzilla: Being the first Fire Emblem released after the franchise's international debut, many have got into Fire Emblem to see Marth or Roy, only to genuinely love the whole franchise afterwards.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Lyn has several. Fans of Les Yay enjoy Lyn/Florina, which is supported by the fact that they too have an A-Support ending where they become friends forever; fans of hetero enjoy Hector/Lyn, for being amusinglysweet and filling a similar narrative role to Eliwood/Ninian; and fans of "can't be paired but it would make sense" enjoy Lyn/Tactician, thanks to Lyn rescuing the Tactician from certain death and quickly becoming close friends.
Uhai the Soaring Hawk is a Sacaean Nomad and founding member of the Black Fang assassins' guild. A close friend of the guild leader Brendan Reed, Uhai watched with dismay as the organization was polluted by Brendan's new wife Sonia and her benefactor Nergal, but nevertheless continued to serve. Intercepting the heroes' party at the shore of the Dread Isle, he grabs Lyn to get their attention but then immediately releases her due to disdaining dishonorable tactics; he then sends an onslaught of powerful warriors hiding in the thick fog banks after them. Honoring a promise he had made, Uhai tells the party how to reach Nergal as he dies.
Eubans the Fierce Eagle runs a mercenary guild loyal to Marquess Darin of Laus, one of Nergal's more prominent co-conspirators. Hearing of his lord's death at the hands of the heroes, Eubans ambushes them in a fortress where they are tending to the sick Nils, employing brutally effective siege tactics including ballistae and spearmen on wyvern-back. Eubans can be either killed or chased off depending on the player's choice, and either way takes his defeat with consummate grace.
Ursula the Blue Crow is one of the Black Fang's four top operatives, and Sonia Reed's unflappable right arm. So dangerous that her own subordinates would rather kill themselves than report failure to her, Ursula is charged by Sonia to monitor her daughter Nino's assassination attempt on Prince Zephiel, and to kill both the prince and Nino herself if she backs out. When this does in fact occur, Ursula's men put out all the lights in Zephiel's manor and use every kind of tactic imaginable to slay him, Nino, her partner Jaffar, and the heroes' party. When defeated, Ursula's last thoughts, as always, are of her Lady Sonia.
Batta the Beast and Glass, of course, but Marcus is seen as the Chuck Norris of The Blazing Blade among the fandom.
Hector, and not without reason.
Dorcas manages to be both this and a Memetic Loser, largely thanks to Heroes making him an Ascended Meme (and "Dorcas Emblem", a mod of Blazing Blade that turned everyone and everything in the game into Dorcas).
Denning. Despite being a generic (and skippable) boss on a defence map, he was a super common character for Game Mods and memes. When a Let's Play hits this chapter, expect the comments to say "this is a message from Lord Nergal: I await you on the dread isle. This is a message from lord Nergal..."
Part of the fanbase has taken to calling poor Eliwood "Eli-something", due to his lackluster stats and growths compared to Hector and Lyn, and even vanilla Paladins, even (and especially) after promotion, with a signature legendary weapon that literally weighs him down to boot. Amusingly, he chronologically became the exact opposite20 years later... despite being bedridden and sick.
Erik. He intentionally reduces himself to a mere lackey for others every time he appears, and always fails pitifully even at that. Even the gameplay seems to be mocking him: He has awful stats and would be totally unchallenging as a boss, were it not for his silver lance. Then you play Hector's mode, where he loses even his signature weapon and instead carries a horseslayer, strangely enough (given that the only mounted units at this point are Marcus, Lowen, and Priscilla, the latter whom he could kill with a silver lance in a single hit, anyway), a weapon that is not only significantly weaker, but also far too heavy for him to carry. Yeah, Hector Hard Mode Erik is actually weaker and slower than his normal counterpart in Eliwood's story. And that's not even mentioning his appearance in Binding Blade...
Blessed Saint Elimine. She's a background presence as one of the Eight Legends, but all fans remember about her is that her only physical appearance was on a bonus disc issued alongside pre-orders of Mario Kart: Double Dash!! of all things, in which she would grant bonus items to players that linked their copy of Blazing Blade to the GameCube. Jokes about her obscurity and being the Saint of Mario Kart abound.
It became a common joke among the fanbase to write support conversations that couldn't happen in the game. Some featured certain characters staring at each other going "..." while others featured crack pairings. The former would become reality in Fire Emblem Fates where two characters (Saizo and Beruka) have the "..." support with one another. What's more, they are exactly the types of characters who got the "..." treatment back in the 2000s.
"We need disguises." "Perfect!" Explanation At one point in the game, the main lords decide that they should, justifiably, start wearing disguises on their journey. Their disguises consist of cloaks thrown over their regular armour. A hypothetical scene of the characters making this decision, with Eliwood unironically declaring it to be perfect, was created, and it's popular to photoshop the lords out to show other characters having the same idea, often when one is an Expy of an existing character.
Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Limstella is pretty popular with non-binary people even though they serve the Big Bad. Some of these reasons include the rarity of genderless characters in fiction, Limstella being one of the more powerful characters in the story, their genderless nature isn't portrayed negatively, and their final moments show them in a rather tragic light.
Mind Game Ship: The majority of Legault's supports indicate he likes messing with heads as much as he might like his support partner.
Sonia's is either her mocking revelation to Nino that she killed the girl's real parents or killing Brendan while mocking his love for her (but not without taking a grave wound from him in the process); you have your choice.
If you don't hate Ephidel when he stabs Lord Helman, and you don't hate him when he stabs Lord Hausen, you'll definitely hate him when he has poor Leila slaughtered, then has her mutilated corpse posed in the woods to look like it's still alive, just to mock you. Matthew and Hector take it exactly as well as you'd expect.
Lundgrn, Lyn's Evil Uncle, crossed the line by not only poisoning his own brother in order to take his throne, but even letting him know that he'd done so, that his granddaughter wanted to meet him but was being hunted by Caelin's forces on Lundgrn's orders, and taunting him by openly wishing death on him and telling him how much he's despised him this whole time.
Desmond may be a minor character with all of two scenes, but he quickly proves he's an irredeemable piece of shit when he orders the assassination of his own son Zephiel, twice, out of petty jealousy. Everything that happened in The Binding Blade stems from his actions here.
Narm Charm: Jaffar's "Do I look like the joking type?" would normally destroy any heartfelt moment with him because of how out of character it is for him. Yet, it's delivered after lots of heartwarming moments with Nino that no one ever seems to comment on it.
Older Than They Think: Surely, The Blazing Blade was the first Fire Emblem game released outside Japan, but it really isn't the first piece of Fire Emblem media to have an overseas presence. The short lived Mystery of the Emblem OVAs beat it to it by 5 years.
One-Scene Wonder: Jerme. Despite only appearing in one chapter, he's very unsettling and unforgettable. He does appear again in the final chapter, but as a silent morph. Unless you get Kenneth and manage to bypass him completely.
Prince Zephiel appears in all of two scenes, but he leaves a lasting impression, and it's not a pretty one. How utterly sympathetic he is makes the crazed misanthropic monster he becomes in the chronological sequel that much more dark and tragic.
Light Magic. In past games, the only characters who could use them were either characters who really shouldn't be (Sans Julia in Geneology due to the Book of Naga being Purposefully Overpowered) and/or took a lot of effort. Lucius manages to make Light Magic more accessible due to his starting class having innate access to it, and he is available in Lyn mode. The only downside is that you can lose him fairly easily. Of course, Sacred Stones would give Light Magic an even bigger buff...
Thieves as well - while not the first game do this, this game introduced the "Assassin" class which is considered to be an awesome class by the fanbase and a more offensive form of Jugdral's "Thief Fighter" class, which allowed Thief characters to have some extra late-game potential. While Thieves never were intended to be a combat class, their main use of stealing items, having a wider field of vision in Fog of War, opening doors, and looting chests left them very deficient in terms of experience (contrast with the Bards/Dancers, who can still get experience by simply dancing, or even Merlinus in this game autolevelling just by surviving a chapter) and somewhat of a late-game liability since they couldn't promote. This meant that if you needed to deploy a thief, you'd be forced to bench a unit who can take more than a few hits.
Serra used to be hated by more than half the fanbase in the old days, but she is much more well-received now that her heartbreakingreasons to act like a Rich Bitch are widely known.
Though it helps the characters' fighting abilities, those who like shipping will get frustrated about characters having only one love interest and sharing that interest with another person in support conversations. It distracts from the game a little too much and it takes a very long time to get the supports done, which 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. Made worse by the fact that not everyone's shared endings are necessarily happy.
Weather is commonly viewed as nothing more than an annoyance that makes the map go on for longer than necessary.
For experienced players, the Forced Tutorial that is Lyn Normal Mode that comes up if you're on a new copy of Blazing Blade is a pain in the ass full of railroading in a scenario that is already laughably easy on the higher difficulty setting that doesn't hold the player's hand the whole way through.
The decision to change effective weapons from triple Mt to double in the Western version. This had the side effect of making a lot of weapons surprisingly ineffective, especially archers, who now struggle to take down even enemies they're meant to be effective against.
Lyn's Tale suffers from this to those who've played later games in the series. It was the first truly in-depth tutorial in the series, which was necessary at the time due to Blazing Blade being the first game released outside Japan. The issue now is that the tutorial is not only completely unskippable on a first playthrough (aside from a Japan-exclusive game-link), it lasts for ten chapters (i.e., a full third of the non-sidequest chapters in the game), and very little of its plot is connected to the rest of the story. The actual tutorial itself also hasn't aged well as, rather than letting the player experiment with the mechanics, it outright forces certain moves on the player (Prologue is entirely scripted, Sain is forced to attack an Axe user with a Lance just to demonstrate Tactical RockPaperScissors, you're forced to promote Wallace the moment he joins). You can skip straight to Eliwood or Hector's story after beating the game once, but this isn't a good idea, as all of Lyn's party misses out on valuable experience. Thankfully, playing Lyn's story on Hard (which removes the tutorials) still allows you to change the difficulty to Normal for Eliwood or Hector mode, so players who don't want the tutorial aren't forced to play Hector Hard Mode... but that's only available after beating the game once.
Over time the game on a whole has hit this issue. It was well-beloved for its time, and was immensely important for being the first game in the series to be localized, but in recent years, most of its aspects have aged very poorly. While it's cast has a strong following, the story, while not terrible, has been held back by its inconsistent continuity with Binding Blade, despite being a prequel, not helped by its really messy writing. Gimmicks like weather and the Gaiden chapter requirements also didn't age well, as the former can hamper one's playthrough really badly, whereas the latter has things like getting a certain amount of EXP to unlock one of the Gaiden chapters being infuriating due to Pent sucking up all of it, and trying to keep Jaffar and Nino alive in what is arguably one of the worst chapters in the game, and probably in the entire series when taking its Hector Hard Mode version into account. The game isn't seen as outright bad by the community as a whole, but has aged a lot, and more of the design issues are often noticed/discussed over the positives it brings.
Ships That Pass in the Night: Serra/Lucius is quite popular, with its well-written and all-but-explicitly-romantic support that starts funny and eventually offers lots of interesting character development for both of them. This despite them not even having a paired ending.
Sophomore Slump: Inverted with regard to the GBA games as a whole. Blazing Blade, the middle one, is generally considered to be the best of the three (in the West), with more refined gameplay and a better story than The Binding Blade and without the numerous controversial changes of The Sacred Stones.
Zoldam in Chapter 17 (or Chapter 18 on Hector's Story). He has the Luna tome (a powerful weapon that's a major Game-Breaker in the player's hands), and it's just as effective against your units as when you use it against the enemy. Thankfully, you don'thaveto fight him (the chapter is a survival mission), but if you're trying to get the valuable loot that he's carrying before the time runs out, your only option is to send someone with high HP, like Marcus or Oswin (since Luna negates resistance — not even Pure Water will help) and pray to Anna that he doesn't crit.
Maxime isn't much of a threat on Eliwood Mode or Hector Normal, in fact he mainly exists to get slaughtered by Jaffar. On Hector Hard, however, his stats are jacked up to ridiculous levels (an increase of over 50 points compared to his Normal stats) and his position is changed so he's directly in your path, making That One Level even worse. About the only good thing is that he will probably not rush down and engage Jaffar (who is plenty preoccupied as it is), because this version of Maxime actually poses a threat to them.
Lloyd on Hector mode in Four-Fanged Offense receives a nasty boost from Eliwood mode (even on Hector Normal Mode), such that players who have been breezing by the game might suddenly realize they have no one that can deal with him reliably. He's strong enough that a Silver Sword crit will severely damage or kill most of your units, can double all but your fastest troops, and most annoyingly is just difficult to hit at all, even with bows or lances. Magic doesn't particularly help either, he's got way more Resistance than Defense inexplicably. To add insult to injury, he's one of the moving bosses (fine on its own), but he gets moved to the center of the map in Hector's story without warning, so you're likely to get ganked by him early into the chapter and end the chapter earlier than you expected when you bring him down.
Like with most Fire Emblem games, all Killer Weapons, due to their unnaturally large chance to land a Crit that will utterly tear your units to shreds, especially when Permadeath is a thing.
Luna. It bypasses resistance, has an unnaturally high hit of 95, which is really high for a dark magic tome, meaning enemies will frequently have 50% or more displayed hit against you, and a base crit of 20. Yes, this already horrendously dangerous tome has almost as much crit as a killer weapon, and since you can't mitigate its damage, a crit will be a One-Hit Kill. Any surprise anything holding one of these is treated as a Demonic Spider?
Chapter 11 on Hector Hard Mode, for all the wrong reasons. Only Hector and Matthew are usable, and you get no healing unless you can steal a Vulnerary from one of the enemies, which is easier said than done when everything kills Matthew in two hits. This map is very RNG-reliant, with one miss from Hector often spelling doom and the random stat bonuses on enemies making a huge difference (for example, whether Hector kills the boss in two hits or three). Making matters worse, you need to hurry and kill/stop an enemy Thief before it escapes with a Red Gem, as in Hector Mode, said item is your only source of funds until Chapter 13x. Ranked runs often need to restart this map several times, and it's even worse if you skip Lyn Mode, making Matthew even weaker.
Lloyd's version of Four-Fanged Offense on any mode other than Eliwood Normal. It's an annoying Fog of War map with a plentiful amount of ballistae and some enemies that can get the drop on you. However, this all pales to the fact that you are dealing with a moving Lloyd with a Light Brand who can tear you apart if you aren't on top of your game, and that you are practically on a time limit to rescue Wallace if you want to recruit him. Many prefer to take on the Linus version instead not only to avoid this chapter (which requires significantly more investment in babysitting all 3 Lords combined with all the issues above), but to also recruit Geitz, who is clearly superior to Wallace in every way.
While the game is overall generally fair even on the highest difficulties, Battle Before Dawn on Hector Hard Mode (Chapter 28) is so tough that it wouldn't be out of place in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. To elaborate:
It's a Fog of WarProtection Mission where the protectee in question, Prince Zephiel, is on the other side of the map. Whichever path you take means you're screwed. You'll either be in range to be sniped by Ursula's Bolting spell, or be ambushed by Maxime. Splitting the party is a no-go as the enemy units will overwhelm you if you do so, unless they're beefed up enough. What mitigates it somewhat is that Zephiel is smart enough to hide on a pillar tile that give him a nice evasion boost and he can actually defend himself for a while, until Artificial Stupidity kicks in and Zephiel moves off if he uses an Elixir (although he might just move onto another pillar tile).
As if that wasn't enough, to recruit them and get the extra chapter, you need to keep Jaffar and Nino alive. All three of them could very well be killed before you get to them, effectively turning this into a Luck-Based Mission.
If you haven't taken her out by the time the battle reaches its 13th turn, Ursula starts to move. And with her stats, she can double Zephiel with her Bolting.
One of the treasures in this mission is a Rescue staff, which would trivialize this mission if it's obtainable earlier. The same goes for all the other treasures found in this chapter, which seem to be tailor-made to make this mission less of a headache.
Night of Farewells is less difficult and more tedious due to the pathways that only open up in specific places every few turns, which would leave most of your units stranded in the middle of the water unless a Pirate or flier rescued them. Merlinus won't be able join in this chapter, meaning that if you want to loot all the items in the map, you have to make room for them by discarding other items your units hold. There's also plenty of status staves, ballistas and siege tomes to slow you down, making the map even more of a slog. And the reinforcements keep coming for a long time.
Cog of Destiny on Hector Hard Mode. The Normal version was already a large and lengthy The War Sequence map, but the HHM version replaces nearly every enemy with a magic user, making them a major threat to most of your physical units. The map is also filled with lots of annoying Valkyries who are hard to double with dreaded status staves such as Berserk and Sleep, but the worst has got to be the Luna Druids who are disturbingly accurate, always deal big damage due to ignoring resistance and always have crit against you, when a critcal WILL be a One-Hit Kill.
Genesis has your party split into two in a maze full of promoted magic users with a variety of often-heavy weaponry, and represents a Difficulty Spike over its predecessor.
Recruiting Vaida. If you spare her in Unfulfilled Heart, you can recruit her in Cog of Destiny. However, she is still an enemy and comes with an entourage of Wyvern Knights who don't back down when you recruit her (even to her, for some reason). The entire mission is a very long gauntlet of fighting a lot of enemies and Vaida comes in relatively late in the chapter with very tough allies. If you have been trying to power-level Nino or even have an unpromoted Eliwood or Lyn or even Hector (especially given Hector's awful speed up against Vaida) a little too close to their position and you have no one around to rescue them, it takes two hits from a knight to kill either of them.
Unlocking Chapter 19xx, a sidequest within a sidequest, involves getting Nils to at least Lv 7 in Lyn's Story. Not especially difficult, just incredibly tedious, and frustrating since you have absolutely no hint whatsoever that you have to do this for Nils so much earlier. Then, you have to defeat Kishuna in 19x, which is a total Luck-Based Mission (he has a ton of evasion, and if you don't beat him in one turn he flees the map).
Genesis is generally regarded as one of the hardest sidequest chapters to unlock. In Living Legend, you need to recruit Hawkeye (itself a Guide Dang It!) and gain a total of 700 exp for your party, which is a tall order in a map that heavily limits most units' movement. Making matters worse is Pent, an NPC who will slaughter most of the map's enemies (taking their EXP), including both bosses, if you don't rescue him with a flier fast. Oh, and if you want to see Nergal's special death quote in the final chapter, you need to unlock and complete both this and 19xx.
Renault is a Bishop recruited in the penultimate chapter with very poor magic stats for his level, and is overshadowed by Athos who joins in the very next chapter and fills a similar role but better. Players tend to recruit Renault only for his good equipments or to see his supports.
While very well-liked, Lyn suffers from having low strength and being fragile despite her speed and accuracy being phenomenal. It's especially prevalent if her campaign was skipped, as she tends to fall off strength-wise compared to both Eliwood and Hector. On the bright side, she can promote regardless of which story is being played, but she still has several issues that make her a hassle to use properly.
Eliwood competes with Lyn for the worst of the game's three Lords, being average at best compared to Lyn and Hector. This is very apparent in his story, where he is unable to promote until very late in the game, limiting his grinding options and rendering him underleveled. He does gain the most movement of the three upon promotion, but his mediocre stats will still remain.
Nino comes at Level 5 and unpromoted ridiculously late in the game. Magikarp Power or not (her final stats are, on average, the highest in the game), that's a lot of Level Grinding, especially when she essentially just becomes a slightly better version of Pent.
Rath, like the other Sacaean characters, can score critical hits like a madman, but otherwise, his stats are sub-par, even when promoted. It doesn't help that he comes a little late in the game and the chapter following his recruitment is a desert chapter, making it impossible for him to get anywhere due to being a mounted unit. While you get a chance to level him up in Lyn's story, he's late even there - and gets hampered by rain.
Unintentional Uncanny Valley: The Fire Dragon's sprite in-battle is frighteningly detailed and malefic compared to the other battle sprites: Sharp teeth, red hot scales, and horns decorated on its head are all very intimidating enough as it is, but its eyes deserve a mention; it is so real, you can feel the amount of burning rage within the goddamn thing compared to others! Even more, it is surprisingly expressive for a dragon, with it making faces of pure hatred while bellowing out roars of bone-chilling fury, and screaming in abject agony when it is finally slain.
Visual Effects of Awesome: 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.
Eliwood is considered weak for being a Jack of All Stats (whereas Hector and Lyn specialize in strength and speed, respectively), and for being a Nice Guy who hates war and openly weeping when his father dies in his arms, and again when he mistakenly kills his friend/potential girlfriend Ninian, with the legendary sword he had just obtained. It should be noted that the West really tends to favor Rated M for Manly protagonists like Sigurd, Hector, and Ike, so this view isn't entirely surprising.
Hell, as mentioned above in Memetic Loser, even the Japanese fanbase gives him flack for his mediocre stats, even if they find no fault with his character.
Ninian suffers from a case of Die for Our Ship with Eliwood, and shippers really hate that it's strongly implied she is Eliwood's canon lover and thus, Roy's mother as well. Her combat prowess, or lack thereof, can be a point of contention. Although most fans usually adore characters of the Dancer class for their extreme usefulness, there are some who think the mother of Roy should be an Action Girl like Lyn. The only time they'll ever give Ninian a break, true to this trope, is when she appears in Fire Emblem Heroes, where she's a Manakete unit (which doesn't exist in Blazing Blade) and capable of kicking ass.
Lyndis herself tends to get hit with both sides of this trope. On one hand, she was one of the main leads in the first game the West ever got, and a female lead at that. For fans who haven't gone out of their way to play older games (which have characters like Caeda and Ayra, (especially Ayra), she is the female character against whom all others are subject to, and barring Lucina, they never measure up. On the other, while she is the lead of the prologue, she fades into the Tritagonist role for the real leads: Eliwood and Hector, both of whom are important in The Binding Blade, which some fans find annoying since they "forget" that Lyn was created out of cloth for Blazing Blade and, unlike Hector and Eliwood, the writing team had no leads about her from the beginning.