Common Misconceptions

A lot of people have gotten ideas about Fire Emblem that are a little misguided or are simply plain-out false. These views aren’t confined to those new to the series, either. For this reason, we’ve collected some of the most common half-truths and followed them up with hard cold facts.

    • Isn’t Marcus a useless unit?
    • Hey! Isn’t that guy with the red hair and sword Roy, from Smash Bros?
    • What about the blue-haired axe guy? That’s Marth, right?
    • Wait… Is Lucius a guy or a girl?
    • Oh, come on! Nino comes in so late! There’s no way she could be useful!
    • This Emblem Seal I got doesn’t do anything!
    • This is the very first Fire Emblem game–ever!
    • Prepromoted characters are completely useless.
What about the blue-haired axe guy? That’s Marth, right?

More curious than the Roy/Eliwood confusion, there are some who are under the impression than the man called Hector in Fire Emblem 7 is Marth. As should be obvious, the only things that Hector shares in common with Marth are his gender, his status as a lord, and his hair color. Marth is completely unrelated to Hector, and starts in Fire Emblems 1 and 3, which were on the NES and SNES, respectively. FE1 and FE3 are not related to the continuity shown in FE6 and FE7 in any way.

Wait… Is Lucius a guy or a girl?

Lucius, despite a strongly feminine appearance and less-than-masculine mannerisms, is, in fact, a male. The stereotypical “effeminate man” can be found in many Japanese anime, games, and manga. The proof of this can be found in one of his support conversations with Serra, in which she comically mistakes him for a woman, first antagonizing him for being more beautiful, then swooning over him when she is told of his true gender. Lucius is also of the monk class, and it is important to note that there are no female monks in Fire Emblem. Click here to view the support!

Also of interest is that as Lucius’s other supports show, Serra isn’t the only person to make this mistake.

Oh, come on! Nino comes in so late! There’s no way she could be useful!

A less common misconception, but one still held by some, is that Nino cannot be trained due to her late arrival and low initial stats. Nino DOES come at a low level and very late, it’s true, but she can relatively simply be trained to high levels in one or two chapters. Upon recruiting her and Jaffar, one receives the option to participate in a gaiden chapter, and this is likely where a vast amount of her training will occur. Those players who prefer not to exploit the game’s glitches may make use of an unarmed, high-defense character such as Oswin to act as a “wall” for Nino to hide behind. While the wall is being attacked on a narrow path, such as a bridge, Nino attacks from behind, quickly leveling.

A far simpler (but less noble) method is to exploit the “mine glitch,” which involves soft-resetting (pressing A + B + Start + Select simultaneously) the Game Boy Advance just as an enemy unit steps on and activates a mine, then resuming the chapter. If done properly, the player will have control of the enemy for one turn, and may proceed to discard every single weapon the enemy units own. This allows Nino to attack with impunity. Be aware that reinforcements that appear suddenly will still be armed. Done properly, Nino is perfectly capable of handling herself after training on the single gaiden chapter.

There are disadvantages, of course. Expending such massive amounts of experience on Nino means that other units do not get any or much at all, and may make training them that much more difficult for the player. Nino is a unit of lower defense and poor constitution, meaning that she is not a unit for all players. It’s more a matter of the player deciding if she’s worth training, not whether or not she can be.

This Emblem Seal I got doesn’t do anything!

A rather rare misconception as very few people ever get the Emblem Seal. The Emblem Seal is one of the items you can get buy hooking up your Nintendo GameBoy Advance to your Nintendo GameCube and using the bonus disc that came with early copies of the Mario Kart: Double Dash game. The bonus disc is no longer distributed, so there’s no way for most people to get this item (outside of Action Replay Codes).

Now, as for the item itself, its description ambiguously says it gives its carrier an advantage. Now is that confusing, or what? This has led some people to mistakenly believe the item doesn’t actually do anything. However, it is in fact true that it gives the carrier (the person who has it in their inventory) an advantage. And that advantage is +10% to hit and evade. Next time you’re preparing for a battle, compare a character when he is and isn’t holding it.

This is the very first Fire Emblem game–ever!

A mistake that is likely made due to the fact that the English release of The Blazing Sword is called simply “Fire Emblem,” it is nevertheless entirely false. Fire Emblem is a series of 9 different games, the first being for the NES and the most recent being for the Nintendo Gamecube. FE1 and 3 occur in the same continuity, as do FE6 and 7, the game you are currently reading about. The rest of the series’ games have stand-alone plots unrelated to each other. If you’ve been paying attention, you likely already realized this fact. Regardless, it deserves to be noted.

Prepromoted characters are completely worthless.

Similar to the “Marcus is worthless“ argument, there are those that feel that ALL prepromoted units are vastly inferior to their unpromoted counterparts, and have a tendency to hog experience. While some, such as Karla and Isadora, tend to be less useful, others can match or exceed other units’ worth, depending on play style. As with Marcus, prepromoted characters in general, such as Pent and Harken, must be used prudently: if they are allowed to get a majority of the kills in lower chapters, weaker units will have difficulty leveling up later on. Prepromoted units have their advantages, however. Though their growths are lower than their contemporaries, they do not run as great of a risk of being victimized by the RNG as they level, as they generally have areas in which they already excel. This leads to a general opinion that prepromoted units are “RNG-proof,” in that their general fields of skill and disadvantage are fairly predictable. Their weapon levels tend to be high already, and since they’re promoted, you needn’t invest a crest in them and hope for the best. They can have disadvantages, however. Poor stat gains are a possibility, due to low growth rates. With the exception of Marcus, prepromoted units do not appear until about mid or late game.

Below, a pair of prepromoted units are compared to their contemporaries, with commentary included. The intent of this is to help one see how units compare in hard numbers.

Harken’s stats follow:
HP: 47.6 ±1.4 STR: 24.5 ±0.9 SKL: 23.6 ±1.6 SPD: 21.8 ±1.7 DEF: 18.6 ±1.6 RES: 13.0 ±1.5 LUC: 14.4 ±1.4 CON: 11

Compared to Raven, assuming he is level 20/20:
HP: 57.8 ±1.9 STR: 24.5 ±1.1 SKL: 26.4 ±2.6 SPD: 25.9 ±0.4 DEF: 15.5 ±2.5 RES: 8.1 ±2.1 LUC: 13.9 ±2.8 CON: 9

As one can observe, Raven has a clear advantage in hit points, skill, and speed. The two average the same strength, and Harken’s tends to vary less, making him arguably superior in this field. Heroes excel in skill, and Raven does deliver more than Harken can. However, both are capable of delivering their hits with regularity. As mentioned, Raven also possesses superior speed, but on the other hand, both his defense and resistance are inferior, as is his luck. To top it off, Raven’s constitution is only 9, while Harken’s is a bulkier 11. This makes Harken better-suited to use his class’s secondary weapon, the axe. Because of his lower constitution, Raven cannot wield ANY axe without speed loss. To top it off, Harken’s weapon levels come higher than Raven’s do. Clearly, Harken is not “worthless.”

Pent’s stats follow:
HP: 40.0 ±1.9 MAG: 22.2 ±1.7 SKL: 23.8 ±1.5 SPD: 22.6 ±1.8 DEF: 15.2 ±1.7 RES: 20.9 ±1.8 LUC: 19.6 ±1.8 CON: 8

Compared to Erk, assuming he is level 20/20:
HP: 45.7 ±2.9 MAG: 21.2 ±3.0 SKL: 21.2 ±3.0 SPD: 24.8 ±1.8 DEF: 12.6 ±2.5 RES: 21.9 ±2.6 LUC: 14.4 ±2.8 CON: 6

Pent is certainly no Harken, but he also compares favorably with his contemporary, Erk. Pent’s HP tends to be lower than Erk’s, and his speed also so. His magic tends to be higher, and it also varies less than Erk’s. This makes his final outcome in the stat more predictable. On the defensive end, Pent comes up slightly behind in resistance, but his final stat varies less than Erk’s, as seen previously with the magic stat. Pent packs superior skill, defense, and luck, all of which vary less than Erk’s averages. He also has an additional two points of constitution, which can make a difference when wielding the heavier tomes. Pent comes with superb weapon levels, an A in both anima and staves. Again, it can be concluded that Pent, like Harken is not “worthless.”