15 Fire Emblem Characters Who Defy Their Archetype

15 Fire Emblem Characters Who Defy Their Archetype

Fire Emblem games often follow similar patterns, particularly when it comes to units. The soldiers a player has at their disposal are carefully managed. This is for both storytelling reasons and a balanced and entertaining game experience. As such, players have identified several “archetypes” of units that appear in several games.

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These archetypes are often identified by similar stats, recruitment opportunities, gameplay usage, and even by their character personalities. There is some divergence to keep things fresh, but they have a lot in common. Some characters, however, break the mold. While recognizably part of an archetype, they are significantly different in some way that affects how they play.

Updated 23rd of January by Isaac Williams: Fire Emblem’s archetypes define most characters a player can get. However, they’re far from absolute. The games are happy to surprise players by putting a unique spin on familiar archetypes. This is true even in Fire Emblem Engage, which takes clear inspiration from older games.

15 Framme Is A Lena Who Can Fight From The Start

Fire Emblem Engage

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Fire Emblem Engage features a lot of very typical characters for the series. It hearkens back to earlier Fire Emblem games with its characters and gameplay. Nonetheless, early party member Framme is a pretty major departure from a series mainstay. The Lena is a healer who starts the game unable to defend herself.

A Lena will usually become a vicious magical combatant upon promotion. However, she spends several levels only able to heal. Framme, on the other hand, doesn’t need to promote to defend herself. Framme starts as a Martial Monk. On top of healing, she has the ability to fight enemies with Body Arts.

14 Corrin Is A Manakete Lord Avatar

Fire Emblem Fates

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Corrin from Fire Emblem Fates, as she appears in Fire Emblem Warriors

One of the newer archetypes in the Fire Emblem series is the “Avatar” archetype. The Avatar is a customizable character who serves as a stand-in for the player. They’re defined by versatility. In most games with an Avatar unit, they are equally comfortable with swords and magic.

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Corrin, from Fates, changes the formula in two ways. The earliest Avatars were distinct from the Lords of their game. Corrin folds both storytelling roles into one. In addition, Corrin is also a Manakete — a long-running class that transforms into dragons to battle their foes. Both of these aspects make Corrin different from earlier Avatars like Robin.

13 Nailah Is An Early-Bird Gotoh

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Wolf Queen Nailah from Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn

The “Gotoh” exists to help players out at the very end of the game. Fire Emblem games are challenging, particularly with permadeath and random level-ups. The Gotoh is a free powerful character given to the player shortly before the endgame. This ensures that they have at least one character capable of fighting on even footing.

Radiant Dawn has a number of this type. The most notable are the Laguz monarchs, some of the most powerful units in the series. One of these appears much earlier in the game. Nailah allies with Micaiah for the end of Act 1. She’s even more overwhelmingly powerful this early on. Nailah gives players a taste of power long before any character will be close.

12 Celica Is A Spellcasting Lord Character

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Celica clasping her hands together in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has a split narrative. One side follows Alm. He’s a Fighter who embodies a traditional Fire Emblem Lord. However, the other protagonist is Celica, a Priestess. Celica can use swords and daggers in combat. However, she also learns an extensive number of spells throughout the game.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia uses a different magic system from other Fire Emblem games. Nonetheless, Celica is one of the few Lord-style characters in Fire Emblem history to make full use of magic.

11 Sephiran Is A Villainous Past Legend

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sephiran wielding the Ashera Staff in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Past Legends are usually confined to Fire Emblem‘s storytelling. They’re an ancient group of heroes who use magical artifacts to banish some great evil from the world. They rarely appear in gameplay. When they do, they’re usually heroes who join the player. Some, like Athos in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword, also act as Gotohs.

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Sephiran in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is a distant beast entirely. He’s an ally of Ashera’s Three Heroes, and the one responsible for sealing away Yune. However, he’s also the game’s most active villain and its penultimate boss. Sephiran is even more unique in that he can be recruited after his defeat. However, this is only on a second playthrough, and it requires specific conditions.

10 Dagdar Retires More Elegantly Than Most Jagens

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Art of Dagdar from Fire Emblem Thracia 776

The “Jagen” archetype is one that is less often seen in modern Fire Emblem games. A Jagen is a character who, in the early chapters of the game, is indispensably powerful. However, they have poor growths and aren’t worth the time to level them. Jagens have largely been phased out for the more balanced “Oifey” archetype.

Dagdar from Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is still distinctly a Jagen. However, he isn’t just rendered obsolete by bad level-ups. Dagdar has largely decent stat growths, except for his Resistance. Thracia 776‘s late game is dominated by magic. As such, the game makes Dagdar weak in the late game without undermining his competence.

9 Clanne Is An Abel Who Is Different From His Cain

Fire Emblem Engage

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Framme and Clanne talking to the protagonist together in Fire Emblem Engage

The Cain and Abel pair make up one of Fire Emblem‘s oldest archetypes. They’re sibling-like heroes who serve the main character and are some of the first units to join. They’re defined closely by personality traits. The Cain is usually hot-blooded and outgoing. The Abel is more reserved and dutiful. In addition, they’re signposted by color scheme. One is red, and one is green.

Clanne from Fire Emblem Engage is an unusual Abel, with his sister Framme serving as his Cain. They match the color scheme, early recruitment, and temperaments of the archetype. However, unlike most Cains and Abels, they are different classes. Clanne is a Mage while his sister is a Martial Monk. In addition, neither are Cavaliers. This further sets them apart from the archetype.

8 Reyson Is A Laguz Version Of The Dancer

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Reyson the Heron Laguz of Fire Emblem Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn

The “Dancer” is an archetype named after its class, typically the only one of its kind that appears in the game. The Dancer lacks much in the way of offensive or defensive capabilities. However, they’re invaluable. They use their Dance ability to refresh other units. In effect, they give Fire Emblem‘s most powerful characters another turn in combat.

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Reyson appears in both Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. Hefulfills the “Dancer” role to the hilt, but with a twist. He is a Heron Laguz. This combines his archetype’s abilities with the Tellius games’ unique Laguz mechanics. This includes shifting, uneven stats, and a power gauge.

7 Lindhardt Wields White Magic As An Arlen

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Linhardt speaking to the player in Fire Emblem Three Houses

The “Arlen” archetype is typically one of the earliest magic users recruited in a Fire Emblem game. The Arlen is a studious and reserved elemental or dark mage, who is nonetheless every bit as heroic as their more sociable counterparts.

Linhardt fulfills this role in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, except for his choice of magic. Linhardt doesn’t focus on offensive magic. Instead, he makes use of White Magic. While he can eventually pitch in and fight, he is most useful as a more traditional healer. The archetype nonetheless shines through in his personality.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sothe speaking with Micaiah in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

The Oifey archetype has largely replaced the Jagen in Fire Emblem. An Oifey is an early-game character who is much more powerful than any other starting unit. They’re designed to make the early game easier, much like a Jagen. However, an Oifey has much better stat growths. They’re designed to reward investment and let a player use them throughout the game.

Sothe is an unusual Oifey in a couple of ways. His growths are not the highest, and he struggles with caps. Nonetheless, he scales markedly better than a Jagen. The other is that Oifeys and Jagens are Paladins. Sothe is a Rogue. He fights on foot and with daggers instead of riding and using lances.

5 Ninian Is A Noncombat Half-Dragon

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ninian in her human form in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

Dragons play a huge role in Fire Emblem. Most games in the franchise have at least one unit descended from them. This character is usually a Manakete. They transform into a dragon form in combat. Ninian, a major character in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, averts this.

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Ninian cannot be used to fight at all. Instead, she acts as her game’s Dancer. The player has no way to unlock her dragon heritage in combat. Ninian does transform in one chapter of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. However, it’s as an enemy boss combatant.

4 Gunter Slightly Lacks The Main Weakness Of The Eyvel

Fire Emblem Fates

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Gunter speaking with Corrin in Fire Emblem: Fates

The Eyvel archetype is in some ways similar to the Jagen and the Gotoh. They appear early in the game when they are vastly more powerful than even a Jagen. It’s common for them to have an endgame promotion. After their brief appearance, they disappear from the story for a time.

By the time they return, the Eyvel archetype is vastly outclassed by the player’s other units. Furthermore, they typically lack the stat growths to make even thinking of training them worth it. Gunter fulfills this role in the Conquest route of Fire Emblem Fates. However, he actually receives a stat increase during his absence. It usually won’t make him on par with other units, but it’s better than nothing.

3 Aran Uses A Weapon Wielded By No Other Navarre

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Aran the Armor knight in Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn

The “Navarre” archetype is defined by their form of recruitment. The main trait of a “Navarre” is that they are a male enemy unit early in the game. They must be recruited by speaking to them with a specific female party member they know from their past. On top of this, almost all Navarres are sword-wielding Mercenaries or Myrmidons.

Aran appears early in Radiant Dawn and must be spoken to by Laura in order to join the party. However, Aran is a spear-wielding Armor Knight. This sets him apart from every other Navarre in the series. He is less defensively focused than many Armor Knights, but still a far cry from a fast and fragile Myrmidon.

2 Ike Pulls Double Duty As A Lord And An Ogma

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ike looking contemplative in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

The “Ogma” archetype is a balanced swordsman-type character, typically a Mercenary. The Ogma joins fairly early on. They can both take and deal damage very well. They often have a spot on players’ rosters due to their consistent growths and reliable combat ability.

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Ike is pretty typical for the “Ogma” role. However, there’s much more to him than that. He also serves as a Lord in both games he appears. Ike is a central character who ends the game if he dies, and has to be deployed in any chapter where the player controls him. His availability makes him even more powerful than most other Ogmas.

1 Hector Mains His Axe As A Lord

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Hector wielding his Wolf Beil in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword

The Lord is one of Fire Emblem‘s best-known archetypes. They’re the central character of their game. They usually have blue hair, are either sensitive or aggressive, and must defend their nation from an enemy attack. On top of this, most Lords wield magical swords as their main weapon.

Hector, from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, differs himself in one notable way. He is a Lord who initially lacks the ability to wield swords. Instead, Hector prefers his axe. He does learn to use swords when he promotes, but they won’t be his primary weapon. This helps Hector stand apart from Blazing Blade‘s other two Lords.

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