After nearly a month, I finally finished the story campaign of Fire Emblem: Engage. As you’d probably expect for having that long with the game, I have quite a lot to say about it. I technically played it through twice, though my first save stopped a few story missions before the ending (I wanted to replay with my knowledge of how the game and systems worked).
To that end, I have elected to put together a character ranking much like I did for Triangle Strategy. For that game, I did focus a bit more on viability in combat, since the characters themselves were fairly well developed on the whole (and there were a lot less of them), but my opinion of their personalities and journeys throughout the game were mixed in there.
This list will be somewhat similar. I will focus somewhat on how good a unit is in combat, but there are tier lists everywhere. I play games like these to get attached and enjoy the characters, so for me, personality and interactions count as much as combat efficacy, though I’d argue my top 5 are probably both.
This is based off a few playthroughs at “Hard” level. I brought each character to at least level 40 to help determine how they grow and their overall combat stats, and I got to B rank in supports with nearly all available supports (save for a few interactions with main character Alear and one or two other small interactions).
There will not be pictures for every character, because there are 36 of them, but I will make it clear who each one is. Now, without further gilding the lily: the list:
Congratulations Bunet! Not only are you at the bottom of this list, but you’re one of the worst Fire Emblem characters I’ve seen in some time!
Bunet’s entire personality is built around the fact that he likes to cook and be creepy about it. He asks numerous characters if he can lick them, which may be somewhat interesting if it weren’t consistently awkward and a stupid attempt to be humorous. This idea is never really expanded upon, and his only other trait seems to be that he likes to garden.
He’s also just a bad unit in combat. He comes prepromoted into the Great Knight class, which is meant to be a mobile tank unit. The issue is that by the point he shows up, you should have something like three units that are better than him at doing almost the same thing, potentially four or five. Even when he joins he’s not nearly as impressive as the rest of your army, and he never really rises beyond being a bit of a detriment, though he can at least be a human shield.
Congratulations Etie! Not only are you at the bottom of this list, but you’re one of the worst Fire Emblem char… wait, didn’t I write this already? It does happen to be true here, and only vague memories of the early parts of the game saved Etie from being below Bunet.
See, she joins pretty early in the game, around Chapter/Mission 3 or so, and for a long time she’s your only archer. Archers are always a bit more powerful than they rightfully should be in a Fire Emblem game: they can hit at a range and they’re super effective against any unit that flies, and those units are always a threat. The problem with Etie is that her stat growth rate is garbage, and she’s going to watch every other character pass her. By the end game, she was rocking less HP than my squishiest mages.
Her personality is arguably worse than Bunet’s. Her entire character is built around “I like to work out.” There doesn’t seem to be anything more there. It’s all about exercising, gaining muscle, and eating to gain more muscle. That’s it. No hidden story, no depth of character. Just muscle. All the time. They really just… gave up.
This is the first placement I’d consider perhaps a bit contentious. Goldmary’s not all that bad as a character. She joins as a Hero, though most guides I’ve seen suggest switching her to an armored unit ASAP. The problem is much like with Bunet: there’s so many units that are just better than Goldmary that there’s no real reason to use her.
She’s one of the few characters that at least gets a few scenes outside of the supports, where she behaves as the loyal retainer to Princess Hortensia. This gets her a few points and saves her from being below the other two. However, she has one of the most grating, worst personalities I’ve ever seen. Many have said that her behavior is “divisive,” so I guess I land on the side of it being bad.
Basically Goldmary thinks she’s the most darling creature to ever walk Elyos. She’s simply the best at fashion, sewing, cooking, fighting, and being adorable. This is literally the personality you give the villain in a children’s cartoon aimed at young girls, and there is almost nothing here that’s a saving grace beyond a decent attempt at explaining why she acts this way (she was the best in her village and didn’t understand why she wasn’t when she left for the Academy). Still annoying and not worth including in your army.
I’ve seen a lot of guides state that Jean is among the worst characters and that the other healers are better options. Given this placement, you’d think I’d agree with that assessment. But honestly when it comes to combat potential, Jean’s among the best. Sure, he starts low leveled, but he’s a healer, so it’s not hard to grind him up. The Arena makes level differences pretty negligible anyway. By the time I hit the end game, Jean’s stats were about the fifth highest in my entire thirty-six person army (I made him a High Priest, by the way).
The issue is that his personality is just… so bland and boring. It reads like it should be interesting: he’s a child apprentice who wants to be a doctor and heal people. He volunteers to put himself in harm’s way to learn more. He even gets an entire chapter dedicated to recruiting him.
The issue is that most everyone just treats him like a knowledgeable doctor and Jean never really gets a personality outside of that. He does have some great supports (getting him to A with Grampy Lindon is worth the effort), but he’s still just bland and boring, which is arguably worse than being unlikable.
I really want to like Boucheron. He’s got a cinnamon roll personality, being this big adorable dork who cries at the drop of a hat. They at least put some effort into rounding out his character. He likes to read stories and cries when the characters do something moving or something bad happens to them. He apparently has a bad sense of direction (this is played for laughs but is barely understandable). He’s also pretty good at knowing how to relax and unwind.
All this makes for a really likeable guy, but he never really seems to go beyond that. Boucheron is a shallow pool, which happens to a lot of Fire Emblem characters.
He’s an axe-wielder too, and I have almost never found those to be great characters (offhand I can only recall Hector and Boyd). Sure, he gains a lot of HP, but that doesn’t play into his abilities at all. I did find him decidedly more useful on my second playthrough, but he still fell behind most of the army by the end. Mix that with just being pleasant but shallow, and you have a character who’s still at the bottom of the ranking.
I honestly could not remember her name and had her as “older hot lady” when I first made the list, which probably says a lot.
Saphir’s one of those late game recruits you get who comes pre-promoted with decent stats. The idea of those characters is to potentially provide a hurting army with some viable recruits to help you finish out the game. Given that almost everyone who plays this is likely saving mid-battle or before the battle and just loading their games when they lose someone or, y’know, just using the time reversal mechanic that’s built into the game, that role is less important.
Saphir’s an axe-wielder (don’t worry, the third one’s at least mid-tier), so I still didn’t find her quite as useful. She does get to use a bow, which helps considerably. Her ability also plays into her health, as her dodge and hit both increase when she hits a certain percentage. This all combines to make her a pretty viable character should you chose to use her.
Unfortunately her personality isn’t great. It’s pretty much the standard raucous fighter we’ve seen before. She likes to brawl. She likes to fish and cook fish. She does have at least a few interesting conversations among the cast, including one of the better Goldmary conversations and another with Granpy Lindon that’s pretty good. But she’s just another that’s kind of there, average, when there are just better choices.
Players who care about stats are now freaking out. Louis is one of two starting armored units, and stat wise he’s one of the better characters in the game. You can stick him out in the front of your lines and he’s probably going to survive even an onslaught of attacks, assuming none of those are magical. He’s great when he joins, and remains a viable character even well into the later parts of the game. He even uses spears, which are one of the better weapon types.
Which means he’s here because his personality sucks.
He doesn’t really get much outside of the support scenes, beyond a brief introduction scene. His traits in those support scenes are… mixed. His thing seems to be that he likes to just stare and watch people. He doesn’t mean ill by it, and a few who know him know that he’s just admiring their aesthetics. But it’s a creepy, stalker trait and Louis never really seems to acknowledge it. This is increased by his tendency to watch pretty women and/or young girls.
He’s saved by not only that really great combat effectiveness, but a few supports that show that all that observing of people have made him pretty astute. His conversations with Yunaka are worth viewing, and there’s a handful of others that are at that level. And again, if you just care about army viability, he’s probably going in your top 10.
Vander is the Jeigan of the group. That’s an older character who initially joins pretty early on, possibly even in the first few chapters/stages of the game. They have incredibly high stats, but they can really suck exp away from better recruits early in the game, and their growth rates aren’t tremendous. I would say Vander comes close to being the other, similar archetype who at least isn’t a waste of space as he grows.
You do want to switch him to Great Knight early on though; otherwise his stat growth just doesn’t work.
Personality wise, Vander actually gets quite a lot of screen time. He’s a guiding force and a major presence in the early game, and he even shows up in some of the end game cutscenes (though they don’t give him any lines). He’s the Divine Dragon’s constant companion and watcher, and they do a good job giving him this proud dignity that works. It doesn’t go much beyond that, however. He does have a fun support conversation with Saphir about knitting, and his interactions with his two pupils are close to heartwarming. But you still don’t need to feel bad about setting him aside for better recruits when they show.
(Fun fact: they treat him as ancient, but he’s 45! Guy looks like he’s in his 50’s, c’mon Fire Emblem!)
I really, really wanted to like Amber. He’s this adorable goofball who tended alpacas and has all kinds of weird habits. He seems quite devoted to his prince in a way that hints at something more (but this game in particular likes to side-step even the slightest hint at romance). He’s definitely weird in a way that you’re either going to find adorable and endearing or incredibly annoying: he makes alpaca noises, trips over other people, and generally ends up being this lovable goofball who refuses to let anything get him down.
In combat he’s… alright. He’s a mounted unit, and I kept him a Paladin, which might have been the issue, as I’ve seen a few guides suggest a Great Knight (there are just so many armored units already; I didn’t need a third Great Knight). He was never all that bad, and sometimes he worked pretty well with certain Emblems. I just always found that I was spending time babying him because I liked him more than I thought he was a useful member of the party. He just isn’t as good as other soldiers.
His best supports are likely the ones with Diamant or Jade. The latter is one of the few times we see some depth to Amber here (which he is sorely lacking to make him a truly good character).
Take everything I said about Louis combat effectiveness and copy paste it here. Then tweak it, because Jade’s ability increases her resistance and she’s therefore a bit harder for mages to kill. This does mean that in the mid-game she’s a bit easier to take down than Louis, but she’s still a great option for your forces.
Personality wise she’s a bit lackluster. That’s somewhat the point, as her whole thing is that she’s stoic and doesn’t show emotions. The idea is that she’s the Iron Wall, and that applies to her aptitude in combat and her interactions with others. They open up that wall slightly by making Jade an author, which is somewhat interesting. The issue there is that she’s apparently a humorist, and they never really go into why she writes or have too many characters go to great lengths about her books.
Best interactions are with Amber and Diamant.
Several other guides have ranked this swordsman much higher than this, putting him up in the A tier, if not higher. Raw stat wise, that’s probably true. Kagetsu does quite well even before you pair him with a compatible Emblem. This fun loving swordsman will definitely dice and slice the competition. He’s probably a good addition to most armies.
If you like his personality or don’t care about that sort of thing.
Kagetsu seems to be a combination of several characters traits that I just find annoying. First, he’s got this odd accent and is clearly supposed to be from a Japan like region of the world. What’s odd is that he almost comes off like a racist caricature of that culture: he speaks weird, makes broad gestures, is a samurai, and is obsessed with unusual foods. The odd movements were always a bit offputting to me, as they looked like they were supposed to be funny but were always just… well, disturbing.
On top of that, he constantly demands to fight people in a way that comes off as annoying and disruptive. His conversations with Zelkov make Kagetsu look like a jerk, and his interactions with Marrin are about at the same level. They do try to open him up by having him be away from home and curious about it (his interactions with Framme are good in that regard). He’s obviously a bit more rounded than a lot of the cast; I just didn’t like what the character ended up being.
I’ve seen some guides all but swear by Pandreo as their main healer, pointing out that he joins at a better base level than Jean. I guess that’s true, if you do absolutely nothing to level Jean up throughout most of the game. Otherwise the wannabe doctor is just a better unit than Pandreo. Plus staff users and healers start to fall off toward the end of the game, when just about every other unit gets a staff on promotion.
I do think Pandreo has an interesting personality (note: this is where the personalities take a turn for the better for the most part). He’s an incredibly pious priest who believes fervently in the Divine Dragon. His reasons for doing so have to do with a decent attempt at a rounded backstory that you have to work a little to uncover. Interactions prove him to be willing to include other ideas and concepts into his worldview as well, which is an interesting take on the highly religious character.
They contrast that by making him really into partying. The issue there is that this element of his character doesn’t really get fully explored. It feels like they just weren’t sure what to do with that, and I find myself wishing that Pandreo had just a bit more depth to this element and some of his other interactions.
His supports with Mauvier are pretty good, and I suspect his interactions with Vander to be interesting (I never got that conversation line, because I rarely used Pandreo).
The guy who was originally “madcap grandpa” in my notes! During my first playthrough I slept on Lindon. By the time he arrived, I had more than enough characters who could heal and use magic, including several that are just outright better than Lindon. So I just pretended that I never recruited the guy.
That’s a shame, as he has a lot of really good support conversations. His interactions with Jean are some of the best the young doctor gets. His insight into age and experience that comes with Vander is worth looking into. They essentially write Lindon as this madcap kooky granpa that would fit right in with the Addams family, which is high praise. He’s fairly well rounded too, as it’s clear he’s suffered and seen some things (his interactions with Saphir point to this, as does Lindon’s own recruitment).
I just found him to be a slightly less useful mage and healer than about half a dozen other characters, hence his placement almost in the dead center of the list.
Bisexual Solm Prince Guy here is the lowest ranked of the lordlings, coming in just at the middle. His status as a mounted archer should make him quite good, and he is still a pretty solid unit on the whole. The issue is that his promoted ability isn’t all that great, his own ability isn’t all that great, and he’s saddled with two of the worst retainers (Bunet and Pandreo).
his personality is amazing though. His introduction scenes are incredibly well done, setting the scene for how Solm is going to play out throughout the game. He’s a pretty well written character on the whole, demonstrating great care for his country and his Crown Princess sister. He puts on this flirtatious personality with just about anyone he finds passingly attractive, but it’s clear that it’s his way of getting them to drop their guard. His interactions with Celine really help flesh out both characters and should definitely be viewed for interest.
He’s just only a passably good unit on the battlefield. Still worth using, but just not as impressive as others.
During my first playthrough I kind of ignored Panette. She’s an axe-wielder for one, which already puts her moderately low on my list. But her appearance is… weird, even by Fire Emblem standards. I don’t mind the oddly frayed dress with its colors, but the weird clown makeup just doesn’t make any sense. It’s never really explained and there’s not really an in character reason for it.
That doesn’t stop Panette from being a pretty darn good unit on the battlefield. Her personal ability actually plays into the utterly ridiculous health axe wielders gain, upping her critical chance as she’s damaged. Mix that with a Killer Axe and Panette’s got one of the higher crit rates in the game. She also ended up with the highest “Build” score out of any character I had, which meant she was often doubling too.
It takes a bit to “get” her personality. She has this strange, stilted way of speaking and moving that almost makes her look and feel like a doll. That makes a lot more sense when it’s revealed that this is a persona she adopted to better fulfill her role as Timerra’s retainer. We can see that facade slipping in her interactions with brother Pandreo (a fact I did not put together in my first playthrough), and her interactions with Yunaka are worth viewing.
Rosado’s a bit of a tricky one, and there’s already been some short articles about it. I’ll go into a little more detail in an upcoming post, but he reads as very queer coded. For one thing, he’s an incredibly cute guy, and adding onto that, he’s frequently wearing the female versions of various outfits. It all seems to nudge towards a trans character, and I wonder if something was either lost in translation or sort of hand waved away. Regardless, that’s for a longer entry.
His personality is actually really uplifting, one of my personal favorites. Rosado believes in cuteness, but he defines that as being an attitude of confidence that exists within just about everybody. He makes it his goal to uplift those around him, helping them to see their own internal beauty. That being said, he still wants people to praise him and call him cute, and he does occasionally act pretty coy about how and why he’s so cute (it’s implied he’s from a community of gender neutral people or something; again, longer entry).
In combat he’s… alright. He’s a wyvern rider, and those have a mixed history in Fire Emblem. In Rosado’s case, he does alright as a sort of flying physical tank, but he’s just outclassed by the sheer number of other physical tanks in this game (it is seriously one of their favorite archetypes). Unit wise, he’s middling to poor, but personality wise, he’s great.
Interactions with Jade and Lapis are worth viewing; his interaction with Marrin is one of the funnier and more wholesome ones in the game.
I go back and forth on the twins. On the one hand, they’re heavily involved in the early parts of the story, with cutscenes and a lot of screen time. on the other, they’re almost completely put aside and forgotten by about the mid-game, and they don’t really show up again in the main story.
Clanne here serves as a pretty decent mage for most of the game. I promoted him into a Mage Knight, which made him pretty mobile. He just never seemed to hit as hard as my other dedicated mages, though he was frequently more accurate. He felt like a very middling unit (we’re in the middle, and I’ve made it clear how hard it is to write on middle characters).
Personality wise he’s one who you’re either going to find adorable or hate. His sheer joy at being around the Divine Dragon and being a part of this is somewhat endearing. His interactions with his sister are pretty fun to watch, both for entertainment and what they get from one another. I loved his interactions with Veyle (who just does not have a bad interaction), and he’s got a few funny ones with Hortensia and others.
Pretty much everything I just said about her brother applies to Framme. The big difference is that Framme is a healer, which makes her a bit more useful than her brother. I always made her a monk, which gave her more durability (that and there are already enough sages and high priests running around). She can do a bit of damage early on, and the ability to break mages and archers has some potential.
Personality wise, again, pretty well read what I said for Clanne. Framme often ends up being the personal support for characters, helping them in their journeys. There’s a fairly sweet interaction between her and Diamant that’s one of Diamant’s better interactions. And there’s a few other interactions that are just charming.
But really Framme is just a slightly above average character in a really deep field.
Anna’s an interesting character. Some variation of her has appeared in almost every Fire Emblem game, usually as a merchant and/or as a tutorial character. This version actually seems to present an origin story for that, suggesting that all Annas are sisters that look alike. Pokemon fans are likely to draw comparisons to Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny, so it feels a bit like a trope.
The trick to making Anna amazing is to change her class. In case it wasn’t clear: axe fighters kind of suck. That makes it a bad class for Anna. What you need to do is make her a magic user, which is a bit tricky as she doesn’t start with tome proficiency (I made her a thief in my first playthrough and it didn’t quite work out). Doing so makes her into a powerful glass cannon mage. She had the highest magic in my entire army by the end of the game.
Her ability also means she’s regularly producing gold, and in a game that hordes resources, that’s invaluable.
Her personality isn’t all that great though. She’s driven to sell and be taken seriously as a merchant, and we do see them at least attempting to make that interesting. Anna’s one of those merchants that shows up in JRPGs, who seems to think buying and selling goods helps people with what they’re looking for (see Tressa from Octopath Traveler). It’s a weird angle that only sort of works. Her quest for her sisters is somewhat interesting, but never really pursued.
Basically, she’s worth it if you put in the work, but isn’t exactly amazing as a personality.
Celine’s one of the few characters I’ve seen in a Fire Emblem that tries to be both a physical fighter and a magic user. I say “try” because while her growths do lend that way, I never found her all that useful as a physical swordswoman (despite various supports and commentary seeming to suggest she’s quite good). As a mage, she’s fairly decent, and her balanced growth generally means she’s going to be alright.
The issue is that the balance means that she’s not really excelling at anything. I did find that she ended up being moderately speedy and lucky, which is to be expected of a light swordswoman, but it all means that she’s, well, slightly above average.
The first time I played the game, I didn’t care for her personality. a lot of her interactions have to do with having tea. Sometimes it’s about getting special leaves or how taking time to have tea and relax clears the mind. It seemed like it was all tea, all the time, putting her down there with Etie and Bunet.
But she has a few conversations where we learn the tea is a facade. She uses it to get to know people, and it turns out her charming persona is a way of lowering someone’s guard. This really comes out in her interactions with Fagado (which made me ship them). Her interactions with Mauvier also point to some hidden depths.
Still just a bit above average though.
I do not really get why everyone consistently ranks this guy near the top. He’s good, yes, arguably great, but he never really stood out as particularly amazing to me. He’s an incredibly solid front-liner who gets a decent amount of HP and Def. You can throw a stone and hit one of those in this game. Diamant is in the upper tier of those characters, but that doesn’t mean he’s not one of them.
His ability is quite unique and does help. It means that if he enters melee with a character, both of them are likely to hit. This usually works to Diamant’s favor, with his tanky stats, so it does help him somewhat.
Personality wise, he’s a good guy. If you’ve seen a Fire Emblem lord with good intentions, you’ve seen Diamant. He does what’s best for his country, cares about his people, and is generally just a good person on the whole. His interactions with Jade and Framme do hint toward at least some other traits, but Diamant on the whole is just sort of vanilla. Good, but not great. He’s probably going to be in your army as he’s got a lot of screen presence though.
This one’s probably one of my more controversial ranks. Citrinne is a mage, and she generally falls into the “hits hard but doesn’t double” category that sometimes comes with those. That still means that she’s hitting hard with magic in a game where magic works pretty darn well. Plus she comes into the army fairly early and is likely to earn a spot.
I really liked her personality, though I wish there was a tad more depth to it. Citrinne is from a rich noble family; she herself is cousin to the princes Diamant and Alcyrst. She grew up ridiculously rich, almost cartoonishly so, but instead of making her horde money, this makes her incredibly generous. She’s consistently giving her friends lavish gifts and attention, admitting in some conversations that presents are her way of showing affection and almost how she’s been trained to interact with the world.
I enjoyed her interactions with Alear (she was my choice of partner for my latest playthrough). She also shows some of her doubts and worries in her interactions with Lapis and Alcyrst. While she shows her strengths in her interactions with Diamant and Veyle. Her interactions with Yunaka are tense and show some steel. Basically Citrinne is pretty well rounded and a pretty solid unit on the whole.
This sly thief could probably slide just about anywhere within five spots of this. Thieves in this game are incredibly good, having the ability to hit both close range and afar. Plus all their hits are almost guaranteed to poison an enemy, which means that character is taking an additional damage for each level of poison. That condition holds until its cured, and it is rarely cured.
Zelkov specializes in hitting an enemy well, and he’s good at his job. His ability helps him to doge, which thieves are already pretty solid at.
His personality is sort of built around a joke, but I enjoyed it. His dark appearance and demeanor appear to be more or less accidental. In reality he spends his free time busying himself, insisting that he needs to fill his life with *pursuits* in order to feel complete, something I can certainly sympathize with. This leads to fun interactions, such as asking Amber about alpaca fur or insisting he can make marketable goods for Anna. He’s got this strange way of speaking where he seems to almost randomly emphasize words. The voice actor actually makes this somewhat endearing.
This creates this sort of awkward character. It’s an archetype that Fire Emblem has used before (which further strengthens comparisons between this game and Fates). His interactions with the children are the most interesting.
Seadall is this game’s dancer, and any veteran Fire Emblem player can tell you how valuable those units are. They have the ability to allow any unit to act again on their turn, which can really turn the tide of combat. Seadall’s one of the few dancers who can fight back, and the decision to make him a fist fighter works to his advantage. That gives him access to “chain guard,” one of the more broken defensive abilities this game introduces.
His personality is a bit less stellar. He seems to be a fortune teller who’s unsure of his fortunes (it’s implied that he may be working to make them come true). There’s this weird side thing where he can’t eat meat or savory food because it interferes with his dancing. It’s overplayed and not as interesting.
What saves him is his belief in others and his pretty good reactions with Yunaka. That and he really is a solid unit that’s likely to be in your party for quite a while.
The crown princess of Solm explodes on the scene, and like many characters, her personality is going to be a bit love or hate it. She’s jubilant and fun-loving, but that hides her desire to guide and protect her people, along with a savvy mind for tactics and combat. Timerra also has a pretty big screen presence, what with being one of the four crown royals.
Her class in combat is unique, being the only foot based lance user. It seems like she’s this strange mix of both armored unit (she had high defense in my first playthrough) and nimble character (great speed the second time). She was always doing great in my front lines, and did pretty well with the legendary spear once I got it. I also found her a great partner for Tiki, which created a pretty much unstoppable unit.
Her interactions are pretty good, though I wish there were more hints at romance. The only ones that really stand out are Framme and Veyle, though Timerra isn’t too bad with just about anyone.
There’s something about Lapis that drew me to her. For one thing, I like it when there’s open hints to admiration or affection in characters, and it’s beyond obvious that Lapis is crushing on Alcyrst. For another, Lapis is pretty well rounded as a character. She’s a retainer, but her humble origins as a yam farmer make her feel unworthy of the position. Those same origins mean that she grew up incredibly poor, and seems both quite conscious of that and unaware that some of her habits are those of a poor person (she waters down milk to make it last longer, for example).
A lot of her interactions are about her realizing her worth in the army and beyond. With Citrinne she learns to play to her strengths, with Alcryst she realizes she’s not alone. She learns to play to her individual strengths, and they add this fun thing of having her be something of an inventor, capable of coming up with clever devices to help people.
in combat she’s a bit tricky. She seems to work best if you’re upping her speed, and moving her into the swordmaster makes sense (hero really isn’t a great class, unfortunately). That does put her in competition with Kagetsu, who is likely to beat her in raw stats. But Lapis’ great support network, personal ability, and availability should still make her a great unit to utilize.
Spelling this guy’s name has been the bane of this list, and I’m sure I got it wrong somewhere.
Alcyrst is probably the best archer unit you have in a game where archer units are pretty darn good on the whole. He’s got really solid Dex, so he’s consistently hitting, and his speed isn’t anything to sneeze at either. His main ability can trigger several times, each time upping his strength to make him hit all the harder. His speed is pretty good, and if you pair him with Lyn, he’s just an amazing force on the battlefield.
his personality is sort of interesting. He does get an intro cutscene, but it seems to play into something that I guess is funnier in Japan? This whole extreme bowing for forgiveness thing just seems awkward to me. Still, this idea of the overshadowed prince who doesn’t feel he can live up to his brother is interesting, and it’s shown that Alcryst has his own potential. He’s got a lot of good interactions: his brother Diamant, his cousin Citrinne, his potential love interest Lapis, his idol Seadall, etc. He’s a good character, though the “shy but can murder you” archer is kinda starting to get played out.
I love pegasus knights. In every single Fire Emblem game I’ve ever played (and I’ve played all but one) I’ve used at least one of them in my main strike force. These highly mobile, speedy units are just great at taking out magic users and helping to control the battlefield. It doesn’t hurt that for some reason there’s this high tendency to give pegasus riders the better romantic sub-plots in the game.
I would argue that Chloe has the most overtly romantic interaction in the game, with Marrin the wolf knight. There’s an entire article about it, and I’m going to expand on it in a bit. But it’s very well done, feeling natural and just well written on the whole. There are a few other good interactions with Chloe too.
See, she’s this combination of the sweet mother and the ditz that works well. Chloe wants to make sure everyone’s safe. She genuinely cares for other people and goes out of her way to help them. She also has this fun love of what she calls “folk food” which is pretty much just local cuisine (I have watched hundreds of hours of cooking shows; nobody uses the term “folk food.” Get a clue, translators). So many of her interactions are fun and/or heartwarming, from her flirtations with Marrin to her understanding of Louis to her support of Celine to darling interactions with Amber. Mix in her love of fairy tales and how joyously her actress portrays her and she’s probably one of my favorites.
Marrin just barely nudges out her love interest (fight me on that one). For one thing, she’s the unique wolf rider class. This is a mounted unit that uses the almost broken daggers. That means she’s running around the battle field, likely hitting an enemy twice, and anyone she doesn’t kill, she’s leaving poisoned. Plus she’s riding a wolf.
I honestly found her to be consistently a great unit, starting from her recruitment all the way to the end game. It helps that she’s got great supports and growths that further up her power, and some solid synergy with Emblems.
Obviously I’m going to point to her interactions with Chloe, which are just well done (save the slight pulling back at the end). She also has a cute, funny interaction with Fogado, shows her fangs in her interactions with Kagetsu, bonds with animals with Amber, and essentially adopts Veyle as her and Chloe’s child. Marrin mixes this idea of being cool in a way that reminds me of Rainbow Dash with a genuine desire to live up to the ideal of knight, to a love of animals that segues into an appreciation of the study of dragons and other beings. She’s very well done, and probably my personal favorite character (or at least tied with another coming up).
Hortensia’s voice often annoys me, but I think that’s the point.
She’s originally presented as a bratty enemy, one who believes she should win because she’s cuter and has great powers given to her by the Shadow Dragon. We later learn that Hortensia was putting up a front: she’s pretty young and she wants to please her father (it turns out she’s a people pleaser in general, having learned that from her mother, who was a courtesan to the king and not the proper queen). She continues to fight for the enemy even after she knows they’re wrong, believing that the heroes have killed her sister.
When she finds out the truth, Hortensia almost collapses, and it leads to some dramatic moments. That segues nicely into her conversations with characters, particularly her sister, Alcryst, and definitely Veyle. Her interaction with Fogado was fun and had me shipping them until I saw the Celine x Fogado stuff.
in battle she’s pretty solid. Hortensia is a flying staff user, which makes her a highly mobile healer. Her natural abilities increase the distance of staves and sometimes save uses, which combine to make her a great help to keeping the party alive and being incredibly useful. She’s also stupidly speedy and lucky, which will help keep her alive.
All in all, a great unit.
The darling prince of Firene is the first lord you recruit and one of the better characters. He stands by the Divine Dragons’s side throughout most of the game, getting more screen time then just about anyone else in the cast. He’s also written to be quite endearing. See, he grew up sick, but struggled to get better. He kept going, wanting to be strong for his country and so he’d never be ill and drag others down again. He’s also very open, willing to believe and believe in others, offering them his heartfelt and joyous support.
In combat he’s a pretty standard cavalier unit: highly mobile and pretty hard hitting. He ended up being pretty sturdy in my second run, making him another (you guessed it), tank. He can end up being equally speedy though, which makes him a solid pick.
His supports are pretty good too. His well meaning personality and heartfelt support make for fun interactions with the Divine Dragon, Veyle, and Yunaka (who are obviously highly ranked, as they haven’t shown yet). His interactions with his sister help round out his character by shining a spotlight on his flaws, and there’s some romantic potential between him and Diamant or Amber (that may be mostly in my head). He stands by your side and does a great job of it.
Ivy is arguably one of the complex character, matched only by the four above her on this list. She starts fighting for the Shadow Dragon, but she always believed in the Divine Dragon. We find that she originally turned to this religion because she wanted to rebel against her father, but found that the joy and light she felt were wroth keeping alive. Her conscience forces her to switch sides, helping your army.
She also lives up to her past misdeeds, working to atone in the eyes of those around her. This leads to great interactions with the Brodian princes and Mauvier. Her interactions with her sister flesh out both their backstories. Her interactions with Timerra help Ivy get past her cold front. And her interactions with Alear lead to some of the better romantic angles in the game.
Oh, and she’s a flying unit with high magical power and the ability to use staves. She’s a major force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
Mauvier gets a large amount of screentime, as he starts as a villain. In fact, he spends most of the game working as one of the Four Hounds, an elite squad of villains that harry the party at every step. Mauvier is clearly the lawful evil one among them. He devoutly believes and follows the Dark Dragon, a religion he grew up in and uses as a foundation. However, he also believes in honor and protecting those around him, particularly Veyle.
This belief system and his past lead to excellent interactions. His supports with Veyle are very well done. There’s some great tension betwen Mauvier and Vander as well. As earlier mentioned, his conversations with Celine are interesting, helping to round her character out and flesh out his backstory. He’s also got a really great set with Pandreo (lots of odd characters he interacts with).
in combat he’s very well done. His base ability can help keep him alive, giving him a nice boost whenever he just waits. He starts with a Flame Lance, which when combined with his high movement and decent magic stat mean he’s wrecking the enemy. Throw a few physical weapons on to make him able to take on anything. As if that weren’t enough, he can use a staff, acting as yet another excellent healer for the party.
Wow, the main character’s near the top of the list, who would have figured? Yes, it’s a Fire Emblem tradition for the main character to be an excellent unit, as they expect you to use them. Alear is no exception, with stellar growths, obviously high availability, and unique equipment and skills that put them far above most of the others. They’re flexible, can be made into an utter powerhouse, and are forced into your army anyway. I paired them with Tiki to create a true monster of a character throughout most of the game.
What puts them so high for me isn’t just that: it’s that they actually gave Alear a personality. Alear isn’t some stoic force who seems made of cardboard (like the overrated Byleth), but actually acts and reacts. They’re overwhelmed by all that’s around them, including people thinking they’re amazing, but they want to do their best to help everyone. That sometimes means they aren’t as good at insisting on what they want and will let others ride over their desires, leading to awkward interactions.
I would honestly say Alear is the best protagonist we’ve had since Ike (maybe Micaiah). They’re at least rounded and actually have some impact on the story, even if they do drift toward generic anime hero tropes from time to time.
There are way too many great interactions. I would point to Ivy, Citrinne, and Alfred as good romance choices (Lapis is also up there, but I like her with Alcryst better). Interactions with Veyle are, as always, worth it, and the Yunaka interactions are solid too.
You could arguably switch any of these top three around, but certainly the two dragon siblings. Veyle is revealed to be Alear’s kid sister, with her true personality sometimes suppressed to be an evil force. As such, she has more screentime and development than pretty much every other character in the game. Only Alear really matches her in screentime, and only Mauvier in development, and both of those are kind of debatable. In a lot of ways, the story is more about Veyle than it is about Alear.
Veyle’s personality is essentially a mix of the adorable powerhouse with the determined devil’s daughter. She wants to do what’s right and prove herself, to stand beside others. Sometimes she even wants to stand in front of others, trying to do the right thing to protect everyone at the risk of her own safety.
Her interactions make her genuinely adorable. From her desire to help people to her love of spicy food to her need to learn to enjoy life, Veyle is just very well written and worth exploring.
She’s also amazing on the battlefield. They give her not one, but two unique weapons, both of which are increidbly powerful. Her unique dagger uses magic, which makes an already nearly broken weapon time ridiculously overpowered. Mix that with some great skills and Veyle will be tremendous. About the only issue is that she’s a bit fragile, and that’s remedied by just sticking one of several tanks in front of her, who she will help protect with her ability.
I have loved thieves in video games for absolute ages, long before Fire Emblem. Matthew was one of my favorites of the original ,and I’ve carried that love of thieves into every iteration of them since. Yunaka slides right on in there.
it helps that her personality is interesting. She seems to be incredibly cheerful, making up fake words and being this overly pleasant person who’s just relentelessly cheerful. However, even from the start, we see holes in that, as she mutters to herself and also admits to stealing an Emblem. She has to be forced to admit to wanting to return it and help the Emblem out.
We also see the facade drop in a few interactions. Yunaka’s interactions with Panette have both working on their facades and how that interacts with their current lives. Yunaka’s interactions almost always feel multi-layered, with her struggling with her past and with people’s perceptions of her. Her interactions are almost universally good, save for the ones with Etie and Goldmary, which just revolve around those twos’ one personality trait.
I also found Yunaka to be an excellent dodge tank, something I adore in games like this. It’s pretty easy to get her a silver dagger early in the game, and with that and a good Emblem, she can hold a line almost by herself. Mix in some of those good supports, and, well, there’s a reason she’s at the top of my list.
As if all that weren’t enough, I like her design, with the stars actually making sense given her character. Plus her voice actor does an amazing job (most of the voice work in this game is great).
and there you have it, a complete guide to all the characters that takes into account their various personalities and supports as well as their combat abilities. Hopefully this is of some use, and if not, it was fun to reflect back on an excellent entry in the series (though not as good as its predecessor, despite having a better lead)