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1. Are Marth and Roy in the game?
No. When the trophies in Super Smash Bros Melee said that Marth and Roy hail from "Fire Emblem", they meant the Fire Emblem series. Fire Emblem is actually a long-running series from Japan that started on the original Nintendo Famicom (the Japanese NES). Apart from being the first strategy RPG to ever come out (beating the often-attributed-to Shining Force of Sega fame), it was one of Nintendo's first RPG series. The first Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryuu To Hikari No Tsurugi (Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light), is the game which features Marth. He also appeared in Fire Emblem 3, Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo, which was a remake of the original, as well as additional second half of the game. This game, Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (or Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword, although the subtitle was dropped out of its US release), is the seventh game in the series, hereby referred to as FE7 for short. Roy, the red-headed Marth clone from SSBM, hails from this game's predecessor, FE6. He has a cameo in this game, though it's very minute, and does not come about until the end. So, if you're playing this game looking for Marth or Roy, look elsewhere.
2. Is it true that if my characters die they are permanently dead?
Correct. There are no Phoenix Downs or other methods of bringing your characters back from the dead. If a character dies, they are dead. They don't faint, they don't fall unconscious, and they don't sustain serious injury. They die, and you don't bring them back. If you want to keep them from dying, don't throw them into risky situations. It's up to you as a tactician to keep your characters out of harm's way; if you allow them to die in battle, the game won't hold your hand and let you bring them back to life once the battle ends. They disappear, and they can never be used in battle again. The only way to "bring a character" back is to restart the chapter, but that, as the action suggests, mean you restart the entire mission.
3. What if I let a character die on a chapter and I saved over it? What do I do?
Learn from it, and next time either don't regret that you let your character die, or restart the mission until you get through it without letting a character die.
4. This character died when he got hit by an enemy. If I keep doing a soft-reset when he gets hit, can I eventually get him to dodge it?
No. The game's auto-save feature is a double-edged sword: On the one-hand, you can turn off the game any time you wish and you'll instantly come back right where you left off when you play next time. However, it also means that the game will instantly record every one of the mistakes you make. If you move a character within range of an archer and don't realize it until you've ended his turn, you're stuck. You can't reset and try to take back his move, hoping to move him somewhere else. The unit has moved, and you'll have to deal with the consequences.
In the case of the fight with the archer, you can reset the game until Hell freezes over, but it won't make any difference. Your character will never dodge the attack. This is because the game does not pull a random number instantaneously for every situation. Instead, it pulls numbers from a list of preset ones that are chosen at the beginning of the chapter. Your character got hit because that particular number happened to be next in line when the game required that a number be used to determine whether or not the archer hits. Resetting the game just makes the game go back to the point right before that number was chosen, and go back down the list. You can't alter it, and you can't control it.
5. Everyone on the boards says that Marcus sucks, and I have no idea why. I just got him, and he rocks! He kills everybody, even the bosses! Why do people hate him?
Most newcomers to the series will fall pray to the "Jeigan" character. The Jeigan refers to a character in the original Fire Emblem, Jeigan (hence the name). He was a purple Paladin that accompanied Marth on his adventures. He was notoriously strong compared to everyone else, primarily because he had already been promoted to his higher class. Once you play through Lyn's mode, you will be taught about "promotion" and the effects it has. Marcus has already been trained (to an extent) and promoted, leaving him significantly beefier than everyone else currently in your party. However, players who look more than two feet ahead of them before they swing their sword should find something suspicious about Nintendo intentionally giving you a player who can wipe out the entire enemy army for you. Jeigan was powerful, but because he was promoted, he gained much less EXP than everyone else. In the same way that in any other RPG a level 50 character will gain much less EXP from a random monster than a level 10 character will, Jeigan gained around 3 EXP per enemy, while most other players could gain anywhere from 10 to 30 for killing an enemy. Thus, for Jeigan to even level up, he had to kill 34 enemies. Those 34 enemies could have fed the entire rest of your party, and probably leveled a few of them up.
But the problem didn't stop there. To further discourage his use (and to screw players who tried to take the easy way out by relying on him), Jeigan had exceptionally low stat growths. Stat growths are what controls the frequency of your character's stat increases. Characters with very high stat growths were likely to gain many stats when they leveled up. Jeigan's, however, were incredibly low, meaning that when he finally even managed to level up, he may gain little to no stats, effectively meanig that he never gets much better than whe you first get him. Marcus is the same way. He may appear strong now, but if you trained Sain or Kent to his level and compared their stats, both of them would outclass Marcus in nearly every area.
Using Marcus puts a terrible strain on the rest of your party, because people who don't know how to use him effectively will simply use him to do everything, leaving the rest of your characters underleveled. Soon the game will catch up to you. Marcus will not be able to handle everything on his own, and the rest of your characters will be left weak and unable to deal with the enemies. You'll constantly have them dying, and you'll ultimately end up having to start the whole game over.
6. How do I use Marcus effectively?
Marcus is a below-average character, but he is not worthless. In the early portions of the game, because he is so much more powerful than everyone else, he can literally unequip all of his weapons and still be useful. He has enough HP and defense to take little to no damage from attacks, thereby creating a decoy for enemies to attack while your characters can pick them off from a safe distance or sneak up on them. This type of character who can absorb tons of damage while protecting others behind them from enemies is called a "Meatshield".
Marcus also has more movement than anyone else at the beginning of the game, making him a great candidate to attend tasks which need to be done quickly, such as getting to a village before it is destroyed, or rescuing a comrade in danger. If you can learn to use Marcus effectively like this, he can actually have some use in the earlier parts of the game. His usefulness, however, drops very quickly soon afterwards.
7. What does 20/20 mean? Or what about 20/1 or ??/20?
20/20 refers to the current levels of your characters. The first two digits refer to your character's base levels.
This is the level you got them to in their base class. The digits after the slashes represent their accumulated levels after promotion. In Lyn's normal mode, you are forced to promote Wallace at level 12. When he promotes, he changes classes, resetting his level to 1. That makes his total levels equal to 12/1. 20/20 refers to a character who was fully trained to level 20, and then fully trained again to level 20 after promotion, maxing out their possible amount of experience. ??/20 refers to one of two things. It usually refers to the Prepromotes, characters you recruited who were already promoted when you got them. Marcus is an example of a prepromote, as he is already promoted once you gain control of him. However, since he is already promoted, we have no idea what level he was when he originally was promoted, so we don't know his total levels. It's speculated that most of the Prepromotes were promoted before level 20 due to their slightly lower stats, so the term "??/20" is used to indicate the level of a Prepromote that has been fully trained. It also is sometimes to used to indicate that a player is too stupid to remember at what level they promoted their character. -_-
8. Why should I bother raising my character to level 20 if he can promote at level 10?
This is something that many people ask themselves, but generally don't think about. Fire Emblem is a game of stats, not of levels. A level 20 character could still have inferior stats to a level 12 character if he just happened to have really bad luck with the RNG (more on that later). If you want to maximize your character's potential, you want to get him as many chances to gain stats as possible. Thus, it seems somewhat pointless to effectively skip 10 possible levels your character could have of gaining stats to get the momentary gains of promotion bonuses. If you were to compare a level 12/1 Wallace to Sain at level 20/1, you would notice that Sain's stats are much better. Why? Because Sain had 8 more levels to train and get his stats built. For this reason, it is recommended that you always wait until level 20 before promoting your characters. It will be much better for the characters, and you'll feel better in the long run.
9. What is a character's constitution/aid?
Constitution and aid are character stats, like HP and strength. While they don't level up (except upon promotion), they are still very important to the character. A character's constitution is their ability to lift their weapons, or literally the strength of their arms. Each weapon has a might, as well as a weight. If the character wielding the weapon's constitution is higher than the weight of the weapon, they attack normally. However, if the weapon's weight is larger than the character's constitution, they lose attack speed.
10. What is attack speed?
Attack speed is a character's ability to attack the enemy. Attack speed is determined by the comparison of one character's speed to his or her opponent. If the first character has four or more speed than his opponent, he will attack his opponent twice (unless his weapon only has one use left, in which case he will attack once and the weapon will break). If his opponent has four or more speed than he, the opponent will double-attack him. If the difference of their speeds is three or less, each character only attacks once.
11. How is that linked to constitution?
As I said before, if a weapon is too heavy, the character loses attack speed. For every point of weight that the weapon has which is more than the character's constitution, the character loses a point of speed. So, if Lyn, with a normal constitution of 5, tries to wield a Steel Sword, with a weight of 8, she will lose three speed. That loss of speed could make the difference between her being able to hit an opponent once or twice. So, think about whether or not the extra damage a steel weapon does over an iron is worth the possible loss of not being able to double-attack the opponent.
12. What is aid?
Aid is like constitution, in that it doesn't normally change. Aid is a character's ability to rescue another character. If one character is hurt or close to dying, another character can move adjacent to it. If the character has enough Aid, he or she can select the "Rescue" command and pull in the hurt character, protecting them from danger until you decide to drop her. For a rescue to work, the aid of one character must be higher than the constitution of another. Because of this, strong characters with lots of constitution are harder to rescue. Typically, characters with horses (Cavaliers and Pegasus Knights/Fliers) have much higher aid than unmounted characters, so it's best to use them if someone needs rescuing. Be warned, though, that a character who rescues another effectively has the rescued character riding on their back, and they lose a large amount of speed.
13. What is the weapon triangle?
The weapon triangle is the system that governs the way in which characters fight. Most melee weapons fall into the category of Sword, Lance, or Axe. Swords are deadly accurate, but are often the weakest of the bunch. Lances are slightly more powerful, and still pretty accurate. Axes are by far the most powerful of the bunch, but are also the least accurate, meaning they will miss more often than the other two.
The "triangle" refers to the order of priorities when two weapons face off. Generally speaking:
Swords beat axes
Lances beat swords
Axes beat lances
This creates a triangle because each weapon's strength is what ends up beating their weakness. It is important to remember the weapon triangle when choosing whom your characters fight, as the weapon which holds the advantage will get a bonus to their hit rate and damage. So, don't go sending sword users against lance users in early parts of the game unless you want to get them killed. Later in the game when your characters have become significantly stronger or are facing weaker enemies the triangle becomes less important, but it is always important to keep in mind.
If you're having trouble remembering it, just think of it like Rock-Paper-Scissors.
14. What about bows?
Bows don't fall into the weapon triangle, and thus don't have any advantages or disadvantages.
15. What are the reaver weapons?
Reaver weapons are weapons that reverse the weapon triangle for that particular weapon type. For instance, a Lancereaver is a sword that is strong against lances, but weak against axes. It's something which is helpful to have handy on your soldiers in case they are forced to deal with enemies carrying a weapon they have a disadvantage against, but it is not wise to keep them permanently equipped, as they still have a disadvantage. So, a Lancereaver is occaisonally good to pull out, but keeping it on to long will eventually result in a Brigand then coming over and whacking you in the head with an axe.
16. What happens if two reaver weaopns collide?
The weapon effects will generally cancel each other out. If a Lancereaver (a Sword) faces a Swordreaver (an axe), they will cancel each other out and be treated like normal weapons. However, since a sword normally beats an axe, the sword will win.
17. What about magic?
Magic has its own weapon triangle:
Light beats Dark.
Dark beats Anima.
Anima beats Light.
18. What is this tactician bonus I keep hearing about?
This is a long circulating rumor that has infected most of the boards, and has finally been debunked. It was originally thought that if you had characters sharing the affinty of the tactician that they would gain an extra 5% to all of their stat growths. However, it was accepted without much question, and never really thoroughly researched. We now know that no such thing exists, and so expecting your characters to turn out much better than normally because you had them all share your affinity is pointless. The only way to increase the stat growths of your character is through the item Afa's Drops. What the Tactician's Bonus does do, however, is slightly boost all characters who share the affinity's hit rate and avoid rate.
19. What is "Weapon Level"?
Weapon level refers to the level of experience your characters have regarding certain weapons. Each weapon type has an invisible experience bar that builds up whenever you attack with one of its weapons. As you use those weapons, the bar fills up, and your characters gain levels in weapon types. The lowest level a character can have in a weapon type is E, and the highest they can have is an S. At an "S" level, they can wield the rare Legendary weapons, and also get an extra 5% hit when wielding that weapon.
20. Why can't my character wield this weapon? It says he can wield that type!
Your character does not have a high enough weapon level to wield that particular weapon. Each weapon has a certain level that the character must have before it can be wielded. Increase your character's weapon level by having him wield some other weapons of that type first, and then try using it again when they've reached whatever level the weapon requires.
21. What is special about the Devil Axe?
As mentioned before, wielding weapons slowly increases a character's proficiency/weapon level with that weapon type. Most weapons only give one point of EXP per use (meaning using an entire Iron Sword gives 46 sword experience). Some of the heavier weapons like the Iron Blade and Steel Blade give two, but are so incredibly heavy that they are rather pointless to use unless your character is exceptionally strong/fast. The Devil Axe is unique in that it gives a whooping eight points of axe EXP per use. This means that if Raven were to use all 20 of the Devil Axe's uses at his starting axe level (E), by the time the weapon breaks he would have an S level in axes. It is also one of the most powerful axes you can get.
Unfortunately, it comes at a cost. The Devil Axe is "cursed", and can actually backfire on the wielder, dealing damage instead to himself instead of the enemy. The only way to avoid this is to have high luck (17 is considered to be the number a character must have before they are immune to the Devil Axe's backfire).
22. What is unique about the Swordslayer?
The Swordslayer is a Reaver-type weapon. However, it is also a weapon that was designed specifically to kill Myrmidons/Swordmasters. Normally, Swordreavers will allow you to damage Swordmasters pretty well, but their amazing speed and deadly accuracy will still usually leave you taking more damage, due to the inaccuracy of axes. The Swordslayer, however, has an incredibly high hit rate of 80, making it very unlikely to miss a Swordmaster. It also adds alot of bonus damage to the attack, effectively allowing you to kill Swordmasters in no more than two sweeps. However, there is only one that you can legitimately acquire in the game.
23. What about the Killer weapons?
The Killer weapons are pretty much like normal weapons, except that they have an added critical bonus. All critical weapons add a total of 30 percentage points to the wielder's critical rate, making almost anyone likely to pull off a critical attack. When used on characters like Swordmasters and Berserkers, it can make their critical rate so high that they will be likely to perform a critical attack almost every turn.
24. What's special about the Brave Weapons?
Back at #10-11, I said that a character only attacked twice if his speed was four or more than his opponent's. Well, these are the exception. The Brave weapons will always double-attack, regardless of the speed difference between the two characters. However, if a character would normally double attack and uses a Brave weapon on an opponent, he will now attack four times. This makes the Brave weapons incredibly useful on bosses and in the arena.
25. Florina/Rebecca/weak character keeps getting killed in battle! Why do people keep saying they're strong?
All strong characters do not necessairily start out strong. Some start out quite weak, but because of their large stat growths they will become very strong with time. Your first problem is probably that you're expecting too much of your characters. Many characters are fragile, and you need to take care of them. For starters, you shouldn't be sending Florina at a group of bandits and expect to come out of it without a scratch. Remember that the weapon triangle means that the bandits have a hit advantage over her, and she will get hit very frequently, despite her high speed and luck. Remember that archers are never supposed to try to take out a bunch of enemies on their own, as they can only attack from medium-range. If you're going to send Rebecca to attack someone, get every possible advantage you can. Get her into a forest to increase her evasion. Put someone in front of her to block any direct damage. Don't send her against enemies that can counterattack. In time, she'll learn to take care of herself, but for now you have to take the initiative to protect her. Characters will never grow to be strong if you don't give them a chance. So just because a character seems initially weak doesn't mean that you should automatically ditch them for a stronger one. The weaker one may in time greatly outshine the stronger looking one.
26. What is arena abuse?
Fire Emblem contains a few locations scattered around certain missions called "Arenas". These are locations in which you send a character in to fight another character for a set amount of money. It is one of the fastest ways to raise your characters, and one of the best ways to raise money. However, it is also one of the riskiest ways to do both. The opponents you fight will usually be stronger than your characters. Your characters will be forced to fight with iron weapons, while the enemy can use everything from iron to silver. More importantly, your characters will fight to the death. You two don't each attack each other then win or lose depending on who took more damage. Two people enter, one comes out. Because of this, you want to make sure you never send in slow people into the arena (like Oswin), because the enemy will be able to damage him, and they'll double him so many times that before it even occurs to you to try to stop the match and get him out of there, he's dead. Also, it is very unwise to send characters at a triangle disadvantage into the arena, especially when there is a Swordmaster or Berserker in there. A general rule of thumb is that anything that can go wrong in the arena will, and an enemy with a 2% critical rate will activate, killing your character.
27. What happens if a character dies in an arena?
The same thing that happens if a character dies anywhere else. They die, and you lose them. You also lose the money you bet on the match (kind of a sick way of rubbing it in your face, isn't it?)
28. What is the RNG?
The RNG stands for the Random Number Generator. It is what I briefly explained back at #4, and again at #8. The RNG is a preselected list of random numbers that are used to determine everything that happens within the game. When a character attacks, the game pulls two numbers from the RNG and averages them together. If the number is lower than your character's hit rate, the attack hits. If it's higher, it misses. Two more numbers are also chosen. Both will only occur if the attack is a hit. The first determines whether or not the attack is a critical hit (using the same method as for regular hitting), and the fourth number is used to determine if there is an OHKO. The RNG will determine pretty much everything in battle. When a character levels up, the RNG will also determine what stats the character will increase in. It takes several numbers from the list, then comparing them to the character's stat growths. If the number in the RNG is lower than the percentage of the character's stat growth, that stat will increase. If it's higher, it doesn't, and the next number is compared to the next growth percentage.
There is a way which people have found to explot the RNG that involves moving about in a certain fashion to determine if a number is higher or lower than 50, but I'm not going to bother explaining it here. The term "RNG-screwed" refers to a situation in which a character gets particularly unlucky with a set of stats. Since it's all random, a character with a 70% speed growth can still wind up with low speed. Conversely, a character with 30% strength growth can still wind up with incredibly high strength. So while alot of it is dependent on averages, luck has alot to do with it as well. The term "RNG-blessed" derives from someone getting incredibly lucky with a stat that is normally not high on a character.
29. What is an OHKO?
The OHKO refers to a skill that is exclusive to Assassins. In Fire Emblem 8, its official name was changed to "Silencer", but the fans had long since come up with its unofficial name. The skill is something with the probability of acting equal to half that of the assassin's critical rate. Thus, if a character's critical rate is 30, a number 15 or below will activate the character's critical rate. When this happens, the assassin will do a normal critical animation, but the second he strikes the screen will breifly flash red. The enemy will immediately die, regardless of whether or not any damage was actually done. Since it can wipe out any enemy in one blow, it was dubbed the "One-hit Knockout" or OHKO.
30. Who can use the Wo Dao?
Guy, Karel, Karla, and Lyn. The pattern there would suggest that any Sacaean can use it, however Rath cannot. It may just be that Guy, Karel, and Karla are Swordmasters, allowing them to wield any weapon while Lyn is a Blade Lord as well, and the fact that they're all Sacaean is purely coincidental.
31. What is the LA?
The LA is short for "Link-Arena", a multiplayer option in which players devise a team of up to 5 characters and have them duke it out in a turn-based fight against another player. The Link Arena is different from normal battles in that there is no field to fight on; the teams are simply right across from each other, individually challenging one another. The LA has become a sort of Elitist stage, allowing the best players to show off their "Uber" teams, and prove whose team is better.
32. Why do people say that XX character is better than YY character in the LA?
People who fight seriously in the LA use teams in which all characters are at their maximum stats. Rather than focus on characters they like, they focus on characters who have the highest possible stat caps, support options, and the least amount of weaknesses. Because of the fact that all characters used in serious LA play are at max stats, there are quite a few characters who are left out. All magic users aside from Canas and Athos are ditched, due to the fact that at max stats, most characters' resistances will be so high that magic is ineffective (Canas and Athos, however, have access to the resistance-negating spell, Luna, leaving them effective). Other characters are left out because they have inferior support options, or have less constitution than their counterparts (Karel, for instance, is typically valued over Guy in the arena, due to the fact that Guy's only supports with people that are used in the arena are Karel and Rath, and having two Swordmasters in an arena team is risky. Karel, on the other hand, supports with Geitz and Dart, both of whom are very good characters at max stats, and also has more constitution than Guy, allowing him to wield heavier weapons without speed loss). Saint Cyan has a Link Arena FAQ that is worth consulting if you want to make an effective max-stat LA team.
33. What are the Mario Kart: DD items
The Mario Kart: DD items are items that were transferred from a Mario Kart: Double Dash bonus disk. This bonus disk was only received if you pre-ordered the game, and is no longer packaged with the game. So, if you don't have it, it is not easily attainable. Most of the items were stat boosting items, along with a few meager weapons (the only real notables of which were the Wind Sword and the Dragon Axe), as well as a holdable item that would give a character the Tactician's Bonus.
34. I've sat my two characters next to each other for XX turns, but their support ranking won't go up! Why?
Two characters cannot support if they have already supported on that map. Characters can only support once per level. Also, characters can only have a maximum of 5 supports. If Lyn has an A support with Eliwood, a C with Florina, and a C with Hector, her Florina and Hector supports cannot go up anymore. They're stuck. If you killed Florina, her support with Lyn would drop, allowing you to get to a B with Hector, but it could not get to an A. You also cannot kill Eliwood since he is a lord.
35. What are "HHM Bonuses"?
HHM stands for "Hector Hard-Mode", a quest which is unlocked when you complete Hector's normal mode. The enemies are much tougher, and there are alot more of them. But what's most important is that some enemies on HHM actually get random stat boosts to their starting stats to make taking them down more difficult. As such, recruitable characters which start out as enemies also get these bonuses, making them more powerful on HHM. The characters which gain these bonuses are Guy, Raven, Legault, Heath, Harken, Vaida, and Geitz. These bonuses are determined at the end of the previous level, so restarting the level because you don't like Guy's HHM bonuses won't change them.
36. Why can't I go to Chapter 19xx on Hector's Mode?
You need to have played Lyn's mode, and during it gotten Nils to level 7. Then, during chapter 19x, you need to kill Kishuna in one turn. If you attack him and don't kill him by the end of that turn, he will teleport away.
37. Why doesn't the Earth Seal change my Pirate or Thief?
Pirates and thieves require a different item to promote. Pirates require an Ocean Seal, and Thieves require a Fell Contract.
38. Where can I get these?
The Ocean Seal is a 2x2 square two spaces to the left from the bottom-right corner in "Living Legend". The Fell Contract is obtained after beating the boss in "Night of Farewells". The Ocean Seal can also be bought in a secret shop in "Four Fanged Offense".
39. Why do Serra/Priscilla/Ninian/Merlinus gain levels in strength? They can't attack!
Serra and Priscilla can use magic upon promotion. It is unknown why Ninian and Merlinus gain points in those, since they can't attack in any situation. It may simply be that it is much easier within the engine of the game to give the character's a growth in a stat they can't use, rather than write a protocal telling the RNG to skip over that stat and cause a number of problems with references and coding.
40. Why can't I damage the final boss?
You probably forgot to train your lords. One would assume being required to use a character would mean you'd at least take the time to properly train them, but alas some people forget. Your lords are the only people who will have the right equipment to be able to effectively damage the final boss. If you didn't train them, they will be too weak to properly damage the boss without dying, and you'll have to rely on an alternative strategy (which I can't mentioned without containing a number of spoilers, so I'll stop here).
It's 2 AM right now, and that's all I can think of right now that people frequently ask, so that's all I'm going to put up right now. Feel free to ask anything else, and I or the other fellow vets of the board will be happy to answer.
And for the love of god, help me get this stickied.