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Also, this FAQ is in several posts, with three main sections and an afterword. The first is General information, the second is Mechanics based, and the third is devoted to children. To find them, search ~General~, ~Mechanics~, and ~Children~.
What is Fire Emblem: Awakening?
Fire Emblem is a turn-based strategy game by Intelligent Systems for the Nintendo 3DS. Put as generally as possible, you control an army of individual units with stats and personalities who fight against various other armies to achieve their goal.
When does it come out?
The game will be released on February 4th in North America, and at some point in April in Europe and Australia. There will also be a demo in NA released on the 17th of January.
What’s the deal with the bundle?
The bundle includes a limited edition non-XL 3DS with Fire Emblem: Awakening pre-installed on it. It will be released at the same time as the game, and has a MSRP of $199 USD.
So is this game like Final Fantasy Tactics/Disgaea/other SRPGs?
A main difference that this game has from other SRPGs is that your army moves all at once instead of one unit at a time. Also, while there are ‘skills’ in this game, combat consists of simply going up to an enemy and selecting the attack option, where they will fight a round of combat and skills will activate automatically, based on chance. It’s most like the Advance Wars series, except that characters are unique units instead of just disposable weapons.
I’ve never played a Fire Emblem Game before. Do I need to know anything/Which should I play first?
Fire Emblem: Awakening is an independent story, so you’ll be fine playing it without having played the older entries in the series, though there are references made every now and then to older games in the series, especially in the DLC chapters. If you want to try the older entries in the series, Fire Emblem 7 (released with no subtitle overseas), Sacred Stones, and Path of Radiance are good places to start. Radiant Dawn is a direct sequel to Path of Radiance, so it probably isn’t as good of a start, and Shadow Dragon is generally considered to be the worst in the series due to being a rather poorly-done remake of the first game in the series, though you may still enjoy it.
Can I make my own character in this game, or do I just use premade characters?
At the start of the game, you design a character called your Avatar. You can name him or her, pick their build, eyes, hair, hair colour voice, best stat, and worst stat. Beyond that, however, they a character in the story with lines and opinions already chosen by the story. You can choose to make them mute, and have the rest of the characters talk around them like a silent protagonist in an RPG if you’d like, though the story still goes the same way regardless.
Can I make my Avatar a Mage/Assassin/Berserker/Griffon Rider/Whatever?
Yes, as long as it isn’t a class specific to the opposite gender (Fighter, Warrior, Barbarian, and Berserker are male only, Pegasus knight, Falcon knight, Dark Pegasus Troubadour, and Valkyrie are female only) or a unique class (Lord, Star Lord, Great Lord, Dancer, Manakete, Taguel, Villiager, and Overlord).
Is the Avatar the tactician from 7/ My Unit from 12?
Generally speaking, no, however in some of the DLC chapters characters from those respective games suggest that they might be.
Are Marth and Roy (and Ike) in this game?
Believe it or not, they are, though not as main characters in the storyline. They are available through the SpotPass feature as well as through DLC chapters, meaning you can have separate copies of them on the same map.
SpotPass? What’s that?
SpotPass is a feature of the 3DS that involves it connecting to the internet to automatically download information when it is in sleep mode. Things downloaded include rare weapons, SpotPass teams of characters from older games in the series that you can fight and recruit, and even bonus chapters where you can recruit otherwise unavailable characters from the main game.
How do SpotPass/DLC characters work?
You can have up to twenty SpotPass, DLC, and Avatars from other files at once. After you hit twenty, the game asks you to remove one from your army. Once you do that, they are gone until you recruit them again, back at their base level. You can, however, store up to 99 of them in a compendium where you can hire them back with gold at any time.
Is there multiplayer?
Yes and no. There is a form of multiplayer where you team up with one person, select a single unit, and pair up with them to fight an arena-style gauntlet of characters to win items. There is no PVP or Co-Op multiplayer that involves actually fighting on a map, however. You can also fight a computer controlled version of someone else’s team, and recruit their Avatar.
What’s with the DLC? Do I have to pay to play the full game?
The DLC is all extra content, so if you don’t get any of it, you will still be able to experience the whole story without feeling left out of things. The DLC chapters consist of either chapters that unlock characters from previous Fire Emblems with new artwork, chapters that are pretty much ‘paying for power,’ i.e. they give you gold, easy experience, or rare weapons, or chapters that are just fun bonuses with costumes and extra conversations between the characters. Note that it will be released gradually, though, and not all at once, so it will take several months for the entirety of the DLC to be available.
How much will DLC cost?
The first DLC chapter will be free for a while after the game is released. The other DLC chapters cost between 250 and 400 yen in Japan, so expect a prices around $3 to $5.
Can I repeat the DLC?
Yes! You can play any DLC chapter as many times as you want, even in the same game file. This lets you farm experience and non-character rewards.
Are there extra/gaiden chapters in this?
Yes. Five of them unlock automatically, and the rest (excluding the ones gained from SpotPass) become available when certain characters get S rank supports. Note that you can put off going to the gaiden chapters until later in this game instead of being forced to do them right after unlocking them, since you chose where to go on a map like in Sacred Stones and Gaiden. The gaiden chapter will remain available until you do it. (Also, if you played Shadow Dragon, you don’t need to kill off your characters to access gaiden chapters, thankfully.)
I played an earlier game in the series but was turned off by permanent death. Is that still in this game?
Permadeath is still in the game, however, the game also gives you an option to play on casual mode, where your units simply retreat for the remainder of the map when defeated instead of dying. You will still get a game over if Chrom or your Avatar is defeated, though. Casual mode also allows you to make battle saves that you can reload if things go un-favourably, whereas classic mode has battle saves that delete themselves when you load them back up, like the suspend feature in the GBA fire emblem games.
What are the difficulty modes in this game?
Awakening has three modes by default: Normal, Hard, and Lunatic. Beating Lunatic unlocks Lunatic+, where enemies have extremely powerful skills like ones that halve all damage and make them always attack first. All difficulties can be played on both casual and classic, however if you unlock L+ using casual mode, you will have to unlock it again with classic mode.
Is this game dual audio? I hate dubs!
According to current sources, yes, the game will have both English and Japanese audio options.
How do skirmishes work?
Skirmishes are battles on the world map that are not chapters. You can use them to grind levels, and sometimes they have merchants in them that will give you things if you save them from the enemies. They respawn after a period of time, but you can also buy an item to summon them to the world map instead of waiting.
How do wandering merchants work?
They appear just like skirmishes, except that instead of a battle, they sell you rare items like Master and Change seals. They can also be summoned by an item.
What are the English names for all of the characters?
As of now, English names are being constantly released. For an up to date list, check http://www.serenesforest.net/fe13/namechart.html
How does combat work?
To initiate combat, you select an enemy and your weapon, then the fight plays out automatically based on probability. Physical attacks deal damage equal to Strength + weapon strength – enemy defence, and magic works the same except with magic and resistance. A unit will double attack if it has 5 or more speed more than its opponent. Weapon weight is gone, so the speed displayed on your unit’s stat screen will be its attack speed. Skills activate automatically based on a percentage of a relevant stat (for example, weapon saver is based on luck and lethality is based on skill).
How do supports work in this game?
In Awakening, you get support points by performing actions while directly adjacent to a unit that you are eligible to support with, such as fighting next to them, healing them, or dancing for them. Once you have enough points built up, you can view a support conversation between the two characters between battles. There are four ranks, C, B, A, and S. Unlike older games in the series, a character can have as many supports as they want, though they can only have one S support. Also, the supports are full-fledged conversations again, unlike the things from Radiant Dawn.
What is Pair Up?
Pair up is a command similar to rescue from other games in the series, only instead of being weighed down carrying them, the other character moves alongside your unit and helps them fight by giving stat bonuses. These bonuses are based on the supporting unit’s class and the support level between the two units. You can see the exact values here: http://www.serenesforest.net/fe13/double.html
What is Dual?
Dual is a new feature where a unit can help another unit fight in battle. It is broken up into three sections, Dual Support, Dual Attack, and Dual Guard. Dual support tallies up the support levels of all surrounding friendly units (and anyone paired up) and gives you a boost to Hit, Avoid, Critical Chance, and Critical Avoid based on the total level, up to +20 in all four. Dual attack involves the other character doing a follow-up attack, and dual guard involves the partner completely blocking an attack. The dual partner will be the adjacent unit with the highest support bonus with the attacking/defending character, unless the main unit in the battle is paired up, in which case the paired unit will always be the partner.
What are skills?
Skills are special abilities that every class learns. Unpromoted classes learn skills at levels 1 and 10, promoted classes learn skills at levels 5 and 15, and classes that don’t promote but go to level 30 gain their skills at levels 1 and 15. There are also skill manuals that you can win from DLC chapters that teach a skill once. A character can only have 5 skills equipped at a time, however they can learn as many as you want and can swap them around once you’ve learned them. There are lots of skills, a full list of which can be found here: http://www.serenesforest.net/fe13/skills.html
What are cries?
Cries are special skills that raise certain stats of all units in a three panel burst around the crying unit. When you use the cry command, it activates every cry that the character has equipped, so someone with 5 cries equipped to them can boost stats by quite a bit. There are cries for every stat, including move, and some cries raise more than one stat at once. Multi-stat cries stack with cries that provide that stat, but a cry won’t stack with itself if you use two criers.
How does promotion work?
When a character in an unpromoted class that is capable of promotion reaches level 10, they can use an item called a Master Seal to promote into a new, stronger class. When you use the item, provided that you are not in the lord or strategist class, which only has one option, you will be given a choice of two classes to promote into. In older games, it was recommended to promote at level twenty to maximise stats, however in this game, promoting at level 10 is generally considered to be more beneficial because of reclassing. You can buy an infinite number of Master seals, so don’t worry about wasting them.
What is reclassing?
Class changing is when you use an item called a Change Seal on a unit who is either level 10 or over or in a promoted class. It lets you switch to a level 1 version of any non-promoted class they are capable of becoming, but keep all of your level up stats. This lets you get skills from a bunch of different classes at once. You can even reclass into the class you just were, if you want to. Also, if your unit is level 10 promoted or level 30 in a non-promoting class, they can reclass into a promoted class as well as the unpromoted ones. There are also an unlimited number of Change Seals to buy.
Can I reclass to whatever I want?
Generally speaking, no. The Avatar, the Avatar’s children, and any DLC/SpotPass character can reclass into any class they want as long as the gender fits, but other characters are limited by their class sets, which can be viewed here: http://www.serenesforest.net/fe13/class_set.html
Why reclass? I only want the characters in their canon classes!
Reclassing allows you limitless levels to gain stats, so that you can get strong enough to beat the hardest DLC maps. If you just want to play the main game, you can still play without reclassing without it having a negative effect on your experience.
What are these sparkly tiles? Should I step on them?
Sparkly tiles on the map are event tiles. Stepping on one will give you things like rare items and support bonus points with paired up units, so they’re always beneficial to step on.
What are children? Why would I want kids fighting for me?
The children characters are offspring of the characters in your army. When a character gets an S support, a gaiden chapter will be unlocked in which you can recruit the child character. These characters are not actually children, and may even be older than their parents.
What? How does that work?
Okay, so, what’s so good about these kids?
Children characters get the maximum stat boosts, some growths, class sets, and some skills from their parents. They also get a +1 bonus to all of their maximum stats.
So, who can have kids?
Sumia, Lissa, Sully, Miriel, Mariabel, Panne, Tiamo, Nono, Sariya, Olivie, Cherche, and Female Avatar all have kids when S-supported with a male. Chrom and Male Avatar will also have kids, allowing for siblings. Eligible males are Frederick, Virion, Stahl, Vaike, Kellam, Lon’Qu, Richt, Gaia, Donnel, Grego, Libera, and Henry. It should be noted, however, that Sumia can only S support with Chrom, Frederick, Gaia, and Henry, so if you pair off those four to someone else you will lose her kid.
How does Chrom’s kid work?
Chrom’s child works differently than the others. You get Chrom’s child in chapter 13, and he will automatically jump to an S support with the female he has the highest support level with out of chapter 11, with priority going Sumia > Mariabel > Sully > Olivie > female Avatar. Also, he will always pass Aether down to daughters and Royal Weapon down to his sons, no matter which skill he has set last. Also, it should be noted that you only have one chapter to support Olivie to him, so if that’s the pairing you want, keep Chrom away from the girls for the first 10 chapters.
How does Avatar’s kid work?
Your Avatar has the ability to have a child with any character of the opposite gender, including those from SpotPass chapters and children characters. The only exceptions are DLC and SpotPass. Note that the +1 to all caps bonus only applies once, so marrying your Avatar to a child will still only have a +1 bonus and not a +2. S/he will be the opposite gender to Avatar, and can inherit Manakete or Taguel.
How does skill inheritance work?
The children characters will inherit the last skill equipped to both parents. This is the skill equipped when you enter the recruitment chapter for the child, not when you achieve the S support, so you can support early and then grind for good skills. You can pass down gender-exclusive skills this way, so if you want to have a man with the Secluded Lady skill, go right ahead.
Which skills should I pass down?
If the child will be a guy and the mother has access to Dark Pegasus, Lightning Speed. It is by far the best skill in the game, granting you a second turn if you defeat a unit, once per player phase. Other than that, this topic has helpful info:
How does class inheritance work?
Child characters get access to all of the classes that their parents had in their class sets. If there are opposite gender classes, they get replaced with different ones. This is notable because it means that Donnel and Gaia are capable of passing down Pegasus Knight to daughters who wouldn’t otherwise have it, giving them access to the amazing Lightning Speed.
Forget all that boring stuff, how do I make all the girls into redheads?
Children will inherit the hair colour of their father. The only exception is Male Avatar’s kid, who will inherit his mother’s hair colour. You might want to take this into mind when planning your parents.
http://www.serenesforest.net/fe13/ By far the best Fire Emblem Site around. Pretty much all you need.
http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Emblem_Wikia The better Fire Emblem Wiki. Useful if you just want to search things up, and occasionally has things Serenes doesn’t.
Thanks very much for reading, and I hope this answered all your questions. Let me know if I missed anything big, and please request a sticky if you think it deserves one!
Special thanks go out to:
(You may now post)
Generic colour sig go!
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Now that you're done, can you get rid of the "(Please don't post yet)" stuff? It looks kinda awkward. But that's just me. :/ Also, in "How do SptoPass/DLC characters work?," there's a typo.
Also, requested the Sticky.
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Done and done. Also got rid of my ugly sig, which you can apparently only do after posting.
Generic colour sig go!
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