What makes Fire Emblem... Fire Emblem?

Title says it all, what would you all say defines Fire Emblem from a gameplay/mechanics standpoint (nothing related to story/plot/etc).
Note this is not meant to mention things exclusive to FE, I have no doubt FE has borrowed from other game and other games have borrowed from FE.

Some of my own to start (I’ll edit in responses when I remember to do so)

  • Weapon Triangle: This isn’t exactly true for a lot of Fire Emblems in the series (1-3, 15, 16*), but the relationship between Swords/Axes/Lances is sort of unique to the FE franchise. Other games do have weapon triangle-esque relationships (Langrisser has Spearman/Infantry/Cavalry) but none to my knowledge tie the relationship directly to the weapon type rather than the class type.
  • Level-Reset Promotion: Marth would disagree, but promotion has existed from the start of the series and has a different implementation vs other RPGs. Most you’re incentivized to promote as early as possible, while FE you can be rewarded (sometimes superficially) by waiting until the maximum level to promote.
  • Large Cast/Battalion: Sort of self explanatory, the only RPG that seems to be even remotely similar to this is Pokémon.
  • Weapon Levels: This I’m not super certain with, I just may not have played enough other RPGs where such a mechanic exists.
  • Supports/Support Conversations
  • Permadeath (although it has been somewhat watered down, I agree with it being included)
  • Fatige

ladies with big honks that i can romance

okay now i feel really bad that i just said what they wanted to say, before they did, but as a meme :c


For me, it’s the support. It really fleshes out the characters in a way some games don’t bother to do, and to this day, i really like the corrin supports with Ryoma and Xander. Yes i like fates, shut up.


i mean, you’re not wrong XD

Listen up nerds. This is the definitive Fire Emblem Gaming Experience.

  1. Waifus and husbandos. These characters need to wear TIGHT or BADASS clothing, and sometimes TIGHT BADASS clothing with lots of DRIP. The women need to have BIG BOOBS unless they’re underage, in which case they will have NO boobs but REALLY be 1000 year old loli dragons!
  2. Every FE game needs an AVATAR. The AVATAR is a master of all the elements, but when the world needs him most, he VANISHES. This shows just how OVERPOWERED he is.
  3. Blowing systems. Thanks to modern gaming console POWER, you can now BLOW your waifu! Put that microphone to good use, you fucking degenerate!
  4. Marriage systems! What could possibly be more integral to the Fire Emblem Gaming Experience than MARRYING your WAIFU for LAIFU? That’s right; NOTHING. If you cannot marry a waifu, then what you are playing is a BORING game, like Secret of MANA, not a EPIC game, like Fire Emblem!
  5. Reclassing systems! That’s right, what makes Fire Emblem great is the idea that any unit can become any class! Well defined characters inside carefully constructed class roles and niches are for SHITTY games, like Monster Hunter!
  6. Disappointment systems! There is nothing more iconically Fire Emblem than some part of the game that is HORRENDOUSLY DISAPPOINTING! Whether it’s an awful final boss, a bunch of female characters who exist only to provide BOOBS for the player to look at, or a storyline involving the rise of a DARK LORD who wants to summon a DRAGON from HELL, there is nothing that better represents Fire Emblem than a complete sense of disappointment in at least one fundamental aspect of the game!

I mean I’d say permadeath, but even that’s out the window now that every game has a phoenix mode.


Something that really drives me is that all of these people have faces, and they CAN die. That means, if I get to the end of the game and they’re all alive, then that’s MY achievement. I kept them alive. I love that. Plus the fact that each has their own character, I can somewhat customize how I want my team to look through using different characters, see them grow strong, learn more about them through Support, all while following a moderately epic story… That’s Fire Emblem to me.

That is also why I utterly despise when the game kills any of my player characters in a cutscene.

Edit: And just in case the below was intended for me, allowing characters to die is a game mechanic, as such makes me allowing them all to live and to level them up and such is a game mechanic. Otherwise, yeah, army-strategy game good.


at least some of that response was on topic klok

lol it was not @PlatinumSkink


Permadeath (except for the part where you can turn it off now. hey, where’d phoenix mode go?)
Supports (other than the first few games… oh, wait, gameplay? they have gameplay implications! you can give rutger 100 crit!)
Shitty map design (wait a minute, that’s just every T/SRPG)
Weapon Triangle (does 3H axing this mean RD hard mode was canon?)
Classes (no witty comment here)


supports are literally a mechanic lol, no justification needed

Edgy myrmidons are essentially Fire Emblem 101.

I wholeheartedly understand that I did not abide by the guidelines set for the discussion.

A couple I can think of on a more basic level:

Player/Enemy Phase: Lots of SRPGs have systems like initiative in DND, but in FE land, each army has always taken their turn moving as a unit while the other watches.

Doubling: With the exception of Genealogy making this a skill, every game has a speed superiority threshold that, if exceeded, allows a unit to strike twice. Speed has and always will be king in FE, baby.

Easy math: Not really a mechanic, per say, but FE has generally always had pretty easy formulas to compute damage, and reasonable hit formulas as well. My strength + my weapon’s might is arithmetic that even a very young player can understand. Not to say that there aren’t more complex modifiers or formulas, but largely, FE has much simpler calculations than a lot of other RPGs/SRPGs. In lots of other games, trying to parse out damage calculations from raw stats given is basically impossible.


I’d say challenging gameplay fits too. Fire Emblem used to be notorious for being more difficult than a typical SRPG, although nowadays (recent entries) the challenge thing has mellowed a lot (Conquest excluded).

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Yeah, i agree with what Dancer pointed at the beggining, the only thing i could add, is the great and big cast of characters that we meet during our adventures, all of them with very interesting personalities or designs, which makes all of them uniques, thats what difference FE from Advance wars or Disgaea for example.

Also, Fire emblem is the only game i played where weapons can broke.


Large cast of characters with permadeath.

Character recruits in battle which are oftentimes contingent upon other previous recruitments.

A linear story progression where the player is unable to go back and farm Exp (this is key in setting FE apart from other RPGs to me)

A simplistic player phase where the key options are “Move” and “Attack”

Stats which are unique solely to the individual character and which usually make a class system unnecessary.

Randomized stat gains

And a whole lot of BS


Multiple endings for every unit. Most other games have maybe 2-3 depending on your choices where Fire emblem has even more all units depending on your choices ie live/die/supports. Cant really thing of any that has different for each character as its rather of a group thing instead of indivual characters.

The other thing is you have units who can replace the ones you are using as is most of times besides the main lords. Except for possible Three Houses. So losing a character a good portion of the times doesnt really punish you that much compared to other games.

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I’ve actually thought about this. In my opinion, the 3 things that make a Fire Emblem game are:

-Turn based, gridlocked gameplay

-The method of growths: No grinding, fairly frequent level ups, random stat growths

-Permadeath: Casual mode can exist, but the game should be balanced and designed around classic with casual as an easier alternative, not the other way around.

These are the very core mechanics that make up a Fire Emblem game. There are more factors that make up the traditional FE experience, but these are the three things you must have in order for it to be Fire Emblem.



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oh no bandits are attacking the village, we a group ragtag friends with weapons must stop them!!

What I like about FE compared to other jrpg’s or srpg’s is how exact the number are. There’s no variance in damage amount of you use the same weapon with the same str against the same def. It’s exact and easily calculated (sans skills and debuffs)


Specific numbers and damages unlike FFT and Langrisser (oh dear god)

Larger? Battles. In games like FFT, Disgaea and Langrisser to an extent the battle take place on a large map with lots of movement inbetween and larger armies against eachother, while FFT has a smaller map with smaller peoples. Disgaea is Disgaea, and Langrisser is huge, but it’s really 5 commanders and like 40 generics. Against mostly generics.

Kinda like Musuo games, where your characters are really strong to mow down several of the enemies, and most FEs can be a 1v1 battle until the foe dies, or you throw in a second person. Generic enemies aren’t walls that need several people to take down.

Doubling in battle. Just that, most other tactics it’s hit once and done.

Lack of crazyness, aka Disgaea with everything. Langrisser with Magic (cough meteor cough) and FFT with AoE magics. Fire Emblem is very 1 on 1 with almost everything in it’s systems.