Koops analyses FE characters

Pick... or else...

  • Archanea (FE1-3-11-12)

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  • Valentia (FE2-15)

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Jugdral (FE4)

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  • Elibe (FE6)

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Magvel (FE8)

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  • Fates/Fodlan (Tons of supports so this is the unfavorable zone, but not forbidden.)

    Votes: 2 50.0%

  • Total voters
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Koops

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I know. I know. Not many people will click on this thread because who on a Mario forum would care about FE. But to those of you who indeed ARE here I say welcome! In an attempt to reestablish something of a presence here I will be looking at some FE characters that I find interesting for you all to understand them better and maybe give y'all an image of them that's not "anime swordsmen".

Speaking of "anime swordsmen", our first character will not be one. If you know me well enough, you know who I'm talking about before anyone else, not only because of my humble appreciation of said character, but also to get them out of the way before getting into the more obscure stuff (obscure to you, that is). That being said, if you know any FE characters that you might wanna know more about, be sure to hit me up in a private message. I'll be sure to at least look into it.

I'll be working on these regularly, and each will most likely take a while to complete, so stay tuned for when I release my first analysis.

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First on our list is, to no one's surprise, Fiora.
 

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Fiora - Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

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Fiora is a character who first appears in chapter 18 of The Blazing Blade on Eliwood mode (Chapter 19 on Hector mode). Right away, she speaks as though she has recently lost some friends.

"Look, everyone. Your sacrifices were not in vain. I'll fulfill our duty, even if I must do it myself. I am a true knight of Ilia!"

Fiora looks to be the last surviving member of said group. She enters the map as an NPC unit and must be talked to with her sister, Florina, in order to be recruited into the army.

Fiora is an elder sister among three, hailing from the destitute country of Ilia, a land constantly hounded by harsh weatherly conditions and long winters. The country's main source of income are its mercenaries, the majority of which are Pegasus Knights, an Cavaliers/Paladins for the males. Many are sent to battle at a young age due to such conditions, and not all have the fortune of being guided by their parents, be they dead or on the job.

Fiora has 7 support chains with seven different characters:
- Florina, her youngest sister.
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- Farina, the middle sister.
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- Eliwood, the main character in Eliwood mode.
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- Kent, Commander of the knights of Caelin.
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- Sain, Sub-Commander of the knights of Caelin.
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- Geitz, a former sea merchant.
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- Pent, Mage General of Etruria.
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Of these supports, 3 end romantically, so we'll be going through these first.

Fiora / Eliwood

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Eliwood: So, Fiora, have you gotten used to being in our ranks?
Fiora: Yes. Thank you, my lord. We mercenaries are quick to adapt to new commands.
Eliwood: Yes, you are of the Pegasus knights of Ilia, are you not? Seeing the way you fight, I can imagine their quality.
Fiora: Your praise is an honor. I will do my best not to betray your trust in my skills.
Eliwood: Please, don't worry about formalities with me. We are equals, fighting together for a common cause.
Fiora: Equals... But, my lord...
Eliwood: I like to think of everyone in this troop as a friend, regardless of standing, gender, or age. All are friends, and all are irreplaceable.
Fiora: ... ...
Eliwood: You seem surprised. "There goes another naïve lordling with his head in the clouds..." Something like that?
Fiora: No, never! But... I didn't imagine that a lordling of Lycia could think that way for long.
Eliwood: You speak the truth, of course. But what I said was no lie.
Fiora: Lord Eliwood! I... You see, I... Speaking personally, I like that way of thinking... I just do not believe it possible.
Eliwood: I’ll take that as a compliment.

The C Support essentially serves as a way for the player to get more of a feel as to what Eliwood's character is like.

While this particular conversation gives more characterization for Eliwood than Fiora, with him being the main character and all, but from this alone we have a better idea of the type of person Fiora is.

"Eliwood: Yes, you are of the Pegasus knights of Ilia, are you not? Seeing the way you fight, I can imagine their quality.
Fiora: Your praise is an honor. I will do my best not to betray your trust in my skills."


As an Ilian mercenary, she takes her duty very seriously, and is one to uphold the image of her people.

"Eliwood: I like to think of everyone in this troop as a friend, regardless of standing, gender, or age. All are friends, and all are irreplaceable.
Fiora: ... ...
Eliwood: You seem surprised. "There goes another naïve lordling with his head in the clouds..." Something like that?"


She also has a pretty good understanding of how society works, judging by how she's taken by surprise upon Eliwood's claim that he cares about his troops. However, she sees it as a good thing, which is something that'll come to light in another support.

Eliwood: Fiora, tell me... You are Florina's elder sister, are you not?
Fiora: I am. She is a shy girl, always aware of other people's eyes. When she went off for her apprenticeship I worried and worried.
Eliwood: You are a good sister.
Fiora: I wish that were so.
Eliwood: You are both knights, yes? That's rare in Lycia.
Fiora: Yes, as children we decided that we would become Pegasus knights. I did not want to send my own child sister to war... But Ilia offered few options other than the mercenary way.
Eliwood: I see. My father once told me of your homeland, long ago. The ground of Ilia is covered year-round in the whitest snow, he said, and it is a harsh life for the people who live there. Yet because many Ilians turn to being mercenaries, they are looked down upon-- without reason-- by other lands.
Fiora: Yes... But there is nothing to be done about it. No matter how many tears we shed, the snow will not melt. Better to fight for my homeland and win honor that way, as a member of the Pegasus knights of Ilia.
Eliwood: Fiora, I can tell you have a strong sense of responsibility. But do not be too hard on yourself. Should you overwork yourself and fall, you will end up with nothing.
Fiora: Yes... I would say the same to you, Lord Eliwood.

Here we have a better look at Fiora's own character.

"Eliwood: Fiora, tell me... You are Florina's elder sister, are you not?
Fiora: I am. She is a shy girl, always aware of other people's eyes. When she went off for her apprenticeship I worried and worried.
Eliwood: You are a good sister.
Fiora: I wish that were so."


This is the first time Fiora's relationship to her sisters comes up, and to me, one of her defining traits. She lacks self-confidence. Although that last line here is a somewhat subtle hint, it will be something that comes up more in her other supports. She tries to embody the pride of the Pegasus Knights of Ilia, but deep down, she hides some serious insecurities that ultimately make her human. Her sister, Florina, is a shy girl, that much she knows, but what about herself?

"Eliwood: I see. My father once told me of your homeland, long ago. The ground of Ilia is covered year-round in the whitest snow, he said, and it is a harsh life for the people who live there. Yet because many Ilians turn to being mercenaries, they are looked down upon-- without reason-- by other lands.
Fiora: Yes... But there is nothing to be done about it. No matter how many tears we shed, the snow will not melt. Better to fight for my homeland and win honor that way, as a member of the Pegasus knights of Ilia."


Much like her shy sister Florina, Fiora is also aware of other people's eyes, knowing what others think of the Ilian mercenaries, and seemingly being uncomfortable because of that fact. However, she has the strength to shrug it off and focus on what needs to be done, regardless of her reputation, seeing how much is at stake. If she must fight and be looked down upon, the best she can do is fight to the best of her ability.

Eliwood: Fiora.
Fiora: Yes, Lord Eliwood?
Eliwood: I had a thought while watching you fight. I feared you may be working too hard. Resting is as important as fighting, remember.
Fiora: Thank you, my lord. But... I am a Pegasus knight of Ilia. When I think of the people of my homeland, I cannot but fight harder.
Eliwood: Still...
Fiora: My performance here reflects on all the knights of Ilia. The more tasks I complete, the bigger the reward I bring home, and the happier my people may live.
Eliwood: What about your happiness?
Fiora: What?
Eliwood: I know your homeland of Ilia is a poor land. And I know thoughts of your sister weigh heavily in your mind. But do not forget you have a right to happiness, too. Were you to become a sacrifice for your country... that would not do. No one would be happy, then.
Fiora: Lord Eliwood...
Eliwood: Forgive me, perhaps it is not my place. Still, watching you... I felt I had to say something. For someone as talented as yourself not to find happiness... Well, that would be the greatest tragedy of all.
Fiora: ... ... I must admit... That is the first time anyone has ever said something like that to me. ... ...
Eliwood: ... ...
Fiora: But...let us not linger here overlong.
Eliwood: Yes... Yes, of course.
Fiora: I beg your leave.
Eliwood: Ah, wait a moment. Fiora!
Fiora: Yes?
Eliwood: I would like you to stay nearby, by my side. So that I can... So that I may protect you.
Fiora: Lord Eliwood... Yes, I... I understand.

This conversarion opens up with a reminder that Fiora is, at the end of the day, a hard-worked who focuses on her job more than anything else, and never lets external matters get in the way, despite everything -ranging from her sisters, people's judgemental eyes, her country's situation- being like a burden on her. With this support alone, we have established that Fiora is a strong-willed woman with inner weaknesses that never show.

When Eliwood confronts Fiora about how hard she works, she insists that it is for the greater good, but Eliwood replies with this:

"Forgive me, perhaps it is not my place. Still, watching you... I felt I had to say something. For someone as talented as yourself not to find happiness... Well, that would be the greatest tragedy of all."

Eliwood finally opens Fiora's eyes to her own well-being. All this time she's been so determined to see her task done and her homeland saved that she's forgotten to see where she fits in all this, being blind to the happiness (which she deserves very much) she's been missing out on.

For this reason alone, I consider Eliwood probably Fiora's best romance option (although the prospect of Fiora being Roy's mother doesn't quite sit well with me so I never actually go out of my way to get them together), as it allows her to finally, truly earn her reward for all the hard work she's been putting in.

Too bad Roy's mother is also fucking dead by the time Binding Blade happens so I'm still keeping Fiora away from the former's dad

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Next up on the list is Sain, a knight of Caelin (one of the lands of Lycia) who serves under Lyn.

Fiora / Sain

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Sain: Oh...! You are the Fiora I have heard so much about! You are even...three times lovelier than I had heard!
Fiora: I’m sorry? How do you know my name?
Sain: Oh, but my dear... I have memorized the names of every woman in this army!
Fiora: ...... I am Fiora, of the Ilian knights. May we fight with honor.
Sain: I am Sain, of the Caelin knights! That's S-A-I-N. Do not forget, my lovely!
Fiora: Right. Nice to meet you...
Sain: Lady Fiora! Please, be at ease... I will protect you with all the strength and courage in my heart!
Fiora: ......
Sain: Now come closer, don't be shy!
Fiora: Please forgive me if I abstain. And I am capable of defending myself, thank you. Now if you will...
Sain: Ahh...!? Fiora! Fly away from me if you must! But to shine so beautifully as you go! How cruel, my love! How cruel!

First off, it is important to note that this support is probably the least contributing to Fiora's character, as Sain is characterized as a hammy buffoon who seeks romance, so Fiora is essentially one of the girls who were picked for him on hit on, basically. Nevertheless, it does give us some rather uptight, sassy Fiora moments, the latter of which being a side we don't get to see often in Fiora, in all honesty. The C Support is just the two meeting for the first time.

Sain: Fiora!
Fiora: ...Sain.
Sain: Yes, it is I! Your knight and protector, Sain!
Fiora: How...unexpected that we should meet again...
Sain: Unexpected? Surely you mean destined! Don’t you, fair Fiora?
Fiora: Sain, I can fight on my own. So, if you don’t mind...
Sain: That will not do, fair lady! For I am bound to... ...to...to...... ......
Fiora: Hm? Are you all right? ...Are you injured?
Sain: It is nothing! I am always the very picture of health!
Fiora: Enough of that! Just let me... Oh! Your forehead is burning! Have you been fighting like this all day?
Sain: I am fine! I can overcome this with sheer willpower!
Fiora: You should rest... Look, just lay down here...
Sain: B-But I can't!! I can still stand and fight!
Fiora: Don't be a fool. Look at you...
Sain: But... I have promised you. I must protect you!
Fiora: What...?
Sain: It is the duty of all knights to protect women! In the face of that duty, this ailment is but a blush! ......
Fiora: ...Sain? Sain, wake up!
Sain: Ah, I see...fields of flowers...

The B Support gives us more funny Sain lines, and more of Fiora trying to rebuke him. Sain passes out in the middle of displaying his passion however and Fiora starts showing concerns for him. Sain looks more like a reckless fool now while Fiora's caring side starts showing.

Sain: Fiora!
Fiora: Sain... You look much better now...
Sain: How could I not? Your love has brought me from the brink of death!
Fiora: You know, I think I liked you better near the brink of death... But...at least I have confirmed that you are indeed a knight.
Sain: You have? Then, darling, come closer! Let this humble knight protect you with all his passion and love!
Fiora: ...I think I shall pass. I think being at your side presents its own, unique dangers...
Sain: Ah, my dear, you cut me deeply! But lovely Fiora...you have flown into my heart! Ulp! Where do you find such embarrassing things to say?

The A support concludes the chain by giving us a few more lines indicating that Fiora has indeed warmed up to Sain after his "knightly display" the other time, but still takes the first opportunity she has to leave as soon as he's feeling better. One things is certain, though, Fiora is a gentle soul who hates seeing people in an undesirable state, something she has no doubt developed due to her growing up in a place where she's surrounded by people living under harsh conditions.

Despite how this support ends, Fiora and Sain do end up getting married in the epilogue if this supprt is viewed, and character-wise this is probably her worst pairing option, not that the conversations themselves are bad by any means. It just does the least service to Fiora's character and is only really here for comic relief, and everyone loves Sain shenanigans either way.

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Next up, is Sain's partner in crime himself, Kent, the red cavalier to Sain's green cavalier.

Fiora / Kent

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This support chain is the last of Fiora's romantic ones, and quality-wise it's the middle ground. It's a pretty simple support but it does its job quite well, I suppose.

Fiora: Are you Kent? It's nice to meet you!
Kent: Forgive my rudeness, but who are you?
Fiora: I am Fiora, the pegasus knight. You have been looking after my sister. Allow me to thank you.
Kent: Oh, yes... When we were in Caelin, Florina spoke of you often...
Fiora: Oh, what did she say?
Kent: That you...were a lot like me.
Fiora: Oh... In what regard?
Kent: Well... I'm not really sure... I just remember her saying it. Well, Fiora. It is an honor. Let us fight together and ride on to victory.
Fiora: Yes, let’s. I think that, together, we can fulfill any duty.

Already into the C Support, Kent and Fiora already seem to be demonstrating some pretty nice chemistry. There's nothing to really tear apart here so let's move on to B.

Kent: Fiora. I must speak to you...
Fiora: Kent, what a coincidence. I was just looking for you...
Kent: Actually, it's about this army... Do you ever feel that some here lack proper moral grounding?
Fiora: Yes, the same thought has occurred to me. As a hired lance, I thought it not my place to speak.
Kent: Camaraderie in the field is one thing... But the men and women in the camp are altogether too...intimate...
Fiora: Indeed. Their minds are not focused on their duties...
Kent: It is a problem.
Fiora: A problem indeed.
Kent: I have decided to seek the counsel of Lady Lyndis in this matter. Perhaps she could issue some order limiting...interactions between the sexes...
Fiora: That is a good idea. It would be the best way to ensure the proper conduct of all.
Kent: Of course, we would still need to iron out the details of such an order... I hope you would not mind lending me your assistance...
Fiora: Oh, but of course. It might be difficult to find time to discuss this on the battlefield. Perhaps later, when we can be alone...
Kent: Yes, of course. I would be truly grateful to have the company of a morally pure individual like yourself...
Fiora: Indeed. I feel exactly the same.

Kent and Fiora continue to demonstrate how well they mesh together in their B Support. Although we had established Fiora as a somewhat shy girl already, she looks absolutely confident and is perfectly able to talk to Kent with ease. What's more, they agree to every single thing they say to each other.

"Kent: Actually, it's about this army... Do you ever feel that some here lack proper moral grounding?
Fiora: Yes, the same thought has occurred to me. As a hired lance, I thought it not my place to speak.
Kent: Camaraderie in the field is one thing... But the men and women in the camp are altogether too...intimate...
Fiora: Indeed. Their minds are not focused on their duties...
Kent: It is a problem.
Fiora: A problem indeed."


Again, this support doesn't have too much to dissect, but it is interesting to know that while Fiora can be a little awkward in her social life or personal matters, when it comes to talking business, she's very much in her element. Being a Pegasus Knight of some renown, it's easy to picture Fiora having experience in the field of battle and in whatever concerns "code of conduct" and whatnot. Needless to say seeing two sticklers interact together in such a way is somewhat funny.

Fiora: Kent.
Kent: Fiora.
Fiora: I...
Kent: You...
Fiora: ...... Forgive me.
Kent: No, it is I who should apologize...
Fiora: I...
Kent: We... ......Why don't you go first.
Fiora: No, please, you first.
Kent: Well, then... Fiora, please stay with me. When you are near, I feel as if I fight more bravely, more keenly... I think we would fight well together... What do you say?
Fiora: Actually... I came to ask you the same thing...
Kent: Really?
Fiora: Yes. It's strange, isn’t it? I feel as if we have known each other from birth.
Kent: Fiora... I must ask you one more thing. When this battle ends, if we both still live...
Fiora: Please...say no more. I...already know what you will ask... Of course. I feel the same way.
Kent: Really? I am glad... But...about that policy I suggested... What should we do?
Fiora: Well... Perhaps... It can wait...

This support is the culmination of Kent and Fiora's uncannily good chemistry. Ironically, both start the conversation rather shyly, a contrast to how professional they sounded in their B Support, almost as if their true selves are now talking to each other. While it's funny that the two most stuck-up people in the army find themselves in this situation that they tried to prevent and it is kinda cute for shippers, I personally also find it really telling for both characters'... character. Although the game never provides such a thing for Kent, we know that Fiora had a horrible past/childhood in having to become a Pegasus Knight at a young age to save herself and her family, or what's left of it anyway. Once again, Fiora's upstanding image is shattered by her internal struggles confined within the darkest depths of her being. This, combined with the circumstances of how she came to end up in the army, kinda apints a clear picture of what Fiora's thinking here.

Fiora still suffers from survivor's guilt because of what happened to her unit prior to joining Eliwood's company. She feels horrible about it and carries this failure like a burden, despite her efforts to get over it. Getting close to her new comrades, while an attractive prospect, may end in the exact same way. Although she might be easily convinced by Florina to join the army, she probably was reluctant in doing so deep down. Recall how we also saw this in the Eliwood support:

"All this time she's been so determined to see her task done and her homeland saved that she's forgotten to see where she fits in all this, being blind to the happiness (which she deserves very much) she's been missing out on."

My take on this is that Fiora feels like she doesn't deserve to have people she can hold close to her heart. She just lost a squad of her friends and is afraid it might happen again once she makes new ones. The only soul who was able to steer her in the right direction was her own kid sister. Now that's she's speaking to Kent, a man she sees in high regard, about something intimate, she is reminded of all that sorrow that brought her here in the first place, causing her to quickly lose her composure. Now I'm starting to think Kent himself must've lived through some tragedy at some point too, but that's something we will never know. Only after Kent gets his feelings out does Fiora really feel confident again.

"Kent: We... ......Why don't you go first.
Fiora: No, please, you first.
Kent: Well, then... Fiora, please stay with me. When you are near, I feel as if I fight more bravely, more keenly... I think we would fight well together... What do you say?
Fiora: Actually... I came to ask you the same thing..."


And even then she doesn't sound too sure of herself anyway...

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We've dwelled on this support for quite some time now, and it is time we hop on to her non-romantic ones. Although we've been able to uncover a lot about Fiora already I can assure you, this is only the beginning. And also the basis for everything else we will be looking at.

To be continued in the next post...
 

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Fiora / Geitz

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Geitz... is not a character you're very likely to ever see, honestly. To get him, you need to access the alternate version of chapter 23 Eliwood/24 Hector, and to do that all your lords need to be at a combined level of 50, which, considering the average unit quality of said lords, is kinda a taxing requirement to pull off to say the least. That and he's only recruitable by a pretty specific unit who you wouldn't really know recruits him. Regardless, Geitz exists, and he's pretty strong too. And most importantly, he supports Fiora. Unfortunately for Fiora, this support doesn't benefit her much as a character but it does provide some nice insight into Geitz himself.

Fiora: Oh...
Geitz: Yes?
Fiora: Haven't we, err... met before?
Geitz: Hm? I don't recall...
Fiora: A long time ago...on a boat. Yes, you were a merchant in Bulgar, weren't you?
Geitz: ...How could you know that?
Fiora: Of course! We Ilians owe your guild a great debt! One bitter year, all the crops in Ilia died in the frost. And your people crossed the frozen ocean in the north to bring us food. If you hadn't come, we surely would have died! Please, let me thank you!
Geitz: Stop... I am not kidding. That guild and I... share no connection now.

Yet again, we can hear about how life in Ilia is miserable.

"Fiora: Of course! We Ilians owe your guild a great debt! One bitter year, all the crops in Ilia died in the frost. And your people crossed the frozen ocean in the north to bring us food. If you hadn't come, we surely would have died! Please, let me thank you!"

Aaaand the support ends after the next line, as Fiora is interrupted and Geitz promptly tells her he's not part of that group of "virtuous men" she held in high esteem any longer.

Fiora: Oh, wait up! Geitz, please!
Geitz: You again. If you've brought more thanks, tell it to my fath– that frozen old man. I'd not waste your breath on that abusive monster.
Fiora: You hate your father, don't you? Why? He was such a good man.
Geitz: ...... Have you ever heard of a boat called a galley?
Fiora: No, I haven't.
Geitz: Most boats use wind power to sail, right? You can move quickly with the wind, but you can't move against it. Well, a galley is a boat moved by people rowing oars. It's good for keeping a shipping schedule regardless of the wind.
Fiora: And that's...
Geitz: Yes, my father used his profits to hire many rowers. They spent their days in the stifling hold of the ship, slaving like beasts. When they collapsed with exhaustion, my father just tossed them overboard.
Fiora: ......
Geitz: As a child, I loved riding on my father's boat. I respected my father, whom everyone called master. But one day, I ventured into the hold of the ship. I saw those broken men rowing, like lost souls in hell. I saw...children...who were my age...
Fiora: ......
Geitz: I felt as if I were responsible... The boat in which I was riding... devoured children's souls. I realized this, and the thought almost killed me...
Fiora: ......
Geitz: After that...I have had no love for my father...

"Geitz: ...... Have you ever heard of a boat called a galley?
Fiora: No, I haven't."


Not sure why I find Fiora's ignorance on what a galley is to be cute, but I do.

Anyway besides that, Fiora barely has any dialogue in this conversation because of Geitz just fodding his entire life story in one sitting. Despite that, I can still have you people interpret this as Fiora just being the perfect type of person whom you'd want to confide in, her being a very understanding girl and a kind soul. This also falls in line with her being the older sister, since as an elder sibling you tend to listen to the problems of the younger ones, except in this case Geitz is neither Fiora's sibling nor is he younger than she is.

Fiora: Umm, Geitz?
Geitz: Mm?
Fiora: What will you do after this? Are you going back to the merchant guild of Bulgar?
Geitz: Never. I would strangle those men if we were in the same room. My brother, Geese, will probably take over the guild. I will likely live as a mercenary somewhere...
Fiora: Yes... That might be the best. The merchant's life would not suit you...
Geitz: ...Bah! Watch your tongue, woman!!
Fiora: I meant... You're a good man! I just meant you had too much heart to be like them!
Geitz: ...Foolishness. You don't understand the business at all...
Fiora: Maybe not. But I understand you!
Geitz: ......

One thing I don't really like about this support is how filler it feels. I mean, look how weirdly it ends.

Nevertheless, we have Fiora demonstrating that she worries still about the people she knows, and sees Geitz as a man who needs help. She's even able to cast aside her past experience to see the true nature of things.

"Fiora: I meant... You're a good man! I just meant you had too much heart to be like them!"

Keep in mind, these are the very same people who saved her life years ago and to whom she was very grateful just two convos ago. And now she's talking about them in a negative light.

"Geitz: ...Foolishness. You don't understand the business at all...
Fiora: Maybe not. But I understand you!"


Just as I conjectured in the previous conversation, she's a woman who understands your problems, a good listener.

Only noteworthy thing left about this support is that Geitz's brother, Geese, is namedropped, the very same Geese who happens to be playable in FE6, so that's a cool nod.

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Now on to our next victim, the Mage General Pent!

Fiora / Pent

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Pent is a very high-ranking noble in the Etrurian Court, even being in the position of Mage General. Etruria is a very powerful country, being the political juggernaught to Bern's military juggernaught. Despite all this, Pent is rather chill, and with his wife Louise, just takes things as they come. Their nonchalantery is somewhat concerning but no one can deny it doesn't seem to have a negative effect on either, so if it works, it works.

Fiora: Lord Pent. Please forgive me for taking so long to report... The mission you entrusted me...
Pent: Fiora...
Fiora: Forgive us, my lord. We were not strong enough... We were ambushed on the Dread Isle, and the mission ended in failure... But Lord Eliwood did lend his aid, and we were able to gain some information... Allow me to give you the details...
Pent: Fiora, please... Don't worry about that for now... It is I who should apologize...
Fiora: ...What for?
Pent: I understand you lost companions on Valor... It is my fault. I should have provided better information. I had no idea there was such danger.
Fiora: No, my lord. It was carelessness that invited danger. My own. There is no reason for you to feel responsible...
Pent: But...
Fiora: I take full responsibility for the failure of my mission... And now, if you will excuse me...

Right off the bat, we learn that Pent was Fiora's employer, the very same man who sent her to the very mission that traumatized her.

"Fiora: Forgive us, my lord. We were not strong enough... We were ambushed on the Dread Isle, and the mission ended in failure... But Lord Eliwood did lend his aid, and we were able to gain some information... Allow me to give you the details...
Pent: Fiora, please... Don't worry about that for now... It is I who should apologize..."


As always, Fiora puts on a brave face in front of the event she had to endure and directly cuts to the chase, a further example of her being in her element when focused on her duty. It's such an off-putting attitude that Pent, who's generally lax about everything, stops her from continuing to apologize for putting her in such a situation in the first place.

"Fiora: ...What for?
Pent: I understand you lost companions on Valor... It is my fault. I should have provided better information. I had no idea there was such danger.
Fiora: No, my lord. It was carelessness that invited danger. My own. There is no reason for you to feel responsible...
Pent: But...
Fiora: I take full responsibility for the failure of my mission... And now, if you will excuse me..."


Throughout the entirety of the rest of the support, Fiora goes out of her way to deny Pent's apology and decides to take the blame on herself entirely. Not only is she drowned in guilt, but she embraces and accepts it, almost as if she's entirely convinced that she's the fuck-up when in reality, it really is no one's fault.

Now I would go dig deeper into this particular point but I'll save it for the last two support chains. Either way, since Pent is already a married man, he joins the team with an instant A Support with Louise, and as such, the ingame support limit only allows a single unit two support with Pent twice. So Fiora, as well as all of Pent's other support partners, can only go up to a B with him.

Pent: Fiora...may we speak a moment?
Fiora: My lord Pent? What are you doing here? Please, do not concern yourself with me. You should be by your wife's side.
Pent: Take this.
Fiora: Hm? It's a jewel...
Pent: I know it is not much, but we travel lightly these days, and it is all I could find. It is a token of my appreciation for you and your compatriots. Please accept it.
Fiora: If it is a matter of payment, I have already been–
Pent: Sell it. Take the gold it brings you and give it to the families of your fallen friends. It is no compensation for their loss, but...
Fiora: Lord Pent... Lord Pent, you are too kind... The other nobles think of us as pawns in their game... No one concerns himself with the death of a pawn... And that is to be expected. We are, after all, mercenaries.
Pent: Fiora...
Fiora: But, Lord Pent... We are grateful for your kindness... You have always treated us as equals... Even those who fell on the Dread Isle were proud to have served you... As am I.
Pent: ......
Fiora: So please, Lord Pent... Please rely on our lances. Let us fight for you. This is the wish of the knights of Ilia.

"Pent: Fiora...may we speak a moment?
Fiora: My lord Pent? What are you doing here? Please, do not concern yourself with me. You should be by your wife's side."


Before Pent has a chance to speak, Fiora pushes him away, indicating that she's aware of what he's here to talk to her about.

"Fiora: Lord Pent... Lord Pent, you are too kind... The other nobles think of us as pawns in their game... No one concerns himself with the death of a pawn... And that is to be expected. We are, after all, mercenaries.
Pent: Fiora...
Fiora: But, Lord Pent... We are grateful for your kindness... You have always treated us as equals... Even those who fell on the Dread Isle were proud to have served you... As am I."


As we had established way earlier thanks to the Eliwood support, Fiora is well aware of how the social system works and is really shocked by Pent's kindness. It's also safe to assume that being a mercenary, she doesn't have a high opinion of nobles in general, especially with the way she describes the whole deal, and it's just a reality that she accepts, making the surprise that much more pleasant, and thus that much harder to believe for her, which justifies her reluctance in accepting any kindness from Pent up to this point.

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And with that, we finally move on to Fiora's own two sisters, Florina and Farina.

Fiora / Farina

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Farina is the middle sister among the three, and she is... quite fond of money. She's the one who's the most bothered by Ilia's financial situation which ultimately made her little bit greedy, but understandably so (She can be an ass about it tho).

At this point, Fiora is not on speaking terms with Farina. Last time they saw each other ended in a heated argument. This is only the second time they speak after Farina is recruited.

Fiora: Farina... May I speak with you?
Farina: Hey, Sis! So...I haven't seen you around in a bit...
Fiora: ...I'm sorry. The last time we met, I spoke too harshly.
Farina: It's fine... Besides, I was at fault, anyway. I always think about money first and everything else later...
Fiora: No, I should be the one to apologize... And it is only natural that you should call me naive. I mean, of course mercenaries should care about when and how much they get paid to fight...
Farina: Aw, now look, it's all behind us... I was just an idiot! You did nothing wrong...
Fiora: How can you say that? I was terrible to you, and you were right all along! Why can't you get that through your thick skull?!
Farina: I'm telling you...I was not right all along! I never should have flown off in a tizzy like that, you dope!
Fiora: Stop contradicting me! I was wrong! I should have tried harder to grasp your greedy, insensitive ways!
Farina: Now you listen here, you uptight, worn-out... I–! ...Hey.
Fiora: ...It's weird, isn't it... Why are we even fighting?
Farina: Um... I dunno.
Fiora: Say, Farina... You know I don't hate you, right?
Farina: Yeah, I've always known that. I mean, I've known you forever, right?

I love this conversation. Two siblings arguing aimlessly, each trying to prove to the other why she herself is wrong and the other is in the right only to unintentionally agree. Reminds me of my relationship with the middle sibling in my own family.

Unfortunately there's not much new here to pick apart. Well that's not true, but it's just that what we CAN pick apart is things we've already said so it'd be redundant. Again, we have Fiora being the self-guilt absorbant she usually is. This time however, Fiora is expressing herself in a way never seen before: in anger. While her sister is here trying to take blame for the difunctioning they had earlier, Fiora has just come back from watching friends get murdered, so naturally when someone is telling you to chill, you're gonna do just the opposite.

Before we move on to the B Support, I'd like to draw attention to Farina randomly mentioning Fiora in her own supports, since she usually does so before they reconcile.

"Farina: You excite pretty easily, don’t you? It hasn’t been that long since we last saw each other!
Florina: But...Fiora had said you’d gone really far away.
Farina: Yeah, I bet she wishes I had! Well, whatever! But, Florina...how have you been recently?"


-From her C Support with Florina.

"Farina: You see, my sister, she’s really serious, like you. She’ll jump all over your back for any little thing! I wish she could just be a little nicer about it, you know?
Kent: I’m sure she only does it for your own good... She is such a...generous...woman."


-From her C Support with Kent.

Interestingly enough, Kent seems to already have met Fiora by that time, and knows her enough to describe her as generous.

Anyway, time to jump to the B Support.

Fiora: I... I wonder why we always end up fighting. It must be all my fault. I bet I'm the worst sister in Ilia...
Farina: There you go again, pouting by yourself!
Fiora: Farina?
Farina: You just retreat into your own little world and start grumbling like that... You just take everything on yourself, do you know that?
Fiora: But...
Farina: You were like that before, too, remember? When I was still just a pegasus esquire... When my trainee squad was about to die in that practice maneuver... You left your own mission and swooped in to rescue us...
Fiora: ......
Farina: And as a result, the Bern Nobles charged you an outrageous termination fee for breach of contract. You still haven't finished paying off the loan you used to cover it yet, have you?
Fiora: Well, I... Don't worry about it. That was my decision, and I've lived with it.
Farina: But that's what I'm saying! You're just so naively idealistic! I mean, who would do such a thing? I was just a fledgling pegasus esquire! You should have left me out there!
Fiora: Farina...
Farina: ...But, I mean... ...I was happy, of course... So that's why–that's why I want to help... Here, take this...
Fiora: Hm?
Farina: Look, I'm the highest-paid pegasus knight around. It didn't take me long to earn that sum. Go ahead and pay off that loan that's still hanging over your head!
Fiora: Farina! You were worried about me this whole time?
Farina: Well, of course I was... And besides...it was my fault... And it went down on your permanent record and everything...
Fiora: Don't be silly! We're family, aren't we? We shouldn't have to think about things like that!
Farina: That's what I’m talking about!! Don't be so naively idealistic!! But I guess that's what makes you...the sister I love.
Fiora: Farina...

"Fiora: I... I wonder why we always end up fighting. It must be all my fault. I bet I'm the worst sister in Ilia..."

Right off the bat, Fiora is beating herself up over her shaky relationship with her sister. Farina even calls her out on how she always feels terrible about everything.

"Farina: You were like that before, too, remember? When I was still just a pegasus esquire... When my trainee squad was about to die in that practice maneuver... You left your own mission and swooped in to rescue us...
Fiora: ......
Farina: And as a result, the Bern Nobles charged you an outrageous termination fee for breach of contract. You still haven't finished paying off the loan you used to cover it yet, have you?
Fiora: Well, I... Don't worry about it. That was my decision, and I've lived with it."


Despite being supposedly a stickler to the rules, Fiora has willingly broken the code before, although understandably so. This is also a detail I'll bring up a little later, so do make a mental note of that.

Fiora also continues to shoulder some more burdens like she shoulders all her guilt with the loan that she has yet to pay, and is oddly accepting of that fact. She's gotten to a point where this is normal for her to live on such an edge, which is concerning to say the least. Hell, first time you see her in the game she's already on a suicide mission. For someone to be this ok with things, they must really harbor some messed up shit deep inside... and I really can't say I blame her at all. All the responsibilities that she's trying her very best to uphold, her homeland that she needs to save, and to top it all off, the death of her companions. All the pressure has made her so numb she doesn't even mind having some debt looming over her. Which is a really weird thing considering she takes care of her image as a Pegasus Knight frivolously otherwise.

Farina keeps calling her sister "Naively Idealistic" and I honestly feel like it goes in more than one way. Fiora wants to be seen as a good Pegasus Knight and earn her homeland some food and honor, but she's also willing to sacrifice her happiness to get there, said happiness being something that's brought up in the Eliwood support.

"Forgive me, perhaps it is not my place. Still, watching you... I felt I had to say something. For someone as talented as yourself not to find happiness... Well, that would be the greatest tragedy of all."
And with that, we finally reach the A Support.

Farina: Hey, Sis!
Fiora: What is it, Farina?
Farina: Have you seen me out there lately? I am earning every penny of what I'm being paid! And more!
Fiora: Haha. I suppose so. You've become a dazzling pegasus knight.
Farina: So, after this, you'll be heading back to Ilia, right?
Fiora: Yes, I plan to.
Farina: Well, don't forget to grab me before you leave!
Fiora: ...? So, Farina... You're coming home, too?
Farina: I think you need me, Sis! You're not very good with finances, are you? You'd go broke without me around! I don't think I really have a choice!
Fiora: Farina... Thank you... That makes me so happy. I never knew you were so...generous...
Farina: Hey, don't get all mushy on me! Come on! It’s not like I’m doing this for free. I get a ten percent cut!
Fiora: You're kidding!?

"Farina: Hey, Sis!
Fiora: What is it, Farina?
Farina: Have you seen me out there lately? I am earning every penny of what I'm being paid! And more!
Fiora: Haha. I suppose so. You've become a dazzling pegasus knight."


This bunch of lines right there. They radiate some very positive energy. With how much Fiora keeps beating herself up and being self-deprecative, for once... she seems proud of something. She's proud of how her sister's turned out. Although she probably doesn't consider herself the reason, it's still a weigh off her shoulders to know that Farina is doing fine.

"Farina: I think you need me, Sis! You're not very good with finances, are you? You'd go broke without me around! I don't think I really have a choice!
Fiora: Farina... Thank you... That makes me so happy. I never knew you were so...generous..."


And then this happens. Farina offers to accompany Fiora home so she can help her with her monetary situation, which touches Fiora. All this time she's been insistent on how she deserves everything that's coming to her and whatnot but hearing that her own sister is offering this big a help makes her so overjoyed. It's really nice to see Fiora being happy. This simple act of Farina's just happens to be able to hit all the wounds that had to be mended: I tmakes Fiora feel like a better sister, it lifts some of the responsability off of her, and while it doesn't compensate for the loss of her unit, it still gives her reason to believe that no matter how much she fucked up, she must've done something right somewhere.

And the support ends with another money joke because Farina.

FIORA.png


And now we move on to the final support chain.

Fiora / Florina

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Florina is Fiora's youngest sister, still a pegasus knight in training. Florina first appears quite a while before any of her sisters do, as a close friend of Lyn's. Florina is also the very character who's able to recruit Fiora into your army in the first place (her best contribution), and the reason we're able to sit here today and talk about how great a character Fiora is.

Fiora: Florina?
Florina: Yes, Fiora, what is it?
Fiora: Try not to get too far ahead of the front line... You can always ride behind and back me up, you know...
Florina: Thanks, Fiora. But...I... I have to do it my way. You can handle it out there alone, right? Well I need to make sure that I can, too.
Fiora: Oh... But I worry about you. When we were in training, you used to get so scared...
Florina: Yeah, but I'm fine now.
Fiora: Really? But the Caelin knights are all men, aren't they? I just think of you, all timid and scared among them... So, Florina... You really don't mind it? Didn't they give you a hard time for being a woman? Now if they did, I want you to let me know. Because I will tell them a thing or two...
Florina: I-I'm fine. Lady Lyndis took good care of me... And everyone was really nice...
Fiora: Oh? Well, I still worry.

This support most likely occurs not long after Fiora's recruitment, and thus, not long after the famous mission failure incident. Fiora at this point is still heavily weighed down by the guilt, and thus, naturally, her first priority is ensuring a fellow Pegasus Knight's safety, one who happens to be her sister.

"Fiora: Florina?
Florina: Yes, Fiora, what is it?
Fiora: Try not to get too far ahead of the front line... You can always ride behind and back me up, you know..."


She doesn't outright order Florina to comply tho, instead gently encouraging her. Fiora respects her sister's own space and tries to make it so that Florina doesn't feel intimidated, just like a big sister would (Almost as if that's what she is).

Anyway, the support goes on and keeps showing the concern Fiora has for her sister. I can imagine I'd want the protect the shit out of her too if I got my own men killed or something. It also happens that Florina is still in training, following in the footsteps of all other Pegasus Knights, some of whom, surprise, die in a mission.

Fiora: Hey, Florina. When this is all over, we should go back to Ilia together once, you and I.
Florina: Huh? B-But I'm still only...
Fiora: Having seen you fly, I’m sure they would promote you to pegasus knight first rank if we went back to Ilia. And I really want you to join me in the first division. Then I'll be able to help you anytime you need it. I would feel much better that way.
Florina: Fiora... Look...I...
Fiora: Don't you want to fly by my side?
Florina: Well, of course I do... It's what I had always wanted... I would have been delighted to... But...
Fiora: You've got some reasons to decline, then?
Florina: ...Ulp.
Fiora: If you are worried about Lady Lyndis giving you leave, I'll talk to her...
Florina: No, that's not it. Well, I mean, I guess that's part of it, but... It's me... I just need time to...
Fiora: Fine. You can tell me whenever you're ready. Go ahead, take your time deciding. It's fine.

Alright, alright. I know we've already established that Fiora is trying to own up to her mistakes, maybe to the extreme, even. It's true that she sees herself undeserving of anything. Yet she's still allowing herself to hope that maybe her sister can go back to her and provide her comfort. To Fiora, her sisters are all she has left, and their well-being is her utmost priority. Of course, she knows Farina is doing fine of her own, but she also knows that Florina is a very shy girl who depends on others. Letting her wander off on her own knowing that would cause Fiora immense amounts of worry on top of all the pain that's already there.

"Florina: No, that's not it. Well, I mean, I guess that's part of it, but... It's me... I just need time to...
Fiora: Fine. You can tell me whenever you're ready. Go ahead, take your time deciding. It's fine."


Even with a seemingly very strong desire to take care of her, however, Fiora still understands that she cannot do anything to force Florina into Ilia again. In fact, she probably thinks it would be better for Florina if she didn't have to deal with living in Ilia at all.

Of course, This little exchange ties well with another support, specifically the one Fiora has with her other sister, Farina. Recall this:

"Farina: I think you need me, Sis! You're not very good with finances, are you? You'd go broke without me around! I don't think I really have a choice!
Fiora: Farina... Thank you... That makes me so happy. I never knew you were so...generous..."
All Fiora wants is help. She is desperate for someone she can rely on at all times, someone who can help do the heavy lifting alongside herself. By offering to go back home with her, Farina has completely filled that blank that bothered Fiora this much, and it also fully reconciles the two from the argument they had earlier. This is why Fiora gleams with happiness upon hearing the news.

And now, we get to the A Support...

Florina: Hey, Sis...
Fiora: Florina, what is it?
Florina: Well, you see. I really love you, Fiora. And it would be great to be with you, to have you to protect me always...
Fiora: Florina...
Florina: But... But... That wouldn't be good for me... You're so kind, you would probably protect me for the rest of my life... That's the problem... If I rely on you forever, I'll never become my own person. So...I've decided not to return to Ilia yet. It's because I do love you... You see, I don't want to always be the crybaby Florina who needs you to protect her... I want to be more like my sister, a fine pegasus knight.
Fiora: Florina... I...understand. That's the first time I have ever heard you express yourself so clearly.
Florina: I-I'm sorry...
Fiora: No, it’s a good thing! It means you're all grown up now! At first I thought I would rather have you in my division so I could protect you, but... But now I know you'll be fine on your own...
Florina: ...Fiora.
Fiora: Then I just have one last thing to leave you with, as a senior pegasus knight... Listen closely... No matter what happens... ...even if you have to take a mission that you are sure you won't return from... Never quit a mission that you have already accepted... We don't just fight for ourselves... We fight for the pride of the entire Ilian pegasus knight brigade. This is something that you will learn quite well someday.
Florina: Um, sure... I mean... Yes!
Fiora: Good response! ...And good luck, Florina!

This support has a similar vibe to the Farina A, where it's generally happy in tone. This is also a support where the character development of one character also affects the other. Florina sounds as confident as ever (as confident as she can get at least) trying to explain to Fiora the reason why she can't go home quite yet. This confidence is a result of Fiora taking the right steps to make her sister less afraid to share her own opinions and open up. The Florina we see here is nothing but the fruit of Fiora's care and excellent work to get her up to this point, and to Fiora, nothing can make her happier than knowing Florina will be safe.

And the best part is... Fiora admires her for all of it. We already know from the Kent support that Florina has kept talking about her sister nonstop. Not only that, but she's mentioned her a few times in her own supports.

"Ninian: I’m sorry, I don’t... I’ve been traveling for a long time with my brother, and...
Florina: Oh...I see... Well, a long time ago, there was an ice dragon in Ilia. And this kind dragon helped the people of Ilia, who had trouble living in snow year round. But a war broke out between dragons and people... And the kind dragons, not wanting to hurt the humans, went off to a faraway place.
Ninian: ......
Florina: My sister first told me that story as a child to make me go to bed..."

"When I was little, I so wanted to meet the ice dragon that I braved the cold and waited all night next to the place of offering... But I saw dawn the next morning, and the dragon never came... Then I caught a cold and my sister got very upset with me..."
-From Florina's A Support with Ninian.

"Nino: ...Florina, you’re always so good to me... You’re like...a sister to me...
Florina: Me? Your sister? Really? That makes me... so happy! ...Nino? If something is bothering you, you can tell me, all right? I’ll try really hard to listen like a sister..."
-From Florina's A Support with Nino.

I find this second one really cute because that's Florina trying to be to Nino what Fiora is to her, and it really shows how she appreciates her sister so much.

Finally, this is the last line I'm gonna be taking a look at.

"Fiora: Then I just have one last thing to leave you with, as a senior pegasus knight... Listen closely... No matter what happens... ...even if you have to take a mission that you are sure you won't return from... Never quit a mission that you have already accepted... We don't just fight for ourselves... We fight for the pride of the entire Ilian pegasus knight brigade. This is something that you will learn quite well someday."

Finally, this is a line I find interesting, because Fiora here is describing the exact same code that she broke to save Farina's squadron. This is Fiora's ultimate way of just atoning for the mistakes she's made along the way, by turning them into something that may help someone else, and I honestly find it cathartic in a way. This is an instance of Fiora, taking her flaws and confronting them head on, embracing them, and using them to do something good.

All this time, Fiora has done nothing but criticize herself and her decisions, and has focused too much on what she's done wrong, when in reality, she really is all of a kind friend, a dedicated worker, a responsible woman, and most of all, a caring sister. And for all those reasons, Fiora is without a single doubt, my absolute favorite character from this series (and possibly from any piece of media tbh).

She deserves all the happiness she gets, and more.

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With that, thanks for reading all this. I'd like to be given some feedback so I can try to improve on how to format these character analysis. I actually don't have a character to go over next in mind (YET), but that will be my concern soon enough. Until then everyone, take care, and if you got any character you want me to take a look at, contact me and if I know enough about them, I'll get to it.

And remember to stan Fiora.
 
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Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
Fire Emblem! Oh to be a Fire Emblem protagonist... people respect you, and they're generally good people fighting for your cause, just being there waiting for you to command them!

But what if I told you, not everyone is like that. In life, you will meet some bad people who resent you for no apparent reason... people who are downright assholes who take joy upon making your life miserable. What if I told you... Shinon, is such a man. And damn do we love him for it.

Shinon - Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn



Before we get into this, I just wanna say that this analysis contains some major spoilers for the aforementioned games. Simply put, if you do not want to be spoiled on any of the two games, then do not read the analysis... or better yet, play both games and read the analysis. Ok? Ok!

Shinon is a mercenary working under Greil Mercenaries company leader... Greil. Alongside Deputy commander Titania and his best friend Gatrie, they were a decently respected group who were paid mostly with bandit attacks threatening villages and towns and whatnot. The group is based in Crimea, neighbor to Daein and Gallia, as well as being a vassal state to the Begnion Empire.

Shinon's very first appearance is in Chapter 2 of Path of Radiance. As a bandit is just about to kill a particular hostage, an arrow stops him and sends him straight to the shadow realm, as the following line is heard:

Shinon: A single arrow, right between the eyes? Who else could make a shot like that? No one, that’s who!

Right from this moment, you can tell Shinon is a pretty arrogant fucker.

Ike: So, that’s where you went, Titania?
Titania: Of course. I knew we’d need reinforcements. I’m glad it wasn’t a waste of time.
Well done, both of you.
Shinon: In the end, I got to feather someone. So it was worth the rush.
Gatrie: All I… did… was sweat… That… was h-hard… work…


Shinon and Gatrie arrive just in the nick of time to save the day (even if Shinon himself was the one who did the saving). From this appearance alone, Shinon just appears to be a bit of a snob but who means well. That's usually the first impression that's given to the player, but do not be fooled, this man hides a character.

Come next chapter, Ike, Titania, Shinon and Gatrie are all assigned by Greil to quell another bandit attack in a port town. At the end of the map, the old man who was to handle the payment goes on about how the company, notably commander Greil, are just about good enough to become Crimean Royal guards, obviously a pretty high honor. Titania turns him down saying the mercenaries are happy serving the common folk and dreams of fame and glory are out of the question, to which Shinon responds as following:

Shinon: Pah! Jobs like this barely make a dent in my incurable boredom! It’s like that old buzzard said, there’s better work out there Something with a bit of challenge.

Titania takes it as an offensive comment on the company's honest work and frowns upon him, and Shinon quickly retracts his statement sneakily. He respects Titania as a deputy commander of the company, that however doesn't stop him from muttering when he's alone.

Shinon: Pah. I’m surrounded by idealistic fools. What’s so wrong with fame? What’s wrong with having money to live well?

And honestly? He's right in a way. Chivalry? Humility? He just wants to live for god's sake! While the rest of the company is content in what they're doing, Shinon thinks it's pointless to never aim higher. Although his way of expressing it is not exactly what one would call being nice about it.

His next significant moment is next chapter, when news of an invasion of the capital reach the mercenaries. Thinking it wise to assert the situation as best as they can, Greil appoints his son, Ike, to lead a scouting operation to Melior, Crimea's capital. Ike. Who's only seen three battles. Three battles against bandits. Running the risk of running into actual trained soldiers... what could go wrong?

Shinon: Commander, you must be joking! He’s just a boy, and he’s had barely more than a taste of battle. What do you expect a whelp like him to accomplish?

Right off the bat Shinon makes it clear he does not like where this is going. While everyone places their utmost faith in Ike and trust in Greil's judgement, Shinon is absolutely revolted and refuses to let this happen without saying a word.

Sure enough, once on the scene, they do run into the enemy. Once the battle starts, Shinon will taunt Ike about this being his first fight against professionals and will remark that he's unable to strategize on a whim.

Needless to say, Shinon seems to have a particular dislike for Ike.



At the end of the chapter, Ike finds and rescues a woman who seemed injured near the field. In chapter 5, Ike and friends are back at the base and are discussing their next move. The woman also claims to be the princess of the kingdom having escaped the invasion.

Daein soldiers arrive at the company's doorstep and are requesting the woman in question be handed to them in exchange of their leave. This is where the mercenaries have to make a choice, and each and everyone of the people inside give their own insight. While most are in favor of helping the princess, Shinon obviously isn't:

Shinon: Soren’s a pompous, superior whelp, but he’s got the right idea. Besides, the destination’s Gallia, so it’s a moot question. I don’t care how much we get paid; there’s no way under the sun I’m going to stinking beast country.

For reference, the "right idea" that Soren had:

Soren: We are mercenaries. Our actions are dictated only by self-interest. If we want to ensure our future, we need Daein in our debt. They will win this war, after all, and nothing else serves us better.

This reveals two facets of Shinon's character. First, he's solely guided by self-interest. Second... he's racist. For context, in this scenario, not handing over Elincia (the princess) to the enemy will mean the mercenaries will have to comply with her request of taking her to shelter in Gallia, a neighboring country inhabited by... furries. And apparently Shinon hates them with a burning passion.

In fact, Shinon shows more of his racist side right away next chapter.

Shinon: Dense forests such as these are not made for us delicate humans. The sub-humans love ’em, though.
Ike: These…sub-humans…Are they really so different from us?
Shinon: What, you mean to tell me you’ve never seen a beast-man before?
Ike: No, never.
Shinon: Well, I have. They’re a hairy bunch, I’ll tell you. And ugly as sin, too. Their faces are all fangs and whisker. Their claws are like daggers, razor sharp and deadly. And even though they can speak our language, they’re beasts through and through. Savages, every one.
Ike: Are there more than one type?
Soren: The ones Shinon calls “sub-humans” can be divided into three groups, each one named for its physical characteristics. First, the beast tribe, next, the bird tribe, and finally, the dragon tribe. They are traditionally called “laguz.” The laguz tribe residing here in Gallia is the beast tribe, who possess those feline qualities of which Shinon spoke.
Shinon: To the south are the islands where the bird-men live. The dragons are in Goldoa. It’s something every mercenary should know. Looks like you know even less than I gave you credit for, Ike, my boy.
Ike: Hm… Perhaps.

I like this exchange for two reasons. 1- It sounds a lot like a big brother feeding his little bro lies to keep him confused about life. 2- There's a big contrast between Ike and Shinon displayed here. Ike is young, ignorant and seemingly unaffected by the description of the laguz, meanwhile Shinon is older, experienced and also a huge prick about the whole thing. As I said before, Shinon is nothing like a typical Fire Emblem character, especially for someone this closely tied to a main character.

Now up ahead are huge spoilers, even bigger than the ones I've already shown.

After Greil is killed, leadership of the company automatically went to his son, Ike. With these news, Shinon decides to just up and leave, likely because he is NOT putting up with this bullshit.



After this, Shinon never makes any meaningful appearances in the main story ever again... until chapter 18, where he's now fighting under the enemy. The Daein army has paid him well and is known for only judging a soldier by their strength, with the strongest earning the highest positions. This sounded like a good deal to him. You can get him back on your side though, but it requires some complications for a unit who's honestly not worth it this late into the game. Whatever! That's not what we're here to take a look at! Once back on your side, Shinon hasn't changed.

Shinon: Crud, I lost... This was a plum chance for me to get a leg up in this world, too.
Ike: Shinon.
Shinon: Ha! And I can't believe that the one who defeats me is little lord Ikie. Looks like I've lost my edge. I'm ready, boy. Go on. Finish what you started.
Ike:Come back to the company.
Shinon: I don't think so.
Ike: You've never liked me. As far back as I can remember, you have never liked me.
Shinon: That's right. Still don't.
Ike: You... You called me a weakling. Said I was nothing without the help of my father. That's what you said, right? That's why you hated me.
Shinon: ...Sounds like me.
Ike: Don't you get it? I just beat you. So your reasons don't hold water anymore, do they?
Shinon: Pah! It's enough you beat me, now you gotta talk me to death?
Ike: I'll say it once more. Come back to the company. I acknowledge your abilities. As commander, I want you with us.
Shinon: ...Let's have another go around. I win, and I'm commander. Agreed?
Ike: I win, and you fall in line. Agreed?
Shinon: Don't worry, boy. I'll make it quick.
Ike: Let's go.


This conversation takes place after the chapter ends if the correct requirements were met. And here we actually get a glipmse as to why Shinon despises Ike the way he does.

Ike: You... You called me a weakling. Said I was nothing without the help of my father. That's what you said, right? That's why you hated me.
In Shinon's perspective, Ike's had it easy. He had a dad who loved him and raised him well, to become a man worthy of respect. Then you look at Shinon who's an asshole the entire time he's on the screen, Shinon who only thinks about what's in his best interest, Shinon who joined the army opposing his friends when they offered him better opportunities. In a world where mercenaries have to do whatever to scrape by, Ike has had an easy upbringing, and that's why Shinon resents him. Ike has never made it to where he is because of his own work and effort, but rather because he was raised to do this. It's ironic in a way, since Ike himself dislikes the classist system about as much as Shinon hates furries, and yet in Shinon's eyes, Ike is exactly what Ike himself resents in the nobility.



Now with all of this out of the way, we can finally dive into Shinon's own supports for this game. Shinon has three support chains, with the following characters:

- Gatrie, his best friend and fellow Greil Mercenary.

- Rolf, a young boy taken in by Greil who later becomes a mercenary as well.

- Janaff, a member of the hawk clan, and the righthand man to Phoenicis's king Tibarn.


Shinon/Gatrie:



Gatrie: ...Huff... ...Puff... Maybe I should... Oh! Or then again, I could... Hmm... No, I won’t do that...
Shinon: Hey.
Gatrie: Hm? Oh, hey, Shinon!
Shinon: What in the heck are you doing? It’s really annoying.
Gatrie: Shhh! It’s a secret!
Shinon: Whatever. See you around.
Gatrie: W-wait! I’m just joking! Stop being so mean and listen for a second!
Shinon: I will if you buy dinner tonight.
Gatrie: Mmmm... Oh, all right. But you better give me good advice!
Shinon: Of course, of course. So, what’s on your mind?
Gatrie: I’m thinking about the reward that we’re going to get. I’m not sure what to do with it.
Shinon: Up to you. Spend it however you please.
Gatrie: But every time I spend money, you give me a hard time!
Shinon: I do? How?
Gatrie: What about the other day, when I bought the Ultimate Shield?!
Shinon: Gatrie, that was a castle gate. Hey, did you ever give that back? That guard thought you were a thief.
Gatrie: And remember the SpeedBring 4000? That secret elixir that boosts speed just by sprinkling it over your body–
Shinon: You mean that putrid snake oil? You dumped the whole bottle on your head without smelling it first.
Gatrie: But that wonderful little potion worked! I DID move faster!
Shinon: You moved faster because thirty stray dogs were chasing you.
Gatrie: See! You’re giving me a hard time again!
Shinon: Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Wow, it sure is fun to tell you the truth and have you grumble at me in return.
Gatrie: No, no! I didn’t mean to... Er... Sorry...
Shinon: Hmm... You’re too honest sometimes...
Gatrie: Hee hee! You’re embarrassing me!
Shinon: All right, let’s go eat! Now that’s spending wisely!
Gatrie: Yeah, let’s... Wait a minute, Shinon! You didn’t help me at all! This isn’t part of the deal!

This support is funny.

We can also deduce from it that Shinon acts as sort of a voice of reason for Gatrie's easily swayed mind. Shinon is also, as expected, a man of no patience, and he especially hates it when people beat around the bush.

Shinon: Whatever. See you around.
Gatrie: W-wait! I’m just joking! Stop being so mean and listen for a second!
Shinon: I will if you buy dinner tonight.
Gatrie: Mmmm... Oh, all right. But you better give me good advice!
Shinon: Of course, of course. So, what’s on your mind?


Later in the support:

Shinon: All right, let’s go eat! Now that’s spending wisely!
Gatrie: Yeah, let’s... Wait a minute, Shinon! You didn’t help me at all! This isn’t part of the deal!


Shinon is not even above tricking his best friend for money. Of course in this case, it's all in good fun, Shinon isn't limited to being a jerk and can instead be a jerk with benefits. He's also pretty shrewd, something you'd expect him to pick up at some point.

Gatrie: Say, Shinon!
Shinon: I’m busy. Come back later.
Gatrie: I really want to ask you something. Right now!
Shinon: No, Gatrie.
Gatrie: I’ll pay for dinner again.
Shinon: Get lost.
Gatrie: We’ll eat somewhere more expensive tonight.
Shinon: Appetizers?
Gatrie: Sure! You can order anything you want!
Shinon: All right, then. I think I can spare some time for my brother-in-arms.
Gatrie: Aw, thanks Shinon! I owe you one!
Shinon: ...Well? What do you want?
Gatrie: Well, actually... What I need to ask you is...
Shinon: Spit it out!
Gatrie: Well, it’s... Oh, I don’t know. Do you really want to hear it?
Shinon: Do that one more time, and I’ll put an arrow through your eye!
Gatrie: W-wait! Just a minute! I’ll tell you now... Are you ready?
Shinon: Aaaaaarrrgh!
Gatrie: Ihaveanewgirlfriend!!!!
Shinon: A new girlfriend? Is she blind or something?
Gatrie: I met her in town yesterday! She’s soooo cute! I’m telling you, she’s the one for me!
Shinon: Well, I’m happy for you. Oh, I see. You want to ask me what kind of gift to give her, right?
Gatrie: Tee hee hee! Yeah, that’s right! What should I give her?
Shinon: I know everything there is to know about gift giving, my friend. I’ll tell you all about it over a fine meal.
Gatrie: Please do, romance master!

I find it hilarious how Shinon makes it sound like he's a love expert all of a sudden, and despite his character, it's honestly not even that hard to believe. Either way though this support is just another one where Gatrie is asking Shinon for help in some matter in exchange for dinner. It's just one of those conversations that are fun to read and only rely on previously established character traits, nothing to see here.

Gatrie: ...
Shinon: What the...?
Gatrie: ...
Shinon: Why are you standing out here like a scarecrow?
Gatrie: Hey, Shinon. I’m just waiting for my girlfriend.
Shinon: Oh. Her. Right. You’re still dating?
Gatrie: Yep! And when I gave her the gift that you picked out for me... boy, was she happy! In fact, I’ll tell you a secret... we’re getting married!
Shinon: Aren’t you rushing it a little?
Gatrie: Oh, no! You see, she’s terminally ill. She has Brain Stones. It’s really bad. She only had a few days left to live. And since she didn’t have enough money to pay for the treatment... I thought it was time to spend my gold!
Shinon: You paid for it?
Gatrie: Yep! Every last gold piece! And guess what? The treatment cost exactly as much as I had! It’s fate, isn’t it? Oh, with a coincidence like this, I know that we’re meant for each other!
Shinon: ...You’ve got to be kidding me.
Gatrie: Between the war and her illness, times are pretty rough, so we decided to have the wedding right away. I was supposed to meet her here and then introduce her to the company. I wanted to do it in style, you know? But she’s not here yet... Oh, wait is that... No, that’s a horse. Hmm... I’m a little worried. I went to her house this morning, but I think I got the address wrong. All I found was an abandoned shack. But it’ll be all right! She knows I’m with this army, and... And...
Shinon: Gatrie? She’s not coming. You’ve been conned.
Gatrie: Whaaat!? No, I don’t believe it! She’s such a fine girl! So pure and kind! She’d never hornswoggle ol’ Gatrie!
Shinon: How can someone with only days left to live manage to walk the streets looking for a knight with lots of money?
Gatrie: Because... Because she needed to meet me! It’s fate! Remember?
Shinon: Then why isn’t she here?
Gatrie: B-because... Um... Wolves?
Shinon: No, Gatrie. It’s not wolves.
Gatrie: Oh... Hee hee! Hee hee hee! I guess ol’ Gatrie... Whaa ha ha! I guess I got taken again! Whaa ha ha ha... Whooo! Oh man, I’ll never learn.
Shinon: Tell me what she looks like.
Gatrie: Huh? Why?
Shinon: All your money? That’s going too far. I’ll find her and...get it back.
Gatrie: Well... Nah, that’s all right. I mean, it’s my fault anyway.
Shinon: Are you sure? She must be laughing her head off by now.
Gatrie: Well, at least it was a cute little head.
Shinon: Sigh... You’re hopeless, Gatrie. You know that?
Gatrie: Yeah, I know. But I don’t mind so much. It makes me kinda charming, right?
Shinon: Well, I guess you don’t have to worry about what to do with your money anymore.
Gatrie: Yeah, that’s right. Hey, if you look at it that way, it’s a blessing in disguise!
Shinon: Let’s go find a watering hole with some cute waitresses. What do you say?
Gatrie: Hey, that’s a great idea! Oh, but... I don’t have any money. Sorry, Shinon. Maybe some other time.
Shinon: Forget it. It’s my treat.
Gatrie: Are...are you sure?
Shinon: Yep.
Gatrie: Hee hee hee!
Shinon: What’s so funny?
Gatrie: Supper on your gold piece? This is my lucky day!
Shinon: Hopeless.

This right here is the peak of Gatrie's naiveté, as his "girlfriend" manages to squeeze him out of all his money. Naturally, though, it's Shinon who brings this to his attention. Through this, we can see that Shinon does in fact actually care, as he hastily tells Gatrie about what he's picked up on the situation. He even offers to help him out of the pickle he's gotten himself into (even though Gatrie himself doesn't seem to mind it much). The end of the support is also pretty nice, seeing Shinon himself offer Gatrie a treat himself, just because. Shinon may be an ass, but he's also a normal human being, one who still values his close ones.

Shinon/Janaff:



Next support we'll look at will be his chain with Janaff. Janaff is, as I introduced him as earlier, King Tibarn of Phoenicis's righthand man, alongisde his compatriot Ulki. Phoenicis is a country where the Hawk laguz lives. And we already Shinon's opinion on laguz is... less than adequate. Either way, let's go.

Janaff: Ho! You there! Halt!
Shinon: ...
Janaff: Hey, did you hear me? I said halt!
Shinon: Who are you?
Janaff: I’ll ask the questions, thanks. Hmmm... I haven’t seen your face around here before. Are you a new recruit? State your name and unit.
Shinon: I don’t have time to answer questions from ignorant half-breeds.
Janaff: W-what? What did you call me!? Hey! I’m talking to you, jerk!
Shinon: Say that again... Go ahead. It’ll be the last thing you ever say.
Janaff: I’m not afraid of you, human! Crossing me is the worst decision you’ll ever make.
Shinon: ...
Janaff: ...
Shinon: You’re lucky, half-breed. I’ll let you go this time.
Janaff: Pah! It’s me who’s letting you go. And don’t forget it, human!

I'd say Janaff is one of many, many laguz Shinon has been able to aggressively piss off in this way. As a big Phoenicis representative in the war, Janaff has taken up some of the army's duties. Janaff also has an unnaturally good eye, able to see far into the horizon, even if the target is a day's walk away, so it's natural that he'd just be able to spot and discern who's who in the army. Also Shinon rejoins literally the same chapter as Janaff. Kinda neat how it works out so I can condition you into interpreting it this way.

Anyway, both Shinon and Janaff already seem to mutually hate each other. Expected. Shinon being the racist guy he is insults the race he deplores, and Janaff, the guy at the receiving end, snaps back.

Also I just wanna point out that the laguz use the word "human" as a slur much like Shinon uses "sub-humans".

Shinon: Oh, look, it’s the half-breed birdbrain. What a pleasant surprise. Peck anyone lately?
Janaff: Don’t start with me, you human jerk.
Shinon: I hear you’re a bodyguard for the king of Phoenicis. Not a bad gig... considering how scrawny you are.
Janaff: I hear you knew Greil for ages. They say he betrayed his men and aided Daein before fleeing to Crimea.
Shinon: Are you calling him a traitor?! Dastard! You’ll die for that! No... I’m not going to do this. I’m a true mercenary. I’m won’t give you the satisfaction of a free fight.
Janaff: ...I don’t get you, human. You have no clan and no master... What are you fighting for?
Shinon: I fight to live. That’s all. Doesn’t everyone? It’s not like people kill each other for fun.
Janaff: You don’t?
Shinon: What?
Janaff: You don’t kill for fun? You don’t enjoy it?
Shinon: No. Why, do you?
Janaff: I thought you humans...liked to kill. That’s why you make weapons. Why you hunt animals for sport.
Shinon: Ha! We make weapons to protect ourselves from you half-breeds! Only wealthy bluestockings with too much time on their hands hunt for sport!
Janaff: ...
Shinon: Man, what an idiot...
Janaff: Wait! I have more questions! Rrrr! Human jerk!

This one is pretty interesting. We get more of a perspective into Shinon's own mentality this time. When he feels like Greil's been insulted by Janaff, he takes it very seriously. Normally all he does in the face of an insult is laugh it off and come up with a comeback to annoy you, but here, he's genuinely enraged at the remark.

Janaff: I hear you knew Greil for ages. They say he betrayed his men and aided Daein before fleeing to Crimea.
Shinon: Are you calling him a traitor?! Dastard! You’ll die for that! No... I’m not going to do this. I’m a true mercenary. I’m won’t give you the satisfaction of a free fight.


Even then, Shinon still has his own set of morals that he abides by almost religiously. To him, the mercernary way is all he's ever known and to betray its code would be to betray his own identity as one. For this reason he knows not to pick a fight that's pointless and doesn't benefit him in any way that's material. In fact, the very next line Shinon says affirms his stance on the matter: his one and only motive is to survive.

Janaff: You don’t kill for fun? You don’t enjoy it?
Shinon: No. Why, do you?
Janaff: I thought you humans...liked to kill. That’s why you make weapons. Why you hunt animals for sport.
Shinon: Ha! We make weapons to protect ourselves from you half-breeds! Only wealthy bluestockings with too much time on their hands hunt for sport!


Shinon not only shows his disdain for nobles (which also lead to his disliking for Ike), but he also indirectly managed to prove that both races have the wrong idea about each other. Shinon may be a racist, but he's not the only one with a warped vision of things. Shinon only ever claims he hates laguz because that's just how it is, both races hate each other, so he's just here to retaliate.

Janaff: Oh. There you are.
Shinon: ...
Janaff: Shinon, right? Do you have a moment?
Shinon: Huh? Oh, it’s the half-breed birdbrain! Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are the good kind.
Janaff: Don’t lash out at me, you huma... Er... I’m sorry about the other day.
Shinon: Y-you’re what?
Janaff: I misunderstood the beorc. I thought all beorcs liked killing, and that we could never learn to live with one another.
Shinon: Why did you join Ike’s army if you feel that way? Did the king order it?
Janaff: No. The relationship with our king is not one-sided like that. If we do not deem the king’s orders to be right and just, we will not obey them.
Shinon: Then why did you join?
Janaff: Commander Ike saved one of my friends in Serenes. Though my first duty is always as Prince Reyson’s bodyguard, I also hope to return the favor. I trust the commander. I...like him.
Shinon: Ha! At least someone does.
Janaff: Hm?
Shinon: I’ve always hated Ike. He gets everything handed to him and takes it all for granted.
Janaff: But that’s not his fault, is it? One can’t decide their parentage.
Shinon: ...Nah, I suppose it’s not his fault. But you know what? It’s my choice to feel this way, so I’ll keep doing it.
Janaff: Heh. You’ve got that right.
Shinon: Wait, wait. Why am I talking about this stuff with you?
Janaff: You know what, Shinon? You kind of... You remind me of me when I was young.
Shinon: Huh?
Janaff: I used to be quite the daredevil before I grew into adulthood. Nothing ever seemed to please me.
Shinon: How old are you, anyway?
Janaff: I’m a bit over 110 years old.
Shinon: Wha–?! You half-br...you guys must have a different way of counting than us humans.
Janaff: Don’t spring, summer, fall, and winter make a year in your calendar, too?
Shinon: So if I’m twenty-seven, you must be at least...eighty-five years older than me!
Janaff: Indeed. So give me some respect, you young pup. If you run into trouble in the future, come see me. I’ll give you the kind of advice that only an elder can give.
Shinon: Oh, hey! Hold on! Um...tell me more about your life. You’ve seen a lot, you know?

To think Shinon's come a long way. It's interesting to see him almost being friendly with a laguz, even though he himself denies it.

Shinon: Why did you join Ike’s army if you feel that way? Did the king order it?
Janaff: No. The relationship with our king is not one-sided like that. If we do not deem the king’s orders to be right and just, we will not obey them.
Shinon: Then why did you join?
Janaff: Commander Ike saved one of my friends in Serenes. Though my first duty is always as Prince Reyson’s bodyguard, I also hope to return the favor. I trust the commander. I...like him.


Shinon seems to be curious about what prompted Janaff to join the army despite his clear dislike of beorc (oh yeah beorc is what "humans" are called btw), which leads them to talk about the upper class. Janaff states that not only does he have the highest trust in the king, but that he also has a somewhat personal stake in all this. In that moment, Shinon gains some respect for Janaff without showing it, but it does however get him to speak about himself a little.

Shinon: I’ve always hated Ike. He gets everything handed to him and takes it all for granted.
Janaff: But that’s not his fault, is it? One can’t decide their parentage.
Shinon: ...Nah, I suppose it’s not his fault. But you know what? It’s my choice to feel this way, so I’ll keep doing it.
Janaff: Heh. You’ve got that right.
Shinon: Wait, wait. Why am I talking about this stuff with you?


Even he himself realizes this and is baffled by why would he speak to a laguz this way. This support doesn't clear Shinon from all the negative ideas he has of the race but it does make him a little more open-minded on things, especially when he realizes Janaff is a lot more like him than he thought. I also like how he acknowledges that his reasons for hating Ike might be misplaced, yet he's done so for a long time that just doesn't feel like reevaluating his opinion. Makes it more fun to tease him in the future that's for sure. Dude just kinda doesn't care at this point.

Shinon: So if I’m twenty-seven, you must be at least...eighty-five years older than me!
Janaff: Indeed. So give me some respect, you young pup. If you run into trouble in the future, come see me. I’ll give you the kind of advice that only an elder can give.
Shinon: Oh, hey! Hold on! Um...tell me more about your life. You’ve seen a lot, you know?


Bringing attention back to this:

Ike is young, ignorant and seemingly unaffected by the description of the laguz, meanwhile Shinon is older, experienced and also a huge prick about the whole thing.
Even Shinon, who knows it all and has the quote on quote "experience" can still learn from others, and for him of all people to be willing to learn from a laguz is definitely not what you'd expect, but even then, the progression of this support is so natural and well-paced that it just feels right and in-character. This is truly a great support (and really if he didn't have a great support to begin with I wouldn't be talking about him at all).

Shinon/Rolf:



Now time to move to his final support chain, with Rolf. Rolf is the younger half-brother of both Boyd and Oscar, the latter of which used to be a Crimean Royal Knight. After their father died and Rolf's mother abandoned him, Oscar and Boyd worked twice as hard to be able to survive, until they and Rolf were all taken in by the Greil mercenaries. Ever grateful, the three brothers are all eager to help the company however they can. Rolf joins Ike's group formally somewhere down the line so that he could prove his worth as a fighter to his brothers and to everyone. He says he picked up how to use a bow by himself, but that's a big fat lie. His instructor was none other than, you guessed it, Shinon.

Rolf: Uncle Shinon! Wait, Uncle Shinon!
Shinon: What do you want, Rolf?
Rolf: Tee hee hee! Look at this!
Shinon: Why are you showing me this? It’s just a piece of bent wood.
Rolf: No, Shinon. It’s a bow! You gave me my first bow, and I wanted to return the favor! I’m making it one whittle at a time. I know it’s not exactly the best-looking weapon out there, but... I hope you’ll use it!
Shinon: Meh. Maybe if I overhauled it... I may be able to...call it a...bow. This thing is going to break the first time I fire it! You want me to be unarmed on the battlefield? Is that it?
Rolf: I... I don’t–
Shinon: Look, to begin with, you used the wrong kind of wood. This is much too hard and inflexible. Remember the bow I made for you? It didn’t look like this, did it?
Rolf: B-but... I worked so hard! It should be just like yours!
Shinon: Not even close.
Rolf: N-not...not even... Wh... Whaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Shinon: Ah, crud. Don’t start bawling! Look, let me give you a quick lesson.
Rolf: Whaaaaa... Really!? Promise? Oh, I’m so happy! Yay! Yay! I love you, Unkie Shinon!
Shinon: Yeah, yeah, it’s a promise. Now quit clinging to me like a lost dog. Hey, seriously! Rolf...!

It's unknown how Rolf got this close to Shinon, but one thing's for sure, he idolizes him. He tries to imitate whatever Shinon does, at least what he sees him as. Shinon may be harsh on Rolf but he seems like he actually is eager to get Rolf to improve himself. This support is only merely an introduction to the two's dynamic, so there's nothing I can dig up now, but let's just keep going.

Rolf: Look, look, Uncle Shinon! Doesn’t it look like a bow now?
Shinon: I guess you could...categorize it as a bow. Maybe. If you closed your eyes.
Rolf: So will you use–
Shinon: No way! I don’t want to die just yet.
Rolf: Wha... Whaaa... Oh, fine! I’ll just use it myself.
Shinon: Oh, for the love of... Rolf! Wait!
Rolf: What?
Shinon: Give me the bow.
Rolf: Did you change your mind?
Shinon: Yeah. I suddenly got this...uh... weird urge to take it.
Rolf: Really? All right! Whooooo! Here you go, Uncle Shinon!!
Shinon: Thanks. Um...see you later.
Rolf: Wow, I bet Uncle Shinon will just love my bow! It’ll be his favorite bow ever! But I wanna see him fire it… I know! I’ll follow him. Tee hee hee! Here I come, Uncle Shinon!

Shinon is still keeping track of Rolf's progress. This is less of a conversation and more a transition to the A support, since there's only one thing of interest happening here: Rolf, hell-bent on proving to Shinon how good his new bow is, decides to use it himself, but Shinon stops him and offers to take it instead. This act is clearly done on a whim and it shows, Shinon knows the dangers of the war, and wants to prevent anything happening to Rolf if he can help it. The problem though is that this creates a misunderstanding and Rolf thinks Shinon actually intended on using the bow.

Shinon: Get over it, Rolf.
Rolf: ...
Shinon: Oh, come on! It was in your best interest.
Rolf: ...
Shinon: Psh! What a stubborn brat. If you’re going to be like that, I’ll just leave.
Rolf: YOU THREW MY BOW AWAY!!
Shinon: Listen, Rolf. If I had let you onto a battlefield with that bow, you would have been killed. I prevented your death in advance... Heck, I saved your life! You should be thanking me.
Rolf: I know that, Uncle Shinon, but... I put my whole heart into that bow! I just wanted you to be happy. The first time I went into battle, my feet were shaking because I was so scared. But then I held the bow that you made for me, and it gave me strength. And I said, “Rolf! You can do this!” I learned absolutely everything from you! That’s how I’ve stayed alive this whole time.
Shinon: ...But why on earth... Why would you depend on me like that? I mean, I just I taught you how to fire the bow on a whim.
Rolf: But it still made me happy! My brothers never let me do anything. They still treat me like a baby. If you hadn’t taught me archery, I’d be sitting at home right now! I hate waiting around while everyone is fighting for their lives. I mean, we all made it back yesterday but... What about today? Or tomorrow? At home, all you do is wait and wait and feel terrible. I hate it!
Shinon: Rolf, I know how you feel, but... adults don’t want to send kids to a battlefield if they can help it. Only a complete madman wants to be involved in the death of someone else. Especially if it’s a kid. But the sad thing is, it’s more about making ourselves feel better than saving the life of another. The fear of being responsible for a death is always in the back of our minds, so we try to lessen the guilt as much as possible. Humans...most humans...feel the pain of others. Holding that back is a lot harder than you think.
Rolf: Wow. I never thought about that.
Shinon: It’s a rough lesson to learn. Bah! I hate adults like nothing else. All ego and pride... Kids live a more honorable existence. But you’re growing up fast. So the sooner you learn to survive, the better.
Rolf: So that’s why you taught me archery, isn’t it? It wasn’t just a whim!
Shinon: ...Well... Maybe... But if that’s what you want to think, and it puts you in a good mood, it’s fine by me.

By following Shinon around, Rolf witnesses him throwing away the special bow he made just for him, which understandably upsets him. Rolf is a 12 year old child, and things like that mean a lot more to him than one would come to think. Shinon tries to calm him down by telling him that he could've died if he had taken the bow himself. Obviously though, that wasn't the reason Rolf was mad. He put his heart and soul into the bow, so seeing all of that get torn apart is soul-crushing.

Rolf: I know that, Uncle Shinon, but... I put my whole heart into that bow! I just wanted you to be happy. The first time I went into battle, my feet were shaking because I was so scared. But then I held the bow that you made for me, and it gave me strength. And I said, “Rolf! You can do this!” I learned absolutely everything from you! That’s how I’ve stayed alive this whole time.
Shinon: ...But why on earth... Why would you depend on me like that? I mean, I just I taught you how to fire the bow on a whim.


Shinon is struck by this. He knows himself a jerk. He treats most people like shit (and enjoys it), so he never expects anyone to have so much faith in him. That may also be part of why he had no problem at all fighting his former companions in the first place. Not even seeing Rolf on the battlefield could convince him from leaving the enemy. Shinon really only came back to the army because he had nothing else to do, but now that he's here, he's willing to make a man out of Rolf.

Shinon: Rolf, I know how you feel, but... adults don’t want to send kids to a battlefield if they can help it. Only a complete madman wants to be involved in the death of someone else. Especially if it’s a kid. But the sad thing is, it’s more about making ourselves feel better than saving the life of another. The fear of being responsible for a death is always in the back of our minds, so we try to lessen the guilt as much as possible. Humans...most humans...feel the pain of others. Holding that back is a lot harder than you think.

This is quite possibly the most humane thing Shinon ever says. And it is the sad reality for most people. Being a good person comes with feeling good about ourselves, and it's this feeling that really drives people to be people. And because of this human nature, people will do whatever to see others safe. Shinon knows how the world works. He's seen the world work. He knows that it's only a matter of time till Rolf has to take the battlefield, and as such he offered him his tutelage so that he could feel better about himself, and in doing so has been able to develop a genuine friendship with this child who prides himself a mercenary. Shinon is aware of what the mercenary life entails, and before he'd eventually turn his coat, He thought he'd help a fellow mercenary who was still pure to learn how to fend for himself and make his path.

 

Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
With all of that, we're done with Path of Radiance Shinon. Now to move on to Radiant Dawn Shinon.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn takes place roughly three years after the end of Path of Radiance, and the Greil Mercenaries are back in all their glory when Part 3 of the game rolls around. And among them is, you guessed it, Shinon. Still working under Ike, and he has not changed a little bit. He has a conversation with Gatrie that's available in Chapter 3-1 and it showcases just about everything Shinon's about on the surface.

Gatrie: ...Oh, and this girl! You're going to think you're dreaming! She's as lovely as the dawn, I'm telling you!
Shinon: All right, just show me already. Where is this sunrise with legs, anyway?
Gatrie: Wait, are you saying you're actually curious? I never thought I'd see the day.
Shinon: Well, we're gonna have to hang around these sub-humans for quite a while. A pretty face will help keep me sane.

(Lyre arrives)

Lyre: Hey! You! You want to say that again?!
Gatrie: Ahh...!
Shinon: Hey, pussycat. You should've dropped by after dinner. I'm a generous man. I would've given you some table scraps.
Lyre: T-table scraps?! How dare you! You're scum! Who do you think you are? I'm not going to forget that!
Shinon: Aww, kitty wants to play? Sure, I've got some time to kill. Let's dance, hairball!
Lyre: HISSSSSS!!!

(Kyza arrives)

Kyza: Stop! Don't make another move.
Lyre: Kyza! You should hear the garbage he's saying! He's the worst man I've ever met!
Kyza: He's a beorc, Lyre. Please accept my apology on behalf of my associate. Please, forgive her. Now you, Lyre. Apologize to him.
Lyre: What?! Why do I have to be the one to apologize?! That guy was the one who started it!
Kyza: Do you want me to report to Captain Ranulf that you couldn't control your temper and started a fight with a beorc?
Lyre: N-no...
Shinon: I'm waiting... I'd forgive you if you apologized. I am a nice guy, you know.
Lyre: What?! Never! You're lucky I don't claw that smile off your face!

(Lyre leaves)

Kyza: Lyre! I'm sorry... Maybe some other time. Excuse me.

(Kyza leaves)

Shinon: Hmmph, I hate it when sub-humans like him act all high-and-mighty, pretending to be just like us beorc. He's even worse than the other hairball.
Gatrie: ...Sigh.
Shinon: What, did all that stun you into silence? You look like you've been hit in the head.
Gatrie: So, her name is Lyre. What a pretty name! Lyyyyyre...
Shinon: What? Oh, come on! Don't tell me the girl you were talking about is that pussycat!
Gatrie: Don't mock me, Shinon! This is serious. I feel it. It's destiny! That girl and I are fated to be together!
Shinon: You're chasing after a laguz now? Gatrie, I swear you'd hit on a tree if I dressed it in a skirt. Tell me I'm wrong!

Just as racist and cocky as ever. This conversation also features two new characters exclusive to this game but they're really here to give Shinon more time in the limelight, honestly. They do have a separate conversation later that gives more insight into them (not enough for me to full-on analyze them), but enough about that, let's keep sucking up to Shinon. I also actually like this statement he makes:

Shinon: Hmmph, I hate it when sub-humans like him act all high-and-mighty, pretending to be just like us beorc. He's even worse than the other hairball.

It's funny because he also hates laguz for being the exact opposite of this. Simply put, there is no winning with him. He's so dead-set on hating the laguz that he's subconsciously (maybe even consciously, I wouldn't put it past him) set up this double-standard. And it's a very real feeling that actually exists. Sometimes you end up hating something you already hated even more because that thing is trying to redeem itself in your eyes. That's just how it works.



Radiant Dawn sadly dropped support conversation due to the size of the cast this time around as well as the fact that some units are able to appear in the chapters of multiple armies (it's a story thing). As such, Shinon has no new support conversations to draw from. However, he still has one last piece of dialogue that will cap off this analysis. And it's another base conversation that is unlocked in the Endgame of Part 3, right before a big bloody battle that will consume too many lives. This is the conversation in question.

Rolf: Ah, I see...
Shinon: Then you secure it right here, and... There, it's finished!
Rolf: Yeah! Shinon, you're the greatest! I'm so proud that you're my teacher!
Shinon: Oh, come on, Rolf. Don't make puppy eyes at me.
Rolf: What? But it's true! You're really amazing!
Shinon: Cut it out, kid. You exaggerate too much.
Rolf: Are you going to sell this one to Aimee again? Can I come along? Please?
Shinon: I'm not selling this one.
Rolf: What? But... Oh, I get it. You're going to use it yourself. Then can I fight alongside you? I want you to teach me that trick where you shoot them in the neck and then--
Shinon: We can talk about that later. Here, this is for you. Go on, take it.
Rolf: But this is--
Shinon: You've been running around camp with that silly grin plastered on your face, but I can tell all the fighting's wearing you down. I can't help you get a good night's sleep, or make you eat your vegetables, but I can see that you're using a decent bow.
Rolf: Shinon...
Shinon: I don't know why we're fighting this stinkin' war, but I ain't about to die like a dog. And I know you're too young to be pushing up daisies.
Rolf: But I...
Shinon: What's your problem, kid?
Rolf: I can't possibly pay you back for it! A great bow like this... What can I do? You taught me how to shoot a bow. How to make a bow. And that's not all! You've given me so much, and yet there's nothing I can do to pay you back for it.
Shinon: Of all the stupid...
Rolf: Ouch!
Shinon: Quit whining at me!
Rolf: Oww! You didn't have to hit me with that bow!
Shinon: Did I ever ask you to pay me back? Did I ever tell you my help had any strings attached? No! Kids should be kids and just learn from their elders!
Rolf: But--
Shinon: If you want to pay me back, then be better than me! Doesn't matter if it's using a bow or making one. Just do it better. Then I can point at you and tell people "That's the best student I ever had."
Rolf: Shinon...
Shinon: I look after you because you have talent. I like watching you, kid! I like watching you shoot better every single day, you know? But if someone sticks an arrow in your eye, I ain't gonna have any way to pass the time. So stay sharp! You hear?
Rolf: ...Fine. Thanks, master. I'll do my best to surpass you. I swear!
Shinon: "Master"? I think I like the sound of that. Keep listening to me and you'll be all right.

Shinon is still teaching Rolf and watching him improve throughout time, and it's been this way for at least three years now.

Shinon: You've been running around camp with that silly grin plastered on your face, but I can tell all the fighting's wearing you down. I can't help you get a good night's sleep, or make you eat your vegetables, but I can see that you're using a decent bow.
Rolf: Shinon...
Shinon: I don't know why we're fighting this stinkin' war, but I ain't about to die like a dog. And I know you're too young to be pushing up daisies.


Shinon's motive is still clear: in a harsh world, all he wants to do is help Rolf survive and preserve his purity of heart. When Rolf considers paying Shinon back for all his troubles later in the conversation, Shinon aggressively turns it down firmly shouting that he doesn't want to be paid back. At least not conventionally.

Shinon: If you want to pay me back, then be better than me! Doesn't matter if it's using a bow or making one. Just do it better. Then I can point at you and tell people "That's the best student I ever had."
Rolf: Shinon...
Shinon: I look after you because you have talent. I like watching you, kid! I like watching you shoot better every single day, you know? But if someone sticks an arrow in your eye, I ain't gonna have any way to pass the time. So stay sharp! You hear?
Rolf: ...Fine. Thanks, master. I'll do my best to surpass you. I swear!
Shinon: "Master"? I think I like the sound of that. Keep listening to me and you'll be all right.


Shinon's motive may be selfish. He may be doing it just to feel like he's amounted to something in the end, but as we've previously established, Shinon respects people with experience, and the best way to boost his own morale is to become a source of experiences to someone else. Someone he can call his pupil. Someone he can look at and be proud of. And through this motive, he's learned a truly great thing: to be there for others. Shinon has genuinely become someone who makes time to listen to people and help them in their time of need, even if he's still almost always an ass about it. He listens to Gatrie's problems, he helps Rolf with his training, all of it for no personal gain.

Shinon is an asshole, yes. He is incredibly racist, yes. But you know what's the best part about all this? They never try to redeem him. Instead, the writers kept us stuck with a stubborn and insufferable jerk, but one with nuance, one with aspirations, one with an actual self-imposed purpose in life, one who has his own set of morals that he respects. By the end of his character arc, Shinon has made absolutely no progress where his flaws lie, and instead has focused on sharpening his own personal values, the ones that make him feel better about himself. A mercenary fights for his or her own self-interest and survival. That, ladies and gentlemen... is Shinon.






Hope you enjoyed this relatively brief analysis on Shinon's character. I had a lot of fun making this one and I am sincerely curious about what y 'all's opinion on him is based on this post (or based on your own experiences if you played either game). Either way, be sure to hit me up with a suggestion if you have a character in mind and I might look into it, better late than never. I have a character lined up for next analysis but I'm not sure whether he or someone else will be our next topic, but until then, have a good one.
 

Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
Fire Emblem! Once again! Wonder why I talk about it so much it's not like this thread was made for it or anything right?

Fire Emblem! Known for not only being a series of games focused on wars, but for also sparking a war by itself (the fanbase)! Prominent aspects of the series include but are not limited to:

-Murder.
-Evil Satanic Cults.
-Dragons.
-Actual fucking gods.

Today we will be looking at Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. 776? 776 what? 776 copies of the game sold? 776 people who know it exists (Not too far from the truth unfortunately)? 776 Chapters? Units to recruit? Tiles per map? No one will ever know...

(It's actually just the year in which the story takes place in-universe.)

But Koops, you may ask? What IS Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 for the Super Famicom system? Well, I'm glad you asked! It was the last FE directed by madman Shozou Kaga, creator of the series, before he left Intelligent Systems with a full notebook of ideas for them to draw upon for future games. For said reason, he decided to go for a somewhat simple fe game but also cram it with a bunch of new mechanics and also mix it up in his own way.

Game takes place in the continent of Jugdral and revolves around the prince of Leonster Leif, on the run from the Lopto Empire, an Empire lead by Julius of Velthomer, vessel to Loptuous, the dark god, worshipped by the Dark Sect... aaaaand I lost you already. Simply put, bad guys are after Leif because he's the heir to a Thracian territory and his survival means the evil cult won't be able to kidnap kids to form an ideal society anymore... it's complicated but that's the gist of it.

Usually, in fe games, the heroes often start their adventure in somewhat of a rough spot, but most of the time they have some liberty to prepare themselves and go confront the enemy, or at least launch an offensive of their own accord. Leif and his own army do not, however, have the same luxury, as the dude's, as I mentioned before, on the run.

Idk how long you guys have been kept in the dark but if it wasn't clear already this analysis is about Leif.

Leif - Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

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Since this analysis will be on a Lord this time, this means that it will most likely encompass a large portion of Leif's game of origin, ergo, spoiler alert, though if you've made it this far you probably don't care anyway. Let's just stop not doing things and start doing things.

First things first, we must take a look at Leif's past. Leif was born in the year uh... 776-15 that's... 762! In Leonster, a province situated on the northern side of the Thracian peninsula... this little patch of land here. (Written as Lenster in the image because translations)

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Leif's parents were the prince of the province, Prince Quan of Leonster, and Lady Ethlyn of Calphy, Sigurd's sister and daughter of Lord Byron, Head of House Calphy in Grannvale. Leif inherited both his father's looks and heroism, as well as his mother's kindness. His older sister was Altena, and the four were assumed to be a pretty happy family all things considered, in spite of the ongoing war at the time of the two children's conceptions. Sure, people were dying and Sigurd, Leif's uncle, was having something of a hard time hiding from the Empire, but his parents loved him like the world. However, everything changed the second the player realized... they were nearing the end of the first generation of FE4.

Pictured: Quan and Ethlyn holding their children, Leif and Altena.​
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I know I already gave a spoiler warning but FE4 does things no other FE game does narratively so I will spoiler alert again. Anyway basically near the end of FE4's first generation, during chapter 5, as Sigurd launches an offensive on the Empire to halt its conquest of neighboring countries, his Sister Ethlyn and brother-in-law Quan arrive as reinforcements from the southeast, through the Yied desert, with hundreds of lance knights strong. The coast is clear so their movement being slow was of no concern... or so they thought. While their backs are turned, King Travant of Thracia, neighboring country to Leonster, ambushes Quan's unit and annihilates everyone on his path, Quan and Ethlyn included. As this happens, Leif is still at home in Leonster being taken care of by Quan's trusted knight Finn, and Altena... was with her mother for some reason? Travant recognizes the latter as carrying Quan's blood, thus being a suitable wielder to the Gae Bolg, Leonster's national treasure and legendary spear, and decides to care for her as a surrogate father (and an actually pretty decent one not gonna lie, dude's a great dad). Upon news of Quan's and his wife's deaths, the Empire attacks a weakened Leonster and kills its king, but one man manages to sneak past all the chaos with the infant Prince Leif in tow: Quan's very own right hand, Finn. Following the incident, Finn, alongside Nanna (his daughter, according to FE5's canon) and Leif, run from the impending danger of the Empire and hide wherever they can afford. Finn starves himself to feed his child and his liege's, and nonetheless still carry on protecting them both with whatever the hell's left of his strength. Eventually, the trio ends up in Fiana, where they meet the SwordMaster Eyvel and her band of free fighters, and Leif grows up there, having a somewhat modest but relatively happy childhood, in spite of his circumstances.

Pictured: Leif and Nanna, alongside a collapsed Finn, meet Eyvel.​
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And this is basically where we fast-forward to where the game starts taking place. In chapter 1, as Leif returns with the rest of the gang, dubbed the Fiana Freeblades, consisting of a handful of people, the village he was staying at is discovered by the Empire's very own Baron Raydrik of Manster. Raydrik manages to take Nanna and Eyvel's adoptive daughter Mareeta as hostages.

Leif: No, Commander! Nanna is still in the village! I won't leave without her!
Eyvel: I'll get her back. Don't worry.
Leif: It's more than that, Commander... I won't run anymore. That's my decision to make.
Eyvel: ...Finn, you wanna weigh in here? You going to let the Little Lord throw himself into harm's way like this?
Finn: Lord Leif has seen the passing of fifteen summers by now. He's old enough to choose for himself – and as my liege, I will abide by his judgment.

Right off the bat, a first two lines by Leif reveals a courageous young man who is willing to dive straight into danger for the sake of those he holds dear, and also someone who has the utmost sense of duty, not turning his back on a threat knowing what he must do. That's very obviously the standard hero thing to do. But to shed more context to this situation, the rest of the Fiana Freeblades are still debating their own plan of approach, given that the village is riddled with soldiers. Obviously charging in without thinking is a foolish course of action, hence Eyvel's worry and consulting of Finn.

Leif: Nanna! Mareeta! Where are you?! Please, answer me!
Eyvel: Little Nan, Mareeta... Raydrik must've taken 'em.
Leif: What?! That means... they were taken to Munster, right?
Eyvel: Yeah – as bargaining chips, in case Weismann couldn't finish the job. It's the sort of thing Raydrik would pull, all right.
Leif: Gods' breath... Commander, we have to give chase! The two of them are counting on us!
Eyvel: Now look here, Little Leif—
Leif: Commander, you yourself said I'm not a child anymore. Nanna and Mareeta were taken captive because of me – and I refuse to let anyone suffer in my place. I will never again let someone sacrifice their life in exchange for mine.
Eyvel: ...I understand. We leave at dawn, then. I won't lie, Little Lord: this is gonna get rough. Get some rest while you can.

Leif: Commander, you yourself said I'm not a child anymore. Nanna and Mareeta were taken captive because of me – and I refuse to let anyone suffer in my place. I will never again let someone sacrifice their life in exchange for mine.
Although Leif was a child then, he knows what transpired in the Yied desert some 15 years ago. The story of his parents' deaths, not to mention the countless soldiers who must've thrown away their lives for him to help he and Finn escape. Aware of this, Leif seeks to render these sacrifices meaningful. And the only way he knows how is to actually pull his own weight and fight, which starts with rescuing Nanna and Mareeta from Raydrik's clutches.

Pictured: Finn escapes Leonster with an infant Leif.​
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The next chapter sees a crew of brigands, Lifis' crew, attempt a raid on a village. Naturally, Leif being the goodie-two-shoes he is quickens his pace to fend off these evildoers. And under certain conditions, as well as upon his meeting with the Bishop August who's been seeking the former out, he will even take the fight to Lifis himself. Leif is out for blood, and he will fuck you up if he knows you're a piece of shit... except upon being pleaded to because he's nice. Indeed, all it takes is simply capturing Lifis and Leif will spare him, evil as the man may be. Hell, he even somehow convinces Lifis to work for him. I knew FE lords were charismatic and able to sway people's hearts but never to this extent has it ever happened for the boss of an entire crew of criminals, let alone a slimy one, to join with the main character's forces... even though Lifis continues to be a piece of shit even after his supposed defection. This shows that Leif, although determined and thorough in his goals, still finds the right time and place to do wonton murder. He is an angry boy, but he can manage his anger when the situation calls for it.

Now all that's cool and all but Koops, why is Leif so special? He looks like any other nice guy fire emblem McMain character Man guy dude... person. And that's where you're wrong, kiddo, for next chapter poses the first real challenge to this little ball of pent-up rage and energy.

August: That fortress, Kelbeth's Gate, guards the road into Munster. As strongholds go, it's rather small, but don't let its size fool you – the people of this area say it's more terrible than Hell itself.
Leif: Why?
August: The soldiers here no longer watch over the road – they search for children. Lord Leif, the fortress now serves as a base for the province's child hunts.
Leif: Child hunts? What are you talking about, August?
August: ...All across the Empire, children aged seven to thirteen are seized by Imperial soldiers. They're sent to Belhalla, the capital, and after the atrocities wrought upon them there... the ones who survive are never the same. They are children no more – they begin life anew as servants to the dark god, Loptous.
Leif: That's inconceivable. What manner of tall tale...
August: I realize it sounds too horrible to be true, but this is no fable – this is the state of Jugdral. Even now, children languish in captivity within that very fortress you see.
Leif: ...What soldier could willingly take part in such a thing? No one with a spark of humanity left, to be sure. I'm sorry, August, but we must part ways here. I cannot allow this evil to go unchallenged – I must free those children from this barbarism.

The realization hits Leif like a truck. Not even a tenth of the game done and already, Augustus reveals the shocking truth. That bit I said earlier about kidnapping children to form a better society? That... wasn't even a scripted joke, that's literally what this is about. Although the player probably knows of it, Leif is left dumbfounded by how such an inhumane notion can even exist. Of course, being on the run for all these years, he never would've guessed what was happening outside his dangerous bubble, but as we can see here, his learning of this only serves to further bolster his motivation. Now, more than ever, Leif knows that he will not back out of this one. All his life, Leif was being educated rather sloppily considering the circumstances, so it would obviously be best to not further trouble his mind with such horrible news... yet, one day, the truth had to make itself clear. It's a reality than Leif obviously cannot stand for. No matter what stands in front of him, he will conquer the fortress standing in front of him and liberate the children inside... which he does, successfully... but not without paying a price...

Raydrik: Nicely done. I'm impressed, truly. Such a shame to spoil your moment, but I must ask you to drop your weapons. Otherwise, I'll have to do something very ugly to this very pretty young woman.
Leif: Nanna?! ...Raydrik, you soulless parasite...
Nanna: Run, Lord Leif! Don't worry about me!
Leif: Damn...! Fine... Fine, I said! I'm putting my weapons down, so keep your hands off Nanna!
Raydrik: Hah! See, the young pup knows how to heel! Men, move in and chain the good Prince Leif! Then fan out and seize the rest of his forces!
In the heat of the moment, Leif is taken unawares by Raydrik and has no choice but to surrender to him and be taken prisoner, not only because of the latter outsmarting him, but for the sake of Nanna's life. Leif's whole momentum and focus break the second he's put in a difficult situation and is as such easily overcome and captured. He does well to not invite the death of Nanna, but not much beyond that. Leif is then taken to Manster, where he is imprisoned alongside some of his companions and some rebels. Lady luck, however, smiles upon him and makes it so that a group of freedom fighters bust him out of it, but he must still make a break for it if he wants to escape with his life.

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I will use this period to segway into a major part of how Leif operates: Leif in gameplay. Following the experimental stage that was Marth's games + Gaiden, Kaga decided that from now on, he'd try as best as he can to tell a story through the gameplay. While dialogue is important, Kaga is of the mind that actually playing the game takes utmost priority and decides then to use the gameplay as a way to convey notions and ideas to the player in a more immersive way than text can. Thus enters, Gameplay-Story integration. Thracia 776 does quite a decent job showing Leif's situation not just in how the maps are laid out, but also through some of the game's core mechanics, some of which are exclusive to it. The most obvious example of this is the fatigue system: Fatigue is a variable that increases the more active actions are done by a given unit. Finn attacking an enemy will cost him 1 point of fatigue, for example. Once a unit's fatigue exceeds their max HP, they will tire and be rendered impossible to deploy on the next map, unless a certain item is used to restore the unit's stamina. But you may be wondering, what happens when Leif gets fatigued? The answer is simple: Nothing. Leif is the only unit in the game who simply does not possess the ability to lose his breath. As a young Prince with a lot of pressure on his shoulders, Leif cannot afford to take a break, not even once, and he knows it. He intends to see his mission through and will stop at nothing, not even his own body's limits, until he's done everything and seen the children saved. That and an Empire kinda wants to kill him so it's best those guys don't catch him, y'know? But that's not all. The game features a skill system, just like its predecessor FE4, and a skill that Leif possesses is... Adept. Adept is a skill that, when activated, allows its user to perform an additional attack in a round of combat, which simulates a relentless pursuit of the enemy.

From all this alone, we learn that Leif is a dude who means well and cares about people, and has a willingness to act, but the latter quality is also his downfall as it often leads him going into the jaws of the dragon and barely getting out with his life.

Leif's next big moment comes up in chapter 5. While Leif attempts to escape confinement in Manster, Raydrik is in the castle arena, setting up a show. He pits Eyvel and Nanna against a group of pitfighters, and those include three powerful promoted enemies, and... a possessed Mareeta. If Leif is to open the door to the arena, Raydrik notices and freaks out. It's at this point that Veld, a Lopto Bishop monitoring Raydrik, takes action and petrifies Eyvel. With this, Leif makes a difficult choice: He has to either risk everything he's done so far to try to save her, or he takes everyone with him to the exit and live to fight another day with Nanna and the others. A less mature Leif would opt for the former, but winning the map requires that the latter is accomplished. Leif has learned that on his journey, he will have to make an ample amount of sacrifices if the situation calls for it, though on the way out, he swears to get revenge and save Eyvel. Of course, this event is not to be forgotten into the void so soon, as Leif does end up rejoining with Dagdar, one of Eyvel's associates, in chapter 8x. This is their conversation upon meeting up.

Leif: Dagdar! You're all right!
Dagdar: Well, I'll be... Prince Leif! Heh, an' here I was the one who was supposed to be rescuin' you! Sorry fer draggin' ya into my mess... So, where's Eyvel? She head back to Fiana, or is she with you?
Leif: ...
Dagdar: Prince... What happened?
Leif: Eyvel is... still in Munster. We... didn't have the forces to rescue her. I couldn't save her...
Dagdar: Wh-What?! Dammit, Leif! Are you a real prince or just a child?! How the hell could ya just leave her?!
Leif: There was nothing I could do! I... I wasn't strong enough, wasn't fast enough, I... With my meager strength, what good am I to anyone? What should I do? What CAN I do?
Dagdar: ...
Leif: If... If I'd just been a little stronger... If I had done things differently, maybe-
Dagdar: Dammit, Prince! Yer puttin' too much of the blame on yerself.
Leif: But-
Dagdar: Look, I'm sorry fer yellin' at you just now. I... I wasn't expecting things to go so wrong, an' I took it out on you. Truth be told, Prince, yer tougher'n most. You tried to rescue her, right? Ya made the effort, and it ain't yer fault it didn't work out.
Leif: D-Dagdar...
Dagdar: Sure, you kids are goin' through some rough times right now, no doubt. But quit yer worryin', 'cause I'll be helpin' ya from now on! It ain't like anybody can replace Eyvel, but you still got a long way to go before this war is lost. An' hey, captured ain't dead, right? We'll get Eyvel back - together.

Leif: There was nothing I could do! I... I wasn't strong enough, wasn't fast enough, I... With my meager strength, what good am I to anyone? What should I do? What CAN I do?
Dagdar: ...
Leif: If... If I'd just been a little stronger... If I had done things differently, maybe-
Dagdar: Dammit, Prince! Yer puttin' too much of the blame on yerself.
Leif: But-
Dagdar: Look, I'm sorry fer yellin' at you just now. I... I wasn't expecting things to go so wrong, an' I took it out on you. Truth be told, Prince, yer tougher'n most. You tried to rescue her, right? Ya made the effort, and it ain't yer fault it didn't work out.
Leif: D-Dagdar...
Though Dagdar does snap at Leif due to his being confused (also for context Dagdar has just been betrayed by his men and his life is being attempted on) and apologizing for it, Leif does genuinely feel like a massive fuck-up. He becomes increasingly self aware that he is nothing in the face of those who oppose him, which is a running theme in this game: Leif is constantly overwhelmed by the Empire, hence why he's on the run to begin with. His forces never stop facing near-impossible odds and every move his small army makes is a huge gamble that they nonetheless have to take. In this situation, anyone would feel weak, much less someone who's known nothing but defeat, the most recent instance of which being getting captured and failing to rescue Eyvel from castle Manster. Nonetheless, Leif is encouraged by the fact that he did at least try. To him, even though he didn't have the capacity, he sure as hell did all he could, and that's a thing you should value. The chapter ends on another character moment for our little ball however...

Leif: I pity Dagdar and his men, truly, but... Why couldn't they just earn their food through honest labor?
August: And where would they labor? Their very land was infertile. Many of these men were children of Thracian farmers. Abandoned by their parents, they turned to banditry out of sheer necessity. Their choice was simple: steal or starve.
Leif: Then they had cowards for parents, to have forsaken their children so!
August: And how would you know? You've been on the run for your whole life, true, but you've never known the pains of hunger. Just where do you think your food came from during all those days you were fleeing from the Empire?
Leif: Where my food came from? I... don't know. I never had to worry about hunger.
August: Then you were fortunate to have had such loyal allies and retainers, but it has left you lacking the perspective to truly understand how the common folk suffer. South Thracia is a land dominated by mountains - steep, imposing crags dot the landscape, and a cliff lies around every corner. By nature, the land demands severity and discipline from all who live in it. Farmers work themselves to the bone to cultivate what few crops the land will provide, but even so, it is not enough to survive on. And thus they are left with a terrible dilemma: for every one person who gets fed, two others must go hungry. Dagdar's men, abandoned in their youth, are the result of this ruthless arithmetic. This is the reality of living in South Thracia.
Leif: Th-Then they should just import food from elsewhere! In North Thracia, cities had an abundance of crops - buy their excess!
August: Ah, but the whole of North Thracia - the old coalition of Munster - resolved long ago to prohibit trade with South Thracia. Food, especially, was closely guarded.
Leif: ...Wh-Why would the North do such a thing?!
August: Historically? Recall the war between Njörun and Dáinn's children, 100 years ago, that led to the province of Munster declaring independence from the rest of Thracia. The two have considered each other enemies ever since, and this hostility persists because they are mutually unwilling to communicate. The noble houses of Munster, in particular, remained stubborn and selfish for a century afterward.
Leif: I... had been told that Thracia was all but a military state, that it was an infamously belligerent kingdom. But if they are merely the product of such wretched conditions... How did things all go so wrong? The North and South were a single kingdom once...
August: It all returns to the Tragedy of the Gáe Bolg, to the misfortune that seems to befall all those who wield either of the holy lances. North Thracia has been plagued by selfish and short-sighted rulers. You must learn from their example - learn how not to govern. If nothing else, you must learn enough to not repeat your father's mistake...

This whole conversation alone reveals quite a bit. Leif reveals himself to be... extremely out of touch with the common citizenry, much less the Southern Thracians. Where his heart is in the right place, it's very easy for him to just be a good boy. But he never stopped to consider how the people actually live. Not only this, but he was never even aware of how he himself ate all those years on the run, which admittedly could just be Finn choosing not to show it, but even then, it's a little weird that Leif never had to worry about this. In spite of the circumstances, Leif shows the facade of an extremely sheltered kid, and barely even knows about his own kingdom. Even a random priest he's just met knows about it more than he does. And honestly, you can't blame him. We already spoke about Leif's education, so that's not something I'll regurgitate. Though Leif means every word he says, he is still open-minded enough that he's able to see where his misconceptions lie, and trusts August's word wholeheartedly for this same reason. Once again, Leif finds another reason to keep fighting and reclaim his birthright, this time on a larger scale. After this conversation, Leif no longer has hatred for the South, and has purged any suffering he may inflict on it from his mind. He now decides to see to it that justice is served, where his father couldn't do it.

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No major character moment happen to Leif in the story for a long while, so I'll take some time to talk about Leif's own relationships. Though his blood parents are Quan and Ethlyn, and blood sister Altena, he has met none of those in any capacity that allows him to recognize them or even just know who they even are. Leif has instead to rely on other people to be his family. Finn acts as Leif's surrogate father, and Nanna his lifelong friend (I say friend because I don't want to say sister in this context because obvious implications). Then, once arriving in Fiana, Eyvel cares for him like a mother, and all of Mareeta, Osian, and Halvan grow up alongisde him as siblings. This could be interpreted as another source of motivation for Leif, the desire to pay all of these people back for being here for him when everyone else couldn't. But his relations don't end there... Leif has a set of allies who know him and he knows back, throughout his many troubled years.

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The first of these people is Safie, a young girl and cleric from Tahra, a city within the Leonster District. Leif recognizes her rather quickly, and so does she. Safie was sent by Lady Linoan, the governor of Tahra, to secretly gather people against the Empire and form something good enough to oppose (you know what this means everyone, Safie is a fire emblem lord). Though she isn't a very close acquaintance of Leif's, the two get along pretty well, and Leif offers to escort her wherever she might want to go to, and of course gathering an army becomes much easier when you're accompanied by a semblance of an army already.

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Then comes Asbel, a mage from Manster. During his time in Tahra, he and Leif met and hit it off near-instantly. The two vowed to go out there someday and free the whole of Thracia, some three or five years before the events of the game. Of course, being children, this is nothing but wishful thinking. During the events of the game, Asbel had joined up with the Magi -the freedom fighters I mentioned earlier- and spent a good while under the tutelage of Ced, a powerful mage and also the Prince of the distant Kingdom of Silesse, soon to be king after the disappearance of his father and death of his mother. This is an exerpt of the conversation they have in their first appearance.

Ced: Listen closely: after you've rescued the children, I want you to rejoin Brighton and seek out Prince Leif of House Leonster.
Asbel: C-Come again? Prince Leif?!
Ced: Indeed. He fell prey to some trap of Raydrik's and was imprisoned in this very castle. ...Asbel, what's wrong? You're white as a sheet!
Asbel: Lord Leif was a dear friend of mine, you see. We got separated in Tahra, years ago, and I've been looking for him ever since. For three whole years, I've been searching...
Asbel took the thing seriously.

Asbel: Lord Leif...! After all these years! It's me, Asbel!
Leif: Asbel?! What in the world are you doing here? Why aren't you still in Tahra?
Asbel: I set off after you just as soon as we got separated! Lotta good that did... I couldn't figure out where you'd gone. For the last half-year now, I've been sticking around Munster.
Leif: You left Tahra that quickly?! Then... you've spent the last three years looking for me...
Asbel: Of course I did! I promised you as much, remember? With your blade and my magic, we were gonna take Thracia back – together! But you just up an' left me behind! That... that was quite heartless of you, Leif. Er, Lord Leif.
Leif: I'm sorry... At the time, I didn't have a choice. Tahra had been surrounded by the Empire. I had... I had prepared myself for the very real possibility of dying. When I fled, I never imagined I would make it out alive. I didn't want to drag you down with me, so I left you out of it.
Asbel: What a load of pegasus dung...! We swore to live and die together, didn't we? Or was that whole oath just part of some kids' game? I've spent all these years with those words etched into my mind – and I chose to believe in them.
Leif: A-Asbel...
Asbel: Lord Leif, if only for my sake, you have to liberate Thracia! Make it so that my years of searching meant something!

He took it... very seriously...

And what's worse, Leif has a harder time keeping up with these events than with Safie's story, even if his relationship with Asbel is a much more fruitful one. And needless to say, Asbel does kinda regret going as far as he has. Though this doesn't necessarily serve to further motivate Leif, knowing he has more friends to support the fight is pretty nice.

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Leif also meets up with Lady Selphina, the daughter of Dryas - a former knight of Leonster who is also a Duke. The conversation that sparks between the two:

Selphina: Prince Leif! Oh, it's been too long, milord! It's me, Selphina!
Leif: Selphina, in the flesh! Can it really be you?
Selphina: Prince Leif... This halfway feels like a dream... When I last saw you, milord, you were but a child, a toddler who fell asleep at my knees... You've grown into such a fine young man...
Leif: Oh, Selphina, it's enough to make me cry... I had thought you and Duke Dryas were killed trying to protect me. I never imagined I'd be able to see you again. I... never knew my mother or sister. The kinship of family was the one thing my retainers were never able to fetch for me. I saw Lachesis as a sort of mother, and you as the older sister I was never able to meet. Not that I ever showed you much gratitude for it. I remember being quite the little terror...
Selphina: Oh, it would be terribly improper to ever say such a thing of the prince of Leonster. I'll have to take you at your word, milord. I... take it that Lady Lachesis still has yet to return?
Leif: I'm afraid so... She... never made it back from her excursion to Isaach.
Selphina: I see... Well, don't give up hope. It's still possible that she's alive somewhere - alive and happy. I'm sure you'll find her someday, Prince Leif. After all, the two of us were able to meet again, were we not?

Leif: Oh, Selphina, it's enough to make me cry... I had thought you and Duke Dryas were killed trying to protect me. I never imagined I'd be able to see you again. I... never knew my mother or sister. The kinship of family was the one thing my retainers were never able to fetch for me. I saw Lachesis as a sort of mother, and you as the older sister I was never able to meet. Not that I ever showed you much gratitude for it. I remember being quite the little terror...
Leif's many sacrifices that bought him his life are still vividly carved into his mind. Everyone he knew during his stay in Leonster is likely to be among the body count. Thankfully, some live. It's also telling that Leif remembers Selphina more than he does his own parents, as well as Lachesis (Who by the way is Finn's supposed spouse and Nanna's mother). Now fast-forward to the end of the chapter, where Leif gets to meet Dryas...

Leif: Dryas!
Dryas: Prince Leif...! To be able to see you, safe and healthy, after all these years... You've... grown into quite the splendid young man.
Leif: Whatever I've accomplished, I owe to you and Finn. Without your sacrifices, I never could've come as far as I have...
Dryas: ...Oh, this is most unbecoming! Confound it... I... I, ah... I suppose I've become easier to move to tears in my age.
Leif: ...Duke Dryas, I think you've earned- Ah! Y-Your arm! Don't tell me you...
Dryas: Oh, this? Bah! It's but a trifle. I... grew careless during the battle for Ulster. The disgrace is mine alone to bear.
Leif: At Ulster? Then... it was for the sake of ensuring my escape... Dammit! Is that what it always comes down to?! How many more people have to sacrifice themselves just to save me? How many?! Even you, Dryas... All for me...
Dryas: Hah! Don't let this, of all things, weigh heavily upon your heart, Prince Leif. Even supposing I wasn't injured, an old dotard like me would hardly be of any use to you now. Let us not allow our minds to linger on past wounds - we've much work to do yet. I understand you wish to aid Tahra. I mean to do the same, but we've precious little time to act. I've sent Glade ahead to the city. We've gotten word back from him, and he reports that the Empire means to mount an all-out assault against Tahra perilously soon. With you and your forces here, every brave soul in Thracia now stands assembled beneath the banner of Njörun. The reborn kingdom of Leonster must be unleashed upon the front lines - starting with the Thracian soldiers amassed outside!

Leif: ...Duke Dryas, I think you've earned- Ah! Y-Your arm! Don't tell me you...
Dryas: Oh, this? Bah! It's but a trifle. I... grew careless during the battle for Ulster. The disgrace is mine alone to bear.
Leif: At Ulster? Then... it was for the sake of ensuring my escape... Dammit! Is that what it always comes down to?! How many more people have to sacrifice themselves just to save me? How many?! Even you, Dryas... All for me...
In fact, Leif does still loathe his own existence for all this death. When he was powerless to do anything, everyone scurried around and scrambled just to keep this child from dying. However, to see Dryas literally weep in front of him has to show him one thing: all those soldiers must've felt happy to have helped their prince in any capacity. Dryas seeing the fruit of his efforts, this being Leif's safety, and even his growth into a capable young man, is quite a scene that shows that all the sacrifices were not in vain. They've amounted to something. Both Selphina and Dryas in this regard help show this to Leif and contribute to his eventual acceptance of everything happening around him.

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Next, Leif meets up with Linoan, which I will not be dwelling on: it goes about as well as with Safie, in that even if they weren't very close, they are still happy to see each other well, and Leif is in his element speaking to her. But one last meeting of memories that I want to talk about... his meeting with a girl called Miranda.

Dryas: Is this... a monastery of the Loptian Order? The mages and bishops seem to have all fled...
August: Prince! There was a woman being held captive inside the monastery. She wishes to see you.
Leif: Very well. Bring her to me.
(Miranda appears)

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Miranda: Prince Leif... It's been a long, long time...
Leif: ...And you are?
Miranda: You ask ME that?! Oh, so that's how it is... You've forgotten me, have you?! I'm Miranda of Ulster!
Leif: Miranda... The princess? Princess of Ulster? How can that be?! Why are you here?
Miranda: Did you not recognize me? Bah, I suppose it's no surprise, considering the sorry state I'm in... I must look like some common wretch. But before you get caught up on how unsightly I look, remember that all of this is your fault, Prince!
Leif: My fault? Why?
Miranda: All of this began when Leonster fell. My lord father was a gentle man, who hadn't the heart for battle - and he knew there was little sense in fighting the Empire. But nevertheless, he took you in, sheltered you from the Empire - and in so doing, invited their wrath! He had to turn me over to them as a hostage and forfeit his own right to the throne! And in the end, he departed this world in a state of utter misery... I cannot forgive you, Prince! If you'd never come to Ulster, things wouldn't be like this...
Leif: ...
Dryas: ...Princess Miranda, I must beg to differ. The Empire planned to conquer Ulster all along. Prince Leif's presence was merely a convenient excuse to do so. Not to speak ill of the dead, Princess, but your father was too timid. He had knights of the highest caliber at his command, yet when Thracia invaded, he sat on the fence instead of joining the fight. And despite being a sworn ally of Leonster, when our kingdom was in crisis, he sent no troops to our aid. He simply reaped what he sowed. Your father himself is to blame for your kingdom falling into ruin! Shifting the blame to Prince Leif is pure selfishness!
Leif: Enough, Dryas! Nothing good will come of talk like that!
Dryas: Hrm... I went too far, I admit. Please accept my apologies...
Leif: You have my apologies as well, Princess Miranda. I must beg your forgiveness... Had I known you were being held captive here, I would've come to your aid as fast as my legs could carry me. I can't imagine how difficult it was for you, being imprisoned here for so long...
Miranda: ...Well, admittedly, I haven't been imprisoned in this dreary monastery the whole time. Until last year, I was being kept in Ulster. Count Conomor watched over me from afar, and I was comfortable enough. But then came the insurrections in Tahra and Leonster... That stoked the fires of revolution, and even in Ulster, a contingent of the people plotted rebellion. Evidently, the Empire feared their position was becoming too vulnerable, and so I was moved to this dreadful place.
Leif: Ah... Well, even one year is far too long to spend in a place like this.
Miranda: Prince Leif, if you weren't lying about wanting my forgiveness, you must lend me your strength! I must reclaim Ulster... I must undo my father's regrets, and give meaning to his meaningless death!

Miranda: Prince Leif... It's been a long, long time...
Leif: ...And you are?
Miranda: You ask ME that?! Oh, so that's how it is... You've forgotten me, have you?! I'm Miranda of Ulster!
Leif: Miranda... The princess? Princess of Ulster? How can that be?! Why are you here?
Miranda: Did you not recognize me? Bah, I suppose it's no surprise, considering the sorry state I'm in... I must look like some common wretch. But before you get caught up on how unsightly I look, remember that all of this is your fault, Prince!
Leif: My fault? Why?
Miranda: All of this began when Leonster fell. My lord father was a gentle man, who hadn't the heart for battle - and he knew there was little sense in fighting the Empire. But nevertheless, he took you in, sheltered you from the Empire - and in so doing, invited their wrath! He had to turn me over to them as a hostage and forfeit his own right to the throne! And in the end, he departed this world in a state of utter misery... I cannot forgive you, Prince! If you'd never come to Ulster, things wouldn't be like this...
Miranda's father granted Leif refuge and, reportedly, during his stay there, the two children were rather close, much like how Leif was with Asbel... and much like Asbel, Miranda remembers Leif much more than he does her. Leif doesn't even recognize the girl at first, only identifying her upon hearing her name and thinking on it a little. Understandably, this leaves the princess utterly speechless and in a rage, given that to her, this boy was the source of all her problems, while he just... didn't acknowledge this until now. In spite of the no doubt fond memories that Leif may have had in a safe haven like Ulster, Leif struggles to remember nonetheless... now recall how his meetings with Safie and Linoan were near flawless in contrast to this... Hold on to this thought, it will come full circle later.

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Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
Either way, after some time, Leif finally liberates Leonster, and such is celebrated in due time. After all is said and done, he elects to head south to help the Ulster region, and sends Duke Dryas ahead... however, it isn't long before the Empire strikes back.

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Already a day behind Dryas, Leif's forces were finally rested and ready. He was just about to march for Ulster when a most unexpected message was delivered to him. It was this moment that marked Leif's beginning down a long road of hardship...
The narration that precedes chapter 19 already gives off the feeling of something horrible happening... and indeed:

Leif: Everyone is ready, August.
August: Hold a moment, my prince. It seems someone has come to the castle... One of Dryas's men, I believe.
Messenger: Prince Leif! I... I'm sorry...
Leif: Sorry for what? What's happened?
Messenger: Th-The Imperial army counterattacked... We were... slaughtered...
Leif: Wh-What?! Where's Dryas?!
Messenger: Duke Dryas, he... To ensure some of us could escape, he... He rushed the enemy's flank. I'm sorry. He... met his end...
Leif: Dryas... He's... ......
Messenger: We weren't strong enough... Forgive us!
Leif: Th-That's absurd... This can't be...
August: Prince Leif, time is of the essence. We must withdraw all of our troops at once, before our entire army is massacred.
Leif: No... This can't be happening...
August: Prince Leif! Snap out of it! If we lose our troops now, Duke Dryas will have died for nothing! We owe it to him to save as many of our people as we can!

Pictured: Dryas
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For a while now, Leif has amassed a number of victories and has progressed quite a lot since his meager beginnings in Fiana... However, just as he has accomplished one of many objectives, being freeing his homeland... he feels as though he's back to square one. People dying left and right for him, including a close ally, and the Empire once again gaining the upper hand on him as it has in the past. Even with everything he's done, Leif cannot shake the feeling of being a burden again. However, the ending dialogue of the chapter goes as follows...

August: And so the Empire's retaliaion begins... There's nothing more we can do. We should retreat to the castle.
Leif: August, this is all my fault... It's like I killed Dryas myself...
August: You don't have the luxury of wallowing in regret - not now. There will be time to atone to Duke Dryas after you've defended Leonster. Summon all your patience and discipline - you'll need it for what lies ahead.
Leif: ...You're right.
August: Come now, I do bring some good news. I've heard multiple reports that a large rebellion is taking place in the eastern reaches of Isaach. They seem to be putting up a good fight against the Empire, by all accounts. Do you know who their leader is?
Leif: If the rebellion is in Isaach, couldn't it be Prince Shannan? Finn told me about him... He has the most gifted sword-arm in all the world, and he's beloved by his people... In short, he's a far greater man than I...
August: Of course Prince Shannan is with the rebels, but their leader is someone else.
Leif: That being...?
August: Lord Seliph of House Chalphy. The people of Isaach and Grannvale alike hail him as the "Scion of Light."
Leif: L-Lord Seliph?! Can this be true...?
August: I believe it is - and his father, Lord Sigurd, was your uncle. The Crusader Sigurd... As recently as a decade ago, he was reviled as a traitor, but nowadays he's a popular folk hero. He saw through the Emperor's schemes from the beginning, and died trying to protect the world from his machinations. Bards spread his tale across the land, and it captivated the hearts of every man, woman, and child suffering under the Empire's rule... And so he's become more legend than man. Now, the child of that legend is fighting to realize his father's dream... The people feel hope once again. And blinded by that hope, they wouldn't hesitate to die for his cause... This is a bounty from the gods. We couldn't have crafted a more perfect opportunity ourselves.
Leif: ...... What exactly are you saying?
August: I'm saying there's a reason so many people are ready to die for Lord Seliph. It's not just because he's a strong warrior. Our era demands a hero. The people clamor for one, and so... someone has crafted Lord Seliph to be their hero. Forged him, if you will, in much the same way one forges metal into a blade - taking a man and sculpting him into what the people need. Do you understand? No one chooses to become a hero. They're willed into a hero by the people around them, shaped by the needs of others.
Leif: August... Does that mean... the people in my life crafted me to be what they needed, too?
August: Mm... You'll have to come to your own conclusions on the matter. Though I will say this... Recall that Duke Dryas lost an arm protecting you - and now he's traded his life for yours. Have you ever stopped to wonder why he did that? Why do so many people keep sacrificing themselves for you? Why do so many hail you as a hero? Think on that, and think well...

In regular fashion, Leif blames himself for Dryas' death, but although August does not deny that carelessness was present, he still insists that Leif steels himself for what's ahead, because things still lie ahead that only he alone can accomplish. While Leif wallows in despair, he must remained composed in order to lead his army because unlike back then, much more hangs in the balance placed on his little forearm connecters. A bigger responsibility than ever before falls upon him.

August: I believe it is - and his father, Lord Sigurd, was your uncle. The Crusader Sigurd... As recently as a decade ago, he was reviled as a traitor, but nowadays he's a popular folk hero. He saw through the Emperor's schemes from the beginning, and died trying to protect the world from his machinations. Bards spread his tale across the land, and it captivated the hearts of every man, woman, and child suffering under the Empire's rule... And so he's become more legend than man. Now, the child of that legend is fighting to realize his father's dream... The people feel hope once again. And blinded by that hope, they wouldn't hesitate to die for his cause... This is a bounty from the gods. We couldn't have crafted a more perfect opportunity ourselves.
Leif: ...... What exactly are you saying?
August: I'm saying there's a reason so many people are ready to die for Lord Seliph. It's not just because he's a strong warrior. Our era demands a hero. The people clamor for one, and so... someone has crafted Lord Seliph to be their hero. Forged him, if you will, in much the same way one forges metal into a blade - taking a man and sculpting him into what the people need. Do you understand? No one chooses to become a hero. They're willed into a hero by the people around them, shaped by the needs of others.
Leif: August... Does that mean... the people in my life crafted me to be what they needed, too?
August: Mm... You'll have to come to your own conclusions on the matter. Though I will say this... Recall that Duke Dryas lost an arm protecting you - and now he's traded his life for yours. Have you ever stopped to wonder why he did that? Why do so many people keep sacrificing themselves for you? Why do so many hail you as a hero? Think on that, and think well...
Taking these lines into account is important because it gives meaning to everything. Leif always wonders why everyone around him sacrifices themselves just to see him safely. Or, moreso, why does everyone follow him when he's done nothing that warrants all of this. Leif is the first lord in Fire Emblem to ever ponder this, as he is genuinely clueless of how society works, in spite of having seen multiple different cities. New to all this, all Leif can do is slowly adapt to everything as things unfold.

August: ...The enemy has begun their assault, Prince Leif.
Leif: Can we mount a defense?
August: I've already ordered as much. Everyone that can stand upright is fortifying the castle. If we fall here, we have nowhere to run.
Leif: We've done quite well against such an enormous army, considering everything. Holding out for half a year, under siege... But we'll reach our limit before long.
August: Bah, you've become overfond of such feeble whining. It's unseemly for a prince of your stature. If you're not willing to fight to the last breath, you're betraying the memory of all who have sacrificed themselves to get us this far! Don't forget the bigger picture! We're keeping the bulk of the enemy's forces busy here, which frees Seliph's army to march through Thracia unimpeded! You mustn't give up before we're able to merge our forces!
Leif: I'm sorry, August. I know... And I do want to meet Lord Seliph myself, but how else do you expect me to feel, having to watch our soldiers die one by one?
August: If it pains you so, that's all the more reason to honor their memory by fighting to the last man!

Leif is not given a single break. August knows that for Leif to be at his best, he has to be pressured. Even though the imperial army is closing in on him, he still needs that push. August does his all to convince Leif that he has to stand upright, no matter his feelings.

In the heat of the moment, Leif is taken unawares by Raydrik and has no choice but to surrender to him and be taken prisoner, not only because of the latter outsmarting him, but for the sake of Nanna's life. Leif's whole momentum and focus break the second he's put in a difficult situation and is as such easily overcome and captured.
Up till now, Leif's feelings have been the one obstacle holding him back and getting him in these hard situations to begin with. Leif gets so caught up in what he does that his blind spot becomes wide open. Out of all the lords, Leif has made some of the biggest amounts of tactical mistakes with disastrous outcomes, yet after each and every one, he still stands tall on his feet and finds a way out of the situation... which is also how the maps are designed actually. The gameplay of Thracia 776 demands that you might not be as prepared as you would like to face challenges, but no hardship is without solution, as the game is lenient enough to warrant there being a way out of whatever situation you might find yourself in. But even as Leif stands up, he must maintain the best facade he can in order to not lose himself or his comrades, because as soon as the cracks start showing, the dam breaks. Now that August has caught on to Leif's weakness, he is relentless in his trying to fix the issue.

Pictured: The chad August.
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August: How went your meeting with Lord Seliph, my prince?
Leif: He and I are only a year apart, but he's such an incredible man...
August: Indeed. He commands an army ten times the size of ours, and he was able to lead them across the Aed Desert. He's certainly not your ordinary youth...
Leif: But you said before that he was "made" into a hero, did you not?
August: I did say that, yes - and in one sense, it's true. But I'm not discounting that Lord Seliph himself possesses outstanding talent. I suspect he'll eclipse the legend of his father, Lord Sigurd, by quite some measure.
Leif: And meanwhile, I'm still just an embarrassment to Leonster...
August: You've grown much over the past year, my prince - in another year, I expect you'll be the same caliber of man as Lord Seliph. Now, putting that aside, what did you and he agree would be the plans for our armies, going forward?

There is nothing much to dissect in this little clutter of lines, but we see that after having met Seliph, Leif has immense admiration for him. This is a surprise tool that will help us later near the end, which we are fast approaching. Also Leif shows more insecurities and doubts in himself after having failed multiple times... where have I seen this before? I suppose it's understandable that he feels this way, considering the man he just met has attained the status of legendary, the same way a common man manages to bear witness to an angel. An uneasy feeling that nonetheless overwhelms the beholder in beauty and leaves them utterly confused.

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However, in joining up with Seliph, Leif has once again, expanded his view: Now he is no longer fighting for Thracia. No, now he does it for the entire continent. In case you haven't noticed, throughout the game, Leif kept fighting for different reasons, each compiling themselves on each other, and becoming increasingly more global and imposing in scale. Leif went from fighting to his basic survival, to fighting to protect his loved ones, to fighting to save the children, to fighting to claim his birthright and bring peace to the whole peninsula, to finally moving on to fight for everyone. In parallel, as the game goes on, Leif increasingly becomes aware of his resposibilities in a world where he is oblivious, and being thrown into the chaos, he can do nothing but kick and scream in confusion, yet little by little, he grows into the role and becomes much more than he thinks he is. All the while, his army grows and grows and slowly overcomes its big opponent that is the Empire. Compare this with our earlier observation that Leif has a lot of trouble remembering personal and peaceful parts of his childhood like Asbel and Miranda, compared to those that have to do with strict business and whatnot like with Linoan, and you can see that Leif could never afford the luxury to focus on what made him happy and is instead forced to see everything for what it truly is. Simply put, all Leif is about is growing up. A boy his age is tasked with pulling off incredible feats, and while the road is hard, he finds his way, and not without mistakes. Leif makes a lot of fuck-ups, but through the helps of everyone around him, the likes of August, Finn, Nanna, and all the friends he's made along the way, Leif is able to seize himself and accomplish things he never knew he'd ever be on the level of, all in the span of a year. The story of Leif is a story about the passage of an individual towards adulthood and the harsh outside world, and knowing how to tame it.

The final piece de resistance in Leif's character is within this very conversation I am about to post, between he and Ced, as they meet in front of Castle Manster, readying themselves to finally storm it, kill Raydrik and Veld, and later, join Seliph in the fight against the Empire to bring peace to all of Jugdral. I don't need to say a word. I will simply let the dialogue do all the talking.

Leif: Aren't you... Sir Ced?!
Ced: Prince Leif?! Hah, so you've finally arrived!
Leif: Sorry to have kept you waiting. I never did get a chance to thank you for rescuing me, Prince Ced...
Ced: Ah... So my secret is out, I see. How did you learn that I'm a prince? Did Karin tell you?
Leif: She did. If what she said is true, you stayed behind here to protect the people of Munster instead of returning to your native Silesse. I'm sorry I've proven to be such a worthless prince... Everything you've gone through all comes down to my own weakness. I had a chance to liberate the city when last I was here, but all I could do was run. That was unforgivable of me.
Ced: There's no need to apologize, Prince. It's no fault of yours - my plan was doomed from the start. I had intended to liberate much more of the city and its people, but not even my holy weapon, the Tome of Forseti, could overcome the power of Raydrik's Loptr Sword. Because of that one miscalculation, I lost many of the very people I'd come here to save. I'm to blame for all of this, not you.
Leif: Even so... I envy you, Prince Ced. The people hail you as a hero, and they're not wrong. You're everything that I'm not: holy blood runs strong in your veins, and you can wield the very weapon your namesake once used. And I... I have nothing. I'm a world apart from the likes of you and Lord Seliph. I... I'm no Crusader...
Ced: Prince Leif... How could you say such a thing?! Being a Crusader means more than just happening to inherit the right kind of blood. For centuries, Jugdral was ruled by the Loptian Order and its Empire - the Crusaders were the ones that overthrew their rule. And that's exactly what you've been doing for a whole year now, Prince Leif! You've fought and bled to liberate the people of Thracia. You walked a path that would've broken lesser men. But on you marched, waging your own holy war to free countless souls from the grip of the Empire! Neither Lord Seliph nor I have any right to call ourselves better than you. You're the youngest of us. You spent your childhood being hunted. And you've never stopped fighting! In fact, you've been fighting for longer than any of us have! If you're not a Crusader, who the hell is?! Take heart, Prince Leif! Your soul sings with the voice of Njorun! You've done her legacy proud!
Leif: Prince Ced... I don't know how to thank you. I look at you and Lord Seliph, see the scale of what you've accomplished, see the enormity of your armies... and then I think of my own mistakes, of the people I've failed, and I feel so... small. Small and weak. Like a sickly child standing beside giants. Heh. Perhaps I am still a child, in many ways.
Ced: Then that would mean I, holy weapon and all, needed to be rescued by a child. Do you mean to insult me?
Leif: Ah...! N-No, that's not what-
Ced: Hah! I was only joking, Prince Leif. Though this is hardly the time to fool around... Ahem. Back to the matter at hand. My men and I have Raydrik pinned down in a small wing of the castle - with no way for him to escape. Alas, there's a complication: he's using the few remaining children in the castle dungeon as hostages. The Magi don't have the manpower to both storm the castle and keep fighting the Knights of Munster in the streets. Prince Leif, will you lend me your strength and lead your forces into the castle while the Magi keep order in the city?
Leif: It would be my honor to fight alongside you! I've a score to settle with Raydrik.
Ced: How fitting that this fiend will meet his end at the hands of the Prince of Leonster... Gods be with you, Prince Leif!
"Leif - Prince of Leonster
Along with Lord Seliph, the rightful heir to the Imperial throne, Leif led the war to liberate Jugdral. After seizing the capital of Belhalla, Leif went on to fight numerous battles throughout the continent. When all was said and done, Leif's fame and renown ultimately surpassed even that of Holy King Seliph. In year 780 of the Grannvale calendar, North and South Thracia were unified into one country. Leif took the throne of this New Kingdom of Thracia, and together with his queen, Nanna, and his older sister, Altena, led his motherland into a new era of prosperity. They were beloved by the people of North and South alike. Dedicating their lives to reunifying Thracia, Leif and Altena were hailed as the successors to Dáinn and Njörun.

In the annals of Thracian history, the name of King Leif the Wise, the Sage-Lord, will echo for eternity..."

Pictured: Leif holding a sword up, accompanied by his surrogate father Finn and the latter's daughter, Nanna.
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This has been my analysis on Leif, and hoooo boy was it a hard one, not just because he's a lord so I have to look out for any moment in the story that's significant to him, but also because I simply didn't know how to start! But here it is. Over and done with. Hope you enjoy reading it, and I will see you next time, perhaps in the 'Shroom or here. And as always, if you have any suggestions in mind, feel free to tip me off! Will see you people.
 
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Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
I made a poll so you guys can have a hand in determining who the next person might be, for the very few who might actually vote. This definitely isn't a definitive decision I'm leaving up to you, just a little push in whatever direction is all.

Also I understand that the fates/3h option is unclear, basically those games have a lot of supports for everyone so it would basically be hell if I tackled someone from there but I'd still do it if enough people wanted to (please don't). Either way, vote for whatever you please.
 

Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
With the votes as they are now it seems as though...

Fates/3h is next

lord help me
 

Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
In life, there are no true obligations that shackle the being. Natural selection decides what comes and goes, what gets done or undone. It would be quite the simple mechanism were the human not so goddamn complicated. Our sentience comes with knowledge, which in turn comes with a curse: to try and understand what the hell is going on, without truly getting there, because we are simply subjective creatures. How do we make up for this? Well, the beauty of humanity that offsets all the bad is that our conscience allows us to accomplish truly incredible things when we put our minds to it. What determines what things the individual might accomplish are a funny thing we call values, notions that everyone accepts as they see fit to foster a sense of freedom, and perhaps to spread a message.

The concept of values is one that's put to the test many times throughout Fire Emblem, which is no surprise consdiering the prominence of the theme of war. Naturally, people have to take sides, fight for what they believe in or something like that... amidst all this chaos, there are those who fight solely because they wanna do the right thing. In and out of the battle, actually.

Fire Emblem: Fates is a pretty controversial game, which is only natural given it's the second best-selling main FE title due to Awakening's success and also due to the generally good advertisement that it got, so naturally more people played it and as such more internet opinions (ew). The game is comprised of three paths (each being separate games unless you're playing the special edition cart), Conquest, Brithright and Revelations. The protagonist/self-insert Corrin sees themselves being raised by the Nohr royal family, although soon enough they discover their true heritage as a prince/princess of Hoshido, the opposing nation. after the prologue, Corrin must choose one of three paths:
-Conquest, which entails going back to Nohr and try to find a peaceful way to solve the Nohr/Hoshido conflict.
-Birthright, to go back to Hoshido and fend off the Nohrian invasion.
-Revelations, to ally with none.
Now that we have all this laid out, I can get to the actual character.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet... Arthur.

Arthur - Fire Emblem: Fates

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Before we get too deep into this, there are a few things I'd like to make clear. Arthur, and by extension most of the Fates cast, can support a fuckton of people. This is because since Awakening the serie has a turn to the sandboxy, and they also decided that "yeah let's bring the child mechanic from FE4 back that'll make em happy" so of course every character with "normal" support lists get access to a multitude of people from their opposing sex to fuck. It'd be a bit of a slog to explain further, so I'll just dumb it down to this: Due to the amount of supports that exist only to pad out the roster, I will ONLY be taking a look at the ones that are specifically significant to Arthur's character. With this out of the way, I think we can finally truly start.

Arthur appears as a playable character in the Conquest route, chapter 7, as Corrin and his adoptive sister Elise are fending off an army of monsters. Arthur, alongside his partner in crime Effie, introduce themselves as Elise's retainers, and join the fight for the rest of the game.

"There's nothing to fear! Arthur is here! The allies of Justice have arrived! I'm sorry for letting you slip away, milady. Evil never rests, and nor should I."
"Where injustice dwells, you're sure to find me. I can also be found wherever Elise is. I would have gotten here sooner, but I fell in a swamp, and then a bird stole my map... Then another bird stole my backup map... Let's just say it was an ordeal."

These are the lines Arthur greets Corrin with upon entering the map of Chapter 7 of Conquest. He comes off as a pretty dependable man, being able to help in a pinch, not to mention being able to accomplish his task in spite of the obstacles laid bare for him to step into. Which... brings us to one thing: Arthur has somehow incurred the wrath of all gods and as such has the worst luck on the planet. It's a recurring theme throughout his characterization, and our analysis today will focus on just how Arthur lives with this. How is he still alive even as lady luck herself constantly throws explosive bricks at him.

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We will be looking at a number of support conversations and see just what is going on in Arthur's mind. We will obviously start with his Corrin support, as that's the basic:tm: support.

Arthur: Mmm, do you smell that, Corrin? It's the sweet smell of justice!
Corrin: I take it from your...exuberance that you just returned from a mission? Of justice?
Arthur: I received word that a group of ne'er-do-wells was on the attack. I've just disbanded their society of injustice and rescued the town they were terrorizing.
Corrin: Ne'er-do-wells, you say? Interesting. Was it a difficult battle?
Arthur: Not in the least! Whenever I stare evil in the eye, evil always blinks first.
Corrin: Haha, that's great! Right? It sounds great. Just what I'd expect from the hero of Nohr. I really admire how you've devoted yourself to helping the helpless.
Arthur: You're too kind, my lord! But truly, it was no trouble at all.
Corrin: But your pants are covered in mud! They didn't hurt you, did they?
Arthur: Oh...that's actually unrelated. I was hit by a couple of carriages on the way back.
Corrin: Huh?! You mean to say that two different carriages hit you in one day?
Arthur: And after that, the town's self-defense force mistook me for a thief. They chased after me for a good... oh, I don't know, 10 miles?
Corrin: Gods, that's awful. You must have been born under a truly unlucky star.
Arthur: So they say. Oh! I'm sorry, but I must take my leave now. I promised to deliver some much-needed medicine for the village elderly today. Thank you for the chat, Corrin!
(Arthur leaves)
Corrin: What a character. I do hope he makes it through his delivery in one piece...

A very straightforward conversation that perfectly showcases what Arthur is like on the surface. A joyous and energetic man with the capacity for great things who nonetheless does not receive the same smile from the very Earth he walks. His extreme case is often played for laughs, which to say the least is unusual to see in Fire Emblem considering the typically heavier tone looming over the narrative. Now, sure, Awakening and Fates both are games in the series that don't take themselves as seriously, or at least as most deem it. Even still, Arthur is so unlucky even he looks absurd in a world that's already somewhat absurd compared to the norm. This is a contrast that it most evident here considering that Corrin, being the self insert, is obviously without a real personality, meaning they're the most down to earth you get. This support chain thrives on Corrin being the serious, idealistic fool they are conversing with the goofy super hero man.

Arthur: Another day in the service of justice has been completed. Ahh, feels great!
Corrin: Hello, Arthur! May I ask what heroic deeds you performed to help people today?
Arthur: Today I was asked to help a charitable organization prepare for a banquet. I just got back, actually. It went swimmingly!
Corrin: That's wonderful! Good work, as always.
Arthur: Thank you! It was a new experience for me. I was asked to be a taste tester. The food I tried was unfortunately past its prime... My stomach feels pretty terrible. However, the dishes the other testers tried were fine. The banquet was a big success! And no one but myself has to endure this terrible stomach trauma, so I'm very happy.
Corrin: *sigh* Poor Arthur. Why am I not surprised?
Arthur: Life is full of lemons, my lord. So long as they're not spoiled to the point of being deadly, one must make lemonade! HAHAHAHAHA!
Corrin: Haha, I guess you're right. Um, do let me know if that stomachache gets worse, OK?
Arthur: As you wish! Now let's see... What's next on my justice agenda...? Hm, I'm actually done for the day! Perhaps I'll turn in early to prepare for tomorrow.
Corrin: What are you doing tomorrow?
Arthur: I volunteered to help a nearby village with its fire drill!
Corrin: F-fire drill?!
Arthur: Yep! I'll be teaching them how to put out a wildfire. Should be fun!
Corrin: W-wildfire?! ... Um, Arthur... Could you do me a favor?
Arthur: Certainly! Your wish is my command!
Corrin: Before you do the fire drill, douse yourself in water from head to toe. Got it?
Arthur: Um...come again?
Corrin: I want you to completely soak yourself in water before you light any fires. Promise me you'll do that, OK? You won't forget?
Arthur: I must admit I find your request a little strange, but you have my word!

In this conversation we get slightly more insight on Arthur's very perspective.

Arthur: Thank you! It was a new experience for me. I was asked to be a taste tester. The food I tried was unfortunately past its prime... My stomach feels pretty terrible. However, the dishes the other testers tried were fine. The banquet was a big success! And no one but myself has to endure this terrible stomach trauma, so I'm very happy.
Corrin: *sigh* Poor Arthur. Why am I not surprised?
Arthur: Life is full of lemons, my lord. So long as they're not spoiled to the point of being deadly, one must make lemonade! HAHAHAHAHA!
As Corrin points out Arthur's very blatant arbitrary disadvantage, Arthur laughs it off as just another rain cloud. It shows that he's pretty much used to this of thing happening to him already, obviously. Another thing that's apparent however is Arthur's complete lack of sense of self-preservation. He not only ends up in unfavorable situations, but he also quite willingly gets himself into them. Perhaps were he a less active man, would he suffer in the same way?

Corrin: Hello, Arthur! How did the fire drill go?
Arthur: Lord Corrin! Just the person I was hoping to run into. As promised, I drenched myself in water before the drill. It was a huge success!
Corrin: Ah, thank goodness. I had a bad feeling something might happen with the wildfire. I'm so glad I said something.
Arthur: The wildfire? Whatever do you mean? This has nothing to do with the fire...
Corrin: No? Then why was soaking yourself in water a success?
Arthur: Well, we conducted our drill by the river. Safety first, as I always say! Remembering your advice, I went to the river's edge to jump in before we started... That's when I slipped on some mud and fell face-first into the water.
Corrin: ... I really shouldn't be surprised. But I'm still confused... How was the day a success?
Arthur: Allow me to finish! The river I fell into had some remarkably swift rapids. I pride myself on being the best swimmer in town, but it was too much for even me.
Corrin: Good grief. Go on...
Arthur: Well, unfortunately for me, I wasn't the only thing fighting the rapids that day. It rained heavily the night before, so the river was full of rocks and broken branches. Every stroke was accompanied by searing pain. It really pushed my limits. However, I didn't lose heart! It's important to keep your cool in emergency situations. With the fury of a thousand sharks pulsing in my veins, I fought with all my might! Through sheer grit and determination, I somehow made it safely back to shore. All of the villagers gave a huge round of applause when I surfaced. They said it was even more exciting than a wildfire—best show they'd seen in years!
Corrin: *sigh*
Arthur: It's a mad world, Lord Corrin! One must always be vigilant. Without your advice, I would have never had the chance to test the waters, if you will. I value any chance to grow, so I will surely be coming to you for advice more often. I'm quite certain this marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
Corrin: Happy to help, Arthur... I guess. I'm just glad you're OK.
Arthur: I'm more than OK. I'm on top of the world! You really are my lucky star.
Corrin: Thanks... I think...

Arthur offers some good advice, although having found himself in such a situation due in part to Corrin's warning is a bit of a cause for concern for the latter. The conversation also demonstrates Arthur's ability to retain every piece of information relayed to him. Never in his life will he fail a task that you give him, though the way that said task is accomplished is less than desirable for the average man. We learn here that Arthur has a tremendous will to serve, whilst also being open minded enough to accept help from his fellow human.

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His open-mindedness may very well be another factor that leads him down the path of misfortune, all things considered. As evidence, let us take a look at his support chain with Effie, Elise's other retainer and as such Arthur's partner. In this chain, Arthur contemplates his station and confronts Effie, who seems much more dedicated to serving her liege than Arthur is, a notion that troubles him. He is told by Effie that it's no doubt due to Arthur's own branching out to help all those around him, no matter who they are. With this information, Arthur embarks on a little journey to find himself.

Effie: Arthur...we need to talk.
Arthur: Oh? How may I be of service, fair maiden?
Effie: Well, to be blunt... What's wrong with you?
Arthur: How do you mean?
Effie: Well, in our last battle, you seemed a bit listless. You looked tired.
Arthur: Is that so? Well, I have been experimenting a bit with my training...
Effie: Experimenting? What have you been up to?
Arthur: Ah! It's more a question of what HAVEN'T I been up to. You see, I've decided to try focusing more on our Lady Elise. Like you! So, to that end, I haven't helped any little old ladies cross the street. And I haven't rescued any cats from any trees or rooftops in a very long time. Instead, I have spent hours thinking about Lady Elise...just like you! I have pledged total allegiance to her, just like you! And I have begun bench-pressing tree trunks. Er, kinda just like you. How DO you manage to make it look so easy?
Effie: Oh, Arthur. You didn't need to change anything you were doing. Forget bench-pressing tree trunks. That's MY thing. Go back to rescuing cats and cheering up crying babies. That's the selfless Arthur we all know and love. Because whatever you're doing now...it sure isn't working.
Arthur: Terrific! I mean, oh.
Effie: Oh, please don't be upset, Arthur. It's just that we each have our way of doing things. It's not like one is better than the other. We're both good at what we do. Honestly, I think the best thing you can do for Elise is to just be yourself.
Arthur: Stupendous!
Effie: Yes, that's the Arthur I know!
Arthur: And love?
Effie: Er, yes.
Arthur: Haha! OK, then.
Effie: (That was weird...)

Pictured: The aforementioned Effie.
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One thing of note in this support chain is the fact that Arthur is, as stated, rather open-minded and in fact, treasures the feedback he receives. So much so, in fact, that he might come across as gullible. Another thing that jumps out is the utter lack of Arthur simply describing his unlucky ventures. For a character with such a stand-out gimmick to not have said gimmick show in a support that involves a character that he's closely associated with is a bit of a shock, and it shows. Unlike anywhere else, Arthur here is shown tired. The usual peppy and happy-go-lucky Arthur, drained of all his juices, as would be thought impossible. Perhaps it's because of his temporary halt on doing his usual thing. In fact, part of me believes Arthur purposefully followed Effie's advice only to see how it would go, as we know he is a man to test the waters. Though he appears gullible, it might just be that Arthur is simply a risk taker and usually knows what he's doing. For potentially his entire life thus far, Arthur has adapted to his bad luck and is always prepared for it. An example of how shrewd and actually surprisingly sharp he is can be found throughout his Charlotte support, where he's able to discern the latter's masked identity through sheer observation skills. I don't think I quite need to get any examples from the conversations themselves, I spoke all I needed to say about that chain.

Moreover, we can also tell Arthur wants to throw himself in harm's way only to learn and try to combat his bad luck, believing that even in failure, he will get better at what he does best, and that just the intentions are good enough. Take a look at these two excerpts from his A support with Felicia and his B with Azama, respectively:

Arthur: That's the wrong way to look at it, my friend. As long as you keep striving with all your heart, that is all you can ask of yourself.
Felicia: Thank you, but I'm not so sure...
Arthur: May I tell you a little story? Yesterday, I saw someone being swept away by a raging river. Naturally, I dove in after them. However, as luck would have it, a small boat passed by at that same moment.
Felicia: I'm not sure where you're going with this...
Arthur: Instead of gracefully landing in the water, I smacked my head on the boat. I was out cold for a solid minute, unable to help the person I was trying to save.
Felicia: Oh no! What happened to the drowning person?
Arthur: The gentleman in the boat saved him.
Felicia: Poor Arthur... It really is hard to be you, isn't it? Doesn't it discourage you when something like that happens?
Arthur: I was mortified at first, but then the person I was trying to save told me something... He said, "You're our hero, mister! Don't worry about a few mishaps here and there." "Just knowing you're around here looking after us all makes us all feel safer!"
Arthur: How do we keep bumping into each other on the battlefield? Doesn't that seem strange?
Azama: Indeed. I wonder why fate has brought us together once again. It's a mystery to me. Say, I wanted to ask about something. It might be apocryphal, but do people really call you the Hero of Justice in Nohr?
Arthur: They certainly do! I protect the weak and strive to vanquish evil! For I am Arthur, Hero of Justice!
Azama: Hahaha, you actually said it! That slogan of yours is a real hoot. I've also heard that you have a notoriously terrible luck. Some even say that ill fortune follows you around like a black cloud.
Arthur: I've got a reputation for that? Why must they discuss my cursed luck instead of my many heroic feats?
Arthur enjoys being recognized for his good deeds. Even in cases where his bad luck strikes, he still somehow manages to see his wish realized, with the well being of the target being assured, through some means or another.

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To cap off this analysis, let's look at the farthest confines of Arthur's past as is known to us, in his Support with Azura:

Azura: Arthur! I've been looking all over for you. I... Well, actually, I was hoping you would tell me a bit more about yourself.
Arthur: R-really? You want to know more about me? I'm not sure where to begin...
Azura: Perhaps you could tell me about your childhood, if that's not too personal.
Arthur: There's not much to tell. My parents were commoners. Simple and honest. Almost since birth I've devoted my life to training, martial arts, and justice. I was fairly young when I was recruited as a soldier to help maintain order.
Azura: How did you know you wanted to be a soldier at such a young age?
Arthur: My parents certainly played a big part in that. Every day they'd tell me... "only the just can protect justice." Not a day goes by that I don't think of them.
Azura: That explains so much about the man you are today! A real-life hero.
Arthur: Haha, you're too kind. Honestly, I would say I'm more eccentric than heroic.
Azura: No, I disagree. You were brave even as a boy, saving me like you did. For that, I thank you, Arthur. From the bottom of my heart. I know many years have passed since then, but my gratitude is as sincere as ever.
Arthur: Please, think nothing of it!
Azura: Well, I hope to learn more and more about you from now on.
Arthur: And I you. If you ever feel like chatting, you know where to find me.

Arthur's motivation for heroics... what drives him to be the hero of many and the protector of the weak, and what pushes him to keep plowing through the weeds of misfortune to reach the bountiful embrace of Justice... are nothing but words etched into his minds by his parents. Arthur isn't some mythical demi-god with superhuman strength who is cursed with compassion, nor is he a man with a tragic backstory warranting an extreme personality. He's just a man who grew up in a normal family with presumably loving parents who just wanted to help people for self-fulfillment as well as a simple, pure desire to paint smiles and cover up bruises, who happens to have this terrible luck that he nonetheless powers through (sometimes for comedic effect, other times for inspirational semantics) because that's just how he is, a constant well of positivity and promise. However competent, however strong, or smart, in every sense of the word, Arthur is a real life super hero.

Pictured: Arthur laughing in the face of his wounds.
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This was an extremely brief analysis on perhaps the simplest character I've talked about so far, and yet probably a very hard one because as much as I like Fates' gameplay, the conversations do lack the substance necessary for me to really squeeze anything out without being redundant. In any case, my next analysis will be on a character from the continent of Valentia, and a bit of an interesting case as well, considering not only is he not a playable character, but he's also someone I dislike...

See you then, people...
 

Koops

Agony
MarioWiki
ManKoops
I've already revealed the next object of analysis in other circles of the community anyway so you don't get a funny cryptic hint this time

 
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