Over the years, Tecmo Koei’s Warriors franchise has found itself being the basis for many licensed games, often for those related to anime. One of its most successful licenses though was the Wii U’s Hyrule Warriors, a game based on Nintendo’s Zelda franchise. This title did remarkably well in the west and spawned a handheld Director’s cut version of the game with Tecmo Koei expressing interest in potentially adapting one of Nintendo’s other major franchises. The two examples they listed were the Super Mario and Pokémon franchises; however there is one series that would fit the Warriors mold even better than Zelda did: the Fire Emblem franchise.
Fire Emblem is already a series based around colourful characters fighting in a deadly medieval war. Spanning over 14 titles and about 30 characters in each game to chose from, there is plenty of variety to be had in order to make an interesting cast. But, with this many characters, it can be a challenge trying to figure out who will make the cut and who will be waiting on a sequel. After talking it over with Kantopia, someone very familiar with the Fire Emblem series, I have narrowed down my picks to these 20. Enjoy.
So you might be wondering (or furious) how I chose these characters and why I settled with only 20. Don’t worry I shall explain, starting with the latter. When analysing the first entry to many of Tecmo’s first licensed Warriors games I noticed a remarkable pattern. Almost all of them start with approximately 13 characters in the base roster. If they are successful enough to get DLC, they often come in roughly 4 different packs. Lastly there are usually enemy characters that are not made playable at first but then over time are upgraded (although not necessarily all of them). With this all in consideration, and the patterns presented by Hyrule Warriors, I felt 20 made sense for a first title.
So why these characters? Well I will go into more detail for each one below but for now I will say why I picked these games. I could have gone the Awakening route by only having the main character of each title be made playable but I felt that was too easy and boring. Plus it would rule out any chance for any interesting side characters to appear. Instead I opted to go the Hyrule Warriors route with 3-4 games being represented in the base game with one as DLC. So of course I had to pick the very first game and the very latest game in the series for this. One for heritage and one for relevancy. Awakening squeezed in as it was the big turning point for the series. Although Awakening was intended on being the final Fire Emblem game it ended up being many people’s first. It propelled the series into a position of relevancy for Nintendo and so it made sense to include it. Path of Radiance then made it in purely because of its two characters and I will explain this in more detail below. For now let’s take a look at these 20 and talk about how they might play, starting with the Hero King himself.
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
Starting us off we have the original protagonist of the Fire Emblem series and one of the most well-known characters, at that. Appearing in more games than any of the others, he secures his space on the roster. His fighting style is that of a fencer. He elegantly maneuvers through the battlefield cutting down foes left and right. Marth would be the starting character and thus an easy character for beginners to play.
|Best Weapon: The Falchion|
|Class: Pegasus Knight-Falcon Knight||
The deuologist of Mystery of the Emblem and the first female protagonist, Caeda is Marth’s childhood friend and future love interest. She was the original Pegasus Knight and so it only fits to have her represent them in this game. As a flying unit, Caeda specializes in aerial fights with her lance allowing for distances strikes. Potentially, she could also dismount for some attacks in order to get in nice and close to opponents.
|Best Weapon: Wing Spear|
|Class: Mage – Sage||
Katarina is a character who debuted in the remake of Mystery of the Emblem on the Nintendo DS. There she was a pivotal character to the game’s narrative due to her connection to the avatar, Chris. Katarina comes into this game to represent the mage class, being able to utilize different elemental spells that vary in power and ability.
|Best Weapon: Katarina’s Bolt|
The final base character is Tiki in her child form. For her, I am imagining something like a cross between her original appearance and her #FE form. She moves with a skip and a hop while carrying a staff to perform a bit of random magic for light attacks. But her hard attacks can have her shoot fire and turn into a small dragon to destroy opponents with ease.
|Best Weapon: Divine Stone|
The first villain to be upgraded to a playable character, Gharnef is a recurring villain from both parts of the Akaneia saga of the games. He fills the dark mage role that future villains like Iago and Nergal will be based on. Unlike the other dark mage on this list, Gharnef is more aggressive but not nearly as fast, choosing to focus on attacks that are closer and more trap-based than most magic users.
|Weapons: Dark Tomes|
|Best Weapon: Imhullu|
Fire Emblem Awakening
|Class: Tactician – Grand Master||
Now to move onto Fire Emblem Awakening. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to include avatar characters or not but in the end I felt like the Robins are very much their own characters. Both genders would be available to pick from and would be based on the default look. Robin fights with both a sword and tome, which distinguishes him from other swordsman and magic users.
|Weapons: Swords, Tomes|
|Best Weapon: Robin’s Primer|
|Class: Lord – Great Lord||
Of course we can’t do a Fire Emblem all-star game without the series’ new pseudo-mascot: Lucina. Although she is meant to be similar to Marth and so you would think that the two of them would play very similarly, for me, Lucina has less experience than Marth and should therefore not nearly be as elegant. Furthermore she was trained by her father Chrom who is more like a cross between Ike and Marth than just a straight-up Marth clone. So Lucina would be more wild with less piercing attacks and more area attacks instead.
|Best Weapon: Alt. Falchion|
|Class: Dark Mage – Sorcerer||
With Tharja’s overwhelming popularity, she seems like a shoo-in, much like Marth and Lucina. She is a Dark Mage who specializes in ranged attacks and damaging from afar, rather than Gharnef’s close-quarters combat.
|Weapon: Dark Tomes|
|Best Weapon: Goetia|
|Class: Dark Flier||
Aversa is a magic user who also fights with physical attacks thanks to her lance. She can also fly, making her a very versatile character with a strong air game and ranged attacks. But she’s not very precise, going for AoE attacks rather than precision-based ones.
|Weapons: Tomes and Lances|
|Best Weapon: Aversa’s Night|
Tiki (Awakening) (DLC)
The first DLC character on the list. You might be wondering why I have gone for a Midna situation with Tiki having both forms. To be honest, one reason was because I was stuck deciding which version made more sense for the game, but another reason was due to her ability as a skilled Dragon allowing for a different sort of playstyle from her younger form. This version of Tiki is more focused and powerful but not as quick as her younger form. She ditches the light magic to focus solely on Dragon-related abilities.
|Best Weapon: Aged Divine Stone|
|Class: Thief – Trickster||
Of course you can’t do Fire Emblem DLC without involving Anna somewhere. The enigmatic saleswoman will already be in the game as the shopkeep, where you can craft weapons and skills, but now she can be playable. Being a speedy character due to her Thief class, Anna is more comedic in her movements, emphasizing her merchant nature and how she is in this war for profit and not any serious glory.
|Best Weapon: Levin Sword|
Fire Emblem Fates
|Class: Prince – Noble||
The avatar of Fates is even more of a character than Robin and is a central feature to the game’s narrative. Unlike Tiki, Corrin only turns into a full Dragon for his/her specials and magic, instead relying on his/her swordsmanship for regular attacks. However he/she can turn individual body parts into a dragon to fight, much like in Smash 4. Just like Robin, both genders are represented here.
|Weapons: Sword, Beaststones|
|Best Weapon: True Yato|
The cold and mysterious princess of Nohr, Azura is the deuologist of Fire Emblem Fates who fights with a Naginata and her graceful dancing. She has control over water when she sings so her specials and heavy attacks should take advantage of this as she gracefully dances across the battlefield.
|Best Weapon: Waterwheel|
|Class: Myrmidon – Swordmaster||
The heir to the throne of Hoshido and a true Samurai warrior, Ryoma hits fast and hard, going for attacks in quick succession as opposed to anything that blows opponents away. With Raijinto, he gets an electrical effect added to his attacks that can stun opponents.
|Best Weapon: Raijinto|
|Class: Archer – Sniper||
The only archer on this list, Takumi is an excellent sharpshooter even though he is a bit brash and hotheaded at times. Takumi sucks at close quarters so it’s best to keep him a distance away from enemies when possible as you fire a volley of arrows into the opposing forces.
|Best Weapon: Fujin Yumi|
|Class: Cavalier – Paladin||
The only pure, horseback rider on this list. Xander charges in on opponents with his sword at the ready in order to deliver powerful and force-filled attacks. He can mow down enemies but is a massive target with a short range which can be an issue sometimes.
|Best Weapon: Siegfried|
|Class: Wyvern Rider – Malig Knight||
The only Wyvern Rider on this list, Camilla is one of the few Axe wielders which means she hits hard against enemies. She can even throw her axe like a boomerang for ranged attacks. Some combo-ending attacks will have her use lightning from the sky to shock opponents but it’s only for a few of her moves.
|Weapons: Axes, Tomes (thunder)|
|Best Weapon: Aurgelmir|
The great king of the Nohrians and an evil man who doesn’t care if his children fall as long as they are serving him. Garon uses a gigantic axe to swipe through opponents, making him a bit like the Ganondorf or Whitebeard of this game. An overwhelming force.
|Best Weapon: Bölverk|
Path of Radiance (DLC)
|Class: Ranger – Hero||
The legendary Radiant Hero in his more youthful days. Ike gets in as he was the most popular Fire Emblem character of all time according to a Famitsu poll conducted in June 2015. While Ike sticks mainly to his massive sword to blast enemies away, he has been known to follow in his father’s footsteps by using an axe, but it is only for some lighter attacks and for some range.
|Weapons: Swords, Axes|
|Best Weapon: Ragnell|
The Black Knight
|Class: Knight – General||
The yin to Ike’s yang, the Black Knight is a living Tank on the battlefield who can plow through opponents with his swordsmanship. He will also use Lances on occasion as well for that added reach. The Black Knight was chosen due to being one of the most popular villains of all time, even getting a Mii Costume in Super Smash Bros for Wii U.
|Weapons: Swords, Lances|
|Best Weapon: Alondite|
With that you have my roster for the first Fire Emblem Warriors game. I have more ideas for this game that would connect Fire Emblem and the Warriors series to a greater degree, but I will leave those thoughts for another day. For now, I would like to know what you thought about this roster. Do you think it is realistic? Are there any characters you wish I had included or do you wish I had gone about this roster another way? Let me know in the comments below. Also make sure you check out Kantopia’s blog to learn more about Fire Emblem. It is essentially the Source Gaming for the Fire Emblem series providing translations and interesting facts about Fire Emblem’s development and history so make sure to give it a read.