Note: Special thanks to Kantopia for the translations. Check him out for all your Fire Emblem info.
In a recent interview with Nintendo Dream, Fire Emblem Warriors producer, Yosuke Hayashi, discussed the process about how they went about choosing characters. He said that they wanted a focus on unique weapons but Intelligent Systems and Nintendo pointed them in the direction of the popularity polls. A bit of the classic Nintendo strong-arming going on here, but it does give us an interesting idea of who we might expect in Fire Emblem Warriors.
Many fans have claimed that the popularity poll statement is a lie because the top scoring characters of the ‘Choose Your Heroes’ poll aren’t in the game and my colleague LIQUID12A already covered this in an article that you should check out afterwards. What he mentioned there and I am mentioning again here is that the poll in question is not, in fact, the Fire Emblem Heroes poll conducted back in January of this year. After all, this project has been in development for two years now. No, the polls being referenced are in fact the Famitsu 25th Anniversary popularity poll, the Awakening popularity poll and the special Fates poll released after. Before the Heroes poll, these three were the definitive list for popularity in Japan and almost certainly the polls in question.
So do these polls match up with what we have so far and can this give us a glimpse into the future? I would say yes, but it’s important to remember that the team specifically decided on representing those three games and so they are the characters who got the focus. Despite Ike winning the popularity poll, his game came sixth. Awakening won the games poll so of course it gets focus here. Shadow Dragon is the original game and then Fates was the newest game at the time of this poll. Characters from these three were the team’s focus.
So let’s look at the results and compare them to the characters revealed so far.
Above are the top 10 for each of the four polls and what we can see here is that of the ten heroes revealed so far (+ Tiki who was heavily hinted at) only Corrin, Lissa and Frederick are absent. Corrin is Fates’ protagonist so her place makes sense and, interestingly the more popular version of Corrin according to these results was the female version. Lissa and Fredrick are harder to understand as they took 11th and 14th place in their respective polls, but being important characters to the game and Chrom probably helped. Axes are also more uncommon among the key characters in Fire Emblem so they both help to add variety to the roster.
So far the majority of confirmed characters ranked high in the polls so there the team’s comments about this being a factor are undoubtedly correct. What does this mean for future characters though? Let’s tackle this game by game.
With Shadow Dragon, only one other character was mentioned and that is Ogma. He’s not given a proper number but considering the order he appears in he was likely in 13th place. Ogma isn’t very unique, being another Sword user, but he is important as he was the personal bodyguard of Caeda and Marth in Shadow Dragon. He’s an early prototype for characters like Gaiden’s Saber. Speaking of Caeda, she isn’t mentioned in the polls but she is important to Shadow Dragon and the original Pegasus Knight which was voted the most popular class. So I would expect her.
Awakening only had two other characters mentioned in the overall polls and these were Gaius and Tharja. Neither are major characters to Awakening but both are popular choices, even in Awakening’s individual poll. Both Gaius and Tharja were voted into the top four characters of their gender in the Awakening poll so that’s two polls they’ve succeeded in. Gaius only lost to Robin. Then Cherche and Lon’qu both came fifth which may help them.
What about Awakenings children though? Owain got the second most popular male overall in Awakening and then Inigo and Severa joined Lucina for the top four kids. Then excluding the latter, they all made appearances in Fates as well (under different names). While Inigo and Severa don’t really add anything new to the game (being in the same class as Ogma) Owain gets a special mention. See, not only did Owain get second in the Awakening poll but his alter-ego, the mage Odin, got 10th place in the Fates poll. That’s two polls he has done well in which is impressive.
Segwaying into Fates now, we have the games own top 10 poll to look at and the most notable thing is that seven of these 10 are from the royal siblings. In fact, the only two royal siblings to get excluded are Sakura and Hinoka. Takumi took first place with Leo coming in second. Camilla and Elise got fifth and sixth respectively while Azura came in at eighth. The only non-nobles to get included are Jakob, who managed to come fourth, then Oboro and finally the previously mentioned Odin. Felicia gets a special mention for being voted the second best wife after Azura but Jakob kind of fills her role on the roster and was overall more popular.
As the developers of Fire Emblem Warriors have said not to expect a balanced roster between games, I would expect Fates to get the most and probably all the royal siblings for the sake of completion. It will be interesting to see if Jakob, Oboro and Odin manage to squeeze in though.
So that does it for the three games that Warriors will focus on but that doesn’t rule out other games for DLC, and of these games, Blazing Sword takes the lead. It was not only voted the second best Fire Emblem game but both Lyn and Hector got into the top 10 (4th and 8th). Ike was spoken about earlier and might push Path of Radiance into a slot but the other important game to mention is Genealogy of the Holy War. It came third in the overall game ranking and the character of Finn managed to land the ninth slot in the polls. So I could see these three games making it in as DLC but other games might miss the mark. Ephraim did well but Sacred Stones did not while Radiant Dawn was popular but no one character got a high vote.
The moral from this all is that the polls do seem to be having an effect on the character choices. It isn’t set in stone though, as Lissa and Fredrick prove this. Their role in the story is also important so the likes of Jagen or Kaze could still make their way through, only time will tell.