This article contains no spoilers for Fire Emblem: Fates beyond what was shown in Corrin’s trailer.
It’s no secret that Corrin was partly chosen for Smash to represent the upcoming Fire Emblem: Fates; however, there are some who believe that Azura, the deuteragonist from the same game, would have been a better option for Fates promotion. In this brief article, I will be analyzing why this isn’t the case.
II. Who is Azura?
Azura is the deuteragonist of Fire Emblem Fates that joins Corrin in their quest with the kingdom of choice depending on version (or neither kingdom if the Revelation DLC path is chosen). She is one of the two Songstress units in the game, a new class introduced in Fates that wields a lance and sings to grant units an additional turn.
In essence, Azura is comparable to Lucina in terms of their roles as female deuteragonists in a Fire Emblem title. However, would it have been enough to justify adding her over Corrin?
III. Common arguments in favor of Azura
She’s shown more in promotional media.
This is a tricky argument to tackle. Much like Robin in Awakening, animated cinematics with Corrin in Fates do not show the character’s face in order to establish them as a varied protagonist without a ‘default’ look, so the only way they can be shown in promotional videos is via gameplay with their in-game sprites. Confusingly, however, the cover art for both versions show a default male and female Corrin, respectively, when Awakening did not feature Robin on the cover.
Ironically enough, Azura only appears in the complete version of the art, where she stands in the middle.
In regards to commercials, Azura is shown more for the same reasons outlined above. Even so, commercials tend to be unreliable and sometimes even misleading in what information is transmitted to the buyer.
She’s just as important to the story.
Being a deuteragonist usually means that a character with that designation is secondary compared to the main protagonist, which is the case for Azura, even if they are otherwise significant to the plot. In the case of individual character selections, protagonists and recurring characters are usually selected first to join Smash most of the time. Azura, by role, is neither. Fire Emblem as a Smash series has followed this trend as well with the five main Lords, Lucina being an exception even though it was likely never taken into account due to her original status as an Alph-like character swap for Marth. Said original status also highlights that outside of this alternate character swap, Lucina would have not been chosen over Robin. The same principle applies to Azura.
Azura uses a lance and that’s a unique factor.
Uniqueness is highly subjective; even if a character uses a weapon as common as a sword, they can still be made different, as is with the cases made for characters such as Isaac from Golden Sun. A different weapon is also an arbitrary criteria for justifying a character when used by itself and not to complement other aspects of the character. In its defense, however, lance weapons have never been used in Smash and could be used for a long-range melee based playstyle depending on the character. However, in this case a lance is not enough to distinguish Azura from every other trait Corrin has.
The reasons are stacked against Azura, unfortunately for fans. Though it’s probably a moot point with how much controversy Corrin already has surrounding him, so it would be no different in Azura’s case.
IV. Arguments against Azura
Corrin is an avatar of the player, and by extension has more of a role.
Before Villager was announced, the most vocal Animal Crossing suggestion was Tom Nook. Before Robin and Lucina were announced, the most vocal Fire Emblem suggestion for this version of Smash was Chrom. But instead of going to the most well known supporting characters, Sakurai emphasized player avatars instead. This may have been partially for the uniqueness the characters provided, but it may also be that he wanted to use the character with whom the player spends the longest time. Any Animal Crossing player knows Tom Nook, but they are a Villager.
That might be why Corrin was chosen over Azura, or in a relatable example, why Elma from Xenoblade Chronicles X may have not had a chance.
Much more can be done with Corrin than Azura.
While a somewhat subjective argument given that any character can be unique, Corrin’s more prominent role and abilities in the story of Fates means by extension that they have much more to work with when adapting them to Smash between the weapon of choice(a chainsword) plus water and dragon based abilities to complement the swordplay instead of having the character solely focused on the sword, much like the reasons Robin was favored over Chrom.
Corrin is still more representative of the game as a whole.
Any way you slice it, the central character still represents the game better than any supporting character when talking about Smash with scant few exceptions. In a sense, it would be the equivalent of adding Roll instead of Mega Man, Waddle Dee over Kirby, Tails over Sonic, the list goes on.
It’s evident that Corrin was the better option from a representative standpoint. If the game had two inclusions, it would be easier to justify, but for a single character, there really isn’t any feasible way.