How to tell apart all 596 Fire Emblem characters | Unraveled

Fire Emblem! This magnificent franchise pushes the boundaries
of gaming by daring to ask the question, “What if chess made you horny?” Fire Emblem is turning 30 next year, and with 16 main games and few spinoffs, it’s safe to say that it has grown
into something extraordinary. The games are packed with deep storylines
and memorable characters, like Marth. That’s not Marth? Marth. That’s- which one is Marth? Marth. The problem with having such a prolific series is that the characters start to blend together. One needs only to look at the Super Smash Bros. roster to see that Fire Emblem
characters are a bit hard to differentiate. It’s like trying to remember your coworkers’
names after meeting them once at a work mixer. Except in this case, your coworkers all have
swords and can only make one facial expression. But do not worry. There is an answer to this
conundrum. Because today, I’m going to teach you how to tell apart every Fire Emblem character. *cheery synth music* My face is just not built for this expression. First step in this process is to
collect a list of the characters. Turns out, even after trimming the nonplayable ones and
the ones from the Tokyo Mirage Sessions, there are nearly 600 Fire Emblem characters. I cannot explain that many characters. I have made that mistake before. “Trying to categorize all 600 Castlevania monsters was a bad idea.” But the beauty of making mistakes is that
you can learn from them. And I now know understand that explaining 600 discrete characters
wouldn’t actually be helpful. Human beings aren’t meant to remember 600 people perfectly. If you don’t believe me, just try to remember something about every single person in your contact list. I have a contact for someone name Zain. And in the company, it just says “Bocce Ball.” Who the fuck is this? But unlike my contact list, Fire Emblem’s have plotlines. And in my experience playing these games, I noticed that a lot of these different characters fit
similar roles in their respective games. And I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. On
the Fire Emblem wiki, there is a whole list of archetypes based on different characters. A list that I only found after spending whole day trying to categorize them on my own. And it’s just so fun to realize that you’ve wasted a whole day of work. But this list intrigued me. Stock characters in similar circumstances playing again and again in different stories. Does that remind you of anything? Of course it does! It reminds you of the commedia dell’arte, because it reminds me of the commedia dell’arte. And it’s so obviously the commedia
dell’arte that I don’t need to explain it. But I will for the sake of extending this video. The commedia dell’arte was an Italian form of theater that was big in the 16th to 18th centuries, and it relied on stock characters wearing masks or costumes to designate who they were. That way the audience could be like, “Ah, that dude’s wearing a tight fitting
suit with a bunch of weird patches, that must be Arlecchino, the servant clown — sometimes
to two masters!” This brought the audience in immediately. They knew what that character was about without any exposition. In the same way, Fire Emblem has dozens of recurring characters that get you through each game. And this is how we’re going to tell them apart. By defining their archetypes. Fire Emblem goes one step further. Because these characters can not only serve the same story purpose, but they can have a similar role in the gameplay. And this goes to prove my theory that Fire Emblem is not only the spiritual successor to commedia dell’arte, it is its natural evolution. An elevated form I call… THE COMMEDIA DELL’ANIME. The newer, more perfect form of theater. We just have to boil down
the Fire Emblem personnel into *kiss* syrupy stock characters. Let’s begin with the archetypes that are standard. Cain and Abel are battle bros. They fight together, but not in the biblical sense. Bord and Cords are similar except they’re usually axe fighters. Pegasus sisters are a trio of
flying horses ladies. You can’t split these archetypes up into their solo characters because their bond is what defines them. You can’t have a Waluigi without a Luigi. And in the same way, you can’t have a Bord without a Cord. Which is my favorite Dr. Seuss book. Jagens are mentors that are strong in the beginning and then you’ll quickly outpace them, and it’s kind of sad. Like the first time you beat your
dad in a basketball game. Oifeys are similar to Jagens, except they’ll keep dunking on you till you’re dead. Wendells but for magic. Gotohs are mentors but only the last half of the game. Beowolfs are mercenaries
that you have to pay actual in-game currency to recruit, and Ogmas are mercenaries that
usually decide to join you out of their own volition. Which is, by definition, not a mercenary. Navarres are silent, moody sword swingers. Kind of like if that person who said they
studied the blade actually studied the blade. There are also a bunch of villains but for
different reasons. Power. Ambition. Loyalty. Wyvern riding, I guess. And getting possessed,
which is a classic mistake. Some archetypes are based on their gameplay requirements. Very difficult to recruit. Usually recruited after they’ve been kidnapped. Late game recruits
that could be good, but you have to work hard. Super low level villagers that could also
be good. And if you recruit one of these pairs, you can’t get the other. Kind of like if two of your friends start dating and then have a really messy breakup. Corneliuses are usually
the parental figure to the main character, and they have this nasty habit of getting
axed super early on in the game. It’s kind of like Fire Emblem doesn’t know how to make
interesting characters without making them suffer traumatic parental death. Tacticians.
Young female mages. Young female healers. Young male mages. Thieves. Jeorges do that
thing where they pretend to be not important and then SURPRISE, I wasn’t an old crone,
I was a magical witch the whole time! Except they’re not very good at hiding the fact that
they’re important. And the creepy version of the Jeorges: The Tikis. Usually they take
the form of a small girl or adolescent, except they’re really 400 years old and a god or
a dragon. And I honestly do not have the time
to unpack this bullshit. These 29 archetypes
are useful, but they only cover 229 characters. There are still 367 to go. If we keep this
up, we’re going to end up with 75 archetypes. The commedia dell’arte only has about 17. So before we move on, let’s combine some. These six are all mentors to varying degrees
of usefulness. These are all defined by their villainy and only some of them become playable. Welcome to Cain Siblings Incorporated, where we all have a sibling like bond and do the same job. These all have very specific requirements for recruiting. These both do that thing where
they don’t seem important and then Surprise! I’m important! These are all hard to make
good but they’re worth it if you put the effort in. These are all precocious little magic babies. And that leaves the Navarres unconnected, but that’s because I’m changing the archetype
to Spicy Swords. Because we can include so many other characters if we just expand the
definitions to any swordweilder who’s a little spicy. In fact, by combining these other archetypes,
there are now tons of other characters who fit into these expanded definitions. We are left with 288 characters to categorize. But before I get there, I just want to commend
Fire Emblem for have 596 playable characters and only repeating three names. When I was hired for my first job at a climbing gym, I was one of five employees named Brian, and
it was a small gym. But I guess it’s pretty easy to cut out repetitions when you use dope-ass names like Skrimir. Dagdar. Sleuf. Fjorm. Belf. I could go on all day. But I won’t. Because it’s time to get the rest of the archetypes on the wall. *charging noise* That took like 30 minutes. But let’s begin. The honorable knight, like Fiona, who cares passionately about her people, and will always oppose cruelty to civilians. Which is way better than the
loyal knight, like Troude, who only is loyal to Perne, and will do literally anything for
him even though Perne is a bad dude. But I’ll get to that later. These four archetypes are
calm and aloof, and the only thing that differentiates them is how much you would want to invite
them to your birthday party. I’m just gonna get the blank slate archetype out of the way now, because Fire Emblem is a game with permadeath, and so sometimes you just need more meat for
the grinder, you know? Similar to the blank slate is the protagonist, which is always relatively heroic, but since they’re a conduit for the player, they’re all pretty vague. I realize that by smooshing them all together into one category, I’ve made the majority of the Fire Emblem roster in Super Smash indistinguishable. But that’s not my fault! Super Smash should’ve included more magic babies! Arrogants, hotheads, and edgelords all have a mean side, but arrogants like Vaike just think they’re the best. Hotheads like Caspar want to fight anything that moves. And edgelords like Niles retweet Joker accounts unironically. A lot of these characters have
rough childhoods but then turn out cheerful despite that. And then there’s the inferiority
complex archetype, which I could have just called “The majority of children in Fire Emblem: Fates.” Perfectionists, mischief makers, and flirts are all highly motivated. But Subaki is motivated to meet high expectations. Claude is motivated to make intricate schemes. And Sylvain is motivated to be a fuccboi. Buzzkills are just characters
that aren’t very fun to talk to. And Fire Emblem, I will never forgive you for naming an unemotional, uber religious, deadbeat dad Gilbert. It also doesn’t help that I look like Hanneman Lite. Oh god, am I a buzzkill? A lot of these archetypes are based around one singular personality trait. Scarlet’s straightforward. Valbar’s chill. Linhardt’s lazy. Sumia’s clumsy. Petra’s a sweetie. And Ranulf is a furry. Dramatic, painter, and fashionable are defined by their
love of the arts and how much it sucks that they gotta be a soldier instead. Some archetypes upset the status quo by defying gender norms or by calling out the noble class, and that’s
why they’re comrades. Child soldier. Karin is canonically 14 years old. Whoopsie! But even if they aren’t a child, they could still be naive. Which brings around the overprotective
archetype, which is just essentially helicopter parents. Manuela is constantly drinking and
flirting and just being a hot mess and I love her for it. And that makes her the president of vices. The vice president. But be careful not to do that around someone like Astram, who is constantly accusing people of treason for no good reason. There’s a lot of characters in the meek murderer archetype because Fire Emblem loves to make characters that are quiet and shy and really self conscious, and then can WRECK SHOP on the battlefield. Here’s an archetype I call “what the fuck” and it’s the three characters that make me say, “What the fuck, Fire Emblem?” People like Perne, who is said to be a sweet Robin Hood type, except he does kidnap a young girl and keeps her as his slave. Or Tharja, who practices curses on her own daughter. Or Roger, who is act- he’s not actually that bad. But Fire Emblem does go out of their way to make his endscreen say that he never gets a date and he stays single for the rest of his life. And it’s like, what the fuck, Fire Emblem?
You didn’t have to do him dirty like that. The next archetype is called “actually pretty
interesting.” These characters are three dimensional and well-developed. People like Libra, who
struggles with his faith and has incredible self doubt even though he’s doing all he can
to help those around him. Or Rhys, who dreams of being a swordfighter, but his weak constitution
won’t allow him to become one. And so he helps in the ways he can, but his whole story is
one of unfulfilled dreams. And that’s it. Those are the only two interesting characters in Fire Emblem. Until we get to Raphael. My sweet, bulky boy who only cares about eating
and training and not about studying. The thing is, the Fire Emblem world has moved past himbos and bimbos. Welcome to the age of thembos. There. 45 archetypes to help you differentiate
the 596 Fire Emblem characters. If you’re a GOSH DANG ROCKET SCIENTIST! 45 is still too much! We can combine these. We’ll take these six and combine them to create a new
archetype that is as important as it is bland. These three can be more succinctly summarized
in a category called “Holy shit, why are you a soldier?” Let’s just go ahead and cordon
off all of the assholes. And now we can take these straight-talking suck ups and call them teacher’s pets. Shhhh. These three archetypes all have tough
exteriors to break through. These three archetypes really explore familial bonds, which is a RARE CONDITION, IN THIS DAY- Whether it’s a good or bad reaction doesn’t matter to this group, they just want to be seen. They’re just too nice for all this! These four archetypes will always be subverting expectations. It’s fairly surprising that these three
archetypes were let in. Chill dudes? Gambling? A bunch of hunks? Damn if these aren’t fun to hang out with. All three of these are going to time out, ’cause they need to calm it down. And there we go. The 13 archetypes that make it possible to differentiate the Fire Emblem characters. Just 13 of them. That’s fewer than the commedia dell’arte. It’s only 13. Which is not only an unlucky number, but it is TOO LARGE for your TINY CHILD BRAINS. We can make it better! We can
combine more! WE CAN PERFECT THIS! Granted, it’s a little bit harder to combine these
archetypes, but just off the bat, we can take “look at me baby” and “making waves” and just
combine it into one thing, trendsetters. And the “necessary but boring” and the “asshole
crew” and the “teacher’s pets” and the “calm it downs,” they all fill me with a sense of UGH. And obviously the “too nice for this” and the “lied on your resume” and the “holy shit why are you a soldiers” are all just a bad choice for a war! And that just leaves us with the characters that are hard to break the ice with, and uh, the ones that got family
issues, and the quiet ones, and the ones that are fun to hang out with! Uh. And that just sounds like a pretty run-of-the-mill awkward family reunion. And when you think about it,
these ones are just strange characters that have, uh, that are good at fighting. I mean if you include Dmitri in this, he has an eye patch! Okay, which is similar to these ones. Seteth and Byleth have the, they rhyme. Uh we also, I mean. Dorothea wears a hat until
she grows out of the hat. Think about that! Don’t even get me started on Oboro. I don’t know who that is. Is it pronounced “dice” or “deesay?” And we can have a category called “anime character with a singular personality trait and a penchant for violence” and that’s just the one category! Which PROVES that the Fire Emblem characters are all essentially the same, and that you cannot differentiate them. Mission complete! What was this Unraveled
about again? …Sometimes to two masters! Patrick: Now Italian. (Brian in a shitty Italian accent) Ah! That guy is… oh god I don’t know if I can. Ah that dudes wearing a tight
fitting suit with a buncha weird patches it must be Arlecchino the servant clown sometimesa
to two masters! (Pat and Jenna offscreen laughing) Brian: Ah I don’t know if… Okay. Pat: We don’t have to use it but we need to record it.


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