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Archetype

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An Archetype refers to established concepts or roles (usually of characters) that can be clearly observed and elaborated upon when looking at patterns throughout the Fire Emblem series. The long running Fire Emblem series often recycles certain concepts and roles for various characters across many different games. The commonly cited character archetypes, listed here, are a purely fan-made construction and have no official backing. As such, some fans are critical of their legitimacy and the way some archetypes are designed or how characters are assigned to various archetypes (usually, but not always based primarily on appearances and stats). However, it is interesting to observe the many trends followed throughout in the series. It would appear that the designers have their own set of official archetypes, which could very well differ from the fan ones. For instance, they describe Titania as a Jagen, while fans usually call her an Oifey.

Archetypes

The following is a list and description of each archetype. Keep in mind that this list is incomplete, and is still undergoing research and ongoing legitimization, and may change in light of future releases or new information.

Jagen

Perhaps the most famous of all the archetypes, a Jagen character is usually a character that joins the group early in the game, and usually as the main Lord's guardian or mentor lorewise. They appear impressive at first, but are usually inferior to other units that have been leveled up. Jagens are almost always Paladins. There are two types of Jagens.

Pure Jagen

Pure Jagens are based off the original Jagen (translated Jeigan in the Japanese version) from the first Fire Emblem game. These types of Jagens usually have good stats at first glance. However, they have awful Growth Rates, making them inferior to other units as time progresses. The typical excuse for a Pure Jagen's poor potential is usually advanced age or sickness. The only Pure Jagen to not suffer from sickness or old age is Eyvel, who is more skilled with a bow than she is with a sword.

Notable Pure Jagens are:

Oifey

Oifeys are named after the paladin Oifey from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. These Jeigans usually start out with mediocre stats for their level, but have better growth rates than pure Jeigans, making them better and not worthless later in the game. In stark contrast to the pure Jeigans, the Oifeys are usually quite young despite their experience, with Seth barely being much older than his liege Eirika, and Oifey being only in his early 30's.

Notable Oifeys are:

Est

Est was a Pegasus Knight in FE1 who joined the player's team late in the game. Est archetype characters are usually characters that join the group late in the game at an extremely low level, and are difficult to level up due to their low bases. However, if trained, they usually turn out to be the most powerful units in the game. It can be said that they are the antithesis of the Jeigan. It should be noted that most Ests usually lack one or two decent stat(s), generally hp and defense. They also have lower availability rates than most other characters. After FE3, most Ests have been magic users.

Notable Ests are:

Cain and Abel

The Cain and the Abel are cavalier duos who join early in the game and often serve as the party's initial mounted units. The Green Knight generally has a more carefree personality, while the Knight in Red is more serious. The original Abel had high base speed and skill, but later grew mostly HP while Cain started with higher strength and defense, but later grew mostly luck. As the series went on, the armor colors (red and green) switched constantly, and in rare cases, were changed completely.

Notable Cain/Abel duos are:

Ogma

Ogma was a Mercenary that had high, generally balanced starting stats. An Ogma generally has slightly above average stat growths, making them good units all around. Lore wise, they tend to be either mercenary leaders, or, in the case that there is no group of mercenaries involved, a mercenary who joins the player army on their own. In the case of the former, all of the mercenary leaders are shown as heavily muscled men with scarred faces (with the exception of Ike). Some of them vanish without a trace after the war is over.

Notable Ogmas are:

Bord and Cord

Bord and Cord were axe fighters under Ogma. Since then, fighters have often come in pairs, much like the Cain and Abel archetype. Bords excel in Strength and HP, while Cords excel in Speed. Another trait is that either one of them can exceed in Skill and Luck, depending on the game.

Notable Bord/Cord duos are:

In The Sacred Stones, Ross can promote into a fighter instead of starting out as a fighter.

Unlike the other pairs, Boyd and Nolan are not associated with one another in any way, and only fit the stat requirements for the archetype.

Nabarl

A Nabarl is a character, usually a myrmidon, that generally appears early or somewhat early in the game as a recruitable enemy. Nabarls often carry Killing Edge, or a similar weapon with a high critical rate. They tend to have high skill and speed growths, but poor strength growths. They are often believed to be worth the effort of recruiting. Lore wise, they usually have some relationship with the Lena or Julian character and have a warrior's spirit, hold some kind of code or policy, and are known to take chances. Before they join the player's party, they may have served as a mercenary for bandits. Like Ogmas, they usually fade into obscurity after the war is over.

Notable Nabarls are:

Ira is unique because she has the Shooting Star Sword skill, since critical rates are not present in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.

Gotoh

Gotoh was a character that joined the group very late into the game in Fire Emblem 1. He was a mage that could use any spell. Gotoh characters are received at the end of the game, but have high growths and stats (the former being offset by an extremely high joining level), and range from competent to insanely powerful, so that players deploying a weak group to the final chapter can stand a chance. They may also serve as mentors and "mission control" characters to the main Lord(s) and their party from the midpoint of the story onwards before finally taking direct action at the very end; Gotoh and Athos are especially known for this approach.

Notable Gotohs are:

In FE9, the player must choose among Naesala, Tibarn, and Giffca for use in the final chapter.
In FE10, Lehran is not playable on the first playthrough.
In FE11, Nagi and Gotoh cannot join on the same playthrough.

Lena

Lena is a cleric players get at the beginning of the game, and always have good magic growths, but sometimes poor starting magic. They usually make the best healers, and decent fighters if promoted. Lenas are usually female characters. Rhys is the exception, as he is male. Some have a relationship with either the Julian character or the Nabarl character.

Notable Lenas are:

Maria

The Maria archetype is a low level healer that the player obtains later than the Lena archetype, often due to the fact that they were held hostage at some point earlier in the plot. Most Marias are young girls that have a playable sibling who they strive to help, and they have been captured before their playable appearance. Most Marias are clerics, but several are troubadours, and most are of some noble blood. Reduced availability along with their low level can cause the Marias to be eclipsed by the Lenas, but they usually possess unique redeeming qualities over the Lena archetype.

Marias include:

Pegasus Sisters/Trio

This archetype is of three Pegasus Knight sisters, or likewise three siblings of the same class/similar weapons, with the oldest being more mature and the younger sibling the most childish. Usually, the siblings have the ability to Triangle Attack.

Notable Trios are:

The Pegasus Sister trio in Genealogy of the Holy War are unique because they are enemy units, but otherwise fit the archetype.

The Sacred Stones is a unique case, as Tana is not a blood relative of Syrene and Vanessa (though in her supports, Tana notes that she thinks of Syrene as an older sister); nonetheless, the three can triangle attack.

Although in Path of Radiance the characters are not sisters, they share some minor traits, in that they all ride pegasi and can use the Triangle Attack. This was slightly remedied in Radiant Dawn, where the three Pegasus Knights have a closer link. Note: Elincia can also perform the Triangle Attack with the three other Seraph Knights.

Gharnef

In the original Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi and its remakes and sequels, there was the bishop Gharnef, who caused the events of the game and manipulated several to achieve his goals. Since then, a Dark Magic user or Bishop has usually manipulated the events of the game, usually being responsible for the main conflict. Also, they are usually defeated just before the final boss, with the only exceptions being Fomortiis and Veld, who are the final bosses of their respective games.

Notable Gharnefs include:

Ephidel

A sub archetype to the Gharnef archetype, Ephidels are manipulators who work on a smaller scale, often manipulating several smaller events to defeat the party. Unlike Gharnefs, however, Ephidels are often commanded by a higher antagonist (who may or may not be the Gharnef), or are being manipulated themselves.

Notable Ephidels include:

Camus

In Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi, there was a strong Paladin late in the game who was honorable and kind and seemed to hold no ill towards Marth's army, but fought out of loyalty to his country. Since then, there has been an enemy general who holds no ill will towards the player's army, and may even have loved ones or friends in that army, but continues to fight due to loyalty to his or her nation or lord, despite being fully aware that what their nation or lord is doing is wrong and knowing full well that they will perish in battle. Unlike other enemy commanders, they care about the wellbeing of their subordinates, to the point where they even allow any soldier who does not want to fight to leave the battlefield.

Michalis

In FE1, there was an ambitious Dracoknight late in the game who had orchestrated numerous events in the plot (albeit without being the true mastermind), yet was somewhat easy to defeat. Since then, there has always been a boss, whether they be mad, vain, or ambitious, who would do anything to seize power; they may or may not have decent reasons for wanting to seize power (such as Michalis's desire to overthrow Doluna from within or Trabant's determination to save Thracia from ruination), but nonetheless their ambitions turn them into pawns of the enemy army and opponents of the player.

Julian

Julian is a low level Thief who joins early in the game that generally are not very strong, but they are useful for their ability to pick locks. Also, some Julians (but not all) have some sort of relationship with the Lena character and/or Nabarl character.

There is a slight difference in FE4 because there no chests or doors to open; however, Dew and Patty/Daisy are still somewhat useful due to their Thief ability and their ability to give money to any unit.

Volke, unlike other Julians, does not join at a lower level. However, he still fulfills the Julian's role of picking early locks.

Nomah

Nomah is a Sage that appeared late in the game as a replacement for any unpromoted Curates or Clerics. He is practically weaker than they are if they are promoted, and only good for emergencies. In FE6, this is particularly stressed, as they are the only users of Light Magic.

Jeorge

A member of the Jeorge archetype is a character posing as a simple traveler who joins early or mid-game, and is later revealed to be royalty, nobility, or otherwise of plot-critical heritage. They are commonly, but not necessarily, bards.

Gordin

In Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi, Gordin was a young boy archer that joined your party early in the game, and eventually looked up to the Akaneian sniper Jeorge. Since then, there has been a young Archer unit that joins your team very early on at a low level, and some look up to a more experienced archer or sniper.

Notable Gordins are:

Draug

Members of the Draug archetype are armored Knights that join early on in the game. Most of the time, they can be used as proficient walls for physical hits early on in the game.

Notable Draugs are:

Merric

A Merric is a male Mage who appears early and usually excels in Wind magic. Often a student of a more powerful Sage or other magician.

Notable Merrics are:

Minerva

A Dragon Knight, usually female, that initially appears as an enemy. A Minerva often has red armor: the first Minerva even had her own title of "Red Dragon Knight". After being recruited, they typically find themselves fighting their own nation or even their family. While most Minervas tend to be females clad in red, several are males clad in blue/black.

Notable Minervas are:

Lorenz

A veteran General, loyal enough to serve his or her kingdom to the end, but ends up being persuaded nonetheless. Often tricky to recruit.

Notable Lorenzs are:

Beowolf

Beowolf was a mercenary in FE4 that was hired by the Agustrian army. If he is spoken to, he can be recruited for the cost of a massive amount of gold.

Notable Beowolfs are:

Arran and Samson

Arran and Samson were characters that were recruitable in the first title, but only one of them could be recruited. Arran was a Paladin and Samson was a hero; normally, they had lower stats, but some later ones proved to be quite useful.

*While neither character joins the player's army, the player chooses which of the two to side with in the paralogue they appear in. The character chosen fights alongside the player's army as an Other Unit while the other character becomes the boss of the paralogue.

Ethlyn

Ethlyn was a princess troubadour in FE4 in the first generation. Since then, there have been quite a few mounted healers that had at least minor noble blood.

Notable Ethlins are:

Hardin

Named after Hardin, a Prince and Duke in the original game who fought alongside Marth and did many heroic deeds such as freeing the slaves of the plains, helping Minerva, and protecting Nyna with his life. In the sequel, he ends up becoming a terrifying tyrant and the most powerful boss in the game due to being manipulated by Gharnef, who exploited his feelings Nyna to possess him via the Darksphere. The Hardin archetype is a friend of the protagonist who is moral, seems to be a good person with a good future ahead, and may even fight with them for a period of time. However, for various reasons, they have a tragic fall to evil and are put down by their former friend. They're always in the one of the best classes in the game, and their reasons for corruption often have do with love or noble causes.

Bandit Twins

The bandit twins are a reoccurring archetype in the Fire Emblem series. Their first appearance was in Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. The bandits have always had the same hairstyle; one has purple hair and one has dark hair. They usually appear on desert levels.

The Bandit Twins are

The bandit twins do not appear in Fire Emblem 8, but there is still a desert level with two bosses (Valter and Caellach).

Cornelius

A recurring story archetype in the Fire Emblem series is the father of the main character who dies tragically, to motivate the main character to avenge them.

*- Does not actually die, but suffers from severe sickness.
**- Appears to die, but survives and comes back later in the game with amnesia.

Wendell

Named after the bishop Wendell (changed to Sage in the DS remakes) who served as a teacher to Merric and Ellerean. In following games, there was usually a Sage who acted as a mentor or teacher to a younger mage (typically the Merric character). While Wendell was not initially known well for his stats, he improved in the original Monshō no Nazo, and later ones proved to have competent stats and even make good replacements for any mages who died or did not grow well.

In a way, they could be considered the magical version of the Jeigan/Oifey archetype.

Nyna

Named after Nyna, the last living member of the Akaneian royal family during the game's events. In the Akaneian series and following games, there is sometimes a female who is at least under the impression that she is the last surviving member of her family, and it is up to her to carry on her bloodline. She is usually driven from her country, and it is usually liberated by the protagonist or, rarely, she herself.

*Only partially due to her surviving nephew

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