“I got nothing to do with fighting now... Well, that's what I would say if you were anyoneelse.”
—Barst's recruitment in New Mystery of the Emblem
Barst (バーツ Bātsu, Barts in the Japanese version) is a playable character from the Archanea Series of Fire Emblem. In Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi, Barst is, alongside Bord and Cord, a member of the Talysian mercenary group that is spearheaded by Ogma.
Barst makes his first appearance in Chapter 2 of Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi, where he, alongside Ogma, Bord and Cord, enlists in Marth's army under the behest of Princess Caeda of Talys. Barst then aids Marth in bringing the War of Shadows to a conclusion, before returning to Talys to become a woodcutter. Some time later, according to Ogma, Barst departs in order to enlist in the Archanean army, before retiring shortly afterwards to become a pirate, the result of having tired of warfare.
According to his ending, Barst does not appear at all in the original Book 2. Owing to the fact that he did enlist himself in the ranks of the Archanean army, but then deserted to become a pirate. It could be hinted that he continued living his new life as a pirate during the time the War of Heroes took place, making him unable to take part in it.
Barst returns in Chapter 5 of Shin Monshō no Nazo, where he is revealed to have taken up residence near Olbern Keep in the country of Grust, leading a peaceful life as a woodcutter. Initially appearing as an enemy unit, Barst will join Marth's army when spoken to by Ogma, Bord or Cord, in spite of his initial unwillingness to involve himself in the chaos of warfare. Barst will then assist Marth in bringing the War of Heroes to a conclusion, before vanishing without a word to anyone. He is rumoured to either have returned to leading a life as a simple woodcutter or taken to the high seas as a pirate.
As is the case with a majority of the cast appearing in Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi and Mystery of the Emblem, Barst's character is not well-developed, owing to the minor role that he plays. Based on the few interactions that he engages in, however, one can still deduce various points of his personality. For one, it can be observed that Barst is a rather indecisive individual, unable to craft solid directions to follow in his life; the end of the War of Darkness sees him constantly switching from one occupation to another rather rapidly, never seeming to gain any satisfaction from any of them. Through his recruitment conversations with either Bord or Cord in Mystery of the Emblem, his indecisiveness can be attributed to his dislike of the chaos of fighting, instead desiring to lead a peaceful life.
In spite of this, one can tell that Barst is a steadfastly loyal individual, regarding the bonds that he forges with others with a keen earnestness. This is the case with the subordinate-leader relationship that he shares with Ogma; upon being requested to aid Marth's army in the War of Heroes by his former captain, Barst readily agrees to do so with barely any sign of hesitation.
Barst's strengths lie in his high base stats and his distribution of growth rates which allow him to build a respectable amount of HP and strength as a Fighter or Pirate, both of which Barst has a fairly low base growth rate in. In addition, when Barst joins, he already has a D Rank in Axes, allowing him to have a greater versatility by using D-ranked Axes from the get-go. Compared to Bord and Cord, both of which join at the same time, Barst has higher base stats and high enough of a weapon level to use an array of Axes early in the game without sacrificing significantly in either his skill or speed growth rates. All of these strengths combined means that, more often than not, Barst will be the premier choice for an axe user throughout the game.
When Barst promotes, he likely will already have a high HP and strength stat, which will give him a greater number of options to reclass into once he promotes. Aside from the Warrior class, Barst can reclass into a Berserker, which has the same growth rates as the Warrior class but allows Barst to cross water and mountains, though given Barst is unlikely to cap such a speed cap, which is the premier feature of the Berserker class, he may not prove to excel as a Berserker unless he is manually given multiple Speedwings. An alternate reclassing option is Hero; assuming Barst's strength stat is not below average by the time he promotes, he can reclass into the Hero class and have a much higher skill and speed by default, while benefiting from having already built his weapon levels in axes up by a fair amount. However, as a Hero Barst will have a much lower strength growth rate; if Barst's strength stat is not particularly high by the time he promotes into a Warrior, reclassing him into a Hero may not be the smartest idea.
In Shadow Dragon, Barst, along with Caesar, are the best choices for Warriors. Barst gets high HP and Strength, but generally does not cap them, and he also gets decent Skill and Speed as well. However, his Defense and Resistance are quite low, and so Dracoshields and Talismans are best used on him. Should one seek to reclass him, the Berserker and Hero classes are highly recommended, but only the Hero class after promotion. Reclassing him to Berserker is also a good idea for a Wifi team, because many faster units, such as Swordmasters, are commonly deployed.
In Shin Monshō no Nazo, Barst is blessed with generously high growth rates, and will always cap HP and hit high values in Strength, Skill and Speed. The Berserker is a good reclassing option for him. It should, however, be noted that Barst has low defensive stats, including a 0% Resistance growth. Players should be careful to keep him out of the retaliation range of enemy mages as a result, especially during the earlier chapters of the game.
Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo ~Hikari to Kage no Eiyū~Edit
Recruitment with Cord
Cord: Barst! What're you doin' here?!
Barst: Bord? Long time no see.
Cord: I'm not Bord! I'm Cord! You of all people should know that!
Barst: It was a joke! Sorry. Look, Cord, I know you came out all this way... But I've got nothing to do with war no more. I'm an ordinary woodcutter now. Just ignore me.
Cord: Don't be stupid. Doncha know? Prince Marth's fighting again. If you ignore his plea, you're a disgrace to the Talysian Mercenaries. You wanna be a disgrace, is that it?
Barst: ..... You know, all I really want is to live in peace... I suppose I can't just kick back, and chop my wood, with this damn war going on. This needs to end quickly.
Cord: Heh! That's my bro.
Barst: Yeah, I'll join too. Tell Prince Marth for me.
Recruitment with Ogma
Ogma: Long time no see, Barst.
Barst: Captain Ogma! Why are you here...?
Ogma: Another war has started. Once again, I fight under Prince Marth's banner. Barst, lend us your strength. We need you.
Barst: I got nothing to do with fighting now... Well, that's what I would say if you were anyone else. Captain, I owe you. You've saved our sorry asses on more occasions than one. Captain Ogma. Just say the word. I'll do whatever you want!