The Laguz (ラグズ) are a race from the Tellius Series, people who can shift from human-like forms into animal forms. When in human form, they still have certain animal-like physical traits, such as tails, wings, ears, and colored stripes on their faces. Laguz are known in legend as the "Children of Strength," as they possess a greater deal of physical might compared to the Beorc. Laguz are also capable of living for far longer than beorc.
There are several different tribes of laguz, classified into 3 main groups: beasts, birds, and dragons. The beasts live in Gallia and Hatari, the birds in Phoenicis and Kilvas, and the dragons in Goldoa. Laguz consider it dishonorable to fight with their natural weapons while not in animal form. They are proud races, and the conflict between them and beorc runs deep. However, while some laguz dislike the beorc (such as Lethe, Tibarn, and Reyson), others are naturally friendly and unprejudiced towards their counterparts (like Kurthnaga, Ranulf, and Mordecai). Some beorc are kind to these laguz (e.g. Ike, Zihark, and Sanaki) while others are very harsh (e.g. Petrine, Shinon, and Ashnard). Many beorc and laguz wish to live with the other species in peace, but they are in the minority.
Laguz were kept as slaves by beorc in Begnion before the passing of Laguz Emancipation Act, and even after that some laguz were kept as hidden slaves. Both laguz and beorc evolved from the race called the zunanma.
The Beast Tribe (獣牙族 Jugazoku lit. Beast Fang Tribe in the Japanese version), are comprised of mostly feline beasts, but also include the canine Wolves. In their human-like form, the beasts generally have tails, ears, and sometimes stripes on their face.
- Cat - Swift, highly mobile and agile warriors. They are small and quick. Notable cats: Lethe, Lyre, and Ranulf.
- Tiger - More offensive and defensive than Cats, but slower. Notable tigers: Mordecai, Kyza, and Muarim.
- Lion - Stronger than Tigers. Lions appear to be at the head of Gallia's royalty. They are the most powerful and are way more offensive and defensive. Known lions: Caineghis, Skrimir, and Giffca.
- Wolf - Mystical beasts who are more powerful than cats but not quite as strong as tigers. They inhabit the Kingdom of Hatari. Known wolves: Volug and Nailah.
The Bird Tribe (鳥翼族 Chōyokuzoku lit. Bird Wing Tribe in the Japanese version), as their name suggests, they are comprised of birds. Each tribe lives in their own separate kingdoms until the end of Radiant Dawn: the ravens in Kilvas, the hawks in Phoenicis, and the herons in Serenes. Once the war with Ashera ends, the bird tribes form the new Bird Nation in Serenes. Tibarn is named leader of this new nation. In human-like form, they have wings that are capable of flight.
- Hawk - The flying counterpart of Tigers, strong and skilled. Notable hawks: Tibarn, Janaff, and Ulki.
- Raven - The flying counterpart of Cats, fast but less powerful than the hawks. Notable ravens: Naesala, Vika, and Nealuchi.
- Heron - Citizens of the ruined Kingdom of Serenes. They cannot fight, but can utilise special songs known as galdrar. White-winged Herons (also known as Egrets in the Japanese version) are part of the royal family. Notable herons: Reyson, Rafiel, Lehran, and Leanne. Herons, with an inner balance between chaos and order, have a pronounced ability to read the emotions of those around them, especially in times of peace.
The Dragon Tribe (竜鱗族 Ryūrinzoku lit. Dragon Scale Tribe in the Japanese version), resides in Goldoa and dislikes interaction with other countries. In human-like form, they generally have brand-like marks on their foreheads, as well as pointed ears. Their features allows Dragon Laguz like Nasir to pass for a Beorc.
- Red Dragon - Powerful dragons who breathe fire. They appear to be the most common type of dragon in Tellius. Notable red dragons: Ena and Gareth.
- White Dragon - Magic-oriented dragons who breathe light-based flames. Known white dragons: Nasir.
- Black Dragon - The strongest of all dragons. The dragon tribe's leader is always a Black Dragon. Known black dragons: Kurthnaga, Dheginsea, Almedha, and Rajaion.
Laguz Game MechanicsEdit
The exact ways Laguz function in battle depends on the game you're playing. Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn both have Laguz and implement them in different ways.
Some mechanics are shared by the two games, though. In battle, Laguz always have a Transformation Gauge, which (when it fills up) allows a laguz to morph into its animal form. When a Laguz is transformed, it slowly drains its transformation gauge until it reaches 0, at which point the Laguz reverts to its humanoid form.
Typically, when a Laguz is untransformed, it is somewhat vulnerable, and can never initiate attacks. But once the beast/bird/dragon transforms, they gain large attribute bonuses that make them formidable opponents.
Laguz in Path of RadianceEdit
Laguz in Path of Radiance have a transformation gauge that ranges from 0 to 20. All Laguz have a pre-determined starting number, 0-18. This number cannot be changed by any means other than the demi-band glitch. Also, various actions and events will increase or decrease a Laguz's Transformation gauge, such as the player phase starting, or participating in combat. The following is a small table detailing these changes.
Untransformed Laguz cannot counter enemy attacks, nor can they initiate combat. They are extremely vulnerable in this state, but they do increase their transform gauge by participating in combat whilst untransformed, so it might become necessary for tactical purposes.
Transformed laguz can only attack adjacent foes (with the exception of Naesala, who can select a special attack command that allows him to make a single ranged attack). All Laguz have a natural weapon with a pre-determined Might and Accuracy. Examples of these include: Cat: Claw; Raven: Beak; Dragon: Breath.
When a Laguz transforms, he/she gains various stat increases dependent on its class. (class = Cat or Red Dragon or Tiger, etc...) The table below details all attribute bonuses for all Laguz classes.
|Beast tribe (Cat M)||Cat (M)||0||+6||0||+4||+3||+5||+3||+15||+2||0|
|Beast tribe (Cat F)||Cat (F)||0||+6||0||+4||+3||+5||+3||+15||+2||0|
|Beast tribe (Tiger)||Tiger||0||+7||0||+4||+3||+3||+3||+15||+2||0|
|Beast tribe (Lion)||Lion||0||+8||0||+4||+4||+5||+3||+15||+2||0|
|Bird tribe (Hawk)||Hawk||0||+6||0||+5||+3||+4||+2||+10||+2||0|
|Bird tribe (Tibarn)||Hawk (Tibarn)||0||+7||+1||+5||+3||+3||+1||+8||+2||0|
|Bird tribe (Raven)||Raven||0||+5||+1||+4||+4||+3||+4||+9||+2||0|
|Bird tribe (Naesala)||Raven (Naesala)||0||+6||+2||+4||+3||+3||+3||+7||+2||0|
|Bird tribe (Heron M)||Heron (M)||0||0||+5||+3||+4||+1||+5||+6||+3||0|
|Bird tribe (Heron F)||Heron (F)||0||0||+5||+3||+4||+1||+5||+6||+3||0|
|Dragon tribe (Red M)||Red Dragon (M)||0||+10||0||+6||+3||+4||+5||+26||+1||0|
|Dragon tribe (Red F)||Red Dragon (F)||0||+5||0||+4||+4||+4||+5||+12||+1||0|
|Dragon tribe (White)||White Dragon||0||+10||0||+5||+3||+5||+5||+24||+1||0|
Obviously, this system, while workable, is somewhat clunky, and hard to predict. Radiant Dawn does an excellent job spiffing up the system to Fire Emblem's high standards, both simplifying and streamlining the transformation process.
Some items can affect a Laguz's Transformation gauge as well. The Laguz Stone immediately maxes out a Laguz's Transform gauge, and the Demi-band allows the user to remain in a transformed state permanently, at the cost of 1/2 of all the transformation bonuses. Lastly, the Laguz Band item (exclusive to Laguz Royals) allows Laguz to stay in their transformed state constantly with no penalties whatsoever.
Herons in Path of RadianceEdit
There is but a single Heron in Path of Radiance, but Reyson (the Heron) can be extremely helpful if used properly. While he cannot wield any offensive weapon, magic, or healing staff, he has the innate ability to sing to other allies to rejuvenate them, (identical to bards and dancers in this way), allowing them to move and/or attack again that turn. Untransformed, Reyson can sing to one adjacent ally of your choice. But transformed, he not only gains flight, he is also enabled to sing to all adjacent allies instead, making him 4 times more useful than your typical bard.
Laguz in Radiant Dawn have a transformation gauge that ranges from 0 to 30. All Laguz start the gauge on 0. This number can be changed with items like Laguz Stone, etc. Various actions and events will increase or decrease a Laguz's Transformation Gauge. Like in Path of Radiance, the player phase starting, or participating in combat will increase or decrease the gauge. But in Radiant Dawn, every Laguz tribes has a different speed for how much the gauge increases or decreases. The table below illustrates these changes in the Transformation gauge for the various Laguz classes in Radiant Dawn.
|Red Dragon (M)||+26||+58||+1|
|Red Dragon (F)||+12||+33||+1|
Untransformed Laguz can counter enemy attacks, but cannot initiate a combat. They are extremely vulnerable in this state, since they have poor stats in human form, but they do increase their transform gauge by participating in combat whilst untransformed unless they do some damage to the enemy. Although vulnerable, this is often the preferred method (for veterans) of leveling up weaker Laguz, as they gain considerably more Experience when untransformed. Another change from Path of Radiance is the Transformation gauge itself; when it maxes out (30/30), instead of the Laguz automatically changing into its animal form, a new option comes up in the Command Menu called (unsurprisingly) Transform. While you cannot move after transforming, the game still allows the newly transformed Laguz to attack.
Herons in Radiant DawnEdit
Herons in Radiant Dawn work slightly differently than in Path of Radiance. Not only are there three Herons (as opposed to the one in PoR), they all have unique game mechanics, and can all use the newly christened "Galdrar" (singular: (Galdr)). Galdrar are songs the Herons can sing to allies and opponents to give extra activations (as in PoR), increase attributes, fill a Laguz's transform gauge, and even heal allies. But the similarities don't end there; all three white birds have high Luck gains, as well good Magic, Resistance, and (sometimes) Speed.
Now, all three siblings (Leanne, Reyson, and Rafiel are sister, brother, and brother, respectively) sing their Galdr in different ways. Reyson, while untransformed, can only sing to one ally. But once transformed, he can perform his Galdr to all adjacent allies/foes. Leanne (whether transformed or not) can sing to two allies/opponents adjacent to her, in opposite spaces. Example:
|Leanne's Galdrar abilities|
|Ally #1||Leanne||Ally #3|
In this setup, Leanne (in italics) can sing to either the underlined allies (numbers 2 & 4) or the Bolded allies (numbers 1 & 3). Lastly, Rafiel, in both his Heron form and his humanoid form, can sing his Galdrar to ALL adjacent allies. This makes him a formidable addition to any team. Unfortunately, he lacks any flying ability, making his transformed movement less than that of Reyson and Leanne. His movement can be fixed with the Boots or Celerity, either one boosting his movement to 7, similar to a transformed Reyson.
- According to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Memorial Book Tellius Recollection: The First Volume, Dragon laguz have an average lifespan of 1000, with each specific tribe varying by a handful of decades, while beast and bird laguz average out at around 200 years.