“I am a prince before I am a son or brother.”
—Marth's quote in Shadow Dragon.
Marth (マルス, Marusu, alternatively translated as Mars in the anime) is a character from the Fire Emblem series of video games. He is the central protagonist and Lord-class character of the original game, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi and Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo, as well as their respective remakes. Although Marth's Fire Emblem titles were released only in Japan at the time, he has acquired more widespread international attention through his appearance in the Nintendo brawler, Super Smash Bros. Melee. The appearance of Marth and Roy sparked a greater level of Western interest in the Fire Emblem series, and it was in part because of this that Nintendo began releasing the games internationally beginning with Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, the seventh title in the series.
Hundreds of years had passed since Medeus was slain in Akaneia. Once Medeus is resurrected, he rebuilds his land of Doluna, ready to invade Akaneia once again. After an attack from Doluna, Marth is forced into exile in the island nation of Talys and home of his childhood friend, the princess Shiida. His father, Cornelius, is killed due to a betrayal by his ally Jiol, the King of Gra and Gharnef, and an evil Pontifex and a devout follower of Medeus; the sword Falchion is taken by Gharnef, and Marth's elder sister Elice is taken hostage. With the help of the Altean knight Jagen, Shiida, Aurelian commander Hardin, Red Dragon Princess Minerva, and others, Marth embarks on a quest to defeat Medeus, reclaim the kingdom of Altea, and rescue his sister. Marth meets Nyna, the princess of Akaneia — the most prominent kingdom — who gives him her country's national treasure, the Fire Emblem. After Gharnef is defeated by one of Marth's allies, Marth obtains Falchion which he uses to defeat Medeus. Afterwards, he proposes to Shiida.
After the defeat of Medeus, Marth spent his days peacefully in Altea. During this time, Shiida becomes his fiancee, and the two are soon to be married. However, Marth is ordered by Hardin to put down a rebellion in Grust, and due to Akaneia maintaining some level control over other countries, Marth is forced to go. Upon arrival, Marth learns of General Lang's abuses when talking to Lorenz, and who dies shortly afterward, after entrusting Yubello and Yumina, a prince and princess of Grust respectively, to Marth. However, Lang takes them, and Marth then is forced to go to Medon, where he meets Linde, a mage of Akaneia, who had been keeping the Fire Emblem safe from harm. Marth eventually opposes Lang, attempting to get Hardin's support in removing the corrupt general, but is surprised that Hardin decides to support Lang and declares Marth a traitor, soon after he learns from Shiida that the United armies of Akaneia, Aurelis, and Gra having conquered Altea and captured Elice in Marth's absence. After freeing Grust, Marth discoverers that several gems are needed for the Fire Emblem to regain its true power. Marth retrieves most of the gems. He eventually joins forces with Sheema, a distant relative of his and the Princess of Gra, a kingdom that had fallen to ruin after betraying Altea.
After reaching Akaneia Palace, Marth defeats Hardin, obtaining the last gem. The gems are placed on the Fire Emblem, which becomes the Shield of Seals. Afterward, Marth discovers that Hardin was not really evil, but was possessed by the evil priest Gharnef himself through the Darksphere. He then heads to Doluna where Gharnef lurks. After Gharnef is defeated, all that remains is the new reborn Medeus, guarded by Earth Dragons and possessed clerics. The Shield of Seals emits a power that forces the Earth Dragons to retreat, giving Marth's army the opportunity to save the clerics and for Marth to defeat Medeus once and for all with a slash of Falchion. Afterword, Marth chose Shiida as his wife and marries her, is declared Emperor of the entire continent of Akaneia, and spends his time rebuilding Akaneia with her in Pales, the capital of Akaneia.
In Monshō no Nazo and its remake, Marth will have high HP, Strength, Speed, and Luck, but will end up with weak defenses; but his high HP and avoid should make up for it. He will usually do a lot of damage and will almost always strike twice. He is somewhat described as a glass cannon and leveling him up should be easy. However, his biggest drawback is that he cannot promote. This takes out a needed one time boost to all of his stats, which would fix his lack of resistance and defense, as well as taking out an additional 10 levels that he could get. Marth has received a significant boost in Shin Moshou no Nazo, with slightly higher growth rates. The Shield of Seals also give him an additional +2 points to all stats. If he has maxed out any of them, these bonuses will also stack.
Marth is the prince of Altea, and an indirect descendant of Anri, the warrior who slew the dark dragon Medeus. Being in the first Fire Emblem game, Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi, he is the first Lord of the Fire Emblem series. Typical of most Fire Emblem Lords in successive games, he has blue hair, and he is a swordsman with a slim build and wears a cape; he shows nobility and justness in both of the Fire Emblem games that he appears in. This has carried over to the anime, in which he is fighting against villains. His father, Cornelius, was the king of Altea, his elder sister, Elice, is the princess of Altea and his love interest Shiida, is the princess of Talys. Additionally Jiol and Sheema are distant relatives of his. He uses the Sword of Light, Falchion as his main weapon in both the Fire Emblem games and Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Marth's personality has changed over time. In the original game and Monshō no Nazo, Marth was somewhat naive to the point he seemed innocent, he childishly adored Shiida and asked Jagen childish questions. In Shadow Dragon the creators made his personality more noble, resembling that of later lords in the series, although Shin Monshō no Nazo returned him to the characterization used in Monshō no Nazo.
Super Smash Bros. series
Marth's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Melee popularized Fire Emblem in the West; it was in part because of his inclusion that Nintendo began releasing the games internationally beginning with the seventh title in the series. Nintendo of Japan had originally intended to make him playable only in the game's Japanese release, but when he garnered favorable attention during the game's North American localization, Nintendo of America decided to keep both him and fellow Fire Emblem protagonist Roy in the North American and European versions. Marth is unlocked if the player meets particular requirements in the game. He appears on the basis of the official Monshō no Nazo artwork instead of his ingame appearance. As such, his gloves are different and he wears pants for the first time in a game. Due to not appearing in any English games, he spoke Japanese in the game, and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Marth also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an unlockable character, just like in Melee. Marth appears after beating Classic mode on any difficulty level. His Final Smash, Critical Hit, allows Marth to connect with an enemy and launch them off the stage with his sword. It is one of the most powerful Final Smashes in the game due to the fact it instantly knocks off the opponent, though on smaller stages this can potentially be a Suicide Smash as Marth may fly off the screen (and the stage) if he does not hit a target. In both games he carries the Falchion, and is fittingly nimble in combat.
The betrayed prince of the Kingdom of Altea, the blood of the hero Anri flows in Marth's veins. He was forced into exile when the kingdom of Dolua invaded Altea. Then, wielding his divine sword Falchion, he led a revolt and defeated the dark dragon Medus. Afterwards, Altea was annihilated by King Hardin of Akanea.
Marth is a magnificient swordsman. While his swordplay is faster than that of Link, he lacks power, and his quickness if offset by a marginal endurance. His Shield Breaker gains power the longer it's held. The Dancing Blade combination uses both the Control Stick and the B Button to produce a series of up to four attacks.
The tip of Marth's blade causes the most damage, so you should try to create adequate distance between you and your enemy to graceful strike with that point. Marth's dolphin Slash is fast and powerful, but it leaves him vulnerable upon landing. Marth uses Counter to block a foe's attack and deal a return strike. If you're fighting a Counter-happy Marth, grab him.
The prince of Altea, in whose veins the blood of heroes runs. He and a small group of stalwarts fought to free Altea after it was invaded by the kingdom of Doluna and the dark dragon, Medeus. With his divine sword, Falchion, he fought and defeated Medeus. However, Altea was then invaded by King Hardin of Akaneia and eventually destroyed.
Marth's Final Smash. He thrusts his sword skyward, then rushes to meet his targeted enemy with furious speed. The blow he strikes is so powerful that his foe is instantly launched off the screen. As in Fire Emblem, a window appears that shows the character's hit points dropping rapidly to zero--but this is just for effect. Smash Bros. does not use a hit-point system.
A fellow Super Smash Bros. Brawl character, Snake, can call upon one of his trusted partners for information on any character he fights. This is what is discussed about Marth:
Mei Ling: Snake, have you heard the saying "Politics makes strange bedfellows"?
Snake: Don't tell me that's a Chinese proverb.
Mei Ling: Err, no... It means that when the going gets tough, you might need unexpected partnerships in order to succeed. Marth was a prince whose kingdom was usurped. He didn't even have an army to fight with him. But as he battled his way forward, he found new allies to fight at his side, and in the end, he was able to reunite the war-torn land of Altea.
Snake: So he built his army from the ranks of his defeated enemies.
Mei Ling: Marth did his share of fighting, too. Even when he had an army, he was always alongside his men in the thick of battle. Then he was betrayed by one of his most trusted friends. I can't imagine how that feels...
Snake: ...I can.
Originally, in the English localization of the original video animation (OVA), Marth was referred to as "Mars", but with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Nintendo of America officially localized his name as "Marth". However, in Melee's debug menu, which was written and programmed by the game's Japanese developer, lists his name as "Mars". In contrast with the games, he is given the surname 'Lowell' in the anime.
Due to his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee, it has been a misconception by some fans that Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi's main character Roy has a tie in with Marth. However, Marth's world and Roy's world are not connected. This confusion stems primarily from the fact that the trophy descriptions for Marth and Roy describe both characters as being from Fire Emblem, but do not name the specific titles each character appeared in.
Marth was voiced by Midorikawa Hikaru (緑川 光) in the Japanese version of the anime and Super Smash Bros. Melee. In the western localization of the anime by ADV Films, he is voiced by Spike Spencer. The anime was based on Monshō no Nazo; production ended after only two episodes were finished. The anime follows the events of the game, recounting Marth's journey to liberate Akanea and kill Medeus.
Marth is about 16 years old in Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi and about 19 in Monshō no Nazo. He often wears a head dress with a jewel in the center of it. While this head dress appears to be his in the games, the anime implies it is a memento given to him by his sister Elice and in the manga it is a gift from Shiida. In Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi, Monshō no Nazo and Shadow Dragon, he has light blue hair, while in the anime, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Brawl, he has midnight blue hair. In addition, he was very slim and he also has blue eyes. When he first appeared in Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi, Marth wore a light blue tunic and a cape that matches the color of the tunic, but no pants and heavily-strapped sandals. In Monshō no Nazo, the prince wore another light blue tunic and cape. This time, he once again wore no pants except in the box and manual art, he wore white gloves and blue boots. He even wore blue armor. In the anime, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Brawl, and Shadow Dragon, Marth wore a blue tunic, cape, pants, gloves, and boots, and, in addition, a heavy breastplate. In the anime, he also wore a light brown tunic with blue pants.
“If Elice has news of our father, I pray it's good news...”
—Marth in Prologue I of Shadow Dragon
“General Lang, I will not follow your orders. We’re going back to our own country.”
—Marth standing up to Lang in Chapter 3 of Monsho no Nazo
“Forgive me...my friends...”
—Marth's death quote in Shadow Dragon
'Marth' is a corruption of 'Mars,' the Roman god of war, by which name he is called in the anime. However, their personalities are not similar, as the god Mars was uncontrollable and violent, whereas Marth's character is more suited to an anime hero or to romanticized perceptions of medieval nobility. It is probable that the the reason his name was romanized as "Marth" is because in the Japanese language, there is no "th" sound, and their equivalent of the "th" sound is the "s" sound. Much like how "b" is substituted for "v." This has led to some confusion over his real name, but it is generally accepted that correct version is "Marth."
His last name-exclusive to the anime-, "Lowell", means Little Wolf.
Marth and Siglud are the only two Fire Emblem Lords that cannot promote.
Marth has starred in more Fire Emblem games than any other Fire Emblem protagonist.
Marth and Sheema are very distant relatives, they both have the blood of Anri.
Marth speaks only Japanese in all versions of Super Smash Bros.Melee and Brawl. This may change in future iterations of the Super Smash Bros. franchise, now that Shadow Dragon has been released in the US and Europe.
Marth's FE1 portrait
Marth's FE3 Book 1 portrait
Marth's FE3 Book 2 portrait
Young Marth from the Prologue of Shadow Dragon
Marth's FE11 portrait
Marth's FE12 portrait
Marth's Super Famicom sprite. Later the Fire Emblem is added to his sprite.