A Support is a bond or affiliation between multiple playable characters through which they can gain certain in-game statistical bonuses.
Different Types of SupportsEdit
The most familiar form of supports first appeared in Binding Blade. In this type of support, supports have three different ranks, A, B, and C. Supports must be built by having characters end their turn adjacent to each other or while one character is rescuing the other, with the speed of the support varying from support to support and each character having between 3 and 7 available supports. When a certain number of support points is reached, the Support option becomes available and the characters can initiate a conversation that will increase the rank of their support. The characters get the bonus for being within three squares of each other, with the nature of the bonuses being determined by elemental affinity and higher ranks of support giving stronger bonuses. Depending on the game, you can raise a support rank between two characters more than once per map. For example, in Binding Blade, you can have two characters raise their support rank twice in one chapter while in The Sacred Stones, you can only raise the support rank between two characters once per chapter or map.
Most support conversations further smaller side-stories, or give the player an insight on a particular character's history. In addition, many characters can get a different ending if they have an A support with another character by the game's end. For example, in Rekka no Ken, Bartre and Karla will ultimately get married post-game if an A level support is made between the characters before the ending. Support conversations are added to a library that can be accessed in the Extras menu.
A character may only get 5 support conversations in one playthrough (This limit was removed in Awakening). Therefore a player would have to play the game multiple times in order to achieve hundred percent support for every character.
A variant of this system appears in Radiant Dawn. In this title, any two characters can be made to support. Many various actions can build support points, such as healing, shoving, being adjacent, and being deployed in the same chapter. As before, supports have A/B/C ranks, but characters may now only have one support at a time. Character-specific conversation events were also removed. While supported units can speak to each other, it typically takes the form of a generic single line of dialogue with few exceptions.
Mystery of the Emblem introduced the original form of the support system, later named Bond Support in Path of Radiance, representing characters having a relationship before the events of the game. Supports were originally a hidden feature that gave a boost to Accuracy, Avoid, and Critical if the supporting characters were within three spaces of each other. Characters who support start off with the ability to do so, and supports cannot be made or built higher. Several supports are one way, where one unit supports another, but not vice versa.
Instead of the Love System used in Genealogy of the Holy War, Thracia 776 returned to Bond Supports as seen in Mystery of the Emblem. Supports give a flat bonus to Hit, Critical, Critical Evade and Avoid when the characters are within three spaces of each other.
Bond Supports reappeared in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, where they were fixed bonuses to critical and critical evade and activate only when the characters are adjacent. In Radiant Dawn, if two characters reached an A support, the Bond between them is increased by 5.
Used in: Genealogy of the Holy War
In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, characters could fall in love by accruing a certain number of love points. Each pair of male/female characters in the game start with a predetermined number of points, and their points increase when they are on the map together (different characters will fall in love faster). Love points can also be acquired by having characters end their turn adjacent to each other, or by having them engage in certain events. The number of points a character has can be estimated by having them talk to the Fortune Teller in the castle, and when they reach 500, the two characters marry and can no longer be paired with other units. Characters that have been paired get a +10 bonus to hit and avoid while within three spaces of each other (similar to Charisma), and most notably, will produce children in the First Generation. The statistics, skills, items, and holy blood of parents are used to determine those of the child. Certain characters being in love can also unlock events, and in the 2nd generation it will affect the ending.
Siblings cannot fall in love. However, both siblings and lovers get a +20 critical bonus when adjacent.
Supports in Shadow Dragon and Shin Monshō no NazoEdit
In Shadow Dragon, the support mechanics borrow various elements from other games, combining elements of Bond Supports with the Support system introduced in Binding Blade. Supports are again built by deploying characters in the same chapter and have ranks from A to C. C supports provide +5 to Hit and Avoid, B supports provide +10, and A supports provide +10 to Hit and Avoid and +5 to Critical and Critical Evade. Like Thracia 776 and the original Monshō no Nazo, supports can again be one way. There is no limit to the number of supports you can have.
Shin Monshō no Nazo uses the same system as Shadow Dragon, but also adds Base Conversations between supporting units between chapters.
Supports in Awakening are earned by acquiring Support Points.
|Action||Support Points Awarded|
|Battle an enemy with a Support Unit (such as a Pair Up)||+6|
|Battle an enemy while adjacent to an ally (A unit not Supporting in battle)||+2|
|Healing or Dancing for an ally||+2|
|Partner Dual Strikes or Dual Guards||+2|
|Trigger an event tile conversation in a Pair Up||+9|
|Relationship Barracks conversation||+9|
|Use a Seed of Trust while in a Pair Up.||+9|
Each Support Level between two units require a certain amount of Support Points in order to activate each level. Point amounts differ between each character, Support Level and difficulty level, but they usually require 18-45 points. On a map, a pair can earn up to 27 Support Points. However any points awarded via Event Tile or Seed of Trust does not apply to the 27 point cap.
If two characters can support each other, they are able to achieve A-Supports, but each character can only have one S-Support. (Note: You can unlock more than 1 S-Support at the same time but once you activate one of the conversation, the rest of the S-Supports will be removed.) When S-Support is reached, the characters will marry and be listed as Wife or Husband (or companion) on their partner's status screens.
Once married, if that pair has a child character associated with them, their child's paralogue will be unlocked as long as Chapter 13 has been completed. The child is generally recruited by having either Chrom or the child's mother talk to them, though there are exceptions. If they are recruited and they survive their paralogue, they will automatically unlock C-Supports for both parents as well as their sibling if they have one. All children, except for Lucina, will inherit the hair color of their non-dependant parent. For example, Noire will inherit orange hair if she is the daughter of Gaius or light blue hair if she is the daughter of Virion.
The support system from Awakening returns in Fates. Like Awakening, two characters can build support points with each other, given them bonuses in battle. S-Supports return as well, resulting in children once two characters reach that Support level. When two characters S-Support, they will also share their base and secondary class with their spouse and their children will adopt their parents classes. Also, players can have-same sex S-Supports if they attain the rank with Zero and Syalla for males and females respectively, although they cannot have children. The characters will also gain new quotes in the My Castle My Room skinship feature if they are S-Supported with the Avatar. Every unit, except for the Avatar, can also achieve an A+ Support with one character of the same gender in their support list. Achieving an A+ support allows them to use a Buddy Seal, giving them access to their buddy's starting class.