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, 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.
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. Therefore a player would have to play the game multiple times in order to achieve hundred percent support for every player.
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.
Characters can A Support an unlimited number of people, but can only S-Support one opposite-gender character who is unmarried. When S-Support is reached, the characters will marry and be listed as Wife or Husband (or companion) on their partner's status screens. For first generation couple and any person who S-Supports the Avatar, if the player has completed Chapter 13, their child's paralogue will be unlocked. The child is generally recruited using either Chrom or the child's mother, though there are exceptions. Recruiting them will automatically unlock C Supports for both parents as well as their sibling if they have one.
Support points are gained in several ways: Through battling while Paired Up, being adjacent while battling, one character healing another, using a Seed of Trust, or getting a conversation result on an Event Tile (both must be in a pair up to get this) or in the Barracks. When enough are gained to go up a support rank, the "Supports" box on the Preparations screen will light up.