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Fire Emblem Engage proves a thousand years isn’t enough time to grow out a wacky hair dye job

The headline is a joke! It’s actually cute

an image of the protagonist in fire emblem engage. he has blue and red hair and wears a regal outfit with golden flourishes. he’s looking at the camera with sort of a confused look. Image: Nintendo/Nintendo EDP
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Nintendo announced a new mainline Fire Emblem game at the Nintendo Direct on Tuesday. It’s called Fire Emblem Engage and while the new game will allow us to see old friends like Marth in the form of summons, I have a few questions about this new protagonist. Mainly, I want to know what is going on with his hair.

The trailer teases some of the story: The protagonist has been asleep for a thousand years and didn’t realize it. The trailer shows him fighting and he appears to use rings which infuse him with the ability to summon previous warriors. His character design is unique to say the least, as he sports bright red and blue hair, and has heterochromia, meaning that his eyes are different colors, which are also red and blue.

The hair certainly prompted strong reactions from fans. When it came up in the livestream, viewers flooded the chat with messages comparing his look to Colgate toothpaste (since its branding uses the same colors). Others on Twitter compared it to classic Icee slushies. For me personally, the design felt very “fourth of July turned into an anime mascot,” except in a Fire Emblem game. But even with those comparisons, the character’s design actually slaps.

I think that it’s largely because he actually stands out in a sea of media that’s filled with character designs that have ridiculous haircuts. From the haphazard bangs of Yelan from Genshin Impact, to the spiky peaks of Goku, I’m sort of used to hairstyles that are out there. This just ups the anti a bit. Also the key art shows a similar design for the female character and she honestly looks fantastic.

Furthermore, I’m guessing there might be a reason his eyes and hair are red and blue. Maybe it indicates his special lineage or some sort of power in the world of the game. Regardless, it’s stuck out to me so color me interested.

Fire Emblem Engage and its wacky-colored-hair characters are scheduled to be released for Nintendo Switch on Jan. 20, 2023.