clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How to tell apart Fire Emblem’s 596 playable characters

New, 3 comments

All it takes is an old form of Italian theater and a LOT of time

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Fire Emblem is a fantastic series with a major problem: It’s hard to differentiate its characters.

With over a dozen entries, Fire Emblem is prolific to the point of confusion. The fact that Fire Emblem games have permadeath exacerbates the situation, since each title needs a plethora of playable characters that can take the place of those that die in battle. The most recent entry of Fire Emblem: Three Houses brings the total playable character count to a mind-boggling 596.

Is it possible to tell them all apart? Yes. Yes, of course it is. I say so in the title of this video.

It might not be possible to remember the minutiae of each minor playable character, but every new Fire Emblem game has characters that are similar to ones in previous entries. Because of this, we can start to merge characters together into archetypes.

Using these archetypes, you can focus on the wide swaths of Fire Emblem characters that have personality traits like “has a sword and is moody” or “loves to flirt with anything that moves.” And that’s how you can tell them apart. You might not know exactly what that Fire Emblem character is about, but you know the gist, and that’s good enough.

If you want to watch more Unraveled, check out our playlist and subscribe to Polygon’s YouTube channel!

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.