We were new to Fire Emblem once, and we would have loved to get some tips from somebody a little more experience – it might have saved us from countless hours and numerous restarts. Then again, that’s kind of a right of passage for the Fire Emblem series isn’t it? These games are all about learning from your mistakes, going back to refine your strategy and heading back into the fray, your confidence lasting precisely as long as it takes for the next enemy to low percent critical strike you.
Our Awakening tips today then won’t hold your hand all the way, they’ll just give you a few nudges in the right direction. You’re going to fail, of course you are, but maybe by paying attention to these you’ll last just long enough to learn a little, ready for your next go.
In most Fire Emblem titles your weapons each have a usage limit. This is denoted by a number next to it in the menu, and each attack takes away from this number. Once the number is completely depleted the weapon is gone and you must equip another.
In Awakening, unlike some of the older titles, this really isn’t much of a problem. The developers seemed to identify this as a sticking point for players new to the series, so chose quite a novel way to remedy the situation: They throw a huge amount of weapons at you throughout the entire game. Either through shop sales, loot from defeated enemies or shiny spots on the ground, you’ll never run low on weapons to use here. So our first tip is well, use them with reckless abandon! There’s always another powerful sword or lance around the corner, so don’t worry too much about saving them for a rainy day!
Pick any Fire Emblem game, and it’s likely to throw new characters at you from the get go, and won’t let up until relatively late on. So much so in fact, that your actual party slots will soon be overshadowed by the sheer amount of choices on offer. Decisions must happen, judgements must be made and soon the ‘Bench’ will form – the place where units go to rest.
Fire Emblem: Awakening follows this trend, albeit a little more slowly than usual, and you’ll quickly find yourself with a small army to choose from. Luckily, the game also has it’s fair share of side quests and optional content. All of which means that you do actually have a bit of time to experiment. So pick out some units you like the look of, throw them into a few battles and see how they perform. You will eventually settle on a solid team of course, but the early portion of the game is filled with space an opportunities to try new things out, so take advantage!
If you’ve been following our list so far, and we’re not sure why you’d be reading the third tip specifically without having done so, you’ll probably have quite a few characters warming the bench by now. Maybe they’re being kept as a backup unit, or perhaps they’re clashing with a better character of the same class, either way you just can’t fit them into your first team.
Or can you? What if you could change that Archer into something a little more useful, or that Mage into something that can take a hit or two? Perhaps you’ve had one too many drinks tonight and fancy making an entire team of Paladins, just to see if their sheet weight can literally tip the map in your advantage?
Either way, there are Second Seals in the game that let you change your units base class, so make us of them! There’s hope for the benched lot yet!
So you’ve identified some possible Second Seal candidates, picked out some new classes for them and taken the plunge. The excitement at seeing how they develop is palpable. You drag your freshly chosen Cavalier out into the battlefield, throw them straight up against the nearest Risen and… They do no damage. That’s right, they’re level 1 and their stats are terrible, whatever shall we do?
Fire Emblem: Awakening has you covered again! At various shops dotted around the map you can buy Tonics – Strength, Defence etc – that will temporarily boost your statistics by a small amount. With these you can bring a low levelled unit up to speed for a while, certainly long enough for them to get some experience and catch up with the pack. That aside they’re even useful for your main team members, especially on higher difficulty levels, so don’t be afraid to drop some cash on these from time to time.
The ability to ‘Pair’ units together is certainly quite a controversial one. Upon the release of Awakening the Fire Emblem fandom was split. Some loved it, embracing the ability to pair off their favourite couples, building supports and slaying units as they go. Others hated it, seeing it as overpowered and somewhat of an ‘easy’ mode.
We can see both sides of the argument, but tend to settle on a rather different point: It’s there, in the game, and it has been designed around it, so why not put it to good use? On higher difficulties it’s almost a requirement if you want to progress, but even on the lower difficulties it’s tremendously powerful.
Essentially our tip is to use Pair Up. You gain supports, create very powerful units and open up a variety of tactical options that you’d otherwise miss out on. It’s a even a great way to make use of those benched units. Pair a fighting unit to a benched unit, build supports and eventually open up side quests. It’s almost like they designed it this way.