A Tribute To Fire Emblem's Most Gloriously Overpowered Character

The opening hours of Fire Emblem: Awakening can be harrowing. As with most role-playing games, your characters all start out pretty weak. It's a long road to mastery — you'll have to win many battles, earn enough money to afford better gear, and plunder treasure chests for rare spells before it starts to feel like your a-team is really The A-Team.

What makes this process especially hairy in Fire Emblem is that if you screw up, death is forever.

Fortunately, the game throws you a bone: A bone named Frederick.

(Wait, I'm not sure I meant that to come out that way. Hmm.)

Frederick. Bro. I can say without any exaggeration that Chrom and I would have been lost without you, man. Seriously… in those opening hours, we would have actually lost. Like, lost the game.

While the rest of my characters were low-level stooges who couldn't take down an enemy swordsman to save their lives, there you were, an already classed-up Great Knight, crushing everything you touched, usually in a single hit.

Arrows bounced off of your armour, sword-swings whiffed time and again, evil wizards' spells caught only air. And then came your rebuttal: "Pick a god and pray!"

If you've played Fire Emblem: Awakening, you probably know what I'm talking about. In the early goings of the game, Frederick is a one-man army. On normal difficulty, I would send him off to clear out an entire line of enemy troops, one after another. If someone had to go in first, it was always him: The enemy's turn would prove more ruinous than mine had been, as his army broke against Frederick like waves against the mighty cliffs of Dover.

As game designer Matthew Burns put it this morning on Twitter:

But of course, nothing lasts forever. One of the cool things about Fire Emblem is how over the course of the game, your weakest characters can often become your strongest. A thief that was once only good for hiding in the back and picking locks classes up to become a talented Trickster, dodging every attack and casting healing spells. A lowly Mage, at first so vulnerable to physical attack, climbs onto horseback and becomes a destructive Mage Knight.

As your lowly characters become more powerful, so Frederick becomes comparatively less so. These days, he's maxed on experience, and he spends his time backing up his wife Cordelia as she climbs the ranks. Thanks to the fact that I'm waiting to class her up until level 20 (and she rides a flying horse), she'll probably end up being even more powerful than her noble husband.

And so, after a long tour of duty, Frederick has been retired to support status. As he turns to ride away from the front line, he casts his eyes ever-so-slightly downward. His fate is uncertain. Could he eventually find himself out of the starting lineup? Could the Hero of Breakneck Pass wind up riding the bench? Surely not.

"Frederick," I call.

He stops, turns, ready for duty as always.

"Thanks for everything, man."


    I'm crying because I don't have this game.


      Hahahahahaha I imported it! Also had to get the 3DS, but I got it ages ago for Overclocked after the price drop.

        I'm seriously considering getting a US 3DS too. Bloody region locking, it's stupid that I have to even consider buying a 2nd 3DS just to play the games I want.

    Fire Emblem games always have that one already promoted character (or at least, their level is way higher than everyone else) in the early game. Of course, you're tempted to use them to obliterate your enemy, but here's the thing, they get far less XP than your other characters do at that stage, so you're throwing away XP that will help you level up everyone else much faster.

      This guy gets it....

      Exactly! With these types of games I always assume that 'strong' guy you get early on is likely to end up leaving you at some point. It's happened many times in other games, and you end up being worse off if you relied too much on that one strong guy.

      Or you get in a situation where that one strong guy ends up not being enough. You'll breeze through the first few levels, then bam! You've hit a roadblock because all your other chars are weak and are unable to defeat that one level where just getting that one guy to fight everything just doesn't work out (perhaps it's a mission where you need to prevent the enemy from escaping, in which case your 1vs20 doesn't quite work out since he can't be in 20 places at once).


    I am really interested in this game, I am not getting a 3DS till Pokemon comes out though so I guess its a ways away :(

    why not get it sooner so you can have it ready by the time it comes out?

      Because what if there is a price drop!?

        Yea, I'm a 'cheap' gamer. I'll wait until games drop significantly so I can scoop up several for the price of one. i.e. buying games at $12-25 instead of $79-99.

        This is especially the case with consoles. If there aren't enough games on the console that I want, I'll wait for the console price + games' prices to go down enough, or once they get enough games that I feel it is 'worth' investing in that console.

    Use a Second Seal and continue his legacy!

    I find the bonus characters in fire emblem are always exceptionally OP. Queen Elincia was crazy powerful in Radiant Dawn using her special sword that struck 4 times with bonus dmg occasionally being dealt as well.

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