Tactician (Blazing Sword)
With the release of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword becoming the first in the series to be released worldwide, the game features a customizable tactician that takes the form of the player. While ordinarily a male named Mark (マーク) born in January, the player can change the tactician's gender, name, and birth month. Acting as the first player-customizable character in the series, the concept of the tactician was later reused for Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow and Fire Emblem: Awakening.
The tactician's purpose in-game is to act as a way for the player to link with the playable characters; many characters in-game will speak with the tactician prior to at least one battle, and the lords in particular speak with the tactician quite often, primarily to ask for their advice. Despite this, the tactician has no direct effect on gameplay; while the tactician does have an overworld sprite, it is not seen in actual battles, and the tactician also cannot be placed on the map, preventing it from getting into battles. Of note is that this sprite features thick yellow and green garments, and the tactician's sprite also does not change between genders.
While the tactician can be barely seen in two CG images in Lyn's story, these shots make careful note to not show their face; in the first, only the back of the tactician's head is visible, while in the second, the tactician's face is obscured with a hood.
As the player is supposed to be the tactician, intentionally little information is given about the tactician; both Eliwood and Hector note that they know very little about the tactician despite having spent many days traveling with them, though the supposed resulting conversation is not actually seen by the player. Regardless, it can be assumed that the tactician is a well-worn wanderer; the game starts because Lyn finds the tactician unconscious in the plains of Sacae, and notes that his name sounds foreign. In addition, one year later, the tactician is found in Pherae.
In the end of the game, the tactician chooses to continue their travels of Elibe; just before leaving, however, Eliwood or Hector will designate the tactician as the godparent of either Roy or Lilina. Additionally, depending on the player's ranking, different endings involving the tactician are featured in the Epilogue.
Mark, the Tactician
Mark leaves Lyn to continue his training. He plans on traveling throughout Lycia. Lyn refuses to say good-bye, believing in her heart that she will see him again.
Eliwood's and Hector's Stories
Mark - Superb Mind
A tactician whose brilliance changed the course of history. Bern and Etruria so desired this skilled mind that they went to war.
Mark - Famed Genius
The tactician vanished after the battle. Bern, Lycia, and Etruria all sought those famed skills, but none ever found the tactician.
Mark - Suspect Mind
To this day, historians look back and question how these incomprehensible strategies ever led to victory.
Tactician's Bonus in Blazing Sword
Owing to the customization of the tactician in the game, the tactician will have an affinity of some sort; while its original significance was heavily debated, it is now known that the tactician's affinity has some effects on character stats in-game. The bonus gives characters with the same affinity as the tactician a stat boost in both hit and evade percentage, and all characters receive a boost to critical evade that is equivalent to how many stars the tactician has earned.
The Japanese versions of the game also feature the ability to choose the tactician's blood type, which further altered their affinity. As blood types hold a considerably lesser significance in Western culture, this option was removed. The following table list the possible combinations and resulting affinity:
Contrary to popular belief, the tactician's affinity does not increase growth rates by 5% for any character that shares their affinity; this was proven false by setting growths of some characters to 95, then demonstrating that even with this supposed addition, some stats would fail to increase with the onset of a level-up.
Playing Without a Tactician
If the player elects to start the game without a Tactician by directly starting with either Eliwood's or Hector's stories, the character simply does not appear, and in many scenes, the role of the army's tactician instead falls to either Marcus or Oswin, as well as sometimes other characters. The usefulness of this, however, is questionable; in addition to not receiving the Afa's Drops from Athos, the player also cannot utilise the Tactician's Bonus in-game.
While the tactician does not appear in Awakening, he or she is referenced in a conversation between Lyn and the Avatar upon completing the downloadable chapter Smash Brethren 3. In this conversation, Lyn is convinced that the person in front of her is the tactician from her adventures; when she learns the character has amnesia, she asks if they have any memories of their previous adventures. If the player says no, Lyn will be disappointed, but stays with Avatar to see if they will remember their time together. If the player says yes, then Lyn will be happy that she has been reunited with her master strategist.