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|“||Welcome! Today, another hero will be born. One who will help decide the world's fate...||”|
— Anna, introducing the player to the creation screen in New Mystery of the Emblem.
The avatar (Japanese: マイユニット My Unit) system is customizable character system introduced in Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem. Avatars were introduced to international markets with Fire Emblem Awakening, as New Mystery was not localized outside of Japan.
An avatar is a character created by the player, with certain customizable attributes that vary by game. Generally, the customization options allow different appearances, class access and some customization of growth rates. In every game in which an avatar is present, their defeat will result in a Game Over. This page is primarily for information on avatar mechanics, their customization and class, for detailed summaries of their plot roles see the main pages linked below.
The most recent game to specifically use the "avatar" terminology is Fates. While recent games continue to use player stand-ins, they are stripped of most customization options outside of choosing name and gender.
- Main article:
Tactician (The Blazing Blade)
While not widely considered an avatar unit in itself, Fire Emblem's tactician character is the precursor to this mechanic. Known by the default name Mark (Japanese: マーク Mark). Distinctly, Mark is not a playable character, serving only a minor supporting story role. Creating a tactician in Fire Emblem is optional if the player skips Lyn's tale. For further details on this early incarnation of the system see the main page link above.
- Main article:
The first in the series, New Mystery's incarnation of the avatar is known by the default name Kris (Japanese: クリス Chris). Kris's backstory can be chosen by the player somewhat, regardless of that, Kris's goal is always to join the Altean knights and serve Marth.
Unlike other avatar characters, Kris does not have a personal class, with the player instead being given the option to choose Kris's starting class from a list of standard classes. Kris may also be reclassed after character creation through the standard reclass system. A male Kris also benefits from the expanded reclass options for male characters unlocked after completing the game on hard mode or higher, although all of these classes are potentially available normally depending upon his starting class.
Unlike every other Avatar, Kris's outfit changes depending on their starting class. However, this outfit will remain fixed once a starting class is selected, and will not change if Kris is reclassed later.
When starting a new save file, Anna will guide the player through the creation process as followed:
- Name: The player can rename Kris, allowing up to five characters.
- Gender: Choose whether Kris is male or female. This will affect class options.
- Class: Both genders have access to cavalier, archer, and mage. If Kris is female, the myrmidon and pegasus knight classes are also available. If Kris is male the additional options are mercenary, knight, and fighter. A male Kris's starting class will also determine what reclass set he has access to if expanded class sets have not been unlocked.
- Appearance: Customize Kris' physical appearance by mixing and matching parts from three fields:
- Hair: Each gender has thirteen hairstyles to choose from. During the story, some characters will ask if Kris is willing to change their hairstyle. If yes, Kris will have the hairstyle for the chapter and will be asked at the end if they wish to keep it or go back to their previous hairstyle.
- Hair Color: There are ten colors to choose from.
- Face: Each gender has ten face types to choose from. Some include additional features like an eye-patch, scars, face paint, and a monocle.
- Fortune: Anna will then ask about Kris's past, present, and future. While this will affect some minor dialogue, it is primarily used to determined their initial stats and growth rates. It should be noted that the player cannot choose the same type of stat/growth bonus when selecting these: for example, if Kris is a Merchant's child, they cannot pick Wisdom as their present or Wealthy as their future since it already provides Luck and Resistance. The options are as followed:
|Type||Name||Stat Bonus||Growth Bonus|
|Past||Merchant's Child||Lck +2, Res +2||Lck +5%|
|Priest's Child||Def +2||--|
|Orphan||Str +2, Mag +2||Str +5%, Mag +5%|
|Farmer's Child||HP +4||HP +10%|
|Noble's Child||Skl +2, Spd +2||Skl +5%, Spd +5%|
|Present||Beauty||Skl +1, Spd +1||Skl +10%, Spd +10%|
|Wisdom||Lck +1, Res +1||Lck +10%, Res +5%|
|Diversity||Str +1, Mag +1||Str +10%, Mag +10%|
|Kindness||Def +1||Def +5%|
|Strength||HP +2||HP +20%|
|Honorable||--||Skl +15%, Spd +15%|
|Wealthy||--||Lck +15%, Res +10%|
|Recluse||--||Str +15%, Mag +15%|
- Main article:
Awakening's incarnation of the avatar, known by the default name Robin (Japanese: ルフレ Reflet). Robin seems to be particularly inspired by Fire Emblem's tactician character, being a tactician in both character role and literal class.
Creation and customization
When starting a new save file, the player is prompted to create the save's avatar. The process comes in three stages:
- Gender: Choose whether to play as a male or female Robin.
- Appearance: Create the physical appearance of Robin from a set of five options:
- Build: Each gender has three physical builds to determine basic size. In both cases, build 01 is the average, default size, build 02 is a smaller size with a younger appearance, and build 03 is a larger and somewhat older size.
- Face: Each gender/build combination has five faces to choose from. For the most part these are subtle differences, although face 05 adds a scar or accessory not otherwise present.
- Hair: Each gender/build combination has five hair styles to choose from.
- Hair Color: There are a total of twenty hair colors which can be chosen.
- Voice: In the English release, each gender has three different voices to choose between. The Japanese version has 8 different voices, each with a somewhat different style marked by their pronoun usage, as well as the option to have the Avatar be completely mute; unlike the English version, these also make minor alterations to the game's written script. The mute option was removed in international versions. The option itself makes Robin speak in nothing other than ellipses with exclamation points and question marks, with substantial script revisions to accommodate the lack of input from the Avatar, marking the primary reason it does not appear in releases outside of Japan.
|Female 01||Michelle Ruff||Male 01||Dave Vincent|
|Female 02||Wendee Lee||Male 02||Brandon Karrer|
|Female 03||Michelle Ruff||Male 03||Chris Smith|
|Watashi 01||Miyuki Sawashiro||Boku 01||Yoshimasa Hosoya|
|Atashi 01||Miyuki Sawashiro||Ore 01||Yoshimasa Hosoya|
|Watashi 02||Miyuki Sawashiro||Boku 02||Miyuki Sawashiro|
|Atashi 02||Miyuki Sawashiro||Ore 02||Tōru Ōkawa|
- Profile: Personalization options for Robin connected to gameplay.
- Name: The player can, of course, rename Robin. The absolute character limit is 12 characters long, if one were to input a entire line of "I"s, realistically, the limit is around 8 with wider letters, due to variable width font in international releases. There is a word filter in place to prevent potentially obscene names from being transmitted through StreetPass.
- Birthday: Choose Robin's date and month of birth. This determines when they receive their birthday bonus at the barracks.
- Asset and Flaw: Choose Robin's best and worst stats. This determines their initial stats, their growth rates, and the modifiers to their maximum stats they receive; the stat chosen as their asset will be the highest in all three categories, while the chosen flaw will be the lowest (though not particularly low).
- Main article:
Fates's incarnation of the avatar, known by the default name Corrin (Japanese: カムイ Kamui). Corrin is a notable departure from previous avatars, as they are not a tactician or other aide to the main character; instead, they themselves are the main character. Corrin is also the child of a dragon, making them the first avatar that is also not fully human.
Creation and customization
In all cases, Corrin will begin the game as a Nohr Prince or Nohr Princess, depending on their gender. A secondary class is also chosen, which Corrin may reclass to with a Heart Seal later on in the game. Secondary class choices are: Cavalier, Knight, Fighter, Mercenary, Outlaw, Samurai, Oni Savage, Spear Fighter, Diviner, Sky Knight, Archer, Wyvern Rider, Ninja, Dark Mage, Troubadour, or Apothecary. Due to the majority of classes no longer being gender-locked in Fates, both male and female Corrin have nearly identical secondary class selection, with the only exceptions being the Monk and Shrine Maiden classes.
As previously, when starting a new save file, the player is prompted to create the save's Avatar. Interestingly, the options are pretty much the same as Awakening but the organization of the user interface was redone, using a somewhat strange graph system, where features are plotted based on attributes, such as long hair being at one end and short at another.
Customization features are:
- Build and Gender: Create the physical appearance and gender of Corrin from a set of four options: Short Male, Short Female, Tall Male, and Tall Female.
- Hairstyle: Each gender has twelve alternate styles to choose from. Unlike Awakening, hairstyles are shared between builds. They are plotted between long, short, cute, and wild for females, and stylish, simple, wild, and slick for males.
- Hair Decoration: This option is exclusive to female Avatars. There are six options: None, Silver Clip, Butterfly, Black Ribbon, White Ribbon, and White Rose.
- Hair Color: Thirty options, increased from Awakening's twenty.
- Face: Each gender/build combination has seven alternate face customization options. They are plotted between mature, girlish/boyish, caring, and stern.
- Detail: The player may add scars, tattoos, beauty marks, bandages, or eyepatches to Corrin's face.
- Voice: Various voice options exist. In the Japanese version, all voice options, five per gender, are provided by the same two actors: Nobunaga Shimazaki and Satomi Sato. The English voices are as follows:
|Female Mature||Stephanie Lemelin||Male Mature||Cam Clarke|
|Female Neutral||Marcella Lentz-Pope||Male Neutral||Yuri Lowenthal|
|Female Youthful||Danielle Judovits||Male Youthful||Cam Clarke|
- Profile: Personalization options for Corrin connected to gameplay.
- Name: As usual, the player may rename Corrin. In the Japanese version Corrin's name be up to five characters long. In international versions, the absolute character limit is 12 characters long, if one were to input an entire line of "I"s; realistically, the limit is around 8 with wider letters, due to variable width font in international releases. There is a word filter in place to prevent potentially obscene names from being transmitted through StreetPass.
- Birthday: Choose Corrin's date and month of birth.
- Boon and Bane: Choose Corrin's best and worst stats. This determines their initial stats, their growth rates and the modifiers to their maximum stats they receive; the stat chosen as their boon will be the highest in all three categories, while the chosen bane will be the lowest (though not particularly low). This also affects the stat bonuses given by the statue created in Corrin's likeness in My Castle. In the avatar creation menu, the options are not labelled as the stats they affect, and instead are given the following names:
- Talent: Decides Corrin's reclass option, the class tree their supporting units can reclass into via Friendship and Partner Seals, and the reclass option inherited by Corrin's child(ren). Certain options do not match their labels: selecting "Lancer" will provide the Spear Fighter class tree, selecting "Dragon" will instead provide access to the Wyvern Rider class tree, selecting "Mage" will provide access to the Dark Mage class tree, and selecting "Priestess" will provide the Shrine Maiden class tree.
- Main article:
Fire Emblem Heroes' avatar, known by the default name Kiran (Japanese: エクラ Eclat), is a direct representation of the player summoned from the real world (call the "World of Steel" in-game). Unlike other avatar units, the summoner is not a playable unit in the main story chapters; they are only playable in certain event modes such as Mjölnir's Strike and Heroes Journey. They wield the legendary Breidablik, which allows them to summon heroes from other worlds.
When the game first launched, the summoner had a set appearance, and their gender could only be chosen in languages where grammatical gender is needed such as German. Starting from version 5.2.0, the player can customize their summoner's appearance.
- Main article:
While not officially referred to as an avatar, Three Houses's player stand-in is known by the default name Byleth (Japanese: male: ベレト Beleth, female: べレス Beleth). Byleth is a mercenary who is recently hired as an instructor at the Officers Academy. Byleth has only a few options for customization: form (gender), dialogue options, name (which has an eight-character limit), and birthday. Unlike the previous Avatars, Byleth has fixed base stats and growths, a fixed physical appearance and fixed voice options, with Yūsuke Kobayashi and Zach Aguilar* voicing male Byleth and Shizuka Itō and Jeannie Tirado voicing female Byleth in the Japanese and English versions, respectively.
- Main article:
Three Hopes's player stand-in is known by the default name Shez (Japanese: シェズ Shez). Shez is a wandering mercenary who comes into contact with Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude, then later joins up with one of their choosing before the war breaks out. Shez can only be customized by form (gender) and name (which has an eight-character limit). Similar to Byleth in Three Houses, Shez has fixed stats, a fixed physical appearance, and fixed voice options, with Tasuku Hatanaka and Damien Haas voicing male Shez and Miyu Tomita and Dawn M. Bennett voicing female Shez in the Japanese and English versions, respectively. Unlike Byleth, Shez is fully voiced but selectable dialogue options still exist.
Byleth themselves also appears within the game. Just like in Three Houses, their form and name can be chosen by the player. Should the player have Three Houses save data on their Nintendo Switch, the latest name used for Byleth will be the default suggestion when starting a Three Hopes save file unless that name was already given to Shez.
- According to developer commentary in the Fire Emblem Official Staff Book, the avatar concept, and its earlier incarnation in the Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade tactician, were inspired by the introduction of Commanding Officer characters in Advance Wars, another strategy game for Game Boy Advance which was developed by Intelligent Systems.
- There is unused data in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon suggesting the feature may have been, at one time, planned to debut in that game.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
Derived from the Hindu concept of an earthly manifestation of a god, in modern computing parlance it has come to widely refer to a graphical representation of the user of a service. Similarly, in gaming it refers to a playable character intended to represent the player, usually in the context of the character being able to be named and customized as the player chooses.
Initials of "My Unit", the Japanese name; occasionally used in fandom parlance despite the official localization of "Avatar".
Creating an avatar unit in Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem.
Creating an avatar unit in Fire Emblem Awakening.
Creating an avatar unit in Fire Emblem Fates.
- "Another staff member explains the origins of the Avatar character. I'm not familiar with the Wars series, but from what I can tell, the first Wars games didn't have COs (commanding officers) and they were only introduced later. After Wars added COs, the FE team decided to add FE7's Mark as a sort of "CO character". This, of course, evolved further into FE12/13/14's Avatar." — VincentASM, Want me to buy/ship you the FE merchandise from Comiket? Inquire within!, Serenesforest.net, Published: April 20th, 2015, Retrieved: April 27th, 2015
- "The My Unit feature, which allows players to create their own character, may have been planned to debut in Shadow Dragon. In the game, there is an unused heading for a “My Unit Registration” and “My Unit” is spelled in exactly the same way as the custom character in New Mystery of the Emblem and Awakening." — VincentASM, Unused Content, Serenesforest.net, Published: ?, Retrieved: September 2nd, 2015
|Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow|
|Fire Emblem Awakening|
|Fire Emblem Fates|