Personal tools
Site News

Social media: Get in touch with Fire Emblem Wiki on Twitter, Facebook, or Discord! Or, to join our Skype chat, contact any active admin and ask to be added.
Coverage policy: Please read the proposed coverage policy, and contribute your thoughts and questions here.


NOTICE: If you borrow any content from Fire Emblem Wiki and reuse it elsewhere, you must credit us as the original source, under the terms of our licence. If you do not do so, we may ask you to remove the relevant content.

Ballista

From Fire Emblem Wiki, your source on Fire Emblem Wiki information. By Fans, for Fans.
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about ballistae as a broader weapon type. For the specific type of ballista which goes by this name, see Ballista (weapon). For the class, see Ballista (class).

The ballista (Japanese: シューター shooter; plural: ballistae) is a recurring physical weapon type related to bows. It is comprised of siege engines, mostly those of the titular ballista variety. Ballistae are defined by their immense range, with the almost unique benefit of being able to strike at enemy units at up to ten tiles away from the user.

11 different ballistae have existed in the entire Fire Emblem series. In the majority of appearances, ballistae are usually classed as bows which can only be used by specific bow-wielding classes, while the Archanea games make them their own weapon type unusable by conventional bow users. Ballistae are not present at all in Fire Emblem Gaiden or Awakening.

Overview

From Mystery of the Emblem onward, all ballistae have a range of 3-10 (except the Iron Ballista, whose range is even greater). This gives them a fearsome presence, but they are governed by several rules which are unique to them and long-range tomes to counterbalance this.

Units who are attacked by a ballista are not able to counter-attack even if they are also equipping a ballista or a long-range tome, which partially protects the ballista's operator from harm. On the other hand ballista users are highly vulnerable to attack if an enemy slips through their range and gets close enough to attack them, as ballistae cannot counter-attack under any circumstances and the user is locked into their ballista with no ability to switch to a different bow (except in The Binding Blade, Path of Radiance, and Radiant Dawn).

The offensive potential of ballistae is undercut by their slow and cumbersome nature, which greatly affects their ability to double-attack. Ballistae are entirely incapable of double-attacking in all games from Path of Radiance onward, and prior to that, their extremely high weight cripples their users' attack speed and makes double attacks very unlikely. Their very limited durability combined with their scarce availability also prevents depending on them extensively. Outside of the Archanea games, all ballistae available to the player only have a durability of 5, and while their durability is better in the Archanea games, very few are ever received there.

In Archanea and Jugdral

Beck fires a Stonehoist bolt in Shadow Dragon.

In Shadow Dragon NES, Mystery of the Emblem, Genealogy of the Holy War, Thracia 776, Shadow Dragon DS, and New Mystery, ballistae work as regular weapons and are carried in their wielder's inventories. Ballistae can only be used by Ballisticians in the Archanea games, while in the Jugdral games, every ballista weapon has a matching, enemy-only Ballistician-like class whose members can only use their matching ballistae. Ballistae are available only to enemies in all of these games except the two Shadow Dragons.

When they first debuted in Shadow Dragon NES, ballistae were not long-ranged weapons and all only had a range of 1-2. This was changed from Mystery of the Emblem onward. Ballistae are allowed to move in Shadow Dragon NES and Shadow Dragon DS, albeit with high terrain penalties and low movement stats, but they are completely stationary in the other games. The ballista classes all tend to have very high defense to help with their extreme vulnerability.

All four ballista types in the Jugdral games are effective against flying units, like ordinary bows. This is not the case in Archanea, where ballistae have diverse effects instead. One Archanean ballista, the Arrowspate, is still effective against fliers.

In Elibe, Tellius, and Magvel

Rolf fires an Iron Ballista bolt in Radiant Dawn.

In The Binding Blade, Fire Emblem, The Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, and Radiant Dawn, ballistae come in the form of objects present on certain maps. These objects can be ridden by Archers, Snipers and Marksmen to access and attack with the ballista. In most maps where ballistae are available, they start the map in enemy territory and manned by enemy Archers who will use up some of the ballista's shots before the player's army can reach it.

Ballistae have wheels in Fire Emblem and The Sacred Stones, which allow their riders to move their ballista around to adjust their range. However, ballistae have low movement and can only be moved on plain terrain, greatly restricting how far a ballista can be moved. Ballistae cannot move at all in The Binding Blade, Path of Radiance, or Radiant Dawn. Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn also adds a penalty to the range of ballistae: in all other games, a ballista's range extends all around it, but in these two games, ballistae can only be used to attack enemies within that range in front of the ballista.

Every ballista except the Onager is effective against flying units in all of these games, like ordinary bows. In Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, ballistae do not take the user's strength stat into account when attacking, meaning that their damage output comes almost entirely just from the ballista's might, similar to the crossbows.

In Fates


This section has been marked as a stub. Please help improve the page by adding information.


Niles using a ballista.

In Fire Emblem Fates, ballistae take the form of turrets (Japanese: 砲台 turret) which, like the GBA and Tellius-era ballistae, are objects which are available on certain maps. They can also be constructed in the player's My Castle for use in the castle defense battles.

Each turret type is matched with a weapon type and can be used by members of any class which wields that weapon type. Unlike past ballistae (aside from the Onager), the turret payloads inflict spread damage across multiple tiles and affect both allies and enemies of the turret user, but in exchange they are unable to kill units and will always leave them with at least 1 HP remaining.[1]

There are three turret types:

In-universe role

In Archanea at least, ballistae need to be lubricated using the oil from a special type of frut in order to move. This fruit was driven to extinction during the War of Shadows, so while ballistae continued to be used after the war, they became completely unable to move and could only be used from stationary positions.[2]

Ballistae in the Fire Emblem series by type

Archanean ballistae

These five ballistae appear solely in the four Archanea Fire Emblem games: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Mystery of the Emblem, Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem. In these games, the usage of ballistae is exclusive to the Ballistician class. The Archanean ballistae are unique in their diversity of function, each being portrayed and described as firing different forms of ammunition for different roles.

Weapon Available in: Notes
FE01 FE02 FE03 FE04 FE05 FE06 FE07 FE08 FE09 FE10 FE11 FE12 FE13 FE14
Stonehoist Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Hoistflamme Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Thunderbolt Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Arrowspate Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Pachyderm Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
A Yes check.png means that the weapon is available in that game, while a X mark.png indicates the contrary.

Other ballistae

These six ballistae appear in all other ballista appearances in the series. With the exception of the Onager of Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, all of these are mere variations on the standard "giant arrow" ballista.

Weapon Available in: Notes
FE01 FE02 FE03 FE04 FE05 FE06 FE07 FE08 FE09 FE10 FE11 FE12 FE13 FE14
Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Iron Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Killer Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Unused in Thracia 776.
Poison Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Great Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Unused.
Onager X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
A Yes check.png means that the weapon is available in that game, while a X mark.png indicates the contrary.

Classes capable of using ballistae

There are 10 different classes which, at some point in the series, have been able to wield ballistae.

Class Wields ballistae in: Notes:
FE01 FE02 FE03 FE04 FE05 FE06 FE07 FE08 FE09 FE10 FE11 FE12 FE13 FE14
Ballistician Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png Yes check.png --
Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Only capable of wielding the Ballista.
Iron Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Only capable of wielding the Iron Ballista.
Killer Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Only capable of wielding the Killer Ballista. Unused in Thracia 776.
Great Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Unused. Only capable of wielding the Great Ballista.
Poison Ballista X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Only capable of wielding the Poison Ballista.
Archer X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Sniper X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Fleet X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Marksman X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png X mark.png --
A Yes check.png means that the class wields ballistae in that game, while a X mark.png indicates the contrary.

Trivia

Gallery

Etymology and other languages

Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology and notes
English Ballista A classical siege engine of ancient Greek origin, designed to fire arrow-like projectiles.
Japanese シューター Shooter
Spanish Ballesta Ballista
French Baliste Ballista
German Ballista Ballista
Italian Balista Ballista

References

  1. "Units proficient in tomes can move next to Fire Orbs and select the Fire Orb option to... fire on all enemies (and allies) in an area. (Hit units will always retain at least 1 HP.) Note that different proficiencies are required to use Launchers, Ballistae, and Fire Orbs." - Slide Guide 27: "Turrets", Fire Emblem Fates
  2. "Kris: You used to be a ballistician, correct?
    Beck: Yeah, I was originally a member of an army. Even after the war was over, I travelled the world with my ballista, but it eventually stopped movin'...
    Kris: An accident?
    Beck: No, actually... In order to move a ballista, we need the oil from a special fruit. However that fruit disappeared after the last war, see. So you can attack with a ballista, but not move it and therefore, you can't travel with it either. Gettin' it to places would be just too hard, see.
    Kris: Ah, so that's why... Indeed, none of the enemy ballisticians we've faced in this war moved at all.
    " - Kris and Beck, Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem

See also

Weapon types
Physical weapons Axe (Club)Bow (BallistaYumi)Knife (Shuriken)Lance (Naginata)Sword (Katana)
Magical weapons Anima (FireThunderWind)DarkLightMagic (Black magicWhite magic)Staff (Rod)Tome (Blue tomeGreen tomeRed tomeScroll)
Other weapons Breath (Blue breathGreen breathRed breath)Monster weaponsStrikeStone
Ballistae
Basic ballistae BallistaGreat BallistaHoistflammeIron BallistaKiller BallistaLauncherOnagerPachyderm
Ballistae with secondary effects ArrowspatePoison BallistaStonehoist
Magic-based ballistae Fire OrbThunderbolt