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A weapon or item's durability or uses is a value which tracks the number of times it can be used to attack before it breaks and is no longer usable. Every time a weapon is used to attack an enemy, or every time an item is used, its durability value decreases by 1, often expressed as "using one use" of the weapon. The durability system is present in all Fire Emblem series games except Gaiden; Fates also omits durability for weapons, giving every weapon in that game infinite durability, but durability still applies for staves and items.
In general, there is a pattern to a weapon's durability relative to its might, weapon rank and other stats: typically, the weakest weapons in the game (eg Iron Sword or Fire) will have significantly higher usage (typically around 45) than stronger weapons of higher rank (eg Silver Sword and Bolganone, typically at 20 uses), and often rare staves with unusual effects (eg Silence, Hammerne) will have even lower usage than that. The primary exception is Genealogy of the Holy War, in which nearly all weapons will have 50 uses, though rare staves will still have just 1-5. In most games there is an inconsistency related to a weapon's durability being consumed when it misses: missing an attack with a physical weapon will not decrease its durability, but a magic attack missing will still cost one use.
Typically, a weapon's durability is reduced by one for every time the wielder successfully strikes an opponent with it. However, some weapons do not follow this principle. When tomes miss they suffer a durability decrease despite not hitting the opponent. Additionally, in Shadow Dragon, and New Mystery of the Emblem, dragonstones lose durability every time the user transforms, even if they are unable to attack e.g. Tiki is attacked by an archer while equipped with her Divinestone, she will transform to take the blow but is unable to retaliate, reducing the durability of her dragonstone by 1.
In most games, a weapon or item will disappear entirely when its durability reaches 0. A durability-restoring item must be used before the value hits 0. The exceptions are Mystery of the Emblem, Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776, in which once a weapon breaks it becomes a Broken Sword, Broken Lance, Broken Axe, Broken Bow, Drained Tome or Broken Staff depending on its original weapon type. These remnants allow the player an the opportunity to repair the weapons even after reaching 0 durability, or can simply be discarded if unwanted. In these three games, non-weapon items do not leave any remnants behind and thus are not able to repaired.
In Genealogy of the Holy War's castle towns, all units can readily access a weapon repair shop, which fully restores a weapon's durability for a fee equivalent to a fraction of the weapon's base worth.
From Shadow Dragon onward, two separate instances of the same weapon can be merged together in the battle preparations menu, combining the remaining uses of both weapons into a single weapon. However, in Awakening, this cannot be done to forged weapons. It is done automatically in the convoy in Awakening, rather than being done manually by the player; this has the side effect of possibly merging weapons the player may not have wanted to be merged.
Items and skills affecting durability
|Skills that affect durability|
|Items that affect durability|
The following weapons have infinite durability and are thus unbreakable:
- Falchion (all appearances)
- Imhullu (all appearances)
- All dragonstones (Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light)
- All dragon breaths (all appearances)
- Eckesachs (The Binding Blade)
- All monster weapons (The Sacred Stones and Awakening)
- Ragnell (Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn)
- Alondite (all appearances)
- Amiti (all appearances)
- All Laguz weapons (all appearances)
- Trainer (Path of Radiance)
- Practice Axe (Path of Radiance)
- Gurgurant (Path of Radiance)
- Creiddylad (Radiant Dawn)
- Judge (Radiant Dawn)
- Parallel Falchion (Awakening)
- Exalted Falchion (Awakening)
- Grima's Truth (Awakening)
- All weapons (Gaiden, Fates, and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia)
SmashWiki features a more in-depth article.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Robin is exclusively affected by an emulation of the Fire Emblem durability system. Their four special moves - Thunder, Elwind, Arcfire and Nosferatu - each have a durability value assigned to them, as does the Levin Sword used in Robin's smash and aerial attacks. Each use of the respective attack consumes that attack's durability points, and once the weapon's durability is depleted it breaks and must be left to recharge for a set period of time before it can be used again. If Robin attempts to use a special move during its recharge phase, it will fail; if they attempt to use a smash or aerial attack, they instead use a weaker Bronze Sword to perform the attack, which won't break but deals far less damage than the Levin Sword does.
As a weapon's durability is depleted, it will start flashing black as it comes close to breaking. Once its last use is used, Robin will automatically throw away the broken weapon, which will vanish once it hits the ground. If they are fast enough, any fighter participating in a match, including Robin themself, can catch the broken weapon in mid-air as an item; its only use in this state is to be thrown at enemies to deal a small amount of damage.
The durability values of Robin's weapons are as follows:
- Thunder: 20 durability points, ten second recharge after breaking. Each charged variant consumes a different amount of durability: Thunder consumes 1, Elthunder 3, Arcthunder 5, and Thoron 8. Durability values are altered by the Thunder+ alternate special move.
- Elwind: 9 durability points, 6 second recharge after breaking. Each use of Elwind, both as a special move and as a jab finisher, consumes 1 durability point.
- Arcfire: 6 durability points, 10 second recharge after breaking. Each use of Arcfire, both as a special move and as a jab finisher, consumes 1 durability point.
- Nosferatu: 4 durability points, 40 second recharge after breaking. Each use of Nosferatu consumes 1 durability point.
- Levin Sword: 8 durability points, 6 second recharge after breaking. Each use of the Levin Sword consumes 1 durability point.