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Glitches (or bugs) are unintended behaviors in a game's logic. These can happen accidentally while playing, or triggered by the player intentionally. This page details glitches in Fire Emblem series games.
Manakete defense glitch
When a class change item is used by a Manakete unit with a dragonstone equipped, it raises that unit's defense by whatever the dragonstone increases defense by (i.e. 12 for firestone, 13 for divinestone, 15 for magestone, 23 for earthstone), and the item is not used up. This can be used to exceed the class's usual stat cap of 20. Anything above 99 will not display properly in the stats screen, with only the last two digits showing.
Once the unit's defense increases above 127, it loops down to -128. Enemies will refuse to attack this unit, believing it to have high defense, but it does act properly as negative defense when the enemy counterattacks. On the status screen, -128 displays as 0, -127 displays as 1, and so on; and the battle GUI will always have the defense meter filled.
Once defense loops back up to zero and above, it works normally again.
Incorrect text when talking while on a house or village
In the English version, if a unit talks to another while standing on a house or village tile that can be visited, the dialog will instead display the house or village text.
If a unit has had Barrier used on them and the boost is still active, attempting to use a Talisman on them will cap their resistance without using up the Talisman.
Skip recruiting Gray
Normally, at the start of the game, Gray blocks the exit of Ram village; when he talks to Alm and join's Alm's team, he will vanish. If the game is reset after speaking to Mycen a second time, however, the NPCs will be in different positions, and Lukas (if he was not already recruited) will be block the entrance, and Alm can leave without recruiting Gray.
Recruit Alm route characters with Celica
During the ending of Act 2 Celica gains access to Act 1's portion of the world map. Celica is able to walk past Zofia Castle and visit all the locations in that portion of the world. Characters that Alm did not talk to and recruit will still be present and can be recruited into Celica's party. This is an oversight, as they have the same dialogue—some characters, such as the villagers, will call Celica "Alm", and Alm's portrait will appear when speaking to Forsyth. It was acknowledged in the remake, where Kliff and Faye have unique dialogue if they are recruited by Celica in Act 2; other characters, however, either automatically join (such as Gray and Tobin) or can be spoken to by Celica but can only be recruited by Alm (such as Forsyth and Python).
Remove NPC units from battles
If the player retreats from a map that has NPC units present the NPCs will disappear the next time the map is entered.
For unknown reasons the Nosferatu spell is able to reduce Duma to zero HP, a feat normally only able to be accomplished with Alm's Falchion. Defeating Duma with Nosferatu causes minor graphical glitches during the ending sequence and the credits.
This glitch was retained in the remake, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, as an intentional feature.
Miracle Sword usable by male units
Once the Miracle Sword is broken, it can be sold as a Broken Sword to the pawn shop and be bought and equipped by a male unit. It can then be repaired and used; if another weapon is equipped, the Miracle Sword cannot be equipped again.
Safeguard village crash
It is possible that the game will crash when Silvia visits the village containing the Safeguard in Chapter 4. This chance is increased by not resetting the game before visiting the village, such as by using emulator savestates.
Rescue a guarding unit into the home castle
If a unit guarding the home castle is rescued by a unit within the home castle, the guarding unit is considered to still be guarding the castle, resulting in a number of unique properties:
- Primarily, the guarding unit will be able to use the depart command; doing so will "cancel" their turn, but will preserve any movements they made and will allow them to move again. The unit cannot depart when there is another unit two tiles below them, as they would be unable to from a unit blocking the exit to a castle.
- The guarding unit can besiege enemy castles from any tile within two tiles of its defender. However, only attacks from the top three such tiles (only two of which are typically accessible) will result in normal combat; besieging from any of the other five tiles (two of which are typically impassible) will result in combat as if it were further away.
- The guarding unit will be healed as if they were guarding the home castle, though they will use the terrain bonuses of whatever terrain they are actually on rather than those of the castle.
- Another unit cannot guard the home castle, as the game considers the castle to already have a guard.
If an enemy attempts to seize the home castle while this glitch is active, the game will softlock.
The glitch can be ended by selecting depart in front of the home castle or finishing a chapter; the glitch will also end when seizing Ganeishire in Chapter 6, though seizing other castles does not end the glitch.
Dead units' items in the armory
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- If, in the Valkyrie menu and viewing a unit's profile, a player presses L or R then exits and views their profile again, the unit's equipped weapon will change: sometimes to an 98-use Iron Lance, sometimes to a 40-use Warp, and sometimes it will not change.[what determines the change?]
- If the game is then saved and reset, the unit's equipped item will appear in the castle armory.
This glitch is capable of forcing the Crusader Weapons out of a unit's inventory, which normally cannot happen. However, it does not force items into another unit's inventory, and a unit must still be able to use a weapon to purchase it. The most popular use of this glitch is to allow Larcei and Scáthach to use Balmung; if Chulainn is their father, they will have major Od blood, and can use—and thus purchase—Balmung if it is removed from Shannan's inventory with this glitch.
Issues with rescued units forcibly moved by tile changes
In Chapter 11, Kempf's trap can have odd effects when the door tile changes forcibly move units that are holding other units. Due to the game updating the rescued unit's data incorrectly when moving their rescuer, it flags them as "rescuing someone" and they will behave as such, but there is no valid unit in their possession, causing the game to behave irregularly when the invalid unit is interacted with.
Interactions with the invalid unit include:
- Attempting to drop the invalid unit freezes the game. The tiles the invalid unit can be dropped to appears to be random and irregular (such as wall tiles).
- The game freezes if the holder dies and is forced to drop the invalid unit.
- Trade with the invalid unit can be initiated, but results in an unusual inventory being accessed; exiting the trade menu results in a game freeze.
All GBA games
In all of the GBA games, a glitch can occur that prevents a unit with Canto from activating it; the glitch occurs when a unit is at a tile where they can perform an attack or use a staff, and trade with a unit or open the supply.
If the supply menu is opened or a trade partner is selected but the menu is closed before any items are exchanged (such that they would normally not have expended their turn), then an action is performed that would allow the unit to activate Canto (e.g. using an item or rescuing a unit), the unit will be unable to activate Canto to utilize their remaining movement.
Status condition counter
In all of the GBA releases, the turn counter for status conditions does not decrease when that unit is being rescued. This prevents poison damage and makes the dancer ring buffs last for more than one turn.
Enemy control glitch
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, The Blazing Blade, and The Sacred Stones all have a glitch involving certain terrain hazard behaviors. To utilize this glitch, an enemy must initiate an attack on their phase when standing on a certain tile to be controlled. The glitch can be activated by resetting the game after the enemy completes their attack, but before the next enemy moves. The player will then be given control of enemies for that turn.
When the glitch is in effect, the player has total control of the enemy army and can perform any action that they could with their own army. This allows them to make enemies perform actions that enemies otherwise would never perform, such as rescuing and trading with each other, or accessing Merlinus's supply convoy. As enemies drop the last item in their inventory, the item that is dropped can be manipulated through trading, and can potentially allow the player to obtain items that are otherwise unavailable.
The tiles that trigger this (and thus the tile that the enemy must be standing on) are:
- Lava tiles that shoot flames
- Snag tiles, where the snag used to be.
- The tile where a torch staff was used. (The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones only)
Additionally, the tile where a Mine was placed can activate this glitch; the game should be reset during or after the Mine animation, or before the next enemy moves. Mines are normally only available in The Blazing Blade, but the glitch can still be performed with the unused Mine item in The Sacred Stones.
- As dropped items have their durability restored, controlled enemies can take an item out of the convoy and give it to an enemy that drops an item to restore its durability.
- In Chapter 24E/26H of The Blazing Blade, the glitch can be used to make Vaida put her special "Uberspear" into the convoy, or trade it to an enemy Shaman who drops a Luna to make them drop the Spear instead.
- In The Sacred Stones, when a Gorgon Egg becomes a Gorgon, the durability of the items in its inventory is restored. Through the use of this glitch, items can be given to a Gorgon Egg to be restored when it hatches; however, the first item in its inventory is deleted, and the glitch will need to be performed a second time to retrieve the items.
- In The Sacred Stones, players can obtain monster-exclusive weapons through the enemy control glitch. Myrrh can use weapons such as Sharp Claw or Fiery Fang, while weapons used by Mogalls, Arch Mogalls, and Gorgons are considered dark magic, and can be used by unit due to their -- weapon level.
- Stone uniquely provides dark experience, allowing any unit the ability to use dark tomes. Physical units revert to map animations when using magic, though any magic class (Mage, Sage, Bishop, etc.) can use the dark magic with no issues. Tethys does play animations when using magic, however the Dancer animation is not programmed to return to "standing and ready to attack" state after attacking once, and the game will softlock if Tethys's attack speed is high enough to follow-up.
Obtain a Firestone
In The Binding Blade there is an AI oversight that allows the player to obtain a Firestone, a normally enemy-exclusive dragonstone weapon, through having a Thief afflicted by berserk steal one from an enemy Manakete. Obtaining a firestone requires a map to have both a Manakete with a Firestone and an enemy with a Berserk staff (requirementswhich Chapters 22 and 23 satisfy); a player Thief (Chad, Astolfo, or Cath) with more speed than the target Manakete is also required.
Fae is able to use the firestone, though it causes benign graphical glitches. The animations handle the transformation dynamically, showing Fae transform into a fire dragon despite her being able to use one in normal gameplay; the map animations suffer no graphical glitches whatsoever.
The AI oversight that causes this is the internal list of items that the AI uses when deciding what to steal. For whatever reason, it contains all three types of dragonstones (including the unused Demon Dragonstone) as the highest priority loot despite them not being stealable within intended theft mechanics.
Missing at 100% accuracy
In The Binding Blade it is possible for a 100% chance to, very rarely, miss due to an error in how The Binding Blade generates random numbers. The expected range for random numbers is 0 to 99, and an attack hits if a random number is lower than the hit rate; an error in how the random numbers are calculated allows for a 36/65536 or about 0.055% chance of the game generating a 100, which would force a 100% accurate attack from a status staff to miss, as staff attacks are calculated with only a single random number. Most attacks, however, are calculated based on true hit, where the average of two random numbers is checked against the hit rate; as such, two 100s would need to be generated in a row—an event which has slightly more than a 0.00003% chance of occurring—to force an attack to miss. This does not occur in the other Game Boy Advance games.
Rescued unit able to move again
If a unit who has already moved gets rescued by another unit and the rescuer dies, the rescued unit will be able to move again. If the rescued unit ended their turn by waiting, they will not be able to perform any action except wait and will be forced to move if they are selected, as if they had activated Canto; additionally, this can cause visual errors, such as incorrectly coloring tiles that the rescuer could have attacked but the rescued cannot traverse. This does not occur in the other Game Boy Advance games.
Impossible Arena enemies
If the player enters the Arena several times, occasionally a Brigand with a type of bow (Iron Bow, Steel Bow, or Silver Bow) will spawn as the opponent. Once this happens, the match will take place in total darkness as there is no animation programmed for a Brigand using a bow. If the opponent is physical, they cannot retaliate; magical opponents can retaliate and possibly kill with a critical hit. After one round of combat, the match ends as if the player had rescinded their bet.
100% support graphical glitch
A minor graphical glitch occurs in the English localization of The Blazing Blade, when 100% of support conversations are unlocked in the support viewer. "Success" overlaps with 100% by a few pixels.
Help description text overflow
The Blazing Blade's North American release introduced a glitch with the Wind Sword's and Dragon Axe's help descriptions; both of their help descriptions are too long to display properly; this also causes other graphical glitches to occur. These errors were fixed in the PAL release by shortening the descriptions.
A glitch with the Pierce skill was introduced in The Sacred Stones's localization. If animations are on and a unit activates pierce on their first hit, then attacks again while the opponent's HP is still decreasing, the game freezes. Normally, the game waits for HP to finish decreasing before allowing the unit to attack again, but for some reason Pierce skips this waiting period. This glitch can be entirely circumvented by turning animations off.
Ike's four Iron Swords
There is a bug in the North American version of Path of Radiance that causes Ike to have four Iron Swords in Chapter 1 if the Visit tutorial is skipped. This was not present in the Japanese version, and was fixed for the PAL release.
In the Japanese version, forging a 5-critical weapon to 0-critical at a weapons shop changes it to 255-critical. This glitch was fixed in the international versions.
Shinon not dropping his Brave Bow
In Chapter 18 of the Japanese version, Shinon will not drop the Brave Bow if the player saves at the advance screen; if the player resets the game, then Shinon will drop the Brave Bow as usual. This glitch was fixed in the international versions.
When the player is moving a unit with Pass and at least 8 movement, the movement arrow can be maneuvered to be much longer than normally possible—and can even exit the blue tiles, although it must return to a blue tile immediately afterwards—if it is moved through at least one enemy unit; the player cannot move a unit somewhere they would otherwise not be able to move. Though this glitch is normally harmless, it can have game-breaking effects in extreme cases.
Enemy Class Change
In Chapter 3-11, if a player unit is level 20 with 99 experience and is hit with an Onager, the Sniper shooting it will suddenly class change into a Marksman with Shinon's model and a villager portrait.
Heather does not promote with Steal
Warp staff cloning glitch
When using the Warp staff and quickly skipping the animation, an invisible clone of the teleported character can appear where they were standing before being teleported away. The clone will remain where it is until an enemy moves. This glitch is present in the Japanese and North American versions; it was removed in the European.
The glitch works differently between the Japanese and US version. In the Japanese version, the clone disappears immediately when an enemy moves. In the North American version, it will remain for 1 to 3 turns and impede enemy movement, similar to a Light Rune or Shine Barrier.
Obtain two Falchions
It is possible to access Chapter 24x and also keep both Falchions. The requirements to access Chapter 24x are: Tiki is not present in the party (either she has been defeated or she was never recruited) and Falchion must not be present anywhere in the convoy or any unit's inventories. To enter 24x while in possession of Falchion, a unit holding Marth's Falchion (other than Marth himself; this unit can be Tiki) must die during Chapter 24. Dead units' items are sent to the convoy at the end of the chapter; it appears the game fails to account for this when checking the player's items for the presence of Falchion, as the player will be sent to 24x as if they did not have Falchion.
The player will then recruit Nagi and obtain another Falchion upon completion of Chapter 24x. Additionally, the player may use the Aum staff, obtained the previous chapter, to revive the unit that died while holding Falchion.
Battle zoom-in garbage effect
If the 3DS's 3D effect is turned on during the transition into an attack, the blur effect will be partially corrupted by garbage graphics.
Detailed unit list glitch
In the detailed unit list in preparations, highlighting the top unit, changing the table sort, and highlight a new top unit does not update the bottom screen's display. This behavior indicates that the table's header and the first unit of the list both share the same table entry index number. Since changing the cursor from the header to the first unit will not result in a different index number, the bottom screen is not updated.
Vaike's axe cutscene after death
Japanese voice glitch
In the North American release, if the game is reset while voices are set to Japanese, the voices will go back to English. Cinematic cutscenes are still in Japanese, however. This glitch was fixed in the PAL release.
HP overflow issues
HP regeneration from forts and similar tiles can encounter overflow issues with units with very high HP, resulting in unintended HP values being applied. In the case of the referenced example, doing exactly 3 damage to Edelgard in Azure Moon Chapter 22—whose last HP bar has 199 HP on Maddening mode—and allowing her HP to be "restored" results in her death due to her HP being set to 0.
Songs not unlocking in the Music Library
If the voiceover language for Three Houses is set to English, the songs "Song of the Nabateans" and "The Edge of Dawn" will not appear in the Music Library, even if they are encountered in gameplay (which would normally unlock them). This may be due to the conditions for the English version of both songs having been incorrectly set, as both songs feature lyrics in English and Japanese.
Authority skill point loss when battalions are automatically equipped
Edelgard, Hubert, Dimitri, and Claude each have a unique battalion automatically equipped to them at different points in the story—in Chapter 12 if siding against the Church for Edelgard and Hubert, and in Chapter 13 for Dimitri and Claude in Azure Moon and Verdant Wind respectively—and have their authority skill increased to C if it is below that; at this point, they will lose any points they gained toward the next authority level even if their level was above C, though they will not decrease in skill level. Presumably, this is caused by an oversight in how their authority level is increased.
Skipping to unintended dates and repeating months
When skipping to specific dates on the calendar, it is possible to select a different day than intended by holding a direction on the left control stick or D-pad when selecting "Skip to Date"; doing so causes the cursor to move in the direction indicated—though inconsistently—allowing players to skip to dates they conventionally could not. In chapters where the mission does not occur on the last day of the month, it is possible to skip to a day after the mission, though this can be inconsistent. After skipping the mission, the month will restart from the beginning and proceed as normal, and all events—including story events, instruction days, and the gold awarded at the start of the month—will occur again, effectively allowing for infinite acquisition of gold, experience, skill points, etc.
Medeus Game Crash
If Medeus is killed by either the Pale Druid or Pale Sorcerer (which can happen if they are confused or charmed), after the cutscene plays and Tiki heals everyone, the game will crash, and the Wii U will make a loud buzzing sound for about 5 seconds.
Make a duplicate Krishna
It is possible to make a duplicate of the character Krishna and duplicate items with the two Krishnas.
If the event between Krishna, Shigen, and Vega before Map 14 is viewed (which requires that Vega be sent with Holmes's group in the first route split), a story event can occur after Map 30 where Krishna steals the Dakruon, leaves the party, and is present as an NPC on the fifth floor of the Tower of Morse; the event will not occur if she is killed before. However, if Krishna is revived with the Dakruon on the top floor of the tower, she and Shigen can still talk on the fifth floor. Under normal circumstances, Shigen's conversation with her is the point where she rejoins the party; it seems the developers did not make a contingency for if the event is skipped by her being dead and being revived afterwards, resulting in her being added to the party despite her already being there.
The two Krishnas share their inventory. By placing items in the clone Krishna's inventory and closing the item management menus, the items will be duplicated into the original Krishna's inventory; removing items from the original Krishna's inventory will not remove them from the clone Krishna's inventory. Doing the reverse, giving items to the original Krishna, will instead overwrite items in the clone Krishna's inventory, losing the items.
- CasualSpeedRunner, Fire Emblem 4 Genealogy - Rescue Staff Glitch (Infinite Movement), YouTube, Published: 7 November, 2020, Retrieved: 22 January, 2022
- StanH, response to Fire Emblem6 Rng Data, Fire Emblem Universe, Published: 6 November, 2019, Retrieved: 8 August, 2020
- Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones (Wyvern Knight Pierce Glitch), YouTube, Published: 3 July, 2013, Retrieved: 24 September, 2016[dead link]
- YayMarsha, Tibarn the Astronaut, YouTube, Published: 17 May, 2008, Retrieved: 20 March, 2017
- Chuchuca, FE Radiant Dawn: Enemy Class Change Glitch, YouTube, Published: 9 November, 2015, Retrieved: 7 October, 2021
- BigKlingy, Fire Emblem Awakening Glitch: The Ghost of Vaike, YouTube, Published: 10 February, 2015, Retrieved: 24 September, 2016
- Espyo, Luna teleport glitch - Fire Emblem Awakening, YouTube, Published: 15 October, 2016, Retrieved: 15 October, 2016
- MarioPokemon123456, Hegemon Edelgard, killed by a fort, YouTube, Published: 19 November, 2019, Retrieved: 4 January, 2020
- @ClarisTheGirl, , Twitter, Published: 22 May, 2021, Retrieved: 8 June, 2021