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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 attempted to be used on a Manakete unit, it raises that unit's defense by whatever the dragonstone increases defense by (e.g. 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 it goes 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. The display is odd: 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 it loops back up to zero and above, it works normally again.
Incorrect text when talking while on a house or village
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. To bypass this, start Gaiden, and after talking to Mycen a second time, save and reset the game. The NPCs will be in different positions, and now Lukas (or no one if you already spoke to and recruited Lukas) will be blocking the entrance, and Alm can leave without recruiting any of the villagers.
During the ending of Act 2 Celica gains access to Act 1's portion of the world map. Contrary to what many players would do, Celica is able to walk past Zofia castle straight to Ram. If Alm never talked to the villagers, Kliff, Tobin, and/or Gray, in Ram, they will still be there and can be recruited into Celica's party. This is clearly an oversight, as the villagers will call Celica "Alm" in their dialogue. It was acknowledged in the remake, where Kliff and Faye have unique dialogue if they are recruited by Celica in Act 2; unlike the original, Tobin and Gray automatically join Alm's party at the start of Act 1 and cannot be left behind.
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, sell the Broken Sword to the pawn shop, and have it be bought and equipped by a male unit. It can then be repaired and used. If another weapon is equipped, it 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 Staff infinite turn glitch
If a unit is rescued from inside a castle, they will be able to continually depart and move again. A unit with Canto will be able to do this after attacking and departing, allowing for a one-turn clear on all chapters with access to the Rescue staff.
Larcei or Scáthach wielding Balmung
While the Crusader weapons cannot normally be sold to the pawn shop and leave their initial owner's possession, a glitch involving Valkyrie can be exploited to transfer Balmung out of Shannan's inventory and into Larcei or Scáthach's. This requires that Chulainn was their father, giving them major Od blood.
- First, Shannan must be killed while he has Balmung equipped.
- Once Shannan is dead, access the Valkyrie menu and press X on Shannan to view his profile. While viewing his profile, press L or R, then exit his profile with B, then view his profile again with X. Balmung will have changed into an Iron Lance with 98 uses.
- Exit the Valkyrie menu, save the game, then reset the game.
- If all steps are completed properly, Balmung will appear in the castle armory, and Larcei or Scáthach can buy it and equip it in battle.
Issues with rescued units forcibly moved by tile changes
- Have a unit rescue another unit. Ex: Dalsin carrying Lifis.
- Have Dalsin wait on the tile where the door from Kempf's trap will appear.
- Position Leif inside the trap area to trigger it.
- When the doors spawn it moves Dalsin to a new open tile.
- Due to the game updating the rescued unit's data incorrectly when moving Dalsin, it flags Lifis as "rescuing someone". Lifis now behaves as if he were rescuing someone, but there is no valid unit in his 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 unexpected (such as wall tiles).
- A freeze also occurs 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 freeze.
All GBA games
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 is useful for a few reasons. It prevents poison damage, and also makes the dancer ring buffs able to last for more than one turn.
Enemy control glitch
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, and Fire Emblem: 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. When the enemy completes their attack and the game returns to the map (if animations are on) quickly reset the game before the next enemy moves. The player will then be given control of enemies for that turn.
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)
Restoring item durability with enemy control and droppable items
When the enemies are under player control find an enemy that will drop their item. Manipulate the enemies so that the item you want restored will be dropped by them, this is generally having an enemy access the convoy and then chain-trading it to the enemy that can drop an item. When that enemy is killed the item will drop with full durability.
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. Obtaining a firestone has a few requisites, it can only be performed on a map with a Manakete that has a firestone and an enemy with a berserk staff. A player thief is also required, so the options are Chad, Cath, or Astolfo.
To perform the glitch; have the thief in range of the berserk staff and the enemy manakete, then allow the thief to be inflicted with the berserk status condition. The next time the berserked thief is able to move the AI will steal the dragonstone from the nearby manakete, and it will now be in the thief's inventory.
Fae is able to use the firestone, though it causes benign graphical glitches. It is interesting to note that the animations handle the transformation dynamically, showing Fae transform into a fire dragon despite her usually never being able to use one in normal gameplay. The map animations in particular suffers 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 Character Able to Move Again
On the same turn, if a character who has already moved gets carried by another character and the carrier dies, the carried character can move again. 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 with any hope of winning; 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.
Enemy control with mine
In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the Mine is the subject of a famously exploitable glitch which allows the player to use Mines to temporarily take control of the enemy army. During the enemy phase, if a unit on the enemy side triggers a set Mine, the player can soft-reset or turn off the system while the exploding animation is playing. Upon returning to the game, the enemy's movement plays again and they are still affected by the Mine, but once this ends the player is left in control of the enemy phase for the rest of the turn (or soft-resetting/powering-down).
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 convoy. If there is an enemy present who drops an item upon defeat, the player can use the glitch to make this enemy trade with others to replace the item they drop with a different enemy's item. One of the most common applications of this is in Chapter 24E/26H, where players often use the glitch to make the boss Vaida either put her unique Spear into the convoy, or trade it to an enemy Shaman who drops a Luna tome to make them drop that Spear instead.
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.
Restoring item durability with enemy control and Gorgon eggs
This is most useful for rare one-of-a-kind items, like Myrrh's dragonstone. This method requires the use of the enemy control glitch twice. Use the enemy control glitch to give a Gorgon Egg the item you want restored, however, make sure you have an item that you don't mind losing in the egg's first item slot. When the egg hatches, the first item will disappear, and the other items in the Gorgon's inventory will have maximum durability. Use the control enemy glitch again to have the gorgon place the repaired items in the convoy. Beware, however, as Gorgons are able to use the dragonstone and dark tomes.
Giving any unit dark magic weapon experience
With the use of the enemy control glitch and the Gorgon's stone magic it is possible to give any unit in the game access to dark magic. This works because stone gives the user dark magic weapon experience, and has a -- weapon level, meaning anyone can use it and gain weapon experience. Ereshkigal also does this, though it is not obtainable with glitches in Fire Emblem.
Physical units with dark magic revert to map animations when using magic, though any magic class (Mage, Sage, Bishop, etc.) can use the dark magic with no issues whatsoever. One fun, though somewhat trivial, use is to give Naglfar to a Bishop, and have them attack a monster, with the bonus from slayer it is possible for a Bishop to have over 100 displayed damage.
Also of note, 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, so the game will softlock if Tethys' attack speed is high enough to double attack.
A glitch with the Pierce skill was introduced in The Sacred Stones' 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 changed 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.
To perform this glitch, a unit must have the pass skill equipped and at least 8 movement. When moving the unit with pass, the movement arrow must be made to go through at least one enemy unit. The movement arrow can then 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. The arrow must still end in a blue tile, making this an amusing but usually pointless glitch. In extreme cases, however, it can have game-breaking effects.
The international versions fixed a glitch that was found in the Japanese version where you could repeatedly try and obtain hidden treasures by cycling through the Direct and Cancel commands.
Enemy Class Change
In Chapter 3-11, if a player unit is LV 20 with 99 EXP and a stone ballista hits them, then the sniper shooting it will suddenly class change into a marksman with Shinon's model with a villager portrait.
Heather does not promote with Steal
Warp staff cloning glitch
The European version fixed a glitch known as the Warp Staff Cloning Glitch, which happens when casting the Warp staff and quickly skipping the staff animation causing an invisible clone of the teleported character to appear where they were standing before being teleported away. The clone will remain where it is as long as the enemy doesn’t make a move. The US version still has the glitch despite the US version being released after the European version.
The glitch works differently between the Japanese and US version. In the Japanese version, the clone disappears immediately when the enemy makes a move. In the North American version, it will remain for 1 to 3 turns and acts as an effective Light Rune or Shine Barrier from previous games, impeding enemy movement.
Obtain two Falchions
While perhaps more of an oversight than a glitch, 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 earlier 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, have a unit hold Marth's Falchion and die during Chapter 24. Dead unit's 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 didn't have Falchion. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have Tiki fall while holding Falchion during Chapter 24.
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 Tiki or whatever unit they killed earlier while holding Falchion.
Battle zoom-in garbage effect
With the console's 3D feature off, start an attack between two units. While the screen is fading in with a blur effect, turn the 3D effect on. This will result in the blur effect being partially corrupted by garbage graphics.
Detailed unit list glitch
On a battle's preparations, go to the list of units and press R to switch to the detailed table. Highlight the unit at the top, go up to the table's header, and choose a different column than the one that the list is being sorted by, such that the unit at the top of the list is a different one from before. The bottom screen will show the previous unit, which is correct, but now if you go down and highlight the first unit of the list, it will not update and will continue to show the old unit. This will only be corrected when you place the cursor on the second or last unit of the list, and then place it back on the first unit.
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
If Vaike dies on the same turn he is given his Iron Axe on chapter 2, the cutscene with Miriel scolding him will take place after Vaike's death, but will play out exactly the same as normal, which means that Vaike will say his lines in the script, despite being dead.
One way to set this up is to let Vaike get hurt such that the next attack of an adjacent enemy unit will kill him. In this state, bring Miriel to Vaike and end her turn. With Vaike, use the trade functionality to obtain the axe, and use it to attack the adjacent enemy right away. This will not work if the enemy dies immediately, since it won't be able to counter-attack Vaike. If all goes well, the enemy will counter-attack, Vaike will fall, and his turn will end, which is the only available time the game has to start the Miriel and Vaike cutscene.
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.
Medeus Game Crash
If Medeus is killed by either the Pale Druid or Pale Sorcerer (This can happen if either of them 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, the only way out of this is to turn the Wii U off and on again.
Make a duplicate Krishna
It is possible to make a duplicate of the character Krishna. The primary benefit of performing this glitch is that it can be used to duplicate any item. To do this glitch:
- Send Vega with Holmes's group during the first route split.
- Agree to view the event between Krishna, Shigen, and Vega that occurs right before Map 14: Holmes the Hero.
- Let Krishna die before Holmes enters the Tower of Morse for the first time. (This occurs after Map 30: The Legendary Swordsman, so there is plenty of time to do this.)
- Enter the tower and reach the top floor; use the Dakruon to revive Krishna, leave the tower.
- Enter the tower again and deploy her on the fifth floor and have Shigen talk to her.
This will cause a duplicate Krishna to be added to the player's roster. This appears to happen due to an oversight relating to a story event that Krishna participates in. During said story event Krishna steals the Dakruon, leaves the party, and tries to scale the tower and use it to revive her deceased lover; however, he has been dead too long and cannot be revived so she lingers on the fifth floor as an NPC. Under normal circumstances, Shigen's conversation with her is the point where she rejoins the party; it seems the developers never made 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 extra Krishna in the party is the key to duplicating items. The two Krishnas share their inventory. Place the item you want duplicated in the clone Krishna's inventory (she will be at the very bottom of the roster) and close the item management menus. Re-open them and take the items out of the original Krishna's inventory, they will still be in the clone Krishna's inventory. Repeat as desired. It should be noted that doing this in reverse, giving the items to the original Krishna, will instead overwrite those items with whatever is in clone Krishna's inventory, losing the items, so do so with caution.
- StanH, response to Fire Emblem6 Rng Data, Fire Emblem Universe, Published: November 6, 2019, Retrieved: August 8, 2020
- How to repair Myrrh's Dragonstone (YouTube video), , Published: 28 November, 2008, Retrieved: 24 September, 2016
- Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones (Wyvern Knight Pierce Glitch) (YouTube video), , Published: 3 Jul, 2013, Retrieved: 24 September, 2016
- Tibarn the Astronaut (YouTube video), , Published: 17 May, 2008, Retrieved: 20 March, 2017
- Fire Emblem Awakening Glitch: The Ghost of Vaike (YouTube video), , Published: 10 February, 2015, Retrieved: 24 September, 2016
- Luna teleport glitch - Fire Emblem Awakening (YouTube video), , Published: 15 October, 2016, Retrieved: 15 October, 2016
- MarioPokemon123456, Hegemon Edelgard, killed by a fort, YouTube, Published: 19 November, 2019, Retrieved: 4 January, 2020