|“||Using quintessence, he made his “puppets,” the morphs. They’re bewitching in form, with intellects beyond human.||”|
Morphs (Japanese: モルフ Morph) are a type of human-like monster created through magic. Like Risen, morphs take the physical form of humans and primarily fight using the same forms of combat humans do. Morphs only appear in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, featuring as a common lategame enemy type in the service of Nergal, the game's arch-antagonist.
Generally, morphs are identical to ordinary humans aside from the fact that they possess four common traits: black hair, very pale skin, red lips, and golden irises. Morphs can also be specifically created in the image of a pre-existing person using that person's quintessence, and as demonstrated by several such morphs in the final chapter, morphs created for this purpose will look identical to the original person with the exception of having sickly pale skin. However, they are as soulless and emotion-less as any other morph. With the exception of Kishuna and his unique ability to fill the air with a malicious, magic-sealing aura, morphs participate in combat the exact same way humans do, using the same techniques and the same weapons. As indicated by Limstella, morphs can be imbued with immense magical power beyond what they or an ordinary human could otherwise handle, but this is destructive and will quickly decay the morph's body and kill them.
The main area in which morphs differ from their human counterparts is their mental and emotional range. By default, morphs are claimed to lack emotion, though as demonstrated by Kishuna they can be granted the ability to have emotions. They are also capable of emulating them, with Sonia tricking Brendan Reed into thinking she loved him. However, Renault speculates with Canas that all morphs have some unintentional emotional capability. The mental capacity of a morph seems to vary drastically depending on their purpose; the three morphs which Nergal used to develop his plans - Sonia, Limstella and Ephidel - are all intelligent and calculating, while other morphs such as Denning, who exist only to fight as part of an army, lack this; in Denning's case, it appears he was programmed only to pass on a single message to Eliwood's allies.
One other notable characteristic of morphs is that their bodies turn to dust upon their death.
Morphs have a short recorded history. There are occasional mentions of morphs in other ancient texts, meaning they may have some other unmentioned historical origin. The research behind the creation of morphs mostly originates from the dragon village of Arcadia. There, Nergal and Athos studied within the dragon libraries. Nergal found the research into such creations and decided to use it for his own desires. Nergal is the common origin of all morphs in the series so far. Nergal's first experiments with morphs began a handful of centuries before the events of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Nergal recruited a wayward mercenary, Renault, for his experiments; Renault was changed by Nergal's experiments, no longer being entirely human himself.
Nergal summoned Ninian and Nils through the Dragon's Gate two years before Eliwood's search for his father. Nergal's goal here was to use Ninian and Nils to lure more dragons through the Dragon's Gate to steal their quintessence. While not explicitly stated, Ninian and Nils were probably drawn to Nergal's voice due to them being his long lost children. After Ninian and Nils escaped, Nergal used his connections with the Black Fang, specifically, his morphs that were manipulating them behind the scenes to hunt down the siblings, bringing Lyn into conflict with the Fang, and causing her to meet Eliwood. After Lyn reclaimed Caelin she and the siblings parted ways for two years.
Two years later, after Eliwood and Hector assisted Lyn in warding off an attack by Laus, instigated by Ephidel's advice to Darin, they journeyed to the Dread Isle and found Ninian in a small boat on the way. After recovering Nils and encountering the dying Elbert, they departed the Dread Isle and return to mainland Elibe. After this, at Uther's recommendation, Eliwood journeyed to the Nabata desert, encountering the abandoned morph, Kishuna, just before he met Pent and Athos; after being told by Athos to seek the legendary weapons to combat Nergal and his forces, Eliwood's party journeyed through Bern on a mission to the Shrine of Seals. During the Black Fang's battles with Eliwood's party in Bern, the original Black Fang's numbers dwindled and the organization's ranks began to be comprised almost entirely of morphs provided by Nergal and Sonia. After the Black Fang was dismantled and the morph Sonia was killed, morphs became Nergal's primary servants to fight Eliwood and his allies directly, and he sent countless morphs to stop them from returning to Valor, including one of Nergal's most powerful morphs, Limstella. Most of them were wiped out in the final conflict with Nergal.
After the events of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the conflict with Nergal and his morphs became a historical secret, and the existence of these morphs never entered public knowledge. The battle and the morphs were never mentioned again by the surviving participants, with Canas in particular wishing for this.
Morphs comprise the primary bulk of the enemy forces for most lategame chapters in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, with the lategame chapters going against Nergal himself. In terms of gameplay, morphs are identical to ordinary human units in terms of stats, weapons and appearance, differentiated only by name. The exception is Limstella, whose class is a unique Sage variant with different maximum stats, including a boosted 30 defense cap instead of the standard 25.
There is only one morph-exclusive class: the Magic Seal, represented only by Kishuna. Magic Seals have no combat abilities of their own, but project a silencing field which blocks the use of all magic.
Limstella is Nergal's current masterpiece, as he says, she possesses perfect strength and perfect beauty. She is incredibly loyal to her master and does not outwardly express emotion. Despite being Nergal's current ideal morph, he does not particularly seem to care about her destruction at the hands of Eliwood and friends.
Sonia is a morph working from within the Black Fang to manipulate it to her desires. She seems to legitimately think she is actually a human. After multiple failures Nergal disperses her with little second thought.
Ephidel is one of the first morphs encountered by Eliwood's party. He is cunning, but does not participate in combat, preferring to stay in informant roles. He is burned to death at the Dragon's Gate, Nergal having ignored his pleas.
Kishuna is a morph intentionally created with emotions by Nergal. However, Kishuna is completely unable to perform any function Nergal would find useful, and is banished. After this Kishuna wandered Elibe with a group of morphs seemingly not under Nergal's command. Kishuna returns to Valor and is killed by Eliwood and the others.
- While by no means a true morph, Renault considers himself inhuman, and, being one Nergal's first experimental subjects, may be considered one of Nergal's first accomplishments in creating morphs, as Renault has lived far longer than is normal.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|English||Morph||As a noun, the English word "morph" can be taken to mean a variety of a broader species which has distinct differences from other variants of the species as a result of its appearance (e.g. the distinct physical appearance of Nergal's morphs) or behavior (e.g. the soullessness of Nergal's morphs).|
Limstella, Nergal's "masterpiece".
- "Jet black hair, pale complexion, and blood-red lips… Their most striking features are their glittering gold eyes." — Athos, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Nergal: You seem impressed with my work. Or perhaps it’s just that you’ve seen a familiar face?
Hector: Marquess Laus!? And the Black Fang knaves… What have you done, Nergal!?
Nergal: These morphs you see before you, I’ve given them the abilities and appearances of the people whose essences I used to craft them. Do you understand? I have power. The power to perform miracles. Oh, yes… Hector. Your brother, Uther, the marquess of Ostia? He’s dead, is he not?
Nergal: “If you would like, I could make a morph of your brother. It would be well suited for a fragile human such as you. Perhaps a heartless puppet could ease the longing in your soul." — Nergal and Hector, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Mm. We first felt it in some ruins near the Dragon’s Gate. It was…a prickly feeling that rubbed us all the wrong way. Then, suddenly, everyone’s magic stopped working." — Hector, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Nergal: I have given you magic stronger than any seen on the continent. Through this magic, you have gained much power. Perfect strength and perfect beauty. You are my masterpiece, Limstella.
Nergal: Your flesh cannot endure the power of this sorcery. Before tomorrow, your entire body will be corrupted. But this is what you desire, yes? The chance to die for me?" — Nergal and Limstella, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "…I name you Kishuna. You are the only morph to whom I’ve given emotions." — Nergal, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "But it was still a morph. When it died... I heard its voice call out... It called out a name... Nergal. Did you hear its voice? Sorrow... It was filled with a terrible sorrow." — Nils, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Canas: Yes. I am dreadfully curious to know. The Elimineans say that all creatures possess souls… All those created by the gods, that is. But what of those created by man? And these manufactured beings… do they dream? Do they think–and suffer–as we do? Or must their emotions be…crafted…by another?
Canas: …… Before…I would have said that I do not know… But now, perhaps I do… Morphs…do have souls… That is what I believe…
Renault: …That is not a bad answer." — Renault and Canas, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "This is a message from Lord Nergal. “I await you on the Dread Isle.”
This is a message from Lord Nergal. “I await you on the Dread Isle.”
This is a message..." — Denning, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- Eliwood: After that final blow, its body crumbled into dust.
Lyn: Yeah. That’s the same thing that happened to those morphs.|Eliwood and Lyn|The Blazing Blade}}
- "The "dragons" you speak of are in fact soulless war dragons. As I said before, they are different from pure dragons such as myself. The war dragons are indeed created by the demon dragon." — Jahn, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
- "Did you know that the word “morph” appears even in a few ancient texts? Brought to life by man, crafted to resemble him… I never thought any of us would actually have seen one." — Canas, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "The dragons' libraries were a dream come true to us. We studied their language and history with unbridled passion." — Athos, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Nergal began creating morphs centuries ago. Even Athos knows so little… So…how could you…?" — Canas, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "When Nergal first created his morphs, he was not alone. He had one assistant. A mercenary who wanted desperately to bring back a friend he has lost in battle. This mercenary volunteered freely for Nergal’s experiments, knowing they would make him less than human…" — Renault, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "We heard a voice calling to us from the Dragon’s Gate. It was the voice of an old friend……" — Nils, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "I got close to you so that I could take control of the Black Fang. Take a look around you. Not a familiar face to be seen, is there? I’ve been replacing them one by one… Hee hee. They’re all Lord Nergal's puppets. His morphs!!" — Sonia, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Let this battle be forgotten by history… That is all I ask." — Canas, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- "Canas:I will give you the answer I suspect may be true. You know, because you were there. Nergal was alone after he and Athos separated. The only ones around him were his morphs... Perhaps then, you are...
Renault: ... What?
Canas: ...I have never thought one should back away from knowledge, but ...I hesitate to ask...
Renault: When Nergal first created his morphs, he was not alone. He had one assistant. A mercenary who wanted desperately to bring back a friend he has lost in battle. This mercenary volunteered freely for Nergal's experiments, knowing they would make him less than human...
Canas: Bishop Renault, are you saying–
Renault: This was a long, long time ago..." — Canas' and Renault's A Support Conversation, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
|Races and animals of the Fire Emblem series|