The concept of multiple endings is a recurring element in the Fire Emblem series but has multiple different meanings depending on the game.
The existence of character epilogues at the end of the game has been in every Fire Emblem game to date. However, the possibility for different character endings was introduced in Gaiden. In Gaiden and its remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, these different epilogues depend on whether other characters are alive or dead.
The Game Boy Advance games feature "paired endings", where two characters with an A ranked support will have a unique character ending together. Not all A supports lead to a paired ending, and doing an A support for pairings with no unique ending will just lead to the default endings for the characters in question. In The Binding Blade, only Roy had paired endings, and the change was only reflected in the partner's ending; in The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones, most of the casts have paired endings, and such pairs share an ending card.
Awakening, Fates, and Three Houses feature a similar paired ending system to the GBA games. In Awakening and Fates, paired endings are determined by S supports rather than A supports, and the A+ supports present in Fates will not trigger a paired ending. In Three Houses, Byleth's ending is determined by their S support (as is that of their S support partner); the endings of other characters (who lack S supports with characters other than Byleth) are determined based on whom they have unlocked an A (or A+) support with and whom they have the most support points with. Paired endings can also be potentially different in Fates and Three Houses depending on the story route the player chooses.
Some games in the series have multiple possible conclusions to the main storyline. The first game in the series to have a feature like this was Mystery of the Emblem. How these different endings are achieved depends on the game in question, but includes the completion of optional content such as sidequests, having certain characters dead or alive, or the player's choice of alternate route.
The alternate ending of Mystery of the Emblem Book II and its remake is dependent upon the player restoring the Binding Shield, which requires obtaining the Fire Emblem (given to Marth by Linde at the end of Chapter 2) and all five of its orbs:
- The Lightsphere, given to Marth by Gotoh in Chapter 14
- The Starsphere, reconstructed by Gotoh for Marth in Chapter 14 from the twelve Astral Shards:
- The Taurus Shard, held by Lykke in Chapter 3
- The Gemini Shard, held by Torus in Chapter 5
- The Libra Shard, held in a chest in Chapter 6
- The Aquarius Shard, held by Samuel (disguised as Navarre) in Chapter 6
- The Cancer Shard, held by Lang in Chapter 6
- The Scorpio Shard, held by a Thief in Chapter 7
- The Leo Shard, held by a Thief in Chapter 8
- The Sagittarius Shard, held by Jeorge (or his replacement Sniper) in Chapter 8
- The Virgo Shard, held by Minerva in Chapter 9
- The Capricorn Shard, held in a chest in Chapter 9
- The Aries Shard, held by Arlen in Chapter 10
- The Pisces Shard, held in a chest in Mystery of the Emblem or by a Fire Dragon in New Mystery of the Emblem, both in Chapter 12
- The Geosphere, held by a Thief in Chapter 16
- The Lifesphere, given to Marth by the King of Aurelis in a village in Chapter 18
- The Darksphere, held by Hardin in Chapter 20
At the end of Chapter 20, the missing clerics Lena, Maria, Elice, and Nyna appear and greet Marth and his army. If the player has not restored the Binding Shield, the game ends there; if they have, the Binding Shield banishes the illusion, revealing the clerics to be Gharnef and three Dark Mages. The player then accesses the final chapters, in which Marth and his army storm the Dragon's Table and defeat Gharnef and Medeus.
In Mystery of the Emblem, the full ending is comprised of two chapters, the latter of which is split into three parts. In New Mystery of the Emblem, the final chapter is comprised of four chapters, with the three parts of the last chapter of Mystery of the Emblem Book II having been made into three distinct chapters; additionally, New Mystery of the Emblem features a sidequest after Chapter 20 that can only be accessed alongside the full ending, though it has further requirements and is not itself required to access the full ending.
The alternate ending of The Binding Blade is dependent upon the status of the legendary weapons of Elibe; the Binding Blade and each of the legendary weapons (excluding Eckesachs, which is unobtainable) must have been obtained and kept intact until the end of Chapter 22; most of them are obtained in sidequests. The necessary weapons are:
- Durandal, obtained in Chapter 8x
- Armads, obtained in Chapter 12x
- Forblaze, obtained in Chapter 14x
- Aureola, obtained in Chapter 16x
- Maltet, obtained in Chapter 20x of the Ilia route
- Mulagir, obtained in Chapter 20x of the Sacae route
- The Staff of the Saint, carried by Yoder in Chapter 21
- Apocalypse, obtained in Chapter 21x
- The Binding Blade, obtained at the end of Chapter 21 (or 21x, if it is played)
At the end of Chapter 22 after having defeated Zephiel, if the player has not collected and kept intact each of the legendary weapons, Roy and his army note the absence of the "Dark Priestess", but decide to turn their attention to the reconstruction of their homelands; if the player has maintained all the legendary weapons, they all – including Eckesachs – begin to react to each other, and a beam of light begins to point towards the location of the Dragon Sanctuary—the player then accesses the final three chapters, wherein Roy's army marches on the sanctuary, defeating the remnants of Bern's army and the Dark Priestess Idunn.
Several games in the Fire Emblem series have multiple routes that do not converge; each of these games feature alternate endings corresponding to the route the player chooses.
Fire Emblem Fates features three endings depending on the path chosen by Corrin in the sixth chapter of the game. The options presented include siding with the kingdom of Hoshido and fighting with them in the war against Nohr (Birthright), doing the opposite and joining Corrin's Nohrian siblings (Conquest), or refusing to choose a side and trying to find peace between the two kingdoms (Revelation). Fates features three distinct endings, one for each of its three routes.
During the first chapter of the game, Byleth is given a choice to lead one of the three houses of the Officers Academy: the Blue Lions, leading to the Azure Moon route; the Golden Deer, leading to the Verdant Wind route; and the Black Eagles—normally, the choosing the Black Eagles leads to the Silver Snow route; however, if Byleth obtains a C+ support with Edelgard and accompanies her to her coronation during Chapter 11, they will be given a choice at the end of the Chapter 11 mission between siding against Edelgard (leading to Silver Snow) or with her (leading to Crimson Flower). Three Houses contains four distinct endings, one for each of its four routes.
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At the start Chapter 2 of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, Shez is given the choice to join one of the three houses of the Officers Academy: the Black Eagles, leading to the Scarlet Blaze route; the Blue Lions, leading to the Azure Gleam route; and the Golden Deer, leading to the Golden Wildfire route. Three Hopes contains three distinct endings, one for each of its three routes.
Most games in the Fire Emblem series feature varying dialogue at the ending based on a number of factors, primarily the survival of key characters. This variation can be relatively minor or major, but generally has little to no effect on gameplay. For example, in New Mystery of the Emblem, Tiki, Marisha, and Caeda each have extra dialogue with Marth if they are alive; every living character has a line of dialogue regardless of which chapter the game ended at; and groups of characters have dialogue after defeating Medeus in the Endgame based on which of them is alive. The Sacred Stones features similar group dialogue as New Mystery, but also features some dialogue changes based on the route the player took; some changes are relatively minor—such as who says the final line in the Final Chapter—but some are more significant—such as seeing Joshua in Eirika's route or Myrrh in Ephraim's.
Some games feature extra dialogue or additional scenes based on the main characters' supports. In the Final Chapter of The Blazing Blade, Eliwood has unique dialogue with Ninian if they unlocked their A support; and the main Lord's romantic partner can alter the Final Chapter's ending CG and appear in the epilogue if the respective A support was unlocked. In Path of Radiance, Ike has a bit of extra dialogue with the character he unlocked an A support with, and has extended dialogue if that character was Elincia. In Three Houses, the conversation where Byleth unlocks their S support plays after the epilogue—if the player uses that file for New Game +, that support can be utilized in gameplay.
The Binding Blade has a number of alternate scenes that have a small effect on gameplay. In the full ending, if Roy and Lilina have not unlocked their A support, Roy has a conversation with Guinivere before her coronation ceremony; if Roy and Lilina have unlocked their A support, they instead speak before attending Guinivere's ceremony. Additionally, if Idunn is defeated with the Binding Blade and Fae is alive, the Roy rescues Idunn as the Dragon Sanctuary crumbles; after Guinivere's coronation, Roy visits Arcadia where Idunn is playing with Fae. Based on which scene the player sees last (Guinivere's or Lilina's conversation or Idunn playing with Fae), the requirements for the player's funds ranking change, with Idunn and Fae's scene providing the most lenient requirements (84,000 G, as opposed to over 130,000).
In Awakening, the player is given a final choice to after defeating Grima: they may choose to deal the final blow with Chrom and the Exalted Falchion, thus sealing him away; or they may do so with Robin, sacrificing Robin's life to kill Grima by using his own power against him. This choice provides alternate dialogue, and provides an additional cutscene if Robin is sacrificed.
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Genealogy of the Holy War features the most extensive dialogue changes in its ending. After defeating Julius, characters can travel with their lover or inherit land from their parents; who inherits what depends on a hierarchy that can shift based on who is alive.
The following characters will always return the following territories:
- Seliph will inherit Belhalla, and Julia will stay with him.
- Shannan will inherit Isaach.
- Leif, Altena, Finn, and Hannibal will return to Thracia.
- Ares will return to Agustria.
- Iuchar and Iucharba will return to Dozel.
- Oifey will return to Chalphy.
Certain fathers will determine where their children return to.
- Azelle's children will return to Velthomer.
- Lex's children will return to Dozel.
- Jamke's children will return to Verdane.
- Lewyn's children will return to Silesse.
- Claud's children will return to Edda.
Certain mothers may determine where their children return to.
- Edain's children (Lester and Lana) will return to Jungby.
- Ayra's children (Scáthach and Larcei) will return to Isaach.
- Lachesis's children (Diarmuid and Nanna) will return to Agustria.
- Brigid's children (Febail and Patty) will return to Jungby.
- Tailtiu's children (Arthur and Tine) will return to Friege.
A son will return to the land of their father, and a daughter to their mother; if the son is dead, the daughter will return to the father's land instead.
Substitute characters and children of mothers not listed above have a place to return to by default.
- Coirpre and Charlot will return to Thracia.
- Lene and Laylea will return to Agustria.
- Ced, Hawk, Fee, and Hermina will return to Silesse.
- Dalvin and Creidne will return to Isaach.
- Deimne and Muirne will return to Isaach.
- Tristan and Janne will return to Thracia.
- Asaello and Daisy will return to Thracia.
For example, Shannan, as the son of the king of Isaach, will always return to Isaach as its king if he is alive; if he is dead, Isaach will be inherited by Ayra's son, Scáthach—however, if Ayra married a noble husband such as Lex or Lewyn, Scáthach will instead return to the home of his father, and Ayra's daugher Larcei will return to Isaach, unless Scáthach also died, in which case Larcei will return to her father's homeland, and no one will inherit Isaach.