A status condition or status effect (Japanese: 状態 condition) is an abnormal condition sustained by units during battle under certain circumstances, which interferes with their ability to perform in combat. Typically inflicted by a weapon, staff or skill used by an opposing unit, or by hazards in the map's terrain itself, the spreading of status conditions is a tactic used to have a disruptive impact on the successful function of an opposing army. Some games, however, have positive status conditions.
While players can typically gain access to instruments inflicting status conditions in limited quantities, for the most part status infliction is performed by enemy armies.
- 1 Mechanics
- 2 Status condition types
- 3 Chart of status condition appearances
- 4 Status condition infliction methods
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 References
- 8 See also
To be inflicted on a unit in the first place, the weapon/item/skill/hazard inflicting the status condition must actually successfully strike the target: for weapons this is based on the standard accuracy calculation, staves have a separate calculation based on the target's resistance, and skill infliction is a case-by-case basis depending on the individual skill.
In addition to this, in Genealogy of the Holy War's versions of the Berserk Sword and Sleep Sword, there is a further check in place: once the weapon has hit the target, it has only a (30 - target's resistance)% chance to inflict the status condition.
Once inflicted, depending on the game, the status condition will automatically wear off after a set number of turns (usually 3 or 5), at the beginning of the unit's phase after the turn count has passed; the number of turns to go before a status condition lifts is actively counted down on the unit's profile, and also appears on the pop-up miniature status box for the unit on the map.
The exception is Thracia 776, in which status conditions will not wear off automatically at all and will remain until they are manually lifted through use of a healing method. In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, poison status also remains for the rest of the battle or until a healing method is used, but the game's other status conditions last for only one turn each.
Most status conditions can be actively healed through use of a Restore staff (with the exception of petrification in Thracia 776), passively by a neighboring unit who possesses the Boon skill, or actively by Micaiah through use of Sacrifice (with no additional HP cost). Additionally, the Antitoxin item can be used on poisoned units to cure the poison, and the Radiant Dawn-exclusive Panacea item heals all status conditions.
However, none of these items or skills exist in Fates, so there is no way to remove status effects other than waiting for them to expire.
Status condition types
When berserk status is applied to a unit, the unit loses control and will automatically attack the weakest unit within their range at the end of their relevant phase, regardless of whether the target is an ally or an enemy of the berserked unit. In the case of player units afflicted by berserk status, the player will not be allowed to move the unit, and they will be moved automatically by the game once the player ends their phase.
If a berserked unit attacks one of their allies, their ally will not be able to attack them back at all, regardless of their weapon; the exception is Thracia 776, where units can fight back against berserked allies. Additionally, berserked units will not gain experience.
Silence status—called spellbind in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia—renders the afflicted unit unable to use magic tomes or staves. Additionally, a silenced unit will be unable to make use of the Talk or Support commands, literally silencing them from speaking in addition to the figurative silencing of preventing magic use. In Fates, silence also prevents the use of magic weapons.
In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Three Houses, the target must have the ability to use black and/or white magic to be able to be silenced. If not, they cannot be targeted by the Silence spell and skills which inflict silence will not do so.
From Genealogy of the Holy War to Radiant Dawn, silence status lasts for between 3 and 6 turns at a time. In Fates and Shadows of Valentia, the silenced/spellbound state lasts for only one turn.
Sleep status puts the afflicted unit to sleep, immobilizing them and preventing them from counter-attacking. However, depending on the game, sleep status may have no adverse affect on the unit's ability to dodge.
Additionally, in Thracia 776, sleep status will force a mounted unit to dismount; putting the victim to sleep is required if the player intends to capture a mounted unit, and by extension recruit Misha.
Poison status inflicts small amounts of damage to the afflicted unit at the beginning of each of their turns until the condition wears off. In the majority of games, the damage dealt per turn is between 1 and 5 HP, randomly chosen per turn depending on the game in question. If a unit with low remaining HP is affected, poison can kill the unit. In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, poison status deals 10 damage per turn but cannot kill, instead leaving the victim with 1 HP.
The use of weapons which inflict poison status is almost entirely exclusive to enemy forces, and the only poison-inflicting weapon which players can easily obtain in any game is Valaura in Radiant Dawn. While poison weapons can be stolen in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, this is not easy and requires very specific planning and effort to accomplish. In the case of Thracia 776, if a poison weapon is stolen by the player's army, it is reverted to a basic non-poisoning weapon.
When a unit is petrified, they become completely unable to move. Related to sleep status but somewhat stronger, petrified units cannot dodge incoming attacks at all and are more vulnerable to critical hits: anyone attacking a petrified unit has their hit rate maximized and gains +30 critical hit rate. On the other hand, in Radiant Dawn all petrified units gain +10 defense, reflecting the solid stone nature of their petrified state.
Petrification is a minor plot point in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776: the tome inflicting the status is the property of Veld of the Loptr Church, and early in the game he petrifies Eyvel, whose subsequent rescue is one of Leif's primary motivations for the rest of the game. In Thracia 776, petrification cannot be undone with a standard Restore staff, and only the Kia staff can heal petrification; however, in later games a Restore staff will heal petrification.
In both Thracia 776 and Radiant Dawn, petrification status is unique in that a petrified unit will not be automatically healed of the condition as turns pass. It can only be reverted through the use of the appropriate status staves.
Paralysis status immobilizes the victim, preventing them from making any moves or actions while paralyzed; in Radiant Dawn and Three Houses, it also reduces its victim's movement stat to 0. Unlike sleep and petrification, paralysis is a more short-term condition, lasting only for one of the inflicted unit's phases (technically counted as two turns in the Tellius games).
In Gaiden's Act 5, the Falchion treasury's third skirmish map has an event where, at the beginning of a player phase, Jedah may hex Alm to paralyze him. When this happens, Alm is immediately set to have expended his turn, leaving the player with no choice but to end the phase.
In Three Houses, paralysis used only by monster units. It is a more severe form of confusion, and occurs when all of a monster's barriers are destroyed. On top of preventing the unit from counterattacking, paralysis also prevents a unit from performing any action on their turn. The status lasts for one turn.
Shock status—called stun in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia—reduces its victim's movement stat to 0, preventing them from moving. Unlike paralysis, shocked units are not made unable to act, and on their phase they are able to initiate attacks against any enemies who are within their attack range. In Fates, stun also reduces the victim's avoid by 20%, and in Shadows of Valentia, avoid is reduced by 30%.
Shock/stun status lasts for one of the afflicted unit's phases (technically counted as two turns in the Tellius games).
Buffs and debuffs
Temporary stat increases or reductions inflicted by weapons or items have appeared since the first game in the series, though it has had increasing prevalence in the series recently. In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, a set of four ring items usable by Nils and Ninian—Ninis's Grace, Set's Litany, Thor's Ire and Filla's Might—allowed them to perform a song/dance that applied temporary status conditions boosting one or two of the recipient's stats by 10 for a single turn, wearing off and returning the unit's stats to normal on the next turn. Throughout the series there have been items which, when used, give a unit a temporary stat boost that wears off after several turns, such as the resistance boost of Pure Water or Ward, or remain until the end of the chapter, such as the tonic items introduced in New Mystery of the Emblem.
Fire Emblem Fates expanded upon this with a system of stat debuffs which are achieved by successfully striking a target with certain weapons, with the target's stats slowly recovering back to normal as turns pass. Debuffs are most prominently seen through the use of daggers/shuriken, all of which give a different debuff, but weapons of other types can debuff and there is even a staff specifically designed to debuffing enemies. Certain powerful weapons even apply debuffs to the user after a successful hit, in order to balance the weapon's power.
Buffs and debuffs are also present in Heroes, referred to as bonuses and penalties respectively. In addition to being inflicted when hit by certain weapons, several weapons and skills apply them to multiple targets at once within the proximity of the weapon/skill's user. All buffs and debuffs last until their recipient completes their next action (attacking, waiting, etc.), at which point any buffs or debuffs they have are completely removed, instead of the Fates system of wearing off by one point per turn.
Buffs and debuffs are also present in Three Houses but are not considered to be a status effect.
When a debuff-inflicting weapon successfully strikes a unit during an attack, the debuffs are applied to the victim at the end of the attack, and are indicated by a downward-pointing arrow appearing on the unit's map sprite. All debuffs wear off slowly as turns pass, at a rate of restoring one point to each debuffed stat per turn until the unit's stats are back to normal.
- For example: Silas is struck by an enemy's Steel Shuriken, which inflicts a -3 strength, -4 defense, -4 resistance debuff on him. It takes three turns for the strength debuff to wear off and put his strength stat back to normal, and it takes four turns for the defense and resistance debuffs to wear off.
Debuffs do not stack with other debuffs of the same stat, but debuffs sustained by different stats will also apply. If a unit with an already-debuffed stat is hit with another weapon that debuffs the same stat, the stronger debuff takes priority: if the new attack's debuff reduces the stat by more points than the old one, it replaces the pre-existing debuff, but if it is a weaker reduction than the pre-existing debuff, the new debuff is ignored.
- For example: Oboro is struck by an enemy's Steel Dagger, which inflicts a -3 strength, -4 defense, -4 resistance debuff on her. A second enemy strikes her with a Soldier's Knife, which inflicts a -2 strength, -2 magic, -2 skill, -2 speed, -2 luck, -5 defense, -5 resistance debuff. The Soldier's Knife's strength debuff is lower than the Steel Dagger strength debuff she already has, so it is ignored, but its defense and resistance debuffs are stronger than the Steel Dagger debuffs to those stats, so they replace those debuffs and give her -5 defense and resistance. She is left with this set of debuffs: -3 strength, -2 magic, -2 skill, -2 speed, -2 luck, -5 defense, -5 resistance.
Weapons which inflict debuffs on their user, such as the silver weapons, always inflict a -2 strength/magic and -2 skill debuff. Unlike other debuffs, these self-inflicted debuffs will stack with each other if a unit repeatedly attacks, or is attacked, with the same self-debuffing weapon equipped; however, they do not take double-attacking into account and only debuff once per round of attacking. These debuffs recover at the same rate as other debuffs, restoring 1 point to each stat per turn until it is back to normal. Self-debuffs are applied with melee weapons if their attack successfully hits and, for all other weapons, are always applied. In pair-ups, self-debuffs only come into effect for the lead unit, and the supporting unit will not be affected if they Dual Strike with a self-debuffing weapon.
Confusion is a status condition in Three Houses, used only by monster units. If one of a monster's barriers is destroyed, the monster will be confused, preventing them from counterattacking that turn. Confusion lasts until the monster is attacked, or until the next turn.
Stride is a status condition in Three Houses that increases movement by five for a single turn.
Torch is a status condition in Three Houses that increases area of vision in fog of war maps. The Torch item exists in other games with the same effect, but Torch is considered a status effect only in Three Houses.
Chart of status condition appearances
|A means that the status condition exists in the game in question, while a indicates the contrary.|
Status condition infliction methods
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GBA "arena glitch"
In the Game Boy Advance games (The Binding Blade, The Blazing Blade, The Sacred Stones), there is a minor oversight involving the turn counter for all status conditions. If a unit with a status condition is rescued and is held as a traveler when a turn ends, the turn counter will not have decreased in the next turn, keeping the status effect exactly as it was. In the case of poison status, this also prevents them from taking damage, although since berserked units cannot be rescued, they cannot take advantage of this protection.
Although relatively trivial and minor, it has one very specific use for which the oversight is famous. In The Blazing Blade, it can be used in conjunction with the dancer ring buff effects, usually the defensive boosts of Ninis's Grace, to easily exploit arenas to grind for stats and gold. The idea is that a player will use Ninis's Grace on a unit to boost their defenses, have them participate in an arena battle, rescue them, end the turn, drop them at the start of the next turn, have Nils/Ninian perform a normal dance/play to refresh them, have another unit heal them as necessary with staves, participate in an arena battle again, and so on. The defensive buffs will usually be enough to keep a healthy unit safe while exploiting the arena, as the arena does not account for the buff when calculating enemy opponent stats.