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Substitute character

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This article is about the inheritance mechanic in Genealogy of the Holy War. For the spare units in Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem, see Replacement unit.

In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, substitute characters are playable units who replace the second-generation children characters in the event that their corresponding mother failed to have children. Seven of the female characters in the game's first generation, all potential mothers, are not guaranteed to be married before or to survive until the first generation's end, and so if a mother dies or is not paired up before the conclusion of Chapter 5, their corresponding children characters are replaced by a pair of substitute characters who function in a near-identical role in the second generation's plot and gameplay. To a lesser extent, the substitute character concept is also applicable to Fire Emblem Awakening with regard to Lucina's parentage in the event that Chrom fails to marry.

Overview

Of the nine female characters playable in the first generation, seven are left to the player's discretion on the matter of being paired up, and so the potential exists for these mothers to either be killed or fail to be paired with a male character in order to give birth to the mother's assigned child characters for the second generation. As such, each mother is assigned a pair of substitute characters who will appear in their children's stead if they fail to be paired, filling story roles and ensuring the player does not have any fewer units than if the mother had been successfully paired. This obviously does not apply to the two pre-set relationships in the first generation's story and gameplay: Deirdre's children, Seliph and Julia, do not have substitutes as Deirdre being married to Sigurd is entirely unavoidable in the course of the game, and Julia's stats are instead pre-set outside the standard inheritance system. Ethlyn's children, Altena and Leif, also do not have substitutes as she begins the game already married to Quan.

For the most part, the substitutes are identical in class and functionality to their matching children, with a small handful of exceptions: Amid is a Wind Mage as opposed to Arthur's Mage, Linda is a Thunder Mage as opposed to Teeny's Mage, and Radney promotes to Forrest instead of Swordmaster as Larcei does. As the substitute characters do not receive any form of inheritance from either parent in the course of gameplay, as a general rule they are inferior to their corresponding child characters, though still entirely usable. The only substitutes to possess Holy Blood are Amid and Linda, who are still part of House Friege as necessitated by replacing the story roles of Tailtiu's children. The game goes to some lengths to provide minor compensation for the inferiority of the substitutes: some of them have access to extra events and rewards which the corresponding children do not, and others start with otherwise unobtainable items and skills not easily available to the corresponding children.

While the matter of what is and is not considered canon is always nebulous and debatable in the context of Fire Emblem games, owing to the large number of possible outcomes with respect to unit survival and pairings achieved, as a general rule the substitute characters are neglected as not canonically existing in other representations of the Genealogy of the Holy War cast. Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 establishes a number of canon pairings and accordingly present children while none of the substitute characters appear or are acknowledged, although there is evidence to suggest that at some point in the development of the game they were intended to appear instead.[1] Similarly, only actual children characters appear as bonus units in Fire Emblem Awakening while the substitutes remain excluded, and no manga adaptation of Genealogy of the Holy War features the substitute characters even in cases where some children are omitted.

Substitutes in Genealogy of the Holy War

Mother Children Substitutes
Portrait deirdre fe04.png
Deirdre
Shaman
Portrait seliph fe04.png Portrait julia fe04.png
Seliph and Julia
Junior Lord and Shaman
N/A. Sigurd and Deirdre always fall in love during Chapter 1.
Julia is considered a static character (i.e not a child unit) in gameplay.
Portrait ethlyn fe04.png
Ethlyn
Troubadour
Portrait altena fe04.png Portrait leif fe04.png
Altena and Leif
Wyvern Rider and Prince
N/A. Quan and Ethlyn are lovers by default.
Portrait adean fe04.png
Adean
Priest
Portrait lester fe04.png Portrait lana fe04.png
Lester and Lana
Arch Knight and Priest
Portrait dimna fe04.png Portrait mana fe04.png
Dimna and Mana
Arch Knight and Priest
Portrait ayra fe04.png
Ayra
Myrmidon
Portrait ulster fe04.png Portrait larcei fe04.png
Ulster and Larcei
Myrmidon and Myrmidon
Portrait roddlevan fe04.png Portrait radney fe04.png
Roddlevan and Radney
Myrmidon and Myrmidon
Portrait lachesis fe04.png
Lachesis
Princess
Portrait delmud fe04.png Portrait nanna fe04.png
Delmud and Nanna
Free Knight and Troubadour
Portrait tristan fe04.png Portrait janne fe04.png
Tristan and Janne
Free Knight and Troubadour
Portrait sylvia fe04.png
Sylvia
Dancer
Portrait leen fe04.png Portrait corpul fe04.png
Leen and Corpul
Dancer and Priest
Portrait laylea fe04.png Portrait sharlow fe04.png
Laylea and Sharlow
Dancer and Priest
Portrait ferry fe04.png
Ferry
Pegasus Knight
Portrait ced fe04.png Portrait fee fe04.png
Ced and Fee
Sage and Pegasus Knight
Portrait hawk fe04.png Portrait femina fe04.png
Hawk and Femina
Sage and Pegasus Knight
Portrait tailtiu fe04.png
Tailtiu
Thunder Mage
Portrait arthur fe04.png Portrait teeny fe04.png
Arthur and Teeny
Mage and Mage
Portrait amid fe04.png Portrait linda fe04.png
Amid and Linda
Wind Mage and Thunder Mage
Portrait briggid fe04.png
Briggid
Sniper
Portrait faval fe04.png Portrait patty fe04.png
Faval and Patty
Bow Fighter and Thief
Portrait asaello fe04.png Portrait daisy fe04.png
Asaello and Daisy
Bow Fighter and Thief

Fire Emblem Awakening

The Maiden, Lucina's substitute mother.

While Fire Emblem Awakening also features a similar multi-generational children system, unlike that of Genealogy of the Holy War, the children are not the sole focus of part of the game and are optional units, fighting alongside their parents due to being involved with Lucina's travel back to Chrom's time. As such, Awakening does not need - and thus does not have - substitute children characters. A slight exception exists with Lucina, who is critical to the game's plot: if Chrom does not have any support relationships with an eligible female character (Sumia, Olivia, Sully, Maribelle or a female Robin) by the end of Chapter 11 for any reason (such as his potential brides being already married or having been killed), he will instead marry an unnamed, generic Maiden as a substitute wife. Similarly to the Genealogy of the Holy War substitute children, this results in a Lucina with poorer base stats and growths fueled solely by Chrom's stats, as well as lacking any skills that may be inherited from a proper bride.

References

See also

Game mechanics
Out-of-battle management Base (Base conversation) • Battle preparationsBonus experienceDungeonsGameplay modes (Creature Campaign) • GoldMila ShrinesRenownShopping (ArmoryBargainsForgeMerchantOnline shopSecret shopVendor) • Supply convoyWorld map
Battles and chapters ArenaBattle saveBossCastleChapter (Alternate routeSidequest) • ChestCombat forecastEvent tilesHidden treasureObjectivesReinforcementSkirmishTerrain (Hazards) • TurnWeather (Fog of war)
Stats Units ActionAffinityAuthorityBiorhythmClassConstitution (Aid) • DefenseExperienceGrowth rateHit pointHoly BloodInventoryLevelLuckMagicMovementPursuit critical coefficientResistanceSkillSpeedStrengthWeapon levelWeight
Weapons Brave weaponCritDurabilityHitKill bonusMightPersonal weaponsRangeWeapon experienceWeapon levelWeightWorth
Unit mechanics
and commands
AttackAuto-BattleCantoClass change (Reclass) • Dance/Play/Sing (Galdrar) • Death (Decoy) • DismountDragon VeinEquipmentFatigueInventoryLaguz transformationLove (JealousyInheritance) • Pair UpRecruitmentRescue (Capture) • SkillsStatus conditionsSupportTalkTradeUnit (AvatarBond unitsBonus unitEinherjarLoan unitPrisonerReplacement unitSubstitute character) • Visit
Calculations Attack speedAvoidCritical hit (Combination bonusDodgeTriangle Attack) • Effective damageHit rate (True hit) • Random number generatorWeapon triangle (Trinity of magic)
Connectivity amiiboDouble DuelDownloadable contentLink ArenaMultiplayer battleOnline ShopSpotPassStreetPass
Other BirthdayGlitchesRankingsSound RoomTactician