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Support is a game mechanic introduced in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem that deals with relationships between characters. In most games featuring supports, each character has a predetermined set of other characters that he or she can support. In Radiant Dawn, supports became open so that any character can support with any other character. In Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem, characters again only support certain other characters.
Games featuring supports
|Support type||Available in:||Notes|
|Bond support||Gaiden features a prototypical system wherein Alm receives a critical bonus from Celica when adjacent. Genealogy of the Holy War has a somewhat similar feature in the combination bonus.|
|Ranked support||Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and New Mystery of the Emblem feature three-tiered base conversations that could be considered similar to the ranked support system. Hidden and without conversations in the DS games.|
|A means that the mechanic is available in that game, while a indicates the contrary.|
The earliest incarnation of the support system. In Mystery of the Emblem, Thracia 776, Shadow Dragon, and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia characters within three spaces from another character (usually one with whom they have a pre-existing relationship), gain bonuses in hit, avoid, critical rate, and, in Thracia 776, dodge.
Echoes: Shadows of Valentia features both bond supports and ranked supports.
In Radiant Dawn, in addition to preset bond supports, any units who attained an A support in Path of Radiance will have a bond support in Radiant Dawn, provided the data transfer function is used.
This support type features in The Binding Blade, Blazing Sword, The Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. It also appears in Awakening and Fates, though with the addition of another rank and differences in how the stat bonuses are handled.
When two characters form a support relationship, they receive stat bonuses either based on the combination of their affinities, or custom per-character modifiers, if the game in question lacks affinities. These bonuses take effect when the two characters are within three tiles of each other. There are three levels of supports, C, B, and A, and each level contributes higher bonuses to both character's stats.
In the GBA games and Path of Radiance, each character can support up to five times, so they may have anywhere from five C level supports to one A support and one B support. In Radiant Dawn, a character can only have up to an A support with any one character, but they may abandon this support in favor of another at any time. Once a support has been abandoned, though, those two characters can no longer support with each other.
In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, units are not limited in how many times they can support, and affinity does not exist.
S and A+ rank supports
Awakening introduces an S support level, which can only be achieved by characters of opposite genders who are not siblings or parents and children, and only once per save file by each character. When two characters reach S support with each other, they will be married to each other, and, if the couple contains at least one of Chrom, Robin, Lissa, Sully, Miriel, Sumia, Maribelle, Panne, Cordelia, Nowi, Tharja, Olivia, or Cherche, the marriage will produce a child, or children, who may be recruited in paralogue chapters. Opposite-gendered children may also S-support with each other or Robin, but only marrying Robin will produce a "third-generation" child. Sibling and parent-and-child relationships can reach a maximum level of A-support, but supporting characters can have any number of A-rank supports.
Unlike in previous games, the stat boosts are fixed for each level of support: C support awards +10 to Hit and Avoid, B support adds +10 to Hit, Avoid and Dodge, A support adds +10 to Hit, Avoid, Critical rate and Dodge, and S support adds +15 to Hit, and +10 to Avoid, Critical, and Dodge. These can be boosted further if one of the characters has the Dual Support+ skill. These stat boosts will only take effect if the supporting characters are paired up or standing beside each other. In addition to fighting together, the support level of two characters can be upgraded during random events in the Barracks.
Fates support system is similar to Awakening's, with the revamped Pair Up system still being influenced by support level. In addition to the S support level (marriage) achievable toward any character of the opposite gender (except for siblings), an A+ support level (friendship) has been added and is achievable between any two characters of the same gender (with the exception of Corrin, who doesn't have any A+ support). The Partner Seal and Friendship Seal reclassing items let a character adopt the class of their A+ or S support, respectively. The Supportive skill exclusive to Corrin takes support level into account. The Records Hall in My Castle let the player read all unlocked support dialogues in the “Support Log” section. My Castle also provides three different ways to increase support level, either during random events between two characters, by equipping a character with an accessory when he or she requests it (after purchasing the Accessory Shop) or by selecting “Invite Ally” in the Private Quarters (triggering a minigame in Japanese versions only).
In the GBA and DS games, characters gain support points by standing next to each other in battle. In Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, characters gain support points by being deployed in the same chapter. In Awakening, characters receive support points by fighting together while paired up or standing beside each other, using a Seed of Trust while paired up, or triggering random events together on event tiles or in the Barracks.
Increasing support points and support rank
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The amount of points needed to progress to the next rank varies by game.
One of the most well known and popular aspects of supports. In some games starting from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade onward, every time a support level is increased, the two characters carry on a conversation in which they learn more about each other. In every game featuring support conversations, aside from Radiant Dawn, most conversations are unique. In Radiant Dawn, because of the open nature of supports, conversations are much more generic and short-lived.
Generally speaking, each pair of characters has three or four conversations, progressing from C to A, or C to S depending on the game and pair. There are some characters that are exceptions to this, like Pent, who can only reach B rank with other characters, as he always has an A rank with his wife, Louise.
- List of supports in Fire Emblem (GBA)
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- List of supports in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia