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Weapon level

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Gordin's weapon level is high enough to wield Parthia.
Highlighted: Lachesis's weapon levels as a Master Knight. By the standards of Genealogy of the Holy War, she has the maximum normal level for most weapon types, the lowest for light magic, and is unable to use dark magic.
You want to know something? You need to give weapons to those who can wield them. Otherwise, it's just a waste of a perfectly good weapon.
— Matthew, upon receiving an Armorslayer.

The weapon level system (Japanese: 武器レベル weapon level) is a system of weapon access management. In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Mystery of the Emblem, and BS Fire Emblem: Archanea War Chronicles, the range of weapons a unit has is dependent on their weapon level stat; like the level system all weapons are assigned a minimum weapon level required to use them. Weapon level is increased through level-ups, and it has its own growth rate. The stat applies equally to all weapon types available to the unit's class, allowing for a unit with access to multiple types equal proficiency in all of them. It was revamped in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and later fleshed out into its current form in Thracia 776. The modern weapon levels exist in two forms, as a singular stat associated with almost all weapons and as a collective of stats for each individual unit; weapon levels denote a unit's proficiency in each weapon type, and the level associated with an individual weapon denotes the minimum weapon level in the matching weapon type required to use the weapon in question. Unlike the original weapon level system, a unit has a different weapon level for every weapon type to which they have access, all operating independently and thus preventing a unit from (in most cases) being equally proficient in all weapon types without extra effort.

Weapon levels do not exist in Fire Emblem Gaiden or Shadows of Valentia. In these games, a unit can use any weapon their class allows them to.

Overview

In the original Archanea games, it is a stat which can be increased upon level up. If the unit's stat is greater than or equal to the weapon's level requirement, the unit can use that weapon, provided their class allows it. Weapon level numbers in these games were not standardized as they are today; for example, in most modern games, all silver weapons are leveled at B, but in the original Archanea games, the Silver Sword was level 9, the Silver Lance and Bow were level 7, and the Silver Axe was level 10.

Modern weapon levels exist as a progressive scale of individual levels denoted by letters, ranging from E to A (or sometimes S); in almost all games the lowest possible weapon level is E, with weapons of this level usable by any unit with access to the matching weapon type. Generally speaking, the higher a weapon's level, the more powerful it is in exchange for greater weight, worth and lower durability. This progression is usually made evident in the naming scheme of weapons; for example, most physical weapon types come in a set of basic Bronze/Iron/Steel/Silver variants, while anima magic types possess a series of increasing prefixes (e.g. Fire/Elfire/Arcfire). Typically, the game's highest level (normally A or S) is reserved for a set of powerful or holy weapons which are often central to the game's plot. Depending on the game, personal weapons are either separated from the core level system or still have a level while being locked to individual units.

In almost all uses of the system, weapon levels can be increased by gaining weapon experience (abbreviated as WEx), with the unit's level increasing by one after their weapon experience reaches a certain threshold. In this system, all weapons have an associated WEx value (hidden from the player's view), and when a unit uses that weapon they gain the weapon's amount of WEx every time they successfully use the weapon to strike an enemy or, in the case of most staves, to heal an ally. The exception to this system is Genealogy of the Holy War, where weapon levels are almost entirely static and are dictated primarily by a unit's class, only ever increasing when the unit undergoes a class change; units who possess Holy Blood have their weapon levels altered depending on what kind of blood they possess.

Weapon levels by game

While for the most part the set of levels is static across all games, each features its own variation on available levels, with some treating A as the highest while others add the higher S or SS levels.

Weapon levels by game
Game Level (Lowest → Highest) Notes
SS
Genealogy of the Holy War X mark.png X mark.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png Units who possess major Holy Blood have the respective weapon type marked with a ★; for more details, see here.
Thracia 776 Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
The Binding Blade Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png --
Fire Emblem Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png A unit may only possess a single S level at a time; once a S level is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A level.
The Sacred Stones Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png A unit may only possess a single S level at a time; once a S level is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A level.
Path of Radiance Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png A unit may only possess a single S level at a time; once a S level is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A level.
Radiant Dawn Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png For classes with access to multiple weapon types, typically their maximum levels are uneven with a single S or SS, while others are forced to be A or S at maximum.
Shadow Dragon Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
New Mystery of the Emblem Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Awakening Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png X mark.png --
Fates Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png Yes check.png X mark.png All non-human weapon types share a weapon level (ex. A Keaton-fathered male Kana raised to a B level in dragonstones as a Nohr Prince and then reclassed into a Wolfskin will have a B level in beaststones as a Wolfskin).

Weapon experience requirements by game

Main article: Weapon experience

Upon gaining certain thresholds of weapon experience, a unit's weapon level in the matching weapon type will increase. While this mechanic has remained constant ever since Thracia 776, the required WEx thresholds regularly change between games.

Weapon experience requirements for level increase by game
Game Level progression (total WEx)
Base E E to D D to C C to B B to A A to S S to SS
Thracia 776 50 100 150 200 250 -- --
The Binding Blade 1 51 101 151 201 251 --
Fire Emblem 1 31 71 121 181 251 --
The Sacred Stones 1 31 71 121 181 251 --
Path of Radiance 1 31 71 121 181 251 --
Radiant Dawn 1 31 71 121 181 251 331
Shadow Dragon 1 31 76 136 196 -- --
New Mystery of the Emblem 1 31 76 136 196 -- --
Awakening 1 31 71 121 181 -- --

Weapon level bonus

All games since Shadow Dragon have featured a weapon level bonus, which further increases the unit's strength and/or accuracy with their chosen weapon type. The weapon level bonus only takes effect when the unit's weapon level for their current weapon type is C or higher. The bonuses received vary depending on the type of weapon equipped. If the unit has a weapon triangle disadvantage, the weapon level bonus does not take effect.

Weapon level bonuses in Shadow Dragon[1]
Weapon C level B level A level
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Hit +15
Weapon level bonuses in New Mystery of the Emblem[2]
Weapon C level B level A level
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Hit +15
Staff Heal +1 Heal +2 Heal +3
Weapon level bonuses in Awakening[3]
Weapon C level B level A level
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Attack +1, Hit +10
Staff Heal +1 Heal +2 Heal +3

Fire Emblem and The Sacred Stones feature a rudimentary version of the weapon level bonus, where a unit possessing an S level in the currently-equipped weapon type receives +5 to hit and critical hit rates. This bonus is the same for all weapon types, and is not nullified by a weapon triangle disadvantage.

Items and skills affecting weapon levels and WEx

Items and skills affecting the stat
Item Effect Games
Is snes01 manual.png Manual Permanent +5 increase when used. Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 taurus shard.png Taurus Shard +5% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 gemini shard.png Gemini Shard -10% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 virgo shard.png Virgo Shard +20% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 libra shard.png Libra Shard +10% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 capricorn shard.png Capricorn Shard +30% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 aquarius shard.png Aquarius Shard +10% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 starsphere.png Starsphere +30% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is 3ds01 arms scroll.png Arms Scroll Permanently increases all weapon levels/the level matching the user's current equipped weapon by one level each when used. Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Shadow Dragon, New Mystery of the Emblem, Awakening, Fates
Is 3ds discipline.png Discipline Doubles the user's weapon experience gain when equipped. Radiant Dawn, Awakening

Etymology and other languages

Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology and notes
English Weapon level --
English
(unofficial)
Weapon rank Colloquially used to distinguish the modern system of Genealogy of the Holy War onward from the original system.
Japanese 武器レベル Weapon level

Trivia

Gallery

See also

References

  1. Shadow Dragon - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2013-07-31
  2. Heroes of Light and Shadow - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2013-07-31
  3. Awakening - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: 2013-07-31
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