Nintendo conducted a poll for Fire Emblem Heroes urging fans to pick a favorite character of theirs that they would love to see featured. Each fan could vote once a day for 13 days for almost any character from any of the main Fire Emblem series of games.
This is part of a miniseries I am doing on analyzing the vast amount of poll data available to us and what it means for the fandom and their favorites regarding characters.
Thanks to the tireless work of Elieson over on serenesforest.net, we can take a look at the break downs by game!
Today we will focus on FE4 (Genealogy of the Holy War) and FE5 (Thracia 776), which collectively make up the Jugdral games.
There are some general things to keep in mind before we get started, however.
- This was a worldwide contest from all territories on all the games. All votes were included to one ballot. This is useful to know when it comes to character popularity.
- The “overall place” is out of 791 characters that could be voted for. Any number you see in the “overall place” category is ##/791.
- This was just one game out of the entire series that was available to be voted on. While Nintendo recorded 1.2 million votes (actually calculated to be 1,279,158), that is across all games. For the purposes of this analysis, we will only base it on the votes that went toward the game being analyzed. Even then, it is a limited format as there are plenty of factors that come to play.
- For instance, if this was purely a poll on Shadow Dragon, then votes would have been better distributed to what characters people actually favor, as it would be characters versus each other, rather than against characters from the entire series.
- The assumption I am running on is simply this: If the voter picked their favorite from this game against the rest of the Fire Emblem games’ casts, then surely they would pick these characters if they were only up against other characters from their own game.
- However, the issue with this assumption is that it ignores the 13 votes each member had, who may have distributed it across other characters from other games rather than multiple favorites they may have had in one single game. (For example: A voter votes Marth and Tiki, and though they would have cast a vote to Ogma if it was just Shadow Dragon, they instead cast their votes for Hector in Blazing Blade, thus skewing the results Ogma would have had in this game alone had it been isolated) Please be aware of these limitations when seeing the data.
- Some characters were split if they appeared in multiple games (i.e. Marth in FE11 and 12 are two different votes. This is a point worth noting, as we will see.
- Male characters and female characters were polled from the same limited set of 13. This means if someone voted for a favorite male character one day, they did not get to vote a female character the same day. This is worth noting because male/female characters are not in competition with each other. So, their voter base could only vote for a character in one gender or the other, meaning there may have been more votes for female characters overall than male, even if the voter had a male they would have preferred too. There is potential to skew the results here, as would have been solved with two polls (one for each gender).
- For the purposes of game-by-game analysis, the gender split does not matter too much as it is purely to gauge potential popularity. However, when we address the overall gender vote later on, this will be more important –much like how it was when analyzing the top 20.
- Each individual was able to vote multiple times. One person could vote 13 times over the event period (and this assumes from one device)! As such, do not treat the total amount of votes as total amount of people who voted. Those are two very different things!
- Nintendo had released midterm results on current poll standings. I consider this an important aspect in determining the final outcome to overall popularity, as I will address if relevant to the game.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (FE4)
|In-Game Placing||Overall Place||Character||Total Votes|
- A total of just 44,486 votes were cast across all the characters of this game.
- That is about 3.5% of the overall vote.
- Sigurd is in 1st with 5282 He is the highest scoring male character of the game.
- That is about 11.9% of the votes cast for this game.
- Ayra is in 2nd with 4489 She is the highest scoring female character of the game.
- That is about 10.1% of the votes cast for this game.
- Finn appears twice due to existing in both generations. If his votes were combined, then he would have placed 5th below Seliph with 2603
- Despite being featured on the cover, Seliph did not score highest, or on the top 3.
- The top 15 characters of this game had 70% of the votes despite only making up only 18% of the cast. The rest of the 72 characters had only 30% of the 44,846 votes allotted to the game,
- Only three characters made it to the top 100, and even then the highest (Sigurd) was still placed 55
- However, after the 100 range, the game has pretty steady distribution as it goes down the list rather than sudden jumps.
- Bloom is the lowest ranked male character in last at 87th place (790/791 overall) and the lowest scoring female character is Hilda in 80th (773/791).
- Hilda is the overall lowest ranked female character across the entire poll.
FE4 is quite different than other games in the series in terms of how massive each individual map is, and is the game that featured the introduction of a unit pairing and child mechanic. However, the game was never released outside of Japan, and so also suffers from a lack of worldwide presence. The characters are also rarely featured outside the game, and there are no planned remakes that we are aware of (unlike Gaiden, which will be remade as Shadows of Valentia).
However, Fire Emblem Heroes released Seliph and Julia today as characters, so they should start to gain some exposure to a wider audience soon enough. Curiously, they released these two characters despite not placing as high, but this is potentially due to the sibling emphasis (as Eirika and Ephraim were also featured for their sibling status).
Sigurd made it to the top, being the featured protagonist for the earlier levels. This makes sense as he would stick out to many who may have played the game but never completed it. Seliph, who can be considered the other protagonist, was placed notably lower on the list, possibly due to the later game appearance. Of course, this is not to discount unit potential, appearance, and personality.
Likewise, Ayra placed highest female, despite Deirdre (who placed much lower at 23) arguably being of great significance too. The numbers are rather interesting in that way.
Finn placed higher on Famitsu’s Fire Emblem character popularity poll last year in 9th place ahead of Ephraim in 10th. That status certainly does not repeat here, likely due to the poll being open to a western audience. Thus FE8 characters would place generally higher, among other factors.
The game’s characters are pretty evenly spread after the 100s, but also features quite a presence on the lowest tiers (700s). The game features Hilda as the lowest overall ranked female character of the series according to this poll, too.
The overall votes for the game were fourth last overall, but still outdid the next in line (its sequel, Thracia 776) by nearly 3 times. It also scored more than Mystery of the Emblem, which was likely hurt by split votes with Shadow Dragon due to largely similar cast and lack of worldwide release.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (FE5)
|In-Game Placing||Overall Place||Character||Total Votes|
- A total of just 11,235 votes were cast across all the characters of this game.
- That is just 0.88% of the overall vote.
- Thracia 776 was second lowest overall voted game, behind Gaiden.
- The top 20 highest rated overall characters each individually had more votes than this entire game.
- Of that number, Leif (who scored top) has 1751 votes, or 15.5% of total votes for this game. He is the highest scoring male of the game.
- Despite that, he is overall placed 153rd, making him the lowest ranked main lead and top scorer (for his game) on the overall poll.
- Olwen is in 3rd, with 885 She is the highest scoring female character of the game.
- Finn returns to take 2nd place on this poll too, making three different options for him between FE4 and 5.
- Both top scorers here also appeared in FE4.
- This is the only game out of the poll where two males had the top two spots.
- No characters made it to the top 100, and only one made it to the top 200.
- The majority of the characters fill the lower echelons of the polls –including the lowest number.
- Glade is the lowest ranked male character in last at 56th place, and is the lowest ranked male character overall, as well as the lowest ranked overall character (791/791).
- The lowest scoring female character is Safy in 48th (745/791).
Considered one of the hardest games of the series, Thracia 776 is also series’ creator Shouzou Kaga’s last Fire Emblem game. It too was never released outside of Japan.
FE5 had the second lowest in terms of overall votes, and quite prominently features the lowest overall characters, as well as lowest overall male character being Glade.
Leif and Finn (both characters who were also in FE4) placed highest here. This is the only time two male characters place as the top 2 in any of the Fire Emblem games. They would be more recognizable to fans of the previous games, as well as those who may have looked back on the series through promotions (such as Awakening DLC).
Despite that, Alm and Celica from the lower-overall scoring Gaiden still both scored higher individually than the top two of this game. Of course, Leif and Finn do suffer split votes from FE4, which may be one of many factors to account for this.
Both games hold the lowest records (FE4 has the lowest female, Hilda, and FE5 has the lowest male, Glade), despite the fact they had more overall votes than Gaiden. This can be pinned to larger casts and hence greater voter distribution, as the top scorers on both games did not have a too large a gap between them and those below them on the chart (meaning it was more evenly distributed than the top-heavy Gaiden).
The top scorers of FE4 were characters you see earlier on in the game, compared to the child characters that come later. The top two of FE5 were two characters featured in FE4 as well.
Both being unreleased outside of Japan as well as notable for their difficulty and massive maps (in the case of FE4) would make them one of the more obscure games of the series next to Gaiden, and the little exposure and advertising done within later games of the series are all factors that led to the low overall scores and representation.
That wraps up the often overlooked Jugdral games! We depart Shouzou Kaga’s Fire Emblem for the new GBA era that came about with Binding Blade and Blazing Blade (the Elibe games) tomorrow! We will also enter the realm of the first Fire Emblem game to hit the western shores, being FE7 (Blazing Blade).
As usual, feel free to leave any comments you may have or observations of your own below!