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 FE8 (The Sacred Stones), which takes place on the continent of Magvel.
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.
- I may also reference the Famitsu Fire Emblem popularity poll now and then, as seen here.
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (FE8)
|In-Game Placing||Overall Place||Character||Total Votes|
- A total of 92,889 votes were cast across all the characters of this game.
- That is about 7.3% of the overall vote.
- Eirika is in 1st with 16,423 She is the highest scoring female character of the game.
- Her votes contribute 17.7% of the votes cast for this entire game.
- She had appeared in 6th place for overall female character votes during the midterm results. She remained in 6th place for female characters on the final poll.
- Ephraim is in 2nd with 14,908 He is the highest scoring male character of the game.
- That is a smaller gap between 1st and 2nd than other game’s polls display.
- Lute is in 3rd place, and placed 13th on the overall female character poll.
- She was 15th on the midterm results, so moved up two places by the end of the polling.
- She is the highest placing pre-Awakening non-main female character.
- The top five characters of this game had 59% of the votes despite only making up 12% of the cast. The top 20 characters had 90% of the vote for nearly half the cast, however, meaning there was slightly better distribution among the smaller cast.
- Eight characters made it to the top 100.
- The game is well distributed in the 200-400 range, meaning each member generally did well compared to others. This can be attributed to smaller cast with more votes each.
- This game has the second smallest cast, next to Gaiden.
- Selena is not the same Selena featured in FE14.
- Hayden is the lowest ranked male character in last at 43rd place (775/791 overall) and the lowest scoring female character is Syrene in 38th (519/791).
- Hayden is only available post-game, and is otherwise an NPC.
- Syrene is a pre-promote who joins later in the game.
- Despite this, Syrene placed 3rd highest of lowest voted female characters (across the games), behind Candace (FE14) and Kjelle (FE13).
Sacred Stones followed up to Blazing Blade two years later (in the west), and featured a split campaign that follows one of two of the twins (which eventually reunite but still have slight perspective and map differences at the end). It essentially had two campaigns, and a much smaller cast compared to other FE games (behind only Gaiden in least characters).
We can see the two main characters (the sacred twins Eirika and Ephraim) placed highest on the list, with nearly the same amount of votes. Eirika won by a slim margin over her brother. Both placed on the top 10 of the gender split votes, and top 20 of the overall vote. The two already made it into Fire Emblem Heroes’ latest update too (as of this writing), though whether or not that was due to this poll or coincidence remains unknown.
In third and fourth place we have the highest non-lead female and male character: Lute and Joshua. There is a marginal drop by about 5000 votes from Ephraim, but still significant to place Lute in the overall top 28 (and top 20 for female characters), making her the highest non-main female character from the pre-Awakening era of games, and second highest overall (behind Dorcas).
Joshua (and Marisa after him) seem to carry the trend of the Myrmidon/Swordmasters of the game placing high. It may be that the flowing designs of the class-type are appealing to many, or that the class itself is, which may contribute to this. Marisa (and Lute, for that matter) actually lacked any official artwork when the game first came out (FE8 was known for a very limited range of character art for a while) whereas Joshua already had a full portrait –which may have contributed to this in terms of solidifying an image in the player’s head.
Eventually all character art was released, and perhaps it gave Lute and Marisa a boost beyond what the game may have already given them. Of the three, Joshua has some story significance on Eirika’s path, which may also add to him placing high.
Seth in sixth place is surprising, yet not. Regarding the trends on these charts, pre-promotes generally score lower (see Marcus on the FE6/7 polls). Yet, Seth placed rather high. This can be attributed to the fact that fans often consider Seth one of the best pre-promotes the games offer. This is compounded by the fact that Sacred Stones has an essentially infinite post-game in which you can raise your units to the maximum potential, eliminating any stats that may have fallen behind.
Stats aside, Seth also has an ongoing presence throughout the game, much like Titania in FE9, aiding the main character. Marcus only did this initially in FE7 before dropping in significance. Factors like this should be taken into consideration.
Another trend breaker on this list is Lyon, who scored ninth overall –which is significant for an antagonist, as they had generally been scoring lower on the list. He placed 115th overall, too, which makes it even more impressive. This may be due to the heavier emphasis of him in the story and his inner conflict with the protagonists that was explored in-depth. Perhaps some may consider him a tragic protagonist instead? The next highest antagonist is Valter, all the way in 25th place. He is essentially another Narcian (FE6) sort. He is tied with Selena (not the FE14 one, but an antagonist in this game) who was also a conflicted figure.
Innes placed relatively lower than expected. (Perhaps his fans voted for Takumi of FE14 instead?) He has story presence, and his character is hit or miss with fans. Status as a pre-promoted Sniper may have contributed to being rather low on the list.
As we look at the lower end of the list, we see it is mostly pre-promotes (Saleh, Syrene), antagonists (Caellach, Riev), and post-game exclusive characters (Ismaire, Hayden).
Overall the game did not get as many votes as Blazing Blade, though it did top Binding Blade. The 92889 votes this game received were distributed pretty well over its smaller cast of 43 characters. Its characters placed rather well overall, filling in ranks from 11-400 rather nicely.
The smaller cast of the game may have given players less selection as well as fewer (but more memorable) characters to vote for. That would explain why its top 18 placed over the 1000 line, and most of its characters placed high to middle on the overall poll. The bottom side of the poll features the usual trend of pre-promoted characters, or those who join in late (or not at all, in the case of some antagonists).
What FE8 does do however is also feature a pre-promote (Seth) and antagonist (Lyon) on the top 10. It also has a non-main character place in 3rd (Lute) who placed really well overall, too.
A lot of this game’s fans may have voted for Awakening characters due to some similarities in the games (world map, skirmishes, etc), as well as the game’s availability as an ambassador 3DS game that came out before Awakening. It is also recommended to Awakening fans as a gateway to the older games. All this aside, though, it still got less votes than Blazing Blade despite being more recent. Players who played this game may have voted for one of the others on the list, hence the lower numbers, as very few may have played only this game. The characters perhaps did not live up to characters of the other games in their eyes.
This is just speculation based on numbers alone, of course!
That wraps up the single Magvel games! Tomorrow we journey to Tellius to see Ike’s massive amount of votes in Path of Radiance (FE9) and Radiant Dawn (FE10).
As usual, feel free to leave any comments you may have or observations of your own below!