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 FE13, better known as Awakening.
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: Awakening (FE13)
|In-Game Placing||Overall Place||Character||Total Votes|
- A total of 313,639 votes were cast across all the characters of this game.
- That is about 24.5% of the overall vote.
- Lucina is in first with 42,875 She is the highest scoring female character of the game, second highest female and overall character too.
- Her votes alone contribute to about 13.7% of the votes cast for this entire game.
- She had appeared on the midterm results, in more or less the same place.
- The directors noted a majority of her votes had come from Japan over any other region
- Tharja is in second with 29,540 She is the second highest scoring female character.
- Chrom is third, but highest placing male Awakening character with 23,803
- This game and Fates feature at least two female characters placing top before male (with Fates having three).
- Robin (male) placed higher than the female version, though only by 4,000 votes.
- Combined, their numbers would be 24,516 (beating Chrom for third place).
- The top three children after Lucina are Owain, Severa, and Inigo (if you exclude Morgan). These are the three that also reappeared in Fates as a result of their popularity.
- Morgan (female) placed higher than male.
- This makes sense, since Robin male placed higher than female, thus the opposite gender Morgan’s appearance would be directly proportional (as she is female for male Robin players).
- Even if they were combined, however, their placement would not change, and would remain in 15th under Owain.
- For the purposes of this poll, both Masked Marth and Grima are listed under “male.” You may count their numbers as outliers if there are any issues with this method.
- Lucina would have 48,295 votes if you added Masked Marth counts to her –but this still falls short of Lyn’s overall first placement.
- The top five characters of this game had 39.8% of the votes despite only making up just 9% of the cast. The top 10 characters had 57% of the vote for just 18% the cast.
- 25 characters made it to the top 100.
- This game placed second highest in terms of characters that made it to the top 100, behind Fates.
- However, the lowest scoring character in this game (Excellus) placed overall at 476, which is higher than Fates’ lowest scoring character (Ignatius).
- The game developers admitted being perplexed by Donnel’s popularity in the USA.
- The top 10 characters each have 10,000 or more votes.
- Fates characters only have this on the top five.
- Only the lowest seven characters placed below 1000 votes –the least under-1000’s in the series.
- However, there are less characters than Fates.
- Excellus is the lowest ranked male character in last at 58th place (476/791 overall) and the lowest scoring female character is Kjelle in 54th (275/791).
- Excellus is a non-playable antagonist, making Yen’fay the lowest placing playable male character.
- Kjelle is a second generation (child) character.
- Validar placed lowest for a main antagonist within an in-game poll of western released Fire Emblem
Awakening is the first of the “Kozaki-era” games (Fates being the second), and first on 3DS which is notable for being the game that brought an influx of new fans (much like FE7 did with bringing western fans into what was until then a Japanese series).
Built to be the final game if it didn’t sell too much, the game was an unexpected success that shot the series into fandom recognition beyond Smash Bros –and the numbers show! Awakening had the most votes put to it on this poll out of all the games in the series. It beat even the more recent game, Fates. I went over possible reasons for this on a previous post, but basically it comes down to being the first Fire Emblem game for many new fans, meaning the characters and world left a great impression on players. On top of this, the characters of the first game they played may be the one others are compared to. This means if they played Fates there are only comparisons drawn between these two games, and there seemed to be a larger preference for Awakening.
Moving on to the chart itself, Lucina and Tharja are both female characters who placed first and second, with the primary protagonist Chrom in third and Robin (male) next highest male in fifth. The numbers per each character on the top 10 are incredible compared to the other Fire Emblem games, with each character scoring above 10,000 –the only game to have this advantage, likely due to the 300,000+ votes being distributed over just 58 characters.
The Smash Bros factor comes into play for Lucina and Robin, too. Of course, a primary reason for Lucina in Smash Bros could be her popularity in Awakening, which in turns leads to more votes here after more exposure. She may have had less numbers if not for Smash Bros –but at the same time would still be in first, just by a slimmer margin. Her presence on the midterm polls solidified her running in the eyes of many.
Robin (male) placed high as an extension of a player (the avatar), but is vague as to whether it was the character many liked, or what they could do (marriage, customizability, etc). They did appear in Smash Bros as a unique Fire Emblem character, which may have boosted their reputation among non-fans too.
Tharja is placed very high for a non-Smash Bros representative character, constantly placing high (with Cordelia) for favorite [female] characters from the game.
Chrom was one of the most wanted in Smash Bros but did not make the cut beyond appearing in Robin’s final smash. His popularity from the game is still strong, as seen here, considering his overall male character placement. However, for many who played this game, he was the first character they would have met/seen, potentially leaving an impact like Lyn did on players who started with FE7.
A surprising result is Nowi placing 7th, likely due to the Japanese side of the polls as her inclusion (and appearance) was more controversial in the west than it was in the east (her popularity was thus visibly effected by a potentially vocal minority, anyway). She ended up placing higher than Tiki, who was farther down at 11th.
Owain, Severa, and Inigo placed in that order (14th, 16th, 20th), but were the highest placing children after Lucina (and Morgan (female) for Severa and Inigo). Their popularity is expected, as it was cited as a reason for their return in Fates.
Lon’qu carried on the tradition of a high placing Myrmidon, though there was no female equivalent in the game (a first, as the games before usually had one male and one female).
Donnel’s popularity in the USA was noted by even the game directors (see link in notes). Fans have attributed this to his “underdog” status as a simple farmboy (with a relatable southern accent, though this is thanks to localization) that rises to greatness, which resonates with the American audience. Others attribute it to popular Youtubers who pushed for voting for him (one called Etika, as an example. I am not personally familiar with them, but has often been cited as a reason for such by fans). Regardless, he placed higher than female Robin did as a result!
Robin’s combined numbers (between both genders) would have placed them above Chrom, but Morgan’s would not change their position. Male Robin may have won due to their ability to marry Lucina (rather than be her mother via marrying Chrom), or perhaps the other options available (Tharja, Cordelia, or any other female character). Perhaps this personal connection was a contribution to male players.
Unfortunately, the Kozaki games are infamous among many for the marriage systems and have devolved the games into a bit of a stereotype (regarding marriage and picking wives/husbands to engineer children). The high numbers on the female characters (both here and in Fates) may reflect this, but perhaps there are other reasons that get overlooked, such as liking the character beyond the marriage potential. (Such as simply by design, or character beyond marriage potential).
When we look at the lower end of the list, we have most of the antagonists. Aversa and Grima placed higher up relatively (in the middle of the chart), but those like Gangrel, Walhart, and Validar all placed near the bottom.
Mustafa and Cervantes (minor bosses who gained fame through their chapters) placed on the polls, which was surprising, but it seems no meme around them helped them out (as opposed to Dorcas).
A lot of the other characters are either NPCs or characters you unlock on paralogues later on, and lack supports beyond Robin.
Kjelle placed lowest female child (and character), and Laurent as lowest male child. Laurent’s mother Miriel placed rather low, too.
With the most votes toward one game in the series spread over its 58 characters, each Awakening character placed quite high –with even the lowest being in a respectable 476th place, with a good majority in the 0-300 range, with 25 characters in the top 100.
Being a gateway game for new fans means plenty of memorable characters to them to vote for. Smash Bros included Lucina and Robin due to their existing popularity among fans of this game, which may have come back to help make them even more popular here in a positive feedback loop.
Despite that, Lyn (FE7) still placed higher than Lucina, but about 7000 votes. Both had placed on the midterm results, so perhaps it was to give Lyn more representation (as she is an assist trophy where Lucina is a playable Marth clone in Smash Bros) and so the 7000 decisive votes swung for her.
A lot of the other placements are as expected, though Nowi remains surprising at first, but when considering the Japanese fans (as well as quiet majorities) it makes more sense as to why she may have placed over even Tiki.
On the lower end we see antagonists and either non-playable or late-playable characters –but even the lowest scoring characters in Awakening placed high on the overall polls.
All this reflects on Awakening as the most voted for (and indeed, one of the highest selling titles of the series), together may indeed give the impression that it is one of the most popular Fire Emblem titles to date.
That wraps up the most voted Awakening! Tomorrow we look at the most recent title, second Kozaki game, and second most voted for Fire Emblem game – Fates.
As usual, feel free to leave any comments you may have or observations of your own below!