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 the final Fire Emblem game on the poll: FE14, better known as Fates.
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: Fates (FE14)
|In-Game Placing||Overall Place||Character||Total Votes|
- A total of 291,239 votes were cast across all the characters of this game.
- That is about 22.8% of the overall vote.
- Camilla is in first with 25,766 She is the highest scoring female character of the game.
- Her votes alone contribute to about 8.8% of the votes cast for this entire game.
- She had appeared on the midterm results, in more or less the same place.
- Corrin (female) is in second with 19,599 She is the second highest scoring female character.
- She beat her male counterpart (who scored far less at 10th with 7691 votes).
- She would have placed higher than Camilla if male Corrin’s votes were combined with hers (making a total of 27,290 votes).
- Azura is the third top female character in a row, with 14,198
- She is the highest placing character who is a dancer.
- Takumi is the highest placed male character is in fourth with 12,662
- That is a bit less than half of the votes Camilla received.
- Niles is the highest placing non-main first generation male character of the game. Forrest is highest placing second generation non-main male character.
- Felicia can be considered main in some way, and if so, then Selkie is the top female character (second generation) followed by Oboro for first generation.
- Compared to their Awakening versions, Selena, Laslow, and Odin placed (in that order). In Awakening, they placed in the order of Owain, Severa, and Inigo.
- Odin placed significantly lower than Owain (37th overall to 87th)
- Selena placed 61st, compared to Severa at 47th
- Laslow placed 69th, compared to Inigo at 63rd
- Regarding the child characters who are like their Awakening counterparts:
- Tharja placed 4th, Rhajat placed 105th
- Cordelia placed 14th, Caeldori placed 91st
- Gaius placed 27th, Asugi placed 269th
- These numbers have more significant gaps than the former three. It is possible as they are not the same character exactly that they scored lower.
- Kana (female) placed higher than male.
- Unlike Awakening, there is not an inverse relationship here. Previously, male Robin placed high as did his daughter, Morgan.
- But this time, we see female Corrin, but not her son Kana, rather, Kana female (who would be male Corrin’s daughter).
- If their numbers combined, Kana would place 21st (after Laslow, before Kaze). Quite a significant boost.
- The top five characters of this game had 29% of the votes despite only making up just 6% of the cast. The top 10 characters had 43% of the vote for just 12% the cast.
- 35 characters made it to the top 100.
- Fates is the Fire Emblem game that got most characters on the top 100 across all the polls.
- However, the lowest scoring character in this game (Ignatius) placed overall at 516, which is lower than Awakening’s lowest (Excellus).
- This means that the character placement range was much broader than Awakening.
- A possible reason is less votes spread over more characters, and top-heavy distribution.
- The top 5 characters each have 10,000 or more votes.
- Awakening had 10 characters above the 10,000 range, showing better distribution over its top 10 characters.
- The lowest 22 characters placed below 1000 votes.
- Awakening only had seven characters place below 1000 votes.
- However, Fates had 61 characters each with at least 1000 votes, whereas Awakening had 58 characters in its entire cast (meaning 51 placed above 1000). This means Fates still had more characters place above 1000, but also less place below it –simply due to having more characters.
- Ignatius is the lowest ranked male character in last at 84th place (516/791 overall) and the lowest scoring female character is Candace in 76th (383/791).
- Ignatius is a second generation (child) character.
- The lowest placing male first generation character (who bears a unique child) is Hayato.
- The lowest placing female second generation character is Sophie.
Fates is an interesting case. For one, it had a total of three games to it (Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation). That gives its characters ample time to be protagonists, antagonists, or somewhere in between. Combine this with the support, marriage, and child system, and we have some characters that get deeply developed and expanded upon.
This reflects in the royal family (of both Hoshido and Nohr) as they all placed on the top 20. Among them, Camilla placed highest, with her Hoshido counterpart Hinoka placing lowest. The two eldest siblings (Xander and Ryoma) placed on the lower end, with the third siblings (Takumi and Leo) placing on the higher end.
Another interesting result is seeing female Corrin place higher than male Corrin. It is an inverse to male Robin placing higher than female Robin in Awakening. Perhaps it came down to being more toward their character rather than an extension of the player, considering their unique draconic abilities and heritage rather than simply being a tactician for the team. Being related to the royal families may be another reason, or simply due to the design.
Corrin may have had the “smash factor” helping them, as DLC in the Smash Bros series’ latest title (for 3DS/Wii U). Many who did not know who they were may have got interest in the game/character, while others who already knew about them may have felt more validated in their liking. Regardless, as we have seen with other characters, this factor certainly helps! However, being DLC in only the latest game did not end up boosting them as much as characters who have been in the series longer (Ike, Roy) in the end.
Oddly, female Kana is also higher than male Kana, again a reverse of Awakening’s situation where it was assumed female Morgan placed higher since male Robin did (as the genders are inverted). Perhaps it simply backs the assumption that female characters in the series generally placed higher than males (due to having less characters, but more votes distributed among them significantly).
Fates also features the top three characters all being female –the only Fire Emblem game to see this (next to Awakening which had two in a row). All the other games (minus Thracia 776 which featured two males at the top) had an alternating top male and top female character. In Fates, the difference between Camilla and Takumi in votes is significant –Takumi having less than half the votes Camilla does.
Perhaps again, it is due to the “marriage potential” among the female characters of the game (not helping the stereotype the games have become infamous for), but there can be plenty of other reasons, as usual. Design (beyond marriage), characterization, etc. Another difference to keep in mind is that it was the male characters that determined the offspring this game (whereas Awakening had the female characters determine it), meaning children may not be a part of this (beyond hair color).
When one looks at how the votes were cast, however, this may also make more sense. See my general notes (at the top) on how the male/female split polls potentially affected results.
Camilla placing at the top may be primarily to do with the Japanese fanbase and their votes –much like Tharja on the Awakening side. Camilla had been something of a like or hate character as apparent by a vocal minority in the west, but if that’s any indication of a greater silent majority, perhaps it would be where she was more popular (indeed, as a “holy mother” in Japan)!
Oddly, she actually placed lower than Takumi, Leo, and Xander on that poll –so perhaps it is not only Japanese fans to thank for that victory, but the larger base. However, there were many more votes over a larger audience for the mobile game, which may be a factor. Odin, for instance, placed much lower than he appeared above too, potentially meaning he has lower popularity among the western fans (who may have voted for Owain instead).
On that note, Nowi scored rather high on the Awakening chart likely for a similar reason (being less controversial in Japan for her child-bodied but mature interior, well, when she’s serious). Yet, Nyx placed mediocre at best this time, despite being dressed similar to Tharja and child-bodied like Nowi. Perhaps it was her gloomy attitude and serious demeanor as a cursed woman? Perhaps Nowi’s bubbly exterior (leaning more toward “pure child” in every way) rather than Nyx’s clearly mature demeanor… which can lead to disturbing conclusions if the child-bodied (marriage able) character needs to also act like a child to place high!
If you look at the chart, you can see Niles placed high for a non-main first generation male character –and is otherwise surrounded by main/royal characters. It isn’t until Laslow (as Jakob can be argued as a main character), 12 more places down, that we see another.
In terms of children, we see Selkie and Soleil placed high for their second generation status (both beating their fathers).
In general, the chart shows that male characters (especially second generation) were pushed farther down than their female counterparts, with even the bottom placement being a second generation male character (Ignatius). In fact, the bottom placements (65-84) are all male, minus two characters –Candace and Arete –one who is a capturable boss with no real support potential or development, and the other who is an enemy.
The rest of the bottom cast are those that lacked notable supports or development in the story. Garon, the main antagonist, is at 69th, and those below him (Sumeragi, Iago, Rainbow Sage, Zola, Yukimura, Fuga, etc) do not have much of a role beyond their respective appearances in the story. Hayato (at 70th) though is a first generation character and exception, meaning people must really not have been a fan of this character or design!
Regarding the “expies” (Selena, Laslow, and Odin) –their Awakening appearances did better in terms of votes. This is possibly due to the split vote, as many may have went with the version they are more familiar with, even if their appearances (primarily clothing) were different.
The spiritual children characters (Caeldori, Rhajat, Asugi) all performed notably worse than their Awakening counterparts, with voting gaps much larger than the above three “expies.”
Children are an optional mechanic and characters to get which requires supporting up to S rank, meaning many players simply may not have bothered to get them. They were not as integral to the story as Awakening, either, and for many fans, it felt forced. This is another reason why they may have generally scored lower.
It is interesting, to say the least, about how that distribution worked out. Speaking of distribution, the game had less votes overall than Awakening, but more characters. That means it has less votes to spread over fewer characters, which is why we see it have more characters on the top 100 than Awakening –but also characters farther down the ranks than Awakening’s lowest.
Likewise, as I point out in the notes, due to more characters, the way data is presented can make a difference. While one can claim that, ”Awakening had more characters place above 1000 as only their bottom seven members scored less than 1000,” this ignores the fact Fates, despite having its lowest 22 members place below 1000, actually had 84 characters overall, meaning 62 still placed above 1000, whereas Awakening’s bottom 7 (of 58) meant that it actually had 51 place above 1000. You can see what a difference reporting data can make when more factors are considered.
With this in mind, despite the fewer votes over a larger cast, Fates did great with the most characters in the top 100, as well as more distribution with characters placing above 1000 votes. Awakening had more top-heavy distribution (with the top 10 scoring 10,000 or more votes, compared to Fates’ top five).
Fates made nowhere near the impact on the fanbase compared to Awakening (which was responsible for a revival of the otherwise dying Fire Emblem series and influx of new fans). This reason alone may be why it still had less overall votes than Awakening, which many would have played and used as a basis to compare the game (be it favorably or unfavorably) to.
It would explain why the original incarnation of the “expies” and child-lookalikes all scored better in Awakening than Fates, too (even with the split vote considered).
Fates’ three games saw the royal family all place in the top 20, with child characters pushed farther down, due to their diminished role in the story compared to Awakening (and arguably a shoe-horned mechanic to some).
The larger cast of Fates was spread across the board, with the most characters on the top 100, and none below 516. It also had the most characters placing above 1000 votes, but did not have as many 10,000+ vote scorers as Awakening.
When talking purely about votes to characters and top placements, it seems that Awakening remains the landmark game (even if it did not place for number one character, beaten by Lyn in Blazing Blade with reasons mentioned on the FE7 analysis), it still placed with most votes and overall top scoring characters (with even top-lowest scoring character). Fates rode off the FE13 popularity with the second most votes to it and similar characters, but ultimately fell short of many of its achievements (purely speaking on the poll numbers).
And that wraps up the final game! It’s been a fun week of analyzing data, and while there may be more smaller graphs and isolated things to look at (and perhaps one final review post), I’ll be going back to translating!
As usual, feel free to leave any comments you may have or observations of your own below! Thanks for everyone who did so up to now!