The announcement of Byleth into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a universal shrug for the ages. A cold January comedown to slap you into reality after Banjo Kazooie and hot Terry.
Fire Emblem’s popularity though can be directly correlated to Marth and Roy’s inclusion in 2001’s Super Smash Bros. Melee. Before then, the series was only released in Japan, with Smash director Masahiro Sakurai opening the doors for worldwide release which led to crossover hit Fire Emblem Awakening in 2012.
Once popped however, Sakurai’s fun clearly doesn’t stop. Six additional Fire Emblem characters have been thrown in Smash since, nearly all of which have attracted livid western contempt.
So what’s the solution? There’s isn’t one. Instead, we grit our teeth, stomach Sakurai’s whimsy, and rank Fire Emblem characters to death. Absolute death.
Lucina is all of Smash's guilt (Picture: Nintendo)
For a crash course in understanding the hostile reaction to Fire Emblem characters, Lucina is your holy scripture. A direct clone of Fire Emblem’s Marth.
While clone characters like Dr Mario or Dark Samus offer some visually appealing cosmetic changes, Lucina’s style is indistinguishable from Marth. Bland, forgettable and pointless, Lucina is a prime candidate for obliteration into dust.
Chrom is a corpse from other people's remains (Picture: Nintendo)
The Frankenstein’s monster of the Fire Emblem range; Chrom’s special moves are pulled from Roy, Marth and Ike, cobbling them together into a splattered mash.
Playing the character is an unsettling experience equivalent to cross dipping your breadsticks. Never settle for hybrids, you should always enjoy salsa and sour cream chive separately.
Robin brings books to the battlefield (Picture: Nintendo)
Robin represents an experimental turning point to move away from the stock swordsmen palette, only forgetting to make the character useful or entertaining in the process.
While potentially powerful for those who can master his ranged spells, nobody likes a tactician. Especially one equipped with a poxy lightning sword.
Marth is the original poster boy for Fire Emblem (Picture: Nintendo)
Marth is the original Fire Emblem representative in Smash, who pro Zain Naghmi recently used to win the Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles tournament at Genesis 7.
His OG position provides immediate ranking clout, although his basic moveset now feels like stepping into a Nissan Micra after cruising a Lambo. You’re in our hearts Marth, not our matches.
Roy, like Henry Cavill, shouldn't speak (Picture: Nintendo)
With his boyish face and Scrappy-Doo attack shrieks, Roy is a hamper of irritation. Behind the garish garb, however, is possibly the most dangerously accessible character on this list.
The combination of strong smash attacks and enormously satisfying special moves give Roy potential to be the best Fire Emblem character. If only he didn't speak.
Corrin utilises a dragon for heaven's sake (Picture: Nintendo)
The protagonist of Fire Emblem Fates is arguably one of the most overlooked characters in Smash, possessing an actual dragon arm which crunches all in its path.
Despite Corrin’s elaborate range of lunges and strikes, the fighter can be slightly unwieldy and requires time to perfect. We reward dedication to the cause though, so Corrin bags bronze.
Ike is king, but not quite (Picture: Nintendo)
Pushing dedication aside, there’s something to be said for earth-shattering slaps. Ike is a powerhouse monster, whose side A smash is one of the most satisfying strikes alongside Captain Falcon's punch.
Crucially though, Ike possesses the only visually acceptable fashion sense in the whole Fire Emblem roster. Facts are facts.
Byleth is the latest and greatest Fire Emblem fighter (Picture: Nintendo)
Should we let Byleth settle in before shoving him to lofty heights? Probably, but the Three Houses hero is easily the most versatile fighter in Fire Emblem’s canon.
The range of abilities (possessing a bow, axe, whip, and lance) aligns him closer to characters like Link over any past Fire Emblem hero, with the ability to deal huge damage from afar and up close.
If we're true to ourselves, Byleth represents a new hope for Fire Emblem acceptance. He/she might still possess the earnest scowls and token anime warrior appearance of yore, but years of incessant inclusion have squeezed innovation and variety into their Smash representation.
Compared to Joker and Lucario though? Utter arse.