The Hero (勇者 Yūsha lit. Brave) is a physical combat class that recurrently appears across the Fire Emblem Series, beginning from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. In a majority of its iterations, the Hero class is the promoted form of the Mercenary class, and in titles where branched promotions are available, it is the secondary promotion option for Fighters. Heroes commonly wield Swords and Axes as their primary weapons of choice.
History in the SeriesEdit
In its original inception in Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, the Hero class is established as the promoted form of the Mercenary class, wielding Swords as its sole weapon of choice.
In Gaiden and its remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, the Hero class is known as the Myrmidon (けんし Kenshi, lit Sword Fighter). The class is the promoted form of the Mercenary class yet again, and can be further promoted into the Dread Fighter class. There is another Hero class that is Alm's exclusive promotion.
In Mystery of the Emblem, the Hero class is again the promoted form of the Mercenary class and cannot be promoted any further.
In Genealogy of the Holy War, the Hero class is renamed to Forrest (フォーレスト Fōresuto). Owing to the fact that the Mercenary class is absent in this title, the Hero class is thus not its promoted form; it is instead one of the promoted forms of the newly-introduced Sword Fighter. This class acts as the promoted form of a few selected Sword Fighters, including Chulainn, Ulster, Creidne and Dalvin, while the rest promote into Swordmasters. Like its predecessors, the class also wields Swords as its sole weapon of choice. This title is credited as being the first in the series within which a female character can access the Hero class, with Creidne being the only character given this honour.
In Thracia 776, the Hero class is renamed to Mercenary (マーシナリー Māshinarī). The class is again one of the promoted forms of the Sword Fighter class; within the playable cast, Machyua is the only Sword Fighter who promotes into this class. The Mercenary class in this title also acts as the promoted form of the Axe Fighter class. This title is credited as the first in the series within which Heroes are able to arm Axes alongside Swords.
With the onset of The Binding Blade, the Hero class is cleanly separated from the Sword Fighter class and is instituted as the staple promoted form of the Mercenary class. This title is the first in the series where female Heroes first begin to be formally introduced to the series, taking the form of Echidna.
In Path of Radiance, the Hero class is exclusive to Greil, who assumes the class when he appears in the tutorial segment of the game. Originally defined by weakened stats for tutorial purposes, a stronger version of the class is used in the story sequence when he chases off Petrine. Ike's Lord class shares the same statistical caps as the Hero class in this game, minus the ability to arm Axes.
In Radiant Dawn, the Hero class is exclusive to Ike and, much like its older predecessors, wields Swords as its sole weapon of choice. Despite resembling its Path of Radiance incarnation, the Hero class only gains the ability to wield Axes when it is further promoted into the Vanguard class.
In TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga, the class is known as Bastard (バスタード basutādo). It serves as the promotion for Kramer, the sole playable Mercenary, granting him the Blade skill if he is not yet permanently recruited. Additionally, Sherpa's version of the Highlander (ハイランダー hairandā) can be considered a variant of the Hero, as lore-wise, it also represents a veteran mercenary and swordsman. In gameplay, the two classes share the same stat spread, the ability to use Blades, and sprites, with only slight differences in combat animations.
In Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem, the Hero class is reverted to being the promoted form of the Mercenary class and is again able to wield both Swords and Axes. These remakes of the Archanea Series also sees a number of characters who were originally Mercenaries and would eventually promote into Heroes being altered to start out as Myrmidons instead. These characters are Navarre, Radd and Samuel.
In Awakening, Heroes are again one of the promoted forms of not just the Mercenary class, but also the Fighter class. Prior to the introduction of this title, all female Heroes are either pre-promoted or promoted from the Sword Fighter class.
In Fates, the Hero class is known as Brave Hero (ブレイブヒーロー Bureibu hīrō) in the Japanese version. Treated as a Nohrian class, the Hero class is again one of the promoted forms of both the Mercenary and Fighter classes.
In Fire Emblem Warriors, the class returns as the promoted class of Navarre. The class only wields Swords and functions as a clone of the Blade Lord class. There is also an enemy-only version that serves as the Nohrian clone of the Swordmaster class.
Heroes are somewhere in-between the General and Swordmaster classes statistically. While they are speedier and have less Defense as compared to Generals, they are slower but more defensive than Swordmasters. As a result, well-trained Heroes are capable of effectively defending against attacks like Generals, but still have enough agility to dodge assaults like Swordmasters. This in turn posits Heroes as be one of the more "balanced" classes of the Fire Emblem series alongside the Soldier class. Many characters that are/can become Heroes across the series typically become very powerful units.
Heroes usually possess abnormally high Skill for axe users and unusually high Constitution for sword users. This combination means that Heroes are proficient with Hand Axes, which most axe users have trouble hitting consistently with.
In WiFi battles, Heroes are usually considered bad units. They have a low Speed cap, meaning they can be struck twice (four times if the opponent is using Brave weapons) without being able to retaliate in kind. Their average Defense means that they usually cannot survive being hit four times from forged brave weapons by the more offensively-oriented classes.
Many times over, the hero class's attire have been shown to be adorned with moderate to heavy plate armor encasing them from head to toe. Armor pieces most recurrent throughout include breastplates with tassets and barbed pauldrons, a metal head-guard, leg armor from poleyns to sabatons, and a large shield strapped to the left arm.
Outside of these common armor pieces, other additions and variations upon this build are seen in each game. Early TCG artwork, TearRing Saga: Utna Heroes Saga, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, the Tellius Duology, and Priam from Fire Emblem: Awakening depict the hero class with a flowing cape (tattered shawl in Priam's case) wrapped around the front of the breastplate while Fire Emblem Fates depicts a single cape-like scarf over the left bicep and underneath the shield.
Raven's and Linus's variants of the hero class in the GBA titles have them wearing unarmored tunics with knee-length trenchcoats rather than the breastplates with barbed pauldrons. (Raven, however, is depicted as wearing a breastplate in his artwork in Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher) while Linus continues to go shirtless.) Other times, a single loincloth is seen hanging from above the groin like with the myrmidon class in Echoes and the Forrest and Mercenary classes in the Jugdral duology for males, while females wear long skirts (female members of this class in Fates) or tunics (Echidna from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade); Alm also wears such a tunic in Echoes.
On the head-guard, sometimes they are depicted absent as in the Archanean DS titles, replaced with simple headbands such as with the Tellius games and TearRing Saga, upgrade into head-guards like in Awakening and Fates (the latter of whom incorporates bird-like designs akin to the eagle, a bird recognized for its bravery symbolism much like the class) or full-blown helmets in the older TCG and in Echoes; Echoes stylizes the helmet after a samurai's kabuto, presumably to liken it to the Dread Fighter, its ninja-themed promotion.
Lastly, on the subject of their second-most famous armament after their sword—their shield—its size and shape has varied considerably throughout titles; most of the time it is a large enough to nearly (if not completely) cover their entire arm and is rectangular in shape. The GBA titles and Awakening put a unique spin on this particular design: the GBA titles (much like Echoes later would do) had its Heroes sheath their swords or even their axes in their shields like Roman gladiators did, and though Awakening lacked this feature, their shields were radically different from others in that their oval-shaped shields were comprised of two individual components that were worn over both the shoulder and the forearm to allow greater flexibility.
Other times, the shield was much smaller and more varied in shape, either being worn on the forearm or in the hand as seen in the first three games in the series and the older TCG (and Echoes) or on the shoulder as seen in Fates; Echoes shields retain the GBA games ability to sheath swords inside of their them. The shield is completely absent from the Tellius duology and from TearRing Saga.
In Fates in particular (and in line with many other promoted classes), the standard uniform that Heroes wear are built more upon their preceding tier's original attire (or rather literally on top of it); additional embellishments include the breastplate over the diamond-patterned vest, metal guards added onto the forearms and shins, and a cape-like scarf worn over the left arm and underneath the shield, and the replacements are a larger circular shield over the original heater shield and a headguard fashioned after a bird's wings over the original forehead guard.
|FE4||Pursuit||Class skill of Swordfighters, Bow Fighters, Thief Fighters and Master Knights.|
|FE9||Aether||Occult skill of the Hero and Lord classes; assign with an Occult Scroll.|
|FE10||Shove||Base skill of all foot units.|
|Learnt at Level 5.|
Learnt at Level 15.
|Learnt at Level 5 and above.|
Learnt at Level 15 and above.
|Base Class||Promotion Method||Promoted Class(es)|
|FE1||Mercenary||Use a Hero Proof on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE2||Mercenary||Visit the Shrine after reaching Level 7.||Myrmidon|
|FE2||Myrmidon||Visit the Shrine after reaching Level 10.||Dread Fighter|
|FE3||Mercenary||Use a Hero Proof on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE4||Sword Fighter||Choose the "Class Change" option in the Home Castle when the relevant unit reaches Level 20.||Forrest (Chulainn, Ulster, Creidne, Dalvin)|
|FE5||Sword Fighter||Use a Knight Proof on a Level 10+ Sword Fighter.||Mercenary (Machyua)|
|FE5||Axe Fighter||Use a Knight Proof on a Level 10+ Axe Fighter.||Mercenary|
|FE6||Mercenary||Use a Hero Crest on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE7||Mercenary||Use a Hero Crest on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE8||Mercenary||Use a Hero Crest on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE8||Fighter||Use a Hero Crest on a Level 10+ Fighter.||Hero|
|FE8||Journeyman (2)||Use a Hero Crest on a Level 10+ Journeyman.||Hero|
|At the end of Chapter 3-E.|
|FE11||Mercenary||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE12||Mercenary||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE13||Mercenary||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE13||Fighter||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Fighter.||Hero|
|FE14||Mercenary||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Mercenary.||Hero|
|FE14||Fighter||Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Fighter.||Hero|
|FEW||Mercenary||Use a Master Seal on Navarre.||Hero|
- Samson - An Altean gladiator and eventually Sheema's bodyguard in Mystery of the Emblem.
- Astram - Midia's lover and loyal soldier of Archanea.
- Promotion for: Ogma, Caesar, Radd and Navarre (only in Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light).
- Deen - A mercenary forced to work for the pirate king Grieth.
- Blake - A servant of the pirate king Grieth.
- Possible promotions for: Gray, Tobin, Kliff, Saber, Kamui, Jesse and Atlas.
- Promotion for Samuel in Mystery of the Emblem only; otherwise same as above, with Navarre only promoting to a Hero in Mystery of the Emblem.
- Jacoban - A mercenary hired by King Chagall of Agustria.
- Bovis - The second member of the twelve Deadlords.
- Promotion for: Chulainn, Ulster, Creidne and Dalvin.
- Galzus - The prince of the fallen kingdom of Rivough and Mareeta's father.
- Ralf - A traveling mercenary.
- Promotion for: Orsin, Halvan and Machyua.
- Echidna - A resistance leader from the Western Isles. Also a female Hero.
- Henning - Leader of a bandit gang who was at the shrine of the Durandal.
- Randy - Leader of a group of mercenaries hired by Bern to attack the village of Arcadia.
- Promotion for: Dieck and Ogier.
- Linus - Brendan Reed's youngest son, the 'Mad Dog' of the Black Fang and one of the Four Fangs.
- Harken - A knight in service of House Pherae. Sole survivor of Lord Elbert's crew and Isadora's lover.
- Kaim - Guardian of the "Thunder Axe", Armads.
- Promotion for Raven.
- Ike - The son of Greil and Hero of The Mad King's War. A swordsman who is fondly referred to as the Savior of Crimea.
- Flavia - The East Khan, and later Khan Regnant, of Ferox.
- Priam - A person who claims to be a descendant of Ike, wielding the legendary blade Ragnell.
- Xalbador - A bandit leader who lost his faith in the gods.
- Possible promotion for: Vaike, Gregor, Inigo and Severa.
- Possible promotion for: Selena, Laslow, Arthur, Charlotte, Soleil, Zhara (captured), and Gazak (captured),.
- Heroes almost always wield swords and shields, sometimes including axes in their armament. The GBA titles and Echoes, however, are unique in that they keep their weapons inside their shields (at least the generic units in Echoes), similar to Roman warriors. They are at their most acrobatic in the GBA and 3DS titles, with somersaults being a mainstay of their animations.