Not to be confused with Substitute character
Replacement characters are a fan term used to describe a type of playable unit that appear in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem if the player suffers many losses - so much that they have less than the maximum number of units allowed for the current map in their entire army.
These characters have no face sprites, all have blue hair, and use the generic class icons. Their names are fixed (chosen from a bank of 31 names) and depend on the language version. For instance, the Japanese replacement characters are named after German numbers, days and months. In the North American version some of the characters come with humorous and derogatory names such as "Lucer", "Auffle", and "Wymp".
They have no stat additions (meaning that their base stats are equal to the class base stats) or growth rate additions (so their growth rates are equal to the playable class growth rates) so they are typically inferior to regular playable units. Additionally, their lack of a luck stat makes them prone to enemy criticals.
In Shadow Dragon, the replacement characters stats are based off the average level of the remaining units in your army. For example if the player has several promoted or prepromoted units, the replacement characters will come in promoted classes.
In New Mystery of the Emblem, the levels and class of the replacement characters are instead based off the chapter they come in.
- Replacement characters can be female, though their class icon will rarely reflect this.