The Soldier (ソルジャー Sorujā) is a combat physical class that, for the most part of the Fire Emblem series' history, is unplayable and un-promotable. Wielding Lances as their sole weapon of choice, Soldiers usually boast remarkably subpar stats (aside from their HP, which ranges from average to above average) when compared to other units at the same level. They are a fully playable class only in Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake, as well as the Tellius series and Three Houses.
History in the Series
Soldiers first appear in Gaiden as the first-tier class of the Knight/Baron path, Lukas being the first soldier to show up in the entire series. As part of the Armored line, Soldiers have similar movement as Knights, as well as the highest Defense and Strength out of the first-tier classes.
Soldiers first show up as enemy-only units in Mystery of the Emblem. Soldiers usually replace Cavaliers and Paladins in the indoor chapters of Book 1. In this title, Soldiers are not as statistically poor as they will be in later games, some of whom encountered in the later chapters and the arena being quite powerful. Curiously, Soldiers have a player palette and there is even a set of opponents for a playable Soldier to fight in the arena, unlike most other unplayable classes.
Soldiers first appear as weak enemy-only fodder in Thracia 776. Soldiers have been revamped in such a way that their stats are much lower as compared to any other class. They are also classified as a tier-0 unit, boast a movement range that mirrors that of Armored units, and award less experience than other units. Possibly due to these reasons, Soldiers are one of the only classes not to show up in the Arena.
In TearRing Saga: Utna Heroes Saga, the Soldier appears as an enemy-only class. The enemy-only Lancer appears to be a mounted Soldier, and Soldiers may be considered to be their dismounted form. There is also another foot class present that is called the Spear Knight, one that boasts many similarities to the Soldier class, in particular the unused incarnation from Genealogy of the Holy War. The Spear Knight promotes into a Sergeant, a class blessed with the ability to wield all melee weapon types. The Dismounted form of the playable Dark Knight class is known as Dark Soldier, wields Lances exclusively, and can use Devil Spears with no chance of backfires.
Enemy and NPC-exclusive Soldiers based off their Thracia 776 incarnation appear in all three GBA games, though with higher movement. In The Sacred Stones, the class of the playable character Amelia, Recruit, appears to be a personalized variant of the Soldier class. It has similar characteristics, traits, and nearly identical base stats to the classic Soldier class. The connection is also suggested by the Japanese name, Trainee Soldier.
In Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, Soldiers are a playable class for the first time since Gaiden and will promote into Halberdiers once the necessary requirements are met. In the latter title, a Soldier (兵士 Sorujā) can further promote into Sentinel after promoting into Halberdier.
In the DS remake of the first game, Shadow Dragon, Soldiers appear exclusively in the prologue chapters for Normal mode, where they act as weak enemy units that are slightly more dangerous then the enemy Fighter units.
In the DS remake of Mystery of the Emblem, New Mystery of the Emblem, Soldiers appear yet again, where they are notably less important as compared to their original SNES incarnation; they no longer appear in the arena, and the Soldier enemies in later chapters are replaced by other classes such as Warriors and Paladins.
Soldiers are one of few common classes that are unplayable in Awakening. While Ephraim appears as an enemy Soldier in two DLC maps, his playable incarnation takes the form of a Great Knight. Nephenee, on the other hand, oddly appears as an Einherjar General instead of a Soldier. Interestingly enough, concept artwork for female Soldiers have been released for this title, and they only appear in-game in cutscenes.
In Fates, the Soldier class is split into the Nohrian class, Lancer (ランサー Ransā), and their Hoshidan equivalent, the Spear Fighter (槍術士 Sōjutsushi). The Spear Fighter is heavily based on the Soldier class from the Tellius games and promotes into the Spear Master class, which similarly takes after the Halberdier class. The Lancer class cannot be accessed by any regular character, although the player army can recruit playable Lancers by capturing and thereafter persuading them. The Lancer class has no promotions and boasts stats that are superior to those of a standard first-tier class. However, they still retain the first-tier rank lock (B rank) and their stats are lower than that of a second-tier class. Despite having no promotions, Lancers tend to have a wide variety of skills from other classes depending on their level. These include Lunge, Strength +2, Defense +2, Elbow Room, Natural Cover, Underdog, Wary Fighter and Lancefaire.
Soldiers return in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia where they are once again part of the armored line and an optional promotion of villager. Unlike the original, Soldiers do not have Armored type movement. Like in the original, Soldiers are one of the only classes to never gain movement in their class line.
The class also features in the spin-off title Fire Emblem Warriors, however the class is technically an enemy-only class and are a moveset clone of Oboro, a Spear Fighter. Soldiers who fly under the Hoshidan flag are referred to as Spear Fighters.
In Three Houses, the Soldier returns as an optional promoted class of the Commoner and Noble class if the unit passes the Certification Exam at Lv. 5 with a Lance Skill Level of D or higher and a Beginner Seal.
In Vestaria Saga I, the Soldier is an enemy-only class. They wield Lances and Throwing Spears. Unlike other titles, Soldiers are significantly more dangerous due to having decent stats and being able to wield more than one weapon type.
Since Mystery of the Emblem, Soldiers have had distinctive uniforms and helmets as well as a small, circular shield on their left arm. Typically, Soldiers wear light armor with helmets that cover their eyes. Since The Binding Blade, the color of the uniform will reflect the nation or alignment of the soldier.
In Gaiden, and Mystery Soldier armor has as roman theme consisting of a chainmail vest with a kilt, a helmet with a slit for the eyes, and sandals. In Gaiden, enemy soldiers wore a variation with spiked shoulderpads and a helmet resembling a human skull. In Mystery, the soldiers uniform was shared with Archers and Ballisticians, the latter of whom would share their uniform with soldiers in the majority of their appearances.
Ballisticians and Archers often use similar, or even identical uniforms to the Soldier class. Generic units of various classes such as Sniper, Cavalier, and Knight will typically use a speaking portrait based on Soldiers. This is even true in games where Soldiers do not appear, one such example being Genealogy of the Holy War.
In Awakening and Fates, Soldiers now resemble 16th century pikemen and appear with less armor than in previous titles, as their uniform now consists of a back and breastplate with a pair of cuisses attached, shin guards, a scarf that covers their neck and face and Morion helmets.
|Base Class||Promotion Method||Promoted Class|
|FE2||Villager||Visit a Shrine after reaching Level 3+.||Soldier|
|FE2||Soldier||Visit a Shrine after reaching Level 8+.||Armor|
|Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Soldier.|
|Use a Master Seal on a Level 10+ Soldier or train a Soldier to Level 21.|
|FE15||Villager||Visit a Shrine after reaching Level 3.||Soldier|
|FE15||Soldier||Visit a Shrine after reaching Level 7.||Knight|
|FE16||Any class||Use a Beginner Seal on a Level 5+ unit and pass the Soldier Certification Exam.||Soldier|
- Lukas - A member of the Deliverance who started Alm's quest by recruiting in Ram Village.
- Forsyth - Clive's lieutenant and advisor in the Deliverance, whom he has sworn an ardent allegiance to.
- Possible promotions for: Gray, Tobin, Kliff and Atlas.
- Soldiers are unable to use Javelins or other throwing lances in Gaiden. This is likely because the only Javelin is available in Celica's route, one that has no default soldiers. Also, the Gradivus is only available near the end of the game, by which time all soldiers should have been promoted.