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Affinity

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The affinity as seen on Eirika's profile in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
The seven affinities... Their effects only appear through bonds with others. When your heart is linked with someone else's... That is when the elements reveal their true power.
— Dayan

Affinities (Japanese: 属性 attribute) are a game mechanic which were introduced in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. It is an attribute innate to every playable unit which gives them one of several elemental affiliations which influence the effects of supports on a unit. Every affinity awards a different set of bonuses which improve a unit's performance when they have a support relationship with another unit, and when two units support each other their bonuses are added together, giving different combinations of units different support bonuses. In Radiant Dawn, affinity awards other bonuses in addition to this.

Affinities are present in only five games in the Fire Emblem series, and were removed in all games from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon onward.

Overview

In every game that features affinities, all playable units are given one affinity. Depending on the game, enemy and NPC forces may or may not have affinities as well. The primary use of affinities is to determine what stats characters gain boosts in when they support with other units. This, however, renders affinities on non-playable characters and bosses useless, with some exceptions; in Fire Emblem, for instance, the bosses Paul and Jasmine have an A support with each other, thus allowing for the two to increase their stats if they stand near each other.

In terms of supports, boosts in stats given by the affinity of two characters stack, and their initial effects are doubled and then tripled for B and A level supports; effects that have a decimal in their total sum, however, are rounded down.

For example: In Fire Emblem, Nino and Canas achieve a C-rank support. Canas's anima affinity gives +0.5 attack, +0.5 defense, +2.5 avoid, and +2.5 dodge, while Nino's fire affinity gives +0.5 attack, +2.5 hit rate, +2.5 avoid, and +2.5 crit. These are added and rounded down to the nearest integer to give both of them +1 attack, +2 hit rate, +5 avoid, +2 crit, and +2 dodge when they are positioned within 3 spaces of each other.
When Nino and Canas reach their B-rank support, their C-rank bonuses (pre-rounding down) are doubled to give them +2 attack, +5 hit rate, +10 avoid, +5 crit, +5 dodge, and +1 defense.
When they reach their A-rank support, their C-rank bonuses (pre-rounding down) are tripled to give them +3 attack, +7 hit rate, +15 avoid, +7 crit, +7 dodge, and +1 defense.

In-universe role

In The Binding Blade, Dayan and Jodel discuss the role of affinities in the religious cultures of Elibe in their support conversations. Both the traditional mythology of Sacae and the teachings of Saint Elimine state that all people are connected with and protected by one elemental affinity which is bestowed upon them by a divine power (the sky and earth in Sacaen lore, and the creator gods in Eliminean lore); Dayan says that he is aware that his affinity is anima, suggesting that he learned this through the Sacaen culture.[1] According to both mythologies, affinities are powerless on their own, but forming bonds and "linking hearts" with others reveals their true power, although neither Dayan nor Jodel is sure what this true power is.[2]

Game Boy Advance games

In the three Game Boy Advance titles - Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Fire Emblem, and The Sacred Stones - there are seven affinities.

No enemies in The Binding Blade have affinities. In Fire Emblem, only six enemies have affinities, all of them bosses: Paul, Jasmine, Lloyd, Linus, Brendan, and the dragon. In The Sacred Stones, all bosses have affinities; additionally, all monster units have the dark affinity.

The seven affinities award bonuses as follows:

Affinity Atk Def Hit Avo Crt Ddg
Is gba fireaffin.png Fire +0.5 +0.0 +2.5 +2.5 +2.5 +0.0
Is gba thunderaffin.png Thunder +0.0 +0.5 +0.0 +2.5 +2.5 +2.5
Is gba windaffin.png Wind +0.0 +0.0 +2.5 +0.5 +2.5 +2.5
Is gba iceaffin.png Ice +0.0 +0.5 +2.5 +2.5 +0.0 +2.5
Is gba darkaffin.png Dark +0.0 +0.0 +2.5 +2.5 +2.5 +2.5
Is gba lightaffin.png Light +0.5 +0.5 +0.5 +0.0 +2.5 +0.0
Is gba animaaffin.png Anima +0.5 +0.5 +0.0 +2.5 +0.0 +2.5

Tactician's bonus in Fire Emblem

Uniquely in Fire Emblem, the game's customizable tactician character gives the player's units a "tactician's bonus" based on affinity. Units who share the same affinity which the player assigned to the tactician at the beginning of the game gain small statistical boosts to their hit rate and avoid, which grow stronger as the tactician's ranking increases throughout the game. Additionally, every unit also receives a boost to dodge regardless of affinity. For every star displayed in the tactician's Rank menu in battle preparations, units receive +1 to each calculation they qualify, for a maximum +10 boost per calculation.

The Japanese versions of the game also feature the ability to choose the tactician's blood type, which further altered their affinity. As blood types hold a considerably lesser significance in Western culture, this option was removed in localization.

Affinities are assigned to the tactician based on birth month as follows:

NTSC/PAL JPN

Month Affinity
January Is gba lightaffin.png Light
February Is gba iceaffin.png Ice
March Is gba windaffin.png Wind
April Is gba thunderaffin.png Thunder
May Is gba windaffin.png Wind
June Is gba animaaffin.png Anima
July Is gba fireaffin.png Fire
August Is gba darkaffin.png Dark
September Is gba fireaffin.png Fire
October Is gba animaaffin.png Anima
November Is gba iceaffin.png Ice
December Is gba thunderaffin.png Thunder

Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn feature eight affinities. Unlike in the Game Boy Advance games, affinities no longer award bonuses to crit or dodge. Additionally, in Radiant Dawn, affinity only influences the effects of buddy supports, while all bond supports provide the same crit bonus regardless of affinity

In Path of Radiance, all bosses except Tomenami have an affinity, while generic enemies and NPCs still do not. In Radiant Dawn, all units of all affiliations are assigned affinities.

Radiant Dawn also assigns an affinity to each chapter, which is displayed in the corner of the terrain window. If a unit of any affiliation has an affinity matching the map's affinity, they are awarded a bonus of +5 hit rate and +5 avoid to units with an affinity matching the map. Most bosses share their affinity with the chapter in which they are fought. Affinity bonuses are nullified entirely in Hard Mode.

The bonuses awarded by the affinities differ slightly between the two games. They are as follows:

Path of Radiance Radiant Dawn

Affinity Atk Def Hit Avo
Is gcn fireaffin.png Fire +0.5 +0.0 +2.5 +0.0
Is gcn thunderaffin.png Thunder +0.0 +0.5 +0.0 +2.5
Is gcn windaffin.png Wind +0.0 +0.0 +2.5 +2.5
Is gcn wateraffin.png Water +0.0 +0.5 +0.0 +0.5
Is gcn darkaffin.png Dark +0.5 +0.0 +0.0 +2.5
Is gcn lightaffin.png Light +0.0 +0.5 +2.5 +0.0
Is gcn heavenaffin.png Heaven +0.0 +0.0 +5.0 +0.0
Is gcn earthaffin.png Earth +0.0 +0.0 +0.0 +5.0

Trivia

Gallery

Etymology and other languages

Names, etymology and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology and notes
English Affinity An affinity is a feeling of kinship, attraction or aptitude for a person, place, or thing.
Japanese 属性 Attribute
Spanish Afinidad Affinity
French Affinité Affinity
German Affinität Affinity
Italian Affinità Affinity

References

  1. "Dayan: We Sacaens pray to the Sky and the Earth. The light of day and the darkness of night that engulf the land... They produce wind, lightning, fire, ice, and other affinities... Every person in this world is protected by one of these elements. According to my clan's beliefs, I am protected by the anima affinity.
    Jodel: Interesting that you believe so.
    Dayan: What do you mean?
    Jodel: The St. Elimine Church has similar beliefs. When the creators made man, all mankind was blessed with an affinity. However...those elements...
    Dayan: ...Those elements hold no power on their own.
    Jodel: Exactly.
    Dayan: Hm... Interesting indeed.
    Jodel: Yes. Perhaps... Perhaps this is one of the grand truths of the world.
    " - Dayan and Jodel, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
  2. "Dayan: The seven affinities... Their effects only appear through bonds with others. When your heart is linked with someone else's... That is when the elements reveal their true power.
    Jodel: Yes, precisely. Saint Elimine said to cherish our relationships.
    Dayan: Hmm... I wonder if our hearts have linked somehow.
    Jodel: I am sure of it. Though who knows what effect that may have...
    " - Dayan and Jodel, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Affinities
The Binding Blade,
Blazing Sword, and
The Sacred Stones
Is gba animaaffin.pngAnimaIs gba darkaffin.pngDarkIs gba fireaffin.pngFireIs gba iceaffin.pngIceIs gba lightaffin.pngLightIs gba thunderaffin.pngThunderIs gba windaffin.pngWind
Path of Radiance
and Radiant Dawn
Is wii darkaffin.pngDarkIs wii earthaffin.pngEarthIs wii fireaffin.pngFireIs wii heavenaffin.pngHeavenIs wii lightaffin.pngLightIs wii thunderaffin.pngThunderIs wii wateraffin.pngWaterIs wii windaffin.pngWind
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