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|“||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.||”|
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.
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 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. 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.
Game Boy Advance games
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:
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:
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
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was the first game to give all bosses an affinity, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and Fire Emblem, the two previous games with affinities, did not give all bosses the attribute.
- Fire Emblem's support viewer calls affinities by the abbreviation "ATL" (presumably intended to be short for "attribute"), this seems to have been a mix-up of R and L, which occurs occasionally in Japanese materials (for example, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem abbreviates critical rate as "CLT" in battle). This hiccup remains in the English localization. This minor error was fixed in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones's support viewer, which uses the abbreviation "AFFIN" in Japanese and English releases instead.
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.|
- "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.
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
- "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