Fog of war
|“||This is no good. If the fog thickens, we'll be blind in battle. It will be difficult to fight what we cannot see.||”|
Fog of war (Japanese: 索敵マップ enemy search map) is a weather condition first implemented in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 and the most frequently recurring weather, present in all subsequent games until New Mystery of the Emblem. Designed to add a level of tactical uncertainty and caution to gameplay, a map where fog of war is in effect limits the player's view of the map and its contents to a smaller field. Fog of war is normally portrayed as fighting in the midst of literal fog, rainfall, darkness, or on one occasion as fighting in a sandstorm.
In fog of war conditions, only a small area of vision surrounding each individual player or neutral unit can be seen properly. Enemies which do not fall into this field of vision cannot be seen at all, and as such cannot be attacked. As enemies cannot be seen, when moving allied units it is possible to accidentally run into them; if this happens, the moving unit automatically waits at the spot just before the enemy they collided with, and cannot attack. The enemy AI does not play by the same rules, however, as enemies will not be affected by fog of war and thus will attack even player units which would not fall into their field of vision.
In most appearances of fog of war, the fog will merely dim and/or darken the rest of the map; the layout can still be easily seen and terrain data is still actively available. This is not the case in Thracia 776, where the shrouded parts of the map are instead blacked out entirely, adding a trial-and-error element to navigating the area.
Generally speaking, the battlefield area visible to the player at any given time depends on the vision of their units in play. The majority of units in every game have only mediocre vision, but from The Binding Blade onward, a handful of classes - Thieves, Assassins, Rogues and Whispers - possess an innate greater field of vision in fog of war. A thief unit will typically possess double the vision range of a normal unit; the exact degree of increased vision varies depending on the game and depending on the base vision field.
|Units' vision in fog of war by game|
Beyond the use of a Thief unit, there are two items with the ability to temporarily increase visibility on a fog of war map: the Torch item and the Torch staff. When used, they provide an increase to the unit's field of vision, slowly decreasing back to normal at a rate of one tile per turn. In some games, the Torch staff instead casts a vision increase at a fixed spot within a certain casting range, independent of the casting unit. Most games will readily point this out and emphasise the value of bringing a thief unit to a fog of war map. Another means of increasing vision is available in Radiant Dawn with the character Janaff, whose personal skill Insight increases his vision.
In Radiant Dawn, unlike in other games in the series, every class is affected differently by fog of war and has a different vision range. For laguz classes, their vision range usually depends on whether or not they are shifted or unshifted. Notably, all bird tribe laguz have very poor vision in fog of war conditions as a trait of their species, to the point that their vision is reduced to 0 when they shifted, which makes them (with the exception of Janaff, due to Insight) the only classes in any game to be completely unable to reveal enemies and spaces hidden by fog of war.
Additionally in Radiant Dawn, fog of war also prevents the player from viewing a space's terrain effects.
Beorc classes Laguz and other classes
On rare occasions, environmental obstacles can allow for increased vision. In Radiant Dawn, obstacles called watch fires are placed at intervals around some fog of war maps. When lit by a unit, a watch fire casts a wider field of vision at a fixed space until extinguished by a unit; both allied and enemy units are capable of lighting or extinguishing them.
Fog of war maps by game
- Chapter 2x: The Pirate Isles
- Chapter 4x: The Hero of the Winds
- Chapter 8x: Dagdar's Mansion
- Chapter 11x: Murder Hollace
- Chapter 12: The Thieves of Dakia
- Chapter 12x: Dandelion
- Chapter 14x: Freedom
- Chapter 24x: The Altar of Loptyr
The Binding Blade
- Chapter 9: The Misty Isles
- Chapter 14: Arcadia
- Chapter 17A: The Bishop's Teachings
- Chapter 19B: Bitter Cold
- Chapter 20A: The Silver Wolf
- Chapter 21x: The Elder Revelation
- Trial Map 2: Rainy Island
- Chapter 9: A Grim Reunion (partial)
- Chapter 13x: The Peddler Merlinus
- Chapter 18E/19H: The Dread Isle
- Chapter 19x pt. 2H: A Glimpse in Time
- Chapter 20E/21H: New Resolve
- Chapter 22E/23H: Living Legend (Hector hard mode only)
- Chapter 23E/24H: Four-Fanged Offense (Lloyd variant)
- Chapter 26E/28H: Battle before Dawn
The Sacred Stones
- Chapter 6: Victims of War
- Chapter 11A: Creeping Darkness
- Chapter 11B: Phantom Ship
- Chapter 19: Last Hope
Path of Radiance
In Path of Radiance, fog of war will only be present on these chapters when played in Hard Mode or Maniac ModeJP. Easy Mode and Normal Mode do not have fog of war in any chapter.
- Part 1 Chapter 9: One Survives
- Part 2 Chapter 2: Tides of Intrigue
- Part 3 Prologue: The Great Advance
- Part 3 Chapter 1: Laguz and Beorc
- Part 3 Chapter 6: A Reason to Fight
- Part 4 Chapter 1: Road to the Empire
No chapter of the main story mode has fog of war. Fog of war only exists in the multiplayer battle mode, where it can be enabled or disabled for use in a round of multiplayer gameplay.
New Mystery of the Emblem
Additionally, fog of war can be enabled or disabled for use in rounds of multiplayer gameplay.
In Fire Emblem Fates, fog of war isn't really present, though chapter 7 of Revelation uses a mechanic that functions similarly to fog of war, rooms are obscured until a unit walks into them. Chapter 10 of Revelation obscures unit vision by covering the entire map in snow, units in the snow cannot move and the player cannot move into it unless they destroy the snow first. The snow also partially obscures the terrain.
- There is an unused item in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, the Telescope; its function, increasing a unit's "enemy search" ("さくてき", which is the same term used for fog of war maps in Japanese), may imply that fog of war was slated to feature in the first game in the series. Instead, it took until the Fire Emblem series' fifth entry to implement fog of war.
Fog of war in The Binding Blade.
Fog of war in Path of Radiance.
Fog of war in Radiant Dawn.
Fog of war in Shadow Dragon's multiplayer.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|English||Fog of war||Often abbreviated to "FoW" in the fandom. Refers to fog of war, the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations.|
|Japanese||索敵マップ||Enemy search map|
|Spanish||Campo de visión||Field of view|
|French||Carte brouille||Blurred map|
|Italian||Visibilità limitata||Limited visibility|
- "Mark, put me in the lead, please. Surely you know that we...er...thieves, if you must, can see through fog. Follow me, everyone! " - Matthew, Fire Emblem
- "I understand you beast tribes can see well even at night. With the exception of Janaff, my kind cannot see at all at night. Even with my eyes wide open, all I can see is the darkness." - Ulki, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "When used, a message says さくてきが５あがった ("Enemy-search increased by 5.")" — The Cutting Room Floor, Fire Emblem (NES), (webpage), Retrieved: December 18th, 2016