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Support (Japanese: 支援 support) is a game mechanic introduced in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem that deals with relationships between characters. In most games featuring supports, each character has a predetermined set of other characters that he or she can support. However, in Radiant Dawn only, any unit can form a support bond with any other unit at the player's discretion.
Games featuring supports
|Support type||Available in:||Notes|
|Bond support||Gaiden features a prototypical system wherein Alm receives a critical bonus from Celica when adjacent. Genealogy of the Holy War has a somewhat similar feature in the combination bonus.|
|Ranked support||Hidden and without conversations in the DS games. Additionally, New Mystery of the Emblem features three-tiered base conversations that could be considered similar to the ranked support system, but they are not tied to the support mechanic.|
|A means that the mechanic is available in that game, while a indicates the contrary.|
The earliest incarnation of the support system. In Mystery of the Emblem, Thracia 776, Radiant Dawn, and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia characters within three spaces from another character (usually one with whom they have a pre-existing relationship), gain bonuses in hit rate, avoid, critical rate, and, in Thracia 776, dodge. These supports are one-sided, although two units can both support one another.
In Thracia 776 only, if a unit is supported by another unit, they cannot counterattack when attacked by said unit. This can be seen, for example, if the mini-boss character Reinhardt attacks Olwen, whom he gives support bonuses to; Olwen will be unable to counter any attack by Reinhardt if he attacks her on the enemy phase.
Radiant Dawn and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia feature both bond supports and ranked supports. In Radiant Dawn, in addition to preset bond supports, any units who attained an A support in Path of Radiance will have a bond support with one another in Radiant Dawn, provided the data transfer function is used.
Path of Radiance also features bond supports, generally between characters with pre-existing relationships while characters with no existing relationship get support conversations instead (with exception to Ike and Soren). They are separated into two types: critical hit bonuses, which are mutual, and critical immunity bonuses, which are one-way only.
This support type features in all games from The Binding Blade onward.
When two characters form a support relationship, they receive stat bonuses either based on the combination of their affinities, or custom per-character modifiers, if the game in question lacks affinities. These bonuses take effect when the two characters are within three tiles of each other. There are three support levels, C, B, and A, and each level contributes higher bonuses to both character's stats. Support levels are known as support ranks in the English version of Heroes (though the icons stating what level units have together still says "level", unchanged from the Japanese version), and are colloquially referred to by this name as well.
In the GBA games and Path of Radiance, each character can support up to five times, so they may have anywhere from five C level supports to one A support and one B support. In Radiant Dawn, a character can only have up to an A support with any one character, but they may abandon this support in favor of another at any time. Once a support has been abandoned, though, those two characters can no longer support with each other.
In Shadow Dragon and New Mystery of the Emblem, there are no affinities or support conversations, and the support mechanic is hidden (much like non-Radiant Dawn bond supports). They support with preset characters, and can be one-sided, much like the original support mechanic from Mystery of the Emblem. Marth and Kris give bonuses to everyone.
In Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Three Houses, units are not limited in how many times they can support, and there are no affinities.
Fire Emblem Heroes introduced a ranked support system into the game in the game with the 1.7.0 update on September 5, 2017. Supports in Heroes are similar to Radiant Dawn's support system, the player can choose any pair they desire, and build the character's supports through battle. Supports in Heroes go up to S rank. Any pair of characters, regardless of their relations, can reach S rank.
S and A+ level supports
Awakening introduces an S support level, which can only be achieved by characters of opposite genders who are not siblings or parents and children, and only once per save file by each character. When two characters reach S support with each other, they will be married to each other, and, if the couple contains at least one of Chrom, Robin, Lissa, Sully, Miriel, Sumia, Maribelle, Panne, Cordelia, Nowi, Tharja, Olivia, or Cherche, the marriage will produce a child, or children, who may be recruited in paralogue chapters. Opposite-gendered children may also S-support with each other or Robin, but only marrying Robin will produce a "third-generation" child. Sibling and parent-and-child relationships can reach a maximum level of A-support, but supporting characters can have any number of A level supports.
Unlike in previous games, the stat boosts are fixed for each level of support: C support awards +10 to Hit and Avoid, B support adds +10 to Hit, Avoid and Dodge, A support adds +10 to Hit, Avoid, Critical rate and Dodge, and S support adds +15 to Hit, and +10 to Avoid, Critical, and Dodge. These can be boosted further if one of the characters has the Dual Support+ skill. Support levels will also increase the potency of Pair Up bonuses. These stat boosts will only take effect if the supporting characters are paired up or standing beside each other. In addition to fighting together, the support level of two characters can be upgraded during random events in the Barracks.
Fates support system is similar to Awakening's, with the revamped Pair Up system still being influenced by support level. In addition to the S support level (marriage) achievable toward any character of the opposite gender (except for siblings), an A+ support level (friendship) has been added and is achievable between any two characters of the same gender (with the exception of Corrin, who doesn't have any A+ support). The Partner Seal and Friendship Seal reclassing items let a character adopt the class of their A+ or S support, respectively. The Supportive skill exclusive to Corrin takes support level into account. The Records Hall in My Castle let the player read all unlocked support dialogues in the “Support Log” section. My Castle also provides three different ways to increase support level, either during random events between two characters, by equipping a character with an accessory when he or she requests it (after purchasing the Accessory Shop) or by selecting "Invite Ally" in the Private Quarters (triggering a minigame in Japanese versions only).
In Three Houses, there are other + level supports added, which sometimes have their own conversations. + supports do exist for all support pairings, but they may not have conversations. S supports are used only for Byleth, and who Byleth supports with is decided at the end of the game by selecting among eligible candidates with whom Byleth has achieved an A-level support. In New Game +, Byleth can reobtain any S support that had been obtained in the previous playthroughs that are being continued from, this being the only way to actually make use of S supports in battle. While only one can be obtained per playthrough, there are no restrictions on how many S supports Byleth can have unlocked at once via this method.
In the GBA games, characters gain support points by standing next to each other in battle. In Path of Radiance through New Mystery of the Emblem, characters gain support points by being deployed in the same chapter. In Awakening, characters receive support points by fighting together while paired up or standing beside each other, using a Seed of Trust while paired up, or triggering random events together on event tiles or in the Barracks.
Increasing support points and support level
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The amount of points needed to progress to the next level varies by game.
In the GBA games, the support thresholds are the same for all pairs. However, pairs start out with a base support point value (which may be 0), and each pair increases as a different rate. This is similar to how the love system from Genealogy of the Holy War worked, but points are only gained when the turn is ended while the two characters are positioned in adjacent tiles to one another, and there is no jealousy system or events that increase points.
In Path of Radiance, Shadow Dragon, and New Mystery of the Emblem, all support pairs gain support points at the same rate (increasing by a single point for each chapter the two units are deployed together), but there is no fixed support point threshold. In these games, the amount of points required varies for each pair.
Radiant Dawn makes it so that the support thresholds are fixed again. Each character has a different "support type" which affects how many support points are given for various actions.
Awakening has four different threshold values depending on the pair. Support points are gained by doing different actions involving the two units, such as fighting alongside one another using the Pair Up or Dual features, or healing with a staff. These values differ for different actions, but are the same for each pair. Only three support points can be gained per map. Starting in this game, support point gain is shown with a heart that pops up above the two units when it is gained.
Fates handles support thresholds similar to Awakening, but there are only two different varieties of support threshold.
Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is similar to the Awakening system, but point gain has been reworked. 20 points can be gained per battle. Additionally, a single support point is given at the start of each map that two units are both deployed in, and one additional support point is granted after the two units do a support conversation. There are three different varieties of support threshold in this game.
Three Houses returns to fixed support thresholds that apply to all pairings. C+, B+, and A+ supports are kept track of, regardless of whether or not there is a conversation, with some limitations. If a support line stops at B or B+, then no points can be gained after getting the respective support conversation (301 and 451 points, respectively). If characters don't have an A+ conversation and don't have a paired ending with one another, supports will stop after getting the A level conversation (601 points). If a support line goes up to A or A+, and there is a paired ending between two characters, points can increase up to 1001 points, which is the S level threshold, but an S support is not granted between them. Byleth's support points can go up to 1001 for characters with whom there is no S support for the given gender, and to 1000 for characters with whom an S support can be obtained. If Byleth chooses a character to get an S support with, the support points for that pair immediately jumps to 1001. The former results in a bug with New Game + when switching genders, where an S support can be considered unlocked if 1001 points were obtained with the character in the previous save file as the opposite gender, because the game determines whether an S support was obtained via checking if there was 1001 points.
|Support point requirements for level increase by game|
|Game||Level progression (total support points)|
|The Binding Blade||60||--||120||--||200||--||--|
|The Blazing Blade||80||--||160||--||240||--||--|
|The Sacred Stones||80||--||160||--||240||--||--|
|Path of Radiance||Varies||--||Varies||--||Varies||--||--|
|New Mystery of the Emblem||Varies||--||Varies||--||Varies||--||--|
|Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (1)||10||--||25||--||45||--||--|
|Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2)||15||--||35||--||60||--||--|
|Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3)||20||--||45||--||90||--||--|
One of the most well known and popular aspects of supports. In some games starting from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade onward, every time a support level is increased, the two characters carry on a conversation in which they learn more about each other. In every game featuring support conversations, aside from Radiant Dawn, most conversations are unique. In Radiant Dawn, because of the open nature of supports, conversations are much more generic and short-lived.
Generally speaking, each pair of characters has three or four conversations, progressing from C to A, or C to S depending on the game and pair. There are some characters that are exceptions to this, like Pent, who can only reach level B with other characters, as he always has an A level support with his wife, Louise. In Three Houses, the number of support conversations can range from two to five depending on the pair.
Linked Attacks are a support-based system featured only in Fire Emblem: Three Houses so far. In that game, Linked Attacks act as the method by which stat bonuses from supports are granted to a unit. They occur if a unit targets an enemy while there are other allied units present that could attack the same enemy from their current position and range. Note that current range is dependent on an ally's weapon. If, for example, an ally is two spaces away from the target with a 1-range weapon, a Linked Attack will not occur; if the ally equips a 2-range weapon in the same position, however, a Linked Attack will occur. This makes it advantageous to equip longer-ranged weapons before attacking, even if the ally will not use that weapon for the rest of their turn. Linked Attacks do not factor in additional range granted by combat arts or gambits. They also do not factor in a unit's full movement when checking if the unit can attack the target—only their current position. If a Linked Attack can occur, the combat forecast will display smaller portraits of each supporting ally, linked up to the main unit by lines.
The potency of a Linked Attack's stat bonuses is proportional to both the number of allied units that can attack the target, as well as the attacking unit's support level with each of them. All units will grant additional hit and avoid to the main attacker, though only certain pairs of units will grant them additional might as well.
|Linked Attack bonus from a single ally|
|Support level||Stat boost
(any allied pair)
(certain allied pairs)
|None||Hit +3, Avoid +3||Hit +3, Avoid +3|
|C||Hit +5, Avoid +5||Might +1, Hit +5, Avoid +5|
|B||Hit +7, Avoid +7||Might +2, Hit +7, Avoid +7|
|A||Hit +10, Avoid +10||Might +3, Hit +10, Avoid +10|
|S||Hit +15, Avoid +15||Might +5, Hit +15, Avoid +15|
The particular pairs of units that grant increased Linked Attack bonuses are as follows:
- Byleth and Edelgard
- Byleth and Dimitri
- Byleth and Claude
- Byleth and Flayn
- Byleth and Yuri
- Edelgard and Hubert
- Dimitri and Dedue
- Claude and Hilda
- Ferdinand and Lorenz
- Dorothea and Manuela
- Felix and Sylvain
- Felix and Ingrid
- Sylvain and Ingrid
- Mercedes and Annette
- Annette and Gilbert
- Raphael and Ignatz
- Leonie and Alois
- Seteth and Flayn
- Catherine and Shamir
- Mercedes and Jeritza
- Hilda and Balthus
Additionally, Bernadetta was coded to have increased Linked Attack bonuses with Marianne and Dorothea with Hilda, but neither of those pairs of units have support, so they cannot benefit from increased Linked Attack bonuses.
A Linked Attack will only factor in up to three supporting allies on the field along with an adjutant, for a total of four allies. This means that the maximum Linked Attack bonus values for every unit besides Byleth are +40 Hit and +40 Avoid, if three supporting allies are in range, an adjutant is set, and the user has reached an A-rank support with all of them. By going through several rounds of New Game +, acquiring S supports with different units, and reacquiring them all in a single playthrough, Byleth can reach +60 Hit and +60 Avoid under the same circumstances with all A-rank supports replaced by S-rank ones.
The ranked support mechanic is in Fire Emblem Warriors, with support conversations. All characters can increase support levels with one another, but only certain pairings will trigger a support conversation by reaching an A+ support level. Each time two characters increase support, the convoy is awarded materials. The convoy receives the silver-rarity material pertaining to each character when support level reaches C. Then, at support level B, each character's gold-rarity material is awarded. At A and A+, each character's Essence is awarded. Reaching A and A+ support levels is the only way to receive Essences, so there are a limited number of them in the game. An Essence and a gold-rarity material are needed in order for any character to receive a crest that awards them another character's unique ability.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
Attaque en chaîne
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- List of supports in Fire Emblem Awakening
- List of supports in Fire Emblem Fates
- List of supports in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
- List of supports in Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- List of supports in Fire Emblem Warriors
- Jacien_V, [FE3H] Support Points Information - The point ranges, New Game Plus trickery, and Misc info., reddit.com/r/fireemblem, Published: 26 August 2019, Retrieved: 25 August 2020