Fire Emblem series

A crowd of figures surround a feminine character holding a glowing staff over her head.
  • Developer: Intelligent Systems Nintendo SPD
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Year: 1990 – 2016
  • Genre: Strategy RPG
  • Platform/s: Various (Nintendo)

The Fire Emblem series has been deemed a favourite in terms of representation of relationships since the release of Fates. Allowing for some more queer options than earlier games in the series is a step towards addressing one of the primary complaints with the relationship management system, which was otherwise praised by most respondents who mentioned the series in the Queer Representation (2016) survey, due to the way experiences lead to improved relationships, with fighting alongside one another increasing trust. This is considered a more appropriate way of representing relationships than models that improve relationships based on repeated gift-giving.

Still, respondents to the Queer Representation (2016) survey noted significant issues with the traditionally heteronormative relationships within the Fire Emblem series, with Fates not offering enough options for queer relationships and Awakening not allowing for any. Fates: Conquest allows for one same-gender relationship between men, while Fates: Birthright allows for one same-gender relationship between women, and separating these options in this way was a complaint for some respondents, particularly because of the many other opposite-gender relationships that can be had by comparison.

Other complaints were made in regards to the representation of Soleil, who is represented as 'having good taste in men and women', but is not granted relationship options that are not heteronormative.

Despite these issues with queer representation, there are a number of queer themes within the series.

In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Ike has a lot of admirers of different genders but only has paired endings with Soren and Ranulf (both men). Similarly, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and Fire Emblem (Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword) have a number of unofficial pairings with heavily implied homoeroticism (as does Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, but no canon same-gender relationships.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has paired endings with women for both Joshua and Gerik, but if they get an A support, Gerik pledges to stay with Joshua and does so when he's crowned King of Jehanna. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn features a lesbian side-character who the player is able to recruit.

Fire Emblem Fates has a feature called 'skinshipping' that allows the player-character to pet / stroke other members of their army to raise their affinity, with gender being irrelevant in this. Fates also features Niles, who is bisexual, though this has been flagged as being problematic, due to his character playing into the trope of the untrustworthy bisexual, with only poor attempts at explaining this.

In Fire Emblem Echoes, Leon asks Kamui whether he wants Leon to hit on him; Leon then states that Kamui is not his type, and that he is actually in love with another male character, Valbar. Leon is canonically homosexual, and despite some stereotyping, this is largely treated with respect within the series.