Navigating the Many ‘Fire Emblem Engage’ Romance Options
Redheaded knight husband supremacy.
Oh, Fire Emblem. People spend so much time making fun of you that I refused to lay a finger on you for years. Part of this is because of the “woobification” of the series, which came about as an attempt to attract new players and, essentially, save the franchise.
And in the end, save the franchise it did! Awakening attracted all sorts of new players, largely because of the new romance mechanics. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that a lot of people like Fire Emblem for these quasi-relationship-sim mechanics. And why not? It’s fun and harmless, for the most part.
One of the most asked questions regarding the newest title, Engage, has to do with whether or not the S-Support mechanics from the last few entries would make a return. The answer is yes … sort of. The romances in Engage aren’t as in-depth and blunt as, say, the romances in Three Houses. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that they hinge on a certain plot point that involves every cast member. You can, however, effectively “romance” anyone of any gender above the age of 18. It’s like Dragon Age 2, where the cast is playersexual.
However, not all supports are particularly romantic. Only a handful are, and even then, some of them are on thin ice. These are the ones that have made the grade thus far—i.e., being even slightly romantic in nature while not involving anyone younger than 18.
- Alfred: the prince of Firene, who likes flowers and men with muscles. His confession is one of the sweeter ones.
- Boucheron: a beeg, beeg boy who cries a lot through his beeg, bushy eyebrows.
- Chloé: a pegasus knight who loves fairytales (and is by far the best combat unit in the game, don’t @ me).
- Louis: an armored knight with a penchant for people-watching. His voice actor is J. Michael Tatum, who’s married IRL to the male protagonist’s voice actor, Brandon McInnis, which makes their S-support scene especially sweet.
- Yunaka: a thief with a shadowy past who’s actually fairly complex for a game with pretty simple character designs. She’s probably my favorite fem character.
- Diamant: the prince of Brodia, who is my personal pick for this game, despite not being what I usually go for as far as video game men go (he’s serious and orderly and barely romantic at all, whereas I usually go for men who are a little slutty).
- Jade: a Brodian knight who loves to write and meditate. Hard to read and serious, yet very devoted.
- Amber: an alpaca super-fan whose overall design is wasted on his wildly annoying personality. Honestly this support reads more like Alear is super into him but Amber can’t tell.
- Lapis: a sword-wielding, bear-killing girl with pink hair. This is also one of the sweeter ones, which almost makes me regret benching her.
- Ivy: the princess of Elusia who’s kind of an ice queen, which would be more charming if it weren’t for the fact that she kind of worships you. Girl, I don’t need your devotion, I just want you to do the dishes if I cook.
- Kagetsu: a swordsman who just really wants to be everyone’s friend, okay?? This guy’s hobby is making friends. Which I guess is why he’s one of the only characters (if not the only character) who outright says, “I love you.”
- Zelkov: a fascinating thief-type character who gets bonus points for being in his late twenties. He’s deliberately quirky, although his character develops more as he drops the ruse.
- Goldmary: a swordsman who seems pretty sweet and normal at first, but good lord, this girl is thirsty. Even without meaning to be.
- Pandreo: speaking of slutty men, this man is it. He’s a priest, sure, but he lays it on thick, and it’s delightfully sweet. Big Fleabag Hot Priest energy.
- Bunet: a smooth, flirty cook. He’s a gimmick character who makes everything about his passion for food, but again, he’s smooth with it.
- Timerra: princess of Solm who loves her freedom, singing, and eating meat. She seems goofy, but she’s actually incredibly crafty and clever (and her outfit is fantastic).
- Panette: a dark, doll-like axe-wielder who looks creepier than she actually is. Another deceptively sweet support.
- Merrin: maybe the coolest fem character in this game? She rides wolves, throws daggers, and collects bugs. I love her.
- Seadall: this game’s dancer, and already a favorite amongst players who romance men. His design is great, his personality is lovely, and this support? *chef’s kiss*
- Saphir: a cool lady knight who is 35 yet somehow looks 20 years older than Vander, who is 45. What the hell IntSys, let women in their thirties look as hot as they are, you cowards.
- Mauvier: reformed bad boy in big, bad armor. Big silver fox energy. It would be cuter if our protagonist didn’t look so young herself.
And speaking of—look, I’ll end on this: One of these days, we’ll get a JRPG that doesn’t allow romances with characters who look supremely underage, and on that day I’ll jump with joy. As it is, I don’t even love that our protagonist is supposed to “look 18,” and that so many supports are with other 18-year-olds who look like babies, and that even more of them I haven’t listed are pretty romantic while being under 18. And I mean, I guess you could make the argument that teenagers will play this game and will want to “date” other teenagers, but it still yucks me out.
At the same time, I can applaud IntSys for making this game more queer-friendly. In Three Houses, there were maybe four WLW romance options, and only two MLM ones. Two! And you have to pay extra money for one of them! But in Engage, if you see queer subtext in your supports, you can make that subtext a reality. That’s pretty damn cool.
I just wish our localization team didn’t have to scramble to fix this kind of shit:
On a lighter note, who did you end up romancing? Let us know in the comments!
(featured image: Nintendo)
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