If you have any interest in Fire Emblem Heroes, or even fanart of the just the games, you may have heard of the recently started The Fire Emblem Compendium project, founded by Yayster. The project itself strives to have a dedicated piece created specifically for this project, for over 700 characters in the Fire Emblem franchise. That’s a pretty monumental goal, right?
Well, so far, hundreds of artists have pooled their efforts together and assembled 627 pieces (at the time of this post). What’s crazier, is that hundreds of applications came in to get involved, within a handful of hours after announcing the project!
With roughly 100 characters left to complete, one can look forward to checking out the site and its many talented artists. As things are now, you can check out their site and get a peek at what’s already been completed.
I got a chance to meet the team and talk to Yayster (the head behind the project), and their entire team was excited to join in. Give it a read, and get an insider’s peek at what it takes to put together such a tremendous project!
What inspired the FE Compendium project?
The FE Compendium was inspired by two things – a project the Japanese community are running named FE Memories, where pins are designed based on Fire Emblem characters, and a thought I had about how difficult it would be to draw all the characters from various fandoms. Fire Emblem stood out to me as a real challenge, due to its incredibly varied and detailed roster, and the idea sprung from there!
I wanted to keep the spirit of the project about community and collaboration, hence allowing artists of all skill levels to enter. I find it fitting that in a project about drawing all the characters, we have as many artists as possible taking part!
Don’t forget the great games by Intelligent Systems! Thanks to the amazing games we are all here, together making an awesome project that I am sure everyone will love to see!
Just how many people really signed up for this? Do we really have one unique fan artist for all 700+ characters?
The amount of applications has been astonishing. In our first evening, we had over 800 applications in three hours, and we had to close applications because we needed to catch up! Even after spending two hours working on them, we were still on the first two or three minutes’ worth of submissions, which was incredible. There are the odd few artists who have drawn more than one character, but for the most part, each is unique!
We’ve had a few artists who drew two characters, but not many. You’re unlikely to see exactly the same art style twice unless you’re looking at every single character.
Have things been progressing smoothly? Have any difficulties come up that might’ve been tricky to overcome?
I have to admit that in the first couple of days I wondered what I’d got myself into; we never expected the project to be so huge. The stress was quite high to begin with, and we’d often work into the early hours making sure that every message was dealt with. But now that it’s eased up, I think we all look back on what we’ve achieved and are very proud of how we coped with it!
Speaking as a user-turned-mod primarily in charge of the Discord, things were never quite rocky but never quite easy, either. We’ve run into a couple of stressful dilemmas, not to mention the shock and stress of continually receiving so many people who want to be a part of this project, but for the most part it’s been manageable and even fun to moderate the Discord and hear commentary on the project on Twitter.
Like any big project, the Compendium has had its challenges. Fortunately for us, we’ve got a really solid mod team. We discuss things as a group and work to find good solutions to any problems we come across. I feel that overall things have been pretty smooth though!
It was a long and grueling three days, but I finally managed to convince the other mods that we should add Tokyo Mirage Sessions to The List. Real talk, though, for a project as large as this, everything’s been going surprisingly well (knock on wood). There’s been a few hiccups here and there, of course, but nothing we can’t handle! I wanna give a special shoutout to Sevi for being an incredible assistance in the hectic first couple days, before he was even a mod.
No great project goes without a few difficulties! It’s a great way to see how strong the team is you’re in. We did take breaks from certain problems to clear our minds, but nothing extreme has happened… yet. But I have faith we can deal with anything!
How long has this endeavor been about for, and when is it expected to be done?
We started around the middle of last month, and it seems likely to be done by the end of this month. It’s gone absurdly more quickly than any of us could have conceived at the inception of the project.
Agreed. I was originally expecting the project to last for months, and to even have a chance of filling up the roster, for artists to have to draw multiple characters. I think we underestimated the Fire Emblem fandom! At present, we think the Compendium will be complete by October, although it could be even earlier!
Do you plan on doing a project this massive again, or any other similar types of projects like this?
We may open up the Compendium again to fill up any additional characters from Warriors, or FE16 on the Nintendo Switch. There are currently no plans to run another project of this size at present – I think we all need a bit of a break! – but who knows, maybe down the line another project like this will arise for another fandom? 🙂 I do have some ideas…
Personally, I’m really excited to see what FE16 has in store for us. But, uh, lemme relax for a bit after this is all said and done, haha.
I’d LOVE to see other projects, namely in the Pokémon and Shin Megami Tensei fandoms, but I don’t think any of us could host another thing like this for a long time. Maybe if someone else would like to, so I could join… 😉
Since this is celebrating the entire Fire Emblem franchise, and Fire Emblem Heroes pretty much encompasses this idea in its growing popularity, what characters do you have a leaning preference for?
I think the best way to see my favourite characters is to check the site’s 404 pages (there are two, so you may need to refresh!) But it’s been great to see all the characters get so much love.
We like Ike! We also hold Hector, Lyn, Forsyth, Python, and Berkut in high esteem. As for certain others, like Reinhardt, we’re split—some of us love him for his ability to annihilate enemies with ease, while others hate him for exactly the same reason. As for my personal favorites, I adore Jill for her Path of Radiance character arc, and I also love Ranulf’s sense of humor, Tibarn’s strength and honor, Naesala’s cunning and smooth demeanor, and the Black Knight’s intimidation factor. I’m a huge Tellius fan. Oh, and how could I forget Mae!? She’s so sassy and peppy! Her voice clips are so good!
Seliph, of course! And all Jugdral characters. On the first day alone, I was in the chatroom, shilling for Oifey to be picked (as I was the only person in about 1100 entries to even mention him by name!) before he was finally chosen as a second pick, no doubt because of my constant chatter about it. Seeing all the love for Jugdral characters has made me a happy guy, haha.
Awakening is my favourite game, and Lucina is my favourite character. I am also really fond of Lyn, Hector and Eliwood from FE7.
As the guy whose combination of boredom and curiosity led to the creation of our List long before it was ever needed, I like a lot of Fire Emblem characters. Name me a game and I can rattle off a few of my favorites (even you, Thracia, I’ll play you eventually I swear). Kyle’s not the only one with Tellius bias, though; my favorite character in the whole series is Queen Elincia for her fantastic design and character arc. Hopefully she survives the transition to Heroes with her Amiti and pegasus in tact. And since I mentioned pushing for TMS earlier, shout out to Eleonora, my flair on the subreddit.
I have to admit that I also love Lucina. Especially my four-Lucina team in Heroes. But thanks to this project I have learned about so many characters, at the cost of some spoilers – but I don’t mind! Other favourite characters are Setsuna and Tiki. My only beaten Fire Emblem game is Awakening, but after this project is done I will get right back into more!
Sites like Reddit and Twitter have featured quite a bit of artist pride for this project. Did you expect this turnout to be as successful as it’s been?
We definitely didn’t expect it; it was a bit of a shock to view the subreddit and find so many entries being posted! We’re really happy that people are taking pride in their artwork. We’ve had a lot of people say that they’ve tried something new for the project, and have had submissions ranging from digital to traditional, pixel art and even 3D renders! We hope that you’ll really enjoy this variety when looking through the gallery.
No, we didn’t expect nearly this level of support for the project. We didn’t expect it to fail, but we thought it would take a lot longer to get this close to completion.
I did not expect this project to grow as big as it has! I thought it would likely take months to complete, should we complete it at all. It’s looking like we’re going to be completely finished in a few weeks time. That’s mind-blowing!
I was completely astonished by the huge levels of support we received. In our original list, we removed several NPCs who we didn’t think people would be interested in drawing, such as the merchants from Tellius or several bosses from Jugdral (“Surely these guys wouldn’t be completed for months!”). We’ve ended up needing to re-add all of them to The List out of sheer demand for artists to get someone. Heck, the Rajaion in this article is one of those cut characters! Oh, and I hope the subreddit mods aren’t too mad at us for our artists spamming them, haha.
I knew about this project thanks to the massive outburst on Twitter! I’m glad Yayster took me in; I nearly missed it thanks to school! I never expected it to be this massive, but I am sure every mod can agree to that.
Any special messages you’d like to add?
I’d like to give a special shout-out to a few people, namely the amazing moderators (in alphabetical order; OrangeKyle, Robotortoise, rotom479, Sevi, Smashley, and Vygan San) for doing such a fantastic job in helping to manage applications, questions and generally just keeping the project running smoothly.
I’d also like to shout out to traveler_san for his advice and help on running a “zine”-like project; he runs the Artists of Askr group and you should definitely check him out!
Not sure how, but Pantsless Marth has become a bit of a celebrity in our Discord. He may as well be our mascot…
Don’t forget Berkut, with three different emotes.
Just that it’s been great to be a part of this project, especially as an organiser! I’ve talked to so many wonderful people and artists, and I’ve made some great friends in my fellow moderators 🙂
I would like to thank Smash 4’s Robin reveal trailer for making me want to check out the series.
May the Fire Emblem Heroes summoning gods be ever in your favor!
Oh yea! Will there be a published version?
There are currently no plans to make a published version, as this was always intended to be a digital gallery for people to view. If there is enough demand we may consider it, but for now there is no firm plan!
And there you have it. If you want to keep involved with the group and be there when things like this come right up, or just want to join a very relaxed and active art community, join their hopping Discord Server for a treat, or paying a visit to our own Creative Sub-forum for written work, artwork and new on our annual art contest!
Links to the artists’ social media and names can be found on each respective page, accessed by clicking the character’s name below the portrait.