Recently, a new wave of disdain has hit Fire Emblem Heroes, thanks to the introduction of a Legendary variant of Lyn. Although it’s not quite as severe as the incident with Ayra last year, I still believe it’s worth looking into.
Firstly, I’ll just briefly outline the facts, especially for those unfamiliar with Heroes.
On 27th April, a few days ago, Nintendo/Intelligent Systems revealed the latest Legendary character as usual. Near the end of each month, there is a Legendary summoning event featuring one new Legendary Hero and 11 existing rare/powerful Heroes.
The very first two Legendary Heroes were original characters, but recent Legendary Heroes are basically “ultimate” versions of existing characters, although they aren’t necessarily the strongest units in the game. For some people, they are nothing more than additional variants.
This month’s new Legendary Hero is Lyn: Lady of the Wind, with a new Green Bow weapon type. As soon as Legendary Lyn was revealed, a large part of the community was in a uproar.
At the time of writing, the English reveal trailer has a 2:1 like/dislike ratio, while the Japanese trailer has a 1:1 ratio (although this may be partially due to online campaigning). Previous trailers have a typical 10:1 ratio (which makes sense as you can’t please everyone).
For reference, poor Ayra never received a trailer, so it’s impossible to directly compare the two situations. However, my gut feeling is that the situation was far more grave in the past.
On the surface, the problem with Legendary Lyn’s reveal is easy to identify: many believe that Lyn now has a disproportionate amount of variants.
Including the Legendary Lyn, there are now five versions of Lyn in the game. The other versions are standard Lyn (with Sol Katti), Bride Lyn (healer), Brave Lyn (cavalry archer) and Valentine’s Lyn (armoured mage).
Previously, the most amount of variants was 4 (in the case of Lyn, Chrom and Lucina) or 6 if you count both Robin genders as one character. Otherwise, the number floats between 2 and 3.
However, the problems run slightly deeper. Ever since the start of 2018, with the “Sacred Memories” summoning event, the game has gradually introduced variants of existing Heroes in regular summoning events, where they were previously restricted to special seasonal events, like Brides or Christmas.
A common sentiment is that, despite the Fire Emblem franchise having a massive cast of characters, Heroes is denying opportunities for lesser known characters in favour of a(nother) variant of an existing character.
For instance, Eirika: Anamnesis Lady depicts Eirika wielding dark magic while riding a horse. Which is a fun “what if” character. However she could be seen as stealing a place from a potential new character, such as Knoll (who actually wields Eirika’s dark magic). Especially since the summoning event only featured 3 characters.
This also extends to the recent “World of Thracia” summoning event, where 2 out of 4 Heroes were variants (Reinhardt and Olwen). While it’s nice that the developers are acknowledging Reinhardt and Olwen’s newfound popularity, it’s taken around a year for additional Thracia 776 characters to appear and who knows when they’ll add more.
On the other hand, at the end of the day, Heroes is a business and with the pool of popular unreleased characters getting smaller and smaller, it makes sense for the developers to sway consumers with flashy versions of popular characters that already exist.
That said, while some have gripes with the increased amount of variants, it does not seem to be a big problem by itself. Rather, this issue has become compounded when a character–Lyn–suddenly gets a 5th version, when other Heroes have yet to get an alternative version or even appear in the game.
For instance, fans have long bemoaned Marth–the “face” of Fire Emblem–lacking an variant (and Masked Marth doesn’t count). While I’m confident Marth will get a variant eventually (perhaps a Groom or Legendary), Nintendo/IS’s order of releasing Heroes has been pretty bizarre…
The sole consideration in Lyn’s favour is that we’ve predicted a Green Bow Legendary Hero ever since the game’s 2.4.0. update. Similar to how we predicted a Colorless Breath Legendary Hero was coming last month. So it was always unlikely for the likes of Marth to be this month’s Legendary Hero.
That said, if you think of a powerful/popular bow user who’s green, surely Takumi from Fates must come to mind? There’s also the fact we got a Fates-related summoning event featuring a Hinoka variant not long ago. I’m genuinely curious if Nintendo/IS were trying to troll or mislead us.
While a 4th version of Takumi might be disappointing to some, I don’t think it would’ve caused such a big fuss. Rather, I imagine it wouldn’t be dissimilar to Legendary Robin’s reveal. Plus, while Lyn can use bows in Blazing Blade, she’s not really famous for it and canonically doesn’t wield Mulagir.
By the way, I–and most other fans–do not have a problem because of Lyn, herself. Truly, it’s incredible that Lyn is getting a lot more attention these days, whereas previously she was relegated to an Assist Trophy in Smash Bros. As the first character seen by many Western fans–and a strong female lead–she’s wonderful.
Similarly, I’m not saying that Lyn doesn’t deserve to be a Legendary Hero. But perhaps her inclusion is far too soon, especially when there are a lot of other worthy Heroes still patiently waiting in the queue.
Finally–and perhaps most importantly–if you have any strong thoughts about Legendary Lyn–positive or negative–I strongly recommend sending feedback to the developers, similar to Ayra’s situation.
There are two main ways to contact the developers.
1. Via the game: Go to “Misc.”, “FAQ/Etc.”, “Customer Support” and finally “Feedback”. You can write up to 1000 words. For “Topic”, “Summoning” or “Characters” would be the best choices.
2. Via e-mail: Write an e-mail to fire-emblem-heroes-support[AT]nintendo[DOT]co[DOT]jp
Remember that Heroes is a service and as a (potential) customer, you have every right to tell them how you feel about the service provided. Plus, historically, the developers have done a fantastic job of listening to feedback, recently demoting a lot of undesirable 4 – 5* Heroes for example.
Rhajat was introduced in a separate banner, but there was clear forewarning.
Image credits to Gamepedia.
With regards to Ayra, there has never been another new Hero introduced in their own summoning event alongside already existing Heroes. Except for Rhajat (and one could make an argument for Legendary Heroes in general), but the developers made it 100% clear what was happening.
Therefore, we can assume that the feedback following Ayra’s backlash had a huge influence on the practices from then on. Which means there’s a very good chance that any feedback related to Legendary Lyn will be taken very seriously as well–and will hopefully be reflected in the game soon.
Thanks a lot for reading and hopefully (again), you won’t need to read another dramatic article from me! Maybe next time I’ll write a positive opinion piece instead, since I do think the developers are doing an otherwise great job with the game.