Just some random thoughts (and intelligent guesses) about the game. Few of this has been confirmed (yet), so don’t go using this page as a source of facts!
A mysterious masked character (pictured to the left) can been in various promotional materials and appears to have an important presence in the game, featuring heavily in the opening cutscene, as well as having a prominent position on the box art. Curiously, their design strongly resembles Marth (pictured to the left), the main character of Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem, right down to the blue hair, tiara, colour of clothes and emblem-shaped pin for their cloak. The masked character also wields a blade that looks identical to Krom’s Binding Blade Falchion, while Marth wields the Divine Blade Falchion in his games—so not the same weapon, but still very similar. All these facts seem to point to the masked character’s true identity as being Marth.
It’s also possible that the masked man is not Marth, but a descendant of Marth. However, the fact that he’s masked could mean that Intelligent Systems has a good reason to hide his identity, which makes more sense if he’s a returning character such as Marth and not a brand new character. Besides, it’s not the first time a returning character has come back with a mask (see Sirius)…
Update: The masked character explicitly states that their name is Marth and their profile description makes it clear that they’re claiming themselves to be the Marth. Whether they do turn out to be Marth or just an impostor is something we’ll have to play the game to find out. However, I think I’ll assume he’s not lying for the time being.
If the masked man truly is Marth, then what exactly is he doing wandering around wearing a mask? He can’t be trying to hide his identity when he outright claims to be Marth, the hero of legends. Well, there are so many theories that I could probably have a whole section devoted to them, like “Marth” being a female impostor, a zombie, etc, so I think I’ll be a bit boring and hold my breath until the game comes out. I’m willing to bet he’s doing it for a really silly reason though.
Update 2: To further add to the confusion, Marth from an alternate world can be recruited in the first paid DLC scenario. Although Nintendo hasn’t explicitly stated to this effect, it seems likely that this “Another Marth” is the same Marth from Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem. Since the DLC scenarios are said to be separate from the main story, the existence of this Marth shouldn’t have a huge bearing on Masked Marth’s identity. However, it’s interesting to see the large similarities between Masked Marth and Another Marth’s designs.
|Krom and Marth appear in the centre of the game’s boxart||The promotional pre-paid card featuring Krom and Marth|
|Marth’s official artwork from New Mystery of the Emblem||Alternate world Marth’s official artwork from the paid DLC scenario|
Tiki, the Divine Dragon Princess
Masked Marth may well be an impostor, but Tiki must surely be a safer bet of being the genuine article. First appearing in Shadow Dragon and then the sequel, Mystery of the Emblem, Tiki is the princess of the lost divine dragon tribe and the daughter of the divine dragon king, Naga. Originally appearing as a small child, Tiki returns in Awakening in a more grown up form. Said to be a divine dragon from the era of legends, Tiki in Awakening is worshipped by the citizens of the western continent of Varm. Since the dragon tribe have incredible lifespans, and given the very similar profiles, it seems fair to suppose that Tiki in Awakening is the same Tiki from Marth’s time.
The question is, what has she been doing between Marth’s time and now and how on earth did she get roped up in a far-off continent?
|Tiki’s official artwork from Awakening||Tiki’s official artwork from Shadow Dragon|
Return to Archanea… and Barensia
For a long time, Intelligent Systems had kept tight-lipped about the game’s story, as well as the world where the game takes place. Nations such as Iris, Perezia and Feria have popped up, but the name of the continent eluded us for ages. There might be a good reason for that, especially when the continent looks suspiciously like Archanea, the continent where Marth’s games take place. There are some slight differences between the two continents, like extra islands, but the general shape of the continents is the same.
Due to the fact that the nations in Awakening don’t appear in Archanea during Marth’s time, then if the new continent really is Archanea, it must be from a different time period, presumably a long time after Marth’s exploits considering Archanea’s history, thus strengthening the masked man = Marth’s descendant theory. That or it’s Archanea in an alternate dimension—if this idea sounds a bit odd, this isn’t the first time Fire Emblem has mentioned other dimensions (see further down).
Update: The 8th March issue of Famitsu reveals the world map for the game, with the biggest surprise being that there will be two continents instead of the usual one. Suspiciously, the continent to the west resembles Barensia, the continent where Gaiden took place, to an incredible degree. Considering that Gaiden explicitly states that Archanea is situated to the far east of Barensia, I think it’s almost certain that the two continents in Awakening are meant to be Barensia and Archanea. On a different note, the two continents also resemble the real life continents…
Update 2: According to the 5th April issue of Famitsu, the eastern continent is known as Iris and the western continent is known as Varm. It is also becoming clear that Awakening takes place a long, long time after the events of Shadow Dragon, Gaiden and Mystery of the Emblem, as both Marth and Tiki, the two returning characters, are stated to be figures from the era of legends, which implies a timespan of at least several centuries.
|World map of Awakening||Map of Archanea from New Mystery of the Emblem|
|Map of Barensia from Gaiden|
Marks of the Two Dragons
Another similarity for now, but one that has a higher likelihood of just being a trope and that’s the story behind the game, explained in the logo text (above). Fire Emblem‘s always had dragons, except maybe Gaiden, but if you’re looking for an opposing pair of dragons, you need look no further than Naga, the divine dragon king and mankind’s guardian deity, and Medeus or Loputousu, both evil Earth Dragons with a vendetta against mankind. During Marth’s time, Naga was stated to be dead, but according to the Naga = Nagi theory, Naga is simply sleeping in an alternate dimension. Similarly, Medeus and Loputousu both claim they will return when evil returns to mankind’s hearts. Basically, all the aforementioned dragons have the opportunity to make a return.
Update: Unbelievably(?), Naga has been confirmed as the good dragon, so it seems my guess was on the mark. The evil dragon is named Gimle and was defeated by Naga and humans long before the events of Awakening. According to legends, Gimle was defeated by the founder of the Kingdom of Iris, who wielded the Falchion, given to him by Naga. Hmm, that sounds awfully familiar…
As for the “two heroes marked with the symbols of the dragons”, Krom clearly has a symbol on his arm and he’s one of the main characters, so he’s very likely one of the two prophecised heroes. The other main character is My Unit, so he/she may be the other prophecised hero. However, Emelina throws a slight spanner in the works because she has a very similar symbol to Krom on her forehead, not to mention she has an important presence in the opening movie, arguably larger than My Unit, who only appears briefly in the Binding Blade. That said, it’s possible there are more than two characters with dragon symbols, but some are more important than others?
Update: My Unit has a mark on the back of their right hand, which is a different shape to Krom and Emelina’s. So I think it’s fair to conclude that Krom and My Unit are the two destined heroes. As for My Unit’s identity, he/she may be connected to Perezia, given their similar appearance to Fauder, a key figure in Perezia, and the fact that Perezia worships Gimle.
Update 2: Upon closer inspection of Fauder’s official art, a mysterious symbol can be seen on the cover of his magic tome, which suspiciously resembles the mark on My Unit’s hand. Given that Fauder is the leader of the Gimle Cult, his tome likely has a deep connection to Gimle, which further lends credibility to My Unit being the carrier of Gimle’s mark.
Assuming Awakening occurs long after Marth’s story, I believe there’s a good chance that Krom could be Marth’s descendant. Not just because Krom has blue hair and wields a Falchion like Marth. According to the official site, Krom is the descendant of the “Hero King” (although confusingly, he’s a descendant of the “Holy King” in other media), of which only one character has possessed this title—the man himself, Marth.
Update: Furthermore, Krom’s kingdom, Iris, is referred to as the “Holy Kingdom”, a title shared by the Kingdom of Archanea. Iris is also situated exactly where the Kingdom of Archanea would be in Marth’s time. Combining these two points, it’s possible that the Kingdom of Iris is a future or alternate version of the Kingdom of Archanea. After the events of Mystery of the Emblem, Marth rules over the United Kingdom of Archanea and if Archanea truly became Iris, then logically that would make Krom Marth’s descendant.
|Krom’s official art||Krom in a battle pose|
|The Kingdom of Iris on the world map||The Kingdom of Archanea from New Mystery of the Emblem|
It seems the game makes a big deal about the existence of a second Falchion, which Marth is seen wielding. Krom’s Falchion is the national treasure of Iris, being the chosen weapon of the first Holy King in the fabled battle with the Evil Dragon, and it’s suggested that it was a gift from the Divine Dragon. So assuming Marth’s second Falchion is legit, where on earth did he get it from?
To be honest, this isn’t the first time in the series that another Falchion has appeared. A second Falchion can be seen as early as in Gaiden, which takes place in a land (Barensia) within reach of another land (Archanea) where a Falchion could be found. Later, in Shadow Dragon, if Marth fails to obtain the Falchion and Tiki’s help, he can acquire a second, slightly weaker Falchion from Nagi in another realm. Since Awakening appears to take place in a future version of Archanea and Barensia, perhaps Marth’s Falchion comes from Varm (the future version of Barensia)? Or maybe Marth himself comes from another realm, like Nagi, or even the future…?
|Krom’s official art||Marth’s official art|
Another Binding Shield
As if having a Marth, Falchion and Archanea lookalike in the same game wasn’t enough, there’s even a lookalike of the Binding Shield (also known as the Shield of Seals), a key item in Archanean lore, created by the divine dragon king to seal away the evil Earth Dragons. Awakening‘s
“Binding Shield” (pictured to the left) makes an appearance in the game’s opening movie and while the design is slightly different to Archanea’s (pictured to the right), missing the flame crest in the middle, it has the same 5 iconic gemstones, with the correct colours and in the exact same positions. As such, I believe the shield in Awakening in clearly meant to be a Binding Shield, but perhaps not the same one as in Archanea.
Previously, I’ve put forward the possibility of Marth appearing in Awakening from another dimension and the world of Awakening being an alternate version of Archanea. However, just how likely is this all and how exactly did Marth travel between dimensions? Well, there have been hints in previous games about the existence of other dimensions. In Blazing Sword, the dragon siblings Nils and Ninian came to Elibe from another world, which I’ve always suspected was Archanea.
“We had no place to go—not on this world. So we used the Dragon’s Gate to flee into another world. When we passed through this chasm in space and time, many of us were lost. Still, we endured the journey.” — Nils in Victory or Death
In Shadow Dragon, if Marth did not recruit Tiki and failed to obtain the Falchion, Gotoh sends him to the Alterspire, a tower in another world, to seek help.
“Select a handful of your best warriors. I must send into an unseen dimension.” — Gotoh in The Dragonkin Realm
“A place outside the confines of our world.” — Gotoh in The Dragonkin Realm
Moving back to this game, towards the beginning of the opening movie, we see the masked man running towards a gate. This could just be any old gate, but the way they’ve emphasised the scene makes me wonder if there’s a special meaning behind the gate. Perhaps the gate is a Dragon’s Gate—an entrance to another time and reality or, in other words, the world of Awakening. Additionally, a strange vortex-like object can be seen apparently spitting out people—perhaps showing them during the moment they travel between dimensions? There is also a curious gate-like structure towards the bottom of the world map, in a similar location to the Dragon’s Gate in Elibe. So have we already seen the entrance, corridor and exit of this cross-dimensional transport?
Update: It has now been confirmed that alternate worlds exist in Awakening. The suspected “Dragon’s Gate” mentioned earlier is explicitly labelled as a “Other-world Gate” and, inside the gate, Anna greets the player and offers them passage to other worlds. The returning characters and Dual Tag opponents are also stated to be from other worlds. Currently, none of these appear to have any relevance to the plot, but already the gate’s been opened to that possibility. The existence of gates to other worlds also explains Anna’s movements throughout the entire series…
Update 2: The strange vortex-like object appears to be the gateway used by the corpse soldiers to emerge from. Could the corpse soldiers be enemies from another realm?
|The masked man running towards a gate||People falling out of a mysterious vortex|
|The Other-world Gate, located towards the bottom of the world map||Anna manages the Other-world Gate|