Strategy gamers the world over breathed a sigh of relief when, during the November Nintendo Direct video address, the Western release date was announced for the highly anticipated Fire Emblem Fates - landing in North America on February 19th 2016. Hurrah!
In the run up to the release we've already done a breakdown of the narrative differences between the two versions of Fire Emblem Fates (Conquest and Birthright) as well as a general guide for advice on which game to purchase.
But one of the most interesting parts of the Fire Emblem games is the characters and how they drive the narrative, and there's a lot of characters across the two versions of the game; 26 unique to Conquest and 27 to Birthright. So without any further ado here's a quick guide to how the main character classes differ in each version.
Main Characters (Both Versions)
So there's a few characters which remain the same regardless of which version you purchase, the most important of these being the Avatar (the player character) and Azura, your sidekick.
A member of the Hoshido Royal Family taken/adopted as a political prisoner by the Nohr kingdom and raised by them from childhood, the Avatar must chose their allegiance between the two kingdoms.
The Avatar has a starting class of Nohr Prince/Nohr Princess and possesses a unique bloodline ability to turn into a dragon (no Manakete dragonstone required here).
A member of the Nohr Royal Family, Azura was taken in by the Hoshido and raised from childhood so she's basically the mirror image of the Avatar.
She can control water and becomes your companion when you meet her alongside the Hoshido Royal Family. She's a gifted dancer and a Singer class who often sings to motivate the troops before and during battle.
Other Main Companions
Jakob: If the Avatar is female they have a Butler called Jakob who joins you in Chapter 2, if the Avatar is male he joins in Chapter 16. He's a skilled fighter as well as a dutiful and kind butler to the Avatar, however he's rude and blunt to others and generally comes across as unsociable.
Felicia: If the Avatar is male they have a Maid called Felicia who joins you in Chapter 2, if the Avatar is female she joins in Chapter 16. She's a kind and caring maid but is often clumsy and makes mistakes. She has some control over the element of ice, but is not as talented as her elder twin sister Flora who she emulates.
Silas: The Avatar's childhood friend and a Cavalier from Nohr, Silas was banished after shirking his duties to sneak out with the Avatar. Easy going but incredibly loyal he returns to join the Avatar in Chapter 7 after training to become a knight.
Kaze: A calm and collected Ninja serving the Hoshido Royal Family, Kaze has sworn an oath to protect the Avatar as penitence for failing them as a child. He joins in Chapter 4 in Birthright and Chapter 11 in Conquest.
So if you chose Birthright that means that you're siding with your blood family, the Hoshido. The Hoshido Royal Family includes:
Ryoma, the eldest brother of the Hoshido, he's a Trueblade who wields the Raijin Katana. He joins in Birthright Chapter 13.
Hinoka, the second child and eldest sister, she's a fiery Pegasus Warrior and joins in Birthright Chapter 8.
Takumi, the third child of the family he's an Bowman wielding the Fuujin Bow. He joins in Birthright Chapter 10.
Sakura, the youngest Hoshido sibling, she's a shy and timid but determined Priestess and a skilled healer. She joins in Birthright Chapter 5.
And if you chose Conquest you're siding with your adoptive family, the Nohr. The Nohr Royal Family includes:
Xander: the eldest child, Xander is an Paladin and wields the sword Siegfried. Honest and responsible, he'll do whatever it takes to protect his siblings, and joins the Avatar in Conquest Chapter 16.
Camilla: the second eldest, Camilla is a Revenant Knight and a surrogate mother of sorts to the Avatar. She rides a wyvern named Marzia and joins in Conquest Chapter 10.
Leo: the third born, Leo is a Dark Knight and skilled magician wielding the tome Brunhilde. A child genius, he prefers books to fighting and craves the attention of his siblings. He joins in Conquest Chapter 14.
Elise: the youngest child, Elise is a Rod Knight and has the innocent personality of a playful child. She loves her family deeply, even the adopted Avatar, and joins them in Conquest Chapter 7.