As many expected, Nintendo had some new information about Fire Emblem Warriors during its Direct presentation, however, not a soul could forsee who would be revealed as the newest playable character to join the roster: Lyn from Fire Emblem 7 (officially Fire Emblem in North America or Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken in Japan).
For the longest time, players had assumed that Fire Emblem Warriors would only feature from characters from Shadow Dragon, Awakening and Fates because a past interview with developers revealed that those would be the three titles they would focus on. Of course, that statement could have easily meant that the majority of characters in Warriors would come from those three titles, rather than all of them, but it was hard to remain in that mindset when all of the recent announcements were for characters from Fates.
However, the streak has been broken with Koei Tecmo’s inclusion of Lyn and its now clear that characters from titles outside of the aforementioned three will be included in the base roster (though I’d wager we’ll only be seeing two or three at best).
Lyn is notable for being one of the three main characters in Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance, the first title in the series to be released outside of Japan. Unsurprisingly, she also became a fan-favorite quite easily: she’s pretty, had a unique fighting style and had an interesting backstory — there wasn’t much to not like about her.
However, despite her popularity, she (and the game as a whole) has been consistently overlooked by Nintendo. Fans have been clamoring for her addition to Super Smash Brothers, ever since Marth and Roy helped to popularize the series in the West with Melee. Ike was added in Brawl and Robin, Corrin, Lucina and a new version of Roy were added in Smash 4. The best Lyn ever got was an assist trophy, which wasn’t even used if players were playing in at least a semi-serious setting.
She didn’t get a reference in smaller Fire Emblem crossovers either. Chrom and Lucina were the only Fire Emblem characters included in Project X Zone 2 and the only characters present in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE were from Awakening and SD.
Now, before I continue, I do have to acknowledge that the recent Fire Emblem titles were the most successful, so it makes perfect sense that a crossover game would focus on them. However, as I’ve argued in the past, with the series enjoying newfound levels of popularity, now’s the time to introduce characters such as Leif, Sigurd, Julia, Eirika, Ephraim and Celica, who would allow new fans to have a deeper appreciation for the series as a whole.
This is why Lyn’s inclusion in Warriors gives me hope for the series. Just like how Marth and Roy made people curious about Fire Emblem as a series (as well as Marth’s gender) back in 2001, including characters such as Lyn — who is an unfamiliar face to those who started with Awakening — can encourage them to approach older entries. This is particularly important because Nintendo has made it clear that its trying to popularize the series by creating remakes of the older series under the Echoes moniker. The first of these was the Gaiden remake, Shadows of Valentia, and while reviewers were receptive to it, it was amusing to see how many of them didn’t know the weapon triangle didn’t exist in that one.
Having more people accustomed to how the series was like before the 3DS, could encourage Nintendo to introduce older mechanics or remove new ones that have become unwelcome (please no more child units, there will never be another Severa or Cynthia).
Of course, now that Lyn has been introduced, the obvious question is who comes next. Ignoring Ike, Roy and Tiki (who I’m convinced will be included in the roster in some fashion), I’m hedging my bets on either Celica or Caeda. Celica is from Gaiden/Shadows of Valentia which is technically the latest game in the series, while Caeda is Marth’s wife from Shadow Dragon and could finally have Warriors truly be Fates/Awakening/SD and not Fates/Awakening + Marth.