7 Pieces of Wisdom from Fire Emblem Warriors

Too many stories include words of advice or life lessons in a heavy-handed manner, which leaves me feeling empty. I wonder how I am supposed to apply such black and white advice in a life full of greys, but I was inspired by the tidbits of tangible wisdom in these conversations between classic and modern characters in Fire Emblem Warriors. Though it’s a battle game, these optional Support Conversations, which are exclusive dialogues between two characters, provide insight into characters’ struggles that remind me of my own. Warriors provides applicable life lessons packaged in only three minutes. Here are seven that impacted me the most.

1. Working Too Hard Can Lead to Failure (Takumi and Xander)

This scene opens up with Takumi, prince of Hoshido, discouraged about his less-than-perfect archery practice: “Only 90 out of 100 bull’s-eyes today. Pathetic. . . I’m not leaving here until I hit 96 or more.” Xander, the eldest prince of Nohr, finds him and is surprised to see him working so late; however, Takumi says he won’t take a break until he is satisfied with his performance, since he doesn’t have “the luxury of rest.” Xander explains how he, too, used to train to excess like Takumi: “I was proud of my efforts, until I realized I was in fact setting myself back. I spent almost as much time bedridden from exhaustion as I did actual training. . . If you train too hard, you will get hurt.”

When watching this scene, I was reminded of my days as a student, always aiming for that perfect A and not satisfied with a 90. I’ll never forget when one of my friends studied so hard for an exam that she bombed it out of exhaustion. Although it’s hard for perfectionists like myself to grasp, sometimes working too hard can actually lead to worse results due to overexertion.

2. Men and Women are Uniquely Equal (Lyn and Chrom)

Experienced warriors Lyn and Chrom argue about Chrom’s double-standard on the battlefield: he charges ahead of the main force but won’t let her do the same. Lyn tells him, “Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’ll drop dead from the slightest touch,” and she challenges him to a duel to prove her mettle. In the end, they are forced to call a draw due to the other’s unexpected potential, but their exclusive talents prove that they would benefit from combining their strengths versus working independently: “The closer we get, the worse it’s going to be for our enemy!”

I appreciated this scene’s commentary about gender equality and uniqueness. It is true that men and women have unique strengths, but they are both equally valuable, and if they combine those individual strengths, then they can awaken the other’s true potential.

3. There’s More Than One Way to Lead (Lianna and Ryoma)

Princess Lianna talks to Ryoma, eldest prince of Hoshido, about her hesitancy of ascending to the throne. “I just don’t think I’d be very good at it,” she says. She then explains how she doesn’t have a queen’s personality or natural abilities but believes that her twin brother would make the better ruler because of his passion. As royalty himself, Ryoma tells her that he believes “there is more than one way to lead. Some rulers naturally inspire their people. Others must convince those they lead. . . You and your brother would both make good, yet very different leaders.”

Often, we hear nothing but praise for those who are “born leaders.” I never believed myself to be a “born leader,” but in desiring to be one, I earned that title through hard work and diligence. Although leading may be “easier” for those who are “born leaders,” it is definitely not impossible for those who are not. And sometimes, people can relate better to leaders who worked their way to the top.

4. Don’t Rely On Others for Self-Esteem (Rowan and Takumi)

Takumi criticizes prince Rowan about his flawed performance in battle. In discouragement, Rowan asks, “What do I have to do to earn your approval?” Takumi very simply tells him, “Reach your potential.” When Rowan says he has reached his potential, Takumi disagrees and tells him, “When you’ve truly reached your potential, you won’t need my approval.”

Oftentimes, needing other people’s praise is a sign of low self-esteem in my life. I have learned to not treat approval as a necessity, but as a welcome surprise to my efforts. After all, just because someone praises what I do does not necessarily make it successful.

5. Attempts to Reach Out Are Often Appreciated (Azura and Chrom)

In this scene, the socially awkward Chrom and Azura attempt to have a conversation. Azura tells him she’s “not that great at it…” to which Chrom replies, “I’m not the best conversationalist either.” They decide to choose a topic they can both discuss, but they struggle just trying to come up with one. Finally, Azura laughs at how they’re failing at having a conversation, but she does thank him: “You made an honest effort to talk to me, and I appreciate that.” Talking with Chrom made her realize how she has avoided conversations because she wasn’t good at them.

Although I talk for a living at my job, I often sit quiet during interpersonal interactions. However, this scene reminds me that sometimes just putting in an honest effort is good enough.

6. If You Do Not Rest, You Cannot Work (Elise and Lucina)

Elise, youngest Princess of Nohr, finds Lucina, hoping to play a game with her before the next battle, but Lucina shows hesitation, saying, “Wouldn’t you rather enjoy the calm while you can?” That’s when Elise tells Lucina that her brother always says that “downtime is as important as work time.” “So,” Lucina asks, “we should rest as hard as we work?”

If there is anything I neglect to do, it is rest. And, if I happen to ever have “down time,” I feel guilty for “doing nothing.” Like Elise puts forth, I should learn to rest as hard as I work–even if resting means putting work aside and playing a game–understanding that if I do not rest, I will be too exhausted to work—or at least too exhausted to produce any decent work.

7. A Bad Past Can Have Good Memories (Niles and Robin)

Although Niles and Robin don’t get along at first, their similarities manifest when they begin to discuss Robin’s amnesia. Jealous of Robin’s condition, Niles expresses that he’d gladly lose all his memories: “What I’d give to forget the slums… the filthy money, the lies… and the blood…” Robin asks him if those experiences helped him appreciate what he’s got now: “Surely you’ve made some happy memories along the way.” Niles agrees there are a few, such as meeting his lord Leo who gave him a reason to live.

Sometimes when I look back at my life, I’m not exactly happy with what I see. However, as Robin says, I am grateful for what I have now and for the improvements I am making. I can’t forget what happened. I can only choose to move forward and become a better version of me.

Amy Covel

Amy Covel

Contributing Writer at Area of Effect
Amy Covel is a published poet of old-fashioned ideas with a modern style. Outside of poetry, she has published pop culture articles online and toiled eight years on manuscripts that will probably be published in another eight. When she’s not writing, she’s teaching students the difference between APA and MLA, jotting down ideas at 1:00 in the morning, and playing Minecraft with her goddaughter on Fridays. Amy is currently pursuing her master’s degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.
Amy Covel