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Fire Emblem Engage Is Stealing Players' Most Emotional Kill

Backup characters’ chain attacks have unintended consequences in the latest Fire Emblem title

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Alear cries.
Image: Nintendo / Kotaku

Imagine that you’re forced into the emotionally turbulent situation of murdering your own evil parent. Right as you work up the nerve and give a heartfelt speech about it, some random ally kills them in front of your eyes. I should feel bad, but I haven’t stopped laughing. For a few unfortunate Fire Emblem Engage’s players, the chain attack mechanic has managed to ruin one of the most emotional moments in the game.

Spoiler tag.

Royal children killing their evil father has been a longstanding tradition in the Fire Emblem series. It happens more often than not, and one of the most enjoyable challenges involves trying to kill antagonists with their own child. If you succeed in landing the first hit, you’ll even get bonus dialogue. This usually involves the father being a piece of shit in their final moments or accepting their fate with calm dignity.

King Morion of the militaristic kingdom of Brodia does neither of these things. He’s been irreversibly turned into a zombie by the time the army is ready to face him in battle, and you can use his sons to kill him for some added sadness. Both Diamant and Alcryst give impassioned speeches about how deeply they love their father, and their dialogue feels genuinely touching in a game otherwise filled with hamfisted nonsense.


Except, uhhh, some players have reported that the “chain attack” mechanic has caused unrelated characters to kill Morion in his sons’ stead. Chain attacks occur when characters designated as “Backup” are within attack range, and they always strike first. They also deal a miniscule amount of damage—I don’t think I’ve ever seen a backup attack deal more than 7 damage. But for some overly cautious players, that chip damage was enough to kill a boss enemy that they had been carefully whittling down.

Fortunately, players are given a chance to rectify their mistakes. Unlike its predecessor Fire Emblem: Three Houses, players have an unlimited number of opportunities to rewind their ill-fated moves. The battle also doesn’t end when Morion dies, since he’s not the sole boss of that particular map. So what might have been a frustrating moment just ends up being a hilarious misstep between gameplay and narrative.

Don’t worry, Fire Emblem traditionalists: It’s still fairly easy to commit patricide in this game.

Correction: 1/30/2023 at 1:55 P.M. E.T.: Changed “fratricide” to “patricide.”