Damn The Jeigans To Hell!

Oh, you knew this was coming eventually. I wanted to talk about this at some point. It was basically a question of when, not if. And today’s that day that I talk about one of the more interesting, maybe frustrating, types of characters in the Fire Emblem franchise.

And that, boys and girls, would be Jeigan.

Jeigan

Jeigan (named Jagen in ENG but for this post’s purposes we’ll go with the JP name)…is actually a character from the first Fire Emblem game. He was a Paladin who was entrusted with protecting Marth, even though he looks like nothing more than an old curmudgeon. But this old curmudgeon can kick ass. In fact, he was probably the strongest unit you had at the start of the game, and even 1/4 of the way into the game. He was able to wield one of the strongest weapons (Silver Lance), had great mobility, and all in all, he was well balanced in most areas. There’s just one problem: leveling him was a pain. Every time you’d go and kill an enemy, he would get 10…maybe 15 experience points. Maybe even less. It only got worse when facing a boss, as it would only result in a 30-40 exp gain (and that might be generous). But aside from that, that wasn’t a problem. Just gotta take my time with Jeigan and level him up slowly.

Then you get to the mid point of the game and…all of a sudden there’s all these units you’ve mained more at this point, and have suddenly become better than Jeigan. All of a sudden Jeigan’s stats don’t even come close to comparison to maybe half of your team. Now instead of being happily excited about killing enemies left and right with such a strong unit, he doesn’t even factor in towards the end. And thus, the only reason he even matters in the grand scheme of things is because he’s entrusted with protecting Marth, so he’s around for story purposes. Otherwise, he becomes a footnote gameplay wise.

…I bet this all sounds familiar, especially to everyone playing Fire Emblem: Awakening. Why yes, you have someone who rides a horse, has been charged with protecting his liege, is a complete beast early in the game, but drastically becomes useless by 1/4 of the game. (Maybe 1/8.)

FrederickThough some of that depends on the difficulty level).  By then father time (well, except the fact that Frederick isn’t really old) has passed that unit by, and others have gotten so much stronger that you find little point in training him anymore, and stash him low on the bench. Unless you train him by DLC/Spotpass/Reeking Boxes. Welp, that’s life in Fire Emblem. There are many things that have stayed true over the Fire Emblem Franchise, and this is one of them. And I can only say one thing about them:

Damn the Jeigans to Hell!

Honestly, these units are the trickiest to handle, depending on the game. You have to use them sparingly if you want to train your other units for the future. But you will need to use the Jeigan character in order to get out of some tough situations, deadly so in the higher difficulty levels. As far as I know, only one game did not have a Jeigan character at the start, and that was Radiant Dawn. Granted, that made an already difficult game even harder, but after getting used to the difficulty curve, it’s not too bad. So why didn’t the newest Fire Emblem abolish this (remember, the DS games were remakes)? It’s finally time to say kaput to this feature…if only so I wouldn’t willingly start with a character I know will be useless later in the game.

Now, the typical Fire Emblem game usually has a Paladin type as your Jeigan. (Why, who knows). It started with Marcus in Fire Emblem 7, Seth in Fire Emblem 8, Titania in Fire Emblem 9, and then (again, the DS games were remakes) in Fire Emblem 13, with Frederick. But there are hidden Jeigans I believe in most of these games. Unfortunately can’t remember all of them. Rath was one such Jeigan. Strong character that gained little experience in Lyn’s story, shows up way late in Eliwood/Hector’s story (though I hear that if you train him then he can still be fairly strong). Shinon in both Fire Emblem games he appears in can be a hidden Jeigan (although he did appear in Part 3 of Radiant Dawn with an incredibly strong crew), and he appears late too, especially in Path of Radiance. It’d be cool if you could help me learn about more of those units that you think will be useful but only proved to be someone you stashed on the bench because there was no end goal in using them.

So yeah, Jeigans need to go die out. And I expect full agreement here.

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About Walters

Lonely Fire Emblem fan. Almost a FE apologist.

9 thoughts on “Damn The Jeigans To Hell!

  1. Now, the typical Fire Emblem game usually has a Paladin type as your Jeigan.

    Tradition, I’d say. In the very first Fire Emblem for the NES, Jeigan was a Paladin, so most (though not all) of the Jeigans in subsequent games have been Paladins.

    Additionally, the well-balanced nature of the Paladin class–a mounted unit able to equip at least two different kinds of weapons (at least swords and spears, occasionally axes as well)–make it ideal as a boost for beginning players.

  2. What’s sad is that I completely forgot about Frederick in one playthrough because of my Avatar becoming a Dread Fighter and making all the other units pretty fucking useless.

    But Jeigan can’t be that bad……

    *checks the wiki*

    I stand corrected.

  3. Would you say Libra in Awakening is a Jeigan? I used him a lot when I first got him to due to his high attack and HP, but around the last third of the game I stopped using him because at that point Sumia and Cynthia wreck everything.

  4. Oh… dear… It’s a good thing the people at Serenes Forest don’t seem to know about you, because if they did, you would be inundated with careful, in-depth (and, therefore, LONG!) explanations of how completely wrong you are. XD

    First of all, yeah, the original Jeigan of FE 1 is terrible and useless, but that’s only because neither he ‘nor the game were balanced properly. Ideally, the point of a Jeigan character is that he should serve as a vital clutch required in early levels to keep your more important characters from dying. Trouble is the original wasn’t hard enough to require his services. Compare that to FE 6, where Marcus, whilst not needed for normal mode, is an extremely important clutch for completing hard mode (technically you CAN do it without him, but it will take ice ages. Turn count through the roof FTL). The same is true, funnily enough, of Jeigan in FE 11, where Hard 5 mode is basically impossible without him, whether you care about turn count or not.

    Secondly, Oifey, Seth, Titania, Frederick and FE 7 Marcus are not Jeigans, but rather Oifeys, named of course after Oifey, the earliest member of this archetype unless you count Sigurd. Unlike Jeigans, these characters have growth rates that are good enough that they remain competitive throughout the game (which means the game doesn’t have to be balanced around them being absolutely required for the early game, although the hard modes of some of the games that have Oifeys still are), if unspectacular. It’s likely your Frederick was just a bit RNG screwed on his growths.

    Typically, Oifey characters aren’t strictly required to get you through the game, but as any Serenes Forester will tell you, they are absolutely CRUCIAL if you’re going for LTC (Low Turn Count). In particular, Seth and Sigurd (who, despite being a lord, effective serves as his own Oifey) are highly respected for being more-or-less able to solo the entirety of their games (half the game in Sigurd’s case), and Titania is widely regarded as hilariously game-breaking as well. Indeed, in terms of end-game stats, Seth is right in the middle in his game, being slightly better than a fully-leveled Franz or paladin!Amelia, but slightly worse than a fully leveled Forde or Kyle.

    On the whole, there’s a reason why Oifeys (and sometimes even Jeigans) score so high on “Rate the Unit” threads on Serenes and GameFAQs…

    I also think that lumping bad prepromotes and over-leveled units you get too late to be useful in with the Jeigans/Oifeys is kinda silly, as the two serve completely different functions. Of course, there aren’t too many people, on Serenes Forest or elsewhere, who will stick up for characters like Dozla (or, God help us, Wallace), and for good reason, but even so, comparing Dozla to Seth really isn’t fair. Availability is a big, BIG deal in Fire Emblem games and Jeigans/Oifeys, if nothing else, have that in spades, whereas shitty late-game prepromotes most certainly do not (although not every late game prepromote is necessarily shitty. Innes is pretty good, for example, but I digress). Indeed, for the most part that means that such characters really aren’t examples of units that looked like they’d be good and turned out not to be, because for the most part your well-trained existing units instantly surpass the average prepromote as soon as he appears, thus they lack the disappointment factor that seems to bug you about Jeigans in general.

    So yeah, don’t count Jeigan and his clan out just because they don’t suit your particular playstyle. Jeigans and Oifeys are the clutch and efficiency kings and Fire Emblem as a series would be far worse off for their absence and thus the loss of metagame depth they provide. And before you point out the example of an FE game working just fine without one that you’re probably thinking of right now, it’s commonly argued that Sothe is, in fact the Jeigan (or rather, Ofiey) of Radiant Dawn. : 3

    • Er, I don’t mind being wrong. I’m just a dude who’s only played Fire Emblem’s 7-13. And while I’ve done research into certain FE stuff, I haven’t done it for everything. That’s fine with me. And well, I like long comments, so that’s fine with me too!

      …So maybe I should be more wrong…xD

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