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 (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.)
Though 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.