Let’s look at Fire Emblem’s transforming races
There are a lot of animal-people in the Fire Emblem series! These are different races who transform into actual animals in battle, while occasionally maintaining some of these features while in their humanoid forms. Hearing about Laguz or Taguel can be confusing, especially since these races are not universal and may only be present in a few select entries.
So, let’s see if we can make things a bit easier to understand! We’ll go over the different races, explain where you can find them and go over what makes them unique. That way, the next time you hear about an odd Fire Emblem race, you will know who people are talking about!
We’re kicking this off with Manaketes! Why? Because they are the most common non-human race you will encounter in the Fire Emblem series. To make things simple, a Manakete is a dragon-person. They can be full-blooded or half-blooded. In order to assume their dragon form, they have to have a Dragonstone equipped and use it to attack.
Throughout the course of the series as a whole, we have seen many Manaketes! They can even belong to different tribes, like the Divine Dragon Tribe (Tiki). We’re only going to focus on playable Manaketes here, so we’ll go ahead and list some of the characters you can see in the games and which ones they appeared in. These are all characters who can transform, which means a half-dragon like Sophia who can’t turn into a dragon won’t appear.
- Tiki: Tiki is the original Manakete! She is a full-blooded dragon who has appeared in many entries. You can find her in Fire Emblem:Shadow Dragon and its remake, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and its remake, Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Warriors and Fire Emblem Heroes. A variation of her also showed up in Tokyo Mirage Sessions.
- Ninian: Ninian is a half-blooded dragon, but that doesn’t keep her from transforming with a Dragonstone! She is quite helpful in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade and Fire Emblem Heroes, as she is both a dragon and a dancer.
- Nils: Nils is Ninian’s half-blooded little brother. While he is a dancer-style unit like his sister, which makes him quite versatile, we have unfortunately only seen him in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade.
- Fae: Fae is a full-blooded dragon who was originally only playable in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, but made a cameo in The Blazing Blade and is now a unit in Fire Emblem Heroes.
- Myrrh: Myrrh is another one of Fire Emblem’s full-blooded dragons. She’s a child who is older than she looks, just like Fae. You can only see her in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones and Fire Emblem Heroes.
- Nowi: Nowi is the first Manakete you will acquire in Fire Emblem Awakening, though she is also available in Fire Emblem Heroes too. Like other full-blooded dragons, she ages very slowly and this is brought up often in the game and her endings.
- Nah: Nah is Nowi’s daughter in Fire Emblem Awakening. She will always only be a half-dragon, due to the partner options for Nowi in the game.
- Corrin: Fire Emblem Fates’s avatar is a Manakete! Their dragon form looks a lot different than past ones, but still. You can see them as a dragon in both their original game and Fire Emblem Heroes. They also show up in Fire Emblem Warriors and Super Smash Bros..
- Kana: This is Corrin’s daughter/son in Fire Emblem Fates. They are a half-blooded dragon. They can also be found in Fire Emblem Heroes.
This is the race that might confuse people. Why? Because a person could be a member of the beast, bird or dragon tribe, but still fall under the Laguz umbrella. Having so many people look so different, but still fall into the same category, might give people pause. People may also be tripped up by someone like Ena. Why? Because she is a person who transforms into a dragon, but is not a Manakete like the other dragons mentioned earlier.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to determine if someone is a Laguz or belongs to some other race. Is the character you are talking about someone who transforms into an animal and appeared in either Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance or Radiant Dawn? Well, then that person is a Laguz!
Since there are so many Laguz in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, we’ll divide them up below by playable characters from respective tribes.
- Beasts: There are four beast tribes in these two Fire Emblem installments. You can find cat people (Lethe, Lethe’s sister Lyre and Ranulf), lion people (Giffca and Skrimir), tiger people (Kyra, Mordecai and Muarim) and wolf people (Nailah and Volug).
- Birds: There aren’t as any birds as there are beasts in these Fire Emblem, but there are still a lot! Hawks are one group, and Janaff, Tibarn and Ulki will join your party. Herons are another, though characters like Rafiel and Reyson are support-type playable characters. We also have Ravens like Naesala, Nealuchi and Vika, though Nealuchi is not always available to use.
- Dragons: Some of the dragons in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn play some really major roles, but we don’t actually get to play as many of them in these two entries. While there are Black, Red and White Dragons, we only get to add the Red Dragns Ena and Gareth to our party.
This is going to be a very easy category to cover. Why? Because Taguels have only appeared in one Fire Emblem game! Also, they are very distinct, compared to other races. After all, it is not often you find fighting rabbits. But that’s what a Taguel is. It is a person who transforms into a rabbit via using a Beaststone.
There are only two transforming Taguel in the series.
- Panne: Panne is a warrior who overcomes her distrust (and dislike) of other species throughout the game. She has only appeared in Fire Emblem Awakening so far.
- Yarne: Yarne is Panne’s son and has only appeared in the one game so far.
I’m consolidating these two categories into one, for two very important reasons. One is that they both appear in Fire Emblem Fates. The other is that they belong to very similar families and could be considered two variations on the same tribe. You find Kitsune in Hoshido and Wolfskin in Nohr, and since both foxes and wolves belong to the canidae family, it made sense to me!
- Kitsune: These are the fox people. Our initial party member is Kaden, the Kitsune clan leader. When he gets married in-game, you can end up getting access to Selkie, his daughter.
- Wolfskin: These are the wolves. Like Kaden, Keaton is the leader of his Wolfskin tribe. after he gets married, you can end up recruiting his eventual daughter, Velouria.
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