It pains me to write this, because it implies to you, the reader, that I am not playing Fire Emblem Awakening.
Fortunately, Wrench already wrote a nugget on Fire Emblem, so I don't have to think about going overboard. Know that I share his view that Fire Emblem Awakening is basically the best dating simulator I've ever played. I dare say that 50% of my enjoyment comes from the actual strategic battles. 25% is to customization due to class changing and acquiring new skills to bring to other classes and another 25% is relationshipshappyvalentine'sday.
I mean, Sumia is just the best ever. She has an unrequited love to Chrom in the beginning and she's an incredible pegasus knight but whenever she's not riding on her pegasus, she's extremely talented at falling over nothing. Only Sumia would confuse the phrase of slapping sense into someone by using a fist instead. Which is why I decided to pair them up. Not only are they cute together, not only is the support conversation dialogue charming, but they become a force of nature when together on the battlefield. Combining the speed and movement of a pegasus knight with the strength and power of a lord means very little can stand up to them.
Speaking of powerful though, I need to mention Donnel because Donnel as he is now in my game is the absolute strongest person in the world. Donnel is a simple farm boy turned soldier after Chrom's army shows up to save his village. As you can tell, he's terrible at first. He has bad stats, no training in any weapons but lances and is prone to dying if you don't babysit him. But his boon is his growth. He's slow to grow but once you get over a certain hump, his strength will rocket right out of the gate. I went from leveling him Pokemon style, to pairing him with knight Kellam to give him training wheels, to throwing him out as my lone vanguard because fuck he's gonna kill everybody who dares crossing swords with him.
Let me spell out what makes him so powerful. As a villager class, he gets access to two important skills that make him a growing beast. Aptitude increases the liklihood of a stat increasing at level up. It's not uncommon to see all his stats go up several times in a row. Second is Underdog, which is gained at level 15 rather than 10 like everyone else. But Underdog gives a 15% hit/avoid bonus whenever the enemy is a higher level. And if you play your cards right, he'll always be lower level, which won't be bad.
Once you get him to level 15 for Underdog, it's time to class change him with a Second Seal and this is where he'll start to lead the pack. Villagers have a low stat cap ceiling, but once you turn him into a fighter or a mercenary, his stats will go up like they're going out of business. He'll start earning new skills like Armthrift (great skill by the way. Tired of weapons that have 10 durability? More like 25 durability with this baby) and you can even class change him again after earning the class' second skill to earn more skills while still being quite strong with his growth and of course, benefiting from Underdog.
Let me put it this way. He kills most enemies in one turn, even when they're armored. Most enemies can't even touch him but when they do, they probably do 5 damage, 10 if they're strong. This is out of a health pool of 69. The only reason he doesn't kill more boss characters is because I'd love to give that extra XP to someone who needs it more.
Wow. Donny has gone from benefiting from training Pokemon style to being the lead responsible for Pokemon style training. It's come full circle.
Ok, so I also paired Miriel with Frederick because com'on. Miriel is a mage with a scientific mind who decides to study Frederick's, let's say, unnecessary zeal for work. Frederick is not only a loyal knight to the royal bloodline but acts like Alfred in a suit of armor with steroids. What started at first as an experiment in exploring the training regiment of a dutiful knight blossomed into love however, and in ways only Miriel's scientific mind could phrase. "When I see you speaking with other women, I feel an ambiguous rage in me to claw at the other women."
For the last few paragraphs, I might spoil something critical to the story, so don't read one of my most favorite things about the game coming up, which is story critical, if you don't want spoilers.
The children from the future are the best, both as powerful units and as hilariously cool characters. Not only do they benefit from inheriting skills from their parents, leading to increasingly powerful combos, but it's also charming to see the future children of this ragtag group of soldiers and how they turn out. I mean, Tharja's daughter, Noire, is a personal favorite. As the daughter of a dark mage who is genuinely kind but can only interact through gothy actions like hexes and curses, Noire has a unique schizophrenic streak. She's normally timid and soft-spoken but she becomes what can only be described as RIGHTEOUS FURY whenever she snaps. She normally needs a talisman crafted by her future mother to draw the strength needed to snap, but in a heartfelt reunion with her mother from the present day, Tharja takes her talisman and throws it away, causing Noire to snap. "See? No daughter of mine needs a crutch to be strong."
That was before she realized how her future self was probably cooler and darker as she chuckled to herself, giving Noire the willies.
As you can tell, Tharja is pretty much, "What if that goth girl in high school became an actual dark mage?" So of course, I paired her up with the meathead fighter, Vaike.
I still need to find Laurent, Miriel's future son, but I've also paired Virion with Nowi (weird but cute), Stahl with Cherche (holy shit, skill combo synergy!), Sully with Kellam (thanks for being there Kellam), Lon'qu with Marribelle (lol), and my Avatar with Anna (Anna is the best, next to Sumia).
Yeah, speaking of growth with Donny, Morgan, the daughter of your avatar, is also pretty damn powerful. She inherited Anna's luck and skill along with the Avatar's class flexibility. I'm currently grinding out a relationship with my assassin, Gaius, with Cordelia.