As the recent trailer and demo showed, there is an extensive support system in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Placing an ally next to another in battle often offers stat bonuses, and sometimes they will even attack with you or block enemy attacks for you. The higher the affinity between the two, the more bonuses and the higher the chance of the extra actions occurring.
What they don’t demonstrate is the full extent of the support system and how much fun it is to read through all the involved dialogue.
Affinity can be raised by viewing support conversations, which are viewed from the world map menu. While I’ve only played one other Fire Emblem game in the past, I don’t recall the conversations being as funny as they are in Awakening. Frankly, all of the support dialogue is hilarious. What’s more, you can view which characters are compatible with others in the menu, so you can plan out which conversations you want to try to get.
Also, from the world map main menu, you can access the Barracks. When you do so, you see a view of an empty room with a table, but if you choose to “Listen In” (because you or your Tactician is apparently an avid eavesdropper), you can hear random snippets of monologue from one character or from two talking to each other. After listening to each of these, you’ll get bonus EXP, temporary stat increases in the next battle, items, and (when there are two characters present) increased affinity.
As an aside, from the Extras menu there’s also an option called Hubba Tester, which you can use to view humorous pairing statuses for any two characters you’ve recruited.
Responses range from “Friend zoned” to “Loves to go shopping” to “Lost in pheromones”. Old Hubba, the man doing the fortune-telling, also comments on each pair. For example, if you look at the relationship between Chrom and his sister, Lissa, and get something romantically suggestive, Old Hubba says, “Oh, the questions this raises…”
(None of what he says is serious, so don’t go thinking scandalous things!)
In addition to these humorous pairings, Fire Emblem: Awakening also has a marriage system, which we’ll discuss in a future report.