Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
FireEmblem Rock Paper Scissors by DanShive FireEmblem Rock Paper Scissors by DanShive
I’ve started playing Fire Emblem: Awakening for the 3DS. I’m new to the series, and have trouble keeping the rock-paper-scissors mechanics of axe-sword-lance straight in my head. I don’t understand the logic behind one of these weapon types always doing better against another, so it’s easy for me to get them jumbled. It’s not exactly “water beats fire”, here.

I am a visual learner, however, so I made these to help me remember what beats what. A short ranged axe having an immediate advantage over a super long lance being shoved forward by someone charging on horseback might not make sense to me, but I’ll remember a rock with an axe.
Add a Comment:
drelanarus Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
Spear beats sword, because the length of a spear allows you to attack them while remaining out of reach.

Sword beats axe, because they're significantly faster, more maneuverable, and can be used to stab while blocking the shaft of the axe.

And axes beat swords, because the game simply wouldn't work if they didn't.
metagross111 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
you messed that up a bit there
drelanarus Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014
Ah, you're right. The last instance of swords should be spears.
Blueflameking Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014
Not to be a nerd, even though I totally am which is why I am explaining why Axes beat Spears, but Axes beat Spears because large Axe blade can be used as a shield to deflect Spear. also fierce they do still have the magic triangle but it is now more complicated and variable between games with the traditional wind/fire/thunder magic triangle being occasionally supplemented by light and dark magic putting the wind/fire/thunder into a single sub-category known as Anima so that there are now two magic triangles; Fire>Wind>Thunder>Fire, and Anima>Light>Dark>Anima. Hooray for strategy games!
FierceAsTheFlame Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Student General Artist
HAHA, back in the day they had a magic triangle that made a little more sense, but that has since been removed for some reason unknown to me.
yuseifudo19 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
very clever I never thought about the comparison with the weapons triangle before.
Darkstorm-Shadow Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I always thought of it as 'axe breaks the lance's handle, lance has better reach than sword, and sword is more versatile than axe', but, yeah, this is probably a way easier way to remember than that!
hmfan2-0 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
best way to think of it is that Axe is big and heavy so either blocks/breaks the spear at the shaft, the spear has a longer reach than a sword and can get past the swords guard easier, and a sword is a faster weapon than an Axe. Or just use your method, that works too. Either way good representation of how that mechanic is set up.
AznTempest254 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
In honesty, I think the whole Laguez (butchered spelling probably) and magic Element cycles make much more sense than melee mechanics. But hey, what can you do?
Blazestar31 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
"I've started playing Fire Emblem: Awakening for the 3DS."
"for the 3DS."
RAAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!! *flips over table*
DannyboyO1 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
Barbarians beat lancers beat legionnaires beat barbarians. The difference is not just reach, but formation. Axes take some swinging... and spreading out helps when cavalry charges.

But since it's a video game, it really is just rock-paper-scissors, whether the reason behind it is sane or not. :D
BladeSwinga Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
I always saw it like this- The sword is quicker and more dextrous than the axe, and can catch/parry it. The axe has the force needed to bat away or chop off a lance, so makes it a tougher opponent. The lance is too tough to be simply knocked aside by the sword, and has the range to avoid the sword user from getting in close to attack themselves. I've only played Sacred Stones, but that was how I rationalized the weapons triangle.
Kiereth Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
I'm not sure how it is for Awakening, but I played through Shadow Dragon on the DS, and the triangle really doesn't matter that much late-game. They make you learn it, and then it's suddenly not necessary information to use. Oh well. Nice toon!
ZeroFollower0 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Congrats. The game is way better than the original cause if you put the time into it you can make everyone OP insted of just one character(mainly the main character)
kegisak Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
It's funny, the axe beating the spear always made the most sense to me... because I always looked at it from the perspective of the axe attacking. A heavy axe is gonna chop right through a narrow lance if someone tried to block with the lance. An axe is too clumsy to block a sword, and a sword is too short to block a lance. I guess that each having the advantage in attacking lead to an overall afdvatage to my wee young brain? I dunno.
leviadragon99 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
I think it's that an axe has the weight to break a spear, a spear has the reach to trump a sword, and a sword has the speed to bypass an axe.
Spector-Q Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh hey, new artwork!! =D

Nice work, Dan; nice and clean. I like it!
Rhys1010 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Oh, how are you enjoying it? Got your OC to be with Chrom?
Zeo722 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh you just wait. Then there's the air-electric-fire magic trio, and the dragon-pegasus-horse trio, and others, too.

Don't worry though. ;)
When you get beefy enough, the triangles don't matter at all.
Chenese96 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Nice vector work. ^^
What's your inspiration?
DanShive Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
I say in the description :)
Chenese96 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Oh, I'll go read it now. > <
Stay inspired!
DaffydWagstaff Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Of course you could have also have used three basic starter Pokémon wielding the relevant weapons as a memorable image too .............

Zvart Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know a lot of Calvary use spears, but they also use swords.

I just always remember the image of the only Fire Emblem game I played - one of the main character's uses an axe, and when he faced off against a foot soldier with a spear...

VictorHugo Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
YouŽll love this Fire Emblem, and youŽll cry in the end, and youŽll play all the previous games, from the DS to the GameBoy Advance ones.
Atashi-Cloud Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a great visual on how the dynamic works. I do love the fact you took the most normal and average Rock/Paper/Scissors to help you out.

I'd have taken it a different way, mainly because I tend to think in logical circles. ^^; While it is explained in context, I think the way Ike from Path of Radiance figures it out tends to be the best way to consider how it works. I can't remember his exact words, but Altbaronak puts it rather nicely.
Saphroneth Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Sword beats axe because the sword is able to stab when the axe is being swung (which is how the Romans did it). Spear beats sword because the person using the sword doesn't have the reach. And the axe beating the spear is less immediately clear, but I'd think of "the axe can chop the spear tip off".
DouglassCZ Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Heh. I never thought about the weapon cycle in that way.
kirby144 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I hope you enjoy the game Dan, I love it so far.
FatefullyKinetic Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
=P I was wondering when you were going to post on here again. I thought you might have gotten about those of us who enjoy your dA submissions, too. hehe

I...don't understand those mechanics, either.
Demicus-Maximus Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Then, if it's like other Fire Emblems, you'll find weapons that reverse this. Sword good against spear, spear good against axe, axe good against sword.

And don't forget the MOST IMPORTANT LESSON IN FIRE EMBLEM. If YOU have a 99% chance to hit, you will ALWAYS MISS. If the enemy has a 01% chance to kill one of your units, it will ALWAYS HIT.
Altbaronak Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
I have my own theory, if you're willing to listen. A bit lengthy, though.
DanShive Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
If you'd like to share it, I'd like to read it.
Altbaronak Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Okey-dokey. But like I said: be prepared for a LOT of words.

I always notice that the three weapons have something in common: swords are super-fast, axes are super-slow, and lances are somewhere in the middle.

Sword versus axe is easy to explain: axes are slow and clunky, so a swordsman can move faster than the axeman, making the latter's attacks useless.

Lance versus sword is just as easy: with such a long reach, a lancer can keep a swordsman at bay, rendering all of their flashy movements useless.

Axe versus lance was a bit difficult for me, too, until I thought about this: axes are pretty broad. If you use the metal part as a shield, you can stop a lance's attack and possibly break it.

I like how you simplified it here, though. A lot better than this long explanation.
Viredae Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
I always remember it by remembering that Axes are good for chopping wood, which lances have a lot of, so Axes beat lances.
CayleyGraph Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I always figured that lance users had to be extra-careful fighting axe users to keep them from chopping through the pole.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
June 5, 2013
Image Size
71.2 KB


112 (who?)