Marth (Fire Emblem)

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Marth
Fire Emblem character
Marth's artwork for Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū.
First game Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi[1] (1990)
Created by Shouzou Kaga
Voiced by (English) Spike Spencer (OVA)
Voiced by (Japanese) Hikaru Midorikawa

Marth (マルス Marusu?) is a character from Nintendo and Intelligent Systems's Fire Emblem series of video games. He is the central protagonist and Lord-class character of the original game[2] Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi,[1] the third game, Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo,[3] and the two remake games Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū.

Although all Marth's Fire Emblem titles were released only in Japan[4] until the release of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, he has acquired more widespread international attention through his recurring appearances in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games.[5] The appearance of Marth and Roy sparked a greater level of Western interest in the Fire Emblem series, and it was in part because of this that Nintendo began releasing the games internationally beginning with the seventh title in the series.[6]

Design[edit]

The design of Marth in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon differed from Super Smash Bros. Brawl due to the former's design being introduced to Smash Bros. developer Masahiro Sakurai after his design of Marth was introduced. The Shadow Dragon staff had differing opinions of the design, due to some feeling that the design shouldn't look exactly like he used to, but also feeling that the design should not change much. In the end, they made only minor changes to his design.[7]

Originally, in the English localization of the original video animation, Marth was referred to as "Mars", but it was pronounced "Marce" as opposed to the usual "Marz"; with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Nintendo of America officially localized his name as "Marth". In Melee's debug menu and internal file names in Shadow Dragon and Shin Monshou no Nazo, written and programmed by the games' Japanese developers, his name is nonetheless listed as "Mars".[8] On the other hand, the "Marth" spelling is used by public Japanese sources, including the Melee website and the Fire Emblem trading card game.

Nintendo of Japan had originally intended to make him playable only in Super Smash Bros. Melee's Japanese release, but when he garnered favorable attention during the game's North American localization, Nintendo of America decided to keep both him and fellow Fire Emblem protagonist Roy in the North American and European versions.[citation needed]

In his recent 3D appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series and in the 1996 anime Marth has been played by Japanese voice actor Hikaru Midorikawa. He was portrayed by Spike Spencer in the ADV Films dub of the anime, but the Western releases of Super Smash Bros. Melee and in Super Smash Bros. Brawl retained Midorikawa's voice as a reflection of his then-lack of appearances in any Western-released games.[9]

Appearances[edit]

Video games[edit]

Marth as he appears in Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi where he used to wear straps, brown shoes, and like Link in the early games, he does not wear pants

Marth debuted with the 1990 release of the video game Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi[1] in Japan. He is depicted as a heroic prince, sixteen years of age who was forced to flee his home kingdom of Altea after it was attacked. He then assumes the role of hero leading a rebellion to regain control of his kingdom and save his sister Elice. Marth also appears as the main character in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, the remake Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken which his appearance has changed compared to that of the original game under the DS's visual enhancements.[10] This was the first time for a Fire Emblem game starring Marth to be released outside of Japan.

In Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo, released on January 21, 1994, and in its 2010 remake Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū, Marth reprised his role as the story's protagonist. The first part of the game being a direct remake of the first Fire Emblem game, Marth's role wasn't altered much. In the second part Marth spent his days peacefully in Altea until he discovered a former ally was conquering neighboring kingdoms by force and left to investigate. Over the course of the game Marth sought to restore the Fire Emblem's true power and discover the reason behind his friend's actions.

In Fire Emblem Awakening, a game set in the far future of his story and starring his distant descendants, Marth is available as both a paid downloadable content character in the "Champions of Yore 1" package (which is also included in a bundle with "Champions of Yore 2," which features Roy from The Binding Blade), and as two different SpotPass characters: "Prince Marth" and "King Marth", representing his portrayals in Shadow Dragon and Shin Monshou no Nazo respectively. During the course of the game's main story, his descendant Princess Lucina of Ylisse disguises herself as Marth and, wearing a mask, actively claims to be him until her father, Chrom, Prince of Ylisse, discovers her true identity.

Marth's first major appearance in the Western hemisphere was in the GameCube title Super Smash Bros. Melee. Marth is unlocked if the player fights with the original fourteen characters.[11] He appears on the basis of the official Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo artwork. His appearance was considered a factor in causing Fire Emblem to go stateside. Marth is also a playable character in the major 2008 Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl.[12] sporting a more detailed and updated appearance. In the game's story mode, "The Subspace Emissary", he is seen teaming up with Ike, the protagonist of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn and Meta Knight of the Kirby series. His final smash is Critical Hit, where he can strike opponents with a blow from his sword for an instant KO (unless blasted into a corner or in an enclosed box). During this attack, a 60 hp health bar is shown, and is quickly depleted, in reference to the battles of the Fire Emblem series. In both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Marth speaks Japanese rather than English, unlike Ike. This is probably because at the time, the game Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon had never been released in the United States; it was eventually brought stateside on February 16, 2009, nearly a year after Brawl's release. On November 7th, 2013, Marth was confirmed to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U,[13] the next title in the Super Smash Bros series, now using his character design from Shadow Dragon.

In other media[edit]

The Fire Emblem anime, based on Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo, is an adaption of the beginning part of the first game's plot, including and following Marth's fleeing of his kingdom. In the English translation, Marth's name is respelled as 'Mars' and is even given the last name of 'Lowell'. It depicts Mars and his sister fleeing from the castle after his father is killed by the evil priest, Gharnef, followed by Mars in the present residing in Caeda's kingdom of Talis. He faces the shame of his family's defeat, followed by saving his friends and Caeda's city from pirates and then rejoining the war effort. The second episode mostly follows the character Navarre of the same game. The anime ended production after only two episodes were finished.[14] Marth is featured as a card in both of the final expansion sets for the Fire Emblem Trading Card Game along with other characters from Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo and also as a promotional card.[14]

Character[edit]

Marth, a boy in Altea, gathered an army to recapture and restore his home and the rest of the Akaneia continent, and is the warrior who twice slew the dark dragon Medeus.[15] Being in the first Fire Emblem game, Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken he is the first Lord (main character) of the Fire Emblem series. Typical of most Fire Emblem "Lords" in successive games, he is a swordsman with a slim build and wears a cape; he shows nobility and justness in both of the Fire Emblem games that he appears in, though he also shows himself to be somewhat single-minded in pursuit of Medeus and Gharnef in Shadow Dragon (the remake of Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken), implying that he has a darker and more ruthless side to his character: he also has difficulty in expressing his feelings for Caeda in that game's epilogue (if she survived). His nobility of character has carried over to the anime, in which he is fighting against villains.[14] His father, Cornelius, was the King of Altea, his elder sister, Elice, is the Princess of Altea, and his future queen, Caeda. Marth wields the Divine Blade of Legends, Falchion, as his main weapon in both the Fire Emblem games and Super Smash Bros. series.[16]

One hundred years had passed since Medeus was slain in Archanea. Once Medeus was resurrected he rebuilt his land of Dolhr, readying himself for an invasion of Archanea once again. After the attack from Dolhr, Marth was forced into exile on the island nation of Talys. His father, Cornelius, was killed battling Gharnef, an evil priest and a devout follower of Medeus; his elder sister Elice was taken hostage.[15] He had also discovered that Altea's neighbor and ally Gra has betrayed the kingdom, due to Gharnef's manipulations and King Jiol's cowardice. With the help of the Altean knight Jagen, the Talysian Princess Caeda, and other characters, Marth embarks on a quest to defeat Medeus, reclaim the kingdom of Altea, and rescue his sister. Marth meets Nyna, the princess of Archanea-the most prominent kingdom—who gave him the country's national treasure, the Fire Emblem. Marth later obtains the Falchion sword, which was stolen from his father by Gharnef. He uses it to confront Medeus.

After the defeat of Medeus, Marth was engaged to Caeda and spent his days peacefully in Altea. It wasn't until rumours had it that Hardin—a former ally and friend of Marth—had begun to conquer various countries in Archanea with the help of the Manaketes[17] that Marth was forced to leave his rule of Altea to investigate. When Marth and his men gathered at Grust, several of his former allies were fleeing, or some were murdered during the pillages of Hardin. Marth then travelled to Macedonia where he met Linde, a mage of Archanea, who had been keeping the Fire Emblem safe from harm. He discovers that several gems are needed for the Fire Emblem to regain its true power. Marth retrieves most of the gems, only to realize that Hardin had conquered Altea in his absence. He leaves to see Gra, a kingdom that had seen a similar fate to what happened to Altea. He meets Sheema, Gra's princess. who had left Gra when her father decided to betray Altea as she wanted no part in it.

After reaching his palace, Marth defeats Hardin,[18] obtaining the last gem. The gems are placed on the Fire Emblem, which becomes the Shield of Seals. Marth discovers that Hardin wasn't really evil and was possessed by the evil priest Gharnef himself through the Dark orb. He then heads to Dolhr where Gharnef lurks. After Gharnef is defeated, all that remains is the new reborn Medeus, guarded by Earth Dragons and possessed clerics, including his sister, Elice, and Princess Nyna. The Shield of Seals emits a power that forces the Earth Dragons to retreat, giving Marth's army the opportunity to save the clerics and for Marth to defeat Medeus once and for all with a slash of Falchion.[19] Afterward, Marth is declared Emperor of Archanea and is finally married to Caeda.

Reception[edit]

He was noted to be the most famous character in the series by Official Nintendo Magazine,[20] and a popular character by GamesRadar and IGN.[21][22] Marth's inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. series of video games popularized both him and Fire Emblem in the West; it was in part because of his inclusion that Nintendo began releasing the games internationally beginning with the seventh title in the series.[6] Series producer Toru Narihiro attributed an increase in reputation for both Marth and fellow Fire Emblem character Ike to their appearances in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, adding that their reputations grew beyond the staff's expectations.[7] UGO Networks remarked Marth is "cool" because he is a "blade-wielding fighter who is both quick and strong", adding he is "one of the more capable fighters on the roster" of Brawl.[23] On other hand, Joystick Division ranked him third on it article about what Brawl characters should be replaced, with his substitute being Rad Spencer from Bionic Commando.[24] Cheat Code Central included him in their list of "Top 10 Video Game Swordsmen", stating "Marth's swordsmanship is less a hallmark of his own game and more one of the Super Smash Bros. series."[25] In 2013, Complex ranked him 36th among the 50 greatest soldiers in video games.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Official websiteat Nintendo of Europe". Nintendo.co.uk. 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  2. ^ "'Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi'". NinDB. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  3. ^ "'IGN: Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo'". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  4. ^ "'Fire Emblem Series List'". NinDB. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  5. ^ Kyle Orland (2008-01-29). "Super spoiler Bros. Brawl". Joystiq. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b "'Fire Emblem (GBA)'". NinDB. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  7. ^ a b "Iwata Asks - Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon". Fire Emblem. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  8. ^ "'SSBM Debug'". Super Smash Bros. Melee DebugGuide. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  9. ^ "'Fire Emblem (Dub)'". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  10. ^ "'Screenshot: Fire Emblem DS'". Nintendo Europe. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  11. ^ "'Super Smash Bros. for GameCube Cheats'". Game Spot. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  12. ^ "Marth's character page on Smash Bros. DOJO!! (Official site)". Nintendo. 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  13. ^ http://www.smashbros.com/us/
  14. ^ a b c "'Absolute anime/Fire Emblem'". Absolute Anime. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  15. ^ a b "'Absolute Anime/Fire Emblem/Marth'". Absolute Anime. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  16. ^ "'Guides: Super Smash Bros Melee'". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  17. ^ "'Localisation changes 1'". Serenes Forest. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  18. ^ "'Fire Emblem for SSBM players'". Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  19. ^ "'Fire Emblem: dark Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light'". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  20. ^ East, Thomas (April 10, 2012). "First Fire Emblem 3DS DLC confirmed". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  21. ^ Concepcion, Miguel (February 13, 2013). "Fire Emblem: Awakening character guide". GamesRadar. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  22. ^ Drake, Audrey (February 1, 2013). "Playing Fire Emblem Awakening's Marth DLC". IGN. Retrieved July 28, 201. 
  23. ^ "Marth - Smash Bros. Characters". UGO Networks. February 12, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  24. ^ Hodges, Gary (April 1, 2008). "5 Super Smash Bros. Brawl characters that suck, and the 5 that should've been in it instead". Joystick Division. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  25. ^ Reiches, Shelby (September 4, 2012). "Top 10 Swordsmen". Cheat Code Central. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  26. ^ Hunter, Chad; Rougeau, Michael (May 25, 2013). "36. Marth The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games". Complex. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]