Marth (Fire Emblem)

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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)
Yuri Lowenthal (Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., Fire Emblem Fates)
Voiced by (Japanese) Hikaru Midorikawa
Ai Orikasa (young; OVA)[2]

Marth (マルス Marusu?) is a character from Nintendo and Intelligent Systems's Fire Emblem series of video games. He is the protagonist and Lord class character in the first[3] and the third games in the series, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi,[1] and Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo,[4] as well as their two remakes, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū.

Although both titles Marth appears in prior to Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon were released exclusively in Japan,[5] he acquired more widespread international attention through his recurring appearances in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series of fighting games.[6] Marth and Roy's appearance increased western interest in the Fire Emblem series, and in part it led Nintendo to start releasing the games internationally, beginning with Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, the seventh installment in the series, released to the west under the title Fire Emblem.[7]

Creation and development[edit]

Marth's design 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.[vague] The Shadow Dragon staff felt that they should review Marth's appearance without straying too far from his original design.[8]

In the English localization of the original video animation, Marth was referred to as "Mars", pronounced "Marce"; with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, Nintendo of America officially localized his name as "Marth". On the other hand, the "Marth" spelling is used by public Japanese sources, including the Melee website and the Fire Emblem trading card game.[citation needed]

Nintendo of Japan had originally intended to make him playable only in Super Smash Bros. Melee's Japanese version, 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.[9]

Marth is voiced by Japanese voice actor Hikaru Midorikawa in both the 1996 anime and the Super Smash Bros. series, and Spike Spencer in the ADV Films dub for the OVA.[10]


Video games[edit]

Marth as he appears in Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi where he wears straps, brown shoes, and no pants.

Marth debuted in 1990 with the release of Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi in Japan.[1] He is depicted as a heroic prince, sixteen years of age who is forced to flee his home kingdom of Altea after it is attacked. He then leads a rebellion to regain control of his kingdom and save his sister Elice. Marth keeps his role in Monsho no Nazo's Book 1 and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken's remakes.

In Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo, released on January 21, 1994, and in the 2010 extended remake of Book 2, Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū, Marth returns to his role as the story's protagonist. Marth's peaceful reign over Altea is dirupted when he discovers Emperor Hardin, a former ally, comrade and friend, was conquering neighboring kingdoms by force.

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 was introduced to the Western audience by the GameCube title Super Smash Bros. Melee, where he is an unlockable character alongside Roy, who would later appear in the Japanese only release Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.[11][12] Marth reappears in the 2008 Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl.[13] In the game's story mode, the "Subspace Emissary", he teams up with Ike from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn and Meta Knight from the Kirby series. His final smash, Critical Hit, strikes opponents with a blow that instantly knocks them out of the screen unless they hit a barrier. During this attack, a quickly-depleting 60 HP health bar is shown, as an homage to the Fire Emblem series' battle system. Marth is also playable in Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, using his character design from Shadow Dragon. He is also a starter character in the series for the first time.[14]

Additionally, by using his respective Amiibo figure, Marth can be unlocked as a playable character in both Code Name S.T.E.A.M. and Fire Emblem Fates using the New Nintendo 3DS' Near Field Communication function.[15][16]

In other media[edit]

An anime under the title Fire Emblem was released in 1996, adapting a part of the first game's plot. Marth's name is romanized as 'Mars' and is given the last name of 'Lowell'. The anime ended production after only two episodes were finished.[17] 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 appears as a promotional card.[17]


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.[18] 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). 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.[17] 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.[19]

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.[18] 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[20] 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 reunited with 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,[21] 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.[22] Afterward, Marth is declared Emperor of Archanea and is finally married to Caeda.


Marth was noted to be the most famous character in the series by Official Nintendo Magazine,[23] and a popular character by GamesRadar and IGN.[24][25] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[26] On the 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.[27] 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."[28] In 2013, Complex ranked him 36th among the 50 greatest soldiers in video games.[29]


  1. ^ a b c "Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon Official websiteat Nintendo of Europe". 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  2. ^ Misawa, Shin (Director) (January 26, 1996). Faiā Emuburemu Monshō no Nazo [Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem] (Anime) (in Japanese). Japan: KSS. Event occurs at the end credits at 25:13. 
  3. ^ "'Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi'". NinDB. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ "'IGN: Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo'". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ "'Fire Emblem Series List'". NinDB. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  6. ^ Kyle Orland (2008-01-29). "Super spoiler Bros. Brawl". Joystiq. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b "'Fire Emblem (GBA)'". NinDB. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ a b "Iwata Asks - Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon". Fire Emblem. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  9. ^ 速報スマブラ拳!! : マルス (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-03-15. 海外版では外す覚悟でマルスを作っていたのですが、キャラを立てた結果、海外のかたにも絶賛され、結果日本と全く同じ仕様で搭載されています。 
  10. ^ "'Fire Emblem (Dub)'". Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  11. ^ "'Super Smash Bros. for GameCube Cheats'". Game Spot. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  12. ^ "'Binding Blade (JP) - Fire Emblem Awakening Wiki Guide IGN'". [1]. Retrieved 2015-07-27.  External link in |work= (help)
  13. ^ "Marth's character page on Smash Bros. DOJO!! (Official site)". Nintendo. 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  14. ^ "Official Site - Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U". Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  15. ^ Carter, Chris. "Fire Emblem amiibo support for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. doesn't add much". Destructoid. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  16. ^ Whitehead, Thomas. "Fire Emblem If Allows You to Build and Manage a Town, All Four Current FE amiibo Supported". Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  17. ^ a b c "'Absolute anime/Fire Emblem'". Absolute Anime. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "anime" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  18. ^ a b "'Absolute Anime/Fire Emblem/Marth'". Absolute Anime. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ "'Guides: Super Smash Bros Melee'". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  20. ^ "'Localisation changes 1'". Serenes Forest. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  21. ^ "'Fire Emblem for SSBM players'". Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  22. ^ "'Fire Emblem: dark Dragon of Darkness and Sword of Light'". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-23.  External link in |work= (help)
  23. ^ East, Thomas (April 10, 2012). "First Fire Emblem 3DS DLC confirmed". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  24. ^ Concepcion, Miguel (February 13, 2013). "Fire Emblem: Awakening character guide". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  25. ^ Drake, Audrey (February 1, 2013). "Playing Fire Emblem Awakening's Marth DLC". IGN. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  26. ^ "Marth - Smash Bros. Characters". UGO Networks. February 12, 2008. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  27. ^ 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 2013-07-28. 
  28. ^ Reiches, Shelby (September 4, 2012). "Top 10 Swordsmen". Cheat Code Central. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  29. ^ Hunter, Chad; Rougeau, Michael (May 25, 2013). "36. Marth The 50 Greatest Soldiers In Video Games". Complex. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 

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