It’s a pretty well-known fact that Awakening was very nearly the last game in the Fire Emblem series. Knowing this, the creators filled it to the brim with loving references to those that came before. Many of these references are easy to spot — for example, weapons named after prior characters, such as Leif’s blade, are fairly obvious. But Awakening also features a much more subtle callback to the previous 12 games in the series — the birthdays of every single child unit.
There are 13 possible child units in Awakening. All of them, with the exception of the protagonist’s child, Morgan (who exists in a semi-canon state), share a birthday with some sort of anniversary from the series’ decorated past — 12 games for 12 child units. Lucina’s birthday coincides with the launch date for the first-ever Fire Emblem, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light: April 20. Because of course it does.
That said, there’s actually one ‘canon’ child unit who doesn’t share a birthday with a mainline game anniversary. This is because the first Fire Emblem game and the ninth (Path of Radiance) actually had the same Japanese release date, meaning Lucina’s birthday falls on two anniversaries and the 11 remaining children only had ten games left to claim. For this reason, Kjelle is listed as being born on September 29, which is the anniversary of one of BS Fire Emblem’s initial broadcast dates.
BS Fire Emblem (yes, it’s actually referred to as that, and it stands for “Broadcast Satellite”) was a series of maps that could be played using the Super Famicom’s Satellaview peripheral device to download them from the radio at specific times. Because of the nature of these broadcasts, the BS Fire Emblem chapters were actually the first Fire Emblem ‘game’ to feature full voice acting — 20 full years before Fire Emblem: Echoes!
So, despite being a much more subtle reference than the Spotpass teams or the weapons named after characters, Fire Emblem: Awakening’s birthdays served as a fond callback to the series’ previous entries during the making of what could have been its last. Next time one of the kids’ birthdays rolls around, try looking up which game anniversary they were assigned!
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