Ethan's first contact with the FE saga was with a Super Nintendo emulator that his father had installed on his PC. The ROM in question? Genealogy of a Holy War. After that, He remembers the first Fire Emblem game he managed to complete was The blazing Blade on a GBA emulator for android and his favorite character of the whole saga is Seliph. Outside of FE, Ethan is a keen indie gaming fan and loves reviewing games when he gets the chance!
The first Fire Emblem game I ever played was Genealogy of the Holy War. It wasn’t even a version I could understand. I played the original Japanese ROM. I don’t know why, but my dad had that ROM next to an old Super Nintendo emulator on his computer. The first time I played it, I didn’t understand almost anything of what was happening on the screen. Still, one time I managed to get past the first turn of the game, I remember I got struck by the apparition of a man on horseback. It reminded me of a book of stories my father used to read to me. That man was Quan.
Quan is one of those characters that is hard to forget. He is a very good character in terms of game mechanics; story-wise, he is one of the most interesting characters in the game. He becomes a fundamental part of the story the game is trying to tell.
One of the reasons I ended up playing the rest of the saga many years later is because Quan’s design was stuck in my memory since I was a kid. And it’s basically because of this that I’m here today talking about Fire Emblem. With that in mind, I’m going to try to do Quan as much justice as possible. He is an outstanding character in one of the best games of the saga. But more importantly, he is the basis for many other characters that exist today. (Yes, Quan walked so that Frederick could run).
Important Information to Know about Quan
Weapon: Lance (star rank thanks to the holy blood)
Class: Duke Knight
Holy Blood: Njörun
One of the first things that may seem especially strange to you when you start talking about Quan is that there are many unfamiliar concepts associated with the character. What is Leadership? Why is its weapon range a star? What the heck is Holy Blood? And the truth is that it’s understandable to a certain extent. Genealogy of the Holy War is one of the most innovative games in the franchise. Most of the changes that the franchise has undergone have been thanks to this game. Genealogy of the Holy War laid the foundation for most of them. I’ll quickly explain what I mean:
Leadership is the possibility that each unit near Quan has to evade or deliver critical hits. Each point of Leadership grants an extra 10% to perform evasions as long as they are less than five squares away from Quan. We could consider Leadership as the basis for the luck-based critical hit system that we would see in the rest of the games in the saga.
The rank situation of your weapon and Holy Blood go hand in hand. On the one hand, Holy Blood is a feature that is essential to the game’s story and gameplay. I won’t explain what it is in terms of story because that would basically ruin a good part of the game for you. Yet, I can explain it in terms of mechanics. It’s essentially something similar to the crest in Fire Emblem Three Houses.
The Holy Blood grants users double bonus growth. It also gives them a star in weapon rank. This allow the character to use the holy weapon related to their Holy Blood type.
Once this is explained, we can understand why Quan is one of the best characters in the game. Although he is a level below Sigurd, his Holy Blood is one of the most important. The bonuses his holy blood gives are in two critical points: defense and speed. This makes Quan a really fast character. If you manage to build enough Leadership, Quan becomes a machine on the art of delivering critical hits and dodging regular hits.
Quan studied at Belhalla Academy together with Sigurd and Eldigan. The three were very good friends, being practically inseparable, and always promised to help each other in times of weakness and trouble. At the beginning of the game, Quan and Ethlyn (his wife) come to Sigurd’s aid when they learn of the beginning of the war between Granvale and Verdane. From that moment on, they become part of Sigurd’s team.
Quan could basicallybe considered Sigurd’s best friend. Quan is married to Sigurd’s sister. He is also the father of Leif, the protagonist of Thracia 776, and the uncle of Seliph. This makes him the uncle of the protagonist of the second generation of Fire Emblem Genaology of a Holy War. So we can say that he and Sigurd are basically family.
Quan is a person who, like Sigurd, is immensely proud and thinks that the most important thing is always to achieve victory in his battles. However, unlike Sigurd, Quan is much calmer when it comes to his reactions to insults. He could be considered a big brother to Sigurd. He always manages to calm Sigurd down in high-stress situations. This explains why they both trust each other so much.
Even though he seems like someone cool and always in control, he also has a more emotional side. We can see that side during all the events of Chapter 5. He is concerned that Ethlyn brings Altena on the trip, even when she knows that it could be dangerous to bring her since she is a child. However, even in the face of adversity, we can find that he is one of the best strategists in the kingdom. He is capable of creating a plan to save his daughter and fighting until the last consequences if necessary.
He is also quite curious and has excellent investigative skills. We can see this in how during Chapter 1, he manages to interrogate Ayra. He almost gets the correct information to prevent the attacks on Darna. However, these skills are not good enough to save him from his eventual fate. This shows that while he has enough investigative skills, he is also somewhat overconfident.
What we can appreciate about Quan in most of his interactions is the fact that he is a person who places great value on his relationships with family and friends. He saw in Sigurd much more than a friend; they are essentially brothers in arms. He was willing to sacrifice everything for his friend’s kingdom. In addition, he is a figure quite close to Finn; this leads to Finn later being the protector of Leif, his son.
Why Should I Care about Quan?
One of the first things you have to consider when playing this game is that the strategy takes place on the battlefield, not on the statistics screen. Yet, statistics play an essential role. The fundamental importance is the placement of the units on the battlefield at the start of conflicts. The choice of units is one of the most critical strategies at the beginning of the game.
Although, during the first two chapters, Quan does not have much opportunity to shine (because he is a character that only uses spears), the reality is that they show how Quan is one of the best characters in high-risk situations. Even though he is always at a disadvantage because the entire map is full of enemies that use axes, Quan can survive the map without any problems.
In addition to being one of the few units that already have its promotion from the beginning of the game, it has one of the best Holy Blood in defense. Not only does it grant a 10% increase in the user’s defense, but it also grants a 10% increase in his speed and a 20% increase in his health points. Quan is easily one of the game’s best walls and one of the best options if you want your units to survive.
On top of that, Quan can use a holy weapon, the Gáe Bolg spear. Gáe Bolg is one of the best spears in the game. This spear covers Quan’s weaknesses and further improves his defense. Gáe Bolg gives Quan:
Hit rate: 70%
Effect: Grants its user bonuses of +10 Strength, +10 Skill, and +10 Defense.
As you can see, it is one of the best spears in terms of its attack and defense abilities. If you make Quan use it, he gains at least 30 points in defense, 10 in attack, and 10 skill points. In total, it ads a 70% hit chance, making Quan the best choice for critical hits.
The only real problem is that he has a lousy luck stat. His Adept skill will only activate in a maximum of 35% of the battles because it depends on his speed stat. Besides that, due to his Holy Blood, Quan can use every spear in the game (except the other holy spear, Gungnir).
He only has four conversations:
During the Prologue, he talks to Sigurd, but it doesn’t result in anything.
During Chapter one, Quan can talk to Finn. I recommend this because it grants Finn one point of strength, one of skill, and one of defense.
In Chapter 2, after the capture of Hierhein Castle, Quan can talk to Finn again, making Finn get the Brave Lance.
In Chapter 3, after the capture of Silvail Castel, Ethlyn can talk to Quan, receiving the Gáe Bolg spear.
How to Use Quan Correctly
Quan already comes with his final class. There really isn’t much you can do to change his class, but you can improve his stats significantly. The primary way to do this is by equipping him with the right weapons. During the first few chapters, Quan can only gain defense and stamina points due to his complete inability to make direct attacks because of the presence of units with axes.
The best thing to do is to use the Gáe Bolg spear from Chapter 3 onwards since it will give him access to most of his stabilized growth, which is also a result of his Njörun Holy Blood. Although there are also some other options to get a good improvement in Quan’s stats.
On the one hand, there is the option of giving Quan Arden’s Pursuit Ring. This will give him the pursuit ability. The only problem it carries is that you won’t be able to use the ring until the end of Chapter 8.
The second option is to give Quan the Brave Lance because it will allow you to use it immediately, being too effective on a general level. However, the problem is the same; you won’t be able to use it again until Chapter 8.
It can be part of a strategy to let Altena get both the ring and the spear since she is the one who inherits basically all your weapons, skills, and stats. So it is a good option if you want to have Altena strong enough for her eventual presence in your army.
He comes by default with:
Adept: (Attack Speed+20)% chance of attacking twice.
He can’t gain any other ability.
How to Play with Quan
Quan is a character that is defensive by nature. Therefore, if what you want is to have a character that can only withstand attacks, Quan may be the best option for you. Especially considering that during the first few chapters that Quan appears, most units will use axes, which puts him at a constant disadvantage.
However, if you manage to overcome the adversities of those levels, Quan is a character made to play fast; that’s why he can use a lot of spears, and he’s too fast to receive consistent critical hits.
In general, Quan is a character that is made so that when Altena takes her place in the game, she is strong enough. This can be achieved if Quan can get enough luck in his main stats and is easily achieved since Quan is generally a balanced character.
His final build may look something like this:
Weapon: Lance (star rank thanks to the holy blood)
Class: Duke Knight
Holy Blood: Njörun
Item: Gáe Bolg, Brave Lance, Pursuit ring
The Best Way to Level Up Quan
Quan is a relatively easy character to level up. During the first three chapters, he only takes a defensive position, allowing him to be constantly attacked by most of the axe squads in the game and heal constantly. This will allow his stamina to go up without much trouble. On a general level, it will also allow him to gain experience.
That aside, the truth is that Quan doesn’t have many options for leveling up outside of direct confrontations. Ultimately, Genealogy of the Holy War also doesn’t offer many alternatives to gain experience outside of direct combat.
Other Apparitions of Quan
Quan also appears in three other games of the series. On Thracia 776, he is mentioned but doesn’t make a physical appearance.
On Fire emblem Awakening, he is a Spotpass character and a member of the xenologues Lost Bloodline parts 1 and 3.
In this DLC, his stats are:
Discipline: Doubles the amount of weapon experience the unit receives.
Defender: Grants +1 to all stats when paired up as the lead unit
Outdoor Fighter: Grants Hit/Avo +10 while fighting outdoors
Finally, he also appears on Fire emblem heroes with two different versions:
Quan Lightfoot Prince: Flying/bow unit
Quan Luminous Lancer: Cavalry Lance unit.
Question: Can I save Quan?
Answer: Unfortunately, Quan dies at the end of Chapter 5, as do all the first generation of heroes in the game.
Question: Can I marry Quan to anybody else?
Answer: No. Quan is by default married to Sigurd’s sister, Ethlyn.
Question: Does Quan ever meet Leif?
Answer: Canonically speaking: No. In Fire Emblem Awakening, they do meet.
Final thoughts on Quan
Quan is one of the reasons I became interested in the saga, so it’s fair to say that this article would probably not exist without him and Sigurd. He is a perfect character that served as a base for many others of the saga in a game that revolutionized the structure of the whole series.
Generally, I can only say that Quan is one of the best knights in the series, and if you manage to use his gameplay, you will realize that he has a lot to offer.
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