Ike (アイク, Ike) is a character from the Fire Emblem series. He is the main protagonist of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and one of the main protagonists of its sequel, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Initially succeeding his late father Greil as the leader of a band of mercenaries in Path of Radiance, Ike's wartime efforts ultimately lead him to become a legend known as the "Radiant Hero" (青い炎の英雄, Hero of the Blue Flame) by the end of Radiant Dawn. Ike made his Super Smash Bros. series debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a playable character, and has appeared as such since then.
By 2005, the Fire Emblem series of tactical role-playing fantasy video games had fully been established as an internationally famous and successful franchise, largely thanks to the inclusion of previous Fire Emblem protagonists Marth and Roy as playable characters in 2001's immensely successful Super Smash Bros. Melee. After Melee, another Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, was released outside of Japan and marked Ike's debut.
In Path of Radiance, Ike serves the traditional role of the Fire Emblem main protagonist in that the story revolves around him and his efforts of heroism. Ike's status as such is reflected in terms of gameplay, as he functions as an equivalent to series' Lord class playable unit. In Ike's case, he is the only character in Path of Radiance to possess the Ranger class.
Although he initially has shaky base statistics upon starting with this class, Ike has excellent statistical growths across most of stats, which usually results in him developing into a top-quality Lord class unit by the end of the game, in which he maxes out his strength, speed and skill on average upon reaching his maximum level.
The game's sequel, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, extends the story and brings the overall story full-circle. It has been three years since the Mad King's War, and war engulfs Tellius once again as the various countries attempt to re-establish themselves. Compared to Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn focuses on an ensemble cast from varying viewpoints, with Ike becoming playable around mid-game. Despite this, Ike is nevertheless required to deal the finishing blow to the final boss, Ashera. Unlike in Path of Radiance, Ike's base stats are excellent, and can be bolstered even further by using Radiant Dawn's data transfer feature to obtain data from Path of Radiance.
In both games, Ike learns Aether, the most powerful of the skills in the reintroduced character skill mechanic. Aether gives Ike a chance to perform a powerful two-hit combo: the first restores his Hit Points by the amount of damage he inflicts, whereas the second inflicts damage while only half of the target's defense is applied.
Aside from his main appearances, Ike appears as an optional party member in both Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates. He appears in Awakening via Spotpass and DLC as an Einherjar; on a related note, Awakening also features Priam, a distant descendant of Ike who bears a striking resemblance to him and even wields a heavily aged Ragnell. In Fates, Ike appears as an amiibo-exclusive character, sporting his Radiant Dawn design and having dialogue that references his status as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series. An illusory version of Ike can also be summoned in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia via amiibo.
Main article: Ike (SSBB)
Ike was the first Fire Emblem character to be revealed as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Despite Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn being released a year before Brawl, Ike instead sports his Ranger design from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
According to Masahiro Sakurai, Ike was not intended to be on the roster early on. Instead, Sakurai devised a blank character template of a slow and very powerful swordsman. Along with this, Sakurai wanted a new Fire Emblem character in Brawl. When discussing the potential new Fire Emblem character with Intelligent Systems, it was suggested he use Ike, owing to his status as the protagonist of the then-latest two games in the series. Upon this suggestion, Sakurai considered Ike, and saw him to be a perfect fit for the aforementioned character template, leading to his inclusion as the new playable Fire Emblem representative.
Ike is currently ranked 23rd on the tier list, placing him in the D tier. His sword, Ragnell, is especially hefty and specialized for long-range combat. Fittingly, the majority of Ike's attacks are among the longest reaching and most powerful in the game, yet are notorious for being among the slowest in the game in regard to both start-up and ending lag. Ike also possesses Aether as his up special move, which gives him armor at its beginning when he and Ragnell are separated and prior to his leap. Lastly, Ike boasts a neutral attack that is capable of being jab canceled easily and reliably into various combos, or even KOing outright.
In addition to his extremely laggy attacks, however, Ike also possesses a poor recovery. Despite his appearance, Ike is also a heavyweight, which hinders his mobility and renders him very susceptible to combos. Lastly, Ike lacks a projectile to compliment the range of Ragnell's blade. By extension, this leaves him susceptible to camping because of his aforementioned mobility issues. Although his weaknesses have resulted in him attaining a small playerbase, Ike has nevertheless managed to achieve respectable tournament results.
Main article: Ike (SSB4)
Ike returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. Unlike in Brawl, he now sports his Hero design from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Ike is currently ranked 40th on the tier list, placing him in the E tier. The majority of Ike's frame data saw noticeable improvement primarily in the form of decreased lag, thanks largely to game updates throughout SSB4's lifespan. His mobility has also improved, thanks to his faster dashing and air speeds, as well as his higher double jump. Changes to game mechanics have also benefited Ike: the changes to hitstun canceling grant his up and down throws respectable combo potential at varying percentages, while the removal of edge-hogging significantly improves Aether's reliability as a recovery option.
However, Ike's power and range have been slightly toned down. Despite gaining a varied combo game, Ike's renowned jab cancel has been significantly worsened to the point of being extremely situational. Lastly, Ike's mobility is below-average at best in spite of its improvements, which results in him remaining susceptible to combos, rushdowns and camping.
Ultimately, Ike's buffs have somewhat improved his viability since Brawl and especially SSB4's early days. Although Ike currently has a small playerbase like in Brawl, players such as Ryo have demonstrated that he remains a formidable character as long as his strengths are utilized to the fullest and his easily exploitable weaknesses are circumvented. To reflect this, his playerbase has achieved decent results at both regional and national level of tournament play, much like in Brawl.
Main article: Ike (SSBU)
Ike returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Unlike in previous installments, Ike's Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn designs are both available for selection. Due to Greg Chun succeeding Jason Adkins as Ike's English voice actor as of Fire Emblem Heroes, Ike has updated voice clips in Ultimate.
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