Hello and welcome to another session of our Love Awakening series featuring today Lissa and Ricken.
That pairing did not really come to me in the best of circumstances. It was more a matter of who was left among the guys to pair with Lissa as well as a consideration for apparent age. To me Ricken appears way too young to attract the romantic attentions from some of the older-looking characters. I know the game does not forbid it but for instance I cannot see a Miriel or Cordelia consider the soft-spoken Ricken as more than a cute little brother.
Lissa and her bright, energetic personality has a lot more options but, as I said above, when the time came to chose her partner I had already started pairing up some of the more colourful men with other women. At the time pairing her with Ricken did not seem too much of a bad choice as they appeared to share history through the boy’s admiration for Chrom. Overall, I did not have too much hope to be thrilled by their support and, as expected, they did not ended being one of my favourite couples. But let see how they fared together:
Battle-wise: The problem with those two if that they are both very useful characters in battle in a very different way. They both also have their weaknesses and cannot really defend each other until further along in the game. My problem was that as much as Lissa is very useful she takes time to level up and needs to be sheltered from close combat even after accessing a fighting class. On the other hand, after a difficult start, Ricken quickly became one of my strongest assets, especially as a sage, and was quickly one-shooting his enemies, not leaving any opportunity for a paired up Lissa to do any damage and moving too fast for her to catch up if not paired.
I must say that I started pairing them quite late in the game which was maybe the problem. If I had kept them close early on, with Lissa healing or buffing Ricken with a ward all the time their relationship and skills might have grown faster. Ultimately it is a pair that worked, but it required a lot of effort and now that they are both in their advanced classes they are often needed to move separately ; so alright for battle but not ideal.
Relationship-wise: Watching their support comforted me on my opinion on both characters ; I love Lissa’s spirit but is easily annoyed by Ricken’s seriousness. I mean, he is sweet and all, affected by the violence of war as a young man should be, he cares for Lissa’s well-being and easily shares painful memories. With his well-developed powers, he is a bit the Harry Potter of FE:A and lacks maturity to face the terrible fate awaiting the shepherds. His strong loyalty to Chrom makes me think he is not fighting for himself which would be detrimental to him as a warrior.
On the other hand, Lissa is sweet but in a strong-headed way. She acknowledges the difficulty they encounter but chose to focus on the positive. In the support we do not really see what she gains emotionally from the relationship and we actually learn little about her. My imagination tells me that their interaction is that of two childhood friends who have been in the same circle for a long time and learnt to appreciate each other. As war declared they grew closer and made the jump across from friendship to a form of love as a way to counter the horrors and threats they felt each day. In a more peaceful situation I think they would have kept on being friends while taking the time of finding themselves partners more suited to each of their personalities.
My impressions were confirmed when discovering Owain who has nothing in common with Ricken and I do not see how he could be his father. I feel in my next playthrough I will pair Lissa with somebody a bit more cheerful. On the other hand, I might leave Ricken alone. I found a lot of fanart portraying him with Henry as really good friends or lovers and I tend to agree. Ricken strikes me as somebody who would benefit from a relationship with another man from whom he would draw strength and a companionship he lacked at an early age.
To conclude, Lissa and Ricken are not a horrible support but not my best pairing either even though I am glad I got to know them better through it. After the mildly disappointing two last couples, we will move on to a pair that surprised me : Gaius & Nowi !