Good Morning/Afternoon/Night/Void to you all!
Today my greatest Sonya appreciation post is finally here! For those who don’t know, I tend to make character appreciation posts on my favorite FE characters before. It has been awhile since I had done one of these and decided now it is a good time to make another one ever since Sonya got her alt.
I will finally be able to show why Sonya is one of my favorite characters in gaming history not just Fire Emblem. This took longer than anticipated but thanks to help from friend and fellow Sonya enthusiast, af1889, it was completed in a well-organized manner.
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this read!
Born somewhere in Rigel, the young Sonya lived in a monastery with her older siblings, Hestia and Marla. Their father Jedah, who’s the high priest of the Duma Faithful, had abandoned them when they were young but the three sisters managed to do well together as they lived piously. Tragedy struck when Jedah sacrificed Sonya’s sisters alive to Duma for his own benefit. Fortunately, Sonya escaped this demise with her siblings’ final will, but they were forcibly turned into witches lacking their own will, yet retaining a glint of their memories with Sonya.
At the age of 25, Sonya’s magical prowess grew stronger as she developed a flamboyant personality and pride in her appearance. While she lived her life the best she could, she still harbored deep hatred for her father’s actions and vowed to get revenge when she got the chance.
Her talents in magic helped her find work as one of Grieth’s subordinates alongside Deen. While she hated Grieth and his terrible actions, she begrudgingly followed his orders to capture Princess Celica in the desert. If Deen is defeated, Sonya will retreat to Grieth’s citadel and choose not to aid him as Celica’s army slays him. Sonya joins Celica’s army revealing she always believed Grieth would get what he deserved in the end.
Her journey with Celica’s army eventually led her to fight against her father Jedah and she furiously did whatever it took to take him down for her and her sister’s sake. After witnessing the demise of her father - and later on - the final conflicts in Valentia with Duma’s defeat and the end of the Duma Faithful, Sonya disappears into a mysterious land looking for a cure for the witches. However, it is rumored that she became a witch herself and settled in Nuibaba’s abode.
And I'll tell you why
Okay. For real.
I have heard of FE Gaiden prior to the SOV remake, but I never enjoyed it. Great ideas done better in other games like FE8, FE13 and 3H but it had a bad execution with questionable level design and mediocre gameplay. The level design ranged from boring and too open to cramped and annoying with stupid gimmicks that slow you down (STUPID SWAMP LEVELS) and the story was very lackluster with a great finale lacking a strong build-up.
But I did know about Sonya or Sonia as she was named before the official translation. She was a redhead mage who looked like Celica or at least more so modern Celica.
Her in-game portrait was pretty neat though.
Sonia was one of the best mages in the games since she could learn every spell in the game but there wasn’t much to her either outside her dislike of her boss and her ending revealing her wrath against Jedah for what he did to her sisters. While she didn’t have much going for her, I did find her was interesting though to say she would be my favorite FE character atm was a far idea.
Cut to 2017 when the Fire Emblem Direct showcased the FE2 remake we know as Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
and the release of Fire Emblem Heroes aka the bane of our existence. I was looking forward to the remake to improve on what I felt was lackluster and make it fun. While the level design was sadly still as bad as Gaiden, the new skill mechanics, better level ups, character’s quotes and voice acting, and the better narrated story made the experience worthwhile for me.
A lot of characters got such great modern designs to make them stand out more. The artist Hidari (which means left side since he draws with his left hand) did a great job making the generic characters stand out in the new designs while giving this classic painting look for all the characters. I found all the new designs unique and aesthetically pleasing. This coupled with facial expressions and great voice acting made it playing through the game so much enjoyable for me. Anyway, I got to the part where Grieth called Sonya and…
Yes I need you on my team!
WOW! Where should I begin to describe why I like this change so much?
Hidari really helped Sonya stand out more in her design. She went from looking like an older mage version of Celica to a bewitching sorceresses that checks a lot of good things for me. Her new dress is a great mix of red and black with the golden accessories adorning it and the inner purple on her cloak all blend well which not only looks beautiful but shows she has great taste in fashion. Her outfit is a bit revealing yet flashy in the right places which demonstrates that she’s a powerful mage who uses her appearance and power to overwhelm her foes and look amazing while doing so.
The small detail with her cloak connecting to her arms yet still being open enough for her move freely and gracefully was a nice touch too.
Finally, the purple hair redesign was such a great change. Yes, we all know about my undying passion for purple haired characters but let me explain why this works so well for Sonya. Purple represents a lot of things in life; magic, passion, grandeur, pride, mystery, independence, kindness, and ambition. There are more traits used to symbolize purple but these traits match Sonya so well. The combination of calm blue and fierce red for the purple hair with the unique colorful and extravagant dress makes this Sonya redesign one of the best-looking characters I’ve seen.
A lot of Sonya’s other artists capture her flamboyant and powerful vibe so well.
And in case you don’t believe me, here’s some purple haired FE characters that perfectly match a lot of what purple symbolizes.
Leon: Devotion, Pride, Passion, Grandeur, Romance (and a bit of femininity)
Deen: Independence, Pride, Power, Ambition, Mystery
Brunnya: Devotion, Pride, Calmness, Wisdom, Kindness
Yuri: Nobility, Ambition, Devotion, Creativity, Graceful
Altina: Power, Devotion, Peaceful, Kindness
Yes, I did just went out of my way to justify my purple haired character obsession so what?
Her new appearance was already perfect, but her expanded personality sealed the deal for me even with the small amount of dialogue she has.
Her first base conversation shows her haughty yet playful side as she playfully teases Celica for being too stoic yet encouraging her to be unafraid to speak her mind. Her 3rd base conversation is where she feels comfortable enough to reveal her past a little more to Celica and laments a bit.
But her second base conversation has my favorite Sonya quote.
“You’ve got a pretty face, Celica, yet somehow you’re just so…plain. As a princess, shouldn’t you be decked out in silk and gold and other fineries? …That stuff just gets in the way? Ugh, you’re such a pragmatist. If it were me, I’d be swimming in jewels! Maybe even wear my hair up… Don’t you think it’s fun to daydream about that sort of thing? I lived in a priory when I was a child, you know. Wearing the same drab habit… Praying day after day after day… Well. no thank you. I’m done with all that. If beautiful women don’t celebrate their beauty, the entire human race loses out. Don’t you agree?”
This quote of hers always resonated with me. That daydreaming line must have been her younger self being bored of her current life and she always wanted to live her own life. Even with her tough past, losing her older sisters and her deep vengeance, she still chooses to live a life she wants to. What’s more, I like how she’s unashamed of her beauty and chooses to live this way — being the center of attention — as she states in a very iconic quote:
“If beautiful women don’t celebrate their beauty, the entire human race loses out.”
But even though she cares about what makes her happy, she is still caring to others like Celica and especially Genny where both cases she acts like a big sister to them. Quick mention of her voice actress Tara Sands doing a good job especially with Sonya and Genny’s support conversations.
Sonya : “Still not comfortable around me?”
Genny : “Not completely, no. I’m sorry.”
Sonya : “It’s all right. But I wanted to share something with you. I also grew up in a priory, although it was my father who abandoned me.”
Genny : “Is that true?”
Sonya : “Yes. And if I met a man who reminded me of him, I’d likely kick his face in. Fortunately, you don’t come across those types too often. Anyway, my point is that you don’t have to hold back with me. You’re free to hate my guts as much as you like, because I understand.”
In the C and B support, Sonya has the same flamboyant voice throughout as she slowly grows to understand why Genny is uncomfortable around her. But in the A support, Sonya’s voice is more natural and calming as she relates to Genny’s predicament and in turn helps her overcome her ill feelings. In a way, Sonya becomes like her older sisters, being caring and encouraging to others despite her past grievances.
And her selflessness and courageousness continue even through her ending. After witnessing Jedah and his Duma Faithful fall apart, she journeys to find a way to cure the witches even if her sisters are no more and that it is said only death can free the witches. And this leads me to believe she was trying to help the witches find a cure beforehand during her possible fight with Celica.
Speaking of her former faction, it’s unknown how Sonya ended up under Grieth’s command. It was clearly not out of loyalty, but I believe it was these two reasons:
She wanted to help the lost witches find a cure and being with her under Grieth allowed them to be somewhat free from the Duma Faithful/Nuibaba’s influence for a time.
Sonya herself was feared and labeled as a witch so she found some tolerance and work under Grieth’s command due to her talents even if she hated his evil actions.
Sonya’s ending somewhat proves the first point. The second one’s a bit looser because the Valentians are shown to be superstitious as they fear witches or what looked like witches to them. Even in Gaiden, Sonya was classified as a witch when she was an enemy even though she wasn’t. When she joins Celica’s army, Sonya finds acceptance among the group and even though she has different goals in mind, she doesn’t mind helping those who accepted her.
While this ending does imply the worst for her, remember that the Valentians are superstitious, and these are just rumoring and not any confirmation. Nuibaba’s abode has a lot of fancy and glamorous things Sonya likes (minus the dungeons) so it’s possible she’s taken residence there for that reason or she’s finding clues about her plight to help the witches.
But none of this is official. It’s just my headcanon.
Even in Fire Emblem Heroes, Sonya continues to be my favorite as well especially because her personality was translated well in all her appearances. Her FEH gameplay is loosely like FE2/15’s where she was a powerful magical nuke with good offenses and being a critical hit machine as well (minus all the dodging).
I remember I pulled my first Sonya in about three months when FEH was new to me in late 2018. Lewyn was on one of the banners and I wanted to pull him. Instead, I got a +spd/-def (I think) Sonya very easily and I couldn’t be happier.
Even when I had no idea what I was doing, I enjoyed using Sonya as a nuke and mage tank and she got even better on her refine coming on my birth month in March 2019.
I even made my first thread about it here though it’s nothing amazing. It was still quite the game changing because it allowed me to have fun with [Glacies] nuking and AoE [Blazing Wind] sweeping with her.
Through dumb luck I was able to get +2 +Atk Sonya before IS created the first Weekly Revival schedule. This was the first time I decided to save my orbs for once to try and +10 my favorite character and on September 8th, 2019, my friend af1899 and I managed to do so together! Here’s the link to mines. And a link to af1899 in case you wanted to see.
And with that goal done, I decided to save up as much as present list orbs for Sonya’s alt ever since. It took about 2 and 1/2 years until she finally got one and I was able to +10 her on the same day as well. As seen here.
If I had a nickel for every time a huge Sonya content appeared on my birth month, I’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot but it’s weird that it happened twice right?
While the artist Yura is controversial for Sonya’s art, I do appreciate the artist’s poses and body language. They’re very dynamic and powerful poses that match Sonya’s personality the best out of her three artworks. However, I feel like her face is off-model and her chest size is overinflated. I still enjoyed this art of her regardless especially her special art.
As for the voice work, Tara Sands did a good job with the new voice lines while IS kept the iconic SoV critical lines for her specials. She sounds like she does in FE15 with her lamenting over her sisters and getting annoyed by the summoner’s constant tapping, but she grows to care for the summoner and enjoy what Askr has to offer.
My OG favorites quotes are;
“Mm-hmm. Lonely, I take it.”
“It’s a shame if a woman doesn’t look as powerful as she feels. Don’t you agree?”
“Spending time with you helps me forget some painful things. Thank you.”
“Let’s have some fun.”
“Haha ha ha…”
“Time for a little discipline.”
Now her resplendent attire was truly amazing. PenekoR nailed her look making her face and body proportions identical to her FE15 self while giving a unique Muspell costume. It’s much more revealing, alluring and a bit less striking compared her iconic dress but it perfectly fits Sonya’s desire to look as charming and powerful as she feels. But compared to Yura’s, her poses are much less dynamic and powerful. Still, this is my overall favorite art of the character so far with the neutral pose being my favorite.
Tara Sands made Sonya much more relaxed and happier compared to her OG self with the new voice inflections. She’s much less annoyed by the summoner’s antics and is appreciative of the new costume while still being able to look her best. These voice lines are my favorite portrayal of her.
“Thank you for the new clothes. So, what do you think? Ravishing, no?”
“I’m always happy to expand my wardrobe. After all, looking good is its own reward.”
“Genny’s bound to get jealous… Could you give her something too?”
“You know me so well, don’t you? I suppose I’ll have try a bit harder, just for you.”
“Tinder for my flames.”
“You thought we were equals?”
And her castle quotes and confession quote for both forms are neat too.
“Is there a reason for a noncombatant to be on the battlefield? I can’t help but worry for you.”
“What do you say to a shopping trip? I’ll pick out some new clothes for you, from head to toe—it’ll be fun!”
“Oh, [Summoner]. Did you come to see me so I could spoil you? You’re just too cute! Aw, stop squirming—I’m only kidding. I had two older sisters, and they spoiled me rotten. So can you blame me for teasing you? At least I finally understand why you join us in battle. It’s because you know your presence is a boost to our morale. You really are an exceptional leader. It’s actually charming, in a way… Seeing your face always puts my mind at ease. Remember to give me a smile now and then, OK?”
And finally, her spring attire was a quite the surprise. Not the theme I was hoping for since I felt that Halloween, Summer, Plegian/Desert or even Fallen banners matched her better. But I can’t help but be happy that Sonya is the leading Harmonic and is paired with Tharja. They’re a great foil who has great chemistry with each other with Sonya as the upbeat, striking, and sincere one while Tharja is the melancholy, cynical, and wary one. I say that the special art captures the contrast between them nicely and shows the best sides to them.
The artist, Kippu, did a great job giving Sonya her proper body proportions and they gave her a more upbeat and peppy disposition to better contrasts well with Tharja’s gloomy and sarcastic body language. This is a more unique take on Sonya than her other alts which mainly focused on her looking powerful and beautiful. This alt captures Sonya’s true self when she’s no longer burden by her past and lives her life as the center of attention.
One issue I have with the alt is that both Sonya and Tharja’s eyes are bigger than usual compared to their other official artwork and alts. I understand that this is Kippu’s style used in many of their FE work, but the eyes still feel off to me and they tend to look too similar to one another. (Compare Spring Sonya’s eyes in her attacking pose to New Year Peony’s eyes in her attacking pose.) Another gripe is I find her spring attire lacking in fashion and flamboyance compared to her other forms. It’s resembling her FE15 attire but it’s too colorful that I think the colors don’t blend together well.
However, I understand that these changes were meant to give Sonya a more energetic and cheerful disposition that contrasts with Tharja so I can overlook them.
As for their dialogue, I really like their banter a lot especially their Harmonic conversation. I just like how Sonya continues to cheer Tharja on despite her weird behaviors with Robin. She even treats Tharja like a little sister with the same care and encouragement like her older siblings once did for her. Adding Stephanie Sheh for one of her best Tharja performance in a while makes their interactions even better.
Sonya: "Let our beauty enchant you!" Tharja: “What?”
Catch me if you can…
Sonya: “We’re the ravishing….” Tharja: “Rabbits.”
“Feels real good to be needed by an adoring crowd. It’s a festival, after all! Mustn’t disappoint”.
"I had two older sisters, and they spoiled me rotten. Right now it feels as though I have a little sister of my own, and I must say—it’s a lot of fun!"
In all three of her alts, Sonya’s portrayal has been mostly consistent and faithful to her FE15 self. I’m quite satisfied with all of her versions in FEH in art and dialogue.
And that’s why she’s one of my favorite FE character of all time.
Great looks, great personality, and great iterations of her in FEH.
What’s not to love?
Build the power of the best mage
|DESCRIPTION||«A mage hired by Grieth. Cool but flamboyant. Vowed vengeance upon her father, Jedah. Appears in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.»|
|BANNER ORIGIN||New Heroes (Celica's Army)|
- AoE queen + Blazing Light for AR-O for save balls
- Ruptured Sky nuke
- Ice Age cometh nuke
- WIP Mage + Dragon tank build
- Summoners Duels with Spring Sonya support
Sonya has been one of my most powerful mage nukes in my barracks. While her prf is simple, it is very effective in making her an amazing mage nuke or AoE spammer. Her Attack is high enough to do the job and +10 per special does more than enough to OHKO unsuspecting foes.
But OG Sonya has a few problems besides her low defense. The main one is she is too special reliant to stand out among other green mage nukes like Lewyn and Y!Merric. It is her niche and she’s good at it but she tends to struggle in today’s meta without her special ready every time. This becomes more apparent since her prf doesn’t give her any extra stats or skills needed to deal with the ongoing powercreep and damage reduction happy units. Lastly, this is minor, but I wish she got double [Time’s Pulse 3] in her refine instead of double [Quickened Pulse] since the -2 special cooldown from the [Dark Excalibur] refine doesn’t work in modes like Pawns of Loki.
In Pawns of Loki, I use [Amity Blooms+] for more consistency and I’d like to give her [Atk/Res Unity] since it synergizes well in that mode. I’d also like to give her [Gronnvulture+]/[Plegian Torch+] when I have the chance to give her more options to choose from. Still, she does her job well with what she has, and her niche is still good with skills like [Special Spiral 3] and [Time’s Pulse 3] fixing some of her issues of being special reliant.
Besides I do enjoy Sonya’s special spamming with Dark Excalibur more. Seeing the big numbers and finishing off the enemy with her quotes are always so satisfying. I’d like to give mines [Atk/Spd Ideal 4] with the Menace skill for more power in the future as well as a magical variant of Deadeye (which is possibly Flare on the next Tellius banner). It would be nice if it was two turn special that also deals extra damage from the user’s res since Sonya’s res is very workable for Iceberg/Glacies nuking and mage/dragon tanking.
Whatever the case, I’ll never stop improving Sonya when I get the opportunity to make her the best mage I can.
|DESCRIPTION||«Bewitching bunnies that have journeyed to Askr for the spring festival to steal the gazes and hearts of all. They appear in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia/Awakening.»|
And here’s a [Magic Rabbits] demonstration made by af1899 as well.
- Standard build +32 Atk + 22 Spd and -7 Spd+Res Nuke (Might Add Blade Session 3 for maximum power)
- Powerful AoE nuke (Still need Life and Death 4)
- Arena build (WIP Might need G Duel Flying 4 but she’s fine as she is)
- Good ol’ reliable
- PoL (and Nice Atk stat)
- Summoner Duels build (Growing Wind hits more foes even if they’re behind save skills while Windsweep stops Vantage sweepers and most Hardy Fighter B!Hectors)
I had a feeling that Sonya’s next alt would be a special reliant magic nuke like her OG self though I was hoping for a colorless mage cavalier with built in special spiral for her alt. Spring Sonya being another green mage and a flier wasn’t a total deal breaker for me, but I was worried that she wouldn’t be as good as I hoped since I thought Spring Sonya would be as special reliant as OG Sonya but without access to Special Spiral 3. However, I’m pleased to say Spring Sonya is much better than I hoped for.
Thanks to her prf, she has so much firepower that she doesn’t need the special activated to deal massive amounts of damage. Her stat spread is min maxed with enough attack and speed to be a great ORKO nuke and skills like [Aether] or [Miracle] to allow her to reach high levels of power by just being on her.
Only downside is she has no bulk to lean on even when fully invested unlike her OG self who had a decent res stat but I prefer the strong offensive style for Sonya anyways. I guess another downside is I wish her Harmonic skill worked every other turn instead of one especially with Duo Ike being a thing now but again she isn’t too special reliant. Her harmonic skill is more support for herself and allies than a necessity.
Also Flare or anti DR magic skill will go to her ASAP. Those DR units had it too good for too long.
And there you have it.
Thank you so much for reading this guy write about his never-ending dedication to the beautiful Valentian mage.
I want to thank @af1899 again for his assistance and his patience for aiding me with this passion post.
Take care everyone and good luck with your summons and goals!