In a recent Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced not one, but four new Fire Emblem titles.
Fire Emblem Warriors
You are likely already familiar with the first of these titles: Fire Emblem Warriors. Originally announced during the recent Nintendo Switch press conference, Fire Emblem Warriors will be a joint project between Nintendo and Tecmo Koei, much like Hyrule Warriors before it. It will be designed in the vein of the Dynasty Warriors series, focusing on fast paced action gameplay with a bit of a Fire Emblem twist thrown in.
This time, Nintendo was kind enough to show us some gameplay footage. Chrom was revealed as the first playable character. He seems to be a mid-range style character, with a long sword that focuses on attacking multiple enemies at once with huge swiping arcs. His ultimate attack launches all enemies in the vicinity into the air and cuts them down with rapid sword strikes.
Fire Emblem: Warriors will be available on the Nintendo Switch as well as the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL, and it is slated for launch sometime this fall. It will not be compatible with older Nintendo 3DS devices.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
The next game is Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a massive HD remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second game in the Fire Emblem series, first released on the NES in 1992. The story follows two nations, Sofia and Rigel, eternally at war since time immemorial due to the philosophies of their ruling deities, Mila the Earth Goddess and Duma the Dark God. Within these two countries live Alm and Celica, two childhood friends who grew up as adopted siblings. Little did they know that they would eventually find themselves torn apart by the war, sitting at the head of two clashing armies and a conflict that would decide the fate of the very world.
It’s pure 90s anime melodrama. Drink it in.
Fire Emblem Gaiden was unique in that it introduced several traditional JRPG elements to the strategic grid-based Fire Emblem system. The new remake will retain many of these elements while updating the game in the modern Fire Emblem engine, including HD graphics, full voice acting, and anime cutscenes done by Studio Khara. The character art, however, still has a bit of a 90s twist to it. It feels very reminiscent of other Japanese anime and video games of its time.
While the system will be largely based on the same engine that Fire Emblem: Fates and Fire Emblem: Awakening were built on, several elements distinctive to Fire Emblem: Gaiden will remain. Your character will roam in huge 3D dungeons and get into random micro-encounters with monsters and enemies. Your character will be able to freely roam on a world map and complete different aspects of certain chapters in whatever order you like. There are even small twists on character development, allowing you a bit more say in how your characters level up.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will release May 19, 2017. Alongside its release, two new amiibos of Alm and Celica will become available for purchase as a two pack. It’s unclear what functionality these amiibos will have inside the game. Nintendo has said that they will give us more information about Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia as we get closer to its release.
Fire Emblem for the Nintendo Switch
The third Fire Emblem announcement takes us back, once again, to the Nintendo Switch. A brand new mainline Fire Emblem title will be developed for the new console, slated for release sometime in 2018. This will be the first mainline Fire Emblem game to be made for a home console since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn in 2007. Unfortunately, no details about the game were given. It doesn’t even have a proper title yet.
Fire Emblem Heroes
Finally, we have the game that is sure to destroy our productivity in the coming weeks, Fire Emblem: Heroes, Nintendo’s much anticipated mobile Fire Emblem title. Fate has brought two warring kingdoms together in a bitter war, as fate does. The Emblian Empire is looking to conquer every world it comes across, while the Askran Kingdom attempts to hold back their multiversal conquering spree. You play as a summoner, a powerful mage with the ability to pull heroes from all Fire Emblem time and space. Your goal is to put together your dream Fire Emblem army and take on the best that the Fire Emblem universe has to offer. Every character in the game will be redrawn in a brand new style specific to Fire Emblem: Heroes, and will also be fully voice acted with brand new voice lines.
Fire Emblem: Heroes games are played on a grid-like map, just like any other Fire Emblem title. However, these maps are kept small, only 8×6 in size, designed to take up the size of your phone’s touch screen. Characters move by being tapped and dragged to locations within their move range. By dragging a character onto an enemy, you will initiate a battle, which plays out in standard Fire Emblem style. Characters appear to have four stats – attack, speed, defense, and resistance – and can equip one weapon, one defensive item, and use one skill.
Characters are split up into multiple attributes based on their weapons. There are sword, axe, lance, bow, and magic types that utilize fire, wind, and thunder, among others. Both physical attackers and magic users are sorted into the traditional Fire Emblem weapons triangle, with bow users existing outside of the triangle, having their standard strengths against flying units. You can also recruit healers, ninjas, and other support classes as well.
To add characters to your army, you have to spend orbs. Orbs are gained through gameplay, or by purchasing them at the shop with real money. You didn’t think microtransactions wouldn’t be involved, did you? You can purchase three orbs for two dollars or, if you are a dedicated player, you can scale that up to 140 orbs for 75 dollars. When summoning a hero, you are shown its attribute, but not what exact character you will get. Multiple orbs are needed to summon even one character, but if you summon a lot of characters all at once, each character’s individual orb cost goes down. If orb summoning doesn’t seem like your style, you will also get into “hero battles” every so often, where you are paired up against a more powerful foe. Defeat this foe and he will join your cause.
Character stats are randomly generated and are rated from one to five stars noting their overall strength. Five star characters are appropriately rare, while characters with fewer stars are obviously more common. You can, however, level up characters in order to increase their strength. Unlike standard Fire Emblem titles, characters will not perma-die in Fire Emblem: Heroes, so feel free to take a low level hero into a high level battle to try and power-level him. Leveling up will not only increase your character’s stats, but will also grant them SP which they can use on upgrading their weapons, armor, and skills. Characters can also increase their star rating by using special materials, also purchasable through microtransactions and obtainable through gameplay.
Fire Emblem: Heroes will have multiple gameplay modes to choose from. In addition to the main campaign, players will be able to play special maps and seasonal events, duel other players, fight in “arena” battles, or climb the “training tower” in order to level up their units.
In preparation for the release of Fire Emblem: Heroes, Nintendo has announced the Fire Emblem “Choose Your Legends” event. Players are asked to vote for their favorite Fire Emblem character on the official Fire Emblem: Heroes website. The top hero and heroine will get features in Fire Emblem: Heroes as special event characters. If you link your My Nintendo account when choosing, you will get a bonus of 200 platinum points. Dedicated Fire Emblem fans can pre-register for the game on January 19 on Google Play.
That’s all the Fire Emblem news we have for now. Which Fire Emblem title are you most excited for? Which Fire Emblem character will you vote for in the Fire Emblem: Heroes poll? Let us know in the comments.
Here’s a hint: vote for Takumi.
Watch the Nintendo Direct in its entirety below: