Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia | PAX East Preview

Credit: Nintendo
Credit: Nintendo /

We sat down with Nintendo this PAX East to learn more about Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and check out some new gameplay footage.

This PAX East Nintendo revealed an abundance of new information about the upcoming 3DS title Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. We sat down with Nintendo to learn more about this reimagining of Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was released only in Japan on the Famicom.

Rather than playing as a single player adventure, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia tells the story of both Alm and Celica, two intertwining storylines being told in parallel. You can complete these two stories at whatever pace you like, swapping back and forth as you see fit. Both Celica and Alm are working to defend their country but take different strategic approaches. This is just one of many ways in which Fire Emblem Echoes combines a legacy Fire Emblem story with new gameplay features.

One noticeable difference added to this latest entry in the Fire Emblem series is the world map. Rather than moving directly between missions, players will have additional freedom when choosing what to do next. One of these potential places of interests are dungeons, which we saw for the first time at PAX East 2017.

The new 3D dungeons are by far the biggest update to the game. These dungeons can be explored in 3rd person view, akin to an action-adventure style game. This new dungeon style guides the player towards more exploration gameplay, as the dungeon features various destroyable objects and hidden treasure chests. These dungeons will also be of varying difficulty and sizes, so don’t expect a cookie-cutter dungeon each time. You can also engage enemies from this third person view, which then triggers the traditional grid-based Fire Emblem combat.

Although you make your way through the dungeon as just a single hero (or only see single enemies at a time), these battles are not one-on-one fights. When you go into combat you will still have access to your whole squad and will face multiple enemies. You can also get a leg up in battle by striking these enemies in the dungeon first. This will damage all enemies when grid combat starts. However, the enemy can also do the same thing to you, forcing players to still keep their wits about them in these adventurous new 3D dungeons.

Another big aesthetic update to the game, and a first for the Fire Emblem series, is that Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is fully voiced. All cinematics and story dialogue include English voiceovers, save for a few minor characters. This adds an extra layer of engagement to the already captivating lore of the Fire Emblem series.

During our meeting with Nintendo at PAX East, the topic of difficulty came up. Like all Fire Emblem games, the combat is uniquely strategic and tactical, and players will have to think about every turn they make in battle. For the hardcore players, permanent character death is still an option.

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is set to release internationally on the Nintendo 3DS on May 19th. The game will also include Amiibo support, with both Alm and Celica Amiibos available for purchase on launch day.