Nintendo has shared some new details today about Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which is the upcoming “reimagined” 3DS version of Fire Emblem Gaiden.
Nintendo showed off the game ahead of its May release at PAX East. This provided us with a look at two of Echoes’ major new features. A world map allows you to have some freedom to choose what to do next versus moving directly from mission to mission.
Dungeons abandon the standard top-down camera view and allow you to explore them in 3D with a third-person camera. Destroyable objects and treasure chests hide items and money to find, and also enemies. Engaging one takes you into a standard Fire Emblem battle.
It is almost like a mini mission, as you still have access to your squad and face multiple enemies, versus a one-on-one fight. You can gain an edge by attacking the foe in the dungeon before combat begins, reducing their health to start the battle, but beware, the same can also happen to you.
Echoes follows a pair of “dueling” protagonists that you will swap between, versus a single character of your creation. Celica and Alm each take different approaches to defend their country. You can swap back and forth between the two routinely or you can spend longer stretches of time playing as one before trying the other. Echoes is also notable for being the first Fire Emble game to feature full voice acting (aside from some minor characters).
Archers can now counter-attack from a single tile away, and mages now expend a portion of their health in order to cast spells, forcing you to be more careful about how you deploy them.
A Nintendo rep wasn’t able to confirm as much, but what Gamespot saw suggested that weapon durability won’t be making a comeback after it was removed from Fates. And, true to its roots as 1992’s Fire Emblem Gaiden, it also doesn’t feature a support system during battles; that wasn’t introduced until later in the series. Also absent was the traditional weapon triangle, although the rep did say there are ways to gain an advantage in battles without offering any specifics.
Fire Emblem Echoes launches for 3DS on May 19.’