Get caught up in Fire Emblem – everything you need to know about this colorful conflict

The Fire Emblem series has gone from niche to legitimately mainstream over the past few years, with 2019’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses the best selling installment in the series to date and Fire Emblem Heroes being Nintendo’s highest-grossing mobile game. So while a new entry in the series might have come and gone without much fanfare outside of a certain fanbase in the past, the upcoming Fire Emblem Engage has a lot of eyes set on it.

Featuring a lively presentation and a new “Engage” system that sees units teaming up with favorite characters from the past like Marth, Roy, and Lyn, Fire Emblem Engage looks a little different from other recent entries in the series. Will this new approach light your fire? Here’s everything you need to know about Fire Emblem Engage…

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Setting and story

Fire Emblem Engage takes place in the never-before-seen land of Ilios, which is divided between four nations surrounding the sacred island of Lithos. Players take on the role of a “Divine Dragon” in human form (officially called Alear, although you can specify your name and gender). After sleeping for a thousand years, she awakens to find that the nation of Elusia has revived the Fell Dragon. It’s up to you to stop the Fell Dragon and Elusian forces from claiming the 12 Emblem Rings, which will restore the Fell Dragon to its full power. Along the way, you’ll meet a plethora of colorful characters and experience many twists, turns, and setbacks, but that’s all in a good leader’s day’s work.

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Fire Emblem engagement

Does the tone sound a little different this time around?

It already looks like Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems are trying something new here. The Fire Emblem series has a reputation for being more politically and morally complex than your average JRPG or Nintendo game. Some have even called it an “anime game of thrones”. Fire Emblem Engage, on the other hand, looks to stick to the realms of traditional JRPG and storytelling. Whether or not the series turns into a full anime is a good thing will largely come down to personal taste.

combat play

For the most part, Fire Emblem Engage sticks to the series’ familiar plot when it comes to combat. This is a tactical RPG in which you and the enemy take turns moving all available units on different grid-based maps. All of your units have individual strengths, weaknesses, personalities and backgrounds, rather than being just random grunts. There are different rock-paper-scissors style systems, most notably the classic weapon triangle (swords beat axes, axes beat spears, spears beat swords), and you’ll need to keep these in mind if you want to win the day.

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The big addition is the new Engage system. As you progress through the story, you’ll collect a number of Emblem Rings, each containing the spirit of a classic Fire Emblem character (Marth, Roy, Sigurd, Lyn, and other favorites are represented). These rings can be equipped to any unit, and at that point, that unit will accompany the ring spirit into battle. This basically allows you to create impromptu tag teams, where the tag spirit grants the unit which is attached to various bonuses and sometimes interferes during battles.

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You can also ‘engage’, fusing unit spirit and emblem into one, which boosts stats and gives you some powerful special attacks. You can only stay busy for four turns, after which you’ll have to wait for the power meter to refill before you can do it again. You can freely switch who carries emblem rings between battles, but you do get rewards if you keep certain teams together over the long haul.

Is death still a thing?

Yes, units can still die permanently, but it’s not forced upon you. You can turn off permanent running completely, and even if you turn it on, you can access an item that allows you to freely rewind turns to fix bugs. Basically, just accept the deaths as permanent if you want to.

Are the social elements between battles still intact?

Yeah. As in most Fire Emblem games, you can further bond between characters and learn more about them through various conversations. Your home base, called Somniel, is where you can prepare for your next battle, socialize, and more. A number of quirky side activities are also available to the player, including fishing, playing sports, and building a farm full of fuzzy friends.

Will there be DLC?

Nintendo announced the Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass, which includes additional Emblem characters, cosmetics, and eventually new story content. Here’s what’s included in your $30 card…

DLC wave 1 (January 20, 2023)

Additional logos

  • Edelgard / Dimitri / Claude logo bracelet will be added (three logos in one bracelet).
  • When a unit wears an emblem bracelet, they receive stat boosts (including a 20% increase in experience gained).
    • Note: The bracelet becomes available after clearing the newly added Divine Paralogue map.
  • Tiki logo bracelet will be added. The unit wearing the bracelet will improve stat growth.
    • Note: The bracelet becomes available after clearing the newly added Divine Paralogue map.

support items

  • Boots, Seraph Robe, Energy Drop, Spirit Dust, Secret Book, Speed ​​Wing, Goddess Icon, Dracoshield, and Talisman

New accessories

  • Rare set, ruched belt, oversized bar, single earring, round spec

The silver card

  • While you own this item, in-game purchases in the Weapon Shop and Item Shop will be discounted by 30%.

DLC wave 2 (2023)

  • Additional logos
  • support items
  • New accessories

DLC wave 3 (2023)

  • Additional logos
  • Note: Details will be revealed later.

DLC wave 4 (2023)

  • Additional story content. New characters, new maps, and a story separate from the main chapter-based story.
  • additional categories
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Pricing, platform, release date, and special edition

Fire Emblem Engage launches on Nintendo Switch on January 20, 2023, at a price of $60. The $100 “Divine Edition” featuring an artbook, poster, and more was initially offered, but is currently sold out. You can pre-order a copy of the game here.

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