New Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Screenshots and Analysis

Mar 25, 2015
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#1
One more pair of shots from the Chinese reveal:

All analysis stolen shamelessly from the experts at Serenesforest.

Also if you haven't caught them in another thread yet, here are two music samples with the original NES versions for comparison:

Battle 1 (Player Side) [Gaiden]
Fearless White Blade [Echoes]

World Map Ch. 2 (Celica's Journey) [Gaiden]
Radiant Ark [Echoes]




While there isn't a lot of new information to gleam, I believe this is the first time we've seen the bottom screen in action.

In the first screenshot, we see Alm battling with his semi-trademark Levin Sword. (Yup, it existed long before Robin made it popular.)

Curiously, each unit's class (Fighter for Alm and Soldier for the Royal Soldier) is displayed below their Level, which could be handy for newcomers.


Meanwhile, the second screenshot reveals the unit's status screen. Compared to Awakening and Fates, the status screen looks super slick with the character's portrait taking up a huge amount of the space.

It's also vaguely minimalist, with combat stats (Might, Hit rate, Critical rate and Avoid) completely absent, replaced with the generic ”Power" (a unit's overall strength) instead and not a Skill in sight.

That said, there seem to be buttons along the bottom-left corner that could alter the status screen display or display additional information.

The space to the right seems to be reserved for the unit's weapons, accessories and/or spells. Right now, Alm just has a generic ”Sword", so it's hard to tell how Echoes intends to handle Gaiden's unique inventory system.


Another look at the world map, this time with both Alm and Celica hanging around near Zofia Castle.

Fans of Gaiden might be familiar with what's going on here. During Chapter 3 (of Gaiden), players can simultaneously control Alm and Celica on the world map.

However, due to plot reasons, the two become separated and are restricted to exploring the west and east side of Valentia respectively.

The screenshot shows the player highlighting Celica's party. Currently it's the Year 401 and the 13th day of the Pegasus Season. Meanwhile, in the Fire Emblem Direct, the player was slightly further ahead, but on the 5th day.

The window shows the number of units in Celica's party (8), the overall troop strength (568) and the current location (Mountainside Path).


This screenshot shows Celica blasting the living daylights out of a Revenant monster. Gaiden fans ought to recognise the spell she's using: Angel, which is effective against monsters.

What's rather curious is that big ”4" to the right of Angel. In Gaiden, weapons and spells don't have finite uses and we've already seen that Alm's Levin Sword doesn't have a usage value either.

Another thing is that Celica has taken substantial damage, despite the enemy clearly having absolutely terrible stats (0% hit rate and 0 damage). Putting two and two together, this could suggest that magic spells consume HP like in Gaiden.

Not only this, but in Gaiden, the Angel spell costs 4 HP to cast, which is consistent with the ”4" seen in the screenshot. Going further, Celica's 90% hit rate is also consistent with magic spells having a fixed hit rate (in Gaiden, Angel had a 90% hit rate).


The third and final screenshot shows Alm exploring the Thief Shrine, the very first dungeon in Gaiden. On the bottom screen is a handy map showing the player's current location, as well as a list of the current 10 units in Alm's party.

Perhaps you can only have a maximum of 10 units in your party at one time?


The first pair of English screenshots all but confirm our suspicion that magic spells cost HP to cast just like in Gaiden. Here, we see that Celica is attacking at range and takes no damage from the foe, but loses 1 HP each time she casts Fire.

Likewise, Celica's 80% hit rate is once again consistent with Fire having a fixed 80% hit rate in Gaiden, regardless of the spell-caster's stats. So it's looking more and more like Echoes is copying Gaiden's magic mechanics to a T.

Besides this, the other thing to note is the Grave terrain, which provides a whopping 60 point boost–presumably to the Avoid stat. Again, this is straight out of the Gaiden handbook.

But that's not all, as there's a ”No" symbol on top of the foe's terrain bonus. Surprise, surprise, there's a good explanation for that which leads back to Gaiden. In Gaiden, magic spells–unlike physical attacks–do not factor in the foe's terrain bonus.


The next two interesting screenshots show a character, most likely Tobin (previously Robin) from Alm's party, changing to the Archer class.

This scenario is very similar to the one presented in the Fire Emblem Direct, where Gray changed class from a Villager to a Cavalier.

In both cases, the process looks identical to the way class-changing works in Gaiden, by visiting a Mila statue. Except you can now choose the class from a menu, rather than having to keep inspect the statue until the desired class appears.

The key thing to know is that the stat boosts from class-changing appear to abide by the rules set in Gaiden. In most Fire Emblem games, the stats gained when changing class are equal to the difference in stats between the new and old class.

However in Gaiden, what happens is that the unit's current stats are compared with the new class's stats. If the unit's current stats are lower, they will be raised to the new class's stats. Whereas if they're higher, no change occurs.

Using Tobin as an example, he has 22 HP and 7 ATK before being an Archer. Since the Archer's base HP is 24 and base ATK is 9, his HP and ATK are raised to match those values. His other stats are higher than the Archer's, hence those stats remain the same.

Perhaps not quite as important, it's interesting to see that TEC has been kept in the English version. For those unaware, TEC (short for Technique) is synonymous with SKL (Skill) in Japanese. As for why they changed it, it's a mystery for now...


Moving from gameplay to story, we get our first look at some English dialogue with this possibly early-game screenshot of Saber, a Mercenary who joins Celica near the beginning.


To finish off, here's Alm raiding a chest. Because why not? If Echoes is anything like Gaiden (which nobody should be doubting at this rate), you can expect to find these located in the depths of the game's many dungeons.
 

RM8

Member
Mar 11, 2012
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#2
This already looks so much better than Fates. Can't wait!

I can't get over the fact that I'm buying a new Fire Emblem with (likely) no marriage and kids.
 
Apr 15, 2011
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#3
So this is basically a standard JRPG but with FE combat for encounters then? Oh yeah, definitely very interested in this, wanted to get it regardless especially with the new art style but that really seals it.
 
Apr 19, 2015
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#6
Looks great! Excited for this one.

I don't mean to be "that guy," but are they going to include marriage in this one? If not, I'm curious how all the fans who jumped on with Awakening will feel about its exclusion.
 
Mar 25, 2015
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#8
Looks great! Excited for this one.

I don't mean to be "that guy," but are they going to include marriage in this one? If not, I'm curious how all the fans who jumped on with Awakening will feel about its exclusion.
Marriage is almost certainly not happening.

However the critical question for me personally is whether support conversations have been added. We do not know yet.
 
Apr 19, 2015
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#9
Marriage is almost certainly not happening.

However the critical question for me personally is whether support conversations have been added. We do not know yet.
Oh, yeah. In my head I was including support conversations in with "marriage" but I should have specified I meant those too. It seems like despite the complete visual overhaul they're sticking pretty closely with how Gaiden worked, so I also doubt marriage is in. I would like to see them add support conversations, though. They add a whole lot to the characters.
 
May 5, 2012
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#10
Oh, yeah. In my head I was including support conversations in with "marriage" but I should have specified I meant those too. It seems like despite the complete visual overhaul they're sticking pretty closely with how Gaiden worked, so I also doubt marriage is in. I would like to see them add support conversations, though. They add a whole lot to the characters.
They didn't have supports back in the original game, although in the last FE remark they did (which didn't get released), they gave characters support conversations. Hopefully that's the case for this game as well.

As for the update, I like the music so far even though those samples weren't some of the ones I liked from the original game.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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#12
Looks good. Sounds good. I want it. I wonder if they'll do any DLC for it. It might be interesting to play some of the maps from other games using Gaiden's mechanics.
 
Jun 24, 2015
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#15
The plot looks far more appealing. I've never liked the avatar having importance in the plot. Fe7 did it right where your avatar was just a tactician. Liking the design as well. Only curiousity is whether the supporting characters/party members turn out well.
 
Oct 24, 2012
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#17
I'm tremendously happy that it's looking like just about every single aspect of Gaiden weirdness is being maintained. I can't wait to wipe out half the map with one spell!
 
Feb 10, 2009
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#19
I like the change in style. A LOT! Looks a lot more like what I want from Fire Emblem than the last two entries.

Maybe I'll take a closer look when it releases, but who knows...
 
Jan 19, 2016
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#20
Man this looks so different from Fates/ Awajening, I'm down. Awakening was fine but after Fates I was worried that all the games were gonna follow the same formula of Avatar-Marriage-Kids despite none of those things really being a good fit for the game Fates wanted to be. Hopefully support convos are added but beyond that I'm happy they're embracing all the weirdness the original had.

That art style is great too. I do like the modern look of the last few games but I'm glad they recaptured the classic look here.
 
Mar 10, 2011
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#21
I'm tremendously happy that it's looking like just about every single aspect of Gaiden weirdness is being maintained. I can't wait to wipe out half the map with one spell!
The only thing I hope doesn't come back is the total RNG of if the enemy summoners summon 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 enemies which can either win you the map or make you die. It also sucks as to play through Gaiden I had to savescum the lower wave numbers, only to find later in the game I didn't have high enough level peeps to finish it >_<
 
Oct 24, 2012
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#22
Did the original have RNG based level ups?
Of course. That's one of FE's signature features, ever since the first game.

In Gaiden, though, everyone's growth rates are extremely low -- like, nothing is over 50%, and most are between 0% and 30%. Alm's growth total for all stats is 205, and that's quite high for Gaiden; Celica's total is 185. For a recent comparison, Corrin's total is 395. So, in a way, you're rarely screwed over by RNG because you can never really hope for good levels in the first place!

The only thing I hope doesn't come back is the total RNG of if the enemy summoners summon 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 enemies which can either win you the map or make you die. It also sucks as to play through Gaiden I had to savescum the lower wave numbers, only to find later in the game I didn't have high enough level peeps to finish it >_<
I hear you. Nobody ever claimed Gaiden was fair or well-balanced!
 
Feb 9, 2011
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#24
I wonder how faithful they'll be to the original game. It might turn off a significant part of the current players if they stick too close to it.
The narrator did say "everything that made Gaiden unique is here". Which at the time, I didn't realise they meant it literally XD

Anyway, I'm a tad concerned, but I'm hopeful they can pull it off.

As somebody who loved Gaiden, I'll admit it wasn't the most polished Fire Emblem, but it had tons of potential and interesting ideas at the time (many of which sneaked into later games).

The fact that the gameplay and UI have been improved to modern standards already solves one of Gaiden's issues of being super slow and clunky to play.

Hopefully they add enough to the gameplay to make it worthwhile. I mean, it's not like the gameplay is 1:1 Gaiden as there is a new female(?) character in Alm's party.
 
May 4, 2014
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#26
The memes write themselves, it's beautiful.

Really looking forward to this, I half expect a new Fire Emblem direct before the release detailing the game more, giving an update on FE Warriors and infos FE Heroes cross-promotion events.

I really applaud them on the art approach, I like how they switched up their new style for this remake. It looks gorgeous.
 
Jun 1, 2014
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#29
Neat, I figured they'd change up a few things here and there to make it more like the more recent games (seperate attack and magic stat for instance), but for now it looks like they're going for a near 1:1 remake. Which is cool by me, but Shadow Dragon got blasted for it by reviewers so... hm. Atleast the art in this one looks to be really great

Those bloody dodge rates tho
 
Mar 18, 2015
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#30
For as much as I like the other 3DS games, I like that they are being faithful to the original with this game, it isn't only different from Awakening and Fates, but also different from RD that is the only "classic" game that I've played. Super excited.
 
Oct 8, 2013
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#35
I'm hyped.

FE12 was the last one I liked and finished so I'm happy to see this one being closer to it than to the later one.

Also is the weapon triangle system in this game at all? I believe it was first introduced in FE4.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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#40
With how close it has been to Gaiden I hope they make it so healing grants EXP. The only way healers could level up* in Gaiden was using a very inaccurate (oh and remember magic accuracy can't be increased, only magic evade so essentially magic becomes less accurate as the game goes on) and weak magic spell** (&#12522;&#12470;&#12452;&#12450; or Nosferatu as it gets localised as) which seeing as they need to level up to obtain more spells is a hindrance.

*-they could get EXP from the group EXP but this capped at 99 similar to how base convo EXP is in modern FE games.
**-there was a bug where by having the luna lance (rare drop) in their inventory they would have 100% accuracy.

I still wonder how they are going to make harder difficulties. I suppose the direct or some screenshots might have shed light on if movement has remained faithful as well. It is weird playing an FE game where mages and generals both have 4 movement. I think that also contributes the game feeling slow and drawn out at times. Well that and several choke point maps.

Marriage is almost certainly not happening.

However the critical question for me personally is whether support conversations have been added. We do not know yet.
We know there is a support system from the direct footage. Alm has a critical boost from one of his allies.

We know from the CERO rating that it is a B rating with all the indicators Awakening had minus bad language. That means; Love, Sexual, Violence, Crime.

So while I hope no time dilation children nonesense appears here (speaking of which part of me wonders if the 4th female villager we see in screenshots is in fact a self insert character) it suggests there is something. From what I gather CERO operates under a rating given after some content from the game is sent for review (wikipedia tells me Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland got mis-rated due to things like hot springs, cleavage, panty shots not being included) so whatever CERO saw got this game that rating.

It is interesting how the VC Fire Emblem releases have been CERO A (as was Radiant Dawn and the two DS games) with the exception of Thracia 776 which was CERO B for crime (is this the game mechanic of capturing enemy units) so the indicator for sexual and love could be similarly tame.

The only thing I hope doesn't come back is the total RNG of if the enemy summoners summon 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 enemies which can either win you the map or make you die. It also sucks as to play through Gaiden I had to savescum the lower wave numbers, only to find later in the game I didn't have high enough level peeps to finish it >_<
It was such a relief when your healers finally get Dear (14 HP to cast instantly kills a random amount of monsters).

As far as levels go; Female mages were brutal to try and use. Promotion at level 20 (other classes are level 3-12) and EXP gains were pretty slow after level 10. At least other classes you could just promote their strength problems away (and with growth rates so bad and how promotions work there was little guilt).

Also is the weapon triangle system in this game at all? I believe it was first introduced in FE4.
Doesn't look like there is a triangle here. Besides, you hardly encounter axe users (life was brutal for axe users in a pre-FE5 world, you inaccurate axes were too heavily weighed down to be good in combat). There is still the mystery of what exactly Pegasus Season means and the food command so there are still some mechanics left to be revealed.

Every aspect that reminds me that this is a remake of 2 makes it look like it'll be a bad game.
At the very least its presentation shouldn't be as dull as Shadow Dragon. Even though this has a similar sepia tone it feels less draining than Shadow Dragon did.
 
Dec 18, 2014
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#41
I wonder how faithful they'll be to the original game. It might turn off a significant part of the current players if they stick too close to it.
Can't speak for anyone else, but nothing I've seen of this game looks appealing. I've played some of the previous FE games, but only really became a fan of the series with Awakening and Fates.

I'll likely give Echoes a miss and just wait for FE Switch
 

Aostia

El Capitan Todd
Sep 2, 2011
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#42
Can't speak for anyone else, but nothing I've seen of this game looks appealing. I've played some of the previous FE games, but only really became a fan of the series with Awakening and Fates.

I'll likely give Echoes a miss and just wait for FE Switch

Can you elaborate? What is missing to turun you off?
 
Dec 18, 2014
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#43
Can you elaborate? What is missing to turun you off?
Lack of Avatar creation, the weird set accuracy for magic and the fact magic use requires HP for some silly reason. Also, I don't know if this specifically effects Shadows of Valentia, but I was never a huge fan of the older Fire Emblem games not allowing random battles.

Visually, I prefer the more modern and stylised character designs of Awakening and Fates. I find shipping characters a fun way to break up the constant battles, and as silly as the child units got, especially with Fates, I had a lot of fun seeing what kind of weird progeny my units would end up with.
 

L95

Member
Sep 3, 2014
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#44
By random battles, you mean skirmishes/repeatable battles and such, right? Gaiden had that so this will too probably. You can fight random monsters and stuff. In the original Gaiden, Rigel could also send squads after you on the world map if you dilly-dallied too long as well, if you waited around they'd keep doing it, so repeatable battles against humans is a thing too.

I admit, I'm cool with no avatar creation and Hp-casting, so I can't say much there :p I do wish they gave magic regular accuracy calculations, though.
 
Dec 30, 2011
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#45
I dunno if this is a good idea, gaiden is the black sheep of the series for a reason. The fe fanbase collectively rejected shadow dragon which attempted to be a graphics improvement with the old mechanics mostly kept in tact for better or worse and most agreed it was worse for it. I would have assumed the idea of remaking gaiden would be to make it more in line with the rest of the franchise while keeping its better accepted unique mechanics (split story between alm and celica, dungeons and map exploration) and dumping its not so well received mechanics (spells cost hp, awful growth rates for characters). We'll see in the end how it all comes together but I'm starting to get worried about this remake.
 
Feb 9, 2011
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serenesforest.net
#48
Lack of Avatar creation, the weird set accuracy for magic and the fact magic use requires HP for some silly reason. Also, I don't know if this specifically effects Shadows of Valentia, but I was never a huge fan of the older Fire Emblem games not allowing random battles.

Visually, I prefer the more modern and stylised character designs of Awakening and Fates. I find shipping characters a fun way to break up the constant battles, and as silly as the child units got, especially with Fates, I had a lot of fun seeing what kind of weird progeny my units would end up with.
I love the magic mechanics personally, although the 50% hit rate for Nosferatu can be a pain in the butt. Compared to most things in Gaiden, I recall magic being one of the more balanced elements.

Gaiden has random battles, so you don't need to worry about that.

Supports and marriage are a massive question mark though. Unless they totally overhauled the game, I'm doubtful they'll be returning. Supports maybe, but marriage, nah.

I dunno if this is a good idea, gaiden is the black sheep of the series for a reason. The fe fanbase collectively rejected shadow dragon which attempted to be a graphics improvement with the old mechanics mostly kept in tact for better or worse and most agreed it was worse for it. I would have assumed the idea of remaking gaiden would be to make it more in line with the rest of the franchise while keeping its better accepted unique mechanics (split story between alm and celica, dungeons and map exploration) and dumping its not so well received mechanics (spells cost hp, awful growth rates for characters). We'll see in the end how it all comes together but I'm starting to get worried about this remake.
At least from a graphical/artistic standpoint, Echoes is faring much better than Shadow Dragon IMO.

I am also a bit concerned that they're sticking to the original too much, but honestly we haven't seen a lot of the game. Even just the third-person dungeon crawling is a big improvement and we do have one (yay!) new character.

With New Mystery, IS showed us they could make a really good remake. If they somehow channel 80 to 90% of that energy, we're in for a ride.

Thankfully if Echoes flops, there's still Fire Emblem on Switch, which is promising to be the next new mainline entry in the series ^^;;;
 
Mar 25, 2015
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#50
We know there is a support system from the direct footage. Alm has a critical boost from one of his allies.

We know from the CERO rating that it is a B rating with all the indicators Awakening had minus bad language. That means; Love, Sexual, Violence, Crime.

So while I hope no time dilation children nonesense appears here (speaking of which part of me wonders if the 4th female villager we see in screenshots is in fact a self insert character) it suggests there is something. From what I gather CERO operates under a rating given after some content from the game is sent for review (wikipedia tells me Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland got mis-rated due to things like hot springs, cleavage, panty shots not being included) so whatever CERO saw got this game that rating.
That's encouraging to hear, because speaking for myself support conversations are a deal breaker in mainline Fire Emblem (for some reason their lack doesn't bother me in Heroes). I can't bring myself to care about the characters without them, and I lose the considerable motivation necessary to keep them all alive through a hundred resets on hard mode. I love a lot of what I'm seeing with Echoes but they've got to add supports or no buy.