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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
Pre-release info- Information

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(Updated: 7th August 2008)

Japan release

As of 7th August 2008, the game was officially released in Japan.

Fire Emblem DS Background

The official Fire Emblem World site has added a new section, which covers background information on the game (similar to what they did for Radiant Dawn). Currently two out of four pages can be accessed.
Official site update (4th August)

Topics

Expanding on the previous info from Touch-DS.jp, rental units can also be used in the main campaign. Any experience points the rental unit gains is awarded to the same-name character that they're replacing. As well as directly sending and receiving units via the Wireless/Wi-Fi connection, you can also upload and download them from the Wi-Fi server, at your own time. (Don't forget, if you loan a character out, you still keep them on your game.)

If Wi-Fi connection is enabled, you can access an Online Shop from the game. Here you can buy weapons and items for your characters, using the in-game currency. There might also be special items that can only bought from here...
Wi-Fi battle video

The official Fire Emblem World site has added a video showing a whole multiplayer battle.

Some observations:
Touch-DS.jp information

The Touch-DS.jp site (Japanese) has updated with a second commercial for the game (which only differs very slightly from the first), as well as a five page interview with some of the game staff. The more interesting details are as follows:
The interview also contains a few short movies, which demonstrate discussed concepts.

Famitsu review

The Japanese magazine awarded the game a score of 9, 8, 8, 9 (34 out of 40).

Official site update (30th July)

Topics

The game features 6 difficulty settings (yes, you read that right). There's Normal mode, which is designed for beginners. Hard mode has 5 difficulty levels that you can choose, which affects how strong enemies are. Both modes are available from the very beginning.

The amount and types of enemies are the same in both modes. However, in Hard mode, the same enemies may have different and stronger weapons. Also reinforcements in Hard mode appear from the beginning of the enemy phase (as opposed to the end).

Party and classes

Practically all of the character classes have revealed. Modern classes such as Swordmasters, Berserkers and Sages have made the cut. However, Pegasus Knights still promote to Dragon Knights, like in the original. The Commando class, which can morph into other allies, has also returned from the original. The rest you can probably guess.

The Class Swap feature is usable from the battle preparations menu only. There's a restriction on the amount of one class you have. For example, at one point in the campaign, you may only be allowed a maximum of 8 Cavaliers, 3 Mages, 1 Dark Mage and etc. Some classes like Lord and Thief can't use Class Swap. Promoted characters can still use Class Swap, but they can only swap to other promoted classes.

Wi-Fi/Wireless mode

There is only one battle map used in this mode. On this map, there is a castle at the very centre. If a unit waits on the castle gate, the castle flag will change to their team's colour. The winning team is the one whose colour is same as the castle flag's once the Turns are over, or if they annihilated the opposing team.

When you win a multiplayer battle, you are awarded a "Charm". These Charms are cards with various effects, and one Charm can be attached to a multiplayer party before battling.

Voice Chat is enabled for friend-code battles.

The multiplayer battle options are as follows:
Some observations

It seems Marth can't promote, but he can reach past the usual maximum of Level 20. Also stats, such as Strength and Skill, can go past 20, unlike in the original.

Nintendo Channel videos

Two Fire Emblem DS videos can be viewed from the Japanese Nintendo Channel. The first is a demo video, that introduces the many concepts of the game, while the second is a commercial. The videos can also be found here at Youtube (credits to sra1123).

Some random observations:
Official site update (18th July)

Second Step- What should we do now?

Basically a brief quiz testing your knowledge of the game mechanics. For example, which class has the weapon advantage over a Myrmidon.

Topics

Repeats known information about the new Prologue and Sidestory chapters.

Also there is information about the three types of saves available.
  1. Chapter saves: One can be created upon completion of a chapter. These saves can be loaded as many times as you want.
  2. Map point saves: These can be created using a Save Point on the battle map. Once such a save is made, the Save Point disappears. These saves can be loaded as many times as you want.
  3. Suspended saves: These can be created anytime during a battle map, by using the "Suspend" option in the map menu. If save data is loaded (including the suspended save) or a new game is created, the suspended save is immediately erased.
Note: The DS can be put into Sleep mode but, (and this is kind of obvious) if you switch off the DS when it's asleep, you won't be able to continue from where you left off before entering Sleep mode.

Latest Famitsu information
Character illustrator

Masamune Shirow was born in 1961, and is a renowned manga artist and illustrator, whose works include Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell. His precise and detailed artwork has earned him supporters not just in Japan, but worldwide.

Official site information

The Japanese official site for the game can be found here.

A few random observations:
Remake

The game is a complete remake of the very first game, Dark Dragon and Sword of Light.

The game was already remade in the past, as Book 1 of Mystery of the Emblem. However, some content was cut, such as five characters and chapters. Riff, one of the cut characters, can be seen in this remake.

The dialogue (seen so far) is identical to both games, although it also includes the chapter opening text from Mystery of the Emblem. There is also new dialogue, which appears in new prologue and sidestory chapters.

Multiplayer

The game features Wi-Fi and wireless play.

Players can battle it out in multiplayer-exclusive battle map, using 5-character parties formed from characters raised in the single-player mode or "Rental" characters. The multiplayer is limited to only 2 players. A turn limit and time limit also seem to be implemented.

Gameplay

Controls

Players can use the stylus to move and order characters on the bottom (touch) screen, or they can just use the standard buttons.

Save points

During chapters, there are special tiles on the map called "Save Points", which are generally available before a boss or a dangerous event. If a character moves onto such a tile, they can choose to save the game from the Action menu. Each Save Point can only be used to save the game once, before disappearing. However, as long as you don't overwrite the Save Point-created save, you can load from it as many times as you want (unlike suspended save data, which immediately disappears when loaded).

Danger button

If you press the X button on the map, the attack ranges of all enemies is displayed (similar to an unused feature in the beta version of Blazing Sword).

Preliminary list of changes from the original
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