Fire Emblem if Famitsu leak: Phoenix Mode

Famitsu, one of the prominent Japanese gaming magazines, usually reaches consumers on Thursdays, but most of the time–thanks to ninjas or something–a lot of the important information leaks days in advance.

Just earlier today, Famitsu posted online that their upcoming issue would have a feature on Fire Emblem if, with plenty of new information; hours later, we now know a lot more about Fire Emblem if that we did before.

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To begin with, perhaps the biggest news–and the one sure to create heated discussions amongst fans–is the introduction of a brand new mode, Phoenix Mode, where fallen characters are resurrected immediately on the next turn.

This new mode sits above the existing Casual Mode (fallen characters are resurrected after the mission’s end) and Classic Mode (fallen characters… stay fallen) on the mode selection screen and is likely intended for fans who struggle even on Casual Mode.

Before picking one of these modes, players can start the game on the Normal, Hard or Lunatic difficulty settings, just like in Awakening. Unlike that game though, there is the option to change your difficulty and mode mid-game, although it seems this change is irreversible.

Players who want to try a variety of difficulties and/or modes will be glad to know the game supports up to 9 save files. Each extra campaign (Hoshido, Nohr and the third route) is said to add 3 extra save files, so it’s likely you start with 3 save files like in Awakening.

Another radical change, although this time apparently not an option, is the removal of the weapon durability system. This change was already observed in previous screenshots, but at the time it wasn’t formally confirmed.

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This was briefly discussed previously, but the Dual and Pair Up systems introduced in Awakening have been reworked slightly. It is difficult to tell from the small magazine images, but it seems two friendly units can adopt an Attack Stance or Guard Stance.

An Attack Stance occurs when a friendly unit is adjacent while attacking an enemy; the friendly unit will launch a follow up attack after the main unit attacks (i.e. Dual Strike). The Guard Stance, meanwhile, has two friendly units combining together, boosting the stats of the main unit (i.e. Pair Up).

Other than the different names, it’s unclear how exactly these stances differ from their Awakening counterparts. Curiously, characters have a “shield” gauge, which may be related to their ability to deflect enemy attacks while in a Guard Stance.

There’s also a tiny update regarding the optional battles in the Hoshido campaign (which aren’t in the Nohr campaign). It seems players must pay a fee (using in-game funds) to initiate a skirmish battle–a bit like purchasing Reeking Boxes in Awakening.

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The rest of the information is about the characters, starting with the Avatar. Like in Awakening, players can customise their Avatar’s name, gender, appearance and voice. By default, he/she starts in the Dark Prince or Dark Princess class.

In addition to the usual appearance choices, such as build, hair, hair colour and face, players can also select hair accessories (female only?) and facial features. The selection seems to be larger than previously too, with at least 27 hair colours to pick from, rather than 20.

This particular detail hasn’t been confirmed, but it seems the blue-haired songstress, Aqua, may be in a similar but reverse position as the Avatar. According to reports, she is the princess of Nohr taken prisoner by Hoshido. If you recall, the Avatar is the prince/princess of Hoshido raised by Nohr.

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The magazine then briefly introduces the eight royal family members from Hoshido and Nohr.

On the Nohr side, we learn that Marx is a Paladin, Camilla is a Revenant Knight, Leon is a Dark Knight and little sister Elise is a Rod Knight.

As for the Hoshidans, Ryouma is sadly off-screen, Hinoka is a Pegasus Warrior, archer boy Takumi is a Bowman and Sakura is a Priestess.

Unfortunately, there has been some minor confusion because the English Nintendo Direct wasn’t very good at conveying this, but the eight characters are all the Avatar’s siblings (adopted in the case of Nohr).

Age-wise, Marx, Camilla, Ryouma and Hinoka are all older than the Avatar, so it’s extremely likely the order goes: Marx > Camilla > Avatar > Leon > Elise for Nohr and Ryouma > Hinoka > Avatar > Takumi > Sakura for Hoshdio.

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It seems the Avatar isn’t the only person able to wield the “Dragon’s Vein” ability; apparently all the royal members have this ability and they can use it to create bridges, flatten mountains, cause earthquakes and other effects.

Again, the magazine images aren’t very clear, but it seems Hoshido and Nohr both revere the “Divine Ancestral Dragon(s)” and, in particular, the royal family members possess the blood of dragons. Because of this, they possess exceptional abilities.

About the Author: VincentASM
Fire Emblem fan since 2002 and webmaster of Serenes Forest. Occasionally an online content editor or brand ambassador. Is a sucker for mage girls and has an unhealthy stash of Sylveon plushies.
Author Website: http://serenesforest.net
  • Sentinel

    Hmm, interesting facts about the character classes.

    So more dragon worshipping. Though it looks like they worship the same thing unlike Awakening.

  • Ember Hermin

    Hyper casual mode! I find that really funny.

  • Skorm94

    The phoenix mode seems very silly, as if casual+easy was still too hard for ppl (and if it is then maybe they shouldn’t play these games).

  • The DanMan

    I’m going to be brutally honest: if normal/casual was too hard for you in Awakening, you shouldn’t be playing videogames.

    • Anne O’Namus

      I’m going to be brutally honest with you: if you care that much about how other people play video games, you shouldn’t be playing video games

      • The DanMan

        I just don’t see a reason for Phoenix mode to exist. WHO has actually said that normal/casual was too hard? The mode just seems pointless.

        • Anne O’Namus

          Then you don’t have to use it

          • The DanMan

            I just fail to see the reason for its existence.

          • Psycho Dad

            Hey little prick, you saying my son, who is 9 years old, incompetent? The game was hard for someone like him but your ugly think that he is stupid? Do yourself a favor and stop limiting yourself only to your ugly ass.

          • Richie Orange Craver

            Your 9 year old son should not be playing video games especially not Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem is not a kids game. Be a responsible parent. People like you are the reason we don’t have nice things.

          • Ablackmore726

            Dude, there’s no age in Fire Emblem! How old are you to believe that?

          • BecauseTenchuThat’sWhy

            Compared to a similar game called Super Robot Wars, Fire Emblem had a LOT less innuendos. They both have the same age rating (Teen), and there were barely any in the first few Fire Emblem games. Super Robot Wars, however, was dropping them AT LEAST every other chapter. I didn’t understand them at the time, AS I WAS 5 when I played the game for the first time.

          • Psycho Dad

            Are you being serious right now? Have you seen kids playing games like COD? I guess not because having my kids playing something other than COD is better.

          • The DanMan

            I don’t think the target audience is 9 year olds. I’m saying that Phoenix mode really just came out of left field, and will attract minimal new fans or sales (if anything, it will become a ridicule point).

          • Joseph Anaya

            I started playing fire emblem before I was 9.. It isn’t an age specific game. I’m 21 and still love them. I mean yea Phoenix mode sounds ridiculously easy but what is the point in hating on it? Some people like more of a challenge than other do.

          • Sonic

            Lunatic+. even on casual, lunatic+ is a pain in awakening. and assuming it comes back, i might just use phoenix mode on it on my first playthrough through lunatic+… i dont think its confirmed to be back yet, but lunatic has.

      • Misogynerd

        Yeah how dare people not like a feature in a game, they must be demonized, mistreated and called salty whiners. This feature is going in everyone’s copy whether they like it or not. If you dare have the opinion (and it is an valid opinion, even if it’s regarding an option) that the game is lesser because it offers you options that remove pressure and sense of accomplishment. By the way, yes it does, even when you’re playing on super hardcore ultra super no casuals mode and you’re having your ass kicked, your first thought is… man I may want to lower the difficulty or if I was playing easy Mode I wouldn’t have so much trouble.

        I would say that it’s a valid opinion to have that difficulty select screen are basically implanting the idea that you’re going or can complete the game, you’re just choosing how frustrating it will end up being. Not having a difficulty select option can be a feature for players, because it makes them uncertain if they can or will ever complete the game, making them more immersed and focused on the game. It’s the appeal of games like Nethack or any roguelike.

        To paraphrase a wiser man than myself:
        “When players say easy mode cheapens the game that’s what they mean it reduces the risk of failure which is an important tool the dev uses for having a sense of accomplishment so when a player player says even having the options cheapens the game, that’s what they mean. the risk of failure is not the same. If you put the easy way out it goes into everyone’s copy. “

        Also all they’ve shown so far is how simplified the game is, so when are the features that appeal to the older fans gonna be shown, if they exist at all. The point of the versions was to have various flavors of Fire Emblem, hopefully they will show they care about the old fans soon or it will get frustrating.

        • Anne O’Namus

          I’m going to be brutally honest with you: if you care that much about
          how other people play video games, you shouldn’t be playing video games

          • Misogynerd

            This changes affect players emotionally. It’s not entirely rational.
            – People like to brag about things they can do others can do, if your friends.
            – This is going into everyone’s copy.
            – People like feeling like they’re between a rock and a hard place, having a way out affects them. Sure they can have self-control and not choose the easy mode. I still feel like it’s unnecessary annoyance that is present in the back of your mind, I’ve had this personally happen to me in some games, but rarely take the temptation.
            – Difficulty select screens feels like, choose your victory for many players. I’ve never had that, but I think it’s a valid grievance. Some people like to be unsure if they’ll be able to clear the game.
            – This doesn’t necessarily apply to Fire Emblem. It applies to genres like Roguelikes and horror games more.
            – This doesn’t apply to me. It just ticks me off that people with valid feelings and grievances, even if they are partially irrational are demonized.
            – If this was free day-one DLC few would have a problem.

            So no, people don’t care how other people play game, people care about how their experience may be adversely affected. For the third time, it’s a valid way to feel about things, although not 100% rational.

        • Nicolas Thresh

          Yeah how dare people like added features in a game, they must be demonized, mocked and called salty casuals who aren’t handsome hardcore Fire Emblemers like ME… I mean us.

          • Misogynerd

            Dude I love games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn. I personally don’t care, but I dislike it that people are being mean to people with valid complaints about the difficulty and am trying to explain why they may feel that way.

          • BecauseTenchuThat’sWhy

            In quite the ‘shove in your face because I’m important’ way. I understand your point, but seriously. Mocking? EVERY FREAKING SERIES ADDS SOMETHING NEW. Not everyone is a hardcore gamer. And seriously: Casual was a major part of why people bought Awakening. Awakening saved the Fire Emblem franchise. Think about it before shoving your hard-boiled ‘ideas’ down people’s throats.

        • Celever

          You really can’t expect games to be THAT perfect, can you? You never have to click that feature, and I’m sure that once you get the game and start playing it you’ll forget all about Phoenix Mode. If you’re seriously tempted to switch to a lower difficulty… do you have no willpower at all?

          How many people do you think were attracted to Fire Emblem: Awakening because of Lunatic+ mode? I’d wager very few — less than the amount of custom generated by Phoenix Mode at least. Hell, how many people who bought Fire Emblem: Awakening do you think actually BEAT Lunatic+? Games shouldn’t cater to you, they should cater to everyone.

          • Misogynerd

            You don’t know what I’m thinking so how can you be sure that I’ll stop thinking of Phoenix/Casual Moce. Especially when you can lower it permanently if you fail. I do have willpower to not choose it, I never chose Causal mode in Awkening, even when playing in lunatic. It’s more of Navi nagging me about stuff in Ocarina of Time.
            It’s knowing that even if I never touch it or use it I have a way out and not feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. When I die in awakening, particularly my Lunatic playthrough, casual was the first thing that came too mind and I just shrugged it off. Ideally, I should’ve been thinking of how to do better next time.

            For me having a difficulty select screen says that the game can be cleared and you’re choosing how hard the rock and hard place is. Roguelikes don’t give a fuck. They’ve been having a resurgence because of people getting tired of games being made with the purpose of being cleared. Hell, Super Mario Bros. also didn’t care, yet is still fun and no one complains about the lack of easy mode there.

            I played Fire Emblem because the permadeath, breakable weapons and characters that managed a single role. That sounded cool when Fire Emblem 7 came out and I was 11, so I bought it. Note that all these features have been made optional or removed.

            Similarly I bought the Europa Universalis Games not because of how casual they sounded, but because they seemed complex and willing to respect the dedicated player. Not because it has casual mode or “you can’t lose mode.” The difficulty or lack of options can be a selling point. I know this because that’s why I bought Fire Emblem 7.

            Catering to everyone is a pointless endeavor and you end up with washed up video games like Resident Evil 6, Clash of Clans and Candy Crush. Catering to everyone is catering to nobody. It’s just bland and safe entertainment.

            There are people who will hate Fire Emblem no matter what and catering to them is pointless. Still, it seems that IS is more concerned with them than their old fans like me who will still buy the product no matter what, that’s a little sad.

            It stills disgusts me the treatment that people receive that when something that affects their enjoyment of the game negatively are treated with bile, disrespect, and condescension. Sorry it affects them, I don’t think they’re good at expressing it, but it’s similar to how I feel.

            I feel more immersed because well it’s not gonna get easier, so I better pay attention, I also have to learn all the mechanics and systems, because well, if not I’m gonna get my ass kicked and lose, and there’s no way out of it. Every decision counts more, each turn is more nerve wracking, each advantage you manage to gain is more significant because again, there’s no way out. Even if I never turn the mode out or give it a glance it still is in the back of my mind when I lose, get frustrated or can’t think of anything else.

            Plus human beings in general like to brag about things they do that others can’t and sure you may be more skilled and reach a secret mission on Lunatic and feel more accomplished than if another person did it on Phoenix mode. Still the way to be really accomplished s if the other player never even sees it. It’s selfish and greedy, but hey that’s why some people do X things in video games. I can brag about doing all the sidequests in Xenoblade Chronicles but would feel less accomplished if people did them with less effort on an easier difficulty setting.

            Also pretty crappy that playing on the harder difficulties isn’t incentivized by IS, you’d think they’d want people to but apparently they want to coddle their players into barely learning to play the game optimally or with challenge.

            I’d do with a glowing save file, rank system, achievement or trophy I can brag about to people. Anything that makes Is take note of my achievement instead of not caring how people play their game or what they managed to accomplish in it. Because I think that screwed up Awakening.

      • Zagrakhen

        Your twin visions are equally useless.
        Nobody’s right or false at this subject because it’s just an idiotic confrontation of opinions. However, something has to be say : considering video games like something else than pure entertainment is not bad and letting this media to become casual won’t be good for everyone in the future.

        As others said, phoenix mode has no sense other than in lunatic (or lunatic+) difficulty; that is all. If someone needs phoenix mode to play fire emblem, this is nonsense (without saying a word about the spirit of the game, which could be discussed, I admit). Graphics, music, story aren’t the only thing that define a video game; there is the gameplay too. And the gameplay of this game in particular can only be apprehend with a certain degree of difficulty, a frustration, a mass of reflexion and a strategy. Without these elements, we don’t play the same game.

        I don’t mind people who want to play with no frustration at all, but they could ask to themselves if they have chosen the appropriate game… In that way of thinking, The Danman has the right to defend the game and the media. It’s to casual people to adapt to the players who think video game is as serious as the cinema. In fact they have the right to apprehend the game in their way; not to depreciate the media because their way of playing.

    • Chas Gulley

      No one said that they have to use casual or phoenix mode on only normal difficulty. Consider the difference in strategy for something like: phoenix/lunatic+.
      EDIT: oh, now they have confirmed that phoenix mode is only for normal mode… lame.

    • Doctor Robert

      Hey, if *Bunny-Phoenix-Slope-Mode* increases sales and keeps Fire Emblem alive for a few more years (or a decade even), I’m all for it.

      As long as they don’t take away Classic Mode, I don’t think it’s really a problem (now if they did then that’d be something to get angry about).

      …Of course I won’t ever use *Bunny-Slope-Mode*… (unless they have a secret Lunatic-Blithering-Madman++! Mode in which you fight Fomortiis, Grima, Nerge, and a Family-Sized Starship on the first chapter… then I’d consider it.)

      • BecauseTenchuThat’sWhy

        And the Endgame of Secret Lunatic-Blithering-Madman++!, wanna take a guess? ALL Past Fire Emblem characters. Maxed-out stats, all with Limit Breaker. (That means HUNDREDS of enemies! Oh JOY!)

        • Doctor Robert

          Don’t forget the thousands of generics you have to get through on that chapter before you get the *privilege* of fighting the characters who have a name and mugshot. And at the start of every player phase all your units’ HP is reduced to 1 and at the start of every enemy phase 8 generics all warp to surround your units with max’d out stats, limit breaker, and the LOLUDIEDEDLOSER skill equipped. Also, because of LOL, such skills as Sol, Counter, and any other skills remotely useful in a masochistic torture fest (such as this mode) suddenly disappear from your units’ skill slots.

          XD

  • Geoffrey Kappenberg

    Presumably Phoenix mode will be openly labeled just like the settings in Awakening, allowing you to point and laugh at people.

    As a fan of Genealogy’s reforging, I honestly don’t mind the infinite use weapons one bit.

    • phagette

      I just wish they could have had kept a smithy, to keep a similar level of complexity like where to focus funds that way. Holy War did it fine since gold wasn’t pooled, the battles were long, and the weapon ranks were fixed.

  • Johnwaluigi

    This makes me even more sure that Aqua won’t be a traditional dancer, but rather some kind of Dancer/Lancer/Lord Class. Seeing as the Avatar is a Dark Prince/Princess (Manakete/Sword/Lord), Wouldnt it make sense for Aqua to be a similar mix of classes, if she is designed to be Kamui’s foil? (Perhaps they’ll even go as far as calling her Light Princess?)

    • Doctor Robert

      Well, Olivia wasn’t a traditional dancer either, seeing as she could use a sword. Units who can’t fight in a FE may (or may not) be a thing of the past…

      • Alvo

        Sylvia and Feena could use swords.

  • Colino

    Do we happen to know the default name of the My Unit this time?

    • Rosario Burdiles

      is Kamui

  • Destruction

    So i guess people are going to joke about phoenix mode like lunatic+ mode

  • Doctor Robert

    I suppose I have mixed feelings about unbreakable weapons. On one hand, a unique bit of FE strategy has passed (“Don’t use the Rapier because we may need it later!!”)… but, on the other hand (provided Weapon Forging returns), forging Alm’s Blade or whatever other neat assorted weapons we’d get to play with isn’t a total waste of time!

    On a related note, the weapon durability system was nearly completely broken in Awakening seeing as you could basically buy Hammerne staves from a shop towards the end of the game (a randomly generated Secret Shop, but a shop just the same)… not to mention just how many other things you could horde with the right DLC…. *Edit because I just remembered* AND the restocky-thingy too…

    As for Phoenix Mode, I’m just grateful they only added it and didn’t take away Classic Mode.

    • Wooster

      Normally I might be confused at the utility of Phoenix Mode… Easy Casual was pretty hard to die in intentionally… but then I realized.

      Lunatic+

      You know, Luna+ & Absolute Hit with a Hammer mode on poor Fredrick? I’m pretty sure we could all still manage to loose spectacularly in that mode assuming that it’s still Game Over for the Lord and other important characters.

  • Xeon2

    So aqua is your adopted sister?

    • Jedd Gelera

      Don’t think so, I think you were raised in Nohr and she was raised in Hoshido, so you probably didn’t know each other

    • Seiko Kimura

      Sorta… If this information is right then you and her basically switched places, but in the end she chooses the same family as you. Which might mean she is your adopted sister, but I doubt they will actually classify it as such in game and you will probably be able to marry her(if marriage is in) since she is neither your blood sister and you weren’t raised with her as siblings.

  • IsaacGravity

    “This particular detail hasn’t been confirmed, but it seems the
    blue-haired songstress, Aqua, may be in a similar but reverse position
    as the Avatar. According to reports, she is the princess of Nohr taken
    prisoner by Hoshido.”

    Hoping this gets confirmed ‘cuz I’m just laughing in my chair right now and will laugh all the way through all Mandark style if it is. Peace loving Hoshido my butt!

    Also nine save files. They know what’s up.

  • Dominic St-Jacques

    Y’know, Phoenix mode sounds dumb but it offers a new way to play the game.

    Like having a playthrough in which your goal is to beat the chapters while killing off all of your army as much as possible. Then we all share our records.

  • Sentinel

    So, these are just leaks right? Does this mean you might be able to get more info when the issue actually comes out?

    • Aveyn Knight

      Yes, hopefully : )

      There is an interview in this week’s issue too.

  • SirDerpaLot

    Still no option to change skin color, I see. :/

    Anyway, Phoenix Mode sounds silly, but then again it’s not aimed at players like me. Anyone who actually ridicules others for picking Phoenix Mode is just a dick.

    • Seiko Kimura

      It wouldn’t really work for this game since you have to look at least somewhat like your four siblings. Hopefully the next game with an Avatar allows you to pick skin color.

      • The DanMan

        Still not likely. How many people with tan-dark skin do you see in Japan?

        • sayoshigure

          A lot of Asians are tan, actually (myself included). Tan Asians just aren’t as well-represented in Asian media because white skin is considered attractive in most East Asian countries.

  • Soky42

    Not sure how to feel about the whole “no durability on weapons” thing. I’m sure it’s something I’ll get used to. As for the Phoenix Mode, I don’t see why not? It’s just a silly thing for people to play with. If you don’t want it, stick to classic. I think the more options people have, the better. Overall, still really looking forward to this game!

  • Alvo

    If you’re playing Fire Emblem casual mode you are not playing Fire Emblem, you are playing Noob Emblem.

    • Ablackmore726

      Nah. Maybe you just want to enjoy the fun gameplay without the worries. What’s wrong in that?

      • Alvo

        You can enjoy it while playing it the way it was made to be played.

  • The Phonix mode is AN OPTION !!
    If u dont like, dont choose it, Its very simple. People really feel ashamed cause the game can be finished by casual players ??

    This Phonix mode will make FE a more friendish game, and more people will come to like it. More popularity more games. Or these people didn’t know that the franchise was about to be discontinued by nintendo cause Fire emblem it wasn’t selling as they expected ??

  • the weapons durability was a nice system, but on the other hand, it´s suks to not use a cool-motherfuker-godlike weapon cause u dont want to break it (yea FE is dificult enough to make u use them), with this mode we all could enjoy a nice weapon at our content. it may be a nice implement (or not)!!

  • Seems like the unbreakable weapons thing will make it less of a challenge. I can see it working for legendary weapons, but not normal ones.

    • Nick

      See when I first heard that the avatars dragonstone could not break I thought it would just be like that for certain items. I thought beast and dragon stones having a durability to be ridiculous. The +stones yeah I can see why, maybe not tikis but whatever. I also thought it weird you can buy them. Like Nah brings up to Cynthia that dragonstones are rare a precious and should be wasted on dumb things like looking like a bad ass. Like Nah, Ive got leaif blades, Inigo with rightful king, AND he has despoil. We have infinite money right there.
      I wish regular weapons had durability still though. It added a point of strategy and made for some tense moments trying to get Chrom or someone over to a unit to give them a new weapon if theirs broke.

      • I agree with that, ’cause dealing with dragonstones has ALWAYS been a real pain. At least the Falchion was unbreakable…….

    • BecauseTenchuThat’sWhy

      Gaiden had Unbreakable Weapons too, ya know.

      (Edit: Alm is from Gaiden. Because some people don’t know which game he’s from)

  • bum

    are roy and marth in this game?

    • BecauseTenchuThat’sWhy

      This troll right here…

    • Doctor Robert

      Yes they are, but you have to make them yourself. :3

  • Blackemperess .

    Oops, double posted. Sorry!

  • Blackemperess .

    I was wondering if you could possibly get a larger scan or screenshot of the Nohr family like you did with the Hoshido? Unless you got it from another source, in which case, sorry for bothering you.

    Edit: whoa, why aren’t my comments showing up on the list…

  • Nick

    I hope I can have bright red hair in this game because for whatever reason you couldn’t have red hair in awaking. Oh and hot pink. Also hoping dudes get hair accessories has well. In Japan hair bands are popular with younger men and its not like the world will explode if a dude had a feminine hair piece. I want flowers in my hair.