Echoes: New (English) Screenshots + Music Samples

Not long after opening pre-orders for the Japanese “Valentia Complete” edition of Fire Emblem Echoes, Nintendo posted an article discussing this luxurious product.

The biggest highlight of the article is the chance to sample four tracks from the “Sound Selection Echoes” soundtrack CD, which is included in both the Valentia Complete and the Limited Edition.

The samples feature the original music from Gaiden (the game that Echoes is based on) alongside the newly arranged versions from Echoes.

Battle 1 (Player Side) [Gaiden]

Fearless White Blade [Echoes]

World Map Ch. 2 (Celica’s Journey) [Gaiden]

Radiant Ark [Echoes]

Additionally, the soundtrack CD will include a new rendition of “With Mila’s Divine Protection”, made famous in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Besides this, the article gifted us with a look at the actual Blu-ray disk from the “Fire Emblem HD Movie Collection”, plus a new double page spread from the Valentia Artbook, both of which are included in the Valentia Complete only.

The pages from the artbook appear to depict the kingdoms of Zofia (left page) and Rigel (right page), the two key players in the Valentian war.

Around the same time, some online retailers, such as Amazon Japan, updated their product pages with a couple of new screenshots.

The first screenshot gives us 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).

The second 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?

Finally, while we weren’t looking, Nintendo UK added a bunch of screenshots of their own, of the English version no less!

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.

It’s hard to tell from this single screenshot, but we imagine the game’s English translation will be high-quality as usual.

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.

By the way, a big thanks to Thunderstar and Carnation for sharing the screenshots!

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  • “It’s hard to tell from this single screenshot, but we imagine the game’s English translation will be high-quality as usual.”
    Please no. You’re giving me Fates flashbacks.

    • Aveyn Knight

      Sorry, I’m only speaking of the quality of the content that we got. I know it sucks that content was cut, but what we did get was great. Or at least as good as it could get since the original Japanese script wasn’t exactly a work of art : P

      • It’s not the cut content that bothers me. I’m also aware how the JP script wasn’t a work of art. I just find it hard not to partially blame NoA for the constant cringes I get whenever I’m reading the dialogue or the support conversations.

        • *CougheverythingElliesaysinEnglishCough*

      • Avestus

        I remember a lot of adaptations that changed the characters completely (like Niles or Effie) and I can’t call that good translation :/ I know it only from other people, though, can’t estimate that myself.

      • Koidneufdocteur

        Yeah, please just stop saying it was the “greatest”. When it comes to localization, lately the news from this site seems to praise NoA and Treehouse work on the games. Some things were great, some were not. Just stop “praising” it.

    • Calvin Zoo

      Hmm, I didn’t find particular issue w/ the Fates translation; care to provide an example w/ Jpn vs. Eng text?

      I actually found most English release FE’s to have dialogue that reads decently, though I can’t speak to how well each is translated since I don’t know Japanese =O

      • It wasn’t exactly how it read, but the content. Honestly, the other FE games were fine. I can’t speak for the accuracy, because these sound like disgruntled fans, but their translation doesn’t make the english sound that great….

        • Calvin Zoo

          ah i see, that saizoxberuka convo’s definitely an egregious example – though it seems more to be an issue of censorship than of translation; willing to bet the censors were behind blanking out that convo considering the heavy topic [which is a real shame, since i’m willing to bet the vast majority of fates’ audience is older than ~13, and woulda appreciated seeing it]; however, it’s equally unfortunate there wasn’t some way for the localizers to come up w/ another convo to replace that one, rather than “…”

          • Sentinel

            I don’t really think that was a censorship issue. I think it was likely a joke in poor taste, poking fun at the two quiet types in the game.

            I mean, Saizo and Beruka’s less than glamorous lives are kept fully in other supports.

        • I would say it’s really just disgruntled fans…like overly disgruntled with freakishly high standards and zero tolerance for this kind of stuff. Because the Leo x Xander example is just….ugh….who cares? In the end who really cares except them? The change in their speaking tone literally did not break anything from the game. The Saizo x Beruka C-support was just a really poor joke done on the translators part. But to be frank, I would take silence over having 2 characters just state their jobs. Because that C-support was so boring. It’s not the whole “Oh they don’t like to talk a lot” nope, it was literally just 2 characters meeting each other and bluntly saying their jobs. I’m not even going to bother touching on the Soleli thing. Her very character existence/personality needed a major change. Her personality is more understood over in Japan considering the whole “Harmless experimentation of youth” thing they have going on but in America we just call that being a gay-tease.

          Like I know it sucked that some of the things that were removed and changed, and that some of the supports in the American version were more cringy, but these people are literally only using the same mundane examples that have literally have not much of a significance in the game. It’s people demanding for perfection, which perfection is impossible when the original product wasn’t even that good *coughs* Not like Fates story was even that good to begin with

  • Ember Hermin

    Why would you assume the magic is draining her HP just because she was damaged while fighting an enemy? Wouldn’t the natural assumption be that… y’know… a DIFFERENT enemy already damaged her?

    • Ember Hermin

      Wait, I missed the “4” being the HP drain… woops.
      Well, that really sucks. I hate bringing back dated mechanics for “authenticity” or whatever. The point of a remake is to *improve* upon the game, now that they have the technology to do so and they’ve outgrown Early Installment Weirdness. If the point was to make it just like the original you might as well just play the original.

      • Ember Hermin

        Having fixed hit rates is annoying, too. The skill stat is there for a reason…

        • Suicunesol

          It goes both ways. If the hit rate is fixed, that means it won’t go down for you either. So you just take advantage of that.

          “Draining your HP” isn’t exactly a dated mechanic. It’s just different. That mechanic isn’t even related to old or new technology, but was a design choice. If it has purpose in the old game, I think it should transfer to the new game.

          • Ember Hermin

            I’m questioning how much “purpose” it had, though, or if they were just trying it out to see how it worked. Considering the whole “all spells are Cast From Hit Points” was only used in the second game, you’d think that they decided it wasn’t good. That’s what I mean by “dated” in this context… it was an old mechanic that was abandoned for not being that good (especially considering how squishy mages usually are, it seems crazy that they’re the ones whose HP are getting drained just by attacking.)
            But then, if there’s a story reason for it (apparently they just… don’t have tomes on the continent of Valentia or something??), I would understand why they would keep it.

      • Aveyn Knight

        It’s not just a mechanics thing, it’s very important to the Fire Emblem lore IMO.

        Back in the NES/SNES era, it was stated that magic tomes and staves are tools used to alleviate the stress on spell-casters. However in Gaiden, they don’t have tomes or staves and thus must use their full body to cast magic–hence the HP reduction.

        This is echoed in Radiant Dawn when Micaiah uses her healing powers (the Sacrifice skill) without the aid of staff.

        That said, I won’t disagree that combining lore and gameplay mechanics isn’t always the best choice. Also, in Echoes the spell icon looks like a magic tome (despite the user not holding a tome), which makes my head hurt.

        • Ember Hermin

          They… they what?

  • Suicunesol

    The more I see and hear of this game, the more excited I get. It’s quite a departure from the way Fates and Awakening look, right down to the GUI and the font they used. It really gives weight to the idea that this game is a visit to the long-forgotten past, and yet it’s slick as hell. I am a little worried about the absence of certain classic Fire Emblem mechanics, but at the same time all the differences will encourage change in strategy and in gameplay to make things new.

    I hope this sells like hotcakes and comes out on the same day as Japan.

  • Skorm94

    This looks super weird and interesting, I like it!

  • Alexander Bodine

    I’m more interested in Saber’s screenshot. Does this show that the conversations will be more character-to-player (a good example would be like Phoenix Wright), completely forgoing the 1-on-1 convo seen in Awakening, or the group conversations in the FE7-10?

  • yop

    the character models look nice int he battle scene

  • chris123sm

    Glad to see they are keeping key mechanics from the original. Hopefully some of the mechanics don’t turn off newer players due to how different they are from the recent games. Let’s just hope the game sells well so Nintendo will be incentivized to ”remaster” other older games from the series like Genealogy/Thracia, Binding/Blazing/Sacred and the Tellius ones.

    • Jonathan Alexander

      I’m almost certain if this does well, Binding Blade has to be next Roy at least I’d assume so. Would really love Genealogy next but I think Binding next would be a smart move especially since Roy doesn’t have a game out in the West in English ;~:.

      On the subject of echoes really happy they are trying to stay true to the original. HP costs for spells staying in totally was a shock to me.

      • chris123sm

        I’d be kind of interested to see what Nintendo/IS would do for a Genealogy remake, but yeah Binding Blade would be awesome especially since they would be able to fix all the issues that game had. Yeah kind of surprised they are staying so true to the original game here, will definitely make the cranky outspoken elitists happy at least.