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!