Echoes: Famitsu 15th February Details

Fire Emblem Echoes, the Nintendo 3DS remake of the 2nd game in the series, Fire Emblem Gaiden, will be released in Japan in just over 2 month’s time.

In the meantime, besides updates from Nintendo themselves, we can usually rely on the gaming press to drip feed us information–and Famitsu is usually one of the first to do so.

The 2nd March issue of Weekly Famitsu, which came out in Japan today, includes an introduction to Echoes spread out across 4 pages. Most of the information is about things we already know, but there are some new bits and bobs.

The first page explains the basic premise of the game. In short, it’s a fully re-imagined version of Gaiden. The huge “Story” block is simply a transcript of the text from the announcement trailer.

What is (somewhat) new is the profile for Alm.

Alm

Fighter overflowing with justice
Voice actor: Natsuki Hanae

One of the main characters of the game. He was raised in Ram Village on the borders of the Kingdom of Zofia, together with Celica. Trained by his grandfather Mycen, he has developed a formidable sword arm. Because of his strong sense of justice and desire to show off his strength, he volunteers to join the Zofian Liberation Army to combat the Rigelian Empire. His initial class is Fighter, which is skilled with swords.

Likewise, Page 2 doesn’t really have anything new.

The top part discusses the new things Echoes adds to the table, such as the new character designer, animated moves, voice acting in dialogue scenes–all things talked about in the Fire Emblem Direct.

Similarly, the bottom part explains how there are two main characters and you can progress through the world map individually. Which is par for the course for Gaiden.

The screenshot of Alm and Celica during their childhood may be new to some, but it was shown off during the announcement of the Chinese version a few days ago.

Anyway, for completion’s sake, here’s Celica’s profile:

Celica

Priestess skilled in sorcery
Voice actress: Nao Tōyama

The other main character of the game. She spent her childhood days with Alm, but afterwards left Ram Village for some reason and lived at Novis Monastery as a Priestess. After having an ominous dream about Alm–and to uncover the truth behind the large number of strange happenings across the Kingdom of Zofia–she begins a journey to the Temple of Mila. Initial class is Priestess.

The third page contains the first nugget of information.

In the middle box, the author discusses Fire Emblem’s classic battle system and confirms that the game features Casual Mode (where fallen characters return after a battle) and Classic Mode (where fallen characters stay gone).

That said, Gaiden allowed players to resurrect characters a limited number of times (by visiting certain lion head statues), so it’s unclear if this system will be making a comeback. Given Echoes’s track record, we’re sure it will be…

The top-left box recaps the world map system from Gaiden, where towns and dungeons can be found, and includes a new screenshot of Alm on the world map near the very beginning of the game.

The information from the windows:

  • Year 401 – Flower Season – Day 2
  • Alm
  • Units: 6
  • Army Strength: 309
  • Ram Woods

Meanwhile the top-right box talks about the 3D dungeon exploration. The screenshot here is also new, showing Alm deeper within the Thief Shrine, but doesn’t offer any new insight (besides looking really cool).

Finally we have Page 4, which begins with a look back at Gaiden and what made it unique for the author. Apparently he/she idiolised Archers because of their huge attack range and really appreciated how Alm and Celica were powerful main characters, etc.

Speaking of Archers, we learn that Archers in Echoes have the “Bow Range +1” attribute (possibly a skill?). Thus giving them a range of 1~3 when using a standard “Bow”.

The last piece of new information is a bit of an odd one. Next door, we see Tobin about to change class to a Cavalier. Here, the author has highlighted a curious item on the bottom screen–a Carrot.

Sadly the author doesn’t seem to have a clue what it’s for (or is teasing us). The most obvious explanation is that it’s related to the “Food” command accessible when moving a character. Perhaps characters can eat food to temporarily boost stats like in Fates?

By the way the Cavalier has an attribute too (“Horseback”), but it merely looks to be a weakness or movement type identifier.

(A massive thanks to Famigeki for the images!)

About the Author: VincentASM
Author Website: http://serenesforest.net
  • FinalFight

    Aww yeah, I love Nao Touyama.
    …Now all we need is DUAL AUDIO.

    • Jin Kisaragi

      English audio only.

    • MrPerson0

      Why do people keep on asking for this? Only one out of four FE games with voice acting had this feature. It’s not the norm.

      • FinalFight

        Because it’s basically standard for ANY eastern RPG. Nintendo is the one who isn’t the norm here.
        I had hoped they had learned after Fates, but I guess not.

      • Thatguy

        But it should be the norm.

        Sorry, but after Fates and Heroes i can’t be bothered with FE dubs.

      • MetalGear Lamia

        Because its OPTIONAL

      • Xenoblade, Persona 5, all the spike chunsoft games, steins gate, bravely default, Valkyria chronicles, and basically every Vita game are some just off the top of my head.
        There are only 2 actual reasons not to include dual audio: licencing fees, or that you changed the script so much it no longer works, as I’ve heard may have been what happened to Fates. Any other reason is just stupid.
        Here, finally replied to the right comment

        • FinalFight

          Licensing fees are hardly an issue, even tiny companies like IFI and XSEED can pay licensing for big-name actresses like Asami Imai. For her singing parts as well, no less. By comparison NoA should have no issue with that.

          The latter is a possibility, I’m playing through an undubbed version of Fates right now and it’s unbelievably jarring to hear soft-spoken JP Elfie’s voice while reading the roid-rage text NoA put over her. But even that is really stupid, since all you’re doing is hiding your own incompetence by removing a feature that most people want.

          • Leon99

            Most people don’t give a damn about dual audio; it’s the vocal minority that cares, who have been shown to throw fits when they don’t get what they want.
            And ironically, the one FE game that had dual audio was the one that made the most text changes: Awakening. Fates honestly isn’t half as bad as it.

            Also, thanks for confirming that you hacked your 3DS. Why you would go to such lengths is astounding.

          • FinalFight

            I shouldn’t reply to such obvious bait, but since this is actually an important and interesting conversation that deserves dialogue, consider this more to shed light on the situation rather than argue with you:

            Dual audio is hardly a major point of contention; while you will find plenty of people who don’t care about it, the fact remains that dual audio is always the superior option. With dual audio, those who prefer English dubs will have them, and those who prefer the original Japanese audio can fall back on that if the English dub isn’t appealing to them. I’ll use an analogy here: sometimes after work, I stop by Five Guys. It’s a burger joint, in case you’ve never heard of it. They serve three very simple food items: burgers, hot dogs, and fries (also grilled cheeses and other sandwiches, but they’re basically just burgers without the meat patties). I never get hot dogs there, since I’m not fond of hot dogs in general. But plenty of people DO like them. If they took their hot dogs off their menu, it wouldn’t impact me in the slightest way, but the people who enjoyed them would naturally be quite disappointed. And they too are a minority; most people there just order burgers. But my point here is that even though I personally was unaffected by the removal of that option, the fact remains that others will now be missing out on something they enjoy, and the last thing I would do in that situation is tell them that it doesn’t matter since I never liked the hot dogs.

            The term “vocal minority” is a fallacy used to discredit an argument by no logical means. Dual audio is best for the game and the fans, and I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t welcome it. To elaborate on this, I’ll point out a PS3 game called Atelier Ayesha. The Atelier series is made by the (amazing) game developer Gust, who was bought out by Koei Tecmo some time shortly before Atelier Ayesha’s release. Earlier games were localized by NIS America who always kept dual audio in, but after KT bought Gust they decided that KT America would be doing the localizations from that point on. During localization, they cut out the Japanese audio. Naturally, fans were disappointed and voiced their concerns (Atelier dubs have always been notoriously subpar, though luckily Ayesha’s was actually pretty good). KT America replied stating that they were unaware that it was a feature that the fans cared so much about, and promised that future games would retain JP audio during localization along with any English dubs. And naturally, when the next game in the series came out (Escha & Logy), it had dual audio, just as promised. And when Atelier Ayesha was later ported to the Vita as Atelier Ayesha Plus, they re-inserted the JP audio back into it. But the main thing to note here is that during all this, there was no huge controversy, no argument, just simple conversation between the publishers and the consumers about what they think is important in game localization. KT America’s localization quality may be inconsistent at most times, but I’ll always offer them praise for their communication with their fans.

            Now, contrary to that, with NoA things have been much less understandable. NoA and Treehouse make no effort to even reply to the fans’ comments about dual audio. They can’t be completely unaware, and it’s unlikely that they are unable to put dual audio in games (after all, 8-4 did that just fine with Awakening), so the assumption is that they are simply unwilling to do so. And like everything else with NoA, they don’t offer any sort of explanation or transparency. Dual audio is more or less standard in localization nowadays, except in Nintendo’s case, and they make no effort to embrace it or even explain why they won’t. And THIS is what causes ire among fans; dual audio is easy, desired, and all-around a plus for the game, and they won’t even acknowledge it. When you have situations like Fates where replacement dub is very poor, that exacerbates the issue further.

            And while I’m aware that 8-4’s localization of Awakening was far from perfect, they at least deserve praise for having both the original JP audio and a relatively high-quality English dub in the game. Lots of great voice work, Matthew Mercer and Laura Bailey (Chrom and Lucina) in particular knocked it out of the park with their performances.

        • Claire Volles

          Hu, Xenoblade is Nintendo, same bullshit. Persona it’s pissing of people as much as it does for FE. Spike games are shit and they are closer to indie dev than anything, IS is not . Bravely default had dual audio, Valkyria as well, Pretty decent amount of “vita games” as well.

          • And they added it for Persona 5 because of fans.
            I resent that statement about spike chunsoft: 999 and VLR were phenomenal.
            “IS”?

        • Bulun Song

          I remember Valkyria Chronicles and Bravely Default do have dual audios. The only game on top of my head that doesn’t have dual audio is Yakuza, because fans hate the original English voice acting.

          • BlackPrinny .

            It would also have been prohobitively expensive for an english dub of Yakuza 2-5. As Y5 only got a release after it was officially declared dead and gone because of minor sales I actually prefer dual audio or even japanese audio only – they may get some minor/niche games over because the VO dubbing expenses can be cut out and the localization would be cheaper-> less needed sold copies to break even or turn a profit.

            I am a non-native english speaker but have a pretty good command and comprehension of the spoken language so I don’t have a problem with that. I DO however have a problem with the way dubbing is done and the choice of Voice Actors outside of Japan. The German and English translation of lots of Games and Animes, OAVs and Movies are simply atrocious.

            Also diversity…Skyrim had what? 60 People doing VO for NPC chatter? In comparison the German had 6? If anything is more immersionbreaking than that at all I would gladly eat my hat.

        • Familyplayer

          Iirc, the reason dual audio isn’t in Fates is due to an issue with the company the VA of Aqua/Azura in the Japanese version works with. I assume they will have dual audio in Echos.

    • Michy bighands

      there is a dual audio?

  • Mito Requiem

    everytime I see Celica’s design I wanna cry it’s soooooo goooodddd

    • MDH

      Same, there’s no detail about her costume I don’t like.

      Amusingly, even though her dress is pretty sexy, she STILL manages to show less skin than her original design.

  • Calvin Barboza

    I often think about what I would put in a fire emblem game of I got to make one. I usually say dungeon exploration with battles inside, the ability to mitigate bullshit by being able to bring back a limited number of characters, simplified skill system. Apparently they did all of this 25 years ago.