Echoes: New Artwork Shown in Cipher Series 8 Livestream

In case you missed it, yesterday’s Cipher Series 8 pre-release livestream teased a couple of new character artworks from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

First up is a comparison shot showing Valbar’s original portrait from Gaiden versus his concept art from the re-imagined Echoes.

Next is his official artwork from Echoes. (If the image is a bit blurry, it’s because it’s taken from a video with a lot of motion going on.)

Valbar himself is a fairly unimportant character in Gaiden, although he did have a relatively impactful backstory for a side character, during a time when videogame story-telling was bare-bones.

It’s also thought that he’s the armoured Knight featured in Gaiden’s boxart (to the right of Alm). However due to the disparity in colour scheme between his in-game portrait and artwork, it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, if true, this may be the reason his artwork was shown first during the livestream.

Before moving on, here’s a look at Valbar’s Cipher artwork. It appears he’ll be donning his helmet in battle, which is a neat touch, given how very few Fire Emblem characters wear helmets.

The next character given the spotlight is Tobin, one of Alm’s villager buddies. In his Cipher artwork, he’s an Archer, which is interesting since the pre-release screenshots for Echoes shows him class-changing into an Archer.

The third and final character is Mae, one of Celica’s friends. The background behind her is of a ship deck, which is cool since a lot of the early Celica maps take place on ships.

After this, we have our first glimpse of the currently Japanese-only Valentia Complete edition in the flesh. We know what you’re thinking: we’re praying to Mila that we’ll be getting something even half as cool in the West.

Anyway, the artworks of Alm and Celica are new, depicting them in a more relaxed pose with their weapons sheathed. Behind them on the outer box, you can vaguely make out official artworks of Valbar, Saber and Mae going from the centre and moving to the right.

To the far left, we may have Tobin or another of the starting villagers. Meanwhile to the left of Valbar and Saber is a currently unidentified male. Since he’s closer to Alm than Celica, presumably he’s somebody who joins Alm’s party.

Finally, these were revealed in a previous Cipher article, but here are the promotional Cipher cards of Alm and Celica, featuring some of their comrades in the background.

The Alm card is included with all first-print editions of Echoes while the Celica card is exclusive to the Valentia Complete. Sadly, the chances of everyone else getting these cards is remote, unless Cipher miraculously gets localised before the end of May.

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.
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