Today, Nintendo launched a new video for Echoes, as a counterpart to the Japanese introduction trailer which we analysed here (do note some theories have changed since the game’s Japanese release).
The trailer begins by going briefly over the childhood connection between the two protagonists–Alm and Celica–before heading into gameplay territory.
We see the world map system, which those of you familiar with The Sacred Stones and Awakening etc. will be very at home with. You can move around and fight wandering enemy parties or advance the plot at your pace. Then we get a class roll call
Dread Fighter, which made its debut in Gaiden is here in full force; it’s the 3rd tier in the Mercenary line and provides quite a bit of Resistance. Unlike its recent appearances in Awakening and Fates, it’s locked to swords.
We get the brief on Pegasus Knights and Paladins as well, highlighting their superior movement. Meanwhile, Snipers boast an extremely long range just like they did in Gaiden.
However we get into some strange territory when they mention the Sage class. Silque is shown, but its not plausible for her to be that class since its not unisex and her HP is far too low (Sages have a minimum HP of 32).
In the Mila’s Turnwheel tutorial, Silque can be seen on the map as a Saint, her usual promoted class, so it’s highly likely her appearance as a Sage was a technical error.
Another inconsistency is Mae being shown using the Excalibur spell (near the end of the video), which she has no way of actually learning.
Again, this is probably an error (perhaps somebody messing around with the debug menu), unless it’s hinting at some strange DLC or changes to the original game.
One more (albeit minor) mistake, is that the Zofian Army is mislabeled as “Alm’s Army”. This can be seen both when discussing about Pegasus Knights and Cavaliers early in the video.
They end off the class roll call with the fact that you can promote at certain levels and no promotion item is required like most other games in the series. When ready, the game itself will tell you, “You can now promote to X”
Villagers were also shown and their versatility to become mostly whatever you deem necessary. The diagram is slightly misleading though as Faye, the female Villager, has her own class branches with the male-only classes swapped for female-only ones.
The video then continues into mechanics again, showing off that Casual mode and Classic mode are both options again, which started all the way back in New Mystery of the Emblem.
On Classic permanent death is in effect like usual.
However after this we get into some new ground, with Mila’s Turnwheel. While we knew you could turn back turns, its limitations were not apparent. Although the narrator is a bit misleading.
He says you can use it only once per battle, but there is an obvious “3” on the gear icon in the bottom-right corner, and in the Japanese version you can indeed use it three times per battle from the get go.
It also gives you a brief summary of all the unit actions as you’re reversing, which is pretty helpful if it was a long player or enemy phase.
We delve into weapon skills next, which the narrator calls “combat arts”. These you learn by using a weapon many times.
The various combat arts shown and their effects are as follows (according to my colleague Vincent).
- Thunderclap: Doubles attack power but reduces range to 1
- Crosswise Cut: Boosts Hit rate
- Encloser: Prevents enemy movement for 1 turn
- Archballista: Boosts attack range by 2
- Knightkneeler: Deals more damage to mounted enemies
- Foudroyant: Sets attack range to 2~3
- Hit and Run: Boosts Avoid
- Armorcrush: Deals more damage to armored enemies
Towns are introduced to us again, but this time they decided to mention that townsfolk will occasionally have quests for you to do.
It also briefly goes into character recruitment, and how you can find characters in towns sometimes (such as Atlas) where you then have a choice to recruit them or not.
Dungeons appear once again, however there is nothing new to go over. It’s more of a refresher.
Near the end, we get to see some villains, Nuibaba and Jedah, and a hint at the return of the divine dragons. But in terms of the overarching plot, nothing was given away.
We did get confirmations on the names of the two amiibo unlocked dungeons and they are Duma’s Ordeals (Alm) and Mila’s Ordeals (Celica) respectively.
Don’t forget the English version of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia launches on May 19th.