Dragalia Lost x Fire Emblem Heroes Dated & Casual Fan Interview

Last month, during Dragalia Lost‘s six-month anniversary broadcast, “Dragalia Digest”, a crossover with Fire Emblem Heroes was announced. Recently, the duration of this crossover was shared: 26th April to 14th May 2019. For now, that’s all the information we know.

Unrelated to Fire Emblem, 26th April is also when Dragalia Lost is revamping its summoning system, following user feedback. From that date, Wyrmprints (cards/accessories) will be axed from the summoning pool, leaving only Adventurers (characters) and Dragons (to transform into).

That’s not all as Golden Week is just around the corner, which usually equates to lots of gifts and incentives for players (as you may have experienced in Heroes already). So if you’re thinking of trying out the game because of the crossover, you’ll be starting at a really good time!

Naturally, we’re a Fire Emblem (and spin-off) fan site, so we won’t be discussing Dragalia Lost in depth. However, we’re guessing more than a few of you are intrigued about the game. Because of the crossover and since it’s also a Nintendo-published mobile RPG like Heroes. (If you’re not already playing of course!)

For those not aware, Dragalia Lost is a fantasy action RPG developed by Cygames, who are perhaps most well-known for their free-to-play browser game, Granblue Fantasy. Many popular mechanics in Dragalia Lost made their start in Granblue, such as Adventurer Stories and special Gacha draws where you can choose a 5★ character of your choice.

Many other gameplay elements, especially upgrading and uncapping mechanics, are similar to mechanics in Granblue, so there’s likely some inspiration. Additionally, Granblue is perhaps most well known for its Collaboration events, featuring crossovers with popular anime and game titles. Now Dragalia Lost can experience those, too!

If you’ve got some spare time, we wrote a preview for the game for Nintendo Players UK. Likewise, we wrote some beginner and intermediate tips, which you’re welcome to bookmark if you ever decide to fire up the game.

Also, to celebrate this rare crossover, we chatted to some fans–among our staff and the Fire Emblem community–who played both Dragalia Lost and Fire Emblem Heroes, to share their thoughts of the former.

VincentASM – The webmaster of Serenes Forest, who really likes digging into obscure Fire Emblem knowledge. Favourite character is Cleo.
Drax – A long time casual fire emblem player (he says he’s not a great player or LTC player by any means). Favourite characters are Elisanne and Curran.
TheVinceKnight – One of the Editors in Serenes Forest, more specifically editing the Fire Emblem Cipher portion of the Serenes Wiki. Favourite character is Lin You.
Raven – AKA VanguardRaven on sites where his all-too-common username is already taken. Favourite character is Celliera.
Prince of Iris – Longtime fan of the Fire Emblem series, always interested in learning what’s new from every nook and cranny. Favourite character is Karina.

(Artwork sourced from the GamePress Dragalia Lost Wiki)

Q1: How did you first get into Dragalia Lost?

VincentASM: To be honest, I’ve always been somewhat curious about Granblue Fantasy because of its nice artwork (thank you everyone on Twitter), but it seemed a bit daunting and I wasn’t sure if it was for me. So when I heard Nintendo had partnered with Cygames to make a new mobile game, I thought I’d give that a try.

Drax: I have played Granblue (one of the games that Cygames is the principal developer for) for a year when Dragalia was announced last year, and with Nintendo and Cygames’s track record I thought the game was going to be very strong and played it at launch.

TheVinceKnight: Basically I was just looking for a new game to play and I watched a trailer on Dragalia Lost around that time, which looked super appealing. I was basically saying ‘this is the game I’m definitely gonna try out’.

Raven: If I recall correctly, Dragalia was first revealed in Nintendo’s E3 2018 skit. It had me thinking “I’ll give that a go when it’s out.” And here I am, still playing it over six months after its initial release. I login to Granblue when they’re giving away free summons, but that’s about as far as I’ve gone with any of Cygames’ stuff until Dragalia happened.

(The Dragalia Lost Mobile Direct from August 2018.)

Prince of Iris: I first heard about Dragalia Lost when the partnership between Nintendo and Cygames was originally announced. We didn’t have much to go by at the time, but the key visual they provided, the fact that the renowned Granblue Fantasy developer would have a hand, and it being an entirely new game as opposed to an existing Nintendo property were what drew me in. The Dragalia Lost Mobile Direct that Nintendo aired later in August, which provided a closer look at the game and how it plays, would further encourage me to at least give it a shot.

Q2: Overall, how would you describe your experience with Dragalia Lost?

VincentASM: I think it’s a really nice change of pace compared to Heroes. Obviously one’s a turn-based RPG and the other is an action RPG. Also, Dragalia has a much bigger focus on co-op play and the stages (especially the bosses) are generally more dynamic, which I really like.

Drax: I’m pretty positive with the game. I do think they have learned a lot of lessons from their properties.

TheVinceKnight: Very positive I’d say. I was happy with how the game presented itself (a very positive outlook, especially with all the music and co-op) and got hooked fairly quickly.

Raven: Dare I say it – here of all places – but I’m enjoying it more than Heroes at the moment. Playing with a goal in mind, to improve your characters (farming materials for stronger weapons, etc.), is a breath of fresh air compared to essentially playing to collect Orbs then hoping to get lucky on your summons.

Prince of Iris: I got on board with Dragalia Lost as soon as it became available and was immediately hooked. I was a little hesitant about it at first since action RPGs aren’t my favorite genre and I was a little worried the depth of the game system would put me off, but in the end the game succeeded in convincing me that it’s worth playing. Admittedly I would occasionally take breaks from playing due to concentration, but Fire Emblem has definitely reignited my interest in playing regularly again.

Q3: What makes the game stand out to you?

(A brief overview trailer from the start of the year)

VincentASM: For me, the game is really well-presented. I like the colourful and clean 3D graphics, as well as the (literal) head-bopping music. Otherwise, I really enjoy the co-op and the community that’s grown around it. It really fosters a sense of camaraderie at times.

Drax: I think its just how just smooth of an application it is, the characters reflect the artwork, the music works with the game. Its just very harmonious.

TheVinceKnight: I really like the character stories. A lot of them are really interesting reads, and it makes me enjoy a character a lot more than I usually do. I also really like organizing co-op play with a bunch of friends. It just feels much more satisfying clearing content in the game with a bunch of your mates.

Raven: The Music. The dragon and character 3D models. The artwork for characters, dragons, and Wyrmprints. The voice acting. It sucks my phone’s battery dry but it’s worth it. There’s also no greater feeling than joining friends against a tough boss battle and winning while your character’s corpse was chilling in the corner for half the fight.

Prince of Iris: The production values of the game are what come to mind first, and how much care was put into every interaction feeling like its own little reward. From sliding gifts across the screen to your dragon to the swift menu transitions, Dragalia Lost is finely tuned by experts who clearly put a lot of thought into designing how the player interacts with the game and how the game responds. I also love how personal the in-game messages feel from the director of the game, Hiroki Matsuura, as they help provide the sense that the development team genuinely values your time.

Q4: Do you have any memorable moments?

VincentASM: I really enjoyed the New Year’s Event near the tail end of 2018. They added some cool characters with a busted mechanic (Bleed, which causes unpreventable damage over time), a fun raid event where you beat up a poor dancing lion for goodies, and it featured the main cast in swanky kimonos.

Drax: I think my favorite event was the event with Curran and Heinwald. In general I think Cygames stories get stronger once the world expands, and stuff that really world builds such as the Lunar New Year event makes the game stronger.

(Music samples that featured in the Resplendent Refrain event)

TheVinceKnight: Not getting Halloween Elisanne when I deserved it I really enjoyed the Resplendent Refrain raid event right before Christmas 2018. The event featured a really neat story on top of unique music that was there specifically just for the event. The music was just so enjoyable to listen to that I would not transform into a dragon just to keep listening (when you transformed it changed the music to the dragon transformation track).

Raven: Finally building the 5-star water blade for my favourite character, Celliera, after some pretty hardcore farming. It’s been a huge power boost, yet I’m still not finished unlocking her full potential. There’s still more unbinding (merges) to be done on her weapon and dragon, but thankfully those necessary materials will come in due time through natural play.

Prince of Iris: I liked my time with the first raid event, Loyalty’s Requiem. Banding together with other players to take down a gargantuan monster is a really interesting experience! Since you’re always on a timer, you’re expected to be on your toes and do your part from start to finish. One time I managed to complete a battle with my group until the very last second, and it was very satisfying to end it that way since I recall that I was the one who dealt the finishing blow. It’s great that Dragalia Lost allows for that kind of engaging and dynamic player interaction through cooperative play.

Q5: What’s your opinion about the way Cygames approaches its fans?

VincentASM: I’m really impressed with how open the developers are with regards to feedback and their near-term roadmaps. The latest news that they’re soon removing wyrmprints from summoning is something I never expected either, despite users begging for it. It’s almost akin to fans begging for 5-star demotions in Heroes.

Draxal: It’s pretty great, the only thing I will say is that even though they have a great translation team with 8-5, there’s a lot of additional content that the American audience misses.

TheVanceKnight: I must say that Cygames does an amazing job at communicating with it’s fanbase about what they’re plans for the game are. It seems that they really want to please their players and with the most recent announcements just proves how much they care about the fanbase. It’s very impressive.

(The news post from 12th April discussing the upcoming summoning changes)

Raven: I was going to mention the developers back in question three, but I didn’t want to make my reply there even longer. Cygames has been nothing but open to changes in their game, very much willing to make large, positive changes in such short periods of time. It’s another positive on the game as a whole to have such in-tune developers at the wheel.

Prince of Iris: As someone newly exposed to Cygames and their business, I think it’s refreshing how far they’re willing to go to provide quality experiences with the best interests of fans at the forefront, rather than of their own. I’ve no doubt their brand will continue to remain a relevant name among players, and it’ll be great to see what they’ll do next.

Q6: Are there any things you’d improve about the game?

VincentASM: Gameplay-wise, I hope they add some more game modes. I do enjoy beating up bosses, but I feel like they can branch out a little. I know there’s the labyrinth mode–apparently a randomly-generated dungeon crawl–that was datamined from day one, which I think could be really fun. Otherwise, I would like to see more Dragalia Digest videos, akin to Feh Channels.

Drax: I think the story could probably be a little better, however part of the problem was that there were so many seasonal stories early in the game’s history and they need to flesh out the ensemble cast.

TheVinceKnight: I’d like more game modes I guess. What they have now is really good but there aren’t too much things to do in between events (I guess that’s fine still). I hope they continue making difficult content after High Dragons as well, to spice up gameplay a lot.

Raven: Yeah, if there’s one thing that Heroes has over Dragalia, it’s that Dragalia’s menu system is pretty bad, in my opinion. It all looks great, but it has slow transitions between menus, and on occasion, your taps are recognised yet the game just decides that it won’t navigate simply because your fat finger wasn’t concise for its liking. I’d much prefer to navigate through Heroes’ simple, fast, snappy menu any day.

Prince of Iris: One thing I’d personally like to change is how the game links the player’s name with that of the hero of the story, Euden. While I don’t mind that it’s designed to have Euden as the audience surrogate, I think it would be better if he didn’t share his name with whatever the player comes up with. Also, I would add an option to switch to the Cinderella Step menu theme that would only play at the beginning of the game. It’s too good of a song to just appear briefly!

Q7: What are your hopes or expectations about the Fire Emblem Heroes crossover?

VincentASM: Honestly I have no idea what to expect, but I hope we get some memorable Fire Emblem characters like Marth, Roy and Ike. Although probably only one of those though, or we’d have too many Sword characters in another game! It’d be cool if there was a dragon too, like Tiki or Corrin.

(Granblue collaborations are very varied; artwork sourced from the Granblue Fantasy Wiki)

Drax: I’m not sure to be honest. Cygames handles their collab events differently in their different IPs and if they are internal or external collaborations. Granblue for example has collab characters as event given characters. While Shadowverse for example you can buy either external leader cards (such as Street Fighter) or Granblue or Priconne characters (which are Cygames characters). I do see this as a big opportunity for them to gain more players, so I’m hopeful its substantial.

TheVinceKnight: I’m just expecting Alfonse and Sharena to be honest. Low expectations I know, but it’ll be a big surprise if we get other cool Fire Emblem characters like Marth and Ike. That would definitely be great.

Raven: I just hope Fjorm at least makes it into Dragalia. She would for sure become my new water main over Celliera. I would also find great enjoyment watching my characters transform into Feh during battles (shouting “FOR XANDER” as she appears) against overpowered demi-gods and proceeding to tear them a new one.

Prince of Iris: For an opportunity as exciting as this, I can only hope they go all out and deliver an event worthy of its kind for all fans. I’d personally like to see them introduce fan favorite characters that can attract as many players as possible (Chrom, anyone?). It should be great to see whoever from Fire Emblem interacts in the setting of Dragalia Lost. I’ve been saving up my currency for the past while just for this event, so I’m eager to learn who’ll show up!

Thanks for reading! Hopefully we’ll be back with concrete details about the crossover sooner or later.

About the Author: Kirie
Fire Emblem Cipher & Heroes News Editor