Fire Emblem Engage: “My First Fire Emblem” Analysis

Perhaps as a late Christmas present, Nintendo shared a trailer explaining the basic gameplay of Fire Emblem Engage:

Currently, the trailer’s only in Japanese, but no doubt Nintendo of America/Europe will release their own version moments after this analysis is done, or something.

Titled “My First Fire Emblem”, it’s geared towards those with zero knowledge of the series. Despite that, it’s good to have a look at Engage’s game flow, plus there are some cool nuggets of info for eagle-eyed fans.

The trailer opens with a familiar look at some important characters, such as Alfred, Céline (pictured above), Diamant, Alcryst, Timerra, Fogado, Ivy and Hortensia. Basically the 8 royals. To show off the character-driven nature of FE.

We’re then shown a snippet of gameplay, on the Firenese map with hedges. Louis and Alear are Level 7 units here. Alear takes out a Corrupted holding a droppable Poleax.

If you missed it earlier, Alear’s sword Libération boosts the Engage count by 1 when defeating foes during the Player Phase. This makes it easier for Alear to Engage again after it wears out.

Break occurs if you initiate combat against a foe while you have a weapon triangle advantage (here, Sword versus Axe). It prevents the foe from attacking until the end of the next combat, protecting you from counter-attacks.

Next, a quick look at the roster.

Alear‘s a Level 16 Dragon Child with an Iron Sword, Steel Sword, Iron Blade, Libération and Vulnerary. His personal skill is Divinely Inspiring.

Timerra is a Level 19 Sentinel with a Silver Lance, Iron Greatlance, Killer Lance, Spear and Vulnerary. Her personal skill is Racket of Solm.

Fogado‘s a Level 18 Sentinel with an Iron Bow, Silver Bow, Steel Blade (can’t be used; he probably reclassed down from Cupido, which can use it), Longbow and Killer Bow. His personal skill is Heart Stealer (tentative).

Ivy is a Level 17 Wing Tamer with Elfire, Thunder, Wind, Mend and Physic. Her personal skill is Tenacity (tentative).

The blurb mentions there are over 30 characters. That makes sense. 8 royals with 2 retainers each = 24. Plus Alear and the 3 Stewards of the Dragon makes that 28. Add on Anna, Yunaka and Seadall makes that 31. Plus we know Mauvier can be recruited. Finally, there’s a “Jan” mentioned in the Japanese Somniel trailer. So at least 33.

Birthday’s are back!

  • Framme: 10th March
  • Alfred: 8th August
  • Etie: 1st October

This is probably from the Reference [Allies] menu and functions like the Roster in FE: Awakening. It also displays the character’s starting class, plus some general notes.

For example, for Alfred and Etie, it states they came as reinforcements on the night the Divine Dragon’s Castle was attacked.

The tabs along the top allow you to change countries. Lythos, Firene, Brodia, Elusia and Solm are available. There’s an additional “country” with a brown background and wreath-like symbol. I think this may stand for “other” and is where characters like Yunaka (unaffiliated) would go.

Whatever it is, it’s not Gradlon, where the Four Hounds are from–Gradlon’s symbol is the one used for the Expansion Pass. Presumably when Mauvier is recruited, he’d be here though.

The stamp on each character’s portrait is cute too.

On a tangential note, Nintendo Hong Kong is offering a sticker sheet with stamp designs with pre-orders of the game.

A quick look at various classes and characters.

You’ve got Diamant repping swords, Fogado for cavalry, Louis for armours and Clanne for mages. Then there’s Merrin as a Wolf Knight, Seadall the Dancer (Qi Adept), Chloé the Flier, Zelkova the Thief (Covert), Timerra for lances and Alcryst the bow user.

I believe the backdrops are all places we’ve seen in various footage; we’ve actually seen a lot of maps from the game already!

Some more action, ka-pow!

Framme is fighting a Fabrication at the Lythos tutorial map. We’ll see a bit more of it later on.

Next, we see her take on a Corrupted Dragon while in her promoted Master Monk class.

The map is Firene on fire, seen in Ivy’s spotlight etc. Allies include Hortensia (tome/dual staff, with Marth), Rosado (axe, with Eirika), Alear (sword, with Lucina), Timerra (lance, with Ike), Fogado (bow) and Clanne (tome). Plus someone cut off at the top-right corner.

Framme is Level 19 here, with a Conqueror-God’s Body Art. With the exception of the Initiate/Training Art, all Body Art weapons confer consecutive attacks, like Brave weapons or Gauntlet weapons.

Bit of weapon switching. Céline swaps from a Killing Edge to a Lightning Sword. The latter deals magical damage and can hit from range.

The available weapons include: Slim Sword, Iron Sword, Steel Sword, Silver Sword, Armorslayer, Killing Edge, Lightning Sword, Wo Dao, Wyrmslayer, Brave Sword, Iron Blade and Steel Blade.

Céline can wield B Sword, B Tome and A Staff. This suggests Brave Sword is A rank.

I’m unsure why Céline can wield staves here. Pretty sure she’s in her base Noble class, which can’t use Staff.

Only explanation I can think of is that she could have Micaiah equipped and it’s possible that Micaiah enables Staff usage through one of her skills. Clanne and Yunaka have been observed wielding Staves as a Mage and Thief, while Micaiah is equipped.

This bit shows Vander equipping his skills. Characters can equip up to 4 skills. One is their personal skill (Alabaster Duty), another is their class skill (unlocked via Level 5 Advanced class; Pivot) and two inheritable skills from Emblems.

The inheritable skills belong to Marth: Perceptive (Avoid +15 when initiating combat; boosts Avoid with high Speed), Unyielding (at beginning of your phase, restores 20% HP when below 20% HP) and Avoid+10.

Here’s an interesting view of a battle map. This is the Brodian bridge where Alear confronts Hortensia, who has Lucina’s ring. It’s from Chapter 7: Dark Emblems

Allies include Alear (sword), Alcryst (bow), Louis (lance), Boucheron (axe), Chloé (lance), Citrinne (tome), Lapis (sword), Alfred (lance), Framme (tome/staff), Etie (bow), Clanne (tome) and Céline (sword). Foes include Hortensia, Goldmary and Rosado.

The options are the ones here: Fight, Unit Selection, Emblem Rings, Inventory, Swap Spaces, Marketplace, Reference (check ally info), Save, System and Back.

Update: I didn’t notice at the time, but Alcryst, Citrinne and Lapis begin as NPCs.

The player goes to Unit Selection and swaps out Boucheron for Yunaka, plus Céline for Vander. We also see stats for Alear, Louis, Alfred and Clanne, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary for anyone.

Well, Yunaka can wield S Daggers as a Thief, although we’ve seen Dancers and Thieves can exceed Level 20, so they are probably Special classes.

Of note, Boucheron‘s personal skill is Moved to Tears, while Yunaka‘s is Art of Murder. Quite the difference… Everyone is Level 7, while Vander is Level 4.

As can be seen, Céline cannot wield staves by default, so there’s definitely an additional factor. Also, we previously learned that Surge is a 1 range tome that cannot miss.

Alfred rides into battle against an Elusian soldier. Then Louis waits to end his turn. Afterwards, it’s the Enemy Phase.

We’re briefly shown the Firenese castle from Chapter 5 as part of the Enemy Phase back to Player Phase demonstration.

The usual suspects are all here: Alear (sword, with Marth), Vander (axe), Céline (tome, with Celica), Louis (lance), Boucheron (axe), Chloé (lance), Clanne (tome), Alfred (lance, with Sigurd), Framme (body arts/staff) and Etie (bow).

We move onto Kagetsu at the night-time Solmese map, perhaps raiding an enemy camp.

He’s a Level 1 Swordmaster with an Iron Sword, Steel Sword, Iron Blade, Killing Edge and Armorslayer.

Allies include Panette (axe), Vander (axe), Alfred (lance), Céline (tome), Merrin (dagger) and Clanne (tome).

His opponent is Tettsui, who wields a Tomahawk. Seems like he was the boss and defeating him ends that particular chapter.

Characters come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got Louis the slow but reliable Lance Armor, Céline the dainty Noble and Ivy the elegant Wing Tamer.

Alfred is at the Firenese castle, showing off the high movement of Cavalry classes. At the start, there’s a beam of light, like in Hortensia’s spotlight. No idea what this does.

Louis is at the thieves’ stronghold, taking no damage as an Armor.

Alcryst is at the Brodian border fortress, sniping an enemy Elusian as a Bow user.

Pandreo is at the sealed rooms map, conjuring Elwind. His starting class is High Priest (Mystical), which can use Body Arts, Tome and Staff.

Finally, Chloé takes out an enemy tome cavalry as a Lance Flier. She’s Level 1 here, but has likely reclassed down.

An interesting view of the Brodian defence map, seen in the debut trailer.

Back then, we didn’t know who everyone was. Well, we didn’t know the Brodian folks: Diamant, Alcryst, Citrinne, Lapis and Amber.

There’s a clear view of a cannon near the centre. Plus two sword-wielding foes are broken. I believe Chloé broke one with a lance, while Lapis broke another by triggering Smash with a Blade while the foe couldn’t be knocked back.

The next few battle scenes show what not to do.

Louis gets roasted by a magic user, showing how high Defence units may be susceptible to weapons that target Resistance.

Chloé, a Lance Flier, takes a hit from a Bow user. Showing how Fliers are weak to Bow.

Anna, Boucheron, Timmera and Goldmary all take turns being hit by foes that have a weapon triangle advantage. We’ve seen it happen before, but yes, enemies can Break your characters on their turn.

Of note, Boucheron’s foe looks to be a Fabrication Hero. The rest are Elusians or Corrupted.

Even Diamant isn’t safe, as he gets impaled by an Elusian Lance Fighter at the Solmese castle. Alear, Timerra, Céline and Fogado can only look in horror.

The tables turn as Anna and Timerra trigger Break while they have a weapon triangle advantage.

Of note, Timerra’s foe is a Fabrication. So there’s a chance this is another throwback map. Perhaps Celica’s throwback, since there is a ship there.

The next bit is something I’ve wanted to see!

This is a tutorial-like map where Lumera, Alear’s mother, is a friendly boss. She’s a sword wielder, synced with Sigurd. Presumably she has the Divine Dragon class, which Alear can promote into. Also, she later gives Alear Sigurd’s ring, so her having it now makes sense.

Allies include Alear (with Marth), Vander, Framme and Clanne. This should take place in-between the Prologue(?) where Alear and Vander rescue the twins and the assault on the Divine Dragon’s Castle at night, where Alfred’s group shows up and Lumera meets her demise.

The opponents are Fabrications–these seem to be tied to the Divine Dragon and/or the Emblems. They’re frequently spotted in throwback maps and also in the Tower of Trials at the Somniel.

Above is a pic shared by Nintendo of America way back, which should be from this map.

This shows Diamant in his promoted Successeur class in Ike’s throwback map (based on Chapter 8 from Path of Radiance).

Diamant can wield a Steel Blade, Silver Sword, Hammer and Armorslayer. So his promoted class is basically a fancier Hero.

The next segment was previously seen in a tweet shared by the official Twitter account. It shows Hortensia being KO’d and the player using the Draconic Time Crystal to rewind time, so they can move Hortensia outside of the enemy’s attack range.

The footage is taken from Chapter 17: Shattered Peace. Yup, they’re just casually showing off a late-ish map in a video for beginners!

The objective is to defeat 6 enemy commanders. Two of them should be Zephia and Griss, synced with Sigurd and Celica respectively.

We also see Hortensia in her promoted Sleipnir class and Seadall as a Level 23 Dancer.

For a more detailed break down, please check out this article.

Some battle scenes showing Clanne, Vander and Etie kicking some butt.

Plus baby Anna emerging victorious at the Brodian defence map. She’s a Level 8 Axe Fighter here, wielding a Compact Axe (Short Axe in the Japanese version). This one seems to be the Slim Sword/Lance equivalent.

The mysterious Yunaka here swaps from a Steel Knife (ranged dagger) to a Peshkatz (A rank; higher Might, Hit and Crit). All Daggers can inflict Poison.

Fogado is in his promoted Cupido class, Jade’s in an Axe cavalry class and I think Lapis is a Swordmaster?

One way to get stronger is by challenging the Arena at the Somniel. Here, you can fight randomly selected allies to earn experience points, up to 3 times (per visit?). Rosado is facing her partner, Goldmary.

Stat-boosters make a return, although this was evident from the Expansion Pass contents. Timerra consumes a Seraph Robe to boost HP by 5, while Bunet consumes a pair of Boots to boost Movement by 1.

Another way to get stronger is by challenging skirmishes on the world map.

Alear is currently at the Village at the Pass, where the night-time battle from the debut trailer takes place. This is probably where Chapter 6 occurs, as the group heads towards Brodia.

Speaking of Brodia, a skirmish appears at Brodia castle, where the defence map occurs. To the left is an arena, which I think is where Lucina’s throwback occurs.

Alear heads to Grande Soeur Bridge, where Chapter 7 took place.

Hmm, so the defence map could be Chapter 8. Then perhaps the border fortress is Chapter 9? After that should be 3~4 maps in Elusia and Solm each. So they end up back in Firene by Chapter 17.

Anyway, the recommended Level is 12. It also lists Brodia’s investment Level–this is related to the Somniel and covered here.

Available resources include Iron Crystal, Steel Crystal, Rice and Nuts. Available animals include Brodian Kat, Aora Eaglen and Elyos Pidgeonne (very tentative names). The first two “cannot be put into conservation”. Presumably you can obtain these when exploring the battleground afterwards (see here).

The menu items are similar to Battle Preparations, but you can also return to the Somniel and check out MVP rankings.

Here’s Citrinne fighting in the skirmish. Unlike the story version, you can start to the far east, where Hortensia was.

Foes can be Ruffians or Corrupted. If your investment Level is high enough, you can encounter rare Silver and Gold Corrupted too.

Class Change time! A lot of this was covered here.

Alcryst can use a Second Seal to swap from his Lord class to Axe Fighter, Archer, Axe Armor and Axe Knight. Other options include Lord (again) and his promoted Tireur d’élite class.

He has a Natural Talent in Bow, plus a Talent in Axes. Thus he can access classes that require one or both Talents. Axe Flier/Pegasus is not available, so it’s likely gender-locked.

Alcryst changes class to Axe Armor and heads off to fight a Fabrication in Micaiah’s throwback map.

Alfred can use a Master Seal to promote to the Avenir class. He can also use a Second Seal to swap to Sword Fighter, Lance Fighter, Sword Armor, Lance Armor, Sword Knight, etc.

He has a Natural Talent in Lance and a Talent in Sword.

Avenir’s Level 5 skill is Golden Lotus (tentative), which has a Dex% chance of halving physical damage received.

It seems all Advanced classes might have a Level 5 skill. Others include Divine Energy for Alear’s Divine Dragon class, plus others we’ll seen soon.

Check out Alfred‘s stats as a Level 10 Avenir. He’s equipped with a Brave Lance, Wyrmslayer, Iron Sword, Silver Lance and Javelin. His skills include Self-Improver (personal) and Golden Lotus (class).

Next, Diamant‘s stats as a Level 16 Successeur. He’s got a Brave Sword, Silver Blade, Tomahawk, Lightning Sword and Elixir. His personal skill is Head-on Fight (tentative). Diamant doesn’t have a class skill here, but it seems you can unequip them.

Also, Chloé as a Level 8 Griffin Knight. She has a Brave Lance, Silver Lance, Rewarp, Flame Lance and Mend. Rewarp appeared in Thracia 776 and is used to teleport the user. Her skills are Picturesque Pair (tentative) and Assist Movement (class).

Plus Boucheron as a Level 14 Berserker. He’s got a Brave Axe, Silver Axe, Poleax, Wind Poleax and Elixir. Similar to Diamant, he doesn’t have a class skill here, only his personal skill, Moved to Tears.

Finally, Clanne as a Level 19 Sage. He has Bolganone, Thoron, Mend and Elixir. Likewise, he’s missing a class skill and only has his personal skill, Verdant Faith.

More reclassing. Anna can use a Second Seal to change from Warrior to Axe Armor, General, Axe Knight, Paladin, Wolf Knight, Axe Flier etc. The player hovers over Axe Knight, Paladin and Wolf Knight.

The Paladin’s Level 5 skill is Pivot, which works like FE Heroes, letting you move to the space on the opposite side of an ally. Previously, I translated it as “Step In”, but since it works exactly like Pivot, I imagine they’ll reuse the name.

The Wolf Knight’s Level 5 skill is Aim at Legs, which reduces the foe’s Movement by 2 when attacking with a Dagger.

Anna has a natural Talent in Bow (not Axe, despite starting as an Axe Fighter), plus Talents in Axe and Dagger. As expected, Warrior can wield Axe and Bow.

Also, Wolf Knight’s secondary weapon can vary–it can be Sword, Lance or Axe, I think, but the primary weapon is always Dagger.

Anna is trying out her new Wolf Knight class at the lava/volcano map. She can literally run rings around her foe! It seems she was in a hurry though, because she’s still carrying a bow that she can’t use anymore.

Lapis here, as a Level 10 Sword Fighter, at the Brodian bridge, during the story fight. She beats up an Elusian soldier next to Céline and the pair gain support points. You need to be adjacent to earn support points.

The feeling’s mutual as Céline later heals Lapis at the Solmese castle map. Healing can also earn support points.

It’s a bit subtle, but Céline is in her promoted class, Fleurage. She doesn’t have Micaiah equipped, but can wield Staves, so presumably she can wield Staves naturally. With this, we’ve seen every royal’s promoted class!

Having gained enough support points, Céline and Lapis can engage in a support conversation. Uh, don’t tell me Lapis is going to teach Céline about edible grass…

Uh oh, looks like Amber’s bit off more than he can chew (again). Seadall’s dialogue was previously seen in a tweet from the official Twitter, covered here.

Etie and her liege seem to be working together, to hone their bodies. Etie love to body-build and I believe Alfred jogs as a hobby, so this pairing makes sense.

Ahhh, wholesome sisters. By the way, Ivy and Hortensia are half-siblings (different mothers).

The next bit shows Amber receiving support bonuses from Seadall who’s adjacent. This was previously covered here.

I’ll quickly explain an oddity: Amber has a Brave Lance and Silver Greatlance that he cannot use. However I think what’s happened is that the player has reclassed Amber from Paladin (where he could wield them) to Lance Knight. Amber even has the Paladin’s Level 5 skill, Pivot, still equipped.

Also, I didn’t notice at the time, but this is a new icy map. The map is divided into three rows and it seems you’re encouraged to march three separate groups through them.

Ivy is at the burning Firene map as a Level 3 Lindwurm. She’s got Elfire, Elthunder, Elwind, Mend and Physic.

This part shows Diamant assisting with a Chain Attack when Ivy attacks. Characters in a Backup class (like Diamant’s Lord or Successeur) or with the Dual Strike skill can offer Chain Attacks when a character attacks an enemy that they can attack from their current position.

Chain Attacks occur before regular combat and seem to deal a tenth of the foe’s HP or thereabouts.

Fighting solo is fine too. Céline obliterates a Corrupted with her Lightning Sword. Then Citrinne zaps a Corrupted with her Thoron tome.

We’re back at Lumera’s tutorial map. Framme protects Vander with a Chain Guard.

Characters in a Qi Adept class (eg. Martial Monk or Dancer) can use the Chain Guard command to nullify damage dealt to adjacent allies. Doing so can consume up to 20% of the user’s HP. Chain Guard cannot be used when the user has less than 100% HP.

In this example, the Chain Guard is unnecessary since Vander takes 0 damage from the Fabrication anyway. But can’t fault Framme for trying!

Goldmary is trying out various weapons. In her Hero class, she can wield Sword and Lance. There’s another Hero class that can wield Sword and Axe too.

Anyway, you can see her selecting an Iron Blade, Slim Lance, Iron Lance Steel Lance. Her current inventory includes Armorslayer (equipped), Silver Sword, Silver Lance, Spear and Elixir.

Whee, Yunaka is fighting Boucheron at the Arena. Will the girl who knows the Art of Murder be able to defeat the man easily Moved to Tears? We don’t find out.

Jade class changes from Axe Flier to Griffin Knight. I have a strong feeling that Falcon Knight, the typical Pegasus Knight promotion is gone. Instead, Griffin Knight seems to be its replacement, since it can wield staves like Falcon Knights in the past.

This would also alleviate some of the gender-locks. So far, it seems male characters cannot access the Sword/Lance/Axe Flier (pegasus) classes, because lore-wiese, pegasi do not allow male riders (except in Hoshido). But Griffins and Wyverns should be fair game.

Another bonding moment, between Merrin and her liege, Timerra.

Time for some more action, as we approach the end! Diamant evades a Fabrication and counters with his Hammer.

This also occurs in Ike’s throwback map and likely from the same battle, since Diamant’s HP is 43.

Chloé blasts a Corrupted soldier with a new Nova tome. This tome triggers consecutive attacks, similar to Celica’s Gale in FE: Awakening.

The map is the sealed rooms. Chloé is a Level 19 Sage here and she can support Amber!

Finally, Alear shows off the power of teamwork, at Roy’s throwback map, based on the Shrine of Seals.

He’s a Level 10 Dragon Child but he’s probably reclassed from Divine Dragon, because his stats are way too high and he has an unusable Iron Body Art (usable in his promoted class).

Lapis, Panette and Kagetsu can attack the same enemy as Alear and they’re all in a Backup class. During battle, those three assist with Chain Attacks, dealing 5 damage each. Then Alear ends the fight with a critical hit.

Fire Emblem Engage launches on 20th January 2023, which is around 4 weeks away.

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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