This section covers the new or returning gameplay mechanics that are central to the game.
Returning from New Mystery of the Emblem, players can create their own character, dubbed “My Unit”, who will serve as one of the game’s main characters alongside Krom. Krom and My Unit’s meeting is hinted to have significance to the game’s plot.
Players can customise My Unit’s gender, appearance and profile. The appearance options are similar to the previous game and include: Type, Portrait, Hair, Hair Colour and Voice (for dialogue scenes and battles). The choices made by the player will be reflected in My Unit’s 2D portrait and map sprite and their 3D battle model. For examples of different My Unit appearances, please check the bottom of this page.
Unlike previously, My Unit’s class cannot be chosen at the beginning–they start off as a “Strategist”, a class that is capable of using both swords and magic tomes. However, by using a Change Seal item, they are able to switch to almost any regular class.
The traversable world map from Gaiden and The Sacred Stones returns. Players can move to specified locations on the world map, where they can enter story or optional battles or purchase supplies.
Players won’t be alone on the world map, as a variety of units will be stationed on the map as well. Enemy squads will show up randomly on the map and players can choose to clash swords with them in optional “Encounter Battles”. If buying items from local armouries doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can seek the service of travelling merchants–these appear randomly on the map and seem to sell a random selection of items, including rare and powerful items.
Within the battle preparations screen, players can manage their characters at their leisure, adjusting their inventories and skills, as well as viewing support conversations. Like the similarly sounding “Everyone’s Conditions” feature from New Mystery of the Emblem, the
“Everyone’s Room” feature allows players can visit their allies outside of the battlefield, to see how they’re faring–the rewards for doing so include experience points, items (such as Eirika’s Swift-sword) and improved relationships.
Through StreetPass and SpotPass, other player’s My Units and characters from previous Fire Emblem titles may appear as guest squads on the world map. Players will be able to play with or against these squads or purchase rare goods from them. Finally, if you want to take a break from Iris and Varm, the world map is also home to a mysterious Other-world Gate, which allows access to other-worldly adventures via the paid downloadable content. For further details about the communication aspects, please check this page.
A new battle mechanic that allows a friendly unit to give a helping hand when fighting foes.
When a character enters battle, with a friendly unit next to them, they will receive a support bonus, which raises their combat stats. However that’s just the beginning of the story–the friendly character will also appear in battle as a “support character”.
After the main character strikes the enemy, a “Dual Attack” may occur, where the support character launches a follow-up attack on the unsuspecting enemy. When the main character is attacked by the enemy, a “Dual Guard” may trigger, where the support character jumps in to completely shield them from damage. If a Dual Attack triggers, both characters will gain experience, which is useful for training weaker units.
If a friendly unit is available, the pre-battle screen indicates the success rate of a Dual Attack (left) and Dual Guard (right) below the damage, hit rate and critical numbers. The stronger the bond between characters, the higher the chance of a Dual Attack or Dual Guard activating.
This new battle mechanics allows two units to combine together on the map.
It works in a similar manner to the Rescue feature in previous games, so you can use it to transport low movement units across the map or pull out characters from dangerous situations. Unlike the traditional Rescue command, the Double command is triggered by the unit wanting to be carried and not the carrier.
Double has additional benefits, as characters will gain stat bonuses when carrying another unit, the bonus depending on the type of unit being carried (eg. carrying a Mage mainly raises Magic) and the support level between the units. The unit being carried will also act as a support character, allowing them to dish out Dual Attacks/Guards. The carrier and carried can also switch roles on command.
The return of the support system from previous games.
Certain pairs of characters (such as Liz and Ronku, shown above) can develop “bonds” by fighting together. Once a bond has reached a suitable strength, a support conversation can be viewed before battle, cementing the characters’ bond. The strength of the bond is physically categorised as a support level of C (lowest), B, A or S (highest). The higher the support level, the higher the support bonus for the Dual and Double systems and the higher the chance of performing a Dual Attack or Dual Guard.
For fans worried about bare-bones support conversations like in Radiant Dawn, while it’s difficult to tell at the moment, the signs seem to point towards longer and unique conversations.
Opposite-gender characters have the ability to form the strongest bond possible–marriage–and obtain an “S” support level. According to Nintendo, My Unit can marry any playable character. The results of marriage are currently unclear, but likely involve love confessions (in the case of My Unit) and children (for any couple). Children characters can fight on your team and form bonds with their parents.
There are two methods of changing a character’s class.
When a character is Level 10 or over in their non-promoted class, they may use a Master Seal item to upgrade to one of two promoted classes. Cavaliers can promote to the mobile and magic-resistant Paladin or the axe-wielding and sturdy Great Knight, like Frederick. Meanwhile, Clerics, such as Liz, can promote to the axe-wielding Battle Cleric or the offensive magic-wielding Sage.
When a character is Level 10 or over in their non-promoted class or Level 1-9 in their promoted class, they may use a Change Seal to change to one of three non-promoted classes (if the character is not promoted, one of these classes will be their current class). If the character is Level 10 or over in their promoted class, as well as the non-promoted classes, they can also change to the corresponding promoted classes (except their current class). The classes a character can change to, via the Change Seal, are restricted by the character’s personality and upbringing.
My Unit is a special case. As well as using a Master Seal to promote to a Grandmaster, My Unit can also use the Change Seal to change to almost any other class, barring special classes like the Taguel.
Either way, after a character has changed classes, their Level will be reset to 1, but they will keep all of their learned Skills. By changing class multiple times, characters can gain higher stats and have more Skills at their disposal.
In Callum’s case, he starts off as a Knight, so he can promote to a General or Great Knight by using a Master Seal, when he’s Level 10 or higher. When he’s a Level 10+ Knight or a Level 1-9 General or Great Knight, he can use a Change Seal to become a Thief or a Priest or even a Knight again (and therefore access their corresponding promoted classes by using a Master Seal at the appropriate Level). Finally, when he reaches Level 10 or higher in any promoted class, he can use the Change Seal to switch to any of the non-promoted or promoted classes available to him (except his current class).
Returning from Radiant Dawn, characters can obtain Skills, which provide various benefits in and outside of battle.
Characters may start off with certain Skills from the onset and new Skills can be learned upon levelling up. Additional Skills can be learned by levelling up in different classes, for instance by using a Change Seal (see above section). As the above image illustrates, a character can hold a maximum of 5 active Skills at once and players can freely change a character’s active (left) and inactive Skills (right) when outside of battle.
Note: Contrary to what was previously assumed, it seems Skills cannot be swapped between characters (or, at least, there is currently no information to support this).
A list of known skills can be found below.
Credits: TheEnd (translations)
|Astra||Deals 5 consecutive hits to the enemy with half damage||Skill/2%||Swordmaster|
|Charisma||A skill from Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776|
|Counter||Returns damage when attacked by an adjacent enemy||?|
|Defence Cry||Defence +4 to all allies within a 3 tile radius for one Turn||Command||General|
|Defender||When Double is active, all stats +1|
|Dual Attack+||Increases the chance or damage of Dual Attacks?|
|Fiery Heart||Critical +5|
|Gamble||Hit rate -5, Critical +10|
|Good Growth||+20% to all growth rates during Level Ups|
|Healing Heart||Restores an extra 5 HP when healing allies||Cleric|
|Hot Start||Hit and Avoid +15 at the start of the chapter. Effect decreases with each passing Turn||Dragonmaster|
|Lethality||Instantly KOs the enemy (probably ineffective versus bosses)||?||Assassin|
|Lightning Speed||Allows the user another full action after they defeat an enemy (only once per Turn)|
|Magic Cry||Magic +4 to all allies within a 3 tile radius for one Turn||Command||Sage|
|Magic Expert||Magic +5 when equipped with a Tome||Sage|
|Magnificent Flame||Adds half the user’s Strength when attacking with magic and half the user’s Magic when attacking with weapons||?||Grandmaster|
|Max HP +5|
|Miracle||When the character has over 1 HP, leaves the character with 1 HP after receiving an attack that would otherwise KO them||Luck%||Cleric|
|Mug||Steals a Small piece of Gold from the enemy if the user defeats the enemy||Luck%||Barbarian|
|Pass||User can pass through tiles occupied by enemy units|
|Picklock||Open doors and chests, without the need of keys||Thief?|
|Refresh||Recover 20% HP at the start of the turn if no units are within a 3 tile radius|
|Ride Fast||Hit and Avoid +10 if no allies within a 3 tile radius|
|Secluded Lady||Avoid and Critical Avoid +10 to all male allies within a 3 tile radius|
|Sol||User recovers HP equal to half the damage dealt to the enemy||?||Hero?|
|Strength +2||Strength +2|
|Sword Slayer||Hit and Avoid +50 when the enemy is equipped with a sword||Dragonmaster|
|War Knowledge||When Double is active, experience gained x 1.5|