As of 7th August 2008, the game was officially released in Japan.
Fire Emblem DS Background
The official Fire Emblem World site has added a new section, which covers background information on the game (similar to what they did for Radiant Dawn). Currently two out of four pages can be accessed.
- World view & Story: The first part describes the story of Anri, the hero of legends, while the second part describes the prelude to Marth’s adventures.
- Chapter Guide: Cannot be accessed yet.
- Downloads: Currently two types of wallpapers can be downloaded.
- Unknown: No clue what this will be. Hopefully it’s the character artwork. A Q and A’s section wouldn’t be too bad either, I guess.
Official Site Update (4th August)
Expanding on the previous info from Touch-DS.jp, rental units can also be used in the main campaign. Any experience points the rental unit gains is awarded to the same-name character that they’re replacing. As well as directly sending and receiving units via the Wireless/Wi-Fi connection, you can also upload and download them from the Wi-Fi server, at your own time. (Don’t forget, if you loan a character out, you still keep them on your game.)
If Wi-Fi connection is enabled, you can access an Online Shop from the game. Here you can buy weapons and items for your characters, using the in-game currency. There might also be special items that can only bought from here…
Wi-Fi Battle Bideo
The official Fire Emblem World site has added a video showing a whole multiplayer battle.
- The player phase and enemy phase themes are from Thracia 776.
- There’s a new character called Norn, who’s a Sniper in the video.
The Touch-DS.jp site (Japanese) has updated with a second commercial for the game (which only differs very slightly from the first), as well as a five page interview
with some of the game staff. The more interesting details are as follows:
- Class Swap can only be used from Chapter 4 and onwards.
- The “Rental” units that can be used in multiplayer mode are actually units borrowed from another Fire Emblem DS player. As long as both players have the same character, they may send a copy of that character to the other player.
- You lose a character in the Prologue chapter, as they disguise themselves as Marth to lure the enemy away (you can choose which character, and you can even choose Jeigan). Apparently you never get the character back again.
The interview also contains a few short movies, which demonstrate discussed concepts.
The Japanese magazine awarded the game a score of 9, 8, 8, 9 (34 out of 40).
Official Site Update (30th July)
The game features 6 difficulty settings (yes, you read that right). There’s Normal mode, which is designed for beginners. Hard mode has 5 difficulty levels that you can choose, which affects how strong enemies are. Both modes are available from the very beginning.
The amount and types of enemies are the same in both modes. However, in Hard mode, the same enemies may have different and stronger weapons. Also reinforcements in Hard mode appear from the beginning of the enemy phase (as opposed to the end).
Party and Classes
Practically all of the character classes have revealed. Modern classes such as Swordmasters, Berserkers and Sages have made the cut. However, Pegasus Knights still promote to Dragon Knights, like in the original. The Commando class, which can morph into other allies, has also returned from the original. The rest you can probably guess.
The Class Swap feature is usable from the battle preparations menu only. There’s a restriction on the amount of one class you have. For example, at one point in the campaign, you may only be allowed a maximum of 8 Cavaliers, 3 Mages, 1 Dark Mage and etc. Some classes like Lord and Thief can’t use Class Swap. Promoted characters can still use Class Swap, but they can only swap to other promoted classes.
There is only one battle map used in this mode. On this map, there is a castle at the very centre. If a unit waits on the castle gate, the castle flag will change to their team’s colour. The winning team is the one whose colour is same as the castle flag’s once the Turns are over, or if they annihilated the opposing team.
When you win a multiplayer battle, you are awarded a “Charm”. These Charms are cards with various effects, and one Charm can be attached to a multiplayer party before battling.
Voice Chat is enabled for friend-code battles.
The multiplayer battle options are as follows:
- Toggle fog of war on/off. (Note: If you move into an unseen enemy, your unit is forced to wait like normal.)
- Set Turn limit from 5-10 Turns.
- Set time limit for each Turn from 3-10 minutes.
- Toggle use of “Charms” on/off.
It seems Marth can’t promote, but he can reach past the usual maximum of Level 20. Also stats, such as Strength and Skill, can go past 20, unlike in the original.
Nintendo Channel Videos
Two Fire Emblem DS videos can be viewed from the Japanese Nintendo Channel. The first is a demo video, that introduces the many concepts of the game, while the second is a commercial. The videos can also be found here at Youtube (credits to sra1123).
Some random observations:
- The Shooter class has returned
- Unlockables include Event Recap and Sound Room
- Fog of War can be enabled for multiplayer battles
- The commercial is pretty amusing
Official site update (18th July)
Second Step – What should we do now?
Basically a brief quiz testing your knowledge of the game mechanics. For example, which class has the weapon advantage over a Myrmidon.
Repeats known information about the new Prologue and Sidestory chapters.
Also there is information about the three types of saves available.
- Chapter saves: One can be created upon completion of a chapter. These saves can be loaded as many times as you want.
- Map point saves: These can be created using a Save Point on the battle map. Once such a save is made, the Save Point disappears. These saves can be loaded as many times as you want.
- Suspended saves: These can be created anytime during a battle map, by using the “Suspend” option in the map menu. If save data is loaded (including the suspended save) or a new game is created, the suspended save is immediately erased.
Note: The DS can be put into Sleep mode but, (and this is kind of obvious) if you switch off the DS when it’s asleep, you won’t be able to continue from where you left off before entering Sleep mode.
Latest Famitsu Information
- Prologue chapter: Takes place a few years before the start of the original game. Aritia castle has been invaded and Marth must escape to safety. Players can also learn the basic controls here.
- Sidestories: Like in earlier games, completion of special requirements in certain chapters grants access to “gaiden” chapters, which are an aside to the main story. New characters such as Etzel can be recruited in these chapters.
- Master Seals: These items are used to promote most characters when they are Level 10 or over. However they will be limited in number (although I’m guessing they might change this for the English versions like in Radiant Dawn).
- Class Swap: A new feature that allows players to directly change a character’s class. The example shown is Riff, a Priest, changing to a Myrmidon and a Cavalier. After changing classes, the character’s Level and Experience remains the same, but their other stats (such as HP, Strength and Skill) may change, as well as their weapon proficiency. There also seems to be a limitation to how many of one class you can have, so don’t expect to have a full army of Myrmidons, for example.
Masamune Shirow was born in 1961, and is a renowned manga artist and illustrator, whose works include Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell. His precise and detailed artwork has earned him supporters not just in Japan, but worldwide.
Official Site Information
The Japanese official site for the game can be found here.
A few random observations:
- Navarre is a Myrmidon instead of a Mercenary
- The Wing Spear weapon is Sheeda only and effective versus armours and cavalry
- Mamkutes transform to attack in battle (similar to in The Sacred Stones)
- Social Knights and Paladins can use both swords and lances
- The player phase theme (in the original’s Chapter 1) is a remix of the one in Book 1 of Mystery of the Emblem
- The weapon triangle bonus appears to be just ± 5 Accuracy
- It seems Strength is used to calculate Attack Speed (similar to in Radiant Dawn)
The game is a complete remake of the very first game, Dark Dragon and Sword of Light.
The game was already remade in the past, as Book 1 of Mystery of the Emblem. However, some content was cut, such as five characters and chapters. Riff, one of the cut characters, can be seen in this remake.
The dialogue (seen so far) is identical to both games, although it also includes the chapter opening text from Mystery of the Emblem. There is also new dialogue, which appears in new prologue and sidestory chapters.
The game features Wi-Fi and wireless play.
Players can battle it out in multiplayer-exclusive battle map, using 5-character parties formed from characters raised in the single-player mode or “Rental” characters. The multiplayer is limited to only 2 players. A turn limit and time limit also seem to be implemented.
Players can use the stylus to move and order characters on the bottom (touch) screen, or they can just use the standard buttons.
During chapters, there are special tiles on the map called “Save Points”, which are generally available before a boss or a dangerous event. If a character moves onto such a tile, they can choose to save the game from the Action menu. Each Save Point can only be used to save the game once, before disappearing. However, as long as you don’t overwrite the Save Point-created save, you can load from it as many times as you want (unlike suspended save data, which immediately disappears when loaded).
If you press the X button on the map, the attack ranges of all enemies is displayed (similar to an unused feature in the beta version of Blazing Sword).
Preliminary List of Changes from the Original
- The weapon triangle is implemented
- Weapon Skill stat has been removed and replaced with Weapon Ranks
- Addition of CG artwork
- Strength and Magic stats co-exist
- HP bars are shown below character
- At least one new playable character- the Social Knight, Freyr.
- At least one new weapon- the Wing Spear used by Sheeda.