Nintendo has announced the next entry in the long-running Fire Emblem strategy JRPG series, and it allows players to summon heroes from the past to fight alongside them.
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Announced during the last Nintendo Direct, Fire Emblem Engage tells the tale of the continent of Elyos, and its four kingdoms besieged by the Fell Dragon. The kingdoms called upon heroes from other worlds — those from other Fire Emblem games, dubbed Emblems — and eventually imprisoned the Dragon.
A thousand years later, the seal has begun to weaken, and the Divine Dragon- the player- has also awoken from a long slumber. Along with new mortal allies, players must collect and use “Emblem Rings” to summon heroes to fight alongside their characters, and stop the Fell Dragon’s revival.
While the protagonist is shown working alongside Marth, other characters appear to be able to equip these rings and summon heroes to grant their abilities and fight with them as a single unit. We also see characters have a “bond” level with an Emblem, and that the Emblem’s abilities can gain a bonus depending on the “type” of the character wielding it.
Characters are also shown using the titular “Engage” mechanic to fuse with their Emblem. At this time it is unknown if characters can only fuse with specific Emblems, or if they can fuse with any Emblem they can equip.
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Players are also seen fighting both opposing armies (such as Elusian Soldiers), and humanoid enemies dubbed “Corrupted.” We see the return of Gauntlet weapons, as Framme is shown fighting hand-to-hand; though the weapon itself is called “Iron-Body Art,” suggesting it is more akin to a fighting style in aesthetics at least.
They are also able to move around a small hub, much like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and equip different costumes to their characters. The “Break!” text that flashes on screen after an attack suggests players can also stun enemies with certain moves, as they could with giant monsters in Three Houses.
Finally, the Fire Emblem Japan Twitter account revealed that the protagonist can be male or female. The female protagonist was also shown in the thumbnail of the English trailer; uploaded separately from the Direct.
— 『ファイアーエムブレム』総合 (@FireEmblemJP) September 14, 2022
Fans may have already seen the female protagonist, however, as well as a bunch of other details. Leaked screenshots earlier this year showed the blue-and-red haired protagonist — along with several other characters we have now seen in the trailers — and part of the town.
Leaker Emily Rogers claimed the game would have an early 2023 release date, mentioned the protagonist’s abnormal hair color, and being able to summon past characters. She claimed the game had been “finished for over a year,” and it was originally intended to be part of the series’ 30th anniversary, which would explain using characters from earlier games.
Even so, Rogers claimed the game was a “collaboration between Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo and Gust (division of Koei Tecmo Holdings).” Thus far, only Intelligent Systems has been cited in the game’s development. However, one source leaking the screenshots stated “the rumors of an FE4 remake [Genealogy of the Holy War] are real as well. Gust has helped a lot with this development.”
Fire Emblem Engage launches January 20th, 2023 for Nintendo Switch. The Divine Edition will also feature a SteelBook, art cards, and art book.