UPDATE (5:09 p.m. PST): Nintendo of America has revealed the game will launch simultaneously on both iOS and Android on February 2nd.

The long awaited Fire Emblem mobile game has finally been revealed to us, dubbed Fire Emblem Heroes!

In a surprisingly lengthy reveal trailer for the upcoming app, we’re immediately greeted with a number of new characters. In an interesting turn of events, we see shortly after quite a few of the characters we’ve come to know and love from past entries in the series. It’s revealed to us that this is by way of a summoning mechanic that, in the trailer, seems to be done via a gun-like weapon.

Heroes is confirmed to be a tactical RPG, meaning that the core of the main entries will still be present and should give regulars to the series a reason to check it out if they were iffy before. The game is also confirmed to contain an all new story separate from anything we’ve seen in installments from the past – and if I’m being honest, the story doesn’t look too bad, especially for a mobile game. In short, two kingdoms – the Emblian Empire and the Askr Kingdom – are at war over differing views, and one aims to stop the other from ultimate conquest.

It seems that you play as a summoner (the mysterious hooded figure from the trailer?) from the Askr Kingdom, who has to call on the numerous characters from past Fire Emblem games to help stop the Emblian Empire.

Gameplay-wise, Heroes looks extremely similar to other Fire Emblem games and fans of the series should have no problem picking it up and getting right into it. The maps are designed to fit on a phone screen and thus are a lot smaller, but this shouldn’t prove to be too much of a problem as there’s a lot less to keep track of. Alongside traditional selection controls, players can now also choose to drag and drop their characters to select what they want them to do. Victory is achieved when all the enemies on a map are defeated, just like in the main games.

The trailer also assures us that, despite its application status, Heroes will still be strategic, and players can expect the same unique difficulty that they both expect and love from a Fire Emblem game. This should sound promising for any fans who were reluctant to how Fire Emblem may translate to a more casual market.

Heroes will also feature the weapon triangle we’ve all become familiar with, with everything being represented by attributes attached to a character. As always, swords (red) are strong against axes (green), which are strong against lances (blue), which circles back to swords. Each color also represents an element: red is fire, green is wind and blue is thunder.

The new, big mechanic introduced in Heroes is summoning, which is done using orbs. Orbs are an in-game item that can be earned or purchased through microtransactions. This is how characters from past Fire Emblem games will make their appearances! There are five randomly generated summoning stones where you use your orbs, and the colors of these stones represent the attributes of the heroes you can summon. It appears that five heroes can be summoned in one session, and the more you summon in a single session, the less amount of orbs it will take per hero. For example, the first hero you summon will cost you five orbs, but by the time you summon the fifth hero, it will only cost you three. Summoning is a bit of a gamble, so it’s good to hear that the more you do it, the less it will cost you.

Each hero gets a star rating as well, that ranges from one to five stars. The more stars, the stronger the hero. This means that you may encounter duplicate character summons, but one could be much stronger than the other. A higher star count will indicate better stats, weapons, and skills. Star ratings, however, are not set in stone, and can be raised through leveling up and spending skill points. Lastly, for anyone worried about spending money on orbs, the series’ staple perma-death is not included in Heroes, so you won’t be “wasting” any summons.

Outside of the main story of the application, there’s a Training Tower where you can earn rewards and experience to level up your heroes, Special Maps where you’ll play seasonal events, and Arena Duels, which seems to be a ranking type of mode. Hero Battles are another type of play in which you’ll be timed to take on a specific Fire Emblem hero, and if completed, that hero will join your army.

Visually, the game looks just as you’d expect for a mobile device, though personally I love the art style. It’s a little cuter than other Fire Emblem games, but it’s a fun new light to see all of these old characters in. Additionally, each of the old characters has been reimagined in new illustrations and with new voice lines, so the experience that we’re getting is truly unique to this game. Overall, Fire Emblem Heroes seems to be really fleshed out, and it’s rather impressive to see how much they’ve packed into it. Just from what we’ve seen so far, Fire Emblem Heroes really seems to be shaping up to a promising entry in Nintendo’s mobile arsenal.

In addition to all this information, there’s currently a Fire Emblem Heroes: Choose Your Legends event going on on the official website. To participate in the event, all you have to do is go to the website and vote on which hero you’d like to see make an appearance in the game. You can choose from nearly any character introduced in the series, including some characters that have previously been non-playable, and if you’re having trouble deciding, fear not! You can vote for each of the thirteen days the event is running! At the end of the event, the hero and heroine with the most votes will be included in the game! And if you need any more incentive to go vote, link your My Nintendo account and get 200 platinum points!

In a shocking turn of events, Fire Emblem Heroes will be released on Google Play first, on February 2nd, just under a month away. No date has been given yet for iPhone and iPad, but Nintendo does claim it will be available soon. The application will be free to download on both platforms, and purchases will only be in-game and optional.

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.