We’re only about two months off from the release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and a host of new details have been revealed via GameSpot at PAX East. The piece goes into a fair amount of depth about what to expect about the title — and mostly confirms that, true to its word, Intelligent Systems is remaining quite faithful to the original Fire Emblem Gaiden when it comes to the game’s conventions.

Just as in the original, players will be able to explore the world map in between story battles, and also venture through dungeons to find monsters to fight. Now, however, exploration of the dungeons is done in free-roaming 3D, and you can do a strike on the map (à la Paper Mario) to get an advantage in battle — though be careful, because they can do the same to you.

One of Gaiden’s most interesting aspects was its dual protagonists, Alm and Celica, each of whom had their own army with different items, characters, and maps. That carries over to Shadows of Valentia, and unlike the original (where the hero you controlled depended on the chapter), you’ll be able to swap at will. SoV will also be the first FE game to feature full voice acting, with the exception of a few minor characters. Hopefully the story is bolstered considerably, as Gaiden’s original narrative wasn’t exactly lengthy or complex.

More reverts to Gaiden’s systems are abundant. Archers can now attack from one space away — though it remains to be seen whether they’ll have all of the original’s massive 1-5 range for bows. Magic also now costs HP to cast — another returning mechanic long abandoned, giving a real old school flair. And three things now somewhat commonplace in FE are absent in Echoes: weapon durability, support bonuses and the weapon triangle. The last of those is particularly intriguing, as the previous remakes of FE1 and FE3 did add in the weapon triangle when it wasn’t present originally, showing that IS is taking a firm line on returning to how things were. Hopefully the game won’t feel too archaic as a result.

FE Echoes: Shadows of Valentia launches May 19th. We’ll be sure to report on any other game details that emerge in the meantime, so check back often for updates.

Pre-order Fire Emblem Echoes at GameStop or Amazon today!

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Written by Ben Fruzzetti

Gamer, writer and devourer of pasta. Whenever not letting his daydreams run out of control, he can be found writing for Nintendo Wire, playing old JRPGs, or reading sci-fi and fantasy novels and comics.

Ben Fruzzetti

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