Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia’s RPG Elements Add Extra Flavor

By Jenni . May 22, 2017 . 12:00pm

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Fire Emblem Gaiden has always been one of the odder entries in the series. While it introduced some interesting elements that would return, like the villager class and an overworld map, quite a few of its elements remained unique to this game. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia pays tribute to this as best it can. While it doesn’t have all the RPG elements from the original, there are plenty of features you normally wouldn’t expect to see in a Fire Emblem game. These extra bits of variety help set the game apart and make it more interesting.

 

The moment you begin Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, you see how unusual it is. After the initial battles, you’re able to actually explore Ram Village. While you aren’t walking through a real town, as Alm did in Fire Emblem Gaiden, you’re still doing something that normally isn’t possible in a Fire Emblem game. Players can wander through all villages and many major fortresses and bases after finishing battles there. You visit various locations in a place and are able to talk to people hanging around and explore the immediate vicinity to grab any possible items. Most towns will have a blacksmith, which lets you forge weapons you’ve found and continually upgrade them to better weapons. (Pro tip: purchase the first upgrade for any weapon to unlock branching options.) There are special vendors in certain villages that let you send an item from Alm’s party to Celica’s, and vice versa. It is how Celica can get the Rion Shield to Alm for a side-quest. Oh, right, towns and fortresses are also places where you can pick up side-quests.

 

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Yes, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has side-quests. In each town or building you can enter, there will be at least one side-quest. Some are relatively simple and involve reaching a Mila Shrine in a dungeon to talk to someone hanging around there or defeating a specific enemy somewhere. Others can get more involved. As an example, when Celica reaches Mila’s temple, she will find a woman who needs a medicinal syrup for her daughter. You will need to have collected medicinal herbs prior to this point, then taken them to the man in the tavern at the town near the priory to make the concoction and give them to her to complete the side-quest. You gain notoriety for these, as well as other more tangible rewards. This RPG element makes you feel feel more connected to the overall community as the Deliverance army and Celica’s force move forward.

 

Some of these side-quests will send you into dungeons, of which there are more than you would expect in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. When Alm or Celica first step into one of these spaces, they will say a few words about the area to set the stage. From there, you will run around searching for treasures, secret passages, fountains that might offer a one point boost in a specific stat, Mila statues where you can level up, and of course enemies. Alm and Celica can use a basic attack in these spaces to smash items in search of fatigue-reducing and health-restoring items and silver coins or attack an enemy. Questionable camera and strategic battles aside, these feel like miniature versions of dungeons you would find in any RPG. Again, it makes it feel like Alm and Celica aren’t just going from battle to battle, sometimes getting involved in other activities.

 

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Fire Emblem Gaiden was always the weirdest Fire Emblem. A remake had to do its best to pay tribute to how it worked. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia’s RPG elements help make it feel more unique. Getting to actually explore keeps and villages, delve into dungeons, and undertake side-quests are unusual, but handled quite well within the game. It gives you a chance to do more and explore, making it seem as though Alm and Celica are more connected to and involved in their world.

 

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is available for the Nintendo 3DS.


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