There’s a lot to do in Fire Emblem Fates, but that means there are also a few extra features that don’t always get a lot of attention when people are visiting people’s castles, going through DLC maps, building up supports, and leveling every character up to a 200-point unit. It’s easy to forget about the Wireless Battle options and Bond Units, as well as the Fire Emblem: Awakening bonus.
Actually, let’s start there. People who have StreetPass enabled on Fire Emblem Fates get a bonus accessory. You need to go to “Extras” from the game’s main menu and choose the “Presents” option. You’ll get an Emblem Shield, also known as the Fire Emblem and Shield of Seals, which Chrom carried in Fire Emblem Awakening. It offers –2 damage while worn when you head to other castles to battle. It helps make the character who wears it a little more powerful.
Speaking of things that can make you stronger, have you made a Bond Unit yet? Now that there are a lot of us playing Fire Emblem Fates and we’ve got substantial armies and castles, it’s a good time to start considering working on Bond Units. These are special units born from online and StreetPass interactions. Here’s how it works. You visit someone and swap Calling Cards and accessories. (Don’t worry about losing the accessory. It won’t disappear from your inventory, but the recipient will still get one.)
Now, here’s where some secondhand information comes in. Since Siliconera’s castle is in the Rankings and gets so many visits, I haven’t actually been able to make a Bond Unit yet. Some friends and I have visited each other multiple times since launch, we’ve swapped accessories each time, I check twice a day on my 3DS to make sure the data updates, and Fire Emblem Fates has never recorded my receiving any gifts from them. My StreetPass Results and Feedback are always maxed out, and nothing’s happened yet. However, I have two friends who say they have received Bond Units after sending accessories to each other three times. I’ve seen their Bond Units in person, so I can verify it does actually, eventually happen.
When you do get a Bond Unit, it’ll arrive at level one. One of its skills will be determined by the versions of Fire Emblem Fates the two players who made it were playing. It will also get one skill from each player. It’s classes will be the ones that are accessed via Heart Seals from both avatars. It’ll be distinctive, as its character avatar will have a mark on its cheek.
Finally, there are the Wireless Battles. These can happen locally with a friend who’s in the same room as you or online with a random stranger or friend. In each case, you have to first prepare a team of five units. Once you set up a match, you’ll also select a map you’d like to use and whether you want handicaps applied. The game randomly chooses a map from the two selected and pairs you with another Fire Emblem Fates person also searching for a battle. You go through a match, which can be set to last three, five, or ten minutes.
The thing about the random online matches is that they’re just that. They’re entirely random. You don’t know who you’ll end up against. I’ve participated in 20, and feel so sorry for the people I’ve mercilessly defeated. They had no idea they were going to face a team with a power level of 1,096. When three people encountered my version of Corrin, who’s stat sum is at 251 right now, they surrendered the battle after their unit fell to her. It’s a fun feature, but almost feels like an afterthought. There’s no real sense of fairness here for people who aren’t prepared for tougher battles, and I’ve been avoiding it as a result.
Even if you feel like you’re coming to the end of your Fire Emblem Fates journey, don’t forget that there are these extra elements to the game. Fire Emblem Fates is immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS in North America and Japan, and it will come to Europe on May 20, 2016.