Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a game with a lot of DLC. The Alm and Celica amiibo can be used to each unlock a dungeon with some exclusive items, while the first DLC pack gives you three maps to start your adventure off right. In each case, you’re getting an opportunity to form a solid foundation for your two armies and ensure Alm and Celica and their companions are ready to fight the good fight.
The Alm and Celica amiibo are basically a good way to see how well your current party is getting along, see some interesting details on the history of Duma and Mila, and collect a few helpful items. I first entered each dungeon after the fourth act and had no problem accessing every element. That’s because there are certain fights you can not participate in unless your party’s power level is high enough to properly challenge it. Before each fight is a stone tablet with a sentence or two explaining the rift between Duma, Mila, and the divine dragons, with players needing to visit both dungeons to get a better idea of the full story.
What’s nice is that the Duma’s Ordeal and Mila’s Ordeal each offer special items the first time you go through the dungeon. After completing Duma’s Ordeal, you’ll have a Brave Sword, Duma’s Shield, Iron Shield, Javelin, Silver Lance, and Silver Purse++. Mila’s Ordeal awards a Grimoire Ring, Iron Sword, Mila’s Bow, Mila’s Ring, Soma, and Gold Mark. The two dungeons also award Duma’s Helm and Mila’s Diadem. These are cosmetic items for Alm and Celica that give him a helmet and her a diadem when you see their 3D models. Of course, that also means you can’t equip Alm and Celica with items that provide actual skills, so they might not get much use.
The initial DLC, Fledgling Warriors, is really about preparing characters in the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia’s first three chapters. Band of Bandages, Wretches and Riches, and The Astral Temple are all about getting those people who might be in their starting class and not carrying any good equipment a boost to their advanced job classes, some starting equipment, and enough money to start forging those early pieces equipment into something better.
Two are about building you up. Wretches and Riches has some clever dialogue and a slew of thieves with Silver Purses and Silver Purse+s. There will typically be only two units that each have one Silver Purse+, and at least half of the units will carry nothing. They aren’t there to attack your party, but they will counter attack. Think of it as an easy way to get some experience and some cash, but be aware that the enemy units will attempt to escape the map as soon as possible. Band of Bandages has some Terrors on a map that, like the Wretches and Riches thieves, will attempt to escape. They aren’t there to attack you; they just want to go. If you’re in act four or higher, this map won’t do you much good, but it is fine for people in the earlier part of the game.
The best part about Fledgling Warriors is The Astral Temple. This is a dungeon with enemies that give an average amount of experience. It’s also a very likely source of Iron Bows, Lances, Shields, and Swords, Javelins, Leather Shields, Splitting Axes, Steel Bows, Lances, Shields, and Swords, and various kinds of foods. But the real draw are the astrological shards. These are items that make it more likely a specific character stats will go up if they are held when a character levels up. There’s no guarantee which ones you’ll find. I have a Sagittarius Shard that, when I put on Atlas, seemed to make his skill increase every time he leveled up. Each one has a different sphere of influence, so you need to experiment when you find them and see if one works for you.
Basically, people who kick off Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia with the Alm and Celica amiibo and Fledgling Warriors pack on hand are giving themselves an edge. They have access to a dungeon with great equipment they can earn once in each save file. They have a supply of Silver Purses, terrors to defeat, and astrological shards. These optional adventures are good for people who are in their first 10 hours of the game and need a little help preparing their armies.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is available for the Nintendo 3DS.