The last bit of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia DLC is here. People can now go ahead and add some entirely new heroes to their army with the Cipher Companions Pack. Now, they might not be familiar faces, but rest assured that you’ll soon be pleased to welcome them to your new “family.” Emma, Randal, Shade, and Yuzu are some pretty fine folks that seem to get really strong, really fast as they grow.
First, let’s introduce them. These are four original characters created for the Fire Emblem Cipher trading card game that is (unfortunately) only available in Japan. (Seriously, this is a very sad thing, as it is a very good game.) The three female characters are “from” the world of Fire Emblem Fates, with Emma being a Hoshidan sky knight, Yuzu a Hoshidan samurai, and Shade a Nohrian dark mage. Randal is from the “world” of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and The Blazing Blade, hailing from Elibe. He’s a cavalier normally.
However, their actual classes are fudged a bit for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, due to the roles available in the game. Emma and Randal join in Cipher Legends as a level one Falcon Knight and level one Paladin. The former has a Trainee’s Lance, which increases her attack and gives her the Solo Triangle Attack skill. The latter has Wayward Lance on him, letting him learn Heaven or Hell. Emma is a great mage killer right at the start, with 14 resistance, and most of her skills are rather balanced. The only place she’s lacking, at the start, is defense with only 8. Randal is a powerhouse who is there to hit hard and hopefully rather fast. He has 15 skill and speed, though the lance will decrease the speed by two while adding three to attack.
Their map is a little typical, though. Randal is “injured” and can’t move, leaving him trapped in a “base.” Emma comes to you for help. She won’t take any action as a NPC ally in battle until you take care of the archers on the map. It isn’t a particularly challenging situation. Though, as a fun bonus, having Shade and Yuzu already in your army opens up some unique dialogue opportunities with them. Emma and Randal only have passive supports with these two, as their support conversations are only between the two of them.
Shade and Yuzu didn’t feel as they were as interesting as units to me, but their map was far more intriguing. Shade starts out as a Saint, while Yuzu is a Priestess. Both arrive at level one. While I’m a big fan of Shade’s outfit, I wasn’t as big a fan of her in general. Her resistance is her highest stat at the start, at 13, and she also has 12 attack, 11 skill and speed, and eight defense. She has an okay spell set, as she learns Freeze, Nosferatu, Physic, Rescue, Seraphim, and Silence. Despite being a Priestess, I felt like it was more of a cop-out class for Yuzu. She’d have made a great Mercenary, as she has amazing attack, skill, and speed. She starts at 16 speed, 15 attack, and 13 skill, but the Warrior’s Sword she carries gives her an additional plus six to attack at the cost of two speed. The only magic spells she learns are Fire, Recover, and Sagittae. To compare, Sonya gets six spells and Delthea and Mae each have five. In fact, don’t even think of her as a Priestess. She’s totally a Mercenary.
Their map is rather fun. In their situation, Shade has found herself possessed by some being. As such, she’s summoning Terrors and attacking. Your goal is to attack her enough to talk some sense into her, but not actually kill her. Now, if you’re going in with a group of end-game folks, this is a recipe for disaster. It’s actually a better idea to play through Emma and Randal’s map first, bring them into the battle, then have Emma handle Shade. (It fits in with the canon, since they’re supposed to be rivals!) Both Emma and Randal can speak with Yuzu here, but Shade and Yuzu only have actual support conversations with each other.
I feel like this Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Cipher Companions Pack is a solid way to end the DLC run. We’re getting four new characters. Each one is relatively strong character that feels like he or she grows at a good rate. They even have supports, so you can enjoy extra conversations and learn more about them. It’s a great way to bolster your army, perhaps for a second run-through.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is now available for the Nintendo 3DS.