Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has had quite a bit of DLC appear already, but the newest pack is the first to really offer additional story content. When we play through the game, a rebellion is already ongoing in Zofia and hostilities are high with Rigel. In the Deliverance Pack, we get four maps that act as vignettes, showing important moments leading up to the founding of Deliverance.
It can come across as a bit disjointed. After all, games like Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates offered supplemental storyline maps that told a cohesive story, going from one moment to another. Here, things are a bit more piecemeal. It starts with Battle of Zofia Harbor, an incident where Clive and Fernand must aid Slayde, who is their ally at that point in the story. In the next altercation, Outpost Rescue, Lukas, Forsyth, and Python need to save some of their soldiers from pirates. Clair and Mathilda face the repercussions of tomb raiding in Flight from the Ruins. Finally, Siege of Zofia Castle is the turning point. Each one gives us a bit more of the story, seeing what these characters were like when they were royal soldiers and watching how well they worked together.
While seeing those interactions are nice, the best additions come after completing each of the Deliverance Pack’s maps. The first are actual items that you can bring into the campaign. Completing maps while meeting various objectives gives you rewards. For example, in Battle of Zofia Harbor, Flight from the Ruins, and Siege of Zofia Castle, you get weapons for keeping everyone alive. The first offers Fernand’s Lance, the second Clair’s Lance, and the third both Clive’s Lance and Lukas’ Shield. In Outpost Rescue, saving all of the soldiers gives you Python’s Bow. Each of these weapons is rather strong and has decent skills, with Clive’s Lance and its Armorcrush, Lunge, and Wrath Strike being my favorite.
Even better are the rewards that help you learn more about the characters. Three new Memory Prisms are given after winning, helping you learn even more about how different characters interact. A Suitable Suitor shows us how Fernand and Clair got along, hinting at their familiarity. Love’s Beginnings lets us see how Clive and Mathilda got together. And finally, Happy Memories shows that there was a time when Fernand wasn’t helping keep Mathilda captive.
My favorite part were the new Support Conversations. I had no idea these would be part of this Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia DLC and they ended up becoming probably my favorite part. I always thought it was a little odd that some of Deliverance’s founding members didn’t have Support Conversations with one another, and the Deliverance Pack rectifies that. Once you see the battle involving certain folks, you can have those characters build bonds in battle. After the Outpost Rescue, Lukas is able to hold conversations with both Forsyth and Python. Clair and Mathilda can get closer once they’ve survived the Flight from the Ruins. After the Siege of Zofia Castle is complete, Clive can connect with Forsyth and Python.
And their inclusion makes sense. I mean, certainly Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia could have offered these Memory Prisms and Support Conversations in the base game. Given the familiarity of the characters, we knew the members of Deliverance had some history. But seeing them go through these extra battles, then have those interactions as a result, gives us an opportunity to see what caused these characters to form a bond, then build on it with these additional memories and talks. It helps us tie these things together and better appreciate the connections they have.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia’s Deliverance Pack is one of the more valuable add-on experiences. The connections we see with the founding members of the group and the battles that led to its creation help give us a better understanding of these characters and their conflict. That we come away with some rather nice weapons and even more interaction opportunities makes it even more fulfilling.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is available for the Nintendo 3DS.