Everyone gets a little kingdom of their own in Fire Emblem Fates. It’s your own little realm, known as My Castle. In this other dimension, you get to completely arrange a village of your own. It starts with Private Quarters, Lilith’s Temple, some sort of field or forest for food, and a mine or spring for precious gems.
The food and gems are the crafting backbones for this entry. Both can be used for betting at the arena, with more awarded for wins. Arena matches are automatic battles, where the character may be aided by his or her highest level companions. Food can be fed to Lilith to increase her level or used for meals that will boost allies’ performance in the following battle. Gems are used at the Smithy for crafting. Food and gems can be used to make accessories, which change characters’ appearance slightly and provide boosts in My Castle battles, or to bribe prisoners so they’ll join your side.
Since you only get one kind of gem and food in the Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Conquest routes, many My Castle visits will be resource gathering missions. You’ll get two food providing plots and two gem plots in the Revelation, representing Hoshido and Nohr resources. Visiting someone else’s castle lets you take some of their resources as souvenirs, and stopping on their plots during a siege adds some of that item to your inventory. When you’re there, you might also want to tell them your thoughts on their castle, give them an accessory as a gift, get their character card, or fight a match in their arena.
You’ll also be able to have two kinds of shops in your My Castle area, one for rods and staves and an armory. Again, if you play the Revelation route, you get to have both the Hoshido and Nohr retailers at the same time. You want to try and shop for items when the clerk is someone who uses the kind of weapon you need. That way, you’ll get a slight discount on the items. The Nohr armory is the only one with Killer weapons, but the Hoshido rod shop’s healing rods all have a better range than Nohr’s rods.
Then, there’s the player’s Private Quarters. This is where you can change your avatar’s hairstyle. It’s also where you occasionally get to wake up your spouse, if you’re married, or invite an ally in. While the head patting minigame has been removed, people still get to hear the affectionate phrases that would have come as a result of touching the characters’ faces.
People also have access to an Einherjar Shop. This lets you buy new allies, some based on ones you already have, to add to your army. Think of it as a means of bolstering your army in the event of a permadeath run where you lose some characters.
However, one of my favorite resources ties into the battling element. Depending on the Fire Emblem Fates route you take, you’re able to place a Dusk Dragon or Dawn Dragon in your castle. The former damages enemies each turn, while the latter heals allies every turn. These are huge helps during battle, as is Lilith. She’s an offensive attacker in the Nohr route and healer in Hoshido’s. Unless you’re playing Revelation, in which case Lilith has Astral Breath and Astral Blessing abilities and you can place both dragon statues.
Battling online in Fire Emblem Fates is so much fun. The goal is to create a My Castle layout that keeps people from seizing your throne. That means placing your best units around the map, placing buildings, statues, automated golems and puppets, and other features in such a way that other people’s progress will be hampered when they try to defeat your AI-controlled army. If you go in a match online with no handicaps, you can recruit one of your opponents or purchase one of their skills as a reward for winning. It’s a great way to eliminate some of the grind you’d have to go through to get those abilities otherwise. Plus, you can build supports between characters in these matches.
Choosing a My Castle style is key when preparing for battles within your own castle. I like the Chevois Style, because of its defensive walls. The Wind Tribe style, which has a huge rock in the middle of the field, is great for halting advances too. You also want to place golems or puppets near the throne. They won’t abandon their posts, but the AI controlled allies will. It’s a good way of ensuring someone will stick around to prevent a last second seizing.
After picking a style and placing stationary guards, go nuts with statues. They can act as fantastic barriers to block opponents. Putting in statues is important for another reason. Each one not only raises that character’s stat cap, but also that of all Support partners with a rating of C or higher. Initially, I recommend putting statues in as you get them. Once you find an army you really like, then only put those specific characters’ statues in.
The only downside is, Fire Emblem Fates doesn’t seem to be compatible with Fire Emblem if. I purchased the Japanese version of Birthright for my Japanese 3DS LL, and it won’t StreetPass with the North American version of the game. If I enter my Japanese castle address, the game says, “Could not find the data.” It limits the number of places you’ll get to see.
If you’d like to visit Siliconera’s castle, you can find it at 01720-47948-56162-86246. It’s a work-in-progress, since I’m currently going through the Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation. You can also see an earlier version of our castle in this Polygon video where Griffin McElroy and Nick Robinson challenged the team before Master Seals were doled out to the most deserving candidates.
Fire Emblem Fates is immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS.