Fire Emblem Fates Preview

[Updated with Fire Emblem Fates – Launch Trailer on 2/19/16]:


[Updated with Fire Emblem Fates – Life on the Front Lines Ep. 1 & Ep. 2 on 2/12/16]:



[Updated with DLC video on 2/3/16]:


[Updated with 2 new videos on 1/29/16]:



[Original Preview]:

Fire Emblem Awakening was a huge hit on the 3DS a few years back. It’s the first game in the series that I played from beginning to end. Others were fun and exciting, but I didn’t care for the permanent death aspect of the prior games, and often would simply reset every time I lost a soldier in battle. This turned me off, as I grew tired of playing the same maps over and over again. With Awakening the developers wisely allowed the player to choose to play with permanent death on or off, and I wholeheartedly enjoyed my experience by turning it off. The game wasn’t a walk in the park and still had difficult moments. I probably sunk 50 hours into the game and its expansions and loved every moment. That’s why I’m so excited for Fire Emblem Fates. Not only do I get to play a sequel to a game I really like, but I also get to augment my experience with three different versions!

Much like Pokémon, Fates is releasing to retail with several versions, except the Fire Emblem games will have vastly different stories and missions. Here’s how it works. At retail you’ll be able to pick up either Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright or Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. No matter which one you choose, the first six chapters of the story will be the same. As it turns out, the character you create will be either a prince or princess of Hoshido, a peace-loving kingdom. However, at a very young age you were kidnapped and raised by the glory-seeking Nohr kingdom. If you buy Birthright, you’re making the decision to fight alongside your actual relatives, none of which you remember because you were stolen away as a child. If you choose to purchase Conquest, however, you’ll side with all of your friends and “family” that you’ve known and loved your entire life.

Keep in mind that no matter which side you choose, you can buy the other one as a digital download for a discounted price. So, assuming you buy a copy at retail it’ll cost you $40. Then you can download the digital version you don’t already own for $20 from the eShop. That way you’ll get to experience the full story and all of its intricacies.

Except, there’s one more version that will be releasing digitally for another $20 three weeks after the release of the first two, called Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, which will expand the story even more. Now, if you were lucky enough when these games were first announced you could have reserved the Fire Emblem Fates Special Edition, which comes with all three versions on the cartridge for $80. The great things about this version is that you don’t have to download any content, don’t need to wait three extra weeks to play Revelation, and you get a hardcover art book and a 3DS XL Fire Emblem carrying pouch. Quite the special edition, costing the same as buying all of it separately, but with a few perks that make it very sought after by many gamers. You may still find a few of these floating around at retailers on February 19 when the game launches, especially if you check stores that didn’t accept preorders for it.


Fire Emblem Fates released in Japan last summer, and has sold extremely well. If you’re new to the series and are trying to figure out which version of the game to purchase, it seems most people suggest going with Birthright, as it’s more traditional to the series and a bit easier. The Conquest version does feature a more complex story and a higher difficulty level for those seeking more of a challenge. No matter your choice, if you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games with high production values, you should have a fantastic time with Fire Emblem Fates. We’ll have more as the game draws closer, and a full review after it releases.

Watch this in-depth video with IGN and Nintendo. It shows off and explains a ton regarding the US version of Fire Emblem Fates:

An official description of the games follows:

Two kingdoms are on the brink of war. Whose side will you choose? Torn between two families, you’re an heir of Hoshido, raised by Nohrian royals. If you walk the path of Birthright, you’ll battle the corrupted king of Nohr beside a family of strangers. If you walk the path of Conquest, you must fight to change your misguided kingdom from within. Command them expertly and forge deep relationships to master this turn-based strategy game.

A brand new Fire Emblem experience is on its way for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. For the first time ever, your customized avatar is the main hero. An army of knights, mages, archers and more are at your command in the most tactical battles in series history. Each unit and weapon has strengths and weaknesses you must consider for every foe you face. Partner allies on the battlefield so they can support each other in combat. Building relationships is key – the closer your allies become, the better they’ll fight together. Their future is at your command, but first you must make the most important decision in the history of Fire Emblem.

  • For the first time in the Fire Emblem series, your customized avatar is the main character (Prince or Princess of Hoshido Kingdom).
  • Epic storyline centered on your avatar, forced to choose between bloodline and family who raised you.
  • New “My Castle” area to interact with your allies and build stronger relationships.
  • Have StreetPass encounters with other players to visit their My Castle.
  • Tap in corresponding Fire Emblem amiibo figures and Marth, Ike, Lucina, and Robin will appear in your game, ready for you to battle and recruit.

Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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