All Credit To SilverWind for this delightful and informative OP
“Hello and welcome back to the dating game! Lady Corrin you've had a little time to think about those hellos, so do you have your questions all set? Remember, you can ask any question you'd like aside from name, age, occupation, income, or whether you’re related by blood or otherwise-- good luck!”
“OK, Bachelor #1, I’ve been cooped up in a fortress my entire life. Where would you take me on our first date, and why?
“That’s easy. We’d go archery training on the remote mountains of Hoshido. That way, we’d have the place to ourselves and won’t run into any Nohrian scum.”
“Ooookay that’s nice but I’m pretty sure you’re my brother. Bachelor #2, let’s say we’ve made plans to go out, but your boss calls and tells you you’ve got to work overtime at the office instead. What do you tell him?”
“I would protest. But if he insisted I would have to go to work for the sake of the kingd—er, company. …I would make sure he didn’t follow through on any threats to kill you, though.”
“Aw, that’s really sweet of you but I’m pretty sure you’re another brother of mine, SO. Bachelor #3, tell me—if we get together, you’re not going to suddenly call me ‘sister’ in the middle of a plot scene or DLC, right?”
“…You really don’t want me answering that question, Corrin.”
“Time to choose, milady! The question is, which lucky bachelor will it be?!”
What is Fire Emblem?
Fire Emblem is a series of games best described as “fantasy chess, where the units can smooch each other.” The newest addition to the franchise, Fire Emblem Fates, is actually three separate games, Birthright, Conquest, and Revelations (available March 10 as DLC), each telling a different path of a branching story. A staple of the FE series is how units that fight together can develop relationships, have unique 'support conversation' events, and make each other stronger in battle. And no, not all your romance options are adoptive siblings, though there are an unusually high amount of them this time around.
What’s new to Fates?
- Phoenix mode, a difficulty where characters revive the next turn after they are killed
- The ability to create a reloadable quicksave mid-chapter in Casual and Phoenix mode
- Weapons no longer have usage amounts (they no longer break), and instead have different stat benefits and drawbacks
- New classes, such as Maid, Butler, and Ninja, as well as new ways to reclass (e.g. to have a unit take on the class of their partner or selected best friend)
- Revisions to the Pair Up system, where paired up units can either guard or attack, and enemies can now pair up as well
- Two same sex romances (your gal can smooch a specific gal in Birthright; your guy can smooch a specific guy in Conquest; both are likewise available in Revelations)
- My Castle, a customizable base of operations that other players can visit, battle, and create magical babies with you via wifi and StreetPass
I heard this series involves permadeath?
Yes, if you play in Classic mode, units that die in battle either die for real or are too injured to fight in the future. However, Casual and Phoenix modes are available where units revive after a chapter or after a turn, respectively.
Aside from the different modes above, you can also choose a range of difficulties, from Normal, Hard, and Lunatic.
Which version should I get?
Some people will be playing through all three versions, but if you must choose one, Nintendo recommends you choose between Birthright or Conquest. Revelations is often called the “true” path, but it apparently contains plot events that may be confusing if you haven’t played either Birthright or Conquest first.
If you want to purchase more than one version, you can save some money if you purchase the other paths as DLC from within the game:
Yes, but which version should I get?
If you want to choose based on gameplay mechanics, here are some things to consider:
- Birthright is the easier game; Conquest is more difficult
- Birthright has Awakening style simpler chapter objectives (e.g. rout the enemy); Conquest has more difficult objectives and maps
- Birthright allows grinding and you can gain experience and levels between chapters; Conquest is traditional FE and you cannot grind outside of the EXP DLC map
- Birthright is hailed as new FE “Awakening-like”; Conquest is old-school FE
If you want to choose based on story, Birthright has you playing as the traditional ‘good guys’, defending the peaceful Kingdom of Hoshido from the invading Nohr army. In Conquest, you remain with the Kingdom of Nohr, and try to reform the corrupt country from within.
Frankly, I’d choose a side based on which siblings you find more appealing, your Hoshidan birth family, or your Nohrian adoptive one.
Customizing Your Avatar
Once you’ve selected the version you want to start playing, you’ll get to customize your avatar (by default named Corrin). Here are some things to get you started:
- To quickly reset your game, press L, R, and Start together.
- My Castle rewards are terrific! To maximize the number of visit and battle points you get per My Castle visit, always: 1) Leave feedback on the castle with Felicia/Jakob/the castle attendant, 2) leave a gift with the castle lord or lady, and 3) after completing the battle, leave feedback on the fight.
- Also to help rack up the number of My Castle points, search for castles that are "Easy Seize", which usually have stationary units and an unoccupied throne for seizure.
- You can turn down the difficulty mid-game (but you can’t turn the difficulty back up). This will also reincarnate your dead characters if you move from Classic to Casual or Phoenix.
- Reclassing or promoting your units no longer resets their level, so you have to choose characters’ level ups and classes more carefully, and you shouldn’t promote a unit until they reach Level 20 if possible. If a unit is past the levels where skills are acquired in a new class, it will learn the previous skills one level up at a time, starting with the lowest levelled skill. Don’t fret too much about this, as there are items that can raise a unit’s level cap (ordinarily at 40) another five levels, and you can do this all the way up to level 99.
- There are child characters, and if you are playing a male avatar and want all the child characters, you must romance a woman who can’t romance anyone else, such as Scarlet or Flora.
- Unfortunately, the same sex romance options lock you out of some kid characters :|