If you haven’t followed Fire Emblem since the beginning, then you may not be aware of the game’s original sequel, Fire Emblem Gaiden. Gaiden was originally the second game in the series, and while it did offer some of the same things that the first Fire Emblem offered, it also diverged paths quite a bit, and even featured some not-so Fire Emblem-like features. Since Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, it features some of the same changes. In this article we’ll go over everything new that you can expect to see when you boot up Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and start down Alm and Celica’s paths.

The Big Changes

While many of the changes that we’re going to mention in this article will be considered important, we want to focus up on the really big changes first. First, let’s clear the air a bit. The big changes that we’re going to mention here were actually introduced originally back in 1992, when Fire Emblem Gaiden was first released. That being said, while some of these things were big changes back then, some missing features in the game—like the Weapon Triangle and the romancing of allies—weren’t actually invented until much later in the series, so it makes sense why they aren’t here.

That being said, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is quite different for numerous reasons. The biggest, though, is the 3rd person exploration that players can partake in when they explore certain dungeons and shrines. While these sections aren’t overly populated with puzzles or even enemies, it does add a different feel to the game when you explore mysterious dungeons and areas around the game’s world.

Another big change is how Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia handles items and the inventory system. Unlike previous Fire Emblem games, Shadows of Valentia only offers each unit a single inventory space. In this single space they can hold an item—which can heal them or remove effects—or it can hold things like shields, rings, or even stronger weapons. It’s a very different feeling than we have had in previous Fire Emblem games, and it may take some users a bit to get used to.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia also doesn’t include nearly as many RPG elements, and without the Weapon Triangle to help dictate how effective units are against others, some users may find it more shallow than previous entries in the franchise.

Smaller Changes

Smaller changes to the way Fire Emblem works come in the way that Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia handles magic. Since weapons no longer break after a certain amount of uses, Intelligent Systems had to devise a new way for magic users to manage their spells. This comes in the form of each magical spell costing health points. For example, one of the most basic spells you’ll see in the game—fire—costs 1 health point to cast. This means you’ll need to pay more attention to your unit’s health when fighting, as you don’t want them suiciding when they try to counterattack.

You also want have to worry as much about running after random NPCs and trying to recruit them, as many of the recruits you find in the game will be found within towns, shrines, or other areas that you explore in the form of a point and click adventure. That’s right, instead of simply entering towns, talking to an NPC, and being given items, you can now actually explore different areas of many of the locations you visit in the game.

While visiting these areas, you can move between sections, examine the area to find weapons, items, and other assorted things on the ground or on shelves. You can also even find random NPCs which you can talk to and fulfill quests for. The game also feels very much like the old school Fire Emblem from the 90s, as most of the missions revolve around simply routing the enemy, rather than you have to complete specific objectives or survive a certain amount of turns.

That’s all the changes that we’ve noticed thus far in our playthrough of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. We’ll be sure to update this article with any additional changes that we come across. You should also head back over to our Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia guide, where we have plenty of helpful articles to assist you on your journey.