While Fire Emblem Warriors was born from the desire of fans who’ve wanted such a title for around a decade, its existence also shows how popular the franchise has become through recent mainline installments.
The successes of both Fire Emblem Awakening and Fates led to this title’s birth, as both put the franchise back on the mark worldwide. It’s almost tough to remember the time when the FE franchise was on its death bed, especially outside Japan, where several skeptics doubted that Awakening would even be localized. But it’s now one of Nintendo’s most popular brands, and you know it’s big when it’s receiving a spinoff like this.
Nintendo and Koei Tecmo (the latter of which also published the game in Japan) have been steadily revealing the cast since its reveal during Nintendo Switch Presentation in January. It initially appeared that an ensemble of characters from multiple FE games in the series would be included, like other Warriors adaptations of video game franchises like Hyrule Warriors and the Dragon Quest Heroes titles. But those dreams died when it was confirmed shortly before E3 in June that the cast would focus mostly on characters from Shadow Dragon, Awakening, and Fates. This especially hurt when a fan image that circulated before this game’s reveal featured Ike from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, who wouldn’t be in this game according to those plans. Some of the initial excitement fizzled, but those who liked the idea stayed on board.
I’ve chronicled the character reveals in several previous posts, and both companies have now revealed the final members of the initial roster. Interestingly, two of them are from titles outside those confirmed to be included above.
It was somewhat of a shock when Lyn from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (also simply known as “Fire Emblem”) was confirmed for the game. “Somewhat” because she’s one of the most popular characters in the series, thanks to her being the first of three protagonists from the first game to release in western territories in 2003/2004. She also previously appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, so Nintendo and FE developer Intelligent Systems have been aware of her popularity for a while.
The other guest here is Celica from the recently released Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (who wasn’t given a trailer, poor girl). While she originates from the Japan-only Fire Emblem Gaiden, the design is from the latest version, and most are familiar with Echoes thanks to it being a worldwide game. Out of the two protagonists (the other being Alm), her design and character clearly stick out more. Between Celica and Lyn, it’s not like the game needed more sword users, but sometimes popularity trumps all.
Someone within the companies realized they hadn’t revealed any Shadow Dragon characters besides Marth, which is why the Tokyo Game Show showcase was focused on two of them: Caeda and Tiki. Caeda is a lance user tied to a Pegasus while Tiki uses magic, and both classes are lower in number compared to sword users. Interestingly, this game is using the child version of Tiki instead of the more well-liked adult version, apparently due to needing another SD representative.
To commemorate the release in Japan today, the final character revealed for the initial roster is the omnipresent Anna. She’s appeared in every single title except Gaiden/Shadows of Valentia, so it would be strange if she didn’t turn up here. She’s used a variety of weapons over the years, but here, she relies on a bow and other long-range special attacks.
Other characters are in the game as NPCs and bosses, though I won’t spoil them. Nintendo also confirmed that DLC packs featuring characters from the three main games are coming, and it would be no surprise if those are part of them. They should include other characters peculiarly missing from the initial cast, like Azura and Tharja. The packs will be $8.99 each, but buying all three through the Season Pass will cost $19.99, which may not be too bad a deal depending on how much content is offered in each of them. The pass will also come with a bridal outfit for Lucina, so…that’s something.
That said, I’m surprised Ike and Roy aren’t unlockable through using Amiibo, a feature I would have bet money on. Thankfully, I didn’t go through with that. There’s a good chance they’re saving them, along with many other cast members from their respective games, for a future installment. But whether it will receive a sequel depends on whether this does well. It’s tough to complain too much when this has by far the largest cast for the first installment of a Warriors game.
Since the game is widely available in Japan now, plenty are providing impressions on how good a job developer Omega Force did with this. It’s reportedly very polished for a Warriors experience, which shows how good of a budget Nintendo allocated to the project. We’ll find out how well it’s selling in Japan next week, but that determination will have to wait a while for western territories, where it will release on October 20th.