ByJohn Eire, writer at Creators.co
Starting in your 20s, everyone expects you to live a cookie cutter life. I think I ate the dough.
John Eire

Yesterday's Fire Emblem Direct from Nintendo revealed several upcoming titles within the series. The first release will be Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, something of a remake of an older game in the franchise, 1992's Fire Emblem: Gaiden. This sequel to the first game in the series was released for the platform, and consequently never saw a Stateside release.

Fire Emblem Gaiden

Many fans considered this to be the black sheep of the series. While every other shuttles you from map to map, Gaiden plays more like a traditional RPG. It allows you to explore towns, talk to NPCs, and traverse the world. If you've ever played the Shining Force games on the , it's much closer in gameplay style to that series than it is to a traditional Fire Emblem game.

Another oddity when compared to other games in the series is that Gaiden features two lead protagonists, each with their own cast of characters to recruit. The male lead Alm is a more traditional fighter, while the female lead Celica is more magically inclined. The two characters bring different scenarios for the player across the kingdoms of Rigel and Zofia.

Celica fights a gargoyle in the original Gaiden.
Celica fights a gargoyle in the original Gaiden.

In another departure from the series norm, the continent that Gaiden takes place on is directly connected to that of the first game, rather than existing by itself as a standalone universe. Many characters from 's game (which was released stateside as Shadow Dragon for the DS) make a reappearance, such as the pegasus sisters and the knight Camus. If Alm's name sounds familiar to players of Fire Emblem Awakening, it's because the continent of Valm you visit in Awakening is the same landmass featured in this game, only far into the future. It was named after Alm. Cool, huh?

Camus is now going by the alias Zeke. I wonder why? I won't spoil it for first-timers!
Camus is now going by the alias Zeke. I wonder why? I won't spoil it for first-timers!

Since Gaiden was so different from other titles, Shadows of Valentia is likewise going to be a switch-up from what we've seen in and . For example, in the Nintendo Direct, we can see that there is full 3D dungeon exploration.

Celica traverses a dungeon to find a skeleton monster.
Celica traverses a dungeon to find a skeleton monster.

Of course, the game will receive a facelift to bring it more in line with the newer titles. Expect visuals similar to Awakening and Fates — although, if you ask me, the new artist and art style is much more appealing, and the 3D models look crisper than their Fates counterparts.

Alm gets ready to fight a spearfighter.
Alm gets ready to fight a spearfighter.
A mage casts a lightning spell.
A mage casts a lightning spell.
Here, you can clearly see the new art style, which appears to shy away from the cartoonier look of Awakening and Fates.
Here, you can clearly see the new art style, which appears to shy away from the cartoonier look of Awakening and Fates.

In the meantime Japan is getting fancy editions of the game with extra content, such as an art book and remastered cutscenes of previous games in full HD, but the West has so far had no announcement of any special editions. The game is, however, up for pre-order on Amazon.

Protagonists Alm and Celica will be receiving Amiibos alongside the game, which launches on May 19. You can watch the trailer for the game via the capture from the Nintendo Direct below.

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