Ever since the first trailer for the new Fire
Emblem, we’ve been curious what the full game would be like. We suspected that there
was a strong emphasis on choice and saw that a player character would once again be in
the game. So the idea of choosing sides came naturally in our last analysis. But we never
would have guessed that the player character would be the main character as well. This
is our story and as such we can choose whichever side we want. It’s never that simple though.
There are always secrets and hidden details to be found and our master tactician, the
Old Analysis Machine, will certainly lead us to them.
Of course, be sure to watch our previous Fire Emblem Analysis as we’ll be referring back
to it here. So let’s not waste any more time and get right to it.
With this trailer, we finally learn the two factions’ names. The western-styled army
is part of the country of Nohr while the Eastern-style one is called the Hoshido. Right off the bat,
we see the two armies lined up against each other readying for battle. Thanks to translations
from throughout the trailer, we now know that the Nohr leader is Marx while the Hoshido
fighter with the lightning sword is named Ryouma. It seems to be an intense fight, but
this time we get a better look at Ryouma’s back. When he leaps into the air, we can see
that the symbol for the Mark of the Exalt, or the Mark of Naga, is embroidered there.
This means that the Divine Dragon Tribe could have a purpose in this war. In fact, the presence
of a dragon head on Marx’s shield could mean that the Nohr have a connection to dragons
as well. What if this war is begun because the sides have different opinions, or even
beliefs, in Naga and the Dragon Tribe? It could be the key element that places this
in the same universe as many other Fire Emblem games. There’s more proof to this as well,
but we’ll get into it properly much later. In the meantime, let’s get to know each
side before the player has to make his or her choice. We’ll start with the Hoshido
first. In one scene, we see what looks to be the capital of Hoshido. Right away, there’s
more dragon imagery with a statue in the town square. Everything about the Hoshido is influenced
by Eastern culture, specifically Japan, from the style of the buildings to the townspeople
themselves. We can even see the royal family’s castle in the background on top of a cliff.
But the focal point here is the young woman at the base of the statue giving a speech
to the people. Is she preparing them for war? Or is something else going on? At any rate,
it gives the sense that the royal family treats their subjects well. And she is indeed royalty,
or at least important, since soldiers are standing amongst the civilians. Even Ryouma
is watching from the crowd along with another girl who we’ll meet very soon. More important
is the person behind the woman giving the speech because that’s the player, or Kamui
as the default name. Notice the way the cutscene blocks the face with a hat. We’re pretty
sure we’ll see other tricks like this in the game’s cutscenes.
She then turns to face Kamui, providing a better look at her. While we never learn anything
else about this woman in the trailer, we believe that she is probably the eldest of the royal
family maybe even the queen. Having her dressed all in white gives a sense of purity which
is reinforced by the ornament in her hair. It resembles the sun which could mean that
it’s a divine symbol since she’s already wearing something at her brow. Could it be
possible that instead of being part of the royal family, she’s actually a very important
religious figure? There’s not enough evidence to say for sure,
but we do know that she says, ‘Thank goodness,’ when she sees Kamui. So she already knows
the player or has met him before this scene. As we learned, the player was born in Hoshido
before being raised in Nohr. Is this the first time she’s seen Kamui since the return or
is this after a dangerous battle? The sense we get from the cutscene is that this is before
the war properly begins so we’re thinking the former.
In another scene, we get a better look at Hoshido Castle. As we’ll see later when
we take a look at the Nohr, even the color pallet is noticeably different between the
two. Hoshido is bright and completely open, giving a sense of freedom. The colors are
soft too which often provides an inviting feeling. But in Nohr, that’s not the case.
Things have a harder edge and the space often feels cramped and confining. The colors are
all muted or outright black, even normally brighter colors like purple. The best example
of this are the two cute younger sister characters. The one on the Nohr side is dressed darkly
with more of a gothic Lolita style, while the Hoshido sister, the same girl we saw standing
next to Ryouma, is dressed simply and with warmer colors. The dichotomy that Intelligent
Systems is creating between the two is fascinating given that the Nohr are clearly meant to be
seen as more evil than the Hoshido. We finally get to see more of Ryouma in a
scene in front of the throne. So he’s definitely at least a prince. Amusingly, even the throne
is multi-colored. However, Ryouma is telling Kamui that he is his older brother by blood.
This and the many other conversations shown in the trailer confirm that full voice acting
won’t be in the game. Instead, it’ll be like Awakening where the voice actors say
key phrases from the conversation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go into why the player was raised
by the Nohr, but the player character is almost guaranteed to be the Lord class. What’s
not clear is who the girl in this scene is. She’s wearing some kind of horned ornament
on her head to make her stand out, yet we never spotted her again in the trailer. Perhaps
she’s some kind of guard that led Kamui to meet Ryouma?
Another reunion happens soon after where we get a few more clues to Kamui’s past. The
red-headed girl is named Hinoka, and she’s laying her head on Kamui’s chest in relief
so there’s definitely a connection there. She says, “All this time, I kept believing…that
we’d meet again.” This outright confirms that the player was not taken to Nohr as a
baby. There was enough time spent in Hoshido to form strong bonds. But this raises more
questions. Did an accident happen where you were saved and raised by the Nohr royal family?
Do you suffer from amnesia? Or did something a bit more original happen?
At any rate, the other girl in this scene is your blood-related little sister, Sakura.
We get a better look at her in a cutscene where she’s saying how happy she is that
she can go with Kamui. It’s not clear how much older Kamui is to Sakura or if she knew
him from before, but it seems like she has a connection already. The location of this
scene also looks to be taking place in a similar area to the one in the beginning of the trailer
with the dancing girl. There’s no sign of a pier, but we can see the lake next to these
woods. Once again, it’s difficult to say when these scenes take place in relation to
one another, but we’ll get to the Dancer later at the very least.
After this point in the trailer, most of the Hoshido scenes take place after the player
chooses a side. However, during the Direct itself, there were other scenes from the game
shown. One showcases Kamui talking with Kazahana from the previous trailer. Here we learn that
she works as Sakura’s subordinate and considers herself the most trusted. The other guy, Tsubaki,
agrees with Kazahana that they’ll be joining Kamui for an upcoming battle, but does have
a problem with her saying that she’s Sakura’s most trusted subordinate. It’s mostly flavor
text, but it does show that Tsubaki works for Sakura as well and that he and Kazahana
are a kind of honor guard. What’s really interesting though is the background as this
place seems to be a possible makeshift hospital to care for the wounded or sick. It indicates
the war, or at least a few skirmishes, have already taken place.
Another scene features Sakura. She’s approached by a man named Saizou and a woman named Orochi
who have a message. Wherever these two came from, Sakura notices they had it rough as
both of them are wounded. It turns out that something bad is going down at the country’s
border and both Ryouma and a character we haven’t met yet, Takumi, are in trouble.
The dialog ends there, but as the portraits fade in and out, we get to see all the people
present. There’s Saizou and Orochi, the pink haired girl is probably Sakura, and we
can see that Kamui and even the Dancer are here. We’re not sure who the other two characters
are, but the one seems to be the same class as Saizou. But we’ll return to this scene
once we get into the new gameplay shown. For now, let’s shift over to the Nohr and
get a better idea of who they are. Naturally, the first person we see is the old king of
the country, who we later learn is called Garon. Based on his demeanor and the events
of this cutscene in particular, it seems as if he is the one to trigger the war with Hoshido.
And that trigger may be this Hoshido man that is being riddled with arrows by a horde of
soldiers. His hair is similar to Ryouma, but it’s not the same character. But that could
mean that he’s part of the royal family, and something like this could easily trigger
a war. The question is what is this man doing in
Nohr? The western design of the surrounding buildings confirms this to be the case. The
incredible thing though is that this man survives since Garon says, “I’ll let you live…to
do my bidding.” At least, we think he survived. Could it be possible that he sacrificed himself
to save his son? And in this moment of tragedy, Garon takes a very young Kamui into his service.
It would explain why he’s reaching toward the camera in the cutscene, something that’s
often done to involve the player, but not show him or her. However, if this isn’t
the case, just what is Garon reaching for? Later on, we get an overhead look at what
is likely Nohr’s capital city. It is positively massive with a series of walls all around.
The land itself is very dark and overcast, giving off an oppressive feeling that truly
feels at odds with Hoshido’s capital. But the most telling thing about this layout is
the walls. It indicates an extremely class-based society. Just looking from above, we can see
much of the outer ring seems dedicated to farmlands while the right side and interior
rings are condensed with housing and likely a poorer class. Uniquely, the center circle
is where the castle should be, but it actually goes deeper into the ground. It’s difficult
to see exactly, but could this be an inverted structure? Or is something else entirely there?
We then get a conversation between Kamui and Marx though we’re not sure where in Nohr
this is taking place. But Marx is impressed with the player, commenting “Good work.
You have become strong.” This is likely after a very early mission when players are
still getting introduced to the game. Unfortunately, we don’t have a name for the third character
though we do see more of him as the trailer continues. Instead, the next major character
we meet is Camilla. She’s talking with Kamui outside of a Hoshido building that was likely
just captured. She says that she was worried about him. Could she be the Nohr equivalent
of Hinoka? Or is she part of the royal family too? After all, she is wearing a dragon head-shaped
tiara that closely resembles the one on Marx’s shield.
Next is a cutscene of a little girl pulling the player along. She calls out to us as big
brother so she’s likely part of the royal family as well and definitely the Nohr counterpart
to Sakura. We can also see that she’s wearing Nohr’s crest on the back of her dress. But
what is it that she wants to show? Is this part of the game’s opening cutscene? We
really don’t know as the sequence is incredibly short. But then there’s the scene where
Kamui stands before Garon. Along with the old king are Camilla, your
surrogate sister, Marx, and the man that was standing next to Marx before. Garon states
that he expects great things from the player who just responds with a ‘Yes, sir,” before
leaving. Once again, the Nohr throne room gives off a much darker vibe than the one
in Hoshido. But more importantly, could this be the scene that sends Kamui to the other
country? Is it an infiltration mission where he’s found out and learns of his true family?
It’s then time for the key moment in the game where the player must decide between
Hoshido and Nohr. News has come out stating that this moment doesn’t occur until Chapter
6 so this likely means that you’ll have three chapters with each side beforehand so
you can have a better sense of who these characters are. The staging of the scene is also quite
classic with Kamui standing in the center while Ryouma is calling to him from the right
and Marx does the same from the left. Both are essentially saying to join their side.
And to emphasize the stakes further, the other characters are shown as well. Sakura, who
appears to be a cleric, a lance-wielding Hisoka, and a new character who’s an Archer. This
may be the Takumi that was referred to earlier during the urgent message. Sakura even calls
you brother as they await your decision. On the Nohr side is your sister who could also
be a Cleric, Camilla who’s not holding a weapon, and the young man we’ve seen several
times now. He’s holding a Tome making him a Mage.
The final scene before the choice shows what the stakes will be as every character flashes
across the screen. But what’s vaguely amusing is that despite all of the obvious differences
between Nohr and Hoshido, the four characters on either side seem to match their counterpart’s
story role on the other side almost perfectly. The new Fire Emblem is going for a sense of
symmetry that not only makes the choice tougher, but clearly shows that neither side is inherently
evil, Garon likely being the exception of course. But it will make for a unique game
where you could even feel bad for killing enemy units.
And the moment must be super important as the trailer barely shows us what happens beyond
a dialog box, the first one showing the player choosing Hoshido and the next one selecting
Nohr. Whichever choice is made, the other side won’t take it well. Marx outright calls
the player a traitor while Ryouma tells him to come at him. This conversation actually
leads directly into a fight between Kamui and Ryouma, but what’s more interesting
is that this seems to take place in the same area with a bridge from the first trailer.
There we saw Hisoka, who is indeed a Pegasus Knight as a later cutscene shows, attack an
enemy unit. As the battle transitioned, the armies of both sides appeared. That same effect
happens with Ryouma lending further credence to this being the exact point when the decision
is made. Or at least when you first battle Ryouma. We highly doubt he’ll die here specifically
when the player defeats him. From there, more scenes play showing the results
of your choice. One shows Ryouma on his knees while everything around him burns. The only
thing we can think of to cause a reaction like this in the middle of a fire is that
something happened to the young woman who gave a speech before. Maybe she’ll be assassinated
if the Nohr side is chosen. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Ryouma could react
like this if it’s just the palace in flames. After all, this is the place he was born,
raised, and called home. It gives the sense that the stakes are more personal in this
Fire Emblem. Next is a confrontation with Tsubaki the Archer.
He’s accusing the player of betraying Hoshido while aiming an arrow at you. And it seems
like he’s leading a force against a Nohr village as all of the surrounding buildings
are in a western style. Likewise, we get a sequence of Camilla walking slyly toward the
camera, her arms outstretched. Her entire demeanor gives off a mocking tone, which probably
means this a part that happens if Hoshido is chosen. More importantly, both of these
scenes with Tsubaki and Camilla could be the prelude to boss battles against them. We wouldn’t
be surprised if key moments of the story have you facing off against these important characters.
We don’t have much context for the scene with the Mage, but he is showing off some
of his power. As he conjures magic in his hand, bits of rock fly up around him indicating
that he’s quite powerful. It doesn’t even look like he’s trying hard. Then, finally,
there’s Marx as he points his sword at the player. This seems to be a confrontational
showdown as the surrounding area looks like the Nohr palace, even containing the country’s
symbol on the right side. Marx is showing no hesitation in fighting you going so far
as to say, “As for this justice you believe in, prepare to receive it.”
These are just a few minor instances of the way this choice will play out, but the major
one is in how the game is structured. The Hoshido campaign will have a traversable map
like Fire Emblem: Awakening, allowing players to level up their characters outside of storyline
battles. On the other hand, the Nohr campaign will not allow for battles outside of the
storyline. Instead, players will go from chapter to chapter like many Fire Emblem games of
the past. To make up for the greater linearity though, the campaign is being promised to
have more intrigue to its story which makes sense since it’s also the side that Garon
is on. But that’s just story and character analysis.
While there wasn’t much, we did get a few new details on the gameplay. And right off
the bat, we get the biggest news. The Pair Up and Dual System from Awakening is indeed
back. We even have text here showing that these two teaming up increases Critical Avoidance
by five. However, looking at the enemy side, we see that they can Pair Up as well. This
will most definitely place greater importance on both of these systems.
As the fight continues, we can see that the ally classes look to be a Thief or maybe a
Ninja, and a fighter who uses axes or, in this case, a hammer. The enemy units are an
Archer and a Cavalier. However, these units don’t seem to be generic designs. We suspected
there would be major confrontations with main characters after picking a side, but could
we even fight characters that would have been allies? It’s definitely pointing in that
direction. The battle arena itself is in a Hoshido fort
with damage having been done to a lantern in the background. But this is actually the
second time we’ve seen this location. In the scene where Sakura receives news that
Ryouma is in trouble, there’s a moment when the character portraits fade. In the background,
we not only saw all of the characters, but the area they were in too. Here we can see
the same white walls and even the lanterns. It’s not a major revelation, but it does
give a greater sense to how the game will play out.
Not only that, but new options while exploring the maps seem to be available as well. Something
happens that creates or reforms a rock bridge, allowing the characters to cross. A text option
does appear, but we couldn’t quite translate the upper option. The lower text is the choice
to wait, but obviously the upper option activates the bridge in some way. On the opposite side
is a Hoshido-style house. Can players visit that or will it mainly be used as a fort?
Otherwise, we see some more characters though we suspect the lower one to be Camilla while
the upper one could be your Nohr sister. The only problem with that guess is that she has
blond hair in the cutscene, but pink hair here.
More intriguing is the design of the health bars. Both Kamui and the upper character’s
go from blue to orange, but Kamui has a little more of an orange gradient. Meanwhile, the
character on the horse’s health bar goes from blue to light green to yellow. Why is
there a difference? Does it give a better indication of a character’s max health at
a glance? Or could health be changing in some other way?
Finally, we have this scene where Kamui confronts a monster, the same kind we saw Marx defeat
in the first trailer. Thanks to a dialog box, we know that it’s called a Nosferatu, but
that’s about it. Kamui does say that it being in the area points to something worse.
What that worse thing is, we have no clue. Is someone controlling the Nosferatu? Or are
they equivalent to roaming monsters in RPGs? Okay, we’re almost done here, but we have
one final thing to look at: the Dancer from the first trailer. She’s the first one to
appear in this new trailer, walking on a pier in a forest near a lake. She’s singing as
she walks while lines of text lay out the game’s story. What’s interesting is that
these questions seem definite. They’re not questions of this versus that. It’s the
idea of stopping conflict altogether. Could that mean the ultimate goal of this game is
to bring total peace between the two countries and not just stopping one completely?
The Dancer’s singing also seems to have some kind of effect on the water, getting
rid of all the ripples. Could this be the same pool of water that she falls into during
the previous trailer? We think it’s a distinct possibility. She then turns to face someone
as if she’s been caught. Could this be the player or someone with ill intentions that
causes her fall into the water? Well, we think it could be both. We’ll explain soon.
In fact, we think this same scene continues during this gameplay sequence where Kamui
is talking with the Dancer, telling her that he was born in Hoshido but raised by the Nohr.
But there’s a major difference between this sequence and the cutscene. Despite having
a pier, the surrounding forest is dark and looks almost as if it’s decaying. Is this
actually the case or did it become dark since the cutscene did show that it was sunset?
While we don’t know for sure, we do know that the player and the Dancer are linked
no matter what. The best indication of this are the scenes that repeat from the first
trailer. As she dances, the outfit changes from white to dark purple. We saw both of
these colors at different times before, but here it seems different outcomes are being
shown despite the scene playing out exactly the same. It happens again later on making
us think that some story sequences will still happen no matter what though the clothes this
girl wears will change. But what is the reason for this change? And why would the same things
still happen when the locations and surroundings in Hoshido and Nohr are so different? But
these quick changes between the two outfits tell us that she will always be with Kamui.
After all, she does seem to be the most important character.
And she’s linked to Kamui far more than we thought. But let’s focus on Kamui’s
design for a second. No matter which gender is chosen, the basic outfit stays the same
outside of a few bits of flair here and there. But neither gender is wearing shoes or really
footwear of any kind. We can even see this in the scene with Garon. It’s just a single
strap. It’s too deliberate not to be important. We just don’t know why it’s important.
The other noteworthy design decision is Kamui’s pointed ears. This is a distinct trait of
the Divine Dragon Tribe. And we already saw the Mark of the Exalt on Ryouma’s clothing.
Since Kamui was born in Hoshido, it’s not unrealistic to think there’s a connection.
In fact, there is. During one gameplay sequence we see a Pair Up of Kamui and a female Armor
Knight. And this is definitely Kamui. Note the bare feet. But rather than attack normally
like we saw in the first trailer, he transforms into some kind of beast. It has wings, but
its legs resemble that of a horse. It also has a long tail and neck and a large pair
of horns. Could this be a dragon like the Manakete? All the connections we’ve seen
so far point in that direction. Perhaps this is why Garon raised the player as a child.
And remember before when the Dancer turned? We said that she was facing someone who wished
her ill intent or the player before claiming it was both. Look at the scene in the first
trailer when she is being attacked underwater. The beast that’s attacking her is the same
one that Kamui transformed into. So it seems the player won’t be able to control this
ability right away. It can actually make him attack the people around him.
All of these elements make for an incredibly intriguing game. How will it all come together?
What other differences are there between the Nohr and the Hoshido? Unfortunately, we still
have a while to wait for that answer. While Japan is getting the game in June, it’s
not arriving in North America until 2016. Whether the two versions containing the two
campaigns will be separate or together is another question entirely. But we’re positive
we’ll get more information on the new Fire Emblem come E3. Of course, let us know if
we missed anything in the comments. If you liked this video, be sure to like us on Facebook
or follow us on Twitter at GameXplain to keep up with everything we do. Thanks for watching,
and make sure to stay tuned to GameXplain for more on Fire Emblem and other things gaming.