Fire Emblem Warriors and Heroes Are Great for the Series, but Shouldn’t Forget Its Rich Legacy

The Fire Emblem Direct has given us a slew of Fire Emblem news, and this year is looking great as far as the series goes! I’m so happy that Fire Emblem is getting some more attention, but I can’t help but have my reservations.



As far as Fire Emblem Echoes, the Gaiden remake, goes, I’m definitely pleased. I’m glad to see another title in the series finally come west, and the updated graphics and additional cutscenes are welcome. Not only will it help tide me over until the title coming up for the Switch, but it continues to fan the flames of my hope that we’ll one day get Fire Emblem Binding Blade in English. I only hope there aren’t any game mechanics shoe-horned in for the sake of it. Like, say, ‘create a character’.


So what about Warriors and HeroesWarriors is what the title suggests, Fire Emblem getting the Dynasty Warriors treatment. As a fan of both, it’s the kind of thing that must have gone through my head as a wild ‘wouldn’t it be cool if?’ concept at some point and is now becoming an actual game. How could that be a bad thing?


Fire Emblem Warriors and Heroes Are Great for the Series, but Shouldn't Forget Its Rich Legacy

As for Heroes, it’s a mobile game, and the part of the livestream I thought would interest me the least for that reason, but it won me over. On the surface, it’s just a simple mobile port of the usual tactical strategy battles, minus the permadeath – for which I am grateful not to have to literally pay for my ineptitude. The clincher here is that your army consists of characters from across the series, recruited by defeating them in battle or obtaining them via a gacha like mechanic. Petulant random number gods be damned, it’s practically Fire Emblem meets Love Live!! School Idol Festival and that sounds AMAZING.


Now for the drawback, mild as it may be. Putting aside titles that sound to me like they could be referring to the same game, I am one of the many who’s apprehensive about there being such a focus on Awakening and Fates. I know they’re the most popular in the west, and the most recent, and I’m not saying I dislike Fates (I guess I do dislike Awakening, but I owe it a debt for saving the series), but I felt the Heroes footage from the livestream had a pretty big emphasis on them when it’s supposed to be a big cross-game thing.


Fire Emblem Warriors and Heroes Are Great for the Series, but Shouldn't Forget Its Rich Legacy

I’m super glad to have seen familiar faces such as Lynn and Abel in the Heroes trailer, but they’re only included in the gameplay section and the game’s opening movie focuses solely on the new characters and ones from Awakening and Fates. Both games had a huge presence in the character select screen too. Beruka, for example, was pretty unexpected.


Although the game is clearly going to have an amazingly expansive cast, I’m worried that there will be a tendency to favour implementing ‘lesser’ characters from Awakening and Fates over anyone from the older games. And if that happens with regards to the older games in the west, then the games we didn’t see outside of the west will be remaining in absolute obscurity for a long while (except Gaiden, which will probably be getting a big push, what with Echoes). Admittedly, this is only really a matter of when people become available, so I shouldn’t fret about it so much.


Fire Emblem Warriors and Heroes Are Great for the Series, but Shouldn't Forget Its Rich Legacy

Warriors, on the other hand, is where the brunt of my character roster issues lie. I personally felt the cast size for Hyrule Warriors was pretty small (though Hyrule Warriors Legends and the DLC did add a bunch), and I’m already crossing my fingers that Fire Emblem Warriors will be including many more, when it has a huge number of games with a huge number of characters to cover.


I’m fully expecting both Heroes and Warriors to be ‘fanservice’ in the sense of appealing to the fans with nostalgia and favourites (think that one Yu-Gi-Oh! movie that was pretty much just ‘what if the protagonists all met up and worked together?!’), so I want it to fulfil that purpose for more than just the fans of Awakening and Fates. It’s possible Warriors will take the route of some sort of DLC packs for specific games, as was the case with Hyrule Warriors, but I know I for one will be sort of let-down if that’s the case. I’ll also be dirt-poor.


For all my complaining, I am really excited to have seen Xander’s Siegfried in the Warriors trailer because it means it’s definitely branching out from a ‘just the hero from every game’ approach which it easily could have taken (also because Xander is great). If it comes to a toss-up between Leo and Hector or something though, then I know who I feel is more deserving of a place. Unfortunately, the Fire Emblem Direct shed very little light on Warriors, so I will remain waiting desperately for a cast list.


Fire Emblem Warriors and Heroes Are Great for the Series, but Shouldn't Forget Its Rich Legacy

I’d been wondering if Nintendo were going to perhaps have some sort of ‘vote for who you want’ thing going on with Warriors, and it turns out that it’s emerged as part of Heroes. This is a fantastic idea, and I’m extremely happy to see the absolutely extensive list of characters from across the series that you can vote in to get special art. Part of me still wonders if there’ll be some sort of fan influence over who makes it into Warriors. It’s only due to fan demand for Marth that he and Roy made it into Super Smash Bros. Melee in the first place, which ultimately sparked interest in the series globally and kickstarted international releases, so it’s not an impossible concept, but at this stage I can’t really decide if it would be good or bad anyway.


Fire Emblem Warriors and Heroes Are Great for the Series, but Shouldn't Forget Its Rich Legacy

Fire Emblem has always had a troubled localisation history in the west, and Warriors and Heroes have the potential to help bring that history forward. In many ways, their release will mark a huge step as far as the series is concerned. I’m perhaps just as nervous as excited. It’s an uncomfortable position to be in when you go straight from ‘they’re doing something with this thing I like!’ to ‘please don’t mess up this thing I like!’. In some cases, you even end up at ‘please stop doing things with this thing I like’ and I don’t want Fire Emblem to ever end up there. From the bulk of the news, though, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.


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