News Article

In Fire Emblem 3DS, Death Isn't Always Permanent

Posted by James Newton

It's up to you

The Fire Emblem series is probably best known for its "when it's gone, it's gone" approach to units: if they die in battle, they're gone for ever. That's not the case in every Fire Emblem game though: Japan-only DS remake Fire Emblem: Hero of Light and Shadow let you turn this feature on or off, and that option returns in the forthcoming Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS.

Awakening comes with a Classic mode, whereby felled units stay felled, and a Casual mode that resurrects any dead units for use in the next battle. If either of these two sound too easy, there are three difficulty levels ranging from Normal to Lunatic, so the game should still provide a healthy challenge.

The news comes a few days after we learnt Fire Emblem 3DS will have a custom unit creator and Dual mode in battles.


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User Comments (68)



Aviator said:

Yay! Now I don't have to feel bad about killing everybody!
If only I knew what they were saying...



Bass_X0 said:

I restart the battle every time I lose a character. How is that looked upon by the Fire Emblem community?



Shiryu said:

Thank God! There's "hardcore" and the there was Fire Emblem. Nightmares for letting people die in these! No more!



Bankai said:

I won't be using that setting, that's for sure.

Good to see Nintendo offering an easy mode for the newbs, though.



Denkou said:

Glad they included this option. I would never consider using it, but I am glad they put it in for newcomers to the series.



RevolverLink said:

I'm obsessive about keeping everyone alive in the Fire Emblem games.

Which is probably why I've never made it to the end of any of them.



Dynetheous said:

this is stupid, if you cant beat it without someone dieing, then you need better strategy skills.
(playing on hard is the only time when someone should die)




I love the fact that death is permanent, however when I lose someone on the Wii Fire Emblem I usually reset the game and restart the battle, so turning permanent deaths off would be an advantage!

I just wish I could make it through the game without a death!!!



JayceJa said:

non-perma-death as an option is great, so long as it is a separate option to difficulty



Azikira said:

Hurray, now I wont take 47 days to finish 1 map just so nobody will die!~



kyuubikid213 said:

I won't be using this feature... I lose units in Sacred Stones all the time, but if they die, I end up being more careful later on. If they always came back, there would be no consequence for letting characters die and that is stupid.



Raptor78 said:

I was always terribly anal about fire emblem... if one of my units was killed I had to stop the mission and keep playing... playing and playing again until I could complete it without anybody dying. No one gets left behind. lol

Dont know if I would use the casual option though, because that was always part of the fun trying to keep them alive even if it ment playing the same mission dozens of times until you were able to do it was all part of the Fire Emlbem experience.

Should be good for people who havnt played the series before because it can be off putting when you lose a well loved and experienced until for the first time.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Good for those that play the game mainly because of the story. They won't have to invest so much precious time anymore If they don't want to miss a thing.

@AutumnShantel(#15): You still can. James mentioned it's only optional to turn off perma-deaths.



Cia said:

First super guide and now this. What next, a win button? Seriously, the whole point of FE is trying to keep your group alive, and that alone creates the whole intensity of the game. Ok, it's optional to use the resurrection, but now that the option is there, why wouldn't i just use it? This is pathetic... who are they creating these nowadays? I would have beaten games like Fire Emblem when i was 7, like everyone would with determination.



alLabouTandroiD said:

@Faron: Keep in mind that this option might interest more people in the game. The more successful the game, the likelier it is to release in the West.
Even if you assume that it comes to Eustralica anyway the more money they make the more they can invest in its successor. Which could very well make that a better game in the end.



Spoony_Tech said:

Yeah if you're a fan of the series then this is not going to be used. However for new comers then that's perfect. I wont be using it for sure as I've learned to be extremely careful! Still die from time to time though. They should really make it permanent and save your game upon dying!



ueI said:

Wow. Nintendo's really trying to cater to casuals like me.



NintyMan said:

As someone who would be new to this, I think this would be a good idea. I wouldn't do it if I was a seasoned fan, but it would be nice to have the option so newcomers could start out easy. I played the beginning of Sacred Stones for the Ambassador program and felt overly cautious because I didn't want to lose an ally too soon.



BenAV said:

To me that was always just part of Fire Emblem, so I'll definitely play with the normal settings.
Good that they added this mode for those who want it though.



RevolverLink said:

I doubt I'll ever take advantage of it, even though I could probably use it since I'm really bad at strategy games, but I appreciate its inclusion. I never used the Super Guide in other Nintendo games, because of my pride and because it's more rewarding to me to persevere without it, but if the option makes them a little more accessible and appealing to other gamers, and thus encouraged Nintendo more of those games, I don't see the harm.

There are small demerits for taking advantage of it in those games, but it doesn't withhold content from the player, which I generally think is a good thing. As long as this is optional (which it is), I'm fine with it.



NintenHero said:

Sorry... but I'm rollin' with Classic Mode difficulty Lunatic. C'mon, any real Fire Emblem player/True Gamer would leave permanent death on (unless you're bad at strategy games or some other reasonable reason that's understandable).



Objection said:

Gotta be honest, I'd prolly use this. I'm also anal about keeping people alive, but restarting levels over and over for that meant I only finished half the FE's I played. So in order to just enjoy the game, I might try this.



pixelman said:

YES. I like Fire Emblem games but I hate perma-deaths. Every time I lose a unit I feel like I have to start over, and that gets insanely tedious.




retro_player_22 said:

Good that they make this optional, although I hate permanent deaths, I do like the challenge so I won't be using the non-permanent death option as it would feel non-Fire Emblem if I do so. By playing it non-permanent, it'll feel just like every other strategy game.



SaSoBe said:

I'm totally going to use this. Wasn't planning to buy this, but now I will. And it will be the first Fire Emblem I actually finish. I like the characters and story of Fire Emblem, but I'm not very good with strategy games, and I can't stand losing someone, even if I don't even like the character...



AVahne said:

So they this kept option from FE12 huh? Well, it's called Casual Mode for a reason, mostly for the casual and newbie players.
I'm using Classic like many Fire Emblem fans would (not all of them), I personally love the perma-death feature, it makes the game a bit more challenging and makes the characters matter much more. It's one of the things that makes Fire Emblem what it is.



AVahne said:

That's a part of playing Fire Emblem. You're one of us now

Personally, I hope they add SOME kind of punishment for casuals. FE12 made it so you couldn't do a base conversation with a character who died in the previous chapter and something else, give a slightly more severe punishment this time, like making it so the dead character not playable for one chapter. Or decrease their stats by half for one chapter.
My my, I'm being mean to the newer players.



bonesy91 said:

good. I hated how if the character dies he was gone. I always restarted if that happened (hey I was going for 100% completion) and also I hope they let us level our characters outside of the main missions (I don't want 40 balanced weak characters... I want all characters maxed out)

one of my two wishes came true



CanisWolfred said:

Finally, maybe now I can enjoy a Fire Emblem game. This is a feature that's been a Looooong time coming.



Popyman said:

This game just keeps sounding better! I like how they are making it easier for newcomers while still leaving in the classic FE perma-death and challenge for those who want it.



kkslider5552000 said:

@NintenHero "True Gamer" Yes, because obviously anyone who disagrees with your 1337 gamer skills doesn't deserve to play video games. Thank you sir, for your wisdom has given me so much insight in the error of my ways just because I don't want to repeat the same map (that takes forever) over and over again just because I didn't have the best leveling up ideas because a strategy game needed the ability to have attacks miss randomly at times. Bravo sir, your gamer skills prove how much of a superior person you are to us failures of human beings. I demand an applause for your extreme greatness!



Doma said:

Great, so you can just use any character as a decoy then, without risk.... really pointless feature, imo.

Aren't the difficulty settings enough? pick the lowest if you suck.



Malkeor said:

Ha...that is what I actually hated about Fire Emblem games.
Good thing there is an option.



Noire said:

I played Fire Emblem before there was a casual option. is shot

If it makes it easier for people on the fence to pick it up and gets more people to play it, thereby increasing the likelihood of the games being localized, then I'm all for it. Then again we never did get New Mystery of the Emblem, so I'm kind of skeptical... just bring the damn game over, NoA.



Gamesake said:

Choosing who lives and who dies in battle was the greatest part of the fun. FE always gave you way too many characters for that reason. It's not like Warsong where every man counts.



SomeBitTripFan said:

I need the option to go to previous battles. I forgot to get Cormag on Eirika's path so I'm one man short. Permanent death is not great. It encourages using weak team members to level them up without risk. I want to carefully move Amelia where I want then have her kill a weak enemy and receive the reward of a human tank.



bassem182 said:

Am I the only one who used to think the deaths can be part of the game story itself, with the characters epically sacrificing themselves for the sake of the others continuing... especially with their death one-liners
I will keep perma-death and will never restart if a character dies unless it's one of my absolute favorites dying because of a stupid mistake then i just live with my shame and restart



Jave said:

Here's something a lot of people don't know. In FE12 (the 2nd DS FE) if you play on Casual Mode, any characters that you let die will have their scenes missing from the ending. Meaning that even though you still were allowed to keep the characters as playable units, they're still removed from the story.



CanisWolfred said:


It doesn't matter how easy or hard it is, restarting a battle just because you've permanantly lost a character you've been raising is frustrating to the max. There's a reason no other modern strategy RPG uses that feature. It just adds an unnecessary level of stress, and many people find these games prohibitive because of it. It should've been optional years, no, generations ago.



Digiki said:

Without permanent death FE loses a lot of its soul, and becomes closer to any old strategy game.
Permanent death ends up making players be more strategic because there are consequences for poor decisions. Due to the added pressure to play smart, it became quite easy to develop better tactics, with characters reviving after every chapter all semblance of difficulty would be gone.



XXITheWorld said:

I love how nintendo is slowly killing its games with win buttons

First Mario 3d land which rewards you with an invincibility suit for failing and now Fire Emblem that ditches the "try to keep your team alive" and goes for "meh just do whatever you can resurrect them" approach. Really, it seems that nowadays its obligatory for a game to be beatable by a 3 year old without effort.

When I was a kid, I would get stuck on bosses or levels of some games and be unable to get past them for months, and when I would finally beat it I would be really proud of myself. When replaying these games and getting to these segments I have chills of memories from my childhood and I'm like "oh damn it's this part". If any level of a game can be beaten in 5 minutes, then the game will not make an impression and not be memorable

Stop making non-casual games casual, it's not like Fire Emblem was this hardcore anyways, but at least keep the bit of difficulty that gave it a little edge and made it fun to play



JayceJa said:

id actually consider using the casual mode if we actually got lunacy mode in the game

hard mode in the other games wasnt hard enough to warrant it really



MeloMan said:

I won't look down upon the mode, it will find it's audience.. I however will continue to accept the fact that if all my units don't survive the level, I must start it over completely-- it's all or nothing for me.



chronicler said:

Though I've only ever played about 3 chapters in the Ambassador-released Fire Emblem, I like the inclusion of the easier mode (by choice). I've noticed Nintendo including more things like this and I encourage it. I like the fact that I can decide whether or not to use it in a game, as I didn't in Super Mario Galaxy 2 or New Super Mario Bros Wii, but did in Ocarina 3D (since it was my first Legend of Zelda title) and now I've become a fan. Personally, I would probably just move on in this game, unless I grew attached to a character.



Late said:

I didn't know that this many people likes to restart the chapter when someone dies.
I've been playing Sacred Stones and if someone gets killed it's my fault. I let him/her die and when someone is dead he/she is dead. You can't just go back in time and try again.
These are still very good news to those who don't like when their characters die and a good way to get some more people try Fire Emblem series.



Aerona said:

Cool, I think it'll be nice to have that option, of course I'll keep it the way it was.



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

I would love that considered that my bro also plays the same file as me sometimes. If an important character I was training dies and I save at the point that they had die in battle I'd have to restart the entire file. That would be a welcomed feature to the series in my book.



AVahne said:

Looks like a lot of people will love this feature, guess it'll bring in more players.
Then my 9 year old little bro must be a man already. I started letting him play (he likes playing games that I like to play) when he was 7 years old and even though he agrees to play on easy, he doesn't like the thought of a casual mode.



Son said:

I hope this game will be released in North America. I like strategy-based RPG since Jeanne D'Arc (PSP). I'm a newbie to Fire Emblem series and I was impressed of its game trailer and gameplay.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I´ve started to love Fire Emblem, I´ll probably go classic mode but it´s nice to have choice. I like how death matters in these games. It makes the struggle feel more important whan you know the fate of the characters lay in your hands.

Nice to see they´ve returned to a more traditional look for the game, the Shirow artwork for Shadow Dragon was so grey and dull...

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