Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (リンカーン VS エイリアン Rinkan Basasu Eirian, Lincoln vs. Aliens) is a turn-based strategy game on the Nintendo 3DS. The game was developed by Intelligent Systems and released on March 13, 2015 in North America, May 14th, 2015 in Japan, and May 15, 2015 in Europe.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy game set in a steampunk version of mid-1800s America. Unlike Fire Emblem, which utilizes a strictly turn-based gameplay structure where actions are determined by moving characters through a grid-based map and using menu commands, S.T.E.A.M. features gameplay more akin to strategy titles such as Sega's Valkyria Chronicles series. The player takes direct active control of a unit during their turn and can freely move and act so long as they have energy in their Steam Gauge.
Relation to Fire Emblem
As the developers for the game, Intelligent Systems added amiibo compatibility for four Fire Emblem amiibo produced for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Each must be scanned into the game via Near Field Communication on the New Nintendo 3DS or through a scanner accessory for the original Nintendo 3DS. Unlike the other characters in game, if a Fire Emblem character falls in a level, they cannot be revived at a checkpoint. However they can be resummoned after a level has been completed by scanning their amiibo figure again.
Marth wields the Falchion which deals heavy damage per swing. He also wields a Rapier to strike weak spots much more easily and effectively. Marth's special ability in game is Lodestar which heals a substantial amount of health to his nearby allies. His passive Ability is Destiny, which lets him absorb overwatch attacks without taking damage (though you still may lose steam if you moved)
Ike wields Ragnell which retains its signature ability to launch shockwaves at distant enemies. He also wields Urvan which deals heavy damage to a wide area around him. Ike's signature ability is Aether which heavily damages enemies in front of Ike. Ike also has an additional ability to push objects, enemies, or even player characters (the only other character to use this ability is the game's protagonist, Henry Fleming).
Robin wields a Levin Sword, which calls a bolt of lightning that stuns enemies within range, preventing them from using overwatch attacks. He also uses an Arcfire tome, which blasts far away enemies with a fire blast, dealing heavy damage. Robin's special ability is Thoron where he fires off a beam of lighting in front of himself. Robin's passive is Tactician, which raises the strength of critical attacks.
Lucina wields her Parallel Falchion and the Nidhogg bow to attack distant enemies. Lucina's special ability is Awakening which causes her to lunge forward, dashing in a straight line and attacking enemies as she moves.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. was released to largely mixed reviews, with the most common issues cited being a punishing level of difficulty combined with a plodding pace. The criticism of the game's pacing led Intelligent Systems to release a patch adding the ability to fast-forward through enemy turns. Upon release, the game was a commercial flop, and is rumored to have only sold 31,000 units in North America during its first month. Sales in Japan were also poor, as the game failed to chart in the top twenty for the week of its release.
The game was also caught up in Gamergate, a controversial movement where women in game development, media, and journalism, as well as their supporters, were routinely harassed online under the pretense of their harassers seeking "ethics in game journalism." Prior to the release of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., Nintendo ran an ad campaign with Wil Wheaton, the voice of Abraham Lincoln and vocal critic of Gamergate abusers. Upon the game's release, it was publicly acknowledged that the game's protagonist, Henry Fleming, was voiced by Adam Baldwin, a prominent supporter of Gamergate, as well as the figure widely credited for coining the term 'Gamergate' in August of 2014. Review embargo documentation Nintendo distributed to media outlets reportedly requested that reviews of Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. not mention members of the game's cast by name.
- In honor of twenty-five years of Fire Emblem, art director Takao Sakai illustrated Marth, Caeda, Jagen, Abel, Draug, Cain, Gordin, Norne, and Frey for the Intelligent Systems Official Staff Book in Code Name S.T.E.A.M. style.
- Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is the first game to feature Marth with English voice acting.