Fire Emblem Fates (ファイアーエムブレムif Faia Emuburemu Ifu, Fire Emblem if in Japan), is a Japanese tactical role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS, developed by Intelligent Systems, and published by Nintendo. It is the fourteenth game in the Fire Emblem series. It was released in Japan on June 25, 2015 and internationally in 2016. Furthermore, Fire Emblem Fates is a first title in the franchise that will be officially released in South Korea. The game is rated C (CERO) in Japan, T (ESRB) in America, and 12 (PEGI) in Europe.
This title features the first title split, in which two different versions of the game exist, each one with a unique story. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (ファイアーエムブレムif 白夜王国 Fire Emblem if Byakuya Oukoku Fire Emblem if: White Night Kingdom) follows the story of the Avatar, joining the Kingdom of Hoshido and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest (ファイアーエムブレムif 暗夜王国, Fire Emblem if Anya Oukoku Fire Emblem if: Dark Night Kingdom) which follows the story of the Avatar, joining the Kingdom of Nohr instead. A limited edition version was released containing both story-lines plus a third story-line titled Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation (ファイアーエムブレムif インビジブル・キングダム Fire Emblem if Invisible Kingdom), also released as DLC and involves the player aligning with neither kingdom. It has been released concurrent with the other versions. A special themed Nintendo 3DS has been released with the game.
Development and Release
Fire Emblem Fates was first revealed in the January 2015 Nintendo Direct worldwide and was released in Japan on June 25, 2015. It is developed by the same team that created the previous title; Fire Emblem Awakening and Yūsuke Kozaki designed the characters of the game as well. Manga writer Shin Kibayashi has joined the writing team. According to Satoru Iwata during the Nintendo Direct, the player will have to make numerous choices during the game that will affect the overall story. Unlike past games where choices had little effect on the story, these will be larger choices, and the player will face greater challenges.
In the April 2015 Nintendo Direct it was revealed that the game will revolve around two kingdoms about to enter a great war with each other: the peace-loving country of Hoshido and the glory-seeking country of Nohr. The player will have to choose a country to represent, changing the story overall and will affect the difficulty, which is predetermined by the version of the game bought. There are two versions of the game, each one following a specific story line. Birthright follows the Hoshido storyline which is designed to be friendly for all players, returning or new. Conquest follows the Nohr storyline which is designed to be much more challenging. At the beginning of Chapter 6, the player will have to choose their faction. DLC will be available for all versions of Fates in which the storyline not chosen will be playable on that copy of the game. A third storyline option was also released as DLC sometime after release which revolves around the player choosing neither side. A special edition of the game containing all three paths is available, also after launch of the original two.
Japanese video game website 4Gamer posted an interview with the Fates development team on April 28, 2015. The interview covered a few more details regarding the storyline. The Hoshido route is designed to be more like Awakening, allowing players to train units outside of battle. The Nohr route will be more challenging with less funds and experience on top of more diverse victory tactics compared to Awakening. Players can also adjust the difficulty of the Nohr route if it becomes too difficult. All versions of the game will be the same about 1/6th of the way through, up to Chapter 6, but the rest of the game for all three versions will be different. The idea of choice in the game was inspired from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and its remake Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon where the player was given the choice between recruiting Samson or Arran, but not both. A third route was also created to give the players an option of not vilifying one side. Details about the third storyline were slightly discussed, revealing that the difficulty of the third route is between the Hoshido and Nohr routes.
In the E3 2015 Digital Event, Fire Emblem Fates's official localized name was revealed. GameInformer, in June 2015, revealed that like Japan, North America will receive two different versions called Birthright for the Hoshido side and Conquest for the Nohr side. The November 2015 Nintendo direct confirmed that North America would also receive a special edition containing all three storyline routes. Customers with this version will have Revelation available from the launch date. Alternatively, customers who buy the split versions have the option to buy the opposite storyline at a reduced cost and Revelation. Revelation was not available for non-Special Edition copies until March 10, 2016. The first wave of DLC was also confirmed for Fates and can be bought in its entirety for a reduced cost or separately for full price. Like Awakening, these DLC packs will be released on a weekly basis.
Fire Emblem Fates was released in South Korea, making the first Fire Emblem game to be translated into the Korean language, although this game has English voices only while retaining the Japanese confessions.
Thousands of years ago, a great war between the First Dragons took place, causing great destruction. One dragon decided to involve humans into the war by forging legendary weapons to end the war. While successful, this unfortunately introduced war to the humans. In the present, Fire Emblem Fates primarily takes place on an unnamed continent ruled by two large kingdoms: Hoshido and Nohr. The royal families of both kingdoms in the present are the descendants of the Dawn Dragon and Dusk Dragon respectively. A third central location is the hidden kingdom of Valla, a place only accessible through the Bottomless Canyon. Once ruled by humans, it is now ruled by the dragon Anankos, who is under different guises in Hoshido and Nohr to provoke war. In the Hidden Truths DLC, it is revealed that Anankos was formerly a kind dragon who gave wisdom to humanity, but his growing power and inability to ascend to the spirit realm with the world's other dragons began corrupting him. After he killed Valla's king in an uncontrolled fit of bestial rage, he finally went mad: his remaining sanity and kindness took temporary shelter in a human form and fathered the Avatar before dying, while his dragon self began an insane crusade to destroy humanity. Several years prior to the start of Fates, Hoshido's King Sumeragi is ambushed by Nohr's King Garon during a fake peace treaty talk between the nation and is killed. King Garon kidnaps Sumeragi's young child, the Avatar, and decides to raise them to serve his purposes. Meanwhile, back in Hoshido, without their king, Sumeragi's wife Mikoto becomes the new ruler of the kingdom.
The Avatar, child of Garon, King of Nohr, is a young member of the Nohrian Royal Family who had been living in isolation for years in Northern Fortress. The Avatar was frequently visited by their siblings: Xander, the crown prince of Nohr, Camilla, the eldest princess, Leo, the youngest prince, and Elise, the youngest princess. After spending many years training to win Garon's approval to leave the fortress, King Garon allows them to leave the fortress and serve him, first by executing prisoners captured from the neighboring kingdom of Hoshido. When they refused to execute them, Garon tasks them to scout an abandoned outpost at the Bottomless Canyon, a vast canyon separating Nohr from Hoshido. At the canyon, the Avatar and their retainer Gunter are betrayed by Hans, a Nohrian ruffian, who attacks Gunter, sending him into the Bottomless Canyon. Enraged, the Avatar discovers their latent dragon traits, but before they can exact their vengeance, they are flung into the canyon by the Ganglari, a sword gifted to them by King Garon. Suddenly Lilith, another retainer, appears and rescues them, not only bringing them to the Astral Realm, but also revealing her true dragon form.
Upon returning back to the Bottomless Canyon, the Avatar is knocked out by Rinkah and returned to Castle Shirasagi by Kaze. There, the Avatar meets the Hoshidan Queen, Mikoto. Upon arrival, the Queen hugs the Avatar, revealing that they are her lost child, kidnapped by Nohr many years ago. The Avatar is stunned by the revelation and decides to wander around a bit to collect their thoughts. At a nearby lake, they meet a mysterious blue-haired singer named Azura, who reveals that she was a Nohrian princess who was kidnapped by Hoshido and raised as a princess. Over the course of a few days, the Avatar reunites with their other blood siblings including Ryoma, the crown prince of Hoshido, Hinoka, the eldest princess, Takumi the youngest prince, and Sakura, the youngest princess. Mikoto decides to announce the return of her child to the people of Hoshido at the Castle Town. There, a mysterious hooded figure takes the Ganglari from the Avatar and uses it to induce an explosion, destroying the town and claiming the lives of many Hoshido civilians, including Mikoto. Grief-stricken by the death of their mother, the Avatar's draconic heritage runs wild, causing them to degenerate into a mindless dragon. After driving away the hooded figure, Azura manages to quell the rage of the Avatar with a mysterious song. Now surrounded by the destruction that they had inadvertently caused, the statue in the middle of the town had been destroyed, revealing that a sword was hidden inside. The sword mysteriously levitates and flings itself at the Avatar, choosing them to be its wielder. Ryoma reveals that the Yato has chosen the Avatar to bear a great destiny to change the world.
With the death of the queen, the magical barrier she erected, protecting Hoshido from years of attacks from Nohr, has dissipated, allowing the Nohrian army to invade. With war now inevitable between the two kingdoms, Hoshido launches its army into battle. At the Plains of Hoshido, the two armies meet, lead by the two kingdom's respective royal families. Having spent years in Nohr as a child of the Royal Family, the Nohrian Royal Siblings beckon for the Avatar to return to them and fight for the glory of Nohr. Meanwhile, the Hoshido Royal Siblings beckon the Avatar to return to them to fight to protect Hoshido and stay with their newly reunited blood sibblings. Standing at the crossroads of a major decision, which side with the Avatar choose? Will they return to Nohr, will they stay with Hoshido, or will they perhaps find another path? The choice is yours.
The Avatar, unwilling to return to the heartless king who caused the deaths of countless innocent civilians decides to stay with the Hoshido siblings and fights to protect Hoshido. Despite the Nohrian Royal Sibling's protests, they remain with Hoshido, eventually repelling them from the battlefield.
"Just a minute! The following section contains spoilers, viewing it will cost a lot. Are you prepared to pay for it?"
Birthright starts off with the Avatar going throughout Hoshido, protecting the citizens from the Nohrian army. During their travels, they receive news from Hinoka, eldest princess of Hoshido, that both Hoshidan princes Ryoma and Takumi have gone missing. After gathering more forces throughout Hoshido, they are eventually reunited with Takumi shortly before the Hoshidan army decides to take the fight to Nohr to end the war.
In Nohr, the Avatar seeks out the Rainbow Sage, a powerful sage who is said to grant power to those who brave his test. The Avatar becomes the fourth individual to ever succeed his trial and unlocks the ability to power up the Yato. However, since only Takumi is present in the army, the Avatar unlocks a part of its power thanks to the resonation between the blade and Takumi's Fujin Yumi. The Hoshidan army later teams up with a Nohrian resistance army bent on ending King Garon's tyrannical rule and reunites with Ryoma who had been assisting the resistance.
With the Hoshidan army in full force, they begin their assault on the Norhian capital. However, along the way, the Avatar is faced with numerous tragedies including the deaths of Flora and Lilith. During their final assault of Castle Krakenburg, the Avatar is forced to duel Xander alone. After a tumultuous battle, the Xander nearly executes the Avatar, however Elise, unwilling to see her two beloved siblings fight, intercepts the fatal strike and expires in Xander's arms. Despite the result, Xander continues to fight the Avatar, but merely allows the Avatar to defeat him. Fatally wounded and fully aware of King Garon's madness, he tasks the Avatar with defeating Garon before he dies.
At the climax of Birthright the Avatar confronts Garon in the Royal Chamber and manages to defeat him. However, Garon transforms in to a Blight Dragon, brakes the Yato and fatally wounds the Avatar. Left unconscious, the Avatar is visited by Flora, Lilith, Xander, and Elise who encourage the Avatar to return and continue to fight back. The Avatar is also encouraged by the voice of the Hoshidan Army, whose pleas spur them to stand back up. Now fully recovered, they reforge the Yato and unlocks its full potential thanks to its resonation with the Raijinto, creating the Blazing Yato. The Hoshidan army proceeds to fight Garon with Azura who uses her special song to weaken him. After a lengthy battle, the Avatar, Azura, and the Hoshidan army finally takes down Garon. Azura, who had overtaxed herself by singing her special song throughout Birthright, dissolves into water as she thanks the Avatar for ending the war.
With the death of the king, the war between Hoshido and Nohr ends. Now with both kingdoms at peace and without rulers, Ryoma takes it upon himself to take his rightful place as King of Hoshido. At his ascension, Camila and Leo also come to the ceremony. Camila announces that she has relinquished her title as rightful ruler of Nohr, making Leo the new King of Nohr. At the newly rebuilt Castle Town, a statue of Mikoto has been erected. The Hoshidan siblings vow to continue to restore peace to the world to the statue of their mother, with the Avatar continuing to help.
The Avatar, having unanswered questions, decides to side with Nohr in order to learn more about King Garon's intentions. Despite the Hoshidan Royal Family's plea for them to reconsider, the Avatar remains stalwart with their decision and the Nohrian Royal Siblings help to repel the Hoshidan royal family. Victorious of their first battle, the Nohrian royal family returns to Castle Krakenburg with the Avatar in tow, much to Garon's displeasure in their return.
"Just a minute! The following section contains spoilers, viewing it will cost a lot. Are you prepared to pay for it?"
Wanting to test their loyalty, Garon tasks the Avatar with quelling a rebellion at the Ice Tribe alone among other tasks, each one more grueling on the Avatar's faith and beliefs of not wanting to cause unnecessary bloodshed. Iago, King Garon's tactician, orchestrates much hardships for the Avatar throughout Conquest, but the Avatar pulls through each attempt. After rescuing the Rainbow Sage at Notre Sagesse, he unlocks the Yato's power, allowing it to resonate with Leo's Brynhildr, achieving the Grim Yato form, but not the full power of the blade yet. The Rainbow Sage proceeds to commit suicide to prevent his power from being further used.
Garon, pleased by the Avatar's supposed actions for the sake of Nohr, finally allows them to follow him closely, tasking them to fight for Nohr's conquest of Hoshido. At the Opera House a mysterious songstress causes great pain in King Garon through her dance, prompting the capture and slaughtering of all songstresses and dancers in Cyrkensia. The Avatar eventually follows Azura to a lake where they watch as she descends and disappears into the depths. The Avatar follows suit and winds up in a mysterious world and reunites with Gunter, who had miraculously survived his fall. There Azura helps them return back to their world. Azura shows the Avatar an orb, showing King Garon's true form, a horrendous water demon. Azura tells the Avatar that they need to make Garon sit on the throne in Castle Shirasagi, as the throne is said to reveal a person's true form.
The Avatar travels with the Nohrian Army, now in full force, as they proceed to conquer the Hoshidan territories. During their entrance to the Hoshidan capital, Iago orchestrates another attack on the Eternal Stairway, resulting in the death of Lilith who took a fatal blow from a Faceless ambush. The Avatar is forced to fight each of the Royal Siblings, though they do their best to spare their lives. Sakura is fought first, but the Avatar defeats her forces and takes her as a prisoner of war to protect her. They encounter Takumi next, who is defeated, but after the battle, even though he was not fatally wounded, flings himself off the fort. Finally, just outside of Castle Shirasagi, Hinoka makes a final stand, but she too is defeated. The Avatar decides to spare her and tells her to hide until the end of the war, but takes her bloodied naginata as "proof" of her execution.
The Nohrian Army finally arrives as Castle Shirasagi where they make the final assault to get Garon to the throne. There the Avatar presents Hinoka's naginata to Garon as proof of her demise. Iago voices his distrust, but Garon believes them and silences Iago. Inside, they encounter Ryoma, who acts as the final defense. Iago throws Hinoka's naginata and tells Ryoma that the Avatar killed her, which they begrudgingly are forced to lie that Hinoka was slain by them. Enraged by the Avatar's actions, Ryoma engages the Avatar in a one-on-one duel. Despite a grueling duel, the Avatar barely emerges victorious. As Ryoma lays defeated, the Avatar tells Ryoma that Hinoka is alive, much to Ryoma's relief. King Garon appears and orders the Avatar to execute Ryoma. Knowing that the Avatar's good will remains and that the Avatar will die if they do not execute him, Ryoma performs seppuku to spare them the agony. With the death of Ryoma, Garon heads to the Throne Room to finish his conquest, but forbids his children from entering.
Outside, Iago attempts to murder the Avatar, but the Nohrian Royal Siblings intervene and decide to take down the traitorous Iago as well as Hans for staining the glory of Nohr with their underhanded schemes. With Iago's death, the Avatar reveals that Garon has been dead and the one they have been with is nothing more than a puppet to a greater force. Despite their disbelief in the Avatar's claim, they decide to enter the Throne chamber where they see Garon's true form. The siblings are saddened by this revelation and take up arms to finally put down their "father." The Avatar attempts to attack Garon, but the Yato is not strong enough. Suddenly, Xander's Siegfried resonates with the Yato, unlocking its final form, the Shadow Yato. With the power of the Shadow Yato and the army "Garon" is defeated for good. Suddenly, Takumi makes a sudden appearance, wreathed in a mysterious miasma. Using his bow, he shatters the Avatar's Yato and knocks them unconscious. In a dream, the Avatar encounters Lilith, Mikoto, and Ryoma, who encourages them to finish the fight. Takumi also appears, stating that the "Takumi" they were facing is no more than another puppet for the same mysterious force controlling Garon. Takumi tasks them with defeating the shell of his body and laments that they could have fought together in another path. Spurred further by the forces of the Nohrian army, the Avatar recovers and proceeds to fight alongside the army. Throughout the battle, Azura uses her song to weaken Takumi and thanks to her efforts alongside the Avatar and the Nohrian army, Takumi is finally put to rest. However, Azura mysteriously vanished after the battle, likely dissolving into water much like she did in Birthright.
After the war, peace has been restored to both Hoshido and Nohr. With both nations without their former rulers, Xander takes it upon himself to ascend the throne and take his place as the new King of Nohr. Hinoka and Sakura safely survived the war and were set free. With the death of Ryoma and Takumi, Hinoka becomes the new Queen of Hoshido and a new peace treaty has been established between the kingdoms. Though the Avatar is happy with their success in ending the war, much of their actions are still despised by the people of Hoshido and are still guilt-ridden by these actions. Nevertheless, the Avatar vows to continue to spread peace for the world, now with his Nohrian siblings by their side.
The Avatar, unable to bear the thought of fighting both of their families, decides to not ally with either. After taking down the lead commanders of the Nohrian and Hoshidan armies, both perceive this act as treason and the Avatar is forced to flee.
"Just a minute! The following section contains spoilers, viewing it will cost a lot. Are you prepared to pay for it?"
Azura brings them to the Bottomless Canyon where she makes them jump with her. They arrive in the kingdom of Valla, where Azura is finally able to reveal the secrets of the kingdom and its role behind the conflict between Hoshido and Nohr. With the identity of the true enemy known, Azura encourages the Avatar to get the armies of Nohr and Hoshido to cooperate in order to battle the Kingdom of Valla and its ruler, the dragon Anankos.
The Avatar travels through Hoshido and Nohr, gathering forces from both nations by gaining their trust. At Notre Sagesse, the Rainbow Sage unlocks the power of the Yato, transforming it into the Alpha Yato. Though not fully powered, the Avatar now has the means to stop Anankos. At the climax of the first half, both crown princess decide to join the Avatar's quest, having found the strength of their bond with them enough to trust them. At the Bottomless Canyon, Ryoma and Xander form a truce between their nations in order to stop the Kingdom of Valla. As the armies jump into the Canyon, the Avatar is ambushed by a mysterious assailant, but Scarlet takes the blow for the Avatar and dies.
During their travels through Valla, the army encounters a Vallite boy, Anthony, who supposedly managed to escape Anankos' control, however this turns out to be a ploy and he betrays the army. However, he is swiftly dispatched once he is transformed into a Faceless when his failures upset Anankos. As the army approaches the Vallite castle, unrest begins to form due to a string of attacks on the army, hinting that someone may be a spy. They later encounter a resurrected and controlled Arete, Azura's mother. After battling her several times, she is finally defeated and freed from Anankos' control.
Now in full assault of the Castle, the Avatar encounters Mikoto, who is revived as another one of Anankos' puppets. After defeating her, Mikoto reveals that the Avatar is actually a member of the Vallite royalty. After, they encounter King Sumeragi, who is revealed to be the hooded man at the beginning of the game. Sumeragi is eventually brought down and expresses his pride in his children, knowing that they have the strength to end Anankos. Sumeragi also reveals that the Avatar is not his child, and that they have no blood connection to the Hoshidan royal siblings. At the throne room, a trap is set that affects everyone but the Avatar and Azura. Gunter surmises that the Avatar and Azura are the traitors because of their ties to Valla, however Gunter accidentally mentions information about Scarlet that could not have been known to anyone but the Avatar and whoever attacked her. Gunter then reveals that he was the traitor all along and attacks the player's army. However, the Avatar defeats him and forgives him, allowing him to return to service in their army.
At the climax of the game, Anankos makes a full appearance and attacks the army. He summons King Garon, who offers himself to be the vessel for Anankos, but Anankos devours him instead, regaining the lost power he had gifted him. The Avatar's Yato resonates with all four of their brother's weapons, transforming it into the Omega Yato, granting the full power to finally end Anankos. After a long fought battle, Anankos is finally slain, restoring peace to the world. The portal to Valla from the Bottomless Canyon is sealed, but Valla is reformed with land granted from Hoshido and Nohr. For their role in the war as the leader of the army, Azura relinquishes her birthright as the crown princess of Valla to the Avatar, making them the new monarch of the restored Valla. Hoshido and Nohr formally form an alliance with each other and vow to preserve peace throughout the world.
In the Hidden Truths DLC, it is revealed that Anankos split his soul in two, and his gentle personality took on human form. His human form fell in love with Mikoto and they had a child—the Avatar. It is also revealed that Lilith is a fragment of the dragon Anankos's rage, and Anankos calls her his child making her the Avatar's sister.
- The player can create an Avatar for the game.
- The player has more customizable options for their Avatar than in Awakening except for body size which has been reduced to two per gender.
- Female Avatars have special hair accessories.
- Special clothing similar to Shin Monsho no Nazo can be equipped on all units in the game via My Castle. These include hats, masks, clothes, and gloves which can be worn in battle and have a variety of stat boosts. Like classes, these will be absent in cinematic cutscenes.
- The Pair Up and Dual System functions from Awakening return under new tactics called Attack Stance and Guard Stance.
- In addition, the enemy can use the Attack Stance and Guard Stance unlike the enemies in Awakening, which did not use the Dual System at all.
- The game has voice acting, much like Awakening. However, dual audio is omitted.
- Each version of the game changes the format of overall gameplay outside of the storyline.
- The Birthright path offers unlimited opportunities for gold, and as such, experience. The player can level up characters outside of the storyline chapters by paying a fee to initiate a skirmish, similar to using a Reeking Box. Like Awakening, map victory conditions will mostly be either rout the enemy or defeat the boss.
- The Conquest path is more structured, with experience and funds being much more limited and more victory conditions are present such as defending a base, breaking through the enemy lines, and turn restrictions for certain maps.
- The Revelation path is a mid-set of difficulty between the first two paths; being more difficult than the Birthright path but less difficult than the Conquest path.
- Like in Conquest, certain conditions will be necessary to complete the map, but like Birthright, the majority objectives of the story are either rout the enemy or defeat the boss.
- Skirmishes are included, with unlimited gold like Birthright.
- All character classes from both paths are available. Also, all buildings available in My Castle in both paths are included as well.
- Skills make a return in the game and units can learn new skills as they level up.
- Each unit (excluding amiibo units and Einherjar) are given a Personal Skill that is unique to them and that will always be equipped. They also have 5 additional skill slots to equip whatever skill their character learns.
- Reclassing and Promotion Branching are featured in the game.
- All characters have one fixed reclassing option, reduced from two in Awakening.
- The Heart Seal allows a unit to reclass into their secondary class at the same tier, but does not reset levels nor can it demote a unit like the Second Seal.
- Units can gain more reclass options by using a Friendship Seal with a friend and a Partner Seal with their spouse.
- Should certain classes clash with another characters' secondary class, the one who A+ supports another with an incompatible class will instead gain a class parallel to the original.
- Monsters similar to the Risen, called Faceless, make an appearance.
- StreetPass makes a return, along with online features that work in a similar fashion.
- Casual Mode returns.
- Like Fire Emblem Gaiden, weapon durability is not featured in the game. However, staves retain their limited uses.
- Knives return from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn under a new weapon class: Shuriken.
- The Support system from Awakening returns with unique conversations.
- S-Supports and Marriage return alongside of second generation characters. Unlike Genealogy of the Holy War and Awakening, children are determined by their fathers while their hair colors are determined by their mothers.
- Marriage causes the two characters to share their respective classes or secondary classes with each other using Partner Seals. Children also adopt their parents' classes.
- Players can have same-sex S-Supports for their Avatar if they form one with Niles or Rhajat.
- A total of 9 save slots are available for the player to use in the special edition and eShop version of the game, 3 in the standalone Birthright and Conquest copies.
- Capture returns from Thracia 776, though completely reworked.
- Special DLC maps return with a variety of rewards for completing them. Characters appearing in these are Chrom, Lissa, Frederick, and Anna, Anna being recruitable in one of her appearances.
- Fates uses varying Weapon Ranks. Each class has a specific Weapon Rank maximum with S Rank obtainable to very specific classes.
- New weapons and equipment, including katana, naginata, yumi, clubs, scrolls, shuriken, and rods.
- Most classes are separated by routes, meaning that some are exclusive to a side.
- Nohrian classes: Nohr Prince/Princess, Maid, Butler, Malig Knight, Nohr Noble, Wolfskin and Wolfssegner.
- Hoshidan classes: Songstress, Oni Savage, Oni Chieftain, Priestess, Ninja, Mechanist, Master of Arms, Spear Fighter, Blacksmith, Basara, Great Master, Kinshi Knight, Master Ninja, Hoshido Noble, Kitsune and Nine-Tails.
- All classes are unisex such as the Sky Knight compared to the long running Pegasus Knight class which was female exclusive in all previous games.
- The cast of Fates is split in half. Half are playable in Conquest only while half are playable in Birthright only. Revelation allows almost all characters to be playable. However, ten characters are always available in all three routes.
- All royalty characters, including the Avatar, have the ability known as Dragon Vein, which allows them to alter the terrain at certain locations during Chapter and Paralogue battles.
- The DLC item First Blood allows all (non-bonus) units that consume it to utilize the Dragon Vein ability as well.
- Children of royal characters are also able to use Dragon Vein.
- A new mode called "Phoenix Mode" is introduced, which revives any fallen allied character on the next player phase.
- Gameplay mode style and difficulty can be lowered in the middle of a playthrough. Once lowered, difficulty and game mode style cannot be raised. Players can change from Classic Mode to Casual Mode but not in reverse. Phoenix Mode and Casual Mode can be switched back and forth. The storyline will be unaffected by gameplay mode changes.
- The Weapon Triangle has been revised. The triangle flow now works as follows:
- Sword and Magic > Axe and Bow > Lance and Shuriken > Sword and Magic
- Nearly all weapons have different effects that gives bonuses and penalties when used including stat bonuses during battles, stat penalties after battle, inability to double attack or critical, and the return of Weapon Triangle effectiveness reversal.
- A customizable home base called "My Castle" allows players to build their own village that is used for StreetPass features and a variety of other in game features.
- amiibo support for four of the Fire Emblem representatives in Super Smash Bros. characters: Ike, Marth, Robin, and Lucina, which will allow players to recruit each character, receive and buy unique Accessories, and unique weapons. Roy is not compatible with Fates nor is any Fire Emblem amiibo released after Fates.
- Warning features on specific enemies during a battle: A yellow warning means either that the unit(s) are carrying high critical hit rate weapons or that they are carrying weapons that deal extra damage to the support unit in a defensive stance, and red warning means the unit(s) are carrying weapons that deal bonus damage to the lead unit.
- A+ Support Ranks, which allows units to use Friendship Seals to be able to reclass into one of their friends' classes.
- Einherjar-esque bonus units are featured in Fates. These characters can be accessed via Fire Emblem Cipher TCG codes in Japan. It is unknown if the cipher codes will be available for international release. These cards include Marth, Lucina, and Minerva.
- Fates features an original song called Lost in Thoughts All Alone, essentially replacing the original Fire Emblem theme's role as the main theme song of the game; however, this theme is not completely absent from the game, as it can be heard for a few seconds in the games opening cut scene as well as most of the Revelation ending cutscene.
- Two players can create units called a "Bond Units" by trading accessories through visiting other players' castles.
- See main article: List of characters in Fire Emblem Fates.
- See main article: List of chapters in Fire Emblem Fates.
- See main article: List of classes in Fire Emblem Fates
In North America, Fates had a special Edition, which included both Birthright and Conquest, as well as early access to Revelation all on one cartridge . It included an 80-page art book with sketches and concept art, as well as an illustrated carrying pouch for the Nintendo 3DS. Pre-orders were taken for $79.99.
Nintendo of Europe's special edition includes all three games on one cartridge also, as well as a steelbook case, artbook and double-sided poster. Exclusive by GAME, pre-orders were taken for £69.99 ahead of the 20th May release.
The limited edition New Nintendo 3DS XL model (which doesn't include the games) was also up for pre-order for £179.99.