Fire Emblem Fates (Fire Emblem if in Japan) is the fourteenth mainline entry in Nintendo's long running strategy RPG franchise which was developed by Intelligent Systems and released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on June 25, 2015, with a 2016 release in western territories. The title is the first game in the series to be released in multiple versions with each edition having different storylines, units, and maps after the initial shared prologue. Fire Emblem Fates also marks the first time the game's protagonist (named Corrin by default) is the player-created character, who had previously only played a supporting role in past entries.
The two primary versions Fire Emblem Fates are Birthright and Conquest which were sold separately at retail, reminiscent of how Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons. A player who owns one version can get the other they didn't purchase as DLC for a reduced price alongside the third campaign, Revelation, which was later released exclusively as DLC. Alternatively a special edition of the game was released in Japan containing both Birthright and Conquest on a single cartridge along with a download code for Revelation. The Western release of the special edition contained all 3 versions on the cartridge, allowing people who purchased it the opportunity to play Revelation three weeks before it was available on the 3DS eShop.
- Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright follows the story where the protagonist sides with the Hoshido nation. It is aimed more at newcomers to the series or those who played Fire Emblem Awakening.
- Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest follows the story where the protagonist sides with the Nohr nation. It is more difficult than Birthright and is aimed at series veterans. Unlike the other two versions, it has no opportunities for the player to grind up their units' levels outside of story maps.
- Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation follows the story where the protagonist does not choose sides. From a gameplay perspective, it focuses on map-specific gimmicks. The game recommends the player play the DLC neutral path last in order to provide the best narrative experience, as many story elements can only be experienced in either Birthright or Conquest. Unlike the other two campaigns, Revelation is not sold as its own retail game but instead as DLC for either version.
Reworked Weapon Triangle
The series' iconic weapon triangle has been changed in Fates from previous iterations, with all weapon types excluding beaststones now occupying a space on the triangle. Instead of Swords -> Axes -> Lances -> Swords, the triangle now accommodates Magic, Bows and new weapon type Kunai. Now Swords and Tomes beat Axes and Bows, which beat Lances and Kunai which beat Swords and Tomes. The only weapon types in the game that are neutral against all other weapons are Beaststones and Dragonstones.
My Castle is a new area of the game that acts as a hub for the player between chapters. In their castle, the player can acquire resources, which they can use to build different buildings like Armories, Shops and Hot Springs. The appearance, theme music, attendant, and name of the player's castle can be customized. The castle ties into the StreetPass and Online features as well as with the player being able to visit other castles and collect unique resources or battle the other player's team. There is also a Fortune Teller who can predict the potential of the relationship between any two characters and give insight into what the status of relationships are at any given time. Another feature of My Castle is a kind of mini-game where the player can invite team members to their room to have a more intimate conversation while also being able to touch the faces of the characters with the 3DS stylus, thereby increasing their relationship level. This feature was altered for the Western release, the player can still invite other characters to their room for a conversation but most of the skinship aspects were removed.
As of March 31, 2016, the Japanese and North American release has sold 1.84 million copies before the game launched in PAL regions.