Well, that came a little quicker than expected, didn't it? In yesterday's story about the latest update to Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], we brought word that the game would soon be getting a cross-over event with the characters of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS game Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Surprise! It's here already. Now is your chance to recruit Alm and some of his most trusted warriors to your team.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a ground-up remake of the second game in the Fire Emblem series, the Japan-only Fire Emblem Gaiden. It was once considered the black sheep of the series due to how many ways it deviated from the mechanics of the first game, but it feels like more and more of its "strange" ideas have made their way back into the series over time. Among its many new ideas, the one that is probably going to be relevant to Fire Emblem Heroes is the fact that the game has two main protagonists. Each of them builds up their army and battles separately from each other for the majority of the game, making it feel a bit like two games in one. The remake, Fire Emblem Echoes, will release in Japan on April 20th, with a worldwide release following nearly one month later on May 19th.

This poses an interesting problem for Nintendo, who obviously has an interest in using these games to promote each other. Since the mobile game isn't divided up by region, they have to introduce new content to the various regions of the world more or less simultaneously. So do they roll their Fire Emblem Echoes content ahead of the Japanese release, which would be early for the rest of the world, or the worldwide release, which would be late for Japan? The narrative structure of the game fortunately gives them an out.

The first part of the World of Shadows event has hit, and it's clearly focused on the first of the two protagonists and his team. Alm, Clair, Lukas, and Faye are all up for grabs in the latest banner. Coming with them is a new three-chapter paralogue that gives you an introduction to Alm's world. There are new missions to complete connected to that paralogue, as well. I imagine we'll be getting the other half of the equation, Celica and her team, in the coming weeks leading up to the worldwide release of the game. Nintendo is going to want to test the full marketing potential of having a popular mobile app, and this is probably the best chance they've had yet.

Sadly, that means the Spring Festival event is over. While it's a bit strange that it wrapped up before Easter, that's just how things go sometimes. If you didn't nab a rabbit-costumed character, know that you are not alone. Maybe we'll get another chance at reaching for those fluffy Xander stars next year, friends.