It’s already been a year since Fire Emblem Heroes (Free), the free-to-play spin-off of Nintendo’s long-running tactical RPG franchise, released on iOS and Android. The game has been received quite well by many players and has turned out to be Nintendo’s biggest success so far in the challenging mobile market. Part of that must surely be credited to the hard work of the development team, who have listened to player feedback and made frequent updates based on it. Indeed, it’s impressive just how much the game has changed in one year. To celebrate the occasion, Nintendo put out a new video today outlining some upcoming additions to the game.
In case you can’t or don’t want to watch, I’ll hit some of the highlights. First up, free orbs. Plenty of them, too. On February 1st, all players will receive 50 orbs free and clear just for logging in. In addition, there will be 25 special daily maps celebrating the anniversary that will be good for another couple of orbs each for clearing them on Normal and Hard difficulty. That’s 100 orbs in total without a whole lot of work. You can also look forward to daily Grand Hero Battles and special training maps as well. There is also a Grand Hero Fest event coming up with increased percentages on some of the game’s strongest heroes.
The biggest news, in my opinion, is the addition of a new mode. It’s called Tap Battle: Illusory Dungeon and it’s… a rhythm game? Yeah, I don’t know either. But you take your heroes into a multi-stage dungeon where battles take the form of enemies marching towards your characters to pieces of music from the Fire Emblem games. When they get close, you need to tap to send them flying away. Boss battles will require multiple successful taps. In total there are 20 stages with 5 rounds each, and if you complete all 100, you’ll get a special prize. Mysteriously, this new mode will only be available for two weeks, starting from February 8th and running through the 22nd. I imagine it will return in the future, though.
Finally, a new version of Ike is being added to the game later today as part of the latest summoning event. Legendary Hero Ike: Vanguard Legend looks like the toughest version of Ike in Fire Emblem Heroes yet. He’s joined by an assortment of other rare and powerful heroes that have been part of previous events. There’s going to be a voting event soon, and whichever character wins will be given out to every player in their five-star form. All of the characters in the game as of the date the voting begins are potential candidates, so even this brand-new Ike could end up free in everyone’s mailbox if the vote goes that way. Just remember, though: when everyone is Ike, no one is Ike.
All in all, it looks like Fire Emblem Heroes won’t be slowing down anytime soon. As an old fan of the series, it’s been weird watching Fire Emblem become such a prominent part of Nintendo’s line-up, but I can’t say I’m unhappy about it. It wasn’t that long ago that I feared the series would be ended the way Advance Wars was, and here we are now with Ike and company being the jewels in Nintendo’s mobile crown. I’m sure this won’t be the last anniversary this game celebrates, so bring on those free orbs!