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Video Game / Fire Emblem Engage

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Fire Emblem Engage is the seventeenth game of the Fire Emblem series of Strategy RPGs, developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It was released on January 20, 2023.

Engage is set on the continent of Elyos, home to four kingdoms. In the past, the kingdoms waged war against the Fell Dragon, and ultimately sealed him with the help of heroes from other worlds. However, a thousand years has since passed, and the seal is weakening. In the midst of all this, Alear, a Divine Dragon and main protagonist, awakens without their memories. Now Alear must recruit allies and seek out the Emblem Rings needed to call forth the otherworldly warriors once again.

Trailers: Announcement Trailer, "The Divine Dragon Awakens" Trailer, "Engaging with Emblems" Trailer, Expansion Pass Trailer, "Welcome to the Somniel" Trailer


Fire Emblem Engage provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Regardless of what their eye color originally was, the Emblems all have the same blue eye color. This is especially notable on characters who didn't already have blue eyes, like Micaiah, Claude, and Corrin.
  • Adapted Out: The Falcon Knight, the usual promotion path of the Pegasus Knight does not make an appearance in this game, being replaced by the Griffon Knight instead.
  • Adaptational Weapon Swap: Ike and Lucina are depicted in the mural using an axe and bow respectively, when their main weapons in their home games are legendary swords. The choice of axe and bow is pulled from their variants in Fire Emblem Heroes. They do still have accesses to their swords. Inverted within the same context with Lyn, who was shown using the bow Mulagir, which she has access to in Heroes but not at all in her home game Blazing Blade.
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  • Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed, but the majority of the Manaketes of Elyos fight in human forms. While all known Manaketes of Elyos are still incredibly powerful beings blessed with extraordinary lifespans, abilities, and magic only Lumera and Sombron have been shown to have access to their dragon forms. It’s unknown if Alear ever had a dragon form but they did have a dragonstone. They gave this dragonstone to Veyle as a memento, which would explain why they can’t transform throughout the game. Unfortunately the dragonstone is eventually shattered from their death before there is any clear confirmation. Unlike Alear, Veyle explicitly was stated incapable of transforming or summoning Emblems. Both factors being part of the reason Sombron saw her as a defect. Zephia is an outlier with no clear reason given as to why she doesn’t transform.
  • Animation Bump: Engage has significantly improved the combat animations, with the animation generally being much smoother, fluid, and varied. Extra attention is put to how units dodge attacks and counterattack.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you're defeated, you have the option of keeping your experience when you try again. As a result, your failed attempt won't be a complete waste of time and your units that gained levels will be a bit stronger for your next attempt.
  • Anti-Grinding: Downplayed. While you're still able to gather resources and level up your characters through skirmishes outside the main story battles, Engage's approach makes grinding significantly more tedious in that skirmishes will scale to the average level of your party. This includes any units who promoted to Advanced Classes. If you aren't careful, enemies in Skirmishes will be far stronger than ones you might fight in the main story and make leveling up your weaker units almost impossible unless you abuse the Arena.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Games released between the DS Shadow Dragon remake and Three Houses all use an artstyle that is realistic and mature (but still retained its anime flair), combined with having duller color palettes. Engage, however, instead has an artstyle that is closely reminiscent to most anime from the late 2010s to early 2020s, as well as having a brighter color palette not unlike the Game Boy Advance games.
  • Ascended Meme: A pretty common and memed on way to win Ike's final duel with the Black Knight in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was to have Ike equip a hammer and use that to beat him quickly due to the extra damage it gave Ike. As an Engage unit, the first unique weapon Ike gives his Engage partner is a hammer.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The "great-" weapons are powerful weapons that knock back and break enemies they hit. However, not only can they not do follow-up attacks, but they hit after the enemy's initial and follow-up attacks, even when you're attacking.
  • Background Music Override: While earlier maps had different themes for the enemy phase and more intense versions of map themes during battles, Chapter 10 plays the same song for the player phase, enemy phase and battles. Chapter 11 does the same.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Hand-to-hand combat returns from Three Houses, though instead of gauntlets, the "Weapon" for this type of combat is Body Arts, represented by a scroll. Classes that can use Body Arts by default are the Martial Monk and its promotions High Priestnote  and Martial Master, as well as this game's incarnation of the Dancer class. Alear will also gain access to Body Arts in their default promotion class (Divine Dragon).
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • Anna has usually appeared as a young woman, at the very least in her mid-to-late teens. Her appearance in this game portrays her as a little girl, at 11 years old.
    • For most of its lifespan, the Fire Emblem series has been careful to give Divine Dragons in human form at least some nonhuman trait, with pointed ears being the most common aspect. Alear and Lumera, however, do not appear to have any physical traits distinguishing them from humans.
    • Engage drops 2D portraits completely, as the game opted to use 3D models for this purpose, making it the first mainline game to do this.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Griffons as a species, alongside the Griffon Rider class (now named Griffon Knight here), make a return to the franchise after debuting and only appearing in one game (outside of a painting of one in Three Houses) in nearly 11 years. They can now use swords and lances in addition to their axes from before, and can also use staves.
    • The Halberdier class makes its return, having been last seen in Radiant Dawn.
    • The concept of weapon-based class variations, such as Vander's default "Axe Paladin" class, was last strictly seen in Radiant Dawn, as armor and mounted classes in that game were restricted to a single weapon type until at least their second-tier promotion. Meanwhile, in lieu of Myrmidons, Mercenaries, and Fighters, there are sword fighters, lance fighters, and axe fighters - a group of classes that haven't been seen since Thracia 776, although unlike that game, there are more promotion options available between all three classes.
  • Cast Speciation: Seeing as most Lords in the series are sword-wielding infantry, the Emblems often focus on different aspects of their gameplay to give them a unique niche, often taking inspiration from their various alts in Heroes. For example, Lyn is the bow focused emblem and uses Mulagir, like her Brave version, when in Blazing Sword bows were a part of her possible promotion and Mulagir wasn't in the game.
  • Combat Medic: Promotional material shows the Marital Monk class, Framme's initial class, and the Martial Master, the promoted version, uses both Body Arts and healing staves. Griffon Knights are also now able to use staves.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: The reveal trailer alone shows many differences between past Avatar characters.
    • Byleth had an ancestry with a dragon that they did not know about and was a simple mercenary at the beginning. Alear knows their ancestry and is awakened knowing that their fate is connected to the continent. Visually, Byleth had a monochromatic hairstyle and mostly black clothing. Alear has a two-toned hairstyle and white armor.
    • Alear is also this to Corrin. Despite both being dragons, there are several significant differences between Corrin and Alear. Visually, Corrin's dragon heritage is reflected more clearly in their features; having slitted pupils and pointy ears, the latter being a feature strongly associated with dragons in the franchise. Alear notably has normal pupils and ears; lacking any distinct dragon-like features. Narratively, Corrin and their family was unaware of them being half-dragon, but Alear has had generations of guardians specifically dedicated to serving dragons like them. Corrin is half Silent Dragon, a powerful type of dragon introduced in Fates as one of the twelve First Dragons. Alear is a Divine Dragon that comes from a royal family of Divine Dragons.
    • Alear also has a few differences from Robin. Alear is a white-clad sword fighter with lineage tied to divine dragons. Robin is dressed in a dark cloak and fights with both swords and tomes with lineage tied to a fell dragon. Robin was woken in the middle of a field at the start of the game while Alear was woken up in a palace room. Ironically, Alear is also tied into a fell dragon as their father is the Medeus of this game, Sombron.
  • Crisis Crossover: Engage is the aftermath of one, as the backstory detailed in the first trailer states that the kingdoms of Elyos summoned spectral versions of a dozen heroes from across the Fire Emblem multiverse to assist in defeating the Fell Dragon about a thousand years before the game's events.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Downplayed insofar as Fire Emblem's multiverse means there is no one true "canon" route for any game, and the Emblems themselves are explicitly copies of the original characters given spectral forms and not actually the characters themselves. However, the Emblems still do reference some content from previous games that were either optional or dependent on certain story choices on the part of the player, particularly in the cases of Emblem Corrin and Emblem Byleth since both are customizable player avatars and both Fates and Three Houses emphasize multiple routes much more than other games in the series. The Emblems memories in turn are largely those of whoever they are echoes of and thus can inform about the events of the world the echo originated from.
    • The spinoff games tried to avoid assigning a specific gender to the main games' player characters (Heroes just had both genders appear as separate characters, Warriors and Smash Bros. had them as alternate costumes, and Three Hopes left the genders selectable), but this game solely depicts a female Corrin and a male Byleth.
    • Emblem Byleth's skills establish Nemesis as the true Big Bad of Fódlan, rather than either of the other two potential Final Bosses in Three Houses. On the other hand, Emblem Edelgard calls Byleth "My teacher" a term she only uses if Byleth teaches the Black Eagles(while it is used once in the VW route, it's only in a scene that is shared with Silver Snow and otherwise is never used in the VW route.) and Byleth reacting not with confusion, but acceptance gives an implication that this one is a Black Eagles Byleth but nothing concrete is stated. To add to the vagueness of what route Emblem Byleth comes from, during the final map, unlike the rest of the heroes who explicitly have already defeated their respective villains, Byleth reacts with surprise that the Liberation King has revived in a way that indicates this Byleth has yet to face Nemesis and conceivably with how the Agarthans are at large at the end of AM and CF, it's entirely possible Byleth and their class could face Nemesis in that timeline, though Nemesis's lines reference VW in an indirect manner.
    • Similarly to Emblem Byleth, Emblem Corrin's skills directly mention Anankos by name, who is only directly fought during the Revelation campaign, though he is the unseen threat behind the final bosses of both Birthright and Conquest. Unlike Byleth, in the final battle of Engage Anankos appears as a Dark Emblem and Corrin is shown to be well aware of who Anankos is. Corrin outright says that he is somehow always at the end of her path.
    • Emblem Celica mentions during her paralogue having visited the Seabound Shrine, which is an optional dungeon in both Gaiden and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and is never mandatory to complete the game, unlike other dungeons.
    • Emblem Tiki is familiar with Marth and her Divine Paralogue refernces her recruitment in book two of Mystery of the Emblem, indicating the Marth of that world successfully reawakened her both times, when it was entirely possible for him to fail at doing so in the original games.
  • Denser and Wackier: Three Houses spends a lot of time on worldbuilding and political intrigue, while Engage is significantly more simplistic and high-concept in comparison. The central gameplay gimmick of Engage (the ability to use Emblem Rings to summon the spirits of past Fire Emblem protagonists) is a lot more fantastical and silly than the academy feature of Three Houses for example. The simplest illustration of the rivalling philosophies is perhaps that Three Houses was the first game in series history to give nearly every named character a full first and last name as a way of emphasizing family connections, while Engage disregards that and has fun with giving everyone Theme Naming to things like real-world fashion brands or Italian desserts.
  • Developer's Foresight: The Break status cannot be afflicted on a character that receives zero damage, as it wouldn't make sense for someone to drop a weapon despite shrugging off an attack.
  • Distinctive Appearances: Alear's design has a strong contrast of red and blue in their outfit, as well as their hair and eyes. Notably the two-tone aspects of Alear's hair and eyes are flipped depending on their gender.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: And the time-honored tradition of the barefooted Mysterious Waif that began in Fire Emblem Fates continues in Engage with Veyle, who like Sothis before her only wears a pair of ankle ornaments, specifically golden chains and belts.
  • Downloadable Content: The Expansion Pass, which includes four waves of DLC. The first wave will launch alongside the game, which will include two Emblem Bracelets (as opposed to the Emblem Rings the base game focuses on). One of these will contain "academy phase" versions of the Three Houses leaders (specifically containing Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude who will function as one rotating unit), and another with Tiki in her child form. The following two waves will feature more Emblems and the final wave will add new classes, characters, and story.
  • Equippable Ally: The heroes from previous games, referred to as Emblems, are not controllable units, and instead empower the user of the Emblem Ring used to summon them, similar to the Mirages from Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Of the "player-sexual" variety. In a notable departure from past entries in the series, any character who can romance Alear via an S-Support (i.e. most characters who aren’t a minor, a relative of Alear, or physically much older than Alear) can do so regardless of Alear’s sex. Reportedly, the Japanese version has age be less of an issue and makes romance in some of the conversations more obvious. Downplayed beyond this, as romantic implications between other characters are rare regardless of sex and don’t go beyond implications as none of them have paired endings with anyone except Alear. Alear’s sex likewise doesn’t really get mentioned as a factor in their attraction to Alear (who is often noted to simply be an inspiring and attractive presence), so its unclear if all romance-able characters consider themselves bisexual or if for a number of them it is If It's You, It's Okay.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Downplayed compared to other games in the series. While the Big Bad is still male and a Hate Sink, and most major female villains are sympathetic, the major male ones are too, and Engage has more generic female enemies and minor female villains than previous games. Anna's Paralogue, for example, features the series' first ever female bandit boss, and she isn't treated any more sympathetically than the typical male ones.
  • F--: The lowest a dish could be ranked is G, which only happens when the dish becomes completely burnt.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In Chapter 10, all of the Emblem Rings you have collected up to that point are stolen and corrupted by Sombron's power. As you continue to progress through the game, you will have to fight enemies wielding the Emblems that you bonded with in the first part of the game.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Alear wakes up with no memories of their past barring their name and some vague recollections. While this wouldn't be too worrying, they're immediately told that they've been sleeping for well over 1000 years.
  • Floating Continent: The Somniel is such a place, a village-sized floating landmass that serves as home base and safe haven for your units between battles.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Lumera engages with Sigurd when you face off against her in her mock battle. Sigurd is the only one of the 12 Emblems that dies during the course of their game, leaving a child behind in the process. Fittingly, Lumera dies as well and leaves her child behind.
    • Veyle is the only character that has violet eyes, which is the combination of red and blue. This is a clue that she is somehow related to Alear.
    • When Alear engages with an Emblem, only the blue side of their hair changes color. It’s later revealed that their blue hair is their Divine Dragon half, and the red half is their Fell Dragon half. People who use the Fell Dragon’s power to engage don’t get the color of their hair changed.
  • Fusion Dance: Party members can fuse with their Equippable Ally into a stronger form. For example, when fusing with Marth, Alear gets white clothes, energy wings, and starts floating. The "Engaging with Emblems" In gameplay it is a Timed Power-Up that lasts only for three turns, and that a gauge needs to be filled before Engaging is usable.
  • Game-Favored Gender: Downplayed. While male and female Alear have almost identical stats, female Alear has one more point of speed, and thus a minor advantage.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In chapter 11, Veyle took all of the emblem rings in the party's possession alongside the time crystal, so naturally you cannot rewind nor engage while the enemy engages with impunity - at least until Ivy and her retainers comes bringing 2 new emblem rings and retaking the time crystal back for you after several turns.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite Sombron corrupting all your Emblem Rings in Chapter 10, the DLC Emblem Bracelets are not only unaffected but are still available for use. This happens even after Alear dies and Veyle’s evil personality gloats that none of the party can summon Emblems... even if you have the DLC Emblems equipped to a party member.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble:
    • The Emblems consist of six malenote  and six femalenote  heroes.
    • This trope is also in play for the royal siblings from the four kingdoms in Elyos. We've got an older brother and a younger sister (Alfred and Céline), an older brother and a younger brother (Diamant and Alcryst), an older sister and a younger brother (Timerra and Fogado), and an older sister and a younger sister (Ivy and Hortensia).
    • Bond Rings for some of the Emblems are associated with equal amount of male and female characters. For example, Celica's Bond Rings feature five men - Alm, Lukas, Saber, Valbar, and Conrad, and five women - Faye, Silque, Delthea, Mae, and Genny.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Emblems change color depending on who they're wielded by. Emblems aligned with the heroes have a blue aura, whereas Emblems controlled by the antagonists have a red aura. This also applies to Alear as well. Their nightmares, actually flashbacks during their time under Sombron, shows them with red hair and eyes. In the present day, they have half-red and half-blue hair and mismatched red and blue eyes, symbolizing their half-Fell and half-Divine state. Then when they are reborn as the thirteenth Emblem, they have blue hair, eyes and aura.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: As stated in the plot, Alear's quest is to locate all twelve Emblem Rings scattered all over Elyos in order to seal the awakening Fell Dragon.
  • Guide Dang It!: As usual, there's no way to view character or class growth rates, but it's especially notable here as some have personal growth spreads you wouldn't expect for their starting class, but that make them more suited to others. Anna is the biggest example: she starts as an Axe Fighter, but actually has the highest personal Magic growth in the game while her Strength is comparatively poor.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Downplayed; if you don't deploy a unit for more than a few maps and talk to them while exploring the battlefield after completing a map, the game may trigger a unique response from them where they will ask to fight in the next battle. This will also net you 10 Memory Fragments from that unit. Some quotes include:
    Clanne: Um... Divine One? If I get to fight with you again, I promise to try really hard.
    Céline: Please do call on me, should the need arise. I am prepared to fight at any time.
    Louis: Much as I enjoy spectating your battles, a better vantage point to do so is as a combatant myself.
    Yunaka: Just so you know, I've been training extra hard lately. if you wanna put me in there, I'm ready.
    Zelkov: I hope you find use for me again in the near future. I *dislike* standing idle.
    Kagetsu: I am sad to not be fighting by your side. I hope you will find use for my sword soon.
    Timerra: Divine One, I can still fight! Please, let me tear it up on the front lines again!
    Merrin: I shall be busy honing my skills until you let me fight by your side again. I do hope it's...soon?
    Pandreo: Do you...think I'm not strong enough to fight? I pray you'll let me prove to you I'm worthy.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Played straight by the Emblems, most female Emblems have more ranged options than the males. Tends to be inverted with the playable cast:
    • Framme is a Monk that fights hand to hand, while her twin brother Clanne is a Mage that sets off fireballs.
    • Pandreo is the long-range spellcasting High Priest, while his younger sister Panette is the close-range axe-wielding Berserker.
    • Timerra attacks up close with lances, while her brother Fogado uses bows.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: As per franchise tradition, protagonist Alear favors swords like previous Fire Emblem protagonists.
  • Horse of a Different Color: In addition to the various wyverns and pegasi that are staples of the series, the world of Elyos has horse-sized griffons and pony-sized wolves used as battle mounts for the Griffon Knight and Wolf Knight classes respectively.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Much like Fire Emblem Warriors, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and Fire Emblem Heroes, it features heroes from past Fire Emblem titles. This is the first mainline game, however, where summoning old heroes is an important part of the game's story.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • The Three Houses and Tiki Emblems spoil the fact that there are more than 10 levels to bond levels.
    • If you view the stats of the Four Hounds in Chapter 11, Mauvier is the only one with a personal skill. This heavily implies he will join your army later, but the other Hounds won't.
  • Joke Item: Occasionally, you can find and pick up Horse Manure in the Somniel; it is a gift that does nothing other than to trigger a unique response from that character.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Warrior's class skill, Merciless, increases damage dealt by 50% against a broken unit.
  • Knockback: Smash is a special trait of heavy weapons, like Blades, Greatlances, and Greataxes, that knocks the unit that was hit by it back by one space. If the unit being smashed is pushed to a space that cannot be crossed, whether it's a wall or another unit, they are inflicted with the Break status instead, and is in-fact the only way to inflict the status on Armored units. Berserker's class skill Smash+ pushes the unit by 2 spaces instead of 1. Due to the effects of this trait, anyone who fights with those weapons are forced to let their opponent strike first, no matter who initiates combat, and can't do follow-up attacks.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: A few of the Emblems contain references to plot twists from their home games.
    • Each Emblem has a skill granting effectiveness against certain enemy types, named after the Big Bad of their respective home universe. While most of these are obvious, like Medeus for Marth, Micaiah, Corrin and Byleth's enemies (Ashera, Anankos and Nemesis) are major twists for their original games.
    • In Chapter 3 of the main story, Sigurd casually mentions dying and leaving a child behind, when that was a brutal Twist Ending to the first half of Geneaology.
    • Lucina’s true identity as Chrom's daughter from the future isn’t kept a secret. In her paralogue, she even talks about fighting her father at Arena Ferox under a fake identity.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Just like Roy in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Alear is the only character who can have a paired ending. Everyone else is stuck with just a solo ending if they aren’t chosen as Alear’s Ring Support.
  • Lighter and Softer: While most of Three Houses was Darker and Edgier by focusing more on nuanced politics and moral dilemmas, Engage is a more lighthearted entry to the franchise, going for the good kingdom/alliance vs evil empire/cult that has ties to an evil dragon/monster plot framework that several previous games had.
  • Limit Break: Engage Attacks are powerful abilities that can help you get a leg up on an encounter, and include effects like attacking a line of enemies, warping to another ally and attacking at that location, or refreshing every ally around them. You can do one Engage Attack each time you Engage with an Emblem.
  • Lootboxes: The player can spend Bond Fragments to create Bond Rings, which are minor rings based on other Fire Emblem series characters. These rings are randomly generated, only feature stat boosts and sometimes an equippable skill, and can be combined to create higher ranked rings. You can have one or ten rings generated at a time, and the characters chosen are based on the Emblem Ring used. An example would be a selection of Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem characters when using Marth's ring. Unlike some examples, this feature uses in-game currency only.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: For your units to make use of an Emblem's unique weapons and their Emblem Attacks, you need to activate Engage mode (which lasts only three turns at minimum without upgrading its duration before needing to recharge for another use) when the Engage meter is full. When it comes to enemies bearing Emblem rings however, they have no such restrictions; they are free to use Emblem weapons and their special attacks while in a normal state with no timer. In fact, the game explicitly points out enemies CANNOT use Engage Mode at all as a trade off for this access.
  • Mythology Gag: Found here.
  • Nintendo Hard: For a game that ramps up its goofiness, it is on par with Thracia 776 and The Binding Blade as among one of the hardest games in the franchise released thus far. Hordes of enemies can be really difficult to take out in enemy phase without a very tanky unit, and the protagonist Alear requires a lot of assistance from Emblem Rings, since they are otherwise very weak without them. Also, the hitrates here have a chance at screwing your units up, and that isn't mentioning how easy it is for both you and the enemy to attack each other, only to receive a bunch of misses instead.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Some skirmishes on the world map as designated as "training", taking place at the castles of allied nations. Any allies defeated in these battles are not permanently lost, even on Classic Mode, as it wouldn't make sense for these enemies to fight to kill.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Dying against the Final Boss results in a special cutscene where Sombron successfully recorrupts both Veyle and Alear, with Alear staring at their hands in horror as Sombron belts out an Evil Laugh. Then you get the Game Over screen.
  • Nostalgia Level: The maps for the Emblems’ paralogues are recreations of maps from past games associated with the focus Emblem, with said Emblem often directly referencing the events of that past map. The only Emblem without an associated paralogue is the Emblem of Rivals, which houses Edelgard, Claude and Dimitri from Three Houses.
    • Marth's paralogue is based on Chapter 17 of Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, "Star and Savior", where he took back Altea Castle and liberated his homeland.
    • Celica’s paralogue is based on the entrance to the Seabound Shrine, an optional dungeon first available in Act 2 of Gaiden and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.
    • Sigurd’s paralogue is based on Chapter 10 of Genealogy of the Holy War, "Light and Dark", more specifically the segment between Castle Miletos and Castle Chalphy. In that chapter, Seliph liberated Chalphy, Sigurd’s homeland, and, in an optional event, meet the ghosts of Sigurd and Deirdre (though that event was triggered in a different part of Chapter 10's map than the one on which the paralogue is based).
    • Leif’s paralogue is based on Chapter 22 of Thracia 776, "Across the River", where he fought against Saias and Reinhardt at the River Thracia.
    • Roy’s paralogue is based on Chapter 21 of The Binding Blade, "The Binding Blade", where he stormed the Shrine of Seals to obtain the titular sword.
    • Lyn's paralogue is based on the Sacae version of Chapter 20x of The Binding Blade, "Bow of Swift Wind", which took place in Lyn's homeland of Sacae and was where Roy’s army obtained the regalia bow Mulagir (which is also the weapon Lyn can bestow after the paralogue is completed). While the original map was not from The Blazing Blade, Lyn's game of origin, and Mulagir was likewise unobtainable there, that same map also inspired the map for Lyn's Legendary Hero Battle in Hereos, where she likewise wields Mulagir.
    • Eirika’s paralogue is based on the first part of the endgame of The Sacred Stones, "Sacred Stone", where she and Ephraim defeated Lyon in the shrine in Darkling Woods before defeating the resurrected Fomortiis, the Demon King.
    • Ike's paralogue is based on Chapter 8 of Path of Radiance, "Despair and Hope", where the Greil Mercenaries withstood a siege at Gebal Castle the day after Greil's death at the hands of the Black Knight.
    • Micaiah’s paralogue is based on Chapter 3-13 of Radiant Dawn, "Blood Contract", where she and the Daein army make their last stand against the Greil Mercenaries and the Laguz Alliance at Castle Nox.
    • Lucina's paralogue is based on Chapter 4 of Awakening, "Two Falchions", where she fought Chrom in her “Marth” disguise at Arena Ferox.
    • Corrin’s paralogue is based on Chapter 6 of Fates, "The Path is Yours", where she chose whether she would fight for Hoshido, Nohr, or neither.
    • Byleth’s paralogue is based on the main mission of Chapter 11 of Three Houses, "Conflict in the Holy Tomb", where he defended the Holy Tomb, a sacred site beneath Garreg Mach Monastery, during a raid from Edelgard as the Flame Emperor.
    • Tiki's Divine Paralogue is based on Chapter 14 of Book Two of Mystery of the Emblem, "A Mystery Revealed", where Marth reawakened Tiki at the Ice Dragon Temple. It has a similar gimmick of having to unseal rooms to make progress, and an obtainable Silver Card located where Anna's Secret Shop was.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: In contrast to the Hotter and Sexier Awakening and Fates, and the Tamer and Chaster but still romance-heavy Echoes and Three Houses, explicit romance is very rare in Engage. Most of the parents met in the story are single by the time it begins, the playable cast have no romantic supports outside of Alear, and even then the vast majority of Alear's paired endings are platonic. Ultimately, the story has a heavy focus on the theme of Found Family over romantic love.
  • Old Save Bonus: As detailed here, if the player has an active Fire Emblem Heroes account, they can receive a redeemable code for Engage that will add three Bond Rings and three weapons based on the main Heroes trio of Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna.
  • Only Six Faces: Many characters, especially female ones, have very similar, young-looking faces. This is a carryover from character designer Mika Pikazo's work, which often features characters with large eyes and small noses like those seen in Engage.
  • Player Headquarters: In between battles, the player can travel to the Somniel, the floating island where Alear slept for a thousand years, to partake in various activities in the same fashion as My Castle in Fates and Garreg Mach Monastery in Three Houses.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: When characters uses the Emblems for the Engage mechanic, their hair takes on part of the Emblems' hair color. Notably for Alear's case, only the blue side of their hair changes color.
    • Marth: Sky blue
    • Celica: Pink
    • Sigurd: Light purple
    • Leif: Pale yellow to pale green fade
    • Roy: Pale red
    • Lyn: Light green
    • Eirika: Blonde to spring green fade
    • Ike: Blue to cyan fade
    • Micaiah: Pale orange
    • Lucina: Cyan
    • Corrin: Silver
    • Byleth: Neon purple
    • Alear: Blue and red fusion
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Lyn's promotional video shows that when using her Engage ability, the character takes on her characteristic long hair.
  • Revisiting the Roots: After Fates and Three Houses dabbled in darker, more political stories, Engage returns to the franchise's classic "divine dragons vs fell dragon" plotline. While there are some political machinations going on, they're mostly relegated to the background and don't have much impact on the main story.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Emblems under the control of the antagonists sport these, as well as a red aura, symbolizing they are not on your side. Alear is also shown to have these in their nightmares where they act unhinged and violent, though these aren't so much nightmares as they are memories of their past when they served Sombron.
  • Ret-Canon: Corrin's Engage Attack is called Torrential Roar, the name of her Final Smash in the Super Smash Bros. series. Ike has Great Aether, also from Smash.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The evil Fell Dragon, Sombron, attacked Elyos 1000 years prior but was sealed away by the Emblems. Naturally, in the present day the binding is coming undone.
  • She Is the King: Alear's mother Lumera is known as the Divine Dragon King.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The nation of Elusia is described as a snowy place with long winters.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The Fell Dragon of Engage, called Sombron, sports a cobra snake-like design. Much like his predecessor Grima, he lives up to his title as he once laid waste to the world before Lumera and the other countries fought against him with the twelve Emblem rings.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening sequence to the game shows Alear, along with Alred, Diamant, Ivy and Timerra, confronting Sombron. Since Ivy debuts as an antagonist, this spoils her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Stripperific: The class outfit for Sages (both genders) in Engage is notably more revealing compared to previous games, with an exposed midriff and skintight leggings.
  • Stable Time Loop: The army is sent a thousand years into the past late into the story, where they encounter Alear’s past self. After Past Alear is defeated by his/her present self, Lumera finds him/her unconscious on the battlefield. This is how the two meet, and how Alear ends up defecting from Sombron.
  • Summon Magic: Heroes from previous Fire Emblem games can be summoned via so-called "Emblem Rings". They appear in seemingly-incorporeal forms, and don't act as separate units, but rather as support, attacking the enemy alongside their summoner Fighting Spirit-style. They also can be seen in the castle as NPCs that can be spoken to.
  • Super Mode: Engaging with an Emblem puts the unit into a powered-up state, granting access to powerful Engage Skills and Weapons, and lets them perform an Engage Attack once while in that mode.
  • Support Party Member: Byleth's Emblem focuses on Status Buff "instruct" skills and his Goddess Dance allows up to four allies to move again, in contrast to the more offense-focused abilities of the other Emblems.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: After being downplayed in Three Houses, the Weapon Triangle returns as a central part of combat, now reworked into the new "Break" mechanic. A Break occurs when a defending unit is damaged (not just hit; 0 damage doesn't trigger it) by a weapon that has advantage over them, preventing them from counterattacking for the rest of that combat and the one after.
    • The classic Sword > Axe > Lance > Sword system remains as the simplest option to trigger a Break, but in exchange it no longer affects damage or hit rate.
    • Daggers, Bows, and Tomes don't have a triangle with each other. Instead they are all weak to Body Arts, the primary weapon of Martial Monks, which is this game's equivalent of Clerics. Beware, healers aren't harmless!
    • "Smash" weapons, such as the Blades, Greataxes, and Greatlances, have the added effect of knocking the enemy back a space or two if the user initiates. If the enemy doesn't have enough room to be moved, they will suffer a Break.
    • Armored units, and units that possess a certain Skill, are immune to Break. In terms of defending, the Weapon Triangle and Smash effects don't exist to them.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The Corrupted surrounding Fogado's retainers in Chapter 12 just stand there and allow everyone to talk, with no attempts at sneak attack, and the heroes don't seem to express any sort of urgency.
  • A Taste of Power: By the time of Chapter 9, you've already collected a good number of Emblem Rings and even gotten access to Master Seals and Second Seals, letting you get comfortable with your ethereal buddies and promotion options. Then you clear Chapter 10 and you abruptly lose all of your Emblem Rings (except any DLC ones you've acquired) and don't get access to the World Map again until you clear Chapter 11, and you don't get those Rings back immediately, which means you lose access to their Proficiency skills needed to access most of the promotions. Rubbing salt in the wound is that you can collect no less than four extra Master Seals after clearing Chapter 11, making you feel the loss of the Emblems much more keenly.
  • Title Drop: When Alear and Marth fuse in the prologue:
    Alear & Marth: Emblem, engage!
  • Toilet Humour: You can gift your allies horse poop in the Somniel, all of who will be either grossed out or react poorly to the point that they'll outright reject it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Despite typically being considered one of the less viable classes, armor knights get a very good showing this time around. Not only do they have high strength and defense, but their immunity to Break gives them an important niche on your team. Louis in particular is considered by many to be one of the best units in the whole game.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The "Divine Dragon Awakens" trailer outright spoils it at the very start that Queen Lumera dies.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: All weapons have unlimited uses, like Gaiden and Fates. The only exception is Staves, which still has limited uses.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Alear and their allies can wear different outfits purchased from the boutique, but only in Somniel. The player can also purchase outfits of the 12 Emblems, but the payment is in the form of a ticket that can be only acquired from scanning a Fire Emblem series amiibo.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Hortensia in Chapter 7, which introduces you to the concept of bosses being able to wield Emblem rings just like your party. While they can't Engage with them, they can still use their other abilities to deadly effect, such as Lucina's "All for One" (which allows the wielder to summon all allies within a two-space radius in a Combination Attack), or Leif's "Adaptable" (wielded by Ivy in Chapter 8; getting attacked negates any weapon triangle disadvantage and turns it against the attacker, always using whatever weapon will deal the most damage for the situation).
  • Wham Episode:
  • Wham Shot:
    • In Chapter 12, the hooded individual who killed Lumera unmasks and is revealed to be Alear's new friend Veyle. The Reveal is driven home by a shot that shows Alear's bandage around Veyle's ankle.
    • In Chapter 17, Veyle asks Zephia to give her Sigurd's ring. Veyle's eyes are closed or hidden from the player for much of the scene, but then she faces the screen with her eyes open, and they're her natural color, revealing that she tricked Zephia into handing over her ring so she could return it to Alear.
  • You Have Failed Me: At the end of Chapter 5: "Retaking the Castle", Zephia kills Nelucce for allowing the Firenese royals to escape with Celica's Emblem ring despite him telling her their whereabouts.