Do I Need to Play Previous Fire Emblem Games to Play Engage?

Fire Emblem Engage has many long-time series characters, so here is the answer to whether you need to play previous games to enjoy this on Nintendo Switch from Intelligent Systems.

Reception to Fire Emblem Engage is positive, but it’s considered not as accessible as its predecessor, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. This has nothing to do with the quality or the difficulty of the game, but rather the game’s focus on previous characters in the series and the overall reverence it has towards earlier entries in the franchise. This begs the question: Do you need to play the previous games in the series in order to fully enjoy Fire Emblem Engage? Here’s the full answer.

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You Don’t Need to Play Previous Series Games to Enjoy Fire Emblem Engage

Throughout the game, you’re tasked with acquiring Emblem Rings. They contain the spirits of previous heroes — known here as Emblems — from older Fire Emblem games, such as Marth, Byleth, and Lyn, just to name a few. However, despite the game clearly mentioning that these are famous heroes from other worlds, you don’t need to have played the games that these characters are from.

Fire Emblem Engage has its own original story that does not tie into the events of previous games. It is entirely standalone and independent from the rest of the series. You’ll get some nice nods and bits of fan service from these characters, but understanding what happened to them in their original games is not a requirement to understand what they’re like here.

It’s interesting that Nintendo and Intelligent Systems decided to pay so much reverence to the series with Engage since the game doesn’t signify any major anniversary or event. It’s not trying anything especially new or revolutionary with the franchise either. In fact, it’s hearkening back to some of the more classic tropes and elements from the franchise and serves as more of a return to form. Making heroes from previous entries in the series so prevalent in the marketing was bound to confuse a few people here and there, but thankfully those fears can now be laid to rest.

If you want to play the games that all of these heroes have come from, you can do so just because you want to explore what the rest of the series has to offer. You don’t need to play the other games to understand what is happening in Fire Emblem Engage. Just play them because you want to play them!

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Jesse Lab
Jesse Lab is a freelance writer for The Escapist and has been a part of the site since 2019. He currently writes the Frame Jump column, where he looks at and analyzes major anime releases. He also writes for the film website Flixist.com. Jesse has been a gamer since he first played Pokémon Snap on the N64 and will talk to you at any time about RPGs, platformers, horror, and action games. He can also never stop talking about the latest movies and anime, so never be afraid to ask him about recommendations on what's in theaters and what new anime is airing each season.