in the shadows

Everything to know about Fire Emblem: Three House's game-changing DLC: "Cindered Shadows"

What exactly will that expansion pass get you?

After being added to the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, interrogating Byleth’s worth to the fighting game has been all the rage. Even here at Inverse, we can’t get enough of discussing how the Fire Emblem: Three Houses protagonist fits within Smash tier lists and rankings. But it’s easy to forget that Byleth has a lot going on in their own video game, especially with the impending release of some downloadable content!

For those steadfast fans anticipating a new narrative beat in the Fire Emblem: Three Houses expansion, we’ve got all the information you might want on the upcoming Wave 4 DLC story called Cindered Shadows.

When is the Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows DLC release date?

The DLC is scheduled for release on February 12, 2020. It should be available when the Nintendo store updates around 12:00 a.m. Eastern.

Can I pre-order the Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows DLC, and what's included?

Technically, yes. You can purchase the expansion pass for $24.99, which includes all the DLC content created for Fire Emblem: Three Houses such as new outfits, maps, items, and monastery amenities. Buying this will be, in essence, be pre-ordering the Cindered Shadows DLC if it's before the release date. With this pack installed, the DLC will automatically download to your Switch the day it’s released.

How do I play the Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows DLC story?

First, you need to own the original game Fire Emblem: Three Houses, then purchase and install the expansion pass.

Once installed, you can find the DLC story on the main menu between the “Nintendo eShop” and “Copy” options. Cindered Shadows uses a separate save file system from the main game, so you’ll have to name a new protagonist and establish different difficulty settings.

Unlike the main game, Cindered Shadows doesn’t follow a calendar schedule. There’s a new gameplay cycle that has yet to be revealed.

Hilda, Ashe, and Lindhardt from the DLCNintendo

Can I purchase the Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows DLC by itself? I don’t want all that other stuff.

No. As of right now, it’s an all or nothing deal. Either you purchase the expansion pass or ignore the DLC. Given the upcoming scope and size of this particular piece of DLC, it seems possible this could change in the future.

What does the Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows DLC add?

In addition to a new story mode, Cindered Shadows will add four new playable characters, new classes, paralogues, and items.

What are the new classes in Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows?

The DLC adds Trickster, Dark Flier, War Monk, and Valkyrie to Three Houses. After completing the DLC's first episode, these classes will also be available for use in the regular story mode. Prior to release, Fire Emblem's Japanese twitter has posted details regarding specifics for every class involved. We've collected those and other tidbits about the new classes in a single post.

What’s the premise of Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows?

Vanilla Fire Emblem: Three Houses describes the monastery as containing three houses: Blue Lions, Black Eagles, and Golden Deer. The DLC will change the equation by introducing Ashen Wolves, a fourth house that splintered off from the pack to set up shop underneath the monastery in an area dubbed “The Abyss.” Cindered Shadows will be set primarily in the Abyss and focus on the Ashen Wolves house. From what we know, the entire story unfolds prior to the time skip that happens during the main story.

Who are the Ashen Wolves? Are there new units in Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows?

The Ashen Wolves are students of Garreg Mach Monastery that felt like they didn’t fit in, thus they migrated underground. There might be more in the final product, but thus far we know of four playable students from the Ashen Wolves: Yuri, their leader who went underground after being expelled who has a crude manner of speaking; Balthus, a masculine noble from the Leicester Alliance who fled to escape his debt and claims to be the "King of Grappling"; Hapi, a disinterested girl who went underground following a series of currently unknown events; Constance, the sole survivor of the Adrestian Empire's House Nuvelle, a noble family that collapsed when Dagda and Brigid invaded a few years prior.

Each Ashen Wolves member: Yuri, Constance, Balthus, and Hapi can respectively use the new Trickster, Dark Flier, War Monk, and Valkyrie classes. Unfortunately, these will still need to be earned. Similar to the main game, the four will begin as basic classes like Noble (Constance and Balthus) and Commoner (Yuri and Hapi).

There’s also the NPC, Aelfric, who is a member of the Church of Seiros responsible for overseeing the Abyss. Although he’s not playable, Aelfric will surely play a large part in the game’s story to help contextualize how the Ashen Wolves came to be.

Once you finish the Ashen Wolves’ side-story, the titular Ashen Wolves will become playable in the main story. It's currently unknown if they can be recruited in the game's second half, given that their tale ostensibly takes place in the pre-timeskip era.

The Ashen Wolves. From left to right: Yuri, Balthus, Constance, HapiNintendo

Will anyone from the original Fire Emblem: Three Houses be playable in the DLC?

Yes. If you don’t like the Ashen Wolves, you’ll also be able to play as Hilda, Edelgard, Claude, Dimitri, Lindhardt, and Ashe — although you won’t be able to select their classes. Each character has preselected builds that you cannot change. One exciting thing, though, is that the DLC will include new outfits! Isn’t that dandy?

How does crafting work in Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows?

Like the Monastery, Abyss is home to a large number of stores, but players will be given limited resources to spend, so use them wisely. Ore and crafting materials will only be obtainable by breaking the armor of larger enemies, so be careful.

Conversely, the Sword of the Creator will automatically be replenished as you progress through the story, so use it to your heart’s content!

Now, with all that in mind, rise from the ashes of this article and join the Ashen Wolves in combat!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses — Cindered Shadows will launch on February 12, 2020, for Nintendo Switch.

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