Screenshot: Nintendo

Final week, Hearth Emblem: Three Homes acquired a shiny new piece of DLC. Not like the earlier “waves,” it’s not only a handful of latest quests and costumes and different small-scale additions. This DLC, referred to as Cindered Shadows, is a totally contained standalone marketing campaign, whereby Byleth, Claude, Edelgard, Hilda, and another less-cool college students discover a mysterious subterranean space referred to as Abyss.

Cindered Shadows is superior. It additionally tweaks the Three Homes core gameplay loop a bit. For probably the most half, our suggestions for the bottom sport nonetheless ring true. However, after spending seven hours or so with this new marketing campaign, there are a couple of further suggestions that apply right here—stuff I wanted somebody instructed me about earlier than beginning. So let me inform you.

Remember that cash is tight.

While you boot up Cindered Shadows for the primary time, the sport will warn you that there “is a “finite quantity of gold.” Yeah, that’s somewhat bit dramatic. However Cindered Shadows actually does provide you with considerably of a haircut. For gamers who could be accustomed to the close to bottomless coffers of the base-game Three Homes (responsible as charged!), truly having to handle your funds for as soon as may come as a shock. Don’t overlook to promote these bullions! And whilst you’re at it…

Instantly promote all your iron weapons.

Your characters will begin out with iron and metal variations of their major weapon (axe, sword, or spear, in step with Hearth Emblem custom). Preserve the metal gear. Then, as quickly as you’re ready, promote the iron stuff on the Armory. Your characters all begin at degree 20, and thus have far out-leveled that shoddy iron gear. Plus, if you happen to unload the lot, you’ll earn a reasonably respectable pile of cash, which it’s best to then use to…

Purchase silver weapons for everybody.

Sure, silver weapons are stronger than metal weapons. That alone ought to be sufficient cause to replenish. Shopping for silver weaponry means each little bit of your (once more, restricted) gold goes additional. As an example, shopping for a brand new silver sword can value nicely over 1,000 gold, which provides up if you happen to’re shopping for and rebuying and re-rebuying it each time it breaks. However repairing that silver sword prices only a couple hundred gold, plus a negligible quantity of Smithing Stones. That upfront value is value it in the long term.

Preserve your gear absolutely repaired.

As our lengthy misplaced colleague Gita Jackson wrote in her suggestions put up for the bottom sport, weapon sturdiness actually isn’t an enormous deal. Gita’s completely proper: Within the base sport, weapon sturdiness doesn’t matter a lot, particularly since you may restore gear just about everytime you need. However in Cindered Shadows, weapon sturdiness is one thing you’ll need to keep watch over.

In the course of the marketing campaign, there are a number of events the place you’ll need to combat back-to-back battles earlier than returning to Abyss, the place you may restore your weapons on the Blacksmith. Battles additionally are typically longer than core Three Homes levels. (One stage took me 23 turns.) In different phrases, there are many alternatives to your weapons to interrupt, so that you’ll need to recharge weapon sturdiness each time you may. Attempt to not let any weapons fall under 15 makes use of and also you’ll be effective.

Don’t stress about Smithing Stones.

For those who’re fearful about Smithing Stones—the ore useful resource used to “recharge” weapon sturdiness—don’t be. You get a ton of them for finishing every stage. In reality, I discovered myself with so many Smithing Stones that the sport robotically tossed out my surplus greater than as soon as.

The Sword of the Creator absolutely recharges.

I don’t find out about you, however I used to be hesitant to make use of the Sword of the Creator within the base sport. It solely has 20 costs! And Umbral Metal is treasured! Much better to avoid wasting the factor for emergencies. Out of muscle reminiscence, I carried that hesitation into Cindered Shadows, and didn’t use Byleth’s fancy magical chainsaw whip a lot at first. Then I noticed that returning to Abyss absolutely recharges the Sword of the Creator. Except your play model is such that you simply use Byleth—and solely Byleth—to wipe out enemies, you received’t deplete the Sword of the Creator between visits to Abyss. Use it with abandon.

Sure, you may change lessons—for some folks.

Cindered Shadows introduces 4 new lessons, every tied to one of many 4 new characters. Constance begins as a Darkish Flier. Balthus begins as a punch-happy Warfare Monk. Hapi is a Valkyrie (assume Warlock, however on a horse). And Yuri begins as a jack-of-all-trades Trickster. You’ll be able to’t change these lessons.

Garreg Mach college students on the very begin of Cindered Shadows.
Screenshot: Nintendo (Kotaku)

You can, nevertheless, change the lessons of your different items. Every of the principle story characters comes with two superior lessons. Claude generally is a Wyvern Rider or a Sniper, for instance, whereas Edelgard generally is a Fortress Knight or a Warrior. So test the principle children’ lessons early on and get Claude off that bizarre dragon factor, Seiros dammit!

Don’t stress about speeding throughout the “chase” degree.

With out spoiling something, one stage is about up as a “chase” sequence. It’s important to transfer your items via numerous units of gates and onto designated aqua-colored tiles. Easy sufficient, proper? However then you definitely think about one of many loss situations: “10 turns cross.” For those who’re something like me, you’ll make it three turns in and assume, “Okay, that is inconceivable.”

Cease that. Simply chill. Chiiiill. The sport doesn’t do a fantastic job at explaining this, however that 10-turn restrict means it’s 10 turns for every set of gates, not 10 turns for all the stage. When you cross via one gateway, the counter resets. (Not that you simply want a lot incentive to hurry anyway: the factor that’s chasing you may take out most items in a single hit.)

Do not let Lindhardt fall in battle.

Yuri and Balthus have therapeutic spells, however they’re frankly not that nice. Additionally, each of these characters are higher used elsewhere on the battlefield (specifically, beating folks up). If you need an efficient healer—and, belief me, you’re going to need one by the top—Lindhardt isn’t simply your greatest guess. He’s your solely guess. Defend him in any respect prices!

No, your essential sport saves didn’t get deleted.

Persevering with a Cindered Shadows marketing campaign will be scary. You begin it by deciding on “Aspect Story” from the principle menu (if you happen to’ve downloaded the Enlargement Move). You proceed a saved sport, although, by deciding on “Proceed.” And that’s the place issues get dicey. Save recordsdata for Cindered Shadows and Three Homes exist on totally different pages, so it’d initially appear like your cumulative days of Garreg Mach exploration have been catapulted into the ether. Don’t panic. Simply use the set off buttons to tab between your core save recordsdata and your Cindered Shadows save recordsdata. See? Your 120-hour save recordsdata are nonetheless there.

Beat the DLC earlier than you dip again into the bottom sport.

Finishing the Cindered Shadows marketing campaign unlocks new paralogues, actions, and quests, plus the 4 new characters and lessons, in the principle story. As you play via DLC chapters, you’ll unlock extra stuff in the principle sport. You might, in concept, cease enjoying Cindered Shadows after [chapter redacted] and run into [character redacted] in vanilla Three Homes.

No spoilers right here, so simply take this recommendation blind: Beat the brand new marketing campaign earlier than leaping again into the principle sport. It’s quick—Kotaku’s Ian Walker completed it in about six hours—and has a satisfyingly compelling narrative. The gameplay is as enjoyable as ever. Any fan of Three Homes will get a kick out of it. And whenever you’re achieved, you’ll have all the unlocks in the principle sport.

Extra adventures beneath Garreg Mach: