'Fire Emblem: Awakening' new content adds challenge and character development

New DLC for Japan's "Fire Emblem: Awakening" adds more difficult maps and a new storyline.

Fire Emblem: Awakening will get new content on August 9th introducing new features to the game, such as more challenging maps and a new side story, Nintendo announced this morning.

The "Path of the Grandmaster" pack will add three types of new high-difficulty maps to the game. "Ultimate Training" maps throw players into the fray against enemies with stats pushing level 70. The first of these maps, called "The Border Between Life and Death," includes a condition that reduces the party's health to 1 HP at the start of battle and will cost 250 yen (about $3.20).

The second set of "Otherworld Resort" maps, set in beaches and hotsprings, focus on developing characters' interpersonal relationships and add new tracks to Awakening's soundtrack. Over 200 new conversations have been added to these maps. The debut map, "Harvest of Bonds," revolves around conversations between same-gendered characters – a feature normally sidestepped due to the game's focus on the generation system and opposite-gender pairings. "Harvest of Bonds" will be on sale for 100 yen (about $1.28) until September 30th, after which it will cost 200 yen (about $2.55).

The "Future of Despair" downloadable content will add an unknown number of maps and will follow the game's second-generation characters to battle in a timeline beyond Awakening's completion.

Fire Emblem: Awakening was the first Nintendo 3DS game to receive downloadable content and will be available in North America in 2013.

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