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Fire Emblem Engage’s Somniel looks like an even more fun version of Garreg Mach

I can’t wait to share meals with my allies

Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

Fire Emblem Engage is just around the corner, set to launch Jan. 20. And on Thursday a trailer introduced the new hangout spot where you and your allies will spend downtime between battles: Somniel, a verdant floating fortress. In the trailer, the main character — with an enormous mane of Colgate-ass red and blue hair — runs through Somniel’s lush layout, showing off fun activities. Just like in previous Fire Emblem installments, this one promises fun shenanigans like Wyvern flying, shopping for cute outfits, getting your fortune read — and of course classic bonding activities like sharing meals and going fishing.

Somniel is chock full of places to prepare for your battles. In the game’s plaza you can buy armor and other items. There’s a ring room where you can store the rings you’ve collected and craft new ones — a new gameplay element that allows players to boost stats. You can also fight in the arena to gain experience, and do a series of battles in the Tower of Trials.

Most importantly, there are plenty of activities to do with your allies in Somniel, like sharing (probably many) meals at Café Terrace to boost your allies’ stats. You can also work out together, get your fortunes read, ride a Wyvern around in the sky through a course, and fish (of course). There’s a freakin’ farmyard where you can care for animals you’ve found on your adventures — the trailer shows a cat hanging out with a donkey, a beagle, and and a camel. There’s also a very cute creature named Sommie who has, “been here since time immemorial,” and will grant luck to those who are nice to it.

The trailer also showed off fashionable customization options — you can buy clothes and accessories like different shades for yourself but and your allies. You can also take a break by napping in your dank, enormous bedroom; but a cute ally of yours might wake up you up, sort of like an Animal Crossing: New Horizons villager showing up at your home.

Fire Emblem fans know how much of the series downtime between battles is spent chatting with allies and doing silly activities. In Fire Emblem: Three Houses players roamed Garreg Mach Monastery’s hallowed halls, spending activity points cooking fish skewers and eating what felt like 17 meals a day with students — all in the service of bonding with each other before shipping off to battle. You might swordfight with Felix at the training grounds, take Dorothea (and her silly little hat) to choir practice, or attempt to wake Lindhart from a nap.

Even Fire Emblem Warriors, the recent musou take on the franchise, gave players downtime activities to do with their students like tea parties, horseback riding, and dusting.

I can’t wait to meet Fire Emblem Engage’s new allies, and enjoy on goofy excursions and activities with them — even if it must all come to a head on the battlefield.

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