Today at E3, Nintendo shared lots of new information about Fire Emblem: Three Houses, including the bombshell that the game will let you undo actions if you get yourself into a losing situation. This is a massive change for the franchise, which has traditionally been quite punishing in how it makes players live with their decisions.
According to the Nintendo Treehouse stream, an ability called Divine Pulse is being added to the next entry in the classic tactics series. This ability will be usable three times per battle, and it’s more versatile than even a lot of people hoping for some rewind ability were expecting. Using Divine Pulse, you can either restart the battle from the very beginning or undo the last couple of turns. It’s usable even in Classic mode, which features perma-death for characters who fall in battle.
It’s expected that Divine Pulse will tie into the game’s story in some way, rather than just being a handy utility for the player. How exactly it will tie-in hasn’t been revealed yet, though. We’ll have to wait to see whether that means that sometimes travel or (given the name) divine intervention will be a key part of the game’s story.
The new ability may sound like a minor addition, but it’s a pretty critical change. It could make the game much more accessible to players who are turned off by the series’ usual rigidity and will allow more experienced players to play in Classic Mode without the fear of one bad damage roll or unintentional button press killing their favorite character forever.
It also goes a long way to bring Fire Emblem: The Three Houses in line with more modern tactics games. Recent games like Into the Breach have made undoing and redoing turns a core part of the gameplay, and most games in the genre now feature at least a way to preview how moving a unit to another square will turn out. The Divine Pulse ability in The Three Houses is quite a bit more flexible than most mechanics, but the fact that it has limited uses means it could still appeal to the core Fire Emblem fans who don’t want to see the game become too easy.