The Cindered Shadows side story DLC for Fire Emblem: Three Houses will be available very soon - tomorrow on February 13 (February 12 in US time). As reported previously, this side story will have its own separate progression and save data as it is accessed on its own in the main menu, and playing through the mode will gradually unlock more content in the main game.
Nintendo has published more details on this final wave of the Expansion Pass on the Japanese official website after previously revealing bits of information through the Japanese Fire Emblem Twitter account. We have compiled all the information found on both the Japanese website and the Twitter account below.
Side Story Characters
Other than the protagonist Byleth and the four new characters (Yuri, Constance, Balthus, Hapi), you will be also joined by the three house leaders (Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude) and three more students - one from each house (Linhardt, Ashe, Hilda). You won't be able to recruit other characters as you like during the course of the side story.
Although character levels can still increase from experience gained through battles, their skill levels will not increase. So each character will have a pre-determined set of unlocked classes and abilities for the player to choose.
Cindered Shadows will add four new classes that are listed at Special Classes. They have similar requirements to Advanced Classes which require the character to be at least level 20, but they will require a new examination seal called the Abyss Seal.
A magic sword user who also has quick movements. They have a special Combat Art which lets them swap positions with another ally up to 5 spaces away.
The minimum requirements to guarantee to unlock the Trickster class are Sword B and Faith B, but the character will also need to have unlocked the Thief class first.
If you have recruited Anna and assigned her to this class, she will also have a unique outfit.
- War Monk / War Cleric
Although the class name differs a bit depending on the character's gender (males will become War Monk and females will become War Cleric), this class will be good in using axes, gauntlets, and some magic as well. They also have a unique Combat Art that eats up some of the weapon's durability to launch a 1-2 ranged magic attack.
The minimum requirements to guarantee to unlock this class are Brawl B+ and Faith C+.
- Dark Flier
A female-only magic knight who rides a black pegasus. She has a unique ability where getting hit by a magic attack in an enemy phase will enable her to temporarily increase all of her stats by 3 in the next player phase. Just like other mounted units, she can also have the Canto ability that allows moving again after attacking.
A female-only mounted knight class that is good in using black magic. Other than Canto, she also has a couple of unique abilities that increase the ranges of Black Magic and Dark Magic attacks by one extra grid.
Visiting The Abyss
While you are inside the Abyss during the course of the side story, you will have a limited supply of money and materials needed to purchase and upgrade weapons. So you will need to optimize your playthrough by minimizing weapon usage, searching for lootable items in every corner of the Abyss, or breaking a gigantic enemy's armor to obtain more ores. Byleth's Sword of the Creator can also recover some durability on its own at some points in the side story.
Finishing the first episode of Cindered Shadows will unlock the new classes and spawn a character who can bring you to the Abyss in the main game. Other than interacting with the Ashen Wolves, you can speak with the Abyss' boss and spend Renown to spawn more people and unlock more features inside the area. Some examples of the unlockable extra features are as following:
- Pagan Altar
You can offer unneeded food and materials to the pagan idol in order to gain more Renown. You can also do transactions using Renown to obtain various weapons and items.
- Mysterious Teacher
A former academy teacher will be able to tell you how much a certain character has grown since joining your house.
Spawnable after the time skip, you can spend more Renown to the Astrologer in order to improve a pair's support points or even 'tie their future fates.'
Progressing further into the side story will gradually unlock the Ashen Wolves students (Yuri, Constance, Balthus, Hapi) as recruitable characters before the time skip. If you do manage to recruit them, the game will add new paralogues as well as support conversations between them and several other characters including Byleth. They will also have more mature designs after the time skip.