For decades, the Fire Emblem franchise’s most unique feature was its inclusion of perma-death. Should a character fall in battle, they’re gone for the rest of the campaign. In a game where characters can develop into fighting machines while also going through their own mini story arc alongside of the main campaign, any loss of life is devastating. Though I’ve gotten pretty good at protecting my heroes throughout, I will unashamedly save scum or redo levels entirely if it means I can save lives and keep my options open.
Starting with Fire Emblem: Awakening, players got an alternative. Prior to the start of a campaign, one can choose to play in Classic mode with perma-death on. Or, you could choose a new Casual mode, where fallen heroes simply retreat for the remainder of a level. In this case, these fallen heroes can return at the start of the next mission.
This split has created quite the discussion amongst fans of the series. With Fire Emblem: Three Houses out now, it’s bound to heat up again. Which do you prefer? Is there a “right” way to play? Take it for what you will, but this is my approach to Classic vs. Casual in modern Fire Emblem games.