Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows is perhaps the biggest update to the game since launch – introducing a new storyline involving a secret fourth house, the Ashen Wolves.
Once you learn how to start the Cindered Shadows DLC, you’re then on your way to recruiting the Ashen Wolves characters for the main game – as well as their new classes for other characters.
On this page:
- Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows release time in GMT, EST, EDT and PDT explained
- How to start the Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows DLC
- How do you recruit the Ashen Wolves characters from Cindered Shadows into Fire Emblem: Three Houses?
- How does the Cindered Shadows DLC in Fire Emblem: Three Houses work?
The only way to play Cindered Shadows is by purchasing the Fire Emblem Three Houses Expansion Pass – which features all ‘waves’ of DLC, and costs £22.49 / $24.99 – and cannot be purchased individually.
Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows estimated release time in GMT, EST, EDT and PDT explained
The Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows release date is February 12th in North America and February 13th in Europe.
This means it’ll likely be released at the following Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows release times:
- UK: 2am (GMT, February 13th)
- Europe: 3am (CEST, February 13th)
- East Coast US: 9pm (EDT, February 12th)
- West Coast US: 6pm (PDT, February 12th)
Though these are unconfirmed, Nintendo DLC updates usually release in all regions at the same time – and this is when DLC for other games, such as Super Smash Bros Ultimate updates, have appeared.
Of course, it’s worth stating these times could differ, so you might be better off waiting until Thursday morning for the DLC – especially if you’re based in the UK and Europe.
How to start the Fire Emblem Three Houses: Cindered Shadows DLC
To start Cindered Shadows, you simply have to select it from the main menu. As it’s a separate storyline, it doesn’t affect the process of your current playthrough – making the process of starting the DLC simple.
It’s worth saying though this is the fourth ‘wave’ of DLC for Fire Emblem Three Houses, you don’t need to play previous waves – it will simply appear on the main menu once the DLC has been released.
With Fire Emblem playthroughs taking dozens of hours and involving complicated choices and relationships, putting Cindered Shadows as its own ‘mode’ makes it easy to experience the DLC without having to worry where you are in the story.
However, it does eventually interact with your main save files in several ways.
How do you recruit the Ashen Wolves characters from Cindered Shadows into Fire Emblem: Three Houses?
Though Cindered Shadows is a separate storyline, the characters introduced in the DLC – the four Ashen Wolves – and their respective classes can be used in your main playthroughs.
To recruit the Ashen Wolves in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, you must play through the DLC until a certain point when they will then unlock.
According to a tweet by the official Fire Emblem account (translated by SatsumaFS on Twitter), you can unlock their classes by completing Episode 1 of Cindered Shadows – meaning it’s likely the characters will appear at the same time as well.
When you do unlock them, the four Ashen Wolves will appear within Garreg Mach Monastery during the first half of the game, and can be recruited in the same way you would other characters.
This will affect all playthroughs – so you only need to play through the DLC once for them to appear in every current and subsequent save file.
Once an Ashen Wolves member has joined your House, they can be take part in activities and taken into battles, just like any other student. They will also stay with you for the remainder of the game.
How does the Cindered Shadows DLC in Fire Emblem: Three Houses work?
Cindered Shadows is a separate storyline to Fire Emblem Three Houses, meaning things work a little differently to the main playthrough:
- As Cindered Shadows is set in a new location (the Abyss, underneath the monastery), it won’t adopt the calendar timeline of the main game or feature the same side-activities.
- The DLC is described as being “fairly difficult” and lasts between 8-10 hours, according to ryokutya2089 (via reddit).
- You will have pre-determined party members to fight alongside. These include the three House leaders Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude (joining forces for the first time), one student from each house – Lindhardt, Ashe and Hilda – and the four Ashen Wolves Balthus, Yuri, Hapi and Constance.
- The four Ashen Wolves classes are Trickster, War Cleric (female) / War Monk (male), Dark Flier (or Dark Pegasus in Japan) and Valkyrie, and once unlocked in the main game, can be learned through taking an exam with an ‘Underground Seal’.
The four members of the Ashen Wolves are all joining in four new classes in Cindered Shadows.
— Sets (@SatsumaFS) February 7, 2020
- In the DLC these classes are preset for the Ashen Wolves characters and cannot be changed, according to a translation by SatsumaFS on Twitter.
- As well as the four Ashen Wolves, a new non-playable character will appear in the Abyss named Alphard, according to reddit.
- SatsumaFS also reveals there is a weapon shop and forge in the Abyss, but since there’s only a limited amount of money you can have during the DLC, you have to pick and choose your purchases and upgrades wisely.
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