Fe is one of those games that lulls you into a false sense of security. That pretty landscape, gorgeous soundtrack, and collection of cutesy critters are actually hiding a game that’s occasionally annoying to play. But don’t fear, you won’t be getting lost in the woods with those one-eyed Silent Ones, I’m here to help. I’ve braved the beasts, hidden from the Silent Ones and sung so loud in the forest that even the rocks were embarrassed. Here are eight things I wish I knew before playing Fe.
1. There are no tutorials, but there are... stones
You might get the odd button prompt to guide you through the early stages in Fe, but after that you’re on your own. Working out that you need to pull the monster’s tail, or feed it a berry in order to make it like you isn’t exactly clear and can leave you regularly flummoxed - in spite of just how pretty it all looks. So before you go throwing the controller through the window in rage, take a look around for some stones that glow with pixelated pulsations. Sing at one of these and you’ll unlock a cryptic picture that usually gives you at least some indication of what you have to do next.
2. The map is not your friend
It doesn’t help that the map is strangely cryptic. It’s technically a top down affair, but the wandering waypoints are often unhelpful, especially as you can regularly be standing on top of one and not actually see what you’re meant to be looking for. It’ll definitely help you see which general direction you’re meant to be going, but you’ll have to use a lot of creative thinking in order to actually use the map, you know, like a map.
3. You can enlist a bird guide to help you
Thankfully, helping you to understand the map is where your little bird friend comes into play. A little way into the story, you’ll get access to a small bird who you can summon by singing at full pelt for a little while - just hold down the sing button until he comes tweeting around you. Then if you hold the sing button gently for a few seconds - not full pelt anymore - he’ll fly off to show you where you need to go next, or what you need to interact with. Use the bird in conjunction with the map and suddenly navigating Fe’s forests gets a lot easier.
4. Just keep singing
If you’re ever stuck as what to do next, the easiest thing to do is sing. Sing at rocks, trees, the birds and the freakin’ bees and you’ll soon find that something is just waiting for you to bellow in its face. Sometimes it’s just a case of not being in quite the right place for a song to connect with another animal, or the glowing rings indicating that something wants a ballad aren’t quite triggering. As Dory says, “Just keep singing, just keep singing, just keep singing, singing, singing.” Or, something like that anyway.
5. Some animals can be friend and foe at the same time
Just be aware as you start screaming songs into critters’ faces that it is possible for the same breed of creature to switch between friend and foe. The little ones are usually okay, but the bigger the beast the more wary you should be. It’s also possible that something that used to be an enemy, may well turn nice eventually. How lovely, but also confusing. So don’t dismiss anything, sing at everything, but also be careful. It’s tricky to be a forest fox.
6. Watch for the jellyfish when you sing to the eye plants
Although the main aim of the game is to connect with animals by singing to them, there are also strange one-eyed plants that also want a song or two. But they don’t want to sing along just for a joke, they actually want to help you. Sing with them, and then watch out for the little jellyfish that emerge from them. They’ll be triggering growing flower pads that’ll bounce you up to new, higher-up areas to explore. But they’re easy to miss and the flowers won’t hang around forever, so you’ll need to be quick.
7. Collect as many pink crystals as you can
Scattered throughout the various hubs are shiny pink crystals, which all combine to give Fe new abilities. To begin with there’s the tree climb, which only takes one crystal, but the more you collect the better your abilities will become. I finished the game with the ability to glide after jumping and a fast run, but with 75 to collect there are more abilities to discover. The game will generally guide you to enough crystals to collect for the tree climb and the glide, but I’d advise you to go looking for as many as you can along the way.
8. Sing hard at robot heads
Dotted around the forest are disembodied robot heads - the same as the ones on the very much alive Silent Ones, just… smaller. If you sing very hard at these when you find them, the glittering crystal eye will fall out. Pick it up and prepare to get a monster’s eye view of what’s been going on in the forest. Unlocking all the memories is key to fully understanding Fe’s storyline. There are 12 to find in total, and although most are very much placed along the main paths of the story, you may have to hunt a little harder to find the last two or three.