Throughout Shadows of Valentia, there are collectible items strewn across its many formidable dungeons and varied locales.
New to Fire Emblem (unless you played the original Gaiden on Famicom) is the notion of collecting items during exploration and dialogue scenes. This is done using the "Examine" function from the menu that also includes "Talk" and "Move." You can also find items while exploring dungeons in the game.
Finding Items Using "Examine"
When examining a room, look for items that stand out, that are unique, or that don't fit in with the background – these are generally items that are collectible. Some are nice to have but non-essential, such as Ram Wine, Flour, Cheese, or other sustenance. However, you'll soon realize that rarities can appear just as often, such as valuable weapons, shields, or even materials used for completing side quests that boost your army's renown. The moral of the story? Scour each room you "Examine" carefully.
Finding Items in Dungeons
Dungeons in Shadows of Valentia are third-person mazes. They contain the rooms mentioned above, but also contain free-roaming halls and corridors waiting to be explored. When seeking items in a dungeon, use your map – it will indicate the beginnings of yet unexplored traversable halls or corridors, where rare items or weapons might be found.
Generally speaking, you'll also want to break every barrel, crate, and especially chest your find. At the very least you'll acquire money, and in some cases you'll come across something rare. Also keep your eyes peeled for blocked door or passages that can be broken open, as there are usually rare pickups waiting on the other side. There are probably enemies too, so watch out!