Experimental "Simplified FE" game was developed for Nintendo Wii

#1

Stumbled across this excerpt from the 25th anniversary interviews. Series producer Toru Narahiro had some interesting things to share about a scrapped title that was being developed for the Nintendo Wii.

After Radiant Dawn, the FE development team had been told by corporate “do not release another title on a home console.” Although their efforts never came to fruition, Intelligent Systems began toying with their first “simplified FE” concept for the Wii.

Another interesting tidbit? There was a “staff reset” after FE10 flopped - which nicer way of saying that a lot of the team got laid off. The interview touches upon the person who became Awakening’s director, Kouhei Maeda, who wanted to direct the work-in-progress Wii title. Apparently he’d been talking about adding marriage as a gameplay element for quite a while.

One of the few screenshots of the game show character models for Ilyana, Stefan, and what appears to be Rhys, with some enemies off in the distance. It mostly seems like they were playing around with FE10’s assets. Ultimately, this experimental project was a game design prototype that never became anything more than that.

A scanslated design doc is also available, which sheds a bit more light on the concept.

Narahiro cites the Pikmin series as an inspiration for the new controls; instead of a traditional overhead view, it seemed as though they wanted to take Fire Emblem in a more traditional RPG direction with an open field explored by your party of characters. Unfortunately there are no details on the planned combat system. The only thing I can think of is that approaching a group of enemies would throw the game into an overhead grid combat system, similar to traditional FE with a bunch of smaller maps contained in every inch of the traverse-able overworld.

The fully translated excerpt is available courtesy of Kantopia:

This is probably some of the most interesting FE-related news I’ve come across in a while. It’s always fascinating to think “what could have been?”

Curse you and your nine waifus, Maedaaaaaa!

5 Likes
#2

It would definitely explain a lot about the direction the series went after RD…

3 Likes
#3

Stahp, you’re making me cry.

#4

hmm, i could see this working as a sort of modernised successor to fe2’s world map system. (it’s always disappointed me that later fe games which used world maps didn’t use a similar system, but that’s another story entirely) not sure if it’d actually have worked out okay, either mechanically or aesthetically, but what the hell it’s an interesting prospect in theory at least

1 Like
#5

I bought that book. A really thick one full of interviews.
I also found some interesting things in it.
For example:
Why sword>axe>lance>sword?

4 Likes
#6

It tells us a lot about the evolution of the series, I think. By some accounts, Intelligent Systems needed the relatively low budget GBA games to put the profits toward developing the home console title that was in the works (FE9). Perhaps IntSys intended to use the DS remakes in a similar fashion, as a funding source for this new home console title. First, Nintendo said “don’t do another home console game” after Radiant Dawn. We also know that an ultimatum came down from corporate at the beginning of the 13th title’s development, “this next game can’t flop otherwise it’ll be the last one.” FE12 didn’t even make it out of Japan. With that threat, plans for funding this aimless home console title were probably scrapped in favor pursuing the most marketable option (i.e. Maeda’s waifus and “kids from the future”). It would’ve been risky to stake the future of the series on bringing this utterly experimental concept to fruition. Given enough time for refinement, I think that this concept could have turned into something special. With poor sales numbers hanging over the development team’s head, time just wasn’t on their side to sort out a more radical re-imagining of the series.

1 Like
#7

Now that I think about it, considering all the random throwbacks to FE2 in Awakening and Fates, I could see them returning to this concept for an FE2 remake. God, does that game need one

I do find it funny that Pikmin was considered to have a similar gameplay style for this. Imagine, permadeath combined with similar numbers to how many pikmin you have on the field at once, resets, resets everywhere

I’m glad that Awakening took the approach it did tho. Thanks to it and FE7, I was able to get into this series, and I doubt I would have as much if this concept was used.

#8

I mean, there is actually absolutely nothing that Intelligent Systems could ever do, in my mind, that makes Awakening look good by comparison. If it ever gets worse than FE13, I quit.

The most important part of the story is, basically, that an utter lack of direction from within the design team eventually led to the rise of “self-insert mail-order waifu emblem”, for lack of another viable option. The plot is contrived, the gameplay diminishes the significance of every decision other than “which wife are you going to marry?” Honestly, I think it’s a fucking shame that they settled for the easy answer and basically sold the series’ soul in the process.

But don’t mind me I’m just an old salty fuck whose opinions don’t matter because “popularity” is the only thing that matters in life. Bah fucking humbug.

6 Likes
#9

Fire Emblem now is Waifu Emblem. All is fanservice, big boobs, fanservice, maidens, did I mentioned fanservice yet?
It wouldn’t bother me if it was optional, but the fact that you have to kidnap characters to your room and touch them just to get supports, just doesn’t make sense. Since when the characters are Pokemons? (And I didn’t like that feature in Pokemon games)
I just want a good history and a good gameplay, and it will be difficult to ignore the fanservice… But well, if that sells, I don’t think we’ll see a decent Fire Emblem soon.

2 Likes
#10

I also think the feature is fucking stupid, but it is 100% optional and not in any way required for support conversations.

#11

At this point it’s basically like: “Fuck it, we should just make our own SRPG series.”

There’s enough talent within our own little community to produce a commercial-quality game. It’d be more enriching for us than giving free advertising to waifu emblem, at least.

3 Likes
#12

a few months ago, masahiro sakurai published a famitsu column which talked about waifu-fondling in more or less this manner, with his defence basically being “don’t like it? play the game but just don’t use it”. now, i vehemently disagreed with this standpoint (mostly because if you’re writing a defence of including useless fun side things that don’t affect the main game, waifu-fondling is probably not the example you want to use) but a discussion with a friend helped me actually develop a response to his claim that’s marginally less shit than my initial reaction

on one hand, if waifu-fondling isn’t actually tied into the rest of the game in any meaningful way, it’s pretty easy to say “it’s useless so cut it!” and call it a day. on the other hand, if that’s my justification for wanting waifu-fondling gone then i might have a problem. let’s face it, a) useless side stuff is everywhere and b) most of the time it’s fun. while i’ve never played ffvii i’ve heard plenty of stories of players devoting hours to the chocobo races and the gambling minigames. i think just about everyone can name a dumb minigame from a game that they fell in love with, and the claim that being useless and ignorable is reason enough to want to see it gone kind of applies to all of those. hell, even in the case of stuff people don’t care for it’s a tall order. for instance, that wi-fi plaza thing from pokémon gen4. it’s completely pointless and absolutely inane even by the standards of pokémon side-activities, but sakurai is right in that it’s silly to argue it should be cut on that basis

in the end, my argument is one of harm. waifu-fondling is pointless, but unlike other pointless things, it’s pretty harmful, which is a nice way of saying “fucking vile”. i know arguing this to somebody who’s actually played the damn game is going to make this sound pretty stupid pretty quickly, but between the involvement of pre/early-teen characters like elise and matoi actively apologising for having small tits, i have a hard time looking at waifu-fondling and thinking “okay sure this is an acceptable part of a mainstream strategy game in the year 2015”. hell, i would further argue that it actively undermines the game’s attempts to be something resembling a serious story, with how it takes characters with their own lives and turns them into the avatar’s playthings even if it makes no sense for them to want to do that

sure, it’s optional, but it’s utterly appalling so just ignoring it and playing the game anyway isn’t a good enough response imo. i’m just glad that judging from sakurai’s piece, it’s apparently not exactly going down well in the japanese fandom either, since they seem to be the ones intsys listens to (iirc intsys admitted that their criticisms of fe13’s shittacular writing is what led them to try and hire decent writers for 14, even if that didn’t pan out either)

3 Likes
#13

Um… I agree? I was just clarifying that it’s not needed for supports Which apparently some people think. Maybe “fucking stupid” wasn’t strong enough language? I agree it damages the integrity of the series, it’s a symptom of the new management, which is an even deeper issue.

EDIT:
…wait, did you think I was saying the feature was okay because it’s optional? No. It’s not.

#14

yeah, that’s p much exactly what happened. that, and i wanted to write a thing and get my opinion down in something vaguely resembling a coherent form. this seemed like as good a time as any

#15

Maybe I should have went with “Really fucking stupid to the point that Fomortiis should have appeared from the netherrealm and punched them all in the face the moment they thought about it”

2 Likes
#16

congratulations that’s officially better than 99% of my screeching on the subject

#17

As you are aware, as mainly an idea guy, I’m always down for coming up with these kinds of ideas for "spiritual successor"ing series; the problem usually comes into play when my ideas are too complex for whatever the best engine available is…

And, with how disillusioned I am with the series, I’ve already got document after document of ideas… Though, even if XNA were available or SRPG Studio had a translated version, my ideas would still require customization…

1 Like
#18

My logic is if it’s optional and people have fun with the mechanic, keep it in the game, even if I myself don’t like it in any sense of the word.

Would FE Amie make more sense in a different franchise, the answer to that is obviously yes, but if someone out there likes the mechanic for whatever their reasoning is, then there is no reason for me to complain and get salty about it. The series has never had a good storyline in my opinion, so I have no hopes for Fates storyline, and the actual gameplay is unaffected by this new artstyle. Heck, I’ve flat out seen the Nohr route referred to as the second coming of Thracia 776 is terms of map design, and the new weapon mechanics are anything but simplified due to each weapon having their own unique abilities that ultimately increase the game’s complexity.

Of course, I’m just an Awakening noob who happened to go back and play the older games after Awakening, so take my thoughts how you will

1 Like
#19

https://youtu.be/BGi6Q1pNbS0

2 Likes
#20

In an old (古き良き) FE, we just open a map, throw characters there and end turns again and again. It is not that interesting. Why not let players enjoy the process? The newloveplus+ style system is a good try. When fans feel bored with the old and mechanical way of developing support with their kids, they do need a new way.
PS: やっぱり触れ合ってこそ愛情も伝わると思うんです。

In FE6/7/8, each unit can only talk 5 times, so if you want to reach the 100% support, you will need to clear the game many times, while in 3DSFE, you don’t need to do that. No doubt that is a humanized progress.

The fan service system also provides lots of neta materials for the doujin comics of FEif, like the brigand weapons, the hot spring and so on. The moe elements is an important part of the modern jp games in order to attract young customers. You may have noticed that everyone in new FE has some lovely points in his or her character.

The platform decides that Nintendo/IS cannot just make a 18X SRPG like Eushully. At most some service content which is really common in jp games.

2 Likes