I’ve been using FEBuilder for a while now and thought I’d log some random observations I’ve made from the different GBA games, specifically about the units. I know there’s a lot of sources with information of this sort of thing, but I thought I’d compile a little list anyways just to see what the community thinks.
DISCLAIMER: I recommend you open up FEBuilder or something of the sort to follow along just for clarity’s sake. I was feeling lazy and didn’t bother to add in any images, sorry about that…
Links for Prototype Info
You might know about the changes between the prototype and final release of the game, but I thought I’d talk about this anyways for people who might have noted some strange things in unit order that carried over to the final release. For example, the prototype had Innes as a monk, not a sniper. Remnants of this can be seen as Innes’ data is placed right next to Lute’s while Artur’s data is next to Gerik and Tethys.
There is also unused “Enemy” data in between Dozla and Rennac, likely where the unused Wyvern Rider “Nate” was supposed to be. Cormag eventually took over his place in both gameplay and story, with his original role of a gambling mercenary being replaced by Joshua who appears much later in the unit list.
Another character swap can be seen with Amelia and Tana, when Amelia was originally supposed to be the princess of Frelia before they decided to make her a separate character. This is likely why Tana and Amelia are recruited in the same chapter of both routes as well as why Tana is the final character in the playable unit list, even past Syrene.
Finally, the map data is notable in two ways. Firstly, Chapter 5x appears before chapter 5, though I’m not sure why. More importantly, Chapter 11 on both routes appears near the very bottom of the map data. This is because all three of these chapters were added later in development, not appearing at all in the prototype.
In both FE6 and FE7, playable characters are generally placed next to each other if they are a part of the same class. However, there are some exceptions. For example, Raven and Geitz are placed together. Other characters (Specifically Harken, Legault, and Karla) appear much later as well, implying that they were added later in development.
Some NPC characters are also placed in between playable characters. These include Fargus, Uther, Eleanora, Leila, Bramimond, and even Kishuna. Does this mean they were planned to be playable? Maybe some of them like Fargus or Uther… but Leila, Bramimond and Kishuna are placed at the very end of the playable unit list prior to the bosses, so it’s more likely that they were placed there before being scrapped as the story became more finalized.
Most of the Morph bosses that appear in the final chapter (Ursula, Brendan, etc.) are at the very bottom of the unit data, right before the Wall and Snag unit IDs. However, Jerme is a strange exception as he appears prior to even his non-morph form.
Now THIS is what inspired me to do this. Before we dive in, I’d like to mention the strange NPC data for playable characters. For some reason, characters like Dayan, Bartre, and Gonzales all have separate NPC IDs. Tate/Thea even has three! As far as I know, they’re not even used anywhere during the game. Why did they make it like this? I honestly have no idea.
Another thing to note is the map data. The order of the maps indicates that the Lalum/Echidna route and the Ilia route were the only routes you could play, with the other routes’ maps appearing after the final chapter’s map. Going even further, the gaiden chapters are past them as well, implying that they were all added late into development. This might explain why people regard them as having… questionable design.
Anyways, just like FE7, units are sorted by class. However, there are many exceptions to this, most notably with classes that don’t have exactly three of a single class. For example, Igrene appears next to the paladins rather than the snipers. Could Igrene have originally been a Paladin? Judging by the fact that there is an unused Paladin class, it’s possible. Not to mention the fact that her armor is more similar to that of Perceval than Klein.
The other major example has to be Garret who appears with Oujay and Dieck. Judging by his armor, it’s actually quite similar to the FE6 hero animation, shoulder spikes and all. This also explains why Geese, Gonzales, and Echidna all appear later on in the character list.
There are other units placed seemingly randomly, such as the thieves or even Sophia who is placed late in the list. To keep this somewhat short, I’ll focus on the other two highlights for me. Gale was undoubtedly supposed to be recruitable in the game. He is the only enemy in the game with an affinity, he has strong ties to Milady and Zeiss, and he would be the third wyvern rider in the game to fit in with most other classes that have at least three of a kind. Why would they have scrapped him? Who knows, maybe time constraints? It couldn’t have been that hard to give him a couple of supports and an ending…
Now, apart from Wyvern Riders, there is only one other non-unique class (Lord, Manakete, Dancer, etc.) that has less than 3 characters. That would be the Valkyrie class, with Clarine and Cecilia being its sole representation. You could argue that it’s just a coincidence, but I think it’s more than that. You see, Cecilia is one of the last units listed with the playable characters. However, Clarine is actually the second in the list, right after Roy. Was she supposed to have her own unique class? I don’t think so. Instead, I think this was supposed to be Guinevere’s class. Some sources point to Guinevere being a secondary lord to Roy, which would make sense considering her role in the story. As the other lord of the game, she would likely be placed right next to Roy in the data. However, judging by the “Making of Fire Emblem 64” and “Making of Binding Blade” sources, we know that the game’s development was littered with unused or heavily altered ideas, so a scrapped “Lord Guinevere” is not so hard to believe.
Anyways, I hope you had fun reading some of these random things I noticed along with my FE6 theories! I’d love to hear about any kind of obscure information the community might have found just by digging around the internet or through a game’s code. I’m interested to learn more about these games, especially the one’s I don’t know so well.