In the latest issue of Famitsu, the Famitsu team interviewed Koei Tecmo and Nintendo on the development of Fire Emblem Warriors. This interview revealed details on how the game came about, characters that will be making an appearance, bond conversations, and much more.
The interview has been translated into English thanks to Kite Stenbuck.
Fire Emblem Warriors interview with:
· Hayashi Yosuke from Koei Tecmo Games, Producer of FE Warriors
· Yokota Genki from Nintendo, Director of FE series since Awakening
· Higuchi Masahiro from Intelligent Systems, who also worked on FE if/Fates & Echoes
Famitsu: This game had been discussed as a shocking collaboration, but could we ask from the episode of the project establishment time?
Hayashi: In the past Weekly Famitsu (3 December 2015 issue), there was a poll article on “which collab Warriors you want to play”, wasn’t it? Actually at that time, the project had already begun.
Famitsu: Was that so!?
Hayashi: That’s why at that time, we were in a condition where we couldn’t talk about it despite wanting to talk (laughs). Originally, the thought that realizing a Fire Emblem Warriors would be interesting came from us (Koei Tecmo), and when we brought the project to Nintendo, the talks became ‘let’s make this on the new console!’, and we proceeded with rapid strides. The new console of course now refers to the Nintendo Switch.
Yokota: When we received the proposal, I remembered giving an immediate reply of ‘It’s good!’.
Higuchi: After that, Nintendo sent the talks to us. Our company (IS) also got hyped, like ‘That sounds interesting!’.
Famitsu: That interesting title is being steadily made into shape like this, but could you tell us on the direction all of you are aiming for, on top of developing this game?
Hayashi: First of all, what we have decided from the beginning was “to make a Warriors game that can be enjoyed by Fire Emblem fans”.
Yokota: There are also many titles in Warriors series, and there are also infinite variations in directions, but we had always been discussing with Koei Tecmo Games on ‘what is the Warriors desired by fans of the original works’. We’ve been making choices to adopt or reject features one by one, such as wanting a system from the original works (FE), or a system that exists in Warriors series but is not suitable for Fire Emblem Warriors. But at that time we always proceeded the talks by putting ‘being enjoyable by fans of the original works’ on mind.
Hayashi: The series has had a history this long, so each staff in the development team has very fond memories of Fire Emblem. That’s why we had totally rough passages in discussing which features should be included.
Famitsu: It isn’t hard to imagine, is it (laughs).
Hayashi: Anyway for the system, we basically settled for once on the direction of sublimating systems that are on the fundamentals of Fire Emblem.
Famitsu: Are there any kind of requests from Higuchi-san, like wanting contents on this kind of direction?
Higuchi: At first I thought on whether our company (IS) should have given proper requests, but when we met them and listened to their talks, the fact that ‘they really love Fire Emblem’ got conveyed to us. Since then, I think we ought to leave it to Koei Tecmo Games, and our company decided to move on the direction to mainly supervise on characters etc.
Hayashi: We still can’t talk in detail yet, but the basics of Fire Emblem like the Weapon Triangle, the height of strategic features, and the differences between Classes also exist here.
Famitsu: These have been published in this article, but we’re wondering on the relations between characters, such as what kind of conversations Chrom and Marth will have, and what they will call each other.
Yokota: Supervision for things like such character settings is being dealt with Intelligent Systems, starting from Higuchi-san.
Higuchi: This time [the game] is fully voiced, and there is also an enormous amount of quotes. I remembered being surprised at the thickness of script book for voice recording when I looked at it.
Hayashi: Many people in our company (KT) were also surprised as regular fans, like ‘This character speaks like this!?’.
Famitsu: So it’s about time we’d like to move the talks to the main topic, about the appearing characters…
Hayashi: You’re wondering about it, right? (laughs). The development team had been always debating on things like ‘This character is definitely required’ or ‘Isn’t this guy more important than that guy?’.
Yokota: Thankfully, everyone’s fond memories are so strong.
Famitsu: Would there be any hints, like who appears from which title…
Hayashi: It’d be bad for us to make everyone impatient, so I’d like to say about this beforehand. Basically [characters] will be coming from Shadow Dragon and Awakening, and also Fates. So not in a form of… a gathering of protagonists from all series.
Famitsu: I see. So that means you’re narrowing down the titles.
Hayashi: There’s a reason to this. If we only put protagonists from each titles, the majority would be dominated by characters who use Swords. And in that case, the Weapon Triangle system would end up not functioning.
Famitsu: So for characters of protagonist calibers, there are few of them who use Axes and Spears.
Hayashi: That’s right. In this game there’s also a feature where you play by switching characters, and we want [players] to control characters with variations of weapons and classes, so we intentionally narrowed down the titles.
Yokota: About the appearing characters, we ended up making Koei Tecmo Games really troubled (wry laugh). First, Koei Tecmo Games asked ‘how about this character lineup?’ and sent a list to us, but from within our company (Nintendo), there were so many requests like ‘please add these’…
Higuchi: After that, the list also came to our company (IS), but there were also opinions on ‘please add these’…
Famitsu: And [the list] kept getting added.
Hayashi: By combining such various opinions, we finalized the participating characters. As a result, we are preparing more playable characters than the 1st titles of other collab Warriors series! We are also adding Archer and Mage-type characters in there, taking a balance of classes.
Famitsu: In this game, Shion and Lian are appearing as protagonist characters, but please tell us on the details of them becoming born.
Hayashi: It’s the decision that putting original characters on the core would be better. We wanted the likes of Marth and Chrom to have side-by-side relationships. With that, it’d be better if we construct it s othat the protagonists stand on their own, and legacy characters appear to help them.
Higuchi: They are characters that grow by borrowing assistances from people, so we made the setting for them to be a bit younger than legacy protagonists.
Yokota: When the settings for Shion and Lian were being created, it proceeded right at the same timing as creating original character settings for Fire Emblem Heroes. When we looked at Shion and Lian’s designs, there were talks that the designs and settings alike are ‘similar!’ to Heroes’ protagonists Alfonse and Sharena.
Higuchi: That’s why we planned to differentiate them so that they’re not too similar.
Hayashi: But the voice actress for both Lian and Sharena became the same Uchida Maaya-san though (laughs).
Famitsu: (Laughs). In this game, is the setting like ‘Heroes living in other worlds being summoned into the world Shion and Lian live in’?
Hayashi: We still can’t state it clearly yet, but please think of it for now as them being called by the “Fire Shield” in this world, and coming here by crossing over dimensions.
Famitsu: I see. We also have a lot of things to ask about the game system as well. For the previously mentioned Weapon Triangle, would it be okay to consider it as ‘attacking Axe wielders with Sword would be advantageous’?
Hayashi: Exactly so. There are also features such attacking Pegasus Knights with Archers would cause a “Special Effect” in increased damage.
Famitsu: In the original works, Pegasus Knights have the appeal of being able to move by ignoring terrains though…
Hayashi: For that one… Ah, no good. I might end up saying something I cannot say. Let’s end it here for today (laughs).
Famitsu: In Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, horses act as transportation methods. In Fire Emblem there are units that normally ride horses, but how will horses be treated here?
Hayashi: In this game, units that ride horses will basically always fight while mounted on horses. For example the Cavaliers.
Higuchi: They will still ride horses even inside castles.
Hayashi: One of Cavalier’s appeals is that they have high mobility, so we designed them to not omit that.
Famitsu: I see. The feature where conversations between characters from different titles are fully voiced cannot be overlooked in this game, but are there such things like “Support Conversations”?
Hayashi: We’re calling it “Bond Conversations”, but yes, such system is in the game. This also has an enormous amount of text… (laughs). There are serious conversations and also ones that seem comedic, so please also have fun looking forward to this.
Famitsu: By the way, there were also titles where deepening bonds would allow marriages…
Hayashi: For this one it’s okay for me to say it, right? There are no marriages this time.
Yokota: The image is that they’re becoming close friends. It won’t develop to romances.
Famitsu: Understood. We’re also looking forward to more information from here on. And finally, please leave a message to the fans who have been eagerly waiting for this game.
Yokota: In Fire Emblem, we also had a big fixation on character motions, and we have congealed the schemes in each series. Those Fire Emblem characters will open up a one-vs-thousand action. There are also characters doing movements never seen before, even I also thought multiple times ‘for that character to have such movement’, and personally I’m also really looking forward to it. Please kindly wait for the release in anticipation.
Higuchi: Koei Tecmo Games is creating an action game of hacking-and-slashing a lot of enemies, with appeals of Fire Emblem characters being fully included. Character appeals different from before will be drawn out here, so please taste the exhilaration of one-vs-thousand in this game.
Hayashi: When the title was first announced, there was a tremendous amount of reverberation. We’re thinking again that this game is being anticipated by fans that much, and at the same time we’re also proceeding development to our utmost because we ‘must live up to the expectations’. We’re finishing up this as a game aimed for all Fire Emblem fans, so please wait for future information batches as well.