Fire Emblem: Awakening is now available, letting series fans return to the medieval styled classical RPG roots. But Nintendo wanted to shake up the formula for this installment, in hopes of capturing interest from a broader audience. That included some far-fetched ideas on just how to make this game stand out from the others.
"Ever since we made Fire Emblem: Shin Monsho no Nazo, I'd been proposing that we make a new game. The game would be Fire Emblem, but you could enjoy a different world, like - to take an extreme example - the modern world," producer Hitoshi Yamagami revealed in an Iwata Asks. "All sorts of ideas came up, but they were all going a little too far, so it was hard." Yamagami said one idea was to call it "Fire Emblem 2011," while game director Kouhei Maeda said another was to set the game on Mars. Masahiro Higuchi, the project manager, also mentioned making it like a fairy tale.
So why such radical changes? Higuchi says the team was "groping around at one thing or another so that people who have played Fire Emblem until now would be comfortable picking it up, while new players would at least take a little interest."
Fortunately, the team solidly rejected those ideas and instead decided to make a "culmination of all the Fire Emblem games so far." That settled the question of setting, and drove the mechanical choices to include various parts from different games in the series. It worked out pretty well, and you can read our review for more details.