In a recent interview with Famitsu, Fire Emblem If’s developers shared their reasons for creating the new Phoenix mode, a mode where fallen units are revived on the following turn.
During the interview, they discuss the subject of difficulty and how each version will impose different limitations on the player, with Black Kingdom having the most complex victory requirements. Famitsu then asked them if players who are looking for a stimulating challenge should opt for that version of the game, in that case.
“Just because the way it’s played is different doesn’t mean that Black Kingdom is overwhelmingly more difficult by any means” said game director Kohei Maeda of Intelligent Systems. “By playing on a normal difficulty and in Casual mode, even those that are playing the series for the first time will be able to enjoy it.”
“The chapters and story volume of White Kingdom, Black Kingdom, and the third scenario all have about the same amount as Fire Emblem Awakening, so I think that it’ll definitely be worth downloading all of them” added co-director Genki Yokota of Nintendo.
Next, Famitsu asked how the new Phoenix mode came to be and why. They answered the following:
“Looking back at our previous titles up until Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, they were created with an emphasis on ‘this is the way Fire Emblem should be'” game producer Masahiro Higuchi said. “While that is good in its own way, if you analyze it, you’ll find that it creates this problem of making it more difficult to reach new customers.”
“We’d like to have more and more fans of videogames get to enjoy Fire Emblem” he continued. “That idea is even bigger now than it was with Fire Emblem Awakening, and with Fire Emblem If, we’d like to have a widening of our horizons serve as the foundation for the game, and this is one of the concepts that went into its development.”
Maeda then added “I felt that being able to revive on the next turn, which is the Phoenix mode, should be forbidden in a Fire Emblem; however, when you think about players that might think ‘I’m interested, but it looks difficult, so it might be impossible for me’ it’s necessary to have something that can let them think ‘maybe with this even I could play’. That’s the idea that led to it.”
Finally, Famitsu asked if playing Fire Emblem If using Phoenix mode will have any sort of negative effects on the playthrough, such as not being able to see the game’s true ending, for example. To this Higuchi answered:
“There is nothing that can’t be earned just by playing in Phoenix mode”, “However, if you switch from Classic to Casual or Phoenix mode, then your data won’t let you go back to Classic. So those of you who are skilled and wish to taste the sense of accomplishment of being able to say ‘I beat If in Classic mode!’ please stick to Classic mode until the very end, by all means.”
It is also confirmed by Famitsu that weapons no longer have a limited number of uses.
As mentioned before, Fire Emblem If is slated for release on June 25, 2015 in Japan and will be coming to the West sometime in 2016, for Nintendo 3DS.