FEIf feature

Fire Emblem If’s developers discuss Phoenix Mode

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.

Fire Emblem If's developers.
Fire Emblem If’s developers.

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.

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Robin McCarthy-Ivey

Phoenix Mode definitely sounds… Interesting. As Awakening was my first Fire Emblem game, I don’t claim to be a mega-fan of the franchise, but I know for sure this is… New. Being of the western audience, there will certainly be games I will not have the opportunity to play, but I’m no stranger to tactical based games. This could open new multiplayer options. For example, two players versing one another in a “Defeat the Commander” situation. From what I gathered from the trailer, the MU is a “Dark Lord” this time ’round, so I’ll assume this to be the player command unit.

Let’s say you are playing offensively, keeping your lord and healers to the rear, and the other player is playing defensively, keeping an iron wall around their lord. You may be able to eliminate the lord’s guards, but they will be able to resurrect the next turn, and trap your units in a pincer, one from the rear, two from the sides and the lord (which SHOULD be grinded like crazy) from the front. Let’s say they sent a paired unit after your lord. You’ve been screwed in a single turn. Your units are trapped and your lord is being pursued.

This could open a HUGE variety of new tactics, new plays. It could be game changing.

I, Personally, will wind up playing on casual for my first playthrough, then classic for the hell of it, followed by lunatic for the challenge, and then lunatic+ like the masochist I am.

Back to the multiplayer aspect I spoke of earlier, I loved awakening. Arguably one of the best 3ds games I’ve played. But it lacked that competitive PVP aspect I craved. Sure you had streetpass and double dual, which was fine, co-op’ s great, but I would have loved, and I mean LOVED to face off against a team NOT run by a stupid AI. Beat a computer? Ok. Beat a person, you’ve done something worth bragging about.

As for weapons not have limited uses… Yay!!!! I LOVED forging my own weapons in Awakening and naming them, and I’d get so upset when I’d have a sword twice as strong as the exalted falchion break after one battle, so this is a HUGE plus. Though I hope this isn’t the case in hard or classic mode.

All and all, this seems like it’s going to be one hell of a game. I’m unsurprised, what with the (well deserved) praise awakening had.

I’ll certainly keep this game(s) on my radar, and with what I’ve heard so far, I’ll be at the midnight release dressed as Priam.