Iwata Talks Fire Emblem Perma Death

By Jorge Ba-oh 18.07.2010 10

Iwata Talks Fire Emblem Perma Death on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata recently got together with the team at Intelligent Systems behind the new Fire Emblem game for DS.

Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow was released in Japan earlier this week. One of the new features is the ability to turn off "perma death", i.e. characters who have died do eventually return. However getting to this point took four solid months of debate between Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems.

  • Whilst New Mystery of the Emblem was originally intended to be a remake of the Famicom/NES original, like Shadow Dragon, it was felt that those who hadn't played the first game might not want to jump into the second.
  • So to cater to newer players, the DS game is based on the 8-bit version but is more of a new game than a remake.
  • There will be "perma death" like in past Fire Emblem titles, where allies never return once defeated. It can now be toggled on or off.
  • There was mixed ideas within the team at Intelligent Systems and Nintendo as to changing "perma death" for newer/beginner players. Nintendo suggested that fallen players return in the next map, but Masahiro Higuchi felt that this would remove the Fire Emblem feeling.
  • The folk at Intelligent Systems felt that the feeling of losing a character permanently if he/she dies creates a stronger bond between player and character; a defining role of the Fire Emblem franchise.
  • Both Nintendo and Intelligent debated the "perma death" issue for days, nights even - often becoming heated. In previous games the team had even implemented a revival option but removed it before release.
  • The issue even spans back to 14 years ago, when in 1996 Nintendo worked on the design elements for Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu and had stated that characters could die and be revived up to five times.
  • After four, yes four, months of constant debate both Nintendo and Intelligent Systems came to an agreement.
  • There will be a "Classic Mode" where the system is kept intact and a "Casual Mode" where characters aren't t removed after death. Difficulty levels remain in both modes.
  • Another new feature is the ability to have your characters explore and build experience when the game is off. Players can see the items characters have collected in the pre-battle prep screen.
  • Box art for Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem - Heroes of Light and Shadow
    Also known as

    Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo - Hikari to Kage no Eiyū

    Developer

    Intelligent Systems

    Publisher

    Nintendo

    Genre

    Strategy

    Players

    1

    C3 Score

    Rated $score out of 10  9/10

    Reader Score

    Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (1 Votes)

    European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

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    Comments

    I'm so against this. Perma death is what makes the Fire Emblem series so unique. It adds that extra layer of depth and difficulty.

    ( Edited 05.12.2012 07:53 by Guest )

    "Do a Barrel Roll!"

    Shadow Dragon was my first ever Fire Emblem, made me totally fall in love with the series. I'll definitely pick this up when it comes out in europe.


    I'm going to stick with classic mode. Half the point of Fire Emblem is that you truly value you're characters. The sense of reward you get when you FINALLY beat a chapter without losing a character after a dozen or so resets is one of the greatest feelings in gaming.

    I remember the long, hard slog to reach the final chapter. The only char I lost without resetting was Darros (Berserker. Invaluable.), who I lost in the second last chapter. So I revived him with the Aum staff in the final chapter, which had the added bonus of giving me a whole extra character for that mission. Happy days.

    It's good to know that there is now a mode so that newcomers won't be put off, but I won't use it. I'm overjoyed that character revivals aren't being forced on us.

    I'm really looking forward to finding out what happened to Marth, Shiida and the gang.

    ( Edited 05.12.2012 07:53 by Guest )

    I'm glad that they have made it an option, but I am worried about the direction the series is taking. Fire Emblem isn't casual. The very idea that a casual mode is included to me is like the beginning stages of fast-spreading cancer.

    You could see it coming with how easy Shadow Dragon was..

    Shadow Dragon was my first ever Fire Emblem, made me totally fall in love with the series. I'll definitely pick this up when it comes out in europe.

    You have to pick up the GBA ones! They are so much better in terms of gameplay, difficulty, and story. The DS one is a decent place to start, as far as learning mechanics of the series goes, but you'll think its a second class product after you play the GBA games.

    ( Edited 05.12.2012 07:53 by Guest )

    I never let anyone in my team die, if they do I just restart the mission. This kinda thing adds more difficulty to the game.

    Dave B, I agree with Jacob4000. Get Fire Emblem on the GBA it's one of the best games ever.

    ( Edited 05.12.2012 07:53 by Guest )

    Nothing wrong with the GameCube/Wii versions either.

    Actually, you can't go wrong with any of them. I have played through each one multiple times. Fire Emblem is what got me back into gaming after being away for 15 years.

    I have looked high and low for other 'strategy rpg' genre games but haven't found ANY suitable replacements. Tactics A2 was ok. Ogre Battles was good.

    Anybody have any other suggestions?

    Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not.

    Anybody have any other suggestions?

    Give Disgaea DS a go. Its fantastic, and very quirky with a lot of cool little touches. Great storyline. I've sunk over 100 hours into it. Its what I used to tide me over until Shadow Dragon was released.

    The only problem is that the controls can be weird. Don't use the stylus, just use the facebuttons. And make yourself play for a few hours before you give up on it. Your first impression may not be good -- in fact there are so many stats being thrown around you'll probably be disoriented -- but you'll love it in time.

    I've always wanted to get into FE, but man this is worrying. Why do Nintendo have to make everything so fucking accessible to EVERYONE regardless of demographic? Let the FE team make their FE games ffs.

    I really hope this doesn't affect the series' direction, like Jacob said. It feels like it's trivialising and demeaning what used to be such an important aspect of the franchise.

    ( Edited 19.07.2010 15:40 by SuperLink )

    Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

    Let the FE team make their FE games ffs.

    That's another good point -- Intelligent Systems has been making these games for nearly 20 years. Why is Nintendo butting in? Nintendo, GTFO and let them work.

    Jacob4000 said:
    Let the FE team make their FE games ffs.

    That's another good point -- Intelligent Systems has been making these games for nearly 20 years. Why is Nintendo butting in? Nintendo, GTFO and let them work.

    To make it accessible. There are some games that are fantastic, but due to the high skill level required, inaccessible. Do we not live in a world where all should be equal?

    It's similar to the middle/upper classes limiting education for the working class so they can't have the same privileges and experiences as them due to some feeling of superiority.

    I think it's a good idea Nintendo stepped in and added a casual mode. It also shows how much Nintendo cares about their games and their games (and their sale).

    Well personally I dont care 4 the DS n I wont buy the new FE unless it comes to the USA n WII version.

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