Awakening Was Supposed To Be The Last Fire Emblem Game – Until It Sold Well
In a recent Iwata Asks interview, Fire Emblem developer Intelligent Systems revealed it created Fire Emblem Awakening understanding it would be the last game in the series.
The game sold well, despite expectations, and became the best-selling Fire Emblem outside of Japan. When the team started development, it decided to include everything they wanted to put into the game so they wouldn't have any regrets. When the request for another game came through after solid sales, the team felt it had used up all of its ideas in Awakening (so they wouldn't have any regrets), but producer Hitoshi Yamagami remembered a previously abandoned idea from when the game was on the NES. "In the first Emblem game, depending on which village you went to, you could only choose either Arran or Samson," Yamagami said, "But no matter which character you chose, the story didn't change. When I said, 'Aww, I wish it would change something,' my senior told me, 'We can't due to limited memory capacity.'" Yamagami wanted to revisit that idea now that memory capacity wasn't really an issue, which is what lead the game receiving a Pokémon-style multi-release.
The interview also goes into the mechanics of Fire Emblem Fates' My Castle feature, and touches on the game's writer, Shin Kibayashi. Kibayashi is a well-known and prolific novelist and manga author in Japan. He took the job writing Fire Emblem Fates because his daughter liked the game and told him he should take the job. Despite only asking for a little bit of input on the game's story, Kibayashi delivered a novel of story saying, "If it wasn't good, my daughter would be angry. And while I was writing, she kept asking, 'How's it going?' which made me feel like 'I need to make this good.' So it kept getting longer, and it became a really elaborate story."
[Source: Iwata Asks]
The idea of making a final anything – be it novel, move, TV series, or video game – rarely sticks. This is especially true today where we inhale remakes and sequels. I'm sure many, including members of Intelligent Systems, are glad that Awakening wasn't the last Fire Emblem.