We do things a little different 'round here
Fire Emblem Engage was released about six months after Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but both games were being developed simultaneously. In a recent interview with Nintendo Dream, some of the Fire Emblem Engage devs commented on this dynamic, and how it led to there being some significant differences between the two titles.
Here’s a snippet from that interview with Fire Emblem Engage producers Genki Yokota and Masahiro Higuchi and Tsutomu Tei, translation courtesy of Nintendo Everything:
Yokota: The two games began development at similar times, so one of the themes was to do things differently from Three Houses.
Higuchi: The last game, Three Houses, was planned with the idea of making an adult war chronicle. On the other hand, Engage was made with the idea of broadening our audience, such that even people who have never tried FE would want to pick it up. It’s been over 10 years since Awakening, so we also thought of making another FE that would appeal to a wide audience.
Yokota: These ideas surface in the gameplay loop of this game too. Three Houses had life at the Monastery as part of the gameplay, and the way you advanced the main story was a bit special, while Engage uses the familiar style of going back and forth between the map and story chapters.
Tei: For the story, unlike Three Houses, we thought it might be good to focus on the growth of the protagonist. While FE is definitely a war chronicle, there have been plenty of games that were tales of adventure or heroism. The first title, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light as well as the three Gameboy Advance games left impressions of that nature, so I feel that this series can accommodate either direction. As storytellers, we decided on the orthodox style of focusing on Alear’s story while the Emblems help them move forward.
Having two games in the same series undergo simultaneous development almost certainly requires them to take different directions in order to stand out from each other. Which of the two styles of Fire Emblem games do you prefer?
Click here to see more insight in a complete interview with the Fire Emblem Engage dev team.