Fire Emblem Warriors – Tantissimi dettagli sul musou dedicato alla saga di Nintendo

I colleghi di Nintendo Dream hanno avuto la possibilità di intervistare Yosuke HayashiHiroya Usuda per parlare di Fire Emblem Warriors, attesissimo spin-off della saga di Nintendo che sarà disponibile questo autunno sia su Switch che New 3DS.

Nell’intervista sono stati svelati diversi dettagli per quanto riguarda Fire Emblem Warriors:

After the announcement at E3

ND: Please tell us your impressions after E3 ended.

Hayashi: There were a lot of Nintendo’s titles out there so I was worried it would get buried (laughs), but I think we could convey that “these characters will be the core main characters of the game”. It’s still just about 20% of the whole contents though. And we’ve also been able to show actual footage of “controlling characters with quality that would have been only possible in pre-rendered movies”, which we have talked about previously. That’s why I think we could assure all our fans that “it’s real”.

Usuda: I was still in Japan at that time, so I watched the Spotlight and Treehouse Live just like the fans. I’m glad to see people enjoyed playing the game, and although it was broadcasted rather late in Japan, many people reacted on SNS (social media), so I’m really grateful for that.

Hayashi: In Japan the Treehouse Live was broadcasted at around 3 AM, wasn’t it.

Usuda: I waited for it to come (laughs). And when it started, every time the likes of Marx/Xander and Ryoma appeared, [the host] got excited saying, “It’s my husband” which left quite the impression on me.

Hayashi: I felt the same way, too. Many people who played [the demo] also shouted “Oh! My husband!” and said things like “My husbands, please don’t fight each other for taking me.” I nonchalantly ended up asking if the waifu and husbando culture is also getting into America (laughs).

ND: (Laughs) We’re going to ask about what Hayashi-san talked about in Treehouse Live. First of all on the existence of the Coliseum [mode]; What kind of thing will this be?

Hayashi: The Coliseum will be one of the modes for replayability outside Story Mode.

Usuda: Yeah. It will be something like ‘Passing through a number of battles!’ In the first place, the mode with replayability is going to have several [consecutive] battles, so if it didn’t have variety people would get bored with it. So when we were going to make something brand-new that’s never been in past Warriors games, someone said “Doesn’t Fire Emblem have the Coliseum after all?” That’s why we included the Coliseum which will have fun battles and gameplay with large-scale special rules.

Hayashi: We’ll properly announce the details at a later date, so please look forward to it.

ND: And we also heard that the Level Up scene can be turned on and off.

Usuda: At first I thought that the Level Up scene is an obvious one for Fire Emblem, so I made it to be unskippable. However, someone told me that frequently pausing in an action game feels not quite right.

Hayashi: Yeah. I’m also in support of its addition, but for people who prefer playing proper action games, they’re a bit [bothered] with the screen pausing in the middle of the action. That’s why we made it to be a selectable option.

Usuda: Other than the Level Up one, the screen also stopped every time a new mission began in the E3 [build], but you can also turn it on or off so that you can move smoothly. So we really want this game to be played by both people who play strategy RPGs and people who play Musou Action, so we’d like people to be able to choose all settings and play with their own preferred environments.

The weapon types of the twins, and the reason why sword was chosen

ND: By the way, people are also discussing about “Why did they give swords to both twin protagonists despite many of the appearing characters also having swords as their weapon type?”

Usuda: Yes indeed. Because there are many sword characters, there were talks during development to give an axe to the boy (Shion/Rowan) and a spear to the girl (Lianna). However, the twins are Lords, and while we were designing the game prologue, we wanted those who don’t really play action games to be able to properly play it too, so we wanted to create the right kind of tutorial. In that case, the enemy positions and gameplay experience would change, and it wouldn’t feel right if they would change based on the protagonists’ weapons. We want people to understand the weapon triangle starting from the sword. We want people who don’t even know about Fire Emblem to be able to grasp the rules, so we made [the tutorial] to stay the same regardless of the choices for the two.

ND: By the way, can weapon types be changed for each character?

Usuda: No, you cannot change weapon types, so the twins will always wield swords.

Chrom was the very first character created

ND: From here we’d like to hear about the characters announced this time. So these are characters from Awakening, right?

Hayashi: Yes. Chrom was also the very first character we created.

ND: So Chrom is the very first character created among them all?

Usuda: Chrom was the very first, and the rest were created in parallel after him. The reason why we picked Chrom first was because there were talks of improving graphics to the level of pre-rendered movies in the original games, and there are models for Chrom and Lissa there.

ND: So you already had something to use as a reference with him.

Usuda: Yes. And not only because of the looks, but Chrom is also a Lord using a sword, so he’d also have a standard position action-wise. While we’re implementing actions in Fire Emblem Warriors, we also used Chrom as a reference on how far we should represent them. We could match his movements from the original game, including his actions during battles, and poses in the boxart and other illustrations; Chrom was even the starting point of deciding the direction, the skeletal frame of Fire Emblem Warriors’ action.

ND: So it was the most hectic until you could finish up Chrom.

Hayashi: That’s right. Awakening characters have flying poses in their Warrior Special attacks, but if you look at them from the side it will look like the boxart of the original game.

Usuda: Other than that we also always talked to put in flashy actions, such as the spinning slash attack shown at the coliseum in the original game. Because in Hyrule Warriors, there were some parts that seemed nonsensical, so characters that just swing their swords would end up having boring movements.

ND: Because in that game you could even drop a moon (laughs).

Hayashi: That’s why we also don’t want [Fire Emblem Warriors] to look plain after [having released] Hyrule Warriors. However, there was also a time when we overdid it and were told that they couldn’t look at the screen properly because the moves were too flashy (laughs).

Usuda: Because it also coincided with our experiment to see how flashy we could make the effects. That’s why at first we put in so many things like aura, but we got told by programmers that “it became heavy on the processor” (laughs). We adjusted them from that.

Hayashi: Someone also said “This is not a Warriors game because you couldn’t see the enemies!”

Character appearances are inevitably decided by their relations

ND: The [character] illustrations are basically based on the original game, but I laughed at Lissa’s picture. That thing she’s holding in her hands!

(Everybody laughs)

Usuda: Because it’s an axe instead of a staff. If Lissa were to be a Cleric as-is like in the original game, she wouldn’t be able to fight, would she? Of course, since we had added Agitha in Hyrule Warriors, we also had the option to use the staff to attack. However, in the end we want staves to be used for healing. Considering there is also a lack of axe characters, and Lissa can use an axe if she gets promoted to War Cleric, we made her to fight by energetically swinging the axe. She also had the same scene in the original game, but we think she’d swing it even more splendidly in a Warriors game.

ND: Well, you cannot even remove Lissa from the character roster in the first place.

Usuda: Yes. Since she’s part of the Shepherds, it would feel weird if Chrom were to appear without her. For example, if only Chrom and Frederick appeared there, it would feel off to us. We also inevitably decided character appearances by considering such character relations.

ND: I see. But it must be hectic to choose characters based on their relationships with each other. You might even end up having too many characters that couldn’t be removed. For example if you were to add Chrom, then how about Lucina?

Hayashi: But actually, we used to stray away regarding Lucina.

ND: And what do you mean by that?

Hayashi: At first there were talks in the development team of, “Should we remove Lucina?” However, after we talked with Nintendo and Intelligent Systems, we reconsidered that, thinking “That’s just not possible after all” (laughs).

ND: Why did you want to remove her?

Hayashi: It’s an obvious thing; it’s not because we hated her or something, but the reasons are because there are already too many sword characters, and because she’s of the children generation.

Usuda: Which means, when we were contemplating on whether to add people from the children generation, if Lucina wasn’t added, then we would’ve come to a conclusion that we wouldn’t add anyone from the children generation.

ND: So it’s the problem of adding how many people from the children generation and their relevance to the storyline. Lucina is a rather important character indeed.

Hayashi: Yes, so we tried talking about that.

Usuda: We had the most extreme problem in deciding characters when such talks came. But we overdid it with Lucina (laughs).

(Everybody laughs)

ND: So what kind of character will Lucina be like?

Usuda: Lucina is Chrom’s child, so they have the same swordsmanship, but they will have their own uniqueness in special attacks. But when we were creating their actions, there were talks that we had to definitely change the standing loop animations between them. That’s why although their actions are the same, they have different standing loop animations.

And the rule of changing the stance for each character started with Lucina. When many characters appear, those in the same class will end up sharing some similar movements. But since we have decided to change Lucina’s standing loop animation, then we also have to definitely make it the same for all characters even if they share the same class. So Lucina created that rule.

ND: So even though you had proposed to remove her, she ended up becoming the core character that creates the rule of character uniqueness.

Hayashi: As a result, the story has become more interesting. Especially when Lucina appears for the first time, we’d expect Fire Emblem fans to give us some (laughs).

Usuda: I can’t say the details yet, but it’ll be in the part on how Lucina shows up.

ND: This pose of her standing illustration is both Lucina and not Lucina in the original game (laughs).

Hayashi: Everyone should know it already, but it’s because at first she used a different name!

(Everybody laughs)

ND: By the way, the heroes are going to gather in the Warriors world from a certain point in their respective original stories. So is it alright for Chrom and Lucina to meet in the Warriors world?

Hayashi: You have a sharp instinct.

Usuda: I hope you can consider that a bit as a parallel world. However we have created it so that it wouldn’t feel out of place with the character relationships in the original game, so we hope you’ll enjoy how the two will interact with each other.

Robin not in the weapon triangle, and Frederick with the axe

ND: Next, please tell us about Reflet/Robin. His illustration looks like his standing pose from Super Smash Brothers for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS.

Hayashi: That’s right. We based him off of the Super Smash Bros. image.

ND: His weapon is Magic Book, so he’s outside the weapon triangle of Sword, Spear and Axe.

Usuda: Of course he could also use a sword other than magic in the original game, but since we already had a lot of swords, he shall mainly use magic as a Tactician, launching magnificent ranged attacks. Reflet/Robin is the first character to use a weapon outside the weapon triangle, so we created him while polishing what kind of traits he should have.

Hayashi: It’s also a good thing that he shouts names of the magic spells in battle.

Usuda: This time, everyone gets to speak quite a lot during the action. They will say something for every action and combo. Reflet/Robin will shout names of the magic spells like “Elfire” and “Elthunder”. The magic book here isn’t divided like the original game, which for example has a book specifically for “Thunder”, so although it’s a single magic book, it can unleash magic skills of varying elements.

ND: By the way, did you also decide Reflet/Robin would appear from the beginning?

Usuda: The flow was from Chrom getting added. After all, if Chrom’s other half is not there, it wouldn’t feel right.

ND: We’re digressing a bit, but if you’re using that logic then wouldn’t that mean all characters that are announced here have been decided to appear from the beginning!?

(Everybody laughs)

Usuda: That’s why it was really difficult for us to select characters. First of all, staff members in our company who like Fire Emblem made a table split by weapon types and ranks from A to C. A is for characters that are popular and important to story. B is for those that are strong or have fond memories. C is for those that would be okay if added. However, eventually for some reason a mysterious S rank got added there.

(Everybody laughs)

Usuda: That rank is for people who would make the game strange if not added. As a result, a lot got put into the S rank (laughs).

Hayashi: Too many characters are in S and A ranks, and a lot more characters are added than usual, so we could no longer add characters from the B rank. That’s why most of the characters had fallen in the battle.

ND: Including the previously announced characters, so far there are no characters that can be removed. I think Frederick is also part of the Shepherds after all.

Usuda: That’s correct. Frederick is not in the S rank, but he was projected to be added in the end. After all, when we are to choose important characters from Awakening, when including relations between characters into consideration, first of all it would have to start from the Shepherds. And the weapon type is also a big factor. When we lined up the character candidates, we didn’t have enough axe characters.

Character-wise, Great Knights have the trait of mounting a horse while armored. I think a lot of people would think Frederick fits with the Silver Lance, but it was a class that could use three weapon types [in the original game]. And since we also have the non-mounted and armored Knight that will use a spear, Great Knights shall end up appearing with an axe.

Besides, his conversations also have things like ‘definitely protecting Lord Chrom’ and ‘picking pebbles’, so due to those easily understandable traits, I had been sure to pick him from the beginning.

Interactions with voice actors, and messages to readers

ND: Are there any things that left an impression to you when interacting with the voice actors?

Usuda: This game is fully voiced, so we talked about wanting to have all of them speak, and gave them very thick script books (laughs). But what makes them all great, although I think it’s an obvious thing since they are professionals, is that they love their respective characters, so they would revise by themselves even though we hadn’t explained things enough. They would ask for retakes by themselves before we could even think about whether to retake or not.
Midorikawa Hikaru-san (who voiced Marth) also said things like, “Is it okay to repeat this once more?” and revised himself four or five times, and he lives up to expectations. We at the booth can only nod, saying “That’s right!” (laughs). We couldn’t help getting excited since this game is also going to be fully voiced.

ND: How did it go with Marx/Xander, who is Usuda-san’s personal favorite?

Usuda: The recording session with Konishi Katsuyuki-san was also really fun. I also pondered “Yeah yeah, that’s right” while listening to the voices (laughs). Even without notes like ‘add a certain emotion’ he could still deliver it, so I think it could get conveyed just by texts on the quotes. He had the best voice.

ND: We also previously talked about including homages from the original games, but does that mean conversations like the ones in the original games will also be fully voiced?

Hayashi: That’s right.

ND: In that case, there would be cases where the voice actors would re-record the same situations in the original games, correct?

Usuda: That’s why they asked, “How should we do it?” “This quote is exactly the same as in the original game, but should I say it the same way, or should I arrange it for this game instead?” Even though the text is the same, the flow would still fluctuate, so everyone is really great.

ND: And thus, the time is up for this occasion. We look forward to the next issue too.

Hayashi & Usuda: Okay!

ND: So finally, please share anything else you’d like to say!

Hayashi: I’m rather unwilling to say this… but there are still many more characters appearing. Please enjoy predicting who are going to appear! There are still more characters appearing from Awakening!

Usuda: We only announced characters from Awakening this time, but I think you should have a good grasp on which characters will be coming. I’d like you to also predict how the roster from Fates and Shadow Dragon will be like from here on! Also, this title, which is fully voiced, is filled with love from not only us development staff but also from the voice actors, so please kindly anticipate it!

Via: Nintendo Everything

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