Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes devs on decision to make Byleth an antagonist
Those that are now playing Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes or have been keeping up with promotional material for the game are sure to know that Byleth is a villain in the game. This is in contrast to Fire Emblem: Three Houses where the character was the protagonist.
In an interview with IGN, director Hayato Iwata commented on the decision. He had this to say about the change for Byleth in Three Hopes:
“We had the scenario writer of Three Houses also handle the writing for this title. So, when talking to this writer, I did discuss the following point: ‘Although Byleth is representing the player, they are simultaneously also one of the appealing characters. So making Byleth an antagonist is a necessary development in order to further bring out the character’s charm’.”
Producer Yosuke Hayashi shared a few words about this as well. He noted that making Byleth an NPC rather than a playable character allowed for their own interesting conflicts.
“We’d felt that the main theme of Three Houses was ‘the conflicts that arise from the clashing beliefs of the characters’ but among the characters, the only one that had no such conflict was Byleth. This is quite natural as Byleth is the main character and is a character for which the selected route is always depicted as the correct way. In Three Hopes, we decided to portray Byleth as the antagonist as we wanted to further explore this theme. In doing so, we thought we could have players experience ‘the conflicts that arise from the clashing beliefs of the characters’ in both Three Houses and Three Hopes.”
Finally, character designer and supervisor at Intelligent Systems Toshiyuki Kusakihara added that the team wanted to try something new with the story:
“Considering the fact that Fire Emblem: Three Houses is being newly reborn as an action game and as part of a different genre, if we had used the same story, it wouldn’t have been exciting enough as this is something that many Three Houses players have already experienced. It isn’t that we are trying to outwit the players’ expectations. We are just constantly trying to think about and create what we believe can exceed players expectations and provide great satisfaction.”
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes just launched today and is available on Switch.