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Hitoshi Yamagami

In late December, Nintendo published Genei Ibun Roku #FE in Japan. Nintendo Dream thought it would make sense to speak with the game’s staff now that development is complete. The Japanese magazine caught up with producer Hitoshi Yamagami (Nintendo), director Kaori Ando (Nintendo), producer Shinjiro Takata (Atlus), director Eiji Ishida (Atlus), chief director Wataru Hirata (Atlus), and art director Fumitaka Yano (Atlus). That’s quite a number of developers indeed!

We’ve translated a lengthy part of the interview below. The excerpts are very insightful, as the developers spoke about how they thought about different genres for the project, considered 3DS (even making a project plan), and more.

During E3 last week, GameSpot conducted an interview with some developers from Nintendo and Monolith Soft. Those staffers are as follows:

Hitoshi Yamagami – Producer, Nintendo
Genki Yakota – Director, Nintendo
Tetsuya Takahashi – Executive Director, Monolith Soft
Koh Kojima – Director, Monolith Soft
Shingo Kawabata – Producer, Monolith Soft

In the interview, GameSpot asked all of these developers about the relationship between Nintendo and Monolith, the “JRPG” term, how the Japanese market is at present, and more. Head past the break for their comments. You can also access GameSpot’s original article here.

This comes from Atlus producer Shinjiro Takata and Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami…

On the speculation there was about the project…

Shinjiro Takata: Everybody is pretty much off the mark with what they’ve thought about this game, but one thing that people got wrong the most in Japan—at the end of the first trailer we announced, there was a line that said—people who are fans of Japanese voice actors knew the voice of Yuichi Nakamura. He generally voices main characters, so they were saying, oh, Nakamura’s going to voice the main character. Actually, he voices someone completely different. They were off the mark there.

On how the project came together…

Shinjiro Takata: What happened was, in the process of making this game—the whole idea started when Mr. Hitoshi Yamagami, who is a producer at Nintendo, brought the idea of making a simulation, a strategy game, to Atlus. This was a problem, because Atlus is well known for making JRPGs. That’s our bailiwick. The next thing was, well, what do we do? Do we make it fantasy-based, because Fire Emblem is known for fantasy settings? That kind of fantasy game isn’t really what Atlus tends to put out, though. In the beginning phases of making this game, we really didn’t know which direction to push it in. Do we push it closer to Fire Emblem or to the modern setting of Shin Megami Tensei?

On how long it took to get to a point where that decision was solidified and production went forward…

Shinjiro: Deciding what to make it closer to, that happened a bit after Mr. Yamagami brought us the idea. The problem is, if you make it too much like a Fire Emblem game, then why doesn’t Intelligent Systems just make it themselves? The goal for this was to do something that the Fire Emblem series can’t do. In the end, the reason the game looks the way it does, the reason the content is the way it is, is because this is something we wanted to do as an Atlus game, a game only Atlus could make.

At least in Japan, Fire Emblem If will come in two releases. Nintendo will distribute White Kingdom and Black Kingdoms as two unique items.

Speaking about the dual releases of Fire Emblem If with 4Gamer, Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami talked about how you’ll have a different impressions of the characters that appear in the game based on the side you choose.

He said:

I believe so; however, you’ll be plenty satisfied even just by playing one of the routes, so please play whichever one piques your interest. After that, if you get curious about what happens on the other route, give that a try. Once you learn about one route, the other one will become more profound.

It would appear that there will be a few more differences between the upcoming Fire Emblem IF versions than was originally anticipated. Recently Project Manager Masahiro Higuchi from Intelligent Systems and Nintendo Producer Hitoshi Yamagami spoke with 4Gamer and talked about a few more differences in Fire Emblem IF Black and White Kingdom.

In the interview they discussed that the story is not the only difference between the two versions, the White Kingdom was created for fans who have joined the series with Fire Emblem Awakening or are playing a game in the series for the first time.

This is what Masahiro Higuchi had to say:

White Kingdom will indeed be easier, while Black Kingdom will have a much higher difficulty with limited money and experience points for leveling up your characters. Additionally, it will have more difficult conditions for clearing its stages. Defeating the enemy general or defeating all enemies are still the basic requirements, but it will also have other conditions such as suppress enemies, break through enemy lines, and defend your base. There will also be maps with limited turns.

There will also be a few more differences aside from just the story:

Yes. Of course the story will be completely different, but there will also be major differences in the maps and the way the game is played. The games are being made so that you can feel satisfied by playing just one, but I believe that if you were to play both, you would be rather surprised at their differences.

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