Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE devs on the game’s origins, pop idol focus, Fire Emblem Mirages, battles
Siliconera recently had the chance to interview Atlus producer Shinjiro Takada and Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami about Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. The two sides spoke about topics including the game’s origins, pop idol focus, Fire Emblem characters as Mirages, and battles.
You can find these interview excerpts after the break. For the full interview, head on over to Siliconera.
On the initial ideas behind the game…
Hitoshi Yamagami, Producer at Nintendo: At the initial planning stage, we were trying to create an SLG (strategy simulation game). However, when we tried to create a strategy simulation game with characters from FE, it ended up looking just like the original FE, and it was hard to differentiate it. So six months into development, we changed direction, based on our suggestion to “think of an RPG that capitalizes on the strengths of Atlus”. That is how the game system was achieved.
On the decision to feature the Japanese pop idol industry…
ST: It is something that the Japanese people know through TV, but do not know in detail: A world that seems close by but is far away. It is also a very showy backdrop that brings out hopes and dreams. I thought it was perfect for depicting a drama about the personal growth of life-size youth.
It also has significance as a world setting. It is said in Japan that the origins of entertainment lie in kami-oroshi, or “bringing down the gods” through (Japanese traditional) dance. The main characters of the title fight to “bring down” to themselves the mirage, which is a being of another world The power of these characters is like the kami-oroshi of old, and the source of the power is linked to “entertainment”.
On the process of re-imagining Fire Emblem characters as Mirages…
ST: As a basic design concept, we differentiated them from the main characters depicted by toi8 by using the “other world” setting.
In this other world, the world of Fire Emblem, an ancient battle is still raging. That is the setting for this title.
So the design represents the result of an evolution over a long period of time, as they kept specializing in warfare, like machines.
They retain the elements of the original Chroms, but the design reflects expanded interpretation that goes beyond that.
On the battle system…
ST: The very first idea was to prepare advance guards and rear guards, to bring out the characteristics of class in Fire Emblem. This made things too complicated and the pace was not good, either. So we drilled down on the Fire Emblem strategic elements, and arrived at the nucleus, which we thought was the 3-way deadlock (a rock-paper-scissors weapon type system). This was highly compatible with the battle of attributes of Atlus, and we were able to perfectly meld them together. We tried to bring over from both series the names for skills and items, but attribute battles require many skills, so the Atlus RPG basically remains stronger.
As for class changes, I think everyone on staff thought it was normal for it to happen.