Fire Emblem If, the new entry of the Fire Emblem series launching next year exclusively on Nintendo 3DS in all regions, is going to sport some new gameplay mechanics that will make the game more welcoming for those who have never played the series or have always find it too difficult. Among these gameplay systems is the Phoenix Mode, where defeated characters are revived after one turn. This is actually a big change for the Fire Emblem series, since defeating units are gone from the battlefield in either Classic and Casual modes.
The reasons behind the creation of this mode have been revealed in a new interview published by the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Maeda Kouhe and Masahiro Higuchi have revealed that the team wanted to make a game that could be easy to pick up and play for newcomers. Even though Fire Emblem: Awakening was much easier than previous entries of the series, the team wanted to take things a step further and develop a game with accessibility as its main focus. Phoenix Mode will also not penalize players who choose it in any way, as no content will be locked when playing the game in this mode.
Higuchi: From the start until “Radiant Dawn,” we built up the view that those games are the “ideal FE style.” But with that sort of game, one new problem was born: we reached the logical conclusion that it was always difficult for newcomers to pick up. We wanted to make a game that new fans could enjoy too. We wanted to make it even bigger than “Awakening” with this concept as the focus first and foremost. That was the beginning of the game’s development.
Maeda: A system like Phoenix Mode which lets fallen characters revive the very next turn I thought to be system ill-fitting of FE. However, it was deemed necessary for players who may think, “This is very interesting, but seems much too difficult for me. But with this mode, maybe even I can play it?” With these players in mind, this mode was born.
On whether Phoenix Mode has limitations such as being unable to see the best ending…
Higuchi: Just because a player chooses Phoenix mode does not mean they will miss out on any scenes or items. However, if you change from Classic Mode to Casual or Phoenix Mode, that data will be unable to change back. For those proficient in the series who want the sense of accomplishment in completing “IF” on Classic, please play on Classic without changing all the way to the end.
The Famitsu interview with the Fire Emblem If team also reveals more details on the differences between the two versions, characters who are allies in one version and enemies in the other and more. You can check out the full interview translated in English by going here.
Fire Emblem If will be released in Japan on June 26th as Fire Emblem If: White Kingdom and Fire Emblem If: Black Kingdom. The two versions of the game sport a different challenge level, different story sequences and characters, different maps and more. A third story path is also going to be released as DLC.
Fire Emblem If will be released in North America and Europe on a yet to be confirmed release date.