Following the release of Genei Ibun Roku #FE in Japan on December 26, 2015, Nintendo Dream magazine Vol. 263 (March 2016 issue released on January 21, 2016) featured an interview with the game’s developers about its development process.
- Hitoshi Yamagami (Nintendo producer)
- Shinjiro Takada (Atlus producer)
- Kaori Ando (Nintendo director)
- Eiji Ishida (Atlus director)
- Mitsuru Hirata (Atlus chief director)
- Fumitaka Yano (Atlus art director)
Ando on her original idea for the collaboration:
Ando: At first I thought to the extent “let’s create a strategy game”. I like strategy games and Atlus’ games, so it’d be excellent to be able to create a strategy game with a world made by Atlus. I thought that Atlus’ characters have perfect personalities and roles that also suit Fire Emblem, so they are nicely compatible.
Hirata: When “Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem” was proposed, I made a request to Nintendo that I’d like to decide on the most important element. After discussions, the request wasn’t a keyword “Shin Megami Tensei” but rather “What kind of Fire Emblem would Atlus make?”
Yamagami: The first proposal was “Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem”, but I thought it would probably be for the best to give Atlus freedom in handling the game. It is just a little less than three years ago when we started with the proposal “it is necessary to have elements that combine Fire Emblem to some extent, but other than that let’s be flexible and try various things”.
Nintendo Dream: What kind of game did Atlus come up with at first?
Hirata: At first we thought about a grid-based game that’s similar to Fire Emblem.
Yamagami: We discussed how strategy elements could be put in battles, but on the other hand I told Atlus several times to be bolder, so they were having a bit of a trouble.
As stated in a developer interview from Yamagami in December 2015, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem was originally going to be a fantasy strategy RPG.
Some initial plans for the game also had the developers consider its platform to be the Nintendo 3DS, along with multiple genres before settling on a turn-based RPG.
Nintendo Dream: When talking about Fire Emblem, strategy comes to mind for sure.
Hirata: In addition to that, we also had various ideas, like ‘shall we make an MMORPG?’
Kaori: Things like Tower Defense.
Yano: We also had a discussion about whether to do it for Wii U or Nintendo 3DS. We even wrote a project plan for 3DS version once.
Yamagami: At that time Takada-san proposed, “Would an RPG be out of the question?”
Takada: I realized the request was “What kind of Fire Emblem would Atlus make?” and our specialty is RPGs, so wouldn’t it be nice to make one? However, I wondered if it would be alright when I asked about it.
Yamagami: When I received the suggestion for an RPG, I thought, “Ah, it was strange to ask a team that is known for RPGs to make a strategy game.” Having seen the long trial and error up until that, I thought it would probably be good to utilize their strong genre. Actually, Nakamura-san from Intelligent Systems (makers of Fire Emblem) said this when we were having problems, “If you’re going to take the trouble, please create something Atlus-like that we can’t do or even imagine.” Those words gave a push to make the resolution.
One of the main Fire Emblem concepts that was planned to be kept from the outset for the idea of a turn-based RPG was the weapon triangle and class systems.
The full translation for the Nintendo Dream interview can be found on Nintendo Everything.
Genei Ibun Roku #FE (translated as Illusory Revelations #FE and previously known as Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem) was released on December 26, 2015 in Japan for the Wii U. It will release in North America in 2016.