The latest Fire Emblem Engage interview with Director Tsutomu Tei and Entertainment Planning & Development Department Production Group No 2 member Kenta Nakanishi goes over Mika Pikazo’s character art. It noted how the “vivid” and “vibrant” designs were a fit for the new game, with both Tei and Nakanishi noted they knew immediately and “unanimously” that she was the one. Tei then noted that it would be a several year long game, given Intelligent Systems was asking for 50 character designs. They then noted Alear and Celine were the first Fire Emblem Engage characters Pikazo drew.
First, Tei noted that the company was “upfront” about the request. Then, he shared details about Alear and Celine being picked as the first Fire Emblem Engage characters for Pikazo to draw. Here’s the exact quote.
The first characters were Alear and Celine. We thought it was best to start off with the base male character and female characters. These are some of the rough designs from the first draft.
Based on the game’s setting, [Pikazo] proposed many variations with different hairstyles and color schemes and such. Then we had back and forth discussions with our internal staff to decide the character’s image.
Alear and Celine are also two of the first Fire Emblem Engage characters in another sense. Both are among the initial cast members joining the mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes.
Tei also noted how Pikazo’s designs influenced the game. For example, he mentioned her design for Kagetsu led to an in-game event.
Yes, I think it was really impressive of her to put it together to this scale. I just remembered this funny moment. Mika Pikazo-san draws very detailed items even in the rough draft. For example, there’s a sword master character named Kagetsu, and he comes from a place with a unique culture that’s different from the other characters. We don’t have any Japanese-style nations in this title, but when I looked at the rough sketch, I noticed this character was holding a rice ball in his hand. (Laughs)
That gave us some ideas that have been implemented into an in-game event.
Here’s that image showing Zelkov, Kagetsu, and Rosado.
Fire Emblem Engage will come to the Nintendo Switch on January 20, 2023.