We previously reported that Fire Emblem If will have a new “Phoenix” mode, a setting that is even easier than Casual mode, where characters are revived the turn after falling. In an interview with Famitsu magazine, key developers working on the game shared their reasons for creating the mode.
The subject of difficulty is brought up in the interview, and the developers mention how the White Kingdom version of the game will be more simple, while Black Kingdom will impose more limitations and difficult victory requirements. Famitsu asks if that means players that are looking for a stimulating challenge should opt for Black Kingdom.
“Just because the way it’s played is different doesn’t mean that Black Kingdom is overwhelmingly more difficult by any means,” says director Kohei Maeda of Intelligent Systems. “By playing on a normal difficulty and in Casual mode, even those that are playing the series for the first time will be able to enjoy it.”
“The chapters and story volume of White Kingdom, Black Kingdom, and the third scenario all have about the same amount as Fire Emblem Awakening, so I think that it’ll definitely be worth downloading all of them,” adds co-director Genki Yokota of Nintendo.
Next, Famitsu mention the new Phoenix mode that was recently revealed, and ask about how it came to be. If you’re just getting caught up, the Phoenix mode allows your fallen units to revive during the next turn, and is a new addition to the series.
“Looking back at our previous titles up until Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, they were created with an emphasis on ‘this is the way Fire Emblem should be’,” producer Masahiro Higuchi says. “While that is good in its own way, if you analyze it, you’ll find that it creates this problem of making it more difficult to reach new customers.”
“We’d like to have more and more fans of videogames get to enjoy Fire Emblem,” he continues. “That idea is even bigger now than it was with Fire Emblem Awakening, and with Fire Emblem If, we’d like to have a widening of our horizons serve as the foundation for the game, and this is one of the concepts that went into its development.”
Maeda adds,” “I felt that being able to revive on the next turn, which is the Phoenix mode, should be forbidden in a Fire Emblem; however, when you think about players that might think ‘I’m interested, but it looks difficult, so it might be impossible for me,’ it’s necessary to have something that can let them think ‘maybe with this even I could play’. That’s the idea that led to it.”
Famitsu asks if playing Fire Emblem If in Phoenix mode will have any negative effects, such as not being able to see the game’s true ending, and such.
“There is nothing that can’t be earned just by playing in Phoenix mode,” responds Higuchi. “However, if you switch from Classic to Casual or Phoenix mode, then your data won’t let you go back to Classic. So those of you who are skilled and wish to taste the sense of accomplishment of being able to say ‘I beat If in Classic mode!’ please stick to Classic mode until the very end, by all means.”
Fire Emblem If is slated for release in Japan on June 25, 2015 and in the West in 2016 for Nintendo 3DS.