We previously reported details from Nintendo on the differences between the two versions of Fire Emblem If. Project manager Masahiro Higuchi of Intelligent Systems and Nintendo producer Hitoshi Yamagami recently spoke with 4Gamer and touched upon some more differences between the two.
During the interview, Higuchi explains how it’s not just the story that is different between the two versions of Fire Emblem If. According to Higuchi, the White Kingdom version was made more for fans that joined the series with Awakening and those who are playing a Fire Emblem game for the first time.
White Kingdom will indeed be easier, while Black Kingdom will have a much higher difficulty with limited money and experience points for leveling up your characters. Additionally, it will have more difficult conditions for clearing its stages. Defeating the enemy general or defeating all enemies are still the basic requirements, but it will also have other conditions such as suppress enemies, break through enemy lines, and defend your base. There will also be maps with limited turns.
4Gamer points out that it sounds like it’s not simply just the story that will be different between the two versions.
“Yes. Of course the story will be completely different, but there will also be major differences in the maps and the way the game is played,” says Higuchi. “The games are being made so that you can feel satisfied by playing just one, but I believe that if you were to play both, you would be rather surprised at their differences.”
Yamagami explains that the story of White Kingdom and Black Kingdom weren’t just written to be completely different from each other. As previously reported, the initial portion of both versions will be the same, and afterwards, they’ll branch off in different directions; however, the goal isn’t simply to split the stories, but to allow the players to decide “which side they want as their allies,” which will provide the element of “If” to the players based on the choices they make.
4Gamer asks if Yamagami could touch upon this aspect of the game a little more.
“In White Kingdom you’ll be part of the hometown you were born in, while Black Kingdom will have you be part of the country in which you were raised,” says Yamagami. “While both will have the same characters, depending on which side you’re allied with, you’ll see different sides to them. On one hand, they’ll be allies, and on the other, they won’t be, so they won’t be the same stories… doesn’t it sound exciting just thinking about it?”
“Both factions have their own attractive characters, so that will be one of the charms to consider while making your choice,” adds Higuchi.
Between White Kingdom, Black Kingdom, and the third full storyline that will be available via DLC, 4Gamer says that development on Fire Emblem If must be like working on three whole games.
“Yes, it has been rather hectic,” Yamagami replies with a laugh. “It’s because after Awakening released, we had a period of free time, so we decided on making a something with the volume of three games.”
Now, you might recall that the digital version of the game was theorized to offer certain advantages over the physical release, in that you would be able to play up until chapter 5 of the game before having to commit to the White Kingdom or Black Kingdom routes without purchasing either one specifically. 4Gamer asks if this is indeed the case.
“Yes, that’s correct. Having this different selling method for the retail and digital versions is going to be a first-time experiment for the series,” says Yamagami. “To be more precise, once you choose a route, you’ll need to perform another download [for the digital version to access the route you chose]. Of course, this will be after you’ve already made your purchase, so you won’t have to pay [for choosing your route] again.”
Once you choose either route in the game, you’ll get to purchase the other route via DLC. The same goes for physical copies of the game, too. 4Gamer asks if you can play with the same save data used to get past the fifth chapter the first time to play the other route.
“Yes, it will be possible,” says Yamagami. “There will be a save data in your 3DS that says you’ve played up until the fifth chapter, so if you were to buy both routes, then you wouldn’t be required to play the game from the very beginning again. Of course, we wouldn’t mind if you chose to do so, anyway.”
Fire Emblem If will release in 2016 in the West for Nintendo 3DS.