To give people (and potential importers) a better idea what exactly is in the 351 page Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development Secrets book, I decided the easiest way to cover that would be to simply translate the Table of Contents and write a personal commentary on it too. See the contents first, and my brief review after that. You can also scroll down to the bottom for a summary.
All the information I have translated thus far can be seen on my compilation post.
As you can imagine, the process of doing all this took a lot of my free time, and I am unemployed…so if you like what I did, then…
Please donate! It helps fund future projects!
The Making of Fire Emblem
Total Pages: 351
Table of Contents:
The HISTORY of FIRE EMBLEM … 2-30
-A summary of every game in the series, with 2 pages dedicated to each game.
■ From the Beginning of Fire Emblem up to Awakening’s Development 33-
Project Manager and Director… 34
-Project Manager: (Masahiro Higuchi 樋口 雅大)
-Director: (Kouhei Maeda 前田 耕平)
Art Director … 48
-(Toshiyuki Kusakihara 草木原俊行)
Planner … 50
-(Nami Komuro 小室菜美
Sound Director …52
-(Hiroki Morishita 森下弘生)
Director … 54
-(Genki Yokota 横田弦紀)
■Fire Emblem: Awakening 57-
Planning Stages … 60
Beginning of Development Stages … 74
Production Stages … 98
Post Release Stage … 112
■Fire Emblem Fates 160-
On the Direction… 180
On the Graphics… 194
On the Characters… 208
On the Sound… 222
On the Production… 236
■25 Years of Fire Emblem 247-
Shunshi Nakamura 中村 俊之 … 248
-(President of Intelligent Systems)
Toru Narihiro 成広 通 … 260
-(Intelligent Systems Founder)
Yuka Tsujiyoko 辻横 由佳… 296
Masahiro Sakurai 桜井 政博 … 314
-(Super Smash Bros. Series Creator + Fire Emblem Fan)
Ryouichi Kitanishi 北西 亮一… 346
Fire Emblem Festival Report … 254
An Look Inside INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS … 258
A Compilation of Promotional Posters … 322
Fire Emblem Development Documents … 324
■Cover Illustration Gallery
#1 Daisuke Izuka (Marth) … 56
#2 Katsuyoshi Kouya (Sigurd) …129
#3 Sachiko Wada (Eliwood) … 246
#4 Senri Kita (Ike) … 295
#5 Yusuke Kozaki (Lucina) … 313
As you can see from the Table of Contents above, most of the book is actually about Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fates.
The opening pages contain nice summaries of every game in the series, giving their stories, box art, screen shots, and brief character profiles and images for major characters.
The second section (up to the development of Fire Emblem: Awakening) has interviews with the people that are listed in the contents. The most notable parts are the smaller asides featuring things like information on the canceled Fire Emblem 64 (revealed to have been named Maiden of Darkness). All relevant design works and screenshots are on the link above.
The third section focuses on Fire Emblem: Awakening. A lot of the design work and shots here were also featured in the Knights of Iris art/design book that followed the game’s release. There are some location design works and other miscellaneous scans of design files, but they are few and far between. There is however a wealth of information on all things related to Fire Emblem: Awakening’s development.
After this section but before Fates, there is a very, very lengthy interview with Yusuke Kozaki (character artist for both Awakening and Fates) that no doubt will give a lot of trivia on the background and conception of some characters. There are some character conception sketches shown as well as all sorts of promotional artwork he had made for the game. The majority, however, like the rest of the book is text. A lot of it.
The fourth section focuses on Fire Emblem: Fates. This contains some design work for characters that haven’t been revealed before now (as Fates did not have what Knights of Iris was to Awakening), and so those interested in this game may find a wealth of images here. There are significantly more than other sections, but there is no official art of every character by Kozaki (I suppose the 4Koma & Character Book supplies that, though they are not by Kozaki, they may be used as the artwork now. But that is just a thought). There is emphasis on all aspects of the game’s creation in this section.
The fifth section is the actual “25 Years” section, that goes through several series veterans (like Toru Narihiro and Yuka Tsujiyoko) and discusses all manners of Fire Emblem. The interview with Toru Narihiro is especially lengthy and goes in order from old to new. There is not too much unknown information within these pages, but still quite a bit for those who want to hear every little thing, such as the music and general conception of Fire Emblem from the beginning. This section also contains a nice interview with Masahiro Sakurai (of Smash Bros. fame) that has been fully translated.
The final section has a lot of design works and artwork from the series, though, fans of FE4 and 5 may be disappointed that there is little to no representation of those games. The larger focuses are the Binding Blade in detailing Roy’s background and creation. There is also design works featuring some characters and locales from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, and finally some things on Shadow Dragon. The games not mentioned (Sacred Stones, Genealogy of the Holy War, etc) are not shown at all, which may be a disappointment to many.
In the end, as one would expect from an interview compilation, there is a lot of text. Most information is on general knowledge and production of the games rather than on any real “significant” unknowns, but for trivia lovers like me, it is great. There are not as many design works as may appear, and some games are notably missing.
Strong Points: A lot of information on all things Fire Emblem. Nice initial game summaries. Some never before seen artworks. Interesting trivia.
Weak Points: 2/3rds Awakening and Fates. This is only a “weak” point as the book initially appeared to be a full 25 years compilation, but instead focused heavily on the two main games. Little to no info on FE3, 4, 5, and 8. A lot of designs lifted from Knights of Iris. Not for those who do not understand Japanese.
Recommendation: For the price, it may not be worth it if you do not read Japanese. There is no furigana either, making it tougher on beginners, even. If you are buying a book to look at the artwork, there is too few to really justify an import (in my personal opinion). If you are looking for a book that really covers all Fire Emblem games, then this really is not a good fit despite what one may think. If you are looking for a ton of info on Fates and Awakening, then this book really may be for you if you have the Japanese skill to read the lengthy interviews.
If you have any specific inquiries (as above is a very general summary), feel free to email me or leave a comment below!
Hope you found this helpful!