The Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development History contains some fun trivia regarding the series. You can find all the information I translated thus far in one place here.
This post is about the never-released Fire Emblem Wii. This is part of a lengthy interview with series veteran Toru Narihiro where he talks about the period of trial and error between Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon. I have been working on translating the greater interview, so this is just an excerpt from it regarding this specific section.
You can see details on the design documents regarding the game that never released here.
The period of “trial and error” between Radiant Dawn and Shadow Dragon
There was a lot of talk about negative feedback that was received after the release of Radiant Dawn, wasn’t there?
Narihiro: The staff at Nintendo and others were saying things like “With such results, do not release another title on a home console.”
What was the truth of the situation?
Narihiro: It was true that the game did not sell too well, but I’m not quite sure what was meant by “do not release another title on a home console.” But, it changed our way of thinking. And so from then on, we assumed that it would be necessary to simplify the game on a home console in order to gain wider appeal. During the Gamecube era, there were those at Nintendo who wanted the game as a console release in order to increase the amount of hardware sold. However, Mr. Iwata’s new policies came into play and led to the massive hit that was the Nintendo DS and Wii –which expanded the general gaming audience.
It did. It led to a great variety of developers releasing software.
Narihiro: And so if I were to guess, we figured that the next FE should adhere to this policy on the current home console [Wii]. So after the completion of Radiant Dawn, we began to make an experimental game for the Wii. The result was the unreleased “illusive” title for the Wii.
Ah, I see.
Narihiro: Yeah. The FE team was big, but after Radiant Dawn, the director did a staff reset, back to the beginning.
That’s no surprise by now. (Laughs)
Narihiro: (Laughs). So, shortly after that came the time where we wondered just what we would do next. We got a little anxious as Nintendo’s big hits [DS and Wii] were still going strong. (Laughs). We felt Nintendo supported us by giving us something to study.
Was the experimental “Illusive Wii Title” made during that time?
Narihiro: The basis of the experiment, yes. It was an FE game where you would take a large group of people with you much like Pikmin. For a long time we diligently continued to develop this experimental project, steadily learning new things. In the end, though, the final blow to our motivation was the fact we did not really have an aim or objective, which really killed the spirit of the project. It was at this time where Maeda came forward and expressed “I want to be the director.”
<The interview goes on to talk about Maeda’s desire to be director and to add “marriage” in order to expand FE’s appeal, but is irrelevant to this particular page. This is all that is said about the game>
So it seems that it was not really a game intended for release, and more of a wayward experiment where the staff themselves were not exactly sure what they were doing. Trying something new after Radiant Dawn (which was said to be more difficult than other games) in order to broaden the appeal. They seem to have gotten fair ways into development, too! All in all, the lack of aim and purpose of the project ultimately ended it, though. Eventually two remakes for the DS came out and finally Awakening.
Check out the design documents related to Fire Emblem Wii here!