From the Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development Secrets 25th Anniversary art book comes some more development documents. Today, we look at an outline of the chapter plans for Fire Emblem: Binding Blade (FE6).
Some of these were translated with and by VincentASM of serenesforest.net. His in-depth analysis on the matter will be coming soon!
You can find these scans and much more from this book on the compilation post here. This one is found on Page 331.
As you can imagine, the process of doing all this (scanning, editing, translating in some cases, etc) took a lot of time, and I am unemployed… so if you like what I did, then…
Please donate! It helps fund future projects!
The planned game:
Below is the translation of the above original chapter plan from the game. The format is the chapter number, chapter title, map description (by which they mean map synopsis, or where it takes place), and the new units that are gained on it by class.
Dawn of Destiny
|Valley||Lord, Cavalier, Paladin, Archer, Knight|
|2||Escape||Checkpoint||Priest, Thief, Myrmidon|
|3||Westbound||Flat town (ruins)||Cavalier, Fighter, Fighter|
|4||Under Bern’s Reign||Coast||[None]|
|5||A Mysterious Girl||Mountain (with many forests)||Mage|
|6||Battle for Whose Sake||Plains (with many forests)||Nomad, Nomad|
|7||The Price of Betrayal||In a large town||Troubadour, Myrmidon|
|8||The Reunion||Castle interior (with many chests)||Priest|
|9||In Search of New Land||Coast (landing battle)||Mage, Knight, Pegasus Knight, Nomad|
|10||Legendary Berserker||Search for enemy (fog, river)||Fighter|
|11||For Independence||Town||Dancer, Cavalier|
|12||Birth of a King||Castle interior||Myrmidon|
|13||The Rescue Plan||Island||Paladin, Shaman|
|14||The Sword that Vanquishes Darkness||Desert||[None]|
|15||Whereabouts of Truth||Oasis town||Wyvern Rider, Hero, Archer, Cavalier|
|16||Restoration of Etruria||Castle interior (big castle)||Manakete, Bishop|
|17||Challenging Bern||Coast||Pegasus Knight|
|18||The Winter General||Forest and frozen river||[None]|
|19||Snowy Mountain Ascent||Snowy mountain||Sniper, Sage|
|20||The Liberation of Ilia||Castle interior||General, Falcon Knight|
|21||Decisive Battle||Plains (all-out war)||Wyvern Lord|
|22||Final Gambit||City interior (town enclosed in city walls)||[None]|
|23||The Dragon Temple||Temple interior||Sage|
|24||Beyond the Darkness||Last boss map||
The note at the bottom is a little difficult to translate accurately without context, but reads:
Aigir now appears as a Paladin in Chapter 12 if left [alive?] as a young girl in Chapter 8
The “alive?” is speculation. Some of the FE games feature letting a character survive (be they enemy or neutral) on an earlier level in order to recruit them later on.
The final game:
For comparison, this is a list of chapters from the final version of Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. Translations for these titles are taken from the Fire Emblem wikia.
Something of note is that chapters marked * share the same name and chapter number as the original planned version of the game:
Chapter 1: Dawn of Destiny*
Chapter 2: The Princess of Bern
Chapter 3: Late Arrival
Chapter 4: Collapse of the Alliance
Chapter 5: The Emblem of Fire
Chapter 6: The Trap
Chapter 7: The Rebellion of Ostia
Chapter 8: The Reunion*
Chapter 8x: The Blazing Sword
Chapter 9: The Misty Isles
Chapter 10A: The Resistance Forces
Chapter 11A: The Hero of the Western Isles
Chapter 10B: Caught in the Middle
Chapter 11B: Escape to Freedom
Chapter 12: The True Enemy
Chapter 12x: The Axe of Thunder
Chapter 13: The Rescue Plan*
Chapter 14: Arcadia
Chapter 14x: The Infernal Element
Chapter 15: The Dragon Girl
Chapter 16: Retaking the Capital
Chapter 16x: The Pinnacle of Light
Chapter 17A: The Path Through the Ocean
Chapter 18A: The Frozen River
Chapter 19A: Bitter Cold
Chapter 20A: The Liberation of Ilia*
Chapter 20Ax: The Spear of Ice
Chapter 17B: The Bishop’s Teachings
Chapter 18B: The Law of Sacae
Chapter 19B: Battle in Bulgar
Chapter 20B: The Silver Wolf
Chapter 20Bx: The Bow of the Winds
Chapter 21: The Sword of Seals
Chapter 21x: The Silencing Darkness
Chapter 22: The Neverending Dream
Chapter 23: The Ghost of Bern
Chapter 24: The Truth of the Legend
Final Chapter: Beyond the Darkness*
Briefly comparing the planned and final versions:
Looking at the core chapter titles, it is unclear if there are any sidequests or not. The game is significantly shorter in comparison if this is all there is.
Chapters 1, 8, 13, 20A, and the final chapter name are all shared in the original plan. It gives the idea that these events of the story had been planned for a long time and a lot of the events in between were worked in afterward. Of course, some names may have simply changed while the assets remained.
Major plot points seem to have kept Etruria and Ilia. Sacae and the other alternate paths seem to have come in later –judging by the chapter titles, that is.
The classes available per level are pretty interesting, especially when compared to those you get in the finalized version of the game. I may provide an exact break down of units to classes later.
It’s nice to ponder what sort of game FE6 may have been. Perhaps the maps would have been larger with longer battles (such as FE4 and 5 that preceded it). Perhaps the story was completely different? It seems so from the titles.
Personally, it seems to me to be an initial set of guidelines they then expanded upon to make the world more fleshed out and slightly more complex. But the basic “skeleton” seems to be there.
Look forward to VincentASM of serenesforest.net’s in-depth analysis that should be coming soon!