From the Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development Secrets 25th Anniversary art book comes some more development documents. Today, we look at the continent of Elibe during the development stages of Fire Emblem: Binding Blade (FE6).
It was translated in collaboration with 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!
First, the original scan of the map as seen in the book, followed by a translated version.
There are plenty of things to note here:
- The original document was just a part of a larger page in the book itself, making the text nearly impossible to read. Some names were completely unreadable and would have made us resort to speculation. As not to give misinformation though, they were omitted instead. There were not too many, but I will provide an example later on in this post.
- No context is given regarding the map above. There are location names and characters listed in each, but some strange oddities (such as Bartre appearing twice) makes it unclear as to whether this is where characters are from, or where they were to be recruited. It looks to be more like where they are from, but there is no solid conclusion.
- “West Lycia” had リリーア (Lilia) written rather than リリーナ (Lilina, this blog’s mascot and Princess of Ostia). It is possible this can be attributed to messy handwriting, or perhaps her name was slightly different before.
- Yan, one of the antagonists of the game, is “temporarily” in Ilia here. However, something of note is that Yan (in the final game) has his name written as ヤアン rather than ヤン. Again, without context, it is unclear whether it was just a slight spelling alteration, or a different character. However, ヤン is also the name of Nino’s uncle in FE7, the prequel to this game. Was the name transferred over instead?
- “Bor” (marked with an appropriate “?”) is a character unknown to us, but was readable as such. There is a character “Bors,” but he is marked in Lycia. It could be another case of two “Bartre” mentioned above.
- Bartre’s name appears twice, as is mentioned above. This could be attributed to potential split paths making him able to be recruited in two different areas.
- Though not marked on the development map, the islands in the west (Dia, Fibernia, Caledonia, and potentially Kafti) are known as “The Western Isles.” Their names usually aren’t specified in the game itself.
- “Paladin” and “Wyvern Rider” are likely placeholders for characters that would fill the role. This could be a sign that the class they wanted was thought about ahead of names/characters themselves. This is seen previously during the planned chapter flow, too.
- Douglas, one of the three Etrurian Generals in the final version, is listed under Bern here.
- Roy is likely the “Hero” considering the position in Lycia. Yet, not referring to him by name is a little odd.
For an example of unreadable names, look at this enlarged bit from the “Lycia” part of the map:
The red circle is the part that is hard to make out. The names above are listed on the map itself (Hero, Allen, Wolt, Bors, Marcus, Lance), and then this mysterious one. It can be anything from ミカード to ごさーぎ or ミカーヂ… it really is an enigma, and does not line up with any existing character’s name. For this reason it was left blank. If you have a guess, though, feel free to write it in the comments section!
Lastly, for comparison, this is the map of Elibe that appears in the final version of the game:
Some things to note:
- Japanese translations are Western Isles, Kingdom of Eturia, Nabata Desert, Lyrian League, Kingdom of Bern, Ilia, and Sacae. The original map had 地方 written next to Bern, Ilia, Lycia, and Etruria. That is a general word for “area/country.” This map specifies the type of country (such as 王国 for Kingdoms), and 諸国 (refers to various provinces that make up a larger country) for Lycia. Ilia and Sacae have no modifiers.
- Specific city/location names seem to have come in later.
That about wraps up this comparison for the continent of Elibe. There will be more to come in the future! I may need to spend donation money on a magnifying glass…