From the Making of Fire Emblem: 25 Years of Development Secrets book comes a script from the canceled Fire Emblem 64. It is the only dialogue example provided for the game. For some more trivia about this game, I made a post about some design documents from it here.
I translated it in full since it contains some interesting tidbits for FE fans, such as the names Eliwood and Ephraim just to name a few! Also, it reveals who the two characters in the only screenshot released for the game are.
You can find much more from this book on the compilation post here.
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…
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Below is the full page of dialogue translated. See notes afterward, followed by some pointers and things to think about. The original photo/Japanese can be found at the end of the post.
Ephraim: “Does anyone have any idea as to who is attacking?!”
Rei: “Sorry… we were too busy retreating to get a chance to look…”
Ephraim: “No, that’s alright. I’m not blaming you…”
(Rei disappears, Eliwood appears)
Ephraim: “Father, we must deploy the army right away!”
Eliwood: “…Wait. We can’t send them out when we don’t even know much about the enemy forces.”
Ephraim: “But…they’re attacking the civilians within our domain!”
(Ephraim disappears, Aron appears)
Aron: “I feel the same way as Lord Ephraim. I can’t just stand here and watch as our fellow countrymen get trampled over.”
(Eliwood disappears, Owain appears)
Owain: “Though you feel that way, rushing in blindly causes needless losses to our fighting strength. We need more intel on the enemy.”
Aron: “Well that’s why we should strike at the enemy and ascertain their strength while doing so. Your way of thinking is as old as you, Sir Owain!”
Owain: “Why you! You better take that back, greenhorn!”
(Aron, Owain disappear. Eliwood appears)
Eliwood: “Cut it out, you two! Ugh..cough, cough, cough!”
<Bors enters from below the screen>
(Bors, Eliwood appear)
Bors: “Sir! Sorry to interrupt! There appears to be a group of enemy soldiers heading this way!”
(Eliwood disappears, Aron appears)
(Bors, Aron disappear. Eliwood, Ephraim appear)
Eliwood: “…It’s settled. We must pay the price of the sparks [of war] that have fallen upon us. Ephraim, move out to ambush that band of soldiers. Aron, Bors, go with him!”
(Eliwood disappears, Rei appears)
Rei: “Milord! Please let me come along! I need to help!”
Ephraim: “Huh…? But can you even use a weapon?”
Rei: “Bows are my specialty! I’ve had plenty of practice from hunting in the mountains!”
- The original script was written as page “2 of 5” and nothing else is really known about this game outside of this single page of dialogue. As such, there are a lot of things that had to be surmised from the lack of context. Eliwood’s line on “sparks [of war]” is simply a speculation from him saying ”ふりかかる火の粉は払わねばならぬ” (lit: we must pay the price of the sparks having fallen)
- The names (in Japanese) of those involved are: エフラム (Ephraim), レイ (Rei), エリウッド (Eliwood), アロン (Aron), オワイン(Owain), ボールズ (Bors).
- The last line Rei says is the exact same shown in the only known screen shot of the game (see below in analysis). However, some may notice I changed it slightly from my previous translation. This is to make it sound less awkward in this greater context which was previously unnoticed by me. The original line (translated on the design document page) was: “Bows are my specialty! Because I always go hunting in the mountains!” This is a more literal translation, which I hope sounds more natural now.
As stated on the previous post, Fire Emblem 64 was to be the sixth Fire Emblem game. It was canceled but a lot of its assets (such as the name Idoun and the concept of a “Maiden of Darkness”) carried over to what became the first handheld Fire Emblem game (and first without series creator Shozou Kaga). However, this dialogue shows some of the names may have carried over to other games, as we will see.
Now, first to address this screen shot and who the characters are:
The dialogue above reveals who they are, as the final line of the page is (in Japanese): “弓は得意なんです！いっつも山で狩りをしてましたから.” This is the exact same line presented in that screen shot. Who says it? Well, it is attributed to Rei. Who is that next to her? Well, it is Ephraim, as right before that he is the one speaking to her, and they are the only two who did not have a “disappear” unlike the rest. More on the two characters below!
Ephraim is the name of one of the two protagonists of Fire Emblem: the Sacred Stones for GBA, the second game to be released overseas. It seems like Eliwood is his father in this game. The role of the son is later given to Roy, with the finalized Ephraim having very little interaction with his father in his game. His dialogue here seems more toward Roy’s personality than his own final personality, however. So it was likely his character was more Roy… but his appearance is one we do see. The screen shot at the top of this page (and presented again below) shows Ephraim on the left side. When you compare his final Sacred Stones sprite, you can see the similarities, too!
Though, in terms of color scheme and such, he also does look similar Blazing Sword’s Pent as well. However, in design (hairstyle, posture), he resembles Klein in Binding Blade, who happens to be Pent’s son. Considering Binding Blade is the game that came after Fire Emblem 64, it is most likely where this design went to. See the comparison (provided by “someone” in the comments) below!:
Next, the girl named Rei. For one, there is a character named Raigh in Binding Blade who fans refer to (and indeed, original Japanese reads) “Rei” (レイ). The most interesting thing here is that he is male, though it is a name that can go both ways. While the girl, Rei, shown here as an archer may be a boy, she uses feminine speech (atashi as opposed to a more masculine term to refer to the self) which leans that way. There are cases of men using feminine speak in Japanese media, but they are usually notable exceptions. An interesting thing to note is though the name Rei was given to a character in Binding Blade, her character seems to have actually transferred to Blazing Sword‘s Rebecca. She is a female archer who too escapes an attack to meet with her her lord Eliwood, and her dialogue is as follows (in the official localization of the game):
Rebecca : If it please you, milord, I would rather fight. I hunt almost every day, and I have some skill with a bow.
Eliwood : Is that so? Very well, but be careful!
Rebecca : Yes, milord.
Just in case it was a localization coincidence, I looked at the original Japanese script for the scene too, which she says: “
(Lit: Please take me along to fight too. I have a bit of confidence in my skill with a bow because I hunt everyday)
The dialogue is not exactly the same, Rebecca seems a little more on the humble side (and uses watashi instead of atashi, funnily enough), but they are very similar reasons. However! This is not exclusive to Rebecca, and seems to be a general reason, such as Neimi in Sacred Stones:
Neimi: Um, Is there anything I can do to help? I feel so… When I was little I used to go hunting with my grandfather. What I mean is I can– I’m not bad with a bow.
I assume others in the series may have used the “bow is good because of hunting” reasoning as well, but Rebecca and Neimi were the first that came to mind. Rebecca does have the advantage in similarity of addressing an Eliwood with it too, though. (Then again, Neimi was addressing Eirika, Ephraim’s sister in Sacred Stones…) Anyway, that may be a post for another time.
Moving on to Eliwood. Most people know Eliwood as the protagonist of Fire Emblem (GBA), or Rekka no Ken (Blazing Sword, the first to be released overseas). However, those who played Roy’s game, Binding Blade, know him as Roy’s father. Here, he is still playing a father role (as evident by Ephraim referring to him as “father”), and, it seems he still has whatever ailment he had in Binding Blade (from the notable coughing in his dialogue). He still seems to be in charge too. So his role likely carried over mostly the same. There is no picture or design document featuring him, however, so it is unknown whether he looks like the one we know today.
Next up is Bors. He is another name that appears in Binding Blade, and is a knight from Ostia in the final product. He seems to serve a similar role here, though it’s hard to gather much from the limited context and few lines he says about warning about the incoming enemy. So, all we have to go on is the same name, really. Still, nice to see another Binding Blade connection in this game.
Next, Owain. I realized this could be confusing, as the name Owain is the character in Fire Emblem: Awakening‘s name. However, one must keep Owain’s Japanese name in Awakening was ウード (Udo, or Eudes as the Japanese wrote). So, this was purely on the English localization team’s part. Was it a coincidence? An interesting point that unfortunately we can’t say much about, nor will we ever know (unless the localization team says something about it…). His character here seems to actually be the experienced sort, and potentially the Jagen of the game, going by his age both in his speech mannerisms (a nuance lost in translation) and by Aron referring to him as aged.
Lastly, Aron. Well, Aron is the name I gave as I am not sure what else アロン would become (it is literally Aron). As far as I know there are no Japanese name equivalents in the series. The closest would be Alan in Binding Blade (though that’s spelled アレン), and Aran in Radiant Dawn (though, like Owain, that was the localization’s choice, and his original Japanese name was Brad). There was an Arran in Mystery of the Emblem, but that too was spelled differently (アラン). Guess it’s just that sort of name. He seems to be a reckless knight in Ephraim’s service too, but not much else is known there.
That about sums up what I got from the dialogue. It was the only script revealed from the game in the entire book. A shame, I would have loved to see what the other four pages (as that was 2/5) could have revealed. It just reinforces the notion that Intelligent Systems loves to move their names and concepts around to future titles.
Of course, if you have anything to add, or a correction, please feel free to comment below!
The original script/photo (may be updated later with a scan):