FE RD: Developer Commentary Translations (from Tellius Recollection Vol. 2)

This post is part of my ongoing translations of the Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Memorial Book: Tellius Recollection (Vol 2). 

Much like Volume 1, the final two pages of the book feature developer commentary from various staff. I put the commentary on the page, but also in text format below for easier reading and sharing.

There is some fun trivia to learn through it! So please give it a read.

You can find every translation I’ve done on this book so far on the compilation post here!

See image below (right click and view image), but head past the break for the easier to read and cite text.


We present messages from the staff of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. All names are presented as they appear in the staff credits.

[A] Main role during development
[B] The fun and hard times during development
[C] Particular memories that stand out to you
[D] A message to fans on this document compilation

Taeko Kaneda

[A] Director

[B] I remember getting a lot of fun requests from the staff. That’s how Oliver came to be included. I believe it was due to a unanimous agreement among the programmers.

[C] I was extremely happy that we could once again implement a two-tier class change system like in Gaiden. We also managed to throw in the “animal” version of a Manakete in the form of the Laguz. They were a major headache when it came to balancing and implementing, however. But, Tellius would not be what it is without them. The Laguz. The Beorc. The Goddesses. I still share a deep emotional attachment with all of them.

[D] I am incredibly pleased to have been able to help make Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn a game that many people still hold dear in their hearts even today –much like how I feel about Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. I wish to express my deepest appreciation to the fans and staff that supported us through both games. Thank you all so much.

Masahiro Higuchi

[A] Graphics Chief, Battle Animation Chief

[D] Ten years have passed since Radiant Dawn’s release, and yet, even though we really wanted to, we never quite got to release a design document compilation. It brings me great joy that it could become a reality thanks to everyone’s support. Through this book, the world of Tellius comes alive once again with all the great memories and nostalgia associated with it.

Sachiko Wada

[A] Character Design, Hard Mode Level Design, Graphics Supervisor, Assistant Director

[B] I had done face designs in The Binding Blade, The Blazing Blade, The Sacred Stones, and Path of Radiance. As such, I began to wonder if I my ideas would eventually run dry for Radiant Dawn, and feared that I would be forced to step down! But when talking to the director, I was told, “Oh no worries, you’ve still got ‘it’!” That’s what I remember when I think about the fun characters that came out of this game.

I also remember having to do so many things at once as Assistant Director. The work that comes with this position is actually rather varied!

[C] I remember having fun repeating the defensive map in part two, using trial and error to get through it. It was a map that required going through a lot of adjusting and coordination to get both the enemy items you want while avoiding dangers.

[D] I wish to sincerely thank –from the bottom of my heart– all the long-time fans who made the release of the design document compilations for Path of Radiance and its sequel Radiant Dawn possible. Thank you so, so much. This volume contains things that expands on the world of Tellius, and brings back great memories. You may even find yourself surprised at some things you may have been unaware of. I’m happy if you can find satisfaction in any of these things. I myself will be reading every single word and immersing myself in every single page. It will be fun!

Minoru Noda

[A] Map Director, Map Design, Battle Animation Background Director

[B] It brought me great joy that we were able to produce a work that was even higher in quality than Path of Radiance.

[C] Having to design fine details in the battle animations and backgrounds, such as before a tent was set ablaze versus after it was set ablaze, and other things like that.

[D] On the technical side of things, I feel this is a work that makes a great leap from Path of Radiance. I hope it continues to receive love from here on out into the future.

Daisuke Izuka

[A] 2D Art Director, Unit Design, Event/Background Illustrator, Storyboard

[B] I was very busy, having continued my role as designer, illustrator, and CG scene storyboard from Path of Radiance. I was constantly buzzing about all over the place, bugging the poor staff here and there over various matters. But when I think back to it, it was definitely a valuable experience. I think that it’s thanks to all the fans who also fondly remember those times like me that we all have this book to look forward to.

Yoshito Hirano

[A] Sound Director, Main Composer

[B] With Radiant Dawn, we aimed to give off the more war-like sound that the older games like Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Gaiden were known for. As such, I feel there were plenty of “valorous” songs and very few cheerful ones by comparison. Though, in order to draw a line between it and other medieval fantasies, we sought to incorporate a bit of an “Asian” taste into the soundtrack which was rarer for the genre in those days.

We of course faced many hardships, but the entire sound team came together as one to get through each and every one. I am truly grateful for the support I received from the entire team. In those days, I lived really close to both the art director and director. So the three of us would often go out, have some drinks, and end up getting into discussions that would turn to arguments. I’m incredibly fond of these memories! Ah, but I digress…

[C] When it comes to songs I am especially attached to, I would say “Child of Chaos” and “Goddess of Dawn.” “Child of Chaos” is mystical, neither light nor dark –and yet very “fluttery.” A perfect fit for Yune, I felt! This melody actually served as the background theme for the game from the outset, so various other songs were made based on it.

[D] To fans of Radiant Dawn and the Fire Emblem series as a whole –thank you so much for buying this design document compilation. It has made me really happy being able to reminisce on those days through it!

Kouhei Maeda

[A] Scenario Assistant

[B] It was a lot of fun to write the dialogue for multiple storylines going on at once. “The real jewel–whose radiance attracts the people like moths to flame–is you, Priestess.” “Yeah. That’s right. Nephenee and me… We been to war…And look at us now…” “My… What a stupid speech.” “You should challenge your fates. When all else fails, you can still die fighting.”* There are endless examples! If I were ever given a chance to write the lines for the cast of Radiant Dawn again, that would bring me endless joy.

[D] The first document compilation that focused on Path of Radiance was well-received, so thanks to everyone who purchased it, this Radiant Dawn document compilation was also made possible. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who love Tellius!

*TN: I used the officially localized equivalents of the lines Maeda mentioned. It took a bit of research –however note that some are from script differences between the games (the Jarod line for instance didn’t actually exist in its form in English so I used the form that did exist.)

Chie Takaya

[A] Character and Unit Design, Layout

[B] I had the honor of working on various designs for the game. I had to keep in mind that we had to build upon the wonderful appearances already presented to us in the previous game –and make them even better. One particularly hard one that sticks out was Sothe’s clothes. I remember when consulting the Director, they said: “We want him to have the vibe of having worn the same clothes all this time and simply patching them up now and then!” And so his belly button became exposed. But Master Senri Kita had a thing about making even the [strangest] designs look good, so that was a huge relief!

[C] Soren’s highest class. Though class changes lead to a change in image across all the characters, something about those white robes he gains stuck out as especially wonderful.

[D] I feel that this game ended up as quite a complete gem –made possible only by the hard work of all the staff involved. A big thank you to everyone who continues to support the Tellius games to this day!

Mayuko Tsukamoto

[A] Battle Animation Character Modeling

[B] Working on the game and getting the inside scoop on all the characters’ backgrounds.

[C] When I asked, “Since the mercenaries are so poor and probably can’t afford armor, is it okay if they don’t wear helmets [in battle]?” This was implemented with laughs all around.

[D] Radiant Dawn was the first project I had ever worked on, so I am especially attached to it. I’m so happy that this document compilation could take form and be delivered to all of you. Please enjoy this book and game to your heart’s content!

Masayo Shiraogawa

[A] Battle Animation Character Modeling, Motion Design

[B] I joined the production of Path of Radiance while working on a different project. But I was with Radiant Dawn from the start. Compared to my experience [with FE9], it felt like I had to make a lot more models this time around. The Laguz, Knights, and flying units especially stuck out –bearing in mind they would have to appear both graceful but powerful.

By the way, there were some mutterings about using the battle animation models for event scenes, so I experimented by making scenes like Greil’s final moments or Ike vs the Black Knight [using the models]. This idea was regrettably put on indefinite hold as it we lacked the production time to fully implement it, but I have good memories of all that hard work.

[C] All motions in Radiant Dawn are actually “hand-made.” We strived to keep movements fluid and natural while adding a certain dynamic to characters who had appeared in Path of Radiance as well (which featured motion capture).

[D] I hope you all continue to love this game as you have up until now…!

Ikuko Nishikawa

[A] Map Unit Chief

[B] There were a lot more complications [in development] compared to Path of Radiance (Laughs). But, those hard times are just a small portion of all the other memories I have with this game.

[C] Though I was not in charge of this department, it was really interesting seeing that an entire “cosmetic surgery” group was established to tweak character [appearances] to make them appear more and more beautiful. I came to realize just how important pretty characters are to the FE franchise…

[D] The world of Tellius features a large breadth of characters — everyone from pretty girls and macho men to rotund individuals and small birds. I hope you continue to enjoy this game for years to come!

Kyouko Nakazawa

[A] Map Design, Background Illustrations, Movie Storyboards

[B] I was impressed seeing the things I imagined slowly take form. I feel my skills were subpar at the time, so I am incredibly grateful that the other staff could make such a wonderful movie [despite that].

[C] My love for Naesala was well known, and so the Character Design crew told me that I could pick his official pose! It was an extremely memorable moment due to how excited I was. I love the resulting official artwork for Naesala to this day!

[D] To think that a compilation work would be released all these years later –and it’s all thanks to the fans! You have my gratitude. It was painful seeing so many of these documents unreleased for so long, so I am truly happy. It would be great if people take the opportunity to play through Radiant Dawn again thanks to this!

Tsutomu Tei

[A] Battle Animation Background, Battle Camera

[B] I was entrusted with handling the backgrounds in the battle animation –work that was very much worth doing. The game had plenty of flying units, like the bird tribe laguz and Pegasus units. I recall [the backgrounds of] the battles on mid-air maps were particularly difficult to depict.

[C] Thanks to constantly checking battle animation backgrounds, the BGM that plays during battle is still stuck in my head to this day!

[D] This was the first Fire Emblem game I was involved with, so it’s a really emotional moment for me. It’s all thanks to the fans that this sort of book was able to be released all these years on!

Koji Kawasaki

[A] Mainly Magic Effects

[B] The first thing that comes to mind is all the fun we had cooperating with each other in countless trials during development.

[C] We set out to make the strongest magic tomes be super flashy, so I feel like we accomplished that goal. Among them, I strongly wanted Rexbolt to resemble the 2D productions, and was happy to see it be implemented just the way I wanted it to be. I have a strong attachment to that equally strong tome as a result.

Naoko Tsukamoto

[A] Event Illustrator

[B] I was an untalented newbie who was part of a whole different team at the start. But, I eventually got to participate in development as our team’s work had been completed, freeing us up to do so.

[D] I was happy enough simply having been able to contribute a few rough sketches for the game, but then to see the creations I made with my own two hands in the final product brought me an incredible sense of joy. The fact everyone shows their love for this game even now also fills me with happiness!

Hiromi Tanaka

[A] Background Illustrations

[B] Working overtime and eating dinner with everyone every day in the final days of development.

[C] I liked the animals that would be around on the map, but then was told, “This is a serious scene, take them out!” So they were removed, and I was furious.

[D] I feel that these documents and resources are a good show of the diligence that was put into making this game back then. The fact [this game] remains in the memories of everyone who played it back then makes me happy.

Takako Sakai

[A] Layout, Map Units

[B] There was a request for Celtic patterns to be implemented into the game’s UI (User Interface). I was happy that a glimpse of our world’s culture appears in the game –even if just a little in the form of a design.

[C] Designing and adjusting the models of various things like the chickens and sparrows on the map. We wanted the world to be livelier and more playful.

[D] A lot of staff came together to make the world of Tellius, and we are truly blessed that people continue to enjoy it to this day.

Koichiro Yamada

[A] Continuity, Event Assistant

[B] With Path of Radiance taking the series into 3D, we had relatively more freedom when it came to camera angles. As such, I constantly attempted new things and often ended up repeatedly breaking things in the system… So I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize as well as show my thanks to my superior Mr. Izuka and the rest of the staff who, despite me being a hindrance, endured all the trouble I caused.

[C] I was tasked with reading to every corner of the script, but I would become so enthralled by it all that I would often forget I had a job that I was supposed to be doing.

[D] It has been nearly 10 years since this game was released. I hope that releasing this document compilation gets everyone crazy about Tellius again!

Thank you for your continued support for the ever-evolving Fire Emblem series these past 25 years! Here’s to many more!

There are only a few more profiles left for FE10 before this project is finally complete. Afterward I am considering translating another Fire Emblem 4koma comic. Thank you all for reading my FE10 posts, I hope you learned something fun, or even something new!


3 thoughts on “FE RD: Developer Commentary Translations (from Tellius Recollection Vol. 2)

  1. Thank you so much for all of your hard work! It was fun to read this. I’m surprised at how much of the development staff was female, that’s so cool. Some of it was touching to read, some of it kind of hilarious.

    I wonder how many of them are still with Intelligent Systems/Nintendo.

    • Thank you for the kind comment, and you’re welcome!

      Yes, quite a few of them were, as the game was rather large in development too. I think it helped give the game appeal to both sides. : )

      I wonder too! The interview keeps it vague if they are still there or not, so it’s a good question. Check the credits for the latest games sometime and see if familiar names appear : )

  2. Pingback: Fire Emblem RD: Tellius Recollection Vol. 2 Scan/Translation Compilation Post | kantopia

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