The game is filled with perfect partnerships that once seemed incredibly unlikely.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes shows that Nintendo and Koei Tecmo have landed on a winning combination, merging the Dragon Warriors and Fire Emblem franchises for the second time in an experience that feels completely unique. three hopes is a thoughtful expansion of 2019’s critically acclaimed fandom obsession Fire Emblem: Three Houses, to the extent that it feels like a full sequel at times. Yet, surprisingly, three hopes came together pretty quickly.
“The reason all three companies agreed to develop this title is because of the overwhelming enthusiasm we received from fans who played Fire Emblem: Three Houses. This title came true thanks to the fans and their support,” said producer Yosuke Hayashi. Reverse.
It’s not uncommon for a developer to achieve a quick follow-up to a popular game, but it’s extremely rare for such a follow-up to be this good. To mark Three Hopes’ recently released on Nintendo Switch, Reverse spoke with some of the core development team behind the game, including Nintendo supervisor Genki Yokata, character designer at Intelligent Systems Toshiyuki Kusakihara, producer at Team Ninja Yosuke Hayashi, and director at Koei Tecmo Hayato Iwata.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Why did you decide to ask players to select a house again?
Yokata- Fire Emblem games have some interesting choices to make, such as which characters to use and how you’ll use them, and one of the main appeals of Fire Emblem: Three Houses is how your decisions tie into the story itself when choosing your home.
Therefore, the three companies – Koei Tecmo Games, Intelligent Systems and Nintendo – all had the same thought that we should take advantage of this appeal when creating a Warriors-themed game. Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The different perspective of the main character and the ability to review those choices makes for an enjoyable experience.
Kusakihara- The core of Fire Emblem: Three Houses was the telling of a dramatic story about what happens when people with strong and uncompromising beliefs collide, so I think it was inevitable that we created three routes for this game. One of the taglines of the previous game (*text used in a Japanese trailer for Fire Emblem: Three Houses) was “With whom will you live and with whom will you fight?” We thought those words represented the nature of the game very well. This game follows that same concept.
Iwata- Because we chose Fire Emblem: Three Houses as a theme, we couldn’t avoid having the player experience the story from three different angles. We had concerns about the amount of development needed, but somehow we never got to discussing how we would bring this to players in a single story. We only ever discussed how we could proceed with development in a way that would allow us to complete all three paths.
The new “Strategies” system adds a lot of depth and control. How has this system developed over time?
Iwata- As Mr. Yokota mentioned, the player has to make choices during different parts of the game. Our goal was to integrate the strategy system into this game. For example, a simple choice where the player chooses the strategy to use given limited strategic resources.
It also leads to choosing the type of style of play to adopt. Strategic Resources are earned by completing side quests so you can complete as many side quests as possible to prepare for the main quest, or you can choose to complete the bare minimum and move on.
How the Story and Gameplay Elements of Dynasty Warriors Influenced three hopes?
Hayashi- We didn’t really pay attention to it. But I think our collaboration with Koei Tecmo has helped bring out the world of Fire Emblem: Three Houses with its three warring nations. This framework taps into what makes their Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms series appealing. For this game, I think we were able to create a story that perfectly encapsulates the appeal of three nations fighting against each other.
three hopes has many elements similar to Three Houses. What have you done to ensure that the experience is different and fresh for returning players?
Yokata- Having conversations with other characters or training units at your base camp was part of the fun of Fire Emblem: Three Houses as well. So while you still have a base, the Koei Tecmo team have focused on introducing a few differences in the conversations and training aspects. Another important part I want to point out is that the story is quite different!
Kusakihara- Byleth, who was the main protagonist and user avatar in the previous episode, becomes an antagonist this time around, making the story feel fresh and unpredictable. I hope everyone makes it to the end to see where these characters end up.
Iwata- I would like to point out the changes due to the main protagonist being in a different position. The original story depicted a hierarchical relationship with the teacher Byleth above the students, but this time the protagonist and the students are on the same level.
Because of this shift in relationship dynamics, you’ll notice subtle differences that reveal a new side to these characters, such as the way they talk to each other, and I think this will cause fans to see these characters in a different light.
How important was it for Shez and Byleth to be fully voiced?
Iwata- When we designed the new protagonist for this game, we knew there wouldn’t be much of a difference to the gaming experience if the protagonist only spoke when needed, like Byleth did in Fire Emblem: Three Housesso we decided that this time the protagonist will have strong self-esteem and be proactive in word and deed.
Also, Byleth in this game speaks a lot more than in the original story, but that was unavoidable as players now view them from a third-person perspective as one of the characters rather than their avatar. and we also wanted to deepen the character of Byleth.
Did you already have a Warriors-style game in mind when Three Houses was in development?
Hayashi- Believe it or not, we had none of that in mind. The reason all three companies agreed to develop this title is the overwhelming enthusiasm we received from fans who played Fire Emblem: Three Houses. This title has become a reality thanks to the fans and their support.
Are there elements or new ideas in three hopes Who do you think will influence future Warriors games?
Hayashi- As we worked on the development of this game, we wanted it to be the newest and most enjoyable warrior. Game. Of course, it all depends on the reactions we get after people play the game, but if a particular element or idea receives praise, I think it’s something that can influence future games and spinoffs of Warriors.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is currently available exclusively on Nintendo Switch.