Earlier today, Famitsu published an interview with the two Directors of Fire Emblem Heroes, Shingo Matsushita (Nintendo) and Kohei Maeda (Intelligent Systems). It provides us with quite a bit of additional details about the game, including what’s available at launch and what’s coming next.
Thanks to Ash’s translations, we’re now able to offer you a rundown of the main details from the interview!
Fire Emblem Heroes will be the very first Fire Emblem game on smart devices, but it’s not exactly something “new” for Intelligent Systems. Indeed: the idea of putting the Fire Emblem series on smart devices is something they have been thinking about for several years now.
About who’s developing the game: yesterday, we got the confirmation that Intelligent Systems were the ones developing Fire Emblem Heroes, assisted by Nintendo and DeNA. But what we didn’t know is that the main Fire Emblem team was actually working on the game (not just a “minor” sub-team created just for the occasion).
What’s more, the interview reveals that this same team is also working on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. In other words, the developers at Intelligent Systems (and the main Fire Emblem team) have been really busy in the past few months, with:
- development of Fire Emblem Heroes
- development of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
- supervision for Fire Emblem Warriors
- development of the new Fire Emblem game on the Nintendo Switch
When asked whether they had considered making Fire Emblem Heroes a paid app (like Super Mario Run), the two Directors replied that they wanted as many people as possible to play the game, which is why they went the F2P route.So no, they never considered making the game not F2P.
In fact, the gacha mechanic has been there from the very beginning. They figured that the random drops for characters would be a great way for players to get to know the various characters from the Fire Emblem series. After all, only the most hardcore of fans will have played all the entries in the series, especially in the West where many of them were never even released.
When adapting the Fire Emblem experience to smart devices, the developers put a lot of focus on making sure the game was easy to pick up. In general, maps take about 5 to 10 minutes to beat, and you can play with just one hand. Of course, they also made sure that the game was true to the Fire Emblem series, so that both newcomers and experienced players could enjoy it.
Speaking of the maps, the 8×6 grid is the standard size, and there actually isn’t anything bigger. Basically, the developers made sure that all the maps would fit on the screen at all times. Interesting details: they are all based on maps from the various Fire Emblem entries.
At launch, about 50 maps will be available in the main story, but naturally, they plan on adding even more later down the line (to keep players engaged). The first set of maps available at launch is basically Season 1, and if other similar games on smart devices are any indication, we can expect new ones to be added on a regular basis.
As for characters, approximately 100 of them will be available at launch (click here to check out those that have been confirmed so far), with story updates adding new heroes later down the line. Those characters will come with new story content and map(s).
Regarding the story, Fire Emblem Heroes will feature a main scenario, but also “Gaiden-esque” parts (not directly part of the main story). Naturally, developers are planning special content to tie-in with new Fire Emblem games, such as Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia for example.
And just like most other similar games on smart devices, there will be time-limited events, such as Great Hero Battles where players will be able to battle heroes that are much stronger than notmal.
Regarding the characters themselves, the two Directors explain that there are minor differences between them, but in general, they made sure that paramaters wouldn’t differ too much. As for the star ratings, they confirm that a 5 stars character will not necessarily be stronger than a 4 stars character, especially since you can take that 4 stars character and train it to 5 stars (as characters become stronger as their star rating increases).
They also re-confirm that all the illustrations in Fire Emblem Heroes are brand new: nothing was re-used from previous games or even the Fire Emblem 0 Trading Card Game. Also, absolutely all the characters get a special illustration for when they have taken a certain amount of damage, it’s not just for the main or major characters.
As for the voiced lines, it was revealed in the Nintendo Direct last month that they were also completely brand new. Lines have been recorded for various situations: when they are in battle, when you grab the characters on the map, when their star rating increases, and more.
In the interview, Shingo Matsushita and Kohei Maeda also mention a feature we haven’t really heard about until now (even in yesterday’s previews), tied to your friends. Sometimes, the leader character from your friends will appear in your home base, and you will be able to get Hero’s Wings from them. What’s more, the developers are also considering adding other features using friends in the future (simultaneous multiplayer, maybe?).
Finally, they talk a bit about the auto-mode, which is going to be pretty useful in the first part of the game, especially for players who are not used to strategy games.
An extra tidbit about the Choose your Legends event that ended yesterday: the official Twitter account for the game reveals that they received a total of 1.2 million votes for it. The results will be revealed shortly, and the winning character(s) will be added to Fire Emblem Heroes. Naturally, it will be a special version of the character, with a different costume and different skills (it will be considered a separate character altogether).
A big thanks to Ash for the interview translation!