You may be waiting for Dark Horse’s upcoming Fire Emblem: Awakening artbook, but the Japanese already have something better(don’t they always?): a 25th anniversary FE artbook detailing production secrets on all the games in the series, including many that weren’t released here. But there’s one page that isn’t about any game released at ALL: it deals with a Fire Emblem that was cancelled mid-development and never released.
A scan of the page, showing off sketches and designs from the vapor sequel, is now circulating the Net, translated by the WordPress blog Kantopia….
Kantopia also translated an interview with Fire Emblem series veteran Toru Narihiro where he spoke all about this cancelled game, the motive behind it and why it never came to pass…
There was a lot of talk about negative feedback that was received after the release of Radiant Dawn, wasn’t there?
Narihiro: The staff at Nintendo and others were saying things like “With such results, do not release another title on a home console.”
What was the truth of the situation?
Narihiro: It was true that the game did not sell too well, but I’m not quite sure what was meant by “do not release another title on a home console.” But, it changed our way of thinking. And so from then on, we assumed that it would be necessary to simplify the game on a home console in order to gain wider appeal. During the Gamecube era, there were those at Nintendo who wanted the game as a console release in order to increase the amount of hardware sold. However, Mr. Iwata’s new policies came into play and led to the massive hit that was the Nintendo DS and Wii –which expanded the general gaming audience.
…So after the completion of Radiant Dawn, we began to make an experimental game for the Wii. The result was the illusive unreleased “illusive” title for the Wii.
…It was an FE game where you would take a large group of people with you much like Pikmin. For a long time we diligently continued to develop this experimental project, steadily learning new things. In the end, though, the final blow to our motivation was the fact we did not really have an aim or objective, which really killed the spirit of the project. It was at this time where Maeda came forward and expressed “I want to be the director.”
This game was never programmed and only exists as sketches. And indeed, the FE series stuck to handhelds from that point — which was the same period of time it was formally introduced to America, leaving most Western gamers to think of the series as a portable type of thing. Radiant Dawn remains the only console FF released outside Japan.