It’s almost surreal when you realize Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn launched for the Wii all the way back in 2007. Twelve years have passed since the last home console release for the franchise, what with Fire Emblem: Awakening, Fates, and Echoes: Shadows of Valentia all being on the Nintendo 3DS. With Fire Emblem: Three Houses coming to the Nintendo Switch, the series returns to home consoles for the first time in over a decade; with it came a number of hurdles in moving development onto an HD system.

The realities of war

Toshiyuki Kusakihara of Intelligent Systems and Nintendo’s Genki Yokota recently joined RPG Site for an interview on the subject. In it, the Three Houses directors spoke of the technical challenges in shifting from the lower-performing 3DS to the more powerful Switch, as well as creating more realistic battles:

Kusakihara: It was […] a real pressure – the hurdle we had to cross was very high. Gamers are very impassioned – they’ve been waiting for this for such a long time. So we really did our best to provide the best game we could.

Yokota: Regarding the approach, we had to handle the HD screen, you know? We had a lot of meetings and a lot of discussions with Koei Tecmo and Intelligent Systems about what we could do regarding the new HD graphics aspect of development. […] for example, we worried about the size of the screen. When you’re in a battle against someone, up until now it was just one-on-one battles. That worked on a smaller screen, but we thought maybe for the new game generation it was too simple. So we discussed with Mr. Kusakihara, and we suggested what he wanted – what he’s wanted for a long time – is a new aspect, which we call battalions. It should be better looking first, but it could also make the game more fun.

Kusakihara: Time after time, the gaming consoles are getting more powerful than before. It became really difficult for us to really demonstrate that this is actually a war when you only had one-on-one battles. It’s just not realistic. So it was, of course, a big subject. Also, Koei Tecmo is very good at this sort of big, huge battle simulation. So we had a great amount of help from them in achieving that.

From Warriors to Houses

When it comes to simulating large-scale conflicts, you can’t really ask for better than the home of Dynasty Warriors. The company previously worked on the series with Fire Emblem Warriors for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, so it’s heartening to see Koei Tecmo work closely with Nintendo and Intelligent Systems once again on Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

A little over two weeks remain until the launch of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Are you looking forward to seeing the series’ foray into HD? Which noble house are you looking to sink 80 hours into first? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below, and be sure to check out RPG Site for the complete interview.

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Jeffrey McDonell
Rare import from Canada, lover of all things video game music and remixes, desk jockey by day, and Nintendo Enthusiast by night. I grew up on Nintendo consoles since the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, with standouts like Sonic, Mario, and Zelda defining my childhood.

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