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Fire Emblem Fates Preview - Interview with Elieson from Serenes Forest (Part 3)

+ posted by Kaoz in Interviews on Feb 14, 2016 09:37
After being released in Japan on June 25th, 2015, Fire Emblem Fates is hitting the shelves in the United States one week from now, on February 19th. The Fire Emblem franchise received a big boost thanks to Fates' predecessor, Fire Emblem Awakening, and has become one of Nintendo's core franchises in the past years. To find out what the Western audience can expect from the newest installment in the series, we sat down with Serenes Forest News Editor Elieson.

NOTE that no major spoilers will be discussed. Due to length of the interview, we had to split it into 3 parts. This is the final part. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

Kaoz: Since you mentioned the hot springs, I recall reading some controversies regarding this and a couple other features in the Western localization. What are those about?

Elieson: You can get married and have children, with members of your army. For the first time in Fire Emblem, you can marry somebody of the same sex. Also, there is one younger character in particular who has a support in the Japanese version, involving her being secretly given a magical powder to aid in a social stigma. Nintendo said that this would be left out of the American release, and this sparked incredible controversy among the fanbase. Purists wanted the game to stay the same, but also questioned the morality of what could easily be viewed as drugging without consent. It's a touchy subject, really...

Kaoz: Ah, definitely. Did the Japanese fandom have a similar reaction or was it generally accepted there?

Elieson: More than likely, it was accepted in Japan due to the age of consent being lower there than it is here. Cultural differences are the backbone of localization, and Fire Emblem has seen this since the very first American release.

Kaoz: That is very true. Are there any other localization changes?

Elieson: Some elements of support mechanics were modified, such as the controversial "skinship" mechanic. In the Japanese version, you can use the stylus to "pet" your army mates from the neck up in an interactive animated cutscene. In the American version, you can do this with your spouse only, and for a much shorter timeframe – down to five seconds from about two minutes. The accessory system has managed to remain unchanged in its entirety, so you can still customize how your squad appears beyond just changing their class, just how you would have seen in the original version.

Kaoz: So we still get to experience largely the same game.

Elieson: With the exception of the dialogue for a few supports, some risqué accessory-outfits, and one support building mechanic (which was simply an out-of-battle boost for one couple at a time), the game we're getting is the game Japan got.

Kaoz: Very nice. Also, you already touched on this earlier, but how was Fates received in Japan in general? And how would you evaluate it yourself based on what you have seen so far?

Elieson: Japan has widely accepted this game as one of the greats, and from what I've seen via my on-hand experience with Conquest, it is setting out to be a big hit for the year. There is just so much to do between the three, and Fire Emblem is a great game to just pick up and think about, and also just to unwind to.

Kaoz: Who would you recommend the game to?

Elieson: I'd recommend Birthright to newer players and fans of a more simple and straightforward Fire Emblem game, and Conquest for those interested in a much greater challenge. Revelations, from what I've seen, looks like a game best played after completing at least one, if not both the other versions. The story in Revelation references both Birthright and Conquest, so having that early knowledge and at least one playthrough under your belt will make the experience one to remember.

Kaoz: So if our readers want to know more about this title, where can they find in-depth information or some gameplay footage?

Elieson: GameXplain, Polygon, IGN and GameSpot have all streamed various bits and pieces of the game. However, I've worked hard to try to compile all of it on Serenes Forest, so if you stop by our news site and forums, you can pretty easily check out re-uploads of all the various videos.

If you want knowledge of the game, Serenes Forest has a team dedicated to translating the script, and we've compiled not only an almost-complete Japanese-to-English translation, we've also broken down the game's mechanics, item and weapon specifics, recruitment conditions and more. It may seem like shameless advertising, but Serenes Forest is probably the most informative place on the web that you can visit for information on not only Fire Emblem Fates, but all 13 other Fire Emblem games, plus other games that the staff is working on right now.

Kaoz: Basically, once you really get into it, you have to be careful not to get overwhelmed by the information available. We have been going on for quite a while now, so let's come to a close. Since MangaHelpers is a manga site first and foremost, I have to ask this as the final question: is there going to be a Fire Emblem Fates manga or anime?

Elieson: Many years ago, there was a short anime released staring Marth and the cast of the first Fire Emblem game. This went unfinished, but can be found on the internet or VHS if you look hard enough. There is also a manga following Fire Emblem Geneaology of the Holy War which our translation team covered here and here. There is also a Fire Emblem Binding Blade (the one with Roy), readable here.

Fire Emblem Fates Character Book

As for Fire Emblem Fates material, there is a character book, which has been translated by Serenes Forest user Kantopia.

Kaoz: I remember the Awakening character book being very nice, so if Fates' is of the same quality, it is definitely worth checking out. That said, thank you very much for joining me for this interview. If you have any closing remarks or shout-outs, now is the time.

Elieson: I'd just like to thank Serenes Forest for letting me help them out, and for being a great and informative community, and you for taking the time to let me prattle on about what is essentially my favorite gaming franchise!

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