Around a month ago, Genealogy of the Holy War celebrated its 20th anniversary. Recent Fire Emblem games owe a lot to Genealogy for introducing hugely popular gameplay elements such as special skills, marriage and children.
Sigurd lineart; scan provided by Kirokan.
Therefore, it’s very appropriate that our next “Making Of” article delves into the development history of this crucial entry in the series. As before, we’ve teamed up with the extremely hard-working Kirokan from Kantopia to bring you all the juicy details.
Unlike previous articles, the information we’ve gathered does not come from development documents included in the Making of Fire Emblem book, but naturally during the course of interviews with key Fire Emblem staff.
Genealogy is first brought up when Masahiro Higuchi, currently a producer at Intelligent Systems, discussed his first involvement with the Fire Emblem series. Back then, Higuchi was a graphic designer who worked on designing Genealogy’s dynamic map sprites.
Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Fire Emblem series, as well as the 11th anniversary of Path of Radiance (and yesterday was Awakening‘s anniversary).
To celebrate the occasion, here’s the next part of our “Making Of” series, featuring development materials and secrets from the Making of Fire Emblem book, in collaboration with Kantopia‘s very own Kirokan.
Naturally, we’ll be turning our attention to Path of Radiance, since it’s the birthday boy and because we already covered the first game earlier.
At the time of release, Path of Radiance was an ambitious title, being one of Intelligent System’s first forays into 3D game development and the first home console Fire Emblem since Kaga’s departure.
Steadily throughout the year, I’ll be digging through the Making of Fire Emblem book for juicy morsels alongside Kirokan from Kantopia.
After our in-depth look at the Making of Shadow Dragon, we’ll skip ahead to the game inspired by it: Binding Blade for the GameBoy Advance.
Looking back, Binding Blade marked a massive turning point in the series, as Intelligent Systems were faced with the challenge of continuing the Fire Emblem series without its creator, Shouzou Kaga.
At the time, Binding Blade was first envisioned as a Nintendo 64 title known as “Maiden of Darkness“. However, for largely unknown reasons, development was halted and resources shifted to a GameBoy Advance entry instead.
With such a turbulent development history behind it, just how much has Binding Blade changed since its early days?
The Making of Fire Emblem released in December, while far from perfect, was a treat for hardcore Fire Emblem fans, featuring many previously unknown development materials and secrets.
Of note, the 351-page book finally solved the mystery of Fire Emblem 64 and even revealed a never-seen-before Fire Emblem prototype for the Wii.
However that’s just the tip of the iceberg; in the coming weeks, I’ll be providing an in-depth look at many other exciting sections from the book in collaboration with Kirokan from Kantopia.
To get things rolling, it makes the most sense to begin with the game that started it all: the Famicom/NES version of Shadow Dragon (and the Blade of Light).