Rumour: Cancelled Fire Emblem Remake for 3DS Could Live Again on Switch

It’s only been a few months since a new Fire Emblem game–Three Houses–was released, but there’s a possibility that the wait for the next title in the series might not be that long.

We think Genealogy of the Holy War and Binding Blade are the most likely candidates for a remake.

In a recent episode of “Kinda Funny Games Daily”, Imran Khan–former senior editor at Game Informer–casually mentioned that a Fire Emblem game was being produced for the Nintendo 3DS at one point, but was cancelled. However, he also speculated that this project could be revived for the Nintendo Switch.

I know there was another Fire Emblem remake in the works for 3DS and that was one of the things that they shuttered. So maybe that’s one of the things they’ll bring forward [to the Switch] in the future.

(Thanks to Nintendo Enthusiast and many others for the heads up!)

His comments were a follow up to a recent article by Wall Street Journalist author Takashi Mochizuki who claimed that Nintendo wants more 3DS-like games created for the Nintendo Switch and also the recent announcement that “Mario & Luigi” developer AlphaDream would be going bankrupt.

(Via Games Radar and Polygon.)

It seems that one of the triggers for the game’s cancellation was the poor sales of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story on Nintendo 3DS in February 2019. This caused Nintendo to re-evaluate their Nintendo 3DS projects, leading to the cancellation of the purported Fire Emblem remake.

Development on Three Houses was announced during the Fire Emblem Direct in January 2017.

Presumably, development on the remake was happening around the same time as Three Houses. Although it might seem like a schedule clash, there was a time when Intelligent Systems were developing The Sacred Stones and Path of Radiance simultaneously. Plus Three Houses was co-developed by Koei Tecmo, meaning Intelligent Systems probably had a lot of free hands.

The other important nugget is that Imran believes we may see the cancelled remake again on the Nintendo Switch. This is loosely tied to Mochizuki’s comments about the Nintendo Switch potentially receiving games that would’ve been designed for the 3DS. This is purely speculation, but titles like the recently released Link’s Awakening remake may have been planned for the 3DS.

In any case, if what Imran says is true, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise for the project to make a comeback. For one, depending on how far development got, it would make a lot of sense to recycle the work they’ve already put in. It would not be dissimilar to how Binding Blade on the GameBoy Advance borrowed ideas from the ill-fated Fire Emblem 64.

Furthermore, now that Three Houses is out–and selling fantastically well–there’s probably pressure on Intelligent Systems to crank out the next Fire Emblem game in a relatively short time (like 1 or 2 years). Releasing a remake would be a relatively easy way to do this, while also throwing a bone to fans who never played the original.

Celica from Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

Now the big question is what exactly was the cancelled game a remake of? The most recent remake was Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a retelling of the second game, Gaiden. Prior to that, both of Marth’s games on the NES and SNES were remade. If they’re following release order, the next game should be Genealogy of the Holy War. But some Intelligent Systems staff have expressed interest in a Binding Blade remake.

Before we go, we must stress again that this is merely a rumour for now. Still, it’s something nice to think about, right?

About the Author: VincentASM
Author Website:
  • Not interested. People are constantly talking about how much they want remakes of games that are still playable. I’ve already played FE4/5/6, why would I want to play them again with shinier graphics and terribly translated character names? If anything, I’d much rather see effort put into VC versions of those titles.

    • BlueTetri619

      As much as I love FE4, gameplay is where it suffers the most. They need to find a way to allow foot units to catch up with mounted units, weapon weight needs to balanced (axes, tome weight), rework the love system, and give the characters a personality. Thracia is fine, maybe make it not cryptic and change the caps from 20. Binding Blade needs to rework its cast in terms of gameplay, fix axe weapon accuracy, rework ambush spawns, clarify gaidens and the true ending. I wouldn’t call these games unplayable, but we have more standards now, so it would be best to remake these games.

      • FE4 is a game I respect greatly but don’t really enjoy playing that much. I’ve beat it a couple of times of the last two decades though. For me, FE5 is the pinnacle of FE in general, and the low caps are part of that. It’s the best way of avoiding an Awakening situation. What you have to keep in mind when discussing is that all games in the series has flaws. One thing that doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough is how many builds FE4 went through before it became finalised, and how cohesively all the new systems and random ideas still work together to form a perfectly functional game. The maps are huge though and because of this you simply cannot get away from the fact that mounted units are going to be more valuable than footlocked ones. It’s another example of resource-based gameplay. The only thing I would say is that I’m not the biggest fan of the map design itself which is what I personally love about the series, but I do like the concept of a giant battlefield with smaller skirmishes occuring on it.

        As for FE6, you have to remember when and how the game was made. It was the start of a new era of FE, on a new system and with different design sensibilities. Not everyone played on their GBA like they did with their SNES. Changes had to be made. It was also the first game without Kaga on the team. For everything that could’ve gone wrong with it, it played like a dream and allowed for FE7 and 8 to be made on the same engine. There’s also a surprising amount of content in the game, with the chapters feeling different enough from each other which made the gameplay pretty great. Overall, I don’t feel as if this game gets the respect it deserves.

        Still, the best argument you could’ve presented would’ve been that the games were never released in the west. I wouldn’t get my hopes up for any substantial changes after the trainwreck that is SoV tried to balance Gaiden by not only keeping the same shitty design philosophy, but also cutting out harmless exploits and making the game even more of a slog to play. That’s how I’d like it though. Like I wrote elsewhere, that amount of faithfulness would make other remakes actually worth something.

    • Suicunesol

      Most people have not played those games… given that they were not released outside of Japan.

    • Semi Colon Parenthesis

      Not everyone emulates, and a lot of people can’t sit through an old game (which I’m guilty of too sometimes). There’s also a lot of qol stuff the older games lack too. I agree with the general idea that I’m scared they’ll ruin the “good parts” of FE 4 though. But hey people demand THE REINHARDT and all for Fe 5, which is definitely most at risk of being messed with. Such as a playable Reinhardt.

      • Not necessarily. I’ve seen regular people emulate games on their phones for as long as smartphones have been capable of stable emulation. You’d be surprised at how many know where to find roms for emulation. Finding and applying a translation patch adds a couple of extra steps, but there’s sites out there who make prepatched roms readily available for those laymen who may not know how to use patchers. If people really are interested in playing the older titles, there is not much standing in their way other than personal misgivings.

  • mrkisukes

    If we do get a remake, I don’t want another SoV. Gaiden had archaic and bad designs that were due to hardware limitations and inexperienced developers. It is possible to preserve the spirit of the original while also refining or even drastically changing gameplay elements to meet the higher modern standards (RE2 Remake is a good example). Many of the ideas that originated from the Bronze age of FE (1-5) have been refined in later games. This is why SoV failed, it didn’t reimplement the refinements from 20+ of new games hindsight.

    • The worst thing about Echoes is that it was as straight of a remake it possibly could’ve been for about the only game in the series that needed something more. Echoes being as faithful as it was makes me optimistic of other remakes being actually good. I don’t want another New Mystery situation again.

      • 3-13 Archer

        New Mystery was fine imo. The Avatar parts were cheesy and sometimes cringey, but that’s about it. Shadow Dragon, on the other hand… The only way to see the new content is to suck at the game. And I still kind of like it because of its atmosphere.

        • Remember that the only reason they did that was because Book 2 of FE3 was pretty short and had a plot consisting of air. Still, outside of the tumor that is Kris I don’t think it’s too bad. It’s different enough from FE3 that it warrants a playthrough, and I think that’s my issue with it. The positive is that it was a remake of an already great game and thus managed to dodge the bad design of casual mode. But even then, the original is a classic way to enjoy the game that still holds up today. It’s such a cool slice of its era.

  • J42

    Fire Emblem Echoes: Elegy of Jugdral
    Fire Emblem Echoes: Embers of Elibe
    I’d love a remake of either of these. Hopefully it will be a combination of two (4+5 or 6+7).

    I played Genealogy of the Holy War for the first time recently. I can see why people think it’s so great, but honestly it was a chore to finish. It’s so slow! It takes hours to go through the arena with everyone and drag every character across the enormous maps. A remake with modern day quality of life improvements like speeding up or skipping animations, auto battle to move all your units closer to your leader, and maybe even mounted units being able to give infantry units a lift would make it one of the best in the series for sure.

    And Binding Blade, I didn’t like this one. So many borderline unusable units, same turn reinforcements, an overabundance of long-range tomes and status staves, cryptic true ending conditions, a lord that’s a liability most of the time and traps that are pure RNG as to whether you lose a character or not. I don’t blame them, it was their first attempt without Kaga. But it being remade with better design and turn rewinds would make it so much easier to enjoy. It could be bundled with FE7 where you unlock it after the main game so that it can still be kept relatively difficult.

    • Semi Colon Parenthesis

      I fear they’ll ruin what makes Fe 4 good. Never thought about the carrying infantry idea. That’d be a welcome change. There’s definitely a lot of qol things they can change but, again, there’s a lot of things they could change to “modernize” it in a bad way i’m scared about.

      I used to be on board with a FE 6/7 bundle remake, but really it’s not practical. They’re both full games, and the generational mechanics people always propose only carries to like 5 characters in FE 6.

  • Rey

    I put my money on a Binding-blazing remake, protagonists from both game have been in the top 2 in each year of choice your legend in fire emblem heroes so its has an established audience , also one of the developers admited that he would like to make a remake for Roy.
    And; well, if it were a remake of both games, then it will be able to please people that want the marriage and kids mechanics back

    • Semi Colon Parenthesis

      While Roy is popular, I wouldn’t really say he’s established the way you do. Cause honestly, he’s only really popular cause of smash memes. Don’t get me wrong he has a fanbase, but only half of those people, at best, actually know what he’s like/played his game as opposed to “Roy’s our boy”.

  • Christopher Shields

    Really digging for the Binding Blade remake. I really hope they fix my boi Roy and his promotion along with the abysmal supports.

  • DivineLion

    I hope roy gets a remake. his game was never official released here. i love echoes and it is at top with 3 houses for me

  • 3-13 Archer

    They still have to announce the rest of Three Houses DLCs and we don’t know how much replayability they will add (in a game with four routes to follow). I think it’s too early to announce a new game, even if it’s a remake.
    Still, I hope they eventually release those two, though, Binding Blade first so Holy War can learn of possible mistakes and be more polished. That game deserves the best.

  • Andres Marquez