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VincentASM

[Update] Radiant Dawn interview

59 posts in this topic

Cross-posting from the main site.

I've been working closely with [b]Neon_Icarus[/b], an aspiring and talented translator, over the past few months on this and I am excited to finally post this--[url=http://serenesforest.net/fe10/interview10_1.html]an interview[/url] with Radiant Dawn's development staff, conducted by Nintendo Dream and first published in 2007.

Topics of discussion include IS's stance on handheld/console FEs, when Radiant Dawn was first developed and what makes Fire Emblem tick.

If you like the interview, please share it with your FE friends! Edited by VincentASM

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[quote]Narihiro: This is really a side note, but with the remote, you can play with only one hand as well. (laughs)

Yamagami: This means you can play the game while eating sweets. This can obviously be a very time consuming game, so relaxing like this is the ideal way to enjoy it.[/quote]

Holy shit, this is *actually* how I play FE10, and I noticed that it was quite comfortable.

Good interview, fun read, but this part just stuck out to me.

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[quote]And we’ve made sure that none of the characters are a waste, so each and every player is bound to find characters that they'd like to use.[/quote]
Fiona

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You know, one could say playing the game one-handed has "another use"...

Sorry, just couldn't resist! :lol:

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[quote name='Kirby' date='18 January 2012 - 04:04 PM' timestamp='1326917086' post='1826460']
You know, one could say playing the game one-handed has "another use"...

Sorry, just couldn't resist! :lol:
[/quote]
Just can't help yourself whenever Mist shows up on screen, huh?

[s]Sorry, just couldn't resist! =P[/s]

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[quote name='Paperblade' date='18 January 2012 - 11:33 AM' timestamp='1326915203' post='1826429']
Fiona
[/quote]
And I made perfect use out of her :) It's only too bad that the chapters available to her at first are REALLY detrimental. Indoor maps killing her movement, then swamps keeping her stuck to the beginning of the map... sucks D:

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[quote name='VincentASM' date='18 January 2012 - 04:32 PM' timestamp='1326911541' post='1826371']
If you like the interview, please share it with your FE friends!
[/quote]
[s]FriEnds huh[/s]

[quote name='Paperblade' date='18 January 2012 - 05:33 PM' timestamp='1326915203' post='1826429']
Fiona
[/quote]
Destiny Hero loved her.

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[quote name='Kirby' date='18 January 2012 - 03:04 PM' timestamp='1326917086' post='1826460']
You know, one could say playing the game one-handed has "another use"...

Sorry, just couldn't resist! :lol:
[/quote]

[img]http://serenesforest.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/XD.gif[/img] That is quite funny...

Playing with one hand is fine but i find it awkward when i attempt to do it so i just do other things when the Enemy Phase is going...

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[quote] And we’ve made sure that none of the characters are a waste, so each and every player is bound to find characters that they'd like to use.[/quote]

Hmm, it seems that they forgot Fiona existed. :P

Anyway, great to see this stuff!

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[quote]A ‘Perfect Play’ is completing the game without losing a single character or missing a single item.[/quote]


Thats interesting, but what would constitute as a missable item? Boss items that you can steal + items you can find? Would it also include buyable weapons from the bargain shop?

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It's probably a general statement :) There are times where you cannot proceed one way without missing an item in another (dual routes in FE6/FE8, for example). A perfect play in generic terms is not passing any content that is perfectly within the ability to retain.

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I honestly loved the gameplay. I LOVED the battle animations. They really put the effort there when they improved upon FE9's battle animations. Heck they even joked about how each model has 100-150 animation motions on the interview.

It's just Part 4's writing seemed... ugh.

Especially Ranulf DROPPING THE BOMB before everyone heads out.

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[QUOTE]i just do other things when the Enemy Phase is going... [/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]I LOVED the battle animations.[/QUOTE]

This is all irrelevant to me cuz FE10 was never interesting enough for me to warrant being more than half-awake, animations were off and I slept during the enemy phases [s]often times oversleeping[/s] but I'm confident I didn't miss out on much *shrug*

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[quote name='shadowofchaos' date='19 January 2012 - 11:23 PM' timestamp='1327022602' post='1827748']
Especially Ranulf DROPPING THE BOMB before everyone heads out.
[/quote]
Worst reveal ever, y/y?

[quote]Playing with one hand is fine but i find it awkward when i attempt to do it so i just do other things when the Enemy Phase is going...[/quote]
Which sometimes makes me wish they'd do something like in Ar Tonelico 2, making (somewhat) precise enemy phase button pressing have some kind of beneficial effect.

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[quote name='shadowofchaos' date='19 January 2012 - 07:23 PM' timestamp='1327022602' post='1827748']
Especially Ranulf DROPPING THE BOMB before everyone heads out.
[/quote]

To be fair, when else could Ranulf have dropped the bomb? He was the only one who knew who the Black Knight was, and he had reason to believe that Ike might run into him on the way to the Tower of Guidance, before they met up again.

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[quote name='Paper Jam' date='20 January 2012 - 02:59 PM' timestamp='1327089582' post='1828407']
To be fair, when else could Ranulf have dropped the bomb? He was the only one who knew who the Black Knight was, and he had reason to believe that Ike might run into him on the way to the Tower of Guidance, before they met up again.
[/quote]
Wait, what? You missed the point entirely.

The issue is that the reveal fans had been waiting for for years was simply tossed out there by Ranulf in the first place, that the story couldn't have bothered to make Ike find it out himself in a way that would have been remotely interesting. The issue is that the story handed Ranulf the bomb to drop in the first place; when it happened didn't have anything to do with it. Edited by Othin

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Am I the only one who thought Ranulf learning the identity was clever and excellently handled? Fuck Ike having to figure it out by himself, does he really need to be any more of a Gary Stu?

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I felt the same way. For some reasons fans seem to want an overly cliche way of bombing the information, while the way it actually went about was somewhat more sinister.

What the game failed to do was do anything with the presented information. The presentation itself was fairly seedy, and matched the pacing well.

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[quote name='Balcerzak' date='20 January 2012 - 04:06 PM' timestamp='1327093596' post='1828443']
Am I the only one who thought Ranulf learning the identity was clever and excellently handled? Fuck Ike having to figure it out by himself, does he really need to be any more of a Gary Stu?
[/quote]
Perhaps there wasn't a good way of handling it. That doesn't make Ranulf's reveal any less of a shitty way.

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[quote name='Paper Jam' date='21 January 2012 - 12:21 PM' timestamp='1327166484' post='1829200']
How would you have done it?
[/quote]
I worked on rewriting FE9/10's stories into one game with Banzai a while ago. I think we decided on the Black Knight being Ashnard.

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Nice to see IS developers agreeing with me on the series's appeal. Too bad FE9 was the last game in the series I've played that actually had that appeal to me.

[quote]Narihiro: If we include them, it’s around 200 people in total. About that many people, I think. All of the people who were involved aren’t in the end credits. In broad terms, there were around a 100 people doing the game and a hundred doing the FMVs.
[/quote]
Imagine how much better the game would have been if they used that money in the rest of the game >_>.

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[quote name='Balcerzak' date='20 January 2012 - 07:06 PM' timestamp='1327093596' post='1828443']
Am I the only one who thought Ranulf learning the identity was clever and excellently handled? Fuck Ike having to figure it out by himself, does he really need to be any more of a Gary Stu?
[/quote]
But Ranulf basically spoils you.

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[quote name='Paper Jam' date='21 January 2012 - 01:29 PM' timestamp='1327181360' post='1829379']
Sounds like you had a problem with the entire game's writing, not just Part 4's.
[/quote]
Not exactly.

Path of Radiance has excellent writing--up until Chapter 24, where the game starts to fall apart and it becomes apparent that, in the immortal words of Glen, "This conflict is the prelude to a much larger war." We get all sorts of unresolved plot threads mixed with an anti-climactic final battle (Ike and the combined power of several nations vs. Ashnard and some personal guards).

The plot thread part isn't a problem as the plot threads are all resolved in FERD, but the un-epic feel of PoR's ending seems much better suited as an ending to one of FERD's parts rather than the ending to a stand-alone game. Everything about the last quarter of PoR screams unfinished.

Now, FERD is another story. In this interview and a few of the localization interviews with Averill they state that the writing staff for FERD was much larger than in previous FEs and quite frankly, it shows. And not in a good way. The writing teeters from the kind of excellence we saw in FESS and PoR (Jarod springs to mind, but there are many other instances) to cringe-worthy and awful (the narrated map intro scenes, anything that tries to be colloquial, the utter camp that is the Begnion Senate). The writing has trouble finding a common voice and parts of the game can be nauseating.

The plot in general, however, also has problems. It's clear that IS was trying to do something ambitious with FERD, both from a gameplay standpoint and from a story standpoint. It falls short on both, unfortunately. I won't discuss the gameplay but FERD's plot and character flaws have been pointed out and discussed many times before: Micky-Sue, the Black Knight, what happened to Tormod, random wolves that do nothing, a devolution of the racism aspect introduced in PoR into a mere "Bad guys = unequivocally racist, Good guys = Not racist at all except for Shinon", and the list goes on and on and on.

Othin and I looked at these problems and tried to sort them out in a way that could retain the important (and good) aspects of the plot while jettisoning many of the inferior ones. For instance, we decided that the protagonist of Part 1 would be Pelleas, rather than Micaiah; Micaiah would retain her Mary Sue aspects but Pelleas and especially his growing envy of Micaiah would provide the main thrust of the internal drama (instead of Micaiah being all "omg what if they don't like me because I'm Branded?"). Izuka would be eccentric but less obviously evil; his advice might be cynical, similar to Soren perhaps, but not pointlessly villainous.

As far as the Black Knight goes, we decided that his role in the plot was sketchy at best. In PoR he serves as a revenge motivation to give Ike the intrinsic desire to continue (rather than simply continuing because Lord So-and-So said it was his destiny to). He's a powerful assistant to Ashnard and does some fetch quests but that's the extent of his impact on the story. In FERD, however, his role is simply to show how Sephiran manipulated the entire world. He's no longer an intrinsic motivation for Ike; when Ike first learns about the Black Knight being alive he says "Oh, I'm sure we'll cross paths at some point." Knowledge of the Black Knight does not dictate Ike's actions in any way over the entire course of Radiant Dawn.

Meanwhile, there exists a disconnect between the personalities of the Black Knight and Zelgius, almost so deep that they could easily be two different characters. Zelgius is the loyal, stoic knight, aware of the idiocy of his orders but determined to carry them out to the end. Our first and primary notion of the Black Knight, however (a notion that Ike does not let us forget throughout the course of PoR), is that of a murderer, a man who killed his master for no real reason other than to say that he did. Zelgius's loyalty to Begnion (and especially his loyalty to Sephiran) are alien to a man who kills his mentor just as a one-up. Now, did the Black Knight intend to kill Greil might be something called into question; he certainly seems surprised when he actually [i]does[/i]. But the very notion that Zelgius would fight the man who taught him how to fight, who trained him and was his mentor from a young age, seems entirely ridiculous. Could you imagine Zelgius turning on Sephiran simply because he wanted to see who was the better fighter? Nowhere in Zelgius's personality do we see a man obsessed with power, obsessed with being the best swordsman, obsessed to the point of murder.

Now maybe you could say that Sephiran ordered the Black Knight to kill Greil to incite Ike to revenge to start the ball rolling that eventually awakens Ashera. To that I say, bullshit.

Anyways, what Othin and I decided upon was this: We would contain the Black Knight's role to PoR by making him not Zelgius but Ashnard. Ashnard would don the Black Knight disguise whenever he needed dirty work done, warping around the continent to for his own personal jobs. The effect of this is twofold: One, it retains the intrinsic motivation needed for Ike to progress on his quest; and Two, it makes Ashnard a much more visible villain rather than the cliched old "King who waits on his throne for the hero to come to him". Not to mention fixing the Black Knight/Zelgius disconnect and eliminating Ranulf's anti-climactic reveal.

The only problem with this is that it makes it difficult to show how Sephiran manipulated everything, which was the Black Knight's role in FERD. Othin and I hadn't quite thought of that yet.

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