Hello all! My name is J. Cartwright, and I am a writer based out of Manhattan. I have been a long-time forum lurker, but I decided it is time to finally break my silence. Why? Great question.
Fire Emblem is easily my favorite game series, and I have completed multiple playthroughs of nearly every game in the series. I have also tried my hand at nearly every appealing hack or fangame on these forums. I guess I’ve been blessed with too much time on my hands, because I’ve consumed about as much Fire Emblem as is humanly possible, and yet, I’m still not satisfied.
Thus, I have recently begun work on my own Fire Emblem that will satisfy my cravings for a game that combines my favorite Fire Emblem elements into a unique, and hopefully enjoyable experience.
Without further ado:
Fire Emblem: Hereafter
The story/setting—FEH takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. Based in and around the ruins of a major city (think NYC), the game follows your typical band of characters facing off against the main villains. The villains are the followers of the Church of Hereafter. Founded after the collapse of greater human civilization, the Church (Cult) seeks to return humanity to greatness after the great fall. To do this, the leaders (known as Templars) harvest the life force of its followers (often taken against the individual’s will) to contribute to the casting of a great spell that will allow humanity to transcend to a plane of existence closer to Heaven. For the more intuitive of you out there, the real plot is to make the Church leader a god, who can then wipe out the rest of civilization and remake the world in his image.
Of course, the player and co. don’t really want to be wiped out, even if they live in apocalyptic wastelands. Throughout the course of the game, the player will face off against the many followers of the Church, as well as various forces attempting to salvage some sort of living in this post civilization world. The final opponent, and most bone chilling, are the forces of the undead. Inexplicably (or at least for a reason yet to be written) those killed in the apocalypse (for another unwritten reason) have become reanimated with only a desire to destroy what remains around them. What’s different about these undead as opposed to the risen or faceless of FE’s past, is that they behave more akin to what an actual horde of zombies would be like. With billions of dead, you will be facing hordes, as opposed to a handful of strategically placed baddies. These monsters will be designed to invoke the sheer horror and hopelessness that comes with facing down an army of the dead. They will be strong, hard to kill, and most importantly, there will be A LOT. Have fun!
At this point of creation, the game will be divided into two parts. The first will largely serve to introduce the destroyed world around you. You will recruit the first members of your team, learn the mechanics of the game, and prepare for the greater conflict ahead. The second part, dubbed “The Campaign” will place the player on a timeline with a hard deadline. According to the chosen difficulty, the player will have an x number of days to recruit an army, gain levels, procure equipment, and infiltrate the church before the Big Bad Spell of Evil is finally cast. Higher difficulties will not only give you stronger enemies, but also less time to accomplish all of the many tasks needed in order to obtain a victory.
The mechanics (aka, my favorite part of FE)—Every Fire Emblem possesses systems that make it unique. My goal here is to make this game stand out from the rest. Here, you will find my more excessive hopes and dreams that may face the cutting block depending on what systems are actually creatable.
Let’s start with the biggest and work our way from there.
Line of Sight: A modification of the fog of war system found in most FEs, the line of sight system seeks to restrict player information to reflect more accurate scenarios. Of course, at night, it will be more difficult to see enemies. But unlike most FE games, the terrain will influence what you can see. You won’t be able to see past trees, mountains, walls, or even other units. However, this system affects all maps, not just night maps. It has never made sense to me that you can observe the stats, equipment, and movement behavior of units on the opposite side of the map. With Line of Sight, this info will be at a premium. Equipment is only observable from units within your sight. You have to actually be able to see the weapon in their hands or on their person. Skills and stats are only checkable when observed by units with the know-how, such as a tactician character. Your average Joe Schmoe won’t be able to tell that an enemy has x amount in any stat. However, once a unit is faced in combat, stats like speed, strength, and defense, will become readily available.
This system will incentivize units with good sight and observation skills, so you actually know what you’re facing. After all, there’s nothing worse than facing an army of zombies at night without knowing how many there are and what they can do to you. [insert evil laugh]
The basics: This game will feature your typical FE stats, from HP down to luck, including both strength and magic for every unit. Weapon weight and constitution will matter! The weapon triangle pre-Fates will exist, as well as the magic triangle and the anima triangle! Bows and daggers will exist outside of any triangle. Shove and canto will be innate abilities of infantry and cavalry, respectively.
Unique & Meaningful: My least favorite part of Fire Emblem is when units become carbon copies of each other, capable of fulfilling any role. I don’t enjoy reclassing because it makes specific characters completely useless and others way overpowered. In this game, every unit will be unique and useful. How? Well ...
Personal class, skills, and animations: Say hello to my little ambition. Every playable unit in this game will have three tiers of unique classes. Gone are the days of fighters number 1, 2, and 3 with identical abilities, and only slightly different growths and base stats. Additionally, with every class comes a unique personal skill. It will be rare for two units to have the same skill! There will be one copy of astra, luna, sol, etc. in your army! These units may not have growths as good as others, but their unique skills will make up for it! Finally, to make each character truly feel unique, I would like to see a unique battle animation for each one (I understand that’s A LOT but hey, I can dream). And just for fun, every unit will have a weapon unique to them. However, it will be impossible to get every unique weapon in a single playthrough. You will have to choose which units form your main party and then follow specific steps in order to get the weapons of your favorite.
The point of these additions is to allow the player to diversify. Every character will have roles they fill that can’t be filled by any other unit. You will have to tailor your team in such a way that you can conquer every obstacle, while still enjoying the characters that you choose. No one will be a throwaway.
Recruitment: In this game, the player will never just be given units (barring the first two). Every single character in the game requires work to gain. Most you will have to talk to on the battlefield, some you will have to protect til the end of the chapter, and others will be gained by fulfilling certain requirements. This means many are easily missable. If you're a perfectionist like me, hunting down each unit will provide another layer of gameplay to an already dense game.
In closing, I ask two favors of you! First, your support. I would love to see if any of these ideas interest you, confuse you, or make you feel some type of way. A lot of this is in the early stage, and some of it might be garbage that needs to be adjusted, balanced, or thrown out. But hey, it's a start. Secondly, your assistance! At this point, I am capable of writing the story (although I won’t shy away from help), the characters, the supports, etc. I am a writer. It’s what I do. I will also be able to design skills, stats, growth rates, and most other number problems, and the ideas for maps. I will be able to serve as the team leader. What I need? Everything else! I am completely hopeless when it comes to actually creating maps, coding, hacking, or otherwise. I will need help with art, music, animations, balancing, and anything else that goes into making a game. At this point, I don’t even know if it should be a hack or use FEXP or what (Edit: Likely the scope of this game goes beyond a hack. A good system might be necessary to get this off the ground)! Essentially, I am the glorified ideas guy. Lord help me. I understand a lot of this might not be possible (barring IA actually hiring me) but I sure would like to try.
Any interest, questions, or assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Most importantly, have a great day!