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Use the Falchion

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Sequel Ideas

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Last year I came up with an idea of how a sequel for TMS would work (or at least in theory), and I haven't posted it here, so I tonight I decided, "why not?" There are some minor spoilers for Persona 5, but nothing groundbreaking or game-ruining. Also as a note, many of these gameplay ideas were formed before I had gotten too far in TMS#FE Encore, so if you're thinking "that's how the game works anyways," then now you know why... So yeah...enjoy! 

 

The focus is on crews this time around, with the characters making a dance crew that eventually turns into a pop band out of necessity. (The primary influence on this was the movie Step Up 2: The Streets by Jon M Chu of Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights fame. Dancers like Fik-Shun, Poppin' John, and Jaja Vankova are also major inspirations.) Ultimately the core idea here is to go full-fledged Fire Emblem x Persona, and save a true FExTMS crossover for a separate idea. (I’m noodling on it, which feels weird since I’ve never played a TMS game. But I think there are some cool crossover things that can be done.)

 

 

Battles & Combat

Battles are a mix of FE and XCOM in terms of strategic positioning along with a bit of Mega Man Battle Network. (It’s also a modification of the TMS#FE battle system.)

The battlefield is split in half between your forces and your opponents’. You can move allies within your space. The keys to this game are positioning and syncing. Positioning has to do with skill sets, flows, and combos. The better positioned your crew is (which is done by surprise attacks ala Persona), the more damage your team can do. Surprise attacks net your more "room" on the battlefield to move and set up, while being ambushed means you have less room. If you're ambushed, you may not be able to fully deploy your units until you win back the space you loss on the battlefield.

Basic positioning is done outside of battles from the menu, so it’s a little like setting up a team in Pokemon for a triple battle…with more Pokemon on the field…and…actually, it’s not like Pokemon at all…

Syncing plays into combos. All units have two sync levels – one with a partner and another with the group. This rises naturally the higher level you are (more specifically it’s connected to the Skill stat), but it can also be raised by practicing in pairs and as a group during free time. Time passes this way, but it’s worth it. The higher the sync is, the easier it is to change positions within a battle, as well as pull off combos and special skills. If the sync level isn’t high enough, there is a chance for failing the sync and leaving all who tried the sync stunned and open for an attack or maybe unavailable to move that turn.

For example, an early-game battle would look like such: You have four units deployed (for now; players will be able to deploy more as they gain more; I’d imagine between 8-10 units on the field). In the front as your leader you have your Sword Unit. He’s new, so being in the front will net him the most experience. He’s strong with good skill, but he’s a slow unit and a little frail at the moment. “Flanking” him you have your Cavalier Unit – who’s also the fastest member of the team at this time – and a Healer. In the back you have an Archer Unit. The Sword Unit has the highest sync with the Archer, but the Archer has a solid sync with everyone in this group.

On the opposite side you’re facing a Pegasus Knight Unit (with a lance no less!) and they are backed up by another Lancer and a Fighter Unit. 

Units positioned as Leader always go first, and after that it’s down to the speed of the individual units. Since you surprise-attacked your enemy, you have priority so your leader attacks first. So, do you use an Area of Effect attack, hoping for a crit in order to wipe your enemies out in one attack? Do you use a Group Switch to put the Lancer first in order to have him strike twice, and risk failing and having the Lancer and the Sword Unit out of commission for a turn? Or do you perform a smaller pair sync with the Archer, which will allow you to take out the Pegasus Knight but leave the Sword Unit vulnerable to the Lancer and Fighter? Choices like these are what I’m going for here. 

 

Carnage Spirits – The Carnage Spirits work a lot like Persona. Each character comes with two Spirits that possess unique special traits and stats. This is minimal at first, but each Spirit can promote to a new class, and from there they’d gain unique skills, abilities, and stat growths. Take the aforementioned Sword Unit for example. If his two Spirits were Lon’qu and Felix, the former would promote into a Swordmaster and the other into a Mortal Savant. The Swordmaster class would give the Sword Unit the skill and luck to pull off some insane syncs and combat moves, but the Mortal Savant class would give the Sword Unit higher Res and more options overall (debuffs, stronger magic attacks, a passive "Crest" ability that occasionally boosts damage when attacking, cool sword stuff, etc). 

 

Characters may also gain access to a third Carnage Spirit as a sort of an Ultimate Form. (I'm unsure of this at the moment, but we'll see.)


 

Time is Precious

Outside of battles, there would be different ways to spend time, much like Persona (& TMS to a degree). The final battle provides a deadline of most of a school year (I’m thinking the game will start in summer and end in spring the next year), but most bosses can be handled in whichever order the characters see fit. The bosses that can be tackled in any order will scale to the level of the player. The mandatory bosses provide story checkpoints, if you will. 

During that free time, you can practice with your crew, practice as a duo, or practice solo to learn new skills. Other group activities (maybe “dates” or group outings) will increase supports between characters to allow for paralogues and other fun events. 

There would be a few fetch quests and side missions, but they wouldn’t be hard enough to distract from the main game. Like in Persona 5, this would go to increase your crew’s popularity (not sure how popularity would factor into the game just yet though). 


 

Get to Know Your Crew

There are supports, base conversations, and dual paralogues and group adventures. These help flesh out the characters with each other and with Hana. Supports between characters are how paralogues are unlocked, and base conversations unlock group adventures. Since dual paralogues can be used to level up all who participate, there are no special items gained. Group adventures are limited to the main characters involved, and as such special items and upgraded personal skills are gained through that. Many duets will also be gained this way.  

The group adventures are locked until all of the characters in the group reach about a C Support with each other (supports go from E to A, but there is no S support…since these are just teenagers*) and it is possible to see who has a group adventure with who from the beginning. 

 

Meet the Characters

Next up are the characters - please note that the character names are placeholders for now and can change at any time. 

 

The main character is Hana, a biracial Black and Japanese high schooler in Tokyo (her Japanese father lives on the military base for most of the year and she lives with her African American mother in Tokyo. They visit the base and spend all breaks there). Hana is a former child actor and idol, and a classically trained ballerina (with more than a little aptitude for hip-hop and breakdancing), but that’s all in the past for her. However, when a disgraced K-Pop star joins Hana’s class in high school, she comes face-to-face with a world that needs all of her skills to survive. With the help of her Spirits Azura and Ninian, Hana will learn to accept her dual heritage, her two dance styles, and ultimately herself. Azura and Ninian are strong, but have frail defenses. However, their abilities to “refresh” allies are unique and very strong. However Hana has another secret. She’s dying. Unless she gets a heart transplant by August of the next year, Hana will die. Since it’s not the crew’s business nor does it help Hana personally, she tries to forget about it. (Yukino will publicly confront her about this later on.) 

Huong Jin is a former K-Pop star. Kicked out of his group for NOT participating in their parties and harassment, Jin was framed and soon found himself alone and adrift in Japan, trying to erase his past. However, when a magical world in danger provides Jin the means to get revenge, he’ll forge himself from the ground up in order to bring justice to those who deserve it. But first, he needs a crew. Jin’s Spirits are Leif and Dimitri.  

Takahiro and Mahiro are twin hip-hop fanatics. Their Spirits are Bord & Lloyd and Cord & Linus respectively. 

Yukino Anri is a young woman who desperately wants to be a J-Pop idol. However, she’s close to the age limit of most idols, meaning her dreams are nearly dust. In order to gain fame, Yukino is willing to ally herself with Hana and her goals. But she is NOT a friend (…no matter how much she wants friends of her own). Yukino’s Spirits are Micaiah and Edelgard. 

Akashi Tenko is the Student Council President of the high school that Hana goes to. He’s also hopelessly in love with her. When he learns about Hana’s goal and crew, he trains to learn the styles of dance, and soon joins the crew. His Spirits are Finn and Seth. 

Nana is the mother of the group…and potentially a mother herself. No one actually knows a lot about Nana, other than that she cares for the group but keeps her private life…well…private. Her Spirits are Arete and Deirdre. 

Ryunosuke is the class president. He’s the son of a wealthy socialite family, and he utterly chafes under that. Ryunosuke uses dancing to express his freedom, but his family is worried about how that would reflect on them. Not that Ryunosuke cares. Ryu decides to join the crew out of a sense of rebellion. But as the adventure goes on, Ryu learns what honor and nobility truly look like, and vows to live up to those ideals. Ryu’s Spirits are [UNDECIDED]

Yusuke is an artist.** Yusuke found the group by accident. Lonely and on a whim, he joined. Yusuke seems unfazed – one might even say familiar – with the weird things that happen within the group, and even appears to be a mentor from time-to-time. Hana relies on Yusuke’s input and perspective, and in return Yusuke helps Hana to lead. Yusuke’s Spirits are Shigure and Ryoma. Shigure mothers Yusuke every so often, and Yusuke in return jokingly calls Shigure “father.”

Kento is a street thief. Nana takes him in, and in turn he helps out the crew. Kento’s Spirits are Rolf and Wolt.

Sayaka is a junior high schooler who is very good at dancing but also very nosy. She found out about the crew and blackmailed them to let her join them. After a rough first outing, she quickly learned the ropes and joined in with the best intentions. Her Spirits are Sanaki and Lysithea.  

 

A Sword User who has Lon’qu and Felix as his Spirits.

 

A female cavalier unit (probably the vice-president of the class or the traditionally most feminine person in her group) whose Spirits are Sully and Peri.***

 

A female warrior with Hilda and Charlotte as her Spirits (you know you’d want to see it)

 

A character based off of Moose from the Step Up franchise, whose Spirits are Inigo and Gray. 

 

A character based off of Kito whose Spirits are Petra and Athena (…if that’s not too offensive). (I currently think of her as a Brazilian Japanese student who is going through a small rough patch. She quickly bonds with Hana and Huong Jin due to their own heritage issues, and becomes a steadfast friend.)


 

Bad Guys

I don’t have a lot, but I know the Big Bad Group is Jin’s old group and their leader. I know the Leader has two Spirits – Walhart (or maybe Nemesis?) and Ashnard – and can switch them in battle as he pleases. The Leader finds out that Jin is forming a crew and makes a deal that if his crew can form a group and beat Jin’s old group in an upcoming band/group contest, then the Leader will confess to all of his crimes. Jin agrees, and that’s when the plot moves forward on the human front. In the end, the Leader reneges on his deal and is taken hostage by his own Performa for the lack of honor, so it’s up to Jin and Hana’s crew to rescue their enemy.

Another boss battle would be against Legion. Like, the whole crew is Legion. Their moves are all the same, their health is combined, and their sync level is maxed out. However, if you can down one, then you can down them all, and from there the fight is pretty easy. 

Maybe an evil producer who abuses his/her groups until they’re on the verge of mental breakdowns (or breakdown entirely)? His/her Performa could be Grima and Anankos in order to represent how they turn all of those around them into slaves. But that raises the fear/concern of the old FE & Persona trope of having the Big Bad be some sort of deity or dragon or both. I want to avoid that. 

 

 

So yeah, that’s what I have so far. What do y’all think of it? Thanks again!

 

OTHER NOTES:

The game’s prologue is called “Awakening,” and the finale is “To Sleep, Perchance...” The epilogue is called “The Sleeping Beauty.”

There’d be a DLC story that would let characters use the previous TMS heroes. For extra backup, Yusuke would call in some friends of his. I currently have it called “The Dark Reprise.” (See Below the asterisks to see which Persona each character would have.) 

 




 

*I’m thinking about changing that, if only for Hana. I don’t want the game to focus too much on relationships; but relationships are a big part of many teenagers’ lives, even if they aren’t in any themselves. Besides, shipping is a perfectly legitimate reason to replay a game. Overall, I think for Hana I’d treat it as a special scene in the final performance as well as a kiss to wake her up when she’s recovering from her surgery. For other characters it will probably have to depend on their age, marital status, and other such factors. If there was ever a third game with the same cast, it would take place after the DLC and probably a year after that. Hana would mention that she and her S.O. had broken up amicably in the interim, but players would be able to have their ship reconcile.

 

**Yes, that is the same Yusuke Kitagawa that’s in Persona 5. I wanted a crossover character so we could imply that P5 and TMS take place in the same universe. I considered Joker, but he didn’t really seem to fit since TMS should take place in Tokyo after all. If we move it outside of Tokyo, then it could definitely fit. Yusuke seemed like the easiest choice of characters to move between games, but I did consider Futaba (who would take Sayaka’s place and Performa if she was chosen (although I’d probably move around Yukino’s Performa if that’s the case, so Futaba would have Celica and Lysithea…for V.A. puns of course). Futaba’s problem is that I’m worried she’d be the easy fix. Why go through all of these magical means when she can just hack the servers and expose Jin’s old crew that way? That being said, she of all people could understand the effects of a public confession. I’ve recently considered Hifumi as well, but that’s more because I really like Hifumi and less because she’d fit in the story (she’d have Rhajat and Natasha/Mercedes as Spirits). I’m sort of playing with the idea that all of the students go to the school that Yusuke goes to, allowing easy access for Yusuke and Hifumi, and Futaba can be the outsider there in order to mirror how Yusuke was the only member of the Phantom Thieves that went to a separate school; but that distracts from this game proper so it’s best if I forget about it…if I can...

 

 I also have an idea that Yusuke’s Supports with Hana involve him going out with a girl that likes him. He likes her too, but not enough to continue the relationship. Yusuke breaks up with the girl; then he and Hana go on a bit of an adventure to figure out what was wrong with the relationship. They eventually figure out that Yusuke is still in love with someone else (and while it’s not confirmed, it would be confirmed that the person is a "he," and it'd be easy to deduce that said "he" is indeed Joker). If the player so desires, Yusuke is given the option to move forward past both relationships and pair up with Hana or another character of either gender. 

 

***The themes I wanted to explore here are knighthood and femininity. Sully is a great knight but isn’t traditionally feminine, and actually shows a fair bit of angst about it in her supports with Miriel and Chrom. To contrast that, Peri is a pretty terrible knight (and overall human being) but can be seen as traditionally feminine. (Although if there's another better fit I'll take it.) Utility-wise, they’re good mage-killers as far as Cavalier units go, with nice resistance, good skill, and solid speed. I think pairing them with a character that is feminine because it’s what’s expected and seeing her break free from that would be a cool arc (it’d also contrast Kiria’s arc of reconciling her cool façade with her love of all things cute). This character's recruitment story would involve her trying to find the ideal version of beauty. Her younger sister is undergoing chemo and is losing her hair, and is afraid she won't be pretty anymore if she's bald. At the end of the recruitment story, the Cavalier shaves off her own hair and has it made into a wig for her younger sister, if only to prove that beauty isn't defined by how you look, but by one's soul. For the rest of the game, the Cavalier is rocking a buzzcut and is working on herself to truly believe what she tells her sister and find that mix between knighthood, femininity, and beauty. 

 

For the DLC characters, here are their Spirits:

Itsuki – Chrom & Eliwood (this may change because I may want to use Eliwood with someone else, but I like it for now)

Tsubasa – Caeda & Sumia (I might change this later, but I think Tsubasa and Sumia would get along great. Alas I’m not much for shipping Chrom & Sumia though, and giving Sumia to Tsubasa would imply that pretty heavily). 

Touma – Cain & Oscar

Kiria – Tharja & Dorothea

Ellie – Virion & Briggid

Mamori – Draug & Sheena 

Yashiro – Navarre & Guy(?)

Maiko – Olivia & Manuela

 

Joker – Sothe & Kaze 

Morgana – Sothis & Lilith (I’d LOVE to see a little romance/flirtation of sorts between Morgana & Sothis, but that’s just me). 

Skull – Owain & Ares

Panther – Sonya & Aversa (Originally this was Camilla, but I think that Aversa would be just as fun a pair. Gameplay-wise, this gives Panther the option of using rare Dark Magic as well as a cool Aversa-exclusive HP-draining move, but giving her a weakness to Bows as the price.)

Fox – See Above

Queen – Elincia & Rhea (yes, I know that Mae would work here too instead of Elincia if I wanted to joke about V.A.’s talking to themselves. But I also wanted Rhea to turn into a dragon and have Queen ride her like a motorcycle just like Johanna. Also it would be a subtle shout-out to Ashnard in PoR.) 

Oracle – See Above

Noir – Altena & Camilla (Camilla’s costume reminded me of Panther more than most, but I like the idea of Noir having a niche as a Wyvern-magic user. Camilla and Noir are also pretty sadistic at times and have very troubled relationships with their fathers.)

Violet*** – Catherine & Marissa(?) or Edain

Hifumi – (Rhajat and Natasha/Mercedes, as noted above)


 

*There would be a small split route. Before the action begins, Joker would be offered the chance to text someone for backup. He can choose either Violet or Sophie, but not both.

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