A Japanese interview between Nintendo and Atlus tells the story of how a Fire Emblem X Pokémon crossover game was once considered for Wii U.
The December 2015 issue of Japan’s Nintendo Dream magazine may be the better part of eight months old. However, its oft-overlooked supplementary companion booklet captures a timeless three-way conversation between three key industry people, which details how Nintendo DS Pokémon spin-off Pokémon Conquest was the deciding factor against a Fire Emblem X Pokémon game on Wii U.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Fire Emblem fan “Kan,” from Kantopia, a blog dedicated to translating Japanese magazine scans and images, the Nintendo Dream interview snippet unfolds in plain English; Twitter user @nohrianpeach provided Kantopia with the relevant companion booklet scan required to accurately translate the conversation. And thanks to Twitter users @ObsidianWasp and @shadwofchaos725 for initially hunting down the info.
Below is the translated interview, as recently published on Kantopia.
Nintendo Dream: Please tell us what led up to the planning of Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE.
Yamagami (Nintendo producer): Five years ago, Ms. Andou proposed a plan [for a crossover], saying “You know, I think the rules for Fire Emblem and Pokémon are pretty compatible!” Though I agreed with her, it was by chance that The Pokémon Company had already proposed what eventually became Pokemon Conquest at the same time [so we were unable to follow through].
Andou (Nintendo director): Yes, which I was in charge of too.
Yamagami (Nintendo producer): As the plan was a secret, she was put in charge of that first (laughs). And then, it took her less than a week to say, “Here’s the next plan.” The new plan was a collaboration with Atlus. At that time, new games like Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora’s Tower were coming out and, because I myself was quite interested in Atlus’s games, I figured “This could work!” At first, we made informal plans within our own small group, but…
Takata (Atlus producer): At that time, the organization itself was undergoing changes, and it was almost impossible to deal with Atlus as a second party, so we almost decided to give up on it. After roughly 2 years, we heard from Hiraoka Naoto (board member at Atlus Japan), “Let’s try to collaborate and level up by making an RPG together.” After that, we attempted to contact Nintendo repeatedly, asking “Do you want to bring that RPG to life [with us]?”
Yamagami (Nintendo producer): We replied immediately with, “Let’s do it!” We then quickly began to draft plans for the game, still only having a rough idea of what it would be. And so, we released an image that showed, “Shin Megami Tensei Meets Fire Emblem” to the public.
In their review, Nintendo News praised Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE for being “a solid exclusive that Shin Megami Tensei or Persona fans will adore,” while also noting that it was “too much of a traditional JRPG to bring new players to Wii U.”
That said, it would have been interesting to see Intelligent Systems bring a Fire Emblem X Pokémon crossover to Nintendo’s current home console.