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Fire Emblem: Three Houses director says people are enjoying the game in ways he didn't even imagine

Play the way you want

No matter how much time developers put into a game, there are always things players will do that is completely unexpected or unintended. The developers behind Fire Emblem: Three Houses are seeing that play out now, and they couldn't be happier.

In an interview with Nintendo Dream, Director Toshiyuki Kusakihara talks about seeing these unique ways of playing pop up on social media. Check out Kusakihara's comments below, courtesy of a translation from Oni Dino.

Social media nowadays makes it easy to see people’s reactions, so something we realized is that people are enjoying the game in ways far beyond what we imagined. So first and foremost, we have to say thank you to all the fans for loving this game as much as they do. People are really finding out different ways to enjoy the game – we see the screenshots people upload and it surprises us every day. (Laughs) I mentioned earlier how it felt like the game had a life of its own, but the expanse of the world of Three Houses has exceeded our expectations and it feels like we’re handing it off now, in a sense. It’s a little sad, but that’s how I know we’ve really created something so special. Nothing would make me happier than seeing people’s love for this game for many more years to come.

Joe Zieja, the voice of Claude in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, also auditioned for Dedue and Dimitri

Know your role

Joe Zieja is the man behind the voice of Claude in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Turns out Zieja also had his eyes on a couple other characters as well. In a NintendoEverything interview, Zieja reveals that he also tried out for the roles of Dedue and Dimitri.

“Dedue, you know, I probably just took my own voice and put it down. For grounded stuff – particularly these kinds of video games – they generally don’t want you to put on a voice, so the closest you can stay to your normal voice the better. You’ll find that most of the characters in there – even like Ben Diskin who plays Caspar and Lorenz, they’re both variations of his normal voice. It’s nothing wild. So Dimitri was probably very close to my normal voice whereas Claude, I was like, ‘Well I want him to kind of be laid back,’ so I put him up here and kind of just took his time a little bit. That’s where that kind of Claude voice came from.”

Fire Emblem: Three Houses devs talk about the challenge of adding in more save slots

"Messing with save data can be incredibly scary!"

When Fire Emblem: Three Houses was updated to Version 1.1.0, it increased the number of save slots all the way up to 25. This was quite a bump up from the base game, and apparently adding in those save slots was no easy task! Directors Toshiyuki Kusakihara and Genki Yokota explained the situation in an interview with Nintendo Dream magazine. Check out the translation courtesy of NintendoEverything below.

Yokota: The increase in the number of save slots was pretty impressive. The proposal originally came from Koei Tecmo, actually; messing around with save data can be incredibly scary due to bugs, though, so generally we wouldn’t increase the number by that much. Despite that, I was grateful that so many people had played through the game, and I definitely understood players wanting to be able to keep saves so they could watch their favorite scenes later on. It was a challenge, but we decided to face it – I was grateful that Koei Tecmo had suggested it in the first place. In the end there ended up not really being any problems! (laughs)

Kusakihara: In the past you couldn’t really have that many save slots due to memory limitations; having worked on games for so long made us a little more careful. In the DS games, for instance, you could only have up to three save files.

Yokota: The increase in the number of files all at once took me by surprise!

Kusakihara: In the end the players were happy, so I’m glad we took the challenge head on. I think it’ll depend on how much content there is, but I think next time we’d like to start with a lot of files from the beginning. (laughs)

Fire Emblem: Three Houses "Expansion Pass out now" trailer

More story, more battles, more students to recruit, and let's not forget about that sauna! Get them all now with the Fire Emblem: Three Houses Expansion Pass.

The underground area of Fire Emblem: Three Houses' "Cindered Shadows" DLC was originally considered for the main game

The ground beneath your feet

Fire Emblem: Three Houses' "Cindered Shadows" DLC lets you explore the Abyss, a sprawling town that's hidden underneath the Garreg Mach Monastery. In an interview with Nintendo Dream magazine, director Toshiyuki Kusakihara reveals that this location was originally considered for the main game, but it proved too big to handle.

“We started the actual production of the side story’s content much later, but we had wanted to incorporate the idea of Garreg Mach having this underground labyrinth since the early stages of development. It ended up being cut due to the sheer amount of content, though. When planning the DLC, the side story actually came from a desire to bring back the concepts we had originally omitted. It wasn’t necessarily that we were retrofitting the information. Rather, we were expanding upon the setting and some foreshadowed elements that had been there since production of the main game. The protagonist’s mother, for instance, would fall into that category.”

Famitsu's latest issue includes a full 12-month Fire Emblem: Three Houses calendar, complete with character birthdays

The 12 months of Fodlan

The latest issue of Famitsu has quite the treat for Fire Emblem: Three Houses fans. The magazine includes a full 12-month calendar based on Three Houses, and it even includes the birthdays of some of the more notable characters. You can see all 12 months in the album above.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses devs explain why there's so many cats in the monastery

Gotta pet them all!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is filled to the brim with content to enjoy, but I think we can all agree that cat-gazing at the monastery is everyone's favorite pastime. Ever wonder why there are so many cats roaming about that area? Devs Toshiyuki Kusakihara and Genki Yokota explained in an interview with Nintendo Dream magazine.

Kusakihara: Actually there was a setting at the beginning where Archbishop Rhea likes small animals. There would’ve been a bathroom next to Rhea’s room and animal ornaments would be placed there, but the room was cut from the final build. I think the development staff picked the surrounding setting… Even speaking so, I did not instruct them to place that many (laughs).

Yokota: We also felt it would be lonesome if there were only people, so we thought to place living creatures. At first there were only cats but we later added dogs, but ultimately the balance is at around 5:1… I’m sorry to fans of dogs. Maybe that’s a world where there are more cats.

Kusakihara: The breed names – that became visible after an additional update – were originally planned to be personal names like Mike or Chibi. However, we turned them into breed names because there are multiple existing cats with the same pattern. The names sound like royal names because the idea came out from the development [staff]. We also received a proposal to show a ‘ranking of dogs & cats played with’ from Koei Tecmo Games.

Yokota: I was surprised at how cute the line “Woof-Meow Ranking” looked like at first (laughs). It’s also interesting to be able to hear their cries from the first place onwards in order.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses dev reveals that Claude's real name is Khalid

Claude's a fraud!

Nintendo Dream magazine had a chance to talk to some of the dev team behind Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and they asked them all sorts of questions. At one point during the internet, a discussion of Claude comes up. That's when Intelligent Systems' Toshiyuki Kusakihara reveals that Claude is actually a fake name. Check out a translation of the reveal below, courtesy of Oni Dino.

Claude’s real name is “Khalid”. I wanted to include it somewhere in the game but there wasn’t really a good opportunity, so here we are (laughs). We actually had a scene about halfway in where Nader calls him by the name “Khalid”, but we couldn’t find a good place for it to fit so we ended up cutting it. ...the name was originally intended to be an alias, so I didn’t worry about the overlap in names. I always wanted to reveal his identity during the game, but… Oh, well. There’s other characters throughout the series whose names overlap with each other, so I’m not bothered by it. Anyway, his real name is “Khalid”!

Intelligent Systems talks about why Fire Emblem: Three Houses' Dimitri wears an eyepatch

The eyes have it

Nintendo Dream magazine had a chance to talk with Intelligent Systems’ Toshiyuki Kusakihara, and they had one burning question about Fire Emblem: Three Houses they wanted answered. Why does Dimitri wear an eyepatch after the time skip? Surprisingly, Kusakihara was willing to give a very straightforward answer, which you can find in full below.

Actually, we didn’t really have him wear an eyepatch from the beginning. When Kurahana-san made up the designs, I said “Is it okay to add an eyepatch?” That’s where it started. We have a foundation at the beginning to make the post-timeskip designs for any characters show an overall change on a broad range. We hoped the lifestyles they had taken during the five years could exude from their looks as well.

Dimitri’s eyepatch is also an idea that came out with such thought. That’s why he doesn’t wear an eyepatch only in the Crimson Flower arc where you stick with Edelgard. It shows how the experience he had wasn’t as terrible as other routes. The eyepatch is a symbol of having had a painful experience.

WWE Superstar Xavier Woods Cosplays as Fire Emblem: Three Houses' Claude at PAX East 2020

Who knew he was a fan?!

GoNintendo reader Neverunplaying was lucky enough to bump into WWE superstar Xavier Woods at PAX East today, and he snagged himself an autograph while he had the chance. Even better, Woods was wearing a cosplay tribute to Fire Emblem: Three Houses' Claude Von Riegan. He was flanked by WWE costume designer Mikal Mosley, who was dressed as Seteth.

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