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Intelligent Systems divided over Fire Emblem: Awakening's casual mode


Unlike most other games in the series, Fire Emblem: Awakening includes an optional "casual mode" that lets you use characters in future battles even after they're killed. It's surprisingly controversial, even within developer Intelligent Systems.

"I was on the side that said we shouldn't include Casual mode to the end," project manager Masahiro Higuchi said in an interview with localization team 8-4. "It's that nuance ... If someone dies, you can't just go and resurrect them like in other games. You need to think more carefully about the value of the lives you're controlling in the game. It connects with the difficulty level, too it makes you work your way through the game very carefully, which I think makes each victory all the more exhilarating."

Higuchi admitted that permadeath also had the effect of keeping people from trying the game, and so its inclusion is important. "But I still play in Classic mode myself."

"Personally, the first time I heard about [the idea of Casual mode], I was like 'no way,'" said Genki Yokota, director. "My boss brought up the idea, and just like Higuchi-san, I was angry at the thought of going too casual. But in the end, we figured giving players a choice would help expand the appeal of the game." Yokota now plays in casual mode, partly because he likes Awakening's characters and doesn't want to see them die. He's "pretty sure" casual mode will carry on in future games.

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