Fire Emblem Awakening pre-release information
In the lead-up to its release, Fire Emblem Awakening was the subject of extensive promotional coverage, an apparent part of an effort by Nintendo to hype it up as a major release. Though the initial announcement in September 2011 was brief and given little attention or supporting data, the promotional effort picked up as of December's Nintendo Direct press conference; from that point, the website launched and subsequently regularly updated, and there were new pieces on the game in Japanese magazines at a steady rate of almost one per two weeks.
Fire Emblem Awakening was announced only briefly on September 13, 2011 at Nintendo's 3DS Conference in Japan, then known only as Fire Emblem 3DS. Two videos were released on the official website. It was noted by IGN staff that its graphics looked better than Radiant Dawn for the Wii. In addition, one new feature of the game was two-on-one battles. The game was shown to feature the return of a world map for traveling between the different towns and purchasing items, something that had not appeared since The Sacred Stones.
As reported in the Japanese Nikkei newspaper, Awakening was the first Nintendo game to offer paid downloadable content, allowing the purchase of additional content through credit cards or prepaid cards, each for several hundred yen. In addition to the standard version with just the game, priced at ¥4,800, a special edition priced at ¥19,800 was announced, containing the game, a limited-edition Nintendo 3DS console, and 1000 free eShop points.
A third trailer was released during the December 27 Nintendo Direct press conference. Although the segment was less than two minutes long (running from roughly 34:25 to 36:08), many new pieces of information were acquired; most importantly, a title, Fire Emblem Awakening, and a Japanese release date, April 19, 2011, were revealed. New characters were revealed, along with the fact that every character would be voiced, a first for the series. Several former games were mentioned in the video: Gaiden and The Sacred Stones, in reference to the traversable world map, and Genealogy of the Holy War, Thracia 776, The Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, and Radiant Dawn, in reference to the skill system. The skill system in this game was stated to be more open than in previous games, and skills could be rearranged with more freedom than in the past.
New magazine advertisements soon appeared in February 2012, the first in Japanese magazine Jump on February 10. A section of English text describing the game's story and confirmation on several details, such as the free map and the title, were included. Quite notable was the announcement of the Avatar concept reappearing in Awakening - a customizable main character to represent the player. Next, on February 14, a large feature was published in Famitsu, Japanese gaming magazine, revealing many plot details, especially about Chrom, Lissa, and My Unit.
On February 21, during a Nintendo Direct broadcast, Awakening was confirmed for release in Europe, sometime in 2012. Additionally, a new trailer was released, showing off voice-acting during battles and a transformation, similar to that of a tiger laguz. DLC for Japan was confirmed to be free until the end of May as well.
Differences compared to final
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Some of the earliest footage and images of the game show graphical differences in portraits and map sprites.
|One of the earliest screenshots of the game, showing several subtle differences to the final version. Lissa is shown to have a yellow dress in her map sprite; this was presumably changed to the typical blue (as a player unit) in the final game to prevent confusing the player. Robin, known as Jase in this set of screenshots, has a slightly different portrait than the final build of the game. Two generic playable cavaliers and a generic playable archer are also present; these are presumably Sully, Stahl, and Virion before they received their custom sprites. Additionally, the text box is positioned differently and less decorated than the final version. In this dialogue scene in the final version Robin's portrait is not present, though Robin is present earlier in the scene. The shadow gradient around the top and bottom edges of the screen does not appear to have yet been implemented.|
|File:Ss fe13 lon'qu astra final comparison.png|
|Critical hits and skill activations are different in pre-release footage, displaying the whole portrait instead of just being cropped to the eyes. There are also horizontal "motion lines" that are not present in the final version. Lon'qu appears to have a slightly different expression and shading differences compared to the final version.|
|File:Ss fe13 frederick critical final comparison.png|
|In addition to the differences mentioned above, Frederic also uses a different expression and there are shading differences compared to the final version.|
|File:Ss fe13 World Map final comparison.png|
|One screenshot shows an earlier version of the world map with different icons. Chrom also stands on the location icon itself instead of the white dots used in the final version.|
Several portraits seen in pre-release images have subtle differences compared to those appearing in the final release. Most of these are minor shading touch ups.
|The shading on Chrom's arm and neck have the most noticeable differences. More subtle changes were made to his eyes, mouth, and ear.||Robin (named Jase in this set of screenshots) appears to have had his head and hair redrawn entirely. The shoulders were made slightly narrower. (Note that the hair color is customizable and white is a color available in the final game but not used for this example image.)|
|One of Lissa's pigtails was moved closer to her head. Her chin and the part of her hair on her forehead were edited slightly. Her eyelids and lashes were also changed.||The shading on Lon'qu's near shoulder was changed. The shading of the patterns on his jacket were given highlights. His eye was moved down slightly.|
Other early images and differences
|This is the earliest known image of the game. It demonstrates a scrapped graphic system where more detailed sprites would be shown the further the player was zoomed in.|
|Generic enemies in this screenshot and at least one other use a placeholder silhouette portrait. The silhouette appears to be edited from a villager portrait used in the final game; it is not the same portrait used by the Mirage enemy units in The Wellspring of Truth.|
|Yet another instance of Lissa's yellow dress. A generic playable female mage and generic playable pegasus knight are present; these are presumably Miriel and Sumia before they received custom ones. A female non-default Robin is also present.|
Screenshot taken from Nintendo Direct footage
|In the first publicly revealed footage of the US English version of Awakening, as shown on the October 25th 2012 Nintendo Direct, Garrick was instead named Grendel, a reference to a monster in Norse mythology. However, footage shown in the European Nintendo Direct from approximately the same time called him Garrick, suggesting this was a very early and immediate change.|
Frederick leveling up
The unit menu showing the new Pair Up (ダブル) option.
Gaius about to attack a Risen barbarian.
- Lucas M. Thomas: 3D graphics that look better than the series' most recent Wii installment.
- Lucas M. Thomas: Two-on-one battles in this FE sequel. That's new.
- Fire Emblem 3DS at Nintendo's 3DS conference
- Fire Emblem 3DS video shown at Nintendo's 3DS conference
|Preliminary data and content|