Life and death are topics that should provoke intense discussion, even if its weighty themes are related to gaming. The casual mode feature in Fire Emblem: Awakening enables characters to be used in battles even if they are killed in the game. This variation led to differing viewpoints with developer Intelligent Systems.
In an interview with video game localization company 8-4, project manager Masahiro Higuchi did not want casual mode included in the game, and to this day he plays the game in its classic form. Even though he understands going casual drew in an even bigger fanbase, Higuchi is still on the side of permadeath.
"It's that nuance," said Higuchi. "If someone dies, you just can't 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."
Fire Emblem: Awakening co-director Genki Yokota, who was initially perturbed at the thought of a permadeath alternative, also understood its universal appeal and has since changed his initial stance. "Believe it or not, now I play exclusively in casual mode," said Yokota. "But like Higuchi-san said, some of Fire Emblem does lie in the possibility that you can lose a member permanently at any time. Both approaches have their advantages, so it's hard to say what direction we'll take next."
Are you a casual mode fan or is permadeath the way to go?