Last revised: 23rd February 2011
Credits: TearRing Saga
lawsuit page (background information), TheEnd (Famitsu interview Q1 &
2 and screenshot caption translations)
Also known as the early stages of TearRing
Hidden (not so deeply) in the TearRing
Saga files is this promotional
After Thracia 776 was
Kaga left Intelligent Systems to form his own company, Tirnanog. His
company's first (and possibly only) game was to be Emblem Saga-
the successor of the Fire Emblem
series- for the original Playstation. Right before
the game's release, its title was changed to TearRing Saga, which according to
publisher Enterbrain was due to "various circumstances". Many fans
speculated that the change was made to prevent Tirnanog and Enterbrain
from being sued by Nintendo. Regardless, Nintendo filed a lawsuit not
long after TearRing Saga's
release, which eventually resulted in Enterbrain being found guilty and
breaking the Unfair Competition Law, but not for breaching the
The majority of the information about Emblem
Saga originates from a featured article by Famitsu (a famous
Japanese gaming magazine published by Enterbrain), which also
included a detailed interview with Kaga.
Anyway, the purpose of this article is to show what Emblem Saga could have been like...
with Developer Shouzou Kaga about his new game!
A new story linked deeply to the
existence of Manaketes
---First, let us listen to Mr. Kaga's
comments about the games he's made so
far, as well as this game's relationship to them with regards to the
Kaga: I've made five games,
which took place on three continents.
Emblem Saga takes place on a
fourth continent called "Forceria" and its
atmosphere is the same. In this world, the Manakete tribe once
flourished, and they built a highly advanced civilization. As history
went on and they faced destruction, how did they deal with humans, the
masters of the new age? The Manaketes... or rather, ancient dragons are
involved deeply in this game. As they faced destruction, many of them
chose to sleep underground eternally
and hide their faces from the world, but there were those
among the Manaketes who resented the humans. The story concerns those
wicked men who sought to use their strength and the people who opposed
them, as well as the shrine's holy guardian dragons who appeared
because of a certain pact.
The final story used in TearRing Saga
is largely unchanged. The only difference is the continent's name,
which was changed to Lieberia. The Manaketes were also changed to
"Emiyus", possibly because the word "Mamkute" (the Japanese name for
Manakete) is copyrighted by Intelligent System, although so is "Pegasus
Knight", but they're still in the game...
screen of Warner, a Social Knight. His
portrait belongs to Julius in the final game. The stats to the right of
the portrait are: Attack,
Range, Accuracy, Avoid, Critical and Attack Speed.
Towards the middle are the new "Attribute Resistance" gauges. The higher
the gauge value, the higher the defence bonus the character receives
when being attacked by a
weapon of that type.
The stats to the bottom left of the screen are: Strength, Skill, Speed,
Luck, Defence, Magic, Resistance, Max HP, Movement and Cost. Warner's
equipment consists of an Iron Sword and Vulnerary.
it's said that empathy is
going to be a strong point of
your new game's characters. What kinds of characters are going to
Kaga: About the empathy, I
blame the scenario (laugh). This time, you will once
again cry at the sad parts and laugh heartily at the funny
ones. Of course, I want to write sweet conversations that will put you
on edge and dramatic words as well. I can't mention specific details
characters yet, but I'd like to create an old (father-type) guy with
the charm of
an innocent child, as well as a certain vile-looking but kind-hearted
character. Also, I'd like to have a sensual Arabian-type young man and
woman in her thirties (laugh).
There seems to an unused portrait of an Arabian-style youth in the
final game. The evil woman could be referring to Sierra. The article
also showed off artworks of Kate and Julius.
---Will characters from previous games make a
Kaga: A certain shape-shifting youth will
have an important role, in the guise of a mysterious bard and sage.
Since this game occurs in the same time period as the first game, Dark
Dragon and Sword of Light, more characters may return if the
The "shape-shifting youth" could only have been Xane.
---Dark Dragon and Sword of Light takes place at
the same time, so that must mean the main hero is related to Marth!
Kaga: No, not quite. These two games
aren't directly related. Although a young hero like Marth will appear
---You just mentioned that a young hero like Marth
would appear "as well", what does that mean?
Kaga: Oh, that! Like in past games, the
game's story will be centred around a young prince, but that doesn't
mean there will only be one main character.
There will be multiple main characters?
Gaiden-style elements of the game
Kaga: I've always thought that allowing
players to choose the main character would be interesting. This time,
there will be multiple "armies" that can be controlled on the world
map. As for which characters can lead an army, each character has a
rich background, so any character has the potential to become a main
character. Although the missions that each army can undertake is fixed,
but there will be a lot of freedom from the middle and onwards, and you
can focus on your favourite army to progress the story.
|Players could freely
divide their characters into armies of up
to 8 units each and move them around the map, "just like in Fire Emblem: Gaiden."
The characters within an army may be able to support each other to
develop love or friendship.
The army being selected belongs to Faris of the Remris Knights. Their
tactician is Warner (presumably the character from the screenshot
above). The stats to the right side of the portrait are: Emblems, Gold,
Income, Cost, Army Strength and Storage.
The menu items to the bottom left of the screen are: Move, Create
(army), Unit, Item, Wait and Pass (forfeit your turn?).
properties of each army already been
decided from the start?
Kaga: Of course, the starting attributes
will be fixed to some extent, but they will change depending on the
player's methods of playing. This time, we've considered various areas
related to each army's attributes. Based on these areas, players can
make their own decisions as to how to personalise their characters. For
example, if you only fight in arenas, by the end of the game, your army
may become proficient in arena battles, but it may be weak in group
battles. Another example, say you constantly battle cave monsters,
perhaps your army will become invincible against monsters, but their
personalities will become negatively affected.
---Sounds very interesting! So, depending on the
enemy and location, the properties and personalities of the armies will
Kaga: Additionally, character growth will
also be related to their relationships with others. If two unrelated
characters fight together in the same army, perhaps they will become
lovers or close friends by the end...
---A lot of effort has been made to craft character
growth, I bet this will also affect the story!
Kaga: There is another new change related
to growth. Past characters possessed something known as growth rates,
which is basically using fixed chances to decide growth. This time,
instead, there will be growth curves, which vary according to
character. This allows us to have things such as fast growth and slow
---I see. So if you don't try out each character,
then you won't know which characters are good or bad.
Kaga: That's right. Although they start
off weak, but by the end they may become shockingly good!
---Next up, I want to ask about the game's
difficulty level. Why have you created this game in the image of
Gaiden, which is considered a low-difficulty strategy game?
Kaga: About this problem, we have various
means to solve this. One would be to design the story battles to
increase the strategic challenge. Not to mention, the artificial
intelligence has been given a huge upgrade, and the enemies will be
very efficient in both strategy and combat. Also, because battles
utilise an isometric perspective and units have their own direction,
ancient basic war strategies like rear attacking or surround and
annihilate can be faithfully recreated. To incorporate war strategies
used by famous generals like Hannibal and Caesar into the games has
been one of my goals.
isometric view that was going to be implemented in Emblem Saga, as is often
used in tactical RPGs such as Final
Like those games, the direction of each
character plays an important role- attacking an enemy from
the back would give the attacker a distinct advantage. In the final
version, the isometric view was scrapped in favour of the standard top
down view used in Fire Emblem.
The character being highlighted is Reitel, the "Crimson Lightning". His
class is Prince. The stats to the right of the portrait are: Attack,
Range, Accuracy, Avoid, Critical and Attack Speed.
as these, are there other new elements?
Kaga: Although I cannot describe them all
at this current stage, but in the future, there will probably be
endurance and cost to consider. Endurance will reduce after performing
actions or when attacked by an enemy. After falling below the halfway
point, it will reduce the character's fighting ability and when it
reaches 0 the character will be incapacitated. As for cost, this is
used to pay for units, and is deducted from your possessed gold
whenever the army moves. There will be many methods to increase the
amount of gold in possession, but the most effective is to utilise
Emblems. When an army possesses an Emblem, they will be recognised as
an official squadron of their kingdom, allowing for an increase in
income each turn.
In TearRing Saga's data,
there is an
unused Emblem, which states that it has this effect (although it
doesn't appear to do anything).
---What other methods of gaining gold are there?
Kaga: Other methods include investigating
caves and ruins, fighting in the arena, sending mercenaries on missions
and Thieves can also obtain gold.
---I see. To finish off, can I ask about any new
features that we can expect due to developing for the Playstation?
Kaga: Is that it? I am personally
interested in where the save date is stored, which is outside of the
physical software. We are considering making the save files for this
game affect the next game. If it becomes a series, the situation may
arise where characters from this game pass on their attributes to the
next. Although I say this, but this is still very far from now, so I
don't know what may become of this idea. In any case, I hope that this
product will leave a good impression on players. Please look forward to
Runan, one of the main characters of the game, initially had blue
hair and was of the Lord Knight class. However he ended up with brown
hair instead and started off as a Knight Lord. The hair colour change
was probably because the previous Fire
Emblem heroes mostly had blue
hair (eg. Marth, Arum, Sigurd), but then again the brown hair makes
Runan look like a total Leaf (the hero of Thracia 776) clone... Also Sigurd
had the Lord Knight class.