I am so excited about Genei Ibun Roku, the upcoming Wii U JRPG that mashes together Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. Everything Nintendo has shown off for it so far has been EXCELLENT.
Today, the Nintendo Treehouse held an extended segment on Genei Ibun Roku, showcasing everything from the game’s plot, to the nitty gritty of the game’s mechanics. Here’s a play-by-play of everything they showed. Lets dive in!
1) The game takes place in modern-day Japan, as you might have already guessed. Here’s what Shibuya Crossing looks like:
And here’s Harajuku:
I love that crowds of people are rendered so stylistically. Also worth noting that you’ll be able to visit certain shops that you see in this overworld:
Yes, that’s Anna from Fire Emblem!
The developers say Shibuya will change as you play, too, depending on what choices you make.
2) People in your world start experiencing “incursions” from invading forces. More on this in a second.
3) The developers call it a “J-Pop RPG.” Seems appropriate, given how much of the game seems to revolve around idols/artists. Nintendo says pop music plays a heavy role in the game, and you can hear that even just walking around the world. Persona games have always had excellent music, but this new game seems to take that to the next level.
To wit, the Treehouse footage begins with your character walking around Shibuya looking for a concert:
Songs in the game have been composed by actual famous Japanese artists, the developers say.
4) After seeing an idol with your friend, she gets pretty excited!
This is where the more fantastical elements of the game kick in. Remember the otherworldly forces I mentioned earlier? They are drawn to people’s energy, which the game calls “Performa.” Kind of like Persona, except in this case it represents someone’s creative spirit. That sounds cool, until you consider that lots of Performa also draws negative forces, too. More on this in a bit.
5) Here is what the dialogue menu looks like, because yes, you’ll be interacting with your friends in this game:
(It’s in Japanese, but she’s asking you about her chances of becoming an idol.) If you encourage her, this happens:
I half expected her to draw a sword from her chest, but no! This will do too. Naturally, you and your friends are the only ones that can see this Performa awakening in action. It’s a beautiful moment which is cut short by THIS:
This is where Japan starts getting invaded by creatures from tie “Idolosphere.” (Geddit?)
So not all of the game is bright and cheery. Just in case you were worrying about that. Immediately, this invasion starts affecting people, and they all start slumping over as their energy becomes drained. It seems like a metaphor for depression or something.
6) The game has transformations. After the invasion starts, you see the idol pictured in this post earlier transform into a more goth version of herself:
Her microphone becomes a weapon and everything.
We also get a look at one of the game’s villains...which, surprise, is also related to one of the main characters:
She disappears into Shibuya, and so naturally your character goes after her:
7) This is where we get our first real look at what dungeons look like in SMT X FE:
This one takes after Persona dungeons, what with the checkered pattern all over the place and colorful tones.
8) This is also where the game introduces some of the main Fire Emblem characters, too:
These characters are from the Idolosphere, just like the evil dudes. They have no memory of their ‘past life’ as a Fire Emblem character, and indeed seem to be some weird dark version of themselves. The guy on the right here is Chrom, for example—except he seems corrupted somehow.
Regardless, these characters team up with you. In practice, what this means is that you get to carry around Chrom’s rapier:
The figure out in the distance in this screenshot? They’re called Mirages. Think of them like shadows from Persona—as in, the common enemies you’ll fight while dungeon crawling. Like in most SMT games, you can use your sword in the overworld to gain a preemptive attack on the Mirages before entering battle. This attack stuns your enemies, meaning that you get to choose whether or not you actually want to go into battle (or if you want to just run away!)
8) Battles! Even just going into battle looks cool:
You seem to sort of morph with Chrom, allowing you to transform into this dashing dude:
Here’s what the main battle menu looks like:
The battles are a fusion between Fire Emblem’s mechanics, and Persona’s mechanics. You’ve got the rock-paper-scissors weapons deal from Fire Emblem, and the elemental weakness system from Persona:
Based on what was shown today, it seems like this twist means you’ll have a wider range of weaknesses and strengths to exploit/defend yourself with.
Here’s what a basic attack looks like:
And here’s what it looks like when you win a battle:
Battles net you experience points, and you can level up just like any JRPG. This in turn gives you a random assortment of higher stats, like Fire Emblem.
A new feature introduced by FE x SMT is something called a session attacks. These let you chain attacks with other members of your party to form combos, and it looks rad:
Another cool element: the battle screens make it look like you’re on a stage, entertaining a crowd. Thematic consistency! Or something.
Here is what one of the bosses looks like. Recognize him, Fire Emblem fans?
9) Dungeons have gimmicks. In this case, you’re in a dungeon that has...a giant maid?
The developers explain that since you’re in a fashion capital, the dungeon’s shtick also revolves around fashion and trendiness. Apparently, many of the dungeons are based on real-world locations.
In any case, you can totally climb into the giant maid suit here and then resurface on the other side of the dungeon. As one does. Once on the other side, the player comes across a mannequin display, which doubles as a puzzle:
Changing the spotlight here messes with how the maid costume displays, too:
In this case, the spotlight was changed to the mannequin in the middle, which also happens to have its arms in the air. The maid costume follows suit. If you manipulate it in the right way, however, you can get the arms to take you to a different floor.
10) Every character has some sort of connection to the entertainment world. You’ve got the friend that wants to be an idol, a guy that wants to be an actor, and you help your friends realize these goals.
You’ll be able to message your friends via the game pad tablet, too:
Reminds me of Catherine a little bit—that game had a texting mechanic, too.
Bonus: the closer you become to your friends, the better assortment of special attacks you’ll have access to. Think of them like duel attacks from Fire Emblem. Not everyone will be friendly with each other, however. Rivals exist! And it makes for hilarious moments inside of battles:
You can watch the entire Shin Megami x Fire Emblem segment here, if you have 40 minutes to spare:
And finally here are a collection of GIFs and Tweets I couldn’t fit anywhere else: