It’s not surprising that Super Smash Bros and Kirby director Masahiro Sakurai is a fan of Fire Emblem (otherwise Corrin wouldn’t have got into Super Smash Bros 4 at all). But how did he get into the series? Well, here’s how, straight from an interview he conduced with Japanese video game magazine Famitsu:
Interviewer: Please tell us about how you first encountered Fire Emblem.
Sakurai: I think that Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (henceforth referred to as Shadow Dragon (NES)) was released before I’d spent a year at HAL Labs, and I was really drawn to the spritework and animation. That feeling of satisfaction when a pirate cleanly hits with his axe (laughs).
Interviewer: (laughs) You played the first one, but did you play future entries in the series?
Sakurai: Generally speaking, as soon as they were released, I bought and played them. There were some where the release window overlapped with a particularly busy period and I gave up halfway through, but I’ve touched upon every entry in the series, and I’ve beaten most of them.
So yeah, he was drawn in by the sprite work and animation, and later managed to play every game in the series. It’s admirable (especially for a busy game developer and producer like Sakurai), but we’d still like to give him one piece of important advice:
Above: Sakurai was drawn in by the spritework in the Fire Emblem series. Which admittedly, looked quite impressive in the NES/SNES/GBA era.
Keep your work life and personal tastes seperate. You may think Fire Emblem is the best thing since sliced bread, and hey, it’s a fair opinion. But Super Smash Bros is meant to be about representing all Nintendo franchises and games, not just the ones you personally like or care for. Six Fire Emblem characters is far too many.
Above: Especially when they’re from an unreleased game (in most of the world)
But what do you think? Do you admire Masahiro Sakurai’s enthusiasm for the Fire Emblem series, or do you wish he’d maybe keep this love of the franchise a bit further away from Super Smash Bros?