Nintendo has explained why characters in Fire Emblem Awakening have deformed feet. Well, apparently, the designers of the strategy role-playing game ultimately decided it wasn’t necessary for characters to have fully-featured feet. In a developer interview, the game’s art director, Toshiyuki Kusakihara, said that, because in-game characters primarily use handheld weapons for combat, he and his team felt it was OK to exclude some detail in their feet.
… We have to ask a question a lot of the fans are wondering — what happened with the feet? (laughs)
Toshiyuki Kusakihara:(Laughs) Well, they’re there…they’re just…omitted a little bit.
The idea was to add a unique sort of deformation to the characters. As for why it ended up like this… At the start of the project, we weren’t entirely sure how many bones and joints we’d be able to use in each character model. As it is now, there’s a joint at the knees, and then there’s nothing below that for the ankles and the feet. This makes it a bit easier to apply animation to models as well. We found out afterward that, with the 3DS, we had more than enough CPU strength available to flesh out the models a bit, add real ankles and so on. We were like “Well, if there’s a next time, maybe there’ll be more ankles…” (laughs)
We thought we could make it something that would work well with the characters, but now I’m not so sure. (laughs) So it’s hard to give a real reason for it, but…well, I think it’s kind of cute, though! (laughs) Isn’t it? They look like they’re wearing high heels. Aren’t high heels the big fashion these days?
Did you get any feedback about this from Japanese players as well?
Kusakihara: Yeah, some people focused on the feet a lot. (laughs) I think if this was a game that involved people kicking and such, we would have put in real ankles. Instead, you’re using handheld weapons for the most part, so we figured we could sort of omit some of the detail down there…
Fire Emblem Awakening launches later this week in Europe and Australia, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS. If you’re still unsure of whether you’re going to purchase the game, to help you decide, check out our Fire Emblem Awakening review.