According to the Fire Emblem: Awakening developers, the game’s casual mode was controversial even within the dev team.
Casual mode in Awakening allows players to lose characters in battles, but still have access to them afterward as opposed to losing them for good by way of permadeath.
Speaking to localization wizards 8-4 in an interview posted on Nintendo’s official website, project manager Masahiro Higuchi said, “I was on the side that said we shouldn’t include Casual mode to the end. It’s that nuance … If someone dies, you can’t just 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. It connects with the difficulty level, too—it makes you work your way through the game very carefully, which I think makes each victory all the more exhilarating.”
Director Genki Yokota expressed his initial disapproval of the casual mode, as well.
“Personally, the first time I heard about [the idea of Casual mode], I was like ‘no way,'” said Yokota. “My boss brought up the idea, and just like Higuchi-san, I was angry at the thought of going too casual. But in the end, we figured giving players a choice would help expand the appeal of the game.”