During the latest Iwata Asks, producer Hitoshi Yamagami and Kouhei Maeda mentioned how Fire Emblem: Awakening almost had a much, much different aesthetic.
“We made proposals that were a complete departure from the medieval worldview so far—like Fire Emblem completely in the modern world or the one which has the sense of an fairy tale,” Yamagami said.
Which, honestly, I would’ve dug—I’m a little tired of “traditional” fantasy settings. There aren’t enough modern day games, and even fewer modern day RPGs.
Kouhei Maeda, director of the previous Fire Emblem title, also mentioned Mars as one of the settings they kicked around.
“One idea that came up within the team was, well, it was Mars. Fighting on Mars,” Shin Monsho no Nazo director Kouhei Maeda said.
“But they were too far out, so we couldn’t get started,” said Yamagami. “I was like, ‘Is that even Fire Emblem?’ In the end, such a drastic break didn’t go very well.”
Which, again, would have jibed with me—I love me some Mars, some sci-fi. I can’t imagine how the Fire Emblem fans would’ve handed such a change, though (then again, Final Fantasy folk acclimate to wild setting shifts all the time).