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Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE

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Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE (幻影異聞録♯FE Genei Ibunroku ♯FE, lit. Illusory Revelation Sharp FE) is the title for an RPG for the Wii U. A collaboration between Atlus and Intelligent Systems, it is a crossover between the Fire Emblem series and the Shin Megami Tensei series. The game was released on December 26, 2015 in Japan and was released on June 24, 2016 in North America and Europe.

DevelopmentEdit

The origins of Tokyo Mirage Sessions date back to 2011, during a point when Atlus was working with Nintendo on an app for the DSi and 3DS. Kaori Ando, a producer at Nintendo, approached her coworker Hitoshi Yamagami with the suggestion that they pitch Atlus the idea of working together on a crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei. Atlus intially turned down the pitch due to not having the time for the project, but in 2012 reopened talks with Nintendo regarding the idea.

The game was first announced to the public via a teaser trailer during a Nintendo Direct video presentation on January 23, 2013. The teaser consisted of character art from past Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei titles and was presented with the working title of Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem.

For the following two years, information on the game was sparse. Yamagami revealed to the magazine Hobby Consolas in an interview published on July 9, 2013 that the game will be set in the modern era. Nearly a year later, on June 11, 2014, Yamagami and other members of Intelligent Systems held a Q&A during E3 focused on their just-announced new intellectual property Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. During the Q&A, the question of Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE's status was brought up. Yamagami responded by saying that development was "on schedule", but did not elaborate any further.

On April 1, 2015, Nintendo unveiled the first proper trailer for the game in a Nintendo Direct, showcasing the game's look, as well as snippets of gameplay, cutscenes, and character interactions. It also showed some of the main protagonists and enemies.

The trailer was set to the song "Reincarnation," which in the game is a number one hit on the charts and performed by the character Kiria Kurono, a pop singer. Though the song has an upbeat tone, the lyrics reference darker desires to destroy, to disappear, and to be reincarnated. Music in general appears to be a central theme of the game, as musical references can be seen elsewhere, such as combat system's UI. In the Japanese version of the presentation, the game's Japanese title Genei Ibun Roku ♯FE, was announced. ♯FE , or Sharp FE, is another reference to music; a major thematic element of the game's presentation.

An E3 2015 trailer debuted on June 16, 2015 during Nintendo's Digital Event. The trailer showed the main characters in more detail, in addition to more snippets of gameplay. The trailer also put more emphasis on explaining how Fire Emblem characters fit into the game's universe as "Mirages." On June 17, Nintendo showcased the game during the Nintendo Treehouse livestream, where they demonstrated live gameplay in action for the first time, including elements of dungeon exploration and combat.

In a Nintendo Direct on March 3, 2016, it was confirmed that the game would retain its Japanese voices, but with english subtitles for western audiences.

PlotEdit

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE opens five years prior to the game's main events: at an opera attended by a young Tsubasa and Yashiro, everyone apart from Tsubasa vanishes without trace. In the present, Itsuki encounters Tsubasa at the One of Millennium talent audition event, where she is hoping to begin her career as an idol. The compare is possessed by a hostile Mirage, and everyone in the building apart from Itsuki and Tsubasa are stripped of their Performa, while Tsubasa is taken into the Idolosphere dimension. Itsuki follows, and both are attacked by hostile Mirages. Awakening to their Performa, they use it to cleanse the Mirages: their attackers are revealed to be Chrom and Caeda, who ally respectively with Itsuki and Tsubasa. With help from Touma, who is the Mirage Master to Cain, the party free the compare from the hostile Mirage's control, restoring order. Leaving the Idolosphere, they encounter Maiko, who offers them positions alongside Touma in Fortuna Entertainment so they can both forward their entertainment careers and help fight Mirage attacks alongside Kiria and her Mirage Tharja. They are aided by Tiki, who is suffering from amnesia similar to the other allied Mirages.

Further attacks follow at multiple locations throughout Tokyo, each focusing on leading entertainment and media figureheads being possessed by hostile Mirages: these Mirages are revealed to be merely servants of a greater power. During one mission, the group rescue producer Yatsufusa Hatanaka, who later keeps a close watch on them. They also gather new allies in the form of Elenora and her partner Virion, and Mamori and her partner Draug, who was the former partner of and initially possessed Barry. On many missions, Yashiro and his partner Navarre watches and sometimes acts as an antagonistic force, before Itsuki's leadership and strength persuade him that he can help him avenge his father, the lead singer who vanished five years before. The group eventually find an item called a Dragonstone, which restores some of Tiki's memories. She reveals that she and the other friendly Mirages unsuccessfully attempted to stop the dark mage Gharnef summoning the Shadow Dragon Medeus into their native realm with a ceremony called the Opera of Shadows. Tiki was banished into the Idolosphere, which acted as an intermediate dimension between the real world and her world, and she was instrumental in preventing Gharnef from performing the Opera of Shadows a second time to enter the real world as his native realm had become drained of artistic energy. His attempt sparked the mass disappearance of five years before, and Tiki shielded both Tsubasa and Yashiro at the cost of her memories.

After this, the Cosmic Egg Stadium is consumed by an Idolosphere portal. Heading to the Cosmic Egg, the party are stopped by Hatanaka, who reveals himself to be the willing Mirage Master of Gharnef: the two are planning to perform the Opera of Shadows, summoning Medeus to consume the real world's Performa. The group recover Dragonstones from the conquered Idolosphere realms and restore Tiki's memory: she reveals that they must find the pieces of the Fire Emblem and perform the Opera of Light to summon the power of the Divine Dragon Naga, the only force capable of stopping Medeus. Collecting the Fire Emblem pieces, they learn the story of the Hero-King Marth, a warrior from ancient times who bested and sealed away Gharnef and Medeus. The group encounter and defeat Hatanaka and Gharnef, but their sacrifice coupled with the offering of the Hero-King Marth's soul completes the Opera of Shadows and summons Medeus. Traveling to the final Idolosphere realm, Itsuki is fatally injured by Medeus, but the Fire Emblem gems free Marth's soul, which saves Itsuki and allows the group to perform the Opera of Light and defeat Medeus. The Mirages, with their memories restored and Medeus gone forever, return with Tiki to their native realm.

If all the side stories are completed, a post-credits scene is unlocked where Maiko returns to modelling and makes Itsuki the new manager of Fortuna Entertainment.

CrossoverEdit

In Tokyo Mirage Sessions, the main characters live in Tokyo; a key setting in many Megami Tensei titles. Existing alongside their world is a fantasy realm from which Mirages emerge. The Mirages, which serve a similar role to the demons found in traditional Megami Tensei games, are figures from the Fire Emblem series taken from the original and Awakening. The player characters form bonds with Mirages as a key part of their adventure. Villains from the Fire Emblem series also appear in the game as antagonistic Mirages of some nature, with characters such as Gangrel and Aversa from Awakening sporting demonic redesigns of their own.

An exception to this rule is Tiki, who appears in the game as her younger self from Shadow Dragon. In the game's world, she is restricted to a location called the Bloom Palace, from which she assists the party. An Uta-loid software suite (similar to a real-life Vocaloid such as Hatsune Miku) has also been created using her voice and likeness; a means for her to acquire Performa and maintain her form.

GameplayEdit

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is an RPG focused around the exploration of dungeons and turn-based party combat. When not in dungeons, the player explores familiar locations in the city of Tokyo and can interact with NPCs and visit shops. Dungeons take the form of multi-level labyrinths with light puzzle-solving and generally share a theme with the location they are found at. Within these dungeons are hostile Mirages that when touched trigger combat. The player character Itsuki is armed with a rapier while exploring the dungeon and the player can gain the initiative by stunning Mirages with a well-timed strike before starting battle.

Combat is turn-based and predicated on discovering and exploiting enemy weaknesses. As in both Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem, enemies are weak to specific magic or weapon types. The weapon types are based on the weapon types from Fire Emblem (Sword, Lance, Axe and Bow) while the magic types are based on the magic from Shin Megami Tensei (Fire, Ice, Electric, Force, Expel, and Death). The player can also trigger Session Attack combos where the other party members follow up the attacking character's blow with strikes of their own. As party members gain affinity, they can also learn Duo Arts where pairs of characters can combine their strength to deal high damage. Battle parties are restricted to a maximum of three party members at a time, but other party members can join in on Session combos while not in the active party if they have learned the appropriate Radiant Skill.

The Wii U GamePad serves a variety of functions. One prominent function that it is used for is as a communication tool. A simulation of real-life chat applications like LINE, the player can use it to allow Itsuki to communicate with other characters and advance events in the game. The GamePad UI also distinguishes content related to the main story and sidequest content.

Like in traditional Fire Emblem games, Mirages can use Master Seals to promote to new classes, with branching promotion options. For example, Shiida can promote from a Pegasus Knight to a Falcon Knight or Dragon Knight. Class changes and other character enhancements such as Carnage Unity and Radiant Unity are performed at a special location called the Bloom Palace with Tiki's aid.

The player explores wards of Tokyo such as Shibuya and Harajuku over the course of the game and can visit shops, businesses and key story locations, as well as talk to NPCs. To travel between major sections of the city, the player selects a location from the world map.

CharactersEdit

See main article: List of characters in Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE

2013 Teaser Characters Edit

The original teaser trailer that debuted in January 2013 featured artwork of fifteen characters from the Fire Emblem series. The artwork used was existing character art originally created for their respective games. Because the trailer was a teaser and did not depict any assets from the actual production, it was not guaranteed that most of the characters that appeared in the trailer would have roles in Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE:

MarthDS Caeda (Shadow Dragon Artwork) Roy (Binding Blade Artwork) Lilina Lyndis
Marth Caeda Roy Lilina Lyn
EliwoodArtwork Fe7Hector Fess-eirika Fess-ephraim Ike (FE9 Artwork)
Eliwood Hector Eirika Ephraim Ike
Princess Elincia Micaiah (FE10 Artwork) Sothe (FE10 Artwork) Chrom (FE13 Artwork) MaskedMarth
Elincia Micaiah Sothe Chrom Lucina

Of the characters listed above, only Caeda and Chrom appear in the game. Marth is referenced and his "spirit" makes an appearance at the end of the game.

Fortissimo Edition and Downloadable Content Edit

Genei Ibun Roku spec special

Promotional image of the standalone Fortissimo Edition.

On September 11, 2015, it was announced that in Japan, a special edition of the game dubbed the Fortissimo Edition will be released alongside the standard edition in two forms; one featuring the game and some extras, and the other a Wii U console bundle. Both feature an artbook, a special vocal selection CD, free access to two sets of costume DLC, and a priority ticket to the Genei Ibun Roku #FE Premium Live show. The Wii U bundle also features character lyric cards, sticket sheets, and three "support quest" download codes.

Costume DLC for the game was also announced. All first-print copies of the game will come bundled with a code for a set of "collaboration costumes" that dress the party as characters from other Atlus titles, including Shin Megami Tensei IV, Devil Survivor 2, Persona Q, and Etrian Odyssey III. The Fortissimo Edition will also come with codes for an "original costume triple set" which includes a special "Fashion show" costume set for the female characters and swimwear for the entire playable cast.

The Fortissimo Edition (Special Edition in North America) was announced to be released in North America and Europe on June 24, 2016.

EtymologyEdit

The Japanese title Genei Ibunroku ♯FE is derived from Megami Ibunroku (女神異聞録, lit. Goddess Revelation), the prefix used to designate several spin-offs of the Shin Megami Tensei series in Japan.

The English title, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, abbreviates to TMS, which is the inverse of SMT, the abbreviation of the Shin Megami Tensei series.

Trivia Edit

  • Early trailers for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE are prefaced with ESRB bumpers indicating that Nintendo of America originally expected the game to receive an M rating. However, the game ended up receiving a T rating. In the event that it had gotten an M rating, it would have been the first Fire Emblem game to receive an ESRB rating of Mature.
  • A number of shops and other businesses in the game have names and features that reference demons from the Shin Megami Tensei series.
  • In addition to the Mirages based on Fire Emblem characters and classes, there are enemy Mirages based on demons in the Shin Megami Tensei series.
  • The Shield of Seals appears in the game as a school crest that appears on the uniforms of Itsuki and Tsubasa's high school.
  • In the game's universe, there is a soft drink branded as Amrita.The drink takes its name from a status recovery spell that appears in Megami Tensei games and as Amrita Soda in Persona games.
  • Excluding Virtual Console releases, this is the first Megami Tensei title for a Nintendo home console since Kyūyaku Megami Tensei on the Super Famicom.

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