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Secret of Evermore - Brian Fehdrau Interview

Posted by Darren Calvert

Our resident reviewer Corbie Dillard has been busy securing some fresh content for his SNES fansite. He really struck gold with a recent interview which he did with Brian Fehdrau, the lead programmer on the Squaresoft USA team that developed the Super Nintendo rpg hit Secret of Evermore.

At the present moment, Square seem to be reluctant to throw up their entire back catalogue on to the Virtual Console. Presumably this is for fear of devaluing their games in case they wanted to release a collections disc or something. Who knows, maybe they feel they have made enough money! In this part of the interview at least we can see that Brian is on our side...

CD: What do you think about Nintendo's Wii Virtual Console service and would you like to see Secret of Evermore released on the Virtual Console so that it might gain a new audience with gamers who might have missed the game the first time around?

BF: I've only had a Wii for a short period and I haven't actually used the Virtual Console yet, but I've looked at the library, and I really like the idea. I don't know exactly what it does under the hood, so I don't know how well it could emulate Evermore. If it's a straight-up emulator like we use on our PC's, then I suppose it would just be a matter of Nintendo striking a deal with Square for the rights. I think Square should get its entire back catalog up there, really. I'm sure many people would gobble it up, even people who've never heard of Square's SNES titles.

I think it's a great idea for people to discover what they missed back in the SNES days. The SNES was the first console that really had the chops to hold up over time. Most NES games are kind of ... meh ... these days, but a lot of the SNES titles are still just as fun and look great. I've enjoyed seeing people discover Evermore via PC emulation, so it would be great if even more could encounter it on their Wii. I'd hope they could make use of some of the patches people have done, e.g. the Silver Sheath fix, maybe the multiplayer patch, etc.

You can read the full Brian Fehdrau interview here. Please let Corbie know your thoughts below.

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User Comments (57)



RoninDennis said:

I remember Evermore... Not the best RPG I ever played, but not a bad one either. As long as you don't expect it to be epic Square (e.g. Mana, Final Fantasy, Chrono, etc.) it won't disappoint.

But of course he's right, Square should put its whole back catalog on here. Shame it ain't gonna happen though.



Tim said:

"I'd hope they could make use of some of the patches people have done, e.g. the Silver Sheath fix, maybe the multiplayer patch, etc." (Brian Fehdrau)

Sadly I can't see the Nintendo or Square executives going through the trouble of releasing a modified game. They'll only release the game if it was effortless to do so and even then they still might not.



Rexy said:

I've never played Evermore - been reluctant after experiencing Secret of Mana, knowing a little too much about the history of the game's existance. But it's still good to see that someone who worked with Square is in favor of the VC



Corbs said:

Brian was a very nice guy and fun to talk to about the game. I'm one of those few who actually prefer Evermore over Secret of Mana. Both are great action-rpgs and would be nice to have on the VC. But all we can do at this point is hope for the best.



Bass_X0 said:

I'd download Evermore if it was ever made available even if Mana came before or after it. Its quite a charming game actually. A paperback book compared to Square's other games but still would be worth the download if you're into RPGs.



Adamant said:

What he thinks doesn't have much of an impact on anything, though - Squeenix think they'll make more of a profit by releasing full-price remakes of their most popular games, and with all the rabid fanboys around, they're probably right.

Evermore has a decent chance of making it to the VC, though - it's not a game with a particularly large following.



Iggy said:

hmmm I never played this game before
its from Square and its a rpg so i might
check it out.

would it be worth a download or not?



Adamant said:

Absolutely, it's quite a fun game. It's not a traditional RPG, though, but an action-RPG in the vein of Secret of Mana.



stinssd said:

Evermore involved finding ingredients for potions. That's all I remember.



Sage_Joch said:

@ Iggy, you must definitely try this game out. It plays the same as the sublime Secret of Mana, but has a darker tone to it, and a unique (well certainly at the time) way of casting spells. (magic is called alchemy here and it's about collecting ingredients and finding the recipes)
For fans of great action-rpg's of the 16-bit era, this is not one to miss!!



DarkLloyd said:

i was born in 1991 and my first console was the snes i never played thier games till i had a playstation that time around and i think my first was ff9 it was cool it was my introduction into the series. though i like to point out legend of dragoon was my first rpg game owned and played. in any case i hope they release the games because i would buy it right away no matter how bad the reviews are or what people would say bad about this game because it is a sqaure game and most of all it is a rpg game its my favourite type of gameplay.



Viral said:

Just because the following said games have the words "Square" or "RPG" in it, doesn't necessarily make it a good game. Square has put out some mediocre games in it's time. I, for one, would personally love to see a compilation disc for the Square library of Final Fantasy 1 to 6, which is easily doable on the Nintendo Wii. Square would never do such a thing because the previously released game versions of them on the GBA and DS would fall in value so quickly unless you're a graphics whore, then the DS version may appeal to you.



Link79 said:

Snes always did have the best RPG's. I really hope both Mana and Evermore come to VC someday. Chrono Trigger would be nice also.
I have a feeling It'll be a long wait though. Especially if the Wii ware releases keep slowing down VC releases.



Starwolf_UK said:

I notice something:
so I don't know how well it could emulate Evermore. If it's a straight-up emulator like we use on our PC's, then I suppose it would just be a matter of Nintendo striking a deal with Square for the rights
I would say according to the internal files of the VC SNES emulator, Secret of Mana has been tested to work (though its currently flagged...given the other games that are flagged are unlikely to come out) and given Secret of Evermore is essentially an uber ROM hack of that game...

But its a Squaresoft USA game. Have any VC games that are exclusive to America or Europe come out (excluding the Comodore 64)?

Sadly I can't see the Nintendo or Square executives going through the trouble of releasing a modified game
But Nintendo themselves release modificed games:
-Kid Icarus. Broken password system*
-Tecmo Bowl. Player Names Removed
-Star Tropics. Yo-yo turned into Star (I think that was it)

*-Indicating the ROM has been modified (as Metroid Romhacks show thats what happens, Kid Icarus password system is bulit on the same buliding blocks as Metroids). Its entirely possible other games are modified ROMs too (its possible to find out but I doubt anyone is too interested)



Bass_X0 said:

Wave Race 64 is another one - the Kawasaki logos were replaced. Modifications are only done when absolutely necessaryk, usually because of expired licenses or incompatibility. Very rarely are they done to increase player enjoyment (Sin & Punishment is the sole exception - some of the text was translated).



Iggy said:

Sweet sounds pretty good by what
everyone is saying about it hopefully
it comes out soon so i can get it
my vc list is lackin in good rpgs



Draygone said:

Supports Squaresoft games on VC and fixes/additions to the original code? I like this guy.



Chipmunk777 said:

I bought Secret of Evermore on ebay for like $10 a few months ago..... But at any rate, I like Secret of Mana better.

Great interview as always, Corbie! Sounds like a cool guy



DarkLloyd said:

@viral i agree however if all were turn base rpg the only way we could judge a game is storyline. funny thing is that im the kind of guy that will play any rpg because that gametype is fun for me , hoping theres nothing wrong with that. the only rpg i stop playing for awhile was phantasy star 2 on vc not cuz of the battle system or story line its the walking around part being clueless of where to go exactly. also hope 3 and 4 aren,t as bad as 2



DDR_Paladin356 said:

SOE wasn't that bad of a game. When I first played it, I thought it was Secret of Mana 2, but that mainly made me disappointed. Its still a good game. Story is decent, the gameplay is pretty good. Just not Secret of Mana...



nate said:

While we are speaking of Secret of Mana I hope they release Seiken Densetsu 3 (Mana 3). I always wanted to play that



Corbs said:

I wouldn't hold my breath for them to translate that entire triangle storyline, not to mention fix all of the bugs in Seiken Densetsu 3. Secret of Evermore and Secret of Mana are longshots, but SD3 would be a miracle.



DarkLloyd said:

if not translate why not put make a book or something translating what this section says from japan to english or something if its all that much trouble doing it in the game or put it on the internet for us to print



Virus said:

Holy crap, Corbie! I'm amazed you could even secure the website name (but then again, I barely know anything about creating a website.) Still, that's awesome! And amazing job with the interview!



everydayJOE said:


Just out curiousity would your name come from DragonForce's Black Fire from the album Valley of the Damned? If it does then you have great taste in Power Metal!



everydayJOE said:

Continuing on my last comment, if you like metal music then you should try listening to the band- Powerglove. They recreate video game music in metal style! Check em out!



DarkLloyd said:

@everydayjoe i actually came up with the name myself as a werewolf name lol i know its a long story of my belief. i have never heard of the band but nice name though, only band im familar with is kiss, linkin park, godsmack and the killers. easy way for me to find out about other bands is guitar hero 3 for my ps3 which i bought wii first. but thats enough talking about this is a secret of mana board talk lol



everydayJOE said:

The funny thing is, is that in guitar hero 3 DragonForce has a unlockable song named "Through the Fire and Flames!" Although it may not be in the Canadian version.



i8cookie said:

Square might resist putting games up on the VC that they plan to re-make. They are slowly getting through all the snes FF remakes onto the DS. Imagine the crazy fans after they release FF VI, 'FFVII remake is on it's way uuurrrghhh' [spurt] hopefully they are planning it for ps3 or next gen. doesn't seem much point having it on the DS, not much of an improvement.



Rexy said:

FF7 wouldn't appear on the DS anyway, because since then, FF titles were all for Sony systems. I don't think any of the Compilation of FF7 games (save for the phone-based Before Crisis) were even shown on other consoles outside their native Sony platforms to begin with, probably due to licencing.

Still, it can be true that Square won't put up titles they plan to remake, but they can't leave some of their more obscure titles to bite the dust, can they?



NESgamer said:

I don't really liked Evermore, story, concept and anything, just the battle system (and that's because i like secret of mana).

I won't download.



DarkLloyd said:

@everydayjoe last comment now i think it has that but we and america gets bassically the same stuff only difference is you guys are cheaper price then what we pay for our games. lucky you



vherub said:

I really enjoyed evermore, probably because of the dog and it being the first square game I had played- though I had played a few enix games on nes and snes.



Corbs said:

The one thing that rings clear from all of the emails and comments I've gotten about the interview is that rpg fans are very split on this subject. I just think that we as rpg gamers were so used to the Japanese rpgs that were plentiful during the 8 and 16-bit eras that it was tough to stomach something that different. I even think that's why Earthbound didn't sell well back when it was released. Just too different at the time.



Rapadash6 said:

The only Square RPG I really care whether or not it comes is Mario RPG and we know that one's coming. Well, I lie. I'd be happy to see Chrono Trigger as well.



Terra said:

This would be a welcome addition to the VC in my opinion. I was looking at this earlier on another site. It surprised me that it was never released in Japan.



nate said:

@ Corbie
On your super-nes site you have a seiken densetsu 3 review. I was wondering how you got to play it. Was it emulated on a computer or some other way.



Corbs said:

I own a special SNES cartridge that has the English patched Seiken Densetsu 3 game on it so I can play it on the actual Super NES. It's quite nice, although it cost me an arm and a leg.

Check out my SNES site under the "Specials" link to see the cart along with the Star Ocean game as well.



Objection said:

"Most NES games are kind of ... meh ... these days..." I feel the same way, with the excception being Supr Mario Bros. (not much exp with the sequels)



Zeroagean said:

lol yeah!!! this is the first RPG i have ever played so i think it fits well up there with the other square games



Zeroagean said:

oh yeah and if it was not for this game i would not have discovered the greatest game in history...Chrono Trigger!!!!!!!!!!!!!



nate said:

@ Corbie
So Seiken Densetsu 3 cost you $250. I think I may consider ordering some of those custom carts in the future. Pretty awesome.



Corbs said:

Well I get a discount. But it was still quite a bit. I have Terranigma, Seiken Densetsu 3, and Tales of Phantasia. Those are probably all I will buy as the others just aren't worth quite that much money to me. I considered Bahamut Lagoon, but changed my mind. I'd rather spend the money on adding to my SNES cart collection.



nate said:

Do you think a Terranigma or Tales of Phantasia release would be a miracle as well. I heard that those two and Seiken Densetsu 3 were some of the most amazing RPG's.



MrXevious said:

Terranigma and Tales of Phantasia weren't made by Square... they were Enix and Namco games, respectively. I highly doubt either of the two would make it to VC. If anything, Terranigma would make it to the EU VC because that's where it showed up initially. Phantasia, sadly, wouldn't get a release period -- the game's PSX version is legendary in Japan and it's also been ported to PSP (again, Japan-only) and GBA. The GBA version was released worldwide, I think... which is a shame because that version of the game was piss poor.



Jockolantern said:

Secret of Evermore kicked all kinds of ass and was a sorely underrated and underappreciated SNES title... still is, come to think of it. I loved the quirky, nostalgic atmosphere of it all, the excellent alchemy system, and memorably atmospheric Jeremy Soule score. I still have my original box, manual and cartridge of this game and quite proudly so. If it came to the VC, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat.

I'm one of the three people in this world who inexplicably adore Evermore.



Starwolf_UK said:

Terranigma and Tales of Phantasia weren't made by Square... they were Enix and Namco games
Remember what happened to Enix. They merged with Square to become Square-Enix. It was like if SEGA and Nintendo had merged (both were rivals of each other).

Anyway, Enix games have come out on the VC. ActRaiser for one. If you want to really get technical Terranigma is a Quintent game (R.I.P...) and ToP a Wolf Team game (after ToP most of Wolf Team split to become tri-Ace who brought us Star Ocean).

I think part of the ToP publishing deal was Namco got to keep the franchise. Looking into things it turns out ActRaiser is a Quintent game as well.



CanisWolfred said:

Well, I played Terranigma, Secret of Evermore, Secret of Mana, and Seiken Densetsu 3 on Rom, and I have to say, Terranigma was the best of all of them. Secret of Evermore came in a close second though, and it's also the only RPG that lets you use a bazooka, which already makes it the smartest RPG ever. I really hope Secret of Evermore comes to VC( as well as Terranigma), because it's one of the coolest games I've played, to be honest with you. It had a lot of style and originality, which is more than I can say for the others( SD and Secrets of Mana had the same premise, and which were eerily similar to FFVI's premise). I don't know why it didn't get more popular? It's like Nintendo's Earthbound( which I understand didn't sell well in worldwide). Plus, since it isn't quite as popular, there's a better chance that they'll release it as a downloadable, like what they did with Actraiser and Einhander( in Japan at least). Here's to hoping, I can't wait. And that goes for Terranigma too.



LoveBone said:

I definately prefer Evermore to Mana. If there was news about it coming to the vc I would be checking updates every day. I haven't played it for years but I remember that it kept me interested through the end of the game, unlike Mana which just kinda got boring and repetitive towered the end. They're both good games though. I hope to see it out soon. Along with FF6 if we're lucky!



Ryno said:

Cool, I just bought Secret of Evermore complete and found this and Corb's website. Excited to play this game in the future and I will have to check out the SNES site more.



dustcarr said:

The quirks and oddities in Evermore make it a unique gem entirely apart from Secret of Mana. I've never minded that it emulates an already successful engine; a lot of games do and this one's excellent. The atmosphere's dark, alchemy rocks, the music haunting, and in my honest opinion, it diverges more from traditional plot stereotypes than a lot of the classic RPGs. I'd love to see this re-released with the 2-player patch, but who knows what Nintendo will do...

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