3) So where does Fire Emblem come in?
The Fire Emblem series is, under the Nintendo umbrella, developed by Intelligent
Systems, the same people who made Paper Mario. These games pertain to Arpeggio in
that I have pilfered the majority of their weaponry system. Although I have never been fond of
swords myself, I very much enjoy the system as it is used in the games, and what's more, it
seemed suited for the kinds of additions that would make weaponry bearable to people like me. So,
for example, I incorporated the Hammers from Paper Mario in the form of Fire
Emblem weapons, as well as even more ridiculous things such as umbrellas.
The weapon system of Arpeggio is explained in detail elsewhere, but the addition of weapons was also a convenient way to deal with the problem of incorporating a replacement for action commands and their effects on damage dealt into a text-based medium. Instead of an action command determining how much damage an attack deals, I decided to have an unarmed basic attack deal the minimum amount of damage as if the player had missed the action command, but make the standard for an armed basic attack be to inflict twice the base damage—in other words, wielding a weapon is like being able to nail the action command every time. I also drew parallels to Jump and Hammer attacks by making some weapons that, instead of doubling the damage in one single blow, dealt the base damage but hit twice per turn (simulating a Fire Emblem character having enough attack speed to strike his or her opponent twice).
Once I had made the decision to include the weapons from Fire Emblem, I, being myself, had to try to be true to their original effects; the weapon triangle was easy enough, because it only pertained to the weapons that I was newly adding, but I also allowed bows to do extra damage to flying characters—including ones who are not from Fire Emblem, of course. That's really the fun of combining ideas from different sources, though: they find ways to interact with each other that you might not expect at first. This, I think, mainly occurs because there are similarities in the concepts used in most video games, even if the games are of entirely different genres and their plots go in opposite directions from vastly different starting points. For example, most video games feature one or more deserts, as well as lava; if one game features an innovative use of the desert setting, and a different game features an innovative use of the lava hazard, then why not incorporate both ideas into your amalgamation?
Many of the details of Arpeggio's magical attacks come from Fire Emblem as well, although Fire Emblem characters have a separate defense stat against magic attacks called Resistance, which is not present in Arpeggio. The idea of equipping a weapon and being able to carry some extra ones (as well as the idea of having a weapon inventory separate from the normal item inventory) are taken from Fire Emblem. The thing that I was mainly trying to do with Arpeggio was keep things in Paper Mario terms but be sure to account for a large number of attacking options that the players may possibly desire, so as to avoid faltering during character creation at the suggestion of something rather basic that the system does not incorporate. Most people like swords, and Fire Emblem accounts for other types of weapons as well, so it seemed convenient to swipe the system and convert it to Paper Mario style.
I eventually added weapon level (a feature from Fire Emblem) to prevent the players from being able to use any kind of super-powerful weapon that they might happen to acquire from an enemy right away. It was really a problem of wanting to give enemies weapons that I didn't want the players to actually have—by requiring training in different types of weapons before the powerful weapons of that type can be used, this problem is largely corrected. Even though I do not really like swords, I think that the weapon system has been converted well and that it is now an indispensable part of the Arpeggio system.