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I'm currently re-watching the original Fullmetal Alchemist and Brotherhood together, and one of the minor, yet obvious changes I noticed is that Liore is in the middle of a desert in the 2003 anime, but surrounded by forests and hills in Brotherhood.

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enter image description here I'm assuming it was not originally a desert in the manga (since Brotherhood is supposedly closer to the manga). Is that true? Was it even specified? Either way, why did they make this change for the TV series?

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  1. The manga does not have Liore in a desert
  2. Liore plays a much larger role in the first FMA than it does in the manga or Brotherhood

Liore was part of the country of Ishval in the first FMA. In both versions, Ishval is portrayed as a Middle-Eastern country in the desert that has a civil war that Amestris interferes with. The first FMA has the crux of that conflict happen in Leore (i.e. where Col Mustang earns his rank, but at a high cost). Leore also needs to be remote because,

when Scar lures the Amestris army in, he turns the entire city into a transmutation circle, thus creating a Philosopher Stone.

Contrast this with Brotherhood, where

Father makes the city into one of the points in the Amestris transmutation circle.

As such, the city more logically belonged in Amestris(analogous to Germany) to facilitate the Brotherhood storyline.

  • In Brotherhood, not only was Liore one of the points, Ishval was a different point. Putting Liore in Ishval would obviously not make a whole lot of geographic sense, but it did need to be in the east for multiple reasons. So you give it a different climate and biome to clearly distinguish it from Ishval. – Kevin Aug 28 '18 at 21:00
  • Excellent I suspected as much: they needed it to facilitate later story changes. I'm still researching this myself to find more definitive sources. Thanks for adding the spoiler tags too. – Z. Cochrane Sep 4 '18 at 16:18

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