Fire Emblem is a tactical RPG franchise developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. The first game Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light released on April 20, 1990 for the Famicom in Japan. As of Sept. 2016, the series consists of 15 games including remakes of which 5 have been released in North America and Europe. The series has also spawned manga (Binding Blade and Awakening), an OVA (Fire Emblem), trading card games (Fire Emblem: Trading Card Game and TCG Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher)), a crossover game with Shin Megami Tensei(Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE), and more.
Fire Emblem gets its name from the magical objects in the games called Fire Emblems. There is only one per game and what it is varies depending on the game, but each Fire Emblem is extremely powerful or grants the wielder powerful abilities. Fire Emblems have been shields (Shield of Seals), stones (Sacred Stone of Grado), medallions (Lehran’s Medallion), crests (Velthomer Crest), seals (Imperial Seal of Bern), and more.
Fire Emblem is set in a medieval themed timed period and takes place across fictional continents. The player is often tasked with bringing down evil characters set on conquering the world through battle simulation. Plot and character development occurs between battles. The series is well known for its seamless interweaving of RPG and tactical simulation elements.
Creator Shoukou Kaga made Fire Emblem as a doujin project with three other student developers. It was the success of the game that promoted its development into a commercial game.
[ Gameplay ] Fire Emblem gameplay consists of turn-based battles on grid maps and dialogue between battles for plot and character development. Below are highlights of Fire Emblem gameplay. Not all games in the series have the following gameplay features as the gameplay has seen several changes overtime. Not all gameplay features are summarized below.
Character Class System: Grants characters different abilities and amounts of distance that can be covered on the battlefield depending on their class. A character’s class can be changed or upgraded with or without special items depending on the game.
Weapon Triangle & Trinity of Magic: Both govern how how strong or weak certain weapons or magic are against one another such as lances being stronger than swords and fire magic being stronger than wind magic.
Weapon Durability System: Grants weapons a certain amount of uses before the weapons becomes unusable. Weapons can be repaired, upgraded, or bought depending on the game.
Relationships & Children: Relationships between characters can strengthen abilities in battle. Romantic relationship that earn enough Lover Points can lead to offspring that become playable characters and inherit skills, weapons, and stats from their parents.
Permadeath: Characters that die in battle are removed from the game permanently. Later games included a Casual Mode or Phoenix Mode allowing characters to be revived at the end of battle or on the player’s next turn respectively.
My Castle: A customizable castle-themed operations hub for the player.
Holy Blood: Some characters can posses one of thirteen lineages of holy blood which enhance their growth rates and weapons ranks depending on the amount of holy blood they have. Offspring of the Twelve Crusaders can also inherit a holy weapon if they have enough holy blood.
[ Games ] Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (1990) Setting: continent of Akanei or Archanea in NA localization Main Character(s): exiled prince of the fallen kingdom Altea named Marth Plot:Marth must assemble a resistance army against the Dolhr empire, find the sacred sword Falchion, and slay the Shadow Dragon Medeus.
Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992) Setting: continent of Valentia Main Character(s): young warrior Alm and princess Celica Plot: Alm must lead the broken armies of Kofia against Rigelian advance, Cecila must find the missing goddess Mila and unravel the mystery of the sudden famine in Zofia, and they both must take on the evil cult Duma.
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994) Setting: continent of Akanei or Archanea in NA localization Main Character(s): exiled prince of the fallen kingdom Altea named Marth Plot:Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem is divided into two parts called “Books”: Dark War Compilation: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light and Hero War Compilation: Mystery of the Emblem. The first part is a remake of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and the second has a new plot in which Marth is faced with the War of Heroes in which he must lead a rebellion against a corrupt former ally.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996) Setting: land of Jugdral which bears the holy bloodlines of the Twelve Crusaders Main Character(s): Grannvalian prince Sigurd and his son Seliph Plot: The plot is told over two generations in which both father and son fight against the same tyranny of the Loptyrians, a cult trying to create a human vessel for their dark dragon god Loptyr.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (1999) Setting: Jugdral’s Thracian Peninsula Main Character(s): a past playable character of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War named Lief Plot:Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is a midquel to Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War taking place before and during Chapters 6, 7, and 8. Lief is tasked with revolting against the Grannvale Empire’s occupation of the Manster District.
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (2002) Setting: continent of Elibe which once had a great war between humans and dragons Main Character(s): the young heir of Pherae named Roy Plot: Roy must step in for his sick father and lead the forces of Lycia against Bern, a militaristic nation that freed the extremely dangerous Demon Dragon and was engaging Elibe in war all on the premise that dragons are the rightful owners of the land and that the world must be freed from mankind.
Fire Emblem (NA) or The Blazing Sword (JP) (2003) Setting: continent of Elibe twenty years prior to Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade Main Characters: Lords Eliwood, Hector, and Lyn Plot:Fire Emblem is a prequel to Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and consists are two parts, the first acting as a tutorial for the game and the second being longer. In the first part, Lyn must save her grandfather from her brother. In the second part, Eliwood, Hector, and Lyn must confront the sorcerer Nergal who seeks to summon dangerous dragons that were banished long ago.
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004) Setting: world of Magvel Main Characters: twin heirs to the Kingdom of Renais named Eirika and Ephraim Plot: Eirika and Ephraim are tasked with uncovering why their former ally Lyon has turned against them and their continent while fighting in the War of the Stones against Grado.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005) Setting: continent of Tellius Main Characters: Ike Plot: Ike must form alliances with other countries to free Crimea from Daein’s control all while confronting the centuries of slavery, abuse, and ridicule suffered by the laguz from the beorc.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007) Setting: continent of Tellius Main Characters: Michaiah and Ike Plot:Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is a sequel to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and has four parts. In part one Michaiah must gain Daein independence from Begnion, part two focus on the kingdom Crimea which is needed to take down Ashera, Ike is tasked with rescue and war in part three, and part four consists of their journey to the Tower of Guidance in Sienne.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (2008) Setting: continent of Akanei or Archanea in NA localization Main Character(s): exiled prince of the fallen kingdom Altea named Marth Plot:Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a Nintendo DS remake of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow (2010) Setting: continent of Akanei or Archanea in NA localization Main Character(s): exiled prince of the fallen kingdom Altea named Marth Plot:Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow is a Nintendo DS remake of Book 2 Hero War Compilation: Mystery of the Emblem from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.
Fire Emblem Awakening (2012) Setting: continent of Archanea thousands of years after Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem Main Characters: prince of the Halidom of Ylisse, Chrom Plot: Chrom must combat against and uncover the reasons behind strange activities that are occurring in a neighboring country called Plegia.
Fire Emblem Fates (2015) Setting: unnamed continent split between two nations, Hoshido and Nohr, that have long been in conflict with each other and are now at war Main Characters: an avatar customized by the player that was born in Hoshido but raised in Nohr and who has a large amount of manakete blood giving him or her pointed ears and the ability to transform into a dragon Plot:Fire Emblem Fates is split over three campaigns (Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, and Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation) sold as individual cartridges with the exception of Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation that is only available via download and or in a special edition release that includes all three campaigns on one catridage. In Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright the player fights on the side of Hoshide, in Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest the players fights on the side of Nohr, and in Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation the player isn’t on either side but is tasked with uniting the two nations.