Fire Emblem (ファイアーエムブレム or 炎の紋章 Hi no monshō) is a popular turn-based tactical RPG video game franchise developed by Intelligent Systems, and published by Nintendo. It is the first of its genre (the tactical role playing game), and it is based on numerous different mythologies and usually taking place in a medieval style setting.
The Fire Emblem franchise began in 1990 with the release of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, which was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System exclusively in Japan only. For twelve years, five additional games were released as Japan exclusive titles, up until Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, which was released in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance. The Fire Emblem franchise gained much exposure in the west when Marth and Roy were included in the 2001 release of Super Smash Bros. Melee. Additionally, due to the western success of Intelligent Systems's other tactical RPG, Advance Wars, the Fire Emblem franchise began being localized with the release of seventh Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, known at the time simply as Fire Emblem.
For eleven years, the franchise saw mediocre sales that declined overtime in Japan. Even after being released in the west, these trends carried over. After Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, only four of the five games released after it were released world wide; Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem remained a Japan exclusive. Fire Emblem Awakening, the thirteenth title, was developed to be the final game in the franchise and utilized numerous features used throughout the various Fire Emblem games to create the best game they could that would be a proper finale for the franchise. If the game did not sell enough units in Japan alone, the franchise would be permanently shelved. However, the game was well advertised and had exceptional sales, more than any previous titles. The success of the sales in Japan lead to the localization of the game worldwide, leading to similar sales success and newfound interest in the franchise.
Currently fifteen Fire Emblem tiles have been released with seven of them being released only in Japan and seven released worldwide. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is the most recent Fire Emblem title, released May 19th, 2017.
Fire Emblem has been represented in three of the four Super Smash Bros. games with six Fire Emblem characters appearing as playable characters and one as an Assist Trophy. Super Smash Bros. Melee introduced Marth and Roy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl introduced Ike, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U introduced Robin, Lucina, and Corrin. Lyndis serves as an Assist Trophy in both Brawl and 3DS/Wii U.
Several other franchise spinoffs game were also released including Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE and Fire Emblem Warriors. A second trading card game, Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher), was released in Japan in 2015. A mobile phone game, Fire Emblem Heroes, was released in 2017.
The franchise currently has 13 original games, 3 enhanced remakes, and 4 spin-off titles. Games predating Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade were released only in Japan.
|English language titles||Original titles||Platforms & release dates||Notes|
|Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light||ファイアーエムブレム 暗黒竜と光の剣|
(Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi)
|NES: JPApril 20, 1990----||The first game of the series.|
|Fire Emblem Gaiden||ファイアーエムブレム外伝|
(Fire Emblem Gaiden)
|NES: JPMarch 14, 1992----||A side story of the original title, first game to take place on a different continent. Deviates from standard Fire Emblem gameplay mechanisms.|
|Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem||ファイアーエムブレム 紋章の謎|
(Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo)
|SNES: JPJanuary 21, 1994----
Wii: JPDecember 26, 2006
|Enhanced remake and sequel to Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light|
|Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War||ファイアーエムブレム 聖戦の系譜|
(Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu)
|SNES: JPMay 14, 1996----
Wii: JPJanuary 30, 2007
|First Fire Emblem set in a separate setting.|
|Fire Emblem: Thracia 776||ファイアーエムブレム トラキア776|
(Fire Emblem: Thracia 776)
|SNES: JPSeptember 1, 1999----
Wii: JPJuly 15, 2008
|A side story of Seisen no Keifu first released on the Nintendo Power download service and last game available for SNES.|
|Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade||ファイアーエムブレム 封印の剣|
(Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi)
|GBA: JPMarch 29, 2002||The first Fire Emblem title to appear on a Nintendo handheld and first unrelated to the Archanea Series.|
(The Blazing Blade)
(Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken)
|Game Boy Advance:|
JPApril 25, 2003
|A prequel to The Binding Blade and the first Fire Emblem title to be released outside of Japan. First game to have a custom Player Avatar that is present in the plot.|
|Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones||ファイアーエムブレム 聖魔の光石|
(Fire Emblem: Seima no Kōseki)
|Game Boy Advance|
JPOctober 7, 2004
|Only Fire Emblem title not related to any other game in the series by setting or story.|
|Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance||ファイアーエムブレム 蒼炎の軌跡|
(Fire Emblem: Sōen no Kiseki)
JPApril 20, 2005
|The first title in the series to be rendered in three-dimensions and to incorporate full motion video.|
|Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn||ファイアーエムブレム 暁の女神|
(Fire Emblem: Akatsuki no Megami)
JPFebruary 22, 2007
|The sequel to Path of Radiance.|
|Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon||ファイアーエムブレム 新・暗黒竜と光の剣|
(Fire Emblem: Shin Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi)
JPAugust 7, 2008
|Second enhanced remake of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.|
|Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem ~Heroes of Light and Shadow~||ファイアーエムブレム 新・紋章の謎 〜光と影の英雄〜|
('Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo ~Hikari to Kage no Eiyū~)
JPJuly 15, 2010
|Remake of Mystery of the Emblem Book 2. First game to have an Avatar since Fire Emblem, and the first game to have the player avatar engage directly in battlefield combat as a unit.|
The debut of Casual Mode.
|Fire Emblem Awakening||ファイアーエムブレム覚醒|
(Fire Emblem: Kakusei)
JPApril 19, 2012
|First game that supporting units could assist in battle.|
First game to use voice acting outside of animated cut-scenes.
|Fire Emblem Fates||ファイアーエムブレム if|
(Fire Emblem if)
JPJune 25, 2015
|First game to have multiple game versions.|
First game where the players have to choose different storyline paths that do not largely merge back into one later in the story.
Featuring some characters from Awakening universe by default and DLC Xenologue storyline.
|Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia||ファイアーエムブレム Echoes もうひとりの英雄王|
(Fire Emblem Echoes: The Other Hero King)
JPApril 20, 2017
|Enhanced remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden. First core series Fire Emblem title to feature full dialogue voice-acting.|
|Fire Emblem (Nintendo Switch)||Nintendo Switch
|Currently in development|
|English language titles||Original titles||Platforms & release dates||Notes|
|Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga||ファイアーエムブレム アカネイア戦記編||SNES: JPSeptember to October 1997||Satellaview prequel stories to Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light|
|Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE||幻影異聞録♯FE|
(Illusory Revelation Sharp FE)
|A spin-off game developed under collaboration with Atlus as a crossover between Fire Emblem and Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei.|
|Fire Emblem Heroes||ファイアーエムブレム ヒーローズ|
(Faiā Emuburemu Hīrōzu)
|iOS and Android: WWFebruary 2, 2017||The first game to be released on mobile platforms.|
|Fire Emblem Warriors||ファイアーエムブレム無双|
(Fire Emblem Unrivaled)
|A hack n' slash Warriors series spin-off, under collaboration with Tecmo Koei's Omega Force and Team Ninja.|
Currently in development.
The Fire Emblem series does not take place in a singular world, instead taking place in several universes, and sometimes, different points in time. Most games have original casts of characters that are unique to their specific games, and over the franchise's history, hundreds of playable and non-playable characters have appeared. Because some games serve as direct prequels or sequels to others, a number of characters make multiple game appearances. Characters that are playable in one game may appear as NPCs in another, while others may remain playable, possibly with tweaks to their classes and abilities. The series is loosely tied together thanks to several characters that appear in multiple Fire Emblem games, including Jake, Naga, and most notably the recurring shopkeeper character Anna.
“If the enemy reduces a unit's HP to zero, that unit will be removed from the game. Lost units are gone for good; you won't be able to use that unit again after that point.”
—Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon in-game guide.
In the Fire Emblem games, when a character's health points reach zero, they will die permanently and be left out of play for the rest of the game. This is a deviation from most traditional RPGs, where characters would reach zero health and be merely incapacitated or can still be revived. This leads players to be mindful of their units and use care in deploying them into battle, keeping back any significantly injured units. If a character other than the primary protagonists (whose deaths result in a game over) who are important to the story have their health points hit zero, they end up receiving a crippling injury that prevents them from ever fighting again instead of dying (an example is Soren from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance). Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon features side chapters (also called Gaiden chapters) that necessitate loss of units.
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem introduced Casual Mode to the franchise. In Casual Mode, the permanent death mechanic is turned off and any player character that is defeated in battle will stay in the player's roster and become usable again in the following chapter. The purpose of Casual Mode is to ease the difficulty, letting new players into the game more easily. Fire Emblem Fates takes this approach a step further with the introduction of Phoenix Mode, in which defeated characters return to battle on the very next turn with full health. Just as Casual Mode is meant to ease the barrier of entry to those put off by the traditional permanent death mechanic, Phoenix Mode is meant for strategy RPG novices.
In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, the introductory chapters that make up Lyn's Tale are meant as an extended tutorial for those new to the Fire Emblem series in general. As such, Lyn's Tale does not feature permanent death. Units that are defeated in Lyn's story return in Eliwood's/Hector's story, which makes up the main portion of the game. However, characters that are lost in Lyn's story are weaker than they otherwise would be when they are reintroduced.