Fire Emblem 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.
From the first game (released in 1990) to the 6th game (released in 2002), this series was only released in Japan. In 2001, Nintendo released Super Smash Bros. Melee, a fighting game with characters from many different Nintendo games. The Japanese version included Marth and Roy, from previous Japan-only Fire Emblem releases. In North America, the game went through debug testing, and Nintendo of America decided to keep them in the North American version. It was because of their popularity in North America that Nintendo of America decided to localize and market the Fire Emblem franchise to North America and Europe.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl brought back Marth and included Ike as a newcomer. Sadly, Roy did not return, though was once considered through hidden codings on the Brawl Disc. Later in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the series received further representation with the addition of Robin and Lucina from Fire Emblem Awakening along with Marth and Ike returning as veterans. Roy and Corrin from Fates were later added back into the game as downloadable characters.
Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, the seventh title in the series, became the first Fire Emblem game outside Japan, though it was simply titled "Fire Emblem". So far, seven Fire Emblem games have been released in North America; Fire Emblem Fates being the seventh. Europe currently has six, with Fire Emblem Awakening being the most recent there. Fire Emblem Fates is slated to be released in Europe on May 20, 2016.
The series currently has 12 original games, 2 enhanced remakes, and 1 Satellaview title. Games predating Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken 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 Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi|
|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: Akaneia 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 Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi|
|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: 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 Akaneia Series.|
(The Blazing Sword)
(Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken)
|Game Boy Advance:|
JPApril 25, 2003
|A prequel to 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 Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi.|
|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~)
|Nintendo DS: 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 cutscenes.
|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.
The Fire Emblem does not take place in a singular world, instead taking place in several universes, and sometimes, different points in time. Most games have an original cast of characters that are completely unique to that game, creating hundreds of playable and non-playable characters throughout the series. Several games serves as direct sequels or prequels to others, meaning that several characters make multiple appearances in other games, both as playable characters, such as Marth, Tiki, and Ike and unplayable versions of certain characters, such as Eliwood, Roy, and Largo. The series is loosely tied together thanks to several characters that appear in multiple Fire Emblem games, including Jake, Naga, and the reoccurring 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.
There is a mode in FE12, FE13, and FE14 called Casual Mode, which brings characters back to life in the next chapter if they are defeated. This is to ease the difficulty, letting new gamers into the game more easily. FE14 introduces Phoenix Mode, which allows characters to come back to battle right after the turn with full health if their health reaches zero. Avoiding loss of units is made easier using emulators, since many of them can create "save states" that overrides the save mechanics of many Fire Emblem games. If a character's health points reach zero, players can load save states to recover the data where the character was last alive.
In Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, units that are killed in Lyn's story are brought back to life in Eliwood's or Hector's story, although this may be excused due to this game being a prequel. NOTE: Units that are killed come back without the stats that were given to them.