Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem

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Updated Nov 18, 2020 at 01:29PM EST by Kotor.

Added Mar 07, 2013 at 02:35PM EST by Twenty-One.

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Fire Emblem is a turn-based strategy role-playing game series developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. Set in a Medieval time period, the games generally revolve around two or more countries coming to conflict with one another. The series is notable for its use of permanent death, in which if a unit falls in battle, the player will no longer use them again for the rest of the game.


From 1990 to 2002, the games were initially released exclusively in Japan, until the series gained indirect international popularity through the Nintendo crossover fighting game, Super Smash Bros. By 2003, the series would make its international debut with the release of Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance.


In an interview with Spanish magazine Hobby Consola, Fire Emblem: Awakening co-producer Hitoshi Yamagami revealed that the series was in danger of coming to an end due to declining sales. Had Fire Emblem: Awakening not sold at least 250,000 copies, it would have been the final game in the series.[10] During the first week of its release in Japan, the game had sold 242,600 units.[11] By the beginning of 2013 in Japan, the game had sold 455.268 units.[12] At its first month sales since its launch on February 4th, 2013 in North America, Fire Emblem: Awakening had sold 183,000 units, with 63,000 sales coming from the digital version.[13] By September 2013, North American sales had reached 390,000 units.[14] As of December 2014, lifetime sales of Fire Emblem: Awakening had reached 1.79 million copies worldwide.[15] Following the succes of the game, Fire Emblem: Awakening had succesfully saved the series' survival single-handedly.

In its first week sales in Japan, Fire Emblem Fates sold 303,666 copies (260,675 from Birthright and Conquest, 42,991 Special Edition). [16] By the end of 2015, Fire Emblem Fates has sold 538,669 copies in Japan [17]. In North America, the games sells over 300,000 copies becoming the fastest selling Fire Emblem title in the United States. [18]

Online Presence was created on February 1, 2005.[19] In addition to the fan-site, two dedicated Fire Emblem wikis were created [20][21] The Fire Emblem series also has a presence in Reddit,[22] Tumblr, Twitter, DeviantArt, and 4chan's /v/ and /vg/ boards.


NES/Famicom Era

The first entry in the series, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi (The Dark Dragon and Sword of Light ), was released in Japan on April 20th, 1990 for the Famicom (known outside of Japan as the NES). The game stars Marth, who is the prince of the island kingdom Altea. The next game to be released was Fire Emblem Gaiden (_Sidestory) on March 14th, 1992. The second game is a side story to the first game, set in a different continent called Valentia and features Alm and Celica as the game’s protagonists.

SNES/Super Famicom Era

Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo (Mystery of the Emblem) was released in Japan on January 21st, 1994 for the Super Famicom (known outside of Japan as the SNES). It is the first Fire Emblem title to be released for the Super Famicom and the third overall game in the series. Marth returns as the game’s protagonist and the game is divided into two stories. Book One is a remake of Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi (shown below left) while Book Two is a brand new continuation of the first game (shown below right). Although never released outside of Japan, Marth would gain recognition for his appearance as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series.

Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (Genealogy of the Holy War) was released on Japan for the Super Famicom on May 14th, 1996. The game is set in the continent of Jugdral, and stars Sigurd as the main protagonist for the first half of the game, and Seliph for the second half of the game (shown below left). Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War is the first entry in the series to introduce both the Weapon Triangle system and skills that would later be incorporated in all Fire Emblem titles released after, including a second generation mechanic that would make a return in Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem: Fates.

The last Fire Emblem title to be released for the Super Famicom was Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 on September 1st, 1999. The game serves as an interquel that takes place during the generational gap from the previous game, and stars Leif, who previously appeared as a playable character in the second half of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.


The first Fire Emblem title to be released for the GBA and the last title to be released exclusively in Japan was Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. The game is set on the continent of Elibe and stars Roy as the game’s protagonist. Roy is notable for making his video game debut as a playable character in the Nintendo Fighting game Super Smash Bros. Melee months before his game was released in Japan on March 29th, 2002.

Although Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade was never released outside of Japan, the popularity of Marth and Roy’s appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee led to the first international release of the next title in the series, _Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (or simply Fire Emblem outside of Japan). Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade was released in Japan on April 25th, 2003 and November 3rd, 2003 in North America. The game serves as a prequel to Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and stars three protagonists: Lyn, who is the main protagonist of the prologue portion of Fire Emblem, Eliwood, the father of Roy, and Hector, both whom are the main protagonists of their respective tales after the end of the prologue.

The last GBA title and the eighth entry in the Fire Emblem series is Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (shown below), which was released in Japan on October 7th, 2004 and in North America on May 23rd, 2005. The game stars two protagonists, Eirika and Ephraim, whom are siblings and the princess and prince respectively of the kingdom of Renais situated in the continent of Magvel.

Gamecube and Wii Era

The ninth Fire Emblem title in the series, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance was released in Japan on April 20th, 2005 and in North America on October 17th, 2005 for the Nintendo Gamecube. Set on the continent of Tellius, the game stars Ike, who is notably the first “lord” in the series to not be born from nobility. He is instead, the leader of the Greil Mercenaries, a group of soldiers who fight off against brigands and protect villages. Ike and his band of mercenaries would later find themselves serving Elincia, the princess of Crimea. A sequel to Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance was released for the Nintendo Wii on February 22nd, 2007 in Japan and on November 11th, 2007 in North America titled Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Set three years after the events of the previous game, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn features the return of Ike as a protagonist along with the introduction of a new protagonist, Micaiah, the Silver-Haired Maiden. The game’s story is divided into four separate parts, each part following a specific faction and with its own story arc.

Nintendo DS Era

The eleventh and twelfth entries of the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and Fire Emblem New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow are remakes of Marth’s games, Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem released for the Nintendo DS. These games feature the return to the continent of Archanea and Marth’s role as a main protagonist in almost twenty years. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon was released on August 7th, 2008 in Japan, and on February 16th, 2009 in North America.

Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow on the other hand, was released only in Japan on July 15th, 2010. The game introduces new features that later be incorporated into future entries in the series such as the inclusion of a Casual Mode, where fallen units return to battle at the start of the next chapter. Previous Fire Emblem titles made it so the lost of a player’s unit is permanent for the remainder of the game. The game also introduced an Avatar Creation, where players can customize their character’s appearance, gender, class, etc. The Avatar in Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow serves as the personal bodyguard of Marth.

Nintendo 3DS Era

The thirteenth Fire Emblem title in the series and the first Fire Emblem title to be released for the Nintendo 3DS is Fire Emblem: Awakening. Released in Japan on April 19th, 2012 and February 4th, 2013 in North America. Fire Emblem: Awakening is set two thousand years after Marth's time in the continent of Archanea, which has since been renamed Ylisse. Fire Emblem: Awakening stars three main protagonists: Chrom, the prince of the Halidom of Ylisse, Robin, an avatar who serves as the tactician of Chrom’s army, and Lucina, Chrom's future daughter who traveled through time to the present under the alias “Marth.” The game features the return of a Casual Mode and an Avatar Creation from Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, Heroes of Light and Shadow and the second generation from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.

Fire Emblem Fates (known in Japan as Fire Emblem: IF) was revealed on January 14th, 2015 during a Nintendo Direct presentatio The Avatar Creation returns, and in this game, the avatar Corrin, serves as the main protagonist. . Corrin was born in the Kingdom of Hoshido but for most of their life, was raised in the Kingdom of Nohr. A war breaks out between the Kingdoms of Hoshido and Nohr. Corrin, now a young adult, must make a choice between whether to side with their biological family in Hoshido, return to their adoptive family in Nohr, or refuse to choose a side. [1] The game was released in Japan on June 25th, 2015, February 19th, 2016 in North America, and May 20th, 2016 in Europe.

In an interview with 4Gamer, assistant manager Masahiro Higuchi revealed that Fire Emblem Fates would be released in as two separate versions. [2] In Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, the gameplay would be similar to that from Fire Emblem: Awakening in which players would be able to earn a limitless amount of gold and experience, and simple mission objectives. In Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, the gameplay would be based on the older Fire Emblem titles in which there is limited gold and experience, and more complex mission objectives than those found in the Birthright route. During the interview, it was revealed that there would be a third route, known as Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation where the player does not side with Hoshido or Nohr. [3] The gameplay of Revelation contains the limitless gold and experience from Birthright in addition to the varied mission objectives from Conquest.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is the fifteenth entry in the Fire Emblem series released on May 19, 2017 for the Nintendo 3DS. It is a remake of Fire Emblem: Gaiden originally released only in Japan in 1992. Like the original, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia features Alm and Celica as its dual protagonists, and the unique gameplay that made Gaiden stand out among other Fire Emblem titles will return as well.

Nintendo Switch Era

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the sixteenth entry in the Fire Emblem series. First announced on the January 2017 Fire Emblem Direct [4], the game was officially unveiled at the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct (shown below, left). It is the first game since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn to be released on a home console. It was released worldwide on July 26th, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.

One of the main protagonists is Byleth, a mercenary who works as a teacher at the Officer's Academy at Garreg Mach Monastery. Players can choose to teach one of three houses which are representatives of the major territories on the continent of Fódlan. Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude are the House Leaders of their respective house. Like in previous Fire Emblem games that featured an avatar, players would be able to choose between the male or female option for Byleth (shown below, right).


BS Fire Emblem: Akaneia Senki Hen

BS Fire Emblem: Akaneia Senki Hen, (simplified as BS Fire Emblem) is a collection of four standalone chapters released episodically on the Japan-exclusive Super Famicom Satellaview service in 1997. The game takes place once more on the continent of Archanea, some time before Marth’s adventure in Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi. While gameplay is largely the same as the mainline Fire Emblem titles, the objective of each map is to score as many points possible before the timer runs out. [5]

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, (called Genei Ibun Roku #FE in Japan) is a crossover role-playing game based on Atlus’s Shin-Megami Tensei and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series. It was released in Japan on December 26th, 2015, and internationally on June 24th, 2016 for the Nintendo Wii U. A trailer of the crossover, then called Shin-Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem was released on January 2013 showcasing the main characters of both series’ at the time.[6] Two years later, two new trailers of the crossover were released during Nintendo’s April 2015 Nintendo Direct, and at E3 2015. [7]

Set in modern-day Tokyo, Tokyo Mirage Session follows a group of high-school aged students who work for Fortuna Entertainment, an entertainment agency that secretly employs Mirage Masters to fight against malevolent Mirages that threaten their world. The Mirages that the main characters use to fight with are based on Fire Emblem characters. [8]

Fire Emblem Heroes

Fire Emblem Heroes is a mobile application that was released on February 2, 2017 for iPhone, and Android (shown below). Fire Emblem Heroes revolves around a conflict between two kingdoms: the Emblian Empire and the Askran Kingdom. The former seeks to conquer the world, while the latter opposes the former’s ambitions. The player takes the role a summoner that can summon heroes from past Fire Emblem titles to aid them in their quest. [9]


Fire Emblem Warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors is a game developed by Koei Tecmo for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS. The game features gameplay elements from the Fire Emblem series such as the weapon triangle system, and bond conversations. In an interview with Famitsu, the developers of the game revealed that the playable character roster would mostly be made up of Shadow Dragon, Awakening, and Fates. The reasoning for this decision was to make the weapon triangle system more balanced as most of the series' main characters primarily wielded swords.[28]



Fire Emblem Warriors was released for the Nintendo Switch in Japan on September 28th, 2017, and worldwide on October 20th. The game was generally well received, and has a score of 75/100 on Metacritic[29] as of October 25th, 2017. Critics noted that gameplay did not differ much from other Warriors games but did offer a lot in terms of fan service for Fire Emblem fans, especially from Awakening onward. They criticized weak storytelling elements and noted that the game would not change the minds of fans who were already not fans of Warriors games.

On October 23rd, 2017, YouTuber Alpharad uploaded a humorous video of him playing the game, gaining over 150,000 views in two days (shown below). Online, the game has a dedicated Wiki.[30]

3-13 Archer

The 3-13 Archer is a generic NPC sniper who appears on Chapter 3-13 of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn as an allied unit. During the chapter, the NPC sniper begins the map on a balista. When enemy reinforcements arrive on the top-left section of the map, the NPC sniper exits his balista and proceeds to block the ledge preventing the enemy reinforcements from climbing it and fights them off. He would often survive the encounter. The notoriety the NPC sniper obtained from this chapter resulted in the fan nickname of 3-13 Archer. [23]

"Are Marth and Roy in this game?"

A phrase often uttered by FE newcomers on the internet following the release of Fire Emblem to western audiences, often mocked by veteran FE fans, similar to how SSB fans mock anti-tier players. Has since subsided following Ike's SSB debut in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Emblem Guide to Fire

"This is a message from Lord Nergal. 'I await you on the Dread Isle.'"

This is a message from Lord Nergal. “I await you on the Dread Isle.” is a quote uttered by Denning, a boss who appears in Chapter 29/31 of Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance. Denning is a morph created by the main antagonist of the game, Nergal who sent it to deliver the message to the main characters Eliwood, Hector, and Lyn. The morph is only capable of saying this sentence in all conversations it appears in. The quote gained attraction in the Fire Emblem fandom resulting in threads where it is often quoted. [24][25]

Lobster Lord

Lobster Lord is the fan nickname of Ryoma, the Prince of Hoshido and Corrin's elder brother. The term was coined by Tumblr user plerndraws after making a post wondering what was the name of the samurai that appeared at the end of the Fire Emblem Teaser Trailer.[26] Due to this, Ryoma is frequently depicted as a literal lobster, or as someone that has a kinship with lobsters, in fanworks.

Nohrian Scum

Nohrian Scum is a derogatory term that appears in Fire Emblem Fates and is used towards characters that are from the Kingdom of Nohr. While the term is used by multiple characters hailing from the Kingdom of Hoshido, it is often associated with Takumi, the Prince of Hoshido and Corrin's younger brother. Because of Takumi's attitude towards Corrin, he is depicted as being hostile towards Nohrian characters.[27]


Upside Down Claude

Upside Down Claude refers to the House Leader of the Golden Deer, Claude von Riegan doing various things upside down. It originated from the official art of Fire Emblem: Three Houses featuring the main characters of the game striking a pose. Claude, notably, is depicted firing his bow upside down (shown below left). While initially mocked, overtime, people had grown fond of it, depicting Claude in fanart as being upside down while the other House Leaders are standing upright (shown below right).[31]

Upside Down Claude was acknowledged by Japanese artist Soeda Ippei, who has drawn official art of various characters in Fire Emblem Heroes, by drawing a portrait of Claude upside down (shown below left). As of July 27th, 2019, the tweet has gained 4.7k likes and 2.1k retweets.[32] Claude's English voice actor, Joe Zieja, mimics the pose in his announcement video of voicing the character (shown below right).[33]


Search Interest

External References

[1] Youtube – Fire Emblem Fates – Revelation's Trailer

[2] 4Gamer – 「ファイアーエムブレム」のこれまでとこれから。ファミコン時代の開発秘話から最新作「ファイアーエムブレムif」までを制作陣に聞く

[3] Serenes Forest – 4Gamer Interview

[4] Youtube – Fire Emblem Direct 2.18.2017

[5] SerenesForest – BS Fire Emblem

[6] Youtube – Wii U – Shin-Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem Trailer

[7] Youtube – Wii U – Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE E3 2015 Trailer

[8] SerenesForest – E3 Trailer Analysis

[9] Fire Emblem Heroes – The world of Fire Emblem Heroes

[10] Fire Emblem Wars of Dragons – ¿Lo de la “culminación (último) de la saga era cierto?

[11] GameSpot – Big in Japan April 16-22: Fire Emblem: Awakening

[12] Siliconera – The Top-30 Best-Selling Games In Japan In 2012 Were…

[13] Nintendo Life – Fire Emblem: Awakening's US Sales Are The Best In The History Of The Series

[14] Siliconera – Nintendo Reveal U.S. Sales For Fire Emblem: Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion And More

[15] Nintendo Life – An Impressive 1.79 Million Players Have Crossed Swords With Fire Emblem: Awakening

[16] Siliconera – This Week In Sales: Fire Emblem Fates Begins Its Conquest

[17] Famitsu – 2015年の国内家庭用ゲーム市場規模速報を発表! ソフト販売本数トップは『モンスターハンタークロス』に

[18] Nintendo Everything – Fire Emblem Fates sells over 300,000 units in North America, series’ fastest-selling game in the U.S.

[19] SerenesForest

[20] Fire Emblem Wiki

[21] Fire Emblem Wikia

[22] Reddit – /r/fireemblem

[23] Youtube – Let's Play Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn PT113 – 3-13 Archer Claims His First Kills

[24] GameFAQs – This is a message from Lord Nergal.

[25] Reddit – Denning AMA

[26] Tumblr – Lobster Lord

[27] Tumblr – Nohrian Scum</a

[28] SerenesForest – Famitsu details on FE Warriors in depth

[29] Metacritic – Fire Emblem Warriors

[30] Wikia – Fire Emblem Warriors

[31] Twitter – NinNakajima

[32] Twitter – Claude von Regan from Fire Emblem: Three Houses by Soeda Ippei

[33] Twitter – A VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE #FireEmblemThreeHouses COMMUNITY! #FireEmblem #FireEmblem3Houses

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