Feature: Remembering The Shadow Dragon – A History Of Fire Emblem’s Original Adventure

Don’t let any of your characters die as you read this.

You’ve likely seen the news that Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon And The Blade Of Light is finally being localised in the west. Originally a Japan-only title, this NES game kicked off Nintendo’s prolific JRPG series and to celebrate Fire Emblem’s 30th Anniversary, it’s being re-released on December 4th with a new translation. Joining Three Houses on Switch alongside spin-off entries Warriors and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, this announcement caused quite a stir on social media, seeing criticism over the limited release plan and (unintentionally) renewing interest in a Mother 3 localisation.

First released in 1990, Fire Emblem was initially conceived by designer Shouzou Kaga, coming in as a joint development effort between Intelligent Systems and Nintendo Research & Development 1. Having finished development on Famicom Wars, Intelligent Systems wished to move away from that military setting, setting out to create an RPG with strong narrative focus, making you care about the characters. Utilising turn-based gameplay on a grid-based map, Shadow Dragon was soon born, and each character was unique, coming with different unit classes, individual stats and most notably, could die permanently.

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