First Fire Emblem Finally Comes to America After 30 Years


Composite image by the author.

Randy "Ren" Wagstaff, Entertainment Editor

On October 22nd, 2020, Nintendo revealed the localization of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, being ported on Nintendo Switch for a limited time from December 4th, 2020 till March 31st, 2021 for $5.99 in America.

This is big news in the world of digital gaming. Fire Emblem was first released as a Japan exclusive game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990.

Fire Emblem is an RPG with many diverse characters and stories in each game, with each game being either similar or brand new compared to earlier titles.

The series stayed consistently Japan-exclusive for well over ten years (thirteen specifically) until Super Smash Brothers Melee producer Masahiro Sakurai introduced Fire Emblem to western audiences by adding Marth, protagonist of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and Roy, protagonist of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.

Many western audiences were confused trying to figure out who the two swordsmen were as they had never heard of Fire Emblem before Super Smash Bros. Melee.

After the discovery of Fire Emblem by western audiences, Nintendo decided to localize all Fire Emblem games after the release of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade on March 29th, 2002.

Ten years after Fire Emblem was localized, Fire Emblem began to lose popularity, and would soon become cancelled after Fire Emblem Awakening was released on Nintendo 3DS, but Nintendo surpassed their expectations as Fire Emblem Awakening became the saving grace for the franchise, keeping the series alive.

Years after Fire Emblem Awakening came out, few games came out and even a phone app released in 2017, which has a lot of support and an incredible amount of fan service, constantly being updated with more content with no end in sight.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is being localized due to the series’ 30th anniversary and it has been requested repeatedly by thousands of fans to localize older Fire Emblem games or even remake Japanese exclusives such as Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, released in May 2017, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, the second installment in the series, released in March of 1992.