Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi

Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi
Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi[1]
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Designer(s) Shouzou Kaga(game designer)
Keisuke Terasaki(director)
Gunpei Yokoi (producer)
Composer(s) Yuka Tsujiyoko
Hirokazu Tanaka
Series Fire Emblem
Platform(s) Family Computer
Release date(s)
  • JP April 20, 1990
Virtual Console
  • JP October 20, 2009
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s) Single player
Media/distribution 3-megabit Cartridge

Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi[1] (ファイアーエムブレム 暗黒竜と光の剣 Faiā Emuburemu Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi?, literally Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light[2]) is the first game in the Fire Emblem tactical role-playing game series developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It was first released on the Family Computer (known internationally as the Nintendo Entertainment System) on November 20, 1990. It takes place on the continent of Archanea. It stars Marth, a character who later became better known for his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The Falchion weapon from this game acts as the Fire Emblem franchise's symbol in the Super Smash Bros. series. Shiida appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a Sticker.[3]

Fire Emblem was one of the earliest series in the turn-based strategy genre on home consoles. However, unlike other strategy games, it borrowed several elements from role-playing games such as Dragon Quest, and is among the first games, if not the first, in the tactical role-playing genre. Later games in the series made numerous changes to the gameplay.



Characters are each unique, in terms of both class and stats, and a character who runs out of hit points usually remains dead.



Map 2 of the original Fire Emblem.

The game takes place on the fictional continent of Akaneia (Archanea in North American localizations). The third game in the series, Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo, as well as the eleventh, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, also take place in Akaneia.


Marth is prince of Altea and a direct descendant of Anri, the warrior who slew the shadow dragon Medeus. However, after an attack from the neighboring kingdom of Dolhr, Marth is forced to become an exile in the neighboring nation of Talis. His sister Ellis is taken hostage after his father is killed battling the evil priest Gharnef. With the help of the Altean knight Jeigan, the Talisian Princess Shiida, and others, Marth embarks on a quest to find the sacred sword known as Falchion and the Fire Emblem that will allow him to wield it. Only then will he be able to confront Gharnef and the resurrected Medeus, win the kingdom of Altea back, and rescue his sister.


Development of Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi began after developer Intelligent Systems diverted its focus from creating hardware for the NES and Famicom Disk System to developing simulation games. After completing development of Famicom Wars, the team wanted to make a simulation game that used role-playing elements, leading to Fire Emblem. Initially, the development team was not very large, and as a result, the staff did a variety of tasks outside of the tasks assigned to them. Due to Fire Emblem using more memory than the NES could handle, the team had to go around this by using a portion of the NES's memory devoted to saving the game.[4]


The game was remade for the Super Famicom as Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo (Mystery of the Emblem), which also contains a new sequel to the original game (dubbed as Book Two, while the remake of the original game is known as Book One). A second remake of Book One entitled Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon has also been made for the Nintendo DS handheld.


Sales of Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi were flat for the first two months of sales, but improved after word of mouth had spread.[4]

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