Fire Emblem (titled Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken in Japan) is the first title in the Fire Emblem franchise to be released outside of Japan, and the second title in the series to be released on the Game Boy Advance. It is the seventh game in the series.
The game was released in Japan on April 25, 2003, with follow up releases in the United States and Europe on November 3, 2003 and July 16, 2004 respectively.
The game is a prequel to Fire Emblem: Fuin no Tsurugi; its story and events are set twenty years prior to its predecessor. However, the game was designed with its introduction to western audiences in mind, and thus requires no knowledge of Fuin no Tsurugi's storyline to be enjoyed.
As with the rest of the series, Fire Emblem is a turn-based strategy RPG in which the player's individual units are distinct characters with their own personalities and histories. Each chapter of the game is focused around a specific battle, and to progress, the player must complete the chapter's primary objective, which may be defeating a boss unit, seizing a position on the map, or successfully defending a position for a certain number of turns.
Normally, as is the case in all Fire Emblem games, if a character runs out of hit points and falls in battle, they are lost for the remainder of the game unless the player chooses to reset and try again. However, Fire Emblem features two separate storylines; the first, Lyndis's tale, is structured as an extended tutorial for series newcomers. Units that fall in battle during Lyndis's tale are lost for its remainder, but will still be usable in the second storyline. However, units that fall in the second story (Eliwood's or Hector's, depending on the playthrough), are lost forever.
Fire Emblem is divided into two distinct parts, in both, however, the player adopts the perspective of a tactician who is found by a girl named Lyndis (Lyn, for short) in the plains of Sacae at the very beginning of the game.
In Lyn's Tale, the game's first story, the tactician (default name Mark), is found by a girl named Lyn. She was recently orphaned by bandits, and decides to travel with Mark. In a nearby town they meet Kent and Sain, who reveal that Lyn is heir to the throne of Caelin. However, Lyn's existence is an obstacle to Lundgren, the brother of Lyn's grandfather Hausen, who desires to succeed his brother as the marquess. Lundgren continually attempts to kill Lyn and her grandfather.
Before setting out for Caelin, Lyn, Kent, and Sain visit a temple in order to pray before the Mani Katti, a sacred blade. After defeating attacking bandits and rescuing the priest, Lyn discovers that she is the chosen wielder of the Mani Katti. Lyn travels from Sacae to Caelin, meeting new allies and enemies along the way. Among these are the bard Nils and his sister, the dancer Ninian, who are being pursued by a shadowy organization known as the Black Fang. Lyn eventually arrives at Lundgren's stronghold, defeats him, and reunites with her grandfather.
Eliwood's Tale, the game's second story, revolves around Eliwood, Hector and their allies, eventually coming to include Lyndis and her own colleagues.
One year later, Lyn's friend Eliwood is leaving Pherae in search of his missing father, Marquess Elbert of Pherae. As he and his escorts prepare to leave the area, bandits attack a local village. Mark, the tactician, is at the village; Eliwood enlists the aid of Mark and other characters to take down the bandits. Eliwood then heads to Santaruz, where he meets his friend Hector, brother of Marquess Uther of Ostia. Marquess Santaruz’s dying words direct the group to Laus, where it is revealed that Marquess Laus is working with the Black Fang, a group of assassins, and intends to take over the world. With him is a mysterious man named Ephidel. Marquess Laus sends his son Erik to kill Eliwood and Hector. After the capture of Castle Laus, Erik confesses that one year ago, Ephidel came to Laus and persuaded Marquess Darin of Laus to rebel against Ostia. Elbert, although he distrusted Ephidel, also supported this plan; Eliwood does not believe that his father could have done so.
A couple of days later, Eliwood is informed that Castle Caelin has fallen to an attack from the remains of Laus's army. Eliwood meets up with Lyn and her allies, and they recapture the castle and rescue Marquess Caelin. The group then meets the Ostian spy Leila, who is working undercover in the Black Fang. She informs them that the Black Fang, responsible for all that has happened, is controlled by Nergal, a mysterious man who wants to start a war in Lycia for unknown reasons. In addition, Ephidel is a "morph", a humanoid creature created through magic that serves Nergal. Elbert is being held captive at Valor Island, also known as the “Dread Isle.”
Eliwood and his troops set sail to the island with the help of the pirate captain Fargus. Along the way, they find Ninian in a small boat. She unfortunately has amnesia, and her brother Nils is not with her, which Lyn finds highly suspicious. Eliwood and company reach the island, but along the way, the group discovers Leila's corpse. Jaffar, one of the Black Fang’s Four Fangs, killed her when Ephidel discovered that she was a spy. After Eliwood finds the temple housing the Dragon's Gate, Ephidel captures Ninian, and Eliwood’s group assaults the temple to rescue her. After the battle, Eliwood finds his seriously injured father near the back of the temple. Nergal and Ephidel appear with the captured Ninian. Nergal feeds Elbert’s soul into Ninian, forcing her to summon a Dragon, but as it emerges from the portal, Nils comes in and brings Ninian to her senses. She immediately closes the portal, destroying both Ephidel and the dragon. Nergal attempts to take Ninian and Nils, but when Elbert wounds him, he flees to recover. Elbert then dies in his son's arms.
Eliwood and company head back to the mainland to inform Marquess Uther of what has been happening. Uther is troubled by the news, and suggests that Eliwood go to the Nabata Desert to meet a "living legend." This person turns out to be Archsage Athos, one of the veterans of the Scouring, whose lifespan has been lengthened because of his deep connection to magic. Eliwood assists a mysterious Sage in the desert named Pent, who is the Mage General of Etruria. Athos tells them to find the Shrine of Seals in Bern if they want to stand a chance against Nergal.
After Athos teleports Eliwood's troops back to Pherae, they travel to Bern in disguise. When they reach Bern, they hear of Prince Zephiel's coming-of-age ceremony, during which Pent and his wife Louise plan to ask Hellene, the Queen of Bern and Louise's close friend, about the location of the Shrine of Seals. As the group gathers more information on the Black Fang, whose headquarters are in Bern, they are attacked by one of the sons of Brendan Reed, the leader of the Black Fang. After subduing him, Eliwood persuades him that they are not his enemy, at which point the brother decides to track Sonia, Brendan Reed's wife and the woman Nergal is using to control the Black Fang. However, Nergal's morph Limstella kills him. The other Reed brother, showing up later and finding his brother dead, blames Eliwood.
Queen Hellene agrees to provide Eliwood with the location of the Shrine of Seals if he recovers the missing Fire Emblem, necessary for Zephiel's ceremony. Lyn traces the Black Fang to their mountain fortress, where they hear that Jaffar is to carry out a contract to kill Zephiel. Eliwood returns to the Bern Manse and saves Prince Zephiel from a Black Fang assassination, meeting Jaffar and Nino, Sonia’s daughter, along the way. A grateful Hellene then gives them a map to the Shrine of Seals.
The group stops by at the Black Fang's secondary base, the Water Temple, where Sonia kills Brendan Reed and Limstella absorbs his quintessence for Nergal. Nino and Jaffar confront Sonia about Nino's parentage, and Sonia reveals that Nino is indeed not really her child, but the daughter of a clan of magic users that she and Nergal killed. Eliwood's troops step in to defend Nino and Jaffar, and finally defeat Sonia. Limstella shows up, but does not absorb Sonia's quintessence because she does not have any, as she was a morph; she just leaves Sonia to die of her wounds, alone in the temple, still thinking she is human.
Eliwood makes it to the Shrine of Seals, where he defeats the remaining Reed brother. Athos teleports in and takes the group into the Shrine to talk to the other remaining legend, the cautious magic user Brammimond. After talking with Athos, Brammimond is persuaded to open the seals on the legendary weapons used to slay the dragons. Outside the Shrine, a fully healed Nergal shows up and tries to take Ninian and Nils. To defend her brother and gain time, Ninian goes with him in exchange for Nils' safety.
Eliwood goes to the tomb of Roland and collects the sword Durandal from its resting place, while Hector retrieves the axe Armads. As Eliwood leaves, an Ice Dragon attacks him, and Durandal, seemingly activated on its own, slays the Dragon, which is revealed to be Ninian. Nergal returns to gloat, telling Eliwood that Ninian lost most of her memory when she became a Dragon, and that the only thing remaining was her love towards Eliwood. Ninian uses her last quintessence to change back to her human form and dies in Eliwood’s arms. Enraged, Athos attempts to kill Nergal with the spell Forblaze, but fails. Eliwood and Hector leave the legendary weapons in Athos' care.
Back in Ostia, as Eliwood's group recuperates, Athos tells them about Nergal's past. He and Nergal, once friends, came across the legendary city of Arcadia, where humans and dragons lived in peace. Nergal spent his time there learning the secrets of acquiring quintessence, which slowly distorted his soul. Athos and the residents of Arcadia teamed up to defeat Nergal, but he managed to escape and fled to Bern, taking control of the Black Fang while he was there. Hector also learns that his brother has died.
Nergal, back at the Dragon's Gate, uses Ninian's quintessence to open the portal, but he does not have enough. Eliwood arrives at the Dread Isle and defeats Limstella. Nergal then channels quintessence from the most powerful human leaders and creates morph versions of them, sending them out to destroy Eliwood’s group, but they fail. Then Nergal himself appears but is also defeated; with his dying breath, he summons three Fire Dragons. Brammimond appears and uses his remaining power to resurrect Ninian, who kills two and severely wounds the third. Eliwood's group, using the legendary weapons, manages to slay the last Dragon. After the battle, Athos collapses from exhaustion, and on his deathbed, predicts that "an evil star will rise... over Bern... but once again, Lycia will bring hope to cleanse the darkness." This premonition refers to the events of the previous game, Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi.
One year later, Eliwood is crowned Marquess of Pherae in his father's place, and soon Hector is crowned as Marquess of Ostia.
Fifteen years later, Eliwood and Hector meet each other in Ostia Castle, where Eliwood introduces his son Roy and Hector introduces his daughter Lilina. While the children play, Eliwood and Hector talk about some events in Bern related to Archsage Athos's predictions. In the final scene of the game, Zephiel, King of Bern, is talking with an "enigmatic man" (Yahn from Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi), telling him that the Dark Dragon is awake.
Hector's Tale is unlocked after completing Eliwood's Tale for the first time. It is the same story as Eliwood's Tale but is told from Hector's point of view, and with an increased level of difficulty.
Fire Emblem is nearly identical to it's predecessor (grid map with some turn-based strategy), although the title included some novelties. The most important of them, which never represented itself in any other Fire Emblem game, is the immersion of the player inside the actual storyline of the game.
For the very first time in the series (and the last time), the player was represented as a character (a tactician who Lyn finds stranded on the Sacae plains) in the story (albeit a relatively non important and most importantly non-playable character) and had the option to customize his name and date of birth, which determined the element assigned to the tactician. In the Japanese version this included customizing the player's blood type. All of these attributes would come together to develop a personal relationship with the characters (though this wasn't as near as deep as the support conversations between the characters themselves).
Hard mode, a staple in the Fire Emblem series, returns in this game as well. Upon beating the game once, the option to play Eliwood's hard mode or Hector's mode on regular difficulty is unlocked. Upon completing Eliwood's hard mode, Hector's hard mode is unlocked, which provides several obstacles for the player on top of the regular hard mode difficulties. Usually, there are simply more enemies on the field in the hard mode version of the game. However, in Hector's hard mode every enemy on the opposing team has increased stats (such as strength and health) on top of the fact that there are simply more enemies on the field to deal with. These two things combine to make Hector's hard mode quite a challenge, even for a seasoned Fire Emblem player.
- Opening: History Unveiled
- Fire Emblem Theme
- A Hint of Things to Come
- Road of Trials
- Destiny Enlaced by Fear
- Winds Across the Plains
- Precious Things
- Friendship and Adventure
- Distant Travels
- Inescapable Fate
- Dragon's Gate II
- Winning Road
- Binding Ties
- Scars of the Scouring
- Raise Your Spirits
- Shadow Approaches
- Enemies Appear
- The Messenger
- Darkness Comes
- Dragon's Gate I
- Nabata's Wandering Messenger
- Legendary Inheritance
- Messenger from the Darkness
- Victory Now
- Rise to the Challenge
- Softly with Grace
- Everything into the Dark
- Campaign of Fire
- Blessing of the 8 Generals I
- Receive the Blessings of Water
- Ride the Wind
- To the Heights
- An Unexpected Caller
- When the Rush Comes
- Land of Swirling Sands
- Ships and Homes
- Silent Ground
- The Inn
- Going My Way
- Together We Ride
- A Knight's Oath
- Happiness Abounds
- Final Farewell
- Recollection of a Petal
- The Cogs of Fate
- The Eight Generals
- The Archsage Athos
- Distant Utopia
- What Comes From Darkness
- Black Fang
- Calamity Bringer: Nergal's Theme
- Nergal's Wrath
- The Kingdom of Bern
- Bern: A Mother's Wish
- Shocking Truth I
- Shocking Truth II
- Into the Shadow of Triumph
- Main Theme Arrangment
- Blessing of the 8 Generals II
- Girl of the Plains: Lyn's Theme
- Lyn's Desire
- Light to Tommorow
- One Heart: Eliwood's Theme
- Eyes of Sorrow
- Unshakable Faith
- Loyalty: Hector's Theme
- The Grieving Heart
- Shattered Life
- Respite in Battle
- Prepare to Charge
- Fortune Telling
- Arena Entrance
- Arena Battle
- Arena Victory
- Arena Tactics
- Within Sadness
- Game Over
- Legend of Athos
- Treasured Hope
- Beneath a New Light
- The Path to Greatness
- In the Name of Bern
- Avoided Fate
- Legend of the Dragon God
- Royal Palace of Silezha
|Lord||The main protagonists, which includes the sword wielding princess Lyndis, the axe wielding noble Hector, and the sword wielding prince Eliwood. It is game over if a lord dies in combat.||Knight Lord||The promoted class for Eilwood. He gains a horse in this promotion, increasing his mobility. He is also given the ability to use lances.|
|-||-||Great Lord||The promoted class for Hector. He gains the ability to use a sword and is granted even more defense.|
|-||-||Blade Lord||The promoted class for Lyndis. She gains the ability to use a bow and has increased speed. She also has unique katanas only she can use, such as the Sol Katti.|
|Knight||A slow, heavily armored infantry unit that uses lances.||General||Generals have more armor than the knight and can use axes in addition to lances.|
|Myrmidon||A quick and skillful infantry unit that uses swords and lacks defense.||Swordmaster||The swordmaster has increased attack power and critical strike chance over the myrmidon.|
|Mercenary||A sword wielding soldier-for-hire infantry unit with good overall stats.||Hero||A promoted mercenary that uses both axes and swords in combat.|
|Thief||A fairly weak sword wielding infantry unit that has the ability to steal from enemies and to open doors and chests without keys.||Assassin||The assassin maintains all the special abilities of the thief, but is more capable and powerful in combat. Has the ability to instantly kill foes with a rare critical hit.|
|Fighter||An axe wielding infantry unit with high attack and low defense.||Warrior||A more versatile fighter that can use both swords and bows as well.|
|Pirate||An axe wielding infantry unit with slightly more balanced stats than the fighter. Can walk on water.||Berserker||An upgraded pirate with higher critical strike chance that can also cross mountains.|
|Archer||An infantry unit that is restricted to long ranged combat with bows. Can use ballistae found on certain maps.||Sniper||An upgraded archer. Can use ballistae found on certain maps.|
|Mage||A magic user that uses anima magic, such as fire or thunder, that is balanced in power and speed.||Sage||A mage that gains the ability to use healing staves.|
|Shaman||A dark magic user. More defensive and slower than other magic classes, but powerful as well.||Druid||A shaman that gains the ability to use healing staves.|
|Monk||A light magic user. Tomes are lighter and less powerful than other magic classes, but have increased critical strike chance.||Bishop||An upgraded Cleric or Monk that can equally use light magic and healing staves effectively.|
|Cleric||A weak unit with low defense and health, but can use essential healing staves. Cannot attack.||Bishop||-|
|Cavalier||A mounted unit with high mobility that uses both lances and swords.||Paladin||An upgrade to the cavalier that uses axes in addition to lances and swords.|
|Nomad||An archer on horseback with high mobility that can only use bows in combat.||Nomad Trooper||A nomad that has learned to also fight directly with swords.|
|Troubadour||A mounted unit. Much like the cleric, a troubadour can only use healing staves and cannot attack.||Valkyrie||A troubadour that gains the ability to use anima magic.|
|Pegasus Knight||A warrior whose pegasus can cross great distances and varied terrain. They use lances in combat and have high resistance and speed, but low defense and health. They have a huge weakness to bows.||Falcoknight||An upgraded pegasus knight that uses swords as well as lances. They have a huge weakness to bows.|
|Wyvern Rider||An axe wielding warrior whose wyvern offers similar mobility as a pegasus, but has greater attack/defense while lower speed and resistance. They have a huge weakness to bows.||Wyvern Lord||A wyvern rider that can also use swords. They have a huge weakness to bows.|
|Bard/Dancer||Exclusive to Nils/Ninian. They perform songs and dances to give a character another action that turn. Cannot attack.||-||-|
|Archsage||Exclusive to Athos. Archsages are slow and have low health, but make up for it with incredibly high magic and mastery of all schools of magic (including staves).||-||-|
|Transporter (Tent)||Exclusive to Merlinus. A stationary unit that gives you access to your convoy on the battlefield. Cannot attack.||Transporter (Wagon)||Merlinus's promotion class. A cart with high mobility that gives access to the convoy. Cannot attack.|