Tear Ring Saga is a turn-based strategy RPG that was developed by ASCII Entertainment and Tirnanog for the Sony PlayStation. The title was created by many of the people who developed the original Fire Emblem games such as the series' creator, Shouzou Kaga, and character designer, Mayumi Hirota. Enterbrain published Tear Ring Saga in Japan on May 24, 2001 and it was never localized into English but an unofficial translation patch was released by Ayashii Gamesubs in 2012. A sequel called Tear Ring Saga: Berwick Saga was published in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, which was the final entry in the franchise.
The following words are taken verbatim from the game's introduction and are the parts of the script in English:
Once upon a time in the reign of the Dark Load, there was a warrior in slavery. Leading folks seeking for freedom, the warrior fought against Gerxel, the Evil Dark Load. Furious flame of Evil Deity burned folks into despair. Brave warrior fought with all his might, but was about to be burned in the evil flame. He prayed God for power, glowing power to destroy evil darkness. At that moment, a sacred Goddess following a white dragon extinguished the flame of Evil Deity. The smiling sacred told, "Thou, the brave, the beauty. Thou have this sword to concur Evil, to accomplish my will." Utna was the name of her sacred, being the daughter of Mother earth Miradona, and was a small Goddess of giant dragons. The brave warrior, got the love of her sacred, defeated the Dark Load. The brave became a king, and led his land to an eternal prosperity. The body of the brave is buried in piece, now with his fellow collegues. But, his profound love for the freedom, never perishes from his realm.
Major Optional Story Events
Vega vs. Shigen
In order for this event to happen, Shigen and Vega must be on Holmes' team. After Krisheena is recruited, she confronts Vega about murdering her lover seven years ago. He replies by explaining that it was simply a job and he did not think much of the person he killed. Furious, Krisheena wishes to exact revenge on him, but Vega points out that she is too weak to challenge somebody as strong as him. This in mind, she asks Shigen, the only swordsman as skilled as Vega, to kill Vega for her.
Should Shigen accept the job, he confronts Vega on the 14th map. The two end up dueling each other, and by watching, Krisheena begins to regret her decision. She manages to convince Holmes to make them stop, as he, being the commander of the army, is the only one capable of doing so. Holmes tells the two to stop fighting and focus on the mission at hand; the relationship between Shigen and Vega strengthens as a result.
Plum Becomes a Dancer
To view this event, Plum must be in Runan's army after Holmes and Runan part. On the 10th map, it is possible to send Plum into a nearby bar. There, the bartender offers her a glass of milk. She accepts, and, over a glass of milk, strikes up a conversation with the bartender, explaining that her mother was a dancer. However, she discovers that the milk is poisoned, cannot move, and is sold into slavery. She is not seen again until the 14th map.
Here, it is possible for either Holmes or Barts (her brother) to see her dancing in a local establishment. Holmes confronts the owner of the building due to her young age; Barts does so because he recognizes Plum as his sister. Either way, she is rescued, and gains the ability to dance as a reward for the affair. This different from most Fire Emblem games, wherein dancers occupy their own class; Plum is merely a priest with the ability to dance, meaning she can do everything she could do as a priest (heal, summon monsters, save the game, etc.).
In Tear Ring Saga, there are three types of skills:
Battle skills activate during battle, bestowing some type of bonus on the character using the skill. The rate of activation varies from skill to skill.
|Astral Drain||Damage dealt to enemy restores HP.|
|Burgle||Lowers hit, evade, and critical rates of nearby units, and gains certain items after killing enemies.|
|Charge||Can continue fight 2-5 times, as long as speed is higher than defending unit's.|
|Clearance||Negates all skills.|
|Continue||Can attack up to five times.|
|Counter||When enemy initiates battle, defending unit can attack first if their speed is higher than the enemy's.|
|Dead Slash||Attack power doubles and counter attacks are prevented.|
|Double Strike||Can attack twice.|
|Elite||Doubles experience gained from battle|
|Guard Break||Negates defense.|
|Ikari||Hit, evade, and critical rates have an inverse relation with remaining HP.|
|Large Shield||Defense increases by 20 points.|
|More and More||Environmental effects negated, and attack power doubles.|
|Rising Dragon||Attack power triples.|
|Steal||Steal one item or weapon from enemy.|
Command skills can be used at will (albeit in some limited capacity).
|Dance||Can dance, allowing an ally to move again. May also grant a stat bonus. (Not linked to class.)|
|Open||Can open chests, locked doors, and locked bridges.|
|Remove||Can use up any unused movement squares after attacking an enemy. Only applies to mounted units.|
|Sing||Restore allies' HP. May also allow other units to move again.|
|Summon||Allows the use of summon staves.|
|Transform||Can disguise self as (almost) any character, gain some of their abilities.|
|Transmission||Can move to any square that allows movement. Normal actions can be taken after this ability is used.|
Environmental skills grant greater success in battle depending on where the attacker is situated.
|Anti-monster||Increases, hit, evade, and critical rates when in combat against a monster.|
|Castle||Increases hit, evade, and movement when in a castle.|
|Charisma||Increases the hit, evade, and critical rates of all allies within a three-block radius.|
|Forest||Increases hit, evade and movement when in a forest.|
|Frontier||Increases hit, evade and movement when on the frontier.|
|Gladiator||Increases hit and evade rates while in an arena or in multiplayer mode.|
|Meadow||Increases hit, evade and movement when in a meadow.|
|Mountain||Increases hit, evade and movement when on a mountain.|
|Sea||Increases hit, evade and movement when in the sea.|
Tear Ring Saga was created by Shouzou Kaga, creator of the Fire Emblem series. He began development after leaving Nintendo and creating Tirnanog. During its development, it was originally known as Emblem Saga. Because of this and other similarities to Nintendo's Fire Emblem, the company sued Tirnanog for copyright infringement. Although the case was initially dismissed, it eventually ended in 2006, when Tirnanog was ordered to pay Nintendo 76 million yen. Most likely because of this, the only Tear Ring Saga game to follow was Berwick Saga, released in 2005. Although it uses a hex-grid system instead of a square one, it still bears many similarities to Fire Emblem. There were no other Tear Ring Saga games released after this.