Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi (The Sword of Seals or The Binding Blade) is the sixth game in the Fire Emblem franchise that launched on the Game Boy Advance on March 29th, 2002, being the first handheld entry in the series and the first of 3 games to be released on the platform. Fūin no Tsurugi marked the debut of Roy, the red haired swordman who gained fame in the western world thanks to his appearance as an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee alongside the franchise's staple man: Marth.
The sixth Fire Emblem was playable in the rest in the world via a fanbased translation project that was released in 2005 and later revised and completed by another team in 2013. Rumors regarding an official release ran rampant after Melee's debut, but the game has yet to be localized in the western market.
Fūin no Tsurugi founded the graphical and logistical style that portable Fire Emblem games have retained to this day. In fact, very few improvements were applied in the following two games, both of which were westernized and titled Fire Emblem and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Other than major improvements from a graphical standpoint, the GBA Fire Emblem games presented, of course, a much more portable feel by raising the number of chapters in the storyline, but significantly shortening their length. In the process, strangely enough, dialogue scenes were made substantially longer than the ones featured in previous games.
The love system from Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu was expanded in this game into the Support System. Differences include the elimination of gender restrictions, multiple tiers to the system, and being able to associate one character with more than one characters.
Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi has an immense number of playable characters. Including usable units in both the main game and in the Trial Maps, the number of players totals 62. Each class is represented by many units, usually including "prepromoted" units. For example, there are four recruitable cavaliers and two paladins, three recruitable knights and one general, four axemen and one berserker, and two pegasus knights and one falcoknight. Certain classes, like the Lord and Holy Dragon, serve as exceptions with only one unit in each. This vast collection of characters makes Fuuin no Tsurugi one of the most replayable games in the series.
Fūin no Tsurugi takes place on the fictional continent of Elibe.
Roy leads the League of Lycia's army against the forces of the militant country of Bern shortly after his father falls ill. It has been 1000 years since the end of the war known as the Scouring. The continent is by and large at peace. However, this peace is soon ended when Bern suddenly invades Sacae and Ilia and swiftly takes control of the two countries. They then turn towards the small country of Lycia.
Roy is the son of Marquess Eliwood of Pherae, a district of Lycia, is studying in Ostia, Lycia's capitol, when he is called back home to lead Pherae's army to join up with the rest of Lycia's armies at Araphen, in order to defend against possible attacks by Bern, Eliwood being too ill to lead the army himself. Upon arriving in Pherae, he finds that the castle and surrounding villages are under attack by bandits. Eliwood is defending the castle as best he can, but his illness is preventing him from being very effective. Ostia's Princess Lilina a young mage who had gone to Pherae ahead of Roy, is also holed up in the castle. Roy must fight to save his father and friend.
After defeating the bandits, Eliwood charges Roy with taking Pherae's army to Araphen, and provides him the services of Merlinus, a merchant who works for Pherae. Meanwhile Lilina returns to Ostia. Roy heads north towards Araphen, and stops at a village near the Bern border to wait for some reinforcements. While he is waiting, a young cleric named Ellen runs into him and begs him to help her save her mistress from a nearby Bern castle. Merlinus doesn't like this, but then Bern soldiers appear and they become forced to fight. During the battle, Dieck's mercenary group arrives to bolster Roy's forces.
It turns out that Ellen's mistress is none other than Princess Guinivere of Bern. She wishes to meet with a Lycian leader to see if there is anything she can do to avoid the outbreak of war, and Roy offers to take her to see Hector.
Once they reach Araphen, though, horrible news is waiting for them: Bern's army has already attacked and obliterated the combined forces of most of the Lycian territories. Roy's army is able to retake Araphen Castle, and they find Hector locked up in the dungeon - however, his wounds are too serious for him to live much longer. He informs Roy that the major reason for the horrific defeat was that Bern was using dragons, and tells Roy that he must become the leader of what remains of Lycia's armies, before passing away. Roy decides to head to Ostia to regroup, and inform Lilina about her father's death.
With the Lycian alliance in shambles, the Marquess of Laus, Erik makes a pact with Bern and the Dragon General Narshen and betrays the Lyican alliance. Roy and his army later travel through Laus's territory and is attacked by Erik and Laus's army, but is soundly defeated.
On the way, they save a village from bandits, and are met by Saul, a representative of the Elimine Church. He reveals that Guinivere has actually stolen the Fire Emblem from Bern, and questions her as to why. He and his bodyguard, the archer Dorothy, join Eliwood'
Passing through Thria, they stop at Thria Castle in order to pay respects to Hector's half-brother Orun who runs that area. However, treachery is afoot and Orun's advisor, Wagner, has assassinated Orun and taken control of the castle, also taking Sue, a Sacaen Princess, who was under Orun's care, prisoner. He attempts to ambush Roy, but Roy is warned of his plans by a thief in the area, Cass, and he is able to defeat Wagner and save Sue.
Having arrived in Ostia, things are not looking well. General Leygance has revolted and taken control of the city, along with most of Ostia's remaining army, and taken Lilina prisoner. He's planning to keep Lilina as a hostage only for a short time, though; secretly, he wants her to be murdered during the fray. Roy first has to make it to the castle, as the streets of Ostia are swarming with Ostian rebellers, as well as a Wyvern Rider unit lent from Bern. Fortunately he has some help from some Ilian mercenaries led by Zealot who were hired by Hector and have refused to join the rebellion. Once he finally makes it inside the castle, he gets further help in the form of Barth's unit of Ostian loyalists, saves Lilina, and defeats Leygance, putting an end to the rebellion.
Lilina joins Roy's quest and tells him that she was entrusted with information as the the legendary sword, Durandal's, whereabouts by her father. So they head the the cave it is kept in to retrieve it. While the are gone, however, Narshen and a Bern Wyvern unit overrun Ostia. It seems that the recovery of the city was for naught, however, shortly Etruria's Mage General Cecilia and Knight General Percival bring several divisions of Etruria's army to the city and force Narshen to leave. Having only a fragmentary army, Roy places Lycia under Etrurian protection for the time being.
As part of the deal, Etruria is allowed to use Lycia's army for its own purposes. And so they send Roy and the army to the Western Isles to deal with the numerous bandit problems they are having. Guinivere is let in Cecilia's care. Bandits do indeed seem to be a big problem on the Isles, as just as soon as they arrive they come under attack by a group of them. But things are not always as they seem, and after speaking to locals of the area, Roy discovers that it is actually the Etrurian nobility on the isles that, in most cases, is behind the bandit activities. Roy heads to various areas on the Isles to help the citizenry, where he meets the bard Elphin and the dancer Lalum, along with other members of the force resisting the Etrurians on the islands, who confirm that this is indeed the case. And so Roy heads to the capitol, Djuto, to end the oppression. It was here where Roy first saw for himself one of Bern's Dragons.
After crushing the head of Etrurian corruption in the Western Isles, Roy begins to return to Etruria to make his report to Cecilia. Before that, however, first they visit a cave near Djuto in order to search for another one of the Divine Weapons, the Thunder Axe Armads. Upon leaving the cave having found the weapon, though, they are greeted with terrible news: Etruria's Roartz and Arcard have overthrown King Mordred and given Etruria over to Bern. Cecilia has been forced to escape from the capitol with Guinivere, and Percival and the Great General Douglas have been forced to work for Roartz lest they want the King killed. Cecilia is gathering an army to fight Roartz in Missur, but Bern's armies are closing on her position. So Roy immediately heads to help her.
But it seems they are too late, as King Zephiel takes care of Cecilia in one hit, seriously injures her and captures his sister Guinivere. However, all is not lost. Zephiel makes the mistake of leaving the defence of Missur to Narshen, who leaves for other places leaving his subordinate Flaer in charge. Further, he leaves Guinivere in the care of her personal guard, Miledy, who cares more about Guinivere's wishes than Bern's. And so Guinivere convinces Miledy to join the Lycian Army, and Roy retakes Missur. Cecilia's wounds have been treated by Sophia, a Shaman from Arcadia, who was locked in the same dungeon as her, and she is well enough to join the army along with Sophia as well.
Bern's army is attacking Arcadia, the City of Dragons. Roy heads to their rescue. A blinding sandstorm reduces visibility and makes it hard to move, but the Lycian Army manages to make it to Arcadia and defeat the occupying force before Bern's reinforcements arrive. While there, they retrieve the Divine Anima magic, Forblaze, from the temple, and learn more about Dragons and The Scouring from the elders.
Roy sets off to return to Etruria to put an end to Roartz' rebellion. However, Fa, a young Manakete from Arcadia, tries to follow him and ends up being captured by Bern forces, resulting in Roy having to go to her rescue. Elphin also manages to convince Percival, who had come to attack the Lycian Army under orders from Roartz, to join Roy's side, by revealing his secret identity.
Dragon General Murdock informs Narshen that King Zephiel is furious with Narshen for failing to take the Western Isles, Arcadia, and failing to detain Guinivere, and is orded to take charge the defence of the capitol of Etruria, Aqueleia, as well as demoting him from Dragon General and promoting Gale in his stead. As Roy's army storms the castle, Roartz and Arcard escape out a secret entrance. Narshen falls, and Roy and Douglas reinstate the King. Douglas and the head of the Elimine Church, Yodel, then take Roy to the Elimine Church's tower, also known as the Pinnacle of Light, where the Divine Light magic, Aureola, resides.
Having returned Etruria to its own control, stifled the corruption on the Western Isles, and with Lycia still under Etrurian protection, there remained the occupied countries of Ilia and Sacae, along with Bern itself, still hostile. Roy led the combined might of the Lycian and Etrurian armies through Sacae and Ilia, to hit Bern from the north. Along they way they fought Roartz and Arcard, left by the Dragon General Brenya to guard locations in those countries in return for running away from Etruria. During the trip they acquired one more Divine weapon, and at the border of Bern, Yodel came to join the party with another; the bow, Mulgre, and the lance, Malte.
Progressing south through Bern they come across the Shrine of Seals, guarded by the Dragon Generals Murdock and Gale. It is a difficult fight, with masses of Wyvern reinforcements, but Roy prevails. And upon reaching the shrine, they find an entrance into its eerie depths... within, they find the seventh Divine weapon, the Dark Magic Apocalypse. Upon returning to the surface, Roy proceeds to the plinth containing the Sword of Seals and places the Fire Emblem into the handle, unsealing the sword. Through its power, he is spontaneously promoted to Master Lord.
The army then assualts the capital of Bern. Roy and company invade the castle, and find that Zephiel has locked himself in the center of the castle, in an area which can only be opened from the outside by the Fire Emblem. Unfortunately for him, Roy has the jewel, and Zephiel falls. Taking possession of Zephiel's Exaccus, the eighth and final Divine weapon, causes the set to resonate and show Roy the location of the Dragon Temple, where Idenn, the Dark Dragon responsible for creating Bern's War Dragon army, resides. They immediately set off for this location, to try to stop Idenn from carrying out Zephiel's orders even after his death.
Along the way, they run into Brenya, the last Wyvern General standing. She attempts to stop Roy from enterring the temple, but ultimately fails, and the last of Bern's resistance dies with her. However, a more fierce opponent awaited them inside the temple: Yahn, a real Manakete, not one of Idenn's War Dragons. He had remained hidden here for a thousand years regaining his strength after taking a greivous wound in the Scouring, and was the one who informed Zephiel about Idenn's existence. However, even he was as nothing compared to the power of the 7 Divine weapons.
Finally Roy entered Idenn's chamber. He attempted to persuade her to stop following Zephiel's orders, but in her soulless state that was not possible. There was no choice left but to fight her. Striking the final blow with the Sword of Seals, which had sealed her 1000 years ago, there was a flash and her draconic form disintegrated leaving her in her human form, unconscious. Without the power of the Dark Dragon to keep it stable, the weight of 1000 years came down on the Dragon Temple, causing it to fall to pieces.
Guinivere became the new ruler of Bern, despite her fears that she would be despised by the populace for her 'treachery'. Lilina took up her role as leader of the Lycian League and Elphin returned to Etruria. The world was at peace once more, but the work had just begun. There was much repair work needed for areas which had been struck by the war, and many positions previously filled by traitors such as Roartz needed to be refilled.
Idenn was taken to Arcadia, where the elders restored her soul to her body. Despite this, it was expected that she would never recover from over a millenia as a Dark Dragon. However, her body was soon to be restored, and destined to live, finally, a life in peace.