Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is the fifth installment in the Fire Emblem franchise, the third game developed for the Super Famicom and the final title in the series to be directed by series' creator, Shouzou Kaga, before leaving Intelligence Systems to establish his own studio called Tirnanog. The game was initially made available on September 1, 1999 through the Nintendo Power download service and was eventually released as a standard cartridge on January 21, 2000, making it one of the last Super Famicom games to be produced for the system. Thracia 776 was later re-released through the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console in 2008 followed by the Wii U in 2013 and New Nintendo 3DS in 2016.
Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 is a midquel to Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu because the plot takes place between Chapters 5 and 6 in the precedent game's storyline. Consequentially, many characters from Seisen no Keifu appear in the game and many are playable, such as Leif and Finn.
Thracia 776's story unfolds in the middle of Seisen no Keifu's story, making it parallel to the past game's events. Prince Leif of Lenster, having been hidden from the Grandbell Empire for most of his life by his father's loyal knight Finn, finally decides to take a stand and raise an army after his childhood friends Nanna and Mareeta are captured by the empire. From that point, he raises an army to regain his homeland. The events at the end of the game directly tie into Chapter 6 of Seisen no Keifu.
Thracia 776 brought back concepts from Monshou no Nazo, such as smaller scale battlefields and the ability of cavalry to dismount while inside buildings. However, it also retained the skill system from Seisen no Keifu and brought many of its own mechanics into play, most of which have since been implemented in later Fire Emblem games. These include Fog of War maps, which impeded the player's vision range and could be temporarily ailed with the torch item, as well as secret chapters unlocked under certain conditions. All of these maps were fog of war and often contained useful characters or items not present otherwise.
Thracia 776 also introduced a "Capture" command, which allowed characters to take enemy units in order to obtain items, which were often needed due to the lack of funds in order to buy weapons from stores and a "Rescue" system, which allowed units to load characters with less build and rescue them in a similar manner to capturing. While both brought interesting new strategies to the game, only the former survived and now exists in all Fire Emblem titles from that point with the exception of Shadow Dragon.
The game is the only one in the series to feature the fatigue meter, a bar which was tied to each character and raised each time he or she entered battle. Once filled, that character was not allowed to participate in the next mission, forcing the player to differentiate the units they brought into combat as well as avoid unnecessary conflict. An item is available in the game that helps alleviate fatigue, but is prohibitively expensive.
Thracia 776 is infamous for its sadistic difficulty, even among fans of the series. This difficulty mostly stems from a combination of the Fatigue system, relatively high enemy troop strength, relatively weak allied unit strength, as well as certain chapters that rush multiple groups of enemy troops at the player simultaneously. Ironically, the final boss of the game is considered to be laughably weak, which can be considered one mercy in an otherwise brutal game.
- Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 holds the dubious honor of being the worse selling entry in the Fire Emblem series. This is perhaps due to the game's late release or maybe because it was initially published as a Nintendo Power exclusive title, but Thracia 776 only sold approximately 100,000 copies on the Super Famicom.