People have accused Nintendo for years of making the same game over and over again, and they do rely a lot on the same brands. One thing Nintendo do the most of likely, is rereleasing and backwards comptabilitizing things over time – the WiiU can play all Wii games, the 3ds can play all DS games, and both have emulators. The WiiU Virtual Console has some classics of both Nintendo and Sega on it, and has added a new one today – Fire Emblem.
Fire Emblem is a long running Japanese tactical RPG that for the longest time didn’t make it outside of there despite its popularity. Its first release in Japan was in 1990 on the NES (by its Japanese name the Family Computer, of course), as Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi which translates to Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light. That release marked the first of several that would gain popularity and acclaim in Japan but never leave its borders. In 1992 Fire Emblem Gaidan was released – a side story to the first on the NES/Family Computer which helped fans bide their time unto 1994 when the SNES remake of the original and a sequel came out. Called Fire Emblem: Monshō no Nazo (Mystery of the Emblem), it both remade and sequalized the former one and got turned into an anime series.
We could go on here for a while, there were 3 more titles between then and 2003 that were never released outside of Japan – Genealogy of the Holy War (1996), Thracia 776 (1999), and The Binding Blade (2002). The Binding Blade in particular is of note, as it made the first trip to handhelds appearing on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and its somewhat relevance to the next title. Fire Emblem, no subtitles outside of Japan (there it was Rekka no Ken or The Sword of Flame), was released in 2003, first in Japan in April, North America in November and finally made it over to PAL in mid 2004 on Game Boy Advance. This was the first one to make it out of Japan and was a prequel to The Binding Blade, hence that games relevance.
Since then all Fire Emblem games have made the cross and obviously had some success to get the continuing translations and now Nintendo is bringing back the one that started it all. No, not Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light, but Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance – the first one that was translated. Now you’ll be able to play it on your WiiU virtual console to experience the top tactical rpg fun had to offer in 2003!
What do you think of Fire Emblem coming to the WiiU? Between this and Nintendo’s Game Boy Emulator Patent do you think Nintendo plans on releasing more of its back catalog? Do you think that this should also be available on the 3DS ?