Thirty years ago, Nintendo launched one of their most long-running series…though it took much longer to get here than Mario and Link did. The strategy RPG Fire Emblem had its beginnings on the Japanese Famicom in 1990, with the release of “Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light,” its very first adventure.
This game focused on Prince Marth, who was after the Falchion sword…he recruited an army of dozens to obtain it and bring peace back to his kingdom of Archanea. US gamers didn’t see Marth until 2001 when he appeared as a Smash Bros fighter with not much introduction, as dramatized here:
Now, for the first time ever, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light will be released worldwide! Well, the original anyway. Technically, this particular adventure has been translated already, as the remake Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon on the DS in 2008. But the NES original has never been officially released outside of Japan.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light will be available on the Nintendo eShop starting December 4, for $5.99. The release will be strictly digital, but if you HAVE to have something to hold in your hands, a deluxe release is coming to retailers that contains everything that WOULD have come with Fire Emblem, were it released in the US in 1990. You get a properly-sized box, a plastic Game Pak replica in an authentic protective sleeve, a Nintendo Power poster featuring Marth, a heavy hardcover art book that’s over 200 pages long, and more. The one thing that’s not in there is the game — there’s a digital download code instead.
The big lingering question is…..why here, and why now? We figure it goes beyond just the 30th anniversary of Fire Emblem, and the biggest hint is the fact that Nintendo is pulling it off the eShop on March 31, 2021. Does this sound familiar? It’s the same date both Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Super Mario Bros 35 will also be yanked off. It also happens to be the end of Nintendo’s fiscal year. What it boils down to is that Nintendo’s game factory isn’t running at 100% capacity due to the pandemic, and they need cash from us NOW, so they’re patching together old material and slapping it with a expiration date. Would 2020 have been anywhere close to normal, we probably wouldn’t have seen any of these re-releases happen.
Look for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light on the Switch December 4.