First Fire Emblem Game, Previously Japan-Only, Coming To Nintendo Switch In December

Mario isn’t the only Nintendo icon celebrating a big birthday this year. 2020 also marks the Fire Emblem series’ 30th anniversary, and Nintendo is commemorating the milestone by officially localizing the first Fire Emblem game for Switch. The company announced that it is bringing the series’ Famicom debut entry, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light–which up until now has never been released outside of Japan–to Switch in English on December 4.

In addition to full English text, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light will feature a few modern conveniences, including a rewind feature that lets you skip back to a previous turn, as well as the ability to fast-forward through animations. Nintendo has also added a save state function to the game. You can watch the announcement trailer for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light below.

As the first game in the series, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light established the framework that future Fire Emblem games would follow. The game features more than 50 unique characters, who you’ll need to tactically maneuver around a map to defeat opposing armies. It was also the first title to feature the series’ hallmark permadeath; if one of your characters should fall during battle, they’ll be gone permanently.

Although this is the first time the Famicom installment is being officially released in English, this isn’t the first chance Western players had to play through Marth’s adventure. Nintendo developed a full remake of the game, dubbed Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, for the original DS back in 2009. Its direct sequel, Mystery of the Emblem, likewise received a DS remake, but that was not released outside of Japan.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light launches digitally on the Switch eShop on December 4. The game will cost $6 USD to purchase. Nintendo is also releasing a $50 USD collector’s edition that comes with an assortment of physical goodies on top of the game download, including an NES instruction manual, an NES-style box and game pak art piece, and a 222-page art book.

Much like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, however, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light will not be a permanent release. Nintendo says the game will only be available to purchase until March 31, 2021.

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