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After 30 years, the original Fire Emblem is finally coming to the U.S.

For the first time ever, Nintendo is bringing Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light to the U.S. The 1990 NES classic will be available for the Nintendo Switch on December 4.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is the first game in Nintendo’s popular Fire Emblem franchise. Originally, the game was only available in Japan, where it became a cult hit and a financial success.

Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The game was eventually re-released on Virtual Console in Japan, but this is the first time it has been available in the west. The release is fully localized for English-speaking audiences.

A remake of the original game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, saw a global release on the Nintendo DS in 2008. The game was heavily updated, with new graphics and tweaks to the gameplay. It was Western players’ first chance to experience the story, but this new re-release of the NES version is much closer to the 1990 original. It’s also more affordable than the Nintendo DS remake, as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS regularly sells for $20 to $60, depending on the cartridge’s condition.

While the game is largely a translated port of the original, it features a few gameplay tweaks. Players can rewind to previous turns, fast-forward through actions, and create bookmarks, none of which were possible in the original.

Like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is a limited digital release. Fans can download the game for $5 on the Nintendo eShop until March 31, 2021. After that, it goes back in Nintendo’s vault.

A First for Fire Emblem Fans! - ??? Announcement Trailer

For retro collectors, the game is getting a massive physical release complete with goodies. The package includes a 222-page art book, a replica of the game box and cartridge, a localized instruction manual, and a throwback Nintendo Power poster for the game. The bundle will retail for $50 and includes a download code for the game.

Nintendo is releasing the title to celebrate Fire Emblem’s 30th anniversary. A trailer for the game calls back to Super Smash Bros. Melee, which first introduced Western audiences to the series by including Roy and Marth as playable characters.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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