Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (ファイアーエムブレム 封印の剣 Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seal) is a Game Boy Advance game released in 2002. It is the sixth installment in the Fire Emblem series, the first for Game Boy Advance and on a handheld platform, and was the last title to be released only in Japan until New Mystery of the Emblem. It was this game which sparked international interest in the franchise, caused by the appearance of protagonist Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, paving the way for successive titles to be translated and exported to other countries. It was also the first installment to be made without the involvement of Shouzou Kaga, a prominent figure in the series' creation and the director of every installment through to Thracia 776, who had left Intelligent Systems after Thracia.
The game is set in a new and separate world from its predecessors, the continent of Elibe, a land once wracked by a fierce war between humans and dragons. One thousand years after that conflict, the misanthropic King Zephiel, of the militaristic nation of Bern, has freed the infamous Demon Dragon and engaged the rest of Elibe in a full-scale war with the intent of "freeing" the world from mankind and returning it to its "rightful" dragon owners. In response, Roy, the young heir of Pherae, leads the forces of Lycia in combatting Bern in lieu of his ill father, Marquess Eliwood.
The game was followed up by Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, a prequel set twenty years prior, dealing with Roy's father Eliwood in his youth. It helps flesh out Zephiel's history, and sets up and elaborates upon other aspects of the world of Elibe, some only barely touched upon in The Binding Blade.
|SPOILERS! This section contains key plot or ending details. Read at your own risk!|
1000 years before the events of this game, the land of Elibe was the scene of The Scouring, a brutal war between humans and dragons over the control of the land. Late in this war, mankind forged nine powerful dragon-slaying weapons, the Divine Weapons and the Binding Blade, and gave them to eight powerful fighters who became known as the Eight Generals to use to finish the war. However, the sheer power imbued in the weapons tore apart the world's balance and laws of physics when clashed with the dragon's own potent power, a phenomenon later called the Ending Winter. After the war, fearing the power of the weapons and the possibility of someone using them to cause a catastrophe, the Generals sealed the weapons away in hiding places across the continent, protected by a powerful seal established by one of their number, Bramimond, and once guarded by the lingering spirits of warriors from the war. Over the thousand years, the weapons remained (mostly) undisturbed, and their power - while still formidable - depleted over time.
The fall of the Lycian League
Oppression of The Western Isles
Coup d'etat in Etruria
On Bern's soil
After the Demon Dragon
In an average playthrough, the game is 25 chapters long, not counting any of the sidequests, of which there are six. At two points in the game, the story diverges into two separate alternate routes before later converging to rejoin a single story route, covering a span of six chapters and one sidequest per playthrough. The game features a total of 39 distinct map chapters, including sidequests and the branched routes. Furthermore, the maps of The Binding Blade are widely known for being significantly larger than those of the other Game Boy Advance installments, putting a greater emphasis on the ability to quickly cross the field.
The main story mode of The Binding Blade features 54 playable characters, the largest playable cast of the three Game Boy Advance games and one of the largest of the series as a whole, behind Radiant Dawn and New Mystery of the Emblem. However, on an average playthrough only 51 can be encountered and recruited, as the game's forked routes at two points in the game result in pairs of characters appearing only in one route or the other (Lalum/Elphin, Ekhidna/Bartre, Dayan/Juno). A further eight characters can be unlocked to be used exclusively in the game's Trial Map mode, bringing the total playable cast to 62.
The Binding Blade introduced the support conversation system, an extension of the more rudimentary, behind-the-scenes support systems present in Mystery of the Emblem and Thracia 776. With this system, support bonuses are now obtained by, after characters accumulate the required number of points, having the characters talk to each other, after which their support level increases. This system allowed for a greater level of insight and depth into army members of lesser importance and to their connections and relationships, compared to prior installments where they were by and large left flat and un-fleshed out.
At an early point in the game's development, the game was titled Fire Emblem: Ankoku no Miko (ファイアーエムブレム 暗黒の巫女 Fire Emblem: Priestess of Darkness); this title was also applied to the ill-fated "Fire Emblem 64" late in the development of said game. The title was likely intended to refer to Idenn, who is referred to by that title in the course of the game and her theme music is named as such.
- The Binding Blade is currently the only pre-Blazing Sword Japan-only game in the series which has never been re-released on a later Nintendo platform. At this time, none of Nintendo's Virtual Console implementations support Game Boy Advance games to the point of enabling a wide release on the service.
The primary fan translation of The Binding Blade was produced by the group DTN Translation Division and saw its first release in 2006; the last stable release was in 2006. The patch is completely translated save for patches of graphical text including the opening and class roll. As of June 2013, gringe of the Serenes Forest forums is spearheading an update of the patch's script, including a total revision of the script, updates to bring it in line with Blazing Sword and Fire Emblem: Awakening, and implementing graphics hacks to clean up the appearance of the patch.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|English||Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade|| As of Fire Emblem: Awakening and the NTSC English version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.|
The title refers to the Binding Blade a powerful weapon accessed by Roy late in the game; this weapon is part of the game's logo.
| Fire Emblem: Sword of Seals
Fire Emblem: Sealed Sword
|The Japanese phrase "封印の剣" is somewhat open to interpretation, resulting in several variations in translations of the name.|
|Japanese||ファイアーエムブレム 封印の剣||Officially Romanized as Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seal.|
- NeoSeeker: Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seal (Import)
- Serenes Forest: FE6 Translation Patch Update - Seriously, let's do something
- Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade official Japanese website
- Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade Fire Emblem Museum section (Japanese)
|Fire Emblem series|