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Fire Emblem Gaiden

From Fire Emblem Wiki, your source on Fire Emblem information. By fans, for fans.
Revision as of 21:05, 25 November 2022 by Thecornerman (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 486773 by Mr. Kite (talk) Tangentially related to this page)

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Japanese logo and box art.


Intelligent Systems




Shouzou Kaga


Shouzou Kaga

Release date(s)

JPMarch 14, 1992
Wii Virtual Console
JPNovember 4, 2009
Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
JPApril 3, 2013
Wii U Virtual Console
JPAugust 20, 2014


CERO: A (Virtual Console rerelease)


Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light


Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem

On partnered sites
StrategyWiki Walkthrough
Nintendo Wiki Fire Emblem Gaiden

Fire Emblem Gaiden (Japanese: ファイアーエムブレム外伝 Fire Emblem Side-Story) is a turn-based strategy role-playing game released exclusively in Japan for Nintendo's Famicom console in 1992. It is the second game in the Fire Emblem series and an indirect sequel to its predecessor, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light. It is mostly known for its large number of unique mechanics and gameplay styles which were mostly abandoned by later Fire Emblem games, although a few of these mechanics were briefly brought back for a single game at a time. On 18 January 2017, a remake of the game, titled Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, was announced. It was advertised as having all of what made Gaiden unique, such as a free-roaming world map and dungeons.

Gaiden is set on the continent Valentia, a land to the west of Archanea which has long been split in two through the influence of its two gods, Mila and Duma. In the middle of a crisis between the pacifistic southern Kingdom of Zofia and the militant northern Kingdom of Rigel, the young warrior Alm leads the broken armies of Zofia against the Rigelian advance in his grandfather's stead, while his childhood friend, the priestess Celica, embarks on a quest to find the missing goddess Mila and solve the mystery of a sudden famine sweeping across Zofia. Their separate missions ultimately lead them on the same path to challenge an evil cult supporting Duma in Rigel.


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Zofia's Call

The story begins with Alm, a youth of the village of Ram, finishing his sword training with an retired general named Mycen. Alm sees a group of villagers gathering near Lukas, a soldier, who says that a General Desaix has captured Zofia's castle and killed the king. Lukas is part of a liberation force, and has come to ask General Mycen to help them.

When Alm asks Mycen, Mycen angrily denies. Still, Alm tells Lukas that he will join in place of Mycen. With Lukas and the villagers Kliff, Tobin, and Gray, he decides to travel to Zofia to help the liberation force, with several small skirmishes occurring throughout the chapter. In Thief Shrine, Silque, a priestess of Mila, is rescued and joins them.

Soon Alm's party begins to fight soldiers employed by General Desaix. At the Southern Fort, Clair, a pegasus knight of Zofia joins Alm. She says her older brother Clive is the leader of the liberation force.

In the Liberation Headquarters, and Alm meets Python, the guard of the cave. Python warns Alm of monsters, and in the next room, there are several bonewalkers and revenants. The monsters are defeated and Alm continues, meeting Clive. Clive asks Alm to become the leader of the force, and Alm accepts.

Forsyth states that Desaix has been seeking help from northern Rigel. Alm, surprised, states that this violates the Gods' Pact, and that Mila would never allow this. However, according to Forsyth, it is rumored that Mila has disappeared, which may explain the appearance of monsters. He and Python join Alm's group.

Finally, Alm travels to the Zofia gate, where powerful enemy troops are gathered. Desaix and Slayde are the two generals in charge. One is defeated, depending on which the player chooses, and they successfully liberate the castle. Thanked by many of the citizens, Alm goes to the roof and sees Mycen again. Mycen tells Alm to save Valentia, and mentions a red-haired girl...

The Pilgrimage

The chapter begins with Celica, the red-haired Zofian heiress, talking to Bishop Nomah about leaving the abbey. Nomah warns her of the dangers of traveling, but Celica insists on investigating the fate of the goddess Mila. Nomah consents and lets her leave. The mages Mae and Boey and the cleric Genny join Celica as she departs.

Celica reaches Novis Port, recruiting the mercenary Saber and talking to several villagers. She and her party set out on a ship to reach Zofia Port, her destination. After several skirmishes at sea with various pirates, she travels to the Pirate Fort and defeats pirates led by the aggressive Barth. Three other warriors, the armored knight Valbar, the mercenary Kamui, and the archer Leon are present in the battle as allies helping Celica's party. After the pirates are defeated, Celica talks to the three in the fort, and they join her party.

Continuing, Celica lands on the Sea Shrine, on which a ferocious Necrodragon is situated. By using the Seraphim spell, Celica defeats the dragon and continues into the shrine. Afterwards, she travels to the Zofia Harbor, where she meets the two pegasus sisters Palla and Catria, from the continent of Archanea, to the east. According to Catria, their younger sister had been captured by pirates.

War of Deliverance

Land of Sorrow

Together to the End


In a way, Fire Emblem Gaiden follows the tradition of NES sequels which differ drastically from their predecessors set by the likes of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and the American Super Mario Bros. 2. Though the same fundamental turn-based strategy gameplay of its predecessor and successor is still the focus of the game, it is surrounded by mechanics more like what is found in traditional role-playing games. Most of these mechanics were immediately abandoned in the next game, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, though some have occasionally resurfaced in individual games since, with Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Awakening, and Fates being notable examples of borrowing from Gaiden.

Celica explores a village.

World map and villages

Main article: World map

Gaiden was the first Fire Emblem game to introduce a traversable world map, though no Fire Emblem game since has replicated it exactly. Rather than the forced linear game structure of its predecessor, the player returns to the world map after every battle and can move Alm or Celica around freely, giving the choice to either move straight to their next destination or backtrack to visit a prior location for grinding or other purposes. Uniquely in the Gaiden system, the world map itself has its own turn count, in which a turn elapses every time either Alm or Celica move, or at command by selecting the Rest menu option. Generally nothing happens, but later in the game enemy armies will move towards one of the lords after they move. If an enemy moves onto a location currently occupied by Alm or Celica, a battle commences and the enemy units get to move first. If one of the lords attacks first the battle proceeds as normal.

Certain locations on the world map, such as villages or allied castles, can also be entered and freely moved around as in a typical RPG. When a location is visited in this way, Alm or Celica can explore it to talk to its inhabitants or find treasure chests containing items.

Weapons, items and magic

The item/weapon system's dynamic in Gaiden is different from all other games. Durability does not exist at all, consumable items do not exist with the only non-weapon items being equipment, and only a very small number of each item/weapon exists; for instance, there is only one Javelin in the entire game. All units have one inventory slot, so between that and the very limited item availability, unique weapons must be weighed by the player on who needs them most, as weapons also compete for inventory space with shields and other beneficial items like the Angel Ring. If a unit does not have a weapon in their inventory, they are still capable of attacking because they revert to having a weak "default" weapon which does not take up the inventory slot.

The magic system is also radically different, and is not tied to items or weapons used by units at all. Instead, acting more like a traditional Japanese RPG, units in magical classes learn new magic spells as their level increases, and can use them relatively freely without having to worry about durability. Instead, every spell (except Nosferatu) costs a set number of hit points to cast, with stronger spells costing more HP. Magic is divided into two categories: black magic consists of offensive spells and is primarily used by Mages, equivalent to tomes, while white magic consists of healing and support spells and is primarily used by Clerics, equivalent to staves.

Class change

Main article: Class change/Family Computer games § Fire Emblem Gaiden

Although the basic concept of changing class remained from the original game, Gaiden implemented several unique additions to it which returned in later games. Class changing is no long initiated by using items, but rather by visiting Mila Shrines when a unit reaches the requisite level. Gaiden introduced the idea of trainee classes with the Villager class; Villagers are weaker than other playable classes but, if properly trained, have the potential to promote into a wide variety of classes. It also introduced the ability for units in certain advanced classes to promote again into even more powerful third-tier classes.

Before Fire Emblem Awakening, Gaiden was the only game to permit units to level up indefinitely through repeated class change, although only characters who begin as either Villagers or Mercenary-family classes are capable of this. Dread Fighters, the final stage in the Mercenary promotion line, can class change back down into Villagers. Villagers can, naturally, class change back into Mercenaries, starting the cycle anew. This can be repeated as many times as a player chooses, allowing select characters to completely max out their stats with sufficient patience.

Mila shrines

Alm visits a Mila shrine.
Main article: Mila Shrine

Mila shrines are unique fixtures found at the end of certain dungeons, which perform several functions. The lion head statues on the left and right of each can provide small permanent boosts to specific stats, with a small few being able to revive dead units. The statue of Mila in their center is required to promote units, and when spoken to the statue will promote all units in the player's party capable of doing so.


Main article: Auto-Battle

Gaiden also introduced a primitive version of the auto-battle command systems that later returned in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Awakening and Fates. The player may use two commands on all allied units who have not moved yet. The "Assault" command causes all player units to move to attack any nearby enemies, while the "Gather" command has them move near Alm or Celica.

Bonus experience

The bonus experience system, also commonly called "group experience", allows extra experience to be collected by the entire army, is also unique to Gaiden. During a battle, every time a unit fights an opponent, does damage and would normally gain experience (i.e. they are not at their level cap), a small amount of experience (usually 1 or 2 points) is added to a group pool. At the end of the battle all accumulated group experience is applied to all units, ensuring all the player's units get at least some experience per battle. For example, if 10 experience was accumulated, all recruited units present will gain 10 experience. However, this experience cannot level units up, capping at 99 experience, so the unit has to gain the last experience the normal way. This feature has not returned in any game since, although the bonus experience system which features in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn and has a similar purpose.


Main article: List of Acts in Fire Emblem Gaiden

Fire Emblem Gaiden has the smallest number of discrete labeled plot segments in the series, with only five Acts. However, each participating army's side of a given act entails content equivalent to four or five Chapters in what has since come to be Fire Emblem's standard setup. As such, Gaiden's length is comparable to that of other Fire Emblem titles.


Main article: List of characters in Fire Emblem Gaiden

Thirty-two characters are playable in Gaiden, among the smallest number of any Fire Emblem game. In a single playthrough, the player can have a maximum of 31 units, since Celica's route requires that the player choose between recruiting Deen and Sonya.


In an interview published in 1990, following the release of Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, Shouzou Kaga mentioned that he felt that the first game was a very linear experience which did not allow players many opportunities to use their developed units. Kaga stated that, following from this thought, he aimed to build multiple simultaneously-run scenarios into the next game, which eventually became Gaiden and its two-army campaign.[1]

Game credits

  • Director, Game Design: Shouzoh Kaga
  • Programmers: Masayuki Imanishi, Tsuneyasu Tajima, Kohji Yoshida, Kei Fukura, Masahiro Shimizu
  • Graphic designers: Saotshi Machida, Toshitaka Muramatu, Naotaka Ohnishi
  • Music: Yuka Tsujiyoko
  • Supervisor: Satoru Okada, Hirokazu Tanaka, Keisuke Terasaki
  • Special thanks: Ryouichi Kitanishi, Dr. Ohta, Mr. Mori, Papa Narihiro, Ribbon Nakamura, Will Nakajima
  • Producer: Gunpei Yokoi


As of 2002, Gaiden had sold an estimated 324,699 copies in its original Famicom print run.[2]

Fan translation

Main article: Fan translation § Fire Emblem Gaiden
The title screen in Gaiden's fan translation.

A complete fan translation patch for Gaiden was released in 2009, by Artemis251 of the Mother forums.[3]


Artwork from Cipher recreating Gaiden's box art.

Etymology and other languages

Names, etymology, and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology, and notes

Fire Emblem Gaiden

Modern Nintendo of America sources, from Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward, refer to the game by this title.
The Japanese word 外伝 gaiden, "side-story", is commonly used in both Japanese media and English releases thereof to denote spin-off works from an original work, like what Gaiden is to Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light.
Note that some sources, beginning in 2020, have begun to refer to the game with a colon, as "Fire Emblem: Gaiden".



Fire Emblem Side-story


Fire Emblem Gaiden



Fire Emblem Gaiden



Fire Emblem Gaiden



Fire Emblem Gaiden




  1. Kaga, S., Sakaguchi, H., et al.; trans. shmupulations, Fire Emblem – Developer Interviews with Shouzou Kaga and Hironobu Sakaguchi,, Published: 2016-05-03, Retrieved: 2016-05-03
  2. University of Japan Copyright Center, 日本ユニ著作権センター/判例全文・2002/11/14d 3, Translan, Published: 2002-11-14, Retrieved: 2015-03-30
  3. Artemis251, Fire Emblem Gaiden English Translation, Arty's Generic Site!, Published: 2009, Retrieved: 2015-07-07

External links

Fire Emblem Gaiden
Playable characters AlmAtlasBoeyCatriaCelicaClairCliveDeenDeltheaEstForsythGennyGrayJesseKamuiKliffLeonLukasLuthierMaeMathildaMycenNomahPallaPythonSaberSilqueSonyaTatianaTobinValbarZeke
Non-playable characters HalcyonIrmaMassena
Bosses AurumBarthBlakeCerberusDeenDeltheaDesaixDolthDumaGarciaGarthGazelleGharnGriethHadesHestiaJamilJedahJeromeLawsonMagnusMarlaMikhailMuellerNaberiusNuibabaRudolfShizasSlaydeSonyaTatarrahWolffXaizorZaksonZeke
Background characters Lima IVLipricaMila
Personal weapons FalchionRoyal Sword
Acts and Battles Act 1 1: Ram Woods Battle • 2: Fleecer's Forest Battle • 3: Thieves' Shrine • 4: Storming of Ram Valley • 5: Attack on the Southern Outpost • 6: First Battle of Southern Zofia • 7: Second Battle of Southern Zofia • 8: Deliverance Hideout • 9: Liberation of Zofia Castle
Act 2 1: Skirmish • 2: First Pirate Raid • 3: Second Pirate Raid • 4: Assault on the Pirate Throne • 5: Third Pirate Raid • 6: Beast Hunt • 7: Seabound Shrine • 8: Fourth Pirate Raid • 9: Fifth Pirate Raid
Act 3 Alm 1: Northern Zofia Battle • 2: First Battle of Zofia Forest • 3: Forest Crossroads Battle • 4: Siege of Desaix's Fortress • 5: Second Battle of Zofia Forest • 6: Sylvan Shrine • 7: Forest Northside Battle • 8: Retaking of the Sluice Gate
Celica 1: Zofian Coast Battle • 2: Skirmish • 3: Attack on the Desert Stronghold • 4N: Northern Desert Battle • 4S: Southern Desert Battle • 5: Attack on Grieth's Citadel • 6: Storming of the Valley Approach • 7: Dragon Shrine • 8: Liberation of the Temple of Mila
Act 4 Alm 1: Border Battle • 2: Rigel Forest Battle • 3: Fear Mountain Battle • 4: Fear Mountain Shrine • 5: Siege of Nuibaba's Abode • 6: Rigel Plains Battle • 7: Fight at the Dragon's Maw • 8: Rigel Falls Battle • 9: Secret Shrine • 10: Attack on the Last Bastion • 11: Attack on Rigel Castle
Celica 1: Dead Man's Mire Battle • 2: Skirmish • 3: Attack on Dolth Keep • 4: Lost Treescape • 5: Storming of Duma Gate • 6: The Swamps of Duma Battle • 7: Duma Tower
Act 5 1: Duma Temple • 2: The Final Battle
Locations ValentiaMila ShrinesNovisRigel (Fear Mountain ShrineLost TreescapeDuma Tower) • Zofia (Ram)
Groups, objects and concepts DeliveranceMonsters
Lists ActsCharactersClasses (Class change) • ItemsScriptsWeapons
Related topics Manga adaptationName chart • Other games (Shadow Dragon & the Blade of LightAwakeningEchoes: Shadows of Valentia) • Sound Test ModeTimelineUnused contentWorld map
Fire Emblem series
Main series Shadow Dragon & the Blade of LightGaidenMystery of the EmblemGenealogy of the Holy WarThracia 776The Binding BladeThe Blazing BladeThe Sacred StonesPath of RadianceRadiant DawnShadow DragonNew Mystery of the EmblemAwakeningFatesEchoes: Shadows of ValentiaThree HousesEngage
Spin-offs Archanea SagaTokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FEHeroesWarriorsWarriors: Three Hopes
Crossover games Super Smash Bros. (MeleeBrawlfor Nintendo 3DS and Wii UUltimate) • Club Nintendo Picross+Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.Project X Zone 2WarioWareDragalia Lost
Unreleased games and prototypes Fire Emblem 64The Blazing Blade pre-release build 0206The Blazing Blade pre-release build 0219The Sacred Stones prototypeFire Emblem Wii
TearRing Saga series Yutona Heroes War ChroniclesBerwick Saga
Vestaria Saga series War of the ScionsThe Sacred Sword of SilvanisterLucca GaidenChronicles of the Norden Civil War
Related titles Mario Kart: Double Dash!! bonus discLINENintendo Badge Arcade
Versions and releases List of version differencesLocalization of the Fire Emblem seriesVirtual Console
Other References in other mediaReferences to other media