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Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

From Fire Emblem Wiki, your source on Fire Emblem information. By fans, for fans.
"The Binding Blade" redirects here. For other uses, see Binding Blade (disambiguation).
The Binding Blade

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Japanese logo and box art.

Developer(s)

Intelligent Systems

Publisher(s)

Nintendo

Director(s)

Tohru Narihiro
Masayuki Horikawa

Release date(s)

Game Boy Advance
JPMarch 29, 2002[1]
Wii U Virtual Console
JPSeptember 2, 2015
Game Boy Advance – Nintendo Switch Online
JPJune 23, 2023

Rating(s)

CERO: A (Virtual Console rerelease)

Platform(s)
Predecessor

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

Successor

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

On partnered sites
Nintendo Wiki Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (Japanese: 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 scenario writer of every installment and director of most installments through to Thracia 776, who had left Intelligent Systems shortly before the release of Thracia 776.

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: The Blazing Blade, 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.

Plot

One thousand 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 legendary weapons and the Binding Blade, and gave them to eight powerful fighters who became known as the Eight Legends 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 Eight Legends 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

However, those seals would not last forever. In the country of Bern, where the dragons once lived, King Zephiel begins an invasion against the other countries of Elibe. Bern's army brutally conquers the plains of Sacae and take over the snowy mountains of Ilia. With two countries already under his control, Zephiel sets his sights upon Bern's last independent neighbor – Lycia, a federation of states each lead by a marquess.

When Roy, the young lord of Pherae, returns home from his studies in Ostia to visit his ailing father, Marquess Eliwood, Castle Pherae is attacked by bandits, and Eliwood is taken hostage alongside Roy's childhood friend, the young lady of Ostia Lilina. Together with some Pheraen knights and one of Lilina's protectors, Roy defeats the bandits and rescues his father. The reunion does not last, as Eliwood tells Roy he must lead Pherae's forces for the newly established Lycian Army in Eliwood's stead, since his health does not allow him to fight. Lilina returns to Ostia, as her father, Ostia's marquess Hector, leads the main charge of the Lycian Army against Bern at Araphen, and Ostia requires another ruler in his absence.

Roy sets out, recruiting mercenaries Eliwood hired, to defend Lycia from Bern's invasion. Not soon after his departure, Roy arrives at Bern's border. There, he meets the priestess Elen, who begs him for aid. Her mistress, Lady Guinivere, had been captured by Bern's forces in a nearby fort. Once Roy's forces rescue her, Guinivere reveals herself to be Princess Guinivere, little sister to Bern's King Zephiel. She had stolen Bern's relic, the Fire Emblem, and sought out Lycian forces in the hopes to stop her brother's war peacefully. Roy adopts Guinivere into the army, and the group continue toward Araphen to aid Lord Hector.

When the Pherean forces arrive, they are met with tragedy. Two of Bern's famed Wyvern GeneralsBrunnya and Narcian—have laid waste to the Lycian Army. Zephiel himself challenged Hector to a duel, and Hector lost. Luckily, the generals leave, and Roy's group retake Araphen from Bern's stragglers. He frees Hector from Araphen's dungeon, yet it is too late. As his final words, Hector tells Roy that Bern has dragons in their ranks, which have not been seen since the Scouring. These dragons defeated Hector's forces, but if Roy continues to Ostia, he can find a legendary dragonslaying weapon. Then, Hector succumbs to his wounds, and Roy continues toward Ostia.

His journey there is fraught with danger, because many Lycians have sold out to Bern – like Laus's Marquess Erik, and Wagner, who killed Hector's cousin Marquess Orun and attempted to kill Roy with a trap. Each of them were promised power by Narcian, and Narcian's hold on Lycia slowly crumbles as Roy proceeds. Sensing more danger on the horizon, Roy sends a letter to his teacher Cecilia, who is also the Mage General of Etruria, the most powerful country in all Elibe above even Bern.

Lycia's liberation reaches a crescendo in the battle for Ostia. Lilina had been captured as a bargaining chip by the Ostian general Legance. The Pheraen forces free her, finally reclaiming Lycia's largest and most powerful territory. If Lilina survived the battle, she leads Roy to the weapon her father spoke of – the legendary blade Durandal, entrusted to Ostia's ruling family by their ancestor, Roland of the Eight Legends.

Lilina and Roy exit Durandal's hiding place to find Ostia under siege once again. General Narcian brought an overwhelming force of wyvern riders to surround the castle. Roy is determined to face Narcian head on, yet any battle is stopped by the arrival of Cecilia, alongside Knight General Perceval and a contingent of Etrurian knights. Narcian retreats, and Lycia is saved. Perceval departs back to Etruria, and Cecilia says that Lycia's safety is to Etruria's benefit.

Oppression of The Western Isles

After Bern's invasion was repelled, the assorted Lycian forces reformed into the Lycian Army, meant as a defensive measure for Lycia. It remains under Roy's leadership for his accomplishments during the invasion. The new Lycian Army is immediately given a task by the Etrurian court – to rid the Western Isles, a vassal state of Etruria's, from the bandits plaguing it. Cecilia apologizes that she could not prevent this, since Etruria's King Mordred has been indisposed since the death of his son Myrddin. Nonetheless, the Lycian Army follow the command as a show of thanks for Etruria's aid. Guinivere requests to come along, but Roy leaves her behind in Etruria under Cecilia's care for her own safety.

On the Western Isles, the Lycian Army encounter pirates as soon as they set foot on the shore. From here on, Roy's path can take two courses.

The eastern path

Heading east, toward Mount Ebaracum and its famous "Mine of Death", Roy requests permission to journey through the territory of the Etrurian noble Nord, but Roy's messenger is killed and Roy's forces are attacked by Etrurian soldiers. After defeating Nord, Roy meets Larum, a member of the resistance previously captured by Nord. The resistance aims to liberate the Isles from Etrurian rule. Larum tells Roy that her friends in the resistance will be tortured to death in Eburacum, prompting Roy to join her in her quest to rescue them.

In Eburacum, Roy officially joins up with the resistance's leader Echidna. Together, the Lycian Army and the resistance free the mine. A young man arrives after the battle, claiming to be a resistance member. Elffin presents Roy with the rumor that the Etrurian nobles Arcardo and Roartz are working with Bern. High Chancellor Roartz and Lord Arcardo were the ones to seize control of Etruria during King Mordred's grief, and the ones to send the Lycian League to the Western Isles to begin with. Roy realizes that he has fallen into a trap meant to eliminate him and leave Lycia defenseless. Instead of rushing back to Lycia, Roy keeps a cool head and sets course for Juteaux, the Isles' capital, to defeat Lord Arcardo and save the Isles from his unjust rule.

The western path

Heading east, Roy finds a village in uproar. The local lord is attacking his own village to kill the resistance member Elffin. Roy cannot let this stand, and defends the village. Elffin tells Roy of the truth behind his mission on the Isles, as he did on in Eburacum if Roy headed east instead. Following Elffin's guidance, the Lycian Army head toward Castle Eidyna, where prisoners await transport to the Mine of Death. Larum arrives, having infiltrated the castle and helped several prisoners escape. Roy's forces unite with the local resistance and save the prisoners, but Elffin and Roy conclude that the tragedies at the mine can only be stopped if the Western Isles are liberated once and for all.

In the meantime, Guinivere's retainer Melady searches for her mistress, but finds no sign of her on the Western Isles on either of Roy's paths. Even her lover, Narcian's subordinate Galle, cannot aid her search. The two speculate that Guinivere holds the Fire Emblem. Zephiel wishes to hold this theft secret, which is why only Melady was tasked with the search.

Juteaux's liberation

The routes reconvene with the Lycian Army's arrival in Juteaux. However, Arcardo has already fled, leaving the Isles in the hands of a Bernese general. General Flaer leaves as well to report Arcardo's failure to Narcian, and only a dragon named Ein remains to hold the castle. Roy receives rumors of this dragon from Elffin, and his curiosity at the connection between the dragons and Bern grows stronger. With the Lycian Army's defeat of Ein, the Western Isles are officially freed from Etruria's influence.

After their victory, Elffin reveals that Juteaux holds another legendary weapon: the Thunder Axe, Armads, wielded by Durban the Berserker.

Once Armads is retrieved, Elffin also tells Roy that the dragon's presence confirms Etruria's cooperation with Bern. Roy fears for Lycia's safety, but worse news arrives. Roartz and Arcardo performed a coup in Etruria's capital Aquileia. They have taken King Mordred hostage, and used his life to blackmail the generals into fighting for them. Only Cecilia, Guinivere, and a group of loyalists have fled Etruria to the Missur Peninsula in the south.

Coup d'etat in Etruria

The Lycian Army sails for Missur to rescue Cecilia. Cecilia held a single fort by herself, yet is defeated once Zephiel himself battles her. Just like in Araphen, Zephiel is accompanied by a hooded woman, who offers to fight in Zephiel's stead, though he refuses. Cecilia is taken prisoner inside her own fort with the mysterious Sophia, who treats Cecilia's wounds. Cecilia's defeat also means Guinivere's capture. She is dragged before her brother by Narcian, and pleads for him to stop his war. However, he ignores her wish for peace, even threatening her should she defy him again, and tasks Melady with returning her to Bern.

With the loyalists soundly defeated, Zephiel and the woman depart, leaving Narcian in charge, though Narcian once again hands off operations to Flaer. Guinivere's conviction does not falter, and she persuades Melady into letting her leave. She once again steals the Fire Emblem and flees to the Lycian Army alongside Melady.

Roy's forces defeat Flaer, taking Missur and rescuing Cecilia. The other prisoner Sophia tells them she hails from a village where dragons and humans coexist. Sophia promises to tell Roy all she knows of humans and dragons, and Roy heads for Arcadia, deep in the Nabata desert, to protect it from Bern's next attack.

The group brave a sandstorm, bandits, and Bern's soldiers, but successfully defend the village, but not before message that Arcadia indeed houses dragons reaches Zephiel. Thanks to Sophia, the group retrieve Forblaze, the weapon of Athos. Roy meets Arcadia's Elder, alongside the last divine dragon Fae and her guardian Igrene. Apparently, Sophia has detected an evil force from the woman accompanying Zephiel. Fae wishes to join the Lycian Army, but is forbidden by Igrene. As a result, Fae runs away after the Lycian Army, and is captured. Once she is rescued, Roy relents, and Fae officially joins his army.

With Arcadia and Fae safe, the group continues toward Aquileia. Along the way, they successfully recruit the Knight General Perceval. Elffin reveals himself to be Prince Myrddin to Perceval, and his loyalty to the prince outweighs his loyalty to the still captured king. Great General Douglas still stand in their way, however, and the Lycian Army are forced to avoid him during the battle for Aquileia against Narcian. Thanks to public support from the Elimine Church, the Lycian Army enters Aquileia without a fight, backing the revolutionaries into Castle Aquileia.

Narcian is at last killed, though Roartz and Arcardo flee once again, now running over into Bern's army. Douglas, now free from Narcian's blackmail, leads the group to the Tower of the Saint containing Saint Elimine's weapon, Aureola. King Mordred resumes rule of Etruria, and lends the Etrurian soldiers to Roy's command. In turn, Roy reorganizes the Lycian Army and the new soldiers into the Etrurian Army, with the intent to lead a proper offensive against Bern to end the war.

The Etrurian Army has two options to approach Bern through either Ilia or Sacae.

Retaking Ilia

At the border between Ilia and Sacae, the leader of the Wyvern Generals, Murdock, places Arcardo in charge of the border, and tasks Roartz with protecting Edessa, the headquarters of the Ilian mercenaries. He leaves with Galle just as the Lycian Army arrives. Roy promptly defeats Arcardo and continues onward toward Edessa.

In a forest, the Etrurian Army comes face to face with Niime the mountain hermit, who attacks the army with a weather changing spell as part of Bern's forces. Once the Etrurian Army take the forest, Niime severs ties with Bern. She reveals she has studied dragons and arcane magic, and only joined Bern to investigate. Niime suspects that Bern has resurrected the Demon Dragon, which is capable of creating more of its own kind, explaining the various manaketes Roy has fought until now. Later on, Niime and Roy also suspect that the woman with Zephiel, the Dark Priestess, may be the Demon Dragon in human form.

After braving an assault by Ilian pegasus knights during a blizzard, the Etrurian Army reach Castle Edessa. They rescue Juno, the Lady of Edessa, and wife to the Ilian mercenary Zelot, one of the mercenaries who joined Roy in Ostia. The Etrurian Army defeats Roartz, thus securing a stronghold to attack Bern from. Additionally, the Etrurian Army finds Maltet, another legendary weapon wielded by Barigan.

Liberating Sacae

At the border between Etruria and Sacae, Brunnya meets with Arcardo and Roartz. She leaves Arcardo to defend the border and orders Roartz to defend Bulgar, Sacae's biggest city, fully expecting the two to perish. Roy does as expected and defeats Arcardo. The Etrurian Army's main opponent in Sacae are the Djute, a Sacaen tribe who betrayed their countrymen to side with Bern. The Etrurian Army manages to defeat the majority of the Djute, thus reaching Bulgar.

Outside the city, they meet Niime. She sided with the leader of the resistance against Bern, Dayan, chieftain of the Kutolah. Once she joins Roy, Niime reveals the same information she does in Ilia. The Etrurian Army enters Roartz' manor in Bulgar's center, taking out the remnants of the Djute along the way. Dayan follows them inside, but quickly joins the Etrurian Army upon finding out two of his clansmen, including his granddaughter Sue, are part of it. With Roartz's defeat, the Etrurian Army secures a great strategic stronghold for an assault on Bern. The Sacaen members of the Etrurian Army also lead Roy to another legendary weapon, Mulagir, wielded by Hanon.

During either journey, Guinivere reveals Zephiel's history to Roy, bit by bit. According to her, her father, the previous king of Bern, hated Zephiel. Not only did he not love Zephiel's mother, he was also deeply jealous of Zephiel's talents. As a result, he poisoned Zephiel, who barely survived thanks to Murdock. Zephiel pretended to die, just to kill his father at his own funeral. This event shattered Zephiel's faith in humanity, leading him to resurrect the Demon Dragon and launch his invasion of all Elibe. Though Guinivere still wishes for peace, she admits that Zephiel must be stopped. She entrusts the Fire Emblem to Roy in the hopes he will end the war.

On Bern's soil

With a stronghold secure, the Etrurian Army goes on the offensive. Guinivere leads the group to the Shrine of Seals. There, Bern's founder, Hartmut of the Eight Legends, left the Binding Blade. Murdock protects the shrine together with Galle, and a large scale battle ensues. The Etrurian Army is joined by Yoder, a bishop from the Elimine Church. He brings with him whichever legendary weapon of Maltet and Mulagir Roy did not retrieve on his own.

Despite their formidable strength, both Murdock and Galle are defeated. Inside the shrine, Elffin discovers the path to an additional legendary weapon hidden within, Bramimond's tome Apocalypse. The Binding Blade can only be unsealed using the Fire Emblem. When Roy does so, he has a strange vision showing him the woman who accompanied Zephiel, and he concludes that these must be Hartmut's memories. With Binding Blade in hand, Roy makes for Castle Bern and Zephiel with it.

Before the war's last battle, Zephiel gives his last order to Brunnya. She is supposed to take the Dark Priestess Idunn, now confirmed to be the Demon Dragon, to the hidden Dragon Sanctuary, that she may outlive him and still fulfill his ambition even in the likely case of his death.

Roy and Zephiel come face to face. Zephiel explains that he loathes humanity, and that dragons, particularly the emotionless war dragons the Demon Dragon produces, would create an ideal word free of petty human greed. Roy refutes that human evil is always stopped by other humans, and engages Zephiel in combat. With Roy's victory, the war, later dubbed the Disturbance of Bern comes to an end, though Roy's trials do not.

If Roy collected all legendary weapons, the addition of Zephiel's blade Eckesachs reveals the path to the Dragon Sanctuary where Brunnya took Idunn. Brunnya guards the sanctuary with the last remains of Bern's army, and refuses to surrender even when Roy gives her the opportunity. With no other choice, the Etrurian Army defeat Bern's last forces.

Supposedly, the sanctuary's power strengthens the dragons, so Roy only ventures inside with those capable of wielding the legendary weapons. In the sanctuary, Roy quickly meets the dragon Jahn, or at least an illusion of him. Roy goads Jahn into explaining the history of the Demon Dragon and his own motivations.

According to Jahn, the Demon Dragon is a former divine dragon whose power has been corrupted and whose soul has been destroyed to turn it into a tool of war. Because the humans had superior numbers, the dragons needed a weapon to turn the tides of the Scouring. The divine dragons were appalled by this plan and fled, but one of them, Idunn, was captured. Despite the Demon Dragon and its war dragons to bolster their numbers, the dragons still lost once the legendary weapons were created. When Hartmut discovered that the Demon Dragon was just a girl, he sealed her instead of killing her like his allies expected him to. Jahn received near fatal injuries in the battle, forcing him to retreat into the sanctuary to recover. Once Zephiel unsealed Idunn, Jahn made contact with him, and the two allied to fulfill Zephiel's dream.

In the depths of the sanctuary, Roy finds Jahn's true form and defeats him. Fae worries that she will become evil like the Demon Dragon is, but Roy reassures her she will live in peace with humans, just as she has done until now. In truth, Jahn's words gave Roy an idea to not only defeat the Demon Dragon, but to save her as well. The Binding Blade's power conforms to its wielder's will, explaining how Hartmut sealed Idunn. Just like Hartmut, Roy aims to seal Idunn's power to spare her life and recover her soul.

Once the Demon Dragon is defeated, the Dragon Sanctuary begins to collapse. All of his allies flee, yet Roy briefly stays behind to recover Idunn and carry her outside.

After the Demon Dragon

With Zephiel dead and the Demon Dragon gone, Bern surrenders. Guinivere takes the throne and rebuilds the kingdom with Etrurian aid, thus creating the New Kingdom of Bern. Some decry her for allying with Etruria during the war, but her hard work wins even her detractors over.

Roy attends Guinivere's crowning ceremony and the two vow to rebuild Elibe better than ever before. Later, Roy returns to Pherae to check on his father, and eventually takes over the position of Pherae's marquess. Lilina returns to Ostia as well. Not only does she become marquess, she eventually succeeds in uniting all Lycian territories into the Kingdom of Lycia with her as queen, (and Roy as king, if the two grew sufficiently close during the war).

The Western Isles officially secede from Etruria and form the Western Union with Echidna at the helm. Ilia also restructures into the Kingdom of Ilia lead by Zelot and Juno. Sacae recovers from its losses as Dayan rebuilds the Kutolah. Peace returns to all nations of Elibe.

As it turns out, Roy led Idunn to Arcadia, where she now lives alongside Fae. Her recovery is slow, but Fae's antics tease a laugh out of her, proving that her soul has been restored.

Gameplay

The Binding Blade is today considered to be the game which codified the general structure and gameplay flow of almost all subsequent Fire Emblem games. Compared to its predecessor, Thracia 776, it is significantly simplified and has dropped numerous features, but also retains some of the stats, mechanics and general concepts introduced by Thracia.

Stat changes

The Binding Blade retains the constitution stat introduced in Thracia, but removes action and the follow-up critical multiplier. Resistance returns to its normal function following its absence in Thracia, and movement and constitution are no longer connected to growth rates. Strength and magic are no longer technically separate stats, but rather are the same value handled differently: physical units treat it as strength, while magical units treat it as magic.

Supports

While the support bonus mechanic had existed in a hidden form in prior games, The Binding Blade converted it into its present form, where supports between units are strengthened by their participation in battles alongside each other and are activated by having units talk to each other. It also introduces the affinity system, where each playable unit bears one of seven elemental affinities which dictates what stat boosts they provide to their support partner.

Weapon triangle

The Trinity of Magic is modified from Thracia 776: fire, thunder and wind magic are consolidated into a single magic type, anima magic. In turn, light and dark magic are integrated into the Trinity of Magic properly rather than their former position as being separate from it: anima beats light, light beats dark, and dark beats anima.

Chapters

Main article: List of chapters in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

In an average playthrough, the game is 25 chapters long, not counting any of the side quests, 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 side quest per playthrough. The game features a total of 39 distinct map chapters, including side quests 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.

Characters

Main article: List of characters in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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 (Larum/Elffin, Echidna/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.

Support conversations

Main article: List of supports in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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.

Development

A screenshot of Fire Emblem 64, a cancelled game whose development led to The Binding Blade.
Main articles: Fire Emblem 64 and Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade pre-release information

The development of The Binding Blade originated with Fire Emblem: Ankoku no Miko (Japanese: ファイアーエムブレム 暗黒の巫女), an ill-fated title for the Nintendo 64 which is better known as Fire Emblem 64. When developmental difficulties arose with this Nintendo 64 title, the project was cancelled and development was moved to a new title for the Game Boy Advance, which at first was still known as Ankoku no Miko. However, the planning for the game had to start from the beginning due to the difficulties which led to the initial cancellation, so few traces of the Nintendo 64 original remained in the Game Boy Advance product; the only elements which are confirmed to have carried over without major changes are the characters Roy and Karel.[2]

The Game Boy Advance version of Maiden of Darkness was first announced in August 2000, when it appeared in a list of games to be showcased in the following year's Nintendo Space World press event. The first footage of the game was demonstrated at that year's Space World.[3] By July 2001, the game had been renamed The Binding Blade, its title in the final release.[4] During its development, protagonist Roy was introduced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee at the request of Intelligent Systems, in order to promote the game's upcoming release.

As of mid-March 2002, weeks prior to the game's Japanese release, Nintendo of America had allegedly confirmed their intent to localize and release The Binding Blade internationally, but these plans never eventuated and instead its prequel, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, became the first internationally-released Fire Emblem game.[5]

Game credits

Main article: Staff of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

Unreleased Chinese localization

Chinese title screen.

In late March 2019, an unreleased Chinese localization of The Binding Blade was released by a collector on the internet.[6] Aside from being translated into Chinese, the game is not known to have undergone any major modifications aside from some new splash screens. The translation modifies the game copyright screen to extend to 2007, implying that the translation was done at around that point. Judging by the added iQue splash screen, the translation was done by iQue, a Chinese company involved with Nintendo that handled the localization of several Nintendo titles for the Chinese-speaking market.

As the Chinese translation's credits remain unmodified from the Japanese release, the individuals behind the game translation itself remain uncredited.

Had this version of the game released, it would have made The Binding Blade the first Fire Emblem series title to be released officially in Chinese. Instead, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia would be the first Fire Emblem game released in Chinese in 2017.

Fan translation

The title screen in the 2013 revision of The Binding Blade's fan translation.
Main article: Fan translation § Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

The original 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, in a playable yet unrefined state. In 2013–2014, a heavily updated and polished version of the patch was produced and released by gringe of the Serenes Forest forums. Among the patch's improvements is a total retranslation and rewrite of the game's script, updating the game's graphics and fixing untranslated/poorly translated remnants left by the old translation, and revising terminology to bring the game in line with the English releases of its prequel and Fire Emblem Awakening.[7]

Trivia

  • Unused text in the English version of this game's prequel translates this game's title as Sword of Seals.
  • This is the last game in the series to have a clockwise pan-scrolling preview of a current chapter's map before the preparations screen.

Etymology and other languages

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

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

Known by this name in official Nintendo sources from the Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade website onward.
The title refers to the Binding Blade, a powerful weapon obtained by Roy late in the game; this weapon is part of the game's logo.

English
(unofficial)

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. The modern gringe fan translation, however, calls the game "The Binding Blade".

Japanese

ファイアーエムブレム 封印の剣

Officially romanized as Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seal.

Spanish

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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French

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

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German

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

--

Italian

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade

--

Simplified Chinese

火纹战记 封印之剑

Fire-Patterned War Chronicles: The Sword of Seals; this is the name of the unreleased iQue translation.

Gallery

Screenshots

References

  1. HISTORY, ファイアーエムブレムワールド【FIRE EMBLEM WORLD】, Retrieved: November 6, 2020
  2. VincentASM, The Making of Fire Emblem 64, Serenes Forest, Published: December 9, 2015, Retrieved: January 3, 2016
  3. IGN staff, Fire Emblem - Maiden of the Dark, IGN, Published: January 23, 2001, Retrieved: July 6, 2014
  4. VincentASM, Fire Emblem 64, Serenes Forest, Published: February 25, 2013, Retrieved: July 6, 2014
  5. Harris, Craig, Fire Emblem Hits Japan Airwaves, IGN, Published: Fabruary 15, 2002, Retrieved: March 25, 2014
  6. VincentASM, Binding Blade: Chinese Prototype Surfaces Thanks to Hidden Palace, Serenes Forest, Published: March 25, 2019, Retrieved: March 30, 2019
  7. FE6 Localization Patch v1.1.3 - Now with fully functional Support Conversation reader!, Serenes Forest Forums, Published: March 13, 2014, Retrieved: March 25, 2014

External links

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade
Playable characters AlenAstolfoBartheBartreBorsCathCeciliaChadClarineDayanDieckDorothyDouglasEchidnaElenElffinFaeFirGarretGeeseGonzalezGwendolynHughIgreneJunoKarelKleinLanceLarumLilinaLotLughMarcusMerlinusMeladyNiimeNoahOgierPercevalRaighRoyRutgerSaulShannaSinSophiaSueTheaTrecWardWoltYoderZelotZeiss
Trial Map characters BrunnyaEliwoodGalleGuinivereHectorMurdockNarcianZephiel
Non-playable characters EliwoodGuinivereHectorMaryMordred
Bosses ArcardoBorsBrakulBrunnyaChanDamasDebiasDoryEinErikFlaerGalleGuerreroHenningIdunnKabulKelKudokaJahnLeganceMaggieMarralMartelMonkeMorganMurdockNarcianNordOatesOrloPeresRaithRandyRoartzRobertsRoseRuudScollanScottSiguneSlaterThorilTickWagnerWindhamZephielZinque
Background characters AthosBariganBramimondDurbanElimineHanonHartmutRoland
Regalia and personal weapons ApocalypseArmadsAureolaBinding BladeDurandalEckesachsForblazeMaltetMulagirRapierStaff of the Saint
Chapters Tutorial • 1: Breath of Destiny • 2: Princess of Bern • 3: Latecomer's Sorrow • 4: Crumbling League • 5: Fire Emblem • 6: Ensnared • 7: The Ostian Revolt • 8: Reunion • 8x: The Blazing Blade • 9: The Misty Isles • 10A: Western Resistance • 11A: The Hero of the West • 10B: Amidst a Struggle • 11B: Flight Toward Freedom • 12: The True Enemy • 12x: The Thunder Axe • 13: Rescue Mission • 14: Arcadia • 14x: The Infernal Truth • 15: The Dragon Child • 16: Storming the Capital • 16x: The Glorious Ascension • 17A: Ocean's Parting • 18A: The Frozen River • 19A: Bitter Cold • 20A: Ilia's Salvation • 20Ax: The Freezing Lance • 17B: The Bishop's Teachings • 18B: The Laws of Sacae • 19B: Battle in Bulgar • 20B: The Silver Wolf • 20Bx: The Bow of Swift Wind • 21: The Binding Blade • 21x: The Elder Revelation • 22: Unattained Dream • 23: The Ghosts of Bern • 24: Legends and LiesF: Beyond Darkness
Trial Maps Valley of DeathRainy IslandSnowy DefensivePirate's ChallengeRoy's Trial
Locations ElibeBern (Dragon TempleShrine of Seals) • Etruria (Aquleia) • IliaLycia (AraphenLausOstiaPheraeThria) • Missur (ArcadiaNabata) • Sacae (BulgarTaras) • Western Isles
Groups, objects and concepts Disturbance of BernEnding WinterFire EmblemGenerals of EtruriaThe ScouringWar Dragons
Lists ChaptersCharactersClasses (Class change) • Hidden treasureItemsScriptsSupportsWeapons
Related topics Elibe DisturbanceHasha no TsurugiName chart • Other games (The Blazing Blade) • Pre-release information (Unused content) • Sound RoomTimeline
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