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Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem celebrates 25th Anniversary

Quick retrospective: franchise is in best shape after quarter-century. 3DS will get the most ambitious double fix, but not this year.

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Long-time Nintendo fans may be more than just a little familiar with the strategy RPG series Fire Emblem, but we're pretty sure more than one player just how the hell Marth and Roy were when they were included in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

That was how Smash Bros, the now incredibly popular fighting/reunion of Nintendo characters franchise started letting people know about Fire Emblem in the west as up until that point, the S-RPG entries had never reached outside of Japan.

As these new characters left a mark, Nintendo finally felt like exporting the series outside its home land, starting with a couple of Game Boy Advance titles and the highly acclaimed Path of Radiance for Gamecube, first Fire Emblem in 3D. From that moment on, fans outside Japanese islands got to enjoy one of the best representatives of the tactical combat genre.

But if this happened little more than a decade ago in Europe and rest of western markets, Fire Emblem was in fact born on April 20th, 1990, with the launch of Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi (Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light) on Famicom (NES) in Japan. This means that, effectively, Fire Emblem just turned 25 years.

Fire Emblem Fates

In this quarter-century, the series developed mainly by Intelligent Systems has been gaining not only depth and complexity, but accessibility and narrative values, specially with latest entries for Nintendo DS and, above all, the most recent and brilliant Awakening for Nintendo 3DS. In total, it's been eleven main entries, two remakes and a couple of experiments, all building up a continuously growing and more passionate than ever fan community.

Thus, franchise celebrates its happy birthday in an excellent shape, while getting ready for its most ambitious title to date (Fire Emblem If will be 2 games for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon-style) and the unique crossover/spin-off Shin Megami Tensei meets Fire Emblem for Wii U. A pity, therefore, that it doesn't look like any of this games will make it out in 2015. Trailers from both titles reveal ambition, maturity and a ton of fan service:

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Fire Emblem Fates
Original Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi boxart for the NES.

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