Mini-Review: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light

Ever since the Nintendo Direct for Fire Emblem, I’ve been keen on getting into the series. Problem is, it’s a Strategy game and I’ve never had the best luck with some of the games I tried to play. As with most series I like to start from the beginning, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. But I realised that there was a DS remake. Maybe I could play that one, but I ended up playing the original version on the Famicom with an English translation patch. This may be the one time where me explaining games to the everyman is going to be in the literal sense here.

Remember Marth from Super Smash Bros.? Well I do, and he’s the main protagonist of this game. I don’t know if this is the case for the remainder of the series…I don’t know, I’m a Fire Emblem noob.

So from what I got, how the game works is that you have Marth and his army of soldiers, each with a different particular set of skills, you need to look at the descriptions of each soldier so you can guide them to where they need to go, since they move in a grid and each have a limited amount of moves. After all your soldiers have a chance of moving around…or not, you end your go and the enemy army will have their go in moving.

But it won’t be long before an enemy approaches a soldier, and the battle becomes an RPG-like arena where a solider will attack an opponent, but after that, two things can happen: the opponent can counter attack or the soldier who attacked first can attack the opponent again. For your army, if you approach an enemy, you can attack and choose your weapon to use against the opponent depending on which soldier you use, each time you attack an enemy, you get XP, and enough XP leads to levelling up and stats increase, mostly by one.

So, with all that said, just use your army to strategically fight the enemy, reach the castle where the main bad guy is in each level and fight him, and I know he’s the boss because he has the most health and a higher level. After defeating him, send Marth to the castle and seize it and the level ends, just do it several times to beat the game…I didn’t do that because the game gets hard and I lost all my soldiers and Marth died, and since he’s the main character, if he dies, the game ends.

With that said, I actually enjoyed my time with this game, I actually managed to get past a few levels despite later in the game I would lose more soldiers overtime. I mean what can I say about the game since it’s pretty much simple to play, all you have to do is to bring some intelligence and you’ll have a good chance of winning, and I also need to remember to arrange my archers in places where they’re not next to the enemy but can still attack him from long-range. The graphics look OK, it’s a Strategy game for the Famicom so it was never really about the look of it but it was at a time where you needed to use your imagination on how big you think it should be.

Oddly enough, when this game was first released, it got a negative reception from critics…but a much positive response from gamers, which resulted in it getting another game and becoming a successful series that took long to be successful in the West.

I don’t know if I can recommend it, especially to the younger crowd, but to retro gamers, yes I can…or you can play the remake on the DS, I’ll get to that in a later date.



One thought on “Mini-Review: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light

  1. I think I’ll try and track down an English version of the originals, i liked Fire Emblem on GBA enough, and I managed to get my head round the insane difficulty so I *might* enjoy the earlier ones.

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