The First Fire Emblem Is Coming to Nintendo Switch This December

The First Fire Emblem Is Coming to Nintendo Switch This December

Shadow Dragon, in its original form, but only for a limited time.

Another piece of Nintendo history is coming back for a limited time. Nintendo announced today that the first entry in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, is coming to Nintendo Switch on Dec. 4.

Originally published for the Famicom in Japan only, this version never came over to American consoles. While it would eventually find its way over years later in the Nintendo DS remake, simply titled Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, this is the first time the original version of the classic tactical RPG will be widely available, just as it was in 1990.

As the trailer above notes, while this game was Marth's debut in Nintendo canon, American players wouldn't become familiar with the hero until the launch of Super Smash Bros. Melee when Marth and Roy became playable characters. The U.S. didn't get Fire Emblem until the Game Boy Advance entry Blazing Blade, simply called "Fire Emblem" here. This is a piece of Fire Emblem history players will finally be able to enjoy, though it is a time-limited offer. The Nintendo eShop listing for the game notes that Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light will "only be available for a limited time," and a Nintendo press release confirms it will only be available until March 31, 2021.

Despite being a re-release of a classic, there are a few modern touches brought back to the original Fire Emblem. The Turn Rewind mechanic, as popularized in more recent Fire Emblem games, returns again here. There are also turn speed and bookmarking options, which should make things feel a little more at-home for modern Fire Emblem players.

These additions are indicative of the surge Fire Emblem has been on. The series has had some big ups and downs throughout the last decade or so, though it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year on a high note. Fire Emblem: Three Houses was a massive success for the series, on what has become one of Nintendo's most successful consoles.

It is a big bummer that this piece of history is, much like the recent Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection, available only for a limited time. It's a piece of Nintendo history. If it's getting an impressive, gorgeous collector's edition—which it is, by the way, and it looks fantastic—it shouldn't have to live on an arbitrary digital timer.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light will launch for Nintendo Switch on Dec. 4, 2020.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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