Fire Emblem: Maiden of the Dark

   Despite pioneering the strategy RPG in Japan, Nintendo's Fire Emblem series hasn't had the best of luck in North America. The early Famicom and Super Famicom installments never crossed the Pacific, while the planned Nintendo 64 chapter was canceled outright. The most recent chapter, Fire Emblem Thracia 776, was released in 1999 on the Super Famicom -- not the most marketable platform at that point in time. The series may finally see a North American release, however, with the upcoming Fire Emblem: Maiden of the Dark.
The hero converses

   Few specific details are known about the first Game Boy Advance installment of the saga, save the premise of the game's story. The game introduces a new Fire Emblem location, the continent of Erezo. In typical RPG fashion, you play the role of a courageous young soldier who must defend his country against an invasion by the neighboring kingdom of Belun, while also unraveling the mystery behind his formerly peaceful rivals' aggression.

Like all thunder spells, it's actually lightning
Thunder spell

   Gameplay details are currently non-existent, but it's safe to assume that Maiden of the Dark will stick to the linear, turn-based strategy RPG base of its predecessors. According to Nintendo, Maiden of the Dark will apparently include some "real-time" elements, though this may simply refer to the animated battle screens.

   Despite the series' non-existent presence abroad, Fire Emblem: Maiden of the Dark may yet stand a chance of being translated. Nintendo's official position? "No firm U.S. release date has been announced" for Maiden of the Dark, indicating that one could well surface in the future. Strategy RPG fans should keep their fingers crossed.

Preview by Fritz Fraundorf, GIA.
Fire Emblem: Maiden of the Dark
Developer Intelligent Systems
Publisher Nintendo
Genre Strategy RPG
Medium Cartridge (? mb)
Platform Game Boy Advance
Release Date  2001
Fire Emblem: The Sealed Sword multiplayer details
12 gameplay screenshots
18 character designs
Box art