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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light

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Title Screen

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light

Also known as: Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryu to Hikari no Tsurugi (JP)
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: NES
Released internationally: December 4, 2020 (Nintendo Switch)
Released in JP: April 20, 1990

CharacterIcon.png This game has unused playable characters.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, the first game in the titular tactical RPG series, follows the adventures of the pantsless Prince Marth and his merry men as they go on a journey to slay a gigantic mole-dragon thing. Oh, and it's been remade twice.

It remained unlocalized and Japan-only for 30 years until finally receiving an English localization in 2020 for Nintendo Switch.

To do:
  • the translations need to be checked against the official English localization

Bug documentation:

  • Having Marth talk while standing on a house/village erroneously plays the house dialogue instead of whatever the talk dialogue is supposed to be. [1] This does not occur in the Japanese version.
  • The class roll sometimes reverts back to Japanese text; exact trigger criteria unknown.
  • Triangle Attack issues with determining if the pegasi are in a valid formation. (See commented out video, read comments for clarification.)
  • Using a promotion item on a Manakete increases their def, can be looped to extremely high values as this does not degrade the item. (See commented out video.)

Unused Graphics

Fire Emblem NES-Mouse icon.png

There is a cute little mouse with some of the unit map sprites. The player unit palette has been applied to it for this image.

FE1-Red Castor.png FE1-Yellow Castor.png

There are two unused palette swaps of the character Castor. While neither is set to any units, both have portrait ID definitions: the red version is 40 and the yellow version is 41.


The arrow tilesets contain unused sprites for angled arrows; in the finished game, arrows are only ever animated flying at a completely straight trajectory. The left set is for the arrows shot by regular bows, and the right set is for the flaming arrows shot by Parthia.


These shield icons are present in several points of the ROM, but are never used. Perhaps they were meant to appear on the HUD at some point, although what purpose they might have served is unknown. Similar artwork appears in the game manual as decoration. An early prerelease poster also uses artwork resembling the sword/shield icon in the logo, possibly indicating it was an early simplified rendition of Falchion and the titular Fire Emblem.

FE1-Staff Animations.png

A set of battle sprite frames for classes depicting them with staves, heavily squished compared to their used counterparts. From left to right: curates, female mages, an unrecognizsble class, and curates again except flipped around. Notably, female mages are unable to use staves while unpromoted in this game or any other Fire Emblem game, but perhaps they were intended to do so at one point.

The third sprite is the most interesting; no class is shown using any form of the sprite. It is possible that it was intended for a specific female design variant of the bishop class, since it appears to be quite feminine and female clerics do have different battle sprites from their male curate counterparts. In the final release, however, female bishops used the exact same sprites as male bishops, and there are no surviving regular-sized sprites for a female design.

Unused Characters

Although the game has 25 chapters of content, some character IDs are not assigned to any enemies. Note that due to the way that this game handles enemy stats - taking them directly from the generic stats for the class assigned to them when applied as a unit, with their luck stat only being generated upon recruitment - none of these unit IDs have any distinct base stats associated with them at all.


Fire Emblem NES Sabre Ending.png

The most complete of these units is Sabre (セイバー), who has data as both a playable unit (ID 34) and an enemy (ID BE). Not to be confused with Saber from Gaiden and Shadows of Valentia, whose name is spelled slightly differently in Japanese (セーバー).

Sabre has a significant amount of data still associated with him, although at this point most of it is duplicated from other characters. He reuses Michalis's portrait with no alterations. While he has no base stats or preset class for the same reason as everyone else, he does have a set of assigned growth rates, although they are identical to Elice's and Gotoh's:

HP Str Skl WLv Spd Luck Def Res
Growth rates 80% 0% 50% 90% 60% 80% 30% 0%

He is programmed to be recruitable by Ogma; however, no unique recruitment conversation remains for him, so if he is hacked to appear as an enemy and Ogma talks to him, the game loads Wendell's recruitment conversation with Marth instead. He even has his own epilogue entry (pictured to the right) that correctly displays his own name and portrait, although the actual body text is again identical to Wendell's:

Japanese Translation
せかいのしんりを もとめて
しょこくを ほうろうしている
Journeys from country to country
seeking to uncover great truths.

Not counting the Gaiden character, Sabre has made no further appearances in the data of any other Fire Emblem game, used or otherwise.

(Source: Darrman, bookofholsety)

Enemy IDs

All of the other remaining unit IDs were evidently intended for enemies, generic and otherwise, so unlike Sabre they have no data other than the ID slot itself.

ID Name Translation Notes
82 ワイラー Wyler One of the first enemy listings. Has no portrait. Curiously, this ID can occasionally be seen in use in the battle test mode. The name is still in Monshou no Nazo, where it is still unused, but is absent entirely from Shadow Dragon.
A2 カシミアへい Chiasmir Soldier A generic ID for enemies representing the Chiasmir region. Only one chapter, Chapter 18, is set in Chiasmir and thus would be the logical place for this ID to appear, but in it the player instead fights troops from the Sable Order.
A6 バジリスク Basilisk This is the name of the mage dragon clan, as mentioned by the boss Morzas, so this ID was likely intended for generic mage dragon enemies.
A7 サラマンダー Salamander This is the name of the fire dragon clan, as mentioned by the boss Mannu, so this ID was likely intended for generic fire dragon enemies.
A8 ナーガ Naga This is the name of both the divine dragon clan, as mentioned by Bantu, and of the ruler of that clan introduced in Monshou no Nazo. While it could have been used for generic divine dragon enemies, the only divine dragon who ever appears in the game is Tiki.
A9 ガイア Gaia Given the pattern and the original meaning of the word (Greek for "earth"), this may have been intended to be the name of the earth dragon clan, although it is never referred to by any similar name in any Fire Emblem game. According to developer's notes, Medeus was himself named "Gaia" early in development.
AA てつきしだん Iron Knights This name actually was later used for some early-game knight enemies associated with Macedon in Monshou no Nazo, but those same enemies in this game are labelled as regular Macedonian soldiers instead.
B3 しろきしだん Whitewings Minerva's pegasus knight unit was evidently intended to have generic members at some point; the only ones that actually appear in the game are the playable characters Palla, Catria and Est. Curiously, if the debug menu in Monshou no Nazo is anything to go by, Intelligent Systems also considered having generic Whitewings during that game's development, although that ID slot was eventually rebranded for generic pegasus knights.
B8 テーベマージ Thabes Mage A generic ID for enemies representing the city of Thabes. Only one chapter, Chapter 23, is set in Thabes, and its enemies are instead composed of a mixture of Khadein and Dolhr troops. As with the Whitewings, though, the Monshou debug menu indicates that distinct Thabes enemies were considered for that game as well before being rebranded as nondescript dark mages.
B9 そうへいだん Curate Army An army of generic healers? What purpose these could have served is anybody's guess.
BB ク"ルニアおう King Grust The king of Grust, named Ludwik in later games, may have been planned to appear in battle himself at some point in development. Instead, he is only mentioned in passing by Lorenz when recruited by Caeda.
(Source: serenesforest.net)

Unused Items

The game features several unused items and weapons. Unfortunately, the majority of them don't do anything particularly interesting.

ID Weapon Name Translation Mt Hit Wt Crt WLv Uses Worth Notes
20 ワイバーン Wyvern 0 0 0 0 0 Infinite 0 Equippable by manaketes. Cannot be used to attack. Wyverns are used as steeds by a recurring class that debuted in this game, and also appear as an enemy dragon type in Part 2 of Monshou no Nazo, although in both contexts they are almost always referred to in Japanese as 飛竜 hiryū, rather than ワイバーン waibān.
21 ガーゴイル Gargoyle 0 0 0 0 0 Infinite 0 Equippable by manaketes. Cannot be used to attack. Gargoyle monsters appear in later games in the series.
25 サラマンダー Salamander 0 0 0 0 0 Infinite 0 Equippable by manaketes. Cannot be used to attack. As with the unused unit name, this is very likely related to the fire dragon clan.
27 シェンロン Shenglong 0 0 0 0 0 Infinite 0 Equippable by manaketes. Cannot be used to attack. Very likely related to the divine dragon clan, since "shenglong" would be the Mandarin pronunciation of 神竜 shinryū, the Japanese name of the species.
28 ネプチューン Neptune 0 0 0 0 0 Infinite 0 Equippable by manaketes. Cannot be used to attack. Neptune was the name of a cut water-elemental dragon boss.
29 ダークドラゴン Dark Dragon 0 0 0 0 0 Infinite 0 Equippable by manaketes. Cannot be used to attack. Likely related to Medeus, who is referred to in plain English as the "dark dragon" in the game's opening.
2A まりゅうせき Magestone 8 8 70 0 0 Infinite 120G A duplicate of the magestone weapon used by some enemy manaketes. Still equippable by manaketes, but using it results in glitchy graphics.
39 ヘラーン Helarn - - - - 4 23 1750G Usable by staff-wielding classes. When used, it gives the target ally's current equipped weapon infinite durability and displays the following message:
(item)のきょうどがあがった ("(item)'s strength increased.")
Given its extremely powerful effect and high durability, this possibly existed to assist with debugging.
4C トオメガネ Telescope - - - - - 1 2550G When used, it changes a hidden, presumably abandoned stat for the character, and displays the following message:
さくてきが5あがった ("Reconnaissance increased by 5.")
This implies that Fog of War ("reconnaissance maps" in Japan) were at some point planned to appear in this game, long before its eventual debut in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (although no subsequent game in the series has ever allowed for a unit's fog vision to be permanently increased by a stat-booster item like this).
56 ときのオーブ Timesphere - - - - - 3 2550G When used, the game says that nothing happens and no durability is subtracted from it. May have been intended to be one of the legendary orbs/spheres along with the Starsphere and Lightsphere.
57 やみのオーブ Darksphere - - - - - 3 2550G When used, the game says that nothing happens and no durability is subtracted from it. Was intended to be one of the set of orb/sphere items, and appears as one of them in Part 2 of Fire Emblem: Monshou no Nazo.
5C F·エムブレム F Emblem - - - - - Infinite 2550G An item version of the titular Fire Emblem item. Has no function at all and can only be discarded. Appears as an item in Monshou no Nazo.

Sound Test

Fire Emblem (NES)-soundtest.png

A hidden sound test can be accessed from the end-of-chapter save prompt with a simple button code. Save the game, then when asked whether you wish to continue, select "いいえ" ("No"). After that, press Up, Down, Left, Right, Up, A to enter the sound test mode. Press Up or Down to select a track (can be either a sound effect or music, all of which are mixed in with each other), and press A or B to start or stop playing.

Additional testing features can be accessed from the sound test:

  • Press Select to view the ending sequence with a staff roll. They look no different from the proper credits, and any chapters not played count for zero in the turn count listing.
  • Press Start to enter the battle test mode.
(Source: Cah4e3)

Battle Test

Wyler appearing (as a knight on the left in this particular instance) in the battle test.

As aforementioned, pressing Start in the sound test mode will open a battle test mode, which runs an endless sequence of simulated battle sequences testing almost every possible matchup of class and weapon. The entire thing is completely uncontrollable and cannot be manually exited.


The mode goes through an extremely long series of cycles nested within each other, testing every class and almost every weapon in the game against every class and almost every weapon, progressing through them in their internal order. For example:

  • The mode starts with a pair of cavaliers (the first class in internal order) each equipped with silver swords (the first item in internal order), playing two battle scenes: one in which the player-side unit initiates, and a second in which the enemy unit initiates.
  • After these two tests, it moves on to another matchup in which the enemy cavalier is now wielding the next item on in internal order, the iron sword. The player-side cavalier still has a silver sword. This process repeats through every weapon that cavaliers can use.
  • After reaching the end of the cavalier tests, the enemy-side unit becomes a knight - the next class after cavaliers in internal order - and repeats the same process with every weapon available to knights. The player-side unit is still a cavalier with a silver sword. This process, again, repeats with every class.
  • Once the enemy unit has cycled through every class with every weapon, they start again as a cavalier with a silver sword, while the player-side unit has itself moved on to the next stage: it is still a cavalier, but now has a steel sword. The enemy-side unit again repeats its entire process as before against the steel sword cavalier, after which the player-side cavalier moves on to the next weapon.
  • The process repeats over and over, going through all 22 classes with all compatible weapons, until the last combination: a firestone manakete against a firestone manakete.

Once the entire series of battle scenes has been viewed, the game unceremoniously soft-resets. However, the process seems to corrupt the second save file.


Aside from the class and equipped weapon, every unit in the test has identical stats, featuring 34 HP. The unit names that appear are pulled at random from earlygame units from their respective sides; i.e. earlygame playable characters appear as the player-side unit, while earlygame bosses and generic enemies appear as the enemy-side unit. Notably, the unused boss name Wyler can appear as an enemy unit in this (pictured to the right).

Each weapon is tested at least twice per class:

  • 1-range weapons are tested twice: the player-side unit attacks, then the enemy-side unit attacks.
  • 1-2 range weapons (javelins, Gradivus, hand axes, levin swords, tomes) are tested at least three times each per cycle: both units attack at least once each at 1 range, then the unit(s) with the 1-2 range weapon attack again at 2 range.
  • Bows and ballistae are tested at least twice per cycle: the unit with the bow/ballista attacks just once at 2 range, while the other unit attacks as many times as its range type requires.
  • Staves are "tested" at least once each. The unit with a weapon attacks at their compatible range as above, while the staff user does nothing.

The rapier and Falchion, Marth's personal weapons, only ever appear on tests of the lord class, and not for any other sword-using class.

The order of weapon appearances in testing is an exact match for their internal order. The same mostly goes for classes, but with one exception: manaketes. Manaketes are tested twice in the sequence: first appearing briefly, completely unarmed, as the 17th class to show up; and again at the absolute end of the order to properly test their weapons.


Two weapons - the earthstone and Mercurius - are oddly missing from this mode entirely. The unused Helarn staff does appear, but no other unused item does.

A handful of weapons with added visual effects experience minor animation oddities when tested by enemy-side units. This is possibly an oversight related to all of the weapons in question being expected to only ever be used by player-side units in regular gameplay.

  • When enemy lords test levin swords, the start-up lightning effect does not play on the actual levin sword attack, and instead shows up on the player-side unit's attack animation if they attack.
  • Falchion's start-up sparkles are mis-positioned.
  • Starlight's spell animation sparkles appears on top of its user, instead of on the targeted player-side unit like it should.
  • Parthia's fire effect appears on its user, instead of on the player-side unit like it should.

If the player turns battle animations off before entering this mode, they will be automatically re-enabled at an unknown point in the testing sequence.

(Source: Fire Emblem Universe)

Unused Text

To do:
There's duplicate house text that needs comparing and contrasting with the final version. Proper commentary must also be written after translation. Google Translate is a dangerous thing to rely on. After that, rearrange the order of the sections to make sense. The opening cutscene should be at the start of the section.
Cacti speak Japanese.
...But what does it mean?
This game has text or audio that needs to be translated. If you are fluent with this language, please read our translation guidelines and then submit a translation!
Notes: Pretty much everything needs to be translated.

Menu Items

There are many unused text entries in the menu command pointer table.

ID Address Japanese Translation Notes
07 0x2D0A7 さくてき: Recon: The status screen label for the unused vision stat. This matches with the term used in the Telescope's use description, showcasing more remnants of the vision stat.
18 0x2D103 すてた thrown away Many of these strings are scattered words that the game would have used to stitch together larger, more grammatical lines of dialogue.
19 0x2D107 わたした given
1A 0x2D10C つかった used
1B 0x2D111 そうびした equipped
1C 0x2D118 マルスのしょうり Marth wins
1D 0x2D122 GAME OVER Game Over While the game is very much capable of ending, the words "GAME OVER" are not directly shown to the player. Instead, Caeda (if she's dead, this passes to Jagen, Nyna, or Malledus depending on game progress) will mourn Marth's demise before asking the player to restart from the previous save point. The first Fire Emblem game with a dedicated Game Over screen was Seisen no Keifu.
1E 0x2D12C たいりょくが Stamina
1F 0x2D134 かいふくしました recovered
20 0x2D13D もちものがいっぱいです Your inventory is full.
21 0x2D14D なにかすてますか What will you throw away?
24 0x2D15D をすてて was thrown away and Could also be a request to throw the item away.
25 0x2D162 をえた acquired
26 0x2D166 あきらめた gave up

Save RAM Prompts

The range from 0x2f43c to 0x2f484 contains what appear to be a set of SRAM management prompts. This text is associated with the same pointer table as the Anna save prompts used in the finished game. Anna's portrait is set to be shown on the initialisation prompt. Just before this prompt is another message, talking about data. This begins at 0x2DE12.

Japanese Translation
I'm sorry...
Your data's been corrupted.
I thought I'd try and fix it,
but it doesn't look like it worked...
You'll have to start over from the beginning.
Save RAM will be initialized.
Do you wish to continue?
セーブラムはクリアされました Cleared save RAM.
セーブラムはクリアしません Save RAM has not been cleared.

Chapter Narration

Offset 0x22180 is an unused narration which describes the premise of Chapter 2, evidently intended to serve as its opening. However, Chapter 2 instead opens with a self-introduction from Ogma, who ends up describing the situation to Marth instead. Incidentally, Ogma's opening lines are located just before this unused narration. Note that this dialogue, despite being located within the chapter openings, does not have any pointers to it and therefore lacks a text ID.

Japanese Translation
へいりょくを ととのえた
Having prepared their military force
with the aid of the King of Talys,
the Altean army
タリスを あとにした。
has left Talys behind
to wage war in Aurelis
and to unite with
Princess Nyna's forces.
*「しかし そのためには まず
かいぞくゴメスの しはいする
However, in order to do that,
they must pass through
the port of Galder, which is
dominated by the pirate Gomer.
そして なつかしき そこく
アリティアへ かえることが
To Aurelis...
And then to return to their
dear homeland, Altea...
Can they do it?
(Source: bookofholsety)

House Dialogue

The game contains a large amount of optional dialogue that can be seen when visiting houses. Some of these pieces of villager dialogue go unused, however.

ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
0B 0xE88E Bucktooth man ($06) ※「ドルーアから
※: I heard Dolhr
is sending in some
※「もうすぐ あらわれるから
※: They'll show up before long,
so be careful.
ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
11 0xEA52 Woman with food ($38) ※「アカネイアのニーナおうじょが
オレルアンで ドルーアぐんと
※: Apparently Princess Nyna
of Archanea is fighting against
Dolhr's army in Aurelis.
はやくいって たすけてやりなよ
※: She seems to be having a hard time of it,
so you should hurry there and help her.
ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
21 0xF106 Woman with food ($38) ※「とうぎじょうでは
※: You can hunt
bounties in an arena.
※: But don't forget
that you're putting
your life on the line.
ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
22 0xF14D Bucktooth man ($06) ※「レフカンディのみなとにゃ
こうかな きずぐすりが
※: Heard they're selling
some very expensive vulneraries
in Lefcandith's port.
※: If you had some of that,
you could heal any injury,
no matter how severe.
ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
23 0xF1A0 Bucktooth man ($06) ※「キルソードってしってるかい
とくしゅな はがねでつくった
とてもよくきれる つるぎさ
※: Do you know what a Killing Edge is?
It's a very sharp sword made of
a special kind of steel.
※: When used by, for example,
a mercenary, it can deliver a series
of fatal strikes.

(Source: Fire Emblem Universe)

Village and Chapter Ending Text

The same pointer table is used by Ankoku Ryu for both village text and the end of chapter dialogue. As a consequence of this, they have been merged into the same section on this article.

ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
01 0x3013C Bucktooth man ($06) (Text speed 2)
※「へえー あんたがマルスか
※「だがよ それじゃあむざむざ
まぁ おれにはかんけいねえけどよ
(Text speed 8)
....... !!
(Text speed 2)
ぶあついよろいでも かんたんに
めずらしいもんだが どうせ
たびびとから くすねたもんだし
ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
16 0x30EFD Nobody たからばこのなかは
The treasure chest
was empty.
ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
2B-2E, 35 0x31BBD Caeda (0xA) ※「だい1ぶ
つづきを おたのしみにね ♥
※: That's the end of
Part 1!
Hope you enjoy the rest!♥

This text entry lacks a proper text box configuration. The game instead interprets the command to load a portrait as text box parameters, crashing the game. Two preceding blank lines were removed for display here: placement of blank lines in text entry is often used for spacing purposes. This suggests that the text entry was a continuation off of some other piece of dialogue.

(Source: Fire Emblem Universe)

Recruitment Text

Despite the large amount of recruitable characters in the game, little unused recruitment text is found in the final release. What remains is documented below.

ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
06 0x1CE06 Wendell (0x2E) ※「※「わたしは しさいウェンデル
はんたいしたため とらわれて
※: I'm Wendell, a Bishop.
They took me prisoner
for opposing Gharnef's
わたしの Mシールドで
※: From here on,
I will protect
you all with
my Barrier staff.

An alternative recruitment conversation for Wendell, in addition to his used conversations with Marth and Merric. Interestingly, this dialogue lines up quite well with Wendell's recruitment circumstances in Monshou no Nazo, where soldiers of Macedon have him imprisoned alongside Rickard in Aurelis Castle.

ID Address Speaker Japanese Translation
51 0x1E3EA Lena (0x2B) ※「!
(Load text ID 0x52)
※: !
... ... Yes... but...
52 Matthis (0x45) ※「...まぁいいや それじゃレナ
あまり むちゃするなよ
おれは マケドニアぐんに
ちょっくら あいさつしてくるよ
※: ...Forget it. Don't get into
too much trouble, Lena.
I'm off to greet
the Macedon army.

A continuation of Matthis's recruitment conversation.

Unknown Conversations

These text entries are located in a separate pointer table that does not contain any used data. This text begins at 0x1C506.

Speaker Japanese Translation
Julian (0x3A) (Text speed 6)
(Text speed 8)
(Text speed 6)
The battle's over at last.
Now I can get back
to banditry.
... ...
What are you going to do,
Lena (0x3B) わたしはこきょうにかえります
(Text speed 9)
(Text speed 6)
I'm going back to my hometown.
I want to keep working
to protect the less fortunate.
But... there's one person
I'd like to stay with,
if I can.
Julian へ�へえどこのどいつだい
Really now? Who?
Well, you give that lucky fella
my regards.
I'd better get going.
See you.
Lena (Text speed 8)
(Text speed 6)
かまわない どうかいっしょに
... ...
I'm talking about you,
I was so glad when
you took me away
from the Ghoul's Teeth.
I don't care
if you're a bandit. Please, take me
with you.
Julian (Text speed 8)
(Text speed 6)
(Text speed 0xD)
(Text speed 6)
!! ...
You obviously don't have what
it takes to be a bandit.
... ... ...
I hear there's a farming village
to the east called Lefcandith.
Figure it's about time I started work,
really put my nose to the grindstone.
Want to come with me,
Lena よろこんで! Gladly!

The formatting of this text is unlike any in used text in the final game. The text slowly scrolls automatically, without any player input. No ※「 tags are present either. Comparisons can be drawn to the ending cutscenes of the seventh game, which also scroll automatically. However, the A button can be held in order to speed up this unused text.

Text location: 0x1C72D

Speaker Japanese Translation
Marth (0x26) すべてがおわった・・・・・
It's all over...
No... it's just beginning
Our fight is still
going on.
Isn't that right, Caeda?
Caeda (0x9) ええ。これでおわったわけでは
Yes. This is not the end.
Our victory required us
to make many
We have to build a new
country for their sake--
one where all can live
in happiness.
Marth もとよりそのつもりだよ
That was the plan all along.
Come, Caeda, let's go!
They're waiting for us.
It's a new beginning.
For me...
and for the land of
Mother Altea.

(Source: Celice, Serenes Forest)

Character Endings

Ankoku Ryu has an amount of generic character endings that are never used for any character. Some of these are not used and are documented below.

ID Address Japanese Translation
3A 0x1387E テンプルナイツの
こうせきを のこす
They became a member
of the Temple Knights
and accomplished many great deeds.
3E 0x1392C みをまもるしゅだんを もたない
ひとびとの をまもるため
They continue their work
to protect those who lack
the means to protect themselves.

Opening Narration

Well that's an interesting visual layout choice
Careful, you'll lose an eye.
This page or section needs more images.
There's a whole lotta words here, but not enough pictures. Please fix this.
Specifically: The glitching observed can't really be captured in a single still image. A gif of the opening with all 17 lines enabled would be desirable.

Offset 0x36AB4 is a block of plain English text. This text is a continuation of the English language opening that is used in the game. The used text amounts to five lines, but as many as 17 were initially intended to be shown at one point.




The text describes the same basic backstory of Anri, Artemis and their first war against Dolhr given in the final game, although the spellings used for Archanea ("ARCNEAR"), Dolhr ("DOLLUER") and Artemis ("ALTEMIS") differ from both those used by later Japanese material and from the eventual English releases of Shadow Dragon. The calendar system used in the Archanea games was later completely revised in Monshou no Nazo, rendering the 3011 date wildly off the mark; instead, Anri's war against Dolhr is said there to have occurred in year 498 of the Archanean calendar.

The game itself has a byte that it checks to determine how many lines of the opening cutscene are to be displayed: 0x3689C is set in the final release to 5. Setting it to a lower value just crashes the game, while setting it to higher values causes severe graphical glitches. The routine that displays all these lines evidently had not been programmed to accommodate more than five lines. Setting this value beyond 17 ($11) also crashes the game. The fade in effect the game uses to display the used lines begins to break down as it prints the ACRNEAR ERA section of the text. By the time the BRAVE MAN section is meant to be printed, all text on the screen begins to flash. However, it is not cleared off the screen fully. The used opening is partially overwritten by new text: this culminates in the screenshot above. The music was also composed with five lines of text in mind. The Fire Emblem theme begins to play without any issue as the text continues to print, with no regard to the timing of the introduction. While the Fire Emblem logo loads in correctly with only a minor graphical glitch with the full 17 lines, lower amounts of lines causes various issues with the palette of the logo.

(Source: Fire Emblem Universe)

Duplicate Text

There are two large regions of duplicate text within the ROM, duplicating character endings and house text. These duplicates are identical to the used version.

The house duplicate area begins at offset 0x2F485 and ends at 0x2F6DF, duplicating the last six houses. The ending duplicate area begins at offset 0x334F7 and ends at 0x2F97B, duplicating all character endings after ending ID 0x1C, which in the duplicate is a cut-off version of Midia's ending.

Used Unused Translation
うつくしいドレスで きかざった
かのじょをみて だれもが
あのゆうかんな きしミディアで
あるとは きづかなかったという
あるとは きづかなかったという
They say that when she put on
that beautiful dress, no one recognized her
as the gallant knight Midia.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

In 2020, Nintendo officially localized the original Famicom game and released it worldwide as a standalone Switch game.

Japan International
Fire Emblem NEStitle.png Fire emblem 1 nes switch title.png


Japanese English

The opening text, which is in English in all versions, was de-engrished for the international Nintendo Switch version.