BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki-hen (1997)

by Ji-yeong
6 minutes read


Released in 1997 for the Super Famicom’s Stellaview system, BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki-hen offered a unique, serialized gaming experience that expanded the Fire Emblem universe. Despite its exclusivity and the mixed reception to its gameplay innovations, the game is remembered for its pioneering approach to storytelling and game design within the franchise.


BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki-hen stands out as a pioneering project in the Fire Emblem franchise, offering a serialized narrative experience that deepens the lore of the series. Released exclusively via the Stellaview broadcasting system, this game demonstrated early attempts at blending traditional gameplay with broadcast media.


BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki-hen, also known as Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga, is a unique addition to the Fire Emblem series. Released in 1997, this game was comprised of four standalone episodes that could be downloaded for the Satellaview add-on and streaming service for the Super Famicom (SNES).

The game is set in the world of Archanea, a recurring location in the Fire Emblem series. It serves as a prequel to Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem. The events of Archanea Senki-hen take place during the three-year interim when Marth, the protagonist of the aforementioned games, escapes from Altea to Talys.

The narrative of Archanea Senki-hen is divided into four episodes, each with its unique plot and characters. The first episode, “Fall of the Palace,” is set during the siege of the Archanean castle. A group of knights must defend Princess Nyna from capture and escort her to safety.

The second episode, “The Red Dragon Knight,” stars Minerva, Hardin, and their forces as they battle a group of Macedonian deserters. The third episode, “Thieves’ Gang of Justice,” features a group of thieves led by Rickard and Lena as they raid the Archanean castle and must battle a second group of thieves.

The fourth and final episode, “The Beginning,” is set two years later. In this episode, Camus must defend Princess Nyna from capture and ensure that she escapes to safety.

The gameplay of Archanea Senki-hen is similar to other games in the series, with a few unique twists. The game was broadcast on Satellaview only during scheduled times, and there was a time limit for completing an episode before the broadcast window closed. The goal of the game was to complete each episode while scoring as many points as possible. Points were collected by completing actions such as defeating enemies, opening chests, and visiting villages.

Each episode featured one “lord” character who also functioned as the item storage, with the map resetting if the lord character was defeated in battle. The gameplay engine was the same used for Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem.


Although the original format of the game is no longer playable, the episodes were later remade for Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem, where they appear as a bonus feature in Extra Mode. The remade episodes appear with the time limits, voice acting, and convoy feature removed.

In conclusion, BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki-hen is a fascinating chapter in the Fire Emblem series. Its episodic narrative, unique gameplay mechanics, and enduring legacy make it a noteworthy entry in the franchise’s history.


The cast includes a mix of original characters and fan favorites from Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, Shadow Dragon, and The Blade of Light. Notable for its time, the game employed voice acting to bring these characters to life, adding a layer of immersion to the storytelling.


Leveraging the engine from Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, gameplay in Archanea Senki-hen was centered around strategic map navigation within a set time limit. Points were collected through tactical prowess, with the game’s challenge heightened by the constant threat to the Lord unit.


BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Senki-hen is a fascinating chapter in the Fire Emblem saga, noteworthy for its bold experimentation with game format and storytelling. While it remains a lesser-known title due to its exclusivity and unique distribution method, its legacy continues to intrigue and inspire Fire Emblem enthusiasts.

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