Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem (2010)

by Ji-yeong
8 minutes read


A remake of a classic, Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem revitalizes the tactical RPG genre with improved graphics, gameplay, and exclusive content. Despite its limited release, it enriches the Fire Emblem saga with a deeper exploration of Archanea and its heroes.


Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem breathes new life into a beloved classic, offering both longtime fans and newcomers a chance to experience an enriched version of an epic tactical RPG adventure.


“Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem” is a tactical role-playing game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console in July 2010. It is the twelfth entry in the Fire Emblem series, and a remake of the Super Famicom title Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem.

The game is set on the continent of Archanea, one year after the events of the original Fire Emblem title Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and its remake Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. The story of New Mystery of the Emblem remains from the original version.

The game stars Marth, the hero of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the original Mystery of the Emblem as he fights in a conflict known as the “War of Heroes”. He is accompanied by his trusted friend, an Altean knight and hero of the war completely forgotten by history, referred to as the “Hero of Shadow”.

The story is based on the original content from Mystery of the Emblem, while including a customizable Avatar as the main character alongside Marth, the protagonist of Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. New Mystery of the Emblem also adapts the story content from the Satellaview title BS Fire Emblem into four additional story episodes dubbed the “New Archanea Chronicles”.

One of the major new elements were the customizable Avatar character and the “Casual Mode”, in which units defeated in missions are revived: the latter element was a point of fierce contention between staff due to the series’ long-standing tradition of permanent death for characters. It was the first Fire Emblem to remain exclusive to Japan since Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade in 2002.

Upon release, it received critical acclaim from Japanese and Western journalists, and went on to sell over 274,000 units. Missions are split between story-based chapters and optional side chapters: side chapters give access to new playable characters outside the main narrative. Players can save at any time during battles, with the game opening offering a save at the end of each chapter.

New Mystery of the Emblem is a a remake of Book II of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem. Unlike the previous game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, itself a remake of the first Fire Emblem title that eschewed more modern series features like Support Conversations, New Mystery features a greater divergence from the original Mystery of the Emblem story and introduced new gameplay features that would become commonplace in Fire Emblem going forward.

One of these features was the introduction of Casual Mode. While the concept of permanent death had been a staple of the franchise’s core game design since its inception, the nature of the mechanic as a required element also had the effect of limiting the franchise’s audience. Casual Mode is an optional gameplay mode that removes permanent death from gameplay. Any unit that runs out of HP in battle will instead retreat, remaining alive and available for play in the following chapter.

Additionally, one of the more criticized aspects of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon was the inclusion of brand new units unique to that remake that could only be encountered and recruited if the player permanently lost large numbers of units by specific points in the game; a concept that was counter to the notion that the player should be encouraged to keep their units alive. New Mystery of the Emblem instead allows for the player to recruit every unit in the game without enforcing such a requirement.

It features the largest roster of playable characters of any Fire Emblem to date with 77 in the base game and 81 with the Assassins DLC, barring the inclusion of units such as the Einherjar in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Another major new feature introduced alongside Casual Mode is the Avatar unit. The story of New Mystery of the Emblem is rewritten in such a way to include a secondary character as a deuteragonist.


The game features a robust cast of characters led by Marth, the prince of Altea, alongside a diverse array of allies each with their own unique skills, backstories, and roles in the battle against darkness. New and returning characters alike contribute to the rich tapestry of the game’s narrative.


New Mystery of the Emblem offers a refined tactical RPG experience, with turn-based combat on grid-based maps. Players must strategically move and deploy their units, taking advantage of terrain, character classes, and relationships to overcome challenges. The game also introduces new features such as the remake of BS Fire Emblem chapters and Wi-Fi Connection support for enhanced gameplay.


Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the Fire Emblem series, offering a compelling blend of classic gameplay and innovative features. While its Japan-only release may limit its accessibility, it remains a cherished entry among fans of the franchise.

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