BS Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga (partially lost original Satellaview version of "Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem" bonus content; 1997)
Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga (Japanese: BS ファイアーエムブレム アカネイア戦記編 BS Faiā Emuburemu Akaneia Senkihen), also referred to as BS Fire Emblem by fans, is a four-episode Soundlink game consisting of original maps that serve as a prequel to Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, released on the Satellaview add-on for the Super Famicom. It originally aired from September 28th, 1997 to October 25th, 1997, and saw two reruns; the first one occurred one month after its initial airing, and another in 1999. It was developed by Intelligent Systems and published by St.GIGA. It is notable for being the earliest game in the franchise to utilize voice acting, predating Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance by 8 years. This game never saw any release outside Japan.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
The game uses the same engine that Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem used, but each episode focuses on characters other than Marth himself, with at least one of them serving as the "lord" of the episode they appear in. The "lord" of every episode has its own item storage, and as per usual with the mainline games, the "lord's" death is an automatic game over, and the map starts over from the beginning. Battle animations are permanently turned off, and most of the dialogue is only spoken through voice-acting, which is done through the Satellaview System. Each episode also has a different set of playable characters, with Nyna being playable twice. The original broadcast of the episodes included cutscene graphics that show up in the beginning and ending of each. They were drawn by Rika Suzuki, who would later contribute to other Fire Emblem-related media.
Unlike other Fire Emblem games, whose chapters must be completed through various means like seizing a throne/castle or routing the enemy, the only way to clear an episode is to survive the entire broadcast, as well as collecting points. Defeating the boss of each chapter does not end the broadcast, but the chapter can still spawn more enemies for the rest of it. The player obtains points through fighting enemies, opening chests, and visiting villages. Units in this game are recruited differently; depending on how much time passed throughout the broadcast; at least one or two characters automatically join the player's army.
After a broadcast has ended, the player is given a password based on their score that they must send to St. GiGA through a postcard before a set due date. It is unknown as to what purpose these passwords have, or if they have any use at all.
Oddly, the Event Plaza icon for the game uses the castle sprite from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, despite taking place in Archanea, not Jugdral.
Availability[edit | edit source]
Since the discontinuation of the Satellaview at the turn of the millennium, as with all other BS-X games, the game fell into obscurity. However, in 2010, it was remade as bonus content included with Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem under the title New Archanea Saga (Japanese: 新・アカネイア戦記 Shin akaneia Senki), albeit without the voice acting. The bonus content can be unlocked after completing all the prologue chapters. This is the only time a BS-X game was rereleased in any form other than the Super Famicom.
ROM dumps consisting of the actual game and maps were preserved and can still be played albeit through a complicated setup, but because the game was recorded live, the episodes in their original format remain completely lost and would most likely never resurface in ROM form. However, video footage of the original format are known to exist on Nico Nico Douga, and are later uploaded by Kiddo on YouTube in 2013. In addition, all of the cutscene images also survive in better quality and can be found in Serenes Forest's image gallery.
Episodes[edit | edit source]
|Episode 1: The Capital Falls (Japanese: 第1話・パレス陥落 Daiichiwa・ Paresu Kanraku)||Sept 28th, 1997||Focuses on Nyna. The Dolhr army, lead by the recently-awakened Medeus, has invaded the palace of Archanea. As the soldiers surrounded the palace, the king has no choice, but to request an order to Boah.||Found (Game ROM only, cutscenes/audio/music preserved online) / Lost (ROM of Original Format)|
|Episode 2: Red Dragoon (Japanese: 第2話・赤い竜騎士 Dainiwa: Akai Ryū Kishi)||Oct 5th, 1997||Focuses on Minerva. After being attacked by her army, Aurelis turned most of its territory over to the Dohlr empire. However, Minerva had witnessed deserters of her army attacking villages, and had to team up with Hardin in order to get rid of them.||Found (Game ROM only, cutscenes/audio/music preserved online) / Lost (ROM of Original Format)|
|Episode 3: Righteous Thieves (Japanese: 第3話・正義の盗賊団 Daisanwa: seigi no tōzoku-dan)||Oct 12th, 1997||Focuses on Rickard. After the fall of the Kingdom of Archanea, a thief and a cleric sneak themselves inside the palace, just so they could collect treasure to help those in need.||Found (Game ROM only, cutscenes/audio/music preserved online) / Lost (ROM of Original Format)|
|Episode 4: The Beginning (Japanese: 第4話・始まりのとき Daishiwa: Hajimari no toki)||Oct 19th, 1997||Focuses on Nyna and Camus. Two years have passed since Archanea fell. The Grustian Sable Knights continue to guard Nyna, who is hunted down by Medeus and his army. Meanwhile, Camus has made a decision to go to Aurelis...||Found (Game ROM only, cutscenes/audio/music preserved online) / Lost (ROM of Original Format)|
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See Also[edit | edit source]
- Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (lost early builds of Game Boy Advance tactical role-playing game; 1997-2002)
- Fire Emblem: Maiden of Darkness (lost build of cancelled Nintendo 64DD tactical role-playing game; 1997-2000)
- Fire Emblem Wii (lost tech demo; late 2000s)
External Links[edit | edit source]
Reference[edit | edit source]
- Archived version of Super Famicom Hour Program Guide, which contained the broadcast dates for all Satellaview games. Unfortunately, most of the calendars hosted there are broken. Retrieved 06 Jul '21
- Serenes Forest article detailing Archanea Saga. Retrieved 06 Jul '21
- Part of KiddoCabbusses's translation of the first chapter from the Archanea Saga thread. Retrieved 06 Jul '21
- Article on Kiddo's Satellaview blog that compares the original version to its Nintendo DS remake. Retrieved 06 Jul '21