Fire Emblem is a Japanese-made Strategy-RPG series made by Intelligent Systems, a developer controlled by Nintendo. The series was mostly a Japanese-exclusive one until after the release of the Nintendo GameCube game Super Smash Bros. Melee, which starred 2 characters from the Fire Emblem series, the characters became fan favorites, prompting Nintendo to eventually start releasing the series in the United States and Europe, where it has met some success.
All the titles are set in a high-fantasy world, which some titles taking place on different continents. The connection between each game besides gameplay is the presence of a titular 'Fire Emblem' item that in some way impacts the story- in the first title for example, it is a symbol/shield given to a hero to unlock a divine blade.
The series is known for it's challenging (but not altogether unfair) difficulty, likable characters, and fairly good stories. Also of note is that unlike in many other High-Fantasy video games, when a character is killed, they truly die, usually with no means to resurrect them, leaving the player to dwell on whether they should restart the mission to try to find a way to save the dead character or to press on without them.
The series has seen titles released on practically every Nintendo system, but for releases outside Japan, the games started being released on GameBoy Advance, then Nintendo GameCube, then Nintendo Wii, and now the Nintendo DS.
Good games for first timer's include Fire Emblem for the GameBoy Advance as it was made for the purpose of introducing new players to the series while remeaning challenging for regular players, and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, which is a DS remake of the very first Fire Emblem game that appeared on the Nintendo NES in Japan only.
There are ten games in the Fire Emblem series (11 if you include the remake of the first Fire Emblem game, Shadow Dragon). Some are coneccted (such as Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn), although most are not.
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