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Will Nintendo Release an M-Rated Fire Emblem Title Next?




Fire Emblem M-Rated

M-Rated Fire Emblem

Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem series has told stories of war over the past 29 years. In doing so, the series has kept true to Nintendo’s standards of being family-friendly and not overly violent, using narrative to describe warfare. While Blazing Blade, the first release in the U.S., began this tradition in the west, however, Nintendo has kept some of its darkest secrets hidden within Japan for over 20 years.

In addition, the recent release of Three Houses began to push the boundaries into what’s safe for a T-rated experience. Are the developers trying to tell the best story within their boundaries or are they hinting that they want to tell a dark and gruesome story for their next title?

Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem’s Depiction of War

Fire Emblem has historically kept an E through T-rating since the release of Blazing Blade on Game Boy Advance back in 2003. The most violence occurred through bloodless skirmishes with the dialogue and narrative describing genocide. However, Path of Radiance was one of the first to narrate a ghastly scene late in the game.

Fire Emblem

Verbal imagery depicted laguz (beastkind humans) slaughtered and transformed into vicious animals. While it’s doubtful that Fire Emblem would ever depict the narrative featured in games such as Zero Escape, it was enough to impact the player.

The series hasn’t featured such grisly narrative since. However, the latest release, Three Houses, attempts to put the player in the position of allying with someone willing to kill all who stand in his way. The following paragraph will discuss Fire Emblem: Three Houses, specifically the Blue Lions route. Please be mindful as you will find spoilers ahead.

M-Rated Fire Emblem

Blue Lions Route

Dimitri, one of the three main lords, initially comes off as someone who wants to avoid bloodshed in war. As the sole-survivor of a massacre, however, he holds deep rage in his heart. His true personality begins to leak in Chapter 8.

Fire Emblem

However, Chapter 11 reveals a shocking plot twist involving the Flame Emperor, an antagonist character. At this point, Dimitri completely loses his composure. This scene serves as the forefront of Dimitri’s vicious nature.

The Timeskip

Part II showcases a new Dimitri, one who has succumbed to his own bloodlust, rage, and hatred for Edelgard. He shows no sympathy towards enemies and even torments one of his enemies by threatening to kill his men.

Fire Emblem

The Blue Lions route accurately depicts the gray moral boundaries of characters. It includes racism against the people of Duscur as well as the amount of destruction anyone can cause. It is through Three Houses that excites me for the possibility of an M-rated Fire Emblem title and what Nintendo could do if not held to the boundaries of censorship. And yet, perhaps their next title could bring forth those very horrors we seek.

Genealogy of the Holy War

Genealogy of the Holy War, the 4th title in the Fire Emblem series, originally came out for Super Famicom in Japan. Fire Emblem is no stranger to tragic storylines. However, anyone who has beaten a fan translation will tell you that it remains the series’ darkest title.

M-rated Fire Emblem

One of the most tragic characters in the series.

In one pivotal moment of the game, the antagonist, Arvis, strikes down the main protagonist, Sigurd, before his mages annihilate the rest of his army with a devastating magic spell. While this initiates the timeskip for their sons and daughters to join the fight, it also showcases a rare moment – watching a major protagonist die.

Another noteworthy tale of Genealogy of the Holy War is the conception of two major characters. Born from Arvis and his own sister, Deirdre, their children – Julia and Julius – are the products of an incestual relationship.

Fire Emblem has hinted at incestual relationships numerous times throughout the series. Among them include Raven and Priscilla in Blazing Blade, Lucina and Owain in Awakening, or even Corrin and Azura in Fates. However, this is the first time in the series where an incestual relationship becomes a canonical plot point that affects the outcome of the story.

With the recent release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, released in 2017, it stands to reason that Nintendo may continue remaking older titles in the series. With that being said, it stands to reason that Nintendo may remake Genealogy of the Holy War next.  As such, perhaps it would serve as the right choice for Nintendo’s next Fire Emblem title to be rated M.


What Nintendo would stand to gain from an M-rated Fire Emblem would be the loss of inhibitions. No longer would they feel the need to censor out violent scenarios. Rather, it could take on a more mature approach to the horrors of war. Children would die or lose their parents on-screen. Furthermore, the player could truly appreciate that war is a truly vicious and horrible thing.

While an argument may be presented such as “a higher rating means less sales,” it stands to reason that maturity ratings have never deterred a younger audience from purchasing games. Just including Nintendo franchises, Super Smash Bros. Melee and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess were both T-rated titles. They still stood among the best selling titles of their respective franchises. Additionally, M-rated titles, like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies also never lost its audience despite several gory and hair-raising scenes.

With that being said, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems choosing to develop an M-rated Fire Emblem title pushes them into previously uncharted territory. While it’s uncommon for any first-party Nintendo title to receive even a T-rating, this could become their first M-rated title. However, given how well M-rated games, such as NieR: Automata and Persona 5, can craft a story with less censorship boundaries, it only stands to reason that this could be the next natural step in the Fire Emblem series’ evolution. And with the possibility of Genealogy being remade for Nintendo Switch, perhaps Nintendo has already found their primary candidate.

M-Rated Fire Emblem

Thank you for reading our editorial on an M-Rated Fire Emblem title. What could you see from the series pushing in that direction? Let us know in the comments below!

Rango has been gaming since 1993. He loves Action/Adventure, JRPG, and Platforming games the most. When he's not writing reviews, he competes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments.

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