Fire Emblem: Ankoku no Miko (暗黒の巫女, lit Maiden of Darkness), announced as Fire Emblem 64, was a cancelled Fire Emblem game for the Nintendo 64DD. It was first mentioned in July 1997, in an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto. One year later, in September 1998 Ankoku no Miko was officially announced in various Japanese gaming magazines. However, two years after that, in September 2000, the game was cancelled. Development was moved to the Game Boy Advance, and the game was heavily reworked into what became Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.
After the release of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and the unveiling of the Nintendo 64, series director Shouzou Kaga was questioned on if the next game of the series would be on the new hardware. Kaga denied that there were current plans to develop for the console and stated that the next title would be a return to Archanea and focus on a higher level of strategy while also retaining a simple playstyle (ideas that would come to fruit as Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 respectively). When asked again about the Nintendo 64, Kaga mentioned that the Super Famicom would be fine for the next game.
A year later, in 1997, Shigeru Miyamoto officially revealed that work had begun on a Fire Emblem 64, and that the game was planned to come out at the latter half of the following year after Mario RPG 2 (which would eventually become Paper Mario). In the September 1998 issue of 64 Dream, the title was officially announced, but no substantial details were included at the time.
The following year, Kaga revealed that his plans for a proper return to Archanea had fallen through due to the limitations of the Super Famicom and that development would instead shift to Thracia 776. After the release of Thracia 776, Kaga mentioned plans for a remastered port for the Nintendo 64. Eventually during that year, Kaga would leave Intelligent Systems and form his own company, Tirnanog, and announced Emblem Saga, a game set in the same world as Archanea that would later be altered into TearRing Saga: Utna Heroes Saga following a legal battle with Nintendo.
Following Kaga's departure, Fire Emblem 64, now properly subtitled Ankoku no Miko, was cancelled for the Nintendo 64 and shifted to the Game Boy Advance by August 2000, with the cancellation being revealed that September in 64 Dream. Due to these structural changes combined with the older target audience, planning for the game was reworked from the very beginning; the original setting and plot of the game was scrapped with only the characters of Roy and Karel being carried over into the new game.
On July 26, 2001, the completely reworked Ankoku no Miko was renamed Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.
Setting and Characters
Even with the development of the game being revealed in The Making of Fire Emblem 25th anniversary book and Kaga's comments about his planned future Archanea title, not much is known about the original setting and plot of Ankoku no Miko. Characters named Idunn, Eliwood, Bors, Raigh, and Ephraim were revealed to be in the game, but they were likely not the same characters as in the final game or later titles, due to comments that the only character being carried over from Ankoku no Miko aside from Roy was Karel. Likewise, newly revealed characters include Aron, Owain, Taki, Lynette, and Helen; with the latter three and Idunn having concept art printed in the book.
Roy was still to be the Lord of the game, but he went through repeated design and name changes (with his original design being named Ike) before the final version.