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The only known screenshot of Ankoku no Miko, as seen during Space World 2000.

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. The project endured a difficult development cycle before it was cancelled and work shifted to the Game Boy Advance, where it was heavily reworked into what became Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.

Development History[]

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 as in development for the Nintendo 64DD, a disc drive add-on for the Nintendo 64, 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. As development of Thracia 776 neared completion and the game prepared to ship in 1999, however, Kaga left Intelligent Systems and formed his own company, Tirnanog, where he began developing a title for the rival Sony PlayStation console.

Due to the commercial failure of the Nintendo 64DD, development of Ankoku no Miko shifted to standard Nintendo 64 cartridges. The N64 project was subsequently cancelled in its entirety at some point after Kaga's departure from Intelligent Systems, and by August 2000, development had shifted to the Game Boy Advance, with the cancellation of Ankoku no Miko publicly announced that September in 64 Dream.

With the move to the GBA, planning for the game was reworked from the very beginning. The original setting and plot of Ankoku no Miko were discarded, with only the characters of Roy and Karel being carried over into the new game.

On July 26, 2001, the rebooted project was publicly announced with the title Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. The finished game released in Japan on March 29, 2002.

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.

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