Template:Infobox VG Fire Emblem, released in Japan as Template:Nihongo, is a Japanese tactical role-playing game for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo The game was released on April 25, 2003, in Japan, November 3, 2003, in North America and July 16, 2004, in Europe.
It is the seventh game of the Fire Emblem series, the second game in the series to be released for the Game Boy Advance and the first to be released in both North America and Europe. This game introduced Fire Emblem to the Western audience. It is the prequel to Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi, and takes place five years before Roy, the hero of Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi, is born and twenty years before the events of Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi. Fire Emblem averages an 88.3 per cent rating on Game Rankings which makes it the highest rated Fire Emblem game on Game Rankings. 
The game is set in the fictional continent of Elibe, and is a prequel to Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi. Consequently, the history and some of the character relationships are connected between the two games. The game opens with text describing ancient historical events in Elibe. Over a thousand years before the events of the game take place, man and dragon coexisted in the world. However, this peace was broken when man fought against dragon in a bitter war known as The Scouring. Upon their defeat, the dragons vanished from the world and man began to flourish as the sole dominant species. 
The player adopts the perspective of a tactician who is found by a girl named Lyndis in Sacae. During Lyn's tale, the first part of the game, Lyn discovers that she is the granddaughter of the marquess of Caelin, Hausen. She recruits companions in a quest to prevent Lundgren, her grandfather's brother, from ascending the Caelin throne. Lundgren had wanted to gain power by poisoning the current marquess; he also set soldiers out to destroy Lyn and any knowledge of her as she is higher in the line of succession. Lyn eventuallly defeats Lundgren and reunites with her grandfather.
The next twenty chapters (Eliwood's tale) revolve around Eliwood, Hector and their party (and eventually Lyndis) hunting down an antagonistic faction known as the Black Fang. The Black Fang have prospered due to the creation of morphs—highly efficient humanoid creatures serving their leader Nergal. They kill people to gain their quintessence (life energy) and thus gain more power. The Black Fang engage Eliwood's interest by capturing his father Lord Elbert. The protagonists' ultimate goal is to prevent Nergal from using their companions Ninian's and Nils' quintessence to open the Dragons' Gate, a portal where dragons reside, and thus ignite Elibe in conflict. As Eliwood and the party hunt the Black Fang down, they eliminate crucial figures of the Black Fang, as well as gaining allies. The game ends when Eliwood and the party slay Nergal and the dragon that had been summoned via Nergal's quintessence. In the future, Eliwood becomes marquess of Pherae, and Hector, marquess of Ostia.
Fire Emblem's gameplay is very similar to Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi's. The fundamentals remain the same, with a small group (usually 10 to 12) of units moving along a square-based grid with the objective of defeating or surviving their enemies. It is reminiscent of other tactical RPGs with features such as classes and the ability to level up. For more information, refer to the Fire Emblem game basics.
While Fire Emblem reuses most of its gameplay mechanics from Fūin no Tsurugi, it introduces some notable changes. Perhaps the most significant difference is the introduction of a tutorial mode (Lyn's Tale). The single-player campaign is divided into Lyn's tale and Eliwood's tale, the former of which serves as a mandatory tutorial designed to ease new players into the game. The tutorial disappears in Lyn's Hard Mode, which is an unlockable mode after the normal mode is complete.
CombatFire Emblem, like all the other games in the series, is a turn-based strategy RPG in which players move characters around a grid—much like a chessboard—in order to complete a certain predefined objective like capturing an enemy base or surviving a certain amount of turns. The single-player campaign is divided into chapters which generally begin with story elements presented through the use of scenes animated with cut-outs of the main characters, then followed by a battle with an enemy; after each battle, the player is given the opportunity to save their progress. Also, aside from capturing bases and defeating bosses, Fire Emblem introduces new mission objectives like surviving a certain number of turns, destroying all enemies, and traveling to a predefined space on the map. In addition, weather and terrain effects like rain and snow, which hinder unit movement, have been added.
Each unit has statistics for categories like power, speed, defense etc. The advantage a unit has on another unit depends on the statistical differences of the units. The game follows a rock-paper-scissors mechanism in which axes beat lances, lances beat swords, and swords beat axes; the bow in the game is not a part of any weapon triangle, but is specially effective against flying units. Similarly, the magic system is also structured through a triangle, the Trinity of Magic, in that dark magic has the advantage over anima magic, anima over light magic and light magic over dark magic.
All of the forty-four units in Fire Emblem are divided into classes; such classes include Shaman, Berserker, Thief etc.  A unit can use either magic or weapons; the "weapons" category comprises swords, axes, lances and bows; the "magic" category comprises anima (or elemental) magic, dark magic, light magic and staves (used for functions such as healing and curing status ailments). There are different levels of weapon; the levels run typically from E to A in alphabetical order and then to the ultimate level which is S; a unit can raise their weapon level by persistently using that weapon. Which item the unit can use in battle depends on their respective class; most units cannot use all four weapons within a category. The units become more powerful by "leveling up", the unit gains a level by attaining one-hundred experience points. An unpromoted unit can change class (promote) once it has surpassed level ten, however, it requires the aid of a special item to do this. The "special item" varies depending on the class that it is intended for, but they are usually small items symbolic of their class, such as the Knight's Crest for knights or cavaliers.  These items can be found during the course of the game. Alternatively, the player can wait to use the item until the unit reaches the optimum level of twenty (or any other level between ten and twenty) before the unit promotes. Once promoted, the maximum level the unit can reach is level twenty of the promoted class.
In Fire Emblem, the level of "support" between units depends on how many turns the units have spent adjacent to one another. Support is the statistical gain between units when they are within three spaces of each other; the statistical bonus is strengthened if the support level is higher. The level of support is measured C to A—C for a single conversation, B for two conversations, and A for three conversations. Each unit has an elemental affinity; the form of statistical bonus from supports will depend on the combination of the elemental affinities of both units. For the support level to increase, it is required for units to be adjacent for more turns. For each support, a readable conersation will occur between the two characters. Once the story mode is completed, a "support viewer" will become available in which the reader can read previously viewed conversation at will.
As with all Fire Emblem games, if a unit falls in battle, he or she can never be used again. However, an exception is made for characters in Lyn's tale, who will return in Eliwood's tale even if they are defeated during Lyn's tale. If one of the Lords (Eliwood, Hector, and Lyn) dies, the player must restart the chapter to continue the story.
Hector's tale is unlocked after the player completes Eliwood's tale once. It is almost the same as Eliwood's, but with a few changes. 
- Hector, instead of Eliwood, is the main character. Several story elements and cut scenes are changed to reflect the change in the point of view.
- Two normal chapters (and two Gaiden chapters) are added and several chapters are changed to reflect the different point of view. In all chapters, there are different troops and troop placement, and the level of difficulty is higher.
- Additional details concerning Nergal, Ninian, and Nils' past are revealed after particlular side chapters called the "Kishuna chapters".
- Two characters not found in Eliwood's mode can be recruited: Farina, the third of the Pegasus Knight sisters, and Karla, the Princess of Swords, sister to the Swordmaster Karel.
There is a hard mode for each of the Lords' tales. Hard mode changes include more difficult landscape conditions (the use of fog for example, which limits sight of enemy), higher-leveled enemies, and a reduced level of applicable units in battle. The most dramatic change between normal mode and hard mode is in Hector Hard Mode. Hector Hard Mode involves higher leveled enemies, enemies with greater AI, and fewer units available during chapters. It is also more difficult to generate money and sustain the group with weapons and resources, as less gold is available and earning it is more difficult.
As well as the single-player campaign, Fire Emblem features a link arena in which up to four players can link up and do battle with teams of characters from the single-player save file. Players choose up to five characters and equip them like in the main story. During battle, each player takes turns to attack with one character. Players can also choose to fight against their own teams, which are controlled by the computer, if no other players are present.