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Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd. (株式会社インテリジェントシステムズ) is a video game developer and close partner of Nintendo Co., Ltd. It was founded in 1986. The studio has developed software for all of Nintendo's previous consoles and handhelds, and is currently focused on software development for Nintendo Switch titles. Intelligent Systems is the co-owner of the Fire Emblem intellectual property with Nintendo and is the studio primarily responsible for its development.

Intelligent Systems is known for creating or expanding on a variety of Nintendo franchises including Metroid, Nintendo Wars, Puzzle League, Paper Mario, and WarioWare. In the past, the company has also designed many of Nintendo's development tools including the Super Nintendo Emulator SE.

Although the studio is independent of Nintendo, it is housed in Nintendo office space and works exclusively with Nintendo and other Nintendo partners on all of their projects.


Intelligent Systems came into being when members of Nintendo's Research & Development 1 division headed by Gunpei Yokoi splintered off into its own development studio. Yokoi worked alongside Intelligent Systems on a number of its titles before his departure from Nintendo following the disappointing reception of the Virtual Boy console in 1996.

Fire Emblem[]

With development headed by Shouzou Kaga, Intelligent Systems and Nintendo released the original Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light for the Famicom in 1990. Kaga remained as the primary development lead on the franchise through the production of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, and left the company in 1999 to found his own studio. Kaga's departure from Intelligent Systems was acrimonious, and when his new studio Tirnanog developed a Fire Emblem clone in Tear Ring Saga for the Sony PlayStation, a years-long legal battle ensued that stretched on until 2005, when the final appeals and settlements were decided.

Intelligent Systems went on to continue development of the Fire Emblem series after Kaga's departure, scrapping a Fire Emblem project for the Nintendo 64 before rebooting it into what would become the first Game Boy Advance entry, Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. After international audiences received more exposure to the franchise through Marth and Roy's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Intelligent Systems developed the following entry, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, with the goal of making it a proper series introduction for a potential international audience. Since the release of The Blazing Blade, every entry in the series save for Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem has been localized for release outside of Japan.

In addition to development of the core series, Intelligent Systems has also pursued additional projects to promote and expand the franchise and its audience. The studio develops the mobile title Fire Emblem Heroes, a casual-play friendly take on the series, and self-published the Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher) trading card game. Intelligent Systems also held a public Fire Emblem Expo in 2019, followed by a second Fire Emblem Expo in 2020.


  • In Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, the (as of 2022) final entry in the Nintendo Wars series developed by Intelligent Systems, there is a self-reference through the name of an antagonistic organization in the game's story, 'Intelligent Defense Systems'.

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