Fire Emblem – Main Theme
Fire Emblem is one of Nintendo’s longest running yet least celebrated (in the West, at least) franchises. The fantasy strategy RPG began life on the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES) back in 1990 though the first one to be officially released in North America and Europe was the seventh title for the Game Boy Advance.
Given its low profile in the West, it’s no surprise that the person responsible for Fire Emblem‘s fantastic music has gone relatively unsung. Yuka Tsujiyoko has almost single-handedly composed the soundtracks to every game. One of the few and therefore most prominent female composers in the games industry she has also scored other titles by Fire Emblem developer Intelligent Systems like Paper Mario and Tetris Attack.
It’s tough to pick one composition or even one soundtrack from a series with such breadth for induction into the Musical Showcase vault. So for now I’m going to play it safe and submit it’s most well-known composition, the main theme.
Having débuted in the very first game in the series Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi (that’s Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light to you and me), I don’t think there’s ever been a single consistent name for it so most people refer to it as the Fire Emblem main or title theme. It’s majestic like you’d expect from a fantasy game theme but there’s something regal and understated about it.
This operatic version of the theme was used for years on Fire Emblem‘s Japanese television commercials. A full choir sings belts out humorous meta lyrics that note the series’ difficulty and crack RPG related jokes. It was rearranged and adapted with serious, in-universe lyrics sung in Latin for the series’ appearance in Super Smash Brother Brawl.