Today marks the 28th anniversary of the Fire Emblem series!
For this occasion, I’d like to discuss something that many Fire Emblem fans know and take for granted: the Fire Emblem games’ numbering system.
I imagine most of you reading this probably know the numbers like the back of your hand. But just for reference, this is how we usually number the Fire Emblem games:
|1||Shadow Dragon and Blade of Light|
|3||Mystery of the Emblem|
|4||Genealogy of the Holy War|
|8||The Sacred Stones|
|9||Path of Radiance|
|12||New Mystery of the Emblem|
|15||Echoes: Shadows of Valentia|
For us fans, referring to each game using numbers is very natural. Eg. if I said “FE6”, you probably know that I’m talking about Binding Blade. Yet for those observing from afar, or those new to the series, this system can seem a bit strange.
The main reason for this is of course because, officially, none of the Fire Emblem games are numbered. Unlike, say, Final Fantasy, where the latest Final Fantasy is explicitly titled “Final Fantasy XV ”. The numbering system is purely something we fans created.
Birth of the Numbering System
Some may ask: why exactly do Fire Emblem fans refer to the games by number?
The short answer, it seems, is because of a combination of tradition and convenience.
As for the long answer, we’ll need to travel back in time towards the early days of the Fire Emblem series and its then-developing fan community.