Cipher: Japanese Code Giveaway and Review

Last year, during the early days of the Fire Emblem Cipher card game, Nintendo bundled a bunch of exclusive codes with select products, no doubt to further entice buyers.


Thanks to Bernie_man123, we have some of these codes to give away over on our forums. However please be aware that these codes can only be used on a Japanese region 3DS or 2DS.

So the rest of you don’t go home empty-handed, here’s a belated review of the codes from last year.

To begin with, the codes bundled in Series 1’s starter decks and booster boxes unlocked new guest characters in Fire Emblem Fates.

  • War of Shadows Starter Deck: Marth, Prince of Altea
  • Awakening Starter Deck: Lucina, The Swordsman who claims to be Marth
  • Booster Box: Pegasus Knight Minerva

ss-cipher-marth ss-cipher-lucina
ss-cipher-marth2 ss-cipher-lucina2

These characters function akin to other Logbook characters, so they have no role in the story and cannot support. Unfortunately, unlike their Amiibo counterparts in the case of Marth and Lucina, they do not have voices.

The main draw of these characters is their unique artwork from their corresponding Cipher cards, although depending on your preferences, this artwork can be jarring next to the other characters (just like the DLC characters in Awakening).

ss-cipher-minerva ss-cipher-minerva2

Minerva is the most interesting of the Cipher trio, since she has a unique Pegasus Knight class with respectable maximum stats and the ability to attain a S Rank in lances. Flying Waterwheel, here we go!

Summary: The Cipher characters are nice to have, but far from essential. It’s perhaps for this reason (and others) that Series 2 ditched character codes, despite there being placeholder space for additional characters…

Series 2 opted to include codes for 3DS home themes, which Nintendo introduced around a year ago and were presumably well-received (at least in Japan). This also coincided with Fire Emblem’s monumental 25th anniversary.

  • Hoshido Starter Deck: Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary Heroes
  • Nohr Starter Deck: Fire Emblem 25th Anniversary Heroines

ht-cipher-hero ht-cipher-heroine

The two home themes are similar in design to one another; they both have a glorious gold colour scheme, a panorama of sprites on the top screen and the 25th anniversary logo and Corrin on the bottom screen.

Naturally, the sprites featured are of the various heroes and heroines from the very first games up to the latest ones. However the selection is rather peculiar. Firstly, in the Heroes theme, Lyn is present as the only female.

That’s not particularly odd in itself, since the Japanese term for “Heroes” is gender-neutral and literally means “main characters”, which Lyn is technically one. Yet Eirika appears in the Heroines theme despite having a more important role.

Additionally, Chrom is sadly missing from the Heroes theme, despite Lucina being in the Heroines theme. We’re sure this must be a running gag… Finally, for some reason, Mystery of the Emblem’s Tiki is in the Heroines theme. Secret OTP confirmed?!

By the way, the music used in the themes is the “Fire Emblem Cipher Main Theme”, a hearty rendition of the beloved Fire Emblem theme. If you’re interested, you can listen to it here (credits to shadowofchaos).

Summary: Overall, these two themes are pretty cool as freebies, but (despite initial appearances) not really fancy enough to warrant a purchase if they were sold from the Theme Shop.

Finally, we come to Series 3, which marked the end of the digital freebies. It’s unclear why they stopped, but fortunately they ended with one heck of a bang.

  • Path of Radiance Starter Deck: Fire Emblem Opera

This lovingly-crafted 3DS home theme is quite possibly one of the best themes out there, although most people around here sadly won’t be able to own it. Anyway, you can check it out in the video below by shadowofchaos.

For those unaware, this home theme is based on the commercial for the very first Fire Emblem game. The “Fire Emblem Opera Theme” sung in the commercial was a hit with fans and Nintendo later reused it for Binding Blade’s commercial.

A lot of you may recognise a slightly more serious variant of the opera theme from the Super Smash Bros. series.

Not just the music, the home theme has even recreated the commercial’s cast and stage in cutesy pixel form on the top screen. In the home theme, Marth has taken centre stage instead, but the leading lady is a nigh 1:1 match.

Meanwhile the bottom screen displays a large Marth sprite that swings its sword when you scroll the screen. The animation is a bit wonky, in that the frames go 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 rather than 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, but it’s hardly noticeable.

Summary: If it wasn’t clear, the Fire Emblem Opera home theme is without a doubt the best freebie from the ones available. In fact, if it was available to purchase from the Theme Shop, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

One of the codes being given away is for the Fire Emblem Opera home theme, so hopefully someone here (with a Japanese 3DS) will able to appreciate it soon!

About the Author: VincentASM
Fire Emblem fan since 2002 and webmaster of Serenes Forest. Occasionally an online content editor or brand ambassador. Is a sucker for mage girls and has an unhealthy stash of Sylveon plushies.
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