With the Japanese release for Nintendo Switch, check out how to download and play Roy and his allies’ adventure across the continent of Elibe.
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (GBA): Basic Guide to Starting the Game
Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade has not yet officially arrived in the West, however, the title was recently added to the Nintendo Switch Online + Japanese Add-on Pack. Therefore, it is possible for any player to access the Japanese store and download the application.
So that franchise enthusiasts can play Roy’s adventure through Elibe, we’ve prepared a basic guide with the game’s commands.
Still, we’ll avoid story spoilers in hopes that someday we may have an official translation of the first Fire Emblem for Game Boy Advance.
Downloading the Gameboy Advance Emulator
At this point in the game, it’s no secret that the Switch doesn’t have a region lock and we can change it as we wish. This “hoax” does not cause any problems for users and also does not affect the NSO+ subscription — proof of this is that I myself have already changed the region of my account to redeem games on the Japanese eShop, including the Game Boy Advance emulator.
However, there are some observations about this: the account cannot have any kind of credit, not even a penny; gold coins are not transferable between regions; and the Japanese eShop is not available in the English language, requiring either a step-by-step (below) or intuitive navigation through the menus.
Step 1: Changing Account Region
Go to https://accounts.nintendo.com and from the User Information menu, choose Profile. On the following screen, click Change and choose Japan from the Country/Region list.
You don’t have to worry about time zones as we won’t be making any purchases on the eShop. Finally, commit the changes.
Step 2: Accessing the eShop
There are two ways to access the eShop: from the Switch itself or from a web browser. If you choose to use the console, the system will ask you to sign in to your Nintendo Account to validate account changes. Once this is done, you will need to confirm with the password one more time to finally gain access to the eShop.
As the online store doesn’t support the English language, those who don’t know Japanese may feel a little lost, but don’t worry: in the menu on the left, you can see the Nintendo Switch Online option.
The Game Boy Advance emulator is one of the first pieces of software to appear on the service’s screen. From there, just open the download page, download the app and close the eShop.
If you prefer to download from your computer or mobile device, the first step is to access https://store-jp.nintendo.com/list/software/70010000062481.html.
Then choose Download (the red button), confirm the Nintendo Account password and that’s it: the software will be automatically downloaded by the Switch, as long as the console is connected to the internet.
Once the Game Boy Advance emulator has been downloaded, the user can change the Nintendo Account information to its original state. Keep in mind, however, that catalog titles can only be played with the Switch connected to the internet.
Launching the Game Boy Advance and Binding Blade Application
As soon as the software is opened for the first time, a window will appear asking to confirm which type of game we want. By default, the first option is “single player”, which is what we want. After this initial screen, we can finally start Roy’s adventure.
From the start screen, we have two options: start a new game or open the extras menu, from which we can access the Binding Blade tutorial — so far, so simple, right?
However, as the game is all in Japanese, some people may have some difficulty when performing the commands, so check out the basics below to advance in the campaign.
The images are authored by HAKUTO ( Twitter ), all in English.
Combat information and command list
The following images have translations for existing terms in the start and combat menus. The list of commands can be accessed by interacting with characters and items during maps.
Menu and configuration
The menu can be accessed by pressing the – button on the Switch and serves to access information about the game’s units and options, which also have their translations listed below.
Preparation and status
The following screens appear, respectively, before starting combat and accessing the unit information menu. It is possible to check several important numerical parameters to calculate your chances of success during matches.
Hoping to reach the West
Unfortunately, we still don’t have an official translation for Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, but the arrival of the title to the Japanese catalog of the Nintendo Switch Online + Additional Pack certainly fills us with hope that one day, who knows, we will be able to see the game in western lands.
Until then, even if you don’t have the knowledge of the Japanese language to follow the story in its entirety, at least you’ll be able to check out first-hand the gameplay of one of the titles that helped consolidate the Fire Emblem franchise as we know it today.