Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (JP) is a tactical RPG game and is the fifth installment in the Fire Emblem series. It was released only in Japan in 1999 on the SNES, and was the third and final game released on the SNES.
The game is is a midquel that takes place between Chapter 5 and Chapter 8 of the previous game, Genealogy of the Holy War, one year before Chapter 6 specifically. The setting and game events take place on the Thracian peninsula in southeastern Jugdral in Gran Calendar Year 776, hence the game's title.
Thracia 776 takes place during the events of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War. During Genealogy of the Holy War, in the year Gran 761, the ruler of Grannvale Arvis has broadened his countries rule across the whole of Jugdral. Thracia 776 is set within the second generation storyline, while the banished prince Seliph is still in hiding and arranging to battle Arvis' hold on the continent. Main protagonist Leif is the deposed heir to the Republic of Manster, who was rescued from an attack by the forces of Thracia by Finn, a friend of Seliph's father Sigurd.
Spending most of his life as a fugitive, Leif later finds himself inside a shelter in the village of Fiana. The villager's protectors are routing bandits when the new Duke of Manster Raydrik attacks the village in search of Leif, kidnapping his friends Nanna and Mareeta. Traumatized by the town's ruination and his friends' abductions, Leif decides to face the forces of Thracia and retake Manster. Assisted by Finn and a growing band of rebels, he rescues both Nanna and the enemy-controlled Mareeta, and defeating Raydrik's forces as they retake Manster and liberate northern Thracia. Leif's forces finally face Raydrik in battle, but upon his defeat he is transformed into an undead monster called Deadlord Mus. Leif destroys Mus, and cements his forces defending Manster and northern Thracia from the Grannvale army.
Development of Thracia 776 started around the beginning of 1998, with the plan being for a compact side project to Genealogy of the Holy War. Development was supposed to end a considerable time prior to its eventual release date, but the staff wanted to create a full Fire Emblem title. This later caused problems with keeping the game within the world of Genealogy of the Holy War, with Kaga stating that it would've been simpler to create a completely original title if they'd known how big the project would be.
Characters were intentionally given little buildup or backstory, leaving their individual personalities unknown. As the strategic war simulation elements of Genealogy of the Holy War had suffered due to the goal of creating an intricate story, Kaga shifted his focus to the gameplay. The basic structure was taken from Mystery of the Emblem, with additional elements such as branching pathways within maps and variations in unit movement. This was achieved by giving each map a different algorithm to work with. The fatigue system was introduced to challenge players further.
Reception and legacy
Upon release, the Nintendo Power version proved highly popular, with people coming in high numbers to stores supplying it. This was attributed to the popularity of the Fire Emblem series. It was the best-selling Super Famicom game of September. By November the following year, it was reported to be the most popular Nintendo Power title within that period.
Combined sales of its Nintendo Power and ROM Cartridge releases reached 106,108 units as of 2002, making Thracia 776 the worst-selling Fire Emblem game at the time. An alternate estimate by Famitsu at the end of 1999 put total sales at 145,600 units, ranking as the 103rd best-selling game title of the year. According to Famitsu, it was the highest-selling Super Famicom release of that year.Famitsu gave the ROM cartridge release a score of 35/40. The reviewers were both positive about its further refinements and additions to the Fire Emblem gameplay formula, and surprised by the greatly increased difficulty level when compared to the previous entry. Kerry Brunskill of Nintendo Life again noted the steep difficulty even when compared to other Fire Emblem entries, but also positively noted its sound gameplay base and praised its "well thought out" story.
Nintendojo's Desmond Gaben gave Thracia 776 a score of 9.9/10 in his review: he praised the graphics as some of the best on the system, generally approved of the gameplay improvements despite its high difficulty, and called it a "must-have" for fans of the genre. The game was noted by website RacketBoy as a both a rarity due to its release media and recognized alongside the other Super Famicom Fire Emblem titles as a quality game. TechnologyTell included among their lists of the top Super Famicom games that had not been released overseas.
|Fire Emblem series|
|Console games||Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light • Gaiden • Mystery of the Emblem • Genealogy of the Holy War • BS Fire Emblem • Thracia 776 • Path of Radiance • Radiant Dawn • Three Houses|
|Handheld games||The Binding Blade • Fire Emblem • The Sacred Stones • Shadow Dragon • New Mystery of the Emblem • Awakening • Fates • Echoes: Shadows of Valentia|
|Spin-offs||Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE (Encore) • Heroes • Warriors • Super Smash Bros.|