Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack will add Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem (2003) to its Game Boy Advance (GBA) library on Friday, June 23, 2023. Known as Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade in Japan, this was the first game in the franchise to receive an international localization but actually the seventh main game in the series overall. It is further worth noting that, for the Japanese region specifically, NSO + Expansion Pack will also add Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, the predecessor to The Blazing Blade on GBA. The Binding Blade has never been officially localized for the West.
Since Nintendo Switch is not region-locked, it is actually possible to play games that are exclusive to other regions’ version of Nintendo Switch Online. You just have to create a new account associated with that region on your Switch. So, if you really want, you can play The Binding Blade in Japanese on your Switch if you download the Japanese NSO app from a Japanese account.
However, if that’s way too much hassle and you’re just happy to be able to play Fire Emblem (2003) on Switch Online, that’s great. Indeed, Intelligent Systems was firing on all cylinders on GBA, from Fire Emblem to its two ludicrously great Advance Wars games. But we might never have received Fire Emblem in the West if Super Smash Bros. Melee had not introduced the world to series characters Marth and Roy first. In any case, now that Fire Emblem is coming, it stands to reason that its follow-up, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, could follow.
Prior to today, the most recent addition to Nintendo Switch Online had arrived earlier this month, when the likes of Harvest Moon and Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble suddenly joined the basic tier of the service.