Breath of Fire blazes onto the New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console

Oct 20, 2016 // Patrick Kulikowski

Here’s some red hot news for those of you who own a New Nintendo 3DS and love classic JRPGs. Breath of Fire is now available on the North American Virtual Console!

The game will run you $7.99 USD, and I hear the Zenny-to-USD conversions are looking favorable these days. Being the first RPG I ever played as a six-year old kid, the original Breath of Fire holds an enormously special place in my heart, so in celebration of this 1994 SNES classic’s portable release, let me tell you why this game kicks so much butt!


As you can tell, Breath of Fire stars Ryu, a blue-haired silent protagonist who belongs to the Light Dragon Clan – a peaceful bunch of human-like dwellers who prefer to keep their dragon-morphing abilities in check. But when Emperor Zog and the evil Dark Dragon Clan lay waste to Ryu’s village and intend to reawaken a goddess to fulfill their greedy desires, it’s up to Ryu to reawaken his dragon transformation abilities and restore peace to the world.

Ryu’s dragon transformations are a sight to behold – they give him an added strategic boost in battle, and, simply put, his dragon forms are the ultimate showcase of player empowerment.

2) A fascinatingly fantastical world

While we’re all pretty used to day and night cycles in videogames in 2016, the fact that a 1994 RPG like Breath of Fire was able to have this was a really cool effect that gives the world a sense of realism. Naturally, townspeople (and guards…hint hint) will be asleep and have their doors locked at night, and certain events and people may appear depending on the time of day.

The world map is filled to the brim with hidden nooks and crannies and long-lost landmarks that are just begging to be re-discovered, and the game’s blend of humans and anthropomorphic dragon, wolf, bird, ox, fish, serpent and mole populace add to an already diverse and interesting lore.

3) All of your characters matter

We’ve already covered Ryu’s dragon abilities, but it doesn’t stop there. Not only is Ryu a pro fisherman, but his seven companions all have important abilities and unique personalities at play throughout the entire game:

  • Nina is a winged healer that eventually gains the ability to morph into a bird and fly your crew all over the world map.
  • Bo is a wolf-like Grade-A archer who can hunt wildlife on the world map for extra healing items.
  • Karn is a sly thief and master of unlocking who not only can disarm booby-trapped chests, but can fuse with other characters to morph into powerful mutated creatures.
  • Gobi may be a greedy businessman/fish, but he’ll eventually learn how to turn into a big fish underwater to take the party to new areas.
  • Ox is an enormous, muscular tough-guy who can punch through walls and rustle trees to gain access to new places and items.
  • Bleu is an ancient, sultry, all-powerful sorceress who can turn the tide of battle with her devastating magic.
  • Mogu the mole can burrow into dirt patches and uncover hidden items on the world map.

4) An outstanding soundtrack

The game’s orchestral music, composed by Capcom Sound Team’s “Alph Lyla”, is an underrated gem. Not only is the game filled to the brim with catchy melodies and grandiose crescendos, but there’s a neat feature with how battle and world map themes are handled. After reaching the halfway point in the game, the game’s battle theme will change completely. Additionally, after certain major plot points, the world map theme will change as a means to reinvigorate the player. 

By the way, we just released the first three Breath of Fire soundtracks as a MP3 collection on the Capcom Store. Check it out!

5) Cameos!

Without giving too much away, you’re bound to find a few familiar faces as you progress through your journey, especially if you’re a Street Fighter II, Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Mega Man fan!

Excited yet? Now it’s your turn to experience the magic of this game. Take a deep breath [of fire] and grab the SNES classic now on the Nintendo eShop on your New Nintendo 3DS and/or Wii U eShop for $7.99.

And if you’ve played this one before, whether back in the 90s on Super Nintendo, at the turn of the century on Game Boy Advance, or recently on Wii U, I’d love to hear your favorite memories about it in the comments below!