Breath of Fire

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Breath of Fire
BreathofFire.png
Genres Role-playing video game
Developers Capcom
Publishers Capcom
Creators Tokuro Fujiwara
Makoto Ikehara
Platforms Android, Cellular phone, Game Boy Advance, iOS, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Windows
Platform of origin Super Nintendo Entertainment System
First release Breath of Fire
April 3, 1993
Latest release Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
November 14, 2002

Breath of Fire (Japanese: ブレスオブファイア Hepburn: Buresu obu Faia?) is a role-playing video game series developed by Capcom. It originated on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. The series is notable for its recurring characters and ambiguous continuity; though each game is its own self-contained story, the names of the two lead characters are, invariably, Ryu and Nina.[1]

The story commonly involves an adventurer named Ryu who can shapeshift into different types of dragons.[2] Over the course of his journey, he befriends Nina, a girl with wings. At its inception, Breath of Fire took place in a medieval fantasy style fictional world. Following the mainstream success of Japanese role-playing games in the 1990s,[3] the series began using the original anime-style artwork for later Western releases of the games (rather than the Westernized art that was drawn specifically for the Western releases of the first two games), post-apocalyptic themes, and an increased emphasis on character development. Despite these changes, the core structure of Breath of Fire remains largely linear and plot-focused. As of 2003, five Breath of Fire titles have been released, with three games being ported to handheld game consoles as well as Nintendo's Virtual Console. To date, the series has sold over 3 million units worldwide.[4]

Games[edit]

Main series[edit]

Title Details

Original release date(s):
  • JP April 3, 1993
  • NA August 10, 1994
  • EU December 14, 2001 (GBA)
Release years by system:
1993 — Super Nintendo Entertainment System
2001 — Game Boy Advance
Notes:
  • Originally released in Japan as Breath of Fire: Ryū no Senshi (ブレスオブファイアI 竜の戦士 Breath of Fire: The Dragon Warrior?).



Original release date(s):
  • JP December 2, 1994
  • NA December 10, 1995
  • EU April 25, 1996
Release years by system:
1994 — Super Nintendo Entertainment System
2001 — Game Boy Advance
2007 — Virtual Console
2013 — Wii U eShop
Notes:
  • Originally released in Japan as Breath of Fire II: Shimei no Ko (ブレスオブファイアII 使命の子 Breath of Fire II: The Destined Child?).



Original release date(s):
  • JP September 11, 1997
  • NA April 30, 1998
  • EU October 8, 1998
Release years by system:
1997 — PlayStation
2005 — PlayStation Portable
Notes:
  • Only game with no subtitle in its Japanese name.



Original release date(s):
  • JP April 27, 2000
  • NA November 28, 2000
  • EU August 3, 2001
Release years by system:
2000 — PlayStation
2003 — Microsoft Windows
2011 — PlayStation Network
Notes:
  • Originally released in Japan as Breath of Fire IV: Utsurowazarumono (ブレスオブファイアIV うつろわざるもの Breath of Fire IV: The Unfading Ones?).



Original release date(s):
  • JP November 14, 2002
  • NA February 16, 2003
  • EU November 28, 2003
Release years by system:
2002 — PlayStation 2
Notes:
  • Originally released in Japan as Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter (ブレスオブファイアV ドラゴンクォーター?).



Original release date(s):
  • JP Summer 2014
Release years by system:
2014 — Android, iOS, PC
Notes:
  • Full Japanese title: Breath of Fire 6: Hakuryū no Shugosha-tachi (ブレスオブファイア6 白竜の守護者たち lit. Breath of Fire 6: Guardians of the White Dragon?).


Mobile games[edit]

Beginning in November 2003, Capcom began releasing Breath of Fire titles specifically for mobile phone devices in Japan.[5] Each game was developed for use on NTT DoCoMo, au, and SoftBank brand cellphones that use the i-mode, EZWEB, or BREW services. The first title, Breath of Daifugō (ブレス オブ 大富豪?), is a replication of the Japanese card game daifugō featuring characters from Breath of Fire IV, and would be followed by a sports game called Breath of Fire: Ryū no Tsurishi (ブレス オブ ファイア 竜の釣り師 lit. Breath of Fire: Dragon Fisherman?) in October 2005, which contained an expanded version of the fishing minigame also from the game.[6] Two action role-playing spin-offs of Breath of Fire IV titled Breath of Fire IV: Honō no Ken to Kaze no Mahō (ブレスオブファイアIV 炎の剣と風の魔法 lit. Breath of Fire IV: The Sword of Fire and the Magic of Wind?) and Breath of Fire IV: Yōsei-tachi to Hikari no Kagi (ブレスオブファイアIV 妖精たちと光のカギ lit. Breath of Fire IV: The Faeries and the Key of Light?)' were released in November 2007[7] and November 2008 respectively.[8]

Music[edit]

The music of each Breath of Fire games has traditionally been produced by rotating members of Capcom's in-house sound team. While the themes from first game were composed by four members of the company's sound team Alph Lyla, which included Yasuaki Fujita, Mari Yamaguchi, Minae Fuji, and Yoko Shimomura, the second game's score was produced entirely by fellow company composer Yuko Takehara.[9] Breath of Fire III's soundtrack took a jazz-inspired approach, and was written by the team of Yoshino Aoki and Akari Kaida, with the music of Breath of Fire IV provided solely by Aoki herself. For the first time in the series, the music of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter was created by an outside employee, Hitoshi Sakimoto, with Yasunori Mitsuda serving as music producer on the project.[10]

In March 2006, Capcom released the 11-disc Breath of Fire Original Soundtrack Special Box boxset on their in-house record label Suleputer, which contained all music from the first five games in the series.[9] The set includes the first-ever soundtrack release of the original Breath of Fire, as well as the first complete soundtrack releases for Breath of Fire II and Breath of Fire III, which had previously only received single-disc selections during their original printings, with a total of 307 tracks from all five titles.[11] Capcom produced a limited run of only 2000 copies of the boxset, which was distributed on their online store e-Capcom, as well as special retailers, and included a 28-page booklet featuring art from the series.[11]

Reception[edit]

Review scores and sales
Game First-year sales
(Japan only)
GameRankings Metacritic
Breath of Fire
78%[12]
Breath of Fire II
350,000[13]
79%[14]
Breath of Fire III
425,000[15]
74%[16]
Breath of Fire IV
334,000[17]
82%[18]
83%[19]
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
140,073[20]
78%[21]
78%[22]

As of the fifth game in the series, the Breath of Fire franchise has sold a total of 3 million units worldwide, with Capcom calling it their "best known and most successful role-playing game."[4] Sales of each successive title continued on an upward slope which peaked at the PlayStation entries in the series, with the fifth game, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter on the PlayStation 2, representing a significant dip.[23] Each title received mostly positive reviews from aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic, with critics such as Gamasutra finding each game to be good, but largely formulaic, calling the franchise "always solid, if not particularly ambitious".[3] The series has routinely been compared to Square Enix's popular Final Fantasy games, with GameSpot stating that "Though the Breath of Fire games have never been as well received as bigger RPG names like Final Fantasy, the series indicates that Capcom is definitely learning something about the fine art of RPG development."[24]

In May 2009, nearly seven years after the release of the latest game, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, readers of Japanese Famitsu magazine voted the series 6th in the publication's survey of the Top 50 Most Wanted Game Sequels.[25] IGN would later name Breath of Fire the 4th greatest Capcom franchise of all time in June 2010, stating that "Though the Breath of Fire games evolved across the SNES to the PlayStation 2, the core held steadfast to Japanese RPG formulas – something that many gamers still celebrate."[26]

Series future[edit]

In a December 2008 interview with gaming website 1UP.com, Capcom's former Head of Production Keiji Inafune stated the Breath of Fire series would be put on hiatus due to the company's lack of staff and an increasingly competitive role-playing game market, stating "There are currently no plans on making a new Breath of Fire game. Apart from that, regarding RPG titles, they are very popular in Japan, but only certain RPG titles sell so Capcom doesn't really need to even consider making these titles as an option."[27] Capcom USA Vice President of Strategic Planning Chris Svensson would later claim on the company's official message boards in June 2009 that the series remains a "resting IP".[28] Other companies such as Camelot Software Planning have expressed interest in developing a title for the series if Capcom remained unwilling to do so.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David DeRienzo. Hardcore Gaming 101 - Breath of Fire. Retrieved on 2010-02-02.
  2. ^ Breath of Fire series. MobyGames. Retrieved on 2008-4-8.
  3. ^ a b Kalata, Kurt (2008-03-019). "A Japanese RPG Prime: The Esstential 20". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  4. ^ a b "CAPCOM / Total Sales Units". Capcom. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  5. ^ Takakazu, Kitamura (2003-08-04). "カプコン、携帯ゲームを3キャリアで同時配信。「ブレス オブ 大富豪」、「ソリティア ファイター」" (in Japanese). GameWatch. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  6. ^ "ブレスオブファイア』や『ロックマン2』が続々とアプリに!" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2005-10-14. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  7. ^ "『バイオ』、『デビル』、『大魔界村』など! カプコンの11月の配信タイトルが明らかに" (in Japanese). Famitsu. 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  8. ^ Fuminori, Hidaka (2008-11-04). "モバイルゲームレビュー「ブレスオブファイアIV 妖精たちと光のカギ」" (in Japanese). GameWatch. 
  9. ^ a b Strange, Derek (2006-09-25). "RPGFan Soundtracks - Breath of Fire OST Special Box". RPGFan. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  10. ^ Holtzworth, Christopher (2003-01-08). "RPGFan Soundtracks - Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter OST". RPGFan. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  11. ^ a b "ブレス オブ ファイア I~V オリジナル・サウンドトラック スペシャルボックス" (in Japanese). Tanomi.com. 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  12. ^ "Breath of Fire for SNES - GameRankings". GameRankings. 2002. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  13. ^ "Enterbrain Software Sales Data". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese) (Enterbrain, Inc.). 1995-01-05. 
  14. ^ "Breath of Fire II for SNES - GameRankings". GameRankings. 2002. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  15. ^ "MagicBox Top-Selling Console Games for 1997 (Japan)". MagicBox. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  16. ^ "Breath of Fire III Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  17. ^ "Best Selling Titles of 2000 (Japan)". MagicBox. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  18. ^ "Breath of Fire IV Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  19. ^ "Breath of Fire IV (psx) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  20. ^ "GID 927 - Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter - PS2 - Garaph". Garaph.info. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  21. ^ "Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Game Rankings. 2003. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  22. ^ "Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (ps2) reviews". Metacritic. 2003. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  23. ^ Jeremy Dunham, Ivan Sulic, and Ed Lewis (2004-07-14). "Dirty Dozen: Hidden Gems". IGN. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  24. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (2000-11-28). "Breath of Fire IV Review for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  25. ^ Bennett, Colette (2009-05-04). "Famitsu lists most wanted sequels of all time in survey". Destructoid. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  26. ^ "Top 5 Capcom Series". IGN. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  27. ^ Mielke, James (2008-12-19). "Keiji Inafune Talks Mega Man Revivals, Strider Possibilites". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  28. ^ Svensson, Chris (2009-06-17). "Ask Capcom: Breath of Fire 5". Capcom-Unity. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  29. ^ Riley, Adam (2008-06-26). "C3 News :: Camelot Considering Breath of Fire RPG Revival". Cubed3.com. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 

External links[edit]