Breath of Fire

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Breath of Fire
BreathofFire.png
Genre(s)Role-playing
Developer(s)Capcom
Publisher(s)Capcom
Creator(s)Yoshinori Kawano
Tokuro Fujiwara
Makoto Ikehara
Platform(s)SNES, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable, Android, iOS
First releaseBreath of Fire
April 3, 1993
Latest releaseBreath of Fire 6
February 24, 2016

Breath of Fire[a] 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 usually Ryu and Nina.[1]

The story commonly involves an adventurer named Ryu (name usually changeable) 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 2016, six Breath of Fire titles have been released, with three games being ported to handheld game consoles as well as Nintendo's Virtual Console, and two ported to the Nintendo Switch's Super NES games library. By 2020, the series had sold over 3.2 million copies.[4]

Games[edit]

Main series[edit]

Title Original release date

Japan

North America

PAL region

Breath of Fire April 3, 1993 August 10, 1994 December 14, 2001 (Game Boy Advance)
Notes:
Breath of Fire II December 2, 1994 December 10, 1995 April 25, 1996
Notes:
Breath of Fire III September 11, 1997 April 30, 1998 October 8, 1998
Notes:
Breath of Fire IV April 27, 2000 November 28, 2000 August 3, 2001
Notes:
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter November 14, 2002 February 16, 2003 November 28, 2003
Notes:
  • Released on PlayStation 2
  • Developed by Capcom
  • Known in Japan as Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter
Breath of Fire 6 February 24, 2016 none none
Notes:
  • Released on Microsoft Windows and Android
  • Developed by Capcom
  • Also available on iOS (2016)
  • Known in Japan as Breath of Fire 6: Hakuryū no Shugosha-tachi

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 five members of the company's sound team Alph Lyla, which included Yasuaki Fujita, Mari Yamaguchi, Minae Fuji, Yoko Shimomura and Tatsuya Nishimura, 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)
Famitsu GameRankings Metacritic
Breath of Fire
70%[12]
79% (GBA Re-release)[13]
Breath of Fire II
350,000[14]
76%[15]
81% (GBA Re-release)[16]
Breath of Fire III
425,000[17]
74%[18]
Breath of Fire IV
334,000[19]
31 / 40[20]
82%[21]
83%[22]
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
140,073[23]
32 / 40[24]
78%[25]
78%[26]

As of the fifth game in the series, the Breath of Fire franchise has sold a total of 3.2 million units worldwide, with Capcom calling it their "best known and most successful role-playing game."[27] 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.[28] 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."[29]

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.[30] 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."[31]

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."[32] 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".[33] Other companies such as Camelot Software Planning have expressed interest in developing a title for the series if Capcom remained unwilling to do so.[34]

Appearances in other media[edit]

Breath of Fire would later be featured in Archie Comics' Worlds Unite crossover event as one of several Capcom and Sega guest franchises appearing in the company's Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man titles.[35]

Between August 26 - September 02, 2020, an online survey was held for Teppen players, one of the questions featured asked which Capcom characters or series the community would like to see, Breath of Fire was one of the options players could select, and it was also possible to type in specific names within the question.[36][37] On July 1, 2021, Breath of Fire was added to Teppen via its Dragons of War expansion. Nina was added as a skin for the playable character Jill Valentine, she is voiced by Abby Trott (English) and Kyoko Hikami (Japanese).[38]. Her theme song is a remix of the soundtrack titled "Battle for Tomorrow" from Breath of Fire III. In addition, the card pack features multiple characters, enemies and concepts from Breath of Fire.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Japanese: ブレスオブファイア (Buresu obu Faia)

References[edit]

  1. ^ David DeRienzo. Hardcore Gaming 101 - Breath of Fire. Retrieved on 2010-02-02.
  2. ^ "Breath of Fire series". MobyGames. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  3. ^ a b Kalata, Kurt (2008-03-19). "A Japanese RPG Prime: The Esstential 20". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  4. ^ "CAPCOM | Game Series Sales". www.capcom.co.jp.
  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. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. 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. Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  12. ^ "Breath of Fire for SNES - GameRankings". GameRankings. 2002. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  13. ^ "Breath of Fire". Metacritic.
  14. ^ "Enterbrain Software Sales Data". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc. 1995-01-05.
  15. ^ "Breath of Fire II for SNES - GameRankings". GameRankings. 2002. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
  16. ^ "Breath of Fire II". Metacritic.
  17. ^ "MagicBox Top-Selling Console Games for 1997 (Japan)". MagicBox. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  18. ^ "Breath of Fire III Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-10-15.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Best Selling Titles of 2000 (Japan)". MagicBox. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  20. ^ "New Games Cross Review". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain, Inc.: 25 2000-04-26.
  21. ^ "Breath of Fire IV Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  22. ^ "Breath of Fire IV (psx) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  23. ^ "GID 927 - Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter - PS2 - Garaph". Garaph.info. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  24. ^ プレイステーション2 - ブレスオブ ファイアV ドラゴンクォーター. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.81. 30 June 2006.
  25. ^ "Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter for PlayStation 2 Reviews". GameRankings. 2003. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  26. ^ "Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter (ps2) reviews". Metacritic. 2003. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  27. ^ "CAPCOM / Total Sales Units". Capcom. Archived from the original on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  28. ^ Jeremy Dunham; Ivan Sulic & Ed Lewis (2004-07-14). "Dirty Dozen: Hidden Gems". IGN. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
  29. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (2000-11-28). "Breath of Fire IV Review for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  30. ^ Bennett, Colette (2009-05-04). "Famitsu lists most wanted sequels of all time in survey". Destructoid. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  31. ^ "Top 5 Capcom Series". IGN. 2010-06-01. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  32. ^ Mielke, James (2008-12-19). "Keiji Inafune Talks Mega Man Revivals, Strider Possibilites". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-07-05.[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ Svensson, Chris (2009-06-17). "Ask Capcom: Breath of Fire 5". Capcom-Unity. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  34. ^ Riley, Adam (2008-06-26). "C3 News :: Camelot Considering Breath of Fire RPG Revival". Cubed3.com. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
  35. ^ "Capcom and Sega Join Forces for Worlds Unite Comic Book Crossover - IGN" – via www.ign.com.
  36. ^ "User Surveys | Teppen -Official Site-". teppenthegame.com. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  37. ^ "TEPPEN User Survey". Archived from the original on 2020-08-26. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  38. ^ "Credit | Teppen -Official Site-". teppenthegame.com. Retrieved July 1, 2021.

External links[edit]