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Tear Ring Saga: Utna Heroes Saga is a 2001 video game created by Shouzou Kaga, the creator of the Fire Emblem series, fresh from leaving Intelligent Systems to form his own company, Tirnanog. Unsurprisingly, Tear Ring Saga is considered to be a Spiritual Successor to Fire Emblem and incorporates the vast majority of Fire Emblem's gameplay, mechanisms and general flavouring.
The game is about the continent of Lieberia being terrorized by an evil cult, hell-bent on reviving their dark god. Runan and Holmes, the two heroes of the game, travel the continent to stop the cult before their ambitions are realized.
It got a sequel for the Play Station 2, Berwick Saga, which did an excellent job of further differentiating it from its Fire Emblem ancestor and making itself its own beast.
Tear Ring Saga contains examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: The game has tanks! Granted they are arrow shooting tanks, but tanks nonetheless.
- Animorphism: The sisters are able to turn into dragons.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit
- Battle Couple: There are a few, but Roger and Mel are one of the earliest and most obvious examples; if one dies the other leaves the army and they can't be separated into different parties.
- Black Knight: Mintz is one, and Sun can promote to one. Zeek is of the "Dark" variety.
- Combat Medic: Mel has a chance to become this since she can use swords, can heal, and has the re-move skill.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Not as bad as FE, but there's some. Some of the priests since they can only use support magic and don't even have a class change. Also, some of the archers can't counterattack in close combat.
- Crutch Character: Zeek, you get him early on the game and he's easily one of the most powerful in the party from the beginning but he leaves your party later on.
- Ditto Fighter: Narcus.
- Expy: Just look at the box art above; if you aren't careful, you could mistake that alone for Thracia 776.
- Face Heel Turn: Zeek
- Fan Translation: An English patch exists for menus and some names.
- Final Death: You can revive a character later in game, but most of the time a death remains permanent.
- Go-Go Enslavement: Plume.
- Happily Adopted: Shigen
- Heel Face Turn: As per the Fire Emblem tradition, you can recruit some enemy characters.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Runan, but averted with Holmes until promotion.
- Hit and Run Tactics: Due to re-move, mounted units can use this tactic.
- Hot Mom: It seems like there aren't any old-looking women.
- Instant Costume Change: Plume when she's using the Dance skill.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: You have control of two different armies.
- Magikarp Power: Sasha, she starts very weak and is a pain to train but if you grind her up to level 10 she then learns Elite and can promote to a Pegasus Knight (and later on, to Dragon Knight if you want). She can quickly become of one the more useful units.
- Master of Unlocking: The thieves, Holmes, and Maerhen.
- Me's a Crowd: There's a way to clone Krisheenu.
- Name's the Same: Some of the characters share the same name with some Fire Emblem characters. Some are intentional expies, like Barts, while others are unrelated, like Roger.
- Non-Lethal KO: Shigen, his personal sword revives him and if he doesn't have his sword then the witch Sierra will whisk him away. Zeek is also rescued by his sister if his hp reaches 0. Lionheart while he's a NPC also counts.
- If a character has elixir, it revives said character if they are killed.
- Random Number God: As in Fire Emblem, the RNG can make or break characters; it's entirely possible gain a level without getting any stat increases at all.
- Squishy Wizard: Maruju, Meriah, Alicia, Rishel, Sierra.
- Sticky Fingers: Some of the thieves have a chance of stealing a weapon when they perform a successful attack. Also, the first time you recruit Narcus he runs away with half your money.
- Useless Useful Spell: Sing can heal and has a chance to let a character move again and it can affect 1-4 spaces and it's free, but it has a low chance of actually working.
- We Cannot Go on Without You: Apart from the two main lords, Runan and Holmes, if a character with a star beside their name dies it's game over.
- What Could Have Been: Initially the game was called Emblem Saga; the name was changed to Tear Ring Saga because of "various circumstances", but fans speculated that it was to avoid the obvious lawsuit from Nintendo. Despite the name change, Nintendo filed various lawsuits against Tirnanog and the publisher, Enterbrain. Enterbrain was found guilty and fined for breaking the Unfair Competition Law, but not for copyright infringement.
When the game was still being called Emblem Saga, it took place was in the same world as Akaneia/Jugdral Fire Emblem games, and was said to be happening around the same time as Shadow Dragon.
- Xane was going to appear in the game.
- Manaketes were going to appear. Given that Intelligent Systems has trademarked the name "Mamkute", they were replaced with the nigh identical Emiyu.
- Runan was going to have blue hair, like almost every other Fire Emblem lead.
- It would have been possible to "choose" the main characters by choosing who leads the armies.
- The type of battles the player has the armies fight will determine what the units within specialize in. (For example, arena grinding would eventually make the army good in the arena, but bad in group combat)
- Growth rates were to be replaced with "growth curves", growth rates that change as the unit levels up.
- The game was originally to use an isometric view, as in Final Fantasy Tactics; Berwick Saga would later use a hexagonal variant of an isometric map.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Roger.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair