Breath of Fire Wiki
Breath of Fire
Buresu obu Faia
BoFI Logo
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) JP: Capcom
NA: Square Soft (SNES)
NA: Capcom (GBA, N3DS, Wii U, SW)
EU: Ubisoft (GBA)
Release date(s)
Super NES
JP: April 3, 1993
NA: August 10, 1994

Game Boy Advance
JP: July 6, 2001
NA: December 13, 2001
EU: December 14, 2001

Wii U Virtual Console
JP: September 10, 2014
EU: November 27, 2014
NA: February 12, 2015

New Nintendo 3DS Virutal Console
Platform(s) Super NES
Game Boy Advance
Wii U
New 3DS

Breath of Fire, also known as Breath of Fire: The Dragon Warrior (ブレスオブファイア 竜の戦士, Buresu obu Faia Ryū no Senshi?) is produced by Tokuro Fujiwara, and is the first entry in the Breath of Fire series of console role-playing games. Developed by Capcom in 1993 for the Super Famicom, it was licensed a year later by Squaresoft (now Square Enix) for release in North America. In 2001, Capcom independently ported the game for the Game Boy Advance and released it worldwide.

Breath of Fire takes place in the years following a great civil war between the Light Dragon and Dark Dragon clans. The Light Dragons are dwindling, reduced to hiding in small villages. The protagonist is Ryu, a young Light Dragon who awakens one night to find his home set on fire by Dark Dragons. After his sister is captured in the attack, Ryu sets off to rescue her. In the process, he joins a race to uncover seven mystical keys, before the Dark Dragons can use them to unlock the goddess of destruction.


Breath of Fire consists of four basic modes of gameplay: an overworld map, town and dungeon field maps, a battle screen, and a menu screen. The overworld is a scaled-down, simplified version of the game's fictional world, which the player uses to navigate between various locations. With a few plot-driven exceptions, enemies are randomly encountered while traveling though field maps or on the overworld. As the player commands the lead character to move, the other members who are in the current party follow in a line behind him/her. The order of the group line can be changed at any time, allowing another character to take the lead. Most playable characters display a unique field skill outside of battle, which can only be accessed by placing them at the front. Some areas cannot be entered unless a certain character has joined; for example, the party cannot walk through forests unless Bo is at the head of the group.

Spot breathoffireI001

Ryu traversing the world map.

The color palette of field maps changes depending on the time of day. Whenever the traveling party appears on the overworld screen, the sun rises and sets with each passing minute of real time. Non-player characters can be found milling about inside towns at daytime, whereas they will retire to their homes at night and early morning. In certain instances, the player must wait until nightfall before they can enter a given town.

The game's story develops as the player visits towns and dungeons. Townspeople offer helpful information, and some residents own item or equipment shops. Since the player's inventory space is limited, most item shops double as banks which offer to hold spare items or GP (the game's currency). Dungeons primarily appear in the form of castles, caves, and towers. Towers consist of several floors, often composed of puzzles or mazes, further complicating the party's task of reaching the top.

The menu screen is where the player makes such decisions as which characters will be in the traveling party, which equipment they wield, and the configuration of the gameplay. It is also used to track experience points and levels.

Fishing and hunting play a small role in Breath of Fire's gameplay. By outfitting Ryu with a rod and bait, the player can fish at designated spots on the overworld, often nabbing rare equipment in the process. Birds, wild boar, and deer randomly appear on the overworld. If Bo is leading the group, he can hunt animals by firing arrows at them. Once struck, the animal will change into an item (Meat) which can be then picked up. Certain types of meat restore Health Points (HP), while others refill Ability Points (AP).


During its turn-based fight sequences, Breath of Fire switches to a 3/4 isometric perspective. Up to four characters may participate in a battle, though each can be swapped out for another party member if the player so chooses. The battle screen is a detailed representation of whatever area the party is currently in, such as a desert or grassland. Although characters are miniaturized on maps, in combat their sprites are normal-sized and more realistic.

Spot breathoffireI002

Ryu in a battle against two slimes.

A maximum of four characters may participate in battles, although each can be swapped out for another party member at any time. Each character acts in an order dependent on their individual statistics. Players are rewarded for winning battles with experience points and GP. When characters attain a certain amount of experience points, they gain a level, which increases their statistics. Experience Points and GP are awarded based on how quickly the party dispatches the enemies with the maximum allotment being given if the player ends the battle in one round. Each party member has the option to attack, cast a magic spell, use a restorative item, or escape the fight by running away. The party can also be placed under automatic control, causing them to attack without the player's input.

The current Hit Points and Ability Points of each party member is visible from a heads-up display at the bottom of the screen, and the maximum HP and AP can be shown by pressing Select. The HP of enemies remains unseen, though a life bar measuring an enemy's health will appear whenever they take damage. An identical display appears during boss battles, but in this case, the life bar is misleading; the bar very often will drop to zero, only to see the boss acquire a 'second wind' and continue to attack without any visible HP.

At the beginning of the game, Ryu is powerless except for his sword-fighting skill. He can awaken his innate powers by visiting small, isolated shrines on the overworld known as Dragon Temples. After accepting a challenge from the monk inside, Ryu is separated from the rest of his party and pitted in a one-on-one battle against a dragon. If he wins, Ryu earns the ability to morph into various dragons during battles. Whenever this occurs Ryu's sprite is replaced with a dragon, and the strength of his attacks increases. Each set of dragon spells represent differing stages in Ryu's power: His early transformations resemble an infant dragon, while his most powerful form (Agni) takes up a large chunk of the bottom right corner of the screen.

Karn is another character who can change forms. Hidden throughout the game are four members of an ancient clan who claim to be Karn's blood relatives. Each one enables Karn to change into powerful mutant creatures by "Fusing" with Bo, Ox, and Gobi. Although this removes the fused characters from the party roster, it also grants Karn a boost in HP and overall strength. Unlike Ryu, however, Karn stays in his fused state outside of battle, and will remain so until the player commands him to revert back.




Thousands of years ago, the goddess Tyr sowed discord amongst the Dragon Clan by offering to grant any wish. Feuding over the goddess' favor eventually split the Clan into two competing factions — the Light Dragons and the Dark Dragons — who engaged in a destructive war. Tyr encouraged the fighting and watched the war escalate. Just as the world was on the brink of annihilation, the "Goddess War" ended when a heroic Light Dragon and his companions managed to imprison Tyr and seal her away with six keys. Each key has a unique magical property which effects the surrounding landscape; the Light Key is hidden in the port town of Auria, providing boundless prosperity for its residents. Alternatively, the Dark Key resides near the slums of Bleak, accounting for that town's perpetual darkness.


The Dark Dragons continue to hunt their longtime enemies, the Light Dragons, and have driven them into isolation. Unbeknownst to the Dark Dragons, the Light Dragon Clan sealed away its dragon powers long ago. The game's protagonist, Ryu, is living peacefully in a village of Light Dragons survivors. Ryu was orphaned when he was young and was raised by his sister, Sara, a priestess who can summon powerful magic. One night he dreams of a dragon that warns him of impending danger; he awakens to find his village has been set ablaze. Sara uses her magic to draw the Dark Dragons away from Ryu and the other villagers, but is taken prisoner.

The Dark Dragon Emperor, Zog, has announced that it is the birthright of the Dark Dragons to conquer the planet. Zog intends to release Tyr by assembling the six Goddess keys. Ryu leaves the village and embarks on a quest to collect the keys before Zog can.


Breath of Fire's development was revealed as early as June 1991, where it was listed as an upcoming Capcom title in Famitsu Issue No. 133. The game was conceived by Yoshinori Kawano, who directed the game and had come up with the scenario for the first part of the game in a week.[1]

Tokuro Fujiwara, who served as producer for all console titles by Capcom during the NES and SNES era, also produced the game. Fujiwara would later explain Breath of Fire was created because he wanted Capcom to branch out from action games to other genres, including RPGs. Although he had made Sweet Home, a survival horror/RPG hybrid for the Famicom prior, he considered Breath of Fire the first true RPG Capcom developed.[2]

After an application and a company competition entry was submitted by Makoto Ikehara, Kawano urged one of his seniors to hire him to work on Breath of Fire. Kawano cites Ikehara's hiring as making it possible for the game to be completed.[1]

Mega Man co-creator Keiji Inafune did the original illustrations for the game, but he was eventually taken off the project. After artist Tatsuya Yoshikawa was onboarded at Capcom, there was a competition in-house to change the art of Breath of Fire. Yoshikawa was thereupon appointed as the character artist for Breath of Fire, where he continued to serve as both artist and character designer for the series.[3]

Music was primarily composed by Yasuaki Fujita (alias "BUNBUN"), who initially created MIDI compositions that were transposed to work with the Super Famicom / SNES audio chip. Fujita was supported by compositions from Mari Yamaguchi (Mari), Minae Fujii (Oyajin), Yoko Shimomura (Pii), and Tatsuya Nishimura (Anie). Because Fujita left Capcom before development was completed, composer Mari Yamaguchi completed the remaining tracks.


Breath of Fire: Ryuu no Senshi was released on Super Famicom in Japan on April 3, 1993. To promote the title, Capcom featured a song written and performed by J-rock vocalist Toshi entitled "Running Wild" in the official Japanese commercial for the game. This song was later re-recorded in 1994 by The Midnight Hawks and re-titled "Breath of Fire".


The North American release of Breath of Fire is the product of a joint venture between Capcom and Squaresoft. At that time, Capcom had not yet attempted to localize a game which relied so heavily on text. In addition, the company had already begun work on Breath of Fire II. The task of localizing Breath of Fire was therefore handed over to Squaresoft, a company with more experience at translating Japanese role-playing games to English. Squaresoft released Breath of Fire in lieu of Final Fantasy V, which was not ported to American video game consoles until 1999.[citation needed]

Ironically, Breath of Fire's translation is an oft-cited criticism of the game.[citation needed] The English port also saw several name alterations, though some of these — in the case of the main characters — were necessitated by technical restrictions of only four letters per name (e.g. "Gilliam" is shortened to "Bo"). Similarly, the names of inventory items are limited to five letters (LtKey, F.Stn, WtrJr, etc).

The original Japanese release used menu button graphics featuring kanji. To localize this for the English release, Squaresoft redrew the buttons with visual depictions (i.e. a sword icon for attack, a shield for defend).

For the English localization, Karn's appearance was altered to give him Caucasian skin and brown hair. This was most likely due to Karn's original Japanese depiction's resemblance to a racist caricature. This was also edited in the North American and European re-releases on Game Boy Advance.


Bof advance

Breath of Fire was ported and re-released by Capcom in Japan on July 6, in North America on December 13, and in Europe on December 14, 2001 for the Game Boy Advance. It includes additional illustrated cutscenes, new character portraits, and adjustments to the game's overall difficulty. The menu icons that appear during battle sequences were replaced by a text-driven interface, similar to that of Breath of Fire II. The ability to "dash" by holding the B button was also included. As an added feature, players can utilize a link cable and swap items from their inventories. The re-release met with generally positive reviews; GameSpot and IGN both praised it for being a smooth conversion of the original game, though some have noted that the sound quality is lacking.

The Super Famicom version was re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console in Japan on September 10, 2014. A European release of the Super Nintendo version on Wii U Virtual Console followed on November 27, 2014, marking the first time the original SNES version was released in Europe. The SNES version subsequently was re-released on the North American Wii U Virtual Console service on February 12, 2015.

The Super Nintendo version was re-released again on the New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in Europe on October 6, 2016, followed by a North American release on October 20, 2016. Japan received the Super Famicom version on the 3DS Virtual Console on August 23, 2017.

Both the Wii U and 3DS releases of Breath of Fire were made unavailable for purchase following the closure of those respective platform's eShops on March 23, 2023.

On September 5, 2019, the SNES version of Breath of Fire was announced via Nintendo Direct and released on the unveiled Nintendo Switch Online - Super Nintendo Entertainment System application. Europe and Japan received the game on their respective Nintendo Switch Online services on September 6, 2019.


  • In Bleak, a thief inside one of the houses will offer to perform a magic trick for 100 GP. If the player responds "no" "no" "yes", the result is a brief cameo appearance by Chun-li, a heroine from the Street Fighter fighting game series.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins/Makaimura - If you look closely at all the portraits hanging on the walls of houses in this game, you'll see that they are in fact of Arthur, the heart-patterned boxer shorts-wearing hero of the Makai Mura games. It actually seems to be the face of his sprite from Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts.
  • George Romero - Earlier in the game, there is a town called Romero. Considering that if you go to the town during the evening, there's zombies all over the place, it's quite obvious that this is a reference to George Romero, director of legendary zombie thrillers such as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and many others. This is the same in both the English and Japanese versions - apparently, one of the staff members was a fan.
  • Mega Man V - One of the bosses, Goda, has an uncanny resemblance to Stone Man from Mega Man V. It's not simply that they're both made of similar brick-pattern stone, but he even has the very distinct Wilybot style eyes that all Wilybots have.
  • Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune did the original illustrations for the game.



See Also[]

  • For a list of Breath of Fire Characters, see here
  • For a list of Breath of Fire Locations, see here
  • For a list of Breath of Fire Abilities, see here
  • For a list of Breath of Fire Enemies, see here
  • For a list of Breath of Fire Items, see here
  • For a list of Breath of Fire Weapons, see here
  • For a list of Breath of Fire Production Staff, see here
  • For the complete story of Breath of Fire, see here
  • For box art, images and artwork from Breath of Fire, see here

External Links[]

Official Site (Archived)

Breath of Fire
Party Members
Ryu · Nina · Bo · Karn · Gobi · Ox · Bleu · Mogu
Other Characters
Sara · Tyr · Zog · Cerl · Cort · Jade · Mote · Goda
Alan · Amy · Esme · King of Winlan · Ladon · Princess of Tunlan · Terry · Wizard of Karma
Avian · Bain · Cerl · Cloud · EyeSpy · EyeSpy · Frog · G.Fly · General · Gremlin · Grimfowl · Jade · Knight · Morte · Mortea · Mote · Mothro · Myst · Octo · Pincher · Pog · SandWorm · Sara · SlimeX · Squid · Wisp · Wizard of Karma · Zog
Agua · Arad · Aura Cave · Auria · Bleak · Camlon · Carmen · Lab · Dark Dragon Port · Dark Tower · Drogen · Gant · Gramor · Gust · Karma · Krypt · Lament Woods · Nabal · Nanai · Obelisk · Prima · Romero · Scande · South Castle · Spring · Tantar · Tunlan · Tuntar · Winlan · Wisdon · Dreamland
Dragon Clan · Dirt-Eating Clan · Endless · Iron Ogre Clan · Humans · Manillo · People of Tunlan · Sand Clan · Wing Clan · Wolba
Abilities · Weapons · Items
The Breath of Fire series
Main series
Breath of Fire · Breath of Fire II · Breath of Fire III · Breath of Fire IV · Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter · Breath of Fire 6
Breath of Daifugō · Breath of Fire IV: Honō no Ken to Kaze no Mahō · Breath of Fire IV: Yōsei-tachi to Hikari no Kagi · Breath of Fire: Ryū no Tsurishi
Abilities · Characters · Items · Locations · Tribes
  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. Itchy, Tasty: An Unofficial History of Resident Evil, p. 9
  3. Breath of Fire and Devil May Cry Character Designer Joins Bokeh Game Studio