Capcom‘s Breath of Fire is the first major, traditional Role-Playing Game from the company and was released on the Super Nintendo in 1993 in Japan, and 1994 in English-speaking territories.
In Breath of Fire you control a young boy called Ryu – one of the last of an ancient race with the ability to turn into dragons – searching for his lost sister. It’s an epic adventure, told using overhead, 2D backgrounds and sprites, with cut-aways to an isometric viewpoint for combat.
Combat initiates randomly when exploring the overworld map, and is both beautifully simple, and perfectly-timed. If you love level-grinders the turn-based, party-driven, grinder-y style of combat in this will probably please you. In fact: Breath of Fire – as a whole – will probably please you. It is a pleasure to play from start to finish. Great attention to detail; tons of variety; solid gameplay.
An even better sequel came out a year later. As a pair of JRPGs, the first two Breath of Fires are a formidable presence in retro gaming history.