Tear Ring Saga is a tactical RPG with gameplay very similar to the gameplay found in the Fire Emblem series of video games. The game was created as a spiritual sequel to Fire Emblem by the game’s creator, Shouzou Kaga, who no longer had the rights to the Fire Emblem intellectual property upon leaving Intelligent Systems and Nintendo. The game shares the same interface, graphical and music style, and overall gameflow.The game involves the player moving characters in a turn based fashion across a large grid from a top-down perspective. The player is tasked with certain objectives, commonly fighting and defeating an entire opposing faction, or a particular member or leader of a faction.
There are two protagonists in the game, Runan and Holmes, each with their own army to command. Though the two armies travel separately for the majority of the game, they cross paths at several points of the story, allowing the player to switch allocations of fighters and items amongst the two groups. Runan’s story follows a strict set of scenarios where he battles against an enemy empire, while Holme’s scenario allows for more freedom, allowing the player to ignore the main scenarios in favor of gathering treasure and increase the army’s strength.