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| Prologue IV
Prologue IV is the fourth chapter in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon on Normal difficulty, and the final chapter of the game's prologue.
Marth lays low in a forest on the Altean border, waiting for an opening to escape the kingdom. Eventually, the enemy watch begins to weaken, and Marth and company seize the opportunity to flee. Malledus explains that the plan is to escape to Talys, an island kingdom to the east which is allied with Altea. The group will cut through a prison to reach the northeast shore, where a boat will take them to safety. Malledus reminds Marth to be on the lookout for enemies who are fighting against their will or better judgement, who may be convinced to defect to Marth's side.
As Marth makes his way to the prison, the enemy captain decides to set a trap for Marth. The Gra forces dress up a captured Altean archer named Gordin in their uniform and leave him restrained and gagged in the prison, hoping for Marth to mistake him for an enemy soldier plotting an ambush. If Marth kills him, it will damage Altean morale by making Marth look like a tyrant who kills his own men.
If Marth sees through the ruse and frees Gordin, who promptly joins his group, King Jiol of Gra outflanks them with a retinue of Grust's elite Sable Order knights. Malledus realizes that their only hope of survival is to send a decoy dressed as Marth to lure the Sable Order away. Marth protests, realizing that the decoy would have almost no chance of survival, but Malledus insists. One of Marth's men dresses as Marth and flees, and Jiol and the Sable Order fall for the ruse and chase him. The Gra captain then unlocks the north door, allowing Marth to proceed. If Marth falls for the trick and kills Gordin, the captain mocks him for his foolishness before unlocking the door. The captain also unlocks the door if Marth's entire retinue is wiped out.
Marth overcomes the last of the enemy forces. An Altean knight named Draug arrives with a boat to flee Altea discreetly; if two or more of Marth's men have been killed during the escape, he is accompanied by a volunteer archer named Norne. If Marth recruited Gordin, Jiol and the Sable Knights realize their folly and prepare to kill the decoy, who bids Marth good luck before facing his fate. As Marth and his crew finally make for Talys, Marth laments the loss of his family and kingdom. He again vows to save Altea and defeat Gra and Dolhr.
| Victory: Seize
| Defeat: Marth dies
- Turn 1
- Turns 7 and 14
- End of the turn Gordin is recruited
- 10 Knights from the southwest corner of the map
- Note: These reinforcements leave the map once a decoy is chosen.
This section details unofficial strategies that may help with completion of the chapter. This may not work for everybody.
The same cautious strategy will serve you well for the final chapter of the prologue. You can recruit the archer Gordin in this chapter. His base stats and growths are all sub-par, but this is a problem endemic to all of the game's bow units. If you choose to recruit Gordin, you will be attacked by a group of invincible Knights, forcing you to sacrifice one of your units. The best choices are either Jagen, who has terrible growth rates and will never amount to anything come endgame, or Gordin himself, who lacks Jagen's early game stability with the Silver Lance. Sacrificing Jagen also has the novelty side effect of changing a couple of scenes later on in this chapter and the next and replacing him with Draug, though it should be noted Frey is the canonical sacrifice in this chapter. Make sure to trade the decoy's items to your other men before making the sacrifice. If you decide to sacrifice Gordin, you may as well simply kill him for a little free experience, as the north door will automatically open if Marth kills him. If Marth's entire party save him is wiped out, the north door will also open automatically and allow you to progress, though obviously this is not an ideal outcome. You'll want to stick around and let a couple of Pegasus Knights show up for some extra experience, particularly for Gordin. The Captain may seem good target practice for the Rapier, but other units likely need experience more than Marth, and he is an extremely weak boss; it amounts to a waste of a Rapier use, and Rapiers are very uncommon weapons to begin with in addition to being better spent on more difficult bosses in later chapters such as Jiol and/or Camus.
Finally, if two or more units have died during the prologue (including the decoy), an archer named Norne will join you. Norne is a faster, but frailer and overall inferior version of Gordin; the choice of archer is yours. You could also theoretically elect to use both archers, though the requirement of an additional Cavalier unit being lost to recruit Norne for the sake of having two archers, when Castor is recruited in Chapter 2, is even less ideal from most viewpoints.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions
|| Definition, etymology and notes
|| Prologue IV
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