The Shadow Dragon (Japanese: 暗黒竜 Dark Dragon) is one of the dragon subspecies of Archanea. It is a form achieved by the earth dragon Medeus, with some sources also claiming Loptous to have taken this form.
Ever since his original reign of terror in the War of Liberation, Medeus had been widely known by the epithet "Shadow Dragon", reflecting both his tyranny as the Emperor of Dolhr and the sinister powers he commanded as an earth dragon. While he remained a proper earth dragon in his first resurrection in 597, which was suggested by Malledus to be incomplete, when Gharnef hastened his second re-awakening eight years later with the life force of four pure-hearted maidens, Medeus was able to achieve the form of a true Shadow Dragon. As a Shadow Dragon, Medeus boasted power far beyond that of his original earth dragon form, but when Marth slew him in this form, Gotoh claimed his death was permanent.
As a class, Shadow Dragons were introduced in Book 2 of Mystery of the Emblem and are present only in it and its remake, New Mystery of the Emblem. The class is, of course, exclusive to Medeus. Like all other enemy dragons in these two games, the Shadow Dragon form is permanent and is not tied to a base Manakete form or a dragonstone. In both games, its sole weapon is Dark Breath. In Mystery of the Emblem, Shadow Dragons are entirely immune to magical attack, and halve attack power of any attacker.
In New Mystery of the Emblem, the Shadow Dragon is classified as a special class, and accordingly has a higher level cap of 30.
Class growth rates
for more details on the mechanics of class growths in each game.
Notable enemy Shadow Dragons
- In Mystery of the Emblem, the Shadow Dragon's moving map sprite, which can be seen briefly on the enemy phase if Medeus attacks or if the cursor is clicked over him, is much larger than its normal map sprite.
- In the Fire Emblem Trading Card Game, the Shadow Dragon is depicted as a serpent with pure red eyes despite having wings and yellow sclera in-game.
- Gotoh's dialogue implied Medeus would've become a Shadow Dragon on his own, and that Gharnef only hastened this evolution. Additionally, official artwork for the New Mystery of the Emblem website depicts Anri fighting Medeus as a Shadow Dragon, suggesting his second confrontation with Marth was not the first time he took the form of a Shadow Dragon.
- An unused item is Shadowstone which transforms manaketes into a Shadow Dragon. Presumably it would've been used by Medeus.
- Loptous's appearance in Genealogy of the Holy War greatly resembles a Shadow Dragon. Additionally, in the description of the Loptous tome on the Fire Emblem Museum official website, Loptous is referred to as a Shadow Dragon.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions
||Definition, etymology and notes
||Officially romanized as Dark Dragon. Spelled in hiragana as あんこくりゅう in Mystery of the Emblem.
||Dragón de las Sombras
||Dragon of Shadows
||Dragon of shadow
- ↑ "Gotoh: However earth dragons boast tremendous life force, and cannot be completely eliminated so easily... Even now, they sleep at this altar.
Marth: You mean to say they'll awaken?!
Gotoh: Not exactly. Even sleeping earth dragons should not awaken for centuries or so. The next time Medeus awakens though, he will rise as a terrifying Shadow Dragon... No, wait...! Perhaps...? Yes, I see... So that's why Gharnef...
Marth: What's the matter, Lord Gotoh?
Gotoh: Prince Marth. I have finally realized the reason why Gharnef kidnapped the clerics. He intends to use them to resurrect Medeus. To hasten the awakening of a dragon requires the life force of pure, maiden women. Knowing this, Gharnef kidnapped them." — Gotoh and Marth, Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem
- ↑ "Marth, brave prince of Altea. Thanks to your valiant efforts, Shadow Dragon Medeus has been completely obliterated. Medeus's servants--the earth dragons-- have once again returned to darkness." — Gotoh, Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem
- ↑ https://www.nintendo.co.jp/fe/fe_museum/seisen/item/index.html#13
||This article is part of Project Classes, a project focused in writing articles for every class present in the Fire Emblem series.