The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

by LordHippoman

Part 57: Throwdown at Thabes (Battle)

Chapter 23: Throwdown at Thabes (Battle)

Right, then. This map is a little tricky, since it mixes Magical and Physical enemies, meaning high HP is about the only way to tank them.

You will never guess who this is.


: Waiting?

: Oh yes. For you to dance around the continent, collecting powerful weapons and killing off my competition. Thanks to you, Camus and Michalis will trouble me no more. You have my gratitude, diligent prince.


Marth’s comebacks need work. That’s at least worth a “dastard”.

: Tsk, tsk, don’t spoil the moment, now. You’re about to do me one last favor… Die, Prince. Heh heh heh!

: That’s what you think. I have something else in mind.

: Heh, is that a threat? If you mean to harm me, first you’ll have to find me, boy.

: And what is that supposed to mean?

Malledus actually runs onscreen for this scene, for some reason. He’s the Bishop below Tiki on the right there.

: Heh heh! Fight, boy, fight! Wear yourself thin fighting puppets and shadows! But the only way you’ll claim Falchion is by defeating the real me. Heh heh, ha ha ha ha!

And with that, Gharnef teleports out, and the map starts.

So, normally, you’d need to test all three Gharnefs to find the real one, the one who only takes damage from Starlight. The true Imhullu, and the true Falchion, are only on the real thing. However, you can speed this up quite a bit with the help of the otherwise little-used Geosphere.

When you use the Geosphere, the screen flashes and shakes. It’s not an effect that comes across well in screenshot form, sorry.

Well...MOST units…

A quick survey of the map shows me that the only unit who took no damage was this Gharnef on the far right. That’s our man.

And that clears up the damage to my team pretty cleanly. Unfortunately, just dispelling Gharnef’s illusion doesn’t mean I’ve won the map already.

The start here isn’t too complex, it’s just a matter of heading to the right, towards both the stairs and the group of spellcasters with Gharnef.

Oh, unlike most Swarm Bishops, the ones on this map move. They’re pretty obnoxious, but this guy’s not much to worry about.

Unfortunately, using that Geosphere doesn’t do much for me aside from discovering the real Gharnef, since they’ve also got a Fortify user. Multiple, in fact.

On the second turn, Malledus speaks up.

: Where?

: The Tower of Thabes atop this very temple.

: Then we don’t need to fight Gharnef…If we find that apparatus...

: Gharnef’s power- a great deal of power- will be sealed forever.

: Then let’s hurry and seize the entrance to the tower!

: A word of caution, sir. Stopping the apparatus will not undo Imhullu’s power- only Gharnef’s.

So, much like Camus, Gharnef is completely skippable. He’s got a better reason for it too, if you didn’t get the Light/Starspheres for Starlight, didn’t get Starlight itself, or don’t have a tome user strong enough to use it, he can be an impossible foe.

Still, it’s much better to take him down, since he’s got Marth’s ultimate weapon, the Falchion, on hand.

Marth’s already reached his destination, thanks to the magic of Boots.

I’m not sure what this Thief thinks he’s doing, to be honest. An Iron Sword in Chapter 23? C’mon, man.

Well, that could be useful if you forgot to bring your own.

Not letting that Devil Sword get close.

I dropped some of my characters who actually have a couple resistance points to toss Javelins at the oncoming casters.

Some things, are unavoidable.

Yikes. This is why enemy mages suck in the DS Fire Emblems. You’re always going to eat close to full damage with most of your units.

Oh, hey, a counter to that very specific problem. I didn’t plan this, by the way, I’m not good enough at LP for that.

Okay, no more of that shit.

This first treasure is, uh, a little bit disappointing.

Thankfully, I’m able to clean up the rest of the enemies outside Gharnef’s range. That Bishop shares his attack range. We’ll need someone else to deal with them.

In the meantime, though, I should clear the steps, since they’re our only way up.

I also gave Linde the Pure Water that just dropped, since it’ll help her Resistance against Gharnef.

Speaking of Resistance, (i actually did plan this one.), the Talisman is a nice find, especially in Shadow Dragon of all games.

Oh, also, meet the most annoying part of this map.

This bishop just stands on the roof and pelts your units with Swarm. There’s no way to reach him yet without Warp, so we’re just walking through the barrage. This is even worse than it looks, because there are TWO of them.

For now, however, it’s time to take on Gharnef.

: Cower before the might of the dark magic Imhullu!

Thankfully, Imhullu’s not the mightiest magic here with Starlight around.

Would be nice if she had just a little more Magic or Speed though. This is going to take slightly longer than I’d hoped.

This guy basically just burns two uses of the tome.

Well, thankfully, this should be the end.


Alright, got him that time. Look at that victory shine.

: Still, you are a fool …Your power is not enough to defeat Medeus…I shall be waiting in the pits of the inferno…for when he sends you to join me… Heh heh, ha ha ha!

Could have used that Magic earlier!

It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally got Marth’s signature weapon.

Compared to some other Lord Swords in the series (Ragnell, Siegfried, Ryoma’s “fuck you” Katana), the Falchion really isn’t much to look at. It has no durability and it’s effective against Manaketes, and most importantly, the final boss...but otherwise it’s just a Silver Sword.

Now then, as Linde was fighting Gharnef, the rest of the team was climbing the tower, and Abel, naturally, takes the lead and downs this curate.

This mostly just reminds me that I forgot to bring one of my own Barriers.

I might burn Gradivus up before the final map even starts.

It will also be entirely worth it.

So this is what the combat forecast looks like against one of the fake Gharnefs, without Starlight. It’ll still tell you that you can’t damage them until you start combat…

However, it’s lying.

Unfortunately, the Falchion was also lying. You only get one, the rest just have these.

Abel really is the MVP here, but what you aren’t seeing is that the Swarm Bishops just will not stop casting their magic at Wolf. Which is okay with me, since it’s not on Abel that way!

I just talked you up, you asshole, and you do this to me.

This is all you’re missing in the shots I’m not taking, by the way.

Okay, no more of this.

So, with that done, everyone managed to reach the tower’s summit, and I prepared for the reinforcements.

About 10 turns later I stopped waiting for the reinforcements. I think they only show up if Real Gharnef is alive.

They’re Bishops and Mages, if you were wondering. This is also another reinforcement of how lucky I was getting the closest Gharnef to be the real one. Shades of Roro, there…

Anyway, I had Marth solo the rest of the map. He could use the experience, since we’re almost done and he hasn’t capped level yet. The next map should be GREAT for him, though.

This is also a very welcome prize.

Somehow, throughout all of this…

Although I can’t get a good shot of Imhullu…

And the first level isn’t great…

He never got hit once. I’m calling it, this is good luck for the rest of the run. Good omen.

Better omen.

: Sire! We found Princess Elice up in the Tower of Thabes! She’s on her way to see you right- Ah, here she is!

Malledus wasn’t even important enough to show up for this, it is a faceless goon.

: Elice!!!

: Sister, I was so worried. None had seen you since the castle fell. I...I feared the worst.

: I was prepared for the worst, if that was what it took to ensure your safety. But they did not kill me. Gharnef spared my life.

: Why would he spare you?

: Marth, have you heard of the staff of Aum?

: The staff that brings back the dead? It was lost to the world long ago, or so the legend goes.

: Yes, but Gharnef found it…in the Resurrectory.

: None could believe the Resurection Staff was in the Resurrectory. It was the discovery of the century.

: The Resurrectory? What was it doing in a temple in the middle of Dolhr?

: I could not say. But that was why Gharnef kept me alive: he wished me to wield it.

Who did Gharnef want to revive? Why was he after the Staff?

This game will never mention it again. That’s Shadow Dragon!

: The staff of Aum’s power can only be channeled by women of royal blood. Marth, you are going to Dolhr, are you not?

: Yes, I must settle things with Medeus.

: Then take me to the Resurrectory along the way to claim the staff. Aum works but once, but I will use it to revive a lost comrade.

With Elice now in our party, we can move on to the penultimate map.

Next time, the Reinforcement Zone.

Art Gallery VI

We just got Elice, and she’s...technically a character?

Elice’s Cipher Card doesn’t really do her any favors in not looking like a generic damsel in distress. Her artwork in the Complete art book is a little...odd too. Not just because of my bad cropping.

She was briefly an 80’s pop star in the anime adaptation.

I like her Fire Emblem 3 artwork a lot, however.