|“||All hope turns in fear before me...||„|
|“||Hmph, you'll find an Earth Dragon like me harder to tame than Gharnef, brat. Come and face me. I'll tear the ground asunder and send you straight down to Hell!||„|
|~ Medeus to Marth.|
|“||Foolish humans! You dare disturb me while I slumber? Oh, how you will regret it as you die slowly... painfully... writhing in the fires of the inferno!||„|
|~ Medeus in battle at Dohlr Keep.|
Medeus (メディウス, Mediuth), also known as the Shadow Dragon (暗黒竜, Dark Dragon), is the main antagonist of Fire Emblem series.
He is the primary antagonist of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and their respective remakes Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem. He also cameos in the prequel Fire Emblem: Archeanea Saga, while another incarnation serves as the final boss of the Fire Emblem/Megami Tensei crossover Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE.
Medeus was once a prince of the earth dragon royal family, and later founded and ruled the Dolhr Empire. He was the ultimate threat of all three major wars in Archanea: the War of Liberation, the War of Shadows, and the War of Heroes.
While he holds the title of "Shadow Dragon," he was only truly a Shadow Dragon after his second resurrection at the hands of Gharnef, near the end of the War of Heroes.
He is voiced by Hori Hideyuki.
As a Manakete, Medeus is a bald, bearded elderly man who wears a dark purple robe. He has red eyes and the pointed ears characteristic of his species. His earth dragon form varies, though his hide is always dark brown.
In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, he has a squat, dinosaur-like figure, with small wings in the former game and no wings in the latter game. In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, Medeus' Earth dragon form is quadrupedal, slender, horned, and also lacks wings. As a true Shadow Dragon, Medeus' scales become dark purple, he assumes a bipedal stance, and he gains massive wings.
As a Mirage, Medeus appears as a black, mechanical, serpentine dragon with airplane-like wings. His head has four glowing red eyes, and during battle his face shatters to reveal a void with the properties of a black hole.
Not much is known about Medeus before he was overcome with hatred for humanity. However, he was known to be more reasonable than the other earth dragons, choosing to become a Manakete to avoid the madness afflicting all dragons, while the rest of his race refused out of pride. He was also considered trustworthy enough by the divine dragon Naga to watch over the seal imprisoning the now insane earth dragons.
However, Medeus grew to utterly despise the human race after enduring centuries of Manakete persecution at their hands, and instigated devastating wars against them. He believed his cruelty towards humans was justified, as they had done the same to the Manaketes.
Despite this, Medeus allowed humans who served him to live. He would also praise specific humans who impressed him. When Camus annihilated Medeus' battalion and Bulzark, Medeus positively compared him to his old foe Anri. However, the leader of the Sable Knights endured hardships and humiliation soon afterwords as punishment for defying Medeus.
Medeus is known for repeatedly claiming that he will always return as long as there is evil in humans' hearts. This is similar to what fellow earth dragon Loptous claimed in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.
Medeus was born prince of the earth dragon royal family as dragonkind neared the end of its Golden Age, having established an advanced and enlightened civilization in Archanea. As Medeus grew, however, dragonkind began to suffer a wave of declining health, marked by failing birthrates and slow mental deterioration. As leaders of all dragons, the divine dragons determined that the only way to save their species was to seal their draconic powers into dragonstones and assume a more humanoid form called a Manakete. Many dragons, including the vast majority of earth dragons, rejected their elders' proposal, as they viewed the emerging human race as a species no better than insects. Medeus was the only earth dragon who chose to become a Manakete, and was thus spared from degenerating into a wild beast like his brethren.
The now-feral earth dragons posed a threat to humanity, sparking great war between them and the divine dragons. The latter clan emerged victorious, and sealed all surviving earth dragons beneath the Dragon's Table with the power of the Binding Shield. As the sole sane earth dragon, Medeus was entrusted by Naga, King of divine dragons, to guard the seal. Medeus carried out his task as the newly dominant humans formed the Holy Kingdom of Archanea. However, over the the next several centuries, Medeus was forced to witness abuse and mistreatment of his fellow Manaketes by the Holy Kingdom, and the former prince slowly developed a hatred of humanity. By the year 490, Medeus' rage had peaked, and he united the Manaketes under a new nation, the Dolhr Empire, which by policy viewed dragonkin as the superior race. Three years after its founding, Dolhr declared war on Archanea out of revenge for human persecution of Manaketes, sparking the War of Liberation.
At the beginning of the war, Dolhr attacked the Millennium Court, Archanea's capitol palace, with the intent to exterminate its royal family. Although Medeus successfully crushed the palace, he failed to kill all the royals; Princess Artemis successfully fled to the city-state of Altea. In spite of this setback, the fall of the Millennium Court led to Dolhr's conquest of the rest of the continent, and Medeus dominated Archanea over the next five years. However, the tide turned against Medeus when Duke Caldas of Archanea launched a rebellion in Altea. As Calda's army marched across the continent and successfully overcame Dolhr's forces, Medeus personally entered the battlefield, easily decimating the rebels in his earth dragon form. Medeus' might seemed insurmountable, but he was ultimately foiled by a young Altean peasant named Anri, who wielded Falchion, a sword forged by Naga specifically to kill dragons. With Falchion in tow, Anri engaged Medeus in a fierce battle and slew the earth dragon. With the death of its ruler, the Dolhr Empire quickly crumbled as well.
The War of Shadows
Despite Medeus' death at Anri's hands, he not eliminated in totality, as earth dragons possess vast reservoirs of life force. A century after the War of Liberation's end, the Dark Pontifex Gharnef resurrected him, albeit incompletely, which left him incapable assuming his dragon form outside Dolhr Keep. Even so, Medeus possessed enough power to rebuild the Dolhr Empire and resume his goals of conquest. This time, thanks to Gharnef's schemes, Dolhr was aided by the human nations of Grust, Gra, and Macedon. After a second invasion of Millennium Court, the War of Shadows began, and with a combination of military might and treachery, Medeus once again ruled all of Archanea.
However, history also repeated when Medeus attempted to destroy the Archanean royal family. While Dolhr besieged Millennium Court, its vanguard contained Grust's Sable Order, led by the chivalrous Camus. Not wanting Archanea to suffer further, Camus arranged with Princess Nyna to take her and the kingdom into custody, in a bid to protect them from crueler occupying governors. Four years into the War of Shadows, Medeus' patience with Camus' generous treatment of Nyna and Archanea finally ran out, and he ordered General Brzak with to apprehend her. In response, Camus and his direct subordinates in the Sable Order deserted the Grust army to escort Nyna to Aurelius. Just outside the kingdom, the Sable Order clashed with Brzak's forces and killed the general. With Brzak's failure, Medeus was forced to leave Dolhr Keep to personally handle the situation. With Medeus' weakness outside his castle, Nyna was able to escape and successfully enter Aurelius, but he proved formidable enough to subdue Camus. Though Medeus praised Camus for his skill, he subjected the Sable Knight to brutal torture and humiliation in Dolhr as punishment for his defiance.
Camus' sacrifice allowed Nyna to eventually meet Prince Marth of Altea in Aurelius one year later. Together, the two formed the Archanean League, a united front under Marth which fought to liberate Archanea from Dolhr a second time. After a campaign across the continent, the League stormed Dolhr Keep. With his full power and the remnants of his army, Medeus confronted Anri's descendant, but just like before, he was felled by Falchion, ending the War of Shadows. With his last breaths Medeus boasted that he would return so long as darkness remained in the heart of mankind.
The War of Heroes
Medeus' threat came to pass a mere three years after the War of Shadows end. Gharnef, having been resurrected from his own death during the War, immediately devised another plan to restore Medeus, this time as a powerful Shadow Dragon. Before the War of Heroes, Gharnef and various minions abducted and brainwashed four pure hearted clerics: Nyna, Marth's sister Princess Elice, Princess Maria, and Lena. During the war, the four maidens used their life force to revive Medeus in the depths of the Dragon's Table. As this process progressed, the seal on the Dragon's Table, weakened by the breaking of the Binding Shield, finally broke, and earth dragons began rising from the ground to serve the Shadow Dragon.
However, the White Sage Gotoh contacted Marth during the War of Heroes, entrusting him with the Binding Shield's restoration. Having completed the Shield after slaying the man responsible for instigating the war, Emperor Hardin, Marth's army entered the Dragon's Table to stop Medeus' revival, only to face a partly revived Shadow Dragon. In the ensuing battle, Medeus commanded waves of earth dragons to kill Marth as he prepared to complete his resurrection by devouring the four maidens. However, as Marth's Binding Shield resealed the feral dragons once again, the four women were freed from the brainwashing by their loved ones, giving Marth a needed opening to battle Medeus.
Despite his newfound power, the Shadow Dragon could not withstand the might of Falchion and the Binding Shield. As he perished, Medeus once again warned Marth that humanity be consumed by greed and the Binding Shield lost, he would rise once more. However Gotoh implied that with his death as a Shadow Dragon, Medeus was truly finished.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
A Mirage version of Medeus was successfully freed from imprisonment by Mirage Gharnef after the successful performance of the Opera of Shadows. Unlike his Archanean counterpart, Mirage Medeus was a mindless embodiment of darkness whose primary goal is to destroy all life. Medeus seemingly kills Itsuki Aoi, but the latter survives through willpower and merging with the spirit of Hero-King Marth. Together, Itsuki and the rest of Performa are able to defeat Medeus with a performance of the Opera of Light.
Super Smash Bros.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Medeus appears as an advanced support-type spirit using artwork from his Fire Emblem: Trading Card Game card. When equipped to a fighter, Medeus increases their resistance to lava floors at the cost of one support slot. To obtain Medeus, he must be defeated in a stamina spirit battle against a giant Ridley on the underground portion of the Castle Siege stage, representing the Shadow Dragon.
|“||Throw him in a cage, and drag it behind the carriage. He'll prove a fine example of the fate that awaits those who oppose Dolhr. Strip him! Give him only enough food to keep him alive. Everyone shall laugh at the misery of their once great hero, Camus..||„|
|~ Medeus ordering Camus' punishment for insubordination.|
|“||Hmm? So... I am not the only dragon revived. I had heard you perished the last time. No matter; you've recovered even less of your power than me. This time, you have no chance!||„|
|~ Medeus while fighting Nagi.|
|“||Nngh...Defeated again...by humans! Know this, Altean prince... That light which surrounds you is only a temporary respite. So long as the darkness in your hearts continues to sustain me...I cannot be...destroyed..... Rrraaahhh!!!!!||„|
|~ Medeus defeated at the end of the War of Shadows.|
|“||I HAVE... REVIVED... FOOLISH HUMANS... I WILL LEAVE... NONE ALIVE...||„|
|~ Medeus in battle at The Dragon's Table.|
|“||DO YOU PLAN TO... DEFY ME ONCE MORE... DESCENDANT OF ANRI...?||„|
|~ Medeus while fighting Marth.|
|“||A MERE HUMAN SUCH AS YOURSELF... WISHES TO CHALLENGE ME...? HOW FOOLISH...||„|
|~ Medeus while fighting Kris.|
|“||GWAH...! WHY......? WHY... HAVE I... BEEN DEFEATED... SO EASILY...? IS THIS... THE POWER... ...OF NAGA'S... BINDING SHIELD...? KNOW THIS, HUMANS... THIS LIGHT IS ONLY A BRIEF RESPITE... SO LONG AS EVIL LURKS WITHIN THE HEARTS OF MAN... SHOULD THIS ACCURSED SHIELD BE LOST, WE SHALL RISE FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL... DO NOT... EVER FORGET...||„|
|~ Medeus defeated at the end of the War of Heroes.|
- In addition to Medeus, Hori Hideyuki also voices the uncorrupted Hardin and the Fire Emblem hero Castor.
- Medeus served as an inspiration and archetype to several Fire Emblem villains that are usually ancient individuals (mostly being dragons or with monstrous forms, execpt for a few exceptions), including but not limited to Duma, Loptous, Fomortiis, Idunn, Ashera, Grima, Anankos, Nemesis and Velezark.
Jiol | Camus | Michalis | Morzas | Gharnef | Medeus | Lang | Lykke | Hyman | Gazzak | Gomer | Eremiya | Clarisse | Legion | Hardin | Captain | Merach | Zharov | Dactyl | Orridyon | Eibel | Grigas | Degenerated Dragons
Fire Emblem Gaiden & Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Fomortiis | Lyon | Riev | Vigarde | Valter | Selena | Caellach | Orson | Carlyle | Tirado | Gheb | Saar | O'Neill | Pablo | Breguet | Bandit | Bone | Binks | Bazba | Murray | Aias | Novala | Beran | Zonta
Fire Emblem Awakening
Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem Heroes
Realm of Hel
Fire Emblem Warriors
Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE