|“||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 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. Medeus 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 the prince of the Earth Dragon royal family and lived during the Golden Age of the Dragons. However, dragonkind began to suffer a wave of declining health marked by failing birthrates and slow mental deterioration. To save their species, the Divine Dragon elders proposed that dragons take on humanoid forms called Manaketes.
Many dragons, including the vast majority of Earth Dragons, rejected the notion of becoming humans, because they viewed as latter species as no better than insects. Medeus was the only Earth Dragon who chose to become a Manakete form, thus being spared from degenerating into a wild beast like the rest of his race. The now-feral Earth Dragons posed a threat to humanity, sparking great war between them and the Divine Dragon tribe. The latter tribe emerged victorious, resulting in the surviving Earth Dragons being sealed away underneath the Dragon's Table. As the sole sane Earth Dragon, Medeus was intrusted by the Divine Dragon Naga to guard the seal. As Medeus carried out his task, he was forced to watch the newly dominant humans persecute his fellow Manaketes, causing the former prince to increasingly detest mankind.
Over a millennium after the Earth Dragons' imprisonment and centuries after the founding of the Holy Kingdom of Archanea, Medeus' hatred had reached its zenith, and he united the Manaketes under a new nation, the Dolhr Empire. Dohlr was, by policy, openly hostile towards humans, and three years after its founding, waged war on Archanea, in retaliation for the horrible treatment of Manaketes by humans.
At the beginning of the War of Retribution, Dolhr launched an attack on the Millennium Court, Archanea's capitol palace. Though Medeus successfully crushed the capitol, he failed to wipe out the Archanean royal family as Princess Artemis successfully escaped. She would seek refuge in Altea and meet Anri. Overall though, Archanea's fall led to Dolhr's conquest of the rest of the continent, and Medeus ruled over the land for the next five years.
Eventually, a rebellion emerged, led by Archanea's General Ordwin and Duke Cartas, the latter being granted the Fire Emblem by Artemis to ensure victory. As Dolhr's forces were pushed back, Medeus entered the fray himself, and easily turned the tides as he crushed Cartas' army. As all hope was lost, Anri joined the battle wielding the sword Falchion, which was forged with Naga's fang to allow humans the ability to fight dragons. After a ferocious battle, Medeus was slain by Anri, and the Dolhr Empire fell with him.
The War of Shadows
Despite having been killed by Anri, due to Earth Dragons possessing a substantial amount of life force, Medeus had not truly died, and was soon resurrected by Gharnef, a vengeful sorcerer who intended to use Dolhr and its allies to conquer the world, then betray Medeus and kill him using the Imhullu tome and Falchion. However, due to the resurrection being incomplete, Medeus was incapable of utilizing his full powers outside Dolhr Keep.
After reviving the Dolhr Empire, Medeus made use of Gharnef's schemes to acquire the human nations Grust, Gra, and Macedon as allies. With the power of his Empire, along with his allies, and through Gra betraying Altea, Medeus had Cornelius killed and conquered Archanea once more.
However, once again, Medeus' attempt to exterminate the Archanean royal family failed once more, as Princess Nyna entered the custody and protection of the captain of Grust's Sable Knights, Camus, when he occupied the capital. Medeus repeatedly demanded Camus surrender Nyna, or face personal imprisonment, but the knight held firm. Eventually, Medeus' patience ran dry, and he ordered the Fire Dragon Manakete Brzak to lead a battalion to Archanea and forcibly bring Nyna to him, permitting the death of Camus should he resist. Camus, however, proved to be far more trouble than expected, as he and his Sable Order annihilated the entire battalion and felled Brzak himself. This forced Medeus to personally enter and confront Camus, who at that point was defenseless while the Sable Order escaped with Nyna.
Though Medeus praised Camus for his skill, he subjected the Sable Knight to brutal torture and humiliation as punishment for defying him. However, Camus' actions allowed Nyna to eventually meet Marth, who would form the Archanean League, carry the Fire Emblem, and lead an assault against the Dolhr Empire. Cornered in Dolhr Keep, Medeus confronted Anri's descendant and unleashed his full powers, but just like before, he was slain, ending his second reign of terror.
The War of Heroes
Unfortunately for the world, Medeus' second defeat would not last for long, as a mere three years later, Gharnef's soul, which had been released from the Darksphere, had formulated another plan to restore Medeus to life.
Through various schemes, including corrupting a heartbroken Emperor Hardin with the Darksphere, Gharnef gathered and brainwashed four maidens with pure hearts: Lena, Princess Maria, Princess Elice, and Nyna. Through their life force, Medeus was revived in the depths of the Dragon's Table, having morphed into his most powerful form: a true Shadow Dragon. Furthermore, without the power of the Binding Shield, the original form of the Fire Emblem, the Earth Dragons' seal broke, and Medeus took command of those that began to emerge.
However, due to the efforts of Marth and his allies, the Altean army had managed to gather the five Gemstones and completed the Fire Emblem once again as the Binding Shield after defeating Hardin. Thus, Marth and his army entered the Dragon's Table to put an end to Medeus, with Falchion in hand.
Entering their final battle, Medeus sent waves of every type of dragon after the Altean Army, though the Binding Shield banished the Earth Dragons once again. To fully revive, Medeus had the four hypnotized maidens surround him as sacrifices. However, Julian, Minerva, Merric, and Camus, now calling himself Sirius, successfully woke their respective loved ones, giving Marth the opening he needed to confront the Shadow Dragon.
Despite the newfound power, Medeus was slain once more. As he perished, Medeus questioned how he could have been defeated again, and wondered if it was the power of the Binding Shield. With his last ounce of strength, Medeus warned the humans that this light they had was only a moment's respite, and that should the Binding Shield be lost again through humanity's evil, Medeus swore that he would arise from the depths of hell.
While Medeus claimed that he would return again, the White Sage Gotoh's words implied that this time Medeus was truly killed and would no longer be able to revive.
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.