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Long ago, the continent of Akaneia was conquered by the Dolunian Empire and its people subjected to the evil of the dragonkin tyrant, Medeus. A lone hero rose from the ashes of the blighted land, wielding the legendary blade, Falchion. This local champion faced the terrifying power of Medeus and struck him down, ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity for Akaneia.
It is now a century later and Medeus, the scourge of the land, has returned reborn to wreak havoc anew. Cleverly forging an alliance with the cruel King Gharnef, he has wasted no time in making his presence felt. The armies of darkness, led by the notorious General Camus, have slaughtered one army after another on the battlefields of the continent, culminating in the destruction of the Holy Kingdom.
This foul action has forced the hand of King Cornelius of the Altea province, direct descendant of the dragon-slayer, who has taken up Falchion and departed for battle, fulfilling his blood destiny. Meanwhile, the king’s only son, Prince Marth, remains at home, applying himself to the ways of the pen and the sword…
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is a turn-based strategy game, meaning one player takes a turn moving his or her units and attacking the enemy. Then the opponent gets a turn to move his or her team and attack. Because of this, the placement of units and the order in which they attack is of vital importance. Raising the stakes is the fact that when a unit’s Hit Points fall to zero, that unit is lost for the rest of the campaign. Be smart and keep your units healthy if you want to keep them alive.
There are three basic types of units in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon – direct attack, indirect attack and recovery units. Direct-attack units like Knights, Lords and Fighters must occupy the space next to an opponent in order to attack. Indirect-attack units, on the other hand, can do damage to an opponent whilst occupying a space at least two-squares from an enemy unit. Archers and Mages are such units that attack from afar. Plus, some units can use both direct-attack and indirect-attack weapons. Other units, such as Clerics, do not attack enemies, but they are used to heal members of your party.
The three main types of weapons – Axe, Lance and Sword – have strengths and weaknesses against each other. For units that can use more than one type of weapon, the Weapon Triangle is an important system to understand. In the Weapon Triangle, the Sword is greater than the Axe, the Axe is stronger than the Lance and the Lance is superior to the Sword. Knowing this triangle of attributes can save you grief in battle.
Before each confrontation, the Combat Forecast window shows you a predicted outcome of the clash. When a green arrow is shown in the window, your weapon has an advantage over that of your opponent. If a red arrow appears, it means you’re at a disadvantage, and if you can change your weapon, you should.
Each unit is defined by its class – such as Knight, Mage and Archer. A class is equivalent to a job that the character performs and determines the weapons that character can use. New in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is the ability for some characters to change their classes and take on a new role in the game. Each unit has a range of other classes that it can change to. This Reclassing Units ability can become important as you progress through the game and begin to lose some of your key team members. Don’t like your character’s new role? No worries. The character can change back to its original class as well.
Give your weapons more of an edge. Returning to the Fire Emblem franchise is the ability to upgrade weapons through forging. Before the battle begins, you can select Forge from the Armory section and spend gold to upgrade a weapon. You can also take the opportunity to rename that weapon.
For the first time in the franchise, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon takes the battle online! Using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, you can challenge Fire Emblem fans around the world on exclusive multiplayer maps that will test the skill, and bravery, of your units.
Battle and chat!
Using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, you’ll take your units from the single-player campaign and put them up against the warriors of the world. Playing against friends or random opponents, you choose five of your finest units and meet the enemy on special multiplayer maps. As no two units are created equal, your characters’ skills, weapons and experience gained from the single-player campaign accompany them online – same applies to your opponent’s units, as well. (Characters that perish online remain alive in your offline campaign.)
To really intensify battles, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon features online Voice Chat which lets two players who have exchanged Friend Codes chat directly during a battle. In the mood to taunt your enemy or negotiate the terms of his or her surrender directly? Maybe you want to set up the next match or simply say hello. Whatever the case, to chat with your friend, simply hold down the L Button and talk into the DS’s in-built microphone.
Back on the battlefield, players get to set the game rules, including time/turns in the match and whether the mystifying Fog of War covers the battlefield. No matter the settings, the ultimate goal is to either wipe out the enemy’s army or to capture the enemy’s castle to secure victory within the match parameters.
To the victor go the spoils. When you win an online battle, you’ll win a special Card that members of your party can use to enhance their abilities.
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection not only hooks you up with thrilling battles; it also gives you access to rare and discounted items through the online Armory. Here, you can spend gold that you’ve earned in the single-player campaign to purchase items. Not only does the shop offer hard-to-find and discounted items, the shop is updated daily so there’s always a bargain waiting for you.
Need some assistance in getting through your single-player campaign? When you find yourself in over your head, take out a loan. The Loan Units feature lets you borrow a unit that another player owns and inserts it into your single-player campaign.
You can both borrow units from friends and download them from a pool of units other players have uploaded via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You can return the favour by uploading one of your own units to the central server to be downloaded by other players looking for a loan.
The loaned unit takes the place of a similar, weaker unit with the same name in your stable of units. If the loan unit is lost in battle, the unit that it replaced on your team is also lost for the rest of the campaign.