Fire Emblem Wiki
Fire Emblem Wiki

“With the aid of the White Sage Gotoh's powerful Warp magic, Marth and company were transported to the faraway city of Thabes. Once, Thabes was an advanced civilization; but only its decay advanced now. The League traced the lifeless streets to the temple at the city's heart, somewhere within its walls Gharnef was waiting, and now, Marth must wrest Falchion and his sister, Elice, from the fiend's grip.”
—Opening Narration

Dark Pontifex is Chapter 23 of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon.

Enemy Reinforcements

  • 2 Bishops and 4 Mages will appear from the north during Turns 6 and 14 of the Enemy Phase.


  • Almost every enemy unit in this chapter is a magic user.
  • There are four Gharnefs (three in the DS version) in this chapter; three of them are fakes and one is real. If you try and attack the fake Gharnefs with a weapon that is not Starlight, they can be damaged. The real Gharnef, however, can only be damaged by Starlight. If you kill a fake Gharnef, it will drop a Steel Sword instead of the Falchion (DS only.) While in the original the fake Gharnefs all carry Swarm tomes, the DS version gives Imhullu to each of the Gharnefs. A quick way to find out which Gharnef is real is to use the Geosphere, as that will damage all units (including your own, so watch out) except for the real Gharnef. If you do not have a Geosphere, you can safely assume the real Gharnef is the one farthest away from your start location (and therefore the one hardest to kill). He is usually (not always) in the top northwestern corner of the room. Another surefire way to find Gharnef is to have Beck/Jake attack each Gharnef. The one that speaks is the real one.
  • The chests in the left room contain a Bullion (S) (the left one) and a Talisman (the right one).
  • There is a secret shop inside the locked door panel, behind the throne at the top of this level. You may only access this if you have the VIP card. This shop sells all five of the promotion items (Knight's Medal, Hero's Proof, Bishop's Ring, Orion's Arrow, and Dragon's Whip) for 2000G apiece, and in the DS version is the only place where you can buy Master Seals, and there are three in stock.
  • This chapter is drastically different in Mystery of the Emblem, being simplified to only have a large staircase leading up. There are six Gharnefs in total. Two of the fakes have Fortify, the other two have Thoron and are flanking the real Gharnef, and one of them wields Meteor and sits on the seize point.