The Earth Dragon (地竜 Chiryū) is an enemy-only Dragon class that is introduced in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. A class of Dragons aligned to the element of earth, the Earth Dragon either spews noxious fumes of toxic Breath or harnesses the power contained within Earthstones to launch attacks on its foes.
During the golden age when Dragons ruled over Archanea and mankind was just beginning to come into existence, Earth Dragons were revered as one of the most powerful of the Dragon families, rivaling even the Divine Dragons in might. However, as time went by, the Dragon civilization started to collapse when the birth rates fell, and dragons also began to degenerate into madness, turning into feral beasts.
This prompted the Divine Dragon Ruler Naga to propose that the Dragon tribes should accept their fate and let humanity rule the continent, with the Divine Dragon elders suggesting to survive by shedding their dragon forms in the form of Dragonstones to take on human forms, which would help them survive.
This enraged many members of the Earth Dragon tribe, who saw humans as parasitical insects who were their inferiors in all aspects, and thus refused to take on human forms out of sheer pride. This would ultimately lead to their downfall, as they continued to degenerate, until most of them had become nothing but mindless beasts that began to attack humans. One Earth Dragon, Medeus, who was the prince of the Earth Dragon royal family, chose to take on a human form, being the sole Earth Dragon to avoid degeneration.
This led to the Divine Dragons intervening in an attempt to defend humanity, bringing about a great war between the two dragon tribes. It was during this war that one of the Earth Dragons that had not yet succumbed to the degeneration, Loptous, had met an ambitious bishop that hailed from Jugdral named Galle, who wished to acquire the great power of dragons. Seeing that the war would end with the Earth Dragons' defeat, Loptous formed a plan to continue terrorizing humanity while not succumbing to the eventual degeneration. Forming a blood pact with the bishop, Loptous secretly ended up possessing the human and entered the new continent, where he would form a malevolent Empire that would terrorize the continent for centuries.
Eventually, after nearly all Divine Dragons were killed, they won the war at the cost of their virtual extinction and Naga had all the feral Earth Dragons sealed away under the Dragon's Table, and to ensure that the Earth Dragons were never roused from their slumber so they wouldn't ever again terrorize the humans, forged the Binding Shield from one of her fangs. She also charged Medeus to safeguard the seal.
History in the Series
In Mystery of the Emblem, it is a separate class which Medeus transforms into in Book 1. In Book 2, the class is assumed by a number of generic enemies that appear mostly in the final chapter of Book 2; Medeus, however, has the exclusive Dark Dragon class. Both versions of the Earth Dragon class, as well as the Dark Dragon class, attack using Dark Breath.
The Earth Dragon is again the personal transformed class of Medeus in Shadow Dragon, who appears as the final boss in the Endgame. This iteration of the class employs the power drawn from Earthstones for combat purposes. Like the Mystery of the Emblem incarnation, Medeus transforms into the class from Manakete at the start of the player's phase of the first turn. Routing through the game data shows Medeus can also use the Earthstone without transforming into the Earth Dragon class.
In New Mystery of the Emblem, the Earth Dragon class is, like its Mystery of the Emblem predecessor, no longer unique to Medeus (who is a Dark Dragon instead), and is instead the class assumed by a number of generic enemies that mostly appear in the final chapter. This iteration of the class once again relies on the despairing fumes of Dark Breath in order to damage its foes.
The Earth Dragon is one of the ultimate Dragon based classes in all its appearances, and has extraordinary combat capablities. However, in all games, they are weak against the Falchion and Divinestone/Breath of Fog.
In Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, the Earthstone is a 1 range dragonstone that grants Medeus 23 defense, and nullifies ranged attacks in addition to high might. Medeus can be defeated by regular attacks, but his 36 defense total makes him hard to damage with regular weapons. While powerful, the Earthstone is one of the heavier weapons within the game, making it easier to double-attack Medeus while making Medeus hard-pressed to double-attack the player's units. It is recommended to use the Falchion, which deals effective damage against wielders of the Earthstone.
In Mystery of the Emblem, Earth Dragons halve the foe's attack power when attacked; making them extremely durable to all but Mist Breath and the Falchion, which hold effectiveness bonuses against them. Earth Dragons have high Defense, Attack, and Resistance; however, they have low Skill and Speed. Like all Dragons within the game, Earth Dragons are incapable of double attacking.
Aside from Medeus in the first book, in Book 2 a lone Earth Dragon is encountered in chapter 20, and many appear in the final chapter. The Earth Dragons in the final chapter will be resealed upon the player phase, but the Earth Dragon in chapter 20 must be battled or avoided.
In Shadow Dragon, the Earth Dragon class is the transformed state of Medeus, and attacks with the 1-2 range Earthstone. While the class no longer halves the damage given by its attackers, Earth Dragons still possess unmatched stats within the game, and now have extremely high speed and skill statistics.
In New Mystery of the Emblem, Earth Dragons return to using Dark Breath, which is 1-2 range on all difficulties, unlike the other breath weapons. Unlike prior games, Earth Dragons are now vulnerable to ordinary anti-dragon weapons like Wyrmslayer. As only Feral Earth Dragons are encountered within the main game, the Earthstone has been removed. Earth Dragon enemies will have maxed-out stats in strength, skill, speed, and HP on the hard difficulties, making them very dangerous. In the Lunatic difficulty, not all Earth Dragons in the final chapter will be resealed, giving the player more to worry about.
- There has yet to be an Earth Dragon to harbour a friendly outlook towards humanity due to most of the species going mad or possessing utter contempt for humanity in general.
- TearRing Saga: Utna Heroes Saga contains the only playable Emiyu of direct Earth Dragon ancestry, Tia. However, she is never able to be utilized in her dragon form, as her grandaunt Teeta is currently in that state.
- Though technically not in the same continuity as the Archanean games, Cichol, an Earth Dragon from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, harbors no ill will towards humans.
- In The Art of Fire Emblem Awakening artbook, the Fell Dragon Grima is presumed to be descended from the Earth Dragons.
- Xane describes Earth Dragons as nearly equal to the Divine Dragons in might, while Forseti claims Loptous' tribes equals Divine Dragons in might.
- During the events of Awakening, the Earth Dragons are not mentioned or even seen, as the Dragon's Table they had been sealed under had changed to being an altar for Grima.
- Furthermore, despite how it took 600 years for the seal of the Earth Dragons to become undone due to the Fire Emblem being incomplete, the Fire Emblem in Awakening had remained incomplete for 1000 years. This indicates that either the Earth Dragons are sealed elsewhere now, or no longer exist.
- On occasion, Medeus, who was the Earth Dragon Prince, is called the Earth Dragon King, or even King of the Earth Dragons. It's possible that Medeus is considered the King by default with all other royalty lost.
- While Medeus is said to be the only Earth Dragon who assumed a human form, a generic Earth Dragon Manakete is represented in the trading card game.
- In the data for Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, the name "Gaia" appears alongside Wyvern, Naga, Salamander, and Basilisk. Since the other names are all the formal names for the Dragon tribes, it can be deduced that the Earth Dragons' clan are also referred to as the Gaia Tribe.
- Although with the exception of Medeus all Earth Dragons turned feral, interestingly enough, in chapter 20 of book two in Mystery of the Emblem, there is one fighting alongside human Archanean soldiers (as opposed to the feral ones in the final chapter who blindly follow their king, Medeus). This is most likely for gameplay reasons, however, as it is unlikely the story would be altered for a single generic unit.
- In the DS remakes, this feral Dragon and the Dark Mage (now a Sorcerer) are both part of the Dark Clan faction; this has no effect on gameplay. The Archanean soldiers are closer to the Earth Dragon on higher difficulties.