When Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is over, it is not really over. There is still more for players to do. I’m not referring to the plethora of DLC, though that is there. An additional dungeon has been added to the game. It’s a means of increasing levels, challenging yourself further, collecting treasures, and even creating connections between this entry and Fire Emblem Awakening. There is quite a lot to do, which should delight people who find themselves not quite ready to give up on making their party the best it can possibly be.
Editor’s Note: there are spoilers regarding the content of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia’s bonus dungeon in this article.
Thabes Labyrinth is set in Archanea, the country in which Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon is set. Though, people who missed that Famicom and Nintendo DS game will recognize it as the country that would eventually become Fire Emblem Awakening’s Ylisse. After sailing across an ocean filled with pirates, you’ll land at Furia Harbor. This is your basic town with a Mila Statue for reclassing and Smith for forging. It is there you will hear about the alchemist, Forneus, and Thabes, the ancient city where he used to conduct his experiments. By the time we reach it, it is a ten floor labyrinth filled with placards detailing Forneus’ descent into evil. It goes without saying that the most difficult enemies in the game appear here, even the more standard minions from the sixth floor onward.
This means one of two things. If you haven’t purchased the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Lost Altars pack that adds overclasses, then you will need your characters to reach their advanced classes and be past level 16. I recommend having Alm, Celica, and some Gold Knights, Priestesses, Barons, Bow Knights, and one Saint in your party. If you have access the overclasses, then a group where the majority of characters have reached that advanced class will be enough to carry you through. Having an Enchantress Delthea with a Mage Ring, which increases her range by two and automatically restores five health for her each turn, is a fantastic idea.
You want to at least be strong enough to reach the ninth and tenth levels of the Thabes dungeon. Once you survive this long, you can find rare weapons in pots and boxes. I’ve found an Astra sword and Sol lance there, though I’ve heard tell the Luna bow is there as well. Astra is amazing, as it has the Astral Blade skill, a 50% chance of landing a critical hit, 100% hit rate, and a Mt of 10. The Sol lance is strong, with a Mt of 15, and has the Solar Thrust skill on it. Beating Forneus’ creation gives you 1,000 Renown each time and a Demon Ring and the A Land of Gods and Men Memory Prism the first time. These floors also hold an Ambrosia and Rusted Dracoshield. Not to mention, you can find Boots, a Gold Purse, a Sage’s Shield, a Silver Sword, and attack, defense, health, luck, resistence, skill and speed fountains along the way.
Thabes is also important for collecting extra gold. Something you’ll need to forge and have an easier time of getting weapons like Beloved Zofia (from a forged Golden Dagger) or Parthia (from a forged Blessed Bow). On the ninth floor of this dungeon is a Sacred Spring. Should you cut down the grass there, you will collect Gold Marks. You won’t find many, but the first three times you go in do give you a chance of earning that cash.
Your reward for getting through Thabes Labyrinth? You get to see a glimpse of Fire Emblem Awakening’s history. Now, this next part is an absolute spoiler. Skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to know what Alm and Celica learn while roaming around this area.
Forneus the alchemist had two goals. He wanted to be able to create an undead army of soldiers who would have to obey him. He also wanted to make an ideal lifeform that was perfect, strong, and used a Divine Dragon’s blood. The Risen we see in Fire Emblem Awakening are a result of Forneus’ successful experiments. He put Thanatophage insects into masks, placed them on the dead, and made the army he hoped for. Then, after being imprisoned in the Thabes Labyrinth, he made what is essentially Grima the Fell Dragon. He mixed a Divine Dragon’s blood with his own to birth this dragon, a version of which Alm and Celica fight on the tenth floor.
Thabes Labyrinth is a challenging and pleasant bonus for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia players. We are able to see how well our units would fare against truly strong opponents. The enemies here are exceptionally strong. We also get a chance to earn rare items and earn gold. There’s even a history lesson for Fire Emblem Awakening fans. It is a nice optional experience for anyone strong enough to delve into this dungeon.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is available for the Nintendo 3DS.