[First Rebalance Beta release out!] Donlot's Shadow Dragon Patch Emporium

Good evening people! My name is Donlot, and my favorite Fire Emblem game is Shadow Dragon. A while ago i found some old Nightmare modules for Shadow Dragon that i figured out how to use, and started making a PME for it, which i swear will get around to completing one day. Recently i started a Youtube channel and am currently replaying Shadow Dragon via a Hard 5 Ironman, which restored my interest in hacking the game.

Having some time to kill, and a few things I’d like to change, i made a few patches that i thought I’d share. Do keep in mind that these were made with Hard5 in mind unless mentioned otherwise. The First patch is tested and works flawlessly, the other two are untested but should work just fine with 99.9% certainty.

You need xDelta and a (legally obtained obviously) US Shadow Dragon Rom. The patching process works exactly like with UPS patches for the GBA, and should be self explanatory even if you’re unfamiliar with it.

Minimod Descriptions

First up is a Minimod which reduces the stats of the first 3 bosses, since they are so strong that they become tedious. You either have to break their weapons, or rig criticals. If you want the regular SD Hard 5 experience with less tedium early on, this is the patch for you.

After that comes the Earlier Master Seal Minimod, which adds 2 additional Master Seals early on to make early promoting more viable, or just give more variety to your first promoted units (in my experience they often turn out to be Lena, Shiida or Barst)

Lastly comes the Elysian Whip Integration Minimod, which gives the Chapter 9 Boss a droppable Elysian whip, which is normally only obtained through the now defunct Online shop. The Elysian Whip lets you promote a Pegasus Knight to a Falco Knight instead of a Dracoknight. Do note this means the promoted unit can’t reclass to Dracoknight.

There is also a Patch which combines all 3 Minimods together. And if you want me to create a patch which combines only 2 of the Minimods together, let me know and i will make one for you.

Changelog for all Minimods

Less tedious early H5 bosses Minimod

Chapter 1
Gazzak Stats changed: -2hp, -5 str, -4skl, -2spd, -1 def
Chapter 2
Gomer Stats changed: -4hp, -5 str, -3skl, -2spd,
Chapter 3
Hyman Stats changed: -5hp, -5 str, -4skl, -4spd,

Earlier Master Seals Minimod

Chapter 6
Emereus now drops a Master Seal
Chapter 8
Roger now comes with a Master seal

Elysian Whip Integration Minimod

Chapter 9
Elysian Whip now gets dropped by the Manakete boss Mannu

xDelta Download Link

Minimod Patches Download Link
Alternative Minimod Patches Download Link if you don’t wanna use Google Drive

I will also be working on 2 bigger patches for Shadow Dragon, one being a Rebalance Patch, the other being a Superhard Patch for those who want an additional challenge after beating Hard5 countless times. Both of these, aswell as the Shadow Dragon PME (once i get around to finishing it) will also be posted here in the future.

Copy of my 17th post in this thread for clarity in how the Table if formatted.

I’ve left a reasoning for why i did changes aswell as a comment with the exact changes from Vanilla (for example +2 Base SKL, +20% SKL Growth), and a color code to quickly see if its a buff (Green) nerf (Red), or both (Yellow). You should be able to read the entire change reasoning if you click on the field, same thing goes for the comments, with a little orange arrow at the top right of the field indicating a comment being there. I don’t know how well it works on mobile so let me know if there are any Issues. The way i formatted the table is to note down Base/Growth/Cap.

That being said, here’s the Link to the Drive, let me know what you think of certain changes so far.


First Beta release is now live, it only has edited character and class stats so far, and is mainly for catching inconsistencies with the design document located in the same folder, be sure to tell me about any bugs you may find

If there is anyone out there who knows Shadow Dragon very well and would like to help in the creation of the Rebalance Patch or the Superhard Patch, be that via helping with the hacking or just giving out Opinions

Here’s a link for @ScubaLuigi’s Discord server, which works as a de facto hub for DSFE hacking. Be sure to join if you’re interested or need help with hacking DSFE.


Shadow Dragon hacking is epic

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Don’t know if you take any Ideas, but here are some in case you find any good:

  • Reduce Medeus’ Speed to 25 or 27 on H5 (basically makes sure he doesn’t double like 80% of the classes in SD)
  • Give Sages, Bishops and Sorcerors different caps
  • Allow female units to reclass to Cavalier, Knight and General (might not be possible)
  • Change Gaiden Chapter Requirements (might not be possible) with that I mean similar to FE12 where there are often 2 ways to unlock Gaiden chapters
  • Change Pirate/Berserker bonuses and growths to be similar to FE12 (in FE11 Fighter and Pirate growth rates are literally the same and the stat bonuses aren’t really that different
  • Replace or add some enemies with classes normally only being fought in the arena or being usable by the player (for example Swordmaster, Sage, Sorceror, Warrior, Berserker and so on) to shake up enemy variety
  • Give Swordmasters a crit boost (up to you to decide if they get +10, +15 or +20 crit)
  • Increase Killer Weapon crit from 20 to 30 and Wo Dao crit from 30 to 40
  • Give Javelins and Hand Axes their FE12 stats (basically nerfs them)

Something I’d love to see would be a patch that removes the weapon triangle entirely

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some growth rebalancing might be nice, get certain characters more in line with their fe3 or even fe12 selves and give specific units more applicable utility. say, roshea and vyland for instance getting some growth boosts.

i suppose theoretically theres also the possibility of actually giving units usable res and mag growths outside of magic aligned classes, since if magics going to work like most other fes now it might as well operate with similar balances.

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I like most of these changes and will definitely keep them in mind when doing the rebalance, thanks for the input.

Not inside the already known Documentation, but having looked at the game files i’m pretty sure its inside the Database file, which means it probably won’t be too hard to figure out how to edit. If i manage to find out how to do it i’ll tag you here again and add it to the Patch Folder

For the rebalance i will definitely change around some bases, growths, items, and so on. In regards to the Magic i honestly prefer how SD managed it. Since magic did not exist in FE1, nor did Staves giving exp, they balanced healing amounts in SD by adding a mere magic divided by 2 instead of not healing any extra at all. RES exists more in SD than in FE1 obviously, but anyone who isn’t a healer doesn’t really have any of it. In essence the FE1 magic balance remains in SD but just to a lesser degree. Basically, i think changing how magic works would require much more than just rearranging a few stats here and there. Might be something i could try for a separate patch, but nothing for the full rebalance since it deviates too much from SD Balance and would probably mean figuring out stuff that isn’t documented yet.

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I actually prefer the bonus swordmasters already have, +10 hit. Despite iron and silver swords having 100 hit I find that swords don’t often reach 100% chance to land, probably because it’s mostly lance enemies. Though I guess the enemy/weapon composition would be adjusted to alleviate that. It’s also very helpful against enemies on terrain. Unless the class bonuses themselves can be edited, an alternative could be to give them the bonus snipers have, +5 hit/crit so they get a bit of both.

Also I dunno about increasing crit rates of killer weapons, killer bow enemies in particular are already obnoxious enough to deal with safely without tanking half the map with a huge defense general, which is probably a tactic that should be discouraged since it’s effective for most of the game and gets stale.

Imo Swordmasters getting +10 hit is the most useless bonus to ever exist in a Fire Emblem game. The high innate hit of Swords combined with the high skill stat of Swordmasters allow them to constantly hit without any fear of missing, and avoid bonuses from terrain in DSFE that aren’t Mountains or Sea are very Miniscule. Sure, it allows them to sorta minigate the WTD against lances, but keep in mind that most enemies in SD use Lances, which is still very bad. Berserkers would make more use of the +10 hit Bonus since Axes are the least accurate and the skill of Berserkers is utter garbage. Swordmasters aren’t very good in FE11, sure they have lots of speed, but they are locked to the worst weapon type, have bad strength and don’t even get a crit bonus, for which Swordmasters are mostly known for. Heroes are much better in FE11 thanks to them having solid strength, good speed and access to Axes, which is the best weapon type in FE11 thanks to having WTA against the lots of lance using enemies and since it has the strongest 1-2 range alternative in Hand Axes (though you would need to train up Axe rank from E to D if the unit never used Axes before). Sure, you could argue that Swordmaster belongs to male class set A and Hero belongs to male class set B so you could just make an army of SMs and Heroes, but you are better of reclassing them to Paladin or something else instead. The only advantages SM has compared to Hero is a Speed cap higher than 26, meaning they won’t be doubled by H5 Medeus and if reclassed, SMs have C ranks swords at base, which allows them to use effective weaponry from the get go and allows magic units reclassed to SM to effectively use Levin Swords. It also doesn’t help that the Myrmidons you get aren’t that good. Navarre has 0 base speed, meaning unless he gets lots of speed levels very early on, he is only really useful as an Archer or Mage. And Radd not only joins late underleveled, he also has a personal speed of -1, meaning weaklings like Gordin or Matthis (or any unit with a personal base speed of 0) will literally have more speed as a Myrmidon than Radd, and he also suffers the same problem like Navarre does, having bad speed in other classes. As for Athena I can’t really say, she has a personal base speed at least, but I never used her.

Plus, your point for Killer weapons retaining 20 indtead of 30 crit doesn’t really make a lot of sense, sure Killer Bow enemies are annoying, but it won’t matter if the Killer weapon has 20, 10, 30 or 60 crit, if the enemy has a existing crit chance, then the player will always put their high defence general to take the shots, it’s based on the crit multiplier how much damage it does, not on the crit chance. Also, there aren’t even that many Killer Bow enemies in the first place (I counted all KB appearances, there are only about 13 in the entire game)

I’m sorry for the wall of text, but its important to talk about this completely since it’s supposed to be rebalance.


If we take into account the triangle and rank bonuses, swords are the least accurate weapon type against most enemies. Iron and silver swords have 100 hit, but this is reduced to 90 against lance enemies and sword rank does not give any hit boost. Iron/silver lances have 90 hit, which is increased to 95 at B lances, and suffer no penalty against enemy lancers. Axes, however, have 80 hit for iron/silver but get a hitrate bonus at every rank after D. At A axes, they would have 105 hit against lance enemies, making them by far the most accurate type against most enemies. Even at C rank, they would have 95 hit, which is still higher than the most accurate swords. Swordmasters would be made much worse without their hit boost.

As for why you would use a myrmidon/swordmaster to begin with, the speed cap is only relevant very late in the game. It’s mainly for the speed base that you would switch someone to them, if it would allow them to double enemies they couldn’t as a cavalier.

I make no case for the units who start as myrmidons, navarre and radd. They’re pretty bad. Having your speed lowered to compensate for being in a fast class sucks. Athena has 14 base speed which means she doubles for a long stretch of the game at base, so she’s pretty good.

As for the killer weapons, sometimes you can manage to get an enemy with a killer weapon to zero displayed crit with a unit with high luck/A support. Increasing the crit rates would mean there are even less ways to deal with them.

C’mon Nabarl’s speed isn’t that bad, put them in cav and watch them go weeee, I consider them better than Cain because of their C rank in swords and an Ogma and Caeda support at least… Now Radd’s on his own I have no excuse for him.

Remember, if you’re ever in a bad place and need some motivation, at least you’re not Radd, the man buys you a wing spear and goes to the bench.

Navarre’s speed is absolutely bad
His speed growth is okay, but he needs to proc it first to get going. The issue with having 0 personal speed is that it places you at 6 spd as a cav, which means even some of the medium speed units can double you. In H5 7 speed is the absolute minimum you want on a melee unit early to midgame, anything lower and you might get one rounded. Navarre also starts at E lances which means no javelins. He is really not that good of a character in Shadow Dragon. C swords doesn’t mean much as a cav, and even as a Myrmidon, he needs 14 speed to reliably double.

I don’t think he’s bottom of the barrel but if he doesn’t gain a point of speed in ch3 then he won’t be very good at fighting the ch4 cavaliers. He’s weak and doesn’t double as a myrmidon, but he’ll be even less likely to gain the speed he desperately needs if you change him to a cavalier for better bases. He does have 9 def as a cav, though, and any unit who has an actual luck stat is helpful. I swear half the units in this game face crit chances universally.

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Another small thing, the B class set has fighter with a massive 80% hp and 40% str growths, and mercenary/hunter with 20% str and 20%/25% spd respectively, so that set has classes good for increasing str and spd. The A class set’s best class for growing str is cavalier with 15%, which is also the lowest str growth of any class in the B set.

So what I’m saying is, the class set with cavalier, archer, etc. has no way to train str. They all have 10% or 15% and it bugs me.

Since there’s both archer and myrmidon for spd growth classes, maybe archer could be a str growth class instead? Whether you adjust the existing archer characters’ growths to account for this or not shouldn’t matter much.

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This could work, i cannot add in new classes but i can add the Soldiers from the prologue into the class set and make them the STR/HP/Def class. Could also try to somehow edit the dismounted cavalier class to work again and change its animations to something else.

All around good ideas tho

Just had the funny idea to give blizzard tomes wyrmslayer effectiveness, as it would only result in effective damage against firestone manaketes. Very dumb, but doable.

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Fire dragons are pretty weak against magic either way. I think having a high hit strong magic tome which dragons can’t even counter is a bit strong. Wyrmslayers and Dracopikes atleast have the setback of having to face counters, which can be devastating especially early on. Since blizzard is used so rarely in the game anyways i could still add it to the secret shop in chapter 17 if i figure out how to edit shops, essentially making it a rare but powerful tome.


I’ve done some work on the Rebalance and namely a few more experimental changes. None of these are implemented into an actual rom yet since i wanna get the stats down first. I’m basically finished with the Class stats rebalance, Halfway done with the Character stats rebalance, but have not yet started with Item Rebalance and Map unit changes. Although i don’t think i wanna change Items all that much.

I’ve left a reasoning for why i did changes aswell as a comment with the exact changes from Vanilla (for example +2 Base SKL, +20% SKL Growth), and a color code to quickly see if its a buff (Green) nerf (Red), or both (Yellow). You should be able to read the entire change reasoning if you click on the field, same thing goes for the comments, with a little orange arrow at the top right of the field indicating a comment being there. I don’t know how well it works on mobile so let me know if there are any Issues. The way i formatted the table is to note down Base/Growth/Cap.

That being said, here’s the Link to the Drive, let me know what you think of certain changes so far.


Good news everybody, i finally found some time to work on this Project again, finished the Character Stats today, and will try to insert the data into the Rom over the next few days. Mind you that the first release will only contain the Class and Character changes so far, and does not modify chapters in any way. But it will mean you guys get to playtest it sooner and get atleast something till i fully finish it.

The changes might seem a bit drastic in some areas, but i wanted to experiment a bit and see what stuck, so don’t be scared to talk about any things you may disagree with, and why you do, as i will adjust the stats after actual playtesting has been done. Please also note that i tried to note down my reasoning for the changes in the Character and class rebalance documents.


As promised, here is the very first beta release, don’t expect it to be fully balanced as i haven’t gotten time to test it out yet, and there weird some weird things in Nightmare, like units having 1-3 more or less skill than they should have. So this is mainly a beta test for catching bugs and inconsistencies with the stats provided in the design document.
That being said, here is the patch, am quite busy so i will add it to the first post in a few hours.
Apply with xDelta as you would apply UPS patches to a clean US Shadow Dragon Rom

Mind you that the final version is gonna be balanced around H5 Ironman, you can play other difficulties of course, but that’s the intended one


Gonna try this out for sure! Quick question, are you planning on releasing that PME you did awhile ago?