If you’ve been playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses for a little while now, you may have noticed something called a Dark Seal. Maybe you picked one up early (in which case, congratulations) or maybe you just saw it as a requirement when changing your students’ classes. The Dark Seal is a unique kind of item, similar to the Beginner and Intermediate Seal, that lets you select some very particular roles for your units. But what classes are those? And what are the other restrictions surrounding them? More importantly, if you don’t have a Dark Seal at all, how do you get one (or more)? We’ll go over all this and more in our guide to the Dark Seal in Fire Emblem: Three Houses!
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The first thing to know about the Dark Seal is what it does. Yes, it works a lot like the other Seals in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. By that I mean it allows you to advance your classes. Only the Dark Seal is specifically used to grant you the Dark Mage and Dark Bishop classes: a pair of advanced magic users. Also, for whatever reason, only male units can unlock either of these roles. Though there is always at least one character in each of the three houses who can access Dark Mage and eventually Dark Bishop.
I say “eventually” for two reasons. The first is that you won’t likely pick up a Dark Seal in Fire Emblem: Three Houses for quite some time. You can get one early-ish on, but it’s highly unlikely outside of new game plus. Doing so requires you to kill a massively overpowered mini-boss during the mission in the Holy Mausoleum (where you get the Sword of the Creator). Of course, you can also steal the item using a Thief class unit, or someone who has mastered the Thief class and has access to its Steal action. Either way requires pretty copious amounts of grinding free battles before that point. But, y’know, it’s doable with enough persistence.
I also say “eventually” because you need two Dark Seals to get the Dark Bishop. First you need to spend one to unlock the Dark Mage class on a given unit. Then, preferably after you master that class, you can go on to unlock the Dark Bishop on that same character. Both certifications require you to expend one Dark Seal, however. That means that you need two Dark Seals in total to unlock the Dark Bishop class in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Plan your army accordingly!
Your reward for this is some unique, powerful new skills. Your chosen Dark Mage and/or Dark Bishop will also adopt a very… spooky look. And by “spooky,” I mean they’ll look like a dollar store Dracula. Maybe put Hubert up to this particular challenge. His high Reason stat makes him perfect for the role and, well… He seems like the kind of dorkus to dress up like that anyway. I can’t wait for this exact thing to happen in some future Fire Emblem: Heroes Halloween event.
Where to Get the Dark Seal in Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Anyway, about that mini-boss I mentioned before! If you’ve already acquired the Sword of the Creator, you probably already know who I’m talking about. I’m referring to the Death Knight — that mounted, skull-faced harbinger of sorrow that can counter your attacks at any range. He’s a real stinker. And if you’re like most sensible players, you probably just avoided him altogether during your first encounter with he who carries the Dark Seal. Don’t, uh, worry, though. You’ll get several more chances to face the indomitable Death Knight during main story missions in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
When you do, you have a choice. You can of course just try to kill the specter outright. That will net you one Dark Seal per defeat. Just don’t forget to use your Divine Pulse (i.e. rewind) ability if someone gets killed in the process. For that reason, it might be better to try and get the Dark Seal early on in each respective fight. That way you can easily correct potential mistakes. Otherwise, you might find yourself save scumming at the very end and forced to replay a whole mission.
Otherwise, using a Thief is a slightly safer, but more arduous bet. You basically want to kill every enemy in a battle that features a Death Knight — except for the knight itself and whichever is the last, normal enemy you need to beat in order to win. That way you can use Steal on the Death Knight (make sure the unit you’re using has very high Speed) and then kill the final foe to complete the mission. This will save you from actually dealing with the Death Knight’s full retaliation.
When exactly you face each Death Knight depends on the house you selected. But for now, at least, it seems like every faction encounters them during Month 7, Month 9, and Month 11. Naturally, each Death Knight gets progressively stronger as you go along, requiring higher stats to defeat or steal from. But you also have much more time to grind up and unlock new classes — including the Thief!
For the time being, this is the only way we know to get a Dark Seal in Fire Emblem: Three Houses! We’ll be sure to update this guide if that changes, though, or if Nintendo introduces new ways to acquire the aforementioned classes via DLC. Until then, good luck getting your hands on this rare item!