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Door Keys usually appear in the early levels of whatever Fire Emblem game a person is playing that involve doors. This happens because early on in most of the Fire Emblem games the player does not have control of a Thief unit, a unit that has the ability to open doors without a Door Key. In these early levels enemy units standing near the un-opened doors usually have enough Door Keys to open the nearby doors.
Door Keys usually come with two uses/durability. This means they can open a total of two doors before they can no longer be used and disappear comepletely from the inventory of the character who had been holding them. This low amount of uses is supected to reflect the fact that Fire Emblem maps including un-opened doors usually only have up to 6 locked doors.
Door Keys are usually found on the same Fire Emblem maps as Chest Keys. Chest Keys are items used to open treasure chests. They are often found in the same levels because many of the un-opened doors in the Fire Emblem games hide treasure chests, although more often then not, those chests are guarded by enemy units inside the locked rooms. So, if a player doesn't have a thief in their group, Door and Chest Keys are needed to retrieve the many rare items hidden in the treasure chests.
Doors keys usually lose most of their usefulness later in the game. After a certain point the character playing the game will find a Thief, Rogue or Assassin unit, all of which can open doors and treasure chests without keys (although in earlier games Thieves and Assassins required the Lockpick item to open door and chests). However, whenever a player must take to the field without a thief, or they wish not to use their thief, Chest Keys can be of immense use.