The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Binding Blade

by Melth

Part 26

Didn’t we just do one of these? Well the lack of an Etrurian arc means the Etrurian sidequest comes almost immediately. It’s a really bad chapter and doesn’t get as much hate as it deserves. And it’s also a really boring one, so I have little to say about it.

Chapter Summary:
Roy kills a few lingering rebels in Aquleia in a sacred tower of some kind and gets another legendary weapon before having an important chat with Guinevere. It’s time to take the offensive against Bern and he wants to make sure she understands that.

Oh really?

Oro 2. This time, it’s personal.

The inexplicable collapse of the rebellion and Roartz fleeing without a fight caught even his men off guard!

Windam here doesn’t seem to have considered the possibility of just surrendering and assumes they’re all going to be killed no matter what, so he’ll just try to kill the Lycians too. Maybe he heard about how Roy killed absolutely every soldier in Djuto without allowing them a chance to surrender!

The Heavenly Arrows are the trap du jour. The generic minion gives the generic minion line.

And Windam gives the generic villain line.

They called me mad. Mad!

… thank you, General Obvious.

All he did was tell us the giant tower is the one we were looking for! We could have asked anyone on the street for directions. And we went out of our way to spare him despite him being a traitorous wretch who was trying to kill us. It’s him who should be thanking us for helping him.

Battle Preparations & the Map:

Secondary Objective: None. It’s boring.
Reinforcements: Yes, actually. It’s a nasty surprise since all other sidequests so far had a conspicuous lack of reinforcements. Also the spawn points don’t make a whole lot of sense. But on turns 8 and 18 a bishop with lightning, silence, and physic will appear from the top left point of the tower. On 10 and 20 one will come from the right.
Turn Limit: 25. Plenty of time if and only if you’re efficient in running the enemy out of ammo.

The final floor of the Tower of Valni as well as a map in FE1 3: Beyond Thunderdome FE11 are based on this one. The Tower of Valni in particular is much, much better. This map is mammoth, has a really annoying and luck-based trap gimmick instead of a semi-interesting one, and has much more aggravating terrain.

I should cover the trap first. At the end of every enemy turn, 0-2 columns chosen at random will be hit with the “Heavenly Arrows”. These inflict 10 damage to any units in the column. Only certain columns may be picked, and I’ve drawn a purple line through those. It is commonly said, but totally false, that the trap never targets columns with enemies. It is true that none of the eligible columns initially have enemies, but enemies who walk in will be hit just the same as your units.

Now the other well-known feature of this map is that it bristles with long-ranged tomes and staves. There are fewer initially deployed than Night of Farewells (which was much smaller) and fewer period than Cog of Destiny, but they’re much worse on this chapter. What’s different here is that you can’t DO anything about them. The terrain means you have to just sit there and take it. Even using Warp as I did last time wouldn’t work. There is no unit available to me which could actually survive being warped into the top central area to start shredding the 2-3 boltingers, 2 purgers, multiple staff users, etc. aimed at it.

The Bolting tome I got last chapter won't work either since it will barely scratch these bishops due to their mammoth Res.

You fundamentally lack the tools to approach this map. In FE7 a wise player could have purchased an extra Barrier from the secret stores and pure waters were available; not here. In FE7, the healers actually had good Res. Clarine (and Saul) don’t. My Clarine will be instant-killed by any bolting or purge enemy on the map. And she’s level 18. Lalum too will be instant-killed. So you can’t really USE the people you most need to deal with status staves due to the long-ranged tomes. The game has gone out of its way to make sure you have no good options available.

The result is that not only can you not in any feasible way turn the tables and play this map proactively, you also can’t really play it defensively well either. The units you need will be instant killed and even your toughest anti-magic units will probably be at high risk of death because of the physical attackers and the threat of the heavenly arrows. Those are really the worst part. Sooner or later you WILL have a low-HP unit in one of the critical columns that the traps affect, and you just have to hope they don’t strike that column that turn.

The XP requirement for this chapter is ludicrously high at 2500, especially considering how many enemies are now back down to level 12 or 13 for some reason. They’re still dangerous enough to knock your HP down for a Bolting or heavenly arrow to finish you (especially since many have silver weapons), but they don’t give much XP.

The most immediate concern though is Windam’s Berserk. The cursor marks the true extent of his range. Yeah, it’s most of the map. His accuracy will be 100% on just about anyone too. So you absolutely must have restore staves in hand- and I mean it when I say plural restore staves because the Silence sage’s effective range is actually even bigger.

Kind of like the 3rd quarter of Night of Farewells, the best approach for a run where speed matters is to get in range of as many long-ranged enemies as possible at once and try to run them out of ammo under controlled circumstances. The other enemies will mostly sit by passively while you do. The problem is that you can’t actually keep your dancer, healers, Roy, etc. safe and the Heavenly Arrows will rain down at the worst times. Which makes it close to impossible without at least some luck.

Since even my strongest units can be slaughtered on this chapter if I’m careless, I’m going to actually go with a fairly weak and low level party overall. The XP requirement is so high that I’m not actually sure if I can beat it at all, but I want to try. The only way this group has any chance at survival is if I very carefully manage the Purge bishops to run them out of ammo quickly while also ensuring that the two of them never fire on the same turn. I can do that by making sure exactly one of them has a Physic target in range every turn.

Units Alllowed: 9 + Douglas + Roy. A shortage considering the sheer number of healers and support units you need to approach this chapter and the 2 way split.
Units Brought:
1) Roy. Required. A trashy fighter as usual. Can be sniped in 1 hit.
2) Douglas. Required. Can be killed in one fight because some of these enemies double him with their siege tomes. He’s complete garbage here. And everywhere else.
3) Clarine. One of only 2 restore-wielders who isn’t level 20. Can be sniped in 1 hit.
4) Lalum. You cannot get through the early turns without her since there’s basically no other way to make sure all status ailments on your restorers can be cured and all injuries can be healed. Can be sniped in 1 hit.
5) Shin. The nearby sage with Bolting is the most dangerous attacker on the level. With him down, Roy and some others can actually survive 1 attack from all remaining attackers. Shin is the only one who can deal with him efficiently. Can be sniped in 2 hits.
6) Ray. Very close to level 20, at which point he’ll become a much-needed extra healer. He’s shockingly terrible at dealing with magic attacks though. Can be sniped in 2 hits.
7) Hugh. Similar to Ray actually, though a bit lower level. Can be sniped in 2 hits.
8) Zeiss. Already capable of going toe to toe with any enemy on the chapter, he’s my lowest level good fighting unit. His mobility and rescuing skills are also useful. Can be sniped in 2 hits.
9) Lilina. My best unit here. She’s got the best resistance of the whole party except Fa and her healing and high damage are also invaluable. Can still be sniped in 3 hits- or a single physical hit and then a heavenly arrow.
10) Ellen. The only healer I have who can stand up to this kind of fire. Can still be sniped in 3 hits- or a single physical hit since all the enemies still double her and she still has 0 Def.
11) Fa. The best anti-magic tank in the game, she only takes scratch damage from bolting. But a single physical attack and then a heavenly arrow is death.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Saul. I’d rather be bringing him than Clarine, but he’s level 20.
2) Anyone good: I’m trying to beat this level with the lowest level people I can to try to test the XP requirement. Plus most of the good characters still die in 2-3 hits anyway.

In order to clear this level quickly, I need to immediately get someone into Berserk and Silence range to start running the enemy out of ammo.

However, I need to make sure no one fragile ends up in range of the nearby sage in the process. He’s the most destructive enemy on the chapter and can instant kill people like Roy who will merely be left at low HP by other enemies. Of course, even when he’s dead I’m still not off the hook since basically nothing and no one other than Lilina and Fa can survive a Purge and then a Heavenly Arrow.

I need a way to kill that sage on turn 2 or 3 because I simply cannot advance most of my troops until he’s dead. Shin is the only option there but can’t one-round him. He’ll need Lalum’s help, but Lalum will be killed in one shot by that bolting even if under a Barrier spell, so I need to get clever.

Getting up the stairs efficiently is necessary but impossible without some rescuing dropping. This formation will let me cover that. In particular I want high Res units like Fa dropped near the front and I also need Clarine (protected by Barrier so she doesn’t die in one shot) ready to restore people. And, critically, Lalum must be just outside bolting range but ready to run 7 squares in and dance for Shin so he can kill the pest.

I expect my staff users to pass their gear around a lot, but for now every single staff-capable unit has a Heal, Clarine and Ellen have a restore, Ellen has a Warp (though she can’t use it yet), Ellen also has Physic since she has the best Mag, and she has the Barrier since it must be used on Clarine immediately. Clarine has Mend too because her Mag is so horrible.

Shin has his normal array of bows and an Orion’s Bolt but doesn’t have a sword because I don’t expect him to gain that much XP and he can’t really give up one of those bows.

Ray has a Guiding Ring and is about 40 XP from promoting at last.

Other than that, gear is mostly standard.

The Characters:

Windam is a bishop who went rogue and betrayed the church to help the rebels. He either was very high ranking or was given an impossible task because he was apparently supposed to singlehandedly “Tame the Elimine Church."

His motive for joining the rebels is unclear, but he seems to be completely insane.

He’s very good at dodging on his throne and his reasonably tough defenses too, which makes him hard to kill. However, he’s not a huge threat in battle due to his fairly slow speed and the general weakness of light magic.

But his Berserk staff will have massive range and pretty much 100% accuracy against anyone.

Playing Through:

Clarine really is pitiful. A level 18 staff user should not be being instant killed by every long-ranged tome user on the chapter. And having single digit Mag at that level despite a decent RN blessing is ludicrous.

I need Zeiss in the front and Hugh just behind to make this work, but that actually mean he needed to start further back. Only then could Lalum safely dance for him.

He stops short for her since she must be allowed to move the maximum distance if she’s going to help Shin next turn.

Hugh is dropped and the path up is secured.

The newly protected Clarine and Shin work together to haul Fa up the stairs. Any unit north of Lalum can be boltinged, but they can all take it. What they can’t take is to be hit by a heavenly arrow afterward. If one of those happens here, I pretty much just lose. That’s… basically the same situation as if I brought my best units. No restore user available can survive a hit from anything and then a heavenly arrow.

Everyone else just walks up the right stairs. That mercenary won’t move, so they won’t be blocked.

Ok, crazy guy.

As expected.

Alright, good, Hugh is easy to heal. I took a risk on the first turn here. If the knight AND the mercenary both hit Zeiss, then the Bolting sage could have finished him. The probability of all 3 of those things happening was low though.

Handy. Ellen could restore her, but still. I find it absurd that even with Barrier on her and from across the map, my level 18 Clarine will very probably be hit by Silence from some random non-boss enemy.

So here’s the situation.

Shin fires but misses once. That’s alright, he only needs to hit 3 out of 4 attacks with Lalum’s help and the odds are definitely in his favor. If he fails again, I probably lose though. I just can’t fight enemies with his Bolting and Heavenly Arrows both still aimed at me.

A pretty bad level, but Shin killed him and that’s what counts right now.

Now the reason Hugh needed to be in the spot right behind Zeiss was so he could do this.

Oh, sweet.

Fa launches an adorable critical hit on the mage Hugh cleared a path to.

Not bad.

Now that it’s safe, Clarine runs in to restore Zeiss.

I’m hoping to give this kill to Fa, so I don’t switch to a steel lance. Nice level though. In the long term, his Def gain is pretty much all that matters.

Lilina fells the mercenary and now my group is safe, everyone else just moves in.

Gotta love a cross-map 98% true hit chance on a high level staff user with boosted Res. Even Lilina can’t dodge this.

Darn, that’s unexpected and problematic. That mercenary I wanted to feed to Fa instead ran back and then this Bishop from the top left came down and healed him from across the map. That means he’s now in range to move forward and begin purging my units next turn.

Darn, Lilina is silenced.

So that physic thing means a slight change of plans. Originally I’d wanted to aggro both bishops at once on different targets and from there keep them alternating heals and purges till they ran out of ammo. Now I’ve got one coming in before I’m ready, so I need to adapt.

Besides doing that, curing statuses, and killing these enemies, I also need to get people into both remaining Bolting ranges and perhaps also the top right Purge.

That tile is the left Bolting zone edge.

Fa is doing slightly above average in general.

With Zeiss out of the way, Restore 1 is executed.

Then Ray clears a path.

So the other restore is done.

Another cruddy level, but my Clarine remains pretty above average overall. How crazy is that?

Lalum gets a timely Res bonus, but it’s not enough. She can still be instant killed by any long-ranged tome on this map.

Hugh finishes the last one. Well I didn’t get in top right purge range, but I did get in both Bolting ranges and take out the enemies and get people healed up enough that no one is going to die.

The last Berserk is fired.

Shin shows off his sweet moves.

Fa don’t care!

Yeah we’re really getting bombarded here.

And that’s the last silence.

Agh, there’s one of the heavenly arrows. Luckily it’s only hitting Zeiss.

Nearly kills him though. There’s just no way to defend against these. They’re aimed at a lot of critically important columns that you can’t stay out of and you can’t block the damage with Def or Res.

And another.

The last Restore is finished.

Shin kills a merc and moves where the javelin cavalry can attack him.

Lilina gets into Purge lure range.

And the bombardment resumes.

Ah ha! See? An enemy was hit by an arrow here.

Well, that’s a bad level.

There’s really not much to say about this map from now on. I’m just fighting annoying but easy battles while crossing my fingers and hoping I’m not unlucky with someone getting hit by Purge and then an arrow.

The left side group can’t take the heat actually so they had to pull back and heal and let the paladin come to them.

If at any point both bishops hit Roy, Lalum, Clarine, Shin, Zeiss, or actually anyone but Lilina and Fa who I have in my whole party, that person is dead. But keeping one of them healing while the other attacks is working.

The paladin took the bait, so he dies.

Fa moves out of the Bolting zone to snag this kill.

Ray takes out an archer.

Frantic mass heals are executed.

Every turn is pretty much me scrambling to barely keep pace with injuries while I have 4 healers.

And there’s no way to save Lalum this turn except to boost her Res.

Hugh gets the paladin.

Douglas is really lousy here. I mean, besides the fact that nearly every magic enemy can kill him from full and he can be slain by 2 ranged magics of any kind, he’s just not even good at fighting level 12 unpromoted people while armed with a silver weapon. Still, I REALLY need a guy who can stand in the front and make sure Roy and Lilina don’t get hit.

Alright, I’m going in. The bolting guy is down to a manageable one shot remaining, though the purge guy is still at large.

I’m always just one heavenly arrow in the wrong place away from death.

Ray gets a lousy final level.

Hugh pulls down another good one though. Soon he’ll be doubling things.

After a dance, Ray promotes.

Very high offense bonuses, not so good for other stuff. Ray is just not Canas. But Hugh might be…

Shin gets a bad level, but at least he can finally promote on my next turn.

Pretty balanced bonuses. Shin is finally going to come into his own now that he can use swords and his speed can finally get past that 20 cap.

The right side train has finally left the station.

Clarine’s terribleness never ceases to amaze.

Well the purge bishop is in range at last, so battle was joined. There’s nothing to say in this chapter. Every turn is just me slowly walking and healing and maybe fighting 1 guy, so I’m skipping nearly everything.

Fa continues to be good but not great. She gains a ton of stat boosts, but they really just don’t do much for her.

The left side still has a guy with Purge on the loose, so Zeiss baits him.

And on the next turn, he and Shin kill a cavalier. We’re closing in on the last few enemies.

The first reinforcement Bishop spawned. Making sure these guys appear is one of the main reasons for trying to aggro the purge Bishops quickly. Otherwise they don’t spawn.

They’re unannounced, powerful, and located in kind of a weird spot. Isn’t that the pinnacle of the tower? How could anyone else be up there? And how could we not see them? Anyway, they’re armed with Silence staves, which is annoying, but not really THAT bad. If they were armed with Purge or something it would just be a game-over every time one spawned until you learned all the turns.

I’m always looking for ways to give Roy kills- in this case the right bishop. And he’s always getting lousy levels.

Even as a druid, Ray is taking damage he can’t just ignore from these pesky mages. At least he doubles them now.

And the new right side silencer popped up and zapped Ray.

Another kill for Fa. I’m reaching the last few fights now and the difficult part of the chapter is over since the purge bishops are dead.

I don’t know if that sniper moves, but Shin is healed and ready to fight.

People stay out of the longbow range on the right side until I know if the sniper moves. Many enemies on this chapter don’t, but you don’t want to take chances.

Silenced again.

The last Boltings are fired off (remember, I left the mages with 1 shot each before to save a turn).

Bishop down. The snipers don’t move.

There goes another one. Lilina is really a crazy master of offense.

She’s cleared the last one for now.

Well the def is nice. I would really like for Lalum to be able to survive a hit or two.

Now that I know the snipers don’t move, I can more safely do stuff like this.

Hugh was able to run in and finish it off, keeping Ray safe. That’s a great level. Hugh has definitely got me impressed.

On the left I take things slow.

Hugh is really hitting his stride now and can shred lots of units. It doesn’t take a whole lot of levels to make him very strong- and he’s nearly ready to promote. Then he’ll really show Lugh and Lilina how it’s done.

The mages don’t seem to move either. Probably the reason so many enemies don’t is so that they don’t wander into Heavenly Arrows range early.

Wow! A point of def! She’s still one-round killed by absolutely every physical attacker! Still, she’s put Clarine to shame this chapter. Anyway, all of my healers are now level 20. I plan to just retire every single one of them and try to grind Lilina or someone up to a C in staves ASAP.

Zeiss leaves the main group; he’s got a job to do.

And another juicy kill for Fa.

A pretty poor level.

Tons and tons of heals are being executed.

And I give most of the kills to Hugh. He’s so close to hitting level 20…

Meanwhile, Shin rushes for the right side, taking an iron sword that Douglas grabbed from Roy along the way.

Everyone else just crowds in close to the boss.

Lilina is doing 2 heals per turn.

Hugh can do scratch damage to Windam and that’s all I need to get him some XP, so I barrier him up and send him in.

Nice! Man that’s some good Def. Your father would be proud! Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a second Guiding Ring to this chapter.

Sword in hand, Shin lurks in the top right.

The new arrival on the left pops up and tries to silence Lilina.

Zeiss engages him and gets a good level for the short term.

These arrows create lots of new wounds to heal.

Well that’s pretty bad.

Left Bishop down.

Right Bishop down.


Double nice! Lilina might actually cap speed! That’s crazy!

Fa is a darned good boss killer with that massive accuracy of hers.

I guess her chicken form IS pretty funny!

She’s basically normal. A bit fast.

And turn 21 win, the best turn for it.

Cool. Why didn’t Windam use it?

Yay! A real character is going to get a chance to talk.

You know, we never really attacked Etruria. We just kind of ended up in the capital and fought Narshen there.

Except for that time in the western isles I guess.

… moron.


I’m actually a bit unsure why she’s giving it to him now rather than either earlier or later. I mean, she did steal it to give it to Bern’s enemies, but Roy can’t actually do anything with it now.

This is just totally untrue. Every part of it. The name is the Shrine of Seals, not the cave. It’s located in the north of Bern, not the south. And it’s not really a temple either.

She angsts for a bit about how she’ll be reviled as a traitor.

But it’s pretty well done, like most of Guinevere’s lines. And she’s probably right. Even if Bern is rebuilt under her watch, a lot of people are going to always go around hating her for making them lose the war to begin with.

I like that they have this conversation at least.

Useless! There are no monks and there’s no Athos in this game, so only Saul and Ellen and Yodel can wield this. And they’re all wretchedly bad characters. Saul and Ellen should never even be promoted.

Anyway, I actually managed to exceed the crazy XP requirement by juuuuuust a few points, but only by bringing the lowest level people available and also 5 healers and a dancer who all spent pretty much every turn generating free XP that way.

It was as good a victory as one can hope for, but totally unsatisfying because it was inelegant and depended on not getting hit by the stupid trap at the wrong time.

Total Restarts: 15 (I lost quite a few times to Heavenly arrows and the like)
Turn Surplus: +18 (4 More Turns!)
Things I Regret Missing: A couple of uses of Marcus’s silver lance on Rude, a Chapter 5 nomad Marcus had to kill, two Chapter 12 fighters I couldn’t kill since I needed supports built elsewhere, a pirate and a wyvern rider on 14x who I didn’t have time to go after.
Legendary Weapon Scoreboard: Durandal slew Ohtz using Oujay on chapter 14x, turn 2 and the top left mamkute using Oujay on chapter 16, turn 9. Forblaze slew the top right mamkute using Lugh on chapter 16, turn 6.

Next up: Missingno!