The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Binding Blade

by Melth

Part 31

This is one of the better maps of the game and the last conventional capital fight. Again, there’s very little to say about it in terms of story though.

Chapter Summary:
Roy and company reach Edessa, Bern’s regional capital right near the border. Bern has 0 troops there and makes absolutely no effort to prevent Roy from taking Edessa and liberating Ilia. Which then allows him to attack them with impunity..

This is Zealot’s castle and the capital of Ilia. There should really be a lot more talk about that and about how Ilia is governed and what will happen there now. But this game has almost no dialogue and no detail and no characters, so this great opportunity to build the setting and learn about Zealot and his family is almost completely wasted.

And yet none are fought here. At all. There is not even a SINGLE pegasus enemy in the capital of pegasus land. I guess we killed them all last chapter.

Why did he do this? He has lost all credibility as an enemy during this Ilian arc. All the lines spent building him up as Bern’s greatest general have been completely overturned.

I wonder if level ups and such are supposed to be a thing that actually happens in-universe. If so, asking whether he has a large enough number of troops is kind of foolish.

-are dead. We killed them last chapter; that was the point. Lots of them were flocking to Sigune and we killed those too. That’s ignored though and now the game acts like the Ilians just didn’t want to fight on Bern’s side to begin with and are choosing not to help.

It’s another hostage situation! And once again, absolutely nothing will come of it. This time there’s a semi-decent reason for that for once.

See, it turns out they don’t know Zealot has joined Roy!

Somehow the last thing they heard was that he was traveling around as a mercenary; they are unaware that he joined Roy. This despite the Bern-backed Ostian rebels knowing all about that. It’s reasonable to conclude that Bern just neglected to give them any useful intelligence as part of Murdock’s cowardly and stupid scheme to get them all killed. So in any case, they don’t know that Zealot is here and no one ever told Roy that Zealot is important anyway, so the family can’t be used.

He has a point, actually, he’s standing and fighting even though Bern has betrayed him and left him to die.

Here are the prisoners.

And Yuno’s only moment in the sun.

Perhaps the enemy might LEAVE?! What the heck are you talking about? This is the center of the occupation!

The occupying forces don’t know, so this woman doesn’t either.

…No. This is stupid. This is suddenly so stupid. Now there is absolutely no way these people should not know where Zealot is. Bern conquered Ilia before the game even began. By the time Zealot joined Roy, Edessa had fallen weeks ago and Yuno was already in enemy hands. No way would they not have intercepted that letter. Even if they chose to give it to a prisoner anyway for no reason, EVERYONE would know that Zealot had joined Roy. That’s important news.

Yep, it’s pretty close to the border. If this game weren’t stupid, Bern would make some kind of effort to prevent us from just taking it and liberating the whole country they’d conquered. But they don’t help at all.

Storytime again!

This is new to anyone who hasn’t played FE7 and fairly interesting.

Come to think of it, why were the other countries ok with an Etrurian princess marrying Bern’s king? We’ve been told several times that the balance of power between those two unfriendly countries was the only thing maintaining peace for the last thousand years. Europe had dozens of ferocious wars fought to prevent marriages that could upset the balance of power like that.

That, honestly, would make more sense than the whole jealousy thing.

She explains that that’s not the case though and that Zephiel was always trying to impress his father.

And that’s what made Desmond jealously hate him. But there’s a problem here. She’s saying Roy is wrong, and Desmond didn’t hate Zephiel for his parentage; he only hated Zephiel out of jealousy. But the reason Zephiel excelled was that he was always trying hard in order to not make his father hate him. But why would his father hate him before he’d accomplished anything if the hatred was born only of jealousy?

The FE7 version makes way more sense.

Once again, they leave us with the question we’re supposed to be asking. Once again, the story just isn’t that gripping.

And cue the interruption so the story can be spread out even further.

Battle Preparations & the Map:

Secondary Objective: Recruit Yuno with Zealot or Thany or Tate
Secondary Objective: Steal the Lockpick from one top middle thief
Secondary Objective: Steal the Lockpick from the other top middle thief
Secondary Objective: Steal the Red Gem from the boss
Secondary Objective: Steal the Red Gem from the Sleep staff druid
Secondary Objective: Steal the Elysian Whip from the left ballistician using the Warp Staff
Secondary Objective: Get all 8 chests
Secondary Objective: Protect all green units to get an Angelic Robe
Secondary Objective: Do some shopping
Reinforcements: 2 thieves in the top on turn 10. 3 fighters every turn from turns 11-18 from the top left with steel axes. 2 mercenaries near the bottom right every turn from turns 11-18. Numerous, but not really in problematic areas or of dangerous types.
Turn Limit: 25. Plenty of time. This is also the time limit for unlocking the sidequest (as far as I know, no reason is given for why there’s a time limit).

Welcome to the Dragon’s Gate. Hope you like ballistae.

This chapter isn’t really anywhere near as good as that one of course, but it’s similarly one of the best ones in this game and a major turning point in the story.

Loads and loads of scattered objectives of all sorts, just the way I like it, in a castle level that’s actually well put together and not a gigantic empty waste of space.

Furthermore, for once the enemies will actually put up a real fight. Instead of being scattered in 2s and 3s over an absurdly large emptiness, nearly all of them are concentrated near the gates. The downside of course is that there are really none anywhere else, so all the fighting is done by turn 5 and the rest is a slow and boring cleanup.

Still, it’s refreshingly different.

Now this is decidedly not an air map. The walls and lack of difficult terrain mean they have no mobility advantage, while the several strong ballistae and snipers leave them specially vulnerable. Nonetheless, some are needed to deal with the right flank properly and recruit Yuno.

It’s also a good map to bring out special weaponry and staves like Warp and Bolting. Warp, indeed, is completely necessary if you want to acquire all items. Door and chest keys too. There are not many chapters left where they’ll be useful, so bring them out now.

The sidequest here is easily unlocked- as long as Zealot didn’t die 15 chapters ago or something. If you didn’t know you needed him alive, then you’ve already lost. Kind of like on chapter 16, there’s really no reason or explanation at all why that character being alive is required to have access to the sidequest.

Units Allowed: 12+ Roy. Enough to complete things comfortably.
Units Brought:
1) Roy. Required. Level 20 at last. His pitiful weakness is such that most enemies will one-round kill him despite him being the same level as them or higher. He can’t even recruit Yuno.
2) Tate. I really wish I didn’t need her, but Roy can’t recruit Yuno. She’s a good unit, but she’s perilously vulnerable to ballistae and just not that effective here.
3) Hugh. Fantastic. He’s already giving Lugh and Lilina a run for their money. Mages are excellent here for firing over the walls and dealing with mixed ranged and melee enemies.
4) Lugh. Still slightly better than Hugh on offense, but falling rapidly behind. That still makes him one of my top 5 units.
5) Dieck. It’s about time I got him and Rutger up to 20. They’ve long since ceased to be good, but they can hold their own when well armed.
6) Rutger. Currently slightly better than Dieck since the latter can no longer double much.
7) Cath. My sole remaining thief who isn’t level 20. A thief is 100% necessary here since there are items to steal. Since she got some Str last chapter, she’s a bit easier to train now too.
8) Lilina. My best unit, but now somewhat overleveled. I’ll try to keep her just healing mostly. She can now use Restore staves too, very helpful on this chapter.
9) Clarine. Since I’m bringing Dieck and Rutger, she’s a decent choice to bring as a spare healer. Critically, she can Restore. And she can Warp. I’ve decided I may as well promote her.
10) Miledy. She’s a flyer tough enough to stand up to ballistae and one of my best units. I also need people with 8 move to do one particular operation on this chapter.
11) Lalum. She’s now level 20 so she’s not creating free XP, but she’s not draining it either. And she remains amazingly useful.
12) Shin. A strong unit with a longbow is essential, plus he’s just a good unit. Though not great.
13) Zeiss. Not that good here, but he needs to hit 20 so I can promote him with the Elysian Whip I’m about to get.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Thany. Pegasus knights are bad here. I wish I didn’t need to bring Tate.
2) Niime. Far, far worse than Clarine here- as usual. She’d be slain in one shot by the long ballistae, she’d be doubled by the bishop with purge, and any enemy who got near her would one-round kill her. And Clarine has more than enough Mag to do any Warping I need.
3) Ellen. Worse than Niime at this point. Too slow, too fragile.
4) Saul. Clarine’s only real rival, but my Saul turned out awful. Also, he doesn’t support anyone I have.

The convoy is getting really full. Every single character I didn’t bring (and most of those I did) is carrying 5 items, yet the convoy still has less than 30 slots left open. With all the 8 new chests here and shopping to do, I’m having severe space shortages. I just can’t seem to sell things fast enough even when I bring Merlinus.

Dieck and Rutger will be sharing a wide variety of swords, as usual. Lugh has Forblaze. Lilina has a restore staff as well as her Heal. Unlock too in case I see a good chance to use that.

Roy has a Killing Edge and the Light brand in case he needs to fight or weaken an enemy. He also carries the Silver Card for someone else and a Fire for Clarine.

Lalum is loaded up with door and chest keys to trade to other people.

Cath has nearly nothing; just an iron sword and a lockpick so she can steal more easily. Clarine has Mend, Physic, Restore, Warp, and a Guiding Ring. Other gear is mostly standard.

The available starting positions here were annoyingly shaped, so there's kind of no good way to set up for what I'd like to do. This is the best of the messy options.

The Characters:

Yuno is Thany and Tate’s responsible and reasonable older sister and did most of the work raising them. She was a respected pegasus commander but retired to marry Zealot or something like that. Which makes her sort of like the queen of Ilia or something.

Anyway, she’s a horrible pre-promote and should never be used. I’ll send her shopping and have her carry some of Cath’s stolen goods to free up inventory space. That is the full extent of her usefulness. Even the vaunted Triangle Attack is a complete waste and a joke.

At long last, it’s time to fight the real villain of the game. It’s this fellow whose machinations and plans have ACTUALLY been the cause of many of these battles and have driven most of the plot since chapter 8. That says something about the terribleness of the pacing and the script and the generals of Bern really. He’s supposed to be a fairly minor villain who dies pitifully, but he’s more credible than Zephiel or Murdock or Narshen and is by far the most competent one of them.

He's pretty sturdy, but something like half the bosses in the game have been knights or generals, so one can't have gone this far without getting good at killing them.

Playing Through:

Lalum and Zeiss rush in as quickly as they can.

Zeiss persuades that ballistician to sit down and shut up. His long ballista could shoot just about any of my units at either gate, so he mustn’t be allowed to live past turn 1.

Miledy and Shin then carry Lalum out of range and put themselves in position instead. Oh and as a sidenote, THAT frozen lake can’t be walked onto. It’s surrounded by cliffs that kind of totally just look like lakeshore.

Tate gets ready for the weird 2 left mercenaries.

The two mages wall up. No one else can kill enough enemies this turn to cut me a path to the more important people.

They’re juuuust outside of Purge range. I don’t really want to deal with Purge in addition to heavy attack, plus I think I might try to lure him to just the edge of his range on a future turn and then lunge in and assassinate him.

Clarine promotes. Good bonuses, but not really distributed where she needs them.

Roy gives her Fire and Lilina heals the promotion wound.

Everyone else crowds in in such a way that the enemy can’t shoot anyone incapable of countering.

One reason I didn’t want to bring Tate (Gonzalez would actually have been my replacement) is that she can’t actually double the mercenaries, so she needed to hope for a critical.

Hugh gets some helpful speed. He’s decently fast, but he needs to get faster to double mercenaries.

When even a falcoknight at distant range has 0% chance to avoid the staff, the staff users have too much Mag.

Shin has no resistance. But that’s alright, I’m ready.

So! THIS is the big turn, turn 2. If you survive here, the map is over.

So Restore number 1. I’m glad Lilina can finally use it.

Not bad considering she’s capped Str and Speed already.

Yay, Def!

So the right enemy group is destroyed. Now there are still 2 promoted enemies and some others down there in that inside area, but killing this unpromoted group has completely taken the wind out of their sails.

Now here’s what I had to work with on the left side. Not too promising. Cath and Roy can’t do anything. Rutger and Dieck are outclassed too. And Lilina had to be used up on Tate.

So I pull out the big guns.

Nice! With the hero down, some softer targets are revealed for the others. I can’t kill everyone, but I can weaken them enough that they’re not a threat next turn.

Not very good. This is not what’s required to turn him around at this point.

That’s a good level.

Now that druid has the Sleep staff, so he won’t attack. However, that leaves the sniper and also the Purge bishop. If they both pick the same target and both hit (improbable), I’ll lose. Still, this is a pretty good situation.

Asleep again.

I’d be interested in learning how staff enemies choose their targets.

So it’s my turn. Time for more restores.

Shin is cured too and gets to work.

One miss and no crit. This is going to be a trend. I don’t think he actually got a crit with that bow all chapter and I used it nearly all the time.

The wyverns wall up.

But I’ve decided to send Shin in and take out the Sleep staffer.

And the left group moves in. The enemy are too spread out to deal with.

Not a bad level, but I REALLY wish I could have killed that Bishop. Of well. Hopefully it will make someone waste a turn staffing him.

Dieck gets the kill on the sniper.

An uneventful turn. I’m still in danger.

Whoah! I forgot about that ballista on the other edge of the map.

Well I survived, but the enemy is not in position for me to steal the Red Gem. So this is still a problematic turn. Worse, I can’t kill that Purge bishop.

Shin and his group can get to work though.

Nice, Def is good.

Lalum gave Shin a door key, and is now hurrying to join the left group.

I was surprised that the Berserk druid didn’t fire away last turn. It turns out he doesn’t move, so the cursor marks his true range.

Tate couldn’t be cured since she was too far off. But there’s another problem: the staff is all used up. That means that druid will now begin attacking. And the Purge druid is still alive, so I’m in danger again. Further, Tate is asleep in ballista range. I healed her up so she can’t be instant-killed, but I’m still depending on at least one dodge. Probability is on my side.

And it worked, Roy dodged the purge.

So the Red Gem is mine.

Tate is woken up.

The druid is killed. The purge Bishop STILL can’t be. He’s just too tough to instant kill.

Or so he thought. Offensive rescue and Forblaze!

Shin opens the door.

Zeiss gets an empty level. Darn it! This isn’t even his first one; he got some before capping his Str.


Miledy gets shot, but that 55 HP goes a long way.

Whoah, I miscounted by one square. Phew. It would have been tricky to get Clarine over to her.

Whoo! Capped Mag! Lilina keeps up the heals.

Off the wyverns go to wait for the reinforcements.

Shin runs right into the Berserk druid room. I’m hoping he’ll Berserk Shin and then Shin can rampage safely through the room.

Why her? Why is she the targeted one? There are other people with lower Res or more Str.

Lalum gave the keys to Lugh and I broke down the wall.

Berserk is cured. This is the last one, I believe.

Out of ammo.

More treasure. This is useless since there are no good light magic wielders.

There’s no more Berserk, so it’s time to smash into the throne room.

More treasure.

Got the red gem!

Rutger and Dieck are heading to the top right and Clarine is running into the left section.

I’d like more Str, but Shin is doing well.

Nice, nice.

Lalum opens the door for Tate.

Tate recruits Yuno.

These people have just terrible priorities. She’d apparently rather Tate stayed fighting on the wrong side and died or let her country be destroyed than switch sides to save Ilia.

Just insane. Look the whole stated point of the policy of Ilian mercenaries never betraying their employers is so that people will trust Ilian mercenaries, and therefore hire them, and therefore the mercenaries can bring gold back for the good of Ilia. None of that matters a whit if Ilia is destroyed by Bern.

The noose is tightening around Roartz.

The merc reins begin. Zeiss is level 20, so I just give them all to Miledy.

Hugh is doing pretty well against the druid and scores a nice level up.

The thieves have at last reached the castle. Cath takes a lockpick from one.

With Lalum and Tate to help, she then kills it and gets a fairly useless level.

Dieck and Rutger are a bit behind schedule as they run to meet the first wave of fighters. Not a problem.

Rutger kills one and gets another lucky Def plus.

And on turn 13 battle is really joined up there.

Dieck continues the string of disappointing levels that has left him useless for all but ineffectively fighting weak reinforcements.

Hugh has gone to work on the tough boss and I continue to create opportunities for Lilina to use staves.

I’ve allowed the other thief to live to open the door for me since that’s most efficient. Everyone is ready for when he does. Meanwhile the civilians who’d been locked with Yuno flee.

A loooooong fight ensues.

Yuno has taken the silver card and will now go shopping. Lugh is going to back Dieck and Rutger up. Partly because I think they’re going to hit level 20 before the fighters run out.


They’re swimming upstream, bit by bit. I need to in order to finish on the minimum turn.

The lockpick is mine and I repeat the same procedure to give Cath the kill.

Nice. That’s what I like to see.

The shop has lots of magic, but little else. I am running a little short on Fire, so I picked a few of those up.

From bad to worse.

And even worse! At least she has the excuse of having capped some stuff.

Yuno visits the armory. I haven’t had a chance to buy iron weapons in forever, so I stock up. Swords especially have run short. I also buy a whoooole bunch of silver weapons.

Further upstream.

We continue breaking into rooms and plundering the castle we’re supposedly liberating. Sigune was right!

Cath is warped in, as planned. Shin shot that ballistician with his longbow several turns back.

So the whip is mine.

Nice! My sages never let me down. Except sometimes.

Yuno just kind of hangs around uselessly as the last few civilians escape.

More plunder. This is very handy. My only axereaver broke a long time ago and I’ve wanted another one ever since.

Cath finishes the weakened archer.

The boss has shrugged off everything so far. Let’s see how he likes Lilina.

Rutger is finished. He turned out to have AMAZING def but is fairly average for hard mode otherwise.

Dieck gets yet another single stat level. This one is good at least. He too is massively def blessed. In fact, he was luckier than Rutger overall. But he’s bad. I haven’t been able to bring him for like 10 chapters now. I just trained him on weak reinforcements like Dorothy or Sophia. Or Lott or something.

The three of them did pretty darned well, reaching level 20 at the right time and smashing quickly through the enemy.

I’m always healing with Lilina. Twice a turn usually.

Now THERE’S treasure. I have been nursing one longbow all game and even though I’ve dumped Sue and the archers, it will be very nice to have a backup.

And next turn I get the last chest.


Well I jinxed it by saying the sages never disappoint me.

So a complete victory on turn 19. Cath was left to freeze to death in that unreachable courtyard and never seen again.

Nope! No momentum! I smell a sidequest! They’re always at the absolute most inappropriate times. They should all be BEFORE the capital fights for better narrative structure.

And didn’t help! Why didn’t they help? Why did they stand by and watch us overrun their last line of defense? Why haven’t they destroyed the Divine Weapon in those ruins in the months and months they’ve held it? Is anything in this game ever going to make sense?

The saved peasants apparently find Guinevere before anyone else. Don’t we keep her under guard or something?

She explains that she did not, in fact, have anything at all to do with saving them.

They completely ignore her and hand her a priceless treasure. And that’s a wrap! Every treasure looted, all civilians saved, every possible rein defeated, I won 6 turns early, I trained some weak people (scoring 300 more XP than needed), and I stole EVERY treasure, including the one in the Warp room. Another perfect victory. And once again it was really boring. This chapter is pretty much the best this game has to offer, or close to it, and it’s just not fun.

Also, I relied a bit too much on luck early on for it to be very satisfying. I mean, I made a really sloppy mistake and left Tate in ballista range that one time, for example.

Total Restarts: 16 (None here)
Turn Surplus: +36 (Got a pretty sweet 6 here)
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; and Arcard using Oujay on chapter 17, turn 16. Forblaze slew the top right mamkute using Lugh on chapter 16, turn 6. Forblaze slew the left section hero using Lugh on chapter 20, turn 2. Forblaze slew the purge bishop using Lugh on chapter 20, turn 5.