The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light


Part 6: Surprise

Last time, we ran around the countryside wiping out the occupying Macedonians from southern Orleans. Now it's time to liberate the other half of the city-state.

We only get to bring 10 units along with us, and we have 12 classes represented, so two will sit out - Daros the Pirate and Julian the Thief. Our starting lineup:

As we start the chapter, we are treated to a conversation amongst people we've never met:

So some guy with a turban talking to some unnamed princess.

And here's why we could only bring 10 units with us - the chapter hands us an additional five at the start to represent this new group. They're isolated between the mountains and the river and can be rather vulnerable if you're not careful.

Biraku and Roshe are nothing to write home about, a couple of new Social Knights that we won't get to use. Biraku looks remarkably similar to Machis from last chapter; at least Roshe gets his own identity. They each come with an Iron Lance and an Iron Sword.

Zagaro and Wolf are the first Bow Knights we get to play with ourselves. Zagaro is apparently Gordon's long-lost twin, while Wolf is some kind of weird blue-haired cousin. Wolf has uncontested better base stats and better growths so we'll stick with him for at least this chapter. They both start off with a Steel Bow.

Hardin is our mysterious turban wearer. (He's actually the Orleans king's brother, and unrelated to the princess, who's really from some yet other country. Turban still a mystery.) He comes in a couple levels higher than our current Abel with base stats that are pretty similar, except for a few extra points of Power. His Weapon Level also starts off high enough to use that Silver Sword we picked up at the end of last chapter, but since we have Abel here with us Hardin isn't going to get to wield it.

Our regulars are huddled off to the southeast. First order of business will be to cross the river to the north and then once again fight off two groups of enemies.

There's a village, a shop, and a storage nearby. The northeast group of enemies is all Level 1 with Iron Lances for the cavalry and a Steel Bow for the Archer. The other unit is a new one:

It's Riff 20 levels from now! Wendel is a Priest, the promoted form of both Clerics and Magicians, and able to wield both Wands and Tomes. He's got decent speed but otherwise still pretty low stats due to being a pre-promote. Eventually we'll see what Marich looks like at the same stage.

There's a varied group of enemies to the northwest. The Thieves will head straight for the lone village but otherwise are harmless. The Cleric has a Live Wand but won't play much of a role. One of the Social Knights has a Javelin, the other Knights all have Iron Lances with the exception of this guy:

Merak is the third straight boss with identical features. With that 13 Defense sitting on a castle, he'll be a bit harder to take out. He's also wielding a Silver Lance on top of 7 Power so can dish out some punishment as well.

Turn 1:

To the southwest, Hardin and Zagaro give their weapons to Wolf, who advances cautiously. Biraku and Roshe move up behind, ready to drop their weapons and act as a shield if needed.

Meanwhile, our main group crosses the river and awaits the arrival of the first group of enemies.

One of the Social Knights reaches Navarre but misses; Navarre counters twice for 14 damage. Everyone else advances.

Turn 2:

We mostly stay put to the southwest, content to let the first wave of enemy troops head for our main army instead.

We have nine units with which to take down five, wanting to at least take out the Social Knights this turn, and hopefully the Archer and Pegasus Knight as well. Otherwise Sheeda will need to keep out of the Archer's range. (We only end up actually needing seven, as labeled above.)

Marth's Weapon Level is only 5 and he needs 9 to wield the Silver Sword so it'll be awhile before he can use it. He gives it to Sheeda instead.

Gordon barely finishes off the first Social Knight.

Doga uses his Knight Killer to good effect on the next Social Knight. Kashim follows up and misses on the first shot but connects with the second to finish him off and gain a level:

Well, I guess if you're only going to gain one stat then Power is a good one, particularly for a bow-user.

Barts moves up to soften up the last Social Knight for Marich, but with that massive critical he doesn't need any help.

Navarre and Abel team up to take out the Archer.

Sheeda knocks off half of the Pegasus Knight's HP with the first attack, dodges its counter, and then finishes it off with the second attack for a level:

Yup, that's a Pegasus Knight level all right. Still crossing my fingers for some Power soon.

Marich is left without any targets in range so both he and Rena quietly advance. The only enemy left here is Wendel, who could get in a free 12 damage with that Thunder Tome and a 14 Speed, but isn't actually interested in attacking us.

On the enemy phase, one of the Thieves heads south to attack Zagaro for 10 damage. Another crosses the river in a head-on charge, while the third tries to sneak around to the north. The two Archers take up position on the bridge, and the Armor Knight sits in the middle for no good reason.

Turn 3:

Wolf moves over and takes off just under half the Thief's HP. Hardin, weaponless, moves up to act as a meat shield - the Thief can only do 1 damage a turn to him.

Wendel has ignored the rest of our army to make a beeline for Marth, who is deaf to Wendel's pleas and heads instead straight for the village. The others will continue to press forward.

Gordon takes a shot at the Thief for 7 damage.

Marich puts on a flashy show but the Thief somehow dodges the icicle storm.

Abel leaves the Thief with 1 HP and takes 4 damage on the double-counter.

Kashim puts an end to this nonsense. Last turn I took out five enemies with seven units; this turn it took me four units just to take out one Thief. Just goes to show that Speed is king - I could double-attack every enemy last turn, but none of the four attackers here could double-attack that Thief.

Doga moves up to clog the bridge but can't get in a hit on the Archer. (Made a mistake here but it won't cost me anything but time.)

Barts and Rena move up behind the southern bridge, while Navarre and Sheeda block off the northern bridge.

The northern Thief moves up and does 3 damage to Navarre, taking 14 in return. The southern Thief scratches at Hardin.

The trailing Archer makes a futile attack on Doga.

The Armor Knight starts moving up again as well.

Turn 4:

Wolf takes another shot at the southern Thief, who's left with 1 HP.

Wendel's still chasing after Marth, who continues to ignore him and instead heads into the village:

Uh, hi.

Not really, been to lots of villages now!

for the first time!

into a gigantic dragon! I almost wet my pants!

Wait, what?

(They're not. )

rare. Why don't you take it?

Don't mind if I do.

The villager gives us a Fire Stone. We'll find a use for it soon enough. Probably when we find one of these Mamkutes.

Doga switches to the Iron Sword this time (should've done that last turn) so he can get in two attacks, doing a total of 14 damage to the Archer.

Gordon finishes it off with a needless critical.

Barts switches to the Iron Axe so that he can double-attack as well, wiping out the other Archer for a level:

Not up to Barts's usual standards but glad for the Speed.

Sheeda switches to the Iron Sword since we only need a light hit, and takes out the Thief.

With no other enemies in range, Marich puts himself out there and shows off Excalibur, destroying the Armor Knight.

Navarre heads over to the Armory and picks up a Steel Sword.

The others cross the bridge. Rena tops off Abel who heads out to draw out the remaining Social Knights:

One launches a Javelin at Abel for 6 damage. The other runs up and uses his Iron Lance for 6 damage, taking 14 in return on Abel's double-counter.

Wendel also finally reaches Marth and recruits himself:

Durhua's like the chief bad-guy country, and if they've taken over the magic city (Marich mentioned he trained there last chapter, too) you can bet we'll be there sooner or later.

The last Thief decides scratching Hardin isn't worth it and stares at Abel, too afraid to actually attack. The enemy Cleric, sensing a damaged ally, moves up but can't reach the injured Social Knight or Thief. Only the two Armor Knights (including the boss, Merak) and the Pegagus Knight are still hanging back.

Turn 5:

We'll take out the Thief, the Social Knights, and the Cleric here and then bait out the Armor Knight and the Pegasus Knight.

Wolf isn't about to let that Thief get away after all that effort.

Kashim finishes off the wounded Social Knight.

Barts takes out the remaining Social Knight.

Marich moves all the way up to the front, sticks to Excalibur for another round and kills the Cleric. He's now in position to draw out only the Armor Knight (Merak won't move from the castle, fortunately). We've also advanced far enough that the Pegasus Knight will charge us next turn.

Abel retreates for some healing while everyone else moves up.

Wendel actually has both a Thunder Tome and a MShield Wand, which boosts a unit's Resist by 7 for one turn, 6 the next turn, 5 the next turn, etc., until it wears off. One of only two ways to protect from magic in this game. Wendel won't be using either so he moves up to either drop them off in Storage or drop them off with Marich/Rena if he can catch them.

The Armor Knight misses Marich, who counter-kills him in return for a level:

Marich performs better with Speed and Luck but Skill is actually a pretty rare gain for him (30%), it just doesn't do him a lot of good. Marich also got a Door Key from the dead Armor Knight (it allows any unit to open a door, go figure).

The Pegasus Knight moves up and is now in range to attack our army, but still hiding behind the mountains so that we can't easily reach her.

Turns 6-10:

The Pegasus Knight is in range of Kashim, who has a triple-effective weapon at his disposal. But first, Wolf moves up to drop off the extra Steel Bow with Kashim. Marich is going to test out the boss.

Easy. Kashim also gains a level:

He isn't exactly blowing me away with the levels but Power and Speed this chapter is about as useful as you can get for him.

Marich shows off the magic advantage and blows away Merak with ease, picking up his Silver Lance.

The next few turns are spent stocking up at the Armory and dropping off extra supplies at the Storage. Wendel drops off the Thunder Tome and the MShield Wand, and Marth drops off the Fire Stone. Biraku and Roshe drop off their Iron Swords and Lances as well. Marich gives the Silver Lance to Abel and dumps the Door Key into the Storage, picking up the Thunder Tome. Wolf goes to the Armory and picks up a Bowgun for himself and one for Kashim. I also run Marth and Hardin into each other but there's no conversation there; maybe once we seize the castle and end the chapter.

There's a few houses on the map that I haven't hit up yet, so I get those out of the way too:

Only thieves can open them.

Not entirely true but good enough for now.

You should go there to buy some!

I don't have a whole lot of control over that, but I'll keep it in mind.

I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about madam. Now if you'll excuse me...

Turn 11:

We're finally ready to seize the castle...

That's right - an enemy Social Knight popped out of the fort and then moved down to attack Navarre on the same turn. Reinforcements are a common occurrence in the Fire Emblem series, but most of the later games have made them unable to move on the same turn that they appear. In this game, you basically always have to be careful of the suspicious forts because at any time an enemy could surprise you and strike a weak point. The upside in this game is that reinforcments can only appear at forts, so you at least have some idea of where you might get hit, and you can block the reinforcements by sitting one of your own units on the fort as well.

Of course, in this case the rest of the map is clear and we can turn the re-appearing Social Knights into an Exp grinder. There will be one Social Knight popping out of that fort each turn for six turns. The northwest fort will also start spewing out Pegasus Knights armed with Javelins next turn for four turns, so we park Gordon on the fort nearby. From there, the incoming Pegasus Knights will just be able to strike Gordon with a Javelin, but will suffer a deadly counter-attack in exchange.

Turns 12+:

Navarre counter-attacks each Social Knight as it comes in, with Rena healing him up as needed. Wolf finishes off each Social Knight the following turn, unless Navarre crits on his counter-attack and leaves nothing behind to clean up. When Wolf misses, Doga and Sheeda are there to help out as well.

Gordon can easily survive two hits from a Pegasus Knight armed with a Javelin, and has the fort to heal him up each turn, and a Vulnerary as backup. He takes off most of the Pegasus Knights' HP on the counter-attack, and then finishes them off the next turn.

It's hard to really grind up bow-users so this is a great opportunity to feed both Gordon and Wolf some valuable Exp.

Navarre ends up getting a level while acting as the decoy for the Social Knights:

Another great level for Navarre.

Wolf also ends up with a level as the executioner:

It could be worse, it could've been the two levels that Gordon got:

More Speed is nice but I'm more hoping we get to recruit a different Archer soon.

The reinforcements eventually run out and Marth finally seizes the castle (he can actually seize either square):


Yea so I guess we freed the King of Orleans or something. And the princess that was with Hardin was Princess Nina, homeland to be determined. And we've got still more to do before Orleans is fully freed, as there are more enemies holed up inside the castle for next chapter.

New Characters

Biraku - Social Knight

Biraku shares the same portrait as Machis and is even more of a throwaway unit. Of the three Social Knights you get this chapter, he's easily the least usable.

Growth Rates:

Roshe - Social Knight

Roshe isn't quite as worthless as Biraku, but he's still inferior to Abel or Kain or even Hardin, and that 10% Speed growth is unforgiveable.

Growth Rates:

Hardin - Social Knight

Hardin is a decent alternative to Abel or Kain, and in a normal run could be used in conjunction with those two, but here we can only pick one and his bases are a bit low for the level at which he joins and his growth rates are just a touch lower.

Growth Rates:

Zagaro - Horseman (Bow Knight)

Zagaro joins at a lower level and with lower base stats and overall lower growths than Wolf. With both low Power and disgustingly low Speed growths, he's an even more useless bow-user than Gordon.

Growth Rates:

Wolf - Horseman (Bow Knight)

Wolf is very similar to Kashim, in that he has better base stats and growths than Gordon so will make a better bow-user short-term, but will eventually suffer from his inability to promote. A low Skill growth will hurt his accuracy long-term as well.

Growth Rates:

Wendel - Priest

Wendel sits right between Clerics and Magicians in terms of his stats, fitting since his class is the promotion for both. He starts off with decent Speed and Defense and enough Weapon Level to use any Wand or Tome from the start, but still, a Marich brought all the way to Level 20 before promoting will likely end up better overall, particularly in Luck. Wendel will do in a pinch as a healer that can defend himself, particularly if you've already lost Rena.

Growth Rates:

New Weapons:

MShield Wand - An interesting Wand, it boosts an ally's Resist stat by 7, with the effect decreasing by 1 each following turn. It's the only reliable way to protect against magic, but there often isn't much need for it either.

And an update on our current roster, with the active units in bold. (Full stats in this post.) If you want to make a change, propose a recall motion and, if seconded, we'll have a recall vote. If that's successful, we'll vote on a replacement. (Only applies if there is a replacement, of course.) Abel isn't really shining so far but Hardin is only really a bit better in Power and worse in Skill and Speed. Wolf is hands-down better than Zagaro so I'd recommend sticking with him as well for now.

Lord: Marth
Pegasus Knight: Sheeda
Social Knight: Abel, Kain, Machis, Hardin, Biraku, Roshe, Jeigan [Paladin]
Armor Knight: Doga
Archer: Gordon
Cleric: Rena, Riff, Wendel [Priest]
Mercenary: Navarre, Oguma
Fighter: Barts, Maji, Saji
Hunter: Kashim
Pirate: Daros
Thief: Julian
Magician: Marich, Wendel [Priest]
Bow Knight: Wolf, Zagaro

We get 14 units for next chapter, more than we need. You can make suggestions for who the extra one should be if you like.

Next time: Our first indoor map as we storm the castle of Orleans!

(Try to guess the problem with this map; we'll be starting at the southeast corner.)