The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light


Part 12: Slavers

We continue our random tour through the world doing various good deeds in no particular order. This time, someone told us that a famous mage was being sold by slavers, so let's go rescue her while simultaneously wiping out another division of the Grunian army just because.

We will start in the southwest, make our way through the mountains to wipe out the slavers in the southeast, then loop around to the north and eliminate another group of Grunians just because they happen to be in the area.

Banutu replaces Julian in the starting lineup. Zagaro comes along as our "good luck charm".

Pales castle lies beyond this hill.

How many treasures and trapped allies are inside...

Marth's arrived at one of his destinations.

So apparently our advisor guy isn't cool enough to introduce the chapters anymore. Also, it seems that the tip on the local slavers has coincidentally brought us to Nina's kingdom. Might as well go 'liberate' them as well while we're here.

These Mercenaries are the slavers, and they're all Level 3 with Steel Swords (except for one who is inexplicably Level 1 with an Iron Sword). In other words, no threat at all. They do have a base 4% crit rate, the highest so far for non-bosses, but their Power is so low (5) that even with a crit they won't do much damage to our better units.

The Arena here is also a nice place to grind since it's near the beginning of the chapter, if you're into that sort of thing.

We have some new enemies guarding the castle. In later Fire Emblem games, ballistae are separate, usually static items that other units (typically Archers or the like) can use to get in some high-powered, high-range shots. However here the ballista (Shooter) is a class all by itself. They can move, though not well - 4 Move and heavy penalties in any kind of rough terrain. Their weapons (Catapults) have the same fixed 2 range as Bows, though they're heavier and more powerful.

Shooters also have a couple gimmicks. They start off with a Defense that is crazy high for this stage of the game, but their low Speed coupled with very high weapon Weight means they'll pretty much always have a 0 Attack Speed. Basically, they're like defensive archer walls, which is oddly appropriate for what is supposed to be a defensive siege weapon. Also Weapon Level is meaningless for Shooters since they all start with a high enough base to use every Catapult in the game.

One of the Shooters on the castle comes with a unique name and portrait but very un-boss-like stats. Curious...

The Mamkute is nothing special, but he also has a name and portrait.

Also there's a convenient ring of forts around the castle, but they're harmless - there's actually no reinforcements this chapter.

Turn 1:

First order of business...

Navarre gets a massive Luck boost from the Goddess Statue (+7). Luck is a bit of an under-used stat in this game, but Navarre does gain 3.5% critical hit chance and 7% magic evade.

Barts bumps up his Speed to near the cap with the Speed Ring (+6). Even wielding heavy Axes, he'll be able to double attack most units for the rest of the game now, and gains an extra 6% physical evade as well.

You guys voted to rush Navarre up to Level 20 before promoting him, so Rena warps him into the middle of the slaver camp. Mostly I just wanted to see what would happen with 7 enemy Mercenaries ganging up on him.

The first one connects. If 5 of the 6 Steel Sword-equipped Mercenaries land hits on Navarre, he's done - they do 6 damage each and he started with 30 HP. They all have a 77% hit rate, so statistically speaking it's almost a coin flip as to whether or not he'll live (I'll let someone else do the fancy math on that one). Dodge-tanking isn't really feasible in this game, since the max base evade a unit can have is 20%, and that's with no weapon equipped (terrain adds up to 30% more though, I probably should've parked Navarre on a tree).

The Mercenary with the Iron Sword also hits, but his 2 damage doesn't matter.

One dodge down, just need one more.

Two more hits. Two to go.

Another hit. Navarre's down to 4 HP with one enemy left chomping at the bit.

Navarre comes through with a dodge on his last chance! He also counter-killed all but one enemy and gets two levels out of it:

I have a feeling I know who's going to get the Defense-boosting item whenever we find one.

Well, that trivialized the first half of the chapter in one turn.

Turn 2:

A couple Pegasus Knights armed with Javelins are headed for us but they're not much of a threat.

We send out a few units with 1-2 range weapons equipped, plus Doga and Banutu who each have a Defense too high for the enemy Pegasus Knights to overcome. Gordon and Wolf hang back just in the closer Pegasus Knight's Javelin range. With this setup, anyone that the Pegasus Knights attack will either take no damage or be able to counterattack.

Both of the Pegasus Knights decide that attacking Doga for no damage is better than taking a counterattack.

The northern enemies are advancing. That Thief will eventually try to destroy the village but we're already there so he won't be a problem.

Turn 3:

Wolf and Gordon take out the Pegasus Knights and each get a level:

If even these two are getting decent levels I must be doing something right.

The Armory doesn't have anything new, but the Shop has some replacement Wands and Tomes.

Through the magic of save states, Sheeda vists all six houses this turn:

Slavers are gone now, but there weren't really any particularly rare items here.

One shouldn't fight constantly.

There's no war after we pass through because everyone's already dead.

The bow of fire, Partia. The rock piercing lance, Gradius and the legendary sword Miracle.

Gee, wonder if we'll get our hands on any of these any time soon.

If you see him, tell him Anna's worried about him.

But he'll probably only talk to girls.

So it looks like we can recruit the "boss", Jake, and get our own Shooter to play with soon. Judging by past experience, I'm guessing that the lady recruiter will be Sheeda rather than Minerva or one of our Clerics.

Side note: Anna here has the same portrait as the girl who asks me to save the game between each chapter.

Navarre and Sheeda head back to join the rest of the army. Something's missing, though...

What pleasant mountain scenery here, perfect for a little stroll through the woods. I wonder where the rest of the army went?

Oh god no a brigand out here in the fields! And I am but a helpless traveler trying to relax in the countryside... my own kind....

...Let's never speak of that again.

Turn 4:

Sheeda hides in the mountains, while Navarre rests on the fort with Rena patching him up from a distance.

The Thief scratches Navarre but gets killed for the trouble.

The Bow Knight follows up with another scratch, but he's fine.

Turn 5:

Those Social Knights are going to be a hassle soon.

Navarre first eliminates the Bow Knight.

He's had a great run on Luck since getting that Goddess Statue, gaining three times in a row on a 40% growth. He'll easily cap it later.

Hardin takes out one Social Knight, Sheeda cripples another.

The slower foot units are still sucking wind.

The wounded Social Knight retreats, while the other tosses a Javelin at Marth for 4 damage.

Turn 6:

It's time...

Flashy. But what's the real effect?

Not exactly the eye-popping fixed promotion bonus that a lot of classes get in later games, but if a unit is struggling in a particular area the promotion will at least catch them up to the base stats of the promoted class. In this case, the Hero's base Defense is 8, so Navarre gets the +1 boost there. (He's obviously way ahead in everything else.)

That said, Navarre's great stat line here really illustrates how bad most (if not all) pre-promoted units are.

Sheeda finishes off the wounded Social Knight with the Thunder Sword, getting his Javelin and a level:

This is a better level than it seems, since she's already capped Speed and her promotion would give her more Power and Defense than she'd ever gain normally anyway.

Marth heads down towards the village, and Marich takes a shot at the last Social Knight while headed to the Shop for some more Tomes. He does 12 damage but takes 21 in return on a critical hit.

Hardin easily finishes it off.

All we have left are a few Shooters (one of which we can recruit), a Sniper, and a Mamkute. Piece of cake.

Turn 7:

Marth visits the village:

Sweet, cheap slaves for sale!

All these children....You're terrible!

If you value your life get out of here!

Go Marth!

The Aritian army? HELP ME!

Yes, that really is in all caps. Slaver guy apparently takes off.

You must be tired but you can return home now.

...Why don't you leave?

I have nowhere to go...

You're a girl? Why are you wearing boy clothing?

I'm Miroa's daughter Linda. I disguised as a boy to flree from Garnef, but was caught by them.

Garnef again.

I see. Princess Nina was worried about you.

From now on, you will travel with us. You will be safe now.

No! I will fight. I have the Aura tome of my father.

I would like to avenge my father by defeating Garnef by myself!

Alas, that will be up to the whimsy of the thread.

Linda's our second Magician. She has higher Skill, Speed, and Luck than Marich did when he joined (and higher growths in each as well), with just one less Defense and a slightly smaller HP growth. She also comes with the Aura Tome, which only she can use and which is tied for the strongest weapon in the game with a whopping 20 Might, but only 25 Durability and a relatively high 7 Weight. Overall, she's a much better Magician long-term than Marich. Of course, she's already 11 levels behind, so it's a matter of how much effort it'd be worth to catch her up.

Sheeda could've attacked the Shooter, but then she'd be in range of the Sniper. Instead we poise ourselves to pounce next turn.

Turn 8:

The Shooter guarding the chokepoint here has a Thunder Catapult, which has "only" 10 Might but is effective against other Shooters. Basically, it's here as an easy introduction to fighting the new class.

Getting through the Shooter's 15 Defense isn't easy, but Hardin with a Silver Sword puts a good-sized dent in him.

Sheeda finishes up with a timely critical with the Thunder Sword.

Hardin's beefy enough to survive two criticals from that Sniper, if it's necessary.

It isn't.

Turn 9:

Hardin softens up the Sniper, and Wolf gets the kill.

The last three enemies are a bit tougher to deal with. Shozen (the Mamkute boss) will have an 18 Attack and an 18 Defense with that Fire Dragonstone. Jake can be recruited with Sheeda, but he has a Quick Catapult that is effective against fliers so she has to approach carefully. The other Shooter has a Stone Catapult, which has a 15 Might (but only 50% Hit Rate).

Turn 10:

Hardin and Navarre are going to draw out Shozen while the rest prepare to swarm the following turn.

Navarre takes a nasty hit but gets in a good counterattack for 14 damage.

Turn 11:

Hardin finishes off the boss and gets a great level in return. He also gets a Power Ring, which gives a unit +4 to Power - not as strong as the other stat-boosters but still pretty Power-ful!

If we were to let Jake attack us, he'd have something to say:

So just in case you didn't visit Anna, you'd still get a pretty clear hint on how to recruit him.

Instead, Sheeda flies up to him and does her thing:


Yeah, that would be about my reaction to an enemy Pegasus Knight flying up to me in the middle of battle, mysteriously knowing who I am, and then just chatting me up.

Who are you? It's dangerous to be here.

People said there are kind people in the Grunian Army. You know Anna?

Huh, did Anna say something about me?

If you fight for your country, she'll stay with you.


I dislike doing this to people of other countries.

For Anna and your sake I'll help you out.

Keep in mind that entire conversation takes place the exact same way regardless of whether we visited the house and met Anna or not. Sheeda's just got magic plot knowledge.

Anyway we now have our own Shooter:

Jake's not much of a looker. His Defense is through the roof but he's even slower and less mobile than Doga (and that's saying a lot). He actually has higher overall growths than Doga, even, but still - 4 Move. Unfortunately he's the only unit in the new class that we have (for now) so we're semi-stuck with him for awhile. He does come with the Quick Catapult, which in effect is a stronger, more accurate Silver Bow (complete with effectiveness against fliers, as mentioned earlier).

Anyway, just one Shooter left. He's got 20 Attack but 0 Attack Speed so won't be a lethal threat to anyone this turn.

Navarre dodges - he would've survived anyway with 2 HP left.

Turn 12:

Navarre softens up the last enemy...

And Sheeda (barely) finishes it off for another level:

I said this level was less terrible than it looked last time, and I'm sticking with that story. Besides, it's been great levels all-around this chapter. (I hope Artix wasn't recording last night... )

Also, Sheeda hits 15% base critical rate. So she can more easily do triple her tiny damage.

Some inventory shuffling aside, that's the end of the chapter, so Marth eventually seizes the castle:

It's Pales! At last, I'm home.

But I'm sure inside many are imprisoned. We must free them.

I understand. We'll free those prisoners.

Yay, yet more rescuing random people next chapter. Though if any of them are as good as Linda it'll be worth it. (They aren't.)

New Characters

Linda - Magician

Linda is awesome. She has the 2nd-highest growth rates on our current roster, behind only Sheeda. (And if you take out Power and Weapon Level, which Linda doesn't need, she's actually tied.) Given time, she'll wipe the floor with Marich, but since she starts at Level 1 she needs some help catching up. The crazy overpowered Aura Tome that she comes with definitely counts as 'help'.

Growth Rates:

Jake - Shooter

Jake can be useful with high Attack and Defense, but will generally have the same problem as Doga - his low Movement makes it tough for him to actually get to the fighting.

Growth Rates:

New Weapons:

Aura Tome - Linda's unique Tome, it's high-octane offense but with limited uses.

Quick Catapult - Basically a giant bow for Shooters, with effective damage against flying units.

Stone Catapult - A strong, durable, and highly inaccurate weapon for Shooters. Every other Catapult is better than this one unless you really need to gamble on that big hit.

Thunder Catapult - The weakest Catapult, but effective against other Shooters and a good way to overcome their high Defense.

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 and vote on a replacement. (Only applies if there is a replacement, of course.) I would highly recommend replacing Marich with Linda now while she still has time to catch up - Marich isn't doing particularly well or poorly, but Linda is just that good.

Lord: Marth
Pegasus Knight: Sheeda, Minerva [Dragon Knight]
Social Knight: Hardin, Abel, Kain, Machis, Biraku, Roshe, Jeigan [Paladin]
Armor Knight: Doga, Roger
Archer: Gordon, George [Sniper]
Cleric: Rena, Riff, Maria
Mercenary: Navarre, Oguma, Caesar, Raddy
Fighter: Barts, Maji, Saji
Hunter: Kashim
Pirate: Daros
Thief: Julian, Ricardo
Magician: Marich, Wendel [Priest], Linda
Bow Knight: Wolf, Zagaro
Mamkute: Banutu
Shooter: Jake

I need three votes this time around:

1) We keep gaining more and more units, and we need a new good luck charm so vote for your favorite bench-warmer.

2) We need room on the deployment list to rescue a bunch of prisoners, so we only get to bring 10 other units with us. Marth, the Cleric, and the Thief are all required, so of the 12 remaining classes, pick five classes to leave behind for next chapter.

3) We got a Power Ring! It gives +4 Power which can be a game-changer for a lot of units. I'm going to veto Sheeda since we'd have to wait until she could promote, because she'll get bumped up to 9 Power anyway at that time. Navarre's already close to capping Power so he's out, too. Hardin probably won't need it. Clerics and Magicians obviously have no use for Power. Everyone else could benefit greatly from it, whether it's making someone like Marth or Barts even more over-powered, making someone marginal like Wolf or Gordon into a super-killer, or rescuing a hopeless unit like Daros. (Please don't vote for Daros. Seriously, he irredeemably sucks anyway.)

Next time:

Slowly liberating Pales Castle and looting tons of treasure.