The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light


Part 22: Grunia

It's the final showdown with the Black Knights of Grunia.

I'm sure you know how useless this is.

Mainly because we're going to stomp all over them and they have no chance anyway.

Nina also wishes to see you.

You'll be forgiven if you've forgotten by now, but at the end of the last chapter Nina gave us an info dump on how nice Camus was to her - protecting her from Mediuth and eventually setting her free in Orleans.

Please lay down your weapon.

Prince Marth.... It's too late. Grunia joined forces with Durhua.

I'm a proud knight of Grunia and I made a vow to fight till the end.

Come and fight me to avenge your father.

Camus, wait! I can't stand to see you fight Prince Marth. Please...lend, lend me your strength.

Sorry.... If I could, I would do that. But I can't abandon my homeland as it's being destroyed.

I don't know that we're really destroying the place, exactly, but I guess that's perspective for you.

Princess Nina, goodbye. Please find happiness.

Camus starts an archetype that reappears in nearly every subsequent game - the honorable enemy leader who looks and acts like every other recruitable enemy, but stays loyal to the other side to the very end. He's the boss of this chapter, so we'll need to remove him to complete it.

Come to think of it, he looks kind of familiar....

That was back in Chapter 14, showing up at a village in Gra to randomly give us a Torron Tome for and tell us to protect Nina. Right....

Turn 1:

Okay, I admit that given the large open area to the south, I did not expect to be starting over here. Will probably force us to divide our army a bit to clear out both of the large enemy forces.

The enemies have really stepped up their game in this chapter. Lots of promoted units and silver weaponry floating around. Fortunately for us (and not so fortunately for the difficulty curve), promoted enemies are the same as pre-promotes, so it's a lot like we're fighting a lot of Jeigans.

Okay, the enemies aren't quite as bad as Jeigan, but you get my point. We have several units already with multiple maxed stats. 10 Power with 13 Speed and 11 Defense isn't exactly intimidating here.

This General has a name, surely that means something.

This Thief is going to make a beeline for the village in the southwest, and packs a Devil Sword to punish you for not paying attention.

Camus guards the castle and holds the last of the royal weapons, Gradius. Camus will make short work of our weaker units, but we have several god-units at this point so he won't be much trouble. Just note that he pairs a 34 Attack with 17 Speed, and his 15 Defense combined with 40 HP make him tough to kill in one turn.

We spend the first turn cautiously advancing. We have a few units here to train and a few others that really don't need any Exp. Chiki, Est, and Linda will be doing most of the work here. To that point, Rena warps Linda across the river, where she promptly uses the power of Infinite Aura to wipe out the biggest threat in the area, the Silver Sword General.

Also, she picks up this rather pedestrian level.

You may have noticed an extra Pegasus Knight and Mamkute with us. Sheeda is here to give us the Devil Sword we left on her however many chapters ago, and possibly do a feather dance for some enemy. Banutu is keeping Chiki company, though he lost his Fire Dragonstone so he'll die if anyone here looks at him funny (18 HP, 3 Defense). Wolf, Barts, and Daros all got left behind.

I've got Est in position to counter-kill every Paladin in the southern force, and they take the bait marvelously. Even with Silver Lances, they can only get 8 damage through her 14 Defense. If all four had hit, they could've killed her, but she dodged twice - their hit rate was only ~65%, good odds early in the chapter.

Est doesn't disappoint with a pair of levels here.

Linda also counter-kills both the General and the Shooter left near her. Critical Aura is always nice, too.

This level's a bit better.

One turn in, seven enemies dead. Also, the Thief headed east, so we won't need to worry about the village.

Turn 2:

Linda is actually in a bit of trouble here. Aura is pretty heavy, and those Paladins are fast and wielding light Silver Swords, so they'll double-attack her for 24 damage given half a chance. Instead, Linda switches to Torron (4 less Weight). She won't counter-kill them, but she'll at least survive two hits.

Est takes out one of the Shooters, and will be able to take a hit from the other one.

She gets another great level. Est is about on par with Navarre now, much less HP but much more Defense.

Marth gets the Speed Ring from last chapter, maxing out. He's turned into quite the nice little Lord.

Likewise, Roger gets the Angel Robe to increase his invincibility quotient. Roger's gotten five stat boosters now, because by God, we're going to make an Armor Knight good or die trying!

Most of this moving around is superfluous, since Est and Linda with a side of Chiki will be handling the bulk of the chapter.

On the enemy phase, the Paladin that Linda wounded retreats to a fort, another one attacks Linda but misses, and a third for some reason starts trying to cross the mountains, along with the Thief. The Shooter takes a shot at Est but also misses. Also neither Cleric heal up the injured Paladins, despite both having Reserve Wands. NES AI for you.

Turn 3:

Time to clean up a bit. Chiki is actually tough to level here, since everyone except the Clerics and the Thief have 13+ Defense and she can manage only 15 Attack. But her Defense is high enough that we can afford to just have her peck at enemies.

Est starts out by eliminating the Shooter, clearing out the southern front.

Linda isn't about to allow any enemies to retreat.

Defense! Linda gets a little more awesome.

I swear, Chiki actually has the potential to be awesome. A lot is going to depend on how that 50% Power growth turns out.

Rena warps Jake to the front line, but Jake isn't up to the task.

Julian will probably draw the ire of the 1 HP Paladin, but he can take one hit and get the kill.

Instead, the Paladin went back to the fort and try to heal, learning nothing from the last guy to try that. One of the Clerics did use his Reserve Wand this time, though.

Turn 4:

Est isn't fooled by this Paladin trying to sneak through the mountains.

She gets his Silver Sword, but an empty level.

Linda gets out of the way to give Julian a shot at the Paladin, but he misses his second attack.

The Paladin only has 3 HP left, but Chiki can't even manage that much. Instead Jake gets another shot at it.

This time, it works.

Meanwhile, Sheeda, who's been hanging out in the mountains the last few turns, flies over to have a chat with the enemy General.

That's right, Lawrence's portrait is just a re-color of Jiol and several other enemies.

You were against the alliance between Durhua and Grunia. Why didn't you stop it?

The king of Grunia is weak and was frightened by Durhua's might.

This actually explains a fair bit.

Durhua's trying to conquer all humans using their Mamkutes. For Grunia and all the humans in the world we must crush Durhua's ambitions. Please, General, join us.

Although I was ordered to fight you, I'll not follow that order. It's hard, but I'll follow you without regret.

Lawrence is a fair bit more reasonable than Camus.

He would also be a pretty good alternative to our Armor Knights, if we hadn't already pumped so many stat boosters into Roger. Lawrence's bases are almost as strong as Roger's level 20 averages, and he's got better growths than any of the Armor Knights. There's also an arena conveniently located in this chapter to catch him up to the rest of the crew.

Alas, we have fed Roger a bunch of stat boosters, and as a result he's pretty great now on his own, and doesn't need any training. Moving on.

Unnoticed, Marth reaches the lone village.

Uh, fine?

I'd like you to give her this family heirloom.

Keep in mind this scene plays out regardless of whether or not Rena is still alive.

It's the Hammerne Wand.

Oh fuck yes.

You can repair weapons with it, but not all weapons will work.

Between this and the Star Orb, we can go hog-wild with our ultimate weapons now. It's also the reason we've been carrying Rena along all this time (well, that and the whole healing thing). The Hammerne Wand is locked to Rena, but it has 12 uses, which is major overkill. And as far as I can tell, it works on anything you'd want it to.

Now, if you're paying attention, you might have immediately noticed the possible game-breaking combination in play here. That is, give Rena the Star Orb and let her repair everyone's weapons with an infinite-use Hammerne. IntSys actually saw this one coming the first time around, though - Wands act as items rather than weapons, so the Star Orb doesn't do anything for them.

Regardless, we'll be making good use of this in the endgame.

Our reserves will be waiting out the remainder of the chapter in town.

The enemy units kind of froze in a panic or something on their phase - none of them moved.

Turn 5:

Est is in the neighborhood, so she takes care of the Thief.

She takes care of him real good.

Know of any units who have high Luck, could use some extra damage-dealing ability, and doesn't have access to higher level weapons?

Not much left of Grunia now.

Turn 6:

Oh hell yes. The Devil Sword has 9 more Might than the Kill Sword, and Julian's 17 Luck gives him just a 4% chance of damaging himself with it.

These Shooters are actually a bit of a threat, each sporting Elephant Catapults (more like cannons, really) for 27 Attack, so Linda and Est take them out. Only threats left are a Silver Sword General and Camus himself.

Oh, crap. The Shooter has 18 Defense, and Est can't actually kill it in one turn. If the Shooter and General both go after Linda, she's dead - but since she can counterattack, the Shooter will probably try for Est instead, and she can survive both of them.

The General moves first. Linda counter-kills him but is left with just 11 HP - not enough to survive an attack from the Shooter.

Fortunately, the Shooter decided to try and retreat since it was so badly injured.

Linda did get this level from the General.

Turn 7:

Est finishes what she started.

Fuck, another empty level. You'd think she could at least grab some Luck or HP.

Linda takes out one Cleric. Chiki chews on the other for just 9 damage - she'll keep working it over for a few turns.

Banutu's enjoying a little vacation by the mountain lake.

Suddenly, Armor Knights appear!

Wait, really? We've been blowing away Paladins and Generals all chapter, and you send a couple of Armor Knights as reinforcements? Grunia must really be on its last legs.

Turn 8:

Linda gets to start on Camus from a safe distance.

Wait, what? You can't do that...

Owwww.... So, turns out the Gradius is actually a Super-Javelin, able to attack from 1 or 2 tiles away. Good thing Linda's a tank (and she was fully healed).

If we let Camus attack us for some reason, this is what he says. Cocky little fellow.

Est has more than enough firepower to put this one away.

Camus is the first enemy with a death quote, though the translators fucked it up a bit.

Oh fuck yes. Gradius is the only lance worth using.

Well, at least it wasn't empty.

Meanwhile, the Cleric healed himself, so Chiki takes another bite.

Roger's a bit lacking in Power, so he gets the mighty Gradius for himself. I figure if I put it up to a vote you'd all give it to him anyway.

Turn 9:

Banutu's gonna hold that chokepoint like a champ.

Err...maybe not.

Turns 10+:

More reinforcements, but nothing special. There will be a couple more at the end of this turn, but that's it.

We haven't been able to buy axes since Chapter 7, and this is the last chance for the rest of the game. Only Barts and Daros can use them, but might as well stock up a bit.

Chiki finally gets a level by finishing off the Cleric, and it was worth waiting for.

Est gets to work on the main body of reinforcements.

Chiki gets a new plaything up north.

And even Julian gets to break out his new toy.

The Arena here is the last one in the game, and the Star Orb means we can send in whoever we want with the strongest possible weapons.

First, Linda catches up to Est:

Skill and Speed capped, just rolling for Defense now.

But that's not all - we have one more under-leveled unit who's actually a perfect fit for the Arena. And it's not Chiki - Mamkutes aren't allowed there.

Damn straight. We got an Elephant Catapult off the last Shooter, and Jake's going to make good use of it (while holding the Star Orb, of course). That Archer there can't even damage him.

That's...actually not bad. He turned out 1 ahead in Power and 3 ahead in Defense - and 19 Defense is way ahead of any other unit we have. Unfortunately he's never going to double-attack anyone so his offensive usefulness is pretty nil, even with 30 Attack.

It's okay.... Because of me you've suffered. I should apologize. As soon as I gave you the emblem, I knew this would happen. If the Fire Emblem restores the royal family, they'll lose whom she loves. That's the sad legend of the Fire Emblem.

Uhh, the translation is slipping a bit here. Basically - the Fire Emblem is cursed, and restoring the royal family also causes them (in this case, Nina) to lose the one they love (Camus). I don't think this theme ever really comes up in the rest of the series, though the DS remake of this game did do a much better job of explaining it.

Anyway, that's all for Grunia!

New Characters

Lawrence - General

Lawrence is actually a bit of an end-game crutch character, and can be pretty useful if you raise him up in the Arena when you recruit him. His growth rates are actually better than any of the other Armor Knights, his base stats are comparable to a maxed-out Armor Knight, and he's the only unit with a reasonable chance at maxing out Defense naturally.

Growth Rates:

New Weapons:

Gradius [Lance] - The last of the royal weapons, it's not only incredibly strong but has the 1-2 tile attack range of a Javelin.

Hammerne Wand - The special effect speaks for itself. The Hammerne Wand shows up just in time to start going all-out with the most powerful weapons. However, only Rena can use it.

Our current roster, with the active units in bold. (Full stats in this post.) Recall votes are suspended from here forward.

Lord: Marth
Pegasus Knight: Est [Dragon Knight], Sheeda, Minerva [Dragon Knight], Paola*, Katua
Social Knight: Hardin [Paladin], Abel, Kain, Machis, Biraku, Roshe, Jeigan [Paladin], Midia [Paladin]
Armor Knight: Roger, Doga, Tomth, Mishelan, Lawrence [General]
Archer: Gordon [Sniper], Thomas, George [Sniper]
Cleric: Rena, Riff, Maria, Boa [Priest]
Mercenary: Navarre [Hero], Oguma [Hero]*, Caesar, Raddy, Astria [Hero], Samson [Hero]
Fighter: Barts, Maji, Saji
Hunter: Kashim
Pirate: Daros
Thief: Julian, Ricardo
Magician: Linda [Priest], Marich, Wendel [Priest]
Bow Knight: Wolf, Zagaro
Mamkute: Chiki, Banutu
Shooter: Jake, Beck
Commando: Chainy

* Non-violently retired

No special votes this time around, but I'll take suggestions for the latest sacrifice, and we'll be taking along everyone but Daros.

Next time:

Now batting: Macedonia