The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

by midnight_lasagna

Part 7: Embrace The Dark

The path is yours! Just kidding, it's actually mine. And I decided where we were going before I even made the thread.

I think I picked the worst possible frame to screenshot this, the Hoshidan side looks very goofy. This could be Nohrian propaganda if I photoshopped some flies and stink lines onto Ryoma.

The choice here isn't actually "do you want to side with your birth family or your adoptive one" (they're not even your birth family!), it's "do you want the harder route or the easier one". And unless you bought the complete edition the choice will have already been decided the moment you bought the game. I have no plans to play Birthright or Revelation (that's Revelation singular, there's no s!!!!!), but I'll give my opinions anyway.

Birthright was advertised as a more casual game meant to appeal to fans of Awakening, as opposed to Conquest which functions more like the average Fire Emblem game where you go through maps in order with no world map or repeatable chapters to grind levels in between. The map design is a lot more simple and tends more towards big open fields with large amounts of weak enemies, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I'm not a fan of it. Every chapter with one exception is either a rout or a defeat boss objective. I'd argue that Birthright's lunatic mode is a little easier than Conquest's hard mode, although there's a rather big difficulty spike from chapter 23 onward that can be very punishing if you don't just cheese every map with Ryoma.

Revelation is... controversial. It's pretty much a "golden" route where you can recruit (almost, with some arbitrary exceptions) the entire cast and have Nohrian units support Hoshidan ones. Every single chapter has some kind of gimmick (except, ironically enough, the one gimmick map that's present in all three routes), all of which range from tedious to downright unfun. The distribution of units is massively frontloaded with Hoshidan characters and unit balance is all over the place, with half the cast joining underleveled with atrocious stats. Difficulty wise it's about halfway between BR and CQ, although it actually has the highest enemy stats of any route - enemies on Rev's hard mode will outrank their equivalents on CQ's lunatic mode. This combined with the fact that almost your entire army besides Corrin will suck until you start recruiting royals makes the earlygame a huge slog on higher difficulties.

Anyway who cares about those games I ain't playing em

The sakura blossoms have gone and now it's all dark roses. The suddenly evil colour scheme combined with "embrace the dark" gives you an immediate feeling of "did I just make a terrible decision?"

I'm sorry Ryoma, but Corrin's alligiance now lies with the purple. It's time to finish what Purple Guy started.

Jakob is now back from his union-mandated break. For all of its many flaws, Nohr is a country of social mobility, so I'd like to imagine their labour laws are pretty good too. Unfortunately he couldn't follow us to Hoshido and grab any cool 2-range healing rods, but at least he returns with a completely replinished Heal staff!

You know we're on the Conquest route now because the map objectives start getting funny. Defeat 4 enemies is 1 enemy away from a rout. but there's a reason you don't have to defeat every enemy...

That reason is to give you a choice to not have to fight one of these two. Your options are Ryoma, who's high stats make him a huge threat to everyone but Xander, and Sakura, who's far away and not worth very much EXP. And also a defenseless Cleric, but war crimes are okay because this is the evil route.

All 4 Hoshidan royals are our opponent this map, along with their tactician Yukimura. To help fight them, we've temporarily got the Norhian siblings on our side too, albiet weaker versions of what they'll eventually be when they join us for real. This Xander isn't playing around like last time, he's brought his 1-2 range laser sword. I just noticed his HP stat is actually higher than normal, I guess to let him survive 2 hits from Ryoma?

Xander's stranded on the opposite side of the river to fight Ryoma, but these three are all available to help take down the non-Ryoma enemies on this map. This Elise I'm pretty sure has the exact same stats she'll be joining with in chapter 7, but don't be fooled by the heavily nerfed Camilla and Leo - their actual stats will be much better.

Oh and Corrin got a Dragonstone so she can turn into a big beastie whenever she likes. It seems like her breath experience from last chapter turned into stone experience? That would make sense.

14 might is absolutely absurd for a magic weapon, and it comes with an assortment of stat boosts and drops that turn Corrin into a slow tanky unit. The lack of 2 range and big speed drop along with an inability to double attack limit the longterm viability of a dragon Corrin, but the stone is still an incredibly potent tool in the earlygame, both offensively and defensively. Expect to see a lot of cool OHKOs with this thing.

Also I had to chuck out my vulnerary to carry this thing. Whoops! Oh and she's also got the Yato which is like a steel katana but a little weaker and more accurate. Katanas boost speed by 1 and lower defensive stats by 1 when equipped, so Corrin's now got two weapons that both alter her stats in opposite ways. Hoshidan versions of swords/lances/axes etc. all come with weird stat boosts and drops to differentiate them from Nohrian ones.

It's easy to lure the Hoshidan units one by one to gang up on them with our own family. Only Corrin and Jakob are capable of earning EXP here so I'd prefer either one to make the finishing blows.

I hope you're ready to kick Takumi's butt! Because his butt will refuse to remain kicked. This guy might even be worse than Hubert from 3 Houses, jerk just does not stay defeated.

Camilla and Leo are both mixed attackers, for a generous definiton of "mixed". Obviously an axe is going to be more useful than magic against a Sky Knight even in a game without Fates's weapon triangle, but Camilla is less of a mixed attacker and more an axe-wielding maniac who does some light reading on the side.

Leo was... not the one I expected to hit in this altercation.

Leo's Heartseeker skill lets him lower a unit's avoid just by standing next to them. Accuracy boosting or avoid lowering abilties can be very helpful to make the most of your units. The most powerful weapons also tend to be the ones that couldn'd hit the broad side of a barn.

Magic! Speed! This will help Jakob... heal faster.

Elise's Freeze staff will have its uses replenished when she joins for real, so feel free to use it pranking your other older brother by tying his shoelaces together. A frozen unit loses both the ability to move and a hefty chunk of their avoid. The bitter irony is however you have to actually be able to hit a unit with the Freeze staff in order to do that.

75% is a respectable increase from Xander's usual 55% hit chance against his counterpart. Both his offensive and defensive stats are superior, but he's got to actually hit his attacks to win the fight.

Things aren't so great for Xander on enemy phase, where Ryoma's Duelist Blow and +30% avoid come into play. If he weren't frozen Xander would have barely any chance to hit at all...

...for example. Elise's aim is almost as bad as her brother's!

23 attack! That's not quite feral dragon power levels, but it sure feels good. A +mag Corrin can deal some truly absurd damage to earlygame enemies with their magic dragon headbutts.


That could have gone a lot more painfully. If you're really desperate to farm EXP then you can drain the riverbed using a nearby dragon vein, letting Ryoma be approached by the rest of your army. A good Corrin can potentially deal the finishing blow, but not without severe risk of missing and getting owned on counterattack.

Darkness embraced in record time. Nice.

A lovingly crafted cinematic plays shortly after, establishing us as having truly committed to the path of Nohr. This grumpy santa is the guy we're fighting in service of. Is redemption possible for Ganondad, or will we have to defeat our own father for the sake of our country...?

Just kidding you'll never find out the answer to any of that, this game is now a city management sim. Garon demands more medium density commercial zones!!!

Next time: We cut back on transport funding to bulldoze Nohr's affordable low-income housing and replace it with a golf course