The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

by midnight_lasagna

Part 9: A Dragon's Decree

If I do anything wrong this chapter then let it be known a dragon told me to do it.

Here is how the game teaches you to skip cutscenes. There's no "Press Start to skip" prompt, but faced with an insurmountable obstacle (this game's plot), the player is encouraged to seek alternate means of progression.

Okay I'll stop ragging on this game's story to say here's a chapter I love. It's an excellent introduction to the mechanics of Conquest and actual story aside, it sets the "feel" for the route very well. Corrin has just betrayed her birth family and made what is possibly the worst decision she could have... and now she is outnumbered and almost entirely alone in a very dangerous place. But it's not as bad as it seems! If you'll look at the bottom screen you'll see a very large number of enemies, but also three one-tile corridors that each could very easily be turned into a chokepoint.

The boss's stats aren't all that high, but it comes with three new skills, one of which is a giant gaping maw with sharp teeth. Already you are probably panicking.

Oh and on lunatic mode every enemy has this skill! Just entering combat with a unit that has Grisly Wound will take one fifth of your health off once the fighting is done. The skill itself cannot kill you, since damage is applied after battle (units cannot die outside of combat in this game (unless the plot kills them)), but all it takes is 5 battles with an enemy like this to drop literally any unit's HP to 1 regardless of stats.

Nasty and unique skills on enemies is a large part of how Conquest makes its difficulty. Some people like it, some people don't. This chapter "gently" introduces you to the concept by facing you with an army in which all enemies besides the boss have the exact same stats and weapon, making skills and unit formations the only thing to distinguish them.

Surviving the initial wave of enemies is our first priority. There's no reinforcements in this chapter, but the enemy will approach in waves unless you lure them out yourself.

A mixture of Jakob's personal skill, Corrin's dragonstone, and her above average defense means she actually takes 0 damage at all from each Faceless's attack. She's still taking 4 damage at the end of her turn from Grisly Wound though, but unless the boss itself can hurt her she's functionally immortal.

Jakob can die though so I do need to get rid of these things swiftly.

Corrin hears "immortal" and decides she doesn't need to gain defense. Her speed is slowly climbing back up towards average and her magic is still sky high.

...and the increase in HP increases grisly wound's damage from 4 to 5. She's actually gotten more vulnerable!

Corrin says the magic words that cause allies to suddenly appear and even the odds. Faceless don't have faces which means there's no chance there's a recruitable character being among them.

It's Silas, Corrin's childhood friend she sometimes remembers and sometimes doesn't. He's riding a horse so you know he's high tier.

Elise is also here for real, and she's holding a horse too. No more characters joining temporarily, if a unit joins us now they join for good.

Silas is an earlygame Cavalier, a unit archetype that is very rarely not useful. I have a lot to say about him but that can all wait. His growths are almost entirely 50%s across the board but his initially high bulk and mediocre speed will define his stats for a while.

Elise is a mounted healer with excellent magical stats but no defenses whatever. Her personal skill will massively increase the defenses of units she's adjacent to, so she's perfect in this chokepoint heavy chapter. She's also got her Freeze staff from last chapter at the ready, but that's a tool for emergencies.

Silas's E rank in lances is somewhat of a concern, since that limits him to only bronze weapons and no throwing ones. His official art depicts him holding a Javelin, but he can't use one yet. Many of his good reclass options use swords and not lances but that 1-2 range will come in handy in the short term so I want to boost his rank as soon as possible.

Jakob cleans up and becomes harder to kill. 3 defense procs in 4 levels ain't bad.

He also learns the immensely useful Live To Serve skill, which allows the user to restore HP equal to the damage they heal others when using a staff. I decide not to heal his single point of damage away with Elise and instead save the staff use. Healing "damage" gained from leveling up HP is a great way to award healers EXP but is also a bit of a waste of resources.

Multiple enemies have now become aggresive and started marching on our position, which means it's time for even more units! This is Arthur, one of Elise's retainers and a man can only approximate a neutral expression by rapidly switching between lots of silly ones.

Elise's two retainers are a Fighter and a Knight, two often maligned classes in the Fire Emblem series. Are these two any exception?

Arthur is a unit with mostly balanced stats but comically abysmal Luck, not just in terms of stats but in terms of his character. His personal skill leans into this even further, lowering the critical avoid of all enemies near him while also lowering his own. Without some method of sharply boosting his critical avoid he is going to face 1-5% crit chances from every single enemy he faces in combat, a trait which quickly ceases to be endearing in a game without Divine Pulse.

In every other aspect I absolutely love this guy. He's got an amazing voice actor, a lot of good lines, and somehow manages to be a genuinely appealing character despite how predictable his central personality gimmick is. You could crack a coconut on his chin.

Effie is strong. Very, very strong. 80% strength growth levels strong, and her personal skill rewards her with even more attack power if she is significantly stronger than her opponent. In terms of base stats she's your typical armoured unit, but behind all that armour is a glass cannon waiting to break free.

Designwise she gets 0/10 because she's a superhumanly strong woman with a voracious appetite who constantly dressed in bulky plate armour and yet she's just another skinny anime girl. Where's my 200 pound olympic weightlifter musclewife game : (

Both of these units can contribute to combat just fine in this chapter, but they will also give very nice stat boosts to whoever they're paired up with. Tight chokepoints might make for safe oppurtunities for dual attacks, but they also leave you with little room to have an entire army running around unpaired.

Building support points between members of my army is now a concern, which means it's good to have certain units stand next to each other when attacking even when they don't need to. Every time a unit enters combat they will build support with their adjacent allies.

...he missed and then hurt himself with grisly wound. Poor man really does have no luck.

Which is partly why I bought him this Bronze Axe last chapter. The unique properties of bronze weapons reduce your chance of taking a critical hit, but they also prevent you from making them. Giving Arthur one essentially undoes his personal skill.

One big downside of Elise's personal is that she has to be next to a unit for them to take advantage of it, which makes her a valid target to be selected as a support partner in attack formation. She does not help much in this formation when she literally cannot attack.

Corrin chokes the top point, everyone else takes the bottom. Feeding kills and weapon experience to Silas is currently top priority, but he needs help to take on all these enemies.

The 50% coinflips have chosen power and accuracy. That's alright.

The Faceless aren't all dumb, and will come both paired up and able to participate in dual attacks. Units in paired up formations can assist unpaired units in dual attacks but won't initiate them in combat themselves. The assisting Faceless is part of a defensive pair up that boosts their attack just enough to allow them to damage Corrin. Rude!

That's the first crit I've seen this run! That's enough damamge to kill a Faceless twice over.

The paired Faceless both come with Seal Speed. Combined with the speed boost their formation gives them, they will be fast enough to double attack anyone who's speed they manage to seal. Even when double attacking they're unlikely to finish a unit off in one round, but they can easily set up kills for their friends.

The chokepoint moves downward to place my best units near the approaching boss. If I get rid of him and his crony then I'll only have to fight on one single front.

Wary Fighter means this unit cannot double or be doubled. That doesn't make much difference for my army, but often you'll have to chip units with this skill to death.

The beauty of teamwork. But there's still some other guys left!

Meanwhile, Arthur tries his best. Thanks to Effie's support and Elise's protection he's not nearly getting as owned as he could be.

I'd rather Silas get the kills though. Enemies can dual guard too and it sucks. It's best to take them out in few enough hits that they can't get a full gauge.

Yep that's all the guys. I wish Doga were here to see this.

I'm glad to see Silas get speed, but his lack of bulk upsets me. I don't have any opinions on Jakob.

If Elise can get defense off of a 15% growth then I think Silas can get it off of a 50% one.

Objective complete! I may have dragged that chapter out a little with that one singular chokepoint at the end, but Silas got D rank lances and that's potentially going to help me in the next chapter.

would you believe we're not going to kill this guy for another 19 chapters

Next time: I write a load of words about the four guys we just found