Part 11: Cold Reception
Freezing winds! Don't worry, this isn't the wind chapter. The emphasis is on the freezing.
Jakob's level ups are the hardest to think of inciteful commentary for so I'm going to use this whenever he gets speed. And maybe sometimes when he doesn't for ironic purposes.
The objective of this chapter is to defeat the boss, although there's a lot more going on than just that - there's also a race against the enemy to visit villages before they can. Every village we visit first adds to our gold reward at the end of the chapter. 1000 gold for one, 5000 gold for two, and 10000 gold for free. Every village the enemy visits first will spawn a large amount of units, some of which will aggro immediately, although none of them will move on the enemy phase they were spawned in on.
My incredibly helpful diagram shows which three villages I'll be aiming for, and one village that the enemy is all but guaranteed to visit before we can. Visiting any more than 3 villages doesn't reward us with anything but less enemies, and less enemies = less exp!
One soldier starts near the boss, another starts right within range of the village above us. Both of them have only 3 move so they're pretty easy to intercept.
It is possible to save the village above us, although I'm pretty sure that requires either wasting a use of the Freeze staff or doing something like reclassing Jakob or Felicia to a promoted mount and also giving them a pair of Boots you can get if you've previously cleared another route on your save file. Neither of these things are worth doing.
Also speaking of things that aren't worth doing, I forgot to mention that it is technically possible to clear Chapter 7 before Effie and Arthur show up, thus dooming them to wander the Forlorn Forest forever! Doing so requires buying paid DLC and grinding your units to very high levels while also reclassing them into fliers, and possibly even doing the DLC chapter that gives you Anna as a unit as its reward. Otherwise you cannot rout the chapter fast enough.
Flora is here as a sub-boss to harass us with her Freeze staff, and possibly her knives if we stand close enough to her. She's a bit of a nuissance, but fairly trivial to play around if you know what you're doing. She's also consequence free EXP!!
Pairing up units is vital to reach the villages in time. Someone has to stay behind to visit the first village, and in this case it's Effie. As Elise's retainer I assume she has lots of experience lying to children.
Once again, unpairing units at the end of their movement is vital for gaining a little extra ground. It's also nice in general to have as many units unpaired as possible at the end of your turn, it gives you flexibility in positioning for the turn after.
That's 1-1 for villages visited. Some of these reinforcements will start moving, some won't. I don't know which ones.
Oh hey there. The darkness seeths and says "hmmm", indicating it is upset but unsure exactly of what it is upset at.
Well if the darkness is mad then at least we have two more guys to fight it with. Meet Odin and Niles, Leo's retainers! Leo himself is not here yet. I'll be a fair few chapters yet before he graces us with his presence.
Odin is a Dark Mage, and also that Myrmidon kid from Awakening but with a different name. He is our first offensive magic user although looking at his stats you might think he's a bit crap. For the sake of this chapter that is entirely true, but there's more to him than meets the eye...
Niles is everybody's favourite problematic bisexual pirate. He's an Outlaw, which is like a thief that uses bows instead of swords. They specialise in Resistance. A veteran Fire Emblem player would probably hear all that and disregard the class as complete garbage for combat, but Niles is a very nice unit to have for a variety of reasons. Right now there are no chests for him to open but lots of mages to shoot. He's also one of the only Outlaws we're ever getting, this game was really stingy with access to the outlaw class for some reason.
There's 21 enemies on the map right now, but it's not as dangerous as it appears. The trick is not to overextend. The enemies who's movement I've highlighted will only approach when we enter their danger radius, leaving a relatively safe path for our units if we hug the bottom. There's no need to aggro any of them until we want to fight them on our own terms.
Niles immediately makes himself useful by attaching himself to Jakob. As a promoted class Jakob has more move than my other units, and as an Outlaw Niles gives him an extra + 1. Latching onto him gets them both closer to the action faster.
Bows and Tomes are both part of the weapon triangle, and unfortunately tomes > bows. Niles's usefulness as a mage killer can depend a little on the RNG.
Thanks to Arthur's pair-up bonuses, Elise can become a pretty great combat unit. Of course any unit with a physical weapon will become good with these stats, but it means Elise can earn EXP and be useful without having to be fed it as a Wyvern.
I can take out both remaining mages safely so long as Elise hits, but if she doesn't then the survivor can act on enemy phase.
The trick is to move Silas first, so Elise can increase her accuracy through suppports and he can take out the one with Malefic Aura, lowering the straggler's damage output. Elise's personal also gives Silas enough bulk to be safe just in case she does miss. Teamwork!
But as we all know 80% is basically 100%
Odin grabs Jakob from Niles and separates him, ensuring I can both use Niles in combat and heal with Jakob next turn if I want to. I'll stop making a note of every time I do this but little things like this make me appreciate pair-up a lot more. I never really bother doing it in Awakening where you want all your units to be paired up juggernauts all the time, but it's very useful in Fates.
Flora will freeze any unit in range, making it tricky to reach the villages by going this way. The trick is to have as many units as possible rushing for the houses so no matter who gets frozen, someone else can pick up the pace. I assume she always goes for the least resistant?
This guy is closing in, but the superhero duo is on his tail. By splitting up Elise and Arthur I make sure that if one of them gets frozen, the other can save the village. Arthur is the more likely target which is good because I don't really want him to do much anyway.
Unfortunately without adult supervision she is... not particularly effective. Decently bulky though!
That's villages 2 and 3 secured! 10,000 gold in the bank. These people don't seem all too happy to see us... I wonder if we might not be the good guys in this scenario? Nahhhh.
The boss would be our next objective, but there's still half a map's worth of units left to extract sweet EXP from. Hmm okay maybe we are the baddies
Quick Draw is a skill that gives +4 damage dealt on player phase. Some of these fighters come with it equipped so they hit hard. In future FE games this skill would be called "Death Blow", a name that makes a little more intuitive sense.
Allegedly this Corrin has a res bane.
Reaching level 10 grants Corrin Dragon Fang, a skill with a 0.75*Skill% chance of activating. It boosts damage dealt by half of your attack power. It can be more or less useful than a crit depending on how bulky the enemy is. It's nice enough, but not really reliable. Best not to assume it'll proc (unless it proccing could kill you) and treat it as a nice surprise every now and then.
Niles is great at slinking around the battlefield to grab kills he couldn't normally get with dual guards. It's usually best to leave bow users unpaired for this reason!
Now that all the villages on this half of the map are gone, this guy is making a tactical retreat. We can't have that.
Oh and now they're all gone. That's 3 to us, 2 to them! That means 66% of you get to live
Flora is all out of Freeze staff uses, so now it's a lot easier to approach her. Freeze staves come with 4 in total, although if they really want a staff to hit you on Lunatic mode they'll give enemies multiple copies of one... or worse.
First Effie gets village duty, now she gets to act as body armour for this loser. I'm sorry, I know you deserve better! Last time I played this game she ended up as a Sniper who capped half of her stats so she can't be too mad.
Oh it's also possible to melt the frozen lake temporarily if you want to block enemies or buy time to reach the villages. I personally never bother with this.
This image's filename is just "pee" but I'd like to think I've become a more mature person than I was when I took it.
Having lost his purpose in life, the cold-caller Soldier turns to bloodshed and attacks Elise on his own turn. I think that's the first time he's managed to hit her.
Odin... isn't being particularly helpful right now. His only purpose here is to gain EXP and maybe chip the occassional enemy into KO range for Niles. I think this terrible introduction is partly why some people think so little of him in this game, but he will be useful later!
You could take all these enemies suddenly approaching from the village as a sign to hurry up and kill the boss, but with my forces all grouped up it's easy to dual attack them to death.
Congrats on finally getting defense, Silas! Oh and Jakob leveled up too.
Shelter, the level 10 Cavalier skill, is potentially one of the most useful tools in the game you'll have. It gives you the option to pull an ally into a pair-up formation with you, as opposed to you joining in formation with them. So they'll move onto your tile and join you as a support partner rather than you moving onto their tile and joining them. It's fairly nice as a reactive tool to save fragile units from danger if you've made a misplay, but if you make plans around it then you can do some truly insane combos, the best of which allow dancers (so, Azura) to dance multiple times in one turn! Unfortunately all of this requires you to remember that the skill exists and that you have it. For me, this is a problem.
Congrats on the skill? I guess it's nice when Elise gets that. Even as a Wyvern Rider Elise only has a 20% strength growth, so Str+2 gives her as much strength as she would normally get in 10 levels on average.
Time to commit herbicide against the local Flora. I really don't like skills like Icy Blood, they're always a pain. It's important to note that the damage taken applies during battle, not after, so it can kill you.
Boss conversations are rare in this game but not absent. Corrin and Jakob weaken up Flora for the KO...
more like "iced tribe" am i right
Nobody else on the map will move unless provoked. There's no time limit or anything, so let's clean up!
...not all of them will aggro when you enter their range though. Jerks.
Magic! I was wondering when you'd start getting that.
Kilma is the boss of this chapter. He's a Sorcerer, although I don't think he gives EXP like a promoted unit would. He uses a deadly Vantage/Nosferatu combo that makes him rather difficult to kill. Nosferatu might have been heavily nerfed in this game, but it's still a potent tool!
His avoid is high, he deals loads of damage, and he heals himself. I don't like him.
Elise is now capable of one-rounding Fighters with Arthur's support. Hopefully her base stats and str+2 can carry her to promotion...
Elise gets an Elise level, Niles gets an uncharacteristically bulky level, Odin... is Odin. IIRC he's got either the highest or second highest growth total in the entire game, but they're spread out somewhat thin across every stat. I promise you this guy is good
Map routed, time to destroy this guy. Behold the true power of Vow of Friendship and Supportive combined!!!
Oh and this guy also drops this. This valueable item shall form the base of my gigantic pile of unused statboosters... wait I still have the Goddess Icon OH GOD IT'S ALREADY HAPPENING
I could have maybe done that faster.
Spoiler: Conquest has like the lowest actual death count of any route
Next time: We ignore whatever the plot is to cross the border and conscript a foreign farmgirl