The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

by midnight_lasagna

Part 14: Another Trial

Another day, another location on the map to conquer. The first two chapters were definitely tougher than hard mode, but this is where lunatic mode starts adding new enemies and weapons for the specific purpose of foiling easy solutions that would have worked on lower difficulties.

Just like me, Corrin is suffering for the amusement of others...

Mozu is an optional unit and therefore not accounted for by the chapter's deployment slots. Effie trades away her Bronze Lance to Mozu and hits the bench... I'm not planning on having Mozu attack anyone, but it's generally wise to make sure everybody has a weapon. The reason why she didn't have a weapon is because Silas took her Brass Naginata.

If you don't recruit Mozu then you'll be able to deploy your entire army until you reach Chapter 11, which is plenty enough time for a first time player to learn who they do and do not want to use. I do wish they let you bring along Mozu without having to bench someone else. This gets especially annoying in Revelation where Mozu will most likely be the fifth addition to your crappy 4 person army and you still have to get rid of someone to bring her along.

Here we have our first Seize map of the game. The throne and the boss sat upon it are right in the middle of the map which is actually kind of cool. Seize maps are weird in Fates in that literally any of your units can seize the point and end the map. This is most likely because the edition of Casual mode means that you could have your main characters be defeated and still continue playing the map. I don't think I even realised Corrin wasn't the only one who could seize until I had played the game a few times already.

This handy map (image links to the guide I took it from) shows the location of reinforcements that will spawn in on the red squares when we enter the giant green square. Reinforcements in Fates are different from other games in that they are almost always linked to your progression through the map, not the number of turns that have passed. This stops you from waiting out troublesome ambushes, and it also means the game can hit you with some really nasty kaizo traps that can end a run if you're not prepared. They might not be same turn reinforcements but they're still a pain and honestly they're one of my least favourite parts of the game. You can at least block them from appearing if you stand on the stairs (despite what the FE wiki says!), but that doesn't always work for every chapter.

Helpfully labelled by the above image are these two. Nyx is a recruitable unit who will do nothing and be in no danger until spoken to by Corrin, Azura is playable from the start. If you do not realise Azura is playable then she can potentially end up being killed!

Lunatic change number one: this Shining Bow Archer. The Shining Bow deals magical damage instead of physical, and also does a lot more damage in general. The unit who's wielding it has a magic stat above the usual generic enemy value of 0 to make sure they are actually threatening. This change isn't particularly hard to deal with if you know it's there, but it can lead to a dead Effie or Silas if you try luring Archers over the wall with a physical tank holding a Javelin like you could in normal or hard.

There's also this jerk, who's got a basic healing rod as well as an Enfeeble staff. Enfeeble is a ranged staff that hits the target with -4 to every stat, recovering at a rate of 1 point per turn like all debuffs do. She won't move but her range is enough to cover many vital chokepoints or otherwise safe places to lure enemies from.

The most direct entrance to the fort is through 5 decently powerful units, two of which come with Seal Defense. It is usually best to ignore them and go around, optionally baiting them from the back if you want the EXP. Although, hmm, looking at their stats... It would only take a 31 might magic attack to kill this Spear Fighter in one hit, denying him a chance to activate his skill. But who could possibly deal that much damage?

Corrin is only 4 points short. Odin gives 3 from a pair-up, but I think I can reach the magic 31 without a tonic...

Anyway, time to start. Nyx has been reading this thread and she is not happy to hear what people have been saying about her.

Azura has been skipping cutscenes like I have so she doesn't know why she's here either. There's currently a large amount of enemies between us and her, but the game is obviously hinting at something she could do to help us.

It turns out the + 1 might from being next to Elise will push Corrin up to 31 attack without the need for spending any money on tonics. This means I can lure out one spearman and defeat them on enemy phase. Unfortunately reliance on Elise prevents Corrin from standing any closer...

...the Spear Fighter moves right up to Corrin and does nothing. This is a great introduction to another mechanic of Conquest, which is enemies that will not bother attacking units they cannot damage or hit. The combination of Elise's personal, Jakob's Gentilihomme skill, and the forest tile Corrin's standing on make her too bulky to damage... That's annoying! In fact that's so annoying I'm going to restart and place my units more sensibly.

There we go. 1 damage makes much more sense to go for than 0 and so this brave soldier gleefully rides to his demise. That's... 1 enemy out of 4 dealt with!

Azura begins her stealth mission towards that chest in the room above her. For some reason they decided to imprison her with a Chest Key, but you could always pretend it's like a hair pin or something. Azura is the type of mysterious girl who would know how to pick a lock.

In my last playthrough of my game I was able to take out every single one of these enemies with an Effie holding a Javelin who had procced defense and HP every single level. Both that solution and my high damage magical Corrin ones aren't really as likely to work if you didn't have as good luck with stat growth RNG...

Silas sure is a strong boy. I'm hoping he can put that strength to good use in Chapter 10, maybe even one-shot a Ninja or two.

Corrin then ruins my whole strategy by whiffing a 90% and getting her defense sealed anyway. It happens...

Thankfully the rest of my army was able to clean up almost every other combatant, leaving only a single spearman who can't kill anyone on his turn.

Another uncharacteristically bulky level for Niles! Please keep those up.

He also grabs Movement + 1, a skill that gives... one extra point of movement. Obviously it is very useful.

The lone spearman predictably goes for the guy who can't fight back, failing to damage him but somehow sealing his defense anyway because skills are jerks.

Azura manages to reclaim her stolen goods. There is one extremely bad enemy in this chapter whose stats are low enough for Azura to use this weapon against him.

He will patrol the hallways near Azura in a fixed pattern. Unlike every other generic he does not have maxed weapon rank. On my last playthrough I captured him because I thought it would be funny to own the worst unit in all of Conquest. And it was!

This is not that guy but Silas does annihilate him in one hit. Next time pair up with a guy who gives you defense!

Arthur uses his powers as a lightning rod for misfortune by standing in range of the Enfeeble Shrine Maiden who will gladly waste its uses against him. She has four in total, all of which can be wasted like this. Units will not target somebody who has been recently hit with an Enfeeble however so if you do want to turtle through a cleric who's using it then you'll have to cycle between a couple of targets.

Uusually I go south instead of east from the start, so Nyx is just kinda stood there waiting for someone to notice her. Normally she'll tell you you can break down the wall north of her after recruitment, but in this case I'm breaking it down to recruit her so she won't bother.

This is the purpose of Azura's stealth infiltration: turning on the sprinkler system to distract the guards. Or melt them, in this case. This dragon vein will hurt everybody, not just the enemies, but that's no issue here. It will however not effect the defensive support partners of units standing in it, so those paired up spearmen will switch to their full health buddy when they go to attack me.

I cannot reach the boss of this chapter yet, but he's nevertheless now relevant because of his Rally Defense skill. He'll use his every turn to boost the bulk of the archers in his throne room, making it hard to beat them through the walls. Compounded with the Enfeeble cleric, you'll struggle to hurt them at all. It is however nice to be rid of them now rather than later so I will suffer through the slow and painful process of luring them out.

Jakob level

I create an optimal formation to bait out Archers while the rest of my gang recruits Nyx. I was sort of hoping I could beat this chapter without turtling through all the Enfeeble uses but the way it's going I seem to be doing that anyway.

Now that Azura's done all the damage she can, I want her to head towards the rest of my party. She can't reach them without going through enemies that will kill her in one round of combat but she can at least get a little closer.

Nyx is yet another "looks like a little girl but is actually a legal adult and like a thousand years old" character. Her design is nowhere near as gross as Nowi's though, she does at least look like she could be an adult. When I first saw her I just thought she was small and grouchy and not cursed to be forever young.

Anyway, here she is, the infamous Nyx! She's decently fast and pretty powerful, although compared to my RNG blessed Odin that's a little hard to see. Otherwise if a stat isn't speed or magic she's not interested. She is... not very good.

Incidentally the lore behind her is she's an incredibly gifted mage who accidentally cursed herself to never age, something she's not very happy about. As a character she's actually quite interesting, and unlike Nowi who is a 1,000 year old baby, Nyx is a cranky old woman who looks like a teenager. She's a bit less gross than this type of character usually is.

At some point somebody is going to have to venture into this meat grinder corridor. A lot of the Spear Fighters have Seal Def so the Enfeeble being gone or not barely even matters. All of them will aggro when you enter their range so you have to be prepared to commit to your assualt.

Niles eats the last Enfeeble and shows you what your combat looks like when somebody takes away all your stats. At least it's gone now.

Azura could trigger enemy reinforcements if you're not careful with where you put her. 9 units suddenly appearing on the map will overwhelm your entire army and absolutely get her killed!

She has no choice... but to fight... It's the only fight she'll ever win so may as well let her.

Okay fine, time to engage the enemy in the most cowardly way possible. I could be more aggressive but seal skills that lower stats mid-phase shut down the part of my brain that does numbers so I'm not convinced I wouldn't screw up my maths.

...okay that wasn't so bad. I couldn't get somebody in the chokepoint but I did manage to keep all my squishy units out of range.

Azura's one and only kill. It' a shame that tight corridors force a specific angle that makes it hard to see anything but her weird wedding dress veil thing.

I had jokes for both of these levels, but you don't see the quotes when I only post the bottom screen so there wouldn't be context for either of them. Booo.

This skill lowers the resistance of enemies around you. In most cases it's a slightly better Magic + 2.

At last, Azura is here! Victory dance to celebrate! I don't think she gets to talk to anybody until the map ends.

Occupying two sets of stairs lets me trigger the reinforcements without dumping half the population of Hoshido on top of me. The four spear fighters that did spawn however are still a little tricky...

Dual weapons reverse the weapon triangle and double its effects, and there's also a jerk with a magic weapon too. At least these weapons actually come from Hoshido unlike the Shining Bow and the Enfeeble staff.

Niles does Niles things and gets a Niles level. Don't be fooled by the last two, this is what his levels usually look like.

Jakob does a Jakob thing and gets... these stats are all meaningless to me, all he's doing is healing!

It took my whole army to contain four guys, and one of them is still alive on enemy phase. This is why I chose to not let the others spawn!

Strength does matter a little for Azura. Since she's holding a weapon she can partake in dual strikes, and as a Dancer she'll often be standing near your other units. It's pretty hilarious when she does manage to assist in kills!

Oh yeah right the treasure. Some people choose to enter the fort from this direction instead of the other two. Maybe it's a better strategy?

HP, nice. I feel as if she's slacking on the magic front a little.

You only get two of these staves in the entirity of Conquest and you really, really do not want to miss a single one. Annoyingly enough, they're most useful in the game's final map, which means I tend to not use them at all until literally the last possible moment. But you really do want to make sure you grab the chests they're in!

Time for the boss! This guy sucks. Most bosses get special enemy-only weapons that are 1-2 range with no penalties at all. Haitaka has Seal Defense and he's on a throne, making him annoying to hit and dangerous to engage twice with the same unit.

I want to throw my Pokeball at him but attempting to capture a unit lowers Niles's already shaky accuracy, and he's barely able to hurt him at all! This will be a team effort.

Arthur participates in a dual guard and becomes even more angular. What a hero.

Odin can take a single hit, allowing him to do the Dark Mage strategy of standing next to an enemy and making them feel so uncomfortable that they become easier to hit. That's basically what the Heartseeker skill is.

Time for the winning throw!

Now this is Elise's fort!

I guess the Hoshidans aren't perfect after all. This does seem especially petty, but I'd hate to have to fight an enemy Dancer.

Just jangle a pair of keys in front of her face until she gets tired Azura.

Next time: I do an invasion to put off Chapter 10.