Part 44: Winds of Change
Time for the blowy chapter. Corrin tries to convince the Wind Tribe to let her by without fighting... Will she succeed? The answer is obviously no because otherwise this would not be a chapter.
Fuga is neutral on the war but has a strong stance against the misuse of swords. Funny that one of the most difficult battles in the entire series is some random guy giving us a test of character. For all the resets and ended runs this chapter has caused players over the years I hope at least one member of the Wind Tribe dies when they hit 0 HP. Preferably one of the Onmyojis with Counter.
Laslow is here to build supports with Xander, Kaze's here because his support bonuses are too useful for me to leave him behind. He might also open a chest or two.
A seize chapter! Haven't seen one of those in a short while. Fuga's Wild Ride is a map that's wide open to fliers but very cramped and full of chokepoints for grounded ones. All you have to do is defeat the boss and then steal his seat, but there's a lot going on to make that very difficult.
For the record, I think this chapter would go from being one of the most infamous to generally well liked if this game had divine pulse. The actual mechanics are quite fun, and it's weird and unique in a way no other chapter is. There's a lot of freedom in how you can approach it, unlike the crappy Revelation version where your army consists of Corrin and a handful of joke units. All of its problems (goes on too long, requires planning in advance which is difficult to do without prior knowledge or memorising patterns, has some kaizo-ish reinforcements) would be pretty much irrelevant if you could turn back time a few times. Unfortunately that's not a thing in this game so one mistake can mean a restart and "it's not so bad if you have the wiki open" is a bit of a hard sell.
Yellow winds blow your units up 5 tiles at the end of enemy phase, orange ones send them down. Fliers are both less and more susceptible to winds - they can easily fly back if they get sent somewhere dangerous, but grounded units can potentially avoid being moved if they have no valid destination they can land in, while fliers will always get pushed unless they're right at the top or bottom of the map.
Winds cycle follow the same pattern every few turns, which is as follows (thanks some random post on gameFAQs):
Turn 1: |_ _ _ _ _ _ _ D D D D D _ _ _ _ U U U U U _ _ _ _|
Turn 2: |_ _ U U U U U _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ D D D D D _ _ _ _ _|
Turn 3: |_ _ _ D D D D D U U U U U D D D D D U U U U U _ _|
Turn 4: |U U U U U _ _ _ _ _ U U U U U _ _ _ _ _ U U U U U|
Turn 5: |_ _ _ _ _ _ D D D D D _ _ _ _ _ D D D D D _ _ _ _|
Turn 6: |U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U|
...it doesn't quite work without a fixed width font but you get the idea. Each character represents a column, D is a down wind, U is an up wind, _ is no wind.
Hayato is a stationary midboss. In Normal and Hard he's barely an obstacle at all and can easily be walked around, in Lunatic he's got a Hexing Rod and becomes a big no-go zone you have to deal with carefully.
Fuga himself is somewhat of a pain. Despite his high stats I never found him to be particularly dangerous, but what he does manage to do is be very hard to kill quickly thanks to his speed and avoid. Flying over to him and killing him quickly to seize and end the chapter is a viable strategy, but taking him out might take a while. His platform is also a very dangerous place to stand if you haven't cleared it of enemies so rushing him for an emergency clear can be tricky if you can't take him out on player phase.
Oh and this is Conquest so there's staff jerks everywhere. Some of these Priestesses have Freeze, some have Lunge. A unit left just on the edge of Fuga's platform might find themselves lunged all the way over to the boss and then frozen in place.
There's also a lone Silence user here on the left. She's not so bad but you still have to watch out for her.
Oh and these three dickheads have Counter. Somehow, out of all the enemies in this game with it, they get me the most. I don't know why.
This chapter has some proximity based reinforcements that it really helps to know about beforehand. My crappy diagram shows what zones trigger them and where they appear.
The red zone makes some Onmyoji appear from the bottom and Falcon Knights from the right, the yellow zone makes a bunch of fliers appear from the top left and a large group of Omnyoji and Spear Masters appear on the boss's platform, and at the start of turn 4 a few Great Masters appear where your starting location is.
Oh and last of all you can use dragon veins to cause the wind to blow instantly on your turn instead at the end of enemy phase, moving not just your army but the enemy as well. On Normal mode it only moves the enemies. It's not just useful for moving units - you can activate it early to prevent the wind from blowing at the end of the turn, allowing you to not have your army be moved at the end of their turn so long as they're not in range when you activate the vein.
Here's the game to sum it all for me. Worse games would let you figure all this out on your own and get you killed when it happens.
Elise takes Kaze to immediately head right and take out these Spear Masters. All 3 of them have seal skills so it's best not to let them survive an attack... In fact, pretty much every enemy on this map has a seal skill. It kind of sucks?
There's some Kinshi Knights just above them who could snipe a flier if you're not careful. I'll be dealing with them much later.
There's nowhere below this bridge for any of my grounded units to be blown to, so the wind won't affect them. If this were Thracia then they'd all be blown off the bridge straight to their instant deaths.
The reason why I don't give Elise a Speedwings despite her constantly being just short of doubling without help is because she's likely to hit her speed cap quite quickly without any help. I know prioritising long term possibilities over short term gains is a Bad Fire Emblem Tactic, but my brain is unfortunately just wired that way.
Peri's unpaired because Xander's making friends with his other retainer, so she can instead fly around to participate in dual attacks. Nina gains EXP, Peri gains axe rank. Two birds with one stone!
Hmm. They can't all be winners I suppose.
This skill is a winner though. A Luck% chance of finding a Gold Bar at the end of her turn for the first 7 turns of a map. If I'm lucky it'll help turn a tidy profit!
These Falcoknights move turn 1, but only for the purpose for forming a protective barrier around Hayato. Why they don't just start next to him at the beginning of the map I don't understand.
You have to be careful with winds that blow upwards, they might send you into reinforcement spawning zones. They won't arrive unless you end your turn there which will give you a turn to potentially escape, but you might end up fenced in between enemies.
I swear Dragon Fang only ever activates either to deprive another unit of EXP or to allow someone I don't want to to attack Corrin. I'm removing it the first chance I get.
Oh come on, I just changed you to a class with much better growths! Don't go pull a Niles on me.
At least this was effectively a +3 increase to strength thanks to this skill.
Entering the platform this Onmyoji are on will cause reinforcements to appear, so I'm instead going to bait them over from this little corner here. Turtling can be tricky on this map thanks to the wind's tendency to blow you from your safe position to the middle of a big group of enemies, but moving slowly and keeping your units grouped together is still a good way of keeping safe.
Being a big dumbass and not paying attention to damage numbers is also a good way to get killed. Thankfully my IRL luck stat is very high.
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
The winds are starting to blow my units upwards. There's some reinforcements I'd like to wait out first, but I'd also like to clear out some of this area to make things safer.
Now the entire map is covered in wind. During these turns I think it's best to just try to keep everyone alive. The wind patterns are easier to deal with at the beginning of each 6 turn cycle...
Good, please aim your Silences at Camilla. She doesn't care.
These tight corridors are really good for dual attacks, especially since fliers can fly over bottomless pits to stand next to your grounded units.
End of turn 3, here come a few fliers from the top of the map... There's a Swordcatcher and a Kinshi in their ranks to complicate things.
And here's a bunch of Great Masters. They're not particularly powerful, but they do have a Silence staff and some seal skills.
I should probably send someone like Silas up to distract these guys, I don't want them descending on the rest of my army.
Unfortunately I also need him here to take out the GMs. I need to make use of dual attacks to take them out quickly and not get slapped with various debuffs.
Leo is not helping in my attempts to show that he's underrated. I might just bench him when he unlocks Forrest. Corrin's good as always though!
Nice, but hard to use when you're paired up nearly all the time.
That's half of my army blown upwards. As long as someone can move over to the fliers to distract them I'll be fine...
A flier would easily do the trick were it not for this jerk. Kinshis really are the worst.
Silas grabs Nina for some bulk and rushes over to be a distraction. He doesn't particularly fear bows.
Unpaired fliers are good to have around for your units to escape with. Azura is very useful in this map but also very vulnerable to fliers and wind shenanigans.
Oh! Well this is my fault for not paying attention to the wind patterns. Looks like Silas is going on a journey deep into enemy territory.
At least his Bronze Dagger debuffed them enough to let him double. Unfortunately it won't let him activate Sol.
The whole squad's rushing up to help him. One unit getting blown into enemy lines is a disaster, my entire army getting sent there is an ambush.
May as well commit to the assult and stay in enemy territory, even if it will trigger reinforcements to appear. No more Silences from you!
Camilla is fast.
This is what the map looks like right now. It seems manageable so far, but reinforcements will arrive and the enemy's position is well fortified at the top.
Indeed, here they are! One of those Onmyoji's has Counter so watch out for him.
Treasure chest 1 obtained. This Rescue staff is 1 of 2 in this route and it is absolutely vital that you get it.
The reinforcements will of course move the moment they appear, hoping to trap you between them and the units you just aggro'd. I'll send a flier over there to deal with them...
Very satisfying : )
Unfortunately these two are going to get blown upwards. They can move the turn after they do, but they'll have to choose between either being in Hayato's Hex range or the range of a bunch of enemies in the top left corner...
Lunge and Shelter are both great skills I'm bad at using. I'll give Lunge a try...
Yeah this isn't ideal. They can both move downwards to escape this big pile of units right next to them, but then they'll both be potential hex targets... I think I'll risk the hex.
Lol "nice" aim Hayato
Unfortunately I now need to take out his flying bodyguards and they're stuck in range of his staff still. I'll send people in who I don't quite mind eating a debuff...
I guess her streak of super good levels had to end eventually.
I'd rather have Silas paired up with Corrin, but at least he can switch to Nina both to let her have EXP but also to provide her as a target for hex rods instead of himself.
Magical Xander and Jakob level.
Okay, everyone's going to go on the offensive next turn. I need the top corner clearing out and someone might eat a hex but I'll take it. (they got Xander)
20 HP is all he needs though. Let my fliers be free!!!
Nina's had so many great levels but I wouldn't actually consider her "good" yet. Maybe making her a Merchant was a mistake.
This one guy is in range of all my units but can't be targeted without someone getting in range of even more. Thankfully I have a plan...
The plan was to have Corrin kill him and raise her dual guard gauge. Thankfully a DFang proc didn't screw me over for once!
...she was supposed to get hit and enter VoF range though. Unfortunately being hit with a hex does not count for that.
Now how'd you end up all the way back there? Please come back I miss you
Okay, plan 2 to activate VoF. This time it'll work...
Elise is getting pretty fast now. I'm pretty happy with my decision to make her a Malig Knight!
That's treasure number 2. The last one is a measly Dragonstone+ which I don't particularly care about. I'll grab if it I can I guess.
Now to send this stupid kid to the shadow realm. He's no danger without any hex uses left but he's still annoying thanks to his Wane Festal.
Luna can be a bit scary but you can't hit what you can't see. I forgot to screenshot his stats, but he's got Vantage, Luna, and some other skill I forgot.
Silas doesn't appear to be anything in this screenshot.
He's a ninja now, he gets ninja levels. More skill = more Sol so I guess that's okay.
Now to break this tricky formation. There's a Priestess with Enfeeble here, along with some more with Lunge if you get too close. All the other enemies have seals of some kind... Ideally you'd want to ORKO every enemy here somehow.
Felicia hits level 15 and gets Tomebreaker. She's being more useful than Leo at this point...
Wait did I heal her or did she never get hurt in the first place? Silas can't make the ORKO now god dammit
There I've left you in danger, now go get injured. It doesn't feel very progressive for me to use my strong female protagonist's misery to motivate her husband to do all the work somehow.
Okay now I can send Silas in... Or not, because he can't ORKO the pair at the back who will slap seal str on him and prevent him from KOing anyone else. I really wish I had a unit with rally strength.
Thankfully it is possible to lure some of the guys over without luring a bow user so I had Camilla do that instead. The wind is just a minor annoyance at this point.
I might have to do it a couple of times to lure out the Spear Master pair. All these other guys keep getting in the way...
Oops! I forgot that defensive formations are a great place to hide dual weapon users. My bad for not assuming every single enemy formation would have one of these assholes to complicate things. Thankfully they attacked when she had a guard...
Camilla gets a very Camilla level and caps her speed! Malig Knight's one big weakness is its low caps. I'll swap her over to WL as soon as she hits level 15, where she should be able to grow a point or two more...
Okay NOW I can do my master plan to have Silas kill everyone on enemy phase. Although everyone does appear to have been killed already.
...or maybe not, the Enfeeble that hit him made him slow enough to not double. And now he's going to get lunged...
...and then frozen. At least he didn't make it all the way to Fuga's platform, that means the reinforcements won't trigger.
Oh and then he got blown down here anyway. I should start paying attention to the wind, I'd kind of forgotten about it.
Standing here will stop some of the reinforcements from arriving. Leo's not particularly useful and Xander's been hexed so those two are stuck on stair duty.
Time to begin my assault. I'll swarm Fuga and end the chapter next turn if I have to, but I'd like to rout and get the last chest if I can.
And here are the reinforcements. There's a lot of them, and one of them has Freeze. Kind of mean if you're not expecting it.
Silas got blown downwards into the range of the Kinshis guarding the chest, but he'll get blown back up next turn. D rank knives all in one chapter! If only Peri could get her axe rank up this fast.
Elise has reached the point where she can one-shot enemies with the Bolt Axe with the right support partner. I'm going to have to rely on her one-shotting certain enemies next chapter, although she will have the Lightning tome to help her do that.
Now I can finally clobber this guy. It'll be tricky - his personal gives him a boost to avoid when he's not at full HP and he gets a big boost from his throne.
Thankfully I've got Heartseeker to lower his avoid a bit. His steel weapons also lower his effective speed...
He'd better give me good EXP and levels for all the trouble this chapter put me through.
Bam! I guess Ophelia's good level streak is over now. That's okay.
Clean up a few loose ends...
And at long last I am done! Lots of stalling there at the end to get people into position. Finally the streak of miserable chapters is over.
Your approval is meaningless to me, I wish I had killed the both of you.
Next time: i TOLD you dog