The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

by midnight_lasagna

Part 46: Eternal Stairway

Time to climb a load of stairs! Unless I'm mistaken, I swear you go up these stairs in both Conquest and Birthright despite going in opposite directions in either route. I want to make a "are we to believe this is some kind of magical stairway" joke but I'd just embarrass myself if it turned out I remembered wrong and you do go down the stairs in Birthright.

Oh hey, Faceless killed all the guys! Nice of Iago to replace what could have been a diverse army of mixed attackers with a map full of the same enemy type. I'm sure this will be an easy chapter!

Yeah it won't be. Or maybe it will if you cheese it...

The Eternal Stairway is an escape map where everyone has to escape, not just Corrin. It's a releatively straightforward route to the top geographically speaking, but along the way are not only an army of Faceless with high stats, but a large number of Stoneborn to harass us with powerful long range weaponry. Not counting the ballistae that the enemy could potentially steal from you in Chapter 10, I think this is the first time you'll deal with long range attackers in Conquest?

There are two ways to deal with this map: one is to deploy an entire army of your strongest units and muscle your way to the top, the other is to deploy only Camilla and Corrin (or Corrin and someone else if they themselves are a flier) and BLJ your way up the stairs as fast as possible, hopping between dragon veins to freeze enemies and reach the top while engaging in as little combat as possible. The latter way is quicker, safer, and possibly your best option if your army isn't well equipped to deal with this map. It also deprives you of EXP and is a bit lame.

Reinforcements will spawn alternating from the top and bottom each turn. They don't give any EXP and are there to encourage you to move fast or get overwhelmed.

The boss is the one Faceless paired up with another Faceless. He's got high stats and some nasty skills but is otherwise underwhelming... He's also not really in the way of anything, so unless you want his Arms Scroll you might end up fleeing straight past him.

Otherwise the map is mostly full of these guys. All with the exact same stats, Savage Blow, and then a different Breaker skill. They hit very hard, are surprisingly fast, and are quite tough to take down... And unlike the Kitsune from two chapters ago, they can reduce your HP with Savage Blow even if they barely scratch you otherwise. Trying to cheese the map by deploying only Benny won't work here.

These enemies are what turn the chapter from free EXP to a potentially gruelling slog. Stoneborn are extremely bulky physical attackers with 1-5 range, who make up for their low movement by hitting you from a distance. Their one weakness that is their attrocious speed is negated by Wary Fighter, making them require multiple hits or brave weapons (or lucky crits) to take down. Their massive attack power makes it very easy for them to OHKO units like Azura, and while they are inaccurate you really don't want to risk the potential game over.

Oh and they also heal HP every turn with Renewal and have Heartseeker. I think these guys were maybe a little overtuned.
At least they don't have Countermagic?

These dragon veins are what make the chapter bearable. There's 5 of them in total (6 in Hard, 8 in Normal) scattered across the map. Each one freezes all enemies in place for a turn, allowing you to distance yourself from encroaching Faceless and limit the attack range of the Stoneborn. Unless you're flyskipping the chapter you'll likely be spending more than 5 turns escaping, so make sure to save them for when you need them.

As much as I love this gimmick, I think it's part of why this chapter is so hard if you don't have your army built a certain way. Suddenly discovering you need royals in order to not die can be a bit of a shock if the only one you trained was Corrin... The three royal prepromotes at base level are just about bulky enough to not die, and Elise as a Troubadour could still potentially contribute, but they'll be much less useful without EXP investment here

Here is everyone. Ideally you'll want your units unpaired to maximise player phase offense and give yourself oppurtunities to pair up and retreat. Beruka's a special guest here to hopefully give Camilla Fighter access at some point. I had a spare team slot...

The red danger zones of the Stoneborn are a big ugly eyesore that severely limit where you can put your units. Freezing them limits their range significantly, but you can't activate a dvein every turn realistically.

Here it is, here is the one reason I made Elise a wyvern: dealing with these jerks. Lightning absolutely shreds Stoneborn and doesn't care about Wary Fighter at all. It took a tonic and a meal for her to be able to do this without a support partner, but she can just barely achieve it. Having her to instantly delete them will make things so, so much easier.

If you don't have Malig Elise you can give Lightning to Leo or whoever your best magic user is. Camilla might be able to make the 2HKO with a magic partner and some boosters, but I'm not so sure. Otherwise your best bet is to pile on them with regular Brave weapons or fish for crits with killers. The Blessed Lance deals effective damage but not a great deal.

Savage Blow helps weaken enemies but unfortunately the AoE is based on Elise's position, not the position of who she attacked. She is now in range of the Faceless, which can be a problem... I discovered on my first attempt. Even with a Horse Spirit she can only take one attack without someone to help buff her defenses somehow.

Camilla swaps Elise's weapon and contributes minor chip damage. Thunder is weak but SB helps her damage output a bit more.

Peri can finish the job with her Blessed Lance, but she can also kill with her forged steel and that method doesn't lower her defenses. Blessed weapons lower your defenses by 3 each which make them not ideal for surviving enemy phase... They do also raise your HP at the end of each turn when equipped.

...why did I not give her one in the Kitsune chapter : (

Nice! She needs no help doubling here but more killing power is cool.

Finally! I keep saying Lunge is a great skill and it is but I keep forgetting to use it so I may as well get rid of it.

Ferrying Jakob over here to keep everyone alive is the last part of my master plan. It took help from Silas and Azura to do it, but with his boost to their bulk I can keep them alive without having to use a freeze this turn.

You don't need to engage the Faceless that start behind your group, but I'm hoping I can activate VoF here... I also needed someone to stand in front of Azura.

Profiteer's finally kicking in! I'm gonna be so rich!!! Or maybe not, 250 gold per bar is a bit lame.

Shredding your attackers on enemy phase is important because Savage Blow racks up damage even against your tanky units. Xander cannot ORKO without a crit, so Faceless wear him down fast.

Even with WL's high bulk and Jakob's help the Stoneborn still hurt.

Reinforcements arrive from the top... Next turn they'll arrive from the bottom, and then the pattern will repeat infinitely.

This is a short chapter so I'll show what the map looks like at the end of every turn. I've made a little progress towards the escape area...

Lightning lowers Elise's mag and skill by 2 after each use. She recovers at a rate of 1 per turn, but she'll soon lose the ability to get 2HKOs and have to wait a turn before she can do it again. A support partner could help her but I decided I'd rather give Camilla one.

Leo is unfortunately the dud royal right now and on charge of vein duty. Camilla might have to start grabbing the ones higher above me if Leo can't reach them in time.

There! Much less danger. I'll use these turns to move my army closer and surround the Stoneborn so I can take them out.

Monsters have 0 luck and therefore garbage crit avoud, so fish for crits whenever you can. Whacking Stoneborn with Killer Axes isn't a bad strategy if you've got no competent magic users. Gamble is actually useful here!!!

Wow, that's every stat except speed! Weird for a Swordmaster. I have no right to complain about this and yet I want to anyway.

Good, but not good enough to replace my other skills. Corrin can keep it in her back pocket for when she needs to fight Ryoma...

Don't neglect to take out enemies when they're frozen. Approaching the goal is more important than EXP, but you generally want to be taking out the enemy in front of you whenever you can.

Brick wall vs brick wall. Xander seems to like getting random crits but he never once got one against a Stoneborn.

No use leaving one of my best combat units on the back lines. I thought Peri would be slaying foes left and right but the Blessed Lances cuts into her bulk a bit too much.

These enemies really did not need Renewal in addition to everything else they got. Incidentally it's a good idea to make sure only units who can counterattack are in range when they're frozen, you want to damage them at every oppurtunity.

Turn 3 and I'm making good progress! Reinforcements are coming from the bottom now but they won't bother me much.

Ophelia's already got the entire Nohr literary canon in her arsenal and yet I still want to buy her Mjolnir too. That crit rate could go even higher!

Elise unfortunately needs either prior chip damage or a turn to recover. Her skill dropping each turn also makes her slightly more prone to missing...

Leo's too far behind now, it's Camilla's turn to work her blood magic. That's 2 veins gone, 3 left...

One day I'll get her to D axes. Just gotta keep grinding at it.

Elise kills a regular Faceless and unnerfs her own stats.

As you can see here, it gets a little crowded when you keep freezing the reinforcements. At some point I'll have to deal with them all...

Time to take out the big rock lads. These guys threaten even my bulkiest units, and they only have 5 less hit than the normal ones.

Only 2 left now, and one's right at the top next to the boss. I'd better hurry up and thin out the Stoneborn.

...some units are better at doing that than others.

Just! As soon as Xander's king he'd better outlaw these things.

It... might be difficult muscling through all these guys. I can go around but that wastes time!

The next vein is all the way on the left but I really need a freeze or else these guys I've been ignoring all chapter will start getting up in my business. What to do...

It's okay, there's a small patch where they can't get me!

At least you can bait Stoneborn over to you when they're not frozen. With all my army here I can just pile on them until they're dead.

Okay I really need to do something about all these guys.

I also really need to do something about my terrible planning ability. Azura, help please...

Offering accepted.

Azura helped. This side looks so much nicer now!

Shame I get no EXP cutting through the reinforcements, they're nice and easy targets.

Light at the end of the tunnel! Quickly everyone, go towards the light!!!

Okay, next turn I can activate this vein and then I'm done. It's a little crowded right now...

Nearly there!!! You know, this chapter is quite fun when you've got the resources to deal with it. Less so when you don't.

Pls let me have this glowing spot thank you good bye

Got it! Camilla's in a bit of danger here but I've got an army to bail her out.

Just have to wear the boss down...

It's only a matter of OH NO WHY'S HE ACTIVATING A SKILL

It's fine! It's fine.

Okay Camilla could be killed next turn and Xander's on 3HP, Jakob please save me with Enfeeble

Stab! Give me your Arms Scroll.

Precious stats.

Okay now the boss's flunky kills both Peri and Xander. Or maybe just Peri, I worked it out and thanks to Elise and Chivalry, Xander only takes 2 damage...

If only Felicia knew what her support with Peri was like.

Everyone's alive, just barely. Now I can take my sweet time routing for EXP.

Two more kills for the road. I don't think Nina's going to double anything before I reclass her back to a Bow Knight.

I have 70 stars, let me up the stairs!!!

And then a literal faceless goon kills Lilith. It's entirely possible you've forgotten she's a character and not just UI decoration like Anna was in past games... It's like if Clippy sacrificed himself to save you. Somehow this is only the third most stupid plot death in Fates.

Next time: Time to actually invade Hoshido