Part 70: The Empty King
This king empty... YEET! That would have been a very funny and relevant thing to say 4 or 5 years ago I think.
Unfortunately the fire alarm went off while everybody was getting their armour on to fight Garon and Corrin didn't have time to put any trousers on. Having F!Corrin in any mounted class does kind of make it hard to take any cutscene seriously... Or harder, I guess.
The Nohr siblings are somewhat sceptical about us telling them their dad is an evil monster. Xander is the most willing to believe Corrin, but for some reason he suspects "Corrin is evil and lying and is doing this to lure them all into a trap" as the second most likely alternative. She could just be wrong! Or more likely, trying to think up a reason why these four should betray their obviously evil dad since just him being evil doesn't seem a good enough reason for them to do it.
The gang walks in to find Garon sat on a throne and turned into hot glue. I wonder how long he'd been sat down. Would he have turned back to normal if he had stood up for long enough? Incidentally this is what I choose to believe happens to Harry du Bois if he gets a game over while sat in Evrart's chair.
The shock of this revelation causes Camilla to lose a leg, Elise to combust, and Leo to fart explosively. This was meant to be a screenshot of Garon hitting them with his big long goopy arm but I think my timing was way off, this is the worst action shot I've ever taken.
...I said I wouldn't comment on plot stuff too much but it's almost the endgame and this map is super short anyway. I've earned a bit of fun.
Xander is the only one who's able to stand up to Garon. Possibly because he's the only one with any real memory of him being a decent person, and therefore the only sibling for which evil goo man Garon is much of a downgrade.
The Yato achieves its final form. Seeing this cutscene is the trigger for this transformation, you don't actually have to start the chapter and you can back out and keep it. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to use the Shadow Yato outside of this map and the one after it.
Fitting with the horrible and strange reality the Nohrian siblings have been suddenly faced with, this map is weird. This chapter is romhack levels of strange, and I don't mean it as an insult - I think it's genuinely interesting. You also have to replay it every time you fail the endgame map immediately after so any goodwill towards it will evaporate extremely quickly.
The secret to not having to replay this map over and over lies in Fates's option to change difficulty between chapters. I very definitely recommend you swap from Classic to Casual before attempting this for the sake of your sanity - even if you're resetting every time a unit dies, Casual allows you to make permenant map saves at any time. Endgame is one of the cruellest maps in all of Fire Emblem history and forcing you to replay the map before it between every attempt suuuucks. Making a map save on turn 1 isn't quite the same as letting you access battle preperations before the map, but it's close enough to save you a lot of grief.
...or you could use savestates. Savestates on your legitimate copy of Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest for the Nintendo 3DS.
One last meal before we go. This meal will only last for this map and not the one after, so I'm just going with something that will help kill Garon faster. I guess my wheat's going unused forever...
Goo guy Garon has some high stats and a throne, but he's not really all that scary. He's got 3 range, Armoured Blow, Warding Blow, Renewal, Savage Blow, and Dragonskin, but considering how short this map is and how much room there is to gang up on him, he more than likely will feel a little underwhelming.
Dragonskin halves all incoming damage, and reduces the effectiveness of crits and offensive skills by half as well. This means crits will only deal 1.5x the damage, and all effects of offensive skills are only half as powerful - this includes the healing power of skills like Sol. It also prevents damage from skills like Poison Strike. The Shadow Yato reduces the damage reduction effect to merely 25%, so Corrin will most likely be your best answer to enemies with it.
In my head this incarnation of Garon was weaker than Birthright's non-gooey form, but that's not really true. He has regular Garon beat in all stats but HP, luck, and resistance. I guess Birthright's playable characters are generally weaker and lower leveled which is why I thought that? Their version of this map is much harder to beat too.
Right before Gooron is a long hallway with lots of side branches with stairs that all lead here. They are guarded by this group of enemies. They'll all charge forward towards your units right from the get-go, but with the maneuverability the stairs give you it's trivial to skip right past them.
This Merchant has huge bulk, Wary Fighter, and 3 gold bars with which to use Spendthrift. Don't even bother fighting him or his cohorts, it's not worth it.
His friends are similar except they have move + 1 and both Counter skills. The max level Lancers are part of what makes this feel so romhacky to me, it's just a really weird thing to include.
In what I now have realised is kind of a homage to one infamous map in Thracia 776, this map contains 4 Shrine Maidens all with 1 use infinite range Entrap staves. Each one will grab one of your units and stick them in one of these side rooms. The enemies inside won't move until turn 2, so you don't have to worry about being instantly killed.
I don't think anybody is 100% sure how these enemies behave, but as far as I know they will go for your highest stat total units and they will only grab units in the central corridors. Deploy your units in the slots located in the upper side rooms if you don't want them to get grabbed. Defeating the promoted enemy in each room will open up an otherwise unopenable door that leads to the stairs just in front of Garon.
These side rooms also lead there, and you can manually deploy your allies there too. They contain multiple promoted enemies and Shrine Maidens with the high range and powerful Moon Festal healing rods.
Here's an entirely unnecessary visualisation of which pairs of stairs match up. The trick is to lure the middle enemies forward and then take the stairs while they're away from them. It shouldn't be too hard to beat the boss before they catch back up.
It's hard to prepare for this chapter on your first attempt thanks to the infinite range Entrap users, but as far as I can tell they'll always take the same units to the same location each time so long as you don't change your lineup or positioning between attempts. All my best units are paired up to ensure that whoever gets taken will be in the best possible position to fight their captors... I didn't actually know that the Entrap users would ignore units in side rooms when I attempted this, but it ended up not mattering much in the end.
These enemies will run out of the side rooms and harass your other units if you leave them alone, so taking the fight to them if you can is ideal. These level 20 promoted classes with multiple classes are no match for Ophelia.
Taking out the healers will also make things easier, despite being unpromoted they can heal enemies for a lot of HP and their healing rods have a lot of range.
Camilla can't double these Swordmasters but they can't hurt her. Even without Swordbreaker she's probably my best answer to this class.
Everyone else just gets moved up since I have no idea what will happen on enemy phase. Best just to roll with it and improvise.
The Shrine Maidens have chosen. All of these seem like really terrible choices? The Sniper grabbed the 1 range unit with WTA and the Ninja got the Shurikenbreaker user... Shigure's probably going to be in some trouble though, but at least he's good at running away.
Some of my units do better against their adversaries than others. The Spear Masters have Warding Blow but it turns out +20 resistance does not protect you from Ophelia Dusk.
Meanwhile the Merchant and his shareholders all charge forward towards my weak units and away from the stairs. My healers won't be healing anyone since they got separated from all my good combat units, but they do serve as juicy targets to distract these guys.
Corrin needs to get in as much practice hitting Snipers with her sword as possible, because that's what she needs to do next chapter. This guy is no match for her.
Nina can't take this guy out but she can distract him without any danger. I was hoping for a lucky crit but it wasn't to be.
Elise is in a similar boat, she can't hurt her captor much but she can take out the cleric instead. Maybe that's a better use of her time.
There's a reason Shigure didn't show up in his paralogue that was full of Berserkers. He's just going to run.
Shigure can't outpace these enemies on his own, but he can hitch a ride from my mounted healers. They don't have to survive much longer, Corrin's on her way to the boss.
9 effective movement and the secret stairs get her right up to the boss. It's a little hard to see his wide attack range on the red carpet...
A Slime approaches! Command? Thanks to Life and Death Corrin deals a lot of damage to Garon despite his damage lowering skills. She's also taking a lot more damage in return, her effective -10 defense means she gets 2HKO'd instead of being able to survive a couple of rounds.
I think this wobbly text style is a fairly common localisation replacement for something Japanese games do by combining multiple types of charcters, or at least that's what I remember from some Legends of Localisation article I read ages ago. I always thought it looked kind of dumb, it just makes me think of troll typing quirks.
Garon's 1-3 range makes sense with his weirdly stretchy arms, but he can also attack from this far away even when he's a regular guy in Birthright. I don't remember what Bolverk's ranged attack looks like...
Dragonskin provides no resistance against Draconic Hex, so Corrin can easily set up a kill for someone deserving. Who gets it, Ophelia Dusk or Camilla?
It is Camilla's Quest after all. Ophelia is helping with Heartseeker so it is a team effort!
Garon has no special boss conversation for anyone but Corrin, not even Xander. It's a little disappointing.
She's the king now.
There we go! Garon is dead, Hoshido and Nohr are saved. The game is over and everything is okay. There are no more challenges to overcome, and certainly no enemies with both Staff Savant and Inevitable End here to ruin my day.
All the prisoners I took, like Haitaka, and Jin the generic Archer, and... nope I think that's it. Sakura who?
Oh no, it's Betrayal. I thought his name was Possessed?
Takumi is back, and he's here to kill Conquest. That's no exaggeration, I feel as if this last map has ended a lot of people's runs. There really is no shame in lowering the difficulty or just stopping here if you want, this next map is not fun.
Thank you Azura. I wouldn't have worked that out on my own.
Next time: Suffering