The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

by LordHippoman

Part 11: The Catastrophic Cavalier Cavalcade (Battle)

Chapter 5: The Catastrophic Cavalier Cavalcade (Battle)

Time to conquer our first kingdom. It’s gonna be great.

You know, Hardin, it would be nice if you showed up on that bottom I could demonstrate Okay.

: So it seems. Now, what say you we turn this battle around? I’m going to take my men east to join our might with Marth’s. Together we will retake the castle. Stay here, my lady, and wait for the good news.

Everyone from our usual team is going to advance forward so I can be in a good position to kill whatever enemies come at us. Marth is bait.

More interestingly, though, we have FIVE new characters on the other side of the map in Hardin’s squad.

This is Wolf, and oh boy, I have things to say about Wolf.

Wolf looks like he kinda blows. His stats are worse than most of our unpromoted characters, still at low levels, and there’s nothing really special about his weapon ranks. To actually understand what makes Wolf notable, we have to go to the growth rates. Keep in mind that these are BASE rates, before adding class rates. We’ll use Abel, who is considered a very good unit, as a comparison.

Wolf’s HP: 120 Abel’s HP: 25
Wolf’s Strength: 80 Abel’s Strength: 25
Wolf’s Magic: 5 Abel’s Magic: 5
Wolf’s Skill: 70 Abel’s Skill: 25
Wolf’s Speed: 60 Abel’s Speed: 40
Wolf’s Luck: 50 Abel’s Luck: 25
Wolf’s Defense: 60 Abel’s Defense: 5
Wolf’s Res: 0 Abel’s Res: 5

Wolf has ridiculously good growths in everything that will ever matter for him. He only has 17 levels to use them, but with class growth bonuses, he’ll easily swing nearly full level ups every single time, and sometimes get 2 points of any given stat, which can be done if your growth exceeds 100. That’s so rare it’s usually not worth mentioning, but that’s Wolf for you. A lot of people like to reclass Wolf to a General and have an unkillable wall for a large portion of the game, but I don’t think I’ll use him this run (IS WHAT I WOULD SAY IF I WAS A FOOL WHO DID NOT WANT TO USE WOLF, DEFINITELY IN THE ORIGINAL UPDATE.). There’s already a lot of good units.

For Sedgar, imagine what I just said about Wolf but just cut/paste his name instead. His Strength is lower, his Defense is higher, not a ton of differences otherwise.

Let’s descend from our lofty heights of kickass to...uh...Vyland. Vyland is New Cavalier 1 of 3 for this map, and he’s pretty shitty. He has slightly worse growths than Cain or Abel in almost all areas, and he comes in 4 maps later, at level 1. I don’t know why you’d use him.

Roshea is a little bit better. Very, very slightly. He’s got a naturally great HP growth at 50, like Matthis, and most of his growths are on par with Abel’s, but he has a pretty damning 0% in speed, which can really fuck him up. Still not worth it if you’ve been using one of the original cavaliers.

: So...Hardin...does he have anything?

: A Steel Sword.

: ...In his possession?

: A Steel Sword.

: ...Can you just say it?

: No.

Hardin, the brother of Duke Aurelis, is pretty solid. His growths aren’t as good as Cain and Abel...who I keep comparing these units to, but seriously, they just gave me THREE MORE CAVS, but he’s got some really hefty bases and comes able to use B-Rank Lances right off the bat. I actually like Hardin quite a bit, and I’d consider him the best of this bunch of Cavaliers by far.

Right now, Sedgar is taking pretty heavy hits from even these standard goons, but with a few more levels, he’ll be a wall.

This Cavalier missing Marth was the harbinger of “A Good Run”. Maybe things will go better this time and I won’t have to ping-pong Lena around the map.

Worth noting is that almost every enemy on this map is going to charge us. Look at all those dimmed red dots on the top screen! Most of them will try to take down your main group, but a few like to divert to Hardin’s squad in the south.

Hunter Draug makes a strong first impression, that’s a nice double. His Strength score is going to up his effective speed too.

Barst disappoints me, which is a very rare occasion, with a miss here.

Marth makes up for it, but it does worry me how he seems to insist on staring into this horse’s eyes as he impales it.

...On a nicer note here’s a level up.

Wiping out Macedon’s first main squad of Cavaliers turns out to be a pretty trivial affair, in no small reason because we can do damage like THIS. Caeda is so, so good in this game.

I forgot to check the other enemy ranges during the fighting, but when the dust settles, Marth’s in position to pull the rest of the enemies. Honestly I couldn’t have planned that better. Mostly because I’m incompetent.

We do have enemies coming in from the west, though, so Cain blocks the bridge while Ogma and Julian back him up. Lena’s on standby for healing, and that’s the end of Team Marth’s turn.

I’ve just got Wolf here in position to waste this Archer’s time and hopefully whittle him down a bit.

There are some enemies coming for Hardin, but thankfully there’s this narrow mountain pass between them and him. Vyland stands as a meatshield for now.

Wolf decides to immediately prove to everyone that he’s fucking Wolf by crit-killing this archer. Which I didn’t plan for. So now another Archer can hit him.

Or, they could if he didn’t pull off a sick dodge. He’s trying to impress you all so much.

Vyland holds up okay. Importantly, those archers can’t reach Hardin’s men from there, as the terrain is limiting and archer movement ranges aren’t great.

All the remaining east side enemies also charged us, most notably this old man.

Hardin manages to whiff this, but with that Defense it really doesn’t matter too much if he’s got to soak a hit.

Marth dodges around the Pegasus Knight to chat up the unique portrait guy. He actually will attack you, by the way. It doesn’t make sense in character, but it’s Shadow Dragon.

: Our pleas for peace have failed, and Khadein has been taken over by one of the other pontifices. His name is Gharnef, and he and the many mages who swear allegiance to him have allied themselves with Dolhr. Prince Marth, I ask you now: please lend me your help in thwarting his vile ambitions.

We’ll be hearing a lot more about Khadein, the Pontifices, and especially Gharnef. And then you will question why they made that guy one of the wizard popes.

You can also recruit Wendell with his student, Merric. In which case you get the good line:

: Well, hello, Merric! What a surprise! Good to see you haven’t blown yourself up yet.

Wendell himself has many of the same issues our old friend Jagen does. Namely that his growths and bases are hot flaming garbage. Still, he makes for a pretty good emergency healer or chip damage dealer for a little while. Just don’t make him a long term investment.

Also he can immediately betray and double this poor archer. Which was too funny for me not to do.

Meanwhile, Draug’s newfound bow power means bad news for Peg Knights.

With all of those enemies gone, it’s time to turn our attention to the bridges. This Cavalier has a Javelin, which makes him a little annoying to burn down. I’ve also got to keep the thieves in mind, because they’ll try and take the north bridge to destroy the village.

I sent Julian up there to block while Ogma takes Cain’s place so Lena can patch him up.

Lena’s levels have been disappointing so far. Her Magic usually gets better. This bodes poorly.

It turns out I made a mistake and I’ve dumped Julian in Cavalier range. At least he can take the hit.

In fact, they all went up there. Whoops.

I’ve lost my patience with this Cav. Caeda time. Sorry, one use of the Wing Spear.

One of Abel’s Javelins, along with Julian’s pretty solid damage, is enough to dispatch of the first thief.

Not exactly his ridiculous god-level from last map, but I think it averages out now.

Hardin’s loose now. These enemies will regret their decisions. Especially that archer, he’s just dead.

Cain and Julian have this guy trapped. There’s no escape, rando thief #2.

The enemies closest to the castle have a healer, but it’s not a huge deal. Just take them out before the boss.

The enemies beat Hardin down pretty bad after his reckless charge, so it’s time to get him the hell outta here.

Lena also lends a helping staff.

At some point during the enemy turn that trapped thief charged into someone or jumped off the bridge or something. Regardless, the village is safe and Marth’s going to reap the rewards.

He always looks like that. Or he blinks.

: You know, speakin’ o’ rare sights, I once went to Pyrathi, where I saw me a real live Manakete! Cripes, let me tell you what a shock THAT was! In a blink, this regular old feller turned into an enormous dragon! I mean, I ain’t stupid. I’d heard of the dragonkin before. I’d just always assumed Manaketes looked somethin’ like parakeets. Sheesh…

This NPC is better than 90% of the characters we will recruit.

: …What? Oh, this? I picked this stone up while I was there. Dunno what it is, but how often do you spy a glowin’ red rock, ya know what I’m sayin’ But honestly, it’s been kinda creepin’ me out lately. You want it? Go on ‘n’ take it. Sheesh…

We’ll find out what this is for later. It’s useless right now.

I bought some Steel weapons from this armory. I’m not even really sure why, I think I might have a problem.

Ogma gets a lucky dodge on this arrow. Which is good, because-

I forgot the Peg Knight could fly over here. This would have been a very embarrassing death and restart. He at least does take her out on the counter.

Ogma scoots out while Cord does what he does best.

Then he magically retrieves us a key. This could be useful soon. Or we could use Julian.

After that near-death from above, cleaning up the rest of the enemies is smooth sailing.

I want to complain. But it’s defense on Caeda.

There’s an available conversation between Marth and Hardin here. Sadly none of the Wolfguard ever get a line. Not even to let you know they’re called the “Wolfguard”, that’s just from the sequel.

: And I very gratefully accept it. Stories of your exploits travel fast, young prince. I feel as though I’ve gained a thousand allies in one.

Not YET.

: I’ve heard a few stories of you as well, Coyote. It will be an honor to fight alongside such a courageous man.

: I’ve left Princess Nyna someplace safe for now. We need to decide who will command here. I was hoping it would be you.

: Me? But, Sir Hardin, you are far more qualified-

: Tsk, Princess Nyna would not be pleased to hear us nitpicking over who will be listed in the history books. Take command, so we can oust this Macedonian scum and be done with it.

Hypothesis: RPG characters who have cool turbans are universally cool dudes.

: You are sure?

: Make no mistake. Lord Marth. I consider myself an exceptionally good judge of character.


: Don’t do that.

The gang’s all here now! Let’s take down the boss.

Merach his some intimidating stats, with a near impenetrable Defense and a 22 Attack stat, which can rip people up. He does have a glaring weakness, though. Zero Resistance and a one range weapon.

I just wanted to see if hitting still got you experience if you didn’t do damage. It does not. But now you know!

Cord sorta takes a cursory glance of his tome before attacking.

That’s the crit animation. It’s...not great. But hey, this is as good as won now.

Give me that hot Speed.

And that’s the end of that.

Well, this could be handy.

Also, I gave Hardin the Silver Sword that old man from last map said we should give him…and he can’t even use it. Hardin has a B in Lances, not Swords! I’m not sure if that’s a weird carry over from the original game or something, or maybe that old guy was just confused.

This is apparently Hardin’s brother, although it looks like it could be his grandpa.

: Princess Nyna of Archanea is en route from the fortress. I am sure she will wish to meet you. The battle is not won yet, though: many of the enemy continue to hold out within the castle’s halls. Stay wary.

Next time we spend several months sieging a castle and throwing dead cows over the wall. Hope you’re looking forward to it.

Oh, hey, that’s a thing in this game!

Bonus Content

Out of all the characters we recruited in this update, only Wendell doesn’t have a Cipher card. But we’ll just go with my favorite.

The Younger Brother of King Aurelis, Hardin

FE12 Spoilers: Yes, there’s a Cipher card for his Dark Emperor form too, but I feel like that might be out of place here.