The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776

by Cake Attack

Part 18: Dandrum Fortress - Part 2

Last time, Leaf and his army found their way to Dandrum Fortress, a said to be impregnable fortress standing between them and Tahra. The garrison there is under the command of General Kempf, all around creepy dude. As a part of ~political machinations~, he provoked Olwen into drawing her weapon, then threw her into the dungeon. Not quite reaching his quota of being a terrible person, Kempf then told Fred to go get killed fighting us, or bad things might happen. Let's take him down.

This part here annoys me far more that it should. You can't move through dark green forests, so you're essentially being forced through a bottleneck here. Furthermore, the bottleneck is made out of trees, so it takes forever to get all 14 characters through the trees to the other side. It doesn't even add much difficulty, it's really just frustrating.

See what I mean?

Oh hey this happens too. Asvel should make good use of this.


That must be Prince Leaf. ...This could be a chance to get myself a promotion. All right, I have a plan. Lure the enemy into the eastern corridor. Everyone, Portcullis! Make sure the enemy doesn't find out!

I don't like this one bit. Why can't the empire just stick to throwing enemies at me in somewhat manageable groups, I don't think I'll be able to handle an enemy who's actually using his brain.


I'm not sure what Kempf's up to, but it seems to involve ordering his armors to break formation and muck about randomly.

Damn trees. We keep forcing our way through; Fin and Havan have broken through and have formed up to fight the first group of enemies.

Good. He's got a long lance, so I'd rather capture him.

Not so good.

Short lances aren't so good, so I don't really mind.

Killer weapons!

[Havan: Lv. 14, Hp: 32, Str:13, Mgc: 1, Spd: 12, Luk: 5, Bld: 16] That'll do nicely.

Time to get ourselves some new arms. Y'know, if enemies stopped giving infantry units weapons, they could probably win the war just by preventing us from getting any weapons.

Between Carion, Fin and Fergus we can outfit an archer and two lance knights for another battle. Every little bit counts.

I should have left the second archer for Carion or Fergus, a killer bow and a long bow is far better than a short lance.

Ah well, can't win them all.

This map is full of bottlenecks, it frustrates me. Havan moves into the second to start taking care of some armors.

Javelin's kind of suck, they're inaccurate as all hell and not that strong. They have their uses, but they're not much of a threat in the enemy's hands.

Axes are generally good weapons, but they can have some serious accuracy issues when it comes to capturing. Havan wasn't likely to make the hit, so he moves back to let Carion take the glory.

Math is hard Let's go shopping!

Asvel heals Havan. Safy is still stuck in the forest, and I'd like to build Asvel's staff rank, so it's a win-win scenario. Unfortunately, nobody can reach the armor to capture him.


More staff wexp!

Less bottlenecks! Please?

Oh, and the near dead enemy armor is now a full dead enemy armor.

A javelin is thrown at him too, but it only had a 13% chance of doing 5 damage. Like I said, not much of a threat.

He misses, and runs away to be healed.

Carion carries on Fin's attempt...I think I've already made that pun.

[Carion: Lv. 16, Hp: 40, Str: 14, Mgc: 5, Skl: 14, Spd: 20, Luk: 13, Def: 13, Bld: 13] Pretty much a picture perfect filler level. Nothing extraordinary, but not really bad either.

Othin does the swap and drop.

Alright, let's get ourselves another long lance.

Damn. (Also I just realized now he couldn't even have damaged him if he had hit.)

Alright, Othin is rescued and out of the way, Havan can actually damage him, let's go.

Well shit. No big deal, we'll rescue him and try again.

...Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me.

Screw it, we were going to keep you alive but you can just take your long lance with you to hell.

Makua did not just turn into Fergus. Rather, it become our turn and she moved back to let Fergus get a slice of the action.

I'm not sure why I didn't capture him with Dagda. Either I didn't want him to level without scrolls, or I didn't want him to kill all the other armors (experience hogging and all.)

Well, no sense crying over spilt milk. Shiva gets the kill.

[Shiva: Lv 16, Hp: 34, Str: 13, Mgc: 4, Skl: 19, Spd: 20, Luk: 11, Def: 9, Bld: 7] What more can you really hope for in a level?

He gets two other kills, but leaves one alive.

Between Carion and Fergus, we capture the weakened one and a second armor hanging out behind the first.

Two armors left. Dagda moves into the courtyard to make room for more characters in the bottleneck.

He dodges a javelin from one of them.

[Dagda: Lv 8, Hp: 43, Str: 11, Mgc: 1, Skl: 12 Spd: 9, Luk: 4, Def: 10, Bld: 16] That's pretty much what you'd expect.

Sometime when you watch yourself play Fire Emblem, you really want to go back and find out why you did the things you did. Here, I'm not sure why I killed the armor with Dagda rather than going in for a capture. I'm sure there were highly compelling reasons. It was stupidity, I'm sure.

He survives. On the enemy phase, he goes around and attacks Carion (although Carion is holding onto a prisoner, so he doesn't kill him). Next turn, Othin captures him.

Everyone else enters the courtyard, staying just outside of Fred's range, (he's rocking a thunder sword, which attacks at a range) except for Leaf who falls short of the courtyard.

This turn Leaf makes it into the courtyard. He moves next to Fred, but he doesn't actually interact with him in any way.


All right, now! Get them!

This can't be good.

Oh god ballistas, that's bad, that's very bad. It's alright though, we can just escape out of their reach.

...We're fucked

This is all because of that man's... General Kempf's foolishness. I wish to die as an honorable knight. Not in a dirty plan like this.

All right. We're going to charge the castle, and you can escape to the south. We'll do something about the door.
I owe you now... I am Fred, a knight of the Schutaeze family. What is your name?

I do not envy the person who had to translate Fred's last name.

...Leaf, of Lenster.
Lenster? ...Hm...I see... Very well, Lord Leaf. Let us meet again!


Ok, let me rant about this. If you haven't played this mission before, you'll almost definitely lose once. It's almost unavoidable. Any characters still in a corridor will be open to ballista fire, and you'll need a squishy thief to open the door to get them out. If your thief isn't in the main room, then if you want to progress you have to get them through the three lower doors all the while being shot at with a ballista. I'm prepared and so I manage fairly well, but first time around this chapter is brutal. Game on.

We're bad allies and aren't going to help Fred escape. Instead, we'll do our thing and hope he doesn't die. Fortunately, Fred can survive two ballista shots with 1 health to spare. Unfortunately, he won't use a vulnerary after taking 1 shot, so keeping him alive can be kind of a crap shoot. As it happens, Leaf can also survive taking two hits with a ballista with 1 hp to spare, so he'll be acting as bait. The AI prioritizes Leaf over nearly anything, and so they'll attack him rather than Fred. Even if Fred's already damaged and could be killed if both ballistas attacked him, the AI isn't sophisticated enough to see this, and so they'll both act individually and attack Leaf.

I suppose this is as good of a time as any to mention we're on a time limit. We have 30 turns to clear the map if we want to go to 11x. This isn't that strict as far as time limits go, but on my first try my mind had over-exaggerated how bad this map was, and so I played things too cautiously and didn't make the limit. I over compensated this time and was a little gung-ho in my strategies, which means I didn't capture as many weapons as I should have (or distribute exp as evenly as I could have.)

I knew this was coming and spread out a bunch of door keys amongst my characters. Remember who bought a bunch of door keys in chapter 8? Although if you didn't buy any, you can still capture a lot from the armors, each member of the back row has one. Othin or Havan (who knows really?) opens one door, while Lifis gets the hell out of the danger zone and picks the next lock.

I'd feel bad for Kempf if I didn't hate him so much. I mean, we knew his plan ahead of time somehow, and brought door keys for no actually justifiable reason. Then again, the AI cheats in fog of war so screw them, let's break through their trap.

Although there aren't any safe tiles in the center courtyard, there are small 3 tile triangles in the top right and left corners of the courtyard that can only be targeted by one ballista. Any characters that can't take two hits should find shelter in there. It's not that urgent, because the ballistas don't work in tandem they'll attack Leaf over a character they could potentially take together, but still, better safe then sorry. Any mounted characters need to dismount to get inside, the game's not so kind to just automatically dismount a character when they move inside.

You may notice Tanya and Safy can't be seen anywhere. I left them at the beginning of the map, they're too squishy for what's going on here. Asvel's going to be taking over our healing duties.

Pictured is our Prince doing his dignified duty as ballista bait. He'll heal up for the next round of attacks. Rather than bore you by mentioning it every time, I'll make things brief and say that Leaf spends the rest of the map being hit by ballistas (or dodging with surprising frequency.)

Makua D's the door (god, who translated this game?)

This is why I hate narrow corridors. Mounted units have shit move off their horses, and so getting people out of the danger zone and into the corridor takes a while.

Javelins and thunder tomes out of nowhere Makua does what she does best and dodges everything thrown her way.

No time for capturing, we've got a trap to cut our way out of.

The last soldier is throwing his javelin at Carion. Brave, but ultimately futile.

Not as brave, just as futile.

Lifis picks a lock, giving Makua access to the ballista. It's time to ruin Kempf's plan!

We also capture this guy.

Everyone else keeps on moving up. Fin does too, although I didn't quite capture a screen showing that.

With one ballista dead, Kempf's trap really isn't a threat anymore. You'd have to be really squishy to die in one hit.

It's time to end things. Fergus uses his door key to open the door to Kempf's chamber.

And we've got ourselves a prisoner.

To steal a quote (and tweak it), Asvel won't be locked in with them, they're locked in with him. The armors have poison weapons, which are very weak. If they even hit, Asvel will pretty much be shrugging them off. Having a healer who can stand on the frontlines is quite handy.

See what I mean?

[Asvel: Lv 4, Hp: 35, Str:0 Mgc: 14, Skl: 14, Spd: 20, Luk: 8, Def: 7, Bld: 6] It's not good, but it's hard to complain too much. He doesn't need strength or build or speed, and defense is rare enough it's hard to expect.

[Shiva: Lv. 17, Hp: 35, Str: 13, Mgc: 4, Skl: 19, Spd: 20, Luk: 12, Def: 9, Bld: 7] He gets a pretty terrible level for his troubles.

Our turn.

Torch is one of several staffs that's pretty much just an item in staff form. One guess what Torch does.

Shiva captures the enemy mage, and everyone else moves forward. I've made a stupid mistake here, I meant to rescue Shiva so he wasn't in Kempf's range, but forgot.

This is bad because Kempf is quite tough. Statwise we've seen better, but he has fantastic weapons. Master weapons are the best of the best, having the same effect as brave weapons without being unique, and Tron is both very powerful (18mt) and has a very high crit chance (20). It does tank his AS down to 3 though, so a character with decent magic and a scroll could take him down easier if he equipped tron. He's also got 3 leadership stars, which is more or less standard for a boss by now, as it serves to counteract what you can achieve with Leaf and Fin. He's also one of the first bosses to have a PCC. He's sporting a PCC of 2, whereas most bosses have 0 or maybe 1.

We have no such luxury, as we don't want him to critical and kill Shiva, so Asvel's going to work his magic .

That can't be good.

Oh hey, turns out I could rescue Shiva. I needed to rescue a character next to him to clear the way, but this makes things less dangerous.

Especially because Kempf is a god damn coward .

Anways, mission accomplished with 11 turns to spare.


However, we must not rest. There are children being held captive here as well. We must kill off the rest of the enemy and rescue the children!

August comes off as pretty hardcore right here.


Current Resets: 17 18

Next time on Thracia 776:

Cake Attack posted:

How is that even fair IntSys?