An exercise in masochism: Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Hard Mode

SC Bracer

A Distant Voice

We're introduced to the base right now, now that we have our supply convoy and market in Aimee, Muston and the twins, Daniel and Jorge(?).The base is where we prepare for the next map - buying/forging weapons, viewing Info conversations, skill management and BEXP distribution. That last one isn't going to apply to us for a while now, but the others? Definitely.

I didn't forge anything this chapter thanks to low cash supplies, but next map will trigger a minor windfall, and some nice items.

The Info conversations are a relatively new feature in Fire Emblem, appearing first in POR, and range from pointless but entertaining to highly useful. They're ranked from 1 to 3 stars, and go from unimportant to important in that order.

There are four available conversations this chapter.

1) In Town - a short piece that leads to the recruitment of a singularly useless character, Meg. I see no point in gracing the reader with her stats, but eh.

Meg (Level 3 Armour Sword)

Base Stats

21 HP 60%

10 Str 35%

1 Mag 15%

7 Skl 40%

8 Spd 65%

8 Luck 75%

10 Def 35%

5 Res 50%

6 Con

12 Wt

I'm not going to use her this run, or any run ever, because she is an objectively terrible unit. She's basically a myrmidon trapped in a knight's body, and she suffers for it. Lower strength growth than a mage? You must be joking. And that defense growth. The DB has better tanks in Aran, Sothe, Nolan, and two more characters we'll be getting soon. She also has a Heaven affinity, which raises only Hit percentage, and is quite useless for most situations. She's great at shoving though, thanks to the dodgy formula (Weight of shover must be at least 2 points more than Con of shovee - that's where those stats are needed, as opposed to the GBA formula that used Con to calculate AS loss, and stopped you from using quite a few characters that way.) Did I mention she can lift a cow?

2) Merchants - Introduction of Muston and Aimee.

3) More Merchants - the twins are introduced. (This conversation was important in the Japanese version, where it netted the player forging points. More on that when we actually deal with forging.)

4) Kurth - Micaiah and Kurth chat.

We also reassign Leo's Cancel skill (why does an archer have innate Cancel again?) to Nolan, who probably needs it more than him. Edward gets Wrath taken off because I need him to survive the next map. Micaiah is actually a good candidate for Wrath thanks to Sacrifice and her low defenses. I won't be using that trick though, since I don't particularly care for Wrath, unless paired with Resolve, which automatically makes it broken.

We also set up a support between Edward and Nolan, to increase their survivability just a tad.

That's done with! On to the map, which is... shiny to say the least.

Map 1-4

Victory Condition: Rout Enemy

Defeat Condition: Micaiah or Sothe dies

Well, whaddya know? Our team is now expendable. Let us begin by killing Meg. No, not really. We actually throw her out of the team. Since we can choose our units for the battle now, the roster for this round will be:

Micaiah, Sothe, Nolan, Edward, Ilyana, Laura

Ilyana comes because we're going to exploit her 1-2 range, and our enemy's lack thereof. Micaiah too is key to this plan.

This map is our first look at the Laguz race. They hit hard when transformed, with a 2X multiplier to their stats, and are adorably pathetic untransformed. In RD, the transform gauge, and timing, is under the control of the player, making the Laguz more strategic as far as their short bursts of power are concerned.

The bosses for this chapter (yes, two of them) are two flamboyant tigers with enough creepy to last us for most of the game.

The fun thing about this chapter are the hidden items. The map has little piles of gold all around (which we can't steal for some unexplained reason), which have some awesome items in them.

1) Coin - used in forging (and will be explained in the forging infodump), found close to where we start the map.

2) Master Seal - Promotion item, found in South-East corner

3) Beastfoe - Great skill (that we could have done with for this chapter) that adds effective against Laguz to a character's equipped weapon.

There are also 3 treasure chests, 2 of which are important (and thus harder to get to than the 3rd).

4) Pure Water - raises resistance, and best sold for some extra cash (South-West chest)

5) 3000 gold (North-West chest)

6) Seraph robe - raises HP by 7. Will be dumped on Micaiah as soon as the chapter ends (North East chest)

Now that that's out of the way, let's begin our assault!

The first turn is all about positioning for the siege. Nolan stands in front of a cracked wall; Edward hangs around blocking access to Micaiah; Sothe grabs the Coin; Micaiah blasts a tiger on the other side of the eastern wall.

Cracked walls can be broken by any unit and have an HP value. Nolan will be whacking that tiger with his hand axe while it hits the wall, and then will be tanking. Ilyana will support him, and Edward as needed, along with Micaiah.

Sothe relieves Edward by blocking the the gap and Micaiah kills the tiger. Nolan attacks.

Some turns pass as we clear out the bottom of the map with Sothe and Micaiah. Everyone else is supporting Micaiah. We pick up our Master Seal as well, and then Sothe heads West for some more items.

I screwed up around here, after turn 6 when the reinforcements stop. Moved Nolan too far, and had him splattered by the boss. Micaiah is the best option for boss killing right now, clearly.

The first boss, on the Western side, is duly dispatched by our Micaiah-Nolan tag team. Sothe takes the last hidden item and opens up 2 chests in the meanwhile. Some more tigers and cats die.

Now comes the tricky bit - getting to the last chest. That has our HP up item, and we need to get to it. There is the long way (sending Sothe south and around) and the short way (sending some units including Sothe through the sand and being tricky with positioning so that the path to the chest is not blocked off). The latter is what I chose to do. The boss also untransformed, making my life a lot easier, and I was able to nab the last item and give Nolan the boss kill.

Sand - a new terrain type gives a 50% movement penalty to all non-magical units. It also reduces mounted, non-flier unit movement to 1. Beast Laguz aren't hindered by sand when transformed.

Chapter get! This chapter is actually pretty easy, all things considered. The only difficulty lies in staying alive thanks to the Laguz hitting really hard, which can be circumvented pretty easily using a mage (or even Leo, so you should desire it), and playing defensively with the tanking unit. The real challenge lies in getting all the treasures, which is best done using Sothe.

The probability of finding treasure is Luck+1% for any units that aren't thieves. In the GBA games, thieves were guaranteed to find hidden treasure, but here this is not quite the case. I'm not sure of the exact percentage rate, but it is significantly higher than other units, who will have a 51% chance tops (only a few specific units that are unlikely to reach those levels anyway).

Yune ditches Micaiah, and we chase after that dratted bird. In the process, we chance upon an unlikely group - 2 Wolves and a Heron. They are naturally a little disturbed by our presence, but everything is smoothed over, and we're all friends (really really quickly, I might add. Have I mentioned how strange I find Fire Emblem bonding?) again.

Next Time: suicide.gif


Ah, hidden treasure. Remember the good ol' days, when there was only one battle per game in a desert, and all of the game's hidden items were in it? But in this game, from the previous chapter onwards (a single coin, says my Prima guide), there's always one or two items you can pick up that are rarely worth the time it takes to search for them. An Olivi Grass here, a Concoction's like some crazy adventurer stocked up on knick-knacks and forgot that there were holes in both of his pockets.

Anyways, I'm still enjoying your tales of strife and turmoil in the world of Tellius. Best of luck; by the sound of that 'Next Time' bit, you're going to need it.
EndarkCuli 4th Nov 11
Yes, that's right - you can pick up the oddest items just lying around the ground. My favourite would be Ike's exclusive weapon sitting behind a Ballista.
SCBracer 6th Nov 11