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

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Raise the Standard: Base Prep

Well, the first thing we need to clear up about this chapter is that it is a two-parter, and we won't get to visit Base in between the two parts. This update will cover Base Prep only, to make the updates shorter, as I really don't have the time right now, with college apps and the like, to put Base, Part 1 AND Part 2 into one mega update.

The first part is a relatively easy, if slow, slog through some thickets, and is a Rout chapter.

The second part is Defeat Boss chapter, and is equally easy with the exception of the first few turns which rely a lot on a group of NPC units not being incompetent (they will be), and not dying all over the place (which also happened).

The point, basically, is that both chapters are almost breathers after the madness last time, and as such are significantly less ripoutallhair-worthy (excuse the neologism).

There is some plot as we get to meet none other than Daein's prince Pelleas, his kooky advisor Izuka (anyone who's played POR should have Obviously Evil alarm bells ringing right around now - seriously, the game doesn' even try to hide how twisted the guy is), and the prince's mother, Almedha (who looks nothing like the boy).

So, now that we're back in base after that heart-breakingly soul-crushing previous chapter, let's take a look at what's changed - our new characters, that is. We get three of them: Tauroneo, Zihark and Jill. All three are good in their own right, and this is pretty much the point in the game when we start ditching the original Dawn Brigade.

Tauroneo (Level 14 Lance General)

Base Stats

38 HP 55%

24 Str 40%

12 Mag 5%

22 Skl 65%

20 Spd 50%

18 Luck 20%

21 Def 45%

15 Res 50%

11 Con

21 Wt

Ah Tauroneo... look at that defense. Now look at any other Brigadier and weep. WEEP. Good growths, and of course, extreme tankiness, he remains usable for a long time. Only downside to him is that he'll suck experience away almost as much as Volug thanks to him being promoted, and almost on the way to third tier. Ideally, you give away his weapons and let things attack him, as he'll kill everything that so much as breathes on him in Part 1. He also has horrible availability, so you can't abuse him as much as you'd like... which sucks. He comes with Resolve, which is THE most broken non-mastery skill in the game. He also has the most Badass Mustache in game. Finally, as a recurring character, he gets transfer bonuses (which I don't have on him because I didn't use him in POR).

Zihark (Level 3 Swordmaster)

Base stats

30 HP 55%

17 Str 35%

6 Mag 10%

22 Skl 75%

23 Spd 70%

11 Luck 40%

13 Def 25%

11 Res 35%

11 Con

11 Wt

The thing about Zihark is that Edward will always turn out better. Eddie is, objectively speaking, the best Trueblade in the game based on potential. Zihark beats him out in Hard mode purely because he can take a hit (or rather, he won't get hit), and still has the growths this game needs. His Earth affinity is a great bonus, and supporting him with Nolan gives both of them a massive boost to evasion. We like Zihark, and he'll be replacing Edward completely after this chapter, make no mistake. Incidentally, his innate skill (unlike a certain archer I could mention) is perfect for him. Adept activates off speed, and Zihark is guaranteed to have high speed. This helps his damage output significantly, which is pretty much what the doctor ordered.

Jill (Level 14 Dracoknight)

Base stats

24 HP 50%

11 Str 45%

1 Mag 15%

12 Skl 45%

15 Spd 65%

14 Luck 60%

13 Def 35%

3 Res 45%

7 Con

36 Wt

Jill is a bit of a mystery. If she turns out well, she'll be absolutely brilliant, and outshine her Spear Counterpart(whose growths are the opposite of hers). If she doesn't, she'll be terrible. Her growths are balanced, and decent in every way, but other than speed and luck, she runs the risk of being badly RNG-screwed. On the other hand, she belongs to one of the game's best classes, with great caps all around, so we definitely want to train her. The Dawn Brigade will appreciate a flier, no doubt. Annoyingly, she disappears for the one chapter where she'd be really useful, so uh, that's not a good thing.

All in all, we've gotten some excellent characters, and the Dawn Brigade is saved. No, really. Half the reason I said that the chapter is easy (comparatively) is because of these guys. I love them, I really do.

We have only two conversations this time.

For the sake of formatting, and being informational in really OCD way, I'll be marking the importance level next to the title from now on. Unless I forget.

1) Outside the Village ***

A group of villagers recognise Micaiah as their Lady and Saviour. They donate 1000G to the cause, which is... sweet, I suppose. I mean, sure, we've just deprived them of their next meal, but WEAPONS.

2) Kurth ***

Kurth is secretively chatting with Almedha (see, the game is telegraphing plot points really really soon), when Micaiah shows up. They chat for a bit, and then Kurth helpfully gives us a Renewal skill scroll. Nice enough, I suppose.

Renewal belongs on Volug or Tauroneo, who actually have the HP for it right now. It heals 10% of HP every turn and as such works better on tanky characters who have tons of HP. Even so, it's not THAT useful.

For some final prep work, we hand over Bloody Claw to Jill, who needs it a lot more than Nolan, who's doing just fine. Zihark gets an iron and a steel sword so that we don't waste his Killing Edge (a fantastic weapon with a high critical rate). Tauroneo has his weapons unceremoniously dumped into the convoy.

Next time: We actually do some fighting. And Edward spends his last active battle not really doing anything.

Random post-update notes:

  • I'm finally getting the hang of Tv tropes formatting, yay! I've been pondering the availability of page breaks for a while now.

  • This update was long thanks to the character stats. The next one ought to be shorter since , we aren't getting anyone new, and it's just the chapter summary.

  • I have no idea why Jill didn't get transfer bonuses. Maybe I didn't get her to 20/20 in POR? I honestly can't remember, but her stats should seriously be better than they are.

  • RD hard mode is allegedly harder than Hector Hard Mode. I find this hard to believe (or maybe I'm just not that good at the GBA titles).


On the topic of Jill's bonuses, I think only Sothe gets a direct transfer. For everyone else, I think you need to max the stat in Path, and you get a bonus to that stat in Dawn. Bit of a con, all things considered, but at least it's something to show for your trouble.

Good to hear that your pain has subsided, at least for now. Best of luck with the next couple of fights!
EndarkCuli 12th Nov 11
Yeah, I know. She had enough capped stats to get those +2s though - like in strength, which she really needs right around now, hence my irritation with her. I wish capped stats transferred regardless of level, provided that the unit was promoted.
SCBracer 13th Nov 11