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

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Glory Unwanted

So, finally we get to our swamp chapter. It's not a hard level at all.

Begnion is holding several people from Daein prisoner, and our heroes propose to save them even though we know its a trap.

(I found this to be equal parts Bad Ass, and What an Idiot!, to be honest.)

So, we're going to storm a swamp and save as many citizens of Daein as humanly possible. Trust me, this chapter is easier than it looks.

First off, base prep.

Three conversations this time:

Sothe* - Miccy and Sothe have a little moment together, and we find out that she's one of the Branded, a forbidden union between Beorc and Laguz. This is actually plot-relevant beyond people discriminating against her and stuff, so keep it in mind for later.

Tauroneo*** - Silly man isn't going to join us this time either. He hands us a Restore staff to be used in the next map (these items are a good way to know if anything weird/new is coming up).

Vika*** - Laguz can sense the Branded, which is why Vika feels strange around Micaiah. Either she's just that cool (possible), or Micaiah is that Messiahlike, but the two somehow bond over this. Ashera Icon obtained.

Forging: Since Thani is officially broken, and Light tomes aren't powerful enough, we forge Micaiah a tricked out tome with maxed Might (8) and Crit (15). We name it Lux, for obvious reasons. This tome, and the Thani we're going to pick up a little while later. Nothing else is needed at the moment.

We arrive at the swamp in question, and are ambushed. Then we ambush them back with the help of Nailah, Rafiel, Volug, Tormod, Muarim, and Vika, who were hiding in the bushes or something.

Map 1-8

Victory Condition: Rout

Defeat Conditions: Micaiah/Sothe/Nailah die; all prisoners die

Roster: Micaiah, Sothe, Nailah, Volug, Rafiel, Tormod, Vika, Muarim, Laura, Zihark, Nolan; Jill, Fiona, Tauroneo unavailable

Whoa, that's a lot of forced units. And those NPC units as well. There are 6 prisoners, and if they all die, then it's game over. They're stuck in the swamp, and cannot (or will not, I do not know) move. They also die in one hit. No, seriously.

Fortunately, keeping them alive in a swamp isn't going to be too hard.

First turn - Tormod slays a bandit, while Muarim tanks (untranformed, mind you), on his left. Nailah goes after the blob of units slightly South of her, while Volug and Rafiel move East to join Micaiah's group. Micaiah's group takes out a bunch of bandits and mages.

Huh, looks like this isn't going to be a challenge at all, with the swamp cutting enemy movement to just 1. They can't even reach - OH MY GOD WHY IS THERE A DRACOKNIGHT?! WHERE ARE YOU JILL?!

Yep. The one chapter where we could use a flier, and desperately so, we don't have one. Jill is a bitch sometimes.

Um yeah. That first dracoknight is laughably easy to dispose of. Just place Vika on the outer edge of it's range, and keep Tormod nearby. ORKO'd, easy. The other 3 that turn up later are somewhat more dangerous, in that they come when you're close to the Boss, who happens to move on Hard Mode (bitch).

Most of the action in this chapter takes place around then as well, so the real danger is getting hit by the boss (who hits HARD), with an Elwind (level 2 wind tome) and a high Magic stat. Zihark dodged him though, and aided by his Killing Edge, ORKO'd him.

Oh yeah. The reason that Restore staff comes in handy: The bandits on this map (the only units other than the Draco Knights that actively pursue the prisoners) carry Venin axes. Alternately, you could just use the age-old healer training method of healing for small amounts of HP. This map is something of a race against time (and wyvern reinforcements), so that isn't always practical, but imminently possible.

Venin axes do pathetic damage, and are weaker than iron weapons. They do poison on contact however. Strangely, or perhaps not, they are the only weapons not to make that "clink" when they do "No Damage" on a unit.

Chapter complete! In 10 turns even. Two prisoners were lost to a Wyvern I could not completely kill, but there are worse possible outcomes. 4/6 isn't too shabby for my first Hard Mode run of this chapter.


1) Seraph Robe - Rafiel was carrying it

2) Arms Scroll (missed) - North of the Boss. Sothe was too far away for me to grab it, and Nailah was on the opposite side of the map.

3) Lux - Forged tome

4) Restore Staff - Restores Condition (cures status effects)

5) Ashera Icon - Stat Booster. Gives +2 Luck.

New Units:

Nailah (Level 33 Wolf Queen)

Base stats

66 HP 60%

17 -> 34 Str 30%

5 -> 10 Mag 15%

23 -> 46 Skl 20%

19 -> 38 Spd 20%

35 Luck 45%

16 -> 32 Def 30%

13 -> 26 Res 30%

9 -> 19 Con

16 -> 39 Wt

Can someone say "Broken"? Good, now say it louder. Nailah is amazing now, and will always be amazing. Seriously, her bases completely negate her meh growths, and she's nothing less than a goddess throughout the game. She's not worth abusing in Part 1, because that screws over the Dawn Brigade hard, but when she rejoins in Part 4? By all means set her on unsuspecting enemies. She's pretty much the linchpin of my offense there, in that one chapter where Tormod and Co. rejoin. Oh, and she comes with the game's first Mastery skill - this game's way of making Tier 3 characters minor gods - Savage (Str X 3, halves enemy Skill - Skill% Activation), which kills everything unfortunate enough to get hit by it, and more importantly, has a ridiculously high rate of activation (46% at base!).

Rafiel (Level 12 Heron)

Um, no point in posting his growths. He's not going to level up very often, unless you spend extra turns on it.

Rafiel is this game's equivalent of the Dancer class, and like FE 4's dancers, can refresh 4 adjacent units at a time. His value depends on how much you abuse the herons (not much in my case - they're too fragile for my liking), but in general, they're a very useful class. Rafiel is arguably the best Heron due to him refreshing more units than his siblings at all times, but he's also more very fragile, and has poor movement. Transforming him is also disadvantageous on maps with ledges as he can't fly (and as a bird, somehow loses the ability to hop up ledges). Tormod's Celerity works very well on Rafiel if no other unit wants that extra movement.

Also, a funny thing, but Nailah and Rafiel are in a relationship. As a result, if one falls, the other will leave (meaning that if Rafiel dies, which isn't unlikely, Nailah will ditch you) in Part 1. I don't know if they ever come back, I'm afraid. This is very similar to Louise and Pent from FE 7, who also leave together if either "dies" in battle.

Post-battle musings:

  • Best turn count this run. Seriously. I'm actually getting better at this game.

  • Again, I disregarded that guide, and I have prevailed :D

  • No resets, bitch! I love the feeling

  • I need to amend my previous statement that item finding depends on luck. It depends on Skill actually. It was the older games, I believe, that used the Luck+1% formula. The new formula is straight up Skill%.

Next time: You clearly did not die when you were killed, good sir.


...Broken! ...Broken! There; I said it twice, and with emphasis where requested. And it's an accurate statement, if I do say so myself. Oh, to count all the opportunities where Naliah could be useful is akin to counting the stars in the sky.

Getting back on track, congrats for making such process with less difficulty than you had worried about. Let's just hope that lady luck keeps smiling for the next couple of battles as well.
EndarkCuli 18th Nov 11