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

[table of contents]
Endgame: Daein Arise!
The game wastes no time in establishing that Jarod is a prick, and that had Micaiah and the Black Knight not had an incredibly inappropriately timed moment of HONOUR BEFORE REASON, then Nevassa might not have been bombarded by catapults.

Micaiah wants as a result to take action, but Izuka stops her by accusing her of being a usurper (funny how things work out in the end...). Pelleas has a moment just then, and tells Izuka that they're going to fight Begnion after all.

He somehow rallies the troops (and earns several respect points in the process), and they set off for Daein Keep.

So now, it's time! We, the Dawn Brigade, are now setting forth to fulfill our destinies!

But first, Base Prep.


Base prep takes longer than usual for this chapter, mostly because I am forewarned and thus have to prepare adequately for the rest of the game.


Two Conversations:

1) Fiona*** - So, instead of character development, we get a Thani? Eh, I'll take it. No effort from IS into actually giving the new characters a personality I see.

2) Volug*** - He hands Micaiah a Blue Gem that he seems to have gone back to the desert to retrieve. Cool.


Bonus Experience:

1) Micaiah - Skl/Spd/Luck +1

This leaves her with 16 speed before promotion, and makes her the fastest Micaiah I have ever had. Also she's faster than Nolan if such a thing were possible. No really.

2) Jill - Skl/Spd/Luck +1

A little boost before the chapter. I need Jill and Nolan to promote before this chapter ends - or reach level 20 at the least.

3) Nolan - Skl/Spd/Luck +1

It wasn't intentional but they all got the same level ups. Speed is kind of vital for Nolan because now he doesn't get doubled by myrmidons.


Forges:

we make quite a few. Aimee's convoy will leave after this chapter, so it is in your best interests to forge like a crazy person. At least one steel forge for each character you're using is recommended.

1) Joyeuse (Steel Sword) - Maxed Mt and Crit (4800G); Purple

2) Huscarl (Steel Axe) - Maxed Mt and Crit (3840G); Yellow (gold?)

3) Lacrimosa (Steel Axe) - Maxed Mt and Crit (3840G); Blue


Skills:

Tormod finally gets Celerity taken off him. This is promptly put on Rafiel because Rafiel needs movement desperately.

Zihark gets Paragon because he's the only one with the capacity.

Nailah gets Pass because we need her to do some wolf-ninja action in the next map.

Tauroneo loses Resolve in favour of Micaiah because Miccy actually has some of the speed needed to make use of Resolve and more importantly, this adds years to her durability.


Stat Boosters:

1) Jill - Energy Drop and Seraph Robe (+2 Str, +7 HP)

2) Nolan - Ashera Icon (+2 Luck)


Also, most important thing:: Give Ilyana the Blue Gem and Red Gem (do not sell these!), and use her in the map. She transfers over to Ike's team later, and they're always strapped for cash.

Well, so much for all of that. We pick up a Heal staff for Laura as her's is running out and we begin the map!


Troop rallying (as mentioned in the plot summary on top of this update) happens, and we enter the battlefield.

Map 1-10 [Endgame]

Victory Condition: Seize

Defeat Conditions: Micaiah/Sothe dies; Nailah dies; Black Knight dies

Ahaha they expect the last two to die. How twee.

Roster: Micaiah, Sothe, Volug, Nolan, Zihark, Jill, Tormod, Ilyana, Nailah, Black Knight, Rafiel; Tauroneo not available

This map is nigh identical to the Normal mode map. Let's hope it's as easy (read: we won't have to abuse our God characters).

Well, that first turn was a comedy of errors. Micaiah missed a Knight, with a 90% hit chance using a Thani, slowing down our advance greatly. Nolan also failed to hurt a myrmidon despite not having the Weapon Triangle to worry about. Ahaha *sucides*. The only bright spark would be the BK holding up the rear reinforcements without breaking a sweat. I think.

Turn 4 is similarly terrifying, with Resolve saving the day for Micaiah who gets attacked by a lot of random units. Same with Nolan. This chapter isn't that hard on Normal, so you can really see the difference improved enemy stats (and not having promoted units) make.

We work our way up to the next level of the map, while things suicide on the Black Knight. Nolan continues to play Miss the Enemy, while Jill dodges 2 55% hit chances. Nailah baits bow users, and then kills them. There is an awful person with a Steel longbow there and he needs to die pronto.

Longbows have changed a little in this game. They come in the various metal flavours other weapons do, making them a lot stronger, while maintaining their 2-3 range. The only things stopping them from being broken would be: price (unholy expensive), inaccuracy (Major hit to Hit when shooting things at 3 range, and general inaccuracy as well), and rarity (only bargains). They're a pain when the enemy has them though.

There is also a mage with Meteor. Nolan takes the first hit after which Micaiah and her capped resistance relieves him. Meteor guy ineffectually pounds away at her until the tome breaks.

Nolan finally makes it to Level 19 and with it gets some speed. He might actually be useful now, since his stats are on par with Jill's.

Jill also hits Level 19, bringing with it a meh-ish level (HP, Skl, Luck, Res). Oh well, it'll have to do.

We unlock the door with our new Unlock Staff, and even Rafiel gets in on the leveling action with a very Heron like level (HP, Luck, Res).

We finally make it up to the top, and clear out the enemies there. A bit of bad positioning leaves Jill wounded but alive, and Zihark leaps in to clean up the mess. Boss Abuse ensues, while Laura sneaks another level in - she's now at Level 10, and we're going to promote her as soon as we can (which is in the next Daein chapter).

Jill hits Level 20 at last! She seems determined to make up for skipping the last couple of chapters, and gets an amazing level (HP, Str, Mag, Spd, Luck). Only Nolan left.

Jill promotes, and by gum, it is glorious. She's set for Part 3, no problem.

AI is dumb tidbit: The reason this is taking so long is because Jarod gave away his concoction to a random soldier. I appreciate a kind general as much as anyone, but seriously?

And Jackpot! Nolan hits Level 20 as well after killing Jarod using Bloody Claw (how apropos), with a less than amazing level (Skl, Def) - he's been a big lump of failure all chapter. He's turned out stunningly tankish though. He promotes on the next turn, and Micaiah seizes.

Oh yeah, Jarod rants about how Micaiah is going to get screwed eventually.

Turn Count: 28 (thanks to the extra boss abuse. My best ever run of this chapter was 13 turns on a low count playthrough.)

And we've won? HOLY SHIT. We've just beaten what is literally the hardest part of the game, with the last few chapters yielding no resets whatsoever. This is awesome.

Oh and we're celebrated for it, and Micaiah promotes into a Light Sage. She really has hilarious speed (like 3 or 4 more than average). I'm not complaining, nope.

And onto Part 2. I'll see you there!


Items obtained:

1) Forged weapons (see Base Prep)

2) Blue Gem (can be sold for 5000G) - given to Ilyana

3) Thani

4) Reaper Card (launches a uncounterable magic attack) - Ilyana

5) Speedwing (+2 Spd) - Ilyana

6) Unlock Staff (unlocks things)

7) Vantage Scroll (gives Vantage skill to wielder [User attacks first; Spd% Activation[) - not as awesome as in POR and the SNES games, but handy on faster characters. It can make a deadly pair with Wrath, but relies too much on Luck for my liking.

8) Coin - Yep. In a treasure chest. It's kind of sad.

9) Parity - Chest. Removes all terrain/weapon/skill advantages. Highly situational, but it has it's uses I guess. Not really my thing though.

Ilyana's Inventory: Thunder, Elthunder, Speedwings, Reaper Card, Blue Gem, Red Gem

All of these except the Speedwings will be sold when we get to Ike's side of the story


Bonus: How to train Fiona into a usable unit in one chapter

If you've been wondering how to make use of Fiona (ever), then this is the section/update for you.

Basically, you forge an iron lance with extra Mt, and buy lots of Bronze Lances. Dump these on Fiona. Now, while you're stopping the thieves with Nailah, take some time off to glare the Physic Priests into the Petrified condition. Petrification never wears off and gives +10 to defense. The priests also fully heal themselves every turn thanks to their staves, and it takes ages before Fiona can start killing them. Keep this up for the next few dozen turns, and you have a trained up, and hopefully, decent Fiona.

This strategy works on anyone, by the way, so feel free to use this form of abuse instead of risking Jarod's tiny chance to critical you into a reset.


Post Chapter musings:

Next Time: Of Countries and Kings and Terribly Snobby Dragonmasters

21st Nov '11 3:03:46 AM flag for mods
comments
Farewell speedy Micaiah, and hello to the shortest Chapter of the game! Terribly sorry to hear that the Random Number Gods kinda messed up Nolan, but at least there's always other axe-wielders to use if his luck continues to be poor. Best of luck with the new set of characters that you'll be controlling next time!
EndarkCuli 21st Nov 11
Eh, he's turned out fairly decent. He just refused to kill things properly in the chapter (Jill clearly stole all his luck).

SCBracer 23rd Nov 11
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