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That One Level / Fire Emblem Fates

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This game is far more difficult than Awakening was, and this page will outline the more difficult maps in particular. Conquest is notoriously more difficult and will have the most maps considered this, although the other two paths have some surprisingly tough maps.

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  • The child Paralogues scale the enemy levels to the player's progress in the story, as do the child units, but only up to a certain point. After Chapter 18, the child unit must use the Offspring Seal to reach their scaled level. Unfortunately, this means that the longer the player waits to clear their Paralogue, the more fragile the child unit is since they'd be stuck at an unpromoted class while the enemies around them get much stronger. Getting to the child unit can become very frustrating to nearly impossible because of this. Shiro and Ignatius are especially awful with this since they're both far away from the starting position while they start off near enemies, making rescuing them of the utmost importance.
    • Selkie is another one who can be difficult to rescue in a timely manner. She doesn't look too far away, but there are a bunch of forest tiles between her and the party, and she starts out pretty close to the enemies.

  • Ch 12: Dark Reunion, the map in the opera house. It comes off as a bit of a surprise as it's an Escape map rather than a Rout or Defeat Boss map. While there is an easy way out by having Corrin ferried over to the escape point, playing the map as it is intended can prove to be tough. The map is cramped, making it a bit tough to move around, at least until the Dragon Vein is activated. Garon is on the map, and while he does not move, his axe has an absurd range. Xander on the other hand, will gun the player down on harder difficulties. No unit would feasibly be able to take on either of them.
  • Ch 13, the Cheve map. Much like the Conquest version, it presents a slight difficulty spike due to the number of things it throws at you. From enemy density to saving all the villages, and then there's the biggest one. Camilla is the boss of this map, and she has an absurd movement range (being a Malig Knight) and stats for this point in the game, meaning she can easily one-round a good number of units if she isn't baited out carefully enough.
  • Ch 21: Burning Falls, the mountainous map with lava. The map features Stoneborn, which are monsters that can attack at a distance, making them annoying to deal with. What makes this map frustrating is its use of Dragon Veins. There are two to activate: one will open the way to the next part of the map, and the other will flood the area with lava. If the latter is chosen, then the area will clear up after several turns. The problem is that the game doesn't explain any of this. Since it takes a long time for the Dragon Veins to reappear (and reusable Dragon Veins are rather uncommon in general), it can easily lead one to believe that something went completely wrong, leading to multiple resets.
  • Ch 23, Camilla, taking place in some underground passageways. The map is split into three major sections, and each section has little space for units to move around in thanks to the water, unless they are a flying unit. What makes this map especially frustrating is the use of Dragon Veins. Camilla has access to an unlimited amount of Dragon Veins that will send fireballs down one of the sections, which will damage all of the player's units for 10 HP. She does this at the start of her turn, so that means the player's units will already be weakened before the other enemies can even strike. These fireballs will also destroy any obstacle in the section, which is never explained from the game. Any enemy that was behind the obstacle could suddenly be closer to the player's units after this. With Camilla's constant siege of fireballs and the cramped layout, this map proves to be one of the most difficult in Birthright.

  • Ch 10: Unhappy Reunion, the defend map at the port. This map is infamous for being one of the most difficult in the entire series. The player has to hold out for 11 turns and defend four green tiles near the starting position. If a single enemy steps on there, then that is game over. The map has a lot of choke points to defend against the oncoming enemies, but there are also houses that provide an incentive to break formation and visit for items, even if it means putting a unit at risk. In previous games in the series, defend maps usually end up with about most of the enemies being defeated near the end, giving a few turns of leeway. That is not the case here, as the player is under siege every single turn and the enemies refuse to give in at any point, while more reinforcements come pretty much every turn. And on Turn 7, things take a turn for the worse. Takumi activates a Dragon Vein and the water in the harbor is drained, which would remove the choke points that the player has set up. The enemies can now walk around and get to the defend point more easily. While this can be prevented by defeating Takumi first, this would require a unit to possibly be in more danger from oncoming units, plus Takumi himself will take a beating before going down. On harder difficulties, enemies have skills that can really screw the player over, like Oni Savages having Lunge to bring them closer to the defend point and displace the player's units out of formation, while Hinata and Oboro have Mov +1 to help them get closer. The map can get really hectic, especially towards the end, and will truly test the player's skill and strategy. It may be difficult, but despite that (or because of it), this map is also considered to be a fan favorite.
  • Ch 12: Bitter Intrigue, the time limit map with the medicine and poison jars. The player has to reach the end of the map and either have Corrin escape or defeat Ryoma, and this must be done within a certain number of turns. What makes this map difficult is the layout. It's tightly packed with all sorts of pots that are labelled Medicine or Poison. They bar the path ahead, and will have to be broken to proceed. Medicine pots have beneficial effects, like healing or stat boosts, while poison pots have detrimental effects, like status effects or stat drops. While they're clearly labeled and have (slightly) different colors, there is no telling exactly what effect will occur until they're broken. Saizo and Kagero are at the midway point, and thanks to them being paired up and having high stats, they can be tough to take down. After them, there is a Dragon Vein. Hitting it will destroy every pot, and any unit within range will take their effects right away. This can open up the map which can make it easier to get to the end... and it will also make it easier for the enemies to rush the player down. Not hitting the Dragon Vein would mean having to slowly maneuver around the pots, even if it means having to break a detrimental poison pot to try and proceed. Either choice has its difficulties, and since there is a time limit, it is best not to waste time, especially since a group of enemies will spawn at the start at a certain point and are all tough to take on at once. At the end is Ryoma, who is very powerful and can prove to be quite a danger to fight, especially on higher difficulties. Finally, to make matters worse, Elise is unavailable in the map, meaning only Jakob or Felicia would be able to heal for this map.
  • Ch 13: Uprising, a rout map in Cheve. This map introduces promoted enemies, which include Reina, Takumi, and Scarlet. Takumi is actually very close to the starting position. With his weapon's effect, and Pass on higher difficulties, his movement will be undaunted. The player will be surrounded very quickly by the likes of him, as well as the Wyvern Riders and Knights in the map. On Turn 7, an Outlaw will appear on the map to loot whatever is in the houses, giving the player an incentive to try and rush down there while also having to fend off the surrounding enemies.
  • Ch 17: Den of Betrayal, also known as the ninja cave, or Ninja Hell, and for good reasons. It is a Marathon Level made of narrow corridors that lead to several open areas, most of which have spikes that will injure the player's units if they are standing on them. Only units with Locktouch can disarm these spikes. Saizo is on the map as an ally NPC and he can also help disarm the traps. He's not invincible however, and ensuring that he survives will yield a Speedwing, providing an incentive to keep him alive. What further complicates this map are the Dragon Veins, which will alter the map's layout completely. Some walls will fall, while others will rise, opening up some paths and closing others. The usage of these Dragon Veins need to be planned carefully as the player's units could potentially be blocked off if not placed properly. To make matters worse, most of the enemies on the map are Ninjas, some of them being the promoted Master Ninjas. With their high Avoid, their ability to poison and debuff, and their ability to attack through walls, they prove to be quite a pain to deal with. Automatons and Mechanists can also debuff, while Swordmasters and Samurai also have high Avoid to contend with. Finally, the boss is Kotaro, who boasts a ridiculous amount of Avoid, boosted further by terrain, while the terrain of his boss room will be completely detrimental to the player's units.
  • Ch 19: Kitsune Lair, a rout map in a forest inhabited by foxes. This map's gimmick is that enemies can have a leaf icon, which makes them an illusion, which makes them unable to attack or be attacked. Some of these enemies will have Pass, allowing them to slip through defensive lines, while others will have skills that help augment their offense. This is just outright unfair, as this is an enemy only ability. They also have high Avoid, boosted further by the forest terrain, and they're also unimpeded by the forest tiles.
  • Ch 21: the Eternal Stairway, an escape map full of monsters. This map introduces the Stoneborn, who attack at a long range and are incredibly difficult to defeat in a single round. The rest of the map is full of Faceless, who also put up a good fight. The goal is to get to the top of the map and escape. To prevent the player from grinding, the reinforcements have a skill that prevent EXP gain, meaning it is best to just escape as soon as possible. The only saving grace is that there are Dragon Veins on the map that will freeze all the enemies in place for a turn. Or you can deploy just Corrin and Camilla and have her ferry them to the exit.
  • Ch 24: Hinoka, a seize map in a beautiful forest of cherry blossoms. This map is big and open, but the usage of Dragon Veins are what will make or break the map. When the player activates the Dragon Vein, then all fliers have their Mov reduced while every other unit has a boost in Mov. When Hinoka uses it, the opposite effect occurs... and she has a lot of flying units under her command, who can reach 12 Mov this way. This means the player can be assailed by lots of flying units at once, who can reach across the map very easily and very quickly, and there are a lot of reinforcements. This will affect the player's flying units, but on harder difficulties, enemy fliers will have effective countermeasures like Air Superiority, Beast Killers, Bowbreaker, or the use of Yumi weapons from Kinshi Knights. On Hard, Azama gets a Hexing Rod to halve a unit's HP (and on Lunatic, two of them), which can debilitate the player's units from quite a distance. Hinoka will also prove to be a challenge thanks to her Winged Shield covering up her archer weakness, and she can also take advantage of the bonuses that the gate terrain provide, while also having a pretty high Speed stat to avoid being doubled.
  • Ch 25: Ryoma, the map where Corrin must duel Ryoma. Defeating Ryoma will clear the map, but Corrin must do this without any help whatsoever. It's very possible that Corrin just might be unable to win thanks to weapon choice (like a Corrin focused on axes or bows) or simply not having good enough stats. In which case, other units can join in to help Corrin, but to open the central arena, either Saizo or Kagero must be defeated (on Normal at least, on Hard and Lunatic both must be defeated). The rest of the player's units will have to contend with really tough Swordmasters and Master Ninjas. On harder difficulties, enemies gain more skills to challenge the player with. Most annoyingly, Automatons can Lunge through a player's defensive line and leave a player unit at the mercy of the other enemies. After twenty five turns, Ryoma will start hunting Corrin down, giving the map a time limit of sorts.
    • On Lunatic, Conquest takes a great difficulty jump, because it starts introducing enemy-only skills. Any enemy that can debuff, like the Master Ninjas, receive a skill called Inevitable End. This allows them to stack their debuffs. These debuffs can turn even the sturdiest of tanks into fragile pieces of paper if they're stacked enough. The worst offenders are the enemies with the Spy's Shuriken, as it drops all stats by 2 and both defenses by 5, and they have an absurd range of 3. All of a sudden, the hallway that leads to Kagero becomes incredibly dangerous because of these Master Ninjas who can debuff from a safe distance, potentially weakening a unit so much that they are unable to tank whatever hits come at them next. Finally, Ryoma has even higher stats and a full skill set to take advantage of those stats, and will start gunning after Corrin after twenty turns instead.
  • Ch 26: Treason, the map where Iago and Hans are fought. This map is really large, split into various rooms, each organized by unit types. The first pressing matter are the Maids, who can inflict status effects from a distance, which can limit the player's approach options. The map then splits into two, with the right hallway having Sorcerers and Maids and the left hallway having mostly Faceless and some Stoneborn. The former will assail the player with status effects and powerful magic, while the latter will assail the player with long range attacks and beefy Faceless. The AI is also smart enough to not be aggressive until the doors open, meaning the player will have to break the doors and rush in. Once the enemies in a hallway become aggressive, reinforcements of that unit type will appear nearby (with more reinforcements on Lunatic). The halls themselves are somewhat cramped, making approaching to be quite a task. Either one will lead to the bottom room, which is full of powerful Berserkers (including Hans, who wields one of the strongest axes) and very sturdy Generals, as well as two Maids for even more status effects. At the end waits Iago, the boss of the map. He wields the S Rank tome Excalibur, which boasts high Mt, grants him some follow up Spd, is effective against fliers, and has a dangerously high Crit rate, making him a bit of a tough opponent. Here's what makes him even tougher: he can use staffs even though Sorcerers normally cannot use them. He stands in the center of the map, and can hound the player with all sorts of status effects. To make matters worse, he has a skill called Staff Savant, which gives him unlimited staff usage and increases their range to 10, meaning his range for inflicting statuses is massive. At the very least, Iago's AI is predictable, as he will cycle through his staffs and never use the same one twice in a row, which is yet another thing that is not mentioned by the game itself.
    • On harder difficulties, it just gets worse. Enemies get more skills and better weapons to work with, and their stats are also higher in accordance. Hans in particular gets both Counter and Countermagic, as well as Certain, Armored, and Death Blow, making him a dangerous opponent on either phase. On Lunatic, every Maid also gets Staff Savant, meaning it is nearly impossible to avoid being hit by status effects while trying to clear the map. Iago also adds a Hexing Rod to his inventory to further impair the player with. The map is just one exercise in madness, but it is merely a taste of things to come before Endgame.

  • Ch 24: Days Lost, a stealth level. If it's played the way as intended, then this map is an exercise in sheer frustration. It is similar to the stealth level from Path of Radiance, but far worse. The player just has to reach the end of the map without being detected by any of the guards. On Normal, it works the way it did in Path of Radiance, simply having to not be in the range of a guard on the player's turn. But on harder difficulties... that's not enough, a unit basically has to outrun double a guard's movement, because if a unit is in the range of a guard even after moving, then reinforcements arrive. If a guard is defeated, reinforcements arrive. Because of how frustrating this mechanic is, it will be difficult to field more than a few units and also avoid the guard's line of sight, to the point that the player may as well just field two units with high Mov, one to ferry around a thief for the chests, and another to ferry around Corrin to help beat the boss. The map also has doors that must be opened to proceed, and one is trapped to injure the unit that opened it. The game tells the player which doors not to pick, but then it outright lies to the player at the very end, so if the player does what was told, they get punished for it. Behind the actual final door is the boss (the forcibly revived, Brainwashed and Crazy Queen Mikoto), who moves and wields a Yumi, which can be dangerous if the player has been using a flying unit to ferry units around. Finally, the movement patterns of the guards are just very erratic and hard to ascertain. The map is basically just one giant headache if it's trying to be done through stealth. It's not required, it can be done just like any other map... but if it's done that way, then the player loses out on one of the only pairs of Boots in the route, along with a Master Seal and a hefty sum of gold.

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