May 01, 2014

Fire Emblem - End Game

After getting to some of the later maps, I began to realize that I almost certainly had not beaten Fire Emblem in the past as previously believed.  Either that or I was abusing the heck out of savestates because FE is much tougher than I remember.  A lot of comrades fell during Marth's crusade against the Dark Dragon, including Marth himself on more than one occasion (which can be a godsend when others had died since it forced me to start the map over again).  Chapter 21 was particularly bad as the enemy had many generals, dragon riders, and missile units which just shredded Marth and his buddies up.  Eventually, I had to resort to a drastic new tactic, even though this meant that I'd be forfeiting a lot of XP if successful.  Instead of engaging in honourable combat on the field, I had Marth and Abel warp right next to the enemy stronghold after drawing most of the enemy troops away from it.  The plan was to have Marth and Abel kill the general in one turn, weather any attacks from nearby units, and have Marth seize the fortress the next turn.  Abel one-upped my plan by getting a critical hit with the powerful Gladius spear, leaving Marth in the clear to immediately seize and win the day.

Super secret ninja strike!

If Abel had not dished out that crit, Marth could have been in trouble since he would have had to endure two paladin attacks as well as a shooter; survival would have depended on Marth's dodging ability.  And there's no doubt that all the enemies would have chosen Marth as their target, as this was the pattern throughout the game.  In earlier maps, I actually used this to my advantage, especially when taking on the fortress boss.  It allowed me to gang up on the boss with weakened troops without having to worry whether they would die or not because I knew that the boss would target Marth the next round.  In later maps, when the regular troops started pumping out more damage, the continual spanking of Marth led me to protect him a little more.  Another reason to remove Marth from the front line was that he capped out at level 20 and therefore received no XP from combat.

Marth finally got to give Garnef his comeuppance in chapter 23.  After gathering the Star and Light Orbs in previous maps and having a priest conjoin them to form Starlight magic, the only magic that could penetrate Garnef's Maph magic.  Now Marth was on point to set the record straight.  Well, Marich had the honours, actually, as Marth can't use magic tomes.

Can't believe you lost to the magic that exists
specifically to counter your magic?  Hurrr.

In addition to receiving the legendary Falchion sword (a staple of the FE series), Marth also rescues his sister, Ellis, who comes with the Oum magic, allowing for the resurrection of one character at a temple located in the next map.  I had a lot to choose from but went with Astria, a hero class character that had met his demise awhile back.  He turned out to be pretty useless as he didn't have enough levels to inflict any significant damage.  After completing this map, Marth gets his first glimpse of Mediuth, who looks positively bored sitting on his throne.

You'll never stop the power of our smiles, No Heart!

The final map throws a monkey wrench into the works, with mixed feelings from the Shen.  The starting location of the characters are not together, as has been the norm.  They are broken up into four groups and start off in the corners of the map.  On one hand, I like having the additional tactical situations that arise from this as they have to fight through foes and attempt to rejoin with the other groups.  On the other hand, it sucks that the player can't determine the character composition of each group.  One group consisted of a cleric and two archers who promptly got all their asses served to them.  So, instead of battling all the way to Mediuth, I just warped as many characters as I could into the inner chamber and cleared the way for Marth and his trusty Falchion to slice 'n dice him.

One Dark Dragon Kebob, coming up!

While both combatants were fairly equal in power, Marth had the advantage of having clerics who could heal him regardless of their location on the map.  And so, on round four, Mediuth succumbed to the power of the Falchion and disintegrated from this world.  As the epilogue plays out, Sheeda asks Marth if she can return to her homeland of Talis but Marth awkwardly asks her to join him in Aritia instead, to which she agrees wholeheartedly.

Uda man, Marth!

The game then goes through every single character in Marth's army and gives a line or two about what they're doing now that the war is over.  Most are just doing generic things like rebuilding villages or returning home but some of the more notable characters have a personalized conclusion.

Come on, Marich, you deserve happiness too.

If the character died during the war, then the text displayed is just gobbledygook (translation bug) and the sheer number of these entries made me kinda sad.  But then I thought about Marth and Sheeda gettin' it on and was happy again.