The following post is part of my series “The Worst Fire Emblem Awakening Playthrough Ever”. Spoilers ahead for a six year old game.
NOTE: This will likely be the last edition of this I do for a couple of months, as I need to clear out a backlog of other posts on my schedule. The series will resume at some point in the near future (November? December?)
Welcome back to the worst Fire Emblem Awakening play through ever. When we last left the Shepherds, I took the time to do a couple of paralogues as a breather from the main story. We gained an underleveled farmhand as part of our team, as well as having met the walking symbol of Ylissean capitalism. We’re headed back to the main story where we get to play one of the best written chapters in all of Fire Emblem1, as well as one of the most annoying chapters in the game for reasons I’ll get into as we go.
Chapter 10: Renewal
We bring the chapter by seeing Basilio leading our intrepid heroes through a giant ribcage, which isn’t ominous or anything. Chrom is incapable for forming sentences, which is annoying, especially since we’re ambushed by the Plegian army. And that’s it. That’s the entire cut scene before selecting units.
After selecting our units, we’re introduced to the boss for this level, a Plegian general named Mustafa — not Mufasa as I originally read it on my first playthrough. He offers us mercy if we surrender, which Basilio immediately scoffs at. Mustafa says Emmeryn wouldn’t have wanted this bloodshed, further proving that the bad guys in this game sometimes make more sense than the protagonists. Chrom gets angsty because his sister is dead, but then Mustafa admits that Emmeryn’s sacrifice profoundly impacted him and many other Plegians. Mustafa then offers to protect Chrom and our army if we surrender, only for the normally calm Frederick to shoot down the offer. Mustafa resigns to having to fight, beginning our actual fight.
This level is one of the stranger level layouts in the game, basically looking like a series of groceries store aisles full of enemies. I decide to take Chrom, Sumia, Maribelle, Frederick, and Vaike up the right side of the map to clear out the aisles, while everyone else (Cordelia, Libra, Donnel, Tharja, Gaius, Sully, Nowi, and Kellam) go down the bottom of the map to help draw out some of the aisle dwellers. Maribelle, Sumia, and Tharja take out units on the first turn, but we’re largely too far away to do much.
Between turns, Mustafa gets upset that there are thieves stealing stuff from the battlefield. He wants to give justice to the theives, but instead says his army needs to focus on the Ylissean army. The enemies advance, but can’t do much. On turn two, we take out quite a few of the advancing units, though Donnel takes more damage than I’d like.
On the enemy phase, one of the Plegian soldiers makes a case to Mustafa to stop this battle because he doesn’t see the justice in fighting the Ylisseans — going so far as to accept any punishment Mustafa has for him. A second soldier starts screaming at the first one, saying he’ll be killed for insubordination, but Mustafa calms the first soldier by telling him that a soldier is there to deliver judgement not to judge. He empathizes with the soldier, who was there when Emmeryn gave her last words. Mustafa then tells his soldiers that any soldiers who aren’t willing to fight are free to leave, but that he will fight on because he must obey the king’s orders, as Gangrel would murder his wife and kid if he ran. Mustafa’s soliders stay to fight with him because they wish to be loyal to him, serving as a reminder that in times of war, people can do the wrong thing for the right reasons2.
Turn three begins and I start sweeping through the enemy units in earnest with Sumia, Maribelle, Cordelia, Sully, and Gaius picking up kills. Mustafa shouts for the reinforcements to be called in, but this battle isn’t going to last long enough for that to happen. Chrom, Maribelle, and Cordelia get our only kills of the player portion of turn four, but the enemy turn goes much better, with Tharja racking up three kills by herself. Frederick begins turn five by engaging with Mustafa by himself, though he doesn’t quite get the kill. Fortunately, Libra is there to pick up the pieces, ending the level as Mustafa pleas for us to spare his men.
Suddenly, an allied unit teleports in. Her name is Olivia and not only does she seem to know Basilio, but she apparently can fucking teleport. Olivia is apparently a smuggler, making her the Han Solo of this game, only significantly more annoying. Olivia insists we get on our way, formally ending the chapter.
Just kidding. It was just a save screen. We’re in Castle Ferox where Lissa is sobbing while Christopher Robin and Frederick are lamenting our failure. Flavia and Basilio are bickering about what to do next. Christopher apologies to Chrom that his plans couldn’t save his sister, and Chrom…thanks him for trying?
Wait. Hold up. Chrom is portrayed as a hothead for most of the last two chapters and yet he doesn’t feel like Christopher has ANY responsibility for Emmeryn’s death? This isn’t consistent with his character at all.
Chrom then starts saying how it’s all his fault, which is more consistent with his character. There’s a lot of talk about sacrifice from Chrom before Christopher gives a buddy cop version of the halftime speech trope. This is followed by pretty much every recruited character telling Chrom how they wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for Chrom — except for Virion, who spends most of his dialogue talking about himself before I reach through the screen and hit him with a shovel. Chrom then asks everyone to help him take down Gangrel, which is met with Lissa wanting to punch people in the face. We get yet another line of people saying they’ll fight, including Flavia promising to give the backing of the Feroxi army. Olivia — who is also here still, apparently — pledges her support because Emmeryn did her a favor once. Because of course she did. It’s plot convenient. Basilio encourages Chrom to start cracking skulls and raise hell. This FINALLY marks the end of the chapter.
Between chapters, I’ve reclassed Panne from a Taguel to a Thief. She’ll be the recipient of some grinding at some point after chapter 11.
Chapter 11: Mad King Gangrel
Before this chapter, I did a couple of rounds of reeking box battles so Donnel could hold his own here. Hence bringing him. That said, he’s still woefully underleveled and it almost went very badly.
We being with Aversa and Gangrel overlooking the battlefield discussing the fact that the Shepherds are on their way. Gangrel makes a fart joke3, which Aversa promptly makes fun of. Gangrel talks about how a man is either strong or dead in this world, which will in no way foreshadow anything. A Plegian scout runs up to advise Gangrel and Aversa that their army is deserting them.
We cut away to Frederick, who is bringing news of the desertions to Chrom and Christopher. Chrom is confused before a few lines before realizing that it’s all because of his sister’s sacrifice. Apparently she’s become a Plegian folk hero according to Frederick. This caused me to look up whether or not a folk hero could be a famous person and apparently it can. Who knew? Chrom laments for a bit about Emmeryn’s passing, but my ice cream sandwich is melting, so I ignore him in favor of eating that.
After choosing units, we cut to a talking head of Chrom and Gangrel shouting at each other from across the entire battlefield map. Gangrel tells Chrom he doesn’t know the first thing about peace — and he kind of has a point. Granted, Gangrel doesn’t either, but Chrom REALLY hasn’t grown that much across the last few chapters. But then suddenly, just to prove me wrong, Chrom admits he has flaws, but he’s trying. He goes on for a bit about the Power of Friendship before Gangrel tells him to shut up and fight. We’re then joined by Olivia, who is a dancer. Dancers allow you to use the Dance command to make another unit have a second turn. The downside to this is that Olivia is as frail as Miriel was back in Chapter 2, so we really won’t be able to use her if we want her to live.
On turn one, we’re out of range to attack (or mostly to be attacked, so it’s spent pairing up and advancing most of our pairings forward — save for Nowi and Kellam who will be hanging back for the inevitable reinforcements that will show up in the forts to the upper left of the map. Some of Gangrel’s troops move forward, but nothing interesting happens on their turn. Frederick and Ricken open up turn two with some kills, with Ricken picking up an additional one on the enemy phase. Stahl takes a good bit of damage on turn 3, but most of the turn is spent with Sumia, Christopher, Frederick, and Ricken taking more of Gangrel’s units out. On the enemy phase, Stahl probably shoiuld have died, but two different mages with 85%+ hit rates both miss. You might be surprised to learn this trend continues on turn 4, only with Sumia, and only slightly more explainable, as she’s in a fort. That said, it’s four straight misses in her case. I can’t even make this up, because it would seem too unrealistic if I made that up.
The reinforcements finally come on turn 5, but Nowi deals with them easily. Panne’s new Locktouch ability comes in handy to pick up a Goddess Icon from a chest. By turn 6, Gangrel comes charging out of his protector fort — because remember, he’s insane. We let a bunch of other units take out everyone around Gangrel (well, most of them at this stage), but then have Lissa — who has been Christopher’s pair up buddy to this point — fight Gangrel, because she’s a much better story for avenging her sister’s death than Chrom. She doesn’t get the kill, but is low on health. Then, for reasons I don’t fucking understand at all, Gangrel decides to attack Sully WHO CRITICAL HITS THE FUCK OUT OF HIM. He really was a mad lad.
Turn 7 is just some cleanup, leading us to beat the map. The rest of the Plegian army surrenders once we take out the last unit. Chrom accepts their surrender because he’s learning and it’s adorable.
We cut to a discussion between Flavia, Basilio, Chrom, and Christopher talking about the end of the war with Plegia and the coming rebuild of Ylisse and Regna Ferox. A new cinematic plays talking about how Chrom and Christopher are working tirelessly to restore Ylisse’s glory. Chrom has decided not to take up the title of Exalt, but he does marry. There’s a royal wedding between he and Sumia, only for us to get an omnious line.
But then, two years later…
We save the game!
Also, there’s a messenger from Regna Ferox come to see Chrom. It’s Raimi — the Feroxi knight who we had to fight back in chapter 4. Flavia has requested a summit between Ylisse and Regna Ferox because the Fire Nation attacked. Er…the western nation of Valm attacked. Frederick and Chrom agree to meet with Flavia, but are stopped by Sumia. Sumia says she’s coming with Chrom, despite the fact that her and Chrom’s daughter, Lucina, is newly born. Chrom wants Sumia to take advantage of Ylisse’s generous mandatory maternity leave laws, but Sumia insists she needs to come to the summit. Chrom and Christopher talk about Chrom’s growth as a person, but I’m going to ignore that and post my favorite meme related to this scene.
We cut to Arena Ferox for Flavia’s summit. She advises us that Valm is, indeed, attacking with warships. Basilio greets us like Broken Matt Hardy only to say he knows someone who can tell us why Valm is attacking. It’s Virion, who’s not quite dead yet despite my best efforts. Apparently he’s been lying to us the whole time — he’s not just an asshole archer, he’s the Duke of Rosanne AND an asshole archer. We should really keep the Ambien away from him. Virion’s servant, Cherche, is also here. She’s not only more likeable than Virion by an infinite amount, but she also info dumps why Valm is attacking, as well as the fact that they attacked Virion’s country first. Apparently Virion is the rightful ruler of Rosanne, however I would never subject Sara Gilbert to that. Our new big bad that we’re going to need to worry about is Walhart the Conqueror and if his Smash Ultimate fight is any indication, he’ll likely be a bitch to kill.
Cherche gets some verbal slaps to Virion in here as well, but he keeps interrupting her. That said, Cherche has zero time for that, as she’s not only trying to seek aslyum, but she’s also very willing to kick Valm’s ass. Virion tells us that we’ll want to fight the Valmese army with units that have experience fighting against cavalry, but little does he know that we have a limited roster of characters to choose from, not to mention some more shipping to do. Chrom offers to volunteer Virion to fight the Valmese army himself, which not only formally ends the chapter, but also causes me to respect Chrom slightly more.
End of Level Recap
There was a bit more leveling up in these two chapters than I expected. Add in the couple of reeking box levels for Donnel — as well as the collateral experience other units gained — and the squad as a whole is in a good place for chapter 10 when we get back to the main story.
- Sumia – Level 17 Pegasus Knight
- Sully – Level 15 Cavalier
- Ricken – Level 15 Mage
- Vaike – Level 14 Fighter
- Cordelia – Level 14 Pegasus Knight
- Tharja – Level 14 Dark Mage
- Chrom – Level 12 Lord
- Miriel – Level 12 Mage
- Gaius – Level 12 Thief
- Nowi – Level 11 Manakete
- Kellam – Level 11 Knight
- Gregor – Level 10 Mercenary
- Christopher – Level 9 Tactician
- Donnel – Level 8 Villager
- Stahl – Level 7 Cavalier
- Maribelle – Level 7 Pegasus Knight
- Lon’qu – Level 7 Myrmidon
- Lissa – Level 6 Pegasus Knight
- Frederick – Level 5 Great Knight
- Panne – Level 4 Thief
- Libra – Level 1 War Monk
- Olivia – Level 1 Dancer
- Virion – Level 2 Pin Cushion
- Tharja & Gaius: A to S
- Cordelia & Libra: A to S
- Kellam & Nowi: B to A
- Sully & Donnel: C to B
I’ll be doing some reeking box grinding before chapter 12 for reasons I’ll get into on that post. Hope you’re enjoying this series and would love to hear what you think in the comments.