RPG review: Fire Emblem Fates (Conquest)

conquest

Hello, there! Here comes my second review of this fantabulous game. But now, we’ll be travelling through the path of Nohr! Or, as others call it, the path of the darkness. Since I’ve already talked about my disappointment of certain aspects of the localization, this time, I’ll solely refer to the game itself.

Note: This review contains spoilers so read at your own risk (it contains spoilers of Fire Emblem: Awakening too). If you want to avoid them, though, just jump to “conclusive thoughts”. Also, since I played as a female, I’ll be referring to Corrin as a she.

Haha, welp, let’s just say that everything gets REALLY complicated in this path. No, seriously. It’s like you can’t help saying HOLY SHIT every single chapter.

First of all, Conquest has no grinding. That means you can’t infinitely train your army unless you buy DLC chapters or marry your characters more or less fast so you can train them in their children’s paralogues. Secondly, you start kind of alone since Azura joins you a bit later. I think you only have Joker (or Felicia, if you’re playing as a guy), Elise and her retainers, at first. Oh, and everybody hates you. But that’s more or less obvious since you’re siding with the path of “evil”.

Anyway, as the name suggests, in Conquest you pretty much have to conquest Hoshido. Why? As a freaking test for Daddy to aprove of his daughter. In the beginning, Corrin sides with Nohr because she can’t betray the family she grew up with. She loves them too much for that. But, guess what, when she returns “home”, stupid Iago and Garon start “suspecting” she might be a Hoshidan spy and blah blah blah. Truth is, we all know Garon freaking tried to kill Corrin along with many innocent Hoshidans, including Queen Mikoto. But then he changes his mind after speaking with himse-I mean, speaking with the “Anankos dragon” and let’s her live.

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So now, to gain Garon’s “trust”, Corrin is sent on different conquest missions to expand Nohr, where she surprises everyone with her new way of conquering. A way where she battles, yes, but she doesn’t take any lives. In fact, if possible, she’d rather talk it out than resort to violence. And, of course, all of her wonderful Nohrian siblings give her a hand. Your sisters join you rather quickly, especially Elise, but Leo and Xander take a bit of time to recruit. Garon wants you to do everything alone but Xander’s all like HAHA TRY AGAIN POPS and he sends Corrin help behind his back. And this phrase, “behind his back”, is of upmost importance in this game because everything you ever do is always behind “Daddy’s” back. Even Leo tells you something similar when he finally joins you in chapter fifteen; something like “let’s pretend to follow Father’s orders lol, we always did so why not now, hell yeah”. Oh and, btw, Azura joins you because Hoshidans go freaking paranoid after Corrin chooses the “bad side”, so they kidnap her and you need to go to her rescue, yay.

One of the interesting things Conquest has to offer is that, unlike Birthright, Azura is the one who suggests defeating Garon. Corrin isn’t sure, at first, because he’s her siblings’ father after all, but Azura convinces her after her crystal shows the old man’s true form: a creepy non-human monster with a skull-like face. So, from this moment on, Corrin pretty much has to swallow her pride and tears obeying every command so that she can expose non-Garon’s true colors when he sits at Hoshido’s royal throne. It’s really heart-breaking, because Takumi almost freaking wishes she was never born and Sakura is taken prisoner and gets extremely depressed (to the point where she doesn’t even want to eat).

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As regards Corrin, I think I kind of understand why some people think she is “dumb” in Conquest. I’ve already seen this type of criticism elsewhere. Can’t say I agree, though. Because rather than the character being stupid, it’s the criticism they get. Of course I’m speaking for myself right now, it’s entirely my opinion, but I just want to make something clear: being indecisive is not being dumb, having regrets is not being dumb, wishing for peace is not being dumb, sacrificing something to gain another is not being dumb, obeying orders you don’t agree to in order to achieve a greater goal (ending the war, ending needless cruelty and death) is not being dumb. So, that being said, how the heck is Corrin stupid? Unlike Robin, she has to make these terribly hard choices and the only character who could possibly understand how she feels is Azura, who’s in a similar situation.

Remember when I mentioned the dialogue Corrin and Xander had during Birthright? The “justice is just an illusion” one? This path has that phrase too, but due to VERY different reasons. Here, they’ve just invaded Hoshido and are ordered to freaking kill the royal family. Xander starts explaining there is no path of good nor path of evil, that one just fights for what one think is right. Because the world isn’t black and white. But Corrin’s all like, well yeah bruh but this is too much. And she is right. But so is he. IT’S ALL SO FREAKING COMPLEX. Gosh, seriously, these characters are so awesome and it’s totally recommendable to do the supports between the siblings. You learn a lot more about the characters, like how Camilla is the big sister who gives advice, or how Xander has to be this unapproachable and stern crown prince when in reality he knows a lot more about his siblings that he lets on, or how they all had different mothers, or how Leo’s mother freaking hated him and how he wishes he wasn’t so talented so that they paid more attention to him, or how Elise’s mother was more concerned about Garon than her…A LOT OF STUFF THAT BLOWS YOUR MIND.

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Let’s talk about Ryoma, now. Remember when I said on my previous review that he was a bland character in Birthright? Welp, not in Conquest. Lobster brother is a great character here. I was really surprised with how pissed he was at Corrin when she chose to side with Nohr. I expected it from Takumi, but Ryoma? He looked like this serene yet serious guy in Birthright with a huge sense of responsibility, but here, he’s also a family member who can’t digest the fact that his sister chose the side that killed her mother in front of her eyes. Then, there’s also the Izumo scene, where Corrin’s Nohrian and Hoshidan siblings meet and the tension is so great that you could cut it with a knife. Corrin mentions how Xander and Ryoma have similar traits and Ryoma’s all like “sis, I’m far more attractive than this dude” 😆 that was so hilarious. This scene was really bittersweet, since poor Corrin felt happy to have a meal with all of her family members, even when they were glaring daggers at each other, and it was the only “peaceful” moment before all the tragedy that came afterwards. And speaking of tragedy, Ryoma goes berserk when he’s deceived by Iago’s lies, and challenges Corrin to a duel to the death…only to kill himself in the end, after understanding that Corrin is telling the truth and is cornered when Garon orders her to kill him. HE EVEN TELLS CORRIN HE’S COUNTING ON HER, BEFORE DYING *SOB*.

Moving on to Hinoka, gosh, she’s so awesome!!! Together with Sakura, they are the only ones who aren’t really angry at her sister for choosing Nohr, but rather sad and disappointed. I can imagine her huge shock, I mean, she has been looking for Corrin her whole life. But that doesn’t mean she won’t defend her kingdom. Even though it breaks her heart, she still fights her sister. And when she learns about what Corrin is trying to do, her mask shatters to reveal that, deep down, she knew her sister was on their side all along (it was a great scene aaaah). Sakura didn’t appear that much, but it’s certainly admirable when, despite being scared, she stands up for her kingdom and helps Yukimura defend it. The problem is that after you win the battle, Hans appears out of nowhere and starts killing Hoshidans just because, leaving Sakura deeply shocked about the massacre.

And last, but certainly not least, is Takumi. Pineapple man is constantly angry at (and trying to kill) you throughout the whole game. Even though he says he never trusted Corrin, deep down, he wanted her to come back and be a family once again. He just couldn’t admit it, not even to himself. And because Takumi has a big inferiority complex and lots of negative feelings, he’s also possessed by something evil that doesn’t allow him to think straight (and even gives him headaches). When, in the last chapter, Possessed!Takumi shoots an arrow at Corrin, she momentarily meets with all of her deceased loved ones (much like in Birthright, where you meet Flora, Xander, Elise and Lilith), including Takumi. He looks much calmer here, finally tells Corrin what he was really feeling, and asks her to free his spirit from the monster that’s controlled him. By that time, I was crying my eyes out because he also gives her his Fujin Yumi and KJSDBGKJSBG IT GAVE ME SO MANY FEELINGS. Not to mention that after you defeat his possessed body, he thanks you. HE THANKS YOU LOVINGLY. Wow, just the blow I needed to finally break in half. Totally did the job.

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It’s now Azura’s turn to shine. Much like Birthright, the blue haired songstress remains a complete mystery. The variation from the other game, though, is that she doesn’t sing that much here, thus, Corrin never learns that the song’s power is killing her. But, what she does learn, is about another kingdom, when she follows Azura inside the water. A kingdom that looks totally wrecked, but where we also find Gunter alive! Apparently, the only possible ways to go there are travelling by water (though only Corrin and Azura can do this), or jumping into the Bottomless Canyon. And that certainly takes guts. The trailer for Revelation shows that both Azura and Corrin do jump in, so this kingdom will surely show up again and, hopefully, all questions will be answered.

What more can I say? This game was different, because Corrin had many doubts here, unlike the Hoshidan path. Birthright!Corrin was always sure that Garon was to blame, and the solution was to kill him. In Conquest, even though the solution is pretty much the same, it’s not that simple, since she now knows that King Garon is no more (and the old man is still her siblings’ father). A monster has captured his soul and the only way she can prove it to her family, is by making him sit on the Hoshidan throne. She has to bear every single insult thrown at her and continue following orders while acting behind skull-face’s back. And it’s totally worth it when Xander supports her. Being Garon’s first child, he was the only one who knew about his true personality. He already had his suspicions in the beginning, but was absolutely sure when he saw his true form. AND HIS SPEECH WAS SO COOL MAN. I’ve now played two of the three games in this series and Xander is still the best character to me.

Conclusive thoughts

The children problem still remains, in the sense that they’re just extras and not relevant to the plot. But the game is great, nonetheless. I can’t really decide which path I liked better because both had their weaknesses and their strenghts. Besides, you can’t really separate them, since they’re all part of a big story. What changes is the outcome based on your decisions, much like in Visual Novels. Again, I want to say that Corrin is not a bad protagonist. Much like Chrom, from Awakening, she’s kind, she wants peace, and she freaking doesn’t deserve all the shit she had to go through. As expected, all the Hoshido feels invaded me too, and it was harder, because I had already sided with them before. It was especially hard to go against Takumi, but so worth it to see his huge character development. I eat my words in regard to Ryoma as well. He was nothing like in Birthright, much more developed, much more interesting. It still hurts not being able to enjoy the game in japanese but some of the english voices are really growing on me, though I don’t reject the idea of playing Fates again with the original seiyuu.

And now, it’s time for the final path: Revelation! Hopefully, the truth will be revealed at last!!

Hope you enjoyed the ride! See you next post! (≧∇≦*)/

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