Update 116: LAST CALL

♪ Three Crowns ♪

After storming the streets of Enbarr and bringing Imperial forces to their knees, the Kingdom army surrounds the Imperial palace. But the enemy that awaits them there is not the Edelgard they once knew...

♪ No music ♪

Unlike Silver Snow and Verdant Wind, Azure Moon's endgame consists of two maps, played back-to-back.
♪ A Vow Remembered ♪

I imagine she intends to keep fighting until the bitter end... If this is the end she has chosen, it is my responsibility to see it through with her. Isn't that so... Emperor of Adrestia? We have no choice but to destroy each other... Such is the destiny we were born to. That is why...I will now rise up to answer her iron will with the bite of my lance.
I will protect you at all costs. We will both live to see tomorrow...Your Majesty.
Hmph. If the king falls here, that would mean my father's and brother's deaths were in vain.
For Lonato, Christophe, everyone... I will not lose!
Well, if I were to die now, I'd have a lot to explain to my brother.
All will be OK. I know we can win!
I won't falter, no matter who we're facing!
For all those who have lost their lives in this war... We cannot lose!
Let's win this!
It is time. Onward, to our final battle!

♪ Shambhala ♪

The war's end will spell destruction for one of us. There can only be one ruler of the world...

...Holy shit, Edelgard.

Also, yes, the game plays Shambhala's music here, for this scene that lasts two dialogue boxes, instead of Those Who Sow Darkness. I dunno why, either.
♪ The Apex of the World ♪

Before we go any further, I implore you to find The Apex of the World, either on YouTube or some other site, and listen to it. It is a standout of the game's soundtrack, and perfect BGM for the final map.

Alright, so... What the fuck is this, then?

There's a lot going on with Oath of the Dagger, enough that I have to use the map for something besides pointing out Maddening-only enemies for once.

Before that, though, here's our final party.

Adan's had a...weird run, and honestly I probably should've kept him as a war monk rather than a mortal savant, for how much he uses gauntlets, but oh well. Still, he's an okay secondary dodgetank, and damn good with his fists.

Dimitri is, well, Dimitri. You've seen how strong he can be, yeah? Would you believe me if I told you that Oath of the Dagger is his standout map for the entire run? Seriously, this is where just how strong Dimitri can be as a unit is most apparent, in my opinion.

There was no way I wasn't going to take Ingrid, who is basically on par with Dimitri offensively. Defensively, she's nowhere near as good, but can still take one non-bow hit or two.

If you thought I was gonna go into the final map without my 11 Mv dancer Annette, I dunno what to tell you.

Lysithea's been a bit understated throughout Azure Moon, I feel, but that doesn't mean she's not one of the best units we have. In this particular instance, we'll also get a good look at how well she can perform as a dark knight, rather than as a gremory.

In a rare example of the game showing mercy on me, Oath of the Dagger is flagged as an indoors map, despite having some outside parts. As such, Constance gets the +3 Str/Mag bonus from Circadian Beat, rather than +3 Def/Res. Even if that mercy was not present, though, I'd bring Constance. She's got excellent direct magic damage, as well as Bolting.

Hapi is definitely here more for utility's sake than damage. She's a dark knight, so she doesn't have many uses of her white magic, but she's still got Physic for chip healing, and one use of Warp. I also make some decent use of Banshee Θ on this map, so...

Much like Ingrid and Annette, there's no way I wasn't going to take Mercedes. Just, what other dedicated healer would I bring here besides her?

Ashe, Bernadetta, and Leonie are all here for the same reason: bow knights have really good mobility and extremely good range, and can safely attack and kill enemies without suffering counterattacks. I honestly do not know how I would've cleared this map without having three good bow users.

Felix is...basically a kind of worse Ingrid with have access to wo dao+s. "A worse Ingrid" does not imply that he's a bad unit, by any means, and having a strong flier is never a bad thing.

For adjutants, I've got three Mt-boosting ones. Flayn for Adan, Dedue for Dimitri, and Alois for Leonie.

The final loadouts. I do swap some items and grab a few from the convoy, but these are generally what everyone will be using for the rest of the battle.

I did a lot of repairing after selecting these loadouts, but...you don't need to see all of that.

...Oh, El...

Heavily Armored Wall: The unit's armor tile reduce damage taken by 50%, but break after two rounds of combat. Unit is not staggered when the armor tile is destroyed, and the armor tile is restored at the start of every turn, even if it has been destroyed.
Vital Defense: Makes critical hits against this unit's armor tiles impossible.
Imperial Lineage+: If unit takes no action except Wait, grants Res +4 for 1 turn. Multiplies experience earned by 1.2.
Twin Crests: Allows unit to take two actions in one turn.
Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.
Monster Effect Null: Nullifies any extra effectiveness against monsters.
Counterattack: Allows unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.
Vantage: When foe initiates combat, unit still attacks first if HP is ≤ 50%.
Desperation: If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 50%, unit's follow-up attack (if possible) occurs before foe's counterattack.
Wrath: If foe initiates combat while unit's HP is ≤ 50%, grants Crit +50.

I'll discuss Hegemon Edelgard as she functions in direct combat later. For now, she functions as a unique map gimmick.

You see that range on her weapon? Edelgard can and will attack you from the vast majority of the map, and there is exactly nothing you can do about it. Oh, and she'll do it twice, because apparently having two crests lets her do that now. The attack isn't particularly accurate, and the weapon she uses for it only has 1 Mt, but...that's still 50 Atk with 1-32 range, oh and a fucking crit chance, too.

She does have some limitations on it, thankfully. First off, Hegemon Edelgard can't attack the same unit twice in one turn, to prevent her being able to kill squishy units from full. Secondly, if you end a turn with only Dimitri in her attack range, then she will always dedicate one of her actions to attacking him.

"Wait, what? That sounds janky as hell." You'd be correct, if you were saying that! On lower difficulties, Hegemon Edelgard just always dedicates one of her attacks to Dimitri if he's within range, no need for any strange setup. On Maddening, this is supposed to be removed, which would be a serious dick move...but the way they removed it appears to be buggy. From what I saw playing this map, if you end a turn with only Dimitri in Hegemon Edelgard's range, not only will she do the supposed-to-be-lower-difficulties-only behavior, she will just straight-up skip one of her actions if Dimitri isn't in range. Oops.

I have Adan swap out Swordfaire for Sacred Power, for a very particular reason.

That reason is "letting Constance two-shot this asshole."

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Immune Status: Nullifies status effects and debuffs.
Dark Magic Range +1: Increases dark magic range by 1.
Infinite Magic: Removes the limitation on the number of times magic can be used.
Hit +20: Increases Hit by 20.

Remember how Thales had Quake Σ, a unique dark magic that never showed up again? Bohr Χ is...almost that. On lower difficulties, Myson in Oath of the Dagger is the only enemy that ever uses it. On Maddening, that list is expanded to include a Maddening-only gremory added to VW endgame. I have never done VW endgame on Maddening, but adding in a Bohr Χ user sounds like it'd change how you have to approach the map in a really miserable way.

Bohr Χ: 3-10 range. 10 Mt, 60 Hit, 20 Wt, 3 durability. Cannot trigger follow-up attacks. Reduces target's HP to 1 if they are above 1 HP and the attack connects. If the target is at 1 HP, they are killed.

Right, Bohr Χ. It's Eclipse from FE6, just with a chance in hell of actually hitting you. Drains all but 1 of a unit's HP if they're not at 1 HP, kills them if they are. Given...all of the shit in the areas below and above him, it might be tempting to just leave him be and go up the left side of the map. However, if you do that...

I'll just repost the map for convenience's sake. See all of those pink units? Those are Agarthans. If you kill Myson, all of them will immediately retreat. That's a really good incentive to kill him! That's a maximum of nine less units you'd have to deal with otherwise. If you decide to not deal with Myson and go up the left side, you'll have that many more enemies to deal with. Pick your poison, I suppose.

Anyway, Myson has a very special, very simple, and very evil change on Maddening. See how his icon is orange? I colored him that because he is located at a different spot on lower difficulties—one tile below him, where the Maddening-only axe user (a fortress knight) is. On lower difficulties, it is incredibly easy to either warp someone right next to Myson, or have a flier with Stride run all the way over to him. You can then easily take him out, and get the unit back to safety with Rescue, making going up the right side of the map a complete no-brainer.

Myson is not at that spot on Maddening. He is, instead, positioned at a fucking chokepoint, directly guarded by a fortress knight and two monsters. It is a much bigger pain to kill him on turn 1 on Maddening than it is on lower difficulties. Oh, and he can counterattack if you hit him with a siege spell at standard range, or even at +1 range. You need +2 or more to avoid counterattacks.

Which is exactly what Constance can do. I don't have Thyrsus, sadly, that would make this really easy, but I can have her get the Caduceus Staff swapped to her so she can outrange Myson. I'll talk more about the strategy when I actually do it.

On a less fun note, I sadly had to swap out Movement +1 on Constance for HP +5, otherwise she could actually get one-shot by Hegemon Edelgard. I gave Annette HP +5 for the same reason, but she didn't lose anything important for it.

Ingrid also swaps out Lance Crit +10 for Rally Magic. Yes, this is for assisting Constance with killing Myson.

An important battalion note: I had Dimitri swap out the King of Lions Corp for the Aegis Astral Knights. I should've done this a long time ago, really, and you'll see why.

Ashe gets to rock the king's battalion, instead.

That's about all I can think of to show, preparations-wise.

Time to kill a monster.

I would love nothing more than to charge in and settle this once and for all, but we must be mindful of the surrounding forces.

Strange... The mages don't seem to be wearing their usual Imperial uniforms.

Where would I be in this game without Stride, really?

Ingrid uses Rally Magic on Constance. Yes, this is worth using an ability slot for.

Adan and Dimitri both get into specific positions.

That's what all that setup was for. With the combined +10 damage from her current buffs (+3 from Charm, +3 from Sacred Power, +4 from Rally Magic), Constance can two-shot Myson, saving her one use of Bolting.

You spoil me, Three Houses.

That's the last Agarthan we'll be fighting for a while.

And so, the nine Agarthan units retreat, making my life quite a bit easier.

Stop yammering. We must advance, boar!

Note that when I said my life would be a bit easier without the Agarthans around, I didn't say it'd be easy.


Missing that second shot means Lysithea has to use Hades Ω to kill this mortal savant, instead of being able to use Miasma Δ or Swarm Ζ.

No sense in leaving people within Hegemon Edelgard's attack range, if I can help it.

I will take you out so fast you will not have a chance to lament...

We're in danger! Advance with caution!

Like I said earlier, on Maddening, Hegemon Edelgard is supposed to be able to just attack whoever she feels like, free of the "focus one attack on Dimitri" restriction of lower difficulties. It'd be a really mean trick if it wasn't buggy!

Incidentally, if you have units that are just barely getting killed by Hegemon Edelgard's attacks, HP +5 can be a literal life-saver. You can see that without it, Mercedes would've been one-shot.

One more Azure Moon Stride for the road.

I decided to have Hapi warp Mercedes out of Hegemon Edelgard's attack range, rather than have Annette dance for Mercedes so she can do healing after using Stride.

Oh, for— Come on!

Have to burn my dance on Lysithea so she can get out of the danger zone, too.

You will regret this!

Been a while since we last saw a Lysithea crit, huh?

Okay, I'm gonna do it!

Stay alive, Bernie!

Thank you, Bernie.

On my honor!

This isn't even Dimitri's final form.

These monsters are super-resistant to physical damage, godsdamn. And while they're very weak to magic, they also nullify magic damage to armor tiles.

That's one down.

One advantage of keeping Adan as a mortal savant, rather than a war monk, is that he gets the full amount of uses of magic as a mortal savant, rather than the half that being a war monk would give.

Hey, it weakens an armor tile.

And that breaks the same armor tile.

Man, no crit?

We've got a lot of units with a lot of hurt, I think this calls for Fortify.

The great part about using Mercedes as your healer for Oath of the Dagger is that she can heal herself by healing others, meaning you don't have to worry about finding some other way of keeping her topped off for Hegemon Edelgard's attacks.

I'll cut you down!

I really should've used you more.


Wow, Fimbulvetr actually got a crit.

I won't be deterred!

The extra +20 Avo from the Aegir Astral Knights is clearly doing a lot for Dimitri already.

Nice try.

Good timing on that Str. Let's move on.

An underwhelming debut for Failnaught.

I can't lose!

I will end this now!

Big damage.

Hey, look, I got Annette a kill on the final map!


War masters make up a good chunk of the enemy fighting force on this map, and while their abilities are lackluster, their raw stats still make them formidable.

I can't lose!

I should've just used the killer bow+.

Adan takes Dimitri's silver sword+, and gives him the Chalice of Beginnings instead. If enemies are going to attack Dimitri at range, I might as well get something out of that.

Importantly, I'm going to end my turn by having only Dimitri be in Hegemon Edelgard's attack range, triggering the bug.

Triggering the bug, as you can see, is extremely beneficial, since at full HP, Dimitri can just completely no-sell it.

...Though it might be a good idea to do that while not holding the cursed Ashiya sword+.

I hate Maddening ballistae.

A better view of what the enemy war masters look like, stat-wise. This guy's got 45 AS with a damn tomahawk!

They look like this with gauntlets. 66 Atk with four hits on basically all of my units, fun.

Dimitri runs back to Adan so he can swap his killer lance+ for a silver sword+. Better to have an evasive weapon option that doesn't drain your HP.

Adan moves himself up just a bit...

So that Constance can get the benefit of Sacred Power while using Bolting on the ballista guy. Without Sacred Power, she'd be 2 Atk short of a kill.

God I love this ridiculous ojou-sama.

Lysithea gets more Mag from healing.

Costs basically nothing to take potshots at monsters.

...Though it can be embarrassing if you only hit one of three shots.

No action on the enemy phase.


Right, in order to move things along more quickly, let's have Dimitri equip the silver sword+, and stand over here.


That's a broken armor tile.

This monster is blessed, I swear.

Wow, where were levels like that all game?

Wait, when the fuck did you get 36 Mag?

Tomawhawk guy down.

Yep, these guys sure do still have Tomebreaker.

Alright, you can hold still while I take care of other things.

Sorry, but this is war!

So much effort for one enemy.

No, she did.

...Man, I'm really sorry, I don't know how I kept making this mistake, but I lost footage of an entire turn.

One of the monsters is dead, and I'm working on killing the other.

Okay, I'm gonna do it!

Stay alive, Bernie!

Love me some double brave crits, never gets old.

Guess I've got to!

Not a kill, but the monster's at low HP now.

Betcha forgot about the levin sword+, huh?

Since Adan is right next to him, Dimitri traded his not-in-use Aegis Shield for a spear. Ingrid has Gradivus, remember.

Easy. That's the bulk of the right side of the map cleared out.

For...whatever reason, Hegemon Edelgard didn't attack Adan, despite him very much being within her range. What is with her AI?

Worth noting that several mortal savants on this map have brave swords. Two war masters also have brave axes.

Now that we've actually got a lot more units within Hegemon Edelgard's range...

You can see that, despite him being far from an attractive target, relative to the likes of Constance or Mercedes, Hegemon Edelgard is still forcing an attack on Dimitri, despite the fact that behavior is supposed to be disabled on Maddening.

Oh, by the way, there's siege magic out and about! Two gremories in the throne room have Meteor.

This is part of why I gave Dimitri the Chalice of Beginnings. His incredibly high Avo and ability to take at least one major hit make him a good target for soaking up siege magic, and the Chalice of Beginnings lets him wail on his attacker. Since siege magic is super heavy, he's also basically guaranteed to double them!

Unfortunately, Meteor's splash damage still applies, even if the initial target dodged it.

For safety reasons, I decided to have Constance be the one that finished that gremory off. My caution is rewarded with an extra use of Bolting.

This gremory and the one to the left of her are clones, both with Ragnarok and Silence, and both with non-standard abilities. I don't know why the game has multiple instance of magic-using units trading Reason prowess for Hit +20.

Anyway, I've never actually...seen an enemy use Silence? Can they even do that?

Ingrid gets to bait out the mortal savant in the center of the main hall.

I will end this now!

Dimitri moves up, to bait out the mortal savant and gremories.

That 5% crit chance scares me.

Dammit, no dodge.

Baiting out the mortal savant has put the rest of the enemies on the move.

Yep, this calls for Fortify again.


I could've killed the mortal savant with Atrocity, but I figured holding that gremory in place would be preferable.

The other one gets to die at Leonie's hands. 60x2, good lord.

Luna Λ makes for a wonderful anti-mortal savant measure.

It's always satisfying to rattle a big group of enemies.

Imagine if these guys had Lancebreaker+.

Let's severely weaken him, so he'll die on the counterattack.

With nothing better to do, I had Ashe go and kill the rattled gremory to the north.

Guess I've got to!

After I confirm this attack...

Maybe if we take control of those stairwells now, we can prevent reinforcements.
Once a unit steps into the central room, you get clued in to...how you stop the reinforcements that begin once you go into the throne room. Rushing into the throne room seems like a relaly bad idea to me, but I guess the advice is useful if you decide to do that.

Okay, I'm gonna do it!

♪ The Dream is Over ♪


Anyway, yes, that's what me pointing out that Hegemon Edelgard's long-range attacks can crit was setting up. Finally bit me in the ass.

The fun part about this is that, depending your situation, it's very possible you could end up having three choices: eat the unfortunate unit's death, rewind several turns until you can alter the RN queue so that the crit doesn't happen, or start the map completely over from the beginning!

In the footage, there's a solid minute of me just...doing nothing, because I was staring at the screen in disbelief.
♪ The Apex of the World ♪

Fine then, I'll play it safe.

Still gonna kill that war master.

And that other war master.

♪ The Dream is Over ♪








Ugh. I don't have any choice but to go back several turns to guarantee this can't happen again.

Again, there's several minutes in the footage of me just staring in disbelief at what just happened.
♪ The Apex of the World ♪

This is how far back I went, the Meteor gremory is still alive.

Playing it real safe now.

Jesus, man, it's okay, you're powerful enough.

I've got you!

On my honor!

Saves a use of that thing.

This isn't really that necessary, Adjutant Guard would've kept Dimitri from dying here, but I had Constance pull him back.

I then pulled a Draw Back chain in order to keep Constance out of Hegemon Edelgard's reach. I am not leaving any vulnerable units in the danger zone until I'm convinced the RNs that caused the crits have been pushed out of the queue.


That's those two gremories taken care of.

...And I still have so many more enemies to go through.

This one really was unnecessary.

This was kind of a waste of Bolting, yeah, but at least it'll mean the mortal savant will die on Dimitri's counterattack.

...Or not.

That's right, we're gonna fight the main hall enemies over here!

Listen, if you were in my position, you'd be really paranoid of another Hegemon Edelgard crit, too.

I'll make you proud, Jeralt!

Down goes one of the brave axe war masters.

And so, I use my last Bolting on killing the mortal savant.

...Luck is not on my side today.

Fine, I'll make my own luck.

I've got you figured out!

Sorry, but this is war!

I won't be deterred!

Told you I'd make my own luck.

No crits.

There's the other Meteor gremory.

I do not get what is with all of these gremories, across the entire route, that have overriden abilities, especially when they result in straight downgrades, like here.

Why even bother?

Guess I've got to!

I didn't quite get how the stair reinforcements worked when I played the map—it went straight over my head that they only spawn after you enter the throne room—so I parked Bernadetta on the spawn space.

That's actually gonna kind of hurt!

Making real progress into the main hall, though.

Ugh. That's one part about Edelgard's long-range attacks that really sucks: whoever is the second-best target for her, after Dimitri, is going to have their battalion disabled probably less than halfway into the battle.

Man, you have all of these enemies at the top tier of classes...then just some random sniper? Why not a bow knight?


In the name of justice!

How'dya like that, asshole?

Hapi, Ingrid, and Adan all need healing, and...apparently Mercedes procced her minor Crest of Lamine on one of my previous uses, so I've got an extra one! Hell yeah, I entirely forgot about her Crest up until now.

No real downside to using it, then.

Moon's just gonna suck up all of that mortal savant's HP.

Ah, that sniper's got a brave bow.

...Should've attacked the sniper at melee range, there was no reason to let him use Vantage there.

Oh well, that's what Recover is for.

After getting Ward applied to him by Constance, Dimitri moves to bait out Meteor.

So close to a one-round.

...Good thing splash damage is non-lethal.

Gonna be really aggressive with this Warp, and unintentionally demonstrate some minor jank with Oath of the Dagger's scripting.

Didn't want to have to deal with Meteor for a second turn.

So, being in the throne room is supposed to start a lot of reinforcements. Infinite war masters will spawn from the stairs until you've cleared both the main hall and throne room of non-Hegemon Edelgard enemies, and...well, I'll talk about the Maddening-only reinforcements when we see them.

Thing is, the spawn condition for these reinforcements isn't be within the throne room. It's when a player unit ends their turn in the throne room. As long as you don't actually end someone's turn in the throne room, you can kill enemies and get out without spawning in the reinforcements.

Things are looking a lot calmer now, though I am afraid of the Maddening-only reinforcements, and for good reason. Can't relax just yet.

Dimitri acts as bait. Act surprised.

So sick of fire orbs.

Huh, I didn't notice until now that siege weapons have durability.

I will end this now!

Man, kills like that—crits from way beyond where the enemy unit can reach without taking two or more turns—are so satisfying.


Oh, cool, some throne room enemies are moving towards me. Makes my life easier.

Hold still for a bit, I'll get to you.

Wow, the game actually equipped an enemy with killer knuckles, one of the best weapons in the game.

Too bad he died before being able to get a single attack off.

I'd say "it was worth a shot," but...nah, it wasn't.

Really should've moved Adan up there, so that could've been a kill.

Pure grit!

Please crit, Hapi, it would be so cool.

You should run!

Fuck yeah.

I need both attacks to crit in order to avoid dealing with this thing's staggering blow.

This battle is over!

I won't be deterred!

God, the cursed Ashiya sword+ is just too good.

Dimitri's also just too good, as well. I wasn't kidding when I said this battle was his standout performance of the entire run.

If Hegemon Edelgard had gone for Constance over Hapi, I'd actually be in serious trouble, since Constance is within the fire orb's range.

Holy shit, she actually hit Dimitri.

Oh, in case you were wondering, no, I don't feel bad about exploiting Hegemon Edelgard's buggy Maddening AI.

Hits. Like I said, that could've actually been really bad for Constance, if Hegemon Edelgard was smart.

Yeah, I feel Fortify is called for here.

Hold still again, please.

That was one of two female mortal savants on the map, fun fact.

Please work...

Hell yeah, clearing out the throne room before I've even, as far as the game is concerned, set foot in it!

Moving towards the fire orb user.

I've got weapon uses to spare.


There, that's the siege weapons taken care of.

And Constance can pull Dimitri out of that rough spot.

Sorry, but this is war!

I used Encloser to make sure this guy couldn't move if Bernadetta didn't crit-kill him.

It may look like we're close to the end, but there's still some major headaches to deal with.

All that potential damage, lost in time.

Guess I've got to!

How many crits have I gotten today with brave weapons?

That's the spirit!

There's a good reason I'm keeping everyone on the south end of this room.

Dang, Leonie failing to crit?

I see.

Nothing a dance can't fix. That'll hold this mortal savant in place.

Stay alive, Bernie!

Thank you, Bernadetta.

Felix went a while without being in a round of combat, huh?

Advancing forward very, very slowly.

I'll make you proud, Jeralt!

That's all of the southwest enemies taken care of.

I will end this now!

My archers are just having a field day with all the crits.

I have Ingrid bait out the gremory by standing at the very edge of her attack range, with Gradivus.

As you can see, I'm also slowly backing units down to the southwest room.

Heavy damage, but hey, Ingrid got the counterkill.

So, the only enemy left on the map right now is Hegemon Edelgard.

I'm still playing things extremely safe. This map is long, and at this point I really did not want to have to rewind too far back or, worse, have to restart the entire map from the beginning.

One turn later, Ingrid ends her turn inside the throne room.

We must trample the past underfoot, and move onward to a brighter tomorrow!

At this point, on Maddening only, four reinforcements spawn. All of them are magic users.

Not shown is that Hegemon Edelgard also switches weapons, from her long-range attack to the one she actually uses in direct combat. We no longer have to worry about her long-range hits, thank the gods.

The warlocks have Meteor, and the gremories have Bolting. Do you see why I was playing things extremely safe, now?

Ah, fuck.

Okay, I was ready for those enemies, at least. Let's kill them, and move on to Hegemon Edelgard.

Annette can't reach Ingrid, sadly, but she can reach Dimitri after he moves up.

There, that's the Meteor users taken care of.

More Maddening-only reinforcements. These ones are really weird, the wiki says they spawn on "the first three turns of five-turn cycles" after you enter the throne room. They're supposed to stop when every enemy in the main hall and throne room are dead, but...I already did that. I don't know for sure, but it seems like killing all of the main hall and throne room enemies before entering the throne room itself causes that condition to become impossible to fulfill. Swell.

Oh, and because this is Maddening, they can act on their spawn turn.

In a kind of inexplicable turn, the northwest reinforcements are dark knights that have Death Γ.

The northeast reinforcements are standard war masters with silver gauntlets.

Dimitri weakens the dark knight.

Ingrid finishes the dark knight off, and parks herself on the spawn space, which will halt further dark knight reinforcements.

...That was pretty foolish.

Meanwhile, the other gremory is going through the main hall.

I've got you!

Ashe easily dispatches the last gremory.

Adan's going to handle the war master reinforcements.

If she is prepared to transform her very body to fight for this future of hers...
Then I have no choice but to defeat her, even if it costs me my life! We must defend the present... After all, it is all that we truly have.
This happens after I end Adan's turn inside the throne room.

Crit would've been nice.

Oh well, Lysithea was in range to help.

Oh, nice.

Guess I've got to!

Here is something to believe in!

A dance from Annette helps Adan get closer to the reinforcement spawn point.

Adan parks himself here, shutting off the war master reinforcements.

I really haven't had to use Divine Pulse much on this map, probably because I was playing super cautious after two runs that both died after over two hours of playing. One of them even died after I'd started to fight Hegemon Edelgard! That one was...soul-crushing...

Anyway, here's how Hegemon Edelgard's stats look, now that she's got her actual weapon equipped. Fairly menacing, though I think Nemesis was just a bit scarier. Here's her abilities again.

Heavily Armored Wall: The unit's armor tile reduce damage taken by 50%, but break after two rounds of combat. Unit is not staggered when the armor tile is destroyed, and the armor tile is restored at the start of every turn, even if it has been destroyed.
Vital Defense: Makes critical hits against this unit's armor tiles impossible.
Imperial Lineage+: If unit takes no action except Wait, grants Res +4 for 1 turn. Multiplies experience earned by 1.2.
Twin Crests: Allows unit to take two actions in one turn.
Commander: Nullifies instant death effects, status effects, and movement effects, and greatly reduces damage from enemy gambits.
Monster Effect Null: Nullifies any extra effectiveness against monsters.
Counterattack: Allows unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.
Vantage: When foe initiates combat, unit still attacks first if HP is ≤ 50%.
Desperation: If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 50%, unit's follow-up attack (if possible) occurs before foe's counterattack.
Wrath: If foe initiates combat while unit's HP is ≤ 50%, grants Crit +50.

Hegemon Edelgard is unique in that she's the only monster in the entire game who only occupies one tile of space, and is the only one with Heavily Armored Wall. Her armor is very easy to break, but you'll need to break it after every. Single. Turn. To compensate for this, she's shockingly weak, defensively, given that she was an armored unit before transforming into this, and just...generally, as far as monsters go. Her Prt and Rsl are both in the low 30s. Her max HP is meant to compensate for that, I suppose. She has 106 max HP for both of her first HP bubbles, 159 for the third one, and 199 for the final one.

In general, besides HP, her stats are, bizarrely, either just on par with, or even worse, than what her stats are when you'd fight her in SS Ch19/VW Ch20 on Maddening, when you storm the castle. Most noticeably, her Cha is only 53 instead of 61, owing to being unable to equip a battalion as a monster. That's not much of a practical difference, admittedly, you're still going to have an absolute hell of a time trying to hit her with gambits.

1-6 range on her weapon creates a pretty big danger zone around her throne that makes it really, really hard to perform hit-and-runs on her. The stairs don't help either, since those are anathema for cavalry units' Mv.

Much like earlier, she can still take two actions in one turn, though she is also disallowed from attacking the same unit twice on the same turn.

I didn't get a picture of it, but her staggering blow is named Wilted Flower. You remember Hoarfrost, the Immaculate One's staggering blow from SS endgame? It's just Hoarfrost again, but it rattles units instead of healing the user.

Hegemon Edelgard targets Dimitri.

I have no pity for one such as you.
If that is the future you hoped for, then you deserve no compassion.

...Yeah, uh, Hegemon Edelgard can barely hit Dimitri in direct combat, but she is, unfortunately, on a throne, which gives her +5 Prt/Rsl, 30% max HP regen at the start of every turn, and +40% evasion. Seven hells.

Here is something to believe in!

Adan and Bernadetta take down the final war master reinforcement.

This is going to take a while, isn't it.


Annette can, thankfully, move up to the throne, dance for Dimitri, and then get out of Hegemon Edelgard's attack range.

The speed bonus from Special Dance also lets Dimitri double Hegemon Edelgard.

At this point, it occurred to me that I really should have someone besides Adan plug up the war master reinforcements, so I send Ashe to do it instead. Adan can absolutely weather Hegemon Edelgard's attacks, and having another unit attacking her will speed things up greatly.

Be prepared for a lot of this for a bit.

At this point, I remembered Felix has been holding Mercurius this entire time. I should've had him give it to Dimitri ages ago!

Lysithea and Constance work together to pull Felix out of the danger zone.

Mercurius has +2 Mt and +10 Hit over the silver sword+ that Dimitri was using, so yeah, that helps things a lot.

While I can't yet have Dimitri attack Edelgard after her armor is broken during the player phase, I can do it during the enemy phase!

Now that Ashe is in place, Adan begins making his way to the throne.

That's the first HP bar! Hegemon Edelgard gets Vantage now, which... No, I'm not going to insult it, enemy Vantage has gotten my units killed twice.


I've got Mercedes and Hapi both parked just outside Hegemon Edelgard's attack range, ready to heal Dimitri with Physic.

That's a lot of counterattack damage, but unless Felix gets crit, he'll be fine.

I'll cut you down!

Small detail: you can see the Crest of Seiros in Twin-Crest Power's projectile.

Constance makes that kind of hit-and-run very safe.


Second HP bar down. Desperation (the ability) is in play now.

Constance has one more use of Rescue, let's try this again!

...Well, that sucked.

Disappointed in you, Felix.

Adan's almost there...

This was a mistake!

Because Constance is out of Rescue uses, I have to have Annette dance for Felix to bail him out.

However, he was able to try the gambit again, and it did work this time.

But it's sort of moot, because Dimitri can't get his normal two actions per turn.

I've really barely used Areadbhar this entire run.

The effective combat art damage compensates for the lack of an extra action.


I like that Hit.

I guess there really is, like, a subconscious crest-based attraction Edelgard has to Adan and Abby.

Anyway, that shatters the armor tile.

Leaving Dimitri free to get some full damage in.

The one time Dimitri activates his minor Crest of Blaiddyd, and Dedue photobombs it.

Whatever, the damage is good. I normally don't think much of the minor Crest of Blaiddyd, but when you're working with a limited window in which to deal full damage? Yeah, it's pretty good.

Let's see you dodge this!

Alright, time for the final HP bar. Hegemon Edelgard gains Wrath at this point, which can actually be really scary, even with low Hit chances.

At this point in the recording, I was super tense, and my heart rate went up more than I'd care to admit... Listen, this fight is long, I'd psyched myself out going into it because I was scared of how hard the Maddening version of this battle would be, and I'd already burned over four hours of my life to failed runs. I was beyond ready to finish this.

Hegemon Edelgard can actually build up staggering blows now, since she's got two targets she can hit.

If this works, I can end the battle on this turn. Throw caution to the wind, let's do this!

...Oh well. Guess I have to burn a dance on her.

At this point, I moved Bernie up to see what kind of combat stats she could manage with Fallen Star against Hegemon Edelgard, since she has the Riegan crest sign in her inventory. Impressive stats, but absolutely not worth the—


War is cruel.

♪ No music ♪

Hegemon Edelgard screams.

Failnaught has managed to bring low two of the game's final bosses, now.

I guess Bernie really wanted to take us home. Maybe there were forces beyond my understanding at work, which made me accidentally press A, leading to Bernadetta getting her second final boss kill.

I'm not doing a bit, by the way, me hitting A to initiate combat there was, legit, my finger slipping.

Edelgard... It is over.

♪ Light and Shadow ♪

Someone is stabbed.

♪ Unfulfilled ♪

A crowd outside cheers, as Adan and Dimitri walk towards a new dawn.
♪ Still Horizon ♪

♪ A Place to Rest ♪

I have no idea.
Don't toy with me, friend. Though I suppose you've always had that tendency, haven't you?
All right, whatever. I'll get right to it. You're the archbishop of the Church of Seiros now. That's a pretty esteemed title you've got. Next to your brilliance, I'm not much more than a flightless sparrow.
All I've got are my dreams, a handful of people working for me, and a pittance of gold. Well, and my undeniable charms, of course.
So I've got to know...is there any room in your bright and shining world for someone like me?
Of course there is.
Heh. Always straight to the point with you. I should know that by now.
Well...here we go, then. I want you to take this. Consider it my token of thanks—a repayment for all you've done for me—if that makes you smile.

Is this really...
You backed me up when I needed some help, even though I wouldn't admit it. Bit of a turf war, if you recall.
I don't need any thanks for that...
I always repay what's owed. It's how I sleep at night. But if you really don't need it, I've got another idea.

Come again?
Don't play coy with me. Or maybe you're just dragging me over the coals for fun...

Heh. This seems a rather cruel way to treat someone coming to you with his heart in his hands, don't you think?
But why all this? Why now?
I used to feel like saving the life of even one person who needed it would be enough. But I've set my sights even higher. A future in which nobody has to die from something as awful as poverty.
I know it's a dream worth reaching for, however grand it might be.
And you are truly special. I feel like, together, that dream could be made a reality. It may never happen, but it's important to try. Anyway, I'm just a person like anyone. I'll die, just like anyone. Whenever that happens, someone will have to take over as boss. I've got that all lined up already.

My name might fade into the dust, but my dream will remain. For the longest time, that was more than enough... But now I've come to want something else. When I go, I want someone around to write my name in my old notebook.

What's wrong? Did I say something strange?
All this talk of you dying...
I just want to make sure things are set up properly. You never know when it'll be my time.

I think you get it, anyway. So? Will you accept my offer?
Before I say I do...
Yeah? Something else you want?
What's your real name?
Well, you certainly don't forget, huh?
I've always kept it private out of necessity. Couldn't have such a secret being spread around, after all.

...Man. I really love Yuri. I dunno, I guess I have a thing for tricksters that still have pretty clear emotional weaknesses, and who still stumble every once in a while.
♪ A Star in the Morning Sky ♪

Phew. That's the third and final "full" route down. Playing through all of that was no easy task, let me assure you. That was my first time going through a full Maddening run, even if it was New Game+.

Time for battle data.
Prologue: An Inevitable Encounter
6 Turns

MVP: Dimitri
Chapter 1: Three Houses
9 Turns

MVP: Dedue
Chapter 2: Familiar Scenery
15 Turns

MVP: Sylvain
Chapter 3: Mutiny in the Mist
12 Turns

MVP: Sylvain
Chapter 4: The Goddess's Rite of Rebirth
11 Turns

MVP: Dedue
Chapter 5: Tower of Black Winds
39 Turns

MVP: Dedue
Paralogue: War for the Weak (Dedue)
15 Turns

MVP: Ashe
Chapter 6: Rumors of a Reaper
14 Turns

MVP: Bernadetta
Paralogue: The Forgotten (Sylvain)
9 Turns

MVP: Constance
Paralogue: Black Market Scheme (Balthus and Hapi)
12 Turns

MVP: Lysithea
I will never forgive this game for the Maddening version of Black Market Scheme.
Paralogue: Rumored Nupitals (Dorothea and Ingrid)
20 Turns

MVP: Dedue
Chapter 7: Field of the Eagle and Lion
11 Turns

MVP: Yuri
Paralogue: Tales of the Red Canyon (Sothis)
11 Turns

MVP: Leonie
Paralogue: A Cursed Relic (Yuri and Constance)
12 Turns

MVP: Dimitri
Paralogue: True Chivalry (Felix)
8 Turns

MVP: Ashe
Chapter 8: The Flame in the Darkness
5 Turns

MVP: Bernadetta
Paralogue: Falling Short of Heaven (Ashe and Catherine)
6 Turns

MVP: Bernadetta
Paralogue: An Ocean View (Seteth and Flayn)
7 Turns

MVP: Yuri
Paralogue: Death Toll (Raphael and Ignatz)
1 Turn

MVP: Constance
Chapter 9: The Cause of Sorrow
7 Turns

MVP: Ingrid
Chapter 10: Where the Goddess Dwells
11 Turns

MVP: Leonie
Chapter 11: Throne of Knowledge
10 Turns

MVP: Constance
Chapter 12: To War
9 Turns

MVP: Sylvain
Chapter 13: Reunion at Dawn
22 Turns

MVP: Adan
Fuck that map too.
Paralogue: Weathervanes of Fódlan (Annette and Gilbert)
16 Turns

MVP: Balthus
Chapter 14: The Delusional Prince
10 Turns

MVP: Bernadetta
Paralogue: Forgotten Hero (Marianne)
4 Turns

MVP: Adan
Paralogue: The Face Beneath (Caspar and Mercedes)
19 Turns

MVP: Lysithea
Chapter 15: Valley of Torment
6 Turns

MVP: Ingrid
Chapter 16: The Rose-Colored River
19 Turns

MVP: Lysithea
Chapter 17: Blood of the Eagle and Lion
14 Turns

MVP: Leonie
Chapter 18: The King's Triumphant Return
13 Turns

MVP: Leonie
Paralogue: The Silver Maiden (Dimitri)
11 Turns

MVP: Ingrid
Chapter 19: The Golden Deer's Plea
6 Turns

MVP: Dimitri
Chapter 20: The Impregnable Fortress
16 Turns

MVP: Adan
Chapter 21: Our Chosen Paths
1 Turn

MVP: Ingrid
Chapter 22: Oath of the Dagger
39 Turns

MVP: Dimitri
Total MVPs, organized by least to most:
A much more even spread of those than we got for Silver Snow and Verdant Wind. Remember when Bernadetta got 10 MVPs throughout all of SS?

Unit endings time.
Seteth: Ally of the Archbishop
1 Battle, 0 Victories

Seteth remained at the monastery and worked to restore the authority of the Church of Seiros. Doing away with his old strictness, he adopted a tolerant stance toward all. His encouragement of believers to respect those of other faiths helped the people of Fódlan to find common ground with others.
Gilbert: Veteran Patriot
12 Battles, 3 Victories

Gilbert returned to Fhirdiad and resumed his duty as a knight, faithfully serving King Dimitri for many years. When he finally retired, it is said he spent the rest of his days coaching the young prince in the art of combat.
Aww, he became a Marcus.
Flayn: Slumbering Princess
15 Battles, 6 Victories

Flayn disappeared soon after the war, and over time it was all but forgotten that she had ever existed. Many long years later, however, a young woman resurfaced in a completely transformed Fódlan. When she looked to the man who stood beside her, she wondered if it would be all right, in this new era, to call him Father.
Raphael: Beast of Leicester
41 Battles, 26 Victories

Raphael returned to his hometown to serve his liege lord as a knight. After years of loyal service, he resigned his duty to devote his attention to the inn that his grandfather and sister had opened during his time away. Eventually he became the inn's proprietor and developed a reputation for astonishingly good cooking.
I'm not surprised someone as into eating as Raphael would know how to cook food.
Marianne: Survivor of the Curse
45 Battles, 23 Victories

Marianne returned home to a hero's welcome. The people praised her talent and acknowledged her as a savior of Fódlan. Her adoptive father groomed her as his successor, teaching her the power of words over weapons. By the time she claimed her inheritance, she had transformed into one of Fódlan's most skilled orators.
...Lotta unpaired endings, huh?
Lysithea: Scholar of Misfortune
122 Battles, 102 Victories

Lysithea returned home to help her parents restore their family land. Years later, when the end to their hard work was finally in sight, she relinquished House Ordelia's claim to nobility, ceding the territory to a nearby lord. Shortly thereafter, she and her family disappeared into obscurity.
Okay, nope, that's it, I've had it. For Crimson Flower, I'm saving 10k renown for part 2, when I can guarantee a paired ending for Lysithea. Three unpaired ends for her is too goddamned sad.
Sylvain: Sincerest of Knights
159 Battles, 88 Victories

As Margrave Gautier, Sylvain devoted his life to improving relations with the people of the Sreng region. With oration alone, he succeeded in helping to create a new way of life for nobles in which Relics and Crests were no longer viewed as necessary. Though he went down in history as an extraordinary lord, it nevertheless became customary to refer to cheaters as "sons of Gautier."
Leonie: The Blade Breaker II
182 Battles, 91 Victories

Alois: Sun of the Knights
0 Battles, 0 Victories

Leonie joined up with the mercenaries formerly led by Jeralt. As his greatest apprentice, she quickly took on a leadership role, and eventually even inherited the title of Blade Breaker. No matter where she went, however, she was burdened with Jeralt's unpaid tavern tabs. Angry with Alois for pushing these debts upon her, she went to Garreg Mach to force him to pay half the debt. She encountered a smiling Alois, who had become captain of the Knights of Seiros, and who was all too happy in his new prosperity to take the debts back on. It is said that Leonie developed quite the drinking habit once she was free to visit taverns whenever she liked.
Mercedes: Benevolent Soul
48 Battles, 29 Victories

Constance: Sorcery Incarnate
171 Battles, 104 Victories

After the war, Constance and Mercedes traveled together to the school of sorcery in Fhirdiad. There, they immersed themselves in magical research and, with the help of their friends and all the school's resources, made one astounding discovery after another. Their considerable achievements led to the revitalization of both House Nuvelle and Houses Martritz. The pair grew increasingly close over the years so that, as time wore on, they became less like friends and more like family. It is said that, years later, each began to speak of the other as if she were a dear sister.
I mean, I personally see them as...y'know, a gay couple, but you do you, Three Houses.
Bernadetta: Eternal Loner
223 Battles, 128 Victories

As soon as Bernadetta inherited House Varley from her father, she withdrew from all political discourse and focused solely on the management of her own territory. Because of this and her penchant for spending long periods of time in "hibernation," she became known throughout the house's history as the "Bear of Varley."
How? How was she unpaired?! I'm gonna have to do something drastic...
Ashe: Arrow of Justice
191 Battles, 98 Victories

Annette: Bloomed Overachiever
47 Battles, 25 Victories

After the war, Ashe was formally knighted and appointed the new head of House Gaspard, which had no successors. He married Annette, and the couple's combined tenacity, intelligence, and courage proved more than a match for the many difficulties they faced in governing. Together they helped Gaspard territory flourish more than it ever had before. From his lowly origins as an orphan, Ashe grew to become a splendid knight, much beloved by his people. After he passed, his story was immortalized in a book that was authored by his beloved wife.
I like that pairing, personally. Not the most energetic one, to be sure, but I feel Ashe's tendency to keep himself grounded makes himself a good match for Annette's sometimes-klutzy overachieving nature.
Caspar: Roaming Instigator
145 Battles, 61 Victories

Dorothea: Devoted Heart
98 Battles, 62 Victories

After the war, Caspar set out alone on a journey of self-discovery. He traveled to every corner of Fódlan, and even ventured abroad now and again. Though his antics found him no end of exciting adventures, he was always drawn back to Dorothea, who had returned to the Mittelfrank Opera Company in Enbarr after the war. The two spent more and more time together over the years, and when Dorothea's efforts brought the opera house to the peak of its resurgence, she relinquished her position as songstress and disappeared from the stage. It is rumored that the pair spent the rest of their lives together.
Another pairing I like less for any particularly memorable interactions and more because I just think the two make a cute contrast to each other.
Balthus: King of Grappling
145 Battles, 61 Victories

Hapi: Freed Spirit
98 Battles, 62 Victories

Shortly after the war, Hapi and Balthus disappeared. Their absence from the world stage was not lasting, however, as before long they emerged as the leaders of an elite band of mercenaries. The group traveled all over Fódlan helping those in need, with a noted specialty in handling monsters. It is said that these mercenaries lived raucously, laughing often, and that not a single sigh of discontent was ever heard. Some time later, when those who slither in the dark threatened Fódlan, it is rumored that these mercenaries were instrumental in dealing with them.
...Y'know, yeah, I can sort of see Hapi as a mercenary. Balthus, definitely. Having an in with the archbishop's gotta mean you get paid pretty well. I imagine stomping on the fragile remnants of the Agarthans was fun for both of them.
Felix: The Shield's Successor
160 Battles, 89 Victories

Ingrid: Stalwart Knight
204 Battles, 122 Victories

After the war, Felix inherited the title of Duke Fraldarius from his late father, Rodrigue. He married Ingrid, the daughter of Count Galatea, and the couple spared no expense in restoring both their territories, paying special attention to Galatea's desperate need for food and funds. Some years later, there was an attack on the castle town, and the duke lost the use of his sword arm from an injury sustained protecting his wife. It is said that he never regretted it, as he was only fulfilling a promise that he made to his beloved wife a long time ago.
Lots of really clear symbolism and irony in Felix sacrificing his ability to attack people in order to defend Ingrid.
Dimitri: Savior King
313 Battles, 107 Victories

Dedue: Taciturn Devotee
181 Battles, 70 Victories

After his coronation, Dimitri assumed the throne of the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and his loyal vassal, Dedue, remained ever at his side. Among Dimitri's achievements was the reconciliation with Duscur: an extraordinary effort that required extensive negotiations to get past a history of betrayal and oppression. It was a trying task, but Dimitri never once considered giving up. While they behaved as lord and vassal in public, it is said that Dimitri and Dedue were more like family in private. When Dimitri finally fell to illness, Dedue tended to his liege's deathbed, and then took up a post at his grave for the rest of his days. When the time came, they were buried beside each other.
...Man, I hate it when these epilogues end by talking about death. Always makes me tear up.

Worth noting that Dedue tending to Dimitri on his deathbed and then taking vigil at his grave happens in his unpaired end as well. Shows you how much Dedue cares for Dimitri, I suppose.
Adan: Guardian of Order
309 Battles, 123 Victories

Yuri: Underground Lord
87 Battles, 47 Victories

As the new Archbishop of the Church of Seiros, Adan worked tirelessly with the Kingdom to reform and rebuild in the aftermath of a devastating war. Constantly at his side during that time was his husband, Yuri, whose policy proposals led, time and again, to better education and opportunities for the less fortunate. After working to ensure a bright and prosperous future for Fódlan, the couple stepped back from the public eye and vanished from official record. Curiously, informal notes and letters from friends suggest that the pair was extraordinarily long-lived and that their youth was untouched by the passage of time.

I don't think there's a definitive answer for why Adan and Yuri why lived so long and didn't physically age. Adan and Flayn's paired ending mentions the two also not physically aging, but that's...sort of it? Adan, I can understand, he's got the power of Sothis in him, but Yuri is a complete mystery. Worth noting that Yuri's paired ending with Constance mentions the two of them passing away at the same time, in the same bed, so the guy's not just immortal and we never noticed. There's theories that the old man who healed Yuri when he was deathly ill was the apostle Aubin, and I imagine the blood of someone who's been alive for almost a millenium would do some interesting things to you...but again, there's no definite answer for that. Just one of the many questions the game leaves unanswered.

Phew... That black screen up there is image #739 of this update. This was by far the longest update to date, which is funny when you consider it was just a battle, the run's battle data, and epilogues.

Next time: we race through part 1 as the Black Eagles' teacher, again, in order to play Crimson Flower, the final route.

I'm sort of scared, honestly.

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