Endgame-5 is the final endgame chapter (and thus the end of the game), so this is going to be an especially long one full of pictures and videos. Also, I totally forgot to give Micaiah that Matrona staff that she built up her staff proficiency to use. It was inevitable that something like that would happen. Still, everyone managed to survive the entire game despite that bit of mindless stupidity, and the post-credits stats were much more in line with what I expected than those at the end of Path of Radiance.
Yune tries to reason with Ashera and tell her that she doesn’t need to destroy everyone, but she’s a stubborn goddess who’s not so easily persuaded.
Then Yune tries to tell her that they were woken by the song of release, but Ashera doesn’t care about that, either. Sephiran’s assessment seems to have taken hold and convinced her that living things have no hope of ever getting along peacefully.
We finally find out why some people turned to stone while others didn’t. When the light of judgment hit, only people were affected, and those who managed to avoid petrification did so because they’ve evolved beyond the people Ashera was familiar with from hundreds of years prior. Basically, our group is just enough of an evolutionary step that they managed to sidestep her wrath. That also explains why Amy (Calill’s adopted daughter) managed to avoid being turned to stone; the goddesses had no idea about the Branded’s existence, which could be seen in that earlier base conversation between Yune and Stefan. Ashera isn’t impressed by any of this, though, and goes all order-goddess on everyone by stating that beings that evolve without her guidance “will only destabilize and threaten” the world.
Upon realizing that she won’t be persuaded, Yune decides that fighting Ashera is the only way they can possibly save everyone. Ashera responds by bringing up the fact that they can’t defeat each other (which explains why she had to send her best warriors to imprison Yune in the medallion rather than just doing it herself), but Yune points out that she came with allies who have her blessing.
Ike tries to convince Ashera to give them all another chance, but she’s not having it.
That’s when he basically goes, “I know you’re god and all that, but I’m Ike and I don’t lose.” Obviously that’s paraphrased, but it captures the gist of what he says.
There are no support conversations for this chapter, which makes sense, but it’s still a little disappointing. That support conversation with Nasir and Gareth in the last chapter was hilarious because you can picture Sephiran being ready to fight while Ike and the dragons are sitting in the corner of the room having a chat.
In the menu throughout the game, there’s been this chart that shows how everyone is connected to each other. I’ve been waiting to show it off until now, though, because my previous playthroughs have ensured that it’s already filled out, and I didn’t want to spoil anything. There are three magnification settings, and the first two are the only legible ones; zooming out on the Wii reduces the amount of possible detail, but it helps you get a sense of how many characters we’ve met.
It’s finally time to use up all of the bonus experience and stat-boosting items acquired throughout the game. The first thing I do is take Micaiah all the way to level 20, and the laguz royals to level 40 (because the added strength and speed will come in incredibly handy during the upcoming stage). Naesala actually maxed out all of his stats in the process, which was unexpected. I also leveled up Leanne a bit so that she can survive taking a bit of damage, because Ashera has a bunch of area attacks that she does. Then it’s time to mess with skills. Paragon needs to come off of everyone, while Nihil or Parity needs to go on all of the heavy-hitters (Nailah and Tibarn in particular, though putting another skill on Tibarn requires removing his Savior skill first to make room). Anyone attacking Ashera needs Nihil or Parity.
Leanne used all of the saved up Seraph Robe items to raise her max HP. I also used items to raise her speed (so that she’s less likely to be doubled if attacked), defense (to reduce the amount of damage she takes from physical attacks, because I’m pretty sure one of Ashera’s area attacks does physical damage), and movement (because Leanne is always needing to be shoved around to reach people).
I also raised Tibarn’s speed, maxing it out in the process. This is huge, because not only does he do tons of damage, but he’s also now fast enough to double-attack.
I hadn’t planned on using Mia to attack Ashera, especially since her blessed weapon is a Wyrmslayer (no regrets on that one), but I had an extra Nihil lying around and figured it couldn’t hurt. Equipping it meant removing Corrosion and Daunt, sadly.
Ashera is blocked by 8 barriers that all have to be dealt with before she can be attacked, and she’ll be doing her area attacks frequently enough that there’s a very real need to hurry. There are also more magical wisps during this chapter, but Naesala, Titania, and Nephenee do a great job taking care of them because of how few there are. Dealing with them is important, though, because they can restore the HP of the barriers if any are left alive at the end of the turn. Thankfully, the speediness of Tibarn and Nailah mean that they can double the barriers, and that speeds things up significantly. The way the barriers work is kind of interesting—they reflect as much damage back on attackers as they take, and the only way to get around this is to either have Nihil/Parity to nullify that skill, or have an attack be enough to finish off the barrier (if it’s defeated, the skill obviously can’t be used). That’s how Titania can take out part of the barrier without taking damage at ~8:24.
Since Ashera’s attacks do a lot of damage to everyone, healing is important. Healing items are useful for most, though Micaiah can use her Physic staff twice per turn when refreshed by Leanne, and this is helpful for healing laguz royals who need to continue attacking. There are also spots on the floor that heal characters a small amount between turns, which can make a big difference, and Leanne restores some health to any adjacent allies at the start of each turn. Very handy.
Once the barriers are down, it’s time to attack Ashera. This is much like attacking her barriers, with the added caveat that only Ike can finish her off. If anyone else does, she’ll have all of her health instantly restored. That means you have to be creative with the attack order to ensure that he gets the final blow. You’ll instantly know if the attack landed; if it does, you get a cutscene where Yune gives Ike additional power to land the killing blow. Then there’s another cutscene after she’s defeated where he and Yune have a conversation. And another one where all of the petrified people turn back to normal. All of this starts at 22:40 and goes on for several minutes.
I wasn’t sure whether to post screenshots of the epilogue like I did with Path of Radiance (which would probably require another progress log like it did there) or make it a video (which I wouldn’t be able to effectively comment on the details of), so I decided to do both and only talk about the most interesting/relevant parts.
Micaiah becomes queen of Daein and marries Sothe because we kept their support.
Sanaki confronts Micaiah and they realize that they’re sisters. Sanaki seems to want Micaiah to come to Begnion and rule as the apostle (since she is the apostle and recognizes as much), but Micaiah belongs in Daein, and having sisters be the rulers of the two nations will help create more friendly relations between them. We also find out that Altina and Lehran were lovers. That explains his attachment to Sanaki (technically they’re related), as well as his weirdness when Micaiah attacked him.
Leanne also gets a happy ending with Naesala (because of their last minute A-rank support) where the two have a heron girl and a raven boy together.
Titania apparently goes to visit the graves of her “fallen friends,” which I assume is just a single grave for Ike’s dad. I can’t think of any other friends of hers who died.
Mist and Boyd marry, and I’m not a fan of it. I’m definitely not doing that again.
Since I posted Path of Radiance’s end screen, I figured I’d show off this one as well.
The only slightly surprising thing about the top 5 combat units is the fact that Volug isn’t there (he usually is), but he received so few points in his strength stat that he simply never lived up to his full potential. He’s ordinarily much more of a killing machine. Anyway, Mia is number 5, which makes sense; her lower strength in the earlier parts of the game kept her from finishing off a lot of enemies.
Titania is number 4, which also makes sense. After she equipped Imbue and started restoring a ton of health each turn, she became my go-to unit for tanking hits, and she managed to take out a whole lot of enemies in the process.
Ike is number 3, which might seem strange at first given how much combat he was a part of, but you have to remember that he hit the level cap several times and was purposefully kept from finishing off enemies to avoid wasting experience.
Nephenee managed to be number 2 in this game for almost the exact same reasons as Titania, though I could throw her into a group of enemies even before she had Imbue and trust that she’d destroy absolutely everything in her way.
Is it any surprise that Zihark is number 1? I mean, he took out an army of laguz almost single-handedly, and he was so lucky and powerful that he managed to hit Ashera with a blessed Tempest Sword with a 35% chance to hit. He got a constant stream of points in his strength and speed stats that ensured that he could beat just about anything, and his support with Volug made it nigh-impossible for anything to actually hit him. Like I said during Path of Radiance, Mia and Zihark don’t live up to their potential until Radiant Dawn, and hopefully you now see what I meant by that.
Anyway, that was Radiant Dawn, my favorite game of all time. Some of the story bits don’t hold up as well as I remember (though I’m pretty sure that subsequent playthroughs have more information in them), but the characters and gameplay are still every bit as enjoyable and full of depth as I remembered.