Things are starting to come together with Fire Emblem Fates’ Map Pack 2 maps. The first two entries did a lot of setting the stage, with In Endless Dreams showing one version of Kana beginning to unit with some children from Hoshido and Realms Collide bringing another Kana together with children from Nohr. With The Changing Tide, the third map in a six map series, we finally get to see more allies coming together.
It’s happening right when one group needs it most. Fire Emblem Fates’ The Changing Tide begins with Shiro, Caeldori, Asugi, Midori, and Rhajat in trouble. The group is recovering after a fight. Which is all they’ve been doing since leaving their Deeprealms and seeing their parents cut down in front of them – fighting. Right after resolving to find their parents, they head into a rematch against their most recent foes.
Here’s where things get interesting! People who read last week’s spoiler-free overview for Realms Collide may recall Shiro, Caeldori, Asugi, Midori, and Rhajat were among the enemies Kana, Sophie, Dwyer, Forrest, Nina, and Ophelia faced. In this week’s map, Kana, Sophie, Dwyer, Forrest, Nina, and Ophelia are the among the opponents.
The point of The Changing Tide map is to defeat the two bosses, which are Kana and Forrest. As with each of the other Heirs of Fate installments, most of your team is at level 10 and will remain at level 10. The exception is Shiro, who is a level 1 Swordmaster with Ryoma’s Raijinto. Asugi is a level 10 Ninja with Steel and Flame Shurikens, Midori is a level 10 Apothecary with a Steel Yumi, Concoction, and Azura’s Salve. Rhajat is a level 10 Diviner with a Tiger Spirit and Horse Spirit. Caeldori is a level 10 Sky Knight with a Steel Naginata and Swordcatcher. The level 10 Kana, Sophie, Dwyer, Forrest, Nina, and Ophelia are accompanied by 3 Stoneborn enemies, 8 Faceless enemies, and one Maid at the outset. More enemies will spawn from the marsh tiles on subsequent turns.
Since The Changing Tide is set in a swamp, you want to be careful with your units. You don’t want someone taking damage at the start of a turn because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Especially since your group doesn’t have a healer and Dwyer is carrying the only item you can acquire, a Talisman.
I found it easiest to stick to the bottom of the map, dealing with the smaller number of generic enemies and heading to take care of Kana, Sophie, and Dwyer first, before heading north where Forrest, Ophelia, and Nina wait with their ranged attacks. Keep Midori safe, since she’s the closest thing you have to a healer with her potions. By the time you reach the pond in the center of the map, Kana, Sophie, and Dwyer will have left their positions to confront you. Kana is the biggest threat here, so take him out. From there, send Rhajat to lead a charge against Forrest, Ophelia, and Nina, with Caeldori following behind her. While Nina is a significant threat to the Sky Knight, Caeldori and Rhajat have the strongest resistance in the group, which will help them stand against their magic. If all goes well, you should be able to beat The Changing Tide in under ten turns.
The reward for completing Fire Emblem Fates’ The Changing Tide map is a Strengthtaker scroll. This can be applied to any unit and will give them +2 strength for every unit they defeat, up to a +10 bonus, for the rest of the battle. If you purchased the Vanguard Dawn DLC or own Map Pack 1, any male unit you made a Vanguard may have already learned this skill. Ike also learns this skill. I find it’s a helpful ability for someone who’s on the front lines or sent out as an advance unit. Ryoma and Xander both make good use of this ability, as can a child character like Shiro or Ignatius.
It really feels like The Changing Tide is where Fire Emblem Fates’ Heirs of Fate storyline comes into its own, especially if you played the previous two maps. You start to see things coming together and understand where the plot is going. Plus, it encourages you to pay more attention to who you do and don’t see in each battle. While the initial maps did a good job of setting things up, it’s The Changing Tide that brings things together and adds a little more mystery to the affair.
Fire Emblem Fates is immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS in North America and Japan and will come to Europe on May 20, 2016. The Changing Tide is $1.99 on its own and part of the $7.99 Map Pack 2.