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Fire Emblem Wiki

“I'll lead the company... In Father's stead... And I'll protect you all. You, the princess...everyone. I'll protect you. You'll see.”

Despair and Hope is Chapter 8 of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. It is a defend chapter, meaning the player must secure their fort against enemy troops for eight turns in order to satisfy victory conditions. When this chapter starts, Gatrie and Shinon are absent as they depart out of jealousy for Ike taking up leadership in the Greil Mercenaries.

Dropped Items

Enemy Reinforcements

These reinforcements differ slightly when on hard mode

  • 2 Knights appear at the top at the end of turn 4.
  • 2 Soldiers appear to the left of the boss at the end of turn 4.
  • 2 Soldiers appear at the left and 1 appears at the right at the end of turn 5.
  • 2 Lance Knights appear at the bottom right and 1 soldier appears at the bottom left at the end of turn 6.
  • In hard mode, 1 Mage also appears at the bottom left at the end of turn 6.
  • 1 Soldier and 1 Myrmidon appear at the right at the end of turn 7.


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Subjective: The following part of this article is based upon the editor's personal experiences and opinions, and therefore may not be applicable for all readers.

Beforehand, all units should have Vulneraries, since your units are defending. It is best to split the units into three groups to guard the three entrances. Ike should head west in order to recruit Ilyana, along with Mia and possibly Soren. Titania should equip a Poleax or ranged weapon and go south to take on the mounted units, retreating when necessary to keep any from charging past. Oscar and Boyd should guard the east entrance, and it is recommended that Boyd be given the Hammer to deal with the armored units, as well as giving both units ranged weapons with full uses. Rhys should remain in the center area, healing Ike, Mia, Soren, Boyd, and Oscar when they need it, although the latter should be done with care, as some of the enemy archers have Longbows.

In the east, it is ideal to put the stronger unit of Oscar or Boyd in front so he can endure more hits, and create a better line of defense. However, both units should be next to each other for the critical bonus they get from their bond. In the south, Titania should be careful not to move too far to expose the entrance for any enemies/reinforcements during the first couple of turns. In the west, Ike, Mia, and Soren need to eliminate the opposition quickly so Ike can reach Ilyana without anyone dying. However, with the three having low durability at this point, it can be rather difficult having to deal with several soldiers and myrmidons each turn, and the player should be ready to use several Vulneraries up just to survive.

New Units

  • Ilyana is a Mage who specializes in Thunder magic, which, in this game, is the most powerful of the three types of Anima magic, though also the heaviest and least accurate, but with a decent critical rate. Although she starts off rather fragile as a Level 6 mage, over time she can become a capable mage, and she starts with a higher Weapon Rank in Thunder than Soren or Tormod do, making her an ideal candidate to wield the Rexbolt, one of the two S-ranked tomes that the player can acquire in this game. She will be the first character that isn't a member of the Greil Mercenaries to join.