Ryoma (白夜王子リョウマ Byakuya Ōji Ryōma lit. White Night Prince Ryoma in the Japanese version) is Chapter 25 of Fire Emblem Fates in the Conquest Version. This chapter takes place in Shirasagi: Reception Hall.
After defeating Hinoka, Corrin rushes into Castle Shirasagi to find Ryoma before the Garon and his army can kill him, but soon finds themselves lost inside. Azura tells them of a secret space in front of the throne room, and suggests that Ryoma must be there. This worries Corrin, as the throne room is where they plan to meet the army. Corrin is soon interrupted by Iago, who informs them that Garon was fighting in-person during the battle prior. Corrin tells Iago that their army defeated Hinoka, and presents her lance as proof, though Iago is unconvinced. Before Iago can pressure further, Garon arrives, commanding him to stop with small matters, believing Hinoka to be no meaningful threat to them even if she were still alive. As they move forward, Iago begins plotting to ensure Corrin's suffering, as he thinks their time is up.
Corrin and the army reach the secret space, where they find Ryoma waiting for them. Ryoma reasons from their presence that Hoshido must have already fallen. Iago relishes in telling him the fates of his siblings, and throws Hinoka's lance to the ground, which Ryoma immediately recognizes, and Iago forces Corrin to falsely admit that they had slain her. Wracked by fury and grief, Ryoma promptly attacks Corrin, forcing them to duel him in a private chamber sealed off from the rest of the castle. Suddenly, Saizo, Kagero and several other members of the Hoshidan army reinforce Ryoma's effort to halt the advance of the Nohrians in the reception hall of Castle Shirasagi. The Nohrian sibings prepare for battle.
Corrin eventually emerges victorious by defeating Ryoma, where upon they quickly reveal that they had lied about Hinoka's death and had also promised Hinoka to ensure Ryoma's safety. Although Ryoma is initially reluctant to believe Corrin, he notices their Yato glowing, an indication that they are telling the truth.
Garon then enters the scene and orders Corrin to kill Ryoma, to which they adamantly refuse. When threatened to be executed for treason if not complied, Ryoma extricates Corrin from this painful dilemma by choosing to personally take his own life through the act of seppuku, he tells his last words to Corrin before dying "I'm counting on you". Corrin screams in agony over Ryoma's sudden death. Iago attempts to have Corrin executed for not complying with Garon's orders, but Garon does not care anymore and allows it to pass as they have conquered Hoshido. Corrin then runs away and begins to cry and mourn over Ryoma's death, failing to keep their promise to Hinoka. Azura confronts them and tells them to keep the new promise made by Ryoma before he died as she mourns with them.
The script for this chapter can be found here.
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.
This chapter can be one of the hardest chapters in Conquest depending on how the player decides to face the chapter. The win-condition is to defeat Ryoma, which can be done fairly quickly if the player's Corrin is strong enough. Defeating Ryoma without tackling the rest of the chapter with your forces forsakes valuable experience, the Silence Staff and 10,000G chests. The map has a high enemy density and many narrow passages restricting movement- and the placement of enemy units assures that their ranges overlap, forcing the player to take on multiple enemies at once.
Chapter 25 is considerably harder on Lunatic than Normal/Hard due to the addition of Inevitable End. Said ability is enemy-only and causes all stat debuffs to stack with no limit. All enemies that have a Hidden Weapon and/or a Seal skill will have Inevitable End. The enemy's debuffs lean heavily towards speed, defense, resistance and strength; this will quickly make even the most durable units frail and will drop units below crucial doubling thresholds, namely 38 speed for the Master Ninjas and 40 Speed for the non-paired Swordmasters.
Master Ninjas are the most ubiquitous enemy, primarily equipped with Silver Shurikens, but may also possess Practice Katanas or Spy's Shurikens. The player should be aware of the stat drains from the shurikens; Silver Shurikens reduce speed, defense and resistance by 4, while Spy's Shurikens reduce defense and resistance by 5 and all other stats by 2. The Spy's Shurikens 3-range will enable the Master Ninja to strike you from positions you cannot counter-attack from. In addition, some will have the skill Seal Defense, stacking with a Silver Shurikens defense drop adding up to a colossal 10 defense drop from a single instance of combat.
The other enemies comprise of Master of Arms in Kagero's hallway on the right and Swordmasters and Automatons in Saizo's hallways on the left. Many of the Master of Arms are paired-up, and there is one paired-up Swordmaster duo. Some of the Masters of Arms possess the Seal Strength ability. The Automatons all have Spy's Yumi and a Big Saw and are equipped with Seal Defense and Lunge. This ability combination proves extremely deadly, as they can strike from 3-range preventing a counter-attack, then pull your unit 3 spaces away while also reducing their defense by 6. All of the Automatons are within striking distance of one another meaning that once a single unit is pulled by Lunge, it will be struck, moved and have it's defense reduced by all four Automatons- ending with an absurd 24 defense drop. The Swordmaster duo will not engage until your forces come within 2 spaces of it, this is to sync up its aggro with the range of the nearby Automatons.
An easy way to counter the Master Ninjas on Lunatic Mode is by bringing several Shurikenbreaker units. This may not be enough to fully reduce their accuracy to relatively safe levels, so you may want to pair up the Shurikenbreaker units with a speed boosting partner and using a weapon that has an advantage over shurikens. A fairly high speed Onmyoji with Shurikenbreaker and Calamity Gate should ensure that the master ninjas will miss all of their attacks, provided they stick with Shurikens. You can either buy Shurikenbreaker off other players' castles (or train them if they have access to the Bow Knight class), or capture the Onmyoji in Chapter 22 or Chapter 24. Ensure that your units will also have enough speed to double the ninjas to kill them off in one hit, since all of them are carrying Poison Strike.
The enemy is split up into two hallways, led by Saizo and Kagero respectively. Saizo is at the western hallway, and it contains Swordmasters and Automatons. Kagero is at the eastern hallway, and it contains Master of Arms. Both hallways have Master Ninjas. Both Saizo and Kagero have Shurikenfaire on all modes; on Hard and Lunatic Modes, Saizo will have Luna and Aegis while Kagero will have Rend Heaven and Pavise. On Lunatic, they will get Inevitable End on them.
Saizo's hallway is considerably easier then Kagero's, due to the two paths you can take. It is still dangerous on Hard and Lunatic Modes, caution should be taken, since the Automatons with Spy's Yumis and Lunge your units into certain death. There is also a Swordmaster pair with 40 Speed; the lead Swordmaster has a Venge Katana and Strong Riposte, giving him 12 extra counterdamage in battle. While they do not move, it is best to take them out anyways.
Kagero's hallway can be slightly harder, since your units are put into a narrow hallway where the units can attack with ease on harder difficulties. There are three Master Ninjas in the narrow hallway similar to the ones in Chapter 17, so you can lose a lot of health quickly. Like the other path, Spy weapons make an appearance here on four of the ninjas; three in the narrow hallway and one near Kagero. (I only count 3 on hard mode.) As the closest Spy wielders have poison strike AND grisly wound, and cannot be killed by a counterattack, they do an automatic 40% health damage each. Entrap becomes extremely useful for this reason. There are also five Master of Arms in this area; the one blocking your way has Countermagic, while the three surrounding him have a weaponbreaker skill corresponding with their counterweapon. There is a pair up nearby; the lead Master of Arms has Pavise and Aegis, while the one behind has Death Blow and Certain Blow, both skills of little concern were it not for the Great Club he is wielding.
As soon as the battle starts, you are notified that Ryoma is savoring his vengeance. On Normal and Hard Mode, he will wait 25 turns before attacking, and on Lunatic Mode, 20. He will still counterattack if he is attacked. Corrin is locked in the room with Ryoma, with screens blocking them and your army. To unlock the screens, you will need to defeat his retainers. On Normal mode, you can kill either one of his retainers; on Hard and Lunatic Mode, you will need to kill both of them to pass. While it may seem impossible to achieve in such a small time frame, it is possible to kill both Saizo and Kagero in 20 turns or lower, although this requires a lot of luck.
Although Corrin can face Ryoma (more on Normal, less on Hard/Lunatic), Ryoma gets damage reduction while the Dragon Vein is active. Using Poison Strike and/or Savage Blow is a good way to wear Ryoma down, as that ignores the Dragon Vein. Using Replicate on your Avatar is an option too, however it will cause Ryoma to become aggressive as he will interpret the copy as another unit. You could also wait the 25/20 turns and lure Ryoma next to the south screen for your units to attack him with ranged. On Normal, Ryoma has Duelist's Blow. On Hard, he will also gain Astra, Resist Status and Swordfaire. On Lunatic, he will also get Rend Heaven, which could be an issue due to his high skill, although if your Avatar does not have a lot of strength, it should not cause much problems. Corrin can help to mitigate Ryoma's attacks when he becomes offensive with Swordbreaker if they can obtain it beforehand as Ryoma only uses the Raijinto and has no skill that offsets the hit rate changes from the skill. If Boo Camp is available, using it to bring Corrin to a respectable level can also prove to be useful, but only if they are struggling to survive.
Since in this chapter, Corrin can neither be saved using Rescue, nor can Ryoma be teleported into your team using Entrap, the only way for your team to enter Ryoma's battlefield is through eliminating Saizo and Kagero, if you play on Hard or Lunatic. Killing Ryoma will most of the time be too difficult for Corrin due to Ryoma's raw stats and damage, but a reliable way to wittle down Ryoma's health is with the usage of Keaton and his ability Grisly Wound:
Keaton has very high base defence and speed at level 15 and higher, where he learns his ability Grisly Wound, which deals 20% of max health damage after any combat with an enemy, so by placing him just at the sealed entrance at the starting position of this chapter, he is able to pull Ryoma's attention away from attacking Corrin, who can wait in one of the lower corners of the battle-room. Due to Ryoma's ability Resist Status, Grisly Wound will only deal 10% of his max health in damage, but it is more than Ryoma can heal on this battlefield consisting of healing tiles. With a little bit of help (Pair Up, Speed tonic, Mess Hall meal bonus) it should be no problem for Keaton to reach at least 32 speed even while using a defensive Beastrune, so that he should only be attacked once by Ryoma. With his other ability Better Odds as well as in combination with an adjacent healer like Elise, Keaton can tank Ryoma's hits for as long as you can heal him full every turn, even able to withstand Ryoma's Astra and Rend Heaven. This will gradually reduce Ryoma's health until he can be eliminated by a single attack of Corrin and provide several more turns in which it is possible to focus your whole team on one side of the map and subsequently move to the other side of the map, instead of having to split your team and tackling both sides simultaneously, effectively doubling your attack power and giving your team the time needed to recover from the debuffs applied by Inevitable End.
Notable enemies can be captured from this chapter in Lunatic mode:
- Master of Arms - There will be two Master of Arms both in guard stance with each other located at the top right of the map, near the room before the player reaches Kagero. One will carry Certain Blow and Death Blow while the other will carry Aegis and Pavise. They may be captured if the player wishes to do so.
- This chapter is similar to Chapter 26 of the Birthright path, where Xander also challenges Corrin to a single combat, while everyone is locked out of the combat room. The only difference is that while you can open the door in that chapter, here you cannot pick the door open and you have to defeat Saizo or Kagero (both must be defeated on Hard and Lunatic difficulty) to have other units go in there.
- While Astra usually is able to apply other combat effects such as Sol, Luna, Rend Heaven or Vengeance, Ryoma only uses either Astra or Rend Heaven per single attack, which appears to be hard-coded into his character in this chapter.