After the death of Iago by the Hoshidans, Xander, the only person standing between Corrin and Garon, speaks with his retainers, Laslow and Peri and urges them to stay behind and not fight Corrin, as he bears no wish for them or anyone else be killed in battle, as he believes killing Corrin will end the war without further bloodshed and casualties. He leaves to confront Corrin alone, but his retainers still have their reservations.
Corrin and the Hoshidans enter the Combat Room and is immediately confronted by Xander. He tells them they done well to make it this far, but he will not let them kill Garon and he challenges them to a one-on-one duel. However, Elise appears and attempts to talk him out of fighting Corrin and states she wants her family back. He refuse to listen to reason, unlike Camilla and Leo, and explains that he is Nohr's high prince and he must kill Corrin for the sake of his kingdom. Despite Elise's objections, Xander tells her to stay out of it and proceeds with the dual. Unwilling to lose her family, Elise decides to disobey Xander and do what she must do.
Corrin and Xander engage in a duel, with Xander completely dominating the fight. However, as he swings his blade to finish off his former sibling, Elise runs in and intercepts it, taking the full brunt of the blow. Seized with shock and grief, Xander rushes to cradle his sister in his arms, whereupon she, in her last breath, pleads with him to end the war not just through his strength, but also his own kindness and love. Elise perishes shortly after.
In spite of her death, Xander demands Corrin to continue their duel, much to their incredulous outrage. Heartbroken by their sister's death and their brother's seemingly uncaring feelings towards it, Corrin resolves to end the duel, but Laslow and Peri enter the training grounds, and upon seeing Elise's corpse, they immediately attribute her death to Corrin and promptly summon Nohrian troops to attack the Hoshidan army. Although Xander objects to their interference, the two choose to defy him, asserting that they would rather fight instead of watching him die without taking any action. The Hoshidan army prepare for battle as well as they take out the Nohrian army. Xander express his disgust saying it's not what he wanted, but nonetheless continues his duel with Corrin
Corrin's duel with Xander eventually concludes with Corrin emerging victorious. As Xander lays dying, he reveals that he had not fought at his full strength and he let Corrin win. When Corrin demands an answer of why he didn't listen to them or Elise to stop the fighting, he reveals that he did what he had to do simply because of his position as the crown prince of Nohr and the fact that Corrin sided with Hoshido. After lamenting over the possibility of fighting alongside Corrin in an alternate world, he tells Corrin that Garon is no longer the person he used to be and to stop Garon as it will be the only way to bring true peace to the world and succumbs to his wounds. Although saddened by Xander's death, Corrin proceeds with confidence and leaves to the throne room to finally put an end to Garon once and for all.
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 dealt with in a relatively quickly or long and dragged out depending on the player's desires. The sole mission objective is to defeat Xander, who is facing Corrin in single combat. On Normal and Hard mode, Xander will not attack Corrin (unless the player takes too long), but will retaliate back when attacked. On Lunatic however, Xander will immediately attack Corrin.
Since Xander's stats will be significantly reduced, if Corrin is sufficiently strong, they can finish off Xander in as little as a single turn or two. If Corrin cannot do so, you can have your units defeat the General guarding the door to the dueling chamber and then pick the door open, allowing your units to swarm and defeat Xander. In the meantime, ensure that Corrin can survive a turn or two until you can make that happen. Otherwise, you can fight out the map and slowly gather EXP from defeating various enemy soldiers. If planning on doing so, have Corrin simply avoid initiating battle and have healing items ready in their inventory or in the convoy. Having the Dragonstone equipped also raises Corrin's defenses which may prolong their survival.
- At the end of the chapter, while Xander is dying of his wounds, he tells Corrin that "in another world, we could have been fighting together." This could be a reference to the Conquest and Revelation paths.
- This chapter's map layout would be similar in Chapter 25 of the Conquest path, where Corrin also challenges Ryoma to a one-on-one duel, while everyone is locked outside the combat room.
- Xander's AI in both Normal Mode and Hard Mode is supposed to reflect the fact that he does not truly wish to fight Corrin. In Lunatic Mode, he outright charges at Corrin despite his notably inferior stats. When taking his grief over Elise into account, it can be assumed that he just wanted to die.
- "Lament", the music track that plays after Elise's death, continues to play beyond the cutscene and into the battle Preparations screen. A similar thing happens in Fire Emblem Awakening's chapter 10, "Renewal".
- This is the only time in the game that this happens outside of the penultimate and Endgame chapters. Notably, this doesn't happen in Conquest or Revelation.