By Hailinel 14 Comments
King Ashnard of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is not known for his subtlety. He leads his army from Daein into the bordering nation of Crimea while riding a snarling black dragon, decked out in black armor with his soldiers and minions all dressed in similar fashion. The education system of his nation’s schools asks the children to embrace racism first and foremost. His goal is to spread war across the continent and unleash a dark god because hell, why not? Even when he smiles, his face is a portrait of leering villainy.
Seriously, the only thing he lacks is a Snidely Whiplash mustache that he can twirl while setting an orphanage on fire. It’s good, then, that he remains in the background for most of the game while a more nuanced (or at least more personality-diverse) cast takes center stage and he only shows up on occasion to radiate malevolence before returning to the background.
But to be fair to the guy, there is a method to his madness. He comes from the school that demands power over all else. Class and social standing don’t mean a thing to him. For Ashnard, survival of the fittest is the philosophy to live by. And he takes that mantra seriously, as he killed a rather lengthy list of relatives ahead of him in line for the throne so that he could take power himself. So yeah, Ashnard is a mass-murdering, war-mongering psychotic jerk, but at least he’s consistent.
As the game’s final boss, he doesn’t fight alone. Before you can even touch him, you have to fight through a pretty serious wave of soldiers, and there aren’t too many characters in your crew that can do significant damage to him. Though, he can do significant damage to everyone else. Pick up on those healing staves, quaff a vulnerary, and get ready to take a punch.
When it comes right down to it, Ashnard isn’t too difficult on his own, so long as you’re ready for him and you’re not playing on Hard Mode. In Easy and Normal, he’ll just chill out on his dragon mount, waiting for some dumb schmuck with more hit points than sense to come waltzing into his attack range. Hard Mode? Oh, he’ll sit around for awhile, but given enough turns, he’ll start flying around and become an aerial death machine. And when you do drop him, he’ll use the power of the Fire Emblem to restore his hit points and become even more powerful.
Man, villains and their ancient artifacts of pure evil. When will they ever learn?
It takes a special kind of bad guy to dedicate seemingly his entire life to being a colossal dick. Ashnard is that special kind and then some. When it comes to villainy, he goes all in. And he always bets on black.