I have to restart Fire Emblem: Awakening because of Donnel

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fire emblem: awakening
I am serious about my Fire Emblem. So serious that on the classic games, where there’s only permadeath, I take about 50 hours to play because I will not allow any units to die and the moment anyone falls, the battle is restarted. I figured I’d be fine with Fire Emblem: Awakening due to the casual option that prevents characters from dying for good if they fall in battle, but I was wrong. I’ve ruined my Fire Emblem: Awakening game, in which I’ve invested 26 hours and 23 minutes, because of Donnel.

See, Donny is the “joke” character, except I learned to late that he’s really not. He’s a villager you can recruit in a side quest. He’s comic relief. He’s a farmer’s son who goes around wearing a pot on his head and is practically useless (initially). He won’t even join during the side quest unless you get him to level up during it. Simply put, he’s a great big pain in the butt. I recruited him for completion’s sake, toyed with pairing him up with Cordelia, then married off Cordelia to someone else and left him to rot because he was too much trouble.

Then, I played the currently free DLC map Champions of Yore 1. After you beat it, you unlock a special version of Marth with special skills, one of which is Aptitude. Simply put, it guarantees the character ends up awesome because practically every stat will increase when he levels up. I figured it sounded awesome and decided to investigate Aptitude further.

It’s then that I learned Donny has it. Furthermore, if Donny is married then his child can inherit it. Which means I have missed out on a golden opportunity. I could have had not one, not two, but three characters in my party at this very moment in Fire Emblem: Awakening that are unstoppable bringers of death and destruction. Right now, I have Donny as a level 1 hero and he is easily able to clear an entire map of Risen spawned with a Reeking Box.

Which means I can’t just leave it at this. Donny is a missed opportunity of the greatest order. Here I was silly and frivilous enough to marry off my avatar to Chrom, thinking only a prince would do for her. But no, the real gem was Donny. I can’t even begin to imagine how glorious my avatar’s child would have been had he been born with Aptitude.

fire emblem: awakeningThere’s nothing for it. I have no choice. I know what I have to do. I have to suck it up. I’m only at Chapter 14 anyway. The game’s story has just reached the halfway point. Less so, since I plan on picking up any and all Fire Emblem: Awakening DLC. It doesn’t matter that I can still have three unstoppable units in my army once the Border Between Life and Death DLC that adds Est to the party is released, but still. I’ll know I messed up, and I just can’t proceed in the game without fixing it.

Call it ridiculous. It is. I’m not playing on any advanced difficulty. I decided my first Fire Emblem: Awakening run would be completely casual. Normal difficulty level and no permanent deaths for me. Everybody lives. I just wanted to have fun, but I can’t help thinking how much more fun it would be if I had taken advantage of every opportunity.

It says a lot about the game, I think. Fire Emblem: Awakening gets to you. So much planning is required, that any missed opportunity leaves a player wondering what if. Do I pursue the Dark Flier path for my Pegasus Knight so they learn Gale Force, and then shift them to Falcon Knights for the stave usage in the end game? Should I send my Avatar down the Sorcerer path first, to get the Vengeance skill, or go for the Dark Knight because it also uses swords and tomes? Marriages aren’t just about what Support conversations are best for the advanced players. They’re instead about the inherited skills that the children will receive.

I suppose the only solace I can take is that I’m not alone. I’m sure other Fire Emblem: Awakening players are out there, also restarting their games, because they too overlooked Donnel and now realize what a crucial character he is. My only hope is that by writing this, I’m helping others realize Donny’s potential before it’s too late so they don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Also, before you depart for other Fire Emblem: Awakening articles on the internet, let me impart one final piece of wisdom. Kellam can use a Second Seal to become a thief, and he can be one of the strongest thieves in the game. I’ll leave it at that.

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  • Shawn

    No! Don’t do it! When you can grind unlimited levels using second seals to restart a character’s levels until they have max stats, all aptitude does is speed up the process! It isn’t aptitude that makes Donny amazing, it’s his stat growths in the first place.

  • Nicole

    That’s terrible, but so funny. I do the exact same thing – I will automatically stop the game if one dies, or if I don’t manage to recruit one.

    I knew from the beginning that Donnel would be incredibly useful. In FE: The Sacred Stones, I initially wrote off Amelia as useless, but she arguably turned out to be the best unit, and Donnel starts off exactly like her.

  • Wondering

    Haha, I knew donny was going to turn into a great character/unit. I just did not bother training him to now :)
    I already beat the game *english*.I beat it two days ago.
    I was just playing classic, normal mode; which was surprisingly easy cx
    I beat it around 20-24 hours put in.
    I just let my Henry (first promoted to dark knight then re classed as a sorcerer) give him a Ruin tome and he crit hits everything 😉
    I really do love my units they are considerably strong, though the spotpass characters are a little challenging. Nergal was a pain to recruit. Im trying to recruit eliwood and hector; they prove difficult to get when fighting :/
    Im sure henry could just kill them all but heh…
    I paired Donny with panne

  • Paris

    Donnel, while his aptitude ability is decent, he is not the best choice for marriage in my opinion Chrom is the best choice for a female My Unit and Lucina for a male, as it allows Morgan the one ability he can’t get otherwise Rightful King which boosts activation to 10% of all skills. And is better then aptitude IMO. If grinding wasn’t available then I’d be open for debate however.
    And Rightful King are too good to pass up.

    • Jenni Lada

      That’s good thinking Paris! I didn’t take Rightful King into account!

    • Roy

      id say thats up to debate still. you could marry yarne as a female getting a thrid taguel. and as a male you could marry panne or tiki/nowi/nah and add 1 to the pool of subrace of your choice. I married tiki and never looked back. wiping enemy teams faster than her mother at the cost of being a touch squishier without her being married. lethality, astra, ignis, lifetaker/sol, luna, aether and galeforce are the best active vanilla skills (if you count galeforce as active but that is not stopping it from being the most powerful skill in the game for enemy clearing)

    • Kenya

      Rightful King AND Galeforce if you make female MU a dark flier. Chrom and MU make an amazing duo but Lucina and Morgan are unstoppable. My first run I paired female MU with Frederick. Morgan was insanely strong. Chrom was with Sumia. Lucina and Cynthia were both well rounded and leveled quickly into lethal characters. Married Lucina and Morgan and could use just them paired to wipe out entire maps. However I didn’t yet know how to pass down the parents skills. I went ahead and finished the game and immediately started over, on hard. This time serious planning is involved with most pairings already planned.

      Thank the gods for DLC on hard because the reeking boxes never get cheap. -__-

  • Serreno

    Donnel is certainly much better than he first seems, but he isn’t a good marriage candidate if your aim is the most powerful children possible. The modifiers he passes on are sub-par, so you while you may cap stats faster, those caps are going to be worse than they would have been with almost anyone else. Aptitude is nice to have and all, but going through all that trouble to pass it on isn’t worth it in a game with infinite levels to gain. All that time wasted on restarting is far been better spent simply grinding normally.

  • Count Coolness

    I maxed donnel out as a joke with my friend many hours later I realized it was well worth it! I haven’t been watching my children’s skills but have been maxing out my units and honestly donnels ability isn’t worth resetting over to get a child to have it

  • DeadSpaceGhost

    Donnel was freaking amazing. The moment I saw Donnel, I remembered instantly of Amelia, Ross, and the little mage kid Ewen from Sacred Stones ( basically the “potential” class ). So I put all my effort into making Donnel strong. Before I got to chapter 16 or so, I had to stop using Donnel because he kept one shot-ing every enemy, while my other characters kept taking near fatal damage. I paired Donnel up with Lissa because I thought they made a cute couple 😀 a princess and a farm boy xD now thats classic. Little did I know, Lissa’s offspring was Owain. And a true legendary Scion was born. However, it wasn’t because of Aptitude: I combining Armsthrift with a high luck character and Regalia weapons. Aptitude is nice if your character is at a very low level, but once you reach a “Rating” above 240, it doesn’t really matter.

    Also xD Owain is currently my strongest character as a Dread Fighter + Limit Break with a rating of 382 – only rivaled by my Sniper Noire at 356. Currently have 273 hours on Hard, Classic. xD And theres no way I’m playing Lunatic + because Pavise+ and Aegis + are BS.

  • Thanks for the spoiler

    Thank you for telling me that chapter 14 is in the middle of the game I hate to know when the games end.

    You f***** up the game for me now because I will now always think oh no 10 chapters untill its over oh no 9 untill its over etc…..

    • Jenni Lada

      Sorry it bothered you, but you do realize this is a game with multiple, free SpotPass levels, as well as DLC levels and random battles. Not to mention the endless level grinding to try and get characters’ stats past the 350 point. If you consider knowing that Chapter 13/14/15 is around the halfway point is a spoiler, then I’d hate to see how you react to finding out the end of a game like BioShock Infinite.

  • Miriel

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………you’re a ****ing idiot.

  • Reddazrael

    NO! DO NOT REMARRY! I fully agree with Paris up there that Chrom is the best choice for a female Avatar, because it means you get a “second” Morgan in Lucina. That’s something you can’t have with any other male character, because all the other children are tied to their mothers. That more than makes up for not having a third-generation Morgan (or one with Aptitude) in my mind.

    Morgan and Lucina are my unstoppable sibling team of unmatched destruction. I had my Avatar specialize in Speed, and which means my Lucina outspeeds even Sumia!Lucina, and Morgan is… well, Morgan.

    Grinded the hell out of both of them using DLC+Second Seals, gave both of them Galeforce/Armsthrift/Limit Breaker/Rightful King/Aether+Sol, and then tossed them out on the field with Forged Celica’s Gale (ALWAYS HITS FOR 4X DAMAGE DUE TO HIS SPEED) and Gradivus (1-2 RNG, 19MT, HILARIOUS WATCHING HER HURL IT INTO SOMEONE’S FACE).

    Never in all my years have I seen such slaughter. They can tear apart a map as if I’m on Normal mode. It is enough to make a parent weep with pride.

  • KSDelgado

    which in turn results in the masterful behemoth of relentless destruction disguised as cute little Nah.

  • CounterSwordmaster

    I knew instantly donny would be good cause i read the skill description in game. I ended up marrying him to the dancer which produce a insanely broken counter swordsman named inigo. He had armshift, sol, astra, and vantage to go with his +4 luck buff. So imagine, a forged brave sword in that man’s hands constantly triggering either astra or sol. he literally was a 1 man army and I had to do was move him to the boss. I will never forget the moment when he activated astra 4 times in a row for a beautiful 20 hit combo and 1 shot the final boss