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|“||Pawns need no sense of self! It’s only natural to sacrifice soldiers for victory in war!||”|
A Feral One (Japanese: なりそこない Failed One) is a laguz who has been driven to a mad, bestial state in exchange for being able to permanently remain shifted into their animal form. Feral Ones are not a natural occurrence and are the product of the research of the Daein court naturalist Izuka, who developed a drug with the aim of turning laguz into tools of war for Daein.
|“||I saw the results of your experiments at Gritnea Tower. The mutilated bodies… the rotting flesh… It was the most horrifying experience of my life. I wonder if my nightmares will pass when I kill you?||”|
The Feral One plan appears to have been first devised during, or at least close to, the Mad King's War of 645. Izuka's headquarters while experimenting with the laguz was Gritnea Tower, a prison tower located to the south of the Crimean capital Melior. When King Ashnard sought out beorc warriors to join the Daein cause, he used Feral Ones as tests for these warriors by pitting them in battles, often ending with the Feral One's gruesome demise. Some Feral Ones escaped Daein captivity and roamed in the wild as far as Begnion, occasionally being captured, tamed and pressed into the service of laguz slave traders.
The first known Feral Ones encountered by enemies of Daein were a pair of tigers who had been captured by the slave trader Gashilama, who was fought by Ike and the Greil Mercenaries in Begnion. After Ike and the Begnion army began their invasion of Daein, cat and tiger Feral Ones were frequently used the Daein army. Toward the end of the Mad King's War, Ike and Tibarn launched an attack on Gritnea Tower to rescue the heron princess Leanne, and fought many Feral Ones; after the battle, even though Izuka escaped, they encountered a dungeon in the tower which was filled with the twisted, rotting corpses of Feral Ones and other laguz who had been subjected to Izuka's experiments. The dungeon's contents left a profound effect on those who viewed it: Ike described it as the "most vile thing I have ever seen", and Ranulf would later comment that it haunted his nightmares for years afterward. It also played a key role in securing the support of Phoenicis and Kilvas in putting an end to Ashnard.
Three years later, following Ashera's judgement upon Tellius, the Hawk Army led by Tibarn and Elincia encountered Izuka after he escaped Bastian's captivity in the swamps of Salmo. Izuka summoned a massive number of Feral Ones to fight them, but was killed in the ensuing battle. The Feral Ones he commanded, presumably the last Feral Ones in existence, died with him.
When the Feral One drug is first administered, the victim loses control of their ability to transform, rapidly shifting between the two forms, and begins to lose their grip on their own identity and starts to growl like a beast. The mental effects can be briefly staved off if somebody they know tries to snap them out of it or if the victim tries to resist, but it will start again almost immediately.
Once in full effect, the Feral One state keeps a laguz locked into their shifted forms and removes their need to revert to the humanoid state. The drug also greatly enhances their strength in addition to the advantage of remaining permanently shifted. However, the Feral One drug has two major side effects. First, it drastically shortens the laguz's natural life span. Secondly, and most significantly, the drug also destroys the laguz's mind and sense of self and reverts them to effectively behaving like wild beasts. A Feral One loses the ability to communicate through speech or thought as they did before, and they can only growl or snarl like an animal. They are able to be tamed like a wild animal to serve a master, with every Feral One in Daein's service being trained to not attack Daein soldiers. Even after they have lost their mind, the victim tends to retain some sense of connections to their former life, as Rajaion would still react in the presence of Ena, his fiancée. Feral Ones give off a powerful, disgusting smell.
When used on beorc, the Feral One drug has a somewhat different effect. While it still breaks the victim's mind, still gives them a deep blood-lust and still makes them prone to bouts of growling, they are still able to communicate but tend to speak in an extremely violent and morbid manner. They appear to retain some sense of their situation and are capable of seeing their own death as a release from the feral state. Since beorc have no transformation capability, the Feral One state instead greatly enhances their physical strength.
The only known guaranteed cure for the feral condition is the galdr of rebirth. A successful performance of sufficient strength is able to revert a Feral One back to their pre-feral state. Under normal circumstances, the complexity of the galdr will require at least two herons to be present to perform it. The galdr method was used to cure Rajaion, Muarim, and Renning.
Izuka also claimed to be able to produce an antidote for the elixir and offered it to Bastian in exchange for his freedom.
In gameplay, Feral Ones have their transform gauges permanently at their maximum, allowing the laguz to remain permanently in beast form for the entire battle, and they will not revert under any circumstances. This makes them more of a challenge for the player's army to fight than the ordinary laguz who are fought in earlier chapters, since it prevents them from taking advantage of their weaker untransformed state to easily defeat them.
- Chapter 14: 2 Tigers (reinforcements)
- Chapter 22: 2 Tigers and 2 Cats (reinforcements)
- Chapter 23: 2 Tigers and 1 Cat
- Chapter 25: 3 Cats
- Chapter 27: 4 Tigers and 3 Cats
- Chapter 28: 2 Tigers, 6 Cats, 5 Hawks, 3 Ravens, and 3 Red Dragons; 2 Cats, 9 Tigers, 6 Hawks, 2 Ravens (reinforcements)
- Endgame: 2 Tigers, 2 Cats, 3 Red Dragons
In Radiant Dawn, Feral Ones are only present in gameplay in a single chapter of Part 4.
- Part 4 Chapter 5: 21 Cats, 16 Tigers, 5 Hawks, 6 Ravens, 6 Red Dragons; four random reinforcements per turn
Known Feral Ones
The black dragon laguz Rajaion, prince of Goldoa, was lured to Daein after his sister Almedha became King Ashnard's wife. He was captured and given the elixir, and in his feral state was tamed by Ashnard and used as his "wyvern" mount. Rajaion was used as leverage to force both his fiancée Ena and her grandfather Nasir into Daein's service, though Ashnard made a point of keeping them separated as he noticed that Ena's presence would provoke a reaction from Rajaion. After Ashnard's defeat by Ike, Rajaion was cured by Reyson and Leanne and had a brief reunion with Ena shortly before he died from the battle.
During his time with the Daein Liberation Army in 648, the tiger laguz Muarim was subjected to a dose of the Feral One elixir by Izuka, who served as the army's strategist. He never became a full Feral One, both because he resisted its effects as much as he could and because Rafiel was present to cure him with the galdr of release before the elixir could take hold.
Prince Renning of Crimea survived his defeat in the first battles of the Mad King's War and, on the orders of King Ashnard, was abducted and given a dose of the Feral One elixir. Since he was not a laguz, the elixir affected him differently but still shattered his mind, turning him into Bertram of the Four Riders. After Bertram's defeat, he entered the custody of Bastian, his former disciple, and was cured three years later by Reyson.
The majority of Feral Ones were cats and tigers, owing to the proximity of their kingdom, Gallia, to Gritnea Tower. Numerous hawk and raven Feral Ones also existed, although they were typically only seen around Izuka himself. In addition, a platoon of red dragons who had been dispatched from Goldoa to find Almedha were captured and converted into Feral Ones.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|Italian|| • Bestia
| • Beast; in Path of Radiance.|
• Wild animal; in Radiant Dawn.
- "...The king called powerful beorc to his cause. But he had to see if they were worthy. He would test them by pitting them against those laguz. Ashnard considers laguz to be tools in service to his own mad ends. Nothing more. They are instruments to be used as he sees fit. I heard that he ordered his scholars to perform all kinds of experiments...They used elixirs to drive them mad and keep them locked in their changed states...Their life spans were much shortened, but for a brief time, they became extremely powerful...they..." - Ena, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "After what we saw in the dungeons of Gritnea Tower, we all agreed that King Ashnard must pay. Reyson and Leanne helped to sway certain opinions. It was tough, but in the end, we understood what needs to happen." - Tibarn, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "This happens over and over…Muarim suddenly transforms, and…he growls like he’s losing his mind. And if I…if I grab him and yell his name again and again, he returns to himself, but…then it just starts over. And…and…when he’s growling, his eyes, they look… It’s as if, as if one of “them” is looking at me…" - Tormod, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "No need to worry. I have just given them their medication. They've all been trained not to attack any Daein soldiers." - Izuka, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "Mmm. Do as you will. I care not. However! Do not bring her into my presence! When that one is near, Rajaion seems to grow restless." - Ashnard, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "Ranulf: I sense several of the beast tribe, but...what is that? ...Sniff... Ugh! Something smells terrible!" - Ranulf, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "See that odious man among them? He’s controlling them. He is using fell magic to summon the poor laguz souls who were turned into Feral Ones!" - Bastian, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "Bertram: ... Perissssh... Perissssh...
Ike: So you're Bertram, are you? Sorry, but I can't perish right now.
Bertram: ... Me... Kill...
Bertram: Kill... me...... KILL... M-ME...
Ike: What's going on? Are you mad?
Bertram: ... Gu, gu... GUAAAA!
Ike: Ah!!" - Bertram and Ike, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "Bastian: Duke Renning was apparently killed three years ago… But as you can see, he is still alive. Duke Renning was one of the strongest warriors in Crimea, and while Daein tried to kill him, he survived. When the Mad King heard of his skill,he had Renning kidnapped and gave him the drug that creates Feral Ones. This drug made Duke Renning even stronger, but shattered his mind. He became Bertram, one of Ashnard’s infamous Four Riders. After Her Majesty and company defeated him, I had him taken back to my castle. I hoped to find a cure, but I didn’t want to raise false hope, Your Majesty, so I kept the secret. However, his mind continued to deteriorate, and there were no signs of improvement. As a last resort, I hired Volke to investigate a way to cure him. Volke quickly discovered that Duke Renning’s transformation was engineered by a man called Izuka. This man had made himself an aide to the new king of Daein and was not difficult to locate. Feeling that Renning was running out of time, we kidnapped Izuka to learn more of the condition.Returning to Fayre Castle, we interrogated Izuka at length and discovered more about his experiments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, beorc are affected differently by the drug than laguz. Izuka then offered to create an antidote in exchange for his freedom.
Geoffrey: Did you agree to it?!
Bastian: We refused without a second thought. Such a monster cannot be allowed to roam free. Besides, we know a more certain way to cure Lord Renning.
Lucia: The galdr of rebirth!" - Bastian, Geoffrey, and Lucia, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
- "There are more of the beast tribe than any other. It is because we are close to Gallia." - Ena, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- "Shortly after you left Goldoa, you met Ashnard in Daein and were united with him. However, your union begat a chain of tragedies. Did you know that the red dragon platoon which went in search of you was captured and turned into Feral Ones by King Ashnard?" - Nasir, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
|Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn|