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DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Latest Update: Rigel Woods



Fire Emblem: Gaiden

Called 'Gaiden' since it is considered a side-story rather than a sequel to the first Fire Emblem, this game is the second in the Fire Emblem series and was released only in Japan in 1991. Like many NES sequels of the time, Gaiden is a bit...different, from the original, and the series immediately returned to a more direct sequel of the original for the third game. However many of the innovations in Gaiden inspired Fire Emblem 8: The Sacred Stones, as we'll come to see.

The Fire Emblem series is a strategy/RPG hybrid with turn-based setpiece battles and character growth via experience gain. The twist is that any unit that dies is lost forever. With some exceptions.

The series has had 13 games thus far, though a couple of those entries (11 and 12) are merely remakes of 1 and 3, respectively. Gaiden wasn't considered particularly worthy of a remake, alas. It meets the basic description of a Fire Emblem game, but almost everything else is different. It'll become more clear as we go along, but the most immediate differences are that there are two independent armies to control and a world map to conquer. There's even random battles!

This LP will be pretty free-form, but there are a couple ground rules:
  1. Some battles can be repeated infinitely to 'grind' extra experience. That's boring so we won't be doing that, aside from unavoidable random battles.
  2. Participation pending, pretty much everything will be up for a vote - lineups, class choices, inventory management, whatever you want. One poster makes a motion to vote upon, another poster seconds it, followed by a voting period. A lack of voting basically just means I do whatever I want.
  3. I'll be showing off everything I can find, but definitely call me out if I skip over something you want to see.
  4. There's another LP of Gaiden already completed by Hafl a couple years ago - follow along there as well if you want, but I'll be going into much more detail.
  5. I'm using Artemis's translation patch, which can be found pretty easily with a simple search.
  6. There's not much plot to begin with, so please don't spoil anything.

Table of Contents:

Extras:

Some other Fire Emblem LPs you may enjoy:

DKII fucked around with this message at Aug 24, 2014 around 21:44

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DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Extra Stats

Some extra statistics stored here for reference. Because it wouldn't be a Fire Emblem LP without copious amounts of numbers floating around.


Current Rosters:






Army Growth Rates:

With so many units in our army and the growing need to make comparisons amongst them, here are the growth rates for each unit (all Magic Defense growths are 0 so are not listed).

pre:
Name	Class	HP	Power	Skill	Speed	Luck	Defense	Quality
Alm	Fighter	50	35	40	30	20	30	155
Luka	Soldier	40	15	35	15	20	20	105
Force	Soldier	30	40	10	20	20	10	100
Robin	Cavlier	30	10	40	15	30	10	105
Cleive	Cavlier	40	20	20	20	20	20	100
Matilda	Paladin	40	30	20	40	10	30	130
Cliff	Merc	50	20	40	50	20	40	170
Python	Archer	40	40	15	20	10	15	100
Claire	PKnight	20	30	50	40	50	10	180
Gray	Mage	40	30	20	10	10	20	90
Ryuto	Mage	40	20	20	15	50	15	120
Dyute	Mage	30	50	30	20	30	10	140
Silk	Cleric	20	30	30	30	30	10	130

Celica	Royal	30	25	40	30	40	20	155
Valbo	Knight	40	20	35	25	10	20	110
Sabr	Myrmdon	50	20	15	15	10	40	100
Kamui	Merc	30	25	20	40	20	20	125
Jesse	Merc	40	25	40	40	20	25	150
Leo	Sniper	50	20	20	10	10	30	90
Catria	PKnight	30	30	30	40	20	20	140
Palla	PKnight	40	40	15	10	10	30	105
Est	PKnight	30	40	50	30	50	50	220
May	Mage	20	40	20	10	10	20	100
Sonia	Mage	30	30	30	30	30	30	150
Boey	Mage	40	30	15	10	20	40	115
Noma	Sage	10	10	15	15	10	10	60
Jenny	Cleric	20	40	40	15	20	20	135
Atlas	Cavlier	30	30	20	10	15	20	95
Items and Magic:

We've picked up a few things by now, so here's a list of each item we've come across and their relevant stats.

pre:
Name	Type	Might	HitRate	Crit%	Range	Weight	HP Cost	Notes
[Iron]	Sword	0	90	0	1	0		Auto-used by sword-users if unarmed
Steel	Sword	4	80	0	1	1		
Hero	Sword	5	100	30	1	0		
Dark	Sword	13	70	0	1	5		(21-Luck) % chance to strike user instead
Bolt	Sword	*	80	0	1-2	3		Attacks with a fixed 15 Magic Attack
Holy	Sword	3	100	15	1	0		Triples Power and Might against monsters, HP +5 / turn
Regal	Sword	7	100	20	1	0		Alm only, HP +5 / turn

[Iron]	Lance	0	90	0	1	0		Auto-used by lance-users if unarmed
Steel	Lance	4	80	0	1	1	
Hand	Lance	3	70	0	1-2	2	
Knight	Lance	3	85	0	1	1		Triples Power and Might against cavaliers
Holy	Lance	3	90	10	1	0		Triples Power and Might against monsters, HP +5 / turn

[Iron]	Bow	0	70	0	1-3	0		Auto-used by bow-users if unarmed
Steel	Bow	3	70	0	1-5	1		Triples Power and Might against flying units

Nsfratu	BlMagic	0	50	0	1-2	2	0	Heals user for damage done
Fire	BlMagic	3	80	0	1-2	3	1
Thunder	BlMagic	4	70	0	1-3	5	2
Exclbur	BlMagic	5	100	20	1-2	1	3
Angel	BlMagic	8	90	0	1-2	4	4	Triples Power and Might against monsters
Aura	BlMagic	13	80	0	1-2	10	6	
Dora	BlMagic	3	80	0	1-2	3	1	Enemy only
Slime	BlMagic	10	70	0	1-2	6	2	Enemy only
Death	BlMagic	15	70	0	1-2	9	5	Enemy only

Recover	WhMagic	0	100	0	1	0	1	Heals ally
Physic	WhMagic	0	100	0	Inf	0	3	Heals ally
Fortify	WhMagic	0	100	0	Inf	0	12	Heals all allies
Warp	WhMagic	*	100	0	1	0	8	Transport ally to any other traversable tile
Illsion	WhMagic	*	100	0	1-2	0	1	Jenny only, summons 1-8 soldiers
Messiah	WhMagic	*	100	0	1-2	0	1	Enemy only, summons 1-8 zombies
Messiah	WhMagic	*	100	0	1-2	0	2	Enemy only, summons 1-8 skeletons
Messiah	WhMagic	*	100	0	1-2	0	4	Enemy only, summons 1-8 gargoyles

Leather	Shield	3						Increases Defense
Steel	Shield	5						Increases Defense
Dragon	Shield	13						Increases Defense/M. Defense, HP +5 / turn

Holy	Ring							HP +5 / turn
Angel	Ring							HP +5 / turn, Luck = 40, Doubles level gains
Magic	Ring							HP +5 / turn, Sets magic attack range to 5
Prayer	Ring							HP +5 / turn, Crit = 100% when HP < 50%
Promotions:

Once a unit reaches a certain level, they are able to promote into a new class. If the unit's stats are below any of the base stats for that class, the unit gets an increase to match. Otherwise the unit gets a 1 HP bonus.

From what we've seen so far, the following promotion paths are available:
pre:
Starting Class	Level		New Class
Soldier	-->	7	-->	Knight
Knight	-->	10	-->	Baron

Cavlier	-->	7	-->	Paladin
Paladin	-->	10	-->	Gold Knight

Merc	-->	7	-->	Myrmidon
Myrmidn	-->	10	-->	Slayer

Archer	-->	7	-->	Sniper
Sniper	-->	10	-->	Bow Knight

Mage(M)	-->	12	-->	Sage
In addition, villagers can promote at level 3 into mercenaries, cavaliers, soldiers, archers, or (male) mages.


Music:

Links to each of the music tracks we've encountered so far, in approximate order of appearance:

DKII fucked around with this message at Aug 24, 2014 around 21:43

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Chapter 1, Prologue: Ram Village

Music: Opening Theme



Gaiden takes place in a separate continent within the same 'world' as Fire Emblem 1. Hence, its designation as a side-story rather than a sequel.



Two local gods are fighting for control of this land.



Eventually they just take a page out of Solomon's book and divide the island down the middle.



The translation can be a little rough at times. Tactless, really?



I hate those contradiction years.



Good thing or we wouldn't have a game to play.



Holding both Start + Select while pressing the A button allows for the selection of Normal or Easy Mode (default is Normal Mode otherwise). Easy Mode, among other things, gives double experience points and allows free transfer of items between the two armies. Needless to say, we're playing Normal Mode. Unfortunately there's still no Hard Mode at this point in the series.

Music: Village



And we're immediately dumped into the start of the first chapter. Chapters in Gaiden are more like the 'Acts' of Fire Emblem 10, in that they're really groups of battles separated by large plot events.



The top guy runs back and forth for a few seconds before the lower guy finally addresses him.

Go and play, but don't leave the village. Bandits have been about.



And with that, we're left to wander around the village on our own. There's no battle or turns here, we just get to free-roam the village, explore, and talk to NPCs like we're in a Final Fantasy game.



Pressing the A button access the menu, which has a few options at this stage of the game. Rank shows the units in your army and their current HP, experience, and level. Item is for inventory management, Data shows our main character's numbers page, and Save, obviously, saves the game.



We're controlling Alm, a level 1 Fighter. The rest of the numbers don't mean a whole lot yet, but I'll go into them when we actually start fighting.



There's nothing to find in the houses, so we move to the right and find a group of people blocking the exit. Pressing the A button still just brings up the menu - talking to people requires ramming your face into theirs.



Each of the three people not actually blocking the exit say this line.



Luka here won't let us leave without giving us an expositional speech.

Sofia's castle was captured and the king has been killed. We formed a liberation force to fight against Dozer, but it's not good enough. So, I came to ask General Mycen to help.

Guess we should talk to Mycen. But first let's see what the other villagers think now:





Different lines this time, but they all amount to talking to Mycen and then going back to Luka.



Luka is still blocking the exit, so Alm moves off to give Mycen the good news. Mycen took advantage of his off-screen time to enter the house, so that's where we find him.



War brings only sorrow....

Mycen has some kind of mysterious-past thing going on. Oh well, better tell Luka he's out of luck.



The villagers re-arranged themselves while we weren't looking. Only Luka (now on the left) has anything different to say.



Sir Mycen has grown cowardly in his old age. To think he was once called Sofia's hero....

That seems a bit harsh. Let's see how Alm responds.



Oh, sure, that makes sense. In Fire Emblem, young rookies are far more desirable than old veterans.



My comrades will be pleased. Let's go to the liberation's base.

Luka is satisfied to leave with some kid he just met rather than the general who was "Sofia's Hero" in the past.

Music: Recruit Fanfare



And we get our first recruit for Alm's fledgling army.

One of the villagers is still blocking the exit, but Alm is feeling anti-social and doesn't want to talk to him.

A save, reset, and load later...



The villager moves upon reloading the game at this point, allowing Alm to leave the village and head into the Ram Woods free and clear.

But we don't really want to do that. Talking to the villagers yields:



But help me if I get in trouble!



I can already tell Cliff is going to be a winner in this army.



Let's go take back Sofia's castle!



I like Robin's attitude much better.



This village is bound to get attacked, too, so let's beat up that Dozer guy first.



And then there were five. Our starting army already has more personality than the equivalents in Fire Emblem 1, which had four units (Doga, Gordon, Kain, and Abel) start off already in the army with no lines whatsoever. Unfortunately these recruitment lines are the last we'll ever actually hear from our starting group (other than Alm himself, of course).



With the village emptied of able-bodied men, it's time to start our journey.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Chapter 1, Part 1: Ram Woods

Music: Alm Battle Map 1



Upon leaving the village, we are presented with the world map, but without any real time to examine it just yet. Alm automatically moves forward until encountering the first enemy group on the map, and a battle immediately begins.



The first battle is exceedingly simple. We have five units, the enemy has five units, and the entire battle map fits on just the one screen.



Pressing the A button with a unit selected brings up a brief summary of the unit. Alm, as the main character, starts off as the strongest unit. Unlike as with every other unit, the game ends if Alm runs out of health. Fire Emblem veterans may notice a curiosity - Alm uses a sword as a weapon, but doesn't currently have any items. That's because Gaiden gives every unit a "default" weapon (equivalent of an Iron weapon in other games) to use when nothing else is equipped.



Pressing the A button again brings up a more detailed stats page for the unit, along with a character portrait, if available. Now seems like a good time for a combat primer:

pre:
Power:		Increases physical attack damage
Skill:		Increases physical attack accuracy and critical hit rate
Speed:		Increases number of attacks and decreases enemy physical and magic attack accuracy
Luck:		Increases critical hit rate and decreases enemy magic accuracy
Defense:	Decreases enemy physical attack damage
M. Def:		Decreases enemy magic attack damage

Physical Attack Damage:		Attacker's Power + Weapon Might - Defender's Defense
Physical Attack Accuracy:	Attacker's Skill + Weapon Accuracy
Physical Attack Avoid:		Defender's Speed + Defender's Terrain Bonus - Defender's Weapon Weight
Magical Attack Damage:		Attacker's Power + Spell Might - Defender's M. Def
Magical Attack Accuracy:	Spell Accuracy
Magical Attack Avoid:		Defender's Luck + Defender's Speed

Critical Hit Rate:		(Attacker's Skill + Attacker's Luck)/2 + Weapon Critical (rounded down)

Double Attack Criteria:		(Attacker's Speed - Attacker's Weapon Weight) > (Defender's Speed - Defender's Weapon Weight)
Critical hits do triple damage, and there are some other modifiers not shown here that I'll explain as we come across them. Damage is subtracted from a unit's HP, and if the HP falls to or below zero the unit is 'dead' and removed from the battle.

Alm has a pretty good power and a high HP total so he should be able to dish out damage pretty well and survive a few hits as well. Let's test out that theory.



Alm has 5 movement points which means he can generally move that many tiles on the battle map. Special tiles like the forests require two movement points to enter, but also give a unit standing in the forest a bonus to avoiding physical attacks. That leaves Alm with just enough movement points to reach this first enemy.



Ending a unit's movement in attack range of an enemy gives the player the option to initiate an attack, or just end the unit's turn without attacking. We obviously want the first option here. But first, let's take a closer look at the enemy.



All of the enemies are Thieves, and you can tell immediately from the stats comparison that they're no match for Alm. Their weapon of choice is an Axe, but mechanically it doesn't really matter - all of the "default" melee weapons used when no items are equipped have zero Might, 90% Accuracy, and zero Weight/Crit Rate. Future Fire Emblem games would add a "weapon triangle" where swords perform better against axes, for example, but no such thing has been invented yet for Gaiden.



Choosing the fight option shows a cursor to select which enemy to attack, in the case that multiple options are available. Future Fire Emblem games would also provide a "preview" of how the selected attack would turn out, but here we have to work out the math ahead of time. Here, Alm should get in two attacks of 8 damage each, receiving just 1 damage in return. Alm also will have a 7% chance of a critical hit for 24 damage on each of his attacks.

Music: Combat - Player Initiated



The battle plays out in animated form, with the two units exchanging blows against a black background. The appearance will likely be familiar to anyone who saw the same animations in Fire Emblem 1, though with a bit more color. Alm gains 5 XP for himself and a bit less for the rest of the group - 100 XP is required to advance to the next level. Gaining a level gives a character a fixed % chance of increasing each of their stats, with the percentages - growth rates - being character-specific values.



Alm is a bit exposed now, but only two of the remaining Thieves can reach him, and they'll each only do the same single point of damage. The first battle really isn't meant to challenge the player. With that said, we don't want him monopolizing all the experience, either, so let's take a look at the rest of our army.



Luka is our next-best unit right now after Alm. He starts off at a higher level with the same Power and Defense as Alm, but is behind on everything else. As a Soldier class, he uses Lances instead of Swords.



Cliff starts off as our worst unit, about on the same level as the Thieves. He does have an unusually high Luck and Magic Defense, though. Villagers are a bit like unmolded clay, and will get to change to a real class after reaching Level 3.



Robin isn't much better than Cliff, but his higher Speed will make him much more useful in the early stages of the game. Gray has some better stats but starts out at Level 5, which means he won't have as much room for growth as the game progresses.



No one else can reach the enemy this turn, so they all just move forward and await the enemy turn.



Pressing the A button with the cursor not over any units brings up the battle menu. We need to "End Turn" to move the battle forward, but let's look at the other options first.



The Roster shows everyone in Alm's army and their current experience level. Selecting a unit from this list will then select them on the battle map, while also allowing the player to see which units have not yet acted on this turn. Not really necessary here, but can be handy in some of the larger battles later in the game.



Assault and Gather are AI options to auto-move any of your units that have not yet moved this turn. Assault will move each unit towards the enemy and attack, if possible, while Gather will bunch the units together for defensive purposes. Some later maps can make these options useful when the two armies start far apart from each other, but for the most part the player will do a better job than the AI. Plus, playing Fire Emblem on auto-pilot is kind of missing the point.



The Turns option shows the name of the current map and the current turn number, as well as the maximum number of turns allowed. If we somehow took more than 40 turns to win this battle, we'd get kicked out to the world map and have to start over. Any enemies killed would, however, remain dead. I don't expect to ever encounter this particular mechanic.

The Quit option is simply a Battle Save, allowing the player to save progress and turn off the machine, and then resume from the same point later. Battle Saves aren't persistent, however - once it's loaded, it's gone. It's basically a pre-cursor to modern save states, and as such entirely obsolete now.



The Config option has a few sub-options of its own, allowing the player to turn the music and battle animations on or off, and control the speed of the text during the battle animations.

Music: Battle Map, Enemy Phase



With that said, we end the turn and allow the enemy Thieves their chance to attack.

Music: Combat - Enemy Initiated



The first Thief goes after Alm, who managed to miss one of his attacks on a 5% chance.



The second Thief misses Alm entirely, who gets in another 16 daamge of his own this time.



The other Thieves advance but can't reach anyone, so it's our turn again.



Cliff goes after one of the weakened Thieves, but since he's our only unit who can't get in two attacks, he's a bit limited in what he can do. The Villager animation is similar to Alm's.



Alm attacks one of the remaining full-health Thieves, and misses one of his attacks again.



Luka softens up another Thief. The Soldier animation is a bit different, and shows how Luka attacks with a Spear as opposed to the Swords used by the rest of the army.



Meanwhile Robin finishes off the enemy that Alm had weakened. Notice how much more XP he gains from killing an enemy.



Gray finishes off the turn with 14 damage on this Thief.



The lone full-health Thief remaining attacks Alm from the forest, which gives the Thief a large 40% bonus to its evasion. Thus Alm misses both of his counterattacks.



Cliff and Robin kick off the third turn by killing off these Thieves.



Gray steps in to bring the last healthy Thief into critical condition.



Alm gets over his accuracy issues and gets a kill of his own.

Music: Alm Battle Map 2 (Near Victory)

The background music changes a bit here, when the game determines that you've nearly won the battle (usually when only one enemy remains).



Luka has a chance to end the chapter right here, but can't hit the Thief twice in the forest.



So Cliff ends up getting the kill on the fourth turn, and the first battle is won.


New Characters:

Note: Quality is the sum of the 'base' five stats - Power, Skill, Speed, Luck, and Defense. No unit has a growth in M. Def or Moves, but can gain either stat via other methods.

Alm is one of the two "main" characters in the game, in that if he dies the game immediately ends. As such, he starts with the highest stats and a (relatively) high set of growth rates. As a Fighter, Alm uses Swords.
pre:
Stat	Base L1	Growth
HP	28	50
Power	10	35
Skill	7	40
Speed	6	30
Luck	7	20
Defense	6	30
M. Def	4	0
Moves	5	0
Quality	36	155
Luka is the "veteran" of our group, starting off in the Soldier class. He starts off with decent enough stats to help out the first few chapters, but lower growth rates and a particularly low Speed will hold him back later in the game. As a Soldier, Luka uses Lances.
pre:
Stat	Base L2	Growth
HP	22	40
Power	10	15
Skill	4	35
Speed	4	15
Luck	2	20
Defense	6	20
M. Def	2	0
Moves	4	0
Quality	26	105
Gray starts off as a higher-leveled Villager. His base stats are close to Luka's, and his growth rates are a bit worse. Like Luka, Gray will be hampered by low Speed later in the game but will have a good Power. As a Villager, Gray uses Swords.
pre:
Stat	Base L5	Growth
HP	24	40
Power	9	30
Skill	4	20
Speed	4	10
Luck	2	10
Defense	4	20
M. Def	2	0
Moves	4	0
Quality	26	90
Robin is the in-between Villager. He has lower base stats than either Luka or Grey, and his growth rates are focused in the two least-valuable stats - Skill and Luck. As a Villager, Robin uses Swords.
pre:
Stat	Base L2	Growth
HP	22	30
Power	7	10
Skill	2	40
Speed	6	15
Luck	4	30
Defense	3	10
M. Def	4	0
Moves	4	0
Quality	22	105
Cliff exists to fool the player. He's a low-level Villager with a timid personality in his single line of the script, and his primary stats are less than encouraging, despite oddly-high Luck and M. Def. But stick with him - he has even higher growth rates than Alm, including a fantastic 50% Speed growth. As a Villager, Cliff uses Swords.
pre:
Stat	Base L1	Growth
HP	20	50
Power	7	20
Skill	1	40
Speed	2	50
Luck	10	20
Defense	3	40
M. Def	8	0
Moves	4	0
Quality	23	170
Next time:



We enter the Thief Woods, on the way to meet up with the rebel army.

DKII fucked around with this message at Jun 9, 2013 around 19:25

Artix
Apr 26, 2010

You don't understand my problems! I can't even promote till the end of the game!

It's really interesting to see this side-by-side with the FE8 LP (and play Awakening), because a lot of their mechanics got cribbed from FE2. Also, it's kind of weird to see fighters using swords, but I guess that's where the inspiration behind Alm's DLC Class in Awakening ultimately came from.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Yea there aren't any axe-wielding units in the player army in this game. I guess they realized it was kind of screwed up in FE1 and just stripped it out rather than fixing it here (probably didn't have time).

They were obviously still tinkering with the promotion paths in this game, as well. Alm's unique 'Fighter' class is really more like the 'Mercenary' class in other games.

SpaceDrake
Dec 22, 2006

I have been through nightmares you wouldn't believe. I've seen the foulest deeds man can inflict upon man, and done the same and worse to people who didn't deserve a thing. While we were talking, while you sat there in your chair, I killed a man.

It's who I am. You'll just have to accept it.

Artix posted:

It's really interesting to see this side-by-side with the FE8 LP (and play Awakening), because a lot of their mechanics got cribbed from FE2. Also, it's kind of weird to see fighters using swords, but I guess that's where the inspiration behind Alm's DLC Class in Awakening ultimately came from.

As far as the DLC class goes, Dread Fighter/Demon Fighter is actually Alm's final promotion in this game. The armor even kind of matches what's in Awakening! And some of the animations are sweet, but that'll be a while yet.

Anyway, neat to see a detailed LP of this going up, especially with Alm's DLC having just shown up in Awakening, the Bonus Box team for Gaiden also being out in the US, and with Celica's DLC probably arriving in a couple of months, on top of the fact that this is all not entirely irrelevant for Awakening's backstory. For those keeping score at home, yes, the map music used in Lost Bloodlines 2 is the battle map theme for this update, and the combat music is the Alm's player combat music.

Good to see a detailed LP of this happening, though. This is a pretty relevant game when it comes to discussing modern Fire Emblem, because yeah, a lot of the more popular recent titles crib a lot of mechanics from this game, after Mystery of the Emblem and the Jugdral & Elibe games left them fallow.

And as sparse as the characterization is, it also features the best female protagonist, equal or better to Lyn, so there's that, too.

Looking forward to more of this, it's off to a good start!

DemonTrigger
May 30, 2011

"There, the kid hears something he ain't heard in a long while..."
"How's it go 'gain?"
"Yeah, that's the one"

I have a friend who mentions this game every once in a while, and the way he describes it there are a lot of very strange mechanics involved. I almost miss sequels like these where the creators experiment with wildly new things.

Hafl
Mar 17, 2009

Why yes, I am a crazy cat lady.

SpaceDrake posted:

And as sparse as the characterization is, it also features the best female protagonist, equal or better to Lyn, so there's that, too.

Looking forward to more of this, it's off to a good start!

Don't forget that she's also the most hilariously overpowered female protagonist with the best army to accompany her.

Anyway, I'm also looking forward to this, since it saves me having to replay the game.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Chapter 1, Part 2: Thief Woods

Last time, Alm and the other villagers were recruited by Loka to join the rebellion against General Dozer, who had betrayed the king and captured Sofia castle. We had to fight off some thieves on our way out of the village, but now we're really on our way.

Music: World Map 1



Welcome to the world map. Our eventual goal is first the liberation camp (blue) and then Sofia castle itself (red). As you can see, there are a number of enemies standing in the way.



The first group in our way is another set of thieves. There will be seven enemy units this time, with a 'Powr' of 87. This stat is the sum of the units' Quality - itself the sum of Power, Skill, Speed, Luck and Defense combined.



Contrast with our own army, which has far more total Quality in fewer units. Plus one of those units is Cliff. Safe to say this battle won't be much of a challenge, either.

The menu options are pretty much the same as they were in the village. There's an additional option to move Alm's army along the map, or 'Rest' and allow the mobile enemy groups a free turn to move.



The Units menu still shows our army, which now has a few more units to view. We can also change the order of units on this page, which affects where they show up in the battle map, and eventually even which ones get left behind (the bottom of the list). Alm always has to stay in the first slot, however.



Scrolling to the right gives a convenient way to view the power of our army all at once.



Nobody has any items yet, but we could also look at those here.



I re-arrange the army randomly just to show I can.



We can go back to Ram Village if we want.



There's nothing there, though. Even Mycen is mysteriously gone....



Without further ado, we enter the Thief Woods.



We start at the bottom this time, with six thieves arrayed against us. There's also a new unit in the center....



Meet the Archer, a class that uses a bow to attack from more than one tile away. In the first game, Archers could attack only from exactly two tiles away, which allowed them to attack regular units without getting counter-attacked, but left them defenseless against melee units in return and ultimately limited their utility - why use a unit that can only attack one per turn instead of one that can counter-attack most everything to get in several attacks per turn?

IntSys has attempted to address the issue, with mixed results. This time around, the basic bow for an Archer can fire at units 1-3 tiles away. Not only do they have increased range, but they can counter-attack melee units as well. However, there's a trade-off - the basic bow has only a 70% accuracy, and with the large dodge boosts granted by terrain in this game, bow-users are actually less reliable overall.



The rest of the thieves are the same lackluster enemies from the last battle. Let's get started.


Turn 1



The thieves are all out of range, and while we could take some shots at the archer, it's going to be more effective to have everyone wait in the forest for the 40% evasion boost. The exception is Gray, who waits off to the east out of bow range.



One of the thieves attacks Alm, who dodges and then counters for 16 damage.



Robin also dodges this Thief, countering for 10 damage. Hiding in the woods is paying off already.



The archer also goes for Robin....



Another dodge. Notice that Robin can't counter-attack, due to the archer firing from three tiles away.


Turn 2



One turn down, and we've avoided taking any damage. That'll soon change.



Gray starts off by attacking the archer.



The archer is itself hiding in the forest, so Gray only lands one attack, but still manages to dodge the return arrow.



Luka brings the archer down to critical condition, which opens the door for....



Level Up Fanfare

Cliff to overcome a terrible hit rate to get the kill on his one chance, and gain the first level of the game.



Power and Defense, but still no Speed.



Robin attacks this thief from the forest. He only lands one of his attacks, but also dodges the counter-attack.



Alm for some reason moves out of the forest to kill this thief. He takes just one damage anyway, but breaks up the dodge streak.



More thieves advance, with one attacking Gray and again missing him. Gray counters for another 14 damage.



Cliff takes damage for the first time, and misses his own attack.


Turn 3



Five thieves remain. Alm can't reach anyone so just moves forward.



Gray chips away at one thief for 7 damage, again dodging the counter. Luka gets in two hits for another 16 damage, leaving the thief with just 3 HP.



That opens the door for Cliff to once again steal the killing blow.



Robin lands one attack, misses the other.



The full-health thief in our midst trades blows with Cliff, while the other two retreat.


Turn 4



Alm starts things off with 16 damage.



We'll finish that one off later, but first Robin takes another bite out of the runaway.



Cliff finishes off Alm's target for his third kill.



This time Gray and Luka are both left behind.



Both of the thieves retreat. The top-most one hasn't moved yet, and is actually sitting on and blocking the healing tile - the pink four-square tile - with heals the unit sitting on it for several HP at the start of each turn. We have one of our own at the bottom of the map, which would essentially be our only source of HP recovery if we weren't dodging nearly every attack anyway.


Turn 5



Robin brings the first thief down to 1 HP, and the drip of XP finally pushes him over the top to Level 3.



That's not a great start for Robin.



However, upon reaching Level 3, Villagers can be promoted into a new class. However, we don't have the means to achieve that quite yet....



Cliff looks to steal another kill...



but misses.



No one else can reach the front lines, so another turn ends.



The last full-health thief finally emerges from the fortress, only to miss Alm entirely and then take two swords to the face.


Turn 6



One of the damaged thieves retreated onto the healing tile, so that'll extend this battle a little more.



Cliff makes another attempt, with more success, also reaching Level 3.



Still better than Robin. Really need some Speed, though - that's supposed to be a 50% growth! (And yes I forgot to look at his stats page until after the battle ended.)



Alm tries to kill the thief on the recovery tile before it takes effect. However the recovery tile also grants a large 40% boost to evasion, so Alm ends up missing both attacks.



Robin comes through this time.

The last thief just sits on the recovery tile, lest Alm counter-kill him.


Turn 7



The thief gained 5 HP back, but that's not enough to save him.



And another band of thieves (plus one archer) falls before Alm's army-in-training. The battle once again ends as soon as the last enemy is killed (rout condition). Coming off the previous game where every chapter required seizing an objective, having every battle won by rout is a little simplistic, but most battles in FE1 are routed anyway - can't let any enemies leave alive and waste precious XP, after all.



With that, we're returned to the world map, with one less enemy to worry about. This battle was a bit messy with all the accuracy issues on both sides, but that should clean up as our army grows in strength and number.

Next time:



We take a little side trip into the Thief Shrine.

DKII fucked around with this message at May 4, 2013 around 19:15

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



The first couple of battles are somewhat boring and basically form a slow lead-in of the mechanics and all, but things will pick up a lot more after the next update (shooting for tomorrow).

FrickenMoron
May 6, 2009



Ive never even looked at the game before, it's the only FE I had no idea about really. Looking forward to seeing where it goes.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Chapter 1, Part 3: Thief Shrine



The woods are clear, but before we keep moving forward let's check out this building.



Music: Underground Pathway

We're left to wander this underground pathway, but there's nothing to find here so let's just move up.



A battle starts as soon as we exit the screen. We're facing another five thieves. They aren't any better than any other thief we've encountered thus far. And there are no trees for them to hide in this time. This battle will be the easiest of the game.

Turn 1



Alm leads the charge.



And with a flourish and a leap, he gets the game's first critical against the first thief to attack.



He also gets the best level we've seen thus far.



Two other theives go after Robin and Gray for some scratch damage.


Turn 2



Luka starts off by finishing off the thief that had attacked Gray.



Alm follows up by killing the one that had attacked Robin.



The remaining two thieves are still at full health, so Gray weakens one while Cliff and Robin team up to soften up the other. With both thieves damaged, and no recovery tile present, the enemy ends its turn without taking any action.


Turn 3



Alm wastes no time getting rid of this thief.



And Luka ends the battle with an overkill critical.



Plus his first level. Two stats is well above-average for him, I just would rather they be in more useful areas. Someday, someone will gain some Speed.



With the battle over, we find ourselves in a new area of the cave. Moving forward again....



Music: Forest of Resurrection

I don't know why this track plays here - this is not the Forest of Resurrection, obviously. There's supposed to be a separate track for shrines that we'll come across later.

Anyway, we have reached the shrine itself. It looks like someone's here waiting for us, too....







Sweet, a cleric, the healer class of the game. Now that we have the ability to recover HP more easily, the battles can ramp up in difficulty.



Silk has pretty low stats with an at least passable Speed. Most notable is the high Magic Defense and the two spells she already knows - Nosferatu and Recover.

Now, the magic system in Gaiden is fairly unique for the series, and more akin to a traditional RPG. Units will learn a fixed set of spells as they gain levels, rather than needing to acquire particular limited-use items to cast each spell. Also, instead of a mana or magic-point system for spell cost, each spell requires a portion of the caster's HP to cast instead.

Recover is a simple white magic spell that heals an adjacent unit for an amount of HP equal to the caster's Power, for a cost of 1 HP. Nosferatu is a black magic spell that has a 0 HP cost, a 50% hit rate, and if successful will drain an enemy unit 1-2 tiles away for an amount of HP equal to the caster's Power. It also has a Weight of 2 for attack speed calculations, which is just enough to prevent Silk from double-attacking thieves right now.

Silk basically comes with an attack spell because it's the only way for her to gain XP - healing still doesn't give any. At least she doesn't have to sit around getting hit in the face to level up (as was the case in FE1...). It also serves as the only current method for Silk to recover HP herself, since healing spells can't be self-targeted.

Let's explore the rest of the shrine.



The main attraction in the center will promote Villagers at Level 3 or higher into a random starter class. There are five possibilities, two of which we've already seen - Soldier and Archer - and three new ones: Mercenary, Cavalier, and Mage.



Also, while the choice is random, we can also choose to 'reject' the promotion and then just keep trying for whichever one we want.

Promotion has a couple of immediate effects. First, the unit's level is reset to Level 1. That means it can be advantageous to have a unit gain as many levels as possible in their original class before promoting, in order to maximize the opportunities for stat gains. However the other effect tends to balance that out - promoting into a class will raise the unit's stats to the base values for that class. For instance, a Mercenary has a base Speed of 10, so any of our current Villagers who promoted to a Mercenary would get a Speed boost to 10. I'll post each choice's base stats at the end of the update, but it's generally not worth waiting to promote a Villager.

The other factor is that by going back to the world map and re-entering the shrine, the thieves will re-populate the cave and we can fight them over and over again, grinding for XP to get the Villagers more levels. However that's boring so I won't be doing that.



The lion-head statues on either end offer a limited number of permanent stat boosts to any given unit. The one on the left offers Speed, the one on the right offers HP. Between the two of them, we can get a total of three uses out of the statues. Speed is obviously much more important than HP, but the choice for recipient(s) is open for debate. This mechanic replaces the single-use stat-boosting items found scattered throughout other games in the series.

Anyway I'll end the update here, and start off next time by finishing up the shrine and then moving on to the next battle.


New Characters:

Silk is our first healer, coming with both a recovery spell and an attack spell, immediately making her more useful than any of the clerics in FE1. She won't hold up to physical attacks, but can actually defend herself from magic attacks pretty well.
pre:
Stat	Base L1	Growth
HP	18	20
M. Powr	8	30
Skill	3	30
Speed	4	30
Luck	4	30
Defense	1	10
M. Def	11	0
Moves	4	0
Quality	20	130
Base stats for starter classes:
pre:
Class	HP	Power	Skill	Speed	Luck	Defense	M. Def	Moves	Quality
Archer	24	9	1	2	0	3	0	4	15
Cavlier	24	9	3	5	0	5	2	7	22
Mage	28	8	3	4	0	5	8	4	20
Merc	24	8	8	10	0	4	1	4	30
Soldier	26	10	1	3	0	5	0	4	19
We already have a Soldier in Luka; no need for two. We'll probably want a Mage and a Mercenary, but there's not really any bad choices here. Gray already has high base stats and lower growth rates, so could be a good choice for Mage, which have low class bases and less of a reliance on stats. Cliff will want the boost to his stats, particularly Speed, that he can get by becoming a Cavalier or especially a Mercenary. Robin's pretty well-rounded so could fit well into any class. I'll leave the final choices up for discussion/voting.

Next time:



Yet more thieves encountered as we enter Ram Valley.

DKII fucked around with this message at Mar 17, 2013 around 21:58

Digital Jello
Nov 2, 2012

Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!


I was never able to finish this Fire Emblem (quit around the Sofia Castle point), as I found it pretty hard. I too am looking forward to seeing what this installment had to offer. I've read on various forums that it's a "black sheep" of the series, but so far, things look fairly entertaining.

Aerdan
Apr 14, 2012


Gray: Mage
Cliff: Merc
Robin: Merc

SpaceDrake
Dec 22, 2006

I have been through nightmares you wouldn't believe. I've seen the foulest deeds man can inflict upon man, and done the same and worse to people who didn't deserve a thing. While we were talking, while you sat there in your chair, I killed a man.

It's who I am. You'll just have to accept it.

Digital Jello posted:

I was never able to finish this Fire Emblem (quit around the Sofia Castle point), as I found it pretty hard. I too am looking forward to seeing what this installment had to offer. I've read on various forums that it's a "black sheep" of the series, but so far, things look fairly entertaining.

The real issue is that the plot sort of... falls over on itself toward the end of the game. The ending is especially hilarious about this.

So:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Don't forget I also have three Speed boosts to hand out, though who will benefit most from them may depend on which promotions get chosen. Alm and Silk are always good choices either way, though.

Aerdan
Apr 14, 2012


For that, uhhhh.

Put it off 'til just before you can't make use of the shrine any more. Or give it five more battles.

Fionordequester
Dec 27, 2012
HI HERE WE GO HERE WE GO HERE WE GO

I'd say...reclass Robin and Cliff into Mages, and Gray into a Mercenary.

Cake Attack
Mar 26, 2010

Junon Boy

Aerdan posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Merc
Robin: Merc

Basically. Looking at the base stats, Merc seems way better then the rest.

HotAndColdAF
May 30, 2011

Making Daddy proud.


SpaceDrake posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

This looks good to me. As for the stat boosts, I think it might be best to wait on those until the villagers get some levels in their new classes.

Insurrectionist
May 21, 2007


SpaceDrake posted:


Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

Let's variety!

ChrisAsmadi
Apr 19, 2007
:D

SpaceDrake posted:

The real issue is that the plot sort of... falls over on itself toward the end of the game. The ending is especially hilarious about this.

So:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

This seems like the most reasonable route, and thus gets my vote.

Hmnaftall
Nov 11, 2012


I beat this game a few months ago. It definitely has one of the biggest bullshit moments in Fire Emblem later on. Anyhow, experience seems to come at a premium in this game, and I think the game pushes you to promote before you hit 20. I got very far into the game with my characters still in their initial classes around lvl 15 or so; I had to grind so I could hit 20 and promote.

Looking forward to reading this let's play. I just want to tell you good luck, we're all counting on you.

fade5
May 31, 2012


SpaceDrake posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

Variety is good. This is my vote.

So, with this thread, Blastinus's FE8 thread, the Tear Ring Saga thread, the ROMhack thread, and Awakening to be LPed in the future, we now have an LP for literally every single Fire Emblem game IntSys ever made, as well as Kaga's Totally Not Fire Emblem clone, and even a bunch of fairly well-known ROMhacks, one of which was so horrible magical it got its own smiley. -->

Your move IntSys.

Pfefferbao
Jun 1, 2011


Aerdan posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Merc
Robin: Merc

Eh, why not.

Arctic Cress
Oct 23, 2010



SpaceDrake posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

I'll make this my vote. In my play-through I made Cliff a Mage, Robin a Mercenary, and Gray a Cavalier, so it's basically just moving the classes around.

Endorph
Jul 22, 2009

You are all DOOMED

fade5 posted:

Variety is good. This is my vote.

So, with this thread, Blastinus's FE8 thread, the Tear Ring Saga thread, the ROMhack thread, and Awakening to be LPed in the future, we now have an LP for literally every single Fire Emblem game IntSys ever made, as well as Kaga's Totally Not Fire Emblem clone, and even a bunch of fairly well-known ROMhacks, one of which was so horrible magical it got its own smiley. -->

Your move IntSys.
All we need now is an LP of Kaga's other Ring Saga game, and then we can expand into ridiculous SRPGs nobody ever played.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Relax. Where you're going, there is no weapon triangle.


DKII posted:



Oh man, is it just me, or does it look like it says "Promote Cliff to Moron"?

Aerdan posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Merc
Robin: Merc

This sounds good to me!

Lotish
Dec 10, 2008

I pick up my Devil Axe...
...and DEVIL!


What are the stat caps in this game?

It's hard to argue with anything other than Mercenary when they're also the key to infinite promotions.

Mercenary Cliff.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Cake Attack posted:

Basically. Looking at the base stats, Merc seems way better then the rest.

Mercs have better base stats to make up for not having anything else. (Other than one late-game thing that we probably won't see without major grinding.) Cavaliers get extra movement, archers get more range, mages get some range and utility. Soldiers eventually have a specialty, too....

Also I believe the 'core' stats all cap at 40 in this game, so wrap your heads around that.

DKII fucked around with this message at Mar 18, 2013 around 02:22

Cake Attack
Mar 26, 2010

Junon Boy

DKII posted:

Mercs have better base stats to make up for not having anything else. (Other than one late-game thing that we probably won't see without major grinding.) Cavaliers get extra movement, archers get more range, mages get some range and utility. Soldiers eventually have a specialty, too....

Three movement seems way too harsh for 5 speed and 5 Skill though. And Archers kinda suck. Mages are fine though.

Lotish
Dec 10, 2008

I pick up my Devil Axe...
...and DEVIL!


Archers having innate 1-3 range is pretty cool, though.

Liquidated
Aug 11, 2012

There's a green to be seen with: vivid, vibrant, living alive! We should spend the better part of our time, yours and mine, with a green like this.

SpaceDrake posted:

The real issue is that the plot sort of... falls over on itself toward the end of the game. The ending is especially hilarious about this.

So:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

I'm good with this, more flavor!

SC Bracer
Aug 7, 2012


SpaceDrake posted:

The real issue is that the plot sort of... falls over on itself toward the end of the game. The ending is especially hilarious about this.

So:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.

Please, the plot is the most adorable thing (and still better than FE8 I think). The ending is great though. Gaiden has both the funniest ending, and the best character epilogues.

Also, I like this vote let's do it. But make Robin an archer. There are enough cavaliers in Alm's army.

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


SpaceDrake posted:

Gray: Mage
Cliff: Mercenary
Robin: Cavalier

Get some variety in there.
Sounds good to me.

Minus Green
Oct 19, 2012

Humans were meant to work and sweat to earn a living. Those that try to get rich quick, or live at the expense of others, all get divine retribution somewhere along the line.


I remember I played this game for like 10 minutes and then never went back to it. Not really sure why, other than

As for promotions: Mage Gray, Cavalier Cliff, Archer Robin

Fionordequester
Dec 27, 2012
HI HERE WE GO HERE WE GO HERE WE GO

To add on to my decision, promotion gains make growths much less important, and since the Mercenary line has high everything aside from Strength, I figured Gray would be a good choice for that path. And then I have the other two Villagers as Mages because we're going to come across a very sturdy and dodgy foe soon who would otherwise be a total pain without mages.

DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Current tally:

Gray:
Mage: 14
Merc: 1

Cliff:
Merc: 14
Cavalier: 1
Mage: 1

Robin:
Cavalier: 8
Merc: 4
Archer: 2
Mage: 1

Gray and Cliff are pretty well decided. There's some indecision on Robin but a trend towards variety rather than dual-Merc-wielding.

I'll leave voting open until tomorrow and then try to have the next update mid-week.

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DKII
Oct 20, 2010



Right well those are the classes.

The last item was the three bonus speed points to hand out. A couple people expressed a preference to wait. Screw that, I want the faster units now! (There will also be another similar shrine for speed bonuses later in the game for this group.)

Gray is pretty hopeless. He has 4 Speed after promotion, a 10% growth, and black magic is heavy. Giving him 2 points would let him double-attack thieves next chapter, but that's about it.

Cliff will be fine for the near future, getting all the way up to 10 Speed after promotion with a 50% growth rate the rest of the way. He's still in no danger of capping the stat though so is one of the few units who wouldn't waste anything given to him now.

Robin will have 6 Speed after promotion with just a 15% growth rate. He could probably use a point but would be fine for a couple more battles anyway.

Silk has 4 Speed and will definitely want at least one more point to be able to double-attack the thieves with Nosferatu next chapter. Beyond that speed won't matter too much for her.

Alm has 6 Speed. It's usually never a bad idea to give stat boosts to the main character. However his promotion, while late in the game, will probably raise him to a higher base speed than he'll have at that point with or without the boost.

My preference, if not over-ruled, would be a point each for Cliff/Alm/Silk, but I could be talked into almost anything. Keep in mind Robin and/or Gray aren't particularly likely to be kept around by the time we reach endgame....

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