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marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

Lazy I can see, but why stupid? Seems like a reasonable way to save some work if you just want a lance-wielding Eliwood.

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Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


Onmi posted:

Yeah if you actually look closely, it's just Eliwoods head on Ephraims body, which is lazy and stupid. Which given the people who made it, is part the course.
Friend of yours?

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.

Nihilarian posted:

Friend of yours?
Goodness no. He runs the Ragefest competitions on Serenes, my most famous memory of Markyjoe (besides his heavy waifuing of Sophia) is him saying perfectly loudly into his microphone "Mom I'm recording a lets play." And then followed it up by cutting out a chunk of gameplay, showing he was editing but decided "Me calling for my mother? that needs to be in this video"

Lotish posted:

Lazy I can see, but why stupid? Seems like a reasonable way to save some work if you just want a lance-wielding Eliwood.

Because it's completely inconsistent with Eliwoods actual design, you might as well just throw in Ephraims animation wholesale and recoloured it so it has red hair. Which also would have been doable. Or throwing in Eirika's animation for Lyn promoted and said "Hey it's okay, she has green hair!"

Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012

Ragefest competitions? I'm not at all familiar with the Serenes forums.

Ephraim225
Oct 28, 2010

Mr.Morgenstern posted:

Ragefest competitions? I'm not at all familiar with the Serenes forums.

Those were contests to create really really hard FE maps. Like, imagine an SRPG version of Kaizo Mario World. Needless to say, quality varies heavily, but we got some really nice ones.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
If you want to buff Eliwood, probably the way to do it is to give him a horse. Maybe with just 6 move or something to start with. But honestly, I don't think he needs the help. I mean, this is an HHM max ranking run and he can pull his weight. Granted mine was lucky this time, but I've done the same thing with ones with average stats before too. He really comes into his own and becomes an awesome unit upon promotion, as he's meant to.



Manatee Cannon posted:

Also keep in mind that Falco Knights have a strength cap of 23, and two of them will almost never reach it. Vaida averages about 25 strength at level 20, which means Heath is the only flying unit that is actually stronger than Sain on average. They all share a flying weakness, so you have to be more careful with them than you do a Paladin, plus there are times when you really do want to use the terrain to your advantage. Flying units don't get those advantages.

And having full weapon triangle coverage is important for more than just using an axe against a guy with a spear. You also have the advantage of having access to every weapon in storage, which broadens what the unit can do with what you have on hand.


You might be right, I'm not entirely sure. A D still isn't good, though. Especially as late in the game as they promote.


The thing is, Strength isn't really that amazing. For most purposes, it actually does nothing beyond a fairly low threshhold of 20 or so. All you need is enough damage to 2-hit kill most things. More than that is useless because you'll never get enough to one-hit kill any serious enemy on HHM. Heck, as I've mentioned, being able to NOT kill enemies in one round when you want to can be amazingly useful. With the solid Mt of lances, Florina gets to the 2-hit kill threshold fairly quickly. Sain basically starts there, which is awesome and why he's way easier to use than Kent. But it means his strength growth from there (other than the 30-40% or so needed to keep up with enemy Def and HP) doesn't do a whole lot for him.

And flyers don't really have a weakness in this game. Bows deal only double damage, not triple, and they have low might and are wielded by the suckiest units in the game so they only do decent-high damage to pegasus knights. And bows have never been a serious threat to wyvern riders. Axe users are more of a problem... until you promote and get iron swords. Which is the kind of thing I was talking about earlier.

I don't really see any particular benefit to having access to "every weapon in storage" beyond being able to secure the decreasingly important weapon triangle more often. It's not like there are a whole lot of special abilities that are actually unique to one weapon type.
Let's see, there's wyrmslayers and magic attacks for swords. Magic attacks are rarely that useful since they use 1/2 of your Str, so you only profit by an amount equal to (Enemy def- enemy res - 1/2 own Str). That's rarely even positive. I guess there's the devil axe. And there's no slim axe. And... that's almost it for weapons with no counterparts in the other categories. With the exception of getting the Armorslayer really late, you get silver and super-effective weapons of most categories very early in the game, well before you really have much use for them.

Even an E in lances is sufficient. All game long Eliwood has been wishing he had javelins. Now he has them. And that plus 7 move is all he needs to take off like a rocket. Other than for staves, weapon rank typically matters were little.

Melth fucked around with this message at 06:34 on Mar 13, 2015

NeoRonTheNeuron
Oct 14, 2012

Fionordequester posted:

...Nope...darn it! Turns out you need 33,000G in order to get the White Gem! Why does FE7 have to be so annoying about this?! It may be a good game, but it's got SO many weird quirks :sigh: ... So, it seems that Angelic Robe + Energy Ring is the way to go. Because even if it is possible to use the Knight's Crest, it seems like the required Funds are just too strict.

Serenes Forest lists these requirements
White Gem Requirement: 33,000
LHM S Rank Funds: 35,008 (80% of the sum of the table)

Repeated and summarized on a GameFAQs thread too.
Essentially, it's possible to get the White Gem without actually S Ranking Lyn Hard Mode.

The example earlier in the thread, now also posted in Serenes Forest forums is likely mistaken, While extremely impressive in how it shaves turns off each level, it ultimately does not succeed since it only attains 32678 in funds.

It's easy to make this mistake because the Battle History screen doesn't update with the rank of the last playthrough. I noticed this after attempting to obtain (my first) S Rank by following that guide. In the end, I had to pass on both the Energy Ring and Knight's Crest.

TL;DR. The requirement for LHM Funds S Rank is ~2000 higher than the White Gem requirement. You can use both Knight's Crest and Angelic Robe and get the White Gem, but it seems unlikely to get a genuine S Rank while using both.

NeoRonTheNeuron fucked around with this message at 07:04 on Mar 13, 2015

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I think the point of the 'every weapon in storage' comment was scrounging for spare weapons if you're running low. If you're low on hand axes but full of javelins, Sain won't care but Raven will be sad.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Sorites posted:

I think the point of the 'every weapon in storage' comment was scrounging for spare weapons if you're running low. If you're low on hand axes but full of javelins, Sain won't care but Raven will be sad.

That should never, ever happen beyond chapter 21. I'll get into how to avoid it in the War Room I just finished writing actually.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

NeoRonTheNeuron posted:

While extremely impressive in how it shaves turns off each level, it ultimately does not succeed since it only attains 32678 in funds.

It's easy to make this mistake because the Battle History screen doesn't update with the rank of the last playthrough. I noticed this after attempting to obtain (my first) S Rank by following that guide. In the end, I had to pass on both the Energy Ring and Knight's Crest.

TL;DR. The requirement for LHM Funds S Rank is ~2000 higher than the White Gem requirement. You can use both Knight's Crest and Angelic Robe and get the White Gem, but it seems unlikely to get a genuine S Rank while using both.


Yeah, that's an easy mistake to make. It's one reason I wasn't 100% sure my own strategy would work the first time I tried it. My new completed run of Lyn's story wasn't displayed in the battle history screen; my old one was. So I couldn't check how many assets I finished with for sure except by counting them up and hoping I didn't make an addition error.


Using the Knight Crest and Angelic Robe, I finished with 33,497 gold. There's absolutely no way to acquire more stuff than I did, but you could save small amounts of money in theory by using Dorcas and his iron axe instead of Sain and his iron lance for everything starting on chapter 4. But that would be absolutely terrible in terms of prepping for HHM and would not save the 1500 gold you need to S rank while using those items. Plus of course Sain wouldn't be promotable anyway. So yeah, you cannot S-rank Lyn's story and use the Knight Crest and the Angelic Robe.

You CAN S-rank it while using the Angelic Robe and Energy Ring. Fionordequester didn't manage that, but my strategy saved enough funds for it.

It remains to be seen whether a modified version of Fionordequester's strategy + my funds saving tactics would make it possible to 1) S-rank 2) while getting Nils to 7 and 3) still use the 2 stat boosters. I'll need to look over his strategy in detail to see where he didn't save as much as I did to figure out if it's possible, but I bet it is. It's going to be close though. There's veeeeery little margin of error in that strategy.



Edit: Wait, actually he only got 32,678 while NOT using the Knight Crest. Yeah, that strategy is going to need some serious revision to save 2,500.

Comparing his assets to mine, he spent way too much in swords because he had people use iron swords much more than I did. Spending 100 on javelins didn't help. He spent nearly 450 on heals. And apparently he didn't get the lockpick? Geez, that's 1200 right there.

Fionordequester, I suggest you look at my chapter 10 assets charts and try to figure out where you could save 2500 in assets without slowing down by more than 2 turns or getting 50 less XP.

Melth fucked around with this message at 07:33 on Mar 13, 2015

Fionordequester
Dec 27, 2012

Actually, I respectfully disagree with you there. For as obviously flawed as this game is, there ARE a lot of really good things about it. The presentation and atmosphere, for example, are the most immediate things. No other Yu-Gi-Oh game goes out of the way to really make

Melth posted:

Edit: Wait, actually he only got 32,678 while NOT using the Knight Crest. Yeah, that strategy is going to need some serious revision to save 2,500.

Comparing his assets to mine, he spent way too much in swords because he had people use iron swords much more than I did. Spending 100 on javelins didn't help. He spent nearly 450 on heals. And apparently he didn't get the lockpick? Geez, that's 1200 right there.

...Wait, actually, whoops! I actually did get the Lockpick, but for some reason, I forgot to add it to the total funds. So, once we put that in there, we actually have...


code:
 Cash-4240
 Iron Sword-1190
 Armorslayer-1260
 Lancereaver-1800
 Iron Lance-1008
 Slim Lance-450
 Heavy Spear-1050
 Javelin-700
 Iron Axe-540
 Hammer-800
 Hand Axe-300
 Iron Bow-504
 Short Bow-1760
 Heal-160
 Fire-476
 Lightning-540
 Knight Crest-10000
 Vulnerary-4500
 Pure Water-900
 Torch-500
 Lockpick-1920
 Total Funds-34598 (A Rank)
So actually, we're almost there. Which means we could probably reach the Funds rank just by not using Javelins as often, and also not using the Heavy Spear. So, most likely, I'd have to redo some stuff after Chapter 5, which shouldn't be too hard. The Lyn Mode enemies are just so weak, that I most likely don't even NEED perfect levels for everyone anyways, which was one of the whole reasons behind using Javelins so much in the first place (to give more options for RNG burning). Plus, I could just skip fighting some enemies in Chapter 7 and 9 if I'm REALLY hard up for cash. So yeah, we can do this.

Fionordequester fucked around with this message at 08:03 on Mar 13, 2015

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Fionordequester posted:

...Wait, actually, whoops! I actually did get the Lockpick, but for some reason, I forgot to add it to the total funds. So, once we put that in there, we actually have...


code:
 Cash-4240
 Iron Sword-1190
 Armorslayer-1260
 Lancereaver-1800
 Iron Lance-1008
 Slim Lance-450
 Heavy Spear-1050
 Javelin-700
 Iron Axe-540
 Hammer-800
 Hand Axe-300
 Iron Bow-504
 Short Bow-1760
 Heal-160
 Fire-476
 Lightning-540
 Knight Crest-10000
 Vulnerary-4500
 Pure Water-900
 Torch-500
 Lockpick-1920
 Total Funds-34598 (A Rank)
So actually, we're almost there. Which means we could probably reach the Funds rank just by not using Javelins as often, and also not using the Heavy Spear. So, most likely, I'd have to redo some stuff after Chapter 5, which shouldn't be too hard. The Lyn Mode enemies are just so weak, that I most likely don't even NEED perfect levels for everyone anyways, so that shouldn't take too much time. Plus, I could just skip fighting some enemies in Chapter 7 and 9 if I'm REALLY hard up for cash. So yeah, we can do this.


Do we? No Heavy Spear and no Javelin saves 250, but costs something for whatever you use instead. 56 or so minimum if every javelin or heavy spear hit can be replaced with a single iron lance one.

So you need to save another 200. And you can't skip fighting many enemies at all because you only have 50 XP to spare. And if not using the javelin or heavy spear slows you by a turn or two you're in trouble.

Edit: Use Sain less and feed some XP to Matthew or something and use a lot less healing. That's where the big savings are. Remember, killing things with Matthew essentially generates XP out of thin air since thieves just get more. A single iron sword hit with him costs 10 and generates 15 XP. A kill with him costs 10 and generates like 40. In comparison each heal staff use costs 20 and gives only 10.

Melth fucked around with this message at 08:14 on Mar 13, 2015

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


One of the best chapters in the game coming up! Itís a giant, fun battle and has no annoying gimmicks or restart-inducing sudden twists or anything. And itís a major plot turning point and develops like every character in the game. Plus Distant Travels is playing. Yeah, this level has it all.

Of course, if you got Lloydís version of the level, then you get an annoying fog level with a moving boss waiting to ambush you and a green unit stealing all your kills and the lame fog music too. And less treasure and a smaller time limit


Chapter Summary:
After resting a day in Pherae, the party gears up to sneak into the militaristic and tyrannically run kingdom of Bern. Pent and Louise meet with Louiseís relative, the queen of Bern, to find out the location of the secret Shrine of Seals from her. Meanwhile, the rest of the group is spotted by a large group of Black Fang led by the Reed Brothers- two of the four fangs. The impetuous, brutal, and stupid Linus attacks Eliwoodís group in the middle of town while his brother Lloyd is away.
The company defeats him but spares his life and manages to convince him that theyíre not, in fact, the evil group Sonia claims they are. They let him go and travel to meet up with Pent and Louise again. Meanwhile, Linus is ambushed and murdered by Limstella- Nergalís best morph- and his quintessence harvested now that heís of no further use. Lloyd finds the body and assumes Eliwood killed him.
The royal family of Bern is dysfunctional and riven by jealousy and bitterness. King Desmond hates his legitimate son Zephiel for being better at everything than him and because he doesnít like his mother, Queen Hellene. For her part, Hellene hates him too and mostly wants her son to become the heir apparent because King Desmond will hate that. And she really hates the Kingís mistress and the kingís young illegitimate daughter Guinevere. Zephiel and Guinevere like each other and are much less jerkish in general and are in fact largely oblivious to their parentsí intrigues. Speaking of which, the king has arranged to have Bernís greatest national treasure- the Fire Emblem- stolen from his own palace just to sabotage the ceremony at which Zephiel would be named his heir.
Queen Hellene asks Louise to get the Fire Emblem back so that the ceremony can continue, agreeing to reveal the secret location of the Shrine of Seals in exchange. Eliwood agrees, and the group sets out to find the Fire Emblem.




As has been mentioned before, King Desmond has begun threatening to invade Lycia- his former ally- for somewhat unclear reasons. The situation is touchy and Eliwood and Hector and Lyn- a group of Lycian nobles- sneaking into the country might make a good pretext for Bern to attack, so they go in disguise.




Yeah. Cloaks over fancy riding armor. No one will suspect these 40 heavily armed men and women- many with wyverns or pegasi- are anything but a normal group of travelers. Itís like the writers donít know there are more than 3 people in the party.




The country is in a festive mood as the ascension ceremony approaches and no one is aware that human civilization is teetering on the brink of destruction.




They need to find the Shrine of Seals, but itís location is a well-kept state secret, so theyíll probably need to find out from one of the royal family.




Of course, Pent knows something. And Athos definitely knows the exact location, as heíll reveal later, but he just decided not to tell us.




Pent reminds them that if theyíre caught, Bern might invade Lycia. But he himself is Etrurian, so itís less of a problem if heís caught.







He and Louise actually have legitimate business here- remember they were in Nabata looking for a gift to give to Queen Hellene now. So he hopes to just ask her about the Shrine of Seals then.




As heís leaving, Hawkeye runs after him and reveals a gift Athos gave to Hawkeye to give to the party. Itís a heaven seal! Which would let me promote a lord! Wow, how awesome!




Ö darn it, Hawkeye. He gives it to Pent rather than letting us use it. Pent might be about to be killed or captured and he definitely wonít be back for at least one chapter. Stupid Hawkeye.




Meanwhile another enemy cutscene ensues as Linus and Lloyd run into their young stepsister Nino.




So we learn that sheís Soniaís daughter and is rather loyal to her.




The others reflect that sheís a lot better than her sinister mother Sonia.




Meanwhile, Legault pops up and suggests that we investigate the Black Fang while waiting for Pent to return. He claims that he never knew the location of the Black Fangís HQ. ButÖ he was one of the founding members and was working personally with Brendan and the Reed brothers and the other founding members and had a job revolving around killing traitors to the organization andÖ well thereís no way he wouldnít know where the HQ is. My suspicion is that this is just a lie. As is revealed later, heís still rather fond of many other Black Fang members and we already know that he knows that Hector wants to kill all the Black Fang. So my interpretation is that heís afraid Hector would just order an attack on the Black Fangís lair and try to kill them all and wants to avoid that while still figuring out what the Fang is currently up to. Remember, the party doesnít yet know that the Fang is still after them and that the Four Fangs are now going to be leading the attack.




Letís split up and look for clues! Thatís not a great way to all get murdered when thereís a giant gang of assassins and a teleporting dark wizard after usÖ

To be fair I suppose it would let the group at least go unnoticed more easily.




Hector and Lyn run off and leave Eliwood and Ninian, with Eliwood grumbling about how Lyn and Hector still donít seem to get along.




Awww.




Iím getting whiplash from how often the scene is changing.




Eliwood the chaperone and Lyn the matchmaker.




Lyn ships Eliwood and Ninian too!




And back to the Reed brothers spotting Eliwood and somehow seeing through his clever disguise of wearing a brown cloak over fancy clothes and armor.




Linus doesnít care how Eliwood could have traveled like 1000 miles in a day to get here from Nabata and proposes just charging in.




Again, only Lloyd actually shows any of the Black Fangís supposed good treatment of the commoners. Linus is just fine with a giant battle in the middle of the town.




Now theyíre splitting up too.




The instant Lloyd is gone, Linus orders an attack, much to Igorís annoyance.




But he does as Linus commands: he runs up and tells Eliwood that Linus is about to attack. Man, Linus is an idiot. Eliwood could just grab this guy and flee if he wanted and then interrogate him.


The War Room, Part 26

At long last I have 1) Money 2) the Silver Card 3) Stores on the chapter and 4) Plenty of time. Itís time for a much less rushed shopping trip than my botched one on New Resolve.

There is nothing more disastrous and crippling that running out of equipment. In severe cases, that can make the game outright unwinnable. In less severe ones it can greatly slow you down, force you to end maps without killing many of the enemies, or otherwise severely penalize your run.

And thereís no excuse for it after the Dragonís Gate because once you have the Silver Card, equipment is extremely cheap and you profit massively from spending your money. That means your money is effectively infinite since thereís no longer any net loss from selling. So gear up whenever you get to a level with stores.

But how do you choose what to buy? Thatís important since levels with stores are rare enough that you could run out otherwise. Well there are many possible systems, but I find a simple and good one to be as follows:
1. Find out what the stores on a chapter actually sell. With a few exceptions, I donít think you should buy weapons that arenít either iron (or the lightest magic tomes) or javelins or handaxes. But if you have your own strategy or know in advance that youíll need something like a silver weapon, then go for it I suppose. Iíll assume you just want iron weapons etc. from here on.
2. Figure out how many iron swords you need. To do so, go through your whole list of characters on the Battle Preparations screen and count 2 for every person who is a primary or exclusive sword user and 1 for every person who uses swords even occasionally. Youíll also want to think ahead about people who are about to promote into sword users and the like. You can exclude people who you absolutely, positively will not use ever again (Like Isadora or Hawkeye for me), but should otherwise include everyone.
3. Then figure out how many iron swords you have. On Battle Preparations, look through the List of all equipment. Count only iron swords that have about 35 or more charges remaining.
4. The difference between what you need and what you have is how many you have to buy, so write that down.
5. Repeat the process for iron lances, fire tomes, etc.
6. For javelins and handaxes and heal staves, count 3 for every single character you ever use at all whoís capable of using them when figuring out how many you need. You need tons of these. And in terms of figuring out how many you already have, generally ignore anything with less than 80% of its uses remaining
7. Vulneraries can be worth buying too; sometimes you need them. Ideally, you want to have about 12 of them- enough that everyone COULD have one on nearly every chapter. Donít count vulneraries with only 1 charge remaining as vulneraries you have
8. Try to have about 6-8 door keys. Theyíre cheap, cost-effective, and can save you many turns. You want chest keys too of course but those are only available from secret shops.
9. So total up the price of all those items, give someone the silver card, and sell enough gems and stuff (starting with the cheapest ones to free up maximum transfer space) that you can afford it.
10. Figure out how many total items youíre buying and make sure thereís enough space in Merlinus. Load up any characters youíre not bringing with 5 items youíll never use and are just keeping around because theyíre valuable (stat boosters, promotion items, gems, spare lockpicks, high level tomes, etc.). If that doesnít clear enough space, then load up the characters youíre bringing with more stuff too.

Using the above method (and buying an extra Flux tome), my shopping list for this level was:

9 Vulneraries
5 Door Keys
9 Iron Swords
4 Iron Lances
11 Javelins
4 Iron Axes
9 Handaxes
3 Fluxes
9 Heals

Unfortunately, door keys werenít available, but Restore staves were and so were super-effective weapons in the secret shop so I bought some of those.

That list should keep me well equipped for the forseeable future.


Battle Preparations & the Map




One awesome battle coming up! There are no surprises here really, just a huge enemy force on some interesting terrain. There will be considerable numbers of reinforcements too and wyvern riders and mercenaries, the main unit types, remain formidable foes. Still theyíre quite manageable. So much so if you play well that this chapter is actually one of the best for training your low level guys.

A few notes on the terrain: first, thatís not actually ocean. Thatís lake. And theyíre not the same. I believe Lake only shows up on this chapter and it is notable for being even harder to move through. Pirates (Technically those enemies are Ďcorsairsí but theyíre 100% the same) can only move 1 space per turn through it instead of 2 for oceans. And that one pirate dangerously close to the top left shore? He doesnít actually move. So you actually have a LONG time before any villages are threatened. And the pirate reinforcements that spawn in the middle right will pretty much never reach land on their own.

Note also that the town is not actually as wide open as it looks like. That middle armory and vendor? You canít walk between them. Ditto for the bottom left vendor and no-item village. Whatís more, the path to the right of the vendor along the beach runs into a 1 wide chokepoint, so you can really hold the line there easily.

If you actually have a good archer, theyíll be great this chapter, but not because of the ballistae everywhere. No, ballistae are useless as ever. But there are floods of wyverns flying around in conditions where you can shoot them easily. Rath can just run in and start leveling.

Note also that besides Linus, there are sort of two minibosses on this chapter. Well 3 if you count Geitz and feel like killing him. In the top middle there is a VERY high level sage with a bolting and an elfire. He will move to attack (with his massive-ranged bolting) but not if you stay out of range. Dealing with him is the trickiest part of the level. If you accidentally aggro him, heíll run in and blast someone. Even if you survive that, now your whole party is probably in his attack range for next turn and you probably canít close in and kill him at all. Thatís bad. Donít provoke him till youíre good and ready with a plan to instant kill him.

The other miniboss is a massively high level hero in the middle left armed with a silver sword. (The two heroes near Linus are merely level 1). This guy could double Linus- and most of your party- and deals massive damage and is really tough, so take him seriously.

Other than that, itís your fairly typical massive air battle The enemy wonít really swarm you if you play your cards right and wyvern riders are easily dispatched with some units- like Rath- who are otherwise hard to train, so make the most of this chance to train your weaker characters massively.




Speaking of weaker units, you should use Afaís drops now. The game basically tells you nothing about what that item really does and Athosís advice about it: ďGive it to someone you likeĒ is likely the opposite of what you should do.

For those not in the know, Afaís drops has 2 effects. Firstly, whichever character you give it to will be displayed on your records screen and comment on how good (or bad) a job the tactician did. Itís pretty cool that every character has 3 or 4 unique comments they make based on your ranking. Just another way this game was way more polished than it needed to be.

Secondly, the characterís growth rates for every stat are increased by 5%. Thatís really not very much, but it does help a little. If you give it to a level 20/20 unit, obviously it doesnít help at all, but a level 1 unpromoted unit who you then take to 20/20 would end up with roughly +2 to every stat. So you could consider the Afaís drops to be roughly equal in value to an Enegy Ring + a Secret Book + a Speedwings + a Goddess Icon + a Dragon Shield + a Talisman. But it has 0 cost, so you lose nothing for using it!.

So who should you give the drops to? Well the ideal character is 1) very low level 2) someone youíll use a ton 3) someone who isnít about to slam into any caps really fast anyway and 4) someone available right now so that you can actually benefit from them having higher stats for more chapters.

Most people seem not to understand the importance of 3 and 4 and give the drops to Nino. The thing is, the potential speed bonus is basically wasted on her since sheís definitely going to cap really soon anyway- and so is the resistance to some extent. Furthermore, by the time youíve actually had time to give the drops to Nino and then train her up enough for the bonuses sheís received to potentially matter at all, the game is almost over. Itís like saving all your speedwings to give to Athos! Sure he can put them to darned good use, but you still benefit less overall than if you used them on someone who needed them earlier (of course, you donít give anyone any speedwings in a max ranking run, but you take my point Iím sure).

Because most of my other characters I intend to use seriously are already rather high level and Iím not going to fall into the Nino trap, I narrowed my choices down to Lucius and Erk. Lucius was lower level, but he has the big problem of hitting his magic and speed caps too early- especially since my Lucius is both fast and strong in magic. Resistance too for that matter. Erk on the other hand has basically no chance of capping things normally- especially since my Erk is behind on speed. So heís likely to get more benefit from it in some stats that actually matter despite starting off lower. So I gave them to him.




I check the range of the Bolting sage while planning my strategy. Perfect, it stops JUST short of the vendor chokepoint.



Objective: Kill Linus (the boss)
Secondary Objective: Get the Earth Seal from the bottom right village
Secondary Objective: Get the Silence Staff from the top left village
Secondary Objective: Get the Orionís Bolt from the middle-ish village
Secondary Objective: Somehow get the Bolting sage to equip his Elfire instead of Bolting so that heíll drop the more valuable Bolting
Secondary Objective: Recruit Geitz with Dart
Secondary Objective: Do some shopping
Secondary Objective: Do some secret shopping
Reinforcements: There will be about 8 mercenaries from the top middle fairly early and 6 middle right early pirates and about 6 right early wyverns. Then thereís pretty much 2 wyverns a turn for about 15 turns.
Turn Limit: 22. Thatís VERY generous. Which is one big reason to do this chapter instead of Lloydís.
Units Allowed: 11 + Hector. Wow, thatís so many! AWESOME!
Units Brought:
1) Hector. Required, but max level. Heís pretty good here due to the abundance of wyvern riders, so you could have him weaken some of those for other units. Heís also good at weakening mercenaries without killing them. Iíll mostly have mine go shopping instead.
2) Canas. Heís my primary healer and his massive accuracy is good against the dodge-y hero boss and miniboss. I donít intend to use him much, but I do want him on hand if things go south.
3) Priscilla. I kind of wanted to go without her, but decided I just couldnít quite keep 12 people at full health with just Canas.
4) Sain. Iím going to be bringing a lot of weak people, so Iím a bit concerned about needing to suddenly kill or block a dangerous enemy. Sain will be good for that. Heíll also be good for tanking Geitz long enough to recruit him.
5) Florina. Air units are great on this map. Sheís highly effective vs mercenaries and decent against wyerns at this point. I wonít be using her much because sheís nearly max level, but I do want to get her enough XP to promote this time.
6) Fiora. Florina but not as good! Iíll use her more often since sheís lower level.
7) Heath. AWESOME. Heath is just perfect here. Heís tough enough to not be killed by 3 wyverns with steel lances and he inflicts very high damage in return, but not enough to actually kill them. This is perfect for training weaker units. He can take on anything and everything on this map.
8) Ninian. Ninian is as wonderful as ever. Maybe more so since I finally have some weak units to train up and Filaís Might is great for letting them get kills.
9) Rath. Not as good as he could be, but his damage is good enough to finish off myrmidons and fight fairly effectively against wyverns. This is one of the best chances to train him.
10) Lucius. Even better than Rath at damaging wyverns due to his great damage and speed and their terrible res. However, heís so fragile that a wyvern can instant kill him so use with care.
11) Erk. Even easier to use than Lucius since he can actually take a hit if he needs to.
12) Dart. Iíve been wanting to use this great unit for a long time, and nowís finally my chance! Heís necessary for recruiting Geitz and heís pretty fantastic against wyverns- and mercenaries given a swordreaver. And the easy access to forests near the enemy will be great for that purpose.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Raven. Not very good against wyverns and already massively leveled courtesy of last chapter so heíd be really hard to give much XP to. Bringing him instead of Sain or Priscilla could have worked, but I wasnít sure if I could actually manage it without either of them.
2) Bartre. I considered training him up against these wyverns, but unlike the mages and Rath I donít actually want to use him later and heís no good against the many mercenaries. And heck, heís not even good against wyverns.
3) Dorcas. I mean, the reason Iím using all these weak people is mainly to pump my XP score. Dorcas isnít much better than Bartre but heís much higher level, so heíd give less XP than Bartre. SoÖ if I didnít use Bartre on this level I wouldnít use Dorcas.
4) Serra. I wasnít even sure I needed Priscilla, let alone Priscilla with worse stats and no horse.
5) Guy. No.
6) Eliwood. Kind of like Raven, but heís also like 30 XP from max level and canít promote for a while, so no need to bring him.
7) Lyn. Like Guy except that training Guy helps me get Jermeís level in the future, but training Lyn has no further special benefit.
8) Wil and Rebecca. Both instant-killable by wyverns unlike Rath. Less mobile. Less damage. They could use the ballistae but those suck and make them more vulnerable. So no.
9) Legault & Matthew. Nothing to steal. And theyíd only be ok against the pirates.

Iím running low on vulneraries, but fortunately I donít need any right now. A bigger problem is that Canas has been running on (extremely expensive) fumes for 2 chapters now. Thatís got to end immediately. Florina is in the back with the Silver card (Hector is carrying the member one for safe keeping at the moment) and a free space in her inventory. This positioning of her and Canas allows her to shop immediately buy some fluxes and fly back close enough that he can exactly move up to her and take one.

Dart has a swordreaver (and an iron axe and handaxee and vulnerary) and is positioned to start killing those mercenaries on the forest. Theyíll be good XP for him and then he can move in for Geitz and then harvest the many wyverns that will appear in the bottom right area.

Heath and Fiora are positioned so they can form a wall (with Sain, moving with Ninianís help) that lets the squishy units move close to the front and allows Heath to aggro and heavily damage the nearby wyverns. This will create an XP bonanza for Lucius, Erk, Rath (Rath is armed to the teeth with one of pretty much every kind of bow), and maybe Dart.

Priscilla will probably heal Dart before he begins his journey east but will stick with the main group from there. Her current position allows her to move to within maximum heal range of Dartís soon to be position Ė or to heal anyone from the main group if they need it more. She doesnít actually have a Heal staff- only 1 remains and Canas needs it, so sheís using the more expensive Mend (with Physic just in case).

Itís really one of my better formations and it works out perfectly, as youíll see.




Geitz pops up and decides to just join in on a battle whose sides he knows nothing about and hope the side he picks randomly is that of justice!

The Characters:




ďBut one day, I ventured into the hold of [my fatherís] ship. I saw those broken men rowing, like lost souls in hell. I saw...children...who were my age...Ē ĖGeitz, Support

A relative of Geese, a somewhat similar character from Fire Emblem 6, Geitz is a man who cut his ties with his wealthy family and took off on his own after discovering that his fatherís shipping business relied on slave labor in his galleys. It sounds like he pretty much walked into the set of Ben Hur from what he describes.

He somehow knows Dart. Other than that he has pretty much no roots or ties anywhere and is wandering aimlessly. Heís pretty reckless and seems to be something of an adrenaline junkie, but at the same time it does sound like he wants to actually be fighting for the better side in any conflicts heís involved in.


Mine didnít get very good HHM bonuses unfortunately, which hurts, but heís actually pretty good for a pre-promote axe user. Significantly better than Hawkeye at actually fighting. His speed is actually fairly respectable due to its base- better than Bartreís even with no HHM bonuses. Heís got all the Str and HP he needs and mediocre but not terrible def. His Res is terrible though. All in all, heís not awful for a pre-promote and is probably better than Bartre with his HHM bonuses on average- and definitely better than Dorcas and Hawkeye- but thatís not saying much. Hector and Dart are way better in the axe department. So yeah, Iím not using him at all beyond this level.




ďQuestion? What's to question? Neither my father nor my brother makes mistakes!Ē ĖLinus, Chapter 24

Lloydís much less interesting brother, Linus is one of the most fearsome Black Fang warriors. Heís basically dumb, loud, headstrong, arrogant, and a violent jerk. For some reason the game likes to compare him to Hector a lot, but Hector is reasonably clever and is actually fairly civil with most people.
Heís very fond of the Black Fang and his family- especially his older brother Lloyd, who he seems to feel driven to impress. But he doesnít really think for himself very well so even though he doesnít like Sonia, he doesnít seem to have grasped that sheís clearly manipulating his father and just takes her pronouncement that Eliwood is evil at face value.

WAY more powerful than Paul or Jasmine




With very effective gear.
But unlike Paul and Jasmine, you can see him coming and he doesnít crit you to death and he doesnít move. So in the end heís not much challenge at all. Heís probably less dangerous than his hero miniboss due to inferior speed and definitely has nothing on his bolting sage.




One of the few Black Fang not to have a bird title.




Hereís his minion Igor. So the game seems to be completely unsure what his actual title is: Mad Dog or Rabid Hound. Of course thatís the same thing, but they keep switching back and forth.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
Playing Through:




Heath and Fiora wall out the northern myrmidon. Heathís position was carefully selected so that the wyvern riders would aggro to him and get badly injured but NOT killed, leaving them in range for my weak units to kill instead.




Dart moves into position to fight the mercenaries from his forest. For units locked to only a single weapon type, reavers can be a godsend. But theyíre expensive so donít overuse them.




Florina goes shopping.




Ah, sweet, sweet soul-devouring dark magic. How Iíve missed you. Youíll note that Canas has a Mend staff, but canít use it yet. Heíll be able to in just a couple more heals, though obviously the Heal staff is still a better deal for most purposes.




There isnít much for Ninian to do this turn, so having Sain start way back and her dance to get him in proper position was a fine idea.




Now I can get Lucius and Raven and Erk all close to the soon-to-be front.




This spot right here is the ideal one for healing. Sheíll be able to exactly reach Dart and is also perfectly positioned to reach nearly any other character in the unlikely event that they need help more.




Pretty meh level since Dartís speed growth is a nearly matchless 60%, but itís what he needs right now I suppose. Level count: Dart 1




Heath owns the enemy wyverns.




And another cutscene. The one Nino was supposed to deliver a message to was Jaffar! And he pulls his usual trick of poofing out of nowhere.




And his usual trick of being covered in- oh wait, thatís HIS blood this time.




And heís dying. Well that mission apparently didnít go well at all. By the sound of it, he DID kill his target but he was terribly wounded himself. I wonder who it was he was after. At a guess, it was just someone with a ton of quintessence who Nergal just wanted to harvest- which of course made him a dangerous opponent.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKYi81giDrQ

Have I mentioned how much I love this map theme? And pretty much every map it plays on is awesome too.
Well this situation is AWESOME. All those nearby units you see? All at like 8 HP or less. And theyíre all high level. So my Lucius, Erk, Rath, and Dart are about to get a mountain of XP.




Ding! Another very Lucius level. Level count: Dart 1, Lucius 1




No one else quite levels, and I get set up for next turn. Fiora cuts off the giant army of mercenaries at the chokepoint, just as planned. Notably she DOESNíT attack. See, 1 wyvern off screen can hit her and so can 1 more mercenary off screen to the left. Those 3 hits she can take. But if she took an additional counterattack, sheíd die.

Heath of course is in position to repeat his last trick. And Hector and Marcus are walling for Priscilla so the remaining mercenary in the area doesnít get her.

The main danger at this point is the shown bolting range. I need to stay out of that area for the forseeable future. Which means I canít move up to kill air units approaching.




And as you can see, this really is a chokepoint sheís at. Those stores are a lot wider than they look.




Ugh. Level count: Dart 2, Lucius 1




As you can see, I have a few more turns yet to get to that right village. Still, I donít want to dally since I need to get Geitz first.




Heíd kill Dart with about 100% accuracy, but Sain can take it and then Dart can talk to him. Sain of course has an iron sword so that Geitz wonít be tempted to use his killer axe over his bow.




So this situation looks a little rough, but itís really fine. Only 2 of those mercenaries can actually attack ANYONE and I can kill all but 1 wyvern rider easily.




So Florina gives Hector her silver card and takes a vulnerary she might need. Time for him to go shopping.




So how to do this. She needs healing, but the wyvern rider on the other side of her also needs killing. Iíll probably have to use Ninian, but I also need to be wary of the uber hero over there on the left.




Rath gets a solid level killing one of the wyverns that has to die.

Level count: Dart 2, Lucius 1, Rath 1.




I used Heath to kill the top wyvern rider and hopefully attract some fire too, letting Canas heal Fiora. In this position, he also acts as bait for the enemy hero. I need to take that guy out fast to move freely and I want him getting hit by Canas immediately.




Solid. My Erk has had lousy speed.
Level count: Dart 2, Lucius 1, Rath 1, Erk 1.

Oh and notice the cool background. I believe that one is unique to this level. They could have gone with a town background or something like theyíve used before, but they really put a fair amount of work into making more art than necessary for this game.




Well Geitz shoots Sain. You know, if he can be that close to effective against Sain, he canít be THAT bad.




Dang, that guy does hit hard. Well so does Canas, theyíre pretty much evenly matched (unless Canas uses Luna of course, but I donít want Canas getting the kill).




And this time a whole flock of wyvern riders moves into position north of me. THIS turn will be a little tricky since I canít thin the herd due to bolting. Plus I need to kill that hero and keep Fiora healed.




And bam, 7 reinforcements all at once out there. Also note those 3 wyvern riders in the middle of the lake. They donít move apparently.




First things first, time to recruit Geitz.




Second things second, time to re-equip Geitz. Sain was ready to do so of course.




Easy stuff done, I need to figure out how to handle this. The key is going to be making sure no one but Heath can be hit by more than 1 wyvern. Thatís a matter of a tight ball kind of formation.




Iíll need to take the hero down and I want to feed him to someone weaker than Canas. Filaís Might will give Canas just enough power to reduce the hero to tiny HP without killing him. Itís great for all kinds of tricks like that.




Ooh, she gets a level out of it. Pretty great. Level count: Dart 2, Lucius 1, Rath 1, Erk 1, Ninian 1.




Hm. I was starting to get used to Mag + Speed + Res every single level. Level count: Dart 2, Lucius 2, Rath 1, Erk 1, Ninian 1.




So Heath took down the hero for like 90 XP, now Florina and Rath get Lucius back out of possible wyvern attack range- remember, they can instant kill him- before getting into position to help complete the wall.




Canas was busy and Priscilla couldnít get in range, so Priscilla heals Fiora with Physic. When you need it you need it.




Hereís the resulting formation. They can hit Heath all they like, but he can take it. At most 2 people can attack either Florina or Fiora- either can take it. At most 1 person can attack Erk or Hector or Canas- they can take it. They will break upon us like water upon rock!




Unexpectedly, one actually DOES try to hit Canas. Thanks to Filaís Might, he can actually instant kill it. Pretty cool.




Egad! So many pirates. They basically canít move, so they really pile up and have nowhere to go.




And 4 more mercs per turn are coming for a little while now. Just as the initial crowd was thinning.




Sain visits the bottom right village and meets a man who was apparently one of Prince Zephielís teachers until King Desmond decided he hated Zephiel and sent his teachers away.




He gives us an Earth Seal, believing somehow that weíll help Zephiel.




Hector goes shopping and I buy nearly everything on my massive list.




Itís becoming apparent that I can indeed get Florina to level 20 this chapter, so I need to send her back to get an Elysian Whip from Merlinus. A minor waste of time, but worth it.




Priscilla levels up- using Mend because I have no heals remember.
Hm. I was starting to get used to Mag + Speed + Res every single level. Level count: Dart 2, Lucius 2, Rath 1, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1.




Dart on a forest actually has pretty good odds against a wyvern. The trouble is he doesnít double and if they DO hit him, heís in trouble. Oh well, thereís no much to do but go for it.




Sweet! The hero put Heath just one hit away from a level up, so he finished off an injured mercenary and got this.
Level up count: Dart 2, Lucius 2, Rath 1, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1.




Rath keeps killing the wyverns and mercenaries and gets a decent level for his trouble.
Level up count: Dart 2, Lucius 2, Rath 2, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1.




The first pirate to reach shore (he started neaby) gets weakened by Fiora and she nets a bad level.
Level up count: Dart 2, Lucius 2, Rath 2, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1, Fiora 1.




What is it with weak enemies trying to kill my promoted units when I have weak characters nearby they should go for? I just canít predict that really. Itís like theyíre trying to deny me XP.

Oh well, a great level. Sain has now capped his Speed. Heís not EVER supposed to do that.
Dart 2, Lucius 2, Rath 2, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1, Fiora 1, Sain 1



Well if the enemy is going to suicidally attack if theyíre there, Iíd better just have them leave. Dart canít really handle all the wyverns alone, but if Sain and Geitz lurk just out of range until heís in trouble, it should work out.




Just lining up neatly to be killed one by one . But that will take too long.




Nice! Thereís the Lucius I know and love.
Level up count: Dart 2, Lucius 3, Rath 2, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1, Fiora 1, Sain 1




I need to open up a second front to speed things up and prepare to kill the sage. And I finally can now that the wyvern and hero threat is gone. Hector is great here in that he DEFINITELY wonít kill any mercenaries but will heavily injure them and they love attacking him.




Next turn I killed every mercenaries and now I need to plot the best way to kill the bolting sage. I want to be just on the edge of his range so he moves maximally close to me. And I need Ninian fairly close to the front and at least one flyer (or Sain but heís elsewhere) in position to then charge 11 spaces with Ninianís help and kill him.




The trap is set. Florina is pretty great bait for this.




Nice, dart gets a good level off a wyvern. Whatís key here is that with just a point or two more speed (and with his 60% growth, thatís coming soon, heíll begin doubling them. THEN heíll really start to rake in the XP.
Level up count: Dart 3, Lucius 3, Rath 2, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1, Fiora 1, Sain 1





A meh level for Lucius killing off a mercenary.
Level up count: Dart 3, Lucius 4, Rath 2, Erk 1, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1, Fiora 1, Sain 1




So as you can see, Florina canít quite reach the sage- as expected. But with Ninianís range, any of my 3 flyers can do it- as planned.




First, Erk clears some of the annoying enemies out of the way and gets a great level.
Level up count: Dart 3, Lucius 4, Rath 2, Erk 2, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 1, Fiora 1, Sain 1




So Iíd better be darned sure I can kill the sage when I get to him or Iím in deep trouble. Heath can do 24 Ė def per hit with his iron lance.




Not good enough, the sage will live at 1 HP (he has 0 speed due to Bolting so anyone can double him).




But with this steel lance, itís easy.




This should net Heath another level or close to it.




Nice. This is about the fastest Heath I ever saw. Heís an amazing unit regardless, but this has just made him my best on the field other than Sain and Canas.
Level up count: Dart 3, Lucius 4, Rath 2, Erk 2, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Sain 1




Rather visits a village and an old woman talks about how much she loved this one time that the Black Fang murdered her former local lord, who does sound like kind of a jerk. Youíll note the ďIt mattered not what others saidĒ there, strongly implying that the Black Fang wasnít even popular among the commoners of Bern outside a few areas like this where they killed a real tyrant. Their reputation as heroes of the common people is largely a myth they like to promulgate.




Score! Thatís enough speed that he can double many of them with an iron axe now.
Level up count: Dart 4, Lucius 4, Rath 2, Erk 2, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Sain 1





YES! I had no idea this place had restore staves, I just assumed it was a regular vendor. Gimme, gimme, gimme! I buy two of them so that I can now have 2 people curing status ailments whenever I need to. That lets me do things like de-silence or sleep my main restorer among other things. Very important. DEFINITELY buy one or more of these.
And then I buy a truckload of heals and vulneraries, though it turns out thereís no door keys.




Land shopping is done, so Florina takes the silver and member cards to go visit the secret shop.




Nice, another good level on Rath.
Level up count: Dart 4, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 2, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Sain 1




Time to move in! The air force heads out to see while everyone else starts running in by land. I could have started this a turn earlier probably, but this works.




Classic Dart, though Iím beginning to worry about his defenses. (Itís also really annoying that even doubling wyverns with an axe and massive strength, he still canít kill the darned things in one round. Theyíre tougher than knights.
Level up count: Dart 5, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 2, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Sain 1




Heath had to tank 3 wyverns so he got pretty badly injured, as expected. Canas has him back in shape for more fighting though.




And Sain moves into range of one hero with his ineffective iron axe equipped. This will cause him to leave that hero at 3 or so HP for someone else to finish.




Ok, my Dart is now officially a whole point ahead in speed (his first 3 speedless levels set him behind for a while. Heís fairly average overall. This guy is a fantastic unit, one of the best in the game. Heís just too expensive to promote.
Level up count: Dart 6, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 2, Ninian 1, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Sain 1





At long last, she gains some Skill! Itís really been hurting my strategy that her accuracy sucked up till now, but thatís finally about to change!
Level up count: Dart 6, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 2, Ninian 2, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Sain 1




Yeah, Heath can now take on pirates and completely wreck them. Florina canít do that. Wyvern riders all the way!




Florina is in position to visit the secret shop next turn depending on how the pirates behave. But some wyverns are going to spawn on the bottom right area of the screen, so I probably wonít do that yet.




And she reached level 20 with this AWESOME level up. She even gained defense! Amazing!
Level up count: Dart 6, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 2, Ninian 2, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Florina 1, Sain 1




Dart did finally get worn down by all those 20-30% chances to hit, so he vulneraries up and continues the fight. Heís killed like 15 wyverns singlehandedly and is only now hitting his stride.




Hector visits the top left village. A lot of people assume this mysterious person is Harken, but imo thereís actualy not much evidence for that. The way he or she talks is rather different from Harken for one thing and youíd think Harken would, say, recognize and join Eliwood if Eliwood visited. And thereís no mention or hint of his suicidalness or anything. And he knows more about the organization- emphasizing above all that we must kill Sonia.
It strikes me as much more likely that this is a spy infiltrating the organization- we know that Ostia alone had several doing that, Leila being one. Since this person knows what weíre doing to some extent, theyíre probably a spy- Harken had no clue.




Well whoever it is, I got a Silence Staff from him/her/it.




Meh. Heís decent overall and is turning around.
Level up count: Dart 6, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 3, Ninian 2, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Florina 1, Sain 1




Florina promotes. Some nice gains there.




Sain rushes over to this side of Linus and equips his Javelin. Heíll probably weaken Linus without killing him, which is what I want. Heís also in position to jump on the wyverns about to spawn over there.




Rath is still much too weak to kill a wyvern in one round, but he CAN double them. And that means Fillaís Might will let him kill it easily.




And Priscilla and Canas haul Ninian up closer to the front. I need her in position to dance for pretty much whoever next turn.




Well that made them both look lame, misses all around.

Fortunately the new boss theme made them sound pretty cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zAEsa42sM0
It really seems timed well with the animations to me.




Nice! I could use more defense and speed.
Level up count: Dart 7, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 3, Ninian 2, Priscilla 1, Heath 2, Fiora 1, Florina 1, Sain 1




A lot of those wyverns had javelins and he took 4 hits to kill most, so he needs a new handaxe. Geitz was left in trade range for just this reason.




Amazing Heath// how sweet the sound// of ding, +1 to speed
Level up count: Dart 7, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 3, Ninian 2, Priscilla 1, Heath 3, Fiora 1, Florina 1, Sain 1




Since Sain missed Linus, Canas weakens him instead.




Meh.
Level up count: Dart 7, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 3, Ninian 2, Priscilla 2, Heath 3, Fiora 1, Florina 1, Sain 1




I wanted to win this turn, but Sain double-missing kind of spoiled that. Thatís fine. Next turn I can have killed EVERYTHING on the map. More reins would still come of course, but at least I wonít be wasting everything that had spawned already.
Linus will be reduced to tiny HP fighting Canas if Canas hits both times. Meanwhile almost everyone else is piling past him to slaughter the 2 wyverns about to pop up.




Well Canas missed one, but he got a great level so I donít care. Yeah, beat Sain in Defense!
Level up count: Dart 7, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 3, Ninian 2, Priscilla 2, Heath 3, Fiora 1, Florina 1, Canas 1, Sain 1




Turn 15, Iím about to win. Just a few more easy kills left.




And Florina visits the secret shop. You may recall that my greatest mistake so far was missing out on the armorslayer in a stupid fashion on chapter 22. I make up for that now by purchasing 2 as well as a Halberd (I donít think I had one. It could be pretty great for Dart or for Raven when he promotes, or just for someone like Dorcas if I use him next chapter).




Man, unpromoted Heath can actually probably beat the level 13 or something much better armed hero.




Had to break out the killer bow on this one, Rath didnít have the damage without it. One nice thing about the weakness of archers is that it means you have all these great, unused bows sitting around with no competition for them when you do get a bow user.




More free XP healing before Fiora strikes the final blow.




Great level!
Level up count: Dart 7, Lucius 4, Rath 3, Erk 3, Ninian 2, Priscilla 2, Heath 3, Fiora 2, Florina 1, Canas 1, Sain 1

And thatís a wrap. Tons and tons of levels, many of them on people who were unusable on previous chapters. I got approximately 2900 XP this chapter. The requirement is only 1900. If I had done something like use Raven, Lowen, and my other well-trained guys or given lots of kills to Heath and Fiora or something Iíd probably have gained something more like 1200. All the XP is gained by using weak people basically.




And weíve spared this twerp.




Yep. Fortunately we were also really nice and are now trying to help you even though you attacked us for no reason in the middle of a town and probably blew our cover.




What a jerk!




I mentioned previously that Eliwood pretty much just told Uhai to go ahead and kill his hostage Lyn before and mentioned that he shows later that he wasnít asking anything of her that he wouldnít do himself if need be.




Linus is confused by his courage and gives Eliwood a chance to ask a rather pertinent question that Linus should have considered 50 men ago.




Heís finally beginning to question the party line on this oneÖ




And he, being an idiot, believed her when EVERYONE is talking about how sheís manipulating the whole organization for Nergalís benefit.




And we just let him go even though heís still probably planning on attacking us again later. Hector said correctly that Eliwood is too nice for his own good.




Yeah, but perhaps theyíre all murderous assholes to begin with. Linus kind of demonstrated that with how he decided to just attack our group without question in the middle of the town and paid no attention to the pirates trying to pillage it.




Thatís the right answer! What does our contestant win?




A creepy red fog of death!




Limstella murdered him by stealing his quintessence now that heís injured. She seems to basically be following us around and just finishing off everyone we fight. Or presumably our own fallen. The game over screen does show that same red fog of quintessence draining afterallÖ




Meanwhile, Jaffar wakes up.




The black fang really is insane. Itís apparently official policy that even though he was safe with her and he was within her power to save and even though heís the greatest asset the fang has, she was supposed to just kill him.




And heís re-opened his wounds and collapses.




Linus finds Lloydís corpse, where Limstella just left it where it fell.




And he jumps to the conclusion that Eliwood and his group killed Linus, though he does realize that it was probably Linus who attacked rather than the other way around.




He decides that life isnít really worth living without his brother, but first heíll kill all of Eliwoodís party to get revenge. What a swell guy.




Meanwhile, in a semi-enemy cutscene.




The fake pleasantries these guys bandy back and forth are pretty great. They hate each other and they both know it, but you canít just say that.




And she unwisely taunts him about how Zephiel is going to be named heir and Demondís illegitimate daughter will never inherit the throne. Hellene really does a fair amount to stoke up this feud.




She really thinks he came here on his own just to hear her gloat doesnít she?




And he completely owns her here, revealing that the Fire Emblem- a jewel which is integral to the ceremony- has been Ďstolení. He came here just to gloat himself. I really love these two and their war of intrigue and jerkery.




Oh no! How terrible!




Thereís a great old saying: ďHe lied; I knew he lied and he knew I knew he lied. THATíS diplomacy.Ē
She knows his story about the gem being stolen was a lie and he must have arranged for it to be taken himself to cancel the ceremony and he knew sheís know that and just wanted to rub it in her face that she canít prove anything so she canít stop him.




And he reveals his motive- sort of, he later does admit to himself that heís certain Zephiel is his real son. But he hates to think that because Zephiel is better than him at everything and heís jealous of his sonís success,




The king leaves, having totally won that conversation, and Hellene is left wringing her hands when Louise and Pent finally arrive.




Theyíre relatives, as mentioned before, though just how is unclear.




Louise immediately realizes Hellene is having some kind of trouble and volunteers her husbandís help.




And Hellene explains what happened.




So Hellene tasks us with retrieving the Fire Emblem from wherever itís hidden in exchange for her help.




Or Athos didnít really care what you did exactly as long as you struggled and learned. Thatís kind of like destiny. Eliwood is just assuming for now that Athos sent us here to find the Shrine of Seals in good faith.


Total Restarts: 14 (Easy chapter, no restarts)
Turn Surplus: 25 (Sweet. 0 Chapter coming up of course, but this is still great).
Things I Regret Missing: The lockpick on chapter 11, that darned archer on chapter 11, this one brigand who attacked Marcus on chapter 12, 2 more brigands who ignored everyone else to attack Marcus on chapter 13x, and 2 archers who ignored Hector and Dorcas (DORCAS!) to attack Marcus on chapter 14, like 10 more enemies I could have killed if Hector could have survived one more turn on chapter18, and Uhai who decided to take a 100% chance of death to Sain over a free hit on Hector, the chance to finish shopping properly with my silver card on chapter 21, the armorslayer that I have acquired if not for a stupid minor mistake on chapter 22, and these 3 wyvern riders who decided they preferred a 0% chance to hit Isadaora and then 100% chance of death against her to fighting a low level Heath.

Melth fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Mar 13, 2015

Onmi
Jul 12, 2013

If someone says it one more time I'm having Florina show up as a corpse. I'm not even kidding, I was pissed off with people doing that shit back in 2010, and I'm not dealing with it now in 2016.
It's Harken. The game's data loads Harkens portrait for the village and then just hides it. You can debate that they decided at a later time to not go with Harken (Or didn't want to make a garbed Harken portrait) but as far as the game is concerned? that's actually Harken.

Krumbsthumbs
Oct 23, 2010

2nd Place.
1st Loser.
It is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that Louise is the queen's cousin since both are Eturian nobles, presumably from the same house. Louise just married the better guy.

I'm a little surprised you gave Erk the Afa's drops and not Rath. Erk most certainly won't be around in the end game while Rath has a good chance to do so and was also very low leveled.

alakasam
Sep 15, 2011
Rath will generally hit his strength and speed caps anyway, so afa's would just make him a little more survivable. Erk is a Jack of all stats, so making all of his stats better goes a long way to making him good.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Krumbsthumbs posted:

It is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that Louise is the queen's cousin since both are Eturian nobles, presumably from the same house. Louise just married the better guy.

I'm a little surprised you gave Erk the Afa's drops and not Rath. Erk most certainly won't be around in the end game while Rath has a good chance to do so and was also very low leveled.

Yeah but every human is every other human's cousin. At the beginning of the chapter- at least in the English version- she just says that "She and I are related, albeit a distant relation." They could be second cousins or half-cousins or first cousins once removed or just about anything. They seem to know each other fairly well, so conceivably they were also raised together or something. That's the kind of thing I mean is ambiguous.

I did consider Rath, but the trouble is that he might not even get to level 20 unpromoted before Victory or Death. Erk is much easier to train up quickly most of the time. If Erk turns out well enough, he might well earn himself a promotion fairly soon- but he does need to start impressing quickly.

Zulily Zoetrope
Jun 1, 2011

a smug little rat! 😏🐀


Muldoon
Ugh, it hurts to watch you use the drops on Erk. I'm sure it's tactically viable and jazz, but it's Erk. Should've at least used it on a bro like Matthew so your very final screen can be of Matt saying how ace you are with all the stars in the background. Do you really want Erk to be the capstone of an LP this solid? :colbert:

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND

From the Ninian skill level onwards, you lowered Dart's levels by one (he had 6, but in that one you put him at 5 and counted from there). Also you never counted Sain's one level.

Also that was a wonderful level-fest. And RIP Linus, you were an idiot to the bitter end.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Kajeesus posted:

Ugh, it hurts to watch you use the drops on Erk. I'm sure it's tactically viable and jazz, but it's Erk. Should've at least used it on a bro like Matthew so your very final screen can be of Matt saying how ace you are with all the stars in the background. Do you really want Erk to be the capstone of an LP this solid? :colbert:


Well I rather like Erk and I've never seen any of his battle record quotes. Granted I do like Matthew better, but still.

MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014

Krumbsthumbs posted:

It is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter that Louise is the queen's cousin since both are Eturian nobles, presumably from the same house. Louise just married the better guy.


The trouble with that is that Louise was also practically a commoner, or at least low class compared to every other woman trying to marry Pent. He decided on her because she essentially offered to be his bodyguard as well as his wife.

So if Louise's family was so far down the noble pecking order, why was Hellene high enough in it that even the King of Bern couldn't just refuse her?

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

MightyPretenders posted:

So if Louise's family was so far down the noble pecking order, why was Hellene high enough in it that even the King of Bern couldn't just refuse her?

Cadet branches.

*gestures broadly and meaninglessly with arms*

*pushes glasses up on nose*

*nods confidently*

Cadet branches.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
I beat Crazed Beast earlier today (and got like 30 level ups). However, I have an exam coming up soon, so I may not have time to do many updates for the next few days.

You may now begin placing your bets as to which of my characters hit level 20 and who'll be promoted.

Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



Melth posted:

The thing is, Strength isn't really that amazing. For most purposes, it actually does nothing beyond a fairly low threshhold of 20 or so. All you need is enough damage to 2-hit kill most things. More than that is useless because you'll never get enough to one-hit kill any serious enemy on HHM. Heck, as I've mentioned, being able to NOT kill enemies in one round when you want to can be amazingly useful. With the solid Mt of lances, Florina gets to the 2-hit kill threshold fairly quickly. Sain basically starts there, which is awesome and why he's way easier to use than Kent. But it means his strength growth from there (other than the 30-40% or so needed to keep up with enemy Def and HP) doesn't do a whole lot for him.

And flyers don't really have a weakness in this game. Bows deal only double damage, not triple, and they have low might and are wielded by the suckiest units in the game so they only do decent-high damage to pegasus knights. And bows have never been a serious threat to wyvern riders. Axe users are more of a problem... until you promote and get iron swords. Which is the kind of thing I was talking about earlier.

I don't really see any particular benefit to having access to "every weapon in storage" beyond being able to secure the decreasingly important weapon triangle more often. It's not like there are a whole lot of special abilities that are actually unique to one weapon type.
Let's see, there's wyrmslayers and magic attacks for swords. Magic attacks are rarely that useful since they use 1/2 of your Str, so you only profit by an amount equal to (Enemy def- enemy res - 1/2 own Str). That's rarely even positive. I guess there's the devil axe. And there's no slim axe. And... that's almost it for weapons with no counterparts in the other categories. With the exception of getting the Armorslayer really late, you get silver and super-effective weapons of most categories very early in the game, well before you really have much use for them.

Even an E in lances is sufficient. All game long Eliwood has been wishing he had javelins. Now he has them. And that plus 7 move is all he needs to take off like a rocket. Other than for staves, weapon rank typically matters were little.

I was talking about strength in particular because that is what was being talked about earlier, but Paladin's other stat caps are perfectly fine for what you'd expect of most units in the game. Paladin is a very good class, the problem is that most of the characters that can be one aren't that good usually. I dunno how Paladin being good on its own is even up for debate.

Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


I'm pretty sure I've always had exactly one paladin (depending on which one turns out the best) on my end game team, ever since I was a kid. They are never my best unit on the field but they'll always be the most versatile. They're usually the first unit I send to deal with something unexpected - relatively balanced stats, high mobility, and versatile equipment leave them well equipped to handle almost anything so that my more specialized units can keep doing what they do. So they're a good class, they just aren't the bruisers that other units can be.

weso12
Nov 19, 2014

Lurker, Sims 3 LPer, Bored College Student
At the archer convo, the largest problems with bows in fire emblem doesn't have to do with the concept of a 2 range weapon but rather the AI. Allow me to explain, the reason 1~2 range units can kill so many units on enemy phase because the Ai is basically programmed to go on the aggressive to the player, even if they do 0 damages and you kill them in one round. If the AI was actually intelligent enough not to be sucidal or stupid enough to attack bow units at range (like in FE4), archers wouldn't be any better or worth than non mounted-units. I'm not saying that they should actually do that because non-sucidal AI makes the game boring and frustrating, and AI that attacks archers at range makes the game seem poorly programed. But I do feel that perhaps the AI could be reevaluated to be less unfavorable to archers

Now to put my belated to 2 cents on the con discussion. The issue with con and weight as a whole is that weight penalties units in the single most centralizing aspect of the game: doubling. As the balance currently stands in order to do decent damage to your opponent, you need either truly ridiculous attack or enough speed to double and decent strength, and since no one on the series has even a remote chance to get enough offense to negate a.lack of doubling, fire emblem effectivoly makes it "you double or you don't exist". A decent way to balancing it would make doubling act as adept but that makes the game too luck based, and besides it makes the game slower and more frustrating.

In conclusion fire emblem has long since sacrificed balance game design for the fun of being able to sweep an army.

Rosalie_A
Oct 30, 2011

weso12 posted:

In conclusion fire emblem has long since sacrificed balance game design for the fun of being able to sweep an army.

Those aren't mutually existing goals that need one to be compromised for another, though. It's possible to have balanced game design and the fun of sweeping an entire army. You just need to make it so everyone can contribute evenly on sweeping an entire army. The problem is, they don't. 60% Strength growth isn't equal to 60% Speed growth, and 17 Skill and 17 Speed are not even remotely as equally important to your combat as the similar numbers would say, but these are treated as so by the game design. That's the problem.

Fionordequester
Dec 27, 2012

Actually, I respectfully disagree with you there. For as obviously flawed as this game is, there ARE a lot of really good things about it. The presentation and atmosphere, for example, are the most immediate things. No other Yu-Gi-Oh game goes out of the way to really make

Trasson posted:

Those aren't mutually existing goals that need one to be compromised for another, though. It's possible to have balanced game design and the fun of sweeping an entire army. You just need to make it so everyone can contribute evenly on sweeping an entire army.

Yeah, it's definitely a mark of a good game when you can think of THREE ways to completely destroy an army rather than only one way to do so, so long as all of those options take an equal amount of effort, and don't trivialize the game...

That being said though, that design philosophy in and of itself can be a bit of a problem when taken too far I think. I mean, really, when you're making a game, you're always going to at least some guys who are not quite as helpful or as good as other guys. That's what makes it so satisfying to figure out who is truly the best, and who is not. That's what makes it so interesting to FIGURE OUT who's best and who's not. Otherwise, if everyone is as good as the other person...well then, you're choices don't really matter. Because you can't do wrong no matter what you do, there's no incentive to be that creative in how you make your team. In fact, the game itself seems to be designed around that philosophy, as there's no way I can picture the game designers sitting around, thinking "Man, that Dorcas and his 20% growth. Surely HE'LL make it to the endgame :downs:". Or looking at Lowen, and thinking "man, this guy. He's going places man".

But that's fine, because Dorcas and Lowen already fulfill their duty of being fairly helpful early game units. Just as their are units who are bad early game, but really awesome late-game (Eliwood being a prime example). So, you don't necessarily want ALL units being equal necessarily, although Archers DO desperately need to be buffed...

Anyways though, I just redid the S-Rank run, and...I DID IT! I got the S-Rank while still using two stat boosters! It was tough, I only just barely made the Funds rank, and I doubt it's doable without either RNG abuse, or some resets, but I did! So here are some screenshots...











Basically what I did differently was that I almost never used Javelin's this time (only twice to kill Beyard's two mage guards), didn't use Lucius this time, used Dorcas more, and I also had Lyn fight a bit more, to the point where she had broken her Mani Katti before everything was said and done. In addition, Serra was no longer used, since I considered her Heal staff to be much too expensive. And finally, I was just a teensy bit short on Exp., so instead of feeding all of the Chapter 10 enemies to Florina, I had Matthew kill the Soldier and the 2x Archers who kept beating on Nils, that way I could give Matthew a bit of a boost for HHM. Finally, I used the Energy Ring on Florina, in case you're wondering.

So then, here's the Funds rank count up...

code:
Funds:

Cash-            5840
112x Iron Sword- 1120
18x Armorslayer- 1260
15x Lancereaver- 1800
118x Iron Lance-  944
29x Slim Lance-   435
38x Javelin-      760
76x Iron Axe-     456
20x Hammer-       800
20x Hand Axe-     300
44x Iron Bow-     528
22x Short Bow-   1760
24x Heal-         480
37x Fire-         518
35x Lightning-    630
1x Knight Crest-10000
14x Vulnerary-   4200
3x Pure Water-    900
5x Torch-         500
24x Lockpick-    1920
Total Funds-    35151 (S Rank)
And here's the Exp. Rank count up...

code:
Experience:

Lyn:     684 Exp.
Sain:   1248 Exp.
Kent:    455 Exp.
Florina: 723 Exp.
Nils:    600 Exp.
Serra:    66 Exp.
Rath:     13 Exp.
Dorcas:  154 Exp.
Lucius:    0 Exp.
Erk:      60 Exp.
Matthew: 220 Exp.
Wil:      10 Exp.
And here's everything else...

code:
Combat:   124/269=46.1% (S Rank)

Turns:    83 out of 83 Turns spent (S Rank)

Survival: All characters survived (S Rank)

Fionordequester fucked around with this message at 07:57 on Mar 14, 2015

NeoRonTheNeuron
Oct 14, 2012
Awesome! A little penny-pinching and XP splitting go a long way. (Remembering the lockpick helps too :))

Fatcat214
Feb 19, 2015

Party Poogie
Earlier in the thread you said something about a Fire emblem tabletop. How exactly did that work? i've been tossing the idea around in my head for a while now, and i still don't see how it could work

Rogue 7
Oct 13, 2012

Fatcat214 posted:

Earlier in the thread you said something about a Fire emblem tabletop. How exactly did that work? i've been tossing the idea around in my head for a while now, and i still don't see how it could work

Unless you're wedded to the weapon triangle mechanics, I really don't see a reason why you couldn't just run things in standard D&D, or any other swords and sorcery style system you support. I personally wouldn't limit casters this way, but you could also perhaps say that clerics can *only* take healing/restoration spells and mages can *only* do things like Fireball if you wanted to more closely emulate the game.

From there it'd all depend on what you wanted. Each player could take a few units and you could make the focus largely on the combat, or you could just have a pretty standard D&D game. Heck, the last game I was in, I ran a Cleric with an axe who was pretty much Hector if War Priest was a class in 7.

Or, if you were thinking more of a tactical miniatures game, I'm sure there are a ton of systems out there for that. I'm not a wargamer, so I don't know details there, sorry.

Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


Fatcat214 posted:

Earlier in the thread you said something about a Fire emblem tabletop. How exactly did that work? i've been tossing the idea around in my head for a while now, and i still don't see how it could work
Fire Emblem (especially the GBA games) is a fairly simple series, with fairly simple math. It isn't at all difficult to take the mechanics and just plop them on the table to play. The GM needs to be willing to make maps, you need to figure out a system for character creation, and you need to communicate with the other players to come up with plans. I made a troubadour for a game like that a couple of years ago.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

But do you randomly roll for +1s on level up, or do something like BEXP and have fixed gains?

Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


Lotish posted:

But do you randomly roll for +1s on level up, or do something like BEXP and have fixed gains?
it wouldn't be Fire Emblem without randomized stats. :colbert:

The Shame Boy
Jan 27, 2014

Dead weight, just like this post.


Yes, but for the 5th loving time you can't have a character with Blossom on it if we're all not using Blossom goddamn it :colbert:

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Fatcat214 posted:

Earlier in the thread you said something about a Fire emblem tabletop. How exactly did that work? i've been tossing the idea around in my head for a while now, and i still don't see how it could work

It worked out pretty well. What I made could be used either as a wargame or a rules-light tabletop RPG. It uses most of the GBA game rules for combat and such, but obviously has a character creation system to let you make a member of any class (and the classes are more balanced) and a few simplifications. Most of the work went into coming up with more balanced base stats and growths for every class and making new weapons are the like.

There's also a skill system which I think is far better than the ones in most FEs in that these skills are things you actually choose to use a few times per battle as a tactical choice rather than essentially just an extra chance of a slightly different kind of critical hit or the like.

Compared to, say, D&D it assumes more GM control than usual so that the GM can actually prepare the maps and so on.


Anyway, a few years back I ran a campaign of it that was really awesome while it lasted, but ended prematurely when the new semester came and no one's schedule fit anymore. Here's the site I was using to share the rules and the setting info and the like: https://fireemblem.obsidianportal.com/

If people are interested, I may be able to share the rules as revised since then over google drive or something.

fade5
May 31, 2012

by exmarx

Melth posted:



Dang, that guy does hit hard. Well so does Canas, theyíre pretty much evenly matched (unless Canas uses Luna of course, but I donít want Canas getting the kill).
Yeah nothing to see here, just a magic unit eating a hit from a promoted Silver Sword Hero and still having more than half his health left.:c00lbert:

quote:



Well Canas missed one, but he got a great level so I donít care. Yeah, beat Sain in Defense!
Seriously 14 Defense on Canas :wtc:. I know he's supposed to be hardier/more physically defensive than most of your other magic units, but right now he's got better defense than your entire army.:stare:

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

He has been blessed in that regard, but Canas is still expected to have 10.5 defense by that level, which about where Dart should be at the same level.

Pent actually ends up being hardier than Canas on average by, like, a point, but Lucius is never expected to hit double digit defense, and Erk normally wouldn't until promoted level 7, though it'll be interesting to see how he turns out with the Drops. I wish you got the Drops earlier, so you could actually use them on a character you like (like Hector :getin:) when everyone's lower level.

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Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Lotish posted:

He has been blessed in that regard, but Canas is still expected to have 10.5 defense by that level, which about where Dart should be at the same level.

Pent actually ends up being hardier than Canas on average by, like, a point, but Lucius is never expected to hit double digit defense, and Erk normally wouldn't until promoted level 7, though it'll be interesting to see how he turns out with the Drops. I wish you got the Drops earlier, so you could actually use them on a character you like (like Hector :getin:) when everyone's lower level.


Canas and Pent are basically the same amazing unit in terms of stats. But Canas has Dark magic, so the don't even play in the same league.

One game I actually kept Eliwood level 1 until I got the drops because I wanted to play Lloyd's level again and because he's almost the ideal candidate for them in terms of what his stats look like.

Oh speaking of great stats though, prepare for the luckiest level ups you've ever seen:

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