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  • Locked thread
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.

RBA Starblade posted:

Right, that's what I meant. It's just funny seeing how certain characters stack up to a max rank run. I never even considered the idea!

Doing math

The Killer Axe is 1000, and the Steel bow is 720 for a total of 1720 GP

The Silver Lance is 1200 and the Hand Axe is 300 for a total of 1500 GP. So yeah, Geitz is better for a Ranked run because he's worth more money. And since Wallace wont be promoted it's a 4 move Armor Knight versus a 6 move 'B in Axes and Bows' Warrior who can start swinging away with Hand-Axes immediatly.

And here is another thing. The Hand axe is 300 GP, the Javelin is 400. So Each Hand-Axe use is cheaper than each Javelin use, making axe-using units more cost effective for range-combat than lance users. As well the Iron Axe is 270 GP, and the cheapest Iron weapon on the market. In fact the STEEL AXE is 300 GP, Cheaper than the Iron Lances 360 gP. So on average using a Steel Axe, which is still an E Rank weapon, is far cheaper for much larger bang, than the Iron Lance. Now consider Paladins, E-Rank Axes off the bat, Sain can be swinging with his absurd strength an 11 Mt Steel Axe, in comparison to the more expensive 10 Mt Steel Lance, for more damage AND a better funds rank.

Not to mention, Marcus can also use Steel Axes from the get go, so he also conserves a ridiculous amount of Gold.

So Axes have the cheapest highest damage potential for the lowest weapon rank and the cheapest option of ranged damage.

In HHM, you'll be running Axe Paladins, Axe Heroes, and basically anyone else who can kill and save money due to being able to use the best weapon type.

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RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.

Games Idiot Court Jester

Wow, and here I am trying to remember if I ever actually found Geitz, and remembering thinking "axes are poo poo" in my runs, mostly favoring mages and lances and invincible generals. That's really clever!

Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



Geitz is better in a normal run anyway, unless you took the time to grind Wallace in LHM before promotion.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


Here we go, a real level again! Lyn's story has 12 chapters (Prologue, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7x, 8, 9, and 10) and has two major parts to its story, splitting it right down the middle. 6 is the beginning of the second part. Everything up till now was about Lyn struggling to survive and recruiting some allies as she made her way to Lycia. Now Lyn arrives in the land of her mother's birth and takes the offensive as she learns that it is not only she who Lundgren is trying to assassinate. The difficulties Lyn's company face outside of battle shift away from struggling to find shelter and get along in the wilds and now revolve around political and diplomatic machinations to get the help she needs to win her personal war against her great-uncle Lundgren and the forces loyal to him.

Although still extremely easy, these chapters are much more interesting to play than the previous 6- even on Lyn's Normal mode where one has much less freedom.


The War Room, Part 6

Some people have been talking and asking about what the requirements to achieve max ranking actually are, and I'd planned to get into that around this chapter anyway, so here's a rundown:

Your performance in Hector's Hard Mode is ranked in 5 categories: Tactics, Funds, Experience, Combat, and Survival.

Survival is the most straightforward. You achieve maximum ranking for Survival if none of your characters die. Restarting a chapter if one does get killed is considered perfectly legitimate though- and almost certainly you'll have to do that at least once. So this requirement is no problem; just restart if someone dies and you'll get max ranking.

Combat is also fairly simple and also easy to get 5 stars in. A good Combat ranking means that you generally kill enemies in 1-2 fights. If enemies die approximately half the time that you and the enemy exchange blows, you will get a maximum score in Combat. Since most attacks end in dead enemies, this is quite easy to max rank. The only reason it could be hard is that the other ranking categories force you to use some weak characters who will take many fights to kill enemies.

Experience is exactly what it sounds like. You get a high Experience ranking if your units gain a lot of total experience. So use lots of low level characters whenever possible, avoid letting people who are level 20 (and thus can't gain any XP) fight, and make sure you get as much non-combat XP as you can too by healing very wound possible with your staff users and having Ninian/Nils dance every turn.

Funds is perhaps the most misunderstood ranking category. Essentially, you get a good Funds score by having a huge net worth of cash on hand + value of all items owned. Since you buy items from stores for 100% of their value, purchasing stuff does not harm your Funds score. Since you sell items to stores for 50% of their value, selling things DOES harm your funds score. Since using charges of vulneraries, spells, and weapons decreases their value, using any of these things hurts your funds score. But obviously you need to use your weapons to win the game, so just try to use inexpensive ones whenever possible. Make sure you open every treasure chest and visit every village to get as much treasure as possible. Never throw away anything. And steal as many valuable items as you can from the enemy. As a general rule, if you CAN steal it, you SHOULD steal it. Even if it's something fairly low in value like a vulnerary. DEFINITELY you need to steal any big-ticket items like stat-boosters or promotion items or elixirs or gems. Lastly, do not use any stat-booster items and use very few promotion items. Each stat booster is worth 8000 gold, and you lose that entire value if you use it. Each promotion item is worth 10,000. That's worthwhile for a few really good people but not for most people. Also, the Heaven Seals and Earth Seals and Ocean Seal and Fell Contract are worth 20,000 or 50,000 gold. So do not use any of those promotion items- at least not without serious consideration.

Tactics basically means speed. Every chapter has a max ranking turn limit to it. If your total number of turns spent on the whole story is less than the total number of turns in every turn limit, you will get 5 stars for tactics. This means it's ok to run overtime on some chapters as long as you make up for it elsewhere. Note that most Defend chapters (the ones where you need to last a certain number of turns) actually take more turns than their time limit and there isn't much of anything you can do about that. Also most chapters exclusive to Hector mode have a turn limit of 0, so you really need to work hard to make up for that lost time elsewhere.

Chapter Summary:

At last Lyn has arrived in the large city-state of Araphen in Lycia. Araphen and Caelin have an old and healthy alliance, so Kent was able to persuade the Marquess of Araphen to lend his aid to Lyn. However, Lundgren has sent another, more dangerous group of assassins to eliminate Lyn. Unfortunately, he seems to have explained their mission poorly so they end up attacking castle Araphen and abducting the Marquess for some reason. Lyn helps the local captain of the guard free the castle and rescue Marquess Araphen, but Marquess Araphen is angry that he was attacked as a result of her family's petty succession struggle and despises the people of Sacae, so he decides not to help her afterall. What a jerk!




In case you forgot the plot, the chapter intro reminds you of the premise of the story. To me, this is kind of an indication that too much time was spent on pointless levels like Chapter 2 and 5 up till now and the developers were kind of aware of that.




Uh, I guess I caught Kent while he was blinking by mistake. Oops. Once again showing off his level-headed competence and knightly skills, Kent rode ahead to Araphen and met with the Marquess. He convinced the latter to aid them. Now all they need to do is ride up to the castle and meet their new benefactor!
You should think of Kent as the secretary of state of Lyn's little cabinet.




However, Lyn is suddenly attacked on the street as she walks toward the castle. Rath, captain of the guard in Araphen, saves her by shooting the assassin. It's around that time that everyone notices the castle in on fire. Araphen has sort of like a medieval Spanish look to it if you ask me. Pretty cool.

Grateful for being saved and eager to help the Marquess of Araphen, Lyn and company decide to aid Rath in opening up a secret passage into the castle so they can rescue the Marquess.


The Map:



Objective: Find the 3 hidden switches and have units wait on each of them
Secondary Objective: Recruit Matthew in the northern village
Secondary Objective: Get the door key from the nearby village
Secondary Objective: Get the Armorslayer from one of the chests indoors
Secondary Objective: Get the Angelic Robe from one of the chests indoors

This is the first level on which parts of the map are initially hidden. While the doors into the top-right areas are still closed, we can't see into it. On Jerme's version of Pale Flower of Darkness, WAY later in the game, this kind of setup comes back with a vengeance. There's no telling what kind of ferocious enemies might be hidden from view behind every door on that map. It's like a game show! With horrible death instead of cars and whatnot.

Not coincidentally, this is also the first chapter with locked doors (2 are circled, others are hidden indoors at the moment). These doors can be opened with door keys, which are in short supply, or slightly more expensively with Lockpicks. Anyone can use a door key, it just takes up one of their 5 inventory slots until it is used (and vanishes), but only Thieves can use Lockpicks. Guess what class the new guy has?

Lastly, this chapter introduces treasure chests; there are 2 hidden indoors at the moment. Those can be opened with chest keys (much rarer and more valuable than door keys) or, again, with Lockpicks in the hands of a Thief.

These complications aside, it's really quite easy. The only dangerous surprise indoors is this one archer who might move out and kill an unwary Florina if you didn't know he was going to be there.


The Characters




"Treasure time! Treasure time!" -Matthew, Chapter 6, Normal Mode only

One of my favorite characters because of how well-done I consider his relationship with Leila to be later on, Matthew is a friendly but enigmatic thief who ostensibly joins Lyn and company for a chance at some plunder. He proves to be cunning and resourceful and connected, warning Lyn of various dangers and discovering Lundgren's plot against his brother. However, he keeps his distance and doesn't talk much to the rest of the party for now

The only thief you'll have for much of the game, Matthew uses his monopoly to get away with being a sucky unit in combat. His atrocious Strength and only being able to use Swords means he'll never do much damage, while his shoddy defenses (especially resistance) mean you'll want to keep him out of combat whenever possible. As if he wasn't bad enough statistically, you definitely cannot promote him since doing so costs 5x the normal amount.

However, Matthew is absolutely essential, one of the most valuable units in the whole game. This is because of his incredible Thief class. Thieves move fast for infantry, can see tremendously far in fog and darkness (more on that later), are the only ones who can use lockpicks (and therefore the only ones who can acquire most of the treasure in the game), and can steal items (but not weapons) from enemies. Matthew will make you rich and you basically cannot get max rank in funds without him.
Additionally, Matthew has some limited combat utility. He has good accuracy but low damage, meaning you can count on him weakening but not killing enemies for you. This is great for feeding kills (and thus XP) to weaker units. And his high speed makes him decent at dodging attacks now and then.




The taciturn captain of the guard in Araphen, Rath is a Sacaen of the mighty Kutolah tribe- in fact, he's the son of the chief. As a child, he was sent out alone into the world because some prophet of his tribe predicted that the world would be destroyed if he wasn't set out to stop that from happening (as he does indirectly in this game). He's fairly gruff and humorless and definitely keeps to himself, never getting to know most of the other characters well and disappearing abruptly once his job is done. However, his mix of well-founded pride and a serious, competent bearing are pretty respectable.

Rath joins at a very high level 7 fairly late in Lyn's story and will not be available again until about halfway through Hector's story. This makes him rather hard to use much. Further, he's locked to Bows until he promotes and Bows are a terrible weapon category.

On the other hand, Rath has incredible movement because Nomads move the same nominal distance as Cavaliers, but are better at pushing through rough terrain and bad weather. Being a male on a horse with low con, he also has a tremendous ability to rescue and carry allies- very useful as you shall see later. Importantly, he gains the ability to use swords when he promotes. Swords are not great, but they are a darned sight better than being stuck with bows forever, like Wil and Rebecca and Louise.

Furthermore, his stats are absolutely AMAZING. He has fantastic HP, great strength, very good skill, some of the best speed in the game courtesy of having a maximum cap of 30, decent luck, and low but not terrible defense and resistance. If you want it killed with a sword, a lategame Rath will kill it dead and dodge hundreds of enemy attacks without batting an eye.

All in all I will not deny that he has some great stats and a fairly solid class, but the difficulty of training him up with bows and the fact that he joins so late (snd at the same time as a similarly underleveled unit who's way more valuable) denies him a spot on my team. If you want a bow user on your endgame team though, Rath is the one to pick.




ďWhen I heard that Lady Madelynís daughter was in trouble, I thought to lend my assistanceÖ I find Iíve changed my mind.Ē ĖMarquess Araphen, Chapter 6

Marquess Araphen is an NPC who plays a fairly important role in the story and gets a decent amount of development. He's a total jerk to everyone but in a rather charismatic way, insulting everyone who talks to him rapidfire. He harbors a particular hatred for the people of the Sacaean plains, barring them from his city. Although the common racism of Lycians against Sacaeans has come up before (most notably with Marquess Hausen of Caelin disowning his daughter, Lyn's mother, for eloping with a nomad), Marquess Araphen is the one who shows it most strongly.

However, he's not just some 2-dimensional racist creep with no redeeming features or background development. For one thing, the captain of his guard, Rath, is a Sacaean, so it's clear that Marquess Araphen is practical enough to put aside his bigotry when it comes to competent and useful and loyal people. Rath seems to have been fairly happy working for him up until Marquess Araphen shoots off his mouth insulting Lyn at the end of this chapter, so it seems likely that he treated Rath with at least some measure of politeness and respect. Furthermore, we learn that at least part of Marquess Araphen's hateful attitude stems from the fact that in his youth he loved Madelyn of Caelin, Lyn's mother, but she spurned him and ran off with a Sacaean nomad instead. Jealousy makes people do awful things.

Upon meeting Lyn, Marquess Araphen angrily snaps that her family's inheritance dispute has resulted in people attacking him and setting fire to his castle. This is a somewhat reasonable complaint. Considering you also looted his castle on the way to see him, it's hard not to agree that he has some reason to take a dislike to Lyn's group. What really torpedoes any chance of an alliance with him though is that Lyn is not only half-Sacaean but PROUD of being half-Sacaean. When he insults the people of her homeland, Lyn storms out. He mutters that he would have helped her if she'd just asked, but now it's too late for all concerned. Rath resigns his post to help Lyn instead and Marquess Araphen runs off to become a powerful wizard and assassin.

Although he's only in a few scenes, I consider this character to be one of the better developed ones in the game. He reminds me in many respects of Snape: the man is a complete jerk, but in an often funny way and he's an eminently human person. Both, also, became hateful and wretched people in part because the women they loved rejected them for a better man who they hated and then died. Both have stewed in regret and jealousy ever since. And both decided to help their beloved's child many years later- though Araphen ultimately is no help to Lyn because she refuses to deal with a racist rear end like him.




ďBah, Lyndis and her cadre. When did you arrive? No matter, I shall deal with you.Ē ĖBool, Chapter 6

One of Lundgren's henchman and the first of many bosses in this game to be knights (defensively very powerful but horrendously slow units). Bool seems to have been sent to assassinate Lyn, but by the looks of things he severely screwed up and ended up attacking castle Araphen for some reason- possibly because he'd heard Araphen was going to help Lyn and wrongly assumed that she was already in the castle. When Lyn's group shows up to fight him, he doesn't seem to recognize them- even if it's Lyn who fights him.

We don't find out just how this whole mess came about, which strikes me as the best part about it. Misunderstandings, bad ideas, unintendend consequences, and confused people muddling about making things worse for themselves were the causes of many events in history, and often no one involved at the time understood what was going on. This is The Charge of the Light Brigade, this is Marinus van der Lubbe burning down the Reichstag, this is Columbus miscalculating the size of the Earth. Good stuff.

Bool seems to be highly competent to judge from the fact that his men seized control of the castle and captured the Marquess so easily, yet at the same time he ultimately has no idea what he's doing and he dies like an idiot as a result.


Playing Through:




The mercenaries here are weak again, so everyone else backs off while Florina fights them and nets a decent level up. However, she fails to dodge their attacks and ends up too injured to participate for much of the rest of the chapter.




With little else to do at the moment, Matthew visits one of the information villages shortly after he's recruited and we learn more of Marquess Araphen's past.




Matthew has unlocked a door, revealing a small room empty except for one of the switches. Kent goes to step on it.




Hitting that switch opens up the main chamber, full of treasure chests and yet more doors. Meanwhile, Serra uses the door key from another village to open a door for Sain to charge in and kill a pitifully weak soldier guarding another switch in a single blow.




When Serra steps on the second switch, it reveals Bool. Florina takes down the archer who guarded Bool while Matthew loots the first treasure chest for an Angelic Robe! Awesome.




Bool's high Defense and Lyn's low strength and his weapon triangle advantage means she should do about 3 damage to him. However, the Mani Katti is super-effective vs Knights so instead she'll do a more respectable 10 per hit.
However, I did not take this attack since if I did, Lyn would probably die. Bool had a 60% chance to hit her now and then would have been able to attack her again with his turn came, now with a 60% chance of killing her. It's often important to move next to powerful enemies but not attack them. This way they only have 1 opportunity to hit you before you can react.




Sain kills Bool and then a turn later the rest of the fortress is fully revealed. This is the area that was hidden when the map began. All I need to do now is have Matthew loot that treasure chest with the armorslayer next turn and have Lyn step on the switch where Bool used to be.

The battle is won!




Having left empty-handed, Lyn considers something Marquess Araphen said earlier: that Marquess Caelin is sick and possibly dying. Although I, the player, saw Lundgren's plan to poison the Marquess and disguise it as illness, Lyn and company of course heard not even the symptoms of this vile scheme until now.

This is kind of a weird side effect of all the scenes of Lundgren talking to his henchmen that we get. Things that are mysteries or plot twists to the characters are already known to the player so they aren't surprising. And in fact it often looks weird to have the characters only now finding out things we already know.

In any case, Rath joins the party and he brings oodles of gold with him.

Next up, an unexpected twist of fate.

Melth fucked around with this message at 15:35 on May 28, 2015

Dire Wombat
Oct 29, 2011

In this world, there is no truth. The truth is made later on and overwrites what comes before it. Real truth doesn't exist anywhere.

RBA Starblade posted:

Wow, and here I am trying to remember if I ever actually found Geitz, and remembering thinking "axes are poo poo" in my runs, mostly favoring mages and lances and invincible generals. That's really clever!

Axes are the best weapon type in FE 7-10 since lances are the most common enemy weapon type, they have access to 1-2 range, and damage is the most important stat. In FE4 they're bad because they weigh a ton each, in FE6 they can't hit the broad side of a barn, and in the DS games weapon rank bonuses even things out. The trick is that you spend the tutorial killing dozens of chumpy bandits, and Dorcas and Bartre are unimpressive. It takes a bit of experience to realize how dominant Hand Axe Marcus is when going for low turncounts. And of course in a ranked run what Onmi said about cost is also a factor.

edit: ninja'd by yet another update. I appreciate the determination to get to the good bit.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
I think I'll chime in here with my own opinion on the value of axes.

To a new player looking at the early chapters in the game and the first characters introduced who use axes, they look pretty terrible. They can't hit, their damage doesn't seem to be THAT much bigger than swords, and few early game enemies use lances, so they rarely have weapon triangle advantage. Also, as a general rule, the people you most need high accuracy against are sword users because it's the sword using classes like mercenaries and myrmidons and thieves that typically have the highest speed. Axes completely fail in that regard.

The new players are not wrong. Axes have some pretty serious disadvantages in the early parts of the game. High level characters have enough Skill that they will rarely miss enemies no matter what they're wielding, but low level characters- and especially low-level axe users- do not have much skill so their miss chance with axes can be very high. And a miss at an important time could mean character death- or being slowed down by a turn or more.

So axes become excellent later in the game when damage is king and everyone has all the accuracy they need, but it's hard to get axe users started rolling. Not helping the matter is the fact that Dorcas and Bartre are both hard to train at best and outright bad regardless at worst. Bartre gets double attacked by brigands in HHM for goodness sake.

All in all, I consider axes to be the second best weapon after lances for general use throughout the game.

But the whole axe vs lance debate is ultimately a sideshow. Weapons are generally inferior to magic. And anima and light magic is inferior to dark magic. Dark magic may be expensive, but it's the most lethal thing in the game

Oh and regardless, just say no to Steel Axes. Steel Axes are horrendous weapons because they're too heavy for almost anyone to ever use without a speed penalty and their extra damage relative to iron is typically useless since most people wielding iron axes will already 2-hit kill everything.


Onmi posted:

Doing math

The Killer Axe is 1000, and the Steel bow is 720 for a total of 1720 GP

The Silver Lance is 1200 and the Hand Axe is 300 for a total of 1500 GP. So yeah, Geitz is better for a Ranked run because he's worth more money. And since Wallace wont be promoted it's a 4 move Armor Knight versus a 6 move 'B in Axes and Bows' Warrior who can start swinging away with Hand-Axes immediatly.

And here is another thing. The Hand axe is 300 GP, the Javelin is 400. So Each Hand-Axe use is cheaper than each Javelin use, making axe-using units more cost effective for range-combat than lance users. As well the Iron Axe is 270 GP, and the cheapest Iron weapon on the market. In fact the STEEL AXE is 300 GP, Cheaper than the Iron Lances 360 gP. So on average using a Steel Axe, which is still an E Rank weapon, is far cheaper for much larger bang, than the Iron Lance. Now consider Paladins, E-Rank Axes off the bat, Sain can be swinging with his absurd strength an 11 Mt Steel Axe, in comparison to the more expensive 10 Mt Steel Lance, for more damage AND a better funds rank.

Not to mention, Marcus can also use Steel Axes from the get go, so he also conserves a ridiculous amount of Gold.

So Axes have the cheapest highest damage potential for the lowest weapon rank and the cheapest option of ranged damage.

In HHM, you'll be running Axe Paladins, Axe Heroes, and basically anyone else who can kill and save money due to being able to use the best weapon type.

That 220 gold difference in starting gear is pretty trivial considering you're going to have most of a million in assets at the end of the game. If Wallace was actually a good character, you would do the Lloyd route to get him even though he has 220 less. But Wallace is bad. Geitz is pretty bad too, but he's at least usable I guess. The real reason I'm going for Linus's level is mostly that isn't a fog level, which makes it much easier to feed XP to the right units, and that it has a really huge turn limit in HHM.

In general actually I'm going to argue that the price difference between an iron lance and an iron axe and a javelin and a handaxe doesn't much matter. You don't go through THAT many of either over the course of the game. 1 or 2 stolen vulneraries might outweigh the lost money from using lances instead of axes. So really, use the characters who are good rather than the characters who have cheap weapons.

For this particular run of Lyn's mode, I'm on a REALLY tight budget that could come down to + or - 50 gold from my goal, with 10,000 more funds in Hector's story hanging in the balance. So for that reason alone I am stupidly using lances over swords at all times in this run. And I'm also never healing, never using a javelin or handaxe, never using magic, etc. I'm going to play less frugally in HHM when I have more leeway in my budget.


One last note. In my War Room discussions I have pointed out a few times that what matters in terms of the price of gear is the market price / the number of uses. So while a Steel Axe looks cheap at 360 gold to buy one, it only has 30 uses which means its price per use is 12. That's higher than an iron sword's 10. Steel weapons are generally not a good buy. Besides being heavy and inaccurate- which really hurt in the early game (the hardest part of the game I'd argue), they're expensive.

Handaxes cost 15 per use, which is pricier yet, but Handaxes serve a very special and important role which makes them worth paying a little extra for. Likewise for Javelins. I plan to do a War Room all about them later.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


At first glance this looks like a sudden side story interrupting the main plot of Lyn trying to fight her way to Caelin to meet her grandfather, however itís actually far more important than that. I canít reveal just why to avoid major spoilers, but I suggest that any veteran players who dismissed Lynís story as irrelevant to the rest of the game consider how absolutely critical the events of this chapter are. What would have happened if Lyn WASNíT the sort of person who would go out of her way to help a child in need?
One of the wiser themes running through this game- touched upon in the last chapter and pointed out explicitly by Athos- is that actions have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences. Ultimately, a young woman saved all of human civilization by writing a letter to her father. In fact, she did so by choosing to write it on that particular day rather than, say, procrastinating it a couple of weeks.
That this chapter seems to have little to do with the rest of Lynís arc is in fact what ties it in so closely and so cleverly with the rest of the game.

That aside, this chapter is also probably the first- or at least the second after Chapter 4- to require any kind of tactical thinking from the player. Itís the first chapter in which I make any moves I think are worth drawing attention to and explaining. From now on Iíll be spending more time giving you guys the play by play than I have previously when there was comparatively little to talk about.

Chapter Summary:
Lyn leaves Araphen behind and hurries through Khathelet toward Caelin all the faster now that sheís heard that her grandfather may be dying. One day her ride south is interrupted when a little boy named Nils begs her to help him rescue his sister, Ninian, from some men whoíve abducted her. Lyn chooses to help him and has her first encounter with the sinister Black Fang. Ultimately, the Black Fang nearly outsmarts them and they only recover Ninian because of the intervention of Eliwood, a young nobleman of Pherae.



Thereís a pretty great musical theme, An Unexpected Caller, that suddenly starts playing at these moments in the story when danger looms suddenly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cH2X0g1L-Q
Here it plays while Nils frantically runs around asking the villagers for help in vain.



Having just showcased his navigational ability explaining how long it will take them to reach Caelin at this point, Kent is now the only one to recognize that a child could easily be part of an assassination attempt. The guy doesnít get much respect due to his lowish stats, but I have to admit that Lyn would have ended up in a shallow grave somewhere along the way if it werenít for his diligence, loyalty, and practical wisdom.



Nils warns Lyn that the men sheís agreed to help fight are quite dangerous. Lyn is much more confident now than she used to be and with good reason.



Those guys must be tough indeed to get their own leitmotif: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCP2ovXJQhk
But where or what is Nergal? The plot thickens.


Preparations & The Map



Prepare to charge! This is the first level on which the player can access this battle preparations screen. Here you can choose which of your characters to bring along and which to leave behind, exchange items between them freely, and even choose their starting positions on the map (within limits). Doing this properly will be a VERY important part of strategy later, but for now itís somewhat less important.


Objective: Kill Heintz
Secondary Objective: Kill Heintz within 7 turns so as to unlock the secret sidequest
Secondary Objective: Get to the village before itís destroyed
Secondary Objective: Visit the bottom right house for a cameo from Hector.

Two new people have joined the party. Other than them, Iím only bringing the people I want to train + Matthew (heís handy for all sorts of things and I donít mind him getting some XP). I could have had several more characters, but theyíd only get in the way at the moment. I also took this opportunity to hand the characters Iím not using all the various junk items I donít need.

There are a couple of new features on this map which Iíll explain. One is the first shop I believe weíve seen so far. Shops are like armories except they sell magical tomes, staves, and items like vulneraries and door keys. Just like armories, the selection varies level by level. Since Iím not using magic or staves in Lynís story, I wonít actually purchase anything here.

Another novelty is the dead tree, called a snag, near the bottom right. Much like how characters could smash through cracked walls to make a new entrance on some previous levels, you can attack snags to topple them into rivers and make new bridges. In this case thatís entirely unhelpful, but itís handy later.

That cluster of houses in the top right is just a village. It works the same as the ones youíve seen before despite the different look.

You will notice that a lot of the terrain on this map is hard to get through. Those brown peaks are totally impassable except for air units, the greenish mountains are impassable for cavalry and horribly slow for infantry, and the lone enemy mercenary near the bridge will move forward to block you as you approach, further slowing your advance. Just making it to Heintz in a reasonable time frame- let alone killing every single enemy along the way- can be moerately troublesome depending on how good your units are and how lucky that mercenary gets with his dodges. Fortunately, thereís a much better way to do things: air dropping Sain directly over the peaks to slaughter the lower half of the enemies from that side while Lyn sweeps through the upper section enemies.

The Characters




ďI need your help!Ē ĖNils, Chapter 7

A young, traveling musician, Nils and his sister wander here and there trying to scrape together a living. The pair of them are rather frail and sickly and are being pursued by dangerous enemies. You can expect this little guy and his sister to spend large swaths of the story unconscious, dying, kidnapped, or missing in action. Although fond of Lyn, the two of them donít share much about themselves.
I rather like the little kid; he keeps a stiff upper lip and doesnít panic in bad situations. Quite mature really.


Nils and his sister cannot fight. That aside, theyíre among the best units in the game. As a Bard (and a Dancer for Ninian, but itís totally the same thing), they enjoy very high dodging ability and eventually pretty solid defensive stats. This is good, since they need to be near the front lines rather often to do their job.
And whatís that job? Buffing your other soldiers. While there are admittedly a few staves capable of boosting allies in minor ways, Bards have a near monopoly on powering up your other characters. By the end of the game Ninian and Nils will be able to do things like grant an enormous +10 defense/resistance or +10 strength to one of your soldiers at a time. For now, the only thing they can do is grant a unit an extra turn.

Just sit back for a moment and just think about the tactical implications there. This could double your functional attack range. It could let you accomplish objectives faster than otherwise possible. It could let your healer run back and forth between two people at once. It could give a weak unit youíre training the ability to kill an enemy for massive XP. It could give your strongest warrior the chance to assassinate a second high priority enemy. It could pull a unit out of harmís way. It could let slow people keep up with their faster brethren.
It could let you rescue an ally, move with them, move with them again, and then drop then 16 squares away in one turn.
Nils is top tier, man. The only limit is your tactical imagination and the fact that he can only be used once per turn. Plus he grants himself 10 XP every turn he uses his abilities. Thatís 10 XP per turn that you couldnít get otherwise. Quite nice for boosting up your XP ranking.




ďI truly wish to help the boy.Ē ĖLucius, Chapter 7

Ah, Lucius. Too nice for his own good. He- and please get this right, the poor man is always having people mistake him for a woman- is a minor clergyman of the church of St. Elimine. And heís a good Samaritan who just canít let someone else suffer when he could help them, no matter what the cost to himself. Heís never without a kind word or an offer of his aid to anyone in need and he never loses his patience with anyone ever, no matter how obnoxious theyíre being to him. Serenity, thy name is Lucius.

Unfortunately, life has really put him through the wringer. His parents were murdered (by a man he later has a chance to forgive in person), he was abused and mistreated in the orphanage he grew up in, the surrogate family he eventually ended up with also died horribly, and his best friend is a total jerk. Also unfortunately, there isnít much you can do for Lucius. The best possible ending for him is shackling him to his jerkish friend for life. The only other alternative is for him to found an orphanage in Araphen and then get murdered at the hands of invaders early in the sequel.
In case it wasnít clear, Lucius is one of my favorite characters. Itís rather rare these days that we see a recognition in games or film or literature that compassion is strength, not weakness. The iron-willed and indefatigably gentle Lucius really embodies that.

Heís really pretty hardcore as far as fighting units go too. His base Magic is high and his growth is the best in the game by a hefty margin. His starting speed is huge and his growth there is also respectable. And NOBODY beats his Resistance. When fighting magic users, Lucius will take 0 damage and counterattack twice with 100% accuracy for nearly certain death. And when he promotes, he immediately jumps up to a respectable C with staves, very handy. The big problems he has are that his Luck is terrible- reflecting his life- which means his dodge chance is only decent rather than enormous, his defense is bad, and his Magic cap is really low. Also Light magic kind of sucks. This means that heíll punch under his weight compared to people like Canas who have inferior magic power but better weapons. It also means that you canít trust him on the front lines against enemies with physical weapons. He canít take hits well and his dodging ability is only pretty good.

In a non-ranking run this guy will be on my team 90% of the time. Heís a bit of a glass cannon, but heís completely invulnerable against enemy mages and he has great availability. Also his support triangle with Raven and Priscilla is fantastic.
In a ranking run he rarely makes the cut. I'll definitely use him, but mostly to pump up my XP score. Heís unlikely to get promoted, same as people like Erk.




ďYou were onlyÖ striking at air. The girl is already-Ē ĖHeintz, Chapter 7

Ah, Heintz, the second-best brand of ketchup. Also the second-best shaman to use that fairly cool portrait. He continues the grand tradition of Lyn's story bosses being amazingly terrible. 3 magic? Really? Even Serra is better than that by level 3.

But you know, he seems to be one of the best tacticians in his organization. Think about it: he actually accomplishes his goal of capturing Ninian and delaying Lyn long enough to prevent her from rescuing Ninian. And he does it with the weakest soldiers in the Black Fang. The problem is, it turns out that Eliwood has somehow ninjaed in to his little fortress and rescued her offscreen. Cíest la vie.




ďShe looked in need of rescuingÖĒ ĖEliwood, Chapter 7

Eliwood will get a proper introduction later, but he makes his first appearance here where he rescues Ninian on his own, returns her to Nils, and then is the first Lycian lordling not to hate Sacaeans. He offers to help Lyn, but she stupidly refuses because this is her personal fight. Lyn really hasnít gotten over that sort of foolish pride she voiced way back in chapter 1 yet. Oh well, sheíll reconsider.

Playing Through:




The first thing to do is kill this Shaman, but Lyn canít actually do it on her own without a critical. Fortunately, she gets one so I donít need to have Matthew finish it off.




Now I mentioned that in order to finish this level quickly, itís important to drop a good fighting unit directly to the other side of the mountains. But how do you do that efficiently? First, I positioned Florina so that she could just pick Sain up in passing without needing to double back in directions that waste her movement.




Carrying him, she now moves south. But not as far as she can . Instead she moves to 1 space away from Nilsís max movement range and waits there.




Nils gives her another turn, so Florina now rushes down and dumps Sain. Heís been moved something like 10 spaces- over impassable terrain no less- by the time the move finishes. And one can do more. Nils + good rescuing tactics are the best form of transportation around.




This is a good opportunity to illustrate a point I made in an earlier war room. As you can see, the only person in the enemy archerís range is Lucius, whoíll be able to counterattack and kill the archer. If I moved Matthew into range though, the archer would attack Matthew instead, and Matthew canít counterattack. Which would mean I had to waste someone's turn killing the archer on my turn. Sometimes you need to not move forward at full speed in order to make efficient progress. Anyway, I don't want to use Lucius so I'll be undoing this move; it was just to illustrate the example.




See that brigand whoís far away with some bad terrain in the way? Too bad I canít beat him this turn with Lyn, right? Oh wait, I have Nils. Heís a dead man. Nils is great for training one specific person at a time by giving them functionally double movement and 2 kills per turn.




The stock of the vendor. Nothing Iíll be using. One nice thing is that if you donít buy anything, you can just press B to cancel out of the menus and cancel your move to the store entirely. Thus thereís no harm in browsing.




So itís the end of turn 2 and people are going about their jobs. Lyn has killed the shaman, the archer, and the brigand with the support of Nils. Lucius and Matthew are tagging along to visit the village while she fights. Meanwhile, Sain and Florina are rampaging through the enemies from the other side. The poor saps are caught in something of a pincer movement.




Florina nets a level off one of the shamans she kills. This would be pretty lousy on, say, Sain but Florina really needs some more hitpoints and Str, so this is pretty darned good.




Next turn, almost all the enemies are about to be exterminated and I still have 3 or 4 left in my time limit to get the secret level. Plenty of time to visit the top left village and the bottom left house before Sain kills Heintz and the level ends.




As Florina kills the mage and Sain kills the shaman, Lyn kills the mercenary. And gets a lousy level.




Florina meets her future husband! Kidding, I actually I ship Hector and Lyn. But Florina and Hector do have a possible ending together. Anyway, Hector is just here waiting for Eliwood and making a cameo in Lynís story. Eliwood is late because heís currently infiltrating a den of assassins singlehandedly to rescue a woman heís never met before just because she looks like she might need help. And yet, somehow, of the two of them itís Hector whoís the more badass. I look forward to adding him to the team.




Sain wastes Heintz and gets another great level. Heís stopped pumping his speed and is now getting spectacular defense instead.




So Lyn and Nils run into the fort looking for Ninian, but sheís already gone! Oh no, weíre too late! But then some guy walks out of a back room carrying her.




The moment Ninian wakes up, Sain jumps in to flirt with her




I beat the level and I unlocked the sidequest. In my opinion, the huge number of secret sidequests to unlock is one of the best aspects of this game. Back when I first started playing, it seemed like every time I played through the game I unlocked a new one. Those were good days.

Melth fucked around with this message at 00:45 on Jun 2, 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.
This is in fact one of the important parts of Lyn Mode. The short of it is that someone I know is working on his "Abridge FE7 and 6 and combine them into one game" and despite me stressing "This is a horrible idea" he's still going ahead with it. One of the key things helping him determine chapters was noting which chapters really couldn't be lost, this being one of them. And yeah in spite of my dismissal of lyn mode this is one chapter that sets up the future plot... even if only minorly. Mind you it's not the only way to do it, but it does its job.

Also thank you for pointing that stuff out about weapons, I of course was only going from knowledge of someone who doesn't run ranked and was just assuming.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Onmi posted:

This is in fact one of the important parts of Lyn Mode. The short of it is that someone I know is working on his "Abridge FE7 and 6 and combine them into one game" and despite me stressing "This is a horrible idea" he's still going ahead with it. One of the key things helping him determine chapters was noting which chapters really couldn't be lost, this being one of them. And yeah in spite of my dismissal of lyn mode this is one chapter that sets up the future plot... even if only minorly. Mind you it's not the only way to do it, but it does its job.

Also thank you for pointing that stuff out about weapons, I of course was only going from knowledge of someone who doesn't run ranked and was just assuming.

To be honest, I completely detest FE6, having played it thoroughly several times. The notion of combining it with FE7 is little short of blasphemous to me.

I prefer to think of FE6 as a shoddily written alternate universe fanfic about a world where Athos understood the weapon triangle, so he killed Nergal 500 years ago with Aureola instead of losing with Forblaze, so the plot of FE7 never happens.

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.

Melth posted:

To be honest, I completely detest FE6, having played it thoroughly several times. The notion of combining it with FE7 is little short of blasphemous to me.

I prefer to think of FE6 as a shoddily written alternate universe fanfic about a world where Athos understood the weapon triangle, so he killed Nergal 500 years ago with Aureola instead of losing with Forblaze, so the plot of FE7 never happens.

I would claim the opposite, while bland, FE6 is perfectly straight forward and reasonable with its plot with only one or two chapters of filler. In comparison FE7 is essentially a very well structured game followed by blowing its load half way through, faffing about until it can blow the same load later. Though we can agree that combining them is bad, because neither game ties into the other. you should focus on making each game stand on its own strengths, rather than try to force them together when they wont work together.

Also I don't "Detest" FE7, it's just not the golden god people make it out to be to me. But I can respect your personal feelings. I also played 6 before 7 so yeah, different mind set.

AstraSage
May 13, 2013

The only thing I can say about the FE6 vs FE7 debate, is while IS was trying to make a good introduction of the franchise to international markets (something they had to do thanks to Smash Bros.), they also used FE7 as a way to address the laundry list of complaints they got from the Sixth entry:

I mean, from what I remember on top of my head, Anima Tomes got their weight reduced, Axes got their Accuracy buffed, there's a higher Constitution average in the Army, there's Lucius being able to use Light Tomes without promoting, there's a bigger proportion of characters from the Early section remaining viable the rest of the game, the smaller amount of cavaliers and knights you get in FE7 do their job better than the giant pile you get in FE6, Eliwood is what Roy was intended to be, we can see both Hector and Marcus on their prime, the Merchant mechanic and the way he gets level ups gets revamped, and whoever is your Main Lord don't become a complete dead weight despite still having a late promotion window.

On the other hand, there's that "The Best Adventure Never Told" quality of its plot that only works when you don't make its connection back to FE6, and then there's the section with the Bern Royal Familiy Drama (which you can take out and it won't affect much of the plot outside needing a justification for a certain Night-style FoW Chapter) asking you to make that connection, and the reduced amount of recruitable Nomads (as a failed attempt to make you use more archers instead, which is still advisable not to despite the archers in question still being buffed compared to their FE6 analogues) and Shamans... on that note:

Melth posted:

Perhaps Dark magic is dying out in the face of the new religion along with the old traditions.

There's something funny in this sentence from way back: when you use the entire Elibe timeline it looks more the other way around, in that during the 20 years gap between the games Light magic has fallen off its use outside veterans of Elimine Clergy while there's a resurgence of Dark Magic practitioners in the open. (Without taking Awakening's reclassing in account, FE6 has the largest number of recruitable Dark Mages in the series)

Nihilarian
Oct 2, 2013


quote:

[img]http://lpix.org/1945650/7%2020%20Mopping%20Up.PNG
Looks like you got a broken screenshot there. (It's between Florina and Lyn leveling up).

I always tend to send Florina over those mountains alone to solo the shamans.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Atomic Spud posted:

Huh, I was gonna say I wasn't sure how I missed this, but I guess you're just trying to blitz through Lyn mode. Never bothered caring about ranks in HHM, so I'll enjoy watching once you get into the meat of it. I never really used the steal mechanic much in FE7, from what I understand it's pretty required for max funds rank there though. Also looking forward to Marcus getting at least some time in the spotlight since he got dumped pretty early by goonvoting for Artix.

Will you be abusing taking advantage of the mine glitch?

No, I will definitely not use the mine glitch. I will also not gate grind or use arenas. I won't abuse the RNG either except on 19x where I will control it to ensure Kishuna doesn't dodge my attacks so I don't need to restart that level 20 times until he dies.

ChrisAsmadi
Apr 19, 2007
:D
Are you going to get to 19xx on this run, or do the time constraints make it impossible?

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


So here we are, the first sidequest of the game! To explain things for those who donít know, there are numerous sidequest (Sometimes called Ďgaidení) chapters in FE7. Theyíre all secret and only become available if you have fulfilled certain conditions (generally in the immediately preceding chapter). For example, this one is only possible if you completed Chapter 7 in under 15 turns. This makes sense because this level is about chasing down some guys who were getting away during the last level. If you took too long on the last level, they have too much of a headstart.

Some other sidequest requirements later on in the game make much less sense. As a general rule though, they encourage you to play well: complete chapters fast, protect your allied green units, visit every village, donít let your allied green units steal all the XP, etc.
Oh and every sidequest level is numbered ďPrevious chapter number xĒ

Many sidequest chapters are among the hardest in the game. Although itís common practice among people doing max ranking HHM runs to skip chapter 19xx and 32x because those chapters are hard and have 0 turn time limits, I am going to play them all.


The War Room, Part 7

In the War Room Part 6, I explained to you just what is required to get a max ranking in this game. Some of you may have noticed that what I am currently doing in Lynís story does not match up. For example, I've been taking my time and also giving almost all kills to just a few people, which hurts my XP score.

The thing is, Lynís story is ranked entirely separately from Hectorís story. So going slowly now in no way affects my ability to get a max ranking in Hectorís story where I have to move fast at all times.

For some reason, most HHM Ranked Runners these days insist on getting max ranking on Lynís story before Hectorís story, often saying that only by doing this do you truly ĎMax Rank the whole game.Ē However, there are some problems with that position:

Firstly, the game ranks the stories completely separately for a reason. Heck, you don't even need to play Lyn's story at all.

Secondly, it is very nearly impossible to truly complete HHM after max ranking Lyn's story. See, unlocking the true ending of HHM requires playing HHM's most secret sidequests: 19xx, 23x, and 32x. But to unlock 19xx in particular, Nils had to reach level 7 in Lyn's story. Getting Nils to level 7 in Lyn's story requires spending most of 60 turns having him perform, but there isn't that much time available before you lose your Lyn's story tactics max rank.

Now Fionordequester actually developed a clever strategy using chip XP from being attacked to give Nils the boost he needs to juuuuuust reach level 7 before the time limit hits. However, Fionordequester's strategy relied on heavy RN abuse (and the help of a program to see the RNs directly). Furthermore, it ultimately was not successful since even without using the Knight Crest, the funds ranking fell significantly short.

So if you max rank Lynís story without cheating or relying on incredible luck, you cannot get Nils to level 7, so you cannot play every chapter of HHM, so you cannot unlock HHMís true ending, so you have not really beaten HHM at all.

And THAT is why Iím not going to focus on max ranking Lynís story, just on preparing as well as I can for HHM max ranking.


Chapter Summary:

Although Ninian has been rescued, her brother is distraught that a certain magic ring of Ninianís was stolen while she was held captive. The ring was a keepsake from their deceased mother so it has tremendous sentimental value to them. Still, they tell Lyn that the ring isnít worth the danger of facing the Black Fang again. Lyn is never one to turn down an opportunity to kill some people, so when the tactician Market stupidly decides that pursuing a league of assassins into their stronghold just to retrieve a childís keepsake is a good idea, she agrees. They prevail and move on with their journey, somewhat troubled by the fact that the enemy commander killed himself upon being defeated. Just what kind of crazy people are they dealing with?




At the beginning of this chapter we get another cutscene of the enemy talking among themselves deep in their fortress and Ursula makes an early bird appearance chewing out her henchman Beyard for not winning a battle at which he was not present. Ursula is kind of a jerk, like most members of her organization, and believes that even the slightest failures should be punished with death. She warns Beyard that sheíll kill him if he doesnít have Ninian retrieved by tomorrow and then leaves on some errands.




Meanwhile, just outside, Lyn and company prepare to storm the ruined castle in Khathelet that Beyard and company are hiding out in.


Preparations & the Map:




Iíve mentioned before that in a max ranking run, having Matthew the thief steal everything of value from enemies is essential for getting a good funds ranking. In order to do that efficiently, the first thing you should do on every map is check every enemyís inventory and figure out who has stuff you want to take. Then strategize accordingly.

As you may recall from The War Room, part 1, Iím implementing a very tricky strategy in Lynís story to prepare maximally for Hectorís story and to that end, I need all the funds I can get. So Iím going to steal EVERYTHING on this level no matter how low its value.
Iíve circled some people who have valuables that can only be acquired through stealing (which you discover by looking at their inventories:

The thief has a lockpick, thatís worth a whopping 1200 when it has full uses.





Itís time for an emergency meeting in the War Room while I tell you about enemy thieves:

The War Room, Part 8
The AI of each thief on each chapter and every on each difficulty mode is different, but most of them act as follows: First, they will not attack your units. Second, they will steal from your units if you get near them, but they wonít prioritize it. Third, they each have a checklist of doors to unlock and chests to open in some order which typically includes every door on the level and all chests in one area. Fourth, once their mission is complete or becomes impossible (They opened/took everything or you opened/took everything or their lockpicks were taken or you blocked the one hallway to a room they want to get to), they typically run for a staircase or the edge of the map and disappear forever once they get there.

The most recently acquired object in a thiefís inventory is typically dropped on death but none of the others are. This can cause a huge problem if the thief loots a weapon from one chest and then loots something else.

As you may recall me saying, you can steal items, but you can never steal weapons from other people. This means that if a thief gets, say, an iron sword from chest 1 and then a vulnerary from chest 2, you can never acquire that iron sword under any circumstances. Itís lost forever and Iíll probably restart the level and do things differently so that doesnít happen. If he loots the vulnerary first though and then the sword, youíre good to go. See, you can steal the vulnerary from him and then kill him, at which point heíll drop the sword, so you got everything.

So to list a few handy tricks for dealing with these pests:
1) Notice the location of staircases and map edges near chests. Chances are good a thief will emerge from one of these at some point during the level, steal the treasure, and then try to escape. So get to that area fast and be ready to kill or trap him.
2) Donít unlock doors you donít need to unlock when thieves are about. A lot of thieves will stupidly stop their escape after getting some loot to go unlock a door halfway across the map instead. But if you already unlocked it, theyíre just going to leave.
3) Steal their lockpicks quickly. Those things are worth a lot of money and without them the thief canít do anything bad, so theyíll just leave the level. If possible, kill them just after stealing their lockpicks.


Back to Preparations and the Map





The top right mercenary has a vulnerary, thatís worth 300.




The top right cavalier has a vulnerary, another 300.




So does the nearby archer





And the mage in the closed room has a door key worth 50. Iím going to take it all.



Objective: Kill all enemies
Secondary Objective: Get the Hammer from the chest
Secondary Objective: Steal the Lockpick from the thief
Secondary Objective: Steal the Vulnerary from the archer
Secondary Objective: Steal the Vulnerary from the top rightish mercenary
Secondary Objective: Steal the Vulnerary from the top right cavalier
Secondary Objective: Steal the Door Key from the mage
Reinforcements: A mage and a shaman from the stairs near the boss on turn 3 or so.
Units Allowed: Way more than I'll actually bring. On this chapter, more people would just be in the way.
Units Brought:
1) Lyn. Required and I'm still trying to level her a bit more.
2) Sain. Will be doing almost all of the killing to pump his level, as usual.
3) Florina. Has some fighting to do on the left part of the map when Sain is busy.
4) Matthew. Absolutely necessary to steal all the valuable stuff here.
5) Nils. His ability to give people extra turns is incredibly valuable in small-group battles like this, especially where I have lots of extra stuff to do like stealing from enemies before killing them.
6) Dorcas. Thieves in this game can't actually steal items if their inventories are full, so Matthew needs someone to hand his stuff off to. Additionally, Dorcas's brand of incompetence may be helpful in stalling the cavalier without killing it.


The first and trickiest order of business is to break into the treasure room so Matthew can steal the vulnerary from the archer and I can be ready to ambush the enemy thief when he runs in to loot the hammer from the chest. In order to do that, I need to kill the soldier blocking the cracked wall, have Sain smash the cracked wall, have someone take out the nearby brigand so he doesnít bother me, and have Matthew in position to run in to swipe the vulnerary by turn 2. This formation will let me do that easily.


The Characters:

Other than Ursula, whoíll get a proper introduction later, thereís pretty much just Beyard.




"Failure... means death" -Beyard, Chapter 7x

The first mercenary boss since Glass obviously doesnít live up to his predecessorís towering reputation, but heís actually capable of hitting pretty hard with his steel sword.

Fortunately, like most bosses, he just politely stands out of the way until youíre all ready to kill him. Other than being terrified of his boss Ursula, dedicated enough to his organization that he kills himself for failure according to their code, and a reasonably clever man who recognizes that having stolen this ring gives him a good chance to ambush you, we donít learn much about Beyard. Dead men tell no tales.


Playing Through:




The first thing to do is have Sain take down that brigand. Iím still having him use iron lances most of the time because, again, theyíre slightly cheaper.




In order to let Matthew start as close as possible, I had to have Florina start further back. Thus she needed Nils to give her another turn to reach this guy and kill him. Having Matthew start further back and having Nils give him the second turn would also have worked.




Note my seemingly foolhardy positioning. I mean, Sain and Florina and Matthew are all in range of that archer and canít counterattack him. But this is all part of the plan. I need to lure that archer to one of the nearby edges of the room. Youíll notice that no matter who he attacks, heíll then be close enough that Matthew can run up and steal from him.

Oh and meanwhile Dorcas and Lyn run to an out of the way location. That cavalier with the vulnerary is going to come charging their way and I donít want him to fight them (and die) until Matthew is done in the treasure room and ready to steal from him.




Enemy thief unlocks door 1. On turn 2 heíll unlock door 2. If the treasure chest isnít looted and he isnít dead, heíll then loot the chest on turn 3. That done, heíll flee back out the stairs.




The archer shot Florina as expected, Matthew stole his vulnerary, Sain moved in.




Beyard calls for reinforcements. Due to positioning and the chokepoints they can harass you at, the mage and shaman who spawn on the stairs next to him are a bit annoying but no serious trouble.




The thief unlocks door 2. Immediately Matthew steals his lockpick. Lockpick theft is always amusing to me.




See that cavalier on the right? Heís charging in and heís got a vulnerary, so I need Matthew to get back there quick. So after stealing the lockpick, Nils letís Matthew run south and then Sain kills the thief. (Thieves give nice XP, btw)




My plan works as intended. The cavalier canít quite reach anyone, so heíll just keep closing in. Matthew can then step 1 south and steal from him, Nils can run 5 south and give Matthew another turn with which to get out of the way, and then Lyn can slay him.




And with that, the tricky part of the level is over and itís now just mop up.




Here, Dorcas, have 2000 gold worth of junk




I havenít talked much about the various classes in the game; there's not a ton of interesting stuff to say. Illustrated here though is the famously high Pegasus rider resistance to magic. Due to this, huge movement, and the ability to use javelins, Pegasus riders are among the best anti-mages in the party.




UhÖ Sain has been fighting this brigand for 3 whole turns now and gets 2 attacks per fight with his iron lance. This brigand has dodged 11/12 attacks. Fortunately, Sain has been dodging decently too.




The brigand finally bites the dust and I easily stole the door key from the mage, so I set my trap for this last guy. When he attacks Dorcas, Matthew is ready to steal from him and then Sain rides in for the kill.




Iím rich! Time for a Nils training montage! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjgPh4SEmU













Pretty good. As I mentioned, Nilsí high speed and luck and solid defenses make him quite durable when you need him to be.




Shoulda thought of that before you stood in the corner for 30 turns while Nils leveled up and Sain sharpened his lance.




Sain continues to amaze.




I can think of only one other time in the whole story where Lyn ever shows mercy to anyone. Sheís kind of ruthless really, especially when compared with the gentle Eliwood. Or even Hector. Hector at least acknowledges that solving all his problems with violence is something of a character flaw and vows to change.




Lyn does kind of redeem herself with moments like this or with her grandfather where she shows that though she might be rather unashamedly violent, she does care about other people.


Alright, sidequest over, on with toppling Lundgren!

Melth fucked around with this message at 01:46 on Jun 2, 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.

AstraSage posted:

Anima Tomes got their weight reduced

On the other hand, there's that "The Best Adventure Never Told" quality of its plot that only works when you don't make its connection back to FE6, and then there's the section with the Bern Royal Familiy Drama (which you can take out and it won't affect much of the plot outside needing a justification for a certain Night-style FoW Chapter) asking you to make that connection, and the reduced amount of recruitable Nomads (as a failed attempt to make you use more archers instead, which is still advisable not to despite the archers in question still being buffed compared to their FE6 analogues) and Shamans... on that note:


There's something funny in this sentence from way back: when you use the entire Elibe timeline it looks more the other way around, in that during the 20 years gap between the games Light magic has fallen off its use outside veterans of Elimine Clergy while there's a resurgence of Dark Magic practitioners in the open. (Without taking Awakening's reclassing in account, FE6 has the largest number of recruitable Dark Mages in the series)

No this is the opposite, in FE6 magic tomes are actually light enough that your units Con doesn't matter, while in FE7 and 8 they're ridiculously heavy books. I'm not sure about the Con but I never saw a problem with it in FE6.

But in short, FE7 is not a prequel to FE6, I mean it IS but it isn't because FE7 doesn't have anything to do with FE6, It is the FE2 to FE6's Shadow Dragon... literally in that case FE6 is essentially the first 'Remake' of FE1 and in my opinion does it better than FE11 did it. FE7s only claim to prequel ness is "Stars some of the same guys and one-shot NPCs from FE6, and you occassionally run into references to past FE6 things."

At the same time, FE7 doesn't preclude FE6 happening, nothing Nergal or the Fang wind up doing would prevent FE6 from happening as it does. Unless you get really upset that Hector died to Bern's army because of your particular God Hector. It is a Gaiden, a Side Story. Though another thing to respond to is that I think it was always planned, rather than released as a response to Roy's popularity.

For example, Eliwood and Hector in FE6, despite being Trial map characters only, have Affinities, and the only characters with affinities are playable characters... and those intended to be playable. So Brunya, Narcien and Zephiel are all affinityless, while Hector, Eliwood, Gale and Guinevere (The latter two who were intended to be playable and then weren't.) have affinities.

So either Hector and Eliwood were intended to be playable at some time in FE6's development or they always knew they were doing a prequel.

But here's the thing, FE7 didn't have to lead into FE6. FE6 established its lead-in well enough in game, detailing the events that lead to what would happen. FE7 takes place before any of those formative events, because it's 20 years ago. While you get to meet parents like Pent and Rebecca and Nino, the fact is they didn't have to be there, and there's no baring on either plot, besides the fact that FE7 had to be low key because history didn't record it. FE7 is fine being its own thing. And FE6 was fine being its own thing. And nothing happens in either game that says "The other game can't happen!"

Silver Falcon
Dec 5, 2005

Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and barbecue your own drumsticks!

I recently started playing this game myself (I've never finished it...), and I had to dump Sain very early on because the dude just would not gain speed. His strength was sky high, but I don't really care about that when he's getting doubled by everyone and their geriatric grandmother.... Sheesh.

Kent, on the other hand, just kept gaining defense (and speed), and a point of strength here and there, so I went with him and Lowen for my cavalier needs. Shame, really. I like Sain better as a character. Kent is kind of boring. For the "competent knight who serves as an adviser" role, I always preferred Seth. Or Frederick.

Anyway, I've never even thought to try to play for rankings, so I'll definitely be following this! Good job fixing the screenshots, by the way. They look much better now!

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Onmi posted:

No this is the opposite, in FE6 magic tomes are actually light enough that your units Con doesn't matter, while in FE7 and 8 they're ridiculously heavy books. I'm not sure about the Con but I never saw a problem with it in FE6.

But in short, FE7 is not a prequel to FE6, I mean it IS but it isn't because FE7 doesn't have anything to do with FE6, It is the FE2 to FE6's Shadow Dragon... literally in that case FE6 is essentially the first 'Remake' of FE1 and in my opinion does it better than FE11 did it. FE7s only claim to prequel ness is "Stars some of the same guys and one-shot NPCs from FE6, and you occassionally run into references to past FE6 things."

At the same time, FE7 doesn't preclude FE6 happening, nothing Nergal or the Fang wind up doing would prevent FE6 from happening as it does. Unless you get really upset that Hector died to Bern's army because of your particular God Hector. It is a Gaiden, a Side Story. Though another thing to respond to is that I think it was always planned, rather than released as a response to Roy's popularity.

For example, Eliwood and Hector in FE6, despite being Trial map characters only, have Affinities, and the only characters with affinities are playable characters... and those intended to be playable. So Brunya, Narcien and Zephiel are all affinityless, while Hector, Eliwood, Gale and Guinevere (The latter two who were intended to be playable and then weren't.) have affinities.

So either Hector and Eliwood were intended to be playable at some time in FE6's development or they always knew they were doing a prequel.

But here's the thing, FE7 didn't have to lead into FE6. FE6 established its lead-in well enough in game, detailing the events that lead to what would happen. FE7 takes place before any of those formative events, because it's 20 years ago. While you get to meet parents like Pent and Rebecca and Nino, the fact is they didn't have to be there, and there's no baring on either plot, besides the fact that FE7 had to be low key because history didn't record it. FE7 is fine being its own thing. And FE6 was fine being its own thing. And nothing happens in either game that says "The other game can't happen!"


Mm, I'm going to have to disagree here. FE7's plot changed things, most particularly it changed people.

Yeah, people ranting about Hector getting killed by wyvern riders just because their particular Hector was great is totally silly. But they're touching upon a much better point: Hector is not a normal person after FE7 and would not have lived a normal person's life or have died a normal person's death. Eliwood too.

Think about it. These guys held the legendary weapons in their hands and wielded the greatest power their world has ever known in battle. They actually met 3 of the 8 legends face to face and talked with them or even argued with them and won. No seriously, think about that. They met the 8 legends, the most famous and amazing people in history, as equals or close to it. They fought a dragon. In hand to hand combat. And not one of those little 'war dragons' either, no they fought the equivalent of Yahn/Jahn. One of them might have married a dragon. They met great lords and nobles and prominent people from every country on the continent. They're veterans of dozens of ferocious battles.

And you know what? There's no reason to keep ANY of this secret and they don't. They told Uther, they told Eleanora, they told loads of people. The only reason they didn't tell more during the story was that they didn't have much proof during the story. I mean, they out and out said in Kinship's Bond that the ideal thing to do would be just tell the world and immediately forge a grand alliance to take down Nergal. The only reason they don't go with this plan is that it's unlikely to be believed at the moment. But they could have hauled back any proof they wanted from the Dragon's Gate. And they had the legendary weapons. And Athos's existence was apparently known about in many countries. As a known student of his, Pent could totally confirm their story. As could all the other respectable people with them.

It's also not like they would want to cover up the truth for any reason. It doesn't make them look bad, it makes them look like heroes. No one else has the capability to do what Nergal did, so it's not like they would keep silent in order to prevent another threat like him. And it's not like they could inadvertently reveal the existence of Arcadia or something else they want to keep hidden because none of them except maybe Pent and definitely Hawkeye actually went there. Remember, Eliwood and company are shocked in 29 when Athos tells them about the place, so clearly Athos's house is not in Arcadia.

In short, they would tell the world and the notion that no one would know about this come FE6 is absolutely absurd.

Even if, for some reason, they did keep the events of FE7 mostly secret, you can bet that Roy and Lilina would have grown up on stories of fighting dragons, meeting Athos, and the possibility of peace between man and dragon. But instead FE6 would have us believe they'd never heard of any of this.

Also, what the hell are the legendary weapons doing back in their shrines as if they'd never been touched? Ok, we can pretend that Eliwood would have returned Durandal and Hector would have returned Armads even though there is absolutely no reason to do so, but Athos and Athos alone knew where Forblaze and Aureola had come from and he's dead.

Athos is another point to bring up. No one in FE6 talks like the man only died 20 years ago. People in Arcadia would have known him. Sophia is shown to be ON VALOR in FE7 looking for him to give him some item.

Although I could go on for quite a while, I'll just conclude with the Bern royal family. In FE7, Murdock realizes that the king tried to assassinate Zephiel and is outraged. Do you really think he'd be so idiotic as to let Desmond do it again? In FE7 we see that Zephiel and Guinevere love each other more than anything. Do you really think Guinevere would betray him the instant he attacked Lycia when Zephiel insisted he had a good reason? At the end of the Bern Arc, Hellene gives a rather touching speech to Zephiel about how precious he is to her and how she's going to ensure their shattered family ends up back together. FE7 ends with it looking quite likely they'll eventually put aside their differences and get along. Also, Zephiel knows that the people sent to assassinate him actually decided to spare his life. And that a band of complete strangers laid their lives on the line to protect him when he was helpless. Heck, Eliwood and Hector et. al. can actually talk to him. Even if we assume that didn't happen, his mother knew the complete truth which is why she helps you. As did Murdock which is again why he helps you. So Zephiel would surely have found out.
In FE6, Zephiel's whole motive is that he thinks humanity is evil and worthless and that there are no good people because his upbringing was horrible, but his life experiences in FE7 showed him that in fact jerks like his father are an aberration and the world is full of decent and even heroic people. So for Zephiel to go into FE6 with the attitude he has if FE7 happens in the same timeline makes him absolutely ridiculous.

Oh and to return to Hector. Hector saved Zephiel's life. Like, in person. Do you really think that wouldn't have come up between them when they talk face to face?



I'm just scratching the surface here. But in short I will stand by my previous statement: FE6 and FE7 do not, in fact, make sense in the same timeline.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


Ah, chapter 8. Despite the ominous title, itís actually fairly straightforward. But this is a key turning point in the plot. And though itís a little too simple in terms of gameplay, I think itís one of my favorites in terms of story and character development.

Chapter Summary:
Lyn and company have at last reached the borders of Caelin. However, Caelin forces loyal to Lundgren are waiting for them on the border. At the end of this fratricidal battle, Matthew returns from sniffing around for information and reveals that Lord Lundgren has been poisoning the Marquess and has killed or jailed or silenced all his political opponents. Whatís more, heís spread a believable official story that Lyn is merely a pretender to the throne, a lookalike dug up by Sain and Kent as a pretext for seizing power. This is why many soldiers loyal to Caelin are fighting against Lyn. Lundgren is asking his neighbors for their support in putting down this attempted usurpation and thereís no way Lynís small band can take on the forces of so many cities at once alone. So they hurry back to Khathelet to find Eliwood and ask him for his diplomatic help afterall.




We really have come a long way. Lyn is not the person who set out with Market to hone her swordfighting skills months ago. Sheís become a much more formidable warrior for starters, but thereís more than that. Back then she was driven by having lost her family, now what matters is that sheís found a new one. And sheís not going to lose this one. Back then she could barely take care of herself. Now sheís leading a sizable band of soldiers on a rather dangerous campaign to topple the ruler of a small country and sheís taken all sorts of people in need of help under her wing.
In 10 chapters thereís been quite a lot of story and quite a lot of development. And things are building up to a pretty awesome ending.




AND THEN BANDITS BALLISTICIANS ATTACKED!

I thought about giving a little War Room section to ballistae, but they donít deserve that. As you can see, ballistae are wholly ineffective even in cutscenes.

For those totally unfamiliar with them, FE7 ballistae are basically giant cars that archers get in and drive around. While driving one (which prevents you from moving into woods or anything) they can be used like a bow with 5 shots and huge (3-10) range. However, their Might is only 8 (so 2 better than a measly iron bow) and their Hit is a low 70 and the things have a mind-blowing Weight of 20 which means if youíre using one, everyone and everything double attacks you and you canít dodge for your life.

This is not to mention that, just as normal magic is pretty much always better than normal bows, the super-long range magic weíll see later is pretty much always better than ballistae.

In short, even if archers were good, ballistae would still be unimpressive. But archers are terrible. On top of that, theyíre really rare and appear on only a few maps. At worst theyíre kind of a nuisance to your flyers since that 8 Might gets doubled to a fairly significant 16. But still, no big deal.




Sain and Kent quickly explain how you deal with ballistae to Lyn, who has apparently never heard of them. Once again, Sain shows himself to be a good deal cleverer than one might expect.


Battle Preparations & the Map




Matthew will not be joining us this level (just as well, thereís nothing to steal). Instead heíll be running off to town to buy the strategy guide uncover Lundgrenís true plot. Because this is a game put together by nice people who think of these things, youíre given an opportunity to take any stuff heís carrying and give it to your other characters before he leaves if you want.




So hereís the map. The only 2 complications are the ballista and that loads of these enemies are using XReaver weapons. For those of you who didnít read The War Room Part 3, these are weapons which reverse the normal rock-paper-scissors rules of the game and double the bonuses conferred. Plus they have pretty solid stats. The boss, for example, has an Axereaver which means that unlike most Knights Ė who are vulnerable to axes but strong vs swords- Lyn has a huge advantage against him. You get your very own Lancereaver from that top right village, but itís far too expensive to use.

The Characters:
No new characters or anything, so thereís just the boss.




ďWhatís going on here!? Somebody get that girl!Ē ĖYogi, Chapter 8

Apparently incapable of recognizing defeat when he sees it, Yogi is the first enemy you fight who is actually a soldier of Caelin. Remember, all of Lundgrenís men up till now have been hired thugs and assassins and mercenaries. If it had been Caelin soldiers attacking you in Araphen, that would have caused a pretty serious diplomatic incident or perhaps a war.

Anyway, until after heís been slain and Matthew returns we donít know why the soldiers of Caelin are siding with Lundgren. Itís quite possible that this man honestly believes the story that Lyn is a pretender to the throne and thinks heís fighting to save his country. It IS a fairly plausible lie afterall. Unfortunately for him, heís a pretty cruddy fighter so he dies a confused- but arguably heroic- death.

Playing Through:




Thereís an armory here where I pick up a spare iron lance to trade to Florina later since hers is getting pretty worn out.




Sain moves down to the chokepoint. Heíll advance south and kill most of the enemies on this level while Florina and Lyn take out the top ones. The ballista is too far away for Florina to reach on her own, but with an extra move from Nils she can do it. The trouble is that will give the cavaliers and archers in the area a shot at her. They wonít kill her but she wonít kill them either despite double-attacking the cavaliers, which wastes a bit of money. Oh well, I want that ballista to stop shooting.




People on ballistae are sitting ducks. Florina nets a decent level. I really need some more strength or defense on her though.



She failed to dodge anything, so she was injured terribly and I have to pull her out. The trouble is the second archer could step up and shoot her with the ballista. But with a little help from Nils, I can evac her out of even its considerable range. Then when the cavaliers are gone she can come back with his help and kill this last archer.




Thatís like a strategy.




This guyís damage output isÖ insain.




Cavaliers done, Florina double moves back with Nilsí help to kill the second ballistician.




Lyn continues her grand tradition of never dodging anything. Sheís kinda lower level than I planned on because she keeps getting badly injured early in levels and I canít heal her, so I always have to pull her back and let Sain do the work. The true chance of getting hit this time was 8.2% (http://old.serenesforest.net/general/truehit.html or look at the War Room, part 4 to learn why)




This guy down here is one of the original cavaliers. After getting injured by Florina he ran down here and cowered for the rest of the level. I THINK heís trying to get onto a fort to heal, but heís not using one of the open ones for some reason.




Did you see how far away Lyn was in the last screen-cap? Courtesy of Nils and Florina, now sheís about to be dumped right near the boss (and she could have been even closer). Rescue dropping is very handy. In this case I wonít actually drop her since sheís too badly injured, but I wanted to point out that she can be dumped into the river. As mentioned in War Room, part 2, only Lords can go through rivers and they do so at terrible speed (it uses up their whole movement). But as you can see, you can drop a unit into any terrain type that unit can go into at all with equal ease. So rescue-dropping (even with non-air units) can help you get across rough terrain in a hurry. That will be useful later as youíll see.




This is the first 0% hit chance weíve seen all game. Sain is very fast, on a fortress, and facing a guy with a swordreaver. As mentioned, Swordreavers have doubled weapon triangle disadvantage vs axes so the guy is taking a whopping -30 penalty to hit on top of the fortress -20, Sainís high dodge, the swordreaverís low base hit, and his own cruddy skill.




SoÖ Sainís speed is now equal to his strength. This is CRAZY.




Level over. It was Ninian and Nilís prescience with regard to danger that supposedly helped Lyn dodge that initial ballista bolt. Of course, we all know it would have either missed her anyway or hit for tiny damage.




Talking about the battle, Kent reacts with his usual stoic calm, but is appropriately torn up about having had to kill men he knew in that last battle.




Sain deals with the same sort of guilt by trying to rationalize away the fallen as totally deserving it. I really like this scene, it does a pretty good job of capturing some of the different ways people deal with having to kill in war.




And then Matthew returns, congratulates you, and explains that the marquess is dying because of poison, not real illness.




Another great scene, Lyn is infuriated that Lundgren is being allowed to get away with killing his brother for the throne when so many people are sure heís to blame.




And thatís so often the truth of it. Terrible wrongs donít happen because there are a lot of Lundgrens around; they happen because of the ignorance or cowardice or laziness of otherwise decent people.




The plot thickens as Matthew reveals the official story Lundgren is spreading and Lyn realizes itís actually really hard to dispute.

Next time: Eliwood saves the day! Again!

Melth fucked around with this message at 22:34 on Jun 6, 2015

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Level 14 and already at 15/15 str/speed?
Gatdam. It's like he's a FE8 character.

FPzero
Oct 20, 2008

Game Over
Return of Mido

That Sain is going to be a monster if he keeps up this level of hard work.

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.

Melth posted:

All of this

You know I wrote up a response and then I realized I really don't want to turn this into a CIA document, and really it's derailing to the LP to keep going into it, and I'm actually really enjoying the LP and I don't want to turn this into mile long spoiler tags and arguments.

So out of respect for you I'm going to not post my response and instead follow everyone else in marveling over your God Sain.

Aerdan
Apr 14, 2012

Not Dennis NEDry

Onmi posted:

You know I wrote up a response and then I realized I really don't want to turn this into a CIA document, and really it's derailing to the LP to keep going into it, and I'm actually really enjoying the LP and I don't want to turn this into mile long spoiler tags and arguments.

So out of respect for you I'm going to not post my response and instead follow everyone else in marveling over your God Sain.

Start an FE megathread and talk about it there, perhaps?

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.

Aerdan posted:

Start an FE megathread and talk about it there, perhaps?

There is an Fe megathread, though last time I talked about a game in there it was radiant dawn... and I wound up with my current Avatar.

Also yeah Everyone come and use the FE Megathread

Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



Sain either turns out like this or complete garbage for me, there is no middle ground.

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

Fire Emblem: Blazing through Lyn Mode

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


Ah, 9, a chapter of many firsts. Itís the first Fog of War chapter (sort of, more on that later). Itís the first level with a promoted enemy. And itís the first with a boss who very definitely does not deserve for Lyn and company to leave him in a pool of his own blood.

Chapter Summary:
Eliwood, a shrewd diplomat, saves Lyn and her merry band by convincing all the local Lycian cities to remain neutral instead of helping Lundgren. As part of the agreement, he canít help her directly, but he doesnít need to now since Lundgren doesnít have many loyal forces available. So Lyn hurries back to Caelin, passing through the fief of one General Eagler. Lundgrenís machinations force Eagler to try to stop them, at the cost of his own life, even though he knows them to be innocent of the charges leveled against them. Lundgren has also sent another old Caelin officer to capture Lyn, apparently counting on the manís stubbornness and tendency to strike first and ask questions never, but this one turns his coat and joins her cause, sealing Lundgrenís defeat.




This may be the first time we hear Eliwoodís lovely leitmotif, One Heart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQp7ekauEGc




AND THEN ELDERLY GENERALS ATTACKED
Wallace ambushes the group and says heís there to capture Lyn. The cloud of testosterone as Kent, Sain, and Wallace all bluster at each other becomes so thick as to cover the map in Fog of War.




A pair of guys like Sain and Wallace would probably have gone on for most of an hour boasting about how the other has no chance if Lyn hadnít interrupted them.




And he likes her eyes so he joins up.

Battle Preparations & The Map




There isnít actually much to do in the way of preparations. I leave all my junk units behind except for Kent. You see, Eagler has some unique dialogue if he attacks Kent which Iíd like to see.

Count Ďem up, only 5 enemies + the boss on this map. As you would expect, itís not that simple. Youíll fight approximately 20 reinforcements coming out of the various forts. That forts are possible enemy spawnpoints is a consideration to bear in mind for the rest of the game.

The only other complication is that a couple of turns in, fog settles in and cloaks the map. On this level that doesnít really hurt much since thereís so few enemies and you know where theyíre coming from, but it will be more of a problem later on.

Characters:




ďHa ha ha haaaa! Look! A giant walks among you!! My defense is impenetrable! Come! Break your weapons against me!Ē ĖWallace, Chapter 9 Normal Mode Only

The first character to join the group in a long while and the last in Lynís story, Wallace basically just joins up to be a living example of the power of promoted units for new players going through on Normal difficulty. An old general of Caelinís rather pathetic army, heíd retired and become a farmer until this crisis began and Lundgren called him back to service.
Heís loud, proud, and has vowed to put down the plow till the enemies of Caelin are broken and cowed.
Honestly Iím surprised he doesnít talk in all caps. There isnít much to him other than loudly boasting about his combat skill and laughing uproariously at his boasts about his combat skill. His reason for joining your group is stupid, his reason for doing pretty much everything else is stupid, he apparently is so dumb that he wanders into the wrong country every time he tries to travel anywhere, and he more or less pops up for no reason and hijacks the spotlight as often as he can. Iím not really fond of him.

Wallace basically doesnít exist. He joins at the very end of Lynís story, then vanishes until very late in Eliwood or Hectorís story. Or possibly heís never seen again. If you take the route Iím going for, heís never seen again. Statistically he actually shapes up decently compared to Oswin of the same level, but is slightly worse overall. Inferior stats + greatly inferior availability means heís terrible compared to Oswin. And Iím not, honestly, that fond of Oswin anyway.




ďGoÖ Go quicklyÖ PleaseÖ for the marquessÖ for all of Caelin.Ē ĖGeneral Eagler, Chapter 9

Kent and Sainís teacher and a man both of them respect, Eagler is the general of Caelinís forces. The people of his fiefdom are quite fond of him and itís made clear that the only reason heís fighting you is that Lundgren has some of his friends or family hostage. Sadly, we never find out just who those people were or whether Lundgren actually left them alive or not. Itís clear that Lundgren had a spy watching Eagler even during the fight since he makes sure to loudly repeat that he will not let you pass and that youíre definitely just pretenders to the throne. Lyn, apparently, does not even consider just taking some different route into Caelin and sparing this poor man. As Iíve said before, she really has no qualms about killing people under any circumstances as long as itís convenient for her.

General Eagler is the first promoted enemy you fight and he is BAD. This guyís stats are nearly as terrible as Jeiganís in FE1. Worse in some ways. His only real asset is fairly solid defense, but youíve been fighting lots of Knights and the strategies that work on them work on him. The game wants you to crush him with Wallace, but you can just as easily run him over with a decent level Lyn or Sain or Kent as long as you trick him into equipping the wrong weapon before you attack.

Playing Through:



First things first, got to visit that village and grab the torch. Torches are excellent items in real fog of war chapters, but Iíll talk about that when I have a real fog of war chapter to deal with. More importantly for me, theyíre worth 100 gold per use, so I am NOT using this one.

Remember the conversations about why the commoners arenít taking down Lundgren in the last chapter and how Kent explained itís because theyíre afraid? Now that you guys are actually here and itís clear you have an actual chance, they start handing you gifts and wishing you luck taking Lundgren down left and right. It reminds me of something Boromir said, ďValour needs first strength, and then a weapon.Ē The commoners arenít cowards, but they know they donít have the means to fight Lundgren on their own. But when the means to get rid of him are presented in the form of Lynís company, they show their courage by risking his reprisals to help out.
This is just so often the way things really are, you know?

With that, the battle is joined.




Lyn nets another excellent level. Sheís turned out quite well. Itís a shame I wonít be able to use her much in Hector mode.




While Lyn holds the south against the swarms of Brigands, Sain does a quick raid against the enemies I can see up north before the fog sets in. As you can see, fog of war does not hide terrain but it does conceal enemies. For example, there is a soldier 4 squares to Sainís left, but he doesnít appear on the map at the moment because Sainís vision range is only 3 squares.




People get into their defensive positions to hold the line till the reinforcements stop. Lynís Mani Katti is running low, but by my calculations she will probably take down every reinforcement with one use of it left.
Youíll note I donít do things like try to block off the chokepoints and whatnot because first there arenít really many good ones on this map and second thereís no need. Enemies will always attack people in range this turn, never charge past them in hopes of hitting someone weaker next turn. So I just keep Lyn and Sain well away from the people I donít want fighting and the AI does my defensive walling for me.




Solid and much less crazy. Sain killed a LOT of guys to get that level.




He just finished killing something like 4 guys last turn alone and there are still plenty more. This from a map where there were only 5 starting enemies.




Alright, well the sword of legend is broken and unusable, but it served its purpose. I killed a lot of enemies with it and since it was free, that means I saved something on the order of 500 gold with it. And Lyn got to decent level




The enemy reinforcements destroyed, I start advancing and Sain visits that house you might have noticed. The villagers sadly comment that Eagler is a good man and doesnít really support Lundgren.




Because of Lyn, mostly. We could have just gone around Eaglerís estate. And Kent and Sain I guess, they could have just suggested a different route to begin with.




Wallace joins with some solid gear including a Knight Crest. This is the only promotion item in Lynís story and the first weíve seen. For those who donít know how this works, every unit in FE7 can get to up to level 20 in its class. (Almost) every class has an item which allows those units to Ďpromoteí, instantly becoming significantly stronger and gaining the ability to get to level 20 in their new class. So ultimately a unit could gain as many as 38 levels (start at level 1, rise to level 20, promote to level 1 of better class, then rise to level 20). Units who have done this are generally referred to as level 20/20. Youíre allowed to promote a unit as early as level 10 in its base class, but doing so is often a bad idea because thatís 10 fewer total levels you can gain, so your final stats will inevitably be lower.

Most later titles let you promote units much more flexibly. In FE9, for example, your units promoted automatically when they got beyond level 20 in their base class. In Awakening you could promote and demote your units pretty freely and even have them change class to a completely different sort of unit and level up as one of those.

Iím generally fondest of 6, 7, and 8ís system though. If anything, I think 7 was too generous and they should have given you fewer promotion items over the course of the story. Limited promotion items of any given type made you make interesting choices. That required strategic thinking.




Holy cow, I thought the level was over but suddenly a brigand jumps out of the fog and attacks Nils while every else is far away.

A rescue drop of Sain solves the problem quickly enough. Itís a good thing Nils dodges so well.




As I mentioned, Eagler is the first boss to have unique dialogue with different characters. Some of these are really good stuff. Unfortunately, you canít discover most such dialogue on most runs because it only comes up when you fight the boss and chances are not all of the characters with special dialogue are strong enough to survive a round of fighting. Eagler is so weak that thatís not a problem though.

Here he kind of implies in his conversation with Kent that if the two of them had just thought to bring something that proves Lyn is who she says she is, this whole disaster would have been prevented. Oops.







Sain has much less patience than Kent and just points out that he and his friend were only doing what the true Marquess told them to.




And his generic line of dialogue for people he doesnít know.

It took Sain 5 rounds to kill Eagler. They just kept missing each other repeatedly




No words to describe it. They should have sent a poet. So beautiful.




Yeah, NOW she asks about that.




And Sain and Kent explain that he was their friend and teacher and Lundgren must have been twisting his arm. Lyn rightly becomes angry with Lundgren for doing something so vile, but doesnít even stop to consider that she could have just not had the man killed.

And thatís the level! Now for one last enemy cutscene.




Lundgren doesnít know that his neighbors are not going to send troops and that Wallace has changed sides, so heís sure Lyn is finally done for and decides to reveal the truth to his dying brother.




And while heís admitting to murder, attempted murder, and treason he decides to throw in some petty insults too!




There must be some sort of unpleasant history between these two, but sadly we never really learn it because Lundgren only has one level left to live.

Melth fucked around with this message at 23:01 on Jun 6, 2015

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

End Session?

Edit: Update above ^^ it appeared just after I hit submit.

Melth posted:




Iím rich! Time for a Nils training montage! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjgPh4SEmU













Pretty good. As I mentioned, Nilsí high speed and luck and solid defenses make him quite durable when you need him to be.


Minor spoilers for a map later on, and a bit of dark magic from a boss-- but this is still my favorite way to train Nils.

Linked because thumbnail spoilers. I really should upload a higher quality version of this sometime.

I just love how that one bit of magic has no check on it, so if anyone somehow gets it they can use it.

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.
Gotta get Sain 4 levels in one chaoters, not easy, But the Priiiiiiiize

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.

Games Idiot Court Jester

quote:

There isnít much to him other than loudly boasting about his combat skill and laughing uproariously at his boasts about his combat skill. His reason for joining your group is stupid, his reason for doing pretty much everything else is stupid, he apparently is so dumb that he wanders into the wrong country every time he tries to travel anywhere, and he more or less pops up for no reason and hijacks the spotlight as often as he can. Iím not really fond of him.

Wallace is great for all these reasons. :colbert:

e: Also I forgot just how much more I liked the GBA's sprite art than the 3d models in Awakening.

Midnight Raider
Apr 26, 2010

Melth posted:

Wallace stuff

Well..
Your description of Wallace isn't entirely accurate if you take into account some of his support conversations, particularly all of Lyn's. I'm not sure if you just hadn't read them, or are playing things close to the vest.

Tracula
Mar 26, 2010

PLEASE LEAVE
I love Wallace. In his ending doesn't he just get lost trying to get back home, say gently caress it and start a farm because why the hell not?

RBA Starblade posted:

e: Also I forgot just how much more I liked the GBA's sprite art than the 3d models in Awakening.

The GBA FE games have loving amazing sprite work and I noticed a lot of stuff even uses animation smears to enhance how fluid it all is. I'm okay with the 3D stuff in Awakening but goddamn was whatever they did in Shadow Dragon so :barf:

Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



The sprite work has always been better than the 3D stuff, it's such a bummer they stopped doing it. At least in Awakening they finally got the animations down, but the designs were pretty bad for the models.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Midnight Raider posted:

Well..
Your description of Wallace isn't entirely accurate if you take into account some of his support conversations, particularly all of Lyn's. I'm not sure if you just hadn't read them, or are playing things close to the vest.

Eh, sort of. He still has most of a year of being lost to account for. And their C support is mostly just more of his loud and ridiculous boasting about supposedly running multiple laps around the whole realm wearing his armor (Conservative estimate, about 180 miles per lap). I am indeed rather fond of their A support, but almost everyone else's supports are pretty great and that's nearly his only good one.

And then in his epilogue he somehow gets so lost on the way to Caelin that he ends up in Ilia, on the opposite side of the continent from his starting position, and has no choice but to settle down there. As I've remarked before, I don't much like the characters who are all joke or almost all joke, like Serra and Wallace. Or... pretty much everyone in Awakening.



Manatee Cannon posted:

The sprite work has always been better than the 3D stuff, it's such a bummer they stopped doing it. At least in Awakening they finally got the animations down, but the designs were pretty bad for the models.

Although I will acknowledge that 6-8 animations were occasionally ridiculous (knights appear to be giant spheres of armor with huge breastplates that they apparently remove and use as shields for example), I agree with you that they were generally better than the titles afterward.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


Here we go, the final battle of Lynís story! Spears shall be shaken; shields shall be splintered!

Chapter Summary:
Lundgrenís forces are depleted, his allies have deserted him, and Lynís warrior band is stronger than ever with the addition of Wallace. Lundgren himself is formidable, but the real enemy now is time. Will Marquess Caelin still be alive when Lyn finds him or has her whole journey been for naught?




I find it interesting to note that even now when she knows about all his crimes against his brother and his people, Lyn is still not waging this battle to stop Lundgren. All that matters to her is that she be reunited with the only family she has left. Thatís what this whole journey has been about since Bulgar.

Battle Preparations & the Map:

Thereís not much to say or do here. Thereís no limit to the number of characters you can bring to this chapter and there are no enemies in the wrong place who could attack someone with an expensive weapon, so thereís no reason not to just bring everyone.

I did, however thoroughly check the numbers on my total assets to make sure I have as much as I need. Hearkening back to The War Room, Part 1, you may recall me explaining why I was choosing to focus so heavily on Sain and on saving money. My goal is to functionally save 10,000 in Hectorís story by promoting Sain now, to make Florina much more viable by giving her several levels and the angelic robe, and to still boost my Hectorís story funds by a further 20,000 by ending Lynís story with 32,000 or more in assets so that she rejoins with a White Gem.
In order for this to work, the magic number of assets I need to have before using the Knight Crest (worth 10,000) and the Angelic Robe (worth 8,000) is 50,000. If I have < 50,000 then Iíll need to either not promote Sain or not give Florina +7 HP or to say the hell with it and give Florina the Energy Ring too and give up on the White Gem entirely.

Drumroll pleaseÖ



51,739! Victory! As long as I spend less than 1739 gold on weapons and vulneraries and whatnot used up this level, Iíve accomplished all my goals!




Here it is, the biggest map of Lynís story. Although itís large and full of rough terrain there are really no surprises here except the weather. Every couple of turns it will start to rain, which roughly halves everyoneís movement speed. Then 2 turns later it will switch back to sun again.
Oh and some decently strong cavaliers spawn from that fortress in the bottom left one at a time.

If I was trying to beat this chapter fast or very inexpensively (For example, if I had 50,300 or something funds), I would have positioned everyone completely differently and used Florina and Nils to dump Sain southwest of the top left fortress on turn 1 with a lance equipped. Heíd immediately kill the knight and could then attack Lundgren on turn 2, kill him by 4 or 5, and then stand on the cavalier spawn point (the cavaliers spawn even if Lundgren dies). Then Florina can run back and grab Lyn while Nils blocks the bridge. Florina can ninja into the village from the south for the energy ring after eating the angelic robe on the way and Sain can use the Knight Crest just before Lyn beats the level. That is the best cost-saving way to approach it if youíre really short on funds. If even that isnít going to be enough, Promote Sain early and give him an iron axe on turn 1 and then rescue drop him and have him fight with that. Heíll win in fewer hits with a cheaper weapon.
My first try of this strategy some months ago came down to +8 gold, so you can see Iíve gotten better at saving funds on my second run through.

But Iíve got plenty of funds, so Iím going to take it slow and just feed every enemy to Sain as I slowly walk down.

Characters:




A minor character indeed, I donít even remember him making an appearance next time you have some adventures in Caelin. He also happens to look the same as a man of similar status in Santuruz next year.

He was one of those faithful retainers who Lundgren had imprisoned, but now that Lundgren is gone heís been freed and he immediately starts helping Lyn.




ďThe royal house of Caelin has no need of a Sacaean mongrel!Ē ĖLungren, Chapter 10

Here he is at last, the architect of all Lynís troubles and the second biggest twerp in the game after Marquess Araphen.

Lundgren is one of my favorite characters in the whole series. Heís a credible, interesting, cool, but despicable villain. You can understand his motives and his schemes and you can see where they went wrong for him. And he looks awesome. His battle sprite has my favorite color scheme of any knight or general I can think of, as youíll see later.

You could really tell a lot of good, 10 chapter Fire Emblem stories about characters going up against petty, locally powerful villains like Lundgren who donít have world-destroying schemes or power. And they would probably be more interesting and engaging than a lot of the bloated, globe-trotting tales of a bland hero liberating every country in the world from the invincible army of an evil king and then fighting a dragon which this series is littered with.

Now how is my favorite villain in battle?




His weapons are seriously good and his stats are high enough that only a few characters have a chance against him. Generally they are Wallace, Sain, Kent, and Dorcas. And the latter 3 only if theyíre very well leveled or wielding anti-knight weapons. The Hammer from 7x in particular will reduce Lundgren to pulp in seconds. Even an un-leveled Dorcas could beat Lundgren with that monstrosity if he had the weapon ranking to wield it.
All in all, I think heís an appropriately strong final boss for a tutorial. Heíll wreck you if you donít know what youíre doing, but heíll crumple like aluminum foil if you hit him with any kind of solid tactics.

But itíll be many turns till I reach him, and Sain has a bunch of people to eat on the way.


Playing Through:




Sain runs over the nearby enemies and gains another fantastic level. Classic my Sain.




Itís mostly Nils and Sain handling everything with a few others just walking along behind, so Nils gets his 7th and final level-up. 19xx here I come!




Halfway through the chapter, the second rainstorm begins. You can see it divides Sainís functional movement by about 3. Moving over houses, armories, bridges, etc. is full speed through. Infantry movement is just halved or so instead. Same for nomads I think, but I didnít bother checking. Rain and snow are nuisances, but theyíre really rare.




Florina checks out the vendor. This is the only time in the story you can buy or acquire a second Lightning tome for Lucius, which makes him rather hard to train beyond the first few levels.




And hereís the armory, specializing in anti-knight weapons. Of the three, the Hammer is pretty unambiguously the best. For one thing, the way super-effective weapons work means that high Might is what you really want on them. For another, knights and generals really struggle against axes but have countermeasures for swords and lances. Sain doesnít need any of this of course.




And a few easy kills later, Iím fighting Lundgren. Remember how he had both a silver lance and a javelin? Well even in the hands of a fairy weak enemy like Lundgren, Silver Lances dish out ferocious damage, so you want to keep Lundgren using his Javelin whenever possible. Also look at his awesome violet and gold armor.




Sain rejects Lundgrenís admittedly pretty generous offer. He could almost certainly have become a general and Lundgrenís second in command, but he values his friendship with Kent and Lyn more.




The stubborn fool doesnít even hear Lundgren out.




Lyn puts on her rarely seen angry face. Other than that, this is pretty much her standard attitude toward people in her way. Youíll notice sheís unarmed. This is partly so that Lundgren will definitely attack her rather than Sain and therefore keep his useless javelin equipped and partly so that he wonít enjoy a weapon triangle advantage.




I pledged to do no gate grinding, so I attacked Lundgren full tilt with Sain until his iron lance broke. Lundgren got fairly lucky and dodged quite a few attacks, so the fight went on longer than it should have.

Oh and a pretty sweet level, though nothing unusual.




Thatís a wrap for Lundgren.




Holy cow. Best. Sain. Ever. He really rewarded the trust I put in him by focusing so heavily on him. Take it from me though, even an average Sain is pretty great and worth a serious investment.




Florina eats the angelic robe.




And Sain promotes! Heís about 5 seconds from slamming into his caps for Strength and Speed.



The level is over once Lyn steps onto the gate, now the storyís ending begins.




The sprites and portraits in this game really have a lot of personality. And this scene gets me every time. Partly itís the unique little tune that plays here and only here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJf0JiRWAY0







Undoubtably my favorite painting in the game, I think it really captures how emotional their meeting is perfectly.







And then this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXNPp0SylJY
You canít really appreciate this game just reading the script somewhere or looking at a few screenshots, the ensemble of the art and the music and the dialogue and the experience of having shared some of the difficulty of the protagonistís journey is what really gives it its power. If you havenít played this game, do yourself a favor and do so sometime. Itís not perfect, but itís definitely a worthwhile experience.




Leaving her grandfather to his physician, Lyn returns to her waiting troops.







Some will stay and some will go. Some might never be seen again. Wallace for one.




But not Market.

In Conclusion
As if the main theme wasnít great enough, we get this arrangement throughout the epilogue- same as weíll hear weeks from now when Hectorís story is finished as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXO-nDVH4pU




Certainly not me, little though I used him.




Ninety-six kills. I hope he at least washed off the gore before going back to flirt with the local ladies.
My Sain vs Average: -.4 HP, +.2 Str, +1.7 Skil, +4.8 Spd, -2.3 Luck, +1.4 Def, +.4 Res. Net +5.8 compared to average and extremely well-distributed. One can only dream of Sains like this normally.



Ugh. Itís like her only personality traits are codependence and misandryÖ
But she turned out well:
My Florina vs Average: -.6 HP, +.6 Str, +1 Skill, +1.7 Speed, -1 Luck, -.9 Def, +.9 Res. Net +1.7 over averages, not huge but itís well distributed for her benefit.



Throughout the epilogue, all the great paintings from the story are shown along with a few new ones.




For example, hereís Lyn about to wreck Lundgren with a little help from Lucius, Matthew, and Wallace. Of the 4 of them, only Wallace belongs anywhere near that silver lance.




I keep telling you, man, that Raven is no good for you!




My Lyn vs Average: +.8 HP, +.6 Str, -.6 Skill, -.6 Spd, +1.7 Lck, +1.8 Def, +2.2 Res. Net +5.9 over averages. If Sain wasnít even crazier, weíd have been raving about this Lyn non-stop. She actually was luckier than him overall, it just doesnít matter because she sucks regardless and the luck wasnít in the best possible areas like his was. All in all though, these guys all shaped up great.



Well thatís that for Lynís story. Itís really, really easy and that can make the actual levels boring as people have pointed out, but I, for one, have never stopped enjoying it overall. I have pointed out numerous flaws and questionable design choices along the way, but I think Iíve also made a good case that this is still one of the better done parts of any FE game. The dialogue is generally top-notch, the art has a level of character and attention to detail that one rarely sees even in modern games with far better graphics, the music is beautiful, and the story told is interesting, well-written, and self-contained while still tying in to the rest of the game. And the ending is very satisfying

The War Room, Part 9:
Surprise! Weíre not done here just yet.

A great run of HHM starts with a well-thought out run of Lynís hard mode, so I'm going to talk about how to evaluate your Lyn's mode playthrough in preparation for HHM.

Let me lay out for you the goals I had in mind in Lynís story and how I accomplished them. As you prepare for your own runs, figure out what your own goals are and only use my strategies exactly if our goals are exactly the same:

1) Play ALL of Hectorís Hard Mode. If you wish to do every single level of HHM, then you MUST get Nils to level 7 in Lynís story. This means you must spend at least 60 turns grinding him up. As I outlined in The War Room Part 7, this basically means you cannot max rank Lyn's story.
2) Play Ďfairlyí. This means no gate-grinding to get infinite XP from Lundgren or Eagler, no using the Ďmine glitchí (itís possible without mines), and no abusing the RNG to get perfect level-ups.
3) Play Linusís version of Four-Fanged Offense. I strongly prefer that version myself, but if you like Lloydís then be my guest and prep for that one instead. In that case you may wish to consider keeping Lyn level 2 and giving someone else you like her XP instead.
4) Make max ranking Tactics easier in HHM by powering up characters who make winning levels fast easy. That mostly means at least one of the cavaliers and definitely Florina.
5) Make max ranking Funds easier in HHM by promoting someone good in Lynís story so that they donít need to be promoted in Hectorís story. This could be Kent or- if for some reason you actually like Wallace- Wallace, but Sain is better for my playstyle and probably for yours as well.
6) Make max ranking Funds easier in HHM by ensuring Lyn starts with a White Gem, the most valuable possible item.

I put it to you that if you have those goals, the approach I took here is the best strategy conceivable for Lynís story.

I managed to get Sain to a tremendously high level 19 before promoting him while still giving Florina and Lyn a respectable head start of 6 levels gained each. By the level he got to, Sain was gaining something like 4 XP per kill from enemies and most of his later levels came from feeding him every single boss except Batta and Carjiga (it IS feasible to give him Carjiga if you want I suppose). This means that getting him to level 20 while not gate grinding would require taking about 25 more kills, which would leave Lyn and Florina at level 4 or something. Probably not worth it.

I got Nils to level 7 but did not over-level him. This means that he has lots of room to grow (and pump my XP score) in HHM.

Having reached level 7, Lyn is a good deal closer to the level she has to get to to unlock Linusís Four-Fanged Offense.

Some more levels on Florina would have been nice, but probably not worth the permanent cost to Sain. She too was gaining very little XP per kill at this point so raising her higher would have been hard. 6-9 is a good level range for her since it makes her strong enough to be immediately useful (especially with the angelic robe) while still leaving her lots of room to grow and boost your XP score.

Giving Florina the Angelic Robe and Sain the Knight Crest and not using the Energy Ring is probably the best possible item distribution for max ranking HHM. Lyn or Lucius or even Sain can also put the +7 HP from the angelic robe to good use, but of the 4 of them Sain and Florina are the ones who need to be charging at huge speed ahead of your allies to let you get max ranking. And unlike Florina, Sain has decent defenses and hitpoints to begin with. Meanwhile the +2 Str for Lyn or Florina is very nice, but using it in addition to the Knight Crest and Angelic Robe will drop your funds to 33,000 or so down to 25,000 or so which means Lyn will join with a Red Gem instead of a White Gem. This costs you 15,000 gold. +2 Str isnít worth 15,000 gold on anyone. It also isnít worth 10,000 gold + waiting an extra 2 levels to promote Sain, the cost of not using the Knight Crest in Lynís story. And few people would argue that +2 Str is > +7 HP on Florina. Particularly considering Florina will nearly hit her Str cap anyway. Meanwhile, Lyn cannot be promoted in a max ranking run because she costs double. Lyn is nice, but sheís not twice as good as the other good units. This means investing heavily in her with angelic robes or energy rings is a poor choice to begin with.

You might consider also giving a few levels to someone else (at a cost of Sain probably finishing at level 18). This could be worth it depending on who you go with. Lucius and Erk are both very nice characters, but theyíre also both perfectly viable to start training in HHM at level 1. Kent is decent, but probably not as useful as Sain or Lowen so probably not worth an investment. Wil is atrocious. Dorcas grows very, very badly but starts off pretty solid. This means investing more XP in him is a pretty poor idea most of the time. Serra is a necessary evil and will never be a good combat unit in a max ranking run no matter what you do with her. Leveling Matthew a few times does admittedly make some of the early chapters of HHM considerably easier so itís not a bad idea. Generally speaking though, I find heís juuuuuust good enough as it is. Rath is a great unit if you can promote him, but terrible up until then because heís bow-locked. And he starts so high level that you canít improve him much regardless. Other than that, thereís just Wallace. Would ANYONE argue that trying to level up Wallace more is a good idea?

So in conclusion I believe that the item and XP distribution shown here is just about the best one for max ranking HHM while doing every single chapter.

But so that you can make your own modifications while still getting the White Gem, let me post my final assets. The chart uploaded before was the total value of all my stuff before I began Chapter 10 but with the Energy Ring (the only loot on Chapter 10 added in). My assets were decreased from there by needing to use iron lances to kill enemies.




So I finished with a total of 33,497. This is a margin of error of approximately 1500. Thatís plenty of breathing room to have Sain use iron swords instead of lances, to let Florina fight things she can only kill in 3 hits with her iron lance, etc. But remember, that 1500 surplus after using the Angelic Robe and Knight Crest is the maximum possible really. I NEVER used a vulnerary or a heal or a torch or a single charge of magic and I had Sain stupidly fight with iron lances against brigands almost all the time. And I used Door Keys instead of lockpicks whenever possible and stole everything. If you do not steal anything on 7x, you WILL fail to get the white gem because youíll be at -500 from your goal. Even if, for example, you used Dorcas instead of Sain at all times to take advantage of that tiny savings, you would still fail. So steal on 7x. Steal everything.

That 1500 margin of error also means you could actually use up a whole heal staff easily or chug a vulnerary or two. But still, donít go overboard. It doesnít take many little expenses here and there to add up to 1500 and then all your work was for nothing.

Alright, I think thatís all you need to know to get the most out of your Lynís mode preparation. Crit a brigand for me!


Up Next:


Melth fucked around with this message at 00:05 on Jun 7, 2015

Dire Wombat
Oct 29, 2011

In this world, there is no truth. The truth is made later on and overwrites what comes before it. Real truth doesn't exist anywhere.
God Sain is just going to trivialize a huge chunk of the game at this point, goddamn. I guess the first five or so chapters of HHM are the hardest anyways.

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.

Dire Wombat posted:

God Sain is just going to trivialize a huge chunk of the game at this point, goddamn. I guess the first five or so chapters of HHM are the hardest anyways.

He'll certainly help but for the EXP rank he'll have to still use weaker units.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Onmi posted:

He'll certainly help but for the EXP rank he'll have to still use weaker units.

Precisely! Think of Sain the Paladin as essentially a better Marcus. Just like Marcus, he can't really hack it end game compared to many of the better soldiers (for Sain this is more because of bad caps than bad growths, but both are badly hurt by the dawn of the promoted flyer). Just like Marcus, he's wildly overpowered compared to your other troops in the early and mid game and has huge mobility and numerous weapon proficiencies that let him wreck everything for a while.

I'll use him along with Marcus and Lowen to shave huge numbers of turns off my times on several levels- Noble Lady of Caelin and The Port of Badon are probably the most notable. But just like I try not to let Marcus get any kills I don't have to, I try to limit Sain's kills sharply.

In any case, I've done this with pretty lousy Sains before and it still works fairly well. Sain is just a great character for this sort of ranking attempt and getting lucky stats is just gravy + a little more endgame viability. If anything, I'm more excited about having a Florina who doesn't suck for once.



Silver Falcon posted:

I recently started playing this game myself (I've never finished it...), and I had to dump Sain very early on because the dude just would not gain speed. His strength was sky high, but I don't really care about that when he's getting doubled by everyone and their geriatric grandmother.... Sheesh.

Kent, on the other hand, just kept gaining defense (and speed), and a point of strength here and there, so I went with him and Lowen for my cavalier needs. Shame, really. I like Sain better as a character. Kent is kind of boring. For the "competent knight who serves as an adviser" role, I always preferred Seth. Or Frederick.

Anyway, I've never even thought to try to play for rankings, so I'll definitely be following this! Good job fixing the screenshots, by the way. They look much better now!

I've got to be honest, I don't actually see a major difference in screenshot quality myself. I was quite startled that people didn't like the ones in the early chapters. I'd looked over the technical support fort and the image file type guide so I thought I was doing things right or close to it. I'll admit I've got no experience at this kind of thing and I'd be glad to have any additional suggestions for good ways to improve images or the like. Heck, I'm open to suggestions about additional things to include in or change about the LP in general, though I make no promises.

Oh and I think I may go back and replace the screenshots in the early chapters now that I have a bit more time. I can't replace the level-up screenshots for obvious reasons, but by starting a new file and going through it quickly I should be able to replicate the other ones in better quality without too much trouble.



AstraSage posted:

There's something funny in this sentence from way back: when you use the entire Elibe timeline it looks more the other way around, in that during the 20 years gap between the games Light magic has fallen off its use outside veterans of Elimine Clergy while there's a resurgence of Dark Magic practitioners in the open. (Without taking Awakening's reclassing in account, FE6 has the largest number of recruitable Dark Mages in the series)

I take your point, but I would point out that of the 3 playable dark magic users in 6, one of them is a legendary hermit who's going to kick the bucket any year now and her ancient lineage of dark mages will die with her because she let her children get killed or worse by their studies and treated her only grandson so badly that he left the family and studied anima magic instead. Another one of them is a half-dragon woman from Arcadia, and Arcadia's whole deal is that the place is like the world was 1000 years ago- you know, back when dark magic was the big thing.

Of the enemy dark mages, the biggest concentration of them is fought in the plains of Sacae- tying in to that point I made earlier about how dark magic seems to be part of or at least connected to their ancient traditions and folk religion.

Meanwhile in FE6 the Elimine Church is pretty powerful everywhere outside Sacae with representatives running around helping you out everywhere and loads of political influence. You don't deal with many enemies using light magic because the light magic users are on your side.

But I'll concede that I may be reading too much into this. Maybe we're not supposed to see a pattern of the decline of dark magic afterall.


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


So a couple of things:

1) Now that Lyn's story is done, I'll be slowing down as requested. I've completed Chapter 11 so I'll be posting that tomorrow, possibly with a few other odds and ends.

2) I have several FE playing friends who aren't members of this forum but would be interested in this LP. Is there a good way to share it with them?

3) If possible, I think I'd like to add a table of contents to the introductory post so that people could easily jump around to the different chapters (I'd also like to make it possible to jump directly to the War Room sections on various topics to help people who want to know about that stuff in particular). Is there a way to do something like that?

Manatee Cannon
Aug 26, 2010



Promoting either Sain or Kent instead of Wallace is more than enough to break the difficulty curve for a while even when they aren't really on the ball. Doesn't hurt that Sain here is already better than Marcus in every stat but res, though.

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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.

Melth posted:


I take your point, but I would point out that of the 3 playable dark magic users in 6, one of them is a legendary hermit who's going to kick the bucket any year now and her ancient lineage of dark mages will die with her because she let her children get killed or worse by their studies and treated her only grandson so badly that he left the family and studied anima magic instead. Another one of them is a half-dragon woman from Arcadia, and Arcadia's whole deal is that the place is like the world was 1000 years ago- you know, back when dark magic was the big thing.

And the last of them is the firsts Great Grand Nephew (Possible), whom she has taken a shine to and is passing upon her secrets of dark magic.

So her lines of Shamans will continue onwards, and... said GGN is also working in conjunction with the Half-Dragon Archadian Woman and...

Ray Ė Child of Darkness

Ray traveled around the world, honing his dark magic skills. Although dark magic had been all but forgotten, Rayís efforts brought it back to peopleís awareness again. He was known for being hard on both himself and others, but for some reason he was generous towards deprived children.


So in short you're not incorrect in that it's dying out even further in FE6, but by the end, not so much.

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