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Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Lotish posted:

Wow. They must have really expected that chapter to be hardcore.

I mean, it still might be, because I have no memory of it by this point, but that's a huge jump in turns allowed.

That chapter IS hardcore even on normal. One of the hardest in the game to do quickly because the only way to even attempt it is mass-rescue dropping by air through territory controlled by swarms of wyvern riders, wyvern lords, pirates, bishops with berserk, and Sonia with Bolting. Further complicating things, there's an island full of chests that can only be reached by air, numerous valuable items that must be stolen and can only be stolen efficiently by air-dropping in thieves, and the fact that you can't bring Merlinus so you have to manage your thieves' inventories carefully at all times. Also in Eliwood's story you only got your second Elysian whip 10 seconds ago, so you only have one seriously leveled flyer tops.

There isn't even actually a bridge to Sonia until about turn 14 and it would take Eliwood/Hector quite a few turns to walk and reach her after it opens. Without mass air-dropping I'm going to say 17 turns minimum. With air dropping, it's still over 10 even if you just grabbed Eliwood/Hector and flew at her at 8 squares per turn because of needing to steer around enemies who will slaughter anyone whose speed is halved and the fact that Sonia must be killed before you drop Hector or she'll instant-kill him with Bolting or Fimbulvetyr. Meanwhile, no flyer can really beat her in a fight at that point solo.

My best time on ranked normal (while getting every stealable item and chest) is 14. I went in with Fiora level 20, Heath level 20/1, and Florina level 20/8 and using both thieves, so that's pretty much maximum possible Eliwood ranked preparation.




Edit: Who cares about ANY of that anymore! Guess what? Remember this picture?




You know, the part where I finally implemented my plan and gave Florina the angelic robe I'd worked so hard to save the money for?


Apparently it didn't happen!




Look at her HP when she rejoined! I must have rewound past her using the angelic robe as I tried to get my screenshots right on the last turn! I undid half the whole point of all that work and all that strategizing to get a few lousy screenshots!

Good gravy, not only does this mean I basically wasted a ton of time crunching numbers and doing every chapter in the slowest but cheapest way for nothing, it also jeopardizes my ability to max rank the rest of this game because now I can't rely on Florina taking more than a single hit. To top it all off, my Florina even got below average HP and Def to begin with!

Melth fucked around with this message at 09:50 on Feb 23, 2015

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Fionordequester
Dec 27, 2012

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

Melth posted:

Look at her HP when she rejoined! I must have rewound past her using the angelic robe as I tried to get my screenshots right on the last turn! I undid half the whole point of all that work and all that strategizing to get a few lousy screenshots!

Good gravy, not only does this mean I basically wasted a ton of time crunching numbers and doing every chapter in the slowest but cheapest way for nothing, it also jeopardizes my ability to max rank the rest of this game because now I can't rely on Florina taking more than a single hit. To top it all off, my Florina even got below average HP and Def to begin with!

Ah, don't worry about it. Actually, there's a very easy fix to that if you know how to find the different RAM Addresses in Fire Emblem, and then edit them (like I do). Just choose "Cheats>RAM Search", find the Address called "0202BDAA", and you will find the address that stores Florina's Max HP! Once you find it, just choose "Add Cheat", plop on an extra 7 HP, and presto! Problem solved!

Of course, this may not work on all versions of what you're probably using, but, hopefully this serves you well!

Fatcat214
Feb 19, 2015

Party Poogie

quote:

Edit: Who cares about ANY of that anymore! Guess what? Remember this picture?




You know, the part where I finally implemented my plan and gave Florina the angelic robe I'd worked so hard to save the money for?


Apparently it didn't happen!




Look at her HP when she rejoined! I must have rewound past her using the angelic robe as I tried to get my screenshots right on the last turn! I undid half the whole point of all that work and all that strategizing to get a few lousy screenshots!

Good gravy, not only does this mean I basically wasted a ton of time crunching numbers and doing every chapter in the slowest but cheapest way for nothing, it also completely jeopardizes my ability to max rank the rest of this game because now I can't rely on Florina taking more than a single hit. To top it all off, my Florina even got below average HP and Def to begin with!

That hurts my soul to read. Godspeed.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011

I definitely support savehacking in 7 HP if you lost something you legitimately obtained in your quest to obtain more screenshots.

FPzero
Oct 20, 2008

Game Over
Return of Mido

vilkacis posted:

I definitely support savehacking in 7 HP if you lost something you legitimately obtained in your quest to obtain more screenshots.

Same, just make a backup of your rom first.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

Yep, I'm with them. You did it, then lost it by accident to get us a screenshot. Just give it back to yourself.

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

End Session?

Yeah, just upload your save-file if you have to and someone can even make the changes for you.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Fionordequester posted:

Ah, don't worry about it. Actually, there's a very easy fix to that if you know how to find the different RAM Addresses in Fire Emblem, and then edit them (like I do). Just choose "Cheats>RAM Search", find the Address called "0202BDAA", and you will find the address that stores Florina's Max HP! Once you find it, just choose "Add Cheat", plop on an extra 7 HP, and presto! Problem solved!

Of course, this may not work on all versions of what you're probably using, but, hopefully this serves you well!




SystemLogoff posted:

Yeah, just upload your save-file if you have to and someone can even make the changes for you.


Thanks, everyone. I've been trying to find the Cheats > RAM search but all I can find are Cheats > search for cheats (If that's the right place to look, I've been unable to find 0202BDAA there), Cheats > cheat list, and then some ones about saving or loading cheat lists.


Also, to judge by the note on the left side of the screen as I write this that says I may not post attachments, I probably can't upload my save file as an attachment.

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

End Session?

You can always use a host like http://www.tinyupload.com/ to host the save file.

Or mediafire or something like it.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

SystemLogoff posted:

You can always use a host like http://www.tinyupload.com/ to host the save file.

Or mediafire or something like it.


http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=88895584251547247199

Alright, this should be it I believe

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!
Just to drop one tiny last line: evasion, thanks to True Hit, is worth more the more you have of it. 8 points of evasion doesn't sound like much but in practice it's a significantly larger percentage increase.

Also Erk is always terrible. :argh:

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

theshim posted:

Just to drop one tiny last line: evasion, thanks to True Hit, is worth more the more you have of it. 8 points of evasion doesn't sound like much but in practice it's a significantly larger percentage increase.

Also Erk is always terrible. :argh:

Nah, my number crunching on how many enemies it takes to kill these people was using true hit. Also true hit makes 8 points of evasion count for more in some circumstances and less in others.


Here's the chart: http://old.serenesforest.net/general/truehit.html


Consider the case where the enemy has exactly 100% displayed odds to hit vs low evade character and 92 vs high evade character. In that case the true change in evasion chance is a measly 1.2%, making the +8 avoid nearly worthless.

At the other extreme end- where the enemy has 8% displayed to hit the low evade character- the true change in evasion chance is about 1.36%.

On the other hand, for values near the middle of the range true hit makes a difference of 8 avoid count for more.

FPzero
Oct 20, 2008

Game Over
Return of Mido

Please document these troubles with Florina in your next update so future readers in the archive can know just how many ways Fire Emblem tries to screw its players. :allears:

weso12
Nov 19, 2014

Lurker, Sims 3 LPer, Bored College Student
Nice playthrough so far one question: Do you play to recruit everyone?

Basically I'm asking if your getting Farina because she's known to screw with getting a good funds rank

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?

I'm gonna guess no since it doesn't seem like Bartre's ever going to hit Level 5 Warrior.

E: vv Yeah, I know Farina and Karla have different recruitments, I was just commenting that regardless of whether or not you were getting Farina, you're still unlikely to recruit everyone because you're never going to give Bartre enough experience for the recruitment.

ChaosArgate fucked around with this message at 19:53 on Feb 23, 2015

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

ChaosArgate posted:

I'm gonna guess no since it doesn't seem like Bartre's ever going to hit Level 5 Warrior.

You're probably thinking of Karla. I won't be recruiting either Karla or Farina. Karla because 1) Bartre is terrible in HHM and mine has turned out even worse than usual and 2) Karla is probably the worst pre-promote in the game herself. Farina because she's not worth 20,000 to have her join the party, that's 2 promotions of other people right there.


So no; I'm going to do every single level but I'm going to not recruit Karla and Farina because preparing to do either would severely hamper my ability to max rank.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!
For that matter, it's not like it's actually even possible to recruit every character on a single run regardless. For one thing you have to choose between Harken and Karel and between Geitz and Wallace. I suppose that's sorta different, but still.

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:

For that matter, it's not like it's actually even possible to recruit every character on a single run regardless. For one thing you have to choose between Harken and Karel and between Geitz and Wallace. I suppose that's sorta different, but still.

Least it's not FE5, where if you don't have 47 characters you cannot get a SSS Rank

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

End Session?


Ok, make sure you back up your save and check over everything just in case.

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=08851117392143132433

I've added the Angel Robe to her inventory for you to use whenever you want.

You can then use File > Load Game (or Load From File) to pick this changed save..

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


Alright, itís time for a little reunion! As I said back while doing Lynís story, this is the chapter where she and her retainers (Sain, Kent, Florina, and Wil) rejoin. For nearly everyone, this chapter is a HUGE jump in the power of your party because all of those units except for Wil are potentially very powerful and each can be at absurdly high level for this point in the game if you ground them up in Lynís story.

After this chapter, youíll have many more options for people when choosing your units each chapter and you can retire most of your characters who turned out terribly or were just bad to begin with for good. For that reason (+ getting your first flyer) itís a major turning point in the game in terms of difficulty.


Chapter Summary:
Eliwood and Hector receive word that Darin and his missing army have surprise-attacked Caelin and seized the castle. Both to catch their quarry and to try to rescue Lyn and Marquess Caelin, they hurry after him. Meanwhile, Lyn and a few of her retainers managed to get out of the castle as it fell but her grandfather and most of the soldiery are now enemy prisoners. Having heard that Laus attacked Caelin after being driven out of their home by Eliwood, she dispatches Florina to ask Eliwood for help. But Eliwood and company have already arrived and together the two groups crush the Laus soldiers loitering outside the castle and prepare to retake it from the enemy.




While still in Laus waiting to hear Darinís whereabouts, Eliwood and Hector talk about why Uther has so far done nothing. Hector repeats what his brother told him a few chapters ago: Bern and perhaps other countries are trying to assess Lycia and its strength, maybe even planning to invade if it looks divided and weak. By pretending nothing is wrong in Laus or Pherae, Uther hopes to make Lycia look unconquerable.




Eliwood points out that having Hector, the Marquessís brother, missing on some adventure might be taken as a sign of something wrong, but Hector responds that heís reputed to be a well-known lout and people would think it stranger if he WAS at court. He agrees ruefully that heís not proud of being thought so wild and irresponsible that being at home would hamper his brotherís diplomatic efforts. This is the first sign of many that Hector is going to grow into a good Marquess someday.




At that moment Oswin charges in to tell them about the attack on Caelin. The group gears up and hurries after the enemy.




In the woods outside castle Caelin, Lyn and Kent assess the situation. And it becomes canonical here that Darin very definitely had the forces to crush Eliwood and company on chapter 14. An additional 50 soldiers of any kind would have made that map utterly unwinnable. Were it not for Ephidelís absurd orders, Erik would have been victorious and the Black Fang plans might have succeeded.




Lyn has heard that Eliwood is in Laus and Florina proposes that she could hurry there and ask for his aid so they can rescue Marquess Hausen.




Another attempted action sequence ensues as Florina is spotted en route by enemy archers who are ordered to shoot her down. She and Eliwood- already coming to Caelinís aid- spot each other and he realizes sheís about to be shot.
She listens to him almost in time but still falls from her pegasus.




And she and it land on Hector. Remember, itís not the fall that kills you, itís the ground! All in all, this sequence is less confusing that the little skirmish in Castle Ostia in Chapter 11, but only because thereís so much more dialog during it. The GBA games really just do not do a good job with such things; one of the few ways Iíd argue theyíre markedly inferior to, rather than just different from, the later console titles.




Bauker, commander of the Laus forces here, realizes heís under attack by Eliwood. Perhaps heís an arrogant fool or perhaps heís just trying to encourage his men.

Battle Preparations & the Map:



Units Allowed: 8 + Florina in top left area + Lyn, Sain, Kent, and Wil to bottom right
Units Benched: Oswin and Marcus. Oswin is far too slow to be valuable on this chapter. While there are some serious reinforcements to the rear he could defend Merlinus from, they only appear very late in the chapter- long after I hope to have finished. Meanwhile Iíve been waiting for my chance to kick out Marcus and stop him draining my XP for a while. He could be useful on this chapter as a rescue-dropper, but I donít really need him for that.
Units Added: Serra. On this map, Iíll need Priscilla to be doing rescue-dropping duty rather than healing part of the time and my group will be fairly split up so a second healer is needed. Plus 2 healers is usually a good number for staying on top of all the injuries your characters receive and maximizing total XP gain by healing everything.
Objective: Seize gate
Secondary Objective: Visit western village for an Energy Ring
Secondary Objective: Visit eastern village for a Heavy Spear
Secondary Objective: Steal the Lockpick from the enemy thief.
Reinforcements: Late in the chapter, numerous cavaliers will spawn from the upper left. On turns 2,3, and 4 brigands spawn from the marked bottom left spawn zone and try to destroy the east village first. On turns 4, 5, and 6 mercenaries and cavaliers spawn from the forts near Bauker. On turn 5 and 6 brigands spawn from the bottom right corner and try to destroy the eastern village.
Turns Allowed: 7

Note that the starting positions of Lynís group and Florina are not shown while choosing your own formation. I thought about making a War Room talking about that, but itís really a rare occurrence. Just start the chapter, note their positions and gear, and then restart and make your real plans knowing that.

This is a big, messy map with loads and enemies and very rough terrain which will greatly slow your movement- especially that of Lynís group. Meanwhile the enemy has tons of flyers and also has some ballistae, giving them a clear advantage.

The two big problems are that 1) Eliwoodís group is really, really weak (in part because a lot of my units have been getting bad levels) so theyíll have trouble with a lot of the enemies and 2) the extremely short time limit. I believe itís feasible to complete this map in 6 turns with a good Hector and some good luck and a lot of rescue-dropping him over the mountains. I didnít really have much luck here and my Florina ended up 7 HP weaker than she should have been, which hampered me further.

Stealing the lockpick will also be tricky. The enemy thief will act like a brigand and destroy the west village if heís not aggroed immediately, but doing that is hard since there are some dangerous allies with him.




After checking the map to find Florinaís starting position, I decided this is the ideal group to bring. Florina does not start with an iron lance and canít be given one during preparations, so I gave one to Priscilla instead to trade to her later. Lowen and Priscilla are positioned for rescue dropping Hector with Florinaís help and then getting Priscilla out of Pegasus range.

The other units are my best combat units other than Oswin and Marcus and are positioned somewhat carelessly since the details donít much matter. However, Eliwood needs to be in the lead because Matthew will die while Guy will kill the enemy thief. Only Eliwood is a happy medium of being able to survive the onslaught of the 2 mercenaries and the thief and the Pegasus knight while not being fast enough that he kills the thief before it can be stolen from.

Other than giving Priscilla an iron lance for Florina and giving Oswinís javelin (my only one) to Lowen, thereís not much to change about equipment.




Another special character line. Itís Florina being annoyingly shy again. Ugh.


The Characters:




Sainís stats are, as they say in the vernacular, ďReally good.Ē He can turn any enemy on this level into thinly sliced, neatly packaged lunch meat. Often in a single blow. He would have excellent odds of one-rounding Marcus. However, I wonít be able to get much use out of him because there are a lot of forests in the way and because Lynís group needs some serious help.




As was foretold by my calculator, Lyn has a white gem! Owning this is a huge financial boost to me and should allow me to promote characters a bit more liberally down the line.




And what?! Florina hasnít gained the angelic robe bonus! What the heck happened? This is catastrophic!
After double-checking that I wasnít just suffering some sort of gingersnap-induced hallucination and then going back to chapter 10 to make sure I had the screenshot I remembered taking of her eating the angelic robe I realized what must have happened:
In order to get good screenshots of the epilogue of Lynís story, I used the rewind button a few times. I must have rewound back past Florina eating the robe on the last turn without noticing it. Argh.
This makes her way more vulnerable. For one thing, a single enemy Pegasus knight is now actually an even fight despite all her level ups. Theyíll kill her in 2 hits with iron lances, same as she kills them. It also means that a single iron arrow + 1 hit from anything will kill her and a ballista might be able to OHKO her, so I have to be way more cautious with her on this level. Thatís a problem since speed is king here and I really need her.
Darn it.




ďWe've been... defeated? Such... a shame...Ē ĖBauker, Chapter 16

Stated to be the leader of Lausís ďImperial guardĒ Ė a somewhat nebulous title since weíre never told exactly what part of their army constitutes the imperial guard- Bauker may actually be the highest ranking officer of Lausís army since itís not clear just how a commander of the imperial guard ranks compared to a ďKnight commander.Ē

Heís perhaps somewhat inconsistently characterized. Everyone from Caelin villagers to Darin and Bernard agree that his skill is very impressive, but while heís said by one villager to be known to be a gentle man, he seems rather merciless as he unquestioningly enforces Darinís orders that no one leave Caelin alive and orders that his men check to see if that Pegasus knight they shot at is still breathing ďand if she is, make her stop.Ē And unlike Bernard he never voices any regrets about anything he had to do- just that he lost.

The man is not much of a threat at this stage in the game. He doesnít compare well to Boies from 13 and isnít even much better than Wire from 11 (let alone a luckier Wire than the one I fought):







It would be no problem to dice him with the Wolf Beil except that heís guarded by at least one mage and that I need to save that weapon as much as possible at the moment. But heís so much less impressive for his part of the game than previous knights that Hector can easily beat him down with an iron axe in a couple of rounds.


Playing Through:




First thing to do is grab Hector with Priscilla. The only way to get him to Bauker fast is to let him skip right over all the mountains. Between Priscilla and Florina, thatís quite possible without putting either in danger of death. Marcus could help a fair amount, but I want to avoid him.




Florina takes her iron lance, equips a javelin since one of the Pegasus knights whoíll go for her has one, and drops Hector on the last mountain so that once the local troops are down, he can make a run for Bauker.

Then Lowen rides in and grabs Priscilla so she doesnít die. Unfortunately, I canít spare anyone else to take and drop her, so both she and Lowen are out of the action for a little while.




Meanwhile, thereís a great shopping selection on Lynís side of the field. Wil has nothing to do but shop because heís worthless, so I have him pick up 3 javelins. Honestly Iíd like more- Iíve only had one thus far and thatís really hampered me, but Iím short on cash.




On his way to try to move toward the eastern village, Kent stops at the vendor and picks up 2 door keys. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Purchasing 2 door keys is essential for approaching the next level properly. Remember, it is impossible for you to have any at this stage in the game otherwise and you absolutely must have them to quickly get all the treasure on Whereabouts Unknown.




Itís a bad situation on Eliwoodís front, as second turns often are. Hector is pinned by that myrmidon and canít go for Bauker till he gets lucky and hits him. Florina is horribly injured. Lowen is carrying Priscilla so he canít fight well and she canít heal.
Eliwoodís group is facing down a force that could kill any of them next turn and they severely lack firepower- plus this is my only chance to steal the lockpick from the enemy thief.
Across the map, Lynís group also has some trouble on this turn due to a bunch of Pegasus knights and a ballista to the north.




The first step, I decide, is to get Priscilla and Lowen back in the action, so I need to drop her instead of using him to finish a weak Pegasus knight. Florina and Hector can finish those guys off, which will leave everyone up there safe for now, though Hector will still be stuck.
I donít yet know what Iím going to do on the bottom front, so I position Lowen to block anyone from running up and going after Priscilla.




Alright, thatís +1200 gold. Worth a sizable risk. And Iíve made my plans: Iím going to form a diagonal wall with my swordfighters and take out the mercenaries so as to minimize the enemyís ability to kill us. Matthew will still be in some danger because cavaliers hit hard and his defense is crud, but he still has good odds to dodge at least one.




Man, I canít wait to be rid of this loser. Heís gained no points of str or defense in all his 4 levels. The worst part is that thatís pretty much average for him. Soon Iíll have Raven and Lyn, so your days are numbered, GuyÖ




The mercenaries are dead, Serra heals Eliwood to full, and the wall is complete. Now I just need Matthew to dodge one attack or the enemy to go for someone else.




Lynís position immediately comes under attack by mercenaries from the west who Sain has to handle and Pegasus knights from the north (as well as a ballista). Itís tough without just feeding everything to Sain, but it turns out fairly well.




So it turns out the enemy cavaliers go before the enemy thief, which means that Matthew was never in any danger of death because both cavaliers couldnít attack him at once. And he got a completely empty level for killing the enemy thief. Yay.




At last the fighting near Lyn has died down on this turn so Will visits the other armory and picks up a couple more handaxes. Now that Bartre and Dorcas are out, I have enough of the things for the short term, but you can never have too many.




Those brigands I mentioned are already en route to destroy the village and neither Kent nor Lyn could get there in time on their own. To avoid just letting Sain kill them, I rescue-dropped Lyn with the help of her knights.




Fighting continues, but itís way easier for Eliwood and his group now. Erk gets another good level. Mine is quite slow, but decently strong and tough for Erk. Good overall Iíd say.




Ultimately it took Hector way too many turns to land a hit on that myrmidon and for Florina to kill it, but heís at last fighting his way to Bauker and he got another nice speed boost. My Hector is pretty weird at this point. In terms of total stats heís below average, but he remains pretty good because his painful loss of defense is offset by a wonderful boost in speed.




Thereís really very little going on for anyone but Hector at this point, just a slow slog through the woods and some visits of villages. It seems that Hausen remains popular among the villagers despite the hints in 13x and in this very chapter that, in the wake of Lynís story, his realm is a crumbling and lawless mess unable to defend itself even from bandits.




So you may recall me arguing a few posts back that Priscillaís hefty resistance advantage over Erk doesnít really matter since enemy mages are rare and their damage is pretty weak. Hereís a pretty good example of that. My Erk isnít very leveled- he started at level 1 just a couple of chapters ago- and he has about +1 res over average. Meanwhile the enemy mages are at their strongest point relative to him. Yet this one has severe difficulty damaging him already. In a few more chapters heíll be taking close to 0.

You can also see that I used Priscilla and Florina to drop Lowen in to help Hector- he really needs it since mine has terrible res and the enemy mage shredded him. The reinforcements spawning out of those forts didnít help. At this point he canít actually beat Bauker (heís in range next turn) and this is a huge problem since my bad luck with the myrmidon and unexpectedly weak Florina means Iím already behind schedule. Fortunately I can have Florina and Sain drop in Priscilla and heal him next turn. Unfortunately, that puts Priscilla and Florina in range of that ballista. But thereís no alternative after examining my options. With a better Florina or a luckier Hector I wouldnít be in this tight spot, so hopefully my bad luck up till now will be made up for by the ballista missing its 40% or so shot.




Sure enough! Next turn, Hector goes for Bauker. I really, really want to use the Wolf Beil to finish him quickly but I canít spare the 2 uses of it. Iím going to have to rely on Sainís help to make sure Bauker is dead by next turn so I can seize the throne. Meanwhile I should have just enough firepower to take out the other enemies in the area. Not a moment too soon.




Eliwood gets another sweet level up. Mine is really quite excellent at this point. Itís just a shame Iíll never be able to promote him.




Kent is barely capable of handling brigands since I didnít use him in Lynís story. Lyn herself is weirdly not much better off. I had Sain kill Bauker because Hector decided to miss him 3/4 times despite >80% true odds to hit, so Hector is about to end it once Kent gets this guyís XP.




And a mediocre level for him.




Lyn visits the last village and uncovers dialog I never saw before! Man, this game is just chock-full of little extra details and scenes and dialog. Even after 12 years of playing Iím still finding new things on occasion.




The map is over, but Priscilla heals Hector anyway to get more XP. And a decent level.




Itís turn 7. Despite all disadvantages, I came in on time- but not ahead of schedule. This means Iím still in debt after 15.




Eliwood and Lyn are reunited and the former apologizes for having indirectly caused the invasion of Caelin.




This whole scene really harkens back to Chapter 6 and Lyn talking to Marquess Araphen. The situation is almost exactly the same: one personís castle was attacked by the forces of a second person even though the latter were really actually the enemies of a third party. Now Lyn is in Marquess Araphenís shoes and Eliwood is in the situation she was in a year ago: apologizing for something he didnít really cause. But unlike Araphen, Lyn doesnít unreasonably blame him for what happened.




But Eliwood nonetheless accepts responsibility and tries to right the wrongs involved. Really, this scene is a fantastic callback to Chapter 6 because the parallels are clear but the game never feels the need to actually inform you of that and beat you over the head with their moral about the proper way for noblemen to behave and for people to rightly assign blame for wrongs committed and- more importantly- to set them right. This game has themes.




And Lyn is rude and critical to Hector. This is becomes a pattern. She really never stops taking opportunities to be rather obnoxious to him for about 7 chapters, but at the same time she keeps saying that heís brusque and rude and acting like itís out of character for him to be kind of people.




And another reunion! Everyone from the Caelin group greets Market in their own way. And this of course is one of those spots where the dialog is different if the tactician is a woman.




Inside, Darin gets word that Bauker has been defeated and Eliwood will catch up to him in minutes. We get our first real chance to see what sort of person Marquess Caelin is as he chooses to be diplomatic and offers to speak for Darin and try to smooth things over if heíll surrender.




Truer words have never been spoken. Unfortunately, Ephidel shanks Hausen instead of himself so the stream of terrible advice continues.
Guess what? Ephidel AGAIN failed to kill a helpless old man. Furthermore, he again forces Darin into an absolutely terrible plan that screws them both over.

You can bet that this stupid, stupid plan to attack Caelin for no reason and thereby lose soldiers, make new enemies, and put Eliwood back on their trail was Ephidelís fault too.




Letís review whose fault that is:
1) At the start of the game, Ostia knows Laus had something to do with Marquess Pheraeís disappearance but not exactly what. And theyíre not doing anything or telling anyone because they want to pretend all is well.
2) When Marquess Santaruz, one of their few allies, says that he could not lie to Eliwoodís face, Ephidel does not bring up the reasonable plan of just pretending Marquess Santaruz is away and sending Eliwood in the wrong direction. Instead he lies to Marquess Santaruz and decides to have some thugs kill Eliwood, thereby ensuring that Santaruz will be furious with him and quit their conspiracy. This further ensures that the existence of the conspiracy will be immediately revealed since Eliwoodís death would undoubtedly set off a polital firestorm and would mean that Ostia has nothing to lose by crushing Laus promptly.
3) Ephidel, a leader of the worldís greatest league of assassins and a mighty wizard, decides to shop the job out to the least competent thugs for hire around. Consequently Eliwood survives, realizes that someone wants him dead, and thereby catches Ephidelís trail. Meanwhile, Marquess Santaruz is of course infuriated and quits the conspiracy.
4) Ephidel stabs Santaruz. Just once. He doesnít hide the body or finish him off or take any precautions against someone helping him other than leaving more hired goons outside the castle. Or try to pin the crime on someone else. No, he makes it 100% obvious that Helman was a victim of foul play and even leaves the man alive for hours in which heís able to wait for Eliwood to arrive and then explain things to him. Had Helman lived like 30 seconds longer he would have had a chance to explain the whole plot in full Even if he had been killed though, Ephidel would still have been in deep trouble.
5) So 100% as a result of Ephidelís dumb ideas and screw-ups, Eliwood heads to Laus. Ephidel doesnít even understand that if Eliwood gets word of the truth to Ostia, their plans will be ruined. Darin, a madman, has to explain this to him. Erik suggests a reasonable plan for ambushing and killing Eliwood.
6) Eliwood proves too strong for Erikís initial forces, but Laus still has about 100 men- including many better troops. Darin is about to send them out and thereby ensure Eliwood is crushed, when Ephidel stops him. Ephidelís oh-so-brilliant plan is to just abandon Laus himself and cancel all black fang operations. This will result in Laus winning the battle, but the whole plan for rebellion completely collapsing. Realizing this is terrible for him, Darin manages to persuade Ephidel not to give up on them. Ephidel insists on a plan thatís even worse: Darin will abandon his realm and a good third of his men and his son and flee with Ephide. Now they lose almost all their resources and the only possible staging ground for their rebellion. Further, now Erik is certain to be defeated and this means Eliwood will certainly be able to find out all their plans.
7) Someone decides to attack Caelin. Probably not Darin since Darin has been the cautious and non-stupid one so far. Also he evidently bears Marquess Caelin no ill-will and is totally listening to what he has to say. So yeah, probably that was also Ephidelís idea.
8) Now that Eliwood can find them again and Darin has lost another third of his men to the counterattack by Lyn and Eliwood and accomplished absolutely nothing but to make more enemies since Castle Caelin is not useful to him, Ephidel stabs Marquess Caelin. Again, he completely fails to kill him and thereby accomplishes nothing but making more enemies.




But itís ok! Sure Ephidel is completely destroying all their plans with his incompetence and stupidity, but as long as they have his master theyíll definitely win! This attitude explains so much about him. Heís just relying on Nergal to carry the team. And he greatly overestimates Nergalsís power, so heís completely misunderstanding what Nergal needs him to do.




Good gravy, the man is on a roll! He has thrown away Darinís lands, status, prestige and reputation, and his entire massive army. Those were their greatest resources. Now Darin is absolutely worthless to him, but Ephidel doesnít understand that. Ephidel knows they need Darin on the Black Fangís side, but he completely doesnít get that that was about Darin being a wealthy and powerful nobleman. Darin personally is useless to them.




Possibly my favorite line of the game. Having convinced Darin that he has no choice but to go along with Ephidelís latest moronic plan, Ephidel walks away patting himself on the back for outsmarting Darin. He just doesnít get it.




And he talks to this new but skilled Black Fang recruit- Leila. Sheís an Ostian spy but of course Ephidel would never figure that out on his own. So even though sheís new, he entrusts her with the all-important task of disposing of Marquess Caelin and leaves her completely unsupervised, giving her free reign to not only save Marquess Caelin but also give a full report to Hector. And he suspects nothing when she rejoins him later.

Well thatís the end of the level! Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!


Total Restarts: 7. No more on this chapter. I wasnít lucky, but my luck wasnít that bad either so there was no call for restarting.
Turn Surplus: -6 (No progress. I was hoping to move that to -5, but the myrmidon and no Wolf Beil slowed me down too much. Oh well. Itís only one turn lost).
Things I Regret Missing: The lockpick on chapter 11, that darned archer on chapter 11, this one brigand who attacked Marcus on chapter 12, 2 more brigands who ignored everyone else to attack Marcus on chapter 13x, and 2 archers who ignored Hector and Dorcas (DORCAS!) to attack Marcus on chapter 14

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

SystemLogoff posted:

Ok, make sure you back up your save and check over everything just in case.

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=08851117392143132433

I've added the Angel Robe to her inventory for you to use whenever you want.

You can then use File > Load Game (or Load From File) to pick this changed save..


I seem to be getting a "unsupported visualboyadvance save game version 13" whenever I try to load it. I discovered I was using a very old version of the VBA so I downloaded a newer one, but had the same problem.

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.
You know? I never really thought much about Ephidel despite him basically being the 'Primary Antagonist' for the mid-game, But dear god he really is the stupidest motherfucker and this game is only continuing because of the good grace of his stupidity.

Melth posted:

I seem to be getting a "unsupported visualboyadvance save game version 13" whenever I try to load it. I discovered I was using a very old version of the VBA so I downloaded a newer one, but had the same problem.

Save your game.

Empty out 'Slot 1's inventory (should be Hector)

Go to Cheats> List of your VBA emulator with FE7 loaded

Click Codebreaker

Input

3202BD6E 005A
3202BD6F 0001

Give it a description if you want.

Click OK

Make sure it's given Hector the Angelic Robe.

Save the game. Turn off the Code. give the Robe to Florina, use it.

Onmi fucked around with this message at 23:55 on Feb 23, 2015

legoman727
Mar 13, 2010

by exmarx
I never realized just how stupid Ephidel is.

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?

You know all this talk about how ephidel is an idiot got me thinking, and I realized that all the morphs come off as not the brightest tools in the shed. I mean Kishuna is mute, Denning is an attack bot capable of saying only one line, and you never see a generic morph soldier speaking ever. It's like Nergal deliberately chose to make them more evil at the expense of brain power.

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

End Session?

Melth posted:

I seem to be getting a "unsupported visualboyadvance save game version 13" whenever I try to load it. I discovered I was using a very old version of the VBA so I downloaded a newer one, but had the same problem.

https://code.google.com/p/vba-rerecording/downloads/detail?name=vba-rerecording-svn480-win32.7z&can=2&q=

This is the version I use, it's fully up to date. If you can't get the code to work give this a try.

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.

FoolyCharged posted:

You know all this talk about how ephidel is an idiot got me thinking, and I realized that all the morphs come off as not the brightest tools in the shed. I mean Kishuna is mute, Denning is an attack bot capable of saying only one line, and you never see a generic morph soldier speaking ever. It's like Nergal deliberately chose to make them more evil at the expense of brain power.

In the case of Denning, it's become clear that Nergal made a morph simply to deliver a message. Kishuna... Okay, I have the best explanation of Kishuna that's not actually in the game. He's an Anti-Magic morph, Athos was the only one as far as Nergal knew who could stop him. if Kishuna was specifically an Anti-Athos morph, that makes a tonne of sense and explains why you find him in the desert as well. I would also have used him to explain why Athos can't simply Scryport to Nergal and deal with everything himself.

Now I'm going to stop talking about poo poo we haven't seen yet, it'll all come soon enough.

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.

Games Idiot Court Jester

Onmi posted:

You know? I never really thought much about Ephidel despite him basically being the 'Primary Antagonist' for the mid-game, But dear god he really is the stupidest motherfucker and this game is only continuing because of the good grace of his stupidity.

Yeah, I thought Melth was overexaggerating but the further we go along it seems like he's in his position entirely because of nepotism.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

FoolyCharged posted:

You know all this talk about how ephidel is an idiot got me thinking, and I realized that all the morphs come off as not the brightest tools in the shed. I mean Kishuna is mute, Denning is an attack bot capable of saying only one line, and you never see a generic morph soldier speaking ever. It's like Nergal deliberately chose to make them more evil at the expense of brain power.



I think you've hit the nail on the head. Every morph seems to be stupid, insane, mentally broken and incomprehensible, or outright robotic. As is pointed out repeatedly, they're not humans- they just look like humans. That's why they're called "morphs" which means "forms" or "shapes" or the like. They have the shape of a human but nothing else. They don't have quintessence- which seems to be something like a soul among other things- that can be harvested or anything like that either.

I think though that it's not that Nergal chose to make them like that but that he can't do better. He doesn't even understand what he made a morph with emotions like Kishuna for anymore and he's completely lost his human self. He doesn't even recognize his own children or why they were important to him or understand anything humans do and feel. Heck, he doesn't even know why he even wants what he wants anymore; he's just a vessel for dark power. If he's completely lost his understanding of what humans are, how could he make anything that thinks like a human at anything other than a superficial level?

Melth fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Feb 24, 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.

Melth posted:


I think you've hit the nail on the head. Every morph seems to be stupid, insane, mentally broken and incomprehensible, or outright robotic. As is pointed out repeatedly, they're not humans- they just look like humans. That's why they're called "morphs" which means "forms" or "shapes" or the like. They have the shape of a human but nothing else. They don't have quintessence- which seems to be something like a soul among other things- that can be harvested or anything like that either.

I think though that it's not that Nergal chose to make them like that but that he can't do better. He doesn't even understand what he made a morph with emotions like Kishuna for anymore and he's completely lost his human self. He doesn't even recognize his own children or why they were important to him or understand anything humans do and feel. Heck, he doesn't even know why he even wants what he wants anymore, he's just a vessel for dark power. If he's completely lost his understanding of what humans are, how could he make anything that thinks like a human at anything other than a superficial level?



In short, he's progressed in a way that Canas says one can progress when discussing Dark magic.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Onmi posted:

In short, he's progressed in a way that Canas says one can progress when discussing Dark magic.

Exactly. I mean, that's why Canas says that.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

SystemLogoff posted:

https://code.google.com/p/vba-rerecording/downloads/detail?name=vba-rerecording-svn480-win32.7z&can=2&q=

This is the version I use, it's fully up to date. If you can't get the code to work give this a try.

Ah, excellent, that's working. I'll just need to adjust the hotkeys of this new emulator version and then I'll be good to continue.

Thanks for trying to help, Omni, but I couldn't seem to get that code working.

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!


Here we go, one of my favorite chapters of the game!
Also one of the more peculiarly titled. Iíve never been entirely sure whether it refers to the whereabouts of Darin or Hausen. Or both.

This is your first real chance to put most of your Lynís story veterans back into play and let them show Nergal what theyíre made of. Perhaps not coincidentally, itís also a map on which a lot of those units are quite excellent.

Chapter Summary:
Eliwood and Hector- now joined by Lyn- charge into Castle Caelin to try to rescue Marquess Hausen and any surviving Caelin soldiers and defeat the remnants of Lausís army. The Ostian spy Leila leads them to Hausen, whose life she may have saved, and also informs them who their true enemy is and that he- now with Darin as well as Marquess Pherae- is at a place called the Dragonís Gate on the southern island of Valor. They all resolve to travel there and put an end to Darin and Nergalís plan and rescue Marquess Pherae.




Why IS this? How in the world does grabbing that fancy chair rout the enemy? Granted, the enemy commander is usually sitting on it, but thatís just dodging the real question because itís not clear why the enemy commander would want to be there rather than either sneaking out the back or actually leading their men. Furthermore, on some chapters (like 15 and 31) you have to defend a throne and if the enemy steps on it, you lose even though your commander evidently wasnít on it. This isnít just a peculiarity of FE7 either, throne seizing is in almost every FE game.

Until Hector said this you could assume it was just a game mechanic thing, but now itís canonical that the characters actually think theyíll surely win once Hector seizes the throne.

Thereís really not much else to say about this mapís beginning because almost all the conversations were done at the last chapterís end instead.


The War Room, Part 16

A long time ago I mentioned (in the context of important ways to save money for your funds rank in HHM) that javelins and handaxes donít have a very good price to use ratio: about 2.5x the ratio of an iron weapon of the same kind.
This makes javelins as pricey as flux, the most expensive basic magic tome, and handaxes are not that much cheaper. It also makes them more expensive than steel weapons of the same type, despite a whopping 4 less might and 5 less hit too.
Compared to iron weapons, they have 1 less might and have a hefty penalty of 15 to hit and weigh much more (3 for javelins and 2 for handaxes), which you will recall from the War Rooms part 2, 3, and 4 can mean a painful speed penalty.

I also mentioned that handaxes and javelins are probably the best weapons in the game and that I would someday devote an entire war room section to why. The time has come at last because this chapter revolves entirely around them.

Iíve talked about weapon ranges before, most particularly in The War Room Part 3. For those of you who donít already know or forgot, every weapon may only be used against targets within a certain number of squares of the wielder. A range of 1 square (like almost all swords, lances, and axes have) means it can hit enemies immediately next to the wielder (remember, diagonal counts as 2 squares away). A range of 2 (like almost all bows and nothing else) means it can hit enemies exactly 2 squares away but not next to the wielder. The best range to have though is 1-2, meaning the weapon can hit any enemy within one OR two of the wielder. Almost every magic tome of any type has this kind of range, but pretty much the only weapons that do are the javelin and the handaxe. There are a handful of others, but theyíre extremely rare and often extremely expensive and pretty much just function like better javelins and handaxes anyway (Except the Light Brand and Rune Sword, but those wonít be seen for about 10 chapters).

Now it might not be apparent just why having 1-2 range would be so amazing, particularly when it comes with such a hefty price tag in accuracy and power and speed and actual price. I see the following 4 main reasons and a few minor ones:



I still cannot grasp the true form of Oswinís attack. But illustrated here is reason number 1: safety. With a javelin/handaxe equipped you can attack enemies with range 1 weapons from range 2 or enemies with range 2 weapons from range 1. Remember that you cannot counterattack enemies who are not in your weapon range. This means the enemy will be unable to counterattack you due to your javelin/handaxe, so you can score a free hit on them. This can be especially valuable for fragile characters like Florina.



Reason 2: javelins/handaxes increase your movement by 1 square! Alright, no, not really, but the effect is similar. A knight like Oswin has a movement of 4 spaces and with a normal lance can attack an enemy 1 space away. This means Oswin has an attack range of up to 5 spaces, assuming no problematic terrain or enemy units in the way. With a javelin though he can move 4 spaces and then hit an enemy up to 2 spaces away, giving him an attack range of 6 spaces. In this example picture, Oswin could not even get into range of that archer with his iron lance- it was too far away. Having a javelin allowed him to attack when otherwise his turn would have been wasted.

This +1 to attack range is in some ways even better than the +1 movement comparison I made: for one thing it applies equally over all terrain and even through walls, whereas a movement boost doesnít.

There are a lot of circumstances where itís possible to kill a very dangerous or important enemy with a javelin or handaxe when youíd have to leave them alive (and possibly lose the whole level) without one.




Reason three is teamwork. Often narrow corridors or other forms of chokepoints or just needing to run too many spaces to get to the enemy will make it impossible for 2 of your soldiers to both attack a target enemy who you want to bring down fast with range 1 weapons even though each of them can reach the enemy. But what you CAN do is have one person attack with a javelin or handaxe from 2 squares away and the other attack from range 1, possibly killing an otherwise unkillable target.

In this example, Matthew and Hector were able to beat this wall down in 1 turn only by having Hector use his handaxe and Matthew attack with his iron sword using this trick.

Sometimes youíll have even more people who need to attack the same target. Javelins and handaxes are even more useful in that situation. In the extreme case, you could have 12 units attack a single enemy if each has a javelin or handaxe vs 4 for iron weapons. Obviously that will never come up in game, but it illustrates the general principle well.

Tying in with reason number 1, you may also find yourself in situations where you must take down an extremely dangerous enemy with two units neither of whom can instant kill the enemy or survive a hit from it. Letís imagine Florina and Lyn fighting a cavalier wielding a silver lance for example. Itís quite possible that that cavalier could instant kill either of them if he hit- especially if theyíre already injured- and you donít want to just cross your fingers and hope for luck to save you 10 turns into a chapter. If Lyn or Florina attack with their Mani Katti or iron lance, the cavalier will be heavily damaged by their initial attack, but can then counter and kill them. But if Florina attacks with a javelin she can damage the cavalier from complete safety- possibly by enough so that Lyn can then kill it in one hit of her Mani Katti. This plan might have as high as 100% odds of completely safe success depending on their accuracies.




Most important of all is the fourth and final main reason: counterattacking every enemy. In FE7, the fact that counterattacks are every bit as powerful as attacks that you launch and the fact that the enemy almost always outnumbers you means that most of your kills happen during the enemy turn. At the very best each of your units can kill a single enemy on your turn. But just one of your best soldiers could take down dozens of enemies in a single enemy turn if they all attack him. And in the later chapters, you may well be facing as many as dozens in some areas.

In a max ranking run, you must be moving all of your characters at full speed toward their goals almost all the time. The main thing that will slow you down are enemies, both because they canít just be moved through and because leaving them alive might let them kill one of your vulnerable units.

So itís highly important to clear as many of them as possible out of your way pre-emptively by ensuring theyíre killed by your counterattacks. Most enemies have 1-range weapons so you can counterattack and kill them with most normal weapons. But enemy archers, mages, and those with their own handaxes and javelins will gleefully attack you from range 2 (They understand reason 1; they must have been reading this LP!). So if you have, say, an iron lance equipped instead of your javelin, then every single one of those archers and others will be left alive and in your way to bog you down next turn. With your javelin, you might have been able to kill some or all of them and make things easier on yourself.

Of course, there are circumstances in which equipping the javelin could make you less effective overall. If the decrease in damage causes you to leave enemies alive with 1 HP or makes you too likely to miss 1-range enemies, then it might have been better to not equip the javelin to defend with that turn. So do think about such things and do some quick number checks before deciding what weapons to finish your turn with. And also remember that enemies love to attack people who canít fight back. If you give 5 of your guys javelins, but the sixth just has an iron lance, you can bet the enemy archers will ignore the first five to shoot that one instead. Donít let them do that. Use good formations and trading to change alliesí equipped weapons (The War Room, part 12) to ensure optimal counterattack results.

Besides those 4 major benefits of javelins and handaxes I can think of a couple of other small ones:

For one thing, I just mentioned the enemy AIís love of attacking people who canít fight back. You can try to manipulate the enemy into attacking someone very tough by making the tough person the only one who isnít capable of counterattacking. Do remember that the AI loves attacking people they can kill even more though, so donít expect the enemy archer to shoot Oswin with his iron lance for 0 damage instead of killing your injured, javelin-wielding Florina. You need to use this to prevent damage to fragile people pre-emptively, not to try to save them once theyíre already in danger.

For another, why not turn the javelin/handaxeís weaknesses to your advantage? You can use the high weight, low accuracy, and low might to ensure that one of your units does NOT kill a specific enemy and instead just damages it heavily. This could allow you to feed that kill to a hard-to-train ally.

In my own personal jargon, I have always referred to range 1-2 weapons like javelins, handaxes, magic, etc. as Ďversatile weapons.í Iíve tried to keep as much of my own peculiar lexicon as possible out of this LP to avoid confusing people, but I think you can see why that term at least is appropriate.

Iíll conclude this War Room by returning to the question of why one should use versatile weapons in general in a max ranking run. Afterall, they chip away at your funds ranking, donít they?

This is certainly true- in fact, as Iíve pointed out several times, the true price difference between a pair of weapons must take into account not only their price/# of use ratios but also the number of hits of each required to kill an enemy. Lower Might could make a javelin kill an enemy in 3 hits that an iron lance would kill in 2, which means that in that case you functionally spent not 2.5x as much but 3.75x as much for the same result. Thatís a pretty bad markup. I generally assume that the average is for a javelin to cost about 3x as much per kill as an iron lance for this reason and the same for handaxes and iron axes.

However, as I touched on in main reason 4, the use of versatile weapons can clear out enemy hordes much faster and therefore allow you to advance much more quickly. This can easily save you quite a few turns, pumping your tactics ranking quickly. It also shores up your Combat ranking by greatly increasing the ratio of kills to fights since there wonít be so many fights which consist of the enemy archers just shooting you in return for no counterattack. One good way to think of it is that you are essentially buying turns (and combat ranking but thatís really a much lower concern) for yourself. How much would you spend to save 1 turn? How much for 2 turns? If you would be willing to forgo stealing a lockpick to end the map a turn earlier, you clearly place a value of more than 1200 on saving a single turn. This means youíd be willing to chew up 3 whole javelins just to save a single turn.

Obviously, thatís not a good idea (which means steal those lockpicks, everyone!). But the dual points still stand: 1) Even assuming a functional 3x price compared to iron weapons, javelins are still not that expensive compared to the price of not stealing even a few valuable items 2) there is pretty much always some amount of money which it would be a good idea to pay to finish one chapter. This is essentially some kind of economics problem. True, you canít really calculate just what that amount of money is, but javelins and handaxes are the best means you have to speed up victory so they are the way you make that payment. Use your judgment and your knowledge of how many turns you can spare and still max rank tactics vs how much funds youíve saved up and make your decisions like an economist.

Almost always, I find that the ratio of turns saved per javelin used is so high that the price of the things is almost negligible in comparison. For that reason, I name the javelin and handaxe to be the 9th and 10th legendary weapons of Elibe, peers of Maltet and Armads, and strongly advise that every single one of your characters who can wield one have one at all times. Buy them in bulk and have as many spares around as you can afford.

Battle Preparations & the Map:



Units Allowed: 10
Units Benched: Serra, Eliwood, Guy, Lyn, Wil. I canít bring 2 healers this chapter since I need all my other unit slots and Priscilla is superior for her higher movement speed and for recruiting Raven. Eliwood, Guy, and Lyn are basically all benched for the same reasons: theyíre too slow and swords are worthless on this level (also Guy sucks). Wil was benched for being worthless. He will spend the rest of the story on kitchen duty.
Units Added: Oswin and Marcus. This is kind of the last hurrah for both these characters. Conceivably theyíll make more appearances on rare occasions when I just really need an extra beefy person who doesnít move or some added rescue-dropping power, but this is the last chapter on which I actually want either of them to do any kind of real fighting. Only Oswin (and Hector, but heís busy) can stand up to the tide of reinforcements from the southwest. Plus the enemies around the starting position are Oswinís kind of targets. Marcus is here because Iím bringing every single cavalier + Florina, theyíre all necessary for the strategy Iíll be employing.
Objective: Seize Throne
Secondary Objective: Steal Lockpick from the turn 4 enemy thief
Secondary Objective: Loot the bottom left chest for an Unlock staff
Secondary Objective: Loot the bottom right chest for a Hero Crest
Secondary Objective: Loot the top left chest for a Knight Crest
Secondary Objective: Loot the top right chest for a Silver Sword
Secondary Objective: Recruit Raven with Priscilla
Secondary Objective: Recruit Lucius with Raven
Secondary Objective: Protect all 3 green Caelin soldiers to get a red gem (and unlock the sidequest If you save at least one)
Reinforcements: A thief from the upper stairs on turn 4 with an iron sword, a killing edge, and a lockpick. A thief from the upper stairs on turn 5 with an iron sword and no lockpick (heíll just happily run off screen immediately if you donít present someone for him to suicide to).A cavalier and a nomad in the bottom left on turns 7, 8, 9, and 10. An archer from the upper stairs on turns 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
Turns Allowed: 18

Heck yeah, this is my kind of level! This is the kind of level I love about this game in general! Look at all those things to do! Look at how spread out they are! Look at how many enemies there are in the way and how many more will be spawning!
And look how little time you have! That first enemy thief will be in the top treasure room stealing the silver sword on turn 7. Hector, your front man, could not reach the room in that amount of time even if there were no enemies in the way at all. This is not even getting into the difficulty of actually stealing the guyís lockpick too. And remember that once he opens the Knight Crest chest, the silver sword is forever lost to you (The War Room, Part 9). And donít forget that you need to get back to the other set of chests and loot them too and that the green soldiers will suicide by about turn 9 and cost you the red gem if you donít work hard to save them.
I love this kind of stuff; itís a real test of strategic thinking rather than just luck to see if you can concoct a plan to get so many things done in just a few turns on HHM.
This is the perfect kind of chapter imo. Itís hard enough to do everything that even an expert player will have to think hard about it, yet on the other hand itís easy enough to just complete that even a beginner can finish- and not come out that much worse off. Thatís the best way to balance game difficulty in my opinion: let players set their own challenge level as appropriate for their ambition and skill. Thatís more interesting than all the buffed enemies HHM can throw at you, let alone all the spawn-moving reinforcements in later titles, or the Awakening silliness of every single enemy past like chapter 10 wielding two or three custom-forged weapons that cost 20,000 gold apiece and having a random selection of abilities which can actually make early maps completely unwinnable if youíre unlucky.
Such a great chapter.

Letís get cracking!

The first thing you should note is how HUGE this chapter is. It might not have the biggest total area of all maps so far, but Iím pretty sure it does. Whatís more, the level is maze-y and full of switchbacks and side paths which must be taken that make it even longer than it looks. Just getting Hector to the throne with no enemies in the way would take something like 11 turns.

Itís also carpeted in archers and nomads, who will constantly be shooting at you through the one-space walls. And there are plenty of knights. Both of those factors harshly punish your sword users (Florina doesnít fare too well either with dozens of archers around.

Thereís a third thing to note, a difference from the normal mode version of this chapter (and something I didnít remember) which completely changes the proper approach to this map: no enemy drops a chest key. On every other mode, there is an archer in the bottom treasure room with a dropped 5 use chest key. This means you can send Matthew to the north and have someone else loot the bottom room and finish up quickly. But in this version, thereís no chest key. So thereís absolutely no way to open a chest without having a thief do it. So Matthew will need to get both of those horrendously distant sets of chests while preventing the enemy from getting the top one and still finishing in time.

Iíll need a darned good plan. And every darned good plan starts with unimpeachable preparations:




When I need to approach a difficult map, often the first thing I do is un-pick every unit and have everyone give all their stuff to Merlinus, no exceptions. This way I force myself to think through every choice and not make lazy, stupid mistakes or unquestioningly bring a person just because I brought them last time. It also makes me re-distribute my very limited supply of vulneraries, which might otherwise leave me kicking myself when someone needs a heal and canít get one later.




After consideration and stat-checking and enemy gear checking, etc., I decide on the above units and formation. Notice that I brought every single mounted unit, including my almost completely un-used Kent and my mediocre Lowen and even Florina to this level full of archers. Iím going to need every last one of them.

Iím going to need to absolutely crush the nearby enemies with my first strike so that I can forge ahead at full speed, so itís important to optimize positions for that. Itís also essential to know my order of operations backward and forwards and check the numbers to make sure everything works. The above formation is the one I think can take down these enemies with the highest success rate and best finishing positions after turn 1.

For gear, EVERYONE who can use one has a javelin. Thatís why I bought so many last chapter. Hector has handaxes. Mass javelins is essential for tearing down the hordes of enemy archers at high speeds. Other than that, most gear is conventional except a door key for Florina. Because she canít handle archers well, I want her to handle the shaman by the southern treasure room and then open the door.

Erk, Hector, Sain, Oswin, and Matthew are all either vulnerable or likely to have to fight alone, so they get the vulneraries.

With that decision made, Iím ready to go.




Hector tells Market to protect the Caelin soldiers. One of several hints that protecting them will unlock something good.




Itís could be any of like 30 people! Iíll just have to kill them all!

Characters:




ďThe closer you are to your enemy, the easier it is to strike, right?Ē ĖRaven, Chapter 17

A mercenary working alongside Lucius, he was hired by Caelin some time before this attack by Laus and ended up captured after his partner was used as a hostage. Raven has a fierce hatred of Ostia and wants to kill Hector and Uther because he blames Ostia for the destruction of his parentsí Lycian realm of Cornwell, his parentsí consequent suicide, his separation from his little sister, and having to live as a mercenary himself. Raven is a nom de guerre, his birth name having been Raymond.
The truth of the incident is of course more complicated, but itís hard not to see that Raven has something of a point. True his parents had embezzled some funds from the Lycian League coffers, but completely dismantling their realm and destroying the family utterly was tremendous overkill. That Ostia led that motion and was also the primary benefactor since most of the former Cornwell lands apparently went to them is indeed more than a little suspicious. Perhaps Raven jumped to conclusions assuming that the accusations against his parents were completely false, and certainly heís wrong to blame Hector in particular for what happened, but heís definitely justified in being angry with Ostia.
As the chapter opens, he joins the Laus side in the battle to get a chance at killing Hector, but when heís shocked to find his long-lost sister among Hectorís company heís persuaded to switch sides instead and wait for a chance to kill Hector later.
I never quite noticed before just how badass Raven is in-universe, but on this playthrough it finally struck me that heís apparently so intimidating that a prison guard would rather let him out of his cell than stake his life on Raven not just tearing down the door and killing him. The same guard Ėthough with thirty allies in shouting distance- is terrified by Ravenís threats that if Lucius is harmed, Raven will kill him. Whatís more, he was only captured because they used Lucius Ėhimself a very dangerous warrior- as a hostage.
I like this character more and more every time I play the game. His story has an appropriate balance between keeping enough secrets that heís full of mystery until you do all his supports (and Priscillaís too) and telling you enough about him that you immediately understand what his deal is. His portrait and art are just awesome. Other peopleís reactions to him make it clear that heís apparently flat out terrifying when he wants to be. And though his story of a fierce but cunning quest for vengeance is compelling, heís ultimately able to let go of his grudge and let the past die rather than slake his thirst for vengeance murdering Hector.
Itís really the supports he has that sell the character to me more than anything though, Ravenís are among the most interesting in the game. And though heís a jerk in a lot of them, almost all of them involve him showing that heís not nearly as cold and mean-spirited as he usually lets on. For all that he might be the toughest, hardest character in the game, even he admits in one of my favorite supports that, ďIím human. I smile, I cry.Ē
The only thing I donít like about him is how abusive and unkind he is to Lucius, his truest friend. Since Iím such a fan of Lucius, I canít stand that at all. On the other hand, pairing the two of them up is the only way to get an ending for Lucius that doesnít seem to result in him getting brutally murdered offscreen during the beginning of FE6Ö

From the moment Raven joins the party, Guy should be reassigned to sharpen Ravenís sword, shine Ravenís boots, wash Ravenís awesome clothes, and style Ravenís oh-so-cool hair. Raven caps his HP on hard mode. Not even people like Bartre or Hector cap their HP at 60. His respectable starting Str gets a sweet boost on hard mode and then grows at nearly the maximum rate of anyone in the game, ramming into his cap not long after Sain does. His skill has a solid chance of capping at 30, not that skill is that useful. At his join level Raven is, bar none, the fastest character in the game. Not even Guy or Matthew can match him with his hard mode bonuses and he grows quite well from there, again ramming into a high cap. His luck starts bad but grows well. His defense is low-solid. His resistance is low, but again that doesnít matter much.
Comparing him to his main rival, Guy, heís actually faster for most of the game and has higher Con. He has MUCH more Strength. Both are likely to end with approximately the same 29 skill due to HHM bonuses. Ravenís defense is significantly better. At the highest levels Guy will have significantly more evasion due to higher luck and Raven having capped his speed 10 levels ago, but theyíre both seriously dodge-y and with Ravenís superior defense and Strength and the fact that Guy is slowed more by any kind of non-iron weapon, Raven holds a defensive edge in most situations. Furthermore- and this is perhaps the biggest factor- Guy is locked to swords forever, whereas Raven gets axes upon promotion- including the amazing handaxe. With that factored in, itís just no contest. For similar reasons heís much better than Lyn. Eliwood might edge him out at the very highest levels due to having a horse.
And that right there is his weakness really. Raven is the best infantryman in the game on hard mode, but being an infantryman is a serious disadvantage compared to cavalry- let alone flyers or mages- a lot of the time. Iím definitely going to try to use him, but it can be surprisingly hard to get him rolling considering his huge starting stats just because this is now the glorious era of flyers and cavaliers who can leave him in the dust.




ďThis is a just reward for Lausís brutalityÖĒ ĖBernard dying, Chapter 17

The Knight Commander of Laus, Bernard looks to be one of Lausís most elite warriors. However, unlike Bauker, few people have much to say about him. It seems plausible to me that his position, like that of Marcus until recently, mostly involved training the knights rather than any fighting. For that reason he actually seems to look up to the unpromoted Bauker as a superior- or at least regard him as an equal. Unlike Bauker, we definitely learn that Bernard disapproves of Darinís plans and actions, regarding his own death as completely justified. All in all he looks like a good man who had the bad luck to be born in the wrong Lycian state.

Bernard is the first promoted enemy of HHM and even with his HHM bonuses heís just pitiful. Even Lundgren is better overall! Bauker and Boies were quite comparable. Boies and Wire were undoubtedly stronger for their stage in the game. No problems here really except getting to him. He doesnít even have good weaponry.


Playing Through:




Order of operations matters. Number one, Erk has to kill this knight so that other people can freely move to behind the sword users. Note again that sometimes using the Thunder Tome is worthwhile at this stage in the game; his magic power just isnít good enough yet for Fire alone to cut it when you need an enemy dead.




Weird but nice.




Hector got a decently lucky hit on that myrmidon. If heíd missed, Oswin would have hit it and weakened it for Kent instead. Remember how a while ago I said that 13x was the only time myrmidons were a serious threat? Well hereís an example. 4 chapters later a myrmidon is roughly on par with an un-used, bad cavalier.




Florina finishes the mercenary and gets some much-needed strength and speed. Thanks again for fixing that whole Angelic Robe debacle for me, SystemLogoff. And thanks to everyone else who tried too!




I want my paladins to take up positions to the sides of the pillars to partly block the archers and to kill the incoming next wave early. Iíll need to do some trading to make sure everyone or nearly everyone in range ends up with a hand axe or javelin equipped.




On turn 1, Raven strong-arms his own prison guard into letting him out of his cell so he can join the Laus side and kill Hector.




This line is just the greatest because apparently he actually manages to make that trained soldier on the other side of a locked odor think heís dangerous enough to make good on his threats. What a badass.




Lucius disapproves of solving all oneís problems with murder or threats of murder and he definitely disapproves of betraying Lyn for revenge on someone who didnít do anything wrong and heís not afraid to say so. Raven doesnít care. What a jerk.




Oswin throws a javelin through a wall at the enemy archers and gets another point of every stat heís going to need. Nice.




Just a couple of moves into the second turn and you can see my starting formation wiped out nearly all enemies and left a clear path. Erk will handle those archers while everyone else charges or rescues slow people and charges.




Remember: the turn of anyone whoís going to be rescued is wasted anyway, so you might as well have them do things like move to a good spot or do some trading or drink a vulnerary first. Here Matthew is moving for easier pickup for Lowen. Iíll need to move him at top speed and that will involve a lot of rescuing and dropping and re-rescuing.




Florina prepares to take down that shaman as I ponder my limited options for Kent nearby. Heís not a very good unit and I donít intend to use him, but I do want him to get some XP. Trouble is heís badly injured and about to have a job to do anyway.




My mass of cavaliers and paladins rips apart the enemy resistance and lets me move nearly full speed per turn to this point. Here I want Sain to take down that entire wave of enemies you can see, but I also kind of need to move Marcus reasonably close so heís in position for next turn.




Marcus is just at the edge of the range of one archer. Iím not moving Kent along after the rest of them here; Iím positioning him very carefully for a later purpose. Florina of course took the shaman down easily. Meanwhile, Oswin is slowly waddling toward the enemy spawn point below.




Sain acquired a door key. At this point itís not 100% clear to me what the situation will be with the enemy thief when we get there, so I decide I want to keep the door key around as I acquire it from a slain enemy. But I need to send something to Merlinus. The iron sword will do.




Hector gets a nice shot and a nice level as he clears a path for the cavalry to keep charging. Iíve been picking up and dropping him along the way, same as Matthew, so he can keep up.




Another Lowenly level. Heís not getting as much XP as I hoped this level, but thatís alright. Speed is what I need here.




Florina opens the door with the key you may remember me giving her and then she starts moving back since mounted units can do that.




Here we go, I did some counting and found this is the spot I need Kent to be in for later.




I couldnít kill that cavalier so Iíll just drop Matthew and deploy him as a wall. You can see that the turn 4 enemy thief has spawned. And that Raven is running our way, which he does in hard mode. Heíll be recruitable next turn.




Oh yeah! Sain shows us all why Iím using him for this level once again. Of course he would get the best level out of anyone this chapterÖ




Itís just turn 4 now and Iíve already gone so far and killed the vast majority of enemies. Cavalry mass is the only way to really do that on hard mode.




Hereís the turn 4 enemy thief. Heís got a pretty serious backup weapon as well as that delicious lockpick.




And hereís the just-spawned turn 5 enemy thief. He has no lockpick. Therefore he has no targets to get to before he just walks off the map. Therefore heíll immediately walk for the map edge and leave unless given someone to attack. Really he contributes nothing. Probably they just forgot to give him a lockpick.




And thatís the perfect square for Florina to wait in.




Priscilla and Raven have one of the longest and best recruitment conversations of any new character after recognizing each other.




He finds sheís become friends with Hector, since she has no idea what happened to Cornwell due to being adopted very young by an Etrurian noble family who preferred not to tell her much of what befell her parents.




Erk softens up the cavalier for Lowen. Mage attacks look pretty awesome as usual.




Raven will have to get back into the prison cell to recruit Lucius soon, so back that way he goes.




Got to move fast if I want to steal that lockpick. Iíll use both paladins to rescue-drop Matthew right near the treasure room with a turn to spare. Itís really important to flexibly pick up and drop people as your needs demand when doing a strategy like this. Donít just designate Kent or someone the hauler for the whole level; that takes both him and his cargo out of the fight for the whole chapter.




Matthew is in position.




Sain rides on by and to my surprise the lockpickless thief doesnít ignore him; it attacks him. Well free kill I guess.




Lowen needs to be repositioned, as do most other people now.




Meanwhile Raven is great right out of the box, batteries included and everything. Not many of my units are actually capable of soloing enemies in one round at this point.




Time to take and drop Hector. Itís going to be a race to kill Bernard and his guards and seize that throne quickly.




Remember what I said before about letting the enemy thieves do work for you. In this case I want this guy to open the silver sword chest and THEN let me take his lockpick and kill him. To set up for that, Matthew chips him for some light damage first.




All part of the planÖ




And now the green units burst out of jail, armed and ready to run off and die to the reinforcements who just spawned. Lucius, determined just to wait for Raven to return, doesnít go with them




So they give him some vulneraries and a light magic tome to defend himself if need be. What nice guys. Maybe they know he helped liberate Caelin a year back.




These guys could get soloed by a single archer. That, in fact, is exactly what will happen if you do nothing.




I donít want to prevent any reinforcements from spawning by making enemies attack Oswin from on one of the spawn spots, so I move him a bit away for them to run up to.




Raven will recruit Lucius momentarily.




Lockpick stolen.




Now this is something of a puzzle. I have 2 enemies I want dead in short order, 3 fighting units + Priscilla whose healing I need, and I need to get Hector to the throne soon. But just as importantly, I need to get my paladins in position. I think Iíll have to spare the thief for now and have Erk finish him next turn.




Not that Hector really is going to do very well against that mage. My Hector has particularly bad resistance, but thatís always a weak point of Hectorís.




Next turn. Here goes amazing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKYi81giDrQ thatís Distant Travels, the awesome new main map theme. And quite appropriate.




First Erk kills the thief and traps in the enemy archer who just spawned at once.




Awesome! Finally some speed!




I decide to equip an iron axe even though Iím walking into javelin range. At this point Iím more concerned with conserving my very limited handaxes than with Hector taking a few more points of scratch damage.




Itís turn 8 and all the top treasure is mine. It would take about 8 more turns at least to get to the bottom treasure room.




Or I can do it in one. Hereís my master plan that Iíve been setting up for all level!




Sain grabs Matthew and runs to Marcus, Marcus grabs and runs to LowenÖ




Lowen runs to Kent.




Kent to Florina




And Florina to a spot calculated exactly so that after she drops Matthew, he can start grabbing treasure next turn and she can move her full 7 back toward Oswin to start getting some XP.

Bam! I just looted a chest and moved a guy about 37 spaces in a single turn. It took a lot of planning beforehand and I had to have Kent sit most of the level out, but this was a brilliant way to save like 8 turns. The way to make it better would be to have 1 more unit- infantry or cavalry- standing where Florina is now to take and drop matthew immediately. That would shave another turn off the level overall since Matthew would end up in position and back on the ground faster. Unfortunately, I couldnít spare anyone. You could perhaps do it by having Priscilla form part of the massive rescue chain after talking to Raven instead of doing any more healing. Then Florina could be the extra person. But I needed Priscilla.




So next turn is turn 9, on which she drops Matthew and moves for Oswin.




Raven recruits Lucius and the green soldiers try to suicide like lemmings to the constantly spawning archers.




Thereís something ironic about finding a staff like this locked away in a treasure chest. Unlock staves open doors for you. Interestingly, they can actually do so from range. So pretty much never useful in my experience, but interesting. Doesnít work on chests of course.




Kent chugs a vulnerary borrowed from Florina and prepares to lure some nomads to kill on the final turn.




Erk is getting worn out by the archers and gets a bad level, but at least he got some much needed speed.




Sain weakened Bernard, now Hector just has to go for the kill! Even if Hector misses once, heíll have his chance again on Bernardís turn.




Darn. Bernard decides to try to fight Sain instead, so Sain will get the XP.




The final chest opened! I got all the treasure!




I worked really hard to get Kent that level and he proves himself entirely unworthy of any further investment.




Itís the last turn so I get in one more Priscilla heal for XP.




All I have to do is seize the throne. That was epic. It could have been done in 1 less turn if I didnít need healing. But geez, I did everything and I did it in 11 turns courtesy of that massive, careful rescue chain. And Sain + Marcus.

The battle over, the group begins searching for Marquess Caelin when they see someone in the shadows.




Eliwood instantly jumps in front of Lyn. You have to admire his courage. Not only is he now between Lyn and someone she might want to kill, heís also closer to the potential enemy!




But itís just Leila. She reveals that, having been left totally unsupervised, she not only didnít kill Hausen but actually got him medical treatment. Ephidel is just terrible at this whole killing old men thing. One begins to suspect he might have been using a prop knife provided by Leila.




She delivers her report to them, explaining that Marquess Pherae is alive. Awesome, this is now a rescue mission. Iíve been constantly talking about Elbert this and Elbert that all thread long so I doubt that came as a surprise to anyone, but I remember that I was not sure what to expect the first time I was playing up until that point.




And she also reveals what she knows the founding and history of the Black Fang. It was started 10 years back by a man named Brendan Reed and once prided itself on only targeting tyrants and noblemen who abused their post.




But a year ago, Brendan remarried to a woman named Sonia and since then the Black Fang has changed. Now they kill anyone theyíre paid to and itís clear to Ostian spies at least that Brendan is being controlled by Sonia who is in turn working for a mystery man named Nergal- the same person behind Ephidel.




And apparently Nergal and Marquess Pherae and now also Darin and Ephidel are at a mysterious place called the Dragonís Gate.




Itís located on the island Valor, a dreadful place with a sinister reputation because people have been disappearing there for a long time.




Although this is not really her fight, Lyn resolves to help Eliwood so he doesnít lose his father now as she did just a year ago.

And Hector asks what Ephidel is like.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_94fD5MR8Wg
Ephidelís sinister theme plays as she describes the mysterious, seemingly inhuman, and profoundly stupid man.




This isnít the first hint we get that Matthew and his fellow spy Leila have some kind of relationship, but itís where we first learn how serious they are. I really like this pair.




He proposes she come visit his village and meet his parents once theyíve rescued Marquess Pherae.







And because I saved every green soldier, thereís this brief scene where you get a red gem.




And thatís the end! Man, I love that chapter.

Total Restarts: 7. No more on this chapter. Itís got a couple of Ďgotchaí moments, but nothing I wasnít ready for.
Turn Surplus: +1 (Awesome, I gained 7 turns in one chapter and now I can get my surplus built up for 19xx!)
Things I Regret Missing: The lockpick on chapter 11, that darned archer on chapter 11, this one brigand who attacked Marcus on chapter 12, 2 more brigands who ignored everyone else to attack Marcus on chapter 13x, and 2 archers who ignored Hector and Dorcas (DORCAS!) to attack Marcus on chapter 14

Melth fucked around with this message at 19:32 on Feb 24, 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.
I just... it's not a plot hole but I always hated how the Black Fang were assassins. Vigilantes, mercenaries, all these words fit a Warrior, and his swordmaster and Hero son and just the sheer scope of the people the Fang recruit to their side. I know they're assassins in the sense that they kill people, but I still think that vigilantes carries the same message and not leaving people to wonder why the Fang has an entire church of monks.

Also the time-scale, in just one year everythings been corrupted to poo poo from Brendan's vision? That feels... so drat short when you consider how deeply entrenched the Fang is with Nergals goals. And I know they explain that away I just don't buy the explanation for the timeframe given.

But like I said, this isn't a plot hole, this is just a personal preference thing.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012

I thought nothing in that update could top Raven's character analysis. Then there was the first-turn blitz in the starting area, using a party composition I'd never considered.

Then there was the carry chain.

Dear God. I'd never really put thought into how much advantage you can create with logistics. I mean, I've used rudimentary shove chains in FE9. But wow.

---

I know it's way early in this LP, but I might as well say this while I'm fangirling: Have you turned your mind to the possibility of showing us what can be done in other Fire Emblem systems? 9, for me, is another sweet spot game that gives you enough tools to create interesting strategies without turning every character into "Vantage! Wrath! Astra! Critical!"

dotchan
Feb 28, 2008

I wanna get a Super Saiyan Mohawk when I grow up! :swoon:

Sorites posted:

Then there was the carry chain.

Carry chains (and clever RNG manipulation) is how the TAS blazes through this game, since many of the maps are either assassination or throne-seizing missions.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011

Melth posted:

Bam! I just looted a chest and moved a guy about 37 spaces in a single turn.

I can just picture them casually tossing Matthew between them. :D

It's kind of like in Disgaea where you can have one character pick up another, then someone else pick them up, and continue until you have a giant tower of dudes and they can start tossing each other all over the map. Except FE is nowhere near as cartoony, which somehow makes it even more hilarious.

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?

Rescue chains are the bomb, and they're useful even when you're not going for rank. The skill is kind of horrible for what it's named for, but by golly is it good at getting thieves, lords, and other dudes that might lag behind up to the front.

I don't think I've ever used one that amazingly long though, that was fantastic.

Mzbundifund
Nov 5, 2011

I'm afraid so.
This is a really great LP! I'm loving the experienced tactical analysis, it's definitely a different experience to my casual fire emblem experience where my only real goals were to win and not let anyone die. I had a Matthew that somehow got strength every level for a bunch of levels, so it's weird for me to see a more statistically normal one or think of him as a unit not actually able to murder cavaliers with an iron sword. You're definitely a better tactician than I ever was at this. I'm also enjoying the plot (and plot hole) descriptions. I remember thinking he was dumb, but never realized exactly HOW dumb Ephidel was.

rated 5, went hog wild

Melth
Feb 16, 2015

Victory and/or death!

Onmi posted:

I just... it's not a plot hole but I always hated how the Black Fang were assassins. Vigilantes, mercenaries, all these words fit a Warrior, and his swordmaster and Hero son and just the sheer scope of the people the Fang recruit to their side. I know they're assassins in the sense that they kill people, but I still think that vigilantes carries the same message and not leaving people to wonder why the Fang has an entire church of monks.

Also the time-scale, in just one year everythings been corrupted to poo poo from Brendan's vision? That feels... so drat short when you consider how deeply entrenched the Fang is with Nergals goals. And I know they explain that away I just don't buy the explanation for the timeframe given.

But like I said, this isn't a plot hole, this is just a personal preference thing.


Part of that might be a matter of perspective. A lot of things we're told about them are obvious distortions of one sort or another. For example, people talk like the Fang was honorable or even just before Nergal came, but actually loads and loads of old Black Fang leaders are absolutely horrible and wantonly murderous.

Long before Sonia married Brendan, the completely psychotic Jerme was one of the Four Fangs, for example. He was replaced for not being as good as Jaffar, not for just killing everyone he can get his hands on.

And Pascal was maybe even worse. He murdered the entire population of the town he ruled over in cold blood and then joined the Black Fang even though he was one of the kind of horrible nobles they supposedly fought. Not only that, they made him one of the Four Fangs!

Ursula and Jaffar aren't even in their league.

For that matter, Linus is thuggish, brutal, stupid, and willing to kill his own sister on the off chance that, despite all evidence, she's to blame for Lloyd's death. Really out of all past and present Four Fangs members, only Lloyd is anything close to decent and he's still pretty bad.

Oh and as for their status as so-called "Chivalrous defenders of the common man", Linus picks a fight with Eliwood in the middle of a busy town and then doesn't lift a finger as pirates sack it.

Also we find out that Brendan investigated Sonia and found out who she was and that she had murdered Nino's entire family in cold blood... but he did nothing whatsoever about that. He wasn't really being deceived about her character, just about her intentions toward him.

They're even brutal and vicious to each other, killing each other without question if anyone ever screws anything up in the slightest- or even is just assigned an impossible mission to begin with. Oh and they betray each other at the drop of a hat.


The only evidence that the Black Fang as a whole was ever anything but monstrous is that they were once popular among the common people of Bern (Which just means they had a good propaganda division) and that Nino- a girl who never actually participated in any assassinations or battles and who idolized her brothers and generally had completely wrong ideas about all sorts of people- thought they had been nice to her at one point. Also Eliwood has a crush on Uhai for some reason. I'll get into why Uhai was terrible when that chapter comes up.

So I guess what I'm saying is, Brendan's vision was either awful to begin with or corrupted long before Nergal got there. If anything, Nergal seems to have brought some discipline to the organization by marginalizing many of the craziest people in it. It's clear in general that some Fangs are telling self-serving lies- possibly also to themselves- and wallowing in false nostalgia for a golden age that never was. So a lot of what we learn about them is obviously unreliable- and in fact, that the heroes never really learn the magnitude of the crimes of the people they fight is one reason Eliwood keeps believing that the organization was just tainted by Nergal. He doesn't see all the cutscenes we do.

Relatedly, I suspect part of the reason they're always described as "assassins" is that the main characters are a bunch of noblemen and their retainers. If the main characters were all peasants, they might describe the Fang as a secretive mercenary company or maybe as unusually organized bandits. Noblemen fear assassins, commoners fear soldiers or mercenaries or bandits.



Sorites posted:

I thought nothing in that update could top Raven's character analysis. Then there was the first-turn blitz in the starting area, using a party composition I'd never considered.

Then there was the carry chain.

Dear God. I'd never really put thought into how much advantage you can create with logistics. I mean, I've used rudimentary shove chains in FE9. But wow.

---

I know it's way early in this LP, but I might as well say this while I'm fangirling: Have you turned your mind to the possibility of showing us what can be done in other Fire Emblem systems? 9, for me, is another sweet spot game that gives you enough tools to create interesting strategies without turning every character into "Vantage! Wrath! Astra! Critical!"


Mzbundifund posted:

This is a really great LP! I'm loving the experienced tactical analysis, it's definitely a different experience to my casual fire emblem experience where my only real goals were to win and not let anyone die. I had a Matthew that somehow got strength every level for a bunch of levels, so it's weird for me to see a more statistically normal one or think of him as a unit not actually able to murder cavaliers with an iron sword. You're definitely a better tactician than I ever was at this. I'm also enjoying the plot (and plot hole) descriptions. I remember thinking he was dumb, but never realized exactly HOW dumb Ephidel was.

rated 5, went hog wild


Thanks, I'm glad to hear you guys are liking this!

Regarding someday doing an LP of another FE game, I'm thinking about it but I want to keep my options open for now and not commit to a particular number- or necessarily to FE again. Imo, 7 is the best one to do an LP of this style for. The story and characters are much deeper than usual so there's more to talk about on that front and the combination of fairly high difficulty and a ranking system that values more than just speed provides the sort of challenge that's actually interesting to strategize for. To just speak off the cuff about the way I play 9 in particular, it's generally much less interesting. Completely bland tactics and a few good tricks with shoving to ensure devastating first strikes are sufficient to trample over every chapter with max bonus XP on the hardest American difficulty.

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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.
That's a pretty good analysis, I always disliked the Fang, mostly because the majority of them bore me to tears, partially because everyone fellates them endlessly, which now that I think about it, they do it to Ephidel too...

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