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magikid
Nov 4, 2006
Wielder of the Soup Spoon

I've probably asked this about Fire Emblem before, but how do you guys deal with it all? Everything about these games just seems hilariously "anti-player."

Permanent character death, so no room for mistakes. Limited experience that you have to carefully balance between characters (while still trying to clear the stage). Random level gains, so characters you've put work into can turn out terrible for no reason. No failsafe if that happens. Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you. Weapon ranks and character relationships, so there's more stuff to manage. Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.

Are the games just generally easy enough that it doesn't matter much? I've never played any of them, but they just look like this massive brick wall that hates all life.

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chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





magikid posted:

I've probably asked this about Fire Emblem before, but how do you guys deal with it all? Everything about these games just seems hilariously "anti-player."

Permanent character death, so no room for mistakes. Limited experience that you have to carefully balance between characters (while still trying to clear the stage). Random level gains, so characters you've put work into can turn out terrible for no reason. No failsafe if that happens. Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you. Weapon ranks and character relationships, so there's more stuff to manage. Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.

Are the games just generally easy enough that it doesn't matter much? I've never played any of them, but they just look like this massive brick wall that hates all life.

Mostly it's not as bad as it looks. In most games, your units are beefy enough to take a few mistakes and keep going, there are new units who are at least okay given to you throughout the game to ensure you always have someone able to deal with poo poo, there are weapon shops in safe areas or menus between missions, and you pick up a decent chunk of cash just from playing through.

It's still pretty unfriendly from time to time, with occasional levels that are just bullshit, but the basics are manageable enough.

All in all, though, I admit that there's a reason it took Awakening to get the series mainstream. Infinite possible grinding in case of bad levels, high growth rates to guarantee decent stats overall, weapon shops on the map, and all the gold you could want, on top of a mode with permadeath off all adds up to make a much more approachable game.

Sjs00
Jun 29, 2013

Yeah Baby Yeah !

Save scumming.

LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

magikid posted:

I've probably asked this about Fire Emblem before, but how do you guys deal with it all? Everything about these games just seems hilariously "anti-player."

Permanent character death, so no room for mistakes. Limited experience that you have to carefully balance between characters (while still trying to clear the stage). Random level gains, so characters you've put work into can turn out terrible for no reason. No failsafe if that happens. Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you. Weapon ranks and character relationships, so there's more stuff to manage. Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.

Are the games just generally easy enough that it doesn't matter much? I've never played any of them, but they just look like this massive brick wall that hates all life.

To be honest it is a lot easier than it looks at first. Most enemies aren't up to par with your units, so a huge horde of them isn't as frightening as it typically appears. Most of it comes down to knowing the maps, knowing your units, and planning/hoping for the best. For comparison, I can do most FE games on Hard, but stuff like a Nuzlocke in Pokemon, or even BEATING the original Final Fantasy Tactics is beyond me.

You'll occasionally get into that situation, though, where you forget to replace a weapon (Which you can get basic versions of between maps, by the way, I might have missed showing that.), or some reinforcements show up at a bad time, and you've really got to think on your feet. Which is the part I like most, it reminds me a lot of something like XCOM. And if it all goes south and someone you really want to keep around dies, you can always reset, though the game does its best to ensure you're getting a steady flow of new units in case you need to fill a hole in the roster.

There are certainly some parts that are VERY bullshit, though. Reinforcements taking their turns the moment they appear is awful, even if it is only on Hard. Weapon Durability can be pretty obnoxious, and they dropped it in the most recent game. And, although it's rare, yeah, RNG can totally gently caress over someone who usually turns out great and it's a pain, but I've never been in a position where I've felt like I've had to restart the game over it. Most of the games even toss you a freebie character towards the end who can hold their own against the final boss.

Honestly the newer games do a lot to make the frustration less prominent. This game is basically a Famicom game with a new coat of paint, so it's very old-school and clunky, but something like Awakening, the first 3DS game, has a lot of ease-of-use upgrades, including an option to turn off the permadeath if that's not something you want. Some of them even have unlimited EXP with optional little "grinding" maps.

Basically what chiasaur said, there's a bit of a bump to get over, but you learn to sort of take a lot of FE's bullshit as second nature and handle it without really thinking about it.

Sjs00 posted:

Save scumming.

Also yeah, do not fear the Reset Button.

Jen X
Sep 29, 2014

To bring light to the darkness, whether that darkness be ignorance, injustice, apathy, or stagnation.


magikid posted:

I've probably asked this about Fire Emblem before, but how do you guys deal with it all? Everything about these games just seems hilariously "anti-player."

Permanent character death, so no room for mistakes. Limited experience that you have to carefully balance between characters (while still trying to clear the stage). Random level gains, so characters you've put work into can turn out terrible for no reason. No failsafe if that happens. Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you. Weapon ranks and character relationships, so there's more stuff to manage. Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.

Are the games just generally easy enough that it doesn't matter much? I've never played any of them, but they just look like this massive brick wall that hates all life.

In order, because I'm feeling too lazy for nice formatting: character permadeath is avoidable by not being an idiot, experience gain is usually pretty high (this game is bad about it), level gains are weighted by character and class which in most games means that you need serious bad luck to get someone awful (vs the chance of a loving awesome unit), weapon durability is high enough that managing it isn't a super high priority except for overpowered stuff, weapon ranks are just set and forget with weapons you give to characters before maps, character relationship sperging is admittedly awful, and there's 3 enemy classes that can destroy villages and they're pretty obvious when you actually play.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






magikid posted:


I've probably asked this about Fire Emblem before, but how do you guys deal with it all? Everything about these games just seems hilariously "anti-player."

Permanent character death, so no room for mistakes. Limited experience that you have to carefully balance between characters (while still trying to clear the stage). Random level gains, so characters you've put work into can turn out terrible for no reason. No failsafe if that happens. Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you. Weapon ranks and character relationships, so there's more stuff to manage. Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.

Are the games just generally easy enough that it doesn't matter much? I've never played any of them, but they just look like this massive brick wall that hates all life.

Not every game is exactly the same. Some of the later ones actually give you a world map where you're able to buy weapons and potions and stuff on, they introduced a casual and phoenix mode if you don't want to deal with character death and Fates, the most recent one to come out so far, did away with weapon durability entirely. So it gets easier depending on the game. Nothing you can really do about level RNG though.

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



LordHippoman posted:

To be honest it is a lot easier than it looks at first. Most enemies aren't up to par with your units, so a huge horde of them isn't as frightening as it typically appears. Most of it comes down to knowing the maps, knowing your units, andplanning/hoping for the best. For comparison, I can do most FE games on Hard, but stuff like a Nuzlocke in Pokemon, or even BEATING the original Final Fantasy Tactics is beyond me.

I agree with most of your points but man, that's some weird ability you've got there. The only FEs I managed to beat were Awakening and Fates: Birthright on Normal, and even I beat FF Tactics and completed several Nuzlockes.

Miacis
Oct 9, 2012

Get off my lawn!!

magikid posted:

Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you.

Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.
Adding to what's been said, pretty much all the games after 5 regularly dump bags of money on you for simply progressing the game, so even if you let all the villages burn, you won't stay poor for the rest of the game. Not to mention that all new recruits bring their own equipment, to the point where you'll more often run out of storage space rather than run out of weapons. As for the games that don't have a billion cavaliers bringing forth offerings of steel weapons, they happen to be the ones with grindable map encounters...

Really, aside from Thracia 776 (which was kinda its own thing), the devs did put a lot of thought into making the overall experience not frustrating in spite of a pile of mechanics generally considered player-unfriendly.

Miacis fucked around with this message at 20:30 on Dec 29, 2016

LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

Blaze Dragon posted:

I agree with most of your points but man, that's some weird ability you've got there. The only FEs I managed to beat were Awakening and Fates: Birthright on Normal, and even I beat FF Tactics and completed several Nuzlockes.

Well, Tactics was ages ago and I think I was on that one map everybody hates, the Execution Grounds? The one where you fight the Dark Knight. I'd go back to it if my PSP still worked. The Nuzlocke attempts were also from a while back.

I dunno, maybe a few years of age and the experience of playing video games for the internet has bolstered me enough to beat up Gargamel or whatever his name was.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008

This poster survived LPing Lunar: Dragon Song. Let's give her a hand.

LordHippoman posted:

Well, Tactics was ages ago and I think I was on that one map everybody hates, the Execution Grounds? The one where you fight the Dark Knight. I'd go back to it if my PSP still worked. The Nuzlocke attempts were also from a while back.

I dunno, maybe a few years of age and the experience of playing video games for the internet has bolstered me enough to beat up Gargamel or whatever his name was.

Gafgarion, yes? Oh, then, that's well before the most bullshit part of the game.

Although, speaking of FFT, one thing I do like about the Fire Emblem games is that even when you break them apart, you can't completely turn off your brain and coast. (Well, maybe on Awakening normal mode) In FFT, once you've got a good mage with some Calculate abilities, it's good-bye any semblance of challenge (and that's only one example)

Camel Pimp fucked around with this message at 01:16 on Dec 30, 2016

Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


GeneX posted:

In order, because I'm feeling too lazy for nice formatting: character permadeath is avoidable by not being an idiot,

C'mon now, there's PLENTY of instances in multiple games where the reinforcement spawns are total bullshit.
Even when you KNOW when and where they're coming.

Not to mention instances where a rescueable character will kill themselves off due to dumb AI or just plain bad luck which you have absolutely no control over (Jaffar in Hector Hard mode, anyone?).

Saying every death is due to player idiocy is beyond glib.

Jen X
Sep 29, 2014

To bring light to the darkness, whether that darkness be ignorance, injustice, apathy, or stagnation.


Oh no a hyperbolic statement that's generally true has a few specific exceptions

I must correct this

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Camel Pimp posted:

Gafgarion, yes? Oh, then, that's well before the most bullshit part of the game.

Although, speaking of FFT, one thing I do like about the Fire Emblem games is that even when you break them apart, you can't completely turn off your brain and coast. (Well, maybe on Awakening normal mode) In FFT, once you've got a good mage with some Calculate abilities, it's good-bye any semblance of challenge (and that's only one example)

That's true, there were a lot of ways to break Tactics. And they even throw Cid at you if you can't manage it on your own.

On the other hand, the story is better than that of any FE game I've seen (I'm only up to Radiant Dawn).

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Torrannor posted:

That's true, there were a lot of ways to break Tactics. And they even throw Cid at you if you can't manage it on your own.

On the other hand, the story is better than that of any FE game I've seen (I'm only up to Radiant Dawn).

I'd say the story is good about three quarters of the way in (if a bit rough to keep track of) and then it denigrates into "Look! Demons!"

We don't actually get followthrough on the interesting core conflict between Ramza and Delita because, whoops, who gives a gently caress about the relative morality of deception and betrayal in pursuit of social reform when there are demons behind half the politics of the game so far, and they were setting everything up just for shits, giggles, and the extinction of the human race.

Oh, fine, whatever, Ivalice Jesus was secretly the devil, I'm sure if I was Joe Peasant in the setting I'd be flipping my poo poo right about now, but as a player, I was invested in the personal stakes. You could reveal that Saint Ajora was Bertram motherfucking WOOSTER in a prank that went too far, and I'd react about the same. (E.g. "Huh".)

I'll probably sound like I'm committing heresy here... But what matters to me is not whether it's true or not, but that I believe it to be true, or rather not that I believe it, but that I believe it. Fire Emblem Awakening has a much better endgame, narratively, than Final Fantasy Tactics.

Yes, you can convict me where I stand of saying that a piece of fluff about the power of love and friendship (fine things, both, but well covered in every format) is better written than a study of war, religion, and politics with some eye for the details (much rarer in games), but Fire Emblem Awakening actually carries through to the end where Tactics falters. Awakening says "The power of love can triumph over all". Very well, it then shows it. Robin, the protagonist, is able to overcome his evil counterpart through the love of his friends and family. He's willing to die to stop the monster, for love of his friends and family. And he returns to life (with previously foreshadowed means) through (you guessed it!) the love of his friends and family. The game faffs about when it comes to a lot of things, but themes? It knows how to play a theme.

Tactics, meanwhile, opens up about Politics, Nobility, Means and Ends. All good and weighty topics, and it makes some good openings. Ramza, the bastard son of a nobleman, is forced to confront the gulf between the professed value of breeding and the actual character of his kinsmen. He embraces virtue over power, and is stripped of his title to live as a soldier of fortune. Meanwhile, his friend Delita is confronted with the low worth of peasants, and accepts the sacrifice of conscience for the power to create a better world. As the story progresses, we see the war that engulfs Ivalice from both prospectives, as Ramza tries to settle matters cleanly (with mixed results) occasionally saving innocent lives but with no ability to approach the core of the problem, and from Delita's prospective as he nears the heart of the matter by sacrificing the very people his reforms were meant to protect.

All to the good so far. But then, demons. The motives and politics of the opening acts slowly drain away as we spend more and more time on demons engulfing the world in war because, shock, horror, demons are assholes. And Ramza wanders off to stab some demons since he's the hero, and demons are bad. He happens to save the world, because where the problems were seemingly things like innate social inequality and the hypocrisy of those who were meant to act as a check on power, which are impossible to stab in the face, the core problem turned out to be demons, which (as DOOM taught us) get stabbed pretty easy. The question of how to best live morally in an immoral world is replaced with bland fantasy scenario #3: it turns out God was an rear end in a top hat and also you can stab him like your name's Longinus.

It's a shame, because I do love some good politics, and Delita's final scene is a fine endcap to a game that actually took its central conflict to a conclusion, but it doesn't, and here we are.

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?



chiasaur11 posted:

I'd say the story is good about three quarters of the way in (if a bit rough to keep track of) and then it denigrates into "Look! Demons!"

Same.
I'd say fe9 has a better plot than fft because it doesnt piss all over itself halfway through and retroactively ruin something that had been amazing.

Well until radiant dawn anyway.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Awakening is a great game to talk about when comparing Shadow Dragon. Whilst Awakening is not the most challenging game and its story has a tendency to wander around, the chemistry displayed by the characters in the game is amazing, especially when you start throwing the child units into the mix.

Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


GeneX posted:

Oh no a hyperbolic statement that's generally true has a few specific exceptions

I must correct this

Oh no a bullshit statement has been called out.

Let me act like a smug rear end in a top hat.

chiasaur11 posted:

I'd say the story is good about three quarters of the way in (if a bit rough to keep track of) and then it denigrates into "Look! Demons!"


True, and it seems this is the formula for every Matsuno story, except for FF12 where most of the game you're wandering around aimlessly while occasionally receiving cutscene updates of the story in the background.

Shiki Dan fucked around with this message at 15:53 on Dec 30, 2016

Miacis
Oct 9, 2012

Get off my lawn!!

Shiki Dan posted:

C'mon now, there's PLENTY of instances in multiple games where the reinforcement spawns are total bullshit.
Even when you KNOW when and where they're coming.

Not to mention instances where a rescueable character will kill themselves off due to dumb AI or just plain bad luck which you have absolutely no control over (Jaffar in Hector Hard mode, anyone?).

Saying every death is due to player idiocy is beyond glib.
The player should have access to 4~5 long range tomes (2~3 discounting Eclipse), and Physic/Sleep/Berserk staves by then to long-range-support Jaffar's random AI, and it doesn't take more than 5 or so turns to reach him if his situation calls for hurry. Of course, he can decide to gently caress off into a danger zone, but if he does it early on, resetting won't be a big deal; if he does it later, well, Jaffar's survival is not necessary to complete the chapter. I mean, it's Hector Hard Mode...

The games up until Awakening are balanced under the assumption that misfortune can and will strike, manifesting itself as either corpses, poor level ups, or destroyed villages and missed chests. (Heck, there's some Kaga interview floating around where he implies you should Iron-man these games, take your losses and move on.) And you as the player, are tasked to make sure tactical errors don't add to the existing bodycount, because for all the bs situations the game throws at you, a vast, vast majority could be avoided with more patience, research or experience.... which is really what GeneX was saying in way more words.

Miacis fucked around with this message at 18:06 on Dec 30, 2016

LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

Chapter 6: Ocean’s 14 (Prep)

I have managed to pry myself out of the maw of post-holiday cleanup and Steam Winter Sale splurging to provide today’s prep update.



Please enjoy.

(seriously please try this part of the game is pretty dull)




We’ve just moved inside that building Merach was guarding in the last chapter. It’s bigger on the inside.




: A number of treasures slept in Aurelis Castle’s nooks and crannies but how to extract them before they could fall into enemy hands?

: hey

: “Only a thief could open chests locked that tight,” grumbled one of Marth’s men.

: Hey

: “But we don’t have any thieves with us...Do we?”

: HEY



As the chapter narration there implied, this map is a good one for thieves. We’ll be indoors, so Caeda will be slightly more handicapped than she usually is getting around. You can still use mounted units indoors, of course. Having to dismount would be RIDICULOUS.

(you totally did that in the original)

We’ll also be up against a number of Knights, so Cord is going to be an asset, as well as Barst if I slap him with the Hammer.




As was requested, here’s Curate Hardin.

I don’t even like Final Fantasy 2, but Rabbi Raccoon has good taste in finding lookalike characters. Also Minwu was pretty rad, I can’t deny that.




I also went ahead and made Wolf into a General for this map, because I want to show how hilariously busted General Wolf is early on, and Draug’s on Bow Vacation.

Generals are Promoted Knights, and can use Lances and Bows.




Speaking of Lances, we have a ton of them! Mostly from all the Cavaliers that have shoved their way into the party. You can always sell them if you want, but I like keeping spare low rank weapons around, in case of reclassing.




I also totally forgot to explain the details of Excalibur when Merric joined. My bad. Excalibur is a weird Tome, it can only be used by male characters, and it’s B rank...except for Merric, who can use it at E rank.

It also does triple damage to flying units, and since fliers are so good in FE11, it’s a fantastic weapon. Cord’s a long way from using it, though.




This map itself is easily the most complex we’ve seen so far. We’ll have to make our way through the castle to reach that Throne, as usual, but we’re in very tight quarters.




To add to that unfortunate squeeze, we’ll have to deal with lots of Knights blocking the paths from these side rooms, as well as Archers and Mages forming a backline. If you can blow down a knight and kill his support on the same turn, it makes a lot of difference in how well you can clear this map.

You might also notice lots of chests scattered around. Julian’s going to have his hands full. Both proverbially and literally. Move quick, though, because enemy thieves will also go for the prizes, and then you have to kill them to get it back.




It’s a good habit to get into checking enemies out before the map, because sometimes you’ll find weird outlier enemies like this random Cavalier packing a Silver Lance! He’s also holding a Master Key, a five use item that effectively turns any character into a Thief, letting them open a locked door or chest.




Of particular note is this chest, rudely guarded by a Knight and two Archers. Also this hallway is baffling. The whole castle is baffling. Who lives here?




The boss is packing quite a bit of backup too, although some of those units will charge us. Others have got to be lured out.




As for the boss himself, it’s our first Promoted enemy boss, Emereus the General. He’s really not a bigger threat than Merach was, given his one range weapon, but don’t try to fight him head on. He’s also got a Master Key. It’s almost like this chapter is Thief themed…




Oh also there’s a recruitable thief right north of us.

Let’s help him out next time, when I manage to again struggle out of the grip of pulling stray tinsel off of my clothes and playing Dishonored 2. (it’s really cool)

Bonus Content!

In the sequel, every character has Support Conversations with the player avatar, My Unit/Chris. I’ll be recycling Steve from the last LP because we already have this lovely portrait.

Reclassing Is Pretty Rad (Steve/Sedgar 2)

: Axes...Good. Meh, this sword is in need of repair.

: Sir Sedgar.

: Oh, Dame Steve. Sorry for taking up so much space always.

: No, don’t worry. Say, would you allow me to take a look at this horse tack?

(I had to look that up, “horse tack” is like saddles and what not. Horse accessories.)

: Yes, go ahead.

: This was... very meticulously done. Did you... do all of this, Sir Sedgar?

: That's right. Well, I wasn't the one supposed to use it at first, but…

: Eh? Then, who?

: Wolf.

: Oh, the Wolfguard's leader... right?

Who else would lead the Wolfguard?

: He's... in one word, a genius. I got his bow and tack ready, and he fired. At first, that was how we operated. But, in the previous war, he got more and more stronger…

: And came to use weapons other than bows?

: Precisely. Depending on the strategy, he changed the weapons he used.

: That’s… amazing…

: And, to match his pace... I ended up getting used to repairing all kinds of weapons.

I like this one because it feels like a bit of a nod from the writers about how people would very frequently reclass Wolf in Shadow Dragon because of how totally broken you can make him. Thus the mentions of him using roughly every kind of weapon.

Also, here’s Sedgar’s Cipher Card, because I doubt I’ll be showing it off later:



The Assistant Leader of the Wolf Knights, Sedgar

Gonna assume “Wolf Knights” is a finicky translation for “Wolfguard”.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008

This poster survived LPing Lunar: Dragon Song. Let's give her a hand.

LordHippoman posted:

As the chapter narration there implied, this map is a good one for thieves. We’ll be indoors, so Caeda will be slightly more handicapped than she usually is getting around. You can still use mounted units indoors, of course. Having to dismount would be RIDICULOUS.

(you totally did that in the original)

In FE3 you did. Not FE1. And also Thracia, I believe. (And in FE4 one character could dismount, only one, and it was very glitchy. Also every map was an outdoor map, so why would you ever.)

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



LordHippoman posted:



The Assistant Leader of the Wolf Knights, Sedgar

Gonna assume “Wolf Knights” is a finicky translation for “Wolfguard”.

Fire Emblem wiki posted:

狼騎士団 Ōkami Kishidan, literally Wolf Knights

Also while it feels obvious that Wolf leads the Wolfguard, their name actually comes from Hardin, whose Japanese title is not Coyote but Wolf of the Grasslands. That someone whose title is Wolf ends up having a righthand literally named Wolf (though both are different, 狼騎 Ōkami in the first case versus ウルフ literally Wolf for the actual name) is either a great pun for the Japanese or just lazy, not sure which.

Also also Wolf is such an unimportant character in the original game that Gaiden, the immediate next game which happens in the same universe, reused his name for an unimportant boss. It might've been intentional too, seeing how both are archers (mounted here, Sniper in Gaiden) and both get absolutely no dialogue in their original games.

Sjs00
Jun 29, 2013

Yeah Baby Yeah !


..
Its flipping you the bird.

get that OUT of my face
Feb 10, 2007



Hunt11 posted:

Whilst Awakening is not the most challenging game and its story has a tendency to wander around, the chemistry displayed by the characters in the game is amazing, especially when you start throwing the child units into the mix.
Good to see Fire Emblem promoting the use of child soldiers

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





get that OUT of my face posted:

Good to see Fire Emblem promoting the use of child soldiers

Pretty much always, yes, but the Awakening kids are all young adults. Time travel might be involved.

Which, in some cases (like Owain and whoever Ricken and Donnel's kids are) means the kids are older than their parents, which can be awkward. (Kjelle has a conversation in the DLC about how, no, Ricken can't be her father, because her FATHER looked like Jonathan Joestar decided to finally get serious about his exercise routine, and Ricken is, like, four feet tall counting his hat. Meanwhile, Lissa figures out how to parent at Owain immediately.)

Fates, meanwhile, has the baby microwave.

SonicRulez
Aug 6, 2013

GOTTA GO FIST


magikid posted:

I've probably asked this about Fire Emblem before, but how do you guys deal with it all? Everything about these games just seems hilariously "anti-player."

Permanent character death, so no room for mistakes. Limited experience that you have to carefully balance between characters (while still trying to clear the stage). Random level gains, so characters you've put work into can turn out terrible for no reason. No failsafe if that happens. Weapon durability for everything. Replacement weapons can only be bought in the middle of battle, when presumably enemies are trying to kill you. Weapon ranks and character relationships, so there's more stuff to manage. Gold comes from villages, which enemy thieves can destroy apparently? Really, all that's missing is hunger and thirst meters for everyone.

Are the games just generally easy enough that it doesn't matter much? I've never played any of them, but they just look like this massive brick wall that hates all life.

The thing to remember about the game is that you can make mistakes and keep going. LPs obviously are going to show off all the characters and side chapters and stuff. You don't have to though. If a unit dies, unless they're one of a kind or got super good growths, you're free to press on without them. Look at this game. Do you really need every single cavalier?

I don't play that way, because I obsess over these things, but enjoy the game as you want.

LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

Chapter 6: Ocean’s 14 (Battle)

Let’s all rob our new allies blind.



I think Emereus has the worst haircut of all the bosses so far.

: Grrr…Very well! Armored units: intercept the intruders! Archers: defend the throne ! Thieves, you go gather up the treasure while I make preparations to withdraw. You have your orders! Don’t let those rebels anywhere near this chamber!

He’s also a coward and an idiot. I might just be still upset I had to upload a portrait for this guy’s one line. I’m lazy tonight.




So, immediately I unlock this door with Marth’s Door Key from last map. We can get our new recruit on Turn 1!




It’s one of the rare non-Marth/Caeda recruitments. (Marth can recruit him too, though, but Julian’s conversation is way better.)







: So, funny story: I decided to break in here and clean the place out. And then I got caught. Hilarious, right? Comedy gold. OK, your turn. What are YOU doin’ here?

: Me? I’ve washed my hands of thievery and joined the forces of justice.

: Ohhh really? Justice? So then this wouldn’t have nothin’ to do with some new lady friend? You always did have a soft spot for a pretty face and the right features-

: Wha- Can it, you little fink! I said it’s about justice! I’m entitled to have a moral crisis now and then!

Julian’s great. It’s too bad this is his last line in the whole game because Shadow Dragon.

: …You know what? Just for that, YOU are gonna work for me, startin’ right now.

: What? Do I have to…? Well, all right. You drive a hard bargain, but what can I say? I missed ya, Chief. Just make sure I get a cut out of the haul!




Rickard is, sadly, pretty much completely redundant and not good. He has no growths better than Julian, and gets blown out of the water in a lot of those categories. He also shows up at a lower level three chapters later. You could deploy two thieves, but it’s sort of a waste of a deployment slot unless you REALLY want to open things quick, and with something you get at the end of this map, that’s rarely even a concern.

If Julian’s dead, this is your only backup though.




I also had Caeda visit the Armory and grab a Hammer, because I realized I forgot one, and it could be great against all the Knights on this map.




It...would help if Barst could use them. drat you, one appealing part of Bord!




I take care to stay out of any enemy ranges.




This map doesn’t really give a drat. Most of the enemies just rush you. That 2-tile wide hallway is going to be a loving warzone by the time we’re done.



It doesn’t help that most of these guys have high Defense. Thankfully, so long as Cord uses an axe, it’s a one round kill.




I’m playing it safe here and just trying to stick in the range of one enemy. There’s a Mage coming for us, and Draug can counter.




Opening chests is as simple as standing on the tile and picking this command. It doesn’t give any experience, so Rickard can get this one.




Small Bullion is just something you can sell for 1k gold.




And here’s where the complications come in. Enemy Thieves can ALSO open Chests. And when they get the treasures inside, they’ll make a mad dash for the exit. If you don’t take them out by then, you can lose valuable items, like this Seraph Robe, a consumable that grants 7 Max HP, permanently.

I believe each enemy thief will only steal one item, though, so there’s no circumstances like FE7’s Legault potentially just cleaning up the map by himself.




Mages are bad news because everyone’s Resistance is awful, pretty much. And it will stay that way.




Thankfully they’re squishy, and Draug’s speedy, so this guy doesn’t live to cast again.




Ironically for a former Knight, Hunter Draug’s weakest aspect is probably his durability, but the guy can melt people with doubles!




The enemy has now formed a pretty effective blockade. If I was a patient person, I’d wait and calmly lure them out, but there’s sort of an invisible timer here with how quick the enemy Thieves can steal the good items littered around the map. I don’t have time for my usual cowardly professional LP tactics.

This was just a long way of saying “Cord kills another guy”




This is almost the exact level Draug just got, but with Strength and Magic flipped.




Wendell, unfortunately, can’t quite kill the second knight, but he does leave him with 1 HP and basically cause him to be a free EXP bag for whoever decides to pop that.




It won’t be Hardin, he’s healing.




Abel takes care of it, using the javelin because I know that Archer’s out for blood.

Unfortunately, that whole hallway is now a bit of a killbox. There are two archers waiting in the wings up there, along with one to the west and two Cavaliers that are coming from the north, one with a Silver Lance. Nobody we have but Wolf can take that much punishment, but plugging that hole would divide the enemies. Unfortunately, Wolf can’t reach it.




Or can he?

This is Lena’s Warp Staff, and it is ridiculous.




The Warp Staff allows you to place a unit anywhere on the map, ANYWHERE, at the cost of one use. People who read the other Fire Emblem LP I did might remember me clearing the second to last chapter in one turn with this thing, and that’s not even the limit of how broken it can get.

Right now, though, it just plugs a gap.




It also grants a ton of XP to the user.




Draug and Navorbo team up to kill the last archer on this side, and the area is clear.




Just in time, too, given that the enemy thieves have reached the chests! I want this.




Also this.




Especially th-He just ran right past us! What a dick!




I don’t think we need to worry about Wolf.




Or Abel.




But ESPECIALLY not Wolf.




The rude thief gets deleted for his efforts.




Yeah, I’ll take that. The Physic staff is also great, but I’ll definitely be demoing it in the future.




With the enemy chargers locked on this side of the Wolf Door, we can start chipping away using ranged weapons to clear the path.




This Thief picked the wrong chest to loot today. Sometimes I really love Movement on Cavaliers.




By “Sometimes” I mean “roughly always”.




Literally Always.

The Armorslayer is a C Rank sword that deals triple damage to Knights and Generals.




The other Thief was a little smarter, but I can still get some chip damage on him.




Complicating things, this Curate isn’t content to let his allies just get whittled down. We can out damage him, so it’s not a huge deal.




Unfortunately, though, the Thief that stole the Killing Edge is already out here. The tunnel to the east is the map exit. It’s time to try and blitz through here as fast as possible.




Wendell downs the Cavalier pretty easily.




The death of that unarmed Curate has been censored for your viewing sensibilities, but what’s important is that Caeda can now charge through the gap. This might not be enough. I could use Warp again, but it’s really not worth blowing another charge.




Meanwhile, Cord and Barst get rid of this terrifying Silver Lance guy. Seriously, this is a rude surprise to drop in Chapter 6.




The reward is nice, though. I forgive everything.



So, now that all those Hallway Shenanigans are done, it’s time to actually make progress. The key here is that one of these archers has a tiny bit more range than his friends, making him easy pickings to get lured out.




But before that I need this back.




Thanks.




Thanks again. That’s probably the best prize here, Stat Boosters are great.




Draug lures this poor guy into a very bad position.




Also the dream is dead. Goodbye, Killing Edge. You have to be super aggressive to get that, though, so I’m not feeling too bad about this.




Draug does need to run, back into the loving embrace of our two healer dream team.







Abel passes the Armorslayer Baton over to Ogma before killing that Archer, and now we get to watch the magic happen.

Miraculously these both hit and the game doesn’t punish me for my hubris like usual, by the way.




Oh, Marth can also chat with Rickard if he didn’t recruit him.




: Just a small-time thief, mind you, but I’ve got big aspirations! Julian asked me to help you out, see, and what the chief says, goes! So here I am.

It’s not...super interesting. Rickard’s a fun character in the one chapter he gets the spotlight in, but that’s another game entirely.




Nothing too interesting here, Abel’s just killing this Archer, but I wanted to note that those pillars on the ground are actually terrain. They give you 10 Avoidance, like indoor forests. It’s...not really that useful of information, but hey!

I’m in the doldrums of a Shadow Dragon LP, what do you want from me?






Low Heal output from Hardin might seem like a downside, and it mostly is…







But it does allow me to double up on heals, and experience!




Caeda spends the rest of the map staring at the exit, wondering what could have been.




Now that all the urgency for this chapter’s gone, I’m reverting to cowardly lure mode for the last room.






Marth, at least, seems to be a fan!



This second pull’s going to be a bit more dangerous, with an Archer and a Knight, so the durable n’ hefty Barst is going to try it on for size.




Also Lena got the only one stat level up I really care about. Magic’s good.




Barst not only dodged this arrow, he doubled and killed the Archer.

This thread should really have been called “I loving Love Barst”.




I dunno how many people have even seen Brian’s Song.




The Armorslayer was the only way Nabarmorslayer could damage this Knight, by the way. That defense is really not to be hosed with.




I really don’t like Myrmidons much in this game, because since dodge-tanking isn’t really reliable anymore, thanks to the very generous hit rate, they just don’t have the survivability to be on the front lines where they want to go.




Barst could pull again, but that Mage is going to do quite a bit of damage to his poor 0 Resistance self. If only I could mitigate that in a scenario I set up just to show off this rather niche Stave.




So the Barrier Stave just gives a unit 7 free Resistance. It drops by one each turn, but it’s a good way to tank a group of mages, something that will rarely happen in this game. Good to know anyway.




It’s a little chilly in here.




Navarre, please don’t waste your crits on the healers.




So we’ve just got Emereus left now, and...to be honest…




Lack of a 2 range weapon makes him completely useless. Cord slowly burned his HP down…



And the Rapier finished it. For style points.







This was not worth the style points.




If Rickard wasn’t enough you could probably effectively replace a dead Julian with the keys on this map anyway.






And now, for the first time in several chapters, plot!




: ‘Tis Archanea’s burden to protect the world of crisis- a duty I have striven to fulfill. But Dolhr has laid waste to my kingdom, and now I find myself powerless to stop the world from falling into ruin. Marth… Please, pick up the banner where I have let it fall. Lead your might against Dohr , and free us all.

So, there are some other changes in different versions of the script than just Caeda and Navarre’s names. The version I’m transcribing has Dolhr as “Doluna”, Macedon as “Medon”, and Archanea as “Akaneia”. Sort of odd for a modern game.

: Of course, Princess Nyna. Altea swore fealty to Archanea long ago, a vow we have always kept. And, as you know, it is in my blood – House Altea’s blood – to destroy Medeus just as Anri did before me.




: House Archanea bestows it only upon a true champion, one we believe has the power to save the world. With it, you gain the right to open treasure chests across the land and wield the precious items within. I know you will use them well. Never give up, Marth. Fight, until the day you restore light to our world.




We get a special extended item fanfare for this one. It’s plot important...kinda.

The Fire Emblem is now permanently glued to Marth’s inventory and allows him to open all chests. Kinda like a Thief without the doors. It will proceed to do nothing else for the remainder of the game.

Next time:



Not that.

: Steve?

: Hmm?

: I actually made all of that up.

: Wh-

: Pretty much everybody died and then we went to the beach.

Next time, we return to the alternate Normal Mode timeline for a bonus chapter where pretty much everybody dies and also Jagen goes to the beach.

Bonus Content



Holy Woman of the Saved Country, Nyna

LordHippoman fucked around with this message at 03:52 on Jan 12, 2017

Rabbi Raccoon
Mar 31, 2009

I stabbed you dude!

Ugh. Even Jagen got to the beach before me this year

Miacis
Oct 9, 2012

Get off my lawn!!

A good way to completely remove the difficulty of this map is to warp a high defense unit on the stairs to the courtyard, on the very first turn. The thieves will open the chests and then patiently wait in line until the way to their only exit is cleared. It also distracts some of the northern forces away from the death corridor.

Or, y'know, just buy that Killing Edge later, they're pretty cheap.

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


Camel Pimp posted:

In FE3 you did. Not FE1. And also Thracia, I believe. (And in FE4 one character could dismount, only one, and it was very glitchy. Also every map was an outdoor map, so why would you ever.)
The best part was a) the only character that could dismount was your Lord, and b) dismounting had a very high chance of breaking the game by making him automatically grayed out every turn. It was possible to beat one map with him dismounted by using your dancer on him every turn, but IIRC he would then spawn in the upper left corner of the map on the next level and you couldn't reach him, making the game unwinnable (since the plot was progressed by seizing castles).

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011



LordHippoman posted:

: Pretty much everybody died and then we went to the beach.




The emblem doubling as a chest key is such a random decision. I mean, it's helpful! Just... weird.

MightyPretenders
Feb 21, 2014



vilkacis posted:




The emblem doubling as a chest key is such a random decision. I mean, it's helpful! Just... weird.

I think the idea is "whoever holds this shield is the rightful owner of everything in the world, particularly every treasure chest."

LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

Rabbi Raccoon posted:

Ugh. Even Jagen got to the beach before me this year

It's hard to beat Jagen anywhere with his Paladin movement.



Miacis posted:

A good way to completely remove the difficulty of this map is to warp a high defense unit on the stairs to the courtyard, on the very first turn. The thieves will open the chests and then patiently wait in line until the way to their only exit is cleared. It also distracts some of the northern forces away from the death corridor.

Or, y'know, just buy that Killing Edge later, they're pretty cheap.

In retrospect this would have been a better idea, but I honestly didn't even plan on using the Warp this map until I remembered "oh yeah, I need to block a space." I also may have been able to stop that thief if I'd snuck Abel or Cain through with Wolf a little earlier. Eh, like you said, though, Killing Edge isn't a huge deal.

I like the term "death corridor" because that really is probably the single most dangerous part of the game so far. It's a perfect storm of poo poo bearing down on you in a tight spot that you really usually don't encounter until later maps and better units.

MightyPretenders posted:

I think the idea is "whoever holds this shield is the rightful owner of everything in the world, particularly every treasure chest."

I get to wondering how that works and I can really only picture Marth bashing a chest open with his shield, screaming "I AM THE CHOSEN OF HOUSE ARCHANEA, SLAYER OF THE SHADOW DRAGON"

If I were a better artist you'd get a drawing of that.

vilkacis
Feb 16, 2011



MightyPretenders posted:

I think the idea is "whoever holds this shield is the rightful owner of everything in the world, particularly every treasure chest."

Yes but how does it actually work?

LordHippoman posted:

I get to wondering how that works and I can really only picture Marth bashing a chest open with his shield, screaming "I AM THE CHOSEN OF HOUSE ARCHANEA, SLAYER OF THE SHADOW DRAGON"

....Well, okay, when you put it that way.

AradoBalanga
Jan 3, 2013



I completely forgot that hammers are C-rank in this game, as I've been so used to them being D-rank weapons in nearly every other game.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Rabbi Raccoon posted:

Ugh. Even Jagen got to the beach before me this year

Technically, he got to go to the beach before you thousands of years ago. Now he, and almost everyone he ever knew, is dead. So you're still winning over him.

...Unless Tiki buried him on the beach.

LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

AradoBalanga posted:

I completely forgot that hammers are C-rank in this game, as I've been so used to them being D-rank weapons in nearly every other game.

I thought I was going crazy for a second, but yeah, you're right, this one is an outlier there. I wonder if they got bumped up with the removal of Bronze Weapons after Radiant Dawn? Although they were D in the GBA games too, so .

AradoBalanga
Jan 3, 2013



LordHippoman posted:

I thought I was going crazy for a second, but yeah, you're right, this one is an outlier there. I wonder if they got bumped up with the removal of Bronze Weapons after Radiant Dawn? Although they were D in the GBA games too, so .
Looking at wikis, it's been a C-rank axe only in Thracia and the Marth remakes, with every other game featuring hammers having it be a D-rank axe. The original Marth games have the weird weapon level thing, so I have no idea how that translates to the now common letter ranks.

Camel Pimp
May 17, 2008

This poster survived LPing Lunar: Dragon Song. Let's give her a hand.

Hammers could be used by a weapon level of 2, Barst started with 6... yeah, he could use it in the start.

The highest weapon level required for an axe is 4 for the Devil Axe. Only Maji (the original name for either Bord or Cord, I'm not sure) can't use the Devil Axe to start with. He's got a growth of 50 in weapon level, though, and starts with 3, so you shouldn't have to wait too long if you REALLY need Maji to be swinging a Devil Axe.

I have no idea what they were thinking with weapon level in the old games.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





LordHippoman posted:

I get to wondering how that works and I can really only picture Marth bashing a chest open with his shield, screaming "I AM THE CHOSEN OF HOUSE ARCHANEA, SLAYER OF THE SHADOW DRAGON"

If I were a better artist you'd get a drawing of that.

Well, I can't promise better, especially not when I decided for some reason that it was a great idea to try to draw it on a system that could play Shadow Dragon, and I still haven't done the colors but...

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LordHippoman
May 30, 2013

I, frankly, want this smug Jagen to be my avatar on all forms of social media immediately.

chiasaur11 posted:

Well, I can't promise better, especially not when I decided for some reason that it was a great idea to try to draw it on a system that could play Shadow Dragon, and I still haven't done the colors but...



I think the little shake lines around his fist are my favorite part. Truly Marth is a regal Lord befitting of respect, titles, and being that character you hate your friends picking in Super Smash Bros.

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