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Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light (4th December 2020)

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On 06/12/2020 at 2:31 AM, Jonnas said:

I might even take this trouserless Marth to a blind Iron Man run, the game was designed that way, after all.

And there we have it, lost my first unit the other day: Matthis, well known as the most pathetic of Archanea units. How did he die? I had no idea there was a recruitable cavalier on that map, and I didn't deploy Lena (wanted to preserve that Mend staff). So I killed him and moved on. I suppose I didn't "lose" him, technically...

As for my remaining army:

  • Marth - Good bases, pretty competent at collecting taxes donations. No real complaints just yet.
  • Caeda - Early chapter scared me with her low strength, but she's quickly shown her worth at creating diversions, catching thieves, and recruiting bad boys. Frequent MVP
  • Jagen - His high Movement keeps surprising me, as do his low stats. Quite useful, but I'm surprised at how quickly the OG Jeigan is getting obsoleted
  • Cain&Abel - Will surpass Jagen in a couple of levels (and in some stats, they already did). Abel's defence almost matches Draug's
  • Draug - Chokes points, and chokes them well. Good rep for the armour knights
  • Gordin - Worst archer I've ever seen in the series
  • Castor - Actually good at his role, Castor's reliable on both accuracy and dodging ability. Helped a lot in some sticky situations
  • Wrys - The staff he carries can heal the wounded, and visit houses during every other turn
  • Ogma - Beast unit, a hero on the battlefield
  • Navarre - Surprisingly mediocre. He really depends on that Killing Edge to make things happen
  • Barst, Cord&Bord - I thought the SSBU spirit battle was inaccurate, with Belmonts throwing axes instead of swinging them. Turns out, Hand Axes really are their best asset. Barst will get to stay in my army for a while (will I use that Devil Axe..?), but don't expect the same from the twins
  • Darros - Comes with a Steel Axe, a base Skill of 2, and 0 growths. Walks on water and is voiced by ProZD. What a guy.
  • Julian - Haven't found a use for him yet, but I like the cut of his jib
  • Lena - The staff she carried can heal the wounded, but the staff she came with is a powerful endgame tool, what even is this game?
  • Matthis - :laughing:
  • Merric - Just got him, and he made short work of the boss. I suspect he's quite powerful.

Loving this merry journey I'm in.

Edited by Jonnas
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4 minutes ago, Jonnas said:

And there we have it, lost my first unit the other day: Matthis, well known as the most pathetic of Archanea units. How did he die? I had no idea there was a recruitable cavalier on that map, and I didn't deploy Lena (wanted to preserve that Mend staff). So I killed him and moved on. I suppose I didn't "lose" him, technically...

Most recruitments are done with either Marth or Ceada in this game, so I don't blame you. :laughing:

Quote

Merric - Just got him, and he made short work of the boss. I suspect he's quite powerful.

Yeah, he's good.

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Warp staff is broken beyond belief.

 

That is all :) 

Edited by Dcubed
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7 hours ago, Dcubed said:

Warp staff is broken beyond belief.

 

That is all :) 

Any Fire Emblem that has a Warp Staff is absolutely ripe for Speedrun Comedy!

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I'm having a hard time getting into the game. Seeing as I grew up playing on the NES and C64, I usually have no issues playing games from this era but for some reason this just isn't clicking with me.

The lack of a grid when moving is really annoying. It's not a deal breaker but has taken some time to get used to it. Also, enemies just seem to wander off where ever they please. I've had a few of them walk on water in order to get to me. In these games I usually try to find a choke point but the enemies on this aren't having it! :p 

What hasn't helped the situation is that I played both Fates and Shadows of Valentia earlier in the year. I'm now used to certain QoL/features being present. 

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10 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I'm having a hard time getting into the game. Seeing as I grew up playing on the NES and C64, I usually have no issues playing games from this era but for some reason this just isn't clicking with me.

The lack of a grid when moving is really annoying. It's not a deal breaker but has taken some time to get used to it. Also, enemies just seem to wander off where ever they please. I've had a few of them walk on water in order to get to me. In these games I usually try to find a choke point but the enemies on this aren't having it! :p 

What hasn't helped the situation is that I played both Fates and Shadows of Valentia earlier in the year. I'm now used to certain QoL/features being present. 

Pirate class units can walk on water in this game (as well as every FE game).  Only Pirates and Pegasus/Wythern Knights can do this in FESD&TBoL (yes I know it’s a ridiculous acronym, but I can’t just call it Shadow Dragon thanks to that being the DS remake :p)

Annoyingly, there are a lot of pirates early on; but they thin out after the first 4-5 chapters.

Edited by Dcubed

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

Pirate class units can walk on water in this game (as well as every FE game).  

Pirates, you say! I had forgotten that tidbit (if I ever knew it). I also got done in in an early map by forming up around a bridge and expecting the baddies to funnel over to me... if nothing else it gave me a chance to utilise the retry turn option.

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Yeah, pirates in later games can only move one or two spaces in water, but these pirates feel like they move at least three. It does mean I needed to put more effort in choking those bridges, as Draug can't do it alone. Barst and Caeda help a lot (but not Gordin, don't use him), and Wrys makes for decent bait if need be.

(Also, Thieves can cross rivers, so watch out for that too)

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9 hours ago, Jonnas said:

Yeah, pirates in later games can only move one or two spaces in water, but these pirates feel like they move at least three. It does mean I needed to put more effort in choking those bridges, as Draug can't do it alone. Barst and Caeda help a lot (but not Gordin, don't use him), and Wrys makes for decent bait if need be.

(Also, Thieves can cross rivers, so watch out for that too)

 

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OMG! Stat boosting items are insane in this game!

Boots increase unit spaces by FOUR!? Why yes! My Knight Draug can now move as many spaces as my Pegasus Knight!

Power Ring/Speed Ring increases by SIX you say!? Why yes! Caeda is now no longer deadweight, but is, instead, an unstoppable killing machine!

It’s so broken.  I love it! :D

Edited by Dcubed
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After a long hiatus, I picked this up where I left it and completed two maps (basically liberated Aurelia). Keeping to my iron man rules (where I will reset only for Marth or Caeda), I didn't lose any other unit yet, though I had a few close calls due to some attacks just missing. And in one instance, a surprise cavalier crossed his own castle like he was ghost just to try and kill Roshea (though he dodged, which was pretty clutch).

I did use my Warp Staff for the first time, sending Abel to protect a chest that was too far away. Another one was left unprotected, due to me not noticing there was a thief there too. In the end, I protected a Seraph Robe, but lost a Killing Edge, so I'm definitely not sorry about my decision!

Since so many units joined recently, I started to bench a lot of folk. The mainstays will be:

  • Marth - Starts to lag behind, but his presence can still manipulate enemy AI. Plus, that Rapier is still pretty valuable.
  • Caeda - She can now use Silver weapons, so hell yeah.
  • Jagen - Almost obsoleted, but still competent.
  • Cain&Abel - Abel's a friggin' beast! Cain is lagging a tad behind, but is still pretty strong.
  • Draug - The big lug is still pulling his weight.
  • Ogma - Haven't used him much actually, but he's still good
  • Navarre - Not that reliable, but that weapon profficiency means a lot. He should be obsoleted by the time Ogma learns how to wield Silver
  • Julian&Rickard - Thieves are useful, and seemingly beget more thieves. But now Marth has also learned how to open chests. Funny that.
  • Lena - Healer's gonna heal. And occasionally Warp
  • Merric - So, Excalibur's great, but he has a hard time hitting Blizzard. Still, not complaining.
  • Wendell - A Sage joining us so early? They called him mad! Insane! WENDELL! Here's hoping he stays good for long
  • Hardin - Of all the filler cavaliers I got, he seems the only one worth using. He can use the Silver Sword right away, so let's him do that.
  • Wolf - Ok, and also him. He's been sadly missing a lot, though. I should probably give him a lighter bow.

Every other has been benched for now. Man, that's a lot of units I'm getting.

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I’m up to Chapter 17 myself.  I’m starting to settle on just 13 odd characters now; as everyone else is starting to fall too far behind to be viable anymore.

Starting to really appreciate Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn’s Bonus EXP system here... It really was a brilliant idea that went a long way towards making other characters much more viable!

BTW, pro tip @Jonnas.  Dump Lena now and just give Wendell the staves.  Lena isn’t worth it, Wendell is all you need as far as staves go (and he’s pretty good with magic too; not the absolute best, but generally pretty solid.  There actually aren’t a lot of magic users you get, period, anyway!)

Edited by Dcubed
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4 hours ago, Dcubed said:

I’m up to Chapter 17 myself.  I’m starting to settle on just 13 odd characters now; as everyone else is starting to fall too far behind to be viable anymore.

Starting to really appreciate Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn’s Bonus EXP system here... It really was a brilliant idea that went a long way towards making other characters much more viable!

BTW, pro tip @Jonnas.  Dump Lena now and just give Wendell the staves.  Lena isn’t worth it, Wendell is all you need as far as staves go (and he’s pretty good with magic too; not the absolute best, but generally pretty solid.  There actually aren’t a lot of magic users you get, period, anyway!)

The Bonus EXP also allowed for bonkers strategies, like putting it all on Jill/Marcia and then soloing maps with those two. The RD system was even easier to exploit, albeit in a different manner.

Since Wendell can't carry all the staves, I'll keep Lena for a while longer. The goal is to eventually allow a few sages to wield all the staves (it's basically my go-to strategy in the GBA games, anyway). I take it that the remaining magic users are only Linde and Gotoh? I know these two are playable, and I can't think of anybody else.

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4 hours ago, Jonnas said:

The Bonus EXP also allowed for bonkers strategies, like putting it all on Jill/Marcia and then soloing maps with those two. The RD system was even easier to exploit, albeit in a different manner.

Since Wendell can't carry all the staves, I'll keep Lena for a while longer. The goal is to eventually allow a few sages to wield all the staves (it's basically my go-to strategy in the GBA games, anyway). I take it that the remaining magic users are only Linde and Gotoh? I know these two are playable, and I can't think of anybody else.

There's also Boah, and I think that's it?

Considering that there's a whopping 52 characters in this game? There's a real dearth of magic users here!

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

There's also Boah, and I think that's it?

Considering that there's a whopping 52 characters in this game? There's a real dearth of magic users here!

I'm thinking magic is meant to be special in this game. You notice that literally everybody, even mages, has 0 Res, with 0% growths? There's no Mag stat either. Stands to reason that, since magic plays by wildly different rules, they're also adequately uncommon.

And it's definitely better than what axe users got! Kaga isn't called an "axe-hater" for nothing.

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Still not sure if I should buy this for the novelty factor. I suspect the gameplay may be a bit too oldskool for my taste. I never could get into the DS remake, so not sure if I'm going to like this.

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45 minutes ago, Sméagol said:

Still not sure if I should buy this for the novelty factor. I suspect the gameplay may be a bit too oldskool for my taste. I never could get into the DS remake, so not sure if I'm going to like this.

It's like six quid! Might as well give it a go! Even if just for the novelty of having a brand new, NES game with a modern localisation and experiencing a genuine piece of Nintendo history.

Worst case scenario? You're out two Big Macs.

Edited by Dcubed

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3 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

It's like six quid! Might as well give it a go! Even if just for the novelty of having a brand new, NES game with a modern localisation and experiencing a genuine piece of Nintendo history.

Worst case scenario? You're out two Big Macs.

Now I'm hungry.

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1 hour ago, Sméagol said:

Still not sure if I should buy this for the novelty factor. I suspect the gameplay may be a bit too oldskool for my taste. I never could get into the DS remake, so not sure if I'm going to like this.

I didn't like the DS remake either. I can't stand that game from a aesthetic standpoint (what with everybody looking like Jon Snow, and the soldier map sprites being absolutely dreadful, even worse than the NES version. The maps looked a tad bland too), and gameplay-wise, the modern FE mechanics made quick work out of old maps, meaning that the reclassing and higher difficulties was the only thing keeping it engaging. Plus, since it updated so much, but still refused to give minor characters new dialogue or supports, it definitely felt empty.

But with the NES version, the old mechanics keep the maps appropriately difficult, and there are no illusions that the minor characters will have any dialogue. There's a certain charm, kitsch, and old-school sensibility to this version that the DS remake could never hope to match.

Of course, you do you, I just want to make clear why experiencing this game is so different to playing the DS remake.

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I don't think I didn't like it for the same reasons as you didn't. But I guess it can't hurt to give it a go. If I don't forget to buy it before March.

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It's a good game but totally skippable if you're on the fence about it imo, @Sméagol. You could check through the eShop and get a couple of games for the same price and have more fun.

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Well... it happened. My iron man had to run into an actual, non-Matthis death sooner or later. And it had to be in the nation with the worst name: Pyrathi, the land of pirates

Now, I always knew Wolf was a glass cannon, but I always figured he could take a couple of hits from a Bowgun... Unless the enemy decided to critical hit, one-shotting him completely. Literally the next turn, I recruit Jeorge, as if the game mocks me. Farewell, Wolf of the coyote's pack. You took some bows with you to the afterlife, but I'll manage.

The next death was a much bigger surprise, and a far harder hit... Did you know one of the pirates in that map has a Devil Axe? Did you know that weapon is monstrously strong if it doesn't turn on its wielder? Abel found that out first hand, taking a wopping 17 damage from a single hit. A random archer picked off the remains. What pisses me off the most is, I had strongly considered giving Abel the Seraph Robe a chapter ago, but decided to wait and see if anybody else would lag in HP. What a fool I was, a mere 2 extra HP would've allowed him to live. The armourslayer and silver lance that he took with him are paltry, compared to one of my best units. Rest in peace, green Panther, you will be missed.

(Annoyingly, Jagen, Hardin, and even Draug would go on to dodge arrows for the rest of the map. But not Abel, nooooo)

And so my party becomes:

  • Marth - Two Rapiers! And the ability to open chests! I also gave him a Goddess Icon.
  • Caeda - So good, I swear she's one Energy Ring away from soloing maps
  • Jagen - Three level ups without stat gains. Keeping dat glass ceiling low
  • Cain - Had gotten a few good level ups to catch up before his best friend died. The Bull will pick up the Silver Lance slack.
  • Draug - More tough than strong these days, he can't use Silver weapons
  • Roger - The dope who betrayed his country because a pretty girl said pretty please. He's roughly on par with Draug, except for having lower attack... and a much higher weapon ranking.
  • Ogma - What a beast. High attack, high speed, high defence, and can now wield Silver Swords (but uses steel swords on the regular). It seems we have Guts among our ranks
  • Navarre - Thoroughly outclassed by Ogma, but still capable of defending himself
  • Julian&Rickard - I still haven't found a map for Rickard, but Julian has been working well.
  • Lena - She dodged two pirates! Enjoy your remaining time, Lena.
  • Merric - Needs a few levels still, but he's been very dependable.
  • Wendell - No complaints, he's been hitting and healing from time to time, gaining occasional EXP.
  • Hardin - Seems like he's the true Abel replacement. I decided to give him the Seraph Robe, to avoid him going the same fate.
  • Bantu - I haven't attacked with him once, but he's been standing there. Menacingly.
  • Jeorge - Hello, Sniper du jour. You here to stay? I hope so, can't imagine archers getting better than a prepromote with good speed.

Gotta say, now that a lot of my inventories are full... it's such a hassle not being able to properly "trade" (the option is really more like a "give"), or send purchases directly to the Convoy. I know, it's a limitation of its time, but still, it's silly to waste so many post-victory turns on this.

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And that’s why I binned my Devil Axes immediately after I got them.

That gives me an excuse to post this gem of a video again...

And yes, Ogma is a monster; thoroughly outclassing Navarre in every single way.

BTW: Why are you actually using Jagen? You do know that he’s largely a waste of EXP right?

Edited by Dcubed
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2 hours ago, Dcubed said:

BTW: Why are you actually using Jagen? You do know that he’s largely a waste of EXP right?

He's useful and dependable (10 Move!). He serves as a meatshield, he softens targets for others, and he uses nothing but iron swords, lances, and javelins. I'm not feeding him kills or anything, unless I absolutely must. It's just that in this game, EXP=damage dealt, so he's gaining 16-18 EXP per battle, even with an iron sword (and the unexpected pirate reinforcements inflated the exp he gained during that chapter, anyway)

2 hours ago, Dcubed said:

And that’s why I binned my Devil Axes immediately after I got them.

That gives me an excuse to post this gem of a video again...

 

Yeah, though the Abel tragedy happened because a Devil Axe didn't backfire :heh: What I wish had happened is something like this:

 

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8 hours ago, Jonnas said:

Yeah, though the Abel tragedy happened because a Devil Axe didn't backfire :heh: What I wish had happened is something like this:

 

That exact thing happened to me in Sacred Stones! Let out a big "NO!" when the enemy started a crit animation, only for him to immediately die!

What makes it even better is that I didn't know Devil Axes did that (My first Fire Emblem). So I was incredibly confused.

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