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

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Posted (edited)

That’s fine, Est sucks anyway :p 

Yeah, Starsphere is rad as hell.  I actually regretted using it to make Starlight! (Yeah... sadly it gets used up).

Oh, and I did the same thing with that thief on my playthrough.  Wasn’t expecting the Devil Sword to actually hit me! Thankfully the rest of the thieves weren’t so gung-ho as to finish me off!

Edited by Dcubed
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Posted (edited)

I haven't played this in a while, but decided to do a couple of chapters recently. The next casualty on the list was...Camus. Yes, I know I can't actually recruit him, but it did hurt to defeat him in battle, as he lived up to the archetype he created. He was the worthiest foe yet, even as I was calculating every single battle with him, he ended up reducing both my Catria and my Cain to 1 HP before he fell. Gradivus is no joke, and as the one who defeated him, it is only fair that Cain inherits that weapon.

I finally got an Elysian Whip and a Guiding Ring. After much consideration, I decided to give them to Palla (because I'm a simp she managed to surpass Caeda in defensive stats) and Merric (figured he'd be the best staff user). Linde, Caeda, and Catria are all fine units, but they'll have to wait until a Secret Shop sells the stuff they need. Meanwhile, I'm swimming in Paladin's Honour, Orion's Bolt, and Hero's Crest. This game's sense of balance is whack.

The following chapter was a lot more straightforward, despite how intimidating it seemed. The Wyvern Knights were easy to lure, and the Paladins wouldn't move until baited. I figured the forts would bring up reinforcements, so I made it my priority to occupy them ASAP (and indeed, they brought Wyverns and Ballistae in equal measure. Totally manageable, though). Xane finally became vital in a map, as he copied Palla, then the two of them went on to solo the east portion of the map, before I stationed him on the upper right fort until the end. Perfect plan. In the end, I had Catria visit the Secret Shop and stock up on Power Rings (for a bunch of people who needed them, including herself) and Speed Rings (for Minerva and Tiki, they need to catch up), and I even did so at a discount!

Sadly, for such an easy chapter, I managed to have a casualty, a real one. Granted, I miscalculated and didn't realize I put them in range of the leftmost Paladin, but I was also cautious enough to not let anybody injured near the vanguard, so that unit was healthy enough to take the hit (and they were on a forest tile). Sadly, the game decided I couldn't have nice things, so a Silver Lance-powered Critical Hit ensued, and I lost someone strong...

Spoiler

Caeda

Caeda-FE1_Artwork.png

God dammit... :( She's been my MVP for so long! She got me out of so many tight binds, recruited so many enemies, and was poised to promote into a Wyvern Knight and marry Marth... The world is a cruel place, filled with unfair crits.

I know she's one of the units I would restart for, but the thing is... that's because she was vital in recruiting a lot of people. But Lorenz was the last one for her to recruit, so there's no sense in keeping that rule anymore. Gotta stick to the spirit of the run.

One silver lining is that I now know I promoted the right Pegasus Knight... but it's of little comfort. R.I.P. Caeda, you were a boss.

At least there's only three maps until the end...

Edited by Jonnas
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Posted (edited)

Oh man... I'm so sorry for your loss... I'd be fuming!

Quote

Meanwhile, I'm swimming in Paladin's Honour, Orion's Bolt, and Hero's Crest. This game's sense of balance is whack.

This is absolute 100% truth though.  I really wish I'd used my ones sooner, I basically didn't get anyone even close to 20/20! I ended up with basically all of them going un-used!

On that matter, it's pretty crappy that there's no way to tell what item works on which class (not even the online instruction manual tells you!).  Was pretty pissed off when I tried using Orion's Bolt on Castor (who I chose to focus on instead of Tomas in getting them to level 20; very dumb decision!) and found out that it did nothing!  Like... why can Archers promote, but not Hunters!?  It's so dumb!

Edited by Dcubed

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8 hours ago, Dcubed said:

This is absolute 100% truth though.  I really wish I'd used my ones sooner, I basically didn't get anyone even close to 20/20! I ended up with basically all of them going un-used!

On that matter, it's pretty crappy that there's no way to tell what item works on which class (not even the online instruction manual tells you!).  Was pretty pissed off when I tried using Orion's Bolt on Castor (who I chose to focus on instead of Tomas in getting them to level 20; very dumb decision!) and found out that it did nothing!  Like... why can Archers promote, but not Hunters!?  It's so dumb!

What gets to me is the Hero Crests. Did they seriously think I'd train more than one Mercenary when Marth's right there? And Navarre fell off fast!

Regarding Castor... yeah, that's bizarre. I'm guessing that's a consequence of designing the game without a spreadsheet or something, because it makes zero sense to give us a slightly different Archer (that's better at their intended job) and not being able to promote them to something like a Horseman. Armour Knights are on the same boat, because I was making good use of Draug and Roger until I learned they just don't promote... despite the General class being right there! (and of course, Dolph and Macellan also use this class)

But at the same time... you're not supposed to grind in this game. Castor might've hit a glass ceiling, but even that ceiling's good enough to contribute in the endgame. At least I think that's the kind of logic that lead to them not prioritizing/noticing this blatant gap in design.

...

For some levity, there's a moment that made me chuckle: I visited a village, and the old man there said "Hey, my granddaughter Lena is with you, right? Here's a Hammerne, say hi to her for me". All I could think of was "Was there not a... grandson, as well? A cavalier of sorts that..... Marth himself killed? Eh, better not mention that."

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So, brief update:

Spoiler

 

"...Then I shall surround them in the shade." I threw my Lv.20 Marth at a choke point as my fliers went around it. The Macedonians all went after Marth and trapped themselves there as he dodged half the things, and tanked the other half. So satisfying to crush the entire bulk of that army in basically one turn. Then I felled Michalis with Minerva, Catria, and Palla for some sweet karma. Got a Elysian Skydrake Whip for my troubles, and promoted Catria.

I also visited the village and... look, I didn't realise Marth himself had to have the items on his person, so Gotoh just... went off on me. "You fool! You didn't bring me what I asked! Do you think this is a game!? You're going to fucking die, mate! Did you even bother to pick up Parthia, Gradivus, and Mercurius? Because I doubt it at this point! Fuck, you even left your trousers at home! You should reflect on your choices, your poor, poor choices. Hell, the nature of choice itself!". I swear, that was the longest piece of dialogue in the entire game, and it is entirely done to berate the player and tell them about how fucked they are, it was hilarious. Anyway, I just returned with the spheres and he made the thing.

 

Spoiler

 

So I then went and destroyed Gharnef on what was a pretty straightforward map. Had a close call with Hardin getting critted, but with 37 health, he survived with 1 HP (clutch Angelic Robe!). Had Linde kill all the Gharnefs for some retribution (he did murder her father), and then managed to promote her just as she reached level 20. I proceeded to then waste a dozen turns getting Marth to the Falchion, and Rickard w/VIP card to the door, only to find that the Secret Shop only sells promotion items... just as I stopped needing any. After that pointless task, I just seized the throne.

"Marth, I'm so happy to see you! I have this staff that revives someone of your choi-" I immediately pressed X, rewinded one turn, and purchased a Skydrake Whip before seizing again. Outside of testing, this is the one time I used turn rewind. My previous post of mourning may have been premature!

 

This game is the biggest roller-coaster of emotions in the entire NES.

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@Jonnas there, managing to maintain the Shadow Dragon character list in Fire Emblem Warriors nicely!

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Posted (edited)

And... it is done:

Spoiler

As we approach the end of the game, I realise I should be more liberal with the Warp Staves (I had like 3 of them!).

So I warped Marth to the southern shrine, and Cain to the valley near the castle. The Falchion wasn't as effective against Manaketes as I hoped, so the next turn I sent Ogma with a Wyrmslayer for support. Third turn, the enemies are dead, so I warped Elice and she used the Aum Staff to revive Caeda (*You will know you're rebooorn toniight...*). Fourth turn, Marth gives the Skydrake Whip to Caeda and she promotes. Fifth turn, Elice warps Marth to the castle (yeah, you think I hadn't thought this through?) and he seizes. Simple and easy.

As for the castle, Cain took out the Snipers with Gradivus, making way for Palla, Catria, Minerva, and Xane to simply fly over the mountains and take out everybody else.

Meanwhile, my sages were all trading magic and staves around, getting ready for the final chapter. But I noticed that Merric couldn't use Hammerne... and so I found out it's exclusive to Lena. IS THIS YOUR VENGEANCE, MATTHIS!?

Spoiler

Goddammit, I can't believe they did this to me. They split the party in seemingly random ways! The northeastern corner had Lena, Elice, Tiki, and Caeda in what was one of the most laughably underpowered groups I suffered through all game. Furthermore, I brought no Thieves, so that initial door was annoying. Thankfully, I still had charges on my Warps, so life found a way to rearrange the groups in a way that also allowed Lena to buy Door Keys and retrieve Hammerne. I had that door open by turn 3.

You might think Warp was the most useful item during the final chapter, but no: Fortify was hilariously useful instead. "Oh no, Hardin has been struck twice while choking that point, and Wendell got hit for more than half of his health!". Double Restore and we're all dandy.

The closing doors were an interesting gimmick, and almost a good trap if I weren't so good at tactics. The only thing they accomplished was trap Linde in the northwestern corner for the entire duration of the map (and only because that was the first one), but I managed to release her by the end. I do wonder, could a unit die if they were standing on a door tile as it closes? Didn't happen to me.

Anyway, by liberally using Warp, I managed to respond to any and all tough spots that would arise on the map. This was a very unorthodox, but very fun way to play Fire Emblem. As annoyed as I was that I couldn't pick my units' starting location, it ended up being possibly my favourite map in the game.

And so I faced Medeus. I liked the touch that the stronger Manakete mook standing in front of him was his exact twin in terms of stats, but had a lesser weapon. Subtle preview of the real boss. Incidentally, nobody could even damage Medeus except Marth w/Falchion (even Cain w/Wyrmslayer was unable to scratch him. Maybe the Gradivus would've done it, but I didn't try). With the right healing support, and everybody blocking every reinforcement tile, Medeus eventually fell back into the hell from whence he came (which was pretty metal), and Marth proposed to Caeda, which was the best ending to see after that death and revival.

Phew, that was quite a game. After the slow pace of Gaiden, and the multitude of flaws with the DS Shadow Dragon, I really appreciate just how much more playable this one was. I also appreciate how the typical Fire Emblem archetypes (the Gharnef, the Camus, the Jagen, etc.) got started, because the way they're employed in this game is very striking and memorable. By the end, I just found it to be a great payoff, the ability to face guys like Michalis, Camus, Gharnef, etc. after being built up as big deals for so long.

The sheer amount of turns I spent on managing my inventory was definitely a low point, and the one part of the game I'd change (just make it so "Trade" can actually do that). Maybe I should've been dropping items more often, it definitely made things easier in the last few maps (I even dropped the VIP card during the last chapter). Other than that, the age and "kitschiness" of the game is something I could very easily appreciate, a lot like Dragon Quest 1, in the sense that you feel how carefully this game was balanced and designed (even with the bizarre inability to promote Armour Knights).

Finally, excellent game for an Iron Man run, which is refreshing. The game throws a lot of units for you to use, and it's always feasible to make it through a map. Just make sure the person carrying the Starsphere doesn't die (nor the mages that wield Starlight) and you'll make it to the end. On my part, I only lost 5 units (6 if you count Matthis, WHICH I DON'T), but the uncertainty, the knowledge that the likes of Cain or Catria (as well as any respective weapons they were carrying) were one wrong move, one crit, or one miss from potentially dying made every map a challenge, and the whole playthrough quite exciting.

Spoiler

H6NFcu9.jpg

 

K3IwgBQ.jpg

Damn, that Pyrathi chapter and its reinforcements really wasted my time, huh? Same thing for Minerva's recruitment

0yNjv5e.jpg

I see I had started to waste many turns in inventory management. Next time just drop some items, bro

D5LcuUc.jpg

SAC6JLj.jpg

I swear, half of those 24 turns in Dark Pontifex were just me dragging Rickard from the other side of the map.

Anyway, if each turn is a day, then this war lasted exactly one year. Go me!

And now, crossing my fingers for a FE3 localization. I'd settle for FE12 as well, but if given the choice, I'd rather have the SNES version.

Edited by Jonnas
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Jonnas said:

Phew, that was quite a game. After the slow pace of Gaiden, and the multitude of flaws with the DS Shadow Dragon, I really appreciate just how much more playable this one was. I also appreciate how the typical Fire Emblem archetypes (the Gharnef, the Camus, the Jagen, etc.) got started, because the way they're employed in this game is very striking and memorable. By the end, I just found it to be a great payoff, the ability to face guys like Michalis, Camus, Gharnef, etc. after being built up as big deals for so long.

The sheer amount of turns I spent on managing my inventory was definitely a low point, and the one part of the game I'd change (just make it so "Trade" can actually do that). Maybe I should've been dropping items more often, it definitely made things easier in the last few maps (I even dropped the VIP card during the last chapter). Other than that, the age and "kitschiness" of the game is something I could very easily appreciate, a lot like Dragon Quest 1, in the sense that you feel how carefully this game was balanced and designed (even with the bizarre inability to promote Armour Knights).

Finally, excellent game for an Iron Man run, which is refreshing. The game throws a lot of units for you to use, and it's always feasible to make it through a map. Just make sure the person carrying the Starsphere doesn't die (nor the mages that wield Starlight) and you'll make it to the end. On my part, I only lost 5 units (6 if you count Matthis, WHICH I DON'T), but the uncertainty, the knowledge that the likes of Cain or Catria (as well as any respective weapons they were carrying) were one wrong move, one crit, or one miss from potentially dying made every map a challenge, and the whole playthrough quite exciting.

  Turn tally (Reveal hidden contents)

H6NFcu9.jpg

 

K3IwgBQ.jpg

Damn, that Pyrathi chapter and its reinforcements really wasted my time, huh? Same thing for Minerva's recruitment

0yNjv5e.jpg

I see I had started to waste many turns in inventory management. Next time just drop some items, bro

D5LcuUc.jpg

SAC6JLj.jpg

I swear, half of those 24 turns in Dark Pontifex were just me dragging Rickard from the other side of the map.

Anyway, if each turn is a day, then this war lasted exactly one year. Go me!

And now, crossing my fingers for a FE3 localization. I'd settle for FE12 as well, but if given the choice, I'd rather have the SNES version.

Oh snap, I just realised that this would be a game breaking softlock if it happened! Since you absolutely need Falchion to kill Medeaus...

I mean, it's not like Fire Emblem games aren't absolutely filled with potential game ending softlocks...

... but that's a REALLY easy (and pretty likely!) one to actually happen, come to think of it!

Anyway! Congrats on completing your journey (You finished it quite a bit quicker than me in terms of turn count; yes most of that was bloody inventory management).  Now Marth can enjoy necrophillia to his heart's content :D 

Edited by Dcubed

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

Oh snap, I just realised that this would be a game breaking softlock if it happened! Since you absolutely need Falchion to kill Medeaus...

I mean, it's not like Fire Emblem games aren't absolutely filled with potential game ending softlocks...

... but that's a REALLY easy (and pretty likely!) one to actually happen, come to think of it!

Considering the Str cap is 20, Medeus' 35 Def are no joke, so the Falchion feels essential.

But still, I was curious, so I googled to see if that part was true... And it turns out, Medeus is actually killable without the Falchion:

  • Tiki's weapon is super effective against Manaketes, including Medeus, just as long as her Str is high enough (I just tried it on my file, and she couldn't do anything at 5 Str... But feeding her Power Rings is an option);
  • My Cain w/Gradivus can damage him for about 5 dmg per phase! As long as the person wielding it has 20 Str, and you always attack in close range, you can chip away at him;
  • "Solo Marth" runs are a thing, and they can't get the Falchion (no using Starlight), so they resort to Mercurius+Starsphere for 3 dmg per phase, which also allows for a long slugfest (even at max strength);
  • The Geosphere also works, so that's around 30 damage for free.

So yeah, Gotoh wasn't kidding when he gives the player an earful for not getting the Spheres, but he also wasn't wrong in allowing Marth to continue regardless. Not sure why he mentioned Parthia though, that thing doesn't work on Medeus, or even the Magedragons.

Funnily enough, an FEtuber posted a theory not so long ago about how FE12's plot leads to Tokyo Mirage Sessions... but only in the timeline that Medeus is defeated without the Falchion. It was pretty wild.

1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

Anyway! Congrats on completing your journey (You finished it quite a bit quicker than me in terms of turn count; yes most of that was bloody inventory management).  Now Marth can enjoy necrophillia to his heart's content :D 

Holy shit, is that how Caeda returned?!

Face_3.png

"Darling....Darling...."

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jonnas said:

Funnily enough, an FEtuber posted a theory not so long ago about how FE12's plot leads to Tokyo Mirage Sessions... but only in the timeline that Medeus is defeated without the Falchion. It was pretty wild.

I'm sorry, what?

You mean there's actually a realistic chance that J-Pop, acting and Microwave cooking shows ended up being necessary to defeat an evil Fire Emblem dragon?

I'm so on board with this theory, and I don't even know what the argument is!

Edited by Glen-i
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27 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

I'm sorry, what?

You mean there's actually a realistic chance that J-Pop, acting and Microwave cooking shows ended up being necessary to defeat an evil Fire Emblem dragon?

I'm so on board with this theory, and I don't even know what the argument is!

Well, the video was about apocalyptic events in the lore that we never got around to see. It talked about the Scouring in Elibe, Grima's first-ever outing in Archanea/Ylisse... and the "incomplete" ending in FE12.

Now, I don't think these are big spoilers or anything, it's pretty obvious stuff, but still:

Spoiler

So Medeus comes back, no big surprise, huh? The idea is that, in order to fully kill Medeus, you need both the Falchion AND the complete Fire Emblem (the shield with the 5 gems on it, you may have seen this in Awakening), and it wasn't complete back in FE1.

However, FE3 has its own version of a specific set of items you need to gather in order to do this. If you don't, you defeat Medeus improperly again, and he can still come back. From what I understand, the original FE3 barely makes a fuss about it, but the remake FE12 does add a couple of vague lines about how there was "another war" later down the line, and how Kris would inevitably die in it.

So FE12 tells us that another major war will happen if you don't defeat the main baddie properly. That's the gist of it.

In Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Tiki describes a war in her world (Archanea) where the side she was fighting on ultimately lost. Furthermore, this narration is accompanied by a mural where Marth's army already look like their weird TMS selves (rocket pegasus, mecha Draug, etc). This narration doesn't really fit any event that we saw happen... unless we take that "incomplete" ending into account. The theory went that Marth&co somehow upgraded themselves (Divinely? Magically? J-Popically?) to fight the menace, but still lost.

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Yeah, that mural in TMS always bugged me in how it used the reimaginings of various classes, despite being before TMS. But that theory does very neatly explain why that is.

I buy it.

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