Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Previous Fields

  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Fates: Conquest

Member Badge

  • Members
    Corrin (M)


  • I fight for...

Recent Profile Visitors

5588 profile views
  1. Hey, incidentally, quick marathon-related question: I've been seriously considering ditching the balance ranking and replacing it with another category, because it's a frustratingly complicated topic, comparing games is always a total hair-splitting mess, and I don't think a single playthrough makes me feel remotely qualified to discuss it. If I did drop it, I'd want to put a new category in its place. Does anyone have any suggestions or requests? Some important aspect of the games you feel I've been neglecting or you'd want to hear my thoughts on?
  2. Glad to hear you enjoy! Also, fascinating! I'd be interested to hear your reasonings for those opinions because I can't even begin to imagine what they'd be.
  3. So Serra is promoted and Cath is just a tier 1 thief?
  4. Corrin and Leo, easily. Not only do you imply they have an army with them, but you've got the idiot savant brain that managed to make it through the brutality of Conquest, combined with someone who's actually conventionally smart. Combine that with their superior combat prowess and they'd wipe the floor with the two of them even without an army.
  5. It's actually a guilty pleasure of mine, and has stuff that makes it really interesting once you get momentum. Randomized enemy skills means you have to adapt to the situation and can never use the exact same strategy twice, and the skills serve to counter a huge number of the series' well-known cheese tactics. I wish that skill concept were used in a better balanced game honestly.
  6. Technically I think Awakening Lunatic+ has enemies with the same stats as Lunatic, just with added skills, though I might be wrong and I know that's not what you're looking for. But yeah, Conquest Lunatic is the best.
  7. Well that's not the only reason I ironmanned Shadow Dragon. I generally prefer to ironman a game unless it's just terrible for it for various reasons, or if I need to explore some other aspect of the game that makes ironmanning impractical.
  8. I'm planning on mercenary. Plan on getting speed for the immediate boost, strength or HP (exactly 100% is tempting) for the balanced boost, and defense for the long term boost. Also, I'm concerned there might be too much missable content in this game for me to go at it ironman. What do you guys think?
  9. This entire franchise is a mess of balance. Like I said, I always feel unclean whenever I finish the balance section, to the point that I almost just want it gone so I don't have to deal with it. Really I just have to pick the instances where games do something noteworthily right as my best examples, but I never feel happy about the results. I kinda just hate that entire list you just quoted.
  10. My Ranking Difficulty: We have a new winner. While it had some ridiculous boss hiccups at the beginning, beyond that point this game managed to have the most consistent, and consistently engaging, difficulty curve in the whole marathon thus far, managing to keep me from ever getting fully complacent at any point, and providing, while not without its faults, probably the most intense final battle this marathon has yet seen. That was so fun. I don't even need to play the later difficulty modes to know that this is the most engaging and well-designed challenge I'm gonna find this far into the marathon. Enjoy it, Shadow Dragon. You earned it. 1: Shadow Dragon (1) 2: Binding Blade (2) 3: Thracia 776 (3) 4: Radiant Dawn (4) 5: Blazing Blade (5) 6: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (6) 7: Genealogy of the Holy War (7) 8: Gaiden (8) 9: Sacred Stones (9) 10: Path of Radiance (10) 11: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (11) 12: Dark Dragon (12) Ironmannability: While I still hate ambush spawns with a passion and wish they'd go away forever... this game managed to use them... more or less responsibly, with a couple of notable exceptions. And the extra safety nets afforded by the abundance of characters, generic backups if things get really dire, and free reclassing to replace specific niches a dead unit might have filled, all combine together to more than make up for those occasional irresponsible uses of ambush spawns. While there are certainly more honorable games in the series you could be ironmanning, in terms of games that give you the most chances to recover from the disasters that do happen? This game has the whole rest of the marathon so far soundly beat. ...Still, that final battle was a pretty nasty roll of the dice where things could've easily turned sour through no fault of my own, and I have to take into account the fact that I knew where the nastiest surprises were from past experience... ...but this game also doesn't have the other nasty doomer of ironmans: fog of war. At least not in single player. ...Honestly? Yeah, while I wouldn't recommend ironmanning H3 for everyone, I think this game has the most to offer of this marathon so far in terms of ironmanning. I'm feeling iffy and nervous about this, but... ...I think we have a new winner again. 1: Shadow Dragon (2) 2: Genealogy of the Holy War (9) 3: Path of Radiance (13) 4: Sacred Stones (13) 5: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (11) 6: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (17) 7: Radiant Dawn (11) 8: Binding Blade (10) 9: Blazing Blade (14) 10: Dark Dragon (22) 11: Gaiden (19) 12: Thracia 776 (15) Usability: TAKE A FUCKING GUESS. Yes, the dragonstone bullshit is, well... bullshit, as is the game's tendency to not show you where your auto-deployed new allies will be, but this game also singlehandedly introduced damned near every single interface feature I've come to depend on to make my best strategies when playing Fire Emblem. Persistent enemy range highlighting. Highlight all. But most importantly of all... that beautiful, beautiful two-screened unit info system. From now until Three Houses, I am going to be in usability heaven, and I am going to cherish every fucking moment of it. We're entering the golden age of usability, everyone. And this nugget of gold might be the lumpiest and least polished, but gold is gold, and the predecessors just can't compare. We've finally surpassed Genealogy of the Holy War, people. And a third consecutive win for our latest contender. Take a bow. 1: Shadow Dragon (3) 2: Genealogy of the Holy War (11) 3: Path of Radiance (16) 4: Blazing Blade (18) 5: Sacred Stones (18) 6: Binding Blade (16) 7: Radiant Dawn (18) 8: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (25) and Book 2 (19) 9: Thracia 776 (24) 10: Gaiden (29) 11: Dark Dragon (33) Depth: And here's where the game starts to suffer. His game just isn't very complicated. While that simplicity doesn't stop it from being engagingly challenging, it is disappointing that there's just not much you can do with your units, and not much you can do to set them apart from each other. Honestly, reclassing is the only gameplay feature this game has that other games on the list so far don't, and it's in a really primitive and kind of uninteresting form that only admits of a couple of useful or interesting applications. Well, that and ballisticians. I'm kind of obligated to put this under Blazing Blade due to the GBA games at least having the rescue mechanic over this. This is really the one area where the game's barely improved over the original. But it has improved, so it's going over FE1 and FE3 at least. 1: Genealogy of the Holy War (12) 2: Thracia 776 (26) 3: Radiant Dawn (21) 4: Path of Radiance (20) 5: Gaiden (34) 6: Sacred Stones (24) 7: Binding Blade (23) 8: Blazing Blade (26) 9: Shadow Dragon (12) 10: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (35) and Book 2 (29) 11: Dark Dragon (44) Balance: As I say basically every time I get to this point... there are problems. I don't think I've ever been satisfied giving something a high rank here. Frankly, I question my sanity whenever I look at the games that happened to reach the top. But I think this is going to be one of them. There are obvious problems, of course. There's a massive disparity between how useful someone like Wolf is and how useful someone like Macellan is. Really, you're only gonna get a couple of units that manage to break out of the general mediocrity of non-doubling chip damage. But in that sense, a great amount of the cast is surprisingly more comparable in quality than usual, given that only a handful genuinely get a chance to break out into greatness. And what with this game's plentiful deployment slots, emphasis on player-phase combat, and assorted reclassing options, this game gives chip damage units a lot of opportunities to be relevant. And I think, above all else, the most important thing is that this is probably the hardest game on this list to cheese. While I definitely prefer Binding Blade's class balance more than this game's, there's a hell of a lot more you can do in Binding Blade to trivialize the game than you can do here. So I think we have a new winner. 1: Shadow Dragon (13) 2: Binding Blade (25) 3: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (38) 4: Gaiden (38) 5: Blazing Blade (31) 6: Path of Radiance (26) 7: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (36) 8: Sacred Stones (32) 9: Thracia 776 (35) 10: Genealogy of the Holy War (22) 11: Radiant Dawn (32) 12: Dark Dragon (56) Pacing: No contest, this wins again! I barely noticed any of the frustrating complications with enemy placement that plagued the original, and this is easily the quickest, smoothest, and most responsive interface and engine we've got so far. And it even has the ability to skip enemy phases, for people who are batshit insane like that. Man, what a jump over the original. 1: Shadow Dragon (14) 2: Blazing Blade (33) 3: Binding Blade (28) 4: Sacred Stones (36) 5: Radiant Dawn (37) 6: Path of Radiance (32) 7: Thracia 776 (42) 8: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (46) 9: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (45) 10: Gaiden (48) 11: Dark Dragon (67) 12: Genealogy of the Holy War (34) Writing: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ...Yeah, sorry, but as refreshing as I found this game to playlog due to its minimal story... it's not winning it any points here. It beats Book 2, by sheer virtue of the actual literal writing itself being better and more eloquent than the simplistic and fan-translated bottom four games on the list, but really, I can't even justify putting this above Sacred Stones. And I just recently re-read some of my entries on Sacred Stones to refresh my memory on how bad the writing was there. I know what I'm doing here. 1: Path of Radiance (33) 2: Genealogy of the Holy War (36) 3: Blazing Blade (36) 4: Radiant Dawn (41) 5: Thracia 776 (47) 6: Binding Blade (34) 7: Sacred Stones (43) 8: Shadow Dragon (22) 9: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (54) 10: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (56) 11: Dark Dragon (78) 12: Gaiden (60) Music: I'm torn, but I don't think I can put this very high. While I do like a few songs on there, and I think it carries its midi instruments better than the GBA era, its soundtrack just isn't as robust or memorable for the most part aside from a few big winners. I have to put it below Radiant Dawn for sure. I can't justify putting it below Gaiden though, what with that game's comically tiny soundtrack. 1: Genealogy of the Holy War (37) 2: Thracia 776 (49) 3: Path of Radiance (36) 4: Blazing Blade (40) 5: Sacred Stones (48) 6: Radiant Dawn (47) 7: Shadow Dragon (29) 8: Gaiden (68) 9: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (63) 10: Binding Blade (44) 11: Dark Dragon (89) 12: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (68) Presentation: Okay, yeah, the game suffers here. While it's made with better technology than most of the games on this list, the art style and creativity are clearly sorely lacking here. I can honestly say that everything from FE4 onward looks nicer than this game does, especially when it comes to the attack animations. Honestly, from an objective standpoint, the animations were better even in the NES games in many cases, I wouldn't go so far as to put it beneath them, given how rough the presentation is elsewhere. I'll put it just over Mystery of the Emblem. 1: Radiant Dawn (48) 2: Path of Radiance (38) 3: Blazing Blade (43) 4: Sacred Stones (52) 5: Binding Blade (49) 6: Thracia 776 (55) 7: Genealogy of the Holy War (44) 8: Shadow Dragon (37) 9: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (77) and Book 2 (72) 10: Gaiden (78) 11: Dark Dragon (100) Replayability: While the gaiden requirements are pretty damned steep and require you do be doing very, very poorly, this game does have the distinction of having six separate difficulty modes, which I think is the highest number of difficulty modes in the series. I don't think even Heroes has more difficulty modes than that! I think that's worth acknowledging. I'd say it goes slightly above Blazing Blade. 1: Genealogy of the Holy War (45) 2: Sacred Stones (54) 3: Shadow Dragon (40) 4: Blazing Blade (47) 5: Binding Blade (54) 6: Thracia 776 (61) 7: Gaiden (85) 8: Path of Radiance (46) 9: Radiant Dawn (57) 10: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (87) 11: Dark Dragon (111) 12: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (84) OVERALL: 1: Shadow Dragon (40) 2: Genealogy of the Holy War (45) 3: Path of Radiance (46) 4: Blazing Blade (47) 5/6: Binding Blade (54) 5/6: Sacred Stones (54) 7: Radiant Dawn (57) 8: Thracia 776 (61) 9: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (84) 10: Gaiden (85) 11: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (87) 12: Dark Dragon (111) ...Well would you look at that. I don't know how they did it, but they did. They managed to remake the worst game so far... and somehow turn it into the best game so far. And this is the part where teenage me would be screaming if he saw this. But for the first time in a while... I have absolutely no reservations about where this game wound up. I feel good about it. I think my renewed passion and energy over the last three weeks has made it clear to everyone that this is the most fun I've had with this project in a looooooooong time. This was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it... and I owe it to this project that I even gave it another chance. I for one can't wait to see what the sequel has to offer. The last game in the Fire Emblem mainline canon that I haven't beaten even once. So stay tuned, because on Monday... ...we check out the only game that the west never got, after that wasn't supposed to happen anymore. New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow. Stay safe, everyone.
  11. Day 19 Continued Yeah, this ending scene is corny as hell. Especially the part where Marth almost seems to be excusing the game's near total lack of screentime for anyone capable of dying by having Marth say that he and Caeda didn't speak much over the adventure because “With you, I felt I never had to say a word”. But yeah, holy shit is the epilogue comically minimalist and anticlimactic compared to basically every game since, like... what... Genealogy? Shit, I think even Mystery might've had a better epilogue than this. But that means I ain't gotta sit through it, so works for me! Oh shit, here we go again, trying to record turn counts on original hardware before it all vanishes by typing nothing but the chapter number and the turn count and then filling the other words in later because I don't have time to do anything else. I don't get why you guys actually want to see this shit, but fine, I'll do it for you guys. Chapter 1: 24 turns. Chapter 2: 39 turns. Chapter 3: 53 turns. Chapter 4: 23 turns. Chapter 5: 14 turns. Chapter 6: 23 turns. Chapter 7: 28 turns. Chapter 8: 15 turns. Chapter 9: 25 turns. Chapter 10: 35 turns. Chapter 11: 30 turns. Chapter 12: 34 turns. Chapter 13: 23 turns. Chapter 14: 25 turns. Chapter 15: 20 turns. Chapter 16: 30 turns. Chapter 17: 22 turns. Chapter 18: 15 turns. Chapter 19: 32 turns. Chapter 20: 26 turns. Chapter 21: 16 turns. Chapter 22: 30 turns. Chapter 23: 4 turns. Chapter 24: 26 turns. Chapter 24x: 23 turns. Endgame: 11 turns. Thank goodness the info moved slowly in this game. Fuck, now for the character data, and this is going way too fast for me to copy down battle data and read the new writing. Guess I'll have to rerun the epilogue to get both. I'm only going to write down the data of notable characters though, and I won't mention their endings unless it's something interesting. Huh. That's curious. The game doesn't record losses this time. It doesn't keep track of how often a character died. Is that a sign that this was made with ironmanning in mind? Or... was it just not in the original game and they never bothered to add it? Marth: 73B 45W. My efforts to train him wound up being ultimately pointless, since he was just not practical against the final boss as anything other than a last resort. Still though, up until that point, from Chapter 21 onward, he was nice to have around after those stat boosts I gave him. Caeda: 148B 73W. She kinda stopped being nearly as useful towards the end of the game as she was at the beginning. She really peaked when she promoted, honestly, and her terrible speed cap kept her from being as useful as she by all rights should've been. But she really pulled her weight until that point, lemme tell ya. Don't know what I would've done without her half the time in the early game. The fact that it was practically effortless to train her thanks to all the enemies she could one-shot certainly didn't hurt. Jagen: 56B 19W. He was way more useful in the early game than I ever would've expected him to be when I was younger, but yeah, eventually he did fall off, namely when I got more ridersbane users and I had better candidates for dracoknight. Cain: 86B 30W. Rest in peace, Cain. I wish I could say your death was more of a blow than it wound up being, but by the time you died, the cav bros had easily become the weak link of my army. Also, they say he “Fell in battle during Chapter 20”, and I wish they would just say where he died, and not what Chapter, like this were actually written by an in-universe historian. Like “Fell at the battle of Grusthold” or something. Abel: 95B 35W. He and Cain were really useful for their mobility and lance use for a while, but eventually the mid-tier chip damage and ridersbane use they offered stopped being that handy. Really, their biggest utility by the end of the game was just flying to cover forts as dracoknights, due to their speed never picking up to doubling level ever. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! GORDIN'S TITLE IS “THE UNGAGGED”! HOLY SHIT! Ogma's ending says love wasn't his “long suit”, not “strong suit”. Is “long suit” another way you can say it? Really? Barst: 132B 60W. For a bit after he promoted he became really, really useful as basically a second Wolf, but his speed just did not keep up. But hey, he pulled through finishing off Medeus, so I've got no regrets training him. He was really low investment for the use I got out of him, and he was the only one of my middling chip damage brigade (which was most of my army) that ever managed to become something more. ...How did I know when I saw Bord titled “The Lopper” that Cord was gonna be titled “The Chopper”? ...Cord apparently became “renowned for his speedy work” as a woodcutter. Okay, false alarm, that's actually completely fine. It's Bord who's notoriously slow. I can never tell those two apart. I notice that this ending music likes to incorporate the “Clash of Two Virtues” leitmotif a lot. Nice touch. Lena: 5B 2W. Man, I don't think I used her for much combat besides that sniper that one time, did I? Nevertheless, she was a huge asset to my team and got enough staff work in to make it to promoted level 15 or so. Note to self though: better give her a seraph robe or two if I want to bring her to the endgame again. That could've been nasty if I lost her to that ballista at that pivotal moment. No mention of how she reacted to Julian's death, sadly. Merric: 91B 50W. While he never became a truly frontline fighter, I was always, always glad to have this guy around. After promoting he mostly did healing, but whenever the time came for magical nuke damage, he did not disappoint me. “Dashing Noble” is apparently Matthis's title. ...I totally forgot that Lena was part of the nobility until just now. She just does not give off that impression. Hardin: 62B 29W. Not much to say about him that I didn't already say about Abel and Cain. Glad to have him around, but it's just so hard to meaningfully contribute by the end of the game, and these guys didn't have what it took. They can be grateful I didn't decide to send them on a suicide mission to take out that swarm bishop though. That actually probably would've been wise, but it didn't feel right after all they did for me. Wolf: 307B 113W. Holy shit. Wolf is probably one of my favorite units in the entire franchise now. I wish he had more characterization, because I just love the visual and gameplay dimensions to him, and I have no fucking clue how this ironman would have turned out without this wolfy son of a bitch. While Sedgar started out more useful, by the time Sedgar died Wolf reached the point where he didn't need general bases to be a tank. Sedgar: 82B 12W. Rest in peace, o mighty titan slain by the hubris of his god. Sedgar's death was an absolute tragedy and probably the defining moment of the course of this entire ironman. No death was felt more than his, not even Tiki's. And now I can only stop and wonder what would've happened if this guy hadn't been smashed to oblivion by those hammers in Chapter 9. If I still had a second Wolf in the lategame? Wooooow. I probably would've had someone who could fight Medeus and live. Wendell: 33B 5W. Wow, did I really only kill 5 enemies with this guy? Anyway, he was super useful in the early game, though he kinda inevitably fell off when that 6 base speed stopped being good enough to carry him. Was still handy as a staffbot when I could spare the slot though. Bantu apparently sealed his dragonstone's power? Why? Oh right, because according to canon, each Manakete has their own dragonstone that specifically houses their power, despite even this game letting him use literally any old firestone he finds. HAHAHAHAHA! Roger's title is “Still Single”! Jeorge: 8B 4W. Very useful in a couple of key situations shortly after he was recruited, but after that I really lost a use for the guy. He just doesn't have that much staying power. Minerva: 23B 10W. She was always just a filler dracoknight. She was never the best one at any point due to her abysmal speed, and eventually she was the worst, because her growths just weren't good enough to elevate her above what were basically just dracoknight bases. Wow, that's the lamest title ever for Linde: “Miloah's Child”. No, Jake's is worse. “Anna's Love”. Yeah, I hope to hell that's because he couldn't stop talking about Anna after the war, because imagine being a war hero, and then having your title just reference your relationship to someone who to the actual in-universe world is just some random nobody as far as they can tell! Anyway... Jake: 86B 35W. He wasn't always the right fit for every chapter, but there were so many times that I was grateful I had this guy around, and I never regretted lugging his 4-mov ass around whenever I chose to bring him (though I did have to use a warp staff on him in this last chapter in order to keep him from falling behind). ...Ouch. That... that's almost cruel. Dolph: Spitting Image. Macellan: Dead Ringer. Macellan, just as a reminder, was the one I couldn't save because he died too fast. But interestingly, Dolph apparently took some issue with Hardin and left the service. Did he notice problems before the others did? Beck: 21B 6W. Yeah, I'd say he's worth mentioning. While I mostly focused on Jake, having Beck as a second ballistician was pivotal to my strategies for a couple of chapters, usually when I needed thieves dead immediately. Palla: 32B 23W. Yeah, she started out promising, but Catria just pulled so far ahead of her while she languished at the same speed range as the cavalry bros. Still, she was a flier, and that was worth having for its own sake quite a lot. Catria: 50B 31W. RIP. Pity she couldn't finish Medeus off, but she was roughly Caeda's equal by the endgame, which came in handy more often than I initially expected it to when I saw how Caeda's speed cap was hurting her. Unfortunately, she came too late to enjoy the stage in the game where dracoknight promotion gains turn you into an unstoppable menace. Xane: 18B 5W. Gee, you'd think somebody like Xane would've gotten more action than that, given what he can do, but weirdly enough, it was just never the best idea. Since gaining levels doesn't make him better, it was always important to use the real one first, and I guess I just didn't need to use both the original and a copy simultaneously that often. I feel like I misused him. But he pulled through in the final stretch of the endgame, that's for sure. Tiki: 94B 60W. RIP. She went out like a hero in one of the most intense moments of the game, vindicating every damned moment I spent training her. Honestly, part of me wishes I didn't waste the Aum staff getting Chapter 24x, but I think in the long run having Nagi and the mini Falchion left us with more options. Nagi: 2B 1W. RIP. She had one job, and to her credit she pulled through, averting what could've been utterly disastrous. It's nuts how much of a meatgrinder that final boss is, but I won't lie... it makes the final battle really intense. And... that's the last one. So... ...What did I think?
  12. Shadow Dragon Day 19: Endgame I did not get a lot of sleep last night. I got to sleep sometime after 2 and woke up at 8:30. Then again, I usually go to sleep at 11 and wake up at 5 without fail, but usually I then go back to sleep or at least rest my eyes for an hour or two before I get started... ...Anyway, point is, I'm not in peak physical condition for ironmanning the final chapter of a Fire Emblem game. But I'm gonna do it anyway. Let's go. … Okay, first thing I notice is that the theme they're playing during the intro narration is a remix of the final chapter's player phase map theme from the original. Are they using it both for that and for this, or is this just a nod to the original, and we're actually getting a new one? … ...Okay, I just checked the prep menu. Medeus has 30 avoid. At least in his Manakete form. I know that he permanently transforms at the beginning of the map and then his stats change to have their dragonstone bonuses fused into them at base (conveniently), so maybe they'll be different? ...At any rate, I think I'll have to cut some of my units. I just don't have enough big hitters to protect four separate groups of units in here, so I'm going to be lowmanning this with only 11 instead of 15. The main concerns are the siege weapons: two ballisticians and one swarm bishop. Jake's forged thunderbolt is still strong enough to one-shot the ballisticians, thank goodness, but the only other guy I have who can one-round them is Wolf with Mercurius. And even then, literally just barely. I'm also extremely grateful I gave Wolf all of those talismans. It means he can tank a thoron crit, thank goodness, because there's a thoron bishop right by the lower ballistician, which is the only one who can be reached in melee range with 10 mov, so that has to be the one Wolf kills. I'll put Lena and Jake with him, I'll put Tiki up north with Catria, Merric and Julian (who's there in case the doors start getting overkill) and down south I'll have Marth, Xane, Caeda, Barst and Nagi. We'll all be uniting in the center west of the map, and then rushing up towards the top. If things start to get overwhelming, I will use my warp staves, but for now, I wanna see if I can do this the normal way, because 1, I'm only bringing two warpers and the defenses around the main area seem pretty damned nasty, and 2, I wound up snapping and warp skipping as a teenager, using the save tile, warping Marth in, and then save-scumming until Marth got a Falchion crit. And that was me playing on normal mode. I am not that immature idiot anymore. I will do what he could not, and I will do it on an even harder mode. Now, I can take out both the ballisticians on turn one (assuming more don't show up as ambush spawns, hence why we need to rush the fuck out of this), but the swarm bishop is too far away since I'm not deploying by the northeast area. If he doesn't move though, he shouldn't be a problem until we get to the very end, and by that point nobody I'm sending in that range will be scared of him. The enemies here are no joke though, and a lot of them have forged weapons, or brave weapons. So I'm gonna make a forge of my own. Jake's got pretty good offensive stats, but aside from slayer effectiveness against ballisticians and fliers, he hasn't been able to contribute much lately. So I spent the last of my gold forging him a +8 might hoistflamme called the Ladykiller. With this, he has 32 attack, and can contribute chip damage to literally everything, including Medeus himself. I decided Catria should have the Gradivus. Anyone who fights Medeus is almost certainly going to die if they aren't dealing the final blow (though Wolf comes extremely close to being guaranteed to survive a round of combat, and actually would if I had given him those dracoshields or reclassed him to general), and I'd rather not get the bad ending by having Caeda be a casualty. Plus, Catria's just got better strength, so she'll do more damage. ...Christ, I'm looking at this, and I'm just thinking about all the things that could easily go wrong here. There are so damned many. But staring at this menu is going to accomplish nothing. I've done all I can do to prepare. ...Let's go. ...Alright, so, no, we're not getting a new final map theme. They just used the same one for the narration screen, which is a bit lame. Anyway... ...Holy shit is my heart beating out of my chest. I am so scared about what could happen here with those staircases. I've gotta rush out of here and hope they don't show up unfairly early. I don't remember a final map scaring me this much in any game I managed to ironman. Except maybe Book 2, but that was for all the wrong reasons. This is probably the most genuinely exciting a final map has been for me all marathon. Oh, one quick aside, just to be clear: each group has door keys or a thief to deal with those fucking doors. Thankfully my spending spree left me with spares. Alright, first things first, I have Jake use his forged thunderbolt to kill the first ballistician, Lena uses barrier on Wolf, and Wolf rushes in to kill the second, lower ballistician with Mercurius. The barrier staff is in case that thoron bishop gets a lucky 2% crit, because he's not the only enemy that Wolf's gonna have to tank this turn. Just checked Nagi's stats. She's okay, but Tiki is better thanks to the training I gave her. She still has the power to one-shot normal Manaketes and take a hit from them, but not with 100% accuracy against the 26 AS ones sadly. And so many fucking enemies are rushing my location Jesus Christ. An entire battalion of brave weapon users, two paladins, two dracoknights, and one general, are rushing my location and I'm hardly able to fight off the initial enemies before they arrive. Marth's group's been caught in the doorway, unable to advance because they're caught between the enemies Wolf's fighting to the west, a Manakete and the swarm bishop to the east, and a dragonpike dracoknight who will obliterate Nagi the second I bring her into the hallway if I can't erect a solid wall when I do it. I need to move, but I just can't move right now until Wolf deals with these fucking western enemies! Meanwhile Lena and Jake are cowering in the corner of the room they started in, providing long range support. Christ, it feels like the beginning of the game again, except even more terrifying! The charging enemies just come at you so fast! But this isn't the beginning of the game. I have way, way more toys. Team Tiki managed to make it into the central west meeting point hallway without incident, which was lucky, because I wound up needing to form a 2-wide wall with Tiki and Wolf so that Wolf could take a vulnerary from Tiki and actually heal to full after a particularly brutal enemy phase that Merric and Lena's fortify staves wouldn't have been enough to heal. Even so, I'm scared that someone's going to die. If there are ambush spawns already, somebody's definitely going to die. FUCK! NO! I FORGOT ABOUT THE FORGED DRAGONPIKE DRACOKNIGHT I DIDN'T QUITE FINISH OFF! TIKI'S GOING TO DIE! TIKI'S GOING TO DIE! ... ...Tiki managed to make it so close to surviving the round due to lucky dodges and enemy stupidity, But at the absolute last possible moment she failed to dodge. Tiki's dead. There goes our best weapon against Medeus. But in her courage and valor, she lasted long enough to kill all but two members of the brave weapon brigade, allowing us to finish the remaining two off, with Merric finishing off the brave lance general, and Xane avenging Tiki by taking out the paladin who killed her with a spare wing spear as Marth's team barreled down the hallway to make a break for it. And thanks to that, the worst is over for now, and it's time to press the advantage. We may have lost Tiki, but we're not out of ways to kill Medeus yet. We still have Nagi, Wolf, Catria, Barst, Merric, Marth and even Jake. It's gonna be a total fucking slaughterhouse, but I think we can still manage this. A ballistician ambush spawn shows up out of nowhere, and nearly kills Julian. Then a thoron mage shows up and does kill Julian. Better hope my door keys are enough. Thankfully, reinforcements only show up from each staircase once by the looks of it. ...NOPE, IT'S ALTERNATING, IT'S EVERY OTHER TURN! THIS IS COMPLETE HORSESHIT. AMBUSH SPAWN BALLISTICIANS IN THESE CLOSE QUARTERS!? CAPABLE OF ONE-SHOTTING ANYONE FRAGILE!? THIS IS A FUCKING MEATGRINDER! Okay, thankfully nobody died. But Lena very well could've been one-shot by that ballistician! Holy shit! Lena was also struggling to keep up in addition to nearly getting shot to death, and the rear reinforcements were getting so close that she couldn't escape their red zones, so Merric managed to warp her to safety (from both the incoming dracoknight and the range of any future ballistician reinforcements) and after Jake was done taking out the ballistician with his forged thunderbolt, he took out the dracoknight with his forged arrowspate the turn after. Alright, I've got everyone at the entrance to Medeus's chamber now. Fingers crossed. No jinxing anything. No statements of hope until we've cleared the way to Medeus himself. But the reinforcements so far seem pretty consistent and stable. If things go the way I think they do, I can warp two guys onto the main room staircases and stop the reinforcements that'll show up next turn. Once I do that, I can rush in and finish off Medeus! Meanwhile Xane and Caeda will form a wall to block off the western half of the northern corridor, to repel the guys charging from the forts outside long enough for us to do what needs to be done. Stand your ground, you two. We only need a few more turns! I elected not to use both of my warps for the turn to block staircases. Instead I had Wolf block off the eastern path on foot, not blocking the staircase but blocking access to the bottleneck hallway and simultaneously killing the physic curate in the process. Merric warped Catria onto the western staircase she can easily reach Medeus from, and then Lena warped Merric closer to Medeus to make sure the crowd near the doorway didn't deprive Marth of a place he could land and then attack next turn. Caeda and Xane are holding strong. We've got time, but it doesn't matter. We don't need any more turns, and waiting longer won't help at all. It's all over this turn, one way or the other. One final player phase. Massive casualties. Win or die. Let's rock. First, Nagi. She'll do 45 damage if she hits, but she's only got a 74% chance. I would've liked Tiki's odds much better, but alas, I don't have Tiki. I've gotta work with what I've got. Damn near everything is riding on this. If she doesn't hit, Merric or Wolf is gonna have to crit to make this happen. And if that doesn't happen... the ironman dies right here, and I have to finish this playthrough in shame. Here goes... … … … SHE HITS! MEDEUS IS DOWN TO 15 HP! YES! Now then, let's go in for some chip damage with Jake to bring him from 15 to 9, ensuring that literally any of my remaining regalia attackers can kill him, and then see if we can finish this off in one hit. Let's send in Catria first, with Gradivus. …but she misses... and then she dies. ...Right, sending in Barst next, with the Hauteclere. I'm scared because if he misses and also doesn't die, that'll mean neither Wolf nor Marth will be able to reach the melee attacking spot. But I'll still have Merric's 85% kill chance, so let's go for it. Do it, Barst. YES! HE HIT! MEDEUS IS DOWN! TAKE THAT YOU UGLY, WRINKLY OLD MANAKETE MANWHORE! I DID IT! I BEAT SHADOW DRAGON IRONMAN ON HARD 3! WHOOOOOOOOOOO! YES! FUCK YES! YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!! ...Alright, calming down now. Let's see his death quote. ...Okay, bit of a complaint here. The translation of his ending line doesn't work quite as well for the interpretation that he's talking about people stealing the orbs of the Fire Emblem when he's talking about “as long as there is darkness in man's heart” or whatever, because he says “So long as the darkness in your hearts continues to sustain me... I cannot be... destroyed...” I mean I guess he could mean that single dark act is still continuing to sustain him though... Okay, fair enough. Alright. Time for the epilogue.
  13. I think the last thing we see them do proactively is try to capture Nyna again from Hardin.
  14. Yeah, I did notice that! Major clash of principles here. I would love to get on my moral high horse and say I won't touch the thing with a 10 foot pole for being an abomination of manufactured scarcity and being objectively inferior to the version I've been able to play on my computer since I was in high school... ...But no, I have to buy it. I played the original, I'm obligated to use this method of giving IS money for it.
  • Create New...