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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Genealogy of the Holy War

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  1. Well, my first piece of advice is to throw away the idea that you will beat the game first try with no deaths. The game is designed around the idea that you will lose units permanently, and offers a fair stream of new units to replace old ones. Permadeath was one of the selling points of Fire Emblem at its launch, whereas it's something that newer games try to dance around and avoid, so it's fair that you're not used to it but you should change your mindset to interact with these older games. FE1 offers a very neat method of keeping units alive in that enemies will always rush to kill Marth. He's a wonderful trump card that you can use to ward away attacks from enemies, provided you give him levels and keep him healthy. Best mage about to get swarmed by 2 swordsmen and killed? Throw Marth in a forest and they'll attack him instead. There might be some exceptions to this but I can't remember them, it's a pretty safe strategy overall. For battles themselves, you don't get any battle forecast, so speed and doubles are the only thing you can really reasonably predict. Of course, you could use the damage formula to calculate damage pre-battle, but overall you're supposed to be able to play by simply inferring an enemy's strength based on their grade of weapon and stats. The game even obfuscates numeric data on the battle screen to keep with this goal of accessibility; you could probably play the whole game and win without considering hard numbers even once. Yes, not doing calculations might lead to some unit deaths, but as I said earlier this shouldn't scare you off from playing the game (though you should obviously still try to keep your units alive). Careful of having units with powerful weapons face off against large enemy hordes. I've lost a Jagen and a Hardin like that, handing them their strongest weapons to mow through multiple enemies on enemy phase. While they can of course kill the enemy, this just left them open to the next enemy attack, whittling down their HP until they were dead. Check enemy ranges. They sometimes can travel a whole lot farther than you might assume. There's no danger zone, so it's on you to count out the tiles they can cross. Note that enemies might avoid attacking a high-defense unit at all, even if that unit is the only one in the enemies' range. As for resistance, well, there is none - most units will have no res for the whole game. Be careful of mages and use your own carefully to wipe out armour knights, which are quite threatening in this game from my memory. I would personally advise against the arena as battles can get volatile in there, and if you lose your unit will die. Have lost some very strong Kains and Abels like that. However others who understand the arena better might advise otherwise. Only use wikis/strategy guides for stuff like item info. I haven't read through the Japanese manual for the game, but it's pretty extensive and holds a lot of information on stuff like weapon levels, which aren't stated in-game. To repeat my first point, I'd really encourage you to play the game while allowing units to die. If you want 1 or 2 units like Shiida or Julian to stick around, a reset or two won't hurt, but overall it's important to get yourself in the mindset of playing this game as it was released - that is, embracing permadeath as a mechanic, avoiding it within the ruleset of the game and not using save states or resets to defeat it. Characters in FE1 tend to have little dialogue, or none at all, meaning you aren't missing much even if they die, unless you're assigning your own traits and value to your units. Which, speaking of, is something you should absolutely do. I think the structure of FE1 really invites the player to imagine the details of events from the bird's-eye view the game gives you, meaning you should feel free to let your creative energy flow and come up with stories, interactions, etc. for units to flesh out the simple blueprint the game gives you. With the volatility of the permadeath system, this can create a really exciting atmosphere, where your favourite unit that you've imagined an epic underdog story can suddenly be snatched away from you by a crit, or a fodder unit you never thought anything of can suddenly become a legend due to some lucky level ups or dodges. I would strongly argue this FE1 is intentionally making use of its limitations to create this atmosphere, and so it can be very fun to follow suit and let your imagination run wild. Hope this is helpful, have fun with this classic!
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