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reinfleche

Fire Emblem Gaiden Efficiency/Low Turns Run

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As was discussed in the Alm vs Claire thread.

Okay, so this is a project I'll be working on over some time to complete FE2 as quickly as I can without too much hassle. There is still a good amount that is unknown in this game so not every detail is really worked out, so I will probably be doing some level of improvising as I go through- this might end up being a trial run, and then I can go back and fix thing afterwards. In a way, Gaiden is probably an easier game to speedrun than most others even with a large information gap- there are far less resources I need to worry about, like lack of money and item durability, and there are no promotion items to speak of.

That out of the way, there are a few objectives in this playthrough I will be accomplishing along the way, some for practical reasons, others because I will play this run however I please. Since those are important to know, here they are!

1) Everyone will be recruited, even if they aren't very useful or recruiting them is a pain (Atlas, Dyute). I don't like skipping recruitments, even when extra units will almost certainly be a detriment in certain scenarios, so I will not be doing so.

2) Everyone will be alive at the end of the game. This one is interesting, because there are a few spots where it's possible to revive a unit, and deaths could be used in interesting ways to save turns, but at the same time I'm not sure how much I want to play with this since managing timing for this will be pretty difficult. But if I think of some ways to use revival spots for the betterment of the run I'm not opposed to using them.

3) Every map will be visited at least once, even if it is optional. Same as #1, I don't believe in skipping maps when there aren't any that are super hard to visit or anything. Some maps I will need to visit a few times throughout the game for various reasons. I'm not sure how to handle skirmishes because they're beyond my control right now, but they will be a problem I'll need to address when Chapter 3 comes around- if anyone knows of a good way to manage these I'd really love to know.

4) I want to keep RNG manipulation to a minimum. For one, I only know one way to advance the RNG mid-map (which is visiting the unit list), and it is boring, so it is in part a limitation in practicality. Secondly I don't think strategies that are over-reliant on low chances are the part of this run that is supposed to be interesting. If a low-chance critical hit or level-up or something similar is really needed to help beat a map with a significantly lower turn-count then I will do so, but if it's just saving one turn, I don't think it's worth it.

I'll be referring to maps based on the number assigned on Fire Emblem War of Dragons because it's an easy way to maintain a certain level of consistency and I really don't know a better way of sorting them out!

I think that's about it. I haven't yet started because I need to get everything adjusted on my new computer but I have started planning out stat benchmarks I want to meet on certain units. I have a good idea for where I want to be on most of Chapter 1, then things start getting trickier. I'll be doing videos for every chapter and maybe some form of commentary, I dunno if people like these quiet or with thoughts on what I'm doing. Anyone who has thoughts on commentary, knows anything involving RNG advancing, anything else that I might find helpful in this playthrough, or really has anything to say about this at all would be appreciated. I'll post again whenever I make some progress. That'll be all for now.

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For Alm's route I will be using Alm whenever I can because I want his stats to be good when Silk gets to Warp. I don't know if I will use Matilda that much, actually- in a draft I worked on a while ago I almost got Silk to level 7 by the time Chapter 1 was over and there was only one map I clearly lost turns on because if it. Of course, drafts aren't as fast as I'll be going here (the dreaded Map 4 Mercenary comes to mind), but I think it's a good baseline for the experience she needs to get in order to get to level 7 early enough to skip some of the harder maps.

Even though I was sorta bad-talking Claire I will probably end up using her a decent amount because she's still a fine combat unit with proper equipment and there's a good number of maps where Alm being warped doesn't instantly win me the chapter so I need to have some other combat units as well. This is probably where Matilda will be useful, and when I get to him Zeke's base stats and horse are incredible assets. I am probably going to be using Cliff because I will need a mage for certain enemies like the Map 4 mercenary and some Armor Knights before Alm really gets rolling, and Luthier (who is basically his only real competition) joins after many of the situations I'd need him most.

Alm can get experience pretty much whenever because of how versatile and strong he is as a combat unit, so I don't have to worry about keeping him up to par, but I'll have to be careful managing experience between Claire, Silk, and Cliff. Silk needs to be given kills early and then after she hits Warp I don't need to use her for anything, but clerics gain experience at a pretty good rate, so she doesn't need long-term investment either. Claire and Cliff are trickier because they have an area where they start to fall off when enemies start becoming tier 2 and they're not, so I will need to be careful with the two of them. If I do end up having enough experience for everyone, I guess I'll train either Clive or Python, neither of whom are really any good at ORKOing, but they both have really strong single-hit damage.

Cellica's route is a lot simpler because Catria and Palla are so dominant when you get them, though May and Kamui are pretty good too. I will probably recruit Deen between him and Sonia because his map is quicker and I'd rather have him as a unit anyway- the Hero Sword is really amazing. Cellica needs to get Angel in time for the Chapter 2 Dracozombie which is otherwise really hard to kill in a decent timeframe, then everyone else will probably just end up working as filler or earlygame utility- Saber is a good example of someone who is really good in Chapter 2 that doesn't stand up well afterwards.

Wow I typed way more than intended to.

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This sounds quite interesting. Go for it Rein, also yeah Angel is gonna be extremely helpful provided you can get it in time.

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I think that, at least early on, you might want to insta-promote Gray onto a Mercenary (he doesn't need any training), and use him as a pseudo-Jeigan or something with the Thunder Sword (7 AS with it). Alm is weighed down by the Thunder Sword too much (3 AS). I recall him being doubled by stuff with it.

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I never ran into the issue of Alm being doubled with Thunder Sword, I actually had him ORKO every enemy in Map 6 and 7 with it. The first Lion Head statue gives Speed as one one its options, and I think I can afford to give Alm some of it. I don't think I'll do so for Map 6/7 this time because I need to give Cliff, Clair, and Silk experience and there are Cavaliers starting far enough away on both maps that I can do so without wasting turns.

That all said, Mercenary is probably Gray's best option here since I don't plan to use him into lategame and it's a good starting class, but I dunno if I want to give him Thunder Sword too often because I don't want him taking too much experience from people I am actually going to use if I don't need to.

Edited by Reinfleche

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I think you might as well just use thunder sword Grey long term because Alm can really get most of his stats from promotion gains. Considering the whole game is basically route having an extra competent unit probably wouldn't hurt. This will also allow you to allocate more of the speed Lion Head Bonuses from Alm to Silk. (She'll probably at least want +2 to double loldiers.)

As for the other villagers, Cliff is probably out of play since it's sort of difficult to get him to 3 in raw LTC, but Robin's speed will probably useful for setting up kills. I actually like his raw power as a mage, but the higher speed and range of cavalier/archer might be more useful.

4) I want to keep RNG manipulation to a minimum. For one, I only know one way to advance the RNG mid-map (which is visiting the unit list), and it is boring, so it is in part a limitation in practicality.

If the RNG is anything like FE1, I *think* the RNs just cycle through by themselves over time. Unfortunately, that also happens to be boring.

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Using Gray long-term is worth considering, I suppose. I do want Alm to get a good amount of levels before he promotes, however, there are a good amount of maps in Chapter 3 I could skip with him/ some other competent unit. Usually when I promote Alm it mostly helps in terms of speed, which he can fall behind in, since 14 base is fantastic.

I don't think getting Cliff to 3 is too hard because iirc Alm and Gray leave enemies just in his KO range in the first two maps, and then map 3 is pretty much free training for anyone. As it is, I definitely need a Mage for map 4 and would like one for some later maps, and Cliff is a pretty good mage.

Didn't know that about the RNs, though it's a shame it isn't very useful for my purposes. Do you have any idea on the intervals it cycles at?

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Yeah, I think you're right on Cliff. I did the first 3 maps in 3/4/3 and he got there pretty easily. If you manage to shave a turn or two it may be a slight issue but that's about it. I'm not sure if you want him as a mage over Robin, though. He has only 1 AS as a level 1 mage and will really take some time (and exp!) to double anything. I guess he's there if you need thunder for something.

I don't really have any technical details on RN cycling. Pausing for about a second at 240% speed usually alters the battle results for me so it's at least not a huge wait time.

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I agree with SRC, Cliff may be too much of a pain to use in efficiency runs. Once you're halfway chapter 3 and Grey/Robin really fall behind, you can resort to using Alm, Claire and Mathilda anyway, with Zeke coming in chapter 4 as well.

And there's also Ryuto who comes in chapter 3 and has insta-Excalibur and is 3 levels from promotion, if you want a mage on Alm's party anyway, but he also suffers from doubling issues as far as I remember.

And between Clive or Python, I would go for Python all the time. Python's 1-5 range when equipped is insanely useful for sniping of hard to reach enemies.

Because of that reason, I usually promote Robin into an archer as well, since he can't do anything else too well :p I have not yet read what you're planning to promote Robin to.

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For at least the early chapters, I'll definitely be using Cliff. We'll see if he holds up for the rest of the run, but I at least would like to have him for Map 4 if nothing else.

Anyway, here's the first video! I'm not very professional in this video, but I just wanted to get something out in order to get feedback and such. I actually didn't realize in-game audio wasn't being recorded, but that's probably for the best because I'm quiet and honestly most of the soundtrack isn't spectacular. I make a couple of mistakes because my planning was pretty dubious going into this but I'll work on making things flow better as I go along (and as maps become more interesting so I have more to talk about, because the first 3 maps are kinda boring).

Also, I mixed up the idea of using Gray long term and say Robin throughout this video because I misremembered the discussion I had here, but it doesn't really matter long-term.

Chapter 1 Map 1 is completed in 3 turns.

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Looking forwards to more videos! Besides what Trent said, maybe having a basic idea of what you're going to say ahead of time or doing a dry run would help (especially in later chapters where completing them on your first time in the lowest turncount isn't really feasible).

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Looking pretty good so far. I can't comment on the audio, but the pace of play and strategy seem good so far. I also like that you showed off the animations a bit before you shut them off.

Besides what Trent said, maybe having a basic idea of what you're going to say ahead of time or doing a dry run would help (especially in later chapters where completing them on your first time in the lowest turncount isn't really feasible).

I've been trying an LTC run myself out of curiosity and made basically a draft outline of the thing. Maybe it can give Rein a hand in that regard.

Map 1 - 3/3

Moved Grey up front so he and Robinn can easily set up kills for Cliff.
Map 2 - 4/7
More exp feeding for Cliff. The rest of the map is just beating up scrubs since Robin gets to level 3 naturally. A turn 3 is technicaly possible here but requires an enemy phase critical hit. ;/
Map 3 - 2/9
We take full advantage of enemy phase by keeping 4 of the thieves only in range of Alm, Ruka, and Grey. Weakened enemies will not attack, so they need to all have 10-16 HP by the start of the 2nd turn. Also, Cliff needs a speed proc for this to work without crits.
Grey > Cavalier, Robin > Mage, Cliff > Mercenary, +3 Speed to Silk
I think this is the best combination of classes. Mages have a nice niche in targetting res from a range. Cavalier softens up and baits up faraway units before others can get there. Mercenary is great almost solely for abusing the potent, long ranged Thundersword.
Robin makes a great early game mage because he is still capable of doubling lots of enemies despite Fire's 3 weight. Grey and Cliff are close to interchangable, but I opt for Merc!Cliff for his superior speed and defenses later on.
Silk gets all of the Lion's Head bonuses in speed to salvage her lacking offense. In retrospect, I might have given 1 more speed to Robin so he can double Soldiers. 1 more speed for Silk just prevents the rare cavalier from doubling her and doesn't really let her double more stuff.
Map 4 - 5/14
Robin is sent up the mountain range to take care of the infamous Leather Shiled Merc. He can easily 3 shot it in the last 2 turns. (2 player phases and 1 enemy phase.) The rest of the map is straightfoward: give Silk as much exp as possible and prevent enemy units from fleeing to heal.
Map 5 - 5/19
Now it's time for the infamous Steel Bow!Archer. Robin nukes him, setting up the kill for Silk. Then, Alm and Ruka take on the middle soldiers with magic support from Robin. The trickiest enemy here is surprisingly the soldier on the left. Grey charges and grinds him down in 4 rounds, making sure to miss once since the soldier will attack at 14 HP but not at 10 HP.
THUNDER SWORD GET. CLAIRE GET.
Map 6 - 3/22
There are a lot of units here. Luckily, Cliff can one round all of him with thunder sword hax and pave the way for the others. The lone cavalier suicides on him turn 3 to finish the chapter.
Map 7 - 4/26
6 cavaliers. 2 of the kills are fed to Silk. On turn 4 the last 4 cavaliers suicide on Cliff.
Map 8 - 2/28
ZOMBIES! :O Cliff beats the snot out of the two bonewalkers and everyone else mops up the zombies.
All of the Lion's head bonuses and Clive's Steel Lance boost Clair's offense into absurdity.
Chapter 1 Final - 8/36
The first order of business is having Claire open the left door for Clive, Grey, and Force. This way, Clive gets to reach the top in a timely manner without taking away important deployment spots from the rest of the army. With the Leather Shield, he can bait the boss and soften up the enemy cavaliers while barely taking a scratch. Claire and Python clear the soldiers and archers on the bottom right, then the entire gang works their way to the top. Cliff kicks some huge ass on the boss and armor knight while everyone else just helps out.
Alm and Claire are only like level 3, but Claire is in a good position to keep picking up experience and Silk is at the bittersweet 6.99 mark.

All in all, things went smoothly, but without rigging a bunch of hits, the turns can really add up. :|
Edited by SRC

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Thanks for all the feedback, I've made some adjustments and such.

Here's part 2. I redid Map 1 and then attempted to go through with Map 2, but misremember my dry run and miss out on the 4 turn just barely because of it (then try to get lucky and not pay for my mistakes, which goes about as well as you would think). Also I sort of get distracted with my talking points I had.

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