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Superfan959

Which entry has the worst mid-game padding? The best?

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Midgame Padding: Those chapters, almost always occurring exactly halfway through the games, where the plot is basically put on hold. A rather extreme change in setting or location is also common, as well as sub-plot to temporarily replace the lack of central plot advancement. They're most easily identified by how abruptly they begin and end.

What makes one particular group of padding chapters "better" or "worse"? Well, it's open for interpretation, but it can be any combination of how badly they break up the pacing of the main story, how enjoyable the chapters themselves are from a gameplay perspective, and how engaging the sub-plots are.

I'm not even sure if all of the games have this, but here's what I consider to be each game's padding sections:

FE1/11: ??? (There isn't much of a plot for this trope to work with here)

FE2: ??? (Never Played)

FE3/12: Anri's Way

FE4: ??? (Does this game have it? I'm not sure)

FE5: ??? (Never Played, can't handle the patch)

FE6: Western Isles

FE7: Bern

FE8: ??? (The chapters I would consider to be "padding" would be the ones where your only enemies are monsters, but those are spread out rather evenly throughout).

FE9: Begnion

FE10: Part 2

This list could obviously use some help, so please feel free to contribute.

My Votes:

Best: FE9 Begnion- I love the sub-plot here, as it gives the player a ton of insight into the racial themes so integral to the game's overall plot. I really don't even mind Day Breaks either.

Worst: Anri's Way- Once the novelty of fighting all of the cool different types of Dragons wears off, these chapters are incredibly boring. You do get a little bit of insight into Archanean lore, specifically involving the dragons, but it isn't great IMO. What makes it so bad to me is how it comes just as the plot actually starts to become decent, with Hardin chasing you down. It doesn't just break up the pacing of the plot, it murders it with a blunt object.

Edited by Completely InShane

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My favorite was Part II of FE10. I love playing as the knights + Elincia as the main character. Plus the finale of that part is just so much fun.

My least favorite is the Western Isles. Those chapters felt like such a chore and you couldn't use any of the three knights you got recently rendering them useless for the rest of the game.

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Worst is fire emblem thirteen by far. Valm really just came out of nowhere and has no significance. In FE4 Gen 1 I think the Silesia Arc could maybe considered padding, but it isn't quite midgame, and it's alright because at least Levin gets some good development. I would say FE10 is the best, the story is decent enough and the chapters are fun.

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Worst:

FE6-8: Cannot judge it yet. Just even started to play these parts.

FE9: Maybe chapter 14 and 15.

FE10: Part 2 storywise. Though it includes the best maps in the game (2-P and 2-F). 4-P - 4-4 are the real fillers.

FE11: Nothing, because almost no plot.

FE12: Only played on JP, so I don't know each detail of the story.

FE13: Especially Valm, although I could mention the entire story.

Edited by TalesOf Hysteria

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Of the games I've played thus far, FE6's Western Isles are my favorite "padding" chapters because they contribute to the plot and I like the change in setting.

As for least favorite... I'll just say post-Amphony castle (FE4, Gen 1) and be done with it :u Not because of the story mind you, but because fuck the map design.

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I liked Bern in FE7 because I found the difficult and tragic family situation of Zephiel and Gwen interesting.

I loved Part 2 of RD (yay Elincia, Geoffrey, Bastian, Lucia <3). part 3, however, did feel like a filler arc to me. It's not really, but I found it sooooo boring. They attack and then they flee and they flee some more and they flee through a volcano or something. Really boring. So that would be the worst "filler chapters" for me.

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Uh, FE11 isn't unjudgable for padding out due to "lack of plot", it's because it geninuely lacks padding. The only thing that really comes to mind as being awkwardly inserted is how Marth pretty much decides to go try to get the Falchion from Gharnef in Khadein after defeating Gra, then can't get it and goes back to free Altea, and that is 1 chapter! Possibly the bridge chapter where you fight Grust's Sable Knights is a bit pointless but like the Khadein one they both mostly serve to hype up a notable upcoming foe, Gharnef, and then Camus. So it does add some context.

I'd have to say FE12 is the worst offender when it comes to midgame padding. The Dragon chapters just kind of go on and on and aren't terribly interesting, even on lunatic.

As for the best, uh, I dunno. FE9 or 10 I guess? It's hard to really call that "padding" though, none of the other games literally make the plot just go on hold for a bunch of chapters from what I've played.

Edited by Irysa

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FE6 is the worst offender for me. The whole mine thing never made sense to me and Roy didnt suffer enough meaningful consequences for agreeing to the trip, etc.

Best for me would have to be FE10's. Part 2 is amazing.

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Part Two of RD for me as well for best padding. Ellie shows more character development than Ike, Micaiah and Pelleas put together.

Worst... eh. 4-4. Hate that chapter.

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Best is probably FE7's Bern plot. I felt it actually had a purpose and gave Zephiel some nice character. It definitely made his actions in FE6 more understandable. Also "Here, hold my fox!"

I actually didn't like Part 2 that much. The game structure in FE10 made it blatent filler, it served no point whatsoever in a game already longer than most FEs. It's prologue in the sky is the one thing I liked about it.

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Valm. Now that's some really bad padding.

I can't say I agree with FE12 though. The dragon chapters may seem unnecessary but the journey is an important step for Marth just like it was for Anri. It's not called "Anri's Way" for nothing.

I also genuinely like the Western Isles-Etruria arc from FE6. That section is the only part of the game where it tries something new instead of ripping off FE3 as much as it can. Technically, the Western Isles arc is similar to the beginning of Book 2 but the circumstances before and after that arc are different enough for the arc itself to feel new as well.

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Elincia's Gambit alone makes part 2 of RD enjoyable for me. It may not have had as much impact on the story as the other parts, however it was still fun to go through nonetheless since you got to see the Crimeans again.

The best to me however would be Begnion in POR, as it showcased one of my favorite elements in the story of Tellius: the disconnect between the apostle and the senate. It really made me curious to see just what kind of shady business was going on with the senate. I also like it as even though some may see it as filler, RD made the part of POR's story one of the single most important components in the plot. It also helps that Day Breaks was probably my favorite chapter in POR.

For worst? I honestly don't know. Sorry. :/:

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I'd say the part of FE4 that counts as "padding" would definitely be the Thracia chapters in Gen 2. Especially considering that the next game to come out was all about the Thracia conflict, it seems pretty pointless to spend half of the second generation finishing it off.

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It may be filler, but chapter 9 feels quite a bit deeper than the rest of the second generation. The entire story of the second gen is Celice running around Judgral crushing the Empire and its allies, so I don't think Thracia is any more unnecessary than say Miletos. At least there are things like the Leif/Altenna subplot running in the background, some plot lines from the first generation are tied up, and some characters like Trabant get a lot of development. That's more than can be said about most other filler.

Edited by MartyTheDemonSlayer

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Best: FE10

I can't really count the Begnion part in FE9 as padding. Before that, we only got a limited view from Telius but in Begnion, the world of Telius took proper shape. And the restoration of Serenes Forest and the accompanying first steps of briding the gap between the races has to the most important point in the story.

So it's FE10 then. It doesn't have much to do with the rest of the story, which is good because Part 1 and 3 are pretty much a huge waste of time. But Part 2 is a well desgined character story for Elincia on her growing into her role as the queen of her country. Especially since this isn't even ground that's usually covered in the series. Usually the story just stops once the Lord got his country back. It's always mentioned that the real trials have yet to come but we've never actually seen them.

It's just too bad that the return of the Greil Mercenaries ended up overshadowing Elincia's decision.

Worst: FE13

Were do I even start? Now, being disconnected from the rest of the story of course doesn't need to be all that bad. And I guess technically it's still the best story arc of the game. But none of this changes that this arc is completely atrocious. Wallhart is the closest thing the story has for a good villain but instead of dealing with him, we are left dealing with Excellus, who is just a shallow douchebag. He not only overshadows Wallhart but he also makes him look like a joke because he allowed Excellus to completely ruin his ambition on purpose.

He is also framed as an evil counterpart to the Tactican. Which might be the reason that he is such a douche because his actual actions of blackmailing people into obedience make him look quite cute next to the person who is content with simply burning all opposition.

Which bring me to that other highlight of the story: A massive massacre that served no purpose to the plot other then to allow the game yet again to have everyone kiss the ass of the player character. Personally I can only quote Roy Greenhilt, who once said: "Your approval fills me with shame" because this indifference towards life that our heroes display in this chapter is just disgusting. Either way, I wish the game would at least praise me for stuff I actually did myself. For the kind of stuff that is related to the gameplay instead of some off-screen shenanigans that I can't possible take credit for.

By the way, when Say'ri is introduced, the game doesn't actually explain who she and her brother actually are. She fights for the resistance, her brother for Wallhart. That's it.

Her being the Princess of Chon'sin is not mentioned until the death of her brother at which point everyone acts like they knew it already. Chon'sin itself is mentioned for the first time during Yen'fay's boss quote. They are both main characters, so I'm not sure how the editors could miss this vital context.

Anyway, the plot twist of Yen'fay fighting for Wallhart in order to protect Say'ri could be seen from a mile away. What could not be seen was the laziness with which it was executed:

Supposedly Excellus could have killed her any time. This is already stupid from the get-go. "Lend your strength towards the people who try to kill your sister instead of using your strength to protect your sister." And if Excellus really did have the power to have her killed at any time, he would have used it to capture her to prevent her from working against him.

But be it as it may be, once Say'ri teamed up with Chrom, Excellus had nothing to threaten him with. His forces were said to be equal to Wallharts. So all he had to do was to team up with Chrom to gain the upperhand. Even if he wasn't this strong, the fact that Chrom won without any help shows that sticking with Wallhart was completely pointless.

But then the really stupid part came when it was revealed that the dynasties were turning on Wallhart because they were not afraid from him or Excellus... but because of Yen'fay.

Just great. Excellus is revealed to be just a joke that nobody is actually afraid of... except the logical implication of that is that Yen'fay got killed because he was afraid of said joke. The apparently greatest badass of Valm got intimated by somebody who was so pathetic that nobody else was intimidated by him. *sigh*

After the final battle, no words about the future of Valm are spend. Chrom just says: "Our business in Valm is finished... To Ylisstol!". So since there is no longer a proper ruler in Valm and all the named Valm nobles are following Chrom to Ylisstol, the implications seems to be that Chrom simply left the fate of Valm in the hands of the dynasties.

We can't just assume that these people would totally work together for the sake of their people instead of doing things like waging war against each other in an attempt to claim power. They were described as greedy and self-serving every... single... time... they were mentioned. The game may have waited until the finale of the arc to mention who Say'ri actually is but it reminded us all the time of what kind of jerks the dynasties were. So by all appearance, the continent should sink into chaos now.

But whatever may have happened to Valm, I think it says something about how important the arc is when the arc itself doesn't actually care about it's own outcome.

Edited by BrightBow

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By the way, when Say'ri is introduced, the game doesn't actually explain who she and her brother actually are. She fights for the resistance, her brother for Wallhart. That's it.

Her being the Princess of Chon'sin is not mentioned until the death of her brother at which point everyone acts like they knew it already. Chon'sin itself is mentioned for the first time during Yen'fay's boss quote. They are both main characters, so I'm not sure how the editors could miss this vital context.

Just checked the script to confirm this, and...wow. Didn't even notice since I went in knowing who she was. What in the world were the writers thinking?

Anyway, I find it difficult to choose a favorite amongst the "mid-game padding" due to most of them serving a fairly clear purpose. If I had to choose one it would be Part II of FE10 for reasons already explained above by many others.

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I agree with BrightBow's complaints about the valm arc. I always considered it quite stupid that AFTER Say'ri joins your side, apparently Excellus still had the power to kill her whenever he wanted. They perhaps tried to paint him as more devious and powerful than he actually was. If her brother defected, how would Excellus have killed her? Via some traitor spy generics in the alleged allied army that never appeared anywhere but in dialogue? Not to mention, the entire resistance plot point at the beginning, and culminating at Fort Steiger, basically ended up being:

Say'ri: "Hey, they're going to finally show up and not just be offscreen this chapter!"

Excellus: "LOL NOIamsodeviousandevilOMG"

Some of the chapters were kinda fun, gameplay-wise. But the entire ordeal was totally disconnected from the grima overarching plot(save for the "allying with plegia" chapter), and, as Brightbow said, the entire ordeal and the new characters who showed up were basically forgotten afterwards. Not a single mention is made of the fact that, by conqueror logic, Chrom controls the entirety of Valm, and it's army, which he COULD have used against Grima, but taking 15 random trusted dudes in per battle was his course of action instead(OK, I guess that one's par for the course for FE protagonists).

I could go on, but really, Brightbow said everything. Valm just wasn't a good arc, and is probably some of the most blatant filler in the series.

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Going exclusively from a gameplay point of view:

Best: FE7. The chapters between the two visits to dread island are IMO really good. Crazed beast, which is the definition of padding, not even existing in the "canon" version of the story, is my favorite fire emblem map.

Worst: FE10. Part two has my least favorite chapters in the game. The only one that is good is the endgame, IMO. That chapter with Geoffrey and 4654564564564 weak enemies you shouldn't kill for BEXP is probably my least favorite chapter in any FE game, and the chapter where you only have nephenee, Brom and that rogue girl whose name I forgot is also a disaster.

Edited by NOBODY

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Best: Sorta mixed feelings here; FE9's was great lore-wise, and most of the chapters are pretty interesting...but Day Breaks is a massive grind to get through. FE7 was pretty good, too, although Sonia's chapter and the Ostia chapter both got on my nerves. I thought it flowed better story-wise than FE6's though.

Worst: Story-wise, FE13 Valm is pretty awful, but gameplay-wise I'd definitely have to go with Anri's Way. I was enjoying the hell out of FE12 until that mid-game padding hit. The chapters get so much less interesting than the preceding ones (although running from Astram was starting to wear a bit thin) and it's just...not fun.

Middling: FE6; The Western Isles have some interesting chapters (particularly the one with Klein and Echinda) but for every good chapter it has, it has a somewhat boring one too. It leans towards "good" in my book, but not at the level of FE9 or 7.

FE8: The monster chapters are filler, but there's no "mid-game" padding. Still, none of the monster chapters are exactly challenging except Phantom Ship, which is frustrating more than anything. I will say the "mid-game" chapters are some of the better ones, though (Eirika and Ephraim's chapter 13/14 are pretty good, and Scorched Sands is awesome).

FE10: Ellincia's character building is great and all, but I like...pretty much none of the actual chapters besides the endgame and sorta the prologue. So that's a sizable strike against it in my book.

FE11: Nada, besides the one desert chapter. Can't say I remember it too well.

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For FE4, I'd say Silesia is the padding for Gen 1.

Storywise, Radiant Dawn's Part 2 is my favourite because it barely even feels like padding. It opens on Crimea's reaction to Daein's liberation, and ends with the GMs showing up. The worse is probably Anri's Way, though to be frank it's the most interesting part of (New) Mystery for me.

Gameplaywise, the less said about Part 2, the better. I don't really have a favourite, though.

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For FE4, I'd say Silesia is the padding for Gen 1.

Yeah. It's such a gear-shift from the overall imperial intrigue-- the stakes are different and the morality far less gray. And it's really about Lewyn with Sigurd being true shiny hero. Nice story. One of my least favorite FE4 maps, up there with Ch2 and Ch7.

Anri's Way really was more frustrating than fun. I get that it's supposed to be an awful ordeal but ehh... at least the storyline part interests me. Storywise Valm arc is the hands-down least enjoyable. Game-play wise it's a tossup.

I guess I like FE8's mid-game the best because the "padding" is scattered through the game in the form of monster battles and the chapters that advance the plot are all really enjoyable.

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