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AndyKerrison

Should I jump straight in and start on lunatic?

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So, I have some Fire Emblem experience - I have played Shadow Dragon to death, and run through it on the hardest difficulty setting (H5) with zero casualties (not an easy task!) so I have a decent understanding of tactics and growths etc. I've played no other fire emblem games.

Now I've just got myself a 3DS with awakening and I'm pondering which difficulty setting to go for. I've done the first 3-4 chapters on hard/classic, and it seems fairly trivial so far. Does the difficulty ramp up or should I restart on lunatic for a real challenge before I get too much further?

On the other hand, I've not played a fire emblem game with the pairing up mechanic before, so this is entirely new to me and seems pretty important, and maybe lunatic mode will be too ambitious before I've mastered that?

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If you're an experienced player, go with Lunatic as a first run. It's honestly not that bad as long as you don't overdo it on Fred and are willing to drag out a few early maps for EXP (this isn't even required to clear, it just makes it easier, as you'd expect).

The only primary thing you have to be careful about is not using too many units. and making sure your combat units were trained sufficiently and are in promoted classes by around about chapter 12. This is because enemy promoted units start showing up with high frequency (and the stat jump is very significant).

Edited by Irysa

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I only ever played Awakening - very first playthrough was on hard and I was fine - and just started a few other FE's, but from my perspective, you should be fine starting out on lunatic.

Just think of units who pair-up as temporary stat boosters who happen to dual strike from time to time, it's an intuitive mechanic. Dual Guard exists but you shouldn't rely on it.

One more thing: The AI in lunatic is programmed in such a way that it will always try to kill a unit when possible (that involves moving lesser troops out of the way if it enables a stronger unit to land a potential killing blow). And the AI doesn't concern itself with losses. It will happily suicide units one by one if there is even a 1% chance of getting a kill.

If there is no chance of getting a kill, the AI will prioritize attacking the target it can deal the most damage to, from a numerical standpoint. This means that units like Frederick can sometimes "sneak" (read: In plain sight) through enemy lines if the enemy has a more lucrative target in range.

As of late, people started calling this specific example "ninja fred" which I find amusing and I hope it sticks around.

That's all I can think of what you need to beat the game*.

*Edit: Aside from what Irysa posted.

Edited by Knusperkeks

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About the AI thing: Fun fact, if the AI can't kill anyone, and can't deal any damage to anyone, it'll suicide on the unit that will gain the least EXP from killing them. Talk about spiteful AI, huh?

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If you can handle H5 without deaths, you can handle Lunatic. The mechanics are not so complicated that you won't be able to figure out how to use them properly.

Just keep in mind that while the difficulty is comparable to H5, you're going into Awakening blind. One of the top under-rated things about Fire Emblem is the value of practical chapter experience (i.e. knowing what's coming). These days I can do Lunatic standing on my head, but my first Lunatic run was not very pretty, and it's not like I've become an order of magnitude better at playing TBS games in the last two years.

Edited by Interceptor

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Suicidal AI has always been a staple of the series; it's just a bit better about priorities in Awakening. The AI also has just barely enough of a preservation instinct to heal if it's below half HP and healing is readily available (this goes out the window if it thinks it can score a kill, though).

I agree on the practical experience thing, especially when it comes to the instant action reinforcements. This extends to game mechanics too, as Transfer has some weird applications that makes everything easier once one gets the hang of thinking about it that way and some skills are much better/worse than they look on paper (aside from not knowing which class brings what to the table).

That said, I think it's a neat experience learning the whole game on Lunatic. If you already feel that way about Hard, I'd recommend moving to Lunatic.

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Don't know if the enemy reinforcements move on the same turn they appear in SD H5 but they do in Hard and above in Awakening so be ready for that and suicide counter (skill) units can be a pain so just be aware of that. The biggest challenge though for you is going into it blind having no idea what the maps look like before hand and where reinforcements appear on what turns.

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tbh i had more trouble with H5 than I did with lunatic on this game, and i dived straight into lunatic so w/e

the first few chapters are kind of ridiculous but beyond that this mode really isn't that bad

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there is no way lunatic early chapters in fe13 are worse than h5 chapter 1, that's for sure.

Edited by Irysa

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there is no way lunatic early chapters in fe13 are worse than h5 chapter 1, that's for sure.

h5 isnt very consistent dou

chapter 1 may be hell but midgame becomes ridicolusly easy (I wish I had frey :() Abel is OP same with Shiida and cain and barst to a degree

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Hmm well you can't Warpskip in FE13 (although you can Rescue which makes a number of maps 1 turnable anyway). Both have fairly difficult early chapters, with FE11 probably being more so, but FE13 has some late Rout chapters which require units actually being trained and stuff so eh about the same.

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