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Alastor15243

Let's Play Fire Emblem STEAM [Screenshot] (Code Name S.T.E.A.M. amiibos only playthrough)

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Hey, I figured I'd try something different and do a let's play. Sadly I lack the gear currently to screenshot or record 3DS games, so this will have to be all text. But I'm a fairly good writer, so I'm hoping this'll be worthwhile to read anyway. Figured out how to do screenshots.

I'm going to be doing what I call Fire Emblem STEAM. I'm going to play through the story mode of Intelligent Systems' latest game (for the west anyway), Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., and I'm going to do it entirely with the fire emblem characters whenever possible. Now, since I hate most of the color changes characters take on (and all of the amiibo ones) when you retry a mission, I'm going to be going through each of these missions on a fresh file, first run, so there will be mandatory party members I'll have to let tag along for certain missions and drop one of my amiibos for (*cough* Ike *cough*), and missions 1-1, 1-2 and 1-3 will be done without amiibos since they're not available at that point. Scratch that, turns out those color changes are only for challenge modes, which I won't be doing. I'll be playing through every level of the game using just those four units.

I'll be honest, while I vow to stick with this as long as I can, I don't know if I'll be able to see this through to the end, or if it's even possible. Being locked to a specific party that lacks access to three crucial gameplay elements (a halfway decent overwatch attack, a healing weapon, and a weapon capable of hitting weakpoints on big enemies) just seems incredibly limiting. What's more, the amiibo units... vary... drastically... in terms of quality, and even the best ones don't last long against the final boss due to a special strategy involving tanks and healing seeming to be pretty much required from my limited experience fighting it. If anybody has any advice for me I'd appreciate it.

Also, while I may go back on this later, for now I plan to try and do this without using save points, and refusing to reset until I get a game over. I had a tendency to play through the game on fire emblem instinct, resetting the moment somebody was defeated, and I think it would be fun to exploit the fact that this is the one strategy game where you can play as fire emblem characters that don't suffer from permadeath, and see what kind of exciting down-to-the-wire struggles I can find myself in. I'm not going for score, I'm aiming for just winning. I'll skip gears unless they're basically free to grab, and I won't care about medals unless I later decide to use save points.

I'm going to skip talking about the first set of missions since that's going to be standard fare, nothing unique or interesting there. So the first entry you'll see of this will be mission 2. Again, change of plans, I'll be starting on chapter 1.

Edited by Alastor15243

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PROLOGUE: Getting to know the amiibo units

Alright, let’s get this show on the road! I won’t talk about the plot in case anyone wants to read this without having beaten the game themselves, so let’s get right into it by activating our amiibos and explaining how they work:

Marth:

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HP: 130

Steam: 12 max, 6 recharge

Ability: Destiny (overwatch attacks do 0 damage and do not stun, though they can inflict knockback in some cases)

Special: Lodestar (Heals everyone nearby for 100 HP)

Primary Weapon: Falchion. 60 damage, rate 1, range E (melee arc), 2 steam.

Secondary Weapon: Rapier. 10 damage, rate 5, range E (melee), 2 steam. Overwatch-capable, bonus damage to weak points.

Marth is a mixed bag. Whoever designed him clearly understood how out of place somebody like him was in this game, hence his skill, Destiny, the only thing that keeps him from being useless. With it, he can approach enemies in melee combat without getting riddled full of holes on the way there. He’s got powerful, cheap attacks, and he’s the only member of the team who can exploit weak points (though unfortunately since it’s at melee range he won’t be able to do it to certain bosses). The only problem is his “boiler”. While it’s got good capacity, he has the worst recharge rate in the entire game, at 6, and he needs to move a lot. All of his attacks require approach, meaning it’ll be very tricky to actually get him to reach enemies and still have enough steam left to kill them. Overall, not the most impressive, but with a little help he can do some cool stuff, and his ability will be extremely useful later. Plus, in a fun, likely unintentional reference to his original games, he’s extremely useful for making a mad dash for the goal ring to end the level, which makes sense, since back in his original games that was basically entirely his job. Finally, his special, Lodestar. This is the only method my team will have, aside from supply box pickups, to heal mid-battle, and it's going to be extremely precious as a result. I'll be making use of this repeatedly.

Ike:

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HP: 180

Steam: 13 max, 8 recharge

Ability: Push (move crates, enemies or allies)

Special: Aether (Inflicts 150 damage in a small melee AOE)

Primary Weapon: Ragnell. 5 damage, rate 1, range S, 4 steam. Knockback.

Secondary Weapon: Urvan. 70 damage, rate 1, range E (melee arc), 3 steam. Knockback, destroys strong obstacles.

What… what…. what the hell happened here? What madman thought this was properly balanced? What psychotic, deranged lunatic looked at the mighty blessed blade Ragnell, one of the most powerful swords ever forged, and decided it needed to do FIVE DAMAGE!? Granted it usually does slightly more, usually 10, occasionally doing as much as 20, but that’s a pittance. That’s worse than a really unlucky shot with Henry Flemming’s Eagle Rifle! It’s pathetic! And for how steam-expensive the attack is? It’s inexcusable! I refuse to believe that anybody working at Intelligent Systems could possibly not realize that what they were doing was ridiculous. I’m convinced somebody on the dev team hates him. Anyway… well, his sword’s basically useless, only good in certain circumstances for pushing enemies away and taking care of crashers. His axe Urvan isn’t much better, since, like Marth, he’s bringing a knife to a gunfight, but he also lacks Marth’s immunity to overwatch attacks, and the fact that his weapon is more steam-expensive and inflicts knockback, forcing you to constantly move between uses, means he’s even worse at dealing damage than Marth is. Ike really doesn’t have many options for making himself useful. Thankfully, miraculously, he does have one. That option is his push ability, which thanks to Marth’s aforementioned need to move around a lot, essentially allows him to function like a steam battery a la Tin Man at least as far as Marth is concerned. I will be conserving a lot of Marth’s steam points by having Ike kick him in the back repeatedly wherever he goes, and also kicking him towards opponents like he’s some huge, weaponized human soccerball. If this works the whole game through, they’ll almost be good.

Robin:

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HP: 150

Steam: 13 max, 7 recharge

Ability: Tactician (improves bonus damage to weak points)

Special: Thoron (60 damage in a long-range line, pierces, inflicts damage multiple times against large targets)

Primary Weapon: Levin Sword. 30 damage, rate 1, range D, 2 steam. Small chance to stun.

Secondary Weapon: Tome. 50 damage, rate 1, range S, 3 steam. Overwatch capable (but barely ever stuns the enemy), AOE, destroys strong obstacles, inflicts no knockback.

Now this is more like it! Robin is an extremely good unit, to the point where he's still competitive even after you unlock the best boilers and subweapons. This is largely due to his magnificent secondary weapon, which is basically a cheaper, more easily abusable version of the already awesome Califia's Rhino Bomber. It's the only AOE attack in the game that doesn't inflict knockback, meaning it can be used repeatedly on multiple enemies and the enemies won't be blasted away from each other, meaning they can be attacked repeatedly. As an added bonus, while it can hurt his teammates, it can't hurt him, so he can use it at point blank range. When supplied with extra steam by Tin Man, he's generally pretty much unstoppable. Sadly, that's not an option here, and I won't lie, he suffers for it, but he'll still be extremely useful. The only real problem with him is that his Tome is overwatch-capable, but really pointless to overwatch with. It rarely if ever stuns the enemy, and it's highly capable of inflicting friendly fire damage if you're not careful and the enemy prompts it from the wrong direction. As such, I generally will avoid ending the turn with Tome equipped except in special circumstances. His ability is also usually handy, though on this run the only one who can make use of it is Marth, though hey, at least somebody can, and it'll let Marth wreak havoc on prowlers.

Lucina:

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HP: 120

Steam: 12 max, 8 recharge

Ability: Born Leader (increases team's attack and defense by 10% each. Does not stack with the 20% offense bonus of Warrior's Spirit or the 20% defense bonus of Courageous, the strongest bonuses will be used)

Special: Awakening (refills steam, then charges forward as many spaces as your steam would have let you, smashing through obstacles and damaging all enemies in your way for 30)

Primary Weapon: Parallel Falchion. 75 damage, rate 1, range D+, 4 steam. Leaping attack.

Secondary Weapon: Nidhogg. 50 damage, rate 1, range A, 2 steam. Travels in three trajectories, one pretty much straight ahead, the other two are increasingly vertical arcs.

Lucina. Is. Magnificent. She totally deserves her generally-recognized status as a top-tier unit. Nidhogg is absolutely amazing, and she's easily the party's best source of single-target damage per steam (not counting Marth already in front of the enemy or a weak point). Not only that, but she has Lion's leaping power, allowing her excellent mobility, battlefield control, and the ability to cut corners to save steam when moving diagonally or through obstacles. Really, her only real weakness is her low HP, but simply having her on the team mitigates that problem, and she never really has to get into enemy range in the first place. Okay, sure, she doesn't have an overwatch attack, but really, nobody on the team has an overwatch attack worth crap, so she's easily the most well-rounded and self-sufficiently good unit on the team.

Edited by Alastor15243

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Funnily enough, despite Ike's Ragnell being painfully underpowered, it does have a few unique properties. For one thing, it is the only weapon that fires an obstacle-destroying projectile in a straight line. This allows for some trick shots, like pushing an enemy into the range of an exploding barrel and detonating said barrel with the same attack. It is also the only weapon that can reliably hit those annoying stun flies or whatever they are called. Unfortunately, they have 10 HP, so Ike might still fail to take them down with a single attack. And if purple prowlers are around, Ike will only deal 4 damage with each hit. But in this case, Lucina's ability should cancel this out. (Come to think of it, I never actually found a purple prowler in chapter 6. Maybe Queens increase the enemies' stats as well.)

And it's combination of low damage and great range makes it useful for the purpose of "healing" stunned allies. Like, if you would use Robin's Thome for this, it would deal 100 damage since stunned units take double damage from the first hit.

Edited by BrightBow

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Wait, since when did Lucina have a bow? Shouldn't she have a lance secondary instead (so basically Gradivus instead of Nidhogg)? Somebody at Nintendo clearly can't get enough of Lucina while having it in for Ike. "5" damage? Like . . . are they sure they didn't misplace a decimal or something?

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Wait, since when did Lucina have a bow? Shouldn't she have a lance secondary instead (so basically Gradivus instead of Nidhogg)? Somebody at Nintendo clearly can't get enough of Lucina while having it in for Ike. "5" damage? Like . . . are they sure they didn't misplace a decimal or something?

Well, to be fair, Lucina always inherits the sniper class, so it's believable. Gradivus would've been cool and could've used the same stats, but I'm used to her using a bow anyway, so it doesn't really bother me.

Funnily enough, despite Ike's Ragnell being painfully underpowered, it does have a few unique properties. For one thing, it is the only weapon that fires an obstacle-destroying projectile in a straight line. This allows for some trick shots, like pushing an enemy into the range of an exploding barrel and detonating said barrel with the same attack. It is also the only weapon that can reliably hit those annoying stun flies or whatever they are called. Unfortunately, they have 10 HP, so Ike might still fail to take them down with a single attack. And if purple prowlers are around, Ike will only deal 4 damage with each hit. But in this case, Lucina's ability should cancel this out. (Come to think of it, I never actually found a purple prowler in chapter 6. Maybe Queens increase the enemies' stats as well.)

And it's combination of low damage and great range makes it useful for the purpose of "healing" stunned allies. Like, if you would use Robin's Thome for this, it would deal 100 damage since stunned units take double damage from the first hit.

Actually, Tome can reliably hit the nettlers too, it just has to be against a wall or at the absolute edge of the tome's range so that it explodes around the nettler rather than try to hit it and then go past it. The stun thing is interesting, though I wonder if push might work too.

I'll post the first real segment tomorrow!

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The stun thing is interesting, though I wonder if push might work too.

It should work. I got the impression that every action that affects a unit is also undoing the stun effect, whether that action deals damage or not. Like, Tin Man's steam refiller will also undo it.

Edited by BrightBow

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Wait, since when did Lucina have a bow? Shouldn't she have a lance secondary instead (so basically Gradivus instead of Nidhogg)? Somebody at Nintendo clearly can't get enough of Lucina while having it in for Ike. "5" damage? Like . . . are they sure they didn't misplace a decimal or something?

She had Nidhogg because it came with the Lucina and Chrom costumes when they did Monster Hunter crossover a few years ago.

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Alright, good news, I just remembered that miiverse can be accessed from the computer, so through a convolluted process involving posting to miiverse and then using the linked image from my computer's browser, I'll be able to do screenshots after all!

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Mission 1-1

Alright, let's get started. ...Geez this map is cramped. Way too tight for four people, way better designed for the two people you originally clear it with. I wish this game let you bring fewer agents on missions.

...Actually, why not? Lucina and Robin are going to stay put while I use this as a proof of concept for my aforementioned “Marthball” strategy, and also get some practice with it, since I imagine it'll be crucial once the levels get harder.

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Here's how the level looks from the starting point. There's another one of those blade-tailed crawly things (slashers) up on that ledge to the left, but we'll deal with that when it comes. First thing's first: fill up Marth's “I'm twice as big as I can regenerate” steam gauge with that the flying information terminal there (I love how they make those things useful even after you've heard the information by making them a full steam refill).

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Oh Marth. Oh poor, dear, sweet Marth. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.

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Success! I've gotten myself in range of the enemy slasher without expending a single one of Marth's precious steam points on walking, leaving me plenty of room to give the slasher a facefull of Falchion.

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This is one of the few times the rapier's overwatch capability will actually be relevant. Not many enemies are restricted to melee attacks, and many of those that are have traits that make them resistant to overwatch. The slasher was badly wounded and stunned. Unfortunately...

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This happened shortly afterward. That slasher I said I'd worry about later decided it wanted to bring the fight to me. Should've seen that coming, damn me. Ah well. The rest of the enemy phase passed without incident.

I try to kill the slasher from behind with the rapier, but he clings to life with a sliver of HP after several stabs miss after one of them hits the sweet spot. I'm forced to use two attacks to kill it.

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I end my turn like this, rapier in hand in case the slasher gets a bit too far, though my OCD dreads the concept of not beginning the turn with a full tank.

My OCD's worst fears are realized as the slasher does indeed get too far and I have to overwatch-stab it. It's stunned and very badly wounded, it won't survive another attack from anything.

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...Scratch that, anything but Ragnell. God damn. Right, I'm just gonna whip out Urvan.

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I have to say, impractical though it may be, Urvan is still incredibly satisfying to use.

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I end the turn after moving Ike as far as he can go, and after moving Marth as far as he can go and still have full steam next turn. The next slasher hasn't seen us yet and he's too far away to touch Marth, so I don't worry about overwatch.

*Pew pew pew*

Ugh.

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Ladies and gentlemen, meet... this thing. It's called a hound, and it's the first shooting alien we encounter. I forgot that the hole in the fence was there, I thought it was further on, and it shot me over the enemy phase. Exactly once. Now I have to try and get past it before it can overwatch me. I'm pretty sure it still has enough steam (ice?) to do that, but if I get out of the way before he can zero in on me...

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Scratch that, turns out it doesn't have room left for overwatching.

I catch up to Marth with just enough steam left to kick him forward, and now I prepare to overwatch the slasher(s) awaiting me ahead.

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I doubled back a space from this position, I just wanted to give you a better view. I figure if I overwatch one and stun it, it'll create a melee traffic jam, preventing me from being swarmed and letting me be more steam efficient and maybe use Falchion to attack multiple enemies at once.

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My plan was a success, but one of the three slashers didn't head towards me, and I also slashed away the barrel creating the bottleneck. I ready Marth's rapier to overwatch the remaining two next turn and still have enough steam left to have a full meter next turn!

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I also take this opportunity to save five of Ike's steam points so he can have a full meter next turn too. And with that, I end my turn and cross my fingers.

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The first one was a successful overwatch, badly wounded and stunned. The second one, however, didn't get stunned, and I got a bladed tail dead-on.

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Oh, and that hound from earlier decided to leap down from its own private ledge and join the party. Yay.

The Hound doesn't have any ice left after leaping down, so there's no overwatch to worry about, though even if there were, I could just no-sell it with Marth's Destiny skill.

I have Marth finish off one of the slashers, and then I have Ike finish off the other and then kick Marth into the Hound.

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I finish off the Hound with two Falchion slashes...

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...while simultaneously breaking open a steam supply crate. Ike opened the health one when he used Urvan on that stray slasher a little while back. I give both to Marth since he's more badly wounded and harder to keep steamed up. A Hound is up ahead, hopefully it hasn't seen us yet...

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Another slasher jumps down from a nearby ledge to attack, but this time I'm prepared and Marth rapier-overwatches him. Unfortunately, the Hound does notice us, possibly because of that, so Marth gets attacked.

Ike kicks Marth towards the slasher, then kicks him around the bend towards the Hound. In hindsight it might have been better to destroy the obstacles with Urvan and just walk straight through them. I blame constantly thinking about screenshots. But anyway, I approach the Hound to attack him when...

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I'm overwatched, and Destiny activates. See? No damage, no stun, no worries.

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Anyway, I think my best bet with this hound is gonna be to get close enough to overwatch it before it can shoot me, and then try and overwatch one of the upcoming Slashers. At any rate they lack the firepower to kill me in one round, we're near the end of the level, and I've still got Marth's Lodestar heal, so I think we're good. End turn.

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Turns out the Hound avoided my melee-range overwatch (surprise surprise) by walking away from me and going to attack Ike for some reason. He got attacked twice, but Ike's nothing if not tough.

The overwatch also failed to activate on the slasher, so Marth's pretty beat up.

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That does it, Lodestar time!

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I head over behind the foolish hound and rapier his weak spot, killing him pretty much instantly.

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I stay where I am and prepare to overwatch the incoming slasher. Annoyingly, the slasher isn't stunned despite taking all five hits, meaning Marth still takes damage.

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Seeing an opportunity for Ike to be useful, I have him Urvan both of those slashers at once, which thanks to Lucina's Born Leader skill, instantly kills both of them.

Also, this is a great chance to abuse Marth's skill at rushing for the “throne”, so I run in, tanking the hound's overwatches with destiny, grab the terminal's steam refill, and make a mad dash for the goal.

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Mission Accomplished!

Edited by Alastor15243

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Mission 1-2

And that's enough of just using Ike and Marth, since there's no real feasible way to keep Robin and Lucina from getting involved (this map has rear reinforcements).

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This is the order I'm bringing my units in. I hate how this game doesn't let you know beforehand where each unit winds up on the map.

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Here Marth can sit pretty and fill his steam...

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...Ike can smash this hunk of what I think is flash-frozen debris...

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...Giving Lucina the opening to shoot that hound hiding behind it.

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Robin will then either overwatch the hound hiding behind the left ice debris here if he decides to come out to play, or build up steam for next turn if he doesn't. This is one of the few times it's practical to use overwatch with Tome.

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Phase one went according to plan (Lucina, they're murderous alien monsters, that's an exceptionally weird thing to say).

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And Robin's overwatch was successful too, destroying the hound...

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...And all nearby cover. Whoopsee daisy. Well, we're gonna advance beyond it anyway.

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Holy cow I've played through this stage multiple times and I've never seen this one! Let's see what it says!

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...Huh. Alright. Unfortunately, Lucina's Nidhogg isn't really convenient for attacking enemies from this far above.

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Her Parallel Falchion, on the other hand...

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A flying spin slash and an arrow to the face later, the hound is dead. And with enough steam left to get rid of another! “All clear, boys!” Lucina might say, if she weren't so lovably devoid of a sense of humor.

I have everyone else move forward accordingly, Ike playing his favorite game of “Kick Marth In The Back” until he's got 5 steam left (I wanna keep my units at full steam whenever possible) while Robin compromises between filling out his steam gauge and making forward progress by leaving 2 steam left so he'll have 3 shots to fire next turn.

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Unfortunately Lucina is ambushed.

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...Twice.

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And, mercifully, just short of a third time. A fourth one also starts to close in. Lucina's lost a little over half of her health already.

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Thankfully there's a health pickup nearby, but I'm not having her budge an inch until I'm sure she won't get overwatched. So I bring Marth over to take care of the two hounds standing between her and the health pickup. And by that I mean I send Ike over to kick Marth into them.

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...I will never not find this funny.

The first hound is dispatched without issue, but I'm out of steam on Ike, so Marth will have to walk towards it. As he does so, he's overwatched, confirming my suspicions and validating my decision to sic Marth on them. Falchion can't quite reach the hound and still have enough steam for the two attacks necessary to kill it, so I have to gamble with the less stable but slightly longer-range Rapier.

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...Said gamble does not pay off, and the hound still clings to life.

Fortunately, Lucina has just enough steam to attack the hound and still reach the health pick up, but with two more Hounds I lack the ability to dispatch effectively without her, I question the wisdom of that decision. Instead...

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Lucina dispatches the hound over there...

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...While Robin abuses Tome's hitbox to kill the other, closer hound despite not being able to see it directly.

Both are successful. All four hounds have been dispatched. Go team!

Enemy phase is wholly uneventful.

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I'm about to head over to a terminal to refill Marth's steam when he's ambushed by a hiding hound. Glad he was the first to cross that. Unfortunately I have no idea how to get to that hound this turn. Somebody may have to take a beating if I don't come up with something.

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That something happens to be our good friend the terminal. Thanks, Katherine!

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I arrive at a second terminal with enough steam left to fire off a shot at the Hound before refilling again.

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With that done, I have Robin get to work on the exit guards... hey wait...

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...Nope! Turns out there's no need! The great goal-stealing Marth strikes again!

Mission Complete!

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That level is already far from easy, considering that you were originally limited to 2 characters and sub weapons weren't unlocked yet. Like, there are enemies with overwatch all over the place, tricky terrain, reinforcements coming in after just a few turns...

Btw, you were using Marth so far, but Lucina is also rather good when it comes to make a run for the exit, considering that special which she borrowed from Dorothy's allows her to move 12 spaces with overwatch immunity even after having used up her steam for the turn.

Although when I use this special to make a run for the exit, I can usually still see that sensor laser of overwatching enemies after she hits the wall. So far, I never had it happen that they actually got to fire at her before the game registers a victory, but I can't exactly rule it out that it might be possible.

Edited by BrightBow

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That level is already far from easy, considering that you were originally limited to 2 characters and sub weapons weren't unlocked yet. Like, there are enemies with overwatch all over the place, tricky terrain, reinforcements coming in after just a few turns...

Btw, you were using Marth so far, but Lucina is also rather good when it comes to make a run for the exit, considering that special which she borrowed from Dorothy's allows her to move 12 spaces with overwatch immunity even after having used up her steam for the turn.

Although when I use this special to make a run for the exit, I can usually still see that sensor laser of overwatching enemies after she hits the wall. So far, I never had it happen that they actually got to fire at her before the game registers a victory, but I can't exactly rule it out that it might be possible.

Oh, looks like I misunderstood what their ability does, I've never used it much. I didn't realize it refills your steam before consuming it, just like The Fox's ability. I'll edit the OP.

Anyway, Marth's still way better because he has the ability to change direction during his dash for the goal, which you sometimes have to do.

Edited by Alastor15243

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Mission 1-3

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Here's my team's deployment order for this one. Lucina's getting the 2nd spot's vantage point because Nidhogg's trajectories can hit the exploding barrels just fine from atop those crates, and she has the cheapest range attack and thus can hit the barrels for the smallest amount of steam.

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Boom.

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I also had Lucina destroy the barrels that were here, killing a third slasher and opening that box full of useless medals. Now I'm going to let her rest so she'll have full steam next turn.

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As for Marth, I put him here, ready to overwatch a slasher or two. I'll use the terminal you see behind him to refill his steam next turn.

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Ike, having nothing better to do, tries using Ragnell to push away a hound and a slasher in the hopes that they'll be less of a problem next turn. I got lucky and managed to do 20 whole damage to the hound. Huzzah.

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Robin just moves forward a space in preparation for next turn. He'll have a full steam tank.

End turn.

Nothing much happened. Some hounds further ahead started moving, a slasher swarmed uselessly around Lucina's perch, Marth overwatched another one, stunning and badly wounding it.

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The hound Ike did 20 damage to seems to have gotten confused and did nothing. The slasher Ike hit looked like he was going to wander around uselessly but changed his mind and attacked Ike for a bit of damage.

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Lucina killed the slasher bothering Ike. Ike could've done it himself with Urvan, but I want him to get moving towards Marth and ready a full steam tank for next turn.

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I've discovered it's actually kind of pointless to give Marth the terminal's steam refill now, since the backtracking it would take would render the bonus pointless.

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Instead it's gonna go to Robin, who can use it to clear out Marth's slasher and the hound at once before using the steam refill.

After wasting those enemies and using the terminal, I have Robin use his levin sword in conjunction with a well-timed shot from Lucina (who has now left her perch) to take down the slasher who had gone near the crates.

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Now the only immediate problem is this guy. He's probably gonna shoot Marth if I'm stingy with his steam, so against my nature, I have him blow all of his remaining steam to loop around the barrels and rejoin the rest of the group.

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Ike moves three spaces forward so he can have full steam, and shares a spot with Robin.

End turn.

Nothing much happens, just some hounds moving around in the field to the northeast.

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There are two Hounds hiding behind barrels. One of them you can see, the other I've highlighted with Tome's firing range. I can easily waste them all in a single turn, but I'd like to see if there's some way I can do it without anyone not having full steam next round. Now, Marth's still recharging from escaping that hound, so he can't do anything this round by those rules. Robin's got enough for one move and two shots of Tome, and Lucina's got enough for four iterations of either a Nidhogg shot or taking two steps.

Looks like this is a job for Ike.

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Ike ain't afraid to hit no lady. Greil didn't raise no chivalrous foo's.

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Excellent! Lucina's in perfect attacking range of the hound, with some room for error too!

No errors occurred.

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And now to deep fry the hound.

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Lucina uses those two extra steam points she wound up not needing to use to get up in front of that stack of barrels, while Ike prepares to return to his usual duties.

End turn.

Nothing much happens except for a hound moving uncomfortably close...

...To Marth. So, no worries at all.

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The hound turns out to have no ice left for overwatch, so no big deal.

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Lucina starts picking off the hounds guarding the goal line. But suddenly it occurs to me I might be able to abuse Marth's ability to rush the goal again.

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...Actually, screw that. There are obstacles in the way, so let's give Lucina a try.

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Awakening... Go!

dEhzSJN.jpg

And that's the goal!

Mission Complete!

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Mission 2-1

Alright, on to mission 2.

JJ2b9RT.jpg

Here's my unit order...

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...And here's the formation it results in. I plan on having Marth and Robin use the terminals. With Marth he can't do anything before hitting the terminal so I put him as far away as convenient for other units.

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Robin, meanwhile, is going to fry two of those things that look like red slashers (crashers) before hitting the terminal with his last steam point. Crashers explode. That's all they do. They have very few hitpoints, I suspect it might even just be one since even Ike can kill them, and they explode upon dying. They also explode when they intentionally kamikaze into your agents. They're annoying and often lethal in large numbers.

iXqXwYd.jpg

Look at that. Beautiful. That's moving 7 squares with a 4 steam leap.

Robin and Lucina take the right stairs while Marth and Ike take the left. Robin dispatches a lying-in-wait crasher on his end before advancing just ahead of Lucina, and both of them will have full steam tanks next turn.

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I think we've seen the last of the rapier's overwatch usefulness for a while. Overwatching a crasher is pointless and just wastes steam.

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Nope, this is one of the rare times Ike's Ragnell actually comes in handy (if only because it's the only ranged attack between those two and literally any ranged attack will do the job).

Conveniently, I also managed to knock the crasher into a slasher, wounding it.

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...Which means I was a bit premature in dismissing rapier overwatch. It's still got a bit of use left, at least until slashers largely disappear from the enemy ranks soon.

End turn.

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Man, using overwatches around these barrels makes me nervous. But two overwatches later, no issues.

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I have Ike kick Marth diagonally through those barriers so that he can do a rapier overwatch on that slasher if he comes by and still have full steam next turn...

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...But first, I made sure to check around the corner for any crashers. There's one, but I THINK he's too far away to be a problem. I hope.

Over on Lucina and Robin's side...

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Well, scratch my nervous prayers about that crasher. Hoo boy are crashers fun to mess with.

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The exploding crasher caused one of the slashers to be blasted, badly wounded, closer to Lucina and Robin. I had her finish off the crasher, and I had Robin move up seven spaces.

And with that, turn 2 ends.

Turns out, slashers have an uncomfortably large movement range, and Robin took a hit from one that was on the other side of that save point you saw in the last picture. The one that had been blasted away in the opposite direction by that exploding crasher. And Marth needs Ike to kick him everywhere. Sometimes life isn't fair.

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Well, first things first, I manage to save steam by moving four spaces and killing the slasher simultaneously.

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Using Marth as a scout before doing anything with him, I clarify the location of a crasher that jumped off of one of the boxes last turn. With that ascertained, I kick him forward with Ike, and then move him forward to overwatch-intercept a slasher. There are two of them, and I suspect they'll both come attacking, meaning I'll either get hit or be in a steam deficit next turn. Time will tell.

J4H8uDK.jpg

I dispatch the slasher with Nidhogg, have Robin kill the crasher, and have him ready to overwatch a crasher on the path behind that right hedge if he decides to come this way.

End turn.

Robin overwatched the hidden crasher, and Marth successfully overwatched and stunned both of the slashers. All in all, pretty well-planned turn.

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Seems like more enemies are coming up from behind on a different route.

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I've decided that it'll be best to have the two halves join up on Marth and Ike's side. Lucina takes care of one of the two slashers Marth overwatched, and both she and Robin move as far as they can towards them without expending their reserve steam.

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Nope, still funny.

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Killed the slasher with Marth, but now there's the matter of the crasher. Honestly, we're close enough to the end that it's not a big deal. We still have Lodestar after all, and that crate you seen in the bottom right corner of the image could be a health power up too.

Alright. End turn.

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The crasher didn't move very far at all, like 3 spaces at most. Why? I'm certain they can move further than that, and they don't have overwatch attacks to keep ready.

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Whatever, it's dead now.

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And so is its friend further down the path.

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...Scratch that. Dang perspective error. I just hit an exploding barrel pile that wasn't actually close enough to hurt it. I went into reserve steam for that shot, damn it!

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Whatever, looks like Robin can get it if I time it properly (I have to do it during the part of its animation where the tail is erect).

Success!

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After several uncomfortably satisfying kicks from Ike to Marth...

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...I'm one steam shy of getting to the goal. Damn it. Ah well I'll just camp here and wait. It's just a turn away in a map without hounds! What could happen?

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The answer: absolutely nothing.

Mission complete!

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You know, I really enjoyed this game when I played it. I never had any amiibos to use with it, though... and everything ended up being difficult because I made myself search every nook and cranny for every last little gear when I played the first time through.

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You know, I really enjoyed this game when I played it. I never had any amiibos to use with it, though... and everything ended up being difficult because I made myself search every nook and cranny for every last little gear when I played the first time through.

Heh, the gears are actually pretty obvious in their locations most of the time, I just kept my eyes peeled, moved forward, and split up into two groups whenever the game's paths branched out, and I only had to restart the level like once or twice throughout the whole game because I missed a hidden gear.

As for the amiibos, honestly, I wound up importing them from japan because of their ridiculous unavailability, and I don't consider them worth the money I spent (I only bought them because I recently finished a gig that got me a bunch of money and I'm a huge IS fan). Robin and Lucina would probably have been worth the 8 or so bucks they're supposed to sell for, but Marth and Ike are underwhelming and pathetic respectively. Hell, a large part of the reason I'm doing this Let's Play is to vindicate my purchase by doing something really fun with them to share with people :)

...though I must say, now that I've started getting the hang of push abuse, Ike is considerably less of a waste of space than before. Marth and anyone with the push ability make a really good team.

Edited by Alastor15243

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The problem with the Amiibo (besides the fact that 15 bucks is way to expensive) is that they barely add anything. Like, all the Super moves are lifted from other characters. Marth got Tiger Lilly's, Ike got John's, Robin got Quec Quec's and Lucina got Dorothy's. The special abilities are also reskinned abilities of other characters, except for Marth's Destiny.

Lucina is probably the most useful. Despite being the biggest offender when it comes to reusing assets, her unique combination of mobility skills (Dorothy Super + Lion's Jump) allows her to perform tricks that no one else can. Robin is probably the worst since he is just a buffed but very boring version of Calafia. Like, he has a Tome with low steam cost and massive range with no knockback, but has a slow steam recharge to compensate. So he basically barely moves and just keeps blasting everything until it's death. Even his super is just another projectile with massive range, barely any different from his normal projectile, not even when it comes to the damage output. And unlike The Fox, he doesn't even grant the satisfaction of headshots.

What's also a pain, is that once you use even a single Amiibo, the game will display the character slots for all four of them. Same thing with the songs in the sound test. Which means, that the game will constantly rub it in your face that it's incomplete, and the only way to properly finish it is to buy the rest of the overpriced DLC, like an ad that is running every time you go to one of those screens.

Edited by BrightBow

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The problem with the Amiibo (besides the fact that 15 bucks is way to expensive) is that they barely add anything. Like, all the Super moves are lifted from other characters. Marth got Tiger Lilly's, Ike got John's, Robin got Quec Quec's and Lucina got Dorothy's. The special abilities are also reskinned abilities of other characters, except for Marth's Destiny.

To be fair, Califia and to somewhat lesser extent Lion also copy John's special, Thoron and Harpoon are not the same and use different targeting systems, and the super secret character also uses Dorothy's special. A lot of specials are suspiciously similar to each other honestly, so the amiibos having similar ones isn't a particularly damning criticism.

As the saying goes, when Ike gives you lemons, make lemonade?

Well said.

Edited by Alastor15243

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To be fair, Califia and to somewhat lesser extent Lion also copy John's special, Thoron and Harpoon are not the same and use different targeting systems, and the super secret character also uses Dorothy's special. A lot of specials are suspiciously similar to each other honestly, so the amiibos having similar ones isn't a particularly damning criticism.

Extremely similar in function but not completely identical like the amiibo versions. (Califia's has knockback, Lion's stuns enemies) I didn't notice before that Thoron has some different properties, though. But yeah, the functionality from a lot of them definitely leaves something to be desired. Like, you don't just have specials with the "damage enemies around the user" trait, but also specials who basically do the same thing that the character already does. (Tiger Lily, Tin Man) And it's not like Califia and John get much use out of melee supers in the first place.

As for the bonus character, sure, but he is most definitely something like the Smash 4 clone characters in that he is something that was thrown together with some little leftover time, using existing assets. He is okay, I mean it's not like they ask you for 15 bucks to unlock that thing.

Edited by BrightBow

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Mission 2-2

uMKeVyd.jpg

Here's my deployment order...

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...And here's the layout it gets me. Most importantly it puts Lucina, who can jump around, in the same position Lion goes in, and it puts Marth exactly 6 spaces away from the terminal for a full refill without any wasted steam.

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Beautiful, Lucina, just beautiful.

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And now that she's safely out of the way of the chandelier, I send it a crashing down with Ike's Ragnell, doing 100 damage to the two slashers, but sadly not our new friend...

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...This thing, a prowler. Prowlers are humanoid aliens capable of using weapons. Later on they'll get some variety and start using weapons of varying strengths and steam usage, but for now they're restricted to grenade launchers. And they're stationed all over the level. Which means that pretty much no matter what I do here, somebody is going to get a facefull of grenade at least once in this mission, probably more.

Thankfully, prowlers all have one glaring weakness: their weak spot is in front of them, on their head, making it rather straightforward to exploit it with Marth's rapier.

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...Like so.

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With that done, I end my turn with my units positioned as so. Everyone but Ike (who used all of his steam for this turn) will have full tanks next turn.

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Oh crap, what did I tell you? This is gonna hurt.

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...Owwwww!

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SWEET MERCIFUL MOTHER OF GOD WHYYYYY!?

I. Hate. Grenade prowlers. Positioned. Above. Me.

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New plan. All three of these prowlers die this turn. Lucina takes down this one like so...

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...While Robin eliminates the other two with his tome.

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Since that used up nearly all of his steam and he's still largely in range of those two upper-floor prowlers that gave him hell last turn, I'm having Ike give him a friendly kick in the back.

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I use two Nighogg shots and a flying tackle to finish off Lucina's prowler, revealing another one with just enough steam to spare to get to the terminal to take it down before it causes more hell for our troops.

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And now I end my turn, pick a god, and pray.

...And we're safe! No further bombardment for now!

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Experiment: Will Robin collect this health pick up if he's kicked through it?

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Results are inconclusive. He flew right over it.

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I move Marth up a bit, move Lucina up to this terminal, and use the rest of Lucina's steam on the prowler before activating the terminal.

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I then kill the prowler and use the rest of her steam, dipping into reserve, to kill the closest remaining prowler. Only one prowler and two hounds remain.

End turn.

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Lucina takes a hit or two from one of the hounds, but other than that, as she says, she's fine. I kill the hound and move the rest of the team forward as far as they can go without dipping into reserve steam, and end my turn again. This time absolutely nothing whatsoever happens.

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And with another mighty kick from Ike...

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...And some more destiny tanking...

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...Crap. I thought I'd make it, but as you can see, the hound is blocking the path, and thanks to those overwatches I can't just backtrack. Looks like I'll have to use Lucina.

2avAtIR.jpg

1CN5e0n.jpg

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Two particularly majestic leaps later...

Mission complete!

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Later in the game, Prowlers basically completely replace the hounds. Not a good design decision, as far as I am concerned. Sure, they are more powerful and durable but a weakpoint right in their front turns them into fox food.

Also, Marth is going to hate the next chapter. He can't hit the enemies on the pillars. Edit: Or maybe he can use the rapier and aim upwards. I'm not sure if I ever tried this.

Edited by BrightBow

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Later in the game, Prowlers basically completely replace the hounds. Not a good design decision, as far as I am concerned. Sure, they are more powerful and durable but a weakpoint right in their front turns them into fox food.

Also, Marth is going to hate the next chapter. He can't hit the enemies on the pillars. Edit: Or maybe he can use the rapier and aim upwards. I'm not sure if I ever tried this.

Yeah, he can use the rapier and aim upwards actually.

Also, yeah, though actually not a lot of people realize that fox can instantly pierce the head armor of prowlers. I had to edit that onto TVTropes earlier today actually, and I only found it out myself during mission set 15.

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Mission 2-3



fK8Kiuk.jpg



Right, here's my loadout. This is a surprisingly non-annoying escort mission where we must protect the Queen of England and escort her to a window to jump out of. The loadout is especially important here because whoever's in the first slot is the one the Queen of England follows around, so you probably want to make it somebody who doesn't need to get up close and personal to the action. Normally it would be the healer, but here, it's just gonna be one of our ranged fighters, the one who can keep up the best pace.



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Pretty straightforward, same logic as usual applies, how best to optimize locations and the terminal.



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Alas, it appears I cannot fulfill my wildest dreams of having Ike kick the Queen of England squarely in the face. I am disappointed, Intelligent Systems.



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Turn one is for the most part uneventful. I give Robin the terminal and have him kill this hound, and everyone else moves up a bit to build up reserve steam (Marth doesn't move, as usual Ike kicks him a bit forward).



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There's a hound on a pillar hiding around the corner. If he doesn't move, I'll have Marth attempt neutralize his overwatch in some way, either by killing him or just baiting him with destiny. If he does move, I'll likely take a bit of damage and have Marth waste him with Falchion.



End turn.



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Turns out not only did the hiding hound move, but so did the one in plain sight across the hall, who managed to get a single one of its three-round burst attacks to hit Robin for 10 damage. The hiding hound? Significantly more of a problem, unloaded two full ice tail magazines point blank. Not fun.



A third one also joined the party, but that one ran out of ice before it could do anything.



Well this is a pain. The three hounds are conveniently spread juuuuuust far enough away from each other that I can't hit any two at the same time with Robin's Tome.



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Lucina takes care of the closest one...



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...Ike gives Marth a push...



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...And he takes care of the right one.



Seeing an opportunity, I also have him go over to the terminal and use the last of his steam on a Rapier attempt on his backside from there (it almost did more than Falchion, but not quite, only two attacks hit and only one was a critical) before using it.



9OvhtJq.jpg



And with full steam, I turn around and notice this guy. Right.



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Well, Robin can take care of him from pretty much where he is, so he does so. Next Marth takes down the hound right next to him, and...



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...I really, really, REALLY hate not having a proper overwatch attack.



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...Well, not much I can do besides back away a bit and hope for the best.



End turn.



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...The best does not occur. It never really does, it seems.



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CRAP, ALREADY!?



Right, so, this map has reinforcements. They will show up every single turn from now on until we get out of here. As far as I know (I've never stuck around to test it), they never stop. I thought they'd take a turn longer, I guess I was mistaken.



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First things first, Lucina annihilates the hounds and uses her reserve steam to get some distance so the next turn isn't just a repeat. We need to get the queen out of here.



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Next, Robin takes care of those hounds.



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...Or rather he wounds both, and Marth takes down both of them himself because Robin needs to move forward some and I don't want to dip into reserve steam for him.



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I then move Ike into position for knockback duty. He ragnells a hound coming in from the side and does what sounded like 30 damage. A new record for him.



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Here's what's going to happen: when the hounds start going down that hallway, I'm going to knock them back with Ragnell and keep them at bay for as long as I can. Hopefully by that time we'll have gotten the queen to the goal. Yeah, that's pretty much the only annoying thing about this escort mission, and it's exclusive to this run: that I can't cheese the final stretch with Marth or Lucina, because it doesn't matter if they cross it.



End Turn.



mCre6CL.jpg



Unwelcome attention from Ike's right.



Reinforcements haven't arrived yet (They will start coming every turn by next turn, I assure you), so I just have Ike take care of it with Urvan.



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...Nope! Forgot, Urvan's knockback makes the weapon an unusable piece of garbage for more than one attack, so I have to have Robin use some of his steam to finish it off. Great.



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Hey, look what Marth found! A full steam tank! Awesome!



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With it, Robin kills one of the upcoming hounds, making my job that much easier next turn.



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This is how my team's formation looks by the end of the turn.



End Turn.



A hound walks into view, dangerously close to the queen, and then just kinda walks right past her and Ike as if it didn't see them.



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...And then attacks her from offscreen. Of course.



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...And it does it TWICE. Somehow.



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And like I promised, reinforcements.



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Moving on, Robin slaughters one of the two hounds guarding the exit, and then prepares to overwatch the other hound just in case it might stop him from attacking us. If only.



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Ike prepares for knocking back the reinforcements, and everyone moves up as far as they can without dipping into reserve steam.



End turn.



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The same hound as before attacks the queen (who's considerably durable for a noncombatant old lady) and the reinforcements move up.



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I manage to blast away all three of them with one swing of Ragnell. It may not do much damage, but it's got some hefty knockback. One of them is still in view so I unload the rest of Ike's steam into Ragnell strikes at it.



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Robin finishes off the exit's last guard, and so I think we're home free from here as long as nothing crazy happens with the reinforcements Ike's dealing with.



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Just for insurance, I have Robin prepare to back him up while Lucina coaxes the queen into the goal zone.



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IWGpBAX.jpg



This pays off quite nicely.



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Mission complete!


Edited by Alastor15243

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I've always hated Prowlers, because they're really annoying to kill and constantly wreck me. Maybe I was using a bad team loadout for assaulting their heads...

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