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Difficulty Selection and Tutorial Information on Sacred Stones

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Getting right to the point, I know that Sacred Stones is the easiest, or at least among the easiest, Fire Emblem game(s) to date. I also know that it's tutorial is locked on the easiest difficulty, so I have two questions I want to ask:

  1. Is there any information in the tutorial of Sacred Stones that can't be figured out by playing the other entries? I.E. Is there anything unique to this game that isn't in the other Fire Emblem games that I should know about ahead of time?
  2. For reference, I've beaten Awakening on Normal!Classic and Hard!Casual, as well as Shadows of Valentia on Hard!Classic, and I've also started, but haven't finished, the other two GBA Fire Emblem games. Is the Hard difficulty of Sacred Stones a fine place to start, especially playing blind, or would it be a better idea to do a play--through of the game on Normal difficulty first?

Thank you ahead of time for your answers.

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I think the tutorial tells you that the trainee charathers can promote(the first time only) without needing an item.

The world map works similiarly to Awakening, the main special features are that any map that originally had an armory in it allows you to buy its items directly from the world map after it has been cleared. Enemies can appear on the world map, but the game is set up so that the next chapter is always 1 space away, so it's even less of an issue than in awakening. You can also 100% flee from any random battle though a menu command on turn 1. Finally, the game has an armory in the Preparations menu so if you lock yourself into a save with very bad weapon durability, you always have a source of E-rank weapons available. This even works on multi-part chapters (the tower of valni and lagdou ruins). 

These are the only  mechanics that are really unique to Sacred Stones over the other games.

If you play on Hard first- 

Sacred Stones  does like to hide one horseslayer/halberd unit in the back of its clumps of 5 steel sword / steel axe units, so don't assume that because your unit can fight 1 of the guys with almost no damage, don't assume you can take them all without checking.

Fog of War maps tend to use flying units in this game, you'll probbably want to either keep your big attackers VERY seperate from your vulnerable units to distract them or ele to be aggresive with the torch item. 

Resistance is a dump stat for most of the game, but for the last 5 or so maps it becomes very important. Remember, "lategame" means chapter 16-Final because SS only has 21 chapters.  A lot of units that are super good at the early and middle game have to be used a lot more carefully at this point.

Most enemies with Siege magic or Status staves will use their full walking movement AND their full staff range, so they cover a larger area than some other games.

Ballistas don't have too much might, and can be tanked through their full durability with a wide array of units. Siege Magic on the other hand should never ever be taken for granted. It has both high might and high accuracy on Hard mode. Both human mages and monter mages can have it, although the latter is more common.

I think playing Sacred Stones on Hard first is better than playing it on Normal, because I don't like being able to walk up into the enemies and wait turn at them to death. Granted I think that Blazing Sword and Path of Radiance Normal mode have the same problem.

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Note that I'm not that much of a sacred stones expert, but I'm pretty sure you should be fine on hard mode. The game doesn't have any weird mechanics, so a tutorial isn't necessary, and it's not too challenging on hard mode either. I echo the sentiment that playing on normal/easy could make you bored, perhaps even cause you to drop the game, so I suggest hard mode.

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Easy mode enemies have horrible stats. The promoted enemies had even worse stats than the non promoted ones yet gave so much EXP. It was a joke. Haven't played normal but I did play Eirika hard mode which was pretty challenging given that I iron manned the game kept on making careless mistakes and lost everyone barring Ephraim and Eirika. Pretty sure I'd do much better on subsequent playthroughs but for someone who is playing blind, hard mode might be too challenging if you go on Ephraim's route which is more difficult than Eirika's. 

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Hi, welcome to FE8. If you have any questions, let me know.

If you could do Hard;Casual on FE Awakening, you can definitely do FE8 hard mode blind. It's easier than Hard;Casual FE Awakening (unless you lowman it). 

How much do you know about FE8? Do you want suggestions on what units to use? 

Edited by Corncake

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Two things that might be worth knowing:

There's a route split for the midgame (chapters 9-14, plus some differences in starting location and enemy types/placement in 15+16). Ephraim's route is a bit harder, in particular two of his chapters - one got fog of war with a bunch of flying enemies, the other a bunch of long-ranged magic users.

A lot of Sacred Stones low difficulty comes from the option to throw Seth at your problems, especially in the earlygame, and later the ability to grind at your leisure quite early in the game. Without those, I'd say that FE8!HM is about on par with Eliwood Hard Mode and FE6!NM in terms of difficulty, although your mileage may vary.

On 16.3.2018 at 9:47 PM, Reality said:

Finally, the game has an armory in the Preparations menu so if you lock yourself into a save with very bad weapon durability, you always have a source of E-rank weapons available.

Nothing major, but if I remember correctly, the shop in the battle prep menu is 50% more expensive, so it still helps to check your inventory before commiting to a battle. Otherwise I agree with the advice you're giving.

Edited by ping

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There's not much about Sacred Stones that's different from Awakening. Probably the biggest differences are: No Casual mode, and no "lateral reclassing" (e.g. reclassing from a Knight to a Mercenary).

And if there is something that confuses you, there's a reference guide hidden in the menu when you press A on a blank space.

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