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Deltre

Berwick Saga English Beta Blind Playthrough - Chapter 2 Begins - Part 4

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So for the uninitiated Berwick Saga is the second game from Shouzou Kaga, creator of the original 5 Fire Emblem titles, after leaving Intelligent Systems. It's set in the same world as TearRing Saga, although the two games are not directly related by plot. It borrows a lot of elements commonly found in the Fire Emblem series, such as permadeath and weapon durability, while adding several unique and interesting twists on the old formula. Battles are no longer carried out phase by phase, but instead on a turn by turn basis for example. Many skills and ideas found in modern Fire Emblem titles can be traced back to this title as well. 

This playthrough is based on this English patch created by Aethin, and I definitely recommend you check it out and support the project if you can. I'm all of two maps in and it's been an absolute blast so far. Anyways, Part 1

In this part, we're first introduced to our cast of characters and get our first taste of the crazy new battle system this game has to offer. I can't help but be heavily reminded of FE4 with how this game sets up the story. Nothing too crazy happens here story-wise, but I'm already finding a lot of things to like with this game. The art doesn't look that impressive in screenshots, but seeing the game in motion I have to say that the graphics are incredibly smooth and full of life. The soundtrack is already starting to grow on me too (that boss music!). Anyone who has played TearRing Saga and enjoyed it would probably say that this game has some big shoes to fill, but so far I have to say things are looking good. 

Edited by Deltre

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This is looking great, the translation looks practically finished!

 Any units you can plan to use?

Also that Fighter you like is called Axe Navarre in the Japanese fandom!

Edited by Emperor Hardin

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14 minutes ago, Emperor Hardin said:

This is looking great, the translation looks practically finished!

 Any units you can plan to use?

Also that Fighter you like is called Axe Navarre in the Japanese fandom!

Axe Navarre haha, that's pretty good. Dean is really high up there for me right now, he just seems like and awesome unit. Leon and Sherlock seem really cool too, especially Leon for his Deathmatch skill.

Which reminds me, most skills in this game (from what I've been told by Aethin and others in the youtube comments for that video) are actually command based! That's another really cool thing that needs to be said I feel. Then there's all the mechanics behind Spears...

This game does a lot of really great things haha, and I'm glad that we'll have a full translation someday.

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3 minutes ago, Deltre said:

Axe Navarre haha, that's pretty good. Dean is really high up there for me right now, he just seems like and awesome unit. Leon and Sherlock seem really cool too, especially Leon for his Deathmatch skill.

Which reminds me, most skills in this game (from what I've been told by Aethin and others in the youtube comments for that video) are actually command based! That's another really cool thing that needs to be said I feel. Then there's all the mechanics behind Spears...

This game does a lot of really great things haha, and I'm glad that we'll have a full translation someday.

He seems very Navarre-sque both in gameplay and personality, I'm wondering if you'll have to recruit him from the enemy at some point?

Every Berwick Saga player I've heard from loves Dean.

There's a big list of command skills to my understanding, it looks many of them reappeared in Vestaria Saga.

You probably know more then me, but I've heard most units can't counterattack when they are hit. Like if Reese is attacked by a soldier and is hit, he won't counterattack, but if the Soldier attack misses, Reese will do a counterattack. However Dean, due to his skill, will usually respond with a counterattack even he is hit. 

Edited by Emperor Hardin

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Do you plan to play past the maps that are translated by the patch?

 

In any case, this shows just how much I missed when I attempted to play this game without a patch. I'm glad I didn't force myself to play all the way through. I recall Othin always saying that the game can be beaten without a translation and I'm sure that's true, but playing through a strategy game while only understanding a fraction of what I am doing isn't very fun for me.

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13 minutes ago, Emperor Hardin said:

He seems very Navarre-sque both in gameplay and personality, I'm wondering if you'll have to recruit him from the enemy at some point?

Every Berwick Saga player I've heard from loves Dean.

There's a big list of command skills to my understanding, it looks many of them reappeared in Vestaria Saga.

You probably know more then me, but I've heard most units can't counterattack when they are hit. Like if Reese is attacked by a soldier and is hit, he won't counterattack, but if the Soldier attack misses, Reese will do a counterattack. However Dean, due to his skill, will usually respond with a counterattack even he is hit. 

That's mostly correct, yeah. I actually already finished the next part of this where I tried to explain it a little better, but basically from what I understand:

Double attacks require AS (attack speed) +1, much like Gaiden/Echoes, BUT

Combat ends immediately for any character upon taking damage

Defenders will NEVER double attack

You cannot double an enemy that cannot counter

If you get hit, but take 0 then you still counter

Dean's skill doesn't let him get a guaranteed counter, but it does let him get double attacks against any enemy slower than him, and also ignores the stipulation where the round ends upon taking damage.

@BrightBow I hadn't planned on it, no, but Aethin has offered to give me a more up to date version of the patch going through Chapter 3, so hopefully I'll be able to show off a little more than I'd otherwise be able to. I know what you mean about not wanting to play an untranslated version, especially for a game like this.

Edited by Deltre

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2 minutes ago, Deltre said:

That's mostly correct, yeah. I actually already finished the next part of this where I tried to explain it a little better, but basically from what I understand:

Double attacks require AS (attack speed) +1, much like Gaiden/Echoes, BUT

Combat ends immediately for any character upon taking damage

Defenders will NEVER double attack

You cannot double an enemy that cannot counter

Dean's skill doesn't let him get a guaranteed counter, but it does let him get double attacks against any enemy slower than him, and also ignores the stipulation where the round ends upon taking damage.

Doesn't Dean have a skill, Wrath, I think, that gives him a chance to launch a counterattack after the enemy has landed a hit on him?

I also know theres an injury system, with injured units able to captured for their money and items. Something like when an attack lands there is a chance of injury status, though a small collection of units have the robust skill, protecting them from the injured status effect.

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10 minutes ago, Emperor Hardin said:

Doesn't Dean have a skill, Wrath, I think, that gives him a chance to launch a counterattack after the enemy has landed a hit on him?

I also know theres an injury system, with injured units able to captured for their money and items. Something like when an attack lands there is a chance of injury status, though a small collection of units have the robust skill, protecting them from the injured status effect.

It's possible that he learns something like that through leveling up maybe? I dunno, I'm still in the dark about a lot of things haha. I like to play as blind as possible in a game like this. There's some really crazy stuff in this game, especially the next map.

Injury is actually separated into two distinct categories. Injury is sort of like a 'disarm' status that also gives units a minor penalty to their avoid, while also making them more likely to be crippled. Cripple outright prevents a unit from attacking, makes all attack guaranteed to land, and allows units to be captured. Though yeah, a lot of the units you start with do have Robust which does indeed give them immunity to those two statuses. 

Edited by Deltre

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2 hours ago, Deltre said:

It's possible that he learns something like that through leveling up maybe? I dunno, I'm still in the dark about a lot of things haha. I like to play as blind as possible in a game like this. There's some really crazy stuff in this game, especially the next map.

Injury is actually separated into two distinct categories. Injury is sort of like a 'disarm' status that also gives units a minor penalty to their avoid, while also making them more likely to be crippled. Cripple outright prevents a unit from attacking, makes all attack guaranteed to land, and allows units to be captured. Though yeah, a lot of the units you start with do have Robust which does indeed give them immunity to those two statuses. 

Guess I'll find out myself as the play through goes on. I'm watching your part 2.

I'm curious if units with the robust skill are completely immune to being captured outside of cutscenes? Say the boss Griff, is he enitirely uncapturable outside of that cutscene due to his immunity to crippled status? 

I hope you use Axel throughout the game, he's cool.

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Well since someone else posted part 2, I'll go ahead and drop the (relatively) shorter part 3 as well. We didn't get slammed by all kinds of new mechanics this time, so it was a lot easier to keep this around an hour, which I'd like to shoot for going forward.

Speaking of new mechanics, I thought I'd go ahead and do a rundown of those for anyone just popping in or who doesn't have time to sit down and watch me decipher all that haha. 

Turns

Spoiler

Turns in this game do not work on a phase based system, like you might be used to in games such as Fire Emblem. Instead, Players and Enemies will alternate actions until each unit has moved. The amount of actions each side will be able to complete before being interrupted by the opposing side is determined by the amount of Player Units relative to the amount of Enemy Units. For example, if there are 10 Players and 20 Enemies, the enemy will get 2 actions for every one action the player may take. As enemies (or Players!) die, the turn order can change. Each round will begin with a Player action, and continue from there.

Horses

Spoiler

In addition to the HP of a Player Character, mounts also now have their own HP bar that, when depleted, results in the death of your mount. Horses can be purchased at the stable, but only in limited amounts. Additionally, there are several different kinds of horses available with varying amounts of health, special bonuses, etc. Whether or not a character can mount a horse is denoted on the respective units character sheet.

Durability (aka my least favorite change so far)

Spoiler

Durability in Berwick Saga works differently than in any other FE title to date. Instead of concrete durability represented by a number of uses, there are instead different stages of durability that represent a probability of a given item breaking when used. These stages range from Blue, meaning never, to Red, meaning guaranteed. The rate at which the item degrades to a lower stage is reflected in the durability stat. The lower the grade, the quicker the item in question will degrade to a lower stage. It should be known that an item has a chance to break at every stage besides Blue, RNG willing.

Spears

Spoiler

In addition to their normal Mt stat, most spears will also inflict bonus damage based on the number of tiles moved before attacking. This is reflected on the items stat sheet by Mt+yH, where Mt is the base strength of the weapon, y is a multiplier, and H is the number of tiles moved. The multiplier can range from 1-5, making Spears a very nasty weapon when used effectively.

Knives

Spoiler

Knives do not function like other weapons in that they do not include strength when calculating damage. Sort of. All knives pierce defenses (similar to Luna), but some knives have their attack represented by Mt+a, where a is a random bonus anywhere from 0 to the wielder's Strength.

Bonus Elemental Damage

Spoiler

Some weapons have the ability to inflict bonus damage upon landing a successful hit. The amount and elemental association is noted on the item's stat sheet, and is considered to be magical damage, using a characters Mag stat to calculate any additional damage in addition to the first hit.

Mercenaries

Spoiler

Many characters in Berwick Saga do not join your cause for free. These characters can be paid to join you for any mission, but will only stick around until you advance to the next chapter, at which point they must be paid for again. This does not include side-missions, of which there are plenty. Mercenaries can be recruited for half their normal price if the main storyline mission for any given chapter has been completed. Most (all?) mercenaries can be permanently recruited for no additional cost upon meeting certain requirements that change depending on the character.

Crafting

Spoiler

It works how you think it does. Once you gather the needed materials, you can craft exotic and rare items that would otherwise be very difficult to come by. I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that this game has crafting, and that is awesome.

Furniture

Spoiler

Furniture can be purchased from Jonathon to both decorate your Reese's room, as well as provide some modest boosts. Reese seems to be the main benefactor for most items. 

There's probably a ton of other things too, but we'll leave it at that for now. This game is really different, man. Ridiculously fun though, I'm surprised no one made the effort to try and take this one on before, because this game is great. There's a lot of eerily similar ideas to what I'm seeing here that have been reused in more recent FE titles as well, though most abilities in Berwick Saga are command based or passive, which is nice. 

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On 4/25/2018 at 2:24 PM, Deltre said:

Well since someone else posted part 2, I'll go ahead and drop the (relatively) shorter part 3 as well. 

I am sorry and will avoid doing that in the future.

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19 hours ago, Emperor Hardin said:

I am sorry and will avoid doing that in the future.

It's fine bro, just never had anyone else do that haha.

So, we move onto the next mainline mission at last, and it's a pretty interesting one. By talking to people in town before starting the chapter, you can get a handful of side-missions to complete during the map itself, which is pretty cool. There's also a 24 turn time limit so it forces you to think about how you approach things, especially with the Swordbreaker returning from TRS, and 2 Sword users starting veeeeeery close to this guy. He can't even hurt you, he's just there to screw you over. Thanks Kaga.

I got wrecked a lot by not paying attention to the turn order this time. It's really essential that anyone playing makes sure that they really carefully consider the order in which you're moving your units. After playing FE for 10+ years it takes a lot of adjusting, at least for me personally, though I really do enjoy this system and all the possibilities it brings. In FE not paying attention to that sort of things will cost you time. In Berwick Saga, not paying attention will get you killed. I do a lot better on the retry, but still this one was running a bit long so I cut the map into two sessions. 

 

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Something the player can do for this game is to have Combat Forecast turned on for all battles ('All') instead of simply ones initiated by player units ('Player Turn').

Contrary to what one might expect, this can actually save time, because one can toggle on/off animations for each battle without going to the Settings menu, not just for battles initiated by the player but also for ones initiated by the enemy.

I'll just set relevant images up under spoiler tags so as not to clog too much space.

Spoiler

aTgN2Nm.png

Above the Combat Forecast screen there is an option that says 'Map Battle' (if animations would normally be on for the battle) or 'Animate' (if animations would normally be off). This allows the player to reverse the animation setting temporarily for one battle. You'd press circle to proceed as normal, or the square button to reverse the animations setting for this one battle. The animation setting reverts back to normal after that battle so it's a good way to whenever you want to, say, listen to the map theme or to save time when you're playing off-screen trying to catch up after a reset or something.

Spoiler

 

YqQtP6Z.png

c8k76q5.png

 

On top of that it allows the player to see enemy parameters when they attack without turning on animations which is a neat little thing I suppose. I personally like setting animations to Map Only and watch animations by pressing Square whenever I feel like it. But seeing that you enjoy watching the animations (I can't fault you for that; they are gorgeous indeed) one can set it up differently, I suppose. Anyways just thought this would be helpful having in mind.

By the way, you can soft-reset in this game by pressing Start+Select.

Spoiler

pPX8Kns.png

One can start again from the beginning of the map in the preparation screen, from a save data or from the title screen.

Edited by Aggro Incarnate

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Faye most certainly got me curious. From what I can infer of the Serenes Forest page on the game, she seems to have quite a bit of interesting stuff connected to her. Hopefully said stuff isn't too difficult to trigger.

On a side note, I am really glad that Faye doesn't make those irritating Y legs that female swordfighters and dismounted knights made in Tear Ring Saga during combat. You know, the ones where their upper legs are very close together but below the knees they suddenly spread out really far. Glad that that seems to be absent in this game.

 

Edit: Apparently it's called "Gene Valgum" or "Kock-knees" and is an actual medical condition. Considering how often these kind of poses pop up in various places, I'm glad to have finally found a name for this thing.

 

Edit2: If I may note something about your Thracia run, Eyvel getting petrified after getting captured is entirely normal. She will also get petrified if she either captures or kills Marita. Of course the game would take those different possibilities into account. Heck, I didn't even know that Marita spawns once Leaf makes it halfway there. I thought she only spawns after Eyvel defeats the first guy.

 

Edited by BrightBow

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Volchens the King is actually of the King Class, a variant of the General class. With hacking help from EatRawmeat, we were able to cheat him as playable.

There were 4 bosses and 4 minibosses in Chapter 2: Bandit supression, thats a crazy amount of bosses. I like it.

With characters like Trespaser(Generic name, unique portrait+stats+death quote), Ortega & Friends(Generic portraits but unique names+stats) the line between generic and unique character is a little more blurred in Tearring Saga.

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45 Minutes without any maps or even battle preparations? Yup, definitely sounds like my kind of game.

I hope you don't have to actually make Faye attack that guy in order to progress that subplot. That could be rough.

I suppose a Black Knight is not exactly a particularly unique concept... And neither is having a villain who killed the protagonist's dad (assuming that's what's happened here)... And neither are holy swords. But this particular holy sword just so happens to make the wielder almost unkillable... Yeah, with all this stuff getting thrown together like this, it's all getting a little dicey. To say nothing about the entire apostle thing. It's worth nothing that Berwick Saga and PoR were released the same year, with PoR being released first. So those games probably didn't directly copy of each other but merely executed concepts that were thrown around back when Kaga was still at IS. But who knows, maybe PoR at least caused some smaller changes to this game, like the Black Knight being a robe guy instead of the armored knight type you would expect for the archetype. Or maybe Kaga was just in a very Tolkien mood at the time. It was the mid 2000s after all.

Anyway, in PoR I feel like that Black Knight subplot was kinda out of place since the overall story was basically about the cycle of revenge, so for the protagonist to pursue revenge himself and follow it to the very end with no regrets kinda felt at odds with the story's overall theme. So let's see how things work here. Considering how things went in TRS, I certainly have high hopes.

Edited by BrightBow

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1 minute ago, BrightBow said:

I suppose a Black Knight is not exactly a particularly unique concept... And neither is having a villain who killed the protagonist's dad... And neither are holy swords. But this particular holy sword just so happens to make the wielder almost unkillable... Yeah, with all this stuff getting thrown together like this, it's all getting a little dicey. To say nothing about the entire apostle thing. It's worth nothing that Berwick Saga and PoR were released the same year, with PoR being released first. So those games probably didn't directly copy of each other but merely executed concepts that were thrown around back when Kaga was still at IS. But who knows, maybe PoR at least caused some smaller changes to this game, like the Black Knight being a robe guy instead of the armored knight type you would expect for the archetype. Or maybe Kaga was just in a very Tolkien mood at the time. It was the mid 2000s after all.

It should be noted the villain's class in Japan translates to "Dark Warrior of the Church", Black Knight is a bit of a localization to make it more like Fire Emblem.

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1 minute ago, Emperor Hardin said:

It should be noted the villain's class in Japan translates to "Dark Warrior of the Church", Black Knight is a bit of a localization to make it more like Fire Emblem.

Well, the Black Knight's Japanese name was "Dark Knight" anyway, so I wasn't expecting their titles to be identical.

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2 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Well, the Black Knight's Japanese name was "Dark Knight" anyway, so I wasn't expecting their titles to be identical.

It is rather funny.

Chaos the Black Knight didn't kill Reese's father, though one of the party members had her father killed by Chaos.

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5 minutes ago, Emperor Hardin said:

It is rather funny.

Chaos the Black Knight didn't kill Reese's father, though one of the party members had her father killed by Chaos.

Well, so far it's ambiguous if her father is still alive. In my above post I was merely jumping to conclusions in order to reference the trope that is in play here.

Edited by BrightBow

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Ah, it's unfortunate that you missed Garos, the second bounty in the Chapter 3 main mission.

He shows up on Turn 20 and he is the very first Assassin the player potentially encounters in this game. Assassins in Berwick Saga are rather special.

The first peculiarity of Berwick Saga Assassins is that normally you actually can't see their stats. Trying to open up their stat screens simply won't work. This is due to their Obfuscation skill, their BS class skill. The only way to actually see their stats is to either have a playable or friendly unit adjacent, or a playable unit with the Watchful skill within 3 hexes, which cancels the effects of Obfuscation.  

Spoiler

bY9fKbU.png

nxjNCvm.png

The more defining characteristic of Assassins, however, is the weapon they wield.

Spoiler

er5oB5O.png

YYY6tEV.png

If you're still not convinced that Kaga is a troll, take a look at his skillset.

Spoiler

vRMPDXj.png

The final notable thing about Assassins though is that they give an obscene amount of experience. In fact, if I remember correctly, should the player manage to defeat Garos, it pretty much guarantees a level-up (100 EXP) for any unit apart from Ward and one other unit at this point in the game. (Speaking of. you should see quite a few more mercenary units available for hire around the city now) Fortunately, by the next time one encounters Assassins, there may be ways for the player to face them more reliably...

Edited by Aggro Incarnate

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2 hours ago, Aggro Incarnate said:

Ah, it's unfortunate that you missed Garos, the second bounty in the Chapter 3 main mission.

He shows up on Turn 20 and he is the very first Assassin the player potentially encounters in this game. Assassins in Berwick Saga are rather special.

The first peculiarity of Berwick Saga Assassins is that normally you actually can't see their stats. Trying to open up their stat screens simply won't work. This is due to their Obfuscation skill, their BS class skill. The only way to actually see their stats is to either have a playable or friendly unit adjacent, or a playable unit with the Watchful skill within 3 hexes, which cancels the effects of Obfuscation.  

  Hide contents

bY9fKbU.png

nxjNCvm.png

The more defining characteristic of Assassins, however, is the weapon they wield.

  Reveal hidden contents

er5oB5O.png

YYY6tEV.png

If you're still not convinced that Kaga is a troll, take a look at his skillset.

  Reveal hidden contents

vRMPDXj.png

The final notable thing about Assassins though is that they give an obscene amount of experience. In fact, if I remember correctly, should the player manage to defeat Garos, it pretty much guarantees a level-up (100 EXP) for any unit apart from Ward and one other unit at this point in the game. (Speaking of. you should see quite a few more mercenary units available for hire around the city now) Fortunately, by the next time one encounters Assassins, there may be ways for the player to face them more reliably...

Assassin Daggers are 100% exclusive to Assassins, like Gigas Axes and unlike General/Paladin shields, right?

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2 minutes ago, Emperor Hardin said:

Assassin Daggers are 100% exclusive to Assassins, like Gigas Axes and unlike General/Paladin shields, right?

Yes, since

 - It's starred 'Assassins'

 - its rank is listed as '-' i.e. it's treated as Rank 50, but no one can reach Lv. 50 (or 50-7=43 with the Expert skill), hence its special properties do not activate for other classes

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The parts so far.

Spoiler

We've missed a lot. I hope he continues to use Axel.

Latest episode.

If I can answer a question raised, there is another slow armored character in the game. Think of Derrick as a bit of a placeholder for him.

Edited by Emperor Hardin

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This most recent map is pretty interesting. Although the way the enemy acts is a little silly. Probably not a good idea to sacrifice 2+ soldiers in order to finish off a wounded enemy soldier. I hope trying to get a perfect outcome doesn't make it too much of a pain in the rear.

I never actually took note of it before but Kaga doesn't seem to like that whole non-lethal k.o. thing that Fire Emblem does. Or at least not the way Fire Emblem does it. Like, the "Jeigan" archetype of TRS was only a non-playable NPC and in this game his counterpart Ward is always required to survive. There were some cases in TRS were plot important characters would be saved by other NPCs if they were defeated, but they would very specifically not keep hanging around.

Edited by BrightBow

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