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Alastor15243

Alastor plays and ranks the whole series! MISSION COMPLETE! ...For now.

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44 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Okay, back to gameplay. I'm checking the “personal history” tab of Leonie... and it says “1185: remembers the promise made five years ago and returns to Garreg Mach”.

She wasn't fucking there when that promise was made.

...sigh....I know it is not that big of a deal, but having this small detail pointed out annoys me anyway.

 

45 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Ah yes, and here we get the first instance of something that's going to be frankly omnipresent in these post-timeskip supports: things picking up like five fucking years didn't just fucking pass since the last one.

While my first thought is that they should have made a complete support chain for the first half, and a second complete different support chain for the second half, with a bond support like mechanic to bridge the mechanical components of supports (and possibly trigger alternate dialogue in the part 2 versions) but the number of supports you drown in for this game is already exhausting. I guess they could have been a little more restrictive with whom can support with eachother to help with the support bloat this might exacerbate.

 

10 hours ago, Jotari said:

I think just making the map  much easier would be better than a prep menu (though it is a bit of a why not both situation, at least for Byleth and the lord). It's a nice idea for a map from a story perspective, you get to see all your students show up in their new outfits one by one across the map (or rather two by two). The issue is that sense of excitement is lost with a sense of frustration instead as you burn through divine pulses trying to keep them alive. If the chapter was designed to just be a plain easy one, then it would have worked better. And really the game could do with an easy chapter as the first one in Part 2, it's basically a reset into a new prologue. I do think Maddening was untested in this regard (and normal itself even could have been made easier), I just question if it really is a soft lock, or if players are just unwilling to let their units die, even the ones they've trained, to clear the chapter.

I was more pointing out what really pushes this map into the softlock territory, rather than suggesting how to "fix" the map. If I were trying to fix the map I would have the game autolevel them to some base level (like normal mode does, although what that base level would be dependent on the difficulty), giving them free access to one class in that level tier for anyone that got autoleveled (based on who it is), and have a prep screen for Byleth and the Lord, and one for each group that appears. It would maintain the feel of the map, and let it keep that questionable Maddening difficulty, but remove the big points of softlock potential.

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22 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Okay, back to gameplay. I'm checking the “personal history” tab of Leonie... and it says “1185: remembers the promise made five years ago and returns to Garreg Mach”.

She wasn't fucking there when that promise was made.

I always assumed it was only your in-house units, plus Flayn, who were supposed to be there "five years ago". Some out-of-house recruits, like Ashe and Lorenz, don't even show back up right away.

22 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

But then Felix... reacts with surprise. “What happened to him?” quoth Felix. “It's like he's a completely different person”.

I don't see how he's acting substantially different from the “boar” Felix kept saying he always knew Dimitri was.

Yeah, but pre-skip Dimitri was far better at hiding it. He's lost that seal on his emotions.

22 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

She's also talking about how her decision to enter this war was the first thing she ever freely chose to do, and uh... well... she's talking about how she apparently discussed this with her adoptive father, and like, that's not fucking possible in this timeframe.

She's had five years to discuss it with him, though. Unless the "discussion" is cited as specifically being subsequent to her actually showing up at Garreg Mach?

22 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

..Uh...

...Is that... a gray streak in Annette's hair? Just behind her bangs?

I've never seen that. I'll have to look for it. I do know some characters have distinctions in their model relative to their portrait, like Catherine's "red aura".

22 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

I go with Leonie into the sauna, and she skyrockets ahead of Professr so I can only get her the normal boost unfortunately.

I have a love-hate relationship with the sauna. I like that they tried to incorporate a "minigame" here, and it's satisfying when it works out. But it feels obnoxiously random. Like, Teach grows a sliver from "add steam" one time, and then she increases three times as much the next time?

17 hours ago, Jotari said:

What I can't really justify is that such a central, culturally important location and, at least somewhat defensible, location for the continent would be just sitting their abandoned without some side taking control of it before now. That just doesn't make any sense to me and I suspect they only made it that way because they really liked the idea of the reunion scenes taking place in an empty monastery. Which fair enough, it's a bit of a plot hole, but if you can good theming and imagery out of it then it's not the biggest issue in the world. I'm only disappointed they didn't go any further with it and have you actually explore an empty monastery in gameplay. It would have had a really great affect to explore a night time version of the hub location that has always been full of npcs (and your pcs), not desolate and as ruined as the budget can afford to make it look; slowly checking all the areas until you find the goddess tower, the one place that had been blocked off from you in Part 1, where you then see your main lord amongst the wreckage.

This really bugs me. Why didn't Edelgard retain control over Garreg Mach during the war? It's a relatively defensible central location, and if she's not at war with the Alliance, she doesn't need to worry about attack from that front. She instead abandons it, after capturing Rhea and forcing the rest of the Church out, because ???

17 hours ago, Jotari said:

That'd be because every student needs to have their own paralogue, and Mercedes has one that's plot relevant to her, so she can't be the focus of another one. It's a system that's nice in that it lets every character get focus in the plot, but it also means some characters are just dumped into paralogues that they have nothing to do with to fill out the roster (and, surprisingly, this even happens to Claude, whose paragraph I really feel shouldn't have been Verdant Wind exclusive).

Bernadetta moment.

IMO the Claude paralogue works for him, if you consider his "history nerd" side. He was the only Lord to see the sketch of the Immaculate One, so him meeting another one of the Saints seems a reasonable follow-up.

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3 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

She's had five years to discuss it with him, though. Unless the "discussion" is cited as specifically being subsequent to her actually showing up at Garreg Mach?

Has she been part of the war effort before reuniting with Professr? Because otherwise, like with the letter, there's just no realistic timeframe for her to discuss this with her father.

 

5 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

I've never seen that. I'll have to look for it. I do know some characters have distinctions in their model relative to their portrait, like Catherine's "red aura".

Curious, I never noticed that "red aura" either, I'll have to look out for that.

 

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On 10/22/2021 at 12:07 PM, Alastor15243 said:

So they talk about their decision to use Garreg Mach as their base of operations, and Gilbert justifies this by saying it's essentially beneath the Empire's notice at the moment. But I don't buy it. It's the game making idiotic excuses to justify why they're keeping the school system. They couldn't defend this place when the Church was at the height of its fucking power. There is no conceivable way they're going to be able to defend this thing from the current strength of the Empire the second they realize we're flies worth swatting. We need to be stealthy and on the move, but the game's too in love with its huge explorable Monastery to let us ever set our base anywhere else.

It is stated in-game that a huge reason why Edelgard was able to successfully conquer the monastery was because of two factors: 1. The surprise declaration of war completely caught off guard by the church, and by the time Edelgard was able to declare war, she already had massive army vastly outnumbering the church. 2. The reason she couldn’t successfully reclaim the monastery during the time skip is due to her focusing on the frontlines in other regions. She does actual try to take it back in Chapter 14, but the army she sends is smaller, and she fails. Do you not pay attention to the story of the game as well as the dialogue of others while you explore the monastery?

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4 minutes ago, ZeManaphy said:

It is stated in-game that a huge reason why Edelgard was able to successfully conquer the monastery was because of two factors: 1. The surprise declaration of war completely caught off guard by the church, and by the time Edelgard was able to declare war, she already had massive army vastly outnumbering the church. 2. The reason she couldn’t successfully reclaim the monastery during the time skip is due to her focusing on the frontlines in other regions. She does actual try to take it back in Chapter 14, but the army she sends is smaller, and she fails. Do you not pay attention to the story of the game as well as the dialogue of others while you explore the monastery?

Couple things:

1: The "taken by surprise" bit falls flat due to the fact that it was only facilitated by the game pretending that the two entire weeks they skipped between Edelgard attacking and Edelgard declaring war didn't exist. They had plenty of time to prepare for Edelgard to do something and they spent half of it doing literally nothing, not even having classes.

2: As I said before, it's completely ridiculous for the game to suggest that the Empire's forces could be further crippled by being spread on multiple fronts than the Church's forces were crippled by being all but disbanded. Their headquarters literally turned into a den of thieves. How could that possibly have been allowed to happen if they weren't reduced to nearly nothing?

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Wasn't it implied that Edelgard had to sneak most of her forces in for the surprise attack disguised as merchants and the like? That isn't bound to work a second time. Also, with the Church driven out, it was likely considered not as essential to hold the place. Looking at the map, between Adrestia and Cornelia, they hold almost all of the territory bordering the monastery. With the Alliance still officially neutral or so, the only way Garreg would be strategically important to the Empire right now would be if there's a direct pass between it and Charon territory. If there's not... then no reason to keep troops there. Hence thieves taking over... and allowing the Church remnants to go back and retake it. And with most Imperial forces occupied in Faergheus, Edelgard can't send a proper attack force to take it back, thus being enough for the Church to repel it. Specially since the monastery is naturally quite defensible already.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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22 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

The "taken by surprise" bit falls flat due to the fact that it was only facilitated by the game pretending that the two entire weeks they skipped between Edelgard attacking and Edelgard declaring war didn't exist. They had plenty of time to prepare for Edelgard to do something and they spent half of it doing literally nothing, not even having classes.

 

How do you know they were doing nothing ? There's no evidence to support that point. I think its very plausible to say that Rhea was trying to respond to the Empire's remarks via speeches, or that the church was preparing the best of its abillity to prepare for the assault Of course, there is no evidence for that either. Point is, there's very little reason to argue over this because its just diving into pure speculation. 

22 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

As I said before, it's completely ridiculous for the game to suggest that the Empire's forces could be further crippled by being spread on multiple fronts than the Church's forces were crippled by being all but disbanded. Their headquarters literally turned into a den of thieves. How could that possibly have been allowed to happen if they weren't reduced to nearly nothing?

Its mentioned that on non-CF routes that the Knights of Serios spent most of their time looking for Rhea after she disappeared. They most likely situation is that after the Empire took over Garreg Mach they were forced to flee, and since they had not enough forces to reclaim the monastery, and spent most of that time looking for Rhea and Byleth, who they probably deemed more important than the Monastery. Never is it stated that the church has been disbanded.  Its also mentioned that Garreg Mach in General is difficult to transport supplies to, which is probably a big factor to why Edelgard decides to abandon it on non-CF routes. 

Edited by ZeManaphy

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3 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Has she been part of the war effort before reuniting with Professr? Because otherwise, like with the letter, there's just no realistic timeframe for her to discuss this with her father.

So, here's Mercedes relevant dialogue in the support:

Spoiler
  • Mercedes: It's just... I've always allowed myself to follow the whims of those above me. I convinced myself that everything in life was at the will of the goddess. I was blind to reality. I believed it was her will to both pull me from the church and guide me to the Officers Academy. The decision to enter this war was the first time I acted of my own free will. My adoptive father opposed this decision, but I somehow managed to convince him.

She doesn't need to have been part of the war effort until now for it to make sense. Like, she could've been openly contemplating joining, but then her stepfather forbid it. She may have even decided to join a while back, but simply not acted upon it until now.

3 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Curious, I never noticed that "red aura" either, I'll have to look out for that.

I dunno if "aura" is the right word, but it's basically that Catherine's model has some red coloration near the edges. Particularly in her hair. Maybe I'm the only one seeing it?

55 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Wasn't it implied that Edelgard had to sneak most of her forces in for the surprise attack disguised as merchants and the like? That isn't bound to work a second time.

That was implied to be for the break-in at the Holy Tomb, not the assault on Garreg Mach. Those troops march in from Enbarr. At the very least, any Imperial "sleeper agents" stuck in Garreg Mach for the two weeks between the break-in and the assault would likely be in peril. 

58 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

And with most Imperial forces occupied in Faergheus, Edelgard can't send a proper attack force to take it back, thus being enough for the Church to repel it. Specially since the monastery is naturally quite defensible already.

Are there that many Imperial troops fighting in Faerghus? My impression was, most of Cornelia's forces were native to the Kingdom and its lords. And the very fact that the monastery is hard to defend reveals rhe folly in abandoning it, as the Empire effectively allowed its principal foes to take it and become a thorn in their side. Also, the Alliance is neutral, but that doesn't mean the Empire wouldn't want a border presence there, to ensure Claude doesn't get any funny ideas about invading.

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11 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

That was implied to be for the break-in at the Holy Tomb, not the assault on Garreg Mach. Those troops march in from Enbarr. At the very least, any Imperial "sleeper agents" stuck in Garreg Mach for the two weeks between the break-in and the assault would likely be in peril. 

Are there that many Imperial troops fighting in Faerghus? My impression was, most of Cornelia's forces were native to the Kingdom and its lords. And the very fact that the monastery is hard to defend reveals rhe folly in abandoning it, as the Empire effectively allowed its principal foes to take it and become a thorn in their side. Also, the Alliance is neutral, but that doesn't mean the Empire wouldn't want a border presence there, to ensure Claude doesn't get any funny ideas about invading.

Perhaps, but not a guarantee they'd get discovered in time. So don't use all the ones snuck in for the Holy Tomb incursion, then use the rest as a prelude to the troops coming in from outside.

Except there are Imperial-aligned Alliance members... and those are the ones who border the Empire itself... and Garreg Mach. So Edelgard likely counts that if Claude declares war, he'd instead have first to deal with a civil war as some of the Alliance members flock to her side. So the need to have troops over there isn't as paramount. Or perhaps she does have troops at the Alliance border, ready to cross over and support her sympathizers. And it'd be easier to travel into Alliance territory through there than at Garreg. Since it'd take less effort to reach the frontlines of any inter-Alliance conflict. And like at Faerghus, can't divert enough troops to retake Garreg else it risks weakening her other positions.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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1 hour ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

She doesn't need to have been part of the war effort until now for it to make sense. Like, she could've been openly contemplating joining, but then her stepfather forbid it. She may have even decided to join a while back, but simply not acted upon it until now.

But unless she already joined it, she had no idea that going here would translate to joining the war effort, because nobody expected Professr to be there, or Gilbert.

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2 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Perhaps, but not a guarantee they'd get discovered in time. So don't use all the ones snuck in for the Holy Tomb incursion, then use the rest as a prelude to the troops coming in from outside.

There could be some "leftovers", I grant, but I don't see how they'd especially help. We never hear of any sabotage from inside the town or monastery aiding Edelgard's invasion. Nor do the long lines of troops coming from Enbarr face any known delays en-route.

2 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Except there are Imperial-aligned Alliance members... and those are the ones who border the Empire itself... and Garreg Mach. So Edelgard likely counts that if Claude declares war, he'd instead have first to deal with a civil war as some of the Alliance members flock to her side. So the need to have troops over there isn't as paramount. Or perhaps she does have troops at the Alliance border, ready to cross over and support her sympathizers. And it'd be easier to travel into Alliance territory through there than at Garreg. Since it'd take less effort to reach the frontlines of any inter-Alliance conflict. And like at Faerghus, can't divert enough troops to retake Garreg else it risks weakening her other positions.

Conversely, having allies around might make Garreg Mach more desirable to retain. Having an Empire-controlled Garreg Mach at his back could embolden (or pressure, depending on your perspective) Count Gloucester to begin formally coordinating with the Empire. Likewise, where better for Cornelia and Edelgard to meet than the site roughly between their two capitals? And that's not to mention the many treasures they could yet plunder from the Monastery to aid the war effort.

1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

But unless she already joined it, she had no idea that going here would translate to joining the war effort, because nobody expected Professr to be there, or Gilbert.

Huh, I could swear they were all going to the monastery intent on reuniting with their classmates and former teacher. But I suppose they didn't necessarily know that a united anti-Imperial front would emerge out of it.

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3 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Huh, I could swear they were all going to the monastery intent on reuniting with their classmates and former teacher. But I suppose they didn't necessarily know that a united anti-Imperial front would emerge out of it.

Yeah, they didn't even have any reason to believe Professr would be there. They were all just keeping their promise to reunite.

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3 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Conversely, having allies around might make Garreg Mach more desirable to retain. Having an Empire-controlled Garreg Mach at his back could embolden (or pressure, depending on your perspective) Count Gloucester to begin formally coordinating with the Empire. Likewise, where better for Cornelia and Edelgard to meet than the site roughly between their two capitals? And that's not to mention the many treasures they could yet plunder from the Monastery to aid the war effort.

Because having them in the actual Imperial border with Gloucester is more effective. Again, Garreg, while a good place defensively, is not so good for the funneling and transport of troops. It's likely more efficient to around it than through it.

Perhaps, but again, it's likely easier to meet up someplace else. Maybe boat trips between the two capitals are faster. Or never found the need to meet directly.

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The time skip isn't handled super well in 3H, I think a big part of that is because the game still needed to find a way to keep the monastery as your "base" while reuniting with all of your students and the house leaders in a nigh identical fashion.

Kind of lessens the impact of split routes when the structure of how everything goes is so artificially similar to one another.

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10 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

The time skip isn't handled super well in 3H, I think a big part of that is because the game still needed to find a way to keep the monastery as your "base" while reuniting with all of your students and the house leaders in a nigh identical fashion.

Kind of lessens the impact of split routes when the structure of how everything goes is so artificially similar to one another.

I can understand why they didn't do it, but it would have been interesting if the timeskip gave you a new base. Enbarr for Crimson Flowers and Derdriu for Verdant Wind. The characters squatting in the monastery makes sense in the Blue Lions since Dimitri is essentially a hobo, but Edelgard and Claude have bases of their own. 

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16 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I can understand why they didn't do it, but it would have been interesting if the timeskip gave you a new base. Enbarr for Crimson Flowers and Derdriu for Verdant Wind. The characters squatting in the monastery makes sense in the Blue Lions since Dimitri is essentially a hobo, but Edelgard and Claude have bases of their own. 

Something something everyone is too sentimental about the monastery to use common sense and ends up there one way or another.

And considering I felt the opposite of sentimental about the monastery, well ...

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13 hours ago, Sunwoo said:

Something something everyone is too sentimental about the monastery to use common sense and ends up there one way or another.

And considering I felt the opposite of sentimental about the monastery, well ...

I don't really think it has to do with sentimentality. While I don't like the monastery, it's fairly clear that IntSys put a lot of effort and resources into designing it (more so than any other aspect of the game). To discard it halfway through the game then create something similar from scratch would've been quite difficult.

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6 hours ago, UNLEASH IT said:

I don't really think it has to do with sentimentality. While I don't like the monastery, it's fairly clear that IntSys put a lot of effort and resources into designing it (more so than any other aspect of the game). To discard it halfway through the game then create something similar from scratch would've been quite difficult.

Well the other option would be to not put so much time and effort into just the monastery and instead put the same amount of time and effort into four smaller hub areas. They at least found the time to build a hub area for a single chapter in Crimson Flower (or, more accurately, a single chapter of White Clouds after the choice that leads to Crimson Flower, though I'm sure everyone knew that and no one would call me out on it so specifying is largely pointless, yet here I am).

Edited by Jotari

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1 minute ago, Jotari said:

Well the other option would be to not put so much time and effort into just the monastery and instead put the same amount of time and effort into four smaller hub areas. They at least found the time to build a hub area for a single chapter in Crimson Flower.

This is definitely the right call, especially considering that the Monastery is too overdesigned for its own good to begin with.

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If they didn't want to completely drop the monastery mechanics, they could've at least given every path its own base that had the same mechanics and kept Garreg Mach for Silver Snow. And not put so much time and effort into the monastery in general. There's something just really ... I don't know, off-putting I guess, about how your characters always go back there at the end of every chapter. Somehow it feels like we're never actually making progress or moving forwards, if that makes sense.

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17 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

If they didn't want to completely drop the monastery mechanics, they could've at least given every path its own base that had the same mechanics and kept Garreg Mach for Silver Snow. And not put so much time and effort into the monastery in general. There's something just really ... I don't know, off-putting I guess, about how your characters always go back there at the end of every chapter. Somehow it feels like we're never actually making progress or moving forwards, if that makes sense.

Or, instead of having the same mechanics in each alternate base, have it so each of them have different mechanics so further differentiate the routes. Like Crimson Flower lacking the choir practice or Verdant Wind having the gardening.

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Question: After finishing the actual FE series and Kaga Sagas, are you planning on doing any fan hacks? Some are pretty good and it would be pretty neat for you to try stuff like Vision Quest, which is very close to GBAFE, or Four kings, which I wouldn't suggest ironmanning.

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Three Houses Day 51: Chapter 14 Week 2-4

Another week, another stab a this fucking game.

It's been more than two years since I started this project, and FE17 still hasn't been announced.

Honestly, that's probably for the best. I'd love to playlog FE17, but noooooooooooot right now. I think I'm gonna need a pretty big break after this. I can barely bring myself to play Fire Emblem for fun now. Even the games I had the most fun with just do not appeal to me as a use of my free time.

But we're closing in on the end of the game at any rate. Sort of. So let's just keep moving.

As I said, I'm doing the two quest battles this week, the first one “Dealing with Deserters”. In which my air force completely dunks on an army of archers.

Also, Shamir got hunter's volley during the timeskip, so I put Sylvain as her adjutant while he had the knowledge gem equipped so I can make use of that awesome combat art while still feeding kills to get Sylvain to use it too.

...Seems kinda pointless since that ultimately won't be Sylvain's class if he works out right, but fuck it, good to have options, and hunter's volley is one hell of an option.

Alright, so, I find it weird that I can't change goals on the menu between battles on free days. Goals, Roster and Calendar are all grayed out when I press X.

Guess I better hope I remember to train Flayn in authority so she can equip a damned battalion in the air.

But yeah, Felix has the King of Lions battalion now. His mediocre charm might make that a problem with the gambit, but I only ever use gambits against monsters anyway, who I don't remember having that high charm. So let's see how his hit rate is against those.

Anyway, second fight is a beach battle, Which means today is a good day to fly.

I find myself using Seteth just so I have another physical flier, because otherwise I literally only have Dimitri. Granted, the words “only” and “Dimitri” don't really work well together in most sentences...

...Huh. Weird, I could've sworn it was Felix who said “burn until we meet again”, but apparently it's Sylvain. Wow, that's... I mean I guess Felix felt way more like the type to go all “see you in hell”.

So... as I completely curb-stomp these enemies with my air force, I'm suddenly brought to mind of my increasingly conflicted feelings on a certain topic.

So, a bit of context, yesterday I was playing a Castlevania Order of Ecclesia randomizer, when a really late-game boss was placed super early, and after struggling to beat him, I wound up accidentally kicking his ass with a special attack that was randomized to be completely ridiculously overpowered.

I started laughing, and I was torn between extreme amusement and extreme disappointment. The disappointment because I knew no boss in the entire run was going to challenge me again. The amusement because it was absolutely hilarious and bizarrely satisfying in its own way.

While I absolutely love tight challenges, part of me feels like rating the games as “difficulty = good” and “easy = bad” is overlooking another dimension of game enjoyment that I've been low-key appreciating, but not actually grading: the concept of good ol' fashioned dumb fun. That sense of satisfaction that comes from just mowing your enemies down with overpowered bullshit and super fun toys. I haven't even bothered to grade that, but recent experience is telling me that maybe I should.

Because like how Shadow Dragon was a breath of fresh air after multiple consecutive games being mostly mindless enemy-phasing nonsense... after beating Conquest Lunatic, despite enjoying myself with it, I found myself in a mood where I couldn't bring myself to play it again for a while, and instead was enjoying myself playing FE7... on Eliwood Normal. I found myself weirdly back in touch with the things that appealed to me about the series back when I was a kid. Appreciating them a heck of a lot more. Remembering the metrics I used back then to determine which games were my favorites.

And if I were to start grading the games on that, well, one thing that would be transparently obvious is that not every game does “dumb fun” equally. Not every FE game has the same quality of toys, or the same crazy stuff you can do with them. Some games are pretty good at both strategy and dumb fun, while some are terrible at both.

...I need to get back to playing, but it's just something that's been on my mind.

Anyway, Felix is level 30, so he might try for War Master now. Depends on the odds. Also, that battalion of his gives him a major charm boost, so I'm thinking he'll be able to use the gambit just fine.

I remembered to train Flayn in authority and change her goals, and I also remembered to assign the group task. This time it's Sylvain and Leonie so they can work on riding some more.

Literally nobody got anything on Saturday when non-tutoring experience gains happened, which I think is a first, at least for this run.

Alright, with those out of the way...

...Felix needs a lot more in both axes and brawling before he can become a war master, so that'll have to wait.

Time to explore to get some more motivation.

I don't get why the game feels the need to slowly flash that the activity bar is going down. It takes way longer than it should. But I mean, that's not really a surprise at this point. Just something I finally felt like commenting on.

Alright, here comes a B support with Seteth.

It's a talk about Professr learning more about herself, and I wonder how this chain is going to end. I mean, there's not much he can reveal that we don't already know by this point in the story, given that it's an optional support that needs to have no impact on the plot.

Okay, so Mercedes just got ragnarok, Leonie got some more authority, Felix got some more axe rank, and everything else is on people I'm not using.

This dramatic scene of Dimitri talking to Glenn's “ghost” as Professr approaches behind him... feels pretty goofy due to the restrained and limited nature of these dialogue scenes. Like, it feels like this suffers from the limitations more than average, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. Makes it goofy rather than sad.

Which is a damned shame, because the concept of somebody haunted by dead loved ones he's deluding himself into thinking want him to sacrifice his happiness and wellbeing for their sake is utterly heartbreaking.

I mean, for the Batman fans here, “I didn't count on being happy” comes to mind big time.

...The cutscene ends abruptly after Gilbert asks Dimitri to refrain from reckless behavior in battle. I wanted to see Dimitri's inevitable response to that, but weirdly it just cut away right there.

...Oh, and the game just pans to a scene between Randolph and Fleche to briefly humanize him before his death. Of course.

It would work better if we had a better idea of why he personally was fighting for the Empire. Because I mean there are reasons. Plenty of characters fighting on Edelgard's side have believable reasons. But if he has any, I don't remember learning them, aside from just loyalty to the Empire itself. Which is boring when you're trying to make someone's death tragic.

Alright, time to do supports so we're ready for the mission tomorrow.

Time for Sylvain and Felix's A-.

Apparently Sylvain spotted an enemy ambush. Gee, wouldn't it be awesome if you could actually do that in-game? But yeah, it's the usual “he's a good guy when it counts” thing that I've seen with Sylvain countless times. You know, these things having so many repeating story beats wouldn't be so bad if you didn't see basically all of them in one playthrough.

Now for Felix and Mercedes's B support.

Felix is berating Mercedes for nearly getting herself killed on the battlefield, and sweet gentle Mercedes isn't pushing back at all. Then conversation turns back to Mercedes's late little brother.

A conversation from five years ago, remember.

Now for Felix and Ingrid's A. It's actually pretty cute. Ingrid talks about how she doesn't think there's anything fundamentally different in practice between what Felix has decided to do with himself and what she and Glenn decided to do with their lives. They all decided to protect those that are important to them.

I just wish they didn't call back to that book from five years ago.

Alright, now for Sylvain and Ingrid's A-.

...I can't really describe any specific things about this support, but I liked it. They have an interesting chemistry now that they aren't bickering all the time.

Now for Sylvain and Leonie, who I'm really disappointed can't get an A support. But at least the B support isn't gated to Part 1.

...But it probably should have been.

This entire support hinges upon the fact that Leonie's annoyed that Sylvain doesn't seem to see her as feminine enough to hit on. Sylvain reacting to Leonie this way was already a stretch in Part 1, but now in Part 2 with the grown-out hair and the short shorts and the visible cleavage... yeah no. No way Sylvain would still look at Leonie and have her not even register as a woman.

Still, seeing Sylvain awkwardly go through the motions of hitting on Leonie when he's called out on this is pretty hilarious.

Alright, now for Annette and Mercedes to finally make up.

Annette: Is this about what happened when we were shopping? If so, it's fine. Don't worry about it.

Annette. It's been five years. That is not an appropriate response.

Yeah, literally nothing here required this to be after the timeskip. They should've just let it happen in Part 1. I'm not even gonna dignify this garbage fire with further commentary.

Flayn and Seteth's, I've seen this several times.

Flayn: You worry too much, brother.

Seteth: I think a kidnapping is good cause for concern!

SETETH. PLEASE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. THAT WAS FIVE FUCKING YEARS AGO.

Seteth: The youths of our army are... particularly eccentric.

...Does he phrase it that way in part 1 too? “Army”? Because that wouldn't really fit. The “youths” in Part 1 were all in the school, not the army.

Flayn: I do appreciate the offer, but all the students and professors have treated me exceptionally well.

Oh, I see, so they just flat-out do not give a shit about this working. Flayn constantly talks in ways irreconcilable with her no longer being in school.

That said, I do love the dumbfounded look on Seteth's face after Flayn walks away though. The one on his model. The portrait one looks pretty doofy, but the model one is hilarious.

Now for Mercedes and Constance. Oh yes, I remember wanting to see this before.

...Wait...

...Wait, Constance's personality change in the sunlight is because... sunlight gives her PTSD?

What the fuck happened to her?

...They don't explain further. Lame.

Alright, now for a Shamir and Cyril support I wound up getting somehow.

It's a nice little lesson about the importance of curved shots in archery, but not much more.

...And with that, prep is complete. Tomorrow I'll fight the Empire again. Having what's basically the exact same battle against the exact same enemy in the exact same place only separated by two chapters... feels... lame. Really lame. But i's what we've got to work with.

Stay safe, everyone.

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