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Alastor plays and ranks the whole series! Now Enduring: Three Houses

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

It's strange, then, that only the followers of Duma are shown to have the power to generate Terrors (which include Revenants, who are basically Zombies). Disciples of Mila can Invoke various soldiers, but those don't appear to be literal reanimated flesh-and-bone, so much as "ghosts in armor".

Ah, so that's where the cap'n's parrot went! He thoughts it met an end most grisly.

Moreso that she's canonically 15, and dressed like... that. I know Pegasus Knights aren't allowed any thigh protection, but c'mon.

Admittedly, this makes a fair amount of sense. Still, design-wise, I'd prefer if it were an optional sidequest, like Alm's trip to Fear Mountain in Act IV. In either case, the player can press ahead for a quicker finish, but misses out on certain units and items by doing so. Celica being required to fight Grieth might say something about her personality or attitude, but it's nothing that her decision to go after Barth didn't already show us. And, it's another case of the persistent "damsel-ification" of women in this game. And and, it makes the sluice-gate-keeper seem even more ridiculous in context. Sweet Mila, what I wouldn't give for Grieth to have kidnapped that jerk instead.

We can see Mila's resurrection power in action. It doesn't bring back the dead as Terrors. I still stand that the whole Terrors thing has to do more that she's being held at Duma's Tower, rather than something she herself is causing.

Well, she's hardly the first and hardly will be the last. And yeah, it's more or less the Falcon Knight uniform of the game. Just in pink. I bet once Valentia!Est is released in Heroes, she'd be sporting something similar, and she's 16. And even her normal PK outfit covers pretty much the same. And then you have Emma who is 13. Even then, you also have 13-year-old Delthea wearing a dress that covers as much, but doesn't have the accompanying Grade-A Zettai Ryouki the fliers do. And so on and so on.

It'd have to be something a bit shorter, since the entire of Greith's "side" area is much larger than the Fear Mountain Range. Without changing much, Celica would be missing out on a lot more than Alm does. In a way, that may be why the path to the Temple is much shorter. Enough to get there and back, and then plunge into the desert. That said... fun fact, Gaiden has an unused dungeon, the Desert Temple. Unless something got changed by editing the game to make it visitable, it's map location is in the forest between Mila's Temple and Greith's Citadel, and the exit leads to Mila's Temple coordinates on the world map. Perhaps at some point you were suppose to approach the temple from the east, and not west? Cutting through or across this Desert Temple accessed from Greith's Citadel or so? Who knows. But it's interesting to think about it...

If so, then that could explain why the entire thing is mandatory, despite being in a branching path. Because it may not have been a branching path originally.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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4 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

It'd have to be something a bit shorter, since the entire of Greith's "side" area is much larger than the Fear Mountain Range. Without changing much, Celica would be missing out on a lot more than Alm does.

Not really. It's much larger on the world map, but not so much in amount of gameplay it presents. Grieth's desert consists of three battles, Archer Hell with Wolf, Deen/Sonya and Grieth himself. Fear Mountain consists of Marla, Nibaba herself and then the Fear Mountain Shrine, which doesn't have a boss, but does have loads of battles. In addition, doing Fear Mountain basically removes Zeke's chapter from the game as the two armies cannibalize each other before you even get close (honestly I think it's a shame they didn't change that map into a "Have Tatiana talk to Zeke" gimmick). So in terms of battles and exp, Alm probably misses out on a lot more by skipping Fear Mountain. It also means no convenient place to promote your units for the first half of Act 4 without backtracking.

What Celica really loses out on is recruitable characters. On paper she gets three units from Grieth's desert, Jesse, Deen/Sonya and Est, verses Alm's two, Tatiana and Zihark, but then they make Catra, Palla and Atlas leave your party without doing Grieth, so in reality, even where it optional, Celica would be losing six units by not going there. But the defections are artificially build into the game because the game knows it isn't optional and is encouraging people to go there. Where it conceived as optional they likely wouldn't have Atlas and the pegs leave you.

Really the biggest thing tied to Grieth's Citadel is Celica's promotion, being where it's obtained in the original game and where Liprica is gained in the remake. That is the reason I think it was probably always planned to be mandatory in both games. Though if they did want to make it optional in Echoes then they could have simply removed Liprica from Grieth's Citadel and just have the whole exchange take place at Mila's Temple.

Edited by Jotari

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2 hours ago, Jotari said:

Not really. It's much larger on the world map, but not so much in amount of gameplay it presents. Grieth's desert consists of three battles, Archer Hell with Wolf, Deen/Sonya and Grieth himself. Fear Mountain consists of Marla, Nibaba herself and then the Fear Mountain Shrine, which doesn't have a boss, but does have loads of battles. In addition, doing Fear Mountain basically removes Zeke's chapter from the game as the two armies cannibalize each other before you even get close (honestly I think it's a shame they didn't change that map into a "Have Tatiana talk to Zeke" gimmick). So in terms of battles and exp, Alm probably misses out on a lot more by skipping Fear Mountain. It also means no convenient place to promote your units for the first half of Act 4 without backtracking.

Yeah, I was basically going to say that - Greith's detour covers a larger area, but without the dungeon that Nuibaba's detour presents. Anyway, in my "minimum recruitment" playthrough, I thought I could skip the former. It didn't matter that I would miss out on characters I wasn't using. So I beat the northeast Zofia maps (at great personal challenge), only to discover that I have to do the apparent "sidequest" after all. Which turned out super easy, relative to what I'd already done. I did successfully skip the latter, discovering that in Act 6, I could reach Fear Mountain and Nuibaba's Abode without dealing with any enemy armies. The witches just... vanished.

7 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

If so, then that could explain why the entire thing is mandatory, despite being in a branching path. Because it may not have been a branching path originally.

Really cool to know, and speculate on.

7 hours ago, Acacia Sgt said:

We can see Mila's resurrection power in action. It doesn't bring back the dead as Terrors. I still stand that the whole Terrors thing has to do more that she's being held at Duma's Tower, rather than something she herself is causing.

Maybe? I haven't heard that, but it's not impossible. 

3 hours ago, Jotari said:

Really the biggest thing tied to Grieth's Citadel is Celica's promotion, being where it's obtained in the original game and where Liprica is gained in the remake. That is the reason I think it was probably always planned to be mandatory in both games. Though if they did want to make it optional in Echoes then they could have simply removed Liprica from Grieth's Citadel and just have the whole exchange take place at Mila's Temple.

*Irma, not Liprica. Anyway, it nonetheless bugs me that when you free her, she "goes on ahead" of your army. You know, through the desert, and then to bypass the Rigelian troops who have occupied the Temple (if you're a normal player who does the Citadel before the Temple). I don't understand why she wouldn't simply accompany your party in the background, so that she doesn't get kidnspped again.

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

Yeah, I was basically going to say that - Greith's detour covers a larger area, but without the dungeon that Nuibaba's detour presents. Anyway, in my "minimum recruitment" playthrough, I thought I could skip the former. It didn't matter that I would miss out on characters I wasn't using. So I beat the northeast Zofia maps (at great personal challenge), only to discover that I have to do the apparent "sidequest" after all. Which turned out super easy, relative to what I'd already done. I did successfully skip the latter, discovering that in Act 6, I could reach Fear Mountain and Nuibaba's Abode without dealing with any enemy armies. The witches just... vanished.

Would have been pretty cool if they added an alternate scenario in Act 6 where you kept Nuibaba alive and we see Alm routing her out as Emperor of Valm. Wouldn't have been hard to do at all. Just don't have her disappear in Act 6 (though probably 5 I'm guessing) and change the dialogue at the start of the battle to reflect the new situation. Maybe beef up the levels of her units a bit too. Or just keep them unscaled and let it be a curb stomp. Either way it would have been cool to use Act 6 to show us Alm acting as emperor, and in this case it would have taken very little effort.

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*Irma, not Liprica.

Gah, you're right. Liprica's her mother.

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Anyway, it nonetheless bugs me that when you free her, she "goes on ahead" of your army. You know, through the desert, and then to bypass the Rigelian troops who have occupied the Temple (if you're a normal player who does the Citadel before the Temple). I don't understand why she wouldn't simply accompany your party in the background, so that she doesn't get kidnspped again.

Hell they could have made her a playable character. Celica's army is one down on Alm's as is. Only one cleric too as Alastor points out.

Edited by Jotari

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26 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Hell they could have made her a playable character. Celica's army is one down on Alm's as is.

They could make Irma a playable Saint! As Genny is the only other Cleric -> Saint on Celica's route. This could work nicely. Maybe give her supports with Genny and Conrad, since they only have one each otherwise.

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

They could make Irma a playable Saint! As Genny is the only other Cleric -> Saint on Celica's route. This could work nicely. Maybe give her supports with Genny and Conrad, since they only have one each otherwise.

I'd give her convos with both Deen and Sonya too, as she was kind of their prisoner too and them all being wrapped up with Grieth could give more insight to the situation.

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Shadows of Valentia Day 22: Battle at the Sluice

Alright, so now we're at the final battle of Alm's part. Looks like this switching didn't really organically make them end at the same time, so we'll be focusing on Celica's route after this.

Come to think of it, maybe even moderately switching isn't the best call. Would you guys rather I focus on one at a time?

Well, for now at any rate... time to retake the sluice gate.

Alm: So this is the Zofian Sluice Gate... It's massive!

Yeah, almost like a cross-country sluice gate is a ludicrous concept or something.

I wonder if they would have done this had Awakening not decided to retcon Valentia to be a continent rather than an island. If the Awakening writers hadn't done that, would SoV have gone on to retcon it that way on its own? Or is this just one of the many ways that SoV is shackled by the shitty lore decisions it now has to accept as canon because the writers of Awakening were lore-ignorant hacks?

Imagine being in that position. Imagine being in that position as someone who grew up with and enjoyed the original games. Getting the opportunity to expand upon the story of one of the older ones you love so much, only to be told that you had to respect the canonicity of a game that didn't respect the canonicity of anything you grew up with.

But yeah, Delthea shows up, and Clive appears to have not changed his mind at all about Delthea and still insists that Alm kill her.

But nope, we're doing this the right way. And I've got juuuuuuust the opening gambit to make it happen.

Yep! Okay, so, this isn't remotely reliable on Echoes ironmans, but Echoes ironmans suck anyway. Basically, I put Faye and Silque up front by the bridge, have Faye rescue Kliff to the absolute limit of Silque's movement range, then have Silque warp Kliff as far up as she possibly can. This is just barely enough for Kliff to attempt a hunter's volley on Tatarrah.

It would take two consecutive crits to one-shot him, but he'll go down next turn without a problem, assuming nothing goes wrong on this following enemy-phase.

...Something did in fact go wrong. All of the mire mages attacked Kliff and he didn't get enough lucky dodges. Okay, let's try something different. I'm gonna do everything the same except that I won't use hunter's volley on Tatarrah, I'll use it on one of the mire guys at point blank range and thus bait Tatarrah off of the supply pile from out of the range of one or two of those mire guys. That should leave him open to be killed next turn.

Yep! Even when healed back up, he took enough damage to exactly only need one crit to die!

And with Delthea back to normal, she... warps away. Despite not having that ability at base when she rejoins us. Huh.

But yeah, with that out of the way... I've basically smashed this map's teeth in. There's no more bite. And I'm free to feed the rest of the map to my units who actually need training.

Tobin has physic now. He got it turn one, like I said he would. And with that, he's got guaranteed value for the rest of the game even if he were to never gain another stat.

Yep, with two physic users we have some crazy powerful map-spanning healing options. And it'll only get crazier once we get Tatiana.

The end of the map was having Clive and Mathilda fight these last two mire sorcerers up north with a continuous double-physic drip feed to keep them alive. It was annoying doing so when the second sorcerer retreated to the supplies, but I managed it in the end.

And that puts us at the end of Alm's part of Act 3. Let's go inside.

I love Delthea's reaction to finding out Tatarrah (who she apparently knows about) was controlling her. “Eeeeew!”

Honestly I really like Delthea's voice performance. She's great, and I like her lines too. Pretty dang cute.

And in the following conversation with Luthier and Clive, the subject of Alm likely becoming king when this is all over comes up, and... yeah, he doesn't like the prospect.

I don't really like this conversation between Clive and Alm where Clive starts praising Alm, but... I can't really put my finger on why.

So yeah, apparently this is the sluice gate that takes in water from the ocean? I think? And the Mila sluice gate is the one that drains water out? Which is the only explanation I can think of for why opening THIS one before opening the OTHER one would doom the continent to flooding, while opening the Mila gate on its own is harmless. Uh... I'm no expert on sluices, but... is that possible to do? For water to specifically go one way through this sluice when both end points are at sea level? That doesn't sound right to me.

Also, and yet again, no expert, but how can you use a river/canal of ocean water to flood a continent that is, like most continents... above sea level? Wouldn't the water then have to flow uphill for miles and miles and miles? Why would it have the momentum to do so once it reaches the same water level as the ocean?

But, uh... unfortunately, that's all the time I have today. We'll have to start finishing up Celica's half tomorrow.

And fight Deen and his terrifying brave sword.

Stay safe, everyone.

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1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

Come to think of it, maybe even moderately switching isn't the best call. Would you guys rather I focus on one at a time?

Gameplay-wise, it's better not to do any of Alm's Act IV, until Celica reaches the Sage's Hamlet, thus letting Alm promote. Up to you whether you care enough about promoting him "early" though .

2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

I wonder if they would have done this had Awakening not decided to retcon Valentia to be a continent rather than an island. If the Awakening writers hadn't done that, would SoV have gone on to retcon it that way on its own? Or is this just one of the many ways that SoV is shackled by the shitty lore decisions it now has to accept as canon because the writers of Awakening were lore-ignorant hacks?

Never knew Valentia was originally intended to be an island. That said, the difference between island and continent is one of quantity, rather than quality.

2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

.Something did in fact go wrong. All of the mire mages attacked Kliff and he didn't get enough lucky dodges. Okay, let's try something different. I'm gonna do everything the same except that I won't use hunter's volley on Tatarrah, I'll use it on one of the mire guys at point blank range and thus bait Tatarrah off of the supply pile from out of the range of one or two of those mire guys. That should leave him open to be killed next turn.

Really nice strategy! I never thought of attempting a surgical strike against Tatarrah this way. Possibly because I never had Cleric Faye.

2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Also, and yet again, no expert, but how can you use a river/canal of ocean water to flood a continent that is, like most continents... above sea level? Wouldn't the water then have to flow uphill for miles and miles and miles? Why would it have the momentum to do so once it reaches the same water level as the ocean?

Uh... maybe Valentia is one huge land reclamation project? Like the Netherlands, or that island shaped like a palm tree?

2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

I love Delthea's reaction to finding out Tatarrah (who she apparently knows about) was controlling her. “Eeeeew!”

Honestly I really like Delthea's voice performance. She's great, and I like her lines too. Pretty dang cute.

Just looked Delthea up, and her voice actress, Christine Marie Cabanos, also did Hapi in Three Houses! Two very different performances, but I'm a fan of them both.

4 hours ago, Jotari said:

I'd give her convos with both Deen and Sonya too, as she was kind of their prisoner too and them all being wrapped up with Grieth could give more insight to the situation.

I thought about them, too, since they also are limited to one support each. Not sure, though, if four supports (three at most per playthrough) for Irma would be getting greedy.

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3 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

I wonder if they would have done this had Awakening not decided to retcon Valentia to be a continent rather than an island. If the Awakening writers hadn't done that, would SoV have gone on to retcon it that way on its own? Or is this just one of the many ways that SoV is shackled by the shitty lore decisions it now has to accept as canon because the writers of Awakening were lore-ignorant hacks?

 

Imagine being in that position. Imagine being in that position as someone who grew up with and enjoyed the original games. Getting the opportunity to expand upon the story of one of the older ones you love so much, only to be told that you had to respect the canonicity of a game that didn't respect the canonicity of anything you grew up with.

Yeah, that is something interesting to think about. Because it's quite clear that the people spearheading this games development absolutely adored the original Gaiden. At least that's the impression one gets with their massive fidelity. As we discussed earlier, there's even a non zero chance they took elements from the book when designing it. Yet all that being said, they did include Grima in this game, so I can't imagine they feel too bitter about Awakening (probably because it's also a game they might have worked on). Though on that note I do find it kind of interesting to note that they didn't put Origin Peak in this game, the place lying between Archanea and Valentia that Grima goes to for the final battle for reasons(?) So instead of building on elements from Awakening, for Grima they chose to connect him to Archanea's lore with Thabes. So yeah, quite clearly OG fans made this game as even the newer content put into the game was retconned into the oldschool lore.

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

Never knew Valentia was originally intended to be an island. That said, the difference between island and continent is one of quantity, rather than quality.

Really? I should have been shilling this old topic of mine more then.

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I thought about them, too, since they also are limited to one support each. Not sure, though, if four supports (three at most per playthrough) for Irma would be getting greedy.

I think three at most per gameplay would be fine. Not like they'd be all that lengthy with the support philosophy of this game.

 

Edited by Jotari

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2 hours ago, Jotari said:

As we discussed earlier, there's even a non zero chance they took elements from the book when designing it. Yet all that being said, they did include Grima in this game, so I can't imagine they feel too bitter about Awakening

Its just a shame they didn't include him very well. Alm and Celica only encounter him because one day they went 'lol lets abandon our new kingdom and chill in Archenea for a bit''. 

The king and queen of a very fledgling nation abandoning everything to bring a random merchant home seems rather silly. 

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21 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Its just a shame they didn't include him very well. Alm and Celica only encounter him because one day they went 'lol lets abandon our new kingdom and chill in Archenea for a bit''. 

The king and queen of a very fledgling nation abandoning everything to bring a random merchant home seems rather silly. 

The Pegasus Sisters seem like the obvious connection to use to Archanea, but that runs into a bit of a problem with the issue of it being locked out if you didn't recruit them. Maybe the best thing would have been to escort them home by default, but if they all happen to be dead or unrecruited then the more flimsy merchant excuse can be used.

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2 minutes ago, Jotari said:

The Pegasus Sisters seem like the obvious connection to use to Archanea, but that runs into a bit of a problem with the issue of it being locked out if you didn't recruit them. Maybe the best thing would have been to escort them home by default, but if they all happen to be dead or unrecruited then the more flimsy merchant excuse can be used.

Interestingly depending on the timing Alm could be at Thabes at around the same time as Marth goes through the trials of Anri and even visits Thabes again. So the two of them arriving in Thabes  at the same time and fighting Grima together could make for an interesting side story. 

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36 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Interestingly depending on the timing Alm could be at Thabes at around the same time as Marth goes through the trials of Anri and even visits Thabes again. So the two of them arriving in Thabes  at the same time and fighting Grima together could make for an interesting side story. 

An amusing thought, but trying to put that into some kind of canon story would run into issues with Est being kidnapped in Altea at that time. Though I guess one could just ignored that completely. Alternatively, set it post Mystery of the Emblem and have Marth show up in Valentia himself seeking diplomatic trade or something.

Edited by Jotari

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I doubt it. Act 6 can take place only in the first few weeks of the season it takes place on. Unless Marth is also speedrunning through Grust, Macedon, and Khadein, he can't reach Thabes before or during the time Alm would be there.

The Year 402 of the Valentia calendar corresponds to 608 of the Archanean one. Alm and Celica get married and become King and Queen during Avistym, the second season, at the least, with both Acts 5 and 6 taking place in Flostym, the first season. Assuming Marth's journey also started at the beginning of their year (we can assume both use the start of Spring as the New Year, like how the old Christian calendar did, when New Year's Eve was on April 1st), it'd be a tight schedule to have both coincide. Marth travels on foot most of the time after all, unlike the faster journey it'd be on boat to reach Furia Harbor. If Marth's journey doesn't begin before Summer, or he can't reach Thabes within ninety days... no way they can meet at that moment.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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5 minutes ago, Arkham Guy said:

@Alastor15243 Will this ranking of the series end when you reach 3H or will you continue this when new FE games release

I think I'll keep ranking them, unless burnout gets significantly worse and a game is announced really soon, forcing me to take a break. I won't reject the possibility of that happening, I have been doing this for nearly two years now after all.

Edited by Alastor15243

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Speaking of the postgame Valentia trip, while I understand why people would like to have Marth meet with Almica (to use their couple name), I don't actually like the idea.

Why? It's because it's unrealistic. Monarchs rarely met each other for most of human history. -But why should I be concerned about realism here? FE is unrealistic in many ways, and I'm fine that. Almica itself leaving their country-continent for foreign shores is unusual outside of military expansion and maybe the Crusades, why should it bother me if they were to meet with Marth?

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As a story plot point, the execution. It all comes down to the execution. And coming up with a suitable and sensible way is one aspect of it.

I mean, how good do you think was the execution in Fates' Before Awakening? That is one way to execute the plot point, after all.

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7 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

I mean, how good do you think was the execution in Fates' Before Awakening? That is one way to execute the plot point, after all.

*Thinks for a moment* Oh yes, the free "protect Chrom, Lissa and Frederick" DLC, I might have attempted and failed at it once or twice. I never witnessed the story though, as I've said before, I played Fates lights on, clothes on, no eye contact, and nooooo glimpsing a single line of story nor supports. MUST BE PERFECTLY NONJUDGEMENTAL.😑

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7 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Yep! Okay, so, this isn't remotely reliable on Echoes ironmans, but Echoes ironmans suck anyway. Basically, I put Faye and Silque up front by the bridge, have Faye rescue Kliff to the absolute limit of Silque's movement range, then have Silque warp Kliff as far up as she possibly can. This is just barely enough for Kliff to attempt a hunter's volley on Tatarrah.

Funny you mention Echoes Ironmans, as I finally returned to the Echoes Ironman I started so long ago. I started it back when Mangs was marathoning ironman runs, and I figured I would do a Echoes ironman alongside his own, and I only got a bit of a ways into part three before he had lost twice and moved onto the next game, and I did the same shortly thereafter. I am tempted to jokingly describe it as Celica's gentle deathless jaunt into mordor alongside Alm desperate and bloody crawl. Fortunately I have some comments about what happened before to rely on

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Lukas died to a 1% crit on the 6th field battle of part 1 (the map with the two cavalry forces seperated by a river with a bridge choke point), Leon died as a green unit on his join map before I could reach him, Clive died on that brutal second map of Alm's part 3 with the mages in the woods, and after going back for some promotions a cavalry encounter spawned by Dusaix managed to ambush us in that same woods and killed the rest of my archers of Python and Gray. looking at the save I am still in part 3 with two field encounters left for Alm, and one left for Celica if/when I get back to it.

And returning to it, things go poorly almost immediately. Although after writing this all out, it is rather long, so I think I will pop it into a spoiler box.

Spoiler

Celica has no problem finishing Act 3, while for Alm, my Mage Tobin reached promotion level after one battle, and after going back for the promotion was enough for Tartarah to summon a group of mages that ambush us heading to him, and after a combined unlucky miss, and thinking the unit I was moving was on a forest to restrict enemy movements (that was particularly dumb, as he was filling a key space between the sparse woods of that map), the last three mages manage to all gang up, and all hit to kill Mathilda. Fortunately the Tartarah battle goes fine, and the goddess of war Delthea joins us. Then we get to Berkut's bloodbath...I hit an uncomfortable point in that battle where I realize that to take out the last group of Knights I would have to leave my army to the mercy of Berkut and his mounted forces. I pulled back and trued to make the most defensible formation I could, but it didn't help much, as I didn't notice that half had javelins, and unfortunately I had too many units to build a very good defensive formation, as my army is squishy enough that Sage Tobin with a shield is defensive enough by comparison (and Clair isn't exactly a tank either...)to be part of the wall. It holds for a little bit, but I only bought a turn or two before the knights join the fray, and my troops are spending too much time trying to find ways to heal and survive to thin this horde. I start thinking there is a light at the end of this tunnel after some of the knights turn back thanks to healing AI, but before I break the cavs Luthier, mage Faye, and sage Tobin die, Delthea only survived thanks to a prayer ring proc, and Clair needed a key avoid to survive as well.

By the end of that mess Alm has an army of six, and I figure its probably over, but I do my best, take out the next battle easily enough, promote some survivors, feed a magic base reinforcement that spawned in the backtracking entirely to Delthea with her base 15 res, and then I have to decide whether or not its better to avoid the difficult battles of Fear Mountain, or miss out on Tatiana and Zeke. I decide to face the horrors of Fear Mountain, and by the end of the next battle, I can only think of them as the magnificent six afterwards. It is a slow and delicate dance to survive a battle that spawns so many witches. I start by Warping Baron Forsyth close enough to draw in the sniper defending Maria, and it draws two of the Barons there as well, and my army manages to overpower them, but soon my physical troops (although Clair is avoiding sniper ranges...) have to wheel around to confront the cavs from the south, and my magic troops (meaning Delthea and Silque) get as close as they can to the witch spawner (but out of the range of the last two Barons, and conveniently further away from the cavs). I manage to wipe out the southern snipers just before the southern barons join the fray, but at this point my physical army (meaning Forsyth, Clair, Kliff, and Alm) is in a formation where they can all eat from Alm's larder, desperately hoping the witches get distracted by the mage group that is in walking distance, as they can't be left alone if they warp, meaning someone has to go without healing for that turn. Its a slow fight until the last two barons in the north start moving, then I manage to get them in a position where Delthea can kill one, and Silque can warp her to safety, using the mountains to avoid the other. Things were improving in the south, as the last of the physical enemies down there dies the turn we make the kill with Delthea in the north, but the mage corp have positioned themselves in a way that makes it difficult for even the witches to reach them, so three of them warp in, making for a tense turn, and next turn I make a bold move that almost bites me. I warp Delthea past the last Baron and try to assassinate Maria. I make two vital mistakes when doing so, first I thought her AI was like the other cantors, where they don't attack, and second that her healing tile would give her enough health to attack on enemy phase. If I waited to get the first attack on enemy phase, or went for a weaker spell it would have been safer, but she procced the prayer ring again to keep this run alive (and its healing lets her finish Maria off...). Entering the Fear Shrine I decide to clear it out, and everyone reaches their final class (barring Alm's story based promotion...), and I finally try to crack Nuibaba's fortress.

Nuibaba's fortress is another slow battle, I start by sending Gold Knight Kliff around to lure the Bow knight out of the fort, and slowly lure him far enough away to wipe him out safely, and its well that I did, as Alm misses one of the Double Lion hits, and Kliff can't quite finish him that turn, triggering healing AI, leading to a chase where his healing AI is drawing him back to safety, with ranged healing keeping him up, that Kliff only overcomes by a few points. This works, but most of my army is just drawing in and wiping out the gargoyles that aren't expelled by Silque while this is all happening. I find that I can draw each of the mages (barring Nuibaba and the cantor) into isolated battles with Delthea by walking on the mountain tiles, but that gets delayed based on how many Gargoyles are flying about at the time, but I can't draw out the dread fighters without facing Medusa. I end up having to risk the warp and double lion kill with Alm against Nuibaba, but he needs to either hit two 85s, or get one 26% crit...he gets the crit, and I can bring in more people for distractions, as there are only physical enemies left. Thus the magnificent 6 add Tatiana to their army. Not sure when I will next have a chance to play, but this bloody mess isn't over, as the Magnificent six are all beasts of combats tested in the fires of fear mountain.

 

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8 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Speaking of the postgame Valentia trip, while I understand why people would like to have Marth meet with Almica (to use their couple name), I don't actually like the idea.

Why? It's because it's unrealistic. Monarchs rarely met each other for most of human history. -But why should I be concerned about realism here? FE is unrealistic in many ways, and I'm fine that. Almica itself leaving their country-continent for foreign shores is unusual outside of military expansion and maybe the Crusades, why should it bother me if they were to meet with Marth?

Agreed that it would be unrealistic, and it forces us to fit the adventure into a certain time frame, relative to Marth's missions. And Marth's quests are more important, for the time being, than breaking into Thabes.

That said, I do feel like there are characters they could have used for this role. Someone really powerful, who can get around quite easily, such as Gotoh. He could join as a Sage, with a really formidable spell list. Under the pretext that he's been investigating dark magic, and it's led him to Thabes, but he needs help from heroes to take it on. Maybe even give him a support with another old man, like Nomah or Mycen.

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Shadows of Valentia Day 23: Deenied

I did two random battles I decided to just breeze through without commentary or else we'd get nowhere today. Genny's reached level 12 but I'm not promoting her yet. Mostly because last time I did that it took forever to regain ground and it'll just be a borderline infinite loop of experience. I'm just gonna go straight on to Deen.

Atlas gained defense yet again in those fights, incidentally, making him tie with Saber for my tankiest fighter aside from Valbar.

Okay, so, unlike Sonya's warping witches, it's fairly straightforward to use the pegasisters to kite these guys around on a wild goose chase through the desert and only fight them at a pace we can handle. That's gonna be my main strategy. I'll have Atlas and Saber be my frontliners while my archers and mages try to get some kills from behind them.

Alright, break.

I got a support between Palla and Catria, and... it's just this support that's... slightly bizarre in just the right way that kind of overwhelms both my desire and ability to describe or discuss it. A lot happens in a handful of sentences, and if I tried to break down what, if anything I want to say about it, I think I'd be sitting here for like half an hour. So no thanks. Sorry.

Saber, not to be outdone, regains his uncontested status as my tankiest fighter with another defense level up.

I've got him in the desert, but unfortunately the only means I have to reliably attack him from outside of his desert movement range is Leon. I'll have to do that for as long as I can and then rush him with magic.

...Fortunately Leon got a crit, so I don't have to worry about the danger of that going south. We can kill him next turn.

Yep, he's down. Time to head on to Grieth.

I gave Atlas the brave sword because for this fight, since nobody can double Grieth, and in fact he can double everyone, we need someone really strong to take him out fast. One crit from Atlas will do it.

Yep, we get confirmation that the game just doesn't give a shit about being consistent about what can and can't be heard from across the battlefield. Suddenly Celica and Grieth are talking to each other through fucking fortress walls, and yet the game's story absolutely depends upon me accepting that only Clive heard Fernand talk about Alm's relation to Mycen.

Grieth: You people turned Zofia into a place where only the strong survive. Hell, now it's the spitting image of Rigel itself, doncha think?

Interesting observation.

So suddenly the witches have decided they no longer want to warp just outside of my range, and want to warp in my range instead. Oh goodie.

But I manage to take out the central sniper pretty easily thanks to some good crits from Leon. Good thing too, because fighting snipers on defensive terrain can be a pain, especially with healer backup. Looking forward to getting hunter's volley on Leon.

This is mostly fighting my way really tediously through a bunch of long-range units behind walls and fending off a veritable swarm of goddamned skeletons.

But thankfully I did manage to get through them on turn 9. Well, at least the ones on the right side I'm focusing on. And since Atlas can one-round these skeletons even without crits, we should be home free soon. We just need to bait in Grieth and take him out.

Ooh, Atlas got a combat art for the brave sword!

...It's basically lunge. But it has a +20 accuracy boost so that might be helpful depending on what Grieth's avoid is.

Because the status screen doesn't fucking say.

Celica just got excalibur. I think that means the only major offensive spell she has left to learn is ragnarok.

The great thing about one-rounding with the brave sword is that even if you miss, you have a 40-50% mulligan to still one-round.

Grieth went down pretty easy to “penetrate” after getting softened up by Leon and a counter from Atlas on the previous turn. All that's left is the cleanup.

I like Grieth's dying line, telling Celica her victory is pointless because there's just gonna be someone else coming to take his place. “There's always gonna be... another me...”

But now Atlas has reached dread fighter level. I was hoping I could get Saber there too in the natural course of things, but guess not. Oh well, he'll definitely get there on the way back to promote.

...Shit, this is a rout map, which means I have to take out those enemies behind the west walls anyway. Damn it.

Well, Alas made quick work of them now that we have access to the inner hallways, so that wasn't much of a pain. All that remains is the cantor.

Leon unfortunately stole the kill with a crit, so I can't get Saber to level 10 like I was hoping. No matter, like I said, he'll get there on the way back.

But with that, the battle's over.

...Mila's temple is summoning bow knights now. Holy shit.

...Okay, so I saved and experimented, and it seems that if you move right next to the territory of a reinforcement, they'll go right there, even if skipping your turn wouldn't have resulted in their movement. So you just have to skip multiple times to wait for them to come to you.

...Buuuuut I'd rather not deal with a cantor in a fortress, so I'll take starting in the fortress over going first.

...Aaaaaaand I forgot to go into Grieth's Citadel before leaving to promote stuff. Damn it. I really, really don't want to fight that bow knight before promoting my guys, though... so I'll have to leave that for later.

Alright, the cantor got Saber to level 10. Let's see who else I can train using these bonewalkers I'm fighting on the way to the shrine...

...Okay, I'll give Kamui the blessed sword and see what we can do.

Yeah, I funneled as much as I could into Kamui, and he's... close to level 10. I'll probably have to wait for the dragon shrine before promoting him though.

...Actually fuck it, sounds like I missed some of the sea temple, so I'll fight through that one again and check out what I missed. For completionism's sake.

Celica and Mae got their A support.

...And it has more one-sided gay energy than I think I can even process. They call back to the previous conversation where Mae talked about the hypothetical person (note: person, no specified gender, I just checked the conversation again) she liked and feeling she needed to change for said person, and the nice things Celica said about her to give her confidence in herself.

Mae: Hey, but thanks again. You know? For what you said? I was really happy to hear how you felt about me. You gave me the butt-kick of confidence I needed!

Celica: Goodness! Well, I only shared the truth with you. I'm proud to call you my friend, Mae, and I hope to do so for a long time.

Mae: (Voice full of cheer but with an extremely pained look on her face) Of course, silly! We'll be besties forever!

If the game weren't basically explicit about Mae and Boey being the OTP, I could very easily read this conversation as Mae coming close to admitting her feelings for Celica and rapidly recovering after getting instantly friendzoned by the oblivious object of her affections. Still though, what was with that choice of portrait for that line if that isn't how this support is supposed to be taken? Was that a mistake? Did they use the wrong portrait by accident? Because it changes the very next line back to a happy one, almost like it was a flashing depressed crack in the armor before her act recovered.

All Saber gets from the class change is one attack and the 2 move. Disappointing, given that means it'll be a while before he can double enemies like Grieth, and even longer for Atlas. Still, a dread fighter is a dread fighter.

Genny gets 2 defense, 2 speed, and 12 HP. As well as 1 mov, seraphim and the usual skills, of course.

Atlas, hilariously, only gets one speed (and the 2 move, obviously) from his promotion, demonstrating just how awesome his level ups have been. If I do the dread fighter loop with this guy and make him anything else, he's going to be an absolute menace.

Alright, let's see if we can find what I missed.

I got Kamui his chip exp to reach level 10, so I'll promote him on the way out. For now, I'll just have fun with my two new dread fighters and one-turn a bunch of skirmishes as I search the place.

Palla and Catria are both level 11 now. Maybe I can get them each one more level before I leave here?

Maybe.

Okay, I see what I missed. I somehow missed these side rooms on the map here, off of the gargoyle room. Shit. That was dumb of me. Well, fixing it now. I'm getting Celica the two res. Yeah, res vs exp is definitely a more balanced choice than HP vs exp.

Alas, I didn't manage to get Palla or Catria their last level before promotion. So I'll just be promoting Kamui before leaving.

Kamui gets 3 HP, 1 skill, 1 defense and 2 mov. Man, dread fighter bases aren't as high as I remembered them being. Ah well.

I'm running short on time. I'll have to do a battle to go back to Grieth's Citadel, so... I'll tackle that story stuff tomorrow.

Stay safe, everyone.

Edited by Alastor15243

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33 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

If the game weren't basically explicit about Mae and Boey being the OTP, I could very easily read this conversation as Mae coming close to admitting her feelings for Celica and rapidly recovering after getting instantly friendzoned by the oblivious object of her affections. Still though, what was with that choice of portrait for that line if that isn't how this support is supposed to be taken? Was that a mistake? Did they use the wrong portrait by accident? Because it changes the very next line back to a happy one, almost like it was a flashing depressed crack in the armor before her act recovered.

You know, I've question those kind of discrepancies, since I'm sure that isn't the only one the game has.

Sometimes I wonder if it's due to them changing the dialogue, but the portrait remains the same. However, looking up the Japanese script of their support, it doesn't look like the line was drastically changed. So perhaps in this case it is just a programming error. Unless there's some context lost when translating from Japanese to English.

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1 hour ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Unless there's some context lost when translating from Japanese to English.

In a case like this it’s best to look at the specific kana/kanji used as well as the context of the conversation as a whole to really understand the intent. Japanese is a pretty context sensitive language after all

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