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Alastor15243

Alastor plays and ranks the whole series! Now Playing: Birthright!

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15 minutes ago, Rose482 said:

I've been waiting for you to reach RD, and now that you did, I'm suddenly scared you'll dislike it lol. At least you'll be playing it on Normal Mode, so hopefully it will be a more enjoyable experience. 

Also if my memory serves me right, I do believe the game gives a reason why Marcia ends up in Crimea? I remember I was also a bit confused how that happened when I first played RD.

I'm honestly looking forward to Radiant Dawn right now! Looking to sink my teeth into something more demanding of my skill after being starved for genuine challenge for several months. I'm hoping for something similar to Binding Blade's difficulty, but from what I remember, it's likely to at least get second.

 

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On 7/24/2020 at 6:13 PM, Alastor15243 said:

The laguz are a complete joke. They started out promising but depended on being drastically overleveled in order to be useful. They just cannot match up to your beorc units at equal levels, and it's absolutely depressing that that is the case.

Spoiler Alert: They're even worse off in Radiant Dawn. Except for a select few, that is.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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4 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

 

 

I take it this is a theory that he lived long enough that Ena hasn't been pregnant for 3 years and isn't showing yet in RD... then again after that weird Kurthnaga is the youngest dragon talk, it makes me think the multiyear long gestation period might be an explaination for why there haven't been baby dragons in centuries...

 

3 years is the small estimate. The other side of the coin is that Ena got pregnant before Rajoin was kidnapped, which was 20 years ago. 3 years is naturally the more sensible one to lean towards...but that comes with the rather horrific notion that Ena fucked an injured man to death. o.0

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2 hours ago, Jotari said:

3 years is the small estimate. The other side of the coin is that Ena got pregnant before Rajoin was kidnapped, which was 20 years ago. 3 years is naturally the more sensible one to lean towards...but that comes with the rather horrific notion that Ena fucked an injured man to death. o.0

Or, we have Option 7. Rajaion died, his body was properly treated for a funeral, and then Ena churned her pinkish breath into the breath of life and temporary resurrected him long enough for one sexual embrace. Just after the embrace ended, and his body returned almost to rest, it got zapped away in a bright flash of light, leaving Ena alone, with no understanding of what just happened except for a mysterious shout of "Yay more Cross-Shift Def 3 fodder!".

Or, IS has been messing with us the entire time and it turns out Goldoa has levirate marriage, by the conditions of which in this case, the child genetically of the younger brother is considered the child of the deceased elder.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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48 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Or, we have Option 7. Rajaion died, his body was properly treated for a funeral, and then Ena churned her pinkish breath into the breath of life and temporary resurrected him long enough for one sexual embrace. Just after the embrace ended, and his body returned almost to rest, it got zapped away in a bright flash of light, leaving Ena alone, with no understanding of what just happened except for a mysterious shout of "Yay more Cross-Shift Def 3 fodder!".

Or, IS has been messing with us the entire time and it turns out Goldoa has levirate marriage, by the conditions of which in this case, the child genetically of the younger brother is considered the child of the deceased elder.

Post death artificial insemination is also a possibility, but that has some moral questionablity too. I doubt Raijon would particularly mind his fiance stealing his semen from his erect corpse...but still, consent is consent.

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On 7/23/2020 at 11:00 AM, Alastor15243 said:

And then Naesala shows up in Daein armor, and I do not fucking buy this for one instant. There is no fucking way he was able to fit his raven wings into that fucking suit.

To be fair, though, can we be sure that regular Daein soldiers aren't all ravens in disguise? We never see them with their armor off.

On 7/23/2020 at 11:00 AM, Alastor15243 said:

Wow Izuka looks different here. It's... kinda creepy how different but still disturbing he looks. He looks like ten years younger, at least. Bizarrely youthful compared to his Radiant Dawn version.

Gotta give Izuka credit for graduating from a one-time-cameo-who-shares-his-name-with-the-game's-developer to a love-to-hate-antivillain in the next game. They drop the ball on him at the end, but I'll get to that when it's relevant.

On 7/24/2020 at 7:10 PM, Alastor15243 said:

But this “poetry” also yet again seems to confirm that Daein was originally intended by the localizers to be pronounced “Dain”, not “Day-in”. Yet again the syllables only add up if you pronounce it with exactly one syllable.

I wonder, could the very name "Daein" be something of a callback to "Dain", the Crusader from FE4? Travant, the king of an enemy nation who rides a wyvern, does have major Dain blood, after all.

On 7/24/2020 at 7:13 PM, Alastor15243 said:

OVERALL:

1: Path of Radiance (36)

Glad to hear you liked it! While Path of Radiance is a good game, I find it to be among my least favorite of the series, for reasons I've never been good at articulating. 

Anyway, good luck on Radiant Dawn! It's my favorite FE title, and one of my favorite games of all time. So, really looking forward to your take on it.

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

 

Glad to hear you liked it! While Path of Radiance is a good game, I find it to be among my least favorite of the series, for reasons I've never been good at articulating. 

Anyway, good luck on Radiant Dawn! It's my favorite FE title, and one of my favorite games of all time. So, really looking forward to your take on it.

I find Path of Radiance to be the most boring Fire Emblem. The gameplay is probably the easiest and most autopilot in the series outside of the opening chapters and the plot is good, but good in such a way that it really doesn't take many risks or swerves.

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6 hours ago, Jotari said:

I find Path of Radiance to be the most boring Fire Emblem. The gameplay is probably the easiest and most autopilot in the series outside of the opening chapters 

That's... the funny thing. I don't necessarily disagree with you there. Yet again I feel conflicted about giving such a high ranking to a game I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to play again, and yet I stand by every individual ranking I gave it. One of these days I'm gonna have to do something to re-assess my ranking system to see if there isn't something missing or something I'm doing wrong.

Edited by Alastor15243

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

Gotta give Izuka credit for graduating from a one-time-cameo-who-shares-his-name-with-the-game's-developer to a love-to-hate-antivillain in the next game. They drop the ball on him at the end, but I'll get to that when it's relevant.

Calling him an Anti Villain is really, really stretching it. He's much closer to a Complete Monster. Not unlike Lekain, really.

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

Glad to hear you liked it! While Path of Radiance is a good game, I find it to be among my least favorite of the series, for reasons I've never been good at articulating. 

Anyway, good luck on Radiant Dawn! It's my favorite FE title, and one of my favorite games of all time. So, really looking forward to your take on it.

 

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

I find Path of Radiance to be the most boring Fire Emblem. The gameplay is probably the easiest and most autopilot in the series outside of the opening chapters and the plot is good, but good in such a way that it really doesn't take many risks or swerves.

Personally, I'd say that goes to either Binding Blade or Genealogy of the Holy War - both of them are mount-centric games with giant maps, which is pretty much a death sentence for any chance they have of becoming engaging.

Also, before we start, is this RD run going to be on a fresh file, or one that was already cleared?

Edited by Shadow Mir

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4 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Calling him an Anti Villain is really, really stretching it. He's much closer to a Complete Monster. Not unlike Lekain, really.

That's fair, I'm not sure what the proper term is for "character who's a morally awful person, but is on the side of 'the good guys', so you have to work with them". He's not an anti-hero, as those are at least somewhat sympathetic, and generally are the protagonist (rather than a frequent source of conflict with the protagonist).

4 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

Personally, I'd say that goes to either Binding Blade or Genealogy of the Holy War - both of them are mount-centric games with giant maps, which is pretty much a death sentence for any chance they have of becoming engaging.

I think it's very much an "eye of the beholder" sort of thing. While certain aspects of Genealogy can get tedious, I found quite a bit to be engaging (item management, pairings, getting everyone to level 30), especially when going for rankings. But your mileage may vary here.

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

That's fair, I'm not sure what the proper term is for "character who's a morally awful person, but is on the side of 'the good guys', so you have to work with them". He's not an anti-hero, as those are at least somewhat sympathetic, and generally are the protagonist (rather than a frequent source of conflict with the protagonist).

Neither do I, really. But I'd think an anti-villain would be far more honorable than Izuka is. He makes no attempt whatsoever to hide the fact he's evil. Which makes the fact that Pelleas can find him worth trusting, even after hearing of the deplorable bullshit he was behind in the Mad King's War (iirc, this is after Muarim is nearly turned into a Feral One), to be mind-boggling to the nth degree.

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

I think it's very much an "eye of the beholder" sort of thing. While certain aspects of Genealogy can get tedious, I found quite a bit to be engaging (item management, pairings, getting everyone to level 30), especially when going for rankings. But your mileage may vary here.

I find the item management system in Genealogy to be needlessly complicated and annoying.

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

That's fair, I'm not sure what the proper term is for "character who's a morally awful person, but is on the side of 'the good guys', so you have to work with them". He's not an anti-hero, as those are at least somewhat sympathetic, and generally are the protagonist (rather than a frequent source of conflict with the protagonist).

 

2 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Neither do I, really. But I'd think an anti-villain would be far more honorable than Izuka is. He makes no attempt whatsoever to hide the fact he's evil. Which makes the fact that Pelleas can find him worth trusting, even after hearing of the deplorable bullshit he was behind in the Mad King's War (iirc, this is after Muarim is nearly turned into a Feral One), to be mind-boggling to the nth degree.

"Token Evil Teammate" seems to be what TV Tropes would call him.

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3 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

"Token Evil Teammate" seems to be what TV Tropes would call him.

Personally, my term would be "leech". Because a leech may be on your "side", but it's only there for it's own nefarious purposes.

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Radiant Dawn Day 1: Chapter 1-P

So, while I was waiting for my laptop to boot up, I watched the opening cinematic and the unit roll call. I find it kind of goofy that they show fire mages and say “there are also thunder and wind mages”, and do the same thing for lance armors, but then when it comes to axe knights, they say “they wield axes”, making me almost suspect they were going to show all four types of them only for the cavalry, but no, the class roll call just abruptly ended.

...Are there really that few classes in this game?

...Well, that few beorc classes I guess. For some reason, the unit roll call doesn't show any laguz classes.

Anyway, I watched the opening cinematic, and... honestly, not a huge fan. Not only is it just a collection of what's mostly in-game, used-elsewhere cinematics basically playing on a slideshow with no genuinely exciting continuity or point, but it highlights a lot of the issues I have with Radiant Dawn's music in that a lot of it isn't... very melodic at all. Like it's just trying to convey some kind of atmosphere, but like... you do realize you can do that while still having melody, right? I've never really understood the appeal of music that feels like it's just random notes. Like, I get that you have to be pretty damned talented to do that without it actually literally feeling like it's just random notes, but like... all that talent and effort... amounted to what exactly? It's not particularly enjoyable to listen to.

That said, there are a couple of big winners in this soundtrack.

But enough of that. Let's get started. I'll be playing using clear data just for that extra bit of story, and I'll be using transfer data from my marathon file, as I said. Incidentally, it's awesome that you can select different transfer data than the one you originally used on the clear data file. I was worried that wouldn't be true for a second. Incidentally, that transfer data says it's “maniac mode” which... it definitely is not.

And as my readers seem to have overwhelmingly requested, I'm playing on normal mode.

Also, as usual, I'm doing this ironman, or I'm at least gonna try. Same rules as usual apply, which, for any first-time readers, means that I will continue to play this ironman until one of the following things happens:

1: I get a game over.

2: I lose all of my healers.

3: I lose all of my thieves (Iffy about this one this time; last time I played Radiant Dawn, I basically ironmanned the game, lost Heather, and didn't really notice the game becoming particularly unplayable as a result).

4: The general body count at any point exceeds the chapter number divided by 2 (This is going to be a pain in the ass to work out with this game's chapter structure, but fuck it, I'll just go by the day number instead I guess).

Should any of these things happen, I will immediately restart that chapter, and then restart whenever I feel I should from that point onward. I may still let units die if I don't want to do a chapter over again and feel they won't be missed, but the ironman itself will be over.

...And I'll be honest, you guys: that's probably what's gonna happen, because this game has a few chapters that can be... kinda ridiculous to ironman.

Alright, let's start.

First thing to rejoice about, something I'm especially grateful for after what happened on Friday: I can pause cutscenes! All I have to do is press the home menu button and the game's instantly paused! Thank goodness! Looks like Path of Radiance was the first and only time that would be a problem for this marathon. Of course, to be clear, that wasn't something I held against Path of Radiance at any point in my rankings (as many creeping misgivings as I may have about the structure of my ranking system). For one thing, every game before Path of Radiance would have had the exact same problem if I had been playing on original hardware, and for another, this is only really anything more than a petty complaint because I've got to write so much about these games.

...Oh yeah, right, I'm supposed to do some big pretentious intro segment about the game I'm about to play and how I felt about it as a kid.

Yeah, this was... yeah, this is the first one that came out while I was in high school. Wow, really? Shit, so when I was playing this game in college and feeling all nostalgic about it... the game was only like three years old...? Wooooooow.

...Honestly, I don't know why that's so surprising to me. I mean, it wasn't the latest game in the franchise at that point (though it was the latest game I thought was actually good, though we'll get to my younger self's feelings on that game in a month or two). It was definitely “old” in a sense. But...

...Anyway, I really liked this game as a... shit, I guess I have to say teenager now. Yeah.

...I really liked this game as a teenager. This was still back before I really had nuanced or technical opinions about games, and was really just going by how they made me feel at the time, when I had minimal responsibilities and infinite patience and infinite capacity to be impressed by admittedly mediocre wii graphics. It was mostly about the spectacle and characters and how easily I could turn my heroes into overpowered badasses, with no regard to what the hell the gameplay was even like when that eventually happened. And there were a couple of things this game did that really appealed to that hunger for petty spectacle I had.

That is not how this game is going to appeal to me now, obviously. But hopefully the game's other merits, such as its emphasis on difficulty and its massive narrative scale, will pick up the slack.

So... let's check it out.

Disregard my praise of the home button. It doesn't work in cutscenes like I assumed it did (I thought the “part one” text was part of a cinematic). Which means I have to type this as I'm watching one of this game's numerous infamous cutscenes. The voice acting is, on average, slightly better than Radiant Dawn, and the graphics have improved, but... I mean, I believe that Mother's Basement was the guy who once said something had been “memed through three levels of undeath”, and... yeah, that's kind of an accurate way to describe this cutscene.

But holy shit, is Sothe a fucking badass here. Just kicking and stabbing and taking no prisoners.

And I love that tiny little girly push Micaiah does to position one of the guards for an attack from Sothe.

Wow, an AOE blinding flash tome. Wouldn't that be a fun thing to actually use in game?

Oh man, now we're in the streets of Nevassa a few days later, and... I just love the look of this city. The tiered design of it with different elevations makes it look like a really fun place to have a fight in. Pity we don't really get more than like... I think two maps with it? And both of them before the game introduces ledges for some reason? Ah well. There really should have been a “storming Nevassa city” chapter towards the end of this part, just like there should have been a “storming the Begnion streets” chapter towards the end of Part 4.

And now we meet the Dawn Brigade, a group of (mostly) teenage freedom fighters. We don't immediately learn what their deal is, but we do see Edward and Micaiah talking a bit while waiting for some other members, and learn that Micaiah has mysterious future-seeing powers. But right out of the gate we get exposition that she doesn't actually have any control over her visions, she just gets them. Meaning that if they put a rewind mechanic into the game, it at least wouldn't ruin the story...

...if this were just the Dawn Brigade. But it is not. This game has like four other characters who command an army at some point, none of whom are blessed with Micaiah's gifts and could not be imbued with anything similar in any way that wouldn't feel profoundly silly and undercut what makes Micaiah so unique in this setting.

...Which reminds me...

...A lot of people give Micaiah shit for a lot of things. When I was a teenager, I didn't remotely have a problem with her at all and was surprised to hear a lot of people hated her. And when I played it as an adult, I did notice a few things wrong with her, but nothing in any department I can remember where Corrin wasn't infinitely worse, so I had basically lost my capacity to be annoyed. But my opinions about a lot of things have changed when they're put under this level of scrutiny, so who knows? But at any rate, one thing I never understood about the hate she gets was the specific accusation of being a “Mary Sue”.

Now, first off, I understand that technically Mary Sue isn't the correct term here, since as far as I can tell that refers exclusively to fan-made characters. But like with the word “ironic”, the things the term is misused to describe are very real things that honestly deserve a word of their own.

But back to my point, when people accuse canon characters of being “Mary Sues”, in my experience the thing they are generally describing is the concept of a character who one-ups, usurps and/or humiliates beloved and established characters way more experienced than them using talents they gain far more rapidly than the series has previously shown to be remotely realistic even for the most exceptional people in the universe. I'm sure most people reading this can think of at least one character who meets, or at least has been accused of meeting, that definition.

And if we're going by that definition, then Micaiah, to my memory... does not do that. Ever. I don't think there's a single previously-established character she gets the upper hand against, like, even once, except like Sothe and Izuka, and I doubt those two have fanbases big enough to piss people off. And she doesn't even do the whole “Nuh-uh, I'm better than the pre-established prodigies, because I'm a super mega ultra prodigy!” thing that is so unfortunately common when writers try to artificially up the spectacle in sequels with new protagonists. She's not abnormally talented with magic, or even described to be special in any way whatsoever other than her supernatural genetic powers and her strategic mind, and when she gets into a battle of wits against the previous reigning champion in that field, Soren, she loses. So if I'm being completely honest here, I'm not sure where the “Micky Sue” thing came from. But hey, maybe I'll find out.

...Actually, as I edit this... I did think of something she does that resembles that. And yet again, I have to re-iterate to people who have just started reading here: if you haven't played this game, I'm flattered that this is the way you've decided to first experience the game, but be warned that there will be copious spoilers, starting in the next paragraph.

Okay, so one thing Micaiah does do is turn out to be the true apostle, for reasons that... as has been previously brought up... are rather confusing. But something tells me that these complaints aren't from people who actually wanted to see Sanaki be the rightful apostle and prophet of the goddess. Especially since that was literally never an important aspect of what made her a good or strong character, something she spends a significant amount of time learning for herself.

So yeah, I guess I'll just keep an eye out to see if she pisses me off.

Alright, so, the game then reveals that we're in Daein, and we start to learn what the Dawn Brigade is: a bunch of freedom fighters fighting to protect the oppressed people of Daein suffering under the Begnion army's brutal occupation.

...Yeah, you see... remember when I said Ike's decision to leave Begnion in charge of Daein was a mistake?

Well, you see... now the place is being ruled by Numida, a senator who is unfortunately among the corrupt literally all of them. And he's being a bit of a dickcheese about it. The narrator will go into more detail about it next chapter, but for now...

...The dialogue here is a little as-you-know-y, but... ah well. Honestly, maybe the narrator should have shown up before this, but maybe that would be telling rather than showing...

...Personally, now that I think about it some more, maybe starting this from the perspective of the Daein peasants might have been a better idea, only for Micaiah and Edward to show up to help after we've seen the suffering of the Daein people firsthand. Like, have this game open up with this peasant boy trying to help his mother get food or money or something, or just otherwise have some kind of scene between these two that drives home how rough things are for the peasants, before the bandits arrive and the Dawn Brigade comes in to save them.

But I do like the subtle bit of worldbuilding when the bandit boss reveals there are no men of fighting age in this village. It's “nothin' but idiot kids and drooling graybeards”. Yeah, uh... the narration next chapter will explain why that is. It isn't pretty.

But enough about that. Let's get on to the actual map.

We get the Dawn Brigade's player phase theme, and it's like... a set of strings so hardcore that it almost sounds like an electric guitar. I love it.

I'm liking the combat animations too. They feel a bit faster and more intense, and less rigid.

And now Micaiah has a line in galdrspeak, which is apparently just a light magic incantation. “Oh light, gather. Open my path...”.

Oh, and we actually get to see combat stats in battle! Sweet! I definitely feel that was a sore point of Path of Radiance. Panicking over anything not going according to plan in that department is part of what makes enemy phases exciting viewing material even though you're not in control.

As for the controls... they're a bit awkward, but the D pad feels much more natural than the GameCube control stick. The main issue is that changing the direction while moving the cursor long distances is sluggish. But it feels great using an actual d pad again. It's one of the tiny ones that fits basically completely under your thumb, but I don't really mind those. Actually, I like how little you have to move your thumb to hit the different buttons. You barely have to move the thumb at all!

Alas... this game does not add in the feature of letting enemy range highlighting carry over between turns. Pity. And it didn't introduce the “highlight all” feature either. Looks like we have to wait for Shadow Dragon. Meaning that I seriously doubt this game is beating Genealogy in usability, especially not if I decide to take a few points off for the shit it pulls on hard mode even though I'm not playing it.

Oh, speaking of which, Jotari, remember when you criticized Genealogy for not doing the attack-minus-defense math for you in advance on the combat forecast? I've recently come to the conclusion that that isn't a downside at all. That makes it way easier to check how much damage critical hits and, say, luna will do. So I think that for Genealogy, the system it used works.

...But it occurs to me that I've gone a few turns without talking about any of these units.

Okay, so we started off with the myrmidon Edward and the light mage Micaiah, and we just got the archer Leonardo.

Micaiah is... probably the most unconventional lord in Fire Emblem history. She's an insultingly fragile unit, with ridiculously skewed growths. High magic, resistance and luck (and when I say high, I mean eighty to ninety percent), but terrible speed, defense and HP. Thankfully, having extremely skewed growths can turn out to be a blessing in disguise when you mess around with the bonus experience system, but I'll get into that a bit later.

She's... useful, especially when she gets staves, but of all the lords in Fire Emblem history, she's probably the one it's hardest to make good in actual raw combat. And of course, when ironmanning, having such a fragile lord is... a problem. But I'll be doing what I can to remedy that by training the shit out of her. I've been feeding her all of the kills in this map, for example, because...

...Because Leonardo and Edward are... well, I mean...

...Okay, I'll be frank: the unit balancing in this game is absolute garbage. Like “I am completely open to the possibility that I'm going to conclude that Revelation's is better” garbage. You can make Edward (and by the absolute end of the game even Leonardo) into great units... technically... mostly on easy... but the issue is that they are so comically outclassed by other units you get in the game. Edward in particular, as I think it's damned near impossible to make him better than Zihark by the time you get the latter, because Zihark starts as a swordmaster, and you get him in Chapter 6.

Case in point for what I said before, I get what is probably the most Micaiah-like level up ever: magic, luck, resistance, and nothing else.

...Yeah, I'm feeling almost enirely lost for what to discuss here, there's just always so much new shit to go over when we get to a new game. But thankfully there's not much actual gameplay to comment on. I'm just baiting every bandit in one at a time with Edward, having him soften them up, having Micaiah finish them off, and then healing Edward with Micaiah using her special skill “sacrifice” whenever she can. It basically lets her use her own HP to heal others and cure their status ailments. Best part of it, honestly, is that she gets exp for doing it, hence why I'm doing it instead of the far quicker system of having him use the game's ludicrously plentiful healing items (we're talking 10 uses for the 10 heal, 8 for the 20 heal, and I think 6 for the 40 heal) to heal himself. Hell, when you get your first proper healer later, you can even chain up heals by having Micaiah use sacrifice on the wounded and then have your healer use heal on her, training two healers off of one injured unit. But it's also a story-relevant power. An ability that is supposed to be extremely rare and unheard of, as Sothe will explain later. I like how it's tied into the story like that, though... well I'll bring up my complaint when Sothe actually says the line so I can quote it.

Yet again Micaiah gets magic, luck and resistance, but at least this time she gains HP too.

The bandit dialogue here is pretty goofy. It made me chuckle, but I'm starting to get concerned the dialogue in general might be taken less seriously than in Path of Radiance.

But thankfully, the boss just went down (surprisingly harder than I expected given how easy the books were) and Micaiah finally got a point of speed.

Anyway, we reach the end of the chapter, and the Begnion occupation army shows up, too late to actually help with the bandits, but just in time to capture those pesky freedom fighters.

And then the little boy who showed up at the start of the chapter with his mother tells Micaiah his name is Nico. Rare that generic villagers tell you their names, but... there's a reason for that, as we'll see soon.

Anyway...

...We get a discussion between some generic soldiers and... Jarod, the main villain of part 1, general of the occupation army. I like what they do with him and his relationship with the “proper” big bad of part 1, but... I'm also kind of concerned... for some reason...

...Okay, basically, my initial impression is that:

1: The writers are well aware of how one-dimensionally evil the Begnion occupation army is, and...

2: They're deliberately having fun with it right now, having Jarod do shit like just stab his own soldiers for giving him unsatisfying progress reports.

I'm not sure how I feel about this “having fun with it” thing. Obviously it has its own appeal, but it can also be damaging to the tone of the story if not done correctly, as anyone who hates the tone of the first two 3DS games can attest. I'll have to see more to work this out. It does feel distinct from how Daein was portrayed last game though, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on yet.

This also reveals that apparently, of all the hair colors in this duology, having silver hair is apparently uniquely special and weird.

Also, I just noticed that the generic soldiers have some varieties to them. One of them had a beard!

But yeah... I think that's all I'll have to say about this chapter.

Edited by Alastor15243

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Day 1 Bonus: Chapter 1-1

And now we get the awesome, fully-voice-acted narration, and thank fucking goodness, I can press the home button on this shit. Because if I couldn't... dear god. That would be hell to comment on, since the narrator waits for no man.

So, first thing the narrator tells us about the details of Begnion's occupation of Daein is that literally all men of fighting age have been put to work in labor camps, doing backbreaking toil that is apparently “brutal and void of purpose, designed to break both body and spirit”.

Okay, that's horrible, but it's also... completely stupid.

How the fuck can you have the resources to basically enslave the entire adult male population of a country for shits and giggles?

Why would you go to all of that effort without making these men do something useful for you?

And now that I think about it, why are the Begnion forces letting these bandits run amok? I get that the Dawn Brigade is stealing back the shit you stole, while the bandits are merely stealing the table scraps the citizens have left, so I get why the Dawn Brigade is a higher priority to you self-centered asshats, but like, these are adult men who are illegally not in labor camps, are they not? How are they able to run amok without being stopped by these guards for blatantly flouting at least that one apparently very thoroughly enforced rule?

Yeah, this is...

...This feels super dumb.

I mean, at least when Ashnard did cartoonishly evil shit, he was 1: insane, and 2: actually working towards a concrete goal that made sense to him. But here, it just seems like Senator Numida's objective is to be as much of a mustache-twirling jackass as humanly possible, regardless of practicality or logic.

And of course, since all the fit men are forced to do pointless labor... the fields have just been neglected for three fucking years, and the people are starving due to limited food. This is... I don't know how else I can emphasize this. This entire concept is pure trash.

Moving on, I find it interesting that the graphic for the Dawn Brigade on this narration screen is clearly using blurry, partially-shadowed in-battle models rather than their portraits or anything. That feels lazy, as if to say that if they had just a little more budget, they would have hand-drawn the Dawn Brigade in some kind of group action pose, but they said “fuck it” and had their battle models do their idle stance instead.

Also, Jarod literally just learned about the Dawn Brigade, making it kind of ridiculous that they use his face when talking about the “Begnion forces” who have “tried time and again” to capture her.

Shit, speaking of...

Remember these lines from the opening cinematic?

Look, silver hair.”

If it's the fortune teller, we'll be heroes!”

Heroes? With who? How much of a reward could you possibly get for turning in somebody that the commander of the Begnion occupation army apparently hadn't even heard of when you said that? Who is this influential middle-man in the occupation army you intend to curry favor with, who knows about the Dawn Brigade while Jarod does not?

Ugh.

...I, uh...

...I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. Because if it is... I am predicting significant disappointment.

Anyway, for those of you confused by the chapter numbers... this game takes place in four parts, each a variable number of chapters long. So Chapter 1-1 is me saying “Part 1, Chapter 1”.

Moving on, Edward and Leonardo have an argument about the state of the country and occupation, and then Sothe shows up, his first line being him defending Ike and the Crimean army's decision to abandon Daein as something they had no choice but to do, which is understandable, since he actually fought in that conflict. This... causes some friction with Micaiah later in the story, which is one of the things I like about this part, how we get to see the other side of what happened and how other Daein citizens view Ike.

Another thing I love about this part is just the general atmosphere of the first few chapters though, like... I'd say up until Chapter 4. This and Thracia are basically the only games in the series that make you feel like a proper underdog group of freedom fighters rather than an “army”. I like how you've just got a handful of guys fighting for their lives against much more numerous and dangerous opponents.

...Pity this results in a similar problem to Path of Radiance's early game, that being an extreme lack of recruits.

...And unlike in Path of Radiance, most of these early chapters just give you an automatic game over if any of these units die, making it clear they were not ready to put the same effort into conditional writing that Path of Radiance got.

Amusingly, Edward and Micaiah's portraits disappear when Nolan (the other member of the Dawn Brigade who just showed up, and the only one of these guys with a long-term future) asks why there are so many patrols in the area. As if Micaiah and Edward just up and bailed and made it Leonardo's job to break the bad news to Nolan and Sothe, despite it being Micaiah and Edward's “fault”.

Yeah, so here's that thing I mentioned earlier:

Sothe: Healing without any tomes or staves is a rare gift—almost unheard of.

I wish he had clarified “healing others”, because, like... literally any cavalryman can eventually learn how to do that to himself, and there's also renewal, imbue... a lot of abilities let you heal yourself. However, if that is what he meant, it's curious why he mentioned tomes, when the only tome that heals is nosferatu, a self-healing tome.

But yes, the only ability I remember from Tellius that lets you heal others is... well I guess “boon” lets you heal other people's status effects, but other than that, the only one is the heron passive ability that lets you heal other people around you every turn. Which, might I add, is a great bit of foreshadowing that Micaiah is a heron branded.

...But that begs the question of why other branded don't get special powers. We've had like two playable branded before now, and as far as I can tell, Micaiah is the only one who gets any special abilities as part of being branded. Why? What makes her special? Did she inherit something special from Lehran's bloodline that had to do with him being a servant of Ashera, and that was somehow genetic? I can see that for the “apostle” shit, but for the healing thing? Or would any heron branded have powers like this? If it's the latter, why do only heron laguz get powers then?

Also, was having silver hair a natural part of being the apostle? Did every one of Sanaki and Micaiah's ancestors who could speak to the goddess have silver hair? I'm going to have to assume no unless told otherwise, because 1: that would make Sanaki stick out like a sore thumb as a fake, and 2: that should make Micaiah's hair color a big deal to these Begnion occupation soldiers. You'd think, for good or bad, they'd make some kind of a big deal out of the fact that this girl shares this apparently nigh-unheard of hair color with the prophets of their beloved religion. A silver-haired maiden is among their enemies. She should either be seen as a contemptible “false prophet” or something that has these guys religiously furious, or else she should be seen as a sign that the Begnion occupation is clearly morally in the wrong and has earned the contempt of their beloved goddess. Either way would work, but there would have to be something if this silver hair really is something all the apostles had. Hence why I'm going to give the game the benefit of the doubt and assume it isn't.

Another thing I'm noticing is that the story is a lot more rushed here than in Path of Radiance. Like, they're in a huge hurry to get to the action, similarly to Sacred Stones compared to Blazing Blade, but like... y'know... comparing Radiant Dawn to Sacred Stones almost disgusts me.

...Jesus Christ, seriously? They apparently managed to one-up Path of Radiance by having four pages of information on the unit info screen. On the bright side though, all of the super-important weapon calculations are available on all four pages due to it only being the bottom half of the screen that changes with each page. That's pretty nice, though honestly I'm not the biggest fan of this “multiple pages of unit info” thing in the first place. At least not when the info on other pages is actually important to know about when looking at the enemies. Ideally we should have something like the 3DS games, where just one look at one page is enough to make an informed decision about what to do. And as long as the enemies don't have skills, that should be the case here.

Anyway, this map is significantly harder than the last one, and thankfully we get a much better unit to work with. Nolan, a fighter. He's level 9 compared to Edward's 5 and Micaiah and Leonardo's 4, and he's easily the toughest unit we have right now. Even so, if he eats a counter-attack this turn from this javelin guy I'd really like to kill soon, he could very well die on enemy phase if the enemy AI is smart enough. So I'm going to have to wait and see what happens.

...What happens is that the AI seems to be idiotic. A fighter moved in despite not being able to do anything, forcing a javelin user to attack in melee and eat a counter-attack from Nolan and keeping another unit who could reach from being able to move. Wish I could have exploited that confidently.

The enemy will, however, gang up on a strong unit others can attack rather than focusing on a weaker unit only they can attack, so looks like that exploit isn't going to be a thing like it was in past games. Good thing I checked, because I would have been banking on that for Nolan to survive if I had chosen to have Nolan attack the javelin soldier and the enemy hadn't been stupid in their placement.

...It occurs to me that this was a massive wasted opportunity to make a huge chart of all the tiny little inconsistent interface and AI quirks that vary so heavily from game to game. Like, which games let you look at a unit's info screen while cantoing with them? Which games have enemies smart enough to gang up on you? I could have compiled a chart like that if I had set out to do that from the very beginning, but alas it looks like I won't be able to now. I mean, I guess I could make a forum thread and ask people experienced in each game to fill in the gaps... something to think about, I suppose.

Hmm... so this guy in the village... I wonder how old this guy is? He looks... I mean he doesn't have any grey hair, but he's definitely in “Dad of someone over ten” age range, so is the age range for the labor camps stricter than I thought? Or is this game just being stupid and forgetting about that part of the labor camps in a conversation that specifically references them?

I mean, basically, he looks a hell of a lot like Brom, and Brom is clearly “of fighting age”, so... not sure what's going on here.

Anyway, I'm liking this chapter. Being on a time limit this early is pretty interesting, but it's not so extreme that it feels like it's putting too much pressure on an army I haven't yet made my own. Of course, usually only the hardest mode feels like that, if any, and I'm not playing on the hardest... but basically, my assessment is that this is more engagingly difficult on normal mode than Path of Radiance was on hard basically at any point since, like... I'd say Soren's recruitment chapter was peak difficulty for Path of Radiance, sadly enough.

Also, I really hope I come to find this game isn't too bad to ironman, because it would be awesome to have a game about as engagingly hard as Binding Blade but without all of that ironman-hostile nonsense.

Oh shit, one thing I forgot to mention about this game, something I like: the skill system is a lot more fun, for two main reasons: 1, when you take a skill off of a unit, you can then put it back on someone else, and 2, damned near everyone starts with a “personal” skill that they get for free, no charge of skill points, but if you remove it from them, you have to pay to put it back on. These two things in combination make the skill system a lot more interesting without completely eliminating the individuality of units who start with skills. Also, most of these “personal” skills are more impactful than the actual personal skills introduced in Fates, which always seemed pretty trivial.

Anyway, I just reached the end of the map, and I could take out this boss, but the thing is that he has a crit chance on my guys, and... I don't want to risk what happens if I can't take him out in one turn.

...Shit, looks like units don't have escape quotes in this game.

...Yeah, maybe it's because of just how massive this game is, but certain corners seem to have been cut in the writing process. In fairness, some of these corners are corners the previous game added on to the general shape, but...

I dunno, maybe they didn't want to have to make quotes that made sense no matter who was leading the army?

But let's just check out the ending cutscene.

Man, seriously, it's such a waste that the game that introduced terrain elevation advantages didn't let us play around with all of these crazy ledges and walls all over Nevassa.

Anyway, the Begnion soldiers are chasing us, and a bearded one, possibly the same one that witnessed Jarod's first kill, shouts a rather famous expletive from this game: “Moldy onions!”.

The civilians pull together (including a hell of a lot of that demographic of “all Daein men of fighting age” that should apparently be in labor camps) to help the Dawn Brigade escape into the crowd, and they form a human wall to keep the Begnion soldiers away, causing the Begnion soldiers to decide to just open fire into a crowded market square to make them back off.

...Wait, what was the term for “open fire” before actual “fire”arms were invented?

...Whatever. Point is, Nico, the little boy from before, gets mortally wounded in the crossfire, causing some melodramatic wailing about the cruelty of the Begnion army that's just making me roll my eyes at how over-the-top it all is, and then Micaiah comes back to heal him because she got a vision that he was gonna get hurt. She heals him with this grand CG that, when I was a teenager, always looked to me like she was touching Nico's butt...

...Then all the civilians start waxing poetic about “Sacrifice”, Micaiah's power that apparently is known by name all over the area, which makes me wonder whether Micaiah named it and it caught on, or if the villagers named it and the name stuck, and now the info screen uses it. It's also curious that the power's name is capitalized.

But then anyway, Micaiah collapses from the effort and Sothe just fucking picks her up and gets the fuck out of there. Like, his map model actually grabs her in a bridal carry and runs off.

...That's nice that they went to the effort to add the animation, but I will admit remembering that scene as Sothe slinging her over his shoulder, which would have been more hilarious, but... I guess this is supposed to be a dramatic scene, as little as I'm feeling that right now.

Anyway, the civilians go right back to forming their human wall, only this time for some reason the guy leading this little battalion seems hesitant to attack them again...

...only for Jarod to come in and just fucking stab three of them to make room.

Yeah, that... it feels like they wanted to have their cake and eat it too with how messed up these soldiers are. They wanted to have them commit an atrocity, but also give Jarod an opportunity to be even worse, and they didn't really do it right, because I'm not convinced that this bearded Begnion soldier wouldn't have just started shooting these guys again for re-forming their wall. Maybe he was more shaken by accidentally killing a child than he's letting on, and didn't actually have the guts to risk doing it again? If there had been even the slightest stammer in his voice while he made that whole “this is what happens when you get in our way, so blame the Dawn Brigade, not us” spiel, maybe I'd accept that. But as it stands... no.

I do like what they did with the very limited map animations though.

First, all three men blocking the path are facing Jarod. Jarod then stabs the one on the left, and the one in the middle turns to look at the freshly-fallen man. Then Jarod stabs that one, and the one on the right turns around to run, but he's then stabbed in the back before he can get out of the way. That's a lot of subtle and cool shit to do with these extremely simple animations for this one single scene. I hadn't noticed that before, and I really like it.

Then we get a CG as Micaiah and Sothe escape from Nevassa with the others and oh my god is that Nevassa we're seeing right here? Jesus Christ! Why couldn't we have a battle here that actually took advantage of ledges!? Seeing the fucking place in full, it looks like ledge heaven. It's this massive fucking towering city of increasing and climbing levels, with a castle proper on top of it, and I'm like... why couldn't we have any maps that actually make me feel like I'm in a place like that!?

I mean look at this shit!

fe10-daein-keep-faraway-sunset.png

Why do you cocktease me like this, game!?

Micaiah says she's fond of Nevassa because it's “where we all met”. Is she referring to a singular event? If so, that would imply that Sothe has known these guys for a while, meaning that that it was Edward and Leonardo and Nolan that Sothe mentioned talking to back in Path of Radiance after the fall of Daein!

...But that seems to be it for today. Alright then. Hope you enjoyed, and please check in tomorrow tomorrow, when I'll be checking out Chapter 2!

Stay safe, everyone!

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

That's fair, I'm not sure what the proper term is for "character who's a morally awful person, but is on the side of 'the good guys', so you have to work with them". He's not an anti-hero, as those are at least somewhat sympathetic, and generally are the protagonist (rather than a frequent source of conflict with the protagonist).

I think it's very much an "eye of the beholder" sort of thing. While certain aspects of Genealogy can get tedious, I found quite a bit to be engaging (item management, pairings, getting everyone to level 30), especially when going for rankings. But your mileage may vary here.

Token evil teammate. Though I should point out he was always secretly working for Lekain and manipulating Pelleas.

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5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

And of course, since all the fit men are forced to do pointless labor... the fields have just been neglected for three fucking years, and the people are starving due to limited food. This is... I don't know how else I can emphasize this. This entire concept is pure trash.

It may be overdramatic for the sake of ready pity and understanding for a modern mass audience. Though the writers could've found a toilsome reality in the feudal labor tax of Central and Eastern Europe known as the robot, from which we get the word for machines able to do work endlessly without rest. 

Apparently, in one particular area of Brandenburg (picked for some exaggeration no doubt in the book I'm referencing), the robot was considered light if a peasant had to only work 3 days a week on their feudal lord's estate, and upwards of 6 days a week could be called normal -and yes they did count only seven days in a week back then. While you weren't separated from your family, because the robot was a tax, you didn't get paid for doing all the hard work. And being a poor peasant, you still had to find time to sow your fields lest you starve. Need it not be said the robot led to more than a few angry farmers choosing to sow chaos instead of wheat.

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

And now that I think about it, why are the Begnion forces letting these bandits run amok? I get that the Dawn Brigade is stealing back the shit you stole, while the bandits are merely stealing the table scraps the citizens have left, so I get why the Dawn Brigade is a higher priority to you self-centered asshats, but like, these are adult men who are illegally not in labor camps, are they not? How are they able to run amok without being stopped by these guards for blatantly flouting at least that one apparently very thoroughly enforced rule?

FE NEEDS BANDITS FOR ITS OPENING CHAPTER!

-1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 16. All bandit starts.

I did skip a few there, FE5 is where the bandits start with you for a change. But even then, FE5 gives you two chapters of bandits after the first, and SS gives you three after its first two, and PoR has three bandit fights after its prologue. Your dearest Fates alone starts sans bandits at all, and kinda FEs 11 and 12.

T'would be better if the DB saw a bunch of Begnion soldiers being unruly in an open market: threatening to take an uppity woman, confiscating by force the produce they refused to buy at the price she demanded, deciding to take her son and make him a servant at a nearby Begnion bigwig's new Daein estate. Make the Prologue not Bandits class-wise, but some Begnion Fighters with crappy stats instead.

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Micaiah says she's fond of Nevassa because it's “where we all met”. Is she referring to a singular event? If so, that would imply that Sothe has known these guys for a while, meaning that that it was Edward and Leonardo and Nolan that Sothe mentioned talking to back in Path of Radiance after the fall of Daein!

Notes for events preceding the Prologue of RD that did not make it into the game.:

https://serenesforest.net/general/designers-notes/radiant-dawn/the-dawn-brigade/

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

...only for Jarod to come in and just fucking stab three of them to make room.

Believe it or not, I kind of want to like Jarod in a way. I want to envision him as someone trying to improve their lot in life through climbing the military ranks, bearing with the Senators' corruption and stupidity, and being willing to do oppressive things if its what the job demands for that eventual socio-economic betterment. The last thing is very bad morally, but the mere premise of a self-made soldier is a nice idea. Yet, his anger issues seen here with this scene prevent him from being exactly what I him to be, it makes him a little too comically evil.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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10 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

It may be overdramatic for the sake of ready pity and understanding for a modern mass audience. Though the writers could've found a toilsome reality in the feudal labor tax of Central and Eastern Europe known as the robot, from which we get the word for machines able to do work endlessly without rest. 

Apparently, in one particular area of Brandenburg (picked for the exaggeration no doubt), the robot was considered light if a peasant had to only work 3 days a week on their feudal lord's estate, and upwards of 6 days a week could be called normal -and yes they did count only seven days in a week back then. While you weren't separated from your family, because the robot was a tax, you didn't get paid for doing all the hard work. And being a poor peasant, you still had to find time to sow your fields lest you starve. Need it not be said the robot led to more than a few angry farmers choosing to sow chaos instead of wheat.

Yeah, see, this is the sort of shit I would much more readily believe awful people in power would make the citizens of an occupied territory do.

Also, I did not know that about the origins of the word robot. That's pretty damned morbid.

10 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

T'would be better if the DB saw a bunch of Begnion soldiers being unruly in an open market: threatening to take an uppity woman, confiscating by force the produce they refused to buy at the price she demanded, deciding to take her son and make him a servant at a nearby Begnion bigwig's new Daein estate. Make the Prologue not Bandits class-wise, but some Begnion Fighters with crappy stats instead.

I like this. Especially since it would kill two birds with one stone and make the plight of the Daein people much more shown rather than told, like I also talked about.

Edited by Alastor15243

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5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

And I love that tiny little girly push Micaiah does to position one of the guards for an attack from Sothe.

Same! It shows that despite Micaiah being physically weak, she can coordinate very well with Sothe and contribute meaningfully in a fight. 

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Wow, an AOE blinding flash tome. Wouldn't that be a fun thing to actually use in game?

It would be a cool idea as a gambit if gambits return in remakes. 

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Oh man, now we're in the streets of Nevassa a few days later, and... I just love the look of this city. The tiered design of it with different elevations makes it look like a really fun place to have a fight in. Pity we don't really get more than like... I think two maps with it? And both of them before the game introduces ledges for some reason? Ah well. There really should have been a “storming Nevassa city” chapter towards the end of this part, just like there should have been a “storming the Begnion streets” chapter towards the end of Part 4.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with both your points. Fighting in both cities would make for  a great gameplay and story addition. 

 

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

So, first thing the narrator tells us about the details of Begnion's occupation of Daein is that literally all men of fighting age have been put to work in labor camps, doing backbreaking toil that is apparently “brutal and void of purpose, designed to break both body and spirit”.

Okay, that's horrible, but it's also... completely stupid.

How the fuck can you have the resources to basically enslave the entire adult male population of a country for shits and giggles?

Why would you go to all of that effort without making these men do something useful for you?

And now that I think about it, why are the Begnion forces letting these bandits run amok? I get that the Dawn Brigade is stealing back the shit you stole, while the bandits are merely stealing the table scraps the citizens have left, so I get why the Dawn Brigade is a higher priority to you self-centered asshats, but like, these are adult men who are illegally not in labor camps, are they not? How are they able to run amok without being stopped by these guards for blatantly flouting at least that one apparently very thoroughly enforced rule?

Yeah, this is...

...This feels super dumb.

I mean, at least when Ashnard did cartoonishly evil shit, he was 1: insane, and 2: actually working towards a concrete goal that made sense to him. But here, it just seems like Senator Numida's objective is to be as much of a mustache-twirling jackass as humanly possible, regardless of practicality or logic.

 

I think they should have made it so that other than breaking the spirit of the Daein people, they should force them to work to extract resources from the fields, most of it going to the Begnion occupation forces and their leadership while some of it going to the Daein citizens just to survive. 

As for bandits roaming around freely, they should make it so that there are other activities that the Begnion occupation is busy with, such as the insurrection done by Pelleas which forced the occupation to prioritize on fighting the freedom fighters as opposed to bandits who they have an alliance of convenience with as them harming citizens if in line with their own interest. 

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Yeah, that... it feels like they wanted to have their cake and eat it too with how messed up these soldiers are. They wanted to have them commit an atrocity, but also give Jarod an opportunity to be even worse, and they didn't really do it right, because I'm not convinced that this bearded Begnion soldier wouldn't have just started shooting these guys again for re-forming their wall. Maybe he was more shaken by accidentally killing a child than he's letting on, and didn't actually have the guts to risk doing it again? If there had been even the slightest stammer in his voice while he made that whole “this is what happens when you get in our way, so blame the Dawn Brigade, not us” spiel, maybe I'd accept that. But as it stands... no.

 

So I re-watched that scene and you are right. Initially, that soldier is the one like Jarod and being impatient and trigger happy but suddenly he becomes reluctant after Micaiah uses sacrifice. What do you think of him just standing there when Micaiah returned and was using sacrifice? While it is stupid, I think he was curious to see Micaiah use sacrifice and perhaps he did want the child to get healed. 

Also, at the beginning of PoR, you said Ike was your favourite lord, what about after beating PoR? 

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22 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

 

 

FE NEEDS BANDITS FOR ITS OPENING CHAPTER!

-1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 16. All bandit starts.

I did skip a few there, FE5 is where the bandits start with you for a change. But even then, FE5 gives you two chapters of bandits after the first, and SS gives you three after its first two, and PoR has three bandit fights after its prologue. Your dearest Fates alone starts sans bandits at all, and kinda FEs 11 and 12.

 

Which is why Verdant Wind has the best final boss in the series. BANDITS! Everything comes full circle.

6 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Oh, speaking of which, Jotari, remember when you criticized Genealogy for not doing the attack-minus-defense math for you in advance on the combat forecast? I've recently come to the conclusion that that isn't a downside at all. That makes it way easier to check how much damage critical hits and, say, luna will do. So I think that for Genealogy, the system it used works.

 

Maybe I'd buy that if anything could survive a crit in that game, but still, fuck maths.

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8 minutes ago, Icelerate said:

Also, at the beginning of PoR, you said Ike was your favourite lord, what about after beating PoR? 

So far, the answer is still yes, overall. I can still think of lords who I like better in specific fields, though. I'm particularly curious to see how he interacts with the other "lords" of this game.

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Also Re: The blinding light spell, Micaiah does eventually get Corona as a Mastery Skill which reduces the accuracy of anyone who manages to survive the thing. So there is precedent for her having that ability in Gameplay, even if it takes another forty odd hours to get it.

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11 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Which is why Verdant Wind has the best final boss in the series. BANDITS! Everything comes full circle.

Objection! From what I can gather, Nemesis was not a bandit, but a thief, and in Fire Emblem that is a massively important difference.

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2 hours ago, Jotari said:

Also Re: The blinding light spell, Micaiah does eventually get Corona as a Mastery Skill

What an unfortunate name XD 

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