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Alastor15243

Alastor plays and ranks the whole series! Now Playing: New Mystery!

General Reader Survey  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. When did you start reading?

    • Dark Dragon
    • Gaiden
      0
    • Mystery of the Emblem
      0
    • Genealogy of the Holy War
      0
    • Thracia 776
      0
    • Binding Blade
    • Blazing Blade
    • Sacred Stones
    • Path of Radiance
    • Radiant Dawn
      0
    • Shadow Dragon
    • New Mystery
      0
  2. 2. What was your favorite playlog to read?

    • Dark Dragon
      0
    • Gaiden
      0
    • Mystery of the Emblem
      0
    • Genealogy of the Holy War
      0
    • Thracia 776
    • Binding Blade
    • Blazing Blade
    • Sacred Stones
    • Path of Radiance
    • Radiant Dawn
      0
    • Shadow Dragon
    • New Mystery
      0
  3. 3. What was your least favorite playlog to read?

    • Dark Dragon
    • Gaiden
      0
    • Mystery of the Emblem
      0
    • Genealogy of the Holy War
      0
    • Thracia 776
      0
    • Binding Blade
      0
    • Blazing Blade
      0
    • Sacred Stones
    • Path of Radiance
    • Radiant Dawn
    • Shadow Dragon
    • New Mystery
      0


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6 hours ago, Icelerate said:

But you said you enjoy shitting on SS story more so shouldn't SS be higher because it has a more fun story for ironic reasons? 

Not really. You might be able to make that argument for something like Fates, but SS got me so passionate to criticize it ironically because it was both stupid and boring.

Edited by Alastor15243

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Shadow Dragon Day 1: Prologue 1


 


 

 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

It's morning as I write this. I apparently slept so weirdly that my neck now wants to die, I'm facing the prospect of publicly humiliating myself on the internet, and I'm forced to come to terms with the fact that it's possible for a video game to make you nostalgic for last fucking year, that wonderful bygone time when I was 20 pounds lighter, closer to resembling a productive member of society, and capable of entering buildings other than my own house without feeling an intense sinking feeling that I'm endangering the lives of everyone I love.

AND YET I FEEL FUCKING FANTASTIC!

WHY?

BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TO PLAY RADIANT DAWN ANYMORE!

WOOOOOOOOO!

CAN'T YOU JUST SMELL THAT WONDERFUL FUCKING SUNSHINE!?


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Okay!

SO!

...Alright, I guess you can stop the music now.

Yeah, this is the part where I talk about how I felt about this game when I first played it.

Yeah, uh...

Funny you should mention that, because, uh...

I, uh...

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

...Now, uh...

...I could try to summarize my memory of how teenage me felt about it...


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

...Or, y'know...


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

I could suck it up, take the crippling embarrassment like a man, and let teenage me tell you personally.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

...Yes, that's right. I tried to be a YouTuber in high school.

...it didn't go well, for various reasons, and in various senses of the word, but hey, yay for historical accuracy I guess.

Honestly... this video wasn't quite as bad as I remember, mostly because I remembered myself screaming more. But it was still pretty dang hard to watch.

I think the most awkward part of this, besides my childishly un-funny attempts at edgy jokes, was the realization that I actually had the audacity to make sweeping assumptions about games I hadn't actually played, and misinform my at-the-time 3,000 subscribers, and didn't even entertain the idea I could be wrong.

I actually thought Marth and Alm were weak.

I assumed the hit and evade formulas without looking them up and just guessed that just because they were different from the modern ones, they must've been exactly the same as the NES game.

I either forgot the warp staff existed in FE4 or I forgot to clarify that I meant the concept of being able to teleport a unit anywhere.

Oh, and also... I can't believe I actually praised Blazing Blade and Path of Radiance for playing “less like a strategy game and more like God of War”.

I've never played God of War. When I said that, I was calling them mindless enemy-phase slaughterfests where your overpowered units could destroy everything while you watched.

That was praise from me.

Christ.

...Okay, so...

...Now that you know more than you could possibly want to know about where the fuck my gaming priorities were in high school, and that my conscious reasons for hating this game were so comically arbitrary and petty as to beggar belief...

Let's start playing and come up with some real reasons to hate it, shall we?

I still haven't decided what to do about the gaiden chapters, though I'm leaning towards playing the game normally, the way 97% of first-time players would actually experience it. But that doesn't matter at this specific moment, because I don't need to know in order to play the prologue! I'll be playing the prologue on original hardware. And by that I mean I'm playing the original DS cart on my 3DS.

Now, seeing as I am now someone who's actually played the original Dark Dragon, and I'm actually properly qualified to say it is a garbage fire that nobody without a herculean patience for jank should ever play if they value their sanity...

...I mean, not that this even merits mentioning, but this opening cutscene is a definite improvement on the visuals of the original.

Ah yes, that trick where they use the top and bottom screen to create one combined image, and they take the gap between the screens into account so there's always some part of the middle of the image you can't see. Cute idea, but the problem is that it looks pretty awkward on anything other than the actual original DS due to the distances between screens changing radically. Especially with emulators where the two screens are just smushed together. Falchion looks so fucking short.

But anyway, enough of that... let's get moving! On to playing normal mode so we can actually do the prologue. I kinda resent that this prologue, this part of the story, is normal-mode-exclusive, and there's a few reasons why I don't like it, but the one I'll bring up right now is that, I mean... just in principle, locking part of the story of a game behind normal mode is such a dick move for people who want both challenge and the whole story.

But anyway, onto the narration.

Interesting. I don't know if this was mentioned in FE1/3 and I just forgot, but apparently the time of Anri slaying Medeus was just 100 years ago. That feels... oddly recent by Fire Emblem standards.

Then again, Hitler died like 75 years ago, and I guess he qualifies at this point as a sufficiently “ancient evil” that we'd be freaking the fuck out in a similar way if he came back today via black magic and tried to bring about the fourth reich.

I'm liking the narration CGs here. But I didn't realize that Nyna was on the battlefield with King Cornelius during the first attempt to take down Medeus.

Okay, so, the game says that Marth stayed home with his mom, his sister, “and a garrison manned by Altea's neighbor and ally, Gra”.

While yes, I talked at length in Dark Dragon about how important it is to let us actually know about Gra's betrayal before we get the chance to get our revenge... this phrasing feels weird, especially since it isn't really true. Marth does have other actual Altean soldiers defending him, thankfully. But even so... I see absolutely no reason why the idea would even come up to leave Marth mostly in the hands of the army of an ally when that same ally is supposed to be going to war alongside you. If Marth were staying in Gra for his own protection while Altea went off to war, I could get that, But to keep him in Altea, go to war alongside your ally, and then just... have your ally trade guard duty of the prince with you when both are going to war and neither would be any better situated for troops than the other? How could that have possibly sounded like a remotely useful or non-suspicious idea?

Anyway though, Marth is woken up in the night and told by an Altean soldier to meet his sister by the throne room, and so begins gameplay.

...Just... gimme a moment...

...I need to take in the beauty...

...The beauty I failed to truly appreciate until mere years before we'd never see it in a new Fire Emblem game ever again.

The sheer majesty that was the era... of two-screened Fire Emblem games.

https://imgur.com/5wxhzkK

Look at this.

Look at the simplicity. The beauty. The fucking splendor.

Gone are the pages after pages of unit information. No more obnoxious clutter. No more keeping needed information on separate pages from the other needed information it needs to be compared to.

They took everything you could possibly need to know about a Fire Emblem unit... and put it on a single fucking page.

One page. One beautiful, sexy little page.

And it's a page you don't even need to press any buttons to access! It's just there, on the top screen, at all times, showing you the stats of the last guy you moved your cursor over, so you can size up a unit's stats at a glance.

Yeah. Yeah. You get half of a fucking guess where this game is scoring on usability.

Frankly, this beautiful era of Fire Emblem interfaces, but especially Awakening and Fates, taught me something extremely important about Fire Emblem: If you can't fit everything you need to know about a unit onto one page, you're probably overcomplicating things.

Of course, the 3DS games would improve this even further by putting that stat info screen on the bottom screen rather than the top. Meaning that you could actually use the touch screen for more info on items and skills, unlike this game which makes you press the select button to get weapon info. Not a big deal, but I do greatly prefer the 3DS method. Strangely, both methods feel like a result of efforts to exploit the latest hardware gimmick. In these DS games, the touch screen was the new big thing, so they put the gameplay on the bottom screen to add in gimmicky optional touch screen controls that they didn't entirely go all the way with, whereas in the 3DS games, they put the gameplay on the top screen so that they could actually use the 3DS's 3D function. And as a result, I think that made them realize that the touch screen was way better for unit info anyway.

Okay, back to the actual gameplay...

...So, Marth doesn't recognize these Gra soldiers. Are these a separate group from the one tasked with guarding him, or does he just not have much contact with the guards? Given how close he appears to be with his cavalry, the latter doesn't sound very likely, but then what are the Gra soldiers who were supposed to be guarding him doing? Wouldn't they have been in the best position to capture him?

Or, I guess the remnants of the Altean army could be guarding the castle itself, while Gra soldiers were supposed to guard the surrounding area, and now they're invading the castle.

But enough about that. I actually really like what Marth says to this guy:

Soldier: We're soldiers of Gra, li'l prince. And if you know what's good for you, you'll surrender to us without makin' any trouble.

Marth: Surrender? But that's ridiculous... Why would I surrender to the army of an allied kingdom?

Soldier: Meh heh heh... They don't tell you much, do they? No matter. You'll 'ave the full story soon enough. Now... lay down your sword.

Marth: I will not. I am the prince of Altea. I will not yield to you or any other nation, here on my own land, under my own castle roof!

Anyway, these enemies are comically pathetic, dying in one round while only dealing two damage back. Makes sense, since this is a starting chapter where you only get one unit.

First level up, I get HP, skill, speed and luck. No complaints so far.

Oh yeah, right. I should probably bring up the battle animations.

I'm not a fan. They're easily the lamest animations in the entire series. Yes, the entire series. I honestly think the NES ones are cooler overall. It's this weird hybrid with 3D-looking graphics that move in the style of the sprite-based “move and then return to position” attack animations of the NES and GBA... except not nearly as inspired or cool. The GBA sprites are legendary by this point, but even the NES ones had some pretty dang cool attack animations. Here, they're just so... simplistic, and “realistic”, in a way that makes them really boring to watch.

...Thankfully this is the first game in the series where you can skip the enemy phase entirely, but still, those animations are a crucial part of making the enemy phase engaging to watch unfold (the other is making sure they aren't a huge portion of your time playing the game).

One advancement they appear to have added over the NES and GBA animations is the fact that units don't return to position between consecutive attacks. If you're going second and you can double, you'll do both attacks at once. Nice, but I like what later games did with it more.

...Of course then you get shit like Three Houses and what happens when you try to use gauntlets on demonic beasts. I can't believe that shit made it into the final game.

...Okay, now we've seized the throne, so time to talk to Elice, Marth's older sister.

Okay, so, gotta say, I like the writing here. They did a good job expanding on the limited text of the original games and adding meat to the bones, and it's cool seeing what they're doing here, when there's barely even any bones to add meat to.

However, I wonder what Elice means by “soldiers sent by Gra are trying to take the castle”. That doesn't sound like how she'd describe the soldiers who were already here “defending” Altea. That sounds like new invading soldiers.

...Also, now that I'm looking at Marth and Elice talking, that reminds me... I'm not a fan of the portrait art style of this game. While I do remember feeling when I first played that Caeda looked super cute in this art style, I seem to recall everyone being less expressive and more stone-faced than they could or should have been in this vaguely 3D-looking “half-anime-half-realistic” art style.

...Alright, we're done with the chapter. It feels weird stopping here for today, but again, I'm reluctant to do double-updates anymore in case of burnout, and the first update of a game always has way more to say than just the gameplay.

Can't really say much about the gameplay yet since this is basically a tutorial, but uh... I do know that there will be complaints to be had.

That said, despite my lack of sleep lately, I'm definitely feeling some of my old energy coming back now that I'm finally free of the Sisyphean task that is discussing the story of the Tellius games, so here's to tomorrow!

Stay safe, everyone!

Say safer than my dignity!

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26 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

 

 

That wasn't actually as bad as I was expecting, but oh lord how was it rendered. The video quality is so bad and it's nothing but static images XD

Staff's being OP is something I can agree with past you at least.

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41 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Interesting. I don't know if this was mentioned in FE1/3 and I just forgot, but apparently the time of Anri slaying Medeus was just 100 years ago. That feels... oddly recent by Fire Emblem standards.

 

Jugdral  pulls that too. It's only about a hundred years between Loptyr being over thrown and the start of the game. Though maybe it feels a bit less weird there since you still have the Lopt sect hanging around which would strain belief if it were any longer. But the Lope empire itself only lasted two hundred years so the ancient evil aspect of it isn't even all that old.

41 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Then again, Hitler died like 75 years ago, and I guess he qualifies at this point as a sufficiently “ancient evil” that we'd be freaking the fuck out in a similar way if he came back today via black magic and tried to bring about the fourth reich.

 

And now I gladly get to refence this movie. Which I found absolutely sublime.

It's marketed as a comedy, but it actually does trend towards existential horror towards the end.  

Edited by Jotari

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51 minutes ago, Jotari said:

That wasn't actually as bad as I was expecting, but oh lord how was it rendered. The video quality is so bad and it's nothing but static images XD

I was a lazy guy.

51 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Staff's being OP is something I can agree with past you at least.

Yeah, I stand by that one too actually. And I thiiiink I stand by the evasion nerfing being bad as well (I'm slightly torn on that nowadays, as I'll talk about later). But the idea that those were some of the biggest complaints I could have about a game... wow, I'd love to chat with past me.

Edited by Alastor15243

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3 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Then again, Hitler died like 75 years ago, and I guess he qualifies at this point as a sufficiently “ancient evil” that we'd be freaking the fuck out in a similar way if he came back today via black magic and tried to bring about the fourth reich.

I get the feeling that this'll happen in this month's chapter of the eternal nightmare known as 2020. Why? Because 2020.

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19 minutes ago, Espurrhoodie said:

I get the feeling that this'll happen in this month's chapter of the eternal nightmare known as 2020. Why? Because 2020.

This month? Oh great, that'll give us enough time left in the year to get to hear someone say "man, remember when we thought Hitler coming back was the worst this year could get?"

...Incidentally, since Lucina and Hitler share a birthday, I always wanted to see a 4/20 pic of Lucina fighting Hitler while he's piloting a mech or something, and she's going "There can be only one!"

Anyway, glad to hear from you!

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1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

This month? Oh great, that'll give us enough time left in the year to get to hear someone say "man, remember when we thought Hitler coming back was the worst this year could get?"

...Incidentally, since Lucina and Hitler share a birthday, I always wanted to see a 4/20 pic of Lucina fighting Hitler while he's piloting a mech or something, and she's going "There can be only one!"

Anyway, glad to hear from you!

2020's creativity(?) knows no bounds.

No problem, dude!

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On 10/2/2020 at 6:20 PM, Alastor15243 said:

Music: Honestly, I'm not a huge fan. It's got a handful of nice tracks, but nearly all of the music in this game is barely-memorable, un-melodic, “atmospheric” music that I'm not a huge fan of.

I'll put it above Gaiden though. It just seems unfair not to, given how far technology has progressed, how few songs that game has, and given that there are about as many songs I like in Radiant Dawn as there are songs in Gaiden period.

1: Genealogy of the Holy War (32)

2: Thracia 776 (44)

3: Path of Radiance (31)

4: Blazing Blade (35)

5: Sacred Stones (43)

6: Radiant Dawn (43)

7: Gaiden (61)

8: Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (55)

9: Binding Blade (37)

10: Dark Dragon (81)

11: Mystery of the Emblem Book 1 (60)

I get that this is very much subjective, but it's one of my biggest disagreements so far. "Bearer of Hope" stands out as my favorite map theme in the franchise, while "Eternal Bond" and "Ascent" are very strong as well. As for battle themes, the Black Knight's "Unstoppable Destiny" and Oliver's "Beauty is a Mad Mistress" are excellent, while "The Strong" remains criminally underused. Plus, the introduction of lyrical music (okay, I guess PoR did that, but RD expanded it), the unique themes to the laguz royals, and touches like the Dawn Brigade's player phase themes, turning into enemy-phase music for the Greil Mercenaries. I'd put Radiant Dawn at the forefront of the series thus far - or at worst, just behind Genealogy.

On 10/2/2020 at 6:17 PM, Alastor15243 said:

Oh yeah, by the way, it has to be Ike. The game will pull a pretty nasty trick where any killing blow delivered by anyone other than Ike... just doesn't take. If you attack with Ike, however, it'll trigger a cutscene where Yune will dump all of her power into Ike to let him deliver the killing blow.

Congratulations, by the way! I really enjoyed seeing you take on my favorite FE title, even though my comment frequency took a bit of a dip. I'll see if I can muster up more as you go with my first game.

On 10/2/2020 at 10:39 PM, Alastor15243 said:

I still have no idea. Either one seems profoundly wrong on some level. What would you guys prefer?

If you want to fairly judge that aspect of game design - namely, hiding gaidens behind a low survival count - then I think you should play it in its original form. Even if those conditions are, yes, very dumb.

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It’s simple really, you’re here to formulate your own opinion on the fire emblem games right? 

Then why play something that has been altered to suit someone else’s viewpoint and perspective on what the game should be. That’s not playing the actual shadow dragon anymore. That’s playing the opinion of what someone else thought SD should have been.

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

If you want to fairly judge that aspect of game design - namely, hiding gaidens behind a low survival count - then I think you should play it in its original form. Even if those conditions are, yes, very dumb.

 

2 minutes ago, Vicious Sal said:

It’s simple really, you’re here to formulate your own opinion on the fire emblem games right? 

Then why play something that has been altered to suit someone else’s viewpoint and perspective on what the game should be. That’s not playing the actual shadow dragon anymore. That’s playing the opinion of what someone else thought SD should have been.

Sound advice, but I can't tell whether you're arguing for playing the unmodded game while deliberately seeking out the gaidens, or playing the unmodded game while just playing it normally.

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5 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Sound advice, but I can't tell whether you're arguing for playing the unmodded game while deliberately seeking out the gaidens, or playing the unmodded game while just playing it normally.

I still think a higher difficulty would be best, and playing it with the mindset that units dying is not a reason for a reset. Not an ironman per se, but with the acknowledgement that many characters are recruited merely as replacements for units that may have died earlier. If people die so much you get gaidens, that’s fine, if not, that’s also fine. If you feel like you’d gain more by killing two units to be able pick up Horace. By all means.

 

I’d go through the game and just see which way the roads goes. You don’t know how you’re going to fare against H4 or H5, but after chapter 5 or so you’ll probably know if you’ll be heading for a gaiden or not merely by the amount of deaths.

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Shadow Dragon Day 2: Prologue 2

Oh shit yes.

This song.

Oh man, I got so hyped when I heard “Trouble!” for the first time. Because I had downloaded the entire Brawl soundtrack months before it came out in America and I was listening to it all the goddamned time. And of course, this song was in an FE1 medley. Which got me so excited when I first realized the music from that medley was from this game. I couldn't wait to hear that wonderfully upbeat song I heard that came right after this in the medley.

Yeah.

About that.

We'll continue that story later.

But yeah, I really, really like this song. The original was a bit lacking with only three sound channels and the main melody being too high pitched, but this really fixes it and makes an awesome song that makes it clear shit's about to go down, but it's nothing you can't handle.

And here's Frey! Yay Frey! The first of several new characters added to the remake, who uh...

...well, I won't spoil just yet why the fact that you can't play the prologue on hard pisses me off so much, but for anyone who's already played it, this should probably be enough:

Frey was my favorite of the three cavaliers in this game.

And yes, that was mostly because he's blue, but even now I like him a lot.

Anyway, oh yeah, also, I like the music they added to the prologue maps. I like how ominous it is.

So, the game's teaching me about the weapon triangle, because yes, they added that to this game, which is nice. They also added weapon rank bonuses, which are... I'm not a huge fan of these, mostly in how they're implemented, since there are a lot of finicky rules for how their bonuses work in relation to said weapon triangle that aren't really explained anywhere, so it can make precise damage calculation a little tricky until you memorize them.

But anyway, experiment time! Time to see if individual highlighted enemy ranges will persist between turns!

They do! Fucking finally! Oh you have no idea how long I've been waiting for this shit. This makes it so much more manageable to do player-phase tactics. What I love to do when playing the later games is highlight everyone's movement range, and then every turn I de-select everyone I plan to kill by the end of it, so I can work out where to place any player-phase fighters to do their attacks without being in danger on the enemy phase.

...Shit, wow, this is... yeah, this is over really quickly. I can't justify only doing this one prologue. We'll do the next one and see how it goes. We're not really even at the part of the game where any intelligent thought is required though.

...I've still been treating it like it does though, just for the hell of it.

Yeah, everyone's movement is about the same as it was in FE1 and (I think) FE3. I do remember thinking that Marth having 7 movement and unpromoted cavaliers having 9 was... a bit much. Not sure what impact it'll have on combat and enemy spacing but given that all the sizes of the maps remain unchanged, you bet your ass I'm grateful they didn't nerf everyone's movement and thus make the maps even longer.

That said, quick anecdote: I was really let down by Shadow Dragon Marth.

https://www.ssbwiki.com/images/d/dd/Marth_SSBM.jpg

This was the Marth I grew up with, and he was such an incredible badass. And after shit like the GBA games and those incredibly awesome attack animations, let's just say that I was looking forward to watching Marth slice his enemies to ribbons as some badass master swordsman with some super cool, GBA-worthy attack animations, with a fighting style like it came straight out of Melee.

I did not get this. Perhaps it was unreasonable to expect it. Perhaps. But I still did, because Melee Marth and the handheld Fire Emblem games got my hopes up that Marth would be a way cooler fighter than he wound up being.

Man, this exchange between Marth, Jagen and Cain is great.

Marth: Cain, you're supposed to be in Gra! Why have you returned without- Yow! Those wounds...!

Cain: Sire, it's really you... I feared the worst... that his message... would go... undeliv... Agh...

Marth: In that state, I don't know how you even stayed ahorse. Those gashes need to be treated at once-

Jagen: No, sire. Not until we've escaped. ...Cain, I trust you can put off bleeding to death for just a while longer?

Cain: Of course, sir... I aim to please...

Anyway, we get a scene where Elice reveals that she's planning on staying behind “to remain with the people” (which feels like bullshit to me), but also to buy Marth time to escape, which... okay, maybe. You'd probably buy more time if you barricaded yourself in a room though, something that demanded a lot of attention.


 

Day 2 Bonus: Prologue 3

Wow, I love King Cornelius's last words, given as a message to Marth through Cain:

As Falchion's rightful heir, he has been born into greatness. Now... he must be great.”

Man, I really like this localization's way with words.

Gameplay's still really mindless due to how little damage the enemies are doing, but they're starting to mount up the enemy number and variety.

But one of the villages advises you to just bait enemies out one at a time, and... like...

Christ, I hope that isn't useful as often as the game seems to be implying, because if it is, the fact that they'd even admit that works seems almost disgraceful.

Okay, so, either this is just a coincidence and it was turn-based, or this game has groups of enemies that will aggro as a unit if any of them are aggro'd. That would be nice.

I've been trying to test the AI to see what enemy attacking priorities are, and thankfully Abel now has a defense level up, so I can do some more accurate tests if I get the opportunity.

...Man, I forgot just how trivial Jagen's stat edges on the other units are. He doesn't even have more strength than Cain! Just some slight edges in defense, skill and speed. Honestly, when I took a look at this in high school, I pretty much burst out laughing. This was the most pathetic prepromote that I had ever seen. Really the only stat he had that the other unis wouldn't swiftly outstrip him in was his weapon rank (unlike in the original where Caeda could use his silver lance at base). This... will be relevant later.

Alright, sector clear, but I realized I forgot a lot of these houses and I probably shouldn't have. Thankfully moving a bunch of units is sooooooooo much faster in this game due to the swifter, modern animations and interface, so I can get to them with my cavalry in no time.

...For the first time in the whole series, it finally occurs to me just how weird it is that these peasants are lecturing trained soldiers about basic battle tactics and equipment maintenance.

But I do like how they actually kept all the same NPC portraits from the original NES game, and just made them look like real people and not... abominations of melted pixel flesh.

Anyway, towards the end of that chapter things started looking like they'd start resembling difficulty. My units stopped one-rounding everything they touched, for one thing, and more enemies resisted getting doubled and started doing more damage.

Man, I think this ending scene would've been better with voice acting. Or... y'know... more emotive portraits. It works, sort of, but the text alone doesn't really do a good job of conveying how reluctant Marth is in his eventual decision to allow Elice to buy him time. Those portraits make it easier than it should be to interpret Marth as someone too easily persuaded to leave his sister to her fate.


 

Day 2 Bonus Bonus: Prologue 4

That said, the beginning of this chapter does a good deal to quell that interpretation, so I'm fine with this.

...Man, how long has it been since we've had a “Day X Bonus Bonus”? My quick search of the phrase suggests that was in Mystery of the Emblem.

Hm... Interesting. So Marth never knew Caeda before fleeing to Talys? This is the first he's heard of the place apparently.

It was Princess Elice's wish that you seek refuge in Talys should things ever go awry.”

And why does her contingency plan hold sway here? What did King Cornelius want?

Come to think of it, why haven't we seen Marth reacting to the fact that he has no idea where his mother is?

I wonder how Malledus arranged for a boat to take them to Talys on the other side of a prison if going through the prison is the most realistic route there for them to get there? Seriously, what the fuck are they implying about the other routes to get to that village? And said other routes obviously must exist, because who the fuck has to walk through a prison to get to a town?

Also, Malledus somehow got his hands on a key to the prison. Doesn't explain how.

Yeah, this map is... like... terribly thought-out, storywise, and I can't believe I never noticed that before.

Alright, Marth, Cain and Frey all got skill and speed, with Marth and Cain also getting strength and Frey also getting defense. All in call, can't complain, even though none of these levels are going to stick.

Weirdly, they gave the captain a unique portrait... but not a name.

...Which means I've got a pretty good feeling we'll be seeing that “unique” portrait again.

Anyway, we're introduced to Gordin here, and I love this scene. It's basically this random ruffian mook mocking Gordin to his face about their plan to make him look like a Gra soldier so he'll get stabbed to death by Marth.

...Also, the ruffian calls Gordin “Gaggles”, which is just... oh my god is this great.

Ruffian: Ooh, but sad for you, you look awfully dangerous in that uniform... MISTER GRA SOLDIER! Ha! Soon as he prince sees you, 'e'll say “Yow! It's an enemy ambush!” and that'll be the end of you.

And then when you actually talk to him with Marth:

Marth: Yow! It's an enemy ambush!

Wow, I wish this game's writing team had more of an opportunity to show its sense of humor with new scenes. The stuff they do manage to add is pretty priceless.

And then of course... probably the most infamous part of the prologue shows up.

The part where the game summons a ridiculously overpowered platoon of Grust's Sable Order armor knights to the west side and then tells you you can't kill them, and that instead you need to sacrifice one of your units to have him be a decoy and die for his country.

...Yeah, so, you can probably imagine that when this happened when I played it in high school... I took all of Jagen's shit and had him sacrifice himself. But canonically what happens is that Frey is the one who plays decoy. And while I hate this, because this means that you can never use Frey in hard mode (because if you don't play the prologue, you don't get the chance to have anyone take his place)... I do appreciate the fact that the guy who canonically sacrifices himself as a diversion for Gra's forces... actually has blue hair.

Grust soldiers can apparently see inside of the prison, because no matter where the real Marth is, they see that there are two of them. So they justify why the decoy works by having the enemy assume that the real Marth would run off on his own, abandoning his allies while the others buy him time to escape, and... yeah... I don't entirely buy that's believable. Honestly, since this scene won't happen until the end of the turn where Marth recruits Gordin, I'd have just had Malledus stop him from leaving the prison until you get a decoy, so that the enemy never sees the real Marth. I know people other than Marth can kill Gordin, but my understanding is that if you kill Gordin, the game doesn't have this whole “sacrifice someone” event happen, so... yeah, I would've gone with keeping Marth inside. Especially since there's no reason why the Sable Order couldn't have just split up.

Anyway, now the door's open, which doesn't happen until you do the decoy or if you kill Gordin.

...Okay, looks like not every attack animation has a “consecutive attack” animation. I'll see what it does for axes, but so far it looks like lance animations don't get that.

Rapiers don't seem to be effective against pegasus knights in this game. Alright, good to know. Looks like it was Awakening that added that.

Pegasus knights also have 1 less mov than cavalry, but 8 vs 5 is still a pretty ridiculous movement disparity that helps to make archers even more useless than usual.

Anyway, I check the houses, and one basically... hints at the game's rather notorious gaiden requirements while bracing the player for what they have to do here by saying “parting with one comrade may be the only way to meet another”. This... ugh, this pisses me off as a Fire Emblem player to a great degree, even though I do like the sentiment at the end encouraging the player to accept your losses and basically ironman the game. And if this was the game's attempt to get the player back into the spirit of ironmanning in honor of how the original game was apparently designed, then... admirable goal, I guess? Gotta take points off for execution though.

Abel got another defense level, making me kinda sad that none of these levels are going to take.

Alright, seizing.

Now Draug shows up, and, if you had somehow managed to lose multiple units in the normal mode prologue, then this would be where Norne shows up too. Yeah, so, his Japanese name of “Do-ga” is apparently literally supposed to just be “Ga-do” (guard) backwards, so when they localized his name... they literally just made his name “guard” backwards. While simultaneously giving him the name of a Norse undead monster.

Anyway, then we get a scene of Frey surrounded by Jiol's army, and Jiol gives the orders to kill him. Violently and painfully.

Make this prince mimer SUFFER!”

Everyone gets their own unique one-liner for when this happens, and I remember Jagen's being something like “looks like these old bones are still good for something.” Frey's, however, is “Count this knight honored to die in the service of his prince.”

...Of course the sequel reveals that apparently he never died. He just got beaten so brutally that he lost his memory, which both allows him to come back in the remake of the sequel and explains why the magic resurrection staff doesn't work on him in this game.

...But it feels kinda dumb after that buildup.

Anyway... that's it for today! Hope you enjoyed, everyone! Tomorrow I'll get started on the actual game. I'll let you know what I decide then!

Stay safe, everyone!

Edited by Alastor15243

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1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

Pegasus knights also have 1 less mov than cavalry, but 8 vs 5 is still a pretty ridiculous movement disparity that helps to make archers even more useless than usual.

It's worse than that. Archers cost 3 move to go through Forests. Their move is on-level with Armor Knights. The only way this would be justifiable is if the class had an innate Bowrange +1.

1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

The part where the game summons a ridiculously overpowered platoon of Grust's Sable Order armor knights to the west side and then tells you you can't kill them, and that instead you need to sacrifice one of your units to have him be a decoy and die for his country.

The rational command would be to send half against the Marth who fled, and half againat the Marth who stayed. Also, to never open the northern door. But if the enemy were smart, pretty much every game would be unbeatable. Why doesn't Ursula stay to kill Lyn in 7x? Why doesn't Zephiel keep guarding the castle gate on that one bridge map?

1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

..For the first time in the whole series, it finally occurs to me just how weird it is that these peasants are lecturing trained soldiers about basic battle tactics and equipment maintenance.

That's pretty funny, come to think of it - as much as it's a series standard. I suppose it makes sense, to the extent that they're offering words that they think a soldier would find useful. Still, could've been neat to get some "pure lore/world-setting" houses. Like, who do these people worship, and what are they having for dinner?

1 hour ago, Alastor15243 said:

Anyway, we get a scene where Elice reveals that she's planning on staying behind “to remain with the people” (which feels like bullshit to me), but also to buy Marth time to escape, which... okay, maybe. You'd probably buy more time if you barricaded yourself in a room though, something that demanded a lot of attention.

This is sort of like Geoffrey in Path of Radiance, but it makes less sense because A) Elice can't fight, meaning her ability to distract/delay is minimal, and B) Elice's ability to use Aum means that her staying is to Gharnef's benefit. I do have to wonder which would be worse for the people's morale, though: "Our princess has left us!", or "Our princess is taken prisoner!"

2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Sound advice, but I can't tell whether you're arguing for playing the unmodded game while deliberately seeking out the gaidens, or playing the unmodded game while just playing it normally.

My own playthrough (I just started today) is H5 - not quite an Ironman, but I have had a few deaths (Draug, Abel, Cain) that I didn't reset for (as of chapter 4). I may go to 6x, or may not, depending on how the next chapters go. You could play this way, if it's most natural. On the flip side, it's probably in your best interest to intentionally seek out the gaidens, since they offer extra items and experience, plus new units. If you want to showcase as much of the game as possible (in particular, the new content, relative to FE1), then it makes sense to go for the gaidens. Up to you!

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

It's worse than that. Archers cost 3 move to go through Forests. Their move is on-level with Armor Knights. The only way this would be justifiable is if the class had an innate Bowrange +1.

Christ. I... don't know how to respond to that news.

 

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

This is sort of like Geoffrey in Path of Radiance, but it makes less sense because A) Elice can't fight, meaning her ability to distract/delay is minimal, and B) Elice's ability to use Aum means that her staying is to Gharnef's benefit. I do have to wonder which would be worse for the people's morale, though: "Our princess has left us!", or "Our princess is taken prisoner!"

Given that the prince is leaving regardless, yeah, I have to say this is probably accomplishing very little.

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

My own playthrough (I just started today) is H5 - not quite an Ironman, but I have had a few deaths (Draug, Abel, Cain) that I didn't reset for (as of chapter 4). I may go to 6x, or may not, depending on how the next chapters go. You could play this way, if it's most natural. On the flip side, it's probably in your best interest to intentionally seek out the gaidens, since they offer extra items and experience, plus new units. If you want to showcase as much of the game as possible (in particular, the new content, relative to FE1), then it makes sense to go for the gaidens. Up to you!

Honestly, right now I think the plan is to ironman H3 and see if I even come close to reaching the gaiden requirements naturally, since they seem so absurd, so by biggest question I want to answer is: "...are they?"

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On 10/1/2020 at 5:19 PM, Alastor15243 said:

..Yep. He's down. Never even had to risk corona, thanks to using Ike and siege tomes.

...Siege tomes.

Long range... magic.

...I avoided corona... using social distancing.

Can I please quote this? Got a good chuckle from that.

As for RD, Sephiran's fight threw me like that as well, though I was able to push through because he rewarped and the spirits didn't do a number on me. Micaiah also finished him, so that was something. I feel differently about the auras personally, just end up being a tedious mechanic that due to their reflecting damage makes some units unable to damage them (a problem I hadn't had since Lyn got 1-shot by the fire dragon. :P). Then again, the game peaked at Dheginsea in terms of bosses personally.

Now it's time for the first game I played on hardware! (Note that I didn't say on cart) It's also the first title 8-4 work on instead of Treehouse for localisation and this is a great thing for this game, wish they'd get involved more often honestly.

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3 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Man, I think this ending scene would've been better with voice acting. Or... y'know... more emotive portraits. It works, sort of, but the text alone doesn't really do a good job of conveying how reluctant Marth is in his eventual decision to allow Elice to buy him time. Those portraits make it easier than it should be to interpret Marth as someone too easily persuaded to leave his sister to her fate.

The lack of emotional portraits really lets this game's story down. Marth has like two faces, neutral, and a something that resembles a smile if you squint at it, which is just a woefully inadequate range of emotions. Almost all of the CGs of Marth deliberately not showing his face doesn't help with this either.

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Pegasus knights also have 1 less mov than cavalry, but 8 vs 5 is still a pretty ridiculous movement disparity that helps to make archers even more useless than usual.

This is part of what leads to the class change to hunter (which has 6 move, and basic infantry movement costs) while prepromoted, then back into sniper after for the better stats, assuming you want to bother with bows at all (alternatively you could go with Archer General for the memes...).

 

5 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Anyway, I check the houses, and one basically... hints at the game's rather notorious gaiden requirements while bracing the player for what they have to do here by saying “parting with one comrade may be the only way to meet another”

It is probably hinting at the more immediate Norne recruitment requirements.

 

3 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

Honestly, right now I think the plan is to ironman H3 and see if I even come close to reaching the gaiden requirements naturally, since they seem so absurd, so by biggest question I want to answer is: "...are they?"

One odd thing I will note about the gaidens is that they didn't properly scale them to the difficulty. The higher difficulties basically just give the enemies better weapons, and invisible bonus levels, and the gaiden chapter don't get as many of those bonus levels for some reason...

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11 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

This is part of what leads to the class change to hunter (which has 6 move, and basic infantry movement costs) while prepromoted, then back into sniper after for the better stats, assuming you want to bother with bows at all (alternatively you could go with Archer General for the memes...).

I don't think you can do that in this game. I'm pretty sure hunter and archer are on opposite sides of the "brawn/finesse" divide that male classes have, which isn't combined until you beat FE12 once from what I've heard.

12 minutes ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

One odd thing I will note about the gaidens is that they didn't properly scale them to the difficulty. The higher difficulties basically just give the enemies better weapons, and invisible bonus levels, and the gaiden chapter don't get as many of those bonus levels for some reason...

That... might be intentional actually, to make sure that a bonus chapter you only get in dire straits doesn't put you in even more dire straits.

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All this experiencing of Marth's actual backstory has got me thinking, bizarre as it might be to include in this collection, would you consider a watch and write up of the Fire Emblem OVA? It's not the best show ever, but I think it makes some really nice decisions in regards to how it adapts certain Fire Emblem elements. And while I'm asking about ancillary stuff, are Fire Emblem: Warriors and Tokyo Mirage Sessions on your radar at all?

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5 minutes ago, Jotari said:

All this experiencing of Marth's actual backstory has got me thinking, bizarre as it might be to include in this collection, would you consider a watch and write up of the Fire Emblem OVA? It's not the best show ever, but I think it makes some really nice decisions in regards to how it adapts certain Fire Emblem elements. And while I'm asking about ancillary stuff, are Fire Emblem: Warriors and Tokyo Mirage Sessions on your radar at all?

Question for thread:

Is there any interest in me doing these things as, like, interludes between Fates games or something?

Obviously though, I wouldn't be ranking these things, as the ranking system would be completely inapplicable. Granted, I'm of a mind that the same can be said for Awakening, but I'll be getting to that topic eventually.

Edited by Alastor15243

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

 

The rational command would be to send half against the Marth who fled, and half againat the Marth who stayed. Also, to never open the northern door. But if the enemy were smart, pretty much every game would be unbeatable. Why doesn't Ursula stay to kill Lyn in 7x? Why doesn't Zephiel keep guarding the castle gate on that one bridge map?

 

I maintain my head canon that the reason Ursula left is that she was getting laid unbeknownst to Nergal. Capturing Nils and Ninan is the absolute number one prioroity for the Black Fang at that moment so there's no real business she can have to attend to elsewhere, it had to be something personal.

6 hours ago, Dayni said:

Now it's time for the first game I played on hardware! (Note that I didn't say on cart) It's also the first title 8-4 work on instead of Treehouse for localisation and this is a great thing for this game, wish they'd get involved more often honestly.

I wish they'd kept the European names. How many people honestly read Caeda and didn't pronunce it as something like Kay-da? Also Dolhr? Have you heard of vowels!

3 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

This is part of what leads to the class change to hunter (which has 6 move, and basic infantry movement costs) while prepromoted, then back into sniper after for the better stats, assuming you want to bother with bows at all (alternatively you could go with Archer General for the memes...).

I actually have found Archer Warriors pretty capable in this game.

4 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

Question for thread:

Is there any interest in me doing these things as, like, interludes between Fates games or something?

Obviously though, I wouldn't be ranking these things, as the ranking system would be completely inapplicable. Granted, I'm of a mind that the same can be said for Awakening, but I'll be getting to that topic eventually.

Oh, interludes between Fates sounds like a nice place to put it. Do you have any experience with these spin off stuff already?

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1 minute ago, Jotari said:

Oh, interludes between Fates sounds like a nice place to put it. Do you have any experience with these spin off stuff already?

Watched the OVA like once, I remember it only going up to Navarre's recruitment or something. I own FE Warriors, friend got it for me when I bought a switch for Christmas, but I never beat it. TMS I don't have, but since that's on Switch I guess I could get it with little issue...

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2 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

I don't think you can do that in this game. I'm pretty sure hunter and archer are on opposite sides of the "brawn/finesse" divide that male classes have, which isn't combined until you beat FE12 once from what I've heard.

I think you are right about it being FE12 (after the combining); that is a game I have played far more. It is a shame as archers are useless before they promote, and hunters are useless after...

2 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I actually have found Archer Warriors pretty capable in this game.

Starting Hunter as prepromote, and Warrior after, is probably the best option for bow wielders in this game.

 

14 minutes ago, Alastor15243 said:

 

Is there any interest in me doing these things as, like, interludes between Fates games or something?

If you need a break between the Fates paths go for it, but if otherwise not really.

 

12 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I wish they'd kept the European names. How many people honestly read Caeda and didn't pronunce it as something like Kay-da? Also Dolhr? Have you heard of vowels!

Than again the European names have the incredibly awful Nabarl, and Macedon is a lot better than Medon as well...

The European translation is surprisingly shy to reference older European kingdoms in its names I guess.

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