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Garlyle

Getting into Berwick Saga

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I've started playing this game before, but didn't played it for too far - I think I reached until chapter 2 or 3, and it's been put to the side for a long time. It was an interesting and unique game though with some Fire Emblem elements, so I want to get back to it.

However when I jump into it, I feel like there's 100 things I need to pay attention to. Guides are also very limited for this game, Gamefaqs has almost none, fireemblemwod only has maps up until Chapter 2, the let's plays don't have much records of it either, and most of the information I can gather is from a japanese site. I did finish Thracia 776 this year, so I also know that when it comes to difficulty, Kaga is not joking around. So I think I'm going to check with you guys here who played it through.

How difficult is the mid and lategame? Are there any characters who are basically just not worth using? Is there anything I should pay extra attention for? Why do I feel like this is going to be another beast to conquer?

Edited by Garlyle

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Berwick Saga is a masterpiece.

Now that I got that one out of my system, the game itself offers some guides of its own, in the form of the tactical hints. They can be accessed in the first map. I'm not sure if you can read them afterwards, but it's as easy as starting a new game without saving, skipping everything and pressing right when the mission screen pops up. They do a decent job at explaining the basics. You can also check out this guide by @Aggro Incarnate , which explains some of the most outlandish aspects of the game (when compared to FE, at least).

Other than that, all I can say is, give it a chance and keep playing. You'll get accustomed to the differences. I, too, was completely lost the first time around. But there comes a time when everything just sort of... starts making sense. It's extremely satisfying.

As for the difficulty, it's pretty fair, I'd say. There are some Kaga moments here and there, but it's nothing like Thracia's beginner traps at all. With the map saves the game hands you every five turns, it never feels like too much to handle. Or at least it never felt that way for me!

Characters that are worthless... Derrick's a joke, and Ruby's pretty bad, but using and promoting her is required to permanently recruit one of the game's best characters. That's about it, everybody else has at least some sort of unique ability to them.

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I recommend consulting the Berwick Saga section here on Serenes: https://serenesforest.net/berwick-saga/

The combat mechanics are generally explained in-game (accessible on the objectives screens of early missions), although things like happiness score, mercenary recruitment requirements and food bonuses are not - which is where the above information will help.

Save at least a couple of times before a mission, so you can jump back to where you were if you want to change your deployment (I assume you're using PCSX2, so creating more memory cards is no issue). Keep in mind that citizen requests often need certain people to accomplish them, which has been helpfully noted in the menus for you by the translation patch. Hitting square (if I recall correctly) brings up the menu inside the city and in battle, which lets you check side objectives and so on at a glance.

Leon and Adel deployed together (especially in Reese's command range) have very reliable hitrates early on. Some units also have skills that can improve reliability like Deathmatch, and Desperation. The more expensive mercenaries are of course more accurate. Later you'll be able to craft very powerful weapons that dramatically improve units' effectiveness; equipment is much more important given the stat deflation in Berwick. The durability system is a bit too RNG at times, so always keep spare weapons on hand - you'll want multiple types where possible because of how range works (eg. throwing spears like the pilum can be used to safely hit-and-run melee enemies).

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This game isn't very hard in general, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Most main missions are quite easy, with the harder spikes being chapters 9 and 10, but at that point you'll have plenty of ways to circunvent them well enough. Sidequests can be difficult, and a couple of them require character-dependant strategies to beat, but almost all of them are completely optional, and none of them make you miss out on characters.

I'd say getting softlocked in this game is as unlikely as in any FE games.

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