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drattakbowser

Pro and cons (Azure Moon)

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I don't know.

+ :

  • Have 36 characters
  • Can have many relic and Bataillon
  • 17 paired ending
  • TWSITD all eliminared

- :

  • Dimitri can't learn until chapter 14 to 17
  • Dedue absent in Chapter 13 to 15
  • Hardest final map
  • Might cutscene
Edited by drattakbowser

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3 minutes ago, drattakbowser said:

TWSITD all eliminared

Doesn't that happen no matter which route you play? Because as far as I can tell, two routes have Shambhala, their base of operations, destroyed, and even in the one route where they're supposedly on your side, they end up dealt with anyway.

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Cons:

- Gameplay-wise, I guess Dimitri and Dedue being MIA or unable to be instructed is the main thing. Also, your student selection, off the bat, are all pretty similar in that they're mostly Lance focused. You really need to do some recruiting for some good mage/healer potential. Annette and Mercie are good, but they're no Lysithea.

- Story-wise, nothing about the Lore here. Which, from an overall standpoint is fine, not every route has to be centered around the Lore. But it may be confusing if it's your first route and you get basically nothing about Rhea, Nemesis, or the church's backstory. 

- No Dimitri-Claude power hour

Pros:

Everything else, for the most part.

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+: Battalion Wrath + Battalion Vantage + Retribution makes Dimitri the single most busted unit in the entire game, change my mind.

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20 minutes ago, Landmaster said:

- Story-wise, nothing about the Lore here. Which, from an overall standpoint is fine, not every route has to be centered around the Lore. But it may be confusing if it's your first route and you get basically nothing about Rhea, Nemesis, or the church's backstory. 

As someone who played Azure Moon first, this didn’t really happen to me. Nothing about Rhea or Nemesis or anything else related to that whole shebang was ever really confusing, it all makes sense with the information you’re given on that route.

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10 minutes ago, Sooks1016 said:

As someone who played Azure Moon first, this didn’t really happen to me. Nothing about Rhea or Nemesis or anything else related to that whole shebang was ever really confusing, it all makes sense with the information you’re given on that route.

But you don't really get anything compared to VW. Like I finished AM wondering "What was up with that opening cutscene again?". AM is really the story of Dimitri and to a lesser note, Edelgard. The lore bits are left out for the most part other than what everyone gets in White Clouds.

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Pro: More unique named weapons than any other route. Only route that can get Areadbhar, Crusher, Tathlum Bow, and Sword of Moralta. Also the only route that  can have two of the Lord relics, since it gets Failnaught.

Pro: Has more pairs that give extra might to linked attacks than any other class/route.

Pro: Is the only route in which the main antagonist of the game is also the final boss. It's a more emotionally satisfying ending than VW or SS, both of which go in somewhat weird directions at the end. CF is also good for having its main antagonist as the final boss, but is somewhat orthogonal to the rest of the game, so harder to compare.

Con: None of your starting class learn Warp.

Con: Starting with Sylvain in your house means you can't recruit him for free with female Byleth, which means you effectively start with one fewer unit.

Con: My pick for worst unit in the game is one of your starting units. (Pro: other people's picks for worst unit in the game is not one of your starting units.)

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1 hour ago, Landmaster said:

Cons:

- Gameplay-wise, I guess Dimitri and Dedue being MIA or unable to be instructed is the main thing. Also, your student selection, off the bat, are all pretty similar in that they're mostly Lance focused. You really need to do some recruiting for some good mage/healer potential. Annette and Mercie are good, but they're no Lysithea.

Bold: Uh... what??

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The route kinda reflects badly on Thales and the Slitherers. While its the only route they aren't wiped out it still speaks poorly of Thales that Dimitri can defeat him and foil his plans by complete accident. 

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21 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

The route kinda reflects badly on Thales and the Slitherers. While its the only route they aren't wiped out it still speaks poorly of Thales that Dimitri can defeat him and foil his plans by complete accident. 

I found Arundel suddenly leading the army on the front-line to be out of character. He's always shown to be a behind the scenes kind of guy who doesn't want to put his life in danger. I think Count Bergliez would have made a better opponent in that battle considering his military prowess is hyped up a lot but we never see it. It could allow Caspar to have an interesting conversation with his father if he's recruited in Blue Lions too. 

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1 hour ago, Icelerate said:

I found Arundel suddenly leading the army on the front-line to be out of character. He's always shown to be a behind the scenes kind of guy who doesn't want to put his life in danger. I think Count Bergliez would have made a better opponent in that battle considering his military prowess is hyped up a lot but we never see it. It could allow Caspar to have an interesting conversation with his father if he's recruited in Blue Lions too. 

We know Arundel wants the relics stored in Derdriu based on CF. It makes perfect sense that he's leading what he thought would be an easy battle with the reward of getting first crack at them.

Although I agree that Bergliez should have been in the game, to be clear.

 

Anyway I like Azure Moon a lot. Its pros, IMO, are that it has perhaps the most complete storyline without the help of other routes (the tragedy of Dimitri and Edelgard is effectively told), and it has numerous outstanding setpiece battles late in the game (Gronder 2 and both Enbarr maps are two of my faves, I like the defence of Derdriu as well). Its con is that, IMO, viewed in the context of the entire game I don't really feel that great about the prospects for the future of Fodlan. It's not as bad as SS in making me feel like I've restored the ugly status quo, but it's the next closest route to that. Fortunately that's not what the route is about, and what it is about is done well IMO.

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Positives
- Main lord has an actual character arc and if you like him you'll probably thoroughly enjoy the route
- Best White Clouds because the Blue Lions are the best integrated in that portion of the story
- You have an actual conversation with Edelgard after her war declaration
- Some of the best cutscenes
- Most recruitables
- Most paralogues
- Narratively, I personally enjoyed having the flaws of knighthood/chivalry/tradition laid bare
 
Negatives
- If you don't like Dimitri then there's really not much for you here
- They decided to have the retainer and your team tank's survival dependent on the completion of a paralogue, and remove him from a good chunk of the game
- Has some of the most contrived story points to drive the plot from point A to point B, imo, and you shouldn't expect much closure in general... and why I consider it the least complete. Thales and Myson are accidentally defeated and the rest of them are more or less forgotten until they decided to slap a band-aid on this problem with Hapi's ending. Which just makes it a DLC-exclusive Crimson Flower ending that's locked behind one specific support chain. And haha if you're expecting to see Rhea again. 
- Second worst ending for Fodlan, imo

???
- Great first route if you intend to embark on more than one playthrough, terrible if you think you only have enough time / desire to do only one playthrough
 

Edited by Crysta

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13 hours ago, Dark Holy Elf said:

We know Arundel wants the relics stored in Derdriu based on CF. It makes perfect sense that he's leading what he thought would be an easy battle with the reward of getting first crack at them.

Although I agree that Bergliez should have been in the game, to be clear.

Yet he'd rather have Edelgard take Derdriu in CF and enjoy the spoils of war from the hard work of others. You can make the argument that Edelgard had been injured so I guess it makes sense for him to do such a thing but I think him convincing Bergliez to do so would be both more interesting and in character. Bergliez could be motivated to do so because he's the ruler of Gronder Fields so his land was trampled by the Alliance and Faergus. 

Quote

Anyway I like Azure Moon a lot. Its pros, IMO, are that it has perhaps the most complete storyline without the help of other routes (the tragedy of Dimitri and Edelgard is effectively told), and it has numerous outstanding setpiece battles late in the game (Gronder 2 and both Enbarr maps are two of my faves, I like the defence of Derdriu as well). Its con is that, IMO, viewed in the context of the entire game I don't really feel that great about the prospects for the future of Fodlan. It's not as bad as SS in making me feel like I've restored the ugly status quo, but it's the next closest route to that. Fortunately that's not what the route is about, and what it is about is done well IMO.

I don't think restoring the status quo as a plot point makes the route inferior to a route where the status quo is destroyed. Especially when it is the point of CF to change the status quo and not the point of AM or SS to do such. If SS actually made you feel something, that's actually a good thing. 

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10 hours ago, Crysta said:

- Has some of the most contrived story points to drive the plot from point A to point B, imo, and you shouldn't expect much closure in general... and why I consider it the least complete. Thales and Myson are accidentally defeated and the rest of them are more or less forgotten until they decided to slap a band-aid on this problem with Hapi's ending.

I never really saw it as a problem. It definitely makes the Azure Moon ending the darkest one but I think it makes a lot of sense. Dimitri being to wrapped up in his personal issues to see the big evil pulling strings behind the scene seems logical enough, especially because Thales never acts due to Dimitri accidentally killing him. If anything I kinda dislike how Hapi's inclusion tries to assure everyone that Dimitri caught the Slitherers eventually. 

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53 minutes ago, Landmaster said:

Read the sentence directly after it

I did. I still think you're trying to sell me a bunch of bullshit. If you were talking about the Eagles, you might have a point, as Linhardt doesn't compare to Marianne, let alone Mercedes, but as is, I think this is nothing but crazy talk.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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2 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I did. I still think you're trying to sell me a bunch of bullshit. If you were talking about the Eagles, you might have a point, as Linhardt doesn't compare to Marianne, let alone Mercedes, but as is, I think this is nothing but crazy talk.

If we're only talking healing potential it's sort of a wash. If we're talking offensive mages tho, I think Linhardt is the only one in the entire game that's worse than the heal bot and the rally bot duo. I'll take Lysithea >>> Dorothea > Marianne over them any day if something needs deleted.

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2 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I did. I still think you're trying to sell me a bunch of bullshit. If you were talking about the Eagles, you might have a point, as Linhardt doesn't compare to Marianne, let alone Mercedes, but as is, I think this is nothing but crazy talk.

OK?

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I also find Blue Lions to have the most cohesive story. The buildup to the finale (everything following Dimitri's snap back to reality) was pretty much as good as one could hope for, and it's even the only route to give screentime to the villain post-time skip. Getting to that finale is rocky, though. I think the Rodrigue stabbing scene is one of the worst sequences I've seen in Fire Emblem storytelling. Maybe even as bad as the blood pact in Radiant Dawn or the Vallite curse in Fates. But hey, they stuck the landing. Verdant Wind/Silver Snow have finales that sound cool in concept but have no narrative cohesion or buildup. Ending as quickly as they started. Crimson Flower feels like it's missing the real conclusion where we make good on our promise to turn on the Slitherers. That second war is explained away by a sentence of exposition. Kind of like if you had a video game chronicling World War 2 and the final chapter ends with the invasion of Berlin despite proper acknowledgement of the Pacific campaign before that point. Of course we want to see how that resolves itself.

I love the pre-time skip supports in the blue lions cast as well. On top of having more relevance to the plot at that stage of the game, those support conversations go in so many unique directions. Not a single "I'll show you my gimmick if you show me yours" support to be named among them. 

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7 hours ago, Shadow Mir said:

I did. I still think you're trying to sell me a bunch of bullshit. If you were talking about the Eagles, you might have a point, as Linhardt doesn't compare to Marianne, let alone Mercedes, but as is, I think this is nothing but crazy talk.

In terms of offensive mages Annette isn’t super great. Her spell list is nothing special, and most of her usage comes from her rally potential. Lysithea, Constance (if you have DLC) or even Dorothea are probably better choices to recruit as a good mage (Lysithea and Constance are obvious, Dorothea has a great spell list and Meteor gives her the opportunity to provide linked attack bonuses to Sylvain, Felix and Ingrid, as well as Byleth.)

And I’ve seen it argued that Mercedes is the worst of the healer trio- lower base faith rank means you can’t get physic for chapter 2 (though by the time you can recruit other characters that shouldn’t be an issue), and she doesn’t have anything else helping her stand out. Fortify is a thing, but honestly I rarely found myself using it (except that one time on Flayn where I needed to heal somebody from a distance). Compare that to Linhardt’s Warp access and Marianne’s potential offensive prowess with Frozen Lance/Soulblade, Mercedes comes up a bit short.

Besides, you do need to recruit a mage with Warp unless you want to use Manuela only.

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34 minutes ago, Anathaco said:

In terms of offensive mages Annette isn’t super great. Her spell list is nothing special, and most of her usage comes from her rally potential. Lysithea, Constance (if you have DLC) or even Dorothea are probably better choices to recruit as a good mage (Lysithea and Constance are obvious, Dorothea has a great spell list and Meteor gives her the opportunity to provide linked attack bonuses to Sylvain, Felix and Ingrid, as well as Byleth.)

And I’ve seen it argued that Mercedes is the worst of the healer trio- lower base faith rank means you can’t get physic for chapter 2 (though by the time you can recruit other characters that shouldn’t be an issue), and she doesn’t have anything else helping her stand out. Fortify is a thing, but honestly I rarely found myself using it (except that one time on Flayn where I needed to heal somebody from a distance). Compare that to Linhardt’s Warp access and Marianne’s potential offensive prowess with Frozen Lance/Soulblade, Mercedes comes up a bit short.

Besides, you do need to recruit a mage with Warp unless you want to use Manuela only.

Bold: Really? Because you're literally the first one who I've seen state something like this. In any instance, I admittedly don't value Warp that much. And honestly, in a game where the best magic classes are female-exclusive, I'd say Linhardt is doomed to play third fiddle.

Edited by Shadow Mir

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40 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Bold: Really? Because you're literally the first one who I've seen state something like this. In any instance, I admittedly don't value Warp that much. And honestly, in a game where the best magic classes are female-exclusive, I'd say Linhardt is doomed to play third fiddle.

I know Rengor has argued on his site that she's the worst. Granted, he's probably coming from the perspective of efficiency or speed runs. I've personally got quite a bit of mileage out of Mercedes in casual runs, but if you're going pedal to the metal, starting D rank white magic is bad. And you will have enough mages that can use physic by the time she gets an A rank for fortify. Fortify is kinda situational where warp is basically always good. Marianne is more of a weird middle ground where she gets a D+ for healing early game but has a passable offensive spell list and soulblade/frozen lance for mid game.  

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25 minutes ago, Shadow Mir said:

Bold: Really? Because you're literally the first one who I've seen state something like this. In any instance, I admittedly don't value Warp that much. And honestly, in a game where the best magic classes are female-exclusive, I'd say Linhardt is doomed to play third fiddle.

Perhaps not so much here on Serenes Forest, but it’s something I see a lot of on Discord.

In Linhardt’s case, as an offensive mage he’s probably the worst of the 3, yes. But I personally don’t value the healer trio for their offensive capability, with the exception of Marianne because Frozen Lance/Soulblade are just that good. No gremory access sucks for Linhardt, but Bishop is good enough for anybody wanting a more support oriented role, and it’s in this capacity that I think makes him stand out compared to the other 2. 
 

With regards to warp, I still find it incredibly useful even on casual playthroughs (to be clear I’ve never done an LTC run in my life). Some maps are annoying to the point where warpskipping them is the best way to deal with them, and the boost to mobility allows for much greater flexibility- you can warp a unit with canto next to a troublesome enemy, like one with a siege weapon, kill them and use their full movement to canto out of danger. You can warp somebody with good enemy phase into a group of enemies to take them out (the final chapter of AM is a great example of this- warping someone like Dimitri with battalion vantage/wrath into the throne room not only takes out everybody in it, but forces the boss into her second phase and reduces her range drastically, allowing for everybody else to make their way there without looking to the sky for her weird baseballs of death). Combining movement utility with physic is enough to make a great support unit, even without gremory or dark flier.

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11 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I never really saw it as a problem. It definitely makes the Azure Moon ending the darkest one but I think it makes a lot of sense. Dimitri being to wrapped up in his personal issues to see the big evil pulling strings behind the scene seems logical enough, especially because Thales never acts due to Dimitri accidentally killing him. If anything I kinda dislike how Hapi's inclusion tries to assure everyone that Dimitri caught the Slitherers eventually. 

I'm fine with people being unbothered by it. I don't think every mystery needs to be solved or every question needs to have an answer -- I'd argue leaving some things vague actually helps keeping people curious. I don't think "it makes sense that this character behaves illogically" is really that great of a selling point, though, when having to tag along for the ride feels inherently stupid.

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