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Jotari

Does Three Houses have the best bosses in the series?

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Personally I'd suggest that Path of Radiance has easily the best Boss enemies in regards to them tying into involved characters somehow.

It's not even just the Black Knight that makes me say it because let's remember that if Jill gets too close to her father on the battlefield, he can recruit her!


I won't pretend to remember more boss characters than I do and aside from Ashnard, they were pretty well the most memorable for me. I mean I feel Petrine should be mentioned but I didn't even remember any prominence in the game until about 5 minutes into typing this post trying to remember other memorable characters.


But then again... if you want meme suggestions...

Batta the Beast and Cervantes are my top picks.

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3H (at least VW because I only played it really) bosses were all kinda eh, they were either Humans who died in one round, or monsters which you used a gambit to break the shield of, then beat to death. 

I'd say that Thracia has the best bosses, there are a ton of strong bosses, that have incentives to fight them but dont need to be fought, as well as a few powerful bosses you go out of your way to avoid. There are even con abuse steal strats if you wanna meme your way through the game for players who like that kinda thing too, sure Mr. America escaped but I stole all his stuff first. 

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I think i may judge bosses intrinsically on a totally different criteria - how memorable they are. And, well, put it this way - I had a hard time remembering any TH bosses until a few started to be mentioned in this thread. (Played CF, AM, almost done with VW and aware of the endgame spoilers.)

For a bit of praise TH's way: I will say Sylvain's brother was the best one I've experienced in any game for a long time.  That was a solid way of introducing the idea of Crest monsters both in storytelling and in gameplay, and was early-game enough that he (it?) felt intimidating as hell, but not unkillable, but also with the vague lingering fear that there's going to be more of him in the game before you're all said and done.  There's also the emotional connection with Sylvain - that very complicated mix of grief and resentment and a whole host of other nasty emotions.

However - overall, I'd say PoR/RD beats TH's by a long run.  PoR alone you've got Petrine and the Black Knight as oppressively terrifying earlygame threats where you do face them later in emotionally satisfying arcs later. You've got Oliver that you run down in that 4-part map.  Naesala and Ena as two more tricky ones that crop up later as playable units, even. And then RD, hoo - facing your own lovingly min-maxed Ike while being gut-wrenched at the story play out is memorable.  And Izuka/Dheg/Lehran/Lekain/Ashera are a solid set of bosses with satisfying arcs in themselves... yeah I'm going to give that crown to RD.

 

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21 hours ago, Glennstavos said:

Maybe I'm forgetting a fire emblem game where bosses are notably challenging without being downright broken, but yeah, I think they put in enough effort this time around that you could say this game has the best bosses. Not that it's some huge metric by which to rate Fire Emblem games. Some new ideas were real duds. The Nemesis chapter with its twelve elites doesn't work. They are sufficiently powerful with awesome relics and crests, but they're stationary (even on Maddening) and can be taken out with ranged attacks at the player's leisure. And it's also a map that doesn't hurry the player forward in any way which further exasperates their non-threatening nature. I feel like if you asked me to fix that chapter, I'd either dump distant counter on every elite, or make it so they respawn after a while next to Nemesis and have to be killed again to keep Nemesis vulnerable.

It also helps that so many maps are kill boss chapters rather than your standard rout or seize. There will be turns where you're weighing your chances at ending a map early not because you want to end the map early but because doing so can avoid disaster from all the other enemies about to get their turn or ambush spawns ready to ruin your day. I like that the game's maps have multiple bosses to fulfill that condition rather than the one guy sitting on a throne. It may make the maps feel more rout-ey, but I think going after some tough guy in the distance is more engaging than just mopping up mooks who are just standing around waiting to die in a more enemy phased-focused fire emblem game like FE7 or Awakening.

What about having it so Nemisis aggros from the start and chases down your units. With the Twelve Elites alive his stats are basically impossible to contend with meaning youre forced to deal with them while also trying to slow Nemesis down using stuff like Gambits and encloser.

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My personal enjoyment of Nemesis as a boss comes more from the map itself and having to take down the elites, so if you asked me to fix it I'd have the Elites be the ones who chase you down. Maybe have Nemesis start moving after a few turns and have that coincide with his "I will kill Seiros now" line. Though that makes it way harder to pull off killing him with all the elites still alive, which was where most of my enjoyment of the map came last playthrough.

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The elites needed to be much more mobile and aggressive, yeah. As is I barely remember them; they're all crippled by the swamp (I'll never understand why this map had a swamp) and easy to take out at your leisure. I'm sure they had high stats on paper but I never noticed as I blew them up with my fliers and 4-5 range archers/mages; literally the only one I remember posing any threat is the one with Bolting. At least the similar setup of the FE7 final chapter has the enemies move towards you immediately as the doors opened.

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17 hours ago, SubwayBossEmmett said:

By lategame maddening they have multiple HUNDREDS of Health Points bars and its just.... who thought this would be fun...

See, I'm the reverse on this.  3H human bosses just all get wrecked way too easily such that you don't have to care very much about what they can do.  VW/SS Edelgard can just get quad'd by War Master fists and die horribly, or at the very least set up the next hit to finish the job.  Maddening assumes you've optimized your setups at least somewhat, and vs. that kind of cheese, the bosses really do need hundreds of HP to be relevant.  If nothing else, you'd have to remove the shield-break stun mechanic if you wanted hypothetical monster bosses with less HP to ever get a chance to do anything, ever.  (Also, people have complained for a long time that FE crits are more style over substance, since OMG overkill damage very rarely matters in older Fire Emblems.  Monsters are a way to "reward" some Hunter's Volley Killer Bow for mega damage setups.)

--

I will say, backing up to the original question as well as some of the commentary about how FE is ultimately not really about the bosses, I do think some of the older FEs had a better sense of "minibosses" then FE3H.  3H tends to have the level of the regular enemies, +1 to that level for important minibosses, and +2 to that level for this chapter's big boss.  Just an extra level or two is very subtle and practically unnoticeable, so it causes the threat level to feel very constant for most human enemies.  (Certainly you should be far more scared of an L30 Wyvern Lord than an L31 Warrior in enemy hands.)  This wasn't really the case in, say, FE6/FE7, which are happy to say surprise, here's a promoted Paladin in Chapter 6 or whatever in the middle of the map, enjoy dealing with it.  The gap between the scary enemies and the waves of chaff was much more noticeable there and made you pay attention a bit more IMO.  3H's human bosses would be improved if they just amped up the level scaling like crazy (and gave them an XP penalty so that they didn't become super-good at farming XP off of).  Rather than have Chapter 11 be most enemies being (using Hard levels as an example) L22, Metodey being L23, and Flame Emp being L24, make it more like Metodey is L25 and Flame Emp is L28.  Or for Maddening, 29/30/31 -> 29/32/35.

Edited by SnowFire

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Well as someone who like challenging bosses i say SS final battle and tales of the red canyon for example.

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2 minutes ago, nedya said:

Well as someone who like challenging bosses i say SS final battle and tales of the red canyon for example.

I didn't find SS final boss challenging at all. She was just way too tanky without being much of a threat. The whole map leading up to her is pretty great, but she's just an even longer repeat of Ashnard when it comes to fighting her (ie, it takes ages and there's little threat).

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9 hours ago, Anathaco said:

My personal enjoyment of Nemesis as a boss comes more from the map itself and having to take down the elites, so if you asked me to fix it I'd have the Elites be the ones who chase you down. Maybe have Nemesis start moving after a few turns and have that coincide with his "I will kill Seiros now" line. Though that makes it way harder to pull off killing him with all the elites still alive, which was where most of my enjoyment of the map came last playthrough.

"Nemesis will wait patiently for his revenge, but only for 25 turns." Hm... maybe Nemesis stays put until 6 of the Elites (who stay put) are killed, and then he starts moving? So if you want to kill all the Elites, you have to plan carefully. But suffering them to live is still an option.

Anyway, I do think Three Houses has some good bosses, mechanically speaking. Enemy skills like Counterattack and General prevent them from being trivialized. I think they xould be even better, though, with support gambits. An enemy Priest could cast Blessing, for instance, or an Armor Knight could cast Impregnable Wall. That way, you're more encouraged to kill the other units around the boss. And monsters demand multiple hits (due to shielding and HP bars), while becoming fiercer as they take more damage. I love this innovation for the series.

Narratively, and in sense of presentation, though... the bosses aren't super-memorable. A lot of bosses are nameless, with a generic portrait. And even some of the interesting characters (Baron Dominic, Baron Ochs) still have generic portraits. Not to mention, certain bosses (the Death Knight, Hubert, Edelgard) find themselves recurring to an obscene degree. There are some that I like, and who leave an impression - Lonato, Miklan, Cornelia, Ladislava - but in other cases, "interesting bosses" seems to have to been a cut corner.

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

I didn't find SS final boss challenging at all. She was just way too tanky without being much of a threat. The whole map leading up to her is pretty great, but she's just an even longer repeat of Ashnard when it comes to fighting her (ie, it takes ages and there's little threat).

Yes i can see it but for my level and stats at it point of the game it was the opposite note: i also talking about the chapter in general AKA white beast altered golem and so many mimi bosses AKA frenzied church leaders.

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

"Nemesis will wait patiently for his revenge, but only for 25 turns." Hm... maybe Nemesis stays put until 6 of the Elites (who stay put) are killed, and then he starts moving? So if you want to kill all the Elites, you have to plan carefully. But suffering them to live is still an option.

Anyway, I do think Three Houses has some good bosses, mechanically speaking. Enemy skills like Counterattack and General prevent them from being trivialized. I think they xould be even better, though, with support gambits. An enemy Priest could cast Blessing, for instance, or an Armor Knight could cast Impregnable Wall. That way, you're more encouraged to kill the other units around the boss. And monsters demand multiple hits (due to shielding and HP bars), while becoming fiercer as they take more damage. I love this innovation for the series.

Narratively, and in sense of presentation, though... the bosses aren't super-memorable. A lot of bosses are nameless, with a generic portrait. And even some of the interesting characters (Baron Dominic, Baron Ochs) still have generic portraits. Not to mention, certain bosses (the Death Knight, Hubert, Edelgard) find themselves recurring to an obscene degree. There are some that I like, and who leave an impression - Lonato, Miklan, Cornelia, Ladislava - but in other cases, "interesting bosses" seems to have to been a cut corner.

How about all the elites and Nemesis are stationary at first. Nemesis begins moving after you kill four elites, and then all of the remaining elites (4, there's 12, right?) start moving after you've killed another four. That could make for quite an interesting scramble towards the end of the battle. I actually do something similar to Verdant Wind's final battle only with movement in my recent fan game (*cough* *cough* plug *cough* *cough*) where in it's a team of highly powered enemies. They're coded to charge in different incarnations and then warp away to a healing tile after their enemy phase, forcing you to confront and kill them on player phase and not just tank and kill them after they've been lured in. All the while a lava hazard appears in your starting position forcing you deeper into the level and into the range of the enemies. After a half dozen turns or so all of them except the final boss change their AI to charge simultaneously. So unless you've taken out enough of them by that point and not simply weathered their hit and run tactics, you're going to be losing someone. I think it works pretty well.

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I'd say that Three Houses, with the particular monster mechanics and such, is theoretically better-suited to having a good boss fight than most FE games. As for whether or not it succeeds in execution, I'm not sure. I will say that I did like The Immovable and The Immaculate One (Crimson Flower) as boss fights. 

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It's getting better. In my Awakening run, Lucina one hit k.o.'d Grima by chance and I had zero idea what I was doing. I didn't even get to hear Id properly. In Fates, Anankos' multiple parts were the only good thing about Revelation. Enemy bosses having shields etc. makes it take longer to defeat them, so you leave satisfied. I always go back to SS final boss, because every time I feel "I can do better next time." 

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14 minutes ago, EdgeLordClassWhen said:

It's getting better. In my Awakening run, Lucina one hit k.o.'d Grima by chance and I had zero idea what I was doing. I didn't even get to hear Id properly. In Fates, Anankos' multiple parts were the only good thing about Revelation. Enemy bosses having shields etc. makes it take longer to defeat them, so you leave satisfied. I always go back to SS final boss, because every time I feel "I can do better next time." 

Same i like to best bosses with new unit a lots of time always go back to Grima Anankos and SS final boss with a new set up.

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In terms of story, I'd generally say no. In terms of gameplay with the multi-healthbars and boss mechanics, I'd generally say yes, with the caveat that Ashera is the best boss in the franchise.

 

However, if I have to make a criticism, it's that Miracle should never be a part of a boss's kit ever again.

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19 hours ago, Fabulously Olivier said:

In terms of story, I'd generally say no. In terms of gameplay with the multi-healthbars and boss mechanics, I'd generally say yes, with the caveat that Ashera is the best boss in the franchise.

 

However, if I have to make a criticism, it's that Miracle should never be a part of a boss's kit ever again.

TBH I actually think Miracle can be good, if it's on a boss with a single HP bar. That way, the game can practically ensure that you can't just take them out with a single unit. Having said that, IMO they should reform Miracle, so that it works like Blessing (one guaranteed activation per map, then nothing).

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

TBH I actually think Miracle can be good, if it's on a boss with a single HP bar. That way, the game can practically ensure that you can't just take them out with a single unit. Having said that, IMO they should reform Miracle, so that it works like Blessing (one guaranteed activation per map, then nothing).

I think that would be good as well. Having an ability trigger based off of luck does little to nothing for you especially since anyone’s luck stat can vary. This reminds me somewhat of the item Focus Band in Pokémon where there is a chance you could live a hit with 1 HP.

In this case @Shanty Pete's 1st Mate‘s suggestion would have Miracle be an alternate version of that item but like he said works like the Blessing Gambit. It would make the Priest class at least a decent intermediate class. Plus this would work nicely with any of the defiant skills.

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

TBH I actually think Miracle can be good, if it's on a boss with a single HP bar. That way, the game can practically ensure that you can't just take them out with a single unit. Having said that, IMO they should reform Miracle, so that it works like Blessing (one guaranteed activation per map, then nothing).

Yes i like the idea can get to you if you have low hp and like Barren say work nicely with any defiant skills.

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They brought in a lot of new mechanics into 3H that I suspect they didn't quite know what to do with at launch. The final boss in cindered shadows, while simple and easy, shows that they're interested in exploring this new design toolbox further. 

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