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[complete] Bors Is Good Now - Let's Play FE6: Project Ember


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Welcome to my Let's Play of Fire Emblem: Project Ember!

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...Project what now? Project Ember is a FE6 fanhack, substantially changing its graphics and gameplay. I do not know much about the details and I intend to learn more through playing, not looking stuff up, but I've seen it described as "FE6 for people who hate FE6".

Now, I've said numerous times in this forum that I don't hate FE6. In fact, it's one of my absolute favourites and I've always been a bit suspicious about attempts to "fix the game" which don't need afixin' as far as I'm concerned. But I will do my very best to look at Project Ember as its own thing and not judge it against the original, even though I will of course point out what Brunhilda, the creator of the hack, has changed. Spoiler warning: It's a lot.

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As far as I have seen (which is until the start of chapter 2), the story has not been changed too much, though. There will be some, which I'll point out if/when I spot them - there's going to be even more recruitables than the original has, which implies that there will be some altered and some new dialogue to accomodate this. Otherwise, I'll just post the occasional out-of-context screenshot with some hi-la-ri-ous jokes added to them.

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This does mean that my Darkest Dungeon Let's Play is put on hold for now - I swear I'm going to get back to it eventually, but for now, I need a game with a bit more clear, linear progression to get back into this whole business. It shall be done. Eventually.

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So, without further ado, let's get started.

Spoiler

Intro time!

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Good guys in the west, bad guys in the east. Seems vaguely familiar.

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Obligatory mercenary wastelands, got it.

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Umm... fantasy mongols? I don't know as much about non-european culture as I'd like, to be honest.

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Which means that my mind always goes to the Holy Roman Empire when looking at Lycia, but I'm sure there's plenty of other, maybe more appropriate, examples of a decentralized federation. Especially since Marquess Ostia is portraited more as a Primus Inter Pares than a formal leader of the League.

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"Except when that really smart and beautiful and awesome and amazing and super-duper-cool tactitian was around and Etrurua and Bern started this huge war to see who the super-duper-cool tactitian liked better."

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"Maybe daddy will retroactively love me more if I'm being as much of a shithead as he was"

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Headcanon: Eliwood is only pretending to be sick, so nobody realizes that he's a collossal wimp and had to be hard-carried by Marcus.

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It seems to be working!

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"I would LOVE to kick their butt, but I have this really nasty tummy ache...."

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Yay!

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Boo!

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Lance still doesn't have the Pass skill ingame.

I M M E R S I O N
R U I N E D

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Lance is fooled, as well.

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And with that, it's gameplay time! First things first - the map itself seems to be identical, but there's a couple additional enemies (the ones in red circles) and enemies in general...

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...are considerably stronger than they are in vanilla FE6, where all generics in this chapter run around with iron weapons and up to 17 Atk (Fighters on hard mode). Defensively, the difference isn't quite as extreme, but Project Ember seems to generally inflate stats a fair bit. Which isn't automatically a bad thing, of course! Just something I might have to get used to.

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The archers are a little stronger as well...

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...and so is the boss, although he still can't retaliate if you attack him with Wolt.

Anyway, since I wasn't given the impression that his is a super hardcore difficulty mod, it shouldn't come as a surprise that every playable character (...that I've seen so far) has been buffed, as well.

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Take Roy, for example! We all know that the original Roy, despite the occasional small spike in usefulness, kinda blows overall. Being swordlocked isn't nearly as bad as it is in the other GBA games, but unfortunately, Roy's sweetspot being near the hilt of his sword means that he can't use his disjointed hitboxes nearly as good as Marth can. He has Lance's Str and Allen's Spd and he can't swap to lances for weapon triangle control, which means that while yes, some of his moves (like for example is d-tilt) are on par with Marth, that still only makes him Marth with less options.

Now, how much better is Roy in Project Ember? Well, he starts with +3 HP, +2 Str, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, and +4 Res. That's not too shabby. He should be more long-term viable, as well - I won't look up his growths, but apparently, he also uses a Knight Crest to promote! And even if those are in equally high demand as in vanilla - at worst, he'll be able to promote in chapter 16, which is around three million maps earlier than usual.

With all that added strength, Roy then walked up to Tormod, gave him a wedgie and stole his Celerity skill (and his lunch money). So now he starts the game with 7 Movement - the same as unpromoted cavalry. Carrying Roy around in various saddlebags is a big part of the genuine vanilla FE6 experience, but it seems that it's not going to be in Project Ember.

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Marcus, in comparison, seem much closer to his original self. Two extra points of both Spd and Res, but his Str and Def are still the same, while his Skl even went down a point. He (or rather the Paladin class) also lost his axe rank, which would be a big deal even if it was the only change from vanilla, but Project Ember also increased the weapon triangle impact to +15 hit/avo and +2 Dmg.

I expect Marcus to be worse than in in vanilla - he seems to be buffed less than the enemies were and - almost more importantly - all the other playable characters seem to be a lot more competent than they used to be.

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Even fuckin WOLT! That is +3 Str, +5 Skl and +5 Spd!!! And better stats everywhere else, too, but it's hard to pay attention to things that aren't +3 Str or +5 Spd. And if you think that's the only big change to Eliban Gordin, you're in for a treat.

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The Chrismas Cavs went through a similar change as Roy - +2 for most stats with a couple +1's or +3's sprinkled in. They got a bit of added uniqueness through their weapon ranks - Lance starts with E swords and D lances, Allen vice versa (which also means that he carries a Steel Sword as his starting weapon).

Also, their class is called "Light Cav", so I anticipate a "Heavy Cav" --> Great Knight class line. Probably on Treck and Noah? Could be a way to differenciate them from Alance.

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And, finally, Bors, who got SWOLE. Stronger than Marcus, much more HP than his paltry 20 in Vanilla, access to swords, and generally closer to Wolt in terms of stat boosts. He also has the same 5 Movement as Wolt, although I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled a Hector and won't gain another point as a General.

One thing that I glossed over is that everyone except Roy and Marcus has a higher base level than in Vanilla - 3 for the cavs, 4 for Wolt, 6 for Bors. Makes sense - Roy is quite inexperiences in-universe, after all.

And another thing that I only alluded to: Weapons have been rebalanced quite extensively, generally to be stronger and/or more accurate than in the original. Just to make a quick list of what we have so far:

  • Iron Sword: Mt 5 -> 6 | Hit 85 -> 95
  • Rapier: Mt 5 -> 7 | Hit 95 -> 100
  • Steel Sword: Mt 8 -> 9 | Hit 70 -> 80
  • Iron Lance: Mt 7 -> 7 | Hit 70 -> 85
  • Javelin: Mt 6 -> 3 | Hit 55 -> 75
  • Silver Lance: Mt 14 -> 14 | Hit 65 -> 80
  • Iron Bow: Mt 6 -> 7 | Hit 80 -> 85
  • Iron Axe: Mt 8 -> 8 | Hit 65 -> 80
  • Steel Axe: Mt 11 -> 11 | Hit 50 -> 70
  • Hand Axe: Mt 7 -> 4 | Hit 50 -> 65

So, for the basic weapons, Swords and Bows are a little stronger and more accurate, while Axes and Lances keep their power while gaining a LOT of accuracy. Things will be more predictable as a result, but it also means that I won't be able to bank on Rutger surely dodging at least one of those three enemies. But that's still not all.

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Project Ember's maker is really looking to make Bows relevant. 2-3 range on all of them! Again, I'm looking forward to seeing how this will pan out later in the game - in vanilla FE6, bows wouldn't have needed the boost (it's Wolt and Dorothy, not their weapons, that suck), but obviously, this might change drastically in this hack.

On top of that, Javelins and Hand Axes actually lost three points of Mt, so bows are really shaping out to be exceptionally good.

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But let's get started already. In vanilla, I would always go for a more defensive approach - have Marcus weaken a couple enemies on enemy phase, then give Roy, Alen, and Lance the kills. But let's see what we can do here and flex our newfound muscles a bit.

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To the south, Bors sets up a kill for Roy...

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...and to the north, Wolt and Alen kill the nearest fighter.

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Marcus and Lance just get in position. Roy still gets two-shot by any axe fighter on the map, so Lance makes sure that there can't be a immediate game over.

Roy still proves to be a disappointment here, not doubling the fighter in return. At least he's fast enough to double the Steel Axe fighters, I guess?

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It's still risky in theory, because Lance and Alen (who I know I'm going to spell "Allen" half the time) also get two-shot once there's one Steel Axe hit involved. But in practice, Roy being the squishiest target (and having a 0% crit chance) made this a perfectly safe enemy phase.

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With bonus points for Alen casually one-rounding the enemy fighter. Not bad at all!

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Turn 2, three additional enemies get into range - a fighter and an archer from the north and the added Mercenary from below the village. I don't think I would be able to get all four kills on player phase - at least not without giving Marcus a kill (yuck!) using his Silver Lance (double yuck!).

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Three enemies shouldn't be a problem, though. Roy attacks from the left here to stay out of the Merc's range...

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...Marcus chips down the Archer for Al--

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--whooops--

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--for Wolt, which was totally the plan all along.

(Allen used the Steel Sword instead of the slightly more accurate Iron Lance because he's in range of the Brigand on enemy phase and I did know that I had Wolt as a back-up)

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The remaining Fighter kill goes to Lance, who doubles and (thanks to Roy's EP chip) kills. Dodging the counter is nice, too - saves a Vulnerary use.

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Enemy phase feels a little more like I'm used to, with Marcus getting some chipping done. I really appreciate that he's still fine-tuned to leave (almost) every enemy at very low HP after a single round of combat. There's something deeply satisfying about your Jeigan being good at Jeiganing.

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We'll see if it will remain this way, but this Brigand is much more different from the enemy Fighters than usual. 19 HP instead of 30-ish, but considerably faster (10 vs 5-6 Spd, which luckily still doesn't double Alen).

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The Merc, as you'd expect, combines decent bulk and attack power with dangerously high Spd - 12, which is enough to double Alen, but not Lance.

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Four enemies in range again, but this time, three of them are so low on HP that they'll die to a stiff breeze.

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Lance, Bors, and Roy get themselves the XP, which is enough to get Roy his first Level-up. Which seems about royght, although the Def proc is nice.

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The merc still needs another round of chip damage before Alen can finish him off. He would've survived the double counterattack if he had missed and Marcus was near enough to take the kill (yuck!), so no risk here, either.

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Instead, Marcus charges ahead a little bit, getting in range of one fighter near the boss.

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This also activates the archer directly above the castle, but not the remaining archer and two fighters.

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Oh, and Bors attacked his enemy on player phase from the north so that he would draw this fighter, as well.

Unfortunately, sending Marcus ahead proved to be a horrible mistake......

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Because of the aggroed archer, Roy can't kill the weakened fighter, since he didn't have an opportunity to vuln up and wouldn't survive an arrow.

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And nobody else can even get into range to get the kill. Which means that I have to deploy the dark, forbidden technique...

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...of giving a kill to the Jeigan. THE HORROR!

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How will Alen and Roy be lategame viable after missing those 30 XP? I'm really worried that I shot myself in the foot here.

But to get at least a little short-term use out of them, they share a vulnerary...

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...which by the way has been buffed to 15 points of healing. Makes sense, since HP and damage rolls seem to be generally higher than in the vanilla GBA games.

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Wolt and Lance kill the remaining Fighter that Bors had weakened. If I recall, Lance would have doubled and killed without the additional chip, but hey, some XP for Wolt and no damage from the counterattack.

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The rest of the map is more or less formality at this point. The archer takes a potshot at Marcus...

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...which puts him in range for Bors and Roy to kill him. Iron Lance instead of Iron Sword for Bors so that Roy doesn't need his Rapier for the kill. Efficiency!

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They're still only in that one Fighter's range, so again, no risk attached. I am close enough for the last two enemies to start moving in the following enemy phase, though.

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And, just to style on the chapter a little, Marcus disengages a little preemptively to get the village. Normally, that's Bors's job, but Bors is actually good now!

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BONK!

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Normally, this would be the point where my hybris would catch up to me and make me look really stupid. But this time, the numbers work out perfectly.

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Wolt's chip allows Lance to kill the Bandit without taking a counter (not that it would have mattered at this point), giving him his first level-up. Quite good by vanilla FE6 standards, especially since Lance tends to have some Str issues, but I have no idea how good or bad three procs are in this hack. We'll see.

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Bors takes a poke at the remaining Archer using his Lance...

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...which allows Alen to borrow Lance's Iron Sword to minimize any risks. (although, looking at it now, I think I forgot to rearrange their weapons before seizing. Let's see if that'll be a problem in chapter 2)

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I imagine that he then gives Lance a smug look, since he gets the same level-up plus a Def proc. I hope that his Spd growth will be agreeable in the future, but for now, I'll gladly take four procs including Str and Def.

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And Roy is just strong enough to 3HKO the last generic enemy, which means that he can just kill him without healing between fights.

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Meanwhile, Marcus makes his way to the village, probably grumbling how the young 'uns will come crying for help sooner or later and how overqualified he is for village duty.

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But for now, the young 'uns do quite well without him. Alen casually chips Damas down to 13 HP...

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...Wolt deals another 10 points of damage...

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...and Lance rescues Alen out of the way so that Roy can take the bosskill.

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I dunno, Strength is the one stat that Roy hasn't procced yet. +2 Def right away is pretty neat, though.

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Not very dondon of me to delay the clear just to feed the bosskill to a non-mounted unit, but hey - 8 turns isn't too bad.

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(implying that he ever was)

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Yay!

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BOOOOOOO! (no chapter 2 Lilina, then. Shame)

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*laughtrack plays*

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		 3.50		23    7   8  10   8   7   5
Marcus		    */1.20	35    9  13  13  10   9  10	(base)
Alen		 4.21		25   11   7   8   5   8   0
Lance		 4.08		23    9   8  11   4   8   2

Bors		 6.54		28   12  10   6   8  12   4	(base)
Wolt		 4.57		20    7   9  10   7   6   2	(base)

And that's a wrap! Feel free to ask for specific characters to be used - it'll be some time before we can bench anyone, assuming that Project Ember doesn't change that, but I might be able to feed a little more XP into a requested unit. Otherwise, let's see what Deke's group has to offer and what chapter 2 will throw at them.

 

Edited by pong
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Spoiler
4 hours ago, ping said:

 

I expect Marcus to be worse than in in vanilla - he seems to be buffed less than the enemies were and - almost more importantly - all the other playable characters seem to be a lot more competent than they used to be.

Yikes, poor guy only had about 7-9 chapters in him in the origional, at this rate he is falling off at map 3-4.I think promoting Alen/Lance at base level would be comparable to those stats...

 

4 hours ago, ping said:

Project Ember's maker is really looking to make Bows relevant. 2-3 range on all of them! Again, I'm looking forward to seeing how this will pan out later in the game - in vanilla FE6, bows wouldn't have needed the boost (it's Wolt and Dorothy, not their weapons, that suck), but obviously, this might change drastically in this hack.

On top of that, Javelins and Hand Axes actually lost three points of Mt, so bows are really shaping out to be exceptionally good.

Well that change is going to make Sacae even less playable than it normally is...not being able to enemy-phase archers just makes them more annoying.

 

4 hours ago, ping said:

 

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And, finally, Bors, who got SWOLE. Stronger than Marcus, much more HP than his paltry 20 in Vanilla, access to swords, and generally closer to Wolt in terms of stat boosts. He also has the same 5 Movement as Wolt, although I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled a Hector and won't gain another point as a General.

Nice to see Bors so Buff (hopefully they kept the armor triangle attack)...also archers and knights having the same move, on top of the nerfed 1-2 range weapon might makes me think of New Mystery...

 

5 hours ago, ping said:

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The Merc, as you'd expect, combines decent bulk and attack power with dangerously high Spd - 12, which is enough to double Alen, but not Lance.

That is a scary enemy to just add to chapter 1. Also looks like they made mercs just as nasty in this hack as they  tend to be in the base game.

 

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wew, i've been holding on playing Project ember until 2 days ago, now more people started too. it seems certain FE youtuber been successful in pulling people into playing this hack.

 

from what i've read in the project notes, theres many things that should be exciting. but thankfully there are some things that i hate. so i wont say this can replace potential FE6 remake whenever it happen

some things that i just hate

Spoiler

Roy become carbon copy of his father by getting horse, in a horse emblem game thats getting even more horse from new units in this hack. even tho they already give roy 7 mov since chater 1.

theres going to be Divine General ghost or something in fight with Idunn (i havent reach that yet.) which is just dumb lore wise. im sure those are there for the sake of challenge and nothing more. despite the hack trying to be lore friendly. or just copying FE4, FE7 , 3H and maybe Naruto about mindless phantom of "past great heroes". it just wont work in Divine general case lore wise imo.

cmiiw, Guinevere joins but on zephiel maps. even in vanilla games, guinevere stay in front line since battle with Murdock or maybe even before that. so why start usable in zephiel map

but the author not here, so i dunno how to gives suggestion, nor believe they will change it late this game

Edited by joevar
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12 hours ago, ping said:

...Project what now? Project Ember is a FE6 fanhack, substantially changing its graphics and gameplay. I do not know much about the details and I intend to learn more through playing, not looking stuff up, but I've seen it described as "FE6 for people who hate FE6".

Now, I've said numerous times in this forum that I don't hate FE6. In fact, it's one of my absolute favourites and I've always been a bit suspicious about attempts to "fix the game" which don't need afixin' as far as I'm concerned. But I will do my very best to look at Project Ember as its own thing and not judge it against the original, even though I will of course point out what Brunhilda, the creator of the hack, has changed. Spoiler warning: It's a lot.

FE6 is indeed the esteemed, cultured man's Fire Emblem game, but I'm alright with having rebalance patches or overhauls around. It doesn't detract from my ability to play the original, and while I think the original doesn't need fixing, the mindset that it does need to be fixed somehow is more-or-less separate from the existence of a patch like this. That said, seeing axes with 80 hit in this game is uncomfortably uncomfortable. Uncomfortablyat.

I haven't actually played Project Ember, so I'll bite my tongue on some of the changes I conceptually dislike and just say that it's cool they gave Bors swords.

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Yyyyyep, my big stupid stubborn monkey brain still needs to adapt to the new 2-3 range standard. Damn, and I lost a good Roy level-up, as well. Four procs including Str and Spd....

---

Answers!

Spoiler
20 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Yikes, poor guy only had about 7-9 chapters in him in the origional, at this rate he is falling off at map 3-4.I think promoting Alen/Lance at base level would be comparable to those stats...

He's still useful, mind. 13 Spd is faster than anything you can have before, er, chapter 2.
For real though, he's more useful (to me as a casual player) because you only start with six characters and not because he outclasses the other five that much. He's still better, sure, but everyone else is doing fine.

20 hours ago, Eltosian Kadath said:

Well that change is going to make Sacae even less playable than it normally is...not being able to enemy-phase archers just makes them more annoying.

At least I'd have Sue and Shin as counter-bowusers if I went that route. :lol: But yeah, I'd rather go Ilia even more than in vanilla.

14 hours ago, joevar said:

wew, i've been holding on playing Project ember until 2 days ago, now more people started too. it seems certain FE youtuber been successful in pulling people into playing this hack.

Mekkah with a 30 hour nonstop charity stream. I only tuned in for a short while because I wanted to play the patch mostly unspoiled, though.

I've seen that another "certain youtuber" is LPing this when I googled for the patch, but I explicitly do not watch that person's content anymore. I don't want to get into detail, so I'll just leave it at "fuck that guy".

I'm not going to open the spoilers, I think, but I hope that I'll remember to respond to them at the end of the LP. Feel free to remind me if I forget. ;):

13 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

FE6 is indeed the esteemed, cultured man's Fire Emblem game, but I'm alright with having rebalance patches or overhauls around. It doesn't detract from my ability to play the original, and while I think the original doesn't need fixing, the mindset that it does need to be fixed somehow is more-or-less separate from the existence of a patch like this.

Yep, that's the attitude that I'm trying to keep. It's a different game which uses FE6's maps (which is good because most of FE6's maps are good).

(It's also how I see remakes or sequels. No matter how shitty they are, they don't retroactively change the original game(s) )

13 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

That said, seeing axes with 80 hit in this game is uncomfortably uncomfortable. Uncomfortablyat.

Oh boy, you're in for a treat 😎 Two treats, actually.

13 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

it's cool they gave Bors swords.

Yep! It's something that I wouldn't have minded as an isolated change to vanilla, either - it allows Bors to be reliable in the earlygame while keeping the Knight as a flawed class.

Update!

  • Chapter 2 - The Princess of Bern
Spoiler

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In which we meet the princess of Bern.

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Not gonna lie, I kinda like Ruud as a minor villain / turncoat. Some minor noble from the fringes of Bern who doesn't feel particularly beholden to any feudal contract and, as a result, kickstarts a lot of what is going to go wrong with Zephiel's plans.

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He also embraced capitalism in it's purest form: Fuck ethics, it's all about me and my bank balance. What a true American hero.

(ping entering the competition for the most lukewarm takes)

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Oh look, Merlinus is being cold and calculating and therefore wrong.

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I agree, it gets really old really quickly.

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So what you're saying is that if I took you with me, I'd be very glad that I did?

(now I'm actually curious how close her Japanese dialogue is to the Wrys memes)

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Like chapter one, there don't seem to be any changes to the map itself; just three additional enemies. One soldier close to where we start, one Mercenary guarding the village, one-- is that a fucking Wyvern Rider in chapter 2?

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...well, find me in the alps. Luckily, he only moves when you enter his range, because as you'd expect, his stats are rather terrifying. At least the Steel Lance slows him down to 9 AS, so he doesn't double anything on my team.

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The other new enemy type are the Soldiers, which have a similar stat line as their vanilla selves, except (of course) better. I think it's around 3-4 points in Str, Skl and HP each, while their Spd remains as low as in Vanilla.

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Ruud's stats seem mostly unchanged, apart from a zero in Luck. Which, actually, every enemy had so far, but I've taken a peek at chapter 3 out of curiosity and all enemies have a one in Luck there. No BlaBla sitution here.

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But back to Ruud - he's a chump, really. Keep in mind that Javelins have only 3 Might in this hack and that all our characters are a fair bit bulkier than in vanilla. He could probably do with a Short Spear instead.

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On our side, Elen's been buffed a lot. Not at all defensively (+2 Def/Res is actually lower than the enemy's increase in Atk and she gets one-shot even by half of the Iron Lance soldiers), but she starts with a casual +5 Mag and a C rank in staves. I doubt that she's going to be much better as a combat unit after promotion than she is in vanilla (inb4 70% Spd and Def growths), but as a staffbot, she seems to be pretty darn good.

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As an added boon, the Heal staff's XP has been buffed to 16, which means that she needs roughly six heals per level-up (6x16 = 96) instead of nine. (9x11 = 99).

Now, into the chapter:

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The added third Soldier between our units and the first chokepoint actually makes a difference - without him, you can fairly easily clear the area and still rescue-drop Marcus on the fort with Bors+Alen or Lance, but that doesn't work as easily anymore.

You can still do it, I think, since Marcus and Bors (thanks to the added Soldier being weighed down to 0 AS) can one-round a soldier each. However, that would involve giving Marcus a kill by using his Silver Lance, so let's not do this.

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Instead, Wolt and Marcus chip...

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...and Lance and Roy take the kills. Lance uses a Javelin to avoid a counter, which is a bit of a gamble, but I'll take those on turn 1.

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Lance missing there would potentially have been a reset, depending on movement order, since Roy is in range of an additional Soldier and would've died if the first one had suicided into him. He still gets solidly two-shot a lot of the time.

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Allen goes north to 1v1 the Mercenary.

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Which is not something that I expected to be possible - on my first try (which ended with me keeping Shanna in Archer range), this Merc doubled Allen, but he doesn't after restarting the chapter.

Which is weird, by the way, because I'm quite certain that I started ch.2 after hard-resetting the game. I went back into ch.1 to check some things while typing the initial post and I haven't used any emulator savestates (yet. I will have to at some point, because apparently the game can't handle that there's even more recruitables and will delete characters if you reset the game). Which should mean that enemy stats should be consistent between attempts, but either I don't recall things correctly or Project Ember changed something here.

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But let's not worry about it too much. I've never done any more sophisticated RNG abuse than "savestate into arrow-wiggle", so a changed RNG wouldn't really impact how I'm going to play the game.

As expected, Roy gets attacked by the Soldier mentioned earlier...

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...while Marcus is the only target in range for two of the Fighters in the same area.

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At the start of turn 2, Deke and his group appear, just as usual. Shanna flies off to locate Roy, everyone gets a couple lines to establish their basic character.

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But who cares, there's numbers to talk about! And hoo boy, are those some numbers.

Dieck, for starters, is weird. He starts Gerik-style, ready to promote with the Hero Crest that he comes with. In chapter fucking TWO. If you do so right away, he's stronger than Marcus, faster than Marcus and about as tanky as Marcus (as long as there's no magic involved). That's pretty whack.

On the flipside, Deke's arguably worse as a long-term prospect than his vanilla self. His stats are actually a little worse than average vanilla Deke at Lv. 10 (who has 11 Str, 11-12 Spd, 7 Def and 30-31 HP). Combine that with the higher power level in Project Ember and the fact that Deke's honestly kinda average after promotion to begin with, and I'm not really feeling this version of him.

I'm sure that the "correct" play here would be to insta-promote him and use him as a second Jeigan, but I'm going to hold off on that unless I feel like I need the additional punch on my team. Getting a Hero Crest this early in the game might be a sign that promo items are not going to be as sparse as in vanilla, but for now, I'd still rather keep it in reserve for Rutger and/or one of the Axe Bros.

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Speaking of, here's Lot, also known as the most average unit in all of vanilla BinBla. Like Deke, his base level has been upped by five, which puts him fairly close to a potential early promotion, as well. But unlike Deke (and more like Allen and Lance), his stats are a little better than you'd expect them to be. His most notable stats are obviously HP and Res; offensively, he's about as good as Alen and Lance are despite his higher base level.

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Meanwhile, Wade no longer combines the worst aspects of Bartre and Dorcas. Well, he could still have his 20% Spd growth for all I know, but a base of 8 is something OG Wade hardly even reaches before promotion. Add to that the highest base Strength on our team (tied with Bors) and you get a unit that might actually be an offensive powerhouse.

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And finally, Shanna, whose stats are honestly rather underwhelming. Still frail AF (her Def and Res bases are actually swapped, which really doesn't help the case), still awful base Str (especially considering that literally everyone else got a bigger boost than she did). However...

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...it seems that Brunhilda is a Shiida fan. Now, without forging and 90% of the enemies being weak to it, I don't expect Shanna to be the dominating force that is SD!Shiida, but at worst, a slightly stronger, more accurate Iron Lance that doesn't slow her down should be an excellent way to give her some initial level-ups. Which I absolutely want her to get, if only to avoid going to Sacae.

A propos de rien, please avoid any "Shanna is a boy" jokes. They're not particularly funny.
(100 internet points though if you figure out why "A propos de rien" is a flagrant lie)

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And with that, let's get back to the action. Lance again uses a Javelin to avoid a counter (which I believe costs Elen an opportunity to heal down the line)...

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...and Roy clears the fort for an even better level-up than the one I lost previously (Def instead of Skl, which puts him at three out of three Def procs).

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Marcus does not one-round the Hand Axe fighter because I hunger for XP.

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And Wolt immediately punishes my greed. First truly bad level-up of the run, I think!

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Bors retreats a little bit, since I want him and Wolt to deal with the Wyvern soon, and Alen manages to connect two 74s in a row to dispose of the Mercenary.

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Which allows Merlinus to safely get the village and canto out of the Wyvern's range.

(By the way, I have no good explanation why I had Alen kill the Merc from the north. Completely counterproductive, now that I see the screenshots)

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Meanwhile, back with Deke's group, Lot sets up a kill for...

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...not Shanna because Javelins are still heavy and Shanna would most certainly risk death if she melee'd the guy. She still goes for the chip XP, though.

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Wade goes for the kill instead. He wouldn't even have needed any chip damage to get it, but hey, no counterattack and more XP. Efficiency!
Deke just goes to the other fort to be a little closer to the action...

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...but only Wade gets some EP action. No risk of death, but I should keep in mind that Wade does get two-shot by Steel Axe enemies.

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Turn 3, Lance fails to give Elen something to do. What a scrub.

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Actually, he used a Lance because Alen still carries his Iron Sword, otherwise I would've gone for the higher accuracy. But I did hope for the Fighter to hit here. For now, Elen can still heal Marcus, but next turn, she will indeed miss out on that sweet sweet staff XP.

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Marcus and Shanna rescue-drop Roy closer to the eastern chokepoint - which was where I screwed up on my first attempt by putting Shanna east of Roy because I didn't realize that she would end up being in archer range there. Whoops!

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To be safe, Wade takes a step back and drinks a Vulnerary, while Lot and Deke clear the enemies adjacent to the forts.

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To the west, Bors draws the Wyvern with Wolt getting in range behind him. Alen grabs the Armorslayer from Merlinus and follows the main group; Merlinus sticks around to visit the Armory once the Wyvern is dealt with.

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Which is during the next player phase (shown a bit preemptively, just to put that part of the map ad acta. I buy a couple basic weapons and vulneraries down the line, otherwise those three don't do anything this chapter anymore)

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At the chokepoint, Lot and Deke prove to be utterly incompetent at dodging, with the latter taking most of the punishment (a Steel Lance, a Javelin, and this arrow over the course of the enemy phase, which brings him to 5 HP before fort healing). Lot doubles and one-rounds his opponent, though.

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Shanna finishes the Soldier that Deke weakened, using the Wing Spear to avoid a counter. Elen's still far away. I'm not sure how conservative I should be with the Wing Spear - it only has 25 uses, after all, and who knows if I get another one - but I want to try and use Shanna as consistently as possible, i.e. avoid having to use a vulnerary if possible.

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Lot, Marcus, and Roy remove the other two enemies in the vicinity. This already brings Roy to B swords, so weapon rank growth is clearly accelerated quite a bit in Project Ember, even for basic iron weapons.

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Dieck uses another vulnerary charge and takes point. Waiting for Alen and Lance to catch up is for cowards.

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This immediately puts him in a bit of danger - because he gets a 3% crit on the Steel Axe Fighter, he would've been open to the nearby soldier to attack him, as well. Good thing he dodged the Steel Axe.

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So, because the Soldier is carrying an Axereaver, he goes for Wade instead.

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Who doubles and one-rounds with 78 displayed hit in return. Huh. I know that reaver weapons don't increase the weapon triangle effect in FE6, but I still feel a little dirty.

(as an aside, I think I would give one of the three initial Soldiers an Axereaver, as well. It would obviously make them weaker, since none of your initial units use axes, but it would give the player a small heads-up that reavers are a thing already without going for a Gotcha! more than halfway through the map)

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Last group of enemies! I vaguely remember their AI being linked, but I might be talking out my ass here. Still, I'm being a bit more careful here.

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Deke sets up another kill for Shanna, with the Slim Lance being sufficient this time...

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...but apart from Wade shielding Deke from the Mercenary (which is not a phrase I was expecting to ever type) and Marcus going slightly ahead, I don't really advance any further. Note that Alance rescue-dropped Elen near the action, though.

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And just for the record, Wade still doesn't measure up too well against enemy Mercs. But this one is carrying an Iron Blade, which weighs him down enough for Wade to avoid being doubled.

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More Shanna kills!

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Meanwhile, Marcus and a freshly healed Wade kill the Fighter - who didn't move despite the Merc being pulled, so I guess I was talking out my ass.

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This leaves only the archer, the boss and not a whole lot of danger.

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After a bit of a trade chain, Roy gives the Armorslayer to Deke to give me another options against Ruud and checks if there's any different dialogue between the two (nope).

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This puts Roy in the Archer's range and he eats a shot, but that doesn't really matter anymore. It allows Lance to set up a kill for Shanna, though.

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...so this is where things will be going, huh? I've seen this kind of Shanna before.

Oh well, let's take a look how people do against Ruud.

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U WOT M8

So yeah, the Hammer got buffed from 45 base hit to SEVENTY. While also gaining +2 Mt. It actually goes from "laughably bad" to "better than the Armourslayer" - with the increased weapon triangle effects, it's more accurate (85 vs. 70) and wayyy stronger (12 vs. 7, so effectively 36 vs. 21)

I think axes might be good in this game, you guys.

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And you know what? Why shouldn't I see if Roy can go full Seliph on us?

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Delicious.

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And, with Elen sneaking in two last heals (which is just shy of getting her a level-up), Roy seizes. 8 turns again, not too bad.

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Story happens - Guinivere reveals her identity, Merlinus is being distrustful and wrong, Roy is being sensible and right. Same old, same old.

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Guinivere still doesn't say, or even imply, a whole lot yet, other than her intention to parley. I haven't read FE6's story in a while, so I was kinda expecting her to already hint at a plan to make Zephiel negotiate with Lycia.


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		5.39		24    9   9  12  10   8   5
Marcus		   */1.43	35    9  13  13  10   9  10	(base)
Alen		4.53		25   11   7   8   5   8   0
Lance		4.85		23    9   8  11   4   8   2

Bors		6.87		28   12  10   6   8  12   4	(base)
Wolt		5.27		21    7   9  10   8   6   2
Elen		4.96		16    6   5   8  10   2   8	(base)
Wade		5.97		30   12   7   8   6   6   3	(base)

Lot		8.36		32    9   9  10   7   8   7	(base)
Dieck		10.42		28   10  13  12   6   7   3	(base)
Shanna		4.22		20    5   8  13   7   5   6	(base)
Merlinus	1.00		25    0   4   5  10   6   0	(lol)

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Oh, I completely forgot about Merlinus. His survivability is actually a fair bit better than in vanilla - +10 HP, +2 Spd, +3 Def. Almost a shame, since his only use as a "combat" unit is to look as appealing as a target as possible. He's still Lv.1 at the start of chapter 3 though, so there's no FE7 systems in play.

WAIT A SECOND. That's 24 Aid. TWENTY-FOUR. AID. Merlinus is officially good now.

Thanks for reading and for the replies! Until next chapter!

 

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14 hours ago, ping said:

I'm not going to open the spoilers, I think, but I hope that I'll remember to respond to them at the end of the LP. Feel free to remind me if I forget.

i will try.

at least im pleasantly surprised the level of quality and effort they put into this hack.

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  • Chapter 3 - Latecomer's Sorrow
Spoiler

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In which being late actually saves us from utter annihilation.

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It's probably the luckiest break that Roy gets, barely dodging Zephiel, Brunya, and Narcian, who all leave the scene literally while the fight is ongoing.

And despite everything I could say about BlaBla's story - having played the sequel first (like probably 99% of the non-Japanese people who have played both) does make this scene quite a lot more impactful. Without that context, Hector just gets talked up a little off-screen; all we actually see is him being utterly trashed by Zephiel's troops.

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This is a good villain line, though.

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Zephiel throws a first small reference to his Evil Plan at us...

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...we get our first not-too-subtle foreshadowing about Idoun...

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...and Zephiel continues to make a good first impression. I like the little break in kayfabe, showing that he doesn't really see himself as that big tin tyrant conqueror that he presents himself as and hinting that world domination isn't actually his end goal.

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Yeah, about both those things....
Not a whole lot happening on Roy's side - Chad joins Roy's troops because he "has a bone to pick with Bern", Guinivere apologizes because she didn't anticipate Zephiel to strike so soon, but the plot isn't really pushed forward. We don't even get the usual Merlinus-falsely-distrusts-someone scene.

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And with that, the fight starts. I think this is the first time that there's a small, but significant change in the map itself - note the door in the northern wall near Lugh's village. This means that we don't need to detach anyone to recruit Lugh, which is really helpful since it's guarded more heavily, too, with an Armour Knight added and the Archer replaced with a Mage. The two added Cavaliers in the top right also start aggressive and would intercept any would-be recruitment troop.

The Mend village in the south has two Cavaliers covering it, as well, so it'll take a bit more commitment to secure, too. We're still not on any kind of timer though, as far as I can tell, so moving as one big turtle might still be the boring-but-effective way to beat the map.

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Let's start with the elephant in the room. Guarding the treasure chests is the first promoted enemy in the game (reminder: this is chapter 3), although he is admittedly far from threatening. He uses axes instead of lances, which is good for the Roy and any Armourslayer wielder, and bad for Shanna and the axe bros, but statwise...

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...he actually isn't any stronger than the unpromoted Knights on the map. A bit more impervious to weak physical attacks, maybe, but we don't need to rely on those.

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The cavs on the top are actually the Heavy Cavs that I've been speculating about earlier. Both of them use axes, but I don't know if they (and, if my guess is correct, Treck and/or Noah) have a second rank like Alen and Lance do.

As far as I can tell from the four enemies on the map, enemy Light and Heavy Cav don't have too differing stats from each other. A bit more Skl+Spd on the former, a bit more Str+Def on the latter, if I had to guess.

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22 Atk on the first mage we see, oof. It doesn't one-shot any of our characters except Chad, although Wolt only survives because he procced HP on his level-up. And the only character that doesn't get two-shot with some damage to spare is Marcus, who barely fails to survive three hits (35 HP, 10 Res)

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And since I've mentioned him - here's Chad, who's actually a combat-able unit in Project Ember. Still very frail, of course (same physical durability as Shanna, actually), but he can survive a hit against most enemies (apart from the mage, Steel Lance enemies one-shot him more often than not) and while 6 base Str obviously won't win him any awards, he has access to Knifes, which are honestly pretty neat at this point in the game. As strong as Hand Axes, very light, and very accurate, which makes Chad a very consistent source of 2-range chip damage.

He also retains the increased XP gain from Vanilla and has gained the ability to promote (not sure if with the Hero Crest or with another item), so if Chad also kept his excellent growths, he might actually grow into a pretty decent fighter.

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It took me three attempts to beat this chapter - one failure because this miss lead into the cav suiciding Alen which allowed his Cav buddy to finish him off; the second because Bors failed to kill the Mage, whose counterattack put Bors into kill range for a Heavy Cav.

He who lives by the 80 disp hit, dies by the 80 disp hit.

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But let's ignore all that! First attempt! ...for the third time.

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I'm kinda leaning towards keeping Lot on my permanent roster. I like the bulk on both sides (especially now that we've taken a glimpse at the magic side) and the extra Spd on him certainly doesn't hurt either. Maybe I'll even go for the Double Axe Bro experience?

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Other than that first soldier, there's not really anything to kill on turn 1, so I just make sure that the Soldier and Archer can't reach anyone that they'd be able to kill, while also distributing the weapons that Merlinus bought during the last chapter. I went for a decent number of Javelins in particular, since even with their low power, it never hurts to have a little more 2-range chip available. Alen, Lance, Marcus and Shanna all get a couple additional pieces of equipment.

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The Soldier and Archer split their damage, which they would also have done if Deke hadn't gotten that dodge. On both failed attempts, Deke got a crit here, so I'm glad that left the XP for a better target this time.

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Lugh gets his short cutscene (he decided to fight against Bern, but hides that from the bishop and the younger children), everyone else gets an opportunity to make a catholic church joke.

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There really isn't too much value in fanning out your units too much. All out-of-the-way enemies will charge towards you sooner or later, although some (most notably the Mage and the two Cavs near the southern village) are only triggered to do so once you're getting closer to them, although they start moving before you get into their actual ranges.

I'm feeding a couple kills to Chad during this chapter - I want to promote at least one of the thieves simply because it's new, although I haven't decided yet who to pick.

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I do have to send some units to deal with the two soldiers coming from the east, which will be already close enough to the two cavs to start moving. Marcus and Lance get the further one because of their high movement and Lance gets a decent level-up. His and Alen's initial bulk isn't that great, so the HP/Def is appreciated.

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Wade gets the worst possible 4-stat level-up while setting up another kill for Shanna (Ilia, here I come!)...

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...and Deke gets the other soldier in the east into Roy's killing range, which will also allow Roy to use the Rapier against one of the Cavs next turn.

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One kill For Alen...

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...and Elen with her first level-up. Not too shabby!

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To make the enemy phase a little more productive, Wolt falls back and Lot charges ahead a little bit.

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Wolt chips his target down nicely, while Lot even one-rounds one soldier and chips the other perfectly down to 1 HP.

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Which is another Shanna kill. If I remember correctly, I usted the Javelin here just to have her use her full movement, although that won't be too relevant for the next couple turns.

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Meanwhile, the Rapier's effective damage makes its debut. Roy's Spd is just barely high enough to double this Light Cav, but not the other one.

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Marcus and Lance take care of that one. The regular Paladin Lance animation has some spinning in it, so I was worried that Marcus might have stolen yet another kill (yuck!). And surely, I won't have another 85 miss, right...?

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Right.

Although in this case, a miss wouldn't have been fatal - Marcus and Roy would have survived with 1 or 2 HP, respectively.

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Merlinus makes use of his suddenly amazing Aid stat and helps carrying Wolt further towards the frontline, where Lot is again taking point. Alen, Wade, and Deke (who used a Vulnerary so that he'll survive another hit) should be enough to beat this enemy trio, especially after Wolt weakened one of them previously.

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Cutscene time again!

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Narcian and Zephiel both draw the "send our weakest troops first" card. Yep, Roy's luckiest breaks is still ongoing.

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And Narcian cites the "Make Your Villain Look Evil (For Inexperienced Writers)" book.

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Back to gameplay, Lot gets another kill on enemy phase kill. I think I wanted this to be another kill set-up for Shanna, but somehow forgot to take weapon triangle into account. Whoops!

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Wade, Deke and Alen do clean up the flanking enemies, although Alen takes the opportunity to get another high-% miss. FE6 RNG BUGGED REEEEEEE

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He doubles, though, so it's of no big impact. Unfortunately, he follows up with another miss...

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Roy, Marcus, and Lance start catching up to the rest after getting the Mend staff. Note my incredible foresight, please: Lance attacked his enemy from the right so that he would be closer to the village and then I decided to visit it with Marcus anyway. Me SMRT!

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They should still reach the rest fairly soon, though, since I'm not even moving with Lot's full 5 points of Movement. Here, he stays out of the Soldier's range because he wouldn't survive if all three of those enemies.

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Well, OK, he would have because he dodged the Knight. Oh well, it's not like I could've predicted that. Lot gets rewarded with a pretty good level-up for his troubles.

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Speaking of "pretty good" level-ups - I TAKE EVERYTHING BACK SHANNA YOU'RE AWESOME NOW PLEASE DO THIS AGAIN

As a side note, the Wing Spear is strong enough to one-round enemy Knights, even if Lot hadn't chipped here beforehand. Nice.

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Notice a theme in my tactics? Lot chips the soldier (who started the chapter aggressive, so he came into our range despite nobody being in his range) from range, which puts him in range of those two Cav reinforcements. Bonus points because he'll counter the one with a Javelin.

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The kills goes to Bors, who I kinda have to use long-term after putting him into the title of the LP, right? Javelin because he wasn't close enough to melee. I quite like the new throwing animation for the Knight, I gotta say - most throws in the GBA animations come purely out of the arm, with the body remaining static. This one uses the whole body, as one would realistically do.

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Two stats, but it's Spd, so I don't mind too much.

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And Chad gets the other kill.

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See what I mean? Lot dosn't even move his feet. GBA throwing animations are fucking boring, especially when they're contrasted by the glorious, amazingly over-the-top melee animations.

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Lot winning the coinflip against the Sword Cav didn't really give us anything except a few XP - Shanna one-shots him either way.

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Bors casally one-rounds the (also already aggressive) Fighter...

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...and Lot (surprise, surprise!!) goes ahead of the pack again.

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OK, that's a bit more movement, I guess, but still... Not particularly spectacular, really.

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Nice opportunity for another Chad kill.

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...
...
...I guess FE6 never truly left.

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THANK YOU

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Lot pulls this Fighter (and at least hits him with his 2nd attack), but not the Knight in front of him. That one was passive in vanilla, too, so I'm going to assume that the General guarding the treasure won't move, either. #LiveWildAndDangerous

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Interestingly enough, the Mage starts moving now, so I guess he gets activated when I'm getting close to the throne? It can't really be linked to his attack range, since he still would need to get all the way through the main entrance to be able to reach any of my units at this point.

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I would like to put Wolt into the Mage's range so that I can kill him next player phase, but with one of the Heavy Cavs also being in range with a Hand Axe, I think I'll pass. Still, getting some chip in is nice.

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First Chad level-up! It kinda sucks! The kid mostly needs more Strength and some bulk, and he didn't get either.

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The next pair of Cav reinforcements also arrived this turn. Lot tries to foil the weapon triangle again, but fails this time...

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...which means that Shanna needs two hits with the Wing Spear and eats a counter, too. Oh well.

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Bors throws a Javelin at the other one, but there's noone around to finish the job. The cav doesn't threaten a kill on anyone, either, though...

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...and he decides to suicide on Chad.

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Marcus takes a little side job as an item courier, but Lot decides that the Hammer is a little overkill.

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Funnily enough, Shanna would be able to casually one-round the boss if I a) healed her first and b) got rid of the archer, who spawned during the Zephiel cutscene.

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But the Archer is still there and Elen already healed Bors for an excellent level-up. I'm not used to seeing two back-to-back Spd level-ups on her, that's for sure.

(this elegantly signals that Elen has been healing throuhout the chapter fairly consistently, but I think I can assume that as a given)

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In the back, Wolt can enemy-phase the Mage this turn without involving the Heavy Cav, so that's exactly what he does.

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He finishes the job on player phase, netting him the best possible 4-stat level-up. I must have forgotten to make screenshots, but he gets rescued out of Cav range afterwards.

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Elsewhere, Lot one-shots some random Knight who for some reason has a couple lines of dialogue.

Seriously though, the fact that we basically have three additional good effective weapons against Knights (Hammer and Rapier got buffed; Wing Spear got added) makes Slater the same non-issue that Ruud was last chapter. Shanna one-rounds, Lot (and Wade) one-shot... I think Project Ember overtuned those tools a bit.

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Yeah, I'm sure Narcian is an understanding and merciful guy. Lot gets another decent level-up and could be early-promoted if I wanted, but I think I'll be greedy and get him at least to level 15 first. It's not like Mr Average is close to capping any stats.

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After this, there's still the side objectives to be done - recruiting Lugh and getting the treasure chests. As I said, I was assuming that the General won't move from the door to the treasure chests and luckily I was right. Lance is still getting two-shot by just about everything.

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Enemy phase in/near the throne room isn't productive at all, with Lot missing the only counterattack I got.

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But there isn't too much left on the enemy side, either way. The two Heavy Cavs finally caught up to our stragglers, so Wade and Marcus chip...

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...Wolt and Chad get the kills. Another Str-less level-up makes me sad, though.

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Roy casually one-rounds the first promoted enemy in the game, which results in quite a lot of XP and another excellent level-up. I think prioritizing Roy might be paying dividends soon...

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The unpromoted Knight goes to Shanna, with Lance chipping for XP and to save a Wing Spear use. I know I can't complain too much after Shanna's last level-up, but just like Chad, she really missed the important stats with this one.

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In the throne room, Lot one-rounds one Cav while Alen and Bors gang up on the other.

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The Archer gets to live another turn, which he uses to get a last shot at Roy. Decent level-up for Bors, I think? I'm curious to see how impactful his Spd growth is going to be, in terms of doubling Knights and Soldiers or being doubled by semi-fast enemy types such as Fighters.

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Chad opens the shortcut to Lugh's village and gets rescue-chained right to the throne room, so that's two turns of waiting...

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...during which Lugh is recruited and the chests are looted.

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Interestingly enough, the Halberd has lost one point of Might, while its accuracy has been buffed to the same value as the Hammer's. We should see very soon how that's going to affect its usefulness.

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And here's Lugh! He clearly got the Wolt treatment instead of the Dieck, with his Mag buffed by +3 and his Spd literally doubled. Even his bulk has been improved significantly, with his vanilla HP starting at 16.

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In addition to that, the Fire tome has been buffed by +2 Might (and -5 hit, but it's still really accurate) and he comes with an Aircalibur tome (which has +10 hit compared to vanilla) on top of that.

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And with that, we're done. 13 turns, if anyone cares.

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We get Hector's second and last scene - as I said, without the context of BlaBla, I don't think his death packs quite the same punch as, say, Greil's.

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However, the scene also spotlights BlaBla's greatest sin ("in my opinion" being implied the entire time, of course). What was that Hector? Summoned dragons is something that you've never seen seen before? Your best friend certainly never got any dragon tail? All of Roy's grandparents are definitely 100% human? You're right, there's no need to bring up any "Dread Isle" or anything like that, how silly of me to think of that.

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Yeah, that's what I thought.

I mean, even if we cut Hector some slack because he's, y'know, dying - there should be some alarm bells ringing in Eliwood's head once he hears of this. Same for Marcus. There's just no plausible way for the events in BlaBla to happen and then not be brought up in BinBla.

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So let's just ignore the prequel. It sucks.

Ahem. Personally, I don't mind Roy being made the leader of the Lycian troops here too much. We aren't really presented with too many alternatives - Lilina is just as young as Roy (and iirc, it's implied a little that Hector was rather protective of her) and even without taking the prequel into account, it's not too outlandish to assume that Ostia with its great spy network would be suspicious of Erik. I guess Hector might not know about the whole Wagner affair, but Orun being very sick might be the public knowledge, given that he wasn't present for the off-screen fight against Bern's troops.

And now I'm finished ranting. Until next chapter!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		6.77		25   10  10  13  10   9   5
Marcus		    */1.57	35    9  13  13  10   9  10	(base)
Alen		5.32		26   11   7   8   5   8   0
Lance		5.60		24    9   9  11   4   9   2

Bors		8.00		30   13  11   7   9  12   4
Wolt		6.57		22    8   9  11   8   7   2
Elen		6.88		18    8   5  10  12   2  10
Wade		6.39		31   12   8   8   7   6   4

Lot		10.52		33   10  10  11   7   9   8
Dieck		10.71		28   10  13  12   6   7   3	(base)
Shanna		6.06		20    6  10  15   8   6   8
Chad		5.22		20    5   7  15  12   5   3

Lugh		4.00		22    7   9  12   9   4   6	(base)
Merlinus	1.00		25    0   4   5  10   6   0	(lol)

 

 

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Chapter 4 is played, update in the works. But to give it a little more time before I start chapter 5 - which healer should I focus on, Elen or Clarine? Next chapter is the last one where everyone is deployed, but I'll be able to choose who to heal with if there's only one target available. Poll's open.

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Elen's magic has been growing flawlessly so far - four procs in four level-ups (gasp! Spoiler!), although it's obviously possible that I've been very lucky and her growth is still the same 50% as in vanilla. In any case, her Mag (and her Res, but w/e) seems to be her big advantage over Clarine, who in turn beats her in Spd and, maybe a little surprisingly, physical durability. 22 HP / 3 Def isn't even that much worse than the likes of Lugh, Shanna, and Chad.

I have absolutely no idea how Saul is going to look in comparison, or if he's even going to be a healer. I half-expect him to be swapped into Lucius's and Artur's Monk class. But either way, since Saul is my default healer in vanilla, I think I'd rather pick one of the other two this time.

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  • Chapter 4 - Crumbling League
Spoiler

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In which Erik retroactively hasn't learned.

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Hmmm... Isn't "sire" reserved to address kings end emperors? Or maybe Erik just wants to butter up Narcian here.

Anyway, the entire pre-map banter happens in Erik's castle, which is a little strange. We don't see any reaction to Erik's treason from Roy at all, at least before the end of the chapter.

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I still think that using implied (threat of) sexual violence to up the drama and to make sure that the villain is thoroughly established as irredeemably vile is incredibly trite and heavy-handed. You have to give credit to Clarine's dialogue during this whole scene, though.

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Well whaddya know.

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This map, Project Ember goes back to a 100% identical map, but with rather impactful changes in enemy placement.

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The most obvious one is not Erik having used a Knight's Crest - guarding the gate is a generic Paladin. Erik has been moved one square down, which also means that he will move once you get into his range.

Another big one are those two Armour Knights visible on those two screenshots. They replace two Cavaliers that, in vanilla, start one square further to the right.

This makes the start of the chapter a lot less difficult! Maybe the biggest threat of this map in vanilla comes from the cavaliers and nomads that are immediately charging at you, because you're exposed to multiple waves in quick succession and it's tough to kill the first wave before the second one hits.
These two knights replace the first wave of "reinforcements", which means that you're less pressured to kill the first four horsies quickly, while still having all those wonderful new tools to kill them with.
Normally, this is the chapter where my RPG hoarding instincts finally give up and let me spam Marcus's Silver Lance, but here - why would they?

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Next up, No More Ambush Spawns.

Glancing over the last chapter, I think this is something that I should've noticed then already, but since reinforcements in chapter 3 spawn so far away from you anyway, I didn't really register the change then. In this chapter though...

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The reason why I was able to fully make use of that knowledge is a little bug: This Brigand is attacking that little house that doesn't give a reward in vanilla. Which, of course, made me believe that this might have been an added item that I could've gotten if I had moved faster, so I reset the chapter...

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...after visiting the "destroyed" village for the sake of curiosity because its map sprite didn't change. But even though this very much looks like the original dialogue - I already let Erik kill Bors because I thought I would restart the chapter anyway and didn't pay too much attention anymore as a result.

(and indeed, there's no reward if you reach the village before the Brigand, either. Unless it's character-specific, but I'm not about to have every character visit every house on every map to test for that)

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So, restart I did, with Bors and the axe bros guarding the bridges. I don't know if the budding bromance is a sign of increased support growth in Project Ember - they unlock their C support in 10 turns in vanilla, too. I'll try to get Roy and Shanna to grow some support points for a more definitive answer.

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Weapon triange makes the Steel Lance to attack Bors instead of Wade or Lot, while the Nomad takes a potshot at Roy.

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But here's what I meant earlier. Yes, there's another group of enemies inbound, but it doesn't even cover the first wave, taking a lot of pressure from the player.

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And since Shanna and Roy completely demolish horseback units...

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...getting rid of those four initial enemies is no problem without even having to think of Marcus's Silver Lance (or Marcus in general. Or Wolt. Or Lugh. Or Deke. Or Lot. Or Alen)

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Elen continues her Mag proc streak, but you knew that one already.

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Alance have their C support unlocked, too, but I'm still hesitating if I want to unlock it. Right now, it looks like I might be keeping Lance, but not Alen, on my long-term roster, and if supports do indeed grow faster than normal, Lance would have Roy, Lot, and potentially Clarine as possible support partners. Lot and Clarine would be another way to test the support growth, since they normally grow at the same snail's pace as Roy/Shanna.

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Merlinus gets the Door Key (wow! What a reward! ...well, to be fair, the village is completely free to visit); Marcus fights for a last bit of relevance and goes ahead a couple tiles.

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It doesn't do too much...

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[1st Clarine cutscene between turns]

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...but it does allow Lugh and Bors with a Javelin to get the kill.

I'm not really planning to use Lugh other than for chip damage as long as there's no better alternatives, since I'm looking more towards Lilina, Hugh, or Guinivere (whose status as a playable unit gets revealed in the presentation of the hack) as my potential magic users. Something something variety.

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In total, there were three Cavs and one Nomad nearby at the start of the player phase, but Shanna and Roy trim that down to "one Heavy Cav". Roy gets another great level-up, procing all three of the "big" stats. This puts him at 4 Str, 5 Spd, and 5 Def procs in 6 level-ups.

I think Roy might be good in this hack.

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The position here is a bit more awkward than on the previous turn, thanks to the Archer threatening Shanna and Erik covering both that Archer and half of the spots to attack the Cav from. I'm going for the more prudent option here and rescue-drop Shanna backward a bit.

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With Lance healing up and Wolt taking a potshot, I turtle up yet again, with Roy/Lance and Lot/Wade building some support points. I don't think there was any kill potential for the enemy, since the Cav only carries an Iron Axe and the Archer's attack power isn't too threatening.

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It doesn't come up anyway, though, since the Cav respects the weapon triangle and goes for Lot instead of the less bulky Roy or Alance.

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At the start of the next player phase, Clarine spawns, the first wave of village-plundering enemies arrives, and we get a warning that Rutger is about to appear.

Honestly, I think that un-ambushing the brigand/pirate reinforcements wasn't really necessary here? I'm not trying to make a point for or against ambush spawns in general, but the spawning points are so far out of the way that you'd honestly have to try to lose your squishies to these spawns. I guess it's more consistent this way.

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There's only these two enemies in range this turn, so cleaning up isn't much of a challenge. Bors and Wolt also get a bit of chip XP along the way.

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So this is the turn where you'd have to get hell outta dodge in vanilla so that Rutger doesn't ruin your day, but as the bandits have established (and my first attempt has confirmed), that won't be an issue in Project Ember. I even decide to pull Erik while I'm in the area...

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...which proves to be a bit ambitious since that also aggroes another trio of enemies behind the castle. But first, Clarine recruits herself (while telling Merlinus to shut his peasant mouth, which is always a pleasure to read).

There's not really the option to outrun Erik here, whether I want to fight the other enemies or retreat, so Roy, if you would...?

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C A L C U L A T E D

(I tell a lie, I didn't look at the numbers beforehand. Beautiful coincident, though)

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I've already shown Clarine's stats, but for consistency's sake, I'll do it in the "proper" LP part, as well. Much better than her vanilla counterpart, of course, with +4 Mag, +5 Spd, +1 Def, and +7 (!) HP.

I really don't know who I prefer between her and Elen - Clarine might not have the raw Physics and Warp range, but she's still a mounted unit with 20 Aid and her combat after promotion promises to be quite good, too. Her staff rank still only starts at D, but with its accalerated growth, that shouldn't be too bad.

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She also comes with an Energy Ring (which gives +2 Str as usual), so that's another decision to make. My thoughts right now:

  • Lance, since he's shaping up to be the Christmas Cav of choice and his Atk is still his weak point.
  • Shanna, obviously. Although if she shapes out to be more of a rescue utility unit, it might be a bit of a wasteful to feed her stat boosters.
  • Lot. His Str isn't quite as good as Wade's, but he's fast enough to double a fair share of enemies.
  • Clarine. If I wind up using her, that is, but more Mag on a staff user never hurt anyone.

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I decide to back up a little, since committing into eight enemies at once seems a bit risky. Shanna uses the turn to check the house that that Brigand "destroyed" in the previous attempt (and doesn't get rewarded with an item), while Marcus grabs the Steel Blade from the actual village.

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I retreat far enough to avoid Rutger's range (note the 1-2 range on him....), but not too far to get two counterattacks on enemy phase in.

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This is then far enough away from the two Armour Knights that Roy and Lance can get to work. Kinda meh level-up on Lance, to be honest, but more Spd is a good argument to give him the Energy Ring.

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Lot one-rounds an archer, which puts him into the range of three enemies, which means that he'll need a little back-up to block at least one of those from targeting him.

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Marcus throws two Javelins down the cliff to set up a kill for Shanna...

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...which clears the way for Clarine to recruit Rutger.

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And here he is, in all his terror. Which isn't quite as terrible as his vanilla self, I think? He's pretty close to his old stats, HM bonuses included, and then levelled up three times. And while this stat line was enough to make him insanely good in the original game, Project Ember's power creep means that Rutger got demoted to "quite good", as far as I can tell. Like, he's still faster than anyone on our team, but compare his stats to Roy - Rutger basically trades 2 points of Spd (and a lot of Skl, but hit rates haven't really been an issue) for -2 Str, -3 Def and lower numbers on some less important stats.

Now, my Roy is likely RNG blessed to some degree. But even if Rutger was a bit better than Roy could be expected to be at this point in the game, that's quite a large downgrade from the lifesaver that he is in vanilla. Still good, but (if I may hazard a guess) probably not Top 3 unit material anymore.

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One thing that Rutger did gain is 1-2 range that isn't set to 10 points of damage (although right now, 14 Atk isn't really any better). Still, the Wind Edge is notably a little better than its equivalents on the other sides of the weapon triangle - as strong as the Hand Axe and even slightly more accurate than the Javelin.

Personally? Not a fan of the concept. It's an attempt to balance the three weapon classes by making them more same-y instead of giving them different areas to excel in. On a more positive note, the "class triangle" of Myrmidon, Fighter, and Knight is still very much intact and probably even more relevant than in the GBA games in general, since they all have quite distinctive stat lines while all three classes seem to have competent units to show.

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I think I'm going to cite the sake of variety once again and try not to use Rutger - the next chapter with its Brigand boss should be a good indicator if the game will let me get away with that (signs point towards "yes").

For now, Rutger still takes a kill in his first round of combat, since I don't want to waste Wind Edge uses to chip this Fighter. Bors hands over his Iron Sword, so that I don't have to waste any Killing Edge uses, either.

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Speaking of, the only change to the Killing Edge is a +1 to its Might, which is more or less in line with the previous weapon rebalances. Technically a bit worse, since Iron and Steel got +1 Mt AND +10 hit, but nothing drastic.

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Back to the tactics: Wade backs up his Axe Bro at the front, Chad prepares to do some enemy phase chipping.

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I don't think I mentioned this, but Knives don't count as swords in this hack, which means that they don't get any weapon triangle bonuses or penalties. Chad in a forest is still quite dodgy, though.

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To the left, the enemies move in a slightly unfortunate order, which means that only two of them can attack Lot or Wade.

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Roy and Wade clean them up, with the latter getting a very Wade level-up for it.

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Lot and Bors take the front, healing themselves just for safety's sake.

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Near the coast, Wolt and Lance clean up, avoiding any counter while doing so.

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The next two Pirates (which are the first one from the eastern spawn and the second from the western one) aren't quite in range yet, so Chad goes for some counterchip, again.

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Enemy phase action!

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This softens up the Hand Axe Pirate enough so that Lance can kill him on player phase, while getting ready to do some counterdamage on the Steel Axe Pirate in the following enemy phase.

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More clean-up...

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...and another very Shanna-esk Shanna level-up. She obviously can't stay in the Archer's range...

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...but Roy has her covered. With this, he already reaches A swords - not sure how nicely weapon rank growth can be tuned, but it seems like Project Ember might have been a bit overzealous in that regard.

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Merlinus gets a couple Fire books and Heal staffs and cantos out of range of the Knight guarding the village... into the range of that Pirate. Guess Lance won't do any counterdamage on the following enemy phase, after all.

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Marcus rides up to Roy, pulls the Iron sword out of his hand, draws the Rapier from its sheathe at Roy's belt and puts it into Roy's hand instead. He then cantos out of Javelin range of the boss.

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This allows Roy to get some nice chip damage in. No doubling here, though.

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Merlinus not getting one-rounded is a rather unfamiliar thing to behold. And I think I never found a good spot to mention characters get three whole XP for combat where they don't deal damage. This means that it only takes 634 fights to level Merlinus to level 20!!

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The missed enemy phase combat for Lance wasn't a bad thing, actually. Deke just does the chipping instead and Lance gets the kill - which he might not have been able to do if the Pirate had hit him instead of Merlinus, since he would've been in range of the next pair of pirates.

Decent level-up, too.

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With Roy's chip damage, Shanna can go for the "boss"kill with reasonable odds and the option to just rescue her out of the way if she misses one of her attacks. But instead, she just immediately crits (sorry for missing the spinny-spin).

And I just loaded up the game to see if I forgot to screencap a level-up - I didn't, she's sitting at 99 XP right now.

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Since I can't reach the southern village this turn, Roy goes for a little bit of extra XP instead. Marcus and Bors carry him back to seize next turn, though.

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Lot goes close enough to the village to pull the guarding Knight and this time I did miss a level-up. A really good one, too: HP/Str/Spd/Def.

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And on the last turn, we obviously have to squeeze the last drops of XP out of the chapter. The Steel Axe pirate rolled low HP/Def, so Lance is able to one-round him, while Deke sets up a kill for Wolt. We'll see how he's going to stack up against Dorothy, and if I'm even going to use either, with Lot and Wade being potential bow users, as well.

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Speaking of last drops of XP... Does this count as compulsive, since I've more or less decided that Alen won't be a long-term unit?

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Every... last.... drop.....

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Wade gets the Angelic Robe (which I'm pretty sure will go to Roy), Merlinus goes on a bit of a splurge. I'm particularly happy to get a couple extra Hand Axes for the bros.

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And that's it! 10 turns, not too bad.

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The following scene is one of the few instances of Roy showing anger (actually, I can't think of another one right now), but it only lasts like five seconds.

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Guinivere asks to stay with the Lycian army even though Roy doesn't believe in a peaceful solution any more.

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Her dialogue follows up on Zephiel's scene in the previous chapter, that the "Tin Tyrant World Conqueror" act is quite OOC for her brother - but (kinda topical right now) also knows that this doesn't undo any of his actions.

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That's her name and title, yes.

And that's the chapter! There's three decisions incoming, so feel free to shout at me if you disagree with my current plans:

  • Angelic Robe to Roy - it's always nice if the lord can survive a couple hits.
  • Energy Drop to Lance - he's going to see a lot of combat and will hopefully double a lot of the time. Not a strong preference here.
  • Clarine as the primary staff user - I'll probably still do 1 HP heals with Elen as long as Clarine has a target as well. The higher staff XP might allow me to raise two healers, which isn't really a good idea in vanilla.

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		8.97		27   12  10  15  10  10   6
Marcus		    */1.73	35    9  13  13  10   9  10	(base)
Alen		5.42		26   11   7   8   5   8   0
Lance		7.39		26   10  10  12   4   9   2

Bors		8.84		30   13  11   7   9  12   4
Wolt		7.15		23    9   9  11   9   7   2
Elen		8.32		18   10   6  10  14   2  12
Clarine		5.80		22    6   6  13   9   3   5	(base)

Wade		7.56		32   13   8   8   8   6   4
Lot		11.10		34   11  10  12   7  10   8
Deke		10.89		28   10  13  12   6   7   3	(base)
Shanna		7.99		21    6  10  16   9   6   9

Chad		5.54		20    6   7  15  12   5   3
Lugh		4.20 		22    7   9  12   9   4   6	(base)
Rutger		7.20		27   10  16  17   4   7   2	(base)

 

 

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  • Chapter 5 - Fire Emblem
Spoiler

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In which titles are dropped.

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Story before the chapter is just some random "bandits attack village" filler.

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With the small plot twist that Rebecca's father is not only still alive, but also hasn't aged at all in the past 20 years. Sequel hook....?

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Merlinus Being Wrong counter +1

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Terrain Changes To The Map counter +1

This time, the forests near the village have been lightened quite a lot - originally, you can't take the long way around without crossing at least three forst tiles. This is definitely a change I can get behind, too. Not so much because of the movement penalties, but this makes it easier to take a fight without having to give a Merc or a Nomad a forest tile to attack from.

In terms of added enemies, we get a couple Cavs guarding the gate and a Brigand right in front of us. The Cav, Knight, and Mage near the village are new, too. There's no added enemies near the castle - instead, a Merc and a Nomad have been replaced by two Archers. I got nothing to complain about here, either, really.

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Dory still has his trademark capped Strength (although he can roll low in vanilla), but has been nerfed a little otherwise. A bit less HP, Def, and Res means that he's a fair bit easier to take down than in vanilla, considering that we have a lot more options ourselves.

...so I just noticed that Dory only has 30 base crit. Huh. I don't want to delve too deeply into the matter because I still want to avoid spoilers, but evidently, the crit formula has been changed.

Looking at next chapter's prep screen, I'm only more confused - Shanna and Roy both have 11 Skl, but Roy has 3 Crit and Shanna only 1. Marcus, with 13 Skl, also has 3 Crit. Rutger has 16 Skl and 6 Crit. Hm.

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The generics are around the same level as they were in the previous chapters. No mean surprises (or rather, no mean surprises that I noticed before playing the chapter).

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Going into the fight, Wolt and Bors get delegated to deal with the cavs at our back. Looking back at it, I probably could've opened the gate if only to see how doable that is in Project Ember. Oh well...

So, the new Knight model throws the Javelin up a little bit to change the grip before hurling it at the enemy. I really like this animation more and more.

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What I don't like is this level-up. Must... resist... savescumming....

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The brigand easily gets cleaned up by Lot and Lance. The latter also reaches D swords, which means that he'll be able to use the Armourslayer in the upcoming Ostia chapters. Using Steel Swords on the Isles will be nice, too.

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Roy takes the Angelic Robe from Wade immediately, so Clarine has something to heal on turn 1. Roy is now officially classified as "tanky".

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The formation at the end of the turn. Merlinus and Wade drop Lot on the fort; leaving the second fort is a bit of a greed play so that all three enemies in range can be countered on enemy phase.

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It doesn't pay off, but it doesn't really sting, either.

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Lot does fine, though.

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As expected, Wolt gets a sword to the face, which unfortunately is strong enough to two-shot him.

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[whimsical music starts]
Before the start of turn 2, we get introduced to Priest!Sain and Dorothy, with Yoder making a very short cameo at the start.

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And with that, Saul's character is fully summarized. Admittedly, him being an unrepenting shitbag makes for some funny supports, though.

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And then they run out of the village right before the Lycian Army would pick them up.

Hmm.... looks like they're still a Priest and an Archer. (OK, I cheated and looked at the next chapter. They are still a Priest and an Archer)

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Wolt chuggs a Vulnerary (unnecessarily so, because I end up rescue-dropping him out of enemy range) and Bors throws a Javelin at the Cav. Bit silly not to go for the two-round KO with an Iron Lance, actually, but I didn't really plan my turn through and assumed that he would go for Wolt anyway. I wanted to move Bors a little closer to the rest with that move, but leaving the Cav alive could've made a bit of a hassle the next turn.

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So, er, at this point I wasn't super attached to the success of this attempt, Bors getting a shitty level-up and all that. Which means that the next moves might be a little reckless. Clearing the Fighter on the fort with two very accurate units seems prudent enough, though.

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This should be fine, too, although Shanna is getting to a point where every level-up without Str and/or Def can't really be called "good".

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Like, can't you try to take this as an example?

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Or even just this?

(no Spd and no Lck. I didn't expect that. Nice of her to proc HP though, that gives Elen an opportunity to heal)

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But to come back to the "reckless" part, here it is. Lot is standing in a forest, sure, but that's still a lot of enemies incoming that I can't deal with on this player phase.

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This is the formation, which honestly should be labeled "stupid" instead of "reckless" at this point.

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The main problem isn't even Lot, even though he was lucky dodging two 40s in a row. No, the really stupid part...

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...was to leave Wade in range of a Mercenary.

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A still rather SLOW wade, I should act.

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Who still was in range of a Hand Axe fighter.

...I didn't deserve this. I take it, though.

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Luckily, this mage wasn't in range to attack Wade, too - that would've been a lethal attack with 90+ displayed hit.

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Well, let's just pretend none of that happened. Wade is at full HP, clearly he didn't face any combat on enemy phase!

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I try to chip the Merc who totally didn't attack Wade on enemy phase with Rutger for another easy Shanna kill, but Rutger thinks otherwise.

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Ahhh, finally a GOOD mid-animation freezeframe.

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Not that boring humanshaped shite.

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Wade, bro, you really need to start working on your speed. It's nothing overly dramatic yet, I guess, since this is only his third level-up, but I'd still appreciate a small hint if your Spd growth isn't the same 20% as in vanilla...

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Shanna continues her risk-free training. Good thing I haven't given the Energy Ring to Lot, or else she wouldn't have had these great opportunities.

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And for the sake of continuously charging ahead, I GUESS I can stomach another Marcus kill. Uch.

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The alternative would have been "rescue Shanna backwards", because the first Nomad is getting in range. But Roy and Marcus barely block him from reaching Shanna.

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Lance joins them to have Marcus equip a sword and to get his C support with Roy.

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And Bors gets rescued towards the rest of the group. Not sure if that was the best move, honestly, since that cav is still alive. Not close enough to reach Wolt, though.

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Roy puts the Angelic Robe to the test, or would have if the Fighter had hit him, which would've put him at 6 HP.

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The Fighter did not survive that fight against Roy and the Axe bros take care of the Nomad. Lot takes a shot with the Hand Axe here, since a miss and subsequent counter wouldn't really have put him in any danger.

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And in the interest of XP maximization, Lance does some unnecessary chip damage before Roy kills that archer.

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This puts Lance into the next Nomad's range, and if I recall correctly, Merc+Fighter+Nomad would have been a kill.

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To save him, Marcus baits the Fighter by equipping his Iron Lance again. It's successful - as you can see - and proves unnecessary, since that Merc doesn't move. I remember this now - this is a weird little quirk carrying over from vanilla, where this same Merc is surrunded by forest tiles so that your melee units have no other choice than to engage him from defensive terrain.

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Come on, old man, that was a 90! At least he hits the double attack, though.

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Further away from the gate, Bors finally gets that Cav.

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Pictured: me remembering that weird Merc.

That is still a lot of enemies even with this one being avoidable, but let's see what we can do.

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Good start with an awesome level-up...

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...and with Roy and Shanna clearing the bow users, it becomes a lot easier to keep track of how many enemies can attack which spot.

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In Shanna's case, the answer is still "too many", though. I'm sure Roy will be fine, though.

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Chad makes a little detour and picks up Gant's Lance - which seems really good all around. It has +4 Mt at the cost of -5 Accuracy compared to an Iron Lance, and 10 Weight means that Lance (who seems like the natural pick to use it) only loses a single point of speed.

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Roy will be fiiiiine.

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See? Easy game.

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The next Hand Axe thrower actually finds Lugh's low-ish durability more enticing than not being countered, so I get a little free chip damage that I didn't expect.

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Wade converts it into a kill.

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And Lugh makes use of the slightly higher power of the Aircalibur tome again, since it allows Shanna to precisely kill the Merc with her Slim Lance.

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I don't think there was a realistic way to feed this kill to Lot, so he just tries to get some chip XP before Rutger gets the kill. After getting hit by that 24. Rutger pls.

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Roy's enemy phase chip was actually enough to remove the two remaining Mercenaries from the map too.

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Or so I thought. Whoops.

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The 3 XP from the fruitless combat is still enough to get Roy another really nice level-up, though.

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Unfortunately, I already had Clarine heal Roy and no way to rescue her away or block the Merc from attacking her, so she has to see a round of combat. She's really far away from being one-rounded here, though.

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Oh right, the shop sells Door Keys! It's much less of a problem to field a thief or two in Project Ember, assuming Astore and Cath got similar treatments as Chad, but 50 gold apiece is so cheap that I buy a handful.

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Better!

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Marcus blocks the top left fort, which probably wasn't necessary; ambush spawns seem to be removed from the game, after all. Dieck and Alen are already parked on the top right forts. A tragic loss in XP!!

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In any case, time to tackle the last couple enemies. Roy and Lance pull the Fighters without getting in range of Mage or Mercenary, while keeping their C support active.

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Elen has been finding plenty opportunity to gain healing XP and gets a very typical level-up. Still with a 100% Mag proc rate!

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Roy doubles and one-rounds his Brigand, Lance only does one of those things.

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The Merc and Mage to the south also start moving once you pull the boss's guards, so Roy (after being healed by Clarine, who gets a second level-up with Mag and without Spd or Skl) immediately gets rid of the mage.

Note that the fort is already spitting out reinforcements, which is significantly earlier than I in vanilla, where the two left hand side forts start spawning reinforcements on turn 12 and the right hand side ones on turn 15. Here, they start spawning on turn 8 - which makes sense, because it's possible to get through the map a fair bit faster, too (although I'm sure dondon begs to differ).

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Pictured: Me realizing that I didn't check every enemy's inventory before starting the chapter. I should really get back into the habit of doing that.

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The Merc still isn't particularly threatening to Lance and the Fighter reinforcement isn't in range no matter what happens, so Lance and Shanna with a Javelin (from out of enemy range) start chipping him down.

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Which is enough for Lance to get the kill on enemy phase. Roy easily one-rounds the reinforcement Fighter (which is still fucking weird to type).

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So, er, because needless risks have worked out so well thus far, how about another one? Some chip damage from Rutger (who only would've killed with a double crit)...

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...and let's put the ROY into LEEROYYYYYY JENKINSSSS!

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I wasn't even worried. Easy game.

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Look what you've done, Roy! You've been leveling up so well that I'm looking at a Str/Spd level-up from you and think to myself, "Eh, it's alright I guess".

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Clarine swaps Rutger back to the Iron Sword to preserve his 1-2 range in the very, very unlikely case that the next reinforcement fighter attacks him...

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...but Lance and Clarine immediately kill him anyway. Clarine uses the Javelin so that she wouldn't have died if she had missed both her attempts.

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Thank you cool, very Shanna! I'm getting more and more convinced that an early promotion and acceptance that she's not a lategame combat unit is the right call for her.

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And that's another 10-turn clear!

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...after some last-minute XP farming, of course.

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Done!

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Rare footage of Roy being distrustful and Guinivere reading the situation correctly. She doesn't expect the church to act hostile towards her because of "tensions" between it and Zephiel that aren't really elaborated upon.

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In any case - Guinivere's plan is revealed: She stole the Fire Emblem, which can be used to unseal the Sealed Sword. She has no clue how, but she hoped that the threat would cause Zephiel to halt his aggression.

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It didn't work.

So, Guinivere alludes to a new plan here, but I'm like 90% certain that this doesn't come up again? I could think of a few ideas for a plan B for her (offering herself as a hostage and trying to help the hopefully following negotiations, for example), but despite the time skip between chapter 8x and 9, I think this plot point is left dangling.

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For now, we get two new recruits, although they still can't be accessed in the battle preps for chapter 6. Spoiler warning: Saul has a rather unexpected stat line. But we'll see that next time and until then - thanks for reading!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		11.21		37   15  11  17  11  11   7	[+7 HP]
Marcus		1.87		35    9  13  13  10   9  10	(base)
Alen		5.42		26   11   7   8   5   8   0
Lance		9.00		28   11  12  14   4  10   2

Bors		9.43		31   13  11   7   9  12   4
Wolt		7.27		23    9   9  11   9   7   2
Elen		9.62		19   11   6  10  15   2  12
Clarine		7.43		24    8   7  13   9   4   5

Wade		8.38		33   14   9   8   8   6   4
Lot		11.87		34   11  10  12   7  10   8
Deke		10.89		28   10  13  12   6   7   3	(base)
Shanna		9.10		23    6  11  18  11   6   9

Chad		5.54		20    6   7  15  12   5   3
Lugh		4.51 		22    7   9  12   9   4   6	(base)
Rutger		7.75		27   10  16  17   4   7   2	(base)

 

 

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I am sad.

In related news, there are still ambush spawns in Project Ember.

On the plus side, Clarine lost an HP/Lck level-up and Wade will have another shot at getting his first Spd proc.

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  • Chapter 6 - Ensnared
Spoiler

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In which traps are set, both in story and the map.

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Lord Orun being completely absent from FE7 isn't really a big deal, but I wouldn't have minded if he had been given at least a small role. They created an additional brother for Hector in Uther, surely they could have found a spot for Orun, too.

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Ohh, that's quite the difference to Cath's original portrait. Of course, most or even all character portraits have been reworked and are given a bit more... depth? I don't really know the English words to describe art. In any case, Cath's new portrait is first one (or at least the first one where I notice) with a completely different pose.

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Anyway, Cath happens to overhear Wagner plotting to ambush Roy's group and capture Guinivere to use her as a bargaining chip to align himself with Bern.

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Roy has already been suspicious and Merlinus, since he is obliged to be stupid so that Roy's intelligence is more apparent, isn't quite the overly careful naysayer that he usually is.

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Saul and Dorothy also share their observations before Cath reveals Wagner's exact plan to Roy.

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Which immediately springs back Merlinus into his usual distrustful attitute to make sure that he continues to be wrong about everything.

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But Roy thinks of a way to test Wagner's intentions without openly confronting him...

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...which works out perfectly.

The whole setup is a bit of a rehash of chapter 4, but I honestly prefer how it's executed here, my usual grievances with Merlinus aside. Erik just openly attacks Roy's group and we don't even see Roy respond to it until after the fight is won. Here, we have a small battle of wits and we can actually see Roy being the smart cookie that he's said to be.

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The map! No particularly drastic changes for now - two additional Knights guarding the side paths, two additional Shamans in the top corners of the corridor. The two Fighters each replace a Soldier.

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Wagner is made a little tougher, receiving +2 Mag, +5 Def, and +3 HP compared to his old self. He is however slowed down to 10 AS (down from 12). More importantly though, Thrones have been changed to +4 Def but only +10 Avoid. In Vanilla, Wagner is a pretty dodgy fucker (well, he would if it wasn't for Rutger), in Project Ember not so much.

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A small sample of the generic enemies. A bit higher-leveled on average, and with the first effective weapon (apart from bows, of course) that we've seen. There's only the one on the map though; same with the Short Spear.

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The opening moves are pretty self-expainatory - Lugh and Wade chip down the Knights...

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...Shanna and Roy get the kills.

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Meanwhile, Lot goes ahead and faces the two mages on the first enemy phase. One step further would put him in range of the four additional enemies, since the fringe soldiers carry Javelins and I don't want to test his durability that much.

Bors goes a few steps into the right corridor to do some chip against the nearest Mercenary on enemy phase, but I forgot to make a screenshot of it.

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Lance and Marcus rescue-drop Roy ahead half a dozen tiles. Since this is the third attempt (I'll show glimpses of the previous failures), I know that Cath will appear earlier than usual, but I still plan to recruit Sue first. Marcus has a key with him so that Chad is free to go elsewhere.

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Saul and Dorothy both grab some basic weapons so that they don't have to waste valuable Mend and Killer Bow uses. Oh, speaking of - new units!

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Dorothy seems to be made into the "Power Archer" to Wolt's "Speed Archer". The latter started with 7 Str | 10 Spd, although he didn't get enough levels to confirm a similar trend in his growth rates.

Just like Wolt, Dorothy was both leveled up (she normally starts at Lv. 3) and then given a bunch of stat boosts on top of that. Most notably, vanilla!Dotty's average Str at this level is only 7.5 and all of her other stats (except Lck) have been increased by one point, give or take. Oh, and her Res is a fair bit higher, too.

She also joins fairly close to a possible early promotion and with an Orion's Bolt right in her inventory, although up to this point, the game hasn't really pressured me into early promotions. Out of her two starting bows, the Killer Bow is about what you'd expect (i.e. very good), but the Short Bow is quite interesing: It only has the vanilla 2 range (and not the 1-2 range that hacks like to give it) and is otherwise just a super-accurate Iron Bow. It even lost its little extra Crit.

(actually, this might answer one question that I had about chapter 😎

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Saul is BUFF. Like, seriously, he has more physical bulk at base than Deke, despite joining two level lower than him. Otherwise, he gained one or two points across the board (except for a slightly lowered Spd) compared to vanilla Saul at this level, but the most obvious change is his +6 HP and +5.5 Def.

He also comes with an early Rescue staff, which seems pretty powerful and I'm probably never going to use it because I'm a terrible RPG hoarder, especially when I'm playing blind. He has the same base level as Dorothy, so he's quite close to promotion, too.

Between the increased XP gain and higher base level on all healers, I'm tempted to use and promote both Saul and Clarine, probably even promoting at (or close to) Lv. 20 too, to delay the halved staff XP. Terrible idea in vanilla, but the way the numbers have been changed, I think it might be quite viable in Project Ember.

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"It's full of people and noisy..."

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So, this chapter is generally a bit of a breather before chapter 7 comes to kick your teeth in (...he said, after failing in his first two attempts). Still, the first two turns are a bit busier, with a fair number of enemies rushing towards your position.

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So it's nice to get some work done on enemy phases, too. Roy does a little useless AI manipulation (because the Iron Sword only had two uses left, the AI considered him unarmed - but Marcus and Lance had lances equipped anyway)...

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...Bors shrugs off a Merc doubling him...

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...and Lot manages to whiff two 75s in a row. Nice defensive level-up, though.

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Wolt takes the kill on player phase instead.

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Saul's healing animation! ...I actually don't know if it's changed at all, since I usually don't keep healer animations on.

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The Axe Bros push forward a bit, both using hand axes to counter the nearby Javelin Soldiers on enemy phase. Wade's low Spd might become an issue, but his ability to one-round soldiers with 1-2 range is greatly appreciated; Lot still needs a little help if he doesn't want to use a melee weapon.

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Speaking of one-rounding Soldiers... Bors gets in on that, while also blocking the Fighter from reaching Clarine...

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...and Shanna, who gets spoonfed another easy kill.

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Lance takes the concept even further and one-rounds a Fighter with Iron, even though he still hasn't used the Energy Drop from Clarine's starting inventory.

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This allows Roy to attack and kill the Soldier from above, which puts him two important tiles closer to Sue's spawning point.

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And Marcus is a good Jeigan and makes sure that the Shaman gets countered on enemy phase. Unfortunately, Past ping proves to be incompetent at making screenshots (although to be fair, Marcus was the last character to move) and the game (otherwise, he would've opened the door with Marcus this turn, since Marcus wasn't actually taking an action anyway).

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Wade and Lot do some work on enemy phase, although both Knights survive despite Lot's 1% crit right here.

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The soldiers don't though, since they insist on going for the higher damage roll against Wade. First Spd proc for him!

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The Fighter that Bors blocked goes uncountered, but that was the price for one-rounding that Soldier with an Iron Lance.

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Yup, Flux animation is still slow as hell.

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Cath got a lot quicker though - this is at the start of turn 3, and she normally only spawns at turn 5. The plan was to recruit Sue and then rescue-chain Roy back to Cath asap. Guess which Jeigan would have been useful to have available for that!

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A quick look at Cath confirms that there is indeed a promotion for thieves available. Cath honestly still doesn't look like she's going to be a good combat unit, though - not with only 12 Str and 25/5 physical bulk. Heck, I wouldn't be shocked to see 34 Atk Bolting sages, either.

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Back to the task at hand, Lance finishes the Shaman (which also gets him C lances) and Marcus opens the door to Sue's cell.

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Roy makes use of the Celerity skill he stole from Tormod. Now, if only there was someone around who could TAKE Roy from Sue and CANTO further down so that someone could DROP him immediately. But alas...

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Speaking of unfortunate things, Chad is one tile away from immediately yoinking Cath's Lockpick. Oh well, at least he did something useful last turn and chipped for Shanna.

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Bors does the same thing, although Shanna takes a chance to stay out of the other Shaman's range. Chad would have been in range as a backup...

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...and also to swap Bors over to a Javelin, but now Clarine can do that and get a Heal in, too.
(actually, Clarine would've had to get that heal either way, since Bors would've been in kill range for the Shaman otherwise. She would've eaten a Flux though, since Chad would've blocked the safe tile)

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The centre path is less dramatic. Lot goes ahead a little bit to pull and counter-kill that mage, though. Who I think is stationary in vanilla?

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He certainly isn't in Project Ember, though.

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Hm.

OH WELL it's not like I put any thought into Bors getting a chance to counter here or anything.......

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Chad gets Cath's Lockpick before Roy talks to h-- oh wait, he doesn't because I'm bad at this game. Sue and Marcus drop him closer to Cath, though.

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Clarine manages to keep healing consistently and gets her third Mag level-up - which I believe upholds a 100% Mag growth streak on both her and Elen. Otherwise, this is the first Spd/Lck level-up that we expect from her.

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More healing opportunities! And another easy Shanna kill, too.

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Lance (who finally gets his +2 Str) and Lot bait the last mobile enemies out of the throne room. The two Knights flanking Wagner are still stationary.

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Dorothy, who hasn't seen any action yet, takes a potshot at Cath because why not, it's free XP. Looks like the Rogue has the same (or at least similar) animations as in SacSto, I think.

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...Oh, that's why not. Goddammit. That's another uselessly wasted turn.

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On a more positive note, those are two dead mages.

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On a more negative note, I continue to be trash. Turns out Cath doesn't move if all paths to the throne room are blocked. Which I knew. But I still didn't move Marcus out of the way. Oh boy...

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Oh well, if we're going to be slow, we might as well be slowww.

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Sloowwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

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Lot isn't going for Wagner, though - I'm just checking if he can take a hit on enemy phase. He can, so he whacks the RHS knight and Lance trades him to his Hand Axe, just for some extra chip XP.

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"...hey, what the hell. Stop camping out of my range, you cowards!"

And some more chip XP. I'm not really planning to use Wolt long-term, but this is practically free.

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Lot gets the Knight kill and the HUGE damage against Wagner (even one additional point thanks to Wade backing him up).

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And the same Stone Wall level up, but with a point of Skl on top.

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Roy gets the first Cath talk, at least two turns later than I would have liked... In my second attempt, he already killed Wagner at this point...

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"I'm not used to having a Strength stat."

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To speed things up a little, Marcus and Shanna get in position for a full-map rescue chain.

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Meanwhile, Wade and Lot get the remaining Knight, with Lance swapping Lot over to his Hand Axe again.

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And Sue gets a round of combat, too! Don't get too used to her sprite though - I do not plan to visit Sacae in this run.

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Free XP!

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...goddammit, Cath...

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Well, the rescue-drop still brings Roy close enough to the throne. I still set up a boss kill for Lance, who deals exactly 2x6 damage with an Iron Sword...

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...except that I didn't plan ahead and both Saul and Clarine already healed some minor injuries on other units for XP, which means that Lance would have died to a counterattack.

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Which allows the first wave of regular reinforcements to spawn. This is the first time I've seen them in this playthrough (as I said, I got an earlier boss kill before, which prevents them from spawning), but luckily, these have been un-ambushed.

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Which means that they're just bite-sized chunks of XP. But first: Another boss kill for Roy, who continues to spiral out of control. Daymn!

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The soldiers go to Lance and Shanna, who gets yet another very Shanna level-up, which puts her at a 14% (or 1 in 7) Str and Def growth so far...

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The Axe Bros get the Archer kills. That B support (which I don't unluck just yet) comes way earlier than I would've expected, so I'm guessing that support growths did get a buff.

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And Chad starts his very, very slow journey across the castle. Also delayed by a couple turnes since stealing Cath's lockpick drew him out of position, but even if that hadn't happened, getting all the treasure means that I have some time to kill.

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One neat pastime: throwing sharp objects at innocent bystanders. Getting a point of Str on Marcus is a nice bonus.

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And yet another defensive level-up... Saul the frontline tank??! Also: Dangit, there goes the perfect Mag level streak for my healers!

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Support time...Support time...

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...and Chad opens up the northeast room just for a handful of extra kills.

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Dorothy and Lugh do some chip...

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...Shanna and Wade (who was out of range to use an Iron Axe, so he actually needed that chip) take the kills. Another defensive level-up!

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And that's all she wrote. I'm starting to suspect that I might have to change the thread title soon, because Bors is honestly starting to struggle. Not just because he got another bad level-up, but I'm just looking at his and Lance's stats overall at this point. Sure, Bors is still a little tankier, but only as long as he doesn't get doubled and definitely not by an amount that would make up for Lance's leads in every other aspect.

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Clarine gets another OK healing level-up, also breaking her Mag proc streak.

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Chad's stealing spree results in (and I'm not going to upload a screenshot for every single chest)...:

  • a Short Bow
  • a Goddess Icon (might go to Lance, who's only at 4 Lck, or I'll just sell it)
  • a Killer Axe
  • a Silver Lance
  • 9000 gold
  • a Lightning tome (which replaces a 3k gold chest, presumably to make Saul's early promotion more enticing)

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The next group of reinforcements! These are ambush spawns, although I don't mind that too much, given that they only spawn when all your units are above a certain line. They're also more reinforcements than I expected, with three cavaliers added to the six enemies from vanilla.

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These are more dangerous just by virtue of being more than I can realistically kill in one turn - and it doesn't help that the Light Cavs are fast enough to double Bors. At least he two-shots in return, which means that he can just get the kill on player phase.

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Lance and Bors remain in the choke point, with Clarine and Saul healing them (Lance was still slightly injured from before) and getting rescued out of harm's way.

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The Javelin helps Lance not kill this Soldier and opening himself to more strong (Steel weapon) attacks, and in Bors's case it allows him to chip down an additional Soldier.

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Meanwhile, Lugh reminds me that semi-thick walls don't protect from archers anymore. Decent level-up though.

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A Mag proc would've allowed him to get the kill with the less valuable Fire tome though! #FirstWorldProblems

I do like that animation frame, though.

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Anyway - I figure that this is already enough to cut through the remaining enemies (which means almost all of them). The Energy Drop with its first major contribution!

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...what kind of scrub lord would need a Rapier to one-round Cavaliers anyways? Not Roy, that's for sure!

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And that is actually it! Another Marcus kill, which of course is always very very tragic, but he manages to make use of his first (Str-including) level-up. Still no Silver Lance uses consumed in this run!

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And since Chad is only around halfway done, might as well open the southeast room for another round of reinforcements.

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...wait, those aren't supposed to be there.

So, er, meet the culprits of my first reset. I had Chad open with the same "might as well farm XP" mindset, but since this room is initially empty in vanilla, I did so with very few actions left on that turn. Marcus tried to save the day, but without success.

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This time, Bors shall test his metal!

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Metal tested.
...but yikes, another bad level-up...

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But even without a little diversion for the one Nomad in the group (who moved second out of the entire group), Bors would have survived this with little problem. None of these enemies were fast enough to double him, although in one case this required the speed loss from the Steel Lance.

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The kills go to Wade, Shanna, Lance (who decides to go for the Most Impactful Crit award here) and Roy. The only level-ups go to the healers, though, with another very on-brand one for Clarine and another 2-stat one for Saul. Eh, could've been worse.

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And meet the culprits of my second reset! This group of reinforcements is still the same as in vanilla, ambush and all - and on my second attempt, I had Bors stand on the Knight's spawning tile, which pushed his spawn one tile upwards, which allowed him to attack Wolt (who was standing two tiles behind Bors), which put Wolt into KO range for the Archer.

Not gonna lie, that one was actually kinda funny.

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This time, things work out fine, with Lot delivering some hurt with this counterattacks.

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And since he was very close to a level-up, he gets a kill on top of that - very nice, Bors wishes he was this sexy.

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The other kills go to Shanna and Lance, with another neat Str/Spd level for the latter.

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And, after some extensive relocations, the final room - this is after Chad got all the other chests, so I'm not bothering with the southwest room; especially since I don't know what hides in it.

Actually, let me check that real quick......
Yup, also got four horsies in it - the only change being that there's a Heavy Cav with a Steel Axe instead of a Light Cav with a Steel Lance.

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S T R E N G T H !
Also capped Spd, so there's one more reason for an early promotion, but there don't seem to be any earlier Elysian Whips thus far. Shanna will probably have to wait until 7 / 7x and maybe get another level or three on the way.

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But yeah, four enemies that you know of on their own just aren't too threatening.

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And - FINALLY - that's a wrap. The first really slow clear of the run, but I blame the map concept for around 20 of those turns.

Honestly, I don't mind the concept of the map that much, but it would really benefit from a second thief in your ranks, both in Vanilla and in Project Ember.

So basically, let Cath be recruited right away. Put her backstory into a support with Roy because clearly our boy is lacking in romantic options, and we're good.

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Sue gives us a little foreshadowing for something that we probably won't see...

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...and Roy gets informed that his waifu (well, maybe. I haven't supports fully planned out, but Roy/Lilina seems like an easy choice when Allen isn't blocking any slots) is in danger. To the rescue!!!

 

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No new update (haven't even played the map yet), but I forgot the stat overview at the end of chapter 6 and SF seems to forbid editing long posts for some reason.

Spoiler
		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		12.88		38   16  12  17  12  11   7	[HP+7]
Marcus		    */2.25	36   10  14  13  10   9  10
Bors		11.31		33   13  13   7  10  12   4
Wolt		7.79		23    9   9  11   9   7   2

Lance		11.00		29   15  14  16   4  11   2	[Str+2]
Wade		10.79		35   16   9   9   9   7   4
Lot		14.18		37   12  12  12   8  13  10
Shanna		11.15		25    7  12  20* 11   6   9

Chad		5.90		20    6   7  15  12   5   3
Lugh		5.55		23    7  10  13   9   4   6
Clarine		10.63		27    9   9  16  11   4   6
Saul		10.57		30    7   9  11   3   9   9

Rutger		7.75		27   10  16  17   4   7   2	(base)
Dorothy		8.46		23   12   9   9   3   5   6	(base)
Sue		7.11		21    8   9  13   6   5   4	(base)

Roy is tied with Wade for highest Str, what the actual fuck

 

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  • Chapter 7 - The Ostian Revolt
Spoiler

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In which we face FOUR WYVERN RIDERS!

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The Damsel is in Distress and needs a-rescuing. Got it.

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And a little bit of world building. I kinda like this, actually - the previous chapter gave us Sue, who's the first Sacaen that we meet; this chapter gives us some basic information about the other "route split" country.

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#priorities
("he" being Narcian, of course)

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Did I say "basic information"? This is all there is really to say about Ilia, honestly.

Roy, Merlinus, and Guinivere first talk a bit about the same things that Debias and Leygance were discussing, giving a bit of additional background.

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This, however, is new. Roy knows that a Bernian army led by a Wyvern General is still quite outside of the Lycian weight class, so he decides to request help from Etruria, though his connection to General Cecilia.

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Of course you do, Merlinus.

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#prorities
So, I think this is a bit of a missed opportunity. The power of hindsight tells us that Etruria will treat Lycia like a vassal state in the Western Isles arc - yeah sure, they "request" Lycia's "assistance", but everyone knows full and well that Lycia isn't in a position to decline. Merlinus could've brought up that possibility, giving us a hint at Etruria's hegemonial/colonialistic ambitions. It wouldn't even make Roy look any less intelligent (and we all know that Merlinus only exists to make Roy look smart) since he's forced to pick the less bad of two options, but it would make Merlinus look less silly.

a) Death and destruction by Bern's hand OR b) Etrurian nobles will snigger at us OH NO WHAT A DIFFICULT DECISION!!!!

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But for now, there's a love interest to rescue! Chapter 7 is infamously the most difficult map in BinBla, so let's take a look what's new.

The obvious one: FOUR WYVERN RIDERS! As usual, there's a handful of additional enemies (the fighters in the top left and bottom right corners are new, too, for example) and more enemy variety - the original map doesn't have any axe-wielding enemies. We also have an anti-turtle Brigand added in the top left (he replaces a Cav).

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The Wyverns are, of course, terrifying, although to a varying extent. 30 Atk coming from 13 AS is not something that you want to see on an enemy as mobile as this, and Killer Lance Wyverns are legit my least favourite enemy type in BinBla. With their Horseslayer and Steel Lance, the other two are slowed down to 8 AS though, which is enough for Sue and Lugh to double them. And between the Aircalibur tome and the still awful Res stat on the Wyverns, the latter even comes close to one-shotting them.

(also, I guess that Bullions coming in small, medium, and large sizes makes their worth easier recognizable than the traditional red/blue/white gems. I still kinda miss the gemstones)

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This here is a small nerf - one of the priests has his Physic staff replaces with an ordinary Heal.

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Enemies in general mostly come between Lv. 8 and 10, with only a few Lv.7 and 11 ones. Nothing too spicy here.

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However, there's a handful of effective weapons and Silver Axes sprinkled in, not to mention the Devil Axe on the Brigand, so we'll still face some nasty two-shots and the rare one-shot (coughshannacough).

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Debias has been buffed a fair bit in every non-Lck stat was also given a Silver Axe and a stealable Knight Crest. However, there's one thing that I was spoiled on when tuning into Mekkah's (now lost to the ether, apparently) Project Ember stream: Debias is recruitable. I have no idea how or by whom - I only saw him deployed in some later map - and I'm not going to spoil myself, either. I'm going to see if either Roy or Bors (who I believe is the only Ostian character we have at this point) can talk to him. If not, RIP Debias.

One other thing that I learned just by pressing "end turn" twice (and increasing the L counter for one or two characters in the process): The Ilian mercenaries spawn as blue units, and they're quite a lot more competent at base level than we're used to. This obviously changes the priorities during the first two turns quite a lot - Roy's greatly improved movement and overall stats would've made them a lot easier to recruit anyway, but now he can more easily use those improved numbers to kill more enemies. It doesn't hurt that I won't have to worry about rescue-dropping Roy backwards, either.

Alright - all of this has been typed before I made an actual attempt at playing the map. Let's see how this shapes out to go.....

*playing in process*

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"It also creates free XP for your healers! Very convenient!"

I had a short 1.5 turns run before I realized that I left Shanna in Archer range and restarted preemptively (note to self: learn to count to three, smart boy). Other than that blunder, I found that the left side of the map (specifically the choke between arena and center-left village) was much more crowded initially and that Zelot and Treck actually bring a fair bit of power to the right hand side of the map. So the initial unit split is going to be a bit more weighed towards the left.

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Bors and Allen (who might make a last appearance as a rescuebot next chapter, but this should be his last actual fighting map) take the frontline, with Lugh setting up the Knight kill for Bors.

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This leaves the Soldier alive, but with a Javelin, his offensive power isn't even big enough to two-shot Shanna, who uses the opportunity to get some chip XP - and an A rank in Lances. She might be a good candidate to break open our two unused Silver Lances.

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To the right, Lance goes into position to one-round a Silver Axe Fighter on enemy phase, while the Axe Bros go ahead towards Treck and Zealot's spawning point.

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I screw that one up a little and move Marcus forward one more tile than I should, which makes the enemy phase a little less productive (the Knight was supposed to go for Wade), but it's not the end of the world.

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Otherwise, things work out nicely.

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Only Allen is getting rather low on HP, but there's no additional enemies in range to attack him.
(I was about to say how lucky I was that the Soldier threw his Jav at Rutger because of WTA, but he wasn't actually in range to target Allen)

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My favourite stoner cav has arrived! ...and also some other dude, I guess.

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Personal opinion? The Noah/Fir romance is really boring, probably both of the characters' worst support chain.

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As I said, Treck and Noah join as blue units immediately, but they still have a Talk convo between them. But or now...

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...I was about to say "but they have work to do", and they do, but apparently I played out the left part of the map first. Kill and first level-up for Rutger!

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Yay for my decision to bench him!

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Sue also gets a kill - I fielded her over Wolt because of her movement and because her higher Spd lets her double some enemies (including Wyverns) that he can't. The Sacae XP sucks, but I've been pretty consistent about getting Shanna XP, so I don't think it's a problem.

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Aaaaand another kill for a soon-to-be-benched unit. Probably. We'll see how Lilina's stats look. Good level-up though.

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Shanna puts her Uber Spear to work, Bors and Roy shield her and take care of her Archer problem. Huh, is that a bad Roy level-up? That's a vaguely familiar feeling, like something from a previous life....

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Shanna's still in Javelin range, but Saul quickly patches her up.

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Now for the right hand sight. Pictured: The reason why I haven't been using the Hammer very often.

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Oh hey, +2 HP! I wasn't aware that Wade had more than 100% HP growth. Amazing level-up in general, too, of course.

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Some more easy kills...

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But they have work to do!!! As per usual, the new characters are much stronger than you remember them to be - I'll show off their stats together with Noah's once he's on the field, too.

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Finally, Lot blocks the next Silver Axe fighter from attacking anybody frail. He doesn't go for the player phase attack though, because potentially eating 30 points of damage seems a litte excessive.

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And as the last action, Allen grabs the next village. This one gives a Longbow in vanilla, but I guess 2-4 range isn't in the cards? Not yet, at the very least.

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I guess Lot could've gone for the player phase attack, huh? 5+15+15+0 = 35, so he would've survived even the biggest RNG bullshit. ...unless the Soldier could've attacked Lot with a melee lance, I don't remember.

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Elsewhere on the map, I eat a handful of uncounterable attacks.

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But more importantly, the two eastmost Wyverns have started moving. I vaguely remember that the Wyverns get aggroed once you're within two turns worth of movement? But if that's the case, it only is for these two, since the other Wyverns are still asleep.

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Arena tutorial, got it, but I'll still avoid arenas in this playthrough.

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You can't see it, but I'm rolling my eyes real hard right now.

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So let's ignore awkward romances and look at Noah's stats instead. They're... honestly not that great. Maybe my Lance has just been blessed, but apart from Noah's good Res (and two points of Lck) (oh right, I was considering giving Lance the Goddess Icon from last chapter, totally forgot), Lance completely stomps Noah in every aspect. +3 Str (+5 with the Energy Drop), +2 Skl, +3 Spd, +3 Def, and Lance is only at Lv.11 himself.

He does come with good weapon ranks (B swords | C lances), but keep in mind that these grow quite quickly in Project Ember. Lance is very close to (C swords | B lances) himself.

TL;DR: Rescue-bot for a while, but otherwise he's bench fodder.

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Treck (or Trec, I guess, but I like the K) is much more interesting to me, although I'm admittedly very biased. He's a few levels behind Noah and his offensive stats are even a little worse overall (wielding Axes helps, though), but he's quite the tank. Not quite to the same level as Lot (who has +5 HP and +5 Res over Treck), but Treck combines this with better mobility and partial weapon triangle control. Specifically, he starts with (C axes | D lances), which is a bit low, but still workable. Killer Axes at base is kinda nice.

Interestingly, Noah has the same Light Cav class as Alance (I guess Noah needed a Sword rank for story purposes), which means that Treck is most likely the only Heavy Cav that we'll get in this game.

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We do however get Zelot/Jerrot/Zealot as a Great Knight, so we can immediately check if Treck will get any additional weapon types when promoting (Answer: Yep, swords). The class retains the 7 move from unpromoted horse units, which seems fair - definitely better than SacSto's 6 movement Great Knights.

Zelot himself seems pretty good, especially considering how Marcus is a only shadow of his original self. Not much else to say, really - I expect that Lance and Treck will outpace him after promoting, but right now, 16 Str and 15 Def are really good. His weapon ranks are about what you'd expect, too: (A axes | C lances | D swords).

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Back to the fight, and to silly, unnecessary risks just to get Shanna a couple extra points of experience.

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At least with this kill, she will safe for the next enemy phase, since there's only one Soldier (that does not carry a Silver Lance) around. L-Roy is saving a Rapier use and avoiding a counterattack with a crit here.

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To the right, the two wyverns are just far enough that I won't have any issue staying out of their range for one more turn.

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So I can just go ahead and clean up the enemies between the main group and the Ilian mercenaries.

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This mage is a bit of a problem, though, and not only because he reminds me again that Lance wouldn't mind two extra points of Luck. He's also one point too tough to be one-shot by Gant's Lance and attacking him will put Lance into range of two more enemies that can just barely KO him after an Aircalibur hit.

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He still goes through with it, but Chad with an Iron Sword equipped is trying to look extra frail to that Cavalier over yonder.

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Marcus makes use of the one stat that he still outdoes everyone else in - movement - and starts getting the villages to the right. I know that there's going to be Cav reinforcements coming from the south, and I would rather not have any stragglers around when they spawn.

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I love it when a plan comes together.

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The second Cav that could've attacked Lance (and gotten a kill with a ...Steel Sword, I believe, if Lance had been chipped down any further) goes for Roy.

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For the next round, I do have to deal with the two first Wyverns and also be aware of the next one - it's the one with the Silver Lance (and the stealable Bullion), too. Unfortunately, Dorothy is one tile too far away to reach either Wyvern...

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...but Sue gets a clean one-round kill across a house.

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Dotty chips the Cav down for a Lot kill instead, attacking from two range because... er... more heal XP, I guess? Past ping's ways are sometimes hard to understand.

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Getting rid of the Killer Lance wyvern turns out to be risky business, although Zelot attacking from the left (i.e. in range of the next Wyvern) was unnecessary in hindsight. I wanted to keep the two safe melee spots free for other units to attack from, but I'm not sure if I would've had the capacity to heal or rescue Zelot if he had been crit here.

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And then I only use one of those two spots anyway, since Lance chips with a Javelin to avoid any additional counterattacks. Slightly scary hitrates all around though, not gonna lie.

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Meanwhile, Noah one-rounds an archer and Clarine gets another Mag-less level-up.

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Ugh, I'm starting to wish I had stuck with Elen...

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More XP for Shanna...

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...and just to get it out of the way, Roy gets into range of the final Wyvern rider without stepping into Silver Lance range.

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Allen joins Marcus in Village duty.

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Enemy phase works as expected, with a Noah dodge as a bonus, but the two priests decide to be annoying.

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But there's not enough enemies around that those healed XP would become dangerous to me, so Chad just goes ahead and gets the other renamed Red Gem.

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HOLD ON MORE STRENGTH?!? Although let's be real, 8 Str is still firmly in "awful" territory, and so is her physical durability.

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And that's the last wyvern, despite a little hickup with Lance. He does reach B lances with this attempt, at least.

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YESSSSSSSS

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OK, I have to admit - Noah isn't bad at all. Just not as good as my powerhouses.

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Zelot kills one of the Priests, which is a bit of a waste of human life-- I mean, of experience points, but Priests don't give as much XP anyways.

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A second Hero Crest (I was wondering if it would still be here, since Deke came with one already)...

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...and a completely action-free enemy phase.

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Chad opens the shorter route to the throne...

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...but other than Roy killing that Fighter, I stay back for now. Roy should be triggering the throneroom reinforcements and those are eight enemies at once.

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This is a good one! Project Ember reduced Physic's requirement to a C rank, which Saul came with and Clarine is very close to.

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Not bad, either.

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Huh, those are two changes to the reinforcements at once. The ones from the throne room seem to be removed, and Debias's warning from the Southern ones comes two turns earlier than expected (7 vs 9).

Roy doesn't attack here - I was just looking if he could Talk to Debias. Bors is still too far away to try.

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Chad steals a Vulnerary from the remaining Priest (which Shanna then eviscerates) and then gets rescue-dropped towards the northeast treasure room... except that I screw up a little and rescue Clarine instead of Chad. Oh well, it's just one turn of missed healing XP.

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Last village! We're basically just going to wait for Chad to get the two chests before finishing the map.

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Since I still don't entirely trust the lack of reinforcements from the throne room, I keep a little space between their spawning areas and my units. They still don't spawn, though.

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The Cavs from the south do, though - not as ambush spawns, I just forgot to make a screenshot earlier than this.

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By far the most noteworthy is the Paladin with the Silver Lance, who is just a Cav in the original. The three unpromoted Cavs each carry a different Steel weapon (plus a Javelin for the Steel Sword guy).

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But first: Recruitment time! Bors is indeed the man for the job.

Bors: That is inexcusable!
Debias: P-please wait! I can explain!
Bors: If you want to be spared, help us save Lady Lilina. She'll listen to your miserable excuses!
Debias: Ergh...
Bors: Debias!
Debias: Fine! I'll help you save the young lady. It's better than standing here waiting for you to kill me at least!

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So there we have it - the first recruitable character added to the hack. Debias is honestly a clear upgrade to Bors at this point, with better stats everywhere except for his awful Luck; not to mention access to all four physical weapon types for whatever reason. It's... honestly tempting to swap over to him, despite the thread title. At the very least, he'll have to come to chapter 8, just to see if there is indeed a convo between him and Lilina.

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Speaking of convos - I don't think the ones involving the Ilian mercenaries include anything new. I forgot about the Roy/Noah one, but Roy/Zelot and Treck/Zelot look like they're basically just the recruitment convos.

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After that, it's time to deal with the reinforcements. Since Roy has to wait for Chad's thievery before seizing, he gets into position to do some chip damage against the Paladin. He actually doesn't double (only Shanna has the 20 Speed necessary to do so). Dorothy goes for some damage against the Javelin Cav (which gives him a 10 Avo tile, but that should be fine); Wade gets in range of the remaining two cavs...

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...although he only faces both of them because he doubles and one-rounds the Heavy Cav.

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Dorothy with a nice level...

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...and Roy with an unfortunate miss.

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Although it really just cost a second charge of the Wing Spear and I don't know if we'll get a replacement at some point.

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Oh, come on. I know your Spd is capped, but still...

(for those who don't know - the GBA games reroll zero-stat level-ups up to two times, which is why empty levels are rarer than in Path of Radiance despite the latter's overall higher growth rates)

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Wade is still looking very much like Wade, even though he's obviously better in Project Ember.

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The two chests are unchanged from Vanilla.

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But there's some new stuff in the shops. I think I got one Armourslayer and Halberd each? Plus some Iron weapons, some 1-2 range, some Chest Keys à five uses, and some Heal staves. And now I am le broke.

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Last thing before the seize are two bad healer levels (I missed the Clarine one, but it was Skl only)...

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...and we're out of here. Or rather in here. Here being Castle Ostia. Although we're technically not IN in, since we're still in the process of breaking in. So I guess we're still out here.

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Surprisingly, Merlinus has a point here! The soldiers are still breaking open the gate, so he and Roy have a little time to recapitulate Hector's last words about dragons and legendary weapons.

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We even get a hint that we need to keep Lilina alive! Although to be honest, since Merlinus is saying this, I don't blame anyone for ignoring it.

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And since Roy x Lilina is kinda implied, I guess I don't blame anyone from thinking that Roy is just in full Rescue The Waifu mode here.

(so basically, BinBla actually does allude to its gaiden requirements, at least a little. Sometimes. And if you already know about them, you can spot it too)

Next time: Hiking on a long, winding road! Thanks for reading!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		13.78		39   16  13  17  12  11   8	[HP+7]
Lance		11.80		29   15  14  16   4  11   2	[Str+2]
Wade		12.09		38   18   9  10   9   8   5
Lot		14.77		37   12  12  12   8  13  10

Shanna		13.02		25    8  12  20* 12   6  10
Chad		6.13		21    6   7  16  13   5   3
Lugh		6.26		23    8  11  14   9   4   7
Clarine		12.07		28    9  10  17  12   4   6

Saul		12.18		32    7  10  12   3   9   9
Bors		11.90		33   13  13   7  10  12   4
Marcus		    */2.41	36   10  14  13  10   9  10
Rutger		8.11		28   10  16  17   4   7   2

Sue		7.94		21    8   9  13   6   5   4	(base)
Alen		5.56		26   11   7   8   5   8   0
Dorothy		9.07		24   13  10  10   3   5   6
Zelot		    */3.23	35   16  12  13   7  15   6	(base)

Treck		10.52		33   12  12  11  10  14   6
Noah		12.40		29   10  12  13   6   8   7	(base)
Debias (lol)	14.00		43   16  14   9   3  14   4	(base)

 

 

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  • Chapter 8 - Reunion
Spoiler

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In which is established why non-ambush spawns can be rubbish, too.

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heheheh he said impregnable

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Yeah about that.....

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#priorities

(is this meant to be a running joke, by the way?)

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Noooo, not Roy's heavily implied love interest!

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Other than the planned assassination, there isn't really anything new happening until Astore (or Astolfo) joins, who doesn't really do anything, either, honestly. Storywise, this and the previous chapters are a little redundant.

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This is worth talking about, though - the dialogue seems mostly unchanged, but it shouldn't come up until a few turns into the map. In Project Ember, the Scrub Squad enters the fight right away, which means that they're not as easily ignored as in the original.

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They're also accompanied by two green units. Hurray. Aren't green units the bestest thing ever. I'm literally dying from happiness right now. I wish every chapter had green units.

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I know that "Gwendolyn" is her official name these days, but as a "Die Ärzte" fan, I just can't take that name seriously.

(I'd elaborate, but let's keep this PG13)

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The map might look just as similar to the original as the previous ones, but it actually has the most impactful changes that I've seen so far (in map design specifically, of course - 2-3 range on almost every bow is a bigger mix-up still).

Chapter 8 in BinBla is famously very, very linear - there's one zig-zaggy path that you have to take, rescue-dropping as much as possible to let your foot units (specifically Rutger and Roy) keep up with your horsies. Project Ember changes that with two new passages: a door northeast of Lilina's cell, and a breakable wall to the LHS treasure room (with 100 HP, but still).

More obviously, but arguably less impactful, is one zig removed from the zags - normally the wall to the right of the added door goes up three more tiles, separating the first two groups of enemies from each other a bit more.

Honestly? I love all this. The center left part of the map is still "alive" despite the path around it, since the Scrub Squad starts so close to it, but it allows to carve a way to the throne that much more quickly.

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Leygance has been hitting the gym - +6 Str compared to vanilla, with notably increased bulk on top of that. Like Wagner (and Debias, if we had fought him), he's much less dodgy thanks to the redesigned throne bonuses, though.

He also has full weapon triangle control if you let him, but obviouly that's something you can play around.

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He is flanked by two Great Knights, appropriately armed with Silver gear. It's not a surprise that we get multiple promoted generic enemies at this point - we've seen some of those already, and chapter 8 is the last chapter of the first arc, so it makes sense that we get a couple more "outstanding" enemies.

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It's not a surprise to see effective weapons, a few Killer Lances, and lots of Silver Lances even on the generic soldiers, either - that's just how Project Ember rolls.

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A pair of Axereaver Knights, too, south of the Scrub Squad's location.

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On the magic side, we see a new upgrade, though. I kinda like the effectiveness against dragonkin - fitting for an ice spell. More fitting than Tellius' Thunder tomes dealing extra damage against them, honestly.

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One thing that annoys me a little: The Knight starting east of the Scrub Squad has a stealable Chest Key, just as normal. However, thanks to the green units (who are too fat for even Barth to rescue them), he will be drawn left right away...

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...and he will be horrifically murdered because one of the green units has a Hammer to see to that. Maybe this could be fixed by adding Astore to the Scrubs? Although the Hammer might still just one-round the enemy Knight anyway, so changing that to a Steel Axe (or any other non-effective weapon) would be necessary, too.

Or just move the Chest Key to a different enemy, of course. Oh well - at least the Knight near the bottom of the map still has his Chest Key for Astore to steal.

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Lilina looks like she's in a bit of a pickle, but the two Fighters are stationary, which means she can do her usual game of hide-and-seek. If she wants.

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Alternatively, she can just 1v1 one of the Archers, bro. For whatever reason, she has a Fire tome equipped and she wins the duel as long as she doesn't attack first.

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Taking a closer look at Lilina, she's (as most characters) a couple levels higher than in vanilla and then got a few extra stats on top of her averages. The most notable increases are Spd (+3, yay), Skl (+4, eh) and Lck (+7, huh); otherwise it's nothing too dramatic.

The dynamic "power mage vs Lugh's speed mage" seems to be intact, although I suspect that this might be true for "Lugh > Lilina", as well. That said, her base magic is four points above Lugh's (she's also 3 levels higher, but still), so if she gets to a point where she doubles most enemies, her damage output will be pretty nuts.

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Next up, Lego Man is still Lego Man. Stronk, very very very tanky (but not against magic) and kinda bad otherwise. His HP (which is weirdly low in vanilla) is actually his most increased stat by far. He also comes at a level where it's very prudent to insta-promote him if you want to use him and similar to Deke, he also comes with a Knight Crest in his inventory to really drive home that point.

He's probably worse than Debias overall. -3 Spd is pretty huge when you're in an area where being doubled even by semi-fast enemies is an issue, and I don't think that Barth's better bulk makes up for it.

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And Wendy might be the best out of our four Armour Knights, weird as that may seem. 14 Str is only two points behind Debias and Barth, and she's 4-5 levels lower than they are. She mainly loses against them in HP, but her other stats are on par with or better than theirs.

Interestingly enough, all three of the original Knight Trio start with a different secondary weapon rank - Bors with Swords, Barth with Axes, and Wendy with Bows. And I think the 2-3 range of bows (while still having the option to go 1 or 1-2 range, unlike Wolt and Dotty) is actually the most useful addition of the three.

Basically, I have to make amends and say that Bors is not actually good anymore. Sure, mine had a some bad luck leveling up, but still - after an admittedly good earlygame, he finds himself outdone by more and more characters.

As for Wendy - I dunno? We're close to the point where we won't see as many Soldiers as enemies anymore, and chances are that she's going to have some trouble doubling other enemy types. We'll see. I kinda have to use her, don't I?

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And the last of the scrub squad, Ogier, one of the least memorable units from vanilla BinBla. Project Ember seems intent to change that and gives him a personal sword, the Cortain, named after... *googles* ...a dentist in Münster, Germany. Huh, I did not expect that. It's pretty darn strong, too - 11 Mt, 1-2 range, and targeting Res is kinda crazy. Only 25 uses though, and like with Shanna's Wing Spear, I have no idea if there's going to be a replacement for when it's going to break.

Statwise, he's quite a bit more tanky than his old self, which could only muster 5-6 Def and barely 1 Res at level 10. Compared to the rest of the Project Ember cast, he seems decent, but not too impressive. Comparable to Rutger, I'd say - slower, but more tanky, especially against mages - although Rutger could have had a level lead over Ogier if I had used him.

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Finally - almost forgot to include him: Astore/Astolpho, who looks like a solid option as my main thief for the rest of the game, really. While he doesn't share the absurd Spd and Luck that Chad and Cath seem to have, his raw bulk is actually better than what we saw from the prepromoted Cath when she appeared in chapter 6. With his increased XP gain, it might be worth to feed him some levels and promote him.

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Oof, that felt like a lot of pre-gameplay blabla. Let's get started, with Debias making his debut as a turncoat and remove one threat to our horsies.

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The other enemies are just barely out of reach (Marcus could've chipped, I think, but what's the point). Three enemies can be a bit scary if they gang up on a single character, especially when one of them is targeting Res, but I'm going for the ol' unreliable "just charge ahead on turn one, it's not like a reset at this point is a big deal" strategy.

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The Not-So-Scrubby-Anymore Squad has to be a little careful not to pull too many enemies at once towards them. There's a decent number of already aggressive enemies on the map, so tackling that corridor right away is probably a little ambitious for only three controllable units.

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So Barth sets up a kill for Wendy while staying out of the Axereaver Knights' ranges. OJ equips the Lancereaver he comes with (oh right, why doesn't he have a regular Iron or Steel sword, too? Let me be stingy with special weapons!)

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Lilina goes for the 1v1 against her would-be assassin. Both characters from the main group that are hugging the left wall have 1-2 range equipped and Lilina is obviously the most frail (frailest? Sounds kinda weird) of the three, so unless I'm very unlucky with enemy movement and targeting, she should get this.

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Enemy phase comes before ally phase, and the AI makes sure that I very definitely won't be able to get steal the Chest Key from that Knight. Ogier eats a hit despite his Lancereaver, but that's increased hitrates and no doubled weapon triangle from Reaver weapons for ya.

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In the main group, the first two enemies go for Marcus, getting him down to only 11 HP...

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...which is literally one HP above the killing threshold for the third enemy (that's 20 Atk on the Mage and Marcus has 10 Res).

C A L C U L A T E D

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And, of course, Lance kills in retaliation and continues to be pretty darn amazing.

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It IS kinda funny that you can just ignore the little "puzzle" of saving Lilina and have her murder that Archer without any problems.

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I think it's pretty much unavoidable to have the green units steal a couple kills this chapter. As I said, they're really fat (I think only Shanna and Clarine, and Sue if I had fielded her, would be able to pick them up) and they're a lot stronger than a green unit has any right to be.

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On turn 2, Wade hands over his Hammer to his bro (you can see why on the second picture) and then realizes that he should've taken Lot's Steel Axe in return for a potential one-shot. Oh well, easy kill for Sha--

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--nevermind.

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Zelot clears the way for Lot, who gets a nice, clean one-round-kill on the General. AND an extremely kick-ass level-up, too.

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Astore gets the kill on the closest Soldier...

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...and because we can't be having without an easy Shanna kill, Treck obliges and leaves his Killer Axe at his belt.

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Lance goes for the last kill, which I think was save...?

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Well, it is now.

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That was easy.

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For the Not-So-Scrubby-Anymore Squad, the next little wave of enemies is on their way - that Knight and the nearby Mage - so they still need to be a bit careful about stepping into too many additional enemy ranges.

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Ogier takes the easy path for that and just kills a Soldier through the wall. Getting low on HP isn't a big deal, since both he and Barth come with an Elixir each.

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And just like last turn, Barth sets up a kill for Wendy.

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Whoops, looks like I forgot to equip Marcus's Iron Lance. Buuuuuut... *elementary maths intensify*

That's 23 Atk on the Knight, which means that he would've dealt 11 damage to Lance, who would've been at 12 HP if the Silver Lance had hit him. So it WAS safe, thanks to the Def level-up that Lance got on turn 1.

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In the top left, the approaching Knight decides to suicide on the Hammer greenie. I was sorta expecting him to go for Barth, but I guess he went full DSFE on us and ignored the counterdamage.

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Barth is the target of the mage though...

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...who then is insta-gibbed by the two green units. No Wendy kill next turn, I guess.

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Easy Shanna kill!

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And with that, all enemies in the area are gone, so Treck and Lance start chipping the Fighters through the door a little. Clarine has the Unlock staff from chapter 6 in her inventory, which has 1-2 range, which means that neither cav needs to waste his turn stepping away for Astore to open the door.

Just in case that the Fighters will start moving now that they've taken damage, Lilina steps out of their range. The Archer threatening that tile of her cell has been moving towards the Not-So-Scrubby-Anymore Squad, so she's safe in doing so.

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Well, it looks like I don't have a choice in handling the enemies from the corridor soon. Thank you, green units, good job.

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Moving Ogier and Barth east to heal up was a bit of indeciciveness, I guess - maybe I was hoping for the green units to get killed? I really don't like working around ally's AI, especially when I can't even remove them from the picture by rescuing them.

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Wendy gets a little potshot for XP in, at the very least, before the greenies will probably do another kill steal.

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Well, at least the Merc doesn't insta-suicide here.

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Lance and Treck continue their chipping work...

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...and the greenies don't kill-steal because one of them has reached the Heal AI threshold. Neat!

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Clarine opens the door, Treck gets a kill and a less stellar level-up than last time...

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...and greedy as I am, I go for another easy Shanna kill.

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Zelot, Lugh, and Marcus split from the main group to support the Not-So-Scrubby-Anymore Squad a little.

Lance and Roy charge ahead a bit, although still out of any enemy range. No particular strategy here, they just happen to have good movement.

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First Wendy level already! Only two stats, but I'm not one to bitch over a Spd proc. Well, unless it's Shanna and it's the only stat in the level.

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Ogier gets another kill, using his dentist to avoid a counter, and Barth trades him his Lancereaver to reduce Cortain's workload.

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Ha, Astore and Debias have a short convo!

Debias: Erm...
Astore: Say... you wouldn't happen to be-
Debias: N-nope, sorry, you've got the wrong man!

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...oh damn, I forgot to check for a Lilina/Debias conversation! Let's see.... *Rescue soundeffects...*

Aw man, I missed out on a free Elfire tome! I'm not going to replay the whole chapter over that, though.

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Lilina has to be the one initiating the convo, which makes sense, since Debias's gimmick seems to be that he tries not to be noticed by anyone.

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(is there a comma missing after Debias's "why"?)
Lilina: You're here... to rescue me?
Debias: But of course! It's a knight's duty to, uh... save their master from evil!
Lilina: Debias... What sort of fool do you take me for?! You're the one who imprisoned me here in the first place!
Debias: Ah, erm... it was all a ruse, milady! I had no other means of fooling that dastardly traitorous Legance!
Lilina: .........
Debias: ...Ahem, anyways, you can have your tome back, milady. I've no need to hold onto it any longer, after all!
Lilina: I hope he means what he says...

Ah yes, the upstanding and honest Debias. Even more angelic than Ted Cruz.

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Not too much going on on enemy phase...

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... but this hit sends the second greenie into healing mode, too. The first one didn't leave it either and heals the last three-ish points of damage. I was hoping that the two would hold position if there weren't any enemies in their range next turn, but unfortunately they just remain aggressive throughout.

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I'm a bit XP greedy here and leave the Archer kill for next turn, since he's only in range of the still injured green Knight.

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The group on the right just moves forward, with Astore in range to free Lilina next turn. Lance and Roy are still just out of range of the Knight with the other stealable Chest Key.

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Which means that only Wendy et al. are active on enemy phase.

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And here I realize that the green units are relentless. Probably should have brought over Clarine and Shanna with their sky-high rescue stats to get them out of the way.

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I did get one free tome! I believe the convo is unchanged, albeit a little nonsensical with Lilina already carrying a Fire tome while captured. The Thunder spell gives Lilina +2 Atk and +5 Crit at the cost of 5 hit and 1 AS, so it's a decent upgrade for her.

You can see Treck at the bottom of the screen, pulling the Knight with the stealable Chest Key so that Astore can get that next turn.

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The Not-So-Scrubby-Anymore Squad clears the last couple enemies in the area (with Barthe taking the Archer kill away from Wendy anyway)...

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...and they start to slowly break through the 100 HP wall so that I don't have to walk all the way past the throne to get those chests.

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This also puts Marcus in range to pull the guarding Mage, who opened the door below him but became passive afterwards.

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Again, not too much happening on enemy phase. It's kinda typical for BinBla; most of the action usually happens in the first couple turns, then the game slows down.

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And another Wendy kill! She's getting some progress with her Bow rank as well, which is nice.

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Yoink! Astore gets an immediate lift into range of the treasure room, too.

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As usual, Clarine and Saul have been keeping up with their heal grinding. Unfortuately, they're also keeping up their two-stats-per-level streak.

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C support GET! Roy/Lilina is a Fire/Light support, which is full Atk, Accuracy, and Crit, i.e. as offensive as it gets. Definitely nice to have.

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There's not really much pressure to hurry up to get to Leygance, what with eight chests waiting for Astore (and me not bringing Chad, which is something I would've changed in another attempt), so Treck just pulls the Great Knight and nothing else.

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And Zelot does the same thing on the other side, carrying a Hand Axe to get some counter-chip in.

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The wall already goes down on this turn, so it shouldn't be a problem to get the kills on both of the Great Knights. I'm only a bit worried about nasty kill-stealing green units.

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And Astore gets to work. I think these chests are unchanged? I'll list all the items here, like I did in chapter 6, and then look up if anything was changed.

  • Knight Crest
  • Elfire
  • Light Brand
  • Killer Bow
  • Elysian Whip
  • Guiding Ring
  • Secret Book
  • Energy Ring

Actually, one change. The Energy Ring is replacing a Silver Axe. I'll contemplate about my stat boosters a little bit at the end of the chapter, I think.

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That's a lot of power on that Silver Axe Knight... I moved a couple additional units from the Not-So-Scrubby-Anymore Squad forward to block the greenies' path a little, but in a way that still forces the Great Knight to attack from 2 range, so Wendy wouldn't have had any trouble tanking the hit. Neither she nor Treck double their opponents, but that was to be expected.

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And the greenies can stay away from that juicy XP!

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Cath's back! Around her normal time of appearance, I think. The plan here is to let her and the generic thief run up towards the first treasure room so that Astore can steal both of their Lockpicks. Bit slow, but eh.

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This also means that I don't have to position Roy to talk to her right away, so he gets the Great Knight kill after Lilina chips for XP, to avoid a counter against Roy, and to save a Rapier use. It results in a genuinely bad Roy level-up. Huh.

(not that he's been growing any less than amazing so far. I'm just spoiled)

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On the other side, Lugh goes for the magical chip damage....

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...and Wendy fails to secure the kill.

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Ogier picks it up instead - he doubles here, so this was quite safe, and he hit the first attempt anyway.

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More cowardly tactics! Marcus (equipped with Wendy's Javelin because he broke his own) doesn't kill here, so that's going to be easy XP.

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As is this here for Shanna. She also blocks Cath's path here, just to be sure that she doesn't run ahead from Roy too much. It'll take two turns to steal both sets of lockpicks, too, so it's nice if she and the thief don't get close to Astore at the same time.

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Clarine can use Physic now! ...which I completely forgot to bring with either Saul or Clarine. Oh well, my RPG hoarding syndrome is glad.

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Cath actually heals after Shanna's attack, despite being well above half HP. Not sure if her AI is programmed to be especially careful or if it's a "might as well" because she's blocked off anyway. I'd be honestly impressed with the AI if it's the latter, though.

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And, next turn, Wendy picks up one kill for a minimalistic, but good level...

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...and Lilina gets the other one. Can't go wrong with Mag/Spd.

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More greenie retention strats, and Lilina gets ready for some enemy phase action! She actually would've survived a hit here (Javelins are rather weak after all), but that Knight seems to be completely stationary, so Lilina just goes for the kill on the next player phase.

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...I'll tak Mag on a staffbot, but I'd really appreciate a couple more procs per level on my healers....

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To make sure that Cath and her compagnion start running the other way, Astore takes a break after opening the third chest. Probably a little overly careful, since there's an open path westwards to the other chests, but better safe than sorry.

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Roy gets rescue/dropped in the same direction, too, so that he'll be able to talk to Cath whenever.

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More reinforcements! ...and a good thing that they're no ambush spawns, huh, Shanna?

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It's actually all the "normal" spawns at once - two from the bottom left one from each stairway, and (screenshotted a little later) a trio from the top left.

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I guess I should be glad that they didn't ambush and kill Shanna, but at the same time - spawning at the start of player phase completely reduces them to easily available chunks of XP, even though Zelot is "wasting" one of them here. But Lance is easily one-rounding any archers as they spawn and Shanna can handle any mercenary spawning from the other stairway. She's a bit lucky with her dodges, admittedly, but she could just run into Saul or Clarine's range if she wasn't.

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Yoink!
Roy moves so that he still leaves a path for Cath to walk towards Astore...

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...which she does, although she also moves into a somewhat awkward position. She keeps blocking the hallway for a while...

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...because she decides that "one tile to the left" is the safest spot to get some healing.

I've been skipping through a lot of screenshots here, since the reinforcements really don't pose any kind of threat whatsoever, but there's one small detail that I should probably go over:

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Riiiight, there's a boss to kill. And he actually has a couple lines of specific dialogue that I stumbled upon. First: Debias!

Debias: Ergh... How did it come to this?
Leygance: Hmph. I'll sever your head from your spineless neck, traitor!

Well, Debias is not going to get close enough for you to try, I'm afraid.

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This, I think, is just the same normal one as in vanilla. Also Dorothy's only "contribution" in this chapter. And she misses her shot.

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Leygance: Yes, you most certainly will. Have at you!

He even has some lines if one of the greenies survives to attack him! Which honestly doesn't seem to be too unlikely to happen.

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The weird part is that the Hammer-wielding greenie is quite likely to kick Leygance's butt, even though he gets doubled. Two-shot vs. three-shot, gg ez.

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We can't let that happen, obviously, since Leygance should be worth a lot of XP. So, Lot deals a little chip damage...

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...and Lilina goes for a rather unnecessary risk, since I believe there were a couple options around that wouldn't have been one-shot by Leygance's counterattack. Very fitting to let her have the kill, though!

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Leygance: I see the assassination failed...
Lilina: Legance... Why?
Legance (whoops, I'm still used to the "y" in his name): Times are changing, milady. I won't be left in the dust. I'm not like Lord Hector. He was too foolish to accept the obvious.
Lilina: Hush yourself! I will not let you insult my father!

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Success! Now, this is the second level without either HP or Def. I hope this won't become a trend, because keeping a unit alive that gets one-shot by 23 Atk seems like something that will only become more difficult as the game progresses.

Other than that, I don't feel like the rest of the clean-up needs much elaboration, so I'll get back to skipping most of my screenshots.

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Jesus, and I was complaining that Shanna's physical durability is shit. And I still am, really, although she's at least more likely to survive at least one hit here or there.

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Ooh, this one might deserve a mention though: The first use of a Silver Lance! Just to avoid a counter, because the reinforcements are still incoming after Legance's death and I don't want to overrely on Shanna dodging 50-ish hitrates.

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And another weak level-up. I'm truly not in a position to complain, but it feels like this chapter was a little worse than the previous ones in this regard.

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...yeah, definitely a little worse.

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Except, of course, for the unit that I'm not really planning to field once deployment slots become more rare.

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I ultimately have Lugh use the freshly stolen Chest Key to speed things up a little bit - this is turn 16, and Cath is still refusing to move out of the hallway, so Astore is going around towards the chests to the left. With some trading, I use the key for two additional chests.

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Finally! More than two stats! (and also Mag/Spd, so that's nice, too)

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And with that last level-up, it's a wrap. A much faster wrap than chapter 6, actually - but I guess that the treasure is a lot more centralized in this chapter, so despite not bringing Chad (and Dorothy doing literally nothing means that I certainly could've without hampering my combat whatsoever), this wasn't too much of a slog. I really like the two additional paths in Project Ember, although maybe enemy placement could be changed, too, since I was still practically done with the chapter after like half of the actual turncount. Still, well done overall.

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Yeahhhh, about that......

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For now, Lilina learning of Hector's death (and taking it surprisingly well) is all the dialogue we get, since the first gaiden is wedging itself between this and the next major plot development. So, let's see how well Henning will match up against his infamous orignial self - next time. Thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		14.88		40   16  13  17  13  11   8	(+7 HP)
Lance		13.32		31   16  16  16   4  12   3	(+2 Str)
Wade		12.44		38   18   9  10   9   8   5
Lot		15.43		38   13  12  13   8  13  11

Shanna		14.97		25    9  12  20  13   6  11
Lugh		7.02		24    9  12  15   9   4   7
Clarine		14.19		29   10  11  18  13   4   6
Saul		13.63		33    8  10  12   3   9   9

Zelot		    */3.47	35   16  12  13   7  15   6	(base)
Treck		11.87		34   12  13  11  10  15   6
Debias		14.34		43   16  14   9   3  14   4	(base)
Marcus		    */2.89	35   10  14  13  10   9  10

Dorothy		9.10		24   13  10  10   3   5   6
Astolfo		10.93		28   10  10  15   4   8   7	(base)
Lilina		9.92		20   13  10  11  15   3  11
Gwendolyn	12.86		33   14  10  11  12  15   8

Barthe		15.71		40   16   9   6   9  17   5	(base)
Ogier		12.13		33   12  11  14   8   9   7


We have three unused stat boosters to hand out - a Goddess Icon, a Secret Book, and an Energy Ring. 
I'm leaning towards +Lck to Lance (frontliner with only 4 Lck, which will mean a lot of low% crit risks down the line), 
+Mag to Clarine (more range, and more damage after promotion), 
and +Skl to Wade (when he doesn't have Lot in support range, 9 Skl and 9 Lck mean that his hitrates can be a bit iffy). 

I'll think about it before playing 8x, though.

 

 

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  • Chapter 8x - The Blazing Blade
Spoiler

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In which the floor is lava.

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Storywise, there's not that much to say - Hector told us that there's a legendary weapon hidden in Ostia, and Lilina knows where.

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But since this is Fire Emblem and we can't have story progression without some kind of skirmish, there happens to be a group of bandits that uses the cave as their hideout, not knowing about Durandal being hidden here.

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The game lets Lilina have a bit of characterization...

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...and allows her to establish herself as the as-official-as-Fire-Emblem-conventions-allow love interest for Roy. It's technically BinBla which established the rule of "imply but never fully commit", huh?

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Lilina also drops some lore on us; about Roland, the founder of Lycia. She specifies that Roland is her ancestor, which is kinda interesting - Athos refers to all three lords as "children of Roland" ("...and Hanon", in Lyn's case), which implies that all the Marquesses of Lycia are decendents of Roland. Might be a small retcon, although it doesn't matter that much, I guess.

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Well isn't that convenient.

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I like there's always some fiery glow at the bottom of the screen but I guess it doesn't lend itself too well to my "cut and paste in Paint" approach to showing these maps, huh?

Anyway, this chapter actually doesn't add that many enemies, compared to the previous ones. I think it's only two archers? Instead, two enemies used a promotion item - a Warrior in the bottom right, which will charge towards you immediately, and a Swordmaster below the throne room, who starts stationary but will attack units in range and can't be avoided on the way to Henning.

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The Warrior is, of course, big and tough, and 12-13 AS means that right now, only Roy (and Lance, as long as he doesn't switch to his Hand Axe) can double him. Oh, and Shanna, although she'll have to promote to Falcoknight to avoid being one-shot by the Steel Axe.

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However, the Swordmaster is the real threat. She gets slowed down to 19 AS, but that's still enough to double a large chunk of our army, and 28 Atk means that a crit will murder whoever she doesn't double. The safest way to beat her seems to be outranging her with bow users (5 move + 3 range > 6 move + 1 range) and get her into one-shot range of a melee unit with 7 move. Unfortunately, this also means that using Shanna to rescue/drop people over the crevice to the left won't be an option, so "linear path" is going to be the name of the game.

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Henning, much like in vanilla, is quite dangerous if you're like me and refuse to early-promote. However, 16-18 AS isn't quite as bad and allows more units to fight him. And since he starts with his sword equipped, he's still susceptible to the old "attack with mage, rescue mage out of range" cheese, especially with magic hitting much harder than it did in vanilla.

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Game, stop shouting "EARLY PROMOTE ALREADY YOU IDIOT" at me. Please.

Other noteworthy enemies:

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The guy with the first Brave weapon in the game. He hits pretty hard with it, too - Roy would survive two hits from full health with only 8 HP remaining. He should be easily to outrange, though.

(those were the two fighters flanking Henning, btw)

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One mage was replaced with a Nos shaman - which doesn't really make him any scarier, since he'll get doubled by everyone except Alen, Barth and Bors, none of which I'm planning to field.

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I didn't show it last chapter, but the Light Brand still has its old "10 Dmg at range" mechanism, which makes me dislike the influx of regular 1-2 ranged swords even more. Its melee stats are mostly in line with the usual weapon buffs, although it's also a bit heavier (9 --> 11 Wt) than it used to be.

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Speaking of "influx of regular 1-2 ranged swords"... I guess I should be thankful that the Storm Swd (unlike the Wind Edge compared to Hand Axes and Javelins) doesn't really hold up to the Tomahawk. Still:

Making different weapon types more alike is NOT an interesting balancing approach!

And, lastly...

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...oh goddamnit. Longbows are "siege bows" now. This particular archer doesn't move, at least, but why don't you just put a ballista on the map? I guess the player isn't allowed to have some fun, huh?

OK - with that, let's start the actual chapter, shall we?

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First things first: It's promotion o'clock! A bit on a whim, but I think Wade wouldn't really have ended up on my endgame shortlist one way or the other. This Lv.12 promotion lets him do some BIG chip damage from 3 range, for example if there was some sort of scary Swordmaster that I would rather not eat a counterattack from.

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Wade, Lot, and honorary Axe Bro Treck tackle the first group of enemies to the north. This formation allows for maximal counterdamage, or would if I had remembered to equip Wade with a Hand Axe. Whoops!

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To the west, Zealot sets up Micaiah0.9 for a very Micaiah level-up. She's still at base HP/Def...

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Lance gets rid of the other nearby Merc, which means that only a mage is in range to attack Lilina. Clarine would've used Physic here, because Lance gets two-shot by Merc+Mage, but he dodges this counterattack.

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And Saul spams Barrier a little bit. I'm not super wasteful with it - only three uses in total and I believe one them was actually useful - because it's not like Saul and Clarine are hurting for XP, but a little bit of staff spam can't hurt, right?

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On enemy phase, Treck exactly one-rounds a Fighter and gets a pretty sweet level-up, before I notice that Wade still has his Iron Axe equipped.

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Big hurty lightning!

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As I've shown right at the beginning of the post, I've lost a run because of the lava tiles - quite early into the attempt, luckily, but still a little silly. I was banking on Lance dodging one of two 30-ish attacks, which he did, but the one that hit him was a Halberd hit, which brought below 10 HP.

Lava tiles function the same in Project Ember as they do in vanilla, which is to say not like in BlaBla, where you'll always get burnt if you leave a character on a lava tile. Instead, a handful of randomly selected tiles will flare up after every enemy phase, unit on them or not, which means that standing on a lava tile really isn't that bad of a gamble. Most of the time, anyway.

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This is the fighter with the Halberd, by the way, but this time, I have Roy around close enough to one-round him on player phase.

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Once this Mercenary is out of the way, that is. Shanna throws a Javelin at him - she was really close to leveling up at the end of last chapter and I didn't want to waste 97 experience points. Worth it - HP/Def is really appreciated on her.

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The kill goes to Lilina, using Aircalibur for the higher accuracy (by 5 points, compared to Fire).

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And down goes the threat to Lance and Zelot. And Roy is picking up the pace again with his next amazing level-up.

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Zelot throws two Hand Axes at the other Fighter, setting up another kill for Lilina while at the same time blocking the Fighter from reaching her. Missing his second attack doesn't matter, since that's still easily in KO range for Lilina.

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Lance doesn't quite one-shot with Gant's Lance (he's two points off), so he just grinds his Sword rank a little instead.

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That's what I'm talking about! The higher accuracy on bows is quite the boon for Wade, too, since his Skl+Lck isn't too amazing.

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The kill goes to Wendy, for another pretty good level-up...

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...while Treck and Astolfo (who could've one-rounded, but hey, free XP) get rid of the remaining Archer.

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Saul gets another level up (and he's really not been growing very well....) and Lot gets into position to counterkill that mage... except that he doesn't move. There's a couple of fully stationary enemies on the map, usually with some lave tiles around them.

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7+11+13 = no chance of death, although I have to admit that I just assumed that Roy would survive three hits. It was quite close, actually, since the Warrior would have been able to use his Steel Axe for +7 Atk, but since all hitrates were quite low, no need to worry.

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Lilina gets the Warrior kill instead of the unpromoted Figher, and some support points with Roy on top of that. The Longbow archer doesn't one-shot her, and I'm always willing to bank on a 96 disp. hit.

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DEF!!! ...which is actually less valuable than HP, since there's no way Lilina avoids being two-shot by any physical enemy. Unless she gets some silly promo bonuses, of course. Anyway, first increase for her physical tankyness! Yay!

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Lance gets the remaining kill, and Zelot whisks him away towards the main group.

At this point, I leave Roy, Lilina, and Zelot here, thinking that Shanna will just carry them over once the main group gets past the Swordmaster. Bit of a silly decision, really, since I could've just carried them over the crevise directly above the starting point and have help (Roy) / collect XP (Lilina) that much earlier.

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This crevise right here. Wendy makes use of the increase bow range and gets into a duel with the Archer on its other side, so the area would've been cleared by the time Roy's group had shown up.

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That stationary mage is actually in a somewhat awkward spot to engage; not so much because of the Lava tiles and more because he is half-covered by the next group of enemies (who have the standard AI behaviour of "passive until you enter their range"). The timing works out so that there's an additional Fighter in front of him, too, but that's not too troubling.

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Astore chips to avoid a counterattack and Treck (who would've one-rounded the Fighter with an Iron Axe) kills the Fighter...

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...and Lot unfortunately misses the kill after getting a little Res boost.

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Wade takes it instead.

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The positioning of the three Axe Bros allows for a fairly effective enemy phase, outside of Lot not hitting the Merc. What a shock, a Hand Axe at weapon triangle disadvantage doesn't connect!

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And Lilina obviously doesn't counter the Longbow Archer.

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But Roy one-rounds without problems anyway. So would've Lilina, but she wasn't quite in range.

Actually, this is a weakness of the Longbow that FE6 ballistae don't have: They remain equipped during the other side's phase, so the users are practically guaranteed to be doubled when attacked.

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More mop-up work...

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...and more sloppy play on my part. Astore REALLY should've gone for the 100% kill against the Fighter instead of risking to be two-shot by the Merc. RNG is on my side here, though.

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And again.

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I'm regretting more and more that I didn't keep Elen around, not gonna lie. Not a bad level per se, but it's  a bit of a shame that I won't be able to use Elen's sheer staff range.

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With the next group of enemies, I have to be a little careful because this Fighter and the one above him both carry Silver Axes, which means that even Lot can't survive one hit of them, the Archer behind them, and the closer (Steel Axe + Hand Axe) Fighter. Not pictured: Lance, who ends his turn right above Clarine and will be able to contribute again soon.

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Taking only 8 damage from a Silver Bow is quite impressive, I must say.

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...well, or it's that Archers still don't have that much Strength.

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Treck only hits one of his counterattacks there, but it's still enough for Lance, with a little luck, to get the kill. The level-up isn't quite as lucky, though.

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Man, Astolfo gains XP really quickly...

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That next trio of enemies is again positioned so that you can engage them individually. Lot and Treck are both going to face one Silver Axe hit, while the Merc will still be out of range.

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Shanna has been busy rescue-dropping, but she finds the time to finally get her promotion. Not even particularly early at level 15. Promo gains are actually identical to vanilla, which is to say "quite substantial".

Ignoring RNG's blessings and curses, since I don't know how any stat averages look, her combat really seems to be weaker (or at least less improved) than that o other characters. 22 Spd is great and all, doubling even Henning (but not that Swordmaster), but 11 Str after promo is a little sad. She's also still less bulky than Lv. 14 Lance (31 HP, 12 Def).

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Talking about more improved characters, I guess I forgot to switch Lot over to an Iron axe. Whoops.
Also - dangit Treck, I just said "MORE improved"...

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Ha, the Fighter attacking him got hit by Lava.

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Not that it mattered.

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The remaining Merc dies easily to some ranged attacks. Treck gets into range of the Shaman, but not any additional enemies.

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...who doesn't move, like the Mage previously. This also means that I'll have to get into those two Fighters' ranges to fight him, which is a bit annoying. But not into the range of the next trio of enemies, luckily.

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Treck doesn't manage to dodge the Nos, so he doesn't get this kill (and also required a Physics charge), but it allows Shanna to one-shot with only an Iron Sword.

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Her promotion actually gave her a D rank in Swords (same with Wade's Bow rank), which means that she'll be able to trade speed for power by wielding Steel Swords without grinding it up, but it also means that it's quite possible that she can get to Killing Edges before the end of the Western Isles arc.

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First A support! Let the bromance commence!
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What is this, a Radiant Dawn support?

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...well, no. It does have some more substance to it, with the two talking a little about their sisters and hometown.

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On enemy phase, both of the Fighters go for Treck, who I guess maximizes XP gain by not using an Iron Axe here..? Actually, no, he doesn't double. Not trading him an Iron Axe was just a mistake.

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Not a big one, though. Despite the enemies hitting harder than in vanilla, this map is still quite straightforward so far, and it's been possible to fight every group of enemies individually.

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This time, it's on Treck to face all three of them, buffed by another Barrier use.

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Which had resulted in this level-up. His seventh, and he still only gained one point of Magic. Ugh.

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Buuuut as it turns out, the entire trio is stationary, too. Bit dirty, since it means that you can't face them without getting into the Swordmaster's range...

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...well, bow users aside. Also, it allows me to just park as many units as possible just outside of the SM's range to beat all four enemies at once.

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One, two, three...

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...four. Easy. OK, Wade's hit rate wasn't too convincing and I'm not sure if Wendy+Lance (with Steel Bow and Gant's Lance) would've been able to two-shot in case of a miss. Still, this should be a wrap, pretty much.

Nice level on Lance, too.

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...

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Things surely would've been more convincing with Roy, Zelot and Lilina around... Oh well, it worked out fine and it allowed Roy and Lilina to already unlock their B support.

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It's mostly Lilina reminiscing about more peaceful days.

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Oh no! Wendy got slightly inconvenienced by 1000°C hot molten rocks!
...wait, what's that on the top left of the screen?

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...I did not expect that. Not sure what was the trigger - area-based, or maybe killing the Swordmaster - but Henning just moved off his throne.

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It... really doesn't work out too well for him.

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Neither does it or Lance, who's been a bit bipolar about his level-ups this chapter.

I'm a bit conflicted how to feel about this change, honestly - on one hand, it makes Henning a lot less cheesable, but the unexpectedness of a boss moving off their throne kinda goes against what I think Project Ember's design philosophy seems to be - removing "gotcha" moments from the game. I guess it's not too likely that you'd get into Henning's range right the turn he gets aggro, but if you do, that's potentially a reset because of a rather unpredictable twist. Maybe it would be better to do the same as with Erik - move Henning off the Seize tile and put some generic enemy on it instead to show that Henning isn't stationary.

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I guess that means that Roy won't be doing anything of consequence for the rest of the chapter... Well, Shanna goes to pick him up to seize once the last three enemies are defeated.

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Interestingly enough, the two Fighters (who are quite dangerous with their Tomahawk and Brave Axe, respectively) also start moving now, but the Mage is, once again, stationary.

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Since the Tomahawk dude has a stealable Hero Crest and Astolfo isn't in range this turn, I want to delay killing him for a turn, but the other two can just go. Wendy (who gets a great level for it) and Wade chip...

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...Treck misses a displayed 90 (dammit Treck)...

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...so Astolfo and Lance get the kills.

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Nobody in the Fighter's range is one-shottable and he has plenty opportunities to not suicide on anybody.

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Mine!

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For max XP and maybe an additional source of heal XP, Lance attacks the Fighter with his Iron Lance...

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...and Wendy misses a 94. Goddammit Wendy.

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Surely I won't miss a third 90+ in only two turns...? Find out...

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...right now! I don't. The level-up pendulum swings back to "great" again, too.

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And that's the chapter. Cool ideas, execution could be refined a little, I think. Still quite fun, though!

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Top 10 anime betrayals

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And after Lilina destroys Roy's confidence, the plot picks up again with a certain butthole arriving at the scene.

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...good line, actually. Very fitting for Narcian.

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Oh no! Green units!

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Heh. Nice little play on the "as you know" trope.

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I'm curious to see if Cecilia's stats will back up her words in Project Ember...
(yeah, I know, she's actually very useful in vanilla, but still not quite what you'd expect from one who is Percival's equal in story)

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Nacian leaves the scene, but not without threatening Cecilia, but not Percival - set-up for chapter... 13, was it?, I guess.

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Some light foreshadowing here, that Etruria isn't some big uniform blob of helpfulness and that its attitude towards Lycia isn't necessarily all benevolent.

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Just wait until he gets his HM bonuses, mate.

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And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson! St Elimine loves you more than you will know (whow-whow-whow~)
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson, heaven knows a place for those who pray (hey-hey-hey~)...

---

And with that, the first arc is over. Lycia is saved, we get a little time skip, and then we move on to the Western Isles and Etruria.

It also means that the first small route split is coming up, deciding between Bartre and Elphin on the one side, and Echidna and Lalum on the other. With apologies to BARTRE THE BRAVE, I think I'll have to go with the latter - Wade with his early promotion is pretty much the same that I expect Bartre to be, so I think I'd rather have a more speedy unit than another stronk bow user in addition to Wendy, Ward and potentially Shin.

Coo-coo-ke-choo, dear readers!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		15.39		41   17  13  18  14  11   8	[+7 HP]
Shanna		15.0?/1.07	32   11  14  22  14   9  13
Lance		16.45		33   17  16  18   4  12   4	[+2 Str]
Zelot		    */3.58	35   16  12  13   7  15   6	(base)

Treck		14.04		37   14  15  12  11  16   7
Wade		12.44/1.67	45   21  12  13   9  11   5
Lot		16.09		39   14  13  13   8  13  12
Wendy		14.10		35   16  12  12  12  15  10

Astore		14.25		32   12  10  18   5   9   8
Lilina		11.32		20   14  11  11  17   4  12
Clarine		16.55		29   10  12  19  15   4   7
Saul		15.73		35    8  11  13   3   9  10

(didn't note the exact XP at which I promoted Shanna)

 

 

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  • Chapter 9 - The Misty Isles
Spoiler

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In which the Great Scott falls to some rather bog-standard Gouda.

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After Narcian is driven off at the end of the last chapter, the whole "Bern" thingy is put aside for the moment, including Guinivere staying in Etruria with General Cecilia.

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I forgot about this specific line, but it fits my interpretation that Ostia is not the automatic leader of the Lycian League, "only" the de facto most powerful house.

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Next stop: The Isles.

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Oh goodie. More bandits.

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Also more insight in the workings of Etruria's ruling class: The king has been extremely apathetic since the death of his son Myrddin, which allows his High Chancellor Roartz much more power and influence than he's supposed to have, which he then used to "levy" the Lycian troops as a police force for the Isles.

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Maybe it's the power of hindsight speaking, but Roy talking about Myrddin's character, even if it's just this little bit, is a bit of a spoiler that Myrddin is, in fact, not dead and will be part of the story very soon.

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The map! This is the first Fog of War map of the game - a mechanic that I don't particularly like for Fire Emblem. It's not quite as bad here, since there's no mounted (or flying) enemies around, but it's always so much ~FUN~ when an unexpected enemy comes out of the fog and kills your healer.

It also means that I can't spot most of the enemies on the map, and the 7 that are visible are pretty much the same as we've already seen. I'll point out more remarkable enemies as they pop into vision.

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Bit silly, but I completely forgot that I already had a Torch that Astore could've used for even better vision range. But even without it, Astore can see 10 tiles far, which is enough to spot the first noteworthy pack of enemies.

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Nothing we haven't seen before, but it's worth remembering that a lot of our characters won't survive if both these enemies attack them, at least without a Barrier boost. Roy does, but only thanks to the Angelic Robe he used; Marcus and Zelot survive only if they wield a sword; Treck, Wendy, and Lot do survive, but not by a lot (no pun intended). Oh, and Saul, who doesn't even face any crit.

Oh, speaking of - I think I figured this one out. If I'm not mistaken, Crit is simply Skl - 10 and what confused me earlier were just support effects. This lowers Crit rates at low Skl and raises them at high Skl, with 20 Skl --> 10 Crit being the break-even point. I don't have very strong feelings on this one - it's kinda nice that a lot of enemies just won't have any crit even on the unluckiest of characters, I guess.

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The first two kills go to Shanna (who is the only one who can reach, because Astore needed the most forward spot to be able to steal that Vulnerary) and Lance. The Pirate animation has some kind of back roll after the hit, which is rather goofy and I love it.

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A couple rescues without drop, just to get past that first choke slightly faster. I also decide to give Lot the Secret Book, since Wade is likely to fade out of the rotation sooner or later and Lot is using Hand Axes a lot (OK, that one was deliberate), which still aren't the most accurate without weapon triangle advantage.

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Clarine lights the Torch staff (I did remember that one), more for XP than for vision, since this still functions like a regular Torch in Project Ember and doesn't allow you to "throw" the center of vision like in SacSto.

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And finally, Wendy stays back for now, since the new 3-tile range on bows means that she can counter and one-round two Steel Bow archers from the island to the north. Quite handy, since this makes things a lot less scary for Shanna, too.

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At the start of turn 2, we see Scott convincing Fir that we're a bunch of eeeevil pirates that need to be stopped. This is actually one of my main criticism of BinBla - not how any of this is written, but that you only get this cutscene after you've already started the map. It's not hard to figure out who is able to recruit Fir (and Shin) as long as you've been paying attention to the story, but it's still a bit annoying that you don't get the hints BEFORE the fight starts.

It doesn't really affect me, since I'm not exactly new to BinBla, but it's still something that I kinda hoped Project Ember would have improved.

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This is your story.

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"Dad? I hate you."

OK, OK, I'll stop now.

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The TL;DR of Fir and Sin's interaction.

Fir's dialogue is honestly pretty great (no shit, I have her on my member badge, after all), including most of her supports - especially with the smalltalk-hating Sin and our resident edgelord Rutger. There's something endearing (and kinda funny) about her attempts at conversation and worries about being inconsiderate when they brush her off.

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Well, at least Shin doesn't go full ................... on her (bloody hell, I can already tell that I'm going to call him Shin half of the time). As I said, it's pretty clear that he's referring to Sue here - I just wish this would've been made clear a little earlier.

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But back to Scott and his nameless lackey - he's to follow Fir and grab her Wo Dao once she dies trying to fight Roy's army. There's one big flaw in that plan though - enemies don't drop their weapons in BinBla, so the Wo Dao would just disappear into the ether if Fir died.

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Back to the gameplay - Noah hands Lot over to Shanna, so that she can drop him even further ahead, and Astore moves early on my turn to scout ahead a little more. He reveals the first promoted generic on the map - although he doesn't actually hit that much harder than an unpromoted Silver Axe fighter. There's also another Archer threatening parts of the isle we are on right now, so Shanna needs to be a a little careful where to move to.

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Pictured: 3-ranged bows being really, really good. So good in fact that Wendy hasn't used a Lance a single time before capping her Bow rank, it seems.

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Shanna drops Lot on the spot that Fighter was occupying, blocking any enemies from reaching the previous isle.

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And Clarine drops a Physic on Shanna, netting her another meh level.

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Otherwise, turn 2 is just moving forward with a little helping of rescue-drop.

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Which also means that Lot is the only one seeing any combat, and since I didn't swap him to an Iron Axe, this Soldier is the only enemy that can attack him, too.

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That's chokepoints for ya, but at least it's an easy pick-off for Lilina.

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Next, I'm being a little greedy. Astolfo steals another Vulnerary, Lot rescues him off the melee spot...

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...and one of our "forced" characters is making himself useful.

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Which is exactly enough to allow Lance to get the kill with Gant's Lance - he was too far away to attack from any other spot, so that's why Astore had to be rescued out of the way.

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Clarine burns another Physic charge and Shanna takes and drops Astore. With that, we should be safe, since the Warrior still can't quite reach us.

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Unfortunately, Wade is one tile short of getting an enemy phase kill against the Archer, but Zelot pulls him over so that Wade can open up that space for Shanna next player phase.

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Whoops! I did not want Shanna to use the Silver Lance here. I think I checked her damage against the Merc last turn to make sure I had another backup, and didn't register that I swapped her weapon doing that.

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The outcome is quite alright, though. The Soldier could've given some XP to someone unpromoted, but that's okay.

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The remaining two enemies are cleaned up easily (with Astolfo picking up some extra XP), which is also enough to get Lilina to B Anima rank.

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Wendy is carried over, Lance gets the Goddess Icon as I was planning to do last chapter, and Wade kills the Archer.

WHY IS THE ARCHER ALREADY BLINKING BEFORE THE ARROW HIT HIM IMMERSION RUINED BAD GAME

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What is this?! A good Saul level!!

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On enemy phase, no red units were in range to cross that two-tile bridge, but thanks to Astolfo, we can see a certain female Myrmidon appear on the screen.

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On the other side, Lance blocks that choke point, still out of range of that scary group of enemies. He doubles the Warrior, chipping him down to 2 HP immediately.

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It seems like we somehow triggered an additional Fighter to move - but killing him will allow Noah (the Cav right above Roy) to already recruit Fir this turn. So, Astolfo chips...

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...Roy kills...

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...and Noah throws some blue paint at Fir.

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Oh hey, another flaw in Scott's flawless plan: His mook doesn't seem to be that good at sneaking about.

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Silly Karla, this is a Fire Emblem game!
(and Bartre is EXACTLY the way he looks)

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I don't think the Myrmidon would've been able to kill either Noah (tanky enough to survive two hits) or Fir (fast enough to avoid being doubled), but he would've prevented Sue from moving closer. So, Shanna removes that problem, staying out of that second Fighter's range.

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...actually, the Fighter still prevents Sue from using her full movement, since that's an easy one-shot if I ever saw one. But at least she can get ahead a little bit.

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Have I mentioned lately that 3-ranged bows are really, really good? And so is Wendy in Project Ember, truth be told.

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With the Fighter out of the way, Lot gets prepared to face the aforementioned group of enemies, and Marcus and Lance drop him ahead.

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Still, OUCH!

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YOW-- oh, nevermind.

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But the Shaman should be pretty harmle-- oh wait, that's no Shaman. *checks previous screenshots...* Huh, I guess this pirate was standing right below the Silver Axe dude, which was out of Astore's sight on turn 1.

Nothing bad comes of it, though - Lot doesn't even double here (Pirates are a little faster than Fighters, I think, and it's not like Lot is some kind of speed demon), so nobody else can reach him after this.

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Not quite in range (but he is now) was this next promoted generic - who's frankly not very threatening at all. 22 attack? No 3 range? Pfff.

He also carries another Orion's Bolt, because clearly we're starving for promo items. Like, seriously, we only got three Hero Crests, three Knight Crests, two Orion's Bolts, two Guiding Rings, and one Elysian Whip so far! ...actually, that's not quite as many as I though it were. Still, their availability really isn't that much of a factor anymore. I guess Lilina wouldn't mind an earlier additional Guiding Ring? If there isn't any, the next one will be Sophia's in chapter 14, which would probably (hopefully) be a bit late.

Sin also came into sight the previous enemy phase, so now might be a good time to look at our new recruits:

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Sin looks fairly good, I'd say. Str is a bit low compared to our other main archers (Wade and Wendy....), but he's obviously somewhat underleveled. 13 Spd is quite good, defensive stats are quite mediocre. Horse plus Bow means that he has amazing attacking reach, 18 Aid lets him carry every unit on our roster sans Merlinus (and he still can after promoting, I just checked).

Definitely still an upgrade over Sue - he even has the same base Spd, although Sue is admittedly three levels lower. But aside from that, she would probably need to be Lv. 15+ to reach Sin's stats in almost every other area.

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Fir seems to retain her role as "Rutger, but later", too, although now she joins with the same base level as Rutger did in chapter 4. Her bases are a little better than his overall (most importantly, +4 HP and +2 Str, but -2 Def) (probably less importantly, +6 Res), but obviously, Rutger would outlevel her quite significantly if I had been using him consistently. So, like in vanilla, I expect her to be a growth unit that is quite easy to train and will turn out just fine - but not a unit that is particularly crucial.

I'm still gonna train her, since she is probably my favourite character of the game, in story and gameplay (there's something very satisfying about any unit with a very low base level, but adequade base stats for their joining time).

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For starters, I'll throw her at the third promoted generic enemy of the map and hope for the *grabs calculator* 71% chance that she gets at least one crit!

(I forgot to check the Sage's stats, but that's 34 Atk right there. Scary stuff)

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Drat!

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Noah rescues her out of Shin's range and Roy takes the kill instead, netting another Str/Spd level because why wouldn't he. Shin won't kill him even with a Killer Bow Crit (he has 21 Atk, so that would be 30 Dmg) and Roy is blocking him from attacking anyone else.

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And with Shanna getting this kill, there's no danger coming from the east, either.
(I was initially typing "from the right", but, er.... #topical)

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Back to the south - 3 range continues to be great.

Astore wasn't in range to steal the Orion's Bolt this turn, so he gets rescue-dropped in position for the next and Lot leaves the Sniper alone for now and kills the Shaman instead. Since there's another Silver Axe guy waiting behind the Sniper, Clarine does another ranged heal.

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No problems here.

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Nor here. Shanna has been quite lucky with her dodges this chapter, I think.

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Oh, but actually a little risk here, thanks to the low% crit. Lot's low% crit, that is, which could have "destroyed" the Orion's Bolt. Apparently the Silver Axe guy moved first, so Lot didn't see any chance of death himself.

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"Oh, you know, destroying the world a little bit. I'm Sin, I can't not destroy the world, y'know"

Wait, I said I would stop. *ahem*

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Thank you, Sin.

(He's actually a lot less tongue-tied with Sue than he was with Fir. We learn that Sue's clan was crushed by Bern and that her still unnamed grandfather is trying to oppose him.)

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The nomads are close enough to the Gate to get a look at Scott. Berserker with a Killer Axe, so I'd rather stay clear of that. Pretty sure that a crit will just one-shot every character I have.

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But that's a problem for later. Astolfo hands over his previous loot to Lot (pun not intended, but still welcome) and gets the Orion's Bolt...

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...and Lot's previous chip damage is enough for Wendy to take the kill afterwards. I won't complain about the level, she doesn't mind more Spd at all.

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The two Pirates fall rather easily, too - not fully reliably, but there wouldn't have been any danger if Lot had missed his 70 hit.

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Clarine feels a little adventurous and takes the front in order to heal Lot - but unless there was a horsie or flyer added to the bottom left of the map, I have enough vision to do this safely. I... actually don't mind her level-up, since dodge-tanking always wants a little bit of bulk as a safety net, even though her and Saul's magic growth really make me sad.

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*dab*
Back in the north, easy kill for Fir!

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And Sin sets up a kill for Roy with some shaky hitrates, but I'm fairly certain that the Merc wouldn't have doubled and one-rounded Sin.

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The map is mostly cleared at this point, although there's a last group of enemies approaching the gate from the south.

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I'm being a bit careful with them - Wade is standing in the Archer's range, but nobody else.

Oh, and that's the Gouda. I have 3 range, Scott does not. The end. I'm not going to have a fair fight with a Killer Axe Berserker, and the full ability to outrange means that I can cut the rescue-dropping middle man.

3 range is quite powerful, you guys.

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To the right, Shanna and Trec kill this last pirate, which clears the top right area, too.

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Clean-up!

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This leaves the mage alive - Zelot could've killed him, but not without risk (of being forced to use another Physic charge, but still) and Roy easily survives two hits, so I don't go through with this.

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Lot goes towards the bottom left village...

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...Wendy gets lifted towards the boss (3 range is quite powerful, in case you missed me saying it the previous
5368 times)...

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...and Shanna locks in the Girl's Route.

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I actually like how this route split is integrated into the story - you can only visit one of these villages because the people will leave both of them once you get to the first, and they give the Lycians different leads where to go next. This girl talks about labour camps to the north, the other village would've talked about about Lalum's resistance forces to the west (iirc), so that's why these villages change where Roy will head.

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The next turn, pirates start spawning from the three forts - an easy way to powerlevel Fir, in vanilla and presumably in Project Ember, as well.

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And also a source of Pure Water - the Pirates from the upper fort will all carry one.

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I'm not going to stick around to farm all of them, but Lance and Fir get a couple kills here, unfortunately with Fir getting a very poor level-up in the process. I was hoping to get a kill or two for Lilina, too, but there was no way to do so without risking her being one-shot in the process - maybe if I had carried Roy over for their support bonuses, but I didn't want to drag out the chapter.

In the end, I believe I got seven kills in total, plus two stolen Pure Waters.

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And, er, the cheese can be delayed, but not denied.

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You know what? It's fine, Roy, you deserve some bad levels once in a while.

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Another defensive healer level...

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...some unnecessary chip damage so that Treck can get some XP (he wasn't doing too much this chapter, tbh)...

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...a little spawn camping...

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...a level from stealing...

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Actually, I'm doing enough in these last two turns that the "A...then B...then C" is starting to look really silly, huh? Marcus sells a renamed Red Gem and two Lockpicks because I went into the chapter literally broke, and then he and Shanna spend almost all of that money on some Heal staves, basic weapons (and a couple Hand Axes) and a few Wind Edges for Fir.GT9pz06.jpgo6rRcnh.jpg

I did not forget the Silver Sword village, either.

ofxKum3.jpgO1IdkCM.jpg

But that was it! Apart from Scott being turned into a complete joke, I think the 3-ranged bows were pretty cool in this chapter. Still a little broken, but it's nice how they give you some ability to attack from one island to another, and they also help breaking through the many chokepoints a bit more easily.

Other than that, the chapter feels fairly similar to the original. Fog of war means that unless you look up enemy positions, you're forced to play fairly conservatively, which also gimps Shanna's flight utility - even though she was still pretty useful, not gonna lie.

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In story, Roy and Merlinus comment on the Pirates' preparedness for the Lycian army's arrival - Scott should not have known that they were coming.

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And since the hint from the village is pretty much all Roy has as a lead, that's what we're going to follow.

Come to think of it - it's kinda funny how the two routes both lead to the respective other route's goal. In this timeline, Roy wants to look into the slave camps - and we'll end up recruiting the leader of the resistance force. In the alternative route, we want to contact the resistance force - and we run into Bartre while he is trying to save some fleeing slaves.

But before we can talk about Echidna, we'll first run into another couple of Axe Bros. I'm very curious to see how Gonzales' hit rates are going to look in Project Ember... Until then - thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		17.65		41   18  13  20* 15  11   9	(+7 HP)
Shanna		15.--/1.70	32   11  14  22  14   9  13
Lance		17.82		34   17  17  19   8  12   4	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Marcus		    */2.89	36   10  14  13  10   9  10

Zelot		    */3.61	35   16  12  13   7  15   6	(base)
Treck		14.76		37   14  15  12  11  16   7
Wendy		16.55		37   17  13  14  12  15  10
Wade		12.44/2.19	46   22  12  13   9  11   5

Lot		16.77		39   14  15  13   8  13  12	(+2 Skl)
Clarine		18.88		31   10  13  20* 15   5   7
Saul		17.17		36    9  13  14   3  10  12
Lilina		12.52		21   14  12  12  18   4  12

Astolfo		15.04		33   12  11  19   5   9   8
Fir		8.83		31   12  17  17   8   5   8
Sin		10.37		29   12  13  13   7   9   3	(base)

Sue		7.97		21    8   9  13   6   5   4	(base)
Noah		12.50		29   10  12  13   6   8   7	(base)

I didn't quite notice before, but it seems that 
Goddess Icons have been buffed to +3 Luck? (...) 
Yep, Lance was at 4 Lck at Lv. 16 and procced Lck
in his only level during this chapter. Seem reasonable.

 

 

 

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Man, I'm on a streak ;):

  • Chapter 10 (Echidna route) - Western Resistance
Spoiler

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In which Roy travels north to meet Nord.

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Missed opportity that he's not called "Bruckner", to be honest.
(although, to be fair, I don't think Bruckner was nearly as big a douchbag as Wagner was)

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Oh great, another name change that I won't get used to. Please excuse me if (when) I will call her Lalum.

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DUN DUN DUNNN!

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RE: chapter 4 - See? Just a small scene to show that Roy is surprised by an expected ally attacking him goes a long way.

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"Be on the lookout for individual portraits! Especially if they're pretty!"

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This map is a bit of a breather in vanilla, even though it features the first promoted generic in the game - the Berserker with the second group of enemies - and the first ballista, as well. There's a single very straightforward path, a fair bit of terrain to create chokepoints, and the only village is hardly under any threat and can just be picked up by Shanna at any point in time.

At first glance, Project Ember doesn't seem to change any of this: Both map and enemy placement seem to be completely identical to vanilla BinBla. It might be a bit more difficult due to Project Ember's general rebalance changes - the Fighters in particular hit a lot harder and more accurately.

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And so does the Berserker, which is probably the biggest increase in difficulty, since his range overlaps with a lot of the unpromoted enemies around him. I believe he wields a Steel Axe in vanilla, which means that a sword unit can dodgetank him pretty easily, but that's certainly not the case any more.

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Not a problem at all is Nord himself, unfortunately. With 3 range being so strong and readily available, any stationary boss immediately becomes a non-issue.

Admittedly, cheesing bosses by attacking from 2 range and rescue-dropping the attacker out of range is viable pretty universally in vanilla BinBla, too, but at least it basically takes three unit actions (attack, rescue, take+drop) to perform a single attack this way. 3-ranged bows can just be spammed without inconveniencing any other character whatsoever.

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I think the Fenrir tome is the only new weapon that we see this chapter. 16 Mt, 75 Hit, 5 Crit - seems to pretty good. Otherwise, we have the usual mix of Steel and Silver weapons, with the occasional Reaver and effective weaponry sprinkled in.

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The ballista isn't really going to be an issue before facing the second group of enemies. It's not terribly strong anyway, but obviously still creates a no-fly zone for Shanna as long as it's manned.

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My initial idea is to use Wendy and Shin to attack over the cliff, weakening two enemies that other characters then can pick off before being rescued back behind the bridge. Treck, being the mounted tank that he is, can block the enemies from attacking either of the Archers and deal some chip damage on the counter.

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...but wait, that puts him in range of this Halberd fighter! Whoops...
Guess I'll swap Treck to an axe to minimize the hitrate and hope for the best.

THsKLuQ.jpgNmYCHMC.jpg

Bad idea. Treck gets doubled by a Silver Sword merc and a second one brings him down to 5 HP with an Iron Blade...

L06sDeL.jpgEe2Bv6Z.jpg

...which is enough for this Archer to finish him without the Halberd even getting a chance to attack Treck.

NEW PLAN: Let't do everything exactly the same way as before! They'll never see it coming!

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...except that Treck swaps to a Lance, which reduces the Mercs' damage by 4 point per hit, or 12 in total. And since the Mercs move before the Halberd guy, they will protect Treck from him afterwards.

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So, this time it's worth to actually show the rest of the player phase. Wendy and Sin deal some chip damage...

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...Fir gets one kill and a decent level-up (I'm glad about every Str level on her, even though I don't expect her growth to still be at 25%)...

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...and Lilina unfortunately doesn't get the second.

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I still play this out - Fir and Lilina get rescued to safety, Wade (with an Axe, obviously) chokes the point.

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And Lance and Clarine unlock their C support. Nice!

ZGF7BfT.jpglz1GyBe.jpgYs5cfVc.jpg

I think its entirety, C to A, is pretty accurately summarized by "It's not like you're the flawless romantic knight of my dreams or anything, b-baka..."

ckQxcVa.jpgFHRxSED.jpg

NOOOO! LILINA'S KILL!

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The change in weapon triangle means that the Silver Sword Merc prefers to attack Wade (the hell is that animation frame, btw), but the Iron Blade Merc still prevents Treck from being targeted by the Halberd guy.

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And for some reason, the Archer decided that being one-rounded by Sin is his biggest goal in life. I'll take it.

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Yeah, that's 19 Atk on the ballista. Annoying, but unlikely to kill anyone except Shanna.

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Player phase then allows for a clean-up, more or less, although with Sin successfully fishing for a crit against that Fighter. The level isn't too great, though, although Str never hurts a ranged attacker.

(OMG, first time for Wendy to use a lance!)

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More cleanup... (Treck uses the opportunity to trade Wade an Axe)

jiEwSlH.jpgZhRV8nz.jpgWOBTV4A.jpg

...and a bit of unnecessary risks to provide Fir with another kill.

rvp4zcF.jpgqGKaQpR.jpg76GD8Dk.jpg

Lance (whose chip makes sure that Shanna doesn't eat a counter) and Shanna get the kill on the merc. That Fighter near Roy survives the turn, since Astolfo can't attack from melee and doesn't kill with his Knife.

eyfDXvp.jpgnlo7iLi.jpgeJLIW36.jpgC6IzchW.jpg

Which makes the following enemy phase a little sketch, since Shanna is in range of three enemies. Her avoid against axe fighters is still pretty good, though, so the chance of death shouldn't have been too bad.

HifV5E9.jpgSz1C11C.jpgEopVSoY.jpgc5eVRot.jpg

As is, this allows me to clean up the surviving two Fighters without stepping into the Berserker's range (which ends on the bridge below Wade). Another not-too-great level on Fir, unfortunately...

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Shanna makes the little detour to get the village next turn.

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This is what high-crit enemies make me do *shrug*

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Not much happening on enemy phase - Fir and Sin (by the ballista) get attacked, Wendy is able to kill Fir's attacker on player phase.

E76vnZm.jpg1ztOpNk.jpg4bRGSXW.jpgAoFGnrK.jpg

I decide to play simple, but risky at this point - instead of trying to hug the edge of enemy range and kill as many of them as possible at once, Shanna pulls the Berserker away from the rest while the rest of the group basically chills for a turn.

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Oh right, Wade was in range of this Merc, who I think was aggroed the turn before this. Little more than a waste of an enemy phase counterattack, though.

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OOF

Chance of death was only ~5% (34 disp. hit == 23.46% true hit), but every 90+ miss we've seen was less likely than Shanna exploding here.

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Very Shanna level-up as a result.

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oh nooo not my poor frail healer

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After this enemy phase Geese spawns, as an "ambush spawn" green unit. He's quite far away from any enemies, so recruiting him isn't too pressing.

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Pulling the Berserker did not affect the unpromoted enemies around him at all (that Shaman started the chapter aggressive), so I can now move in without risking any untimely deaths.

attpy8K.jpg

First, Wendy clears the way. An Armor Knight doubling a Swordfighter, you saw it here... second, probably, if you've played Path of Radiance. I know that Gatrie doubles and one-round a Myrmidon with an Armorslayer in the chapter before he and Shinon leave, which is ironic in a way.

vR3NLaw.jpg

No Fenrir animations for you, sorry.

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No good level-up for you, sorry.

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I actually don't move in too much, since those four units are too far back for my foot units to reach. Shanna gets the hell away from the Berserker - if I recall, she was one point short of one-shotting him with an Iron Sword from this point, and I wouldn't mind giving the kill to an unpromoted unit anyway.

mY7Pzdb.jpgGKJQWnp.jpgoed8yNo.jpgpMp9xNK.jpg

In hindsight, I probably should've put Lot in range of these Fighters, with a Hand Axe to avoid one-rounding them. Lance killing both of them opens him up to more attacks than I would want, but luckily, he doesn't get hit here...

sxDdJaD.jpgUczgI0H.jpgbYxSUts.jpg

...and he does in fact not double the Armorslayer Merc, which means that the remaining enemy is forced to suicide into Roy. Great level-ups on both him and Lance, by the way.

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Oh yeah, Pirates have been spawning from the fort starting last turn, one by one. Technically ambush spawns, but there's practically no reason why you would have anyone in range to be ambushed. They are kinda scary though - a reminder that the Hammer has really good stats in Project Ember.

U2dGqqX.jpg

The forts in the south haven't been spitting out anything yet, though. According to FEWoD, these reinforcements start on turn 13 in vanilla (and it's turn 6 right now), although Project Ember tends to pull these late spawns ahead a little. But it also tends to un-ambush reinforcements that potentially spawn right in your face, so I'm not too worried.

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Interestingly enough, the Berserker did not remain aggressive after Shanna darted out of his range. I was hoping to kill him from range this turn, but I guess he can wait.

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For now, Treck and Fir kill the remaining Mercenary and Wade opens the No Fly Zone for Shanna. This puts him at C bows, so he can use Killers for more power/reliability than Iron/Steels.

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Another underwhelming Healer level, what are the odds....

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And here's the next Axe Bro! Geese honestly looks pretty good - not super tanky (around the same as Shanna after her promo), but good offensive stats and ready to promote whenever. He also comes with a renamed Bhuj, I guess? Only one point weaker than a Steel Axe, as accurate as an Iron Axe, 30 Crit, and 1-2 range. Pretty crazy.

I kinda want to use him, but I'm not sure if I'm going to find a spot, to be honest.

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Oh, like in Vanilla, he also comes with the Brave Axe - looking forward to quadruple some nerds with that.

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Aaand the next Axe bro takes the field! Nord makes it pretty clear that he's recruitable, but I don't know how one is supposed to figure out that it's Lilina who can talk to him.

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He's still very lopsided, with sky-high HP, Str, and Def, medicre Skl and Lck, and paper-thin Def and Res. Instantly promotable, which is probably the best way to use him, assuming that he still gets +5 Skl from it, but also to uncap his Str.

Again, I kinda want to use him etc.pp. - but if I find a single spot for an additional axe fighter, I think it'll go to Geese just becauce I never use him in vanilla. Still, Gonzo seems to be quite good in Project Ember, especially since you don't have to go through the ordeal of training him. And if you want to feed him XP before promoting, the generally higher hitrates will make it less of a "flip a coin each time Gonzo attacks" thing.

7s1mzZX.jpg

The devil axe got changed to backfire based on level instad of Luck, so the risk in using it will spike up when a character promotes. Come to think of it - does the Devil Axe go against the wielder's Def if it backfires, or does it deal the same damage as it would have against the enemy? In either case, risking to eat 30+ damage that way means that you have to be VERY careful where to use it.

51SGv8V.jpg

TWO ARROWS AND THE PIRATE IS AGAIN BLINKING BEFORE EITHER HITS HIM? LITERALLY UNPLAYABLE!

cPKP92H.jpgqBWyQvS.jpg

Lilina gets a quick lift so that she can recruit Gonzales next turn.

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So, Lot and Wendy stay back to kill two pirate reinforcements (the third one moved downwards), mostly because their lower movement made them fall behind already, not because they would be the best at dealing with axewielding enemies, one of which deals effective damage against Wendy.

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Yeahhhh, not perfect at all. Not terribly dangerous, either, but still --

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-- I appreciate that Wendy hits her target here.

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Same with Lot, since a miss would've cost another Physic charge. Awesome level-up, too.

IqH4I2y.jpgzawdznV.jpgMcksYWS.jpgv45lehn.jpg

Poor Gonzales...

dzoFEAc.jpg

Now then, time to approach Nord. Lance gets in position to kill the last mobile enemy in the way (and no, Nord does not pull a Henning on us); Sin and Wade will soon be close enough to throw some Emmentaler at Nord.

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And Clarine hits the level cap, with a Mag proc no less. Nice!

kglKKxx.jpg

Aaaand luckily I remember about the Berserker just in time. Good thing Shanna is right there to save Geese.

xnhprPP.jpg3dPW6Nu.jpg457uUSw.jpg

This is the third Pirate spawning from the fort, the one who went downwards.

7CRrYQS.jpgsSN4vge.jpgVkKuzBI.jpg

Treck was supposed to set up another Fir kill, but he can just try again on player phase with Clarine being close enough to heal in case something went wrong. Another meh level on Fir, unfortunately.

VGZFmtJ.jpgjWj815R.jpg3sLgbtr.jpg

And since she wasn't needed to heal, Clarine gets ready to take the souls of the fallen to Valhalla. Project Ember changes that class's weapon to Light, which should't matter too much - although with the faster weapon rank growth, maybe I'll be able to use Ivalni for the first time in my life.

mqUmYjr.jpgV4tXG2t.jpg

Meanwhile, the bosskill. These were last turn's attacks...

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...this turn Sin gets a crit (which are kinda tough to catch for ranged attacks)...

an1fVwo.jpgFW0cUJX.jpg1H6gd71.jpg

...and Lance gets the kill and a positively amazing penultimate level-up.

3VoITAE.jpgjCcNFkk.jpg

Now, I could just seize immediately, but I'm not missing the XP from a promoted enemy, so Shanna and Geese drop Shin right outside of the Berserker's range. Clarine also comes over, in case Sin don't get the kill.

17EVyjn.jpgVzsSp6i.jpg

But he does, although he needs to use the rather inaccurate Steel Bow for it.

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On the other side of the map, Wendy gets a level as well...

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...and that's that. Seems like the reinforcements from the bottom forts weren't moved forward after all.

CgV7Fpy.jpgd1arz7G.jpgOI8ZhWa.jpguRg227I.jpg

You can tell that BinBla was published before Covid...

dNbInH4.jpgWFEOrvl.jpgZnD0eh3.jpgC6lwoH3.jpg

The big reveal! Etruria (or at least Roartz and Arcardo, or whatever their spelling was in this translation) was evil all along!

sJmIsft.jpgrWiED8n.jpgTpUmeQG.jpg

Roy is being convinced very quickly here, but to be fair, Lalum is so cute that he has an out-of-body experience her claims would explain why Scott was aware of the Lycians arrival and why Nord just attacked them on sight.

The question that's still open: Why would Roartz and Arcardo "request" Lycia's assistance? What do they gain from an additional player on the field, that could potentially get word of their tyranny to Etruria?

g97CwVB.jpg0DI72sU.jpg0U4M1f4.jpg

After those revelations, Lalum adds a Wyrmslayer to our inventory because it "might come in handy". She also name-drops Echidna, but we don't really learn anything about her beyond "leader of la résistance".

But that should change next update, when we tackle the (in my opinion) other contender for the Toughest Map Of The Game award in vanilla BinBla, next to chapter 7. I'm really hoping for a RNG-free behaviour on Klain and Thea...

Until then, thanks for reading!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		18.04		42   19  13  20* 16  11  10	(HP+7)
Shanna		15.--/2.04	33   11  15  23  15   9  13
Lance		19.42		35   19  19  20*  9  13   4	(Str+2 Lck+3)
Treck		15.21		37   14  16  12  11  17   8

Wade		12.44/2.60	46   22  12  13   9  11   5
Lot		17.19		40   14  16  14   8  14  12	(+2 Skl)
Wendy		18.07		38   17  14  16  13  15  10
Clarine		20.00/1.00	37   14  16  22  16   7  10

Saul		18.81		36    9  13  15   4  10  12
Lilina		12.66		21   14  12  12  18   4  12
Astolfo		15.34		33   12  11  19   5   9   8
Fir		11.02		33   13  18  18   9   5   9

Sin		13.02		31   14  14  14   7   9   3
Geese		13.00		35   14  15  16   9   8   3	(base)
Gonzales	12.00		45   20* 10  17  11   4   1	(base)

Supports: Wade/Lot (A) | Roy/Lilina (B) | Roy/Lance (C) | Lance/Clarine (C)

 

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  • Chapter 11 (Echidna route) - Hero of the West
Spoiler

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In which the Hero of the West does a total of zero things.

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I like these little details a lot, actually. Instead of blindly rushing into what he thinks is right, Roy blindly rushes into what he thinks is right BUT only after sending a message to a trusted person in a powerful position, about what he knows and what his conclusions are.

e2hUvG0.jpgmFBW4WC.jpgjYMNzmG.jpg

Is it just me or does this flowery language feel a little out of place?

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Big reveal! Bishop Orlo, who is working for Roartz and Arcado, is cooperating with Bern!

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Double reveal! Bishop Orlo is only pretending to cooperate with Melady!

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Triple reveal! Roartz was involved in Myrddin's assassination! Quadruple reveal...? I don't think that "Roartz wants to use Guinivere as a hostage, probably" is much of a surprise at this point.

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The issue at hand for the soldier, however, is an assault against the village that Echidna is hiding in. Orlo approves, but we don't really get much more background about this.

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Welp, I guess that carefulness has to be thrown out of the window. Roy decides to throw the dice, and this time not even Merlinus has anything to say against it.

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The map! I said as much in the previous update, but this is probably the second-most difficult map in vanilla BinBla, although like in chapter 7, a good part of the difficulty comes its side objectives. Just getting to the boss without losing any already recruited units actually isn't that bad. But while in chapter 7, the difficulty is somewhat frontloaded (once you've recruited the Ilians and stabilized, you're looking good), this map remains tricky basically until the end. Let's see if this is still the case in Project Ember.

What is still the case is where and in what order the new recruitable characters appear on the map. First, Klein spawning in the bottom right, who can be recruited by Clarine or Roy. Second, Thea in the top left, who can be recruited by Klein. And I think also by talking to her with Shanna before AND after you recruit Klein, although I never tried that one out. In either case - after that, Echidna will spawn below the top right house that can't be visited. As a green unit, surrounded by enemies, which can be rather nasty for her or for your own squishies if they're too close.

Now, to point out the obvious: Echidna's recruitement in particular will probably be a lot less problematic assuming that she and the enemies don't ambush spawn. I would be surprised if Echidna retained her awful choice of weapons from vanilla BinBla, where she comes with a Steel Axe.

Finally: Thea and Klein spawn with groups of Pegasus Knights and Archers, respectively, which will turn green once you talk to Thea/Klein. Keeping them alive will give you an Elysian Whip and an Orion's Bolt (because clearly we didn't have enough of those already) at the end of the chapter. They will try to escape through that path left of the boss, which is easy enough for the Archers (...as long as you're thinking ahead and clear a path), but can be a problem for the Peg Knights. You have to make sure that they move right and not down while they're red units, because otherwise they have to backtrack and will run into a group of (much stronger) enemy reinforcements.

...but for all I know all of this could be obsolete for this hack. But these are the assumptions with which I go into the chapter.

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Orlo has two range and his Def isn't all that hot. Need I say more?

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He is flanked by two Shamans, both with fairly high attack power - the Flux one even has capped Mag. The Nos Shaman has a stealable Guiding Ring, which means that we can promote Lilina whenever we want after this chapter. She isn't particularly close to capping anything though, so it's likely that I'm going to be greedy for the higher XP gain before promotion.

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The two Warriors honestly aren't too much of a threat, as long as you don't let them deal their effective damage. The Halberd guy is the one guarding the two southernmost villages. He's also close enough to the wall to be targeted with bows, so there's that.

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A little insight in my thought process: "You know what, Fir doesn't seem to be that great in this hack, I'm going to use Geese instead. Shame about the kills I fed her and the Wind Edges that I bought, but I'll live. ...Actually, there's going to be a couple cool characters joining soon. Raigh, Milady, probably Guinivere... Let's just not use either and field Zelot as a filler instead."

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For the chapter itself, I'm not going for anything particularly fancy. Most of my units are going to take the scenic route, to make sure that I won't have any trouble clearing a way for Klein's archers. Lot, Wade, and Zelot are going to go east, just to see if they can shave off some enemies through the wall. The first enemies to go that way are going to be those two archers, who are going to suicide into Wade and Wendy.

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A bit similarly to chapter 8, this is "Rescue-Drop: The Map". Enemy density isn't very high close to the starting location, so you have a lot of free actions to keep your low-movement units with your main group.

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Helping with that is Larum, who has been blessed with an additional point of movement. And also with +4 HP and a little bit of Spd/Lck, but she still gets one-shot by practically every enemy in the game. Still, dancing utility is pretty good in BinBla, and I don't think it's going to be too different in Project Ember. She's definitely going to pull her weight on this map.

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Positions at the end of turn 1. Lance and Treck are both positioned so that they can't be attacked by too many enemies - only that one Fighter for Treck, and two Fighters for Lance. In particular, the Fighter to the left can only reach Treck (who carries an Iron Lance, because the Fighter has a Swordreaver).

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Before the enemy phase, we get a little bit of dialogue between Melady and Galle - who I bet is going to recruitable in Project Ember, although it would be kinda funny if Debias was but not Galle.

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Oh look, Narcian being a little shit. Shocking.

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I'm actually not quite sure how to read Galle in this scene - is he genuinely fine with being overqualified for his position or does he just not want to unload his frustrations on Melady?

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Back to the fight - Treck doesn't double his opponent (and wouldn't have one-rounded anyway), but Lance does and also gets an unnecessary crit on top. He is a bit unlucky with his dodges, so it's a good thing that he stayed out of the nearest Archer's range.

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Wade and Wendy both get their kills. Wade dodging is actually quite nice, since neither healer went with his group and I think I forgot to give any of the three a Vulnerary.

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Easy kill for Lilina, thanks to Treck! And a rather typical level as a result.

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The last remaining Fighter goes to Roy, with Sin chipping for XP and to avoid a counter.

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And with Larum's help, Roy gets another kill right away.

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Lance gets the last remaining nearby enemy, this time being a bit luckier and dodging the counter. If he hadn't, Clarine would've been able to Physic him back to full, so this was not a risky manoever.

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More rescue-drops... Lilina and Saul are lagging behind a bit, but they're still close enough to be dropped closer to the front next turn.

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To the north, Wade walks into range of the Shaman (the Flux one starting near Orlo, so not the one with the stealable Guiding Ring, who is still passive) and Archer, but not the Warrior. I'll check the numbers, but I think that he needed that previous dodge to do so safely.

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...OK, no, Wade could've done this either way. He dodged 11 damage on the previous enemy phase - I think I forgot to take the +1 Def/Res from his Lot support into account while playing, so that's why I thought he needed that dodge.

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Meh. Practically a one-stat level, since his HP growth is above 100%.

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The main group is now close enough for more enemies to charge towards them, including the Warrior to the north, but not so close that they need to worry too much about him on this turn.

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Only that one Archer covers these three Fighters, so they can be cleared without issue.

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Even this is still safe, if a little disappointing.

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Well, scratch that - Clarine introduces herself with an actually relevant crit. Nice!

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Clarine swindles a Restore staff out of a poor, honest merchant (who we met before in chapter 7, where she gave us a free Elixir) and gets ready to prepare another free Lilina kill - this Warrior was the one without a bow.

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Well.... If I had brought an Elixir for this group, drawing the Warrior WITH a bow back up could've been a play, hopefully leading into a Lot kill. As is, the three stay out of range and only chip the broken wall down to one-shot range.

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........what is that axe shape? (don't answer, there might be children reading this)

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Klein and his group spawn at the end of this otherwise eventless enemy phase (so not as ambush reinforcements), with a little talk between him and Thea before she flies off.

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Klein was tasked by Arcardo to fight the Lycians because the "allied with the bandits now", although he is already suspicious of the story.

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We get some rather clear hints that we can talk to Thea and Klein with Shanna (DON'T LIE TO ME GAME) and Clarine...

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...and Klein proves that he's a good man, but maybe not the best tactitian. "Let's go in with only Archers and Pegasi, and also separate them so that they can't support each other!"

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Clarine isn't quite in range to recruit Klein immediately (and Larum can't help with that), but as long as Klein doesn't randomly refuse to move (I really hope that Project Ember removed that...), it should be just as good to get him next round.

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Easy kill for Lilina! I wonder when she'll actually DO something...

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Only these three enemies moved towards us, so shouldn't be a problem to rush them...

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Wendy chips against the Warrior, which is enough for Clarine to get another kill. Saul could've Physic'ed her if she had been hit.

(attacking the other way around and using an Iron Bow would've been smarter, probably, giving the kill XP to the unpromoted character)

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And since there's only that one Fighter remaining, Lance can use his turn to promote instead of wasting XP taking that kill. Paladin promo gains are actually pretty modest by BinBla's standards, but let's not pretend that Lance's stats are anything below amazing at this point.

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Some more positioning to the south...

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...and the trio to the north breaks through the wall. Zelot stays out of that Fighter's range, because I don't want to test this way if Great Knight counts as armoured...

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FOUR ORION'S BOLTS! So that's already enough to promote every bow unit in the game, unless there's some new recruitable that I'm unaware of. At this point, I'm not sure why Project Ember didn't just say fuck it and swapped the entire thing to Master Seals.

Dragonshields work best on already fairly tanky units, since the +2 Def can be used multiple times if that unit faces multiple enemies in one phase. I'm feeling Lance for this one, again - I mostly use Wendy as a bow user despite her bulk, it's quite possible that the same will be true for Lot after his promotion, and I wouldn't be surprised if Treck will cap Def even without the help.

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He moved! HALLELUJAH!

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And to the north, Lot gets a little tap on the head. Unfortunately, this was the closest Fighter moving first, so Zelot didn't get to do anything this enemy phase.

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Guess I won't learn if Zelot is considered armoured for now...

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Wade traded over his Silver Axe to Lot to enable this KO - a bit risky, because I'm not sure if I would've been able to Physic Lot up in case of a miss here.

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And Klein GET!

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It's a pretty funny recruitment, actually, with Klein trying to question Clarine about Arcardo's story without spelling it out...

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...but he didn't take Clarine's sense of priorities into account.

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There we go, no more of that "diplomatic approach" bullshit.

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Shanna gets the remaining village to the south. I believe PoR had a very similar village somewhere...? Zihark's joining chapter, if I recall.

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Wendy gets another kill...

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and Treck carries Klain to the upper right part of the map. A propos, let's take a look at our new character...

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An OK filler unit. The end.

Really, I think that might be all there is to him, even though the 60 crit with the Recurve Bow is neat. But otherwise? Meh. It'll still take a while for Sin to catch up to Klein, but he'll get there, and Wendy is already a better bow user than either of them, even before her promotion - A rank in bows (same as Klein), +1 in both Str and Spd, a fair bit bulkier, AND the option to use Lances.

Still, 15 Spd ain't bad for now, and Klain can deal good chip damage with a Silver Bow even when he doesn't double.

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Astore (who has been doing fuck-all so far) gets carried closer to the Guiding Ring, and that's all for this turn.

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something something catholic church

Orlo and his lackey give us a warning that Brigands are going to spawn from the caves in the mountains to the right soon.

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But not yet - there's again not too much going on this enemy phase. Only Lot, swapped back to the cheap Iron Axe, sees some action.

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Nice! No Mag, but still!

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By now, we've reached the "do silly things to maximize XP" phase of the map - just not a whole lot left to do until Thea and then Echidna spawn.

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Yeah, I'm not sad at all that Orlo doesn't have a Sleep staff this fight... Thanks bro!

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And I'm not sad about some additional funds, either.

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Oh, nice! I'm thinking Treck or Lot here - probably the former, since he's actually getting to a point where he GETS doubled even by non-Merc/Myrm enemies.

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Astore is now close enough that Zelot can pull the Shaman.

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The Brigands also arrive this turn - as ambush spawns, although I don't mind that since we were warned and they're kinda out of the way anyways. Good thing that none of Klein's Archers were in their range, though.

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Mate, I know my map awareness can be a bit lacking at times, but come on...

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Please don't!

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So yeah, Thea's group appears at the end of the enemy phase. Gee, I wonder if Thea likes Commander Klein...

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Looking at her stats, Thea seems really promising. More Str and Def than the promoted Shanna, she'd have more HP if I promoted her without any previous leveling, and her Spd is very reasonable, too. I'm actually rather surprised that she has access to the Wing Spear on top of her generally decent starting situation.

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BOOO!

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So yeah, about that "Treck getting doubled" thingy... Brigands are a bit faster and less tanky than Fighters, but this is still a bit suspect.

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Lilina gets the kill instead, gaining the worst possible 4-stat level for it. Honestly, unless her promotion is godlike, I think that Lugh would have completely outclassed her if I put even half the effort into training him.

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Astore gets the Guiding Ring (with his only action this map, actually), Lot gets the kill thanks to another Nos dodge. Not promoting him already is getting a little silly at this point, but I always hate to do so with a longterm unit that hasn't any stats capped yet.

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Just to be sure that nothing unfortunate happens down the line, Klein gives over his bows to Zelot.

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Last village! Which will give us a Hero Crest at the end of the chapter, but this Angelic Robe is the much more important loot. Easy choice who this will go to.

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Thank you for not moving south, Thea.
(or maybe they are? Who knows how the map is rotated, after all)

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And here's the last side objective! Luckily not as an ambush spawn, or some poor Archer would've been cut to pieces.

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It's a bit awkward, still, because my FE muscle memory has taken over and made me move most of my units towards the gate, i.e. past Echidna's spawning point.

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Maybe I could've salvaged it better by killing the other Merc, then recruit Echidna and have her kill this one. But even so, the surviving Merc won't be able to reach any Archers on enemy phase.

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And I'm not sure if Echidna would've been able to one-round that Merc anyway (and I didn't check the numbers on that either). I wouldn't be surprised if that Merc had 17+ Spd, though.

Anyway - Echidna looks pretty solid overall. Still not necessarily a permanent unit, but she seems a fair bit more solid than Klein overall - especially with her awesome personal Guard Axe. Being restricted to 1 range with it brings it down a notch, but 19 Def | 14 Res is actually ridiculous at this point, making her the tankiest unit on the team.

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Treck gives the Angelic Robe from the village to Lilina (seriously, who else) and takes a stab at the Lancereaver Merc.
(who actually has less then 17 Spd, or Treck would've gotten doubled)

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And since the rest of the group is sitting idly, why not kill the boss right away?

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Yeah, no.

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Oh no, how slightly inconvenient!

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OK, so let's go with some counterable chip damage instead...

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...and get a bad level for it...

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...and have the other Axe Bro handle things.

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Zelot takes and drops Roy, so I'll be able to seize next turn, provided that Thea's group doesn't do anything silly.

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Ohh, Lance and Roy got their B support, nice. This is where you find Roy's self-doubts that people sometimes bring up.

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The Merc from Echidna's would-be captors suicides on Clarine - I was expecting him to attack Wendy because of the weapon triangle, but this is fine.

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And this is excellent. Thea's group stays in formation, which means that nobody is foolishly blocking Klain from recruiting her.

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Done!

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Also done!

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I'm using a savestate here to check if Thea and Shanna have a conversation, but neither of them can initiate one. Too bad, I was hoping for yet another Wing Spear.

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...I guess the chapter is already tainted by a savestate, and 590 gold is a fairly low bet... Let's go!

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Oh yeah, easy win. Shanna even doubles.

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But I still don't like arena abuse, so I don't stick around any longer. I'm quite happy with this clear, if I may pat my own back a little.

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Oh hey, it's totally-not-the-prince-of-Etruria!

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Elffin basically narrates the earlygame plot of Mystery of the Emblem here - did Roartz and Arcardo make Roy bring the Lycian army to the Western Isles so that Bern can just occupy Lycia without resistance?

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Naturally, Merlinus reacts rashly, calling for an immediate return to Lycia, but to Elffin's surprise, Roy disagrees.

In the end, nothing really comes from all this, other than Roy showing that he's a calm thinker. I sometimes wonder if this is a remnant from an older draft where all this was going to happen, or just a shout-out to Mystery.

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As is, we're headed to the finale of the Western Isles arc, taking the fight to their capital Jutes. Roy, Klain, and Thea recieve the rewards for saving villages, Archers, and Pegasus Knights in some short, not particularly interesting convos, and that's all for today. Thanks for reading!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00		43   19  14  20* 16  11  10	(+7 HP)
Shanna		15.--/2.44	33   11  15  23  15   9  13
Lance		20.00/1.00	38   22  21  22   9  16   8	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Treck		15.71		37   14  16  12  11  17   8

Wendy		18.90		38   17  14  16  13  15  10
Wade		12.44/3.11	47   23  12  13   9  11   5
Lot		18.97		41   14  17  15   8  14  12	(+2 Skl)
Sin		13.46		31   14  14  14   7   9   3

Astolfo		15.44		33   12  11  19   5   9   8
Clarine		20.00/2.85	38   14  17  22  16   7  10
Saul		19.57		37    9  14  16   4  11  12
Lilina		14.06		29   15  14  12  20   4  14	(+7 HP)

Marcus		    */2.89	36   10  14  13  10   9  10
Zelot		    */3.64	35   16  12  13   7  15   6	(base)

Larum		1.80		18    1   2  14  12   2   4	(base)
Klein		    */1.00	35   16  20  15  13  11   9	(base)
Thea		10.00		29   13  13  18   9  10   7	(base)
Echidna		    */4.00	40   17  20  20  11  12   7	(base)

Supports: Wade/Lot (A) | Roy/Lilina (B) | Roy/Lance (B) | Lance/Clarine (C)

 

 

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  • 7 months later...
  • Chapter 12 - The True Enemy
Spoiler

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In which the Western Isles Act is concluded.

(Gaidens don't count)

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The pre-chapter summary is very short - we're going for Jutes, Arcado isn't really a big fish in Etruria despite being high nobility, Roy is apprehensive about how Etruria will react to his actions.

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The dialogue is more interesting, with Arcado very clearly not in control in a conversation with a random Bernian officier.

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Plan: Revealed! Take over military operations from the Etrurian colonial heads, then wholly take over the Isles. Simple and effective, especially with the biggest colonial head being so easy to bully around.

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The "Camera" then moves over to Roy and Elffin for a wee while, setting up our first contact with a Manakete.

"Yeah, my mum did that sometimes when she was really angry. It was scary, but it's a little hurtful that people seem to think it makes her "unhuman".

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With that, we're thrown into the fight, on a distictively manakete-free map. There seems to be something else missing...

This map is notable in that it's the first one where our characters are split into two groups - although I guess that with the Squad-formerly-known-as-scrub being on the map on turn 1, this title goes to chapter 8 in Project Ember. However, in this case, both groups can be fully diversified, especially since Project Ember also increases the number of unit slots: From 13 in the original (8 to the left + 5 to the right), we go to 17 (9 + 8).

To balance that out, we also have quite a number of enemies added - that Hero directly above our right group, the two soldiers above our left group, the entire General + 4 Knights squad in the top right, and all the enemies in the treasure rooms on the right are the most notable examples. In the area between our groups, two Priests have been replaced by a Mage and a Sage (which on the plus side also means that there's no status staves on the map); the bishop north of them is now and carries a Physic staff to provide some smaller-scale annoyances to the player.

2-3 ranged bows obviously have a big impact on the gameplay here, thanks to the high number of archers that you can't just melee on player phase. None of them have a Short Bow, so Shanna, Thea, Lalum, and Lilina will have to be very careful where to step.

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Two of the bow users stand out in particular - the Archer next to the Bishop carries an anti-horse bow, while the Sniper becomes a nasty enemy indeed with that Brave Bow he's carrying.

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Speaking of effective weapons and the Bishop: This is a rather interesting way to make Light magic distinct from Anima and Dark. Normally, fighting magic with magic is not too effective, but the Shine tome plus the generally high Res on Light magic users in particular might change that.

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So, uhh, did I just not register it before or are these the first dropable items in Project Ember? It's easy to forget, since they're so commonplace in BlaBla and SacSto, but vanilla BinBla does not have those.

(I'm not even going to comment the additional promo item at this point)

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Eclipse still has its abysmal accuracy, by the way.

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In addition to the drops, there's also some stealable Elixirs - one on the Sniper and one on the Shaman in the center left by the Axe brigade. Of course, it's quite possible that I forgot a handful, too.

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Finally - even if he won't matter in this chapter just yet, let's take a quick glimpse at Flaer and, more importantly, his weapon. 1-3 range! On a Sword!

I sincerly hope that this will be boss-exlusive to prevent archer cheese, in which case I'll applaud its inclusion, although I half-expect Flaer to move off-throne once we fight him anyway, given his class. If we get our hands on this weapon, or even if it's just going to be a commonplace weapon on generic enemies - goooood job making Archers more unique, you guys.

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Now then, let's get to the fight. I've been jumping between the two groups a fair bit while playing ("hmmm..... how to do this? Let's do the other side first and then think more about it"), but I'll try to keep it a little more organized here.

So, for starters, Echidna and Wade set up some kills...

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...Thea (almost typed "Tate", even though I prefer her newest name) does some unnecessary chip damage for the XP...

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...and the kills go to Lot (I'll take 4 stats including Def) and Sin.

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Unfortunately, Sin gets absolutely murdered by the Sniper (I think that's an 18 hidden beneath the x2), so we'll have to keep out of his range for now. I used to have Wendy with this group in a previous attempt and she can actually 1v1 the Sniper, but I ultimately found her useful against the higher number of enemy Archers to the left.

(Wade would also be able to double and one-round, but that would be a criminal waste of XP, wouldn't it?)

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Shanna also moves up, equipped with an Iron Lance over her Wing Spear like a good "midgame Jeigan".

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On the left side, Treck and Lilina get some nice, easy one-rounds, with Lilina getting a nice dodge on top of that.

(without the Angelic Robe, she'd have survived a hit with ONE HP. I'm starting to think that Lilina might be bottom tier in Project Ember)

(OK, that's a lie. I've been thinking that for a couple chapters already)

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Aw man, that was supposed to be Wendy's k--

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--huh?

THOSE SPINNY-SPINS DURING REGULAR ANIMATIONS CONFUSE ME

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Lance and Lalum allow for another Lilina kill...

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...and Roy decides that Lv. 19 is absolutely good enough to get his promotion, a casual 14 chapters earlier than in Vanilla. And also with 100% more horse than his original promotion (not 100% more horses, because 2x0 is still zero, but plus 100% of a horse #IAmVerySmart). And access to Lances, because why not.

I do wonder how "normally" my Roy has been growing, actually. Like, I'm 100% sure that his growths have been improved, but since OG Roy's growths are focussed more on Skl and Lck, I suspect that my Roy might be a tad stronger and faster than normal. I'll make some comparisons to averages at the end of the playthrough, I think.

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Ahh, there's our Manakete.

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Flaer pulls a "Surely, the battle that is happening RIGHT NOW against the enemy that has been fighting a lot better than we ever expected (HE EVEN SAYS SO TO ARCADO BEFORE THE CHAPTER STARTED) isn't important enough to delay a report ABOUT THE VERY SAME ARMY for another, I dunno, 30 minutes". Jesus fucking Christ.

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Oh hey, it's our favourite edgelord tsundere, who has been conspicuously absent from the map at the start of the chapter! I know exactly why he's only appearing now!

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But first, a very short enemy phase. Some fighting, some healing, the end.

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However, the Bishop puts himself in a rather good spot - good for the enemy, that is - out of any bow user's range and covered by quite a few enemies' attack ranges.

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And back to Raigh. Holy shit.

Maxed Mag. Reasonable Spd, actually the same as Lilina right now. Some actual bulk - quite similar to Saul's. A personal Reaver tome, that also happens to be stronger and more accurate than Elfire.

Lilina's promotion better give her a fucking pegasus and +5 to all stats.

But grievances about underpowered princesses aside: There's clearly some juicy HM bonuses in place here, and I would guess that this is why Raigh only spawned after turn 1. The rule for BinBla in that regard is "recruitable enemies get increased stats UNLESS they spawn at the start of the chapter", which is why Percival gets them only when recruited in chapter 15, so this is probably a workaround to give them to Raigh.

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There's still a bunch of enemies to go through before recruiting him, so let's get to it. Starting with Wendy, who remains out of the Brave Bow Sniper's range here. She does survive a round of combat against him, but I'm not entirely sure about the potentially added damage by the Archers.

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Lalum dances for Chad so that he can reach the door, but the Druid will get another attempt to hit an Eclipse.

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I guess I could've gotten the kill this turn, but I wanted to get another Lilina kill (and she does get a good level for it), which also required some rescue-dropping. Also, instead of making a detour to the Druid, Roy gets into position to counter a Shaman and an Archer (because only one can attack from 3-range) on enemy phase.

Thank god for that +7 HP on Lilina, by the way.

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On the other side, Thea replicates Lilina's "one-round, but take a ton of damage in return" utility and gets a useless crit on her second attack.

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This also puts her in Sniper range, which she just barely wouldn't survive. "Barely" meaning something along the lines of "50 Dmg too much", of course. Which means that the Sniper needs to go down right now, so Wade and Shin break down the wall so that he can attacked from melee range.

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After my greed gets its word in.

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But once Shanna rescues Astolfo out of the way, Lot gets a clean one-round with the Silver Axe. The crit here just saves one use on it.

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And finally, there's another Brave weapon user around that requires attention. Echidna softens him up from range (and luckily doesn't miss either attack), Clarine gets the kill. Bit greedy, rewarded with a meh level-up.

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Because he needed the Silver Axe for the PP kill, Lot doesn't gain any value during EP. At least he dodges one of these attacks.

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On the left side, Wendy gets one kill while Roy removes one Archer and one Shaman as hoped.

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Clutch dodge! So lucky!

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Clarine on the other side isn't as lucky and eats a big, effective Shine hit through the wall without doing any damage in retaliation.

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Next turn, the unpromoted mages go down without dealing any counterdamage...

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...and Lot sets up a (somewhat risky) kill for Thea, with both of them gaining a level in the process. A really good one for Thea, too!

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Shanna trades Astore a Knife to counter the Shaman on EP, and that's the right half for now. Wade makes sure that none of the squishy and/or injured characters have to fear anything. He has a bow equipped, so the Bishop will get another attack in for free.

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Back to the left, Roy charges ahead a bit and takes care of the remaining Shaman. Lance picks up a healed-up Lilina and follows him, all still out of range of the enemies to the right.

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Treck finally ends the terrible, terrile Eclipse threat and gets a decent level out of it. The first treasure makes sure that the Myrmidon/Swordmaster class line becomes a little more alike to all the other infantry classes. It's been months and I'm still a little disappointed by this design choice...

The second chest has a Knife, which Chad will pick up next turn. ("Hey, let's give Thieves 1-2 range so that they have an interesting niche over Myrmid-- oh wait...") In vanilla, you find a Flux and an Aircalibur tome here, which have been moved to the wonder twins' starting inventory.

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No growth unit to immediately give this last Archer kill to, so Klein steals a handful of XP. Well, Klein isn't overleveled at all and his growths in vanilla are quite good compared to other prepromotes, but I most likely won't keep him around for too long.

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Oh right, turn order... One of the Archers blocks the Bishop to melee Wade, but it doesn't matter since he goes for a heal anyway. Astolfo chips, but is pretty far from one-rounding that Shaman.

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Sin and Echidna still one-round both Archers, so it's not too big a deal that Wade didn't as much as hoped.

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Meanwhile, Shanna and Wade make sure that Thea can get the Bishop kill without eating a lethal counter. Slightly risky again, but I'm willing to bet on displayed 95s.wISKhw1.jpg

That shaman on the top side of the screen is carrying a stealable Elixir and he's already moving towards us. Astore would be out of range to steal the Elixir next turn if he opened the door, although in hindsight, I probably could've given him a chance at EP-killing the other Shaman by moving him only one tile left.

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While all that is going on, Lot does his promotion. His Strength is fairly low, not only compared to Wade (despite Wade promoting at Lv. 12), but also to Roy (22 Str) and Lance (dito), but his tankiness is very impressive. I think Lott's been put in a very nice spot by Project Ember, with his "gimmick" in Vanilla (tied for highest non-Karel Def growth) is made a lot more impactful.

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And over to the other side, Wendy sets up an EP kill at the cost of lagging behind a bit afterwards. Saul heals her and ends his last work day before promotion with a rather typical (at least in this playthrough) level-up. 9 Mag is really sad...

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Further ahead, I believe Roy could've walked in to Fighter range if I had wanted, at least if I'm not miscounting tiles here. Not entirely sure why I held him back here.
I do believe that Lance drops Lilina next to Roy here, for those sweet support points, but I didn't make a final screenshot of my positioning.

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One Str short of one-rounding... This would have been a somewhat unreliable kill with the Steel Bow, but I guess I wanted to milk more XP out of this?

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Echidna takes the kill that could maybe have been Astore's, dodging the spell in the process. That's all combat - not a very productive enemy phase, to be honest.

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Yoink! Shanna then hauls Astore back towards the door to the treasure chambers and Sin takes a free and easy kill. Bulk isn't exactly the most important area to improve in for him, but hey, it won't hurt, either.

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It won't help this enemy phase, either, since Sin is just outside of range of the nearest Soldier and the (bow-carrying) General. Nobody else is close enough to pull them, either, so else of note happens here.

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To the left, no surprises - Wendy finishes what she started, and Saul gets his promotion to ecclesial middle management. That bulk looks like it should be illegal on a healer, but so does his Magic for opposing reasons... He gains a C rank in Light magic, compared to Clarine's D rank, which would be great if I had any spare tomes for him to use. Not the best forward planning out of me, honestly.

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Hm, I haven't played FE6 with healer animations on for a long time... Anything new here?

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Anyway, some dancing and rescue-dropping later, a fully Roy stands ready to face-tank some axes. Lilina is in support range, but outside of any throwing axe reach.

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Well, I guess Roy's avoid is high enough to spare his face some axes. Him cleanly one-rounding in return isn't quite what I was once used to seeing from him... He dispatches of two Fighters that way - a third one throws a Short axe at him, while the Warrior has to look the other direction. Wendy does not double him.

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Eh, she's no Walther von der Vogelweide... B for effort, I guess...

I'm not quite as close to Cath's spawning point as I would've liked, but since this should be the chapter I recruit her in, it's no worry if she snags a couple chests herself.

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Her stats are a little better than when whe first saw her in chapter 6 (+2 HP, +1 Skl/Spd/Def, +2 Res), but she's honestly still rather disappointed compared to Astore, who mostly out-stats her despite still having the option to gain a couple levels before promoting. For all I know, Cath might have monstrous growths, but she doesn't really looks like she's worth deploying except if I need two thieves.

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Well, let's start to get Roy over there while continuing Operation: Feed Lilina.

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Eh, not bad. Still inarguably worse than Raigh, but hey, she's trying. She does hit A rank in Anima with this, although I don't even have any tomes that require more than a C at this point.

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There's only one enemy left, so there should be no danger. Well, except if Raigh is aggressive, but let's hope that Project Ember doesn't add any bullshit.

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To the east, there's no PP combat to be had, so Lot and Echidna just get into position to do some work on EP.

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Like so. Lot one-rounds that Soldier, but doesn't do too much damage against the General.

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West, Lance chips down the General to 12 HP, so that should be an easy kill for basically anyone who is in range next turn.

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Like, once again, Lilina.

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With a dance, Chad is in range to recruit Raigh , who did indeed not move or attack anybody.

RIP Raven and/or Lucius.

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...I think I was a little unorganized while playing, since I only now checked out the Boss's stats. But I guess this isn't a terrible place to look at Ein, since there isn't too much enemy material between my units and him anymore.

40 Atk two-shots the vast majority of my combat units, with the exception of Lilina (one-shot even with the Rope) and Lot, who survives two hits. Bows outrange him, but Ein is very tanky with effectively 27 Def on the throne, so it's rather unfortunate that I didn't bring the Wyrmslayer along. -.-

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Oh well, it's still a (hopefully) stationary boss, so not a problem given enough time. No more combat to be had on the left side, so Roy and Lance (to rescue Roy towards the west quickly once Cath is recruited) move to the right of the map.

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Operation: Feed Thea continues, albeit with poorer results than the last level.

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And Astore starts astealin'. He and Cath eventually plunder this Lancereaver, a Brave Bow, a medium Bullion (5000 g), and an Elysian Whip - of which we now have two, despite having only one unpromoted flyer in Thea. The makers of Project Ember really seem to hate the dearth of promo items in BinBla.

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WHERE IS YOUR DEFENSE STAT NOW, CHUM?

(honestly, "only" taking 27 damage here is almost impressive)

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Wade and Sin rescue-drop Lot an additional tile ahead so that he can do some work during EP, too, while trading him a regular Iron Axe. Nothing spectacular otherwise, just some units getting ready to feed kills or getting fed one.

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Well, Lot doesn't fall into either category, easily one-rounding both Soldiers that he faces on enemy phase.

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Cath opens the door at the end of EP, so the soldier in the treasure room doesn't move yet. Roy can't quite reach her this turn (Lalum is way to the left after dancing for Chad last turn), but it doesn't matter too much if she's recruited now or next turn.

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Here's the promised kill-feeding. Not entirely sure why I let Lot eat a counter there; might have been a case of not caring anymore, since the map is pretty soundly beaten at this point.

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And a friendly greeting for Cath, since Roy doesn't have any crit on her. Luck is her best stat, after all.

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No real advancement to the left. Roy is probably going to be the one deciding how long this chapter will take still, so no need to haste and eat a silly Swordmaster crit.

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We get a warning for reinforcements, a little earlier than in vanilla. I believe this is before turn 9 or 10, and the first wave of reinforcements normally only appears on turn 12.

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...right, that already happened in chapter... 8, I believe? Bit silly, but eventually of no consequence.

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To the west, Lance does face combat against the Swordmaster in the throne room. I'd like to say that this is deliberate and I wanted to be able to swarm him on PP, but then why doesn't Lance wear a Javelin? He gets doubled anyway, although he dodges both attacks here.

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Cath recruited, and Roy makes his way back towards the throne.

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No you won't. Well, OK, you're probably insta-benched, so maybe you technically will? But you'll at least loot one chest during this battle. Anyway, hurrah for protagonist-centred morality!

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The "swarm the Swordmaster on PP" tactic that I totally planned from the beginning works nicely, with Treck getting a passable level at the end of it.

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The reinforcements spawn at the same spots as in vanilla: near the starting locations and... in the top right corner? The mooks said "south"! Immersion ruined!

They're genuinely powerful and the Warrior in particular would be a great source of extra XP for a more min-maxing player than myself - I'm not going to wait for them.

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Bosskill time! Raigh immediately proves himself to be better than Lilina by surviving and doubling the boss (OK, Lilina could do the second half of that).

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Lance adds some chip damage and Raigh, danced and healed, goes for the throat. ...Keeping Lilina around starts to look like a severe case of Sunk Cost Fallacy.

I seem to have missed the level-up screen, but it was only a +1 Spd proc. Might be unlucky, might be an indicator that Raigh's growths are awful to balance out those insane bases a little.

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...oh wait, those reinforcements aren't there in vanilla. Don't seem to be terribly strong, though. I didn't manage to catch the fancy spinny-spin, but Lot got a crit-kill here. Wade, Shanna, Clarine, and Sin were also in range to take the kill if he hadn't.

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One last healer level-up...

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...and it's a wrap. I'm typing this with a gap of a couple months between playing and finally getting around to finishing this, but I don't think I agree with Roy. This isn't really a terribly difficult chapter in vanilla, either, and the tools added in Project Ember don't make it any less doable either. Promoted Roy? On a horse, chucking Javelins? Hello?!

Anyway, this does it for the update - I'm not going to make any promises about the speed of future updates, but I hope that I'll get through the upcoming Gaiden before christmas... Thanks everyone for reading!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/1.81	47   22  16  23  16  13  14	(+7 HP)
Shanna		15.--/2.62	33   11  15  23  15   9  13
Thea		12.78		30   14  15  19  10  11   7
Lance		20.00/1.55	38   22  21  22   9  16   8	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)

Treck		17.01		39   15  17  14  13  18   8	(+2 Spd)
Wendy		19.94		39   18  14  17  13  15  11
Echidna		    */4.54	40   17  20  20  11  12   7	(base)
Wade		12.44/3.11	47   23  12  13   9  11   5

Lot		20.00/2.05	51   18  22  19   9  18  12	(+2 Skl)
Sin		15.25		32   15  16  14   7  10   4
Klein		    */1.38	35   16  20  15  13  11   9	(base)
Clarine		20.00/4.12	39   15  18  24  16   7  10

Saul		20.00/1.74	41   11  17  18   4  15  16
Lilina		16.81		30   16  14  14  22   4  16	(+7 HP)
Raigh		13.16		32   20  15  15   8  12  14
Astore		15.79		33   12  11  19   5   9   8

Chad		6.13		21    6   7  16  13   5   3
Cath		   */5.00	27   12  16  18  20   4  11	(base)
Larum		2.93		19    1   2  15  13   2   4

 

 

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  • Chapter 12x - The Thunder Axe
Spoiler

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In which a prequel condemns Lot to a violent death.

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Oh dear. It's Scott's twin brother with a speech impediment. Fire Emblem sure loves its silly minor bandit bosses.

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As usual, the Gaiden is rather light on story. We see Roy being a smart cookie (and we don't even need Merlinus as a contrast to show this!), although his suspicion is easily reflected by totally-not-Myrdhin in this case. I believe Elphin's identity is made a bit more explicit in the Elphin/Bartre route, so this kind of hint is all we've been getting in this playthrough, for now.

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The map! Fog of war, just as in vanilla, and almost with the same enemy make-up, too.

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The only difference is that the Thieves are replaced with Rogues, which basically means that it always takes two rounds of combat to take them down, except for crits. 42 Atk is technically reachable, but Roy or Lance would have to whip out the Durandal to make it happen. And nobody on our team has 27 Spd, so doubling them is out of the question.

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The unpromoted enemies are much easier to kill (although 15 AS isn't too shabby), but pack a good punch. As a reference, 27 Atk is enough to two-shot Clarine, while Roy survives three arrows with 5 remaining HP.

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The boss obviously isn't visible yet, so let's get started, by using the fact that stealing in BinBla doesn't require your thief to outspeed the opponent.

You'll notice that Astore is the only thief that I brough along, which certainly delays things - this was initially a "let's feel out the map" run that happened to go further than I expected.

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Astore spots another Rogue, also in the same spot as a Thief in vanilla and surrounded by the same enemy classes. Overall, this chapter is quite similar to the original, which also means that it's far from the toughest that we've played thus far.

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Wendy sets up a kill for her Marquess, hitting the XP cap in the process. Another good level-up for her, another very Micaiah level for Lilina.

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Two more kills for Lot and (set up by Roy) Lance.

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And Lalum dances for Wendy so that she can promote right away, with some damn strong bonuses for doing so. These are even a little better than the already great promo bonuses in general - one less point of Spd, which is easily made up for by an extra three points of defense.

Looking at Wendy's stat screen, the main weakness of the General class seems to be a low Spd cap (22 or 23, I'd say), which does seem reasonable. But before she hits that (...and it makes a difference in doubling or being doubled), Wendy is really, really strong - comparable Str/Spd to Lance, but she has full weapon triangle control plus access to bows, and her bulk is similar to Lot's (less HP, more Def/Res).

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She and Clarine position themselves so that they're the only target for these enemies, which allows them to get one kill each (Clarine thanks to a crit) on enemy phase.

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Astore gets a crit too - unpunished mistake that he had a Knife equipped here.

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The second rogue nabs an Elixir, and as it turns out, it becomes droppable. Also a change to vanilla / an import from BlaBla/SacSto, right?

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In any case, I take it as a cue to leave the third and last Rogue alive for the turn, so that he can open one chest for me. Thea follows into this direction to pick up the kill next turn.

The closest chest towards the north yields a Tomahawk, which definitely is a change from vanilla - you only get Javelins and Hand Axes as physical 1-2 range in BinBla. *checks FEWod* Yeah, normally it's an Antidote, so the treasures seem to be improved quite a lot in Project Ember. Guess I'll have to make sure to get all of them...

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The bigger part of my army goes north, with some dancing and rescue/dropping to get Raigh close to the front, too. Lance manages to hit both attempts and gets a decent level-up for it.

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Nothing too spectacular on enemy phase, although Lance doubling a Myrm is somewhat impressive. The third thief loots an Elixir...

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...and the second one gets a Secret Book. Well, I certainly want *that*. I'm clearly not in range to kill him next turn, so I'll have to send Astore in this direction in case the Rogue gets another chest. I won't lose any sleep over a lost Elixir, but a stat booster...

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I *can* kill thief #3 without any problems, though. Defense is definitely not amiss for Thea; bulk on flyers is always nice.

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Ping's Angels?

These enemies still look very similar to vanilla, just scaled to the overall higher power level of Project Ember. The Brigand to the south uses a Swordreaver, which is of course to Wendy's advantage.

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Astore doesn't really hustle towards the stolen Secret Book and uses Lalum's dance to get an additional kill instead.

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Roy and Lance don't rescue him ahead either - the Rogues come with full-use lockpicks and the remaining one still has one inventory slot open, so he shouldn't beeline to his escape point.

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Oh, come on, Wendy!

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OK, this should be fine to intercept the Rogue, maybe with some body blocking by the Angels south from he--

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Oh. Whoops.

I completely forgot about that Dru-- (wait a second, Astore is just out of range of his 1-2 range...)
I mean, I remembered that this Druid was standing on that exact tile and then I diligently counted tiles to make sure that I would drop Astore in the ideal spot.

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Of course I KNEW that he would survive two attacks here because I could just *smell* the lack of Silver weapons on those enemies in the fog.

(yeah, I got lucky here. A restart would've been deserved)

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I've been ignoring what the three girls were doing in the meantime - no new enemies in that area, either, and no tough spots as a result. Clarine gets a really nice level here, though.

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How scawwy!

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For safety reasons, Astore ignores the Secret Book for another turn to one-round the Druid, while Lance and Roy take care of the unpromoted enemies.

Oh, look at that! There *is* a different enemy at the top of the map: Normally, there's just another Myrmidon hanging out there.

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10 crit is something to keep an eye on, but this isn't a terribly powerful enemy.

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The Warrior flanking the boss, however, is a danger to himself and his surroundings. 42 HP would KO Lilina even through a second Angelic Robe. This enemy is upgraded from an unpromoted Brigand (who does have a Devil Axe in vanilla, too).

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Whoops, missed one enemy. No risk of dying here, but the dodge allows Thea to safely get the kill next round.

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With a Javelin, so that she can block the Rogue from running away from Astore. He'd just drop an Elixir if we killed him now, which is obviously not what we want.

Level-up isn't too terrible, I guess, as far as two-dinggg levels go.

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And yoink!

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And yoink the Elixir, too! Yet another one of those lost here, but it really shouldn't be a big deal.

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Still no boss in sight!

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Lilina has great Res, so fighting this Sage is actually something that she's good at; Roy has no trouble one-rounding promoted enemies at this point. He's in both of his supports' ranges, which of course helps, too.

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Happy Music starts playing, as a signal that only three enemies are left, which means that I can just send Astore around the map without any unseen dangers.

(I didn't even know that FE6 shows remaining enemies here even in FoW maps)

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...well, there are still some *seen* dangers, though, like for example this poison trap, which is an actual danger to a character with only 4 remaining HP.

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I'll leave the riveting tales of Astore's journey across the map to your imaginations (it does feature a fair bit of dancing and rescue drops, at least) and just focus on the last three enemies. Lilina and Raigh finish the Sage...

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...and reveal Guerrero and his last underling in the process. The Swordreaver is a cute little trap for the careless player, but it's also an invitation to attack from range and negate not-Scott's huge Crit through that.

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Blood for the... Rather Anaemic Goddess!

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Chip for the Fish Sticks!

Raigh attacks first here, to allow Roy and Lot to rescue/drop him out of Guerrero's range in case of a miss. Lilina's hit rate is high enough to forget about that kind of precaution...

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...and Roy just has a perfect hitrate thanks to weapon triangle and Lilina's support. His meh level shall be forgiven.

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And that's the map beaten...

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...and this is Roy and Lilina waiting for Astore to finally finish his journey...

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...which he does in chapter 17. There were still a couple low-value items in the chests (a chest key, a lockpick, and a non-magical torch), but also one bullion of each size and a Hero Crest, which adds up to a lot of money. Worth the wait.

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"Untouched since the dawn of time." - "Come on, Lilina's dad isn't THAT old"

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The plot picks back up - rebellion in Etruria, a captured king, Cecilia fleeing to the Missur peninsula. You probably know the drill.

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Finally, a glimpse at Armads. The most impactful change is the durability, which is doubled - otherwise, it's just a little more accurate than in vanilla.

I only now realize that I never took a look a Durandal, either. It has the same 40 uses, "only" 16 Might and a Str bonus instead of the +5 Def.

We'll see if we can, or rather have to, make use of these weapons soon. I know that I'm way too stingy with them in vanilla, where I tend to keep them fully intact all the way to Murdock's chapter, but mayyyybe the better durability will tempt me. We'll see how tough the next map will be. For now: Thanks for reading!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/3.41	49  23  16  25  16  13  15  (+7 HP)
Lance		20.00/2.39	39  23  21  22  10  16  9   (+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Clarine		20.00/5.60	40  16  18  25  17  7   11
Thea		14.96		31  14  17  19  10  13  7

Lot		20.00/2.13	51  18  22  19  9   18  12  (+2 Skl)
Gwendolyn	20.00/1.70	44  22  17  21  14  21  14
Astore		17.85		35  13  12  20  5   9   9
Raigh		13.96		32  20  15  15  8   12  14

Lilina		17.98		30  17  14  14  23  4   17  (+7 HP)
Larum		4.63		20  1   2   17  15  3   4

 

Note: I usually have my emulator at 200% zoom, which I forgot to turn off for this chapter. Pictures are going to be twice as big and a little blurry as a result.

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  • 3 months later...
  • Chapter 13 - Rescue Mission
Spoiler

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In which we meet our Lady and Saviour.

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TL;DR of the story: Cecilia is the only on of the three Etrurian Generals who don't cooperate with Bern after their king was kidnapped. She fled to Missur and is now besieged by both Etrurian traitors and Bern's troops.

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The map is identical to the original in terms of terrain, but with the usual added and upgraded enemies.

Do note that it's a lot less handsome, what with the egregious lack of Perceval. Similar to Raigh, he'll appear as reinforcement very soon, which means that he'll have his HM bonuses if we recruit him on this map already.

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The most obvious addition are the Generals guarding the bridges. They mostly carry some advanced 1-2-ranged weapon plus a Silver Bow, except for the middle one on the upper bridge, who carries a Light Blade and a Brave Axe.

We've seen a Light Blade when we got a glimpse of this map's boss during the Western Isles arc, and I believe I said that I would be disappointed if mooks would start using that type of weapon, too. Which means that I'm somewhat pessimisic now - maybe this General can be considered a miniboss, since it's also at a slightly higher level than the rest, but I hope that 3-range on weapons other than bows won't become even more commonplace.

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Speaking of Flaer - he gained two levels between chapter 12 and now, but didn't really improve his stats to show it. He gained +1 Str and lost -1 Def, which might just be random HM bonus fluctuation.

41 Atk targetting Res is pretty dangerous and two-shots everyone on my roster, although a Pure Water or Barrier boost will help some of them to tank one extra hit. I'm curious to see whether or not Flaer will move - if not, he's not too scary despite his offensive power, since every bow user who can survive a hit can deal devestating damage to him. Lot and Wendy both double him, since the Light Blade is rather heavy, and I believe that Wendy with a Steel Bow will barely one-round him that way.

Actually, Wendy has an S rank in bows, and with Silver she'll most certainly insta-gib him.

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We also get a preview on Mage General Cecilia, who unsurprisingly got some generous stat increases. She kinda needs those, too, since her "best secondary healer till Niime" niche isn't really present anymore, thanks to the increased staff XP and the very high availability of promotion items.

As is, she seems to be a bit worse than Clarine (who has the same 16 Mag and similar bulk, but +9 Spd, +6 Skl, and +5 Lck on Cecilia) and very different to Saul (much better bulk, much worse Mag). Horse utility probably puts Cecilia above Saul, especially since the turns have tabled in terms raw staff range/power.

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Going back to the generic enemies, the group of axe users is the other new addition to their roster.

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Enemies as a whole have upgraded their equipment to all the good stuff - silvers, reavers, effective weapons, brave weapons, spears/tomahawks, you name it. I can't help but notice a certain DSFE influence and can't wait for the first forged brave weapons to appear...

Weirdly enough, I actually need that Knight Crest, since the distribution between promotion items doesn't quite cover what I personally need. I still have five Hero Crests, four Orion's Bolts and two Elysian Whips with only one candidate for each of them.

With this stealable and the Sophia's Guiding Ring in the upcoming chapter, I should be good, though. I'm looking to promote Trec, Lilina, and Raigh, and I'm not sure if I'll want to pick up any additional unpromoted characters to train up. It's not like there's any noteable unpromoted characters joining on this very map.

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Rain/Snow is easily my least favourite mechanic from BlaBla, so THANK FUCK that it's only cosmetic here. Now I actually like the background art here.

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An initial attempt had Wendy, Wade, Sin, and both pegasus sisters going north to secure the village and intercept incoming enemies. I think this was a little overkill for that purpose - Wendy alone can do a lot of work here, so sending only her plus the pegasi (who get zoned out by the ballistae in the center south) might be sufficient. I might want to send either Clarine or Saul to allow Wendy to face the three Generals without being attritioned to death.

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The main reason that initial attempt didn't work out... well, apart from "oh right, Lalum is still made out of papermâché" - a lot of enemies charge at you immediately, which makes a push eastwards very awkward. You want to clear the ballistae, obviously, but there's a group of cavaliers to their east that can mess with that plan very easily.

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A'right, let's try this aga-- oh goddammit. I swapped emulators between the four-ish months between the first and second attempt and IrfanView (which I like to use for screenshots) apparently thinks that the menu bar is part of the active window. You'll have to excuse another update that's not quite as pretty as I would've liked.

Anyway, Lilina sets up a kill for Sin and gets a fairly good level in the process...

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...and Wade chips down the other General for an easy kill for Tate. Great level, too - now with capped speed, the correct play is most likely to promote her right away, but I am a greedy bugger.

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Clarine helps herself to a little extra magic - a decision I made almost 4 months ago by putting the Ring in her inventory, but I still think it's fine. Lot could've been another decent pick, since his Str isn't amazing and he's going to see more combat than Clarine.

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There's a couple other pre-set stat boosters, but I've been a little forgetful. So the rest of the turn is just spent by moving almost everybody east, with a very small expedition branching off to the north.

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We see Zephiel crit Cecilia, who he one-shots with a regular hit, for 30 damage...

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...and then a ton of troop movement.

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The only enemy phase combat is Lance, dodging a heavy hit (despite getting Barrier'ed before) and killing the Shaman in return.

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And after the enemy phase, it gets a lot more handsome on the map. Percival in Project Ember still seems to be very good, although not as insane as he is in the original game. His offensive stats are about on par with Lance, but he's almost as bulky as Lot. He's also six levels higher than the two, but he still looks like a fantastic zero-investment unit.

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Now then, our northern expedition: Wendy, putting on a one-woman-show. Well, technically, Shanna and Saul watch her from a safe distance, but Wendy is going to do almost all combat in this area. She starts with a little rNg BuGgEd moment and misses a 93, but Brave Lances are heavy, so she doubles the Paladin.

I'm curious how her low Spd cap is going to work out, especially offensively. Right now, Wendy's combat is pretty insane, but it's possible that she'll stop doubling at some point.

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And Shanna is demonstrating why wings are useful. Most of the unpromoted Cavs have some 1-2 weapon, so Wendy can't enemy-phase them with a Halberd.

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The main group looks east and weighs its options.

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This, for one, looks like an excellent idea.

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No, really, it does. Brave weapons with high accuracy are quite useful, and getting rid of the Hunting Bow Archer is really good.

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And it reduces the number of enemies in range to two - one Archer on the Ballista and the Cav in front, who has some 1-2 weapon in his inventory.

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Next stat booster: Raigh making himself a little more reliable. This might be a little silly, looking at it now, since his Skl was already at 15 at Lv.13, so there's a good chance he'll cap it out soon. Which means that he'll have two capped stats soon, which should be enough to prod me into promoting him early, which will be a good play... Yeah, I like that, as far as asinine rationalisations go.

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I didn't remember just how much cutscenes there are in this chapter...

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Anyway, during enemy phase, weapon triangles are ignored...

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...and my HP-perfect plan, which I totally, absolutely layed out on the previous player phase, comes to fruition.

If I hadn't perfectly planned this out, then I might have been surprised by the Archer attacking Shin here - it's not too unusual that he got off the ballista in order to attack, but it would have surprised a less flawlessly prepared player that he'd go for Shin instead of a target that can't retaliate.

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Cutscene!

Also: YES! YES! YES!

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Except... much like Percival, Milady is not the immediate MVP that she is in vanilla. She comes prepromoted, which is a bit of a mixed bag - saves us an Elysian Whip, but it takes away the option to supercharge her by giving her a handful of unpromoted levels (and it's not like we're short on Whips in Project Ember).

Because Milady's stats are overall closer to her insta-promoted self - faster and more lucky, but with the same offensive stats and actually less bulky: [41 HP | 16 Def] vs. 10/1 vanilla Milady's [43 HP | 17.5 Def]. And because most other characters have been buffed to some degree, Milady's combat is "adequate" instead of "completely bonkers" as you expect it to be. To compare, Roy and Lance (even after subtracting the stat boosters they consumed) have noticeably higher offensive stats and comparable bulk. Lot has very similar offensive stats, but is much tankier.

Milady is still good, having wings and all, and I do understand why a hack that aims to make your units more comparable to each other would tone her down, but it still feels a little sad to reach this chapter and not see Milady (and Percival, although in vanilla, you don't see his true stats yet) completely dunk on your other units.

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Oh well, on with the chapter. Since Roy has been leading the charge together with Shin and Lance, Milady joins right in the thick of battle, too, so that's going to help clear this segment.

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...after stealing the Paladin's Knight Crest, of course. Treck'll appreciate this.

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Speaking of...

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I initially wanted him to finish the Paladin, but Lilina does, at the very least, have a pretty decent crit rate when Roy is watching.

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Aaaand group cleared. I'm sure some lance rank on Roy will come in handy somehow, at some point.

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Milady sets up for enemy phase, Spear equipped. The enemy wyvern squad split up, which is pretty helpful - dunno if I inadvertently went into the "2-turn range" of only half of them, or if their behaviour is different to begin with. Either way, it's helpful.

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To the north, it's gotten rather lonely around Wendy, but Saul still heals her up in preparation for tackling the line of Generals. Meanwhile, Shanna grabs the renamed Body Ring from the village and shows us a Hot Take (tm) on top of that.

(Seriously, it's obviously worse than an unconditional +2 Spd, but how is this a bad stat booster? Especially because female mounted units don't have the reduced Aid value anymore. Tate, after promoting and using the Power Glove, will sit at 8 Con and 17 Aid, which still allows her to rescue literally everybody, including General!Barth, which I believe is the fattest unit I could've had on my team. And Iron Lances have 8 Weight. Silver Lances have 10. Killer Lances ha-- let's shorten this and just say that Thea gets +2 Spd from the Con boost while using any lance except Slim. I will give Thea the Power Glove and I will like it.) [/rant]

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CUTSCENE!

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And Milady goes to work. She only doubles the Steel Lance guy, which is slightly disappointing, but both of them are in full reach of our grounded forces.

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BUT FIRST: CUTSCENE!!!

And before I get to the wyverns - I lied a little and Wendy doesn't quite engage the Generals just yet. Instead, she breaks her Iron Bow on the first approaching Heavy Cav, so that she can counter the rest of them with her Hand Axe.

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WHICH TRIGGERS ANOTHER CUTSCENE!!!!! This one even during the player phase, holy smokes.

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Shin and Lilina kill the wyverns that Milady lured to the bridge, with Lalum dancing Lilina to get in range, and with good levels on both Lalum and Shin. Now Lalum would've survived a ballista bolt!

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But otherwise, there's no enemies around, so I just move forward. Milady carrying... it's Lilina, right? is the result of a misclick (I had Raigh block the only viable tile to take/drop Lilina on), but enemies are far enough away that I don't have to worry about it.

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Enemy phase sees a bit more of Wendy Magic (and a nicely timed screenshot, if I may say so myself). The Heavy Cavs are a bit more bulky, so this was the only of the three that she would've one-rounded without a crit...

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...but she and Shanna easily clean them up on player phase.

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That's right, I remember cursing over Saul never gaining any magic, and he seems determined to continue the trend. If I check only one character's averages after this LP, it'll be Saul, because I'm curious how weird (or normal) he has been growing.

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The main group has to be a bit careful about running ahead, with three more Wyverns in the vicinity, including a Lord with rather nasty equipment.

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Milady pivots again, this time out of range of the only Wyvern with 1-2 weaponry, while carrying a Silver Lance. Roy finally remembers to use his Dragonshield...

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...which makes Milady a more enticing target than him. Huh. I still need to wrap my head around the "Milady isn't outstandingly tanky" concept, although I don't mind her introducing the "Milady is a dodge tank" idea here.

As a result, the enemy phase is a little bit less effective than it could've been, with only one wyvern reaching Milady. But as you can see, there's plenty units to clean house on player phase with.

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And Wendy took an unnecessary hit because my brain also *still* isn't entirely on bord with bows having 2-3 range. Oh well, since the Generals don't move, she isn't at any risk here.

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Lot gets a not-too-well captured crit here, which confused me for a minute ("wait, where's the third wyvern kill?"), while Wade succeeds in setting up a kill...

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...which Tate takes. Meanwhile, Raigh kills the Wyvern that Milady fought on enemy phase and becomes a little more ridiculous.

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Especially when you compare him with the rather less ridiculous Lilina. *sigh*

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Aaaand next group of enemies cleared, with Lalum allowing for a second Raigh kill.

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Milady grabs the village real quick. Al's sword's place in the "weapon hierachy" has been changed a bit - instead of being between Iron and Steel in every regard like in vanilla, it's even stronger and slightly less accurate than a Steel Sword's [9 Mt | 80 Hit]. It's still three points lighter, though, which makes it a good option for Shanna and (once she promotes) Thea.

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Meanwhile, Wendy started a fair and balanced duel with the southernmost of the three stationary Generals, which finds its inevitable conclusion on enemy phase.

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This brings us to turn 7, which is one turn before reinforcements spawn in vanilla, from the NW and SW corners of the map. I'm not too worried for Wendy, but I wouldn't mind taking out the Generals first, so she picks up the pace a little. Both Generals have bows in their inventory, so they'll attack her on enemy phase.

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Thea doesn't quite reach melee range to this lonesome cowboy approaching us, but Milady with the Silver Lance brings him to an ideal HP count to still snatch a kill (and a great level).

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This barely keeps the two out of range of the ballista manned by Percival's Archer. The group should leave next turn, unless Project Ember changed it, so I'd have to pull Percy now to recruit him. Not likely to happen, so I'll wait for the easier recruitment in chapter 15.

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This is interesting - Wendy was juuuuust too far away to pull this group of Fighters until she stepped forward one or two tiles to face the two remaining Generals. Now she draws two of the Fighters and the Warrior, which for a lesser unit might be problematic in conjunction with the approaching reinforcements.

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Wendy does actually take a lot of damage from the Light Blade General, but she gets him low enough to kill him on player phase without retaliation. Excellent level on top, considering her Spd is capped.

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And the cavalry has arrived! More lambs to the slaughter!

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The enemy pincer manoever isn't perfectly timed, either, and Shanna safely trades Wendy her Iron Sword so that she can counter with weapon triangle advantage.

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...come to think of it, I really should've been worried about Flaer potentially moving, after Henning pulling that trick earlier this playthrough. I think he maybe would've one-shot Thea if he had, since her Res is actually pretty bad. Oh well, he didn't, and now we can laugh at his lack of throne bonuses and Delphi Shields.

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Well, or we can laugh at the complete lack of enemies around him, which allows me to easily set up a kill...

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...for Raigh, who uses his personal tome for some extra accuracy.

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Did I mention lately how utterly insane Raigh is?

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Well, fight's done. Only thing left to do is wait that Percy rides away into the sunset (wait, no, pretty sure he leaves the map eastwards) and lets us visit the local grocery stores. Meanwhile: Clarine/Lance B support!

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And the rare Merlinus dance!

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Oh yeah, and we can watch Wendy humiliate some poor schmucks. Getting one-rounded with an Iron Sword, as a class that's supposed to be relatively tanky isn't a very good look for the enemy.

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Aaaand three for three. Saul makes sure that Wendy equips her Halberd, and he and Shanna run away. No need to further disturb Wendy while she's soloing half the map.

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At the end of the previous enemy phase, Percival did indeed leave, but nobody's in range of either shop yet.

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Healer level...

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...and Trec and Thea move towards the two remaining Fighters to maybe get a little piece of the XP cake before the end of the chapter.

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MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

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MORE MILKH FOR THE KHORNFLAKES!

Well, actually, I would've had to delay seizing to fight these, but didn't.

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Shopping! I mostly get Killer weapons and some 1-2 range and I guess I went a bit overboard... Er, when did you get the Silver Card again? ...whoops.

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THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

Because of the overflowing inventory, Wendy still got another enemy phase to completely wipe the first group of reinforcements, once again punching through the weapon triangle with ease.

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While Thea and Trec, unpromoted scrubs that they are, still need some help clearing the two Fighters in time. Oh well, first kill for Milady!

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I forgot to capture it, but I buy some staves and tomes (especially Light, I only had one with less than ten uses left) after shuffling through Merlinus's inventory a bit, get some last-second XP through healing (and Shanna stabbing one cav from the second reinforcement round), and Roy seizes. Nice!

Very front-heavy diffulty this chapter, all things considered - once the first bigger group of enemies was dealt with, the rest of the map was frankly not very challenging anymore. Wendy casually soloing half of it probably helped, since my main group was maybe bigger than what the devs intended.

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And with a closing "Shut up, Merlinus" - thanks for reading! Next time: Everybody's favourite map! Looking forward to see if Project Ember made any big changes to it.

 

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Forgot the very important stat overview at the end of the last update, so here ya go:

Spoiler

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/3.84	49  23  16  25  16  15  15	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/2.89	39  23  21  22  10  16   9	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Trec		18.51		39  16  17  14  14  18   8	(+2 Spd)

Shanna		15.--/		33  11  15  23  15   9  13
Thea		16.80		33  16  19  20* 11  13  7	
Gwendolyn	20.00/5.67	47  26  19  22* 15  23  15

Lot		20.00/2.67	51  18  22  19   9  18  12	(+2 Skl)
Wade		12.44/3.86	47  23  12  13   9  11   5
Shin		17.22		34  16  17  15   7  10   5
Astolfo		17.95		35  13  12  20*  5   9   9

Clarine		20.00/6.39	41  18  18  26  17   7  11	(+2 Mag)
Saul		20.00/2.51	42  11  18  19   4  15  16
Raigh		15.73		34  20* 19  17   8  14  14	(+2 Skl)
Lilina		19.07		30  18  15  14  24   5  18	(+7 HP)

Larum		5.83		21   1   2  18  16   4   4
Merlinus	1.03		25   0   4   5  10   6   0
Milady		*/1.61		41  19  17  18  12  16   7	(base)

 

  • Chapter 14 - Arcadia
Spoiler

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In which both everything and not a lot changes.

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And in which we don't recruit any of these characters, which is a shame.

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If you're familiar with the map, what little we see of the enemy formations might seem familiar. I can't say for certain, but I believe that unit placement is identical to vanilla, although the numbers on both the blue and the red team obviously aren't the same.

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The wyvern squad hits pretty hard, with the unpromoted Riders sitting at 20 Str. Wendy (47 HP | 23 Def) still matches very well against them, though - I believe that even if all of them would hit her in a single turn, she'd still survive unless she's carrying a sword.

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However, the Wyvern's range overlaps very neatly with the Manakete's, which still makes it ill-advised to face them immediately on T1 enemy phase.

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A little rescue/drop for Astore gives us a better view of what awaits us up the cliff - three enemies with Silver weapons, and one Merc each with a Brave Sword and a Light Brand. With Milady being not as tanky as one would expect her to be, this is a bit tougher to face.

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Astore also reveals a couple additional enemies, still placed identical to the original. The Wyvern is part of another 4-man squad, with the other three being just out of vision.

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Our new units! We already saw Cecilia getting stomped by Zephiel last chapter, and her stats did not change from that appearance. Stat-wise, Clarine outdoes her pretty handily - same Mag, *much* more Spd, similar physical bulk. Cecilia only really differenciates herself through her better magical bulk (Clarine: [41 HP | 11 Res]) and, more importantly, access to Anima magic. I didn't register it last time because Cecilia using Aircalibur vs. Zephiel is what I'm used to, but Clarine can only use Light magic, while Cecilia has some additional options to deal effective damage against certain enemy types. Like, for example, Manaketes, which seems quite useful.

And also, she competes with Saul more than with Clarine for a deployment slot, since fielding two healers usually isn't a bad idea. And since I never really made use of Saul's better bulk, it's likely that we'll see Cecilia in our main squad for at least until Niime shows up.

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And lastly, here's Sophia. Quite fast thanks to her personal tome, but also very frail and with rather middling Magic. Her personal tome is nice to give her a good first impression, since the Wyverns are the biggest threat on the map. Still, she retains much more of her "project that you need to invest into" status than Wendy did, especially with the most obvious comparison in Raigh getting HM bonuses.

I'd also like to point out that if Lilina (30 HP | 5 Def) hadn't consumed an Angelic Robe, she'd still be slightly more frail than Sophia against physical enemies. Despite being at Lv.19.

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So you might have wondered why the hell I would field a friggin General in the desert. That's because when I said "everything" in the opening, I was thinking of movement penalties, which have been greatly reduced for almost all classes. As far as I can tell, the only classes that can't traverse three or more desert tiles are Light/Heavy Cavs and their promotions, as well as unpromoted foot units. Everybody else, including Generals, can move three or four tiles, if they're impeded at all.

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And with all that said, let's resume the chapter. Because I'm most certainly going to Desert Item Glitch to HFIL and back.

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Turn 1, we already get the first three items, with Saul taking care of the Talisman and (next turn) Speedwing behind our starting location.

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This puts Cecilia in range of an Aircalibur mage and nothing else. Not a bad thing to get him out of the way quickly.

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The boots then immediately go to Tate, who I expect to be our overall strongest flyer once she promotes. She also gets +2 Spd for all lances except slim, and I'm still confused why anybody would think that isn't a big boon.

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Tate canto'ed into range of the Light Brand Merc, just to deal a little easy damage to start things. She dodges, but doesn't double in return, so it's not the biggest of plays.

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Cecilia doesn't double either, but Sophia does against a mage that completely wrecks her shit in vanilla, if she dares to take one step too many eastwards. And because she dodged the Thunder, she does win this fight.

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Oh, a small change after all! This Sage is just a Mage in vanilla.

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Wendy gets into position to take him out on enemy phase, and the other non-flying units just move forward a little. Lalum dances Roy forward and gets a neat level out of it...

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...and Roy takes out the Light Brand Merc. Should make a little easier to go over the cliff.

 

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Which Milady and Tate then do. The former uses the Brave Lance to avoid 16 points of damage, the latter then trades it away to preserve it.

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Random support! I saw it being available and thought, "Why not?". A possible answer would be a potential Lilina/Cecilia support, but I don't think it matters too much either way.

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And as a final action, Sophia takes out the Mage and gets rescued towards the main group by Shanna.

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Enemy phase combat! Tate is the only one who a) takes damage and b) doesn't take out her enemy. Poor levels on both her and Wendy, but that's to be expected with their capped Spd stats. This would've been a good time to promoted Tate, buuuut I forgot to bring an Elysian Whip.

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And I also forgot to bring Restore staves. Whoops.

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Turn 3 reveals the second Wyvern Lord, which is a bit awkward. Sophia's additional firepower would actually have come in handy if somebody could've take/dropped her from Shanna.

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Also awkward: a second promoted Mage! Looking ad FEWoD, I *think* this might be one of two Mages that start near the eastern end of the map.

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But let's delay that for a second. 'member when I said that Wendy could survive all four of those Wyverns? Let's test that.

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And let's deal with the Wyvern Lord right after that. Every other enemy can be easily avoided, so as long as I get this kill, I should at the very least be safe - worst case, I don't make much progress moving towards the boss.

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Oh my.

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Tate can't quite secure the kill - the Wing Spear isn't strong enough, and she doesn't double with a Killer Lance. So Milady has to use some more Brave Lance charges and disappoint us with that first level-up.

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Shanna and Tate then rescue her out of the Mage Knight's range, which is a bit silly in retrospect. I guess I was working with the assumption that "Peg knight = High Res", but Tate's actually isn't any better than Milady's.

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11 + 11 + 17 + 4 = 43, but Wendy has to show off to make that addition inconsequential. She also doubles in all three melee fights, which results in two dead Wyvern Riders.

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...yeah, not a Mage Killer (tm).

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Unfortunately, Cecilia falls to bullshit RNG (please ignore the part where I could've easily circumvented this problem). Fortunately, Saul comes close enough to restore some HP in her place.

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...Mage Killer (tm) after all?! Cav Killer, definitely.

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Next, I clear the way to the Silver Card hidden in the top left of the map. Wendy gets a hit+crit, which brings the Manakete down to 14 HP...

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...which is good, because it gives Lilina something to kill.

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And of course, Wendy has little trouble to overkill the Wyvern after a dance.

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Roy ignores the Geneva convention and then gets ferried atop the cliff. Progress is being made!

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I can't believe that Roy doesn't one-round a hero with an Iron Lance, what a bad unit, shaking my SMH.

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But of course, that was all planned! *cough* No third silenced healer for me!

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Another Desert Item Trick and we're now twice as rich. Nice!

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And the Bishop didn't even have enough Mag to fully heal the Hero, so Roy can still kill him with an Iron Lance. Also nice!

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I believe I was considering picking up Clarine with Shanna here, but since nobody could've take/dropped her, that would've delayed the Silence wearing off.

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Cecilia does pick up Wendy, to ferry her over to the main group. Nothing left to do in this part of the map...

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...but to ignore the Geneva convention another time and have Astore see some combat, after he did nothing except steal one Knight Crest on the previous map.

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Wow! I can't count!
(the plan was to dance for Raigh so that he can catch up to the rest a bit more quickly)

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Second group of Mercs plus one hero approaches - nothing too spooky, but not everybody can one-round this enemy type.

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So Sophia helps out a bit and gets what will probably remain her only level-up. It's a good one, though.

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And then everybody one-rounds an enemy. Huh. Guess I underestimated my power! (well, OK, Tate needed Shanna to chip on the previous enemy phase)

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And another one during enemy phase! That one did require the crit, in lieu of sisterly support.

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Astore reveals two more generics and the boss, who doesn't look *too* spooky. He wields the 1-3-ranged sword, which isn't too surprising, given that he uses a Light Brand in the original.

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But before we deal with him: More one-rounding!

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The first reinforcements spawn at the start of this enemy phase (gasp! Ambush spawns!) and I'm determined to ignore them all.

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The rest of the map is, frankly, just dotting our ı and crossing our l.

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And getting another awesome level on Roy. That's his Spd capped. Hot damn.

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And that's an empty level-up. Damn. Just because you capped the two stats with (presumably) your highest growth rates doesn't mean you're allowed to start slacking, Tate!

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Milady gets some free XP from the boss on enemy phase (3% never crits, amiright?).

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Next turn, Raigh sets himself up to counter the remaining Mage on enemy phase, but then Tate rushes in and grabs the Warp staff. And I forgot to have her equip a Javelin.

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Oh well! Let's look at something nicer, like a completely safe boss kill. Roy doesn't quite three-shot through throne/gate healing, so there's a chance that Randy survives the enemy phase, but Roy does hit both his attacks on player phase.

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And both on enemy phase. And you know what, Roy deserves to slack off a little after his great levels earlier this chapter.

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Before Roy seizes, everybody gets a little bit of XP if they can...

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...not you...

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...and Milady carries the Silver Card to the shops. I'm not particularly interested in the Armory's selection, but I pick up a couple Nosferatu tomes and (iirc) an Aircalibur or two.

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And hey, a last-minute support! I don't know how long Shanna will remain in the core group, but I doubt that Tate would pick up five support convos elsewhere.

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Ten turns, not bad. I think I normally take more like 15-18, but the increased movement of most of your units is really darn helpful.

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So, Gaiden confirmed! Huzzah!


		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/6.11	52  24  17  26* 18  17  15	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Thea		19.29		34  17  20* 20* 11  13   7	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)
Shanna		15.--/2.96	33  11  15  23  15   9  13
Melady		*/2.92		41  19  17  18  12  17   7

Gwendolyn	20.00/6.61	47  26  19  22* 16  23  15
Astore		18.30		36  13  13  20*  5   9   9

Raigh		16.86		34  20* 19  17   9  14  14	(+2 Skl)
Lilina		19.47		30  18  15  14  24   5  18	(+7 HP)
Saul		20.00/2.98	42  11  18  19   4  15  16
Clarine		20.00/6.86	41  18  18  26  17   7  11	(+2 Mag)

Larum		6.73		22   1   2  19  17   5   4
Cecilia		*/4.70		36  16  12  16  12   9  15	(base)
Sophia		8.33		25  11  11  15  12   4  10

Thanks for reading!

 

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No new chapter just yet - I managed to delete my save file alongside all the screenshots that I didn't use in the update, so I had to replay the last two chapters. Luckily, I've been semi-consistent in keeping safetly copies. The most important changes:

Spoiler
  • Sold the Secret Book instead of having Raigh use it. Sold a bit more stuff in general, like Vulneraries, low-use Javelins and Wind Edges (Myrm only, so I can't use them) and I didn't buy quite as many weapons.
  • Funneled more XP into Lilina and Raigh, so the former promoted during Ch.14 and the latter reached Lv.20 on the last turn. I also might retract some of my unfavourable judgement of Lilina's abilities:
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    • suzk9TQ.png_lHt439N.png
  • She's still really frail physically (remember, that's Lilina with an Angelic Robe), but there's something to be said about 25 Mag and instant Physic + status staff access. Still slightly disappointed about the lack of a pegasus, though.
  • On the flip side, Tate didn't get quite as much XP as she did in the original clears. She's sitting at Lv. 17.65 instead of 19.29, with only her Skl capped out just yet.

 

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