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


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  • Chapter 14x - The Infernal Truth


In which, truthfully, I deserve to die, repeatedly and horribly.


One of my BinBla Hot Takes is that this is the better Water Temple Map between the Elibe games. Not the best map in the game, but for some reason, a solid eight out of ten seems like an appropriate rating.


The main problem with the map is that it mostly wastes its right half (or 40%, I guess), because the path to the throne is just a single loop which might even skip a decent number of enemies. It also makes the map exceedingly easy to warp-skip, if you don't like to play it properly.

Project Ember has an interesting workaround. The map is still very, very easy to skip - even easier since you're more likely to have two A-rank staff users - but the developers placed a couple chests on the map to encourage a walk-to-the-throne approach, or at least I'd guess that this was their motivation.

Otherwise, the map hasn't changed at all, other than the (at this point not very surprising) enemy upgrades. The original only has one Berserker and the three magic users below the throne as promoted enemies, while the PE version sports a total of 17 promoted enemies plus the boss, if I'm counting correctly. On our side, we're allowed to field two additional characters, which is welcome looking at the original's fairly stingy 10 deployment slots.


Oates is fairly similar to his original self as well. He both deals and takes a bit more damage, but nothing too dramatic. He one-shots Lalum, of course, but everybody else survives one Bolting hit.


A much more important change is the Sage directly below him, who forgot to bring his own Bolting tome. This makes it a lot easier to not get boltinged at all during the first couple turns, since Oates on his own only covers a relatively small part of the path on his own.


Only an indirect change is this Berserker, who also carries a Devil Axe in the original. However, with the Axe itself being buffed, he hits like a truck, actually one-shotting a handful of our characters including the Pegasus sisters, Lilina (obviously), Clarine, and Astore. The most scary part is that he even does so very accurately, unlike his ~90 hit version in vanilla.


Most other enemies are about what we've grown accustomed to. Silver weapons are the norm, with only a couple unpromoted scrubs carrying Steel, and there's generally one or two weapons to look out for in every group, like Killers or effective weaponry.


The only enemy I'll specifically point out is this Great Knight, because I believe he's the only enemy with a drastically changed class and not just some added levels or a promotion. Well, there's one Merc turned into a Swordmaster, but Pirate --> Great Knight is a tad more radical.


First order of business: Druid Raigh! His combat is pretty amazing at this point, with physical bulk on par with Lance (40 HP | 16 Def) and Roy (44+7 HP | 15+2 Def), if we subtract the latter's stat boosters. He does not get a second weapon type (which means that he has no options to deal effective damage at this point) and only D staves compared to Lilina's B rank.


The enemies right to our east are a rather nasty bunch, with two Snipers zoning out any fliers, not to mention the Berserker one-shotting two of them, so I decide to initially just rally everybody straight south.


Roy rescues Raigh and, with Lalum boosting his movement, drops him forward into the first group's range. No promoted enemies here just yet, so they're not too much of a threat to either of them.


Everybody else just follows them, with Wendy and Shanna staying just outside Oates's Bolting range. If you saw the previous post, you might see a certain lack of Silencing Oates here - that's because I kinda forgot that thrones heal status effect.


Whoops, still had animations turned off from replaying the last two chapters. Anyway, with a little Nos-tanking, Raigh clears two of the Mercenaries and damages a third, ending the enemy phase with a pretty solid HP count.


Ah well, so much about the "damages a third" part.


During the enemy phase, only two of the next batch of enemies move towards me - still a somewhat dangerous set-up, since one of them has a casual 37 Crit and the other one would be able to Raigh without allowing a Nosferatu counterattack.


Daringly, Roy takes point, banking on the power of the Weapon Triangle (and his own pretty solid Avoid), while Raigh stays just outside the Berserker's range to kill the remaining Mercenary.

(I don't quite remember if he didn't double with Nos, or if he just missed one of his attacks during the previous enemy phase)


There, I remembered to turn animations back on. Good past pong.


And good Roy.


And good dodges there, Raigh and *snicker* Lalum. I'm not sad at all that Eclipse still sucks in Ember.


Some of the enemies do start the map aggressive, most importantly the Devil Axe Berserker and one of the Wyverns starting in the northeast corner. The plan is to outrun the sinking floor tiles, which has the side effect of also outrunning at least the Berserker, although of course I don't intend to let a Lv.13 promoted enemy's XP go to waste.


Turn Three and some Tryhard Thievery by Astore! Not actually enough to kill the Warrior (he's left with 4 HP), but still not too bad considering the Iron weapon.


But also inconsequential in the grand scheme of feeding kills to Tate, since 22+26 Dmg would've been enough already. No Str or Def on her level-up, unfortunately.


This does put Tate into a spot of bother, with two Snipers ready to shoot her down, so Roy and Wendy start working on that problem...


...with different degree of success.


Bit of a shame that the hero survived the round, but I think we're still good...?


Well, now we certainly are. Roy channeling his vanilla self a bit with this level-up here.


And yep, that was a safe enemy phase. It always "feels" risky to expose a mage to multiple physical enemies, but Raigh really doesn't give a shit.


But gasp! He's in so much danger here!


I don't entirely remembered in what order the floor sinks when I played - turns out that the path from the start to where I'm sitting now stays up for a fair while. The other disappearing segment blocks off the Great Knight, but there's still a path to the northeast treasure chest right past the throne room.


Lilina's healing animation!


And more chipping by Astolfo, this time with no crit, but with a neat level-up.


At this point, I realise, "Oh, right, Wyvern" - in time to do something about it if Lilina might face any risk fighting him.


But first: Make sure that the closer enemies can't threaten any of our squishies.


And curse Treck's apparently not-too-great Spd growth.


And then be stupid! I don't even know if Lilina needed to be rescued (she does have 41 HP+Def combined), but Larum most certainly does.

...can you spot the other that needed rescuing? I certainly didn't.


And all her dance was for is this - removing a decidedly non-threatening enemy from the field. Bad past pong.


Aaaand I'm pretty sure that this wasn't intentional, either.


Aaaaaaaaaand very very sure that this wasn't intentional, either. 2-3 range on bows still screws with my brain, I guess. Or I'm just not very smart.


Well, nobody is dead, yet. Let's see if we will do something about that.


With those two wyverns from the right and a couple pirates coming from the left side of the throne room, things actually get a little more crowded here, so clearing a bunch of enemies should be a priority.

...did I mention that I moved Tate too far away from Clarine to take/drop Larum? I was really screwing up a lot during that turn.


Good thing I have Big Numbers (and Astolfo) to help me out.


Even Bigger Numbers! Yay! Keep in mind that Wendy already capped Spd, so this level-up is even better than it looks.


More kills! All the kills!


Well, actually, Melady holds off on this one. She gets three-shot, so I'd rather not give the Pirates any incentive to attack her instead of the (still bow-carrying) Wendy.


Tate also holds off on any attacks and goes for a Lv.18 promotion instead. Uncapping Skill and Speed should be better than getting two bad level-ups faster.


Unfortunately, this means that Melady was needed to take/drop Larum instead of choking the point alongside Wendy. I'm sure it'll be fiiiiiine.


To my credit, I did count tiles before dropping Larum, who is precisely 11 tiles away from the throne this enemy phase. And Astore isn't in any pirate's range, so having him as an available target is a good thing. So, what are the pirates gonna do...?


OK, first one goes for Clarine - scary, but 21 hit while getting two-shot isn't the worst risk...


...very nice...


...and I do believe this was the only one in range to attack Lilina. So, not a terrible enemy phase, right?


Well, still not terrible, right?



"To my credit, I did count tiles before dropping Larum[...]"

...I should've given Larum a robe, if this is how I'm playing.


But at this point, I think (well, I hope) that I should be good (this is player phase, so Astore was indeed safe). Clarine and Lilina getting kills on enemy phase does help things. So, back to Astore setting up kills, getting a pretty nice last unpromoted level from it.


And let's remove those big Bolting hits from the damage equations. "Two Times Nineteen Equals Thirty-Eight" is a much more pleasant calculation.

Vanilla Roy, please leave and let Ember Roy get Str and Def on his level-ups again.


More cleaning up...


...and Milady actually seeing combat! Wow!

("Milady with a reasonable powerlevel" is still such a strange and alien concept)


Very nice!


All that's left to do is deal with a couple stragglers and secure the three added treasure chests. Nice start, this should help out Treck and his questionable Spd.


Tragically, this also wastes XP on a capped Astore as he*s attacked through the wall...


Also nice! Clarine can't quite use this yet, but she's already somewhere around halfway to the needed A rank.


Look at me! I counted tiles again! Properly this time, even!

Tate does get the kill here, and a whopping 70 XP as a reward. Not bad!


More cleaning...


And another terrible, terrible missplay. What the heck? Why on earth did you think that Clarine would dodgetank vs. a Wyvern Lord and a Swordmaster? Bad, bad past pong!


I mean, she does dodgetank against the Swordmaster (but not the Wyvern Lord), but that's beside the point!


*sigh* I've had more deserved chapter clears, that's for sure.


Well, on the plus side, Clarine helped with a little rescue chain to save an inconsequential turn. Hurrah!


Also, the path to the Great Knight reappeared, which triggered his (presumably "two-turn-range") AI to charge at us. More XP!


And a pretty stellar level for Tate!


And to close the chapter, Treck's promotion. Not bad - but 17 Spd is really not what you like to see. Especially not when two of those points come from a Speedwing. It might actually be worth to throw another one at him - Melady would be the best alternative, I think, with her 18 Spd, but Treck's great physical bulk makes him the better overall combat unit to begin with.

Melady, the future rescue bot?! You saw it here first, folks! (I'm half-kidding, her combat really isn't bad. Just not great, either)


And that's the map cleared, in nine turns, half of them executed at "baboon" level. I hope I'll do better next map...


See you then!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/7.61	53  23  19  26* 18  17  17	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/4.23	41  24  22  24  11  17  10	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Trec		20.00/1.00	44  20  21  17  14  23  10	(+2 Spd)
Thea		18.18/2.20	41  19  23  22  10  17  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)

Shanna		15.--/3.31	34  11  16  24  16   9  13
Melady		*/2.74		42  21  17  18  13  16  8
Gwendolyn	20.00/7.06	48  27* 18  22* 16  22  18
Astolfo		20.00		38  14  13  20*  5  10  12

Clarine		20.00/9.85	42  20  20  28* 19   7  12	(+2 Mag)
Lilina		20.00/1.95	34  25  18  17  25   7  23	(+7 HP)
Raigh		20.00/3.08	42  25  23  21  14  18  18
Larum		7.79		23   1   2  20  17   3   5



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  • 2 weeks later...

Little addendum for the last update:


Forblaze is rather strong. Stronger, in fact, than Durandal (16 Mt, +5 Str) and Armads (18 Mt, +5 Def). If Lilina attacks a Manakete with this, she'll have exactly 100 Atk, assuming that Ember doesn't pull a SacSto and reduces the legendary weapons' effectiveness multiplier to x2.

  • Chapter 15 - The Dragon Child


In which we're joined by some filler units.


Here's two of them, and a third one for later! (well, for all I know, Douglas might be the most amazing unit in the entire game. We'll see)

Before the start of the map, Igrene is the only one of the three new recruits that we can see, so let's have a look:


Well, she's... OK. 19s in Str and Spd are both on the lower end of what we can find on our trained characters, so she really isn't more than a filler unit for maps with a lot of deployment slots. But her uncounterable chip damage will come in handy, certainly on this map and probably on later ones, too.


The map itself, and I know I'm repeating myself, has the usual degree of change: some enemies found their promotion items, a few legitimately changed profession (most notably, the General used to be a Sniper), and one new one joined the fight: a Sage at the bottom of the screen.


Raith is much less of a joke than in vanilla, where he comes with a rather embarrasing Spd of 11. The unusually high Res is also a Project Ember addition. Overall, he still doesn't pose too much of a threat - susceptible to 3-range (while getting doubled by Wendy) and effective weapons, he should go down pretty easily.


I find this map to be on the lower end of OG BinBla's difficulty scale, with this Wyvern (Rider in vanilla, Lord in Ember) being one of the bigger dangers. Not really to our own characters, but to Percivals accompanying squad after you recruit him.


The two Valkyries are honestly relatively tame, with the main dangers being Lightning's increased Crit and Shine's effective damage against magic users. They both have around 24 Atk in vanilla, which means that they're now less threatening considering Ember's higher overall power level.


Lastly, the Sniper-turned-General is this map's Brave weapon abuser, although his budget did not include a Brave Bow. Like the Great Knight in the last gaiden chapter, he does hit pretty hard, dealing 30-ish damage against most of our melee units if he connects both attacks.


Percival joins the map right after you hit "play", just in vanilla. Unlike vanilla, however, he's a little bit worse than he was in chapter 13. His stats are practically identical (well, [+2 HP | -1 Def], which is probably just HM bonus fluctuation), but he's four levels higher than he was.

Unless he has absolutely stellar growth rates, this really doesn't make a huge difference, but I guess it's a neat little reward for players who manage the much harder earlier recruitment.

Unlike Igrene, Percival does still hold up to any growth unit. His offenses aren't quite as good as Roy and Lance's, and Lot does out-tank him a bit at this point, but Percival is rock solid in both aspects, in addition to his great mobility.


With that, let's start the fight. Larum and Treck fall back, to quickly recruit Percival and to immediately draw the Wyvern Lord. Percival's entourage is stronger than in vanilla, but no reason to let them see any avoidable combat.


Hm, I wonder if Igrene was given a unique combat animation because her dad has one in BlaBla, or if the female Sniper just got a new one in general. Either way, it's much more dynamic than the old one.


This first Merc is only fully protected by the Hero, so there was no danger in Lance attacking in melee for an extra tile of movement, using a Javelin to counter said Hero on enemy phase.


Meanwhile, Tate grabs the Divine tome from the village (12 Might is pretty strong). She and the other flyers all stray a bit from the direct path to leave room for the other characters...


...which they then fill. But wait, who's that dashing Rogue right above the village?!


It's Astore! ...surprising absolutely nobody. There isn't any particular reason to field a Thief this map, but it doesn't hurt to bring him along to grab some XP. I believe he still gains more XP than other characters at the same level.

(He also goes right to S swords with the promotion, so Durandal Astore is absolutely an option)


Like in vanilla, a lot of enemies start the map aggressive, which is the main source of difficulty (no, having to intercept a single Wyvern doesn't really count) both there and here in Ember. You have to be a bit mindful who you send where, while still ideally remove all enemies that are directly in front of you.


Well, intercepting a single Wyvern certainly isn't difficult if you just insta-crit him into oblivion. Handy, since Treck doesn't double and would've needed Percy's help without it.


Raigh doesn't double his opponent, either, and doesn't land a crit, but I'm not exactly short on hands at that part of the fight to help him out.


Aaand Percy's on bord. That was easy.


Aaand that actually triggers a cutscene?


Oooh, I like this! No reason to glue a boss in a mobile class to the throne.


Raith spawns four promoted horsies alongside with him, which adds another relatively strong group of enemies to the map, which also leans into that "wave of enemies" feel that this map already has. Cool design choice.

I do wonder how this plays out if you recruited Percival earlier. Raith just staying on the gate would make the chapter easier, which would arguably be another reward for the more difficult Percival recruitment, although it would also cost the player some XP...

...as well as some money, because the General (who I forgot to make any screenshot of) replacing Raith as a gate guardian carries a stealable bullion.

Hmm, I also wonder if chapter 13 has a similar trigger? It does have a boss with very high movement, as well, and he did not leave the gate in my clear of that map.


But let's get back to where we are, and to me compulsively raising Lilina's Light rank, which I expect to come into play never.


Thank you, Micaiah.


I showed, but didn't mention that Igrene comes with a portable Ballista, the first one we get for ourselves. I don't think I love this addition - bow users already have the very strong distinction of (most of the time) uncounterable 3-range, so I don't think they really needed to infringe on the magic classes' long-range niche.


It's useful here, though, because Lance was the only other character who could reach the Valkyrie and he didn't double. Clarine was short one tile, but she can safely one-round this Cav, with only one enemy in range to attack her on enemy phase. Awesome level on her, too, especially considering that her Spd is already capped.


The rest of the group just follows along, murderin' the remaining enemies on their way.


Sword rank, very important! (genuinely - being able to use a Wyrmslayer would be quite useful for Tate)


Oh, and I guess I didn't get Lilina and Astore's C support when I replayed the lost chapters. Maybe going for Lilina/Wendy would've been better? Wendy's much more likely to see combat in which the bonuses would be needed.


And some amazing *cough* rescue/drop strats to get Larum back to the main group.


Boss man and his posse do start aggressive - luckily, they're not too close to any other active group of enemies. The General and his companions do move out of Raith's range.


The only combat we see on enemy phase is this right here. No counterattack always feels a bit wasteful, but this is fine.


Still, let's see if we can do better this turn. The General and the Archer reach a little further than the Myrmidons, so this looks like good potential for Wendy.


Everybody else has to stay out of range, of course, but I have a fair amount of 2- or 2-3 range available. First: Lot, getting even more buff.


Second: Astore, who throws a "knife" to get the kill. You're busted, animator!

(It's a cool animation though!)


Third: Igrene, with some dedication on my part to not feed her any kills.

(OK, this one was unrelated to countering the next group of enemies)


And fourth (or third, if you insist): Clarine, who reliably one-rounds any unpromoted enemy at this point. Getting her to S Light would be kinda cool...


Oh, and an easy kill for Thea. More weapon rank training!!




Thank you, Captain Obvious!


Garrett joins at the end of that enemy phase, with some seriously lopsided stats. He gained around 5 points of HP, Str, Spd, and Def compared to vanilla, which means that he packs quite a punch without being too susceptible to being doubled. And while it's not visible before his recruitment, he also comes with A axes, so he can punch really hard with Silver or Brave axes.

Honestly not a bad candidate to rotate into the team, considering that I still field Shanna and Wade.


Raith does partially cover the current "wave", but since his flunkies only cover the furthes Myrmidon, this isn't too tough a situation.



Which mean that it's time to fight with reckless abandon!


And be sad about Milady's level-up!
...she really is a bit underwhelming.


KILL! KILL! ...and take a quick look at our positions: Only Wendy is in range of the two Paladins behind Raith, and even Clarine can tank a single hit from him. All good, which is a relief after my awful plays last chapter.


The last Myrmidon kill goes to Lot, with Wade still providing a little utility. It would've been even better (or rather more reliable) had he not given his own Iron Bow to Igrene earlier.


Lalum getting better at dodging attacks that I shouldn't have let happen in the first place!


Raith goes for Clarine, which was to be expected with her low Def and his high Res. Still, more weapon XP!


Wendy didn't have a Javelin in her inventory and needed a Hand Axe to threaten to counter Raith, so she doesn't do as well this enemy phase. Still, she doubles and hits the second attack.


And, whoops, she was also in range of one of the Great Knights, because 3-range still doesn't feel intuitive for me.


That's all the combat, though, so Wendy was perfectly safe. And the next turn, we're perfectly safe to clean up without allowing the big scary Berserker any chance to crit somebody.



So back to the "reckless abandon" strategy! Tate and Astore start the round with two good-but-not-great levels.


And then Igrene sets up an easy boss kill for Lot, whose level-up does make him even tankier, so I won't complain.



The remaining two kills go to Roy and Raigh, with Milady preventing a double counter attack. Only one level here, but it's a great one.


Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Not sure what I'll end up using it on - I've been rather frugal with my top-end equipment, so there's no legendary weapon or any Braves that are close to breaking.


The shop doesn't sell anything I need need, which is good because I didn't bring the Silver Card with me.


Yes, that are their names and titles. Very good insight, boys.


At this point, the start of the next turn, another change becomes apparent: Instead of fleeing the map, Percival's entourage becomes aggressive, which I guess makes it a bit harder to get the Knight Crest from all of them surviving. I've been going fairly quickly, though (without flying anybody across the mountains, but still), so it doesn't become a factor in this clear.


Tiles: Counted, correctly.


Garret: Recruited, safely. Just not in-story.

("Mom, can we have Shiida?" - "We have Shiida at home." - Shiida at home: )


The two Wyverns somewhat cover the next group of enemies, but since they're both unpromoted, it's not too dangerous.


So the player phase just consists of couple easy kills,...


...one unplanned kill...


...and another level for Roy that looks like Ember has uninstalled itself.


The two Cavaliers from near the forts also started moving, but four enemies are still pretty easy to clean up. Even moreso because there's no next wave incoming - the enemies close to the gate seem to be stationary until you enter their range.




This does bring Clarine to an A rank in Light, which means that she can Purge some Heretics if so needed. It also means that we might find something of value in chapter 16x!


A little rescue/drop also brings Wendy into the Sniper's range.


And this also aggroes the unpromoted enemies, but not the Paladins. Interesting...


...but not exactly dangerous.


I think this is what you'd call "turtling"?


The Paladins both go for Percival, who doesn't have 1-2 range equipped, but two enemies...


...even though Igrene missed a 90 here...



...really aren't much of an issue.


In fact, they're so much on a non-issue that I can just continue to the boss kill on the same turn! First, Astore does something for our war chest...


...and then Wendy sets up a kill for Tate. I'm pretty sure that she deals more than 23 damage with the Wing Spear...


...but we'll never find out because Wendy decides to overperform a bit. (0.36^2 = 12.96% - so the odds for this kill steal weren't exactly astronomical)


Welllll, you capped Str and Spd, so this is what's to be expected from this point on.


Finally, a healer level for Lilina - I didn't show it, but she's been healing pretty consistently every turn. Let's see if we'll get her to Warp.


One last support, which will probably not matter too much in the longterm...



...and it's a seize!


And a Knight Crest! Which I'm sure will be very useful. Money is important, after all.

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/8.07	54  23  19  26* 19  17  18	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/4.87	41  24  22  24  11  17  10	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Trec		20.00/1.86	44  20  21  17  14  23  10	(+2 Spd)
Thea		18.18/3.00	41  19  24  22  11  18  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)

Shanna		15.--/3.31	34  11  16  24  16   9  13
Melady		-/3.25		43  21  17  18  13  16   8
Gwendolyn	20.00/8.04	49  27* 18  22* 16  22  19
Lot		20.00/4.39	53  19  22  19   9  20  13	(+2 Skl)

Wade		12.44/3.78	47  23  12  13   9  11   5
Astolfo		20.00/3.06	43  17  18  24   5  13  14
Lilina		20.00/3.10	35  27  18  18  26   7  25	(+7 HP)
Clarine		20.00/11.56	42  21  20  28* 21   8  13	(+2 Mag)

Raigh		20.00/4.21	43  26  24  22  15  18  18
Larum		8.69		24   1   2  21  18   3   5

Igrene		*/7.65		40  19  18  19   9  11   5	(base)
Perceval	*/12.06		50  21  19  21  12  16  13	(base)
Garret		*/9.14		60* 26  15  16  12  15   4	(base, -1 HP)



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Chapter 16 - Storming the Capital


In which we're quite patient, actually.


And in which Narcian gets what's coming to him. Always very satisfying to kick that sonuva's butt.


Thank you, Captain Obvious. Would you like to join our team now? ...No? Aww.


The map! In a similar fashion as chapter 8, there are a couple breakable walls added as potential shortcuts. Least importantly, at the right side of the throne room. Most importantly, near the center of the map, directly east of the enemy group with the Paladin.

There's a few more additional enemies compared to the previous maps: Two Great Knights instead of one Bishop in the top left, for example, or two Generals instead of one Knight in the throne room. The Soldier guarding the conspicuous room in the top left is new, as well. Still, no drastic changes beyond the usual overall power increase.


Narcian himself is a fair bit stronger, too: Stronger, faster, bulkier than he is in vanilla, although his lowered Luck and the lack of throne bonuses make him very easy to hit.


The Manakete still hit very hard and accurately (and the one to the left still has a stealable Red Gem, or rather Small Bullion). 1-2 range is their most significant buff, still.


Purge Bishop still be purging infidels. Impressively, Lalum (24 HP | 5 Res) survives a hit, although I believe this can change with a better HM bonus roll for the bishop.


And Bolting Mage still be calling lightning upon us.


Douglas, however, has a new and exciting toy to play with, in addition to his usual Silver Axe. 1-2 range, with a lot of power to boot, makes him a much bigger threat than usual.

He's also a whopping nine levels higher than in Vanilla, while retaining a below-average statline. His Def is admittedly higher than even Wendy's and Treck's, but 13 Spd seems kiiiinda problematic.


We also get a little sneak peek at Roartz and Arcardo - nothing too intimidating, and they only carry Silver weapons while on this map.

(they leave during the opening cutscene, so you can't see them on the map above)


And with that, let's start the chapter with a question. Am I willing to save-scum a 34% hit chance for my very first action?


Why yes, of course I am! Single RN, so this isn't too cheesy, I think.

Funnily enough, the Bishop retains his aggressive AI, so he'll run towards the eastern group for the next couple rounds.


I always send Roy to the right in order to recruit Hugh (who, I assume for the sake of HM bonuses, isn't on the map yet), so that's the second thing I do.


Otherwise, there's not much to do. Move forward, rescue-drop or just rescue some stragglers, keep Lalum out of the Mercenary's range.



So, er, this actually worked for Narcian in an initial attempt.

In my defense, the regular reinforcements spawn a couple turns earlier than in vanilla, which coincided with me going into the two throneroom General's ranges, so I thought that Narcian was just talking about the same ol' reinforcements, just with a different trigger.

Spoiler warning: He wasn't.


Whoops, didn't swap to the correct weapons for either of them. Very nice of Tate to crit and save a use, and of Roy to still hit both of his attacks.


And nice of Cecilia to get a fairly unlikely dodge here.

Because I quietly benched Shin before promoting him (and didn't Boot up Wendy), this one Bolting attack was inevitable - you need 8 move and 3 range to kill this mage on turn 1, which none of my units have. Well, I guess I could've grouped Lalum with the right half of our troops, but you'll see why that wouldn't have been a good option later.


Also inevitable. Luckily, I brought Cecilia to fix this.

I initially had Garrett with the right group instead, but I figured that staff utility and mobility were far more useful than yet another strong, but footlocked combat unit.


There he is! And... I think he might be better than Milady? *fast-forward noises to the start of 16x*


Well, not by a mile, and more susceptible to critical hits, I guess. Still, Zeiss seems to have a drastically different "unit concept" in Ember.


*rewind noises*

Not much to say here.



The right group has to be a bit more active, with a couple enemies just at the edge of their range.


Ultimately, Percival proves that he's actually still very relevant despite his relative nerf in Ember. The Brave Sword allows him to avoid a counter and provides some avoid against the two axe dudes.


Start of the enemy phase, Hugh appears (gasp! Ambush spawn!) with a personal tome that I'm sure his grandma would be very proud of, and with stats that are... decent, I guess? He's a little bit more tanky than Lilina even after her using an Angelic Robe, he shares her mediocre speed, but his Mag is five points lower than hers already.

I suspect that he'll fall into a similar tier of usefulness as Cecilia, at least for my inefficient non-LTC butt. More power (and to a lesser degree, more other numbers, too), but no horse.


Not a whole lot of combat during enemy phase happening, with Wendy being really good once again.


And the Purge bishop almost reached our troops to the right. Two turns of Silence left, so I'm not terribly pressured to kill him right now.

Hugh is that Sage at the bottom of the enemy group. He doesn't charge at us, as I'm pretty sure he does in Vanilla, so in hindsight, Roy could just as well have stayed with the LHS group.


Shortcut: Taken. This has the side effect that Douglas is now closer to this group than to the other, so he's about to change direction this enemy phase.


First kill for our big adorable dragon! An unpromoted enemy is still enough for a full 100 XP at this point, and Fa gets a very Fa level.


Very Larum level on Larum, too. She gave Wendy a boost to get some chip damage vs the Merc, but that's a spinny-spin (and thus a kill) she's doing there.


On the right side, I have to play it defensively, because I didn't bring a Barrier staff, and because that Knight carries a Horseslayer. With a Barrier boost, Clarine might've been able to kill the Knight on player phase and then tank three magic hits (2nd Bishop is the still-silenced Purge Bishop) on enemy phase.


So I have to let all those magic enemies move towards me for another round. Now things should be easier...


Yeah, seems fine.


Some good luck facing the Nos Druid, too, although the odds for Lance to get a kill here were quite good.


And finally, Percival rescues Clarine out of Hugh's range. I actually don't know if he attacks characters in his range - Roy is standing just outside of it, which is close enough to run in and recruit him next turn.


On the left side, Wendy gets in position to clear the way for Shanna, who brought a Door Key and a 5-use Chest key. Astore is needed to rob Narcian blind.


Milady then blocks Douglas a little bit, although looking at the stats, it actually wouldn't have made a huge difference if he had attacked Astore...



And strangely enough, Douglas goes after Wendy instead, anyway - I don't get it, but I don't mind it, either.


Right hand side, Cath also has her path to the treasure cleared. Not the greatest level for Raigh - he hasn't anything capped, so no excuse there, either - but I guess I still can't complain about his prowess.


As I said, Roy is in range to recruit Hugh, too, which means that this side of the map is officially cleared, at least until reinforcements arrive. Since Cath and Shanna are going to need some time to get all the chests, they're going to stall for a little while.


As far as Hugh goes, I actually pay full price, not entirely sure if it's a good call or not. Not that he'll be a terrible character to field, but I'm not exactly starved for units as is.


Ha, nice troll. Of course, Flux is a D rank tome, so unless Niime comes with some "Force Hugh To Embrace Family Tradition" tome, he's not going to be able to use any dark magic.


With Douglas, I'm... 87.654% certain that I've figured out how his AI has been changed in Ember. He still chases after you, and he still isn't nice and pacifist, but he only attacks if he doesn't have to move beforehand. I think.


And I'm not sure if he spares Lalum. He does in vanilla, and it would really make zero sense if he attacked Elphin, but let's not risk it, even though it makes it a bit awkward to pass him in this corridor.


Wendy takes a bunch of punishment on enemy phase - she's really doing a lot of work this map, even though she missed the Merc twice. That's two dead Great Knights right here, and a lot less pressure on the next player phase as a result.


See? Douglas moved, but didn't attack. And the Manakete neither moved nor attacked, which I knew from the first attempt at the map.




And BOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!! 267 damage!


...Hm. I'm really torn between "staff user with 28 Mag is pretty sick" and "holy shit she's frail".


Thea grabs herself an easy kill...


...and so does Hugh, with Roy setting it up for him.


This put Roy, but not Hugh, into Narcian's bodyguards' ranges, so he can do some more chipping for other characters.


Not for Astore, who gets some unlucky RNs here, so Lilina goes for the kill instead of her usual staff training.


More magic! Between seeing a lot of combat to train her Light rank and the Valkyrie's increased XP gain, Clarine has become the highest-leveled character on my team, tieing Perceval and beating Wendy of all people.


And now we wait. Wait for Clarine and Cath to get a move on.


There's two waves of reinforcements coming from the stairs, directly following one another, but since there's basically nothing else going on anymore, they're not really a threat.

They happen to appear right after facing Narcian's throne guards again, but I guess I've just kept the pace from my first attempt.


The only things that are still happening: Clearing the Soldier that Ember added guarding Zeiss, while avoiding Douglas.


And Shanna and Cath collecting all the treasure. They pick up the following:

  • Shanna: Berserk, Knight Crest, Storm Sword, Silver Bow, Rescue
  • Cath: 5000G, Bolting, Brave Lance, Knife, Recover

What's new is the Storm Sword (duh - replaces a Hero Crest), the Knife (also duh - replaces a Restore) and the Recover (which replaces a Mend, which would've been rather underwhelming at this point).


Whoa! First perfect level this playthough, I think? Couldn't have happened to a better dude.


Hugh's Polaris tome has a very, very short animation - just this energy thingie very quickly hitting the enemy.


With Shanna ready to up the final chest, one turn after Cath is done with her part, it's time to recruit Zeiss...


...and send him check out the Secret Shop. No changes from Vanilla, it seems, which means that the only item of interest is the Angelic Robe. it's not like we're starving for promotion items, even if we go and use Zeiss long-term. I went for two Robes, at the moment thinking of Lilina and Lalum as targets, although Lance or Fa might also be opitions.


And with that... Yoink!


And with that, the real added reinforcements show up:



What screwed me over last time were the Great Knights spawning next to Narcian - if you don't expect them to appear because you thought that Narcian's trap had already sprung, it's easy to lose a character to them.


But now, we don't need to give them the opportunity. Yoink again!


Unfortunately, Narcian's Res is too high to set up a kill for Clarine. Maybe she would've dealt damage with a Divine tome, but she didn't have room in her inventory for that.


Instead, Lance goes in to chip Narcian down, getting a very convenient dodge in the process...


...because it allows Fa to go for the kill. Had Narcian hit Lance, the HP drain would've resulted in 44 HP after that fight.

Plan B was to send Percival in for another chipping attempt; Plan C would've involved a goat sacrifice to RNGeesus.


But luckily, plan A went without any trouble. Rawr!


And with some final attacks for some (WE-)XP...


...we're done! Next time, we can tear out our hair over Heavenly Arrows and long-ranged magic! Hurrah!

(I haven't really checked out the gaiden map, so maybe it won't be too bad? I do remember struggling with it in vanilla, though, so I'm a bit worried)

For now, thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/8.81	54  23  19  26* 19  17  18	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/5.42	41  24  23  25* 11  17  10	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Trec		20.00/3.25	46  21  23  19  15  25  11	(+2 Spd)
Percival	*/12.41		50  21  19  21  12  16  13	(base)

Thea		18.18/3.87	41  19  24  22  11  18  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)
Shanna		15.??/3.31	34  11  16  24  16   9  13
Melady		*/3.34		43  21  17  18  13  16   8
Gwendolyn	20.00/10.20	50  27* 19  22* 16  23  19

Lot		20.00/4.95	53  19  22  19   9  20  13	(+2 Skl)
Astolfo		20.00/3.88	43  17  18  24   5  13  14
Cath		*/5.00		27  12  16  18  20   4  11	(base)
Fa		3.00		28  23  23   8  12  22  28	(w/ Divinestone)

Lilina		20.00/4.89	35  28  18  18  26   7  26	(+7 HP)
Raigh		20.00/5.79	44  26  25  22  15  18  19
Clarine		20.00/12.70	43  22  20  28* 22   8  13	(+2 Mag)
Cecilia		*/4.97		36  16  12  16  12   9  15	(base)

Hugh		*/6.99		37  22  19  18  14   9  19	(base)
Zeiss		15.00		44  20  17  16   7  16   4	(base)
Lalum		9.39		24   1   2  22  19   3   6





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  • Chapter 16x - The Glorous Ascension


In which we are merciful, kinda.


The soldier that Bishop Windham talks to in the opening of the chapter has been de-genericified a bit: A recolour of the Ch.15 boss instead of the generic Red Soldier portrait, and even a name!


During the preparation, he stands right in front of the throne, but after Windham's pep talk, he walks almost all the way down to our own starting location.


Thank you, Douglas.


Sorry, sorry, thank you, Sir Douglas. Of course.


The map is precisely two screens plus one tile wide, so I hope you can forgive my laziness of cutting off that "plus one". For gameplay purposes, the left and right edges of the mape really don't do anything, but I'm afraid that I've ruined the map's symmetry.

Although to be fair, Ember did that, too: One Cav+Pala group has been turned into Heavy Cav+GK.

Although to be fair, vanilla wasn't perfectly symmetrical to begin with: Two of the horses in the right group are one tile further up compared to their counterparts.

Anyway, the most obvious addition to the map is a bunch of soldiers, all of which with the Green Soldier portrait. I'm sure they're just some additional XP fodder!


However, a much more drastic change comes from Windham's inventory: Instead of a Divine tome to defend himself and a Berserk staff that covers most of the map, he comes with the Purge tome and no status staff at all. This makes a pretty huge difference - now there's only the Sage below him left, as far as status staves go, who will try to Silence your magic users.


The upper half of the map is still covered with long-range magic - but it's mostly direct damage instead of status effects. The Bishops in the corners, as well as the Mages and the Sage, all come with their respective magic school's siege tome.


Alright, let's get right to it an see what the XP fodder has to say:


Yes there is. Sweet, delicious XP.


*sigh* Wellll, if you insist...


Roach actually turns blue from this convo - his stats look passable, although 9 Spd doesn't really excite anybody. I think I'll pass.


Instead, let's make sure to feed some XP to Fa. I do want to train up Zeiss, too, to no small part because I kinda expect Gale to be recrutable, and kinda suspect that you have to talk to him with both Zeiss and Milady, or something to that effect. And having a stronger Zeiss should make that part a little easier.

Still, this is too nice a set-up to--


--Well, let's try this again.


New RNG string, different luck: Astore does the setting-up for Fa, and Zeiss fails to do his part in a more positive fashion.




Since getting two kills for Fa isn't an option anymore, Lalum dons the Angelic Robe instead - we'll see if that additional +7 HP will come to play at some point.


And Lilina gets the other one. Maybe Fa would've been a better option, but Lilina not dying is a decent prospect, as well. And with +14 HP in total, she's almost as physically bulky as Clarine! ...who, admittedly, has 8 levels over Lilina, but still.


And next, +2 Spd for Treck, which puts him as a reasonable 21. I think the only stat booster left in the convoy is a Talisman, which I might sell and (hopefully, who knows how the devs feel about 15 Mov characters) convert into a pair of boots.


Milady and Tate take the front, staying just out of range of the closest Bolting sage, but in range to do some enemy phase combat. More easy kills!


The Heavenly Arrows seem unchanged, although I technically don't know that yet. Maybe they deal 50 points of damage in Ember? (Spoiler warning: No)


Oh wow, Fae still got a full level from killing an unpromoted Mercenary.


Next step: Securing the next platform. Thea takes out a Knight while dodging his counterattack (which results in her third non-Spd level in a row, which seem a little odd)...


...and Wendy gets danced to take out the Bolting sage on... whatever that piece of architecture is called.


I don't have enough units close enough to fully clear the area, but I think this should be safe.


Yeah, pretty safe indeed.


Even safer than I could've been sure of, but as it turns out, the siege tome users are stationary. The southernmost tiles of their ranges are one tile above Wendy, and then three tiles to the left and right from that.


Right hand side group does a little cleaning...


...including a Sniper on the next level of the tower.


Seriously, how lopsided are your growths?


I only have Wendy as a bow user with me (well, and Douglas, but I didn't bring a bow to give to him), but Roy gets some through-the-wall action in, as well.


Eh, that's OK, with your Spd capped and all.


To the right, the rest of the Cav squad starts moving at this point - probably another "move when you're in two-turn range" group. Ember tries to go for a more DSFE kind of feel, I believe, but it doesn't really do the "linked enemy groups" that you find there.




Huh, two arrows, clearly visible on screen. (in my defence, they are very quick)

Right to the left and the right of the throne, which means that they hit four of Roach's soldiers and nothing else. Good thing they have a pretty substantial HP pool.


Look at that, Douglas sees combat! I believe this is his only fight on this map, and there's a good chance that he won't get any other chances down the line.

It's probably not the smartest thing to keep Zeiss unpromoted despite his capped Str. Not like he's going to get the most amazingest level-ups like this, but he does gain XP fairly quickly.


The group as a whole pushes forward a bit, mostly getting rid of their side's Cav enemy squad.


"...and can you believe he just walked away after I reminded him of his obligations? The nerve on that guy! You'd almost believe he's never heard of knightly etiquette in his life! Well, maybe he hasn't, my brother says that I shouldn't be too hard on the lesser people. He also says I shouldn't call him "lesser people", but the man doesn't have a drop of noble blood in his veins, does he? You can easily tell by just looking at him, although I have to admit that he has a certain rugged charm, even though he just doesn't have the same serene elegance of an Etrurian nobleman such as my brother. Of course, I only bring him up because we both know him, don't read anything into this. But my brother is really handsome, is he not? You must have noticed. You know, I've seen him talk to this Ilian girl, Tee, or Tutee, or something, can you believe it? I was just thinking that he might like blue hair, so maybe if you'd get a cuter hairdo (I might be able to help you with that) you would have a chance? I just feel like you're both settling a little bit, Klain with that Thea, right, that was her name, and you with-with-with... that Floyd boy. I can tell Klain that you think he's really handsome if you want. I wouldn't be lying, he is really handsome after all, and I know you're not Etrurian yourself so the grandeur of our courts can be a little intimidating to a country girl, but don't worry, I'll make sure that you don't, oh, talk to the wrong people. When you marry Klain, the noble girls will be soooo jealous of you and they will try to make you look silly. But don't worry, I'll help you, you'll be my little sister after all. Wait, how old are you? But I am more knowledgable about courtly manners, of course, not your fault, of course, Lycians just don't quite seem to understand the intricacies, but you'll have the best teacher. And the best husband. Oh, and I'll have to introduce you to my parents! You'll love them, they're very understanding. Did you know that my father was the Mage General before he retired? He is such an amazing mage, I won't say a single rude word about General Cecilia, but did I ever tell you how my father beat thirty of Bern's Wyven Riders all by himself?"


"And the only reason he needed that rubble's help was because he was worried that he didn't bring enough Fire tomes to-- Oh, is that a thunderstorm? Maybe we should seek shelter."


I'll file this under "free staff XP for Lilina". Most effective Heavenly Arrow of the day, right here, hitting four of my characters plus one enemy.


Next player phase, Astore fails to crit, but does dodge the counterattack, saving me a Physic use.



And no crit means that he set up a kill for Fae, so who am I to complain?


Left side cleans up a little, before I decide that walking is sooooo boring.


So instead of charging forward, Roy backtracks towards the center of the map, waiting for somebody to give him a lift.


Which'll have to wait till next turn, but there's hardly anything happening during the enemy phase: One unfortunate kill for Astore - this Cav carries an Elixir which I was hoping to steal. Oh well.


But there is Roy's lift: A neat little  warp right to the throne.


This isn't nearly as dangerous as it may seen - the unpromoted Bolting mages aren't much of a threat to Roy even though I once again forgot to bring the Barrier staff, the boss doesn't have a non-siege tome, and the Generals don't quite reach the spot directly below the throne.


And whoops, the Brave Lance I brought is on Lance, not Roy. Hope for a crit?


Nope! Well, I think this is still pretty safe, so...




Waaaait a second, I didn't expect this! I failed to capture it, but those two last pictures were the Bishops from the top corners joining the action, which at least for the (failed) Purge attempt required the Bishop to move down a few tiles. Guess not all long-range magic users are frozen in place, after all.


Still, Roy actually didn't get hit by a single spell, so... try again?


There we go! Nice!


Huh..? And the chapter immediately ends after Windham went down. Maybe I just missed something incredibly obvious, but I don't think the game signaled the change in objectives. Good information for the LTC run that I'm never going to do.



Little addendum: Two more supports, with Lance/Clarine being maxed out. Shippers rejoice! I've been keeping Milady and Zeiss adjacent for a couple turns, too, so hopefully we'll improve Milady a little that way.


And because we managed to not kill any of the Soldier enemies, Roach improves our inventory - in addition to the Runesword, he also gives us a Spear, a Tomahawk, and an Elixir.


And we also get... something? I'll check out if Douglas gained some cool ability next turn, because this sounds like he'll get PoR!Tanith's Reinforcements skill. May or may not be interesting - I've never been a fan of Tanith's green-unit reinforcements, even though I know that they can be quite strong, but I'd be down if we'd get disposable and controllable units akin to SacSto's summons.


But I'll do that in the next update and end this one with a quick look at the Aureola tome: Three points weaker than Forblaze, which is still pretty darn powerful, and with slightly higher accuracy (+5) and the crit rate of a Killer weapon. Very good weapon, once Clarine gets the necessary weapon rank.

And that's it for today's update - thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/10.10	55  25  20  26* 20  17  18	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/5.49	41  24  23  25* 11  17  10	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Treck		20.00/3.53	46  21  23  21  15  25  11	(+4 Spd)
Thea		18.18/4.50	42  20  25  22  11  18  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)

Melady		*/3.48		43  21  17  18  13  16   8
Zeiss		16.74		45  20* 17  16   7  17   4
Gwendolyn	20.00/10.84	50  27* 19  22* 16  23  19
Astolfo		20.00/4.73	44  17  18  24   6  13  15

Lilina		20.00/5.60	42  29  18  18  26   7  27	(+14 HP)
Clarine		20.00/13.31	44  22  20  28* 23   8  13	(+2 Mag)
Fae		6.00		31  24  25  10  14  24  30	(w/ Dragonstone)
Larum		9.99		31   1   2  22  19   3   6	(+7 HP)

Douglas		*/17.04		46  21  16  13  11  26  12	(base)

Oh wait - one note: I didn't forget to add Roach here, he's simply not in the deployment list for the next chapter. I assume that he'll be part of Douglas's Reinforcement ability, which would pose the question if he can perma-die as such or if he bought one of Merlinus's immortality potions.


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  • Chapter 17 - Ocean's Parting


In which gimmicks are ignored.


Ilia, here we come! I like using Shin in vanilla BinBla, so I think this was the most one-sided competition for XP between the Nomads and the Pegasus Knights that I've ever had.


So let's talk about the first gimmick that I won't interact with.


To summon Roach, Roy has to talk to Douglas, instead of Douglas using his own action. I suspect that this is borne more from mechanics ("talk" is already a thing, "reinforce" would be a new item in the menu) and less from a balance perspective, but it makes the ability a tiny bit less powerful - Roy is more likely to help with a rescue/drop on turn 1 than Douglas with his lower Mov and lack of Canto.


But more importantly, the summoned Soldiers turn out to be a) pretty flimsy and b) green and not blue, so... honestly, not impressed. I'm sure there's some specific situtations where they can be useful, but I don't think it's worth fielding Douglas and then potentially deal with the Soldiers blocking your movement.



I know that the vibe is most likely supposed to be "Bernian soldiers are all very self-reliant", but I honestly find that "Bern is rather willing to throw soldiers under the bus" is a very legit way to read this scene, too. The generic enemies are even labeled as "Bern" rather than "Etruria", so Murdock is even leaving his own soldiers to die just to punish the Etrurian traitors for their incompetence.


I agree, let's start the chapter.


The map is mostly unchanged from vanilla - higher levels and a couple promotions, as usual, and a few slightly changed professions (the Generals at the bottom used to be Cavaliers, and the Valkyrie to the right was a Bishop in a previous life). Maybe most noteably, Ember removes one enemy, which is rare: the left ballista is normally guarded by a Fighter, which makes it a little bit more dangerous to clear it with a flyer.


The sandbar gimmick seems to be unchanged, still appearing (slight spoiler, I guess) on turn 6, I believe. And like in vanilla, there honestly isn't much point in interacting with it, since the initially available path to the throne isn't particularly dangerous or arduous to take.


But this is new! And old! Old Lowen! His dialogue sounds like he joins on both routes, but I won't rule out that there's some other BlaBla retainer that might join on the Sacae path. Harken and Isadora wouldn't be too old to be still in Eliwood's service, I'd say.


Lowen is definitely one of the best prepromotes we've gotten lately, overall in a similar tier as Percival, I'd say. He loses the direct comparison to Treck, who is even bulkier (25 Def | 11 Res) and a little bit better offensively even if we subtract the two Speedwings from his stats. But Lowen still combines good combat and good mobility, making him a great pick for maps with a lot of deployment slots.


But let's go back to the map: All three promoted Cav enemies have an Elixir to steal, so that's why you can see Astore deployed on the map. Hopefully, he'll have an opportunity to bolster our war chest this time.


Arcardo's inventory got a significant upgrade from the single Silver weapon (I do not remember of what type) he carried in ch.16. However, he starts with a 1-range weapon, making him very cheesable. He's also rather slow, barely escaping to be doubled even by Lilina.


There's only a single status staff user on the map - this bishop with a Sleep staff. Thankfully, he doesn't cover the ballistae, so those are easily taken care of by a flyer with out newly aquired Delphi Shield.


So, off we go. And already I'm more successful at stealing shit than I was on the previous map!


"Flyer with Delphi Shield" turns out to be Thea, who takes the opportunity to grind her Sword rank a little, which I've been neglecting a bit. Still hoping for her to get to Wyrmslayer rank in time.


Our frontline tank shall be Clarine, which may or may not be dangerous. She's in range of the second General and the ballista, but nothing else, but I do not remember how much damage the ballista can do. But even if she gets two-shot, Clarine is evasive enough that I don't think this is a bad play to go for this on turn 1.

Message from the future: The Archer has 23 Atk with the ballsita, so he deals 15 Dmg to Clarine. Just for future reference.


As I said, I intent to ignore the map's gimmick in its entirety, but I still need to send a small force to make sure that Astore doesn't die. First, Lowen sets up a kill for Zeiss, who gets a positively amazing level out of it...


...and so does Lot. Oh, and Milady is here too, I guess, for support points with Zeiss if nothing else.


Uuuuunfortunately, I have a little brainfart here and send Merlinus (who is supposed to sell some stuff at the Armoury) too far forward...


...and he gets temporarily murdered by the Paladin. Restart!


(oh, and Clarine does die to the General plus the ballista. 29% never hits, though, right?)


Well, let's see if I can can reproduce the same level-up for Zeiss...


I can't! Awesome!


I end up getting a kill with Melady instead of sending Lot upwards - as a result the poor guy won't see any combat this map.


And most certainly not during this attempt, because it still does not reach turn 2. Ouch!


Well, this time I do reproduce Zeiss's level-up. Still awesome!


And after that, I do some very advanced strategies to make sure that I don't reproduce the RN string following this, but otherwise keep doing everything just the same.

(Lot useful!!)


Turns out 29% does actually never hit!


Unlike the 2nd attempt, the Paladin isn't very unlucky in his fight against Astore. He still dies horribly, but at least he did some damage, enough that the Mage Knight decides to pile in on that. Only crit is done by Astore, though.


OK, how does his work, again...? I think the AI does register that it'll do far less damage to Thea than to Clarine, but Archers still have a big, unconditional bonus to their willingness to target flying classes. Right?


Not gonna go all Scientist about it, though.


The small detachment to the north finishes their immediate work, with Zeiss getting revenge for his alternative universe self. Lowen and Astore go south, setting up a little give/drop chain for next turn.


Neither of the Cav groups to the right started moving, which means that we only have to kill two enemies to be at absolutely zero danger.



So let's do just that.


And after a little bit of rescue/dropping, Treck goes into range of the Sniper and the Valkyrie.


Which turns out to not do anything for me, but hey, an attempt was made.


Zeiss grabs Tina's Staff - no changes seem to be made, but because all magic users seem to at least get D staves upon promotion, I don't think it's particularly valuable at this point. Milady then grabs Zeiss and goes straight east, so they'll catch up with the rest soon enough.


Aw yeah, look at these excellent strats. Even remembered that Astore doesn't have the inventory space for all three Elixirs!

Nice starting inventory that Lowen comes with, too - a Silver and a Brave, not bad at all.


More magic on Clarine, nice! The Cavs still didn't move, so there's no risk involved here...


...but Treck does kinda need to hit both thos 89's here. Of course, I could just not do this...


...but when has Treck ever disappointed me?


Not today, that's for sure! (That's his Skl cap, btw)




At this point, I'm contemplating if Thea can safely snipe that Sage, without drawing any Cav with 2-range weaponry. The answer is yes, there is a tile that would qualify...


...but also no. Not interested in having her be put to sleep outside of anybody's Restore range.

Also, because Lilina is the only one carrying a Restore staff, it's good that she's out of the Sleep staff's range. Otherwise, Thea could've taken it during the enemy phase, just to be safe - although I doubt that the Bishop would have any chance to get through Lilina's amazing Res to begin with.


Treck does a litte bit of chip damage on enemy phase (and he would've barely survived these two attacks plus that Fimbulvetr from last player phase)...


...Astore gets the second Elixir...


...and we start a-killin'. Turns out that Roy's horse can walk on water, which is kinda impressive.

(well, Nomads, or at least Nomad Troopers can do that, too, if I recall)

(S lances! Probably won't use it, but still neat!)


Speed! Now Lilina doubles Arcardo!

And seeing how early she capped her Mag, she really should've been promoted earlier, like Lv.15 if not even sooner, to work on that staff rank. 30 Mag Warps.....


And Clarine gets to S Light! Glorious Ascension, here we come!


Huh, no Spd again. I wonder if she's just been unlucky or if Thea's Spd growth is actually lower than I expected it to be.


Wyverns: Caught up.


Lowen: Not so much.


Clarine: Stops talking once again, this time for another reason.


Again, no linked enemy groups, which gives an easy opportunity to get another kill for Zeiss. No Spd this time, but still a pretty good level considering that his stat with the (presumably) highest growth is capped.


That one Cav moving indicates that the group is working with 2-turn AI and will start moving now, so I decide to not go into the Generals' ranges yet. The Bishop didn't move to cast his spell on Clarine, so it's probably safe to assume that he doesn't move at all.


Meanwhile, Merlinus reaches the Armoury, probably a turn later than he could've had. It has a pretty good selection, including Killer and Reaver weapons. But I'm pretty good on the former and don't think I really need the latter, so Merlinus just gets rid of some vendor trash for the rest of the chapter.


"Also, the enemy has already taken the long way around, so I'm not sure why I'm telling you this!"


And because I already drew the remaining group of Cavs, the gimmick has officially been ignored 100%. (the enemies start charging at you once the sandbank appears, as far as I remember)


And because most of my characters are nearby, said remaining group of Cavs isn't much of a problem.


So instead of finishing the remaining Cav, Clarine goes and one-round the first General. On the fort, she really shouldn't be in any peril.


And don't worry, Larum isn't in any peril, either.


The remaining Cav goes for Zeiss...


...and Raigh eats a pretty heavy blow from the remaining General.


Oh no! Not Lot, who totally would've joined up with his friends in... I dunno, three turns?


Aight, this looks like a good point to promote - only one "wasted" XP, two capped stats. Since the Elysian Whip is on Merlinus, we'll have to wait for the next map, though.


There's no particular need to expose myself to a 4% crit at this point of the fight, so Wendy goes and takes the kill, even though she's really not an XP target at this point, with her capped Str and Spd.




For the boss kill, Lance goes ahead and chips...


...and Raigh gets the kill. Finally a good level-up for him again!


And that's a wrap! Not the most memorable map, although that's true for vanilla, as well, I guess.


At least the story picks up some pace here. I see Roy is not a Crusader Kings player, if he's shocked by a little bit of kinslaying. It's not like Zephiel made a habit out of it.

(And gee, wouldn't that be a piece of information that a foreign ruler would pass on to his children, if he knew of it? Speaking hypothetically, of course, since how would, say, Eliwood or Hector know about this?)

But I shouldn't rant about how BlaBla ignores this game's story, that's been done ad nauseum already. For now, we should enjoy the last bit of warmth before we go into Ilia proper. Thank god that BinBla didn't have weather effects!

Thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/10.37	55  25  20  26* 20  17  18	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/5.87	41  24  23  25* 11  17  10	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Treck		20.00/4.83	47  22  24* 21  16  26  12	(+4 Spd)
Thea		18.18/5.12	42  21  16  22  11  18  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)

Melady		*/3.91		43  21  17  17  13  16   8
Zeiss		19.01		48  20* 20* 17   7  18   5
Gwendolyn	20.00/10.93	50  27* 19  22* 16  23  19
Astolfo		20.00/5.63	45  17  18  25   6  13  15

Lot		20.00/4.95	53  19  22  19   9  20  13	(+2 Skl)
Lilina		20.00/6.49	42  30* 19  19  26   7  27	(+14 HP)
Clarine		20.00/14.49	44  23  21  28* 23   8  14	(+2 Mag)
Raigh		20.00/7.02	46  27  26  22  16  18  19

Larum		10.69		32   1   3  23  20   3   6	(+7 HP)
Merlinus	1.03		25   0   4   5  10   6   0	(base)
Lowen		*/7.07		48  20  19  16  15  21   9	(base)


Technically a double post, whoops :]

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  • Chapter 18 - The Frozen River


In which we expose the chapter's title as nondescriptive.


And we finally get to see Best Girl! Soon our miserable existence as an army that does not have Niime in its ranks will be over.


Functionally, this map is BinBla's second desert chapter, just with some paths through the tree-shaped sand dunes. Well, and magic users don't enjoy the cold climate as much, but this is still one of the big "why flyers are busted" exhibitions of this game.

The map looks identical to the original version, with one big difference in enemy placement: While there's still two ballistae on the map, the eastern one is manned by a Druid and as such not a factor for the fight unless you're bringing a Sniper yourself. Otherwise, it looks pretty much the same with some very minor class changes, like two Shamans near the boss being turned into Anima Mages.


Speaking of Martel - I don't think he carries a Silence staff in vanilla? His Purge and Divine tomes are unchanged though, and his stats got the "the same but better" treatment as usual. With 26 Mag, his staff range is pretty nuts.


To the east, the single Priest also carries a Silence staff, but those two are the only status staves on the field.


I believe one of the Priests to the north carries Berserk in vanilla, but now they both just have some healing staves (a Physic and this Mend)... and one droppable Speedwing.

This does make this map considerably less scary, since Silence isn't nearly the run killer that Berserk (and even just Sleep) can be if you're not careful.


Well then, let's see if our flyers can back my words up. But first: Treck does the honour of opening this fight with a clean one-round.


And an almost clean level-up sheet. Oh well, his previous two levels were both obscenely good.


Zeiss's promotion gains, on the other hand... This makes him our flyer with the best combat, most of the time - the only exception would be enemies that Tate, but not Zeiss, can double.


And for those, he brought a Brave Lance, which I'm using a little more liberally this chapter than I have been with my big guns thus far.


Everybody just slooooowly moves forward, with minimal rescue/dropping, and what I did do in that regard, I did poorly.


Specifically, I didn't remember that Wendy is too fat for Milady to carry, so Thea has to face this Merc while being weighed down to the point of being doubled.


Zeiss does better, though, killing the Merc and wounding the Hero...


...although that's temporary.


Meanwhile, the Pegasi to the north and the Wyverns start the map aggressive, while the remaining group of Pegasi stays put for now.


First up on turn 2: Rawr! ...with a rather weak level-up, unfortunately.


Treck cleans up the Hero that Zeiss didn't quite manage to kill...


...and I get ready to engage the approaching group of pegasi. Milady good?! (well, she'd need a bunch of additional good level-ups)


(Zeiss still better)

Zeiss removes the Falcoknight from that group, to make sure that nobody dies on enemy phase. Well, "sure" - four enemies that are all relatively free to attack whoever they want is kinda risky still. But it's early in the chapter, so I'm fine taking that risk.


What's better is three enemies that are all forced to attack a single Druid. The Wyvern Lord even carries a Brave Lance to make this look like an even worse idea, but Nosferatu is a pretty good spell.


As it turns out, the formation on the north *was* safe, if only by sheer luck. I think what happened is that the first Pegasus attacked Milady from the north, and because she didn't double, that blocked the furthest Pegasus to pile onto her - she was too far away to attack from any other tile.

Er, what I meant to say was "Calculated!"


Raigh has an easier time, especially with the Wyvern Lord not even using the Brave Lance for some reason.


And with this, all three of his opponents are dead.


And that's the final Wyvern down, as well.


And that's Lot desperately demostrating that he's still relevant, dammit!


To the north, the clean-up duty is taken by Fae...


...and Treck. WEXP > WTA, especially for weapon types that Trec will probably never really make use of.


Zeiss takes point again - this little group of enemies is covered by neither the boss's Purge nor the Shamans to the south, so this is a perfectly safe play.


Milady and Shanna also leave the main group, but in their case, it's just to scrounge a nice hot cup of tea in those villages.


Thea also craves a cuppa, but she never learned to ask nicely, so she just stabs this priest and steals his beverage. And his Speedwings.


Well, that's the worst 4-stat level that one can get, but Zeiss admittedly doesn't mind a little more crit avoid. And he didn't need any more Str to one-round that Hero, because he's already pretty good.


Oh, and technically, he was in range of one of those Shamans, although he goes for Larum instead. But for some reason, my brain didn't think that this Eclipse Shaman was particularly important, even though he provided Larum with three nice experience points.



Mmm, delicious tea... And two of the less important stat boosters. I think Zeiss will get the Goddess Icon, because he does face more crit than is healthy in the longterm. Not sure about the Secret Book - I can't think of anyone with terrible hit issues, but with the changed crit formula [(Skl-10)%], it's still not useless.


Since I learned that Roy's horse can swim, I just have to make use of that. Roy with his high Res has little problem facing two magic enemies, and he can do so without pulling the last group of Pegasi, who seem to only move when you're directly in their attacking range.


I haven't been showing it, but Lilina is on Physic duty this map. Since Clarine can't keep up with the flyers because of the terrain, this even falls under "actually useful" and not just WEXP grinding.


And speaking of "actually useful": Fae sees her first enemy phase combat! She still got a full level from that unpromoted Mage, which is a bit surprising to me.


Ha, nice try!


Ha, nice try!!


At this point (turn 5), Brigand reinforcements start appearing from the north and the east. The latter spawns relatively close to that village, but I think that's still four turns to actually reach that village through the forest? No real danger, in any case, since I'm pretty much ready to face those pegasi.


Well, Roy doesn't, though, that coward. (He also doesn't have the Mov to go any further)


Ah, there we go. Only 96 XP for burninating that peasant. Fa is officially a big girl now.


Zeiss and Tate go where Roy didn't dare go, although I suspect that I'm needlessly careful with their positioning.


And this trio just accepts that they're not going to catch up to any action at this point.


Great success!


Meanwhile, I gather the rather useful information that Fa (unlike enemy manaketes) does not take effective damage from Fimbulvetr. Whoops.


Hey look, Shanna is still useful!


Ugh, that level again? That said, with her Mag capped, we probably have to accept that this is probably going to be better than most level-ups that Lilina is going to get from this point on.


Almost perfect! Precisely enough Atk to one-round and a practically perfect level-up, but an unnecessary crit that didn't save a Dragonstone use.


Everything else is pretty much a wrap, too, so I'll just show the results of the eventual clean-up:


One bad level...


...Wyrmslayer access for Tate...


...and some free money.


Lilina tangos with the Brigands to the north for no particular towards the end of the fight - if she had a Light tome in her inventory, I could've cited WEXP as a reason, but...

(Really close to A Staves, though!)


Oh, and speaking of weapon ranks - Zeiss reached S Lances during this map, too. Quite different from his vanilla self, which mostly relies on Killer Lances for the entire game. I also just now realise that unlike Milady and all the enemy wyvern lords, he uses Axes as his secondary weapon type, which generally gives him an edge in air-to-air combat. Well, less so considering Ember's love for reaver weapons, but still.


And there we go! Niime accidentally (?) freezing the rivers normally happens on turn 7, at least on vanilla, but Fa was a little too quick to kill the boss to let that cutscene play. So I guess that's another map gimmick ignored? I don't think we'll be able to keep up the streak though, since "Fog of War + Ballistae" is a bit more intrusive than the changing terrain on this and on the previous map.


Most definitely, yes!

Although I probably shouldn't expect Niime to be as unique in her abilities as she is in vanilla, where she immediately joins as your best staff user by far, unless your Saul or Elen has been ludicrously RNG blessed.


*sneak peek*

Well, OK, she still joins as our best staff user. However, Clarine (23 Mag) isn't too much worse and once Lilina gets that A rank, she'll effectively be tied with Apocalypse!Niime, which isn't even a thing yet (*). But speaking of Apocalypse: Niime starting with S Dark is quite convenient and makes sure that there won't be any better staff users than her for the rest of the game.


(*) Science mode on: That's a range of 16 tiles on Clarine's Physic spell, which means that her [(23 Mag / 2) + 5] is rounded down, which means that Apocalypse!Niime's 31 Mag is pracically identical to Lilina's 30, as far as staff-botting goes. I guess if Niime rolls a Mag proc on her one possible level-up, her long-range staves will outrange Lilina by one tile.

Science mode off: Thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/10.87	55  25  20  26* 20  17  18	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/5.87	41  24  23  25* 11  17  10	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Trec		20.00/5.46	48  22  24* 21  16  26  12	(+4 Spd)
Lowen		*/7.15		48  20  19  16  15  21   9	(base)

Thea		18.18/5.81	42  21  16  22  11  18  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)
Melady		*/4.63		44  22  18  19  13  16   8
Zeiss		19.01/4.38	55  24  23  20   8  21   7
Shanna		15.--/3.51	34  11  16  24  16   9  13

Gwendolyn	20.00/10.96	50  27* 19  22* 16  23  19
Lot		20.00/5.12	53  20  23  20   9  21  13	(+2 Skl)

Lilina		20.00/7.34	43  30* 20  19  27   7  28	(+14 HP)
Clarine		20.00/14.65	44  23  21  28* 23   8  14	(+2 Mag)
Raigh		20.00/7.61	46  27  26  22  16  18  19

Fae		11.99		38  27  27  13  19  26  32	(w/ Dragonstone)
Larum		11.58		32   1   3  24  20   3   6	(+7 HP)



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  • Chapter 19 - Bitter Cold


In which we find unexpected treasure.


And we fight a sympathetic villain, I think? I never liked Siguen too much as an antagonist - she aligns herself with what she perceives as the stronger side in a conflict between two evils, which is a good set-up to introduce a non-evil opponent, but she does so with a Oughties-teenager People-Are-Shit attitude that is difficult for me to take seriously. And of course, she isn't really built up in a meaningful way.

(Hm, I guess we still Live In A Society, so I probably didn't need to specify Oughties)


Meanwhile, Niime starts her new gig as Ms. Exposition.


And Roy shows that he is the best at keeping secrets.


Anyway, gameplay! With a special thanks to Cath, who helps revealing a little more of this initial look at the map.

I'll start with the most odd change: That Archer right above the village has apparently been moved from the ballista in the top left corner of the map, leaving it unmanned and, as a result, completely useless. I'm not sure what promted that change, since that ballista really isn't the biggest problem that the map throws at you in vanilla.


Otherwise, the map seems to be largely the same in nature. The two Druids still carry a Sleep and a Silence staff...


...and there's still a couple stealable goodies from the promoted enemies.


So let's jump in! Astore reveals the closest ballista from the east-most deployment spot, so Thea can get an immediate kill here.


Afterwards, Astore goes north and uses a Torch, revealing the Pegasi...


...and not quite stepping too far after Zeiss blocks the closest Pegasus Knight from attacking him.


Everybody else stays back for now, to make sure that Zeiss fights the entire Pegasus squad on his own.


Meanwhile, Merlinus checks out the shop, which has upgraded its tome selection (it sells Thunder/Lightning/Flux in vanilla), but I'm obviously the most interested in the Physic staves.


For starters, Merlinus sells some more stuff, though, since he only had... I think it was two turns to do so back in chapter 17.



Yeah, Zeiss is pretty good. I screwed up a little by letting him switch to an Iron Lance after breaking his Hand Axe, but he still put in a lot of work.


By killing the Archer, Thea also drew the Cav squad towards her and away from the main group, although this (unsuccessful) attempt was the only combat she sees on enemy phase.


First impression of Niime: Can't even dodge a Sleep staff, smh my head.


Again an almost perfect level from Fa!



Because the Cav squad was drawn away from the main group, not a whole lot lot to do this turn. First status staff is taken out, and Thea finally procced Spd, so that's nice. She hit her Skl cap, which puts her at a pretty decent 17% base crit, or 47% with a Killer weapon.


On enemy phase, a couple more enemies get in range - most immediately the group of Pegasi from the top right part of the map (not revealed by Astore and Cath earlier).


The AI accidentally did a smart thing and moved them into impassable terrain, but not smart enough to keep them out of bow range.

(this Falcoknight also had an Elixir, but let's not get greedy)


And with that, our own three flyers can easily clean up the group.


...well, I think I don't need to sell much more at the moment, anyway. Merlinus sells a couple extra Elixir and then drops about 15k gold (with the Silver Card, of course) on the shop. I didn't write down the exact shopping list, but I believe I got one of each tome, an extra Restore staff, and a couple Physics.


Ow! 15 range is bullshit!
Although, to my credit, I actually counted tiles here and made sure that the unprotected Wyverns wouldn't be in the Long Ballista's range. Nicely done, me.


And nicely done, Astore.




A lot of cleaning up on this player phase, but not a lot to say about that part - I got a bunch of very strong units, the end.


And that's even true with Milady and Zeiss out of the picture for a moment. Instead of fighting, Zeiss grabs the Torch from Astore so that Thea can use it instead...


...and she puts that to use to set up a potential kill next turn.


Oh look, a Boy Must Protect Girl support. How 'original', you 'rarely' see that type of conversation in Fire Emblem.

(Zeiss/Milady [C]. Full Avoid, Crit and, good for Zeiss, Crit Evade - not too bad)


At least Wendy is a strong General who don't need no support partners. (She and Lilina actually have had their C support available for a long time at this point, but I think I would prefer to get Lilina and Astore's B support instead)


...OK, why did you think this was a good idea? Pretty sure you had Roy in range, too. You didn't even hit, so I couldn't hear FE6's awesome *tink* sound effect.


Ow again!


...the enemies really don't like hearing Clarine talk, do they?


Astore moves ahead first and reveals not a whole lot of enemies. But of course, they're covered by the final ballista near the bottom right corner of the map.


Thea goes for a slightly odd play and attacks the Archer from range - that way, she can't be attacked from melee herself, and there might be more enemies around than she would be able to handle if she opened herself to those.


30 Mag, pretty good. Lilina's instant B rank in staves from promoting really makes her a lot better than I thought she would be when she was but a really frail mage.



...well this is a little disappointing. Both Roy's level and Treck's lack of movement. Not a lot to do here, with Zeiss and Milady still zoned out and everybody else struggling with the terrain.


Milady at least has something productive to do and grabs the Aircalibur village.


Roy doing work!


Treck doing work!


...and on the other side of the spectrum, Astore unable to do anything about this. But with Tate removing the upper Long Ballista, we at least don't have to worry about all three ballisticians ganging up on anybody.


Speaking of Thea: Yup, the 2-range was the correct call.




Well, time to push forward.

(that is a great animation frame I caught there)


We again have enough characters nearby to cut through most nearby enemies...



...with Treck and Roy taking point, keeping 1-2 range equipped for the enemy phase.


Just one small problem (and it's not that this Pegasus doesn't get countered):


Enemies still hit hard and when he isn't dodging, Roy's takes a lot of damage.


Luckily, some enemies are a little stupid (Roy was definitely in range here)...


...and Roy finally dodges one attack after getting hit by the previous three. OOF. Lemme check the true hit tables for a second...
Huh, chance of death was actually just 1.36%. Still very scary, of course, but I guess it could've been worse (for example if that ballistitian would've targeted Roy, as well).


With that out of the way: Back to cleaning house!


Aw yiss, perf-- no wait, Fa has more than 100% HP growth. ALMOST perfect!


Thea, who returned back to the pack after her mission in the north, continues her journey from one ballista to the next.


And with that, we're pretty much done with the regular enemies. Happy Music started playing during this enemy phase...


...and this is the last remaining enemy on the field.


Hmmm, not sure who to use this on, actually. A lot of the characters that I'm using are close to capping Str (with Wendy and Lilina already there). Lot might be an option, but I'm only fielding him about half of the time, but scrolling through my units as I'm typing this, I think that Treck might be a genuinely good option. I'd estimate that his Str cap is 28, which means he's 6 points away from it - that should be enough to make the stat boost worth it. Alternatively, Niime wouldn't mind the additional Mag, either.


Afterwards, Thea cantoes north and with her still extended vision reveals Sigune. Come to think of it, Thea already confirmed that Sigune doesn't move, or she would've done so when Thea was killing that ballista user to the north.


Anyway, here's some unexpected treasure! TWO Delphi Shields? Don't mind if I do!


For now, Treck officially clears the map from any portrait-less units and gets a great level as a reward...


...but the next turn, Astore is in range to grab the Delphi Shield from Sigune.


Because I don't remember if Sigune has any convos with Thea or Shanna, I plan to set up the bosskill for Thea...

(so edgy!)


...but since I wasn't curious enough to have Lance attack her from outside of Roy's support range, that mystery shall remain unsolved.



That's the Str cap for Lance! How awful! That means that the Energy Ring he consumed ages ago was totally wasted!

(/s, just to be clear)


And finally, Lilina officially becomes the best warp user in the game. Sorry 'bout that, Niime.


But that's that! Less clean than the previous map(s), but that's what Fog of War does to a Fire Emblem player. At least the risk of dying wasn't too big...


I mean, as far as arbitrary reasons to delay the plot dump go, I guess this isn't the worst. You still are the worst, though, Merlinus.

But you, if you're still reading this, you're the best. In that case: Thank you!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/11.50	55  25  21  26* 20  17  18	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Lance		20.00/6.87	42  25* 23  25* 12  17  11	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)
Trec		20.00/6.12	49  22  24* 22  17  27  12	(+4 Spd)
Thea		18.18/6.64	43  22  27* 23  11  18  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)

Melady		*/4.83		44  22  18  19  13  16   8
Zeiss		19.01/5.66	56  25  24  20   8  22   7
Gwendolyn	20.00/11.56	56  27* 19  22* 16  23  20
Fae		16.99		45  31  29  15  24  28  36	(w/Divinestone)

Astolfo		20.00/6.90	46  17  18  26   6  13  15
Lilina		20.00/8.15	43  30* 21  19  28   7  29	(+14 HP)
Clarine		20.00/14.90	44  23  21  28* 23   8  14	(+2 Mag)

Larum		12.48		32   1   3  25  21   3   7	(+7 HP)
Merlinus	1.03		25   0   4   5  10   6   0	(base)
Niime		*/19.37		30  26  24  20  15   5  20	(base)



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  • Chapter 20 - Ilia's Salvation


In which Zeiss keeps carrying.


Oh no! Not Anime cough, the most deadly of diseases!


Firmly on the bench, sorry.


Well... there's a few more changes to the enemy unit comp than usual, although the general map layout, as usual, didn't change too much.


The big addition is the group of Pegasi, two of them promoted, in the bottom right corner of the map. There's a handful of other enemies added in (like the two Archers in the same general area), but those flyers are the big one.


The Falcoknights both carry a Silver and a Brave (the other one has them mirrored), making them pretty hard-hitting, too.


Roartz turns out to be quite strong, but very slow, to the point where everybody on the team can easily double him. He can deal a lot of damage in melee combat if you allow him to use one of Brave selection, but you can just not do that, of course.


In a neat little change, you now don't need to spend a Warp use to steal a promotion item - this is the sniper in the bottom right area of the map.


In terms of status staves, two of the Druids carry Sleep spells, which is minus one Berserk caster compared to vanilla.


Overall, this is not an easy map, simply because there's a lot of big groups of enemies, more than a unit with average bulk can deal with.


One solution: Nos-tanking, although Raigh saves two uses here by using the Flux tome on player phase.

He caps out Mag and Skl with this excellent level, so that means that we probably won't see too good level-ups out of him anymore.


The second immediate action is to remove the first ballista from the picture, which Thea can do with a Dance.


Lot (who actually has a reason to be here) kills another enemy if just to save another two Nos uses, before Treck sorts out Raigh's inventory and uses the Energy Ring from last chapter while he can.


And Zeiss, with a fresh Brave Lance equipped, gets the Goddess Icon. The first Brave Lance is down to 10 uses, so that's likely where one Hammerne use is going to end up.


Astore makes sure that Lalum doesn't die (and I think Niime of all people does the take/drop)...


...and Clarine makes sure that the green units don't end up being a headache. I like to do this in vanilla too, and with some of the villagers being replaced with Pegasus Knights who might try to "help" clearing the map, this Rescue charge seems to be even more worth it.


Shanna does the recruiting - she's here with her glorious 11 Str to a) free up Thea to fly off on turn 1 and b) you already know the main reason. Gotta make use of Juno being "force-deployed".


Zeiss starts burning through the next Brave Lance' charges on enemy phase, gets another decent level...


...and ends up killing two Mercenaries and Fighters each, while wounding this Hero.


Roy kills the two Mercenaries spawning near the Shop and Armoury (which I completely forgot about, btw)...


...and Raigh ends up with a dead Fighter, Hero, and Druid. He does not double the Mercs, unfortunately.


Juno and Lot are at the end of the deployment order, so they eat the Sleep spells as long as those Druids are alive.


Next turn, left part of the fight, I mostly just kill the nearby enemies and don't gain a lot of ground.


The Pegasus squad will start being a problem next turn, so I'd rather kill everything in range this turn. Thea obviously can't face the entire group on her own, so she returns to the starting location and helps out.


The other kills go to Astore, Juno (whose personal weapon I forgot to screenshot - it has [14 Mt | 95 Hit], which is pretty impressive compared to the Wing Spear's [8 Mt | 90 Hit]), and Wendy.


Wendy didn't double her target, so if she hadn't landed that crit, Zeiss would've had to take the kill instead. Instead, he gets ready to use even more Brave Lance charges.



Which is both very effective (half of the group is killed) and very scary, but his great physical bulk comes in very handy once again. No dodge, so there was no chance of death for him.


Oh, I think I forgot to mention this long-ranged Bishop before the start of the fight? I'd like to pretend that the Soulsteal (which is a reaver weapon) was a very smart choice on my part, but it's purely coincidental because I was looking at some combat forecasts for Raigh. I did not expect the Bishop to attack him over his other potential targets, to be honest.


I did expect this Bishop to come forward and attack me, so everybody in his range has 1-2 range equipped, but unfortunately for Lot, the Sleep Druids moved before the Bishop.


Wendy then gets rid of the first on of the Sleep casters, while also positioning herself for a productive enemy phase. This does mean that Astore won't be able to steal the Orion's Bolt from that Sniper, but I guess I'm OK with one fewer pair of boots.


Left side, Lilina uses another Forblaze charge because one-shotting enemies is fun. Raigh does some useless combat for the XP. I also do very SMRT things:


Lot gets the Bishop kill (which avoids a counter, so far, so good), and Roy then picks him up to rescue/drop him a little further - that way, Lot can get rid of the Killer Ballista to the west next turn, otherwise he'd been short a tile or two.


...exceeeept that you might have noticed that even the puny Roy could only barely make room for Lot on his horse. Obviously, Treck is too big to do the same, which means that Roy will be weighed down during enemy phase.


And wouldn't you know, that turns out to be a problem. First, Roy gets hit (not crit, luckily) by the Killer Ballista...


...which puts him in KO range of the Mercenary, who doesn't have much trouble doubling a 13-Spd character. Stupid mistake, then stupid luck that the Merc misses both his attacks.


Well, at least Wendy turns out to be completely fine with her task, killing all four enemies that dare attack her. Not fully safe because of the Sniper and the Bishop's crit chances, but within acceptable parameters.


To add to the stupidity of last turn's player phase, Lalum allows Lot to still do what I brought him for: using his 3-range to remove the Killer Ballista.


And with that, the room is cleared.


On the right side, Wendy doubles an enemy with her portable ballista, because that's fair and balanced.


With bonus points for scoring a crit, saving a Longbow use on top of that.


Otherwise, that part of the map is basically clear, too, with Juno and Tate mopping up the last remains while building up their support. Ember definitely changed support growths, so I'm hopeful that a late joiner such as Juno will have very quick supports to compensate.


Oops, bit of a brainfart again, but far less impactful than the big one. Roy did not have to be in range of that sniper, who otherwise would've attacked Lot and taken a counter.


But, as I said, less impactful.


Man, Lot really doesn't want to be on the bench.


And with Wendy getting a less bullshit kill, only the boss and an Eclipse-using Druid remain. And all the treasure.

Because I only brought a single Door Key, this does require a bit of logistics to be done quickly - Shanna used it to open the throne room instead of the treasure room, and Astore is on the other side of the map.


But that's nothing a little rescue chain can't fix.


The next two turns are then enough to grab everything, with Lalum to support Astore, and some trade and Canto shenanigans in the other throne room to do it that quickly. The loot:

  • For Astore: that Brave Axe, another Longbow, an Axereaver, and some Speedwings.
  • With the Chest key: a Purge, a Sleep staff, a Knife, and a Wyrmslayer.


Actually perfect! Roy has his Spd capped and I'm pretty sure all his growths are below 100%.


Around the same time, we get some reinforcements from the north and east borders of the map, but we're not going to interact with them at all.


Instead we take a look how Lilina could easily one-round Roartz with Forblaze, but I didn't bring Shanna along for nothing, dangit!


Nice, that is a quick C support! Now let's hope that B and A aren't too far away, either.




Well then, shall we?


Fat chance...


There! This is now a legitimate Fire Emblem Let's Play! I did the thing!

(I don't remember - do the sisters just not have dialogue for the Triangle Attack in BinBla, or did Roartz's boss quote override it? I'm sure we'll have an opportunity to check)


...Aw. Although to be fair, you do have two stats capped and +Def isn't the worst one-proc level you can get.


Just out of principle, Lilina gets another bit of healing XP and caps her second stat...


...and we are done! I like this map, it's a nice challenge.


No time for plot advancement! We have to insert the Gaiden first!


But even first-er, a new cutscene:


It gives us an amazing personal weapon for a character that's still particularly good even with those amazing boosts. Let's be real, even +5 to all stats wouldn't have made Zealot too impressive. I guess I don't know if he has some monstrous growths, but I'd honestly be surprised if he did.

Anyway, thanks for reading! Next time, probably very soon: Gaiden chapter. And then a second time after that because... you'll see.

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  • Chapter 20x - The Blizzard Spear


In which we won't spend to much time, for now.




Yeah, good luck, friend.






Thank you, ma'am.


Gonzo gets a level...


...and the map is over. It's a Kill Boss objective, combined with a Boss that is really increadibly easy to Kill. You don't have to use a second Warp charge, and you don't have to worry about staff range, because the map is fairly "tall" and the spawning points to the side are quite close to the throne.

Now, there's a lot of XP on the map and I don't think that such a trivial warp skip is very fun. Funny, certainly, but not fun. So I'll do the map again, properly (to some degree at least), and post the results later.


For now, we can take an early look at the Maltet spear - its main feature is its 1-2 range, which neither Durandal nor Armads sport. Its Might is still around the same (Durandal has 16 Mt, Armads 18), so that's pretty good. I guess +5 Skl is less valuable than the Str or Def from those other legendary weapons.

(note that the ch.20 update is about half an hour old, so don't miss that)

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Forgot to include the (very important!!!) stat overview for ch.20 again, so here ya go:

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/12.00	56  26  22  26* 21  18  19	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Treck		20.00/6.29	49  24  24* 22  17  27  12	(+2 Str, +4 Spd)

Thea		18.18/8.01	44  23* 27* 23  11  19  11	(+2 Mov, +2 Con)
Zeiss		19.01/7.13	58  27  26  20  11  22   7	(+3 Lck)
Shanna		15.--/3.51	34  11  16  24  16   9  13

Wendy		20.00/12.48	52  27* 29  22* 16  23  21
Astolfo		20.00/7.47	47  18  18  26   6  13  16
Lot		20.00/6.17	54  20  24  21   9  22  14	(+2 Skl)

Lilina		20.00/9.05	44  30* 21  19  29   8  30*	(+14 HP)
Clarine		20.00/15.49	45  23  22  28* 23   8  14	(+2 Mag)
Raigh		20.00/9.46	48  28* 27* 22  16  19  20
Niime		*/19.98		30  26  24  20  15   5  20	(base)

Lalum		13.41		32   1   3  26  22   3   7	(+7 HP)
Juno		*/12.12		41  16  22  25  14  10  15	(base)


Very important!

The "real" 20x clear is also done and mostly typed out, too, so I'll make a double post probably within the next hour.

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  • Chapter 20x - The Blizzard Spear (for real this time)


In which somebody dies a thousand deaths.


OK, this time for real. As far as I can tell, there's no enemies added on the map - the usual occasional promotion and/or class change, but that's all.

One curious change is that the Swordmaster right below the boss has been moved three tiles to the south - I guess it allows him to cover the two Druids at the bottom of that room, but those (spoiler warning) move around anyway, desperately trying to hit somebody with their Eclipse tomes.


The boss is pretty pathetic, as Gonzales demostrated in the previous mini-update. His only outstanding feature is his unusually high magical bulk, but otherwise, he's just not remarkable in any way.


This map does change quite a lot with the prevalence of 3-range. There's a bunch of Archers/Snipers around, and maybe half of the Warriors on the field carry bows, as well. With bows being able to go through the thick walls, and threaten an entire adjacent room through a thin wall, the dynamic of the maps is somewhat different, although enemies still often come in small, isolated packs.


There's only this single status staff user on the entire map, which is why you see me put a single staff user with all three groups. Speaking of - both "secondary" groups are set up to grind some supports, between the Pegasus sisters on the right and Milady with Zeiss and Treck on the left. You have a little more leeway in Ember to do that - in vanilla, there's only three deployment slots in both upper corners.


Well then, let's do this. Again. Roy, alongside a handful of other characters, has enough Str to one-shot walls, which is some nice utility to have without resorting to Brave weapons.


Directly at the start, it allows Lot to get rid of the Silence threat before it can become a problem.


Since Lance would need to use the Brave Sword to kill this Hammer Warrior and there's no particular time pressure to do so, he just trades Lot over to an Axe and then waits to set up a potential kill for Fa.


Which might be a bit of a waste, since Fa is already at a pretty high level, but ch.20 had this Lv.25 Soldier as an enemy and I wonder if Fa can get past Lv.20, as well.


In the top right, Lilina has the necessary Mag to burn down walls with a single Elfire.


Although to be frank, it's not that important, because an all-flyer team has to be rather careful with all those Archers running around - Thea and Shanna carry Delphi Shields (which, in hindsight, I probably should've split between the left and the right group), but we didn't find a third one yet (?).


Although, actually, the top left group has a pretty easy solution to enemy archers. Wendy.


Not a crit, the Warrior animation is just very short and fast-moving.


And some arrows are being flung. Again, hindsight kicks in and says that it would've been more productive to let Lot use a bow on enemy phase, and just attack the Hammer Warrior with Lance instead.


Pew! Pew! Pew!


Pew! Pew! ...wait, what?


Well would you look at that. 3 range on the Swordmaster. I did not check for that, and Lot surviving here was quite lucky. Even after seeing a Light Blade on a General further down the path, so I guess that's on me.

Still, 3 range on a generic Swordmaster... *grumble*


Well, RNG decided to save me, so... let's just continue. Good level on Fa, even great if she caps Str at 20 (which I'm not sure she does, since the Divinestone makes that difficult to recognise).


Roy opens up the next wall and some enemies are killed. Slight risk to go for that 86 Hit with Lot, but it's early in the chapter.


Dang, Lot has really been tearing it up for the past few levels. Wendy is still a little better as a bow user, even disregarding her S rank, but Lot is catching up. His only issue is his still fairly mediocre Str score.


Even his bow rank is getting somewhere, specifically to a place where the Brave Bow exists.


With a dance, Clarine goes for another kill, which requires her to première the Aureola:


Bee-yootiful. Bonus points for the crit saving a second use.


The left group can't make too much progress without a Delphi Shield (see, it does matter), but Treck can go and enemy-phase a poor, unsuspecting Druid.


While still grinding those support points.


A very satisfying way to avoid a counter.


Again, 3-range makes it harder to progress, this time even without the threat of triple effectiveness. Three hits is quite a lot, especially with two of the hitters being promoted enemies.


The main group gets rushed at by two more enemies - handy, since that makes it very easy to get those kills on player phase.


Treck does get that Druid kill...


...and Jesus, I'm an idiot. This time, I have no excuse - I just overestimated Raigh's bulk.


Oh noes! How horrifying!

To get these out of the way - even though the two Eclipse Druids almost reach double digit hitrates on some of our characters, they will burn through their tomes without hitting anything.


That Eclipse attempt then causes a cutscene - I'll assume that the trigger is "enemy in throne room attacks somebody"...


...and Tick spontaneously multiplies. Huh.


That's... something.

I have to admit that I didn't immediately realise that all those Ticks also "shuffled around" after that, so the "real" boss isn't sitting on the throne anymore. I guess the makers took a look at the Sacaen ch.20x and thought that yeah, that's *fun*.

That said, there's no indication that attacking/killing a wrong boss will summon five additional enemies, so I guess it's not that bad. And nine Lv.16 Generals are going to be quite a lot of XP, as well.


Well, nothing to go but thronewards. Fae collects another one of those "How To Make Four Procs Bad" levels...


...and Roy and Lance clear the two enemies that were charging at us last enemy phase.


And with this, that area is clear for now.


To the left, Wendy gets in position to kill another Archer without falling too far behind the others...


...while said others break down the next wall. Treck also gathers some important information - I don't think we've directly seen that Great Knights do count as armoured? He obviously doesn't go for that attack, even though the hitrate against him wasn't exactly high.


Well, this is still kinda annoying.


Tate and Lilina still go forward - two Angelic Robes are indeed good enough to let Lilina survive a hit by the Sniper after taking 8 points of damage.


Thank you, Captain Obvious.

(C support because why not. I'm hoping for Juno/Tate A, but I don't think I'm fielding any other option for... *checks SF main page* Whoops, Juno and Treck have a support. That's too bad.)


Enemy phase combat, seeing two dead enemies and one very injured Lilina (even though one Angelic Robe would've been enough, actually)...


...and Niime caps. That's 32 Mag with Apocalypse! She'll officially be the best staff user again soon!


Next turn, Lilina goes for that sweetest counter prevention tactic, which is absolutely worth the Forblaze charge. I don't think I had the offensive power to get both Sniper and Hero at the same time, so Tate (Short Spear equipped) and one of her sisters just rescue/drop Lilina out of harm's way.


...That's boring, past pong. But there was no good way to get the Sniper out of Milady and Zeiss's way, so I guess you had no choice.


In the main group, Lot does have the ability to go bait another Sniper, while training his own Bow rank a little more for good measure.


More broken walls...


...but a bit of a slowdown over here, as well.




Also Ow!, kinda, although Lot has less trouble tanking here. Only a double crit would've killed him, and even that just barely.


Double digits! Help!


The first Ow! gives Clarine opportunity to get another level, getting another really good one.


And Roy clears the General, getting an unlucky roll in the process.


With Str and Spd capped, this is an amazing level for Lance.


More broken walls, with Lot being in range for some enemy phase combat again...


...and with Lilina opening the path for Thea to kill the Hero.


More and more broken walls.


And a half-broken wall for some variety!


Outside of Lot killing an Archer and a Sniper, no EP combat is happening - there isn't too much left outside of the throne room, and I want to be prepared going in.


Clarine finishes breaking that wall segment, but then uses Larum's dance to move towards the main group. Lot and Raigh, who went the other way first, are close enough to kill the two axe users that'll come out of that room.


While units are gathering, Wendy takes a shot (well, two) at one of the Ticks, getting a Crit+hit, which is enough for a one-round. If I would be aware that one random Tick is the Boss that we need to Kill to end the chapter, I wouldn't have done this - such a waste of XP! - but luckily, this is a "generic" Tick.


Taking a look at some older stat overviews, Wendy was at 21 Def at Lv.20/1. Only two procs out of twelve is honestly pretty disappointing, considering that despite my using her basically as a Sniper, she's still a General.


Unlike the Wyvern group, the Pegasi to the right don't have a short path to join the main group. Instead, they lurk on the other side of the throne room, ready to go in once the rest of the team comes from the left.


Which will be next turn - for now, Fae is going to be useful again. She's honestly mostly been self-improving, taking kills that many other characters would also have been able to take if I had fielded them over Fae...


...but she's really, really good at murdering enemy mages.


Unfortunately, she turns out to cap out at Lv.20 like any other character, but her stats are honestly already quite monstrous, aside from her low Spd.


Lot just won't slow down...


Raigh would've had one-rounded the Warrior, otherwise getting the kill to Lot with his lack of capped stats would've been more effective. Oh well.


Wendy snipes another Tick, again risking to end the chapter prematurely...
(no Def again...)


..and so does Lilina, who as our first unit has her third green number on the board.


Treck opens up the path to throne room...


...and Zeiss takes point vs. the Swordmaster, being the bulkiest character alongside Treck.


Raigh murders the  remaining enemy in his and Lot's vicinity on enemy phase...


...and Zeiss gets absolutely murdered. What the hell.




Oh, thank god.


Well, isn't this nice to know? Another lucky break - if my quick maffs are correct, that was roughly a coinflip for Zeiss to survive.

(71.5% True Hit X 38% = 27% total crit per attack; 73% x 73% is ~53% chance of two non-crits)


Well, let's... not forget that this happened and instead keep in mind that sword users in Ember a) can have the same range as Archers and b) can deal effective damage vs. flyers.

(I complained about different weapon types being less distinct before getting screwed over here, so this is only mostly me being salty)


Everybody starts clearing stuff...


...with not too great gains from it...


...and we're down another two Ticks, still with me unaware about the potential sudden end to the chapter.


OK, make that three Ticks. Nice level on Zeiss, who now has his Skl capped.


And with Melady killing that Druid, I think I should be safe. There's still three Ticks up and running, but I believe only one of them can attack anybody besides Zeiss.


Meanwhile, Lot keeps toying with some remaining enemies - nothing really to say about it, he can kill them without any risk, but doesn't quite get another level out of it.


And at this point, I figure out the boss switcharoo - all the other Ticks were mute, so it's clear that this Tick (who did not sit on the throne at the start of the turn) is the real boss.


The other two Ticks did not leave their spot. Juno takes out the first one (her Wing Sword is honestly really strong)...


...and Treck gets the one on the Throne with his Brave Axe and one crit. Awesome level!


And then, to end the map: Lilina chips, not getting a Crit...


...and Tate finishes, prioritising WEXP over a guaranteed kill. But of course, there were plenty other characters around to pick up her slack if she had missed.




Careful Roy, your Corrin is showing. "Bern's troops" at this point being one lonely Fighter, by the way.


But that's that! Next up is BinBla's most famous map (well, haters will bring up the desert map first, I'm sure), so I'm excited for that. Until then, thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res
Roy		19.00/13.11	57  26  22  26* 22  18  19	(+7 HP, +2 Def)
Treck		20.00/7.72	50  25  24* 23  17  27  13	(+2 Str, +4 Spd)
Lance		20.00/8.43	44  25* 25  25* 12  18  11	(+2 Str, +3 Lck)

Thea		18.18/10.	46  23* 27* 23  11  19  11
Shanna		15.--/3.51	34  11  16  24  16   9  13
Juno		*/12.95		42  16  22  25  14  10  15	(base)
Zeiss		19.01/8.68	59  28  27* 20  11  23   7	(+3 Lck)
Melady		*/5.46		45  23  18  19  14  16   8

Gwendolyn	20.00/14.69	53  27* 19  22* 18  23  22
Lot		20.00/8.67	55  21  24  23  10  24  10	(+3 Skl)
Fae		20.--		50  32* 31  17  27  30  38

Lilina		20.00/10.82	45  30* 21  19  30*  8  30*	(+14 HP)
Clarine		20.00/16.46	46  24  22  28* 24   8  15	(+2 Mag)
Niime		*/20.--		30  27  24  20  15   5  21
Raigh		20.00/10.44	49  28* 27* 22  16  19  20

Larum		14.31		33   1   3  27  23   4   7	(+7 HP)



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  • Chapter 21 - The Binding Blade


In which Shanna goes Shopping.


Normally, this is the point to make fun of how wrong Murdock is about Roy's actual combat abilities, but in Ember...


Yoder joins, as usual, bringing with him a bit of a lore dump and the remaining legendary weapons. With that, let's take a look at the map:


I was briefly shocked when I first opened the map in the preparation screen, because I saw only ten deployed characters and was very confused why Ember would do that after consistently giving the player more deployment slots throughout the game. Turns out that they just moved seven of those slots two screens to the right, which I think I still don't really agree with.

See, this encourages splitting your units, sending both groups south from their respective starting points. But that is a terrible idea for this map, since that means that you'll step in multiple reinforcement zones immediately. Heck, the two rightmost deployment slots are already in a reinforcement zone!

Of course, I'm working with the assumption that we still do have the same reinforcement zones. Maybe splitting the party isn't a problem at all in Ember, but I'm not going to find out if that's the case.


Murdock comes with his personal Soaring Axe and with a *ton* of physical bulk. He needs that, of course, because as General specialising in axes, he's really susceptible to Armourslayers. 44 Atk with only siege tomes outranging him is quite powerful, especially coupled with his very high crit (maxed Skl *and* a small bonus from his axe).


Just in general, this map is very much Brute Force, as far as the enemies go. No status staves, only this one long-range tome user, but tons of hard-hitting enemies.


Noteworthy is that the unpromoted enemies range from Lv.20 (the Wyverns) to 30 (the one Brigand and some Knights). With the stat caps still being 20, they're still limited in their power, but the Knights are genuinely very tanky on the physical side.


Well then, let's start! If the enemy doesn't like to bring the *fun* staves to the fight, that means that *I* can bring them instead of Restore staves!

(I failed to make a screenshot immediately, but this is the Sage in the center left of the map)


Next, Thea uses one of the two Speedwings that we still have available, grabs the Maltet that Larum was holding for her, and then uses the dance to grab the village immediately. Bonus points for having a full inventory, so the Knight Crest from it get directly teleported over to Merlinus.


The rest of the group just moves to the east - to give the changed deployment slots some credit, I think that going this way is the better choice to begin with, so I guess that the folks to the right just got a bit of a headstart.


Speaking of "headstart": Treck, with the Armads boosting his Def to 32, is going to pivot, with the other characters not really advancing too far.


Only Lance and Lot go into enemy range at all, with the vague hope that Lance might draw attacks from the 1-2-ranged Brigand and Wyvern.


At the start of the enemy phase (gasp! Ambush spawns!) a whole gaggle of wyverns joins the fight from the eastern edge of the map. Treck has his work cut out for him...


...but he is *so* ready.


Weapon triangle? That's for *nerds*.


In total, he murders six enemies, four of them promoted, all of them in a single strike.


Meanwhile, Lance does draw two attacks onto himself: The Brigand, who gets hit with the Devil Axe's recoil, and the Wyvern, who gets crit into oblivion.


And finally, Thea also manages to remove three enemies from the field, luckily not dropping to that 2% crit.


Unfortunately, her luck ends there.


No, wait, the last combat is a bit of infighting between the enemies. Nice!


Next turn, Treck moves ahead a couple tiles again, this time opting for the Brave Axe...


...and then some 1-2 range for enemy phase. There's far less enemies to worry about this round, especially with that Sage out of the picture.


Of course, he still gets his HP restored.

(omg, that staff range ❤️ )


Shanna is carrying the Member Card and Silver Card so that she can fill our shoe rack later, so she also takes a little tour to the shops at the top of the map. I'm pretty much set for equipment, I think, but she got a couple Silver Weapons last turn and now grabs a single Fortify staff, just in case.


Her sisters (Thea also being healed to full by Lilina) are the only characters to do enemy phase action this turn, but we're starting to catch up to the rest already.


Whoops, mistimed the screenshot. Juno did proc Spd+Lck, I just pressed F12 when the screen was already about to disappear (so these are her correct new stats).


Anyway, Juno did better than Thea there, who doesn't quite double the Wyvern Lord attacking her.


Who did it better? (well, Hand Axes are a fair bit weaker than Short Axes in Ember)


Still, Treck is doing really well.


...I guess I maybe should've brought a Swordreaver for Lot? Luckily, he doesn't get crit here.


But he himself does get a crit+hit, and thus a kill, here.


This one's a bit confusing - instead of killing one of those Knights, the 'serked Sage goes for a Wyvern that he doesn't double. Not all bad, I guess, since the Knights are much less threatening with their worse mobility.


Next turn, Juno closes her sister's unfinished business, all so that I can test the hypothesis that the Triangle Attack's dialogue was just overridden by the boss in Ch.20. Science!


Finally! A good Wendy level again! It's been a while.



Otherwise, it's clean-up time over there, without too much to say about it. For clarity's sake, Thea got danced to help out a little.


Enemy phase sees no combat outside of our unwitting ally...


...but the next little Wyvern group is moving into a somewhat awkward position, with most of our flyers relatively far away. Lilina's crit here does make things smoother, although I don't think I would've been in danger without it.


Yeah, Thea could've just used the Maltet to one-shot, and Juno with the Wing Sword probably would've gotten the kill on Lilina's target?


Merlinus sells a third and last bunch of vendor's trash (and just regular trash), before moving right to distribute some footwear later.


And everybody else also just murders their way towards Murdock.


Lilina has fallen behind a bit helping out against those Wyverns, so Thea with her boosted movement goes and picks her up.


Sorry, pal, but there's none of your friends around anymore that you can murder...


It took some time, Wendy finally picks up Mulagir from Yoder. 110 hit is pretty impressive, and of course it has (almost) every bow's OP 2-3 range.


There's still a couple stragglers around to pick off, but the path to the throne room is largely cleared. Not everybody goes in - there's shoes to try on, after all, and Merlinus is still way behind. Treck and Lance also step into Galle's reinforcement zone, so Milady and Zeiss have yet another reason to stay further north.


And they also have a B support now.


There he is! Thea and Juno are a little too close for comfort...


...but Galle and his entire group have this weird "pursuit, but don't attack" AI.


This also draws them into position for both Milady...


...and Zeiss to rush in and talk to him.

Surprisingly (at least to me), this does not paint Galle blue, so that means he isn't recruitable after all? I guess he's still this game's Camus, with all the stupidity that comes with that archetype.


And good heaven, I did not realise that Zeiss was so weak that he needs a personal brave weapon with effectiveness vs. a large portion of the endgame enemies.


Well, back to killing Bernians. To make things a little easier for the squad heading towards Murdock, Lilina grabs the Silence staff and shows why 30 Mag is a good thing for a staff user.

She also gets a second Spd proc in a row, which means once I remember using the Speedwings, she'll be faster than Wendy!


Er, unless Wendy uses the Mulagir with its +5 Spd, of course.


The second Manakete on the map is actually an Ice Dragon, which we haven't seen thus far. It's a bit faster than the Fire Dragons, but it lacks their 1-2 range.

By the way, I'm happy that Roy has Eliwood's Durandal animation. Looking forward to how the Binding Blade looks in action.




At the start of the next turn, we get a bunch of reinforcements, quite different from vanilla. There, a bunch of Wyverns spawn from close to the Secret Shop (i.e. centre right) and from the bottom centre once you're close to the throne - here, they're further away from the throne and thus a bit less immediately threatening.

They horsies are still a bit annoying, though, in particular with Merlinus trailing behind.

(at the top of the second picture is a group of Wyverns that has been on the map since turn 1, but never became aggressive)


Go Treck! I'm looking to seize the turn after the next one, which means that at least the two Wyverns from the southwest won't be too much of an issue.













Unfortunately, even the pacifist AI looks for the weakest player unit to pursuit, so that makes it impossible to access the convoy after this. I did get out a bunch of boots, though, and I'll just include a "Mov" column in the stat overview at the bottom.

(I didn't attack any of Galle's group just in case he joins at the end of the map, which he doesn't)


What's still worth mentioning is one B support for Thea and Juno...


...one very (temporarily) dead Merlinus...


...and a very nice level for Shanna, thanks to some unnecessary combat on the last turn of the map.


Anyway, back to the boss kill squad. I have to include another significant chance of death here, because I forgot that the Devil Axe is actually really accurate in Ember (I was expecting a displayed hitrate in the 20s and didn't register in time how off I was...), but other than that, the generic enemies get cleaned up without any problems.


Because I'm suddenly a bit more careful after that silly blunder with Roy, Treck gets healed from afar...


...so that he can survive if Murdock rolls that 2% crit. Treck is fucking tanky.


However, no crits occur...



...and with some help from Niime and Lalum, Treck gets the bosskill without any problems.


And oh boy, he is looking good. Capped Skl, Spd, and Def.


And with that, the chapter ends! Again, Kill Boss instead of Seize Throne, which is a decision I don't really agree with. Like in 20x, it makes warp-skipping a whole lot easier and cheaper, although for Murdock, you'd have to rig a crit to make do with a single warp.


But hey, we beat the chapter fair and square and with only one silly chance of death. Technically on the third try, to be perfectly honest (first was "huh, that's a lot of wyverns swarming the group to the right" without doing the Juggertreck strat, second one, Milady and Zeiss got boxed in in a way that Zeiss couldn't talk to Galle safely), but I still think the map has been dumbed down a bit. The start can be a bit messy if you don't have Treck kill four Wyvern Lords on turn 1, but you get things under control very quickly.

But that's that - next time, we do the last remaining gaiden map. Until then, thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res Mov
Roy		19.00/13.95	57  26  22  26* 22  18  19  8	  (+7 HP, +2 Def)
Treck		20.00/12.07	55  26  24* 24* 20  29* 16  7	  (+2 Str, +4 Spd)
Lance		20.00/9.72	52  25* 26  25* 12  18  11  8	  (+7 HP, +2 Str, +3 Lck)
Lowen		*/7.15		48  20  19  16  15  21   9  7	  (base)

Thea		18.18/11.53	46  23* 27* 25  11  19  12  8+6	  (+2 Con, +2 Spd)
Zeiss		19.01/8.88	59  28  27* 20  11  23   7  8+6	  (+3 Lck)
Shanna		15.--/4.24	34  12  16  25  16   9  14  8
Milady		*/5.58		45  23  18  19  14  16   8  8
Juno		*/13.27		42  16  22  26  15  10  15  8

Gwendolyn	20.00/15.30	53  27* 20  22* 19  24  23  6
Lot		20.00/9.84	56  22  25  23  10  24  16  6	  (+3 Skl)
Fae		20.--		50  32* 31  17  27  30  38  6+4

Lilina		20.00/12.19	45  30* 21  23  30*  8  30* 6+2	  (+14 HP, +2 Spd)
Clarine		20.00/16.46	46  24  22  28* 24   8  15  8+2	  (+2 Mag)
Niime		*/20.--		30  27  24  20  15   5  21  6
Raigh		20.00/10.60	49  28* 27* 22  16  19  20  6+2

Larum		15.21		34   1   3  28  24   4   8  6	(+7 HP)
Merlinus	1.03		25   0   4   5  10   6   0  6	(base)

Whoops, I just in time realised that I forgot to show Yoder:


There he is, in all his level-cappedness. In my defense, he did basically nothing the entire map, so I hope it's forgivable that I didn't think of him. He's been powercrept quite a bit, and it's not like he completely changes the game when he joins in vanilla. With how much faster it is to train up your staff users, you probably have like three or four staff users with higher magic than him. Although scrolling through my team, he's actually the only Saint Staff user I have right this second, with Clarine still needing maybe two or three heals to reach S Staves.



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  • Chapter 21x - The Elder Revelation


In which much is revealed to us.


Specifically, the entire map. I don't particularly like FoW in FE just in general, so I don't think I mind.

Ember seems to have fallen back into the "pls no warpskip" mode with this chapter - Roy actually has to seize, so no cheeky one-warp one-turn (I did check) and there have been two chests added nest to the throne, guarded by two Generals who I believe are the only enemies added to the map. Otherwise, higher levels, more promoted classes, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Adding to the "pls no warpskip" feeling, Ember also added two breakable walls in very useful spots, plus one breakable wall that... doesn't really do a whole lot at the right side of the map. I'm in two minds about this - on one hand, I certainly don't miss walking through winding corridors, but on the other, this makes ferrying units across the water almost a detriment, since you don't avoid the fire trap corridor(s) if you do that.


The boss, Peres, comes with a new and dangerous toy: An Eclipse spell with an actual chance of hitting. It only having a single use arguably makes it more useful for him, too, since it's impossible to bumrush him while he is still holding his siege tome. Otherwise, Peres isn't too remarkable. Maxed Mag isn't much of a surprise, and his modest physical bulk paired with sub-par Spd means that he isn't too hard to kill even through Nosferatu healing.


Pictured: Me completely forgetting about the Death spell. Whoops! 


Status staves are, once again, not much of a threat, with only one Silence Druid waiting for us. Looking at the map on FEWod, this seems to be unchanged from Vanilla - but since this is the only map in the game that I almost always warpskip, I can't tell first-hand.


Otherwise, (promoted) enemies are starting to approach the level cap. As usual, we see the whole kitchen sink of dangerous weapons - Silver, Brave, Effective, you name it.


Unlike the previous map, I don't think that splitting our units is too much of a problem here. Everybody's pretty OP, and since we don't have enemy wyverns looming above mountains, we're not nearly in as much danger of being swarmed.

(Nice 2nd-hit crit there, Zeiss...)


(Nice one-stat level there, Zeiss...)
29 is Zeiss's Str cap, so that's his second green number after Skl.


Thea and Clarine both one-round an enemy, too - Thea did need that crit to do so, otherwise Milady would've swooped in.


BOOTS!! The bosskills squad from last map is still very naked at their feet, so they (or at least some of them) go ahead and fix that. And while I do think that ferrying units across the water isn't the most optimal play, I still wanna, dammit! I brought Garret along just for this!

(It's not like 10-dmg traps are devilishly dangerous at this point, and this way, we're not confined to 2-tile wide corridors)


For now, Roy, Lilina, and (thanks to Thea's crit letting Milady help out here) Larum get ferried over, with Roy being in range of only one enemy, a Druid.


This quartett on the right is honestly just here for fun. Well, it's nice to get these enemies out of the main group's hair, but nobody here is sprinting towards the boss anytime soon.


On enemy phase, Clarine and this hero face off in mutually not-quite-lethal combat...



...while Lot is being a lot (no pun intended, but I will not apologise) more efficient, even getting a double-crit to kill a General.

He also caps two stats there, Skl and Spd (thank you, Captain Pong Obvious, for pointing out that 23 isn't the Warrior's Str cap).


Niime gets targeted by the Silence Druid, and I'm pretty sure that Roy kills another Druid on enemy phase, too, but I appear to have forgotten to press F12 for that.


Healer level for Raigh next turn...


...and combat level for Lance. He's capped Str and Spd, so I can't even complain. Or, well, I could, that he isn't proccing Def, but that would be a little petty.




Some clean-up on this side of the water.. and I guess I didn't miss Roy killing a Druid after all? He just didn't move, even though Roy was in attacking range. Weird.


Roy pulls out the Durandal just to avoid taking a counter...

(Str cap!)


...and thanks to Larum already being around, he can make up for the Druid still being alive. No more enemies around, apart from that Mercenary over yonder.


Finally, the next couple units get ferried over.


I have to admit that I didn't check deployment order for this map, but the target priority is good for me. 30 Res being useful here.


Thea and Zeiss cut their way through the hallway - both of them have 14 Movement, so they're basically still caught up with the rest.


(please pretend that there's some fiery animation frame on display here)


Most characters, apart from Fae, Lot, and co. to the right, have been ferried across the water at this point. Clarine hasn't, and she's going to go through the corridors to the left instead.


Not bad, but Milady still has pretty unimpressive Spd and Def stats...


To set up a bit of enemy phase productivity, Juno drops Wendy into the range of a bow user closer to the throne room - with three range, they can hit the right side of the corridor we're in, but not the left.


Oh come on!


One dead Sniper.


And a healer level on Clarine, hitting her Mag cap.


Oh come on!!


I'm going to be honest and say that this part of the map is just... not very interesting. Enemies tend to be fairly isolated, so you can pretty much just run ahead, murder an enemy (although Nosferatu saves this Druid until he suicides on Roy during EP), and be safe the entire time.

Not really something I fault Ember with, given that I usually warp-skip this map in vanilla, but I might fault Ember for setting up additional incentive to slog through the chapter "properly".


Interestingly to a similar degree, Ember adds a couple reinforcements from where you start the chapter...


...in a fashion that allows a single bow user to completely trivialise them. They're six tiles apart from each other, so Lot can attack without retaliation, while also staying just out of range of the next Druid.


So I'll just skip ahead a bit, just showing level-up screens (this is from killing the 2nd reinforcing Druid) and the few noteworthy fights as they show up.


Like this one, maybe - flyers can skip a loop in the corridor here, and Thea uses that to safely remove a pretty substantial threat.


OK, seems like the "original" chests are still just the old "Elixir or Manakete holding an Elixir" game. I didn't check the others, apart from the ones Ember added next to the throne.


To take out the Devil Axe Berserker, Thea had to step into the boss's super-Eclipse range, but unlike Wendy in my failed-in-a-silly-way attempt, a) no other enemies can reach her...


...and b) she dodges anyway.


Just a quick mention: Raigh, Lance, and Fae pick off a couple enemies on the right half of the map at their leisure. It's kinda telling that three characters are completely sufficient for the task that is done by like 10 characters on the other side of the map.


This is where Wendy died! But this time, without being Death-ed by the boss, she survives.


She puts herself into position to draw the other three enemies around the throne, too, but the Generals don't move...


...and the Druid rather heals the General that was able to attack Wendy from his spot.


Speaking of heals: 30-Mag Fortify - pretty good.
(and then Lilina accidentally Fortifies again on the next turn because that staff doesn't have a confirmation prompt....)

Speed is her fourth capped stat, with 24 being on the lower end, but not abysmal, as far as Spd caps on our team go.


Around the same time that Wendy does her through-the-walls shenanigans, I'm close enough (helped by the fact that I have a handful of 10-14 Mov characters now) to run into the throne room. Treck (11 Mov) and Thea (14 Mov) take out the closest enemies, and Lilina (10 Mov) is ready to heal or kill a General on the next turn.


Wendy pulls out Mulagir to hit a one-round kill on the General, and hits her Res cap with the resulting level.


"We have a B support now!"


Only this hero is in range to attack on enemy phase, and Thea (who would've survived a single crit herself) retaliates with a crit one-shot.


At the bottom of the map, three more Druids appear, this time supported by two Mage Knights in the corners of the map. Scary in theory, but in practice, Lot can just do the same as he did to the Druid-only reinforcement wave: Outrange the tomes, do all combat on player phase, do not take any damage. It's helped a little by the leftmost Mage Knight running after Clarine, i.e. through the corridor to the left.


Spd cap!


Thea redeems herself after her previous empty level, and with this, only the boss himself is left.


Let's fix that.

Treck goes for some chip damage, and it doesn't matter that he gets hit by the Nosferatu counter...


...because he only needed to bring Peres below 40 HP so that Zeiss can avoid the 3% crit chance.


Aw man, another empty level?


All that's left to do is to wait for Astore to open the two added treasure chests. No Elixir or Manakete...


...and this Saint Scroll actually works as all stat boosters combined. Except that Goddess Icons give +3 Lck in Ember - literally unplayable!

(not sure if I'll actually spend it on Astore, even though he technically gets more value from it than all my main carries with their capped stats. Juno might be a seemingly silly, but genuinely useful option.)


Anyway, back to the clean-up: Lot gets another defensive level (same as his last one, plus a Luck proc), which is quite impressive considering his two capped stats.


Roy gets a third pair of boots...


...Astore grabs the second, less important chest...


...and Roy seizes.


Ancient Elibe's player insert!


Yes, yes, plot happens, but I'm much more interested in...



Apocalypse hits like a truck, three points stronger than Forblaze even before the Mag+5 boost, but it also slows down Raigh (by 9 points, to 14 Spd) and Niime (by 11 points, to 9 Spd) by a ton. Incredibly potent, especially combined with Niime's staff rank, but it makes her in particular easy pickings for basically every enemy type.

The Binding Blade is just pretty insane in every regard, with great hit, damage, range, and defense bonuses. And with 40 uses, it's a lot more spammable than in vanilla as well. I think it's unique in that it's the only personal weapon with a weapon rank requirement (and yes, it's still exclusively useable by Roy).


Indeed. With this final power-up, let us go to what is definitely most likely surely probably maybe the last map of the game. Zephiel, here we come... next time. Thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res Mov
Roy		19.00/14.84	57  27* 22  26* 22  19  19  8+6	  (+7 HP, +2 Def)
Treck		20.00/12.59	55  26  24* 24* 20  29* 16  7+4	  (+2 Str, +4 Spd)
Lance		20.00/10.95	53  25* 26  25* 13  18  12  8	  (+7 HP, +2 Str, +3 Lck)

Thea		18.18/13.37	47  23* 27* 26  11  20* 12  8+6	  (+2 Con, +2 Spd)
Zeiss		19.01/10.99	59  29* 27* 20  11  23   7  8+6	  (+3 Lck)
Shanna		15.--/4.27	34  12  16  25  16   9  14  8
Milady		*/6.06		46  24  19  19  15  16   8  8
Juno		*/13.44		42  16  22  26  15  10  15  8

Gwendolyn	20.00/16.11	54  27* 20  22* 20  24  24* 6
Lot		20.00/12.50	59  23  26* 24* 11  26  18  6	  (+2 Skl)
Fae		20.00		50  32* 31  17  27  30  38  6+4   Divinestone 26/50
Astolfo		20.00/7.47	47  18  18  26   6  13  16  7
Garret		*/9.14		60* 26  15  16  12  15   4  6	  (base)

Lilina		20.00/13.87	46  30* 22  24* 30*  8  30* 6+4	  (+14 HP, +2 Spd)
Clarine		20.00/17.27	46  25* 22  28* 24   8  16  8+2	  (+2 Mag)
Niime		*/20.00		30  27  24  20  15   5  21  6
Raigh		20.00/12.20	51  28* 27* 23* 18  19  21  6+2

Larum		15.91		34   1   3  28  24   4   8  6+6	  (+7 HP)



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  • Chapter 22 - An Undying Dream


In which Someday The Dream Will End


Wow, if we wouldn't have heard those guys scream this chapter's gimmick from the rooftops, Merlinus would've been almost useful!


The map is largely unchanged from vanilla, with only one Warrior added at the top center and one breakable wall tile to make the path to the top left switch a bit shorter. The latter isn't too important, though, as far as I am concerned, since warping somebody towards said switch feels like a pretty natural (and not-cheesy) thing to do.


The Warrior at the top is more interesting though, carrying both a ballista and a renamed Body Ring with him. He doesn't move at all (which I found out in a reckless first attempt at the map), which means that you don't have to interact with him - which is what I eventually choose to do. Or not do. I still highly disagree with the Ember take that conditional +2 Spd that doesn't count against your Spd cap is "so bad...", but it's late enough in the game that I don't care that much anymore, either.


We do have promoted enemies hitting Lv.20 at this point, which seems appropriate for the very definitely final map of the game, after which there will be no further chapters.


The only status staff is on the Sage in the centre left of the map. Other than that, we have an Eclipe Druid and a Purge Bishop near the bottom centre, as far as long-range magic goes. Oh, plus a bunch of Physic staves on Druids, and even one or two Fortify users.


Since I'm aware of it for this attempt - this is what awaits us when we open the throne room: 12 generic enemies, all of different classes (if we count Fire and Ice Manakete as two classes), plus Zephiel himself. Kinda difficult to bumrush, as it turns out.


But let's get to a less Leeroy Jenkins attempt, which starts with a little bit of resetting (well, save-stating, since the readme says that it's risky to restart the cartridge at this stage, because we have recruited more characters than you're supposed to have) for a crit.


Alongside that, Roy takes out a Nomad Trooper with his newly aquired 1-3 range. I didn't properly screenshot the animation, but I found it a bit underwhelming - just what I'm guessing is promoted Eliwood's "Magic Sword" attack with the Binding Blade's fire animation on the enemy.


Juno does indeed eat the Saint Scroll, as I was still deliberating at the end of last chapter. I think it's worth it, although I would've liked her to have put on a pair of boots or two in hindsight. Still, very high Spd, triangle attack (if I'll ever set up a useful one...), and a very strong personal sword means that this isn't just a meme decision.


She immediately goes to work, fighting what's technically a risky fight against that General.


Otherwise, nobody can get into combat. Shanna is carrying Wendy to drop her into enemy range next turn, and Larum being in range of that Sniper is actually intended, to draw an attack away from Thea.


Dat warp range...

Lot gets picked to deal with the top left switch, since he's bulky enough to do so fairly safely, even when the rest of the group goes towards the throne and out of range to Physic him. He also carries a 5-use Chest Key to pick up the treasure afterwards.


Well, Lilina has four stats capped, so this is almost better than what I should expect.


Lot starts by hammering down the Great Knight (another reason why I went with him), attacking from the left to avoid a Bow Warrior's range.


HP cap! And a positively amazing level, too.


Otherwise, no combat on this side for now, so all I can show is my inability to count tiles. I did not intend to keep Lilina in Clarine's saddlebags this turn.


Ooo, nice backfire! It allows Tate to get a kill despite not rolling a crit with either of her attacks.


This was a crit - they're not easy to catch, unfortunately. The sword just blinks red a few times at the start of the animation.


It allows Roy to chip down a second hero through the wall, who otherwise would've run towards us.


And this is why Larum was intended to absorb an attack - Tate would've survived the Devil Axe plus Nosferatu, but not the Sniper in addition to that, Delphi Shield or not.


Good job, ol' man! Having Yoder at the bottom of the deployment order was only semi-concious, but it helps out a fair bit, especially with Lilina losing her turn to my silly mistake.


Another not entirely necessary risk, but getting the one-round is nice (and it's still just turn 2).


Roy charges ahead and snickers with contempt at the concept of the weapon triangle.


It also puts him in range to do some enemy phase work.


Lance misses the one-round thanks to Nosferatu, unfortunately...


...so Larum has to help him out here.


Over to the left, Clarine shows June how to do a risk-free one-round-kill. She also pulls the Archer next to the wall in this position, without putting herself in risk on enemy phase, either.


And that's a clean-up. Treck reaches A lances here, too, which is nice.


There's a lot of space between me and the next group of enemies to the north, which is two Druids. One of them starts chasing, but I actually just outrun him for the remainder of the map.


And here's my brilliant plan to kill the hero: Flip coins, and hope. The Runeblade is the 1-3-ranged version, unfortunately.




Drat! (but this time on enemy phase)


Enemy phase is actually pretty active - this map with all its walls and enemies that attack through walls makes it faily easy to set those up.


And then all the staff-using enemies undo half of the work...


This was the 1-HP enemy that was healed there, by the way - made it so that only one Druid suicided on Roy, too.


Treasure! Shanna also has a chest key on her (from when I was still planning to send Astore to steal the Power Glove), so they get all three chest quickly, yielding this Swordreaver, a Wyrmslayer, and a Dragonshield (which I'm still not sure who to give).


Gotta run! (well, not really, but it's nice to have the way clear for everybody else)


More clean-up, with Thea using the Killing Edge to increase her odds to get the kill. Don't think the Druid would've been a danger otherwise (Niime could've healed Thea instead), but we don't have to find out.


I know that he kinda needed both Speedwings we gave him to really get rolling, but Treck has been sooo good in the lategame.


Not a perfect clean-up, and definitely some danger with the remaining enemy being a Berserker...


Third time's the charm!


*sigh* Shiny green numbers are great, but one has to face the downside to several capped stats...


Yeah, that was very definitely not a safe enemy phase... Luckily, Clarine doesn't explode into a million tiny pieces, and she just barely has enough attack power to one-round in return.


On enemy phase, Roy and Tate clean up the remaining enemies on the way to the throne room, both getting just ~amazing~ level-ups as reward.


Lot is a bit ahead of June with activating his switch, but I wouldn't want to open the door to Zephiel this turn anyway, with most of my units still scrambled around the map.


The switch is also in range of the Bow Warrior I was avoiding until now, but Lot gets an immediate crit on him. If he hadn't, and if his HP would get dangerously low, it would've been possible to sneak out of his range and get all three chests without (re-)aggroing him or any other enemies.


2nd switch...


...and Roy opens the throne room.


Apart from the enemies hidden in the throne room, this also spawns reinforcements from the two starting locations, although (spoilers, I guess) they won't catch up to anybody.


Anyway, here's Zephiel. He's not unlike the previous "big fat tank" bosses, except... more. He hits very hard, he has great defenses against both physical and magical attacks, but he's still very slow, too. He also has a very significant crit rate, which only lets a handful of characters approach him without danger, unless a +CritEvade support is helping out: Roy, Fae, Clarine, and Lilina - the latter two barely avoid getting one-shot by 53 Atk.

Oh, and had I known that Zephiel drops Eckesachs, I would've given Lance some boots instead of Fae or Raigh.


Now, I'm certainly not in position to charge blindly into the throne room, so Roy gets rescued back a couple steps.


I try to put Raigh into position to do a little bit of enemy phase work...


...but enemy movement order disagrees with my plan (the Hero does not have 1-2 range equipped).


As such, the only thing happening on enemy phase is Clarine getting Silenced yet again, which Yoder fixes immediately.

Well then...





(this is actually a really good crit)





So yeah, all-out assault - I'll just show a couple highlights...


...like Raigh breaking the Dmg display...


...and this awesome level-up, as long as we compare it to what we got the past couple turns. Str: Capped!


The only enemy surviving the onslaught is this Bishop (well, and Zephiel, naturally)...


...who doesn't end up doing anything dangerous.


So after watching Astore bodyshame Wendy...


...and Lot plundering the chests to the right (he gets/got a Sleep and a Nosferatu in addition to the gem)...


...let's get to the main event.


Roy goes first because he can't be crit - and he goes ahead and manages a crit on his own...


...which allows Lilina to get the kill, even without getting healed to full.


Before we end the chapter and most certainly, definitely the game, Niime repairs Zeiss's two-use Brave Lance - I've been talking about wanting to do this, so I did even though there's clearly no opportunity to make use of it in the future.


Well then, game over!


...Or is it?! Dun-Dun-DUNNNNNNN!

Next time: The SECRET endgame!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res Mov
Roy		19.00/17.51	59  27* 25  26* 24  19  19  8+6	  (+7 HP, +2 Def)
Treck		20.00/14.19	57  28* 24* 24* 20  29* 17  7+4	  (+2 Str, +4 Spd)
Lance		20.00/11.69	54  25* 27  25* 13  18  12  8	  (+7 HP, +2 Str, +3 Lck)
Lowen		*/7.75		48  20  19  16  15  21   9  7	  (base)

Thea		18.18/15.53	48  23* 27* 26  11  20* 12  8+6	  (+2 Spd, +2 Con)
Zeiss		19.01/12.35	30* 29* 27* 20  11  24   7  8+6   (+3 Lck)
Shanna		15.--/4.27	34  12  16  25  16   9  14  8
Milady		*/6.59		46  24  19  19  15  16   8  8
Juno		*/14.88		49  20  24  28  18  12  17  8+2	  (Sacred Scroll, +2 Str)

Lot		20.00/14.05	60* 24  26* 24* 11  27  19  6	  (+2 Skl)
Gwendolyn	20.00/17.00	54  27* 20  22* 20  24  24* 6
Fae		20.00		50  32* 31  17  27  30  38  6+4   Divinestone 22/50
Astolfo		20.00/7.47	47  18  18  26   6  13  16  7

Lilina		20.00/14.87	47  30* 22  24* 30*  8  30* 6+4	  (+14 HP, +2 Spd)
Clarine		20.00/19.39	47  25* 23  28* 26   9  17  8+2	  (+2 Mag)
Niime		*/20.00		30  27  24  20  15   5  21  6
Raigh		20.00/12.84	51  28* 27* 23* 18  19  21  6+2
Yoder		*/20.00		39  19  26* 18  17   9  30* 6	  (base)

Larum		16.77		35   1   3  29  25   4   8  6+6	  (+7 HP)



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  • Chapter 23 - The Ghosts Of Bern


In which we recruit more people than we expected.


Jahn is quickly introduced and does his "Fact And Logic" shtick...


...Brunnya camusses it up...


...and Guinivere has something to say.


Of course! Would've been welcome a few chapters earlier, buuuut I can understand why she doesn't want to directly fight against her brother. But from a pure gameplay perspective, you'd better have some awesome stats to make up for your lack of movement.


Ehhhh, not great, not terrible. A bit like Karel in vanilla: Can wield a legendary weapon with perfectly serviceable stats, but if you've raised Clarine or (assuming that I've just been unlucky with his Mag growth) Saul, they're probably better. That said, she's a freely deployed staff user, which is never a bad thing to have.


Ooo, and I did not expect to see you here!


But before we recruit and take a look at Galle: A map!

There's a couple enemies added at the left side of the map, but the most obvious change is that Brunnya sits on the tile beneath the Seize point. Might open up some status staff shenanigans...


...although she has a very good Res stat to protect herself from that.


She's also carrying a small arsenal of legendary weapons, including a Siege Brave tome because why not. With her 30 Mag, that's obviously a massive threat to a lot of our characters.


Three of her surrounding magic users carry status staves, which is unchanged from vanilla. The two Druids cover some of the ballistae with their staff range, which is something you need to plan for.


But to start things off: One Galle, please!


Dude's actually really good, with the biggest flaw being his naked, boots-less feet. Sure, 19 Spd isn't great, but it's actually comparable to Milady's (also 19) and Zeiss's (20) and the rest of his stats are just flat-out better than theirs. On top of that, two S ranks and access to bows give him a lot of equipment options.


For now (hopping forward a couple actions), he just rescues Milady and gets out of ballista range with her.


Otherwise, Lot goes to greet the Wyverns coming from the west. They have a mix of weapons, so nobody does particularly great against all of them, but Lot has the bulk to face a bunch of them at once.


And Roy charges forward, first using the Eckesachs to preserve a Binding Blade use, but he needs the latter's Def bonus (and wouldn't appreciate the avoid loss from the heavy Eckesachs) on enemy phase.


Lilina 'serks one of the Long Ballista users, hoping for a little support from there. Unfortunately, her four capped stats show their negative side effects...


Before the start of the enemy phase, Karel gives a little hint who you should've brought to recruit him...


...and the slaughter begins. Roy kills four Wyverns in total, one-shotting them all...


...while Lot gets three kills on his side.




Both Roy and Lot both take some punishment, so Clarine heals Lot while also getting ready to hit that Sage with a Shine.


Which turns out to cost me an additional Durandal use, because if Clarine had kept a few tile further to the right, her support would've given Lance an additional point of Atk. (Lance doesn't have the Mov to attack from the left, unfortunately)


But no matter - Durandal hasn't been used all that much thus far. Galle fishes for a crit but to no avail, so Guinivere uses the Purge tome she comes with and luckily hits that 79%.


Zeiss gets the remaining Wyvern.


Similar to Lot and friends, Roy gets a heal...


...although in his case, it's after he charges forward even further. One Wyvern carries a nasty surprise, so he gets taken out on player phase.


Thea makes a little tour to kill the nearest ballista, which is still outside of the (non-moving) Druids' staff ranges.


Last recruit! ...probably? Unless Lyn and Eliwood suddenly jump out of the bushes, I guess.


Karel, like Galle, joins with really excellent stats (29 Spd is the best on my team, actually) and is a decent option to wield a legendary weapon. Depending on unit slots in the next map, I might use him - after all, I have three legendary swords and only two characters other than Karel with the S rank to wield them.

He also has a very silly personal weapon, with which he reaches 104% crit. And since Ember reduces enemy luck to nearly zero, he will actually crit every time he attacks (barring misses, of course).


Fae and Raigh are the only characters besides Roy venturing into Wyvern range here - Fae is probably too bulky to be attacked over Roy (30 Def with her Divinestone), but Raigh might save a couple Binding Blade charges by diverting some Wyvern Lords.


...whoops. I keep forgetting that Clarine doesn't actually have particularly good resistance. Luckily, she does have very good evasion.


Raigh does indeed pull three Wyverns away from Roy, although he's too slow to double and kill them. Not a big problem, of course, with quite a few units ready to finish them off.


Roy actually only faces this one Sage, who unfortunately requires two hits to go down.


...er, I think I got that right. I was called away from the game near the end of the enemy phase and failed to hit the pause button. It seems that I missed the berserked Ballistician attacking the Sleep Bishop, and that the berserked Ballistician missed the Sleep Bishop with his shot.


...I'll just move on. (inb4 someone died without me noticing)

Skill cap, hurray!


Fishing for crits with mixed success...


...and I'll take out the Ballistician while I'm in range of the status Druids. I'll most likely need to burn a Saint's Staff use to heal somebody of their status next turn, so I might as well heal two statuses at once.


Shanna and Juno kill off some Wyverns that Raigh drew, with Juno getting an excellent, if minimalistic, level for it.


Astore gets the third one, because I apparently don't care about 5% crit chances.


Roy, again, goes ahead and kills a Manakete, and this time I manage to catch the Eckesachs's ranged animation. I think it's the same as Hugh's personal tome? In any case, it's very short and easy to miss.


Unfortunately, Fae can't quite get into Brunnya's range, so I can't test if she moves at all.


Finally, Milady gets into range of two Wyvern Lords...


...and Treck gives her some moral support.


OK, I can kinda understand that you don't want to discuss your relationship with Galle with a random pothead, but c'mon, your brother is fighting with us.

Too bad it's another three games until branching support dialogues are a thing, I guess.


Speaking of Zeiss... Where is your weapon triangle reversing effect now?!


Clarine becomes the third character to cap her level after Niime and Fae, gaining herself a third Shiny Green Number in Skill.


Milady just barely survives the two Wyverns - I did check this beforehand... but I'm still salty about her 16 Def.


Yeah, not much I could've done about this.



Clean-up and crushing disappointment! Yes, Milady is a bit underleveled at this point, but her stats still aren't competitive, even if you take her lack of stat boosters into account.


Meanwhile, there's a bigger group of Wyverns to take care of on our way towards the seize point. Roy (staying out of Brunnya's range) cuts a path for Fae to remove the biggest threat...


...and Raigh gets ready for some more Nos-tanking. Seems like he's just on the edge of doubling against all these Wyvern Lords.


Clarine does the honours...


...and our flyers get either out of staff range or into our own Restore range (of which I only brought one because I'm very smart).


Man, I really don't pay attention to low% crits, huh?


Raigh gets all the love this enemy phase, weakening three Wyverns and critting this fourth one.


And he's picked by the Berserk Druid! What a popular boy!

(I took care to put Fae at the bottom of the deployment order, but I guess her Res is just too high)


The Sleep Druid goes for Roy, who most certainly isn't even close to the bottom of deployment order, so... yeah, I'm suffering from Fae's success a little.


Brunnya did not move forward to attack Fae, so Niime picks her Apocalypse tome, a Sleep staff...


...and gets a good roll. That should help. A lot.



Busy-busy. I'm not fully commiting into the range of the other enemies around the throne, so there's not a whole lot of strategy to talk here.


Wow, this enemy had one whole point of Luck!


Roy does go forward a little, grabbing the Dragonshield I got last chapter. With the Binding Blade, he's able to get into a lot of combat, so this should gain some decent value.


Yeah, he is at the bottom of the list. Astore and Milady get targeted by the two Sleep staves, which I honestly don't care that much about at this point.


Because we're going in!


...carefully we are going in, swapping Treck to his +5 Def axe, and with Roy getting another terrible level.


So careful, in fact, that Niime uses a second Sleep on this Brave Axe hero, to increase our chances.

To be honest, this is still a little bit sketch, since Treck isn't super tanky against magic...


...but strangely, only one Druid moves, and he doesn't even attack. Huh. Weird.


Makes things easier, of course - I could've (and should've) and should've moved into a better position before committing, but I guess the enemy is very nice and helpful.


And with that, the map is effectively beaten, although I do make a savestate just to check one thing...


(RIP Larum)


Nope, Guinivere can't recruit Brunnya. I didn't really think that the game would give us access to her overpowered spell collection.



And you're asleep. (I didn't check if there was a Talk command for the wyverns when Brunnya is awake, come to think of it...)


*rewind*...? Oh right, I wanted to see if Guinivere at least has a battle convo with Brunnya. She doesn't.


In the end, Zeiss is the canonical boss killer...


...and the way for Roy to seize is free.

Next time: A lot of dragons. And nothing else. *cough*
Until then: Thanks for reading!

		Lv		HP  Str Skl Spd Lck Def Res Mov
Roy		19.00/19.17	60* 27* 25  26* 24  21  19  8+6	  (+7 HP, +4 Def)
Treck		20.00/14.31	57  28* 24* 24* 20  29* 17  7+4   (+2 Str, +4 Spd)
Lance		20.00/12.59	55  25* 28* 25* 13  18  12  8     (+7 HP, +2 Str, +3 Lck)

Thea		18.18/15.90	48  23* 27* 26  11  20* 12  8+6   (+2 Spd, +2 Con)
Zeiss		19.01/13.91	60* 29* 27* 21  11  24   7  8+6   (+3 Lck)
Shanna		15.--/5.55	35  12  16  26  17   9  15  8
Melady		*/7.16		47  24  19  19  15  16   8  8
Juno		*/15.75		49  21  24  29  18  12  17  8+2	  (Sacred Scroll, +2 Str)

Lot		20.00/14.85	60* 24  26* 24* 11  27  19  6     (+2 Skl)
Gwendolyn	20.00/17.27	54  27* 20  22* 20  24  24* 6
Fae		20.00		50  32* 31  17  27  30  38  6+4   Divinestone 19/50
Astolfe		20.00/7.94	47  18  18  26   6  13  16  7

Lilina		20.00/15.70	47  30* 22  24* 30*  8  30* 6+4   (+14 HP, +2 Spd)
Clarine		20.00/20.00	48  25* 24* 28* 27   9  17  8+2	  (+2 Mag)
Niime		*/20.00		30  27  24  20  15   5  21  6
Raigh		20.00/14.80	53  28* 27* 23* 18  20  22  6+2

Larum		17.47		36   1   3  29  25   4   8  6+6   (+7 HP),
Fir		11.02		33  13  18  18   9   5   9  5
Guinivere	*/8.43		37  24  20  23  30* 10  24  6	  (base)
Galle		*/14.14		60* 29* 27* 19  11  26  16  8	  (base)
Karel		*/19.06		50  22  29* 29  20  17  15  6	  (base)



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  • Final Chapters - Legends and Lies | Beyond the Darkness


In which we fight only War Dragons and nothing else.

(that was a Lie)
(we actually fight Legends)


Plot Duuuuuuuuuuump!!!!!


"You sly dog! You got me monologuing!"


Now, this has mostly been a story-free Let's Play and I don't intend to transcribe all the plot that Jahn will throw at us during the chapter...


...but why the HFIL are Durban and Roland here? And why are they protecting Jahn?

Look, I know the answer, or at least an answer. With a grand total of one (1) enemy type, this map doesn't provide the most exciting endgame of the series, so it's understandable that Ember wants to stir things up a little. And since generic enemies have been wielding effective weapons, Brave weapons, and/or Silver weapons since, what, chapter 13, giving them legendary weapons of their own is one of the few ways to escalate that even further.


Another one being character-exclusive weapons, so say hi to Shadow Echidna, Shadow Raigh, and a whole lot of other Shadow XYZs. There's even a couple weapons that I seem to have missed:


This might just be Bartre's weapon, although maybe Lot and/or Wade would've gotten this Brave Killer Hammer if we had taken the other route on the Western Isles - you do run into their families there, after all.


A Rogue, so only three possible candidates for this. If I had to guess, I'd say this is Cath's or maybe Chad's - they're underpowered when they join, so this might be a reward for raising them, although I have no clue who would give this to them.


Bow and a Light tome - that ought to be Dorothy and Saul. Maybe Yoder gives these to them? I believe they already have convos in ch.21 in vanilla.



This boosts the wielder's every stat by +3, but still - what?


And finally, the More Awesomer Rapier. Guess I missed a convo with Roy somewhere? It's a pretty significant upgrade to the ch.1 Rapier (7 Mt) and on par than Juno's Wing Sword (14 Mt, but "only" 95 hit and no stat bonus), so it would probably be a relatively late one.


But back to ranting about the enemies on the map. I get the intention, but I really don't like it for two reasons:

(1) Thus far, Ember's changes have been purely gameplay, with no real changes to the plot. Guinivere taking an active role in these final fights might be one, but I don't think that changes her role too much - it might've been more plot-appropriate if she would've joined at the start of this chapter, when there's no Bernians left to fight, but whatever. But having "Durban" and "Roland" on the enemy side poses a lot of questions that aren't even addressed at all. If they're genuinely their ghosts, then why are they fighting on the side of the dragons? If they're created by Jahn, does that mean that he can create perfect copies of the legendary weapons? I'm sure it's possible to write some kind of in-universe justification for this, but not without some serious rewriting.

(2) This doesn't make the map that much better, anyway. What makes this map (in my opinion, of course) a bit of a drag in vanilla isn't so much the lack of enemy diversity, it's that the map itself is just a series of small rooms that you clear one by one, with very little interplay between them. By adding all these different enemies, we still have a series of small rooms that you clear one by one, with very little interplay between them, just... with a few more enemies, but not nearly enough to put too much pressure on the player.

Honestly, if you want to add enemy diversity, I'd suggest just adding some "malign spirit" enemy type that can use all sorts of magic and maybe Physic or some status staves. Just by that, you'd have the big bulky physical dragons and the (if you want to) more evasive, frail, magical spirits. Similar effect, without making the legendary warriors suddenly swap sides.

(anyway, the picture. The Wyverns, despite starting on those "void" tiles, can't traverse them and in practise have the same movement type as Paladins)


Well then, let's start the march. Roy and Treck are back as my pivots, with Treck removing Shadow Raigh and his Sleep staff right away. Roy can't quite get into range of the enemy Manakete - maybe with some clever rescue/drop he could've, but it's not like I'm short on dragon-killing equipment for next player phase.


The neigh of doom! Roy would have doubled Roland anyway; not sure about Shadow Echidna - depends on the Runesword's weight.


And that's all the other enemies gone. Man, am I happy that there's multiple enemy classes on the map!


Roy seizes and, for the first time, makes use of his ability to canto off of the throne afterwards.


The next boss is a) Athos and b) pretty frail.


The room is guarded by a Manakete and three Generals (who I believe don't move at all - I had one unsuccessful run and I'll point out where it went wrong) - Treck starts...


...and Roy continues. Nice Crit.


There's a handful of enemies in his range as a result but honestly - he's really tanky with the Binding Blade equipped, so I'm not worried



I'm one of those rare strange fellas who don't think they're all that bad, but since Ember usually removes them, I'd rather them being consistent with that. That said, it's an early warning to be wary of the later reinforcements that (at least in vanilla) spawn in our back.


...yeah, Roy is pretty darn good. Even if all attacks including the 2 disp.hit Tomahawk had hit, he would've survived this enemy phase.


That's a nice dodge - I have some Restore staves with me, but this saves me the trouble of wasting movement points to restore Niime.


1-3 range, kinda strong, bordering on overpowered...


Instead of dancing for Roy and seizing right away, Larum makes sure that Lilina can reach Roy to repair the Binding Blade - it's down to 5 uses at this point, since I've been leaning on Roy pretty heavily for the last map and this one.


Better than expected, really!




See? Even Jahn agrees!


Next stop: Saint Elimine, patron saint of war dragons, apparently.


And even though she has zero Lck, a really, really lucky b--eautiful person. This is how my first attempt ended, right after uploading the previous episode. Needless to say, I was a little salty.


This time, I start by clearing out her room...


...getting a lucky crit in the process (Lilina does not double here)...


...but I'm still unable to fully empty the room. Instead of finishing that Manakete and opening herself to a potential crit by Elimine...


...Juno, with Shanna's help, carries Larum forward a bunch. The Sage to the right doesn't one-shot Shanna or Larum and has a Silence use left anyway, so I'm not worried there.


Eyy, that's S rank. Three wielders for three legendary swords, after all (although I don't think I ever trade Eckesachs over to Juno...)




Next up: Shadow Maltet.


Who has relatively light guard in his room - Treck opens a path, and Roy gets into position for two enemy phase kills.



Well, one-rounding the Warrior (64 HP) was kinda close, I guess.


Roy doesn't quite one-round Barigan, so Treck chips (and yes, doing this the other way around would've been smarter)...


...Thea kills the remaining Manakete (also with a slight risk), and Roy seizes again.


Next up: Hanon, who's quite the speedy person whose gender depends on localisation.

(I think female is canon?)


They're flanked by two Falcoknights carrying Wing Spears, which is... slightly threatening for Roy, I guess? They don't exactly have stellar weapon might for this point of the game.


Well, neither does the Rapier, but it still manages to find some use in this last full chapter of the game.


And so does Lot! ...well, kinda. I had a small maths failure and thought he would one-round with the Brave Axe here, or maybe I checked the wrong Pegasus Knight's stats. In any way, he goes for the snipe with Mulagir, which... honestly is the wrong call, looking back at this.


Because he probably would've killed both of them on enemy phase if this one had been weakened.


Because of this, I have to waste two actions on this...


...although I still feel comfortable pushing into the room.


Not bad at all! Both the kill, which was far from guaranteed, and the Spd proc on the level-up.


Clean-up is incomplete thanks to my previous blunder...


...and as additional blunder, I completely forgot about this Berserker past the throne room. Whoops!


That's worth wasting a Warp for, I think. Treck doesn't care about Shadow Geese's silly crit chances, he's just mildly annoyed about the Riptide's 1-2 range.


Oof, enemy phase still turns out to be a little scary. 6% chance of insta-death...


So annoying!


To speed things up, Lilina goes for a Bolting chip...


...but gets a nice crit instead.


"Makin' toast! (...) *dink* Butterin' toast!"


The next throne has Bramimond sitting on the throne, but without a Siege tome, so Shadow Karel is the more dangerous part of the next room.


It's also almost fully covered by two enemies from the next hallway, so a little restraint would be prudent, for once.


Well, a little restraint. Zeiss still kills the nearest Manakete...


...and Clarine makes sure that Shadow Karel does anything shifty.


With that, Roy is safe in coming in, as well.


Thank god for three Delphi Shields, but Ember's changed Crit formula (Skl-10 instead of Skl:2) really spices up every lategame enemy phase that involves characters with less than stellar luck.


Welp, it's murderin' time.


Stilllll murderin' time.


Roy gets a trivial boss kill (and I get a recognisable crit animation frame, which is less trivial)...


...and Thea successfully fishes for a crit against the sleeping Shadow Karel.


I haven't been mentioning it because I'm consistently outrunning them, but more reinforcements have come in - two or three Manakete, this newly spawned Falcoknight, and a Nomad Trooper who's actually hot on Lance's heels.


Enemy phase has Treck completely demolishing the Olden Lance Paladin (which I'm still confused about), but no combat aside from that.




Jahn, as probably should've been expected, has his own Dragonstone providing him with 1-3 range (can't fight bullshit without bullshitting, I guess) and just pretty ludicrous combat stats overall. 45 Def? 49 Def? Yeah, you're not supposed to fight him with anything that isn't a legendary weapon.

Oh, and 30 Crit means that the list of characters who can safely fight him isn't very long to begin with. It does include Roy, though, who surpasses 30 Lck with the Binding Blade equipped.


For starters, Zeiss removes the Manakete blocking the entrance and everybody else gets closer to the action, although out of range of anybody.

(unless Jahn moves)
(which he doesn't)


Meanwhile, Lance keeps running from the Nomad Trooper...


...and why hello there, ambush-spawning Manakete.


That is not very nice of you.


Especially considering that Lance is still carrying Niime around...

Welp, this would've been a frustrating chapter restart.


As is, it's still an incentive to hurry the fuck up. Who knows when the next throne room will poop out its Manakete?


Treck kills one of the flanking Manakete for no particular reason...


...Shanna signals my intent...


...and Juno confirms it.

Now, even a Maltet crit doesn't quite one-shot Jahn, so we need some chip damage...


...but first, a very crucial 1-HP heal!


Yes, seriously.


I knew those +14 HP would come in handy eventually!


And with that unnecessarily large chip damage from Lilina, the last "real" boss is finished in *style*.


And while this fight technically counts as its own chapter, save prompt and all, I don't think I need to set up some artificial tension here.


He-hehh, dick jokes.


As a final escalation, Hartmut stands in our path. He doesn't actually block a fully booted Roy from reaching Idoun, but I still feel compelled to fight him...






...aw. Welp, guess not!





We win!




Here's Idoun's stats for the curious.

I'm really glad that Ember didn't change this final fight. Idoun isn't the final boss, it's Jahn (who, admittedly, is a bit disappointing in vanilla, too). The fact that the Demon Dragon isn't a monstrous tyrant like Medeus in Akaneia, but a young dragon forced into basically slavery is one of BinBla's better plot twists, in my opinion, and I appreciate that Ember didn't change this element of BinBla's narrative for a big epic showdown between Roy and Idoun.

(Although I'm also oblidged to mention that Idoun is one of approximately 195 girls or women that Roy saved from some form of captivity)


But with that, the game is over! I'm going to end the update here, before the character endings and statistics, to give myself some time to see how my characters compared to their averages, and to look through the readmes to see what content I've missed during this playthough. I'll also try and give my overall thoughts of Project Ember - to give a preemptive TL;DR, I did enjoy myself and I would recommend giving this a spin whether you like OG BinBla or not.

For now, thanks for reading!


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  • Epilogue


In which the Let's Play ends.


For starters, a look at our turncounts. Relatively brisk pace, I suppose? Chapter 6 was pretty slow, largely because Chad only really started getting the treasure after killing the boss, and I didn't plan his movement too well even after that. Similarly, I believe that chapter 12x took longer than it needed to because of the treasure chests.


But BinBla's Tactics requirements are pretty lenient, so A rank it is. What's more surprising is the Funds rank, although I guess all the fancy weapons that Ember throws at you were enough? "Power" normally won't be an A rank in a regular playthrough, either, but since I believe it's "total character levels" and not "character levels *gained*", Ember's added characters helped with this rank, as well.

According to the wiki, the difference between C rank and A rank for Experience is between 5001 and 10000 XP (i.e. 50-100 levels), so I guess S-ranking Project Ember would still require copious amounts of arena abuse...


Next, let's have a look at our characters - I'll keep this about units that I actually used or planned to use at some point, and take a look how they compare to their expected stats.


[+7 HP, +4 Def]
Between really good growths, the ability to promote when he wants to, increased movement even in his base class, and eventually access to the Binding Blade, Roy is really good for most of the game. At the very start, he still needs to catch up a little bit - he's the only character with "normal fighting ability" that starts at Lv.1 unpromoted (the other ones being Fae and Larum/Elphin) and like in vanilla, his base stats roughly combine Allen's Spd with Lance's Str.

But once he gets a couple levels, he's just really good. And then he promotes (at the start of chapter 12 for me) and effectively becomes the best Paladin you have for the rest of the game. And once you get the Binding Blade... Hoo boy.

This Roy is actually kinda stat-screwed, if you take away his +7 HP and +4 Def from stat boosters. It's mostly in Skl and Lck, though, so he still performed pretty much as you would expect him to.


It's hard to overstate just how bulky Fae is. 30 Def only gets beaten by Treck, and only when he's using Armads, and 38 Res is just not fair, period. Bonus points for high crit evade on top of that, too. Since she also got 1-2 range in Ember, Fae is probably the best tank in the game, despite her low Spd. The only problem is her Divinestone's limited usage, although it went up to 50 charges (but still cannot be Hammerne'd). I ended the game with 16 uses left, so I suppose I could've made a bit more use of her defensive abilities. As a player phase nuke, she's still good (she one-rounds some magic users, deals effective damage vs. strong enemy types, and she always has a good chance to crit if she doesn't kill the enemy outright), but it's a bit of a waste of her abilities.


[+7 HP]
Dancer/10. 6 Mov is a nice addition, and so is her high Spd growth and cap. She's rather Def-screwed, but her ability to take a single punch is mostly unchanged (-3 Def, +2 HP).


[+2 Spd]
...yeah, she was actually really Spd-screwed for her first, like, 10 promoted levels. Even now, she'd be 3.6 points below average if it wasn't for the stat booster.

Thea didn't perform quite as well as the Shiny Green Numbers suggest, even though she's probably still the best flyer in the game. But she isn't that bulky, her low Lck means that she often faces crit chances, and because her Str cap is so low, she has some trouble two-shotting with a Brave Lance to avoid a counter. I should emphasise that I'm being very nitpicky here, though, and that Thea has been really good. Just... not as perfect as I thought she might be, I guess.


[+3 Lck]
Zeiss on the other hand... His Spd might be a little underwhelming, but with his amazing Str, he did have an easier time finding kills with the Brave Lance. Plus, with +10 HP and +5 Def over Thea, he's so bulky that risking a crit isn't always gambling with death (against physical enemies, anyway). Not to mention that he got a personal Dragonpike with Brave effect from Galle. I don't think I'll go as far as calling him better than Tate, but I do think that he was easier to use.


[+2 Str, +4 Spd]
Imagine my surprise that Treck actually isn't particularly RNG-blessed, outside of his Res stat.

Treck's physical bulk, even before Armads comes into effect, is pretty silly. Despite almost every Ember character being good at what they do, "juggernauting" isn't too common as an ability. I'm sure that better players than me would fault Treck for his limited offence


[+14 HP, +2 Spd]
I kept talking shit about Lilina's combat abilities before her promotion - really frail and middling speed meant that she was almost entirely restricted to player phase combat. But getting B-rank in staves from promoting really saved her, although not in a way that I expected. Immediate Physic access with 26 Mag, and before long the ability to fire status spells from 30 Mag, is really useful. And with Forblaze, she does hit incredibly hard, which usually came to use once or twice per map.


[+2 Mag]
Clarine did it better, though, especially once she got to S Light. She doesn't hit quite as hard as Lilina, but she's been doubling and one-rounding very consistently after her promotion. It helped that her Mag was fairly blessed, but Clarine just seems like a good character all around.


Nos-tanking is very good. And Raigh combines that with quite good bulk on both sides of the spectrum (same Def as Thea, two points higher than Lance). I didn't make use of it as much as I could have, but Raigh had a very easy time surviving just about every group of enemies, as long as there isn't any 3-range (or at least not more than one or maybe two enemies with it) involved.

His low Spd did hold him back a bit during endgame, and I want to point out that this is where Sophia has an edge over him: 70% Spd growth and the female Druid class has a Spd cap of 27.


[+7 HP, +2 Str, +3 Lck]
Fairly blessed Lance (+2 Str and Def compared to his averages). I think he was good, but never the greatest member on our team - his offensive stats have been quite alright, but he's not all that bulky, although the Angelic Robe helped with that.

His overall growths are actually kinda low - one of the few unpromoted characters with less than 300% combined growth rates, although just barely with 295%. Might be an attempt to balance out his great movement, since Treck (whose promoted class only has 7 Mov) is easily the Cav with the best growth rates. That said, all the flyers (sans Galle and Juno, I guess) have slightly better growths than this.


[+7 HP, +4 Str, +2 Everything Else]
A bit surprised that she saw that little combat. I genuinely think that giving her the Saint Scroll was a viable choice, since Juno with her excellent Spd and Sword rank is able to double (or quadruple) a lot of enemies and hit reasonably hard as well. Obviuosly, the Energy Ring not being in particularly high demand helped her case, too.


...My brain initially went "Lv. 8 plus 14 levels after promotion equals 22", which made Lot's stats look blessed to a ridiculous degree. Without that silly mistake, they're still really blessed (+2.6 Str, +1.7 Def, +5.2 Res...), but not anymore to a point where I thought that Ember's PDF with the growth rates might be mistaken.

I kept rotating Lot in and out, even though he was honestly good throughout the game. His Str was a bit underwhelming most of the time, but between his amazing mixed bulk and the higher power on axes, he made a very good enemy phase fighter. And eventually, with his Str getting close to Wendy's, he even became a better bow user than her, I'd say.


Staffbot/10. Her starting with S Dark is pretty neat, since grinding that up is a bit of a pain in vanilla. Proccing Mag on her only level-up is nice, too, for that one additional point of staff range.

Niime still had less impact than in vanilla, simply because Clarine (who normally has shit Mag) and Lilina (who normally is lightyears away from a useful staff rank) were basically as good as her as staffbots, and better as combat units. Yes, even Lilina.


Shanna at 20/20 still only averages 19.6 Str, which is a bit sad. Still, a "properly" trained Shanna probably would've been a better version of Juno, which is to say "relatively useful". As is, she was basically a rescuebot that occasionally provided support bonuses to Thea and very rarely set up a Triangle attack with Thea and Juno.

Her records didn't show up in the epilogue at all - not entirely sure why, since while Ember allows four more characters to be deployed in the final chapter, the other three additional characters did get a proper ending screen.


As I said, Wendy arguably fell behind Lot as my best Archer as he reached S bows. And in hindsight, even Lot wasn't actually a vital contributor, since the characters with better mobility comfortably kicked butt with the Legendary Weapons anyway. However, before that, Wendy was incredibly good thanks to high stats and 2-3 range with bows. Even in chapter 22, where all the boots have been put on already, she managed to be useful by shooting some arrows through the wall from close to the starting location.

Milady, on the other hand, was really disappointing. Her growths are actually a lot better than I thought (I got rather unlucky with her), but even if she had gotten more and better levels, she kinda pales in comparison to Thea and Zeiss. A far cry from her vanilla impression when she casually joins with bulk comparable to promoted Alance before she uses an Elysian Whip herself. A very unremarkable unit in Ember's pool of extraordinary characters.


Five points below expected Def? Huh. Astore's combat has been consistently average, but that's honestly quite alright considering that his main job is to open locks and steal stuff. I do like the addition of a Thief promotion.


Sorry, Percival, but the increased general power level meant that you just weren't that special anymore.


Cecilia had a handful maps during which she was useful, although she got obsoleted more quickly thanks to Lilina and Clarine's improved staffbot prowess.

I actually enjoyed early-promoted Wade quite a bit, mostly for his ability to set up easy kills using a bow. His growths are actually a bit higher than Lot's overall, although I think Lot with his better Spd and Def is still the better long-term unit between the two.


Two characters that I wanted to use but ended up dropping because they both got screwed in one specific stat.

Saul procced Mag twice in 13 level-ups. End of story. His stick as a very bulky magic user is cute, but he's held back by his abysmal Lck stat and all things considered, Raigh did this a lot better than Saul ever could have. Nos-tanking is really legit.

Sin had pretty bad levels in general, but his low Spd (1 proc / 7 level-ups) is why I stopped fielding him after a while. Bit of a shame that I didn't have a 8-mov, 3-range character until Roy got his OP Binding Blade.


Marcus was the other disappointment of the playthrough. He evidently still had some use, but he gets left in the dust by Allen and Lance really fast. Interestingly, his growths are actually fairly solid (265% in total, which is only 30% below Lance), but his base stats just don't hold up.

Most likely meant to mirror Zealot's Prf axe with +2 to all stats, if you're playing the Sacae route, Lowen will come with the Olden Lance that confused me so during chapter 24. It's actually a stat booster that only Marcus can use, increasing all of his stats by +3, as well as +1 to Mov and Con. I doubt that this would let him catch up to the young'uns even with his improved growth rates, but it might make him viable for lategame in a similar way that Shanna has been - a rescue bot that can occasionally do combat with OK-ish prowess.


Huh, those 2280 fights must've happened offscreen.


And finally, this LP's name-giver, who I so unceremoniously dropped in favour of Wendy when she joined. Unfortunately, her base stats were just unambiguously better than his, helped by Bors being just a bit RNG-screwed. Plus, I didn't have a Bow user that I really considered as a permanent character at the time.


And that's the fin! So, how do I feel about Project Ember in the end?

It's good. From time to time, I still felt the urge to complain that I liked some janky aspect of BinBla, but Ember is transformative enough that it should be seen as a very different game that just happens to use the same maps.

Speaking of: Since I think that BinBla's map design is, with some exceptions, very good, I appreciate that the maps themselves are largely unchanged except for some added shortcuts. The additional breakable walls do make some of the more windy maps less tedious, in particular Ch.8 with a big door above Lilina's cell.

I'm not entirely convinced by Ember's fundamental balance choices. In particular, Ember's philosophy seems to be "Everybody and everything is good now", from axelocked characters to Sophia, and yes, including Bors. If your main complaint with BinBla is that so many characters are "false choices", then yes, Ember was a great success. It's also impressive that, despite drastically flattening the power curve between characters, Ember largely succeeded in letting every character keep some unique "feel" to them.

However, Ember suffers from a similar problem as Path of Radiance, when it comes to unit balance: If everybody is good, then nobody stands out. That is not to say that there is no discrepancies between units' usefulness - I found that because in Ember, basically every character can hit really fucking hard, stuff like mobility (Roy, Thea, Zeiss), the ability to juggernaut (Treck, Lot, Wendy), or 3-range (any bow user; Endgame!Roy) separated the good (i.e. basically everyone) from the exceptional characters.

But still - none of Ember's characters felt truly special to use, in either direction that you can interpret that word. There's no Rutger, Milady, or Percival (or, to avoid making this a comparison to only BinBla, Pent, RD!Haar, or NMotE!Palla) that upon joining immediately tear the enemies a new one. And there's no Wendy, Sophia, Nino, or Amelia, where it feels like an achievement when you manage to turn them into a positive contributor to your fights. Hell, Wendy was just good in this playthrough, from start to (almost) finish. Sophia, as far as I can tell by her averages, might start underleveled, but has the stats to work as a Nos-tank that doubles more reliably than Raigh did for me.

To a degree, this is even true for the enemies' side. Ember escalates weapon quality and diversity starting in the midgame (I think around ch.13 is where it first really stood out to me), with all kinds of Brave, Killer, and Effective weapons on every group of enemies. My stupid ol' brain didn't like that too much - because all the different weapons, plus often an enemy's ability to swap between two or more choices, I basically stopped trying to calculate how much punishment character charging ahead would take on enemy phase, and just either used an especially bulky character and hoped for the best, or just played defensively and hoped that player phase combat would be enough. But it also means that instead of thinking, "OK, I have to be wary about that group of enemies, one of them has a special weapon", I usually went, "OK, brave, brave, silver, killer, armourslayer. Pretty normal group."

And now I'm in the awkward spot that I've been ranting for four paragraphs about what I think was a bad design decision, right after saying that I think it's a good game. But it really is - it's just always easier to find stuff to nag about than to put into words why you enjoyed something. Maybe I should just put it simply: It's a Fire Emblem game, doing Fire Emblem things, which is a good thing. It avoids things that make some FE games less easily accessable than others while doing things that make Fire Emblem fun. It plays different than any FE game I've ever played, including the DS games that it clearly drew inspiration from. 3-range being quite common forces you to recalibrate the way you look at a map (while also being a bit overpowered, to be completely honest).

But with that, I am done with this LP. I might pick Project Ember up again at some point - see what changes have been made since I've downloaded my patch (I didn't want to edit the ROM during the playthrough...), maybe check out how maniacal Maniac Mode might actually be. For now - thanks for those who still kept reading me write into the void.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for doing this! I was inspired to take on Project Ember as a result. My thoughts thus far, as of completing chapter 6:



- Bors is, indeed, good.

- Roy with 7 move is weird, like why's this kid keeping up with horses? 6 would've been plenty.

- I'm liking that reinforcements are "next turn" thus far, but some in chapters 5 and 6 felt overtuned.

- Universal 2-3 Bows makes Archers and Nomads far more threatening, on both sides of battle.

- 16 EXP for a Heal use is far better than the 11 in vanilla GBAFE.

- Chad is actually a good combat unit and I don't know how to feel about it.

- Enemy Soldiers having higher HP than Armor Knights is... weird.

- Thrones/Gates give very little Avoid, leaving most bosses much easier to deal with.

- Love the northwest door added in chapter 3.

- Wish there were a way to add overworld HP bars, like in most recent FE8 hacks.


Overall, I'd say I'm liking it!

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On 4/20/2022 at 3:00 PM, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Thanks for doing this! I was inspired to take on Project Ember as a result. My thoughts thus far, as of completing chapter 6:

Overall, I'd say I'm liking it!

Eyy, good luck and I hope you keep having fun with it!

Surprisingly enough, soldiers have more HP than knights in vanilla, too. They're pretty beefy, except that both their Spd and Def suck really badly.

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