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48 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Yeah... I want to like Hardin, in concept he's great! A great ally of many battles - literally, since he was in the first game - turns out to be the big bad in the sequel? That's a nice concept. Alas...

Lyon did it so much better.

On Eprahim route anyway. On Eirika route emphasis is more put on him being overly passionate about the good that can be done with the sacred stones. Just like how Eirika finds herself tempted to use it to revive those killed by the war in the epilogue.
The darker aspects of his personality are not entirely absent, but they feel like they are more meant to complement the Eprahim version of the story than to really add to the Eirika one.

Although even Eirika route Lyon is a useful comparison.
He is more of a victim in that route, but he still maneuvered himself into the position to be mind controlled. He knew the Fire Emblem was evil, but he just couldn't keep his hands from it in light of all the good that it could in theory do.
That much is entirely on him.
Hardin didn't even do that much. He didn't seek out the dark orb for whatever reason. He had it tricked on him.
The fact that Nyna was in love with Camus was also kept from him. So it really doesn't seem as if this loveless marriage is his fault either. By all appearance he was lead to believe that this marriage was something Nyna wanted too.

It's not that Hardin's story isn't a sad one. Even more so considering that history will likely remember him as a tyrant whose cruelty brought the greatest kingdom in the world to ruin.
But it's not a tragedy in the sense that he brought his fate upon himself through his own flaws. He was just a guy that life really had it out for.

Edited by BrightBow
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9 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Lyon did it so much better.

On Eprahim route anyway. On Eirika route emphasis is more put on him being overly passionate about the good that can be done with the sacred stones. Just like how Eirika finds herself tempted to use it to revive those killed by the war in the epilogue.
The darker aspects of his personality are not entirely absent, but they feel like they are more meant to complement the Eprahim version of the story than to really add to the Eirika one.

Although even Eirika route Lyon is a useful comparison.
He is more of a victim in that route, but he still maneuvered himself into the position to be mind controlled. He knew the Fire Emblem was evil, but he just couldn't keep his hands from it in light of all the good that it could in theory do.
That much is entirely on him.
Hardin didn't even do that much. He didn't seek out the dark orb for whatever reason. He had it tricked on him.
The fact that Nyna was in love with Camus was also kept from him. So it really doesn't seem as if this loveless marriage is his fault either. By all appearance he was lead to believe that this marriage was something Nyna wanted too.

It's not that Hardin's story isn't a sad one. Even more so considering that history will likely remember him as a tyrant whose cruelty brought the greatest kingdom in the world to ruin.
But it's not a tragedy in the sense that he brought his fate upon himself through his own flaws. He was just a guy that life really had it out for.

Yeah, I don't really have much more to add, this is a good write-up. There's definitely tragedy in Hardin's tale, but Lyon's not only tragic, he's also nuanced. And that's what elevates him over Hardin and, really, the rest. Most FE villains wish their petty grudges and grand conquest plans were as nuanced as Lyon's severe self-esteem issues and narrow-sighted hubris.

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I think the difference between Hardin and Lyon is mostly that IS/Kaga didn't really know how to tell a story yet.  That's not a defense, exactly.  FE3 is marred by Book 1 not really having a plot and Book 2's plot being exposition dumps, so it's not up to the standard of FE8.  (IS learned that you can have more than just the lord and advisorman in the plot by making multiple lords in FE7 and that carried through to FE8.)  With those (severe) limitations in mind, I think Hardin comes off as a decent enough villain.

14 hours ago, BrightBow said:

The fact that Nyna was in love with Camus was also kept from him. So it really doesn't seem as if this loveless marriage is his fault either. By all appearance he was lead to believe that this marriage was something Nyna wanted too.

I don't remember it being implied that Hardin had any reason to believe that Nyna was into him.  He's basically nonexistent in FE1/Book 1 after recruitment, but Nyna is one of the few characters that gets lines - most of them pining for Camus.  To me, between books Hardin comes off as partially lovestruck over Nyna and partially hungry for power in the upgrade from King of Aurelis to Emperor of Archanea.  But that's probably just headcanon, I don't know if any of that is backed up.

I think one major thing that distinguishes Hardin from Lyon is we get to see Lyon interact with the twins in flashbacks, where we can start to understand his obsession with being a loser and how he might use the Fire Emblem to rise up to the level of the twins.  Obviously this ends with him being mind-controlled.  But we never see Nyna tell Hardin she doesn't give a shit about him - FE3 is content to tell, not show, that this loveless marriage is what ends with Hardin being mind-controlled.  I think these are reasonably equivalent character motivations, and if anything there's a reason to care about Hardin more than Lyon since we actually get to use him in Book 1.  It just doesn't work as well because FE3's story is so slight.

It's been forever since I've played New Mystery so it seems like it should be better addressed there, but I guess it's not.

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2 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

It's been forever since I've played New Mystery so it seems like it should be better addressed there, but I guess it's not.

New Mystery isn't where it should have been addressed. By then it's too late. Book 1 and Shadow Drgaon DS is when Hardin should have been built up as character. They knew where the plot was gown and had two separate chances to characterize him so his fall from grace was meaningful and squandered both of them. At least they gave him a BS Saga episode which helps somewhat, but the whole "My ally is now my enemy" angle only works if we've actually experienced him as an ally and not just a random disposable unit on par with Laim and Auffle. By the time we hit New Mystery it's already too late, as the plot of New Mystery itself requires it to be an unbelievable turn at first, but then wholly believable once Marth actually meets Hardin. All you can do from there is a flashback to the loveless marriage and a clear headed death quote.

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25 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

I think the difference between Hardin and Lyon is mostly that IS/Kaga didn't really know how to tell a story yet.  That's not a defense, exactly.  FE3 is marred by Book 1 not really having a plot and Book 2's plot being exposition dumps, so it's not up to the standard of FE8.  (IS learned that you can have more than just the lord and advisorman in the plot by making multiple lords in FE7 and that carried through to FE8.)  With those (severe) limitations in mind, I think Hardin comes off as a decent enough villain.

To be fair, Kaga did write the best FE story, Thracia 776 (totally objective claim don't @ me) while still stuck in the "only two characters in this story" mindset, just because both the protagonist and his advisors were actually good, realized characters on their own right this time around. Though it's a bad example to bring up in this context because, while the story works thanks to its different scope and excellent main cast, the villains are dreadful lol

But yeah, for what the story is, Hardin works fine. It's just, he doesn't really keep up compared to future villains. Especially when three games later they did Hardin but Better in the form of Zephiel.

28 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

It's been forever since I've played New Mystery so it seems like it should be better addressed there, but I guess it's not.

Oh no, FE12 barely does anything to improve Book 2's barebones, exposition dumpy story. It introduces Kris, who again, I don't find to be as bad as people say but they don't exactly add much either. They're just... there. It also has the assassins subplot which feels really out of place and superfluous, but it adds Wrys to the game so it instantly elevates the story by a factor of ten. And the rest is... basically just the same! Words change here and there, Kris chimes in a few times, more minor characters are added, but in the grand scheme of things, it's the exact same boring shlock. I love FE12, but well, not for its story lol

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41 minutes ago, Jotari said:

New Mystery isn't where it should have been addressed. By then it's too late. Book 1 and Shadow Drgaon DS is when Hardin should have been built up as character.

Yeah, this is true. Book 1 is still somewhat forgiveable since hardware limitations and all, but they did care to flesh things out in Shadow Dragon and just ignored Hardin.  That's bizarre.

42 minutes ago, Jotari said:

not just a random disposable unit on par with Laim and Auffle.

To be fair, nobody is on par with Auffle.

I get irrationally attached to FE characters that perform well for me, but even then it's tricky to get that for Hardin since you've probably already been using Cain and Abel.  Nobody cares about the third cav.

8 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

To be fair, Kaga did write the best FE story, Thracia 776 (totally objective claim don't @ me) while still stuck in the "only two characters in this story" mindset, just because both the protagonist and his advisors were actually good, realized characters on their own right this time around.

Thracia has the best implementation of the "characters talk in their joining chapter, join you, and then never talk again" style so prevalent in FE (until it was supplanted with "I must retreat so I can still talk in the story" style).  The Manster group, Mareeta, Selphina and Glade, Linoan, Saias and Ced, etc. This happens in FE3 and FE6 as well, but I think Thracia does it best by far.  It makes it so it's not just Leif, August, and Dorias talking all the time, great as they all are.

53 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Though it's a bad example to bring up in this context because, while the story works thanks to its different scope and excellent main cast, the villains are dreadful lol

Raydrick could work!  He's exactly the sort of unscrupulous psychopath that you would expect to come to prominence in a Thracia under the Empire's shadow, and he's effective in the scenes he's in.  He just disappears for half the game...because his mind-control failed so Kaga got bored of him?

Veld is, well, nothing doing, someone with less character than Gharnef is always going to struggle.  All of Manfroy's underlings have absolutely nothing going for them, aside from their evil hoods.

56 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

And the rest is... basically just the same! Words change here and there, Kris chimes in a few times, more minor characters are added, but in the grand scheme of things, it's the exact same boring shlock. I love FE12, but well, not for its story lol

I'd really like to know what the internal deliberations here were.  Is it just that they added Kris and the assassins first and then ran out of time to polish up the main story (and integrate Kris into it)?

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46 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

I get irrationally attached to FE characters that perform well for me, but even then it's tricky to get that for Hardin since you've probably already been using Cain and Abel.  Nobody cares about the third cav.

Hardin's best chance is that he has an absolutely godly design. That turban goes hard.

46 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

Thracia has the best implementation of the "characters talk in their joining chapter, join you, and then never talk again" style so prevalent in FE (until it was supplanted with "I must retreat so I can still talk in the story" style).  The Manster group, Mareeta, Selphina and Glade, Linoan, Saias and Ced, etc. This happens in FE3 and FE6 as well, but I think Thracia does it best by far.  It makes it so it's not just Leif, August, and Dorias talking all the time, great as they all are.

lolololol Robert, Kane and Alva lolololol

Nah but yeah, they do handle the secondary cast rather nicely. I do feel Kaga refined the formula in his later games, reaching his peak with Berwick Saga and its plethora of character events for its secondary cast, but for its age and for what it is, Thracia handles itself decently well.

47 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

Raydrick could work!  He's exactly the sort of unscrupulous psychopath that you would expect to come to prominence in a Thracia under the Empire's shadow, and he's effective in the scenes he's in.  He just disappears for half the game...because his mind-control failed so Kaga got bored of him?

I agree with this. Raydrick's problem is lack of screentime, not presence. He's fine in the earlygame, where he actually gets to exist. He just needed to exist more. Perhaps have him help out with the siege of Tahra (not necessarily replacing Paulus because he's one of the game's top one-off bossmen) or the Ulster debacle.

47 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

Veld is, well, nothing doing, someone with less character than Gharnef is always going to struggle.  All of Manfroy's underlings have absolutely nothing going for them, aside from their evil hoods.

Then there's Veld, who is just really funny.

Personally, I'm in love with the fact that you can capture him. You couldn't capture Raydrick even though he's kind of a pathetic worm, you can't capture half the recolored generals and barons the game throws your way, but you can capture the oh-so-important mAsTErMinD that is the final enemy of the game. I love this because it allows for the funniest scenarios.

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21 hours ago, BrightBow said:

So did Maria hide his body the entire time or what?

Her dress probably has pockets and she just kept him in one of them

19 hours ago, Jotari said:

Yeah but that's standard fair for Avatars. People seem to treat it as uniquely sinful when it happens to Kris. At least Kris has the good sense to be awkward and humble about the universal acclaim.

Well, avatars are kinda lame. (in games with a story with virtually zero player agenda, such as Fire Emblem. They can work in games where you can actually make decisions that shape the world.)

19 hours ago, Jotari said:

Nevertheless this map still annoys the hell out of me. A sit starts the grand trend of Book 2 reusing Book 1 maps. I was okay with the bride last time even before I learned it wasn't actually I'm Book 1. There it makes perfect sense, Marth is coming from the south so he crosses the choke point in reverse to the previous game. But here we have the exact same map. Why is Marth's approach to Kahdein the same as last time when he's coming from another direction? Just do what Sacred Stones did with Castle Renvall and shift the chapter over a few tiled to give a completely different feel.

A Shrine of Seals situation would've been cool, where you copy the central structure and its surroundings (the lake and the string of buildings make the area somewhat distinctive) and then create a map into another direction. Marth is coming from the west, so it would've made sense if the city had been in the top right of the map.

But really, the geography doesn't that well here just in general. Marth escapes via boat to the west of Raman, which means that he'd have to sail all the way around Grunia to get to Khadein, even passing Altea on the way there.

  

3 hours ago, RPGuy96 said:

I don't remember it being implied that Hardin had any reason to believe that Nyna was into him.  He's basically nonexistent in FE1/Book 1 after recruitment, but Nyna is one of the few characters that gets lines - most of them pining for Camus.  To me, between books Hardin comes off as partially lovestruck over Nyna and partially hungry for power in the upgrade from King of Aurelis to Emperor of Archanea.  But that's probably just headcanon, I don't know if any of that is backed up.

In FE11, Hardin is written to explicitly not be power-hungry:

Quote

Hardin:
“I’ve left Princess Nyna someplace safe for now. We need to decide who will command here. I was hoping it would be you.”

Marth:
“Me? But, Sir Hardin, you are far more qualified-“

Hardin:
“Tsk, Princess Nyna would not be pleased to hear us nitpicking over who will be listed in the history books. Take command, so we can oust this Medonian scum and be done with it.”

Pretty sure that you need to actively have them talk during the fight, though. I remember being rather confused that this random Cav apparently had had a big role in FE11 when a FE12 base convo flashbacks to that dialogue. But hey, he's only almost nonexistant in FE11"!

Can't really add much to the overall Hardin discussion that hasn't already been said, though. Friend-turned-enemy is a neat concept, but it doesn't really work when the friend wasn't one of the, what, three-and-a-half actual characters that FE1 has. Bottom line, Marth should've married Nyna and become EVIL Marth, with Jubelo and Yumina as Book 2's protagonists.

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6 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

To be fair, Kaga did write the best FE story, Thracia 776 (totally objective claim don't @ me) while still stuck in the "only two characters in this story" mindset, just because both the protagonist and his advisors were actually good, realized characters on their own right this time around. Though it's a bad example to bring up in this context because, while the story works thanks to its different scope and excellent main cast, the villains are dreadful lol

But yeah, for what the story is, Hardin works fine. It's just, he doesn't really keep up compared to future villains. Especially when three games later they did Hardin but Better in the form of Zephiel.

Oh no, FE12 barely does anything to improve Book 2's barebones, exposition dumpy story. It introduces Kris, who again, I don't find to be as bad as people say but they don't exactly add much either. They're just... there. It also has the assassins subplot which feels really out of place and superfluous, but it adds Wrys to the game so it instantly elevates the story by a factor of ten. And the rest is... basically just the same! Words change here and there, Kris chimes in a few times, more minor characters are added, but in the grand scheme of things, it's the exact same boring shlock. I love FE12, but well, not for its story lol

I disagree that the Assassin's Subplot is superfluous. It's quite effective at pacing New Mystery better. Mainly by throwing something at us for the start and end of the Anri's Way segment. But even breaking up Hardin from the end game with Eremiah leaves some breathing room. It also makes our enemies less passive which is a major issue with Shadow Dragon. Less so with Mystery since Hardin does go for Marth in the first half dozen chapters, but once you do escape him, he and Gharnef do basically nothing for the rest of the game. The Assassin's Subplot makes it so they are actively trying to target and kill Marth throughout, not just waiting for him to come to them.

And as far as it goes as an independent subplot, well it's not amazing but Katarina and Clarisse's abusive sistership and Kris's breaking of Katarina's Camus make me decently invested. Eremiah just being Kagaed kind of sucks though.

Edited by Jotari
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4 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Nah but yeah, they do handle the secondary cast rather nicely. I do feel Kaga refined the formula in his later games, reaching his peak with Berwick Saga and its plethora of character events for its secondary cast, but for its age and for what it is, Thracia handles itself decently well.

Yeah, TRS finally gives minor characters dialogue after recruitment, but in long scenes between chapters that feel kind of random.  Berwick having Navaron as a hub makes the same sort of deal work so much better, plus literally everyone in Navaron has a name so there can be lots of long running interactions with NPCs, which is also cool.

3 hours ago, ping said:

In FE11, Hardin is written to explicitly not be power-hungry:

Alas

3 hours ago, ping said:

Bottom line, Marth should've married Nyna and become EVIL Marth, with Jubelo and Yumina as Book 2's protagonists.

My pitch would be Caeda as the protagonist, ready for revenge after getting spurned by the heartless and power-hungry Dark Emperor Marth.  Remix Book 1 a different way -Caeda fights off an invasion from Talys castle, Ogma shows up with the twins reclassed as instead of the axe bros, you fight the Wolfguard at Aurelis, Camus eagerly joins you to get his revenge on unfaithful Nyna... 

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3 hours ago, ping said:

I remember being rather confused that this random Cav apparently had had a big role in FE11 when a FE12 base convo flashbacks to that dialogue. But hey, he's only almost nonexistant in FE11"!

Something that low-key bothers me about the Shadow Dragon flashbacks in New Mystery is that they always use Marth's New Mystery portrait. As if it's a retconned appearance and not just a new outfit. The Shadow Dragon portrait still exists, there's no reason not to use it.

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8 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Hardin's best chance is that he has an absolutely godly design. That turban goes hard.

That and he is just insanely strong. Close to a class change as well.

Even more so in FE3 where he starts with +5 HP instead of the +2 HP most other cavs got compared to FE1.
 

4 hours ago, Jotari said:

And as far as it goes as an independent subplot, well it's not amazing but Katarina and Clarisse's abusive sistership and Kris's breaking of Katarina's Camus make me decently invested.

If only there was anything to it besides it being an excuse for the moeblob to cry at the self-insert's shoulder.

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46 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

That and he is just insanely strong. Close to a class change as well.

Even more so in FE3 where he starts with +5 HP instead of the +2 HP most other cavs got compared to FE1.
 

If only there was anything to it besides it being an excuse for the moeblob to cry at the self-insert's shoulder.

The fact that they were Gaidens and not implemented into the main story does but Katarina in an unfortunately non existent role after recruitment. If it were part of the main story she probably could have given us good insight into Gharnef's location and plans. And, coming to think of it, there are enough generic bosses that you actually could give all the Assassins their own chapters in the main story. Legion could be the boss of the first Anri's Way chapter in the desert. Clarisse could be the boss of the Ice Dragon exterior. Katarina could be the boss of the mountain crossing and Ereimiya could be the boss of the Wyvern Valley or the first Dragon's Table chapter. Of course, part of the reason the Assassin's Subplot also exists is so that there's extra filler chapters for us to recruit the extra filler units since they took the Smash Ultimate approach of "Everyone is here" (except you Boah, you can just go ahead and die). They also could have just not made them optional and had them incorporated into the main story. It's not like they're even remotely difficult to unlock as far as paralogues go. Almost the opposite of Shadow Dragon really.

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On 1/12/2024 at 9:47 AM, ping said:

tTAzBy8.png__9XZ479Y.png

The boss is very weak. I even forgot to take a screenshot of his stats, but 4 Def should tell you all you need. He's getting one-rounded by Sheeda with an Iron Lance here, who admittedly makes him look even more pathetic thanks to the Pegasus Knight class's base Res.

Funfact, he's the only sword wielding boss in both books!

Also I forgot to respond to this earlier.

On 1/12/2024 at 9:47 AM, ping said:

GXAFBcG.png

yjgKw4E.png: "Murderer."

There is comedy in his laconic death quote. I propose to change it to "Rude." to maybe increase the effect further.

Dahl is actually a bit of a meme in Japan and has appeared in a few hacks with the iconic death quote.

On 1/12/2024 at 9:47 AM, ping said:

THMpsw7.png: "Jagen, you know of the tales of Naga? Can you tell me what you know of them?"
5LmJEnD.png: "Yes, but I only know a little... This occured almost a thousand years ago. Back then there were no kingdoms in this continent, and people lived separately in small villages. At that time there existed frightful monsters, which would occasionally attack humans. At one stage, only around 10,000 humans remained and mankind was nearing extinction. It was said that the surviving humans prayed to the deities for help. The deities answered their wishes and sent a gigantic warrior to the earth. The warrior held in his right hand a sword of light. In his left hand was a shield encrusted with five jewels. After many violent battles, the monsters were defeated and the warrior returned to the heavens... That warrior was the Guardian God Naga, who was worshipped in this very temple."

The english Book, Legacy of Archanea, makes large changes to this so humans worship Naga to begin with as their only Goddess and Naga sends a giant warrior to help them instead of Naga being one of their many gods, Naga being considered male by the legend, and Naga appearing as a giant man.


Thoughts @ping. Personally I dislike it.

Also sorry I didn't respond to this sooner.

 

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10 minutes ago, Emperor Hardin said:

Funfact, he's the only sword wielding boss in both books!

Huh. So he is. At least, if you don't count Astram or Samson.

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FE3 Book 2 Chapter 10: The Two Mages

Spoiler

P9V8zyL.png

Under the ruling Pontifex are numerous high bishops, and the city is run with their co-operation. However, because Pontifex Gharnef joined forces with Dolhr, in the previous war, the city was dragged into conflict and destruction. After losing all the high bishops, Khadein was ruled by the newly elected Pontifex Wendell, who began the first steps along the road to reconstruction. But, Wendell, in order to complete his mission from Gotoh, left Khadein in the care of two youths. Merric and Arlen... They were both skilled youths, with high hopes placed on them.

I'd be very disappointed if somebody told me they were on a Mission from Go...toh.

i487K5N.png

TTjbR2u.png: "I became Master's student before you, and I was stronger than you. Yet he gave Excalibur, which should have been mine, to you. Why, Merric? Is it because you're a noble of Altea? I was so angry. I believed I was going to be Master's successor..."
3oaWh0o.png: "Is that it? I'm sorry, Arlen, I will apologise to you. However, I never once thought about succeeding Master. I don't hate Khadein, but I had already decided to return to my homeland upon finishing my studies. At Altea there is somebody that I wish to protect for my whole life... So, that's why Master Wendell's successor can only be you. Arlen, please! To reclaim Altea, will you lend me your strength?"
TTjbR2u.png: "Altea!? The country that betrayed the Archanea Empire and, so, was invaded by them? Why should I help them? Our mage army has already sworn loyalty to Emperor Hardin. Right... So it was you... It was you who brought the Altean army here!"
3oaWh0o.png: "No!! It's all a misunderstanding!"
TTjbR2u.png: "Shut up, you traitor!! I'm not going to listen to your lies anymore! Will your Excalibur prevail, or will it be my Thoron? Come! Let us find out!"

I was going to commend Arlen for his anto-aristocratic ethos, but then he turns around and bends the knee to the Kaiser. Very disappointing.

q7nV5DL.png

The map is honestly a bit of a let-down after the previous ones, too. The enemies are all really weak, so this map mostly comes down to "click Rescue to keep both Merric and Arlen alive". Not very interesting. Some of the Mages do come with Elfire, so they're technically stronger than what we ran into outside in the desert - but they're still Lv.1 Mages and can be oneshot with as little as 18 Atk.

ZuwxfYR.png

[HP 80% | Str 20% | Skl 50% | Spd 50% | Lck 50% | WLv 80% | Def 20%]

Merric returns with stat increases appropriate to his later joining time. In Book 1, he joined as a Lv.1 Mage, now he's 9 levels higher with +4 Str, +4 Spd, and +3 Def, which all seems adequate, though not incredibly strong at this point. Xcalibr obviously adds some punch, but he kinda pales compared to Linde's ability to Aura-bomb that much earlier in the game, or in our case even compared to Jubelo, who is starting this fight with a whopping +6 Str advantage.

That said, I know that we're going to see a bunch of Wyverns (the kind without a dude on their backs) in the upcoming fights, against which Merric will deal huge damage. I'm probably going to use him for that and then promote him come endgame to give him some extra utility when he's done de-kagaing Elice.

cJ4nOxa.png

[HP 90% | Str 10% | Skl 30% | Spd 40% | Lck 10% | WLv 70% | Def 30%]

Arlen has exactly the same base stats as Merric, apart from +2 WLv, allowing him to use Thoron. But Merric makes up for that with his Xcalibr access, so Arlen's only real advantage is slightly higher HP/Def growth, which he pays for with slightly lower growths everywhere else (except for much worse Lck, but 6 base is decent enough).

Honestly, the main problem I see with Arlen is that he lacks Xcalibr to blow away Wyverns in the upcoming chapters, and a girlfriend that forces the player to deploy him on the final map. As a result, he has an even harder time than Merric to make a case for himself vs. all the other mages. I don't think he's bad - just not very exciting, stat-wise.

Oh, and of course he starts the map as an enemy; nominally even as the boss, although he'll start chasing after blue units immediately. But since the comparison between him and Merric so obvious, I thought I'd get ahead of myself a little.

8dJFPSQ.png

Have we seen enemy Clerics before in FE3? I don't remember.

I remembered that not killing any of them results in a reward in FE12, so I followed the Geneva convention for a change, but as it turns out, that wasn't necessary here. Oh well, it's not like they give a significant amount of kill XP.

WARNING: Not Safe For Rubens

Spoiler

lQcojoC.png

Marlicisheia was deployed.

Not sure how I feel about the entirely unreachable chests on this map. I guess it has an advantage over New Mystery in that, because you can't send Rickard on a 20-turn journey to open them, it's very clear that this is where you're supposed to use the Thief staff. And because you get that staff on the previous map, this is also soon enough to make it feel like an additional reward for killing the enemy carrying it.

GhKg5Mz.png

The two Bishops directly above the starting location both carry Swarm tomes, so killing them early is very helpful. Marth can water-walk (one tile at a time, so he needed Feena's help) and one-round with Steel; Bantu can water-walk, but only in human form, so he has to move to the correct tile before using the Firestone.

The easier solution would've been to use Julian, who has +1 Str compared to Marth and can also water-walk, but using Bantu is obviously still the better option because you're using Bantu.

2TAO5PW.png

One problem: Arlen moves in a way that would allow him to attack Banutu on the next turn, and he one-rounds. As in, Banutu one-shots Arlen, obviously. So, Marth has to stay in range to make sure Arlen doesn't commit suicide by Dragon.

4EMgr2t.png__ZSKCSfK.png__vVVE5ju.png

It's a close call, but Marth can do the distraction work without requiring a Physic. Risky business, of course, with the Killing Edge Merc attacking him twice.

7pELFEG.png

The workload distribution: Yubello murders the left part of the map, with Arran hanging around in case he can steal some XP (well, he manages to get one kill). This does require a Physic use, but Yubello repays the investment by easily one-rounding every single enemy in the area. The right part of the map is shared between all the other characters.

mmD4OWQ.png__HpiBCst.png

Annoyingly, Arlen decides to walk the wrong way for a turn, even though Warren, Banutu, and Linde were just a single tile out of his range. Does he think that the Cleric is barring his way?

5c66yqL.png__3vymTX0.png

At5bqt4.png: "Arlen! What are you doing?!!"
TTjbR2u.png: "Oh, Master Wendell... You've returned..."
At5bqt4.png: "You still don't understand my actions? You are indeed a talented magician. But you don't have a caring heart, and that is why I didn't pass on Excalibur to you."
TTjbR2u.png: "... A caring heart...?"
At5bqt4.png: "Before, I had already decided that, when the time was right, you would become my successor. But what you're doing now is betraying your own will... How are you different from Gharnef?"
TTjbR2u.png: "You're comparing me with the Dark Pontifex, Gharnef? Please, Master! That's too much."
At5bqt4.png: "Listen to me... Gharnef and Miloah were both Gotoh's most talented students. But Gotoh saw that Gharnef's inner heart was weak, so he gave the Aura and Khadein to Miloah. Driven mad by jealousy, Gharnef stole the Darksphere from Gotoh, and created the Imhullu spell. As a result... His heart was corrupted by the Darksphere. Originally Gharnef was a youth with a strong sense of justice. But his jealousy led him down the path of destructin. Arlen, do you understand now...?"
TTjbR2u.png: "...Master..."
At5bqt4.png: "That is all I can say to you. I hope you will understand. You still have many things to learn, and your will is too weak. Do you really intend on retreading Gharnef's path?"
TTjbR2u.png: "Master! I'm really sorry, I... see my wrongs. Please forgive me!"
At5bqt4.png: "Arlen, you should begin by letting your strength be used by others... Understood?"

"Surely, my student who is much like young Gharnef will not do what Gharnef would do in his position after I leave." - Wendell, probably

The delay doesn't end up mattering, though. The Cleric politely moves out of the way (probably because Arran chipped a Mage with the Levin Sword on the other side of the map) and Arlen manages to orient himself properly again. In the end, this doesn't even slow down the map...

IWtmuIG.png__EATn4oI.png__GVU7z2X.png

...because not only does Julian still have to grab the other two chests (which also was slowed down by Arlen's wandering, of course), but there is also a very important Thief that spawns on turn 10.

7fe2jFN.png

The Silver Card is the reward that you get for keeping the Clerics alive in FE12. Here, you get it as a reward for killing yet another random passerby.

So yeah, this map will always take at least 11 turns if you want to grab all the things (and the Silver Card is a rather important thing).

xH173MV.png

"I have here a very post-modern artwork of a monkey that isn't very entertained. Only 20000 gold today. Tomorrow, it'll be worth at least 25k."

THMpsw7.png: "Ah, Gotoh! Yes, I can hear you... You're using the power of magic to talk to me, right?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Yes... You summoned me? I will share with you my strength. What is it that you wish for?"
THMpsw7.png: "Gotoh! There's something I want you to tell me. Why was Hardin changed so suddenly? Also, what is the power that is protecting him?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Hmm... that would be the Darksphere. The Darksphere is what's shielding Hardin..."

sP5W3fi.png

"I'd rather see you flee in terror from Hardin while your friends and family suffer. Hi-la-ri-ous. But alas..."

nDWPpiw.png: "In this world, there exist 5 sacred Spheres containing mysterious power. Aside from the Light, Star and Geosphere that you have seen. There is also the Lifesphere and what is known as the... Darksphere. The Darksphere opposes the Lightsphere, and it can greatly increase the strength of one's mind. It can give its owner courage, release them from suffering, and increase their ambitions and wishes. And, during battles, it can control the enemy's mind as well and prevent them from moving. But, the Darksphere is too dangerous for humans to use. It will react with humans' anger, disdain and jealousy causing them to increase tenfold. Eventually it will destroy their soul and turn them into a monster. I don't know how Hardin obtained the Darksphere. But after that... His heart was consumed by darkness."
THMpsw7.png: "How could that... Why...? Hardin shouldn't be such a weak man. He should be happy for being able to marry his beloved Nyna. Why should he be jealous...?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Your highness... Humans aren't simple creatures. But, regardless, as long as Hardin has the Darksphere you cannot win. The only thing that can defeat the Darksphere is the Lightsphere. If you want to defeat him, you must come to me to obtain it."
THMpsw7.png: "Huh? Gotoh, really? Wit hthe Lightsphere we can save Hardin...?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Hmm... If his heart has not been completely consumed, perhaps he can be saved. But that depends on whether Hardin is really as strong-willed as you say..."
THMpsw7.png: "Thanks, Gotoh! Please allow me to borrow the Lightsphere."
nDWPpiw.png: "Hmm, but I have one condition. If you can reach the Ice Dragon Shrine, where I am, I will hand over the Lightsphere to you. But, that won't be an easy task. There has only been one human that has ever made it here. That's right... The hero Anri. If you, like Anri, are a true hero, I will lend you the Sphere. Well, Marth. Do you have the courage to challenge Anri's Way?"
THMpsw7.png: "Yes! Of course! Please let me go there! I must obtain the Lightsphere!"
nDWPpiw.png: "Then, first head directly north, across the Marmotord Desert, and then come to Thabes Tower. I will have somebody meet you there."
THMpsw7.png: "Okay, I understand. I'll be there for sure!!"

BvlaoUi.png

*sigh*

It's been brought up already, but the whole "test the hero if he's worthy" plot here doesn't work very well, unless it's supposed to make Gotoh look like a prick. People are dying, dude. Maybe don't send the guy who already proved his worth to you in the previous game on a week- if not month-long journey right now.

I also have to mention that Marth is still thick as a plank when it comes to romance. He knows that Nyna was very much into Camüh, so even though the guy is definitely very dead, it's not that big leap of logic to figure out that she might not be quite as much into Hardin. In line with his end-of-book-1 scene with Nyna and Sheeda, I suppose.

What I do appreciate is the set-up that Hardin might be able to be cured of his corruption because he's that superstrong ally of justice... for that (spoiler warning, I suppose) to be smacked down with the small exception of a short moment of clarity because nah, Hardin's a strong dude, but he's still just A Dude.

The Team:

	Lv. 	   HP Str Skl Spd Lck WLv Def Res  +XP
Marth	9.41	   28  10  10  12  11   9   9   0  +82
Arran	7.87	   23   9   9  11   4  10  11   6  +42
Caeda	11.32	   23   9  13  20  17  15  10   6  --
Warren	14.24	   30  13  10  11   3  11   6   2  +104

Julian	9.48	   22  10   9  16   9   8   7   0  +42
Banutu	4.99	   25   2   9   5   1   2   3   1  +82	(+7 HP, +5 Skl)
Wendell	*/9.13	   27   5   6  13   4  12   5   6  +46
Linde	7.71	   21   4   7  11  10  10   3   5  --

Jubelo	15.41	   23  13   7  12  13  16   6   3  +192
Merric	10.64	   22   5   6  10   6  10   7   3  +64	(base)
Arlen	10.00	   22   5   6  10   6  12   7   3  --	(base)
Yuliya	11.04	   18   7   8   9  15  12   3   6  +122

Marisha	3.38	   17   2   1   6  12   5   1   5  +140
Phina	4.00	   17   2   5  13  11   3   4   0  +80

 

Answers!

Spoiler

  

21 hours ago, RPGuy96 said:

My pitch would be Caeda as the protagonist, ready for revenge after getting spurned by the heartless and power-hungry Dark Emperor Marth.  Remix Book 1 a different way -Caeda fights off an invasion from Talys castle, Ogma shows up with the twins reclassed as instead of the axe bros, you fight the Wolfguard at Aurelis, Camus eagerly joins you to get his revenge on unfaithful Nyna... 

It would be a very different FE game, in which the protagonist can recruit literally every enemy in the game.

20 hours ago, Jotari said:

Something that low-key bothers me about the Shadow Dragon flashbacks in New Mystery is that they always use Marth's New Mystery portrait. As if it's a retconned appearance and not just a new outfit. The Shadow Dragon portrait still exists, there's no reason not to use it.

To be fair, SD!Marth looks really derpy. I wouldn't be surprised if this was part of the decision.

14 hours ago, Emperor Hardin said:

Dahl is actually a bit of a meme in Japan and has appeared in a few hacks with the iconic death quote.

Understandable. I think he stands out because his death quote seems more unintentially funny (which my change would make worse, actually), compared to, say Batta the Beast or Mr Peerless Swordsplay, where their boasting and its contrast to their status as tutorial bosses seems much more like a deliberate joke.

15 hours ago, Emperor Hardin said:

The english Book, Legacy of Archanea, makes large changes to this so humans worship Naga to begin with as their only Goddess and Naga sends a giant warrior to help them instead of Naga being one of their many gods, Naga being considered male by the legend, and Naga appearing as a giant man.


Thoughts @ping. Personally I dislike it.

Might've been an attempt to make the religion more monotheistic and thereby more christian-like, be it to avoid controversy or to make the religion seem more familiar to western audiences.

To be honest, I don't have very strong opinions here. As I alluded to earlier, I don't think that changes in localisation are inherently problematic, and the Akaneia lore is vague enough that I can't really tell which version I find stronger.

15 hours ago, Emperor Hardin said:

Also sorry I didn't respond to this sooner.

Hey, no worries. I'm happy about all responses no matter when they come.

 

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1 hour ago, ping said:

I was going to commend Arlen for his anto-aristocratic ethos, but then he turns around and bends the knee to the Kaiser. Very disappointing.

You can commend him on his hair, though. Dude's got nothing to envy Aideen. You'll understand when you get to the next game.

1 hour ago, ping said:

ZuwxfYR.png

[HP 80% | Str 20% | Skl 50% | Spd 50% | Lck 50% | WLv 80% | Def 20%]

Merric returns with stat increases appropriate to his later joining time. In Book 1, he joined as a Lv.1 Mage, now he's 9 levels higher with +4 Str, +4 Spd, and +3 Def, which all seems adequate, though not incredibly strong at this point. Xcalibr obviously adds some punch, but he kinda pales compared to Linde's ability to Aura-bomb that much earlier in the game, or in our case even compared to Jubelo, who is starting this fight with a whopping +6 Str advantage.

That said, I know that we're going to see a bunch of Wyverns (the kind without a dude on their backs) in the upcoming fights, against which Merric will deal huge damage. I'm probably going to use him for that and then promote him come endgame to give him some extra utility when he's done de-kagaing Elice.

Definitely benefits from not having Etzel instantly steal Excalibur from him.

1 hour ago, ping said:

cJ4nOxa.png

[HP 90% | Str 10% | Skl 30% | Spd 40% | Lck 10% | WLv 70% | Def 30%]

Arlen has exactly the same base stats as Merric, apart from +2 WLv, allowing him to use Thoron. But Merric makes up for that with his Xcalibr access, so Arlen's only real advantage is slightly higher HP/Def growth, which he pays for with slightly lower growths everywhere else (except for much worse Lck, but 6 base is decent enough).

Honestly, the main problem I see with Arlen is that he lacks Xcalibr to blow away Wyverns in the upcoming chapters, and a girlfriend that forces the player to deploy him on the final map. As a result, he has an even harder time than Merric to make a case for himself vs. all the other mages. I don't think he's bad - just not very exciting, stat-wise.

Oh, and of course he starts the map as an enemy; nominally even as the boss, although he'll start chasing after blue units immediately. But since the comparison between him and Merric so obvious, I thought I'd get ahead of myself a little.

...And of course, Arlen definitely suffers from not being able to steal Excalibur from Merric with an arms scroll. He also lacks his very, very slight advantage in bases from 12. Yikes... Also, 10% strength. The 30 defense is pretty succulent, if nothing else, but...

1 hour ago, ping said:

WARNING: Not Safe For Rubens

What?

1 hour ago, ping said:

lQcojoC.png

Marlicisheia was deployed.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Wow they really are unreachable in this game. Kaga's Mallischaeceihcaechaicehcachaecheaihcihciacichicha bias rearing it's ugly little head once again.

1 hour ago, ping said:

2TAO5PW.png

One problem: Arlen moves in a way that would allow him to attack Banutu on the next turn, and he one-rounds. As in, Banutu one-shots Arlen, obviously. So, Marth has to stay in range to make sure Arlen doesn't commit suicide by Dragon.

So he just runs off in this one, huh. Doesn't just stay put like in 12. Eh. I don't have any strong feelings on this change. It's a thing. Since Wendell can't hop on a wyvern and fly past his attack range here it probably makes sense to do this.

1 hour ago, ping said:

xH173MV.png

"I have here a very post-modern artwork of a monkey that isn't very entertained. Only 20000 gold today. Tomorrow, it'll be worth at least 25k."

He's not the kind to fall for NFT scams.

He's the one that came up with them.

1 hour ago, ping said:

THMpsw7.png: "Thanks, Gotoh! Please allow me to borrow the Lightsphere."
nDWPpiw.png: "Hmm, but I have one condition. If you can reach the Ice Dragon Shrine, where I am, I will hand over the Lightsphere to you.

"I've just been so bored lately, Prince Marth. Watching Tiki thrash around as she suffers from horrible nightmares got old after the first eight months, sadly."

1 hour ago, ping said:

BvlaoUi.png

*sigh*

Aaaaand now we get to play the series's best desert map. Thanks, Gotoh.

I do sort of like it in 12? The beginning is very intense, but you have Excalibur. It becomes a matter of trying to take down as many wyverns on EP as possible (and Etzel comes perfectly equipped to eat a breath of fire even on the highest difficulties) and then quickly nuking the rest before the next wave of wyverns arrives. Of course, once all the wyverns are gone, it becomes a walking simulator, but hey. Not the worst map in that game, which is rather impressive considering it's a giant rectangle of desert tiles.

Here... Well, we'll see.

1 hour ago, ping said:

It's been brought up already, but the whole "test the hero if he's worthy" plot here doesn't work very well, unless it's supposed to make Gotoh look like a prick. People are dying, dude. Maybe don't send the guy who already proved his worth to you in the previous game on a week- if not month-long journey right now.

My long-running theory is that Gotoh went senile between games. That's why he's so much more reasonable and helpful in Book 1.

1 hour ago, ping said:

What I do appreciate is the set-up that Hardin might be able to be cured of his corruption because he's that superstrong ally of justice... for that (spoiler warning, I suppose) to be smacked down with the small exception of a short moment of clarity because nah, Hardin's a strong dude, but he's still just A Dude.

That is quite true. It would've been very easy to cop out here, so I appreciate Kaga showing some restraint and letting the guy get his tragic end.

Edited by Saint Rubenio
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59 minutes ago, ping said:

q7nV5DL.png

The map is honestly a bit of a let-down after the previous ones, too. The enemies are all really weak, so this map mostly comes down to "click Rescue to keep both Merric and Arlen alive". Not very interesting. Some of the Mages do come with Elfire, so they're technically stronger than what we ran into outside in the desert - but they're still Lv.1 Mages and can be oneshot with as little as 18 Atk.

something something fe12 good.

I like how even in FE12, mages on lunatic could still be one shot with the right weapons, and doing so is the key to not getting cornered and played with like Kaga's damsel in distress, but then reverse exists and is like "fuck you, you get hit no matter what".

I do wish Elrean didn't have crit against Merric. It makes rescue feel mandatory. Fe12 adds a sniper and 2 shaver users to prevent just throwing a flier in the center, but I think shaver having crit largely ruins this map. Ironman-ing would suck.

1 hour ago, ping said:

That said, I know that we're going to see a bunch of Wyverns (the kind without a dude on their backs) in the upcoming fights, against which Merric will deal huge damage

Something something Kaga smart.

1 hour ago, ping said:

I'm probably going to use him for that and then promote him come endgame to give him some extra utility when he's done de-kagaing Elice

something something Kaga degenerate.

1 hour ago, ping said:

lQcojoC.png

Marlicisheia was deployed.

zw2HNaC.png

1 hour ago, ping said:

The easier solution would've been to use Julian, who has +1 Str compared to Marth and can also water-walk, but using Bantu is obviously still the better option because you're using Bantu.

Glad you at least still have some shred of common sense.

1 hour ago, ping said:

At5bqt4.png: "Arlen, you should begin by letting your strength be used by others... Understood?"

"Arlen, you should begin by voting for me in CYL8."

1 hour ago, ping said:

BvlaoUi.png

*sigh*

It's been brought up already, but the whole "test the hero if he's worthy" plot here doesn't work very well, unless it's supposed to make Gotoh look like a prick. People are dying, dude. Maybe don't send the guy who already proved his worth to you in the previous game on a week- if not month-long journey right now.

Send Malicia to go.

 

Alone.

4 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Mallischaeceihcaechaicehcachaecheaihcihciacichicha

Yeah, her. That's the newest translation I think.

5 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

I do sort of like it in 12? The beginning is very intense, but you have Excalibur. It becomes a matter of trying to take down as many wyverns on EP as possible (and Etzel comes perfectly equipped to eat a breath of fire even on the highest difficulties) and then quickly nuking the rest before the next wave of wyverns arrives. Of course, once all the wyverns are gone, it becomes a walking simulator, but hey. Not the worst map in that game, which is rather impressive considering it's a giant rectangle of desert tiles.

You actually use excalibur? I just have like, 4 bow users. Sniper Wendel man.

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1 hour ago, ping said:

Have we seen enemy Clerics before in FE3? I don't remember.

Nope. It's always Bishops with healing staffs.
Not sure why female clerics are used here and not anywhere else to fill that role.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

The easier solution would've been to use Julian, who has +1 Str compared to Marth and can also water-walk, but using Bantu is obviously still the better option because you're using Bantu.

Or simply using Jeorge. With Feena he can easily kill both of them, then immediately get out of range.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

At5bqt4.png: "You still don't understand my actions? You are indeed a talented magician. But you don't have a caring heart, and that is why I didn't pass on Excalibur to you."

So Wendell, did you ever actually tell Elleran the reason before? Because he acts as if it's the first time he's heard about it.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

"Surely, my student who is much like young Gharnef will not do what Gharnef would do in his position after I leave." - Wendell, probably

Wendell really needs to stop emulating Gotoh.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

nDWPpiw.png: "Your highness... Humans aren't simple creatures. But, regardless, as long as Hardin has the Darksphere you cannot win. The only thing that can defeat the Darksphere is the Lightsphere.

Well, if his invincibility is caused by mind control, it should be possible to arrange a scenario where he gets killed indirectly. Like when he happens to stand in a position where a big rock just so happens to fall down. That sort of thing.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

THMpsw7.png: "Huh? Gotoh, really? Wit hthe Lightsphere we can save Hardin...?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Hmm... If his heart has not been completely consumed, perhaps he can be saved. But that depends on whether Hardin is really as strong-willed as you say..."

He can be saved if he has a strong will, yes. And if he can survive being stabbed a dozen times. Since that's the only thing the Light Orb actually enables.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

It's been brought up already, but the whole "test the hero if he's worthy" plot here doesn't work very well, unless it's supposed to make Gotoh look like a prick. People are dying, dude. Maybe don't send the guy who already proved his worth to you in the previous game on a week- if not month-long journey right now.

I really don't think it's meant as a test.
Once Xane enters the picture on Gotoh's orders, it becomes clear that it's about teaching Marth the continent's history and to see the consequences it had for the dragon tribes with his own eyes.

Which is fair enough in concept, but the big reason it doesn't work here is because it's the wrong story for it. This conflict is not about humans and dragons, after all. It's strictly humans vs other humans.
If this happened as part of Book 1's plot, it would make more sense.

Edited by BrightBow
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27 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

You can commend him on his hair, though. Dude's got nothing to envy Aideen. You'll understand when you get to the next game.

I think I remember who Aideen is - priest lady who get kidnapped and freed by the thief boy, right? That's about how far I got. If so, I still don't recall if she has the same hair as Elrean or worse hair. We'll see :lol:

29 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Definitely benefits from not having Etzel instantly steal Excalibur from him.

Honestly, I like the personal tomes, although it worked better in FE1/Book 1. There, it was something for Marich and Linda that the prepromoted Bishops can't just replicate. That is still true in Book 2, of course, but now you have Yubello and Elrean, without that kind of uniqueness. Yubello makes up for it with his crazy good Str growth, but Elrean is kinda just there.

32 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

So he just runs off in this one, huh. Doesn't just stay put like in 12. Eh. I don't have any strong feelings on this change. It's a thing. Since Wendell can't hop on a wyvern and fly past his attack range here it probably makes sense to do this.

26 minutes ago, Shaky Jones said:

I do wish Elrean didn't have crit against Merric. It makes rescue feel mandatory. Fe12 adds a sniper and 2 shaver users to prevent just throwing a flier in the center, but I think shaver having crit largely ruins this map. Ironman-ing would suck.

FE12 was definitely very aware of how the OG dragon pope would be able to break the map in two, although iirc it's still possible to nuke the Sniper and the Shaver Mages with a flyer squad at least on H1 and H2.

Honestly, FE12 looks like it would be a rough game to ironman from start to finish. Ambush spawns, very strong enemies in general, very strong enemies with crit rates on you, your own units being able to get themselves killed by critting the enemy... A lot of RNG and I don't know how much of it you can really mitigate.

39 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

He's not the kind to fall for NFT scams.

He's the one that came up with them.

I was trying to imply that he's trying to sell Marth on it. :lol:  But I assume that the biggest NFT gurus assholes would promise larger profit margins margins than 25% in a day.

41 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

I do sort of like it in 12? The beginning is very intense, but you have Excalibur. It becomes a matter of trying to take down as many wyverns on EP as possible (and Etzel comes perfectly equipped to eat a breath of fire even on the highest difficulties) and then quickly nuking the rest before the next wave of wyverns arrives. Of course, once all the wyverns are gone, it becomes a walking simulator, but hey. Not the worst map in that game, which is rather impressive considering it's a giant rectangle of desert tiles.

I don't like it in 12, either, honestly. I find that desert maps are best when there's still some (useful) paths through the sand, so that the desert tiles still impede your progress, sure, but their bigger impact is how they limit your formations because you can't just move your horsies wherever you want. It works a bit better in GBAFE because there's still rescue/dropping to give you some more tools to overcome the low movement (Hot Take: Cecilia manages to be decently useful in her joining map through this alone). But the upcoming map, nevermind the Gaiden Desert Fort, those maps are just painful to navigate.

42 minutes ago, Shaky Jones said:

Glad you at least still have some shred of common sense.

I thought me finishing Gaiden would've proven that statement wrong.

25 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Or simply using Jeorge. With Feena he can easily kill both of them, then immediately get out of range.

Ah. I wasn't aware that he can move on water - Warren can't, and in my head, Hunters have the better movement type than both Archers and Snipers. But looking at the main site, the latter even have pretty generous movement across "stream" tiles.

29 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Well, if his invincibility is caused by mind control, it should be possible to arrange a scenario where he gets killed indirectly. Like when he happens to stand in a position where a big rock just so happens to fall down. That sort of thing.

True, traps prepared in advance should still work against Hardin (or Maph!Gharnef, for that matter), unless the Darksphere somehow manages to suppress any Hardin-killing thoughts thought anywhere in the world.

30 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Which is fair enough in concept, but the big reason it doesn't work here is because it's the wrong story for it. This conflict is not about humans and dragons, after all. It's strictly humans vs other humans.
If this happened as part of Book 1's plot, it would make more sense.

I was thinking this before, but I don't think I formulated it - Book 2 feels more like a remake than a sequel at places. Like Kaga wanted to create a version of FE1 how it would look without the NES limitations - thus the many recycled characters and plot points. You still have the same origin of the conflict (Gharnef revives Medeuth), but there tend to be a bit more to the plot points along the way. Like, I'd have to look up who exactly administrated the occupation of Akaneia during Book 1, but now it's this former ally driven mad by grief (...and a big helping of black magic). Similar plot point of liberating the biggest power on the continent from evil tyranny, but the whole thing is more personal for the main character.

But in the end, we get this neither-fish-nor-fowl result where Book 2 is its own story, but highly derivative, which is (and that I did say before) even more painfully obvious because of the decision to include Book 1.

Er, and that relates to the quote because it feels like it's added to Book 2 because Kaga felt that it should've been in FE1, but it doesn't work the way it's done for the reasons you mentioned. Plus the part where Marth just doesn't have the time to just fuck off for a month or three, which makes Gotoh look really bad for insisting despite his teleport spell.

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26 minutes ago, ping said:

Honestly, I like the personal tomes, although it worked better in FE1/Book 1. There, it was something for Marich and Linda that the prepromoted Bishops can't just replicate. That is still true in Book 2, of course, but now you have Yubello and Elrean, without that kind of uniqueness. Yubello makes up for it with his crazy good Str growth, but Elrean is kinda just there.

Yeah, agreed. Elrean needed something. Maybe make thoron his personal and give it an effectiveness against... I don't know, knights? Cavaliers? Fellow mages? Dragons of some kind? Something.

28 minutes ago, ping said:

Honestly, FE12 looks like it would be a rough game to ironman from start to finish. Ambush spawns, very strong enemies in general, very strong enemies with crit rates on you, your own units being able to get themselves killed by critting the enemy... A lot of RNG and I don't know how much of it you can really mitigate.

I did it once on hard and it was fine. But well, hard. The thing about Fe12 is that it's super malleable in terms of difficulty. From normal to lunatic, the options cover a lot. Could've used a bit of a softer difficulty jump beween hard and maniac but beyond that, it's good.

26 minutes ago, ping said:

I was trying to imply that he's trying to sell Marth on it. :lol:  But I assume that the biggest NFT gurus assholes would promise larger profit margins margins than 25% in a day.

Ehhhh

"Watch my income go up it's about to go nuts... 's about to go nuts"

0.0002$

29 minutes ago, ping said:

I don't like it in 12, either, honestly. I find that desert maps are best when there's still some (useful) paths through the sand, so that the desert tiles still impede your progress, sure, but their bigger impact is how they limit your formations because you can't just move your horsies wherever you want. It works a bit better in GBAFE because there's still rescue/dropping to give you some more tools to overcome the low movement (Hot Take: Cecilia manages to be decently useful in her joining map through this alone). But the upcoming map, nevermind the Gaiden Desert Fort, those maps are just painful to navigate.

Cecilia has a few ways to be useful in her initial map. 2 move unit with unpromoted unit stats is a terrible look, but she has the rank to use restore, the con to do a bit of rescuing and the tome to nip those really dangerous wyvern riders in the bud should they fly close to her.

Of course, it's kind of an unflattering comparison because Anri's Way, even in FE12 with the "wyvern waves" sort of design is still like, ok half the time and boring the rest? While Arcadia is one of the best desert maps in the series.

31 minutes ago, ping said:

I was thinking this before, but I don't think I formulated it - Book 2 feels more like a remake than a sequel at places.

Broke: FE11 and FE3 book 1 are the remakes of FE1.

Woke: FE6 is the remake of FE1.

Besmoke: FE3 book 2 is the remake of FE1.

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2 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

...And of course, Arlen definitely suffers from not being able to steal Excalibur from Merric with an arms scroll. He also lacks his very, very slight advantage in bases from 12. Yikes... Also, 10% strength. The 30 defense is pretty succulent, if nothing else, but...

It might rank his ability to be a competitive unit, but it is rather nice that Arlen has the same basis as Merric, and that lacking Excalibur is a pretty major difference that he's understandably bitchy about.

2 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

So he just runs off in this one, huh. Doesn't just stay put like in 12. Eh. I don't have any strong feelings on this change. It's a thing. Since Wendell can't hop on a wyvern and fly past his attack range here it probably makes sense to do this.

I'm quite sure he moves in New Mystery too. Broke my rescue staff before this chapter on my most recent New Mystery playthrough and had a birch of a time trying to keep Merric alive (not necessarily from Arlen but the people around him, Arlen moving definitely complicated things though).

2 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

That is quite true. It would've been very easy to cop out here, so I appreciate Kaga showing some restraint and letting the guy get his tragic end.

I'm surprised the New Mystery creators shared that restraint and didn't end up making him playable too. I bet they were considering it.

2 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Wendell really needs to stop emulating Gotoh.

There's a fine line between thematic parallels and lazy repetitive writing. For me this whole Arlen thing trends towards the latter.

2 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Well, if his invincibility is caused by mind control, it should be possible to arrange a scenario where he gets killed indirectly. Like when he happens to stand in a position where a big rock just so happens to fall down. That sort of thing.

As I said in another thread about Gharnef's invincibility, Team Rocket would actually be an excellent counter to Hardin. Once he falls in a joke, he's helpless.

1 hour ago, ping said:

Honestly, FE12 looks like it would be a rough game to ironman from start to finish. Ambush spawns, very strong enemies in general, very strong enemies with crit rates on you, your own units being able to get themselves killed by critting the enemy... A lot of RNG and I don't know how much of it you can really mitigate.

It does give you like a million playable characters to compensate though. And in my experience of playing the game while replacing every unit in the army whenever a new one shows up, Kris is strong enough to solo a lot of the game with Marth's help.

1 hour ago, ping said:

Ah. I wasn't aware that he can move on water - Warren can't, and in my head, Hunters have the better movement type than both Archers and Snipers. But looking at the main site, the latter even have pretty generous movement across "stream" tiles.

They do get +1 movement over archers overall while maintaining similar stats though, which is better in most circumstances.

1 hour ago, ping said:

I was thinking this before, but I don't think I formulated it - Book 2 feels more like a remake than a sequel at places. Like Kaga wanted to create a version of FE1 how it would look without the NES limitations - thus the many recycled characters and plot points. You still have the same origin of the conflict (Gharnef revives Medeuth), but there tend to be a bit more to the plot points along the way. Like, I'd have to look up who exactly administrated the occupation of Akaneia during Book 1, but now it's this former ally driven mad by grief (...and a big helping of black magic). Similar plot point of liberating the biggest power on the continent from evil tyranny, but the whole thing is more personal for the main character.

"I'm remaking the first game bois"

"But sur, you can't remake the first game. It's only been three years."

"The I'm making a sequel where I tell the same story with all my revised plot points."

"Whatever you say Kaga. (Man this series is not going to last)."

-later-

"I got board with the sequel idea. We're remaking the first game."

"But sir, what about this entire half game we've already coded (not that I've worked very hard, I didn't even bother to put in pirates or curates)"

"Eh, throw it in the game."

"The...the same game as the remake? But sire, that's madness!"

"I'm Shozo Kaga! I deem what madness is!"

"Are you at least going to put the revised plot points in the remake?"

"No! In fact, I'm going to cut a bunch of characters and chapters from the remake portion and make it a comparatively lesser experience!"

"(Yeah, this series is doomed. We got two good games everyone, pack it up)"

Mystery of the Emblem went on to be the best selling Fore Emblem game for twenty years.

Edited by Jotari
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9 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

"Watch my income go up it's about to go nuts... 's about to go nuts"

0.0002$

Thanks, I hate it.

9 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Broke: FE11 and FE3 book 1 are the remakes of FE1.

Woke: FE6 is the remake of FE1.

Besmoke: FE3 book 2 is the remake of FE1.

Don't forget "Every FE game is just a remake of FE1".

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

I'm quite sure he moves in New Mystery too. Broke my rescue staff before this chapter on my most recent New Mystery playthrough and had a birch of a time trying to keep Merric alive (not necessarily from Arlen but the people around him, Arlen moving definitely complicated things though).

I assume he attacks anyone in range, but doesn't start the map charging at you, because I also remember him sitting on the throne. Dracopope just outranges him, so most people won't see Elrean attack anybody.

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

It does give you like a million playable characters to compensate though.

Okay, but they all suck.

Well, that might be a little reductive, but if you filter out all the characters that need a while to get going (not the greatest when you have to replace a heavy-hitter with one of these) and those that are just plain bad, the roster isn't quite as expansive. The principle that weak units are weak applies to every FE game, of course, but I think New Mystery is one of the cruelest games when it comes to bad units.

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

There's a fine line between thematic parallels and lazy repetitive writing. For me this whole Arlen thing trends towards the latter.

In concept, it's not a bad idea to have a baby Gharnef at the start of their decline to villainy, to show the player that a perfectly decent person can succumb to jealousy and hunger for power. But in practice, we don't see Elrean The Decent Person; we only see Elrean The Petulant Child throwing a fit.

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

"(Yeah, this series is doomed. We got two good games everyone, pack it up)"

Dragon Ball fans: "Toriyama wanted to end after {King Piccolo / Piccolo Jr. / Namek / Cell} (pick one)"
Fire Emblem fans: "Kaga should have ended after Gaiden"

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11 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

So he just runs off in this one, huh. Doesn't just stay put like in 12. Eh. I don't have any strong feelings on this change. It's a thing. Since Wendell can't hop on a wyvern and fly past his attack range here it probably makes sense to do this.

Does Elleran have a special reaction when Wendell parks a dragon in front of him? Seems like that would raise an eyebrow.

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46 minutes ago, ping said:

Okay, but they all suck.

Well, that might be a little reductive, but if you filter out all the characters that need a while to get going (not the greatest when you have to replace a heavy-hitter with one of these) and those that are just plain bad, the roster isn't quite as expansive. The principle that weak units are weak applies to every FE game, of course, but I think New Mystery is one of the cruelest games when it comes to bad units.

That's why you have Kris to do the heavy lifting. Those thirty or so units in the back half of the game are perfect for sacrificing their lives to ensure chapter goals are met. They might suck at killing things, but they have the universal benefit of being something the enemy has to attack.

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