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11 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Even in the absence of acquiring Valentia (or India for Rome), it still would've been reasonably majestic to anyone living on the Archanean continent who has an appreciation for empire. And it's not like Marth could seriously stood a chance at taking/governing Valentia anyhow. Jugdral meanwhile is probably on the other side of the planet, inventing flintlock rifles, yet ignoring the top part of the tech tree that would let them cross oceans and discover Archanea.

There's also Persia/Parthia, which Rome attempted to conquer several times.  Might be a better analog than India, though of course there was a land border there.

Jugdral did finally discover the secret of boats (probably through Camus washing up there after Book 2, he's gotta go somewhere) in order to invade Lieberia in the ancient past of TRS.  Which sets the stage for the obligatory Kaga evil cult that puts the events of TRS into motion.

35 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Marth wouldn't be the kind to use boots & blades to enforce unity, so it'd have to be good governance that holds things together. But what new governing bodies does Marth create? How does he balance the representation and benefitting of the seven kingdom in said institutions? How much power do the old, individual kingdoms' assemblies of nobles and perhaps priests and burghers, retain? 

I think the most likely outcome is that Marth's empire doesn't outlast Marth for very long, but, looking at the world map and what we actually see in gameplay maps of Archanea, it seems really small.  Even by the standards of Fire Emblem kingdoms, which are pretty small in general.  Maybe the best analog is not continent-scale entities like Europe or China, but rather something like the city-states of Greece.  They were too fractious to unify themselves, but once Macedon did that for them, they stayed generally administratively unified (though not independent) up to and including the present day.  The scale involved probably plays a role there, but then so does being conquered by Macedon, Rome, and the Ottomans.

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1 hour ago, RPGuy96 said:

There's also Persia/Parthia, which Rome attempted to conquer several times.  Might be a better analog than India, though of course there was a land border there.

Jugdral did finally discover the secret of boats (probably through Camus washing up there after Book 2, he's gotta go somewhere) in order to invade Lieberia in the ancient past of TRS.  Which sets the stage for the obligatory Kaga evil cult that puts the events of TRS into motion.

I think the most likely outcome is that Marth's empire doesn't outlast Marth for very long, but, looking at the world map and what we actually see in gameplay maps of Archanea, it seems really small.  Even by the standards of Fire Emblem kingdoms, which are pretty small in general.  Maybe the best analog is not continent-scale entities like Europe or China, but rather something like the city-states of Greece.  They were too fractious to unify themselves, but once Macedon did that for them, they stayed generally administratively unified (though not independent) up to and including the present day.  The scale involved probably plays a role there, but then so does being conquered by Macedon, Rome, and the Ottomans.

I once calculated Archanea to be about the size of Ukraine using the number given for the height of the mountain range and comparing it to the alps. Which is fairly sizeable, though definitely not massive.

 

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

I once calculated Archanea to be about the size of Ukraine using the number given for the height of the mountain range and comparing it to the alps. Which is fairly sizeable, though definitely not massive.

Oh, that's interesting.  A little bigger than I thought, but still fairly small in the grand scheme of things.  Looking at the overlaid maps, some of the smaller kingdoms (Altea, Gra, maybe Grust) would be the size of, say, the Duchy of Milan or the Papal States.  So maybe the size of the entire Peloponnese rather than Corinth or Sparta.

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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

I once calculated Archanea to be about the size of Ukraine using the number given for the height of the mountain range and comparing it to the alps. Which is fairly sizeable, though definitely not massive.

To be honest, correlating area and height of mountain ranges seems like a heroic assumption:

g8SVoxJ.png

x - height of the biggest mountain (m)
y - area (1000 km²)

Data taken from here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_größten_Gebirge_der_Erde - with the Andes and High-mountain Asia excluded because they're so much bigger than every other mountain range. I'm getting a correlation coefficient (i.e. 0 - no correlation; 1 - perfect correlation) of 0.0529, which is... not a lot. And no, it doesn't get better if you remove the areas above 20000 km² from the equasion.

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5 hours ago, RPGuy96 said:

There's also Persia/Parthia, which Rome attempted to conquer several times.  Might be a better analog than India, though of course there was a land border there.

I'm aware of the clashes, and the fact Alexander did manage to conquer it. So it wouldn't have been entirely inconceivable for Rome.

5 hours ago, RPGuy96 said:

but, looking at the world map and what we actually see in gameplay maps of Archanea, it seems really small.  Even by the standards of Fire Emblem kingdoms, which are pretty small in general. 

I would agree with this. The kingdoms of the Archanean continent are, Archanea aside, seemingly pretty young, only 100 years-old. Jugdral isn't much better, basically the same, but the degree of civilization... feels lower in Archanea than in Jugdral?

5 hours ago, RPGuy96 said:

Maybe the best analog is not continent-scale entities like Europe or China, but rather something like the city-states of Greece. 

Archanea might might, appropriately, resemble the eastern end of the Mediterranean?

akaneia.jpg

The Mediterranean of antiquity was land connected -not separated- by water. Water facilitated the good flows of trade & ideas etc. of the world, not stifle them. Sure prosperous inland cities existed, but the coastlines (and the Nile for Egypt) were where so much "civilization" existed and came about from.

...Archanean world building being what it is- primitive at times, even with the DS remakes, we've no sense of the sea's relevance. Relevance that simply must exist, as a practical matter, for Archanea.

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FE3 Book 2 Chapter 20: Dark Emperor

Spoiler

KIhbgnx.png

Its golden capital of Pales has bathed in 600 years of proud history. Under the attack of Altea's allied army, it fell in just one day. The citizens of Archanea welcomed them as liberators, and supported them to their fullest. They also mentioned of their hatred towards Hardin and his personal guards. Everybody now calls Hardin the Dark Emperor. This was in hatred of Hardin, the murderer of countless people. If possible fighting would be avoided, but it has already reached this stage... Marth raises Anri's flag up high, and orders his last command. Go, heroes of Altea! This is the final battle. Everybody, charge into Pales Castle!!

The narration is getting a bit clunky again... I found that Ch.19 generally sounded pretty good, better than most of the translation patch, but this one feels like a step down again.

5LmJEnD.png: "Your highness, we've entered the castle! But, don't forget that Hardin is protected by the Darksphere. To fight him, you must have the Lightsphere!! Be sure to have the person fighting him carry it."

Considerate to remind the player of this.

9yhh5XP.png

Interestingly, you can't see the inside of the palace during battle preps. After you start the fight, an enemy Thief appears to open the front door and runs in a few steps (we will murder him as thanks), which prompts the opening dialogue:

NZxNuqp.png

sy0SwcH.png: "You fool! Don't you see it? What you're doing isn't normal. Where did you take Nyna to? Bring her back to us now!!"
DHcnSpy.png: "Nyna! That woman betrayed me. I just wanted to destroy Grust. And she had to go and give the Emblem to that boy... Those who betray me must die. Midia, you're no exception!!"
sy0SwcH.png: "If you want to take my life, go ahead. But, Hardin, Do you know how much suffering you've caused because of your stupid jealousy? Just open your eyes and see!"

♫ I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy... ♫

DHcnSpy.png: "Stupid jealousy...? Haha. You can say what you like. This world is corrupt and full of annoying people. Is this kind of world even worth anything? It would be far better for it to be destroyed. Midia, you shall watch here... As Prince Marth dies by hand!!"

3dEzOl7.png

I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge fan of this map. Partly, this is because of the empty space at the start, where it takes a while until you actually have to face more enemies than a single Hero. A very strong Hero, sure, but still. This pairs with the second issue, which is pretty common in FE3, that no enemies actually charge at you. No pressure makes most maps a bit boring.

What's specific to this map is the very narrow area around the throne and the treasure room. I guess it adds the challenge of moving your pieces around in a smart fashion, but I find it more annoying and frustrating than interesting.

tYZAR6y.png

We've seen Hardin already, of course, back in Ch.8. Capped stats, with a weapon that's really strong, has 1-2 range, and pretty low weight, considering.

2Ij59FM.png

What I don't think we've seen is a DarkMage - pretty tanky, for a magic unit, with a 1-2-ranged "reduce HP to 1" tome. More accurate than BinBla's Eclipse, although it still only beats Swarm in that regard.

kj6CeRX.png

We also see a generic EarthDragon. I'm not going to fight it, but according to FEWoD, it functions just like Medeus in Book 1, i.e. halving any incoming Atk stat. I assume that Divine!Tiki can fight it; if not, it'd be pretty slow to fight it.

kNU5iBA.png

[HP 80% | Str 30% | Skl 50% | Spd 50% | Lck 10% | WLv 50% | Def 20% ]

Our last recruit other than the four Clerics (Ruben in shambles) is surprisingly good, or will be, when we're on an outdoor map again. Midia is basically Abel plus a few points in most stats - also 15 levels higher than he at base, but it's late enough in the game that hitting the XP cap shouldn't be a relevant problem for her, especially because there's really only one map (the outdoor one, of course) where Midia is worth deploying.

Still, this easily seems like Midia's strongest showing. Pretty decent for one whole map? Heck yeah!

9ArnpnM.png

Now, on to the map. Julian reads the manual "How to Mercurius Good" and then mercuriuses the Thief who had politely opened the door to the palace.

wAu6Tm0.png

And Yuliya makes sure that Midia doesn't die. I don't quite remember how the AI works in the New Mystery version of this map - I think enemies will start attacking her either on a certain turn or once you approach Hardin, but I always just use the Rescue staff there, too.

SwwX92I.png__W5bRuyE.png

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: This map does use long-ranged enemies more reasonably than the last one. It's three in the treasure room (2x Meteor, 1x Swarm), and one in the cell where Midia was kept last time she was kaga'd.

Ex37ekl.png

The general tactic is to move forward carefully, and barrier up people that might otherwise be in danger. I've been pretty frugal about using that staff, so it's not a big deal to spend a few charges here.

f0JipAO.png

The chest in the cell contains a Lady Sword, which I don't really need at this point. Warren still goes there with the Parthia and the Starsphere, just to remove the Meteor and a Fortify Bishop.

KlOX9k1.png__ihvEK6v.png

Most of the team marches through the treasure chamber, to avoid the Earth Dragon. To note: Sheema can one-round the long-range Bishops! I mean, almost everybody can, but still! She's helping!

2GSXTqY.png

Once a sufficient number of characters is nearby, Julian opens the door and I finally remember that I also wanted to give him an AngelRobe so that he hits a specific benchmark.

4L7udIa.png

The DarkMage then moves to attack Julian, which surprised me - he didn't attack Marth, and neither did the Sniper when Marth grabbed the chest two tiles from him. Luckily, no other enemy seems to have gotten the memo that Altea is approaching.

s8dPGPN.png

One more turn of huddling together...

WeK7pBh.png

...and then it is time for our best boss killer to do his job.

No, really, Julian is the best character for this, once he has grabbed the extra HP he needed to not get one-shot. He's actually the only sword user except Sheeda (who I didn't field) that can double Hardin with the Mercurius: Marth (17 Spd / 13 AS) is only a single point faster than Hardin; Matthis (16 Spd without his horse) only manages to tie him.

s01uFxV.png__v5r3drz.png

And that's that. A crit which saves me a Physic - Yubello would've been able to top Julian off, who then could've given Hardin the rest after a dance.

lIx1CCI.png

lyXDp7K.png: "Your higness... I am deeply sorry... I fought with my inner demon. However I was too weak...I resisted with all my might... But I still lost... I hoped for your highness' hand to end my life... That way I could be saved... Your highness... Nyna... Please take care of Nyna... She... I hope you... can tell her... In the... end... I still...loved her... I hope... She can... forgive me..."

As much as I ragged on Akaneia's story over the course of Book 2 in particular, I still like that Hardin, a good man, still has enough dark thoughts to give the Darksphere a lever to corrupt him, and also that while he's allowed a final moment of clarity, there still wasn't some way to redeem him. It's just that there's about an additional 0.9 games worth of fluffing out his character that's really missing from the picture. Hardin had to walk so that Lyon could fly, I suppose.

Very impressive that he managed to regrow his turban, I have to say. A portrait in his Evil Emperor attire, but without the creepy stare, would've been nice.

RpAnofP.png__HBotwOf.png

And with the Darksphere secured, the BindShld is ours! Unfortunately, it doesn't increase all of Marth's stats like it will in New Mystery. This is also the end of free Mercurius usage and +30% to all growths, which is a shame.

kdfDYFv.png

Because Julian is just too strong, I think I skipped a cutscene..? I'm pretty sure that Hardin gives another "Mwahahahahaah! I shall murder you!!!" speech in New Mystery when you get near him.

4WsSfHe.png

Oh well. Map beaten, world saved. OR IS IT?!?!

sC8QDcq.png

5LmJEnD.png: "Marth, it's finally over. Now, the world is safe. Look, the princesses are over there..."
THMpsw7.png: "Sister! And there's Princess Nyna... And Lena and Maria as well."
R8sR64C.png: "Marth, you finally came. I am so happy... Gwaa!! Damn, you're carrying the Binding Shield... Urgh... My illusion has been shattered! Come, Dark Priests. It has come to this... We must resurrect the Shadow Dragon immediately!"

7kNCLB9.png

(And yes, "Nyna" keeps delivering that dialogue without swapping to Gharnef's portrait)

5LmJEnD.png: "Huh, wasn't that Gharnef? He and his men pretended to be the princesses."
THMpsw7.png: "Mmm, but what are they planning? They said something about resurrecting the Shadow Dragon... So my sister was indeed taken by Gharnef..."
5LmJEnD.png: "Your highness, I apologise for interrupting you, but Gotoh has come."
THMpsw7.png: "Huh, Gotoh!? Please call him here!!"
nDWPpiw.png: "Marth, you have done well. You have all five Spheres in your possession. Because of your efforts, the lost Binding Shield has finally been restored."
THMpsw7.png: "Yes! The five Spheres have attached onto the royal shield... So this is the Binding Shield? But, Gotoh, what should I do next? After seeing Gharnef's expression, it seems he really has taken my sister and the others. I can't just leave them."
nDWPpiw.png: "Mmm, I understand your feelings... But you must first restore the seal on the Earth Dragons. Those beasts will soon awaken from their slumber. When they appear from the ground they will burn everything, and create Hell on Earth. Go, Marth. Send the awakened Earth Dragons back into the darkness of the sea!!"

So... how much of this could've been avoided if the visit to Gotoh would've been a telepathic phone call?
(The actual answer being "none", of course, because Marth always would've arrived in Pales just barely in time to go and reseal the Earth Dragons, but too late to rescue Nyna)

The Team:

	Lv. 	   HP Str Skl Spd Lck WLv Def Res  +XP
Marth	20.--	   41  17  18  17  20  12  17   1  +241
Matthis	17/5.71	   30  17  20  18   9  20  15   8  --	(+5 Skl, +5 Lck)
Midia	*/16.00	   28  14  17  17   7  16  16   6  --	(base)
Sheema	*/3.90	   35  17   5  12   6  14  18   4  +80	(+7 HP, +4 Str, +5 Spd)

Julian	18.79	   37  17  15  20  18  19  11   4  +349	(+7 HP, +5 WLv)
Warren	17/8.40	   39  16  21* 19   6  14  14   4  +308	(+5 Spd)
Bantu	18.49	   25   8  17  10   4   3   7   3  +32	(+7 HP, +10 Skl)
Tiki	18.79	   21  10  10  13  20  10   5  11  +160

Jubelo	20/11.96   28  20  13  20  19  20   9   9  +165
Wendell	*/14.51	   29   9  10  13   8  17   5   7  --	(+4 Str)
Yuliya	16/5.34	   22  13  12  18  18  17   4   8  +192
Merric	12/1.59	   24   9  10  13   7  12   9   7  +45*

Phina	12.30	   19   7  10  20  17  10   4   0  +80
  • And with Midia joining, Wendell finally lost his status as the highest-leveled character on the team.
  • Julian decided to make me look really silly for giving him a Manual. It got him from 11 to 16, and then he got three additional, useless procs.
  • Merric was really only there to immediately grab the Bishop Ring that you get in this chapter. His stats aren't particularly outstanding, but he can use every staff except for Again (and the personal ones, of course), which might come in handy on the final map. We'll see.

 

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3 minutes ago, ping said:

kNU5iBA.png

[HP 80% | Str 30% | Skl 50% | Spd 50% | Lck 10% | WLv 50% | Def 20% ]

Our last recruit other than the four Clerics (Ruben in shambles) is surprisingly good, or will be, when we're on an outdoor map again. Midia is basically Abel plus a few points in most stats - also 15 levels higher than he at base, but it's late enough in the game that hitting the XP cap shouldn't be a relevant problem for her, especially because there's really only one map (the outdoor one, of course) where Midia is worth deploying.

Still, this easily seems like Midia's strongest showing. Pretty decent for one whole map? Heck yeah!

I mean, there's the Archanea chronicle where she's basically the only actual combat unit you get. Sort of. Honestly, I feel like the knight bros and the bishops do more than she does there. And then she gets beaten by an unarmed Camus in single combat.

...being Midia is suffering.

10 minutes ago, ping said:

WeK7pBh.png

...and then it is time for our best boss killer to do his job.

No, really, Julian is the best character for this, once he has grabbed the extra HP he needed to not get one-shot. He's actually the only sword user except Sheeda (who I didn't field) that can double Hardin with the Mercurius: Marth (17 Spd / 13 AS) is only a single point faster than Hardin; Matthis (16 Spd without his horse) only manages to tie him.

s01uFxV.png__v5r3drz.png

And that's that. A crit which saves me a Physic - Yubello would've been able to top Julian off, who then could've given Hardin the rest after a dance.

Incredible. The mighty Dark Emperor, folks.

11 minutes ago, ping said:

Very impressive that he managed to regrow his turban, I have to say.

He sacrificed his facial hair for it. Notice how his stache shrinks?

11 minutes ago, ping said:

A portrait in his Evil Emperor attire, but without the creepy stare, would've been nice.

Y'know, like in FE12 lol

16 minutes ago, ping said:

Julian decided to make me look really silly for giving him a Manual. It got him from 11 to 16, and then he got three additional, useless procs.

You shoud've hoarded it smh my head what if you need it in the final chapter

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18 minutes ago, ping said:

5LmJEnD.png: "Huh, wasn't that Gharnef? He and his men pretended to be the princesses."
THMpsw7.png: "Mmm, but what are they planning? They said something about resurrecting the Shadow Dragon... So my sister was indeed taken by Gharnef..."

Is it just me, or the delivery of this should've been shocking news sound flat? Has Xane exhausted Marth's aghastness at magical disguises?

 

3 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Incredible. The mighty Dark Emperor, folks.

If you didn't abuse the power of the stars, I can Hardin being a serious threat. But we've known too much, playing this game aware of things most people back then wouldn't have known.

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6 hours ago, ping said:

To be honest, correlating area and height of mountain ranges seems like a heroic assumption:

g8SVoxJ.png

x - height of the biggest mountain (m)
y - area (1000 km²)

Data taken from here: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_größten_Gebirge_der_Erde - with the Andes and High-mountain Asia excluded because they're so much bigger than every other mountain range. I'm getting a correlation coefficient (i.e. 0 - no correlation; 1 - perfect correlation) of 0.0529, which is... not a lot. And no, it doesn't get better if you remove the areas above 20000 km² from the equasion.

Well I did say I was no geographer when making it XD It was the best I could come up with to get some solid number.

3 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I'm aware of the clashes, and the fact Alexander did manage to conquer it. So it wouldn't have been entirely inconceivable for Rome.

I would agree with this. The kingdoms of the Archanean continent are, Archanea aside, seemingly pretty young, only 100 years-old. Jugdral isn't much better, basically the same, but the degree of civilization... feels lower in Archanea than in Jugdral?

Archanea might might, appropriately, resemble the eastern end of the Mediterranean?

akaneia.jpg

The Mediterranean of antiquity was land connected -not separated- by water. Water facilitated the good flows of trade & ideas etc. of the world, not stifle them. Sure prosperous inland cities existed, but the coastlines (and the Nile for Egypt) were where so much "civilization" existed and came about from.

...Archanean world building being what it is- primitive at times, even with the DS remakes, we've no sense of the sea's relevance. Relevance that simply must exist, as a practical matter, for Archanea.

The sea should absolutely play a vital role in Archanea and it plays zero. If we didn't literally see Marth on a boat and have Talys it would be hard to conclude they even have ships at all there's so little focus, even the pirates ignore boats and just walk on water! There should have been major sea battles deciding the fate of the war. LIke, how did Marth get to Talys, he had to sail around Doluna and Macedonia to get there, and then all of occupied Archanea and then Pyrathi. That's quite a journey for his enemies to not only never catch him, but also never even get word of where he goes. My headcanon is that boats, while existing, are far less important in Archanea than in the real world simply because Dagons just keep on attacking anyone going on a ship journey. Making it exceptionally risky to travel by boat, as we also see in Shadows of Valentia's post game where a merchant has to hire the army of the king of the whole continent just to cross the ocean.

2 hours ago, ping said:

FE3 Book 2 Chapter 20: Dark Emperor

  Hide contents

KIhbgnx.png

Its golden capital of Pales has bathed in 600 years of proud history. Under the attack of Altea's allied army, it fell in just one day. The citizens of Archanea welcomed them as liberators, and supported them to their fullest. They also mentioned of their hatred towards Hardin and his personal guards. Everybody now calls Hardin the Dark Emperor. This was in hatred of Hardin, the murderer of countless people. If possible fighting would be avoided, but it has already reached this stage... Marth raises Anri's flag up high, and orders his last command. Go, heroes of Altea! This is the final battle. Everybody, charge into Pales Castle!!

The narration is getting a bit clunky again... I found that Ch.19 generally sounded pretty good, better than most of the translation patch, but this one feels like a step down again.

5LmJEnD.png: "Your highness, we've entered the castle! But, don't forget that Hardin is protected by the Darksphere. To fight him, you must have the Lightsphere!! Be sure to have the person fighting him carry it."

Considerate to remind the player of this.

9yhh5XP.png

Interestingly, you can't see the inside of the palace during battle preps. After you start the fight, an enemy Thief appears to open the front door and runs in a few steps (we will murder him as thanks), which prompts the opening dialogue:

NZxNuqp.png

sy0SwcH.png: "You fool! Don't you see it? What you're doing isn't normal. Where did you take Nyna to? Bring her back to us now!!"
DHcnSpy.png: "Nyna! That woman betrayed me. I just wanted to destroy Grust. And she had to go and give the Emblem to that boy... Those who betray me must die. Midia, you're no exception!!"
sy0SwcH.png: "If you want to take my life, go ahead. But, Hardin, Do you know how much suffering you've caused because of your stupid jealousy? Just open your eyes and see!"

♫ I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy... ♫

DHcnSpy.png: "Stupid jealousy...? Haha. You can say what you like. This world is corrupt and full of annoying people. Is this kind of world even worth anything? It would be far better for it to be destroyed. Midia, you shall watch here... As Prince Marth dies by hand!!"

3dEzOl7.png

I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge fan of this map. Partly, this is because of the empty space at the start, where it takes a while until you actually have to face more enemies than a single Hero. A very strong Hero, sure, but still. This pairs with the second issue, which is pretty common in FE3, that no enemies actually charge at you. No pressure makes most maps a bit boring.

What's specific to this map is the very narrow area around the throne and the treasure room. I guess it adds the challenge of moving your pieces around in a smart fashion, but I find it more annoying and frustrating than interesting.

tYZAR6y.png

We've seen Hardin already, of course, back in Ch.8. Capped stats, with a weapon that's really strong, has 1-2 range, and pretty low weight, considering.

2Ij59FM.png

What I don't think we've seen is a DarkMage - pretty tanky, for a magic unit, with a 1-2-ranged "reduce HP to 1" tome. More accurate than BinBla's Eclipse, although it still only beats Swarm in that regard.

kj6CeRX.png

We also see a generic EarthDragon. I'm not going to fight it, but according to FEWoD, it functions just like Medeus in Book 1, i.e. halving any incoming Atk stat. I assume that Divine!Tiki can fight it; if not, it'd be pretty slow to fight it.

kNU5iBA.png

[HP 80% | Str 30% | Skl 50% | Spd 50% | Lck 10% | WLv 50% | Def 20% ]

Our last recruit other than the four Clerics (Ruben in shambles) is surprisingly good, or will be, when we're on an outdoor map again. Midia is basically Abel plus a few points in most stats - also 15 levels higher than he at base, but it's late enough in the game that hitting the XP cap shouldn't be a relevant problem for her, especially because there's really only one map (the outdoor one, of course) where Midia is worth deploying.

Still, this easily seems like Midia's strongest showing. Pretty decent for one whole map? Heck yeah!

9ArnpnM.png

Now, on to the map. Julian reads the manual "How to Mercurius Good" and then mercuriuses the Thief who had politely opened the door to the palace.

wAu6Tm0.png

And Yuliya makes sure that Midia doesn't die. I don't quite remember how the AI works in the New Mystery version of this map - I think enemies will start attacking her either on a certain turn or once you approach Hardin, but I always just use the Rescue staff there, too.

SwwX92I.png__W5bRuyE.png

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: This map does use long-ranged enemies more reasonably than the last one. It's three in the treasure room (2x Meteor, 1x Swarm), and one in the cell where Midia was kept last time she was kaga'd.

Ex37ekl.png

The general tactic is to move forward carefully, and barrier up people that might otherwise be in danger. I've been pretty frugal about using that staff, so it's not a big deal to spend a few charges here.

f0JipAO.png

The chest in the cell contains a Lady Sword, which I don't really need at this point. Warren still goes there with the Parthia and the Starsphere, just to remove the Meteor and a Fortify Bishop.

KlOX9k1.png__ihvEK6v.png

Most of the team marches through the treasure chamber, to avoid the Earth Dragon. To note: Sheema can one-round the long-range Bishops! I mean, almost everybody can, but still! She's helping!

2GSXTqY.png

Once a sufficient number of characters is nearby, Julian opens the door and I finally remember that I also wanted to give him an AngelRobe so that he hits a specific benchmark.

4L7udIa.png

The DarkMage then moves to attack Julian, which surprised me - he didn't attack Marth, and neither did the Sniper when Marth grabbed the chest two tiles from him. Luckily, no other enemy seems to have gotten the memo that Altea is approaching.

s8dPGPN.png

One more turn of huddling together...

WeK7pBh.png

...and then it is time for our best boss killer to do his job.

No, really, Julian is the best character for this, once he has grabbed the extra HP he needed to not get one-shot. He's actually the only sword user except Sheeda (who I didn't field) that can double Hardin with the Mercurius: Marth (17 Spd / 13 AS) is only a single point faster than Hardin; Matthis (16 Spd without his horse) only manages to tie him.

s01uFxV.png__v5r3drz.png

And that's that. A crit which saves me a Physic - Yubello would've been able to top Julian off, who then could've given Hardin the rest after a dance.

lIx1CCI.png

lyXDp7K.png: "Your higness... I am deeply sorry... I fought with my inner demon. However I was too weak...I resisted with all my might... But I still lost... I hoped for your highness' hand to end my life... That way I could be saved... Your highness... Nyna... Please take care of Nyna... She... I hope you... can tell her... In the... end... I still...loved her... I hope... She can... forgive me..."

As much as I ragged on Akaneia's story over the course of Book 2 in particular, I still like that Hardin, a good man, still has enough dark thoughts to give the Darksphere a lever to corrupt him, and also that while he's allowed a final moment of clarity, there still wasn't some way to redeem him. It's just that there's about an additional 0.9 games worth of fluffing out his character that's really missing from the picture. Hardin had to walk so that Lyon could fly, I suppose.

Very impressive that he managed to regrow his turban, I have to say. A portrait in his Evil Emperor attire, but without the creepy stare, would've been nice.

RpAnofP.png__HBotwOf.png

And with the Darksphere secured, the BindShld is ours! Unfortunately, it doesn't increase all of Marth's stats like it will in New Mystery. This is also the end of free Mercurius usage and +30% to all growths, which is a shame.

kdfDYFv.png

Because Julian is just too strong, I think I skipped a cutscene..? I'm pretty sure that Hardin gives another "Mwahahahahaah! I shall murder you!!!" speech in New Mystery when you get near him.

4WsSfHe.png

Oh well. Map beaten, world saved. OR IS IT?!?!

sC8QDcq.png

5LmJEnD.png: "Marth, it's finally over. Now, the world is safe. Look, the princesses are over there..."
THMpsw7.png: "Sister! And there's Princess Nyna... And Lena and Maria as well."
R8sR64C.png: "Marth, you finally came. I am so happy... Gwaa!! Damn, you're carrying the Binding Shield... Urgh... My illusion has been shattered! Come, Dark Priests. It has come to this... We must resurrect the Shadow Dragon immediately!"

7kNCLB9.png

(And yes, "Nyna" keeps delivering that dialogue without swapping to Gharnef's portrait)

5LmJEnD.png: "Huh, wasn't that Gharnef? He and his men pretended to be the princesses."
THMpsw7.png: "Mmm, but what are they planning? They said something about resurrecting the Shadow Dragon... So my sister was indeed taken by Gharnef..."
5LmJEnD.png: "Your highness, I apologise for interrupting you, but Gotoh has come."
THMpsw7.png: "Huh, Gotoh!? Please call him here!!"
nDWPpiw.png: "Marth, you have done well. You have all five Spheres in your possession. Because of your efforts, the lost Binding Shield has finally been restored."
THMpsw7.png: "Yes! The five Spheres have attached onto the royal shield... So this is the Binding Shield? But, Gotoh, what should I do next? After seeing Gharnef's expression, it seems he really has taken my sister and the others. I can't just leave them."
nDWPpiw.png: "Mmm, I understand your feelings... But you must first restore the seal on the Earth Dragons. Those beasts will soon awaken from their slumber. When they appear from the ground they will burn everything, and create Hell on Earth. Go, Marth. Send the awakened Earth Dragons back into the darkness of the sea!!"

So... how much of this could've been avoided if the visit to Gotoh would've been a telepathic phone call?
(The actual answer being "none", of course, because Marth always would've arrived in Pales just barely in time to go and reseal the Earth Dragons, but too late to rescue Nyna)

The Team:

	Lv. 	   HP Str Skl Spd Lck WLv Def Res  +XP
Marth	20.--	   41  17  18  17  20  12  17   1  +241
Matthis	17/5.71	   30  17  20  18   9  20  15   8  --	(+5 Skl, +5 Lck)
Midia	*/16.00	   28  14  17  17   7  16  16   6  --	(base)
Sheema	*/3.90	   35  17   5  12   6  14  18   4  +80	(+7 HP, +4 Str, +5 Spd)

Julian	18.79	   37  17  15  20  18  19  11   4  +349	(+7 HP, +5 WLv)
Warren	17/8.40	   39  16  21* 19   6  14  14   4  +308	(+5 Spd)
Bantu	18.49	   25   8  17  10   4   3   7   3  +32	(+7 HP, +10 Skl)
Tiki	18.79	   21  10  10  13  20  10   5  11  +160

Jubelo	20/11.96   28  20  13  20  19  20   9   9  +165
Wendell	*/14.51	   29   9  10  13   8  17   5   7  --	(+4 Str)
Yuliya	16/5.34	   22  13  12  18  18  17   4   8  +192
Merric	12/1.59	   24   9  10  13   7  12   9   7  +45*

Phina	12.30	   19   7  10  20  17  10   4   0  +80
  • And with Midia joining, Wendell finally lost his status as the highest-leveled character on the team.
  • Julian decided to make me look really silly for giving him a Manual. It got him from 11 to 16, and then he got three additional, useless procs.
  • Merric was really only there to immediately grab the Bishop Ring that you get in this chapter. His stats aren't particularly outstanding, but he can use every staff except for Again (and the personal ones, of course), which might come in handy on the final map. We'll see.

 

I would so love if Gharnef popped up in Heroes some day disguised as a cleric. Especially if it wasn't a magical disguise and it was just him dressed up and styling his hair like Nyna in a comically inept attempt at a disguise.

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10 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

I mean, there's the Archanea chronicle where she's basically the only actual combat unit you get. Sort of. Honestly, I feel like the knight bros and the bishops do more than she does there. And then she gets beaten by an unarmed Camus in single combat.

...being Midia is suffering.

S1ngMgf.png

10 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

You shoud've hoarded it smh my head what if you need it in the final chapter

I still have two more :lol: Not sure who will get them. If I can get Merric +2 WLv before the final map, he'd be able to get to 20 for Again. Otherwise, Wendell and Yumina are both at 17 WLv, while every other character can use literally every weapon of their respective type.

10 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Is it just me, or the delivery of this should've been shocking news sound flat? Has Xane exhausted Marth's aghastness at magical disguises?

Yeah, some reactions to world-shattering news are noticeably subdued. No idea if that's already the case in the original script or if the translation doesn't capure the tone correctly.

8 hours ago, Jotari said:

Well I did say I was no geographer when making it XD It was the best I could come up with to get some solid number.

An actual geographer criticising fantasy maps would be an interesting concept for a Youtube channel. I do wonder if it would be possible to narrow down Akaneia's size by looking of the relative size and locations of different biomes, although its world building might be a bit too vague for that to work.

9 hours ago, Jotari said:

I would so love if Gharnef popped up in Heroes some day disguised as a cleric. Especially if it wasn't a magical disguise and it was just him dressed up and styling his hair like Nyna in a comically inept attempt at a disguise.

I can't believe that hasn't already been done. "Man dresses as woman" has been a comedic staple since forever.

("and then another man falls madly in love with the crossdresser and hijinks ensue" has been part of that trope since forever, too. Oh god.)

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9 minutes ago, ping said:

An actual geographer criticising fantasy maps would be an interesting concept for a Youtube channel. I do wonder if it would be possible to narrow down Akaneia's size by looking of the relative size and locations of different biomes, although its world building might be a bit too vague for that to work.

I think we can conclude at least that the number given for the mountain range gives us a comfortable minimum for Archanea being at least something like the size of France. As such high mountains being squeezed into a tiny area like Crete or something. Though, to fact check myself, I have just googled the highest mountains in Hawaii (it being a place I can think of that's both small, but with a bunch of mountains due to volcanic activity) and they do have two that are 4,000 meters tall which isn't super off Mystery's "5,000 meters, maybe more" figure. We'd also maybe have to factor in both that Marth's group obviously isn't going to be marching to the summit of these mountains, they'll be passing through valleys so they could be a lot bigger than that...and also they don't have the means nor inclination to actually measure them in any accurate sense, so they could be way smaller and just feel really tall.

9 minutes ago, ping said:

I can't believe that hasn't already been done. "Man dresses as woman" has been a comedic staple since forever.

("and then another man falls madly in love with the crossdresser and hijinks ensue" has been part of that trope since forever, too. Oh god.)

And...congratulations. I am now imagining Gharnef wearing his disguise just before the battle with Hardin seeing it and then going googly eyes for Gharnef-Nyna.

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12 hours ago, ping said:

Because Julian is just too strong, I think I skipped a cutscene..?

Or maybe Marth was just too far behind.

Hardin:
Marth…?
As a servant of the Empire, you dared to invade Pales.
I am disappointed in you.
So Aritia’s Prince of Light is just a lowlife.
Marth:
Hardin!
You are being controlled by the Dark Orb, and have lost your just heart!!
Please, you must return to normal!
Hardin:
Hahaha…!
You are so naive, Marth.
I attacked Aritia solely because of my hatred of you.
In the previous war, it was only because you were the descendent of Anri that Nina gave the Emblem to you, and chose you to become the leader of the alliance.
Prince of Light… What nonsense!
If you hadn’t received my support you would have died long ago, so don’t act all big, Marth!!
From that day on, I hated you.
I kept silent for Nina, but I knew I would have to deal with you eventually.
This has nothing to do with this Orb!
Marth:
Hardin… Is that true…
Your hatred of me… I didn’t know…
Hardin:
Ha…
That’s why you’re just a boy.
Marth! Come to me, so I can use my Gradius to pierce your heart!!
In this tiny continent, I am the only hero that is needed!

That should settle the discourse about Akaneia's size. It's canonically "tiny".
 

12 hours ago, ping said:

R8sR64C.png: "Marth, you finally came. I am so happy... Gwaa!! Damn, you're carrying the Binding Shield... Urgh... My illusion has been shattered! Come, Dark Priests. It has come to this... We must resurrect the Shadow Dragon immediately!"

Oh hey, it can break illusions too. Convenient.
 

12 hours ago, ping said:

nDWPpiw.png: "Mmm, I understand your feelings... But you must first restore the seal on the Earth Dragons. Those beasts will soon awaken from their slumber. When they appear from the ground they will burn everything, and create Hell on Earth. Go, Marth. Send the awakened Earth Dragons back into the darkness of the sea!!"

Restoring the seal? By bringing the shield back to the Temple of Raman, where it was originally stored?
 

12 hours ago, Saint Rubenio said:

I mean, there's the Archanea chronicle where she's basically the only actual combat unit you get. Sort of. Honestly, I feel like the knight bros and the bishops do more than she does there. And then she gets beaten by an unarmed Camus in single combat.

Not exactly single combat. She tried to ambush him.
Of course attacking an unarmed man would have been cowardly either way.

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13 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

If you didn't abuse the power of the stars, I can Hardin being a serious threat. But we've known too much, playing this game aware of things most people back then wouldn't have known.

There's something interesting there. No starshards run. How would that go, I wonder?

2 hours ago, ping said:

S1ngMgf.png

I love how much mileage you're getting out of that shot.

2 hours ago, ping said:

I can't believe that hasn't already been done. "Man dresses as woman" has been a comedic staple since forever.

("and then another man falls madly in love with the crossdresser and hijinks ensue" has been part of that trope since forever, too. Oh god.)

Way back in the day I made a series of meme edits where Gharnef and Miloah fell in love, got married and then filed for divorce (the lawyer was Gotoh.) I'll be sure to post them if I am able to find them.

56 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Not exactly single combat. She tried to ambush him.
Of course attacking an unarmed man would have been cowardly either way.

All things considered, I don't think she or anyone else stood a chance of winning there. Let's not forget, Camus is straight up immortal.

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12 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

All things considered, I don't think she or anyone else stood a chance of winning there. Let's not forget, Camus is straight up immortal.

Indeed, if several days to weeks of floating across an ocean while unconscious without sustenance and full exposure to the elements can only give him temporary amnesia, then Midia's puny weapons stood no chance.

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30 minutes ago, Jotari said:

Indeed, if several days to weeks of floating across an ocean while unconscious without sustenance and full exposure to the elements can only give him temporary amnesia, then Midia's puny weapons stood no chance.

Gaiden might be canon to the FE1 continuity, but definitely not to the FE3 one.

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FE3 Book 2 Chapter Final-1: The Wyvern Valley

Spoiler

wYmI3Dy.png

It is an undeveloped region populated with flying dragons, and ruled by barbarians. But, there is no time to stop, because the fate of the world is in Marth's hands!

blAXN6c.png

5LmJEnD.png: "However, these lands are ruled by savage barbarians. Even Macedon's soldiers are afraid to enter here."
XYWCjV4.png: "So this is the Wyvern valley... Anyway, Jagen, we need to hurry. I feel like something is going to happen to my sister and the others. I have a bad feeling."

ifON8sC.png

The map! It's overall better than previous ones. Enemies have some basic variety between (1) hard-hitting, but with low mobility and accuracy, (2) extremely high movement and an Def-ignoring attack, but only 16 Atk and 0 AS, and (3) long-ranged Dark Mages, who are helpless once you can close the distance. Enemies are positioned in a way that you have to be careful not to engage, say, a Barbarian when there's a Wyvern looming over the mountain, waiting to finish off any weakened fighter.

However, it suffers from two problems. First, the Old Mystery classic: Enemies on this map don't start aggressive, so it is possible to bait and kill them one by one, or in groups small enough to be easy enough to defeat. The Dark Mages make that a little more complicated, but...

CmCwzXj.png

...give a character a Barrier boost, and they don't hit all that hard anymore.

EH6LxTY.png__dshSqHK.png

Second, Tiki destroys both Wyverns and Dark Mages so hard, it's not even funny. She only takes 2 damage from the former and 6 from the latter, while one-shotting both enemy types in return.

aHUtV0s.png

The Barbarians are more scary, with the Divine Dragon form's low-ish Def stat, but since they can't double, Tiki can still tank two of them. Plus, they're not exactly accurate with the Devil Axes.

2RKt9oe.png__lqknrqv.png

So, Tiki does a lot of work this map, hitting her level cap very quickly. She did have to dodge something in this situation, but given that this is turn 2, that's a gamble I'm willing to take.

vGclfHp.png

Aaand even more Tiki domination.

You also see the one time restraint on this map: The cave in the top left of the map will spawn Thieves right from turn 1, although they take a rather long time to cross the mountains to Misheil's village.

8NUca6M.png__1SFvISO.png

Back with the scrubs who don't even have wings, Sheema makes good use of the newly acquired Gradivüh, converting three uses into 120 additional XP. #worth.

URuI4Cz.png

(and, I mean, capped Def is a very good look. Even Catria can't do that, once we go back to indoor maps.)

Qtn1vlB.png

On the winged side of things, Tiki removes the last Wyvern guarding the village, too, which will open up the area for some Catria domination. She can actually live three Devil Axe hits (33 Atk vs. 41 HP / 20 Def) and one-round in return, and then kill the approaching Thieves at her leasure.

Xq9tiJr.png

Guarding the seize point are two last Wyverns, who somebody else can deal with for a change. With 39 HP, Warren can live both their attacks with 7 HP remaining, and with Yumina barriering his Res up to 11, he can just barely live a Meteor from the nearby Dark Mage, too.

oeu9p8K.png__nRLsMlj.png

...although he dodges one of the Wyverns anyway, making that nice Actually Planned close call moot.

wjDK0F5.png

So, this is the situation on turn 7. Not very scary. I do wonder if it's possible for anybody to die to the boss, actually, since he has that "reduce HP to 1" tome equipped. But even if it kills a target that's already at 1 HP, this isn't exactly the world's most scary boss when there's literally nobody to follow up on his trick.

buBxH5L.png__whLJtaj.png

There we go.

Boss kill to Merric, because after two level-ups on this map, he's only 1 WLv and one Manual shy from being able to use Again. It's probably better to let Yumina and Wendell (who don't have to talk to anybody) use it, but I like to keep my options open.

Meanwhile, Misheil:

mDoFidn.png

THMpsw7.png: "Huh!?"
I7JTomq.png: "...Take this..."
THMpsw7.png: "...! This is the Starlight tome. You're giving it to me!?"
I7JTomq.png: "That's right... Gharnef... Only with this spell can he be harmed. I managed to take it back from his possession..."
THMpsw7.png: "Gharnef!? Where is he now?"
I7JTomq.png: "The Dragon's Table... Ha... I was careless..."

xVFUHoA.png

I7JTomq.png: "I'm already finished. If Minerva is still around... Tell her to... In my place... Rescue Maria..."
THMpsw7.png: "Michalis!"
I7JTomq.png: "Your highness... I leave Maria's fate to you... Urgh."

RIP. If only Misheil had asked that villager from Khadein in Book 1 for advice.

LLgWFCi.png

And the final action before Marth seizes: Catria grabs a few Silver Swords and one Silver Bow. I don't think I'm particularly short on weapons, but it's not like I'm hurting for money.

And yes, I know there's a certain Secret Shop on this map. But do I really need more stats at this point?

SVZotds.png

THMpsw7.png: "But, wasn't Medeus the guardian of the Altar...?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Medeus could not tolerate the humans' actions against the Manaketes. So he gathered the other dragon tribes and formed the Dolhr Empire, to destroy mankind. First he was defeated by Anri, and second by you. But, Earth Dragons can't be destroyed easily due to their powerful life force... Medeus is now sleeping in the altar."
THMpsw7.png: "He's going to resurrect again!?"
nDWPpiw.png: "No, even an Earth Dragon shouldn't wake within a hundred years. Medeus is now changing his form. When he next awakens, he will become a fearful Shadow Dragon... No... Could it be... So that's why... Why Gharnef..."
THMpsw7.png: "Huh, what is it, Gotoh!?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Prince Marth, I finally understand why the clerics have been taken. Gharnef plans to use them to resurrect Medeus. To awaken a dragon requires the life force of females with pure and noble blood. Gharnef knew about this, so he went to capture the clerics."
THMpsw7.png: "So my sister and the others are inside the altar?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Mmm... Marth, we must hurry. The clerics are in grave danger. Medeus... He is going to resurrect once again!!"

So Gotoh knew for a while now that Gharnef has been kagaing "females with pure and noble blood". He also knows the ritual that Gharnef is attempting. Why exactly did it take him so long to figure this out...?

jtuMVgL.png

I propose an adventure game where you play as Wendell, who's on a mission from Godtoh to investigate the evil shenanigans of Gharnef's third coming, except that Gotoh shows deductive skills comparable to this version of his. "Wendell, I thank you for figuring out that Gharnef stole the book How To Summon Evil Dragons from Khadein's library, of which you have also found the only other copy in existence. Now I need you to figure out why he stole the Darksphere, kidnapped seventeen of Marth's female descendants, and forged the Dagger Of Virgin Sacrifices in the depths of the Fire Dragon Graveyard. All this seems oddly familiar, as if I've read about it recently, but I'm afraid I can't remember where... Please, Wendell, you must find out what this cunning evildoer is planning!!"

The Team:

	Lv. 	   HP Str Skl Spd Lck WLv Def Res  +XP
Marth	20.--	   41  17  18  17  20  12  17   1  --
Matthis	17/5.91	   30  17  20  18   9  20  15   8  +20	(+5 Skl, +5 Lck)
Sirius	*/11.49	   32  16  13  18   4  17  12   8  +50
Sheema	*/6.30	   38  15   8  13   8  15  20   4  +240	(+7 HP, +4 Str, +5 Spd)

Catria	19/10.16   42  20  20  20  13  20  20   1  +240
Caeda	19/4.25	   29  18  20  23* 20  20  19   4  +40
Julian	19.19	   38  17  16  20  19  19  11   3  +40	(+7 HP, +5 WLv)
Warren	17/9.40	   40  16  21* 19   6  14  14   6  +100	(+5 Spd)

Bantu	18.49	   25   8  17  10   4   3   7   3  --	(+7 HP, +10 Skl)
Tiki	20.--	   22  10  10  15  20  10   5  11  +121*
Jubelo	20/11.96   28  20  13  20  19  20   9   9  --
Wendell	*/14.51	   29   9  10  13   8  17   5   7  --	(+4 Str)

Yuliya	16/6.08	   22  14  12  19  18  18   4   8  +74
Merric	12/3.37	   26  10  10  15   7  14   9   7  +178
Phina	13.00	   19   8  11  20  18  11   4   0  +70

 

Answers!

Spoiler

 

On 2/16/2024 at 10:03 AM, Jotari said:

And...congratulations. I am now imagining Gharnef wearing his disguise just before the battle with Hardin seeing it and then going googly eyes for Gharnef-Nyna.

 

Clearly, that's why he was so easy to defeat. He was too distracted to keep up with Julian.

On 2/16/2024 at 11:02 AM, BrightBow said:

Marth:
Hardin… Is that true…
Your hatred of me… I didn’t know…

Don't take the words of the guy literally brainwashed by an evil artifact at face value, Marthipan.

(I exaggerate, of course - the way I read it, and the way I assume it comes across to Marth, is that these resentful feelings really were always present in Hardin - except that they didn't govern his actions before falling under the Darksphere's spell)

On 2/16/2024 at 11:02 AM, BrightBow said:

Restoring the seal? By bringing the shield back to the Temple of Raman, where it was originally stored?

The whole "restore the seal" stuff honestly feels very tacked on for no real benefit. If Gotoh had deduced earlier what exactly Gharnef was planning, and thus where he's bringing the Clerics, we could've gotten here just the same.

On 2/16/2024 at 12:07 PM, Saint Rubenio said:

There's something interesting there. No starshards run. How would that go, I wonder?

Palla: "Oh no! That would be... terrible... Whatever would I do?" (she caps Str at Lv.20/5 on average)

On 2/16/2024 at 12:07 PM, Saint Rubenio said:

Way back in the day I made a series of meme edits where Gharnef and Miloah fell in love, got married and then filed for divorce (the lawyer was Gotoh.) I'll be sure to post them if I am able to find them.

I see you have a history in writing slash fics

Please do share if possible, that sounds amazing :lol:

On 2/16/2024 at 12:56 PM, BrightBow said:

Gaiden might be canon to the FE1 continuity, but definitely not to the FE3 one.

How so? Siriüh leaves the scene in his ending again, presumably to rejoin Teeta, and the Whitewings should've had plenty of time to get involved in Valentia and get back in time for Book 2. Or is there another character cameo that I can't think of right now?

 

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14 minutes ago, ping said:

FE3 Book 2 Chapter Final-1: The Wyvern Valley

  Hide contents

wYmI3Dy.png

It is an undeveloped region populated with flying dragons, and ruled by barbarians. But, there is no time to stop, because the fate of the world is in Marth's hands!

blAXN6c.png

5LmJEnD.png: "However, these lands are ruled by savage barbarians. Even Macedon's soldiers are afraid to enter here."
XYWCjV4.png: "So this is the Wyvern valley... Anyway, Jagen, we need to hurry. I feel like something is going to happen to my sister and the others. I have a bad feeling."

ifON8sC.png

The map! It's overall better than previous ones. Enemies have some basic variety between (1) hard-hitting, but with low mobility and accuracy, (2) extremely high movement and an Def-ignoring attack, but only 16 Atk and 0 AS, and (3) long-ranged Dark Mages, who are helpless once you can close the distance. Enemies are positioned in a way that you have to be careful not to engage, say, a Barbarian when there's a Wyvern looming over the mountain, waiting to finish off any weakened fighter.

However, it suffers from two problems. First, the Old Mystery classic: Enemies on this map don't start aggressive, so it is possible to bait and kill them one by one, or in groups small enough to be easy enough to defeat. The Dark Mages make that a little more complicated, but...

CmCwzXj.png

...give a character a Barrier boost, and they don't hit all that hard anymore.

EH6LxTY.png__dshSqHK.png

Second, Tiki destroys both Wyverns and Dark Mages so hard, it's not even funny. She only takes 2 damage from the former and 6 from the latter, while one-shotting both enemy types in return.

aHUtV0s.png

The Barbarians are more scary, with the Divine Dragon form's low-ish Def stat, but since they can't double, Tiki can still tank two of them. Plus, they're not exactly accurate with the Devil Axes.

2RKt9oe.png__lqknrqv.png

So, Tiki does a lot of work this map, hitting her level cap very quickly. She did have to dodge something in this situation, but given that this is turn 2, that's a gamble I'm willing to take.

vGclfHp.png

Aaand even more Tiki domination.

You also see the one time restraint on this map: The cave in the top left of the map will spawn Thieves right from turn 1, although they take a rather long time to cross the mountains to Misheil's village.

8NUca6M.png__1SFvISO.png

Back with the scrubs who don't even have wings, Sheema makes good use of the newly acquired Gradivüh, converting three uses into 120 additional XP. #worth.

URuI4Cz.png

(and, I mean, capped Def is a very good look. Even Catria can't do that, once we go back to indoor maps.)

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On the winged side of things, Tiki removes the last Wyvern guarding the village, too, which will open up the area for some Catria domination. She can actually live three Devil Axe hits (33 Atk vs. 41 HP / 20 Def) and one-round in return, and then kill the approaching Thieves at her leasure.

Xq9tiJr.png

Guarding the seize point are two last Wyverns, who somebody else can deal with for a change. With 39 HP, Warren can live both their attacks with 7 HP remaining, and with Yumina barriering his Res up to 11, he can just barely live a Meteor from the nearby Dark Mage, too.

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...although he dodges one of the Wyverns anyway, making that nice Actually Planned close call moot.

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So, this is the situation on turn 7. Not very scary. I do wonder if it's possible for anybody to die to the boss, actually, since he has that "reduce HP to 1" tome equipped. But even if it kills a target that's already at 1 HP, this isn't exactly the world's most scary boss when there's literally nobody to follow up on his trick.

buBxH5L.png__whLJtaj.png

There we go.

Boss kill to Merric, because after two level-ups on this map, he's only 1 WLv and one Manual shy from being able to use Again. It's probably better to let Yumina and Wendell (who don't have to talk to anybody) use it, but I like to keep my options open.

Meanwhile, Misheil:

mDoFidn.png

THMpsw7.png: "Huh!?"
I7JTomq.png: "...Take this..."
THMpsw7.png: "...! This is the Starlight tome. You're giving it to me!?"
I7JTomq.png: "That's right... Gharnef... Only with this spell can he be harmed. I managed to take it back from his possession..."
THMpsw7.png: "Gharnef!? Where is he now?"
I7JTomq.png: "The Dragon's Table... Ha... I was careless..."

xVFUHoA.png

I7JTomq.png: "I'm already finished. If Minerva is still around... Tell her to... In my place... Rescue Maria..."
THMpsw7.png: "Michalis!"
I7JTomq.png: "Your highness... I leave Maria's fate to you... Urgh."

RIP. If only Misheil had asked that villager from Khadein in Book 1 for advice.

LLgWFCi.png

And the final action before Marth seizes: Catria grabs a few Silver Swords and one Silver Bow. I don't think I'm particularly short on weapons, but it's not like I'm hurting for money.

And yes, I know there's a certain Secret Shop on this map. But do I really need more stats at this point?

SVZotds.png

THMpsw7.png: "But, wasn't Medeus the guardian of the Altar...?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Medeus could not tolerate the humans' actions against the Manaketes. So he gathered the other dragon tribes and formed the Dolhr Empire, to destroy mankind. First he was defeated by Anri, and second by you. But, Earth Dragons can't be destroyed easily due to their powerful life force... Medeus is now sleeping in the altar."
THMpsw7.png: "He's going to resurrect again!?"
nDWPpiw.png: "No, even an Earth Dragon shouldn't wake within a hundred years. Medeus is now changing his form. When he next awakens, he will become a fearful Shadow Dragon... No... Could it be... So that's why... Why Gharnef..."
THMpsw7.png: "Huh, what is it, Gotoh!?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Prince Marth, I finally understand why the clerics have been taken. Gharnef plans to use them to resurrect Medeus. To awaken a dragon requires the life force of females with pure and noble blood. Gharnef knew about this, so he went to capture the clerics."
THMpsw7.png: "So my sister and the others are inside the altar?"
nDWPpiw.png: "Mmm... Marth, we must hurry. The clerics are in grave danger. Medeus... He is going to resurrect once again!!"

So Gotoh knew for a while now that Gharnef has been kagaing "females with pure and noble blood". He also knows the ritual that Gharnef is attempting. Why exactly did it take him so long to figure this out...?

jtuMVgL.png

I propose an adventure game where you play as Wendell, who's on a mission from Godtoh to investigate the evil shenanigans of Gharnef's third coming, except that Gotoh shows deductive skills comparable to this version of his. "Wendell, I thank you for figuring out that Gharnef stole the book How To Summon Evil Dragons from Khadein's library, of which you have also found the only other copy in existence. Now I need you to figure out why he stole the Darksphere, kidnapped seventeen of Marth's female descendants, and forged the Dagger Of Virgin Sacrifices in the depths of the Fire Dragon Graveyard. All this seems oddly familiar, as if I've read about it recently, but I'm afraid I can't remember where... Please, Wendell, you must find out what this cunning evildoer is planning!!"

The Team:

	Lv. 	   HP Str Skl Spd Lck WLv Def Res  +XP
Marth	20.--	   41  17  18  17  20  12  17   1  --
Matthis	17/5.91	   30  17  20  18   9  20  15   8  +20	(+5 Skl, +5 Lck)
Sirius	*/11.49	   32  16  13  18   4  17  12   8  +50
Sheema	*/6.30	   38  15   8  13   8  15  20   4  +240	(+7 HP, +4 Str, +5 Spd)

Catria	19/10.16   42  20  20  20  13  20  20   1  +240
Caeda	19/4.25	   29  18  20  23* 20  20  19   4  +40
Julian	19.19	   38  17  16  20  19  19  11   3  +40	(+7 HP, +5 WLv)
Warren	17/9.40	   40  16  21* 19   6  14  14   6  +100	(+5 Spd)

Bantu	18.49	   25   8  17  10   4   3   7   3  --	(+7 HP, +10 Skl)
Tiki	20.--	   22  10  10  15  20  10   5  11  +121*
Jubelo	20/11.96   28  20  13  20  19  20   9   9  --
Wendell	*/14.51	   29   9  10  13   8  17   5   7  --	(+4 Str)

Yuliya	16/6.08	   22  14  12  19  18  18   4   8  +74
Merric	12/3.37	   26  10  10  15   7  14   9   7  +178
Phina	13.00	   19   8  11  20  18  11   4   0  +70

 

Answers!

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Clearly, that's why he was so easy to defeat. He was too distracted to keep up with Julian.

Don't take the words of the guy literally brainwashed by an evil artifact at face value, Marthipan.

(I exaggerate, of course - the way I read it, and the way I assume it comes across to Marth, is that these resentful feelings really were always present in Hardin - except that they didn't govern his actions before falling under the Darksphere's spell)

The whole "restore the seal" stuff honestly feels very tacked on for no real benefit. If Gotoh had deduced earlier what exactly Gharnef was planning, and thus where he's bringing the Clerics, we could've gotten here just the same.

Palla: "Oh no! That would be... terrible... Whatever would I do?" (she caps Str at Lv.20/5 on average)

I see you have a history in writing slash fics

Please do share if possible, that sounds amazing :lol:

How so? Siriüh leaves the scene in his ending again, presumably to rejoin Teeta, and the Whitewings should've had plenty of time to get involved in Valentia and get back in time for Book 2. Or is there another character cameo that I can't think of right now?

 

Disappointing that this map has a generic dark mage as a boss. Would it have killed them to give Gharnef some kind of generic accomplice with a name and face? They gave Arlen a named co-conspirator despite Khadein having a generic boss in Book 1, why not a Yoder type for Gharnef too? And in the sequel, this could have been where you fought Eremiya instead of having to deal with a meteor tome on a tiny map in fog of war (and also kind of plot breaking, like, who are her minionis in that chapter? Other children from the orphanage? Are all of them female or did she have male fighters who weren't Legion for some reason? And why was she bothering with Klarisse and Katarina when she had those stat beasts in reserve?).

Isn't Gotoh kind of wrong here though? About the Maidens? Like, clearly Medeus doesn't need them to be revived. He seems to be up and about as a Dark Dragon just fine without eating them. They're sort of just standing there in case he needs an instant rez. Best I can headcanon is that until he eats the maidens he wouldn't be able to leave that room per the nebulous revival mechanics locking him in his castle in the previous story.

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28 minutes ago, ping said:

How so? Siriüh leaves the scene in his ending again, presumably to rejoin Teeta, and the Whitewings should've had plenty of time to get involved in Valentia and get back in time for Book 2. Or is there another character cameo that I can't think of right now?

Camus somehow ended up all the way on another continent, recovered from being near death, made a military career and earned the trust of the king himself, killed God, regained his memories and made it's way back to Akaneia.

You could squeeze it in the 1 year time gap between books if you really wanted. But like, why? FE1 and FE3 are already not compatible with each other. And FE3 saw it fit to firmly place the Gradivus into Hardin's hands, instead of making it to Valentia alongside Camus like in Gaiden. And the Book 1 endings of the Whitewings also don't make it sound like they took a break from rebuilding their country. Or falling in love and moving in with the person in question, in the case of Est.

And Sirius' line about having someone waiting for him in no way requires him to have ended up all the way in Valentia. Could just be someone in Grust. Which would make more sense anyway, since this is where he supposedly fell in battle.
And that's assuming he doesn't just lie again, like when he denies being Camus in the same conversation.
 

57 minutes ago, ping said:

You also see the one time restraint on this map: The cave in the top left of the map will spawn Thieves right from turn 1, although they take a rather long time to cross the mountains to Misheil's village.

It's also a random chance that they even spawn. They might well be nice enough to give you a lot more time.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

I7JTomq.png: "That's right... Gharnef... Only with this spell can he be harmed. I managed to take it back from his possession..."

What was the big plan there? You knew you needed Starlight, but you were still insistent on dealing with Gharnef "personally"? Despite the fact that you can't cast spells. Were you trying to club him to death with the tome?
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

THMpsw7.png: "He's going to resurrect again!?"
nDWPpiw.png: "No, even an Earth Dragon shouldn't wake within a hundred years. Medeus is now changing his form. When he next awakens, he will become a fearful Shadow Dragon... No... Could it be... So that's why... Why Gharnef..."

So Gotoh, why would he change his form now and not in the hundred years since his first defeat? Is it an observed phenomena that if an Earth Dragon dies twice, they come back all powered up? What's up with that.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

nDWPpiw.png: "Mmm... Marth, we must hurry. The clerics are in grave danger. Medeus... He is going to resurrect once again!!"

Since time is of the essence, I imagine you are going to take Starlight and the shield and teleport straight into the altar to do... well, whatever needs to be done with the shield inside the altar to restore the seal?
Or are you finally going to be playable and actually help out?

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FE3 Book 2 Chapter Final-2: The Dragon's Table

Spoiler

PWy8JpS.png

...as it spirals around. From the rocks fearful roaring and breathing sounds can be heard, as if the mountain was alive. The Dragon's Table... It is an ancient ruin of the dragon tribe, and the place where the Divine Dragon King, Naga, sealed away the Earth Dragons. Now, after a period of 600 years, the Earth Dragons are currently awakening, and countless evil demons are being born...

THMpsw7.png: "What is this strange air? It feels like it's full of evil spirits."
5LmJEnD.png: "That is true... My body appears to be frozen. These are the evil spirits of the Earth Dragons. Your highness, it seems we can't have everybody enter ahead. Since we don't know what will happen, please choose carefully who to take with you."
THMpsw7.png: "I hope to at least take the people who are worried about the four clerics."
5LmJEnD.png: "Mmm... There's no avoiding that. But how many people will survive? I bet this will be a fierce battle."

Quite considerate of the game to give a warning that you're stuck with your unit selection for the next three maps. I don't remember this being a thing in New Mystery, so I would've fallen into that trap right away.

nDWPpiw.png: "Prince Marth. The altar is probably full of crazed barbarians and Mage Dragons that have lost their mind. They are being controlled by Gharnef's magic, and will definitely attack you. The dark priests that serve Gharnef also have fearful power. As this battle lengthens it will become fiercer, but don't stop and keep charging forwards! You must defeat Gharnef, and recover from him the divine Falchion sword that was stolen from Altea. Without the Falchion, you won't be able to defeat Medeus..."

Gotoh, on the other hand gives terrible advice. Or rather, he seems to hint at something that isn't actually a thing, i.e. reinforcements coming from behind, since he tells Marth to "keep charging forwards". But the only reinforcements that you have to contest with actually come from the top corners; if you don't beat the map in less than 12 turns, that is.

x3aJHni.png

The map itself is a bit of a nothingburger, to be honest. Enemies hit really hard, of course (fun fact: The Barbarians one-shot Minerva without her bonuses from her wyvern), but they're not that numerous. The Barbarians have learned to charge at you, so kudos to them, but the Mage Dragons make up for that by not moving at all. I assume that this is different for the reinforcements, but it makes the already present Dragons into a bit of a joke.

RyG3QYs.png

I have to mention two things about the treasure rooms to the left and to the right. First: the items you find in the chests are a bit of a joke - a Pure Water and a Door Key - so you really don't have to bother. The enemies guarding them don't charge after you, either.

And second: The graphics are really not very clear here. You can move below black blocks, but not above? One thing I really like about old Fire Emblem is that its tilesets are generally very easy to read, but unless I just can't wrap my head around some intended perspective here, this seems rather odd.

MVI2TuB.png

(evidence that Mage Dragons are lazy buggers)

tRjd9Er.png

Honestly, until we reach the concealed room with the throne, there's not much to say about the map. We move forward. And then we move further forward. I'll only mention that Sheema continues her quest to convert Gradivüh charges into XP. I didn't bring Malicishesia to the Epic Finale because that would've made Ruben sad, so she has to be a bit careful about conserving it, but killing three Barbs that somebody else has already chipped into one-shot range seems fine.

gU8PqGu.png

Oh, and Yumina and Wendell read the How To Again instructions, which in hindsight is a bit silly for Yumina. She'll be busy using the Rescue staff on the final final final map.

BfMRDzY.png

And here's Jubelo with the only Fortify use in the entire Book 2 campaign, I'm pretty sure. Restoring 30 HP to every character on the field is a pretty strong ability, though.

4jyWMhx.png

And eventually, there is a lot of people waiting in front of the left door. I don't think there's too much value in splitting up here - no need to face them all at once.

lV2skS9.png__0sSlh7j.png__KJPxHjd.png

There's enough enemies in the room that charging in isn't a safe option (although the barbs are, of course, still very inaccurate). Instead, Sirius chokes the point for a turn...

RVDVI7c.png__Br91n1U.png__ch5eDlM.png

...and then we charge in. One small mistake: Matthis should've gone one tile to the right. That way, he could've killed the boss on the next turn - I'm still so used to Tiki one-shotting Wyverns that I didn't remember that she's five points short against Mage Dragons. Now it'll take an extra turn to finish. The horror!

qlNgHyU.png__KPa3fd9.png

But yeah, Marth finishes the "boss" and seizes on the next turn.

5LmJEnD.png: "Your highness, the wall in front of us collapsed!"

Jl6I9SX.png__Wh64Gh0.png

Special effects!

gR3xOQ4.png

0kUoemL.png: "Hahahaha... Those clerics are going to become sacrifices for the resurrection of the Shadow Dragon. They are lost forever. Soon, the Earth Dragon King, Medeus, will be reborn in his true form, and we require the clerics as live sacrifices. However their souls shattered because they couldn't stand the pain. Not even I can help them now. Thanks to them, the Shadow Dragon will awaken. He no longer fears even the power of the Binding Shield. It's a shame that everything's already over. Marth... You will die here!!!"

So the way I read this ( @Jotari  was wondering about this) - the process of Medeus absorbing the life forces of the clerics is currently ongoing, so what we're going to fight soon isn't the Shadow Dragon at 100% capacity. But if Medeus suffers a lethal wound, he's able to suck a little harder, killing one of the hosts in order to re-stabilise. It's an interesting question what would happen in a scenario where Medeus won the battle, but only after having to suck all four clerics entirely - would he be stuck in this half-realised state until Gharnef somehow returns again and acquires four replacement snacks?

I'm filling in a lot of blanks here, of course, but my impression of the whole thing is more "vague" than "contradictory".

Iy3YoAN.png

Anyway, here's Gharnef. He's weak. But before we get to that, a little (savestate-supported) science:

G42T09i.png

One Warp, then one Silence...

TC9qHHG.png__ZPAPEZW.png

...and bad screenshot timing as I didn't catch the message that Catria was petrified, or whatever the word was.

Anyway, the answer to a question that (iirc) @BrightBow asked earlier: Gharnef is just straight immune to the Silence effect. Or maybe the Imhullu spell just isn't flagged as a weapon affected by the effect. Somebody would have to edit Gharnef's inventory to test the details, but the effect is simply that you really can't win against Gharnef.

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Well, unless your name is Jubelo. It takes 15 Str and 8 Spd to one-round Gharnef. Jubelo has 20s in both.

rJnztcV.png

Now, I've heard rumours that there might be a map between Marth and Yubello on the one side and Gharnef on the other. If these are true, then there would be chests with the Aum staff and a second Hammerne staff available - both useless, as nobody has died and there is no weapon in need of repairs, even though Lena technically would be able to do that on the next map. But these considerations are just hypothetical, as there clearly isn't any map that you'd have to play.

(Er, Gharnef has some death quote along the lines of "Hahahaha you're still going to die!!!" that I failed to screenshot.)

5LmJEnD.png: "Your highness, there's a stairway leading up!!"

Thank you, Jeigan.

2oH4qcu.png

THMpsw7.png: "Damn... That's... Is that Medeus...?"
5LmJEnD.png: "Wait, if the princesses are in the way, your highness's sword will be unable to strike. We must think of something fast, otherwise the Earth Dragons will awaken, and then they will be in even more pain."
THMpsw7.png: "What should I do...? how can I save them? Please tell me, Jagen."
5LmJEnD.png: "That... Not even I know. To defeat Medeus, there is probably no other way except to..."
THMpsw7.png: "...! What, you want me to kill them!?"
5LmJEnD.png: "That is one way. The princesses cannot suffer any more. Taking their life is also a way of saving them."
THMpsw7.png: "Jagen, are you SERIOUSLY telling me to make this decision?"
5LmJEnD.png: "As leader, there are times when you must make painful decisions. That is what I meant."
THMpsw7.png: "Jagan, that's enough, I understand. I will not give up. There must be some other way. Until the very end, I will not give up!!"

Honestly, I would've loved to see what the Shadow Dragon localisers would've done with this scene in an official English New Mystery. The idea that a leader can sometimes be forced to make cruel decisions For The Greater Good had already been established in the fucking Prologue of SD, so I wonder how SD!Marth would've acted in this situation. Would the prospect of having to physically stab his older sister to death have broken Marth's determination to be a prince first, brother second?

That said, New Mystery already has a lot in place that probably would get into the way of the narration going into that direction; namely Siriüh, Julian, Minerva, and Merric poking Marth and the player and pointing at the solution to the dilemma.

...by the way, considering that they don't do that in Old Mystery, and that the only pair that really hasn't been established is Merric/Elice - I wonder how many players brought the first three recruiters and then marvelled at the tragedy that Marth was able to save everybody except for his own sister.

nlc1bi2.png__KapaXCj.png

Back to gameplay: Medeus and the four Clerics are surrounded by five Earth Dragons that are melted before the fight even starts. I think this also happens to reinforcements: They get one enemy phase to wreck some shit, but then they die at the start of the next turn. I don't know, since this map is actually fun to one-turn, but I think that's how this works.

ksqaqbW.png

This is the map, although the only thing that really matters is the distance between our forces and Medeus. Marth can close the distance with a single refresh, so he doesn't need to be warped, but everybody else is a bit slow to get there in time. So, here's the plan:

PeYdMWc.png__HlFK96p.png

Merric warps over Yumina, gets danced, and warps over Sirius. Yumina grabs Minerva. (2 Warps and 1 Rescue remaining)

X7iXGiD.png__PW3m1by.png

Nyna and Maria: saved.

yiAD7qG.png: "Princess Nyna! Open your eyes! Be strong...!"
R8sR64C.png: "Ah... I made a huge mistake. Because of my stupidity... I caused such grief for Hardin. And I made him... turn into that. Oh... I... What should I do?"
yiAD7qG.png: "Empress... Prince Marth has already ended Hardin's suffering. Even until the end Hardin still loved you, and he apologised for his crimes. It's alright now. You don't need to suffer anymore. You just had a bad dram, that's all..."
R8sR64C.png: "..... You are.....?"
yiAD7qG.png: "Princess Nyna! You mustn't give up. You shouldn't be a weak person!"
R8sR64C.png: "Ah...! You are... Camus...!? You are Camus!! Why... Why are you... Am I dreaming? You're still alive... Ah... It's true..."
yiAD7qG.png: ".....! Empress... I think you're mistaken. I am Sirius, a soldier of the allied army. I don't know anybody called Camus..."
R8sR64C.png: "Sirius...!? ...How...? No! That's wrong!! You must be..."
yiAD7qG.png: "Please calm down. You must be very tired. I must leave this place very soon. Well, Empress Nyna... You should return to Prince Marth's side..."
R8sR64C.png: "You... Where are you going?"
yiAD7qG.png: "I must return to my country. I... I have somebody waiting there for me."
R8sR64C.png: "Really, is that so? I understand... Sirius... thank you."
yiAD7qG.png: "..... Sorry..."
R8sR64C.png: "Huh ...!?"
yiAD7qG.png: "It's... Nothing... Empress, you must go!"

The irony of Nyna lamenting her own stupidity while talking to Camus, of all people.

That aside, I do like this conversation. Good use of subtext, although that is of course a tool only cowardly writers use. It's interesting that Camus swaps between "Princess" and "Empress" to address Nyna - using the former when he's trying to get through to her and the latter when he's trying to establish some distance.

1R6HLFU.png: "Maria! Please open your eyes. It's me, Minerva! Be strong!"
nEjORZ4.png: "Uh... Oh... Minerva, sister... Ah, Medeus, he..."
1R6HLFU.png: "Everything's alright now, relax. I'm sorry, Maria, for letting you experience all this..."
nEjORZ4.png: "Sister... I'm scared... so scared. Oh! How is brother? He fought with Gharnef to rescue me."
1R6HLFU.png: "Michalis, he... He's alright, Maria, don't worry."
nEjORZ4.png: "Really? Then, when we return home, will we be like one big family again? That's great, sister. Oh, I really want to see brother again."
1R6HLFU.png: "Maria..."

Reminder that this child was part of Marth's army one year ago.

Honestly, I don't like how much this leans into Maria's "childlike innocence". It kinda lessens her act of forgiving Michalis from a concious act of mercy to "I love my big brother and I have no idea what is happening around me".

ISCT3jU.png__LoN8oLo.png

I won't bother checking their growths, but here's the two as units. Maria has a Recover staff, so she's potentially useful. Nyna is useful if you can trade her a staff.

IJXvXod.png

Next step: Again.

K8VPKLS.png__kcQ4kmW.png

STUPID HOOMANS

YwMp35F.png__vzvRMJq.png

Marth takes a stab at Medeus before the other Clerics are saved, since even with a double crit, he would leave him at 4 HP. He gets a crit+hit instead, so that brings Medeus down to 20 HP.

I generally like the combat sprites in GBAFE, but I have to say that Medeus looks so much better than Random Fire Dragon in BlaBla.

Back at the starting location, Merric warps in Julian and Sheema, before getting rescued in by Yumina, which uses up both those staves.

aJ6pjLy.png

iS5UK7i.png: "Miss Lena, wake up! It's me, Julian. What should I do? I know I'm a man with no merits, but for you I will do anything. I don't have any other wishes, I just want to see you smile, Miss Lena. Smile, I'm begging you, Miss Lena..."
27A1MYZ.png: "Oh... Julian... You did come. I believed that you would definitely come. So that's how I could endure the horrors that I faced...    Julian, I'm sorry. I always acted like a spoilt brat to you."
iS5UK7i.png: "No... Just hearing Miss Lena's words is enough for me."
27A1MYZ.png: "Julian, can you listen to a request of mine?"
iS5UK7i.png: "Huh? Oh, please ask, as long as I can do it..."
27A1MYZ.png: "From now on, just call me Lena. It seems so impersonal when you call me Miss Lena. Because we're going to return to Macedon, to live together."
iS5UK7i.png: "Huh? ...Miss Lena... Oh... No... I meant Le... na... Do you really mean that..."
27A1MYZ.png: "Mmm... I believe the deities will forgive me. Because of my... love for you."

Not too much to say about this. The whole "Miss Lena" (or Lena-san, I assume) trope never translates perfectly well, since first name basis just isn't that big of a deal in western cultures, but what can you do.

ZG7S0S0.png__jgmmkNC.png

Before the second Again use, Sirius and Sheema do a little chip damage to Medeus. This technically was a bit risky to do in this order, since Sheema would've killed with a double crit, but hey, 1% never happens, right?

yOm3rqf.png

10% does happen once, though.

pN0K0qW.png

Again Again!

This staff doesn't refresh its user, so Jubelo has to grab it from Wendell to get a second use (and then Wendell would be able to take it back for the last use, if Sheema, who deals 2x3 damage against Medeus with 100% accuracy, won't be able to deal 4 points of damage against him).

LSHoJeo.png

3oaWh0o.png: "Elice! It's me, Merric! Please open your eyes. I studied magic so that I could protect you... Yet I still couldn't do that, or be by your side... Elice, I'm begging you... Please open your eyes!"
Sw4vhAL.png: "Merric...? ...! Oh, Merric! Save me... Gharnef, he... is so frightening... Please save me!"
3oaWh0o.png: "Elice! Great, you've finally awakened. It's alright now, I'm here. Oh... But Marth... and the others are watching... This is embarrassing. Elice, no matter what happens I won't leave your side again... Okay?"

I hope Merric never gets into a situation where he has to give mouth-to-mouth. Somebody would die. And god, Elice is such a non-character.

JRLUAFb.png__mMvJuzg.png

Lena and Elice also exist, technically with the ability to use staves.

But of course, staves are for amateurs, who let Medeus hit their characters.

c3fWAdX.png

Seriously, his accuracy is rather pitiful for a final boss. I'm still a bit lucky in dodging all of these, but not reaching 50 hit against a General is really sad.

SljqQ7P.png__BKJgZ1t.png__YYGoIOg.png

And with that, it's established that Sheema is stronger than Lawrence.

NMSqreB.png

dEUYZf0.png: "IS THIS... THE POWER... OF NAGA'S... BINDING SHIELD...? BUT... HUMANS, DON'T FORGET... AS LONG AS GREED LIVES ON IN YOUR HEARTS... YOU WILL LOSE THE SHIELD AND I WILL RISE FROM THE EARTH ONCE AGAIN... REMEMBER... TH...IS..."

Still think Kaga should've commited to Medeus as either a person or a force of nature, but I'll save that for the Book 2 summary later.

3AJlQSA.png

And Marth seizes for the last time, and not from the tile Medeus was sitting on. We are done!

nDWPpiw.png: "Marth, courageous prince of Altea. Because of your efforts, the Shadow Dragon, Medeus, has finally been completely destroyed. Medeus's servants, the Earth Dragons, have also vanished into the darkness. As long as the Binding Shield exists, they won't awaken anymore. Marth, descendant of Anri, and the chosen Prince of Light. You have saved mankind, and you have saved our dragon tribe..."

jmaeyBF.png: "Marth!! I don't have to go back to the Ice Dragon Shrine anymore. I'm so happy! I really like everybody. I definitely don't want to live all by myself at that lonely place again. It's really... like a dream. I'm so happy, so very happy. Marth, I really like you!!"

M8DvnDf.png

...why, of all random one-chapter-wonders, Malicisheia? She's not even here, for fucks sake! Jagen explicitly said that not everybody would come along into the dungeon!

0ZesxQY.png: "Honestly Marth, if you dare to show even the slightest happiness, Caeda won't forgive you."
bxNNlb4.png: "Marisha, you're talking nonsense again. However Marth really does look happy..."
0ZesxQY.png: "He can finally put to rest his heavy burden. Lord Marth has always been carrying such a heavy responsibility. It must have been hard on him. But Caeda has also had it hard. There are so many people around Marth that finding a chance to even talk to him is difficult. You must have been lonely."
bxNNlb4.png: "Mmm... It doesn't matter. As long as Marth is safe, I wouldn't wish for anything else. I once prayed to the deities, since Marth had such an important mission. I prayed that if they decided his life was to be taken, to take my life in his place... That was all I could do."
0ZesxQY.png: "..... Ah, Caeda truly can't be beaten. But, you don't have to wait any longer. Because Lord Marth is about to return to your side. Look, Caeda, Marth is looking over there. Use your courage!"

yISrsmT.png

THMpsw7.png: "Caeda, it's finally over. I'm sorry for making you suffer."
bxNNlb4.png: "No, I couldn't help you one bit... I'm the one that should be sorry."
THMpsw7.png: "Don't be silly. It's only because I had Caeda that I was able to reach this day. Things will be more difficult from now onwards. The seven kingdoms of Archanea are going to be unified, and everybody is going to hand responsibility to me. But, such a task I cannot possibly do by myself. Caeda, I hope you can help me. I really need you."
bxNNlb4.png: "I... When I left Talys Island, I already swore an oath. No matter where you went, I would be by your side. No matter what happened I would have faith in you. So, no matter what hardships there are, I can endure them. Because Marth... I lov..."

FUIET3i.png

That went on for too long.

I really prefer Sheeda the cunning manipulator sweet-talking everybody into joining Marth over Princess "Look At How I Embody Traditional Female Virtues" Caeda.

x8Ffjtw.png

The seven kingdoms were unified by Prince Marth. The united Kingdom of Archanea was established and peace reigned.

3ocgvNw.png

...future generations. Archanea's hero saga... This is the story of the brave warriors who saved Archanea...

8AWCfsx.png__TwIwelh.png

JRaQB5j.png__Ethc0lw.png

Again, I won't list all the character endings, since they're on the main site anyway. Just the records of the most lethal heroes:

  • Caeda: 41
  • Catria: 55
  • Warren: 49
  • Matthis: 40
  • Jubelo: 73
  • Bantu: 32
  • Tiki: 41
  • Sheema: 14

I didn't expect Jubelo to win this count so clearly. But I suppose he was around every map, while most mounted units tended to sit out at least some of the indoor maps. But I also have to give Tiki credit for doing a lot more heavy lifting than she ever would be able to do in New Mystery.

Looking at the stats, this time without the horse/wyvern bonuses that I normally included:

	Lv. 	   HP Str Skl Spd Lck WLv Def Res  +XP
Marth	20.--	   41  17  18  17  20  12  17   1  --
Matthis	17/6.41	   30  16  17  15  10  20  13   2  +50	(+5 Skl, +5 Lck)
Sirius	*/13.37	   34  15  11  16   4  18  10   3  +188
Sheema	*/9.50	   39  16  11  13  11  17  20   4  +320	(+7 HP, +4 Str, +5 Spd)

Minerva	*/8.20	   25  10   6  12   7  14  12   0  --	(base)
Catria	19/10.96   42  17  17  17  13  20  17   1  +80
Julian	20/--	   39  17  16  20  20  19  12   3  +81*	(+7 HP, +5 WLv)
Warren	17/9.90	   40  16  19  19   6  14  12   4  +50	(+5 Spd)

Bantu	18.99	   25   8  17  10   4   3   7   3  +50	(+7 HP, +10 Skl)
Tiki	20.--	   22  10  10  15  20  10   5  11  --
Jubelo	20/15.22   30  20  13  20  20  20   9   9  +326
Wendell	*/15.37	   30  10  10  14   8  20   5   7  +86	(+4 Str, +3 WLv)

Yuliya	16/7.24	   22  14  13  19  19  20   4   8  +116	(+2 WLv)
Merric	12/6.09	   28  10  12  16   9  17   9   7  +272
Phina	13.80	   19   8  11  20  18  11   4   0  +80
  • Wendell didn't manage to regain his spot as the most high-leveled character from Midia. He did manage to distance Jubelo by a whopping 15 XP, though.
  • Overall, it really were Bantu and Tiki who performed a lot better than I would've expected them to. It's a shame that Fire Emblem never returned to this sort of shapeshifting characters - I especially liked Tiki's selection of different forms with different strengths, and how you have to commit to one instead of just swapping the equipped Dragonstone around like in New Mystery.

7XYqGu1.png

But that is all for today. I'll write up a summary and how I would rate Book 2, as I did for the previous games, but I'll do that when I'm not very tired.

 

7 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Camus somehow ended up all the way on another continent, recovered from being near death, made a military career and earned the trust of the king himself, killed God, regained his memories and made it's way back to Akaneia.

You could squeeze it in the 1 year time gap between books if you really wanted. But like, why? FE1 and FE3 are already not compatible with each other. And FE3 saw it fit to firmly place the Gradivus into Hardin's hands, instead of making it to Valentia alongside Camus like in Gaiden. And the Book 1 endings of the Whitewings also don't make it sound like they took a break from rebuilding their country. Or falling in love and moving in with the person in question, in the case of Est.

And Sirius' line about having someone waiting for him in no way requires him to have ended up all the way in Valentia. Could just be someone in Grust. Which would make more sense anyway, since this is where he supposedly fell in battle.
And that's assuming he doesn't just lie again, like when he denies being Camus in the same conversation.

Does either Gaiden or Old Mystery ever establish how far apart Akaneia and Valentia are? It's still close enough for the Whitewings to make a cameo, too, so I never pictured the distance as all that big.

I don't see the timeline as disqualifying, to be honest. It's 2-3 years between books (the War of Shadows ends in 605, Book 2 starts in 607 or 608) - still certainly not a long time to establish himself as a leader in Rigel, but Camus is already portrayed as the most awesomest guy walking the earth (also the dumbest, but that's beside the point). The Gradivus popping up in Gaiden was a mistake, though, I'll agree with that.

I don't think Camus is dishonest in that conversation, by the way. He technically lies, of course, but I read that as a clear case of "she knows that he knows that she knows". Camus is telling Nyna that they can't be together anymore, while also communicating that he's here incognito. Nyna picks up on that, too - her question where he will go is directed at Camus, not "Sirius".

7 hours ago, BrightBow said:

Since time is of the essence, I imagine you are going to take Starlight and the shield and teleport straight into the altar to do... well, whatever needs to be done with the shield inside the altar to restore the seal?
Or are you finally going to be playable and actually help out?

jtuMVgL.png

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And Old Mystery is finished. What was the mystery anyway? There wasn't much investigating into where the Binding Shield is, what it is or what it can do.

Re:Camus conversation, yes it is absolutely ridiculous and that's why Awakening should have retconned Valentia as existing in a different world so different time passages could be used. Or just follow Valentia's text calling it a remote island and all that other stuff I made a thread about to confirm that it's tiny and not all that far away from Archanea. Or or if Old Mystery really wanted to do this, give Marth ten years of peace instead of less time than the games' release dates. At least on the Gradivus question Shadows of Valentia confirms that the White Wings brought it back to Archanea after their summer holiday in Valentia. Which is reasonable as far as retcons go.

And if anyone really has issue with all the Camus and Zeke and Sirius nonsense, then let's just believe they're not the same characters at all and it's just a result of reused portraits. Certainly wouldn't be too ridiculous for the NES/SNES era.

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15 hours ago, Jotari said:

And Old Mystery is finished. What was the mystery anyway? There wasn't much investigating into where the Binding Shield is, what it is or what it can do.

It's probably referring to the Fire Emblem being the Binding Shield, or rather the broken down version of it. The revelation that the royal family was founded by a petty thief is, in theory, a pretty big one, although the game doesn't follow up on it at all.

15 hours ago, Jotari said:

At least on the Gradivus question Shadows of Valentia confirms that the White Wings brought it back to Archanea after their summer holiday in Valentia. Which is reasonable as far as retcons go.

But that was Meißen's porcelain, I mean personal weapon!

I didn't know that is a thing but yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

FE3 Book 2 - Final Thoughts:

Spoiler

After cramming all of FE1, Gaiden, and Book 1 into the C tier, I have to ask myself the question: Is Book 2 better? Well, yes. That was easy. Good enough for B tier? Also yes, probably, but let me ramble a bit first.

Now, the big innovation that Book 2 brings to the series is having an actual story, with characters interacting 'n shit. It's unfortunate that it's not very good.

OK, I'm exaggerating in both directions. FE1 and Gaiden had their little dramas and their overarching plots, but Book 2 simply has more. As an indicator, almost all characters have at the very least a bit of dialogue when they join (I believe the only exception is the squad that Marth starts with in Ch.1), as opposed to the rather large "no lines" club in FE1 / Book 1.

More imporantly, Book 2 also tries to flesh out the continent of Akaneia more than FE1 did. We get the big lore dump while walking Anri's Path, a bit more backstory on the whole dragon/human conflict, and we get a little more glimpses at the countries Marth travels through.

However, this is also where Book 2 flounders, in my opinion. My impression (as I said before) is that of a weird remake/sequel hybrid - Kaga is trying to tell a revised, more elaborate version of FE1's basic story structure, but he's selling it in a package with an actual direct remake without any significant revisions (in the story), which only highlights how much of Book 2 is just more of the same. Honestly, I find that Binding Blade basically shows Book 2 what it should've done, in that it follows a lot of FE1's story beats while still putting its own spin on it. Of course, it helps things that BinBla doesn't have the same villains as FE1 doing the same thing they did in FE1...

But if we try to ignore the "too similar" criticism, Book 2's story is... eh. Okay. Some things are good. Lang is a decent early villain, giving the enemy side a bit more of screen presence. Hardin's corruption story is good in theory, in particular how the seed is sown into the soil of already existing resentments, despite Hardin being a Good Guy (tm) in general - but the whole thing suffers from his non-existant characterisation in Book 1. The whole exposition dump from Ch.11 to 14 is very badly timed, unfortunately (although BinBla very very much shares that problem, with Jahn's Big Story Time). Gra should've been given more attention, but what there is is actually very solid.

However, I personally don't like Marth's role throughout the game, as my occasional Corrin comparisons probably made clear. Of course, I have been spoiled by English SD Marth, but I really find that this version of Marthipan shares Corrin's combination of naivety and liked-by-everyone-ness despite not really being exceptionally charismatic. I would call Corrin worse in that regard, at least Marth's supporters don't kiss the ground beneath his naked feet, but B2!Marth adds a certain passivity to his list of shortcomings as a character. I wouldn't even call him a reactive protagonist, who responds to the actions of the villains - most of the time, Marth just does as he is told. At first, it's Lang ordering him around (although the eventual defiance is a good scene for Marth and Jeigan), then he gets shooed around by Hardin for a bit until he arrives in Khadein, then Gotoh tells him where to go and what to do. So yeah, the story is functional as something to give a little fluff between the Anime Chess matches, but Book 2 isn't really a game I'd recommend for the story.

Moving on to the gameplay - it's more interesting than Book 1 and less painful than the NES games, that's for sure. I probably don't have to rehash what makes FE3 an easier game to play compared to FE1 or Gaiden, so I'll just move on to the comparison between the Books.

I think it was Ruben who said something about high highs and low lows with Book 2's map design? In any case, I'm absolutely stealing that as my TL;DR. Book 2 has some really good maps, like the bridge chapter, the Magic Twins' joining map, or the pretty decent first desert map - but it also has Ch.3 (more walking around than all LotR movies combined...) or the second desert map (which could've come right out of Gaiden, honestly). Overall, it probably averages out above the previous games and Book 1, but below, say, BinBla or SacSto (which honestly has some pretty good maps, except that the enemies are crap).

What was kinda fun were the Starshards. Maybe a bit too much, since increasing a character's growth total by 160% by stacking four of them is silly, but I had my fun trying to trade them around between characters about to level up. If I had the ability to revise the system, I'd probably just make it a bit less extreme - give every character a single inventory slot for a Starshard, so that they're more about fixing a weak spot of a character, instead of overloading their every stat. Maybe even remove the ability to trade them during a fight, so that there's a bit of a choice who to give the best ones to, although might be prioritising "sensible" over "fun" a bit too much. But anyway, making weak characters is a fun Fire Emblem activity, and growth boosters are a more satisfying system than the "click button, receive bacon" nature of regular ol' stat boosters, since you're still working for these gains.

All things considered - yeah, B tier for Book 2 seems fair, although probably on the lower end of it. It's honestly the first (half of a) game in this playlog that I'm tempted to replay with different characters - unlike Book 1, where I don't really see why I shouldn't just play FE11 instead, Book 2 offers some stuff that New Mystery doesn't, like the growth-boosting Starshards, or the ability to use characters joining later than Ch.8 without pumping them up with a gazillion stat boosters. Although I didn't have room for them, I have to stress how pleasantly surprised I was to see Abel and Samson to be actually solid!

Well then, off to Jugdral we go....

Or ride. I hear the distances are a bit too large to walk on foot.

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  • ping changed the title to To Become an Elitist [Playlogs FE1-5] [just finished: Book 2]

Well, I fell behind.

On 2/17/2024 at 3:40 PM, ping said:

XYWCjV4.png: "So this is the Wyvern valley... Anyway, Jagen, we need to hurry. I feel like something is going to happen to my sister and the others. I have a bad feeling."

I can't believe Marth hates sand.

On 2/17/2024 at 3:40 PM, ping said:

Enemies on this map don't start aggressive, so it is possible to bait and kill them one by one, or in groups small enough to be easy enough to defeat.

I won't lie, the fact that this is a constant throughout the game makes it seem really damn boring. FE12 has plenty of problems but being boring is the cardinal sin for me when it comes to FE.

On 2/17/2024 at 3:40 PM, ping said:

URuI4Cz.png

(and, I mean, capped Def is a very good look. Even Catria can't do that, once we go back to indoor maps.)

Still, Sheema is pretty nice.

On 2/17/2024 at 3:40 PM, ping said:

 

RIP. If only Misheil had asked that villager from Khadein in Book 1 for advice.

Goodbye, man who was revived for... some reason? I don't really get why Kaga would do this. He accomplished very little that couldn't have been done by just... not victimizing Minerva earlier in the game.

On 2/17/2024 at 3:40 PM, ping said:

So Gotoh knew for a while now that Gharnef has been kagaing "females with pure and noble blood". He also knows the ritual that Gharnef is attempting. Why exactly did it take him so long to figure this out...?

jtuMVgL.png

I can only concur. I'm so glad we're moving on from games with this shitbag in them.

18 hours ago, ping said:

THMpsw7.png: "I hope to at least take the people who are worried about the four clerics."

Three whole maps of forced Merric, Julian, Sirius and Minerva. Bleh.

18 hours ago, ping said:

Gotoh, on the other hand gives terrible advice

Grass is green.

18 hours ago, ping said:

Iy3YoAN.png

Holy shit, why is he so bad though? I always thought of him as speed first, power second but here he's just... nothing first lol

18 hours ago, ping said:

 

Now, I've heard rumours that there might be a map between Marth and Yubello on the one side and Gharnef on the other. If these are true, then there would be chests with the Aum staff and a second Hammerne staff available - both useless, as nobody has died and there is no weapon in need of repairs, even though Lena technically would be able to do that on the next map. But these considerations are just hypothetical, as there clearly isn't any map that you'd have to play.

(Er, Gharnef has some death quote along the lines of "Hahahaha you're still going to die!!!" that I failed to screenshot.)

I won't lie, even in FE12 this is one map I almost always warpskip.

18 hours ago, ping said:

the only pair that really hasn't been established is Merric/Elice

I was trying to remember if Merric at least mentioned her in his one scene in the game back in Khadein. All in all, yeah that one's basically guide bait lol

18 hours ago, ping said:

kcQ4kmW.png

STUPID HOOMANS

Kempf's spirit possesses Medeus

"STUPID BITCHES"

18 hours ago, ping said:
  •  

I didn't expect Jubelo to win this count so clearly.

My boy. Might not've had an axe here, but he was still the Supreme Warlord of Grust. Godspeed.

18 hours ago, ping said:

Overall, it really were Bantu and Tiki who performed a lot better than I would've expected them to. It's a shame that Fire Emblem never returned to this sort of shapeshifting characters - I especially liked Tiki's selection of different forms with different strengths, and how you have to commit to one instead of just swapping the equipped Dragonstone around like in New Mystery.

It truly was their game.

57 minutes ago, ping said:

But that was Meißen's porcelain, I mean personal weapon!

Meißen Gaming

1 hour ago, ping said:

All things considered - yeah, B tier for Book 2 seems fair, although probably on the lower end of it. It's honestly the first (half of a) game in this playlog that I'm tempted to replay with different characters - unlike Book 1, where I don't really see why I shouldn't just play FE11 instead, Book 2 offers some stuff that New Mystery doesn't, like the growth-boosting Starshards, or the ability to use characters joining later than Ch.8 without pumping them up with a gazillion stat boosters. Although I didn't have room for them, I have to stress how pleasantly surprised I was to see Abel and Samson to be actually solid!

Sounds like a fair assessment. One of these days I might even be bothered to give it a fair shot.

58 minutes ago, ping said:

Well then, off to Jugdral we go....

Or ride. I hear the distances are a bit too large to walk on foot.

Only one more game and things finally get good!

On 2/17/2024 at 3:40 PM, ping said:

I see you have a history in writing slash fics

Please do share if possible, that sounds amazing :lol:

Heh, so I do.

Good news, too - I found them!

Act 1: Luv

Miloah_x_Gharnef.png?ex=65e4be3a&is=65d2493a&hm=44de3999c95e4cec20d5a377a1a8b95ac267306bff1a109416af3a2359c30519&

Act 2: Mawage

Oh_god_why_did_I_make_this.png?ex=65e4be39&is=65d24939&hm=82239cf1a012a8e9de9a9725c6cc40bcabfe1d1550d5c95021b3ee2ea78c3432&

Act 3: Divors

divorce.png?ex=65e4be39&is=65d24939&hm=0be38be2cdd753a9b7fd78fa611d19eaed0d9ea6f8c09465a6ebdab08a0c8559&

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6 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

I can't believe Marth hates sand.

Wait, is that a family trait? I only know of Anakin Marth's father being desertphobic.

...actually, Marth has plenty reason to hate sand after suffering through Anri's Way. The first step in his journey towards becoming Darth Marth?!

9 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Goodbye, man who was revived for... some reason? I don't really get why Kaga would do this. He accomplished very little that couldn't have been done by just... not victimizing Minerva earlier in the game.

It's a running theme with Book 2. King Akaneia I. was a petty thief? Doesn't really go anywhere. There's actually a history of humans genociding manakete? Eh, in the end, the conflict is still between Marth (good) and Medeus (evil) with zero ambiguity. Sheema got introduced just to abdicate at the end of her chapter. The Grustian twins should be rather important characters, but they really aren't.

Also, this is Kaga. Victimizing a female character is an end, not a means.

15 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Holy shit, why is he so bad though? I always thought of him as speed first, power second but here he's just... nothing first lol

Hey, his Def stat (very important for him!!) is really impressive for a magic user!

16 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

I was trying to remember if Merric at least mentioned her in his one scene in the game back in Khadein. All in all, yeah that one's basically guide bait lol

I think this came up when Quetzal was playing this game, and the answer was "not by name", if I remember correctly. Merric's Book 1 ending is something about "returning to Altea to protect somebody important to him", but I would totally read that as a bromance between him and Marth if I didn't know of Book 2's endgame. It doesn't help that Elice simply isn't a character in either Book 1 or 2, so she isn't exactly somebody that springs to mind when hearing "somebody in Altea".

19 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

Heh, so I do.

Good news, too - I found them!

Wonderful just for Gharnef with Anime blush stickers :lol:

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4 hours ago, ping said:

It's probably referring to the Fire Emblem being the Binding Shield, or rather the broken down version of it. The revelation that the royal family was founded by a petty thief is, in theory, a pretty big one, although the game doesn't follow up on it at all.

But that was Meißen's porcelain, I mean personal weapon!

I didn't know that is a thing but yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

FE3 Book 2 - Final Thoughts:

  Hide contents

After cramming all of FE1, Gaiden, and Book 1 into the C tier, I have to ask myself the question: Is Book 2 better? Well, yes. That was easy. Good enough for B tier? Also yes, probably, but let me ramble a bit first.

Now, the big innovation that Book 2 brings to the series is having an actual story, with characters interacting 'n shit. It's unfortunate that it's not very good.

OK, I'm exaggerating in both directions. FE1 and Gaiden had their little dramas and their overarching plots, but Book 2 simply has more. As an indicator, almost all characters have at the very least a bit of dialogue when they join (I believe the only exception is the squad that Marth starts with in Ch.1), as opposed to the rather large "no lines" club in FE1 / Book 1.

More imporantly, Book 2 also tries to flesh out the continent of Akaneia more than FE1 did. We get the big lore dump while walking Anri's Path, a bit more backstory on the whole dragon/human conflict, and we get a little more glimpses at the countries Marth travels through.

However, this is also where Book 2 flounders, in my opinion. My impression (as I said before) is that of a weird remake/sequel hybrid - Kaga is trying to tell a revised, more elaborate version of FE1's basic story structure, but he's selling it in a package with an actual direct remake without any significant revisions (in the story), which only highlights how much of Book 2 is just more of the same. Honestly, I find that Binding Blade basically shows Book 2 what it should've done, in that it follows a lot of FE1's story beats while still putting its own spin on it. Of course, it helps things that BinBla doesn't have the same villains as FE1 doing the same thing they did in FE1...

But if we try to ignore the "too similar" criticism, Book 2's story is... eh. Okay. Some things are good. Lang is a decent early villain, giving the enemy side a bit more of screen presence. Hardin's corruption story is good in theory, in particular how the seed is sown into the soil of already existing resentments, despite Hardin being a Good Guy (tm) in general - but the whole thing suffers from his non-existant characterisation in Book 1. The whole exposition dump from Ch.11 to 14 is very badly timed, unfortunately (although BinBla very very much shares that problem, with Jahn's Big Story Time). Gra should've been given more attention, but what there is is actually very solid.

However, I personally don't like Marth's role throughout the game, as my occasional Corrin comparisons probably made clear. Of course, I have been spoiled by English SD Marth, but I really find that this version of Marthipan shares Corrin's combination of naivety and liked-by-everyone-ness despite not really being exceptionally charismatic. I would call Corrin worse in that regard, at least Marth's supporters don't kiss the ground beneath his naked feet, but B2!Marth adds a certain passivity to his list of shortcomings as a character. I wouldn't even call him a reactive protagonist, who responds to the actions of the villains - most of the time, Marth just does as he is told. At first, it's Lang ordering him around (although the eventual defiance is a good scene for Marth and Jeigan), then he gets shooed around by Hardin for a bit until he arrives in Khadein, then Gotoh tells him where to go and what to do. So yeah, the story is functional as something to give a little fluff between the Anime Chess matches, but Book 2 isn't really a game I'd recommend for the story.

Moving on to the gameplay - it's more interesting than Book 1 and less painful than the NES games, that's for sure. I probably don't have to rehash what makes FE3 an easier game to play compared to FE1 or Gaiden, so I'll just move on to the comparison between the Books.

I think it was Ruben who said something about high highs and low lows with Book 2's map design? In any case, I'm absolutely stealing that as my TL;DR. Book 2 has some really good maps, like the bridge chapter, the Magic Twins' joining map, or the pretty decent first desert map - but it also has Ch.3 (more walking around than all LotR movies combined...) or the second desert map (which could've come right out of Gaiden, honestly). Overall, it probably averages out above the previous games and Book 1, but below, say, BinBla or SacSto (which honestly has some pretty good maps, except that the enemies are crap).

What was kinda fun were the Starshards. Maybe a bit too much, since increasing a character's growth total by 160% by stacking four of them is silly, but I had my fun trying to trade them around between characters about to level up. If I had the ability to revise the system, I'd probably just make it a bit less extreme - give every character a single inventory slot for a Starshard, so that they're more about fixing a weak spot of a character, instead of overloading their every stat. Maybe even remove the ability to trade them during a fight, so that there's a bit of a choice who to give the best ones to, although might be prioritising "sensible" over "fun" a bit too much. But anyway, making weak characters is a fun Fire Emblem activity, and growth boosters are a more satisfying system than the "click button, receive bacon" nature of regular ol' stat boosters, since you're still working for these gains.

All things considered - yeah, B tier for Book 2 seems fair, although probably on the lower end of it. It's honestly the first (half of a) game in this playlog that I'm tempted to replay with different characters - unlike Book 1, where I don't really see why I shouldn't just play FE11 instead, Book 2 offers some stuff that New Mystery doesn't, like the growth-boosting Starshards, or the ability to use characters joining later than Ch.8 without pumping them up with a gazillion stat boosters. Although I didn't have room for them, I have to stress how pleasantly surprised I was to see Abel and Samson to be actually solid!

Well then, off to Jugdral we go....

Or ride. I hear the distances are a bit too large to walk on foot.

A revelation, yeah, but it's not much of a mystery to be told a secret you didn't even know was a secret to begin with.

Also I don't think you mentioned it, but in Old Mystery these aren't three maps, it's one continuous map like the GBA's final bosses. No saving or changing your team in between (hence Jeigan's comment). So that's even more reason to warp skip Gharnef.

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Congrats on finishing Old Mystery.

I don't know if you'd care, but I did post about my thoughts about FE3 when I had freshly completed nearly five years ago.

 

On 2/17/2024 at 9:40 AM, ping said:

The Barbarians are more scary, with the Divine Dragon form's low-ish Def stat, but since they can't double, Tiki can still tank two of them. Plus, they're not exactly accurate with the Devil Axes.

The endgame barbs are just another reason why the original Lady Sword was so good.😄

23 hours ago, ping said:

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...Thinking of LoZ: ALttP because of my aforementioned old review, maybe Gharnef should've kidnapped Gotoh (why not eventually sacrifice a wise Divine Dragon to help resurrect Medeus? Who cares if he's old? Energies/spirit don't age.) and have him occasionally telepathically communicate with Marth. Treat him like Zelda sending Link messages in the dungeons in the Dark world via special stones in the walls. Maaaaaaybe that would've fixed some things.😛

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