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FE4 Chapter 1: The Spirit Forest's Maiden

Marpha --> Verdane

Spoiler

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Step one, once again: Arena. That, and showing that Sigurd don't need no Silver Swords to prod buttocks. Since Arena fights don't count for a weapon's kill count (makes sense, since it's not lethal combat), there's literally no downside to this. Dulles made it close, by proccing Pavise on a lethal hit once, but then missing his counterattack. The other fights were pretty one-sided, although against Emile, Sigurd got a bit lucky - Emile is faster and two-shots, even though his accuracy is a bit lower than Sigurd's.

He also sells the Skill Ring (after clearing the Arena), although nobody picks it up until the end of the chapter. I'm honestly not sure who would appreciate it the most - maybe I'll throw it on Azel since his Skl isn't great and the more advanced tomes are less accurate than the basic Fire/Thunder/Wind. It doesn't really seem valuable enough to pass around for arenaing, so it's possible that this will also determine what kid it'll go to, and I don't think Patty would be the worst option for that, either.

That, or give it to Ayra(-->her daughter) for more Astra procs.

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Ayra clears the arena too, of course, although she needs some Astra fishing to get through Emile and Dulles.

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And so does Finn, although he needs one turn each (plus Ethlyn healing him, for Dulles) to properly set up Miracle for the remaining two fights. If I remember correctly, castle healing is random, but Finn manages to get both of them to 0% hit.

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During the rest of the chapter, I'm a bit spammy with Aideen and (eventually) Ethlyn's transportation staves. Not to the point where I send every superfluous character back home, but definitely in a way highly prioritising XP over money.

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Quan doesn't get a Adept proc on his first turn fighting the remaining Brigand, so the third village goes all the way down to his last house. Which also means that Quan just goes ahead and visits it himself - no point wasting my time to send 500 gold to the most worthy recipient.

9WlhvEB.png: "Just t'the north a here is this mighty woodland. S'called the spirit forest. Once upon a time, I lived there too, in this li'l hamlet deep within. Th' village is home to the last kin o' the dark one of old, Loptyr. They say it all started with Saint Maira, exiled by the empire for darin' to sympathise with mortal men. In my day, there was this gorgeous girl livin' there called Sigyn: the last heir of Loptyr's bloodline, she was. She lived 'er life under close guard, the villagers wary o' lettin' the blood o' Loptyr loose into th' world. Alas, Sigyn grew weary o' the tedious forest life an' she left it all behind, breakin' ancient commandments. A couple o' years later, she came back, 'cept now she was pregnant. Never said who the father was, mind. Before long Sigyn died, even as she gave birth t' her daughter. From what I 'eard, the hamlet's old prophet took 'er in and raised the girl as 'er own. If the little girl's still alive, she'd 'ave to be 'bout seventeen or eighteen by now..."

(500 gold)

And there's most of what BrightBow explained, although I probably wouldn't have thought of the "just 100 (or 200, maybe) years ago" part if he hadn't reminded me - especially with the guy talking about "ancient commandments" :lol:

It's interesting that oldtimer here only mentions Deirdre (and officially confirming that she has Loptyr blood), but not that she has a (half-)brother. We do know that from Manfroy's As-you-know exposition to Sandima, though, so the only thing we don't know about the Evil Plan at this point is who the guy is. Maybe that's a bit early to spoil a good ol' mystery, but it depends on how the story continues until the big semi-finale.

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And at this point, everybody just slowly moves forward. Jamke and his group of axe bros do move through the chokepoint, if very slow and clumsily, so I let them do so while doing a little positioning and getting most of the talks...:

7phA0wf.png: "Aideen, are you okay? When I heard you'd been abducted, I was so worried!"
9j5TeWu.png: "You came to fight for me as well, Ethlyn? Thank you... I'm sorry for your trouble. It's difficult to convey my thanks, but please, accept this staff. I think you'll have moer use for it than me."
7phA0wf.png: "Is this... a Return staff?! Oh, thank you, Aideen! I'll put it to good use to help us all."

Well, to earn XP, for now. If I recall, Lachesis also wants to use it to this purpose later, since unlike Ethlyn, she has a tough time keeping up with the folks on horseback. Until she promotes, that is.

RunuZOV.png: "Princess Ayra of Isaach, I presume? I heard your story from Sigurd. I am Quan of Leonster."
fBEDIyR.png: "A pleasure."
RunuZOV.png: "I'd hate to press you for information so soon, but there's something I'd like to know. Why did Isaach attack Darna in the first place? Surely you knew doing so would invoke the wrath of Grannvale. That King Mananan would commit such a reckless act... The very idea defies belief."
fBEDIyR.png: "You knew my father, Sir Quan?!"
RunuZOV.png: "I'm afraid I never had the chance to meet him. However, my father knows him well. He's always had only the utmost praise for him. He also speaks fondly of your brother, Prince Maricle. he's always said he is a fine young man."
fBEDIyR.png: Is that so? It heartens me to hear it. Without a doubt, my father and Maricle were admirable men. Never would they condone such an assault on a defenseless city. In the matter of Darna, the patriarch of Rivough acted alone and without our consent..."
RunuZOV.png: "I beg your pardon?! Why haven't the Grannvalians heard this? Surely if Prince Kurth knew the truth, he would refuse to continue the war."
fBEDIyR.png: "So, too, thought my father. Once he executed the Rivough patriarch, he departed for the Grannvale front, head in tow, to negotiate with them. But..."
RunuZOV.png: "...Yes?"
fBEDIyR.png: "My father, the king... He was assassinated on the way. Once word of this returned to Isaach, the people were utterly incensed. Maricle set out, leading our entire army, seeking vengeance against Grannvale."
RunuZOV.png: "Something is amiss here. The murder of a king who seeks peace talks certainly isn't like Prince Kurth, either. Have you told Sigurd of this as well?"
fBEDIyR.png: "No. Lord Sigurd carries enough of a burden as it is. It's too late for my brother..."
RunuZOV.png: "Prince Maricle was resigned to his death when he engaged Grannvale, wasn't he..."
fBEDIyR.png: "My brother believed to the last that Isaach's hope for the future rests in Shanan, his son. My role is to protect Shanan, and with him, the promise of Isaaach's liberty..."
RunuZOV.png: "I see. Thank you for telling me, Princess Ayra. Someday, the world will know this truth, and till that day comes, you mustn't give in. I will do all I can to help you."
fBEDIyR.png: "Thank you, Sir Quan."

No material benefit from this convo, but it's nice to see a rather different Ayra, compared to the more distrustful, if not hostile interaction she had with Sigurd. Understandably hostile, if she still thought that Grannvalians had her father killed, of course, not to mention that her brother died fighting against them, too.

Since we've already seen the Evil Cult of Evilness instigating the war between Grannvale and Verdane, it's honestly not a great leap to assume that they're going to be behind the attack on Darna and the assassination of King Mananan.

FZvtttk.png: "Ah, Lady Aideen! You're safe... thank the gods..."
9j5TeWu.png: "Lord Azel? Have you been fighting for Jungby as well?"
FZvtttk.png: "When the news of your abduction reached us, the thought of you in danger while I just sat at home was unbearable! I came to Jungby as quickly as I could."
9j5TeWu.png: "Hold on. You are the younger brother of Lord Arvis of Velthomer, are you not? Did he allow you to come?"
FZvtttk.png: "No, I... I came without his consent. And he certainly won't be pleased."
9j5TeWu.png: "Why would you do something so reckless, then? I thought you abhorrd violence."
FZvtttk.png: "Because I... er, well..."
9j5TeWu.png: "Oh? What is it, Azel?"
FZvtttk.png: "It's... It's nothing... never mind."

Kinda generic, but it's fine for that kind of conversations to exist, too.

Of course, this isn't the pairing we're looking for, so I just used a battle save to record this convo.

...I just realise, I'm going to hook up Azel with his crush's twin sister. A little messed up, buddy. I hope Bridget doesn't mind being a replacement.

PP7oHyr.png: "Milady? You... you're safe! Ahh... thank the gods! I'm so sorry I failed to protect you. Please, forgive me..."
9j5TeWu.png: "The important part is that you're safe as well, Midir. Please, don't worry about it. You gave your all to protect me, and I couldn't thank you enough for that, even if you didn't succeed. For now I'd like you to remain with Sigurd. He could use your strength."
PP7oHyr.png: "Certainly, milady. He's done so much for me, for you, and for all of Jungby. I'll do all I can to return his kindness."

The canonical conversation, for this playthrough. Also kinda generic, but hey.

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After a while, the enemy Fighters start spilling through the choke, with Jamke conveniently being blocked by them a bit. Notice Dew, who's going to collect a few thousand gold here, and Azel, who gains pretty good XP from the Fighters thanks to being a bit underleveled.

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To be honest, I didn't really plan much how to survive Jamke past "eh, I'll reroll if necessary". It was necessary, once, because I thought Jamke's hit rate vs. Dew would be a little lower. Although, of course, I wouldn't have been able to rely on Jamke not hitting two 30s, either, in a 1RN game.

(shame the two don't have a unique battle convo)

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Second time's already the charm, though, with Jamke not proccing anything against good ol' reliable Arden.

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Aaand recruitment time.

9j5TeWu.png: "Hold, Prince Jamke!"
13KONdT.png: "Aideen!? What are you doing here?"
9j5TeWu.png: "You said you would persuade your father, yet instead you've taken to the field yourself. What is the matter with you?"
13KONdT.png: "My father is a changed man. My words can no longer reach him... ...It all started when that sorcerer, Sandima, arrived. My entire family now obeys his every word."
9j5TeWu.png: "That is why I ask... Why have you taken to the field? Please, Jamke. Join us. Let's go to Verdane together. We can reason with the king, one more time. We can put an end to this war! Lord Sigurd has no interest in invading Verdane. He fought only to rescue me. Please listen, Jamke. Please... I beg of you."
x3LyftK.png: "Fine... If you're willing to go so far, then I'll stain my name with treason. But it must be understood that I won't let anyone lay a finger on my father."
9j5TeWu.png: "Yes, I will promise you that. Thank you, Jamke. You truly are a good person."
x3LyftK.png: "Aideen..."

I like it. What can I say, I always appreciate when a would-be Camüh comes to his senses. That said, it seems that Jamke more or less disappears from the story immediately - he doesn't have a Talk with Sigurd, he doesn't appear in the chapter's ending, and the next convo he can have seems to be with Aideen if they become lovers. This honestly seems like a pretty significant omission, since Jamke should be kind of a Big Deal right now, being King Batur's only surviving child.

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But to be fair, I don't really give him opportunity to do important stuff, either.

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He stomps through the arena on the next turn because why not, but he sells his Killer Bow afterwards, with no real intention on my part to ever rearm him.

(I think buying and then repairing the used Killer Bow is the same cost for Midir, right?)

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With Jamke recruited and the last stragglers dealt with, everybody pours through the chokepoint. Slowly, like the most viscous fluid through a bottleneck. Lex stops flirting with Ayra (I did try to keep the two available pairs adjacent) and goes off to grab his ticket out of mediocrity; everybody else moves west, around the next large forest. To get Lex's little adventure out of the way...:

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Hello, Mrs. Lewyn's mum.

zHnmJIB.png: "Such an honest person... As a reward... I present you with this brave axe... Farewell, Lord Lex..."
gDtRzZP.png: "Er..."

There we go. Lex good now. Apart from the auto-Adept effect, the Brave Axe has +2 Mt and -6 Wt compared to Lex's old Iron Axe, although the latter doesn't matter as much for a Pursuit-less character.

The first one to move through was Sigurd, though, which of course continues his little love story:

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xnH9Bvk.png: "Thank the gods! For a moment I thought that I might never see you again."
If0Ngew.png: "Milord, listen. The dark priest Sandima guards Castle Verdane with his wicked magic. You must go no further. You would surely be killed. Please, you mustn't go..."
xnH9Bvk.png: "But I mustn't place my men in even greater danger, either. I have no choice but to go."
If0Ngew.png: "...I see. Then I will go with you."
xnH9Bvk.png: "Excuse me?"
If0Ngew.png: "This is called a Silence staff. So long as my own power is enough to pierce his magical resistances, it will seal his magic away. Trust me, milord. I'll ensure his dark spells never harm anyone ever again."
xnH9Bvk.png: "I'd never imagined that you'd have such power... But why... Why are you helping me?"
If0Ngew.png: "...I tried to forget you all I could, but it was all in vain. ...I no longer know what I should do..."
xnH9Bvk.png: "What is it you're afraid of, Deirdre? I don't understand. But if you and I feel the same way, then surely we've nothing to fear. I... I love you, Deirdre..."

What could possibly go wrong?

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[HP 70% | Str 10% | Mag 70% | Skl 20% | Spd 10% | Lck 10% | Def 10% | Res 70%]
Skills: Nihil
Weapon Level: Light (*), Staves (B)
Major Naga blood; Minor Loptyr blood.

Micaiah, but she left her Lck growth in her other jacket. Interestingly, Deirdre without her Holy Blood (and we can now deduce what that purple on the Holy Blood screen means (and players who paid close attention would be able to figure out who Sigyn's other child is))... ahem. Deirdre without her Holy Blood bonuses would've had incredibly bad growths. We're talking 10%s in most stats, with only 20% Skl and 40% HP above that.

But Deirdre does get that big boost to her Mag (and Res) growth, as well as a unique item allowing her to Miracle abuse in the arena. I didn't have Aideen or Ethlyn warp her back to a castle after dealing with Sandima, which... actually, I think I'll see if they're in position for that on the final turn. I should still have that save file. (...) Ah, nope, so I don't think I'll bother. With Sigurd being as good at arenaing as he is, I assume that he can give Deirdre money to repair her staves as needed, and I don't think I care that much about leveling her up.

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Last dialogue before the end of the map is between Sigurd and Aideen, which I forgot until this point:

xnH9Bvk.png: "Aideen? Thank goodness you're okay!"
9j5TeWu.png: "Lord Sigurd! So you came to my aid, did you? Please accept my apologies. I've put the people of Chalphy through nothing but danger..."
xnH9Bvk.png: "Don't worry about it. Everyone will be glad to know that you're safe. You've nothing to worry about anymore. The road back to Jungby is secure for you, when you're ready."
9j5TeWu.png: "No, I wish to remain here. Injuries are inevitable in war. As a humble servant to the gods, it is my duty to stay here and aid your wounded."
xnH9Bvk.png: "Say, Aideen... As I recall, you declined to pursue a knighthood and instead joined the clergy. Am I right? I shouldn't be surprised, knowing how easily people warm to you, and you them. I'd do well to learn from your example!"
9j5TeWu.png: "Thank you, Lord Sigurd, but that isn't entirely true. Initially, I sought priesthood in a bid to help me find my sister. Even now, I still believe this is the answer I seek."
xnH9Bvk.png: "You mean Bridget... I'd heard that she went missing as a child. So all this time, Aideen, you've been praying for her sake, haven't you?"
9j5TeWu.png: "Yes. I know we'll meet someday. No matter what happens, I must give her this: her sacred birthright, the bow Yewfelle!"

Honestly, Sigurd very much has the same likability that he attributes to Aideen. I know that Gandolf and Kimbaith were right arseholes, but it's still quite remarkable that the commander of an invasion army is treated pretty cordial in his (admittedly limited) interactions with the locals.

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Eventually, Midir aggros Sandima's entourage. I think I've heard that this is considered to be Jamke's shining moment, where he can slaughter his compatriots left and right - but I'm hoping to allocate the XP more appropriately for my future plans.

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In a first attempt, I screw up and add another entry to my list of failures, which has four entries now: Azel (battle save abuse in the prologue); Quan (death by Astra); Dew (death by Jamke); and now Alec.

To be honest, I'm just pretty cavalier about chances of death. A lot of the enemies have very modest hit chances, so hoping for enough incoming attacks missing works better than it probably should, at least in this chapter, and as long as you don't care too much about your rankings.

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Second attempt works better - you can see everybody hugging the edge of Sandima's range, since at this point, I didn't know that Deidre's Silence lasts for several turns.

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And we're moving in. I believe the way status staves work in Genealogy is that they only work if the caster's Mag is higher than the target's Res, but they will always succeed if that is the case. And of course, Deirdre's Mag stat is precisely one above Sandima's Res.

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For the boss kill, I'm going Sigurdless. Quan starts by getting an Adept proc (and hitting both attacks)...

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...and then Ayra does not connect her attacks. Which is good. I really need to pay more attention to droppable items.

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So, after Sandima recovers some HP from the castle, Alec chips him back down to 1, some battle save abuse happens because Azel (while doubling) only has a 50% chance of hitting him, and then Sandima's Magic Ring arrives at the most logical recipient.

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Well, that was slow. Marpha was seized on turn 15, so I spent 24 turns just on the last castle - although I have to say that this wasn't quite as bad as 24 turns would've been in a NESFE game. Crawling through the Spirit Forest was annoying, of course, but between the better "UI feel" and battle saves preventing the whole "and now do it all again" thing, it didn't bother me too much. Possibly a segment of the game that gets more annoying when you replay it.

WlZHonN.png: "Sire, we've found a casualty in the palace. It's... it's king Batur himself. He's severely wounded. By the look of it, he's well beyond help."

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uxzqala.png: "Hnnh... Lord... Sigurd? I am so sorry for doing all this to you... I let Sandima... lead me astray... He... he abused my trust... and won over my sons... all to seize control of Verdane for himself..."
xnH9Bvk.png: "I understand, Your Highness, but you need to rest now. Please, you mustn't stress yourself further."
uxzqala.png: "No... It's too late for me... Heed my word, Sigurd, for there is one final thing I must tell you... The misery here... the grief spreading across Jugdral... it is all the will of the dark priesthood... They blight our world from the shadows, all... all in the name of the revival of their dark god, Loptyr... Sandima... was one of them... He twisted us to war with Grannvale... for the sake of the cult's madness. The... the dark priests... they infect eery corner of our world... Sigurd... Stay vigilant, lest you be tricked too! I... I failed the people of Verdane... Sigurd, I beg you... Make this right... Protect... my... people..."

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In the blazes indeed.

Batur goes from "Sandima, is it feasible that you might not have been entirely truthful?" to "I know that Sandima's cult is behind all the evils in the world" rather quickly. I think there's two changes I would make here - let Batur appear, just for a brief "...Jamke..." or something, just to show that he's not dead yet (and so that he doesn't not mention any of his sons in his moment of death. Like, c'mon), after Manfroy's expositioning, and make everything just a little more vague.

Okay, that second one is a bit more all-encompassing than one of "two changes" should be. But I think it's going into a direction where the story is laying all its cards on the table a bit too quickly. Sigurd's group really has a lot of information on the Evil Plan already, especially with Quan having rescued that third village. Maybe I'm assuming too much, maybe it's just so obvious to me because I know who the devilspawn's parents are going to be - but it seems to me that even Deirdre carrying Loptyr's blood should be either known (if she knows that Sigyn is her mother) or heavily suspected (unless there's like 20 girls her age in the village) by our heroes. It would be a bit frustrating if we spend the next three chapters going "HMM I WONDER what those cunning Loptyrists are up to...."

 

The Team:

(XP gain for the entire chapter, and funds include +3000 gold for everybody at the start of next battle)

	  Lv.	  HP Str Mag Skl Spd Lck Def Res  Funds  XP    Arn  W/L
Sigurd	  15.83*  45  19   0  18  17  11  12   3  28500  +559  [*]  38/0
Quan	  9.90*	  39  19   0  12  12   7  11   3  26690  +410  [*]  9/1
Noish	  6.37	  34  12   0   9  10   4   9   0  10500  +193  [4]  6/0
Alec	  5.72	  35  11   0  11  11   5  10   0  7500   +323  [4]  2/1

Lex	  9.64	  38  14   0  11  12   9  14   0  21500  +367  [4]  7/0
Finn	  7.45	  35  12   0  11  13   9   9   0  24430  +577  [*]  9/0
Midir	  8.99	  36  10   0   8  11   5   8   1  18000  +451  [*]  10/0
Arden	  6.69	  37  15   0   6   4   3  14   0  15275  +283  [6]  4/0

Ayra	  8.68	  36  12   1  19  20   4   8   1  21740  +468  [*]  6/0
Jamke	  8.58	  38  11   0  15  14   5   9   0  28400  +258  [*]  0/0
Dew	  4.96	  29   5   0   9  15  12   1   0  34000  +396  [1]  3/1
Azel	  8.04	  33   1  13   9  15   4   2   7  13500  +569  [4]  15/1

Deirdre	  4.34	  27   0  14  10  12   6   3  17  4000   +134  [1]  1/0
Ethlyn	  9.84	  33   6   9  13  15   9   6   6  13000  +644  [3]  5/0
Aideen	  8.00	  33   1  15  10   9  14   1  10  8000   +500  [1]  0/0
  • At this point, the only infatuations registered at the Augury (apart from our married couples, of course) are...:
    • Midir: "Aideen has taken your fancy of late." (i.e. 300-399 / 500 towards mawwage)
    • Jamke: "You've had Aideen dwelling on your mind of late." (200-299 / 500)
    • Aideen: "Midir has taken your fancy of late." (i.e. he's ahead of Jamke in Aideen's esteem, although we knew that already, of course)
  • As I mentioned between updates, Alec has had a very strong start: +2 Str and +3 Def in his first three level-ups.
  • Lex is 5/5 in HP and Def procs, too, as well as 4/5 in Str. I haven't used battle saves to reset for level-up at all, so this is pretty astonishing.
  • And Azel is our resident speed demon, getting 6/7 possible procs. He seems pretty average in his other stats, though, and hasn't had a Def proc yet.

 

5 hours ago, RPGuy96 said:

Lex's def growth and Paragon are strong advantages, but most kids want Pursuit and there's one fixed kid in particular who always wants the Pursuit Band to get out of his terrible starting class.  So it's tricky to promise it to one of Lex's kids to make up that shortcoming.  He's a good husband, but Pursuit really is an issue so he's rarely the best husband (except maybe for Ayra).

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

Lex is an interesting spot, where he's not the "best" partner for any potential mother, but he's also among the better picks for any of them. The Paragon skill is one of the best in the game, while the Defense boost from Neir holy blood is very welcome. That's why I gave him an A rank for every mother, except Edain and Lachesis (where he gets a B).

It's interesting how none of the kids seem to have innate Pursuit, unless I'm missing somebody. Seliph gets it from Sigurd, the Sword Twins from their class, and Patty from promoting, but everybody else needs a dad to teach them.

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

Oh God

Speaking of narratively correct

Please don't let Ethlyn take the Light Brand with her. I know it's Leif's "canonically", but it also ranks among the best weapons in the game, and is definitely the best magical sword. I actually like to give it to Dew, so that he can rob enemies at range. This will substantially increase his ability to acquire, and distribute, Gold. While he can do this with any magical sword, the Light Brand shows up first.

I'll keep it in mind :lol:

With my planned set-up, I think I'll want magic swords on Patty, Nanna, Fee, and maybe Seliph. According to the main page, you get four out of the five magic swords in Gen 1, so that would mean that Leif indeed has to give up his.

4 hours ago, Jotari said:

All this eugenics talks really strikes me how inspired a choice it was to make every pairing a brother sister duo. It makes pairings way more complex and intricate. As compared to Awakening where it's basically "Pass down galeforce" with virtually no trade offs or alternative considerations.

I'll say that it didn't have to be strictly one boy and one girl for every mother, since even as is, inheritance by gender isn't consistent anyway. But it's definitely cool that you have to weigh the benefits for the kids against each other, especially when they're more different from each other than the Sword Twins are.

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R.I.P Jamka's relevance to the plot. I hope the hypothetical remake gives some explanation why he is even playable in the following chapters. Cause, you know, given how things went down, he really should be parting ways with Sigurd and focusing his attention on ruling and reconstructing Verdane right now.

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42 minutes ago, ping said:

It's interesting that oldtimer here only mentions Deirdre (and officially confirming that she has Loptyr blood), but not that she has a (half-)brother. We do know that from Manfroy's As-you-know exposition to Sandima, though, so the only thing we don't know about the Evil Plan at this point is who the guy is. Maybe that's a bit early to spoil a good ol' mystery, but it depends on how the story continues until the big semi-finale.

An attentive player can figure this out - the game does not hide it on his holy blood screen - but I don't think it's hinted at any further.  And of course Manfroy's expositing happens well after you can check his holy blood.  I think it's meant to be a surprise for most first-time players.

56 minutes ago, ping said:

Maybe I'm assuming too much, maybe it's just so obvious to me because I know who the devilspawn's parents are going to be - but it seems to me that even Deirdre carrying Loptyr's blood should be either known (if she knows that Sigyn is her mother) or heavily suspected (unless there's like 20 girls her age in the village) by our heroes. It would be a bit frustrating if we spend the next three chapters going "HMM I WONDER what those cunning Loptyrists are up to...."

Deirdre, on the other hand, very obviously has a blood problem, the game telegraphs this again and again even if you don't make it to that village and have it all but explicitly spelled out.  I do think it's easy to miss out on who the intended husband is but it's not much of a leap to suppose that the Obligatory Evil Kaga Cult is going to do Obligatory Kaga Things to her.

46 minutes ago, ping said:

He stomps through the arena on the next turn because why not, but he sells his Killer Bow afterwards, with no real intention on my part to ever rearm him.

(I think buying and then repairing the used Killer Bow is the same cost for Midir, right?)

Despite the memes, because of how the maps work it is possible for infantry to contribute on the rest of the gen 1 maps without slowing yourself down turnwise.  (You do still have to move them, and of course Chapter 2 is the most annoying for this since they have to walk all the way to Nodion without doing anything.)  Midir *should* get your good bows (ie Killer Bow), but Jamke can shoot a couple guys if you want to give him something else.

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1 hour ago, ping said:

He stomps through the arena on the next turn because why not, but he sells his Killer Bow afterwards, with no real intention on my part to ever rearm him.

Leaving him completely weaponless sounds cold. You can always field everyone in Genealogy, so there's the remotest chance he'll be able to contribute something again, even if he doesn't have to. 

1 hour ago, ping said:

ahem. Deirdre without her Holy Blood bonuses would've had incredibly bad growths. We're talking 10%s in most stats, with only 20% Skl and 40% HP above that.

And the one who pays the price for this, is Seliph. Mag & Res aside, it leaves him underwhelming on how much growthier he is than his father.

1 hour ago, ping said:

Batur goes from "Sandima, is it feasible that you might not have been entirely truthful?" to "I know that Sandima's cult is behind all the evils in the world" rather quickly. I think there's two changes I would make here - let Batur appear, just for a brief "...Jamke..." or something, just to show that he's not dead yet (and so that he doesn't not mention any of his sons in his moment of death. Like, c'mon), after Manfroy's expositioning, and make everything just a little more vague.

I've also seen the criticism that Genealogy battles -due to their sheer scope- can't possibly happen in a single day. And thusly, that Batur (feels like it should be "Batu", a grandson of Genghis Khan, and founder of the Golden Horde/Kipchak Khanate/Ulug Ulus), was left bleeding out & dying for days, even weeks.

1 hour ago, ping said:

This honestly seems like a pretty significant omission, since Jamke should be kind of a Big Deal right now, being King Batur's only surviving child.

-Do read the notes I pointed out before, if you want.😉

And yeah, blame the lack of exceptions to permadeath in old FE. Even if Genealogy bent it for the Leonster trio, and Deidre.

1 hour ago, ping said:

With my planned set-up, I think I'll want magic swords on Patty, Nanna, Fee, and maybe Seliph. According to the main page, you get four out of the five magic swords in Gen 1, so that would mean that Leif indeed has to give up his.

Then watcha gonna give him to overcome his starting rut? Maybe force Ayra to hand over that Brave Sword (Leif can sell it later, and grab whatever he wants after promotion)?

And yeah, Seliph doesn't mind a magic sword. -But then "Seliph deserves favoritism b/c he sets the pace for everyone else b/c only he can seize", so the Argument of the Optimal goes.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer
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2 hours ago, ping said:

...I just realise, I'm going to hook up Azel with his crush's twin sister. A little messed up, buddy. I hope Bridget doesn't mind being a replacement.

Judging by her convo with Midir in chapter 5, she isn't too happy about it.
 

2 hours ago, ping said:

To be honest, I didn't really plan much how to survive Jamke past "eh, I'll reroll if necessary". It was necessary, once, because I thought Jamke's hit rate vs. Dew would be a little lower. Although, of course, I wouldn't have been able to rely on Jamke not hitting two 30s, either, in a 1RN game.

(shame the two don't have a unique battle convo)

They do have a convo in chapter 5, at least.

And yeah, no real idea how to handle this either. No one can reliably wall Jamke and Aideen can't get close without getting an axe to the face.
Well, maybe Ayra can wall him. She got Nihil to prevent crits and has more speed than he does to counteract both Pursuit and Charge.
 

2 hours ago, ping said:

WRltRkX.png__VyyPq3e.png

Fun fact, this event won't trigger if Lex got rid of his Iron Axe for whatever reason.
 

2 hours ago, ping said:

9j5TeWu.png: "Yes. I know we'll meet someday. No matter what happens, I must give her this: her sacred birthright, the bow Yewfelle!"

You have it with you now? Did Gandolf give you some time to pack your bags before dragging you to Verdane?

Would make more sense if she had it send to her from Jungby between this chapter and the next.
 

2 hours ago, ping said:

1iP9tlr.png

I mean, you must have been bleeding out on the floor for at least several days. No need to die now all of a sudden.

Not only is it silly, but it's also pointless. The audience knows all this stuff already and Sigurd learning about it proves inconsequential.

Edited by BrightBow
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1 hour ago, Jotari said:

R.I.P Jamka's relevance to the plot. I hope the hypothetical remake gives some explanation why he is even playable in the following chapters. Cause, you know, given how things went down, he really should be parting ways with Sigurd and focusing his attention on ruling and reconstructing Verdane right now.

17 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

-Do read the notes I pointed out before, if you want.😉

And yeah, blame the lack of exceptions to permadeath in old FE. Even if Genealogy bent it for the Manster trio, and Deidre.

Ah, thank you for the reminder. It's a neat little detail that Jamke had always been the heir apparent, although it certainly doesn't change that he really shouldn't just fall in line as just one of Sigurd's soldiers/knights.

I'll say that I don't fully accept the "permadeath" excuse. Genealogy has a very easy workaround in the form of its triggered conversations, so it would've been easy to have Jamke have a talk with Sigurd (or maybe Aideen) about the death of his father. I almost suspect that these don't exist because there really isn't a good reason why Jamke would leave Verdane at this very moment (unless one comes up in the upcoming chapters, of course).

33 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

An attentive player can figure this out - the game does not hide it on his holy blood screen - but I don't think it's hinted at any further.  And of course Manfroy's expositing happens well after you can check his holy blood.  I think it's meant to be a surprise for most first-time players.

Deirdre, on the other hand, very obviously has a blood problem, the game telegraphs this again and again even if you don't make it to that village and have it all but explicitly spelled out.  I do think it's easy to miss out on who the intended husband is but it's not much of a leap to suppose that the Obligatory Evil Kaga Cult is going to do Obligatory Kaga Things to her.

Fair; the identity of Deirdre's would-be brother-husband is definitely not obvious at this point.

What I wonder is how plausibly deniable it is for Sigurd to know that his union with Deirdre is propagating the blood line of literal satan. Old Guy in the third village explicitly points at a girl this old, born by this mother, and raised by this wise woman - so in my mind at least, this isn't just something that the player should've figured out by now, but Our Hero as well.

43 minutes ago, RPGuy96 said:

Despite the memes, because of how the maps work it is possible for infantry to contribute on the rest of the gen 1 maps without slowing yourself down turnwise.  (You do still have to move them, and of course Chapter 2 is the most annoying for this since they have to walk all the way to Nodion without doing anything.)  Midir *should* get your good bows (ie Killer Bow), but Jamke can shoot a couple guys if you want to give him something else.

34 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Leaving him completely weaponless sounds cold. You can always field everyone in Genealogy, so there's the remotest chance he'll be able to contribute something again, even if he doesn't have to. 

Good to know. There is a Steel Bow in next chapter's armoury, and no particular reason for Midir to buy it, so there is no opportunity cost, either. Not like Jamke can gift his money to anybody.

36 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Then watcha gonna give him to overcome his starting rut? Maybe force Ayra to hand over that Brave Sword (Leif can sell it later, and grab whatever he wants after promotion)?

And yeah, Seliph doesn't mind a magic sword. -But then "Seliph deserves favoritism b/c he sets the pace for everyone else b/c only he can seize", so the Argument of the Optimal goes.

Honestly, since I don't have the experience how many good weapons are available at the end of the first generation compared to the number of children, I really don't know how to best distribute the good physical weapons. Considering who I'm using, I think it would be OK to leave the Pursuit Ring on Ethlyn - that plus some generic swords (like Ethlyn's Slim Sword, or a Steel Blade to trade power for accuracy and speed) sound like they'd be a huge improvement over the Iron Sword he generically starts with already. The Brave Sword I think I would like to keep for all of Gen 1. Maybe on Beowulf.

8 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Judging by her convo with Midir in chapter 5, she isn't too happy about it.

It certainly seems like something a couple would have to talk out :lol:

9 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

They do have a convo in chapter 5, at least.

And yeah, no real idea how to handle this either. No one can reliably wall Jamke and Aideen can't get close without getting an axe to the face.
Well, maybe Ayra can wall him. She got Nihil to prevent crits and has more speed than he does to counteract both Pursuit and Charge.

Yeah, Ayra probably would've been the one for the job. But since I sent quite a few characters into the forest to set up kills for the right people, I didn't really have the mobility to get into a good position for that. Jamke does have an extra point of movement in the forest compared to Cavs, Arden, or Azel.

11 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

Fun fact, this event won't trigger if Lex got rid of his Iron Axe for whatever reason.

There's a Steel Axe in ch.1's shop, so I'm sure there were plenty of players who said, "well, there's no advantages to Iron in this game", sold it to the pawn shop, and were in for a rude awakening if they knew about the Brave Axe event.

14 minutes ago, BrightBow said:

You have it with you now? Did Gandolf give you some time to grab your stuff before dragging you to Verdane?

Would make more sense if she had it send to her from Jungby between this chapter and the next.

At least there is nobody around who would be able to use the Yewfelle, so Aideen isn't withholding a legendary weapon that would've made life a lot easier for us. That would've been really dumb of her, wouldn't it, Ike?

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9 hours ago, ping said:

I don't believe you. This is the internet, where everybody is always 100% genuine about everything they say. If I can't trust your sadistic unit recommendations, then can I trust anything you write? Do you secretly hate Arthur, Hero of Justice? Are you clean-shaven!?

Let's not lose our heads now.

Plus, the joke and ensuing argument led me to come up with Mage Atlas for you. You're revising history by pretending things didn't end well on that front. You atheist.

2 hours ago, ping said:

It's interesting that oldtimer here only mentions Deirdre (and officially confirming that she has Loptyr blood), but not that she has a (half-)brother. We do know that from Manfroy's As-you-know exposition to Sandima, though, so the only thing we don't know about the Evil Plan at this point is who the guy is. Maybe that's a bit early to spoil a good ol' mystery, but it depends on how the story continues until the big semi-finale.

Errr... Well, there'll be plenty of generic bossmen to beat up.

2 hours ago, ping said:

...I just realise, I'm going to hook up Azel with his crush's twin sister. A little messed up, buddy. I hope Bridget doesn't mind being a replacement.

"See I used to like your sister, but then I realized you looked more the type to step on me so"

2 hours ago, ping said:

53RxQvb.png__DF6GzpP.png

Second time's already the charm, though, with Jamke not proccing anything against good ol' reliable Arden.

You've brought Arden so far. I am proud of you.

2 hours ago, ping said:

I like it. What can I say, I always appreciate when a would-be Camüh comes to his senses. That said, it seems that Jamke more or less disappears from the story immediately - he doesn't have a Talk with Sigurd, he doesn't appear in the chapter's ending, and the next convo he can have seems to be with Aideen if they become lovers. This honestly seems like a pretty significant omission, since Jamke should be kind of a Big Deal right now, being King Batur's only surviving child.

lol imagine caring about Verdane.

2 hours ago, ping said:

dYHxcTv.png

In a first attempt, I screw up and add another entry to my list of failures, which has four entries now: Azel (battle save abuse in the prologue); Quan (death by Astra); Dew (death by Jamke); and now Alec.

To be honest, I'm just pretty cavalier about chances of death. A lot of the enemies have very modest hit chances, so hoping for enough incoming attacks missing works better than it probably should, at least in this chapter, and as long as you don't care too much about your rankings.

This is the problem some folks have with stuff like turnwheel, casual mode, etc. that it leads to situations like this where the player just doesn't care.

Of course, I'd argue the important thing is that the designers care. Which, in this game's case... It's arguable.

2 hours ago, ping said:

uxzqala.png: "No... It's too late for me... Heed my word, Sigurd, for there is one final thing I must tell you... The misery here... the grief spreading across Jugdral... it is all the will of the dark priesthood... They blight our world from the shadows, all... all in the name of the revival of their dark god, Loptyr... Sandima... was one of them... He twisted us to war with Grannvale... for the sake of the cult's madness. The... the dark priests... they infect eery corner of our world... Sigurd... Stay vigilant, lest you be tricked too! I... I failed the people of Verdane... Sigurd, I beg you... Make this right... Protect... my... people..."

SEGUH2n.png

In the blazes indeed.

Batur goes from "Sandima, is it feasible that you might not have been entirely truthful?" to "I know that Sandima's cult is behind all the evils in the world" rather quickly.

It causes an interesting implication: This guy knew everything, apparently. So this cackling, mustache-twirling villain in generic garbage bag robes shows up, is apparently open enough about his desire to revive Satan that Batur figures it out rather quickly, and he just... rolls with it, and decides to trust him in everything he says?

Either that, or the implication here is that he overheard Manfroy deploying the Expo-bomb on Sandima when they both thought he was dead. Which is less dumb, though it could be more clear and it does make Manfroy out to be a pretty major doofus... Which, in fairness, isn't entirely out of character, considering certain decisions he makes later on.

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2 hours ago, ping said:

It's interesting how none of the kids seem to have innate Pursuit, unless I'm missing somebody. Seliph gets it from Sigurd, the Sword Twins from their class, and Patty from promoting, but everybody else needs a dad to teach them.

Actually, Erinys has Pursuit as a personal skill. So she passes it down to Fee and Ced, who are in classes that don't inherently have Pursuit. Interestingly, Hawke also has Pursuit, while Hermina does not.

43 minutes ago, ping said:

Honestly, since I don't have the experience how many good weapons are available at the end of the first generation compared to the number of children, I really don't know how to best distribute the good physical weapons. Considering who I'm using, I think it would be OK to leave the Pursuit Ring on Ethlyn - that plus some generic swords (like Ethlyn's Slim Sword, or a Steel Blade to trade power for accuracy and speed) sound like they'd be a huge improvement over the Iron Sword he generically starts with already. The Brave Sword I think I would like to keep for all of Gen 1. Maybe on Beowulf.

Definitely don't give up the Brave Sword early. In my opinion, Ayra's Brave Sword is the single-best weapon in the game, cross-considering such factors as cost, stats, and availability. With particularly aggressive play, you can get it to 50 kills by the timeskip, or shortly thereafter.

The Pursuit Band on Leif is a pretty alright pick, IMO. After chapter 3, the only units who really want it in Gen I are Lewyn and Naoise. Obviously, it can be really good on someone like Lewyn!Arthur, or Jamke!Lester. But depending on how you set up your pairings, you may have no use for it. My personal preference is to just have Leif buy it, but letting him inherit it might just save you a step.

One weapon I like having Leif inherit? The Thief Sword! When he starts chapter 7, there are a ton of Bandits attacking the villages nearby. With the Thief Sword, he can get a juicy 5K from each of them. Then Finn or Nanna can follow it up with a kill. Plus, the Armor Knights each give 2K. He won't gain a ton of EXP right away, but the extra money will put the Paragon Band and Brave Sword in reach much sooner. Granted, doing so means missing out on the Thief Sword in chapters 4, 5, and 6. But those chapters don't have a ton of Bandits, and in chapters 4 and 5, Dew can deal with them. In 6... yeah, you just kinda have to accept the money loss. But letting Leif (or Nanna) inherit it is the only way to make sure the chapter 7 Bandits' gold isn't lost forever.

3 hours ago, ping said:

With my planned set-up, I think I'll want magic swords on Patty, Nanna, Fee, and maybe Seliph. According to the main page, you get four out of the five magic swords in Gen 1, so that would mean that Leif indeed has to give up his.

Those are all good picks! I like the Light Brand on Seliph, since he's thematically the "Scion of Light". And don't forget about Dew's secret event at the Tower of Bragi in chapter 3. It's easy to miss, since it's so far out of the way, but it's the only way to get the Wind Sword.

1 hour ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Leaving him completely weaponless sounds cold. You can always field everyone in Genealogy, so there's the remotest chance he'll be able to contribute something again, even if he doesn't have to. 

Yep. One approach is, in chapter 2, Jamke kill some of Erinys' troops as they approach the home castle. In chapter 3, he can take on the Thracian Wyverns. In chapter 4, there are plenty of Pegasus Knights to fight (and Forests that slow Midir down). And in chapter 5, those Thracian Wyverns come back (with Horseslayers this time). Jamke certainly has his uses.

1 hour ago, ping said:

At least there is nobody around who would be able to use the Yewfelle, so Aideen isn't withholding a legendary weapon that would've made life a lot easier for us. That would've been really dumb of her, wouldn't it, Ike?

Gae Bolg moment

The single-best weapon to fight Eldigan with, and Ethlyn won't give it up until the Lionheart is already dead.

1 hour ago, ping said:

What I wonder is how plausibly deniable it is for Sigurd to know that his union with Deirdre is propagating the blood line of literal satan. Old Guy in the third village explicitly points at a girl this old, born by this mother, and raised by this wise woman - so in my mind at least, this isn't just something that the player should've figured out by now, but Our Hero as well.

In Sigurd's very limited defense, their union didn't produce a child with the blood of Loptyr. It could have. But it didn't. In fact, only one of Dierdre's three children inherits her Loptous blood.

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9 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

This is the problem some folks have with stuff like turnwheel, casual mode, etc. that it leads to situations like this where the player just doesn't care.

Of course, I'd argue the important thing is that the designers care. Which, in this game's case... It's arguable.

I think what promotes this in Genealogy is rather the high variability in outcomes. There's so many 20-50% hit chances for the enemies and skill proc chances in the low double digits; there's arena fights that can easily end in either a loss or a perfect win because everything in them is a coin flip. Not to mention that the AI tends to act unpredictably, too.

In general, I don't think it's bad if the game allows the player to just "see what happens". See what character the enemies prioritise, then change your positioning accordingly, that kind of stuff. Fire Emblem, with its very stupid AI, ventures into "puzzle game" territory anyway - it's like playing chess against somebody who will always take your pieces when given an opportunity. Your opponent's moves become more like an extention of your own moves, so you're not so much interacting with another player, and more with a game environment consisting of the board plus the opposing pieces. Of course, that is true for any game with an AI acting in a somewhat predictable fashion (like Civilization, honestly), but I think Fire Emblem's AI is especially unconcerned about trying to hide its simple nature.

Er, back to the topic - "classic" Fire Emblem often forces the player to redo the first half of a map because the player screwed up (or got got by turn 20 ambush spawns), which means that the player has to repeat a puzzle that they already solved. Hope you remember the correct sequence of inputs! It's annoying. I think it's good if the player is given a way to avoid this. If I'll play Fates at some point, I'll probably pick casual mode and still play "deathless" just so I can use battle saves.

Where this can fail is the random nature of Fire Emblem. There's stuff like fishing for low% crits in DSFE, or people playing GBAFE on emulators being tempted to arrow-wiggle themselves a bunch of awesome level-ups, which you could see as "degenerate gameplay". In Genealogy, because so many probabilities are quite far away from 0 or 100%, it's very tempting to react to a character death by... just doing the same thing, except maybe don't attack with one character to start at a slightly different point of the RN string.

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

Actually, Erinys has Pursuit as a personal skill. So she passes it down to Fee and Ced, who are in classes that don't inherently have Pursuit. Interestingly, Hawke also has Pursuit, while Hermina does not.

Ah. Yeah, I completely forgot about them.

(and this is clearly Kaga's Sage bias showing)

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

One weapon I like having Leif inherit? The Thief Sword! When he starts chapter 7, there are a ton of Bandits attacking the villages nearby. With the Thief Sword, he can get a juicy 5K from each of them. Then Finn or Nanna can follow it up with a kill. Plus, the Armor Knights each give 2K. He won't gain a ton of EXP right away, but the extra money will put the Paragon Band and Brave Sword in reach much sooner. Granted, doing so means missing out on the Thief Sword in chapters 4, 5, and 6. But those chapters don't have a ton of Bandits, and in chapters 4 and 5, Dew can deal with them. In 6... yeah, you just kinda have to accept the money loss. But letting Leif (or Nanna) inherit it is the only way to make sure the chapter 7 Bandits' gold isn't lost forever.

Oo, I like that. I really can't say Who should be getting What weapon, and When, since my experience with FE4 was both second-hand and a long time ago at this point, but stealing a lot of money is always fun in RPGs and RPG-adjacent games.

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

Gae Bolg moment

The single-best weapon to fight Eldigan with, and Ethlyn won't give it up until the Lionheart is already dead.

To be fair, a certain stupidity seems to run in her family.

(and I remember that Ethlyn will insist on bringing Altenna with her when she and Quan run to Sigurd's aid again, so she really does have a penchant for bad decisions)

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

Actually, Erinys has Pursuit as a personal skill. So she passes it down to Fee and Ced, who are in classes that don't inherently have Pursuit. Interestingly, Hawke also has Pursuit, while Hermina does not.

And that makes her sound soooo much worse than Fee. A quarter of the consistent damage output once you factor in Fee coming (ideally) with the Brave, half even if Hermina gets it. Like, any Fee ought to outdo Hemina. -But flier utility "saves" her? Well, at least Hermina ain't Daisy. And maybe Amid, or Tristan? Those four I could see being the very worst of the subs. (Although, "irredeemably worse than the non-sub that the sub replaces" and "terrible unit in Gen 2 regardless of whom they replace", are different things, since the Sub Twins and Ayra's Twins are a case of former yet not the latter.)

 

31 minutes ago, ping said:

(and this is clearly Kaga's Sage bias showing)

A class bias I don't mind, I like the savage, swift & sagacious spellslingers.😄 Beats the awfulness that Sage became in Radiant Dawn.

31 minutes ago, ping said:

Of course, that is true for any game with an AI acting in a somewhat predictable fashion (like Civilization, honestly),

And I don't mind that.🙂 As long as the AI have good personality flavor. Particularly since it seems, from what I read online, that with the complexity of modern 4X and the like, making very competent AI isn't that easy, even if fans show the possibility for improvement.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

And I don't mind that.🙂 As long as the AI have good personality flavor. Particularly since it seems, from what I read online, that with the complexity of modern 4X and the like, making very competent AI isn't that easy, even if fans show the possibility for improvement.

I've also heard that the priority on creating competent AI for Civ is quite low because people generally don't like being outsmarted by the computer. And that it's more important that the AI seems fair than it actually being fair, which sometimes means that the AI shouldn't be allowed to do things that the player can do because it would feel "unfair" to be exposed to the bullshit a human player will often unleash upon the AI.

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7 hours ago, ping said:

I'll say that it didn't have to be strictly one boy and one girl for every mother, since even as is, inheritance by gender isn't consistent anyway. But it's definitely cool that you have to weigh the benefits for the kids against each other, especially when they're more different from each other than the Sword Twins are.

It does challenge probability somewhat that literally every pairing, even the preset Leif-Altenna is a brother sister pair. The only playable character that even has a same sex sibling in Gen II is Seliph. And in either generation the only playable pair of same sex siblings is Aidean and Brigid. It doesn't bother me too much though since they clearly wanted the dynamic of one parent passing one child inheritance, even if they alter the genders for Ethlyn and Brigid. What does genuinely bother me is that all these sibling dynamics are identical for the substitute units. All of them are brother sister pairings, even the ones who don't know they are, and it just makes them less unique. I think the game could have stood to give them a bit more originality in terms of their backstories than the exact same as the original units, and divorcing at least some of them from their siblings would have been one way to do it.

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2 hours ago, Jotari said:

It does challenge probability somewhat that literally every pairing, even the preset Leif-Altenna is a brother sister pair. The only playable character that even has a same sex sibling in Gen II is Seliph. And in either generation the only playable pair of same sex siblings is Aidean and Brigid. It doesn't bother me too much though since they clearly wanted the dynamic of one parent passing one child inheritance, even if they alter the genders for Ethlyn and Brigid.

And even then it's only 2/3rds reversed for the important things for Edain and Brigid. Holy Blood and items, but not bloodless growths.

Supposedly, I heard it stated that somewhere, that at some point, only one child was going to be born per couple. Randomly decided (which would've been a nightmare for picking Edain's husband with how opposite those siblings are). Not sure how that was going to work out.

Although there is an interview I've seen that initially, the exact children born were going to dependent on both mother and father. -But they ran into the 7Bachelorettesx13Bachelors = Too Many Possibilities problem.

2 hours ago, Jotari said:

What does genuinely bother me is that all these sibling dynamics are identical for the substitute units. All of them are brother sister pairings, even the ones who don't know they are, and it just makes them less unique. I think the game could have stood to give them a bit more originality in terms of their backstories than the exact same as the original units, and divorcing at least some of them from their siblings would have been one way to do it.

I'm going to go with either one of two things to explain this (besides laziness).:

  1. Storage limitations of a Super Famicom cartridge.
  2. Burnout. Genealogy has a lot of ambitious writing and world-building -for the era. And considering Genealogy was internally remade 2-3 times before it was released, I'd consider it possible that little Intelligent Systems's writing resources were drained.
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18 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

And even then it's only 2/3rds reversed for the important things for Edain and Brigid. Holy Blood and items, but not bloodless growths.

Supposedly, I heard it stated that somewhere, that at some point, only one child was going to be born per couple. Randomly decided (which would've been a nightmare for picking Edain's husband with how opposite those siblings are). Not sure how that was going to work out.

Although there is an interview I've seen that initially, the exact children born were going to dependent on both mother and father. -But they ran into the 7Bachelorettesx13Bachelors = Too Many Possibilities problem.

I really like the idea of completely unique children, and I think it could genuinely work if the number of potential partners is paired down. Like, most units are shipped by the game with only 3-4 other characters via lover conversations and such, and those pairings are usually some of the more optimal ones, which is also a 3-4 range. So if everyone could marry just 3-4 people then the number of potential children would be reduced a lot.

18 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I'm going to go with either one of two things to explain this (besides laziness).:

  1. Storage limitations of a Super Famicom cartridge.
  2. Burnout. Genealogy has a lot of ambitious writing and world-building -for the era. And considering Genealogy was internally remade 2-3 times before it was released, I'd consider it possible that little Intelligent Systems's writing resources were drained.

Understandable, but still dissapointing. One thing you can't blame on laziness is Thracia's handling of the substitute characters. Which was to not touch them at all. Well, if that had been it then fine, but no, Thracia had to tease us by considering using the Substitute characters, then not using them, then making characters that are basically the Gen 2 characters anyway. So now we have three entirely separate pegasus knights from Sileese looking for the leader of the Munster resistance group (and wouldn't it have been so cool if Hawk had been one of the Magi in Thracia? I like Hawk, he's cool, not as cool as Sety, but cool enough to deserve to exist and have a character of his own).

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10 minutes ago, Jotari said:

One thing you can't blame on laziness is Thracia's handling of the substitute characters. Which was to not touch them at all. Well, if that had been it then fine, but no, Thracia had to tease us by considering using the Substitute characters, then not using them, then making characters that are basically the Gen 2 characters anyway. So now we have three entirely separate pegasus knights from Sileese looking for the leader of the Munster resistance group (and wouldn't it have been so cool if Hawk had been one of the Magi in Thracia? I like Hawk, he's cool, not as cool as Sety, but cool enough to deserve to exist and have a character of his own).

I wouldn't disagree with you on this. Considering Thracia feels more "commoner" than Genealogy, which is very blueblood-centric. ...Well, most FEs do place emphasis on those born in the purple, because the purple is political power. But compared to macroscopic Genealogy (especially with a well-bred 2nd Gen), Thracia has a lot less high royalty/nobility showing up.

On Hawk, sure? Why not? -Although Ced needs to stay, because him being a major-blood with the weapon to match realllllly brings home the difference in stature between him and like every other Thracian playable character. ...Yet, if Hawk stays, we'd need to prevent him from being redundant as another playable Sage (not that anyone would say no to that, especially if he came with a solid Staff rank). Maybe shift him into ...we already have enough Mage Knights, and Mage Fighter got deleted for redundancy. -So if we can't class change him, maybe we delete Homer and demote Hawk to Bard or Mage? Although that would leave Shannam without a recruiter delete Shannam for Daisy and give her Bargain?.

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31 minutes ago, Jotari said:

So now we have three entirely separate pegasus knights from Sileese looking for the leader of the Munster resistance group (and wouldn't it have been so cool if Hawk had been one of the Magi in Thracia? I like Hawk, he's cool, not as cool as Sety, but cool enough to deserve to exist and have a character of his own).

Hm.  Femina, Amid, Linda, Aesello, Hawk, and Sharlow all have a reason to be in Thracia around the year 776.  Karin -> Femina nobody would notice, I like Asbel but Amid or Hawk could replace him (or Homer), and Aesello could replace Ronan.  There's not really another mage for Linda to replace - Olwen is similar-ish as they're both in the Friege army but she actually has something of a story (and Dire Thunder!).  Sharlow could be another late staffer like Schrof.  Of course, you wouldn't have to replace characters but Thracia's cast is already pretty big.

28 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

On Hawk, sure? Why not? -Although Ced needs to stay, because him being a major-blood with the weapon to match realllllly brings home the difference in stature between him and like every other Thracian playable character. ...Yet, if Hawk stays, we'd need to prevent him from being redundant as another playable Sage (not that anyone would say no to that, especially if he came with a solid Staff rank). Maybe shift him into ...we already have enough Mage Knights, and Mage Fighter got deleted for redundancy. -So if we can't class change him, maybe we delete Homer and demote Hawk to Bard or Mage? Although that would leave Shannam without a recruiter delete Shannam for Daisy and give her Bargain?.

Beat me to it.  I've never used Homer, so I have no attachment to him, so switch him out for Hawk.  It makes more sense for Hawk to be hanging around Ced rather than being in Tahra, but, like everyone else who's played Thracia, I have used and like Asbel so it would be a shame to lose him, and it probably wouldn't work to give you Asbel and Hawk at the same time.

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39 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Although that would leave Shannam without a recruiter delete Shannam for Daisy and give her Bargain?.

Cutting Shanam for a substitute might not be in the spirit of things, considering in FE4 he only appears in substitute exclusive events. So hey, him being playable is kinda, sorta, not really like promoting a substitute to the main roster.

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1 hour ago, RPGuy96 said:

and Aesello could replace Ronan.

I hadn't considered that one, although it wouldn't be that difficult to effect. If we're not radically altering the maps and kept him joining so early, then we adjust it to "Hey, archer! Pirates are attacking!" to which Asaello responds "Yeah, yeah, I was hired for this job, gotta get money for the orphanage.". And then show up on the map as an NPC that Leif can talk to to recruit.

We could delay Asaello to later. We don't need two early archers, and then we get the bow knights. So when? Well, the tricky thing is Asaello is bound to Connaught, which we would have to bend to mean "Raydrik" (which would let Asaello show up sometime during that infamous set of earlygame chapters). Yet then, Raydrik makes his long absence, creating a huge gap as to when Asa could show up again without writing to justify it. A delayed recruitment could permit Asa' to join as a Sniper, and we lack a (not Dagda or Xavier) prepromoted Bow unit in Thracia, it'd be the how that's the problem, and we don't want him too late either.

1 hour ago, RPGuy96 said:

It makes more sense for Hawk to be hanging around Ced rather than being in Tahra, but, like everyone else who's played Thracia, I have used and like Asbel so it would be a shame to lose him, and it probably wouldn't work to give you Asbel and Hawk at the same time.

If we had any idea of how big the Magi "Squad" is, we could possibly write it that Ced, being a selfless person, wanted to send help to Tahra. But, practical realties denied him from sending any true force there, he has to slowly fight the good fight to the east. Nonetheless, he sends a token volunteer in the form of Hawk, whom along the long road to Tahra picked up a few invisible volunteers (still nothing substantial, but anything is better than nothing) which he brings with him to the city.

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1 hour ago, RPGuy96 said:

Hm.  Femina, Amid, Linda, Aesello, Hawk, and Sharlow all have a reason to be in Thracia around the year 776.  Karin -> Femina nobody would notice, I like Asbel but Amid or Hawk could replace him (or Homer), and Aesello could replace Ronan.  There's not really another mage for Linda to replace - Olwen is similar-ish as they're both in the Friege army but she actually has something of a story (and Dire Thunder!).  Sharlow could be another late staffer like Schrof.  Of course, you wouldn't have to replace characters but Thracia's cast is already pretty big.

Beat me to it.  I've never used Homer, so I have no attachment to him, so switch him out for Hawk.  It makes more sense for Hawk to be hanging around Ced rather than being in Tahra, but, like everyone else who's played Thracia, I have used and like Asbel so it would be a shame to lose him, and it probably wouldn't work to give you Asbel and Hawk at the same time.

I like Asbel too, but I have to admit he's a very contrived character. His background is the exact same as both Linoan and Miranda, only with less detail, we don't even know where his city is!

That being said, not all of them necessarily need to be playable. Hawk could just be hanging with Ced and then get killed at some point, Thracia is the sort of story that lends itself to people just up and dying suddenly. Sharlow could be a cameo just like Coirpre, Thracia has no shortage of random kids in peril, and a lot of them actually have names. Karin -> Fermina is the one I would have liked the most though since they're just identical.

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8 hours ago, Jotari said:

What does genuinely bother me is that all these sibling dynamics are identical for the substitute units. All of them are brother sister pairings, even the ones who don't know they are, and it just makes them less unique. I think the game could have stood to give them a bit more originality in terms of their backstories than the exact same as the original units, and divorcing at least some of them from their siblings would have been one way to do it.

I assume that the substitutes all have the same gender as the child they're replacing to make the love system in the second generation easier. This is still the 1990s, so we can't have Patrick hit on Shanan, so Daisy it is! I think Patty/Daisy flirts with Shanan? I honestly remember very little of the gen 2 character dynamics. But I agree, it would've been nice to have some distinctiveness to the substitutes.

5 hours ago, Jotari said:

I really like the idea of completely unique children, and I think it could genuinely work if the number of potential partners is paired down. Like, most units are shipped by the game with only 3-4 other characters via lover conversations and such, and those pairings are usually some of the more optimal ones, which is also a 3-4 range. So if everyone could marry just 3-4 people then the number of potential children would be reduced a lot.

It's probably still a hard concept to sell to the executives: "We need the resources to add 56-70 full-fletched child character (7 mother x 4-5 potential fathers(*) x 2 children/pairing), of which a player will only ever see 14 in a single playthrough". Would've been hard to sell in 1996 because of storage problems, would be hard to sell today because if you actually want 70 full-fletched characters, presumably with at least some unique interactions between them, that would require a ton of work from writers, artists, and VAs. Maybe it would work in a game where the playerbase won't expect every character to have 50 pages of backstory and motivation, but we all know how Shadow Dragon went over.

(*)counting substitutes as "children of {no father}"

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1 hour ago, ping said:

I assume that the substitutes all have the same gender as the child they're replacing to make the love system in the second generation easier. This is still the 1990s, so we can't have Patrick hit on Shanan, so Daisy it is! I think Patty/Daisy flirts with Shanan? I honestly remember very little of the gen 2 character dynamics. But I agree, it would've been nice to have some distinctiveness to the substitutes.

If you make the substitutes non related then that's already going to alter pairing dynamics somewhat, as two substitutes of brother sister pairs would be able to pair with each other. Though, ultimately pairing in Gen II isn't nearly as consequential as Gen I. For me it's always happened without any real effort. A crit boost and money exchanging are certainly nice, but never so nice that you really need to rely on them, with the exception of one semi optional moment in Chapter 10 I won't spoil.

1 hour ago, ping said:

It's probably still a hard concept to sell to the executives: "We need the resources to add 56-70 full-fletched child character (7 mother x 4-5 potential fathers(*) x 2 children/pairing), of which a player will only ever see 14 in a single playthrough". Would've been hard to sell in 1996 because of storage problems, would be hard to sell today because if you actually want 70 full-fletched characters, presumably with at least some unique interactions between them, that would require a ton of work from writers, artists, and VAs. Maybe it would work in a game where the playerbase won't expect every character to have 50 pages of backstory and motivation, but we all know how Shadow Dragon went over.

(*)counting substitutes as "children of {no father}"

Oh I absolutely wouldn't expect siblings in such a system, much as I was praising the sibling gameplay dynamic in my previous post. Everyone would have to be an only child under such system for any sense of realistic development.

Another way generations could be handled is that every parent has one preset child. So whenever you partner anyone up you result in two siblings. You still get a lot of the same sibling gameplay dynamic without shafting one generation to be DNA donor with no real attachment to their child (instead they would narratively be playing favourites). Though, given that the Awakening devs didn't even bother to error check the plot hole where Morgan remembers his past when Lucina's brother, I can't see them doing much with the massive logarithmic number of sibling pairs that would be possible.

That's all the ways I can imagine it can be done. So far we've seen mother priority twice and father priority once (give or take some protagonists). Unique pairings and everyone getting their own child are the only real other alternatives if they ever revisit this concept. Unless we get procedurally generated children or something and the AI itself constructs a completely original character based on your pairing. People treat AI writing and art as some kind of doom for the human species, but this is a case where it could genuinely create something that real humans couldn't reasonably do (though there are definitely some unreasonable humans who would try, 70 isn't that huge a number after all). Course it probably couldn't do it well right now, but in a few decades something like that might genuinely be good.

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FE4 Chapter 2: Crisis in Agustria

Evans --> Nordion

Spoiler

Verdane has fallen to Grannvale. On orders from Belhalla, Sigurd governs the region from Evans Castle, with his newly-wed wife Deirdre ever at this side. However, Grannvale's actions in Verdane are ill received by neighboring Agustria. The lords of Agustria lead a storm of heated rhetoric denouncing Grannvale. To make matters worse, the renowned pacifistic Agustrian ruler, King Imca, has been slain by an unknown hand.

tW8OWaf.png

Imca's successor to the Agustrian crown is his firstborn son, Prince Chagall. Even as the Agustrian crisis unfolds, the bulk of Grannvale's army remains in Isaach.

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As the sole defender of Grannvale's front, Sigurd once again finds himself in battle...

j2yC5Fr.png

The story really glosses over Verdane, and specifically Jamke being its legitimate king, huh? It honestly starts already with the capture of Verdane Castle in the previous chapter: At that point, Aideen has been freed, so Sigurd doesn't really have a good rationale to keep advancing. Heck, he doesn't really have a good rationale to keep Marpha. Or Genoa. Or Evans, although he admittedly doesn't have much of a choice in that matter after receiving a direct order from his liege.

From what I remember, something similar is going to happen with Agustria now, but this time not without response. I don't remember (and am curious to see) if Verdane will be brought up as a precedent, though.

D5t6YYo.png: "Raquesis, I'm leaving for Agusty. I can't rest until I've convinced King Chagall to end his foolish warmongering."
dQUQCkM.png: "Please don't do it, brother! You know as well as I that Chagall murdered his father himself. You'll only be endangering yourself for a lost cause. He won't listen to you!"
D5t6YYo.png: "You mustn't say such things about your king! I, too, have heard the rumors of King Chagall's involvement, but they are just that: rumors. There remains no evidence against him. Surely, His Majesty will see reason in this matter, if I simply persuade him."
dQUQCkM.png: "But-"
D5t6YYo.png: "Enough! I'll leave three of my finest knights here to defend Nordion, should the worst come to pass. Raquesis, you needn't look so sad. I will be back. I promise. I'm not about to abandon you in death."
dQUQCkM.png: "Eldie..."

QifR1C5.png

D5t6YYo.png: "Please, Your Majesty! Reconsider your militant ambitions. Your father before you worked so hard to build an era of peace with Grannvale. A war will only bring ruin to our people, bringing disgrace upon your good name for generations to come. I implore you: do not start a war!"
eGQzz2f.png: "So it's you... Eldigan of Nordion. You dastard... My father adored you, and you used his trust to undercut me at every turn. But now, my father is no more... And long live the king of all Agustria! For years you've made me play the fool, and now, I will reward you in kind. Guards! Throw this man in the dungeon!"
D5t6YYo.png: "W-wait! Your Majesty, please-"

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eGQzz2f.png: "Once that nuisance is dealt with, we're clear to throw all we've got at Grannvale!"

Not gonna lie, this made me laugh. Eldigan seems like the kind of guy who, in 1935, would try to defeat the Nazis by challenging them on the marketplace of ideas. Here, he might have the excuse of not knowing of Chagall's pettiness (the "unknown nemesis" trope), but knowing how Eldie will (potentially) go out...

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eGQzz2f.png: "...There is no turning back now. Even so, I still don't know if we stand a chance."
c6fTRpA.png: "Remember, Grannvale still adheres to that tawdry old peace treaty with you, and their entire army is distracted in Isaach. Strike now, and you could not possibly fail."
eGQzz2f.png: "You're right. The downfall of Grannvale will mark the rise of Agustria as Jugdral's new leading power! 'Chagall, Emperor of the World'... I like the sound of that.

c6fTRpA.png: "Hmhmhm... We can only hope your ambition wil be rewarded."

I don't remember if anything important to the overarching plot will come out of the Loptyr bros being behind Agustria's aggression, too - but if not, I don't really like that they are. I get it, they're supposed to be this shadowy organisation that has its fingers in literally every pie, but in a bit of a repeat of what I said about Hardin in Book 2, I generally prefer if a villain is allowed to be a strong independent douchebag who don't need no corruptor. Of course, Chagall is different from Hardin in that there's nothing implying that he was any less of a petty little shit before Manfroy approached him, but that's all the more reason for me to believe that Manfroy didn't really need to be here.

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JI1Vhq4.png: "That isn't our only problem, milady. With Lord Eldigan gone, we need to be aware of Heirhein's movements. Knowing of his lordship's absence, a strike from them is inevitable. After the Verdane incident, they're most likely out for revenge on us... Especially Lord Elliot."
dQUQCkM.png: "Ugh, that Elliot... I can't believe how many timees I've had to tell him I'm not interested in him. Smug, self-absorbed swine like him are the absolute worst! If only more men were cut from the same cloth as Eldie... It's too bad they aren't, else perhaps someone would stand a chance to marry me. Perhaps."
JI1Vhq4.png: "Er... Be that as it may, Lord Eldigan's Cross Knights are still dispatched to the north at Fort Silvail, well away from here. We three are all who remain. Nordion is vulnerable, and they know it. Rest assured, by brothers and I will do all we can do to defend the castle, but the odds are against us. I'm sorry, milady."
dQUQCkM.png: "Very well. Thank you, Yves. But please, look after yourselves. Don't waste your lives for me. Be sure to tell Eva and Alva that I'm sorry for this."
JI1Vhq4.png: "We are not worthy of such kind words, milady. Even so, Lord Eldigan handpicked us to defend you. Our lord gave us a task, and we will see it through. As paladins of Nordion, our lives are yours, no matter what. To our dying breaths, we live to defend you!"

Similar to Matthis's attitude towards Lena bordering on "creepy" to a western eye, I do wonder if the "overly adoring little sister" archetype - Raquesis, Clarine, Priscilla - seems less... weird to Japanese players.

I also have to credit Project Naga for not spelling Yves "Eve", as he's still called on the .org wiki. And I have to admit that also can't think of a male name that could possibly be transcribed to "Eva" in Japanese. Maybe it's less jarring to English-speakers, but "Eva" is literally how Adam's rib is called in German bibles (and in other languages, too, of course).
(I personally prefer "Lachesis" over "Raquesis", but that's not a particularly strong opinion)

I'm also glad that there's at least a little nod to the Cross Knights being absent. It's still a bit odd that they are deployed elsewhere, considering that the Nordions are well aware of the hostility of their neighboring lords, but at least they aren't just randomly awol.

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z46aUNg.png: "Ahahaha, that's perfect! Elliot! Lay siege to Nordion at once! Let's see some tears roll down Eldigan's cheeks!"
ljIJLg7.png: "With pleasure, Father!"

---

ngN7p04.png: "Sire, we have trouble!"
WlZHonN.png: "It appears that Lord Eldigan has been taken prisoner and Nordion is under attack. I bear a message from Lady Raquesis, pleading for aid."
xnH9Bvk.png: "They've taken Eldigan?! Why... Why in the world would they treat a man so esteemed this way? Inform everybody to make ready. We ride for Nordion at once! No matter the cost, Raquesis needs us. He might never admit it, but Raquesis has always been dear to Eldigan. The loss of Raquesis would gravely wound him..."

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If0Ngew.png: "I thought as much. I'm not about to stop you. No... I will accompany you."
xnH9Bvk.png: "What!? No, I can't allow that! I refuse to endanger you like this."
If0Ngew.png: "Milord, do you not remember our vows? You swore to never leave my side, and... I... I am... uneasy... I have a feeling that if you and I were to part, we would never find each other again... Please, grant me this. Let me stay by your side..."
If0Ngew.png: "I'm sorry... you're right. I did promise. Very well! Let us ride together. But you mustn't leave my side."
xnH9Bvk.png: "I won't."

She will. I wish Deirdre would be able to ride out.

Fie on Sigurd for trying to tell Deirdre to stay in the kitchen. But, er, kudos to Kaga for having that attitude lead to disaster? ...nah, fie on Kaga anyway for the nature of that disaster.

bmDyirT.png

The map!

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There's time pressure right from the start - all the red horsies are going to go right for Nordion, so you don't have the luxury of waiting for Arden to catch up.

Well, maybe if you're fine with just saving Raquesis and not the three Paladins, but you'd miss the Knight Ring if you do that.

moQKEm2.png

The Paladin siblings are all identical, with very respectable bulk (even Sigurd is only at 45 HP / 12 Def at the start of the map). Still, because Elliot's group starts closer to them than Sigurd does, you absolutely need to hurry and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a chance that one of them dies without you having a chance to intervene.

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[HP 60% | Str 50% | Mag 5% | Skl 10% | Spd 20% | Lck 40% | Def 20% | Res 10%]
Skills: Charm
Weapon Level: Swords (A), Staves (C)
Minor Hezul blood

Of course, Raquesis is recruitable (by Sigurd talking to her), so I might as well introduce her as a playable character already. She honestly has a pretty rotten start, basically being a horseless Troubadour, with base stats that aren't even that much better than that of base Ethlyn. Her growths aren't all that impressive either, although they do get salvaged by her Hezul blood giving her +30% in Str.

However, I'm aware that Raquesis will promote into the rather ridiculous Master Knight class, with stupendous promotion gains and access to virtually every non-legendary weapon in the game. I believe it's very much the "meta" to have her spam Ethlyn's Return staff until she reaches Lv.20, at which point she suddenly becomes OP as heck.

She does come with the (woman-exclusive) Miracle Sword, which grants access to the skill of the same name. With some HP manipulation, it seems feasible that she can cheese her way through the arena, especially since, it being a sword, she has a non-zero Avoid stat to begin with. Which reminds me of her Charm skill (does she it apply to herself? And to herself in the arena?) - regardless, +10 hit/avo for all allies within 3 tiles is a wonderful ability to have, and in itself an incentive to get this woman a horse.

Raquesis's future husbando hasn't quite joined yet, but since I already talked about the pairing, I might as well mention it here. I was entertaining the idea of Azel/Raquesis for a while, but with my growing commitment to Magical Patty, I've returned to the super-standard Beowulf match, which the 1st Mate considers to be her best: Pursuit (and Accost), inheritable swords for the son, good physical stats. He doesn't help Nanna's staff utility, but that's what Mend/Recover are for.

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On the enemy's side, Elliot seems fairly dangerous. High Atk, weapon triangle advantage over the Paladin brothers (and over Sigurd, fwiw). Ideally, I should probably try to get the kill with Quan, since he's the only guy on the team who can use Elliot's Silver Lance, unless I get Finn to promotion before Team Leonster leaves.

0toHNcC.png__WxXHsLG.png

Behind the Cavs is another miniboss in Philip, who hits about as hard as Elliot, with even more physical bulk. I... honestly have no idea how to make good use of the Return Band, so I don't know if I should try giving the kill to anybody specific.

We're also introduced to Ballisticians again, who don't seem terribly threatening to our more physically inclined characters, although the likes of Azel, Dew, or (barely) Aideen get two-shot by them. Of course, there's always the risk of Ballisticians softening or picking off a character that also faces regular combat, depending on turn order and AI competency.

DtkeXSG.png

Finally, a coastal city in southern France. Really, I would've preferred if the localised name hid the reference, if it was even intended as such, and called him Bordo, or Bodor, or Boruto or whatever.

Anyway, Saxon Porto Bordeaux is a bit weaker than Philip, except that he can counter at 2-range and is less vulnerable to magic thanks to his Barrier Ring. Which, again, I don't know if anybody can make particularly good use of. Maybe Sigurd, as boring as that answer may be, since he's always at the frontlines and thus more exposed to long-ranged mages, once those show up.

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Oh, and here's a reminder that while Kaga is a merciful god when he wants to be, right now he does not.

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Going into the castle, I'm pleasantly surprised that the Armoury keeps items from previous chapters. Very nice.

Right now, I get the Steel Bow for Jamke (for reasons already discussed) and the Thunder tome for Azel (which basically functions as a cheap, cumulative Speed Ring).

VaVpJvT.png__tpuK293.png

The Arena I mostly skip for now, because I noticed that the Paragon Ring drops during this chapter, so hopefully, I'll be able to use it at least with most of the future parents. The only one going through the gauntlet is Lex because (a) he doesn't need a Paragon Ring...

trxXYrE.png

...and (b) it allows me to recruit Holyn, who (c) is a fair bit easier to beat than the generic replacement once Holyn is in the fold, which is especially nice for Lex and his abysmal hit rate against swordies.

Chapter 2's Arena looks like the following:

Jirough (Axe Fighter | Steel Axe): 27 Atk | 78 Hit | -7 AS | 40 HP | 9 Def | 0 Res
		     | Hand Axe ): 19 Atk | 58 Hit | -9 AS

Mahatma (Fire Mage | Elfire): 26 Atk | 69 Hit | -4 AS | 34 HP | 1 Def | 7 Res

Lovin (Lance Knight | Steel Lance): 26 Atk | 98 Hit | -3 AS | 41 HP | 9 Def | 0 Res
		    | Javelin):     22 Atk | 78 Hit | -9 AS

Buchanan (Myrmidon  | Steel Sword): 21 Atk | 108 Hit | 11 AS | 44 HP | 9 Def | 1 Res
	-or-
Millet (Bow Fighter | Steel Bow):   23 Atk | 98 Hit  | 6 AS

Heltzog (Knight | Steel Lance): 30 Atk | 100 Hit |  -4 AS | 57 HP | 15 Def | 1 Res
		| Javelin):	26 Atk |  80 Hit | -10 AS

Tyakov (Thunder Mage | Elthunder): 27 Atk | 110 Hit | 5 AS | 46 HP | 8 Def | 11 Res

Holyn (Myrmidon | Iron Blade):  26 Atk | 94 Hit | 11 AS | 40 HP | 11 Def | 1 Res
	-or-
Chaimos (Hero   | Steel Blade): 34 Atk | 96 Hit | 12 AS | 63 HP | 13 Def | 5 Res
	-or-
Marilyn (Sniper | Silver Bow):  36 Atk | 106 Hit | 10 AS | 63 HP | 13 Def | 5 Res

While it required a bit of luck, Lex basically didn't need any RNG abuse by sending somebody in for a round or two. The one exception was Jirough, of all people, but only because letting Arden beat him first, the RNG allowed Lex to beat him with the Iron Axe. Money is important, or something.

Now, the reward...

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qYZoDhK.png: "The way you fought... You were brimming with spirit! Hm... I'd wager there's something you're here to fight for, right? All I've done is chase the money for all these years... But I look at you, and suddenly, it all feels so meaningless. Hey, I don't suppose you're recruiting? Maybe use my blade for something real and grander than me is just what I need."

hcfvU4z.png

[HP 110% | Str 30% | Mag 5% | Skl 80% | Spd 30% | Lck 20% | Def 30% | Res 5%]
Skills: Pursuit, Luna
Weapon Level: Swords (A)
Minor Odo blood

Holyn (or Chulainn) is noticably a few levels above our non-Sigurd units, with stats that are appropriately a bit higher, mostly. He's actually a few points behind (Lv.8) Ayra in Skl and Spd, but has advantages in Str and bulk over her and, honestly, the majority of the cast.

One thing I feel I have to mention is that Holyn's growths are strictly better than Ayra's. Not by a lot; they tie in Str and Spd, but Holyn beats her in Skl growth and, most noticably, HP growth (110% vs. 70%), while Ayra doesn't have an advantage in any stat. Growths alone do not a unit make, of course, but I still can't help but notice that women seem to have worse growths than men in this game rather consistently.

However, because I don't plan on marrying Holyn to anybody, a horseless combat unit doesn't feel like the most high-impact character. I have to admit that I just gave him the Arden ball and put him on guard duty, since I'm not sure how safe the home castle is on this map.

zT8X7pI.png

The first thing I do outside the castle is give Azel Dew's money reserves. Since he didn't get past the Myrmidon in ch.1's Arena (and I prioritised giving villages to Lex in the prologue), Azel went into this chapter with only 13500 gold (10500 after buying Thunder), and because he can use the Speed Ring to flip the script on both the Pursuit-havers in the Arena, I hope that this investment will allow for a full Paragon Arena run.

And the last turn 1 action is a dialogue between Deirdre and Ethlyn:

7phA0wf.png: "How are you faring so far, Deirdre? I know my brother is worried something fierce about you risking your life like this."
If0Ngew.png: "Ethlyn...? Thank you for asking, but I'm doing just fine for now. Everything will be alright. I can feel it. So long as I'm at Sigurd's side, our happiness will see us through."
7phA0wf.png: "I don't think I've ever seen Sigurd as happy as he's been since he met you. He's practically a changed man!"
If0Ngew.png: "Ethlyn... Here. I'd like you have this. [sic] I've been meaning to give it to you for a while.
7phA0wf.png: "Oh? ...Is- is this a light brand?! Wow... There are so rare and hard to come by! Are you sure you want to give me this?"
If0Ngew.png: "Of course. I know it will serve you well."
7phA0wf.png: "I can't thank you enough, Deirdre! I'll always treasure it!"

Not if Shanty Pete's 1st Mate has anything to say about that!

2c9UPCA.png

So the Light Brand is a fairly regular sword when used in melee (basically an Iron Blade with a bit more accuracy and a bit less weight), but at range, it casts the excellent Lightning spell (14 Mt, 5 Wt, 90 hit). Definitely a very good weapon for anybody with a bit of a Mag stat.

At the start of the first enemy phase, Elliot gets moving...:

ljIJLg7.png: "Lady Raquesis of Nordion, huh... I've been looking forward to this. She's been playing cruel games with my heart for years... But look how the tables have turned! I've an entire army behind me, against her insignificant guard. What could she possibly do? She's powerless to resist coming back to Heirhein with me! And who knows... Perhaps one day she'll admit she wants it."

Ugh. Insert "use sexual violence is a cheap way to establish a villain as very evil" rant here.

mECPwom.png

Philip has a line! I'm impressed.

Still on the first enemy phase, the camera then moves to Anphony in the north:

1gLmdwF.png: "So, Heirhein's finally made their move... Perfect. Release the brigands on the village, as we arranged! Under the old king, you couldn't even dare to meddle in any of his property... Yet it is the easiest thing to cheat Chagall! Strip everything of worth you find and bring it back here. Leave no stone unturned!"

aQpc0nX.png

And with that, he sends four Brigands towards the center of the map, where all the villages lie. It'll take a few turns for them to get there, but not *that* long...

I do like how this older lord just view Chagall as a useful idiot who won't be able to exert his authority.

Finally, we come to Mackily:

yJyQkEP.png: "Heirhein is going for Nordion's throat? Hm... who do I side with here? Let's wait and see how this unfolds. Instruct the men to remain where they are until the dust settles."

Honestly, these opportunistic nobles make me wish even more that the whole Agustria episode could've played out without Manfroy shadowing over all of it.

AwrgeEO.png__coppOD1.png

Turn 2, the first of Elliot's cavs is already close enough to Nordion to start the battle. You can see that Yves outclasses him pretty hard, but also that he's very much not immune to being worn down.

21HsM0S.png

And this is the end of the third player phase, with Sigurd and Quan having moved as far as possible every turn. Yeah, this really seems like a Battle Before Dawn situation, if less punishing in case of a green unit death.

SkvvB7J.png

Luckily, Elliot's cavs don't canter very intelligently, and Yves is only brought down to 16 HP.

mUx3rLw.png__PfDgar6.png

And next turn, our own units can start helping, beginning with Sigurd, who also recruits Raquesis right away so that he can keep moving towards Heirhein next turn. Spoiler: This turns out to have been a mistake, or at best a risky manoeuvre...

JF9b8tn.png: "Sir Sigurd! Thank goodness you're here! Things were looking so bleak for a moment..."
xnH9Bvk.png: "I'm glad to see you're safe, Raquesis. What about Eldigan? Is he still being held?"
JF9b8tn.png: "Yes, he's still in Agusty... It's as if all the lords of Agustria have turned on us. Please, Sir Sigurd... Lend us your might. No matter what it takes, my brother must be saved."
xnH9Bvk.png: "Of course. I've no fondness for bringing war to foreign lands, but in this case we've little choice. His Majesty, King Azmur, is aware of King Imca's assassination, and of Chagall's hand in it. He's received word of Chagall's ambitions to invade Grannvale itself, and has already approved military action. His Majesty also believes Eldigan's rescue to be vital if we're to put an end to hostilities. Rest assured, Raquesis. I swear that I'll save Eldigan..."

bSLP31p.png

It still feels odd to me, as somebody whose most played FE games are the GBA ones, that fighting and healing allows for Canter in this game, but talking does not. This also means that Raquesis is unable to get into the fray right away, although I don't know if I would've wanted her to, anyway.

CYQyzxE.png

And after as much cleaning up as movement allows...

B4WyZL6.png

...the Paladin trio breaks formation. Goddamnit. Triggered by recruiting Raquesis, clearly. I had positioned Quan directly below Yves so that he could only be attacked from one tile, hoping to reduce the number of enemies able to target him. Alas, he is stupid.

3WmAlPH.png__K9JZvJ1.png__jKKxNz4.png

And luckily, the enemies are both incompetent and stupid. Yved dodges a lethal attack from what I think was an Axe Knight, and every enemy after that, including Elliot, decides to attack Alva instead. Huh. Well, I'm not complaining.

xhZUY1U.png

And while I haven't seized a castle yet, I think this is still a good place to put a cut in. There's always a lot of stuff at the start of a chapter.

(no new "the team" overview, since not that much combat has been done yet)

Bit of a rushed update because I have to leave in 10 minutes or so. Hopefully not too many stupid mistakes and/or typos :lol:

Edited by ping
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49 minutes ago, ping said:

eGQzz2f.png: "So it's you... Eldigan of Nordion. You dastard... My father adored you, and you used his trust to undercut me at every turn. But now, my father is no more... And long live the king of all Agustria! For years you've made me play the fool, and now, I will reward you in kind. Guards! Throw this man in the dungeon!"
D5t6YYo.png: "W-wait! Your Majesty, please-"

Well, that could've gone better. I sure hope our dashing blonde rogue learns from this experience that Chagall cannot be reasoned with and doesn't make this same mistake again.

56 minutes ago, ping said:

eGQzz2f.png: "...There is no turning back now. Even so, I still don't know if we stand a chance."
c6fTRpA.png: "Remember, Grannvale still adheres to that tawdry old peace treaty with you, and their entire army is distracted in Isaach. Strike now, and you could not possibly fail."
eGQzz2f.png: "You're right. The downfall of Grannvale will mark the rise of Agustria as Jugdral's new leading power! 'Chagall, Emperor of the World'... I like the sound of that.

c6fTRpA.png: "Hmhmhm... We can only hope your ambition wil be rewarded."

I don't remember if anything important to the overarching plot will come out of the Loptyr bros being behind Agustria's aggression, too - but if not, I don't really like that they are. I get it, they're supposed to be this shadowy organisation that has its fingers in literally every pie, but in a bit of a repeat of what I said about Hardin in Book 2, I generally prefer if a villain is allowed to be a strong independent douchebag who don't need no corruptor. Of course, Chagall is different from Hardin in that there's nothing implying that he was any less of a petty little shit before Manfroy approached him, but that's all the more reason for me to believe that Manfroy didn't really need to be here.

You know, I just realized this guy is literally just Darin from FE7. Or, rather, he's just Chagall again. Huh. FE7 is sometimes accused of ripping off TRS but it has some rather major parallels to FE4's Agustria arc as well.

1 hour ago, ping said:

KwQVzMF.png

z46aUNg.png: "Ahahaha, that's perfect! Elliot! Lay siege to Nordion at once! Let's see some tears roll down Eldigan's cheeks!"
eGQzz2f.png: "With pleasure, Father!"

What a twist. I can't believe Chagall was... Uhh, whatshisface's son all along! Oh wait I get it, Imca was gay and this guy's Chagall's second dad

1 hour ago, ping said:

872aczb.png

JI1Vhq4.png: "That isn't our only problem, milady. With Lord Eldigan gone, we need to be aware of Heirhein's movements. Knowing of his lordship's absence, a strike from them is inevitable. After the Verdane incident, they're most likely out for revenge on us... Especially Lord Elliot."

Also, you're using the wrong Yves here. Unless the teal cape one only chimed in at the very start and then was replaced by the green one. I don't remember this cutscene well.

1 hour ago, ping said:

ngN7p04.png: "Sire, we have trouble!"

That was not what I was expecting.

Wonderful.

1 hour ago, ping said:

DtkeXSG.png

Finally, a coastal city in southern France. Really, I would've preferred if the localised name hid the reference, if it was even intended as such, and called him Bordo, or Bodor, or Boruto or whatever.

Big Meißen vibes here. In the FE4 remake he's definitely going to be called Bardais.

1 hour ago, ping said:

g9Jghyf.png

Oh, and here's a reminder that while Kaga is a merciful god when he wants to be, right now he does not.

Everyone's favorite way to make bosses tougher: RNG! People don't hate it in FE8 because there's two general bosses and you have Ephraim for both. Here it's, uh... Well. Have fun!

1 hour ago, ping said:

hcfvU4z.png

[HP 110% | Str 30% | Mag 5% | Skl 80% | Spd 30% | Lck 20% | Def 30% | Res 5%]
Skills: Pursuit, Luna
Weapon Level: Swords (A)
Minor Odo blood

Holyn (or Chulainn) is noticably a few levels above our non-Sigurd units, with stats that are appropriately a bit higher, mostly. He's actually a few points behind (Lv.8) Ayra in Skl and Spd, but has advantages in Str and bulk over her and, honestly, the majority of the cast.

One thing I feel I have to mention is that Holyn's growths are strictly better than Ayra's. Not by a lot; they tie in Str and Spd, but Holyn beats her in Skl growth and, most noticably, HP growth (110% vs. 70%), while Ayra doesn't have an advantage in any stat. Growths alone do not a unit make, of course, but I still can't help but notice that women seem to have worse growths than men in this game rather consistently.

However, because I don't plan on marrying Holyn to anybody, a horseless combat unit doesn't feel like the most high-impact character. I have to admit that I just gave him the Arden ball and put him on guard duty, since I'm not sure how safe the home castle is on this map.

This guy's probably the most forgettable character in Gen 1 for me. Between the common FE4 phenomenon of having two names that are completely different, being the lost sibling of Eldigan and Naoise design-wise, having no personality, a single cutscene to his name and being a thoroughly unremarkable unit in gameplay, dude just does not leave an impression.

1 hour ago, ping said:

ljIJLg7.png: "Lady Raquesis of Nordion, huh... I've been looking forward to this. She's been playing cruel games with my heart for years... But look how the tables have turned! I've an entire army behind me, against her insignificant guard. What could she possibly do? She's powerless to resist coming back to Heirhein with me! And who knows... Perhaps one day she'll admit she wants it."

Ugh. Insert "use sexual violence is a cheap way to establish a villain as very evil" rant here.

You'd think the nonsense he pulled in chapter 1 would've been enough to clearly define him as a bad guy, but nope, we need more sexism.

1 hour ago, ping said:

mECPwom.png

Philip has a line! I'm impressed.

And it's basically the verbose version of the RD meme line.

Genuinely did not remember this, though. I suppose the truly lineless mooks in this game are contained to the final chapter.

...Yeah... More on that when we get there.

1 hour ago, ping said:

Honestly, these opportunistic nobles make me wish even more that the whole Agustria episode could've played out without Manfroy shadowing over all of it.

It's really rather amazing how little impact Manfroy has on this whole thing. I'm pretty sure Chagall would've done the foul deed he did without a dark cult pushing him into it. Manfroy's basically just involved here to... I guess avoid having the chapter feel disconnected from everything else? But I'd argue without Manfroy it'd still be an interesting glimpse into the sorry state of affairs in this world, which allows Manfroy to carry through his dastardly plans. You know, they call that subtlety.

1 hour ago, ping said:

Bit of a rushed update because I have to leave in 10 minutes or so. Hopefully not too many stupid mistakes and/or typos :lol:

Just some more inspiration for my slashfics, nothing bad at all.

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37 minutes ago, ping said:

Not gonna lie, this made me laugh. Eldigan seems like the kind of guy who, in 1935, would try to defeat the Nazis by challenging them on the marketplace of ideas. Here, he might have the excuse of not knowing of Chagall's pettiness (the "unknown nemesis" trope), but knowing how Eldie will (potentially) go out...

It's also the abrupt writing style. Like, Eldigan doesn't even greet his king. He just bursts in and delivers a grand speech about the toll of war.
Then Chagall just instantly orders his imprisonment.
Very different from how a similar scene was handled in Thracia.
 

43 minutes ago, ping said:

dQUQCkM.png: "Ugh, that Elliot... I can't believe how many timees I've had to tell him I'm not interested in him. Smug, self-absorbed swine like him are the absolute worst! If only more men were cut from the same cloth as Eldie... It's too bad they aren't, else perhaps someone would stand a chance to marry me. Perhaps."

Seems like it's really just the blond hair. I mean she is the only woman who has a lover convo with Dew of all people.
 

47 minutes ago, ping said:

I'm also glad that there's at least a little nod to the Cross Knights being absent. It's still a bit odd that they are deployed elsewhere, considering that the Nordions are well aware of the hostility of their neighboring lords, but at least they aren't just randomly awol.

The game does seem to lack confidence in implying that there is more to the battles then what is shown on the map. Like right at the start where Sigurd told his knights that he is heading out alone to fight Verdane. Which most certainly makes it sound as if he means that he is literally heading out there all on his own. Cuan also said it's just him, Ethlyn and Finn who came. Which considering Finn is a nobody, also suggests that it's really just those 3.
Most certainly very different from Berwick Saga, where Reese is always accompanied by dozens of knights whenever the Sinon Knights are shown to be on the move.

Granted, with how the last battle went, it does kinda feel like Nordion would need more of an handicap then just Eldigan being absent before Elliot would be a threat to them.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

If0Ngew.png: "Milord, do you not remember our vows? You swore to never leave my side, and... I... I am... uneasy... I have a feeling that if you and I were to part, we would never find each other again... Please, grant me this. Let me stay by your side..."

Yeah, that's not gonna happen. This is like the most unfriendly map in the game for anyone without a horse. You're gonna be very far apart indeed.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

Going into the castle, I'm pleasantly surprised that the Armoury keeps items from previous chapters. Very nice.

Right now, I get the Steel Bow for Jamke (for reasons already discussed) and the Thunder tome for Azel (which basically functions as a cheap, cumulative Speed Ring).

Also any item that is not passed down will either show up in the shop at a specific chapter or will instead be dropped by a boss. 
With some extremely rare exceptions, like the Knight Ring, the Pursuit Ring, the Defender Sword and the Wind Sword.

Speaking of Steel Bows, there is something rather funny about it and yet another headache for good old Lester.
Because there is a relevant difference between this Steel Bow and the one Briggid comes with: Briggid's will reappear in the shop during chapter 7. But this one will only reappear in the shop during chapter 8.
So if a bow isn't passed down to Lester, he could in theory get an upgrade in chapter 7. But only if Briggid's Steel Bow wasn't passed down to her own son.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

One thing I feel I have to mention is that Holyn's growths are strictly better than Ayra's. Not by a lot; they tie in Str and Spd, but Holyn beats her in Skl growth and, most noticably, HP growth (110% vs. 70%), while Ayra doesn't have an advantage in any stat. Growths alone do not a unit make, of course, but I still can't help but notice that women seem to have worse growths than men in this game rather consistently.

Keep in mind that he and Ayra have different class changes. Ayra's class has higher gains and gets Adept as a class skill.
Nevermind that Astra is much stronger than Luna.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

If0Ngew.png: "Ethlyn... Here. I'd like you have this. [sic] I've been meaning to give it to you for a while.
7phA0wf.png: "Oh? ...Is- is this a light brand?! Wow... There are so rare and hard to come by! Are you sure you want to give me this?"

Important life lesson right there. If you want to get in your sister-in-law's good graces, just gift her a sword. Never fails.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

So the Light Brand is a fairly regular sword when used in melee (basically an Iron Blade with a bit more accuracy and a bit less weight), but at range, it casts the excellent Lightning spell (14 Mt, 5 Wt, 90 hit). Definitely a very good weapon for anybody with a bit of a Mag stat.

Also noteable for the fact that even C-rank swordies can use it.
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

ljIJLg7.png: "Lady Raquesis of Nordion, huh... I've been looking forward to this. She's been playing cruel games with my heart for years...

"Years"? Was she still in grade school when he first started making the moves on her?
 

1 hour ago, ping said:

It still feels odd to me, as somebody whose most played FE games are the GBA ones, that fighting and healing allows for Canter in this game, but talking does not. This also means that Raquesis is unable to get into the fray right away, although I don't know if I would've wanted her to, anyway.

Basically it really is just like moving a unit twice. Just with Attack and Staffs locked, since that what triggers Canto in the first place. If they weren't locked, you could attack indefinitely.

No worries. This was already refined in Thracia, where cavalry cannot do anything but move after attacking or staffing.

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45 minutes ago, Saint Rubenio said:

This guy's probably the most forgettable character in Gen 1 for me. Between the common FE4 phenomenon of having two names that are completely different, being the lost sibling of Eldigan and Naoise design-wise, having no personality, a single cutscene to his name and being a thoroughly unremarkable unit in gameplay, dude just does not leave an impression.

I think Chulainn is pronouced "hull-in". It's been years since the one time I heard it spoken. The fan name would then be the mythological reference spelled according to "normal" English phonetics.

As for his design.:

joinedsoldiera.jpg

Nice choice of Treasure to throw him and Beowulf on the same page. Beo looks like a more refined or rugged first or second draft when you put them together.

 

2 hours ago, ping said:

...the Paladin trio breaks formation. Goddamnit. Triggered by recruiting Raquesis, clearly. I had positioned Quan directly below Yves so that he could only be attacked from one tile, hoping to reduce the number of enemies able to target him. Alas, he is stupid.

Lakhesis, to use the most-Greek transliteration into the Latin alphabet, was defending atop the castle? I think the knights act like bodyguard and will stay near her. Maybe taking her off the castle will fix things?

Edited by Interdimensional Observer
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