Friday, February 12, 2010

Lets Play Fire Emblem: The Sword of Seals! Episode 3

Episode 3: No Rest for the Weary

Lets Play Fire Emblem returns as Team Roy attempts to reclaim Castle Araphen and Save Lord Hector! Will they succeed? And will I be able to get over denial?

Castle Araphen appeared in Blazing Blade. I will get to that during the bonus content.
Roy's army was hurrying toward Castle Araphen, taking with them Princess
Guinevere, a key member who could make or break this war.
: Lord Roy? How long have we been marching towards Araphen?
: Almost three months. That’s weird. We shouldn’t have taken that long.
: And why did our tactician leave when we started to march?
: I’m not sure. He left saying things like going to a “Second Modern War” and “Assassins”, and something called a train. What’s a train?
: Well, no matter. Apparently he retuned today. And it looks like we are almost at Araphen! We shoul-
Activision has stopped being staffed by evil?
NOTE: Only one of them actually rides a dragon.
Curse you APEC security!
Okay, so the leaders were attacked. How bad could things have possibly-
Okay, that may be a problem. Wait, enemy leader? Ostia is the Alliance leader.....
.....Then that would mean.....
two of our Dragon Lords. I suppose they do not call you the leader
of the Lycia Alliance for nothing. However, you were not good enough. Pray
while you can, for you end here."
I did not grind him to near demi god status in Blazing Blade for nothing....
each other. Even when you took the throne, we have always paid our respects towards Bern..."
Yes. Great terms. Especially when Bern shut it’s borders to Lycia, and enforced a law banning Lycian nobles from traveling in the country, as the prospect of massive conflict between said countries grew critical.
Retcons are fun., this entire continent must go
under my rule. That is the only way to liberate this world. I lack the time
to be worrying about such trivial matters as respect."
The person that Bern will follow to the end, ladies and gentlemen.
"To liberate...this world? What do you mean...?"
"It is of no importance to you. You are going to die anyway. Someone! Take
him away!"
Okay, don’t panic. He’s being thown in the dungeon. Not being executed. So he was badly wounded, big deal! Hector took that kind of shit for breakfast back in the day. And besides, dungeons don’t kill people right?
(Moving on...)
"Yes, you may be on your way."
"One thing before I leave, your Majesty. I beg your pardon, but I do not think
that it is such a good idea to put too much trust into sinister people..."
"Do you mean Idoun?"
"Yes. Our soldiers call her the 'Dark Priestess' and do not approve of her
presence. I understand that she is a Shaman of great powers, however..."
Oh come on. How could you find this person the least bit threatening or ominous?
"Brenya, do you not have faith in me?"
"...! Yes, of course I do, your Majesty! I just thought that..."
"Then all you do is follow my orders. Understood?"
"...Yes. I will do whatever his Majesty wishes."
*Brenya leaves*
"'Do you not have faith in me?' Dear dear, the things I say sometimes..."

Chad (the Thief)
"Yeah, that's for sure. I saw some of Bern's soldiers take him into the

See? Dungeons. Can't kill people.

You know, this is a bit abrupt for a new character to be introduced.
I wouldn't try that if I were you. The bulk of Bern's forces are gone, but there are still a decent number of soldiers still in the castle, you know? It would be suicide to try and charge them with your army."

Shut your damn mouth kid. Hector is going to be sprung from this hellhole just as the Bern forces will be bleeding corpses after our clean out

"Perhaps. But we can't afford to lose Lord Hector. And you said that their
main forces are gone, right? Then there is a chance that we could win."

"I see... Then I guess I'll go along too. I can show you around the castle."

"What!? No no, don't feel pressured! If you could just explain what the
interior of the castle looks like..."
"I also want revenge against Bern. C'mon, let me go with you!"
"All right. Then I'll be counting on you."

I didn't think he would invade Lycia so soon..."
"My Lady, there's no point in dwelling over the past. Please do not blame

Don’t worry Guinevere. I don’t hold any blame on you whatsover. Unless there is the no-existant scenario that Hector dies. Then I will be painting Bern with the blood of the Bern royal family.

Don’t you think THAT may be a problem?
Welcome to our first indoors map. Indoor maps have their own special quirks that we will be covering in this update.
But first, lets see our new character!
Chad here is a Thief. Now Thieves are a bit of an oddity in this game. The Thief class did not gain the ability to promote until Blazing Blade. (What is promotion? Err, I think I will cover that when I have a character I can promote. For now, think of it as this game’s version of Evolution from Pokemon) Because of this, they are not good at combat.
However, they have one important thing going for them: their looting and steeling abilities. Looting is something I will get to in this chapter. Steeling involves putting the thief next to an enemy and steeling an item. This is important as enemies, unlike in other games in the series never drop items and weapons upon death in Sword of Seals. So Stealing and Looting is more important than ever.
As for Chad himself? Well theves, as stated previously, are not useful for combat, so I didn’t even level him up on my previous playthrough. But lets see how he does here...
The thing about indoor maps is that you have to get used to confined fighting. This makes certain classes less than effective, and some more effective. For example, Pegasus Knights are not useful in these maps, due to the close quarters and lack of rough terrain to take advantage of. Not to mention that there is a lot of archers in these maps, which are very useful in indoors maps.
So lets get started. I had one of the cavaliers attack one of the soldiers at the entrance.
Fun fact: I managed to take this image the precise moment the striking animation took place. This is simultaneously the best and worst shot I could have taken
I also had Chad take down the other guard.
The enemies’ turn starts, and once again, enemy soldiers fail to realize that they are a bit shit.
(Meanwhile, an event happens at one of the villages in the upper left corner)
I know what you are thinking. Shut up.
Wow. These are the most detailed children NPC’s I have ever seen in a Fire Emblem game.
He will show his bravery by staying in his village until we come to drag his ass into our merry band.
And so the reverend and the children flee past the enemies. They can do this because they are moving within the turn void. Its a bizarre dimension where characters can move wherever they want, without bending down to the rules of turn based RPG’s. It can be too much for most minds.
Back to our side, an archer learns the hard way that he should not attack by charing into a hostile zone, via Bors running him through with a lance him, and Chad knifing him.
Dieck took down the solider from above and manged to level up. Dieck has some good growths, and he will be a valuable part of our army.
(I didn’t get that many screenshots of this next part, so bear with me. We cut to the throne room)
"Narshen! What is causing all that noise?"
"Probably what's left of the enemy are trying to put up a fight in their last
hope. Excuse me your Majesty, I shall have them cleaned up in no time."
"Your Highness, shall we use the Dragons?"
"No, I do not wish to put the Dark Priestess through any trouble. Do not
worry, we can handle them by ourselves..."
(No, they can not.)
"Not this time, Idoun. Send the Dragons back to Bern, as was planned."
"Yes, if his Highness wishes it to be so."
"I will be off to Bern soon as well. Narshen, I'm going to leave Lycia up to
"...What shall I do with the remaining forces of the Lycia Army?"
"Kill all those who stand against us."
Note: If you are writing a Fire Emblem game and do not have at least one character who is perfectly fine with killing women and children, you are not doing it right.
"Of course. Annihilate them enough so that they would no longer even think
about going against us."
Uhhh...Zephiel? I don’t think that’s possible.....
"Leave that to me, sire. Hehehe..."
Zephiel leaves, with Idoun in tow. Just as well, seeing that with his stats, he would turn every character into red mulch.
"Hmph, I wonder what his Majesty sees in that Idoun girl.
Yes, Narshen is going to leave the scene. This will become a reoccurring theme later on.

against Lycia has a special gift for me. He says it's a girl from Etrurian nobility or something...hehehe..."
Given that Narshen is promoted, we can contribute our victory to his Pedophiliac Libido.

(I am so sorry for that line)

Narshen, ladies and gentlemen
Back to the fight, Team Roy has finally managed to break into the castle. For the record, I actually sent Lance up the left side of the map, around the castle, to get to the village. In the meantime, Wolt headshots another soldier.
Followed by Lot.
Lauren also adavnces another level. Staff spamming helps.
This is the next turn, and I believe this is Ward. I could never tell him and Lott apart.
At the very least, the enemy Knights have some degree of confidence in their blind rush. These guys come mandatory for all indoor levels. Make sure you have Ward and Lott taking point at this point.
You may have also noticed the Cavaliers that are above Ward. See, when Slater took command, three cavaliers appeared. They are simple to deal with if you know what you are doing, ie, make a chokepoint with the combination of Lott, Ward or Bors, but they can easily do some serious damage if you are not prepared.
It is for that same reason that Cavaliers are not good in indoors maps, limited maneuverability and all that.
(Elsewhere, Lance finally reaches the village with little trouble)

I have heard enough. GTFO b-
MAGIC!? You are in sir! This should make up for Lillina.....
So yes, Lugh joins as our first mage. Now let me explain magic. Magic’s attack power is deducted by the Resistance stat, or Magic Defense. Most physical classes have very poor res, so Mages can tear classes like Knights and Bandits to pieces.
Magic, like weapons has a counter triangle. I will bring up the other magic types when they become relevant, but for now, we have Anima magic. It’s all based on the elements; Fire, Thunder, Wind, ect. Other Fire Emblem games had a weapon triangle within Anima magic itself, but thats another story. Despite being the most common magic, Anima is more like Lances than Swords, with the middle ground of might and hit. But let me tell you, Anima is over powered in this game compared to the others. Why is that so?
See, magic comes from spell books. And you wouldn’t think that a spell book would be heavy at all compared to, say a Battleaxe or a Lance right? Well, in this game, you would be right! Spell books have very little weight in this game. Not so in the other games. The problem with weight is that since mages are scrawny little twigs, they have very little con. You can see that Lugh has 4 con. A fire book (the most basic) is 2 weight. Simple. However, the weight in the other games is about 4. Which some mages can’t even handle, which, in turn, saps them of much needed speed.
What does that mean for Lugh himself. Well, he is simply a good Mage. His growths are good, he has the right growths, and he will be an important part of your army for this part of the game, and if you like him, beyond.
Back to the fight. The Cavalry charge stopped in front of the blockade, so Bors and Roy will advance to meet them. This poor sod has a sword, so not only is he useless when pitted against Bors....
......Roy can attack him with little fear of RNG dickery.
One thing about making a chokepoint is the threat of Javelins. This is only if you put weaker characters right behind the guarding units of course.
And we now see reinforcements arrive. Now in most of the other recent Fire Emblem games, reinforcements arrive at the end of the turn. However, they arrive at the beginning of the turn in this game. And they can move right after deployment. Naturally, the game will do everything in it’s power to make this into as many dick moves it can. Starting from next chapter. Just wait and see.
I think this image perfectly sums up my feelings towards Marcus, as well as his general tactics.
My units converge on the throne room entry, as the remainder of the guard does their best to defuse the threat. Guess how well it goes.
Although, to their credit, they managed to pick their targets well. What? Oh yes. See, in the 2D Fire Emblem games, ranged attacks have the bizarre ability to phase through walls, with no hinderance to accuracy whatsoever. Now I can vaguely understand magic, accuracy issue not withstanding, but Arrows, Hand Axes, and Javelins are pushing it just a bit.
Our turn begins. It is at this point that the Bern forces realize the problem with their positions.
Not for long, mind you.
Amidst the hilarious failure of tactics, Wolt finally gains a Strength growth.
Now I actually want Chad to gain levels in this playthrough, so after he runs down this poor sap....
I use my units to trap his hapless comrade behind my forces. This is one of the best tactics for giving weak units easy EXP.
Oh, and I think it was at this point that Chad performed a critical. Unfortunately, I failed to get it in a picture.
And Chad reaps the rewards.
So with his entire army annihilated, it’s up to Slater to save Castle Araphen and regain Bern’s honor.
Unfortunately for him, these are his stats.
But we should not be focusing all our forces to curbstomp Slater, lets loot this place!
Oh and dispose of his last guard..
Okay, I seriously don’t remember Roy being able to get this good growths at all. Are you setting me up to smash my hope to the ground later RNG?
Alright, lets get rid of Slater. I am going to trade blows with him first.
Bern’s mighty army, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Now, I could use Ward’s shiny Hammer to quickly get rid of him. If the hit was not 28%. That is a problem.
Besides, we want to milk this sod for EXP. Roll call!
Now let’s finish it with Roy!
So Roy has 64% hit and Slater can kill him in one shot. Lets go!
:O (He missed)
Wow. Narshen’s wrath goes beyond the grave.
*Guitar Riff*
(That will make no sense to people who have not seen No More Heroes 2)

Oh. Forgot about the whole looting thing.
Oh sure, there’s a Knight guarding the treasure room, but we have Dieck.
Our loot is...
A Halberd. An anti Cavalry weapon. And....
Could not resist another Kodiac moment.
Now that we made it to the throne, we can save Hector now!!
(Apparently, the down time devoured all the images of this scene somehow. Bear with me)
*Inside castle*
"Master Roy! We have found Lord Hector in the dungeon level!"
"Really!? Is it all right?"
"He's severely wounded..."
*Hector appears*
"Lord Hector! What an awful wound...! We must treat it! Here, lean on my
This.....Was....The same thing Hector said to *BLAZINGBLADESPOILER* before he.....Died.....That is....Just....A coincidence.....
"It's all right...I won't last much longer..."
No. Shut up. You will live. Stop lying. Why do you have to be a lier?
"Lord Hector..."
Metal Gear?!


"Yes...the Dragons that we humans fought in the past..."
And we spent the prequel trying to stop. Great. It’s Modern Warfare 2 all over again.
"The Scouring? I have heard of it. A long time ago, two races that each had
half of Elibe, the humans and the Dragons, fought over total control of the
"Right...the "Eight Heroes"...defeated the Dragons and led us
"How did Bern use the Dragons...?"
"I...have no idea...but...the Dragons had control of what is now Bern in the
past...and Hartmut, one of the "Eight Heroes" the founder of Bern...
perhaps...the reason...lies there...cough cough..."
Exposition. People don’t die when they give exposition right?
"Lord Hector!"
...instead of me..."
"Me...? But..."
"Don't Ostia...are weapons that....are effective against Dragons..."
"I have already told this to Lilina...please take care of her too...she...may
seem strong...but she is still a child...please...give her support..."
"...Yes, I will."
*Hector dies*
I see.
I will be crying myself to sleep thanks.
Mission Complete. :(
Tune in Next time for Episode 4.

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