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Regulus

Sir Knightbot
Since the "Choose Your Legends" characters usually get alternate outfits based on the lore of the character... I really wonder what they're going to do with this one. It's very exciting.
 

spines

cyber true color
(she/her, or something)
i wanted to move characters around on a grid, so i finally booted up FE1 on switch a few weeks ago. have taken a couple little breaks because i keep wondering if i messed something up (thought i'd undid my chapter 8 completion with the savestates, though the "canon" save reverted after i restarted the program...also previously realized once i got to chapter 4 that i'd missed a couple chapters of village visits and probably a character or two as a result, but oh well), and also to play some mystery dungeon style roguelikes for a different kind of moving characters on a grid. but anyway, i'm making some decent progress in this game, and honestly like it a lot despite some of the obvious prototypical jank with the interfaces. wasn't sure if it was going to be one of those things where i play a bit to see what it's like, but given the way it's been going i think i'll likely see it through, with the fast forward a lot to thank for that, lol. there's something a little charming almost about having to do all item manipulation in the battlefield; not being able to see even your own characters' movement ranges is a bit more obviously rough, though at least the rewinds can sand off some of the rough edges of that shortcoming by letting you try again with better knowledge.

overall i think the presentation is pretty fun and appealing for an NES game, with the simplistic battle animations still really standing out, and the little anime portraits for characters amusingly reminds me a lot of...well, sega series like phantasy star and shining force. at least that's my frame of reference for presentation like that in that late 8-bit/early 16-bit timeframe, maybe it comes up in old falcom stuff or something i'm not as familiar with. and the core battle mechanics of the series are clearly very much here, with so much of the same appeal of knowing you made a really good choice, or just getting that sweet levelup rng. even without some of the stuff like the weapon triangle that was a huge factor in the series design for so long it feels surprisingly similar overall, and personally not having that mechanic feels great to me both here and in 3h...

which i've also picked back up after playing through the first eight chapters or so several months ago (my younger siblings gave me a copy at christmas). up to chapter 15 (golden deer) now, and it's pretty fun even if i maybe should've picked hard instead of normal considering the rewind mechanic also present in this one. the home base stuff is at once a nice respite from the relentless fighting that's so often characterized the series (and genre as a whole)-and obviously particularly the early games with little or nothing to do between battles whatsoever-and at the same time a bit exhausting at times in its own right, due to the way that a relatively modest number of quantifiable upgrades are spread out over so many events. there are still fun connections between those elements and the battles, particularly the "motivation" mechanic and its interaction with the battle MVP assessment, or the cooking system (which seems quite strong even with the basic stuff i have, and there are many ingredients i still haven't found at all).

it's a pretty good game with some fun oddities. i like the sort of mime fighting in the background of all the unit battles. i might play it a second time after i finish, but after that i'll definitely need a break. or i'll check out one of the other older games i have access to i haven't played...
 

spines

cyber true color
(she/her, or something)
finished fe1. turn rewinded sometimes, but unsurprisingly it often doesn't help that much in the first place if the strategy you tried just wasn't that good. the midgame opens to some alternately funny and annoying gimmick maps, like "a bunch of ballistas" (which in this game are basically heavy knight archers, albeit without direct counter-weapons) and "mages in the desert", and then the multi-chapter quest to get the falchion. late on i'd saved enough warp staves to teleport cheese several of the final-arc maps, although the deployment mechanics (easily my single biggest complaint about the game, especially on the final map) made the last one very annoying. in the end i just had marth and caeda kill everyone in that room while nobody else accomplished much of anything, and i couldn't keep everyone alive at all; it seems like one of those things you kind of have to metagame out to pull off, lol

overall i still liked it, but the charm slowly wears off and the slowness and jank really combines in nasty ways at a certain point. the difficulty of item management + the huge waves of reinforcements + how long player and enemy turns take really combines for some brutal moments where it's like "i can't keep fighting this out because i'm running out of weapons and i don't really want to restart to have a better chance of getting this outcome i was hoping for". it's rough, and seeing a wikipedia article mention that shining force's director reportedly hated the game and its pacing is incredibly understandable, hahaha. even a third of the way into the game the hour+ long chapters start showing up with endless waves of guys, if you play "normally"/safely.

i really wonder how much they expected people to grind. i pretty much maxed out marth between consumables and his natural level ups, although he still barely did any damage to the big dragon right before the last boss. caeda was even more a focus for me to try and max out, and aside from being one of my best characters in general and the one i was happiest to feed experience too, also did twice as much to that enemy with camus' spear (his image on the wiki looks like a gundam character also, which i assume is intentional for some reason), but only got a crit on the last hit that would've already killed :/

as much as it's a rough game, i was pretty happy playing it. though if i ever touch it again, and i probably will...it'll definitely be the ds remake. lol
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
The new protag of the next book of the Fire Emblem gacha being a big tiddy golden calf waifu is a bit on the nose isn't it, Nintendo?
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I've been LTTP playing Three Houses for about a week or so and having a great time. I've got about 30 hours on my file and I just finished Chapter... 6 I think? The one with the return of the Death Knight guy. I picked Black Eagles for my house because Edelgard is cool af. I hope after I finish this playthrough I'm not too burnt out on this, because I would really like to follow another House through this story.

One aspect of the game that's a huge standout to me is the seamless transition and presentation between the map view and a battle; it's not just that it loads so quickly between them, but also the way the camera changes and all the battle animations themselves are great to look at. Usually I reach a point in FE games where I completely turn off animations, but I don't see myself doing that here (I say at 30 hours of probably a 100+ hour endeavor).
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
I have finished Crimson Flower. Clocked in around 110 hours.

Really want to see how Edelgard is portrayed in the other routes, because here Rhea was irredemably morally reprehensible, and I can't imagine that same characterization happens on her own route? So then, what does Edelgard do against the others that likely paints her as irredemably evil?

Also I wish they made it more convenient to pick your S rank support at the end. I might have to look up a video of all the possibilities because they put the choice in front of 2 terribly long battles so even though I have a save there... I'm never going to go back and replay those fights. But I am very curious what happens if you pick Linhardt or Jeritza as Guyleth. I went with Edelgard because... if I'm gonna play as Guyleth then why wouldn't I?

I think I will do the Cindered Shadows DLC story, but I dunno if I will play through another route right away after that.
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
I have a difficult time reconciling Rhea on the other routes with her behavior on Crimson Flower, but I think it can be done. What it comes down to is that only Silver Snow and Verdant Wind show the context of her backstory, including most importantly the trauma of being the sole survivor of the genocide of the Nabateans by the Agarthans, who killed them for their crests and turned their remains into weapons to kill their god, whereas in Crimson Flower you just see how she responds when her worst nightmare repeats itself when her only hope for rebuilding betrays her to join up with her oppressors.

Edelgard on the other routes is more tragic than monstrous. Without Byleth's aid, she instead teams up with Those Who Slither In The Dark, accepting their aid, using their demonic beasts, and despite her narrative prominence ultimately advancing their agenda instead of her own, effectively the chief minion of the true villain, Thales. Those routes also make it clear that she doesn't have the full and accurate story of the history of Fodlan, which in turn means that on Crimson Flower, you don't get the full and accurate story.
 
Memories of Fates from the Nintendo thread having me thinking about how great the last scenario of the Fates DLC is...

 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
New Three Hopes trailer. The game's fun twist is that it's leaning into the "Byleth spent most of their life as an emotionally empty killer called the Ashen Demon" aspect of Three Houses by flipping the story around and putting you in the shoes of one of the mercenaries the Flame Emperor hired to kill the house leaders in the beginning who is nearly killed by Byleth some rando mercenary that crossed paths with Byleth a year before Three Houses started and then dedicated their life to training so they could one day eventually defeat Byleth and somehow ends up on the side of the house leaders. You can choose the MC's gender and name, the girl design looks like Marisa from whichever GBA game she was in. New MC also has a mysterious entity living in their head so.

Hubert, Dedue, Hilda, Flayn, Mercedes, Lorenz, and Monica confirmed, there's some other assorted new characters that show up, one of them appears to be Hilda's brother, I guess, because who else would have bright pink hair?

There's a base camp and Three Houses style class change, which might help alleviate some of the clone issues from the original Warriors.
 
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Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Well that is more interesting than the fan fic unity path the original trailer kind of implied. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to finishing the last two Nintendo Warriors games, so I'll probably skip this one.

Also, so Fodlan has like 7 branching timelines now?
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
Shez' character design fits with the setting a lot better than Byleth's. I guess looking like an outsider is kind of the point with Byleth, but I'm prepared to like the new main character better.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Engine
(He/Him)
Well that is more interesting than the fan fic unity path the original trailer kind of implied. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to finishing the last two Nintendo Warriors games, so I'll probably skip this one.

Also, so Fodlan has like 7 branching timelines now?

They’ll get it right eventually.
 

Juno

The DRKest Roe
(He, Him)
The theory I'm currently going on is that (Three Houses spoilers) this Byleth is one who lived through all the other routes and couldn't find a way where everyone lived and decided that the only way to unite the 3 nations was to give them a common enemy, themselves.
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
Corrected my post about Shez being one of the mercs the Flame Emperor hired, it turns out Shez's encounter with the Ashen Demon was one year before the inciting incident of Houses, and they spend a year training to become strong enough to defeat Byleth, and then somehow meet the Young Royals, and then joins the academy as a student.

Shez also has a creepy kid living in their head rent free, some folks pointed out that Bernadetta's 3DS-style sprite is on one of the maps, Hilda's brother is fighting a light blue haired brawler which folks figure must be Caspar's dad, and eagle-eyed watchers seem to think they've spotted glimpses of Ferdinand and Rodrigue.
 
With some time passed, seems like there's a general sense that in Three Houses min/maxing

- The master classes are not necessarily better than the expert classes. Similar stat gains while having difficult requirements to meet / requires more diffuse allocation of skills.
- The armored classes are ACTUALLY BAD because they lose so much speed. Can't get 2X hits and more likely to get 2X hits on yourself, among the other downsides of armored classes (low movement, vulnerable to magic).

Strikes me as counterintuitive, but I understand the arguments. The second one leaves me a little baffled about how to play the game because my strategy in Fire Emblem has always been the classic "put your tank just within range of the enemies to bait them closer, tank a hit or two, then rush 'em with all your units."

Any opinions?
 

Bongo

excused from moderation duty
(he/him)
Staff member
The Advanced classes Wyvern Rider, Warrior (male), Grappler (male), Warlock (female), Bishop (female), as well as the Intermediate class Pegasus Knight, all have strict upgrades in Master tier in the form of Wyvern Lord, War Master, Gremory, and Falcon Knight.

The Advanced classes Sniper, Warlock (male), Bishop (male), and Fortress Knight have situational utility that can make them a better pick than the Master tier classes Bow Knight, Dark Knight, Holy Knight, and Great Knight.

The Advanced classes Swordmaster, Paladin, Assassin, and Dark Bishop all have a unique niche that nothing in Master tier can compete directly with. Mortal Savant is a sidegrade and there's not really much reason to use Hero at all. DLC classes also tend to have unique niches.

Speed is usually a better stat than Defense. However, heavy investment in armor can pay off, especially on Maddening difficulty where you'll simply never have as much Speed as you want. Leveling up Heavy Armor a lot means you can basically just ignore Weight as a mechanic and go ham with shields and powerful combat arts. You can stack your Defense stat extremely high through various means, and abilities like Pavise and Aegis are along the way to Great Knight (which also counteracts the movement penalty). Characters with a strength in Armor also often have a strength in Gauntlets, allowing them to have more of a player phase offensive presence, as well as dip into War Master to pick up Quick Riposte.
 
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Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
The first is generally accepted wisdom. While some of the Master Classes are obvious promotion paths from lower classes, most of the magic-using ones trade the double spell charges of the advanced set for a horse, and that's not.... an ideal trade, for most casters. Holy Knight in particular feels like a trap set for Marianne, but on the other hand Lysthia needs Gremory because nothing else works for her Dark magic set.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
The weird placement of some of the classes in Advanced/Master tiers is likely a result of the class tiers being shuffled around in development. There's a dummied "combined seal" item that suggests that the 'hybrid' classes used to be in their own special tier. I suspect that swordmaster, fortress knight, paladin, and the like were the original "capstone" classes, with mortal savant and dark knight and the like acting as sidegrades.
 
The weird placement of some of the classes in Advanced/Master tiers is likely a result of the class tiers being shuffled around in development. There's a dummied "combined seal" item that suggests that the 'hybrid' classes used to be in their own special tier. I suspect that swordmaster, fortress knight, paladin, and the like were the original "capstone" classes, with mortal savant and dark knight and the like acting as sidegrades.
That makes a lot of sense.

Overall, I find the classes a little stressful and strict. There's always at least one unit that I don't do a good job of planning for and mess up their advancement. For example, in my current playthrough, Ingrid went Pegasus Knight with flying and lance, but then in advanced classes, the only flying unit requires axe. Why are there flying + lance units in Intermediate and Master, but not Advanced?
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
That's probably again a result of them shuffling things around mid development. Pegasus Knight is stored in the same place as other advanced classes internally, for example.

You didn't really screw up Ingrid; she can stay a Pegasus Knight until she's ready to move to Falcon Knight. You could also cross train her in Riding or Axes and detour into Paladin or Wyvern Rider until Falcon Knight is available. The minimum strength for the latter might help shore up her iffy strength, too, depending on how she's been growing for you.
 
That's probably again a result of them shuffling things around mid development. Pegasus Knight is stored in the same place as other advanced classes internally, for example.

You didn't really screw up Ingrid; she can stay a Pegasus Knight until she's ready to move to Falcon Knight. You could also cross train her in Riding or Axes and detour into Paladin or Wyvern Rider until Falcon Knight is available. The minimum strength for the latter might help shore up her iffy strength, too, depending on how she's been growing for you.
You're right. And the game gives you enough units to compensate, and isn't that hard (at least on Hard mode). Still, I find the requirements a little difficult to manage.

Would be great to have a management menu that allows you to plan the progression and keep tabs on the requirements. Currently, requires flipping back and forth between different menus to see class requirements, goals, and current stats.
 
I'm determined to complete a Black Eagles route. Previously was kind of burned out on the Three Houses, but playing and clearing Triangle Strategy gave me the itch for more tactics.

Trying to go as minimal as possible in the monastery, as that's my biggest block in returning to the game. Been warping around, training Byleth, harvesting my flowers, hosting meals for everyone to raise their motivation, and trying to keep it brief as possible. Spending your renown from NG on Professor Level and supports helps, but largely, the game does not really accommodate this.

Just when you're trying to speed through the monastery, the game gives you annoying quests that require picking up and trading objects across multiple distant locations.
 

Regulus

Sir Knightbot
The gameplay loop with the monastery coupled with the fact that the first half of the game is functionally identical between houses does make the game a real slog to replay compared to other FE games. I'm hoping future games do not revisit this gameplay style. It was fun the first playthrough but it started wearing out its welcome even before the end of my first route.
 
The gameplay loop with the monastery coupled with the fact that the first half of the game is functionally identical between houses does make the game a real slog to replay compared to other FE games. I'm hoping future games do not revisit this gameplay style. It was fun the first playthrough but it started wearing out its welcome even before the end of my first route.
Completely agree. Like I said before, new game plus helps speed subsequent play through a little bit because you can purchase support levels. I haven’t been skipping the quests, but now that I think about it, maybe I can skip those too! I don’t think I need any renown anymore.

The story is all the same though still, and monastery is still a slog even with these tactics. And it doesn’t feel “good” necessarily to speed through it and ignore all the talking.
 
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