Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

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KnightExemplar
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Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:10 pm UTC

The matchmaking / support options in Fire Emblem were always sort of this cute little mechanic where your soldiers get little stat bonuses when fighting next to each other... with cute little epilogues that may or may not imply the marriage of various characters. But since Fire Emblem Awakening, Nintendo really is kicking it up a notch. In that game, the kids (that your couples that you've organized across your party) go back in time and join your party in Awakening. So you get the full family of soldiers based on your matchmaking skills.

Fire Emblem: Fates seems to continue on the matchmaker game. But really, the "Waifu" factor has shot up to eleven. The Jegan-character is either a Maid or a Butler (literally) who follows your character around now. If you select a female avatar, you get Jakob, a butler (yes, Butler class. Knives and Staves). If you select a male avatar, you get a Maid named Felicia (Maid class: Knives and Staves). Both the Butler and the Maid have the ability to grant +2 damage dealt and -2 damage taken when paired with the Avatar, so Nintendo is definitely saying "Pair these two up".

With that said, your Maid / Butler performs important duties. They are the access point to the castle-building screen, which allows you to place buildings like the Armory, Magic Shop, or bath house (really Nintendo??) on your property. This is the first time a castle-building experience has been brought to the Fire Emblem series, and I'm cautiously optimistic about it. Apparently other players can SpotPass into your castle and visit you, although I haven't played with this feature yet.

Anyway, with your named characters getting together to make children who's skills / stat points are hybrid between the characters... it truly is fun growing your army out of... well... other characters. But it does seem to break my immersion on what is fundamentally a war simulator game about a massive, deadly war going on between two kingdoms. I mean, I compare this game on a tactical level to XCom, and your XCom soldiers aren't running around romantically with each other. But at the end of the day... the mechanic is actually quite fun to play with, so I think I can put up with it.

Apparently, I made the wrong choice of game as well. Fire Emblem: Conquest (the "sister" game) is the meat-grinder dark / evil path with apparently significantly harder difficulty. I'm having an okay time with Birthright so far, but I do enjoy a challenge. So knowing that I got the "easier" game is somewhat of a downer. In any case, I'm probably going to get Conquest at some later time. I do like the concept that your army in "Birthright" becomes the boss fights of "Conquest" (and vice versa), which ought to solidify the storyline / character development for me.

With that said, I'm only on chapter 8, but my gosh, the Storyline of Birthright is so hammy that I'm having a tough time taking it seriously. Fire Emblem has never been too strong with its storylines (they are all honestly damn near identical: Conquering nation pisses off a young Lord and game start! Win the war, find your family, etc. etc.)... but the good vs evil plays with King and whatever. I hear that Conquest does the evil path more deliciously, so again, maybe I just chose the wrong game for myself. We'll see when I get around to playing Conquest.

Anyone else playing?
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:22 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Apparently, I made the wrong choice of game as well. Fire Emblem: Conquest (the "sister" game) is the meat-grinder dark / evil path with apparently significantly harder difficulty. I'm having an okay time with Birthright so far, but I do enjoy a challenge. So knowing that I got the "easier" game is somewhat of a downer. In any case, I'm probably going to get Conquest at some later time. I do like the concept that your army in "Birthright" becomes the boss fights of "Conquest" (and vice versa), which ought to solidify the storyline / character development for me.

As I understand it, whichever path you don't take is available as DLC (not free, but substantially cheaper than a physical copy of the other version), and having them both on the same cartridge unlocks (or will eventually unlock, once they bring it to NA) a third path. So, not something to kick yourself too hard about.

Am playing, though I wound up getting frustrated and restarting with the difficulty set back down to Normal (after my initial Hard run) after mission 5.
[spoiler]I felt a bit frustrated about it, because it felt like that was about the first 'real' level, but given that I'd been funneling my Avatar all the XP from previous stages...they were the only one who could kill anything (everyone else would just die in one hit without doing much more than annoying the enemies), and I can only take out so many enemies a turn. The dancer Songstress helps with the extra-turns dilemma, but they wound up necessarily being placed in the danger zone, especially if I was trying to save Kyoma or whatever his name is. And since I'd made my Avatar with -resistance, they just kinda got gradually picked apart by the mages and I ran out of steam with one or two enemy units left, without feeling like I made any blatant/major mistakes. Have theories for how I could have done it better - having the useless attackers try to kite half the mages around, playing defensive and not trying to save Kyoma to not get exposed as much, and so on - but, well, though it shames me to admit it I don't really tend to play Fire Emblem games for the challenge...though Normal might be a bit *too* easy, given that I wasn't even taking damage from anything.[/s]

I understand why they did it, and it's nice and thematic, but the name changes on the classes sort of frustrate me from time to time - especially at character creation, when I was deciding what option to give my Avatar. "Oh, Ninja, that sounds like it could be potentially fun for a speed-focused build - ...oh, it's just Thief, never mind." That, several other class name changes, the renaming of the weapon types, etc. annoy me despite being reasonable, because I have to re-learn all the new names for all the concepts I already know. And I just *know* at some point I'm going to get bit by one of them being an imperfect mapping. :P

The changes to the Pair-Up system are going to take a little getting used to. It definitely doesn't seem as straightforward a choice as in Awakening, where I tended to have my beefy units with a powerfully-buffing friend riding on their shoulders the entire game - there's a tactical reason to not have them hugging now besides just the extra actions per turn.

As far as the plot, yeah, I'm only on level 5-6 but it seems like standard Fire Emblem fare thus far, with a side of "well this seems needlessly confusing". Kind of an odd mix of "but who's truly in the right?" and "oh come on this is so obviously evil are we the first ones to notice this or what". I will say, though, that I kind of dislike the new trend in Awakening/Fates of having the Avatar as a major player in the story, and in particular having all their own voice lines, actions, etc. that you have no control over - it feels like the point of what is explicitly a player-avatar character is to be able to project yourself onto them, so it feels jarring when they act in a way that you wouldn't (or are being needlessly obtuse). There's a reason silent protagonists are so common... (Oh, and the "amnesia as a plot device/way to have the character learning right along with you" thing was a cliche long before Awakening, I'm kinda disappointed to see them doing the same thing again.)
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:08 am UTC

Actually, I played that level several times. That's so far one of the hardest levels of the game (at least in Birthright), and honestly was an exercise in learning the new pair system. You've got to alternate between "defensive Pair up" and "offensive side-by-side" (which cannot be executed by paired units). The only way a unit can survive more than one turn that level is if they are paired up, which prevents the "double attack" from the typical foe.

As far as the plot, yeah, I'm only on level 5-6 but it seems like standard Fire Emblem fare thus far, with a side of "well this seems needlessly confusing". Kind of an odd mix of "but who's truly in the right?" and "oh come on this is so obviously evil are we the first ones to notice this or what". I will say, though, that I kind of dislike the new trend in Awakening/Fates of having the Avatar as a major player in the story, and in particular having all their own voice lines, actions, etc. that you have no control over - it feels like the point of what is explicitly a player-avatar character is to be able to project yourself onto them, so it feels jarring when they act in a way that you wouldn't (or are being needlessly obtuse). There's a reason silent protagonists are so common... (Oh, and the "amnesia as a plot device/way to have the character learning right along with you" thing was a cliche long before Awakening, I'm kinda disappointed to see them doing the same thing again.)


Well Fire Emblem is a game of traditions. You've got the Red Cavalier (Cain), the Green Cavalier (Abel), the Lord (Marth), the Jagen (Jagen), the Pegasus Knight (Shiva). And so on, and so on.

The Avatar losing their memory starts at least as early as Mark the Tactician (Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. First game released in America), and may have existed from earlier games.

With that said, Mark the Tactician (the Avatar of FE: Blazing Sword) is much better. Mark is a silent protagonist, and makes no mess of the storyline. So Mark exists purely in my imagination and is kinda perfect. Robin was a bit imperfect, but he didn't have such a central role to the story as Chrom / Lucina (at least initially). So Robin played a better role as Avatar.

Corrin on the other hand is a obtuse ham. I'm having difficulty "getting into character", and having my mind map him as truly my Avatar. He makes all the decisions, and he's simultaneously the Dragon, the Lord, the Tactician, AND the Avatar... he (or she) is kinda getting out of hand. I mean, did the Tumblr community design Corrin or something?

Contrast to say... Radiance Dawn: The Dragon was Kurthnaga, the Lord was Ike, the Tactician was Soren, the Avatar was Micaiah (arguably. At least, she was the Mary Sue and felt quite Avatar-ish to me).

I understand why they did it, and it's nice and thematic, but the name changes on the classes sort of frustrate me from time to time - especially at character creation, when I was deciding what option to give my Avatar. "Oh, Ninja, that sounds like it could be potentially fun for a speed-focused build - ...oh, it's just Thief, never mind." That, several other class name changes, the renaming of the weapon types, etc. annoy me despite being reasonable, because I have to re-learn all the new names for all the concepts I already know. And I just *know* at some point I'm going to get bit by one of them being an imperfect mapping. :P


Note that the Kingdom of Nohr uses mostly the old classes and old weapons. Its only really the Kingdom of Hoshido that uses the new weapon / class system.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:28 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:26 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Actually, I played that level several times. That's so far one of the hardest levels of the game (at least in Birthright), and honestly was an exercise in learning the new pair system. You've got to alternate between "defensive Pair up" and "offensive side-by-side" (which cannot be executed by paired units). The only way a unit can survive more than one turn that level is if they are paired up, which prevents the "double attack" from the typical foe.

Yeah, which is fair enough - I had my units defensive-paired pretty much the whole time, and they just kinda got cut down anyway because they couldn't do appreciable damage before the single attacker got the best of them. And de-stacking them feels ugh, because it uses both of their turns, so you can't really swap between the two formations except when you have a lot of breathing room before entering the combat zone - and when you do, you can't really get an offensive-pairup attack off because you'll need them in defense mode to survive the incoming alphastrike...I might be missing something (highly probable, given that it's a relatively new mechanic / iteration of the mechanic), but it felt frustrating to actually make much use of with that few units.

KnightExemplar wrote:Well Fire Emblem is a game of traditions. You've got the Red Cavalier (Cain), the Green Cavalier (Abel), the Lord (Marth), the Jagen (Jagen), the Pegasus Knight (Shiva). And so on, and so on.

The Avatar losing their memory starts at least as early as Mark the Tactician (Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. First game released in America), and may have existed from earlier games.

With that said, Mark the Tactician (the Avatar of FE: Blazing Sword) is much better. Mark is a silent protagonist, and makes no mess of the storyline. So Mark exists purely in my imagination and is kinda perfect.

Corrin on the other hand is a obtuse ham. I'm having difficulty "selecting" him as my Avatar.

Yeah, I have no problem with "okay, this is the Jeigan character, here's the cavalier pair, etc." with the archetypes, or with the plotlines in general being pretty much the same in broad strokes. I'd actually forgotten about the Blazing Sword tactician (I seem to remember them having been thrown in to appeal to Western audiences, though that might be apocryphal/me misremembering), but that's pretty much where I was coming from - I like how they did the Blazing Sword tactician/avatar, I don't really like how they did the Awakening/Fates tactician/avatar.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:32 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Actually, I played that level several times. That's so far one of the hardest levels of the game (at least in Birthright), and honestly was an exercise in learning the new pair system. You've got to alternate between "defensive Pair up" and "offensive side-by-side" (which cannot be executed by paired units). The only way a unit can survive more than one turn that level is if they are paired up, which prevents the "double attack" from the typical foe.

Yeah, which is fair enough - I had my units defensive-paired pretty much the whole time, and they just kinda got cut down anyway because they couldn't do appreciable damage before the single attacker got the best of them. And de-stacking them feels ugh, because it uses both of their turns, so you can't really swap between the two formations except when you have a lot of breathing room before entering the combat zone - and when you do, you can't really get an offensive-pairup attack off because you'll need them in defense mode to survive the incoming alphastrike...I might be missing something (highly probable, given that it's a relatively new mechanic / iteration of the mechanic), but it felt frustrating to actually make much use of with that few units.


The key is keeping some units stacked for defensive purposes, and then having other units unstacked for offense.

Low-defense characters like Azura (Songstress), Kaze (Ninja) are much better suited for offense. The Maid / Butler should be typically stacked with the Avatar, but on Chapter 5, I her play as an offensive role, throwing daggers from the backline, while offensively-paired with a defensive stack. Once you get used to the formations, the game becomes much more manageable.

Again, the most important realization is that a single-unit can offensively-pair with a double-stack. Backliners therefore should almost always be unstacked, so that they get the extra attack from the stacked defensive units in front of them.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby DaBigCheez » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:12 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Again, the most important realization is that a single-unit can offensively-pair with a double-stack. Backliners therefore should almost always be unstacked, so that they get the extra attack from the stacked defensive units in front of them.

...wait, they can? I could have sworn I explicitly tried that and it didn't work...hmm. Might load up that save sometime and see if I have any better luck trying it that way.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:48 pm UTC

The key is that the single-unit needs to attack (or BE attacked). The main issue I've come across is that single-units start to OHKO a whole slew of enemies, and then die because they get hit by like 8 guys in one turn. "Defensive" pair up lowers offense (since your nearby units aren't participating in the attack). The auto-shield every 5is strikes is absolutely key for taking advantage of "defensive" pair ups.

Also the Avatar in "Feral Dragon" mode can't pair with anybody.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:17 am UTC

You can only once go backwards in level with a Master Seal (ie: reaching Tier 2). Otherwise, you can never go backwards in levels. I got used to Awakening, and forgot the norm in this game.

"Heart Seals" retain the current level, as do "Partner" and "Friend" seals. Maximizing most characters skills will probably only require Heart Seals switching around Tier 2 classes, but I can imagine some cases (ie: my Kana has Villager skill as a Heart Seal class, which of course contains the excellent "Aptitude" skill granting +10% growths), where I'd want to use Heart Seals in Tier 1.

The main skills from Tier 1 are: Aptitude (Villager), Seal Defense (Spear Master), Seal Resistance (Oni Savage), Duelist Blow (+30% avoid on fights on your turn), "Vantage" (strike first on opponent's turns when half health or lower). If you don't "Heart Seal" or "Partner Seal" before level 18 Tier 1, you'll never have a chance to get these skills.

Gathering Tier 2 skills is easier due to the existence of "Eternal Seal", which allow +5 levels.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby Lucrece » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:24 am UTC

I need to find out which pokemon version of this game has the gay guy romance option since apparently the other game has the lesbian one, as if we're exclusive legendary types ;)
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:54 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:I need to find out which pokemon version of this game has the gay guy romance option since apparently the other game has the lesbian one, as if we're exclusive legendary types ;)


Spoiler:
I wonder if Kana (Avatar's son / daughter) inherits traits from both Fathers in that case....


Lol, I didn't know the characters were locked to one side or the other. But I guess that sorta makes sense... 3rd path probably allows you to get both. IIRC, only the Avatar can marry them in any case.

EDIT: Did a bit of research, seems to be:

Spoiler:
Niles (Male) from Conquest / Kingdom of Nohr and Syalla (Female) from Birthright / Kingdom of Hoshido


I remember that there was some controversy over the support conversations. Something about "censorship" vs homophobic original text going on. So your standard gamer drama about originalists vs translation efforts that try to be less insulting to western audiences, except the whole homosexuality thing is going on which made the internet drama about it that much more salty.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby Lucrece » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:38 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Lucrece wrote:I need to find out which pokemon version of this game has the gay guy romance option since apparently the other game has the lesbian one, as if we're exclusive legendary types ;)


Spoiler:
I wonder if Kana (Avatar's son / daughter) inherits traits from both Fathers in that case....


Lol, I didn't know the characters were locked to one side or the other. But I guess that sorta makes sense... 3rd path probably allows you to get both. IIRC, only the Avatar can marry them in any case.

EDIT: Did a bit of research, seems to be:

Spoiler:
Niles (Male) from Conquest / Kingdom of Nohr and Syalla (Female) from Birthright / Kingdom of Hoshido


I remember that there was some controversy over the support conversations. Something about "censorship" vs homophobic original text going on. So your standard gamer drama about originalists vs translation efforts that try to be less insulting to western audiences, except the whole homosexuality thing is going on which made the internet drama about it that much more salty.


Well, at least we know we got the shiny trait ;)!

Anyways, it's Japan, not exactly the most enlightened place on gay representation, but the fact that they're even willing to include a same sex option is a massive leap given the Japanese penchant for avoiding controversy at all costs.

If something offends me deeply in this game, it's the awful haistyles for the male character. I can live without six packs and an athletic build, but I cannot endure bad hair. The female avatar at least gets cute customization options.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:21 pm UTC

100% agreed on the horrendous hair for male Corrin. I picked the "Elf" hair eventually but was very tempted to just choose female Corrin cause she really is much better designed.

http://serenesforest.net/app/kamui/
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I can live without six packs and an athletic build


Lol Rinkah. That's all I have to say. Tanks all the hits with her 6-pack abs.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:28 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:"Heart Seals" retain the current level, as do "Partner" and "Friend" seals. Maximizing most characters skills will probably only require Heart Seals switching around Tier 2 classes, but I can imagine some cases (ie: my Kana has Villager skill as a Heart Seal class, which of course contains the excellent "Aptitude" skill granting +10% growths), where I'd want to use Heart Seals in Tier 1.


Allegedly, I'm wrong on this. They say that you get "Tier 1" skills while in Tier 2 now. So you only need to use Heart Seals in Tier 2 to get the important Tier 1 stuff.
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Re: Fire Emblem: Fates. Now with more waifus

Postby Deva » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:44 am UTC

Completed Birthright and Conquest. Plans to play Revelations eventually. Recorded battles and victories.
Spoiler:
Notes:
- Ignored downloadable content. Included just items too.
- Played Hard mode on both.
- Skipped both final invasions.
- Acquired Mozu and eight children in both.
- Removed Challenge maps and Scouting in Conquest. Accounts for the gap in battles/victories.
- Lost Kaze in Birthright due to insufficient friendship.
- Did not record some Birthright characters. Rarely saw action. Guesses little more than thirty battles and ten victories between them.
- Sorted by victories.

Code: Select all

     Birthright Char Battles Victories   Conquest Char Battles Victories
1st           Hinoka     474       191          Corrin     325       141
2nd            Silas     376       188            Mozu     178       122
3rd          Setsuna     205       164           Effie     311       114
4th           Corrin     278       163          Beruka     200        89
5th           Rinkah     359       150          Sophie     134        70
6th           Subaki     197        96            Kana     232        65
7th           Selkie     145        95             Leo     101        60
8th           Hayato     125        85           Silas     146        57
9th         Caledori      88        70           Niles      74        47
10th            Kaze     114        62         Ophelia      70        46
                                                                       
All                     2871      1581                    2383      1112

Birthright in-game time (at the last save point): 43:24
Conquest in-game time: 36:26

Birthright Corrin: +Magic, -Strength. Dark Mage.
Conquest Corrin: +Defense, -Magic. Samurai.

Sidenote: Reached Level 19 and 96 Experience on Conquest Corrin. Hit Level 20 on Mozu, Effie, Beruka, Sophie, and Kana. Faltered during lategame. Became lethal again after two Energy Drops, a Skill Book, a Goddess Icon, Seraph Robe, Dragon Herbs, and maybe a Dracoshield/Talisman. Only capped Speed (and possibly Luck), even with those items.


Missed Challenge maps in Conquest. Allowed support grinding and more items. Never found three (of six) ores in Conquest. (Knows of the ore swap at the Smithy.) Definitely caused overleveling and excessive gold in Birthright, however.

Noticed smarter enemies in Conquest. (Exception: Shared maps. Runs off Birthright, evidently.) Ignores zero damage attacks…usually. Sets up damage sometimes. Example: Conquest Chapter 11.
Spoiler:
Contains a room with four ninjas and an immobile Kaze. Gave Lunge to every ninja. (Swaps places with the target.) Hit Effie for zero damage. Performed a Lunge chain into Kaze. Dealt a little bit.


Agrees on poor story. Wrote cheap deaths everywhere. Lacked a sense of direction in Birthright. (Blames the map, partially. Displays a shining dot somewhere. Cannot discern its position relative to the previous location.) Rehashed mission endings in Conquest. (Yay. Saved…oh, wait. Never mind.) Became dull.

Considers Conquest more interesting, mechanics-wise. Added gimmicks, for better or worse, to many maps. Example: Conquest Chapter 12.
Spoiler:
Scattered pots everywhere. Cannot walk through them. Holds Medicine or Poison. Splashes onto everyone within two tiles when broken. Heals or buffs in Medicine’s case. Harms or debuffs in Poison's case. Will not be broken by enemies (on Hard mode, at least.)

Placed a Dragon Vein in the center. Breaks all pots. Triggers their effects too.
Positives:
- Enables easier movement. Attacks enemy archers easier.
- Never eats a Poison effect. (Position everyone near a Medicine or nothing for one turn. Manages that without much issue.)
Negatives:
- Permits eight archer reinforcements to reach you faster.
- Surrounded Ryoma with mostly negative pots. Loses timely debuffs.

Victory condition: escape in sixteen turns or defeat Ryoma. Planted the escape point behind Ryoma. (Runs around them easily.) Be quick. Do not forget chests either.
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