I have been playing Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (Thought Dump Thursday 3/17/16)

3/19/16 EDIT: I just realized I had “Top Three Thursday” in the title. Ugh…my brain. *fixes*

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This is my “business” card. I’m not asking for anything. It’s just…there. (Sorry for the quality; the picture was taken with my smartphone.)

So, I bought this game, Fire Emblem Fates, about a week and a half ago. I chose the path of Hoshido in Birthright (mostly because I dislike Camilla) and, since I already have experience with the series (having played the crap out of Awakening and beaten Radiant Dawn once), I decided to go Hard Classic, as it says on my card. Based on my experience with Awakening, I chose to have increased Speed and lowered Resistance with Dragonstone as my extra weapon. So far, I am up to Chapter 14 with two dead units and one game over.

First was the game over. It happened in Chapter 4, where I activated a dangerous Dragon Vein that caused four Faceless (including the leader) to gang up on me and take all my HP.

Next, Orochi died in Chapter 10 as a Level 7 Diviner. She was paired up with Hayato, and it came to my mind to let a pair of ninjas attack the Diviner pair. Since the combat forecast looked fine when they were paired up, I carelessly thought that it would be okay to move Orochi to the ninjas’ attacking range and separate Hayato from her. However, what I didn’t realize was that Hayato provided an important boost in Speed while they were paired up, and with the loss of that Speed boost, Orochi was attacked twice by the lead ninja (and once by that ninja’s partner as well) and killed.

On a more recent note, I lost Hinata, who was a Level 14 Samurai, in Chapter 13. It was quite a dicey situation where I thought I had to risk either Hinata or Sakura (although I was actually wrong because I overestimated the “danger” that Sakura was in) and thought that there was an alternative that would keep both of them safe. I thought I could heal Hinata and he would be fine. However, I was wrong, as I underestimated the damage output of the General that was threatening him. The entire situation was caused by a critical miscalculation in Dual Guard timing and unit placement. (If Hinata had had just one free space around him, I could have had Azura sing for him and have him finish off that pesky General.)

Still, I am really enjoying my experience so far. One thing I noticed that was a bit disappointing, though, was that they nerfed (or perhaps balanced?) Dragonstones significantly. Notably, they are now magical instead of physical, they no longer have 1-2 range (now only 1), and they cannot perform follow-up attacks. Speaking of follow-up attacks, though, it’s neat how many new weapons and mechanics they added. In particular, “Weak to follow-ups (-x effective Speed)” is something quite out of the ordinary. It’s also cool how some weapons actually grant a damage bonus against weapon types rather than affinity (by which I mean beast, dragon, or flier), namely Axe Splitter, Swordcatcher, and Pike Ruin Club. On that note, it’s also neat how Hoshido and Nohr have different weapons; while Nohr has the traditional swords, lances, axes, bows, tomes, and daggers, Hoshido has more…unconventional weapon types: katana, nagitana, clubs, yumi, scrolls, and shuriken (in respective order). Still on the note of weapons, Mini Bow is a very cool one.

On another note, Fates overthrew the system of Master and Second Seals. Instead, they have Master Seals, Heart Seals, Partner Seals, and Friendship Seals. Master Seals are the same as usual, but the other three Seals mentioned can be used at any level (whereas the former Second Seal was unusable by base classes below level 10) and do not reset the user’s level. Heart Seals change class based on the unit, Partner Seals based on an S-rank relationship, and Friendship Seals based on an A+-rank relationship. (The A+ rank, incidentally, is another new feature of the game. I haven’t tried it for myself, but it’s neat that they have some way to express special bonds between two close friends of the same gender.)

Castles are a great mechanic, sort of like Join Avenue in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 but better. I don’t want to go into much detail (and I’ll use the excuse that it’s dangerously close to midnight), so I’ll just leave it at that. My castle is named “The Nowi Nest” for reasons that should be obvious.

In terms of characters, the only thing I really have to note is that Oboro reminds me of Umi Sonoda from Love Live because of her dark blue hair and dramatic facial expressions. Also, while I dislike Camilla as a character (and now that I know her better, it’s not just based on her appearance), I will say that it’s intriguing how she is a wyvern rider that wields tomes (i.e., Malig Knight(?)).

To end this off, here is an overview of my units. All pairs are S-rank unless specified otherwise.

  • Draco (Lv.7 Hoshido Noble) + Hinoka (Lv.4 Falcon Knight)
  • Silas (Lv.3 Paladin) + Mozu (Lv.1 Merchant)
  • Oboro (Lv.1 Spear Master) + Saizo (Lv.1 Master Ninja)
  • Subaki (Lv.2 Kinshi Knight) + Azura (Lv.15 Songstress)
  • Shigure (Lv.1 Falcon Knight) + Kana (Lv.1 Hoshido Noble) [currently A-rank]
  • Hayato (Lv.1 Basara) + Sakura (Lv.1 Onmyoji)
  • Rinkah (Lv.12 Oni Savage) + Azama (Lv.1 Great Master)
  • Kagero (Lv.12 Ninja) + Kaze (Lv.12 Ninja)
  • Setsuna (Lv.1 Sniper) + Takumi (Lv.1 Kinshi Knight) [currently C-rank]
  • Kaden (Lv.14 Kitsune) + Hana (Lv.11 Samurai) [currently unranked]
  • Felicia (Lv.14 Maid) [married Hinata when he was alive]
  • Scarlet (Lv.1 Wyvern Lord)
  • Ryoma (Lv.4 Swordmaster)
  • Reina (Lv.2 Kinshi Knight)
  • Jakob (Lv.16 Butler) [prize for unrestricted castle battle]
  • Caleb (Lv.12 Nohr Prince) [prize for unrestricted castle battle]

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

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