Tag: Black Knight

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Ah Valentine’s Day. What a lovely day of loving loveable people.

Except for those of us who don’t have a significant other to spoil in that romantic kind of way.

Like me!

For us, there’s only one way to celebrate this most commercial day of love:

Playing Fire Emblem Heroes. Naturally.


GreilHeroic Exemplar

  • Faithful Axe (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Aether (Cooldown = 5)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat. Restores Health = half the damage dealt.
  • Fury 4 (A Skill)
    • Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4. After combat, deals 8 damage to unit.
  • Wary Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, unit and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, both units can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).

SorenAddled Strategist

  • Blárblooms (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Rally Attack/Speed (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Speed Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Speed -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Resistance Opening (C Skill)
    • At start of the turn, grants Resistance +6 to ally with the highest Resistance for one turn (excluding unit).

MistPurest Spirit

  • Gronnblooms (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Rally Defense/Resistance (Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Resistance Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Resistance -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Green Tome Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all green tome allies on team net 2x Skill Points (only highest value applied, does not stack).

IkeStalwart Heart

  • Heart’s Blade (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 during combat.
  • Radiant Aether (Cooldown = 4)
    • During combat, treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent. Restores Health = 50 percent of damage dealt.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Special Fighter (B Skill)
    • At the start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Even Speed Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Speed +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Right off the bat, I think it’s worth noting that I vastly preferred the approach taken by last year’s Valentine’s Day banner.

There we had Roy and Lilina as a romantic pairing, with their fathers cutely handling the potential relationship in different ways.

With this banner, Ike and his sister reunite with their father. As sweet as it is, I can’t speak to the impact of the character relationships having never played the Radiant games.

Plus Valentine’s Day is usually about romantic love more than family love, so the choice to add Greil here seems a bit bizarre. Why not for Father’s Day?

That being said, Greil — namesake of The Greil Mercenaries, is an interesting character pull.

He’s also easily the best unit on this banner, despite being yet another armored axe-wielder. That power-crept Fury and weapon provide +7 to each stat when next to an ally, and if that ally is armored he also gets to move an extra space.

The other three don’t work quite as well with the same weapon gimmick in my opinion, as Mist and Soren are both different flavors of the new Feint/Rally skill combo and Ike is another long-range red armor.

He’s the second best thing on the banner because Black Knight is a broken unit archetype, but that’s almost a given when Ike is involved.

I kind of feel like I should have used my orbs to invest more into the Duma banner, considering I got neither Duma nor Tiki.

But I can’t be mad because Intelligent Systems gave me a very nice Valentine’s Day present:

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Both at 3 percent? Sure I might be a little salty that Mist and Greil are in the same color pool, but this kind of luck is unheard of for me.

If there’s anything I can complain about, it’s the genetic likelihood that Ike and his sister each have unique hair colors from their brown-haired father…

It’s almost like the game developers wanted cool hair colors and didn’t focus too much on continuity.

Or the Ike family has some weird recessive genes. I suppose.

The two-year anniversary events have given me the chance to save up a bunch of orbs, so with my luck I’ll save up to see who else comes around next.

Speaking of saving orbs, how about that new Paralogue chapter?

Segue: Nailed.


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While the aesthetic of the Valentine’s Day maps aren’t my favorite, the actual Paralogue story offers something refreshingly new.

Instead of leading off with the “Order of Heroes goes to get money or food” cliché, this Paralogue doesn’t mention you at all.

It starts with the Greil Mercenaries lamenting Ike’s complaints over his outfit as he slows them down.

Even though it’s kind of what he always wears.

Everyone is shocked to see Greil alive, when he shows up, and It’s really quite nice seeing Ike and Mist so happy to see their father.

Then a few battles pass and we get this scene where Soren is being hella gay for Ike.

So I guess there is romance on this banner?

Everything goes rather smooth until the final battle, which ends with a slightly awkward transition of Greil suggesting that the Order of Heroes surrendered after you defeat them.

I can let it slide, as that moves into another nice scene of the children trying to get their father back.

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D’aww! It nearly crosses the line into being sickly sweet, but I love the character moment and references to Ike’s maturity over two games.

By trimming the usual fat of Anna being vaguely reprehensible as a leader, Intelligent Systems made for a really nice alternate universe story that I quite enjoyed more than most Paralogues.

… Granted, it did make me wonder why Ike and his family got this special treatment when, for example, we had the Hoshidan mother Mikoto brought back to life in Heroes not too long ago with no fan fare.

But hey. All I continue to look for is a return to some new Sacred Stones characters considering we haven’t seen any since before last Valentine’s Day. I’m a simple man.


There we have it, Valentine’s Day 2019 in Fire Emblem Heroes.

The banner units might just be okay, but that’s made up for by a very nice underlying premise.

Those of you who play the game might be wondering why I didn’t do some kind of joint ‘update banner’ post to talk about the Bane/Boon system, new weapon refines, Aether Raids changes and Dragon flowers.

Well… Mostly because I’m kind of burnt out on the mechanical stuff in Heroes. At the moment I’m playing the game for new characters, even if I appreciate things that have been added.

So I think I’ll skip out on some of the update info for a bit and keep my writing focused on banners, just to keep the game more fun for me.

That said, let me know what you think about these holiday units, and tell me who you want to see in the game next!

The Radiant Fire Emblem Heroes 2.1.0 Update

The Radiant Fire Emblem Heroes 2.1.0 Update

Welcome to your multi-faceted Fire Emblem Heroes post for the week.

Yesterday, Heroes got a semi-large scale update  that implemented some new features. Today, brand new heroes from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn were added into the game.

So let’s not mess around friends, there’s plenty to cover and a limited amount of moonlight to write about it, but I’m just as excited to get into it all the same.


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This little list in the notifications page kind of covers everything succinctly, but in trademarked Jason Rochlin fashion I’m going to jump into each point individually, likely over-embellishing their descriptions as I discuss my thoughts.

Hero Merit limit increase

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Is my unit bias showing yet?

For those of you who don’t know about Hero Merit, one of the many underlying systems in Fire Emblem Heroes that runs as you use your units to battle others is the accumulation of Hero Merit. This Merit doesn’t necessarily affect the heroes themselves in any way, but it’s highly beneficial for players to work toward maxing it out all the same.

When a specific unit reaches an interval of 500 Hero Merit, the player can receive 500 Hero Feathers. With the new increased capacity, players can earn 4,000 Hero Feathers with each character.

I’ve become more of a fan of Hero Feathers as of late, as they are what allow you to unlock an individual unit’s potential. In other words it allows you to grow a unit from a three star rarity to a four star rarity or a four star rarity to a five star rarity.

Now that I know the value of merging multiple five star units together to increase their power, I have a much more positive outlook on these collectibles – and a much higher need of them considering it takes 20,000 Hero Feathers to buff one unit to a five star.

Ouch.

Pre-battle map checking

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Just tap the blue icon for a handy dandy strategizing bonus!

This kind of system was implemented in other game modes, especially those where you have to fight multiple maps in a row like Squad Assault, but now you can use it any time for just about any map you can access.

As far as what it does… Well, it should be fairly self-explanatory when I say “pre-battle map checking.” Want to see what your units will be up against in the next fight? Check the map ahead of time, take a look at the opponent units and what skills they have to come in better prepared.

That’s really about that. It’s a simply but highly useful change.

More Sacred Seals & Weapon Refining

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For context, the additional Sacred Seals are Brash Assault, Savage Blow, Hone Speed, Close Defense, Guidance and Attack Smoke.

To be completely honest I can’t do this particular change any more justice than the screenshot above does.

Two new legendary weapons can be refined, though the only one that really matters to me is Sanaki’s special red tome, as she’s a five star unit I have and use fairly often.

Personally I hope this change is an indication that more upgrades will be coming in the near future, since there are plenty of other units that have legendary weapons that I would love to buff.

Cough cough Eirika cough

The Sacred Seals that were added to the construction option also aren’t very important to me personally. They’re all Seals that were available in the past as part of Tempest Trials rewards, so I already had all of them leading up to this addition.

Thus, I can’t actually build any of them. I already have them.

Oh well, at least other newer players now have access to some cool additional skills.

New terrain type: Trenches

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It’s all quiet on the Western Front, Xander.

While the screenshot above once again covers all of the information I currently have about this new terrain type, I’m quite interested in seeing how trenches affect the game going forward.

From the description alone, it just seems like trenches are being added as a check to cavalry units. Instead of their usual three space movement range, heroes on horseback can only go one space when moving across trenches. It’s a small debuff if the maps where they’re featured don’t have an excessive amount, but it is interesting to note that Intelligent Systems is trying to hit one of the most prevalent unit types in competitive play.

Of course we don’t know whether the trenches have extra utility because they aren’t featured in any of the new story maps… But that’s a different story. For now it just seems like these things might be more of an aesthetic implementation than a practical one.

Beyond those major points, the other changes are small or tie into bug fixes specifically. The only one I can recall having an impact on me is the way they’ve made it so units without weapons aren’t added to the pool of potential allies when playing in a Voting Gauntlet.

That’s cool, but also I never ran into the problem personally so I guess I never well.

With all that said, let’s move into the next leg of this marathon. Everyone’s favorite: A new summoning focus banner.


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Three heroes from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn have arrived in Heroes, and their appearance also continues on the legacy of Radiant game focuses apparently being Intelligent System’s choice to advance the game’s overarching plot.

But of course, we can’t get into silly things like plot without discussing the merits of our new potential allies.

  • MicaiahPriestess of Dawn
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    • Micaiah is interesting in that she is apparently a fan favorite unit who also happens to look quite overpowered. As an added note, she actually has five skills but I could only get four to line up for a picture so know that she also has Drive Attack as her C skill. This girl’s weapon is kind of crazy and all over the place, being a blue tome that’s good against horses and armored units while also combining the effects of three other really good weapons from the past. Her resistance to damage on account of that weapon is accentuated by her Distant Defense and Guard, yet she can also buff allies with Drive Attack and give them health through Sacrifice. In a way, she’s a really well-rounded unit, and I’m assuming her stats reflect the same thing.
  • SotheZephyr
    img_7025

    • Here’s a dagger unit that finally seems worth his weight (sorry Neko Sakura, your cute Halloween cat ears are still in my dreams, but not in a creepy way). Sothe appears to be any team’s best friend with a weapon that debuffs every enemy stat within a certain range while also buffing every stat for allies in a certain range. Plus, he also Spurs Attack and Speed during combat. However, without proper protection this kind of benefit appears temporary as his other skills suggest he’s quite the glass canon. An interesting unit indeed, and one that seems like he would mesh well with a blade tome user.
  • ZelgiusJet-Black General
    img_7026

    • So in case it wasn’t obvious, Zelgius is the Black Knight without his helmet on — the Black Knight being a unit who was a prize some time ago in a Tempest Trial, except now he’s apparently stronger stat-wise from what I’ve been told. Also there’s apparently some controversy over the fact that his appearance in this form spoils Radiant Dawn plot points? But to be completely honest a lot of characters spoil plot points in their games so I’m not sure what the problem is. I don’t think I have a lot to say about this guy’s skills. He has the same weapon/special attack as his reskin, but now he gains attack when attacked, can warp around like crazy and converts opponent buffs into penalties. Definitely sounds like a strong guy… But I just can’t get over how much his face isn’t what I expected to see without the mask.

Despite the fact that he got the least amount of writing up above, I think Sothe is actually the character on this banner that I want the most.

Like I said before he looks like a match made in heaven for a blade tome user, and as a result would make a perfect balance on my infantry team alongside Nino and my other stat buffing unit Eirika.

Even though I want Sothe a lot (much to the teasing pleasure of my friend Jonathan who managed to summon the guy almost immediately), the other two wouldn’t be so bad either. Micaiah especially. I’d be very down to join the scarf squad with her.

Luckily, I managed to enter this banner with an abundance of orbs thanks to the recent Tempest Trials and my early summon of flying New Year Azura.

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Yeah that’s right, 95. Well earned if I do say so myself, and there’s more waiting in the sidelines from a new Squad Assault and Chain Challenges.

After blowing through about 30 of those orbs, however… I more or less learned my lesson to be careful where I put my money.

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Don’t get me wrong, five stars are never a bad thing necessarily… But as much as I love Clair from Echoes, she’s just not a fantastic unit in Heroes.

Especially compared to Cordelia, who’s served me loyally since the very beginning.

As I keep cautious with my orb horde, I think that makes it a good time to jump over to the story accompanying these three new heroes.


I kind of spoiled this earlier, but the Radiant Dawn banner opens itself up in a continuation of the Book II storyline.

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Guided by a dream starts with… Well, a dream.

Gunnthrá appears once again, actually making herself relevant in the story considering Intelligent Systems forgot to give her any sort of meaningful moments when she was a Legendary Hero summon possibility toward the end of December.

Speaking of… Don’t get me started on how much I want to throw my phone at the irony of Gunnthrá suggesting we should meet after I got screwed out of summoning her to meet in person already.

Talk about a hell of a tease.

Anyway, her dream guidance is that the Order of Heroes should come to the ice kingdom to meet with her so everyone can combine forces to fight the evil fire king.

The story for this leg of Book II is fairly front loaded actually, as you immediately jump to the Order discussing their war plans in the face of a new powerful enemy. Namely, Anna mentions that the king of Askr is off leading some troops into battle.

The fiery King Surtr is also given more characterization suggesting that he’s nuts and bloodthirsty, a theme we will return to later.

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When Fjorm hears that you met her sister in a dream, she pretty much immediately suggests you follow her direction and head to their homeland for backup.

Once that is established, the fighting begins.

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The maps themselves for this story mission are decent, though it seems odd to me that they would go with Askrian terrain rather than copying maps from Radiant Dawn, considering this is that game’s unit’s time in the spotlight.

In hindsight that is a complaint I could have aired when the Children of Fate were new… But then again it does all make sense in light of the fact that Book II is less a series of connected miniature adventures than Book I in place of a more serialized story.

That said, there isn’t a lot of serialized story across the majority of the ice-covered maps, Chapter 3-1 through Chapter 3-4. The little bits of plot are pretty much just introductions for the Radiant Dawn characters you fight.

Don’t mind Oliver, by the way. He’s uhh… He’s a special looking, apparently meme-worthy guy who’s going to show up in a Grand Hero Battle soon.

Things start to develop when you arrive at the final map and come face-to-face with a new challenge.

The source of those flames are Laevatein, my favorite of the lot, showing what seems to suggest the beginning of a pattern where each of the fiery nation’s main units are going to headline each chapter from here on.

Her gimmick seems to be an almost robotic adherence to the rules set in place by her father and sister, which is an interesting touch I wasn’t quite expecting.

Gives her an appeal similar to Team Magma Admin Courtney from Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

Once you beat her, she retreats and the Order decides to take a break from their journey to help restore the burned village. Though this move makes sense, it’s almost comically similar to them straight up saying “here’s the commercial break before our next episode.”

Yet… The story doesn’t end quite yet.

For some reason tired of their alliance, Veronica decides to leave having assisted the fire nation with her contracted units.

That doesn’t sit well with the king.

Yeah… Remember when I said this guy is a crazy, sadistic nut job?

Case an point: Crazy grin while imagining a little girl burning to death.

Honestly for as over-the-top as this comes across, I do admittedly appreciate the way they made a villain who’s undeniably awful for everyone to stand up again.

I’m just hoping Veronica switches sides and we get the chance to use her against this ultimate foe. That would be pretty awesome.


Boy howdy, this really was a hell of a marathon wasn’t it? I love it when there are a lot of things to cover, but it is a bit exhausting when everything takes this long.

I guess if nothing else I can appreciate it as a little something fun before I dive back into killing myself with work that I for some reason thought would be a good way to get back into the swing of things.

So, how about I take a break from talking your ear off and once more offer the chance for a larger discussion.

How do you feel about the updates that came with version 2.1.0?

Out of the Radiant Dawn heroes added, which is your favorite?

What do you think of the way Book II is developing? Personally, I happen to think the way they’ve gone with it is pretty intriguing.

Is the best part of this update the new game loading screen that I used as the featured image for this post?

Let me know your thoughts somewhere on the internet, and until next time… I’ll be resisting the urge not to make myself broke again.

Wish me luck.

Ike’s Tempest Trials: Too par for the course?

Ike’s Tempest Trials: Too par for the course?

After a week of being checked out in terms of blogging, I have to say it feels like a nice little personal accomplishment to have something video game-y around here two days in a row. Sure it’s pretty general Pokémon news followed by yet another Tempest Trials post, but just getting myself to do it is nice.

Though, as the title of this one suggests, I’m actually not expecting to write all that much for this one. It’ll probably be more of a short “here’s what’s going down” post without a lot of fluff because there isn’t too much fluff to add. These trials aren’t unique for being miniature, there’s no new mechanics being implemented or tweaks to the formula or anything of that nature. No, this time, it just seems like Intelligent Systems have hit a consistent stride in putting these out.

So much so that I frankly almost dread the perceived time sink undergoing these trials may become moreso than I’m interested in seeing how they play out. It’s an odd bit of existentialism for a game that I enjoy, but it’s something I’m probably going to have to work out on my own so I won’t bore the world with those details here.

Instead, let’s get right in and see what’s new this time around.



Editor’s Note: I’m coming back here to say I thought this would be short before it wound up being 2,000 words or so. For anyone I may have even momentarily misled, I hope you accept my sincere apologies.



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Coming about a week or two after the Blazing Blade-themed Tempest Trials Mini is a brand new set of trials based in the world of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Besides this new world of emphasis, however, Moment of Fate doesn’t provide too much that’s novel in its own right, as I mentioned before.

That much is evident right when you enter the Tempest icon and get an introductory scene where Masked Lucina joins the Greil Mercenaries to help them save their world much like she has with a number of other groups thus far.

As usual, I do appreciate the continued world building we get following a single character in her drive to stop the Tempest, as I’m sure that wide-spread narriative is eventually going to culminate in an ambitious “save the universe” push through either a final Trial or more in-game story missions.

In this case, however, the tying narriative feels… Underwhelming. The six panels I presented above are essentially all the story you get before getting dropped straight into things. It’s simple and it works, but at this point perhaps the formulaic nature is starting to get a little stale.

Though I will concede that it’s interesting how Lucina continues to come in with preemptive knowledge on just who the chief antagonist of the Trials will be:

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The detail might be small and easy to brush aside, but I would honestly be interested in seeing some sort of a backstory at some point showcasing whether Lucina always has advanced knowledge because she knows more than she lets on about the villains behind the Tempest in some intense conspiracy or because she does some extensive recon before meeting up with your allies in the fight.

Or, I guess arguably the most logical answer given her canonical character is that she knows everything because she’s from the future. But even that could make an interesting twist on the whole affair, letting us see her learning about the aftermath in an area ruined by a Tempest before she goes back to save that area in the past.

Just some food for thought.

Once you’re past the underwhelming nitty-gritty of the story behind these Trials, everything continues to be business as usual.

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In a small-scale interesting twist, the Bonus allies have been reversed this time around. Rather than having the heroes you can summon on the Tempest Trials-themed banner serve as the +40% bonus heroes, they sit down in the +20% instead. Aside from Ike, who of course gets to be at the top of the pack. Joining Ike instead this time around are the three summoning banner focus heroes from Crimea that got released on September 15.

That twist luckily comes in my favor, as I’ve had a good string of pulls in Heroes since these three were put in the game:

My Elincia-led Pegasus squad finally gets its time to shine.

That said, the battle system itself is the same. Get through X number of battles based on the difficulty you choose, where each team you use is worn down in every battle and you only have access to a certain number of teams also based on your difficulty.

Enemy units still keep their damage and unit loses when your team loses, and though that’s quite an old change at this point, I’ll never stop praising the developers for implementing that.

At the end of a run you come face-to-face with the Black Knight, just as Lucina warned at the beginning of everything:

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I don’t have any personal experience with the special map you fight him in because I haven’t played the games these characters come from, but I do enjoy the grand throne room look. It’s dope.

Unlike the Black Knight, who is actually a huge pain in the ass.

In my post about the Crimean heroes, I talked about the Black Knight appearing in the newest story missions. At the time I mentioned his skills seemed pretty broken, the kind of thing that would make him a wonderful unit to use on an heavy Armor-based team. I still stand by that, but the flip side is true in that he becomes that much harder to fight when he’s a good unit.

Take a look at this:

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Reinhardt is arguably one of the best units in Fire Emblem Heroes. Particularly on a team of cavaliers, he’s well renowned in the game’s meta for being a unit that one-shots practically any unit through a combination of his high power, mobility and special multi-attack tome. I think he’s the only unit besides Hector who had consistently been considered S+ tier among fan rankings with or without skill investment.

Yet even with a team specially built to support him, my Reinhardt wasn’t able to kill the Black Knight even after activating a high damage-boosting special move. That’s pretty crazy.

Of course I was personally able to beat him after whittling the guy down, but I did have to use another team to do the job. It’s a pain to have to deal with the extra steps, somewhat adding to the monotony of taking on these battles over-and-over, but thanks to a collection of good teams I have at least racking up points overall isn’t a problem for me like it once was.

In the end it all becomes worth it, as what would racking up points be without rewards to collect for the hard work?

This time around the character reward is none other then our buddy the Black Knight himself:

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That’s right, beat the guy down enough and he’ll eventually submit to your command. There’s something poetic to that I suppose, and it adds some levity to the idea of having to take on his challenge repeatedly.

The other token Sacred Seal rewards are a bit more hit-and-miss this time around, however. The first two are a +1 Resistance boost and Fortify Defense to benefit adjacent allies at the start of each turn. Nothing particularly special.

The third Sacred Seal is Panic Ploy at 40,000 points, which is actually well worth the effort. Panic Ploy makes it so every unit in all spaces across cardinal directions that have 5 less health than the equipped unit start a turn with stat buffs becoming stat reductions instead. It’s a rare ability on units you can summon, so having the ability to choose someone to put it on via a Seal is actually really nice.

Oh, and let’s not forget the small mountain of Orbs, feathers and crystals you can pile up while making your way through the reward tiers. Those are always nice.


Beyond that, there’s honestly nothing new to say regarding these Tempest Trials. There could be something interesting in the post-game cutscene with Masked Lucina moving on to her next challenge, but I don’t have the precognitive abilities to tell what that’s going to be two weeks from now, so this is just about the end of the road. Now we’re off on a journey to slog through the battles to make those reward tiers over the next two weeks.

If you hadn’t noticed, this post has honestly been a little more clinical and negative than usual, with lots of talk about slogging through repetitive battles. I’ve certainly noticed it. That could just be because I’m a little tired and in a weird mental place lately, but realistically it occurs to me now that perhaps the close proximity to our last Tempest Trials Mini has led to a preemptive downfall of this one in my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I will literally never complain about the rewards we get for participating in these events, but my personal play style tends to encourage going after as many of those rewards as possible to hoard those suckers for a rainy day. Since the second Tempest Trials, I’ve always hit the top tier of rewards so suckle every last Orb from Intelligent System’s only occasionally benevolent teat.

Because of that, I think I’ve developed a habit of burning myself out on Heroes whenever a Trials period comes along. The two weeks that have Trials every month or so are the only times I use Stamina Potions, as I have so many of those that I can consistently slam them out, mindlessly battle in one hand until my energy is gone and repeat to rack up as many points as possible in as condensed a period as possible.

Perhaps that means the fault is in my own hands for feeling exhausted about these Trials before they begin. I know what I’m getting myself into and I know I just went through it, so I’m just not in the right frame of mind to do it again.

But that argument in itself implies a deeper root issue. Did the Miniature Trials throw off my Heroes Circadian Rhythm, as it were? Did having a small version of this same event in the middle of the usual refractory period we get extend some underlying exhaustion I’ve yet to come to terms with?

Perhaps. That certainly seems like a logical argument.

At the same time, however, I’m not sure I can argue whether this is an inherently good or a bad thing. Obviously the developers wouldn’t intend to burn out their players, so I’m sure it’s not some conspiracy against me personally. It’s just something I have to come to confront in my own overly-complex logical approaches to what should honestly be a mindless experience.

That said, I will argue that perhaps it’s time for something new to come around in Heroes to freshen things up a little more. Because if we start to continue a frequent schedule of Trials and Miniature Trials, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep latched on for very long.


Existential reflections on this game out of the way, I will actually leave well enough alone and end things here. It’s about time I get some sleep before I continue to ramble way past what’s necessary, and I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing me talk for a long time about small things the last couple days.

So, as usual I’ll leave with a question for the audience. For those of you who play Fire Emblem Heroes too: Am I just mindlessly rambling about things that are in my own head? Or does this particular Trials run seem more exhaustive and underwhelming than usual? Is there anything else you’d like to see come around to shake things up?

Let me know in the comments down below!

A Radiant Fire Emblem Heroes update

A Radiant Fire Emblem Heroes update

As I’ve come to find, there’s never a better opportunity to be productive with some Fire Emblem than when you’re just sitting around biding time.

Unlike most of my Heroes update posts, this one is not being written during the witching hours between midnight and 3 a.m. Though it feels a little wrong in that sense and the post itself won’t go out at my usual early-ish morning time, I can’t really complain about feeling a little bit more well-rested as I talk about these new heroes:

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It seems a bit strange that a more substantial update like this got a banner with only three heroes, but from the perspective of trying to summon them all I suppose it’s hard to argue with a little more ease in that department.

I’m sure I’ve brought this up in the past, but the Radiant games (Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance respectively) are part of the legendary RPG series’ history that I personally haven’t touched. While I don’t really have much of a personal connection with the three new heroes that were added as a result, I do still have some first impressions I can give.

  • ElinciaLost Princess
    • Princess and, from what I understand, later queen of Crimea. Elincia is a Pegasus knight who uses a sword called Amiti that reduces her speed in exchange for attacking twice when she initiates combat (though with less of a reduction than an average brave weapon). She has Ardent Sacrifice as a passive skill to heal her allies, Death Blow to boost her attack by 6 as a way of making up for her sword’s low base power and a new skill called Flier Formation which seems to work like a reverse of Tana’s skill, allowing her to teleport to nearby flying units.
  • OscarAgile Horseman
    • A cavalier from Crimea who joined Ike’s Greil Mercenaries and is apparently known for his speed. Out of everyone here, I would argue Oscar carries the least amount go gravitas in terms of what he gets out of the box. A Sapphire Lance makes him capable enough as a weapon-triangle abuser, he can grant +3 speed and defense with his assist ability, he has Lancebreaker to combat other lance users and he grants an extra passive +3 Speed and Defense boost to adjacent units during combat. An interesting and worthy set of buffs, but nothing that seems too mind-blowing.
  • NepheneeFierce Halberdier
    • Coming in with arguably the strangest name of the bunch is Nephenee, a commoner from Crimea who still seems to carry somewhat of a drawl from her native home despite trying her best to talk more in-line with the royalty under which she serves. As an infantry unit, Nephenee comes with a Slaying Lance to lower the special cooldown of her Moonbow special attack (quite the deadly combination, I might add), a +2 attack/speed boost  and a new skill called Wrath that accelerates special cooldown more and boosts the power of a special attack when she’s below 75% health. If her stat spread is good, she’s probably going to have incredible damage output.

Elincia has stood out to me most thus far, as a sword-wielding Pegasus knight is something I’m still looking to add to my flying unit team alongside Minerva and Cordelia. Plus it’s cute that her Pegasus has a unicorn horn, and I’m always a sucker for cute design choices.

The game seems to have had other plans for me, however. While my free summon was a four-star Palla (Also known as not the sword user Pegasus knight I wanted), I decided to use a couple of extra orbs considering the Tempest Trials Mini and other daily events have given me a 100+ orb surplus.

Then this happened:img_6172-2

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This craziness was enough to outright blow me away when it happened. It kind of said to me that somebody somewhere is looking out to prove that games can be nice to their players. Once in a while, at least.

Seriously, three five stars in general at once is insane, but having Innes from the Sacred Stones banner and Nephenee from the new Path of Radiance banner show up for me is all kinds of extra nuts just from being so recently relevant.

Sure, it’ll be a bit of a slog to raise all three of them up to their full glory, but in the end I’m sure it will be a worth-while venture. The more good five stars I have, the easier it becomes to tackle things with continuous fights under changing conditions like the Arena Assault game.


With that slight bit of self-serving feel-goodness out of the way, let’s get into the nitty gritty of what we got to surround this new summoning focus banner.

The Radiant series seems to be an ever-popular one in the Fire Emblem fandom, and Heroes has no qualms about using that popularity to push bigger elements in its ever evolving story by the looks of it.

The Dauntless Crimeans came alongside a new main story chapter, one with five missions and plenty of actually engaging plot.

Of course a new story mission also means a host of other goodies, like extra orb missions and daily log-in bonuses:

But I would honestly argue that the plot for the “Diabolical Bloodline” chapter is really what should be drawing you in… If you’re into the plot of Fire Emblem Heroes like I am, at least.

Although, spoiler alert, this part of the plot has literally nothing to do with the new heroes despite taking place in their world. Just as a forewarning for anyone who was hoping to see the three newbies in their natural habitats.

This leg of the story begins fresh off the heels of Chapters 11 and 12 leading you through the world of Fire Emblem Echoes and culminating in the reveal that one of the archvillains, Prince Bruno, is actually the Order of Heroes’ missing friend Zacharias.

Pretty much right off the bat things jump into a hefty amount of exposition and backstory on Zacharias. It’s a lot all at once, arguably even overwhelmingly so from the way it comes out of nowhere, but at the same time it’s a very… Expected Fire Emblem backstory.

Evil dragons, harsh royal blood, puppet curses… Everything you’d expect to see in the plot of a Fire Emblem game. A safe choice in that respect, though they do go more personal with it.

 

I would say adding the details about his mother is just the kind of unexpected emotional whammy needed to build up some sympathy and intrigue in the character.

Beyond that, however, this chapter doesn’t offer much in terms of plot. Like I said before the three focus heroes show up as set pieces, but not a single one of them gets a line of dialogue. Not even the usual generic affair about there being a contract they need to follow.

I would say that’s the strangest part of this whole chapter, the general lack of use of other characters despite there being at least 5 missions to introduce Zacharias’ backstory and maybe even elaborate more on why the World of Radiance seems to be a favorite spot for him.

Though I could also argue that’s asking a lot for the plot of a mobile game that only periodically updates… So I digress.

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The five missions in Chapter 13 weren’t necessarily all that engaging to me considering I haven’t spent any time in the world of the original games. Nothing stood out too specifically about the backgrounds or the music as a result, though I do enjoy the world theme for the levels.

I did also find it interesting to note that Chapter 13-5 uses Brave Ike rather than normal Ike. Can’t help but wonder whether that means Brave Ike ties in more with Path of Radiance, or if they simply wanted to shake things up considering the new summoning focus had no axe-wielders.

However, arguably Chapter 13-3 took the cake as being the most interesting of the five. It was the only level to include a “survive 7 turns” stipulation, but rather than just forcing you to take on an onslaught of generic enemies, the level actually introduced a brand new character into the mix:

Not only does the Black Knight look dope as hell, but his appearance adds an interesting element to the fight. He’s invincible thanks to the special Emblia’s Ward ability and rather high leveled even on the most basic difficulty setting, so the character acts like a check for being able to blow through the mission like it’s nothing.

Plus, it more or less tells us everything we need to know about Black Knight before he appears in some sort of Grand Hero Battle later on. A sword with distant counter, a more powerful version of the Luna special attack, a defense boost when he’s attacked and Wings of Mercy to jump to an ally when they’re damaged… I can already tell this guy is going to be pretty powerful, especially on my armor team with Amelia.

Even with that diversion out of the way, however, things quickly jump back into Zacharias and his own emotional dark god blood angst.

 


Defeat him here and you get to go into some conclusive details with him somewhat making up with the Order of Heroes but knowing he can’t come back because blah blah story continuity and necessary villain being necessary.

And, of course, things end off with a message for the player.

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Pretty standard roll-credits stuff here, not gunna lie. Fairly well handled considering how long we’ve been invested in these characters now, but nothing Pulitzer Prize winning by any means.

Now we wait and see where things go next.


Well, looks like that about wraps things up for today’s Fire Emblem Heroes update. Just in time to make my video conference in a half hour too, conventionally enough.

What do you think about the new Crimean heroes? Do you have a favorite? I certainly like Elincia best from a design perspective, but Nephenee seems pretty powerful and I’m looking forward to trying her out.

How about the continually growing Heroes story arc? Do you enjoy what they’ve been doing with it? Or would you be equally as content if everything was more filler-based considering the nature of the mobile title?

Let me know in the comments below!