Tag: Fire Emblem Awakening

Summer returns in Fire Emblem Heroes

Summer returns in Fire Emblem Heroes

Hard to believe it has been two years since I joked about using Fire Emblem Heroes as a surrogate for not going to the beach despite living in Southern California.

Even harder to believe I still don’t go to the beach nearly as often as I should.

But at least Fire Emblem is still here to let me live vicariously through anime jpegs.


Summer Returns


The recent Awakening children banner drained a whole bunch of orbs, so I was hoping this summer banner would be low-key. Something I wouldn’t feel pressured to invest a lot into.

A revival banner with Lute is coming, and my recent foray into Sacred Stones has left me eager to finish my collection of its characters.

Luckily I’m not enamored with the summer units.

Mostly.

Gunnthrá and Helbindi aren’t my favorite original characters from Book II. Plus her ability to disarm Aether Raids traps and his ability to excel in the Arena don’t inspire me to open my wallet.

Laegjarn does stand out thanks to Swift Sparrow 3.

Yet… Despite the Internet fawning over her, I can’t get over how fucked up her idle pose looks. It’s like she has no armpit, and that leaves her with one monstrous arm.

I can’t unsee it.

Thus Laevatein is really the only character I’d say I’m very interested in summoning. She’s my favorite Book II character, has cute artwork and packs a great 1-2 punch against other mages with Mirror Impact.

Seriously Intelligent Systems? +6 Attack, +10 Resistance and no counterattacks?

You can’t just make these characters that broken.

I used the Paralogue orbs to get a few extra shots at her, but I haven’t pulled anything special and I’m not going to rush it.

The banner will be here for 50 days.

Which I’m assuming means we won’t get a second set of summer units this year. Something that’s totally fine by me considering last year’s was disappointingly non-Sacred Stones and I’ll need the orbs later.

Speaking of that Paralogue… Let’s talk about it.


Paralogue 35 — Summer Returns

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Once again we cut away from dramatic story progression to bring you the latest in Anna’s attempts to make money off of some softcore pornography.

Or… Do we?

Anna is feeling self-reflective this year and promises not to do anything that can give her a bad reputation at risk of being fired by the royal family.

Which means the entire Paralogue is going to be focused on trying to avoid money-making schemes, isn’t it?

Yep.

Well to be fair the first two battles completely disregard this plot point and focus on the reunion of the Múspell sisters.

Then the reunion of Ylgr (future Tempest Trials reward) and Helbindi.

They’re both cute interactions. But that doesn’t stop them from being pure filler in an admittedly great dusk luau-themed environment.

Don’t worry, though. We return to the exploits of Anna soon after.

By which I mean Anna buckles under the pressure of trying to repress her desire for cash and falls ill. She passes out on the beach, leading to the Order of Heroes realizing just how integral money is to her character.

To a ridiculous degree.


So that’s Fire Emblem Heroes’ 2019 summer banner. Probably the only one we’re getting this year.

I’m a little lukewarm because of my orb stinginess, but I will absolutely try to building my Laevatein squad.

Let me know what you think of the banner down in the comments! How does it compare to previous summer banners? Do you agree that Laegjarn’s arm looks fucked up?

Seriously, do you? I need to know that I’m not alone here.

Thanks.

Fire Emblem: Days of Future Past

Fire Emblem: Days of Future Past

Within a few days, Intelligent Systems announced the 3.6.0 Update to Fire Emblem Heroes — which includes “revival banners” for discontinued 5 Star heroes — and this Awakening child unit banner.

Considering the 2019 summer-themed heroes are right around the corner, I have come to the conclusion that the developers just desperately want our wallets.

I can’t help but bemoan the fact that these units are pretty worth the investment despite those incoming banners I’d also like to use.


Summoning Focus: From a Future Past


Part of me hopes this banner is a pseudo-reference to X-Men: Days of Future Past so Fire Emblem can cash in on X-Men: Dark Phoenix being in theaters… Despite the shlock Dark Pheonix turned out to be.

But I digress.

Nah is the headliner for this banner, and a fairly worthwhile one. Oracle’s Breath is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.

She and Yarne are also some of my favorite child units. Yarne and Morgan are top five Awakening ships for me, so I’m more than willing to pull for him — which is good considering he’s a speedy boi between the Solo, Wave and Galeforce skills.

Kjelle and Brady are less significant characters to me personally and they have weaker skill sets.

But I am a fan of Kjelle and Owain… Despite Owain going to Nohr and becoming Odin, who I ship with Camilla.

I like her with Severa too, yet Severa also goes to Nohr so it’s the same problem.

That returning trio in Fates really screwed up my shipping charts. Hopefully that doesn’t happen in Three Houses.

Also Cynthia is coming soon. I didn’t connect with her in Awakening, but I’ve warmed to her confident demeanor over time.

Her descriptive text in Heroes is a perfect example why:

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Isn’t that amazing?

Luckily there’s a Forging Bonds event to give us some free summon tickets, because that should supplement the orbs out of this story chapter so I can save up for Lute… Or Genny… Or the summer units.


Book III, Chapter 8 — Truth of a Name

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At the start of this chapter, the Order of Heroes continue exploring the destroyed Ask from Chapter 7. They want to find out what happened to it, as that may provide clues on how to stop Hel.

Along the way they encounter Líf twice. The first time he almost kills Alfonse, but is stopped by Sharena.

Don’t worry about that. Foreshadowing.

As is the second encounter where Eir tries to find out what memories were wiped away by her mother.

There are a few bland encounters with Awakening kids that conclude in a library.

The Order discovers that this Askr was destroyed in a future timeline when they teamed up with Embla to enact yet another deus ex machina Rite that makes Hel vulnerable…

At the cost of all the lives in both kingdoms.

Bodes well for whenever Princess Veronica and Loki show up.

After that exposition dump, the final battle features Líf as its boss. Once he is defeated Alfonse goes Sherlock Holmes on our asses and deduces:

Líf has actually been doomed future Alfonse all along! Which means that Thrasir is probably Veronica, both of whom became Hel’s generals after they died trying to stop her.

Feh Plot Meme

So I guess now we get a ‘change the doomed future’ arc.

Fitting set-up for a Chapter that features the Awakening children.


Intelligent Systems just had to schedule this update for the same day as Nintendo’s E3 presentation.

It’s clever. Pick up that search activity.

Unfortunately, staying up late to write this will make me less likely to catch the 9:00 a.m. presentation live. Not that I really mind as the video will be online, so I’m still planning on writing a post about my thoughts on that.

At least Fire Emblem finally pulled my head out of Stardew Valley.

Because like I predicted… It has me hooked. Hard.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the new Awakening children! Hopefully the upcoming banners don’t completely overshadow them.

She’s Mythic and divine

She’s Mythic and divine

In Fire Emblem, some of Humanity’s greatest heroes wield a legendary weapon known as the Falchion that is imbued with the power to cut through dark forces and the dragons who often wreck havoc.

Alm, the Saint-King of Valentia, bore Falchion when he struck down a being of pure chaotic power.

Marth, the Hero-King of Archanea, bore another version when he saved the realm from a wizard who hoped to abuse the strength of the Divine Dragons.

Ylissian Exalt Chrom took his ancestor Marth’s blade to fight the Fell Dragon Grima, and Chrom’s daughter Lucina brought a Parallel Falchion back from her doomed future to help change fate.

Those descendants of the Hero-King were marked with a Brand of the Exalt to show the holy bloodline they inherited from Naga: King of the Divine Dragons who created those legendary blades in her ultimate benevolence toward humans.

Despite lacking the power to create, many consider Naga the world’s creation deity.


Naga: Dragon Divinity


Naga’s history in Fire Emblem lore ties back to one idea: Killing malevolent dragons.

Her skill set as the first Astra Mythic Hero in Fire Emblem Heroes reflects this idea perfectly.

She flies in (reminiscent of her appearance in Fire Emblem Awakening) and grants every adjacent ally effectiveness against dragon foes. For each ally with that descriptor she receives a boost to all of her stats.

That’s her entire gimmick. It’s an interesting and likely effective one, but narrowly focused toward players who actively seek competitive online matches.

Though to be fair her A Skill refers specifically to Aether Raids, so she’s obviously meant to appear in online modes of battle.

I happen to not be very focused on the Player-versus-Player aspects of Heroes, so Naga is more interesting to me on account of her lore than her battle prowess.

Yet she comes with a good enough entourage — particularly on blue stones — for me to like her banner quite a bit:

Every stone on this banner is decent for me except colorless, where I’m only missing Velouria.

Out of the rest I only had Eirika, Hector and Lyn before summoning. Blue was the most exciting between Naga and that Legendary Tiki who has eluded me for months, but I wouldn’t have been upset with too many of the summons here.

Luckily I wound up getting a great case scenario using the orbs I’ve saved up over a few banners.

I didn’t get Naga, but I got these two:

Tiki is worthwhile by herself, especially given her +Atk nature. I don’t feel particularly compelled to spend any more time on this banner as a result.

Though if I did feel compelled, at least there are a few more orbs to nab off of this Mythic Battle Map:

Fighting her on Grima’s back in the reverse position of Legendary Grima’s battle map is a nice touch Intelligent Systems.

A very nice touch.


All-and-all this is a pretty great Mythic Banner. An interesting main hero, a solid collection surrounding her and not many orbs spent.

Though in my opinion it’s hilarious to think about how Naga was put in the game now when there are still hundreds of characters to power creep her in the future.

Just imagine some low-level hero completely outclassing the Divine Dragon King.

Thus is the curse of a gatcha game, I suppose. It’ll be interesting to see how Game Freak handles a presumably similar concept with Pokémon Masters announced for later this year.

But that’s a series of blog posts for another day.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about Mythic Naga! I can only imagine Mila will be our next character in this category, but recently playing Sacred Stones again makes me want that game’s Demon King too. We’ll have to see where it goes.

Furries? In my Fire Emblem? It’s more likely than you’d think.

Furries? In my Fire Emblem? It’s more likely than you’d think.

After we got our first round of beast units in Fire Emblem Heroes, some Intelligent Systems employee decided to head off everyone’s cravings by adding all of the Fates beast units in one fell swoop.

To be fair, I’m absolutely one of those people who has been waiting for the Kitsune and Wolfskin to be added into Heroes.

So good on you, corporate office guy. Hope you got a raise.


KeatonLupine Collector

  • Wolfskin Fang (Might = 9, Range = 1)
    • Inflicts Speed -5. Unit attacks twice (even if foe initiates combat). Beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2 and deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Special Spiral (B Skill)
    • If Special Attack triggers before or during combat, grants Special Attack cooldown -2 after combat.
  • Beast Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all beast allies on team get 2x Skill Points (only highest value applies, does not stack.

VelouriaWolf Cub

  • Wolfpup Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At the start of turn one, grants Special Attack cooldown -2 to unit and unit’s support partner. Beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2 and deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Luna (Cooldown = 3)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat.
  • Close Defense (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat and uses a physical weapon, dragonstone or beast damage, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Ward Beasts (C Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +4 to beast allies within two spaces during combat.

KadenKitsune Braggart

  • Kitsune Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. Grants allies within two spaces bonus to Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat = current bonus on each individual unit’s stats. Beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2, and if unit initiates combat inflict Attack and Defense -4 on foe during combat, foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Pivot (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves to opposite side of target ally.
  • Speed/Resistance Link (B Skill)
    • If a movement Assist skill is used by or targets unit, grants Speed and Resistance +6 to unit and target ally for one turn.
  • Goad Beasts (C Skill)
    • Grants Attack and Speed +4 to beast allies within two spaces during combat.

SelkieFree Spirit

  • Foxkit Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Resistance+3. If unit’s Resistance > foe’s Resistance, and if foe uses a physical weapon, dragonstone or beast damage, grants bonus to Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance = 50 percent of the difference between stats (max bonus of 8 to each). Beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2, and if unit initiates combat inflict Attack and Defense -4 on foe during combat, foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Sabotage Attack (B Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if any foe’s Resistance ≤ unit’s Resistance -3 and that foe is adjacent to another, inflicts Attack -7 on that foe through its next action.
  • Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus applied even if no allies are adjacent).

Jesus Christ, all of these attack descriptions literally got longer the further I went.

When I cut out a sizable portion of the base text and still hit a six-line paragraph, we might be going overboard IS.

Though I suppose I can’t complain about lengthy text that make powerful units I want to use. Especially Keaton with his double strike and buffed Special Attacks, and Selkie with her mixed physical and magic defenses.

The Kitsune being ‘cavaliers’ so they are weak to beast slaying weapons is also a nice reference to Fates.

Plus, I’m just all about this banner aesthetically.

Kaden is one of my favorite Fates units if for no other reason than him making Azura a likable character in their support conversations.

Hot take I know, but I’m just not a fan of Azura’s character when she isn’t married to Kaden and snuggling with that fluffy tail. Even if she is a good unit in Heroes.

Selkie is my second favorite choice since she combines that fox spirit aesthetic with the cute anime girl look, followed by Velouria for her Red Riding Hood schtick.

But I still won’t forgive Intelligent Systems from making me write so god damn much.

… Well, maybe I’ll forgive them if I get lucky and snag some of these beasts easily. Due to self-control and abstinence after my luck on the Valentine’s Day banner, I have 230 orbs stored up.

Hopefully I can keep the stash above 200 with a little help from the Forging Bonds free summon tickets.

Even if I should have no orbs according to that storyline:

 

But don’t lose hope Summoners, IS did not take away our orbs. But if they did to remove ludonarrative dissonance, we would be in good hands.

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Plus we would find some replacement orbs from the new Book III story chapter!


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Speaking of ludonarrative dissonance, looking at this chapter next to the Forging Bonds story is a straight narrative dissonance.

While Alfonse is finding who stole the orb stash like some kind of medieval Donkey Kong, we cut into discussions of how the army could stop Alfonse from succumbing to Hel’s curse.

The sibling’s parents arrive upon hearing the news, and King Gustav chides his son for not staying away from Hel on the battlefield.

Alfonse accepts the blame, then Gustav straight up tells everyone to forget they have a son because death is inescapable.

 

Pretty tough.

At least Alfonse finds some determination in searching for Hel through battles across Askr during his last nine days of life.

 

Most of the battles just briefly introduce the Fates beasts, as well as Panne the Taguel from Fire Emblem Awakening.

Don’t really know why they didn’t save her to release alongside her son Yarne.

At one point Alfonse’s father tries to see if he remembers a tattered stick which I’m assuming was some kind of old play sword. When he doesn’t, Gustav shrugs it off.

However, Alfonse’s final day of life arrives and a bit more sympathy seems to shine through:

 

Just why he wants Alfonse to stay close will become clear after the final battle with Líf, Kaden, Keaton and Panne.

Hel arrives and the Order tries to fight her off desperately, but they find that she is literally like a Spectre who cannot be physically damaged.

For plot convenience’s sake.

 

She raises her scythe to take Alfonse, resigned to his fate, until…

Surprise surprise. Gustav arrive and jumps in front of the attack.

 

It’s a pretty convenient bait-and-switch for a character who was just introduced at the beginning of this Book’s story, but it’s set up enough to work decently well.

I wouldn’t say I was shocked by the twist, but I am looking forward to seeing the Order forced to fight against the former King zombie.

In his last few moments, Hel is astounded by Gustav’s determination to throw his life away for his much younger son and kingdom.

 

As he succumbs to repeated slashes, Gustav asks his son to become a strong king in his stead. The screen cuts to red and the chapter ends.

Here’s your orb reward for killing Alfonse’s dad.

Congratulations!


Out of sheer curiosity, I checked and found that 448 of the (current) 1248 words in this post are dedicated to copying the attack descriptions for each unit. Just had to know with how god damn big those weapon texts are.

The fact they took up a basic news article’s worth of space is kind of astounding, and it’s the reason I don’t pay as much attention to word count with these.

Basically this post is ~800 words with an add-on. That way I feel less guilty.

But hey, personal hang-ups aside, let me know what you think about our new beast units in the comments down below!

With a few more Fates units under our belt, I’m hoping we can get back to Sacred Stones soon… Especially considering I may or may not be writing about it for my Gaming in American Culture class.

A smashing blast to the past

A smashing blast to the past

Gotta love tentpole programming.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is officially out today! Even though I haven’t personally gotten my hands on it just yet, by all accounts it promises to be a fantastic collection of all the greatest parts of the series’ 19-year history.

I’m excited to get my hands on this sucker, because I’ve been a pretty hardcore fan of Masahiro Sakurai’s wonderful party fighter games since Melee on the GameCube.

Melee was quite literally a game that defined my young childhood, with many birthday parties spent playing as Young Link on the “Great Bay” stage from Majora’s Mask (many years before I actually played its game of origin).

Brawl was the game that offered my core friend group, from middle school on, to duke it out, find our main characters and test our creativity building our own fields of combat.

Smash 4 brings with it memories of being so excited that I played the demo endlessly during art class in senior year, time that left me proficient in newcomer Mega Man as much as I would be proficient in Lucina — my current main character, passed along from Marth before her.

Yet the fourth entry in the series became so much more. Long nights in the Daily Titan newsroom were more manageable after my boi Aaron Valdez brought his Wii U and we held DT tournaments.

Hell I even have some fond memories of the original Smash Bros., despite the fact that I never owned a Nintendo 64. I distinctly remember going to an animation camp while visiting my grandparents in Florida one summer, and a major highlight of the camp was getting there early to play on some of the consoles available in their waiting room.

My attachment to the series went far deeper than just playing the games with my friends, however.

When Stephen Hillenberg died a few weeks ago, writing my blog obituary for him brought back a lot of memories. One of the most potent memories was attending a sprite animation camp (here in California) over a summer with my friend Mitchell Winn from all the way back in elementary school.

Thanks to that camp, I learned a good many things about grabbing sprites from my favorite games off of The Spriters Resource and using them in different projects.

I took on ambitious sprite projects in the months and years to follow. Including recreating that famous Band Geeks halftime scene from Spongebob with video game characters.

One other project that felt pertinent to today required going back into my old desktop Mac.

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This dinosaur literally hasn’t been touched since 2012 based on the security update. Thus it has become a crystalized time capsule for 15-year-old Jason.

I had so much fun going through this thing that I’m going to talk more about my discoveries later this weekend.

But for now, the important connection back to Smash Bros. were these desktop wallpapers I made using character sprites from various games and other fan projects:

SSBB Battle Subcon Stage2
The Featured Image, a classic fight between Link, Charizard (sans Pokémon trainer as this was the Brawl era), Kirby and Marth on “Mushroom Kingdom II.”
SSBB Battle Battlefield Stage
Four hatted-Kirby duke it out on Melee’s “Battlefield.”
SSBB Battle Yoshi Stage
Pikachu, Yoshi, Marth and Falco fight on “Yoshi’s Island,” where Marth shows off his Dolphin Slash. A favorite move of mine, clearly.
SSBB Battle Mario Stage
The Mario Bros. take on Link and Sonic on the aptly named “Mario Bros.” stage.
SSBB Battle Final Stage
A slightly askew duel between Samus, Fox, Zelda and a very tiny Captain Falcon on Brawl’s version of “Final Destination.”
SSBB Battle Onett Stage
One of my prouder pieces from what I remember, in which Ness knocks Kirby out of the park in his home turf of “Onett.”
SSBB Battle Mario Stage2
We return to “Mario Bros.” so the Bros. can confront a series of variant Sonics each colored after Chaos Emeralds. Not sure if these are the classic Chaos Emerald colors, but the different poses are sweet if you ask me.
SSBB Battle Temple Scene
It’s a race for the Master Sword between Link and Young Link (clearly set during the Melee era) on the leftmost side of the “Temple” battleground.
SSBB Battle Subcon Stage
Apparently I predicted Smash Ultimate being a thing years ago by pitting the (at the time) Melee-exclusive Mewtwo and Brawl-exclusive Snake on “Mushroom Kingdom II.”

Would have helped if I made them all the same size so they didn’t get stretched out when I rotated them as wallpapers. But hey, eight years ago.

All of these babies were created between May and June of 2010 using Graphic Converter, as I never learned Photoshop or anything.

2010! I know I spent all this time building up 15-year-old Jason, but these specifically are all a product of 13-year-old Jason’s ingenuity.

Now that Smash Ultimate is out, I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon so I can start to make some new memories with that game. Perhaps a few of them will come somewhere remotely close to leaving an impression as strong as the older titles.

Here’s to everyone having a happy Smash Ultimate day!

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

‘The Jonathan Banner’: Shapeshifters and Aching Blood

Nothing like the smell of a fresh Fire Emblem Heroes banner in the morning.

This Brave Redux banner, essentially a rehash of the Farfetched Units idea from last year, immediately holds a very special place in my heart. Because it is quite literally the definition of a ‘cuck my friend Jonathan’ banner.

For years he has been asking Intelligent Systems to add Kliff into the game. Plus, he and my friend Mitchell always joke about Loki being great for her…

Two large personalities. If you catch my drift.

So between those two being together and Owain, one of the best units from Awakening, joining in… Well let’s just say we had a great time laughing about how many orbs we were going to waste on this one when the trailer dropped.

But of course the trailer is only half the story. Are these three new Brave units worth summoning?


Loki — The Trickster

Skill Set:

  • Thökk (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons. At start of the turn, if foe’s Health ≤ unit’s Health +3 and foe is in cardinal directions and uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, foe cannot move more than one space through its action.
  • Restore (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (minimum 8 Health). Neutralizes ally’s penalties and negative status effects that last through ally’s next action.
  • Earthwater Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • C Duel Infantry (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five-star rarity and level 40 and unit’s stats total is less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena (Higher-scoring opponents will appear. Stat total calculation excludes any values added by merges and skills).
  • Odd Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

While it’s fun seeing Intelligent Systems add another original-to-Heroes character into our summoning pool, I’d be lying if I said Loki was anything but the least valuable unit on this banner for me personally.

Her special weapon and signature ‘Restore’ Movement Assist are great selling points in conjunction with Odd Attack Wave, as they encourage Loki to stay near her allies to cure their status ailments and boost their power.

However, beyond that she also has that A skill I don’t really understand and… Well… The other two units on this banner are special.

So let me jump into them.


Kliff — Curious Spirit

Skill Set:

  • Sagittae (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Defense +3. At start of combat, if foe’s Attack ≥ unit’s Attack +5, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Growing Light (Cooldown = 4)
    • Before combat this unit initiates, foes in a wide area around target take damage equal to (unit’s Attack minus foe’s Defense or Resistance).
  • Fortress Def/Res (A Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6. Inflicts Attack -2.
  • Chill Speed (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Fortify Resistance (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Resistance +4 to adjacent allies for one turn.

Analysis:

It’s been 83 years, but we finally have a brand new Fire Emblem Echoes unit in Heroes. Not on its own banner with, say, Silque… But pickers can’t be choosers.

We can finally finish a full collection of the Ram villagers, and that’s worth Kliff being here.

Even if I’m personally uncomfortable not seeing him as an archer when that was his amazing niche in my playthrough of the game.

At least in Heroes Kliff’s unique weapon gives him a different interesting niche to fill. When coming into battle with a lower attack stat, he gets buffed in all of his stats. Throw on a different Special Attack and one of the extra Fortress Sacred Seals and he might honestly be a force to be reckoned with. Plus his design is sweet and that always helps.

But also replace that C skill. As you’ll see with Owain coming up next, only Loki got a good deal in the C department.


Owain — Chosen One

Skill Set:

  • Missiletainn (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). Grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per foe’s attack during combat (only highest value applied, does not stack, charge granted even if foe’s attack deals 0 damage).
  • Blue Flame (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 10. If unit is adjacent to an ally, boosts damage by 25 instead.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Wrath (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit’s attack triggers Special Attack, grants Special Attack cooldown count -1. Deals +10 damage when Special triggers.
  • Spur Speed/Defense (C Skill)
    • Grants Speed and Defense +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

Even if Kliff is a rare Echoes unit that I’m intrigued in summoning, Owain probably takes the cake as the most interesting build on this banner for me.

Except for the fact that he’s yet another strong sword infantry unit. There are so many of them.

But Owain stands out in that his preferred play style seems to be working alongside other characters. He gains an Attack and Defense boost thanks to that bond, as well as a stronger Special Attack trigger (up to 35 damage thanks to Wrath). I love the idea of playing him closely linked to a supported ally, perhaps with a different C skill. One of the Attack waves perhaps?

Also. Just. He’s Owain.

He’s a goofball and his aching blood shuttering hand over face pose is god damn iconic. He’s pretty much the sole reason I love the very similar Gladeon in Pokémon Sun and Moon.

By all intents and purposes he’s also far better than Odin. So bring me my Owain, Intelligent Systems.


Normally this is the segment where I would post something about my summoning luck.

I would if my luck on this banner thus-far wasn’t nonexistent.

So far I’ve gotten an extra Eirika to merge, then a five-star Gray showed up to ruin a 3.75 percent summoning streak.

I’m a bit peeved at that, almost entirely because Gray is not the Ram villager we’re looking for.

I also wasted a good 60 orbs getting there, so I’m hovering at about 20 or so right now. Probably not going to spend any more for a while, but we’ll see.

Certainly the paralogue story orbs should be encouraging, right?

Perfect segue as always.



Editor’s Note: I’m trying my new smaller photo upload system on this post, so if the images are hard to see just consider this an experiment that I’ll rectify next time Heroes releases a banner.

Like… Next week at this rate.



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Alright I’ll level with you. This is probably the most underwhelming Paralogue we’ve had in a while. Especially considering we just finished doing Halloween business.

It starts with the Order once again remarking that Brave Heroes have arrived.

 

Along with Alfonse, again, making a comment about how strange it is that the people of our world for some reason decided to ask for one of the game’s major villains as a Brave Hero.

Which also is somewhat confusing in that Veronica was a totally novel unit in her Brave banner but Loki isn’t?

Then again the Farfetched Units were not unique either. They were just characters from their games.

So I’m really not sure what the formula is here, Intelligent Systems.

All I know is that Loki’s first arrival is alongside future Grand Hero Battle fodder Aversa from Awakening. And they’re basically the exact same character:

 

Except that Aversa is like Loki blended together with Tharja, and Loki herself has no soul according to Aversa. She says the healer gives off the same aura as Grima which…

Yeah is pretty damning.

Yet, as much as I do like seeing these two play off of each other, they pale in comparison when you throw Owain and Kliff in the same room. I’m just going to show you the main chunk of their exchange, it’s that good.

 

 

Is it weird if I ship these two about an hour after they were introduced into the same universe?

Because I’m definitely up for doing that.

However once the Order of Heroes arrives at the final battle, it’s just kind of standard fair. They all riff on the ideas presented previously, you fight and afterwards they all say they’d be happy to join your team.

Even if apparently they aren’t because all I got was a lousy, stinkin’ Gray.

C’mon Gray, why’d you have to play me like that.


If this post overall sounds a little low-energy, I’d blame the fact that I decided to finish writing it at 2:00 a.m. instead of just waiting for the normal morning hours like I had intended to.

What can I say, the muse came to me.

Speaking of that muse, I know this post goes a good 300 words or so over the self-imposed limit that I mentioned talking to my friend Spencer about… But honestly I feel like these Fire Emblem posts are sort of the exception to that rule.

First, because I’m the only one who reads them.

But also because easily a good 400 or so words are spend just copying the skill descriptions? And those are a necessary evil, less so me giving my thoughts and opinions.

So… Loophole. Yeah.

But anyway, I’m really tired and want to wrap this up. Let me know what you think of the new Brave Heroes in the comments, or somewhere else on the internet!

Personally still hoping that Sacred Stones units are next on the docket… Though less so now that I’ve spent too many orbs just to get Gray.

Screw you, Gray. Never even liked using you in Echoes.

Don’t Sleep on this Legendary Dragon

Don’t Sleep on this Legendary Dragon

Remember that last Fire Emblem post I wrote where I said it seemed like Intelligent Systems was releasing banners at a mile a minute?

Well…

Here’s Legendary Tiki’s banner. Insert confetti hurray noise from Halo’s Grunt Birthday Party here.


TikiLegendary Dragon

Skill Set:

  • Divine Mist (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range. If foe’s range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense/Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Fierce Breath (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack +4 during combat and Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • With Everyone! (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Defense/Resistance +5 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn.

I’ll admit, some mix of trying to keep things short after my conversation with Spencer and general exhaustion from these showing up so often will probably result in this post feeling a bit bare-bones compared to most of my FEH posts.

But don’t let that fool you into thinking I’m not interested in Legendary Tiki. By all accounts she’s one of the strongest units released into the game, and she’s a character that I personally love having played both Shadow Dragon and Awakening.

Like. An armored dragon, colored differently than Grima, who hits the foe’s weakest defense stat at any distance with an affinity against dragons… There’s almost no downside. Even if I do think adult Tiki might have made more sense as a Legend to spotlight.

Either way she’s incredible. And I love her.

In terms of other things to say, I noticed that we’re running out of room on the Legendary Hero graphic now that Tiki has been added on:

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There’s a few different ways to take that information.

Perhaps we’re going to not get any more Legendary Heroes once it fills up.

More believably, perhaps after it fills up we’ll get a new graphic that’s just a repeat of this one. Personally, I believe we might see a new graphic emerge as soon as Book III of the story starts, bookmarking these 16 heroes as ‘Book II’ Legends.

Or who knows, maybe once the Legendary Hero listing is full we’ll get a brand new kind of special hero as a ploy to take all our orbs. The sky truly is the limit.

As usual, Tiki isn’t the only thing we have to focus on here today. There are also a number of other heroes stuffed into this Legendary Banner:

Right off the bat, colorless heroes are out of the running for me. The only one on that list I’m missing is Maribelle, and I unfortunately don’t care for her enough to risk getting another female Grima or Jaffar.

The other three colors have two heroes I don’t own that I am interested in summoning, though.

Bride Tharja and Karla for red, Legendary Tiki and Spring Catria for blue, as well as Legendary Hector and Sharena for green.

Though the green heroes much less so, to be fair. So namely red and blue stones are my interests this time around.

With 150 or so orbs to start off, I figured I would be wasting a lot in my search for Tiki. At this point I’ve spent ~50 of them, and even if I haven’t found Tiki the fruits of my labor have been sweet.

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I forgot to screenshot Micaiah’s appearance, so my apologies.

To be completely honest, Micaiah and Ike are a little underwhelming. As nice as it is to have them both as five stars from this banner, they’re my third and fifth duplicate of those units specifically.

Either of the other units on those colors would have been better in terms of getting something new. So let’s just say I’m not mad, but I’m fairly disappointed.

Karla, however, was a very welcome surprise. Even though her boon and buff aren’t great for me, she’s generally considered to be one of the strongest units in the game. Can’t argue with that!

Even if I am more personally interested in Bride Tharja. Don’t know if it’ll be worth risking the other two reds to get her now though, which is a shame.

But hey, Tiki and Catria are still on the table! I’ll just be slowing down on my summoning fervor from here.

Though the orbs that are coming out of Legendary Tiki’s battle map might help with that!


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Solid segue, Jason. Nailed it.

Out of the Legendary Battle maps we’ve gotten so far, this one is probably the map I would describe as being the most “eye-roll” worthy.

Even from the lowest difficulty, so many reinforcements arrive that I immediately knew I would not enjoy taking on the higher levels. The idea brought about more of a resigned sigh if anything.

Especially considering we’re continuing the trend of adding ‘Abyssal’ difficulty maps to these things.

Alongside Tiki we’ve gotten an Abyssal difficulty Legendary Hector map, as well as the return of the Legendary Robin/Grima map once more.

Maybe you’re interested in tackling those higher tier challenges, but I’m probably going to pass. Leave it to the experts like Pheonixmaster1, who has much more time to pour into these things.


Alright, that’s about all I have to say about Legendary Tiki. She’s a great unit that I want to summon, and even if I haven’t summoned her yet I did get a couple other fun five stars to mess around with.

Sorry that this post is coming later in the day once again. I had a Gladeo meeting to run this morning, so I wasn’t able to stay up late and have it out early.

Either way I hope you enjoyed my brief look at the new Legend!

Let me know in the comments, or somewhere on the Internet, who you want to see given Legendary Hero status next.

Also, let me know what your thoughts are on the next “era” of Legendary Heroes, whether we’re just going to recycle the idea for Book III or try something new. I’m pretty interested in thinking that over right now!

The Hero-King Reigns

The Hero-King Reigns

The original Hero-King, legend of Archanea, first champion of the Falchion.

There are many ways to describe Marth. He’s a vastly popular character, essentially the face of the entire Fire Emblem series.

Hell, Marth being included in Smash Bros. Melee (alongside Roy of course) is a major reason why the Fire Emblem series started to see releases in the United States. Without Marth, none of my love for this series — which has filled countless blog posts — could have existed.

I mained this man during the Smash Bros. Brawl days. He was only replaced in Sm4sh by Lucina, who is his echo fighter with slightly faster movements.

Sacred Stones may be my favorite Fire Emblem game, with Ephraim and Eirika taking high billing as lords in my head. But Marth.

He’s truly a legend.

So thank goodness Intelligent Systems finally got their heads out of their asses and made a really good Marth alt. Let’s check him out!


MarthHero-King

Skill Set:

  • Exalted Falchion (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Grants Speed +3. Grants bonus to Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance during combat = current bonus on each of unit’s stats. Calculates each stat bonus independently.
  • Fire Emblem (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 30 percent of unit’s Speed. Grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and all allies for one turn after combat (bonus granted to allies even if unit’s Health reaches 0).
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Binding Shield (B Skill)
    • In combat against a dragon foe, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot counterattack or make a follow-up attack.
  • Infantry Flash (C Skill)
    • Infantry allies within two spaces gain: If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).

Based on his skills, Marth is clearly meant to be a dragon slayer that grows stronger when supported by his allies.

Danny Sexbang would be proud.

Not only is his weapon effective against the Manakete menace, but no counter or follow-up attacks are possible thanks to that Binding Shield. It essentially gives his weapon the extra utility of being a firesweep sword when fighting dragons.

His Special Attack also has some great utility, between a large and frequent attack buff based on his Speed stat (which presumably should be high based on the +3 his weapon grants and the C Skill) and a buff to himself and his allies.

Honestly the only thing I don’t totally understand about Marth here is his weapon’s main, new effect. The wording seems confusing to me, so from my best guess it seems like all of his stat buffs are doubled during combat. Could be totally wrong about that though, so don’t hold me to it until I actually see the skill in action.

Besides that bit of confusion, however, I like Marth here. It’s certainly a better alternate form than his groom outfit. Even if it’s just another sword infantry unit to clog up the pipes.

Also he is literally carrying THE Fire Emblem into battle. That’s just dope as shit.

I’m not totally sure if he’s worth summoning compared to all of the new Brave units that are still cycling through the game (of which I still only have 2/4). Though I suppose part of that intrigue also depends on what other characters are part of the event!

This special Legendary Hero banner also includes the chance to summon:

Honestly, Green and Blue are immediately negligible for me in this Legendary Hero Banner. I have all six of those heroes, and while getting another Valentines Hector would be good to pass Distant Counter off with, otherwise none of the others excite me too much.

The Red and Colorless pools, however, are pretty fire.

I already have Female Grima, but outside of her I’m missing the other five.

Obviously Marth is Marth, I already discussed why I’d like him. Reinhardt is one of the best units in the game as a sword-wielding cavalier. Lene would help me fill my catalog. Spring Kagero is just a great unit who’s hilariously out-of-place in a playboy outfit. Finally, Faye is one of my favorite Echoes units, and I haven’t had her since she dropped near the beginning of the game.

So frankly any of those five are in my wheelhouse, and I’m starting with about 100 orbs to burn (though I don’t want to burn all of it considering my investment into the Brave banner).

Luckily I don’t have to burn a lot of orbs thanks to my free summon.

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Yeah Kagero. That spring breeze is what makes you difficult to be concealed.

I loved how hilarious this Kagero was when she first came out, and I’m glad to have her finally since I only got Spring Alfonse when that banner was around.

Plus she’s +Attack, -Health. Which may as well be the perfect stat spread.

Who can complain?

Now normally I would count my blessings and move on to bigger and better things… But I let my greed get the best of me a little.

Hoping to get one of the three units I don’t have in the red pool, I kept summoning. Now I’m down to 40 orbs at 9 percent. So I basically can’t stop summoning now even if I wanted to, meaning all the orbs I get from here on out are funneling into getting SOMETHING.

Twas hubris killed the beast.

Luckily there are a lot of orbs offered by the battle map.


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There’s a few interesting things about the Legendary Hero Battle Map this time around. First, obviously, is the fact that Marth isn’t the only one in the spotlight.

Female Grima has also reappeared to challenge players.

If I’m not mistaken, her Legendary Hero Battle was the first, which means we should presumably see more coming back soon.

Though the completed difficulty levels stay cleared, Intelligent Systems appears to have added a brand new surprise for all of us:

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Abyssal difficulty is a new challenge above even Infernal difficulty. Which, to me, is kind of hilarious. Because I cannot even beat Infernal half the time.

Perhaps some YouTuber out there will figure out the solution and I can copy that.

Given that I have not unlocked Abyssal difficulty for Marth (or Robin for that matter), all I have is the Infernal map to show off.

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I like that Marth approaches his battle as more of a training exercise than a serious skirmish. Most of the Legendary Heroes take that perspective, and it makes a lot of sense considering their status as main characters and actual heroes of legend.

Except. You know. Grima.

Who is undoubtedly a villain.

But that’s another story I’ve already discussed.

I actually find Marth’s fight rather difficult, so I don’t have much to say as far as tips, tricks or cool details go. So I’m just going to cut myself off now before I get to rambling for forever.


So I was originally just going to end this off with the usual bs fanfare.

Then I let myself be consumed by addiction once more and tried summoning on Marth’s banner again.

The gods of gotcha were unusually kind and gave me this boy on my first summon back:

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He’s no Marth, but he is my excuse to separate from the banner before I literally bleed myself dry. For that I am grateful.

Even if I now have to restock my orb pile once again.

I thought about changing this whole post to reflect summoning two five stars, but it was all set up before I got this guy so I think it’ll add to the story if I “post-writing” this part.

That said, back to the usual bs fanfare.

What do you think of the Hero-King himself, finally gracing out world of Heroes? Are there any heroes on his Legendary banner you’d like to summon?

Let me know in the comments down below!

Legendary Lucina Lights the Way

Legendary Lucina Lights the Way

There’s nothing quite as good at getting me back in the easy writing mood as a Fire Emblem Heroes update. Particularly when there are new units involved.

Not sure how excited I am to similarly embark on the journey of writing about the fuller version update that’s coming in a couple of days. But hopefully this will be a nice palate cleanser to get me into the swing of things again.

That’s especially the case with a smaller introduction, like Legendary Heroes. Only one character to run down. One new map. A bunch of subsidiaries to discuss.

Nothing too crazy. So let’s just jump into it, shall we?

My daily writing will once again awaken thanks to good old Legendary Lucina here.


LucinaGlorious Archer

Skill Set:

  • Thögn (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. Grants Speed +3. If unit initiates combat and a foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Future Vision (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces. Grants another action to unit (only once per turn).
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Wings of Mercy (B Skill)
    • If an ally’s Health ≤ 50 percent, unit can move to a space adjacent to that ally.
  • Distant Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Overall, Lucina is built to be a forward, attack-focused unit.

Her weapon makes her faster and boosts all of her stats when she’s attacking a unit that uses physical weapons. Theoretically units that can’t attack back, even if distant counter weapons are a frequent thing.

Add onto that the Swift Sparrow boost and Lucina can gain a whopping eight Attack and 11 Speed when attacking an enemy unit. Which is pretty crazy, all things considered. Especially considering she’s our second non-colorless archer and hits ever-present red units even harder.

There’s also a pretty sweet combination going on between Wings of Mercy and Future Vision — her exclusive Movement Assist skill.

Have a unit dying up on the front lines? Let Lucina teleport over to them, swap them into a safer position and then gain an extra move through the instantaneous Galeforce to kill whoever’s a problem. It’s actually a pretty sweet concept.

Her C Skill is the only one that doesn’t shine quite as brightly as the rest, in my opinion. It specifically requires her to be put on a team of full ranged units, but even then only grants them +4 to the defensive stats. Not exactly super stellar, but could be good if building her surrounding squad specifically.

While I can’t say anything to her stats, Lucina is a pretty great unit based on her skills alone. She fills an interesting attack-oriented niche that not many other archers could properly take on, and Wind Blessing teams are stronger because of it.

But of course Lucina isn’t the only hero on this Legendary Banner. Players can also go for:

The red pool is full of units I don’t have, including that slippery samurai that managed to drain my orbs a few months back. So I’m pretty interested in that whole swatch of heroes.

The same can mostly be said for blue, which has the rather powerful-sounding Legendary Lucina and original Azura, a unit I’ve never been able to summon before. Ishtar is probably the only exception to my interest there, since I already summoned her using the banner she arrived on. She’s powerful, but not a unit I use enough to necessarily want multiple copies.

Green, again, is relatively full of units I don’t have. Though I’m not sure they’re units I want outside of filling my Hero Catalog. Christmas Lissa is the only one I have, and while I loved her around Christmas time she was unfortunately outclassed by my Valentine Hector. Lyn and Lilina are absent from my ranks, but neither are units I can necessarily see myself using a lot.

So I’d be up to summoning them, but I’m not actively looking for them.

Colorless is really the only quarter of this banner that I’m avoiding completely. Female Grima and Brave Lyn are both played out in the Legendary Banner scene, and I also already have a Kinshi Hinoka. It’s the only place where I have everything I could think to ask for.

As a whole, the Legendary Banner for Lucina is full of units I don’t have, and as a result it’s much more enticing than many of them have been in the past. Since summoning Sumia so quickly on the recent Awakening banner I’ve been saving my orbs, and started off today with about 180.

Ready to spend my heart out, I threw out plenty of orbs while playing Minecraft with my crew at 1 a.m. this morning.

Turns out that was a pretty viable strategy:

Two brand new, useful units. The Lady of the Lake and the Lady of the Wind, together at last.

Honestly I can’t find any reason to complain.

Gunnthrá was my only Wind Blessing Legendary Hero up until now, so it’s nice to have some diversity in that pool. Plus it’s never bad to have another dancing unit, and as soon as they add a fourth Azura into the game I’ll be able to create an Azura Emblem team.

It took me about 80 orbs to sniff out these two, so I’m not sure how many more orbs I’ll spend right now. Maybe as I collect some more orbs I’ll throw out a couple at Lucina, but I’m somewhat inclined to let my luck stand where it is and save up for later.

Luckily there’s a perfect opportunity to score some more orbs with the Legendary Battle map.


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Another day, another nine orbs.

While maps that call in reinforcements are always annoying, I’m not expecting this one to give me too much trouble. After all, I managed to score everything I could off of the Ryoma and Hector maps when they made their way through the wringer.

Lucia’s way less aggressive than both of them were.

See? She just wants to do a training demonstration. That’s all.

No big deal at all.


Alright so I know that last portion about the battle map was a little short. I just don’t have too much to say about it. It’s a long, tough fight with some rewards at the end.

I wanted to share about it for the sake of record keeping, but staying up so late last night playing games kept me from doing this post for the early morning like I usually do. So I’m also rushing myself just a bit to get it out there at all.

That said, I can’t really think of a better way to wrap this up than to simply wrap it.

So what do you think of this new Legendary Lucina? Is she as powerful as she sounds? Will you be spending your orbs for her?

Let me know, and let me know who else you want to see take on the coveted mantle of Legendary Hero in the future.

In the meantime, I’m going to go prepare for a business meeting I’ve got in the near future.

 

Did Intelligent Systems forge a fun event?

Did Intelligent Systems forge a fun event?

As many of you know, I consider myself something of a Fire Emblem Heroes recorder. I’ve been following the game since its humble beginnings and quite enjoy taking note of different things that come to it on behalf of Intelligent Systems.

New summoning focuses.

Major version updates.

Chronicling the game’s ever-expanding plot.

And of course the topic of today’s blog post: Brand new game modes.

While we still haven’t gotten anything that facilitates playing and interacting with friends in any significant capacity, many different ways to play have been attached to the overall FEH experience over time. Outside of the Tap Battles, each has built upon the fundamental style of a turn-based RPG with slightly varying rules to challenge players who wish to earn more rewards.

The newest “Forging Bonds” game mode is no exception, but hits an interesting note by emulating a more classic support system than the game boasts with its own style of supports.

Though that intrigue is pretty heavily counterbalanced by how bland the method of playing is.

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Forging Bonds sets its eyes on the characters most recently added into the game via the Awakening banner that activated a few days ago.

So Olivia, Sumia, Maribelle and Libra are the units players are meant to pay attention to. However, the game makes it abundantly clear that unlike other events where the focused characters provide score bonuses (as they do in the Arena or Tempest Trials), players get no bonuses by owning and using these four.

Which is a shame considering I summoned Sumia so early:

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But at the same time it’s objectively a great decision to make the experience open to the full spectrum of players.

Yet… I can’t argue that it’s a perfect decision. Let me explain why in a roundabout fashion.

See the four heroes of note don’t provide any bonuses because they’re simply used as reward-granting stand-ins. The actual play style of Forging Bonds is as easy as selecting a difficulty level and battling one map for each 15 stamina you spend.

Like in almost every game mode before it, whatever opponents you fight on that map are randomized but scale based on the difficulty you choose.

The catch is that some of these enemies have random item drops.

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As you can see in the image of the event’s main screen I posted above, each of the four focused heroes correspond with a colored heart:

  • Olivia — Red
  • Sumia — Orange
  • Maribelle — Green
  • Libra — Blue

When battling, RNGesus decides which kind of color you receive. There just happens to be weighted odds for finding one color over the others.

This boosted chance cycles every couple of hours, and really does make a difference. In all the times I’ve been playing, Sumia has had the boosted chance, and as of now I have over 400 points lined up with her and just 150 lined up with Olivia otherwise. Maribelle and Libra have gotten no love, apparently.

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The division of one’s points matter, because unlike other in-game events such as the Tempest Trials where there’s a single string of rewards to unlock by playing, Forging Bonds offers four completely separate strings of rewards:

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That’s right, if you didn’t enjoy the grinding for points before, now you get to do it four times over with no guarantee that you’ll get the points for the character you want! Isn’t that just wonderful.

For someone like me who has Stamina Potions literally wasting away en masse in his reserves, this isn’t so much of a problem. I can just wait for a day where the character I want to focus on has a boosted chance and go ham on those battles. Especially since there’s two weeks of event to get through.

For most other players, especially novice players, I can wholeheartedly understand why this would be far more frustrating than it has any right to be.

Seriously, I played Monster Hunter. I know the pain that comes when the desire sensor denies you the exact thing you’re looking for in place of an item you have half a billion of.

But that does leave a substantial question. Are the rewards worth the effort of struggling to get them?

There are three primary rewards that come out of Forging Bonds. The first is the source of its namesake: The support conversations.

In traditional Fire Emblem games, support conversations are discussions two characters have together that build their characters up and offer benefits like stat buffs when they fight together in battle. In the modern FE titles like Awakening and Fates, getting high enough support levels between characters also leads to marriage and subsequent recruitable ‘child’ characters.

In Heroes, the system of supports implemented was dumbed down to simply offer stat buffs and the occasional aesthetic alteration (like having the S-rank supported units snuggle in the hot springs when completing Tap Battles). It would be nigh impossible to add legitimate conversations when every character can support with every character from any and all Fire Emblem games ever made, after all.

The support conversations that can be unlocked with the four characters in Forging Bonds are much more like the prior example.

See the theme of the event, in this Ylissian version at least, is that the four heroes want to defend a town but can’t wait for reinforcements to be sent by Chrom.

Naturally the Order of Heroes arrives and offers their services, making the Ylissian Travelers more like companions in the context of the storyline this event sets up.

As a result, they have support conversations with you, the player, as you earn friendship points with them. Despite the fact that you may or may not have summoned them to join your army in the meta context of this as a video game.

After achieving some level of support with each character on the given roster, the overall story of the event also moves forward. So theoretically, by achieving an S-Rank support with all four heroes, eventually you’ll see a completed story arc.

It’s a cute idea, but flawed by its own premise in my opinion.

There’s something empty about these supports because there are no outside benefits to them.

You aren’t more likely to earn friendship points for that character once you begin to see their support conversations. Because they aren’t units you need to have to participate, seeing the support conversations offers no benefits to you if you do happen to own those units.

They’re just flavor text through-and-through. It’s actually somewhat underwhelming as a reward.

To be fair I haven’t gotten to S-Rank support with any of these heroes so I’m not sure how crazy the supports get, and that might just make them more worthwhile. Consider this a rain check on that idea.

With that long story aside, it’s pretty clear that the event probably isn’t worth players’ time if the namesake of the event itself isn’t really worthwhile, right?

Not quite. There are other rewards to accrue, after all.

The most notably rare and worthwhile are the special accessories that correspond with each character. Once you reach 100 friendship, you earn something like a flower hairband for Sumia.

Those 100 friendship accessories also add additional friendship points that stack when equipped to heroes you fight in Forging Bonds with, so they’re worth picking up in practical terms as well as aesthetic ones.

Then there are EX versions of each accessory that are available when you earn 2,500 points for each character:

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These EX variants aren’t practically useful like the regular ones… But I’d be lying if I said they weren’t each good-looking enough to not be worth the price of admission.

Then again I’m a sucker for putting cute accessories on my characters, so these rewards are inherently a draw for someone like me. That then begs the question of whether there are other rewards more useful to players who aren’t into the aesthetics.

Again, the answer is yes.

See between all of the different main reward tiers for accessories and support conversations are basic rewards. Badges for leveling up and the like.

After a while these rewards become exclusively Hero Feathers, which players can use to upgrade their units into different rarity levels.

Feathers are somewhat hard to come by considering it takes 20,000 to bring a four-star hero into a five-star hero, so those are definitely great items to go for (even if you can only get about 16,000 from all four paths together).

Unfortunately the same cannot be said about orbs. Usually special events love to give players orbs because that, in turn, encourages them to keep up the unhealthy addiction to summoning that we’ve all developed. But for Forging Bonds, only one orb sits at the top-level reward tier for each hero.

So you can get four orbs in total by playing Forging Bonds.

Now to be fair there is also one orb given away daily by playing a match once, but even so that brings the total orb haul up to a measly 18. Not even enough for a full round of summons on a given banner.

Honestly that’s pretty disappointing. More orbs would actually encourage me to participate in the event more than the support conversations do, because even if they are the focus they don’t provide any sort of long-term benefits.

At least Intelligent Systems seems to recognize that considering the day one reward for the event coming out was 20 orbs:

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Honestly, as far as content goes, that’s just about all there is to say regarding Forging Bonds. Like I said toward the top, it’s an intriguing approach to setting-up an event that falters due to its over-reliance on RNG coupled with lackluster, sometimes useless rewards that don’t encourage players to deal with that chance.

I also personally have some smaller, more nitpick-y issues with the approach as a whole.

Namely the fact that despite being an event clearly set in Ylisse where the characters are hoping to protect their homeland, the game itself doesn’t set up a world that matches the story-created expectation.

The maps seem randomly chosen, so while players will occasionally fight on a map based on a map from Fire Emblem Awakening, that chance is very rare. It’s a small detail, but it’s the kind of world-building this event missed out on that would have done it much more justice in the long-run.

Especially considering events like Tempest Trials have already shown a propensity for focusing on maps from specific games’ canons.

Just saying.

At least the music on the main screen of the event is pretty nice, so I’ll give the developers that much.

And maybe there’s more credit I should be giving the developers. Perhaps I’m being somewhat harsh on this event as a whole If I am, and you have your own opinions on it, please feel free to let me know in the comments down below!

Like I mentioned up top, I like to think of myself as a chronicler of the history of Fire Emblem Heroes at this point. But that also means I’m open to changing my opinions on things as time goes on.

So who knows, maybe the next version of Forging Bonds will take some of these critiques and run with them to create something better. I can feel something interesting under the surface, after all.