This likely won’t be a substantial post (he says hopefully before getting into the actual writing portion of things), but I felt enough happened in Fire Emblem Heroes today to warrant something before the inevitable one year anniversary celebration.
First and foremost, there was a new Feh Channel released yesterday that updated everyone on new things coming around the bend.
I unfortunately have not had the time to watch it. That’s a majority of reason why I’m expecting this to be short.
Basically, I didn’t have time because all of yesterday evening was spent helping to cover President Trump’s State of the Union address.
I was at the College Republicans club watch party, took my own photos, did a wee bit of live tweeting, got a bunch of interviews… It was a pretty nice experience overall.
Then there was some weird stuff going on that led to us not having an article on it quite yet for some reason? But uhh… That’s a story for another time. Namely a time when that article actually gets written and published. Which will hopefully be soon.
That said, if you’re interested in watching the Feh Channel check it out here. I’ll probably get more caught up on the subject matter later.
In the meantime, some of the updates elaborated on in the informational video have already begun to roll out.
My picture just above kind of spoils things, but not as obviously as the featured image for this post… So I’ll quit burying the lede.
Ike has returned in a third form, this time as a Legendary Hero.
Seriously, anyone else remember when we were all wondering why Ike hadn’t shown up in game when he was clearly a title character all over the branding?
Legendary Hero Ike comes equipped with some familiar skills and some not-so-familiar skills. His weapon, Ragnell, is the same as his normal variant and gives him distant attack counters. He also comes with a more advanced version of his regular special attack called Radiant Aether which allows him to slash an opponent’s defensive stats and regain 50 percent of the damage he deals as his own health. By itself that’s a pretty wild combination of things. Yet, he also comes with three more skills in the form of Warding Breath (granting him +4 resistance if attacked and increasing Special cooldown charge), Seal Attack and Defense (causing a -5 debuff to both those stats after combat with a unit) and Defense Tactic (granting all infantry and armored units in his 2 square vicinity +6 defense each turn). I have a Brave Ike in my collection but not a regular Ike, so I would definitely be happy to pull this guy.
One of these days I’m really going to have to play the Radiant titles so I understand why Ike was so popular better.
But until I do, I can live out the hype with this beefy looking unit right here.
Assuming I can summon him.
Which, spoiler alert, has not been going super well for me so far. But because there are also some other subsidiary units on his Legendary Banner that I would want (namely Summer Xander, Gunnthrá and Siegbert), I’m going to keep going at it.
In controlled bursts. Not looking to go too crazy when there’s presumably Valentine’s Day units coming up soon. Even if there are only four days on this banner.
Though with the exceptional grace of a beautiful transition, there is an extra source of orbs in our midst as well.
Another miniature Tempest Trials has arrived, not too long after our last New Years-themed event. A long time ago I complained about burnout associated with these suckers, but since I’ve discovered a grinding method that works for me I’m far more welcoming of it.
Even if that trial I complained about was themed after Ike’s games, ironically enough.
Maybe this is what it means to have a full developmental arc?
Who knows. After all, all of that is beside the point because really who can complain about extra orbs, medals and a new character? Especially when that new character is Marisa:
You’re no Neimi, but you’ll do. Welcome to the team.
Part of my burnout treatment has been not talking about these Tempest Trial runs like I used to, but this one is special enough that I felt it would be worth delving into the plot a little bit further.
As always, it begins with Lucina (or Marth still, despite the fact that it seems like everyone knows something is fishy behind her mask) arriving at a new place to take on yet another outcropping of the threatening Tempest. This time with Heroes-specific units to greet her:
Fjorm seems interested in helping out, but as I mentioned is suspicious of the mask. It makes Lucina untrustworthy apparently.
I do understand that to an extent… But let’s be real, the mask is super sweet and I would trust anyone wearing it.
Editor’s Note: Don’t try to coerce me into things wearing Lucina’s butterfly mask.
Just figured I’d put that out there.
Fjorm has just one idea to prove that Lucina is a trustworthy compatriot:
But then, just as Fjorm is about to take the legendary Falchion…
Fjorm wasn’t Fjorm all along! She was Loki in disguise once again.
From there she just says she’ll wait for you to arrive at the deepest part of the Tempest to fight her, but there was honestly just something about this plot twist I really enjoyed.
I don’t know, I guess it just worked well in reference to character traits Intelligent Systems has established thus far. You know me, I’m a fan of strong characterization.
It continues on too, considering Loki is actually Fjorm in the final battle of the Tempest Trial run.
That about covers everything I have to say regarding this Fire Emblem Heroes update.
Like I said earlier, there should be more to come in the near future when we get to the anniversary of the game’s release. That’ll be dope for anyone who pines during the downtime without Fire Emblem posts.
For anyone who doesn’t pine for Fire Emblem posts… Well… Like I said, something about the State of the Union should be coming soon. I also have a few other plans in the next couple days I’m planning on writing about, so overall there should just be some nice activity going on around here.
So, until next time, what do you think about Legendary Ike? Besides him, who else would you want to get out of the new summoning banner?
About a week ago, we got a new calendar showcasing the many events that were coming down the pipeline in Fire Emblem Heroes for the first few months of the year.
By many events, I do mean many events.
Wow. Talk about a busy lineup, right?
Through the sizable web of things happening I, alongside many other fans of the Fire Emblem series, noticed something interesting. The chief antagonist of my favorite Fire Emblem game, the Sacred Stones, was coming up as a Grand Hero Battle. Then, when he cleared off, Valder would be returning.
Two Sacred Stones units in a row? Well that’s odd. Could it possibly be a coincidence given that a new summoning focus was set to begin just before they arrived?
As it turns out, it was not a coincidence. This new banner is indeed Sacred Stones-themed like everyone was hoping.
Let me tell you, I was excited about the sheer possibility of a banner from this game as soon as the calendar was hot on the presses. Every time something with Sacred Stones comes up, my heart starts firing at all cylinders.
Was my excitement met with an ample return from Intelligent Systems?
Am I ready as ever to immerse myself in the world of the Sacred Stones?
Would I be asking this many rhetorical questions if I didn’t have a subverting comment waiting in the wings?
Read on to find out.
To make a long cliffhanger short, I am indeed pretty excited about these units! Like I said already, it’s hard for me not to be excited when this game comes out of the woodwork.
However, there is one blemish on this otherwise beautiful sight that leaves me somewhat embittered about the whole thing.
But I’ll get to that. For now, let’s start examining what our new summon-able friends bring to the table.
Peaking a little early here, Intelligent Systems? On top of being an obvious fan favorite character, Myrrh also has arguably the most interesting and powerful build in this new bunch. She’s a rarity, being not only our second green dragon unit in the game, but also a green dragon unit with a flying movement-type distinction. You can probably build some crazy interesting half-dragon/half-flying team combinations with her on your side. It helps that she looks as powerful as she does unique, boasting a skill to Hone other manakete units, the attack-heavy Fury and Bonfire special attack and a special breath weapon that makes her hit a weaker defensive stat against ranged units. A pretty sweet spread all-and-all.
Yet another fan favorite character who seems to be bringing her wonderful holier-than-thou divine justice, but a strange name pronunciation. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever thought to say “Lara shell,” but to be fair the game developers also had a different pronunciation for Innes so I guess that trait runs strong in Sacred Stones. L’Arachel also has a bit of a strange skill spread compared to the undoubtedly powerful Myrrh. Rather than being a staff-wielding troubadour, as most likely remember her, she’s much more akin to her valkyrie advancement in that she uses the sacred light weapon Ivaldi (now a blue tome). Though it doesn’t have great base power, she gains bonuses in attack and speed when fighting a full health unit. An interesting add-on admittedly. However, from there she carries the sub-par special attack Glowing Light and bulk-centric Renewal (which may or may not be important depending on her stat spread), as well as the brand new Resistance Tactic that grants a big boost to infantry and armored units. There’s possibly some synergy here, we’ll have to see.
Anamnesis: Noun. The recollection or remembrance of the past. I’ll admit, this is a very clever title for Eirika given her overwhelming insistence on remembering all the good times between her, Ephraim and Lyon. If I had to guess before jumping into the story missions, this theme will play into them appearing together and I appreciate that. Unfortunately, it also brings me to remember the fact that we already got Eirika as a unit. A long, long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool when we get new versions of old units through Brave Heroes and holiday-themed events, and I’ve been an advocate for Eirika on horseback like her final form in the original game for some time… But when a second version of a unit shows up like this in a main summoning focus, it just feels like a slot was taken that could have been filled by another. Especially since her skill spread seems like the most underwhelming of the three heroes here despite her boasting five skills. Plus, what’s with her having the dark tome Gleipnir? She can never learn how to use magic in the Sacred Stones, it just seems… Nonsensical. Unless there’s a story reason that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I guess we’ll see.
I don’t really know what it is about Eirika that bugs me so much. Her appearance here is what makes me feel rather bitter about this whole banner despite the fact that it’s based on my favorite game in the series and has two wonderful units in it. Seriously, Myrrh and L’Arachel are great and I’m going to be trying to get both, but why did we get a weird reprint of Eirika now?
It really feels like it would have made more sense to release a horseback Eirika as a Brave hero down the line, for me at least.
Plus that would have saved room for someone like Neimi.
I mean seriously Intelligent Systems, how much more do I have to beg? I appreciate Myrrh and L’Arachel, and I know both Lyon and Marisa are coming soon too from other events… But I just want my favorite character in the game already.
I’ll keep voting in the new Choose Your Legends event until I get her.
If nothing else, I suppose it’s a positive that she’s not in the game because I don’t feel as bad voting for her? But not really, because I would have voted for her anyway.
I will seriously throw my Brave Lyn away in a heartbeat if we got a horseback archer Neimi at some point.
That’s about enough empty, ridiculous bitching about a gotcha game for one day, though. Thanks to the Radiant Dawn banner screwing me over and scaring me away at the same time as a Tempest Trial, I’m starting off this Sacred Stones banner with 94 orbs, so I’m feeling lucky about nabbing that Myrrh.
Wait, what was that? I wrote this whole section before the update even happened you say?
Well… You’re not wrong.
Luckily, now present day Jason can report some good news on the tail end of this somewhat negative build-up:
I GOT DAT MYRRH BABY, YEAH!!! WOO!!
Also she’s apparently sassy as FUCKhere. It’s absolutely incredible, and I’m very happy and lucky considering this happened so easily.
It only took 30 orbs to nab her too! So I still have about 60 orbs – without having done all of the new missions and all – to spend either on future special banners or to come back and try my hands at L’Arachel.
It’s a bit of a tough choice since I love Sacred Stones, but also I love having special holiday variant heroes.
Just don’t read too much into that in comparison to my vague disdain toward a new version of Eirika appearing.
On that note, the question remains regarding whether or not my predictions about a reminiscent Eirika/Lyon interactions were valid, which strikes me as a perfect segue into story.
While I am a bit surprised to see two main story chapters show up in such a short period of time, I can’t say I’m opposed to it. Especially considering this chapter goes into a really deep amount of interesting character development.
Before they head off, however, we get to see a much deeper look into Alfonse’s daddy issues.
It actually gets a bit heavy, even if things aren’t very thoroughly explained in my opinion.
Alfonse talks about how his father is leading an army to protect the land of Askr, yet he doesn’t agree with Alfonse being a part of the Order of Heroes… Which for all intents and purposes is essentially an army protecting the land of Askr.
Sure, the Order led by a greedy general, and I guess they’re fairly ‘hands on’ as he says, but otherwise I don’t necessarily see the distinction off-hand.
Plus, the game leaves off other potentially relevant details, like why Alfonse seems to be ostracized but Sharena, his sister, isn’t. Maybe that’s just her hiding it away because she’s got a happy-go-lucky kind of defense mechanism, but if that’s true we don’t get too much of an indication to that effect either.
Am I thinking too much into this? Maybe. But I’ve got no qualms talking about my love of the lore in this game. Seeing character development is always great, and Alfonse gets some powerful stuff here.
Of course right after that ends they’re interrupted by Sharena bringing him colored hay he asked for… Which I didn’t exactly know was a thing?
Once you get through the first hefty story dump with a strange conclusion, the next couple of missions go relatively quietly.
Most of the summoning focus characters do get brief introductions, but that’s about all.
For some reason, Myrrh doesn’t get any sort of introduction. Why do you guys have to short my gal, Intelligent Systems? It’s not like she’s the Great Dragon of legend or anything.
Also I guess that does bring up another point I’d like to address. It feels like the Sacred Stones heroes got a bit shafted here.
In the context of the universe, the only reason game-specific heroes are still appearing is because Princess Veronica has teamed up with Surtr and is providing contracted mercenaries, essentially. From that angle, I understand why they don’t necessarily have a huge amount of time given in the main storyline compared to more independent, specifically focused Paralogues… But still.
The music playing under everything is from the Sacred Stones, but the maps aren’t. Which is unfortunate because seeing the miniature representations of original game maps is still one of my favorite things about playing Fire Emblem Heroes.
It’s a shame, though I can let it slide considering main story progression is put on the forefront here.
That progression has the Order of Heroes eventually making it to the gateway into Fjorm’s homeland, which is sealed by a massive magical MacGuffin.
Arriving at that gateway has the story kick up to 11 once again. After all, it takes time for Fjorm to open up the gate, and you know what holding a position for a long time entails:
Surtr arrives to ambush the Order, which does lead to one of my favorite aesthetic effects in the history of Fire Emblem Heroes thus far.
Chapter 4-4: The Young Dragon
Chapter 4-5: Fiery Resolve
What a cool duality between invading and defending. I love that sort of thing, revisiting an old area with a new coat of paint. It’s just rad game design!
But you know what else is rad?
How cool of a villain Surtr is.
I won’t even qualify it that much, just look at how savage and unequivocally insane the guy is.
It’s just amazing seeing such a gruesome person in a mobile game spin-off of a somewhat kid friendly Nintendo franchise. I’ve come to really love a lot of the characters from the Fire nation, and this kind of unchecked intensity is one of the reasons why.
Though I do think it’s hilarious that you get a long, intense monologue from Surtr, only for him to send his two lackies in first and arrive after turn 3.
Especially since he’s invincible. So he’s just giving you the opportunity to end the fight before he can help.
Good guy Surtr?
Okay definitely not. But when you beat this mission, the story goes wildly off the rails once again.
After Fjorm opens the gateway to allow your heroes to escape, they have to come to terms with making the decision to run and fight another day even if that means Surtr destroys a nearby village.
Alfonse leads the charge to run away, which feels uncharacteristic after a whole mission set surrounding his citizen-first mentality.
Once they escape, however, the story cuts back to focus more on Surtr’s forces.
Then, in the surprise of the century, Xander reveals that he’s still relevant to the main plot.
Yeah, remember when Xander was important as the General of Veronica’s army? Well apparently he hasn’t disappeared.
Honestly it’s getting to a point where I wouldn’t argue with people shipping Veronica and Xander together. Clearly he’s sticking with her for the long run, after all.
Plus there are people who are into older men like that. I don’t judge.
Anyway… That aside, Veronica and Surtr start arguing over whether he should destroy the town, since Veronica is keen on having them be part of the Emblian empire once Askr is destroyed.
Before they can fight, Loki stops the group by letting them know the town is empty.
Colored hay ex machina? Or nice use of chekhov’s gun? I’ll let you decide.
After Surtr metaphorically cools his jets and agrees to keep Veronica around longer, he splits his forces up, setting things in motion for the next big mission.
What a long, frankly fascinating journey just this one mission series is. The character development is interesting, the writing is clever and everything moves at a good pace.
Even if the Sacred Stones heroes feel a little left behind, I can’t argue with what we got.
Oh, and no Lyon yet in case you hadn’t noticed. I know he’s coming tomorrow, but it does seem like a waste not to have him appear with Eirika here in this set somewhere.
Especially since they alluded to it all over the place!
As I’m sure you can tell, this banner has been a bit divisive for me.
On the one hand, it’s Sacred Stones-themed, so I’m predisposed to like it. Especially since Myrrh and L’Arachel are in it. Plus, the story they have going that includes these heroes is easily the best we’ve seen out of this game yet in my opinion.
I even got Myrrh with very minimal sacrifices. That’s awesome!
But at the same time, Eirika reappearing still bugs me wildly. Especially considering they really don’t do anything with her! I’m more than willing to admit that there’s probably just some personal bias here.
I love Eirika and the fact that they included a horseback version of her, but it was so wildly disappointing seeing her taking up a slot in this summoning focus, and that just really hit me hard. I’m willing to bet it’s in part because I’ve had a rough first week of school this semester and am taking even slight blemishes in overall great developments as over-embellished issues.
That said, as much as I want to complain about it, everything outside of Eirika here really lines up perfectly and would probably be my favorite update in some time otherwise.
So I’m going to stop looking at the negatives and take everything for what it really is: Some damn well done story and gameplay.
With a little bit of luck in summoning to boot.
I guess with all that said, all I really have to add is… Here’s looking forward to Lyon being good, hopefully.
How do you feel about this new summoning focus, or the story it accompanies?
If you could have any other hero from Sacred Stones beside Eirika a second time, who would you want to see?
Let me know in the comments below, and until next time. I’m off to get some rest so I can cover an Academic Senate meeting in the morning.
A merry Christmas to all of you out there that are taking a break from your families on this most Yule of evenings and have decided, for one reason or another, to spend some time reading this silly, clichéd offering of mine.
That’s right, as the title above suggests, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring with a top 10 list of my favorite games that I played this year. It’s been done to death by anyone with an interest in anything… But what can I say. I’ve always enjoyed the idea and wanted to try it myself.
As I don’t celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah ended a couple days ago, I’m just going to be hanging around all day today more or less. I figured doing a list like this could also double as my ‘here are some good gifts for the holiday season’ suggestions. A little late? Perhaps. But I like to think it’s just well-timed enough.
As a couple of forewarnings before we get into things. Just remember that this is my own personal list of favorites. In other words, it’s an opinionated list, so if you don’t agree with me… Well, that’s your opinion. I respect that you have your opinions so long as you respect that I have mine.
On top of that, while it has been an objectively great year for games in general, it has unfortunately not been a wonderful year of gaming for me. Because of the work constraints I’ve had as a college newspaper editor, a full-time student and an intern, there hasn’t been nearly as much time to play games as I would have liked.
So, if anything, these 10 games I’m listing off are arguably the only 10 games I’ve spent any considerable time actually playing this year.
If you don’t see a game you really liked this year, that’s probably why. As a matter of fact, unless you’re a Nintendo junkie like me, you probably won’t see a lot of games you’re familiar with on this list. A Switch and 3DS are my main gaming systems right now, so there aren’t a lot (if any) PS4 or Xbox games in my playing field.
With all that out of the way, let’s jump into the reason we’re all really here than, shall we? After all, what would a games list be without the games?
￼Editor’s Note: For anyone reading this on my blog proper, I’m going to stick the content under a read more tag. I pretty much let it all out with this one, so it’s long and I don’t want to completely bog everything else down.
Even so, I hope everyone enjoys the show! #UnintendedRhyme
If anything, this post will have taught me that title puns can be hard.
Knowing that a Feh Channel update was scheduled last night, I’ve been saving up some orbs for a little while. While that’s slowed down my efforts to get a witch Nowi, I figured there was a good chance he announcements made during the update would be worthwhile.
Sometimes, a gamer’s intuition is spot-on.
If you want to check out the Channel update, I’m putting it up above here. Personally I haven’t had a ton of time to dissect it because I’ve been busy doing Daily Titan stuff (as you’ll see later this afternoon more than likely), but I know there’s tons and tons of interesting goodies coming in the near future.
One of those goodies happens to be relevant today, however. So that’s what we’re going to be chatting about today.
Apparently, Intelligent Systems is keeping on the idea of “Brave Heroes” based on community preference at the inception of Fire Emblem Heroes. Frankly, I think it’s a welcome idea… Even if my favorite character has still yet to show up.
One day, Neimi. One day.
This time around, they’re taunting me too. Taunting my by including one of the best characters from the Sacred Stones that aren’t Neimi – Or, technically two of the best characters, but one will be coming later.
Alright let’s break this down really quick. Lute. Is. Amazing. From what my reddit-browsing friends have told me, Lute is really beloved and popular, which is a sentiment I tend to think I embody quite eagerly as well. She’s one of the best characters in Sacred Stones for both her battle skills and her personality, which is well-known for being equal parts cocky and quirky due to her early life living as a magical prodigy in an isolated forest village alongside her highly pious friend (and husband in all of my play throughs of the game) Artur. In Heroes, she comes with a new Weirding Tome that grants +3 speed and has a speed ploy effect. Beyond that she can rally Attack and Resistance on an ally, she has a natural HP and Resistance boost and she comes with a Resistance Ploy as well. Arguably she has the worst skills of the new heroes… But hey, sentimentality means a lot for me here.
Also did I mention she’s probably the only character who has a single word title? It’s pretty hilarious.
When the Radiance games hit Heroes a little whole ago I talked about how I have very little experience with them outside of Ike in Super Smash Bros. That hasn’t changed, so Mia isn’t really in my wheelhouse of understanding. I do really like her art in this game though, so she certainly has that going for her. She’s a mercenary (because who isn’t from these games apparently) who takes multiple sides to pay off her debts and eagerly spars with Ike whenever she has the opportunity. In Heroes she comes with a Resolute Blade that grants her +3 attack while boosting special attacks by 10 points, Luna as a special attack to be boosted, a skill called flashing blade that adds a cooldown charge to special attacks when she has higher speed and vantage. Good old reliable vantage. Can’t complain too much here, honestly.
The Blazing Blade follows the same pattern of experience for me as the Radiance titles. In other words, I have no experience playing the Blazing Blade, though I have played as Roy in Smash Bros. Amazing how that seems to tie together, huh? That said, I have next to no experience with Dorcas either. Lute gets all the love this time around, sorry man. In my research I see that Dorcas is good friends with Bartre, commonly the butt of jokes for being a useless but frequent pull when summoning. Good sign. He does also love his family greatly and does everything to protect them though… So I guess things balance out somewhere along the way. In Heroes, he comes with a Stout Tomahawk that grants ranged counterattacks, Draconic Aura to boost attack, an ability called Fierce Stance that boosts his attack by 6 when attacked, Quick Riposte to make automatic follow-up attacks when damaged and Infantry Pulse to lower his special cooldown when he has higher health. All and all a pretty solid looking set, honestly. He seems like a great axe user, even if I don’t much care for him as a character.
Once again, the story behind the Paralogue for these Heroes doesn’t do too much to catch my interest… Besides involving Lute, of course. That said, this story-based section should go fairly quickly.
As usual, three missions that provide nine orbs all together are here in this Paralogue – with an extra three through missions, of course.
Normally I wouldn’t say too much about the menu screen. But… Well, what can I say. I’m a bit upset that Lute isn’t on the photo for the mission listing. Or on the bonus daily items listing for that matter.
Why guys? Why does Lute get the short end of the stick?
Once the two of them are beaten into the ground, you move on to the second map, which has a nice surprise waiting within:
Joshua returns from the Sacred Stones, bringing with him a classic gambling addiction. He’s an absolutely wonderful and fun character in his original game who has a lot of depth, so I’m glad to see he’s getting some time in the limelight again. He’s also the originator of my love for Swordmaster units. Have you seen the critical animation for Swordmasters in Sacred Stones?
As a matter of fact, he’s going to get more time in the limelight soon, as it seems a new Tempest Trial is on the way (presumably Sacred Stones themed <3) where he’s going to be the reward character. Plus, his title proclaims him to be the “Tempest King.” An odd choice for his original game canon, but not all that odd if you consider he’s going to have an important role in the story of Fire Emblem Heroes.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do with him, in fact!
Unfortunately, for now he doesn’t get much more than a cameo. A wonderful, snarky little cameo. Then, once he’s gone, the rest of the story goes on without much interruption… Or excitement, unfortunately. Right up until the end when you free everyone from their contracts.
If this focus didn’t have heroes I care about from my favorite Fire Emblem game, I feel like it would frankly be a little underwhelming. Seriously they picked great characters to represent Sacred Stones.
Even if they didn’t pick the best one.
Come on Intelligent Systems, you better make things right one of these days. I’m still holding out for the best archer.
I still find myself questioning the decision to call this banner the “farfetched heroes” banner. I understand to a certain extent that they’re all quirky characters who seem to have personalities that bounce off of one another, but I still don’t know why that particular title was chosen.
I’m not going to complain too much about it, however, because I’m still hoping to pull Lute sometime soon.
Oh that’s right, I mentioned saving orbs earlier for this right? Well… I saved up about 40 orbs. Didn’t get a Lute. Didn’t get anything in fact, which is why I kind of skipped out on talking about it.
Please game… I won’t give you shit for skipping out on Neimi anymore. Just love me again. I promise to keep feeding you the orbs you crave.
Alright, when I start giving weird ultimatums to a video game, it’s definitely time to go to bed.
Like I said before, I’ll likely be posting again tonight about two articles I’ve published in the paper, and otherwise I’ll likely be busy writing yet another article for the paper. Because there’s never any rest.
Except for Thanksgiving week next week, which will be a godsend. Plus, it will probably give me the opportunity to do a deeper dive into the Feh Channel update, which I’ll really have to do sooner or later.
Until then, tell me what you think of these new heroes in the comments below! Are you as excited about Lute as I am? Or has Mia caught your eye? Or Dorcas for that matter, can’t leave the big, strong man out of things.
Okay for real, time for bed. Catch you all next time.
As much as it’s better to be busy than bored, I’ve been a little stretched thin. Unfortunately that means some things have to fall through the cracks, and some big Fire Emblem Heroes stuff happens to be what fell through said cracks this time around. It’s a shame too, there have been multiple things that I otherwise would have loved to talk about in a more timely manner.
But look at me complaining about missing fun stuff because work and responsibilities got in the way. Probably time to move on to what I’m talking about today before the world’s smallest violin busts out a tune.
Since I gabbed about the game’s Brave Heroes update last time around, quite a few things have happened. First and foremost:
That’s right, I got me a special Lucy.
Humblebrag that may be, but Lucina is one of my favorite characters given her high prestige as my Super Smash Bros. 4 main fighter. So I’m excited about it and wanted to share it with the world.
The last Voting Gauntlet also wound up being much more of an intense game than I’ve seen in some time. As I predicted at the beginning of the competition, Ike won.
The guy is so popular that it was hard to imagine he wouldn’t, and I got off with plenty of hero feathers thanks to my lucky intelligent deduction, so you’ll hear no complains from me. Camilla did put up a good fight though, and the intense competition both in the overall Gauntlet and within my friend group (as we literally split down the middle with our support) made things way more engaging.
Also we got 4 orbs every two days for each of the three rounds. That’s a nice incentive as well. Feel free to keep nice stuff like that flowing, Intelligent Systems.
Then as things moved into September, we got an event calendar for the month that preempted a bunch of cool things coming in the near future:
A few of these events have started already, and those are the crux of what I’m here to talk about today. So let’s get going and split it up appropriately, shall we?
Ironically this version update is the biggest news to come out of Fire Emblem Heroes in a long time… Yet I don’t have a ton to say about it.
Fire Emblem has become known not only for its high difficulty strategy-RPG gameplay, but also for its comprehensive unit support systems across many of the games in the series. In Fire Emblem Heroes, only one of those things has been represented since the initial release.
Until now, that is.
Ally support systems are in the game, and with it comes endless possibilities for ships in serious and in meme-worthy contexts. As someone who has loved shipping in Fire Emblem games since my first venture into Sacred Stones, I’m more than excited to see that we can pair up characters to our hearts content.
Just like in the main series titles, allies who fight near one another in battle gain support rankings that range from C to S when undergoing support training. However, an interesting component to Heroes’ model comes from the fact that you can constantly switch who your hero supports. You could have an S-support with a unit only to break that off and start another one back at C, and you can do so as many times as you want.
While I haven’t had the chance to build much support beyond basic C-level stuff, it seems as though the characters interact in a cute little cutscene to show how much they enjoy each other’s company for every rank you climb. You can view the little vignettes that come with this whenever you want.
In battle, supporting allies gain bonuses depending on their rank and distance from one another:
C-rank grants units +1 resistance from one space away, double that when adjacent.
B-rank grants units +1 resistance and defense from one space away, double that when adjacent.
A-rank grants units +1 resistance, defense and speed from one space away, double that when adjacent.
S-rank grants units +1 resistance, defense, speed and attack from one space away, double that when adjacent.
However, on the battlefield itself, it doesn’t appear as though supporting units get special indication beyond a heart over the support partner when you select one or the other. Perhaps there’s more if you get higher that I haven’t seen, but in this case there’s no way for me to know.
I do hope they add in a small heart animation when units fight side by side though. That would be amazing.
The other interesting thing to note about ally support is that you, the summoner, can get in on the anime-themed shipping action as well!
That’s right, what would a modern Fire Emblem game be without a self-insert character to pair with any unit you desire? The concept behind how this works is exactly the same so long as you replace each instance of “two units” with “one unit,” as you technically count as the second presence in the room.
The scaling benefits are also slightly better for summoner supported allies:
A C-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance and +3 health at all times.
A B-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense and +4 health at all times.
An A-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense, speed and +4 health at all times.
An S-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense, speed, attack and +5 health at all times.
Okay by slightly better I actually mean infinitely better. These are some amazing stat buffs to be able to bestow upon one ally.
Which, of course, brings us to the question that serves as this post’s title.
Are you the kind of player that will pair your units together because you canonically love them as a pairing in the story of their games/the story of your imagination’s choosing?
Or are you the kind of player that will pair your units strictly to build the strongest team imaginable, letting no stat points go to waste?
Personally… I haven’t decided which category I am. In all other circumstances I would wholeheartedly go for option 1, as I ship literally anything and everything in any video game I play, TV show I watch, book I read and more. But for Fire Emblem Heroes the pure stat buffs are awfully tempting… Especially on my cavalier team.
I would kill for some high-leveled units to get even stronger.
But for the summoner support especially I’m at a loss. Who do I want to be with? Do I pair myself with a powerful unit like a Brave Lyn to make her a battling monster? Do I pair with a sentimental unit like Eirika from my favorite Fire Emblem game (despite her actual husband being available)? Or do I pair myself with a unit like Nino, my first true Fire Emblem Heroes waifu? I literally have no idea.
Oh well. I’ll have time to figure it out.
Overall, I would say the Ally Support system is a welcome addition to this mobile title that, despite being somewhat barebones right now, easily serves its purpose and has opened the flood gates for people to do whatever they please in terms of customizable relationships.
In a sense it’s somewhat ingenious to have the feature in a mobile game styled like Heroes is where each player can build their own experiences with unit pairing. Sure it’s only porting an already existing idea over, but I still think it lends itself uproariously well.
And if I ever summon her I’ll be able to finally get revenge on the restrictive Echoes by shipping Genny and Tobin.
While shipping is easily the biggest addition to Version 1.7.0, it isn’t the only one.
Though there isn’t a lot, so the pictures above basically sum everything up.
A search option for skill inheritance is a great idea, one that I’m sure already has, is continuing to and will from here on out save people tons of time when building teams. The rest of the stuff boils down to some aesthetic and deep mechanical adjustments that I don’t feel like I have to dive into that deeply.
If anything, I just think it’s safe to say that I appreciate the game developers for constantly updating things to make the best user experience possible. So far nothing they’ve done has failed me yet and it seems like the community as a whole enjoys the changes too.
Keep it up Intelligent Systems, and I’ll keep up giving you some free publicity whenever you start up new developments. New interesting developments.
New interesting developments such as –
Tempest Trials Mini: To Die on the Battlefield
A new Tempest Trial, which launched just today!
In other words, this is the section of this post that kept me from getting that much sleep last night. Thanks game, you always know how to prod at my insomniac button.
The Trials start off about how we’ve come to expect them at this point. Masked Lucina has teamed up with the four top Bonus Allies for this go around (Eliwood, Lyn, Hector and Ninian) to help lead them into the Tempest so they can protect their world.
However, she does warn them that the character at the end of the Trial is a special kind of foe:
After you break through the usual barrage of battles (seven at the highest Lunatic difficulty in my case), you come across that special foe. The build-up is intense, the anticipation is great, and in the end…
It’s Hector. Given the description Lucina gave for him I suppose it makes sense that this is the character who’d show up at the end, but I wouldn’t liked to see something more novel-
I’m sorry, what was that? 85 health?
And Distant Counter?
My god… This unit is completely overpowered.
I actually legitimately think it’s glorious just how overpowered he is. Hector is already considered to be one of the most powerful units in the game and they buffed him to high hell for this event. Thank god they keep units weak after you lose a fight, otherwise this might have been next to impossible. He actually beat down quite a few of my units before I was able to finally take him down the first time, ending the first of many future runs at the same challenges that I’ll be playing for the next week.
Oh, uhh… Also the background is pretty.
Hector kind of overshadows it, but I do think it’s quite nice. Thought that would be worth mentioning.
Mechanically speaking, not all that much is new this time around. Everything that has been added throughout the last couple of Tempest Trials runs have made their return, and I definitely appreciate their continued appearance. Weaker opponents upon losing a fight and switching to a new team still probably being my favorite. Though a close second is the two daily rounds of extra bonus points for completing runs on top of the separate daily rewards you receive for completing said runs that really encourage continued habit-building playing.
This particular event only lasting a week instead of two weeks (hence the “Mini” modifier) also means there are less reward tiers, making everything easier to collect. Bonus Allies become that much more worthwhile as a result, since they continue to boast stat boosts across the board on top of their value as point multipliers.
Now, it may sound like I just glossed over the idea that the event is shorter and has less rewards, which is something I’m sure plenty of people have found reason to complain about… But frankly I glossed over it because I think it’s rather nice.
As my very complaint-filled introduction at the beginning suggested, I don’t have a ton of time to spare as of late. Thus, having a smaller and more manageable event with easier goals to reach is a godsend if anything.
On top of that the rewards are so tightly packed that it feels like we’re getting plenty of bang for our buck in quantity.
Though that does bring up another point. These rewards are… Fairly disappointing overall.
Don’t get me wrong, things like free orbs are a commodity I’ll never complain about, and with my huge stockpile of Stamina Potions I have no doubt that all of those sweet little spheres will be in my inventory in no time flat. But these Trials tend to be known for big special prizes throughout the point accumulation process that serve as driving forces.
This run doesn’t really have that, for me at least.
Masked Lucina is the character reward, and even my love for her doesn’t change the fact that I already own a five-star version to use. Defense 1 and Quickened Pulse are also pretty ‘meh’ rewards, as they are Sacred Seals I already have (though I do encourage anyone who doesn’t have it to go after Quickened Pulse).
Distant Defense is brand new at least, and it certainly looks like it will be right at home on a bulky unit I own sometime soon. However, that’s about it beyond the orbs. Maybe I’m just feeling picky, which I know I shouldn’t considering there’s a full Tempest Trial coming at the end of the month that I’m sure will have all the cool stuff we could ask for.
One thing this trial does have going for it is a pretty dope summoning focus banner based on the Bonus Allies. Basically everyone on the list is a super cool and powerful hero to have, so even though I haven’t decided whether to use my own orbs yet I know the risk will certainly be worth it for some.
For now, however, I’m sticking with Masked Lucina as my main multiplier. Girl puts in work with those stat buffs.
Unless more comes up as I play through the next week of fights, that’s really all I have to say about these Trials. I like the idea that miniature versions can exist, and I hope that means more events will be encouraged in the future, but this particular run doesn’t add too much to the overarching plot line or the pile of special prizes we’ve seen in the past.
If nothing else it simply serves as a nice transition into a focus on some Blazing Blade content. Speaking of, how’s about we move into the next thing.
Bound Hero Battle: Ephraim & Eirika
Though I don’t normally talk about these events, the fact that Sacred Stones has been the focus makes it worth at least bringing up as a farewell of sorts.
The mid-to-late portion of August was spent in the world of Sacred Stones between new heroes and a Grand Hero Battle. By the looks of it, this event may be the last hurrah for it on Heroes for a while as things move into The Blazing Blade with the mini Tempest Trial.
Though I think it’s a shame, more than one game does deserve to have the spotlight. Life moves on and all that, so I’ll just look forward to the next shot we might get at Neimi. #NeverGiveUpNeverSurrender
In terms of the Bound Hero Battle itself there isn’t all that much to say. It features one difficult battle with three challenge levels that offer scaling rewards.
Hard mode gives out two orbs, Lunatic gives out three orbs and Infernal gives out a whopping four orbs. Nine orbs ain’t too shabby.
For the actual playable map itself, I can’t honestly decipher which map from the original game it’s trying to emulate. This one seems just a bit too simple to really give any substantial hints in my opinion, though it has been driving me crazy enough that I tried doing some outside research on the matter.
Oh, and as an added note, thank god for Serenes Forest having these maps available to see. If it didn’t my wall would probably have a very distinct Jason-shaped hole in it right about now.
The Bound Hero Battle also comes with a summoning banner featuring Eirika, Ephraim and Seth. The only one on the list that I don’t personally own is Ephraim, and considering he’s also on another banner that’s running at the same time…
I probably won’t be summoning off of this focus. Sorry Ephraim, I’ll snatch you up eventually.
Boy oh boy that was a lot. On the bright side, I think that should cover my personal obligation to talk about Fire Emblem Heroes for a good while.
Or for at least a week. At which point we get new heroes according to the schedule. Then we’ll get another Bound Hero Battle, a full Tempest Trials run and some Fire Emblem Warriors-themed maps after that.
… Yeah alright, maybe there’s more coming up than I expected. Guess it’ll give me a nice break from the already ever-present slog of school if I make the time to talk about them.
Which of course I will, so look forward to some of that!
How do you feel about character pairings coming to the mobile Fire Emblem hit? Or about the prospects of a potentially more frequent miniature version of the Tempest Trials? Or about the many events coming down the pipeline? Let me know in the comments below!
Fire Emblem Heroes finally did it. I finally know how it is to feel like a broken man. The game has sunk my metaphorical battleship. Game over, man. Insert other overly-dramatic “woe-is-me” sentiments here.
For those of you who are just tuning in, last time on Dragon Ball Z we were given a brand new Hero Fest banner featuring the illustrious Ike, Ninian, Julia and Genny. Like the easily excitable young lad I am, I quickly began pouring my stockpile of orbs into this banner considering it had such a short run time and starts with an increased chance to summon a 5 star focus hero.
Why not? I figured any team I have would vastly benefit from having the all star heavy hitting Ike, the powerful dragon dancer Ninian or the fan favorite healer Genny.
But then the rot set in. Many, many summons have gone by since the event started and I’m all the way up at having a 6.56 percent chance of seeing a five star focus hero.
For those uninitiated in the game, that is quite a long time going at it without seeing a five star appear. Almost, some might argue, a ridiculously long time.
On top of that, the new swapped four and three star summoning chance makes it so ‘energy pulses’ indicating the summon of a higher leveled units appear more often. The more those appear the more heart attacks I have thinking I’m about to get the unit I want, only for those hopes to be dashed when it’s just a 4 star I already have. Like Mae.
Seriously, the Hero Fest banner has given me Mae twice. I like Mae, don’t get me wrong, but why would you do that to me game?
Gah but who cares, I once again ask myself in the not-at-all-dramatically-ironic-third-person, the event only lasts for a week, so what if I blow some orbs now? I’m playing a game based on RNG that wants me to spend money without explicitly saying it. Besides, the Tempest Trials are going well and there’s lots of bonus orbs from log-in bonuses, special missions and more that are available. I can just go back to hoarding some orbs again before the next crazy cool banner dro-
GUESS WHAT, SACRED STONES IS HERE, Y’ALL.
Talk about a god damn slap in the face.
I’m sure I’ve gone on record about this before, but Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has to be my favorite Fire Emblem game. It was the first one I ever played and definitely holds a special place in my heart.
Thus, now I’m torn between giving up on this Hero Fest that has a lot of investment in it already and instead saving my orbs to jump onto this new banner with heroes I absolutely love and adore.
On the bright side, this new banner will be here for more than two weeks, giving us a lot more chances to summon on it considering the aforementioned orb bonuses floating around. However, on the flip side, Hero Fest only lasts about three more days, which makes it so I have a harder time deciding whether or not I want to dump more orbs into it now and potentially screw myself out of Sacred Stones heroes later.
That’s the conundrum I’ve been wrestling with for the last 24 hours or so, ever since the video talking about the four new heroes arrived.
… Sighs. Deep breaths Jason. Keep this up and next thing we know your whole angry rant on how Revelations ruined Fire Emblem Fates will be cluttering up this post too.
Despite my agony and bellyaching likely entertaining a fair amount of you in the crowd out there reading this, I’m sure my first world problems aren’t the only reason people are sticking around to read this dribble.
So let’s get into the usual expositional explain-y type jazz.
After all, despite the poor timing of everything, Sacred Stones is my favorite game in the series. Thus, even if it’s left me a heaping pile of a conundrum, I’m still hella hyped for the characters we’re being given.
Serving as the token ‘Early appearing overpowered cavalier’ unit in Sacred Stones, Seth is a general from Renais who injures himself protecting Princess Eirika at the beginning of her journey. Despite this, he continues to serve her and her brother Ephraim as they travel the region hoping to reunite the four other kingdoms against the Grado Empire. Seth holds a few special places in my heart. For one, the name ‘Seth’ itself has over time become one of my favorite names, and he was the one who introduced it to me some years ago. He also fits a succinct ‘unrequited love’ archetype that always manages to steal my heart, as he loves Eirika but feels he can’t say it due to her being of such a higher birth, no matter how kind she is to him. I always hook them up anyway because it’s clearly the best option. Third, he absolutely demolishes the Arena in Sacred Stones. You can grind up so much money with Seth alone that it’s ridiculous, and for that he’ll always be awesome.
Notable Skills: Seth is interesting in that he seems to be built like a very defensive cavalier. Though the ruby sword he wields exacerbates the blue weakness he’ll be facing, the fact that he has Fortress Defense (raising his defense at the cost of some attack power) shows that he’ll clearly be around to tank hits more than he’s going to deal them out. In fact, he’ll be able to swap in place of his allies, tank a hit and then lower the enemy unit’s attack and defense by a substantial amount in the process. He’ll definitely be an interesting character to mess around with on my cavalier team if I manage to summon him.
Tana is Innes younger sister, a Frelian Princess who fights as a pegasus knight trained in the art of the Triangle Attack alongside fellow pegasus riders Vanessa and Syrene. If mentioning the Triangle Attack isn’t enough to make you feel elated while thinking about Tana, or frankly any other pegasus knight from early Fire Emblem games, I don’t know what will. I will say that it’s ironic to see her appear alongside Seth given that I tend to pair Tana and Ephraim up quite frequently as well. That means Intelligent Systems has added my love interests for both the Renais twins in one banner. Tana also holds an interesting distinction as having different recruitment means depending on the path you take. With Eirika she simply joins her force, but with Ephraim you have to save her from being captured in a dungeon (on the same level you find Amelia I might add, though I’ll get to her later). I personally like the story element in Ephraim’s side better, though take that with a grain of salt as it is possibly due to the shipping elements involved.
I also figured I would mention that out of all the character designs for these heroes, Tana’s new look is the one I dislike the most. Don’t really know why to be completely honest, I just kind of dislike it. Maybe it’s the hair?
Notable Skills: Overall, Tana seems like the most forgettable of these four added characters in terms of the skills she got. Her legendary lance Vidofnir (Gee, another lance pegasus unit… What a shocker) gives her defense if she fights units with physical weapons, she has the ever coveted Moonbow right out the box, she gains buffs to speed and defense and she comes with a new skill Guidance that allows infantry units to move behind her or ahead of her if they’re already close, essentially. It seems strange, but seeing her utilize the skill on the Lunatic level of their third mission spells out exactly how tricky it can be if used right. She has a bulky build like Seth, but I don’t typically associate pegasus knights with bulk so… I guess we’ll have to see how that goes.
Just an aside before I get into Innes as a character… I’ve been mispronouncing his name apparently. I’ve always pronounced Innes as “Eye * ns” with a silent E, but in his character introduction in the trailer dropped yesterday he referred to himself as “In * Nes.” I don’t know, that kind of messes with my head if I’m being honest… Though I’ll probably keep thinking of it the same way I always have.
That aside, Prince Innes is Tana’s older sibling and renown sniper/tactician from Frelia. Along with his hired hands Gerik and Tethys, he also hopes to end the way with Grado but eventually must be rescued from a siege by Eirika. Honestly, the mission where you recruit Innes in Sacred Stones is easily one of the most memorable to me, and Innes is such a powerful archer that it’s hard not to use him once you’ve got him… Even though Neimi is definitely still my preferred bae when it comes to archers. Girl kills it as a bow knight while he’s off just being a plain old sniper. Seriously I like you Innes, even if my love for you L’Arachel isn’t in the game, but why couldn’t you just be Neimi.
Notable Skills: Innes probably has the most interesting build of all the new heroes in that he’s clearly designed to be a mage killer just like his original game counterpart. He’s likely going to have a decent-to-high resistance stat boosted by Fortress Resistance, and although that ability lowers his attack, the Iceberg special attack will grant him huge attack buffs based on his resistance stat. Add onto that a legendary bow, Nidhogg, which will give him +6 to all stats if he has all his allies surrounding him during combat and a, frankly, negligible use of Cancel Affinity likely there to cover tome users like Robin, and you’ve got a pretty solid fighter all together. Even if he isn’t the archer I want.
Oh Amelia. Amelia, Amelia, Amelia. You’re no Neimi, but by god are you the closest thing to her. Seriously, Amelia is probably my personal second favorite unit from Sacred Stones. That mostly stems from a combination of her easter egg story appearance early on in the game, her cute and sweet personality despite a somewhat tragic backstory, the possibility of her recruitment in both Eirika and Ephraim’s storylines and the interesting finite window for recruitment when you do find her that adds more value to the relationship she can build with Franz (who I always pair up with her cause they’re so dang cute). Plus, if nothing else, the fact that they made Amelia an armored knight in Heroes validates my choice to make her a General every time I play through Sacred Stones. Hell, give the artist bonus points for keeping the design where axes used by generals are attached to the unit’s hand by a chain. That’s a super dope attention to detail. She’s top of the list for units I’ll be after in this banner, hands down.
Notable Skills: While sentimental value is my primary drive for pining after Amelia in her newest appearance, it definitely helps that she looks like she’s going to kick so much ass if her stat distribution is done right. As an armored knight unit she’ll undoubtedly have great defenses that will be boosted by the low cooldown special ability Sacred Cowl. With a Slaying Axe in her hands, that special cooldown will be even lower, allowing her to tank more long ranged attacks more often. Plus if her health stat is high enough she’ll certainly be able to make use of Earth Boost to gain more defense, and the new ability Armor March allows other armored units to move as easily as regular infantry, which is pretty crazy. Really good stuff all around, it seems.
These units are great additions, but… Seriously. Where is Neimi. I know I’m probably the only person on this planet that actually wants to see her and I’m beating a dead horse by now… But I’d say I’m allowed to have one dumb and silly thing to really complain about.
Though, I also question whether it would be more disheartening if she did appear in the midst of my Hero Fest/Sacred Stones conundrum…
Who knows. Either way, here’s hoping she makes her way to us in one way or another soon. The hope continues to live on, everyone.
With a Grand Hero Battle featuring Valter slated for later this month, maybe we’ll be seeing even more of an influx of Sacred Stones content in the near future.
Boy, now that I’m re-reading this portion on the characters, it occurs to me just how much I have to say about all of them. This is probably the most I’ve written about any of the new characters in this game, in fact, and I could probably do it no matter who they added. I’m sure some people will call my investment weird or creepy or whatever, but Sacred Stones was my first venture into what has become one of my favorite game series of all time. Without Sacred Stones being a part of the Ambassador Program for those who bought the Nintendo 3DS before it’s initial price drop, I might not have ever gone out and bought Awakening, which truly cemented my place in the fandom.
It’s kind of crazy how much I love this game… Maybe I should go back and replay it soon.
We’re already like 2,200 words into this sucker, so let’s get going on Paralogue story, shall we? I promise I’ll try to show more than tell.
There’s the usual affair of available battles, missions and rewards added by this Paralogue, but since I spent so long gassing up the game I figured it would be a disservice not to talk about the levels in detail this time around.
10-1 is relatively straight forward. In Eirika’s campaign of Sacred Stones there’s a mission where you need to survive a number of turns as enemies constantly spawn around you. So, this is a level where enemies constantly spawn around you for a number of turns, forcing you to survive or kill everything on screen. The mission actually gets rather tough on Lunatic mode, but with the right units it’s no big deal.
10-2 is based on a level I remember particularly well as one of the first missions in the game you take on once Eirika and Ephraim join forces again. I remember that mission well for the enemy unit wielding an Excalibur tome you can steal behind a fellable tree, recruiting the third pegasus knight Syrene and for fighting against summoning mages, one of my favorite units from that game. In Heroes, the mission is kind of a joke, however. Really easy to take down and not much story, as I’ll go into.
10-3 is actually a level I don’t recognize particularly well. From what I can tell it’s either based off of Renais Castle, where the real twins grew up and later liberated, or it’s based off of Rausten’s capital Mansel. I’d be more willing to bet on the prior, but frankly I’m just not too sure. It could be a totally different option, frankly. Either way this mission proved to be the most frustrating at Lunatic, as it really showed off the power that Tana’s new skill Guidance can hold. Warping Amelia or Innes from behind a wall was kind of a crazy strategy and I had to use a Light’s Blessing to get the extra reward on this one.
I’d also like to note that the Sacred Stones music running throughout the three stages was pretty damn nostalgic to me and pretty much brought me right back to that place of wanting to go back and play through the Gameboy Advanced game all over again.
But I digress, as it’s story time ladies and germs.
From the first few seconds, this Paralogue proves itself to have more going on than you might expect. Considering it follows after the nude hero hunt that was the two summer banners, that’s a welcome surprise indeed.
It starts with the usual affair of Princess Veronica setting up her contract with the heroes, but this time something gets in her way that she wasn’t quite expecting.
Out of the love and respect he holds for Eirika and Ephraim, Seth is able to really prod the tiger and try to get at her true inner workings despite the fact that he’ll be working for her. Though it’s small, the interaction brings up some interesting questions about just how powerful the contracts Veronica uses are and about the nature of where she comes from, the place she’s Princess of. It’s a subject that I don’t believe has been broached past the typical good vs. evil “they’re the bad guys trying to hurt us” fair.
Then things get more interesting when Xander shows up again.
Yeah that’s right, Xander! I was pretty taken aback when his portrait suddenly appeared. He played a semi-significant role by showing up in most of Veronica’s army matches when you fought against her specifically, but apparently they’re keeping up the canonicity of his being on her side… Even if he’s clearly not as brilliant here as he is in his own universe given some of the dialog.
Though Seth continues to exchange ideals with the opposing team, the second mission is definitely way more fluffy. It boils down to Innes and Tana arguing about her being up at the front of the battlefield because Innes wants to protect her even though she wants to prove herself.
Not a very exciting thing to talk about even if the character development is amicable for those who have no idea who the characters are.
However, the third mission brings things right back up to 100.
I don’t know how many pictures I can just straight up screenshot and use from this game without getting into trouble, but for this exchange I just feel like it’s poignant enough to include in its entirety.
I’m not sure if that feeling just stems from Seth being the distributor of justice or if I’m genuinely really interested to see the story writing team inject some actual character intrigue and commentary with regards to the traditional villain character’s story, but either way I actually felt a little bit enthralled reading some of the exchanges in this Paralogue.
Maybe I’ve just seen these characters in action for so long that getting to watch them flesh one another out is fascinating to me. As someone interested in both writing and video games, I’d certainly be willing to ascribe it to that.
From that point everything seems to be about what you’d expect, however.
Innes expresses his dismay that you had to help him and his friends out of a jam:
Then all is happy and good. The end.
OR IS IT?
That’s right, if one character’s character development wasn’t enough for you, now we have some semblance of overall plot progression to enjoy as a post-production following the mission.
The Anna-imitating trickster god Loki from earlier main story missions appears once again to show that the venture into Sacred Stones territory wasn’t just an exercise in finding new allies and fighters. No, this time the game’s villains had an aim.
Because what isn’t corrupted by evil magic from a stone or from a dragon in Fire Emblem?
Though they don’t elaborate much further on the usefulness of Naglfar in place of some suggestively abusive exchanges between Loki and Veronica, just the fact that the story missions and Paralogues continue to ramp up a bigger narrative story in this free-to-play mobile title is frankly just interesting enough to keep me coming back for more.
Good job Heroes devs and writers. You made up for sexual deviant Anna. I’m proud of you.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes. Yes I did summon on the Sacred Stones banner. A full 20 orb summon I might add, since the free first summon essentially gave me a five orb discount. What did I get for my troubles?
Nothing but tribute fodder and heart attacks.
You don’t think I’d bury this so far down here if I got anything important, do you?
I will take this moment to add an aside and say that although I expressed a lot of frustrated flailing back and forth earlier in the post, I’m actually not all that upset with these developments. I was for a little while when I first heard the news, don’t get me wrong, and my emotions from that moment are genuinely expressed up above since I wanted to log those thoughts for posterity, but overall my feelings are honestly much more demure and even glad.
Oh, and I already know I’m probably going to focus more on Sacred Stones with perhaps one more shot at the Hero Fest. Cause it has already burned me too hard.
In the end, I love these characters, so how could I possibly be that mad at a free game for adding in characters that I love?
Though I can still be fake mad at them for not adding the one character they know I want. I know that they know that I want Neimi to show up and they’re holding her from me intentionally. I can feel it.
But anyway, dumb conspiracy theories aside, that’s all there is to this update. Let me know what you think of the new focus heroes or of the ramping story that seems to be getting told in a long-form narrative. I’ll be interested to hear all of your thoughts and theories in the comments!
Just about two weeks after the game’s initial launch, Fire Emblem Heroes has received a new set of downloadable content that, despite being small, gives me some hope that this mobile game will keep itself in the hands of fans for some time to come;
Yes that’s right, new heroes have arrived. Two heroes from games that haven’t had characters in the mobile title yet, I might add. Eirika and Ephraim have arrived from The Sacred Stones, meanwhile Seliph and Julia have arrived from Genealogy of the Holy War.
While no other characters from those two games have been added yet (unfortunately), the fact that new heroes are being added this soon after the game’s launch is a good sign compared to certain other titles I’ve seen handle this kind of system in less than impressive ways. In fact, the model of launching just a few heroes at a time in this manner might be a little frustrating for players like me who want more of their favorites to arrive in droves, but it makes sense as a strategy to consistently space out content in a game where there’s plenty of potential content just waiting to be unleashed.
It isn’t just the four new characters to summon that give me hope for Fire Emblem Heroes, either. There have also been new Paralogue story maps added to the game, much in the same fashion of extra missions appearing in main series Fire Emblem titles.
The Paralogue boast its own bit of branching story from the main story mode with three maps that each award an orb for completion. With three difficulty levels on each of these maps too, all together they give players nine more orbs for their collections. With this, anyone can be at least a solid halfway to another full summoning session.
Nine orbs alone may not seem like a lot, but considering these extra orbs were added in just two weeks after launch, there’s plenty of promise that many Prologues will be added in the near future. Between this, the two daily orbs and whatever extra orb rewards are given through quests, summoning heroes after burning through the 135 main story reward orbs should still be a rather attainable goal.
Speaking of quests, that’s another reason why this small update shows promise in extending the shelf life of Fire Emblem Heroes.
New quests were added specifically pertaining to the Family Bonds Summoning Event, and though some of the goals are a long shot to complete (such as the ones that require the special focus heroes to be used), they are just another example of how goods will continue to be dispersed to players over time.
I’ve been enjoying Fire Emblem Heroes way more than I ever expected the past few weeks. Super Mario Run, while a really fun game (for reasons I’ve discussed previously that I still stand by), feels a little constrained by its smaller maps and limited main story content. I still go back to it, but even when I first started playing I didn’t find myself returning as religiously throughout the day as I do now with Fire Emblem.
Of course, part of what makes the game so fun is having a few close friends just as invested as I am, giving us things to talk about throughout the day. Whether it be about someone’s terrible summons or the daily event that just arrived, it’s interesting to see the different ways we’re all experiencing it.
To make a long story short, as I write this sentence I’m playing out a few maps to earn some new orbs so I can build up to summoning again. The game is just that addictive and I look forward to every moment I’m playing it.
And I say that not only because Sacred Stones heroes have officially shown up.
While I’m a day late and a dollar short on this one, there was a Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct held yesterday that I missed because I was hosting some of my friends for a small get together. However, given that I’ve talked a lot about how much I love Fire Emblem in the past, I figure I should still go back and talk about what the Direct had to offer, at least briefly, now that I’ve had the chance to sit down and watch it.
If you haven’t seen the Direct yet either and want to watch it alongside me, you can check out the full video here. It’s only about 20 minutes long and showcases four games, so I promise it won’t take too much time out of your life.
Unless you decide to write long-winded posts about it like I do. Because then it’s going to take up a lot more of your time. That, I can assure you.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
The Direct starts off right away with what I can only call the cinematic trailer for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. The game, as is then elaborated on after, is a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was a Japan-exclusive title from the early 1990s.
A lot about the art style in regards to character portraits and things like the overworked map in the gameplay footage that was shown reminds me a lot of some of the earlier GameBoy Advanced Fire Emblem titles like The Sacred Stones (which, fun fact, is the first FE game I’ve ever played thanks to the ambassador program for the 3DS, and thus the one that got me into the series). However, the in-battle style looks like it’s going to have the same impressive 3D polish that Fire Emblem Awakening had and that Fire Emblem Fates more or less perfected.
There are also apparently some unique elements to Gaiden that have been recreated for Echoes, such as free roaming fights and dungeon crawling. Both of which sound like amazing inclusions that I honestly can’t wait to see executed for myself.
The game has been given a set release date of May 19, 2017 for the 3DS, and boy am I now excited for it. To be honest, the anticipation that’s building after watching just this first part of the Direct really does make me want to go back and play more Fire Emblem. In my early-games-of-the-series catalogue, I’ve so far only played The Sacred Stones and Shadow Dragon, a remake of the original first Fire Emblem game. I’ll look forward to adding Gaiden to that list with this remake.
Oh, and there are Amiibo, and considering I have an on-again off-again problem with collecting those dumb amazing little figurines, I just might see my collection grow again.
Fire Emblem for the Nintendo Switch
Next up was the announcement of a brand new Fire Emblem title being produced for the Switch, set to come out at some point in 2018. As the narrator announced, making my job here that much easier, the new game (with a currently working title) is the first in the series to return to consoles since the games featuring Ike: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. The decision to do this is interesting, and honestly makes a lot of sense.
Fire Emblem is a game that seems to do best when it’s a mobile experience, when you can pick up your fight wherever you want while waiting for whatever it is you might be waiting for. The Switch gives the game a chance to have the best possible graphics Nintendo has produced thus far while also keeping the idea of mobile gaming alive, and to be completely honest it’s a clear showcase of one of the reasons I believe the Switch is going to do quite well over it’s lifetime.
That was all we got on the new game in the series unfortunately, but considering we’re still at least a year out it’s understandable. Just the fact that a new one has already been confirmed so soon after Fates graced the gaming market is nice really, as it means the series is continuing to go strong. As I’ve said before, we can always use more Fire Emblem.
Fire Emblem Warriors
Speaking of more Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Warriors was the next subject of the Direct. There was a small teaser for the game in the Nintendo Switch presentation earlier this month, but this time we got to see a trailer with some gameplay.
The opening did the same cool orbs-with-swords that led into the Fire Emblem crest. This time, after the mysterious figure – revealed to be Chrom, the royal Prince/Exalt of Ylisse from Awakening – takes the Falchion, he proceeds to just demolish mobs of soldiers all at once in a few fell swipes of the blade.
But that was about it, we then got the same vague Fall 2017 release date.
However, they did reveal that the game is actually going to be dropped on the 3DS concurrently with the Switch version of the game. That alone makes this game infinitely better in my eyes. Part of the reason I didn’t get Hyrule Warriors was because I didn’t have a Wii U when it was released, and by the time the 3DS port came out I was too busy doing other things to devote my time to the game.
I’m very excited to try this game, honestly. I’ve never played a Warriors game before, and this seems like it could be a perfect entry point for me. I just hope that the developers go back and pull some more older characters that I might know for the roster of playable heroes rather than mostly sticking in the modern games like Awakening and Fates. I love those games, don’t get me wrong, but I’d also love to do something like play Neimi from The Sacred Stones, probably my favorite archer girl ever.
Considering the treatment that was given for the character roster in Hyrule Warriors, I’m sure that kind of possibility isn’t too farfetched.
Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem Heroes, the first mobile smartphone game in the series, had it’s opening shown during this Direct as well. The cinematic, as usual, was beautiful, and featured a bunch of new characters we haven’t yet seen before apparently summoning heroes from other Fire Emblem titles (though all it showed was Awakening and Fates) to fight one another.
Not a bad way to start a reveal, I’d say.
Rather than just making a mobile game for the sake of a mobile game, however, Fire Emblem Heroes touts its own brand new story, which makes the game that much more enticing. It might just be a rough skeleton to encase the idea of making old characters fight in a mobile format, but just the fact that the extra effort was put in makes me more happy to look forward to the title’s release in .
Though the cinematic opening only showed Awakening and Fates-based heroes, there was also a screen depicting heroes from all across Fire Emblem’s history, so even if Warriors doesn’t have a hugely nostalgic cast, this game certainly will. Though the game itself doesn’t look incredibly complex, the art style is rather adorable overall between the pixel art-based world and the occasionally appearing fully-rendered character art depicting their attacks. I can see myself getting pulled into it at least.
On top of that, the narrator promises the gameplay will be as “intense” as expected in a Fire Emblem game, which either bodes well … Or not so well depending on how it’s handled. Not sure having a mobile phone game with stages it takes me twenty years to beat because of BS enemy placement or terrain issues would be all that fun, no matter what the subject matter may be. But hey, at least the weapon triangle still exists.
Then of course comes the real mobile game edge to Fire Emblem Heroes: Microtransactions. I have a mixed history with this style of setting up a game. On the one hand, if handled well, I quite enjoy a system using Microtransactions. If I can manage through the game reasonably without being absolutely required to use them, that’s A-OK by me. Even better would be if I love the game so much that I feel I should pay the developers something for their work, even if the game initially comes free. However, if the Microtransactions are used as a significant roadblock, forcing the game to elongate itself because of how long you have to wait between getting the in-game currency if you don’t pay for it… I’ll likely get warded off quickly.
Seriously Fire Emblem Heroes, I hope you take a page from Pokémon Shuffle‘s book. If you ask me, that game has a pretty perfect system in place for how they’re used. The fact that the summoning stones used as in-game currency simply summon characters for you to use I doubt the same system would be possible… But it’s the idea that counts. If anything the game will probably be more like Marvel’s Contest of Champions with a battle style that I believe I’ll enjoy far better, so I get the impression it will have some staying power.
I don’t know, I can see the problems potentially there, but because the heroes you receive don’t permanently die and force you to wait to summon more, I don’t think it’ll be a huge problem. Waiting a period to revive is far more manageable if you ask me.
Especially since there’s grinding. After playing through Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, I thank Naga every time there’s a chance for grinding in a Fire Emblem game.
The end slate for this game says that Heroes will drop on February 2nd for Google Play, and gives a vague ‘soon’ for iPhone and iPad. Just as long as ‘soon’ is sooner rather than later I’ll be happy. It’ll be nice to have some Fire Emblem to tide me over before Echoes.
Plus, if I enjoy it the way I have and continue to enjoy Super Mario Run, then I’ll happily continue to finance Nintendo’s trek into the Mobile gaming world.
That was all we got in the Fire Emblem Direct, but honestly I can’t complain. Having a more compact game-focused Direct felt much better than the big Nintendo Switch Direct, which had to spread it’s time among a billion different games. Also, I have to say, the narrator for this Direct had a wonderful voice. I feel like I could listen to him tell me about new games forever… Er, anyway. Everything on the horizon for Fire Emblem looks amazing, and I’m hyped to be a part of all of it.
Naturally I chose Neimi, because I seriously have so many fond memories of mowing down enemies with her mighty bow. Though looking through the list really brought up a ton of fond memories for various characters… You would’ve been my second choice, Amelia.
If there’s any game on this list you’re particularly excited for, let me know in the comments below! Writing a post like this feels like building up to Pokémon Sun and Moon all over again, and it’s good to get back into that mindset if you ask me.
With college starting up again next week, having a distraction to help keep myself sane during long nights of work is never a bad thing.