Tag: Fire Emblem

Analyzing animation and Pokémon

Analyzing animation and Pokémon

After dealing with the mental gymnastics of drama retroactively changing content appreciation, it’s nice to find some new YouTube personalities to enjoy.

You may think replaying Sacred Stones would sate my appetite for entertainment, but the game’s weakest point is its soundtrack. I pointed that out in my essay, and it proved to be true.

So I looked for things to listen to while playing, and my newest obsession has been a series on Pokémon typings from Lockstin & Gnoggin.

There’s actually a somewhat interesting history behind my discovery of this series.

The channel’s “Every Pokémon Type Explained” has been recommended to me by the platform a number of times. Each episode was recognizable from a uniform thumbnail with black borders around images of different Pokémon with clickbait-y text suggesting they should NOT be that typing.

It always seemed over-the-top for my tastes, so I never watched any part of the series.

Cue life lesson about not judging a book by its cover.

As fate would have it, I intersected with the channel again through a collaboration they did with the animation channel TerminalMontage.

TerminalMontage is another fairly recent addition to my watch list, but became a favorite thanks to his “something about” series where the plots of video games are just torn apart with a goofy cartoon style and memes.

I’m particularly a fan of any Star Fox-related video, as he leans hard into the Super Smash Bros. Melee meta Fox who jolts around with the sounds of a GameCube controller clicking in the background.

Makes me laugh literally every time.

Brilliant stuff if you’re into fast, purposefully random comedy.

His recent animation depicting a Fortnite-style battle royale featuring Legendary Pokémon really caught my attention.

Like his prior Pokémon battle royale video, it was full of interesting deep cuts that made me want to know more about the thought process behind putting the project together.

So this time I paid attention when they recommended watching Lockstin’s breakdown of the Legendary Pokémon battle royale. Because he helped plan the videos.

I enjoyed his style of commentary and seemingly well-calcified knowledge of Pokémon lore. Thus, I finally bit the bullet and started watching the typing videos I’d put off.

In essence each video takes one of the 18 types (minus two as of my writing this) and tries to divide each Pokémon of that type into categories of real-life equivalence. And yes, he does actually indicate which ones might not belong. Clickbait justified.

For instance the rock-type video divides monsters into living rocks or beings that adorn rocks, and further breaks down what kind of real mineral each Pokémon represents.

Meanwhile the ghost-type video (in lieu of real-world science) breaks down every monster into what mythological legend or ghost story they represent.

It’s a really interesting and analytical series about what many probably consider an innocuous franchise. I appreciate the depth and flashy style of editing that shows a lot of care on the production’s back-end.

As a result, that’s my recommendation for the day. I’m always a fan of pointing out great content where I find it… And I really don’t have that much else to talk about tonight.

But stay tuned.

Tomorrow I will complete my video game/YouTube/movie media trifecta with a review of a little movie I’m going to see called John Wick: Chapter 3.

And boy I’m excited!

Wrapping up Gaming

Wrapping up Gaming

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. You heard it here first.

I’m officially done with Gaming…

In American Culture.

You know, that class I was taking for fun with my friend Mimi this last semester? Despite it neither fitting into my Comm major nor my Psych minor.

As you may recall from this great post, that class had the last few assignments I was working on. An essay and a Let’s Play video based on Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.

Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 9.17.23 PM
Up to 8 views as of this post!

This evening I found out that I got a 94 percent on both assignments, which landed me at a 102.22 percent in the class overall.

It looks like the professor added extra points to one assignment, and I don’t feel the need to address him in case that turns out to be an accident and we knock my grade down.

Gaming in American Culture was the last holdout for grades, so now I have the full scale of how my last semester shook out:

  • Comm 495T (Internship class) — 100 percent
  • Communications Law — 97.1 percent
  • Cognitive Psychology — 96.35 percent

My Honors classes don’t have grades associated with them… But I turned in my Project materials and give a presentation, which should constitute 100 percent.

Given all of the accolades I received along the way, not a bad way to end things.

Certainly good enough to feel confident in joining the Alumni Association:

Thus, my academic journey is over… Until I inevitably come back for a teaching degree or something.

Plus I’ll have to go back to campus for Alumni Association swag.

And I need to pick up my physical Honors Project once it’s printed.

But that’s all in the uncertain future. For now I can kick back and relax, even for a few days as I side-eye pieces of writing for Gladeo and looming job applications.

Actual gaming has been a huge part of my decompressing formula, because you’d be insane to think that my joke was an indication of actually quitting this sweet addiction.

In that regard, Gaming in American Culture gave me one last gift: An excuse to play through my favorite Fire Emblem game once more.

I didn’t stop playing Sacred Stones when I finished that paper. I’ve been carrying my 3DS around again to get through it.

As luck would have it, I happened to finish my current Eirika’s route run the same night as I found out my class grades. Hence the Featured Image and this picture of my favorite couple’s flavor text:

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Though I may have jumped the gun in pairing them together again so quickly.

I’m not going to say I regret the decision, because they’re my precious babies and I’ve always been the kind of person to fall in love with a pairing and ship them every time.

But Sacred Stones apparently has a mechanic where you can view previous support conversations from the main menu — something I believed only came in later entries.

Once I realized that, I decided I should go for new character pairings and appease the Completionist side of my brain since I’ve been stuck at the same level for years.

Even in this one run I found at least one new ship I adore in Lute and Kyle!

Definitely a great thing, but also deeply troubling.

After all, now I know there are new pairings that I may love… which is more incentive to try new support paths.

And I just so happened to save a separate file for Ephraim’s route.

So between work and Minecraft with my friends, I might just be diving into this Fire Emblem rabbit hole again immediately.

Let’s just hope I don’t burn myself out before Three Houses.

No love for these bridal heroes

No love for these bridal heroes

Good afternoon, world! Been a while.

I took the last few days off because I was spending extra time with my grandparents and…

That.

After one whole day doing absolutely nothing post-Graduation, it’s about time I jump back into the saddle for my daily writing exercises!

What better catalyst for that writing resurgence than a new banner in Fire Emblem Heroes?

… In hindsight basically anything else. Because it figures this is a banner I could give no fewer shits about.

Personal obligations to consistency ahoy!


Bridal Belongings


When I say this is a post written almost purely out of obligation, I’m not kidding. Maybe it’s in contrast to my excited reactions for Berkut and Alm, but I can’t remember the last time a banner was this much of a dud for me.

When I first watched the video, I had no idea who I was looking at. Usually I’ll have heard of a character if they’re popular, but not this time around.

Sigrun and Tanith are from the Radiant games, interestingly paired with Sanaki’s appearance last year.

Meanwhile Pent and (Tempest Trial reward) Louise are from The Blazing Blade.

Both convenient gaps in my Fire Emblem knowledge.

Unfortunately, none of them have anything to their unit skills that stand out enough to make me care.

Thus, Fjorm is the only character I’m interested in because I know her and she has some interesting skills. She’s a flying healer who negates dancing and gives allies a grounded version of flier formation. That’s kind of cool!

It’s just too bad she’s the only one I care about, because that means I’m probably going to save my orbs for whatever Mythic Hero is rumored to be coming.

At least she’s the main focus of the Paralogue story. So we’ve got that going for us?


Paralogue 34 — Bridal Belonging

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It’s just too bad Fjorm’s starring role is undercut by vague generalities meant to push an unrequited love subplot that Intelligent Systems doesn’t even fully commit to.

Our story begins with the Order of Heroes taking Fjorm to the Bridal festival. She’s admiring all the dresses when one bride-to-be turns out to be:

A way cuter version of herself.

Damnit Heroes, stop making me want to summon for this one character on a dud banner. I need to save my orbs.

Alfonse suggests this Fjorm may from the future rather than just an alternate Fjorm. An idea that sets an entirely new precedent? I don’t think having future versions of your timeline’s self has ever been established before.

And I’d rather not think about the Back to the Future shenanigans that might ensure if the character is summoned under those circumstances.

We follow Bride Fjorm as she gets advice about love from the new units, suggesting she’s worthy if she unconditionally loves a person or would give everything to protect them.

She says there is a person she would do that for, and based on prior experiences I can surmise she’s talking about the player character.

But this Paralogue does everything it can to cut her off.

I guess it does that because once the final battle is over, Sharena offers to be Fjorm’s wingman after she refuses to tell Alfonse who she would “theoretically” love.

As prior experience suggests, Sharena also has a thing for the player character. Which means we’ve got a real drama-bomb building under the surface.

Because this wouldn’t be an anime gatcha game without all of the waifus being in love with you for no other reason than to incentivize spending money on your preferred smooch.


So that’s that. My cynical, bored take on 2019 brides in Fire Emblem Heroes.

I’m coming from the bias of ignorance, so if these characters are worth caring about let me know! I’d like to play through their games eventually, after all.

But for now, this is all I’ve got.

If nothing else it’s good to be back in the writing mood!

I’ll have more time to come up with things to write now that we’re in Summer Initiative take 2, but other than an official write-up on Graduation once I have my Grad photos I have no idea what I’ll be writing about.

It’s going to be a real grab bag. Look forward to that!

My new Let’s Play channel

My new Let’s Play channel

What’s up, gamers. T1meslayer here with a channel update for all y’all.

A few months ago I launched a series of toy unboxing videos with my sister that has gone on to achieve great acclaim. That first video has almost 100 views, and that not-LEGO Mimikyu was a star in my class’ Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Our YouTube community has reached amazing heights, and I couldn’t be more proud of you all for helping me get to the coveted 1 subscriber milestone.

That’s why I’ve decided to launch a new project.

I’ll be going toe-to-toe with industry greats like the Game Grumps and Markiplier through my brand new gameplay channel: T1meslayer plays.

As you know I’m a huge Nintendo fanatic, so that’s going to be my primary focus. In fact, we’re starting off with one of my favorite titles on the GameBoy Advance. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004).

To help stand out from my competitors, I’m taking a new approach to YouTube gaming that I like to call “non-chronological let’s plays.”

We’ve all seen the first levels of certain games played a dozen times as new channels start to play, only to collapse under the weight of mediocrity before they get to the end.

I’m going to solve that problem by starting with Episode 5 and then jumping around.

So if you’re up to going on this journey with me, you can see the first episode of my series here:

Thanks so much for sticking by me during this turbulent time as I get ready to graduate. Like, comment and subscribe to see what’s coming next!



Alright. Obviously I don’t have a gaming channel.

Sorry to disappoint those of you who might be interested in watching that cringe-fest.

This let’s play video is actually one of the final assignments for my Gaming in American Culture class. We had to essentially parody the YouTube video game scene to try and convey some ideas we’re focusing on in our papers.

My paper is all about Sacred Stones, so my let’s play is an episode of what would be my Sacred Stones playthrough.

It was a nightmare actually putting this together (as one might expect when trying to pull an 18-minute video off of their iPhones to edit on a 10-year-old laptop), but I actually really like how it came out?

Like sure, I’m terrible on camera. And technology was so difficult that I skipped blog writing yesterday. But I cut out dead air and added an editorial commentary track to inject some humor, I think it’s a nice piece.

Nice enough to share publicly, at least.

Yet sharing the video is bittersweet. This is literally my penultimate college assignment. All I have left is the final paper for this same class.

Today was my last day of college ever — and it also happened to be my Gaming in American Culture.

Learned about some interesting things from these presentations. In sports especially, like the existence of pickleball and the beer mile.

The latter of which makes me happy that I don’t drink.

“Bittersweet” is really the best way I can describe my feelings. I’m happy to move onto the next stage in my life, especially since I can share the celebration with my family — particularly my grandparents from Florida, who both flew in together for the first time since my Bar Mitzvah.

Almost 10 years ago. Yikes.

But at the same time I have genuinely enjoyed my time in Academia, and the idea of finding a real job still terrifies me.

You don’t have to worry yourself with that part of my psyche, however. For the next couple days I’ll probably be posting all sorts of positive things on social media to try and convince you all that my life is nothing but wonderful.

Because that’s really what social media is all about, isn’t it?

In the meantime, enjoy my cringe-y let’s play.

Please.

I’m proud of it.

Heroes be damned

Heroes be damned

I’m going to keep this intro brief because the banner is pretty exciting.

Just so you know, this is the first time I’m going to try culling my word count by pivoting away from self-generated skill sets to showing off the official video.

It’ll be a little less fun for me personally, but it should make things more efficient.

Let me know what you think!


Darkness Within


Let’s talk about Berkut.

Legendary Alm was amazing, as I reiterated in his banner’s post. Though he screwed me out of 300 orbs, praise was well-deserved.

But my hype for Alm was nothing compared to seeing fallen Berkut for the first time.

Intelligent Systems put extra time into him. His idle sprite looks unhinged with a tilted head and calloused laugh. The witch of his sacrificed Rinea lingers in both his artwork and attack animations. On top of that, the insanity of his lust for power is evident all over the character dialogue.

Clearly the developers know Berkut is a fan-favorite, because he got love far beyond any unit I’ve seen.

He’s also my favorite part of this fallen banner, which is great considering he was my free summon:

IMG_2723

Figures Berkut would peg me as an ally after Alm’s rejection.

However, just because Berkut is the stand-out doesn’t mean he’s the only unit available.

Last year’s fallen heroes banner had Celica, Harden and Grima, with “betrayal” Takumi as a Grand Hero Battle.

This year, alongside Berkut is Tiki, an incredibly powerful colorless armor dragon; Mareeta, a rare Thracia representative; and Corrin, who…

Frankly doesn’t compare. Maybe if she was red? But as things are, I’m not impressed.

However we have possessed Delthea coming, and if she’s amazing I might update my main infantry team.

It’s cool that Echoes has been getting its due, and thankfully Berkut gave me enough savings to focus on Tiki with the free summon tickets from Forging Bonds.

An event with strange continuity issues. Fjorm arrives in a forest of the damned and meets these four heroes, surprised by how different they are… Despite this being Mareeta’s first appearance.

The scenario is wonky, but I can forgive it. Because their individual stories are less dry than the main story chapter.


Book III, Chapter 7 — A Home Unknown

 

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We begin in the midst of the Order of Heroes’ trip through Hel.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the landscape begins to resemble Alfonse and Sharena’s homeland of Askr — just emptier and more unnerving.

Before we can get too deep into that plot point, Intelligent Systems sidetracks us into a brief conversation between Veronica and Loki.

 

It sounds like they will soon be headed for Hel, as Veronica wishes to kill the queen of the dead, which by extent will kill all of the other dead that she cannot kill.

Because plot.

The Order’s trip is a mostly uneventful romp through tortured heroes until Eir has a sudden conversation with Líf: First King of Askr.

 

He gives us plot seeds by asking Eir not to remember things that seem to pain her.

Basic development, but my main problem with the moment is its setting. Where and when are they having this conversation?

If it’s in the Order’s camp, how did the dead guy get in unnoticed?

This conversation happens at the end of map 4, and map 5 has Anna remarking on his sudden battlefield appearance.

So what’s the deal?

Unfortunately, no answers are provided. Once the battle with Líf ends, he retreats and Sharena is distracted by flowers.

 

This is also a blatant set-up for something, though I’m not exactly sure what.

It’s likely either the reveal that Líf’s dead wife loved those flowers too, or that this is some alternate universe’s dead Sharena. Pick a cliché, any cliché!

Then, without any more fanfare, the chapter ends.

Nothing particularly eventful happened, and almost everything that did happen was set-up for future storytelling.

Feh Plot Meme


As cynical as I might be about the weak story chapter, that doesn’t take away from how much I genuinely enjoy the banner’s units.

I’m really excited to see what other possessed/fallen characters they pull out next:

Zombie Scarlet? Demon Lyon? Anankos Gunter? Apparently, fallen Julia was a thing too.

Any of those amazing units… Would have probably been better than Corrin. Banking on her three seconds of losing control at the beginning of Fates is kind of lame.

But that’s just my opinion, so let me know what you guys think about these fallen heroes in the comments!

The Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe

The Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe

As many of you have seen, a trailer for Paramount’s upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie dropped today.

It’s terrifying.

But more than it is terrifying, the trailer feels frustrating. There’s a whole lot of missed potential from what I can see as a casual fan of the series, and I spent a fair amount of time ranting about it on Twitter:

The memes have been fun. Yet I can’t help but wonder how Sega let Sonic take this hit with Detective Pikachu showing us what video game movies are capable of—

Oh. Right.

Well anyway, as my friends and I spent the morning looking at Sonic, Jonathan brought to our attention an interesting take.

Much like Sonic’s obscene baby teeth and gross, gangly baby legs, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of a Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe.

Or, the SSBCU, as any sane individual would call it.

My friends’ discord group became flooded with suggestions on what could conceivably be included to flesh out the universe. By the end of the day, I fell in love with the idea of putting this list together!

But I wasn’t able to come up with everything on my own.

So let’s consider this post a work in progress, and a call to arms.

I have a collection of what movies should count in the SSBCU, some that I think could be surrogate “analog” entries in retrospect, and other media that could be related.

I’ll list them out with character confirmations based on Nintendo’s official listing.

If you have any ideas on how to flesh the list out, let me know! I think the idea is great and I would love to keep it going.


Confirmed Entries

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

You know it, you love it. Illumination may be working on an animated Mario movie, but until then we’ve got this classic of terrible cinema to fill out a whole lot of fighters. Just tell me you don’t want to see Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo beat up CGI Pokémon in an Avengers-style crossover.

  • Fighters: Mario (1), Yoshi (5), Luigi (9), Peach (13), Daisy (13e), Bowser (14)

Sonic the Hedgehog (2019)

The terror that started it all. This movie is probably going to be an utter disaster… But that means it’s also probably a blast to watch. Like a car crash after your blue cadillac haphazardly rolls around at the speed of sound. Sonic is Mario’s eternal rival, so he deserves a bad movie too.

  • Fighters: Sonic (38)

Detective Pikachu (2019)

This movie looks brilliant. Full stop. And I can conceivably throw in every Pokémon representative, so it’s a catch-all. I’ll even include Pokémon trainer, because despite the Red analog not being a character in Detective Pikachu, the Kanto starters are all there.

  • Fighters: Pikachu (8), Pichu (19), Mewtwo (24), Pokémon Trainer (33-35), Lucario (41), Greninja (50), Incineroar (69)

Street Fighter (1994)

Bet you forgot this movie existed. Well you’ll be happy to know that Ryu and Ken are in this terrible picture via Byron Matt and Damian Chapa, so you can picture them punching Bob Hoskins in the face!

For real though, can you believe Ming-Na Wen went from being Chun-Li to Mulan four years later? What a glow up.

  • Fighters: Ryu (60), Ken (60e)

Mega Man movie (????)

Keeping on the Capcom train, this is apparently a movie that’s in production. Thus the blue bomber gets to hang out with the squad!

  • Fighters: Mega Man (46)

Monster Hunter (2020)

What’s that? You really like the Capcom train? Well, lucky for you there’s a Monster Hunter movie staring Milla Jovovich in our future. There’s technically no fighter from this series, but Rathalos was added in Ultimate. So maybe there’s room for a cameo?

  • Fighters: DLC fighter, hopefully?

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)

Alright, I’ll stop messing around. Here’s a not hypothetical entry on the list. I considered not including Cloud because this is a purely animated movie… But if Pikachu and Sonic can be “live action” fighters, why not Angst McGiantSword?

Plus his alternate costumes in Smash are literally based on this movie. So.

  • Fighters: Cloud (61)

Analog Movies

Alien (1979) or Aliens (1986)

Depending on your preference for horror or action sci-fi.

I don’t know if we’re ever going to get a Metroid movie. Samus would be a great candidate for the SSBCU’s Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel-esque leading female character, but in the meantime Sigourney Weaver seems like a damn fine addition.

Plus Ridley is literally a homage to Ridley Scott, so baby teeth Sonic can fight a Xenomorph Queen.

  • Fighters: Samus (4), Dark Samus (4e), Zero Suit Samus (29), Ridley (65)

Fast and the Furious

As someone who has never played an F-Zero game, I can confidently say that the ridiculously over-the-top Fast and the Furious franchise would be a perfect analog.

But in this case I’m going to say Furious 6 (2013) in particular because that’s when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined and he’s the perfect Captain Falcon.

Courtesy of wwe.com and SSB Wiki

Just saying.

  • Fighters: Captain Falcon (11)

Inception (2010)

Joker from Persona 5 just got added into Smash Ultimate. I know next to nothing about the game, but I do know it involves going into people’s memories to plant ideas or find secrets.

Sounds a lot like Inception to me. Add Leo DiCaprio into the SSBCU!

He can probably pull off that anime twink look in his Gangs of New York era.

  • Fighters: Joker (71)

King Kong (1933) or Rampage (2018)

King Kong is the obvious choice to get Donkey Kong into the SSBCU. A somewhat sentient ape who kidnaps ladies and climbs up buildings? That may as well be the original arcade game’s script. Even if there isn’t much in the way for Diddy or K. Rool.

Though for my money, I’d also recommend using Rampage. Not only is it based on a video game and has a crocodile, but the fact that The Rock stars means we can turn the film into a retroactive Thor: Ragnarok-esque team up staring Falcon and DK.

  • Fighters: Donkey Kong (2), King K. Rool (67)

Related Media

Castlevania (2017)

Every other object on this list is a movie.

But Marvel got away with putting more characters into the MCU by having The Defenders series on Netflix.

So Nintendo can get away with putting more characters into the SSBCU by making the Castlevania series on Netflix its own Defenders. Not sure if Simon or Richter are featured, but whatever.

  • Fighters: Simon (66), Richter (66e)

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)

This game is basically a movie, right?

  • Fighters: Snake (31)

Fighters Featured: 31

Total Fighters: 82


Ehhh?

This section is the lightning round for ideas my friends and I tossed around that are either jokes or so weird that I honestly couldn’t count them

  • Game of Thrones as Fire Emblem representation? Don’t know enough about GoT to accurately parse that out, but I’m willing to mention it for SEO purposes.
  • The Legend of Zelda T.V. series was floated around, but I’m not sure I take that as seriously as Castlevania to be extended material. Zelda deserves a flagship movie.
  • My friend Mitchell suggested playing 127 Hours on two separate televisions, with one version color corrected to give James Franco a blue shirt. It’s the only way I can conceivably include Ice Climbers, so I’ll mention it here.
Alm finally gets an alt

Alm finally gets an alt

Fire Emblem Heroes characters are showing up in another mobile game: Dragalia Lost.

It seems to be a relatively big deal. Big enough that news organizations like Kotaku are covering the crossover event.

For my money, the Awakening-inspired cover art is pretty amazing.

But I can’t say much more about Dragalia Lost. I’ve never played the game, and know nothing about it other than my friend Sam gave a high recommendation.

All I can say is that I’m looking forward to getting upset when Dragalia Lost characters get a summoning focus in FEH before we see another Sacred Stones-themed banner.

Not that I have the orbs anymore

Until then, we can celebrate the first alternate for our friendly neighborhood Alm!


AlmSaint-King

  • Luna Arc (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. Grants Speed +3. If unit initiates combat, deals damage = 25 percent of foe’s Defense (ignores reduction from special skills).
  • Lunar Flash (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 20 percent during combat. Boosts damage by 20 percent of unit’s Speed.
  • Darting Blow 4 (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Speed +9 during combat.
  • Null Follow-Up (B Skill)
    • Disables foe’s skills that guarantee foe’s follow-up attack and foe’s skills that prevent unit’s follow-up attack.
  • Odd Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted even if no allies are adjacent).

There’s only one way to describe Legendary Alm:

Powerful.

He gets +12 speed when initiating combat, and the opponent cannot prevent a follow-up.

Then all that extra speed is added into his two-turn (!!!) Special Attack, which reduces the foe’s Defense without affecting his weapon’s Defense-based damage boost.

It’s crazy how copacetic that build is — especially when you can add a Sacred Seal to boost his Speed further. Odd Attack Wave is probably the weak link because it’s situational, but +6 Attack is nothing to sneeze at.

And let’s not forget, he gets the brand new pair up mechanic. Meaning an ally can back the boy up.

If that doesn’t convince you that Alm is a powerful motherfucker, just look at his art.

1 - K3BGrdb
Image courtesy of Gamepress

This boy exudes power. The fact that his bow looks like it contains Mila’s Turnwheel is beautiful. He is beautiful

Really, I can’t say enough good things. Especially considering his posse is also solid:

I have none of the colorless units on this banner and want Alm and Eirika badly.

I also don’t own Legendary Roy, Nailah, Christmas Fae or Sue. I don’t care about them quite as much, but wouldn’t be opposed to summoning any.

There’s not much more to say beyond that. He’s got a map:

But I’m terrible at judging whether these things are difficult or not, so I won’t even try.

All I know is that Legendary Battle Maps mean more orbs. And boy am I going to need a lot of orbs by the end of this week.


… Did I say by the end of this week?

I may have underestimated. Because some part of me snapped once this banner came around, and I spent an embarrassing number of orbs trying to summon Alm and/or Eirika.

All I’ll say is that it was between 199 and 201 or so.

No big deal. My impulse control is fine! As is my missing orb horde.

What is a big deal is that being a big spender has only gotten me this return:

IMG_2621

Two new characters isn’t bad or anything, but it just figures the only colorless unit I get is the one I didn’t want (as much).

With all of these golden week rewards coming through, I’ll probably be pumping way more resources into Alm’s banner than I care to admit. So hopefully things work out soon, otherwise I’ll have another Legendary Ryoma situation on my hands.

In the meantime, let me know how many orbs you’ve spend on this banner! I’d like to feel justified by sharing in my pain.

Maybe then my hands will stop shaking from the dirty deeds I have done.

A mid-April snack

A mid-April snack

Intelligent Systems definitely lined up weird banners for 2019, didn’t they?

First we got hot springs units. Now we get picnic units.

The whole idea feels a lot like a springtime gimmick, which is unusual considering we’ve gotten our spring banner this year. But I do like this aesthetic over Playboy bunnies.

So these units can’t be that bad, can they?


FloraSignature Dish

  • Sæhrímnir (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Effective against beast foes. Grants Attack +3. At start of combat, if unit’s Resistance > foe’s Resistance, reduces foe’s Attack and Defense by 50 percent of difference between stats during combat (calculated before combat, maximum penalty of -8). After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
  • AR-D Attack/Resistance (A Skill)
    • If defending in Aether Raids, grants Attack and Resistance +Number of defensive structures during combat.
      • ≥5 grants +10, 4 grants +7, 3 grants +4, ≤2 grants +1
  • 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.
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and allies can move one extra space.

LukasBuffet for One

  • Luncheon Lance (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Pivot (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves to opposite side of target ally.
  • AR-O Attack/Defense (A Skill)
    • If attacking in Aether Raids, grants Attack and Defense +Number of foe’s defensive structures during combat.
      • ≤2 grants +10, 3 grants +7, 4 grants +4, ≥5 grants +1
  • Wary Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, unit and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.

GennyDressed with Care

  • Toasty Skewer (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If a foe initiates combat against an ally within two spaces of unit, grants Defense and Resistance +3 to that ally during combat.
  • Psychic (Range = 2)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (minimum of 8 Health).
  • Fireflood Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Resistance +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons.
  • Defense Opening (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense +6 to ally with the highest Defense for one turn.

FeliciaOff the Menu

  • Eldhrímnir (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Effective against beast foes. Grants Speed +3. At start of combat, if unit’s Resistance > foe’s Resistance, reduces foe’s Attack and Speed by 50 percent of difference between stats during combat (calculated before combat, maximum penalty of -8).
  • Glacies (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 80 percent of unit’s Resistance.
  • Speed/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Speed and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Special Fighter (B Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Close Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe, dragonstone, or beast damage, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

I can’t say they’re bad, but I do have problems here.

Why did we decide to only do half an Echoes banner here? Genny and Lukas are great, especially considering Celica is the only unit we’ve gotten alternates for. But a banner cannot exist without Fates or Awakening units on it apparently.

I do like Flora and Felicia, and their norse mythology-themed weapons (a hog in Valhalla and the utensil to cook it) are cool.

But why couldn’t Flora have been a blue-haired girl from Echoes?

My other problem is the fact that Genny seemingly got shafted. The others are strong, mostly unique armored units (even if the Aether Raids skills make me further consider removing self-written text), but the perfect sheep girl is just another healing cavalier.

They didn’t even have her ride the doe in her artwork, which would have been incredible!

Oh well. I suppose that’s a nitpick.

Genny and Lukas are my top choices, with Flora as a close second. Felicia is good, but faces stiff competition in the “powerful axe armored” category.

Don’t feel bad, Felicia. You get to be the best part of this banner’s Paralogue at least!


Paralogue 33 — A Season for Picnics

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Out of all 33 Paralogues, this picnic banner has to have the most bland premise.

Princess Sharena drags the Order of Heroes out for a picnic. Then constantly yells at them to act like normal, relaxed people until they become subservient to her will.

It’s a trope you’ve seen before, I’m sure.

Where this banner’s story stands out is with the alternate characters.

The first map has Flora feeding Genny delicious sandwiches before warning her to stay away from her sister Felicia’s food. It’s cute — as most things with Genny are.

The second map cuts to Felicia giving a sandwich to Lukas, who loves the taste (as he is so used to war rations like wheat flour).

Future Tempest Trials reward Leo is there, and the most brilliant writing in the series rears its head as he makes fun of Felicia’s cooking.

Hsays he’ll never eat it… Until she brings out tomatoes.

Reluctantly, he proclaims “I guess I have no choice.”

The sandwich he eats as a result is described as having a texture mixing slime and dust. It’s a great moment.

The third map loses that to an extent, but poking fun at Felicia continues. The battle is also shown to be one of those rare times where all five new units are on stage at once.

Luckily, that extended cast does not make the duel any more difficult. When the picnicking units are dispatched, Sharena once again shuts down the teams’ neuroses so they’ll relax and enjoy the sunny day.

The end.


And that’s another new special banner in the books.

Overall I’m really not sure how to feel about this one. Having Echoes units like Genny is wonderful, but when she’s the least impressive on the banner that excitement is quickly deflated.

Luckily that nice dialogue in the Paralogue made up for it, in my opinion.

But hey, that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think about these alternate characters in the comments!

Straight Outta Gallia

Straight Outta Gallia

It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love

Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life

— Tim Rice and Elton John


RanulfFriend of Nations

  • Covert Cat Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. If unit is within two spaces of an ally, grants Attack and Defense +3 to unit and those allies during combat. Standard beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2, and if unit initiates combat, inflicts Attack/Defense -4 on foe during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Rally Attack/Defense+ (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack and Defense +6 to target ally for one turn.
  • Chill Attack (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Ward Beasts (C Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +4 to beast allies within two spaces during combat.

LetheCallia’s Valkyrie

  • Brazen Cat Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +6 during combat. Standard beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2, and if unit initiates combat, inflicts Attack/Defense -4 on foe during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Speed/Defense Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Speed and Defense +6 during combat.
  • Hone Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

MordecaiKindhearted Tiger

  • Sabertooth Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. If a movement Assist skill is used by or targets unit, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on foes within two spaces of unit and target through their next actions after movement. Standard beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2 and deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Smite (Range = 1)
    • Pushes target ally two spaces away.
  • Attack/Defense Link (B Skill)
    • If a movement Assist skill is used by or targets unit, grants Attack and Defense +6 to both units for one turn.
  • Beast Exp. (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all beast allies on team get 2x EXP (only highest value applies, does not stack).

CaineghisGallia’s Lion King

  • Lion King Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If foe initiates combat, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat. Standard beast transformation effect applies. If unit transforms, grants Attack +2, and unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Distant Defense 4 (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat and uses bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +8 and neutralizes foe’s bonuses during combat.
  • Vengeful Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Distant Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Get the Circle of Life intro now? Because Caineghis is the Lion King?

Even though it clashes wildly with the NWA song/movie title riff headline I used?

I know, I’m a clever boy.

What’s that? Talk about the new units?

Well… I guess that is important. Especially considering characters were purged from the summoning pool, making newer units even more important.

The only one I don’t particularly care for is Ranulf. I don’t know any of these beasts in the first place, but he’s the only one without a distinguishing skill.

Lethe (an already cute cat girl) has great solo potential sans her hone skill.

Mordecai has an interesting build that lets him throw his allies into the fray like a powered-up bomb.

And finally, Simba is a unique armored beast with a distant counter weapon. Which is 2000 kinds of wild.

I’d be happy to summon any of those three.

But my luck with beast-filled banners has not been fantastic, so I guess we’ll see if the unit purge helps me get something new!

I have 300 orbs stored up thanks to my recent lack of spending interest. I won’t be using a lot now, but the free summon tickets from Forging Bonds and story mission orbs should hopefully boost my chances.


Book III, Chapter 6 — Realm of the Dead

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We begin with the Order of Heroes entering Hel after defeating the now-deceased King of Askr.

Eir describes the realm as a place where “those who deserve nothing more come to reside.”

Comforting stuff.

The first Askran King Líf runs into the Order, and after his defeat remarks that:

Afterward, they find a locale encrusted with blood. Eir reveals that it was the place where her mother killed her. The princess was apparently bestowed with a thousand mortal lives by yet another ancient dragon, and each mortal death grants the underworld’s ruler more power.

So she was killed a thousand times. By her mother.

On that happy note, a fight skips us ahead 10 days. Hel arrives as the warriors approach her castle, and a brief duel ends with her (once again) cursing Alfonse to a death in nine days.

However:

Pretty clever loophole.

Hel later appears to her daughter and reminds her about tricking the Order to their deaths. Eir asks her to spare the main characters, but is rejected.

She then comments that Hel used to smile at her with angel’s wings.

If that ain’t a clue that Eir is the Corrin of this storyline, stolen from her birth mother like Hades stole Persephone, then I’ll eat my hat.

Calling that plot twist now.

Embla’s first queen Thrasir joins Líf for his return battle, but it ends much the same way.

The Generals retreat through a portal, and the Order of Heroes follow close behind.

Thus ending this rather story-heavy chapter on a cliffhanger. Which Fire Emblem game did Líf and Thrasir run off to?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


Usually a banner with characters I don’t know has trouble keeping my interest, but neat unit mechanics and a turbulent story does wonders in helping me finish these off quickly.

Speaking of quickly, I’ve been trying to pair down my unit analysis and story discussion so that these posts aren’t quite as unwieldy.

I’m considering stopping my physical dictation of unit skills to that same end.

I personally love writing that out, but it could be served better by linking the video. And without that ~400 word chunk, these posts would be much shorter.

So let me know what you think about that idea.

While you’re at it, let me know what you think of these beast units! And where you think we’ll be headed based on that cliffhanger.

Personally I’m always hoping for more Sacred Stones. Fingers crossed.

Out-of-context eavesdropping

Out-of-context eavesdropping

 

Catching something completely out of context in public.

It’s the trope that has spawned a thousand episodes of a thousand sitcoms. The Live-Action T.V. section of this fan-driven tropes wiki for out-of-context eavesdropping even suggests that the narrative device “was the plot of roughly 2/3s of the episodes of Three’s Company.”

But much like any cliché or stereotype, it is sometimes easy to forget that they exist in entertainment because they’re circumstances people see in real life.

I’ve found myself glancing over my shoulder on occasion when playing Fire Emblem Heroes, for example.

Looking at you Summer Noire.

The excuse of playing a video game somewhat mitigates that particular fear. We all know the Japanese are a special breed in that regard.

But today I had a slightly different experience in that vein, where the concern was being perceived as some kind of sociopath out of context.

So let me provide context that way you all don’t think I’m a sociopath.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time writing my novel. So much so that I skipped out on doing a blog post.

To make up for it I tried doing a silly gif thing:

Figured I should keep practicing that stuff I learned a few weeks back.

Even though I kept throughout today, I needed a change of scenery. Wound up dragging my Dad out to get coffee at a Coffee Bean in Torrance for a couple of hours.

While we were there I checked my school portal and saw the last two Comm Law assignments we needed to complete over Spring Break were finally uploaded.

I would have preferred to work on them at the beginning of the break… But I can’t force my professors to do things just for my convenience.

Luckily the assignments were quick enough to blow through that I can’t complain.

One of them just happened to come with some bizarre imagery.

For our section on copyright and trademark, a case we went over was Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions. In which Utah artist Tom Forsythe created a number of images using frazzled Barbie dolls in domestic appliances and common food items to comment on the brand’s effect on society’s treatment of women and gender roles.

All that fun stuff.

Forsythe won the case as fair use for commentary and was later compensated for the legal fees.

A very interesting case, but one that required me to watch videos zooming in on pictures of mangled Barbie pieces in enchiladas and stir fry.

Obviously the “school assignment” excuse would have saved me from any dirty looks. Especially given my ability to at least partially explain why the court case is important in First Amendment studies.

But I definitely would have gotten some dirty looks out of context, and I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder to make sure nobody was peering over the hedges.

Even though I would have more things to worry about if a total stranger was watching me from behind a hedge in a public space, I suppose.