Tag: Forging Bonds

Fire Emblem: Days of Future Past

Fire Emblem: Days of Future Past

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

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

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


Summoning Focus: From a Future Past


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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her descriptive text in Heroes is a perfect example why:

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Isn’t that amazing?

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


Book III, Chapter 8 — Truth of a Name

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

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

Don’t worry about that. Foreshadowing.

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

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

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

At the cost of all the lives in both kingdoms.

Bodes well for whenever Princess Veronica and Loki show up.

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

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

Feh Plot Meme

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

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


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

It’s clever. Pick up that search activity.

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

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

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

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

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:

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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!

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.

A Heroes post bound by obligation. And darkness.

A Heroes post bound by obligation. And darkness.

Alright, I put off writing this introduction because I have had no idea what to say for the Beyond Darkness banner.

But it’s 1:30 a.m. or so and I just need to come up with something.

So here’s my something:

Star Trek: Into Beyond Darkness.

Let’s talk about some Binding Blade.


LughAnima Child

  • Gronnserpent (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If foe initiates combat and uses bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Rally Up Resistance (Range = 1)
    • Grants Resistance +6 to target ally and allies within two spaces of target (excluding unit) for one turn.
  • Mirror Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Attack Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally Assist skill is used by or targets unit, inflicts Attack +7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.

SueDoe of the Plains

  • Short Bow (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. Deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Chill Defense (B Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Defense -7 on foe with the highest Defense through its next action.
  • Hone Speed 4 (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Speed +7 to adjacent allies for one turn.

TheaStormy Flier

  • Vanguard (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +7 during combat.
  • Ignis (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 80 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Steady Posture (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Speed and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Seal Speed/Defense (B Skill)
    • Inflicts Speed and Defense -5 on foe through its next action after combat.

IdunnDark Priestess

  • Demonic Breath (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. Effective against armored foes. At start of combat, if a negative status effect is active on unit, or if unit’s Health < 100 percent, neutralizes penalties on unit and grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower defensive stat.
  • Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Fortify Defense/Resistance (A Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6. Inflicts Attack -2.
  • 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).
  • Ward Dragons (C Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +4 to dragon allies within two spaces during combat.

My apprehension to talk about this banner is two-fold.

First comes from the fact that I have not played the Binding Blade, and thus have no real connection to the characters.

Outside of knowing Lugh is Nino’s daughter — but I only care because she is one of my favorite Heroes units.

Second is the fact that this banner feels like a callback to the more simple units of old, which is admittedly nice after seeing so many with weapon descriptions longer than my novel.

However, Lugh and Thea basically have nothing special to talk about.

Sue similarly isn’t impressive, but only because she’s Brave Lyn lite.

Cavalry archer. Swift Sparrow. “Smoke” B Skill. ‘Nuff said.

Idunn is the only unit I would consider worth wasting orbs on. She is a powerful, red armored manakete with a weapon that counters all the Hectors and Surtrs of the world.

She also has very cute artwork.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for heterochromia. I’ll have to see about adding a character with that into my story…

While Idunn is neat, she unfortunately is not neater than Halloween Myrrh.

So I’m not going to throw a whole lot of orbs into this banner beyond supplementing the free summon tickets from Forging Bonds.

Naturally, that means the story missions are a big ol’ orb repository!


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Book III, Chapter 5 begins an indiscriminate amount of time after Chapter 4, where King Gustav of Askr is killed by Hel.

The royal family mourns. I II II I_.

When Alfonse asks why Gustav wanted to pass along a ratty tree branch, his mother reveals that it was the play sword three-year-old Alfonse used to tell his father he was going to help defend their nation.

Real generic “you were prepared to lead all along” development beats.

Then we find out that as a result of Gustav’s death:

So the Order of Heroes, “built for small-scale operations,” decides to use the break in the war to take the fight to Hel.

Alfonse and Sharena were unable to figure out a trick to defeat her in royal archives, thus Alfonse figures they could scout her domain.

From there, the missions shift to simple character introductions.

The most interesting thing here comes when one map features an enemy pegasus archer — the first time a unit of that type has shown up.

I’m hoping we get a cool pegasus archer soon as a result.

As the Order reaches the entrance to Hel, now-fell King Gustav is sent to fight his children. Eir regards the act as particularly “cruel,” even for her mother.

I mostly found it surprising.

Not in that Gustav comes back to fight his children — that shit was obvious weeks ago. I’m simply surprised that they blew that plot point so early!

I am also admittedly surprised that they play Gustav as a character who keeps his sentience despite being physically commanded by Hel.

Naturally it’s all done so he can encourage Alfonse to be strong and kill him. Also closure:

Yet I had expected him to be a mindless, evil zombie.

So good on you for the surprise, Intelligent Systems.

From there, the Order of Heroes prepares to dive into Hel. Cut to black. See you next banner.


This FEH post feels a bit low-energy, don’t you think?

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m writing it into the wee hours of the morning, or if I simply could not care less about the characters… But either way, not my strongest.

It is one of my shortest, however. So I’ll happily accept that.

Maybe I’ll pivot my usual fever into my Gaming in American Culture class essay all about Sacred Stones, as I finally made up my mind for that.

Who knows, it could inspire IS to finally give us some new units from the game.

That said let me know what you think of this Binding Blade banner! Are you more excited than I am? More jaded? I’m quite interested to know.

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

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

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

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

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


KeatonLupine Collector

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

VelouriaWolf Cub

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

KadenKitsune Braggart

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

SelkieFree Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

 

Pretty tough.

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

For plot convenience’s sake.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Congratulations!


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

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

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

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

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

Fire Emblem Heroes goes full beast mode

Fire Emblem Heroes goes full beast mode

I’ve said before that the Radiant games are an unfortunate blank spot in my experience with Fire Emblem. When I found out beast units were finally on their way and that they would be from this particular universe, I was a little hesitant about whether I’d want them over some potential other options like Kaden or Yarne.

But then we saw what these beasts were packing, and my first reaction was:

Why are there so many different kinds of animal units out of this one Fire Emblem continent? Hawks, swans, ravens AND wolves seem a bit over the top.

Then my second reaction was:

Oh man, there’s some potential here.


TibarnLord of the Air

  • Hawk King Claw (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If foe’s Health = 100 percent and unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies, or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise they revert). If unit transforms, they can move one extra space and grants Attack +2 (that turn only, does not stack).
      • Will furthermore be referred to as ‘Beast transformation effect.’
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Sturdy Impact (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +6 and Defense +10 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
  • 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.
  • Even Attack Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

LeanneForest’s Song

  • Heron Wing (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of turn, restores 7 Health to allies within two spaces of unit. Beast transformation effect applies.
  • Sing (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally.
  • Mirror Stance (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Flier Formation (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to a flying ally within two spaces.
  • Hone Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

ReysonWhite Prince

  • Heron Wing (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of turn, restores 7 Health to allies within two spaces of unit. Beast transformation effect applies.
  • Sing (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally.
  • Steady Posture (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat, grants Speed and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Fortify Beasts (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +6 to adjacent beast allies for one turn.

NailahUnflinching Eye

  • Wolf Queen Fang (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). During combat, boosts unit’s Attack and Speed by the number of allies within two spaces x2 (max of +6 to each stat). Beast transformation effect applies, and unit deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Null C-Disrupt (B Skill)
    • Neutralizes status effects and disables skills that prevent counterattacks during combat.
  • Glare (C Skill)
    • After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts status on target and foes within one space of target restricting movement to one space through their next actions.

So fun fact, writing out the skills for these units took nearly 500 words. Beasts take up a lot of god damn text, apparently.

That said, I would say all that text was very worth it for how broken some of these units look. Namely Tibarn and Nailah.

The two swans are interesting in that we’re leading with singing units for our introduction to beasts, as well as the fact that they have the exact same weapon in two different colors — which I think is a first?

But Tibarn hits like a truck with all of his attack, and that new Attack/Defense buff from Sturdy Impact is a crazy power creep.

Then Nailah basically always triggers Moonbow from any distance while neutering the opponent’s skills and movement range. It’s crazy to me that we finally have a non-Hector unit with Distant Counter and she appears just as broken.

So yeah. I’m definitely focusing more on red and blue stones in this banner.

… It’s just too bad all of the holiday banners sapped my orb supply.

Luckily the new run of Forging Bonds is giving out one free summon ticket for each character.

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Sure that’s a downgrade from the seven we’ve gotten out of daily rewards in the past, but we’ve got a whole new chapter in Book III to help bolster that orb supply.


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This new story chapter starts by setting the scene for what I imagine we’ll see for a while:

King Gustav tells his son to avoid Hel at all costs, as she is literally death and no matter how strong one becomes they cannot help but succumb to death.

He talks about how he had prior experience fighting Hel years ago, which left him with his battle scar.

… I’ll admit, I didn’t see the scar until he brought it up, but now that I know the lines on his face aren’t just wrinkles and crow’s nests, I understand the danger.

After the brief introduction, business goes about as usual. Anna leads the Order of Heroes into battle and there’s a good four matches without any serious exposition.

The most interesting bit of dialogue we get is from Reyson:

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What’s interesting about this is Princess Veronica is the one who forges contracts with units, but apparently it’s the Askran ancestor who does so for Hel.

Maybe that’s just interesting to me?

When the next map begins, King Gustav’s advice goes right out the window as it turns out Hel is there. Her daughter, Eir, provides a bit of foreshadowing.

Feh Plot Meme
Didn’t think I’d forget about this dumb meme, did you?

Once the battle commences, Hel is surprisingly easy to kill (on the lower difficulties where she has an Iron Axe, anyway). But for story reasons her defeat turns out to be a subterfuge.

She reappears and brings context to the name of the chapter by cursing Alfonse to die in nine days. Why she couldn’t just take him right away with her scythe as she does in the opening cinematic is beyond me…

But it does open up this philosophy dialogue:

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So you know. Sometimes we have to be poetic rather than sensible.

Let’s just hope the next bit of story comes within nine days so the prince doesn’t die.


Keen viewers out there will know that a few days ago I promised this would be coming out yesterday. That’s because I can’t read dates, apparently!

The banner is out now however, so here we are. That means you should expect a second post about my time at Alyson’s mini band banquet later tonight.

Until then, let me know what you think about the brand new beast units in Fire Emblem Heroes, and which beasts you want to see come out next!

Also, just for curiosity sake, let me know what you think about how inefficient Hel was with that ‘nine day curse’ thing. Like she is literally death get a little more realistic, lady.

Cool runnings in Nifl’s past

Cool runnings in Nifl’s past

With the addition of our newest Legendary Hero Hríd, the sole Prince of Nifl, we finally have every Book II character released as a playable unit in Fire Emblem Heroes.

Just in time for Book III to start in December. It’s almost like Intelligent Systems planned this stuff out!

But did they plan out Hríd well?


HrídIcy Blade

  • Gjöll (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If a penalty inflicted by a skill like Panic or Threaten, and/or a negative status effect (preventing counterattacks or restricting movement) is active on foe, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack and foe cannot.
  • Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
    • Treats foe’s Defense or Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
  • Distant Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Freezing Seal (B Skill)
    • At the start of a turn, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, inflicts Attack/Speed -6 on foe with the lowest Resistance through its next action.
  • Attack Smoke (C Skill)
    • Inflicts Attack -7 on foes within two spaces of target through their next actions after combat.

From a purely conceptual standpoint, I actually really like the idea behind Hríd’s base skill kit. His B skill weakens the strongest enemy on the opposing team so that he can race in on his horse and slay them with the guaranteed follow-up of his sword.

On top of that he has defensive capabilities thanks to Distant Counter, which balances things out.

Overall it’s a really solid set of capabilities, and if nothing else it’s great to have a new unit with Distant Counter given how rare the ability is.

To be completely honest my only real problem with Hríd is the fact that… Well…

We literally just had a sword cavalier as a Legendary Hero with Eirika.

Come on Intelligent Systems, at least separate out the weapon/move type combinations a little better. Maybe make Hríd a sword armor unit or something, that way we can have a power crept Black Knight as a Legendary Hero.

I don’t know , the quick repetition bugs me. But even so I don’t mind the character himself.

On top of that, his entourage in the special Legendary Hero banner isn’t so bad:

Red and green hold the most interest for me this time around. Hríd, Legendary Ryoma, Summer Innes and Kana are all not in my current arsenal, and thus all worth summoning.

In the other two colors the only character I’m missing is Brave Hector.

I do want Brave Hector, but I’m not sure he’s worth potentially getting another Legendary Lucina or Summer Cordelia.

Also can we hold an intervention for Intelligent Systems to not include female Grima in any more of these banners? I’m pretty sure she’s been in every single one.

There better be some cool story thing that comes out of that eventually.

While I started with about 200 orbs once again, it took me 50 or so to get something of particular interest to me:

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All the animosity I stored toward the Legendary Lobster since his first appearance when he took all my orbs and never showed up has finally been relieved.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be the same still… But he’s +Attack, -Resistance. Which I think is his best build.

So hey I guess I can’t really complain.

I’ve also gotten a second Laevatein at this point, but she’s not very good compared to the one I had already.

I don’t know whether I’ll spend a lot more orbs on this banner unless I get a bunch in the near future. At this point there aren’t enough units left to justify it.

But at least there are Legendary Battle Maps to score some extra orbs, right?

Nailed the transition.


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While most of the Legendary Battle Maps have been cool examples of a stage from the character’s original game, I particularly appreciate what they did for Hríd.

His map appears to be the Rite of Frost chamber from Heroes’ main story, seen back when Kinshi Hinoka first came out, but frozen over more than ever. It’s a nice touch for people who have been sticking with this game for a long time.

As far as the difficulty goes? I mean it’s the same old reinforcement map bs as always. Not very fun in my opinion.

What is more fun to discuss is the Forging Bonds that coincides with Hríd’s addition featuring the four Nifl siblings:

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I haven’t gotten very far into any of the support conversation threads, but what I have seen has been so different than usual that it’s pretty engaging.

The overall theme of the event is a prequel of sorts. The story starts off prior to Surtr’s invasion right around the time when Gunnthrá apparently has a premonition that he will be coming soon.

Group sections seem to focus on the siblings preparing together (a somber twist considering how the story goes) while the individual conversations each have the siblings meeting you in their dreams.

Again I don’t know where they wind up going just yet, but I’m very excited to see!


I’m going to level with you guys, I thought I was going to end this off early tonight and go to bed.

Then I got distracted with some videos online and somehow it turned into 2:00 a.m.

So I’m not going to put a lot of fanfare into this conclusion. Just let me know what you think of Hríd, what you want to see in the future, all that fun stuff.

That said, I’ll see you in the next FEH post where I’ll hopefully be more awake.

Did Intelligent Systems forge a fun event?

Did Intelligent Systems forge a fun event?

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

New summoning focuses.

Major version updates.

Chronicling the game’s ever-expanding plot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is a shame considering I summoned Sumia so early:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, the answer is yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just saying.

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

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

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

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