Tag: Intelligent Systems

My thoughts on the February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct

My thoughts on the February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct

How sweet of Nintendo to give us an early Valentine’s Day present this year!

We’ve got games, games and more games to discuss out of a brand new Nintendo Direct.

I’ll be talking about the larger, more exciting subjects (to me) in detail before lumping the rest together for a quick mop-up at the end. So if you want to follow along, feel free! I’ll try to include individual trailer links where possible.

That said, let’s a go!


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Image courtesy of Engadget

Super Mario Maker 2

Oh man, if there was any reason to own a Wii U, it was Super Mario Maker.

When I got mine, it was in a Mario Maker bundle that included this neat Mario Amiibo:

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Ain’t he the cutest?

I spent hours making levels on the game pad, and the sheer amount of creativity oozing out of all corners of the Nintendo universe during its time in the spotlight was something to behold!

Plus it made for excellent YouTube fodder. Watching the Game Grumps play Ross’s hard levels, the endless hours of Beard Bros. fan levels

Can’t wait to see that come back in vogue.

While I eventually moved on with Splatoon, Super Mario 3D World and Twilight Princess HD, my Wii U was undoubtedly a Super Mario Maker machine.

So seeing the Mario Maker 2 trailer featuring all kinds of new additions like sloped platforms, moving pathways and the Mario 3 angry sun was really hype to say the least. Especially for a portable system!

Given the first game’s pedigree and the sheer amount of improvements for an already creative powerhouse, I’ll be more than happy to drop some money on this come June.


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Image courtesy of Nintendo UK

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

There was a decent amount of RPG news for fans to soak up in this Direct.

Dragon Quest had Builders 2 — even though I forgot the first game was a thing — and 11S Definitive Edition. I haven’t personally played a DQ game, but 11 looks like a fun, polished game with a cute 16-bit mode.

If nothing else, I’ll be expecting the protagonist as a Smash Bros. DLC.

The original Final Fantasy 7 and 9 Switch ports got some recognition, as did Chocobo Mystery Dungeon. Plus Square Enix has Oninaki coming, which looks pretty.

Plus who can argue with a Symphony of the Night-inspired platforming RPG in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night?

However.

My heart belongs to Fire Emblem.

So Jason was a happy boy seeing more Fire Emblem: Three Houses in this Direct.

The segment kicked off with a lore-filled cinematic about the titular three houses in this new continent, the customizable player protagonist’s place in the story and more.

The leaders of the three houses — Edelgard of the Adrestian Empire, Dimitri of the Kingdom of Faerghus and Claude of the Leicester Alliance — all got some attention too. You only get to choose one, which will presumably branch into three campaigns.

Only this time we just have to buy one game!

The most interesting thing about Three Houses is that it looks like a high school anime, filled with vaguely Harry Potter-esque sensibilities and Fire Emblem mechanics.

Rather than a tactician, you are a teacher with students making up your ‘army.’

All of the battles (presumably before a real war breaks out) are considered training assignments, despite featuring such tasks as “quashing rebellions.”

In general the premise and scope of the game seems very interesting compared to most Fire Emblem titles. I’m excited to see where they go with it!

… I’m also excited to see Intelligent Systems announce a Heroes banner with the three leader characters sometime before the July 26 release date.

You know it’ll happen.


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Deltarune

Ostensibly, there’s nothing to say about this game that I haven’t already said. It doesn’t need a whole section here.

But I adore Deltarune, and it broke into my top games of 2018 list. So if you haven’t played it yet and own a Switch, just get the game on February 28.

Do it, nerds.


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Image courtesy of Engadget

Link’s Awakening

I heard vague rumors floating around that a top-down Zelda game would be announced at this Direct, but I wasn’t expecting this to come crashing into the spotlight.

Now that I know about it, I’m pretty damn excited!

There are nothing but good things said about Link’s Awakening, and as a fan of Link Between Worlds-style Zelda games it’ll be sweet to finally play it.

I know the original 1993 GameBoy version has been available on multiple platforms for years, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

Now I can justify putting it off by saying I waited for this brand new experience in an absolutely adorable Pikmin-esque art style!

The ‘2019’ release date is vague, but Marin humming the game’s theme over the end card sent a shiver down my spine. So I’m ready to wait for you, Wind Fish.


Those were my high points in today’s Direct, but there were plenty of other games spotlighted!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate got a lame teaser for it’s upcoming 3.0.0 update where we found out nothing, other than Amiibo coming for the Belmonts and Pokémon Trainer.

Updates were announced for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Starlink, the latter featuring more Star Fox characters. I don’t own either, but still neat.

Demos were announced for Yoshi’s Crafted World, Daemon X Machina and Tetris 99.

… The last of which being a battle royale-styled Tetris game? I’m definitely going to have to try that and see if it’s as weird as it sounds.

Hellblade, Dead by Daylight and Rune Factory 4 are all getting ports for the Switch (plus Rune Factory 5 was announced). I’m not sure I’ll have the time to get to those over everything else, but I’ve heard great things about them all.

Mortal Kombat 11 and a remasted Assassin’s Creed 3 (from what I understand the best of the series) are coming to Switch.

Yet there were games I didn’t particularly care for, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Box Box + Box Girl (basically my TI-83 calculator game), Disney Tsum Tsum Festival and GRID Autosport car racing among them.

But that said, it’s hard to say there’s not something here for everyone, even if they aren’t for me!

… Unless you’re a fan of Bayonetta. Because Bayonetta 3 only got a brief ‘in progress’ mention after PlatinumGames‘ Astral Chains was announced.

Still, the future of the Nintendo Switch continues to be promising!

Which games stood out most to you in today’s Direct? Let me know, I’d love to start up some conversations!

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

Family Fire Emblem-y love is in the air

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

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

Like me!

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

Playing Fire Emblem Heroes. Naturally.


GreilHeroic Exemplar

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

SorenAddled Strategist

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

MistPurest Spirit

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

IkeStalwart Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Segue: Nailed.


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

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

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

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

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

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

So I guess there is romance on this banner?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Echoes of strength

Echoes of strength

In the age of the ancients, two sibling Gods shared a near unbreakable bond.

However, a disagreement at the core of their ideologies led to a schism. The sister aimed to create a world rich with blessings of the Earth, peace and pleasure. The brother felt strength was all that mattered, and wanted a world full of powerful subjects.

To the south of the continent Valentia, the sister founded a kingdom called Zofia: Rich with live. A kingdom which, in its overindulgence after her disappearance, became rife with greedy, entitled rulers and passive farmers who struggled as the lands died.

To the north, the brother founded a kingdom called Rigel: Cold, calloused and infertile. A kingdom which, fallen into the trappings of power, became militarized and unkind. His power gave way to madness, and the pious subjects of that fallen deity sought to conquer all.

This is the tale of Mila and Duma, a story underlying the plot thrusts for both Alm and Celica in Fire Emblem: Gaiden (and its recent remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia).

Now in Heroes, you too can summon yourself an endlessly powerful god of war, fallen from grace, who also happens to be an inexplicably handsome daddy that transforms into a dragon monster with wacky eyes.

Just like every.

Other.

Fire Emblem villain.

… Except for Sacred Stones which had a cool demon guy instead.


DumaGod of Strength

  • Fell Breath (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. At the start of combat, if foe’s Health < 100 percent, grants Attack and Resistance +6 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower defensive stat.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Defense/Resistance Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • 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 (does not stack).
  • Upheaval (C Skill)
    • At the start of turn 1, deals seven damage to all foes, and if defending in Aether Raids during anima season, destroys offensive structures within the same column (does not affect indestructable structures).

So I heard a rumor that every Mythic Hero was going to be some kind of deity in the Fire Emblem canon.

If that’s the case, I think I might try to provide some deep lore diving into each whenever a Mythic Hero banner comes along.

Even though the top of this banner technically says he’s a Legendary Hero?

But whatever. Semantics.

Let’s talk about Duma, shall we?

As our second colorless dragon and fourth armored dragon, Duma has a strong legacy to live up to.

The guy’s gimmick ties back to his Upheaval, which damages all enemies right away. Once they’re damaged, he gains an Attack and Resistance buff. Then if he’s alone, he instantly gains more Defense and Resistance.

Add all that to the increased chance of a powerful Special Attack and you have yourself a hard-hitting tank who faces no weakness on the weapon triangle.

… Just weaknesses from dragon-killing weapons like the Falchion or armor-killing weapons like Armorslayers.

Also he loses a good chunk of that benefit to his stats should the opposing team have a healer.

But hey, he blows up buildings in Aether Raids!

So all-and-all, I’d say he’s got some well-balanced benefits and detriments.

His overall status also increases due to great synergy with other armored dragons like Grima, Tiki and Myrrh. So he’s easily worth a summon for powerful team building.

In fact, that Legendary Tiki he melds so well with is also on this banner. She’s alongside:

Unlike a lot of the other Legendary Hero banners, Duma’s entourage splits equally for me.

I have every green and red unit besides Laegjarn.

Yet I don’t have a single one of the blue or colorless units.

So my targets are narrowed, particularly focused on Duma and Tiki.

If any of you remember my Legendary Tiki banner review, you’d know I was super into her. A powerful alt for one of my favorite characters who eluded me all those months ago, and I’ve been waiting for her to rear her head again.

Hopefully I can summon her and the God of Strength, which would give me a perfect  foursome of armored dragons.

Unfortunately those aspirations cost orbs.

… And I wasted a whole bunch of orbs on the hot springs banner, only to get a stupid regular Elise instead of Sakura.

So I turn to the Duma Battle Map to get my orbs stash up:

 

I never have anything particularly interesting to say about these things, other than the fact that they’re cool references to stages like the final map of Echoes here. So I’ll mostly make them quick asides from now on.

Especially since my time is better spent gathering orbs to feed my addiction.

Or to be honest, playing a certain other game which received a new character today.

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So there we have it, my thoughts on the Duma banner.

I know this whole post was a bit more scatterbrained than usual for my formulaic FEH pieces, but hopefully it was all worth my attempts to shake things up a little. All things being said, I was actually more excited for Duma here than I was for the hot springs units last week.

Let me know what you think of Duma in the comments below, and weigh in on whether you think we’ll get his sister Mila as our next Mythic Hero or not.

Personally I’m betting Intelligent Systems will keep us waiting.

Just like they’ll keep us waiting for more regular Valentia units.

Hot heroes hit the springs

Hot heroes hit the springs

With the spring 2019 semester recently kicking off, I can’t think of any better way to stave off my looming cloud of stress than to blather on about nonessential pleasantries.

Luckily Intelligent Systems has just what the doctor ordered with a well-timed banner of special heroes!


RyomaSamurai at Ease

  • It’s Curtains… (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown count -2.
  • Luna (Cooldown = 3)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat.
  • Attack/Defense Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +6 during combat.
  • Chill Speed (B Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Speed -7 on for on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

SakuraHot-Spring Healer

  • Grandscratcher (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown charge -1 to ally with the highest Attack.
  • Physic (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.
  • Speed Opening (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Speed +6 to ally with the highest Speed for one turn (excluding this unit).

EliseBubbling Flower

  • Red-Hot Ducks (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • If unit’s Speed > foe’s Speed, deals damage = 70 percent of the difference between stats (maximum of 7, combos with Phantom Speed). After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on foe’s within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Rally Up Attack (Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +6 to target ally and allies within two spaces (excluding unit) for one turn.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Attack Feint (B Skill)
    • If a Rally assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, inflicts Attack -7 on foes in cardinal directions of unit through their next actions.
  • Dagger Valor (C Skill)
    • While unit lives, all dagger allies on team get x2 Skill Points (only highest value applied, does not stack).

HinokaRelaxed Warrior

  • Splashy Bucket (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Disables foe’s skills that “calculate damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance” and “calculate damage from staff like other weapons.” After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Draw Back (Range = 1)
    • Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Attack/Speed Link (B Skill)
    • If a movement assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack/Speed to both unit and ally for one turn.
  • Air Orders (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants “Unit can move to a space adjacent to any ally within two spaces” to adjacent flying allies for one turn.

Seeing the initial silhouette teaser for this banner piqued my interest.

I had no idea who we were looking at and, at the time, wasn’t expecting any special banners until Valentine’s Day.

Yet I rolled my eyes without even thinking after I found out we were getting more Fire Emblem Fates royal sibling alts.

I’m a fan of Fates and everything, but there are so many characters from it who have no representations. Meanwhile Tempest Trials Camilla is her sixth alternate costumes.

It’s disheartening… But unfortunately I’m such a fan of the Hoshidan royal sisters that the game had me at Sakura and Hinoka.

Wanting this Sakura because I like her character and status as a pegasus-riding staff user probably won’t save me when the police come for summoning a near underage girl in a towel…

But that’s a bridge I’ll cross later.

Oh, and I’m 100 percent summoning for characters, not skills, on this banner. Hinoka is the only one with an interesting build, so she and Sakura are my focus.

Unfortunately, all 60 orbs have gotten me is a 3-star original Sakura.

So you know what that means? Time for paralogue orbs!


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Shout out to that armored unit with the buns on his head in map 30-1. He’s worth this entire mediocre banner.

Outside of his majesty there isn’t a whole lot to say for the story.

There’s kind of no explanation as to why the Order of Heroes has to jump in. The royal siblings have just been put under a contract but… Nobody knows why?

Also it’s just a side story, so Alfonse isn’t dead from Hel’s curse yet.

He’s simply concerned about heading into such a private place.

Luckily my keen interest in cute redheads is vindicated by the way they share Alfonse’s reservations.

The Nohr sisters seem more than eager to just let a bunch of soldiers join them in the baths.

Yet that’s the only bit of story worth talking about here.

After the fighting ends, Anna makes a comment about wanting a hot springs in the Order’s castle, which seems less a nod to future content than it is an outlet for Alfonse to make fun of the girls for getting into useless tasks too quickly.

So… Orbs.

Hurray!


If it wasn’t obvious, this banner didn’t really excite me.

I’m happy to shill out orbs for Hinoka or Sakura in lieu of the beast units who are going in the main summoning pool, but I don’t particularly care about any of the units mechanically.

Even my complaint about Fates units being used again is easily mitigated by the argument that Fates had the first canonical hot spring system. So that’s a banal annoyance at best.

Perhaps the Valentine’s Day units will get me more hyped up, but for now this isn’t much more than a neat distraction from school.

That’s just my opinion though. Let me know what you think of these special hot springs units!

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.

2019’s first new heroes

2019’s first new heroes

Oh boy, it’s a brand new year! Everything feels fresh and crisp, absolutely rife with possibilities. I can’t imagine what kind of great blog posts are going to come out of 2019!

What’s that? Fire Emblem Heroes updated?

Welp. If that’s not the most Jason’s Blog way of starting off the new year, I don’t know what is.


HrídResolute Prince

  • Geishun (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
  • Swap (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces.
  • Attack/Defense Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +5 during combat.
  • Quick Riposte (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Hone Attack 4 (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Attack +7 to adjacent allies for one turn.

GunnthráYear’s First Dream

  • Hikami (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Speed +3. At the start of the turn, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on the nearest foe within four spaces through their next actions.
  • Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Desperation (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≤ 75 percent and unit initiates combat, unit can make a follow-up attack before foe can counterattack.
  • Joint Hone Speed (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Speed +5 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn.

FjormNew Traditions

  • Kabura Ya (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. At the start of the turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
  • Reposition (Range = 1)
    • Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
  • Attack/Speed Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Speed +5 during combat.
  • Attack/Speed Link (B Skill)
    • If a Movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Speed +6 to both units for one turn.
  • Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

LaevateinKumade Warrior

  • Kumade (Might = 12, Range =2)
    • At the start of the turn, inflicts Attack and Speed -5 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Defense through its next action.
  • Rehabilitate (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack -10 (Minimum of 7). If target’s Health is ≤ 50 percent, the lower the target’s Health, the more Health is restored.
  • Earthfire Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Defense +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
    • Calculates damage from staff like other weapons.
  • Even Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At the start of even-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

With Legendary Azura having literally just happened and the Christmas units still in rotation, I was a little burnt out coming into this New Year’s banner.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see that the Múspell and Nifl units getting more love. Even if they still had to be in Hoshido to make this another pseudo-Fates banner.

But I paid little-to-no attention to what they were actually offering. I wasn’t strongly anticipating any of the units besides Laevatein, as she’s my favorite.

It seemed Intelligent Systems knew that, as they offered me a little New Year’s gift:

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Yee.

Having paid their skills more mind now, I can easily say Laevatein is the weakest of the bunch… But character preference is half the battle.

We’re getting free summon tickets for this banner, so I’ll keep throwing some orbs at it to get some of the Nifl units. Any of them look great honestly.

Luckily, even if I’m ambiguous on the units, there’s plenty happening at the start of 2019 to keep me invested. Not only are there January quests, we also have New Year’s celebration orbs, Aether Raids quests AND a new run of the Tempest Trials.

Plus, of course, there’s the Paralogue.


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The interesting thing about Paralogue 29 is that there really isn’t too much of a story to discuss. Rather, it serves as an outrealm circumstance of sorts.

It stipulates how great things could have been if the Nifl and Múspell siblings teamed up to defeat Surtr instead of slaughtering one another. Because they get along quite well.

Laegjarn and Fjorm have a moment together:

As do Gunnthrá and Laevatein:

And everything ends with the very sweet sentiment of Laegjarn’s wish:

It’s a feel-good moment meant to wrap up the Book II character arcs.

Unfortunately, it would ring out much more sweetly if we didn’t have the knowledge that in our universe they do, in fact, all slaughter one another and end their stories in a more somber note.


Alright I know, it’s silly for me to start the year off with one of these. But what can I say? It’s an easier banner this time around, and that gives me the chance to spend the first day of 2019 relaxing.

… If that weren’t obvious by the fact that I seem to have completely abandoned my desire to put these out early in the morning. *Glances anxiously at the clock*

I’m sure you all don’t mind, though.

Still convinced I’m the only one who enjoys these posts.

But that said I do still enjoy them, even in our new year of 2019! There are still interesting little tidbits that entice me. Like the fact that Laegjarn is more prominent in the Paralogue than Hríd in spite of being a Tempest Trials reward.

So let me know what you think about this first banner of 2019, and what you might be looking forward to seeing later into the year! Lord knows I’ll still be blathering on about this game.

The Legendary grey waves of fate wash in

The Legendary grey waves of fate wash in

Legendary Hero time?

Legendary Hero time.


AzuraVallite Songstress

  • Prayer Wheel (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Speed +3. If Sing or Dance is used, grants bonus to target’s Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance = The highest bonus on the target for one turn.
  • Grey Waves (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally, and if target is an infantry or flying ally, target can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).
  • Blue Duel Flying (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is five-star and level 40 and its stats total < 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like the Arena.
  • Aerobatics (B Skill)
    • Unit can move to a space adjacent to any infantry, armored or cavalry ally within two spaces.
  • Attack Tactic (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack +6 to allies within two spaces for one turn. Granted only if number of that ally’s movement type ≤ 2.

At this point I would have expected Intelligent Systems to start pumping out a few Mythic Heroes with the beginning of Book III, but I suppose there’s still a few slots available for legendaries that we needed to fill.

So to help us round out this era of special characters, we have yet another alternate version of Azura. This time based off of her mother, Arete.

While her design alone is a nice reference, she actually stands out even more as a powerful unit to summon. Kind of a power crept version of last year’s New Year’s Azura as a flying dancer, though with a magical tome rather than an axe.

See Legendary Azura’s gimmick, if you hadn’t picked it up already, is that she gives an exceptional amount of buffs through her song after warping to basically any ally easier based on her Aerobatics skill. When she sings for that ally, they gain wide-ranging skill buffs (likely replicated from her Attack Tactic skill) and an extra movement space.

That’s just good. There really isn’t anything else I can say about it.

Honestly if I hadn’t already needlessly wasted a ton of orbs on the Christmas units, I would probably be much more invested in trying to summon Azura here. Especially considering the other units in her banner.

Because also in this Legendary Hero banner are:

There are a healthy mix of units I don’t have and powerful units I wouldn’t mind having more of in this banner. Marth, Camilla, Nino, Helbindi and Takumi are all missing from my catalog, and I really wouldn’t mind summoning any considering the ones I do have like Hector, Veronica and Tiki are worth having multiple copies of.

So… All things being equal, I don’t have a lot of bad things to say about this banner overall.

If it weren’t for too many other banners happening at the same time (looking at you, New Year’s 2018 banner coming soon), I would spent more time heaving orbs at it.

But hey, at least there’s always Legendary Battle Maps to supply some extra orbs! So maybe I’ll be able to summon her before she disappears.


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Alright so I’m going to level with you, I don’t have much of anything to say about the battle map other than “hey free orbs.” I know this entire post feels a bit sparse… And that’s because it kind of is.

Really everything with this Legendary Hero is so good that it’s kind of bland to talk about since I can’t summon too much on the banner. Plus I was hoping to get to it last night until I fell asleep and stayed asleep until very late today because of that sickness I’m still rocking.

So I just wanted to get this out of the way, that way I can focus more on the end-of-year posts coming out the next two days.

Hope you all can forgive me for half-assing this one as a result ❤


And there we have it, another new Legendary Hero!

Always exciting to talk about, especially with that in-depth analysis of the battle map, am I right?

If you had any luck summoning on Azura’s banner, let me know. Also, tell me who you want to see as Legendary Heroes down the line! I know I for one lean away from Fates considering how oversaturated it is in representation so far, though it would be nice to see a Legendary (or even Mythical) Xander to balance out Ryoma’s inclusion earlier.

Guess we’ll just have to see if that happens sometime soon.

Holly Jolly Heroes

Holly Jolly Heroes

Boy it sure does feel like I was covering the start of Book III just yesterday, doesn’t it? Glad to see Intelligent Systems isn’t slowing down with these new units.

Luckily today we just have a smaller holiday-themed banner, which makes it a quick distraction from my finals. Which, by the way, is why I’m not getting this out earlier. Had my Sensation and Perception exam at 12 p.m.

It was kind of a mess, but that’s a story for another day.

I’d much rather talk about this banner right now, as it involves my favorite Fire Emblem game! Especially since the units fill some interesting niches.


FaeHoliday Dear

  • Glittering Breath (Might = 14, Range = 1)
    • During combat, boosts unit’s Defense and Resistance by the number of allies within two spaces x 2 (max bonus of +6). If foe’s range = 2, calculates damage using the lower of the foe’s Defense or Resistance.
  • Luna (Cooldown = 3)
    • Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 50 percent during combat.
  • Defense/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Defense and Resistance +5 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).
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (this turn only, does not stack).

EphraimSparkling Gallantly

  • Festive Siegmund (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Dragon Fang (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Attack/Defense Solo (A Skill)
    • If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Defense +6 during combat.
  • 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 (does not stack).
  • Close Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

EirikaGentle as Snow

  • Joyous Lantern (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • At start of turn, grants Defense and Resistance +5 to ally with the highest Attack for one turn (excluding this unit).
  • Restore (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack (min of 8 Health). Neutralizes ally’s penalties and negative status effects that last through ally’s next action.
  • Heavenly Light (Cooldown = 2)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, restores 10 Health to all allies.
  • Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
    • Foe cannot counterattack.
  • Attack Opening (C Skill)
    • At the start of the turn, grants Attack +6 to ally with the highest Attack for one turn (excluding this unit).

If I haven’t made it obvious before, I don’t celebrate Christmas. So it’s not exactly a time where I get super hyped up on holiday spirit. Thus, events in games that I play are usually my major connections to said spirit.

Everyone loves themselves some holiday variants, after all. Last year’s Christmas banner introduced a bunch of skills that changed the game by making armor units truly powerful.

This year… Not so much. But as a forever fan of the Sacred Stones I do love seeing Eirika and Ephraim. Hopefully between their appearance this Christmas, Tana and Ephraim showing up over the summer and Myrrh on Halloween we’re gearing up for new characters soon!

In terms of what the new variants bring to the table, Ephraim retains his solo warrior schtick, though it takes on an interesting light when applied to an armor unit.

Eirika stands out as being our first healing armored unit, and she’s an especially interesting support because of how she buffs your most powerful teammate.

Fae… Isn’t quite as important to me. I haven’t played the game she’s from and we already have male Grima as a green armored dragon.

So obviously two units were on my radar here, and as far as my luck has taken me so far:

I already got my boi! Plus an extra copy of Morgan, who has some nice skills to give away.

I also summoned a duplicate five-star Nanna, which is neat even if she stole Eirika’s thunder.

What makes this holiday banner particularly interesting is that it not last for a month, but we also have access to last year’s banner for the same amount of time!

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Definitely going after Tharja again once I have Eirika.

But wait, that’s not all! Intelligent Systems has tripled the Christmas cheer by also starting the Tempest Trial right away:

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Between Ephraim and my Lissa from last year, I’ve got this in the bag.

All the more orbs for me to use alongside these Paralogue rewards.


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For the most part, this Paralogue offers a standard story with a few moments of humor that stand out decently well.

As usual the Order of Heroes has decided to take part in a yearly festival so they can bolster their supplies. But this time they have true opponents:

Fjorm and her sister Ylgr confirm that the Nifl units have not disappeared into the aether thanks to the start of Book III. I just hope they’ll make an appearance in the main story as well!

The Order first encounters a particularly bossy Fae.

Then they find Ephraim and Cecilia having an interesting conversation remarking on one another’s renown in legends. It’s similar to his conversations with Hector from the Brave banner, except this time he asks if she would be willing to instruct him in the art of magic.

To which she replies:

And totally tears him down. It’s actually kind of hilarious watching Ephraim fall apart when he’s suddenly told that there’s no hope for him learning a new fighting style.

Of course that’s all set dressing, as the Order shows up and hands them a big, steaming L.

When they retread and join the others, your squad easily beats them once more to receive all the big holiday prizes. Though I can’t imagine all of these contest holders are happy with the Order coming in and winning every single one…

But hey, turns out Nifl was fighting against you in the contest. So Ylgr gives you a bit of guilt:

Which leads to Sharena giving them all of the gifts. It’s frankly the least they can do for a nation that was completely ravaged not that long ago.

Once the Nifl princesses leave, there’s an extended portion of the epilogue where Anna finds out that Sharena still believes in this realm’s version of Santa Claus because Alfonse never told her he wasn’t real.

For a subject that might have just been a fun little aside, this gag goes on for way too long in-game.

So I’m not going to offer it near as much screen time. Play the game if you want to see more!


And with that, more virtual holidays have come and gone. This season’s bounty is truly worth the orb splurge in my opinion… Though in just a week or two we’ll be getting the New Year’s banner as well.

So hey, summon with your own discretion.

Let me know what you think of these new holiday units, and who you want to see get a seasonal alt next in the comments below!

Book III opens, death comes out

Book III opens, death comes out

It figures that a week before finals we get not only the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but also a huge update to Fire Emblem Heroes.

All of this excitement definitely is not helping me stay ready for exams.

But we’re not here for school-related stuff today. No, this is a two-part blog post about the big introduction to Book III! Yesterday I talked about the Feh Channel that Nintendo put out, that way today I could devote all of my time to the beginning of the story.

So knowing this is going to be long enough as is, let’s get into it shall we?

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 begins in an… Unexpected place.

Some time has passed since the end of Book II, though the actual period isn’t specified. Our first scene has the Queen of Askr, Alfonse and Sharena’s mother, arriving at the Order of Heroes’ castle with a mission at hand:

After Henriette becomes acquainted with you, the team heads back to Askr proper.

On the way there are aggressive soldiers from the rival nation of Embla — not seen since Book I. The siblings find this strange given how far they are from the nation’s border, but their mother explains what is happening.

Interestingly enough, despite the fact that these enemy units are supposed to be Emblian units previously encountered, there are a whole host of new unit types on the enemy side. Colored bow users, colored dagger users and flying manaketes among them.

Soon enough the Order starts to come across the two generals of Hel’s army:

Upon seeing the two figures on the battlefield, Alfonse and Sharena immediately recognize them. It turns out both figures are intrinsically linked to the characters in an interesting way.

They are the ancestors of the royal siblings and Princess Veronica respectively.

How the characters will deal with their ancestors should be an interesting development throughout the story.

When the Order finally approaches Askr castle they’re intercepted at the gate by Eir, princess of the dead. Once she’s defeated she submits to death by the hand of Alfonse (because I guess the princess of the dead wasn’t dead? Go figure that one out), but he spares her. Instead they take the girl as a prisoner and eventually a wary ally because she supposedly ran away from home and would not be allowed to return.

I say supposedly because… Well… Intelligent Systems blew their load on the surprise before Eir even arrived.

You couldn’t have kept this as a reveal for the future instead of telling us right off the bat?

Ah well. Her character description says she doesn’t quite enjoy her mother’s assault on the living, so at least the character transitioning into a true ally is still available.

But until then we have her as a “tentative” ally.

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I get the feeling most people are going to latch onto the princess fast. Because boy is she packing heat with that base kit of hers.


EirMerciful Death

Skill Set:

  • Lyfjaberg (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Resistance +3. At the start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat, and if unit initiates combat, foe cannot make a follow-up attack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions. If bonus was granted to unit, deals 4 damage to unit.
  • Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Mystic Boost (B Skill)
    • Disables foe’s skills that “calculate damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance” and “calculate damage from staff like other weapons.” Restores 6 Health after combat.
  • Sparkling Boost (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, restores 10 Health to ally that has been dealt the most damage (excluding this unit).

Analysis:

Eir is just good. Her weapon and A Skill give her a ton of Attack and Speed at the cost of a little health each turn, but her B Skill just restores that health while nullifying a ton of different abilities that might give her enemies an edge.

Add onto that the high resistance attack buff of Iceberg and general ally healing and… Yeah, she’s solid.

A hell of a unit to have given us for free.


Chapter 2

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Chapter 2 begins in the grand halls of Askr castle… Of which we see one background panel.

Alfonse and his father, Gustav, vaguely dance around the reason why Alfonse had said he wasn’t allowed back home before just jumping into the meat of story-relevant exposition.

Apparently there’s a single entrance to Hel that had been sealed for over 20 years by the king’s best defenses. However something happened to the gateway that allowed denizens of the dead to emerge once more.

Right away there’s some weird business going on with Gustav being very harsh toward Alfonse while subsequently ignoring Sharena… But later we also get some dialogue with the queen that suggests he’s that archetype of a grizzled old father who wants his son to avoid the same mistakes he made.

But I’ll get to that.

First we have to discuss the shoehorned in appearance of Veronica after battle two.

There’s more vague alluding to the time skip at this point when Loki shows up out of nowhere to ask Veronica for some kind of cooperation in fighting the soldiers of Hel. They also reference Veronica’s brother Bruno, who had deus ex machina’d his way into the end of Book II but is now off on some secret mission again.

Despite Veronica’s hesitation, Loki suggests a partnership between the two nations because dead people just want to kill all living people.

We don’t have a solid idea of Hel’s motivation yet so let’s go with that for now.

My only wish is that we also get a connection to the Nifl/Múspell conflict here instead of just sticking with the Askr/Embla stuff. At the end of Book II Fjorm did join the Order permanently knowing she was dying from the after effects of the Rite of Frost.

Did she die? Or will she and Hríd and everyone be able to help fight the dead?

So far the only reference we’ve gotten to Book II comes at the end of the fifth battle. It centers around the Order of Heroes arriving at the gateway to Hel and seeing thousands of soldiers pouring out to attack a nearby village. They distract the forces long enough for Askr’s full army to arrive and rout the enemy, at which point Gustav scolds his son.

They do bring the moment around into a pretty nice message about what it means to be a king, showing that the harshness is less about being a calloused father and more about trying to groom a proper heir:

But it still seems like a stretch to toss out the entirety of Book II’s scope and consequences by saying it didn’t make everyone in the Order a hero.

You could show some more affection toward your son you know Mr. Grizzled Old Man Archetype. I’m sure that would make things better come the inevitable existential crisis of fighting death and literally seeing his sister get taken into her army.

Since you know, we’ve seen that it’s coming in the opening cutscene.

Just saying.


For now that’s all we’ve got in the Book III story. Everything is obviously a bit rough around the edges as we only have the earliest exposition set out before us.

However, not counting ridiculous things like the developers spoiling Eir’s possible double-cross later, there were a few good surprises just in the first two chapters. Connecting Hel’s generals to the history of the game’s two main nations in particular makes me interested to see more.

But with all that said, this post is extra long considering I had to sum up two chapter’s worth of story. So I’m going to leave everything to all of you here:

What do you think of the Book III story thus far? Where do you think it’s going to go? Where do you want it to go? How should we boycott the game if the Book II characters never show up again?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! I, for one, am looking forward to getting some of that Fire Emblem Heroes fix in again.

A Feh Channel to die for

A Feh Channel to die for

When the Fire and Ice banner was released in Fire Emblem Heroes, we got our first good look at the story being established for Book III through its Xenologue, in which a figure called Hel — ruler of the underworld — stole the immense power of the recently deceased Múspell tyrant Surtr.

Today’s Feh Channel finally gave us the skinny on everything we can expect to see coming out of Heroes in the near future.

Just when I thought I was out… They pull me back in.

The video began with an introductory cinematic for the next chapter in this ever-evolving story.

Overall, I would argue I actually liked the Book II cinematic better. The instant I saw Laevateinn, Loki and Surtr for the first time I was hooked. I needed to know more about who they were, especially as the Order of Heroes paired off to fight them.

With the Book III characters, I’m honestly more intrigued in them from an aesthetic perspective than a personality perspective.

Hel, as well as the two generals she has working under her, all have a macabre Victorian-era look that’s pretty great. Everything about the land of the dead shown off here gives more of an old English look than the Norse-inspired fantasy worlds of Book II.

In spite of the fact that Hel is the goddess of death in Norse mythology as well.

The sudden shift into an 1800s look, combined with the gothic, ethereal living dead designs is pretty sweet.

Once the video ends, we cut back to the Order’s castle where Feh jumps into expository mode that clashes wildly against the darker tone Intelligent Systems tried to convey with heavy metal and Sharena’s apparent death.

Feh introduces us to the four new characters that we saw in the video:


Hel

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Death Sovereign

Pretty much just a sexy skeleton lady. Someone certainly made a design choice here.

Don’t get me wrong she’s cool, and the general skeletal look + scythe combo definitely screams death. It’s just kind of silly to me that we’ve transitioned from big, imposing fire tyrant to sexy bone lady.


Eir

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Merciful Death

The princess of the realm of the dead, daughter of Hel. Seems to not enjoy her royal status considering she is confirmed to be the free five-star hero we’ll get upon completing Book III, Chapter 1. Rides a dope ass death Pegasus into battle and I’m INTO it.


Thrasir

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Omnicidal Witch

Now Thrasir I like. Invoking omnicide in her epithet, as in all-encompassing genocide, is pretty metal. She looks cool, powerful and deadly.

Out of all the new characters, I think I’ll enjoy seeing where her story goes the most.


Líf

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Lethal Swordsman

I’m somewhat bothered by the fact that we’re introducing a new character whose name can be easily confused with the already existing Prince Leif, but hey. Spooky mask skeleton knight.

It’s hard not to appreciate that, even if it is the most cliché “cool” villain archetype I can possibly imagine.


As we hear from Feh in the video: “The Askran Kingdom was just getting used to peace, but now it’s being invaded by forces from Hel.”

Beyond the fact that the quote sounds hilarious in Feh’s voice, an allusion to a time skip is the only thing I’m hesitant about regarding Book III.

If we really do skip ahead some time, it might feel disjointed. How long did Hel wait to use Surtr’s powers? Will the Nifl and Múspell characters play any kind of role or just get tossed aside? How will Loki fit in after going around Nohr and Hoshido messing with Azura and Anankos?

Yeah I paid attention Intelligent Systems. These plot points better fit together.

After touching on the generalities of the story, Feh briefly discuss some new things we’re going to get in the 3.0.0 update. Included are:

  • Four new blessings: Light, Dark, Astra and Anima. Obviously based on the Trinity of Magic from games like Sacred Stones, so I’m immediately attached.
  • A “new” kind of unit called a Mythic Hero. Essentially just Legendary Heroes for the Trinity blessings.
    • Eir will be the first light Mythic Hero, similar to how Fjorm was the first Legendary Hero who joined the Order for story reasons.
  • A Hero Fest that features Owain, Ophelia, Lewyn and Eir. A strange collection… Probably not one I’ll spend too many orbs on.
  • A new item called “First Summon Tickets,” essentially allowing us to replicate the effects of the new banner free first summon whenever we want. I appreciate that this is supplemental and not replacing the usual free summon. Though the fact that they last for one banner only kind of sucks.
  • Beast units are coming! The first will be Tibarn, a hawk guy from Radiant Dawn (who I have no connection to), but hopefully that means we’ll get characters like Kaden and Yarne soon enough.


With that, the party’s over for now. This is all the information Feh was willing to give us for the time being.

Luckily we’ll only have to wait until tonight to find out more!

So until I write all about the first two story chapters tomorrow, let me know what you think about this spookier, serious direction Fire Emblem Heroes seems to be going in.

Or, more importantly, let me know what you think about beast units finally coming. Boy that’s something we’ve been waiting on for years now.


If you want to see part 2 on the story of Book III chapters 1 and 2, take a look here!