Those descendants of the Hero-King were marked with a Brand of the Exalt to show the holy bloodline they inherited from Naga: King of the Divine Dragons who created those legendary blades in her ultimate benevolence toward humans.
Despite lacking the power to create, many consider Naga the world’s creation deity.
Naga’s history in Fire Emblem lore ties back to one idea: Killing malevolent dragons.
Her skill set as the first Astra Mythic Hero in Fire Emblem Heroes reflects this idea perfectly.
She flies in (reminiscent of her appearance in Fire Emblem Awakening) and grants every adjacent ally effectiveness against dragon foes. For each ally with that descriptor she receives a boost to all of her stats.
That’s her entire gimmick. It’s an interesting and likely effective one, but narrowly focused toward players who actively seek competitive online matches.
Though to be fair her A Skill refers specifically to Aether Raids, so she’s obviously meant to appear in online modes of battle.
I happen to not be very focused on the Player-versus-Player aspects of Heroes, so Naga is more interesting to me on account of her lore than her battle prowess.
Yet she comes with a good enough entourage — particularly on blue stones — for me to like her banner quite a bit:
After pouring over 70 hours into the game, I think it’s safe to say that I love Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Ultimate is probably the first Smash Bros. game that I would argue has stellar single player content which really jives with the way I like to play games, even if it doesn’t have a Subspace Emissary mode ala Smash Bros. Brawl.
Subspace Emissary offered a healthy mix of story-driven character interactions, platforming-based overworld sections, Smash fighter duels and big boss encounters to bring something to the table for everyone.
It even had secret characters hidden within the platforming sections who could only be unlocked via finding them. That’s a super cool reward for putting time into the game!
Plus it had couch co-op for anyone playing with a friend.
But for all the positivity Brawl offered for solo players, Subspace Emissary did shine brightest when playing it cooperatively. Also beyond that mode, it mostly survived among my friend group because of how fun it was to do regular Smash battles on custom-made stages.
What Smash Ultimate lacks in a story as character-driven as Subspace Emissary, it more than makes up for with the amount of care poured into the details of World of Light’s adventure and individualized Classic Mode routes.
I figure I’ll dive into each individually, making room for my change pertaining to Classic specifically.
World of Light
World of Light has a vague overarcing plot. Kirby must set out to save every other Smash fighter, as they have been captured by Galeem, the lord of light, and replicated for nefarious purposes.
In terms of interactions between characters, World of Light is lacking.
Instead it centers around Spirits, over 1,000 characters curated from just about any Nintendo (and third party) title that have taken over the mindless puppet fighters.
These Spirits are battled across a world map chock full of references. For instance, there’s an entire town made up of Nintendo consoles just underneath Lumiose City from Pokémon X & Y, and it can be revealed that the entire town is powered by a facility utilizing the electricity of Zapfish from Splatoon.
Each of the battles with Smash Ultimate’s Spirits also have great care put into how their source material is referenced.
One of my favorites is the Legendary Dogs from Pokémon:
But there’s a whole lot more to love, from a Dr. Wily battle where Dr. Mario hides behind eight metal Mega Men to a classic Donkey Kong spirit that has you fight alongside Peach against a massive DK on the arcade game’s stage.
Even this little indie gem:
And those are just a few of the hundreds of Spirit battles. I powered through the somewhat grind-heavy adventure just to see as many of them as I could.
That’s the power of well-crafted references. World of Light and the corresponding Spirit Board has them in spades, but even more come forth with Classic Mode.
Masahiro Sakurai’s team put just as much care into giving every fighter a unique Classic Mode route that fits their character.
At this point I’m kind of an expert in the subject:
There are three categories of Classic routes I would separate all 74 into.
References to the character’s game series or a particular storyline.
Combining opponents by color or theme based on the character’s interests.
Playing with the character’s quirks.
The first category has some of the most fun Classic runs.
Mega Man follows the story of his second adventure by taking on eight characters before fighting a giant robot, then Dr. Wily (Dr. Mario), then Mewtwo as an alien version of Wily.
Ryu fights proxy Street Fighter representatives and is the only one with Stamina battles (similar to fighting game life bars).
For characters that group things together, there’s a ton of variety.
Marth only fights dragons, ending off with a battle against Monster Hunter’s Rathalos.
Bowser fights red costumed fighters in reference to his hatred for Mario.
In the last category, you have unique rule sets.
Kirby fights characters that are known for eating, and only food items spawn.
Mewtwo takes control of one of his previous round’s opponents to be a teammate in the next.
There’s so much to love about Classic Mode in Smash Ultimate that the one (in my opinion) glaring execution error shines.
With all of the variety exuding in each route, far too many end with a fight against Master Hand and Crazy Hand.
They are the biggest representatives of the Smash series as a whole, so it makes sense that they would be the default final boss. But the amount of times I groaned seeing them show when I expected someone else were far too frequent.
Why don’t more of the Mario characters battle Giga Bowser, for example?
It seems like a small thing, but the routes that go all-out on final bosses are the best. Toon Link’s Classic Mode is based on the Four Swords Games, and culminates in a four-on-one battle against Ganon from Ocarina of Time.
Now I’m not complaining to Sakurai’s team. They did so much more than they had to with Ultimate, and I love everything about it!
But if I could make any change to the end product, I would have added a more diverse boss battles.
Not just by handing out the six World of Light bosses more readily. So much more could have been achieved by adding a few Classic Mode-exclusive bosses as well.
I would have cranked the nostalgia machine up a few notches by adding a boss related to each of the eight original Smash 64 characters.
Mario, Link and Kirby already have representatives with Giga Bowser, Ganon and Marx. But imagine this:
Adding just a few extra bosses would add a ton of diversity and surprise for players who took on the World of Light first and might assume they’ve seen everything.
Again, don’t take this as me complaining about the end product in any serious manner. I’m simply a fan of all things Nintendo and can’t help but drool at the thought of even more iconography being brought together with such a well-crafted game.
That being said, what else would you want to see added into Smash Ultimate if you were on the dev team? It doesn’t even have to stick to bosses: Characters, alternate skins or items are always fun points of discussion as well!
Let me know in the comments or somewhere on the Internet, because even as I transition into playing Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee with my sister, I’m still thinking all about that Smash.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is officially out today! Even though I haven’t personally gotten my hands on it just yet, by all accounts it promises to be a fantastic collection of all the greatest parts of the series’ 19-year history.
I’m excited to get my hands on this sucker, because I’ve been a pretty hardcore fan of Masahiro Sakurai’s wonderful party fighter games since Melee on the GameCube.
Melee was quite literally a game that defined my young childhood, with many birthday parties spent playing as Young Link on the “Great Bay” stage from Majora’s Mask (many years before I actually played its game of origin).
Brawl was the game that offered my core friend group, from middle school on, to duke it out, find our main characters and test our creativity building our own fields of combat.
Smash 4 brings with it memories of being so excited that I played the demo endlessly during art class in senior year, time that left me proficient in newcomer Mega Man as much as I would be proficient in Lucina — my current main character, passed along from Marth before her.
Yet the fourth entry in the series became so much more. Long nights in the Daily Titan newsroom were more manageable after my boi Aaron Valdez brought his Wii U and we held DT tournaments.
Hell I even have some fond memories of the original Smash Bros., despite the fact that I never owned a Nintendo 64. I distinctly remember going to an animation camp while visiting my grandparents in Florida one summer, and a major highlight of the camp was getting there early to play on some of the consoles available in their waiting room.
My attachment to the series went far deeper than just playing the games with my friends, however.
When Stephen Hillenberg died a few weeks ago, writing my blog obituary for him brought back a lot of memories. One of the most potent memories was attending a sprite animation camp (here in California) over a summer with my friend Mitchell Winn from all the way back in elementary school.
Thanks to that camp, I learned a good many things about grabbing sprites from my favorite games off of The Spriters Resource and using them in different projects.
One other project that felt pertinent to today required going back into my old desktop Mac.
This dinosaur literally hasn’t been touched since 2012 based on the security update. Thus it has become a crystalized time capsule for 15-year-old Jason.
I had so much fun going through this thing that I’m going to talk more about my discoveries later this weekend.
But for now, the important connection back to Smash Bros. were these desktop wallpapers I made using character sprites from various games and other fan projects:
Would have helped if I made them all the same size so they didn’t get stretched out when I rotated them as wallpapers. But hey, eight years ago.
All of these babies were created between May and June of 2010 using Graphic Converter, as I never learned Photoshop or anything.
2010! I know I spent all this time building up 15-year-old Jason, but these specifically are all a product of 13-year-old Jason’s ingenuity.
Now that Smash Ultimate is out, I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon so I can start to make some new memories with that game. Perhaps a few of them will come somewhere remotely close to leaving an impression as strong as the older titles.
Here’s to everyone having a happy Smash Ultimate day!
When Fire Emblem Heroes first came out, the biggest draw to the game was the fact that characters from every game in the series would be available in one place.
To prove their commitment to that ideal, Intelligent Systems posed a contest. Everyone who enjoyed Fire Emblem could vote on their favorite heroes from any title, and the top four would become special units once the game dropped.
Then after that, popular but not high-tier units from the Choose Your Legends vote came in the form of farfetched heroes some time later.
Eventually, Intelligent System announced around the game’s one-year anniversary that we would be getting a brand new Choose Your Legends vote, with the heroes who won previously being disqualified.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, Neimi has not been chosen to join the game.
Hopefully one day Intelligent Systems will come to their senses.
In the meantime, the winners of that second Choose Your Legends vote have finally come to the forefront. Veronica, Ephraim, Celica and Hector have joined a higher class of units and are available to summon as of today following their skill announcements during a Feh Channel livestream yesterday.
So, let’s take a look at the heroes we demanded, shall we?
Foe cannot counterattack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions, and grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and allies within two spaces for one turn.
Recover (Range = 1)
Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack +10 (minimum of 15 Health).
Windfire Balm (Cooldown = 1)
When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Speed +6 to all allies for one turn.
Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
Calculates damage from staffs like other weapons.
Close Guard (C Skill)
Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”
Good luck pronouncing the name of Veronica’s weapon. God knows I’ll never be able to.
Thanks to the power of the people, we finally have access to the Princess of Emblian Empire as an ally rather than a foe. Even if she stipulates that she’s not the Veronica we personally know.
The fact that she’s a cleric cavalier who dresses like her older brother Bruno is more than indicative of that, and she has a super solid base kit to facilitate her abilities. She not only has the classic dazzling/wrathful staff combination popularized by Genny, she also offers a host of buffs.
Healing your ally? Buff their attacking stats.
Attacking an enemy? Buff all nearby ally stats while nerfing all nearby opponents.
Standing nearby Veronica at all? Buff their close-range defenses during combat.
It’s an interesting little niche to fill, and while I don’t imagine she’ll be as game changing as Brave Lyn, Veronica will undoubtedly be the best staff-weilding cavalier added into the game.
Grants Attack +3. If a bonus granted by a skill like Rally or Hone and/or extra movement is granted by a skill like Armor March or Armored Boots is active, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
Close Defense (A Skill)
If foe initiates combat and uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
Special Fighter (B Skill)
At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
Armor March (C Skill)
At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).
It’s my boi. He’s here. Ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but he’s all out of gum.
The OG Ephraim was a lance infantry unit, and his Legendary Hero counterpart was a cavalier. Now we have an axe-wielding armored knight — a nice bit of diversity, even if he never actually uses that kind of set-up in Sacred Stones.
Beyond being a cool reference to the sacred weapon of Grado, Ephraims axe gives him an immediate +19 attack and guarantees a follow-up attack if he’s next to an ally with adjacent-benefiting skills. An interesting contrast to his stand-offish Legendary Hero variant.
Ephraim also takes hits well, only to make his own further attack-boosting Special Attack more active and lessen the effectiveness of his opponent’s Special Attacks in the process.
Honestly the only thing he’s missing to be a truly phenomenal unit is Distant Counter. Without it, he doesn’t completely overshadow the likes of Hector — in any of his three axe armor forms.
Even so, he’ll probably replace my Valentines Hector. Because I love Ephraim.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even be able to sacrifice a Hector to make him the best he can be.
Grants Speed +3. If unit is within two spaces of an ally, grants unit Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
Galeforce (Cooldown = 5)
If unit initiates combat, grants unit another action after combat (once per turn).
Death Blow 4 (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +8 during combat.
Double Lion (B Skill)
If unit’s Health = 100 percent at start of combat and unit initiates combat, unit attacks twice, but deals one damage to self after combat (does not stack).
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 on current team ≤ two.
Celica is the definition of a glass cannon, but she’s somewhat restricted by what clearly seems to be an attempt by Intelligent Systems to not make her too broken to handle.
She essentially follows the design of Elincia, but as an infantry unit. Utilizing the extra special large buff of her power crept Death Blow, she runs into battle and gets to double her attack output with Double Lion — obviously taught to her by Alm back in Valentia. Then she gets to move again using the power of Galeforce, more likely to trigger when an ally is nearby thanks to her blade.
It’s all copacetic when you discount Attack Tactic, which seems to be more of a reference to her leadership role in-game if anything. Likely the only thing players may want to replace.
Unfortunately, the niche she fills is undermined by the fact that Double Lion negates itself by costing one health. We’ve seen the same thing used with characters like Summer Tana, but in this case it’s more severe because she can’t use a skill like Renewal.
So Celica will probably be a phenomenal glass cannon in terms of killing two units right at the beginning of a match. But with longer, multi-stage fights she might fall more behind than her brave allies.
At least it’s super cool that her design is based on the character’s original appearance from FE Gaiden.
Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
Ignis (Cooldown = 4)
Boosts damage dealt by 80 percent of unit’s Defense.
Ostian Counter (A Skill)
Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range. If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
Bold Fighter (B Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
At 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).
Hector Emblem is finally complete.
If you’re interested in using three axe and one lance armor units and risking instant death from my friend Jonathan’s +10 armorslayer Hana.
Much like his last three variants, Brave Hector is clearly meant to top the meta with just ridiculous damage output and skills.
He has a distant counter lance and can use guaranteed follow-up attacks from both his own and his foe’s attacks. From there, he has multiple opportunities to quicken that Special Attack and bust out a brutal 80 percent damage buff.
Again, his C Skill seems somewhat out-of-place unless he’s meant to take down mages as much as physical attackers. But if you want to run him that way, more power to you.
There’s not much else to say about old Hector here. He’s probably going to be obscenely powerful, and easily replace the top-tier lance armor units like Effie. She unfortunately needs to inherit Distant Counter to be a true beast.
Sorry Effie, I love you… But you’ve been outclassed.
Like the Choose Your Legends banner from last year, players once again have the ability to immediately summon one of the four new brave heroes for free.
In the previous batch, Brave Lyn was almost ubiquitously the best option in the bunch. Everyone wanted a free version of her.
In the new brave banner, at least using my own friend group as a barometer, the decision seems more split.
Personally I decided to use my free summon on Ephraim:
Because I love Sacred Stones. Like a lot.
However, I also see the merits of wanting to summon Veronica or Hector… Celica to a lesser extent.
I already managed to summon Performing Arts Elincia and Micaiah from the most recent special banner, so I’m more than eager to throw a lot more of my orbs at the Brave heroes.
Yet, it appears I may not have to. While I started with 140+ orbs, the game didn’t waste any time by giving me this for my free summon post-guaranteed unit:
Yeah, who would have thought?
Perhaps if this keeps up I won’t have to spend too many orb on this banner. In fact, for now I think I’ll try to keep my bingeing above 100 like I was on the Performing Arts banner. Just to see if anything else comes out in the near future.
So, I suppose that just leaves some story to talk about. For as little as there is here.
Our newest paralogue begins with the conceit, once again, that all of the terrible things happening in the main story are totally separate from what’s happening here.
While it has been a long time since Brave Heroes were summoned into the world of Askr, it seems as though the Order of Heroes is better prepared for their arrival.
Alfonse, in this case, becomes the surrogate for Intelligent Systems from what I can tell.
IS: “Wait, are you serious? They voted for the main villain? Well… Guess we might as well make the Order as confused as we are.”
That’s about all the set-up we get for these encounters. In fact, it’s the only set of lines we get from the Order of Heroes. The rest is character-driven by the new Brave Heroes.
I’ll give the developers credit, they’re good at pairing characters together in such a way that the interactions are compelling to see.
For instance, we start with Celica and Veronica:
They bond over their shared loss of significant relations. Celica being separated from Alm and Veronica being separated from her brother, Bruno.
In fact, Veronica gets a super interesting development overall thanks to this paralogue. But I’ll get into that later.
For now, the characters move on uneventfully when you win the first match. So it’s on to Ephraim and Hector.
Because I don’t know Hector very well, I wouldn’t have drawn the connection initially. But both Lords are thrust into power by outside tragedies despite being mostly self-reliant warriors who love to go it alone.
So naturally they decide to train with each other after bonding for all of three seconds.
Except never mind, you show up first and interrupt the sparring match. Only for you to essentially blow them both away, that way they retreat.
Once all the brave heroes regroup, they give you that stock “time to fight” dialog.
Once the fight ends, Veronica sticks back to talk to your group about her strange presence.
Veronica has a few moments throughout the main story where it’s obvious that she’s lonesome and likes summoning heroes to keep her company.
But through the surrogate of alternate dimension Veronica, now we have a much better clue as to the origin of her neuroses.
She feels abandoned by her brother, who left to try to find a cure for the curse of their bloodline.
Having summoned Veronica, I also have a little more insight into her character. One of her voice line mentions having learned how to ride a horse thanks to her brother and Xander, the Nohrian prince who acts as her chief guardian.
Xander is quite literally a stand-in for her brother. Which is something he likely knows, and may be a strong reason why he stays with her despite the contract being broken between them.
That’s pretty powerful, honestly. Makes me like Veronica that much more.
Good on you Intelligent Systems, I appreciate you making me care more.
With that, we come to the end of another Fire Emblem Heroes adventure.
As always Intelligent System makes these posts some of my favorite to craft, because there’s always something new and unexpected that makes me care for the stupid gotcha game style they’re pushing.
That said, I know nobody but me cares about these posts. So if you managed to make it this far, go ahead and say ‘We the Bravely Default’ in the comments. Because even though I’ve never played the game before, it seems like something that would fit. Plus it would let me know that we are, in fact, the Bravely Default.
While you’re down in those comments there, let me know who’s your favorite new Brave Hero! Also, let me know how you feel about the character development we’re watching unfold with Princess Veronica.
There’s nothing quite as good at getting me back in the easy writing mood as a Fire Emblem Heroes update. Particularly when there are new units involved.
Not sure how excited I am to similarly embark on the journey of writing about the fuller version update that’s coming in a couple of days. But hopefully this will be a nice palate cleanser to get me into the swing of things again.
That’s especially the case with a smaller introduction, like Legendary Heroes. Only one character to run down. One new map. A bunch of subsidiaries to discuss.
Nothing too crazy. So let’s just jump into it, shall we?
My daily writing will once again awaken thanks to good old Legendary Lucina here.
Effective against flying foes. Grants Speed +3. If unit initiates combat and a foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
Future Vision (Range = 1)
Unit and target ally swap spaces. Grants another action to unit (only once per turn).
Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
Wings of Mercy (B Skill)
If an ally’s Health ≤ 50 percent, unit can move to a space adjacent to that ally.
Distant Guard (C Skill)
Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”
Overall, Lucina is built to be a forward, attack-focused unit.
Her weapon makes her faster and boosts all of her stats when she’s attacking a unit that uses physical weapons. Theoretically units that can’t attack back, even if distant counter weapons are a frequent thing.
Add onto that the Swift Sparrow boost and Lucina can gain a whopping eight Attack and 11 Speed when attacking an enemy unit. Which is pretty crazy, all things considered. Especially considering she’s our second non-colorless archer and hits ever-present red units even harder.
There’s also a pretty sweet combination going on between Wings of Mercy and Future Vision — her exclusive Movement Assist skill.
Have a unit dying up on the front lines? Let Lucina teleport over to them, swap them into a safer position and then gain an extra move through the instantaneous Galeforce to kill whoever’s a problem. It’s actually a pretty sweet concept.
Her C Skill is the only one that doesn’t shine quite as brightly as the rest, in my opinion. It specifically requires her to be put on a team of full ranged units, but even then only grants them +4 to the defensive stats. Not exactly super stellar, but could be good if building her surrounding squad specifically.
While I can’t say anything to her stats, Lucina is a pretty great unit based on her skills alone. She fills an interesting attack-oriented niche that not many other archers could properly take on, and Wind Blessing teams are stronger because of it.
But of course Lucina isn’t the only hero on this Legendary Banner. Players can also go for:
The red pool is full of units I don’t have, including that slippery samurai that managed to drain my orbs a few months back. So I’m pretty interested in that whole swatch of heroes.
The same can mostly be said for blue, which has the rather powerful-sounding Legendary Lucina and original Azura, a unit I’ve never been able to summon before. Ishtar is probably the only exception to my interest there, since I already summoned her using the banner she arrived on. She’s powerful, but not a unit I use enough to necessarily want multiple copies.
Green, again, is relatively full of units I don’t have. Though I’m not sure they’re units I want outside of filling my Hero Catalog. Christmas Lissa is the only one I have, and while I loved her around Christmas time she was unfortunately outclassed by my Valentine Hector. Lyn and Lilina are absent from my ranks, but neither are units I can necessarily see myself using a lot.
So I’d be up to summoning them, but I’m not actively looking for them.
Colorless is really the only quarter of this banner that I’m avoiding completely. Female Grima and Brave Lyn are both played out in the Legendary Banner scene, and I also already have a Kinshi Hinoka. It’s the only place where I have everything I could think to ask for.
As a whole, the Legendary Banner for Lucina is full of units I don’t have, and as a result it’s much more enticing than many of them have been in the past. Since summoning Sumia so quickly on the recent Awakening banner I’ve been saving my orbs, and started off today with about 180.
Ready to spend my heart out, I threw out plenty of orbs while playing Minecraft with my crew at 1 a.m. this morning.
Turns out that was a pretty viable strategy:
Two brand new, useful units. The Lady of the Lake and the Lady of the Wind, together at last.
Honestly I can’t find any reason to complain.
Gunnthrá was my only Wind Blessing Legendary Hero up until now, so it’s nice to have some diversity in that pool. Plus it’s never bad to have another dancing unit, and as soon as they add a fourth Azura into the game I’ll be able to create an Azura Emblem team.
It took me about 80 orbs to sniff out these two, so I’m not sure how many more orbs I’ll spend right now. Maybe as I collect some more orbs I’ll throw out a couple at Lucina, but I’m somewhat inclined to let my luck stand where it is and save up for later.
Luckily there’s a perfect opportunity to score some more orbs with the Legendary Battle map.
Another day, another nine orbs.
While maps that call in reinforcements are always annoying, I’m not expecting this one to give me too much trouble. After all, I managed to score everything I could off of the Ryoma and Hector maps when they made their way through the wringer.
Lucia’s way less aggressive than both of them were.
See? She just wants to do a training demonstration. That’s all.
No big deal at all.
Alright so I know that last portion about the battle map was a little short. I just don’t have too much to say about it. It’s a long, tough fight with some rewards at the end.
I wanted to share about it for the sake of record keeping, but staying up so late last night playing games kept me from doing this post for the early morning like I usually do. So I’m also rushing myself just a bit to get it out there at all.
That said, I can’t really think of a better way to wrap this up than to simply wrap it.
So what do you think of this new Legendary Lucina? Is she as powerful as she sounds? Will you be spending your orbs for her?
Let me know, and let me know who else you want to see take on the coveted mantle of Legendary Hero in the future.
In the meantime, I’m going to go prepare for a business meeting I’ve got in the near future.
This update came a little out of left field, but it’s exciting as a small new addition to the game.
Between Fjorm, Gunnthrá, Ike and Ephraim, we’ve gotten Legendary Heroes matching all four seasons that Fire Emblem Heroes cycles through (Water, Wind, Earth and Fire respectively). While it seems as though that would be the end of these characters being released, apparently there are going to be multiple heroes for each season.
Which in hindsight makes perfect sense from a ‘releasing hyped up units to get players to spend money’ standpoint.
But I digress.
Today we’re starting that second round with:
I’m just going to call her Grima instead of Robin because we already have other Robins and in my head it just makes more sense this way.
I know I’m not the first to make this connection, but Grima isn’t exactly a hero. In fact, the male version of Robin overcome by the spirit of Grima was a part of the villainous banner not too long ago.
But I guess now we’re just going to bring along the literal Fell Dragon, destroyer of worlds and civilizations, as a hero meant to lead our armada in the Order of Heroes.
I wonder how Lucina feels knowing that the force she’s spent her whole life hoping to stop can now be in charge of her and give her massive blessings?
… Yeah I’m not going to get a response anytime soon am I?
That said, I do actually want to say that Grima looks pretty beastly and powerful for a number of reasons.
On top of being a hero(?) who can confer the benefits of the earth blessing on her allies, Grima comes with a bunch of great skills. Her weapon is the same as male Grima. Expiration lets her hit regardless of distance and hit her opponents on their weakest defensive stat. She comes with the special attack Bonfire, which boosts her damage based on her defense, and three passive skills: Dragonskin, which grants her a defensive boost when attacked while also neutralizing her flying weakness, Cancel Affinity, which negates the effect of the weapon triangle, and Resistance Smoke, which lowers the resistance of everyone around an attack target by seven.
These skills, combined with the fact that this Grima is our first ever colorless manakete unit who also happens to be a flying unit (ala Myrhh) but with the natural ability to cancel out bow effectiveness AND weapon triangle effectiveness… Well, she just sounds incredible. Hopefully her stat spread matches and makes her a new meta staple, because that would be awesome.
The crazy thing is, this banner has even more great stuff beyond just the colorless flying dragon that negates half of her own weaknesses.
Considering it’s coming out just straight up in the middle of the spring heroes banner, you know Intelligent Systems is looking to siphon up all of our money at this rate.
On top of the Fell Dragon, this eight percent five-star banner also offers up:
I usually pick my character colors to fit who the character in particular is, but in this case I’m going to have the colors correspond with what weapon-type on the triangle they are. It’ll be easier with 12 units available.
Granted, Jakob has become one of my favorite units on my armored team, but still. I want my cute costumed girls, man.
Just don’t call the police on me… I know how creepy that sounds.
Because at least those three units are high up on my desire sensor, I’ve already spent a good few orbs on summoning from this banner.
My free summon has so far been the most lucrative pull, funnily enough:
Lyn may not be the colorless unit I wanted to pull considering I already have her, but she’s got some great skills to pass along if nothing else.
Nothing else has come of my efforts so far (though I’ve summoned normal cleric Sakura a number of times and that has given me multiple heart attacks). However, part of that is probably because I am trying to show some restraint.
I want to keep my orb count above 50, so I’m only summoning when I get to about 70 on the off chance that all five of the pulls in a session are worth going after.
Luckily, Grima also came with a few extra additions that have offered players orbs considering the Tempest Trials have now passed.
The first thing is a special map connecting to this Legendary Hero specifically.
A Legendary Hero-specific map for some extra orbs is a new thing entirely, and honestly I hope it’s a feature that returns. I quite like having the chance at some extra orbs and a special map – even if this one is the same special map from the aforementioned Tempest Trial.
Coincidentally, this banner also corresponds with the start of a series of special maps related to a DLC update for Fire Emblem Warriors.
Man… Fire Emblem Warriors… Talk about another game I wanted to play that I never got around to.
While it’s too bad I never did get to play the game (outside of one session thanks to my friend Kaleb), I suppose I can’t complain about having some free orbs.
Plus the song that plays is a top-notch Awakening remix.
That’s about the extent of what I’ve got for Fire Emblem Heroes today. Like I said, this addition was small but cool. I’m definitely excited to try to summon this new version of Grima.
Actually, that gets me thinking… What if I paired the two Grima together and created the ultimate destructive selfcestuous power couple?
Sheesh, that just made me more excited to summon her. Here’s hoping it works out I guess!
Also, here’s hoping I can balance doing that with work/school stuff. And with playing more Duel Links, since a new character just dropped over there.
You know you’re at an overpowered place in a game when you unlock a brand new character about an hour after the special event starts.
But now I’m rambling about a totally unrelated subject, so I’ll leave it here.
What do you think of the new Grima? How game changing is she going to be? Feel free to discuss it in the comments down below!
Never before has my disinterest in a previous summoning banner turned out to be such a prescient blessing.
Today we have been given a brand new set of focus heroes in Fire Emblem Heroes and a new chapter in Book II’s story to go along with them. However, rather than showcasing some characters from one game, we’ve gotten a very special grouping.
That’s right, this special summoning focus is based on heroes who have dark, demented forms for one reason or another. It’s a brilliant idea for a collection to put forward… Though I do sort of wish they were saved for some kind of special holiday or event in which it would make a little more sense for them to appear.
But I can’t exactly call that a serious complaint by any means. After all I really DO love who we got here.
Just to kick things off I have a question. Why didn’t they just call this character Grima? I get that he’s supposed to be a corrupted Robin basically, but it would’ve made so much more sense to just change his nametag to ‘Grima.’ But I digress, as that petty consideration shines a light nowhere near as intense as the character himself. He has interesting skills and is our first armored dragon unit — with a broken ass weapon at that. Seriously it’s mad powerful and looks insane too. On top of being a good looking unit that’ll fit on my dragon team, I just generally love the twist in Awakening. Robin here will be my main hunt as a result!
Despite a few logical flaws, Celica is a great character in Fire Emblem Echoes. She’s so great in fact that the community voted for her in its second ‘Choose Your Legends’ event. That means a third Celica will be coming in the near future, which in hind sight is not a great thing. After all, Beloved Zofia went to this version, so what is the new Celica going to use? Seraphim magic perhaps? Not completely sure. Though what I am completely sure about is that I will be going after Celica too. Not only is she great-looking skill wise, but she’s just an overall amazing character like I said. Who wouldn’t love her, even with her soul stolen so she becomes a witch?
I’ll be honest, I have the least amount of connections to Hardin given that I didn’t even know who he was before this, so if there’s anyone on this list I’m not going to try summoning… It’s him. Robin and Celica are way more important, plus I already have a powerful Effie as my blue lance armored unit. Though I will say, I like how he fits into this theme as an ally of Marth who lets absolute power corrupt absolutely once he becomes Emperor of Archanea. That’s the kind of example of character information I’m glad I learned more about so I can feel better when I do encounter the guy.
I just… I’m not sure what else I have to say on this matter.
Seriously, I love these heroes. Besides perhaps Hardin’s picks, I have a strong desire to summon all of them.
Plus, Intelligent Systems surprised me by actually reading my mind. When I first saw the trailer show up for this banner online, I was very concerned seeing that Takumi corrupted at the end of Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest version did not show up. He’s basically a meme in his own right, and I figured it was a missed opportunity.
Then I found out Takumi corrupted is specifically going to show up later in a Grand Hero Battle. Like… That’s amazing! I suppose it was just an obvious choice, but knowing my thought process was validated is an incredibly satisfying feeling.
He’s not going to show up until later though. So for now, let’s look back at the heroes we have.
I’ll level with you, audience — when I started on this banner tonight, I had a mountain of orbs. 200.
Yeah, 200. You read that right.
That’s the blessing of my general disinterest in the Valentine’s Day banner that I mentioned before. Between all of the special anniversary events and the current Tempest Trial run I’ve been able to really bolster my reserves for an event just like this where I really, REALLY want the heroes.
Luckily I didn’t have to make too huge of a dent to get there:
It helps that he has a deep, kinda sexy voice too. You go evil Robin.
I spent about 35 orbs to get to him, and even though I’m showing some restraint for now I’ll definitely still go after Celica soon enough.
Also, it’s worth noting that somehow I got another five-star on the way to Grima:
Yeah… Not totally sure where Lucina came from, but I suppose I can’t complain. I’ve never gotten her before, so I finally have a new cinematic summoning animation to enjoy.
Even if Masked Lucina is still the better bae. Just saying.
Now earlier I mentioned that I wished these heroes got a bit more of a situational treatment elevating them specifically. That was referring primarily to the new story missions we got alongside our three new evil children.
See, as much as I appreciate the fact that we’re moving the game’s main plot along, the fact that we’re doing so leaves the new heroes as more of a footnote.
It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, honestly.
But… I do really like the development in this chapter, so I’ll let it slide. For now.
The new chapter picks up where the last one left off (obviously enough). The Order of Heroes have moved into Fjorm’s home nation having protected the village just outside the boundary, and now have to make their way to Gunnthrá who is hiding away.
However, their progress is quickly impeded by the arrival of Surtr’s army.
After defeating Laevatein, she retreats and the Order starts to make their way through the snow once more.
However, they’re troubled by the thought that thick tracks left in the heavy snow is going to lead the fiery army toward them wherever they go.
So Anna comes up with the brilliant idea of leaving one pathway in the snow as a diversion while masking their actual direction.
It seems to be working well enough with Laevatein… But not for our newly introduced villain: Her older sister.
I suppose this is as good a place as any to address my thoughts on Laegjarn…
I love her.
Seriously, she very quickly jumped up to being my favorite member of the opposing army. Not only is she intelligent, she’s cool and collected in a way that makes her seem like a methodical and more dastardly villain with undertones. Plus she totally sits around and gets out of jams with her little sister and it’s dope!
At one point, Fjorm even says she’s an amicable woman that’s willing to use diplomacy and build happiness among the oppressed.
My only real point of contention with her right now, as I think about it in my witching hour daze, is her overall relationship with her younger sister.
That relationship has me awfully conflicted. On the one hand, it’s freaking adorable. Laevatein clearly loves and adores her older sister, wanting to be just like her. Laegjarn appreciates the love and wants her younger sister to be happy.
It’s great because it reminds me of my relationship with my own younger sister in a way! That makes them awfully endearing characters to think that they care for each other in place of their awful father.
However… Even if I love the relationship, something about the way Laevatein has been portrayed now that her sister is around bugs me.
On the one hand it’s sweet seeing her have an endearing bond with her older sister. But on the other hand, as soon as the sister showed up Laevatein’s dialogue suddenly began to sound… Infantilized.
I get wanting to be respectful of your older sibling, but it seems like the girl has been neutered or something, and that seems like a shame considering she was previously my favorite.
Though maybe I’m over thinking it. If anything that same concern might just be a sign of her complex double facing nature. Who knows, only time will tell.
Anyway though I got WAY off track. But to be fair, once you beat the first mission not a lot happens until you arrive at the last mission when you’re backed into a wall.
After your group beats them, Laegjarn realizes they might be outclassed in terms of skill and orders a retreat.
While the Order goes off and does… Whatever they do… The focus stays on our fiery sisters.
As Laegjarn reflects on the fact that they’ll need new strategies if they want to win, Laevatein suggests a plan that receives quite a bit of flak.
I don’t know what this special skill is, but it sounds dope and I want to see it.
Unless it kills her. In which case, don’t put it in the game Intelligent Systems. I’d rather not have to deal with any painful self-sacrifices.
Luckily, in place of the hellfire skill a different idea is suggested:
Then things cut off. That’s all you get. Thanks for the money folks, come back another day.
A bit of an abrupt stop this time around, but I suppose I can’t complain. You’ve now seen how much of an emotional journey I felt watching these new characters interact, after all.
Though once again I really would have liked to see what a story focused around Grima and zombie Celica would look like. Talk about a missed opportunity.
That’s about that for my Fire Emblem Heroes blog post for the day. Obviously, I liked these new updates to the roster!
The new heroes are cool, the new villain is cool… I just really appreciate everything this time around. Plus I’ve been able to keep a lot of my orbs in storage, so I feel great about that going forward.
I could end this by asking about everything I talked about, but let’s keep things more simple this time around.
How do you feel about the relationship between Laevatein and Laegjarn? Am I overreacting to Laevatein’s silent obedience around her sister?
This likely won’t be a substantial post (he says hopefully before getting into the actual writing portion of things), but I felt enough happened in Fire Emblem Heroes today to warrant something before the inevitable one year anniversary celebration.
First and foremost, there was a new Feh Channel released yesterday that updated everyone on new things coming around the bend.
I unfortunately have not had the time to watch it. That’s a majority of reason why I’m expecting this to be short.
Basically, I didn’t have time because all of yesterday evening was spent helping to cover President Trump’s State of the Union address.
I was at the College Republicans club watch party, took my own photos, did a wee bit of live tweeting, got a bunch of interviews… It was a pretty nice experience overall.
Then there was some weird stuff going on that led to us not having an article on it quite yet for some reason? But uhh… That’s a story for another time. Namely a time when that article actually gets written and published. Which will hopefully be soon.
That said, if you’re interested in watching the Feh Channel check it out here. I’ll probably get more caught up on the subject matter later.
In the meantime, some of the updates elaborated on in the informational video have already begun to roll out.
My picture just above kind of spoils things, but not as obviously as the featured image for this post… So I’ll quit burying the lede.
Ike has returned in a third form, this time as a Legendary Hero.
Seriously, anyone else remember when we were all wondering why Ike hadn’t shown up in game when he was clearly a title character all over the branding?
Legendary Hero Ike comes equipped with some familiar skills and some not-so-familiar skills. His weapon, Ragnell, is the same as his normal variant and gives him distant attack counters. He also comes with a more advanced version of his regular special attack called Radiant Aether which allows him to slash an opponent’s defensive stats and regain 50 percent of the damage he deals as his own health. By itself that’s a pretty wild combination of things. Yet, he also comes with three more skills in the form of Warding Breath (granting him +4 resistance if attacked and increasing Special cooldown charge), Seal Attack and Defense (causing a -5 debuff to both those stats after combat with a unit) and Defense Tactic (granting all infantry and armored units in his 2 square vicinity +6 defense each turn). I have a Brave Ike in my collection but not a regular Ike, so I would definitely be happy to pull this guy.
One of these days I’m really going to have to play the Radiant titles so I understand why Ike was so popular better.
But until I do, I can live out the hype with this beefy looking unit right here.
Assuming I can summon him.
Which, spoiler alert, has not been going super well for me so far. But because there are also some other subsidiary units on his Legendary Banner that I would want (namely Summer Xander, Gunnthrá and Siegbert), I’m going to keep going at it.
In controlled bursts. Not looking to go too crazy when there’s presumably Valentine’s Day units coming up soon. Even if there are only four days on this banner.
Though with the exceptional grace of a beautiful transition, there is an extra source of orbs in our midst as well.
Another miniature Tempest Trials has arrived, not too long after our last New Years-themed event. A long time ago I complained about burnout associated with these suckers, but since I’ve discovered a grinding method that works for me I’m far more welcoming of it.
Even if that trial I complained about was themed after Ike’s games, ironically enough.
Maybe this is what it means to have a full developmental arc?
Who knows. After all, all of that is beside the point because really who can complain about extra orbs, medals and a new character? Especially when that new character is Marisa:
You’re no Neimi, but you’ll do. Welcome to the team.
Part of my burnout treatment has been not talking about these Tempest Trial runs like I used to, but this one is special enough that I felt it would be worth delving into the plot a little bit further.
As always, it begins with Lucina (or Marth still, despite the fact that it seems like everyone knows something is fishy behind her mask) arriving at a new place to take on yet another outcropping of the threatening Tempest. This time with Heroes-specific units to greet her:
Fjorm seems interested in helping out, but as I mentioned is suspicious of the mask. It makes Lucina untrustworthy apparently.
I do understand that to an extent… But let’s be real, the mask is super sweet and I would trust anyone wearing it.
Editor’s Note: Don’t try to coerce me into things wearing Lucina’s butterfly mask.
Just figured I’d put that out there.
Fjorm has just one idea to prove that Lucina is a trustworthy compatriot:
But then, just as Fjorm is about to take the legendary Falchion…
Fjorm wasn’t Fjorm all along! She was Loki in disguise once again.
From there she just says she’ll wait for you to arrive at the deepest part of the Tempest to fight her, but there was honestly just something about this plot twist I really enjoyed.
I don’t know, I guess it just worked well in reference to character traits Intelligent Systems has established thus far. You know me, I’m a fan of strong characterization.
It continues on too, considering Loki is actually Fjorm in the final battle of the Tempest Trial run.
That about covers everything I have to say regarding this Fire Emblem Heroes update.
Like I said earlier, there should be more to come in the near future when we get to the anniversary of the game’s release. That’ll be dope for anyone who pines during the downtime without Fire Emblem posts.
For anyone who doesn’t pine for Fire Emblem posts… Well… Like I said, something about the State of the Union should be coming soon. I also have a few other plans in the next couple days I’m planning on writing about, so overall there should just be some nice activity going on around here.
So, until next time, what do you think about Legendary Ike? Besides him, who else would you want to get out of the new summoning banner?
The time for Tempest Trials has come once again in Fire Emblem Heroes. Unlike the last go around, I wouldn’t say I’m needlessly exhausted and upset with the event. Perhaps the set of mini trials in between the main installments really were what did it for me. Who knows.
Whatever the reason was, I’m not expecting to take an angry spin on this one like last time. However… Part of that might be because I don’t have all that much to say about these Trials in the first place.
All things considered, beyond the different underlying motivations of the characters and the unlockable elements involved, the actual playtime involved has simply become somewhat monotonous and same-y. Not all that much to say about it overall.
So let’s just address some of the basics of what makes these Trials different than what we had in the past.
Granted that research has improved my attachment to a few of them and informed me enough to understand where the characters are coming from in the “plot” of these Trials, but still. I’m generally left without any comments on maps or music or anything of that nature like I would usually have.
I do think its worth mentioning that I’ve gotten my hands on both the characters I was really looking for out of the three added the other day:
They both came rather easy so I didn’t have to waste too many orbs, which was sweet.
If anything that means I can focus on the summoning banner for the Tempest Trials if I want… Though I’m sort of in the same boat as the general public in thinking that the whole approach taken here is a bit duplicitous.
Rather than having this new character, Ayra, show up in a Grand Hero Battle or something along those lines, the developers at Intelligent System have put her in a totally separate summoning banner than the other Genealogy heroes. One that’s running at the same time as the other banner.
Plus, she’s a red unit in the same focus as another red unit, Eldigan. So the chances of getting her are cut, and if you want to even attempt to get there you have to deal with pulling time away from the other banner with Sigurd, Deirdre and Tailtiu.
It is a pretty lousy, orb-draining thing to do, arguably a strong attempt to force players to spend money on the game… But to be fair, I’m not sure Ayra is that worth getting in the first place outside of how cute she is. So I might not try too hard to go after her.
Possibly duplicitous practices aside, let’s talk about the Trials themselves.
The “plot” this time around boils down to Lucina encouraging Seliph to tackle the Tempest to protect Julia, as you can see above, while he has the chance to meet with his parents Sigurd and Deirdre so they can help him fight. Time and space shredding excuses around canonical timeline barriers abound.
The main bonus allies are the four new heroes from Genealogy featured in the two summoning banners I talked about earlier.
Luckily, Sigurd fits my most powerful cavalry-based team remarkably well, so I immediately have a great advantage walking in. I’ve already swept through entire runs with just one team alone thanks to that team, and it’s an amazing feeling for sure.
The secondary bonus allies are Eldigan and his sister, who came in some time ago, Arvis from the current Grand Hero Battle, and Arden, one of the main rewards from these Trials.
By rising in the ranks high enough, you can also earn three Sacred Seals from these trials:
Brash Assault: Unit automatically follows-up when attacking a foe that can Counter if they have less than 30 percent health.
Attack Smoke: Inflicts -3 Attack on all foes within 2 spaces of a selected attack target.
Guidance: Allows infantry and armored units to move to an ally with this seal that’s within two spaces and has full health.
My horse-based team makes this run of the Trials quite easy for me, like I mentioned before. I made it to the final map pretty quickly in fact, only to find that Julia is the main villain taking over… Whatever castle this is:
Honestly this fight is pretty easy too, compared to most of the others in the past. She’s certainly no insane powerhouse like Hector or the Black Knight, that’s for sure.
I will say, even if the fight isn’t all that difficult, the scenery of the map you fight on does make it pretty worth to get there.
Seriously, these backgrounds are super pretty. Just saying.
Well, that’s all I have to say about this run of the Tempest Trials. Remarkable I know, considering I haven’t even hit 900 words. I’m amazed I was able to be this… Somewhat concise with all of this.
Some of that might honestly be because I’m starting to run out of things to say about these after so long. Honestly, after going after the few things that are new, there isn’t that much else to dig into. Perhaps from here on out that means I might not write so much for Tempest Trials, if I even write anything at all. Who knows.
We’ll see as time goes on I suppose.
In my empty attempt at trying to push for audience engagement this time around, how’s this for a question. What do you think of the fact that Intelligent Systems put out a second summoning banner just about a week after the first one to force players to split their time and resources for summoning? While it’s not necessarily that new remembering the double summoning banners for Fire Emblem Echoes back when the game was first coming out, this time around things just feel a bit more scummy to me.
Is that impression just in my own head though? Or do you agree?
Let me know in the comments below, and until next time I’ll be off doing work and likely stressing over the upcoming visit of Milo Yiannopoulos at CSUF. Because yeah, that’s happening soon. Time sure has flown this semester.
As much as it’s better to be busy than bored, I’ve been a little stretched thin. Unfortunately that means some things have to fall through the cracks, and some big Fire Emblem Heroes stuff happens to be what fell through said cracks this time around. It’s a shame too, there have been multiple things that I otherwise would have loved to talk about in a more timely manner.
But look at me complaining about missing fun stuff because work and responsibilities got in the way. Probably time to move on to what I’m talking about today before the world’s smallest violin busts out a tune.
Since I gabbed about the game’s Brave Heroes update last time around, quite a few things have happened. First and foremost:
That’s right, I got me a special Lucy.
Humblebrag that may be, but Lucina is one of my favorite characters given her high prestige as my Super Smash Bros. 4 main fighter. So I’m excited about it and wanted to share it with the world.
The last Voting Gauntlet also wound up being much more of an intense game than I’ve seen in some time. As I predicted at the beginning of the competition, Ike won.
The guy is so popular that it was hard to imagine he wouldn’t, and I got off with plenty of hero feathers thanks to my lucky intelligent deduction, so you’ll hear no complains from me. Camilla did put up a good fight though, and the intense competition both in the overall Gauntlet and within my friend group (as we literally split down the middle with our support) made things way more engaging.
Also we got 4 orbs every two days for each of the three rounds. That’s a nice incentive as well. Feel free to keep nice stuff like that flowing, Intelligent Systems.
Then as things moved into September, we got an event calendar for the month that preempted a bunch of cool things coming in the near future:
A few of these events have started already, and those are the crux of what I’m here to talk about today. So let’s get going and split it up appropriately, shall we?
Ironically this version update is the biggest news to come out of Fire Emblem Heroes in a long time… Yet I don’t have a ton to say about it.
Fire Emblem has become known not only for its high difficulty strategy-RPG gameplay, but also for its comprehensive unit support systems across many of the games in the series. In Fire Emblem Heroes, only one of those things has been represented since the initial release.
Until now, that is.
Ally support systems are in the game, and with it comes endless possibilities for ships in serious and in meme-worthy contexts. As someone who has loved shipping in Fire Emblem games since my first venture into Sacred Stones, I’m more than excited to see that we can pair up characters to our hearts content.
Just like in the main series titles, allies who fight near one another in battle gain support rankings that range from C to S when undergoing support training. However, an interesting component to Heroes’ model comes from the fact that you can constantly switch who your hero supports. You could have an S-support with a unit only to break that off and start another one back at C, and you can do so as many times as you want.
While I haven’t had the chance to build much support beyond basic C-level stuff, it seems as though the characters interact in a cute little cutscene to show how much they enjoy each other’s company for every rank you climb. You can view the little vignettes that come with this whenever you want.
In battle, supporting allies gain bonuses depending on their rank and distance from one another:
C-rank grants units +1 resistance from one space away, double that when adjacent.
B-rank grants units +1 resistance and defense from one space away, double that when adjacent.
A-rank grants units +1 resistance, defense and speed from one space away, double that when adjacent.
S-rank grants units +1 resistance, defense, speed and attack from one space away, double that when adjacent.
However, on the battlefield itself, it doesn’t appear as though supporting units get special indication beyond a heart over the support partner when you select one or the other. Perhaps there’s more if you get higher that I haven’t seen, but in this case there’s no way for me to know.
I do hope they add in a small heart animation when units fight side by side though. That would be amazing.
The other interesting thing to note about ally support is that you, the summoner, can get in on the anime-themed shipping action as well!
That’s right, what would a modern Fire Emblem game be without a self-insert character to pair with any unit you desire? The concept behind how this works is exactly the same so long as you replace each instance of “two units” with “one unit,” as you technically count as the second presence in the room.
The scaling benefits are also slightly better for summoner supported allies:
A C-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance and +3 health at all times.
A B-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense and +4 health at all times.
An A-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense, speed and +4 health at all times.
An S-rank grants the summoner-supporting unit +2 resistance, defense, speed, attack and +5 health at all times.
Okay by slightly better I actually mean infinitely better. These are some amazing stat buffs to be able to bestow upon one ally.
Which, of course, brings us to the question that serves as this post’s title.
Are you the kind of player that will pair your units together because you canonically love them as a pairing in the story of their games/the story of your imagination’s choosing?
Or are you the kind of player that will pair your units strictly to build the strongest team imaginable, letting no stat points go to waste?
Personally… I haven’t decided which category I am. In all other circumstances I would wholeheartedly go for option 1, as I ship literally anything and everything in any video game I play, TV show I watch, book I read and more. But for Fire Emblem Heroes the pure stat buffs are awfully tempting… Especially on my cavalier team.
I would kill for some high-leveled units to get even stronger.
But for the summoner support especially I’m at a loss. Who do I want to be with? Do I pair myself with a powerful unit like a Brave Lyn to make her a battling monster? Do I pair with a sentimental unit like Eirika from my favorite Fire Emblem game (despite her actual husband being available)? Or do I pair myself with a unit like Nino, my first true Fire Emblem Heroes waifu? I literally have no idea.
Oh well. I’ll have time to figure it out.
Overall, I would say the Ally Support system is a welcome addition to this mobile title that, despite being somewhat barebones right now, easily serves its purpose and has opened the flood gates for people to do whatever they please in terms of customizable relationships.
In a sense it’s somewhat ingenious to have the feature in a mobile game styled like Heroes is where each player can build their own experiences with unit pairing. Sure it’s only porting an already existing idea over, but I still think it lends itself uproariously well.
And if I ever summon her I’ll be able to finally get revenge on the restrictive Echoes by shipping Genny and Tobin.
While shipping is easily the biggest addition to Version 1.7.0, it isn’t the only one.
Though there isn’t a lot, so the pictures above basically sum everything up.
A search option for skill inheritance is a great idea, one that I’m sure already has, is continuing to and will from here on out save people tons of time when building teams. The rest of the stuff boils down to some aesthetic and deep mechanical adjustments that I don’t feel like I have to dive into that deeply.
If anything, I just think it’s safe to say that I appreciate the game developers for constantly updating things to make the best user experience possible. So far nothing they’ve done has failed me yet and it seems like the community as a whole enjoys the changes too.
Keep it up Intelligent Systems, and I’ll keep up giving you some free publicity whenever you start up new developments. New interesting developments.
New interesting developments such as –
Tempest Trials Mini: To Die on the Battlefield
A new Tempest Trial, which launched just today!
In other words, this is the section of this post that kept me from getting that much sleep last night. Thanks game, you always know how to prod at my insomniac button.
The Trials start off about how we’ve come to expect them at this point. Masked Lucina has teamed up with the four top Bonus Allies for this go around (Eliwood, Lyn, Hector and Ninian) to help lead them into the Tempest so they can protect their world.
However, she does warn them that the character at the end of the Trial is a special kind of foe:
After you break through the usual barrage of battles (seven at the highest Lunatic difficulty in my case), you come across that special foe. The build-up is intense, the anticipation is great, and in the end…
It’s Hector. Given the description Lucina gave for him I suppose it makes sense that this is the character who’d show up at the end, but I wouldn’t liked to see something more novel-
I’m sorry, what was that? 85 health?
And Distant Counter?
My god… This unit is completely overpowered.
I actually legitimately think it’s glorious just how overpowered he is. Hector is already considered to be one of the most powerful units in the game and they buffed him to high hell for this event. Thank god they keep units weak after you lose a fight, otherwise this might have been next to impossible. He actually beat down quite a few of my units before I was able to finally take him down the first time, ending the first of many future runs at the same challenges that I’ll be playing for the next week.
Oh, uhh… Also the background is pretty.
Hector kind of overshadows it, but I do think it’s quite nice. Thought that would be worth mentioning.
Mechanically speaking, not all that much is new this time around. Everything that has been added throughout the last couple of Tempest Trials runs have made their return, and I definitely appreciate their continued appearance. Weaker opponents upon losing a fight and switching to a new team still probably being my favorite. Though a close second is the two daily rounds of extra bonus points for completing runs on top of the separate daily rewards you receive for completing said runs that really encourage continued habit-building playing.
This particular event only lasting a week instead of two weeks (hence the “Mini” modifier) also means there are less reward tiers, making everything easier to collect. Bonus Allies become that much more worthwhile as a result, since they continue to boast stat boosts across the board on top of their value as point multipliers.
Now, it may sound like I just glossed over the idea that the event is shorter and has less rewards, which is something I’m sure plenty of people have found reason to complain about… But frankly I glossed over it because I think it’s rather nice.
As my very complaint-filled introduction at the beginning suggested, I don’t have a ton of time to spare as of late. Thus, having a smaller and more manageable event with easier goals to reach is a godsend if anything.
On top of that the rewards are so tightly packed that it feels like we’re getting plenty of bang for our buck in quantity.
Though that does bring up another point. These rewards are… Fairly disappointing overall.
Don’t get me wrong, things like free orbs are a commodity I’ll never complain about, and with my huge stockpile of Stamina Potions I have no doubt that all of those sweet little spheres will be in my inventory in no time flat. But these Trials tend to be known for big special prizes throughout the point accumulation process that serve as driving forces.
This run doesn’t really have that, for me at least.
Masked Lucina is the character reward, and even my love for her doesn’t change the fact that I already own a five-star version to use. Defense 1 and Quickened Pulse are also pretty ‘meh’ rewards, as they are Sacred Seals I already have (though I do encourage anyone who doesn’t have it to go after Quickened Pulse).
Distant Defense is brand new at least, and it certainly looks like it will be right at home on a bulky unit I own sometime soon. However, that’s about it beyond the orbs. Maybe I’m just feeling picky, which I know I shouldn’t considering there’s a full Tempest Trial coming at the end of the month that I’m sure will have all the cool stuff we could ask for.
One thing this trial does have going for it is a pretty dope summoning focus banner based on the Bonus Allies. Basically everyone on the list is a super cool and powerful hero to have, so even though I haven’t decided whether to use my own orbs yet I know the risk will certainly be worth it for some.
For now, however, I’m sticking with Masked Lucina as my main multiplier. Girl puts in work with those stat buffs.
Unless more comes up as I play through the next week of fights, that’s really all I have to say about these Trials. I like the idea that miniature versions can exist, and I hope that means more events will be encouraged in the future, but this particular run doesn’t add too much to the overarching plot line or the pile of special prizes we’ve seen in the past.
If nothing else it simply serves as a nice transition into a focus on some Blazing Blade content. Speaking of, how’s about we move into the next thing.
Bound Hero Battle: Ephraim & Eirika
Though I don’t normally talk about these events, the fact that Sacred Stones has been the focus makes it worth at least bringing up as a farewell of sorts.
The mid-to-late portion of August was spent in the world of Sacred Stones between new heroes and a Grand Hero Battle. By the looks of it, this event may be the last hurrah for it on Heroes for a while as things move into The Blazing Blade with the mini Tempest Trial.
Though I think it’s a shame, more than one game does deserve to have the spotlight. Life moves on and all that, so I’ll just look forward to the next shot we might get at Neimi. #NeverGiveUpNeverSurrender
In terms of the Bound Hero Battle itself there isn’t all that much to say. It features one difficult battle with three challenge levels that offer scaling rewards.
Hard mode gives out two orbs, Lunatic gives out three orbs and Infernal gives out a whopping four orbs. Nine orbs ain’t too shabby.
For the actual playable map itself, I can’t honestly decipher which map from the original game it’s trying to emulate. This one seems just a bit too simple to really give any substantial hints in my opinion, though it has been driving me crazy enough that I tried doing some outside research on the matter.
Oh, and as an added note, thank god for Serenes Forest having these maps available to see. If it didn’t my wall would probably have a very distinct Jason-shaped hole in it right about now.
The Bound Hero Battle also comes with a summoning banner featuring Eirika, Ephraim and Seth. The only one on the list that I don’t personally own is Ephraim, and considering he’s also on another banner that’s running at the same time…
I probably won’t be summoning off of this focus. Sorry Ephraim, I’ll snatch you up eventually.
Boy oh boy that was a lot. On the bright side, I think that should cover my personal obligation to talk about Fire Emblem Heroes for a good while.
Or for at least a week. At which point we get new heroes according to the schedule. Then we’ll get another Bound Hero Battle, a full Tempest Trials run and some Fire Emblem Warriors-themed maps after that.
… Yeah alright, maybe there’s more coming up than I expected. Guess it’ll give me a nice break from the already ever-present slog of school if I make the time to talk about them.
Which of course I will, so look forward to some of that!
How do you feel about character pairings coming to the mobile Fire Emblem hit? Or about the prospects of a potentially more frequent miniature version of the Tempest Trials? Or about the many events coming down the pipeline? Let me know in the comments below!