Tag: Order of Heroes

Not at all refreshing

Not at all refreshing

When the last summer banner came out, I was convinced it was the only one we’d see this year.

That 50-day period was incredibly deceiving, because here we are staring down a Binding/Blazing Blade summer banner. Featuring our sixth variant of Lyndis.

Sigh.

Let’s break my anti-Summer Initiative for the second time this week and talk Fire Emblem.


Summer Refreshes


I really should play Binding and Blazing Blade sometime soon to get personal connections with some of these characters…

But for now, a few of these units at least have impressive skills that it would be a shame not summon for them.

For instance: Lyn (despite her market saturation) has an impressive weapon in the Deep-Blue Bow, which gives her insane stats alongside Sturdy Impact.

Roy’s friend Wolt also has a special “win more” weapon in the Big-Catch Bow that buffs him when his opponent is weakened. Plus his Brazen Attack/Speed 4 is too good for any mortal to possess.

Ursula and Lilina stand out less because I’m not a huge dagger fan, even though Ursula’s Scallop Blade has the same “win more” effect.

So Lyn and Wolt are at the top of my list.

Which is good because one of them decided to give me a break after multiple disappointments trying to summon Laevatein.

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Look at this good +Attack archer boi.

I appreciate you helping me save orbs, so we’ll see how I can put you to work.

In the meantime there’s no better way to recoup those orbs than a good old Paralogue.


Paralogue 36 — Summer Refreshes

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This paralogue follows right on the last paralogue’s heels. Anna has recovered from the psychosomatic illness that resulted from hiding her mercantile side and decides to…

Just kind of sell things again. Regardless of what the nobility thinks.

I guess that’s character development?

It doesn’t seem to matter however, as the Order of Heroes arrives at the beach to find all the heroes in fancy swimsuits:

Being “magically” forced to buy skimpy outfits seems like it would be a major plot point, but it’s thrown away by the second map because Lilina and Wolt just talk about protecting each other for the sake of Roy.

Riveting.

Once the summer heroes are all beaten down, it’s revealed that Anna was the one convincing heroes to buy new swimsuits.

Just not our version of Anna.

Thus, foiled again, our Anna vows to return next year with an even crazier scheme to sell more things.

The fact that this little story drops its most interesting element is pretty disappointing. Kind of makes this experience one of the weaker paralogues overall.

But at least it gives us one of the most unintentionally real things that has ever been written down in a gotcha game.

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I’m still upset that we were lied to and given another summer banner. Intelligent Systems be wasting our orbs all over the place!

Sure, thinking we wouldn’t have another banner was entirely speculation.

And I didn’t have to waste a lot of orbs to get Wolt.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be upset! You can make it up to me by helping me get Laevatein, Intelligent Systems.

I’ll be expecting her.

Anyway though, let me know what you think about these new summer units. I’m a little salty if it wasn’t obvious, but I imagine some of you are very excited to see a few of these characters come around again.

Pretty sure this is the last blog thing I’ll have to worry about this week, so wish me luck on jumping back into my novel.

Summer returns in Fire Emblem Heroes

Summer returns in Fire Emblem Heroes

Hard to believe it has been two years since I joked about using Fire Emblem Heroes as a surrogate for not going to the beach despite living in Southern California.

Even harder to believe I still don’t go to the beach nearly as often as I should.

But at least Fire Emblem is still here to let me live vicariously through anime jpegs.


Summer Returns


The recent Awakening children banner drained a whole bunch of orbs, so I was hoping this summer banner would be low-key. Something I wouldn’t feel pressured to invest a lot into.

A revival banner with Lute is coming, and my recent foray into Sacred Stones has left me eager to finish my collection of its characters.

Luckily I’m not enamored with the summer units.

Mostly.

Gunnthrá and Helbindi aren’t my favorite original characters from Book II. Plus her ability to disarm Aether Raids traps and his ability to excel in the Arena don’t inspire me to open my wallet.

Laegjarn does stand out thanks to Swift Sparrow 3.

Yet… Despite the Internet fawning over her, I can’t get over how fucked up her idle pose looks. It’s like she has no armpit, and that leaves her with one monstrous arm.

I can’t unsee it.

Thus Laevatein is really the only character I’d say I’m very interested in summoning. She’s my favorite Book II character, has cute artwork and packs a great 1-2 punch against other mages with Mirror Impact.

Seriously Intelligent Systems? +6 Attack, +10 Resistance and no counterattacks?

You can’t just make these characters that broken.

I used the Paralogue orbs to get a few extra shots at her, but I haven’t pulled anything special and I’m not going to rush it.

The banner will be here for 50 days.

Which I’m assuming means we won’t get a second set of summer units this year. Something that’s totally fine by me considering last year’s was disappointingly non-Sacred Stones and I’ll need the orbs later.

Speaking of that Paralogue… Let’s talk about it.


Paralogue 35 — Summer Returns

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Once again we cut away from dramatic story progression to bring you the latest in Anna’s attempts to make money off of some softcore pornography.

Or… Do we?

Anna is feeling self-reflective this year and promises not to do anything that can give her a bad reputation at risk of being fired by the royal family.

Which means the entire Paralogue is going to be focused on trying to avoid money-making schemes, isn’t it?

Yep.

Well to be fair the first two battles completely disregard this plot point and focus on the reunion of the Múspell sisters.

Then the reunion of Ylgr (future Tempest Trials reward) and Helbindi.

They’re both cute interactions. But that doesn’t stop them from being pure filler in an admittedly great dusk luau-themed environment.

Don’t worry, though. We return to the exploits of Anna soon after.

By which I mean Anna buckles under the pressure of trying to repress her desire for cash and falls ill. She passes out on the beach, leading to the Order of Heroes realizing just how integral money is to her character.

To a ridiculous degree.


So that’s Fire Emblem Heroes’ 2019 summer banner. Probably the only one we’re getting this year.

I’m a little lukewarm because of my orb stinginess, but I will absolutely try to building my Laevatein squad.

Let me know what you think of the banner down in the comments! How does it compare to previous summer banners? Do you agree that Laegjarn’s arm looks fucked up?

Seriously, do you? I need to know that I’m not alone here.

Thanks.

Fire Emblem: Days of Future Past

Fire Emblem: Days of Future Past

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

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

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


Summoning Focus: From a Future Past


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

But I digress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her descriptive text in Heroes is a perfect example why:

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Isn’t that amazing?

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


Book III, Chapter 8 — Truth of a Name

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

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

Don’t worry about that. Foreshadowing.

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

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

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

At the cost of all the lives in both kingdoms.

Bodes well for whenever Princess Veronica and Loki show up.

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

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

Feh Plot Meme

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

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


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

It’s clever. Pick up that search activity.

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

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

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

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

No love for these bridal heroes

No love for these bridal heroes

Good afternoon, world! Been a while.

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

That.

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

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

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

Personal obligations to consistency ahoy!


Bridal Belongings


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

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

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

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

Both convenient gaps in my Fire Emblem knowledge.

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

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

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

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


Paralogue 34 — Bridal Belonging

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

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

A way cuter version of herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

But for now, this is all I’ve got.

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

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

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

Heroes be damned

Heroes be damned

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

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

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

Let me know what you think!


Darkness Within


Let’s talk about Berkut.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Book III, Chapter 7 — A Home Unknown

 

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

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

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

 

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

Because plot.

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

 

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

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

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

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

So what’s the deal?

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

 

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

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

Then, without any more fanfare, the chapter ends.

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

Feh Plot Meme


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

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

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

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

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

A mid-April snack

A mid-April snack

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

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

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

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


FloraSignature Dish

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

LukasBuffet for One

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

GennyDressed with Care

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

FeliciaOff the Menu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh well. I suppose that’s a nitpick.

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

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


Paralogue 33 — A Season for Picnics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The end.


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

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

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

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

Straight Outta Gallia

Straight Outta Gallia

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

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

— Tim Rice and Elton John


RanulfFriend of Nations

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

LetheCallia’s Valkyrie

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

MordecaiKindhearted Tiger

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

CaineghisGallia’s Lion King

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

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

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

I know, I’m a clever boy.

What’s that? Talk about the new units?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Book III, Chapter 6 — Realm of the Dead

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

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

Comforting stuff.

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

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

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

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

However:

Pretty clever loophole.

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

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

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

Calling that plot twist now.

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

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

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

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.


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

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

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

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

So let me know what you think about that idea.

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

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

Succumb to the rabbit lore

Succumb to the rabbit lore

The fact that we’re seeing our third Spring banner gave me an existential crisis.

I felt like the banner with Sharena and Alfonse just appeared, but it was 13 Paralogues ago.

Not sure what happened over the last year, but I don’t think I’m down for this whole passage of time thing. It’s starting to scare me.

Even if cute bunny characters kind of make up for it.


PallaEldest Bun-Bun

  • Pegasus Carrot (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored foes. If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, neutralizes status effects and disables skills that prevent follow-up attacks during combat. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces through their next actions.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Disarm Trap (B Skill)
    • When attacking in Aether Raids, if unit ends movement on a space with a Bolt or Heavy Trap, cancels trap’s effect.
  • Hone Fliers (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack and Speed +6 to adjacent flying allies for one turn.

MarisaCrimson Rabbit

  • Flashing Carrot (Might = 14, Range =1)
    • At start of combat, if foe’s Health = 100 percent, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +2 during combat.
  • Reposition (Range = 1)
    • Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
  • Speed/Defense Link (B Skill)
    • If a movement Assist skill is used by or targets unit, grants Speed and Defense +6 to both involved units for one turn.
  • Flier Guidance (C Skill)
    • Flying allies within two spaces can move to a space adjacent to unit.

BrunoMasked Hare

  • Ovoid Staff (Might = 12, Range = 2)
    • At start of turn, restores 7 Health to unit and adjacent allies.
  • Martyr (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = damage dealt to unit +50 percent of Attack (minimum of 7). Restores Health to unit = half of damage dealt.
  • Miracle (Cooldown = 5)
    • If unit’s Health > 1 and foe would reduce unit’s Health to 0, unit survives with 1 HP.
  • Attack/Defense Push (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health = 100 percent, grants Attack and Defense +5, but if unit attacked, deals one damage to unit after combat.
  • Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
    • Foe cannot counterattack.

VeronicaSpring Princess

  • Veðrfölnir’s Egg (Might = 14, Range = 2)
    • Grants Speed +3. At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 75 percent, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Glimmer (Cooldown = 2)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent.
  • Green Duel Flying (A Skill)
    • Grants Health +5. If unit is 5-star and level 40 and unit’s stats total less than 170, treats unit’s stats as 170 in modes like Arena.
  • Chill Resistance (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -7 on foe with the highest Resistance through its next action.

Talk about a bizarre blend of characters.

Bruno and Veronica make sense in the footsteps of Alfonse and Sharena (even if the Paralogue story confuses everything). However, this being Bruno’s first and Veronica’s second non-canonical appearances as units is pretty weird.

They also have forgettable skills. Bruno is a healer with healing attacks, and Veronica is just a better Spring Camilla.

Two years worth of power creep, yo.

Palla is probably the most solid unit. She’s a flying red dagger that’s built to kill strong armored bois like Surtr, and with her Whitewing sister Catria appearing last year we have a cool progression to Est in 2020.

Cool all around.

Marisa is the real surprise. Because I love the game I can’t complain with more Sacred Stones representation (even if I wish we had new characters), but she doesn’t seem to mesh well with the others. Despite having an amazing character bio.

Plus her skills are very basic.

Yet being lukewarm on my opinions toward Marisa means she’s prime material to get unexpectedly summoned in my first round:

 

The fact that most of her quotes are about watching rabbits as research is incredible. Really makes up for everything.

Marisa was special from being a Sacred Stones rep, but the only other character I’m interested in is Palla. Don’t know if she’s worth pulling for alone, so I might save my orbs.


Paralogue 32: Regal Rabbits

 

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Now, let’s get into the real meat of this banner: That sweet Rabbit Lore.

Like I teased earlier, this Paralogue does some bizarre things with the status quo of holiday units.

Right off the bat we have our world’s Loki trying to convince Veronica to go to the festival:

 

She does so using Bruno’s appearance as leverage, but this just raises a bunch of questions.

Usually special units are from alternate universes to explain how two of the same characters exist in one place.

But Spring Bruno and Veronica are just our versions masquerading. Technically we are getting our world’s Bruno and Veronica, just dressed as alternates.

Yet there’s also a Spring Loki while we have regular Loki — but the Spring version is still ours according to the Paralogue.

In other words: It’s all a fucking existential mess.

Except none of that matters because the whole reason they’re there is to see whether Loki is lying to them:

 

Bet you didn’t remember that storyline is still going on while the Order of Heroes fights death herself.

The Order never appears here. Which is a nice change of pace as we saw with the 2019 Valentine’s Day banner.

The whole Paralogue centers around the Embla family. Palla and Marisa have a totally disconnected mission that feels like they’re conducting goofy business as usual while two canaiving people sneak around.

By the end we find out what that treasure is, and it’s arguably the most interesting thing about this:

 

I certainly didn’t see Taguels being referenced. Especially so soon after Panne got added into our ranks through a Grand Hero Battle.

While I started to question the relation of rabbit people to a festival where people dress like rabbits, Intelligent Systems doesn’t give any answers. They simply tease a continued treasure hunt with Loki telling Bruno and Veronica where they can find the answers.

Even if we have no idea how Taguels are supposed to help with their blood curse.

Guess It’ll all come together eventually, but at this point we’ll just have to table the discussion and get back to our non-Playboy Bunny lives.


Speaking of real life, did you all hear that Google is planning to launch a console for streaming video games?

Because I think it’s a very interesting concept that I’ll have no interest in buying. I prefer cartridge/digital download games that don’t rely on constant internet access, personally.

I just figured that would be a better segue out of this post to show that I pay attention.

That said, let me know what you think about these Spring units! And let me know how you feel about the endless march of time.

Because… Yeah, that still hurts.

A Heroes post bound by obligation. And darkness.

A Heroes post bound by obligation. And darkness.

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

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

So here’s my something:

Star Trek: Into Beyond Darkness.

Let’s talk about some Binding Blade.


LughAnima Child

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

SueDoe of the Plains

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

TheaStormy Flier

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

IdunnDark Priestess

  • Demonic Breath (Might = 16, Range = 1)
    • Grants Defense +3. Effective against armored foes. At start of combat, if a negative status effect is active on unit, or if unit’s Health < 100 percent, neutralizes penalties on unit and grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat. If foe’s Range = 2, calculates damage using the lower defensive stat.
  • Bonfire (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Fortify Defense/Resistance (A Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +6. Inflicts Attack -2.
  • Vengeful Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Ward Dragons (C Skill)
    • Grants Defense and Resistance +4 to dragon allies within two spaces during combat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She also has very cute artwork.

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

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

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

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


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

The royal family mourns. I II II I_.

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

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

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

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

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

From there, the missions shift to simple character introductions.

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

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

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

I mostly found it surprising.

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

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

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

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

So good on you for the surprise, Intelligent Systems.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


KeatonLupine Collector

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

VelouriaWolf Cub

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

KadenKitsune Braggart

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

SelkieFree Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


IMG_2075

 

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

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

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

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

 

Pretty tough.

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

For plot convenience’s sake.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Congratulations!


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

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

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

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

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