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:
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve said before that the Radiant games are an unfortunate blank spot in my experience with Fire Emblem. When I found out beast units were finally on their way and that they would be from this particular universe, I was a little hesitant about whether I’d want them over some potential other options like Kaden or Yarne.
But then we saw what these beasts were packing, and my first reaction was:
Why are there so many different kinds of animal units out of this one Fire Emblem continent? Hawks, swans, ravens AND wolves seem a bit over the top.
Grants Attack +3. If foe’s Health = 100 percent and unit initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to only beast or dragon allies, or if unit is not adjacent to any ally, unit transforms (otherwise they revert). If unit transforms, they can move one extra space and grants Attack +2 (that turn only, does not stack).
Will furthermore be referred to as ‘Beast transformation effect.’
Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts damage by 30 percent of unit’s Attack.
Sturdy Impact (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +6 and Defense +10 during combat and foe cannot make a follow-up attack.
Chill Attack (B Skill)
At start of turn, inflicts Attack -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Attack through its next action.
Even Attack Wave (C Skill)
At start of even-numbered turns, grants Attack +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).
Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). During combat, boosts unit’s Attack and Speed by the number of allies within two spaces x2 (max of +6 to each stat). Beast transformation effect applies, and unit deals +10 damage when Special Attack triggers.
Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
Treats foe’s Defense and Resistance as if reduced by 30 percent during combat.
Distant Counter (A Skill)
Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
Null C-Disrupt (B Skill)
Neutralizes status effects and disables skills that prevent counterattacks during combat.
Glare (C Skill)
After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts status on target and foes within one space of target restricting movement to one space through their next actions.
So fun fact, writing out the skills for these units took nearly 500 words. Beasts take up a lot of god damn text, apparently.
That said, I would say all that text was very worth it for how broken some of these units look. Namely Tibarn and Nailah.
The two swans are interesting in that we’re leading with singing units for our introduction to beasts, as well as the fact that they have the exact same weapon in two different colors — which I think is a first?
But Tibarn hits like a truck with all of his attack, and that new Attack/Defense buff from Sturdy Impact is a crazy power creep.
Then Nailah basically always triggers Moonbow from any distance while neutering the opponent’s skills and movement range. It’s crazy to me that we finally have a non-Hector unit with Distant Counter and she appears just as broken.
So yeah. I’m definitely focusing more on red and blue stones in this banner.
… It’s just too bad all of the holiday banners sapped my orb supply.
Luckily the new run of Forging Bonds is giving out one free summon ticket for each character.
Sure that’s a downgrade from the seven we’ve gotten out of daily rewards in the past, but we’ve got a whole new chapter in Book III to help bolster that orb supply.
This new story chapter starts by setting the scene for what I imagine we’ll see for a while:
King Gustav tells his son to avoid Hel at all costs, as she is literally death and no matter how strong one becomes they cannot help but succumb to death.
He talks about how he had prior experience fighting Hel years ago, which left him with his battle scar.
… I’ll admit, I didn’t see the scar until he brought it up, but now that I know the lines on his face aren’t just wrinkles and crow’s nests, I understand the danger.
After the brief introduction, business goes about as usual. Anna leads the Order of Heroes into battle and there’s a good four matches without any serious exposition.
The most interesting bit of dialogue we get is from Reyson:
What’s interesting about this is Princess Veronica is the one who forges contracts with units, but apparently it’s the Askran ancestor who does so for Hel.
Maybe that’s just interesting to me?
When the next map begins, King Gustav’s advice goes right out the window as it turns out Hel is there. Her daughter, Eir, provides a bit of foreshadowing.
Once the battle commences, Hel is surprisingly easy to kill (on the lower difficulties where she has an Iron Axe, anyway). But for story reasons her defeat turns out to be a subterfuge.
She reappears and brings context to the name of the chapter by cursing Alfonse to die in nine days. Why she couldn’t just take him right away with her scythe as she does in the opening cinematic is beyond me…
But it does open up this philosophy dialogue:
So you know. Sometimes we have to be poetic rather than sensible.
Let’s just hope the next bit of story comes within nine days so the prince doesn’t die.
Keen viewers out there will know that a few days ago I promised this would be coming out yesterday. That’s because I can’t read dates, apparently!
The banner is out now however, so here we are. That means you should expect a second post about my time at Alyson’s mini band banquet later tonight.
Until then, let me know what you think about the brand new beast units in Fire Emblem Heroes, and which beasts you want to see come out next!
Also, just for curiosity sake, let me know what you think about how inefficient Hel was with that ‘nine day curse’ thing. Like she is literally death get a little more realistic, lady.
So knowing this is going to be long enough as is, let’s get into it shall we?
Chapter 1 begins in an… Unexpected place.
Some time has passed since the end of Book II, though the actual period isn’t specified. Our first scene has the Queen of Askr, Alfonse and Sharena’s mother, arriving at the Order of Heroes’ castle with a mission at hand:
After Henriette becomes acquainted with you, the team heads back to Askr proper.
On the way there are aggressive soldiers from the rival nation of Embla — not seen since Book I. The siblings find this strange given how far they are from the nation’s border, but their mother explains what is happening.
Interestingly enough, despite the fact that these enemy units are supposed to be Emblian units previously encountered, there are a whole host of new unit types on the enemy side. Colored bow users, colored dagger users and flying manaketes among them.
Soon enough the Order starts to come across the two generals of Hel’s army:
Upon seeing the two figures on the battlefield, Alfonse and Sharena immediately recognize them. It turns out both figures are intrinsically linked to the characters in an interesting way.
They are the ancestors of the royal siblings and Princess Veronica respectively.
How the characters will deal with their ancestors should be an interesting development throughout the story.
When the Order finally approaches Askr castle they’re intercepted at the gate by Eir, princess of the dead. Once she’s defeated she submits to death by the hand of Alfonse (because I guess the princess of the dead wasn’t dead? Go figure that one out), but he spares her. Instead they take the girl as a prisoner and eventually a wary ally because she supposedly ran away from home and would not be allowed to return.
I say supposedly because… Well… Intelligent Systems blew their load on the surprise before Eir even arrived.
You couldn’t have kept this as a reveal for the future instead of telling us right off the bat?
Ah well. Her character description says she doesn’t quite enjoy her mother’s assault on the living, so at least the character transitioning into a true ally is still available.
But until then we have her as a “tentative” ally.
I get the feeling most people are going to latch onto the princess fast. Because boy is she packing heat with that base kit of hers.
Grants Resistance +3. At the start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat, and if unit initiates combat, foe cannot make a follow-up attack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions. If bonus was granted to unit, deals 4 damage to unit.
Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts damage by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
Mystic Boost (B Skill)
Disables foe’s skills that “calculate damage using the lower of foe’s Defense or Resistance” and “calculate damage from staff like other weapons.” Restores 6 Health after combat.
Sparkling Boost (C Skill)
At start of turn, restores 10 Health to ally that has been dealt the most damage (excluding this unit).
Eir is just good. Her weapon and A Skill give her a ton of Attack and Speed at the cost of a little health each turn, but her B Skill just restores that health while nullifying a ton of different abilities that might give her enemies an edge.
Add onto that the high resistance attack buff of Iceberg and general ally healing and… Yeah, she’s solid.
A hell of a unit to have given us for free.
Chapter 2 begins in the grand halls of Askr castle… Of which we see one background panel.
Alfonse and his father, Gustav, vaguely dance around the reason why Alfonse had said he wasn’t allowed back home before just jumping into the meat of story-relevant exposition.
Apparently there’s a single entrance to Hel that had been sealed for over 20 years by the king’s best defenses. However something happened to the gateway that allowed denizens of the dead to emerge once more.
Right away there’s some weird business going on with Gustav being very harsh toward Alfonse while subsequently ignoring Sharena… But later we also get some dialogue with the queen that suggests he’s that archetype of a grizzled old father who wants his son to avoid the same mistakes he made.
But I’ll get to that.
First we have to discuss the shoehorned in appearance of Veronica after battle two.
There’s more vague alluding to the time skip at this point when Loki shows up out of nowhere to ask Veronica for some kind of cooperation in fighting the soldiers of Hel. They also reference Veronica’s brother Bruno, who had deus ex machina’d his way into the end of Book II but is now off on some secret mission again.
Despite Veronica’s hesitation, Loki suggests a partnership between the two nations because dead people just want to kill all living people.
We don’t have a solid idea of Hel’s motivation yet so let’s go with that for now.
My only wish is that we also get a connection to the Nifl/Múspell conflict here instead of just sticking with the Askr/Embla stuff. At the end of Book II Fjorm did join the Order permanently knowing she was dying from the after effects of the Rite of Frost.
Did she die? Or will she and Hríd and everyone be able to help fight the dead?
So far the only reference we’ve gotten to Book II comes at the end of the fifth battle. It centers around the Order of Heroes arriving at the gateway to Hel and seeing thousands of soldiers pouring out to attack a nearby village. They distract the forces long enough for Askr’s full army to arrive and rout the enemy, at which point Gustav scolds his son.
They do bring the moment around into a pretty nice message about what it means to be a king, showing that the harshness is less about being a calloused father and more about trying to groom a proper heir:
But it still seems like a stretch to toss out the entirety of Book II’s scope and consequences by saying it didn’t make everyone in the Order a hero.
You could show some more affection toward your son you know Mr. Grizzled Old Man Archetype. I’m sure that would make things better come the inevitable existential crisis of fighting death and literally seeing his sister get taken into her army.
Since you know, we’ve seen that it’s coming in the opening cutscene.
For now that’s all we’ve got in the Book III story. Everything is obviously a bit rough around the edges as we only have the earliest exposition set out before us.
However, not counting ridiculous things like the developers spoiling Eir’s possible double-cross later, there were a few good surprises just in the first two chapters. Connecting Hel’s generals to the history of the game’s two main nations in particular makes me interested to see more.
But with all that said, this post is extra long considering I had to sum up two chapter’s worth of story. So I’m going to leave everything to all of you here:
What do you think of the Book III story thus far? Where do you think it’s going to go? Where do you want it to go? How should we boycott the game if the Book II characters never show up again?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! I, for one, am looking forward to getting some of that Fire Emblem Heroes fix in again.
Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown -1). At the start of turn 1, grants Special Attack cooldown -1 for each magic ally on your team, including unit.
Rally Up Attack (Range = 1)
Grants Attack +6 to target ally and allies within two spaces of target, excluding this unit, for one turn.
Blazing Light (Cooldown = 4)
Before combat this unit initiates, foes in an area near target take damage equal to 1.5 times (unit’s Attack minus foe’s Defense or Resistance).
Sturdy Blow (A Skill)
If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
Chill Resistance (B Skill)
At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -7 on foe with the highest Resistance through its next action.
Ophelia stands out pretty well on her own for just being an amazing character. As Odom’s daughter, her in-game posture and overly fantastical dialogue are just great. As a unit in FEH, however, she suffers from having to fit into a blue tome pool that’s already fantastic. Thanks to her special Missiletainn spell and new Assist skill, she does actually present an interesting opportunity to create a mage-only team that’s glued together by her specialty. It’s something I’m actually interested in trying, so she’s pretty cool for that as well.
Effective against flying foes. If foe’s Defense (greater than or equal to) foe’s Resistance +5, deals +7 damage.
Draw Back (Range = 1)
Unit moves one space away from target ally. Ally moves to unit’s previous space.
Moonbow (Cooldown = 2)
Treats foe’s Defense/Resistance as If reduced by 30 percent during combat.
Speed/Resistance Link (B Skill)
If a Movement Assist Skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Speed and Resistance +6 to both units for one turn.
Bow Valor (C Skill)
While unit lives, all bow allies on team get 2x Skill Points (only highest value applies, does not stack).
Despite being one of my favorite child units from Fates, Nina’s base kit in FEH is a little underwhelming. Her bow is very situational, and even if Draw Back/Link is a great combination who knows how they’ll play well together with the base weapon.
Plus that C Skill is outright useless unless you’re doing very specific grinding.
So with some investment Nina could be a solid unit, but I’m more interested in her for her personality than her viability in all honesty.
If foe initiates combat, grants Defense +6 during combat.
Even Defense Wave (C Skill)
At start of even-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).
Out of all the units on this banner, Silas is kind of the odd man out. Literally in that he’s the only man in the group, but also just in that the rest of the banner is child units and Flora, who’s kind of a weird special case.
But he’s a cool character as well, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
That said, I’m least interested in summoning Silas due to how generally uninteresting his basic skill set is. Like yeah he’s a good defensive lance cavalry, but that’s kind of it.
Ophelia certainly outclasses him in intrigue on the blue stones, and it’s a shame that they’re stuck in there together. Just begging to cuck some poor player out of their orbs.
Accelerates Special Attack cooldown (-1). If unit initiates combat and foe uses a sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense +20 during combat, and if foe can counter, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
Iceberg (Cooldown = 3)
Boosts damage dealt by 50 percent of unit’s Resistance.
Attack/Resistance Solo (A Skill)
If unit is not adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +6 during combat.
Quick Riposte (B Skill)
If unit’s Health (greater than or equal to) 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
Defense Plot (C Skill)
At start of turn, inflicts Defense -5 on foes in cardinal directions with Resistance < unit’s Resistance through their next actions.
Now Flora. Is a very interesting unit, to say the least.
She has easily the longest weapon description in the game, which is hilarious by itself until you consider the fact that it’s kind of a broken weapon. +20 Defense on a unit that already has stellar Resistance is kind of crazy. Combined with her other skills, she becomes a walking wall who runs into enemy territory on her own, which is an intriguing play style.
Even though I feel like Close Counter would be good on her but that would conflict with the new Solo skill she boasts.
On top of that, she’s also the first colored dagger unit to be in our primary, not special event-specific summoning pool. So that’s kind of awesome.
Good on you for standing our Flora. As my secondary Fates waifu I’m proud of you.
I’ve come to find that it’s a bit silly to do the charade of “here’s what I want,” and “let’s see how lucky I am” leading into my summoning luck. Because let’s break the fourth wall here, I write all of these well after experiencing the story mode and doing my initial summons.
So I’m just going to cut to the chase. Got myself two of the three characters I actually care about already:
Ophelia here is totally neutral in terms of stats, and Flora has a Speed boon. Can’t really complain either way!
The only person of interest I’m currently missing is Nina, as Silas — for as good a character as he is — doesn’t seem super great. Plus, I’m of the camp currently assuming he’ll be demoted to four star status after this banner passes.
So there’ll be time for him.
But I would still like to have Nina. If for no other reason than the fact that I can make the perfect ship with Soleil that Fates never allowed.
Like come on IS, making Soleil only able to have a lesbian relationship with Corrin was pretty dumb. Soleil and Nina were meant to be together.
But I digress.
After all, cliché transition about getting orbs from the story mode to summon.
Except this time, the story of Book II is actually concluding with this installment. So we have an extra special layer of intrigue!
It’s a bit odd how quickly IS decided to push through the end of this story. Typically we have to wait until the previous banner with a main story tie-in ends before getting the next one, but this time they decided to throw it in after the Brave Heroes banner cycled out — despite our last Genealogy banner still being available.
I suppose I can’t complain though. I’ve been looking forward to see how this wraps up after all.
Turns out they decided to take a much darker approach than I would have expected.
See it all begins with King Surtr torturing his daughter Laevatein because of how often she’s failed to stop the Order of Heroes now that they’re approaching his sacred ritual temple.
Her sister, Laegjarn, offers herself as a surrogate to take on the power of Múspell’s legendary dragon, a power they all know kills whoever takes it on.
As soon as the Order arrives thanks to the map Loki gave them at the end of the last chapter, they encounter Laegjarn for one final fight.
Once defeated, she dies. But not before begging the Order — and Fjorm in particular, who she’d bonded with earlier on — to protect her younger sister.
There’s also this kind of morbid part where she comments that her eyes have burned out her skull?
I’m not entirely sure whether that’s literal, but either way it’s pretty intense for a gotcha mobile game.
Oh, and let’s not forget, there’s also that cliché “could we have been friends in another circumstance” speech she gives before passing on.
It’s an emotional scene and everything… But that emotion is kind of undermined by the fact that some data miners found out the Múspell family members are going to be recruitable units eventually.
So the whole exchange just wound up being kind of hilarious in meta hindsight. Everyone assumed we’d be getting her after this chapter… But then she died.
I think that’s funny, at least.
Anyway, as the Order moves on we get to watch a B plot unfold with Veronica and Ylgr stuck in a jail cell together.
It’s kind of fun seeing Ylgr’s more immature personality bounce off of Veronica’s cold, gruff isolationist sentimentality.
But that’s quickly broken off when Helbindi comes to save the two by getting them out. He plays it off as just doing it because, but those of us with context clues know he sees Ylgr as a surrogate for his own sister who was just recently slaughtered by Surtr.
Long story short, Surtr isn’t a great dude.
We get even more evidence of that in the very next scene when Surtr actually shows up after Helbindi sends the girls off on their own.
And then he dies. So that’s 2/3 down.
As Veronica and Ylgr keep running through the maze of a temple, they eventually run into Laevatein, who’s pretty upfront with the fact that she knows how shitty her father is but also doesn’t want him to kill her.
Yeah. Shout out to daddy issues? I guess.
But then, completely out of the blue, Bruno finally makes an appearance around the same time that the Order converges:
It was pointed out to me that this is actually the first time Bruno has shown up on-screen this entire Book, so it’s a bit of a deus ex machina to save Veronica.
Especially considering he has maybe… Two lines? For the entire chapter.
But hey, he’s here. That’s just kinda cool by itself.
With all of her rivals gathered in one place, Laevatein fights and then prepares to do the same blood ritual her sister did upon losing as a last-ditch effort.
But Fjorm stops her, letting her know that Laegjarn’s last wish was that she be safe and protected.
It’s actually a scene that’s very reminiscent of the end of Fates in the Birthright and Conquest paths, ironically enough.
Laevatein decides to live on and escape, that way she can take over her father’s empire once he’s defeated so she can make a much more peaceful regime.
I like the idea of her becoming the ruler a lot, but I’m a bit disappointed that they don’t play with it too much here. This is actually about the last time we see Laevatein for now, so outside of a reference to her at the end it’s sort of the end of her arc.
But hey, at least she didn’t die.
Oh yeah, also. We get official confirmation that Xander is fine after Veronica was taken away.
It’s a bit silly that they break away for a moment to let us know about this, but I do really appreciate the closure it provides.
The scene makes for a good bit of lightheartedness before jumping straight into the final battle.
Fjorm has a great moment of calling him out on his shit:
Then the duel begins.
It’s actually a relatively hard fight even on the easy difficulty, so I’ll give IS some credit for making a nice final boss.
But once he’s defeated, he is officially killed by those he’s scorned.
From there we enter an epilogue that wraps everything up in a… Kind of sloppy bow.
As I mentioned, it’s implied that Laevatein takes over Múspell, but we never actually see her again.
Veronica and Bruno just disappear off on their own to do whatever it is they’re doing, probably setting up the story of Book III.
Hríd and Ylgr are set to go back to Nifl, rebuild and have the older brother take over as King in the memory of Gunnthrá and their mother.
However, Fjorm decides to stay with the Order. Apparently, it’s only just now revealed that taking part in the Rite of Frost will lead to her dying, so as she says:
She’ll be staying with you until her inevitable death, apparently.
Which again is somewhat morbid to think about… Until you conflate it with video game mechanics and realize the fact that she’s on your team at all means she’ll live forever.
Yeah. Good emotional punch without too much follow-through.
And that’s all for Book II. After probably close to a year’s worth of development, this arc in Fire Emblem Heroes history is finally over.
As I stated a number of times during the early chapters, I really enjoyed watching a sort of small mobile game take on an overarching tale with interesting plotting and characters… Even when it got kind of goofy.
At the end I can pretty confidently say that it was worth following. So, I’m looking forward to seeing where the team goes with Book III!
That’s really about all I have to say about the end of the story and these new heroes.
I tried something a bit different with this post, trimming down on the wordiness in the character section and trying to be a little less picture-heavy in the story section. I think together those changes might make these posts a bit easier to put together and a little shorter, with more opportunities to use my own voice on them.
So let me know what you think about this style in the comments, when you’re also telling me about your thoughts on the new heroes and all those other calls to action I like throwing in.
I know nobody ever does them but hey. I like to leave open the opportunity.
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.
If foe initiates combat, grants Attack +6 during combat.
Reposition (Range = 1)
Target ally moves to opposite side of unit.
Close Defense (A Skill)
If foe initiates combat and uses a sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
Attack/Defense Link (B Skill)
If a movement Assist skill is used by unit or targets unit, grants Attack and Defense +6 to unit and target ally or unit and targeting ally for one turn.
Out of all the characters introduced on this banner, Sumia is probably my favorite as far as their actual original game personalities go. She was an interesting case in that she was clearly implied to be Chrom’s canonical love interest despite the game leaving his romance options open to player interests. I fell pretty hard for her pie-based shenanigans as well though, so I can understand where he’s coming from.
In Heroes she’s also built with an interesting set of skills. Essentially the developers have made her an enemy phase unit who can gain +6 Attack, Defense and Resistance when struck by any close-range weapon. Plus she comes with the best movement Assist skill built-in to be used with that Link, so there’s almost no downsides.
Assuming her stats are decent, anyway.
Honestly I don’t have much more to say. She’s probably my favorite of the four here and the one I’d want to summon. It’s just too bad I have a +9 Cordelia that will presumably continue to overshadow her.
At the start of every second turn, restores 10 Health.
Spur Attack/Resistance (C Skill)
Grants Attack and Resistance +3 to adjacent allies during combat.
If Sumia was an interesting case in Fire Emblem Awakening that stuck in my mind, Libra was the opposite. Unless you dig deep into a few specific support conversations (something I only found out about later), he’s essentially one-note. He looks like a girl and that causes a lot of confusion amongst various members.
So yeah, while he also has deep-rooted familial pain and all that jazz, I just never got too interested in the guy. By the time I hit his mission in my original play through, I already had Lissa as a solid War Cleric, and he was clearly outmatched by the other recruitable unit in that mission: Tharja.
Some competition, huh?
This version of Libra stands a little higher as far as my intrigue is concerned, but that’s almost purely for his weapon. Having a Wo Dao for axes is a cool idea. Especially when that axe is also a GUN.
I know it’s not really a gun. That’s called jokes, everyone.
Beyond that, he seems to be built to survive. Healing when he triggers that Special Attack and healing every other turn. Perhaps he’ll be a pretty bulky green infantry unit, which is something we don’t have as far as I’m aware.
Or perhaps he’ll just pull out a gun and win every battle.
After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts the following status on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions: “If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, boosts Attack by 20 percent. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reduces Attack by 20 percent.”
Martyr (Range = 1)
Restores Health = damage dealt to unit plus 50 percent of Attack (minimum of seven Health). Restores Health to unit = half damage dealt to unit.
Miracle (Cooldown = 5)
If unit’s Health > one and foe would reduce unit’s Health to zero, unit survives with one Health.
Dazzling Staff (B Skill)
Foe cannot counterattack
Staff Valor (C Skill)
While unit lives, all staff allies on team get 2x Skill Points after combat or after using healing Assist skills (only highest value applied, does not stack).
So… Maribelle is a little strange here.
In her original appearance she was a stuffy noblewoman who ran around the battlefield healing units and trying to get everyone to act more professional.
In this game she… Inflicts Triangle Adept on opponents, can’t be hit back when she strikes, heals herself when she restores Health and sometimes doesn’t die. Also she boosts the amount of Skill Points other healers get.
I’m sorry, what is Maribelle supposed to be exactly? Is she an attacking healer or a healing healer?
What kind of weird staff ability is inflicting Triangle Adept? If anything that’s super counterintuitive, as it gives the opponent an advantage more than it does offer your units an advantage in most situations.
I don’t know, man. Presumably she’ll be okay considering how good of a record cavalier healers have, but I’m just not sure I see the through-line.
If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +3 to target.
Dance (Range = 1)
Grants another action to target ally (cannot target another ally with Sing or Dance).
Bracing Stance (A Skill)
If foe initiates combat, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
Chill Speed (B Skill)
At start of turn, inflicts Speed -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Speed through its next action.
Guidance (C Skill)
Infantry and armored allies within two spaces can move to a space adjacent to unit.
Alright here we go. The controversial one.
I’ve made my issue with alternate units in main summoning banners more than apparent in the past. I’m still not a fan, and Olivia is unfortunately not enough of a beloved unit (to me at least) to justify interest.
She’s got a good weapon, much like Performing Arts Azura but with a sword instead of an axe. She also has a decent enough skill set, despite it being a bit more on the defensive than offensive side — something I’m not sure fits well with a flying unit.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just bitter about the whole thing, but I feel like there were a billion other units we could have introduced outside of a third dancing Olivia variant.
Why not Ricken? He was introduced alongside Maribelle in-game, so that would make sense. Or perhaps Miriel or Kellam as fellow original members of the Shepherds alongside Sumia?
Hell I’ll even take Vaike and screw Libra over in the summoning pool. That’s saying something, because nobody likes Vaike!
Maybe if I summon Olivia I’ll sing a different tune. But for now I’m kind of internally boycotting her. Hinoka was my one true alternate art love.
All things being equal, I think I’ve covered all of my thoughts in the analysis sections here.
Sumia is my favorite top summon for this banner, with everyone else kind of middling into obscurity for various reasons.
At least Walmart is coming and he looks pretty wicked.
Also my computer just autocorrected ‘Walhart’ to ‘Walmart’ and I’m sticking with it because that’s hilarious.
I’ve been saving my orbs for a little while following some lucky summoning on the Sketchy Summer banner (shout out to my perfect IV Summer Tiki), so I’m starting out with more than 100. Considering my lack of interest in the banner overall I might just summon a little on this banner and either save up for later or go back to try to get Camilla for the memes.
But that’s a discussion I’ll have with my wallet for later. Because that summoning addiction is something strong, so let’s see what fruits these trees have born.
It’s going to be this kind of banner then… I see.
Glad to know my luck has finally run out on me.
But hey I got three lance pegasus knights and Chrom so… Maybe that’s a good omen for Sumia?
Probably not, I’m not sure. Either way I won’t be spending too much time on this banner like I said. So we’ll see how that goes.
In the meantime, let’s see what that story is all about, shall we?
This chapter picks up directly where the last left off — something that I suppose should just be assumed, but I figure is worth mentioning anyway. As a segue if nothing else.
After being demolished by the incredible power of a self-reviving King Surtr (and taking a few vacations at the beach of course) the Order of Heroes is hoping to escape the fires of Múspell.
It comes to their attention that troops are pursuing from all sides except the east. Seems as though a second force is out in that direction also trying to escape.
So naturally the Order elects to follow along under the age-old adage that the enemy of their enemy must be their friend.
Unfortunately they don’t have the foresight of seeing the name of the chapter to know that Múspell’s forces are pursuing the Prince of Ice, Hríd.
After all, it wouldn’t be a complete story if there wasn’t a character everyone assumed was dead coming in to make a significant impact in the story.
He tells the Order that he was contacted by a masked man calling himself Zacharias, who provided him with the information needed to know just how to stop the Rite of Flame and kill Surtr once and for all.
Of course we the audience already knew there was a location where sacrifices are made considering that’s where we last heard Princess Veronica was being sent, but now our protagonists have a location and a heaping helping of hope.
Speaking of, can I just take a moment to reflect on the fact that somehow Múspell is still forming contracts with heroes of the week despite locking up the one character who can do that with the intent to kill her?
Because I’m not over that.
But it’s also a tangent for another day.
From this point the story seems to continue as expected. Sumia arrives first and offers a quippy character quirk to start her map.
Then… Intelligent Systems kind of throws a curveball and unexpectedly interjects more story into the second story map.
Laegjarn and Laevatein reveal that they apparently saved Helbindi’s life after his defeat by your hands when entering Múspell.
However, they also reveal that he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. If he goes back to Surtr and reveals he lost, he’ll be killed. As will his sister. So the flame sisters offer him the chance to join them and win his family’s safety by finally defeating the Order.
So that’s just what he does starting in the next map:
Which, by the way, proved to me how silly Maribelle’s staff was after she buffed my Tiki and made it easier for her to defeat Helbindi. Just saying.
As the Order continues on, they go to a path that’s supposedly little known by Surtr’s forces called Burnt-Bone Gorge.
With a name as metal as that I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t know about it, but that’s plot convenience for ya.
Especially since, as it turns out, they do actually know about the path and are waiting in ambush.
Defeat the final map and the Order is able to break through and escape once again, leading them to question exactly how they got stuck in this situation in the first place.
The discussion on there being a traitor with the generic back-and-forth of “there can’t be a traitor” and “there must be a traitor” goes on for a long time because none of the members of the Order are willing to believe their old friend is evil. Again.
So I could go on and show everything… But I won’t. Because it’s kind of ridiculous when you consider all the evidence.
All of the evidence being that Múspell having a gOD DAMN SHAPESHIFTER ON THEIR TEAM.
Yeah that’s right. Why is anyone on the Order questioning whether there’s a mole like this is some Cold War drama.
Obviously someone somewhere is just Loki fucking around with everyone. Everyone’s seen her do it before so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
The way I see it there are four possibilities.
The littlest Nifl princess is Loki, as fan theories have guessed for a while.
Zacharias is Loki, because he told them exactly where to go to get ambushed.
Mr. Big Bad Ice Prince is Loki, sent out to be a distraction.
Or hey, maybe all of them are Loki. Maybe every character is Loki, because that’s the kind of plot convenience you can abuse when you introDUCE A SHAPESHIFTER INTO YOUR GAME GUYS COME ON!
I don’t know why this point annoys me so much. If anything it’s arguably good writing to make people guess who’s actually the real faker.
I just wish they didn’t have that intrigue while also having the main heroes be ignorant morons about it, introducing an entire extra layer of bullshit that’s not needed.
But rant aside, that’s where the story cuts off. Come back next time to see the end of the Rite of Flame, presumably.
Have a good night.
Speaking of have a good night, that’s about all I’ve got to say in regards to this banner and its accompanying story!
As usual I suppose I should end off asking you, the audience, some questions I’ll never have answered.
What do you think of the mole controversy? What wrong arguments do you have against the idea of Loki being responsible for everything in some way, shape or form?
How about the Olivia controversy? Are you tired of repeat units showing up like this outside of seasonal banners? Because I am.
Despite that, who are you hoping to summon on this banner? And who do you want to see added in the future?
All of these questions and more: Ignored. On the next episode.
Of Dragonball Z.
*Cue outro music*
Alright so I know I cued outro music already, but I have to keep you here a little bit longer folks.
See, as I was putting finishing touches on this post, I also happened to complete the main story missions and earn all of the extra orbs.
Using those orbs I attempted to summon again, the first summon following that fivesome I posted earlier.
As it turns out, those pegasi and Chrom actually WERE a good omen, because my first attempt scored me this:
My girl Sumia is here already, apparently.
Which I guess means… I basically don’t have to summon anymore on this banner if I don’t want.
Which, by extension, means I get to save up some orbs. Shout out to the ever-growing stockpile.
Hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of “Fire Emblem Heroes updated and I feel obligated to stay up into the ridiculous hours of the morning to have a timely post about it for some reason.” This is your host, Jason Rochlin.
In today’s special episode of that thing I just wrote out, you’re going to observe the ramblings of a madman, driven to insanity by his own gluttonous desire and lack of self-control in the face of an entity that, pardon my french, does not give a fuck.
All observers of this program should be 18 years old or older, or at least mature enough to understand the truly empty sadness of a somewhat successful college-age boy who thinks and talks far too much about a collection of lines one person drew that is perceived by everyone’s abstract brain as representing a twenty-something year-old redhead in a mobile app game for iOS and Android devices.
Viewer discretion is advised. Not really. But you’ve been warned.
Fire Emblem Fates is a game that hasn’t gotten any love in Heroes since the Children of Fates banner some time ago that brought in a number of characters. Included in that list of characters was Soleil, one of my favorite units from those titles.
At the time I spent all my orbs to get her, only for her to eventually become a four star unit that I now have 5 copies of.
How shall these new units I’m excited for screw me over, I wonder?
Kana wins the award for the cutest artwork in this update hands down. However, skill-wise she’s… Okay. I already have two powerful green dragons in the forms of Myrrh and Grima so perhaps I’m somewhat disillusioned, but having another green dragon with a breath that calculates damage using the lower defensive stat without actually having a built-in way to hit from a distance is disappointing. It’s hard to argue with Draconic Aura and Fierce Stance however, so luckily her cute butt is on my radar this time around. Just don’t call the police on me for saying it like that.
Okay… So… Shigure is here for his second time since the Performing Arts banner. He’s a lot more underwhelming this go around, sporting a weapon that powers up his special attack to ensure he restores a little more health… But beyond that doesn’t have too much going for him in my opinion. Perhaps if Mitama comes out soon and I can ship them together he’ll have a bit more utility, but until then he’s far outclassed by the other flying unit in this banner.
I need a little more free space to discuss this one because I’ve quite literally been mulling over this Hinoka alt since she was announced Sunday night.
Who… Who exactly over at Intelligent Systems allowed this?
Let me break it down. Hinoka is a flying unit based on the Kinshi Knight model from Fire Emblem Fates. Already a good start because the Kinshi Knights were one of my favorite things about that set of games.
She’s a bow-wielding flying unit (which is unique up until now if I’m not mistaken) with a bow that actually, literally has four effects.
Effective against flying units, as all bows are.
Effective against armored units, which is unprecedented for bows and quite welcomed in the world of Black Knights and Hectors.
Grants +3 Speed, which I’m assuming is on top of an already solid speed stat.
Drive Attack. Just… Straight up built-in Drive Attack skill on a bow with three other skills already built-in.
Like how is that legal in the state of California?
Hinoka also comes out of the box with four other main slot skills attached. On top of having all of that utility in her special 14 might bow: She also has Luna as a special attack that reduces defense or resistance by 50 percent when triggered, Attack/Speed Bond to grant her +5 in both stats when next to an ally, as well as both Flier Formation and Flier Guidance to allow her to jump next to units two spaces away or vice versa.
Those last two skills basically guarantee she’ll have the bonded boost and will likely activate her Drive Attack bow for allies.
There’s so much synergy in this one unit that I just cannot understand how we’ve allowed this to happen. If she has fantastic base stats as well, Hinoka is going to be an absolute monster.
Oh and let’s not forget… She’s Hinoka. And the Hoshido sisters are leagues better than the Nohrian sisters.
Don’t @ me, Internet.
Okay but with all this gushing over Hinoka, I suppose I should also lay out my issues with her inclusion here.
For one, I would be remiss not to talk about my problem with Hinoka appearing as a “brand new” unit in a main story banner like I did when cavalier Eirika was introduced a while back. That slot could have very easily gone to someone else from Fates.
Reina seems to be a name that’s going around a lot as a Kinshi Knight, for example. Or maybe one of the other Hoshido children like Midori.
On top of that, my flier emblem team is already pretty stacked so I’m really not sure who to replace.
But those are small complaints all things being equal. I’ll still be spending all of my 140-ish orbs on this banner if I have to.
Just watch me get destroyed.
What’s that? I already did get destroyed?
Oh. I see.
Well I suppose it’s time to store up orbs again so I can keep bashing my head against this brick wall. Thank god the Tempest Trials are still going so I can squeeze some more orbs out of those.
Also side note, I’m glad to see Nanna got demoted to four-star status so quickly after her token banner considering she’s the only one of those heroes I got.
But I digress. I’m sure you’re all tired of me complaining and want to get into the story. So let’s do that.
I will say, just to start off this portion of the episode, that I appreciate how frequently Intelligent Systems has been moving the main story forward. I’m a sucker for a developing story, after all.
Thematically I think the developers killed it when putting together this portion of the story for a number of reasons. For one, the ice castle aesthetic is pretty great on its own. On top of that, it looks like the kind of environment I would expect to see coming out of the Fire Emblem Fates world, so everything feels copacetic.
But on top of both of those things, let’s also not forget that the music coming out of Fates is just mm-mmm good. Seriously I’ve had the map’s main theme stuck in my head since the banner trailer was first released.
Now if only I could remember the name of the track…
I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s talk about story.
We start this leg of the race suddenly much further ahead than we left off before. Essentially, we’ve completely skipped over any and all exposition between Gunnthrá’s death in the Thracia missions and the arrival at this castle for the Rite of Frost.
But wait, we aren’t getting out of this without a cinematic cutaway to a Kevin Smith-style conversation between characters who could otherwise be doing super action-y stuff based on what they’re saying.
Surtr continues to be as brutal as ever, which for some reason still surprises me. Also fire ritual foreshadowing that I bet won’t become relevant for the next twenty chapters or so.
HEY WAIT A SECOND, THERE’S A PERFECT DISTRACTION RIGHT HERE!
XANDER IS STILL HERE GUYS!
Yeah I know that’s like a small detail, but I seriously always forget that Xander is for some reason still the top general in Veronica’s army. It’s such an obscure fact, but the more it becomes relevant the more I’m starting to think maybe Veronica is Xander’s perfect match instead of Hinoka.
… Except there’s probably some pedophilic implications in that statement all things being equal.
Also I just reminded myself that Hinoka is a thing in this banner and she’s alluding my wanton desire, so I’m just going to move on.
Battles happen as usual until the Order of Heroes makes it to the part of the castle where they can begin the ritual.
Figures we can’t go a single Fire Emblem game without a legendary dragon getting involved.
So you fight all of the Fates enemies (including the awfully handsome Kaze, because I mean…)
Yeah that’s right, welcome back Feh plot thickening meme. How I’ve missed you.
What’s that? Should I actually say something about the moment? Well… Fjorm is probably going to die. Join her sister in the afterlife or whatever. Unless of course this is all just a ploy to make her sick at the last-minute so we need a Deus Ex Machina to save the day and defeat Surtr once and for all.
I guess only time will tell.
Speaking of Surtr, as he so eloquently established by threatening to break someone’s legs, the next step of the journey for our rag-tag bunch of orb-hording freaks is the fire kingdom itself so they can take on the hulking brute.
Will the Order succeed in taking on Surtr? Will hilarious or emotional hijinks ensue? Who will be the units that preside over the final fight with the King of Fire?
Find out on the next episode of-
Oh wait, there’s more. What is this a Marvel movie post-credit scene?
Gasp! Time for a Feh meme x2 combo.
Okay so real talk, as much as I appreciate the double-cross twist of the big bad guys actually just wanting to use the little bad guy as a sacrifice for bad things, I do think this development was a bit rushed.
When I made the cut-away joke about Xander suddenly appearing again, I really was serious when I meant there was an interesting amount of foreshadowing happening. But no, that foreshadowing was just alluding to a portion of the story coming up at the end of the same mission.
Hopefully there’s a little more filler between this point and fighting the final battle, because otherwise rushed may unfortunately be the only way to describe the ending to this really cool long-term plot experiment.
Alright, with all that said, we’ve once again reached the end of another exhaustive night (morning?) of writing about dumb mobile game shenanigans.
How do you feel about the new heroes that have been brought into the game? Or, more specifically, how much do you agree with me about Hinoka being broken as hell?
Let me know in the comments down be-
THAT’S IT, THAT’S THE SONG THAT PLAYS UNDER THESE NEW MAPS!
Shout out to my boy Jonathan for helping me find the tune, because I was honestly going to go crazy if I couldn’t remember the name sometime soon to listen to it on repeat for the next couple of weeks.
Hope you all enjoy the kick-ass track. Because I’m going to sleep now so I can take on another day of visiting the tailor and going to work.
About a week ago, we got a new calendar showcasing the many events that were coming down the pipeline in Fire Emblem Heroes for the first few months of the year.
By many events, I do mean many events.
Wow. Talk about a busy lineup, right?
Through the sizable web of things happening I, alongside many other fans of the Fire Emblem series, noticed something interesting. The chief antagonist of my favorite Fire Emblem game, the Sacred Stones, was coming up as a Grand Hero Battle. Then, when he cleared off, Valder would be returning.
Two Sacred Stones units in a row? Well that’s odd. Could it possibly be a coincidence given that a new summoning focus was set to begin just before they arrived?
As it turns out, it was not a coincidence. This new banner is indeed Sacred Stones-themed like everyone was hoping.
Let me tell you, I was excited about the sheer possibility of a banner from this game as soon as the calendar was hot on the presses. Every time something with Sacred Stones comes up, my heart starts firing at all cylinders.
Was my excitement met with an ample return from Intelligent Systems?
Am I ready as ever to immerse myself in the world of the Sacred Stones?
Would I be asking this many rhetorical questions if I didn’t have a subverting comment waiting in the wings?
Read on to find out.
To make a long cliffhanger short, I am indeed pretty excited about these units! Like I said already, it’s hard for me not to be excited when this game comes out of the woodwork.
However, there is one blemish on this otherwise beautiful sight that leaves me somewhat embittered about the whole thing.
But I’ll get to that. For now, let’s start examining what our new summon-able friends bring to the table.
Peaking a little early here, Intelligent Systems? On top of being an obvious fan favorite character, Myrrh also has arguably the most interesting and powerful build in this new bunch. She’s a rarity, being not only our second green dragon unit in the game, but also a green dragon unit with a flying movement-type distinction. You can probably build some crazy interesting half-dragon/half-flying team combinations with her on your side. It helps that she looks as powerful as she does unique, boasting a skill to Hone other manakete units, the attack-heavy Fury and Bonfire special attack and a special breath weapon that makes her hit a weaker defensive stat against ranged units. A pretty sweet spread all-and-all.
Yet another fan favorite character who seems to be bringing her wonderful holier-than-thou divine justice, but a strange name pronunciation. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever thought to say “Lara shell,” but to be fair the game developers also had a different pronunciation for Innes so I guess that trait runs strong in Sacred Stones. L’Arachel also has a bit of a strange skill spread compared to the undoubtedly powerful Myrrh. Rather than being a staff-wielding troubadour, as most likely remember her, she’s much more akin to her valkyrie advancement in that she uses the sacred light weapon Ivaldi (now a blue tome). Though it doesn’t have great base power, she gains bonuses in attack and speed when fighting a full health unit. An interesting add-on admittedly. However, from there she carries the sub-par special attack Glowing Light and bulk-centric Renewal (which may or may not be important depending on her stat spread), as well as the brand new Resistance Tactic that grants a big boost to infantry and armored units. There’s possibly some synergy here, we’ll have to see.
Anamnesis: Noun. The recollection or remembrance of the past. I’ll admit, this is a very clever title for Eirika given her overwhelming insistence on remembering all the good times between her, Ephraim and Lyon. If I had to guess before jumping into the story missions, this theme will play into them appearing together and I appreciate that. Unfortunately, it also brings me to remember the fact that we already got Eirika as a unit. A long, long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool when we get new versions of old units through Brave Heroes and holiday-themed events, and I’ve been an advocate for Eirika on horseback like her final form in the original game for some time… But when a second version of a unit shows up like this in a main summoning focus, it just feels like a slot was taken that could have been filled by another. Especially since her skill spread seems like the most underwhelming of the three heroes here despite her boasting five skills. Plus, what’s with her having the dark tome Gleipnir? She can never learn how to use magic in the Sacred Stones, it just seems… Nonsensical. Unless there’s a story reason that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I guess we’ll see.
I don’t really know what it is about Eirika that bugs me so much. Her appearance here is what makes me feel rather bitter about this whole banner despite the fact that it’s based on my favorite game in the series and has two wonderful units in it. Seriously, Myrrh and L’Arachel are great and I’m going to be trying to get both, but why did we get a weird reprint of Eirika now?
It really feels like it would have made more sense to release a horseback Eirika as a Brave hero down the line, for me at least.
Plus that would have saved room for someone like Neimi.
I mean seriously Intelligent Systems, how much more do I have to beg? I appreciate Myrrh and L’Arachel, and I know both Lyon and Marisa are coming soon too from other events… But I just want my favorite character in the game already.
I’ll keep voting in the new Choose Your Legends event until I get her.
If nothing else, I suppose it’s a positive that she’s not in the game because I don’t feel as bad voting for her? But not really, because I would have voted for her anyway.
I will seriously throw my Brave Lyn away in a heartbeat if we got a horseback archer Neimi at some point.
That’s about enough empty, ridiculous bitching about a gotcha game for one day, though. Thanks to the Radiant Dawn banner screwing me over and scaring me away at the same time as a Tempest Trial, I’m starting off this Sacred Stones banner with 94 orbs, so I’m feeling lucky about nabbing that Myrrh.
Wait, what was that? I wrote this whole section before the update even happened you say?
Well… You’re not wrong.
Luckily, now present day Jason can report some good news on the tail end of this somewhat negative build-up:
I GOT DAT MYRRH BABY, YEAH!!! WOO!!
Also she’s apparently sassy as FUCKhere. It’s absolutely incredible, and I’m very happy and lucky considering this happened so easily.
It only took 30 orbs to nab her too! So I still have about 60 orbs – without having done all of the new missions and all – to spend either on future special banners or to come back and try my hands at L’Arachel.
It’s a bit of a tough choice since I love Sacred Stones, but also I love having special holiday variant heroes.
Just don’t read too much into that in comparison to my vague disdain toward a new version of Eirika appearing.
On that note, the question remains regarding whether or not my predictions about a reminiscent Eirika/Lyon interactions were valid, which strikes me as a perfect segue into story.
While I am a bit surprised to see two main story chapters show up in such a short period of time, I can’t say I’m opposed to it. Especially considering this chapter goes into a really deep amount of interesting character development.
Before they head off, however, we get to see a much deeper look into Alfonse’s daddy issues.
It actually gets a bit heavy, even if things aren’t very thoroughly explained in my opinion.
Alfonse talks about how his father is leading an army to protect the land of Askr, yet he doesn’t agree with Alfonse being a part of the Order of Heroes… Which for all intents and purposes is essentially an army protecting the land of Askr.
Sure, the Order led by a greedy general, and I guess they’re fairly ‘hands on’ as he says, but otherwise I don’t necessarily see the distinction off-hand.
Plus, the game leaves off other potentially relevant details, like why Alfonse seems to be ostracized but Sharena, his sister, isn’t. Maybe that’s just her hiding it away because she’s got a happy-go-lucky kind of defense mechanism, but if that’s true we don’t get too much of an indication to that effect either.
Am I thinking too much into this? Maybe. But I’ve got no qualms talking about my love of the lore in this game. Seeing character development is always great, and Alfonse gets some powerful stuff here.
Of course right after that ends they’re interrupted by Sharena bringing him colored hay he asked for… Which I didn’t exactly know was a thing?
Once you get through the first hefty story dump with a strange conclusion, the next couple of missions go relatively quietly.
Most of the summoning focus characters do get brief introductions, but that’s about all.
For some reason, Myrrh doesn’t get any sort of introduction. Why do you guys have to short my gal, Intelligent Systems? It’s not like she’s the Great Dragon of legend or anything.
Also I guess that does bring up another point I’d like to address. It feels like the Sacred Stones heroes got a bit shafted here.
In the context of the universe, the only reason game-specific heroes are still appearing is because Princess Veronica has teamed up with Surtr and is providing contracted mercenaries, essentially. From that angle, I understand why they don’t necessarily have a huge amount of time given in the main storyline compared to more independent, specifically focused Paralogues… But still.
The music playing under everything is from the Sacred Stones, but the maps aren’t. Which is unfortunate because seeing the miniature representations of original game maps is still one of my favorite things about playing Fire Emblem Heroes.
It’s a shame, though I can let it slide considering main story progression is put on the forefront here.
That progression has the Order of Heroes eventually making it to the gateway into Fjorm’s homeland, which is sealed by a massive magical MacGuffin.
Arriving at that gateway has the story kick up to 11 once again. After all, it takes time for Fjorm to open up the gate, and you know what holding a position for a long time entails:
Surtr arrives to ambush the Order, which does lead to one of my favorite aesthetic effects in the history of Fire Emblem Heroes thus far.
Chapter 4-4: The Young Dragon
Chapter 4-5: Fiery Resolve
What a cool duality between invading and defending. I love that sort of thing, revisiting an old area with a new coat of paint. It’s just rad game design!
But you know what else is rad?
How cool of a villain Surtr is.
I won’t even qualify it that much, just look at how savage and unequivocally insane the guy is.
It’s just amazing seeing such a gruesome person in a mobile game spin-off of a somewhat kid friendly Nintendo franchise. I’ve come to really love a lot of the characters from the Fire nation, and this kind of unchecked intensity is one of the reasons why.
Though I do think it’s hilarious that you get a long, intense monologue from Surtr, only for him to send his two lackies in first and arrive after turn 3.
Especially since he’s invincible. So he’s just giving you the opportunity to end the fight before he can help.
Good guy Surtr?
Okay definitely not. But when you beat this mission, the story goes wildly off the rails once again.
After Fjorm opens the gateway to allow your heroes to escape, they have to come to terms with making the decision to run and fight another day even if that means Surtr destroys a nearby village.
Alfonse leads the charge to run away, which feels uncharacteristic after a whole mission set surrounding his citizen-first mentality.
Once they escape, however, the story cuts back to focus more on Surtr’s forces.
Then, in the surprise of the century, Xander reveals that he’s still relevant to the main plot.
Yeah, remember when Xander was important as the General of Veronica’s army? Well apparently he hasn’t disappeared.
Honestly it’s getting to a point where I wouldn’t argue with people shipping Veronica and Xander together. Clearly he’s sticking with her for the long run, after all.
Plus there are people who are into older men like that. I don’t judge.
Anyway… That aside, Veronica and Surtr start arguing over whether he should destroy the town, since Veronica is keen on having them be part of the Emblian empire once Askr is destroyed.
Before they can fight, Loki stops the group by letting them know the town is empty.
Colored hay ex machina? Or nice use of chekhov’s gun? I’ll let you decide.
After Surtr metaphorically cools his jets and agrees to keep Veronica around longer, he splits his forces up, setting things in motion for the next big mission.
What a long, frankly fascinating journey just this one mission series is. The character development is interesting, the writing is clever and everything moves at a good pace.
Even if the Sacred Stones heroes feel a little left behind, I can’t argue with what we got.
Oh, and no Lyon yet in case you hadn’t noticed. I know he’s coming tomorrow, but it does seem like a waste not to have him appear with Eirika here in this set somewhere.
Especially since they alluded to it all over the place!
As I’m sure you can tell, this banner has been a bit divisive for me.
On the one hand, it’s Sacred Stones-themed, so I’m predisposed to like it. Especially since Myrrh and L’Arachel are in it. Plus, the story they have going that includes these heroes is easily the best we’ve seen out of this game yet in my opinion.
I even got Myrrh with very minimal sacrifices. That’s awesome!
But at the same time, Eirika reappearing still bugs me wildly. Especially considering they really don’t do anything with her! I’m more than willing to admit that there’s probably just some personal bias here.
I love Eirika and the fact that they included a horseback version of her, but it was so wildly disappointing seeing her taking up a slot in this summoning focus, and that just really hit me hard. I’m willing to bet it’s in part because I’ve had a rough first week of school this semester and am taking even slight blemishes in overall great developments as over-embellished issues.
That said, as much as I want to complain about it, everything outside of Eirika here really lines up perfectly and would probably be my favorite update in some time otherwise.
So I’m going to stop looking at the negatives and take everything for what it really is: Some damn well done story and gameplay.
With a little bit of luck in summoning to boot.
I guess with all that said, all I really have to add is… Here’s looking forward to Lyon being good, hopefully.
How do you feel about this new summoning focus, or the story it accompanies?
If you could have any other hero from Sacred Stones beside Eirika a second time, who would you want to see?
Let me know in the comments below, and until next time. I’m off to get some rest so I can cover an Academic Senate meeting in the morning.