Fire Emblem Catch All

In fact, Sylvain might have the best overall support conversations in the whole game, at least as far as the characters I used were concerned.

Yeah, maybe so?

There's certainly a lot of interesting variety of topics covered throughout -- much less prone to retreading similar ground with different people than other characters can be.

Yeah only so many people can discover Ignatz likes to paint before it wears thin.

Stele wrote:

Yeah only so many people can discover Ignatz likes to paint before it wears thin. ;)

Wait, you say he likes to paint?

I actually agree about Lorenz. I don't think it completely redeems his character, but having played Golden Deer those later supports are much better.

DSGamer wrote:

I actually agree about Lorenz. I don't think it completely redeems his character, but having played Golden Deer those later supports are much better.

No one is saying good things about Lorenz.

Just Sylvain.

Stele wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I actually agree about Lorenz. I don't think it completely redeems his character, but having played Golden Deer those later supports are much better.

No one is saying good things about Lorenz.

Just Sylvain.

I've found Lorenz to be refreshing, in a affluenza-redemption-tale kind of way. Like, I felt sympathy that his life up until now had led him to be a crushing douchewaffle.

I'll toss some faint praise to Lorenz. I've found him to be more tolerable with the commoners like Ignaz and Leonie. He's still a very obnoxious noble who takes his position above the little people very seriously, but he also takes his responsibility to the little people seriously.

I've also dabbled with some early supports of Dorothea with Lorenz and Sylvain, and she seems to be an expert at calling nobles on their crap.

Stele wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I actually agree about Lorenz. I don't think it completely redeems his character, but having played Golden Deer those later supports are much better.

No one is saying good things about Lorenz.

Just Sylvain.

Lol. Sorry. I thought Zero said something good about Lorenz last page.

Stele wrote:

No one is saying good things about Lorenz.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EEL6L2xVAAIJqQH.jpg)

Golden Deer player and (Qualified) Lorenz Defense Club member here. His late supports are rewarding as it's nice to see the scales begin to fall from his eyes. Plus he sets up great characters for great lines.

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EFWqbP6U4AI96bp.jpg)

DSGamer wrote:
Stele wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I actually agree about Lorenz. I don't think it completely redeems his character, but having played Golden Deer those later supports are much better.

No one is saying good things about Lorenz.

Just Sylvain.

Lol. Sorry. I thought Zero said something good about Lorenz last page.

Only that his Japanese voice actor does a fabulous job of making him lovably detestable.

Finally had the credits roll after almost 39 hours of my first playthrough, some thoughts:

Spoiler:

So, as a tl;dr, I think this is a good game, but I have the same complaint that it appears most do in that this game is just too easy on normal. Below explains more:

The good:
- I'm not one for stories, but they've done a good job of making a great world here, especially with the branching paths. Although I won't carry on with more, I appreciate they've given plenty choice and the chance to see things from different perspectives.
- There's plenty to do and a lot of mechanics in there. There's no lack of value in this game, you get plenty out there and a chance to customise your team to however you want.
- There's obviously characters who take your eye! Although it's hit and miss, they've whacked plenty of personalities in there that you can't help but get attached to one person.
- The core combat mechanics are still great. Even when you get a big release like this, it still comes down to a simple map where you move people about, and it feels good.
- The rewind mechanic is welcome, since on classic we all restart!

The bad:
- So, as mentioned, the difficulty. I LOVE that more people can access games, so I don't know if this is just what I come to expect from a traditionally challenging game from Fire Emblem. My first FE was Awakening, which was the perfect balance, and felt like your tactics mattered. In this game, it's almost as if there are too many mechanics in the game that mean that you can easily guide your way to victory, thus your choices of placement have less impact. Although I like the rewind mechanic, I didn't actually use it that often, I'd probably say I used it in <10% of battles. It just felt like normal could've had much more challenge earlier on - I wanted more difficult decisions to make in battle. So, it's not a slight of "oh, games are getting too easy", but normal was just a bit of a surpise as to how easy was, whereas I would have liked more of a challenge.
- The support system just doesn't feel as great as Awakening. In that game, I remember specfically matching my fighters to battle to take advantage of their support. In Three Houses, I didn't feel it necessary. I ended up skipping through support conversations in the end, I found them a bit annoying that didn't add too much to the story. I got a bit of personality to characters, but I was more interested in the overall war story. I liked being able to marry characters in Awakening, was a bit disappointed I couldn't do that here.
- On that, the marraige of Byleth just seemed added on as a passing thought. It didn't seem meaningful at all. The ending of the game just seemed a bit of an anti-climax on the end. I played Golden Deer.
- It was probably a bit too long. I like content, but part 1 of the game just seemed to drag a bit. Part 2 was much better, particularly towards the end.

Overall, it sits between Awakening and Fates on my Fire Emblem scale. I don't regret my time playing it, but just wish it wasn't as long! I don't think I'll be carrying on with another house.

Not being able to change difficulty mid-game is goddamn boneheaded.

By the time I realized I needed to bump it up, I was already too far in to restart.

Clusks, you can actually marry most of your team but it all happens in the epilogue. None of it's tied into gameplay.

Probably because they shoehorned it into Fates for no good reason and had no story justification either.

Clusks, very interesting reading your thoughts, as I just completed my first playthrough which took me just over 63 hours. So if you thought your 39 hour playthrough was a little too long, well, it could've been worse

Overall I had a great experience with this game and am glad I played it, but it feels poorly paced, or at least designed in a way that I didn't understand how to connect with. Some systems, I probably spent way too much time on (talking to people in the monastery, trying to recruit as many people as possible, picking out good gifts and otherwise interacting with the economy) while other systems I probably could've given more attention (my characters' loadouts, abilities, and class certifications were things I only thought about every dozen or so hours). The first half of the game took me 45 hours, while the second half took me less than 20, and I think it's in part because I really burned myself out on the first half. There are so many different things to do in this game, but it's hard to tell what's worth doing and what's not until you've done a bunch of stuff and realized you didn't care about some of it and liked other parts.

On the ending itself:

Spoiler:

I dunno, the last 3 or 4 chapters didn't do much for me. It just felt like a lot of unexplained reveals with no backstory behind them. I was playing the Church route, and I was waiting for some big heel turn for Rhea, but instead it was more like "yay you won the game OH WAIT I TURNED INTO A DRAGON AND MADE A BUNCH OF OTHER DRAGONS SORRY I GUESS YOU GOTTA KILL ME." I mean, I guess that is a heel turn, but I thought it would be an interesting reveal instead of just a flipped switch. I know so little about why anyone did anything in this game. Maybe it's just not my type of storytelling, maybe I didn't pay enough attention to key parts, whatever the case, the overall plot did not do much for me.

I did not love the story in this game, but I did love the characters, and many of them had really wonderful interactions. I think I would have liked this game even more had I not bothered recruiting anyone and not drained every last bit out of content out of the first half of the game. Still, I'll have a lot of good memories from this experience, but definitely not doing any more with this other than maybe looking up details of other playthroughs on youtube or whatever else.

Stele wrote:

Clusks, you can actually marry most of your team but it all happens in the epilogue. None of it's tied into gameplay.

Probably because they shoehorned it into Fates for no good reason and had no story justification either.

I didn't even realise, I was a bit disappointed as I felt in Awakening it was one of the best mechanics that really made me think about where I was putting people, ensuring I was putting the best teams together. It also made me care about the characters much more. As mentioned, towards the end I just ended up skipping through a lot of the support dialogues in Three Houses. I found a lot of them a bit odd, actually, as many of them have sort of negative tones and arguments, yet at the end it says "the bond between these two characters has grown!"

mrlogical wrote:

Clusks, very interesting reading your thoughts, as I just completed my first playthrough which took me just over 63 hours. So if you thought your 39 hour playthrough was a little too long, well, it could've been worse :)

I think this is probably more on me, as I like to play a range of games throughout the year, so grow a little frustrated with a few longer ones now, especially since (most will probably start nodding their head to this) I'm getting older and tend to have less time to play. I should probably phrase it more in that there seems to be a little bit of filler in Three Houses that they could've done without. Part 1 of the game dragged quite a bit for me; many of the missions didn't feel like they were moving the story long in a meaningful way, as opposed to the part 2 missions. I actually liked parts of the story and the overall idea of it, but I do think the ending was a bit oddly handled.

It's weird, because I know it's a reall good game with brilliant mechanics and a lot of content, but I've just come away from it feeling a bit like I didn't fully enjoy the whole thing as much as I thought I would.

This is from the perspective of Golden Deer, but I have kinda taken the support conversation results and the “bond” to be they understand each other better but not necessarily that they like each other more. I’ve been enjoying them.

I kind of have mixed feelings about the length too, but I’m mostly okay with it. I’m almost at 39 hours myself and I’m only on chapter 11. And I started at release so I’m playing way slower than some folks. I’m not burning out on it but it’s also taking me a long time. Kinda of had to go this route with Persona 5 also where I just think of it spread out like a network TV show season.

I’ve hit the timeskip in my NG+ run of the Golden Deer. I’m spending a lot of time lining up supports and getting a handful of potential units reasonably leveled if I want to swap them in the future. Since I can do 3 battles a day, leveling is no problem at all. If I had 12-14 viable units in my first run, I think I have 16 units I can swap in and out now that are all at or above the level recommendations for the chapters I have hit.

It’s funny, what seem to be the common death bots for others fall behind for me and end up getting benched. In BE, Bernie got dropped since her damage and defenses were too low. Here, Hilda fell behind in everything but attack, but her speed and dexterity are too low to take advantage of it. She was replaced full time by Cyril, who is a couple of ticks weaker on attack, but better at everything else.

Generally speaking, I’ve come to appreciate some of the intermediate class abilities (especially stat boosters like Death Blow and Darting Blow) in a way I hadn’t before. I’m getting them on everyone I can at this point, especially for future playthroughs. Ingrid (now a wyvern knight) has Darting Blow (from the last run), Death Blow, and also the +15 dodge skill if she just waits, and it’s kind of hilarious. If she attacks, she gets a speed and damage boost. If she move forward and waits, she’s a dodge tank.

So Leonie being good wasn’t really a surprise, since when I recruited her in the BE run she had great stats, I just already had people doing what she did and didn’t want to make a change. She’s predictably been an MVP on this thing. What did surprise me is how good Ignatz is. He hits everything without question with his personal skill, and can safely double everything I throw at him. Plus his defenses are much higher than Felix’s was at this point in my other game. He does need a boost to attack, but I think I’ll keep rolling with him. I still think his only path to a master class is through mortal savant, so I’ve been mainlining him on reason during class sessions and will probably have to continue for several more chapters. He’s an assassin for me now. I just wish his character was a bit more interesting.

Lorenz is weird. He’s gotten a bit better with later supports, so he’s slightly less annoying. He also very good defenses and can take physical or magic shots and shrug them off, but his physical defense isn’t as ridiculous as Raphael, and of course his resistance isn’t as good as my mages. So he’s a good all purpose tank, and he has okay physical attack, and mediocre magic (although he’s spent little time as a mage so far). And he’s not doubling many people, either. So I think he may ultimately get shelved for a third Gremory (Lysithia and Marianne are already well on their way, and I’m leveling Annette and Mercedes; I may go with Mercedes, since I like having more physics to throw around). I did stick the battalion from the BE run that gives a huge boost to both attack stats on him, so for now he has reasonable damage output for the single hit he's getting off.

The other fun thing is how mobile the team is. My 1st team has three wyvern knights (Raphael, Cyril, and Ingrid), plus two Paladins (Leonie and Lorenz) and an Assassin (Ignatz). Covering ground to take a position or moving people around to fix a mistake has never been easier. And having Ingrid run through the Brigand and Wyvern Knight classes instead of going the peg knight route has given her noticeably more attack, at the cost of some dexterity.

It’s taken me about 38 hours to get through the first half. And now with all new story content ahead of me, it’s time to see how this thing plays out! And of course I now have a flood of supports to sort through, but based on earlier conversation, I may save that flood for the end to have a bit more control over the pairings. It’ll be annoying watching all these supports lit up constantly, though.

Well, Clusks, I'm totally with you on preferring games to be on the shorter side--anything asking more than 30 hours of my time is reeeeeally pushing it for me these days, the 60+ hours I spent with FE was a rarity, and probably only possible because I brought my Switch with me on vacation in August. I understand the depth and replayability are part of the appeal for some, but for me, there's a 25-30 hours version of this same game that is my Game of the Year. Instead this is a game full of things I love but also full of things that felt like a waste of time or things that were a hassle or things that just didn't go anywhere.

My protestations about the length of the game aside, I rolled right into a Black Eagles playthrough after my Golden Deer game ended.

The Chapter 12 battle is really different. It felt much more epic. I'm not sure why. Maybe because of who you fight against. Also, taking Edelgard's side definitely puts a completely different spin on the story than what you get if you fight on the side of the church as a member of Golden Deer. Completely different. I'm guessing you don't learn many of the story beats you learn on that route on this one, right?

Spoiler:

It also makes sense now that she goes to the Monastery, etc.

As an aside, I hope you still do the Shambhala fight as a member of Black Eagles. I'm kind of excited to see how different the story actually is now.

Random asides:

- There are a lot of "glow-ups" in the Black Eagles house. Looking at you Hubert and Caspar. Not so much Linhardt with his long hair (what's up with mages and long hair after the time jump?)

- I'm glad my crops are there for me to harvest after 5 years

I finished Ch. 17 in my Golden Deer run (great fight, btw). I’ve found that while I'm saving a lot of time that I used to spend running around the monestary, I’m adding the time back on by doing the three battles each time I go out, plus doing all the paralogues I have access to. Plus I’m juggling a lot of characters and a lot of supports, which takes time to plan out as well. I've also noticed that even if I'm still on hard mode on hard mode, being able to buy the professor level at A+ right from the start meant my team started overpowered and stayed overpowered.

That said, I think I’m going to tap out for a bit after this run, so I can get to other games before the end of the year. I plan to do the BL and BE-C routes eventually, but I might wait until the DLC comes out and see if that adds anything I want before jumping back in.

So you’re skipping conversations within the monastery, but getting the story from the supports?

I agree, btw. Against my better judgement I started a second playthrough for Black Eagles. I made it pretty far before getting burned out again.

Last night I kicked the difficulty down so I could fly through the last few chapters whenever I get there.

For the most part, yeah. Sometimes I'll warp around and talk to people after a particularly interesting chapter (like 17) to get some commentary and world building, but most of it is still fluff. The supports are the bulk of the character interaction anyway, so I'm getting a lot of those in.

I'm glad I'm doing the a second route, especially one that has a drastically different focus than Black Eagles. But since there's not much difficulty now in the individual maps, most of the enjoyment now comes from seeing new supports and min-maxing and setting up characters with good abilities for future runs whenever I get to them (like getting deathblow on a lot of physical attackers, getting Poison Strike on Byleth, etc.).

I've been distracted with real life and very little gaming time the last week so my GD run stalled out. I really do want to finish at least that much.

But yeah I feel like I have to do the 3 extra battles and I keep micro managing XP every fight and it's just so tedious.

DSGamer wrote:

My protestations about the length of the game aside, I rolled right into a Black Eagles playthrough after my Golden Deer game ended.

The Chapter 12 battle is really different. It felt much more epic. I'm not sure why. Maybe because of who you fight against. Also, taking Edelgard's side definitely puts a completely different spin on the story than what you get if you fight on the side of the church as a member of Golden Deer. Completely different. I'm guessing you don't learn many of the story beats you learn on that route on this one, right?

Spoiler:

It also makes sense now that she goes to the Monastery, etc.

As an aside, I hope you still do the Shambhala fight as a member of Black Eagles. I'm kind of excited to see how different the story actually is now.

Random asides:

- There are a lot of "glow-ups" in the Black Eagles house. Looking at you Hubert and Caspar. Not so much Linhardt with his long hair (what's up with mages and long hair after the time jump?)

- I'm glad my crops are there for me to harvest after 5 years

Wait until you see the

Spoiler:

Javelins of Light.

Has anyone recommended to new players to almost universally invest in the Ride or Flying skill? Because here at chapter 10 I'm looking at the Master Classes for everyone and near universally they'll be needing an A in Ride, or on occasion in Flying.

Basically my only focus at the moment since all other imperative skills are on track.

I think we talked about it a few pages back, but it's long since been buried. The hard shift that I think a lot of us went through into focusing on riding or flying for anyone who hasn't started yet is basically where you are now. There's still a lot of time to get the riding and flying levels up quickly if you focus on them on instruction days, and you should have plenty of time to master the Master classes in the second half. Heck, I ran Ferdinand through Cavalier then Paladin to get the riding skills up, and then had time to swerve him into Armor knight and then Fortress knight to get him enough armor skill to make a Great knight. There's plenty of time, even if you're behind. Plus, even if a character is a level or two short on a movement skill, if the weapons skills are high enough you can still gamble and get the promotion. I've hit on a lot of 60 and 70 percent chances to get people promoted.

And generally speaking, if someone has a straight line to like Bow knight or Dark knight (based on their own strengths), then you won't have much trouble getting them there. Especially if they can pick up some extra skill points from battles by being in a class with that skill (e.g. paladins getting a few riding points from each battle they are in). FWIW, Wyvern Lord is probably the best class of the lot, due to overall stat growth and the utility of flight. I've turned almost half my team into fliers, and it's made positioning and quick strikes a whole lot easier.

I am not a min maxer but I found having one flying unit really helps. My first run had no flyong units but three cavalry units and that worked on normal difficulty.

On my current run my main flying unit is hogging all the xp.

Just finished up my Black Eagles run. Definitely interesting storywise, and I'm impressed at how much it deviated from by Golden Deer run. Not sure if I can muster up the energy for a Blue Lions run--I may be taking a quick break from Fire Emblem for a bit after this.

My team composition was as follows:

Edelgard: I was initially planning on speccing her as a Mortal Savant due to her sword and black magic strength and black magic budding talent, but once it became clear that her unique classes were really axe and armor focused I went down that route. Too bad she couldn't make use of all the Reason skill I'd dumped into her, but she still ended up being an absolute beast.

Byleth: Spent most of the game as Enlightened One. I switched her to Mortal Savant for the final quarter or so just for something different. Using a Wo Dao+ her crit rate was usually somewhere around 80-90% for most enemies.

Ferdinand: Great Knight. Seemed appropriate.

Petra: Petra spent the first half of the game as an Assassin murder machine, and then a Dancer who only occasionally melted faces.

Linhardt: Holy Knight. He ended up being a very good mix of offense with +1 white magic range and defense with healing spells. I missed dual warps after switching him from Bishop, but the extra mobility on him was worth it for me.

Bernadetta: Bow Knight. I get the feeling that my Bernadetta wasn't quite as OP as others, but she still held her own.

Caspar: War Master, focusing on Brawling. My Caspar actually held his own with a high crit rate and staying power due to his class healing ability.

Hubert: Dark Bishop. Absolutely my hardest hitter, assuming he could get into range.

Dorothea: Gremory. Meteor's range is absolutely OP.

Sylvain: Dark Knight. His black magic avo budding talent ability gave him some real staying power, and having access to strong physical attacks from his relic and black magic made him very useful.

Ingrid: Falcon Knight, although she only made appearances when I could deploy 11 units as I wanted to focus more on the Black Eagle students.

My Byleth gave the ring to Edelgard, which led to me being treated with this image toward the very end:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/jn6cFlP.jpg)

Who is this person, and what did they do with Edelgard?

WellAdjusted wrote:

Just finished up my Black Eagles run. Definitely interesting storywise, and I'm impressed at how much it deviated from by Golden Deer run. Not sure if I can muster up the energy for a Blue Lions run--I may be taking a quick break from Fire Emblem for a bit after this.

I think a few of us did Black Eagles first and are now going through Golden Deer, so we're getting the opposite of you. I'd be interested in comparing notes to see how we perceived what we learned in the second route based on what we learned from the reveals and surprises we got from the first go around. Once we're done, of course.

It's funny, in my first run I was quick to drop people like Bernie and Caspar when they fell behind since I wanted to make my team as strong as possible. But in my second run when leveling isn't a problem, I'm trying to stick with my class as much as possible, and it looks like you stuck with your class as well.

What other pairings did you get?

Sundown wrote:

I think a few of us did Black Eagles first and are now going through Golden Deer, so we're getting the opposite of you. I'd be interested in comparing notes to see how we perceived what we learned in the second route based on what we learned from the reveals and surprises we got from the first go around. Once we're done, of course.

Given that it may be a bit before I return to Fire Emblem (or maybe I'll start the a BL run tomorrow--who can say?), here are my thoughts and impressions thus far, spoilered for spoilers and length:

Spoiler:

As far as story goes, I didn't really have much of a problem with how either the Golden Deer or Black Eagle routes went.

For me, the biggest obvious difference is in how your house interacts with the church--in the Golden Deer run I perceived Rhea et al to be allies of convenience. I certainly didn't feel that the house as a whole was a strong believer in the church, or felt any of Rhea's strong religious convictions.

That being said, I did find it a little odd that Claude didn't really seem that compelled to do more digging after it was revealed that Rhea could a) turn into a giant dragon or b) was in fact Seiros herself, or that he didn't manage to put together that Flayn and Seteth were in fact Cethleann and Cichol over the course of their support conversations. I guess the charitable view is that he had bigger fish to fry in cracking Fodlan open to the exchange of ideas and movement of people (or, as someone on the Waypoint podcast put it, "fighting the true enemy; racism" or something to that effect). The less charitable view being that he was a pragmatist willing to turn a blind eye towards some obviously problematic stuff in service of his greater goal. Typing that out, it's actually the same thing I guess.

In any case, by the end I felt that destroying those who slither in the dark at Shambhala (aka the mole people), the death of Rhea (and the subsequent ascendence of Seteth as the leader of a more tolerant church), and the breaking of barriers within and without Fodlan counterbalances the fact that Rhea et al (aka the lizard people) were not exposed to the public at large.

In the Black Eagle Edelgard route, the Church is identified as the enemy around the timeskip, and they really don't waste any time having Rhea take a heel turn and start crusadin'/holy warrin'/passin' judgement on sinners. By the final battle Rhea is completely unhinged and committing atrocities, but having played through the GD route first I wonder if she had been that way all along or if the fact that her mother's spine had been stolen/she had been betrayed by Byleth as her mother's avatar/reincarnation pushed her over the edge. I am inclined to believe the former, especially given a comment Rhea made at some point implying that Byleth was not the first attempt she had made at reincarnating her mom, implying that she had murdered a bunch of babies prior to the beginning of the story.

I was surprised that there wasn't an additional mission to deal with those who slither in the dark in this run--from the GD run it's clear that they are also a significant, sinister force that needs to be dealt with if Fodlan/humanity really want to function independently. Instead, we just get a few sentences about how they will be dealt with behind the scenes in the epilogue, which was disappointing.
I am inclined to view the GD ending as the "better" one mainly for that reason. That, and to parrot someone on Waypoint's talking points, at the end of the day Edelgard is still perpetutating a monarchic/authoritarian system of government with an absolute ruler calling the shots. The GD run doesn't really address this (as I recall Byleth ends up becoming the King of Fodlan or something?), but I thought that the promotion of tolerance, free exchange of ideas, and relaxing of borders was a better deal in the long run as far as development of democracies was concerned.

At the end of two routes, I am still left questioning a few things. Were the relics really made out of the bones of the lizard folks, and were they really massacred at Zanado? And if so, were they really innocent? Or were the relics instead the result of ancient technology suppressed by the Church? What really is the deal with Crest Stones? What was up with the mechs used by those who slither in the dark, or the golems used by the church (and why did they all have names in the final battle of the BE:E route?) Was Nemesis a murderous tyrant corrupted by power, or a revolutionary trying to free humanity from the lizard folks? Who/what is the Death Knight (although I think this is explored a little more in the BL route)? And what was up with all the Western Church stuff from earlier in the game? I didn't feel like either of the routes really gave us a definitive answer, which I guess makes sense given that each route is meant to be a "complete" playthrough true unto itself.

Sundown wrote:

What other pairings did you get?

As far as my other pairings, I wasn't paying too much attention to who got the last A rank, so some were a little unexpected.

Spoiler:

Ferdinand ended up with Bernadetta. I sort of thought he would end up with Dorothea, but this works too.

Hubert ended up with Petra. This was the biggest surprise, but not a bad pairing I guess going by their support conversations.

Dorothea ended up with Linhardt. This was OK, but I really thought that Linhardt and Bernadetta made more sense.

Sylvain ended up with Ingrid. This seemed natural.

Caspar, alas, ended up single. I had assumed he would end up with Petra.