Balance Is Made Up & Stat Caps Don't Matter - Fire Emblem: Sacred War

Put your Let's Plays in here.
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So, what's all this then?

This is Fire Emblem: Sacred War, a ROMhack for Fire Emblem 8: Sacred Stones. The original release post describes this hack as follows:
This is a Remake of the original Sacred Stones game in an effort to make the game more fun to play with new features, a new freshness as well as new challenges and obstacles to conquer.
So basically, you can kinda consider this to be a remix of Sacred Stones. The story is the same, as are the characters, but the maps, while generally getting the same idea across, are different, there's changes to weapons and classes that mix things up... so while you're generally still playing Sacred Stones, you're definitely getting a new and fresh experience.

So what's so special about this hack?

Well, there's something extra about this hack that you won't see in that description. This hack doubles as a sort of challenge hack. While you won't notice it in the early game, the lategame ramps up in difficulty quite a bit compared to Sacred Stones, and then there's the postgame...

...let's not beat around the bush. The postgame gets fucking nuts. It starts difficult, then gets a lot harder, then kicks it into maximum overdrive and never looks back. Despite all of it, I found the experience of playing through this hack... enthralling, somehow. Despite feeling like bashing my head against a wall at times, I wanted to keep going. I mean, I did eventually break down and cheat, but still. It was interesting enough that it kept me going for a long time, where smarter men might have cut their losses. I feel that's worth something.

All in all, I hope this will make for an interesting and entertaining LP.

Haven't I seen this hack before?

Depends. If you're reading this on the LP Beach, you might remember that there was an earlier attempt at LPing this hack by Moonside that ended up abandoned. In fact, it was this LP that set me upon playing the hack, and which eventually led us here. If you're reading this on SA, you might remember me going over my recollections of playing through this hack in vilkacis's bows-only Sacred Stones LP in something that looked like an LP update, but instead of game screenshots it was Discord screenshots.

So what LP will this be?

Standard fare SSLP. I might get a bit more creative with it for the postgame, but that's a while off, so we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Anything else we need to know?

I will be assuming two things going into this:

- You are familiar with Fire Emblem, and specifically Fire Emblem 8: Sacred Stones. I will not explain basic gameplay or anything like that. I will only go into things that the hack does differently from regular Sacred Stones - though there are a lot of those things.
- You either know or don't care about the story of Sacred Stones. The story is untouched in this hack, there is only an addition in the postgame. I will be skipping basically all of the story apart from that addition. If you want the regular story, read Blastinus's LP on the Archive.

What about a spoiler policy?

I'll just keep it simple and ask that you don't bring up stuff that hasn't come up in the LP yet. Particularly the postgame stuff. There's some crazy shit in this hack, and I want people to be able to see it for the first time.

Now, let's get to it.

- MAIN CAMPAIGN (SSLP) -

Update I - This Is Probably A Bad Idea... Eh, Whatever.
Update II - Not Quite Untouchable
Update III - Don't Fire Emblem While Tired
Update IV - Eirika Lacks The Strength To Carry On
Update V - Monster Mash
Update VI - The Boss Box Begins
Update VII - Breaking News: Ephraim Still Good
Update VIII - Here Actually Not Be Any Dragons
Update IX - Ballistaless
Update X - The Good Lord Is Back
Update XI - Insert Training Montage Music Here
Update XII - Sometimes, You Just Say "Fuck It"
Mini-Update I - A Bunch Of Basic Weapons
Update XIII - Ancient Mariners Not Included
Update XIV - Copious Grinding Action
Update XV - The Fuck Zone
Update XVI - Purge Panic
Update XVII - Death In The Dunes
Update XVIII - Things Go Bad
Mini-Update II - Oh No! More Weapons!
Update XIX - Reinforcements Everywhere
Update XX - Scrambled, Fried Or Poached
Update XXI - Fuck This Map
Update XXII - Fucking Hell This Map Is Big
Update XXIII - The End Of The Beginning
Update XXIV - Tier Lists Are Popular These Days, Right?

- POSTGAME (VLP) -

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Last edited by TheMcD on Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:46 pm, edited 51 times in total.

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Update I - This Is Probably A Bad Idea... Eh, Whatever.

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Let's get to it.

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This hack does not give us a choice in difficulty. It's got one, take it or leave it.

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BORING.

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We rejoin Eirika and Seth, having run away from Renais, and there's a few things we can already tell have changed.

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This has changed as well...

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...as has this guy. But we'll go over that in a bit. For now, let's check this map.

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The difficulty is not exactly high from the get-go. So this prologue map won't pose too much of a challenge. However, we can talk about a lot of stuff. First, let's go over one of our protagonists.

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A few things to unpack here. First, our heroine herself.

Eirika - Lord:

STATS:

LV: 1
HP: 16

STR: 5 (+1)
SKL: 8
SPD: 9
LCK: 6 (+1)
DEF: 3
RES: 1

MOV: 5
CON: 5

GROWTHS:

HP: 65% (-5%)

STR: 45% (+5%)
SKL: 50% (-10%)
SPD: 55% (-5%)
LCK: 55% (-5%)
DEF: 25% (-5%)
RES: 35% (+5%)

Changes noted in brackets are compared to vanilla Sacred Stones, based on what I read on Serenes Forest. So while a +1 in strength right off the bat is nice, Eirika did kind of get a bit of a nerf with her growths, which I didn't really think was necessary, but oh well. Next, the items she has.

Slim Sword: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 2. Might 3. Hit 100. Crit 15 (+10). 50 uses (+20).

Noble Rapier: Rank Prf (Eirika only). Range 1. Weight 5. Might 8 (+1). Hit 100 (+5). Crit 20 (+10). 50 uses (+10). Effective against cavalry and armor.

Vulnerary: Five uses (+2), heals 20 HP (+10).

Star Seal: New item. Adds +1 to all stats (well, STR/SKL/SPD/LCK/DEF/RES, anyway). Can be given to any unit.

I'm noticing this hack likes crit. That might be a problem down the line. Still, the stat booster is nice, and better vulneraries are also going to help quite a bit.

Finally, a note about weapon ranks. You cannot gain weapon ranks in Sacred War. Your weapon ranks are fixed with your class. Generally, the hack will try to balance it out - so if you promote a unit and have a choice between a class that has three weapon types vs. a class that has only one, the class with only one weapon will probably have S rank in it, whereas the one with three weapons will probably only have B in all of them. I like this idea. I feel like I usually like to go for more weapons over less weapons most of the time, so this might give me something to think about.

Now, let's look at our partner in crime.

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Seth - Grand Knight (formerly Paladin):

STATS:

LV: 10 (+9)
HP: 30

STR: 10 (-4)
SKL: 12 (-1)
SPD: 14 (+2)
LCK: 12 (-1)
DEF: 10 (-1)
RES: 12 (+4)

MOV: 9 (+1)
CON: 14 (+3)

GROWTHS:

HP: 200% (+110%)

STR: 100% (+50%)
SKL: 100% (+55%)
SPD: 100% (+55%)
LCK: 100% (+75%)
DEF: 100% (+60%)
RES: 100% (+70%)

CAPS:

HP: 60

STR: 27 (+2)
SKL: 26
SPD: 28 (+4)
LCK: 30
DEF: 26 (+1)
RES: 28 (+3)

Anyway, Seth got a big ol' rework. New class, new growths, new everything. You'll note that Seth now starts at level 10 promoted instead of level 1, which means he gets fuck all EXP at this point. In fact, kills right now give him 1 EXP. So if you thought Seth was an EXP hog before, well, this just makes it worse. His growths have been redone to give him guaranteed levels, so he will gain every regular stat on level up, and 2 HP as well. Also, peep that 9 MOV. Seth goes vroom. But this brings us to the next big change in Sacred War: Abilities.

Basically, every promoted class has an ability. Seth's is special in that it gets two. I like this quite a bit - it introduces more things to think about upon promotion and makes encounters with promoted enemies potentially more dangerous. However, there is something about these abilities that I kinda don't like but also kinda do? In essence, they might be a bit overdone, kinda? Here, look at Seth's abilities.

Crusade:
- Equipped weapon's Might x2 against Mages, Magic Beasts, Zombies, Skeletons and Dragon Zombies
- Terrain magic RES bonus x2
- +5 crit

Sentinel:
- Reduce all types of incoming damage by 1
- Use of the "Rescue" command to rescue allies without the SKL or SPD penalty
- Modifies the AID stat to be CON - 1 instead of the usual formula
- Equipped weapon's Might x2 against Archers, Snipers and Skeleton/Legion Archers

That's a lot of stuff. Three or four different effects per ability. Thankfully, all these abilities are listed in the guide menu, so you can always look them up, but you probably will look them up quite a few times before you have most of them memorized. And these abilities can be game changers, so it's always good to keep them in mind. However, for Seth, we won't be using him unless necessary, so we won't be dealing with abilities for a while.

Next, let's check his weapons real quick.

Steel Sword: Rank D. Range 1. Weight 9 (-1). Might 7 (-1). Hit 85 (+10). Crit 0. 50 uses (+20).

Silver Lance: Rank C (formerly A). Range 1. Weight 10. Might 12 (-2). Hit 70 (-5). Crit 0. 50 uses (+30).

It seems this hack has a thing for high-use weapons, but some weapons got a bit of a nerf accordingly. Works for me.

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We make our first moves. I'm not going to go into great detail how I'm playing this. I mean, I think you can gather that I'm leaving Seth behind and slowly marching Eirika ahead, taking advantage of cover to fight advancing enemies.

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Like this fighter. Check that crit - almost a 1 in 5 chance of a crit. However, there is a caveat - crits only do double damage in Sacred War, not triple. So crits are more common, but also more potentially survivable.

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Interesting addition we get to see on our next turn - a threat zone. If you push SELECT, you get a threat zone showing you where the enemy units as a whole could currently attack. Of course, this doesn't account for units that don't move, but oh well. Still handy.

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Eirika slowly makes her way across the map, stabbing enemies and not getting touched. A note on my playstyle here: I will play these maps fairly slow unless there's a reason for me not to. As I've told you, this hack stops playing around at some point, and generally just being cautious and slow helps cut down on resets. And that's a good thing.

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And with that, the boss moves. One thing you might notice is that O'Neill has been demoted from being allowed to have a name. Now he's just "Commander". Poor guy. He's not exactly good, either, being completely overmatched by Eirika in a forest.

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Eirika gets her first level fighting with him, and it's a patented At Least She Got Speed Level.

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A quick look at this guy shows that he actually is quite a bit beefier than his vanilla hard mode counterpart. +1 HP, +1 STR, +3 SKL, +2 SPD, +5 LCK, +1 DEF and +5 RES for some reason, plus +2 CON.

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A look at his items shows off another interesting thing about Sacred War: A lot of enemies carry gold. Now, common guys just carry like 5 gold right now, practically worthless, but this guy here has 400 gold, that's maybe a weapon, so that's actually worth mentioning. Also, let's check out the axe real quick.

Iron Axe: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 8 (-2). Might 7 (-1). Hit 75. Crit 0. 50 uses (+5).

Notable that axes, or at least this one, are quite a bit lighter. Might make them more viable if more units can use them without being weighed down as heavily.

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Alas, it doesn't help him here, as he gets shanked without further incident, leaving Eirika entirely untouched the entire map.

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And that's it for the prologue, and for this update. I've decided to keep this one short. I'll make the next one Wednesday/Thursday and post it Thursday, then do weekly updates on each Thursday. Forcing myself onto a schedule should allow me to keep a more relaxed pace in making this LP, which is probably a good idea because I'm doing a VLP of Hearts of Iron 4 at the same time.

Anyway, see you next time!
Last edited by TheMcD on Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I was able to find the bases pretty easily in FEBuilder, if you're interested.

Grand Knight's max stats is:

HP: 60, STR: 27, SKL: 26, SPD: 28, DEF: 26, RES: 28, and 25 CON.

Also, I'm all in for seeing this whole. I saw some bits of it during the early Beach days in the Discord, but not the entirety.

I suspect the rationale for all the 50 use weapons floating around in the hack is the same as why everyone all has fixed weapon ranks: because Geneology did it.

Here's hoping this doesn't burn out like the last one did.

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I have never been a fan of these hacks that overcomplicate the shit out of games, but I do vaguely remember seeing the endgame and hoo boy is that gonna be a magical time.

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Ooh, I'm excited to see this! I was excited about the Moonside LP and now I get to see what happens later!

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Well this looks interesting.

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The Flying Twybil wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:25 pm
I was able to find the bases pretty easily in FEBuilder, if you're interested.

Grand Knight's max stats is:

HP: 60, STR: 27, SKL: 26, SPD: 28, DEF: 26, RES: 28, and 25 CON.

Also, I'm all in for seeing this whole. I saw some bits of it during the early Beach days in the Discord, but not the entirety.
Thanks. I'll have to look up FEBuilder and see if that's easier to poke around with than Nightmare.

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Oh, this is going to be fun. I played this hack too after the aborted first LP, and oh boy does it get crazy. (If you think the first postgame is nuts, wait until you see the second one you need a different patch for...)

I wonder if you're playing a newer version than I did, though; I remember the prologue map being much more similar to the original game's.

This hack likes crit a lot, but also crits are nerfed to x2 damage rather than x3, so they're more often survivable than they are in most FE games. I'm not sure if this is a good change or not, it tends to make everything just that little bit more unpredictable (but also hurts low-strength, high-crit classes and makes them a lot less satisfying to use).

Almost every weapon in this game has 50 uses, IIRC the creator basically said they wanted to remove the need to carry multiple copies of the same weapon so you could have more diverse selections on a character (although I also wouldn't be terribly surprised if "Genealogy did it" is the real reason and that's just a post-hoc rationalisation). There are still some weapons that have fewer uses (siege tomes, some staves, legendary weapons) but we'll see those as they come up.

There's something interestingly weird about what's been done with Seth - his Grand Knight class is basically a combination of the best aspects of both Paladin and Great Knight (e.g. compare his caps to the other classes, in each stat his cap is the maximum value between the other classes. This means he has 5 points of cap advantage over Paladins, or 9 over GKs.) With his high starting level and slow experience gain, and those unimpressive bases, he's just not very good for the main game, though; it's really easy to get him up to speed and make him amazing in the postgame, but he's probably not worth using before that. At least you know exactly what you're getting with those growths?

Also, IIRC, Seth's combined version of the Crusade and Sentinel skills isn't strictly better than the separate versions; I don't think he gets the Terrain Res x2, or the All Damage -1, but he does get everything else. (He also gets the Paladin's 9 movement combined with the Great Knight's penalty-free rescue, he's just better at rescuing than anyone else, which is kind of fitting for his character really.)

Edit: oh, also, I saw on the SA thread that someone's linked to the official documentation. When I was playing this, I made extensive notes incorporating a lot of that information and wrote out profiles/thoughts on all the characters (I was halfway toying with the idea of trying to LP this myself but didn't end up having the energy, frankly). If you think any of that would be helpful, I can either post them in one of the threads or just send you all my notes to use as you see fit, just say the word.

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Update II - Not Quite Untouchable

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Alright, let's see what the next chapter has in store for us.

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There's a lot more enemies around here than you might be used to from vanilla. Thankfully, since only the fighters will move towards us, we're still fairly good with just "park Eirika in a forest and Seth far away and let the slaughtering begin".

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Eirika picks up another level during the stabbing, and gets even more myrmidon.

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Still, it looks like she has this well in hand.

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Reinforcements! Let's see what has changed with these two.

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Gilliam - Knight:

STATS:

LV: 4
HP: 25

STR: 9
SKL: 6
SPD: 5 (+2)
LCK: 3
DEF: 10 (+1)
RES: 3

MOV: 5 (+1)
CON: 12 (-2)

GROWTHS:

HP: 80% (-10%)

STR: 55% (+10%)
SKL: 45% (+10%)
SPD: 25% (-5%)
LCK: 30%
DEF: 50% (-5%)
RES: 25% (+5%)

Well hot fucking damn, look who got an upgrade. Yes, 5 move knights are a thing now! And not only that, but they can use axes now! Not to mention, Gilliam got some more speed to start with, which is always helpful (even if the growth loss hurts a bit). The added skill growth will help with hitting with axes, too. All in all, pretty nice boosts for Gilliam. Now, let's check one of his weapons, since we already looked at the axe.

Iron Lance: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 7 (-1). Might 6 (-2). Hit 80. Crit 0. 50 uses (+5).

Slightly weaker and slightly lighter. Not exactly a major change. Next, the other one.

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Franz - Cavalier:

STATS:

LV: 1
HP: 20

STR: 7
SKL: 5
SPD: 7
LCK: 4 (+2)
DEF: 6
RES: 1

MOV: 7
CON: 9

GROWTHS:

HP: 60% (-20%)

STR: 55% (+15%)
SKL: 40%
SPD: 55% (+5%)
LCK: 50% (+10%)
DEF: 30% (+5%)
RES: 35% (+15%)

Wow. I did not think Franz needed a buff, but I guess he got one. Who needs HP when you get basically all your other growths buffed? Back when I first played through this hack, the 4 Cav Crew featured heavily into my plans. I think there might be a repeat of that here in this playthrough. Franz is just really good.

Also, you'll note that there's a "talk" slot in the stats menu. This will show you who this particular unit can talk to. If there are multiple targets, it'll cycle after some time.

And Franz's got a new weapon for us too.

Iron Sword: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 5. Might 4 (-1). Hit 90. Crit 0. 50 uses (+4).

Meh.

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Here you can see a little speech bubble above Franz showing that Seth can talk with him. Very handy feature.

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We set up defensively and let them come. Everybody gangs up on Franz this time, I suppose because of better hit odds (in the 30s instead of around 20). Nobody really does anything.

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Gilliam takes his axe for a spin and immediately misses and gets hit in return like a dipshit. The rest of the gang does fine.

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Seth even gets in on the action and shows me both of his animations in the same battle! Good job, Seth.

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And Franz gets a good level killing the last fighter on enemy phase. Good job, Franz.

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We then move Gilliam forward to start fighting the soldiers, and let him take his axe for a spin. He's doing pretty good with it. On the other hand, these are soldiers. So, eh.

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Surprise! Six new enemies! These guys will come for you, so you might be caught a bit off guard. But still, there's plenty of good defensive terrain nearby that you can use to your advantage.

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So we just set up accordingly. We have forts, we'll use them, god damnit. Free healing!

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And after two rounds of just letting the enemy approach, this is where we're at. Things are looking pretty good.

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Eirika picks up a defensive level killing her fighter.

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And after a bit more mopping up, here's where we're at.

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Gilliam levels while trying to get rid of the last soldier...

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...while Franz tries to hit the myrmidon on a fort. I'm pretty sure this is the first time anyone's been hit so far. But Gilliam and Franz working together eventually manage to take that one out as well, leaving us with just the boss.

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Breguet's gotten a bit beefier as well. +9 HP, +1 STR, +3 SKL, +5 LCK, +6 RES, but -1 CON. I don't get why these early bosses are getting RES boosts. It's literally impossible for us to have magic here! Oh well. Breguet's still slow as fuck, though.

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Alright, Eirika. Take care of him!

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...no, Eirika. That's not how that works. That is in fact the absolute opposite of how it's supposed to work! Also, check the neat new battle window for when you have animations off.

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And then you crit on enemy phase for a one-shot. I'll take it. Both Eirika and Franz are now at 98 and 99 EXP respectively, so we'll see some levels next chapter.

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I also went and checked the houses, but they seem to be the same as vanilla.

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So let's just finish this chapter.

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Free money!

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And that'll be it for this time. Again, not too long an update, but I just wanted to get on the weekly rhythm I wanted. I'll probably end up condensing two chapters into one update next time if they end up short as well, but we'll see how that goes. See you next Thursday!

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What does talking to Seth do?

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Nothing. They have a brief conversation where Franz is like "Captain! You're okay!"

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Oh. :geno:

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Yeah, the Talk option mostly does one out of two things. Either it just shows a conversation between the characters, or it shows a conversation between the characters and then one of the characters is recruited to your crew.

So if you notice available Talks that I don't show, it's because they're the former and I'm skipping story.

Wow Seth sure has some animations;
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first there's that weird jump away, then that dead stop after jumping in (momentum? what's that?) before preparing slowly and jerkily then swinging. that preparation really needed to be way quicker (or better yet: cut out completely) for that animation to actually look good.

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No reason not to skip story, as far as I was able to tell all the story text is completely unchanged. At least until the second postgame, that has new story and wow is it a mess. (They didn't even replace the name of the one legendary weapon that has a new name in the story text.)

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Gespenst wrote:
Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:53 am
Wow Seth sure has some animations;
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first there's that weird jump away, then that dead stop after jumping in (momentum? what's that?) before preparing slowly and jerkily then swinging. that preparation really needed to be way quicker (or better yet: cut out completely) for that animation to actually look good.
It was pointed out elsewhere, but the weirdness makes a little more sense when you realize what the base for the new animation is. Grand Knight isn't a reskinned Paladin sprite (which would make sense as it was Seth's starting class in vanilla FE8), but instead it's a reskin of the Great Knight class. Which begs the question of why the hack didn't just make Seth into a Great Knight to begin with and instead opted to make him this whole new class + animation set.

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Update III - Don't Fire Emblem While Tired

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Alright, we're on the world map. Nothing has changed here. However, we have two new units to look at!

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Vanessa - Pegasus Knight:

STATS:

LV: 2 (+1)
HP: 20 (+3)

STR: 5
SKL: 8 (+1)
SPD: 11
LCK: 6 (+2)
DEF: 6
RES: 5

MOV: 7
CON: 5

GROWTHS:

HP: 50%

STR: 35%
SKL: 55%
SPD: 65% (+5%)
LCK: 55% (+5%)
DEF: 20%
RES: 40% (+10%)

Slim Lance: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 4. Might 4. Hit 90 (+5). Crit 15 (+10). 50 uses (+20).
Javelin: Rank D (formerly E). Range 1-2. Weight 10 (-1). Might 5 (-1). Hit 65. Crit 0. 50 uses (+30).

So, the first thing you'll notice is that Vanessa got herself a new haircut. Why? I don't know, and stop asking, because if you'll ask that for every change, we'll be here all day. Otherwise, Vanessa didn't see too much of a change, which I would have expected, given that she's already top tier. Then again, Franz is top tier too, and he got a buff, so again, don't ask, we'll be here all day. Vanessa mainly seems to have gotten a free level with a bit of extra HP, which will help her survive just a bit more. Nothing major on the growths either.

The slim lance got the crit boost we've already seen with the slim sword, and the javelin got possibly nerfed? It got lighter, which helps, but it lost a point of damage, which doesn't. However, the global 50 use thing seems to push it back into buff, at least as far as the "throw four javelins on one unit and just have them counter everything forever" strategy goes.

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Moulder - Priest:

STATS:

LV: 3
HP: 20

MAG: 5 (+1)
SKL: 4 (-2)
SPD: 9
LCK: 1
DEF: 3 (+1)
RES: 5

MOV: 5
CON: 9

GROWTHS:

HP: 65% (-5%)

MAG: 50% (+10%)
SKL: 45% (-5%)
SPD: 35% (-5%)
LCK: 30% (+10%)
DEF: 35% (+10%)
RES: 50% (+25%)

Heal: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 2. 50 uses (+20). Heals 10 HP + MAG / 2. Use gives 15 EXP (+4).

Seems like Moulder is getting a bit more tanky and a bit more powerful, but less accurate and fast. Which I guess is appropriate for a manly man like Moulder. Otherwise, not a lot interesting here. The light boost to EXP for healing is welcomed, should help in getting healing units up to promotion levels without spamming Barrier or Torch or whatever.

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Now, on to the actual chapter.

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This map is by and large unchanged, which is fairly uncommon. However, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. Now, let's start by looking at our recruits-to-be.

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Garcia - Fighter:

STATS:

LV: 4
HP: 28

STR: 9 (+1)
SKL: 8 (+1)
SPD: 7
LCK: 4
DEF: 6
RES: 1

MOV: 5
CON: 12 (-2)

GROWTHS:

HP: 75% (-10%)

STR: 60% (-5%)
SKL: 40%
SPD: 30% (+10%)
LCK: 40%
DEF: 40% (+15%)
RES: 20% (+5%)

Hand Axe: Rank D (formerly E). Range 1-2. Weight 11 (-1). Might 7. Hit 60. Crit 0. 50 uses (+30).

Garcia seems to have been made a lot more well-rounded, gaining growths in his weak points and losing them in his strong points. A 50% increase in speed growth in particular (in that his rate went from 20% to 30%, increased by 10 percent points) is very welcome. He has however lost some weight and will be weighed down by some high tier axes, which seems to point towards Hero for his promotion choice.

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Ross - Journeyman:

STATS:

LV: 1
HP: 15

STR: 5
SKL: 4 (+2)
SPD: 5 (+2)
LCK: 8
DEF: 3
RES: 0

MOV: 4
CON: 8

GROWTHS:

HP: 65% (-5%)

STR: 45% (-5%)
SKL: 50% (+15%)
SPD: 45% (+15%)
LCK: 50% (+10%)
DEF: 30% (+5%)
RES: 25% (+5%)

Slim Axe: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 5. Might 5. Hit 85. Crit 15. 50 uses.

Ross is in a lot better position than he is in vanilla. Boosts to skill and speed right off the bat help him hit and not get doubled / possibly double himself, which will help him gain EXP and get over that early difficulty curve of surviving to his first promotion. His growths overall have gotten a good boost, and much like with his father, the big speed boost is very welcome. And as you might have noticed, Ross has a completely new weapon: A slim axe. This essentially replaces his hatchet, and while he doesn't get a light 1-2 range option, as with the other slim weapons, the crit boost will be very helpful.

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So, we start with the usual moves for this chapter. Pick up Garcia...

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...get some stuff from the villages...

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...Eirika proves herself to be a Master Of Disguise (and gets a red gem)...

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...and the rest of the gang moves forward.

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...uh, hang on.

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...right. I was supposed to rescue *Ross*, not Garcia. I, uh, kinda fell asleep at the wheel there. Let's try that again, this time with, uh, less derp.

Resets: 1

Yeah, we're keeping track. This number is going up eventually.

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There. Turn 1 done, and this time I actually went and rescued Ross.

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Nothing much going on turn 2 either. Recruited Ross and kept moving forward.

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Turn 3, Seth starts moving towards the village, Vanessa rescues Garcia for eventual recruiting, and the rest gets ready to fight, with Franz taking point on the fort with a sword.

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Eirika keeps getting myrmidonier.

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Franz, meanwhile, just gets better.

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Surprise! Of course this map has a few more extra reinforcements, and they additionally mix up the weapon triangle situation on this map, going from very axe-focused to still axe-focused, but with everything else mixed in just to make things a bit more complicated. The myrmidon makes it more difficult to get the village, since he spawns right in front of it, but I don't think Seth will have any trouble.

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So we split up. Garcia and Ross head for the soldiers, Eirika takes the reinforcement brigand, Seth keeps going for the village, and Franz takes the rest of the brigands. Vanessa and Gilliam just kinda hang around.

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Surprise! The reinforcements were so nice, we do them twice! Things are actually getting a bit crowded. Thankfully, weapon triangle advantage will help us deal with basically everything.

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One turn later, and things are a lot more cleaned up.

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Ross gets a kinda crappy level cleaning up a soldier.

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Seth picks up some stuff I'll probably sell, and we're now down to just the boss. And I hope he won't go for Seth, but for Franz, because I kinda want him to get that EXP.

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Speaking of the boss, he gets +2 STR, -1 SKL, +3 SPD, +6 LCK and +4 RES compared to his vanilla hard mode counterpart. Not too shabby.

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Thankfully, he does go for Franz.

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Then Eirika and Franz soften him up some more. Vanessa misses a 27 hit javelin chance for a kill, so I just end turn and let the guy pick his death.

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He picks Eirika.

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Eirika, you have a 45% strength growth. FUCKING HIT IT.

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And that'll be it for this chapter. I guess I'll stick with one chapter per update for now. If I build up too much of a backlog, I can always post faster. Anyway, see you next time, when we get a new map again!

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If Eirika becomes Erina, I wonder what the others' fake mercenary names would be? Ross becomes Noss? Franz becomes Dranz?

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Update IV - Eirika Lacks The Strength To Carry On

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Welcome back! So, Eirika got some stuff yoinked and we're getting it back now.

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This chapter's map has seen quite the overhaul again.

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This map has been drastically expanded from the original. Lots more enemies. This hack has a lot more EXP to go around.

Now, we have a new party member!

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Neimi - Archer:

STATS:

LV: 1
HP: 20 (+3)

STR: 5 (+1)
SKL: 5
SPD: 6
LCK: 5 (+1)
DEF: 3
RES: 2

MOV: 6
CON: 6

GROWTHS:

HP: 50% (-5%)

STR: 45%
SKL: 50%
SPD: 60%
LCK: 55% (+5%)
DEF: 20% (+5%)
RES: 40% (+5%)

Not a lot has changed here. Neimi got ever so slightly more survivable in the early on by getting a few points of HP but losing it in the long term because of growths. She also has a very slight boost to defensive stats. Meh. As for the weapons...

Iron Bow: Rank E. Range 2. Weight 5. Might 5 (-1). Hit 90 (+5). Crit 0. 50 uses.
Slim Bow: Rank E (formerly D). Range 2. Weight 3. Might 3 (-2). Hit 100 (+15). Crit 15 (+5). 50 uses.

The slim bow stats are relative to the short bow, in case you're wondering. It seems low level bows are being made more accurate here. Not sure the slim bow fills a real niche here since nobody needs a super low weight bow to not be weighed down, but I guess the 15 crit makes it interesting as a smaller brother to the killer bow.

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The welcoming committee is dispatched relatively easily, though the mage gets to attack one more time. However, his magic stat is pretty low (2), so he's not a real threat either.

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Some brigands show up next and are dispatched by their arch nemesis: People With Swords.

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Franz apparently shit his pants at seeing that mage and decided he needs to prepare for magic above all.

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Colm shows up after the next enemy phase, but with the camera at his previous spawn point.

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However, he starts in the completely opposite corner.

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Next, some soldiers try their luck and don't fare much better than the brigands.

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While moving up, we pick up Colm. And with that, let's take a look at him.

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Colm - Thief:

STATS:

LV: 2
HP: 20 (+2)

STR: 4
SKL: 4
SPD: 10
LCK: 8
DEF: 3
RES: 1

MOV: 6
CON: 6

GROWTHS:

HP: 60% (-15%)

STR: 40%
SKL: 40%
SPD: 60% (-5%)
LCK: 55% (+10%)
DEF: 25%
RES: 20%

...well. Those sure are some stats, I guess. I mean, that's really not a lot changed. At least Neimi had it spread around a bit more.

Iron Sword: Rank E. Range 1. Weight 5. Might 4 (-1). Hit 90. Crit 0. 50 uses.

Iron sword nerf! Alrighty then. That's not going to help Colm get levels. I guess he doesn't really need them?

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Ross gets some more speed whacking around those stationary soldiers since he needs the training.

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We spend two turns getting everybody caught up to move into the next room with these stationary enemies. Sword guys are more fearsome than axe guys or lance guys right now, though a coordinated assault is probably still more than they can handle.

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Neimi gets some strength taking out the myrmidon.

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A myrmidon comes and joins the fun, and while the archer does move, the mercenary stays put.

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Franz misses a 94 because he can.

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Still, the barrels do give us a lot of opportunity to keep vulnerable units safe - not that the mercenary would have moved if he had the opportunity to smack Neimi around, but whatever.

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Gilliam gets to hit even harder after the myrmidon suicided on him by way of doing no damage.

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We start moving forward again, with Vanessa taking some snipes at a myrmidon because she can. Again, not a lot of movement on these guys. This will change fairly soon.

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Vanessa gets some strength, and really, that's all she needs this early.

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We steal the gold the archer would've dropped anyway. I now know that stealing gives 20 EXP.

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A bit of splitting up ensues to go and grab all the chests.

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Eirika lures out a brigand, and... STRENGTH! STREEEEEEEEENGTH! FUCKING GET IT!

Anyway, Franz kills the brigand with Bazba, so let's see how Franz does against Bazba himself.

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...could be a lot better, honestly. Let's take a look.

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Steel Axe: Rank D (formerly E). Range 1. Weight 11 (-4). Might 10 (-1). Hit 70 (+5). Crit 0. 50 uses (+20).

Dang. Bazba gets +7 HP, +1 STR, +2 SKL, +3 LCK and +5 RES compared to his vanilla hard mode counterpart, and more importantly, the steel axe doesn't weigh him down any more, so that makes him a bit harder to double, as Franz has just realized. And that addition to his HP will make him harder to whittle down too. Let's just let Franz wait and see what happens.

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...I don't think this is sustainable.

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Franz gets another attempt after getting healed up while Ross and Eirika clear the way for Colm to rob those chests, and, uh, not going well.

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At least he'll hit harder.

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Ross gets faster.

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While Franz gets healed, I check how Garcia does, and, uh, no. Eirika might be our best bet here.

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Meanwhile, Colm pilfers chests.

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And he finds this!

Dragon Tear: Adds +10% to every stat growth rate.

Oh yes. Double Metis's Tome. This is very handy. Also, this won't be the only one of these we find in the early game. This will let us choose a few units to turn into real shit wreckers.

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As such, Vanessa is the one that gets the first of these.

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Thing of beauty.

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Also, meanwhile, Franz is like one for four on dodging these steel axes.

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So because Franz is incompetent, Eirika picks up the slack. Even without getting strength.

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And being incredibly gracious, she even sets up the kill for Franz.

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Double digit strength and speed, that's pretty good.

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Colm nabs an angelic robe as well.

Angelic Robe: Raises maximum HP by 5 (-2).

Huh. Angelic robe nerf. Not sure why that's a thing, but OK, whatever.

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I stick it on Ross, since he's got the lowest HP in the crew right now, and so he can use an early boost.

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And that'll be it for this map!

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See you next time, when we get to fight some monsters and see to it that we do not become monsters.

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I love Vanessa, I hope she gets super swole.

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Yeah, that's about how things turn out with Eirika for me in vanilla FE8. She gets skill and speed constantly, but becomes deathly allergic to getting strength.

Oh hey we're getting a look at why I generally dislike the high speed/skill archetype, because they live or die by their strength growth and it's all to easy for them to end up garbage for everything except assassinating mages.

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Update V - Monster Mash

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Alright, time for the first monster chapter.

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It's gone a lot more vertical than before, and has three branches for us to take care of: The two paths to the boss, and the Ross Training Zone on the right.

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I tagged in Artur for Colm, since there's nothing to steal here. And with that, let's take a look at him.

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Artur - Monk:

STATS:

LV: 3 (+1)
HP: 21 (+2)

MAG: 6
SKL: 7 (+1)
SPD: 8
LCK: 5 (+3)
DEF: 3 (+1)
RES: 7 (+1)

MOV: 5
CON: 6

GROWTHS:

HP: 60% (+5%)

MAG: 40% (-10%)
SKL: 50%
SPD: 50% (+10%)
LCK: 25%
DEF: 20% (+5%)
RES: 50% (-5%)

Lightning: Rank E. Range 1-2. Weight 6. Might 4. Hit 100 (+5). Crit 15 (+10). 50 uses (+15).

Artur seems to have gotten a bit of help on defense and with his horrible luck. He's also trading magic for speed, which can be helpful, especially given what is happening with light magic.

Light magic has been given full permission to become The Crit Magic, and as such, even the lowly Lightning gets 15 crit. Spoilers: Yes, I know what you're thinking, and yes, that means that Purge now has 20 crit. I'm looking forward to running into that.

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Neimi hails Satan with her level. At least it's speed.

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Artur starts off by double critting this monster.

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Garcia keeps working on his accuracy.

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And Moulder gets in on the leveling as well. I think I missed one of his levels in an earlier update, but it was garbage anyway.

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And with that, we set up and see what comes our way.

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Artur double crits again and murders the fuck out of this zombie. Alas, his streak ends after that.

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Nothing much else, but we get our reinforcements - two skeletons to the right and two zombies in the bottom left. Those skeleton reinforcements are of particular interest to me, because as you might remember from the map, I have plans for them.

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Ross is going to set up and fight these skeletons, particularly the iron lance guys, with Franz and Neimi for support for the iron sword ones. Everybody else will move down south and slog through the zombies.

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Artur gets a mediocre level.

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Gilliam becomes even more impenetrable to these monsters.

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L'Arachel makes her appearance and bails as usual.

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More reinforcements. It's gonna get crowded.

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We set up the Ross Training Zone and everybody else moves up. Can't help but feel that Vanessa placement might have been a bit overeager though.

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At least she makes us proud of having given her that Dragon Tear.

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Ross starts his training.

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Even more reinforcements. And yeah, that Vanessa placement looks a bit rough now. Good thing she can just bail and get healed by Moulder.

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Gilliam gets ready to move to that area over to the right on his own to clear it out, since he's basically invulnerable to anything but the eyes.

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Another Ross level on the next enemy phase.

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Reinforcements keep coming. We're probably bogged down here for a bit. Well, except for Gilliam.

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Another Ross level.

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Garcia gets more fit for monster clubbing while fighting the zombie horde on the left.

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Gilliam does his thing. The reinforcements stop on this turn, so we should be able to push forward soon.

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Another Ross level.

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Gilliam keeps being more Gilliam.

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At this point, Garcia, Vanessa and Artur have largely cleared out the zombies. Franz also starts moving out since Ross can deal with the remaining enemies on his own.

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Another Ross level. Only one to go!

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And Moulder levels up too for good measure. I didn't even notice he was this fast.

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So now everybody starts moving forward while Vanessa javelins the snag, and Gilliam has the right side completely cleared out now and will be moving forward as well.

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Two turns later, Vanessa has Ross in tow and everbody else is ready to move.

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Ross is set up to bait out a zombie and gain his last level of the map. I'll get to decide on what to promote him to next map.

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Franz gets another good level on wiping out the zombie Ross damaged. He's looking like a Waterside Renvall promotion target right about now.

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Vanessa keeps getting stronger on enemy phase while clearing out the area around the village that Lute is in.

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See? All cleared out.

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Oh. Fucking reinforcements. I guess Gilliam can take all those skeletons on, and Franz can clear out the zombies.

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We also start plinking at the boss because hey, free EXP.

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Some of the skeletons try their luck with Artur, but they don't do well.

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Franz picks up Lute, and that means it's time to look at our other new unit!

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Lute - Mage:

STATS:

LV: 5 (+4)
HP: 20 (+3)

MAG: 9 (+3)
SKL: 8 (+2)
SPD: 8 (+1)
LCK: 8
DEF: 2
RES: 8 (+3)

MOV: 5
CON: 6 (+3)

GROWTHS:

HP: 50% (+5%)

MAG: 55% (-10%)
SKL: 30%
SPD: 45%
LCK: 45%
DEF: 25% (+15%)
RES: 35% (-5%)

Fire: Rank E. Range 1-2. Weight 4. Might 5. Hit 90. Crit 0. 50 uses (+10).
Thunder: Rank D. Range 1-2. Weight 6. Might 7 (-1). Hit 80. Crit 5. 50 uses (+15).

Alright, looks like we have our first major level boost. Lute gained four whole levels (even if they were mostly bad levels, looking at the stats she gained), and as such should require a fair bit less babying to get up to speed because, well, she's already fully up to speed. Not to mention she's bulked up quite a bit and now no longer gets weighed down by fucking Fire like a literal child.

As for anima magic, doesn't look like it's changed a lot yet. I mean, Thunder got very slightly weakened, I guess to maybe reign in its status as the best anima tome in general.

Anyway, nothing much else happens that turn.

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Gilliam status: Pretty good. Though we do need to send Vanessa in to help out with the eye, because it's dealing decent damage.

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We give the kill on the boss to Lute because why not.

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And finally, Artur and Garcia help out in cleaning out the last group of enemies.

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One more decent level to play us out.

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And that's it for this chapter! Next time, another two new units, and things get a bit tougher in parts.

Looking at your Eirika hurts. Only rarely have my Eirikas not been little murder machines. A good amount of my runs of SS have had her cap Strength, Skill, and Speed, ensuring that anyone who even looks at her funny gets turned into a stain on the ground.

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TheMcD wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:21 pm
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Ah, the blink animation. The gift that never fails to disappoint. :allears:

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Update VI - The Boss Box Begins

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Alright, this map is where you'll start actually possibly running into some trouble.

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But before that, we have a promotion decision to make.

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There's a few routes I could go with Ross, but ultimately, I want him to be a Berserker. We can go over why once it actually becomes more relevant.

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I guess the gain to CON is useful here. The patch notes say that this promotion should have gained an extra point in SPD and RES over what we actually got, so meh.

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Moulder and Neimi sit this one out in favor of Lute and Natasha. Poor Neimi... I'll probably have to give her some tower grinding if I ever want her to go anywhere. Also, as a side note, I've been passing around the Star Seal to whoever I think could benefit from it the most. Previously, it was on Ross for his training, now it's on Vanessa. Now, on to the map.

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And before we get going, a look at our new unit!

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Natasha - Cleric:

STATS:

LV: 3 (+2)
HP: 21 (+3)

MAG: 3 (+1)
SKL: 5 (+1)
SPD: 8
LCK: 7 (+1)
DEF: 3 (+1)
RES: 8 (+2)

MOV: 5
CON: 4

GROWTHS:

HP: 50%

MAG: 60%
SKL: 25%
SPD: 45% (+5%)
LCK: 60%
DEF: 20% (+5%)
RES: 50% (-5%)

Mend: Rank E (formerly D). Range 1. Weight 4. 25 uses (+5). Heals 20 HP + MAG / 2. Use gives 20 EXP (+8).

Oh hey, something that doesn't have 50 uses. I guess a 50 use Mend would be kinda nuts. Anyway, Natasha has been leveled up a bit to make raising her less of a pain in the ass, and her using her staff gives nearly double the EXP that it used to, so that's going to help a lot as well.

I'm still not sure if Natasha or Moulder will be my primary healer. Disregarding for a moment that L'Arachel will be the primary healer, anyway. Either way, I believe whoever of the two it is will be sticking along a lot as a Bishop regardless.

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Seth goes to the first village, and would you look at that? Another Dragon Tear.

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This one's going on Franz. That should turn him into even more of a wrecking ball than he already is.

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We set up in some sort of half-assed defensive formating to let the enemies come to us, because there's a fair share of them.

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Nothing much on enemy phase, but on player phase, we have four cavs ready to strike, alongside an archer, and the nearby fighters will be ready to get involved when we meet the cavs in combat.

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Ross takes out the archer to clear the way for Vanessa to get involved, and Garcia and Lute combine to take out a cav, netting Lute this solid level.

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Franz takes out another cav and gets faster and sturdier. Sturdy is good.

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Gilliam and Artur take out another cav.

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Seth plugs the hole in the line, and Vanessa picks up this helpful item. Spoilers: It's going on Lute later. She's got, like, no defense. But first, we need to get through this enemy phase.

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Franz kills a guy.

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Franz kills another guy.

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Franz dies. GG.

Resets: 2

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Alright, second attempt. This time, we set up more defensively, allowing us to fight the moving enemies without bringing the fighters into the mix as well. Also, the reinforcements from the left corners come on this next turn, and I want to have everybody together to deal with that as well. Also, just to notice, there's single cav reinforcements coming from where the two cavs each were at the beginning, so that's something additional we get to deal with trickling in.

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Franz levels up worse this time around, but doesn't kill the cav he's fighting, so he's safe for now, which I prefer.

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As such, the situation on next player phase is a lot better than "dead Franz". However, we do have four brigands coming down on us next enemy phase, so we need to deal with that pretty quick. Eirika should be able to deal with one group pretty well, and Franz gets to go and deal with the other group after getting healed up.

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Lute levels on taking out a cav.

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Artur takes one out as well and gets a far better level.

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And we leave the situation like this. As long as the brigands don't mess us up, we should be good for now.

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Eirika is trying to set a world record in Not Getting Strength, and she's doing great!

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Franz is doing great in taking out his brigands (albeit while getting hit by both of them like the fucking putz with a deathwish he seems to be), while Eirika really struggles even dealing damage to one of them. Mind, still being at base strength might do that, but still...

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Basically everybody gangs up on Ross, but he lives, so it's fine. We can mop up on player phase.

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And mop up we do. Ross retreats to get healed while Franz returns to the fray. Eirika still has some work to do. We largely set up defensively and let those last two cavs come to us and to let Eirika clean up her second brigand.

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A job she kinda fucking sucks at, to be honest. It's a brigand! Why is he so tough?

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I guess we need the rapier for this job then.

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Vanessa is going to wreck a lot of shit.

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We clean up the remaining cavs. Also, you'll notice a bit of a line developing for Natasha to heal. Oh well, we have time, we're not playing for rank.

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Gilliam and Franz set up in forests to bait out the fighter. The two Gilliam fights are almost dead, the two Franz fights are dead. Good work all around.

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At this point I get curious and take a look at the enemy wyverns, and they look pretty tough. Good thing it's only two.

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Also, they can't fly over these walls here, so they can't just surprise you like that. With that, Gilliam and Franz move out to start fighting those mercenaries. Everybody else piles in behind them.

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Natasha gets her first level. More magic!

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Next player phase, Franz levels on killing the merc he was assigned.

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Lute and Vanessa take care of the merc up top, since Gilliam has come down with a case of The Miss. Instead he's luring out the archer. Everybody else again moves up behind. This enemy phase, two pegs and two cavs spawn in from the right, just in case you thought they were done with reinforcements. Of course not. We'll probably have to deal with them before we can safely recruit Joshua.

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As Lute kills the archer, it should be noted that a lot of enemies drop weapons as well. So we get a lot of iron weapons kinda just thrown at us to toss into the convoy eventually. That's a lot better than the 5 gold the others usually drop!

Now, since we're getting close to him, let's take a look at Joshua.

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Joshua - Myrmidon:

STATS:

LV: 7 (+2)
HP: 25 (+1)

STR: 8
SKL: 14 (+1)
SPD: 14
LCK: 7
DEF: 6 (+1)
RES: 4 (+2)

MOV: 5
CON: 7 (-1)

GROWTHS:

HP: 65% (-15%)

STR: 45% (+10%)
SKL: 50% (-5%)
SPD: 55%
LCK: 30%
DEF: 25% (+5%)
RES: 25% (+5%)

Killing Edge: Rank C. Rank 1. Weight 7. Might 8 (-1). Hit 75. Crit 30. 50 uses (+30).

Joshua didn't exactly get a lot of stats in the two levels he's gained in here, and that loss in CON isn't great as well, that'll hurt him more with a lot of the better swords available. However, I guess you can just give him whatever Killing Edges you have available and just let him wreck with those, he doesn't get weighed down by them, and the 50 uses now make one Edge go a lot further.

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Also, apparently I misremembered, as I set Gilliam with an iron axe onto a forest in range of Joshua. Looks like I want to get the recruiting done with before the reinforcements roll in.

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Joshua can't exactly pose much of a threat to Gilliam.

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And there we go, we got ourselves a Joshua!

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We let Gilliam take point and see what happens.

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For one, the wyverns show up, but they don't look all that scary against Gilliam.

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But we kinda do need to deal with a lot of these enemies, because bless his heart, Gilliam isn't quite capable of doubling and killing.

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He's working on it, though!

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Artur might hit double digits on the offensive stats soon, which is nice.

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Ross is also working towards that, albeit still missing skill.

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We set up a kind of half-assed defensive formation with Eirika having to take a hit because that tile above Gilliam is actually a "fence", not a "wall", so the pegs can fly over it. Thankfully I checked, or else Natasha would've probably taken the hit.

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And with it being a crit, I don't think Natasha would have survived it.

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And on our next player phase, our defensive formation looks kinda weak. But hey, nobody died. We can figure out the rest later.

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And figure it out we did! Nobody's close to dying that can be reached by enemies, and we plugged the gaps in our line. Now we can wait out the last few cavs and pegs, then deal with the boss.

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Ross gets a great level on the next player phase - essentially perfect since he'll cap strength anyway.

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And there we go. Everything cleaned out. Most enemies just suicided on enemy phase (Franz can double the pegs, which is nice), and two needed some extra convincing on player phase.

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Now, we move Gilliam and Franz into enemy range. And... nothing happens. Yeah, the rest of these units just doesn't move. This is a thing this hack does as well - some enemies just won't move. This creates what I called "The Boss Box", which is also a thing this hack does occasionally - a boss that doesn't move, surrounded by enemies that don't move. Now, this is a sound tactical concept in theory, but what kind of hurts it is that there are no 1-3 range weapons that the boss could use to snipe units that attack the box enemies from range. Then it'd turn into an actual potential dilemma where you might have to rescuedrop to get units to safety and carefully approach the box. As is, we can just kill the regular units from range, then attack the boss with impunity. Especially since the soldiers here don't have javelins and can be sniped freely.

And so that's what we're doing.

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We also pick up some items from the villages. So like I said in the map, the villages are really safe. The only brigand spawns spawn behind you and are practically forced to move straight through your units to get to the villages, so you'd have to try incredibly hard to get them to loot them.

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Garcia levels while taking out the soldiers. And with the soldiers largely taken out...

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We let Ross wait in front of the boss. I think he's got this. Speaking of the boss, let's look at him.

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+8 HP, +1 STR, +1 SKL, +2 SPD, +1 LCK and +3 RES compared to his hard mode counterpart. Beefy, but not unkillable. And while he does have his Physic buddy back there, Franz is going to take care of that problem next turn. Also...

Javelin: Rank D (formerly E). Range 1-2. Weight 10 (-1). Might 5 (-1). Hit 65. Crit 0. 50 uses (+30).

So, Javelins got slightly weaker, slightly lighter, but the big thing again is the 50 uses. Loading somebody overpowered up with Javelins and just letting them murder everything is still totally viable. Alas, Saar is not overpowered.

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And so, Ross and Saar take a few turns whacking each other around - or rather, Saar misses a bunch while Ross always hits and occasionally crits.

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And Ross hits double digits on everything except resistance at level 4 with that. Nice.

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And we get a Guiding Ring on top of that!

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That'll be it for this time. Next time, we get to run around with Ephraim for a bit!
Last edited by TheMcD on Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Well with the way things work in GBA FEs with regard to staves, Mend could either 1) have 50 uses and cost 5000G which ugh or it could 2) not give 5 more EXP/use than Heal which would suck a little in the cases where it is actually worth breaking out, so it not having 50 uses is pretty understandable.

Also good lord, 7 levels with 0 strength gains on Eirika, that's some of the worst luck I've ever seen.

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Small typo here with the Killing Edge's description (bolded below):
Killing Edge: Rank C. Ranke 1. Weight 7. Might 8 (-1). Hit 75. Crit 30. 50 uses (+30).

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Update VII - Breaking News: Ephraim Still Good

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Alright, let's see what Ephraim is up to.

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This map doesn't seem to have gotten much of an upgrade in difficulty, but I guess since the units haven't had the opportunity to profit from the extra EXP from the extra enemies, you can't really kick it up that much.

Now, let's take a look at our units.

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Ephraim - Lord:

STATS:

LV: 8 (+4)
HP: 25 (+2)

STR: 10 (+2)
SKL: 11 (+2)
SPD: 12 (+1)
LCK: 9 (+1)
DEF: 8 (+1)
RES: 5 (+3)

MOV: 5
CON: 8

GROWTHS:

HP: 65% (-15%)

STR: 55%
SKL: 50% (-5%)
SPD: 45%
LCK: 55% (+5%)
DEF: 35%
RES: 25%

Noble Lance: Rank Prf (Ephraim only). Range 1. Weight 8. Might 10. Hit 90 (+10). Crit 15 (+5). 50 uses. (+5) Effective against cavalry and armor.

So, Ephraim got slightly worse with his growths, and his auto-levels have slightly worse luck with much better resistance. I'd say it's a wash, which means he's still regular old Ephraim. Which means he's still a wrecking ball. And his Prf weapon got even better, which is also a boost.

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Kyle - Cavalier:

STATS:

LV: 8 (+3)
HP: 28 (+3)

STR: 10 (+2)
SKL: 7 (+1)
SPD: 9 (+2)
LCK: 6
DEF: 11 (+2)
RES: 2 (+1)

MOV: 7
CON: 9 (-1)

GROWTHS:

HP: 80% (-10%)

STR: 55% (+5%)
SKL: 50% (+10%)
SPD: 40%
LCK: 25% (+5%)
DEF: 40% (+15%)
RES: 20%

Steel Lance: Rank D. Range 1. Weight 10 (-3). Might 9 (-1). Hit 75 (+5). Crit 0. 50 uses (+20).

Kyle seems to be boosted towards being more like what you imagine a green cav to be like - boosts to strength and particularly towards defense. He did get a bit lighter though, which isn't that handy, but it more than evens out with the steel lance getting much lighter.

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Forde - Cavalier:

STATS:

LV: 8 (+2)
HP: 26 (+2)

STR: 8 (+1)
SKL: 9 (+1)
SPD: 11 (+3)
LCK: 7
DEF: 9 (+1)
RES: 5 (+3)

MOV: 7
CON: 9

GROWTHS:

HP: 70% (-10%)

STR: 40%
SKL: 50% (+5%)
SPD: 55% (+10%)
LCK: 40% (+5%)
DEF: 25% (+5%)
RES: 40% (+15%)

Forde has seen a big boost to his speed and his resistance. Will it help him be not disappointing all the time? We'll have to see. 55% speed growth is pretty crazy, to be honest. It'll help a lot with the raised Paladin speed cap.

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Orson - Paladin:

STATS:

LV: 10 (+7)
HP: 40 (+6)

STR: 15
SKL: 13
SPD: 16 (+5)
LCK: 4
DEF: 14 (+1)
RES: 12 (+5)

MOV: 9 (+1)
CON: 12

GROWTHS:

HP: 80%

STR: 55%
SKL: 45%
SPD: 40%
LCK: 25%
DEF: 45%
RES: 30%

CAPS:

HP: 60

STR: 24 (-1)
SKL: 26
SPD: 28 (+4)
LCK: 30
DEF: 24 (-1)
RES: 28 (+3)

SKILL:

Crusade:
- Equipped weapon's Might x2 against Mages, Magic Beasts, Zombies, Skeletons and Dragon Zombies
- Terrain magic RES bonus x2
- +5 crit

Silver Sword: Rank C (formerly A). Range 1. Weight 8. Might 11 (-2). Hit 75 (-5). Crit 0. 50 uses (+30).

So, Orson. The chapter really could have been made more perilous since the player could always lean on Orson, who's gotten a great boost to speed that makes him even better. Not that I'll be doing that - I have him on designated chest opener duty with his 9 move.

Also, note the new Paladin caps. More speed is really important here, and Paladins getting 9 move is also pretty great. In my first playthrough, I had Franz, Kyle, Forde and Amelia all as Paladins.

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In the early going, the cavs do a lot of the work since we've got a fair amount of axe users mucking about. Note, we're going to be burning through a lot of our vulneraries here. There's going to be a lot of attrition going on, and we'll need to heal a lot.

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Ephraim gets his first action taking out a soldier.

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As we move down towards the knight to get that key, it becomes noticeable that Forde's speed boost compared to Kyle has Forde doubling where Kyle doesn't. But since we're largely moving slow again, it's not that big a deal.

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Ephraim still opens cans like no other.

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And then, because I'm a dipshit, I get to toss an iron lance because of full inventory. Oh well, we still have Orson's 50 use silver sword and silver lance to go around that everyone can use because the weapon rank change.

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Somebody's going to face weapon triangle disadvantage here on enemy phase, but I'm sure it'll be fine, these guys aren't super deadly.

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And in fact nothing at all happened. Forde had two enemies miss, and Kyle took no damage from the myrmidon.

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Kyle levels up on the cleanup.

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Kyle and Forde again set up for some incoming enemies.

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Forde gains a very Forde level.

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And in the end, this got fairly hairy. If Forde had not missed a counter on the cav, I think the one cav in the corner was only one tile short of getting a shot at a kill. I did not consider this possibility at all.

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Ephraim just gets better by killing an archer. Also, the archers are the ones that hold the chest keys. Orson gets to grab that, but sticks around to maybe be an unarmed target for enemies.

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Alas, the enemies don't bite. Though they then attack Ephraim, who just wrecks them.

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Forde sets up to save us some time by taking out the other archer from across the wall with his javelin, so we get the chest key quicker.

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Orson gets the first chest, and would you look at that, another Dragon Tear!

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Forde gets preference in taking on mages, with decent resistance and the only ranged weapon in the group so far.

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And then, like a dipshit, I move Ephraim down so much that he gets in range of three magic users and kinda gets fucked up a bit.

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So for now, we set up in a way to stay away from those pesky shamans, because those can do some decent damage.

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Ephraim gets everything he needs on taking out a mage.

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Orson catches up with the main crew, and I give the Dragon Tear to Forde because I feel like it.

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We keep moving forward. The fighters and soldiers here all have ranged weapons.

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Forde, despite doping, is still Forde, it seems.

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Orson moves in and draws a fair amount of fire, including a shaman. Ephraim takes a hit in taking out the shaman, leaving him in a slightly precarious situation.

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Thankfully, Orson can still rescue just fine.

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Orson then picks up the second treasure with Ephraim in tow...

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...while the cavs get to work on cleaning out the chaff.

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And so eventually we're left with a shaman and the boss.

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Kyle burns through his entire vulnerary on this chapter.

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And Forde deals with the shaman, so let's look at the boss.

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+13 HP, +2 STR, +5 SKL, +3 SPD, -5 LCK, +3 DEF and +1 RES compared to vanilla hard mode. Looks like this hack really likes its bosses with at least 40 HP.

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The speed basically makes Kyle a non-starter.

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But in the end, Ephraim is all you need. So we just let him pop a vulnerary and sit in front of the boss.

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Forde gets another Forde level after taking a javelin shot at the boss.

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And on the third round of combat, Ephraim gets bored and crits the shit out of Zonta.

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And one more blah level to play us out.

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Let's just get out of here.

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Next time, we head to the earlygame chapter renowned for being a pain in the ass. Will this hack change that, or even make it worse? We will see...

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I've said it before, Ephraim is just fantasy Rambo.

He's always just going to kick ass with those stats and that spear.

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The Flying Twybil wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:11 pm
I've said it before, Ephraim is just fantasy Rambo.

He's always just going to kick ass with those stats and that spear.
Now I need to hear Greg Chun do his best Stallone impression.

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Phew! Just caught up with this LP. The hack looks still really interesting so far.

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ThomasFub wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 6:00 pm
Ok im not sure i understand the Plus-Minus stat for the players. Im guessing its your good numbers ie Scores Minus your bad number to get the plus-minus score is that correct or does it mean somthing totally different?


Sorry for the Noob questions = P
I believe that's just what they are relative to the original game, since this is a romhack.

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Yeah. The plus/minus is what was changed compared to the original game.

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Update VIII - Here Actually Not Be Any Dragons

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Alright. This chapter is usually a stumbling block in the regular game. How does it fare here?

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Well, it's a lot different. Not a lot to see so far, but I'm liking what there is to see. Not surrounded from the start, villagers can be accessed so the time limit for the reward can be worked around.

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We'll start by sending Seth forward to suck up all the scary stuff that lurks in the fog. Eventually, that won't be viable anymore, so I'll milk it a bit here.

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Everybody else moves up a bit behind him. Nobody here we can attack, anyway.

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Vanessa greets one of the cavs that show up.

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And Franz greets the other one.

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Surprise! Eclipse guy somewhere in the fog!

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Also, this guy has Physic! And he actually moves so he can actually make use of it! Man, the enemy gets a lot of toys here.

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Vanessa gets ready to snipe the village and get back again lest there be some sort of archer hiding around there, and we spot the Eclipse guy. Also, while we're here:

Flux: Rank E (formerly D). Range 1-2. Weight 8. Might 9 (+2). Hit 80. Crit 0. 50 uses.
Eclipse: Rank C (formerly B). Range 3-10. Weight 20 (+8). Might N/A. Hit 55 (+25). Crit 0. 5 uses. Halves target's HP. Uncounterable. Cannot double.

Jeez, that's a big hit buff for Eclipse, and Flux got a good bit stronger.

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OK, now you're just being an asshole, Eirika. 45% growth!

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Colm was the only one with range to hit this cav, so I checked. Then I remembered he was Colm.

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I moved Colm out to get some more sight radius. He then got attacked by a cav and then the Eclipse guy in that order. Which is good, because if the Eclipse guy hit and attacked first, he would've died. Oh well.

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Vanessa gets the Orion's Bolt from the village, which means the reward changed.

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Natasha heals Ross for 1 HP instead of healing Colm. Oh well.

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She gets an acceptable level out of it.

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Garcia makes sure we don't have to deal with this Physic guy any longer.

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And Artur gets speedier in taking out that last cav.

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The crew moves along after largely dealing with two knights. Seth is going to move forward and make sure the civilians are safe next turn.

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And in doing so runs smack dab into some myrmidons. Oh well, those guys are dead now.

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We then proceed to form a conga line along the bridges. Also, I sure hope that Vanessa doesn't die. This might've been a mistake.

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Turns out she was fine, myrmidons did like 2 damage. But now the spider showed up.

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I elect to scout out if there's another spider anywhere in lieu of attacking it, letting it attack on enemy phase.

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I didn't even check the stats, but hey, it worked out fine.

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We set up to meet this enemy group in battle, and... nothing happens. These random groups of enemies that just do not move sprinkled in really keep you on your toes.

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Ross is kinda nuts, not gonna lie. Can't take a spell worth a lick, but that's about it.

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Vanessa is speed.

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I move Gilliam out a bit further, wondering if that's a mistake. He then gets attacked by a fighter, takes 4 damage, and kills with a crit in return. I think he'll be fine. Besides, he doesn't get attacked by a lot.

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Another enemy phase later and we suddenly have a whole lot to deal with.

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Lute gets a level in the dealing with it...

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...and by the end of the turn, it has been dealt with.

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Eirika gives me a big scare on enemy phase, but there's nobody else there to attack her, so she's safe.

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Colm moves up and we get to see the boss, protected by four non-moving knights with javelins.

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Novala gets +10 HP, -1 MAG (wtf), +1 SKL, +3 SPD, -1 LCK (really?) and +4 DEF compared to his vanilla hard mode counterpart. Methinks somebody was frustrated by vanilla chapter 6 and couldn't give him straight buffs. See also: The fact that this map is actually easier than vanilla.

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#BigBrainMove right here: Move Vanessa over into the fog, use a vulnerary so the line of sight updates, see a fighter I don't want her to face, and Canto to safety, letting Franz move in and deal with the fighter instead.

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And get another level. Franz is apparently speed as well, not just Vanessa.

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Natasha levels again while healing. Liking that magic growth.

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The ring of forest tiles around the Boss Box is very handy, letting us hand axe and javelin the knights with relative impunity. The knights are on forests as well, but we have better hit rates in general.

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After breaking the box, we let Artur take some stabs at the boss. Not great, but hey, he can't die without me really fucking up. Maybe he can get some lucky crits. Basically everybody else gets really wrecked by Novala. But since he doesn't have a healing tile, slowly whittling him down is an option. I guess my statement about the boss not getting big buffs was a bit premature.

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Artur levels in the whittling process.

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And then I feed the kill to Eirika, fucking daring her to not get strength again.

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She obliges, and goes above and beyond by not getting anything else beyond HP. Great job, Eirika. I can't wait until I get to replace you with your far superior brother.

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And that's the chapter! Fairly short this time, but hey, a short chapter 6 is a good chapter 6. Now, what's our reward?

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Another Dragon Tear! Noice.

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So, next time, Waterside Renvall, where there's a very surprising absence! See you then!

eirika pls your arms aren't that noodly

I forgot this hack's version of Ch6 was changed into not terrible by fog map standards.

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That is by far the most cursed Eirika I've seen in a long time. :stare:

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Eclipse is so heavy now that this Eirika probably wouldn't be able to pick it up off the floor

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Noodle arms Eirika. I like it.

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