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

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Update XIX - Reinforcements Everywhere

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Alright, let's get away from the bad place. No more bad place. Only good place from now on. I hope.

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This map can get kinda crazy, but as soon as you save the villagers, you can really just take it at your own pace, so we shouldn't get into trouble unless some reinforcements surprise us. Which is definitely possible - I still have nightmares about my first run where a berserker popped out of the lower cave and just harassed me with his ability to stand on the mountains and just dodge fucking everything. Let's see if this works out.

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We're going to try and snipe some more kills with Myrrh to get her those juicy levels to make those last uses of the dragonstone even more effective.

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And speaking of levels!

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The fliers head up to help out and recruit Syrene. We'll get to her then.

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Also, the phantom will get to help out with distracting or knocking down the snag.

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A lot of the crew is going to move to the right. Not sure why particularly I made that call anymore, I think I thought the right side was more dangerous? I think.

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We can't really effectively reach the other side, so we just set up on the river line and wait.

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I think Syrene's got this.

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Duessel laughs at your puny heroes.

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Since Syrene seems well equipped to deal with the general, the phantom deals with the snag.

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And now, let's take a look at Syrene.

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Syrene - Falcoknight:

STATS:

LV: 5 (+4)
HP: 40 (+13)

STR: 17 (+5)
SKL: 19 (+6)
SPD: 19 (+4)
LCK: 17 (+5)
DEF: 15 (+5)
RES: 16 (+4)

MOV: 8
CON: 8 (+1)

GROWTHS:

HP: 60% (-10%)

STR: 55% (+15%)
SKL: 45% (-5%)
SPD: 45% (-15%)
LCK: 40% (+10%)
DEF: 40% (+20%)
RES: 20% (-30%)

Syrene got massively buffed. Four levels, but +4 or more in every single stat, plus a massive +13 on HP. She also got a whole bunch of changes to the growths to make her massively more all-rounded. And with her, we can now throw out triangle attacks if we need to. Let's see if I can eventually find some use for that.

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For now, we just deal with the general. These three are going to be hanging out here just in case something surprising happens.

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Tethys picks up another level.

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Crew on the right moves on and will soon move to take out that sage.

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And the crew on the left sets up to take the next group of enemies on on enemy phase.

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They do pretty well at that.

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The second group moves in as well, setting themselves up for a player phase beatdown.

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Natasha picks up a sweet level on that player phase.

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And L'Arachel gets one sniping the swordmaster in the east.

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This miniboss sage is kind of a pain in the ass because he's dodgy as fuck.

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I thought about Myrrh, but really, even she doesn't do too great, at least considering that the dragonstone is a limited resource right now.

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So instead Myrrh will be blocking this cave. No reinforcements here for sure.

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Team West wipes out the approaching enemies with gusto.

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Whoops, missed that chance of death there. Oh well. Never punished.

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Also, the minibosses have status staves. Sage got Silence and the bishop got Sleep.

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We get our first batch of reinforcements. Thankfully, we were already blocking some forts. These will be coming for a bit, so Crew East is going to be blocking those forts for a while.

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Crew East is starting to take on the miniboss. I'm going with Cormag attacking and L'Arachel healing, let's see how well this goes. First round is a hit, anyway.

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The phantom sets up to eat a purge.

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And Team West moves forward to meet the next enemy group.

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The paladin moves in to attack Ephraim and regrets it very quickly.

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The phantom does his job - using up a purge use and letting Knoll get more EXP by summoning another one.

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Sadly, the miniboss likes using his status staff, meaning we don't get a counterattack opportunity.

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However, we get another lucky hit for Cormag...

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...and Franz doubling gives me a good chance to kill, and I get it.

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Can't get a good level though.

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At least Lute gets a good one killing one of the great knights.

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And then Ross follows it up with a stinker. Swings and roundabouts.

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So Team West sets up defensively to meet the next reinforcements, which goes well.

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I also hand Cormag the talisman I wanted to give him but forgot.

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Crew East sets up to move on those rangers and mage knight.

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And Team West sets up as well, since these guys don't seem to move.

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Let's go, phantom!

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Holy shit, dodge master phantom!

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Oh wow. The reinforcements actually paused for a round to then come back in the round after that. There's basically no chance you reach the top forts, so you'll always see the reinforcements from there, but you (like I just did) can block the southeastern forts. So the reinforcements stop, you think "oh they're done", move your units off the forts and bam, reinforcements after that. That's fucking sneaky.

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Ewan gets a good level wiping out the rangers on enemy phase.

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By this point, I'm just very slowly advancing on the eastern front and the western front is just stuck dealing with the reinforcements.

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And phantom continues being credit to team with dodges.

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With the reinforcements over, for at least a turn anyway, we make moves with Team West. Amelia gets crit by the miniboss bishop and doesn't give a fuck.

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But even that small bit of damage she took was too much and she's taking steps to rectify that situation.

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OK, yeah, that might be trouble. That berserker does not look like a fun time.

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I did not know for sure at this point that crits only calculate on hits. I just kinda yolo'd it.

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Ross fucking annihilates the other miniboss. So at least those are dealt with now.

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Knoll's developing pretty well.

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Phantom's also pretty useful as a chipper on strong defensive units.

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Things are getting pretty crowded up on the top.

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Pretty fucking crowded.

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I really should have been blocking more forts.

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We get some degree of cleanup on the northern front, but there's still some annoying stuff around.

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Saleh takes out a ranger and gets a decent level I guess?

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Garcia gets a level on next enemy phase.

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Nice chance of death, Lute.

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Two falcoknights and a paladin in reinforcements. Nice. We're kinda just chillin' with Cormag down here because there's a fair bit of guys up there, plus some siege tomes, which are not fun.

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Phantom again credit to team.

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Alright, so that's two rangers up top, two rangers on those forts, a fucking berserker from the cave, and the two falcoknights and one paladin. Is that enough reinforcements? Of course, this won't just happen on one turn, too.

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Level for Gerik.

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L'Arachel still going strong.

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Ephraim levels going after the rangers.

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...OK, I did not expect the berserker to go in the direction of my fliers. That could be bad. I don't think I have any swords on them because I'm fucking dumb. Well, I'll just send Franz and Marisa. It'll be fine.

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55 crit. Noice.

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Rennac gets a level fighting the ranger on his side.

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And Cormag gets one fighting the paladin.

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OK, yeah, I like those odds.

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Not sure what I was thinking there. I rechecked, I had swords on the fliers. I think I might've just thought "well, that's a guaranteed kill to feed to Myrrh so she gets a level".

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We're kinda just big chillin' up here until the reinforcements let up. Lyon is a big fucker and needs all our attention.

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Have I said Duessel is fucking great yet this update? Duessel is fucking great. Look at those defensive numbers.

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Things are getting pretty crowded up here with those reinforcements.

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Amelia picks up a level.

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God, I hate these reinforcements. Amelia actually ran some chance of death thanks to those fucking killer lance falcoknights.

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Basically all my units are either on "take care of reinforcements" or "block reinforcement spots" duty.

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Thankfully, the reinforcements seem to be tapering off, so we can start working on those mages back there and then Lyon.

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Speaking of Lyon... +34 HP, -4 STR, +9 SKL, +9 SPD, +10 LCK, +4 DEF, +3 RES and +4 CON compared to hard mode vanilla. He's strong. Also note the flat 30 caps. I wonder what his stats will be in the final chapter...

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Uh, yeah. I'll pass.

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Yikes.

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But then there's the secret weapon. +5 SPD from Siegmund, the crit protection from Siegmund and Ephraim's skill causing him to hit super hard with high might weapons combine to become the real bosskiller.

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And yes, this time I actually remembered to steal.

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And then Ephraim fucking annihilates Lyon.

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And some more legendaries to cap us off.

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And a high-tier healing staff as a reward for saving the civilians. Works for me!

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Next time: Egg.

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TheMcD wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:55 pm
Alright, let's get away from the bad place. No more bad place. Only good place from now on. I hope.

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Update XX - Scrambled, Fried Or Poached

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Alright, time for eggs.

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The enemy quality, as expected, has gone up a bit. Note that dracozombie.

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Of course, I also have some toys available to me (bought those from the shop at Jehenna).

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Turn one is mostly uneventful, just moving up and taking Purge for a spin.

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And that gets L'Arachel another level! She'll be at 20 soon.

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Also, I decide to snipe one of the eggs on the other side with a Purge shot.

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Next turn, Amelia gets a level taking out an egg.

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Marisa gets her first swordmaster level, and hey, strength!

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Lute gets a level too! Everybody gets a level!

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See?

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Otherwise, it's a lot of moving up and taking out some monsters.

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Also, Shadowshot? Kinda dangerous.

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Tana responds with a level from another egg.

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Doubling with Purge. Weird. Probably kind of a waste, but I don't really care. Taking out other long range assholes seems like the best use.

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We get our first reinforcements - a whole bunch of gargoyles.

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Franz picks up a terrible level on egg duty.

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Ewan levels on taking out an eyeball. I'm getting the feeling there's going to be a lot of level up screens here.

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Also, the phantom gets stoned.

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This allows him to take all the fire on enemy phase. Also, the first egg starts hatching. I think I might've misunderstood how it works, seems to be by time instead of distance, but I'm too lazy to go back and change the map image.

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Ross gets a level by starting to take out the gargoyles.

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The new phantom does some good work in taking out a gargoyle and chipping two to near death, but he gets stoned too. That will be relevant in a bit.

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We're kinda spread out right now since I figure we're going to be done cleaning up here soon and will have to move down again but still need some units up to clean up.

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Vanessa gets a level from egg duty.

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And Duessel gets one from blasting the gorgon with Garm since I wanted it dead this turn.

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Now begins the long march back. Those nationalist monsters will never see it coming. And the phantom will be stuck up there because he's still stoned. Oh well.

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I don't know why I thought Myrrh was immune to fire terrain damage. Maybe because she's a dragon?

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Figure I might as well blast the shit out of this cyclops.

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And I also do some Purge blasting on the way just for the hell of it.

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Alright, one trap disabled, only about 30 more to go!

...no, I'm not doing that.

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L'Arachel picks up a level healing. She fast. And lucky, I just noticed. So yeah, if we ever need a dodge tank, we know where to look.

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Some monsters decide they can take on Myrrh. They can't.

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The eggs start hatching, but at this point I don't really care.

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And so, the great march begins. We're gonna take a fuckton of damage, but it'll be OK. I have a secret weapon. A secret weapon you already know about.

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Ephraim picks up a level fighting the gorgons on the other side.

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And then we use the secret weapon - Fortify. Bam, instantly everybody healed up. Easy!

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Now that the crew can finally show up to the bottom right corner, we can clean up and get ready for the move north.

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Lmao get fucking rekt. Vantage crit on enemy phase.

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Eyes counting as fliers is very helpful at times - this eye had crit on basically everybody, and nobody but like Gerik and Myrrh had a one-shot kill. So this is quite nice.

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Some monsters decide attacking Myrrh is a great idea. It's not.

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The boss spider gets plinked to death by some of our magic users.

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Reinforcements! Haven't had those in a while. I wonder how the phantom will do against that group of five. The eyes are no problem, since basically everybody is right there.

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Ewan picks up a level fighting the eyes.

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Turns out phantom does pretty good against those reinforcement monsters.

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Cormag gets a level.

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And now, with a bit of gorgon luring, we've got the boss isolated.

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It's kinda fucking badass. The weapon isn't quite that impressive, though - 10 might and poison.

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So it doesn't look all that impressive in the end - though this is our tank. We'll see how we deal with this guy.

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OK, yeah, when we use someone with less defense, it looks a fair bit scarier.

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Surprise! This might be a bit iffy.

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Let's just play it safe. Regular tank Duessel and dodge tank L'Arachel take point.

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Meanwhile, the phantom actually takes out the group of five down there.

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Enemy phase brings the L'Arachel level cap. Kinda bad, but whatever, she's capped speed and luck. Duessel and L'Arachel clean out the reinforcements easily on enemy phase.

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Before I forget. Let's steal this. Now...

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...legendary weapons being effective against monsters has its uses sometimes. And that'll be it for this chapter! This one didn't take that long - or at least it took about the same amount of time as other recent chapters, but a lot of it was walking from A to B and fucking with that damaging floor.

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Next time... ugh.

Well at least Wretched Air doesn't ignore defense. Not a fan of the make map bigger with more wasted space approach here though.

ugh last hope

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Yeah...Rausten Castle is not a fun map in vanilla, so I am bracing myself for what this hack decides to do with that map.

Sadly, there's not much to do with the egg chapter. It's a weird filler chapter that only has a tiny bit of plot (the Renais Sacred Stone being destroyed), but honestly, that could have happened anywhere else. The fact it is followed up by Last Hope, one of the biggest slogs in the game, just makes the placement even more strange. I don't mind breather chapters/stages, but...Two Faces of Evil just feels underwhelming.

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Update XXI - Fuck This Map

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Ugh. This one. I'll be straight with you, for my first playthrough, this was my absolute nightmare map. It gave me so much trouble, and definitely led to over a dozen resets.

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Amelia gets a defense boost, since that seems to be her weak spot right now. We also pick up some fresh tomes and staves at shops.

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Now, let's get to it.

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So yeah, I'm gonna say it right away. I'm turtling the FUCK out of this map. There is way too much shit going on for my units to deal with, so we need to absolutely minimize the combat going on. There is no careful playing here - every single unit is homing right in on Mansel.

Oh. I forgot to mention. This is a defend map. You know this already. What you don't know yet, unless you've played this before, is that it goes on for TWENTY turns. Thirteen like in the original wasn't bad enough. And yes, like I said in the image, Riev is nowhere to be found on turn 1. He spawns in at some point. I don't know when. I don't know where. I don't care about either of those things. I have my own solution.

Now, you might say, if you could look at the units' stats: "But McD, those stats aren't that impressive! They're around what vanilla hard mode has! And even vanilla has enemies with silver weapons at this point! Not to mention, you get to bring more units that overall have better stats!"

And yes, that is true. But the problem is with the sheer fucking number of them. Just endless fucking promoted units with top tier weapons. At least vanilla had the courtesy to throw in some unpromoted guys, but hey, we've left unpromoted units behind three fucking chapters ago! I don't really see it as viable to not turtle this chapter. Like, I guess you could go out with strike forces to clean up certain areas while still protecting Mansel, but I feel like that just sets you up for a turn where half a dozen enemies attack you and hey, they all have like 50 hit, so whoops, five hit this time and somebody's dead, better reset!

...I'm sure somebody's just going to come in and post "well I beat this map easy without turtling". I just know it. Well, whatever. I have nothing to prove. Let's go.

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Right off the bat, Knoll levels on summoning.

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The phantom gets to go and do some Green Unit stuff by standing there and getting attacked.

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Everyone else gets inside the throne room. That'll be it for this turn.

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On enemy phase, nothing much happens so far. A few green units get attacked and do terrible, but that's about it.

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Also there's some druids that just fuck shit up.

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Super clutch Great Shield proc though.

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Only takes a single move more and he's dead.

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And then some units commit suicide on green unit phase too.

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Some however avoid that fate by attacking snipers. So they're just going to die next enemy phase.

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Also, here's the sage. She has four Purge tomes, and I don't think she doubles, so she can Purge somebody every single turn. Spoilers: We're actually going to burn a Rescue staff use to get her over to the throne room so we can rescue her and stop her from doing that, because I don't actually want her killing units.

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The other sages are being incredibly useful by healing like 15 HP.

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Next phase, we start making some room by rescuing some units and start moving into position.

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And on enemy phase, the first enemies start showing up to our position.

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And the green units get slaughtered.

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At least Amelia gets faster.

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And at the end of the green unit phase, anybody that's not in the throne room or the Purge sage is fucking dead. Good job, guys. Also, there's reinforcements in the fog.

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We're now set up completely, and the phantom gets to go out for some diversion.

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And then I get to clench so hard my ass could make diamonds out of coal because Franz immediately gets to set himself up with a big old chance of death.

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At least he got a level though!

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L'Arachel is probably going to be fine for a while.

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Franz doesn't die.

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And then, we make the play. We starting to take away everybody's weapons and just letting them sit there unarmed, ensuring no Hectoring can happen.

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As a result, this enemy phase has one paladin attacking L'Arachel, missing, and that's it.

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A torch reveals that shit is getting pretty crowded. This is turn 5.

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But this end is pretty secure now.

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Ewan gets a bad level killing a wyvern. I guess I'll need to set up this front for maximum turtling as well.

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And that's what that looks like now.

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And that's an enemy phase turn. Five attacks and hardly any damage. None of the potential ranged attacker slots have ranged attackers in them, which is perfect. We actually don't get any reinforcements because I'm 99% sure that we've hit the unit cap.

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Here's where I realize that this girl has enough Purge to be shooting the entire chapter long, and I can't have that, because I'm very happy with the attackers I have now and don't want that to change. The last thing I want is magical units getting involved in attacking my units.

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So Ephraim and Duessel make some moves...

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...so L'Arachel can use Rescue (fucking barely, Christ)...

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...to get the sage here, where she can be picked up.

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And then we set up Ross to be the new dodger where L'Arachel was. He's not great though, so L'Arachel goes right back in next turn.

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The map looks kinda crowded.

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Ewan gets another level by torching. I'm kinda looking around for Riev, but I think he'll actually not spawn because of the unit limit. Not that it matters at this point, we're set for the turtle victory.

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So now it's turn 9, and I'm ending turn without doing much of anything. From now on, it's basically just healing for whoever needs it and that's it.

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Saleh gets a level from that healing.

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As does Lute.

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And the situation at the end of turn 20 looks basically the same as the situation at the end of turn 10.

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Sorry, not sorry. I have absolutely no qualms over cheesing the fuck out of this hack. It does not hold back, so neither will I.

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And of course, we get our last set of sacred weapons.

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Next time... fuck me, Sacred Stones is short.

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RESETS:

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Ewan just straight Hector'd himself to death. This death came on turn five enemy phase and convinced me very quickly that I had to turtle harder than I was already turtling by reducing the potential attack space for the enemies to the utmost minimum I could think of. Ten spaces.

Resets: 13

I see this hack continues the proud tradition of the Rausten greenies being useless to the point of being actively detrimental. And of course makes the map longer and adds more enemy volume because that's exactly what needed to be added on this map. At least it's still a survival map and not a kill boss map so it's probably just the second-worst hack version of Last Hope I've seen but still, yikes.

e: also looking at the map in FEBuilder Riev doesn't show up until turn 15 and during a reinforcement flood in the south which is just gross.

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Hey, so we're closing in on the end of the regular campaign, which means it'll be time for the postgame, the real meat of this hack.

And that means I finally have to make a decision on how I want to handle the postgame, and my decision has fallen on "pivot to a VLP".

Basically, I want to tackle the postgame with one, maybe two other people. I went through it myself before, but started cheesing pretty hard about halfway through, and outright cheating just a bit later. But I also had some inefficiencies - supports in particular, where I basically decided midway through the campaign what I was doing with them, fucked half of them up by adding random C supports by accident, having no idea what the bonuses actually were, that sort of thing.

This time I've kept all my options open in that regard, so I should be able to make something more optimal. And so I think it'd be most interesting if I got together with one or two other people, we put our heads together and really take on this postgame properly. Because shit gets tough.

As such, I would like to put the call out to see if there's anybody out there interested in being a co-commentator. Requirements would be: Able to record your own voice and send it to me, able to use Discord for the call and screensharing, able to work with the German time zone, preferably being able to do recordings for 3+ hours on the weekend to build a backlog and become more flexible with sessions, and knowing your stuff when it comes to GBA Fire Emblem.

If you're interested, either, like, PM me here, DM me on Discord if you're in the LP Discord, or just post here in the thread.

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Update XXII - Fucking Hell This Map Is Big

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Alright, pardon me for a second, gotta rearrange a whole bunch of weapons and shit.

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There we go. Took me like five minutes just swapping weapons around.

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Fuck me, I'm already this close to finishing the regular campaign. Somehow that went far faster than I thought.

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Not gonna lie, this map was a fucking slog. The next one too, but this one took me the most turns out of any map in the regular campaign. 83 fucking turns. You'll see why soon. There's gonna be a lot of abridging going on. Let's go.

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Natasha picks up the first level of many in this map.

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And Ephraim gets one too. We need to clear out this group of six first of all.

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Even Rennac gets one because some bad misses left me in a bad position. At least the archer isn't going anywhere now, even if he can get a shot off.

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As for what some other units are doing: Ross and Cormag are heading out to deal with those berserk gorgons. I want those dead ASAP. Also, Duessel is going to hang out at the bottom because there's some reinforcement demon dogs showing up there eventually and he takes no damage from them, so he'll just deal with all of them.

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Oh, wait, never mind, I just took a cheap shot.

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Also, I don't know if I'm getting it across, but the phantom is really good. REALLY good. In particular the next chapter really showed me how fucking good it can be. I don't think I had a summoner on my first playthrough or I never really used Knoll (I know Ewan was a sage for me in my first playthrough and he was super good as that too), because this was new to me for this playthrough. Like, with the stat boosts, the phantom doesn't just serve a role as a distraction, but can absolutely take out a dangerous target that you don't want to take on with one of your regular units because of crit chance.

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Then this happens. So that's not really good. We'll have to see if we can deal with that, because I think I have only one restore staff.

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Knoll gets the staff from L'Arachel and heals Ross.

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Then Tana grabs the staff, Cantos to a spot close to Cormag, and then Lute can come in, take the staff and heal Cormag.

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Vanessa levels taking out one of the eyes. Thankfully the four eyes on the mountaintops don't move, else we might have a problem.

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Absolutely worth it burning a Purge to get rid of one of those gorgons.

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We start getting some reinforcements. Duessel is blocking one of the dogs. These reinforcements will be coming for a while.

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And Lute gets to heal Vanessa. I don't know what these gorgons' hit rates are, but they seem pretty good to me. At least Ross gets to take out the second one and we're now done with berserk.

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I wonder how many levels Knoll has gotten just from summoning and staff duty.

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And yeah, phantom putting in work. Phantom can take out eyes, and that's really good.

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Gerik also putting in work and getting levels with these eyes.

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As you can see, Duessel has this well in hand. Might take forever, but there's no risk.

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OK, could've been a better level there.

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That's better.

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And here come the reinforcements that did me in twice, as you will see in the resets. In fact, let's have them now, since I brought it up.

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RESETS:

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I thought Garcia would be dodgy enough sitting in a forest. I was wrong. That's a pretty cool 57 - 40 - 41 hit chain, so with true hit that's like... 63.45% * 32.40% * 34.03% = 7% chance of death discounting crits.

Resets: 14

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And then this one was just dumb. I left Natasha exposed and equipped with Purge of all things. So of course she got slaughtered after I tanked her AS like that.

Resets: 14 15

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Amelia, Franz and the phantom will be trying to cover the retreat for everybody else. We're gonna fall back a bit and turtle out these reinforcements.

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Thankfully, these axes aren't too accurate.

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OK, that just got my asshole crushing coal to diamonds again. That was some bullshit. 1% chance of that happening.

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And that's of course not all the reinforcements! So yeah, we kinda need to bail on this.

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A phantom and Ewan take turtling duty here. Ewan's got some great avoid and the phantom is disposable. Our two paladins make a emergency line.

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Things get kinda clogged.

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We get everybody else out of there and set up dodge tank L'Arachel as a second enemy magnet.

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Ewan gets a level.

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Also, I think I might've forgotten to set him up with enough tomes. He's kinda running out.

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Another level for Ewan.

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Another one.

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With Ewan having chewed through most of the reinforcements, we start ferrying over Rennac and Natasha to deal with this chest. This is a mimic. It can use dark magic and holds stealable loot.

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Also, I burn a Purge use just to get this moving eye out of the way because it was actually in range of Vanessa and probably could've murdered her, since she's currently carrying somebody.

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And of course the moment we get moving again some more reinforcements show up. At least the gorgons only have Demon Surge and no staves. I'm gonna set Lute up for that.

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And then Ewan runs out of tomes. I think Tethys might have a 16 use fire tome he can use, but otherwise we're running pretty low. I'm kinda running out of stuff and notice it only when it is too late. Like, spoilers, but I legit almost run out of javelins. That is not something you should run out of.

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Lute levels fighting the gorgons.

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Rennac steals a stat booster from the mimic. The gem is droppable, so we don't need to steal that as well.

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And Natasha deals with the mimic.

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Big shoutouts to this centaur fucking up that phantom with a 3 crit on a 47 hit.

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Ross gets a level. I've set him up to deal with the gorgons because he can just hop on a peak tile and get that sweet sweet avoid for single digit hit rates on those gorgons.

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Big level for Ame fighting those gargoyles.

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The forest right under this boss centaur is pretty handy to get that dodge. So even if Franz is gonna be chipping for a while, this could be a good way to take him out.

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But then I get lazy and just throw the Siegmund out for a one-shot.

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And then the phantom knocks the snag...

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...which blocks the river and clears the way forward.

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And now we're gonna let Cormag fly forward a bit.

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And a bit more, because...

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...there we go. Yeah, if you just rush in, those reinforcements are nasty. And I ain't gonna deal with them straight up.

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At this point, I'm still kinda trying to figure out how exactly I want to deal with these guys, because spoilers, that's not the only wave. I know Duessel's gonna be a part of it for sure, but other than that it's still a bit up in the air.

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And there's the next wave.

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So I just decide "fuck this" and go on a 2-wide turtle zone.

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Another summoning level.

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I also set up Cormag on a peak tile for some distraction and so we might get through these quicker.

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Duessel picks up a defensive level.

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So for now the plan is Duessel, Ross and Cormag.

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Very nice level for Cormag. I think that's STR and DEF capped now. And now I'm just gonna skip over some stuff. Because these reinforcements come for a while.

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And here's all the levels we gained grinding those skeletons down.

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We move forward and take out the skeleton boss, who really isn't a big problem now that all his crew is cleared out. I presume he's supposed to be a roadblock so you can't just run past the big reinforcement blast.

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Another Amelia level fighting an eye. She is so fast.

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And because I sent forward Cormag again, here come the next reinforcements.

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We get an Ephraim level, and believe me, there's gonna be a few of those coming up, because he's gonna be the designated chokepoint turtle king for this reinforcement crew.

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So yeah, once again, everybody gets pulled back. Soon, Ephraim's gonna park his royal ass on that fort for a single tile chokepoint, and he's gonna run through most of our fucking javelin supply killing these reinforcements for a while.

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And here's a bunch of levels Ephraim got from that.

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So to start off, we're kinda just moving units into forests and kinda foresthopping our way forward.

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And then we get some eyes showing up, which is really bad. Like, those eyes are really annoying, because when they come in like that, anybody with bad RES is in serious trouble. Thankfully, we can fall back, let them come out, and then kill them on the next player phase. We also have like two skeletons spawning per turn and moving towards us, but that's not really an issue.

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They spawn some more eyes, and I have to push the Myrrh nuke button.

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Cormag gets a level too, and I end up blocking the spawn spots just in case.

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We get to do some turtling again because this mimic up at the top has Shadowshot. So we'll sit that out real quick.

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Ross gets a level dealing with the reinforcement skeletons.

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And then another dealing with that horde of skeleton archers. Almost done!

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See, the thing now is that I need to deal with those cyclopes, but I don't like those odds this late into the map. I really, REALLY don't want to fucking reset now. Though in the end, I do go with Ross for one - I guess I could've gone with Duessel, he would've been able to tank, but eh.

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And the other one I just nuke. Fucking Myrrh, man. Delivers every time.

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Then, the same play. Rennac steals stat booster...

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...Natasha nukes the mimic. Now all that's left is the bosses.

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+29 HP, +4 MAG, +5 SKL, +2 SPD, +9 LCK, +5 DEF, +5 RES compared to vanilla hard mode. That's a lot of boosts. Note: Riev was also carrying a silence staff, but he burned through it already.

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So I let a barrier'd Ewan deal some damage to Riev, with the added bonus of taking out one of the dracozombies on enemy phase because scared weapons slaughter monsters...

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...and then let Ephraim finish the job. Sacred weapons: Pretty good!

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Ewan then blasts another dracozombie, leaving only Morva.

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Ah, shit, Serenes doesn't have the boosted stats for me to compare. Let's just check Blast's LP then. So... that's +24 HP, -2 STR, +4 SKL, +6 SPD, +12 LCK, +1 DEF and +7 RES. And the most important part I'm seeing is that all the factors that changed come together, boosting his avoid from 36 in vanilla hard mode to 80 here. That's a dodgy boy. At least Wretched Air isn't guaranteed damage anymore.

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Knoll gets a level summoning one more phantom for this map. I checked, and he actually gets doubled trying to attack Morva with Gleipnir, so that's bad.

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Instead, Ame gets to ground pound him.

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And that's it for this chapter! Next time, the final chapter of the regular campaign!

The hack's decision to embrace mimic culture was definitely a choice. Really lacking in impact though.

Also urgh that map layout change. Why would you do this.

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Wow. That was... intense.

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Update XXIII - The End Of The Beginning

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Alright, no chance to restock here except the overpriced preps armory.

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Some stat boosters get handed out.

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Oh, by the way, that preps armory? No javelins or hand axes. Fuck you. At least I can get some Thunder tomes for Ewan.

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This map has some tricks up its sleeve that aren't apparent at first. And as with the last one, you need to do stuff on the map to open the way forward.

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As this wasn't my first run, I'm bringing the guns out. Every legendary weapon will be carried by somebody, just in case.

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And we start off with a level on the first attack.

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And another one on the third. We're clearing out the left side with most units, then put a few of our elite bastards (mostly Ephraim, Ewan and the phantom to draw fire - and Knoll to summon new phantoms) on the right side to do some damage.

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The eyes are our main concerns right now.

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Natasha picks up a level killing one of them.

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Amelia gets a level too.

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And Garcia.

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Left side's getting pretty cleared up, though both the cyclops and the gorgon are still threats. At least they don't move.

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Still, this is the sort of thing I look at and go "eeeeeeeh".

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This looks a bit better.

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Franz picks up a level taking out the gorgon.

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We're getting set up on the left side to move on to the door we need to unlock.

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Lute gets a healing level.

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And Knoll gets a summoning level.

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Ephraim levels clearing out some enemies. I'm taking it slow because I know there's some annoying reinforcements coming in, and I want to be ready for them.

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That thing lasted a while.

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I'm now moving up with the small group since they're easier to manage.

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And we moved up far enough to trigger the reinforcements - four spiders, a gorgon, and four eyes. I want those eyes gone yesterday.

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Right group takes out their assigned monsters, but Natasha still needs to take out the main group.

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And she does a decent job with an empty level.

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Gerik and Cormag help out too, and I actually burn some sacred weapon uses just for the sake of getting a clean kill.

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The druid-dracozombie combo is fairly potent since the druids have 1-3 range. Still, we can deal with them by just going for the druid first at range.

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Well, in this case it was more "chip down the dracozombie with phantoms until Ephraim can oneshot with Siegmund, then rescue Ephraim".

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And then Ewan can do the rest since he switched to Extinction to fight the phantom and we can get some sweet weapon triangle advantage for a round.

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On the other side, Amelia does some javelin chipping...

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...so Duessel can one-shot with Garm.

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And he thankfully also crits the druid to save a use. I made sure to pick someone that can survive a crit from the druid. Learned that lesson.

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And hey, he got speed!

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Unlocking the door to the left opens up this central area, but no path to Lyon so far.

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Next, I'm going to move only Duessel over to the right side. Let's see if we're triggering any reinforcements.

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Boy fuckin' howdy do we trigger reinforcements.

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Gerik and Natasha deal with their eyes. Duessel heads over to meet up with Ephraim.

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Knoll gets a summoning level. Phantom's doing a good job taking heat right now.

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Natasha and L'Arachel get to deal with the main reinforcement group. That eye has Shadowshot, which ain't pretty, and I'm hoping the phantom takes the hit.

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Natasha picks up a level.

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And Tana gets the Shadowshow. Yeah, that's some non-zero chance of death right there.

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Oh well, we get out of it. Now, we move everybody to the chamber on the right. I want everybody in one group and chokepoints identified when I unlock that door, because I'm damn sure shit's gonna hit the wall.

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I'm also setting up some Silence targets for Lyon. Only five uses and we got time, let's let him burn through those.

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Alright, we unlocked the door, and that opens the way to Lyon. Should be a clear shot from here.

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But... call me paranoid, but let me just send forward the phantom on its own.

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Ah. One gorgon, two eyes, four skeletons. Here comes the horde. If you think I'm kidding, I'm not. This reinforcement wave triggers ten times. So that's 70 units. And I'll tell you, I'm not fucking with trying to kill Lyon, because I want those chests. And I am not sending anybody up there while that horde is still spawning. Gorgons and eyes can be deadly to anyone. Also, some of the gorgons that were already there? They have Physic staves. So that's even worse. Yeah, I think I'm gonna hunker the fuck down right about now.

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Here's the strat. Ephraim and Duessel block the staircase while the phantom takes point and will take the brunt of the attacks.

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Here's something I bet you never thought you'd see - healing a phantom. I absolutely want the phantom to be either dead by the end of enemy phase (so I can get a new one) or at full HP by the end of player phase (so it can take the maximum amount of hits on the next enemy phase).

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Things get clogged.

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There comes a point where I realize that I am legit running out of javelins and start trading javelins from other units to Ephraim. Including this one use javelin from Cormag.

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Quick phantom update: Pretty beefy.

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And here's a collection of levels. It could've been a lot more but I'm pretty sure the phantom got over half the kills.

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But eventually, we manage to take out the whole 70 monsters. Now, let's move on.

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The phantom gets to deal with these gorgons, since they have Stone and I do not want to fucking deal with that right now.

And while we're here, let's look at Lyon.

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OK, so this is weird. +15 HP, -7 MAG, +2 SKL, +7 SPD, +15 LCK, +1 DEF, -2 RES. But once I check the actual calculated stats, I notice that he's got ridiculously more avoid (I only just now noticed that Lyon is standing on a pillar) and massive amounts of crit. And, y'know, Naglfar's new innate crit blocker. So yeah, this Lyon would fucking annihilate vanilla Lyon. Though it might take a while.

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We start moving up, making sure to give a wide berth to Lyon. We'll take out the gorgons and get the treasure first before we deal with Lyon.

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Gerik gets a level.

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So Hammerne has been changed a bit. Only one use, but it fixes an entire inventory. So in the end, we'll probably have five one-use sacred weapons that we fix up.

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And we get a fresh dragonstone! So now we went from 10 uses for Myrrh to 40, which is great.

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Alas, she's not exactly the one for the job here, even with a barrier. But she can contribute. I think we're gonna have to whittle him down. Myrrh hits and eats a crit in return.

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Gerik uses his 2-3 range and gets a free shot.

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But in the end, it's Ephraim who deals the final blow. So that's the first phase done. Let's see what the second phase has in store for us:

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Well, it's actually going to be a bit easier because we're not under time pressure from summons.

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Also, Eirika is force deployed. Oh well, she can do some stuff with Sieglinde. Let's look at the Demon King right now.

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OK, so this guy has 100 HP, so that's -20 HP, -5 STR, -2 SKL, +1 SPD, +19 LCK, +25 DEF, +19 RES. And he's lost most of his weapons, with the Ravager here basically being a reskinned Demon Light (-5 might, +40 hit). I think he's not as much a threat, but I guess the main problem is going to be dealing with the Boss Box while staying out of his 1-3 range - though rescuedropping does make that fairly easy. And, y'know, Gerik.

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So at least Eirika can still annihilate monsters.

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At this point I'm just throwing out legendary weapons.

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A level for Ross.

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And Knoll gets one from summoning.

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The phantom gets to be taking over the left side, since it's fucking badass.

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Myrrh gets to do some damage on the chaff.

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Only the skeletons seem to move, and the gorgons have physic staves to heal.

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Eirika does her thing. And hey, strength!

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Myrrh takes out a dracozombie.

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Lute takes out a skeleton.

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Gerik gets to work wrecking the Boss Box.

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Next turn, another big shot for Gerik.

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Another one. Nice fucking empty level.

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Lmao, Eirika. But yeah, now we've taken out everything but the skeleton at the top and the Demon King. I think we're about ready to take the shots now.

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Ephraim does more than half already...

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...Cormag gets a shot in...

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...and Amelia gets to get the kill.

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And that'll be it for the main campaign! But of course, in Sacred War, the main campaign is just the beginning. The postgame is where the real fun starts.

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And there was already a lot of fun. A lot of turns, anyway. So, that'll be it for this update. Next one will be a sort of recap update where I make a tier list because that's what the kids like these days. See you then!

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RESETS:

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Well, this one's pretty simple. I thought 7 crit wasn't bad. It was. Thankfully, this was the only reset.

Final resets for the regular campaign: 16

I was all like ok this is fine until the reinforcement flood at which point I was all like thanks I hate it. Just always has to be something with this hack, doesn't it.

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Wow. 52 turns on Chapter 12... that was a long one.

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Quackles wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:08 am
Wow. 52 turns on Chapter 12... that was a long one.
Well, that was the "I stop for like 30 turns and grind up Ewan and Amelia" chapter, so that makes sense. See also: Fort Rigwald's 70 turn clear where I did goofy shit with Colm and grinded up Amelia.

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Update XXIV - Tier Lists Are Popular These Days, Right?

Alright, let's make a tier list. I'm going to be ranking our playable characters based on how much use they were to me in this playthrough so far. I might give some units more credit due to being useful in general even if I didn't use them myself that much.

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S TIER:

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Duessel: Duessel gets absolute top S tier. From the moment he joins all the way to the end, Duessel was an invaluable tank, could always be relied on to hold the line, and was more than capable of dealing out damage. Absolute god tier unit, Seth fucking wishes he could be this badass.

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Knoll: S tier on the phantom alone. Holy shit, the phantom is so fucking good. Though I'm not sure how much better two phantoms would be, so I still stand by not making Ewan a summoner too. But yeah, just the escapades in the final chapter put Knoll here.

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Ephraim: Much like in vanilla, Ephraim fucking beats people up. He lands here for his bosskiller ability alone, plus I have all three of the units that helped me clear THE HORDE in the final chapter in S for their service, but you could also just load him up with javelins and he'd slaughter his way through everybody. Elite.

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A TIER:

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Ewan: Super good magic user with staff utility. I could just throw Ewan into bad situations and he'd usually come out fine. Still not sure if Sage wouldn't have been better.

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Cormag: Cormag was just a great all-round flier that could always deal some big damage, be annoying as fuck on peaks, and get all over the place. Only problem: His weak RES made him a bit of a liability when mages were around.

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L'Arachel: Top tier healer, and a useful dodge tank thanks to her ridiculous EXP gain. For a while, she was also the most powerful unit in the party. Great unit.

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Ross: Ross took off hard after promoting from trainee, and the move to Berserker made him even more powerful. Give him some hand axes and he'll absolutely go to town.

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Natasha: Excellent staff skills, the critability of light magic and the Slayer skill just turn Natasha into an all-around solid unit, especially in monster-heavy chapters.

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Amelia: Amelia had a pretty hot phase for a while right after promotion, and while she never was a big killer, she was an important part of the crew. Chip damage is important too, and paladins are good at getting to places to chip.

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B TIER:

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Gerik: Like 50% of this placement is Nidhogg with horse movement. That 2-3 range with monster effectiveness was just sooooooo good.

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Myrrh: Myrrh does exactly what she's supposed to - nuke the fuck out of some poor unsuspecting bastard. Her limited use dragonstone keeps her a bit limited in this list.

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Franz: Was very solid early on, but seemed to lose some power in the lategame as he seemed to lag behind. It's not that I couldn't have used him in the lategame... I just didn't. Still, his early game heroics land him in B tier.

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Lute: Very solid contributor the entire way through. Staff utility was always good, and Lute was there for a long amount of time.

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Vanessa: Vanessa, much like Tana right after her, had a period of great use, but much like Franz, fell off during the lategame due to a lack of firepower. Maybe the postgame could lead to some use later.

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Tana: See Vanessa. Basically the same applies to Tana, but with a later join date.

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Garcia: Garcia was kinda hovering around the line between "kinda useful" and "fairly useful", I guess? Like, during the lategame, he kinda fell out of use due to a lack of defenses and dodging, but still I guess he was still useful.

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C TIER:

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Tethys: Staffbot, basically. She had some combat utility early after her joining chapter, but I never really gave her a chance later. She will however go up in utility big time in the postgame.

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Saleh: I'm sure Saleh could've been A tier. I just didn't need to use him because Lute, Ewan, Natasha and L'Arachel covered my magic needs mostly, leaving staff bot duty for Saleh.

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Rennac: I basically have to have him at least here at the end of the group I regularly deployed, but he just had like zero combat utility to me, which is a problem.

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Gilliam: Was incredibly useful in the early game, but fell off a fucking cliff in chapter 15 and just became entirely unusable due to RES problems.

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Moulder: I mean... he got to heal for a bit until I got Natasha? That was useful I suppose, and I don't really feel like marking him negatively for it.

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Dozla: Meeeeeh. I might look more favorable upon him if Ross didn't just completely outclass him in every possible way.

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Syrene: I mean, I talked a lot about how Syrene was good now. But, uh, I didn't use her. Like, at all. Two battles, two wins. She might get some use in the later postgame.

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D TIER:

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Artur: Artur had some use very early against some monsters and did get a fair amount of levels, but he basically got done in by my decision to promote Natasha and Lute instead. He never recovered from that.

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Kyle: Never managed to do as well as Amelia and Franz and fell off the wagon because of it. Could've been just fine, but alas, I only had so many knight crests to go around.

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Marisa: I didn't want to believe that sword locked units suck in this, but boy, the game sure taught me that lesson. I had more trouble using her than she helped.

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Innes: I used him a bit in his joining chapter and then immediately benched him. So he goes in the benched tier. Simple as.

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Joshua: I wanted Joshua to work. I really did. Did you know this hack changes the swordmaster sprite for him to add his hat? It's awesome. But alas, myrms just suck in this.

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Neimi: I used her a little bit and she got benched, never to return to the team. Not a lot more to say to that.

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F TIER:

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Colm: OK, so, F tier is basically "D tier, but they additionally pissed me off". Colm got on my shitlist with those fucking escapades at Fort Rigwald. Yes, I know that was entirely my fault. Shut up, it's my fucking tier list.

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Eirika: Eirika lands in F tier because of her STR growth bullshit she pulled early on. That is just some unforgivable bullshit. I'm sure she'll actually be useful in the postgame because her class is actually kinda rad, but for now, fuck her.

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Seth: Seth lands in F tier because his redesign really pissed me off. He had some utility early on, but the fact that he just can't fucking get experience at any decent rate plus his honestly terrible bases for his level make him into a Jeigan-type (under the definition "strong early, has use, then falls off hard as the game goes on"). We might end up using him in the endgame, though it'd take me some work.

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Forde: Forde lands in F tier because fuck Forde. I gave him a fucking Dragon Tear and he got outclassed by Amelia so fast it just pissed me the fuck off. Fuck Forde. He gets the bottom spot.

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FINAL TIER LIST:

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Alright, I'm sure if I tried to pass this off as a regular Sacred Stones tier list, I'd have several people calling massive amounts of bullshit. Not sure if I'm going to make another one after the postgame, we'll see.

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But that'll be it for now. I'm still in the planning phase for the postgame, so it might be that there's a bit of a break between this update and the postgame. We'll see how it goes.

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I've mostly been posting in the SA thread but I thought this was worth crossposting here:

Oh, this is interesting. My thoughts on a lot of characters were very different to yours, I think we have very different play styles! It never occurred to me to use Duessel, for instance. And when Saleh joined my reaction was "I already have Artur, Lute, Moulder, and Natasha, and I'm planning to use Knoll, why do I need another magic user who's strictly worse?". More than half my army was mages and flyers.

This prompted me to clean up and throw my giant "character profiles" document onto the test poster, if anyone is interested in that. I did these writeups of all the characters as I was playing, partially just to collect my thoughts and partially because I was vaguely toying with the idea of trying to LP this myself (though I quickly abandoned the idea).

https://lpix.org/sslptest/index.php?id=158543

I've also listed my final team there and what their supports were. I don't have screenshots of their stats or levels but it wouldn't matter if I did, I heavily abused Rebirth Seals in the end so the numbers wouldn't mean much of anything.

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Alright, here we go, it's time for the postgame, and with that, the VLP pivot!

I've recruited / dragged along fellow forum people Kinu Nishimura and vcvcvc12 (Discord name Iconoclast) to tackle the postgame with me, because it is no exaggeration to say that The True Sacred War Begins Here. The main campaign is basically a warmup act for the postgame, which splits itself up into three parts: The Tower of Valni, Lagdou Ruins, and then, after applying a separate ROM patch, the Tower of Valni again. The difficulty and bullshit increase quite a bit from part to part.

As such, I've enlisted some help, and the three of us are going to put our heads together to get through this in a hopefully less frustrating way than my first playthrough where I broke down and started cheating about three quarters through the Ruins.

In the first video, we start our tour by having me forget to hit the record button in OBS for like four minutes and then make our way through the first two maps of the Tower.

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And due to some crossed signals, we had an intro-that-wasn't that I said I was going to include in some way, so you get an outtake video too.

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New video!

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Map 3! This map is where the troubles start - we don't exactly start in an ideal position.

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New video!

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Map 4! Bit of a tricky map, this - never thought the question "does this enemy move?" would become so important.

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New video!

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Map 5! Siege tome units behind walls do not make for fun times.

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New video!

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Map 6! Berserk staves, magic lasers and treasure chests, oh my!

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New video!

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Map 7! Split army is the name of the game here, and as a result, we're slogging a bit.

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New video!

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Map 8! The final map, which seems to be intended to be some sort of big showdown, but eh.

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New video!

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Now that we've beaten the tower, we need to take a step back and reassess our army. I've specifically been holding off on supports just to be able to plan it all out here specifically for the hard part of the postgame.

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New video!

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Before we put our planned army into action, we still have one special skirmish left. Melkaen Coast, the postgame-only skirmish. And us awaits a very special guest...

I haven't been paying attention to the postgame so far but Kelik the edgehog but somehow with an even edgier portrait lol.

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Lol at the ending to this vid

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New video!

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Alas, Melkaen Coast turned out to be too tough a nut to crack in a single attempt. And thus, we bring you the true Sacred War Experience.

oh my fucking god he has a gun fucking what

kelik is the gift that just keeps on giving

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