Rex Glacies

Rex Glacies plays Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones!

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Hello Serenesforest, and welcome to Rex Glacies’ first (of sorts; depending on what is being referred to as “first”) playthrough of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones!

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The Sacred Stones is, I believe, well liked in the fandom; it is largely regarded as one of the better stories in the series, and hails one of the most tragic and well rounded villains in Fire Emblem. My experience with it is also kinda unique. After finishing Awakening a couple of years ago, I wanted to know more about Fire Emblem, which led me to watch a walkthrough of The Sacred Stones. Fairly recently as well, I emulated the game on my computer, but I only got so far before the “legally ambiguous” nature of the emulator caught up with me, and I deleted it (I also got stuck, and my computer was slow).

So, what that means is that this isn’t a blind playthough - I know most of what will happen. However, I will still try to keep things spoiler free as I play through the story.

I have been debating as to whether I should do a playthrough of this game or Shadows of Valentia. I decided on this one because I know this game better, chapters might be easier to organize than Shadows of Valentia’s “Acts,” and, since this is on the Wii U, I’ll be able to take more pictures. I also got Sacred Stones as a My Nintendo discount and don't yet have Shadows of Valentia.

Also of note: this is the first time I’ve done a playthrough like this, so feedback, criticism, and suggestions are all welcome and encouraged.

Anyway, enough backstory! To the game itself!

... Next post!

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Posted (edited)

So, first thing’s first- start a file and rev up the game!

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Hmm, the text on the top and bottom looks like Nordic runes. I’ll have to try to translate it sometime.

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I’ll go with Normal difficulty. I hope the only difference between this and Easy is the lack of tutorials.

Prologue: The Fall of Renais

And into the game! 800 years ago, mankind almost became extinct due to monsters. However, they prayed to the gods and received the five “Sacred Stones” - mystical objects that drove the monsters away. Five nations were created around these Sacred Stones, most notably Renais, the country of the main characters, and-

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Interestingly, the lead hero of 800 years ago was named Grado. So the question is, did the citizens of Grado name the country after the ancient hero, or was he like “I’m awesome; lets name a country after myself!”

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In the intro it said that the continent has had a peace “that would not last.” But it’s been 800 years. Might there have been numerous wars and battles within the 800 years? That could explain where Carcino came from, as well as why they all have armies. But it’s still strange that most of the nations are at peace and allies with each other.

With setting in place, the backstory begins! Grado and Renais have been allies for years, but suddenly Grado initiates a surprise attack on Renais! The Grado Empire quickly overran Renais, overwhelming them. King Fado questions why this happened - "Have I erred in my leadership?" Meanwhile, Ephraim, Fado's son, is missing.

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Man, Renais must be weak to have fallen so quickly, regardless of surprise.

Confronting defeat, King Fado orders his men to surrender, and sends Princess Eirika to safety in Frelia with her lieutenant Seth and a cavalier Franz. Seth is widely regarded as overpowered in this game; therefore, I probably won’t be using him very much in the beginning in order to give other characters experience.

Also, every time I see King Fado’s name, I think of the Zelda sage.

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Well, the enemy arrived fast. How did Eirika and Seth get out so easily? Also of note is that magic user next to the General. He’s probably not important. *Wink*

Seth, Eirika, and Franz make it out of the castle. Seth sends Franz ahead to Frelia, but they are confronted by Valter, the Moonstone, "Grado's finest general!"

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Oooooooh! That’s a pretty epic line.

Eirika and Seth escape and make it near Frelia, but are forced into a skirmish with Grado. Nothing really interesting happens there, so I didn’t take any pictures.

Eirika hates to fight and dislikes war, but she knows her swordplay and fights back against Grado soldiers.

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In this moment at least, Eirika is pretty neat. She sees suffering and hates this war, but fights on despite it. I far prefer these characters to ones who wallow in their self-pity.

And so in nearly a blink of an eye Renais is betrayed and destroyed by Grado. Prince Ephraim is missing, King Fado's fate is unknown, and Eirika and Seth have made it to safety in Frelia. Will they be able to avenge their fallen nation? Only time will tell...

Edited by Rex Glacies
Misspelled Eirika

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16 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

In the intro it said that the continent has had a peace “that would not last.” But it’s been 800 years. Might there have been numerous wars and battles within the 800 years? That could explain where Carcino came from, as well as why they all have armies. But it’s still strange that most of the nations are at peace and allies with each other.

I dislike it when fantasy stories start with a whole "for hundreds or thousands of years, everybody has been all peaceful" it's totally unrealistic, makes you wonder how there can even be armies and generals of any experience in such a world, and isn't required to justify the greatness of the particular war that consumes the actual game/story. Tellius does have a couple great post-legendary heroes wars in its official timeline, which was a good move, and helped show the centrality of Laguz-Beorc relations to Tellius's history (and Begnion's desire to cling to its distant regions). 

 

I actually tried writing a little bit of history for Magvel.
 

Spoiler

I conceived of Carcino as once being fought over by Rausten and Frelia, with the latter ultimately conquering all of it for more than a century. Carcino eventually successfully rebels against Frelia while it's losing a war with Grado, with support from Rausten and also Jehanna. Frelia shuts down economic contact with Carcino following its independence as punishment for their rebelliousness. Carcino turns to the other countries for exports and imports, but over time Rausten gets an unnaturally large share of Carcino's trade. This gradually causes what begins as a fruitful relationship at the moment of Carcino's independence to decline into one where Carcino fears being indirectly controlled by Rausten. This having taken about a century to fully develop, a change in the leadership of both Carcino and Frelia leads to a diplomatic revolution, where Carcino switches it key ally from Rausten to Frelia, (King Hayden, if not the royal leader durning the moment this change happened, inherited these good relations from his predecessor).

For Renais, I noticed how it is totally surrounded on all sides- it has no ocean access at all (Grado controls the coast which you'd think Renais would have a spot on). Combined with it's rather small size, Renais seems like it's just one non-aggression pact between F and the big G from being wiped out of existence. And that got me thinking- what could possibly save Renais from such a catastrophe? My answer- cavalry! Renais has lots of playable mounted units, that must be it! I can envision it now: Frelia is invading from the north, they're halfway to Castle Renais as we speak, and Grado has overwhelmed the southern border guard. But what is this? Renais's heroic king is charging on horseback right into the heart of the Frelian forces, and they break and scatter before his bold maneuver! It's too late though, Grado's vanguard will have seized the castle by the time the king makes it back! He worries not about this however, and with a strong conviction to duty and the righteousness of his cause in his heart, the king rallies his men and they sprint back to the capital just in time, as though fatigue and logistics do not apply to them. Taking a moment to collect himself, he takes what little information he has of his foe and quickly assembles a new stratagem. He then launches it, and inflicts a resounding defeat on Grado as he and his cavaliers seal their escape and pillage them of the fine trophy that is their banners.

Over the long term, Renais has often sought to gain access to the western waters of Magvel, but Grado has always tried to stop Renais, for it'd break the contiguity of Grado's territories and leave the northwestern portion liable to Frelian conquest. As the centuries have passed, Renais has gained and lost its sea access as its fortunes change.

 

More relevant- if you look at Seth's base stats and compare them to Valter's, Seth should have died.

What actually happens: Seth takes 17 damage from one hit by Valter.

Seth's relevant stats: 30 HP, 11 Def, 12 Spd.

Valter's relevant stats: 19 Str + 14 Mt Silver Lance + 1 for WTA = 34 total Attack. 17 Spd.

Calculations: 34 - 11 = 23. 23 x 2 = 46. 46 > 30, so dead Seth. It's purely his undying devotion to Renais and Eirika which saves him from death at Valter's lance. The numbers make this opening scene even cooler when you think about it.

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8 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I dislike it when fantasy stories start with a whole "for hundreds or thousands of years, everybody has been all peaceful" it's totally unrealistic, makes you wonder how there can even be armies and generals of any experience in such a world, and isn't required to justify the greatness of the particular war that consumes the actual game/story. Tellius does have a couple great post-legendary heroes wars in its official timeline, which was a good move, and helped show the centrality of Laguz-Beorc relations to Tellius's history (and Begnion's desire to cling to its distant regions). 

 

I actually tried writing a little bit of history for Magvel.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

I conceived of Carcino as once being fought over by Rausten and Frelia, with the latter ultimately conquering all of it for more than a century. Carcino eventually successfully rebels against Frelia while it's losing a war with Grado, with support from Rausten and also Jehanna. Frelia shuts down economic contact with Carcino following its independence as punishment for their rebelliousness. Carcino turns to the other countries for exports and imports, but over time Rausten gets an unnaturally large share of Carcino's trade. This gradually causes what begins as a fruitful relationship at the moment of Carcino's independence to decline into one where Carcino fears being indirectly controlled by Rausten. This having taken about a century to fully develop, a change in the leadership of both Carcino and Frelia leads to a diplomatic revolution, where Carcino switches it key ally from Rausten to Frelia, (King Hayden, if not the royal leader durning the moment this change happened, inherited these good relations from his predecessor).

For Renais, I noticed how it is totally surrounded on all sides- it has no ocean access at all (Grado controls the coast which you'd think Renais would have a spot on). Combined with it's rather small size, Renais seems like it's just one non-aggression pact between F and the big G from being wiped out of existence. And that got me thinking- what could possibly save Renais from such a catastrophe? My answer- cavalry! Renais has lots of playable mounted units, that must be it! I can envision it now: Frelia is invading from the north, they're halfway to Castle Renais as we speak, and Grado has overwhelmed the southern border guard. But what is this? Renais's heroic king is charging on horseback right into the heart of the Frelian forces, and they break and scatter before his bold maneuver! It's too late though, Grado's vanguard will have seized the castle by the time the king makes it back! He worries not about this however, and with a strong conviction to duty and the righteousness of his cause in his heart, the king rallies his men and they sprint back to the capital just in time, as though fatigue and logistics do not apply to them. Taking a moment to collect himself, he takes what little information he has of his foe and quickly assembles a new stratagem. He then launches it, and inflicts a resounding defeat on Grado as he and his cavaliers seal their escape and pillage them of the fine trophy that is their banners.

Over the long term, Renais has often sought to gain access to the western waters of Magvel, but Grado has always tried to stop Renais, for it'd break the contiguity of Grado's territories and leave the northwestern portion liable to Frelian conquest. As the centuries have passed, Renais has gained and lost its sea access as its fortunes change.

 

More relevant- if you look at Seth's base stats and compare them to Valter's, Seth should have died.

What actually happens: Seth takes 17 damage from one hit by Valter.

Seth's relevant stats: 30 HP, 11 Def, 12 Spd.

Valter's relevant stats: 19 Str + 14 Mt Silver Lance + 1 for WTA = 34 total Attack. 17 Spd.

Calculations: 34 - 11 = 23. 23 x 2 = 46. 46 > 30, so dead Seth. It's purely his undying devotion to Renais and Eirika which saves him from death at Valter's lance. The numbers make this opening scene even cooler when you think about it.

And people claim that Seth is the best unit in the game lol

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10 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I dislike it when fantasy stories start with a whole "for hundreds or thousands of years, everybody has been all peaceful" it's totally unrealistic, makes you wonder how there can even be armies and generals of any experience in such a world, and isn't required to justify the greatness of the particular war that consumes the actual game/story. Tellius does have a couple great post-legendary heroes wars in its official timeline, which was a good move, and helped show the centrality of Laguz-Beorc relations to Tellius's history (and Begnion's desire to cling to its distant regions). 

 

I actually tried writing a little bit of history for Magvel.
 

  Hide contents

I conceived of Carcino as once being fought over by Rausten and Frelia, with the latter ultimately conquering all of it for more than a century. Carcino eventually successfully rebels against Frelia while it's losing a war with Grado, with support from Rausten and also Jehanna. Frelia shuts down economic contact with Carcino following its independence as punishment for their rebelliousness. Carcino turns to the other countries for exports and imports, but over time Rausten gets an unnaturally large share of Carcino's trade. This gradually causes what begins as a fruitful relationship at the moment of Carcino's independence to decline into one where Carcino fears being indirectly controlled by Rausten. This having taken about a century to fully develop, a change in the leadership of both Carcino and Frelia leads to a diplomatic revolution, where Carcino switches it key ally from Rausten to Frelia, (King Hayden, if not the royal leader durning the moment this change happened, inherited these good relations from his predecessor).

For Renais, I noticed how it is totally surrounded on all sides- it has no ocean access at all (Grado controls the coast which you'd think Renais would have a spot on). Combined with it's rather small size, Renais seems like it's just one non-aggression pact between F and the big G from being wiped out of existence. And that got me thinking- what could possibly save Renais from such a catastrophe? My answer- cavalry! Renais has lots of playable mounted units, that must be it! I can envision it now: Frelia is invading from the north, they're halfway to Castle Renais as we speak, and Grado has overwhelmed the southern border guard. But what is this? Renais's heroic king is charging on horseback right into the heart of the Frelian forces, and they break and scatter before his bold maneuver! It's too late though, Grado's vanguard will have seized the castle by the time the king makes it back! He worries not about this however, and with a strong conviction to duty and the righteousness of his cause in his heart, the king rallies his men and they sprint back to the capital just in time, as though fatigue and logistics do not apply to them. Taking a moment to collect himself, he takes what little information he has of his foe and quickly assembles a new stratagem. He then launches it, and inflicts a resounding defeat on Grado as he and his cavaliers seal their escape and pillage them of the fine trophy that is their banners.

Over the long term, Renais has often sought to gain access to the western waters of Magvel, but Grado has always tried to stop Renais, for it'd break the contiguity of Grado's territories and leave the northwestern portion liable to Frelian conquest. As the centuries have passed, Renais has gained and lost its sea access as its fortunes change.

 

More relevant- if you look at Seth's base stats and compare them to Valter's, Seth should have died.

What actually happens: Seth takes 17 damage from one hit by Valter.

Seth's relevant stats: 30 HP, 11 Def, 12 Spd.

Valter's relevant stats: 19 Str + 14 Mt Silver Lance + 1 for WTA = 34 total Attack. 17 Spd.

Calculations: 34 - 11 = 23. 23 x 2 = 46. 46 > 30, so dead Seth. It's purely his undying devotion to Renais and Eirika which saves him from death at Valter's lance. The numbers make this opening scene even cooler when you think about it.

I know right? And given that each country has a standing army, it means that there has to have been battles in the past, even if they are minor skirmishes. Add that to "the emerging mercantile republic of Carcino" and you know that there has to have been wars in the past 800 years. A country doesn't just form - it has to have come from somewhere.

For the theories, that's quite interesting. I (loath to admit it - I don't like fanfiction) might have to write a fanfiction on the situation before the game, and why Grado and Renais are at peace yet have such strong fortifications. I've also noticed that Renais is far from the water. Combined with your horse theory, maybe Renais was initially supposed to be a reference to the "plains" kingdoms of past games, like where Hardin hails from and Sacae. Of course, now in the games Renais isn't anything like plainspeople, but maybe in their past they were nomads.

Cool information on Seth and Valter as well. However, it is always possible that Valter was weaker here in the beginning, and he has those stats only later when you actually fight him.

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Posted (edited)

As it turns out, I do have Shadows of Valencia. It came in a box with a gazebo top off of Amazon. Go figure.

Anyways, that won't stop me from playing The Sacred Stones! Next chapter!

Chapter 1: Escape!

Eirika and Seth have reached Frelia, but so has Grado. Their paths meet at Castle Mulan (likely not named after the legendary Chinese heroine). But within Castle Mulan is a very important person awaiting Eirika.

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And here is Tana, princess of Frelia. Again, another character with a strong will. Suicidal? Yes, but strong willed.

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1 percent crit on a 54 percent hit? That’s Fire Emblem Fates logic (when it comes to the enemy, of course.)

There falls Mulan to Grado’s hands. But what of Tana? She was still in the castle.

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Aaaand you gave him your name. Good job Tana. Now they can use you as a hostage.

Eirika and Seth reach the castle, but find it overrun with Grado soldiers. Seth wishes to avoid the castle, but Eirika's kind heart stops him. She has sympathies remembering what Grado did to Renais:

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This actually begs another question. If Renais and Grado were allies and at peace, why would Grado act this way? You’d think the soldiers of Grado would bear no ill will towards Renais. Maybe there has been some resentment between the nations prior to this war? Maybe Grado is relatively poor in comparison to Renais, and the Grado citizens are enacting “revenge?”

Seth has misgivings, but he is a vassal at heart. Together, they begin to take back Castle Mulan.

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First crit! While this one wasn’t all that special, I think the GBA game crits are awesome looking, and I have a hard time deciding which is better- these animations or the 3DS character cut-ins.

Didn’t get a pic, but there was some commotion at the top of the map. It's Franz! He's come back to Eirika and has brought a reinforcement - the knight Gilliam from Frelia!

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Never knew if it was weird or cool that knights took off their breastplates to attack.

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It physically pains me that Eirika had to use one of her Rapier uses to deal one point of damage.

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Franz has been walking around with 2 HP for a while now. I should get him healed, but he’s still able to defeat weakened enemies, so… *shrug*

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It’s neat how in the older games the music changes once you have one enemy left. It’s a little tidbit that would be nice in modern games.

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You literally lost to four men, one of whom didn’t even fight. Grado must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel for you. At least that 1% crit at the beginning of the chapter shows you're not all useless.

Castle Mulan is saved! Eirika and Gilliam are reunited with Tana.

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She’s talking about Ephraim. I’m not one to gossip, but might Tana have a little crush on Ephraim? Let’s hope it doesn’t end up like Catria or Cordelia.

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Together We Ride 

King Hayden of Frelia meets with his daughter and Eirika. Fortunately, Renais and Frelia are also strong allies, and Eirika knows the king - who is delighted to know she is safe. But the joyous reunion is cut short:

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 "... My friend King Fado... did not survive the fall of Renais Castle."

Not even two chapters in and the characters father has died. Oh, how Fire Emblem escalates quickly. Also, Frelia must have some good messengers to have found this out before Eirika.

Despite the sad news, everyone stands firm. Grado will be punished. But that was not the only news. Ephraim - Eirika's brother - is alive and well, fighting within Grado itself. Eirika seeks to run to his aid. King Hayden wishes to keep her safe, but knows she cannot be stopped. He gives her three vassals - the Pegasus Knight Vanessa, the Priest Molder, and the Knight Gilliam.

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Thank you for lending me these soldiers, sir. I shall use them for the first few chapters and promptly bench them in favor of teens who should logically have no role in this war.

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Hopefully a better system than Merlinus, hm? Not that I didn’t like him, but it was kinda annoying having to bring him along in every mission.

Tana also wishes Eirika to stay in Frelia and be safe.

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“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take me!” is what she should have said.

But alas, Tana is not yet willing to fight. She questions why Grado would betray Renais despite Emperor Vigard being a good man and his son - Prince Lyon - being a friend of Eirika and Ephraim.

Eirika has no answers. All she knows is that she has lost her father already - and she will not lose her brother.

Edited by Rex Glacies
Misspelled Eirika

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I haven't played FE8 on easy yet but I think you're right that the only difference between these modes is that easy has a forced tutorial.

Also EM / NM is a dumb difficulty, when you see the stats of the first prepromoted generics.

 

Quote

1 percent crit on a 54 percent hit? That’s Fire Emblem Fates logic (when it comes to the enemy, of course.)

You remember on Basilio's 0% crit against Walhart? He had no wrath or any other skill which gave him a crit possibility.

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On 10. 7. 2017 at 2:06 AM, Weeping__Dalek said:

And people claim that Seth is the best unit in the game lol

It is because Valter is a noob. He is all "yar har har" all the time but then sucks! :Y

 

On 12. 7. 2017 at 7:57 PM, Reimu Hakurei said:

I haven't played FE8 on easy yet but I think you're right that the only difference between these modes is that easy has a forced tutorial.

I think the hard mode in this game is like +1-2 points in a stat for most bosses but I might be wrong... I do not remember.

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On 7/12/2017 at 1:57 PM, Reimu Hakurei said:

You remember on Basilio's 0% crit against Walhart? He had no wrath or any other skill which gave him a crit possibility.

Ah, you're right! I suppose forced crits simply pay no attention to the actual mechanics of the game..

On 7/13/2017 at 3:41 PM, MadJak91 said:

I think the hard mode in this game is like +1-2 points in a stat for most bosses but I might be wrong... I do not remember.

I would imagine there would also be a couple more enemy units per chapter, otherwise that's hardly any difference.

Next chapter should come soon! I've been busy with my interview, yard-work, and generic life, but I finally finished chapter 2 recently. All I need is a couple of polishing up, and it'll be here.

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Posted (edited)

Without further adieu...

Chapter 2: The Protected

Hayden has provided some vassals for Eirika’s journey to find her brother. Her first stop is the city of Ide, once part of Renais.

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Wait, didn’t she see this already with her “Homes were destroyed, possessions stolen, women kidnapped“ quote?

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Of course, once the establishment is destroyed, ruffians and thugs will arise and wreak havoc. Thus is the way of the world… and more specifically Fire Emblem. These ruffians see a couple of villages, and decide to loot them. But out of the first village they strike...

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And we are introduced to Ross and Garcia, the first playable axe users. I never really cared for axes in Fire Emblem, and I always found axe users personalities to be kinda boring. However, I will try to use these two for at least a while - Ross especially. More on him later.

Vanessa, the Pegasus Knight, flies outward and sees what is going on. She informs Eirika of the bandits, and of the one child - Ross - who was injured by some of the bandits. While it brings them out of their way a bit, Eirika and her group decide to defeat the bandits and rescue the injured Ross.

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Entering one of the nearby villages, Eirika runs into Selena (not from Fates). She is assisting a village, but is a general of Grado. But if Grado is the villain, why would she be trying to help Renais citizens?

Eirika disguises herself as a mercenary named Erina, though Selena doesn't believe her. Regardless, it is not her problem, and instead Selena gives Eirika a Red Gem to pay her to help the villages.

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The rescue mechanic! A lot different from the modern pair-ups, it simply is what it says - rescues certain units. Useful for carrying people out of danger, but in turn the unit rescuing the other one is slowed down, so it is best for both the rescuer and the rescuee to be brought out of harms way.

I should probably mention here the two new units King Hayden gave us - Vanessa and Moulder. Vanessa is a Pegasus Knight, so she has high movement and can traverse most anywhere. Moulder is a Priest, our first healer. As such, he will be useful, as he is our only mode of healing aside from Vulneraries and forts.

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And we have a new member of the army! Ross is the first of the three “trainee” units of Sacred Stones. Much like the villager and Est's, the trainee is a unit that starts weak but can end up becoming super powerful. They have more in common with Gaiden/Shadows of Valentia's villagers than Est's and the other villagers of the series, as instead of higher growth rates, they have additional levels to gain stats. In Ross's case, he starts out as an axe using Journeyman, and once he levels up to level 10, he can "promote" to a basic class, where he can then eventually transition to an advanced class.

Entering another village, a villager mentions being saved by "the most wonderful man," who "was dressed like a mercenary, but he had an air of elegance about him..." I wonder if we'll meet this mysterious man in our adventures... (I'm actually curious. Do we ever find this man?)

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Yeouch! I always thought the fighter animation for attacking looked particularly painful.

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Ross, having been recruited and reunited with his father, convinces him to join with Eirika as well.

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Why are the bandits in Fire Emblem always named something silly? Bone, Glass, Bug. I mean, what’s with that?

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One HP left? Whew, I need to pay more attention.

Also, Vanessa’s second crit! Wow, that was unexpected.

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Vanessa has reached the southernmost village against the odds, and received a Pure Water. I never understood this item. It grants additional points to Resistance, but it doesn’t last forever, and there are usually few mages to fight anyway in games.

With the last of the bandits defeated, Seth and Eirika take a moment to talk to Garcia.

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Actually, your son was doing quite well on his own, though with a bit of healing. He’s already level 4.

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And a truth is revealed! But it also adds to the backstory mystery - if Garcia “fought” for Renais, then that means Renais has to have been in a war fairly recently. So much for the 800 years of peace.

Regardless, Seth knows who he is - a fearless fighter of Renais - and asks Garcia to take up arms once again to help Eirika's plight. But Garcia has retired from being a soldier. After his wife died, he realized being a soldier made him lose his family, and has now focused on protecting his son.

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That’s no way to talk to your father Ross!

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Well, technically, you’re still a Journeyman, and Garcia’s a Fighter…

But with some talk, Ross shows Garcia that the both of them have a soldier's blood in them, and Garcia decides to listen to his son. They both join in Eirika's fight to free Renais and find Ephraim.

By evening a villager tells Eirika to stay the night as thanks for saving them, but Eirika would rather keep traveling through the night.

Villager: "My, that is a splendid bracelet you're wearing."

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This is the second time Eirika’s bracelet has been mentioned, first by her father prior to their escaping of the castle. As per Chekhov’s gun, the bracelet must be important if it is so noteworthy.

The villager warns her of bandits, most of all Bazba's Bandits, who are immensely cruel. He also states that Renais is destroyed; Ephraim was the only hope but rumor is that he is about to be defeated by Grado's might.

Eirika takes the information to heart, and continues on her journey.

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Flashback! Eirika remembers when Ephraim first taught her how to fight. Eirika never wished to fight, preferring diplomacy, but knew a time might come when she would need to protect her brother.

While reminiscing, a traveler bumps into Eirika. Seth comes to her, but Eirika is fine.

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Yet again, the bracelet! The traveler must have stolen it, but Eirika has no time to search for it. However, Seth disagrees, and they set off to find what was stolen…

Edited by Rex Glacies
Misspelled Eirika

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1 hour ago, Rex Glacies said:

Entering another village, a villager mentions being saved by "the most wonderful man," who "was dressed like a mercenary, but he had an air of elegance about him..." I wonder if we'll meet this mysterious man in our adventures... (I'm actually curious. Do we ever find this man?)

I always assumed this person was generic and unseen. However, I can see how it'd be a little odd if the game just described a nobody with such detail. If I had to guess who the person was, well it'd have to be somebody who: obviously looks like a mercenary, travels around, is nice, and is a man.

My best guess is Joshua. He is a traveling mercenary by profession if not class, he would have "an air of elegance" by virtue of his background, and he likes being kind to women- as per the Navarre archetype. Joshua also travels alone, if Gerik was the mercenary, the person might have mentioned his companion Tethys. Saleh, another lone traveler, would have been described more as a practitioner of magic. Nobody else in the PC cast fits the description, and the only good man among the villains who it might be, Glen, has a wyvern- not a detail you'd leave out.

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5 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

My best guess is Joshua. He is a traveling mercenary by profession if not class, he would have "an air of elegance" by virtue of his background, and he likes being kind to women- as per the Navarre archetype. Joshua also travels alone, if Gerik was the mercenary, the person might have mentioned his companion Tethys.

Those were my two guesses. Joshua fits the bill, though I do feel, background or not, he is not elegant enough to have an "air of elegance." However, I do not entirely remember his personality. Mayhaps in this playthrough he'll prove to be more "elegant" than I remember.

Gerik is my other guess, but like you mentioned, the villager would be likely to note his companions as well. Saleh and Glen also don't quite fit either. Alas, Chekhov's gun appears to have failed me this time!

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You keep saying Erika instead of Eirika :D

 

7 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

Of course, once the establishment is destroyed, ruffians and thugs will arise and wreak havoc. Thus is the way of the world… and more specifically Fire Emblem.

Heh. I guess in your usual FE world with hundreds of years of peace after some previous calamity, despite having armies at the ready, the overall security if pretty lax. Scratch that! It seems to me the bandits always decide to attack when something is about to go down in the world :D

 

8 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

Entering another village, a villager mentions being saved by "the most wonderful man," who "was dressed like a mercenary, but he had an air of elegance about him..." I wonder if we'll meet this mysterious man in our adventures... (I'm actually curious. Do we ever find this man?)

My guess is also either Joshua or Gerik. Maybe it is Renault paying a visit :O

 

8 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

Yeouch! I always thought the fighter animation for attacking looked particularly painful.

I once made the same screencap but with a fighter attacking a knight. Friend called it "can opener attack animation". You grab the fighter and start turning.

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8 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

You keep saying Erika instead of Eirika :D

... oh! Wow, I didn't even notice the extra "i." Thanks for catching that! I'll be editing it in real quickly.

8 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

Heh. I guess in your usual FE world with hundreds of years of peace after some previous calamity, despite having armies at the ready, the overall security if pretty lax. Scratch that! It seems to me the bandits always decide to attack when something is about to go down in the world :D

Yeah. I feel like every Fire Emblem country has some sort of bandit trouble. You'd think their armies would have that covered, but whatever.

8 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

My guess is also either Joshua or Gerik. Maybe it is Renault paying a visit :O

Joshua and Gerik are still the highest possibility, but if we're considering mercenaries from other worlds, then I'll have to think on other possibilities.

8 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

I once made the same screencap but with a fighter attacking a knight. Friend called it "can opener attack animation". You grab the fighter and start turning.

"Can opener attack." That's great. Totally need to catch a screenshot of that.

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Are you going to use all the Trainees, or just Ross?

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12 hours ago, KnightOfNohr said:

Are you going to use all the Trainees, or just Ross?

Probably all of them. I think I will at least give everyone their chance in the spotlight, though the main characters I will use will be a combination of my favorites and those chosen by the cruel and ruthless RNG goddess.

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Chapter 3: The Bandits of Borgo

With Eirika’s bracelet stolen, the group pursues the thief into the mountains - home of Bazba’s Bandits.

Y’know, these bandits in Fire Emblem need to be named something cooler. Bazba’s Bandits, Taliver Bandits, Ganelon bandits. I guess ruffians and thugs don’t have the time (or intellect) to come up with cool names.

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Strange. The villager earlier said Bazba’s Bandits were ruthless and willing to kill for anything - but the thief that stole Eirika’s bracelet just… stole it. Nothing else. Might there be some mix-up in terms of who’s who? Or maybe the thief just saw the bracelet and stole it without intending on making a scene. That’s more likely.

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Wow, that happened fast. Renais only fell, like, a week ago at most. 

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Preparing to invade the lair, we have a new request - find Colm! He and the lady (Neimi) are the only survivors of a village named Lark that was destroyed by Bazba’s Bandits. Colm invaded the bandit’s lair with the intent of stealing something that was originally stolen from Neimi, but it was dangerous to go alone, and now he may be in trouble. Eirika decides to help her fellow countryman (er, woman) and enlists Neimi in taking down Bazba’s Bandits.

Can I say something here? Fire Emblem has a large share of "last survivors" who's details have little to nothing to do with the story. Take Lyn, for example. She's the last of the Lorca, but this fact has little to do with her personality or character. You'd think that she would be scarred for life because of the incident, but she isn't. All it does is make her character more "interesting." There are a couple more characters like this (Mozu, Panne, these two, others) and while the "last survivor" aspect might have some impact on some characters, it really is unnecessary and rather annoying.

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Back to the story, Colm has arrived! Meeting with him, Neimi want to return home, while Colm knows their village has already been destroyed, and thus they don’t have a home to return to. As such, Neimi stays with him, and he joins up with Eirika to defeat Bazba. However, something about him looks familiar…

Of note is these characters two classes. Neimi is an archer, which means she can attack from afar without fear of counter attack. However, in turn, she can't fight enemies right next to her, and thus should be kept away from the front lines. Colm is a thief, so he can use his Lockpick to open doors and chests. His defense is frail though, but at least he has good stats to avoid hits.

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I can’t be the only one who thinks training healers is annoying, right? You have to have a unit lose health first, and then the healer will gain such little experience from it. It’s just… annoying.

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Colm has raided the upper chests. I was expecting something interesting but it was just some iron weapons and a Hand Axe. Kinda boring, but it is the first couple of chests in the game.

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Well, this is interesting. I was aware that the player could steal items from the enemy units, but I didn’t know the enemy could steal as well. So now, this thief has a vulnerary, but it’s not glowing green. I guess I must steal back what was rightfully mine!

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But before that our first support conversation, featuring Colm and Neimi! Supports in the GBA games are a lot harder than in the newer ones, largely due to no hearts appearing when support is built. Each character also has a limited amount of supports they can unlock, which makes it harder as you must plan out who will support with whom.

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Er, well, you're the one who initiated the conversation. If you're gonna insult someone, insult yourself.

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Youch! I mean, it’s true, but that doesn’t justify insulting her.

Kind of a boring conversation. It was just Colm remarking on Neimi in the war, accidentally insulting her, and Neimi crying. Have I mentioned that I don't care for Neimi's character? She's just a crybaby. I'm still going to use her, but I do find her annoying.

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Whops! Chose the wrong enemy and killed the thief! I guess that vulnerary is gone.

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I feel this is the third time the enemy has gotten a hit with a 20-40% hit rate.

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Heh, I always mix up seize and defeat the boss missions.

But now, Bazba has been defeated! So much for being super dangerous. Regardless, Colm finds Neimi's stolen mirror, and gives it to her.

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Now, I’ll join you in the dangerous stuff!

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Ah! So Bazba’s bandits didn’t steal Eirika’s bracelet, but Colm did. That certainly puts a damper on him joining the group. Though what was he doing around Eirika's group anyway?

Seth returns Eirika's bracelet to her. Eirika is delighted, knowing it is a memento of her father, and that there is only one other like it in the world, which belongs to Ephraim. But she does wonder why Seth took so much effort to get it back. Is he hiding something?

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So, clearly, the bracelets are important. But alas, it appears we will not know why until later in this quest.

Eirika sees now that the path of peace and justice will only be found through many battles after battles. But she will not rest until she and her brother can liberate Renais…

… but our chapter isn’t over yet. Something is awaiting us in Grado Keep.

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Here we have Grado’s greatest generals, the Imperial Three. Selena, whom we have met before, Glen, and Dussel. Selena has seen the chaos in Renais, and none of them like what is going on. No one understands what is going through Emperor Vigarde’s mind - he waged war with a peaceful nation, allows chaos to rein in Renais, hasn’t told any of them what to do, and has recently given promotions to people without "Grado’s best interest at heart.” Glen and Dussel are the most concerned, with Dussel even thinking he should enter Renais and instigate order even without being told by his liege. Selena, however, knows they are all soldiers of Grado, and it is not their right to question Vigard’s choices. But there is no time discussing things right now. Emperor Vigarde has called them into a meeting.

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Emperor Vigarde - once loving, peaceful and abhorring violence, he is now the instigator of a terrible war, has destroyed Renais, and seemingly seeks to bring the entire continent into chaos.

Vigarde is proud of the Imperial Three's actions, but knows that they alone cannot conquer the rest of the continent. He introduces three more soldiers who performed well in the invasion of Renais, and adds them to the Imperial Three, making Grado have six main generals. These new three are Riev, the Blody Beryl, Caellach, the Tiger Eye, and a familiar face - Valter, the Moonstone.

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What ho! It appears Valter has a history with the Imperial Three, specifically Glen. But nothing can be done about it. They are all proud soldiers working for the same side, and Vigarde has tasks for all of them. Glen might have the hardest, as he must work with Valter in his job - to find and defeat Eirika and Ephraim.

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Are you going to use Colm for more than thieving? Just curious. I usually do not use thieves for more than that but in this game Colm is pretty decent actually when promoted. Matter of taste, I guess. I later dump him for Rennac. 

My problem with thieves in games where they can promote is that you often have to create artificial strategies to give them EXP and I would rather not risk it or give the EXP to an actual combat unit.

 

 

13 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

Take Lyn, for example. She's the last of the Lorca, but this fact has little to do with her personality or character.

Ya. You have to support her with Wallace to get a bit more out of this. She still feels anger and wants revenge above all else but... it has nothing to do with anything other than her support with Wallace and Kent, I think. Shame.

 

 

13 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

Valter, the Moonstone

I always snicker at this particular nickname. Was he a stripper before becoming a general??

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On 7/22/2017 at 6:49 AM, MadJak91 said:

Are you going to use Colm for more than thieving? Just curious. I usually do not use thieves for more than that but in this game Colm is pretty decent actually when promoted. Matter of taste, I guess. I later dump him for Rennac. 

My problem with thieves in games where they can promote is that you often have to create artificial strategies to give them EXP and I would rather not risk it or give the EXP to an actual combat unit.

I will very likely use Colm for more than stealing. Ironically, when I played Fire Emblem 7 I didn't even know thieves could steal from the enemy (and gain experience, for that matter), so I played through the entire game using them just as normal units (albeit with the ability to pick locks).

On 7/22/2017 at 6:49 AM, MadJak91 said:

I always snicker at this particular nickname. Was he a stripper before becoming a general??

Oh, jeez, thanks for putting that image in my head. I could totally see that as a possibility though.

In all seriousness, if I recall correctly, Glen is supposed to be the "Sunstone," so it's meant to signify that they are as different as... night and day. Or "knight" and day. Get it?

Sorry, puns are my life.

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Thieves can steal stuff?!

 

Jk, I knew that. I didn't when I played Blazing Sword on the VC, but since Matthew died and I failed to recruit Legult, I didn't really matter. (Also, I failed to far into the third act)

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Sorry for being late again. I have... no excuse, other than having been playing Shadow of Valentia. But I did finally get in some time to play this game.

Chapter 4: Ancient Horrors

With Eirika’s bracelet returned, our group heads towards the city of Serafew on the border of Grado and Renais, passing through the Za’ha Woods.

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Za’ha? Odd name for a forest, especially since nothing else in Fire Emblem is named like that.

Reaching the woods Eirika and Seth see a horrid side - monsters! A town south of them has also noted the fiendish terrors.

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Here are two more characters - Artur and Lute! They’re our first magic users, with Artur being a Monk using Light magic, while Lute, a fan favorite and one of my favorites from this game, uses Anima magic.

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It's interesting to see the book Lute mentions. It's not often that we get to see "normal" aspects in video games, let alone Fire Emblem. So, it's neat to see her referencing some seemingly common book here. It adds to the world-building of the game.

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If you want to know what Lute's character is, here it is.

Regardless, she notes that these monsters are the selfsame that fought for the Demon King in ages past. Recognizing that fact, Artur decides to fend them off to protect the travelers (not that Eirika’s group needs help) while Lute stays and protects the village.

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What “temple?” You mean you’re not from around here? But then how do you know Lute? And how did you find out about the monsters so soon? I'm starting to feel Eirika is the only character in this game who doesn't receive the current news - King Hayden knew Fado was dead before her, some random villager knew Ephraim was in trouble before her, etc.

Anyway, he tells Eirika that these are monsters much like the ones that fought for the Demon King. Eirika is stunned - she thought the Demon King was just a legend and a fairy tale, but seeing is believing - she joins with Artur to fend of the fiends.

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Yeesh these things are weak. Just for saying that someone is going to die, I know it.

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I always liked the magic animation in these games. Though, I never understood why the basic Light magic tome was called “Lightning.” Shouldn’t Lightning fit in the Anima magic?

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C’mon. It’s so slow, and you still got hit? Though, at least the animation looks like the monster is bowing down to Artur. "All hail the monk whose name lacks an 'h'!"

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Very astute observation. Recognizing that we are not monsters, Lute decides to join us as we fend off the demons.

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It’s rather interesting playing this game after Shadows of Valentia, as many of the monsters are the same between the games. Both include Bonewalkers, Revanents, Mogals (though the ones in this game are far less scary than the ones in Shadows of Valentia), and others. The Sacred Stones has always been similar in many aspects to Gaiden, and its neat to just see the connectivity between these two "black sheep" games of the franchise.

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And we have… even more characters! This is L’Arachel, an… eccentric… troubadour from nowhere in particular, come to help us stay off the monsters. And if you can’t tell from the music (link here), she’s clearly not meant to be taken seriously.

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… Much like one of her two retainers realizes. L’Arachel concurs, and decides to find a safer path off the cliffs, still hurrying nonetheless to “save” us from the monsters.

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Whops! I really need to pay more attention to my units. That was about a 1/2 chance of Colm dying.

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Something I noticed earlier, but how does the Hatchet/Hand Axe work? In these games, the animation makes them be thrown and then they come back to the character. Like, what? I thought it was an axe, not a boomerang.

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Again, I must stress that the magic animations in the GBA game are awesome. I mean, look at that cape billowing in the wind! Well, as it is a static image, I guess you can’t see it billowing, but you can just imagine it, I hope.

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The monsters have been defeated, but Eirika can’t believe what they just fought. Seth is distraught as well, but less so. Lute takes it calmly; rather, she only increases their fear by telling them:

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Completely off topic, but it occurs to me that every character has the same eye color as they do hair color. Kinda strange, I wonder if that’s the case with every character in this game, and by extension, common amongst most Fire Emblem characters.

Back to the game, Artur and Lute remark on how this is possible and what it signifies, while Seth suggests regrouping in Frelia after this incident. Eirika knows that would be safer - if they continue they will have to face both Grado and monsters, but Eirika knows that Ephraim is in the same condition, and as such it is necessary for them to continue onward to save him.

But before that, a visitor:

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“I, L’Arachel, bestow upon you the honor of banishment at my blessed hands!

Eirika: "…"

L'Arachel: "Oh… Where are the monsters?”

Having arrived a moment too late, L’Arachel is glad the monsters are gone, but also wanted to share in their extermination. Her retainers are split: one is on L’Arachel’s side, wishing to help her in all matters, while the other… seems to just barely tolerate her.

Eirika is justifiably confused, asking who the heck she is. L’Arachel begins to explain herself, but her jollier retainer, Dozla, stops her.

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Hmm, it appears we have more secrets in this game that are yet to be found out.

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… Something tells me this isn’t the last we’re going to see of her.

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1 hour ago, Rex Glacies said:

I'm starting to feel Eirika is the only character in this game who doesn't receive the current news

Oh boy... OH BOY! Just you wait... Oh boy.

 

1 hour ago, Rex Glacies said:

it occurs to me that every character has the same eye color as they do hair color. Kinda strange, I wonder if that’s the case with every character in this game, and by extension, common amongst most Fire Emblem characters.

Oh wow :O

Someone should research that! I think it is actually common in anime though. That is what I have noticed as well. Or they have a "matching" color like red hair and green eyes or blonde hair and blue eyes.

 

How do you pronounce L'Arachel?

 

Also, I guess this is relevant now: LINK

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Actually, Artur is a real name, I believe it's of Russian origin. (I learned that from Big Nate)

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3 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

Oh boy... OH BOY! Just you wait... Oh boy.

Hmm. Maybe my memory of Sacred Stones isn't as good as I thought. I can't wait to see what's coming up!

3 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

Someone should research that! I think it is actually common in anime though. That is what I have noticed as well. Or they have a "matching" color like red hair and green eyes or blonde hair and blue eyes.

Yeah. I'll need to check throughout this game and others to see if such a hypothesis holds true. If so, I'll have to make some sort of theory on anime hair and eye color genetics. And yes, I'm thinking about making a theory on fictional cartoon people's genetics. Don't judge me!

3 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

How do you pronounce L'Arachel?

I pronounce it similar to "Rachel" but with the sound of an "L" right at the beginning, followed by the a and the r combined. So, something like "Luh-Arr-achel." Though, if you know the correct pronunciation I would love to hear it - L'Arachel is an odd name however you cut it.

3 hours ago, MadJak91 said:

Also, I guess this is relevant now: LINK

Oh... that was... interesting. I suppose I should have expected that considering the title. Frankly, I had seen it appear in my recommended videos before, though I never watched it because I didn't think it looked good to me. Though the horn "remix" of the Fire Emblem theme was kinda funny. Also, the two parts at 3:20 are basically exactly what I do in such situations as well.

1 hour ago, KnightOfNohr said:

Actually, Artur is a real name, I believe it's of Russian origin. (I learned that from Big Nate)

Really? Hmm, that's neat: I've always been interested in Russia. Regardless, it does look odd to someone who usually expects an "h" to be in there.

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5 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

And yes, I'm thinking about making a theory on fictional cartoon people's genetics. Don't judge me!

Haha, once you write that paper, make sure to publish it. I will read it! :D

 

5 hours ago, Rex Glacies said:

I pronounce it similar to "Rachel" but with the sound of an "L" right at the beginning, followed by the a and the r combined.

Makes sense. According to the FE wikia, she is Rachel in the Japanese version plus people in videos seem to pronounce her the way you do. I think she has one of the more unique looking or sounding names in the series. At least in the English version then.

 

6 hours ago, KnightOfNohr said:

Actually, Artur is a real name, I believe it's of Russian origin.

I am not sure about its origin (Wikipedia says Celtic) but yup! That is how we spell it here in Eastern EU plus a lot of other EU countries spell it without the 'h' as well!

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