BlueCavalier

What is it that People Love About FE5?

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I recently started my second playthrough of Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. To put it gently, I don't think the game is very fun.

The new mechanics (Fog of War, Capturing, Fatigue, Dismount), while adding additional complexity, are designed to put the player at a disadvantage and don't enhance the overall enjoyment of the experience. The maps are also riddled with beginners traps, most infamously in Chapter 4 where the game doesn't tell you that if Leif escapes first, the entire rest of your army dies instantly.

This is normally where the characters make up for things, but FE5 has among the least developed casts in the entire series. A lot of characters just don't have any more dialogue after they're recruited which makes the cast feel bland.

However, despite this, most people who have played FE5 really seem to like it. When it comes to worst games in the franchise, most people usually talk about FE1, FE6, FE11, or FE13 and Thracia usually doesn't receive too much hate. I'm just wondering what it is that makes FE5 such a good game to so many people.

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I just find it fun.

Lots of interesting mechanics like capturing that are pretty cool.

Although this does come across as a "I don't like this, so why do others?" kind of topic rather than one for meaningful discussion, but that's just me.

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Seriously I call FE5 as the "revolution" in FE for me in terms of mechanics, and it's the part current FE games are based on.

  1. Introduction of defend missions
  2. Introduction of a flexible skill system where you can let allies learn gained skills
  3. Introduction of capturing which is still the best mechanic in FE to me, and I'm really sad that it didn't return after that.
  4. Introduction of fatigue which defenitely needs some improvement because it screws the player too much. Other stat than HP should affect fatigue like ally's level / total exp.
     

However there are a few things in this game I really dislike like no guaranteed hit and miss and no possibility to switch unit's position in the battle preparation. Also it's dumb that you need door openers or (re)warps to beat the game.
That Leif has to escape last is a downer for blind players, but it makes sense plotwise. Would like to see it returning. FE10 did it in that way by giving bexp. to everyone who escapes before Micaiah. I think it's a fairer deal.

All in all FE5 is my favorite only JP game and consider it as masterpiece for its time. It gave a massive influence to the current games gameplaywise. It offered tons of fantastic ideas, even if some weren't implemented very well. FE5 needs a remake the most... or at least a decent translation patch.

Edited by Mister IceTeaPeach

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In a really weird way I love the game balance of Thracia. Which at first glance looks completely messed up but in practice works in this odd sort of way. The game throws a lot of bullshit at you but gives you a lot of over powered resources to combat it with. It's almost like an arms race of who can cheese each other more. And since enemy stats are relatively low (and essentially every character in the game is viable), the difficulty does come down to genuine strategizing a lot of the time time. Unlike many other games in the series where it's basically about utilizing the most OP units in the most OP way. Thracia is hard. And it's unfair. But it's not unfairly hard.

Edited by Jotari

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I'm playing through it for the first time as well, almost finished, currently at chapter 22 and I fucking love it. I really love the story, the setting is great, I love the way it's kinda down to earth, instead of saving the entire continent from some dragon it's more about Leaf's struggle. I also like how you don't always succeed but start out constantly running away and later fail in some endeavors.

As for gameplay, I love me some rescue-drops and this game started it. I don't really like skills but this game handled them the best imo. I also like how resources are relatively scarce, no villagers with 10k gold, but instead you have to plan how to capture enemies which is a great way to reward skilled play. The escape chapters also makes you weigh xp versus gold and all in all it's a very fun challenge because of all these factors.

At times the game feals really unfair, like the developers wanted to screw you over, but at the same time you get broken stuff yourself as well, like scrolls and a fuckton of warp staves, which creates a kind of weird balance. Of course, missing heal staves is a shitty mechanic I'm not going to defend, but all things together I really like this game. At times the game makes you really mad, but it does grant a large sense of accomplishment when you find a way to out-cheese the developers.

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I suppose the beautiful thing about Thracia 776 is that you can Arena and Scroll Abuse as much as you want and the game can still be a decent challenge to play, even on Paragon Mode.

Screw Chapter 5, though.  (And maybe 24x, but I never played that far, so I dunno.)

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I think the best reason for liking FE5 is that you can't mindlessly bulldoze your way through it like FE1,3,4.  Gaiden is the only other of the Kaga games to slow you down, and it does so by using a JRPG level curve instead of of putting your units in danger like FE5 does.

The character thing, is pretty much the same reason why some people like Shadow Dragon'st story so much. The (playable cast) don't have the personality that makes the English community love the GBA/Telius/3DS games so much, but the lord and his immediate advisors (eg August, Dorias) get a lot of attention. Besides this FE5 has probbably the most sympathetic bosses of any FE game if you consider the Freej generals (not just Reinhardt). Personally it helps me to visualize the story in terms of epic/folk literature instead of as a "medieval~high fantasy" which helps me because I think a lot of later games suffer from excess "psycholgoizing"" of charathers and I'm never quite sure about the dramtic/comedic shifts some of them take.

The combination of FE3 and FE5 ironed out the base mechanics used in pretty much verbatim in the GBA games and FE9, so it definitely feels more familiar than the other Famicom/Super Famicom games. Not talking about it's specific, stuff, just things like how doubling works, how rescue works, (for player units).trading.

It still has it's share of archaic-isms,  (battle preview doesn't do the math for you yet), the unit deployment order can't be viewed, especially on maps that split up starting locations like C20,  and not explaining a lot of things to you (the automatic support bonuses, escape).

If you are doing a second playthrough, it's one of the game's where you can have the "most improvement" on second playthroughs---- Just take advantage of the Cannon fodder this game throws at you to make several units proof against generic enemies for the entire game (still worry about the bosses/subbosses/magic users). And with staffs remember some simple math- As long as you use 1/3 of your sleep staff charges on enemy sleep staff mages, you'll break even (and it protects your melee units anyway) which lets you use them throughout the game, constantly. Warp doesn't need an introduction. 

I still gave it a C in Jedi's poll.

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Really fucking broken game with extremely abusable mechanic that allows you to do whatever the fuck you want. You know how people says Awakening is the 'culmination of series feature'? FE5 is basically that specifically for the broken mechanics that the series ever had.

 

Its basically RBY of Fire Emblem

Edited by JSND Alter Dragon Boner

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I heard that there are peope out there that enjoy a swift kick to the balls.

I assume the overall difficulty of the game, I haven't gotten 1/3rd of the way through it, but so far I've found it pretty hard.

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The setting/tone is pretty great and it correlates well with the gameplay. Leif's life is meant to be hard so the game is hard. Not a fan of some of the mechanics designed to trick blind players but the bullshit is what makes it so hilarious to play. It is that much more satisfying when you break things in your favour, too.

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11 hours ago, Mister IceTeaPeach said:

Introduction of capturing which is still the best mechanic in FE to me, and I'm really sad that it didn't return after that.

It somewhat makes a return in Fates although only specific classes can do that.

I've played FE5 and what I really love about it is that it makes you want to think hard while at the same time wants you to make use of every unit you get. FE5 has some of the most strategic elements of a TRPG that I have ever encountered out of all TRPGs that I have played and it even beats the levels to that of Final Fantasy tactics a game that had potential but was ruined by its bland maps and redundant objectives imo.

FE5 truly shines on the tactics department and for the majority of the times, the game always rewards you when thinking tactically. Fatigue is a concept that I also praise as it tries to make you use other units than the ones that you are so into so you can't always bring someone like Ryoma and solo the rest of the game because the game makes you want to use every unit that it gives you. Personally, I like that limit as it acts as an extra layer of strategy.

Homer may not be as great as Asvel but he's a good substitute if Asvel gets fatigued. Shiva can't get anywhere to the levels of Marreta but he can still be of use. Lifis can never end up being better than the king Pahn but he is good at what he does since he's a thief and thieves are really....really good in this game.

Capturing units is also another favourite feature that I wish future FE games do so. Sure, it makes the game slightly easier, but you need certain units that can pull it off fine and you only get so few of them until later on. But if you pull it off, it rewards you in the long run. 

The gotohs in this game are badasses. Swordmasters are >>>> than Heroes in this game and on top of all that, this is the only game that gets the weapon triangle done right having a balanced set of enemies where they use variety of weapon types.

Also...when was the last time we ever saw enemy dancers?!?!?

On top of all this, the maps tend to have a lot of diversity in them on par with FE7. Maps are always based on situation and never feel like they come out of nowhere while making the feeling that they come out of nowhere. 

The only issues I have with FE5 is sometimes the game is unkind to you especially since this is one of the games where you need to use a guide to make some progress. And while this game unlike FE6 doesn't force you to get all the gaiden chapters, you may as well go to them since some units are locked in those chapters and you need a certain one if you want to make progress further on.

The other issue is that the game gives you weapons that are just trolling you. Meteors are worthless simply because you don't have anyone who can use them and getting ranks in bows is extremely hard that you may as well use Selfina's bow rank in your favour.

And lastly, I hate the build stat. The reason for this is because you need it to be higher inorder for your thieves to steal.

5 hours ago, Von Ithipathachai said:

I suppose the beautiful thing about Thracia 776 is that you can Arena and Scroll Abuse as much as you want and the game can still be a decent challenge to play, even on Paragon Mode.

Ok I can get with scroll abuse but Arena? I tried it but it was just too damn hard. Idk, maybe I'm missing something here.

 

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FE5 can be a huge nightmare in a blind playthrough or for someone too inexperienced with these kind of games, but once you actually learn its kinks, the game is just too much fun.

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13 hours ago, Mister IceTeaPeach said:

Seriously I call FE5 as the "revolution" in FE for me in terms of mechanics, and it's the part current FE games are based on.

  1. Introduction of defend missions
  2. Introduction of a flexible skill system where you can let allies learn gained skills
  3. Introduction of capturing which is still the best mechanic in FE to me, and I'm really sad that it didn't return after that.
  4. Introduction of fatigue which defenitely needs some improvement because it screws the player too much. Other stat than HP should affect fatigue like ally's level / total exp.
     

However there are a few things in this game I really dislike like no guaranteed hit and miss and no possibility to switch unit's position in the battle preparation. Also it's dumb that you need door openers or (re)warps to beat the game.
That Leif has to escape last is a downer for blind players, but it makes sense plotwise. Would like to see it returning. FE10 did it in that way by giving bexp. to everyone who escapes before Micaiah. I think it's a fairer deal.

All in all FE5 is my favorite only JP game and consider it as masterpiece for its time. It gave a massive influence to the current games gameplaywise. It offered tons of fantastic ideas, even if some weren't implemented very well. FE5 needs a remake the most... or at least a decent translation patch.

A lot of this.

I'd add on to a few of these:

- It didn't just introduce Defend missions, it introduced Escape, and pretty much every objective type that isn't "Rout", "Kill boss" or "Seize". For better or for worse, it also introduced turn limits to completing objectives, if I recall. And, it has done something I don't recall seeing any other time in the franchise: It combined mission types. There's a chapter where, with one party, you have to Defend the Escape point while another party makes it through the map to reach the Escape point. The closest I think I've seen is missions where you have to keep a unit alive(Though they're usually not in your control) and you have to talk to them with a Lord to beat the chapter. Other games also do Defend chapters that end early if you kill the boss, but that's optional and not always enforced.

Long story short, it did a lot to introduce new, unique scenarios to the franchise which had previously been "Kill everything in your way". A lot of what makes the game "hard" is that it really likes to throw curveballs at the player. The difficulty doesn't come from gradual stat-creep or non-stop bumrushes from suicidal enemy units(Though Defend chapters still become this), which I still see as pretty unique outside of Conquest and some maps of Radiant Dawn.

- It has a very good balance within the roster. Due to how weak the enemies are on average, and how the game is a bit more objective-based, units that are weak in one or two key areas aren't in nearly as bad of a position as they are in most other games in the franchise. I'd say probably the largest portion of the roster compared to every other FE is usable to some capacity. The closest to a "useless" unit I can think of is Ronan, who is built as a squishy mage-killer that doesn't quite work out so well, and maybe Xavier, due to joining way too late and the stat caps hurting units like Generals in the late-game. Due to the capture mechanic, even the traditionally low-tier Bord-type(Marty) character is useful as a capture unit. At about the point where you start getting underleveled units, the game makes the best case for using a lot of them, as pretty much all of the low-leveled unpromoted units starting with Mareeta are effectively all Ninos/Ests. The way dismounting in the game also stops mounted units from running away with the game like they do in most other FEs. This isn't a flawless mechanic, as they probably get too nerfed with the weapon rank nerf, but a large chunk of them are still totally functional on outdoor maps.

- I also think the Crusader scrolls are a fun idea. They're a solid way to take control of your units and fix their most obvious flaws.

- Something non-gameplay related, I also think Leif goes through the most compelling journey of any FE protagonist in the franchise in this game.

Again, yeah. Game's flawed, and there's a lot I'd fix if I was in charge of a remake, but what it does right I think it does very well. I think it's the FE that most resembles Conquest, which a lot of the more involved FE fanbase seems to rate as having the best gameplay in the franchise.

Edited by Slumber

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15 hours ago, BlueCavalier said:

 The maps are also riddled with beginners traps, most infamously in Chapter 4 where the game doesn't tell you that if Leif escapes first, the entire rest of your army dies instantly.

 

Fergus:
“It could be anybody. For now, we have to run. The stairs to the north lead outside. I’ll buy time for you, so you go first.”

Leaf:
“But what about you?”

Fergus:
“Probably we’ll get captured again. But I don’t mind as long as you’re able to escape.”

Leaf:
“I can’t do that! When I escape, so does everyone else!”

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3 minutes ago, NOTchazbc24 said:

Fergus:
“It could be anybody. For now, we have to run. The stairs to the north lead outside. I’ll buy time for you, so you go first.”

Leaf:
“But what about you?”

Fergus:
“Probably we’ll get captured again. But I don’t mind as long as you’re able to escape.”

Leaf:
“I can’t do that! When I escape, so does everyone else!”

It could be clearer, but yes, the game does tell you to make Leif escape first or else everyone will get captured.

Of course, there's a good chance that people aren't even playing with an English script because of how disjointed the FE5 translations are.

Edited by Slumber

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Just started playing through I'm at Ch 6 and I am in love with this game. I love how the game utilizes the maps and gameplay to drive the story telling. This is seen a few times in FE4 (Yeid desert in Chapter 4), but is so cleverly done in Thracia. Obviously there's chapter 5 which builds an amazing amount of tension for the plight of Evelyn and Nanna, but i really liked the set up of Ced's introduction in 4x. How he starts up in that hallway sneakily killing guards and assisting Asbel, to holding off the the south flank killing enemy after enemy in the darkness as you escape safely.. freaking awesome. The AI is the best in any FE not just for enemies but for friendly units, as well.

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Hey y'all. Thanks for responding!

I think I went into my second playthrough with the wrong mindset expecting to hate the game again rather than giving it its fair shot. All your feedback has helped me view the game in somewhat of a different light and I hope that I can find just as much enjoyment as the lot of you have.

I'm sorry if this post came across as "I hate this game so everyone else should." It's just that I never understood this game's cult following until now. Understand that if this is your favorite Fire Emblem I have no animosity towards you and I'm glad that you were able to get so much enjoyment out of it.

3 hours ago, NOTchazbc24 said:

Fergus:
“It could be anybody. For now, we have to run. The stairs to the north lead outside. I’ll buy time for you, so you go first.”

Leaf:
“But what about you?”

Fergus:
“Probably we’ll get captured again. But I don’t mind as long as you’re able to escape.”

Leaf:
“I can’t do that! When I escape, so does everyone else!”

I didn't notice that in the script... Guess when I was playing I was so used to Radiant Dawn escape maps that I just figured it worked the same.

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3 hours ago, Slumber said:

There's a chapter where, with one party, you have to Defend the Escape point while another party makes it through the map to reach the Escape point.

*Cries in misery.

THAT CHAPTER is the one that held me back the longest in Thracia. That first turn was so frustrating because of one of Thracia's mechanics: You can't move allies. That is the only reason Chapter 19 held me back for months. A mechanic I don't usually think about shot my entire playthrough of this game in the foot. I'm surprised I even managed to beat that first turn eventually.

Oh I agree on the points in Slumber's post overall: This game has mechanical kinks (LIKE THE ONE I MENTIONED ABOVE) that need fixing, but besides that Thracia is the game that allows you to build and use an absurdly useful toolbox of most any unit and whatever items you get. Staves are the best weapon type in this game for a reason. That and Leaf is the best lord imo.

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7 hours ago, Harvey said:

Ok I can get with scroll abuse but Arena? I tried it but it was just too damn hard. Idk, maybe I'm missing something here.

It might depend on the character.  I know I had an easier time training Marty and Asbel than I did, say, Lara.

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24 minutes ago, Von Ithipathachai said:

It might depend on the character.  I know I had an easier time training Marty and Asbel than I did, say, Lara.

The arena in FE5 is a bit less forgiving than the arena in other games.

Honestly, the game tosses so much fodder at you, and the game has a pretty generous EXP curve, even in normal mode. Aside from accidentally leveling a character without scrolls, there's no real reason to arena abuse in FE5. You'll likely get more than enough EXP to level damn near two armies worth of units, which the game encourages.

Edited by Slumber

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3 hours ago, Slumber said:

The arena in FE5 is a bit less forgiving than the arena in other games.

Honestly, the game tosses so much fodder at you, and the game has a pretty generous EXP curve, even in normal mode. Aside from accidentally leveling a character without scrolls, there's no real reason to arena abuse in FE5. You'll likely get more than enough EXP to level damn near two armies worth of units, which the game encourages.

My point exactly. The arenas in this game are just pointless since capturing is a thing here. And for any useless weapons you have, you can sell them which should be enough to practically buy important items like keys, wind tomes and potions.

 

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11 hours ago, Harvey said:

It somewhat makes a return in Fates although only specific classes can do that.

I've heared about it, but unfortunately I never had the opportunity to do it practically, so I don't even know how it exactly works.

 

Also yes, enemy dancers are a real interesting strategic feature.

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List I have hanging around on my computer for changes I'd make to Thracia.

*No Hit % on staves. That's an annoying feature that doesn't help anything.
*Double the weapon exp gain for mounted units when unmounted.
*Fog of war lets you see the landscape like in later games.
*Remove the minimum necessary units and inability to reposition units.
**In order to retain the spirit of Chapter 19 while also allowing repositioning, I'd add a chapter 18x where you control Dorias during his attack on Connacht. The units brought to this chapter are the ones on the run in chapter 19.
*More cutscenes with Blume. I get that he isn't meant to be Leif's major antagonist since the whole point of Leif's story is that it's bigger than him, but Blume still deserves to have more of a presence in the world than just that really brief scene he appears in.
*Leif gains Staves (and a new sprite!) upon promotion
*A Soldier ally who joins Leif during the Manster arc. We need to use Lances in doors and Soldiers are a nice class to have playable.
*Units have their own stamina stat complete with a growth rate instead of making it based on HP. Within the first 15 turns of a chapter, whenever a unit waits they gain 1 point of Stanima back. If they also did not move that turn they gain back 2. After turn 25 they start to lose stamina even when waiting.
*Those warp tiles, most noteable in 24x, can't remember if they're anywhere else, are visible if you have a thief within in three squares of them, or if you have a unit holding a captured enemy within 3 squares. I still want them to function as traps but having them completely invisible like that is way too cheap.
*Chapter 21 features appearances from Ishtar, the three mage sisters and Faval. Additionally Patty joins the army with Delmud and can recruit Faval. Having him there not only gels well with Holy War canon but also furthers the plot development of Leif feeling inferior because he lacks a holy weapon. This also allows a happy reunion between Briggid and her kids (or perhaps an ironic non reunion as neither recognizes the other) if you decide to save Eyvel.
*Cyas and Ced are both recruitable. I don't see any good narrative or gameplay reason why you have to choose between one or the other.
*A magic bow. Mainly so Ronan's particular niche is more usable.
*Supports and base conversations, because Ronan and Lifis fighting alongside one another needs to be explained.

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6 minutes ago, Jotari said:

List I have hanging around on my computer for changes I'd make to Thracia.

*No Hit % on staves. That's an annoying feature that doesn't help anything.
*Double the weapon exp gain for mounted units when unmounted.
*Fog of war lets you see the landscape like in later games.
*Remove the minimum necessary units and inability to reposition units.
**In order to retain the spirit of Chapter 19 while also allowing repositioning, I'd add a chapter 18x where you control Dorias during his attack on Connacht. The units brought to this chapter are the ones on the run in chapter 19.
*More cutscenes with Blume. I get that he isn't meant to be Leif's major antagonist since the whole point of Leif's story is that it's bigger than him, but Blume still deserves to have more of a presence in the world than just that really brief scene he appears in.
*Leif gains Staves (and a new sprite!) upon promotion
*A Soldier ally who joins Leif during the Manster arc. We need to use Lances in doors and Soldiers are a nice class to have playable.
*Units have their own stamina stat complete with a growth rate instead of making it based on HP. Within the first 15 turns of a chapter, whenever a unit waits they gain 1 point of Stanima back. If they also did not move that turn they gain back 2. After turn 25 they start to lose stamina even when waiting.
*Those warp tiles, most noteable in 24x, can't remember if they're anywhere else, are visible if you have a thief within in three squares of them, or if you have a unit holding a captured enemy within 3 squares. I still want them to function as traps but having them completely invisible like that is way too cheap.
*Chapter 21 features appearances from Ishtar, the three mage sisters and Faval. Additionally Patty joins the army with Delmud and can recruit Faval. Having him there not only gels well with Holy War canon but also furthers the plot development of Leif feeling inferior because he lacks a holy weapon. This also allows a happy reunion between Briggid and her kids (or perhaps an ironic non reunion as neither recognizes the other) if you decide to save Eyvel.
*Cyas and Ced are both recruitable. I don't see any good narrative or gameplay reason why you have to choose between one or the other.
*A magic bow. Mainly so Ronan's particular niche is more usable.
*Supports and base conversations, because Ronan and Lifis fighting alongside one another needs to be explained.

I'd imagine most of these would be addressed in a remake. A good chunk of them were likely technical limitations/inexperience(Fog of war, unit repositioning, etc), a few of them were just eccentric design choices that didn't quite work out(Hit rates being 1-99%, fatigue being tied to HP), and some of them were just due to FE5 being around before these ideas would come into fruition(Base and episodic support conversations). 

But I agree with a lot of that. I think FE5 is an unpolished diamond. A second try to really work out the kinks, and I think FE5 would be recognized for more than its difficulty and being the game with Reinhardt. 

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