Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 finished!

Yeah, finally. Now I can get onto Megami Tensei.
Oh, and I updated the Fire Emblem Heroes Damage Calculator so that the Specials are more general and thus does not need updates every time the idiots at Intelligent (<-???) Systems adds another weird % Special.

Anyways, back to Thracia. In short, it was bloody awesome.

I would say the simplest way to put what makes Thracia good is that at the end of a very difficult battle (game-wise) is an excellent story.
That said, Seisen no Keifu was also a good story, so perhaps it is only natural that this would be interesting too.

The main story of the game is of course to win the war (which is part of the whole conflict in Seisen no Keifu), but the most powerful part of the game is Leaf's growth. What is excellent is that unlike the Narou Light Novel that is Fates, the characters do not just worship the great protagonist.
I particularly like August, who has quite the sharp tongue, never hesitant to make a sarcastic comment about Leaf's naivety. But he does it for the greater good, being quite the realist. What he says isn't really wrong either, but man, when he talks about just how wonderful Leaf has been treated by his servants or bluntly mentioning the mistakes Leaf's dead father made. Most importantly is August telling Leaf what it means to be a "Hero". That Heroes are made, for the sake of giving people hope. That Leaf is being made a hero by others.
But of course, this is just one side. For instance, Dorias is the opposite of August, caring about chivalry and all of that good stuff.
All in all, Leaf takes all of this in, accepting the fact that he is just a beacon of light, nothing someone incredible himself. Through encounters with people that are better than him (including one who is also a hero like himself), he grows to be a person more fitting to rule over people. Even August agrees that he has grown throughout the war.
In the end, he finally makes it back to where the story started and rescues the person that he has always wanted to rescue, but could not and had to abandon until he gained the power.

This balance between the protagonist and the people around him is excellent. Of course, I haven't forgotten characters like Fin, but more than any other character is Leaf's interactions with August that I found powerful.

As for the war, you have to realize that this is a Gaiden to Seisen no Keifu. So naturally, the big bad baddies are not defeated in this game. In fact, the final boss is just this mage gut with a special weapon that can actually be stolen if you tried...
The final chapter is a piece of cake, and the previous chapter (24 Gaiden) is more like the final chapter in story and difficulty.

Now, that is what I found amazing about this game, but I do admit, as far as system-wise, this is no doubt one of the most difficult or sometimes even unfair Fire Emblem games out there.
Oh, but before I start, I just wanted to mention that one of the coolest parts in this game is that the Thiefs can steal weapons from other units.

  • The maps are generally long
  • Characters can become tired if you use them too much, forcing you to balance out who to use/abuse
  • The Colosseum can be used to grind for EXP and money... But the enemies can sometimes be unreasonable. For instance, the worst are the mages that happen to have more defense than the Armor units that appear in the Colosseum. So your physical attackers do little damage while the mage gets to poke at your low RES.
  • There is no 0% or 100% in the game. Yeah. No assurance.
  • To get strong weapons, you have to Capture the enemy. Your stats greatly drop during a Capture attempt, meaning you have to face relatively low accuracy in order to get those weapons.
    • Yes, you can buy some, but they are very costly and you won't have enough money to buy all that you want
  • Reinforcements move the turn they appear (and oh do they appear)
  • You practically have to make specific moves at times in order to not experience hell
    • For instance, there is a map where you have to send someone over to the enemy boss' side and then immediately Rescue them on the same turn. If you don't, you'll have to face an army of units that have incredible accuracy and evasion.
  • Status ailments are demonic, lasting forever. The staffs sometimes have requirements for their target, but their range is INFINITE, the ENTIRE map.
  • Maps will sometimes start your units off split. The way the units are split depends on their position in the unit select screen. Which is NOT changeable in this game. Meaning you have little control of which unit goes to which group during the split, which can prove to be extremely fatal. 
  • Recruitment of certain units and other important events can be very hard, if not impossible, to know about unless you look online.
    • In fact, if you fail to go to a certain Gaiden, you lose your chances of getting the only Dancer in the game. You also cannot recruit the only person that can use the Unlock and Thief staffs, both very powerful staffs.
      • Thief can steal weapons from any enemy unit on the map who has less MAG, including the boss... Including the FINAL boss.
  • Units... specifically Staff-users, that do not have any weapons will be captured by the enemy without even a battle. The enemy also immediately takes away all of the unit's items, so you have to steal them back one at a time if this even happens... or the items are all lost.
  • Lance-user? Sorry, the final maps are all inside. In other words, you can't mount. In other words, any unit that mains a Lance cannot use their main weapons inside.
That said, there are also quite a number of ways to cheese through the game.
The biggest and most obvious is the fact this is on the Virtual Console, meaning you can save and reset at any moment in the game.
Using this, you can abuse the Colosseum all you want, which not only keeps your unit safe, but you can also earn as much money as you want. Most importantly, you can save/reset quite effectively to control the growth of your units.

One way to make the game easy that does not require the abusing of the Virtual Console... But can be set-up easier through it is to train a unit with "Steal" to have high Constitution.
What does a max Constitution Thief allow you to do?
First, it acts as the perfect meat shield. Even if you do not have any weapons, the unit is too heavy to capture.
Second, you can steal almost any item in the game.
Third, the unit most fitting for this roll is actually quite powerful and can also do a great job as a normal battle unit.
Fourth, you can have a lot of fun with the stolen weapons. Casting Sleep or Berserk on any unit you like on the map? Totally.

That said, the game does not become easy just because of this. Just "easier".

So yeah, great game, excellent story, high difficulty.
As I said before with Seisen no Keifu, if you ever play Awakening and Fates with its terrible story and childish world maps, these two games are like a godsend.
Yeah, these games were not made by the current staff of Intelligent(???) Systems. Who would have figured...

So finally, just wanted to show off some stats...

These are my units for the final map. I did also use a few other units during the game, like Eda, but they all mained Lances and weren't exactly useful for the final maps that were all inside.
Since stats all max out at 20 (except HP) and there were so many units, I thought just showing off the list of units was a better way to show them. First image is their Lv and HP, second is their other stats.

My grade.
Yeah... I took my sweet time, so even though I recruited and kept alive all possible units, I got the worst rating possible.
Something to improve on on a 2nd run, no?

My playtime.
Since this records the entire time the game is on, you can take out a few hours, but you can safely say that the game lasted me at least 40 hours for the run.

PS: I find Sara to probably be the cutest girl in the game.
...Yeah, mysterious silver-haired loli.
...She actually doesn't look that loli in her official artwork, but... you know. You get the idea.

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