Random Ramblings Vol.20 II : Flame Medalion Fighters Part Deux

I dun goofed!

SO, a little context before we start : a lot of these posts aren’t done in a few hours or two days. Some of them take months, if not years partly due to me being a lazy and unmotivated asshole and partly because I forget about them at times. Fire Emblem Warriors was such a post; I got FEW early last year, played it, regretted it, wrote the damn thing over the course of many months for various personal reasons and released it in November. After I went home for christmas, I got to replay FEW, while waiting for the Gyrozetter game to be delivered and I decided to purchase the DLC FEW had released. Yes, the post I made? It was the vanilla product, without even the fix patches.

I'll go commit seppuku after I eat this cake

I feel very guilty because the DLC actually improved the game quite a bit which isn’t something one is used to saying…ever. So, it’s time to critique and Fire Emblem Warriors THE ACTUAL COMPLETE EDITION. I redid the entire save file I had but this time on Hard and with permadeath on. Previously, my fresh game was Normal + Permadeath. My favourites out of the Fire Emblem Musou roster are Marth / Mars, Navarre / Navar, Owain / Udo, Lyn, Robin / Reflet(begrudgingly), Olivia / Olivie, Linde and Chrom / Krom. The twins are ok and Samurai Radditz’s moveset is cool. Oh yeah, I played the japanese version as well. Because fuck modern localizations. Translations or bust baby. And on the 3DS. Because fuck the Switch. More on that down the line though.

1.)The DLC and the patches fix a lot of crashes but slowdown in some of the last stages that are pure insanity do persist.

2.)They lowered the amount needed for supports by a bit and the Bond charms are a heavensent, so, even if I slightly grinded a bit(note that! Very slightly! while for Hyrule and vanilla FEW I had to grind a lot), I just got everyone(of my favourites) to have Astra aka Hasty Attacks and be awesome. At first everyone was Zelda Musou slow but then everyone was as fast as the Zelda characters when they have their Awakening on or just have their Hasty Attacks equiped on their weapons. As for Navarre and Lyn…well, they were fast before but with Hasty Attacks, the might as well change their names to Captain Falcon because they are about to run to Mute City for the races.

3.)Now that I got the DLC, I could use the DLC characters, even on story stages they were not supposed to be on, so I got to use my boy Owain, Navarre, Chrom and Robin(even if I hate his moveset) and Linde along with Minerva before unlocking Marth and Ryoma which is a huge plus since now the story would flow much better for me and I had most of my mains from the start.

4.)The DLC fixed the difficulty a bit in the later stages as the enemy suddenly perked up the moment the original stages kicked in(go figure, the stages paying homage to Shadow Dragon, Awakening and Fates aka the Fire Emblem games that take place in this crossover are beyond braindead), suddenly the challenge rose, I was having fun and I even begun to sweating, noticing that my characters could…die in game. I WAS THRILLED TO BITS, finally, challenge.

5.)Now, every character has a unique weapon and that makes thing much more pleasant because unike Hyrule Warriors Hasty Attacks, Divine Power(up the weapons power to 480) and Legendary power(ups weapons power to the absurd 720,like in HW) are not Weapon Attributes anymore that you have to unlock but rather crests in the crest market that you gin after certain stages in History mode along with the unique weapons some characters have. And that cuts the weapon grinding immensely. So that is a huge, tremendous plus over HW that had the absolute worse Weapon Grinding ever and only six weapons to hold each time compared to FEW’s 100 for each category.

6.)At least for my favourite characters, their movesets are almost perfect now as of Ver.1.50 with Hasty Attacks and almost all of them suit them. The main character twins, despite being clones have fitting movesets with enough differences to make it nice but they are excusable to a degree, Navarre is perfect beyond Words, Ryoma is amazing and so is Owain. Chrom and Marth are well executed and the Pegasus moveset is quite nice though it only fits Cordellia mostly, Takumi is captured perfectly while Tiki and her dragon transformations are excellent and cute. Olivie has to be some kind of amazing inspiration because she’s just…perfect.

7.)This time, I paid full attention to the Support dialogues and the fanservice included in the game(the way some maps are made, the jingles, music and even the sprites from some games to reference them, they are quite the treat) and here’s the rundown with some examples :

I.)Every support between the Fates characters is dull, stupid and ultra cringy just like the game and Kamui / Corrin is even more of a Jesus Yamato – Lacus fucker with everyone centering on them…*bleurgh*. BUT then, Navarre has a dialogue with Kamui, tells him / her off, tells Kamui that they are foolish and suddenly! Navarre says a phrase that Mu La Flaga told Kira!

II.)Marth and Navarre have a onversation and it’s a really heartfelt one from both Shadow Dragon and Mystery of the Emblem but suddenly! Navarre tells Marth something Milliardo told Heero Yui and Marth responds appropriately as they are both viced by Koyasu and Midorikawa and then…Chrom and Ryoma have a support conversation and they are voiced by – you guessed it – Sugita and Nakamura and the support is great, both characters act great, Ryoma comes off excellent since he doesn’t faunt over Kamui and acts like a human being for once and…they make a tiny reference to Tokyo Encounter.

Gangsters play games

But the absolute awesome thing is that in the final chapter, you have a character from Fates, called Marx say “if you don’t believe in yourselves, belive in your allies that believe in yourselves!” as if from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Now, Marx is this is cold, caluclating, caring knight tht shoulders the fate of his kingdom and his family and is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi in a very serious, royal way. But in that one moment, he lets his inner Kamina come out, just because Konishi voiced both characters. Too bad Maya Uchida(Lianna) never referenced Akibarangers, that would be the cherry on top of the cake. But Owain did make a reference to JoJo in front of Chrom who, since he is Sugita, is Joseph. So yeah, as far as fanservice goes, excellent in the japanese version and the added dialogues are great.

III.)Lyn’s Supports with Chrom and Reuflet / Robin is so sweet and nice, refering to Hector and Marc / Avatar / Tactician from Fire Emblem 7 on the GBA and the way she approached them and the way they approached her was so touching, I really teared up from the nostalgia. It may have been 14 years now but the memories of my first Fire Emblem with Lyn, Eliwood, Hector and me, the player, as the silent tactician who stood with those three through thick and thin, throught the adventure of a lifetime and Reuflet even says that while it is tremendously unlikely that he is the amnesiac tactician Lyn may have met, he still treasures her as a friend in a way he can’t explain, as if he was always her friend(refering to how Reflet is essentially the reflection of the player in Fire Emblem, hence his name, Reflet which is french for reflection) and wishes to support her with his tactics. God damn, the nostaligia and the utter attention to detail and care put in the Awakening characters and how they tie with all the other Fire Emblems.

IV.)The way the maps are structured and the remixed music, the sprites they have and the little jingles they get are pretty cute in the long run surprisingly, even when the DLC add new things to previously finished maps, making them endearing as well.

8.)The history stages, unlike Hyrule Warriors Adventure stages are more fun, compact and much less but that was due to the vast difference between Zelda and Fire Emblem as a franchise. The idea of Adventure mode in HW is a solid fanservice idea but due to grinding it became tedious, along with the weapon limit, the lack of awesome abilities etc but due to FE’s strategy and each enemy being a stage, therefore for the same amount of maps between the two games, FE offers a more compact, fun, less grindy and much less complex maps that ease you into unlocking stuff much more easilly. Add to that the DLC’s increased weapon and item drop rate as well as the FEW’s initiail ability to carry 100 of each weapon type from the start, the new addition of more personal weapons and all of them having 6 slots with the ability to power up, makes the stages not as eggregious.

The simple thought of giving each character their own materials for every rank they gain with Support conversations, easiliy raking some bronze, silver and gold materials needed for badges / crests, instead of going on stages, hoping the enemies will drop them just like HW is also helping a lot more now with more supports due to the DLC and easier conditions. To compare : in Zelda, those materials are waaaaayyy too rare to drop, with almost everything being too rare to drop even when stacking blessings and Awakening bonuses for enemy killings, while in FEW you don’t even need the damn thing to rake at least twice the materials and weapons you get in HW in half a stage.

9.)The fucking money yields, without even selling anything, is way too much and I can use the training gym to boost levels of other characters I don’t care to play as really fast and the costs for doing anything is lowered significantly from Hyrule and the most unique ones do have different kill counts so you can remember which is which to unlock instead of 3 different categories of skill sharing the same enormous kill count, while in HW, getting even half the amount of money from one stage was difficult. Couple that with the game not needing to autosave after every little thing you do anymore, so you can abuse the smithy and experiment without failure because you can reset, saving yourself a ton of cash, unlike in HW where everything is so set in stone that it’s suffocating due to the constant autosaves.

Now, I have to give special mention to one thing I didn’t draw much attention and unfairly slammed in my previous topic.

EX.)The best weapon attributes have reduced kill counts or no kill counts at all compared to HW and not only that, they are much more effective here because beyond Hasty Attacks. almost eevry weapon attribute is reworked and rebalanced due to the nerfing of the awakening gauge(which is fair, in HW if you are good you can stay for very long periods in Awakening and Young Link can stay almost indefinitely in Awakening mode as Oni Link / Fierce Deity Link)but they also give you fairly easy stages to farm infinite kills fairly early in History mode while HW’s Adventure mode offers none of that that easily and at a reasonably low level, so you are stuck with weapons with attributes you don’t know, have very expensive ways to guess what they are and have to find multiple good stages to farm if you are lucky for a stage to have even near the adequate amount of enemies to unlock 1/4th of the asked kill count for the skill.

So after all this…I can see why there is love for that game; it is even quite begrudging that I now respect it for some of the choices it made. I now love it as much as Hyrule Warriors, something I hate to admit. However, unlike HW, a game that was made far better on the 3DS and with each subsequent DLC the quality wavered because they added more things to grind instead of adressing that problem and made it very annoying but nevertheless kept the challenge and the A.I. high, Fire Emblem Warriors started as an absolute mess and with each DLC and patch, they actively bettered the game and cut the grind by implementing smart choices. And I can see why people love FEW more than HW on that simple reason alone. I have to give it to KT : they actually made good DLC that made me change my ideas and perception about a game. Make no mistake though, this is done because FEW sold very poorly and KT is unlikely to make a sequel because Ninty loves them mobage money too much and they already fucked over FEW more than once just to make their own trash, Fire Emblem Heroes, look and sell much better than KT’s game. This is played ultimately, with the mindset of someone playing for the first and last time with some of his favourite FE characters in a warriors game, ever. If they come back and soil this whole thing, you can bet even money that I’m gonna go full AVGN on KT and Nintendo.

FUCK YOU FEH

And there you have it. Those are the things that made it much, much better. But our story doesn’t end here. Oh no, the rabbit hole goes much deeper.

Remember the whole clones thing? Well, they are…weird, at least Navarre / Lyn and Owain / Ryoma. On one hand, it’s obvious that Navarre was the initial pick but the fan outcry for more diverse cast caused them to pick Lyn and slap her on Navarre’s code, because the moveset is amazing…for Navarre. Lyn dual wielding is strange, considering they could have given her Navarre’s S-String and have her use a bow as her T-Branches and nobody would have complained. Ryoma and Owain are a strange thing since The S-string fits both except Owain uses electricity as well instead of darknes…strange, the basic T-attack and the secondT-string are clearly that of his, while the first, third and fourth T-branches are that of Owain’s moveset…huh. A very weird mingling of moves but hey, it works somewhat for both of them, especially considering they have a dialogue in game that has them exchanging moves. Robin is baffling, they basically made hima full mage instead of giving him a basic sword S-Strning with his current spells…why? He just comes off as the Tharja clone, despite Tharja being DLC but given their animations, it’s almost implied, Tharja was initially picked becuase they were morons for waifus over at KT and then picked Robin because the public would lynch them for skipping on the epic bromance of Chrom-Robin(I’m serious, this thing has more supporters than any waifu pairing has) and Minerva is…just a clone of Camilla for no reason but then again, almost every character has clones for no reason. So that aspect was never adressed but hey, I have already raged about that before.

After reading some of the final interviews with the devs and there were some enlightening things that were said in that article since after a game is fully developed you can just say whatever you want since it’s not bound by the publisher or anything and…some were really interesting! Initially the project begun like it was initially leaked, before Fire Emblem Heroes and before the Switch was even in development! In fact, Link was first used as a placeholder for the enxt project using this engine, specifically as a title for the N3DS only, to push the device to its limits and improve on everything Hyrule brought to the table as Hayashi said while Usuda wanted to advance his skill in making a more engaging and more strategic Musou than the most recent one : the Zelda one. And in that aspect, they both succeeded, actions are much faster and this time they seem to be made with Hasty Attacks in mind, everything concerning the depletion of the stamina gauge to inflict critical strikes on enemies seems right out of Ninja Gaiden and Nioh’s rapid slashes, far more technical but duller movesets that lead to some insane juggling instead of using Zelda’s inginuity with items to puzzle out some fun juggling(and with Hasty Attacks, the whole thing became much more suited with it but the devs admit that it was accidental on their part, their “own little Onimusha to Devil May Cry” might say), experimental dual-tag and multiple characters on field that have to juggle multiple tasks at the same time and less grinding…sure they got it, at the cost of some slowdown, more intense graphics than Zelda and a different artstyle and enemies that are magically competent out of camera, rarely attacking commanders when in crowds and enemy commanders often winding up their attacks for a good 1 or 2 minutes as if from Ninja Gaiden 2 to do unblockable, highly damaging attacks if you don’t stop them.

The thing is, as a Warriors title, this is highly commendable, bringing the series back to its more strategic routes and the highest levels, I admit, I may not lose from enemies beating me down but I’m not exactly a commander slayer or a very good tactician on Lunatic / Ultimate difficulty comparatevely since I’ve been a comfy mook slayer on the Hard difficulty. But as a Fire Emblem game it is a disgrace on so many ways it’s not even funny and it’s due to, as Hayashi mentioned, Intelligent Systems, didn’t even care unlike Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma, the Zelda guys that were so devoted to making the Zelda Musou a good Zelda game that it came out as a good Musou and Zelda crossover while FEW, comes off a a competent Musou but as a horrible FE game, bringing everything down, especially when Hayashi’s and Usuda’s criteria for Fire Emblem were “Marth and Waifus”…and you can guess what happened. It’s quite the thing really and makes sense why the Switch version just looks…off and why it looks like they took a 3DS title, doubled its speed with no consideration and dumped it on a new console. Ninty got greedy but surprisingly it didn’t bite them in the ass while IS has lost all respect from me. Shadows of Valentia was their last good game before all the old members left / were fired for the new ones to bring forth this new era of intelligent Systems and I think Fire Emblem Musou is a perfect example of the franchise : a magnificent past, a great ending and a post mortem of waifus and utter stupidity.

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