Author Topic: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones  (Read 14878 times)

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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2012, 07:50:10 AM »
Well, I breezed through the first 4 chapters easily, but seems like I hit the first wall in chapter 5. It's insane how pathetically weak some of these guys are, and how careful/precise you have to be in your movement across the map.
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Offline KDR_11k

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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2012, 10:13:46 AM »
I'm planning to play the game with a no-reload rule, if people die then they die. Fewer worries that way. I don't see myself getting so much into the game that I would regret being unable to continue. I've played the chapters 0 to 2 and so far there has been no fun of either the normal or the Dwarf Fortress variety. Just the usual JRPG gameplay of "hit dude A until dead, then hit dude B until dead" with some wasted time introduced by the tiled map requiring multiple turns to walk up and hit dude B until dead.

A quick tip for new players, do not use "Seth", a least not until you level up your other characters. Seth is an advanced unit who will demolish most units of a fair portion of the game, but he will suck up all the EXP that should be going to everyone else, crippling your army. Your other units will gain entire levels from a kill while Seth will only get 2-10 EXP out of 100.

There is a similar character in Fire Emblem that is also a newbie trap.

And that is why I hate strategy RPGs, the silent death that is incorrect leveling. You don't notice it until it's too late to fix.

Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2012, 10:22:38 AM »
Well, I breezed through the first 4 chapters easily, but seems like I hit the first wall in chapter 5. It's insane how pathetically weak some of these guys are, and how careful/precise you have to be in your movement across the map.


Ross and Vanessa can be difficult to keep alive early game, simply because of their low starting HP, but both will be very useful assets later on so I recommend trying to keep them alive. Ross in particular can become one of the most powerful characters in the game if you stick with him for long enough, its just difficult getting through those early levels when he's a bit too weak to kill guys.

Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2012, 11:20:46 AM »
And that is why I hate strategy RPGs, the silent death that is incorrect leveling. You don't notice it until it's too late to fix.

It's funny how SRPGs tend to be very long games.  Yet a lot of them are designed to be replayed multiple times.  Even if you do use some characters to level 'incorrectly'.  You'll still be able to beat the game.  And the next time you play you'll level up different characters.  That's why I enjoy replaying these types of games.

Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2012, 01:33:06 PM »
I wish there wasn't so much story in any given go.  Thats why I think this be great for voice acting.   I care about the story but, I feel like I'm wading through a novel with occasional pictures.  I like the Gameplay and having the story a little more mixed in is better.


I feel the opposite way--  I'm really glad there isn't voice acting, because the story seems...well, so far, not so great.   I don't want to say the story is typical anime BS (and as the former president of an anime club in college, I'm not prejudiced against anime in any way) but....oh man, thoughts of bad fantasy anime keep popping into my head.  Record of Lodoss War anyone?  The text bubbles make it easier to skip and/or wade through.   I guess if the story was any better, I might agree with you...but so far (Chapter 4) there are too many characters and I don't give a crap about them.

And why does this game, graphically, look so bad?  Seriously, this was late in the GBA, yet it looks horrible if you compare it to, say, Advance Wars, which was practically launch.  The textures and sprites seem so much simpler, less fluid, and less detailed than those in Advance Wars, which makes no sense because in Advance Wars it was just a bunch of tanks, and I'm pretty sure that both these games are running off the same engine (and if not, darn, they seem similar!)

I even busted out my original GBA cart of Advance wars to do a comparison, and while it's not exactly like with like (Advance wars on a DSLITE vs. Sacred Stones Ambassador on a 3DS), Advance wars looks so much better.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2012, 08:56:16 PM »
I spent an hour and a half reading text in this game in one sitting yesterday... an hour and a half of solid text... I was slightly distracted so it was probably 45 minutes of solid text.

Thank god I finally got to the tower.  Now I can see the real might of a few of my units like Vanessa.  Now she can demolish the whole first level of the tower by herself.

I'm trying to get everyone up to at least level ten before moving on in the game.

Also everyone talks about Support in the general discussion and I have yet to figure out how that works.  Putting teams of people near each other and they should start to like each other then start buffing each other.  I have a lot of people that I in general group together but I've only gotten the Tutorial Social.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 09:11:02 PM by Ceric »
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 09:07:08 PM »
...
And why does this game, graphically, look so bad?  Seriously, this was late in the GBA, yet it looks horrible if you compare it to, say, Advance Wars, which was practically launch.  The textures and sprites seem so much simpler, less fluid, and less detailed than those in Advance Wars, which makes no sense because in Advance Wars it was just a bunch of tanks, and I'm pretty sure that both these games are running off the same engine (and if not, darn, they seem similar!)

I even busted out my original GBA cart of Advance wars to do a comparison, and while it's not exactly like with like (Advance wars on a DSLITE vs. Sacred Stones Ambassador on a 3DS), Advance wars looks so much better.

Its the same reason why Warcraft 2 can look better then Warcraft 3.  Art style.  Look at Advance Wars.  Really look at it.  None of the units are attempting to be as detailed as the ones in this game.  I don't think this game looks bad.  I think its pretty standard fair.

Talking about the art.  Did anyone notice that some characters have the comic looking eyes and other characters have real eyes?  I thought about making a team by eye type just for laughs.
I got a laugh when Erika made a ruckus about one of the characters her brother found having Indigo hair.  I just had to laugh because she have 2 members in here party with indigo hair and the wonder twins have bright blue hair.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 09:08:56 PM by Ceric »
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2012, 09:23:00 PM »


Also everyone talks about Support in the general discussion and I have yet to figure out how that works.

Between maps, check out a unit's support page. There will be between one to several other units listed. These are the other characters with whom that unit can gain support levels.

Pick whatever unit(s) you want to gain support levels with each other. The next time you're on a map  (story, random encounter, or otherwise) leave those units adjacent to each other for several turns. The number of turns you need varies greatly, so while Neimi and Colm gain support quickly (and in fact have one ready to use after just one turn!), others can take dozens of turns. In the previous game, one support relationship took around 70 turns...per support level. Luckily none in Sacred Stones are as bad, but be patient sometimes.

You'll know your units are ready when you select them and they gain a new action at the top of their character menu, "Support." Select it, read the brief conversation (or not), and then luxuriate in the fact that you've raised support levels. From now on, when those two characters are adjacent to each other, they'll get bonuses, which can sometimes be pretty sweet. +15% critical rate? Yes please!

Word of warning though: each character can only have a maximum of five support conversations in a single playthrough. You can spend these however you want. Use three support levels (the maximum any two characters can have with each other) with one character, and two with a second, or have one support level with five characters. The bonuses stack though, so specializing is recommended.

Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 07:04:35 AM »
Is there any way to keep everyone (all your characters and NPC's) alive in chapter 6?
8 attempts and the last time pissed me off SPOILER maybe the dang spider that moves
1 space per turn, swoops 4 spaces and attacks and poisons  an NPC the only one i had not
rescued yet.
3 gave overs, 2 frans 1 garcia and 1 Sword dude, UUGH!

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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2012, 07:37:39 AM »
Bring Vanessa the Pegasus Knight and place her lower right in the starting formation. Have at least one, if not both of your staff users bring a torch staff to light it up the area right and the top of your starting position. Send Vanessa along the bottom of the map towards the civilians and visit the village on the way. Once there "Rescue" them and fly them out of harms way towards the south. Have the rest of your team hold a defensive position until you can push to the right. Rush to the spider or take out the boss which will end the level.

Vanessa can fight the spider, but it's a stalemate and the spider is more interested in killing civilians than attacking you. Another alternate stragagy is to have Vanessa pickup one of your other characters that is strong enough to fight the spider and ferry them to the civilians along the same route. However it will make your main group weaker and the push right slower. The adult can take one hit and be poisoned for several turns without dying, the children don't stand a chance so recuse them first.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2012, 09:32:09 AM »
Ross and Vanessa can be difficult to keep alive early game, simply because of their low starting HP, but both will be very useful assets later on so I recommend trying to keep them alive. Ross in particular can become one of the most powerful characters in the game if you stick with him for long enough, its just difficult getting through those early levels when he's a bit too weak to kill guys.

Yeah, I had that feeling about Ross as soon as I got him in the game. I've never been a big fan of Pegasus Knights in any FE game, so I don't know how much I'll use her once I start getting more characters into my group.

Part of the joy of Fire Emblem games is turning those weak characters into unstoppable killing machines. I loved getting Nino in the first North-America FE game and using some of the abilities and potions on her. You never know when you're going to run into a character that has insanely high growths and will destroy everyone in its path.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2012, 09:47:24 AM »
The game outright tells you that Ross is a magikarp.

I think I'll rather play Tales of the Abyss, it's just more fun. The Fire Emblem story just starts out like a goddamn checklist of tired clichees.

Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2012, 06:37:50 PM »
Is there any way to keep everyone (all your characters and NPC's) alive in chapter 6?
8 attempts and the last time pissed me off SPOILER maybe the dang spider that moves
1 space per turn, swoops 4 spaces and attacks and poisons  an NPC the only one i had not
rescued yet.
3 gave overs, 2 frans 1 garcia and 1 Sword dude, UUGH!

First off, let me say I am really loving playing this game.  I find it reminds me a lot of Ogre Battle, but I think it is a bit easier to get my head around.
 
that being said, Chapter 6 is PISSING ME OFF.  I had a freaking archer one hit kill 2 or 3 guys.  I might just say screw it and play the game without them.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2012, 06:50:03 PM »
Well, this is my first strategy RPG, and I've gotta say: I love it. Now, that's not to say that it can't be frustrating at times, but overall I think that this is a really, really good game. I've put around 12 hours in it and I am now stuck on Chapter 14. But, for some reason, getting stuck in this game isn't as annoying as it is getting stuck in a typical JRPG. I dunno, but it feels like winning is always possible, and that everytime you try a map again, it seems completely different than the last time you attempted it. Also, grinding feels much less repetitive and quicker than in other RPG's. My only major qualm with the game is that I sometimes wish that the enemy phase would move more quickly. Oh, and also, quite a few members of my party have died. Ross, all the healers, all the magic users, all the archers, that girl who rides on the pegasus thing....yeah, that's kind of a lot.....Will this severely hurt me in the final stages of the game? I'm playing on easy, by the way.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2012, 08:29:37 PM »

that being said, Chapter 6 is PISSING ME OFF.  I had a freaking archer one hit kill 2 or 3 guys.  I might just say screw it and play the game without them.

I'm going to guess that the two-three characters that got one-shotted were either Ross or Vanessa. Ross, like Amelia and Ewan, starts out pathetically weak (but becomes one of the strongest characters you'll get), so most enemies can kill him in one shot.

Vanessa is a flying unit. That matters because archers get a bonus against fliers; they basically get a free critical hit against them, which is enough at that point to finish her off. There are a handful of such attacks/weapons, so before a battle starts keep an eye on your weapon and their weapon: if one of them is glowing, that means a critical hit is guaranteed on contact. On Chapter 6, keep a close eye on your cavalry units too, since some enemies have anti-cavalry spears that'll tear Franz a new one.



A lot of the difficulty on that map comes from the fog of war. Make sure you have someone use the torch you got in Chapter 5, and use Colm on that map: he can automatically see further than other units, and his speed is good enough to dodge most attacks at this point. Just make sure to keep his health up, because what he has in speed he lacks in health and defense!


Oh, and also, quite a few members of my party have died. Ross, all the healers, all the magic users, all the archers, that girl who rides on the pegasus thing....yeah, that's kind of a lot.....Will this severely hurt me in the final stages of the game? I'm playing on easy, by the way.

 Well, it's certainly not ideal to lose that many... Just focus on recruiting, stop letting folks die, and be prepared to abuse your tanks. A lot. The game's still beatable though!
 

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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2012, 08:55:16 PM »
And that is why I hate strategy RPGs, the silent death that is incorrect leveling. You don't notice it until it's too late to fix.

It's funny how SRPGs tend to be very long games.  Yet a lot of them are designed to be replayed multiple times.  Even if you do use some characters to level 'incorrectly'.  You'll still be able to beat the game.  And the next time you play you'll level up different characters.  That's why I enjoy replaying these types of games.


Well I tend to agree with KDR, which is why I prefer straight up turn based strategy games like Advance wars since it's all about tactics instead of level grinding/stats (especially days of ruin/dark conflict since they nerfed C.O powers) but yeah, im not ready to play another fire emblem since I played Radiant dawn recently but when i do play again im following KDR's lead and just dropping the game if i cant continue since I lost too many hours of my life resetting.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 09:00:25 PM by Lithium »

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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2012, 04:10:15 AM »
I've played through this game twice before, yet barrly remember it in the fog of FE games I've played. That said, I'm enjoying it so far. It feels punchier than the GC/Wii console games and less cruel than the first.

Of course, like all FE games, be sure to turn off battle animations and crank up the unit movement speed.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2012, 06:44:16 AM »
... im not ready to play another fire emblem since I played Radiant dawn recently but when i do play again im following KDR's lead and just dropping the game if i cant continue since I lost too many hours of my life resetting.

I hear ya. Radiant Dawn was absolutely brutal at times. I felt the same way when I finished it.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2012, 11:53:59 AM »
I am reading these posts and seeing that a good amount of people are struggling on some of the earlier levels (Between 5-7 seems to be the big ones) and for some reason, I feel really nostalgic reading this comments xD. I have beaten every US Released Fire Emblem multiple times and there are certain play styles I have found that work better for these games, espically levels where you are trying to recover a unit. Here are some tips that should help you guys.

1) Always play defensively! This is the biggest help I can give to people. Playing offensively hardly gets you anywhere in the game. If you are in doubt about moving a unit to get a single kill, don't make that move. Allow the enemy to come to you. The AI in the game is very aggressive and if you just take the levels slower and allow the computer to make the moves, you will see more victories and less restarts.

2) Travel in squads! Its always good to split your team into 2-3 units and give each an objective depending on enemy placement or goals. Makes sure to arrange the team for certain situations. Personally, I usually split my team as the fallowing: one squad is mainly my hard attackers with 2 healers and usually has a max of 6 units totall. The rest of the group stays together and travels the easier route, and I usually have the more defensive units such as Padalins and Generals in the slower unit. I try to mix the first unit to, such as one Mage, one healer, one flyer, 2 healers to cover each other and two physical attackers such sword masters, Heroes, Padalins, ect.

3) Know the enemy and plan ahead! Not many people know this, but if you "a" on an enemy unit, it will show you where the enemy can move. This is key when are making your moves and deciding how many squares you should move. If you hit "L", then you bring up the enemy stat sheet, allowing one to see what weapons the enemy unit has. Also another good tip is if the boss is defending a post or check point, he will not move, so never worry about bosses getting the best of you. You can simply use the rescue command the pick up the injured unit and move them to a safe location next to your healer.

4) If you are trying to recruit an enemy unit, easiest way to do it is like so: first eliminate all the guys around him, leaving him by himself. After that, take a character that has really good defense and resists there weapon and place him in the enemy units kill zone without holding a single attacking item (I always used seth in the early levels because even crits from characters can't kill him early on). The next turn, the enemy unit should approach the helpless unit and attack them. If all goes well, the character should live the blow and it leaves you free to recruit them as you please.

Thats the basic jist of things. If there anything else someone is stuck on, let me know and I will reply with something to help. Good luck guys!
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2012, 12:04:30 PM »
Also forgot to mention something some people said. What ever you guys do, do not underestimate healers, Pegasus Units, and the three pupil characters. The healers if trained properally will be able to attack upon there class upgrade and they are very good all around units. Pegasus may seem like they are terrible early on, but they are a good send latter on and if you upgrade them, prove to be very useful. They resist a lot of magic attacks in the game and are key players when trying to beat demons and the undead. Plus the weakness to bows is a mute point considering how far they can travel. The last 3 are easily the best units in the game with rediclous state growths. Go with Ross as a Pirate then Beserker, Edward as Shamon to Druid, and Amy or whatever he name is into a general and you have yourself the best units in the game! Do not underestimate these guys! They will save you time and time again if you put the time into training them, which is very easy thanks to the zombie tower you gain access to early on. The place is grind heaven and is the main reason the game is the easiest on the franchise! Ok, now I am done. Hope this helps :)
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #45 on: January 18, 2012, 04:59:04 PM »
Just finished Chapter 7, got Ross upgraded to Pirate. Remembering why I quit this game last time lol. Have to restart sooo much. Not quitting this time though. I just gotta make it to the grinding tower and it shouldn't be too bad.

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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2012, 05:05:01 PM »
I abused the tower when I got it so Franz, Neimi, Lute,  Ross, and Vanessa has gotten upgraded to there next forms.  Everyone is over level 10 who didn't have upgrades except Colm who is still level 2.  Ross was level 12 in his next form by the time I started the actual mission then he got his upgrade item after his first enemy so now he's on his third form.  I miss the Dual Ax graphic.

Man the Upgraded units level sooooooo Slow except for Ross.

On Colm... I want to level him but if he gets hit by anyone he's dead and the rest of my units one shot everything in the Tower now with almost no fail so he can't pick up scraps...
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2012, 09:28:02 PM »
Reading this thread gives me flashbacks to Ogre Battle 64. I think hearing James talk about this game will be more fun than actually playing it.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2012, 03:14:57 PM »
Is anyone else playing this on their GameBoy Player via GameCube, too? I started out alternating between it and playing it on my DS Lite, but now it's all GBP.  I feel like I can concentrate a bit easier on the task at hand.
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Re: RetroActive #21: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2012, 07:40:13 AM »
Well I started this game and got to the first Fog of War map and pretty much abandoned it.  After three restarts trying to not lose a good character (after already losing one), I decided I'd much rather spend my time on Skyrim sidequest 109 than Fire Emblem.  It's just too unforgiving.  A game can be challenging without being soul-crushingly cruel. I love my 3DS, I don't feel like throwing it out the window.


The sad thing is, this game is so close to being great.  What would make it better?


1) The ability to create more saves than 3, and at any time during a battle.


2) The ability to revive lost characters. You don't have to make it cheap, just possible.


3) More opportunities for/more interesting grinding.


Pretty much any two of those things would completely save the game without taking away the challenge. No, making a game punishing does not make a game more challenging. Running a sub 5-minute mile is challenging. It wouldn't be any more challenging if you got shot in the head at the end if you run it in 5:01.
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