Tag Archives: permadeath

Two more deaths and a confession for Fire Emblem: Awakening

fea deaths olivia and mycen

I have a confession to make: I reloaded a previous save in Fire Emblem: Awakening last night after losing too many–in my opinion–key characters during Chapter 19 “The Conquerer,” which felt like a slaughtering in all definitions of the word. And by key, here is who died during that one battle: Kellam, Nowi, and Norne. Two main storyline characters and one downloadable archer from the Bonus Box section, but I was mostly annoyed with losing Kellam, as at this point in the game I’ve reclassed him to be a Great Knight, making him an efficient killing machine. So yeah, I felt a conflicting twist in my chest the entire time, watched the cutscene after the battle, and decided restart my 3DS before I got too far in and accidentally saved away my digital friends.

The irony is that after reloading my previous save, I lost two other characters afterwards while grinding in better preparation for a second stab at Chapter 19. I figured that this was the game’s way of punishing me for going against my promise of permadeath all the way through. I’m not the only one feeling that hurt; see ya, Olivia and Mycen–it’s been real.

Right. I was using Reeking Boxes in some of the later parts of the map–depending where you use the item, the stronger the enemies will be, which of course means more XP to be gained–and this map was inside a castle, which meant tight halls and limited movement. Unfortunately, I moved Olivia too close to Serra, my healer, who was too close to an enemy unit. Once it was the enemy’s turn, they immediately made a bee-line for Olivia, striking her down in two axe swings. A shame she couldn’t sexy dance herself out of that fight. As for Mycen, a magic user toasted his Fire Emblem Gaiden butt, and I had only recently downloaded, fought, and recruited him to the Shepherds a chapter ago.

So now I’m down two more characters, which means I’m not fighting with a full company of characters in Chapter 19. And I need as many peeps as possible to survive that ordeal, considering how many enemy units there are and how often the reinforcements get called in. I was able to get Stahl to propose to Panne, and they got married. I’m not sure how to go about getting them to breed and make kids yet, and I’d love to have their child in the fight. I’m also trying to pair up myself (the Avatar) with Say’ri in hopes of stronger stats and a child. But it looks like if I’m to get past Chapter 19 any time soon, with all my friends save and sound, I will need to dip back into the Bonus Box for some extra characters. Any suggestions on who to recruit would be appreciated, and for all intents and purposes, I won’t be bringing back dead downloaded characters again, even though you totally can.

Onwards, I struggle. I mean…march.

Easy come, easy go with two more deaths in Fire Emblem: Awakening

fea rip gregor and cherche

Well, another chapter has been completed in Fire Emblem: Awakening, which resulted in two more deaths. One had no effect on me, and the other nearly had me breaking my permadeath-forwards plan and resetting the game to try again and fix my foolish mistakes…but I didn’t. Instead, I saved my progress, checked the roster list to confirm the death, sadly, and shut the game off for the night. Grr. Like I said in my previous post, I’m now at the point in the game where I’ll be losing key members of the party, people that I’ve spent some considerable time with, leveling them up and picking out their specific weapons and working on relationship boosts.

Let’s get this out of the way. Yeah, yeah, Cherche died, and she died because she is a Wyvern Rider, also known as Dragon Knight, which means “kind of useless.” That might sound a little harsh, but I’ve not found many uses for air-borne warriors yet. Seriously, all it takes is one thrown pebble, and down these winged warriors go. I’m not upset over it, as I barely used her to begin with, and mostly had to spend time moving her away from enemies more than anything else. Well, in Chapter 18 “Sibling Blades”, there’s a lot happening, mostly related to the map deteriorating due to rising lava levels, and I guess I forgot where she was, and the enemy quickly moved in for the kill. My bad, not sad.

Now, just before starting “Sibling Blades”, I did two or three small side battles, for grinding’s sake. On the last one, I got Gregor’s level maxxed out at 20, and then used a Master Seal to reclass him to a Bow Knight. This allows him to use bows while still being killer with the right sword. Also, after these side battles, his relationship status with Panne reached level B, and I was pretty curious to see where those two would go from there. Unfortunately, it will never be, as I moved Gregor too far ahead–and by himself–for his own good. Believe it was one of those wizards with Elfire or something that killed him quickly. I’ll certainly miss his friendly and refreshing personality, as well as that accent and unique speech pattern that made him both hard to understand and completely unacceptable at times.

With that said and no going back, all I can do is push forward, keep my living and breathing people healthy and healed, re-arrange my units properly before a fight begins, and kick some serious Grima butt. Also now need to either level up some non-used folks, like Nowi, or find similar replacements for Gregor and Cherche via the Bonus Box. Stay tuned…

Another five dead and gone in Fire Emblem: Awakening

another five dead in fire emblem awakening

It’s been a weekend, and not a good one for those living in my Fire Emblem: Awakening cartridge. Let’s just get to the heart of the matter and list the latest lost loved ones–I can’t confidently say I loved all of these characters, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration–and then I’ll tell you a bit about the how and why they died:

  • Lissa (retired)
  • Lucina (retired)
  • Nyna (dead)
  • Kjelle (dead)
  • Libra (dead)

Man oh man. Hold on a sec, I need to do some counting. Okay, okay. Since starting Fire Emblem: Awakening  last month and sticking with the whole permadeath aspect and not reloading once, I’ve now lost fifteen characters during Chrom’s plight to save the kingdom and bring about peace. Fifteen, yo. That’s crazy. I suspect I’ll lose a few more in the upcoming chapters as I near the end, but I really hope that’s not the case, as I’m now coming down to a handful of men and women, many of which I like and have strengthened purposely and with tactics in mind. Don’t you dare take away my Frederick, you hear?

Anyways, Lissa died–well, retired, really–during Chapter 14 “Flames on the Blue”, which is set on a bunch of boats in the middle of the ocean. Movement space is severely limited, and there were a ton of Pegasus Knights flying around the enemy boats. If you know anything about them, they have fantastic range, able to attack just about anything on the map within a move or two, and there just wasn’t enough room to keep Lissa safe, no matter where I moved her. As the main healer of the Shepherds, she only carried potions and friendly staffs, going down in just two hits. I ended up replacing her with a downloadable character called Serra, who is a sage and just at good at healing friends. But still, I preferred story-essential Lissa…

As for Nyna, another character that I downloaded from the Bonus Box, but grew to appreciate for her Elwind spells…well, she died during Chapter 16 “Naga’s Voice” because a big ol’ baddie with a Silver Axe rushed her and got lucky with a 2x attack. Not much else to say except that’s a shame, as she was pretty potent, and I had recently reclassed her with a Master Seal in hopes of turning her into even more of a badass.

Which brings me to the slaughter from last night, in Chapter 17 “Inexorable Death.” Now, if there is one large complaint I have about Fire Emblem: Awakening, it is so: you cannot arrange where your units start on the battlefield. They start where the game deems appropriate, and so for this battle, all of the weakest units in the Shepherds were grouped together in one tiny, constricting corner of the map. Kjelle, Lucina, and Libra all did their best, but it was not enough. Scared of losing anyone else, I made straight for the commander and killed him with fire spells and sword slashes and sick little smiles, for those that had fallen that day. And the days before.

Fifteen…

Newly joined Henry quickly becomes one for the books

rip henry fire emblem awakening oh well

Given the lapse of updates since I lost Sully, you might’ve assumed I haven’t played much more Fire Emblem: Awakening, but you’d be totally wrong. In fact, I’ve played a lot more, an hour almost every night. Granted, that one hour is generally a single chapter, boiled down to one long battle, but it’s forward progress nonetheless.

Basically, I’ve gone from chapter 9 to chapter 13 “Of Sacred Blood,” though I can’t really speak too much about what happened during those four chapters story-wise as things certainly do happen. One of them even caught me unawares. I can tell you, however, that nobody in the Shepherds died during four of the five latest battles, until last night, when dark mage newb Henry strolled on in and, just as fast, strolled on out. Dang it.

Although Henry hails from Plegia, he happily joins Chrom’s army because…well, he loves war. He’s like Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son; looks like a nice, innocent little lad, but then you find out he’s into blood and mayhem and decidedly evil things. Yeah, don’t let him babysit your kids. Anyways, he joins at the beginning of the fight, swooping in as a swarm of ravens, but I wasn’t really paying attention to him during the majority of the fight, as I knew where the advancing soldiers were and how best to handle them with friendly units I’ve come to know very well. Like Frederick and Norne and Stahl. So when enemy troops spawned at unguarded fortresses at the bottom of the map and Henry was all by himself, there weren’t enough Hex spells in the realm to keep him safe. Oh well. I already have my avatar and Nyna for excellent magic spells.

Okay, so Henry’s gone. I also missed out on recruiting a woman named Tharja in an earlier chapter, but I did get a few other newbies to join and remain safely in the Shepherds: Libra, Olivia, Cherche, and [name redacted for spoilery reasons]. Onwards we march, for peace and the Ylissean people…

Chrom’s childhood friend Sully is no more

rip sully fire emblem awakening

Siiigh. I’m definitely now getting to the point in Fire Emblem: Awakening where these deaths sting. As is the case with losing Sully last night to a bunch of sneaky Wyvern Riders. I managed to get through Chapter 8 “The Grimleal” just fine, recruiting dragon-turning Nowi and Irish accenting-Gregor with no problems, as well as alerting two of three villages of incoming attacks; that third one by the boss seemed trickier, and I put all of Chrom’s and Stahl’s energy on kicking the big baddy’s butt. I feel like I can brag, as I need to lift my spirits somewhat right now–no one really came close to Death’s kiss.

The next chapter, however, is a real pain. In Chapter 9 “Emmeryn,” the desert landscape severely hampers how fast and far your units can move, limiting you to only a few spaces each turn. I did not have Cordelia, my only flyer, in my team, and so this was more of a problem than the actual enemies on screen. Most of them went down fast and did zero to little damage if they did get an attack in. However, I kept Sully, Kellam, and Lissa back, as they weren’t needed with Chrom and company slashing everything to pieces. Including Tharja, who I guess is recruitable if you speak to her, which I didn’t by accident. Anyways, at a specific point in the battle, Wyvern Rider reinforcements show up at the top of the map, exactly where I was keeping some of my weakest units; well, not Kellam or Norne, but Lissa and Sully are extremely fragile. Two consecutive attacks from Wyvern Riders brought Sully to her knees, forcing her to “retire.”

Man, I really liked her, too. She’s Brienne of Tarth, all warrior and loyalty. She didn’t take crap from anyone, spoke her mind, and cared not that she was the worst chef in the Shepherds. I had even begun building a relationship between her and Frederick, much to his now dismay. Grrr. But the chapter ended, and I clicked “Save,” as I still plan to see this game through with who remains standing come the end.

So, in short, in one night I gained Nowi and Gregor, lost Sully, killed Tharja, and recruited Libra. Life and death, balancing out–the perfect summary for Fire Emblem: Awakening as of late.

Fire Emblem: Awakening has claimed three villagers and a dude named Edward

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Despite some very early losses in Fire Emblem: Awakening, I’ve begun to turn things around with Chrom’s quest to…well, keep the kingdom safe from all things evil. And figure out who Marth honestly is. I’m on chapter 8 currently if that means anything to you, but I’ve actually been focusing mostly on side quests, such as Paralogues, and general grinding battles to keep those in my team healthy, strong, and, most of all, alive.

Because I’ve lost several key units, like Virion the archer and sword extraordinaire Lon’qu, I’ve had to dip into the Bonus Box feature and recruit some new members from other Fire Emblem games to keep me at a full roster for some fights. Nyna, a sage from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, has been doing phenomenal with her Elwind spells. Got Norne now on my side, a deadly archer also from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Lastly, I managed to trick the myrmidon Edward from Radiant Dawn to join my galavanting troupe. Since money doesn’t come easy in the Halidom of Ylisse and buying new individual members is crazy expensive, I was able to get all three of these folks to join my team by fighting them and then winning the match. The fights aren’t terribly difficult, and so I’m not only gaining a new fighter, but also leveling up along the way. It’s a pretty good tactic, if I don’t mind saying so.

Anyways, down went Edward and three “ally” villagers during the Paralogue 3 “A Strangled Peace” mission. May they rest in peace…a strangled peace, that is! Edward I saw coming as I let him venture too far out all by his lonesome, but it’s not like I knew the guy personally; this was his first battle, as well as his last. Also, since he comes from the Bonus Box and not the mainline story, his profile doesn’t appear in the Roster list, which leads me to believe that I could totally re-summon him again. Might have to try that some day, but not with him, as he obviously wasn’t a keeper. Probably will do so with Nyna, if ever comes the day.

This mission is pretty similar to an earlier Paralogue, wherein you have to do three things: make contact with the village, protect any roaming villagers, and still rout the enemy. The problem is that your army is spawned at the top of the map, and the villagers are in the middle area, and if you don’t get to them pronto–and I basically mean within one or two enemy turns–they will die fast and screaming. Looked like one attack from an enemy unit was enough to wipe a villager. I did not realize this initially, and so by the time I even had enough troops towards the middle of the map, all three villagers were dead. I did manage to get Sully over to the village though and protect it from further attacks. So, y’know, the greater good and all that.

I looked up what rewards you get if you do manage to save the three villagers, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Look at this pile of whackadoo: a Seraph Robe, a log, and a spoon. Ooh boy. Granted, I don’t know the stats for the Seraph Robe, but the other two items are just astounding in their simpleness. A log? A spoon? Sorry, villagers, but you’re gonna have to offer more to Chrom and his compadres if you want to get saved next time. Until then, my fellow Shepherds!

Three more have fallen in Fire Emblem: Awakening

three more fallen in FEA

Well, this is all going downhill rather fast.

Played some more Fire Emblem: Awakening last night while Tara watched Back to the Future Part II. As Marty McFly ran around trying to fix his future kids, I did my best on the battlefield, but my best was not the best, as three more comrades have fallen. Two of them were brand-spanking new, and one was a rather quiet dude that I didn’t get to know in his short time with the Shepherds. Snartleblast, for sure.

Right, so…farewell Lon’qu, Ricken, and Maribelle. You three were too good for this realm anyways.

Here’s what happened with Lon’qu, which I take full blame for his death; on the Chapter 5 “The Exalt and the King” map, I tried sneaking him around the enemy’s side and was not paying attention to just how far and fast the opposing units could move. In short, he was slashed down rather swiftly, much to my dismay. As for the spritely Ricken and tinny-voiced Maribelle–her voice actor also plays Yuzu in Devil Summoner Overclocked, who I find very tiresome, what with her constant disbelief that the government could have anything to do with demons invading Tokyo–these two are dropped onto the northeast part of the map by themselves, about midway between my units and the enemy. From what it looked like, you have one or two moves at most to save them from downright slaughter, and I just wasn’t quick enough getting over to them.

Clearly, at this point in the game, having now lost six units (seven if you count not recruiting Donnel), any sane-minded gamer would have shut Awakening off and reloaded to fix this, but I finished the map without losing anybody else and recorded my progress. Stubbornness is driving me forward, as I want to know just how far I can go, and I’m also curious to see who will still be with me come the point of no more. Though a certain nervousness did slip over me, as I don’t want to stop playing any time soon, and so I recruited a new character to my team via the Bonus Teams menu in the Bonus Box. Specifically, Nyna, who I guess comes from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. Anyways, she’s a Sage, so I gave her some magic like Elwind and Fire, but haven’t got to see her in action. Recruiting her, a single unit, was costly (around 3,500 gold), and so it’s not something I can do to simply replenish my team once enough people are dead and gone. Might have to look into finding a new archer though…

Let’s end this post with a quote from Plato, in honor of today’s fallen three: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Yup, that’s true.

Two more dead, or should I say “retired,” in Fire Emblem: Awakening

virion sumia two more dead in fea

Well, last night saw me complete the Paralogue (which is a strange new “word”) and Chapter 4 in Fire Emblem: Awakening, and from those events came more losses. Keeping up with my promise to embrace permanent death and soldier on, I am sad to announce that both Virion and Sumia are dead. Well, maybe not dead-dead, as the roster in the barracks says they “retired” whereas Vaike’s profile definitely says where and when he died. Evidently, this means that these two characters are important to some plot beats and will still be involved in cutscenes, but are no longer useable as units. Either way, gone.

For Sumia, she moved too close to an enemy archer, which took her down in one hit. Think I learned my lesson there.

For Virion…well, I don’t remember exactly what it was that killed him. Might have been a critical hit from an enemy wielding a throwing hand axe. Either way, he’s done, and so my number of archer units drops from one to zero. Boo.

Oh, and I totally did not get Donnel to level up during the Paralogue, which means he went back to the farm instead of joining the Shepherds and fighting alongside Chrom and company.

So, you know, off to a stellar start. What happens if I run out of useable units? Will the game give me more as I progress, or do I need to purchase new teams from the wireless features section? I guess time will tell. I joked with Tara last night that if I get to a point where I can’t complete the next chapter because I lost too many people prior, I’ll just stop playing the game, accepting that’s how the story concluded in my mind. Or maybe I’ll just start over on Casual mode and try again in a more leisurely fashion, but for now, it’s onwards and upwards, to death and glory, but mostly to death.

Vaike, the first of many permanent deaths in Fire Emblem: Awakening

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Shortly before heading off to MegaCon, I found a retail copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening. That may sound like a rather simple statement, but this 3DS game quickly became rare after dropping in early February in sort of the same fashion as Radiant Historia, with only so many copies shipped to individual retailers. The three GameStops I visited did not have any in stock, nor did the local Target or Best Buy. At last, I found it behind protective glass walls at Walmart. So, y’know, always.

Regardless, I’m glad I got a copy before they all poofed and disappeared, though sadly that’s probably the main reason I purchased Awakening. Not because I have a love for all things SRPG or even any deep experience with the franchise, but because it’s a game that will soon be hard to find, and I’d rather get it now then not and moan and groan later over how difficult it is to obtain, just like I did for Suikoden III and Katamari Damacy for many years. Yes, I’ve become quite a neurotic collector over the past few years, and I’d rather have than have not.

As evident from my bipolar time with Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Overclocked, I’m not very good at strategy-based RPGs. I don’t really understand why that is, as I’d like to think myself pretty decent at action RPGs and just fine with regular RPGs, knowing how to level and equip better armor and grind for XP before the next boss fight. But as soon as I’m tossed onto a grid-like battlefield with a number of units to control, I fall apart. Maybe there’s too much info to absorb and understand, and from what I’ve seen so far of Awakening, there is a lot of data to grok.

Where to begin? Well, I guess with the plot: Chrom, the prince of the Halidom of Ylisse, and his companions, must join together during a turbulent era. The neighboring nation of Plegia has been acting suspiciously as of late, and in response Chrom commands a band of soldiers–called the Shepherds–to keep his country at peace. He encounters an unholy force called the Risen plaguing the lands and a masked swordsman claiming to be Marth, the Hero-King of legend. You end up controlling a character with amnesia who joins the Shepherds by chance. It’s kind of both typical medieval fantasy fare and non-typicalness, with hints of time travel. I’ve only gotten up to the start of Chapter 4, so that’s all I know currently.

And yes, I’m playing Awakening on Normal difficulty…in Classic mode. That means dealing with the permanent death aspect the franchise is known for. When a character’s health is depleted, that’s it–they are dead. No amount of Phoenix Down feathers could possibly bring them back. So you best be prepared for each and every battle, for every minute change to the enemy’s tactics, for every possible scenario and decision. Matt Mason over at Obtain Potion has some strong thoughts on defending casual mode, and I agree that people playing Awakening on Classic, but reloading a save after losing a beloved squad member are doing it wrong. If you care that much, switch to Casual and go about your adventuring, knowing every one is safe and sound in their big boy/girl beds after each battle.

For me, I’m embracing perma-death fully and plan to make it a point to share each and every loss I suffer here on Grinding Down, no matter how grand or small. I’m not trying to play the game as best as possible, following a guide and keeping all the best characters alive and paired perfectly. This is war, and war never changes. There will be deaths, and many more to come, knowing my skills. First up, however, is Vaike, an axe-wielding soldier with fun hair, which is a shame, as he seemed like quite a funny guy. But as quickly as he was introduced in Chapter 3, he was chopped to bits by enemy soldiers. My fault for not paying attention to weapon types.

I played a little more into Chapter 4 last night, losing Sully and Lissa, but also then having my own character die, which brings up the GAME OVER screen. So I kind of get a mulligan on that one, and hope that I can mix up my strategy better to keep everyone, including myself, up and moving. But if I can’t, well…them’s the breaks.

If you have any Awakening tips, please, please share them here. I still don’t understand a lot of it, and only just opened up all the Wireless functionality, which seems to offer side quest maps, new items, other teams to use, and so on. Also noticed that you can forge new items in shops. Oh boy.