The Let's Play Archive

Fantasy Maiden Wars I

by BlitzBlast

Part 1

Here we go!

Music: Eternity Interlude

This game also starts with a title crawl. I don't think you guys need a refresher of what happened in FMW2, though, so I'm skipping this.

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I think I'll help out next incident.

Music: Specter Buster

Smash cut to a battle between Reimu and Yukari!

Yukari posted:

You've improved a bit, but I do wish you'd try a little harder.

If you get tired of fighting Yukari, I'm always game.

I don't appreciate you all barging in and mouthing off.

Reimu, you're like, ten thousand years behind on your training. You should thank her.

And performing for a crowd just adds to the tension.

Whatever. You're both just bored. Besides, I'm strong enough. I don't even need training.

Is that right? There's no telling what future incidents lie in store. If you can't rise to the occasion, you'll set a bad example for your lovely followers.

Who asked for your opinion?

Sanae posted:

Reimu, are you here?

Oh, hey. Speak of the something something.

Hello. What are you all up to?

Suika and I are training Reimu.

Wow, training Reimu?

Not something you see every day, right? Wanna join the audience?

Um, actually, I came here on business. Having you and Alice here works out perfectly, too.


The repairs on Murasa's ship are finally finished!


Palanquin Ship Hangar
Music: Border of Regular and Irregular Days

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After surfacing, the Palanquin Ship crash landed into Youkai Mountain.

We've all been hard at work repairing it since then.


Moriya Shrine
Music: Secret Mission!

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Okay, liftoff! But first, a story about Byakure-

Just go already!




Merlin. Lyrica.

Music plays.

Humans and youkai gathered here at the shrine, the time is nigh... the time for the ship sealed in the depths of the earth to once again rise into the skies!

Ooh, they're making a real ceremony out of this.

Yes, they brought in the Phantom Ensemble and everything. They're pulling out all the stops!

I guess Miss Yasaka and the others believe in going big or going home.

Koakuma, how's the Buddhist reactor's output?

I still don't really get how a religion is a power source, but I guess that's not any weirder than Taoism making your bullets strong.

Steadily increasing. It just passed 50%. Now 60%... 80% and climbing. Releasing the safeties!

Ahh, nothing's more relaxing for me than being in a ship.

From underground to above ground, and soon, into the air. We've come far.

I never would've imagined seeing this six months ago.

Let us be grateful for the string of fate that brought us here.

AKA Reimu's intuition.

Today, we set out upon our next step, in the Palanquin Ship!

Buddhist reactor output at maximum and stable. We're ready!

Make this count, Murasa!

Time to fly! Rise, Palanquin Ship!

Music: Ark of the Spring Sky

Cue an in-engine cutscene!

The Palanquin Ship rumbles,

and takes off!

It goes all the way above the clouds, which makes the fact it appears to be hovering at the same height as everyone else in all other appearances kind of weird.

It flew! It really flew!

The crowd goes nuts.

Bravo! Our experiment was a great success!

We did it, Patchouli! Our research won the day!

If it was going to fly without a hitch, why aren't we on board?

Oh, Lady Patchouli. You can never just be happy about something.

So, Murasa, how's it feel to fly?

The controls are passable. I can fly pretty well with this.

That's one step on our journey to save Hijiri. Our battle has begun!

Yes, let's go!

Go where, exactly?

I like how they are all apparently just yelling really, really, loudly. SRW usually had some kind of radio channel as an excuse for this, but over here they are literally just screaming past the cloud cover.


I take it that was a spur of the moment thing.

Well, um, let's start with a trial run. Perhaps a lap around the area...

Good call. It sure beats sitting around.

For a ceremony this big, you need some excitement. This should liven things up!

Suika rushes out and gathers a bunch of enemies.

Huh? What's up, Suika?

You need opponents to test your strength, right? I'll be one.

Uh, that's not what we meant by a trial run.

Please don't go wrecking Youkai Mountain.

I'm not gonna turn down the chance to liven up a party!

Suika knows the score. This'll be a great side show for the ceremony. Hey, all of you, watching on the sidelines! Join in!

Wait, you talking about us?!

You're already this close. Fly with the ship, and you can see it even further up close.

Fine. You just want us to fly with it, right?

Nitori posted:

Oh, Marisa. You're missing your usual Hakkero.

Yeah, I left it with Kourin for some maintenance. He should be done with it tomorrow night, so I might stop by tonight to pick it up.

Damn it Marisa, Reimu is supposed to be the Nu Gundam here! Though I guess this could be Mazinger randomly not starting with its Scrander.

Anyway, Marisa's movelist has returned to pre-4M, only with Proto Malice Cannon.

Make sure to back off if it gets too hard for you without it. I notice that you aren't joining the danmaku battle, Keine?

Yes, I'd rather protect Akyu from stray bullets.

Do we have rivals?! They're raising their own racket here!

In that case, we just have to make sure our music keeps the hype train going!

Oh, dear. This is turning into an all-out brawl.

This ship isn't exactly meant for combat...

Heh, heh, heh. Or is it?


Okay, let's do this! Here's our kind of welcoming bash... a danmaku battle!


Victory: Reduce Suika's HP to 20%.
Defeat: Any allies are defeated.

And I'm back at the Moriya Shrine. All of the special terrain from last time is still here, but there's no point in using them.

Everybody's skills have been refunded again, but the Personal Skills are all still what they were before.

Now that I have a mothership, all my units have the option to board it. This slices off 10 Power right away, but also lets them regenerate a good chunk of HP/MP at the beginning of every turn. They can also move with the ship, and deploy without losing their turn.

The enemies are all above level 30, which actually makes them stronger than most of my FMW2 party. They're still wimps though, so it's easy experience.

Like most SRW battleships, the Palanquin Ship doesn't have many post movement attacks.

I never thought the Miss's ship would have weapons on it.

Well, it's not like we can just take them off. And I don't really want to wreck the ship again, so... Wait, what? I don't remember seeing this button before.

She's got pretty sharp eyes, she should find it soon.

The latest and greatest weapon we kappa put in!

Wait, did you take advantage of our situa-

Wow, this is so cool! Okay, let's go full speed ahead. Palaquin Ship, prepare to fire!

Give me a break...

Also like most SRW battleships, the Palanquin Ship is kind of weak. Mostly because Murasa's stats are geared toward Melee, not Ranged.

Marisa posted:

There they go. That's their standard danmaku field.
As always, the first enemy phase of the first stage has a danmaku tutorial. I accidentally had Hokuto translate this instead of the Palanquin Ship's battle conversation It's kind of amusing, so here

Palanquin Ship crew, do you know what to do at times like this?

When you go into a danmaku field, your evasiveness and defensive capabilities drop, right? What are we supposed to do about that, again?

Just switch to low speed mode and proceed with caution. It'll slow us down, but it'll cancel out the negative effects of the danmaku field.

And if you defeat the enemy unit in the center of the field, you can get rid of the field entirely.

You can always get rid of the field with a bomb or something in a pinch. Just use them wisely.

You guys are pretty well versed in this.

Stop acting impressed and start getting versed, yourself. I'll write all of the details down in the manual. Try to read up on it.

Yes, ma'am...

Losing the mothership is a game over condition in SRW, so the AI tends to zoom for them.

But the ships are usually super tanky, so it's not a real issue against grunts.

Meiling posted:

Ack, the ship's already airborne!

I blame Komachi for dragging her feet.

Normally these things have speeches that take all day. I figured we could afford to be late.

Lady Patchouli, I see the others from the mansion.

You're a little late. I see you brought Cirno and Daiyousei with you.

Yes, we ran into them en route, and they asked to join us.

Isn't this nice, Cirno? The ship is really flying!

Yeah, it's kinda cool.

You came at the perfect time. Would you mind joining us?

Let me guess...

It's not a very hard guess. A danmaku battle, right?

Cut to across the battlefield.

Shizuha, there are more people joining in.

Then we should get in on this, too.

Hina posted:

Wait, why am I getting dragged into this?

You wouldn't want to miss out on this, Hina! Then you'd just look silly!

I doubt that...

The party's getting bigger. How about we try out something neat? Reimu, Marisa. Try pairing up!

Uh, what?

Do you want to take a picture of us with the ship in the background or something?

Nah. Team up and put your danmaku together!

It's easier alone, though.

Oh, stop whining and try it!

Okay, then...

Marisa flies into Reimu...

And the Trichromatic Lotus Butterfly is born. I didn't make up that team name, incidentally, the game has preset names for a bunch of different teams.

The person in front depends on the protagonist. There are also different conversations.

Reimu's route posted:

Hey! Why are you out front, Reimu?

Because it'd be harder for me to do anything if I was flying behind someone.

Just try not to crash into me, okay?

Yeesh, whatever you say.

Marisa's route posted:


Hey! Why are you up front, Marisa?

You know what they say, first come, first served. It feels pretty good to fly ahead of you.

Yeah, whatever...
There, now you're divided into front and back.

Could we get more teams in here, while we're at it?

What do you say, Sakuya?

...Fine, as long as you don't slow me down.

Sakuya and Meiling join up.

Wanna go for it, Dai? If we do that, we could try out that trick we practiced together.

Sure, I can join you!

Cirno and Dai also join up.

Okay, we're teamed up. What now?

Don't think too hard about it. Use the "Swap" command to pick who's at the front and back, then just do like you've been doing. The one in front will attack like normal, and the one in back will back them up.

There goes the fourth wall.

What do you mean, back them up?

The unit in back will attack alongside the one in front. You can always add more firepower, whether you're attacking or countering. But you can't use all your attacks in the back, and they still consume ammo and stuff, so watch out for that.

Just hearing a lecture isn't helping me much.

Yeah, guess not. You can try it out in battle!

And remember, you can always use the "Swap" command with the △ button.


Victory: Reduce Suika's HP to 20%.
Defeat: Any allies are defeated.
Bonus: Reimu, Sakuya, and Cirno initiate an attack.

The bonus is a really basic tutorial on the team system.

Since Marisa starts in front, to get Reimu to talk I need to flip the team's positions. This is as easy as pressing Triangle.

I can access the spirits of each. Most of them only affect the character who cast them, but some affect both.

Example: Accel.

FMW3 is a fairly lax game, especially on Normal, so I don't need to go for optimal team setups. But if you really wanted to one of the things you'd need to take into account is what spirits the backrow member can contribute to the person in front. Meiling, for instance, would appreciate having someone cast Accel on her.

Less important is that character's team attack, which is indicated by that white circle to the right. At the start of every attack, the character in the back will chip in with an extra attack. While obviously you'd want to pick characters with strong team attacks, usually it doesn't matter much. Extra damage is extra damage.

Much more important is what you're losing. You can't split teams once they've been formed (and you pick them on the intermission screen, incidentally), so making one means losing an action every turn. This is where the Cost mechanic really starts to make dividends too, since pairing up super teams also means making deeper cuts into your cost. Generally you'll want to keep 3.0 or higher cost characters on their own and team up lower cost units, though of course it depends on the character.

But again, this is an easy game on Normal. You want to pair up two 3.5s? Go for it. Just, uh, don't expect to deploy too many units.

Okay Reimu, let's go beat up those fairies!


Something wrong?

Not really. My equipment is giving me a bad feeling for some reason.

Is that so? I can't see anything different about it.

(No way, is she nervous? That's not like her.)

What's wrong? You're awfully quiet.

Nah, it's nothing. Let's just keep it relaxed this time then.

So with all that in mind, Reimu and Marisa are actually an awful team. Sure you get Accel on Reimu, and Marisa's team attack hits fairly hard. But you're giving up one of your protagonists. Individually they're great, but being together means you get less done per turn. It doesn't help that Reimu is still out of Marisa's effective range, so you can't swap from Master Spark to Fantasy Seal or anything like that.

I guess you can use their combination easier, at least. But that still sucks so.

Here's an example of a better team. The Scarlet Devil's Servant Team (alternatively Faultless Fist and Knife, some teams get two names) is essentially a jacked up Sakuya.

Now that we've teamed up, can we still use Support Defend?

Yup, as long as the rear has the skill then they can cover the front.

Until now I've had to be careful about where I'm standing, but in a team it's easy. Look, I can protect Sakuya's back just like tha-

I'll be alright, I'll just defeat them with Counter first.

No way, couldn't you rely on me a little?

Team attacks ignore the usual range restrictions, so even though Sakuya attacked from just past 1-2 range, Meiling could punch the crap out of that fairy anyways. And as the conversation notes, characters in the back can also Support Defend the person in front, so putting a Super in the back provides a nice safety net for whoever's in front. This is especially appreciated with Sakuya, since if you recall her gimmick is nullifying attacks.

If we're together like this, we can do that combination attack!

Oh, like Reimu and Marisa or the Aki Sisters? Bingo, when you're paired up you can use those without worrying about positioning and stuff. Power and MP are still problems though, so keep an eye on those.

So now I can help Cirno even more.

Well duh! You and I are always together!

We've been practicing this combination attack a lot. Let's try it out!
The attack is absolute trash.

Lastly, Cirno and Dai. They're around to tell you that combination attacks (and friendships) still work if characters are on the same team,

but in practice they really just show you what most teams will be like: two units ducktaped together. They do more damage, and if they're lucky they'll get to share a spirit or two. And that's fine, not every team can be better than the sum of its parts.

Once the three teams form up, everyone gets much more chatty. And I mean that for the rest of the game, because holy crap FMW3 has so much mid-battle conversation. Like, there was literally a patch that added in dozens.

Having a danmaku battle in public like this reminds me of running a show. Perhaps I should let these children out as well.

My, you have more dolls than before.

I have a surplus of magical power. From now on, I can call out a doll whenever I want.

And indeed, Alice can now summon a Hourai Doll without equipping a personal skill.

Reimu and Marisa make quite the combination. Lady Kanako and Suwako too.

Sanae, what's wrong? You look troubled.

You're in front of a lot of youkai, so even if you're scared you have to do your best~.

Y-yes, of course!

(I can't be feeling jealous. I need to get a hold of myself.)

Sanae is kind of screwed this chapter, because it's way too short for her to properly build faith. She'll just have to make do with being Subpar Reimu.

hey guess who still doesn't start with ignore distance

With a fight this rowdy, do we even need the Phantom Ensemble?

We can do more than just solo lives.

It's been a while since we've had a sponsor this big, so our wallets were pretty noisy.

You guys are our backup, so you all better get pumped too~.


First I ended up fighting, and now I need to team up with someone... Though I suppose whoever I team up with will be quite unfortunate.

You'll be fine. Ever since that last incident, you've been worrying too much.

Yeah, I think this is your chance to get more friendly with everyone!

You're all rather positive. I suppose I'll be depending on your kindness again.

Okay, I can do this! I'll show them the power of the harvest!

Autumn is getting closer, so those sisters are getting stronger.

They're pretty awful during the winter, though... and to be honest, they're troublesome either way.

Thanks to being passed over for basically an entire game, Hina and the Akis are lackluster.

These ema racks are a bonus conversation spot. I have enough things to translate this chapter though, so I'm skipping it.

I've been participating in danmaku battles more and more it seems... I'm starting to think they're not that bad.

Oh, you were thinking about that too?

No matter how it might happen, coming into contact with the humans always keeps things fresh.

It took four attacks, but Team Benched managed to beat a bog standard kedama.

Also I am reminded for the umpteenth time that Hina has a new attack in this game.

Much more importantly, the Palanquin Ship hit 120 Power.



Hey! Watch where you're firing that thing!

Uh, sorry. It had a lot more oomph than I was expecting.

The more oomph it's got, the more careful you've gotta be aiming it!

But hey, that was a great action shot. And I totally caught it on camera. Wanna take another shot at someone?

This is so cool!

Sure is!

Sheesh. If people are watching us, we really can't afford to mess up. Murasa, watch out with your next shot.

Uh, yeah. Good call!

hey ryza

Music: A Certain Misfortune God's Song

did you know hina has a new theme in this game

Gray Esoterica was redrawn in one of the later patches of this game. The new one is much faster.

Still has the same dynamic kill though.

Suika is not very tough.

I want to at least try and kill her though, because she drops a Firefly Gem. If the name "Imperishable Night" didn't tip you off, there's going to be a lot of Night stages!

Thankfully, since it's possible someone might be playing this with zero carryover data (and thus start with no Firefly Gems), I can get up to four more Firefly gems across the first half of the game.

Lady Patchouli, you've done an amazing job. You've been out of the mansion a lot lately, so the mistress and the young mistress were getting worried.

This was a special case. I'll be withdrawing to the library afterwards.

I see. That's too bad, I thought I would finally get more chances to go out

What if we brought some books into that ship?

...That could work. There are already bookshelves there too.

It's probably worth noting that the order of attacks goes Team Attack > Regular Attack > Enemy Attack. So if a unit were to, say, trigger Pattern Type, their partner would give them a hand in killing the enemy before they can even attack.

Sheesh, figures. Without the mini-Hakkero my magic's just not the same. But I gotta be patient while it's getting fixed up.

Hey, Marisa! Don't look away from the battle like that!

Oh, right. First things first is this danmaku battle!

Suika has 18000 HP, so I can push her to 3601. It's a lot of leeway.

So Dai has a new attack.

Dai, are you scared? Should I take your place and fight for you?

No, I'm fine. I've been practicing danmaku too.

Look! These are my special fire bullets!


D-Dai- agh, hot! I'm meltiiiing!

It's a reference to how she inexplicably has fireball bullets in Great Fairy Wars.

It's awful.

But hey, I need to chip down Suika's health somehow.

Hina was not particularly helpful.

This would actually be a good time to use Trichromatic, but Reimu and Marisa don't have enough Power.

So I go for Fantasy Seal + Valor + Danmaku Power 2 + Magic Missile and

just barely don't do enough.

Also Reimu gets hit on a 3%.

This seems like a wonderful start.

Eh, not too shabby.

We've gotten the hang of flying this. I'd say that's a good stopping point.

We got to use some great weapons there. That was a good breaking-in exercise!

How was it, girls? That was your first battle in pairs, right?

It feels a little cramped, but I guess that's something you get used to.

We can think of some other possible teams when we have a break, later.

The sun's starting to set, so how about we move on to the next entertainment?

The next entertainment? Let me guess...

The banquet, of course. It's in celebration of the Palanquin Ship's flight.

Sweet! We can hold it in the ship's banquet hall!

No, I'd rather the ship return to where it took off from.

Yeah, we'll need to inspect its parts after that big battle it just had.

Sorry, Captain. Maybe next time.

It's not over until we're moored. Let's make sure we land this safely.

Okay, then we're gonna head back and get things started.

So that's the rumored flying ship. It's so different seeing it in person, compared to seeing it through a camera.

They were talking about a party. Are Aya and Momiji on board?

I wish I could join them, but I barely know any of those youkai...

Grr, I need to show some guts! If I pass this up, I'll never get another shot!

Oh, and Minoriko's PS gives me cucumbers now.


On Lunatic this chapter is tedious because the default levels are hilariously low. I basically have to park everyone on top of the shrine to make it through. It's still easy to get the bonus, and if I play my cards right I can kill Suika (who thankfully charges the shrine so I don't have to worry about getting to her) anyway, but I didn't bother and just sped on though because man. I am so sick of chapters 35 and 36. You have no idea how glad I was that FMW4 starts off in high gear.


The game has stopped. Thank you for your efforts.

...But you know, I never would have thought the Palanquin Ship would be equipped with things like that. Those kappa really need to keep things in moderatio-

What are you talking about? Those are the just the thing for this kind of game. You should congratulate us!

Battleships are any boy's dream!

Aren't you a girl? Why would you say that?

I'm just glad to finally be here. I hope our dreams can all fly together. We should aim to be like the Motherly Vanguard!

I'd rather have one that can handle itself alone in a pinch, like Orphan.

This game's pretty cheerful, so how about getting put in charge of a new battleship? This isn't an anime, you know. Kids can be captains too.


What's with that look on your face? You got something to say?!

What about you, Rinnosuke? Do you have any fantasies for a battleship?

Me? Hmm... well if you really want something, it would be nice if we named it the Rinnosuke Horse Jr and gave it a Beam Ram.


You don't agree?

Something about it just doesn't sit right with me...

Normally, you're supposed to yell about the port side.

Oh. I'll keep that in mind...

Thanks to whoever works on the FMW wiki, because half the references in this intermission flew right over mine and Hokuto's heads.