Music: Border of Regular and Irregular Days
Reimu, you've grown too powerful for your weapons to handle. You need an upgrade.
Well that's one way to reference a pilot's reaction times exceeding their machine's.
Hey, let's go fly around some more!
Take me with you!
The intermission screen has been redesigned to be much easier to use. I can track my top aces,
jump to any character's equipment/upgrade/skill menus from the deployment screen,
and boost WP levels from the upgrade screen.
I can now directly pump PP into stats (the stat up skills were dropped, which I guess was for the best),
and all of the items have snazzy icons now.
Speaking of the items, the FMW E and P carryover data items have effects now. The Scarlet Soul boosts damage by x1.1 when Power is over 120, and the Mystic Memory reduces SP costs by 20%. Both of them stack with similar effects, and yes both of them ended up being alliterative in english. Neat how that works.
Since I only have three Firefly Gems, one of the humans is going to be dead weight until I get my next shot at a fourth. Which, thankfully, is next chapter!
Back at the Skill menu, there are some neat new skills. Reimu picks up one of them, Blocking, which gives her Parry. Because you know, she didn't have enough ways to dodge attacks.
The sword and shield icons on the status screen will tell you if a character will get Parry or Shield Defense (or both) from Blocking. If neither of them are highlighted, they can't learn Blocking at all.
Reimu also snags Break Power Limit, which boosts her maximum Power to 170. FMW2 tied maximum Power to WP level, but I guess they changed their mind for FMW3.
Meanwhile Sakuya has her eyes on Diligence, which buffs the activation rate of Parry, Shield Defense, Counter, and most importantly anything that acts as Double Image. Like Private Square.
And Meiling, along with any other tank, will want Guard, which lowers damage received by 10% once the unit's Power is over 120. It levels up, as do a lot of other skills in this game. Shotgunning, Predict, and Belief (which now buffs Melee/Ranged) were even changed into level up skills!
FMW3 really rebalanced things, so I'll be touching over all the old characters.
New Spirits: Zeal (learned after an event)
After two games of being on top, Reimu has finally slowed down. Or rather, everyone else has caught up. FMW3 implemented dodge decay (as a unit continues to dodge attacks on one enemy phase, their evasion rate decreases), but that hurts her less than you'd think. It's just that there are so many absurd characters now that Reimu is but one of many. I would still put her on top, but a) I'm biased and b) a lot of that is from sheer inertia. I used her for most/all of E and P, so I'm not exactly going to stop for I. Well, I say that but you guys are probably never going to vote her in.
Hilariously, Reimu in FMW3 resembles Marisa in FMW1. She'll be getting a string of minor/major upgrades throughout the game that'll really bump her up, and while I wouldn't say she ends up the best unit (unless you dump all of the WP into her), I would definitely say she'll always be near the top. And, as is customary, with like zero effort.
New Personal Skill: Danmaku Power Lvl 3 (100% more MP, 40% more damage)
Changes: Can now create Hourai Dolls by default, has a new skill called Precise that boosts damage of Criticals.
New Personal Skills: Puppeteer (+8% Hit/Evade rates for every doll in a 3 panel radius. Dolls get the same boost), Doll Master (can summon two more dolls)
New Spirits: Fury (23), Triumph [next attack is a critical hit] (32)
The Aria of Forbidden Magic Team (or just Magic Team) is in the running for the best team in the game, so you can expect to see these two glued to each other's side for the entire LP. Just like how Reimu is FMW1 Marisa, Marisa is FMW1 Reimu: she starts great and is going to stay great. Meanwhile Alice has been severely buffed since FMW2, and can finally ditch her role as all-star Support Attacker to focus on other things.
Magic Team is one of the few teams to really have some synergy going on. Alice's massive range of attack is increased even further thanks to Marisa's Accel, and she can almost guarantee kills on most grunts thanks to Marisa's strong team attack. Meanwhile Marisa appreciates Alice's higher Focused movement range and benefits greatly from Triumph since it buffs her damage without tearing into her SP. Alice has a strong team attack herself too, so leading with Marisa maximizes damage. Oh, and the team gets a +15% (10% if you didn't carry over a save where you convinced Alice on 2M or chose her on 29M) Hit/Evade boost just for existing, that's pretty great.
Changes: Healer now turns Trust into Trust+. Has two new attacks.
Dai still heals people, but now she has new attacks! That she'll never use. Her Healer skill is the first you'll see of the + spirits; these things affect both members of a team.
Changes: Freeze now makes Ice Beam inflict a -20% evasion debuff. Has two new attacks.
New Spirits: Faith (38)
Cirno is still Cirno. Pretty strong, but can't hit for beans. Her new debuff sort of helps with that, and Ignore Size being purchaseable is helpful. Oh and her new combination with Dai is utterly pointless.
She gets Faith because it's called Friendship in japanese.
New Personal Skills: Koa Fighter (increases damage of Bubble Bullets and makes it post movement), Self-healing (can use Renew on herself), Energy Supply (gains 5 Power every time she uses Renew)
New Spirits: Renew [fully restores one unit's MP and Ammo, yes it has the same name as her ability, welcome to SRW translations] (58)
Koa is still Koa. She's actually not all that helpful in the back because unlike other SRW games, having an MP restorer in a team doesn't grant that entire team MP Regen.
Changes: Unmoving Library now also buffs her barrier's strength by 300.
New Personal Skills: Cyclical Magic System (Restores 20 MP whenever Magic Barrier nullifies an attack)
New Spirits: Fury (31), Faith (39)
Patchy and Nitori make up Magic-Science Academia, but I just call them Team Mediocre. Magic Team is so good as is that there's barely any point to trying to drag these two along. They're still Marisa's SA teammates so I usually at least try, but I've never been impressed.
If you were curious, Marisa B (Catalogue of Forbidden Books/I'm Not Holding Anything~) and Marisa C (A Sworn Friend's Bond) are bad because they're not Magic Team. Also because the only way you'd get anything out of them is to keep Marisa in the back to spam Accel, which is sort of a waste!
Changes: Elegant now increases Skill by 20 at 130 Power.
New Personal Skills: Time Paradox (can Support Attack herself if Sakuya has 30 more Skill than the opponent)
New Spirits: Wrath [deal x1.25 damage for a turn, zeroes critical rate] (47)
Changes: Qigong is now equivalent to Blocking.
New Personal Skills: SDM's Dragon (Meiling can use Support Defend on player phase. Limited uses.)
New Spirits: Grit (32), Valor (46)
Say hello to the former best team in the game. Servant Team used to be hilarious because Sakuya could trigger Time Paradox from the back. This made her the only person capable of essentially picking her team attack, and with Meiling in front she was effectively immortal. Also, you know, you had Meiling in front so that's a bunch of Support Defends for everyone else to use. Then that got patched out, so she has to choose between Private Square (survival) and Time Paradox (damage). And unfortunately there's no real right answer. It doesn't help that eventually another person will join who really, really wants Meiling as a partner.
On the other hand, most of Sakuya's faults only start becoming apparent once you hit SA. Servant Team will do just fine for IN.
As for Meiling, her new PS makes her one of the best backrow members in the game. It essentially gives the person in front a free Alert, and that's good no matter who you are. Only real problem is that it takes up a Support Attack slot, so if someone really needed to use that (*cough* Sakuya's Time Paradox counts as her Support Attacking herself *cough*) they're out of luck!
Changes: Valor is now learned at level 45.
Keine has pretty much completely dropped off as a valid tank now. Good thing it's IN and she's due for an upgrade.
New Personal Skill: Scythe of Exorcism (lets her use Taste of Death after moving)
New Spirits: Daunt (39), Triumph (50)
Oh man, Komachi. She's probably the worst 2.5 solely because she has nothing going for her. Even Daunt isn't all that useful because I'll be getting a much more effective source of debuffing enemy Power soon.
New Spirits: Valor (46)
Changes: Golden Autumn now raises Shizuha's Power by 5 every time she does a Support Attack.
New Personal Skill: Good Sister (does full damage in Support/Team Attacks, but it's bugged and only works with Team Attacks)
New Spirits: Triumph (35), Rouse (47)
The Aki Sisters have full spirit sets now, and that's about it. Shizuha's Attune is as useful as ever, free SP restoration items are always nice, and Super Aki Sisters Kick does solid damage. I've done MoF runs of this game before, the Akis are fine.
Changes: Centrifugal Force now buffs damage and critical rate. Has a new attack.
New Personal Skill: Sacrificial Doll (Hina will Support Defend a unit of your choice the next time they're attacked)
New Spirits: Triumph (31), Sacrifice [Next attack deals x1.8 damage, but next enemy attack is also guaranteed to hit.] (50)
Hina has both Accel and Triumph, so she's already a good backrow character by default. Being able to skip over Sacrifice's negative effect and safely use her new PS without worrying about her HP is just icing on the cake. Just... don't put her in front.
Changes: Telegnosis now decreases Snipe's SP cost to 15.
New Personal Skill: Front Guard (100% chance of Shield Defense while in the front of a team. Halves damage dealt), Patrol Tengu: (Support Attack/Defend level +1, even if they were at level 0.)
New Spirits: Valor (47)
Changes: Supreme Speed no longer has its debuff. Valor is now only 40 SP. Her initial skills swapped out Predict and P-Damage for Instinct Dodge and P-Hit. She and her finisher have a S rank in the Air. Can now switch if she's focused or not after moving.
New Personal Skill: Break Through (ignore generic danmaku penalties for a turn, limited uses)
New Spirits: Mercy (has by default)
Valor alone keeps Momiji as one of the premier tanks, and Diligence's buff to Shield Defense is just gravy. Meanwhile someone at Sanbondo apparently found out about the injustice that was FMW2 Aya, because she's gotten some massive buffs coming into this game. Too bad 90% of the time she's going to be stapled on to someone to make them go faster.
The Sacred Mountain's Tengu Team is more serviceable than all-star, but they'll never let you down. They're the Reimu route equivalent to Servant Team.
Changes: Lost SP Regenerate. I think the way Faith gains were handled was edited?
New Personal Skills: Max God (At 100%, faith gauge freezes and Sanae is unaffected by evasion decay. Sanae also gets buffs to everything.), Wind Sign (trade 10% faith for 25 SP, limited uses), "Land, Sky and Human" (boosts Sanae's friendships with her gods, and lets her gain faith from their actions)
New Spirits: Fury (35)
Yes, Kanako and Suwako will be joining. This was in the FMW I trailer, it's not a spoiler. The Moriya Faith Katamari is one of the funnier strategies, but Sanae stands fine alone too. I mean, she has Shrine Maiden. You really can't go wrong with that.
Changes: Learned Buddhist (Increases Melee, Defense, and Accuracy by a certain amount. Scales with Power.)
New Spirits: Fury (29)
Changes: Clever Commander now reduces Focus' SP cost to 10. Learned Buddhist.
New Personal Skills: Pendulumn Guard (gain four 2000 HP pendulums to take hits for her. Like a guaranteed but consumable Shield Defense)
New Spirits: Triumph (32), Assault [Casts Strike, Accel, and Valor] (44)
The Abandoned Temple's Afterglow Team (Temple Team?) is nice. Nazrin provides Triumph and debuffs, Shou provides okay damage. Like most other "natural" teams they have a 10% friendship. They're even both 2.0 units so you'd want to team them up anyways.
And finally, the actually new characters:
Personality: Resolute (Hit: +1, Miss: -1, Kill: +4, Get Hit: +2, Ally Killed: +2, Graze: +1)
Character Skill: Buddhist
Personal Skills: Venus on Board (doubles HP/MP regeneration rate of all docked units), Full Speed Ahead (Unfocused/Focused Move +1), Naval Tactics (+20 Range)
Spirits: Fury, Strike, Spirit, Grit, Valor (46)
Personality: Resolute (Hit: +1, Miss: -1, Kill: +4, Get Hit: +2, Ally Killed: +2, Graze: +1)
Character Skill: Buddhist
Spirits: Trust, Focus, Strike, Gain
The Buddhist Youkai didn't actually have a team name in FMW3 (since they never leave the ship), but I might as well use their FMW4 one. Ichirin is just a subpilot, so she doesn't do anything but cast spirits. Meanwhile, Murasa (her first name is Minamitsu but people call her Murasa because it's shorter) is in the unfortunate position of being incredibly unsuited for her own ship. Her highest offense stat is Melee, while the ship is almost entirely Ranged moves. As such, the Palanquin Ship continues the proud SRW battleship tradition of being absolutely trash at dealing damage. It's got good utility purposes though, and is about as durable as you'd expect a giant battleship to be. The ship is forced in every single chapter of this game, so it's worth it to invest some time into it. Ichirin having Gain makes it pretty easy too.
"Buddhist" is actually "Power of Buddhism", but that's kind of long.
Battle theme: Ark of the Spring Sky (At the End of Spring)
Murasa's theme: Crossanchor Murasa (Captain Murasa, Crossbone Gundam)
Ichirin's theme: The Cloud's Fist (The Traditional Old Man and the Stylish Girl)
I see you've stopped the game. Thank you for your hard work.
A short while after the Palanquin Ship's flight test, we set out for a voyage through the night sky. And underneath the beautiful moon, the usual fairies were causing trouble.
Chapter 36 of Fantasy Maiden Wars I: "Fugitive".
It's time for my danmaku battle debut!
Thanks to the addition of teams, voting is going to change up a bit: you can either vote one person (in which case they'll stand alone) or two (in which case they'll be a team). I'll be marking levels from now on so you can get a better sense of who hasn't been used in a while.
Try not to just spam teams, by the way. You'll be sucking up cost that other people need to vote!
Total Cost: 25.0
Palanquin Ship (always forced)
FA Nitori (25)
I hope by now you guys know who I'm forcing. You have 20.0.
(Cost only starts spiking up after chapter 40. It'll be kind of cramped until then if you want to use teams.)