Part 6: Ep 6: One Ring to promote them allChapter 3: Lionheart Eldigan Part 0
This time in FE4 Binary, we start Chapter 3, where things start to escalate very fast. The plot does speed up, and this is also the point where bosses start becoming real pains, while we get a bunch of promotions and a few crazy weapons ourselves.
I know it's a rather old patch and the main improvements were focused on the gameplay, but I do wish they had at least gotten rid of some of the most obvious recolors. This is already our third DiMaggio.
Also, Deirdre will be leaving us this chapter. I will miss your magic-cannonness, sweet lady.
I'm not actually going to do any progress on this map for this update, as we have no less than 10 promotions to check out today!
You see, Binary really enjoys rewarding you for going through the Arena. While in vanilla FE4, you would get 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500, 4000 gold for winning the successive fights, Binary amped it up to 1000, 1600, 2200, 2800, 3400, 4000 and... 8000 gold!
So even with the increased weapon cost, you get more funds from fighting in the Arena, and if you manage to beat it without using too expensive weaponry, you quickly end up with decent reserve funds. With that, I could pass the Paragon Ring around for everyone, one whole chapter before the usual time for that in vanilla FE4. That considerably increases everyone's fighting potential and believe me, I'm going to need it.
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +4 HP, +2 Str, +3 Skl, +3 Spd, +2 Lck, +3 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +5 HP, +3 Str, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +2 Lck, +3 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +5 HP, +2 Skl, +1 Spd, +1 Lck, +1 Def, +1 Res
Man, Noish is really humiliating his green buddy there. He's got as much Speed as Alec now, with twice the durability.
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +4 HP, +4 Str, +2 Spd, +4 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +1 HP, +2 Str, +3 Mgc, +3 Skl, +2 Spd, +1 Lck, +3 Def, +1 Res
Azel getting Strength, Skill and Defense levels? He really does love that Paragon Ring.
: Arena Completed, Gained 2 levels, +2 HP, +1 Str, +1 Skl, +1 Spd, +1 Def, +1 Res
Being promoted, Lex now starts getting lower and lower experience points. It doesn't help that the Paragon Ring doesn't stack with his own skill.
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +5 HP, +2 Str, +2 Skl, +3 Spd, +2 Lck, +3 Def, +1 Res
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +1 HP, +2 Str, +3 Skl, +2 Spd, +4 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +1 HP, +3 Str, +1 Skl, +1 Spd, +2 Lck, +3 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +2 HP, +3 Str, +1 Mgc, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +2 Lck +1 Def, +1 Res
I don't know what he plans to do with all that Magic and Resistance, but I guess it does look pretty when he gets levels in all stats.
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +3 HP, +3 Str, +2 Mgc, +1 Skl, +2 Spd, +4 Lck, +3 Def
Plus three HP, Strength and Defense? Uhm... okay, whatever you say, Adean.
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +5 HP, +3 Str, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +6 Lck, +1 Def, +1 Res
: Arena up to rank 4, Gained 2 levels, +2 HP, +1 Str, +2 Spd, +1 Lck, +2 Def
Dew is sloooowly getting there. Maybe he'll reach level 10 before the end of Ch5 at this rate?
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +2 HP, +2 Str, +1 Mgc, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +1 Lck, +3 Res
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +4 HP, +3 Str, +2 Spd, +1 Lck, +3 RDef
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +2 HP, +2 Str, +4 Skl, +3 Spd, +1 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 5 levels, +3 HP, +3 Str, +3 Mgc, +2 Spd, +2 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +6 HP, +5 Str, +4 Skl, +2 Spd, +5 Lck, +2 Def
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +3 HP, +2 Str, +1 Mgc, +2 Skl, +5 Spd, +1 Lck, +1 Def, +1 Res
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +4 HP, +2 Str, +3 Mgc, +3 Skl, +4 Spd, +3 Lck, +3 Def, +1 Res
These two had a pretty spread-out set of stats. That should be useful. Especially that Strength for Lewyn, who relies so much on AS to function well.
: Arena Completed, Gained 6 levels, +4 HP, +2 Str, +2 Mgc, +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +1 Lck, +2 Def, +3 Res
Yes, Sylvia did complete the Arena. I seem to have gotten especially lucky on the level-ups, getting a couple of 1HP-Prayers in there. Maybe I should call it a Level 9 X-Factor from now on...
Speaking of which, I encountered something a bit uncanny while making her go through the Arena. I'll let you have a look yourselves, see if you have any idea what happened:
Because I sure am confused about it. Lethality isn't really supposed to be in this hack.
The Arena enemies have once again had a few variations. Keleha the Duke Knight is now a Paladin. He also traded his Javelin for a Light Sword at range.
And Geller the Armor Knight is now an archer. Like Keleha, he is surprisingly purple.
The last two enemies now sport a Pursuit Ring and Killer weapons (Axe/Bow) instead of Brave ones. And finally, Bazan the Armor Knight was turned into an Iron Mage with Elfire, a new class that we'll see for ourselves in just a moment.
Elfire can also be found in the Shop now, along with the usual set of silver weapons. The Silver Sword was changed to a Silver Blade, though.
The lance goes to Finn, the blade to Aira (Beowolf gets her Steel Blade); the Axe goes to Lex, who sold his Steel Axe to Holyn and bought the Pursuit Ring; the bow goes to Jamke, and the Elfire to Azel, who gave his Skill Ring to Arden.
Speaking of Arden, he is just ripe for promotion, and will finally get a chance to shine. Unlike most characters, he only has one promotion choice.
Arden's promotion is a nod to Norton from TearRing Saga, a similar-looking Sword Armor who also turned into an Iron Knight. The class is quite more powerful in Binary, though. Of note: Arden has a unique shield, as all other Iron Knights have a large, thick, rectangular shield with a snake pattern.
For promoting, Arden gets +2 Str, +1 Skl, +3 Spd, +3 Def and +5 Res. I wish there was a bit more Skl in there, but that's already a fantastic promotion for Arden. Most importantly, he gains +3 Move and the Great Shield ability, although it was already his personal skill beforehand. As far as weapon ranks go, his proficiency in Swords and Lances increased, but he completely lost use of his Bows.
If you gave Arden a bow beforehand, you can simply dismount him to turn him into a General, gaining back his B rank in Bows, and only losing 1 Spd and 2 Res from it. (But with 2 less move...)
Noish and Alec have the exact same promotion paths, although I'm going to pick a different one for each, so as to balance them out and add some variety to the mix.
The default choice is once again to promote into a Paladin, which offers good, balanced promotion gains, and a bit of a sword specilization. The gains are +2 Str, +3 Skl, +3 Spd, +5 Mgc, +3 Def, +5 Res as well as +1 Mov. Their sword/lance ranks go up, and they gain access to Axes.
The secondary choice is Duke Knight, which offers less Skill and Speed but more power, and a specialization in lances. Its gains are +4 Str, +1 Skl, +1 Spd, +3 Def, +3 Res and +1 Mov as per usual. It also boosts their Lance rank straight up to A.
As for who went where, I tried to balance their weaknesses with the promotion gains. Alec is in desperate need of Strength, so he's going to be my Duke Knight from now on, while Noish will be my Paladin.
Azel is our first character with 3 available promotion choices, that he shares with Arthur from gen 2.
The default choice is an obvious one, with Mage Knight. It provides some pretty good boosts and no skills, but shines for its mobility. The gains are +4 Str, +1 Skl, +1 Spd, +3 Mgc, +4 Def, +2 Res and a fantastic +4 Move. As for weapon ranks, Azel gains 1 rank in all anima tomes, can use up to B swords as well as C Staves, which male Mage Knights/Fighters could not equip in vanilla FE4.
The second choice is to go for a Mage Fighter, which provides great stat boosts, a skill and more weapon ranks, but less mobility. The gains are +4 Str, +4 Skl, +4 Spd, +5 Mgc, +4 Def, +2 Res, as well as +1 Move and the Adept skill. The weapon ranks are the same as a Mage Knight, except for the addition of C Light, another new addition in Binary.
The third choice is a very odd one. By promoting Azel to an Iron Mage, he will mostly gain defensive stats, sacrificing speed and mobility for great tankiness. The gains are +4 Str, -1 Spd, +3 Mgc, +9 Def, +3 Res, and the Great Shield skill. He gets 1 rank in Anima magic, the use of Light tomes, and a better Staff rank than the other two choices. Also, if its map sprite looks familiar, that's because it's simply a mirrored General.
While the Iron Mage class has its uses, it won't be very practical in gen 1 with Azel's rather limited stats and weaponry. Mage Knight is pretty nice, but the Mage Fighter is so much better in combat that I'll have to go for him. Not only will it make it easier to get love points for him, I also really like that pointy hat on the map sprite.
Besides, we have another mounted unit who can use magic quite well.
Ethlyn's default promotion choice is to become a Paladin, which provides great stat boosts and turns her into a very potent physical combattant. She gains +5 Str, +3 Skl, +3 Spd, +3 Mgc, +5 Def and +3 Res and +1 Mov from promoting, as well as a rather useless proficiency in lances.
The second choice is to turn Ethlyn into a female Mage Knight. It provides a bit less in the physical department, but allows her to start really shining in magic. She gets +1 Skl, +2 Spd, +8 Mgc, +2 Def and +4 Res and +1 Mov. She also gets right to B in anima magic without losing any sword ranks, so I could load her with an Elfire and Silver Sword to let her go to town, at this point.
Since Azel went the Mage Fighter way, and Ethlyn has been getting more Magic than usual, I'll be going for the latter choice. With her Baldo-boosted strength and the massive +8 Mgc, she's probably the only character in gen 1 to be a good mixed physical/magic attacker. Plus, come on guys, bright pink armor.
Finn also needs to promote before he leaves the party, although his choices are a bit more boring.
His default choice is Duke Knight, which is his more potent and specialized promotion. Since Social Knights and Lance Knights have the same caps, his promotion boosts are the same as the red/green cavaliers: +4 Str, +1 Skl, +1 Spd, +3 Def, +3 Res and +1 Mov as per usual. It also boosts his lance and sword ranks by 1.
The only new thing is that his shield is a boring blue on grey instead of grey on purple.
The alternative choice is, you guessed it, to go for Paladin and get the more balanced stats. +2 Str, +3 Skl, +3 Spd, +5 Mgc, +3 Def, +5 Res and +1 Mov, while getting a straight A in Swords and access to decent Axes.
I really like the palette that Paladin Finn has, and the boosts might have been more appropriate to help him in gen 2. However, I know that I'm going to lack specialised frontline lance users until I get Altena, so I want the A in Lances that Duke Knight has to offer rather than one more A in Swords.
Up next comes Adean, who barely made it to 20, which is great, because her new promotion is about as amazing as Arden's Iron Knight.
Just like him, her default promotion choice was changed to a new class, the Valkyrie! On top of getting mounted levels of movement, it grants some pretty nice defensive stats allowing her to go a bit more often on the front lines. So she's even more beefy now!
Her gains are +3 Skl, +2 Spd, +4 Mgc, +5 Def, +5 Res and a great +3 Mov. As for weapon ranks, she improves in both Staves and Light, and gets access to basic Anima spells. By the way, if you're wondering where her High Priest class went, it's simply what she turns into when dismounting as a Valkyrie.
The second class is an interesting idea, but a complete joke in practice: Shaman. It gives inferior stat boosts on all fronts, with +2 Skl, +2 Spd, +3 Mgc, +3 Def, +4 Res and no movement increase. She gets +1 in Light and Staves, as well as access to basic Dark tomes.
So the only reason to go for Shaman is to get access to Dark tomes. Unfortunately, we will not get such kind of magic until gen 2, and even then, we will have better users for it... At least Adean's Shaman palette looks rather pretty.
Next up is Jamke, who has rather interesting promotion choices, although in our case, it won't be very hard to pick.
Being a Hunter, his default promotion is now Warrior. As expected with that kind of class, it provides a rather large boost in strength and defense.
The gains are +7 Str, +3 Skl, +5 Spd, +5 Def, +3 Res and +1 Mov. His Bow ranks will not increase, but he will gain an instant A in Axes.
What used to be his default promotion is now his alternate one: Sniper. As the name typically implies, it will mostly raise his skill attribute.
The gains for this one are +3 Str, +8 Skl, +5 Spd, +2 Def, +3 Def, +1 Mov and the ever-so-useful Pursuit skill. His Bow rank will increase to A, and he will also receive a passive critical boost of 5%. You can see it on the top right, added to the +1% provided by his weapon's kills.
While it's very likely we won't be using any Warrior class for the rest of the game, I still believe Sniper is the best class we can have for the sake of diversity. Just look at the Hunter/Warrior sprites: they're absolutely identical. Why they didn't at least change the palette is beyond me.
Besides, Jamke's accuracy was getting a bit worrisome, unlike his Strength, and I already have more axe users than I need, with Lex, Holyn, Beowulf, and a few others coming soon.
The last one we'll be promoting this chapter is going to be Beowolf, who made it just as barely as Adean to level 20.
His default promotion, Forrest Knight, is the good old Swordmaster-on-a-horse we all know and love.
Its gains are +2 Str, +8 Skl, +5 Spd, +2 Def, +3 Res and +1 Mov. He also gains the Adept skill and maxes his rank in Swords. Forrest Knights obviously dismount into the Forrest class.
Not to be mistaken for this class, the Mercenary, the "Hero-like" class from FE5. I would go and call it the Hero class, but there is another class called like that we'll see in the next updates. Anyways, this class sacrifices movement mostly for attack power.
Beowolf's gains become +5 Str, +4 Skl, +4 Spd, +3 Mgc, +1 Def, +3 Res and -1 Mov. By losing his movement point, Beowolf can gain access to maximum ranks in both Swords and Axes, a 5% critical boost, as well as the Pursuit skill, if he didn't already have it.
I'll stick to Forrest Knight for him, though. He doesn't need to go higher than B in Axes, and with his special sword, it gives him Pursuit, Adept, Charge, Vantage AND Wrath all at once. Plus, I'm not sure what the heck is up with the Mercenary's sword arm. That's not how you hold a sword, buddy.
Deirdre didn't actually reach level 20, but since this is the last chance we have to promote her, I decided to see what her choices are.
It turns out there's nothing much to choose from. All she can promote into is a Sage, just like in the original game.
The boosts for that class are still quite substantial, with +4 Skl, +6 Spd, +4 Mgc, +1 Res and +1 Mov. Add to that the Adept skill and an A rank in all Anima, and you've got yourself a deal.
She does lose a rank in Staves on promotion, which is unfortunate but of no consequence, since we have no A-ranked staves yet. As for the battle sprite, Deirdre's dress not only gets dirtier, but she also becomes smaller. Wow, what a rip-off.
Anyways, after all these promotions, I traded a bunch of items around and rearmed everybody based on their new classes.
Azel gives his Thunder tome to Ethlyn, so she can counter magically even at close range. Ferry gets the Lady Sword for easier village rescuing and keeps the Paragon Ring, since she's a bit behind on levels.
Our two cavaliers swap their inventories. Noish also gets the Killer Lance, and Alec the Knight Killer.
Deirdre sells all her items before leaving. The Silence goes to Adean, and the Magic Ring goes to Lewyn, who needs it to one-round the armors east of the castle.
The Knight Ring goes to Sylvia so she can dance on the front lines, now. Interestingly enough, that Ring and the Pursuit Ring are now worth only 20k. I guess I didn't need to have Sylvia grab the Silver Card, after all.
Sigurd trades his Steel Sword for Holyn's Iron Blade, as he's finally got enough Str to wield it properly.
Finn trades his Iron Lance for Quan's Javelin. Finn wants to have a good array of weapons for gen 2, and Quan will get ranged options soon enough...
Sylvia's Silver Card goes to Adean so she can afford the Silence, and let me spam some Physic/Silence in the future. Raquesis and Adean also trade their Heal/Mend staves to compensate for Raquesis's low Mgc.
Today, on "Let's find the difference between the incredibly similar-looking sprites", we have Heal and Mend. Can you guess what the difference is in their sprite? ... That's right, there is none! Never mind the fact that there's a perfectly useable Heal sprite in Thracia 776. No, they had to use Mend twice instead.
In any case, next time in FE4 Binary, we start the chapter. For real this time! And we're going to-wait, why does this Pirate have way more HP than the others...?
Gomes, my nemesis! You won't escape me this time.