The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem 4: Binary

by Miacis

Part 22: Ep 21: Alster Horse Exchange

Chapter 8: Dragon Knights of Thracia Part 1.5

Welcome back to Let's Play FE4 Binary. On the previous update, Seliph was about to seize Conote, but instead, I sent everyone back to Alster for promotions.

Patty gave all her money to her brother so he could afford the Paragon Ring, and it benefited him pretty nicely. No stats capped yet, but he's getting there.

I had Julia heal most everybody before leaving Conote. Because of her "promoted" Shaman class, she only gained 210 EXP despite using the Recover staff every turn. In vanilla FE4, promotions didn't matter in the EXP formula. In Binary they do, and promoted characters are counted as if they were 5 levels higher. That's one of the reasons why I always wait after the Arena is completed to promote my characters.

Finally, Lana got some last-minute heals, and Leen gained a couple of levels dancing everyone back home.

On to promotions! Seliph goes first, and surprisingly enough, has two options to choose from. If you don't count class change, I do believe this is the first time I've seen a Lord with more than one promotion choice.

His first choice is to... what.

Are you serious?

So, what's the deal with becoming a Lord Knight? I don't remember Sigurd having terrible stats, and that's because the Lord Knight class hasn't actually changed at all. Lord Knight still has the same caps, but Lords have much higher ones now. In the end it doesn't change much anything for Seliph, and simply gives him a boost earlier on rather than later. So it's really just there to give you a slap in the face and tell you you should be happy with just the B Lance and +3 Mov.

And if you're not happy with that, Seliph's alternate promotion is to become a Baron. By sacrificing -1 Mov, Seliph gains Great Shield and becomes instantly proficient in everything. He even gets the B Light rank to use Nosferatu, thanks to his minor Heim blood. Baron actually has more uses than it looks like, especially after Julia gets kidnapped. Give a few tomes and that Nosferatu to Seliph, as well as a later weapon only he can wield (in most playthroughs) then watch him easily solo entire armies.

But that's boring and tedious, and only really works on very defensive situations, which barely ever occur until halfway through the Epilogue. I'll take Binary's scorn and stick to my +3 Move, thank you.

Next up is Ulster, another unit with both interesting choices.

He promotes to Mercenary by default, gains some nice offensive boosts, +1 Mov, A in Axes, +5 Crt, and Pursuit. It's a very well-rounded promotion, all in all.

Just like his father, he can become a Forrest Knight. No Crt or A in Axes, but an outstanding Skl boost to trigger his sword skills, +3 Mov, and the Adept skill instead of Pursuit.

Forrest Knight is really, really tempting. If I wanted to play efficiently, I'd promote everyone who can into Forrest Knight, as they can all make good use of one of its aspects, and 9 Move helps a lot. But I still like variety more and Mercenary isn't mediocre by any stretch of the imagination, so I'll stick to the default choice.

Also, maybe it's just me, but I think Binary is missing a ton of opportunities for Great Knight promotions. Ulster would have been a good candidate for it as a third choice. Same for Delmud.

Besides, his sister gets three choices, so why not him?

Need I say more? Swordmaster Larcei is pretty much her mother only godly. It's still a shame about the little strength, but she's got the skills and weaponry to make up for that. +1 Mov, +10 Crt, and both Pursuit and Adept? Sign me in. She's also got a different palette from her mother's dark blue now.

Her alternate promotion is to become a Mercenary like her brother. There's no Adept, less Crt, and less Skl/Spd, but I wouldn't blame anyone wanting to give Axes to Larcei.

And just like Aira, her special promotion is to the Hero class for an in-between of stats and access to bows. Meh. They didn't even bother giving it a different palette from Mercenary, this time.

As promised back in gen 2, she'll be a Swordmaster, and thus gain the ability to tears holes through reality.

On to Lana. She's not doing amazing in the Skl/Spd department, but damn, that Defense.

Lana's default promotion is still to become the insane Valkyrie class. It pushes her defenses beyond reason for a healer, bestows her +3 Mov, C Anima, and +1 rank in both Light and Staves. She might hurt a little bit from the lack of Pursuit, but she's more of a frontline healer than an attacker at this point.

Oh hey, it's that Shaman joke again. Worse gains, no move bonus, no Anima. She just gets access to Jormungand, which both Julia and Ced can use more effectively.

Valkyrie it is! Though I wish they had added a third choice, for the sake of variety. Mage Fighter, maybe? They can use Light magic. Or Bishop. We don't get to use any Bishops.

Well, regardless, next up is Lester, who shall finally accomplish the destiny I had in mind for him.

His promotion choices being the same as Midayle's, he promotes to Bow Knight by default. He gets some decent gains, as well as +1 Mov, and a B Swords for better frontline fighting. The lack of Pursuit hurts, though, as the its speed cap isn't exactly stellar.

He also looks oddly similar to Paladin Finn when using swords. I've yet to understand the whole "blue horse" thing... white looked fine, in vanilla FE4.

So let's just get rid of the horse, and become a Sniper instead. That way, he keeps the Adept and adds Pursuit on top of that. He loses 1 move and access to swords for that, but gets a lot more Skl/Spd and a +5 Crt boost, both of which he needs.

Sniper will do most nicely on Lester. The stat boosts should help with his middling stats, and he could always use one more skill. It's not like I've really used his sword all that often, either.

Next on the list is Teeny, and she's... well, she's actually pretty scary right now. She's made of paper, but her killing potential is way up there.

Her promotions are pretty boring, though. Just like Tailto, her first choice is to become a Mage Fighter, and with even the exact same palette. As usual, she gets some amazing boosts, especially to Spd, +1 Mov, Adept, +1 rank in Anima, access to C Light/Sword, and most importantly, B rank in staff.

Mage Knight is basically the same, with worse gains, ranks in Swords instead of Staves (why would you even...?), no Light, no Adept, and a boring palette. But she does get +4 Move.

Teeny isn't really a unit I'd rush to the frontlines and she needs more skills, so I'll be going for Mage Fighter.

I couldn't get a pre-promotion pic for Johan, so let's go straight to the good stuff. Just like Lex, he can promote into a Great Knight by default, gets a large Str/Def boost, a B in Swords, and +1 Mov. It doesn't bring much novelty to the table, but it works pretty well.

The alternate promotion as Iron Knight is also pretty good, with all the defensive boosts and Great Shield, but no additional move. He also gets an A rank in all melee weapons, which isn't all that useful, but impressive-looking if anything.

However, those are nothing compared to his special promotion.

You see, Johan is quite the respectable fellow. As Larcei's husband, he must fill his part and set an example for their future offspring.

With this promotion, Johan puts all that unrefined "Axe Knight" business behind him.

And what better way to become a gentleman than to get rid of his smelly horse...

... and to tear off his clothes!

Berserker Johan has nothing much on the defensive side, but those attacks stats are going to hurt with axes.

But the real kicker is right here. Sure, he loses 1 move and access to swords, but who cares? He's got a damn +20 Crit and Wrath.

Since Vantage works all the time, that means anyone who tries to attack him will have a 40% chance of dying before even trying. And if they do manage to trim him below half HP, then they'll immediately die unless he misses. With the Pugi, that makes him amazing for both crowd-control AND bosses.

That is why I got these two together, by the way. After promotion, they end up with the same movement as well as similar battle roles. They're Murder Buddies !

Same goes for Patty and Lester, in fact. After promotion, they end up with the same movement and work well together for quick blitzkrieg tactics.

Also, they're cousins, and aside from Johan/Lakche, I'm going for a fucked-up gen 2 pairings run".

Of course, not everyone has cousins in the army, so I can always go for ridiculous age differences. Their roles aren't exactly the same, but I just like the idea of an Iron Knight / Pegasus pair. They also share the common point that Binary made them much more interesting units to use.

As for Julia, do you remember how a decent portion of the beginning of the game hints at a possible romance between these two, despite the fact they're half-siblings? And how she starts with 490 love points for Seliph, but then has a negative growth and can't be married without exploiting glitches?

Well, this has been "fixed" in Binary, and she can now have a romance with anyone she likes, including Seliph. Their movement ranges and roles in combat certainly aren't the same, but having them as lovers does help quite a bit for the very endgame.

We certainly have a better looking army, now. I honestly can't wait for Larcei and Johan to murderize all enemies they come across.

Not that Larcei didn't already do that, but you know what I mean.

I also did a bit of exchanging after all those promotions. Ulster grabbed Delmud's Silver Axe, and Ares received an Iron Blade and Thunder Sword from the Isaac twins. Finn traded his Steel Lance for Oifey's Iron, Nanna gave one of her healing staves to Teeny and Lester one of his Iron Bows to Faval.

While everyone is busy getting back up to Conote, I initially planned to go over the journey Leif went through during Thracia 776, as most of the places he visits can be found on this map.

However, it didn't really work out in screenshot format, so I made a video instead.

Hopefully that clears up a few things if you hadn't paid much attention to the world map during the game. And maybe that even brought back some memories from Thracia. (Xavier )

And there you go. On to Thracia!