The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem 4: Binary

by Miacis

Part 31: Ep 30: The Aftermaph

Final Chapter: The Last Holy War Part 3 Epilogue

Welcome back to Let's Play FE4 Binary. Time to put an end to this whole mess. What do you say about this, Psycho Julia?

Well that's just peachy. I was pretty sure I had left her weaponless though.

Well, you see, Binary still kinda hates you. When it put her mother's Circlet in her inventory, it also added a Purge tome. That should explain why I was in such a hurry to dispose of Ishtar's troops. I can't just wait for her to come to me and surround her with magic tanks.

Especially since she has a very distinct tendancy to hide into Julius's Meteor range, which also aggros the Deadlords.

The solution to this is to repeatedly silence her. Now, I was prepared and have 3 charges of it (missing Silence on Ishtar did not actually deplete any use), meaning we're now on a 18 turns time limit to reach and defeat Manfroy, seize Velthomer and go back to talk to Julia.

A lot of those turns are going to be wasted by my elite anti-mage mounted forces journeying to Velthomer and Altenna bringing in a ton of baits.

Fast-forward a few turns of moving around, and we're now near Velthomer. However, that's not Manfroy guarding it. Let's have a look at these Dark Bishops.

Oh, so thore are more fake Manfroys. Yep, you guessed it, that's a callback to the trick Gharnef was using during Marth's adventure.

The real Manfroy is located in the very middle of the Hel/Sleep Dark Bishops, and is actually pretty easy to locate if you check his profile. His stats are surprisingly not-maxed, but pretty close nonetheless. He sports the same Nihil/Dracoshield combo as the damned Pegasus sisters, and offers Charisma to his troops. His 8 leadership stars only apply to himself though, as the copies each have their own leadership of 4.

The real kicker comes with his semi-legendary Maph tome, also known as Imhullu outside of Japan. No, we don't need Starlight to damage him, but the tome still shows amazing defensive capabilities. It cancels any enemy attacks upon casting, meaning you can only get one attack per round on player phase, and none at all on enemy phase. It also halves the opponent's attack speed, which not only ruins your Avoid but also lets Manfroy double more often than you would like him to.

However, there is a workaround: weapons that negate the Loptyr effect also negate the Mass... I mean Maph effect. So with either the Blaggi Sword or the Naga's Grace, he can be damaged pretty well.

But before we get to that, there are a few Manfroy clones to destroy. They thankfully aren't extremely resilient.

Three down, two to go. While the boys are busy dealing with them, Teeny will be luring Julia back towards Velthomer since even Silenced enemies remain agressive.

Nothing much happens on enemy turn. Delmud gets Sleep'd in a perfect position to still provide Charisma support during his nap.

Meanwhile, Nanna gets attacked by Manfroy. Maph's animation is borrowed from the Hel spell and its sound effect is Yotsmungand's ominous wheeze. Fitting considering its animation inspired Yotsmungand's, and Maph means "demonic wind" in Japanese.

We're still pretty good on time though. 13 turns should be more than enough.

After all of Manfroy's copies have been defeated, Seliph finally confronts the real one. Thanks to his shiny ring, he can put a pretty good dent into his HP.

The baits have finally arrived! And of course, they get properly ignored. Man, that spell really hurts when it doubles.

Oh for Pete's sake, now you're just stalling for time.

I re-apply a dose of Silence on Julia, and then have Ares and Leaf wail on Manfroy. Even with his high defenses and immunity to skills/criticals, he certainly doesn't take physical damage as well as Burian.

For being such a nuisance, he gets a death by pink armor.

Now, on to this guy. He's got a lot of HP, but he's just a High Priest. Easy, right?

Hahaha, of course not. It's Naga time, ladies and gentlemen. That's right, we have a freagin' generic with the Naga tome, major holy blood and everything. Manfroy's whole deal was skills, leaderhship and special effects. This guy is just stat boosts all over the place. Thankfully, his AS isn't as high as it could be because of his low Str.

I present to you: Seliph's odds while under one charisma, his own leadership, and with a +10 Skl legendary sword. 17 damage at a 56% hit rate.

This'll take a while.

By all means, do not attack him with your legendary +10 Str/Spd/Def lance, Areone. It's not like I need some help or anything.

"Wasting Tyrfing uses for several turns" about sums up this fight.

The priest's name is Dreizehn, by the way. If my German isn't too rusty, it means he's the 13th Deadlord.

You know, if Manfroy can just pop Naga-wielding guys out of nowhere, I don't really see why he even needs to ressurect Loptyr in the first place. Just go ahead and conquer the world with a bunch of Heim zombies.

A few turns before I have to Silence Julia a third time, Altenna takes her chance to shine and lands a 37% hit. And with a 16% crit added for style.

Thanks for the help guys. At least take some pictures if you only wanted to be here as tourists.

What follows is pretty standard. We grab Velthomer and shake Julia out of her mind control...

... then she obtains the almighty Naga tome. It gives less boosts to her stats than in vanilla FE4 (+15 instead of +20), but it still makes her quite the force to be reckoned with.

In the regular game, you could just throw her at the Deadlords and she'd solo them easily. In Binary, they are incredibly more powerful, and Naga isn't what it used to be, so we'll have to do things another way.

But first, Altenna and friends will be visiting southern Silesse until Belhalla is conquered. I don't really have any more use for them.

And now, it's time for a Showdown. Julius's 12 Deadlords, versus my 12... Livelords? Something like that. Basically my best fighters, as well as Delmud, Nanna and Leen for basic support.

Seliph triggers Julius's ire, and the red team gets moving.

I simply let them approach, set Delmud and Nanna into position, and have them poke at a few guys here and there.

The stage is set, let's have our Epic Showdowns!

: Our first contestant is Eins. His reputation as an invincible mountain was badly besmirched in his last encounter with Larcei the Broken One. Will he be able to triumph over the leader of the enemy forces, or will he let a mysterious ring humiliate him a second time?

: So many blinks! And the mountain has crumbled! All he could do was land a feeble slash of desperation before a heavy defeat.

: Our next challenger also has a score to settle. And with skills like that, he's likely to do it with style! Fate has conspired to face this Galzus wannabe with the one who deprived him of his Astra Manual. Will Zwei be able to overcome Nihil and triumph regardless?

: Doesn't look like it. He's going to feel that one in the morning, folks.

: Finally a new face presents itself. Drei will not be easy to subdue, with his mighty blows and sturdy defenses. Is there someone in Seliph's army who can even match his wrath?

: Well, of course there is. Who could forget our undefeatable Johan?

: Following behind him is Vier, who's here to last. Thanks to her Recover skill, she gets back to full health every turn! With Prayer, that sure is one deadly combo! However, she forgot to use her Silence staff when she had the chance. Will that be her undoing?

: Looks like it's gonna be an evil sword instead. It's in those situations where you just wish you had capped that Luck.

: Another veteran used to these kinda duels, Funf, the mighty Snipette! With a quick hand and a bottomless quiver, it seems like nothing can stop her.

: Unless the student outdoes his master. For a Gatling Bow match, that one sure went fast!

: Skipping a few numbers in the German numbering, #11 Elf is next in line! After graduating from Shaman to Sage and turning to dark magic, she shows her overconfidence by not using her Sleep staff while she still can. Her Luna tome might be just enough to take magic tanks, who knows?

: I guess we'll never find out. It's a shame Nihil doesn't protect against criticals anymore, isn't it?

: Last in numbering, but certainly not in threat levels, Zwolf proves that all you need is a Brave weapon and a unique skill to scare the hell out of the opposition. With all Nihil users already assigned to other opponents, will anybody rise up to the challenge?

: Who but Fee, the Fortress of Doom and her arsenal of effective weaponry? She goes straight for the jugular and proves that even Swords for Ladies can sting as hard as the biggest of claymores.

: Looks like we're almost out of time for team Seliph but-ohhhh! Ced uses up his last charge of Blizzard to put his opponent to sleep. That sure was one dirty move.

*cough* Anyways, we have only 5 remaining Deadlords to take care of, mostly mages and the rather dangerous Neun who goes straight to punish Ced for his dirty tactics.

Meanwhile, Sieben gets the hell away from the danger zone and heals... Sechs' 12 or so damage from Blizzard. How nice.

Here's her profile. Dimethunder and Wrath in typical Freegian fashion. She could be nasty against someone who can't finish her off quickly or dodge her attacks, but she's kinda asleep right now.

Umbra saved her skin, but not for long. Most of the deadlords were given non-generic palettes. Sechs uses the same palette as Linda, for instance.

Seiben is probably one of the least threatening fellows here. He kinda hits hard, has a small chance to critical, but that's about it. He's mostly here just for healing.

I've already said that more than a few times, but using Arthur endgame is just so much fun. As soon as someone deals him more than the fateful 30 HP number, it's pretty much guaranteed he'll answer back with a Sol Wrath. And if there's something endgame enemies don't lack, it's powerful attacks.

Probably the most dangerous of the three anima users, Acht sports a high-caps class and a speed boosting killer tome. On top of that, he needs to be defeated in one round because of Recover.

I'll admit, that one was pretty lucky. If only two more of his spells had hit, she'd be dead. 95 damage with Umbra protecting him though... yeowch.

Hey, what's up, Excalibur/Valflame glitchiness? Haven't seen you in two updates.

As a rule of thumb, Neun is your typical "Nihil or die" swordmaster. Really, you don't want to get caught in an Umbraethercrit. Also holy crap, 6 skills, that's as many as freaking Julius.

I honestly thought these two would get along well. They have so much in common. Neun and Zwei (the Mercenary) both have Odo blood, by the way. The three anima mages also possess minor blood related to their element (Fala/Tordo/Sety).

Well, that leaves only this guy, Zehn. Another goddamn Maph user, as if one wasn't enough. He's got better stats than Manfroy, but less defensive skills.

The gloves are off. Eat Naga, you purple asshole.

Phew, now that that's taken care of, it's time for a final confrontation with Julius himself. Let's see what he's got.

Yeeeah, he's pretty brutal in his final form. Loptyr doesn't just provide a mere +5 Res anymore, so Julius is now deceptively fast and accurate. The only skill he's gained since last chapter is Nihil, just in case you thought you could cheese him with Larcei and the Blaggi Sword a second time.

Also of note: he doesn't have the minor Heim blood he had last chapter anymore.

So... yeah, you can't really just throw Julia at him and hope for the best. She'll miss him way too often, and probably run out of Naga charges if you get a bit unlucky.

Charisma/Leadership bonuses give her much more favorable odds though, so let's have her weaken Julius a little before I-

What? No no no no NO! That's not what you're supposed to do. I wanted to show the world that Seliph has grown as an individual and can claim the throne without some cheap overpowered Deus Ex Machina weapon.

Julia, you're ruining everything. Just leave the place to Seliph, okay?

Okay, he isn't exactly doing all that much better himself, but at least we don't just hand over the main character's moment of glory to her sidekick. Also, not doing 2 damage is really nice.

Goddammit, you're not really helping my dramatic buildup, Seliph. At least it's nice to know he's making good use of that Dracoshield.

Oh hey, they gave Great Shield to the Loptyr tome too? I guess 6 skills and a special effect just wasn't enough.

Dismounting time. Screw horses, let's finish this on foot, like true gentlemen.

42 damage on Julius. Something you could only dream of, in vanilla FE4. My fantasy of having an epic finisher to this adventure has been fulfilled.

: Urrgghhhh...
Take note, Celice...!
While greed exists in men's hearts...
...I will return...!
...You've been warned!

One last fun fact for the road: Do Julius' dying words sound familiar, when he's slain by Seliph? They're the same as Medeus' death quote in the original FE3. That wasn't added in Binary, but it's a nice easter egg for those who took the time to fight Julius the harder way.

And with that, the fight for Jugdral is finally over. Man, that took awhile, but it certainly was a fun final chapter.

Two more things to do before we finish up this story:

First, some completionism! Julia goes through the Arena and completely destroys Marth.

Then there's the Again staff that I never got the chance to show off. The long range animation doesn't show the targeted character, but it works. It has no sound effect and can be used even on characters who have finished their turn, so it's only semi-working.

But that's about it. Seliph seizes Belhalla and we win. Sadly, the ending is unchanged and unorthodox pairings are considered null.

So how about we try and imagine what has become of our heroes, considering all that's happened and the crazy pairings we got to witness?

Exceptional Duelist and Beggar King
On their way to Isaach, Shanan challenged Ulster to a duel for the Balmung, with little success. His cousin dispossessed him of his sword, but also his throne and most of his savings. Now King of Isaach, Ulster has been contemplating the idea of building a new Evil Empire "like in the good ol' days". Shanan was never seen again.

The Dark Wind
After discovering what his father had truly become, Ced left for Silesse, claiming he would make his country a safer place "one way or the other". Several years after he inherited the throne, the whole country mysteriously became surrounded by violent blizzards that put anyone trying to cross them into a deep slumber...

Paladins of Black and White
The young lords' resemblance to their parents and their swordsmanship with dark and cursed blades soon became the stuff of legends. The knights often argue about which of the two wields rapiers best, and the folks often wonder if those two aren't "a wee bit too cosy for cousins".

Unrelenting Forces
The couple of restless fighters put as much energy into rebuilding Verdane as into their battles. Soon, the unsavory population of Barbarians and Hunters was converted into Thieves and Snipers. Oddly enough, that still does not stop travelling merchants from avoiding the whole region.

Jungby Express
Lana decided to cultivate her talent for staves by opening up Jugdral's first and only delivery system for goods and people by means of Warp and Return cannons. Thanks to it, Jungby quickly became a major actor in the global economy. As for Faval, he is often seen hanging out around the palace, a wallflower born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Magical Lovebirds
The two siblings would often travel from Freege to Velthomer and vice versa. In their attempts to revive their wounded houses, they soon ended up with a family of many. However, inheritance disputes tore the whole household apart when several heirs for each of the Legendary tomes were found.

Eternal Bachelor
When asked about his celibacy, Delmud would often show his axe and answer "This wife I know will never betray me." Soon after taking the Dozel throne, a tragic incident involving a Devil Axe and a training dummy almost ended his life. He has been recovering slowly since then, yet has lost none of his skills as a charismatic leader.

Peerless Champions
Johan and Larcei went on an adventure, taking leave of Granvalle with their legendary artifacts. Their goal was to find anyone who could best their love-powered fighting prowess. Word on the wind is they found their match near a small village of eastern Thracia in the form of a young, dark-haired swordswoman and a towering reformed bandit.

Innocent Children
Leen and Corpul kept playing lovers for years before they stopped playing and married for real. After two generations of dancer-loving heads of the Blaggi Church, relationships between the two trades became less tense. Young girls in skimpy outfits soon became the main attraction of Sunday masses, which boosted attendance considerably.

Killer Couple
Under Oifey's reign, Chalphy soon returned to be the peaceful haven it used to be under Sigurd's rule. Fee made brigand-hunting the national sport, and lawbreakers throughout Granvalle feared her anti-thief squad of ladies with swords.

Twin Lances
Despite her heritage, the people saw Altenna as the legitimate heir to the Thracian throne, which considerably helped in quelling the age-old grudges between both parts of the country. With the last heir of Dain lineage disappeared, the harmless Gungnir became a symbol of peace for the nation.

Simple Protectors
Theirs was a life just like their combat: simple and straigtforward, bound by duty more than passion. Finn remained in the capital city as the crowned heir's protector until he became of age to rule. With his newfound interest for magic, Hannibal started instructing aspiring Mage Fighters to the ways of throwing spears and tornadoes at the same time.

Light Inheritors
They were told that Julius' power couldn't be matched, that a power born from incest was the most evil there was. They proved them wrong. King Seliph and Queen Julia put an end to this whole story the same way it had started: by preserving the purity of their blood. Besides, it could be worse. They could be full-fledged siblings.

Areone, L'Étranger
Leaving the Gungnir and Thracia to Altenna, Areone left with his black steed for another continent. There, he went by a slightly different name, adopted a more casual style and demeanor to blend in... it's said that his life was filled with adventures.

... Now back to reality!

127 turns per chapter on average. That Tactics rank isn't going to look pretty.

Yeeeep. That's an E all right. But I got an A in both Survival and Experience, which is really all I cared about for this playthrough. Also C Combat because fuck this game and its random Adepts/Lunas/Astras/Umbras/criticals.

And before we end this, here are out Top 5 units!

Number Five!

Arthur with 34 Kills and 0 Deaths.

I am so glad I made him a Mage Fighter. Binary seemed to love him just as much as I did. No matter the weapon, no matter the range, he's never disappointed.

Number Four!

Leif with 36 Kills and 1 Death. The Magus Sisters send their regards.

Probably not much of a surprise either. He was a bit shy while recovering from Thracia 776, but once he got a hold of that Dragon Lance, he became my most powerful cavalier.

Number Three, and it's a tie!

Ares with 39 Kills and 0 Deaths.

Crippled by low stat caps or not, when you have the Legendary Sword of Life-Draining Criticals and Resistance, you're destined for greatness in this game.

Johan with 39 Kills and 10 Deaths. PURGE SAGES!!

Like a gift that keeps on giving, Johan went from "better" to "amazing" to "holy shit, how do you even kill this guy?" (Purge tomes aside.) Berserkers own in this game, and Johan simply was the best berserker there is.

Number Two!

Lester with 43 Kills and 0 Deaths.

Holy shit. It's pretty telling how much emphasis this game puts on the player phase when your archer gets second place for MVP. I mean, he was a fantastic archer, but 43 kills...

And our number one killer is...

Ulster with 44 Kills and 0 Deaths.

Well, I certainly was not expecting that, although it does make sense in retrospect. The enemy AI always had a strange fascination for his Handaxe, and Ulster was always happy to oblige.

And a special mention for Ced, who not only scored pretty high in the kill list (8th), but also owns the weapon with the most kills. His father probably has a lot to do with that, though.

And that's a wrap. Hopefully you've enjoyed this whole ordeal adventure as much as I did!

All in all, it certainly was an interesting retake on Genealogy of the Holy War. The game obviously takes a lot of cues from Thracia 776 by giving all enemies the ability to fuck you up and engineering harduous situations, yet at the same time, it empowers the player with plenty of new options to return the favor. It's a hack which gives you the exact right amount of epic stuff without resorting to the plethora of big numbers and many skills you'd see in Awakening or most Inflation hacks.

On the aesthetical front, there's a lot of issues. Not just the silly portraits, but incomplete animations and rather uninspired spell animations. Then again, the hack probably dates a bit, and I doubt there was enough technology back then to make badass custom spells. At least the custom icons aren't too bad... whenever the game doesn't suddenly forget to differenciate them (Handaxe/Iron Axe, Heal/Mend, Elfire/Hellfire, etc).

But where this hack shines is how it managed to somehow rebalance FE4. Solo-ing the first gen with Sigurd isn't an option anymore. Deirdre is actually good, so are the Joha brothers and the Chalphy knights. Mostly thanks to the wide array of ASM shit that's all over the place, every character managed to feel unique and useful in their own manner. And with more weapon variety and branched promotions, they also managed to make a lot of pairings more worthwhile in gen 1.

I could go on and on about all the things I think this game did right, but that'd just be repeating what I already pointed out in the LP. So before I start ranting on about it, here, have a Christmas Lights Alec:

And a happy new year.