The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem 4: Binary

by Miacis

Part 32: Paralogue: Substancial Substitutes

Paralogue: Substantial Substitutes

Hi again! Since I've been doing an all-substitute characters on the side while recording this Let's Play, I figured I'd show off some of the neat things Binary gave all of them.

If you don't remember, substitute characters were inferior replacements for gen 2 characters whose mother died or didn't marry. To obtain that, I just went back to my last gen 1 save and used codes to remove all love relationships.

These codes seem to have had unexpected consequences as some characters managed to build up otherwise impossible relationships, most of them one way.

On the plus side, it lead to some interesting gameplay elements. Like, Finn loves Janne, and both Janne and Leif are in love. So Janne can provide love boosts to the two of them despite receiving boosts from only Leif. I'm still waiting for a game with one-way supports, IntSys!

The most important change in Substitute Land is that some of the specific events that only subs could trigger give significantly better rewards. Laylea could get a Barrier Sword for visiting Anna in one of the Lenster villages. Now she gets a really powerful Darkness Sword instead.

Linda can meet Jake in the mountains near Alster, who gives her a +3 Res boost. Now on top of that, she actually gets her hands on the only Daim Thunder tome in the game. It's equippable by those of Tordo hereditage (so both her and her brother Amid) or those with at least a personal MAG+SKL+SPD of 34.

Hawk is able to visit Luthecia to obtain a +3 Mgc/Res boost from a "secret book". Now, he actually gets that book which is an Excalibur tome, although he most probably can't use it yet at this point. Femina/Janne can find a fake Shanan (Shanam?) in Tarha who shows them "the Balmung Shield... world renowned for its dragon carving" for a +3 Def boost. This time, she gets the Dracoshield on top of the Def boost.

However, these two items are no longer dropped by female-Saias and green-Olwen later in the game. They're not duplicates, just obtained early.

Now, let's have a look at the character themselves. Janne, Daisy and Asaello got their unused Thracia 776 portraits added, but not Femina for some reason. Comparing them to their gen 2 equivalents would be most unfair, so let's compare them to gen 1 characters, see what they're all about, starting with the Isaach twins.

Radney is like a brawnier version of Ayra. A bit more Str/Spd/Def, but less skill in general since she lacks Odo blood. She also has way more Res for some odd reason. Binary gave her Luna, which helps her offense quite a lot.

As for her promotions, she has the same options as Larcei, except Mercenary is her main choice and Swordmaster the alternate option.

Roddlevan starts out as a male Myrmidon, meaning he doesn't get access to cool axes like Ulster. The class helps his Speed quite a bit, but compared to Holyn, he's more or less the same with worse HP/Skl. On the plus side, he has Vantage, and Binary gave him Sol. You'd be surprised how many times he's saved his skin with a Vantage Sol crit.

Promotions-wise, he sadly does not have any Swordmaster options to help make better use of those Vantage hits. He does get access to the Hero class, which is as close as he'll get. His other choices are Mercenary and Forrest Knight.

Aesthetically speaking, girls with axes still kick major ass. As for Roddlevan's palette, well... he's a very dark person both on the inside and the outside.

Next up: Mana, who is more or less a very frail version of Adean. With less HP/Str/Spd and a paper-thin Defense, it's no wonder Binary gave her Prayer so she could at least complete early Arena battles. At least her Resistance is much better than Adean's and her Magic is about on-par.

Promotions-wise is where she really hurts. Remember how Valkyries would dismount to High Priestess? Well Mana is permanently dismounted, meaning she gets even less stat boosts and is stuck to that horrible 5 Move. There's also the Shaman option, but it manages to still be worse than High Priestess.

Her bro Dimna is equally bland, with only access to the Pursuit skill ever. On the plus side, the kid is tough. He's going to struggle with speed for a bit, but his HP/Skl/Lck/Def surpass Midayle's. He also gets a massive +5 Str near the end of Ch6, which will keep him as a power archer for most of the game.

Promotions-wise, it's copy-pasted Lester: Bow Knight/Sniper.

We don't see High Priests too often, so here's a shot of Lana looking all pretty and monochrome.

Then we come to Tristan, who is probably the tankiest cavalier you can get outside of Oifey. Take Beowulf, give him similar bases but 6 more levels to grow, remove a bit of Str/Skl/Spd/Lck, and pour it all into HP/Def and you have Tristan. 130% HP growth! Substitute! No holy blood!

His promotions are similar to Delmud (Forrest Knight/Mercenary/Paladin), except Paladin is his second choice instead of his third one. Makes sense considering his father was a Cross Knight under Eldigan. He'd probably have benefitted more from the Forrest Knight class, though. High Skl and Critical get along pretty well.

Janne is also pretty interesting, although completely lacking in skills. She's got more Mgc/Skl/Def/Res than Ethlyn, but less Str/Spd/Lck, which makes her sort of a... tanky mounted mage? 20% Mgc is much better than Ethlyn's measly 5%, so with her 30% Def growth she can actually manage pretty well at going on the frontlines to heal people instead of fighting. She had a really rough start though, and went dangerously close to the bench.

Her promotion choices are the same as Nanna with Paladin/Mage Knight. However, her stats make her a much better candidate for the second class

I gave her Laylea's Darkness sword, and now she's doing surprisingly well at tanking mages and physical units alike.

And now, for another Mage Knight: Amid. He only has one skill, but if you compare him to Azel's growths, he's got much better HP/Skl, better Str/Res, but a bit less speed. His bases are also quite fantastic for a level 2 Mage (remember that Binary completely removed the Wind Mage class). 14 Spd and 9 Def at that level is just funny. I gave him the Daim Thunder tome, and now I've got a mini-Reinhardt running around.

He doesn't get access to the Iron Mage class like Arthur, and his primary option is Mage Fighter instead of Mage Knight. Still, the latter is probably better for him as he already has Adept.

His sister, Linda, is sort of a Tailto Lite. Her stat spread reminds me a little of the Magus classes in FE7x: where Tailto was all Skl/Spd/Lck, Linda is all HP/Mgc/Res. Tank the mages, and then completely blast them away with powerful Wraths. Paragon also makes her very fun to train despite her low bases.

Her promotions are the same as Teeny's: Mage Fighter/Mage Knight.

I'll be honest, these two are probably my favorite subs in the bunch. They even have complementary palettes.

Femina is like a very angry Ferry. More HP, more Str, more Spd, more Lck, but less Def/Res. She'll also be really lacking in Mgc compared to Fee, unless you are an odd person who picked a physical fighter as her father. She'll be struggling a bit in Skl too, which is problematic in gen 2 when far away from the Charisma centers.

Her promotion options are the same as Fee: Falcon Knight or Dragon Master. And since she's got almost no magic and needs Pursuit more than having a second Adept, I went for the latter. She's pretty badass now.

Speaking of badasses, here's Ced's replacement: Hawk. Comparing him to Lewyn wouldn't exactly be fair, but he's surprisingly competent nonetheless. He starts in the best of magic classes with really good bases for a level 12. Most importantly, he's been given the Charisma skill, even though moving him around isn't quite as convenient as for the mounted siblings.

Kind of a shame his palette is a bit uninspired. Could have used the nice grey and blue from his artwork.

Continuing on, we've got Daisy replacing Patty. Take Dew, make his bases and growths worse in everything, and replace Bargain/Sol with Prayer. You've got Patty. 10% Str growth. I had to RNG abuse like a bandit to get her to reasonnable fighting levels. Before promotion, it's better to stick her with a magic sword so she can stay away from combat and hopefully land a few lover/sibling crits.

Still, I just can't stay angry at a neon pink Thief.

Her brother Asaello isn't so hot in the combat department either. He only has Charge as a personal skill, but thankfully starts with a Master Bow which he heavily relies on. His bases and growths are worse than Jamke's everywhere except Luck (60%, dayum). Just like Dimna, he's sort of a power archer thanks to his high base and a special event that boosts his Str by 3.

His promotion are like Faval's: Sniper/Bow Knight, and he has the same ugly pure black palette with reddish skin as Roddlevan. But here comes the best thing about Asaello...

His unused Thracia 776 portrait is inverted. Meaning that every convo with him takes a whole different flavor. Be they the Savior of the World or small orphaned children, Asaello just does not give a single fuck.

Then we have our new Dancer: Laylea. She's kind of an oddball in that her growths make her seem more combat-oriented than Sylvia and Leen. A bit more skill and defense, better speed, and a really high strength growth (50% ), but almost no Mgc/Res. It works pretty well with her Charisma, since I'm not as afraid to put her near the frontlines now. A shame she's stuck to C Swords, though.

Another nice thing about Laylea: her age and physique are quite more appropriate for the job she does than the other green-haired kiddos

Finally, we have Sharlow, who looks like an adorable chibi Sigurd. He's got good magic for his level, and Paragon makes his training much less of a nightmare, but his growths aren't exactly good outside of Mgc and Res. With little combat ability and always 5 Mov, he's pretty much always going to be using staves from the back lines. But at least he grows fast from using them. Also he still gets Berserk to mess with annoying bosses.

There is, however, something special about his promotions. His default one is to become the bluest High Priest in the world.

His alternate choice, however, lets him become the only playable Bishop in the game. Well, in all of Jugdral actually. Only problem with this? It's a crappy class.

It's slow, it's got no Str, no Mov, no skills. The only special thing it does is invert the Anima/Light weapon ranks compared to High Priest. A shame really, it had some good potential.

As for his special promotion, Sharlow has access to Iron Mage, just like Corpul. Only in vibrant, completely-out-of-place red armor.

And since playing with subs-only just wasn't enough pain, I also picked Johalva! Less speed, no Vantage... at least he's still doing okay as a Berserker.

His other promotions included Warrior (tankier, access to bows) and Mercenary (faster, access to swords and Pursuit).

Still, green just isn't the same...

I also go this... thing on a failed attempt at skipping through the story faster. Fun thing to do with Demon Leen: equip her with a few durable swords at the beginning of the chapter, have everyone exit the home castle, then deploy her. She won't move from the castle gate since she has no AI, and the enemies will keep attacking her (like they did with Dark Lord Seliph). With Prayer/Recover and such offensive skills, she's basically undefeatable.
You're out one Dancer for the chapter, but your home castle becomes nearly impregnable!

If anyone is curious about how that subs-only run of Binary went: it's really only difficult on the first two levels, when you have no weapons, no money, and characters with little killing power. My answer to that was giving the Blaggi Sword and a Leg Ring to Seliph, then it all went rather smoothly. Amusing consequence: he promoted as soon as Ch7.

That about covers up this Paralogue about substitute characters. I haven't actually finished the game with them yet, but I'm pretty sure that's all they had for special events and such.

Once again, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this LP.