The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Dark Dragon and the Sword of Light


Part 34: Interlude 4: Title Demo / Class Overview

Interlude 4: Title Demo / Class Overview

It's a little late for a class overview considering we're past all the gameplay at this point, but the title demo (the reel that plays on the title screen if you let it sit idle) has an interesting take on it.

First up is the Social Knight! Known to most modern players as the Cavalier. I guess 'Rtr' was supposed to be 'Str' or 'Pwr'? And 'Agi' is really 'Spd' just mis-translated. Regardless these stats are the base stats for a Level 1 generic unit of this class. Also notice how there's no Luck or Resist - every class has a base of zero in these stats.

Low speed, movement, and even skill definitely make the Armor Knight a defensive stalwart since they're usually useless on offense. Unfortunately in a game where every chapter has the army rushing forward on offense to seize the castle/throne, the Armor Knight's utility is normally rather limited.

Doesn't really mention the whole flying aspect but otherwise pretty accurate. Without a strong weapon or some luck in Power growths, though, a Pegasus Knight isn't much of a threat by the end of the game.

Simply put, a Social Knight but more so. Here's where you can more clearly analyze the pre-promote problem. The Paladin has +6 HP, +3 Power, +5 Skill, +2 Weapon Level, +5 Speed, +2 Defense over the Social Knight for two Level 1 generics. Given 19 possible levels gained for the Social Knight to catch the Paladin, it'd only need average levels with growths of about 31% HP, 16% Power, 26% Skill, 11% Weapon Level, 26% Speed, 0% Luck, and 11% Defense. All of our Social Knights would thus be well ahead in HP, Power, Weapon Level and Luck at the least, and Skill, Speed, and Defense as well for the better characters (Abel, Kain, Hardin).

The Dragon Knight gets big enough Power and Defense boosts to exceed most Pegasus Knights' growth rates, but will be way behind in Skill, Speed, and Luck. Given how promotion works in this game, however, it's still not an advantage, as a Pegasus Knight upon promotion will get boosted up to the Dragon Knight's base Power and Defense (if necessary) while keeping their other higher stats.

All of the Mercenaries we get start with high Skill and Speed, true, but they also usually have good Power growths as well which quickly catches up that stat. They usually end up turning into paper tigers, relying on first strike and high HP totals to survive counterattacks.

This description is the first that's not really accurate, given that Fighters start with near-equal Defense and actually have the highest Defense growths in the game as well. Still, being unable to promote or use any weapon but axes puts a pretty low ceiling on them.

Pirates are basically just Fighters that can walk on water. Daros just gets crippled by horrible Skill, Speed, and Luck growths compared to the three Fighters we get.

In a normal run a Thief's base stats usually aren't worth the trouble of putting them into combat enough to take advantage of their large growth rates. Keep one around to open chests and doors and otherwise leave combat to your better units. And of course the description makes sure to mention that enemy Thieves destroy villages.

Like the Mercenary, high starting Skill and Speed. Also foreshadows the future use of the term Swordmaster for this archetype, complete with a high crit rate.

Sums up the problems with the Archer rather well, really. High defense and low movement on a unit that relies on ranged attacks is a total mismatch.

The Hunter is actually better balanced than the Archer, but can't promote so ends up weaker overall in the end.

Shooters are like Archers, but more so. They suffer from the same problems as both Archers and Armor Knights, which make them probably the worst class in the game. Future games would give them a much larger range to help better balance them.

The main upside to the Horseman (Bow Knight) is the high movement. The criticals line is a lie, their skill growth is terrible and they get no inherent bonuses. The Bow Knight is probably the best bow-user in the early game.

By the end of the game, a home-grown Sniper will outclass all other bow-users, particularly with that base 14 speed. Sometimes just being able to get double the number of stat gains outweighs everything else.

The Commando's stats don't really matter, since their entire gimmick is to copy the stats and abilities of someone else.

The Mamkute's stats can be misleading as well since their Dragonstones give a large bonus to defense while also having a high attack power. They all severely suffer from low speed, however.

An interesting note is how Magicians are effective against Generals. Strategically true - a General's high defense will make it tough for non-magic damage to get through - but no actual special bonuses involved.

Not much to say here. Clerics don't technically raise defense, but they can raise magic resistance.

An oddity in the series, Priests are the promoted form of both Magicians and Clerics, and can use both Wands and Tomes. Since Clerics typically don't gain many levels and have terrible base stats and growth rates even when they do, you're almost always better off promoting a Magician.

And finally, we have the Lord. Marth is (obviously) the only Lord so the class description is a bit specific to him.

While it would have made sense, the Lord is not the last class displayed. That honor goes to the General, acting much like a promoted Armor Knight - high defense, low speed and movement - but with no actual mechanism for such promotion.

And that's all 22 classes for you - a rather impressive number for an NES/Famicom game.