The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

by LordHippoman

Part 5: Pirate Palooza

Glaive17 posted:

I had forgotten how ridiculous Steve's head had gotten by the end of the last LP!

Oh shit thanks for mentioning that. Credit for the base Steve portrait goes to vilkacis, and the massive hat tower was made, along with many other Steves, by CamelPimp.

Chapter 1: Pirate Palooza

Well, there goes the Prologue. Now we’ll be hopping into the main game.

This, unfortunately, means that all my units levels are back to 1. On Normal, you can just keep playing from the prologue and keep all that progress, but since Hard skips the Prologue, we’re starting fresh.

Basically it’s what the top screen says.

There are five degrees of Hard in this game. Merciless is utterly soul crushing and sort of the precursor to modern Lunatic mode. I’m only doing 1-star hard because I’m not good and I don’t want to hold up entire updates while I try to fumble around a chokepoint or whatever.

The only mechanical/map differences are between Normal and Hard, the stars just make enemies tougher.

No matter which mode you start on, you get the same opening narration.

: Long ago, Medeus, king of the dragonkin, conquered the continent of Archanea.

: No, you’re looping again!

A little extra bit is tacked on to summarize the events of the prologue, though. Including the crew in these ominous hoods. Evidently they all swapped to Dark Mage.

Oh, look, the bottom screen is still blank. That’s...that’s an easter egg.

: they could not take his life. Marth lived, and made it to the eastern isle of Talys. Talys was a small border kingdom, with no grand order of knights to boast of, but its king selflessly gave Marth use of the isle’s eastern fortress.

I’m pretty sure Talys literally does not have any army at all. I’m not sure why this is the safest refuge for the chosen one of the divine sword.

: And as he saw the boy shake with anger and grief, he also gave wise counsel: “Prince Marth,” he said, “I do not doubt you love your sister something great. But you must be patient…time is on your side. If you stay here, and grow stronger, a time will come when you can help her.” So Marth stayed in Talys, protected by its kind people, and the years went by…

It was two years. That’s barely plural.

Here we are in the peaceful kingdom of Talys.

So much for the peaceful kingdom of Talys.

This guy dismantled a village!

But who’s this? And why does her sprite have green hair?

Marth’s got a new portrait for his new age. Two years did a lot for the guy.

: They stormed the gates and cut down everyone in their path! I fear for my father’s life…

So far we are potentially 0/2 on dads.

: Steady, Caeda. You did well to come find us. Altea’s bravest knights aren’t about to hand Talys to that flock of seafowl. Come, we’ll make for the castle now!

Hey, it’s our first real map! With new units and everything! We start on the east side of the island, the Castle is on the west.

This place might look a little familiar if you played the first set of DLC maps in Awakening.

First off, here’s Draug, who we’ve already met, but haven’t seen on the battlefield. Draug is a Knight, who are your archetypical tank class. They have high Defense and use Lances, but they are slow and suffer from a painfully low Movement score. Draug himself actually has a surprisingly decent Speed growth for a Knight, but he’s going to have some trouble gaining Strength and really being much aside from a wall, at least in his base class.

His natural beefiness makes him a good lure for the incoming Pirates.

While Abel whiffs a Javelin (again) I’ll talk about a very special unit type here, the Thief. Thieves are fast and do decent damage with their Swords (No bows until the 3DS games.), but they’re squishy. Most importantly, enemy thieves can destroy Villages, potentially depriving you of goodies.

Never be deprived of your goodies. Kill thieves ASAP. They’re also worth a bucketload of XP, if it helps.

Meet the queen.

Caeda, also known as “Shiida” if you live in Europe, is a Pegasus Knight. Peg Knights can fly over terrain, get great movement, and they get fantastic Luck and Speed. Unfortunately they are squishy, and their attacks don’t tend to do a ton of damage.

Caeda is all of that to a pretty extreme degree. Her speed growth is ridiculous, as is her luck, and that’s without the Pegasus Knight bonuses. She’ll have some trouble dealing damage against defensive enemies, but see that weapon she’s holding? That’s the Wing Spear. The Wing Spear is Caeda exclusive, and it does triple damage automatically against any horseback or armored units. This game has boatloads of both, making Caeda a really, really good character, if you can keep her alive.

Meanwhile the Pirates smash themselves against Draug. Starting with 11 Defense is pretty damn useful this early on.

About three of them will rush you.

“Pirate” is not only the faction these guys are, it’s also a class, which is why this guy is called “Pirate Pirate”. Pirates are locked to Axes, and they have worse base stats than their closest relatives, the Fighters. They can, however, walk on water.

The double cavalier buddy line is an unstoppable defensive tactic.

Oh, I also accidentally just let this guy through to whack Gordin. Walk it off, buddy.

There’s a village near the start of the map, don’t forget to have Marth Visit it!

I’m extremely okay with this. If you take too long killing that thief, he might destroy this village.

Caeda also crit this guy. Her first two hits were criticals. I’m sensing good things from our Pegasus Pal.

Abel also finally hit a damn Javelin.

That fort is going to make Draug functionally invincible, so I’m moving him there while the rest of my units regroup and trickle in.

While the pirates up top go for Draug, there’s still one down here trying to mess with the Cavaliers.

Then Abel missed a javelin.

The “use me” radar is slowly swinging more and more towards Cain.

...I mentioned I’m not good at this, right? Keep walking it off, Gordin!

This Pirate chose to attack Jagen. This was a poor decision, but it also let me know that Jagen can’t even double these level 1 pirates.

So, with one of our units...a bit the worse for wear, I want to clean up these pirates this turn, before they can make more trouble. Time to divy up the damage a bit.

Easy pickings.

Gordin provided enough chip damage to let Draug pull off the kill here.

This guy was just fucked. I should mention Caeda can double all these enemies.

This is the most Caeda of level ups.

“So Hippoman,” you ask, delayed like fifteen screens up, “what do you do with that Gold you got?”

I’m glad you conveniently asked now. This is the Armory, you’ll find these scattered around the maps.

Since weapons have durability, it’s important to stock up. You can buy them at these shops. This one only has the basics, but I got one of each except the Bow, and two Iron Lances, since we have so many people using those.

The rest of the pirates are a bit more deeply entrenched, so it’s time to lure them out.

I also gave Caeda a Javelin. Any items you get over the inventory limit (5) will be sent to your Convoy, which Marth can access. This should help stop me from wasting the Wing Spear.

Operation Draug Bait was a success, leading to this Pirate and Hunter coming over.

Hunters are like Archers but angry. They have more damage, but less defensive power. This generally makes them better, because hopefully your bow guys aren’t getting hit too much anyway.

I’ve marked his range specifically because bows deal triple damage to fliers, and now that we have Caeda, that would be a one shot kill.

Oh, Draug also got a level from killing that Pirate. Not exactly blowing me away here yet, guys.

I just really like this screenshot. This wasn’t a miss, Marth is just a big fan of absorbing arrows with his neck.

Fuck that guy, though.

There’s a Fort right in the range of the remaining pirates. How handy! Marth’s gonna camp there.

Group Hug, everyone.

: They left me out of the group hug.


Well, it worked. Now to actually dispose of these guys.

Caeda’s a bit more accurate with this thing than Abel.

And Cain’s 10 XP away from a level, which is coincidentally what getting hit gives you. Let’s hope this other pirate takes the bait.

Thanks, pal.

And so the chain of two stat level ups continues. Don’t worry. It’s gonna be fine.

I’m kinda feeding Caeda EXP here as a gut reflex, since I usually play on Normal and she’s still level 1 and way weaker than the others at that point.

New strategy, everybody just line up.

They really like to go for Cain.

Marth gets him low, and dodges the counter.

And Abel kills him off. Ignore the encroaching darkness, I was just a little late on the screenshot trigger.

The boss here is Gazzak. Gazzak’s got a Steel Axe, which alone makes him more powerful than anything else we’ve seen. He also deals some pretty big damage, and the Gate he’s on is basically just an outdoor Throne, so he can be tough to take down. You’ll want to do this gradually.

Or, because he has no ranged weapon, you could potentially just pummel him to death with bows and javelins. This is a way to “Boss Abuse”, since Gazzak heals himself, you can just sorta grind EXP that way. I’m not doing it because I don’t want to just blow through the game.

Even though he called us “sprogs”.

I didn’t say I wouldn’t shoot him a few times for fun.

So, with bosses, it’s good to check the combat forecast. If I were to attack with Abel here, on the Enemy Phase he could potentially attack again and kill him. That, hypothetically, would suck, and make me have to restart the map and delete a ton of screenshots because fuck. Good thing I didn’t do that, and instead just leave him parked here.

But this guy is a heavy hitter. Maybe the village could provide us with a way to help that. Someone fast, someone strong, someone

: Take me with you, and you’ll be very glad you did.



Here’s Wrys, our first Curate and Stave user! Curates/Clerics (for ladies) are a utility class, using Staves to provide various effects. Healing is chief among them, and Wrys can help you patch up your units.

Get Adjacent to them with Heal, and there you go. The amount of healing done scales with Magic. Wrys himself is apparently sort of a fan favorite in Japan for being this weird bald guy with one line who just shows up and is never relevant again. In the original remake of this game, FE3’s first half (this game has had TWO remakes), he was completely removed and replaced with a single Vulnerary. Satoru Iwata mentioned in an interview about this game that he liked Wrys (rip ). I kinda love him.

Statwise, he’s actually really awful and will very soon be outclassed. The only thing Wrys really has going for him is a rather high Resistance growth, which is an extreme rarity in this game. He's also Wrys, though, so that carries some weight. Bless you, Wrys.

Gazzak’s chunking away at Abel, but our new pal can help him sustain for a while. Caeda and Gordin keep firing away from the sidelines, and slowly but surely, his HP dwindles.

Another 2 stat level up, but I can’t bring myself to complain about Strength on Caeda.

Holy shit, THREE. It’s turning around!

If we just keep progressing at this rate I’ll be getting stats that don’t even exist by the end of the game.

...Abel. Can you do it? Can you show me what Javelin dreams are made of?


Not a bad prize. Vulneraries are usable items, they restore 10 HP. We had them in the prologue but I didn’t use them.

A hard fought victory. Kinda. When we get to the longer maps I’ll cut more of the little details out, I don’t want any completely page busting updates.

Oh and

They didn’t even give this guy a name.

: Lad, I believe you are ready. If you wish to seek out allies in Aurelis, I will give you what soldiers I can to see you arrive there safely.

Marth never said he wanted that. He doesn’t even talk for the rest of the chapter.

I have a good feeling about Captain Ogma.

: Another thing…During your travels, you are certain to meet many who despise Dolhr. Some may be hiding in villages; other may have been captured or forced to fight against their will or better judgment.

Talk to people with portraits to recruit them.

: Understood, lad? Then go! The time has come! Be patient, steady, strong: I know you will do great things.

Next time we beat up even more pirates.

It’s bonus content time! Today we have the Cipher card for Talys King!

I’m kidding it’s Caeda. I don’t know why she looks like she’s like, six in that card though. One sec.

Fire Emblem did a crossover with Shin Megami Tensei for the Wii U. It’s called Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and it’s as aggressively anime as it sounds. I'm not through it all the way yet, but I did get to this! Here’s Caeda reimagined as like...uh, a mind ghost thing? Persona, basically.