If I had known that Fire Emblem would be providing me game play that reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics, I would have bought a 3DS a long time ago. The game has just kept sucking me in every time I boot up my Nintendo Switch. I’m just having a blast. Whoever said that this game will take about 50 hours to finish is wrong. I’m currently sitting at 52 hours and I haven’t made it to the ‘War Phase’ that everyone seems to know about. And that’s not counting the times I decided to just straight up reset the game and forego progress because of some mistake I wanted to undo. Anyway, for those of you who are thinking about picking up this game, I’d like to share some things that you’d probably want to know before progressing far into this title.
Do a Routine
If you’ve played anything like Persona 5 you’ll know that you’ll have a restricted amount of actions that lets you do anything meaningful. So you’ll want to maximize what you can do with those limited options. Take advantage of actions that give you the most value, like when walking around the monastery, you can always plant seeds and fish for without having to spend activity points. When tutoring, you’ll want to have at least enough students fully motivated to be instructed at your current capacity for every lecture session.
Plan Their Future
A little later in the game you’ll figure out that you and your students can change class, you may want to find out what skills they’ll need to be able to switch to a class you’d like them to be later on. It takes a lot of time to accomplish higher level requirements. You might also end up getting frustrated on investing on certain skills that turns out you can’t really use for your intended class in the future.
Finish Your Homework
While the stat boosts you get from moving up on your job class is very attractive, it may be quite worthwhile to stay on your current job level until it’s mastered. Mastering your initial class gives a +5 HP skill, which can be handy for your casters. Other classes later on not only give more combat abilities but also bonuses on your weapon skills. If you’re planning to forge an invincible army, these bonuses will prove useful when mixing and matching skills, items, and abilities.
Get a PhD in Fishing
There was a point that I’d be pretty conflicted on what to do with the last activity point I have as a professor in the monastery. However that problem went away when I chanced upon a ‘Lots of Fish’ event, where I happened to have plenty of fish bait on hand. And it got me from Professor Level B to B+ in one sitting, without spending a single activity point. I’m not sure how catching fish makes me a better professor, but I’ll take it. Now I end up having too many activity points than I need, but that’s not really a loss now, is it?
Bird’s Eye View
Fire Emblem is the kind of game that lets you know everything if you care to look, so take advantage of that. Use the map option during the pre-battle phase to scout out the map, zoom out to get the simplified map to make sure you spot possible chests or other hidden secrets. You can also reposition your units to make it easier to hold a starting formation. As it turns out, being strategically-minded is pretty helpful for a Strategic RPG.
ZR For Safety
Ideally you’ll want your frontliners to handle the punishment but not have your back-up far behind. So how do you know you didn’t step into no-man’s land for your supports? Use the ZR button to see the general reach of your enemies, and make use of the lines that predict your enemy’s movement to quickly evaluate your positioning. Don’t end up like this guy.
The Gift of Giving
Constantly gifting NPCs their favorite items is probably nothing new for the Harvest Moon players out there, and you’ll want to keep up that practice in this game. It helps build support points with the other characters of the game and raises the motivation of your students. Note which ones work better on whoever as the supply is limited. Returning lost items is also pretty effective if you can figure out who owns whatever you found. Finally, it’s possible to recruit somebody through giving them enough gifts, meaning you won’t have to learn the skills they find attractive. Some may call it bribing, I call it a bargain.
Sit Down and Specialize
If you’re like me who likes to tune up and specialize units for what you want them to do, you’re going to want to review what they have on their setup once in a while. This goes double for those who get a class change. There’s a limit of having 5 abilities and combat arts you can equip (with some exceptions for certain skills), having lance-oriented skills equipped on a sniper who only has bows is as useless as it sounds, I know this because I ended up doing exactly that at some point. You’ll want to have units that are capable of different things, so that you aren’t easily stumped by any situation. You see, I thought I could get away with bows forever, until I had to deal with heavily armored folk. You’ll want to be able to adjust as the situation demands.
That’s about it, aside from reading the minds of the monastery residents, you should be able to play everything generally by ear. Now excuse me as I attempt to recruit every possible character I can by spamming flower gifts on them until they like me..