A little context for those coming across this liveblog by chance on the listing, I'm writing this liveblog in the voice and view of Calven Hobbes, my character from the fora RP Mythril Aces, a Real Robot-themed game set in 2999. Hobbes is a frame squadron leader in The Federation military, but is also something of a closet gamer. He's particularly partial to the Searing Seal series, Fire Emblem's Spiritual Successor in the distant future. This liveblog is intended as both a Let's Play and supplementary character material to Mythril Aces, but I hope that even tropers uninterested in the RP will find this liveblog accessible as a Let's Play from a unique point of view.
Prologue: A Girl From the Plains
- To: SN/SM61/Renner.D.2991-41253371
- From: SN/AMF195/Hobbes.C.2991-41253106
- Re: Relic
Got a drop from Tig today. Twerp got his hands on a pre-TEU flash drive with some ancient game ROMs and the emulator for them and sent me a copy. Thought you might be interested in one called Fire Emblem, which turns out to be a lot like SS.
The game's set further back than the SS titles, some sort of fantasy-medieval setting. The opening's pretty standard fare, man and dragon coexisting in peace until it was broken by war. Surprisingly, it looks like humans started this one, which strikes me as seditious. On the upside, we won, and the dragons were banished from the realm a thousand years ago. The narration (which isn't voiced; must've been a pretty poor company producing the game) calls these "dark days," but if we both started the war and won it, how dark could they have really been? I mean, unless we were stupid enough to start a war with giant, fire-breathing, living tanks without some advantage assuring us victory? Guess they were too poor to hire a decent writing staff, too, or else people back in 2003 really were as stupid as the period piece movies make them out to be. Either way, the op cuts out there.
I get two menu options: New Game, and Extras, but the only "Extra" is a PvP mini-game that I apparently need actual save data to use, so straight to the New Game.
Like some of the newer SS titles, I get a character of my own in this game; a traveling tactician named "Mark" be default. Not many options here, just name, birth month, and gender. I can't even customize my appearance, let alone record a voice sample, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the latter if they didn't even give the op narration a voice over. Changing my birth month also changes this little icon next to my name, but I have no idea what the relevance is. I named myself Calven and set my month to November, which gives me a little blue diamond icon for whatever reason. Maybe it's supposed to be an ice crystal? I must get some kind of ice-based modifier on my attacks or defense? Or maybe it affects my stat growth? I'm betting on it determining my magic attack, since it doesn't offer me a class choice, so my character must be a magician.
Alright, game time. A mysterious text (Expecting a voice here? Ha, keep up, man.) asks if I'm awake from behind a black screen. Crap, I'm unconscious and being interrogated. I'm flashing back to SS 4. I hate it when these games start you out in a prison cell with no other units at your command!
Wait, nevermind, I'm just in a house or something with a pretty green-haired girl in a blue dress. Hello, Morality Pet! She introduces herself as Lyn of the Lorca Tribe, and says she found me passed out on the plains of Sacae. Uh, why? Was I attacked, is this some kind of wasteland that I was inadequately supplied for? Or is my character just a wuss in this game?
After a single frame image of her tending to a tuft of brown hair that I assume is me, she's reduced to a talking head. After a one-sided conversation she runs outside to check on a noise, and discovers bandits closing in on her home. At least that explains why I was passed out on the plains, I had to have been attacked by bandits from the Bern Mountains. Time for some sweet revenge! Except... wait, Lyn wants to fight them? And this level is a prologue? Aw, crap. Scrap Morality Pet, we've got a Dead Innocent Girl on our hands. Could they be more cliche? I hate it when a game tries to give your character a tragic backstory by killing off a weak character who befriended them in their past without giving us time to actually give a damn about the dead character.
It looks like my character can't fight in this level, and has to travel with Lyn, which pretty much seals her fate. Don't worry kid, I'll avenge you with minimal effort to establish my character as a Badass, then spend half the game trying to convince myself that your death wasn't my fault.
Aw, crap, again. This is a tutorial level of the Scripted Event variety. I don't even really get to choose which space I move Lyn onto. If there was any hope of her surviving this level, it's out the window now. The tutorial messages themselves are annoyingly verbose, too.
Lyn manages to barely eke out a kill on the first of two bandits, and forces me to heal her before attacking the next one. It's bad enough that she's going to die, but does she really have to use up the resources I'm going to inherit from her? Once healed, she insists on attack the bandit leader on her own. He introduces himself as Batta the Beast, and knocks Lyn down to critical health in one attack. And, since Lyn insisted on attacking on my turn, I can't heal or retreat before Batta kills her on his turn. Curse you, scripted event!
Even Lyn knows what's coming, as she tells me to use her death as my opportunity to escape. Yeah, yeah, we both know what's coming. I'll cradle your dying body, take up your sword, and unleash awesome vengeance upon Batta, who will turn out to be one of the bandits who waylaid me before the game started. No doubt they in turn will be revealed to be working for the dragons trying to reenter the realm, and were trying to eliminate me because I'm the only one with the power to seal them away again. That's all waiting for me, but first I have to watch this girl die, so let's get on with—
Well... I'll be damned. Lyn killed Batta. He seems to be shocked, and I can hardly blame him. Lyn leveled up off the kill and gained a solid set of stat bonuses, and I notice her class for the first time - Lord. Guess I get to keep her for a while, then, but I'm still expecting her to be sacrificed to my character's angst at some point.
The screen goes black at the end of the level and Lyn, behind the black again, bids me good morning. Looks like Lyn just upgraded from Dead Innocent Girl to Doomed Love Interest. She asks me if she can come with me on my journey, and I... wait, what? Oh fething Selk, I'm a Heroic Mime! I knew that first conversation seemed a little too one-sided.... Well, that changes things. If I'm not a real character in this game, Lyn's probably my focal character. Don't know why they didn't just make her my character in the first place, but there you go.
Lyn reveals that her parents were both killed six months ago by bandits, along with most of the rest of their tribe, and the survivors wouldn't follow her as the chieftain's daughter. She looks like she's about to break down for a moment, but recovers and restates her desire to travel with me. More specifically, she wants to avenge her father's death (but not her mother's, apparently? Guess the rest of her tribe aren't the only sexists), so it looks like the bandits -> dragons storyline is still in effect. Lyn is excited to get started with me, and the tutorial text implores me to train her well, ending the level. I'll admit, now that it looks like she won't be getting killed off in a stupid angst ploy, I'm starting to warm up to the girl.