Encode with battle animations on:
- Emulator used: BizHawk-2.8
- Heavy luck manipulation
There is no RTA equivalent of this TAS, mainly due to it's extremely high difficulty. The closest run would be the Lunatic Reverse "segmented" run by Reploids, without recruiting everyone and with deaths, in 2:07:26
Note : Last input (display final rank) is at frame 211705. Second to last input (display credits) is at frame 164140.
About the game
Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow (ファイアーエムブレム 新・紋章の謎〜光と影の英雄〜) is the 12th game of the serie, and the only one since Fire Emblem 7 to not be released outside of Japan. It is a remake of Fire Emblem 3, using the same engine than Fire Emblem 11 which was itself a remake of Fire Emblem 1. Storywise, it is a sequel of Fire Emblem 1/11, with some extra chapters and recruitable characters added compared to the original.
At the end of the game, you are given a ranking based on different factors. To get the highest AAA rank, you must be fast, recruit every possible characters and don't let anyone die.
The game has 4 difficulty levels by default: Normal, Hard (H1), Maniac (H2) and Lunatic (H3), with each difficulty increasing enemies stats. Also in Lunatic, some useful items (Warp Staff, Silence Staff, Silver Card) are replaced by less useful ones, and dragons have 1-2 range instead of only 1. Once the game is completed on Lunatic difficulty, the Lunatic' difficulty is unlocked, also known as Lunatic Reverse or H4. This difficulty is exactly the same than Lunatic apart from one major difference, which is that enemies will always strike first, even on player phase. It is considered one of the hardest difficulty in the franchise.
Movie file to unlock Lunatic Reverse: https://tasvideos.org/UserFiles/Info/637935768680546128
Specific features of this game
- Almost all battle animations can be disabled, and the enemy phase can be entirely skipped (though on rare occasions it is faster to not skip it). As such, as many battles and level-ups as possible should be done during enemy phases. Enemy phase skip is interrupted when a character die, and when you get an item while your inventory is full. This should be avoid most of the time.
- No rescue/drop mechanics. Long range staves have infinite range.
- There are 6 gaiden chapters which are unlocked by meeting some conditions. All of them are visited since one of the condition is to complete the previous chapter within a certain turns count, which is more than easily achieved as a side effect of going fast.
- Most of the time, the AI will first prioritize a direct kill if it sees one, else it will go for it's highest damage option, with the critical hit chance taken into account.
- The game has DLC contents, most notably the Rainbow Potion which is a 77 uses items which increases all stats of one character by 2 for one chapter. You can't legitimately get these for new save files since the online shop was closed in 2014. I didn't use them in this TAS.
- Once you have beaten the game in Lunatic mode, the shop in the preparation menu will sell 3 of each stat boosters (apart from boots). As such, this feature is necessarily unlocked when playing on Lunatic Reverse difficulty
- There are 12 Starsphere Shards to collect (mandatory to not have the bad ending after chapter 20), each of them gives 2 bonus points spread between 1 or 2 stats when a character is holding it, and these bonus points allows to go beyond the maximum value. At chapter 14, all the shards are combined into a single item, which gives +2 to all stats to the character holding it. At chapter 20, it is attached to the Fire Emblem, and as such only Marth can benefit for the bonus stats afterwards.
- After beating the game in Hard mode or above, Male Reclass sets A and B are combined (more on that later).
The game stores the 4 last random numbers (RNs) used in the RAM, and the next RN is calculated as a function of the 4 previous RNs. The initial 4 values are determined at the start of the game, using the Mersenne Twister algorithm with the seed equal to the number of seconds since the nearest century.
However, right after the starting screen, he game recalculates the first 4 RNs, again with the Mersenne Twister algorithm but this time using the 6th RN from the previous iteration as the seed.
Similar to all previous Fire Emblem games since Fire Emblem 6, this game uses a 2 RNs system, meaning that the "displayed" hit isn't the "true" hit, and to determine if an attack will hit or not, the next two RNs are averaged, and if the averaged value is lower than the Hit value, the attack will hit. In practice it means that high accuracy attacks will almost always hit, while low accuracy attacks will almost always miss. It has a particularly strong impact
Unlike previous Fire Emblem games, you can't burn RNs by generating movement patterns with your units. Apart from the initial seed, the only ways to manipulate the RNG are to:
- change the action order to get or not an extra hit/crit
- have a different units placement during enemy phase so that the AI burns RNs in a different way (time efficient but with little control over the new values you get)
- let a critical hit animation plays (initial cost of ~30 frames if the enemy can't attack you first, then burns 2 RNs per frame)
- be in a dialogue menu: burns 1 RN per character to determine when is the next time he will blink, burns a few RN each time a character is moving his mouth. Very slow especially since there are not a lot of mandatory dialogues inside a chapter, but very accurate
- level-up: before a level-up, the game will randomly burn between 0 and 3 RNs, and the amount of RNs burned is only time based, meaning that any of the 4 results. Level-ups are time consuming and should be done as often as possible during enemy phase
An extended search for a good initial seed was made, in order to get a serie of rare events from prologues 1 to 4, which have roughly a cumulated 1/500000 chance of happening.
After the prologues, you can freely reclass you units (asides from characters with special classes like Marth) to any other unit class, as long as you don't exceed the number of recruitable units who had it as their initial class +1. Male units are assigned to either the Male reclass set A or B, while female units only have one set. After beating the game on hard mode or above (mandatory to unlock Lunatic Reverse), Male reclass sets A and B are combined, giving a significant advantage to male units, as they have access to every class apart from Pegasus and Falcon Knights, while female units have only access to 8 promoted classes out of 13.
- Marth: The lord of the game, he is mandatory from prologue 8 and onwards. His exclusive class and weapon aren't very good but he is trained nonetheless as he must be able to take hits in order to clear the chapters fast, and he is important to defeat the final boss with limited resources.
- Kris: Also known as "My Unit", he is a customizable character acting as the main unit of the prologues. Very useful thanks to his high versatility.
- Caeda: High speed in addition to her useful base class before reclassing becomes available, She also has a good personal weapon.
- Malicia: First unit available with C rank staves, which is the highest any unit starts with. You can't increase staves rank with Arms Scrolls, and in the later half of the game I will need someone able to use B and A rank staves (as well as a high magic female unit).
- Palla: Usually the best unit of the game (on par with Kris) thanks to her high base stats, growths and early availability, here she has stats lower than Kris and Caeda when she joins, so she will most of the time be a secondary unit on cleanup duty.
- Feena: The dancer.
- Xane: Can copy any ally unit for 5 turns.
Glitches and tricks
No particular glitch was used during this TAS. Actions are usually done by using the touchscreen when possible, else the D-pad when navigating out of screen. New input are taken into account when a new D-pad button is pressed, so instead of alternating between Up and Nothing to go up, you can alternate between Up+Left and Up+Right, to go up every frame instead of once every two frames.
Chapter by chapter comments
Enemy stats are randomly generated at the beginning of the chapter, but unlike previous games, these stats are very consistent, and each stat can only vary by one point at most.
As mentioned earlier, the initial seed was chosen to get a serie of rare events in prologues 1 to 4, which includes getting STR (55%), SPD (50%) and DEF (50%) at every level-ups. Out of the few valid seeds I found out of 10 millions tested, I went for the one where Kris got 3 MAG out of these level-ups.
The first few prologues are hard coded to prevent any critical hit to happen, which is a good thing to maximize experience gains. Kris' settings were set to maximize his base DEF, as well as giving him 110% HP growth (so 10% chance to gain 2 HP per level) and 15% MAG growth (instead of 0% without this setting). Dialogues with the boss were skipped by triggering them during enemy phase, which is what will be done most of the time.
Ally units "killed" during the prologues are not considered dead and will be recruitable as usual later in the game. For prologues 2 and 3, it is faster to let them die so that Kris can grab all the kills in the enemy phases.
The second fighter must not proc an extra point of STR (50% chance of success). The same applies for Caeda's STR (95%) and the 2 fighters SPD (95% each).
Caeda must dodge either a 88% hit (97% true hit) or 92% hit (99% true), which is where most of the seeds will fail. Since the archer is moving first, the AI couldn't see the kill with him on Caeda thanks to the units placement.
Prologue 5 & 6
Kris clears most of the enemies, Caeda takes whatever she can as she is not strong enough yet to take multiple enemies on her own.
The chapter must be over before enemy phase 3, else reinforcements will appear from the forts. Caeda must dodge a 84% hit (95% true) from the boss.
One of the hardest map of the game, due to limited ressources available at this point combined to strong enemies attacking in groups, including accurate mage units who almost one shot anyone, including Kris. Several 50+% hits had to be dodged.
Due to killing some units in prologues, I start the chapter with only 7000 gold instead of 10000. Marth got 2 Speedwings and a +1 forged Steel Sword in order to One ROund KO (ORKO) the pirates. Extra turns were spent at the end to turbo train Malicia, as I want her to stop being a liability (by promoting her) ASAP. You can talk to the boss with Marth to make him disappear , but the experience is better (and probably faster).
Pirate!Kris has just enough stats to ORKO the Draco Knights, who must usually be killed with archers. It is also important for him to improve his axe rank for later parts of the game.
Pirate!Kris can cross water and bait enemies while Marth must round the island to recruit two characters. Kris is promoted after reaching level 18.
Short and easy chapter to get free exeperience.
Top side units are in a precarious situation due to Marth not having time to protect them and Ogma only gaining one level-up in prologues. Palla got the Armorslayer and the Devli Sword from the thieves by baiting them to attack the village.
Marth got the Hammerne Staff from the village to repair staves later on.
With Malicia promoted, she can now contribute to the team with something else than healings.
There are two (useless) recruitable characters who must be kept alive, which is tricky as they are easily ORKO by my units.
I burned some RNs at the beginning to land two 28% crit and dodge a 87% hit (97% true) in a row.
This is a perfect training spot for Caeda, as she naturally ORKO the generals with her personal weapon.
Marth received the boots to increase his mobility, resulting in faster chapters completion overall.
Some high accuracy mages are baited to attack my weaker units instead of Marth.
Good places to get level-ups to Marth, as he can ORKO the berserkers with a Devil Sword, and can survive with a few dodges. Since it still required to burn some RNs, I used this opportunity to buy stat boosters that I will need later on, as well as forging a +3 javelin to reach ORKO thresholds for future enemies, most notably the chapter 12 wyverns.
With his high MAG and access to the Excalibur tome (male only weapon), Kris can ORKO the otherwise hard to kill wyverns, while also moving towards the castle gate to rescue Marth, as the latter can only move 4 tiles per turn in the desert.
Another one of the hardest chapter of the game, but with the +2 SPD Starsphere Shard as well as the forged javelin, Caeda can ORKO the wyverns while taking their hits thanks to her high bulk, making it more bearable despite the fast pace.
Enemies near the boss area don't move until you enter said area, which can be avoid until the last turn.
Marth got the Lote's shield to protect flyiers for effective bow damage.
Big concentration of enemies who rush at me, I blocked the path with my three main units and let then kill themselves during enemy phases. Palla got the Fortify staff which heal everyone on the map. With Xane now recruit, he can either copy Kris or Caeda to have an extra combat unit, or copy Malicia to have a second staves user.
While untransformed, Xane can cross water, which is abusable in this chapter to clear it in one turn.
I can't start to collect the chests on turn 1, else the boss area would open in the following enemy phase.
Kris must talk to Katarina 3 times to recruit her.
It is better to end the chapter on the same turn than the boss area is opened to avoid complications with the two weak recruitable characters.
The generals are manipulated to leave a path open for Marth to seize on the next turn.
The Wolfguard are ones of the new units recruitable is this remake, and the hardest to recruit in the game as you must recruit them in a specific order, they are far removed from one another, and are usually among stronger enemy units who will murder them as soon as they are recruited. My units placement was done in such a way that everyone is recruited in the last turn.
Hardin's battle animation can't be skipped, and he is very hard to ORKO. Max stats sages like Malicia with the Aura tome are the only ones who can ORKO him without a costly forged weapon.
Swordmaster!Malicia with a Levin Sword is the only one who can ORKO berserkers. I sold my expensive items for the last time and forged a +4 Brave Lance to ORKO some swordmaster in later chapters (and also +3 hit to not miss the attack on this chapter's boss).
After doing the events to recruit Michalis, Minerva visited the secret shop to get the last stat boosters needed, in particular to max out Malicia's HP so that she can survive enemy phases in the last chapters.
After dodging a 80% hit (92% true), Marth has just enough HP/RES left to not be targeted by the magic dragon, which otherwise would require another 80+% hit dodge, which wasn't possible to get in any reasonable amount of time.
Marth and co are relieving some pressure from Malicia, especially from the magic dragons who are immune to magic attacks.
As Hardin, Medeus' battle animation can't be skipped, but he is literally impossible to ORKO.
Better strategies, luck manipulation or items management. The item management in particular was very complex due to the large amount of units involved, each carrying up to 5 items.
Suggest screenshot :
Memory: Claiming for judging.