Turns out Fire Emblem Echoes is a lot shorter than I’d expected. Act 5 is the final chapter of the game and it’s just a long dungeon with the final boss fight at the end. The game ending where it did blindsided me because I’d heard there were 6 Acts, but in reality there were only 4 and a quarter, maybe even less than that.
Warning to others: once you reach the Sage Hamlet with Celica it’s very hard to come back! And when you reach the top floor of Duma Tower that’s the end of Celica’s party until the final battle! If I’d known that, I would have backtracked to promote people like Boey (useless) and Atlas (promising) and Saber (very promising) and Sonya (very very promising) to the next level. All that trouble Dread Fighters gave me and I never got one of my own. There seems to be post-game content available, but except in very rare cases I don’t do post-game content.
Besides, I lost most of my motivation in the final hours because Celica was being such a moron, determined to sacrifice her soul to Duma because a totally-not-suspicious man with purple skin told her so. Grapes have purple skin. Sweet potatoes have purple skin. If it has purple skin and it’s not a grape and it’s not a potato then it’s a villain. It says so right here in the textbook for RPG 101. But truth be told, such idiocy is beyond my power to comprehend, and I don’t have the energy to get mad about such things any more. At least everyone around Celica realizes it for the senseless act of stupidity that it is, so that helps a little bit.
The final conclusion boils down to the usual “Mankind needs no gods, you are not alone, we can do anything if we work together” JRPG spiel, though the gods here are portrayed a little more sympathetically than they are in most JRPGs. It’s probably because they were originally dragons and Fire Emblem has a fairly positive relationship with dragons overall. And it seems they aren’t actually killed but are put to sleep – not in the vet and faithful old dog way but in a magical way which opens the path for a sequel or… something? I’m up for other Valentia games as long as Celica doesn’t show up again.
I don’t feel qualified to talk about the battle system because I don’t feel I really explored its depths. If it has any depths, that is. I only promoted most characters once, never got a Dread Fighter, never got whatever Pegasus Knights promote to or Sages promote to or Gold Knights promote to, and on and on. I didn’t get to evolve most of my weapons or teach most of my characters various Arts. I didn’t even use Arts much because on Normal+Casual mode you can get along fine regardless.
The game was cut short just when I had figured out the strengths and weaknesses of my party and things were about to get good. Most likely this was done to get you to play the post-game dungeons, but as I said, I don’t do PGC. Especially in games where the combat is fun and all but not particularly compelling or addictive. And especially not in games where I’m not particularly invested in the characters. It’s even harder to be invested when you read the character endings and see so many “X disappeared and was never seen again, Y went for a walk and never came back” endings for your favorite characters. Kliff! Sonyaaa!!! Yeah, I’m done here.
Moving on~ So glad I finished Atelier Rorona and Fire Emblem Echoes so I can move into September with a clean slate. The Sword Art Online: Infinity Moment game I mentioned a while ago is probably going to end up in the “stuff that didn’t work out” pile. It’s… not very good. Operation Abyss is dropped but not dropped-dropped, just dropped until I feel like playing a dungeon crawler again. I’d like to finish it and play the sequel sometime so it’s merely on hiatus until then.
Schedule for September: probably Dragon Quest VII… People I know who’ve played it aren’t very enthusiastic but I want to try it. Probably Trails in the Sky 3rd Chapter. And then whatever else catches my eye or fancy.