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Update 1 (Greener223224)
Just proving that I'm not actually playing the Japanese version, just an ordinary romhack of the English version.
We'll be playing on Hard Mode, since that's where the differences are most visible, and because this is still supposed to be some kind of challenge.
Featuring on this world map: Not A Sage,
Not An Emperor,
and most heinous of all, Not A Monarchy.
The opening cutscenes play out the same as they always do, so let's skip forward to the start of gameplay.
Maps and enemy composition are all unchanged in this version. The difference really lies in the statistics of each unit.
Not Eirika, though. She's still her same Lyn+ self as always.
Seth is a slightly different story. The localization gave him an extra 5% HP growth, boosting it to an incredible 90%. The base of 85% is still ludicrous enough, so Seth is still a totally overpowered crutch, but it's a start.
Now, the enemies in the prologue have surprisingly been buffed, with two extra bonus levels than EN Hard Mode. It's not enough to make them a threat here, but I would like to note that most of EN's Hard Mode only gave 3 extra levels its enemies, so enemy quality is already on par with what the usual midgame would be throwing at you.
Just look at how intimidated Eirika is by these changes!
But seriously, the prologue is still easily mopped up in two turns, and Eirika gets a great level for her efforts.
You just fled the castle, and you're already considering going back? Confused face.
Chapter 1, then.
Enemies are still at +3 bonus levels, so they could be a threat to Eirika if the RNG looks poorly on her.
So I'll be using Seth relatively liberally here, if only just to speed this level up.
And then the cavalry arrive, with their own little changes.
Franz's changes weren't to growths, but to his bases. He lost 1 point in HP, Strength and Speed in the localization. So with the reversion he's become one of the best units in the game at, in case he wasn't already thanks to early join time and cavalier class.
Gilliam, though, is rather hurt by the reversion. The localization gave him +5% more growth to what was otherwise a mediocre 40% Strength and bad 30% Skill. I'd be shocked if he makes it even to midgame.
But for the moment, he has his purpose in softening up enemies for Franz.
Replace "lead" with "carry", and Franz is absolutely correct.
It's a quick flurry of kills after that.
And a small gamble to give Gilliam a kill on one of the axefighters.
Seth parks next to Breguet to set up a riskless kill for Eirika...
And does so!
Right as the reinforcements arrive.
The rest of the party heads to meet with the reinforcements as Eirika gets her boss kill, and a more predictable level for her usual fare.
Franz takes a hard blow from one of the two axefighters, and then kills him to give Franz just the levelup he needs to survive this entanglement.
...Well, after a lucky dodge from the second axefighter.
If it hadn't been for that point of defense, Franz would be dead here. Helps to show how much stronger the enemies are from the normal game.
And Gilliam gets the last kill for a good level that still misses the areas he's lost out in.
I feel like I should be keeping a hidden tally for how often the topic turns to Ephraim in this game.
Not pictured: the modder behind Restoration Queen getting increasingly disgruntled.
We get out unaltered chump change, and that's it for Chapter 1.
On to Chapter 2, but not without taking note of this weird detail that Seth is the lead unit in the game instead of Eirika from the prologue until Eirika becomes a mandatory deployment in Chapter 4.
So, with more units, comes more reversions to talk about.
Vanessa's reversion has given her 1 more point of speed than normal. Useful to have, but nothing game game-changing unless you're a 0% growths runner.
Moulder's growths have taken a big positive, with +15% HP to take that growth to an incredible 80% (or rather 85%, since the hacker messed up), and +5% Speed to get it up to a very workable 45%.
Ross's biggest change has to do with his Super Journeyman class, but the change that most affects his performance is a -5% penalty to Speed, lowering it to 25%. Will likely make training him an even riskier gamble than normal.
And Garcia is the one person here who stays unchanged.
Meanwhile, the enemies have taken another power escalation. Hard Mode bonuses are now equivalent to 4 extra levels, which is on the same scale as the lategame and endgame in the localized Hard Mode. We can't take these guys too lightly, especially with all the terrain in this map.
The usual steps are taken here. Rescue Ross with Vanessa, then have Moulder Take and Drop him to speed up Garcia's rescue.
It's probably only a matter of time before an actual character called Erina gets added to the franchise. Only took one game for Lugh to become an actual character name instead of an alias for Leaf.
Garcia holds his own while I wait for the next turn.
And then Ross goes and uses his Vulnerary because I guess he's too stubborn to accept Moulder's heals.
Eirika recruits Ross,
then Vanessa and Seth rescue-drop Garcia,
so that Ross can recruit him on Turn 2.
And Garcia springs into action immediately from there.
Is she referring to Ephraim, or to Joshua? You decide!
And then my decision to have Garcia attack this brigand backfires, as he ducks into a fort to retaliate.
Franz handles his buddy while I wonder whether to get Seth involved.
I decide to risk the decision on whether or not Gilliam makes this hit...
...which he does!
Then I follow up with another lucky hit from Ross, giving him a fresh Vulnerary for his efforts.
Garcia then finishes off the brigand that Franz softened up.
Eirika ends off the turn by heading to the armory to sell off the Red Gem and buy an Iron Sword so I can stop wearing down her Rapier.
And then she starts the next turn by heading off the reinforcements that appear to the west.
I used the turn Seth had free to lure in the one enemy archer on the map, so that Gilliam and Franz could take it down this turn.
And that's the last village saved.
Enemy turn. Franz engages and finishes off the brigand that Garcia softened up earlier for a great level.
You all know where this leads.
Eirika holds off the reinforcements for a weapon level, and then it's the player phase again.
Franz and Garcia engage the boss. I haven't mentioned yet, but bosses take advantage of the same bonus levels as the rest of the game's enemies, so they can get stronger just as much as their buddies. Still, Bone shouldn't be too much trouble now that he's off the mountains-
Whoops, spoke too soon.
I'm still not slowing down the risks, though. Vanessa engages and weakens one of the reinforcements so that Ross can try and get a kill from it.
It pays off wonderfully.
The other reinforcement goes down to Eirika afterward, and Moulder heals Garcia from his whiff.
I still want Garcia to get the boss kill, so I switch Franz's weapons in the hope that if Bone attacks him, he'll miss on the counter.
It didn't work.
Franz gets the boss kill, and the level ends with a mediocre level.
Not all that prestigious a rank, given that O'Neil had a similar rank, and he was just some faceless Prologue boss.
The tally rises...
And this dialogue no longer sounds innocent after a decade and a half of anime trends.
But I've finally reached the end of Chapter 2, and after quickly noting how there's a tiny sword above the name of our location to denote Armory access, that'll be the end of my startoff for this Let's Play!
I'll be handing control off to whoever volunteers to do the next two chapters, and they can find my save for this run by CLICKING HERE. Just remember to patch in the reversion first. Hopefully I shouldn't need to progress this run until at least the route split.