So I’m doing a runthrough of Sacred Stones where I’m only allowed to use characters who can be considered royalty.
BE WARNED THAT IF FOR WHATEVER REASON YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THIS 17-YEAR-OLD GAME THAT THIS THREAD WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS
Now that warnings are out of the way…
On the surface, royals-only means that I’m only allowed to use Eirika, Ephraim, Tana, Innes, Joshua, L’Arachel, and Myrrh (hey, adoption counts).
The Creature Campaign also adds a number of usable characters: Orson (due to him being king of Renais for a short time), Ismaire, Hayden, Fado, and Lyon. While it would seem most likely that the run would end with Lyon’s recruitment, if you’ve ever completed the creature campaign, we actually gain nothing of use in this run by completing the Tower of Valni 3 times prior to finishing the Lagdou Ruins 3 times. So it may be ideal to do the Tower only once to recruit Orson and Ismaire prior to running the Ruins to completion to obtain Hayden, Fado, and Lyon. Therefore, the run will be complete with Selena’s recruitment.
So I need to lay some base rules. A proper rulebook by which to follow, if you would. After all, there are instances where characters are forced to deploy that don’t fill the basic “Royals-Only” description.
- Non-Royal characters who are forced deployments may not enter combat of any kind, even defensively. Receiving an attack on an unusable character means I must reset the chapter/skirmish.
- Non-Royal characters must not be used for healing or dancing (sorry, Tethys).
- Non-Royal characters must not be used for visiting villages or item houses. Similarly, they must not be used for opening chests or doors.
- Non-Royal characters must not be used for stealing items via thief skills.
- Non-Royal citizen (green) or enemy (red) units who are recruitable may be allowed to perform as they wish while they are non-player units. If they are recruited, they may not be used for any of the above tasks post-recruitment. Thus, Colm may open chests while he is green, but if he is recruited, his chest-opening days immediately end.
- Non-Royal characters must not “Rescue” any other character, even other non-nobility characters. (R.I.P. Ross. You likely won’t make it out alive.)
- Non-Royal characters may ONLY be moved to avoid combat during forced deployment and may be used for the recruitment of other characters when a nobility character is not able to recruit the character. This exception is in place specifically due to Joshua’s recruitment only being possible with Natasha, who is otherwise not usable in this playthrough, though it also allows us to recruit Colm, who will give us a nice Lockpick for use later.
- The run is considered a success once all Creature Campaign characters have been recruited (Tower and Ruins both completed 3x each).
Why Am I Doing This?
So please note that I am going through this challenge because it sounded fun to me, and I thought it could be entertaing to share. I am NOT doing this because I thought it would be the hardest way to play FE8 or a great show of my own talents or anything of that nature. It’s for fun, like games should be. Though, as I’m not the best at games, I may indeed have difficulty at some points.
So, the strategy is this: I’m going to of course try to keep many characters out of enemy range. However, when it comes to green and red recruitable units, they will likely only be recruited if it is truly beneficial (i.e. it gives me items/money).
Promotion-wise, I only have need of 3 specific promotion items (not including the event-promotion for Eirika and Ephraim, which I shouldn’t have to delay as they are going to be over-leveled very quickly). These are a Hero Crest (for Joshua), an Elysian Whip (for Tana), and a Guiding Ring (for L’Arachel).
Joshua’s promotion is going to be into an Assassin, as without another available Thief, he will be my only usable character capable of using a Lockpick. In addition, this will give him increased Fog vision, which will be quite useful in certain chapters. Lastly, he gets Silencer, which isn’t a bad deal for an already great unit.
Tana’s promotion will be into Falcoknight. This is likely to be the most controversial of promotions made in this run, but, she fares slightly better defensively as a Falcoknight (on average, 1 point higher in both Def and Res). And in a run chock-full of glass cannons, especially before the Creature Campaign, any amount of defense is necessary. It also gives her access to swords, and–let’s be honest here–Runeswords are busted in this game and I plan to spam them as much as possible in later phases of the game.
L’Arachel’s promotion into Valkyrie is a no-brainer. She gets access to Light Magic, which gives her Trinity advantage over any magic-slinging monster. She can technically get access to a sacred weapon either way, but (especially if we decide that Saleh is fair game) this is the way to get the most utility out of her. Also Ivaldi gives Def +5, and as mentioned earlier, I’m taking all the defense I can get.
Last thing I need to mention: To properly get use out of Myrrh, I will be attempting the use of the Mine Trick v2 to restore the Dragonstone, and possibly to snag a monster weapon(s) for her to use as well. I don’t want her to hit Level 20 with only 4 to 6 uses left before she has to be sidelined. The twist here is, I have only attempted the Mine Trick v2 ONCE in my life, just in the passing, years ago. I thought it would be cool if I could do it my first try, but wasn’t going to stress if it was unsuccessful, which… it was. But as it is near necessary for Myrrh to stick through this run, I will be putting any number of tries necessary in to get this to happen.
Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s begin the run.
Prologue: The Fall of Renais
So I’ve played Sacred Stones a number of times over at this point, so I won’t be going over much of the story details in this run. We’re running on hard mode this go-around, of course, to try to make things a bit more challenging, and also to ensure we avoid any forced tutorial moments that would potentially result in breaking our own rules.
So, holding true to the above, after the pre-chapter splash screen, I promptly begin mashing START and skip to the good stuff. 800 years of peace would not last, you cannot outrun death, heard it all so many times before.
So now our first turn as we’re being chased by these dorks. I move Seth to the northwestern-most tile and Eirika to a tile just within the first enemy’s range to test the waters.
And after our enemy’s first attack missing and two crits of a Rapier, the first of three falls victim to Eirika’s bloodlust. Watch out, Valter.
Now to move closer…
We dodge again, landing a double attack…
And come our turn, we’re landing our third crit.
Eirika the Harpy lands 3 crits and he’s still talking trash. And once we’ve lured him off his tree…
We land a 4th crit. Take note: Talk crap to Eirika, and she will land that crit. XD
And of course, finishing out the Prologue, she gets a Level Up. So far so good, but that was the easy part. I will begin working on Chapter 1 asap but I can’t promise regular or frequent updates on this run. Just doing so in between work and stuff.