Sacred Stones - Royals-Only Run (No Peasants Allowed!)

So I’m doing a runthrough of Sacred Stones where I’m only allowed to use characters who can be considered royalty.


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.

Da Rulez

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.

PRO - 01 - Splash Screen

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.

PRO - 02 - The First Turn

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.

PRO - 04 - Crit 2

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.

PRO - 05 - Turn 2

Now to move closer…

PRO - 06 - Double Attacking

We dodge again, landing a double attack…

PRO - 08 - Turn 3 and Crit 3

And come our turn, we’re landing our third crit.

PRO - 10 - Have You Even Been Paying Attention

Eirika the Harpy lands 3 crits and he’s still talking trash. And once we’ve lured him off his tree…

PRO - 11 - Crit 4 and A Fallen Boss

We land a 4th crit. Take note: Talk crap to Eirika, and she will land that crit. XD

PRO - 12 - Level Up to the Finish

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.


Aren’t knights nobility though.

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In a sense, historically, one could say that, but being a knight/cavalier does not make one upper class in FE. Take for instance Amelia. She can promote into one or the other, but in the end she’s just a commoner who enlisted as a soldier. No noble blood. So, I guess the more accurate description would be “Royalty-Only”. But as both terms are still somewhat synonymous and refer to the highest-level classes of citizenry, I just went with the term that had a better ring to me.

Of course, in the end, few FE games truly take time to divulge the difference between upper and lower class citizens, so it’s all a moot point, really. Just something for fun.


What about Seth? He is the General Knight. Surely the guy is from a prominent noble house.

What about Forde and Kyle? Those guys are the entrusted men of Ephraim. Pretty much they grew up together, therefore, they should be from a prominent noble house, even related to the King’s court.

Orson? I’m sure he is from a noble house too. But hey, he is barely playable.

Duessel? He is definitely a noble, even the head of a noble house, maybe. It’s impossible for a commoner climb so high in the military without some exceptional event (like the 3 new generals)

Same applies to Glenn. Therefore, Cormag should be from a noble house too.

Knoll may be a noble too, since the guy was very close to the royal court. But maybe a talented commoner could climb that high.

I think FE’s rules of social mobility are pretty lax compared to how it would work irl.


Listed Orson as post-game playable, but more due to him serving as King of Renais (albeit short-lived, but a king is a king). I didn’t mention him for main story due to him being available for just one chapter and thus not making a huge difference in that one chapter. (I’ve done a number of runs where I just don’t use the guy on 5x. Feels like a waste of EXP. IK the tower and endless grinding and all that, but if I don’t have to, I don’t want to.) Thing is, I can’t go on "pretty sure"s and "should be"s. As much as I’d like to.

To look at a counter-example (and proof of @Citrus’s point), Kris from FE12 has the option to be a merchant’s child. Merchants are almost certainly of common birth, and thus making Kris a commoner, yet he becomes Marth’s trusted ally and knight. Another example is Ike, being definitively of common birth, is promoted to lordship (albeit this causes problems later, but the point still stands). Robin, whose parentage is unknown when he is found unconscious by Chrom, still becomes Chrom’s trusted tactician and advisor, and Chrom becomes the Exalt.

All of the above are examples that FE has seldom cared about birthplace when assigning rank. So I have to disagree. Without solid evidence or a family tree to go on, I cannot use even Seth or Duessel.

Things have been edited to fit more what I’m going for and cause less confusion as to my goal. Also, if you wish to do your own challenge of this kind (just a broad statement to any considering this), you can make your own rules. You don’t have to follow mine. If you want to do a run with Seth, Kyle, Franz, Forde, Duessel, Cormag, and/or Dozla involved, be my guest. I’m not saying you can’t use those characters in your own run. But they are disallowed from my run because I thought it would make things interesting.

Chapter 1: Escape!

C01 - 01 - Splash Screen
So this chapter we have to keep 3 characters out of the way of combat, and that’s where the challenge comes in. I actually reset this chapter once, but the screenshots I took of attempt 1 were honestly terrible. The ones I ended up with still weren’t all the best, but they’re better. So just know what I’m showing is the second attempt.

C01 - 02 - Opening Move
Priority 1, get Seth out of the starting area so he doesn’t get attacked by reinforcements, but keep him out of range of other baddies.

C01 - 03 - Another Foe, Another Crit
What do I say about this one. Another guy talked crap to her, so another guy took a crit to the… um… below the belt.

C01 - 04 - This is Where the Fun Begins
HEY, reinforc-- oh, yeah.

C01 - 05 - To Level 3
Eirika grows from the blood of her victims.

C01 - 06 - The Pacifist
And this guy’s a pacifist.

C01 - 07 - Turn Pass
But I don’t like how things look for me attacking him. It feels a bit risky. He’s the man, after all. It’s on him to ask for the date. End turn.

C01 - 08 - The Pacifist Attacks...
Now he attacks.

C01 - 09 - And Regrets it Immediately
And Eirika ain’t having any of it.

C01 - 10 - Another One Bites the Dust
Time to start jamming to some Queen.

C01 - 11 - And Another One Gone
Because another one bites the dust.

C01 - 12 - Operation Hide Behind the Princess
Operation: Hide Behind the Princess is a-go.

C01 - 13 - Operation Complete
Operation complete, ig. Not much to say. Just prepping for these last three guys.

C01 - 14 - Growing More
No gain…

C01 - 15 - But Hurting Just a Bit
No pain… Wait that’s backwards.

C01 - 16 - Healing at the Fort
Reinforcements as I take shelter.

C01 - 17 - Can't Touch This
C01 - 18 - Poke
C01 - 19 - I Take it Back
C01 - 20 - Harder Poke
C01 - 21 - Yeah, You go Back to Your Corner
Some battle stuff. They attack. One guy fails, the others hit. Eirika pokes back a bit harder.

C01 - 22 - Ascending Quickly
And I get another Level Up. She’s going to be substantially overleveled soon.

C01 - 22 - Healing Again
Medical attention needed and appreciated.

C01 - 24 - Closing In
Moving toward their base of operations.

C01 - 25 - God Rest Their Souls
Send up a prayer tonight for the men Eirika the Bloodthirsty has devoured. They need it.

C01 - 26 - Praying to the RNGods
And while you do that, Imma pray to the RNGods right quick.

C01 - 27 - Tougher than Expected
We’re both in kill range. But we’re going for it anyway. YOLO! (cringes at own outdated memeing)

And this is one moment I failed at screenshots. My buttcheeks were clenched far too tightly in nervousness. I missed the first attack. And as infamously slowly as Knights move, I spent a long time in tension waiting for his attack as well. Thankfully it was also a miss. My next attack rolls in…

C01 - 28 - Dodge, Dodge, Hit
And it’s a hit. Thank RNJesus.

C01 - 29 - Obligatory Level Up
Of course, we’re getting a Level Up out of that guy.

C01 - 30 - Reclamation
Now we take the fort.

C01 - 31 - MONEY!!!
And King Hayden is a cool guy. How can you not appreciate someone who gives you 5k gold pieces?

Gotta say, this run is feeling good so far. Time for sleep now. Will do Ch. 2 when I get time.

What are your thoughts about people who marry into royalty? Like Forde and Seth through Eirika and Vanessa through Innes?