Part 46: Another Journey
Rumors and speculation run rampant throughout Lycia. The head of House Ostia, Lord Uther, takes no apparent interest. The marquess's younger brother is considered odd by the populace. He and Marquess Pherae's son, Eliwood, are fast friends. A hot-blooded youth, he cannot ignore his friend's plight. Marquess Ostia's younger brother, Hector. He would one day be a courageous general, a steel warrior to be feared. The path he chooses will test him to the limits of his strength.
: Lord Hector! Calm yourself!
: No words, Oswin! Just move!
: You know full well! The disappearance of Marquess Pherae!
: We've discussed this time and time again. This matter is none of Ostia's affair. We have no reason to involve ourselves. It would be folly to do so.
: Eliwood's father is missing, for goodness' sake! We know that Marquess Laus is connected in some way. I say we use Ostia's might to end this mystery and find the truth!
: Calm yourself, you fool! An invasion would be madness! Lycia can ill afford the chaos such an action would bring. Surely even you must understand that!
: Bah...I understand all too well, Brother! Stay there on your throne. Sit there until it rots beneath you! I will do this alone!
: Lord Hector! You should watch your tone...
: Peace, Oswin. Let him go. There's no reasoning with him when he gets like this.
So good to see that the family agrees on important matters like "We should invade another territory and find out what the fuck happened to Lord Elbert."
: You...You're not a wraith. Stop skulking in the shadows like one.
: Hm? A wraith? And here I thought I was a spy. Be that as it may. As milord ordered, here are your travel rations and your beloved axe. And I've purchased the silence of some royal guardsmen. You're free to slip out the rear entrance and vanish.
: Well done, Matthew. Try not to let my brother discover my absence too quickly.
: What? I thought I was going with you.
: You're a bigger fool than I imagined! Did you think I would trust my brother's spy? Who knows when you would turn me in for some favor! Where I go, I go alone!
: Shh! You keep on shouting, and you'll go nowhere! Every guard in the palace must have heard that!
: Enough...Do not try and follow me!
: I did not imagine you would find me so untrustworthy. Professional hazard, it seems. Watch yourself, young master.
: The time has come I've got to get out of here and rendezvous with Eliwood. These bags! What did Matthew put in these things? This is ridiculous even if he was packing for two! Huh?
: I know you're there.
: Who are you?
: Too dumb to speak? Makes no difference to me. Move out of my way, or I'll run you through!
Hector hasn't even left the castle and he's already murdered a man.
: It's me!
: Who? Matthew? I was sure you were one of them.
: Well, I'm not! I'm one of me. And I would prefer to remain in one piece.
: Your fault for jumping out of nowhere. Now tell me, what are you doing here?
: Hm? I...I sensed that something was wrong and...came to your aid.
: My aid... I'll accept that answer for the time being.
: So, what should we do?
: About what?
: I'd say there are 7 or 8 of them. To make matters worse, they seem highly competent. I know you're quite confident in your martial abilities, but...I'm not the strongest sword arm around, and, well...
: If you've something to say, Matthew, then say it!
: We could abandon the rear entrance. I'm sure the royal guardsmen would be happy to aid us, and...
: That's what I thought you would say. All that's left is to avoid getting killed, right?
: You can go back if you want.
: In your own words, milord, never. I'm with you, wherever that may lead.
: Right. Then let's give them a good thrashing and get out of here!
Oh boy, welcome to Hector's Story and Another Journey. It's a nice easy chapter to get you back into the swing of things...on normal mode. The biggest thing to remember is that Hector isn't the murder machine that you remember from Light. He's slow, he's not that accurate, and it'll be a while before he's tanking like a pro again.
What would Fire Emblem be without a big bundle of potential wrapped in a shell of liability?
The map isn't very complicated. A few locked doors, a lot of breakable walls, and a chest to pick up. The enemies aren't that powerful, but it's very easy to get in over your head. Between the archers, soldiers, and knights, Hector can take 3-6 damage per battle, and you have absolutely no vulneraries without killing a few dudes (or stealing them).
If you put any amount of effort at all into training Matthew, it pays off here. If you skipped Lyn's Story, he starts out at Lv 2 - not good. Matthew has important work to do here.
The first HHM change rears its head already. In HNM, there is no thief here, so you're free to take your time setting things up. Here, he'll have the lower door unlocked on turn 3 (which allows those soldiers and archers in the south to charge you), and on turn 4 he'll swipe the chest's contents if you let him. If you want them for yourself, you have to rush in a chapter where you don't have the luxury of being able to rush with your weak units. I'll be honest, I had to rerecord this chapter because I lost the chest.
Damn right you rerecorded. You'll be pressed to survive without what's in that chest. Sometimes in Fire Emblem it's tempting to spend ages on a mission, make a minor fuckup, and just roll with it because doing it again would be . This is not one of those times.
Finally, the boss is in the southwest corner.
It may just be an Iron Lance, but Wire is capable of knocking off about half of Hector's health in a single blow. Being careless will get you killed on this map.
He looks scary (and he is!) but he'd be much more of a threat if he wasn't a Knight and thus subject to 20 additional damage every time Hector attacks.
Alright, let's see what Artix restarted the mission for...
It's imperative to grab this gem; you start with absolutely no gold in Hector's Story, and the first real chance to get gold is in 13x, and you wouldn't even be able to buy anything until the next chapter. Hector does start with a Hand Axe in addition to the Wolf Beil, but that's not going to last that long.
It's equally important to steal enemy Vulneraries. Each one stolen is another 300 gold you don't have to spend on Vulnararies...
You'l be back to Light-levels of asskickery...someday...
This is your lifeblood, right here. I believe I run through two entire sets of vulneraries by the time I finish the chapter.
The good news is that there are four available, so you're free to use them as you need for the time being. And you will need to use them.
I'll take those, thank you. I did learn something from the failed recording.
Stealing lockpicks from enemy thieves is just one of life's little joys. It never gets old, and it amuses me much more than it should.
A very nice opening level, but getting some defense is critical in the early-game. The HP is appreciated, at least.
Like so. He'll pop a vulnerary next turn, but between the two archers, he'll only end up getting something like 3 HP back.
These guys will account for an annoyingly large chunk of Hand Axe uses if you take them out like this. Which, if you don't want to lose the gem, you basically have to. Because Hard Mode.
Indeed. By the end of the chapter, Hector's Hand Axe has 4 uses left.
How helpful, Matthew. He does pick up Swords-C for the effort.
Oh, you motherfucker.
See, this, right here, is the AI playing against you rather than your "army". A real thief would've gone for the Gem, out of duty, or his Lockpicks, out of pride.
Actually, he stole that one from Hector. Matthew has two more speed than him, so he can't pull that off.
More defense, more HP, excellent.
It's very... Hector.
You give me that back, mister.
The best situation to be in. One vulnerary, Matthew has 8 HP, and Hector 7.
Fortunately, this fellow has one he's glad to give us.
Why, thank you sir knight. You're free to die now.
Once again; effective damage. Something you'll come to love in the early stages of hard mode (and throughout).
It looks as though the RNG gods are... resisting.
I'm not even going to respond to that one.
One more. I'll take all the free supplies I can get.
: You're too good. Too professional. Nothing like those idiots over there.
: You've no need to know, little Lord Hector. A fool like you, sneaking out of the country alone... You'll go missing, never to return. Your body will never be found. Tidy story, eh? Ha ha...
: Tsk tsk... Looks like your luck's run out.
: Our luck? What are you...
: You see, I'm about as angry as I've ever been. I doubt that even a dozen of you could slow me down. Prepare to die!
Needless to say, the Wolf Beil makes short work of him.
That one defense and 2 HP Hector picked up was sufficient to allow him to eat two hits from Wire. Wire, on the other hand, takes 24 damage per hit from Hector. So, yeah.
If you get unlucky, the strategy I brought up last update for Batta works here too. Just park Hector next to Wire and wait (or heal). He attacks, you attack, then you can either heal or attack him a second time for the kill.
Beautiful. That's what we want to see.
: Come, milord, we must fly! The castle guard must have heard all the noise.
: Matthew, you rogue. You knew this was all going to happen, didn't you?
: What else could I do? Those assassins wouldn't show themselves until you were alone.
: I suppose...Mark my words, Matthew! You're coming with me. But from this point forward, you are no longer my brother's spy. You are my man now, to the bitter end.
: Yes, milord! Shall I swear a knightly vow?
: To what purpose? Your own words will hold you well enough.
: True enough!
: Let us go then! To Eliwood!
: He's gone, isn't he?
: Ye...Yes, milord! We are gathering men now to give chase.
: Attend me. We will let him go.
: A...Headstrong fool...Oooh...Cough...cough...
: ...I'm fine. It has passed. There is no need for concern.
: You must not rely so much on physical strength alone. It has been most trying these past few weeks. The affairs of the court have not let you sleep. You might endanger your health if you keep on...
: Yes, Oswin. I understand. I will speak with a physician on the morrow. Will that allay your fears?
: Yes, my lord. I shall make the arrangements.
: Oswin...About Hector...I can entrust him to you, yes?
: Of course, my lord. I will guard him with my very life's blood.
Reloads this chapter: 1
Reloads for all of HHM: 1
Because you know it's only going to get worse. Feel free to put a bet on the final tally, and the winner by Price is Right rules will get a forum upgrade of their choice. Bets have to be in before I post Chapter 15.
...what? What's with that look?