Part 2: Ep 2: Knights of the Ambush ForestChapter 1: Girl of the Spirit Forest Part 1
On to Chapter 1, aka Forestland. This chapter isn't as rich with system novelties as the Prologue, but there are still a quite few surprises left for us.
: I'd gladly join your army, Sigurd, but I'm a Camus archetype. See you once you conquer Genoa!
First things first, let's go shopping. The selection has been reduced quite a bit, with the Iron Lance and Slim Sword missing. And considering Quan didn't get the Javelin from the start, that means the Steel Axe is the only real new item to buy here.
I wasn't kidding when I said that using cost-efficient weapons is far more important than feeding kills now. In vanilla FE4, that one Silver Sword use would have been only 100G to repair, and those 8 Iron Lance uses, only 160G. The prices have basically been multiplied by 2~3 depending on the items. Thankfully, our war funds have also been expanded, with everyone being able to carry 65.000G now.
Also, it looks like I overestimated the cost of repairing that Lady Sword in the previous update. 220G/use isn't all that terrible considering she two-hit-kills anything with it.
After that, I'm taking care of all the Arena grinding. I've no qualms about save-scumming to get higher ranks in the arena in this game, since our guys really need both the money and experience. Lex gets himself the Steel Axe, Quan grabs his Javelin back for some intense chipping action, and Sigurd sells his Iron Lance to Alec so he can be a little more efficient during the Arena. I also had Midayle sell his Speed Ring to Noish, once he was done with his Arena rounds.
: Arena Completed, Gained 1 level, +1 HP, Skl, Spd, Def
Pretty nice level for Sigurd, there.
: Arena up to rank 7, Gained 2 levels, +1 HP, Str, Skl, +2 Def
: Arena up to rank 7, Gained 2 levels, +1 HP, Lck, Res, +2 Spd, Def
: Arena up to rank 7, Gained 3 levels, +1 Str, Skl, Spd, +2 Def, +3 HP
I'm actually quite impressed that these three have made it up to level 7. Alec especially gained some really nice levels.
: Arena Completed, Gained 3 levels, +1 HP, Lck, Res, +2 Spd, +3 Mgc
: Arena Completed, Gained 4 levels, +1 Res, +2 Str, Skl, Spd, Lck, Def, +4 HP
I know he's got Elite, but daaaamn.
: Arena Completed, Gained 2 levels, +1 Str, Spd, Lck, Res, +3 HP
Quan actually triggered his 110% HP Growth there.
: Arena Completed, Gained 2 levels, +1 Str, Mgc, Skl, Spd, Lck, +2 HP
You do know that I'm not going to be giving you magic swords, Finn?
: Arena up to rank 7, Gained 2 levels, +1 HP, Spd, Def, +2 Str
Certainly not something you would have expected vanilla Ethlyn to accomplish.
: Arena up to rank 7, Gained 2 levels, +1 Spd, Lck, Def, +2 HP, Str
As far as Arena enemies were concerned, they mostly had the same names and weapons as their vanilla versions. The only exception was Emil the Wind Mage, who became a regular Mage, and traded his Elwind & Speed Ring for a Wind & Defense Ring.
On to the chapter proper. The enemy classes we'll be fighting from the Genoa platoon are unchanged and will be charing at us in their usual fashion. All in all, the map plays exactly the same as in vanilla FE4 until we reach the massive portion of forests.
Ayra is still hanging around, and is even more of a pain to recruit than before. Why? Because she has a Killing Edge now, and you really don't want to tempt 5 critical rolls against her, so Alec will have to be our Nihilistic lure.
The Nodion knight guarding the border is pretty damn badass. Pursuit, Continue AND Elite? I wish Eldigan would let me borrow one of these for my army...
First off, we have Quan giving a little motivation speech to Finn for the good old +1 Str, Skl, Def boosts. Finn is starting to be quite potent already, with just his old Iron Lance.
And here comes out chasing army. In Binary, leaving Dew to fend them off in the forest is actually an pretty bad idea, since they will all have 10~25 hit rates against him, and will kill him in only two hits.
Adean received only minor stat boosts with +1 Mgc and Def. The real kicker is the second screen, where she not only has 5000 more gold, but also has a new weapon rank... That's right, Priests and Clerics can equip basic Light Magic spells, which completely changes Adean's balance. She can earn money very easily in the arena to repair her staves, and get experience even faster. The Lightning tome is pretty potent too, with 10 Mgt, and lets her be a really good backup mage early on.
Now the only difficulty will be to find her a Lightning tome.
Dew is still a terrible unit, despite his +1 in Str and Spd. He's going to have a hard time ever doing any damage in the Arena, although he should at least be able to double people easily, now. He does makes a wonderful father thanks to Bargain and Sol. Sol is especially nice, as it is not limited to foot sword users anymore, so you could have a Free Knight or a Mage with it, for instance.
While the two of them are fleeing away from their deaths, Sigurd gets first blood. I'm not even leaving that guy a chance to reach that village.
Everyone moves forward, and I build up this fashionable wall of horses. Hopefully it'll make the axe guys spread their attacks a bit.
Nnnnope. Almost all of them went for Ethlyn to get eviscerated. Never mind the fact that the first guy to go for her was critted in the face, and that 3% is a horrible hit rate.
Like lemmings to a cliff. Ethlyn gets HP, Spd, Def as a reward for her pest-control work.
Time to clean these guys up in style, with somewhat unnecessary crits.
Skl, Str, Spd, Res. Still a bit of a glass cannon, but that's fine by me. Miracle is here for that.
HP, Mag. That, however, is just plain bad.
Kinbois is still pretty threatening thanks to that Silver Axe and his new buffs. +2 HP, +3 Str, +2 Skl, +2 Def, but also -1 Res and -1 Leadership. He's also got 1000 more Gold and the Charge skill, meaning you don't want him to start using his Hand Axe, or he might end up throw it it 2 or 3 times.
Ethlyn should do real fine against him though, and allow Lex to come and snatch said axe off of him.
Uhm... oops. Looks like I forgot that Lover criticals are a thing in FE4.
Welp, no Hand Axe for Lex on this chapter!
She did get some HP, Str, Spd out of the deal, which is pretty nice.
HP, Str. A shame I can't say the same for her brother.
I love tormenting generic enemy units with that Canto ability. Choose your death!
You chose poorly.
Oh wow, and she even critted him. No mercy from the pink-haired lady.
Sigurd is going to be taking Genoa from the east while Alec baits Ayra in the west. Everyone else sneaks by the forest to reach Dew and Adean.
Ayra takes the bait a bit earlier than expected, moving out even if Sigurd was out of range. He did weaken the fighters enough for Alec to deal with them.
Sigurd continues on his stealth mission to infiltrate Genoa. I pray that Ayra's AI doesn't suddenly decide to fuck up and suicide on him.
Just in case, I left Alec with his sword so he can dodge some of the fighters. He gets HP, Str, Spd, Def. Wonderful timing to get some Defense!
Just as planned, the boss is weakened enough for Sigurd to get him next turn, and she can't kill Alec, even with a Critical.
One hit on each side. Perfect.
We promptly seize Genoe to find Shanan already practicing his silent grimdark Swordmaster act.
: When I grow up, I want to be a Sephiroth!
Back in the east, the girls discuss private girl stuff and Ehtlyn receives the anti-backtracking Return staff.
It's got 15 uses instead of 10 now, because Binary likes making your maps less tedious.
Midir opens the hostilities with the chasing brigands, activating both a Critical and Charge. Impressive.
Skl, Lck Not so much with the level-up. He did need some Skill, at least
And I have him talk to Adean for a few needed Love Points. As much as I dislike Midir's character, I'll go and pair him up with Adean for this run. Jamke provides better stats and Continue, but Bow Knights have really low caps, so Pursuit should be much more helpful than Continue when Lester will be stuck at 23 Speed.
Jamke is only really good if you decide to pick Lester's second promotion, which has much higher caps. Alternatively, the other bow-using father available right now is Arden for maximum lulz. Because there's nothing sillier than having Great Shield on your healer and bow user.
Now that this small shipping interlude is over, we get ambushed by a totally-unexpected attack from Eliott and his goons. Badass Social Knight from earlier decides it wouldn't be fair to take them all down by himself, and goes to summon his buddies for the party.
: Yo, get in my team!
What a surprise, Ayra received mostly nerfs! She has -1 Str and Def for being too tough for a Myrmidon. The class also lost Pursuit, which should still be fine for Ayra, as she's got enough Str and Spd to not ruin her AS too much. Astra also recieved a minor nerf, dealing only 75% of the damage on each hit, if it activates. Other than that, she's still pretty formidable, and that free Killing Edge rocks, although we'll need to find her something more durable and less stupidly expensive to repair.
And now, it's just a matter of trimming down the brigand army in the west. Noish gets a solid HP, Skl, Str for his relentless fighting.
HP, Spd. Weird, but acceptable.
Ayra sees her first fight. No Astra, and no crit. Girl, I am disappoint.
You should take example on Ethlyn. Look at her go, critting like there's no tomorrow.
: Can't let you do that, Eliott... Shagaal has ordered us to take you down.
And during their first phase, they proceed to... goodness gracious, they're almost all dead!
Indeed, all the Cross Knights are the same badasses as the border guard from earlier, and should have no problem anihilating Eliott's troops.
Eldigan himself is pretty much invincible. He lost 5 levels and 4 HP, but got +2 Str, +3 Mag, +1 Skl, +2 Spd, +11 Lck, +2 Def, as well as Pursuit, Continue and Charisma, which effectively boosts his Leadership up to 6. That's a raw 50% bonus to Avoid and Accuracy to anyone around him.
Paladins have a bit of an access to Axes in Binary, but Eldigan is of course equipped with the Mystletainn, which gives similar boosts as before, lost 5 Mgt like all other legendary weapons, and got his Critical skill replaced by a +10 Crit bonus. Also, it now absorbs life on hit, because, y'know... evil sword for a black Paladin.
Atta girl! Show us what the Navarre archetype can do.
HP, Lck. I think Ethlyn is trying to tell me she'd rather be fighting than healing her husband.
Always scavenging for precious experience, Dew gets some Lck, Def. Not really making a show of your growths there, son.
Up there, the cross knights are done feasting on the souls of Eliott's troops. Time for a climatic showdown, with Eldigan using his magical horse to stand on unpassable terrain...?
That sure was very climactic end for his update.
: Dark Knights Brigade awaaaay!
And that's it for this part of Chapter 1. Next time, we conquer Genoa, curse at that goddamn forest, and unveil some more of Binary's mysteries.