Part 23: Ep 22: A Storm of JavelinsChapter 8: Dragon Knights of Thracia Part 2
Welcome back to Let's Play FE4 Binary. When we last left Seliph and friends, they were just done conquering Conote. Thankfully, Leif, Nanna and Delmud are with us, not fighting on some stupid river.
Altenna is going to be around for this update. Unlike her brother, she's got her FE5 portrait and I think they messed up her speaking frames. Her mouth barely moves when she talks.
What is it with Thracians and their obsession for sending out triangular squadrons of Wyverns...? A few of the Dragon Riders in the top group were changed into Dragon Knights, but that's about it for unit changes.
Manster has been liberated with Ced's help, and we've got 6 walking EXP piñatas to rescue. One of them seems to dislike the company of the others and goes around the castle from the east side.
Being Lewyn's son, Ced is pretty great. He inherited most of his father's items, including that Sleep staff which he's able to spam as long as he stays an NPC. He comes with a free Tornado on top of his father's inherited items. Binary reduced his starting level by 2, and gave him a neat 5 Leadership for his army of civilians.
Also of note, in vanilla FE4, Lewyn's ludicrous Speed would cause Ced's base to wrap around and go back to something like 15. That's fixed in Binary, and it simply starts out maxed.
And here's the basic setup for this section of the map. This is actually a pretty easy section because of how cluttered our army is. The Dragon Riders have terrible stats overall, and we'll have an easy time spreading Charisma bonuses around. That could have been made much more difficult, had the enemy AI learned to hit-and-run in the mountains. But as things are, all the dragons will always remain inside the valley to get slaughtered.
Beyond the eastern peaks we have these three guys looting the villages. This is one of very few enemy Thief Fighters in the game, and his Brigand buddies were turned into an Axe Knight and Berserker.
Ares and Fee should be able to take care of them.
Somewhere in there, there was that too. Remember when I used to care about my Dancer's level? That was before I had the Sleep Sword.
Nanna and Ares can have a bit of a conversation right after conquering Conote, it provides Nanna with a nice +2 Str/Def as you can... uhm... actually no, she doesn't gain anything.
Jesus Christ, Nanna, you sure take after your mother.
The civilians still only give 50 EXP instead of 100 (unless the unit has a Paragon Ring), but they're quite worth the time.
Julia and Faval are a little behind on levels, so there goes another couple of green units.
Hot damn, these guys are packed with steroids.
It feels almost like I'm cheating, at this point.
The last one goes to Leif, who doesn't level up from it.
And we end this turn on my confusion as to why exactly Fee can't recruit her brother.
These guys also make me a little worried that they might suddenly go to capture Alster or Lenster.
Not that it's a powerful force (these riders barely do better than the armors we were fighting at the beginning of Seliph's journey), but I don't enjoy warping my characters all over the place.
Their leader is pretty tough, though. Just a Silver Lance and Javelin, but in comparison, he's got similar stats as Altenna right now.
We recruit Ced, and I build a neat little wall around Manster to try and lure both incoming squadrons to their deaths.
It works surprisingly well as, for some uncanny reason, most of the western riders go and suicide on Ulster. Someone please explain what is so attractive with a 9% chance to inflict 2 damage.
A truly rewarding experience for everyone, that was.
Only two survived the assault on Ulster, and the commander left with two of his riders to try and capture something less guarded. A wise decision.
The second squad proves about as unproductive. Sure, attack the mage girl right in the middle of a Charisma zone. Nice hit rates you've got there, by the way.
What can't hurt them sure makes them stronger.
Ah, here comes Coruta, their commander. Should I be scared?
Doesn't look like it.
Meanwhile, the pillagers are still burning villages because
That is easily corrected. Killer Axes are still somewhat threatening, but Rapiers have high Hit, Crit, and the attack power of Legendary weapons against horses.
Around Manster, we just clean up whatever is left of Mease's previously large army.
Patty even gets the finishing blow on Coruta by stylishly jumping over his dragon. She's a bit short on cash and behind on levels, so I'll be giving her a lot of kills.
Since he didn't really get to shine, this is what we just defeated. He's received large boosts since vanilla FE4, with +6~7 in all stats, and some decent skills. That Brave Sword can be nasty if he gets the jump on you... Except he really can't on this mission. Oh well.
Wiping out the remainder of the Ulster Raid Riders gets these two ever closer to promotion. Having Master Knight Leif will certainly help if he is to fight Travant.
Ced is good, but his Luck is pretty low, so I send him for a touching reunion with his father. It's full of yelling, but at least he has double-digits Luck now.
Now that all the flies have been swatted, time to take care of that silly wall of ballistae down south.
My units were in range of all those Dragons, so I'm not exactly sure why one of them randomly ran off.
At least, Leif gets a nice duel with their leader.
Back in the east, the Thief Fighter goes against Fee for a repeated poke in the face. He's using a Devil Sword, so even if he has little chances of stealing her lunch money, he can really put the hurt on her. Alternatively, I could have used the Lady Sword since it deals effective damage against him.
Just like it does against Berserkers, actually. Like his Thief Fighter colleague, he's equipped with a Devil weapon and has 0 Luck, because Binary doesn't show mercy for red units either.
90 damage. Nice, but she's not reaching Larcei levels of overkill just yet.
But she's getting there.
On the other side of the mountains, Patty nabs another mini-boss kill. She's going to cap Strength before promotion, isn't she?
As for the remaining survivor, I guess I'll wait until he decides where he's going before warping someone to meet him there...
Down south, we have yet another batch of Dragon Riders, as well as a group of Iron Arch ballistae. They even have a commander!
He doesn't have any formal name, but has Harmein's face, a commonly reused minor boss portrait in FE3. Since he's a Ballistician, I guess he would be a filler "Shooter" boss called Toras. He's got a Killer Arch, a Life Ring, and pretty good defenses overall thanks to that Great Shield.
If the enemies in this area weren't so easy to defeat, I'd stay out of the range of the ballistae. But they can barely hit with both the Mountain evade and our Charisma zone.
An interesting thing about Altenna: you couldn't get close enough to attack her in the orginal game. In Binary, I can dick around with her from afar with long-range tomes.
Aaaand that almost killed her thanks to an Adept activation.
She doesn't have any battle quote, but she does have a death quote if you do more than put her asleep, though I wouldn't recommend it.
If you do kill her this chapter, she'll still appear in all the next chapter's events, but if you look at her profile, she'll be greyed-out despite not having any status ailments listed.
In fact, she won't be able to move at all, which will cause a lot of events to break: Travant won't deploy, and Altenna will disappear later on during the chapter (so you can't simply recruit her here when reaching Thracia).
As much as I enjoy breaking this game, losing Altenna, the Gae Bolg, and Travant's dropped item doesn't seem really worth it. So Altenna can keep her life this chapter.
Meanwhile, our lone Dragon Rider turns back around and decides that Manster is a juicier target after all. Make up your damn mind!
Time for a nice ballista-fest. Not that those odds are all that threatening.
Of course, the game was waiting for me to say that so it could hit Johan twice with it. It seems like he's contracted the low-odds-hits virus. It comes along with the ability to kick ass.
Back to the villages, Ares dismounts for no actual benefit. I thought he'd take less movement penalty from the trees, but in the end, he goes exactly as far as if he was mounted.
His idle map sprite is that of dismounted FE5 knights like Brighton, but he turns into a regular Lord sprite when on the move. Too lazy to import the full set of sprites, eh?
Meanwhile, Fee is confronted with a bit of a conundrum there, as Altenna's ridiculously large yellow zone prevents her from crossing to the other side. Who ever thought this was a good idea?
All right, on to the last batch of Dragons. The Riders all have Horseslayers, and the Knights behind them has Killer Lances. They all have Javelins too. They would be pretty nasty on the offensive, but Fire Emblem AI seems to have a rule that dictates:
Their commander isn't too shabby either. That Brave Lance can hurt quite a bit, and Nihil helps him a little bit to survive. But once again... Javelins.
Why even bother giving them a ranged weapon if their hit rates with them is so damn low?
It's quite handy to have two freshly promoted anti-wyvern units at this point in the game, though. Next chapter should be kind of a breeze at this rate.
Of course, anti-everything units work pretty great too.
Your move, game.
Never stop being productive.
It's amusing how the AI is more threatening whenever it decided to go against its principles, and targets someone who can counter-attack. Good thing Ced's got pretty nice base avoid.
And once again, as soon as I say that...
But the next bolt missed, and the AI went back to its attention disorder. That was literally the only thing that got me worried in this part of the map.
We also get some freshly-baked replacements for the ones we just killed. More easy EXP.
Welp, clean-up time without Fee, then.
Everybody jump on the Skill train.
Or jump on the mini-boss. That works too.
With most of the Dragon squad out of the way, Lana will be backtracking to guard Manster and get that pesky Dragon Rider out of the way for good.
Now, on to the ballistae! They are quite sturdy, but Devil weapons and lover crits make short work of them.
And Defense is capped for Faval. He just joined, is almost maxed out in all important stats, and is ready to promote before a chapter filled with units weak to arrows. What's there not to love?
Other than the fact Lester is simply better at this point? With an Iron Bow.
Not sure what that guy says before dying. I think it's something about aiming azimuth 445, but the kanjis are throwing me off.
Getting into the Sniper mindset, Lester. That's exactly what you need to do.
That leaves only these bozos and the Mease boss.
Since this is the Everybody Hurt Shanan Day, they all go for him. Chipping his life bar one HP at a time.
Fee finally finds a way through to the valley. I'm afraid she's a little bit late, though.
And that's two more units maxing stats, and ready to promote. Strength Thieves are still the best Thieves.
Ares gets to visit the southeastern village for a Thief Ring. I don't really see anyone else who could make use of it right now, and Mystletainn tanking can be costly.
That was a bit close, but Manster is safe.
Apparently, the Manual of Dragonly Prowess instructs young Riders to divebomb right into their death if their plans have been foiled, instead of retreating to capture another castle. Works for me.
One last talk for this chapter, and it's time to take on the boss.
Maikov is pretty generic, really. He's gained +6~7 to HP/Str/Def, and +3~4 to everything else, as well as the Pursuit and Continue skill. For all the good that's going to do him with only 15 AS. However, he's got a Killer Bow and a Killer lance instead of a Silver one, meaning sending Larcei against him could (maybe-perhaps) be an innefective method, what with the weapon triangle and all.
Which is why we have a new challenger. Johan, it's your turn in the spotlight.
Did I mention I absolutely love the Berserker crit animations?
After that brief, but intense moment of triumph for the Larcei Foundation, there's the usual post-chapter clean-up time before seizing.
Ares grabs the Power Ring village. Not that he needs more Strength, but selling it should replenish his low funds. Patty is just as broke, so she raided all the other villages.
Ced finished the Arena. Little EXP was gained, but he'll be needing the money to buy the Paragon Ring and catch up on levels.
And once we finally seize, Altenna leaves the map so we can recruit her for real next chapter, instead of having a zombie Altenna running around.
Next time on FE4 Binary: New weapons, at last!