Part 25: Ep 24: GoongnirChapter 9: For Whose Sake Part 2
Welcome back! When we last left FE4 Binary, Hannibal was still kinda chilling outside his castle. In the meantime, progress was made.
Altenna quickly went through the Arena, gained 2 levels and obtained a few points where they matter. I think they actually changed the base/caps of Female Dragon classes to have +1 Skl/Spd and -1 Str/Def. A fair trade considering the Gae Bolg's boosts to the latter.
Julia and Leen gained respectively 2 and 4 levels from healing and dancing, and are slowly filling the stats they haven't capped yet. Leen could probably hold her own decently with a magic sword, if I didn't always need her to be dancing.
Continuing with the fucked-up pairings, the cousincest strikes again. Faval and Lana are pretty much my mounted support, so they'll often be around each other. As for Ares/Nanna, they're my frontline Rapier team, and shall do the same as their parents.
Really, if the sprite artists for this game didn't give a damn about differentiating their characters, I don't see why I should.
These two should come as a bit of a surprise. You see, Binary hasn't just removed the Julia relationship lock, but also all the siblings locks! So now, brothers and sisters can also marry. With Arthur and Tinny in the same class, it makes sense to keep them together I suppose. As for Leen and Corpul, uh... I guess he has low Mov, so he'll always be close to our Dancer?
There's also the fact the latter couple's love growth seems really high. If I just leave them at their own devices, away from each other on the map, they'll fall in love in like 30 turns even though Leen has been around other guys for a while. That didn't leave me a lot of options for Leen.
Finally Altenna, who straight-up didn't have any love growths in the vanilla game (I think it was implied she has the hots for Areone), can also marry people now and even has the dialogue for it... I guess that's one way to unify Thracia.
To my knowledge, that leaves only Finn and Hannibal who cannot marry at all in Binary's gen 2.
With that out of the way, it allows Sylvia to share some of her money with her little brother, completing the money he had collected from Tahra. There's a Barrier Ring in the half-destroyed village, which Corpul promptly sold to have enough money for the Paragon Ring. He won't buy it right now, though.
First, we need to trigger the next events by recruiting Hannibal.
Hannibal is one of those characters who fares pretty well in combat, as long as you manage to bring the combat to him. Binary helped him in that task with some appreciable stat boosts: +1 Str/Def, +4 Spd, +5 Res, and +7 Mgc. His skills are unchanged, but he starts with the amazing Master Lance instead of a silly old Wing Clipper. You can also notice how he's ready to promote: just like Quan, Hannibal is offered to repromote from General, which boosts his effectiveness quite a bit.
Following that, a squad from Silesse appears north of Luthecia and the dark bishop in Grutia wakes from his slumber.
But oh no! While he was taking his daily nap, the Liberation Army has advanced to the gates of his castle. How dishonorable of them.
This is the closest I was to being hit during the ballista assault, and it was from the ballistician mini-boss.
This one doesn't have a portrait, but he's got a Great Arch, a Skill Ring, and the usual Great Shield that befits all ballistician mini-bosses. His minions have Killer Arches, but barely any stats to hit with them.
Well, let's start working on them. It shouldn't take long.
I may dislike Shanan, but for a Swordmaster, he certainly is doing all he can to raise his Str/Def.
Why has nobody else thought of attacking the guys shooting the ballista? Everyone else has just been wailing on the engine.
Regardless, one quick dance from Leen, and the mini-boss is given a swift, fiery death.
More power for Fee!
With all but one ballista out of the way, it's Judah's time to go down. Just like most Dark Bishops from now on, he's got a ranged Fenrir option and is quite very resilient. More importantly, he needs to be dispatched quickly because of his new Wrath skill.
Remember how the Blaggi Sword anihilates not just armors, but also Dark-type units? Yeah, it's going to be quite fantastic for the next few chapters.
It's all about the EX Shoryukens. Poor guy didn't even get a chance to fire his Fenrir once.
I guess she could work on her Lck and Res, but since she kills everything before those stats become an issue...
I do believe we can consider this front secure. What's going on up north?
We have a pretty diverse squad of cavalry with rather decent stats. The Forrest/Duke/Great Knights all sport Silver weaponry and the Charge skill. The two female Paladins have an Elwind, Mend, and Prayer.
Musar, the child of one of Lewyn's uncles, is the one to be scared about. He's the current holder of Forseti, and even though he gets halved bonuses for his minor blood, he's got more AS than most everyone in our army, and Pursuit to make good use of it. Both his tome and his Master Sword have a critical boost that adds up with his new Critical skill, so there's that to watch out for as well.
Stats-wise, he's only received minor boosts aside from a +6 to Str but 4 less levels. I'm also a bit surprised to see an Eyrios recolor that doesn't look like crap.
Julia needs to complete her training, so she'll be taking point with some double Charisma backup, staying right outside of Musar's range.
Thanks to the mountain, all physical units attack and miss her.
Keep working on that Skill, girl. Light tomes aren't very accurate.
Only a few of them remain after that. Time for Teeny to try her new staff.
And that's how you neutralize magical threats in this game.
I have a feeling this isn't the last we see of this level-up.
Just like Ishtar, Silence doesn't unequip Musar's Holy weapon, meaning he can't counter-attack even at close range, but he still keeps his stat bonuses.
Regardless, Julia goes in to tenderize him with some more dark magic, and Ced Tornadoes him for the kill.
You have other stats to work on, boy!
Then again, he's become kind of a god now. Even with low-ish stats, he can always pull out the Forseti trump card.
The two remaining Paladins get quickly dispatched by the Leonster siblings. That leaves one Forrest Knight here, and one ballista in the south.
Well, that went much better than expected. Ballsy, but effective.
And with some Recover abuse, Julia finally reaches level 30. She's pretty Defense-blessed on this playthrough, damn.
Time to divide up her inventory between other characters. Lana grabs the Nosferatu, because self-healing healers are fun, Ced sells his Tornado and picks up the superior Yormungand instead, Leif gets the Recover since it gives full HP regardless of his low Mgc. The Heal remains unbought for now.
And after this little musical interlude, we return to Corpul.
With Lana's Lightning and the Paragon Ring in hand, he's ready to take on the Arena.
Prayer. Breaking the Arena. The usual. Truly rivetting gameplay!
And he completes it all rather easily, gaining 7 levels in the process. Pretty impressive Def gains he got there.
His adoptive father does about as good, but only gains one level, although a good one. I'll want him promoted before the next section, so let's check out his choices.
Hannibal's default promotion is to become an Iron Knight. It yields minimal gains (the gains for mounting/dismounting as an Iron Knight, in fact) and makes him lose access to bows, but having +3 Move and a neat jet-black palette makes up for it.
Alternatively, he can become a Baron, which gives him solid boosts everywhere considering it's a re-promotion. It doesn't offer any bonus to movement, but Hannibal gains access to most normal weapons, including magic. He also doesn't get a generic light-grey palette like all the other Baron choices we've seen.
Since we already have an Iron Knight and no Baron, the choice is pretty obvious. Iron Knight might be more practical, but Baron gives Hannibal the ability to use both weapons and magic rather efficiently (14 Magic for a physical unit is pretty good).
Consequently, he purchases Ced's Wind and Tornado tomes. Who'd have thought Hannibal could be looking all badass?
Anyways, here's the strategy for this next part: Areone is going to be sending squads of Dragons to capture our castles. Each of them will have a magic unit in need of training to meet them, and everyone else will be staying around Grutia.
Triangular squadrons of Dragon dudes. Wherever have I seen this before?
Those fucking Javelins again!
Though I do like how they tried to differentiate all three squad leaders with different lances (Killer/Silver/Brave), stats and skills. It's the little details that count.
Seliph Return Rings himself, and is going to be supporting Corpul a little bit. All the regular Dragon Riders will be prioritizing Corpul with their Javelins since he's the frailest. The more dangerous squad leader has no ranged options, and so he won't be able to reach him. It also gives Corpul the Leadership boost he needs to reliably dodge all that.
Let the Power-Training commence! Simply attacking them with Lightning gives Corpul a whole 48 EXP and there are eight of them, so the levels will be flowing fast.
A pretty nice start for him. And the RNG just can't help but to show its disdain to me.
Things are going about as well for Hannibal, who's having fun showing off his new skills.
He barely gains 1 or 2 EXP from fighting, since the Baron and Master Knight classes seem to have really low EXP gains. The little levels he gets go straight to his Speed, at least.
Meanwhile, Ced is pretty much wrecking everything, boss included. The whole squad is anihilated in one turn.
I'd complain a bit about those gains, but it's not like he's struggling with the fights, or anything.
Keep on trucking, Corpul. That Defense is looking really good right now.
And they told me Corpul was difficult to train.
After his entire squad has been wiped out by a little kid, the leader notices something is going terribly wrong with this whole plan and gets the hell out of dodge. Seliph won't leave him that pleasure.
One last level from healing, and Corpul is caught up and ready to promote.
At this point, everyone is pretty much just waiting for Hannibal to finish up with his group.
He takes his time and breaks his Wind tome, but eventually finishes cleaning his plate. Now on to Areone's remaining squad.
The area which triggers their charge is just past that line on our army. All the Dragon Knights in the group alternate between Killer and Master Lances, so it's a bit difficult to approach them in the first place.
The Dragon Master just in front of Areone has a pretty kick-ass profile, with good stats, skills and yet another Dragon Lance. I'm almost shocked he didn't get a portrait.
Yeesh. Areone is even worse. He's received some stat nerfs, with -1 Str/Skl, but +3 Res. Then again, now he gives +45% with his Charisma+Leadership and he can actually throw his Legendary spear, just like how Altenna can toss the Gae Bolg around. Aside from Forseti, using magic against him isn't much of an option anymore. If he can't be defeated in one turn, it's preferable to simply put him to sleep.
Also something I didn't notice at the time: the new Nihil does protect him against a bunch of skills that the old Nihil didn't, but he is unprotected against criticals and effective damage from bows.
Altenna takes a few hits luring them all towards our army. Let's see how much damage we can do to them in one turn.
Even with Areone's Leadership, I can counter with my own Leader and Charisma bots, and most of them go down quickly.
The levels aren't great, but as long as the Dragon army is getting trimmed down I'm okay with that.
Areone's subcommander proves a little bit problematic with his Great Shield, so I have to pull out the big guns. Or rather, the big axes.
Larcei goes in for the kill, and even shows off some of her new moves.
New moves, but old levels.
Things are going pretty well. Everyone is where I wanted them to be, and Leen just keeps getting nice stats.
Every time I see the Devil Sword critting, I think about that 1% chance Nanna has of instantly dying from it.
It's pretty amusing how many units of my team have a bit of a Skl problem, and despite that, I'm not even noticing it. Str/Spd/Def are so OP in Fire Emblem games.
: Areone... I've never had the courage to tell you but... your new hair dye really doesn't look that good.
Granted, sending Altenna against her adoptive brother is generally a very stupid idea, but I simply couldn't resist the sight of them casually lobbing legendary artifacts at each other.
The decisive blow against him was Teeny triggering this long range sibling/lover critical on him. Prayer saves his skin, but he barely has any HP left.
You know what they say. Axes beat Lances.
Granted, the Brave Axe kinda glitched out during the spins. But hot damn that was awesome.
Killing a guy with +20 Crit, Vantage+Wrath and a ranged Killer Axe was already near impossible. Try doing that when he's got a Prayer Ring equipped, halving all fatal damage and boosting his avoid when near death.
That's one of the things I really love about Johan: he always keeps getting better, step by step. And he's still got one more item to obtain before reaching true godhood.
One last Dragon guy remains, and Shanan gets the drop on him. Somersaults are fun.
Man, that felt really satisfying, mopping the floor with all those guys in one turn.
I forgot to do a few things on the way, so before closing this chapter, Seliph shares some quality time with his dear wife. Altenna was also supposed to speak with Finn/Hannibal for +3 HP, but apparently that becomes unavailable after Areone's demise.
We can do Leen/Corpul though. If you check out the script, they don't actually know they are siblings when they meet each other. Maybe that's just me, but I'm getting a strange echo of when Claude married Sylvia soon after a discussion which implied she was his long-lost sister...
And there we go, we're done with this rather pointless war in Thracia. Lewyn also spouts his most nonsensical line of dialogue in the entire game.
: Yes... Empress Deirdre is where [Julius] inherited his shaman abilities from. Return and Recover are just a mere thought away for him.
If that was supposed to sound impressive, it failed miserably. Return is a mere C rank that any staff user can master. Recover is a B rank: 7 people in our army can use that.
As a matter of fact...
Julius can't even use staves! Binary didn't give him any rank for them either. What the fuck, Lewyn.
But that's something we won't see until next map. Miletos, land of freaking magic users everywhere, and some of the best loots in the entire game. See you then.