Heres where the Ilian route supposedly gets serious. Its a fog of war chapter full of mountains and flyers. Thats nasty, but its really not as bad as it could be. For one thing, these are just pegasus knights. For another, theyre generally positioned to come at you head on rather than flank you. And while there are some reinforcement pegasus knights, theyre so late in the chapter that you could easily have won before they spawn.
Still, fog of war is dangerous. And the Long Ballistae that appear on this chapter are too.
Like most chapters of the Ilian route, theres really not much story to this one. Its just another battle on the way to the capital. Still, even story-less battles are better than inexplicably skipping right to the capital as happened with Etruria.
Roy talks with Niime, fights a random battle with some pegasus knights whove joined Bern, and then talks with Guinevere as he makes his way toward Berns regional HQ.
Wow, we just walked right through the country without another fight or any mention of what it was like. Unlike in Sacae, we dont really learn much about how Bern has been treating the conquered people.
An allegedly important enemy is introduced and then killed immediately. They dont take the time to build up many interesting villains in this game.
Sigune is close to a rare exception though. Sure she only gets this one scene, but this one scene does establish her as somewhat interesting. It might have been nice to have seen her last chapter tasking that bishop at holding us at the river or something.
Finally, someone acknowledges that it would be smart to join us instead of fighting us when Bern is clearly bad for them.
But Sigune is darned right!
She doesnt trust us, and why would she? The Etrurians are cruel and have turned other countries into colonies before. And why would she trust Roy? Shes perhaps a bit cynical, but shes not being stupid to disbelieve his claims that hes attacking them purely to set them free.
But this is where the logic completely breaks down. First of all, Bern has completely failed at pretty much everything they tried after Chapter 3. Theyve been defeated by ragged remnants of armies they thought theyd beaten, thrown out of country after country, lost one of their highest-ranking generals and many of their lower ones, and more. Bern is clearly losing this war, and the only success they had was done in the prologue and seems to have been built entirely on traitors and rogue factions in countries they attacked.
But even besides the fact that Bern is clearly terrible at warfare, why would Ilians WANT to be under the thumb of people better at warfare? If she wants a free Ilia, which her women certainly do and she implies she does, then wouldnt she want a weaker country to be ruling them? One they could throw off more easily?
She silences further dissent by pointing out that Roy is attacking them right now and must be dealt with.
Why arent you guys? Flying in a blizzard on a flimsy-winged pegasus that only absolutely tiny women can seemingly ride at all has got to be harder than walking through it. They should be falling, crashing into the mountains, having pegasi injure their wings left and right, etc.
Actually, you can see 5 squares or something. Which is right over whole ranges of mountains sometimes. The scale of these games is rarely clear. Generally the later titles handled it better than the GBA ones.
They turn the topic to the Dark Dragon and for once Roy says something about dragons that isnt stupid I mean, not smart, but at least not as unfathomably stupid as how he seems to be surprised by their existence every few chapters. Anyway, every single dragon weve ever come across has been in human form and we were explicitly told that dragons cant take dragon form easily anymore, so of course the Dark Dragon is probably in human form as well.
And back to stupid. Weve been over this several times. Hasnt he told you about the half-dozen dragons we fought and how they were all in human form? About what the Arcadians said? Hasnt one of you talked to the two Arcadians?
Ah, time for some lore.
We heard this before. However, the Ending Winter was not brought up that time.
H-he KNOWS something! Whoah. The laws of nature have indeed been turned upside down! But yeah, they dont say much about the winter, just that it was probably the dragons fault.
Battle Preparations & the Map:
As usual, if you want to see the map with no fog, this site has you covered: http://www.fireemblemwod.com/fe6/guiafe6/cap19B.htm
However, the site is wrong about several things this time. In particular, the reinforcement spots on their map are wrong. I checked thoroughly and mine are correct.
Secondary Objective: Get the Aircalibur from the nearby village
Secondary Objective: Get the Energy Ring from the distant village
Secondary Objective: Steal the Elixir from the top left Falcoknight
Secondary Objective: Steal the Elixir from the top middle Falcoknight
Secondary Objective: Steal the Elixir from the bottom right Falcoknight
Secondary Objective: Steal the Elixir from the top right Paladin
Secondary Objective: Steal the Knight Crest from the bottom middle Paladin
Secondary Objective: Do some shopping
Reinforcements: Late, but inconveniently scattered and moderately numerous. First, two steel axe brigands per turn spawn in the southern peaks from turns 11-15. Then from 16-20 there are 3 pegasus knights from the marked points in the northern and southern peaks. The top left ones have javelins, the rest have iron or steel lances.
Turn Limit: 25. Extremely generous. Most fighting could easily be finished by turn 5. Even going slowly to steal everything, the map is done by 10.
Its not a big map for this game, really; its just about the right size. Of course, most of it is empty space which you cant even walk through with anything but a flyer, but still. Good, interesting map design.
And for once the game makes good use of ballistae, makes them almost as frightening as Bolting or the like. These ballisticians are hidden, inaccessible, and on a map where you must use many air units to succeed. Whats more, the top right and top left ones are not normal ballistae but LONG ballistae. I couldnt find their stats anywhere on most FE sites, but I finally realized serenes has them here: http://serenesforest.net/binding-blade/inventory/bows/
12 Might and 60 Hit and 15 range? Yeah. Those things are ferocious. More Might than bolting, comparable accuracy, and vastly superior range. Now granted, a sage moving and THEN using bolting has an effective range of up to 16, but most Boltingers in this game either dont move or have walls in the way that mean their range really is just 10 or so. Even your land units will be in some danger from these ballistae, and they might well be an instant-kill on a flyer. From massive range.
Now in addition there are not 1 but 2 staff druids. The Sleep one is marked. The Silence one I did not know about, but hes located on the fort nearish the bottom right. Both have no weapons but very high Mag.
This level and those long-ranged enemies would be a lot harder to deal with if the blizzard was like snowstorms in FE7. Those cut your speed down to about 2 squares per turn. This snow is purely cosmetic or an explanation for the fog of war.
Ultimately, things are easier than they sound because there are not many enemies and theyre not very strong in general. Even Long Ballistae can be dealt with; we now have the tools. Warp. Bolting. Strong, promoted flyers- wyverns in particular. The Delphi shield. Lalum. This is a problem that can be solved.
The real trick is that there are tons of valuable items to steal. THAT is just not fair on a fog chapter. You cant know what you need to be ready to take until youve already played through. Or where the items are. Or that the reinforcements dont have any. And its entirely possible for an enemy who has a valuable item to just fly or ride up out of the fog and kill itself without you ever having a chance to see its items. Just not fair. It also doesnt help that pegasus knights and ballistae are quite good at killing thieves.
Units Allowed: 12 + Roy + Niime. Plenty despite the need to bring several thieves and the like.
1) Roy. Required. He fights very badly against everything on the chapter. Still, the clock is ticking to give him his last level up.
2) Niime. Required. This is a good chapter for her. Her Physic staff is handy for reaching over the peaks and despite her terrible, terrible stats shes tough enough that she dies in 2 hits from most things instead of 1. A Falcoknight or paladin coming out of the fog is death of course.
3) Astol. Fog and items to steal mean thieves are non-negotiable.
4) Cath. Terrible, but I definitely need a second thief to reveal more and steal more. Shell be instant-killed by any attack, so she must be used carefully.
5) Miledy. My best flyer. Although there are ballistae everywhere, this is very much an air map. There are many peaks to cross and inaccessible foes to fight.
6) Tate. Not as good as Miledy, but the more flyers the better.
7) Thany. Not as good as Tate. Its time to work on their support again too.
8) Gonzalez. Peaks and lances. Gonzalez is the best at dealing with both.
9) Shin. I need more muscle. This is not a map to take lightly; fog of war allows for no second chances, so every enemy must be dispatched immediately. Furthermore, the very terribleness of bows will help me a great deal here. With them, he cant counterattack and accidentally kill the silver-lance wielding falcoknights with the elixirs.
10) Sue. This is a good chapter to train a bow-user; theres almost nothing to fight but pegasus knights.
11) Lalum. Always good for air-drop operations and for tricky stunts like stealing from enemies who are dangerously strong. And for helping Lilina staff grind.
12) Lilina. My strongest unit, but mostly here to staff grind, as mentioned.
13) Hugh. Lilina cant be everywhere. A second group requires a second healer.
14) Ray. Lilina herself may require healing, but Hugh wont be there- and Id rather use this guy than Niime. Ray is admittedly unnecessary though.
Notable Units Rejected:
1) Zeiss. Zeiss is nearly level 20 and I have no Elysian whip for him. Hed definitely be very handy if he wasnt already so close to max level. Another downside is that I have only one Delphi Shield and even Zeiss and Miledy cant stand up to ballistae well without it. Bringing another flyer would mean I have 3 vulnerable ones instead of 2.
2) Dorothy. Ha. No. This map requires high movement and shes turned out poorly. Theres no place for weaklings on a map like this where she cant be protected either. Plus I want to give Sue the easy bow kills.
3) Wolt. Like Dorothy but even worse.
4) Geese. Too close to level 20 for the easy XP he can get here to count for much.
5) Ward. Still too terrible to train even against his natural prey!
6) Lugh. Would definitely be better than Ray, as usual, but hes higher level and I dont even really NEED Ray.
7) Chad. Level 20.
8) Restore users. All level 20. More to the point, I didnt think there was an enemy on the chapter who would be able to status me.
This formation is designed to be split into two groups so that I can progress efficiently. On a map like this with narrow hallways to get through and few enemies in one place, bringing all your troops in one pack would be a horrible waste even if I didnt need to stop to do things like steal along the way.
The two pegasi, sharing a horseslayer and a Delphi shield along between them, will carrying Astol over the cliff. Together, theyll hold the line and start stealing while Gonzalez brings Hugh to join them. If need be, one will fly back and drop Hugh faster.
Everyone else will head north, but Lalum and Shin will see to the enemy Sleep staff druid on turn 1, eliminating that threat and the need to bring along a Restore user.
The thieves have torches, one weapon each, and many open inventory spaces. Each of the nomads has a wide assortment of bows as usual.
Lilina has a Torch staff with which to do more staff grinding. Other than that, gear is fairly standard.
Canass crazy and evil mother who watched dark magic destroy each of her children without caring a whit. And then abused Canass son, her only remaining descendant, and tried to force him into the same path to an inevitable, terrible fate. Oh and is willing to teach the dark arts to crazy, evil kids like Ray who say theyre willing to destroy the world to get power. Oh and is willing to murder a child for being a dragon. Oh and joined Bern and was willing to cast terrible and dangerous magics on their behalf just for a chance to learn more about dragons. Also shes just kind of a jerk. Really its the whole Canas thing that makes me hate her though.
People actually claim the old woman is a good unit. Shes not. Shes one of the worst prepromotes in the game- in the series, even. Level 18 promoted and random pegasus knights on this chapter will SLAUGHTER her. 25 HP as a level 38 unit? 5 def? She can be instant-killed by many things. Even her Res isnt good for her level; she can be ripped to shreds by long-ranged magic. And that speed. It looks only moderately bad, but then you realize shes slowed by even flux.
Not that it matters much, but her growths are an absolute joke. HP is 25%. None of the others breaks 20%! Those are the worst growths in the GBA titles, and among the worst in the whole series.
So she cant double anything, she dies in one hit from most enemies - even unpromoted ones- shes doubled by many, and she is already nearly max level and therefore siphons XP away from everyone else. The justly mocked and derided Sophia is far better than her as a druid. They do not even play in the same league. And Ray? They dont play the same game. Ray isnt even a very good unit!
But, her defenders protest, shes the best staff-user! Look at that Mag! Yes, indeed, look at that 21 Mag on a level 18 promoted unit. The horrible Ellen and Saul will match her or close to it. Clarine, whose suckiness in that stat defies belief, will only be a few points behind. And any of them could easily have been ground to her level by now. Consider that each of them got to level 20 on this run. If that XP had been funneled to just one, that person would have been 20/20 long ago.
And each of them would completely outclass her. They can take hits. Clarine can move far further. They have actual support partners. Theyre fast. Yes, even the horrid Ellen is faster.
Look how they compare to her as level 20 unpromoted units despite generally unlucky levels:
Nearly as tough despite being the most fragile other person in the game.
Faster already, far dodgier, and tougher. Oh and faster moving with a great support network.
This is a really, really lousy Saul. Still just as quick when shes wielding Flux and tougher against many attacks.
You know what? Level 18 Cecilia would be better than Niime in many stats.
Oh and shes not even really the best absurdly high level, terrible, way too late in the game staff user. Yodel is coming. And hes better overall too!
With 18 more levels and promotion bonuses on top of these stats, any staff user in the game would be far superior. The only thing any of them would lack in- and some would not- is Mag. Mag is valuable for a healer, but its not that great. The only thing it REALLY helps with is boosting the range on Warp, Physic, and status staves.
However, my lousy Saul when several levels lower had all the Warp Mag I needed for most purposes. Niime has a 0% chance to Silence or Sleep any enemy serious enemy staff user; they all have more Res than she has Mag. I suppose shes better at statusing enemies who do not have staves or bolting or the like, but even Saul is already good enough to do that pretty well and thats totally useless and not worth it anyway. The only thing more Mag really helps with is Physic, which is indeed a very powerful and handy staff.
All this the tip of the iceberg! All of those units are horrible, necessary evils at best. You know who the true best staff user in the game is if you love Mag? Lilina. SHE has the best Mag. And if you wanted her to have an A in staves, it would be trivial by this point. Ive only been seriously grinding her in staves for a little while now, having ensured every single one of my dedicated staff users hit 20 first, and shes going to hit a C rank this very chapter. Once you hit even a D the going gets easier.
You could promote Lugh after chapter 8 if you were really determined to have a great staff user ASAP. And most people are willing to use the arena. If youre using the arena, there is no excuse for not having an A in staves on a real unit.
In short: no.
Apparently the commander of the rogue pegasus knights? Or actually maybe the totally legitimate leader? No one really talks about her like shes a traitor. Well, a commander of most of the pegasus knights at this point. Sigune is a canny and cynical woman trying to do whats best for her country; but she just doesnt know Roy well and she dies for it. One of the best villains in the game, if you ask me. Shes basically on the level of Yogi.
Shes got a spear and good stats for a pegasus knight, but that blue lipstick is still scarier. Air bosses are basically always the weakest in this game since they cant benefit from gates and thrones. If you cant crush her, something is very wrong.
Geez, these people are dumb. They arent even sure of the same of their own capital.
Shin and Lalum were in position for this. However, order is critical on this turn. Shin cant actually take his second turn yet.
Miledy and Sue drop Lalum back to safety.
Astol moves next to a pegasus and uses his torch. Remember, the torch will still be in full effect after hes dropped somewhere else.
Like here. You can see Im safe from all those cavaliers and in position to deal with the ballistician easily next turn.
Hugh has the silver card and stops by the vendor. They have good stock, so I pick up some Physics and other such things.
And that puts Hugh in position for Gonzalez to haul him.
Now Astol has revealed this distant druid, so Shin rides out and eliminates him immediately. Bam, the only status user I knew about is dead.
Cath uses another torch on that side.
Ballista warnings. Geez. Were more than 20 chapters into the game and theyre still telling us about basic things like ballistae again and again. Well everyone else basically just moves in and thats the turn.
Sue was positioned behind Miledy (who had a javelin) so that several enemies with javelins would suicide into her. Its a generic Sue level.
Turn 2, Cath is ready to swipe the elixir from the first falcoknight.
Miledy flies up to take down a hard to reach enemy.
Sue drops the falcoknight.
Shin moves to be bait for the next one.
Lilina uses the Torch staff. Its totally different in this game. Essentially, it is exactly the same as a Torch. It just boosts your vision by 4 squares, and the effect lessens every turn. Not at all like it was in 7 and way less useful. But it grants staff rank XP.
Down south, Tate instant-kills one cavalier.
The archer is dispatched, and Astol is safely walled off from harm.
Everyone else just slogs along really.
Shin gets a good level acting as bait but doesnt dodge anything at all, so hes badly hurt.
Miledy takes a ballista bolt.
Turn 3. The right group is ready.
Thany makes way and Astol gets the knight crest.
Tate finishes the paladin for a decent level.
The left group is having an easy time too. I just need to make my moves carefully.
I saw a chance to give Roy the last kill he needs. Slightly premature, but not needing to worry about making opportunities for him will make things much easier.
Shin gets out of the way and the second elixir is mine.
A lousy level for Sue finishing that falcoknight.
It was important that Cath steal from the left, not the bottom. Only that would reveal the ballistician for Miledy to kill. Problem solved.
Lalum helps Lilina double heal on most turns.
Oh my. This was, in truth, a test run of the chapter to learn about nasty things like this. I didnt know there were long ballistae since they dont really look different in fog, and I couldnt find their stats anyway. However, Tate actually dodged. I decided not to restart and to see if there were any other surprises.
Well there was another one. There was no indication on the WoD site this time that the second druid had a status staff; they usually indicate that. And of course he has so much Mag that even the queen of Res here cant dodge. I didnt bring a Restore staff because I thought my clever plan was eliminating the only status threat on the chapter on turn 1.
Turn 4. I still didnt restart. Partly because I wanted to find out about any other traps, and partly because I was thinking I might be able to complete this chapter properly anyway.
The bottom group is stymied by that dodging troubadour, but theyre safe now and thats what matters. Its only turn 4 and Im more than halfway done afterall.
Time for another torch use, the first had faded.
Ah ha! I thought there might be one still lurking.
Now I didnt have the Long Ballista stats, but I knew this must be within range of the top right one. Tate had been this many squares away from the bottom one.
Eh, not bad I guess. She did cap speed already.
Theres really not much to say except that they all keep moving. Lilina is silenced, but I think if I play my cards right, that wont matter at all. Ive already done most of the fighting, you see, and the status will wear off with plenty of time to heal.
This north-south valley is one of the hardest parts of the map just because there are so many ballistae aimed at it. Any unit reduced to low HP is basically dead.
Stupid massive Mag enemy druids. Oh well, this matters even less.
Gonzalez finally drops Hugh.
I still dont know the long ballista stats for sure, but I think this might be the maximum r
nge and I plan based on that.
Astol gets his final level. He turned out slightly bad.
Ive known the last big pegasus group was lurking just out of sight. Now its time to start luring them.
Everyone else moves in and the Silence culprit is revealed.
Miledy visits a village and hears a bizarre and pointless prophecy from this old man.
He really thinks this random item is actually important, doesnt he?
Well, throw it on the pile. Im wielding 2 of these this chapter and I already have at least 12 in storage, perhaps more.
Miledy levels from getting shot. Not very well.
Shin is finally learning to dodge.
Tate not so much. Better now than last time when she didnt have the Delphi Shield.
So heres the confluence at last, the two groups are ready to meet up again.
Shin killed the druid, though he already Silenced 3 guys.
Thany gets some ever-welcome Str.
And I finally lured in the last big packs of enemies.
The third elixir is mine.
Now who to give the kills to?
Sue gets another falcoknight and another bad level.
Shin kills the ballistician and takes the chokepoint fort.
And everyone else is high level, so I just move in, killing as I go.
Next turn, another torch.
Tate kills the long ballistician from out of paladin aggro range.
As I predicted, Lilinas silence wore off at just the right moment and she begins healing again.
Everyone fires away to begin breaking through the chokepoint.
Turn 8 and the enemy is basically gone
Shin gets a level that would be pretty good on most people. Im seeing a lot of speed and luck this chapter.
Its time to deal with the last long ballistician.
I do NOT visit this village yet.
Astol seizes the very last Elixir. Yes!
Sue misses but finally gets a good level.
Which puts me in a terrible spot. I actually had to use Niime and give her this kill or I would lose because the paladin dodged everything else!
Another torch. I have dozens! Buy them!
Turn 10. The right side of the map is this boring and empty plain with nearly no enemies. I just walk across it and kill everything.
No more ballistae. Now look at those forts. They serve no possible purpose but to dump out reinforcements. Yet they do not. Thats one of the terrible problems with reins in this series and in this game in particular. You never know which forts you can stand on without losing XP and you never know which area you might be suddenly killed from in the stupid games (like this one and Awakening) where enemies move as they spawn. It makes it a game of guessing and luck or looking up guides rather than strategy.
The pegasus sisters fly off together.
Sue hopes for a critical.
Here come the brigand reinforcements. Now because I did NOT visit the right village, theyre going to go that way. Which lets me funnel them right to Cath.
Tate and Thany get a support. Thany continues to be a blockhead and kind of a crazy jerk.
You ARE, dummy!
Why is the crazy lady who wouldnt switch sides to help her sister the sensible person in this relationship?
Ugh. I hate Thany.
Tate tries to calm her down the way Yuno used to and Thany responds to that with disdain too.
Supporting done, Tate injures this brigand. Hooray for iron swords.
And Cath is in range.
Lilina fires away with the torch staff every turn when there arent enough people to heal. More staff ranking experience.
The boss will be an easy kill at any time I wish.
Tate gets a lousy level up. Really, my stat gains have been very poor lately.
And Cath gets a kill at last! You may recall Ive been trying to train her, but until now she couldnt even scratch most enemies. She only does 8 damage and most people have more Def than that. These are specially weak brigands.
Not what I need to see. If Im going to train Cath, she MUST gain Str. These are the only enemies Ive found yet that she could scratch and hit accurately and not be definitely killed by.
Theres a partial reinforcement warning.
Sure would be if it happened suddenly. That effect is lost when the player is told about it.
Im training Sue for the last few XP by chipping away at her.
Lady, we killed ALL of your troops. And defeated the blizzard. Why in the world do you think you have any chance of winning now?
Still no Str for Cath as the reinforcements keep walking up to her after injuring themselves on the pegs.
Lalum hits max level. Shes bad. Shes about as bad as Lalum can feasibly get.
Str at last!
And another level. Im really just skimming over whole turns here. Theres nothing to say, its a completely mechanical and repetitive harvesting.
Lilina gets a heal level. Not bad.
Geez. So many awful levels this chapter. Well at least shes done. That early Str blessing kept her WAY above average all this time. Sue is a lousy character but mine turned out well.
This is a bad Cath. Why are all the units I try hardest to train turning out so horribly?
Pegasi show up now to spoil the fun, but shes leveled enough to not be instant killed. In fact, she even does 1 damage. Thats all I need. That keeps the XP coming.
Bad level on Gonzalez too. Hes in place to kill the top right pegasi.
No other targets in range, so theyll die immediately after spawning.
Miledy will get the others.
Yay! She has a lot of Res, but the only thing that matters now is Str. If her Str did not rise, I might never be able to level her again.
She just keeps chip damaging her way to level ups.
The last brigand is lured and ready for her.
Now were talking. Shes turned around pretty well actually. Still below average overall where it counts, but an extra point of Def is going to be very nice.
So Ray kills Sigune after the last pegasus spawns.
Pretty good! Man my Ray is really fast.
TOO LATE! Astol now visits the village hes been waiting outside.
And turn 21 win!
He reports what little he learned from Niime immediately.
Guinevere comes to deliver just a tiny snippet of the story Roy asked for a while ago. Shell keep stringing him along like Scheherazade.
Why does she start with that? She knows its deliberately misleading.
He jumps to this supposedly hasty conclusion which actually is the one her last statement obviously pointed to.
And then this is supposed to be a twist. Why does no one know this though? The king was far from subtle.
Plot? Id better jump in and awkwardly put a stop to that!
Same as every time you interrupt this story. Ugh.
Theyre trying really hard to make us wonder so they can keep breaking the backstory up chunk by chunk. Its really annoying because its not actually a very cool or interesting tale.
Well tune in next episode and find out I suppose.
Even though that was just a practice run to find out about nasty surprises like the long ballista and the silence druid, I actually did a really good run of the chapter. I finished every single reinforcement, won on the earliest turn, ground Lilina up to a new staff rank, gained about 600 XP more than I needed to, and stole every last item. Cant really do much better than that, so I didnt restart.
Total Restarts: 16 (None here)
Turn Surplus: +30 (Another 4)
Things I Regret Missing: A couple of uses of Marcuss silver lance on Rude, a Chapter 5 nomad Marcus had to kill, two Chapter 12 fighters I couldnt kill since I needed supports built elsewhere, a pirate and a wyvern rider on 14x who I didnt have time to go after.
Legendary Weapon Scoreboard: Durandal slew Ohtz using Oujay on chapter 14x, turn 2; and the top left mamkute using Oujay on chapter 16, turn 9; and Arcard using Oujay on chapter 17, turn 16. Forblaze slew the top right mamkute using Lugh on chapter 16, turn 6.