The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword

by Melth

Part 31

Well last chapter was the first gimmickless one in a while. Now it’s time for one with ALL the annoying gimmicks! This map has it all: hidden secrets which you fail your run if you don’t know about, items which you must steal, fog of war, horrible terrain, enemies optimized for the horrible terrain, a secret level with REALLY hard to meet requirements, horrible enemy reinforcements HIDDEN by the fog, absolutely lethal moving bosses, and ridiculously low turn and character limits.
It’s also pretty much pure filler with no redeeming features whatsoever. We aren’t fighting anyone important and there’s no new character or setting development from the battle, we just randomly fight some WEIRD bandits to help a guy who didn’t need the help.

Chapter Summary:
Following Uther’s cryptic advice, Hector and Eliwood walk hundreds of miles out of their way and wander into the Nabata Desert: one of the most inhospitable and dangerous parts of the continent with no idea who or what they’re looking for. They come across a man completely owning a giant army of bandits led by two weirdoes and decide to help him out. It turns out he can direct them to the man they’re actually looking for, so everything works out.

Once again, Hector is kind and helpful, offering to carry Nils when the latter is having trouble keeping up. Once again, everyone acts like he’s a jerk all the time. This is getting really old. It’s the kind of thing I’d expect from a pointless filler chapter.

Ok, the picture is kind of cute I’ll admit.

Really Eliwood and Ninian’s budding romance is the only thing I like about this chapter.

Meanwhile, in a hidden underground lair, a mysterious old man with epic hair narrates these events to Louise there and then mutters some cryptic ruminations about fate and unintended consequences. This guy is one of my favorite characters, but this isn’t his best scene.

Also, have you noticed that that background is EXACTLY the same one as Nergal’s mysterious hideout? I say the two of them are actually living in the same place, but they just never happen to run into each other since the place is so huge and they always teleport around instead of walking anywhere.
And now for something stupid! Paul and Jasmine are a pair of absolutely bizarre bandit twins trying to mug one of the greatest wizards on the continent. Surprisingly, he doesn’t just hand over his mysterious treasure which he’s been searching for for weeks.

In one of the less serious FE titles, these guys wouldn’t be so out of place. Indeed, many other FEs have characters who are basically clones of these guys. Paul and Jasmine are the gold standard of weirdo bandit twins, but they don’t really fit with the tone of 7. And again, this level is pointless and so are they.

Battle Preparations & The Map:

Wow, that’s complicated! So the first thing to understand about this map is that there are a ton of secret items on it. Each can be found by having a unit end its own turn (by waiting, attacking, using a vulnerary, etc. but NOT by being dropped into a square) in the area corresponding to that item. You have approximately a 9% chance of actually finding the item if you end your turn in the item find area, unless the unit ending its turn is a thief. In that case it’s 100%. So yeah, you need either a thief or a LOT of turns to beat this chapter.

This is on top of 2 very valuable items that must be stolen.

So there’s a ton to do right there, but things are about to get complicated. See, that sandy ground is HORRIBLY hard to move through. It grants a tiny avoid bonus, but it’s even harder than forests to move in. Non-nomad cavalry have a particularly lousy time in it, and even nomads are hurt. Picture that as an entire map of forests which grant no bonuses. Yeah, it’s an air map. But it turns out that magic users- other than ones on horses like Priscilla- can move through the sands at full speed for reasons never really fully explained. So it’s an air and mage map. And guess what the enemy has tons of?

The wyvern riders have more or less been holding steady in power but my pegasus knights have gotten better and I now have an uber-wyvern of my own, so the air war isn’t as hopeless as it might look at first. Still- particularly given the significant number of enemy archers- it’s going to be rough.

It doesn’t help that there’s going to be a steady stream of additional wyverns in the early turns.

Now all of that would be pretty bad, but manageable. But things are about to get much, much worse…

Bam! Fog of war out of nowhere, only in Hector’s Hard Mode! And over there in the top left is Pent, a non-recruitable green unit of jaw-dropping power. He’ll solo this whole level or perhaps almost do so and then be killed by one of the bosses. On Eliwood’s story he started much, much closer. With Ninian and a good flying unit, you could grab him on turn 1. Now that’s absolutely impossible before turn 3 or so, which means he’s going to have time to slaughter lots of enemies and deprive you of their XP.

And that’s the deal-breaker. See, if you want to get the sidequest then you must get 700 or more XP. And any unit Pent kills is XP lost forever. It’s really hard to get 700 XP here at the best of times without spending many turns grinding out staff or dance XP. On HHM not only do enemies give you much, much less XP at this point, but Pent starts further away so he’ll kill many more of the enemy. It’s going to be darned hard to manage this.

Objective: Kill all enemies (and keep Pent alive).
Secondary Objective: Find the Ocean Seal in the desert
Secondary Objective: Find the Body Ring in the desert
Secondary Objective: Find the Fila’s Might in the desert
Secondary Objective: Find the Eclipse in the desert
Secondary Objective: Find the Light Brand in the desert
Secondary Objective: Find the Hero Crest in the desert
Secondary Objective: Steal the Guiding Ring from the enemy mage
Secondary Objective: Steal the White Gem from Jasmine
Secondary Objective: Talk to Hawkeye with Hector to recruit him early.
Secondary Objective: Get 700 or more total XP in order to unlock the sidequest
Reinforcements: Hidden by fog, but something like 8 total wyvern riders will spawn in the top left and left bottom in the early turns. Then they’ll give way to shamans and mages. The numbers aren’t huge, but the unit types and location are a major problem.
Turn Limit: 9. Impossible. Flat out. You cannot get 700 XP, get all the items, and win in this time limit with this many units (Well maybe with low level but insanely stat-blessed units and massive RNG manipulation, but that doesn’t count). For a single thief to get the items on his own- even if there was no movement to do or enemies to fight- would take 8 turns on its own. Even with mass air rescue-dropping of one or two thieves assisted by Ninian, you’d have to spend more than 9 turns to collect them all. And that’s leaving aside having to fight an uphill battle against the enemy forces and commit most of your best units to capturing Pent early on. Think of it as a zero requirement chapter. You auto-fail the time limit, but your tactical skill will control how much you fail by.
Units Allowed: Hector + 7. Argh. Just one more would make this so much more feasible. Just one more mage, just one more thief, just one more ANYTHING. This is what really prevents you from succeeding within the tiny time limit. The limit is brutal, so make every pick count.
Units Brought:
1) Hector. Required but useless. No, worse than useless. He’s level 20 now: any damage he inflicts or kill he gets is an XP drain on a chapter where I can’t afford that. And he’s always bad against magic users, which this chapter is full of. At least I can use him to hold Pent and recruit Hawkeye.
2) Ninian. Functionally required. There is NOT enough XP on this chapter to get to the 700 goal. But dancing is free 10 XP every turn –or 20 with Ninis’s grace. So she’ll be hugely helpful toward reaching that goal, plus you definitely need her to do mass rescue-drops effectively and to quickly harvest all the desert items.
3) Legault. Functionally required. Besides 2 items that MUST be stolen, it’s completely infeasible to collect the hidden items without a thief and Matthew cannot stand up to the wyverns here.
4) Florina. Functionally required. I need every single air unit on this chapter to deal with the horrible terrain. Only a whole squad of massively mobile air units will be able to hack their way through the enemy, capture Pent, sweep the rest of the chapter, and repeatedly rescue-drop the terribly slow ground forces around so that I can actually get the treasure. Florina is now good enough that she’s almost the match for one enemy wyvern and she can definitely deal effectively with enemy mages.
5) Fiora. Functionally required. Florina but worse. Also, she’s one of my lowest level units, so that’ll make her good for getting XP.
6) Heath. Functionally required. Last level was Canas’s chapter, this one is Heath’s. If you didn’t train Heath hard last chapter and get him some speed, then you probably fail your ranking run honestly. Heath is the only air unit that can reliably take on enemy wyverns and stand up to archers.
7) Serra. Functionally required. You desperately need healing on this chapter, plus healing and staff use in general is one of the few ways to squeeze more XP out of the level in order to hit your goal of 700. Serra moves through sand like mages- at full speed. Priscilla moves through sand like a cavalier. She can move 1 space.
8) Canas. This is pretty much my one and only discretionary slot, but for me there’s no real choice. It HAD to be Canas. I have a severe lack of firepower at the moment considering that I can’t let Hector fight. And all the air units have been picked and the only other people who can actually move are Canas, Lucius, and Erk. There are going to be lots of physical attacks on this level, so Canas is the only viable option. Plus his Luna is borderline necessary for beating the bosses since none of my other units can stand up to them.
Notable Units Rejected
1) Matthew. Oh how I wish I could bring Matthew. I could probably shave 3 turns off my time if I brought him. Really it’s the air units + Ninian who do the heavy lifting of letting me quickly acquire the hidden items and adding another thief wouldn’t make that MUCH faster, but it would let me steal the White Gem much more easily and that alone would save a couple of turns. But Matthew would be instant killed by many of these wyverns because my Matthew turned out terrible. And I desperately need some real firepower and I have only 1 semi-discretionary slot to consider.
2) Priscilla. She can’t move! Her whole advantage over Serra is that she moves more squares, but on this chapter she can barely crawl along at 1 square per turn, while Serra moves full speed.
3) Erk and Lucius. If I had one more slot, I’d definitely bring Lucius. I kept him low level partly so I could massively train him on this chapter, but I’d forgotten how few party spots I get.
4) ANYONE else. They can’t move. If you can’t move, you’re worthless.

Ugh. There’s only so much that tactics can do for you on this chapter. Ultimately, you either have the stats or you don’t. I don’t. My Florina’s defense is terrible and her speed just isn’t good enough to avoid being doubled by quick wyverns while carrying someone. And that means there’s no way to do this that isn’t luck based.

Well, there’s really no choice to be made here. I MUST immediately break left with all my air units and immediately take down both archers. That’s my best chance to get Legault in position to steal that mage’s Guiding Ring. Then I need to clear a path through the wyverns and mages for someone- probably Florina- to fly north and grab Pent. Then she has to get back with him alive. Meanwhile, the other two fliers and Legault are going to need to prevent the wyverns from swarming us.

That leaves a grand total of ZERO combat units on the main front. Hector can’t be allowed to fight. My Canas is about to hit level 20 and has only 5 uses of flux left and promoted units gain almost no XP, so HE can’t be allowed to fight. I just need to hold the line against the huge horde and waste their time while grinding up some XP for Ninian and Serra without killing many enemies until Fiora or someone can come back.

Somehow I’ll have to use those 0 combat units to quickly take down Paul first though. But I absolutely must give the kill to Fiora or someone who’ll gain 100 XP from it. So ultimately, my options are severely constrained. There’s only one viable plan and it uses this formation.

The more combat-skilled air units (Florina and Heath) will lead the charge against the archers while Fiora concentrates on dropping Legault into position with Ninian’s help. Legault should be positioned to grab the ocean seal on turn 1. Canas needs to be able to move up and fight promptly, but it’s absolutely imperative that the left slots go to air units and Ninian, so he’ll have to take what he can get.

The Characters:

Pent of course is making an appearance on this chapter, but I’ll give him his character intro when he actually becomes available.

“… …” –Hawkeye, Chapter 23

The biggest dude in the game, he’ll pop out of thin air on turn 2 as a green unit and try his best to join Pent in stealing my XP. Hawkeye is a quiet, taciturn, polite, and savage and ferocious berserker apparently called the “Mad Beast Warrior.” He’s rather mysterious and his supports basically reveal 0 about his past. We know his present: he’s a guardian of a secret village in the desert and is training his daughter to succeed him. But was he born there? How did he come to work for Athos so closely? Why does his employer even need a warrior like him anyway?

Honestly, I find him to be a very interesting character and I rather like him. All the other mysterious characters in the game ultimately have their secrets brought to light in their supports- even Renault and Nergal- but Hawkeye’s story is just never fully revealed even though he gets a fair amount of screen time and has ties to several characters in both FE6 and 7. It reminds me of something Tolkien said: “Even in a mythical Age there must be some enigmas, as there always are.” Whatever his flaws, I’m sure you’ll agree that Hawkeye is better than Tom Bombadil.

Tom could probably take him in a fight though. His starting stats are bad and his growths are bad. He’s probably better than Dorcas, but he’s definitely worse than any other axe user. One of the worst pre-promotes in the game really, a fairly useful class aside.

“… nevermind, I don’t like any of the creepy things these guys say” –Melth

Ugh, Paul and Jasmine. They’re probably some kind of Japanese thing that I just don’t get. These two guys show up again and again and again. There are like 4 of them in FE6 alone- two of them even a pair of crazy twin bandits in Nabata. I don’t even know how to describe them other than as weird.

And dangerous. His stats are only pretty good, but that killer axe means you’re looking at a 30% chance of instant death every time you fight him in melee.

“I mean really, what’s up with them?” -Melth

Jasmine is WAY more dangerous statistically due to that significant speed boost. Hawkeye is basically on par with Paul, but Jasmine will wreck him.

Honestly that handaxe is as much of a problem as Paul’s killer axe because it expands this guy’s attack range too much. That he has a white gem means I can’t even try to fight him until Legault has some time on his hands.

And the two of them have an A support with each other, so if they ever get close then they receive rather huge bonuses. Don’t let that happen. These guys are seriously hard to beat because you can’t bring any of your A-list fighters to this chapter while these guys hit harder than anyone fought previously. And the desert terrain and fog make it almost impossible to approach them safely or to have people team up and kill them. You’ve got to kill Paul ASAP so they can’t pair up and become nearly unbeatable.

Playing Through

First things first. Note that Legault did not Wait on this square, he used a torch. That works just the same, but it means that when he gets rescue-dropped off, he’ll reveal a big area. I need all the vision I can get.

Heath and Florina pave the way by killing the two archers, then Fiora- assisted by Ninian- will get Legault dropped and ready next to the mage with the guiding ring.

EVERYONE on this chapter is packing a vulnerary and they’ll be chugging them almost non-stop.

I’m not sure exactly which of my flyers will be finishing Paul and Jasmine, but I’m betting it’s Fiora or Heath, so each one starts with an axereaver as well as iron weapons and a javelin.

Canas has a nearly broken Flux tome because I was too greedy on chapter 21 and didn’t buy a second because I couldn’t use the silver card for the purchase. So I’m going to have to pay a higher price by having him fight with the hugely expensive Luna instead. Don’t make that kind of mistake, it’s my second biggest blunder of the LP. He also has a Guiding Ring since he’s nearly level 20 and a heal staff so he can jump in on the healing and XP generation.

Legault has a torch and a wyrmslayer to deal with the fog and the wyverns.

And Serra is loaded up with staves of all kinds. Heal, Mend for when her terrible magic power means she can’t heal enough, Torch for extra XP generation, Barrier for even more XP generation. Barrier is less cost-effective for this purpose than Torch, but it generates more XP and I’m concerned that every little bit will count. Each enemy kill gives me like 5 XP, so a few uses of Barrier over Torch will quickly add up to extra kills.

After Ninian danced for her, she could rearrange Florina’s equipment before dropping Legaul, thereby making sure everyone in the area can counterattack the several nearby mages (without killing the one with the Guiding Ring).

With torched Legault dropped, most of the nearby map is revealed, so I know how to get Fiora just out of range of the LEFT wyverns. Attracting one of the top wyverns is much less of a problem.

I hadn’t actually checked the exact XP and price numbers of Barrier before doing this chapter, I just remembered that Barrier generated more than Torch. Probably I should have just been using Torch staves instead for financial efficiency while generating extra XP, but this works too. Either way, I’m wasting money in order to squeeze out extra XP.

On the enemy turn, Pent kills like 10 units. There’s no way to prevent that. Darn it.

And Hawkeye poofs out of thin air. You can see that I used Ninian to lure the wyvern riders and Paul to me. If I didn’t do that, he might have paired up with Jasmine and then I could never have safely got the White Gem from Jasmine later.

Although I’m at risk of getting overwhelmed on the right, I’ve got to push on and grab Pent ASAP no matter the cost. From this position, Florina will be able to do it- assuming he doesn’t move again. If he moves, I might well be sunk since I might not retrieve him before he kills another 10 enemies or the like.

Legault steals that darned guiding ring. He’s in deep trouble. He was hit by the mage, so any of the 3 wyverns in range could kill him now- as could the other mage. I need to find some way to kill them all.

Heath has the speed to take down this wyvern. If Heath couldn’t do this, it would be impossible for me to properly complete this chapter. And with him in place, Legault is safe from the left wyverns.

Since I don’t want Hector fighting, he just recruits Hawkeye. Hawkeye at least can gain some XP. Just not much because he’s promoted.

Ninian took a hit, so Serra heals her. Serra is way more fragile than Ninian and now she’s in the line of fire too, so I’d better find a way to wall for them and kill all the flying threats. Canas + Ninian + Hawkeye can do it and block Paul at once, but just barely.

Nice, that saves me a bit of cash at least. Now at this point I had to cross my fingers and pray that neither Hawkeye nor Paul critted the other. This chapter is very luck based and that’s really stupid and annoying.

Phew, neither of them did. Now… this is still a crisis waiting to happen, but at least most of the initial wyverns are dead as turn 3 begins. It’s going to be darned hard to let Fiora kill Paul. For one thing, I need to weaken him enough that she can actually kill him. For another, I probably need to take out that archer. Ninian will have to spend her dance letting Fiora actually get into position. And that leaves both fronts shorthanded.

HAHAHHAHAHHAHHA! Victory is mine! Pent is the real enemy on this chapter. Fortunately he didn’t move last turn- he’d slaughtered everything in range the turn before so there was no reason for him to.

There’s no way to have someone heal Legault, so he has to drink a vulnerary and equip his wyrmslayer. Any wyvern can 2-hit kill him, so I need to make sure there’s never more than 1 wyvern alive at once and have him keep chugging those vulneraries.

Fiora flies over to the east front and Serra mends her up so she can face the enemy wave after killing Paul. They’re mostly weak units, but still dangerous.

Sweet! More speed! I’ve said that Bowie’s speed growth is good, but mine is still very lucky. That’s a short term blessing of course. He’ll almost certainly slam into his cap, but the short term is all I need good luck for.

Again, I had to just hope for no crit here as I weakened Paul for Fiora.

Yes! Apparently I didn’t actually screencap the level she got though. Reverse engineering it from the previous and later level screencaps though, she gained Hp and Str and Skil and that’s all. Meh.

Legault gets a much worse level fighting the wyverns.

Ok, so there was about a 60% chance that I would have lost last turn. And there wasn’t a darned thing I could do about it. The problem is that this jerk here in the fog near Pent has an IRON lance rather than steel. This means he’s fast enough to double Florina when her speed is halved by carrying Pent. Now if she had average Def or above average HP, that would be fine. She’d 100% live with 1 HP. That’s how I beat this chapter on max ranking runs before. But my Florina has terrible Def and moderately bad HP, so the Wyvern rider could 2-hit kill her and doubles her. Now Fiora can’t do this, because Fiora has much less HP guaranteed due to no Angelic robe. And Heath can’t do it because if Heath is up there, Legault and Florina couldn’t survive against the bottom wyverns. So this was the only strategy option – other than just letting Pent continue his rampage indefinitely and thereby not getting the sidequest- and it had about 60% odds of failure because of my bad levels earlier.

This chapter is really, really stupid. To be perfectly blunt, I recommend you just save-state or RNG manipulate through it if the units you need to use were stat screwed in critical ways. I didn’t do that because I pledged not to, but really that’s what you should do here. It is a luck-based chapter.

Here’s the position as turn 4 begins. Paul is down, but there are a dangerous number of archers around and Florina is deep in enemy territory.
There’s a swarm of enemies on the right who I can’t actually fight with anyone but Fiora because no one else will gain enough XP.
Legault and Heath are completely stalled out. Every turn they just barely take down 1 wyvern while Legault gets injured and has to drink a vulnerary. And every turn another wyvern spawns. Meanwhile he clock is ticking and I still have 6 items of various sorts to acquire all across the map.

I can at least get one item this way.

Yep, the body ring goes straight to Merlinus.

Florina flees and drinks her vulnerary. Again, there’s not much for it but to trust to luck and hope that either the wyvern rider misses her once or she crits him after her first attack. I just checked the numbers though and she’d actually be OK (as long as she drank a vulnerary) if I had her wielding a slim lance instead of an iron lance. So if I have to restart, that’s what I’ll do. Since almost all enemy wyvern riders have steel lances and that one was apparently hidden in the fog and Pent didn’t feel like fighting him so I didn’t know he was there, I didn’t anticipate this problem to begin with. That’s fog of war for you.

YES! Canas, you’re the man! He was about 4 XP from level 20 after hitting Paul so I gave him the level and now I’ll have Ninian dance for him so he can promote. Then I’ll finally have 2 healers, which is wonderful for this chapter and will be amazing going forward too. I can finally dump the deadweight Priscilla off the team from now on most of the time.

Fiora scores a wonderful level as the main battle continues on the right. Oddly, it’s actually the SPEED I’m most glad to see. My Fiora has been solid in Str and Def but started off horrible for speed and that meant that she couldn’t double anything, so she’s been really hard to train.

But we’ve still got kind of a bad situation on our hands. Jasmine is lurking just offscreen. I have tons more items to get and I can barely even hold the line on any front and it’s already turn 4.

Those are pretty much the sweetest promotion gains imaginable. This is one of the best Canases I’ve ever seen- even an average one is awesomely powerful. Move over Bramimond, there’s a new legendary dark wizard in Elibe.

Turn 5, Florina did get a lucky crit and kill the wyvern pest. Otherwise the status quo continues. Legault and Heath just barely keep the wyverns on the bottom left in check- and now mages and shamans are starting to spawn. Hordes of enemies keep pouring in out of the fog to the northeast. But now Canas can heal and soon Florina will be ready to rejoin the fight. If I can survive this turn, I can definitely win the battle. It’s just a question of how long it takes.

Legault drinks his last vulnerary. Fortunately, that’s the last bottom front wyvern.

I want to feed all these enemies to Fiora if I can because she’s my lowest level unit so she gains the most XP. Ninian helps with that.

More useless staff use just to boost my XP.

Phew, Florina has reached them safety. Now I can pass Pent off to someone useless like Hector and then get Florina into the action. Thinks are looking up.

A beautiful sight!

Turn 6, she passed Pent off to Hawkeye actually so that she can immediately fight this cavalier. Remember, Give is just like Trade in that it doesn’t end your turn and you can still do things like attack or trade or drink a vulnerary.

Fiora runs back to help Heath and Legault. The bottom left wyverns are gone, but mages and shamans are coming.

One of them gives Heath another speed level. Man, he’s actually turning out kinda suckily for the long term, but in the short run speed is all I care about.

Oh. There were 2 northern wyverns that just hadn’t shown themselves. Ok, this is looking bad. Legault can’t heal and is 1 hit from death. I only have 2 fighting units in the area. Heath is badly injured.

Well he javelins down the wyvern Fiora had injured and Serra runs in and heals him. Now I need to protect her too of course.

Courtesy of Ninian, Florina soars across the map and takes down the other wyvern. That will let Fiora help form a fence to keep the assorted wizards off of Legault.

Meanwhile, I need to start fighting Jasmine as soon as possible, so Canas heals Hawkeye. Man, that sounds better every time I read it. Canas can heal people now! How awesome is that?

And Ninin gets another respectable level on the next turn. That’s 54 avoid right now people and she’s barely half-grown.

Hey look! Canas can heal people now! The javelin fence mowed down those mages, as you can see. That meant Legault could take a vulnerary from Heath and drink it and now I can start rescue chaining him around.

Turn 7 I believe, Ninian helps me do just that. Hawkeye and Jasmine exchanged handaxe fire previously, so once I drop Legault in his range as bait, I should be able to steal from him and then kill him in one turn.

Turn 8, I finally got the darned thing. Now I have 1 turn to collect the 4 remaining items and kill all the remaining enemies!

More wasteful barrier staff use.

And more wasteful healing.

Even when I win these guys have to ruin it.

Classic my Florina. One of the worst I’ve seen in a long time, but at least her Strength is good. Not a single point of Def gained in 17 levels though!

Legault gets the Eclipse tome.

And everyone gets in position for rescue dropping Legault over to the next set of items after he grabs Fila’s Might.

Hector talks to Pent, who says a bunch of stupid stuff and then stays a green unit.

Ok so, this is actually my second run. See, on my FIRST try I had Heath go left with the other air units to help Legault. On turn 12 I killed the shaman I’d been keeping alive after getting all the items. And then… I didn’t win. No.

It turns out there were some enemies hidden in the top right for no darned reason at all. Out of the initial swarm of top right enemies you can see on the initial map, one of the two nomads and the brigand and one of the cavaliers just doesn’t move south while the others do. There seems to be no point to this other than to screw you over if you’re doing a ranking run. Have I mentioned this chapter is really obnoxiously designed?

More XP grind healing.

Legault gets the light brand while Heath engages the top right enemies.

I hope I’ve hit 700 total by now, but I haven’t actually been keeping track.

Pretty good, Heath.

Final turn coming up,

It’s turn 13 and I’m about to win.

Fiora kills the last shaman and gets some much needed speed. I win! 4 turns overtime. With better units I could have cut that down a little bit, but there’s no way I could have done it in 9.

Hector gives Pent all the credit for our hardest-earned victory and then reveals our mission to a stranger.

Excellent. I’d love to spend more time with the most troublesome enemy I’ve had to deal with to date.

Yes! I wasn’t sure I got the sidequest or not until now.

One by one apparently the whole party stumbles into concealed pit traps or something and falls into a secret underground lair. Without noticing any of the others disappearing.

Total Restarts: 12 (Stupid top right hidden units for no reason)
Turn Surplus: 4 (Ouch)
Things I Regret Missing: The lockpick on chapter 11, that darned archer on chapter 11, this one brigand who attacked Marcus on chapter 12, 2 more brigands who ignored everyone else to attack Marcus on chapter 13x, and 2 archers who ignored Hector and Dorcas (DORCAS!) to attack Marcus on chapter 14, like 10 more enemies I could have killed if Hector could have survived one more turn on chapter18, and Uhai who decided to take a 100% chance of death to Sain over a free hit on Hector, the chance to finish shopping properly with my silver card on chapter 21, the armorslayer that I have acquired if not for a stupid minor mistake on chapter 22, and these 3 wyvern riders who decided they preferred a 0% chance to hit Isadaora and then 100% chance of death against her to fighting a low level Heath.

So…. yeah. That’s the worst chapter in the whole game. No question about it. No character development worth mentioning. Nonsensical plot. Pointless fight. Horrible, horrible map with every conceivable way to screw over a max ranking player- including the very nasty surprise of some units on the top right just staying put in the fog so that you think you’re going to win when actually you’re not. As I said, I honestly recommend you just RNG manipulate or save state your way through it. The game designers didn’t take it seriously and neither should you. As I recall, there’s a way to guarantee that a non-thief finds an item, but I’m having trouble finding the video of how to do that.