Part 17: In Search of Truth
In a desperate moment, he is rescued by a childhood friend, Marquess Ostia's younger brother, Hector. The assailants' leader reveals that unknown party seeks Eliwood's head... Eliwood cannot help but think this is related to his father's disappearance. In search of more traces of his father's footsteps, Eliwood sets out for the castle of Lord Helman, the marquess of Santaruz.
: What is the meaning of this?
: Peace, Lord Helman. Whatever is wrong?
: You said you were just going to frighten Eliwood! Your men almost killed him! My patience is at an end! I've decided I must tell Eliwood everything and apologize.
: ...You would betray us?
: I am tired of you and the Black Fang! Now remove yourself from castle! Your presence pains me!
: Lord Helman... Is there nothing I can do to change your mind? In that case... You're no longer of any use.
: What? Ga...urgh...
So, telling the guy you're going to go betray him? Probably not a good idea. If it wasn't obvious, Ephidel shanked the guy. Also, the Black Fang? There's a name we haven't heard in a while.
: We have to speak with Lord Helman.
: Who are you?
: Who am I? Ah, boy, you'd do better to worry about yourself. You'll be worm's meat before much longer.
: You think so? I think my axe'll change your mind.
: Ha! The cub thinks he's a wolf! Does your bite match your bark? Tell you what: if you make it to the castle alive, we'll find out, eh?
: I know, I know. I just got this job! I don't want to lose it! 'Course, the smart thing to do would have been not to get involved with this ugly bunch. Got to have gold if I want to eat, though. I was too picky before. If I think about the time I passed out in Caelin... Ooooh. Nothing funny about that! That man... What was his name, Matthew? If it hadn't been for him, I'd have starved to death.
: What are you mumbling about? Get over here, now!
: Yes, yes, I'm coming! At least I've got work!
Well, that was a not too subtle hint about what to do about this guy. Sounds like Matthew might be having a little chat with our friend here.
: As a journeyman knight of Pherae, I'm here to serve Lord Eliwood and you, Art! I await your command!
Lowen's such a bro. Anyway, points of interest.
First, Eliwood and most of the crew are going to be heading south. There's an easy village to pick up, and Matthew needs to talk our stabby little friend there in the southwest.
A little further west is Castle Santaruz.
Finally, to the northwest, there's another village. This one is the trigger for a sidequest, so Hector, Bartre, Oswin, and Marcus are going to be heading that way, then swing south to take out the boss. They'll have plenty of time, because I end up positioning people really retardedly and take about 3 or 4 turns more than I really need to recruit Guy.
This guy is tailor-made for Hector to waltz in with the Wolf Beil. His steel lance can be painful, but seriously, just drop Hector on him. It's not even a contest.
Our stabby little friend presents something of a problem. He's fast, but he can't take a hit at all, which presents problems if we try to lure him over to us that way. Furthermore, he has a Killing Edge on him, which has a base critical chance of 30. You do not ever want to be on the business end of a "Killer" weapon, because any enemy critical chance that goes into double digits is asking for the RNG to come fuck you over.
Anyway, everyone heads off with their groups, and Marcus reaches the northwest village on turn 3.
: I must leave for Caelin now, or my business will be ruined. Time is money, after all. Hurry, hurry! Rush, rush, rush!
: Huh? What's this? That man must have dropped it...
Oh yeah. Getting a free torch, and it's the trigger for a sidequest? Surely, these two things can't be related. We won't have any need for that torch, no sir.
Dorcas is next to act, and reaches the other village on the next turn.
: It's an invention of a great witch! Me! It's a mine. It contains some very explosive magic. Hide it on the ground, and when an enemy steps on it...KA-BOOOM! Heh heh heh... I'm still testing them, so that one's free. Come back and tell me how it works.
Mines aren't nearly as impressive as the witch makes them out to be, sadly. Drop it on a tile, and if an enemy steps on it, they take 10 damage. It is the source of an absolutely amazing glitch, but that's a story for another time.
Now then, dealing with Guy. Guy's attack range falls just short of the fortress, so dropping Matthew there or a similarly distanced tile makes the range problem simple. What complicates it is that for the next few turns, there are going to be soldier and archer reinforcements coming from those southern fortresses, and combined with the forces already on the field, it's kind of hard to get a straight shot to Guy. You can just punch a hole and have Matthew go through, but then that leaves two swordsmen who are both relatively fragile out in the open.
I end up having Lowen sit in the fortress, and he attracts over a soldier or two, which is enough to get him a level.
Not bad at all. Dorcas knocks out an archer that tries for Eliwood.
Yep. That sure is a Dorcas level. Eliwood swings around to attack a brigand, and levels up in the process.
It'd be nice if he would get some more defense, but otherwise that's a great level for Eliwood. I move Matthew below Eliwood, which puts me in this position:
Matthew is now too far away to reach Guy in one move. Not helping things is the fact that both brigands are using hand axes, so they're never targeting someone who's going to counter-attack on them. Add in the archers who are joining the fray every turn, and I end up just kind of locked here for a few turns until I can move Matthew up safely. Matthew does pick up a sword level after he fails to kill a soldier, though.
Eventually, I remember Lowen has a javelin, and he uses that to clear out a solider, which in turns lets Matthew move forward and be in position for next turn. On the other side, Hector picks up a level killing soldiers.
Eh...not so hot. Matthew gains a level by killing the second brigand.
Upon reloading the game, I realized my last savestate was right about here, so the game never actually saved that I cleared the chapter. Therefore, the levels coming after this never actually "happened" in the save file that continues the game, and are "replaced" by the following:
Matthew: Strength, Speed, Defense
Lowen: Strength, Speed
Hector (1): HP, Strength, Luck, Defense, Resistance
Hector (2)*: HP, Skill, Defense
Serra: Speed, Luck
*Due to the way I played when re-finishing the chapter, Hector barely gained an additional level and then leveled a second time after killing the boss, thus ending at level 4 rather than 3
Jesus christ, how have you leveled up 6 times and gotten one point of speed the entire time. You have a fucking 70% growth rate! With that out of the way, we can finally go recruit Guy.
: It's... Is that you, Matthew?
: What a pleasant surprise! How's your swordwork coming?
: You are aware this isn't the best time to be catching up, aren't you? You and I... We're on opposite sides here.
: What? Are you saying you're going to fight me?
: I... Well, yeah. I'm much improved, you can't beat me.
: You're quite a terror, Guy. Well then... Hold on! I think I'd prefer it if you repaid what you owe me. Last time I saw you, I gave you food. If I remember correctly, you said you owed me your life.
: I only said that 'cause you said you'd feed me if I did! I hadn't eaten in ten days, and you were cooking meat! You... This... This isn't fair!
: The people of Sacae never lie. Isn't that right, Guy?
: Grr... Fine! I finally find work, and now I have to throw it all away! This is all your fault!
Oh Matthew. You are the best kind of asshole. Guy joins our merry band. Lowen gains another level attacking the archer that's left over.
While I'm certainly not going to argue with more strength, you really need more than just that, Lowen.
Bartre swings in the armory once again to grab an Iron Sword for our new stabby buddy, and I forget to grab Hector a hand axe. Oh well, there'll be plenty more opportunities.
Finally, Hector gets around and catches the boss's attention.
: Well, well, well! You survived, I see. You'll find I'm a bit tougher than those fools you faced before.
: What have you done with Marquess Santaruz?
: You want to know? You'll have to best me first!
Hector takes twelve damage from the steel lance, and deals 14 in return. Dorcas comes in and assists to knock off another 10 while Hector heals up, and then Hector deals in the finishing blow.
: Too...Too bad, eh, laddie? Geh...ha...ha...
And this is why Hector is awesome. Serra also gains a level in the post-boss healing and waiting.
Well, the RNG giveth, and the RNG taketh away, I suppose.
: Eliwood... Is that you?
: Hold on, my lord!
: I... I must apologize. Your father...he...
: Do you know something, sir?
: I... If I hadn't told Elbert about...Darin's plans...this never would...have...*cough* Go to Laus...Darin, the marquess of Laus...knows all...
: Hold on!
: Beware...the Black Fang...
: He's gone...
: Why... Why did this happen?
: Blast! What is going on?
: ...We go to Laus. We must speak to Lord Darin.
: You're right. We should leave quickly. I'm not sure how far we can get today, but... I can't sit still.
: Excuse me...
: With our lord gone, what are we to do?
: First, you give Lord Helman a proper burial. After that... I'm sure the Lycian Council will have to meet. Stay here and defend the castle until you hear more.
: I understand.
: Let's go. We must keep moving.
: Yes...and now we seek answers for Marquess Santaruz, too.
: ...Lord Helman. May you find peace.
Guy is our first myrmidon, and his goal is to hit things, critical on them, and then dodge whatever they decide to throw back at him. He has an excellent speed growth (tied with Matthew and Nils for best-in-game), and his skill is no slouch either. That said, myrmidons live and die based on how much strength they can get, and 30% is not a very good growth rate. If he's going to get screwed in something, it's probably going to be here, and that can easily be the kiss of death if you're not willing to expend an energy ring or two to catch him up.