Part 26: Dragon's GateNote: This is the big finale for the first act of Eliwood's story. As such, there's going to be a lot of and I'm pretty much going to shut up for the entirety of it. Regular snark and bitching will resume (and end) with gameplay
He is greeted by an extraordinary sight. A building unlike any he's ever seen. It was clearly not wrought by human hands... It is waiting... waiting for the masters who abandoned it centuries past. Massive beyond belief, these ancient ruins have nothing to do with humankind. Eliwood has arrived. He has found the Dragon's Gate.
: What's wrong, Ninian? You're trembling.
: ...This place... so frightening. Something... powerful...
: It's her power, isn't it?
: Her power? What's that?
: Ninian has the ability to sense impending danger. Her memory may be gone, but her power remains.
: What is it you sense, Ninian?
: Something awful will happen if I'm here. Ah!
: Ninian!? Snap out of it!
: This place... No... I...I...
: She's getting worse! Let's get her away from here!
???: You'll not be going anywhere.
: Now that she's back, she'll not be allowed to fly away again.
: Who are you?
: We meet at last. I am Ephidel. Pleased to make your acquaintance.
: You're Ephidel? I've been looking forward to this.
: ...Gallantly spoken. Of course, I know who you are. Marquess Ostia's younger brother, Lord Hector. And here we have Caelin's beloved princess, Lady Lyndis.
: The corpse of that filthy red-haired traitor?
: Monster! Stay right there! I'm going to crush the life from you with my bare hands.
: Now I see! She was an Ostian spy, wasn't she? Don't worry, she did not suffer. It only took one blow.
: He vanished!
: This girl is needed for my master's ceremony.
: Lord Eliwood! Let me go!
: As you can see...
: Oho! The ritual can take place at last!
: Yes. However, we have an infestation of mice to deal with... They should be scurrying in here momentarily. They must be dealt with before the ritual takes place. May I entrust this task to you?
: Of course. Who do you think I am?! I am Darin, Marquess Laus! Ruler of this world!
: Very well. I leave it to you.
: Ruler of the world... Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
: Humans... They are so very fragile.
: Shall we prepare for the ritual?
: Does it gall you, Marquess Pherae? It's destiny. There could be no other outcome. Despite all of your mischief, the girl was fated to return to me.
: My son... Where is Eliwood?
: He's still alive. Of course, it's only a matter of time before the Black Fang finishes him.
: ...Nergal! Prepare to die!
: Urrgg... grrr...haa...!
: ...That was a surprise. When did he undo his bonds? Heh heh... Why do you not heed my warnings, Lord Elbert? You cannot alter destiny. Stop this foolishness.
: ...Urrgg... grraa...
: Jaffar, take Marquess Pherae and the girl to the far chamber. I will begin preparations for the ritual.
: Thy will be done.
: Where is my father?
: Inside... He's farther inside. You will never see him, though. Even if you break through here, the path you seek is guarded by Marquess Laus. Will you not withdraw? It's too late for that, isn't it? You'll never leave here alive. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Oh boy, this is it. Dragon's Gate is the big finale to the first act of Eliwood's story. Fittingly, the map is probably the worst one yet, and the game is starting to get serious.
We start here, in the southwest corner. The group is Oswin, Dorcas, Dart, Matthew, Canas, Raven, Guy, Lucius, Fiora, and Priscilla. Dart's on Merlinus guard duty, so he's staying behind. Hector and Fiora are going to cut through the center building, and the main group is going to head north.
Our objective is to seize the throne, but there's lots of enemies in between us and Darin. There's also a lot of treasure, so Matthew will be kept quite busy.
On this side, more treasure as well.
Darin is the typical general and our strategy is going to be the same as usual. Bait him into using the hand axe, and swarm him with shit like Rapiers and Armorslayers.
There's also this guy, and he's a fucking joke. I guess they designated him as a second boss due to his portrait, but he doesn't have a battle quote, death quote, or really anything that makes him special aside from a portrait. He's not even that strong of a unit. I've got something special planned for him, to demonstrate how pathetic he is. Shit, Damian put up way more of a fight than this guy, and that was 4 chapters ago.
Getting started, Priscilla puts that unlock staff to use and gets the door to that sniper open. She gains our first level in the process.
This is going to be a good map, I can feel it. Guy criticals on the Sniper inside, and Matthew heads over to grab some treasure. The rest of the crew marches north.
At the start of the second turn, a thief appears in the northwest corner.
: What am I doing? Is that a proper greeting? If you don't know me, you must be a new recruit, yes?
: Uh... I was assigned to the Dragon's Gate about one month ago.
: I though as much. I am Legault. You've heard my name, yes?
: Legault.. Ah! You... You're the Hurricane? Second in ability to none but the Four Fangs?
: Yes, yes. That's me.
: I... I beg your pardon.
: No worries. ...Now then, time to fill my purse with treasure and leave the Black Fang behind. No sense staying on a sinking ship. No sense at all.
Ah Legault, ever a fun unit to catch. As he mentioned, he's going to head for the eastern chests and then bolt. If you're quick enough, you can talk to him with Lyn or your main lord and he'll join up. Any treasure he gets will still be there when he joins up, so no worries there.
Now, let's get some treasure of our own.
Very nice, if I had any good bow users. The brave weapons are special in that they always attack twice consecutively. So if you used it to attack a unit, it would be your attack, your attack, and then they would be able to counter. If you're fast enough to double a unit, you can hit them four times in an attack, attack, counter, attack, attack pattern. Incredibly powerful, but it eats through uses like crazy.
Dorcas kills off another knight and gets his first level of the map.
Dorcas is to speed as Guy is to strength. That 20% growth rate may come back to bite us in the ass now.
Hector picks off a longbow user, and gets a level.
Dart's going to be on guard duty this map, so he stays behind as the rest of the crew moves up. Hector opens up the center door and he and Fiora head through that way. Raven pops out in front of Oswin with his longsword equipped for some fun.
Just what he needed, even more strength and speed. Cameron is also nice enough to drop his Halberd, the axe strong against mounted units.
Dead, by critical no less. This one gives us an Armorslayer.
Dead. Without even a scratch on him. Raven is the best. Speaking of "bests," Oswin moves up and kills off a cavalier and gets his final level.
Of course, he would get even more speed on his last level. Some reinforcements pop up around the map, but they're all easily taken care of. Raven kills off a nomad and gets another level.
Meh, but he's already a killing machine so I'm not really going to complain. Lucius gains a level continuing his work in slaying nomads.
Not bad at all. Fiora gets one off a mercenary.
The strength is definitely appreciated, but she could use some other stuff too.
Priscilla pops open the door to the northwest chests and Matthew and Dorcas work their way inside. And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for.
Can you feel the coming carnage? Because I sure as hell can. On the south side, Dart kills off an archer.
Well fuck. At least he can only do a whopping 12 damage with his critical. He and his buddy are swiftly murdered for their insolence. Lucius actually responds to this with a critical of his own for significantly more damage.
Well, what do we have here?
Now this is nifty. We'll be relieving him of that soon enough, but like Legault, he's pretty much going to bolt as soon as he can, so you have to be quick about it. Now then, more treasure.
Legault claims his first treasure. The Barrier staff gives the effect of Pure Water on a unit.
Meanwhile, Fiora continues to kill mercenaries.
Good, I suppose. Still could use more defensive stuff though.
Another prize, this one worth 5,000 Gold.
And Legault claims his other prize. At this point, he's ready to run.
Guy deals with a fighter, and gets his first level of the map.
Goddammit Guy. Dorcas gains a level as he works his way north into the corner.
Goddammit Dorcas. At least the knight was nice enough to toss us his Short Spear (upgraded Javelin). On the east side, for whatever reason Legault and the other thief turn south instead of coming north like they're supposed to. I block off the south exit while leaving the north exit open and they both just stand there. I have no idea why they didn't go for the open exit, or just leave via the stairs they came in on, but I wasn't exactly going to complain. Annoyingly, Hector can't talk to Legault in Eliwood's story, so I have to wait for Eliwood to haul his ass down there. In the meantime, I block off the north exit as well, so there's no way they're going anywhere.
Back at the base camp, Dart gains a level swatting away some pegasi.
All he really needs, I suppose. Matthew kills off a myrmidon and gets a level.
A better level than the one he got in my lost game, but I think it was funnier when he got more strength and defense.
Anyway, Eliwood finally gets down to talk to Legault.
: I must thank you for coming so far.
: What? You're a-
: Mmm... To be fair, I would say a former Black Fang member.
: Black Fang!
: Ha, no! Former Black Fang. Now, I'm simply a thief.
: Huh? So you're not my foe, is what you're saying?
: Correct, now let's pretend we never saw each other.
: If you're not my enemy, may I ask for your aid?
: Hm? Me? Help you?
: I want to know about the Black Fang. ...Please.
: This is a surprise. Are you really going to battle the Black Fang?
: Your enemy is not Brendan Reed, but rather a horrible man named Nergal.
: Yes, I know this already.
: You're quite plucky, I like you! However, I know almost nothing of the current Black Fang. If you still want my aid...
: I do! Thank you, my name is Eliwood.
: I'm Legault. I'll help you as long as I feel safe.
About damn time. Now then, let's relieve our friend of his card.
Wonderful. Now you can die.
Bleh. Now then, let's deal with Darin. Oswin is going to start with his Javelin to bait him to switch to the hand axe, then Raven and Guy should easily deal with him.
: You dare challenge me? I, who will rule the world!?
Oswin's javelins both land, dropping him to 20 HP. In the enemy phase, Darin returns fire with his hand axe (which still can't hurt Oswin).
No Oswin! You're not supposed to do that!
: Ephidel! Come to me! Your master... calls you! I am the ruler... of... the... world...
Goddammit Oswin, that kill was for Guy. You didn't even get a good level out of it!
One last thing to do on this map. Priscilla levels up doing some maintenance healing.
Not bad, I guess.. Magic's the important stat though.
Step on the right spot with the Member's Card, and...
Hello, there. After selling off the Blue Gem, we pick up an extra set of Lockpicks, two Killing Edges, and a Killer Lance and Axe. There's another secret shop on the other side of the map that sells the various "Blade" swords, as well as some staves, but the only thing that's really worth getting in the Physic staff, and that's quite expensive right now. And now we're finally done with this hellhole.
: Consumed by his own lust... Pitiful fool.
: ...Lord Darin.
: C'mon, Eliwood! This is no time for sentiment.
: Your father needs you!
: ...Let's go!
: Father!? It's me! Eliwood! I've come to save you! ...Father?
: It's dark in here. Can't see a thing...
: Eli... Eliwood...
: Ah! Father! Where are you?
: Back there! Eliwood! His voice is coming from back there!
: You... You're all right...
: Eliwood... Wait! For-Forget me! Take that girl and flee!
: That girl... She's the key to the Dragon's Gate. Hurry! Go, before Nergal notices you!
: Ninian! This way! We must flee!
: Something's wrong with her... Yet we've not time to hesitate.
: Eliwood! I've got your father! You take Ninian!
: I understand!
:I'm going to move you a little. Be strong.
: Hector... you came, too? ...Thank you.
: Don't worry about that. Come, let's leave this place.
: Eliwood! Hector! Hurry, this way! Ah!
: When did you?
: You must not fight that man!
: That man... is dangerous. You cannot defeat him on your own.
: Father, there's no time. This danger must be faced.
: ...Be a good boy, and listen to your father, young master Eliwood.
: Even among the Black Fang, this man is feared for his skill... You are no match for him, not even as a group. ...You've done well, Jaffar. That is all. Return to Bern and begin your next assignment.
: In honor of your hard-fought arrival, he's prepared a special show for you.
: Stop it! You cannot release the dragons!
: Father? What's all this about?
: ...You will know shortly. At the expense of your father's life!
: Father! What's wrong? Father!
: Lord Elbert! Hold on!
: Huh? ...Ninian?
: ...Gate... Open...gate...
: Yes... that's it... This way, dragon...
: Whoa! What's... What's this rumbling!?
: Unh! I can barely keep my feet!
: Nergal... What... What's happening!?
: Come... to me...
: ...It can't be.
: Ah... No... It isn't...
: Is that... truly...a dragon?
: Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes! Use all your strength! Squeeze every drop from your body! You will call dragons!
???: I will not allow this!
: Who's there?!
: Ninian! Come to your senses! You must not do what they want!
: ...Ni... ...Nils...
: Nils? Not now! Grrr ...Ephidel! Stop him!
: Desist, Nils! The power... It runs wild!
: Here! Hurry! The dragon is crumbling. Everyone flee!
: Lord Nergal! Lord Nergal! Please...! Guwaaaaaahhh!
: Is it... gone?
: No! I've failed! Nils, you whelp! If not for your interference... ...Come! Both of you!
: What? No!
: Never! We will not follow you!
: Ninian! Nils!
: What!? ...Impossible... Not... by your hand...
: ...I told you. I will...oppose... you always...
: ...Why... won't... you... die? Nnn...
: ...Eliwood. Be prepared. He will return...
: All right, but for now... Let's leave this island... Let's go home.
: No, my son... I'm done here. You, Eliwood... You must finish this.
: Don't say that! Mother is waiting in Pherae... She's waiting for you, Father!
: Ah... Eleanora... She will be cross with me. Eliwood... Your mother... I'm sorry... Tell her... I'm... sorry...
: No... Please, not now... Not after all we've done to find you again... Father... Please... Open your eyes...
Legault is the second of two thieves, and the lesser of the two, combat-wise. His bases are good, but Matthew boasts better HP, Strength, Speed, and Defense growths, and he's around for a lot longer so he'll probably have the level advantage (if you've been bothering to use him for combat). Still, Legault is perfectly serviceable and makes a fine unit, especially if Matthew hasn't seen a whole lot of combat. Also, he looks fucking awesome, just saying.