Part 27: New Resolve
as well as their painful farewell. After escaping the Dread Isle, they return to the port city of Badon. Eliwood remains silent for the duration of their passage. He sits cradling his father's cold hand as if to warm him back to life.
: That's good. Long time, no see, Nils. You've grown, haven't you?
: Is it really you, Lyndis? It seems like it's been so long.
: Even though it's only been a year since I saw you last?
: So much has happened since we left you and Caelin.
: Hey, care to talk about things the rest of us can follow?
: Hmph. Who's he?
: This is Hector. He's Marquess Ostia's brother. Don't let his attitude fool you. He acts mean, but he's decent enough.
: "Acts mean" seems pretty mean to me!
: Heehee And you might remember this one. He's
: Yep, I remember. He's the man who helped Ninian. You're Elbert's son, aren't you? Your red hair, gentle eyes, and even voice. You're just like him.
: Where did you meet my father?
: He set us free after we'd been captured. We escaped in a small boat, but I was thrown out in a storm. When I woke up, I was back on Valor. For a time, I hid in the ruins by myself. Then I sensed something really dangerous. When I raced to the Dragon's Gate, I I saw everything.
: When we pulled Ninian from the boat, she'd lost her memory. I can't believe we brought her right back to her captors. What a horrible thing to do. I'm sorry.
: Lady Lyn Lady Lyn, you did nothing wrong When Nils fell overboard, I didn't know what to do. I became lost within myself. If only I'd been stronger All of this could have been avoided I am truly sorry.
: Ninian's power is greater than mine, but it costs her physical and emotional strength. Nergal exploited that weakness
: Ninian Nils
: I think it's because we can open the Dragon's Gate. Just calling them? Nergal can do that on his own.
: Are you serious?
: Yes, but it requires a tremendous amount of quintessence.
: That's what Nergal called it. The substance of the human spirit Power. Energy. The essence of life itself. Nergal, he stole this quintessence.
: What happens to those whose quintessence is stolen?
: Neither Ninian nor I have that power. Lyn knows. We only have our special power Anyway, Nergal needed to gather a large amount of quintessence. So he sent his henchman, Ephidel, to get close to Marquess Laus. He sought to plant the seeds of war in Darin's power-hungry heart.
: To what end?
: It seems the quintessence in each person varies in strength. A person of strong mind and body has hundreds of times more energy than the average person. It sounds like there aren't many people like that, though. It took too long for Nergal to find people with enough strength. Although it would take time, Nergal said the easiest way to get that much quintessence was by starting a war.
: So he planned to make up for quality with quantity? Is that it? Black-hearted fiend! Are all men nothing but pawns to him?
: Ephidel brought Elbert to the Dragon's Gate. He said he'd found the ideal source they had sought. Nergal's plans for war had been stopped, and yet he was happy. He'd taken so much energy from the knights traveling with Elbert. He was sure he'd get even better quintessence from Elbert
: Oh, I'm sorry Lord Eliwood.
: It's all right When I found my father at the Dragon's Gate, I knew his knights were no longer alive
I just want to call attention to the spritework here. All they did was angle his face down a bit, and Eliwood has a much more downtrodden look than usual. It's amazing how much these characters emote at times, when all they really have is "Sad sprite, angry sprite, normal sprite."
: He said you were blessed with natural fighting ability. But he also told us you were compassionate and disdained fighting. He told us that his son would be a better ruler than he was. He also told us that he would sooner sacrifice himself than see his homeland, Lycia, embroiled in the flames of war.
: When we'd lost all hope at the Dragon's Gate, your father always spoke to us of happy things. Well, he mainly spoke of his cherished son and his dear wife, but Ninian and I We loved him very much. He stories about his family They saved us.
: Oh, Fa- Father
: We should let him be alone for a while
: Sure. Come on, Ninian, Nils.
: As you say.
: Hm? Ninian...I didn't see you. I'm sorry about before. I just... needed some time to think.
: Should you be up? You've had a rough time... Your coloring's not very good. You should rest. ...Look at you, all scratches and bruises... You need to be properly taken care of...
: Why was Lord Elbert so... Lord Eliwood, why were you both... so kind to us? It's... This is... This is all my fault... These nightmares... All these terrible things...
: Ninian, crying ill suits a girl of your beauty. I'm fine... Please don't cry.
: I'm sorry... So... sorry...
: There's something you must hear. You're not responsible for what happened to my father. You suffered as much as he did. Please don't punish yourself further.
: Huh? What is it?
: ...Enemies... ...Enemies draw near!
: I wonder what happened to Nergal. Lord Elbert gave him a grievous wound when he stabbed him.
: His wounds will not kill him.
: That's what Lord Elbert said, too. Do you know what he meant?
: Nergal uses quintessence on himself as well. His wounds heal quickly. His body does not age.
: So he isn't human?
: If nothing else, he's Ah!
: What is it?
: Call everyone! Enemies approach!
: Bah. Eliwood deserves a little more time to rest
: Well then, we'll handle this ourselves, shall we?
: Listen! Get ready for battle! I want to get this over with quickly to protect villagers. Meet the enemy commander, and drive them out of here!!
: Hey, little guy! Go hide in the village!
: No way! I can help you out!
: Nils, you really are a big help, but shouldn't you be with Ninian now?
: Ah All right!
: Let's go!
Right then, welcome to the second act of Eliwood's story. New Resolve is a really easy chapter to give you a breather after Dragon's Gate.
Night conditions apply here, but monks are hardly a threat in the daylight, and the darkness doesn't make them any worse, so wyverns are going to be the worst that this chapter can throw at us. Our usual group has a special purpose this time around, because we're going to be doing a lot of grinding this chapter. There's not a whole lot of strategy to really talk about here. Rebecca and Dart are going to head south and grab the ballista, Lucius is going to head north quickly to deal with a monk in ambush, and Fiora is going to be flying around picking up Villages. Otherwise it's just going to be a solid charge east.
Oleg is hanging out here in the southwest corner. Killing him ends the chapter, but unless you cross the line where the wall breaks, he's content to leave you alone for as long as you'd like. Now let's get started.
: I I'm going to help!
: Oh, no, you're not! You're still too weak!
: But I merely wish to help Lord Eliwood Even if just a little. I I stole his father's life from him I know this this will never make up for it Nils! Please
: I understand. Give me your hands.
: I'll give you some of my power. You'll just get in the way if you go out like this.
: Nils, I'm sorry.
: Whew! That should do it. Help them for me, too.
: Thank you.
: Ninian!? You shouldn't be here!
: Please allow me to help.
: Help? I've no intention of making you fight
: I am no mere dancer. My dances They will help you. Please allow me to help
: ...This is... I'm wrapped in...some sort of...energy...
: I used Nini's Grace and danced for you, Lord Eliwood. It will only last a short while, but while it does, you are protected. ...Please...allow me... to remain at your side.
: Ninian... Of course. If it will make you feel better. Let's rejoin the battle. Don't leave my side.
: I cannot fight, but I can aid with my dance. I ask for your understanding and assistance.
Well, Ninian's finally joined up with us. She serves the exact same purpose as Nils (and in fact just joins up at the exact same level that Nils was), but she's learned a few new tricks since then. Nini's Grace is the first of several rings that give special benefits for a turn, and it's by far the most useful, providing a significant boost to both defense and resistance.
Anyway, let's start with these villages.
What? A fight? Are you going to do something? Really? Then here, take this. It should aid you. It's a Restore staff. It'll wake you from sleep and cure poison. Basically, it'll cure what's wrong and bring you back to normal. Now I'm tired Why can't you people fight at a decent hour?
Restore staves are mostly useless because sleep/berserk/etc. are incredibly rare, and poison is mostly ignorable. Of course, the one time they do happen to a unit, you've got it stashed away, and it can't help you.
We clean out the mages in our immediate vicinity, and Canas pops into the other close village.
Say, I've got something here you can use to buy some time. Set this Light Rune, and it'll block the enemies' advance. Only thing is, it'll stop allies, too. So watch your step!
Ah, Light Runes. Making mines look downright useful. They can be used to permanently block a space, but then you can't go through them either, and I legitimately have trouble coming up with a single time in the game when you'd really need to do that.
Lucius gets the attention of another monk, and put him in his place for the first level of the map.
This is going to be a recurring theme of this map. Lots of small (but important) levels. Fiora stops in the southeast village next.
I want to know what Bern's wyvern riders are doing here! Are we under attack? C'mon, do something! I've heard that wyvern riders are fast and really tough. Sure, arrows and magic can bring them down, but This'll cause 'em trouble, too! It's a wyrmslayer. Here! Take care of 'em!
Nifty, but wyvern riders use lances...and generally have really high defense... Look, just stick with arrows and magic.
Another turn, another rush of people ready to die. Rebecca subscribes to the overkill theory of killing, and blasts a wyvern rider with the ballista. An archer gets decapitated, and Eliwood levels up killing off a brigand.
Eh, not bad. Fiora cleans up a monk and gets hers next.
Excellent. The monk was even nice enough to give us his Shine spellbook too (Upgrade on Lightning). A brigand decides to go after Raven instead of wrecking the last village, which I was quite grateful for. Matthew, Fiora, and Raven secure the area, and Matthew gets a level out the deal.
Oh hey, more skill and speed. Fiora heads for the last village next turn.
The item's different for different units, too. Cavaliers and knights need a Knight crest. Folks skilled in magic and staves need a Guiding ring. And wyvern riders and Pegasus knights need this: an Elysian whip. You can have it. Don't be shy now. It's not like I'll ever be able to use it. Now, if I were a cute little Pegasus knight, I'd use it in an instant!
Another promotion item for the pile. Raven continues murdering and gets another level.
It's funny. He has a great strength growth, but he's really not picking up much strength (in fact, he will continue to do so until L20). Maybe Dart will show him how it's done.
Or not. Still could be worse.
This, of course, is the model they should strive for. Sadly, wyverns are a bit tougher than pegasi and the ballista fails to kill him off. Canas gets the honors of doing so.
Ugh, are you even capable of getting more than 2 stats at once?
At this point, we have control of the entire western part of the map. It's just a matter of waiting out the reinforcements so that we can do our thing in peace now. Ninian does a superfluous dance, and gets her first level.
A thing of beauty, really. I mean, not that these stats should ever be put to use, but hey, it's insurance for when it does happen.
All she really needs, I guess? Magic is the only thing that's really important for now, but everything else will matter once she promotes.
After a bit of waiting, the reinforcements stop coming and it's time to begin the time-honored Fire Emblem tradition of abusing the fuck out of the arena. It's quite simple, really. You need Ninian for that invaluable Nini's Grace buff, someone capable of using the Barrier staff for a 7 point resistance buff, and two people capable of rescuing the unit you want to train up.
Start with applying both buffs, and send the unit to the arena.
You'll bet an amount roughly between 500-900 gold. The more gold you pay, the stronger the foe you can expect.
Once you pay up, you're told who your foe is. You can back out here if it's really bad, but the only people who will be in any real danger is a low-defense magic user against a high-level physical unit.
The arena! It's just basic combat over and over until someone dies. Assuming it's not you, you get double your money back for winning (and of course a good chunk of experience). Have one of your two units rescue the unit in question.
On the next turn, drop the unit and they'll still have both buffs active. Have Ninian dance to give the unit another turn, heal if necessary (again, unless they leveled up or were unlucky, this should not be), and send them back into the arena as long and often as you'd like. I'll skip right to the results because I assure you, you really don't want to see all 70 or so levels from everyone, and even if you really did, I'm not posting them.
Raven did pretty well for himself, I guess. It's a shame he only got one point of strength over five levels this entire chapter, but his insane skill and speed will make up for it for now.
Very nice, but much like another promotion we'll see this chapter, it's unfortunate they didn't even give a token +1 to strength here.
Even with a 60% growth rate, Dart is insanely blessed with speed here. That's 11 points in 12 levels, and I'm certainly not going to complain about that.
Matthew is seen here doing his favorite thing: Getting more fucking strength. I do not know why he's so fucking determined to a frontliner or something, but he hits incredibly hard, let alone for being a thief. For god's sake, he's got one less strength than Raven!
Disappointment central is what we have here. Not a single stat that's actually on his averages except speed and maybe resistance. It sucks, but it happens. The only way he's getting a Guiding Ring is if Erk is already promoted and we come upon another one.
Fiora turned out pretty good, actually. Her defense and strength are just a little low, but otherwise she's in really good shape. Not promoting her yet though, she still has some competition yet to come.
Lucius disappointingly got very little speed in his arena time. Still, while they may not be phenomenal stats, he's in very good shape considering that the Bishop stat caps are actually fairly low given that the only two (useful) bishops are Lucius and Serra.
Again, I question why they give skill a boost and not speed, doubly so because light magic is so accurate skill might as well be a dump stat for bishops.
Dorcas completely shocked me when he picked up 3 points of speed in 6 levels over his training. It's not nearly enough to put him over Dart, but he's more or less going to be the de-facto leader of the B-team.
Rebecca got a hell of a lot of speed, but she's kind of low on both strength and skill. Not sure if I want to promote her. She might be better for the B-team with Dorcas, but she could feasibly turn things around if she got the chance.
If you need any indication of just how fucking long it takes to do all this, Ninian went from L3 to L18 during this whole thing (she gets 10 exp per dance, 20 for activating Nini's Grace). Again, her stats really don't matter because no one is ever really going to be able to hit her anyway.
Prissy is in great shape with her luck and thoroughly mediocre everywhere else. Not that that's a huge problem really. She's a healer first and foremost, and everything else is just icing on the cake. Still, she can at least defend herself once she promotes.
The magic boost came in handy for this time, but I really don't understand why IntSys is so fucking determined to not give anyone speed bonuses for promoting.
Pictured: the monetary gains from the arena. We started with just shy of 2000 gold, if you were curious.
There's our buddy Oleg.
His Silver axe hurts a bit, but because he has a bow, he's never going to use it unless you box him in and give him no ranged targets. Also, his Hero crest must be stolen. Not a problem though, because we're sending Matthew out to bait him up anyway.
: Your journey is over, and only oblivion awaits you.
Look, he thinks he's special! First order of business: stealing.
Yoink! Next up, toss that sucker to Dorcas.
Whoever decided warriors shouldn't get a speed boost at promotion should get punched in the dick. I mean really, Dorcas is all but guaranteed to be somewhere around 10 at best, and Bartre isn't that much better in the speed department.
Anyway, Raven throws his hand axe at Oleg and weakens him a bit. I give him another turn and try to drop him all the way down for Eliwood to take the kill, but Oswin syndrome strikes him.
Not that I can say I really care, because that is literally the best critical animation in the game. Fuck gravity, get bitches.
Complete with shitty level after the fact. Truly a student of Oswin in these matters.
: Mm. Sorry to worry you.
: You don't have to push yourself so.
: We'll have time for mourning when this is all finished. For now, in my father's name I will do everything I can to stop Nergal and protect our lands.
: I see. So, what do you have in mind?
: We need to see Marquess Ostia.
: My brother?
: After all we've learned We can't not tell him, can we?
: Sure, I guess
: Hector? Why that odd expression?
: Hector doesn't want to meet Lord Uther. He's been lax in contacting him and is afraid to face him, right?
: What! And how did you expect me to send him any messages when we're traipsing about the isles like merchants on holiday?
: Ha ha ha! He is going to be so mad!
: Ha They're both in good spirits. It's a lot better than giving in to despair, I suppose.
: Marcus I'm fine. I know I worried you.
: About Lord Elbert At my own discretion, I sent a messenger to Lady Eleanora.
: I see. Thank you, Marcus. That was well done.
: I thought she should know as soon as possible. The marquess's final moments were so very noble
????: Lord Eliwood! Commander Marcus!!
: I've finally found you. I'm glad you're well
: Isadora, what are you doing here? Don't tell me something's happened to Mother
: No, Lady Eleanora is well. Do not worry. When word of Lord Elbert's death reached her yesterday She said not a word She merely gave her full attention to the messenger.
: Then, she issued me orders without hesitation. She commanded I deliver this sword to Lord Eliwood and remain at his side.
: But the castle defenses will be shorthanded.
: Lord Eliwood please Understand your mother's feelings. Lord Elbert is not coming home. All your mother can do now is pray for your continued safety. "Obey your father's dying wish." That is her message to you, and I have delivered it.
: Why not petition Ostia for reinforcements to help ward Castle Pherae?
: Good idea. I guess it would ease my mother's fears and bow to her wishes.
: It's that thinking that makes you Lord Eliwood.
: Our battles are like nothing you've ever prepared for. Are you ready to face them, Isadora?
: Yes. I will serve with my very life.
Hey, not going to argue with more free units, even if she is one of the worst paladins if I'm remembering right.
: You called, Lord Nergal?
: My wound needs time. It was a deep cut, and my strength is not what it was. The man who did this to me is dead. I'd like his son's death as compensation. Sonia. You will use Brendan to move the Black Fang. I do not need mere underlings now. I need the Four Fangs.
: Hee hee, leave it to me. I'll have them bowing their heads to you, my lord.
: Limstella. I want you to gather me quintessence. For this injury to heal, I will need much. You are the strongest of all my morphs. Kill all those who bear signs of great power.
: As you will
The Four Fangs, you say? Sounds interesting. (We've already met two of them ) But that's a story for another time.
Ninian is...well, the exact same unit as her brother. She performs the exact same function, has the exact same growth rates, and even comes in at whatever stats Nils had in Lyn's story if you came from that. So yeah, nothing really to say here. Have some artwork.