Part 32: Unfulfilled Heart
Eliwood finds himself embroiled in their troubles. He has been sent to recover the Bern family treasure: the Fire Emblem. It has been stolen from the palace vault. Eliwood enters the royal palace seeking clues.
: Bern is the only country on the continent where wyverns still fly. With its wyvern riders, I imagine this castle is the best-defended anywhere.
: I agree. Look at the path leading up the mountain's face. It would be impossible to scale that in a direct assault.
: Defenders positioned higher up would have a clear advantage. Even the best soldiers would be taken out with ease. Hm Look at that. They don't have any sentries posted. They must have a lot of faith in their defenses.
: Look at these surroundings! They probably make do simply with patrols within the castle. The mighty Bern... I'd not like it as an enemy.
: And yet, from this impregnable fortress, a treasure was stolen. Perhaps the king really is responsible for all this. It's hard to imagine any thief cracking Bern's defenses.
: You're right. But I can't imagine why the king would do this. To find the Fire Emblem, we're going to need clues.
: Listen, why don't we try sneaking into the castle?
: That's what I was waiting for! I like the way you think.
: Whatever happens, we must not be caught. If it looks impossible, turn around and come back here.
Oh, for god's sake. When was the last time this didn't end with having to fight our way back out of the castle?
: Shh! Someone's coming this way.
: Here! Into this thicket!
: Ah, Guinivere. Have you been well?
: Uh-huh! I've been fine. But if you would come and see me every day, I'd be even better! Much, much better!
: Every day? Well, that's an awful lot, but I'll come by as often as possible. All for you, dear sister.
???: Guinivere! Guinivere! Where are you, lass?
: Ah, there you are. Were you a good girl while I was gone? Come, give your father a kiss. You're as adorable as ever.
: Well met, Father.
: Zephiel. Hmph You take the same unpleasant tone as your mother.
: What!? I I
: Silence. What brings you to my castle?
: Ah, yes Murdock.
: Yes, my lord.
: We were hunting in the forest earlier. We found this and thought Guinivere might like it.
: Eeek! A baby fox!? How cute! It's so very cute! Is it for me? Really?
: Do you like it?
: Yes, I do! Thank you. I do love you, Brother!
: Guinivere, go play for a while.
: OK! Come on, let's go! You lovely little fox!
: Yes I know I beg your pardon. I heard that Guinivere was ill and I was worried.
: Hah, you mean you came to see if she would die, don't you?
Jesus, is he projecting enough? Fucking hell, Desmond is an asshole.
: I beg your pardon, Your Majesty, that
: Hold your tongue, Murdock! Do not forget whom you serve! The king of Bern!
: It's all right, Murdock Father, I would never want to see Guinivere harmed in--
: You and your mother think of nothing more than stealing my throne. You plague me. Return to the manse!
: As you wish. I beg your leave Father.
: Why is it that the very sight of him tries my patience so? He is truly of my own flesh and blood, yet
???: Hee hee hee. It is jealousy, my king.
: Eh? Who's there?
: It is I, Sonia.
: You Well? Is the Emblem safe?
: Yes. I have it in my possession. It is all as we planned.
: It is unlikely, but The queen might attempt to win the Emblem back. Are you prepared?
: I will not fail It is secreted away within the Black Fang's fortress.
: Keep it concealed until dusk of the tenth day, then return it to me.
: As you will, Your Grace.
: And what of my other request
: One of the Four Fangs will tend to it. There will be no mistakes. However, General Murdock, the man protecting the prince He is young, yet well respected. Shall we finish him, too?
: Murdock His birth is low. And yet his combat skills have won him the title of Wyvern General. It would be a great blow if Bern were to lose him. I'll think of something to remove him from Zephiel's side. Will that do?
...And there's the assassination order. Great.
: Yes. It would be a great help. Wait!
: What? What is it?
: I sense someone.
: Father! Brother! Where are you?!
: Do not worry. It's my daughter.
: Of course. Do not forget the Black Fang's role once we are successful.
: Of course. Now begone. Quickly.
: Hm? Where is my brother?
: He had an errand to perform and left.
: Oh, no! No, no, no! I wanted to play!
: Come, Guinivere. I will play with you.
: No! I want to play with him, not you! I'll go and call him back. Here, hold my fox!
: Yes, my lord.
: Take this beast and kill it! Do not let Guinivere know what you do.
: Zephiel, you knave. Trying to steal my Guinivere's love You will learn your place!
: This is worse than I'd imagined. The Black Fang has already reached the king.
: Their plans for Lycia failed, and now they're targeting Bern.
: If a country as powerful as Bern moves, peace knows no hope.
: What Nergal desires is powerful quintessence. Calling dragons back Does he wish to embroil the world in chaos? Whatever his plans, he must be stopped at any cost!
: Right. Find the Fire Emblem and return it to the queen. We do that, and she'll point us toward the Shrine of Seals.
: If we go to the Black Fang fortress
: That's our goal. I must meet with everyone and seek out their fortress.
: Please, Ninian. That's all you've spoken of since they left. I understand your concern for Lord Eliwood, but
: Nils! I
: You don't have to hide anything from me. But you must not fall in love with him, you know? We are different from them.
: I know. But I cannot I
: Ninian! Where are you going?
: I need time to think. May I be alone, please?
: Oh, no! Look! It's a wyvern rider!
: She's coming closer Has she seen us?!
: No, it's not us she's seen. It's It's Nils!
: Light green hair, crimson eyes No mistake. You're one of Lord Nergal's lost toys. Yes! Found you at last!
: What are you? Why can't I sense you!?
: What happened to your bodyguards? I heard they were tough. I wanted to see for myself. Well, you're here, so they can't be too far away, can they?
: C'mon, boy! Scream! Call your friends to you! I am not known for my patience!
: You've come! I've been looking forward to this!
: Looking forward What do you mean?
: The chance to crush you! Then hand the children over to Lord Nergal.
: Nergal? So you're one of his dogs, are you?
: I'll not be called a dog by you, blackheart! True, we've a contract with the Black Fang, but I am loyal to one master only! He who sits on the throne of Bern!
: Then why are you in the employ of the Black-
: There's been far too much talking. Let's get started, shall we? I've long hungered for someone to test my strength against. Make this last awhile, will you? I want to enjoy this! Listen up, everyone! It's playtime! Come on out! The palace has promised to stay out of this! Be as wild as you will!
Well I'll be damned. The whole castle infiltration thing actually worked. Pity about this bitch. Unfulfilled Heart is actually a very fun chapter, though a bit easy given its relative lateness in the game. Anyway, before we get started with the chapter proper, we have a few small things to take care of.
First, Hector gets his speed boost.
Matthew and Dart also put some of those secret books we've been stockpiling to use.
Now the map. The objective is to survive for 11 turns, and we start out fairly scattered. The team you see here is pretty much what you're going to see for the rest of the game, even though the full team is slightly over the limit for most of the maps. Erk, Lucius, Rebecca, Serra, Heath, Rath, Lowen, Priscilla, Raven, Dorcas, Oswin, and Dart are our main combatants, and Matthew is still our all-purpose thief, though he's not here.
To the southwest, there's a village to save. The lead cavalier there also has a Knight's Crest to steal if we wanted to, but we don't need another one.
The northeast corner has a pair of shops with some updated weaponry. The armory is stocking all Killer weapons, and the vendor has upgraded to Elfire and Shine tomes.
Vaida's in the northwest corner, and if you have any sense whatsoever, you're not going anywhere near her. Why?
Yeah, that's why. She effectively has 25 Str and Def, 22 speed, and 20 resistance. On top of her having a ranged weapon, and already being a wyvern lord so she has 8 movement. Sounds like fun, right?
Enough prep, let's get started.
: You as well, Lady Louise?
: Of course.
: No need for concern. She is quite skilled with a bow. Those Bern wvyern riders will be sorry to meet her.
: Despite what you may think, I shoot much better than I dance or sing. I believe I can be of some small assistance.
: I understand. Thank you for your help.
: Now let me give you this. It's from Lord Athos.
: What is it?
: A Heaven seal It reveals hidden strengths. It only works for a select few, but
: It has an air of mystery to it.
: Do you think you can use it?
: No, it won't work for me.
: Wait for the proper time, and have the other two try it. It might not work now, but I'm sure that you will all be able to use it at some point. Just keep trying.
: I understand. Thank you very much.
Ah, now we're talking. The Heaven Seals are the promotion items for our lords. They won't work for your main lord, as Eliwood demonstrated here, but they do for the other two. Our first one is here, the second after Chapter 26, and the main lord automatically promotes via cutscene power. I almost put it up to a vote, but I realized that was an incredibly stupid question: I already know what you people are going to pick.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Hector the invincible. He may not be worthy of that title right now, but he will be by the time this is all said and done. He also picks up swords, which is actually really good. He's got plenty of strength to make them hurt, and they're much more accurate.
Dart here is carrying a mine for a very particular reason. We'll just pop this baby down right in front of him.
Also, Pent and Louise. Pent hasn't changed from his desert show, and is appropriately amazing in combat. Louise not so much, but she has her uses.
Surprise, little buddy! Thought you were going to hit my beserker with your myrmidon?
Wait, what? No, that's not right. Get back to the chapter.
That's more like it. Wait...that's not right. I can't check any of my uni-
This is the mine glitch. Reset the game during the animation of a mine, and the game gets a little confused. Usually, if you quit the game or whatever, it'll automatically jump you to your last turn. For whatever reason, during the mine's explosion, and it'll give you control over all the enemies for the rest of the turn. Now, that doesn't seem that useful (and to be fair, it generally isn't), but there's something very special we can do here.
All those nice enchantments Vaida has? Those are all actually tied to her weapon, and not the actual unit. Now, IntSys isn't that dumb, I don't think I should need to explain why it's not droppable should you actually kill Vaida. However, there's a shaman very near her that has a droppable Luna tome. That's nice, but the "droppable" flag is on the unit, not the item. We can do anything we could do with our units with the enemies, so if we were to take that spear and, say, give it to a unit flagged to drop an item...
...like so, we can easily claim it for ourselves. Fortunately, it doesn't confer those bonuses unless the unit can actually equip the weapon, so this shaman here is a sitting duck.
And so our reign of terror truly begins.
Behold the berserker in his prime form. Crushing skulls never gets old.
On turn 3, Heath finally gets the first level of the chapter. Not really worth the wait.
Priscilla's not far behind him, with an equally exciting level.
Serra picks up her final level the next turn. About damn time.
A monk chooses to attack Pent. He chose poorly. Very poorly.
Heath pops in the village on turn 5.
: That's right. You're with them, right? I know that this isn't what I'm supposed to do but I'll not hand glory over to that newcomer, Vaida What? Oh, nothing I'm talking to myself. More importantly, I want to give you this. It's a hammerne staff. It repairs items. It can make most items like new again. Promise me you'll bring that wyvern-riding hag down. I'll be seeing you again, I'm sure. Hee hee
Wait, Ursula is one of the Four Fangs. Why is she helping us? Not going to look a gift horse in the mouth though, the Hammerne staff is incredibly useful. It only has 3 charges, but it's the only way to repair items in the game. The Mani Katti running low? Looking to get some more mileage out of the Wolf Beil? One cast and it's brand new again.
I swear there's only like two more of these's you'll ever have to see, and they're Lyn's and Eliwood's. Serra picks up light magic now, so she and Lucius can run around illuminating things to death.
Nomad troopers, much like heroes, have an absolutely bitchin' crit animation.
In the north, Hector eliminates a sage for a pretty good level. This gives us the map entirely to ourselves, with the exception of Vaida, who's currently sitting in the far corner without her enchantments unable to do shit. So it's time to head for the shops.
Oh, come on. I just finished killing everyone!
I hate getting criticals right before levels. Most of the time it means you've got a fairly mediocre level coming, or at the very least you just wasted a very low roll killing the dude instead of on a potential stat increase.
Pent pulls one too, but that could just as easily be his fucking terrible growths I suppose.
Shopping time. Here, we pick up 2 Killing Edges, 2 Killer Lances, and an axe and bow.
Good stuff here. A handful of Elfire tomes, a pair of Shine tomes, a few heal and mend staves. And, with that, we're done.
: Withdraw! Ground forces, pull back! And move quickly!
Sorry to break it to you, but there's no one left but you to pull back, bitch.
: Lord Eliwood!
: Ninian! Nils! Are you both well?
: What shall we do, Lord Eliwood? Nergal's power It's returning bit by bit.
: What do you mean?
: That woman you faced She was protected by Nergal's magic.
: Her strength It came from Nergal?
: Yes. It won't be long before he's active again with all his power restored.
: We must hurry and gain the power to oppose him!
: We have to recover the Fire Emblem. If we can do that
: Come on! The palace is in an uproar. This is our chance to slip away!
: Wait! I have an idea. Let's follow them.
: Leave it to me. I think I might be able to find the Black Fang fortress.
: The signs are fading, but I think I can track them if they keep this pace.
: Are you sure? Really?
: Remember, I'm from Sacae. Bern's foot soldiers are slow and clumsy And to a Sacaen, men are easier to track than rabbits.
: What do you want to do, Eliwood?
: Let's put our trust in Lyndis. If anyone can do this, she can.
: Are you serious?
: Over here, everyone!
Now we're getting somewhere. Next time: the Black Fang fortress.
Yes, Pent has growths that range from bad to atrocious in every single stat. His ludicrously high bases are more than sufficient to cover that though, and he's easily one of the best mages in the game, and by far the best prepromote. He's not perfect, in that he can't survive on those bases all the way to endgame, but unlike another mage we're going to be getting soon, he's set to murder from the word go and will easily do so. If Erk doesn't turn out, and you don't want to raise up our coming friend, then Pent is for you. And even if Erk did turn out well, Pent is still probably for you. He's that good.
Louise has better growths than her husband, but she's not nearly as useful. Her bases are much lower, and being a sniper means she's not nearly as versatile. She makes an acceptable substitute if Rebecca/Wil didn't turn out or never got raised, but there's probably someone else who can use bows as a secondary who is just as good, if not better. The sole point in her favor is that she and Pent do share an A-Support, and if one dies, they both go, so you can't even try and get rid of it that way if you were so inclined.
Zephiel/Guinivere official art.
If you visit a certain house on the map, we get a little backstory on Art of all people.
Do you know anyone named Art? You see, I once helped out a weary traveler who just so happened to be a brilliant tactician! Cared for the soldiers Won battle after battle with no casualties Ah, I wonder if we'll meet again
Also, Vaida's battle conversation.
: Ha ha Such a pleasant expression. That settles it. I'll start with you.