Part 40: Victory or Death
His destination is the Dread Isle. An enemy waits there, one who must be defeated. Nergal surrounds himself with his morphs and waits for Eliwood's arrival. The final battle draws near
: Fargus, I can never thank you enough.
: No need to worry about that. Are you sure you don't need our help from here? Fargus's pirate crew makes women smile and villains revile! We could be helpful.
: Thank you for your concern, but from here, we go alone.
: We don't have any idea what will happen. We'd like you to deliver a message, if you would.
: Even if we successfully defeat Nergal, there's no saying if we'll survive the battle.
: We might If we don't return. I apologize for the inconvenience, but
: I'll worry about that when the time comes. Don't worry.
: Thank you. And also about Nils.
: I know. I'll take responsibility for him.
: We're going to shatter Nergal's ambitions and bring him down! You wait here and rest until we get back, OK?
: Nils I don't think you'll forgive me no matter how I apologize, but just hear me out. Our power is no match for Nergal. Even so, we can't give up. I have to fulfill Ninian's wish, too. I will never, ever flee from that duty.
: So I want you to face reality as well. It doesn't have to be now When you're past the pain. When you've recovered I'm sure that's what Ninian would want, too.
: OK, Fargus. We're going.
: Hey! Don't mess this up, pups!
: Yeah? What is it, Captain?
: Isn't there something you want to tell me?
: All right! Fine! Get going!
: What? What is it?
: Don't come back dead.
: Heh heh is that it? Of course I'm not going to die!
: You saved my life five years back. If I went and lost it now, you'd have my hide for a rug! I'll do whatever it takes to get back alive!
: Aye, is that so? Then get going! You'd better watch after those whelps, too!
: Aye-aye, Captain!
: Uh-oh! I forgot. I was supposed to give 'em something important!
: It's something that'll come in real handy in battle. Can't believe I forgot. Nothing to be done but send someone after them
: I'll go.
: Oh? Are you sure you want to do it?
: I am.
: That's a relief. Live and return, whelp
: Go, Limstella. Bring their essences to me.
: I have given you magic stronger than any seen on the continent. Through this magic, you have gained much power. Perfect strength and perfect beauty. You are my masterpiece, Limstella.
: Your flesh cannot endure the power of this sorcery. Before tomorrow, your entire body will be corrupted. But this is what you desire, yes? The chance to die for me?
: As you wish.
So, she can't handle the magic Nergal gave her? Or she won't survive the Dragon-summoning? Because the former would be a little embarrassing. "Oh yeah, well here's my best, most perfect morph with the strongest magic ever and- What? What do you mean 'We had to put her down, she was completely corrupted?'"
: We got here without much trouble. Wonder when Graybeard will show up? What do you want to do? Wait?
: Let me think
???: Lord Eliwood! Look out! Move!
: I did. I can't run away any longer. I'll take Ninian's place. I have to do her part. No, I have to do Ninian's part and mine! I'll fight with you, and we'll change the course of fate!
: Well spoken! Now you sound like a man!
: Nils! Glad to see you.
: Sorry for worrying you. I'm fine now! And now Stop skulking and come out! I know you're there.
: Hm? What?
: Ah! Who?
: Limstella The one who's always at Nergal's side.
: Ebony hair gold pupils You're a morph, aren't you?
: I've come for your quintessence. Come out, my humble servants
Ah, the old "Let's just have everyone magically appear" approach. A classic.
: We'll have to fight our way through!
: No matter how many there are, we cannot retreat!
: He hasn't called any dragons yet. If we go now, we might still have time to stop him!
: Let's go, Art! It's the final battle!
Victory or Death, the final opportunity to get your units in fighting condition. For being the penultimate chapter however, it's not particularly difficult. First, we have some items to distribute.
To Eliwood goes a Dragonshield and Body Ring.
Hector, the boots.
Lyn, a Dragonshield.
Lowen, Energy Ring.
Serra, an Angelic Robe and Goddess Icon.
Erk, Goddess Icon.
Priscilla, Speedwings and Robe.
Dart, Talisman and Secret Book.
On the map, we're splitting into three groups.
To the east, Lyn, Rath, Dart, Rebecca, and Priscilla. A few knights, a few warriors, and Nomad Troopers will be coming from those southeast fortresses.
The north will be taken by Hector, Oswin, Jaffar, Erk, and Serra. Heroes, a Bishop, and Falcoknights come in by the ruins.
And the center route is left to Eliwood, Lowen, Lucius, Harken, and Vaida. Another bishop, a swordmaster, and cavaliers and paladins to deal with here.
And all the way in the northeast corner is Limstella. There's a secret shop where the cursor is, should that tickle your fancy.
Limstella is essentially a slightly slower, but otherwise "bigger numbers" version of Sonia. Surprisingly, she does not have a Bolting tome to be an annoying bitch with, but her sheer defenses and HP make up for that shortcoming. That Fimbulvetr tome hurts, and she'll make ample use of it due to how damn hard it is to put her down.
Let's get started.
: This is an Earth seal! Where did you get this?
: Fargus told me to give it to you.
: I'm grateful. This should help us out in battle!
Useful in battle my ass. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for using unpromoted units at this point in the game.
Hot damn Eliwood, don't be in such a hurry to show everyone up now.
Much like Cog of Destiny, Victory or Death has plenty of arbitrary lines to cross, and doing so spawns reinforcements. Vaida caused these poor warriors and brigands to come in near Hector.
This guy is using a Wo Dao, which is a sword unique to Swordmasters and Lyn. Much lighter than a Killing Edge with a higher critical rate, though it's just slightly weaker. Of course, this means nothing when he can't hurt our units at all.
Silly morph, you can't hit Merlinus with normal weapons, why do you think Bolting is going to work?
Eliwood moves north and kills the swordmaster, which triggers the cavaliers/paladin. Honestly, it's a waste considering that they don't spawn in every few turns, just when you cross the line.
Not going to argue with defense on Prissy, but...
Turns out I lied, Rebecca's speed cap is 29. Very good level though.
Why does this morph have a Devil Axe? Why would anyone use a Devil Axe, except like, maybe Serra? Also note, even with how ridiculously strong the Devil Axe, and even with it being a warrior, he still has straight zeroes against Hector.
A perfect level. Never stop you crazy motherfucker (that's skill capped now).
And then the ballista-sniper is killed off as well. Two points away from his strength cap, one away from speed.
Nomad troopers in the southeast corner. Not that they're going to accomplish much.
Wyverns hit Eliwood while he has a Javelin equipped so he can't get the kill. He can still get an alright level though.
This is not funny guys, this is the penultimate chapter. There are no more chances to get better levels.
Eclipse assholes! What would a chapter be without them?
Rath also picks up Swords-D, for all the good Steel swords are going to do at this point.
I think I want my luck back guys. Guys?
Cleaning out the center causes these guys to spawn in.
Purge assholes too? Why, it's not even my birthday.
Someone in the thread asked why Lowen was still being used because of his really low stats. Here's why. Dude can fucking tank, and he just keeps getting better at it.
Vaida pops into the middle village.
: What's this?
The final dance for Ninian/Nils, Set's Litany raises your avoid. Much like Thor's Ire, not particularly useful.
Uh, the hell? Where did the anime come from?
: Whoa! Wh-Who are you? Where did you come from?
: Who are you?
: You're...not...the...Archsage...are you? Um...I...I'm sorry for...my mistake.
: Hey, wait a minute! Who are--
: I'm from...Arcadia... I wanted to speak to...the Archsage...um...but he's not here...is he?
: No, the old man's gone.
: I see...Um...do you need this? It is...a talisman. We want...you all...to do your best. For the future...please don't lose... If the light is strong enough...it can dispel darkness...
: She's gone? What in the world was that about?
Hell if I know, Dart. Hell if I know.
Just because you killed the hero very stylishly, doesn't mean you get a free pass on levels young man.
Two can play this game, friend.
Hector stops in the north village.
: I thought I could escape battle here on the Dread Isle. No I'm not interested in why you're fighting. I am only looking for tranquility. If helping you will bring it to me, then I will lend you my power. Not that I will be that much help
Wow, the game is still throwing units at us. And this one is a joke. Renault's best factor is that he comes with a free Fortify staff (which heals all units within [Mag/2] tiles for [Mag+10] HP). Far, far more useful than this asshole himself, who has the audacity to show up at level 16 on the second-to-last chapter of the game with an amazing 12 magic.
Lyn takes potshots at a general. It'll do.
And Lucius gets this for killing the Eclipse asshole. Well, that and a Nosferatu tome but no one cares about that.
Vaida's levels brought to you by "What, you wanted good levels? Don't use a fucking prepromote." More defense, I suppose.
Of course, Rath is all too eager to demonstrate the opposite statement for us.
And here we go. Victory or Death takes a different approach to reinforcements than Cog of Destiny did. You get about 10 turns to get as far as you can, and then on almost every single turn afterwards, a set of reinforcements comes in from somewhere behind you. It might be here, it might be on the other side of the map, but they'll come in somewhere. It's quite worth sitting it out and just letting them come and die for the experience, but they don't stop until turn 35.
Hector picks up yet another capped stat for killing another ballista sniper.
What a beautiful screen.
Even Eliwood is getting into the act. See, we can deal with that.
It's such a wierd disconnect when you kill everyone on a map that supposed to be a big, final battle. "I...huh, well I guess we can wait around a bit for you to get some more troops in? This is kind of embarrassing, actually."
There we go.
Bandit-slaying gets Oswin...this. Well, it's typical for this Oswin at least.
Serra is probably in better shape than Lucius now. Magic is very similar, speed is probably a little bit higher, and she has a shitton more luck.
Lucius is not so quick to be upstaged though, and decides to take on wyvern-slaying as a hobby.
Lyn fares slightly better.
Defense out of nowhere on Serra. Not going to complain at all. Also, Light-B. A shame she won't be able to get up to A and pretty much entirely replace Lucius.
...Well alright then Erk.
Never stop, Serra.
You're falling behind, Lucius. The only real advantage he'll have on Serra at this rate is that he'll be able to use the S-rank Light tome.
Let's get started on Limstella. This is Rebecca's usual longbow bullshit, and she's just able to put up a single point of damage. Limstella is fucking hard as hell to hurt.
: All for the sake of my master.
Let it be known that morphs not having luck does hilarious, hilarious things for units like Berserkers who go for criticals. But this is not Dart's fight.
Not as impressive as Dart's numbers, but still quite dangerous. Let's do it.
Oh, come on.
: This body and this heart are constructs. Yes, as is this sorrow.
About damn time, Vaida. Now let's get out of here.
: I thought it was going to go on forever Phew
: It's not finished yet. Nergal is waiting at the Dragon's Gate!
: Nergal. He must pay!
: Before we go to the Dragon's Gate Nils, if you don't mind, would you share your story with us?
: I won't force you to if you don't want to.
: I want you all to know about me and Ninian.
: A millennium ago Man chased dragonkind from the land, exiled us. We had no place to go not on this world. So we used the Dragon's Gate to flee into another world. When we passed through this chasm in space and time, many of us were lost. Still, we endured the journey. We found humans there, too, but they were few in number. We had a few skirmishes, but at last, we found a home.
: We were stable there, happy, even. But some thought back on our former home, and when we did, his voice reached out to us. Ninian was a medium in the other world, an oracle of sorts. She sat at the Dragon Shrine. She held much power. We were in prayer at the shrine when it happened We heard a voice calling to us from the Dragon's Gate. It was the voice of an old friend We knew we weren't supposed to open the gate and return to this world. We had no idea that the owner of that voice was Nergal
: But something unexpected happened. When we opened the Dragon's Gate and traveled here again, we had lost almost all of our strength The quintessence left within us was less even than that of an average human. In order to sustain ourselves, in order to breathe the air of this world, we took human form. We placed our energies within a dragonstone. But our dragonstone was taken stolen. Nergal hoped to use it as a tool to summon other dragons. Until we escaped. We couldn't let our foolishness condemn our friends.
: Disguised as a dancer and a bard, we fled and wandered from country to country. That's when we first met Lady Lyndis, one year ago.
: That whole time Nergal was after you? Why didn't you tell me?
: You were so good to us. We didn't want to cause you any trouble. After we left Lyn at Caelin, we were captured again
: We decided that the only way to escape was to cut short our own lives. That was when we met Lord Elbert. He was so strong, so kind He knew what we were and what we had done, and he never once condemned us. On the contrary, he tried to set us at ease with stories Stories of his family, of his homeland. Ninian and I We listened to his stories, and we grew to love his gentle wife and his son. Premonition No, that is too strong a word, but we felt his son would be the one to save us. That's what we felt.
: I believe in you. Even though Ninian's gone, I will continue to protect you. I have to. That That's Ninian's wish. It's our wish. Let's stop Nergal! You're the only one who can do it
: Let's do it! Eliwood!
: He's right! It's too early to give up! I mean, we're still here! We're still alive!
: Everyone You're right. My friends are here with me! There's no power on this earth stronger than that! Let's go! The Dragon's Gate awaits! That's where we'll shatter Nergal's ambitions!
Renaud is the European name for Renault. No idea why they made that change, but they did a lot of small things like that (Laus -> Lahus? Did that really warrant a change for Europe?)
Renault is actually a fairly solid unit with decent enough growths should Serra and Lucius both be completely screwed...ahaha, I can't even type that with a straight face. Renault is trash. His growths are the usual middling fare for prepromotes and though he does have fairly impressive bases, his magic is so low he's literally unusable. Even if he were to get raised up to level 20, you'd be looking at an absolute max of 16 magic. As a L20 bishop. Don't even think about using him - if Serra and Lucius both that screwed, just go without.