Part 47: Birds of a FeatherAlright, so here's how we're handling repeat chapters. Any new conversations will be shown and given context for where they pop up, but otherwise the story is getting skipped. Besides, you people are here for my suffering, not whatever small plot differences are there, right?
Your suffering amuses us.
Well, at least someone's amused by this, because god knows I'm not.
He moves towards Santaruz to meet up with Eliwood as quickly as possible. He encounters a mysterious group whose dark garb hide an even darker secret. Perhaps these same powers have turned their blades on Eliwood...Hector hurries south, praying for his friend's safety.
: He entered Santaruz not far from here.
: Is that so? We've read his movements fairly well, then. Let's move due south and cross the border. We'll meet up with him in Santaruz!
: Oh, no...
: Serra? W-What...What are you doing here?
: You're going to meet Lord Eliwood, right? Well, I want to go, too!
: Go home! This is no game.
: But Oswin told me it was all right to come!
: Serra and I will be accompanying you.
: Bah. This is ridiculous. Always have to have the last word, eh, Brother?
: No matter what you think, he's just worried about you, Lord Hector. You're the only family he has.
: I know...
: Where? Is it Eliwood? Come! Let's get closer! Hurry! Oswin! Matthew!
: Yes, my lord!
: Oh! Wait for me! I'm coming, too!
And from there we jump into the "Sounds like a convenient excuse for more violence" conversation and the start of the chapter.
First major change is that Matthew and Serra now join us here, rather than next chapter. Secondly holy fuck look at all those peg knights. There's only 3 or 4 of them on HNM, but HHM feels that 7 or 8 is more appropriate.
And the irony is that it's so difficult to get to them with your archer here. Someone at IS probably finds this really funny.
Eliwood and Co. still start in the southwest corner, but without the benefit of their own chapter, the entire crew is very fragile. Eliwood and Rebecca are still Lv 1, Lowen and Bartre are Lv 2, Dorcas comes from Lyn's Story, and Marcus is probably the only really useful one there. Thankfully, most of the enemies are content to go after Hector's crew, but there's still a fairly bumpy road ahead of Eliwood.
This of course means that, if you gave Dorcas a few levels, he can be pretty OK here. You may or may not consider this to be worth the while.
It's very worthwhile, but I think Dorcas got like 2 levels in Lyn's story so yeah.
And Zagan is just chilling out here before he heads starts heading toward Eliwood.
Zagan has an extra 4 HP, 2 Str and Skl, and 1 Spd, Def, and Res from HHM bonuses. Could be worse, I've seen him with even higher strength and HP. His Steel Axe is inaccurate and kills his avoid and AS, so he's still pretty manageable.
This early in the game, one point of AS is a pretty big deal, especially if you only have 7 to begin with.
The Pegs are annoying as hell for their movement, but they're still quite fragile. Hector can pretty much one-shot every one of them.
Weapon triangle really works in your favour here. It brings the pegasus knights' hit down to ~60 apiece, so even if all of them swarm Hector, enough of them will miss that he won't get in trouble. And then they'll all get hurt in response.
And here I have made a mistake that is going to haunt me for 90% of the chapter. Serra is just in the range of that brigand.
Sadly I cannot think of a suitably funny portmanteau of "Artix" and a word implying tactical fuckup off the top of my head right now.
Well, when you do I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunities to put it to use. I'm not terrible, but I'm pretty sure I've made at least one bone-headed tactical decision in damn near every chapter. Whether I show it to you or not is a different story.
Marcus gets the Secret Book, while Lowen and Bartre set up the front lines for Eliwood's group.
Oh god, here we go.
Let's play "Spot the way to keep Serra safe." Hope and pray? Sounds good to me. There's sure as hell no way Matthew is going to killing the brigand in a single turn on his own.
The top right-most square looks like a viable safe spot for at least one turn - if you use Matthew and Oswin to block the brigand from walking up there next turn. It's possible Matthew and Oswin could kill the guy this turn, but not a bet worth taking. The real problem is, of course, the motherfucking pegasus knights.
Annoyingly, the pegs will head for a fortress if they need healed up, which generally only takes one combat round, so it's in your best interest to finish them off while you can.
It's possible to plan around this - if a pegasus knight is going to spend two or three turns sitting in a fortress, then they're out of your hair for that time. It's an option you have, in any case.
Matthew makes a valiant effort and knocks off about half of the brigand's HP. He can kill them off next turn at least.
Oh god, Bartre, stop getting hit by things. You have no defense.
Well, technically he has four defense, but, yeah.
I have absolutely no idea where this peg is going. Serra was in her range, and I assumed that's where she would have gone, but she has only 3 HP so maybe healing gets priority? Except she didn't go anywhere near a fortress, and is instead going toward the armory?
This goes against everything we know about Fire Emblem AI. There's no way the AI should've passed that up.
To be fair, this was after Serra had used the vulnerary, so she had 14 HP at this point. Had she acted after the brigand, I'm sure she would have flown in for the kill.
Bullet #1 dodged.
Damn.. Shouldn't that've been like 70% hit or something?
Sounds about right. Possibly higher, Bartre has all of 3 speed and 4 or 5 luck, so he's got a massive 11 or so avoid, and the Brigands generally are pushing somewhere between 80 and 90 hit.
FFFFFFF-- She's even on a forest tile!
Karma for Bartre.
Let's play "Save Serra, Turn 2."
This one's tougher. There's literally no other option than just keeping Serra on a forest tile and hoping she can dodge until Matthew and Oswin clean up. And you're still not dealing with the worlds most favourable odds there.
Oh goddammit, this is not the time, Hector!
Well, I'll take this outcome. The pegs retreat, and Zagan is on the move.
Augh, everyone is about to die!
Hector Hard Mode, ladies and gents.
Bullet #2 dodged.
~50% hit, if you're curious.
Well that only took her entire set of starting vulneraries to get out of. Strategy!
There is no such thing as Too Awesome To Use in HHM. Unless you're seriously playing for max Funds rating, but why the shit would you be doing that?
I'd say schadenfreude, but that's just playing HHM in general. Maybe a extra special brand of masochism.
And then Hector gets a shitty level. Of course. The game has no problem throwing small miracles at me in terms of people staying alive, but good levels? No, fuck that.
Silly AI pegs, you're not safe on those ledges.
That mechanic isn't introduced for another 3 games!
And sure, take the place of your friend. It's totally safe.
Bartre! Dammit, I actually need you to turn out!
If you've not trained Dorcas (thus putting him at an advantage), you're statistically better off training Bartre. Of course, if the game decides you're getting RNG screwed, then that's that.
At any rate, that leaves us and Zagan. He and Eliwood go at it for a few turns in the woods, where Eliwood puts up a steady 5 damage a turn, and Zagan continually misses thanks to his 22% hit chance.
After picking a sword for Eliwood, and axe for Hector, and a spare Iron Axe and Lance, we've already exhausted about 60% of the gold from that Red Gem.
If you missed that gem, then enjoy wasting all your Rapier/Wolf Beil uses. Sucker.
Oh, dammit. At least Marcus is right there to rescue Bartre.
Not a terrible level by any means, but not exactly what we're looking for in Hard mode.
And with his 1 HP, he abandons Eliwood to go after...Matthew?
it's in bold tags
And from there we conclude as normal. Hector and Eliwood get together and decide to go see Marquess Santaruz.
Resets this chapter: 0
Total resets: 1
I'm still not entirely sure how that happened, but I'm not complaining.
It's a moral reset.