Part 53: Whereabouts Unknown
Another one with nothing new.
At least it's far more interesting than Noble Lady of Caelin was. A few points in no particular order: first, there are a lot more archers and nomads, so Florina has gone from "Not a particularly good choice, but usable" to "Don't even fucking bother." Second, Marcus has finally been sent to the bench, and Kent and Lowen take the stage this time. And finally, don't bother with the closest chests yet. They'll be sitting there safely when you're done in the north, and if you want the northern treasures, you're going to have to haul ass.
Lots and lots of archers.
Bernard is still a joke. 4 HP, 1 Str, 1 Skl, 1 Def, 2 Res. He also has an axe and a lance, and we just so happen to have weapons that are effective against knights and have a weapon triangle advantage. And despite his HHM bonuses and being a promoted unit, he has less speed than Bauker (even before Bauker's HHM bonuses).
I say the real boss is the thief.
Raven has an extra 3 HP, 2 Str, 2 Skl, 1 Spd, 1 Def, 1 Res. Not a terrible haul by any means, but his "expected" HHM stats have an extra point of HP and Spd. If Eliwood's story was anything to go by, Speed will not be a problem at all. That 55% Str growth doing jack shit we might have more of a problem with. Maybe he'll pull a Guy and end up ahead in literally everything except one useless stat.
Somehow I can see Raven turning out a bit better this time round. Mostly because of the bonus; even if his strength gets less than the expected number of growths, that bonus is still pretty handy.
Erk, go forth and...I dunno, be useful or something. You couldn't even kill that knight with your Thunder tome.
Well...it wasn't an empty level.
Hector shows everyone how this "leveling" thing is done.
I get the feeling Hector's gonna be OK.
Raven busts out as usual in the first turn.
But once you get into the first hallway, he'll start coming to you. Quite convenient, since you no longer have to send Priscilla off out of the way to recruit him.
Kent gets an alright level, I guess.
And... here... we... go.
This is reason number one you have to haul ass on this chapter. He appears on turn 4, and will take the Silver Sword on turn 6, and the Knight's Crest on turn 7. This specific order is the reason he's such a little bitch; once he takes a second treasure, it becomes his droppable one, and should you steal it, nothing changes. Essentially, if you don't kill him before he gets the Knight's Crest, you will lose the Silver Sword. It sucks, but there's nothing you can really do about it (Practically, of course you can send Marcus and some support up and murder everyone, and probably kill him in time).
And as you can see, we're clearly in an excellent position to stop him. I don't. Not even close. Kent reaches the door to block him in the turn immediately after he swipes the Knight's Crest.
Also, right about here:
Lost the second recording. Too many nomads, not enough Lowen being awesome.
I don't know if the AI has routines that establish whether multiple units can kill one of your guys, but it sure feels like it does sometimes.
And then the game dumps another thief on turn 5. This one is...well, you'll see.
Raven lines up right where we want him. Priscilla swings by to have a chat with her brother.
Thanks Eliwood. Definitely the makings of a legendary hero here.
We're all lined up at the south as well. Guarding Merlinus is a 3-man job when you've got an onslaught of nomads and cavs to deal with. Okay, it's really not, and Oswin could probably do it by himself no problem, but Kent and Hector were the vanguard here, and Lowen and Bartre have to get experience somehow.
Don't like where this is going. Not. One. Bit.
...And then the other thief just runs right off the map, having accomplished exactly nothing. What's the point?
Maybe he was just checking in on the fight? I dunno. Possibly he might do something depending on what happens to the first thief?
And here come the neutral guys. Fortunately, no one goes anywhere on their first turn.
Following closely behind are the backup cavs.
Son of a bitch. There goes the Silver Sword. Fortunately, Kent is about to block his ass in that room.
And don't anyone get any ideas about Matthew stealing it back, either. The Silver Sword is too heavy for him to steal. There is literally no way to get it back.
You're still in Radiant Dawn thinking there. Weapons and Staves straight up can't be stolen in the GBA games.
...Dare I ask the odds, Fedule?
Exactly one speed growth in 9 levels = about 0.7%.
How is it that so far I've had 3 occurrences of shit that has less than a percent chance of happening? And never good things either, it's important things like "Guy gets no strength, Lyn gets no defense, Bartre gets no speed."
These archers got Erk in trouble on recording #1. And then my flash drive ate my screenshot of it. Oh well, nothing really lost.
This is why I suspect the AI of being able to tell when it can gang up on a friendly unit. There's no way the archers would've gone after Erk normally - he can counter and kill them, what with their low speed and nonexistent res. The AI must somehow have known that it could potentially kill Erk with enough suicidal archers. Either that, or it decided that the damage each archer could do to Erk was worth compromising its normal values (ie, prioritizing units who can't counter), and the following archers would detect an OHKO possibility. Goddamn Fire Emblem AI.
Matthew can't kill the fucker, so might as well wring some extra experience out of him this way.
Maybe we can just hit people over the head with Knight's Crests and pretend it's a sword . Although it's probably best not to try that with Knights and Cavaliers... that could backfire.
And now we begin the wholesale slaughter of these
Hey, Raven, how about that fucking strength growth?!
Well, two people yelling about growths going wrong can't possibly make it worse at least.
Guy contributes to Archergeddon and caps speed. A disappointing level compared to his recent few, but a capped stat is a capped stat.
Even Kent helps out a little.
Erk, you're going to be benched for "Previously known as Guy Syndrome" for these kinds of levels. Enemies actually start getting some resistance in HHM, so you can't coast nearly as much on low magic power.
[obligatory "at least he got speed"]
Bartre has a stunning display of competence and hits two nomads plus this guy, all of whom were capable of doubling him, but had their attacks cut short by having a hand axe implanted in their skull.
All three soldiers rescued as well. The joy of another Red Gem is in our future.
Always a joy.
Ah, treasure. The other one has a Hero crest, also a screenshot that my flash drive ate.
Maintenance healing, good level, yeah yeah...
Bernard's incredibly low speed (Fucking three!) means that even the least RNG-blessed of our units can double him, as Eliwood is demonstrating. In fact, Bernard really likes Eliwood.
Hector helps a bit here, landing one of two hand axe shots. Bartre missed with his one (Seriously, literally the only unit in the entire company that can't double Bernard).
[another obligatory "at least he got speed] Well, actually, speed is kinda worth a hell of a lot for Hector at this point, so...
He promptly turns around and attacks Eliwood again. I'd think Bartre would be a better target, but Eliwood probably comes out as a better target because the Steel Axe's theoretical damage output on him is higher than Bartre's against the javelin, despite Eliwood's higher defenses (and the fact that he's on the pillar for even more defense).
A mediocre showing, but he can hurt things a little bit better.
Oh yeah, at some point in all that we got Lucius too.
We chat with Leila, raid the castle treasury, and it's time to head for Badon.
Ahaha...Oh god...The Port of Badon...
Gotta love not being the one in the driver's seat.
Resets this chapter: 2
Total Resets: 5