Part 58: A Glimpse in Time
Now, at long last, they've finally reached the Dragon's Gate. Hector gains a brief respite before the decisive battle. Shortly thereafter, he noticed something
There! Her pale figure vanishes into the dark woods, her gait is unsteady, as though she were possessed. Hector quickly gives chase.
: You hide and wait here. There's food and water in this pack. If you ration yourselves, it should last about ten days.
: What about you, Daddy? Are you going away?
: Daddy has to go to Aenir*. I'm going to get Mommy.
: Mommy? Where is she?
: Some bad men took her away. They can't have gone very far, though. I have to go after them and save Mommy. You wait ten days If Daddy's not back by then, take your brother and go to the other side. You're a clever girl. You know the way, right?
: Daddy Don't go
: You're good children. Both of you. I'll come for you. I'll be back '
*Aenir is supposed to be a person, not a place; presumably the same person "Mommy" refers to.
: Ninian? Why are you running? Is there something here?
: This place I feel as if I know it. It's very familiar.
: Lyndis! Is Ninian well? What is it?
: I'm not sure. But she said she knows this place. Could it have something to do with her amnesia?
: Why would she be familiar with anything on the Dread Isle?
: It's a very old building. It must have been abandoned for centuries
: What about the Dragon's Gate? We're way off course now.
: Ooh! You're so insensitive! This might restore Ninian's memory! Try and be a little patient!
: Listen, aren't we in a bit of a hurry here? While we're wasting time, your father could be--
: It's OK, Hector. Let's see what happens.
: He's too nice for his own good. You agree with me, right Art? Hm?
Well, who do we have here? And why is the game not even bothering to hide that he's an enemy, especially when he's here to make small chat?
: You Do you live here?
: No, I'm a simple traveler. I was walking in the woods and became tired. I was resting here. This building It's been empty for a long time.
: Really? I think we'll take a rest here as well. Is that all right?
: Yes, of course.
: What is this place?
: It's a ruin from the Scouring The residence of a dark sorcerer. I've found several ancient tomes here. Fascinating stuff, really. If I can unlock their secrets, I can move closer to the darkness. From what I've gathered so far, I must make further reparations.
: If you covet the dark, you must enter it of your own free will. You must erase yourself and become an empty vessel. Only then will you be able to receive the dark and master it. If your disposition is weak, the dark will overwhelm you. You will be lost Ofttimes, you will forget why you seek the power to begin with. Only a few people ever gain true power. To win such a prize, one's self is a small and insignificant sacrifice.
: I've heard rumors Bramimond, one of the eight legends, devoted himself entirely to the dark. All emotion, all memory dissolved in a river of dark. That is how he received the power to best dragons.
: I don't understand. Why would anyone want power at the cost of his own identity?
: "I must have it at any cost." I believe every living soul has felt such desire. I know I have. Have you not, Lord Eliwood of Pherae?
: You It was you!?
: Uhai and Aion's deaths were convenient Your exhaustion is even more convenient I, Teodor, lay claim to the deed of killing the young noble of Pherae. When I'm done, I will examine this building's treasures at my leisure.
: Black fog? I can't see anything!
: Blast! Those used to this ink will have an advantage
: Ninian! She's gone! Do you think they took Ninian?
: Let's go, Hector!
: All right! That scum No Black Fang must be allowed to live!
I...what...Ninian is right behind you! God, the least the game could do is be consistent with what it showed us five seconds ago.
So, A Glimpse in Time. The bullshit sidequest to end all other bullshit sidequests. To even get here requires you to raise Nils to level 7 in Lyn's Story (something that is not noted anywhere in the game), and then kill Kishuna in a single turn in Prisoner of Magic (which was already a huge pain in the ass and got you nothing in Eliwood's Story). And then you see what you have to do here.
And to top everything off, pretty much the last thing you hear before the mission starts is a desperate attempt to justify how blatantly IS's AI cheats at fog of war.
First, it's fog of war, which is always a good way to start a map.
Second, you have chests here in the in southeast and northwest and this map is crawling with thieves (Six. Six goddamned thieves on this very small map).
Our objective is the throne. Kent, Canas, and Matthew are going to head for the southeast chests, and everyone will work their way north and east.
As you can see, they do not skimp on the thieving bastards. If you have anything remotely valuable (Stat-ups, Silver Card, etc), now's the time to dump it with Merlinus.
This is because these are not garden-variety thieves. These fuckers have maxed speed, and have no purpose aside from stealing your shit. If Matthew's been seeing fairly heavy use, he might be fast enough to steal back. If you're lucky.
On average, Matthew will cap speed at Lv 15... but of course it's somewhat of a tall order to train thieves, especially in hard mode.
Now, here's the dirty little secret of this chapter. All of these super thieves? Not one of them has a set of lockpicks, and only one of them has a chest key. Only one of the six thieves has a set of lockpicks, and he's significantly lower level with only 14 speed. These guys are all set up to have you panic to try and beat them to the treasure, and as soon as you get it, they steal it from you and take it to the grave.
What you want to do is let the slow guy get his shinies and then take them from him (since the AI units never trade items). And preferably have murdered the others first so they can't just steal it back for good.
Of course, there's a problem with that too, as we'll see shortly.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Oh, I'm sorry, were you under the impression that we were done summarizing the bullshit?
Hiding just in the center area is a troubadour with a Sleep staff, because at this point you have so many units with good resistance, right?
And in the southeast corner, there's one with a Physic and Silence staff. Suffice to say that bad things can happen very quickly in this chapter.
Now these are odds I can get behind. (He crits and kills the thief)
C'mon, Canas, I have too much rep staked on you...
A very luck crit here.
Did I mention that the one thief with lockpicks is close enough to the SE chests to start pilfering on turn 2? Because he is. (Also, I'm pretty sure that's finally the last of the bullshit in this chapter)
The troubadour tries her luck on Erk this time, but thankfully misses.
See, he's doing it wrong. You're supposed to steal the weapon first, because Matthew can just steal the Dragonshield and then we murder him for the Eclipse tome.
Item-stealing-priorities is one of the few areas in which the AI is not expertly programed around the primary objective of annoying the player. One of the truly amazing things about the AI is how malicious it is despite how lazy it is sometimes.
Ballista assholes. He was mostly harmless this time, but...
You're supposed to be the speedy mage here Erk, even Canas dodged his first one.
First item recovered.
Kent continues to have promise after his speed windfall in Lyn mode. He's a tad behind in strength, but still ahead in skill and speed, and blessed to shit with defence (and to a lesser extent, resistance). Defence is a pretty great thing to be blessed with.
I seem to recall stating something about Matthew earlier that takes on some sort of significance now...
Yeah, something about him supposed to have maxed speed by now? This isn't too bad, if you ignore that Legault is going to come in with better or equal stats in pretty much everything at a lower level.
Erk, you're not exactly on solid ground for keeping a spot on the team. This doesn't help your case.
And five turns later, when most of the fighting is already done, Guy decides to rejoin us.
Given how he's turned out, I think Guy deserves a nap every now and then.
He can take his naps when he's not in combat. If he's on the battlefield, it's because I want him to kill things, not snooze.
: You will die now.
Huh, so Theo here has Eclipse. Now if only it could actually hit anything.
And then we're treated to wyverns already. These are pegs in HNM.
And there's more asshole thieves waiting for us by the last chest.
Remember, these ones can't actually open the said chest. Also, they'll stay put until you enter their range, so they don't factor in to the start-of-mission panic.
And there's Theo.
2 HP, 3 Mag, 1 Skl, 1 Spd, 1 Def, 2 Res. Theo is extra annoying given his ridiculous magic stat combined with Nosferatu. Even with a unit as dodgy as Guy, there's still about a 65% chance he's going to drain 25 HP off of you and negate all the damage you've done to him. If you can get to him before he runs out of Eclipse charges, you can wail on him while his AS is shit and do a decent amount of damage before he switches over to Nosferatu.
I'm impressed. Eclipse actually hit something, and when Erk was on a pillar no less.
Of course, the pillar was cancelled out by the Magic Triangle Disadvantage, but still, yeah. Erk. Not so great.
No, seriously, look at these fucking hit odds.
To deal with these assholes, I have Matthew pop the door open and Erk take his lockpicks. Matthew has nothing to steal, so they just stand around doing nothing.
The only real way to deal with Theo is to have someone wait next to him, let the Nosferatu go off when he's still at full health, and return fire that way. Of course, it then becomes "Who can finish him off in a single blow" so he doesn't get all that health back from the counterattack. Our problem is that no one in the throne room right now can do that.
He misses, but Kent can't finish the job.
Lucky son of a bitch. Guy had a 93% chance of hitting here. Thankfully, Guy dodges the counter and kills him on the second attack.
: If I had more power
Eh, alright. He's in such good shape with basically everything it's fine to get a couple dud levels for now.
Maxed speed for Raven.
And last chest. We're done here.
: Eliwood? How about over there?
: Fine. But where is Ninian? Has anyone seen her?
:I found her! She's inside.
: Hm? Why isn't she with you?
: There's a library filled with ancient books inside. She's been in there, staring at a picture. I can't get her to move.
: What kind of picture?
: A picture of a dragon and a human.
: From the Scouring? We've got a lot of those in Castle Ostia.
: No, it's not a picture of the actual fighting. It shows a single human and a single dragon. It's a very eerie picture.
: It must have belonged to the dark sorcerer who used to live here.
: I wonder what kind of person that magic user was
: Ninian! Are you ready?
: Yes, um I'm sorry for the trouble
: Well? Did you remember something?
: There's No, nothing. I'm sorry
: Don't push yourself. You'll remember soon enough.
: That's right! Cheer up!
: Let's get moving! We've been fighting since we got here. If we make it to the Dragon's Gate, we win. We've got to rescue your father!
: What is this place? I was supposed to be at the Dragon's Gate. Why am I here? Ah Now I remember. I was here a long, long time ago During the Scouring I studied dark magic here. This I left something here. Something valuable Urrgg My head The pain Bah. It must not be worth much if I never bothered returning for it. I have power now. Nothing else matters. I will open the Dragon's Gate and get even more power The power to defeat anyone. Power
Post-revelation-foreshadowing! That's... something, I guess. It really worth hiding inside a second playthrough AND behind arbitrary bullshit requirements? Probably not. Neat mission though.
Oh god no, of course it's not worth it. I can understand hiding it until the second playthrough, and I can maybe see keeping it where you had to kill Kishuna to get here, but the Nils bullshit on top of all that pushes over the line.
Resets this chapter: 1
Total Resets: 18