Part 60: New Resolve
So while Eliwood and Ninian are having their little chat about what happened, let's check in on Hector, Lyn, and Nils.
: Shouldn't you go with him?
: Mmm... Thought about it, but... There was someone else who looked ready to start crying, too.
: Hey! Ninian's gone! Where'd she go? I'll go and look...
: Hold on! Your sister's been through a lot, too. Let her be for a while.
: I don't need you to tell me what she's been through!
And then they chat about Nergal, Eliwood rejoins us, and we start the chapter.
8 units, down from 10. Bring all the axes (and lancereavers, if you have them), bows, and magic you can. This is wyvern country.
There are a few monks hiding behind us, but they're monks. You have far more imporant things to be worrying about this chapter.
Good thing Canas is doing so well, otherwise he might be a little fucked here.
Like these guys. This chapter is loaded with wyverns and pegs, most of them with poison lances or javelins. There's a few more of them still hiding in the far east, but they don't take very long to make their way over. For the first part of the chapter it's annoying, but easily doable, but you only get 5 or 6 turns before the gloves come off.
Fiora is accosted by a fellow peg knight and ends up poisoned, but saves the southern village on turn 2.
Effective weapons. Worth it.
(I had another moment where it took me a few seconds to snap out of Radiant Dawn mode, and I imagined Raven taking on the final boss with this)
But...What? Ashera's the final boss of Radiant Dawn. And I don't think the Wyrmslayer gets a bonus against the Dragon in this game, but if we still have it at that point I might give it a shot.
And Hector goes monk-slaying for a shitty level.
Raven makes the trek north and picks up the Elysian Whip. Gee, we sure are getting a lot of these this time around...
Eliwood gets to work on the starting villages while everyone else is off doing big boy fighting.
I never really got the point of Restore staves. I mean, any good mage should be able to fully heal basically anyone with only Mend, or even Heal. Of course, overkilling it with Restore is good for EXP, and I guess it's handy if you have a really low level healer... but this is HHM, and if this applies to you by the time you get Restore, I don't know what to tell you.
Seriously, what the fuck are you talking about? Restore staves cure status ailments (poison, silence, sleep, berserk). I don't think you're all here today, Fedule, that's a Recover staff you're thinking of.
By turn 4 or so, it's best to split the group up. Raven and Hector are hanging out by the northern village, and Bartre and Canas are going to the southern one. Make sure you've got at least one good wyvern-killer in each group, because things are about to get pretty ugly.
You can't see them because of the darkness, of course, but the game just spawned four wyvern knights, two in each corner, with each pair having a Javelin and Steel Lance wyvern. It will continue to do this for the next 5 or 6 turns, and occasionally throw in a pair of knights or monks for an added bonus. Considering how much of a pain in the ass wyverns are to kill, this adds up really, really fast.
Got Bartre twice, they did. For a while, I was worried I would have to start over with a different group, but things went better the third time.
Two turns in, and Raven and Hector are already getting themselves into a bad situation, with some knights on the way to add to it.
Hector can somewhat tank the wyverns, but it's best not to push your luck with this. He's got a lot of incidental stuff on his side, though.
Also, note Ninian hanging out at the arena. It only gives a bonus of 5 avoid, but she already has a ridiculous avoid score and she makes a great bait unit for the rather inaccurate javelins that get past the first round with Hector and Raven.
The AI can't see her massive avoid because it's blinded by her lack of defence.
In far less exciting circumstances, Eliwood finishes with the villages.
With his Lancereaver busted, Raven has to bail on Hector. He comes back in after getting patched up, though.
Hector's such a popular guy, look at all his new knight friends!
A good Hector should be able to take a few knights.
A good Hector.
Fiora is currently carrying Priscilla who is herself at 1 HP, and Fiora was poisoned by this exchange. We all know what that means.
Hector maxes out with yet another shitty level, and it shouldn't surprise you to know that he's way behind his averages in his most important stats, namely strength and defense, and a little behind in speed. But hey, he's got skill, that's important for axes! Oh yeah, and we're stuck with this until Cog of Destiny, lest you forget that he's the main character now.
Yay, Fiora doesn't give me a bullshit death!
No problem, he's got-
others... ...Well, fuck.
Fortunately, that was the last turn of spawning wyverns, so after laughing off a turn of attacks, backup has arrived and we're out of trouble.
Now then, the arena. Before, it was a place where you could do a little training with some risk, but you could generally walk out with some extra cash as long as you didn't take on any insane targets. Here in HHM, you're either crazy or desperate to do it without the benefits of Nini's Grace and a Barrier staff. You can still walk out with experience and gold, but the enemies have been jacked up considerably. Like "Can break any stat cap they feel like, and you'll be lucky to see anything with less than 40 HP and max or near max Speed." Slow units are not welcome here; they'll be massacred before they even get a hit off.
To counterbalance this, the available prizes start going up. Way up. You'll probably never hit a 1000 gold bet without promoted units in normal mode. Here, you have to actively try not to.
Point being: Remember those money troubles?
Of course, it's one thing to say how bullshit things are; it's quite another to demonstrate it. These are only the especially ridiculous fights; they were far from the only ones that made a mockery of various stat caps. Also remember that I am abusing Nini's Grace like a motherfucker, so every enemy should be doing an additional 10 damage.
And even that's not enough to stop bad things from happening, like Canas missing with a hit chance in the high 80's.
20% to miss (actually 7.8% considering true hit) doesn't sound like much, but it does when you get three or so of them in a row. And when one potentially means death.
First, Canas. He's not quite as blessed as he was, but he's still ahead or even in basically everything.
And of course, we can't forget his promotion bonuses. That three extra speed makes his blessing even better.
Raven is also ahead in everything, but you could have probably guessed that based on that stat screen alone. In particular, he's up by 3 HP, 4 strength, and 3 skill because fuck your averages.
This unit bought to you by the number twenty.
But we're not done yet, oh no. Let's take those big numbers, and make them even bigger (and give a much needed boost to his defensive stats, even if they are above average as well).
Legault's ahead in all his offensives, dead on in everything else. It's a shame he can't promote until Night of Farewells because I really want to play around with him as an assassin, but I suppose the last thing this run needs is more powerful sword users (This is a blatant lie, you can never have too many overpowered anything in HHM).
The important thing is, Matthew is completely useless now (unless we really want another Lv 20 thief).
Bartre is...well, he turned out somehow. He's dead on in everything, with the exception of being ahead by a point of strength. It just pains me to know how much better he could have been if even half of all those one or two stat-up levels were two or three stat-ups. Of course, he's only dead on in everything because I gave him a Dragonshield and Secret Book before sending him to the arena. I didn't hate myself that much.
Of course I say this now, but was it really worth it? Were it me, I'd have kept the items and not have bothered.
Yes. Remember, we have to drag his ass to Battle Preparations, and he's been pretty screwed. I wasn't going to tempt the arena gods any more than I had to.
Fiora's basically right on her averages, if a little ahead in her defenses, and that's something I'm not going to complain about in HHM. Now let's hope Florina can turn herself around in Four-Fanged Offense, because she's going to be required for something later too.
That strength boost is going to do wonders for her, since she's in good shape otherwise.
The real gem in pegasus-promotion is the Con, though.
This is a bizarre Eliwood. He's a full 3 points ahead in strength, defense, and resistance, but a point behind in skill and two in speed. And he's stronger than Hector. What the fuck?
Ever wonder what it's like to be trolled by a computer?
And of course, between Ninian coming in at L7 and this taking so goddamn long, both Ninian and Priscilla maxed out as well. Priscilla is ludicrously blessed in HP and has two extra points of defense and luck, though she's down by two in magic.
For posterity: Ninian's base avoid = 81. Yep.
With Priscilla maxed, Canas hops in to take over healing duties (wouldn't want to waste any experience, you know?). He goes from an E to a C-rank in staves by the time he's done, and gets not one, but two levels from healing alone.
Now there's the Canas we know and love.
Hey, he got speed. But yeah.
In a more logistical note than anything, we ended up leaving with about 70,000 gold after I stocked up on weapons. And by stocked up, I mean Merlinus is literally full up. The Silver Card is such a wonderful thing.
So with our training done and everyone wielding much shinier weapons, it's time to go take care of Oleg.
4 HP, 2 Str, 1 Skl, 1 Spd, 1 Res. None of it's going to help him any, now that we've got some real firepower behind us.
As usual, we start by swiping his Hero's Crest, and Bartre promptly puts it to use.
Again, whoever at IntSys decided Warriors don't get speed on promotion needs to be punched in dick. Repeatedly.
Raven lands the killing blow afterwards, and we're ready to move onto bigger and better things. However, Hector has a few words for us after the battle.
: Eliwood? You don't need to worry. Despite what you may think, he's as strong as there is. You're not having the greatest run of luck either. I'll wager you never thought things would turn into such a terrible mess, did you? ...If it gets to be too much, you can leave at any time. You're a reliable and dependable tactician, but... You're not our servant, you know? If you think our task impossible, you should get out. You're as smart as they come. I know you don't need me to tell you that. Let's get some sleep, OK? Gotta rest when you can. ...That's even more true in the middle of a campaign like this.
Translation: There's no shame in quitting, player.
Resets this chapter: 3
Total resets: 29