Part 67: Pale Flower of Darkness
Pale Flower of Darkness, 2nd Edition. Your Hero Crest users have to outlevel your Guiding Ring users to come this way. Much like Four-Fanged Offense, it's a completely new map, new boss, and new enemy set. But speaking of the boss...
: Where is Brendan? He just left the room.
: He went outside with Jan.
: ...I wonder what he's about. ...I'll deal with it later. Listen, Jerme. You're in charge of the guard while I'm gone. Do not let anything happen to the item.
: In charge of the guard... Bah! I was top dog until that cretin Jaffar showed up.
: ...I know, I know!
Well someone's bitter.
Oh no, he found us. What ever will we do?
: How delicious! My blade shall feast well tonight, won't it?
: Now, which one first? Wait! Hold it! There are some nasty ones mixed in with the rest. Mustn't get one of them. Might ruin my sword's appetite. You don't mind do you? If I do it this way?
: Eliwood! There's no reason to treat with that madman! We must find the exit...
: You! Woman! You have beautiful skin. If I sliced you into lovely red ribbons with this, would the pieces be as soft and delicate as silk?
: It's no good! Something's blocking our way. We can't get out!
: I can feel an evil power emanating from every foe here. If we do not defeat them all, the barrier will hold strong.
: Hyaa ha ha ha haaa! That's Lord Nergal's doing! He knows how I love to slice through people. He lets me do it as often as I want, which really is all the time. He's after something he calls "quintessence." I care nothing for it, but as long as he keeps bringing me people to slash and cut! I am Jerme! The finest assassin the Black Fang have ever known! Now come! My blade hungers!
Well that's certainly an introduction. A shame he can't back up half of what he's saying.
He sounds like a terrible assassin, too.
Right, nothing too special with our deployment. Legault is coming since we have lots of locked doors and treasure to deal with, and while the enemies are nice enough to drop several door keys for us, chest keys are nowhere to be found.
As Ninian implied, this is a rout map. The main points of interest are these locked buildings; all the treasure is inside them, and about half of the enemies are as well. It's also how we determine what unit we can recruit on this map. In order to not get Harken, we have to pop open four of these doors before turn 10. Of course, once you open a door, you have to fight whatever enemies are inside, so tread carefully.
Jerme is hiding way back here in the northeast building.
Now then, strategy. Basically, everyone's going to pair off and take a building. Farina gets the closest one, Guy and Priscilla the northwest one, Kent and Fiora are going to the southeast corner, and Bartre, Raven, Canas, and Lyn will be on general extermination duty.
Supports are amazing, aren't they?
The first building has some mostly harmless monks and shamans with a Bolting asshole. Farina's got easy pickings here.
I will never be OK with indoor siege tomes.
I'm not sure I get you here. Bolting is Bolting regardless of where you are.
Farina, you need spectacular levels if you want to have any chance of staying on board. And that's not spectacular. That's barely passable. At least the Bolting asshole is dead.
Fiora gets rushed by a Falcoknight who gets critted in response. And gets a shit level. We are going to be very familiar with this level template by the time we're done with this chapter.
Aren't we, Canas? Fiora gets patched up for this shit.
So, how about this completely coincidental unlucky streak, huh?
Nomads are coming down the pipe, so of course the ideal move is to throw Fiora in between Raven and Kent. Most of them ignore her though, since Raven doesn't have his hand axe equipped and she has her Javelin.
Truly there is no AI priority that cannot be warped spectacularly.
Yeah, I was really confused about that one. Wasn't going to question it, though.
There will be a bunch of falcoknights coming from the southeast corner, which is going to be really nice for Kent and Fiora's experience. Promoted units are generally good for 20-40 exp instead of the 5 or so a regular enemy is worth.
The northwest building is home to a pair of Luna druids and a Nosferatu one by the chest. No big deal.
The middle building is just treasure, and very nice treasure at that.
Raven blocks off the center passage and fails to cap speed for something like the third or fourth time in a row.
Strangely, the druids attack Guy from range rather than up close when he has the Light Brand equipped. I guess they're willing to trade accuracy for not getting critted in the face. And then he gets this.
As I said, completely coincidental.
But if it means we can get screens like this, I'm okay with it. Luna at 36% accuracy and 0 crit. The "95 base accuracy and 20 base crit fuck your day up" tome.
That gives us our four doors. The druid one is probably the nastiest surprise, but this one actually killed Bartre on my second recording, whereas the druids accomplished precisely jack shit on any of the recordings. Also, Kent is down there murdering some falcoknights.
Totally unrelated to any concurrent circumstances.
You know, Fedule. I can't help but feel like you keep pushing this "coincidence" thing. Is there something you're not telling me?
Treasure time! Sweet, sweet Bolting tome, how I've missed you. Now if only we had someone competent to use it.
So, uh, anytime you want to get some strength is fine with me, Kent. I mean, I'm not going to complain about something like this, but something to keep in mind, you know?
And then Florina got hit by this bandit. You'll see why I bother to mention this in a second.
Wyverns come from the northwest corner, but they're an annoyance more than anything.
More treasure, more money.
Right, back to Florina. How the fuck did she get hit?
Remember, kids, with True Hit those odds are actually 0.36%.
I was wondering when we'd get our first 0/0/0. Raven doesn't disappoint, and his myrmidon friend has a whole 0/4/0 chance.
More falcoknight murder, and at least this one has strength.
Nomads and cavaliers come from this area, but they're not going anywhere.
: Appropriate to the feast about to begin.
Well, who do we have here?
Ah, not bad. Karel is to Guy as Geitz is to Dorcas/Bartre. He comes with a Wo Dao, which is a Killing Edge with 1 less Mt, but 5 more crit, weighs as much as an Iron Sword, and it can only be used by a Swordmaster or Lyn. Hector will have to convert him to our side.
Additional Swordmaster! Under what possible interpretation is this a bad thing?
Priscilla gets to work on the wyverns and though they can't touch her, she's not exactly putting up inspiring levels.
: Karel, what are you doing in this place?
: The Black Fang is gathering recruits. I want to hone my blade on them.
: What? Do you have a reason?
: My sword is my life. My sword is my reason. You... You are unpolished, but powerful. Very well, I will join you.
: You're going to lend us your blade? That's a nice gesture and all, but... Why?
: You will someday be a famed general. It would be a waste for that power to be lost here. I must have you...stronger. I will wait for that time with much anticipation.
: Shall we continue? The feast awaits...
Man, why are we getting all the crazies this chapter?
He's like a marginally less crazy version of Jerme.
Have you read his supports lately? "Marginally" is giving him a little too much credit. Way too much credit, actually. Dude's a fucking psychopath.
The southern building just has a bishop and a couple monks in it.
Another stat-up for the pile.
What did I say about spectacular levels? It's better than the last one, but not by a whole lot.
Oh hey, some strength for once.
I honestly don't remember why I turned animations back on, but it let me get this awesome still of the swordmaster crit animation. Suffice to say that this is likely the only battle Karel will ever be in.
No! There must be more Swordmasters! MORE!
it's funny because this can be read either as a response to the picture or to the comment
There are actually 5 after-images, but only those 3 or the other 2 are drawn on any given frame. So sadly, that is the most swordmasters you can see in one action.
Well, let's get this over with.
Ahead by a point of strength and resistance, behind by 2 defense, otherwise average. Unfortunately, "average" doesn't always mean "good." She's even worse off than Florina, who herself pales to Fiora. The only reason she's not getting benched immediately after this is that we need all hands on deck for the next two or three chapters.
Anyway, a few more wyverns pop in from the corner, so Farina and Florina line up to take care of them, and the cavaliers by Jerme's building are met by the usual crew there. Nothing of note happens, we just kill them off as they come.
I accidentally Physic Canas, but I can't really complain about the level.
Lyn extends her lack of defense to 20 straight levels.
Nearing odds of less than a percent (currently 1.1%).
Farina continues to piss me off.
And Legault picks up the last treasure. After many, many turns of support grinding and a little inventory shuffling, it's time to put an end to this farce.
Hey buddy, how are you?
Jerme is laughable. First of all, assassins are fun to play with, but they're terrible in combat. Futhermore, Jerme is using a fucking Light Brand. Because of the AI tendencies, he'll use it as a ranged attack 99% of the time. The Light Brand can't crit from range, and the activation rate of the assassin's Silencer skill is [Crit/2]. He's kind of fast, but he'll mostly use it to plink away at you from range ineffectually. 3 HP, 2 Skl, 2 Spd, 1 Res are his pitiful bonuses.
So, all those myrmidons? They have Lancereavers. Bartre stands there and watches them all suicide right into his axe, and Jerme attacks from afar.
Yeah, best assassin the Black Fang's ever seen. Totally.
Priscilla starts by critting with her Thunder tome.
I would like to remind everyone that Jerme has 10 luck. Now add that Guy has yet to max skill, and I could add another level of support from Karel on top of that. 100 crit isn't quite possible, but if my calculations are right, 94% sure is.
I suspect this might have been the reason why, as of FE9, supports no longer boost crit rate. Just maybe.
That's implying that IntSys is even remotely concerned with balance, something we know to be false.
Guy, you are the best unit. We steal his Light Brand, take the Fire Emblem, and head for the manse. But first, Hector and Oswin have a little chat.
: Lord Hector.
: Have you heard anything from my brother?
: When you say "anything"...
: ...Come, you know. About his condition...
: No, nothing new.
: I see. That's good.
: Why do you ask?
: No reason really. I'm simply concerned for my brother. Earlier... When I saw him in Ostia, he didn't look well. When father took ill and died... I wonder if he looked at all like that. Forget it, I'm worrying about nothing. If something were wrong, I'm sure we would've heard.
: Yes, indeed. Now that you mention it, I did forget something. Lord Uther sent word to you through a messenger.
: Oh! What did he have to say?
: "Don't trouble Lord Eliwood by being overly obstinate."
: Just like my brother! Always the same thing! How many times have I told him to stop treating me like a child!?
Karel is the Geitz for your terrible Guy. His 16 strength isn't amazing, but it's about the same as Guy's average as a L8 Swordmaster and it's more than adequate to get you through the rest of the game. Another huge bonus is his constitution; Guy's 5 (6 after promotion) can barely hold an Iron Sword (and Wo Dao, which does make up for it a bit) without penalty, whereas Karel can use anything that's not a Brave Sword, * Blade, or specialized sword (Armorslayer, Longsword) without a penalty. His growths are solid and his bases are good, so if you're short a dedicated sword user, you could do far worse.
And I still think you should use him, especially if you hate Farina this much.
If we have space, I'll use him before I use Geitz. But I'm not going to promise anything.
Resets this chapter: 2
Total resets: 32
Next time: The moment you've all been waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak bullshit.