Part 75: Battle Preparations
You know, it's remarkable how much extra stuff they managed to stuff into Hector's version of this map. But you know what we haven't had enough of yet? Hector and Oswin.
: Don't worry about it. No matter the clamor I raise, my brother is dead. All I can do now is try not to distract Eliwood and the others. I must put on a strong face, must be strong for them.
: I see.
: But, Oswin, I...will not forgive you.
: Not only you, but my brother, as well. Why...why did you hide this from me? Only me? Am I...so untrustworthy?
: ...Lord Hector, you may hate me and scorn me as you will, but... doubting Lord Uther's intentions? You should not do that.
: I... The last message I received from Lord Uther ordered that, should he die, I must keep that news secret from you.
: But why?
: "He is true to his own feelings... If asked to choose between his brother and the world, he would not hesitate in rushing to my side. Though he often speaks in anger, we are brothers. We are all we have. I have never doubted his affection. Yet what if the choice were between brother and friend? To choose one would mean abandoning the other. He would come to despise himself, whatever his choice. I cannot force him to make such a decision."
: Lord Uther had your feelings foremost in his heart. He was also considering Eliwood, who had lost his father. ...Please, if nothing else...understand this.
All I have to say about this whole discussion is that Hectors a prince and second in the line for the throne. I understand Oswin trying to spare his brothers feelings but wouldnt it be a good idea to avoid any potential succession crisis bullshit some stupid penny pocket noble and his lawyer can come up with? Oh well we havent seen Hector in months, how do we know hes not dead? Also, Ive found these ancient document discrediting anyone between me and the throne, please ignore the fact that the ink is still damp. Its probably a good thing that this mission involves Hector and Co. running home.
But then wed have a series of bonus chapters where Hector arrived back home and destroyed a load of bad dudes. Well... admittedly that might not be so great given Hectors current status. But still... itd make a nifty epilogue or something.
Gold is gold, and god knows we have enough of it right now.
: That is a battleground for men to test their strength! Come on, Art! We can fight to our heart's content!
Well, we would be able to if this neutral asshole wasn't sitting right on top of the arena. Come on, I've got some last minute training to do!
Casual player: Woo! A chance to gamble my gold away and make more monies!
Veteran player: Woo! Potentially infinite experience!
Smart, non savestate abusing player: Aw hail naw.
(although I guess this is probably the least painful chapter to repeatedly restart, if it came to that...)
: Where in the world could he have gotten to? Ah...Brother of mine...
Oh boy, this unit. I'll save the ranting for after we recruit her. She and Bartre need to have a chat for that to happen.
Wait, did her unit icon actually move back into the coliseum? Also, Bartre obviously knows how to talk to a lady.
: Meeting me here will be your doom! I must erase the shame I met on the Western Isles! Come! We duel!
: ...Oh, I remember you. You're the guy who came out of nowhere and challenged me... The one I knocked out with my first sword stroke.
: The Bartre before you is not the same one you faced then! I will have my revenge for the Isles here in Ostia! Now, dig up some courage, and do your worst!
: Hmmm... I did not come here looking for a fight. But how can I refuse you your revenge? Let us begin.
Bartre actually has HP to spare for eating both of her attacks as criticals, but I gave him the Iron Rune just for that extra bit of overkill. Both of them must survive the battle to recruit her, so just give him a bow and all he has to do is eat two of her hits (or one, if you have a particularly speed-blessed Bartre).
I just realized that Warriors seem to have no goddamn waist. Also, gotta love enforced bullshit. Most Fire Emblem recruitment conversations force you to risk combat, but you can often twist things just right so that the two people who need to talk never quite get within range of each other. This forces a fight and in a game run by the Random Number God like this that means so much can go so very wrong.
: Quiet! We've only just started. Continue!
: So tell me, where have you been training?
: I serve Lord Eliwood now. I'm working as a guard for him! Tough opponents every day, but we just tear 'em up and cast 'em aside!
: Ha... That's interesting. If that's the case, I think I'll join you.
: My brother gravitates toward strong warriors... This journey of yours sounds like a dangerous one. Joining you might help me find him sooner.
: I don't know what you mean! What about our duel?!
: We'll put it on hold. Don't worry. I don't run away. I like you. It would be a waste to kill you here. Someday I'll finish you in an appropriate fashion!
: Hmm... OK! Agreed! You're now my sworn enemy, wench!
D'awww, they're bonding. Oh, right, vitrol.
This whole exchange is just... its... just... well... its something.
Karla is a fucking terrible swordmaster. She comes three levels lower than Karel did with lower stats in literally everything except luck (which she leads him by a single point in), and she does it six chapters after the fact. Also, she only appears in Hector's story, and even then only if Bartre is a L5 Warrior or higher. To everyone who questioned why in god's name I didn't bench Bartre after Chapter 14 or so, this is why. This.
Hilariously, she actually can't talk to Karel on this map, despite her whole motivation being "I have to find my brother." Their support, on the other hand...
Enforced risky bullshit AFTER pulling you through so much work, and thats IF you know about this condition. God forbid you have Bartre turn out irredeemably bad, or you go talk to her with him not knowing about the forced fight with a God Bartre.
Its a pretty thoroughly certified Asshole Maneuver, for sure. I still think they shouldve made it so that you can recruit her if she kills Bartre by talking to her with Hector (or Karel!). Wouldve allowed for some interesting variations.
And on top of all that, the reward for sitting through all this bullshit is... well... this.
I don't even know why they make it Bartre. Well, scratch that, I do know why it has to be Bartre (time paradox ahoy!), but the fact that Karel can't even talk to her (let alone recruit her) is baffling.
Next up, the arena was positively depressing. Guy, Bartre, Eliwood, and Lyn all took a turn in it before the chapter was up (and I suppose Hector did twice, but I learned my lesson after he got stuck with a Silver Sword hero ), and this was really the worst thing I saw. One thing to note is the arena ignores all of your support bonuses and other things, so Guy was stuck with a disappointing 31 crit rate. Didn't stop him from critting on his first attack and otherwise sweeping the general.
Moving on, Hector and Lyn can have a special conversation here if (and only if) they have an A support.
: Hm? What is it?
: ...Im sorry.
: ...When we first met, I criticized your fighting style, remember? ...I wanted to apologize.
: Oh, that? Dont worry about it. ...Why bring this up now?
: I used to think you were selfish, oblivious to others needs. Even after all this time, I only saw you as crude and insensitive.
: Hey, now... Do I really need to hear this? I mean, whats your point?
: I relied too much on my own strength and stuck to myself... All I did was cause problems to the people around me. ...I think youre like that, too. So, sometimes, I feel Im looking at the old me. Sometimes...I treat you horribly.
: Yeah, thats true. Sometimes, you really lay into me.
: ...But aboard the pirate ship...and back there...what you said made me realize I was wrong. So...Im sorry.
: ...You apologized once before. I admitted that Ive got a bad attitude. Its fine, right? Just let it go.
: ...Let it go? I cant just let it go! That doesnt satisfy me.
I want you to hit me, as hard as you can!
: Cmon! I wont move! Wind up and let it fly!
No seriously, what?
: You... Hahhh...
: Hm? ...Hector? What is it? Are you afraid?!
: Give me a break. Do you think I could hit a woman?
: Its OK. Just dont think of me as a woman.
: I cant smack a woman Ive lost my heart to.
: Cmon! Hurry-- ...What?
: Look, enough of this foolishness. Lets go!
: ...What did you just say? Hold it! Hector!
Well, the big guy does have a soft side after all.
Fuck it, if she messes with him by asking him to hit her in the middle of a fight he gets to mess with her head (and heart) right back.
Shopping! Our total haul includes 4 Silver Axes, 4 Killer Axes, 2 Hand Axes, 8 Killing Edges, a Steel Sword, 2 Killer Bows, 4 Javelins, 4 Killer Lances, an Elfire and Thunder tome, and enough Elixirs to fill Merlinus, which worked out to about 7 or 8 if I recall correctly.
Enough to arm a small third world country, or a rag-tag band of adventurers.
Canas is putting up Barriers like a boss. Sadly, Nils is forbidden from this chapter, so no Nini's Grace if you want to try your hand at the arena.
Like this asshole did.
Youre not gonna be blessed with a good lord at all, or even a halfway usable one, are you?
Eliwood is my halfway usable one. Well, I guess it's really a toss up between him and Lyn, but mull on that one for a while.
Can't complain about that. More magic, and capped resistance.
22 straight levels: No defense.
An acceptable finish for the chapter.
Before we move on, Hector has some unfinished business in the castle.
: ...Even on the verge of death, you worried about me... Blast... You were always like that, eh, Brother? I never asked it of you, but you watched over me nonetheless. Like a father, with that know-it-all look... I told you, "Don't treat me like a kid," but you never listened. ...I'm coming back. I'll take care of Nergal and end his threat to the world. I'll be back... And I'll take the throne. I may not be nearly as dependable as you, Brother, but... Even so, together we'll make Ostia and all of Lycia a place of peace. We'll put an end to peerage and make Ostia a place where all are equal. We'll try our best... Watch and see, Brother!
There's not really a whole lot to say about Karla that I didn't already, but it really does need to be driven home. There is no reason to ever use Karla. She comes at a lower level than Karel, has lower stats across the board, has growth rates roughly on par with Karel (she trades 10% HP, 5% Str and Skl for 10% Luck, 5% Spd and Res), and she does it all by coming in when there's all of two chapters left in the game, whereas Karel had the decency to show up before Battle Before Dawn. If your only choice for a swordmaster is Karla, go without. She's not worth wasting the time or experience on.
The map was sadly lacking in bullshit, but I guess this is still stupid enough for me to comment on. So you basically have to know which way to play just to make this girl appear if you want to grab her, pray the stars align to recruit her, and then after all that work shes the worst recruitable Swordmaster in the game? If Artix wasnt suffering through a 100% run for it Id honestly say fuck it, not worth it. The only reason youd be interested in using her, maybe, would be if all your other Swordmasters were dead, and then youd either have a dead Bartre anyways or one without the mystical pre-reqs, or youd realize that it just wasnt worth grinding her up before the end. This, ladies and gentlemen, is bullshit, and this is why Artix has called me to comment on his updates.
Yeah... what they said. Fuck that shit.
Resets this chapter: 1
Total resets: 39
There's one other thing to talk about this update. If you picked up Mario Kart Double Dash at launch (or something like that, I don't think it was in the standard print runs), it came with a special bonus disc. If you had a GC to GBA connector, you could use that bonus disc to download some extra stuff for a number of games, but this game was among them.
After connecting, the Extras menu gains the "Transfer Data" option, which more or less does exactly what it sounds like. Once you have Merlinus (or some other early-game checkpoint, some sources I've checked say Chapter 13, and Serenes doesn't appear to have any confirmation), you can choose to dump any or all of several bonus items onto your save file. The weapons are as follows (stolen shamelessly from a post Fedule made earlier in the thread):
The rest of the items include a Silver Card, Emblem Seal, Thor's Ire, and a slew of stat-ups, including an Angelic Robe, Energy Ring, Secret Book, Goddess Icon, Dragonshield, and most precious of all, a Body Ring. Thor's Ire is the dance that increases a unit's Crit rate, and the Emblem seal has a description of "Art's scroll. Gives its carrier an advantage," which you can probably all realize is bullshit. What it actually does is increase a unit's hit and avoid by 10. You can only apply these once per save file, but once the option is unlocked, you can do it for as many save files as you want.
Name Rank Rng Wt Mt Hit Crt Uses Worth WEx Effects Emblem Blade E 1 5 5 90 0 60 - 1 - Emblem Lance E 1 8 7 80 0 60 - 1 - Emblem Axe E 1 10 8 75 0 60 - 1 - Emblem Bow E 2 5 6 85 0 60 - 1 No effective bonus against flying units Wind Sword B 1~2 9 9 70 0 40 8000 1 Targets Res, does wind magic damage, effective against flying units Dragon Axe C 1 11 10 60 0 40 6000 1 Effective against dragon units
The bonuses as a whole basically allow you to mitigate a lot of the initial difficulty in HHM (what with the free weaponry and a guaranteed Silver Card, plus you can sell something like the Secret Book if you want some extra cash), but they're pretty damn useful on any kind of run. Most of this stuff is of little use to us now, but I wanted to make sure everyone got the full HHM experience, so unfortunately it had to fall in the back end of the LP.