Part 6: Beyond the BordersChapter 5 Beyond the Borders
Well, here goes nothing.
Huh, this is a new map? Like, entirely new. I don't recognize this map from anywhere in FE7, anyway. I mean, it's really tiny and looks like a shitty pre-deployed map from Advance Wars, but still! New map! Good on you, Mig64!
And it's Legault! Yay. Legault is absolutely my favorite character in FE7, so I'm glad to see him about ten chapters ear-
... Oh, wait, goddammit, he's doing the same thing Oswin did, what the hell? Oswin at least kind of made sense, in a weird backwards logic way. Our villain is Uther, Oswin is Uther's right-hand man, bam, Oswin. But why is Legault here? The Black Fang don't even get involved for another couple of chapters!
I mean, first my favorite Knight in the series, then my favorite Thief? On the bright side, none of my other favorite FE characters are in FE7, and I really doubt this dude is even capable of hacking in Eltshan or Micaiah, but come on. I like the cast of FE7! I imagine most people who would download an FE7 romhack like the cast of FE7! Why do I gotta kill them?
I mean, if they at least had understandable motivations that fit with their preexisting characters, that'd be one thing, but it's not! It's just two new lines followed by the same generic dialogue the bosses had, and somehow the new lines are more out-of-character than the generic mook stuff!
I really hate to keep harping on this, but c'mon! If you don't have any use for the old characters, why even put them in?
I mean, you could have kept Bug! Nobody would have noticed or cared! Did you, the reader, even remember that the boss of this chapter is named Bug? I only even remembered it because Bug was a funny name, and I had to look it up to make sure it wasn't Boog or something!
Also, during the generic pre-battle intro with everyone moving to their spots, Natalie's tent is included. She... slides around the screen.
You couldn't have just given her a wagon from the start, Mig64?
Wait, hold on.
Legault and Oswin are relegated to generic bosses. You replace everyone except Natalie, and she barely counts since she wasn't a party member in the original game. But you keep Serra?
I mean, I don't mind Serra, and I'm glad our first healer isn't swept away to make room for our third sword user or something, but why?
Also, why is the Erk replacement Renault with Erk's palette?
... Wait, actually, apparently our first healer was replaced. Those are the map sprites of a female Shaman and a Monk. Well... at least it'll be nice having a light magic user who doesn't suck?
Unless Corsa here sucks too.
Anyway, the usual scripted battle takes pl- wait. Why is Corsa using Elfire? He's a Monk. Elfire is an Anima tome, not Light.
And why is he attacking twice? In the original, Erk only attacks once (because he doesn't have the speed to double the enemy who attacks him), and the enemy is left with 8 HP. It lets the game starts a tutorial on the fact that magic can be used both up close and far away.
I... okay, Corsa just killed the Nomad. I'm not really sure where we go from here.
Well, he's still on the map...
Apparently where we go from here is somewhere wonderful. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: your new God. He is beyond life and death. He has transcended reality. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.
In other news, Serra is a shaman who can use every magic type except Anima. I don't think you need me to tell you this, but that is distinctly not how shaman worked in the original.
Her stats are... ehhhh...
As are Corsa's. I'm liking that HP stat, though. You keep that, big guy.
Okay, lemme just get this straight.
Monks: Light Magic Users
Corsa: Monk with E rank in Light and A Rank in Anima
Me: Clinically Depressed
I neglected to mention this so as not to distract from Schrodinger's Nomad, but Santangelo started stuck in the water. Axel and Zack work to take out the snag...
And Santangelo uses the new bridge to make it to land.
While that's going on, let's take a look at our boss. Legault is easy as pie.
And... this thief has a hero crest, for some reason. She won't drop it, and we don't have a thief to steal it from her, so she just has a hero crest. Alright, lady, whatever makes you feel special.
Let's recruit Serra and Corsa.
We have three ladies (Lilian, Sephyz, and Natalie), as opposed to four men (Mundo, Zack, Axel, Santangelo). Wouldn't 'people' be more... oh fuck it.
Lilian's bolt tome wasn't actually exclusive to her, since Corsa comes with one of his own. He proceeds to make good use of it.
Over on the right, everyone else crosses the new bridge.
Serra cautiously approaches Him.
Despite what the battle stats say, she cannot pierce His defenses. He is the divine given flesh, and as such holy magic has no effect on Him.
He then fades from this world without a sound, His parting words echoing in Serra's head...
"This hack blows." There's a falcoknight that starts right in range of Natalie, there's no way to kill her without having Zack bumrush her with Axel's help (and he'll need the Brave Sword to kill her in one go), and she's gonna fly right over to Natalie and stab her tent the moment the enemy turn starts. If Natalie had one less HP at base level, she'd be dead.
A Peg Knight has a go at Corsa. He responds by blurring as he wastes more of his Bolt.
Actually... dead Natalie... hey, let's end our turn right here! I'm sure nothing but good can come of this.
Nothing but good.
Nothing but good.
Okay! So! I had to take a long break after discovering that, since I couldn't even load up the emulator without either laughing or weeping. Played some Yggdra Union, finished up Okami. Fun times! While you Listen to Milanor's battle theme, I'll explain what just happened.
So, in the original FE, Natalie wasn't a permanent member of your army. I've mentioned this before. She 'joined' for one map, and she spent the entirety of that map facedown on cold bricks because her bum leg gave out on her. If she died, game over. The objective of the map was to protect her. Then her husband, Dorcas, joined your army, and she went on home for the rest of the game, never to be seen or heard from again save for some mentions in most of Dorcas's supports.
Now, to forward track a bit, FE7 had it's inventory system handled in character form: a little ways into Eliwood/Hector's story, you got Merlinus, a Transporter. What Merlinus did was let you access your inventory on the map, but he came with a catch: he had no way of defending himself. He had great speed and luck, so he could theoretically dodge attacks if an enemy happened to come his way, but he wouldn't survive under extended pressure. Fortunately, he didn't 'die' if he got to 0 HP, he just left the battle and came back at the start of the next map. Your 'punishment' for him dying was him not gaining a level. Since he had no way of attacking, he just gained a level at the start of every map. However, if he had to flee, he didn't gain a level. Got all that? Good.
Now, Natalie here probably still has her 'game over if dead' flag from when she was an NPC in that one map. I don't know anything about programming, nor romhacking, so I'm just guessing here, but that's the best explanation I can come up with.
What does this mean? It means we now have a literally immobile asshole with barely any speed, no defense, res, or HP, and only passable luck. And it's game over if she dies.
And you thought Merlinus in FE6 was terrible for taking up a deployment slot.
Right, anyway, let's load up the state I conveniently saved before ending our turn and. Not end our turn. To be honest, I figured losing Natalie might mean she was permanently dead, but I didn't expect a game over.
Avenge alternate timeline Natalie, Sephyz.
Sephyz even dodges the counter-attack. You're the best, Sephyz.
And crits on the second blow. Great job, Sephyz. I love you, Sephyz. It's not game over if you die, Sephyz.
You know what? That is a perfect level by my standards for Sephyz. The lovetrain continues unabated.
I wanna see what's in that village, so Corsa breaks down the twig while we wait on baiting Legault out. Since he's a thief, he probably has the same problem Spyware had where despite being a boss, he'd move to steal something.
Serra also heals Corsa, because she can do that, apparently. No idea why we have a Shaman who's one magic type short of Athos and uses Bishop sprites, but I'm not complaining.
Actually, okay, I am complaining, but it's still nice to have.
The boys break down a snag and move closer to what's left of the fight. The boys will probably not see any actual use this entire map.
Corsa moves up right next to the village...
And we move Serra close enough to bait out the generic thief.
Sure, okay. Not like I'll miss it.
Now, let's have Serra weaken the Thief so Lilian can get the kill. Lilian's really lagging behind in levels, and I want her in fighting shape before things get ever so slightly difficult.
No wait dammit Serra that is not weakening stop
Why can't you follow Sephyz's lead and only get crits when they're helpful?
At least she got an okay level from it.
And Corsa visits the... the armory...?
Village that's an armory.
... Corsa kills Legault and we end the map.
Or. Wounds Legault. I'm glad he hasn't left the stage yet, but I'm not entirely sure what exactly we're going to do with him now that he's survived.
Speed is nice, but you need to work on all your stats, really. This is just embarrassing for a level 10 monk, HP aside.
-Nobody, when Mig64 completed his hack
I don't think Lilian attacked anybody that entire chapter.
Also, Sain's constant flirting comes off as kinda adorable when you put it in the mouth of a ten year old boy. As opposed to kind of sad when you put it in the mouth of, well, Sain.
Literally, sometimes. Actual Assassins. In Lyn's tale. Lemme tell you, that was some shit.
I know, right?
-Me, playing this hack
MEANWHILE, AT THE FORTRESS OF EVIL...
Granted, the dialogue here is unedited, these scenes were just as hokey in the original game, but at least they weren't forcing words into a mouth of a completely inappropriate established character. I realize I keep harping on the ~FE Canon~, and obviously it's not exactly a work of art, but dammit, it's a thirteen game long series that repeats the same three plots that I love. Besides, this is a romhack. Something that's ostensibly by a fan of the game. You don't necessarily have to like the plot to be a fan, but that doesn't mean you have to actively go against the established setting.
I'm preaching to the choir here, I know, but... it's just baffling to me.
Next Time: You think that's baffling? Just take a look at this!