Part 9: Chapter 1, Part 8: Liberation HQ
Way back in the first update, Luka recruited us to go help the liberation forces against General Dozer, who'd overthrown the king of Sofia and taken over the castle. Now we finally reach the headquarters of the liberation group.
The HQ looks an awful lot like the Thief Shrine - not a coincidence. Let's talk to the lone soldier in front of us.
Python here is playing guard, though we still have Luka to vouch for us. Even if we didn't (if Luka had died on the way), the conversation would play out exactly the same.
Eh? You're new recruits?
In that case, go on inside, but be careful! Demons may be around....
Right then, let's move forward....
The parallels to the Thief Shrine continue, as a battle is triggered upon entering the next room.
A large group of unfamiliar enemies await us inside. Gaiden gets a lot of comparisons to Fire Emblem 8 - we've already seen the world map navigation, and now we have our first encounter with non-human monsters.
The zombies have a lot of HP, but are even weaker than the thieves we fought in the first shrine. In fact, they'll only do 1 damage to everyone in our army.
The skeletons (bone walkers) actually have enough Power and Defense to be a reasonable threat, but with only two of them we shouldn't have too much trouble in this battle.
The zombies actually have enough HP that Cliff can't kill them in one turn with the Bolt Sword, so Alm finishes it off.
Claire and Robin can't take out this zombie together, but they'll be counter-attacking a lot on the enemy phase.
Claire already had 99 XP so gets an easy level. More Power is pretty critical for Claire going forward, so this is actually a pretty good level.
We're about to get swarmed, but when only two enemies can dish out meaningful damage, maintaining strict battle lines isn't really important.
The undead monsters come with their own animations. The bone walker misses Alm, but Alm can't really do much damage in return thanks to its high Defense.
The other bone walker attacks Claire, who only manages 1 damage in return.
One of the zombies also goes after Claire, and even survives a critical. Zombies have a more interesting animation than most, sneaking forward underground before bursting forth to attack. Claire doesn't even get a different animation for the critical hit, which is a shame.
The rest of the enemy phase is just the rest of the zombies scratching some of our units and surviving various counterattacks.
The zombie that Claire and Robin had weakened decides to suicide on Claire, since there aren't any healing tiles around.
Still a lot of enemies remaining, but those skeletons are the top priority. Their Magic Defense is, as usual, much lower than their regular Defense, so magic attacks are in order here.
Unfortunately Silk misses both of her attacks here.
She had 99 XP so she still gets a pretty helpful level out of it.
Gray has a bit better luck, getting in 10 damage, but his Speed is still too low for two attacks.
Cliff and his Bolt Sword are actually the best solution for the bone walkers.
Claire is down to just 10 HP, so she kills off a zombie to get away from the remaining bone walker.
Alm and Luka are the only ones that can do a reasonable amount of physical damage to the bone walker, but it's still not enough to get rid of it.
Robin finishes up the player phase with a couple shots at one of the zombies.
Silk takes 5 damage from the bone walker, but gets it right back and eliminates the last real threat by landing both shots of Nosferatu.
Luka gets in on the action with a counter-kill of this zombie.
Silk continues her lucky streak with another counter-kill on the first zombie, but lands only one of her two hits on the other one.
Claire gets in a counter-kill of her own.
Fighting in close quarters tends to result in quick battles. Gray and Cliff finish things off here for another 3-turn battle.
And we are victorious in our first encounter with the undead hordes. Not too difficult, really.
Apparently the liberation group decided to make their camp in a tomb? Or some kind of indoor graveyard? That explains the undead attacks, at least. There's no interactions with the grave markers, so let's just keep moving up.
We emerge in another shrine, with two more NPCs awaiting us. Let's get the conversations out of the way first.
Cleive is Claire's brother, if you don't remember.
Well, I've got a favor to ask of you. Starting today, will you lead our forces? That's why we sought Sir Mycen, Sofia's hero, but for some reason, he's refused us. Therefore, I'd like you to command our units in his place.
Don't get too excited, the liberation forces consist of all of three units.
So, Alm, I'm counting on you to save Sofia.
Dozer's forces haven't exactly been intimidating so far, so why not?
And Cleive joins up with Alm. Now, for the other guy.
If Rigel complies, we won't stand a chance!
If you've forgotten the introduction by now, this land is split into two nations - Rigel to the north, and Sofia to the south. So Rigel directly supporting Dozer would be kind of a big deal.
It means we won't war, right? Our guardian, Lady Mila, would never allow it.
Another note from the introduction - the two nations correspond to the two gods of the land, Mila and Doma, who basically decided to divide the land in half rather than destroy it by fighting over it.
That's the first we've heard of that.
Hey, hey! Don't look so surprised! After all, it's been strange lately, hasn't it? Crops failing, odd demons emerging.... Only Mila's Temple knows what's going on, I guess.
Somebody should probably head over to that temple some time, then. What with zombies and skeletons rising from their graves and all.
Force joins up as well, and we're free to examine the shrine. It looks identical to the Thief Shrine, and operates in much the same manner.
The two lion head statues offer Defense and Power this time around. Again, they can be used a total of three times, though the choice is a bit more difficult to make. I'll leave that open to the thread for input.
If you waited to promote the Villagers, you can do so again here, but there's nothing for us at the moment. There is still one more person to chat with, however - the guard out by the front of the HQ.
Be wary of Slayder, the guards' captain. He's a pretty strong fighter.
Warning in hand, we finally get the first archer for the army. Robin immediately gives him the Steel Bow we've been carrying around. Cleive also joins with a Steel Lance, which carries a 4 Might to go with an 80 Accuracy and 1 Weight. Unless she partakes in the Power Shrine a couple times, it'd probably be a good fit for Claire right now - another decision I'll leave open to the thread for input. For now let's take a look at our new units.
Cleive comes in at a higher level, and overall is a sizeable upgrade over Robin, even after you remove the +4 Power bonus Cleive is currently receiving from the Steel Lance. His growth rates are better in the stats that matter as well - Power, Speed, Defense - so Cleive will get even more useful as the game progresses.
Force is the same level as Luka and generally has better stats and growths, though the comparison is a bit closer than between Cleive and Robin. We won't have to choose between them for awhile yet, anyway.
Python is our first archer, and with the Steel Bow in hand (3 Might, 1-5 Range) he'll be a handy asset going forward. His Speed is currently his biggest weakness, but he can still double-attack the slowest enemies.
Cleive is now our second cavalier, and overall superior to Robin. He has better base stats in everything except Magic Defense, and while the total growth rates are similar, Cleive has better growths in the most important stats (Power, Defense, Speed).
Force is the second soldier for our army, currently the same level as Luka with higher bases in everything but Skill and a sizeable 40% Power growth. His main weakness is the low Defense growth, but for reasons that will eventually be made clear, that won't be a problem as the game moves along. He'll also end up with much lower Skill than Luka in the long run, but the extra Power is more than worth the trade.
Stat Base L1 Growth HP 26 40 Power 12 20 Skill 7 20 Speed 6 20 Luck 6 20 Defense 7 20 M. Def 1 0 Moves 7 0 Quality 38 100
Python is our first archer, and has a great Power growth with which to attack. The rest of his stats will suffer somewhat, but with some additional Speed he'll become a long-distance wrecking ball.
Stat Base L1 Growth HP 28 30 Power 11 40 Skill 4 10 Speed 5 20 Luck 3 20 Defense 7 10 M. Def 5 0 Moves 4 0 Quality 30 100
We've got a dozen units and several items now, so I wrote up a post to save off some extra numbers for easy reference.
Stat Base L1 Growth HP 24 40 Power 10 40 Skill 3 15 Speed 3 20 Luck 2 10 Defense 5 15 M. Def 4 0 Moves 4 0 Quality 23 100
The first chapter concludes with a 'boss' battle against two armies, as we storm the Sofia Gate.