Part 43: Chapter 4, Prologue: Mila's Temple IIIMusic: World Map, Chapter 4
Now that we're into the fourth chapter, the world map has expanded once again. Everything to the south is still available (though Alm and Celica are still separated) in case you want to go back and grind up some XP on random encounters, but in this LP we only look forward!
Alm's side of the map is considerably busier than Celica's, at least at first glance, with nine enemies on the map (two paired) and another battle likely at the Fear Shrine. By the end of the Chapter, Alm will be facing 20-unit enemy armies of pretty significant power. The empty area on the left side of the map is also pretty suspicious....
Celica would seem to have a much easier time of it, with only four enemies on the map, plus the her chapter finale at Doma's Tower. Her upcoming battles seem to have a bit more variety, though she'll still have a 20-unit, 1000+ power enemy army at the end. There's also an unmarked graveyard in the way, and somewhere in there are the mysterious Lost Woods....
But first, more business awaits Celica in Mila's Temple. Now that the water is gone, there's a hidden path here in the basement.
No, it's not through the gate, but off to the right here. The left side is still blocked off.
A mysterious tunnel!
And...some dude hiding down here?
Noma is the bishop from Celica's cloister way back at the start of Chapter 2.
Then I accidentally fell down here. Haha, what a folly! Well, from now on, I'm coming along with you. That'll ease my mind.
Okay, this I gotta see.
There's a theme in Fire Emblem games where an older character joins the protagonist's group early in the game, and while that character is powerful at the time, it is quickly outclassed by the rest of the group as the game progresses. This archetype is called a Jeigan, after the character of the same name in the first game. Noma, here, would be a Jeigan, but he's showing up halfway through the game instead of at the beginning. His stats aren't bad, really, and he actually has a really good spell selection, but he's a level 7 promoted mage with terrible growth rates so doesn't have a lot of growth potential. Sonia's already a better unit and will only keep getting better.
The Arrow spell that Noma wields is a new one - it gives a whopping 16 Might with a 70% Hit Rate, for 11 Weight and 8 HP. So Noma can at least be useful in cracking tough enemies and helping out with healing.
Noma's not the only thing hiding down here, though. See this suspicious gap in the decoration at the base of the wall? Well, that wall is solid enough, but head down instead...
It's a hidden passage! There's actually a bit of a maze in the darkness here, but it's pretty easy to navigate. Instead of going all the way down, head left at the first opportunity instead.
Like so. Now, the path continues down from here but then hits a dead-end. Where you actually want to go is to line up with the other gap in the wall decoration visible in this shot.
And from here, proceed into another room....
Nothing here but stairs. Pretty easy to guess where these lead, if you remember Celica's first visit to the temple....
It's the mysteriously closed off treasure room!
And Celica gets yet another overpowered item. The Magic Ring, in addition to healing the wielder for 5 HP per turn, also extends the range of the wielder's spells from the default two or three tiles, to five tiles. For every spell. So Sonia can fling Excalibur around at enemies five tiles away with it, and get some HP back each turn as well.
Noma is a bit of a strange addition to Celica's group at this phase of the game. He's about on the same level as Sonia, with a better spell selection, but he won't be getting any better. For a recruitable character that is so easy to miss, he won't be that useful by the end of the game, though he's a handy crutch now as the fourth chapter really ramps up the difficulty. He's also the last character to join Celica's group - she won't be getting any more for the rest of the game.
Stat Base L7 Growth HP 28 10 Power 12 10 Skill 16 15 Speed 8 15 Luck 1 10 Defense 6 10 M. Def 14 0 Moves 4 0 Quality 43 60
Celica crosses the dry gorge and enters a swamp instead.