Part 56: Chapter 4, Part 12: Rigel Plains
It's Alm's turn again, as he finally resumes his invasion of Rigel.
He's up against two armies, but after his side trip through the mountains he's actually strong enough to take them both on now.
But first, Celica has some unfinished business in the Lost Woods. It's relevant to Alm, trust me.
Back in the hidden village, I held off talking to the sage until later. It's now later. Technically 'later' was two updates ago but I forgot.
See that's why Celica was supposed to be headed to the tower in the first place.
We noticed, he's kind of a dick.
If you had a wish granted by an all-powerful sage, what would you wish for?
Celica doesn't really get the whole wishing-game thing.
The screen flashes a bit, and that's the end of the conversation. Talking to Hark again just yields some generic warning text:
Also I made it through that entire conversation without once making a 'hark' pun.
So, then, what happened to Alm? Let's take a look:
Hey, Alm finally got promoted! The bonus isn't much, but he's going to gain XP very quickly against all the promoted units we're facing now. Also, his Hero class is a precursor for similar classes in following games, as Alm can now use bows. You don't really ever want him using bows since he's got the Regal Sword to swing around instead, but gaining a ranged attack is never a bad thing.
Anyway, on to the battle.
I showed off the map once before - we're facing two armies with a lot of promoted units. Also we only get to bring 10 of our own units, so we're vastly outnumbered. Or are we?
And just like that, Zeke's army (the one on the right) switches sides, becoming an allied army.
Zeke can hold his own pretty well. The rest of his army is outmatched, with Jerome's group having a couple wizards for healing and a few gold knights, but the scrubs don't really matter here.
Jerome's a bit tougher, but nothing we can't handle at this point. Worst case Dyute can nuke him in one shot with Ragnarok against that low Magic Defense.
The rest of his army is pretty vanilla - wizards, gold knights, paladins, and bow knights. More third tier units than we're used to seeing, for sure, but we have a pile of cannon fodder to help us out.
Matilda holds the bridge with the Knight Killer, while everyone else tries to move up into position.
An approximate representation of the enemy phase. Two of Zeke's paladins bit the dust before they could even react. So first strike gives Jerome's army even more of an edge. To top it all off, one of the wizards snuck back onto the healing tile and cast Fortify, healing every enemy unit.
The ally phase here is a lot messier. The end result is the enemy paladin in the center got swarmed and went down, two allied paladins went after the wizard and took him out, and a few other allied units went after the rear paladin and crippled but failed to kill it.
My sad color-blind ass is having trouble telling the two armies apart here. Matilda can hold her own out there and she has the Knight Killer so she goes out after the nearest gold knight for major damage.
Sniper vs Bow Knight isn't really the matchup I usually want, but Python's sitting on 99 XP so I have him go tap the nearest enemy for an easy level.
All he really needs. Now to get him some support so he doesn't get swarmed out there.
The bow knights with their 5 range are the biggest threat to our mages, so Claire flies out to try and weaken the south-most one. A lucky crit nets her a timely kill.
Alm's taking his time getting to the front, but notice how he now has two weapons listed. He can still only carry one item, though.
My squishy units are a little exposed to ranged attacks, but there's only one enemy bow knight left and the enemy wizard is too far away to make a difference.
Jerome heads down for Python, the bow knight takes a shot at Teeta, and the rest tangle with Zeke's paladins but don't get any kills. The wizard heals up everyone again at the end of the enemy phase.
Python gets wrecked for 26 damage, but nails Jerome with a counter-crit.
Teeta dodges the bow knight, the only other real threat this turn.
Zeke's group takes out another enemy paladin, brings down another to 2 HP, and harasses Jerome and the wizard.
The top priorities for us here are Jerome and the bow knight, both nearby.
Python steps back to open up the turn with another crit on Jerome.
Another apparent mismatch here. Force was sitting at 99 XP, so I just wanted to push him over the top and scratch away at Jerome at the same time.
His Defense seems awfully low for a knight, but that Power is quite nice.
Matilda uses the Knight Killer to finish off Jerome.
Jerome's kind of bitter about dying. I guess I can understand that.
Claire and Robin attack the bow knight, but it's tough enough that it still survives.
Is that Alm, attacking from range? Why, yes, it is.
Alm holds up pretty well as an archer, but the extra 7 Might from the Regal Sword (not to mention the extra accuracy and crit rate) only affects melee attacks so you won't see many bow shots from him.
The enemy has two gold knights, a paladin, and a wizard remaining, and they can only reach our tougher melee units so no worries this turn.
The gold knights waste their time killing two more of Zeke's paladins, while the enemy paladin makes a break for the other healing tile.
Zeke's army rightly avoids the remaining gold knights. They get a bit of the yips missing almost all of their attacks, but the enemy paladin does go down.
Force grabs the Quick Ring and marches across the battlefield to cripple a gold knight.
When in melee range, Alm gets to choose between using sword or bow. The option's there in case you really want to shoot at a target farther away, I guess; you'd never choose the bow over the sword otherwise.
Alm's able to finish off the gold knight. His promoted class has the same XP multiplier as his original class, so he's gaining XP like he did in the very start of the game, except he's now fighting third-tier units.
Get that boy some Defense and he'd be pretty unstoppable now.
Dyute roasts the hell out of the gold knight with just a fireball, but missed the second attack.
Python and Claire are able to take out the gold knight together afterwards.
No one else can reach the wizard with a ranged attack, and I didn't feel like having Silk warp anyone I guess.
Zeke's paladin finished off the wizard on the ally phase. A bit anticlimactic, but whatever.
Time to head into town. I guess this place is the capital of the region, I bet it's a real megalopolis.
Guess not. Let's talk to the people of Rigel, Population: 5.
Zeke's a popular guy. That's the theme of this town.
Alm can handle zombie dragons at this point.
Lady Teeta found him washed ashore with an awful wound and nursed him back to health.
Zeke is waiting inside the house. He'll be here even if he doesn't make it through the battle. Though he won't be around if you just slaughtered both armies without saving Teeta first, obviously.
General Zeke, you oppose this war, correct? Please, join our cause.
General Zeke, you're against the war, so now that you're free to do whatever you want why don't you help us fight in this war that you oppose.
I cannot. I only helped you fight Jerome because he made my people suffer greatly. Besides.... I don't know who I am. All I can remember is that I washed up on Rigel's shore. To my pitiful self, His Majesty Rudolf gave me a new life. I will not betray him.
Hey look, a character in a Fire Emblem game who isn't willing to switch sides at the drop of a hat.
Also, this might be the most back story anyone but Alm or Celica has gotten in this game.
I understand.... Apologies for my rudeness.
No, not at all.... Hm!? Alm, what's that mark on your right arm?
Alm walks around his battles in short sleeves now that he's a Hero. Or plot magic.
Mark? ...Ah, I've always had this birthmark. What does it...?
I see.... His Majesty Rudolf once told me: "Zeke, if you find the one with a cross-shaped birthmark on his right arm, you must dedicate yourself to that person. He will certainly become the savior of all of Valencia...." If this is His Majesty's will, then so be it! Alm, I shall fight with you!
So that whole sequence was not suspicious at all. Zeke is from somewhere else, but has amnesia. And the King of Rigel apparently told him to watch out for Alm and help him out.
By the way, does Zeke look familiar to you? If you played the first game, he should - he's yet another cameo from that crew. Take a look:
The boss of Chapter 20 of the first game was Camus, general of Akaneia. He was forced to fight for the bad guys but managed to smuggle out Princess Nina and a magic tome to help out Marth on the sly. It's implied in that game that Camus was killed in the battle; yet here we're meant to believe that he fled in shame, crossed on ocean, and washed up in Valencia with amnesia.
But wait, there's actually another relevant cameo in the next game (Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, which is a direct sequel to the original). There's a paladin in that game with a mysterious past who's helping out Marth, and has a girl he has to get back to in another land. His portrait?
You can draw your own conclusions from there.
Zeke is a bit stronger and slower since he lost his memory I guess. Still he's about on par with Matilda right now which makes him an excellent addition to the team compared to some of the losers at the bottom of the roster. He actually has excellent growth rates as well, including the highest Speed growth in the game at 55%. Here's the full story:
Unless you've been aggressively grinding extra levels for your entire roster, Zeke will make an immediate positive impact on Alm's team with high Power, Speed, and Defense. If you haven't done a lot of grinding, he could be the best unit on the roster right away, and his high growth rates will keep him viable all the way through the end of the game.
Stat Base L3 Growth HP 40 40 Power 20 20 Skill 13 35 Speed 14 55 Luck 4 30 Defense 14 30 M. Def 6 0 Moves 9 0 Quality 65 170
On the other end of town, Alm can enter Rigel Valley, a location not marked on the map. Nope, not suspicious at all.