Part 7: Chapter 2 Part 2: Heirhein-AnphonyChapter 2 Part 2: Heirhein-Anphony, The Incest Begins
Once again, welcome back to Let's Play Fire Emblem 4. As you may recall last time we ended after getting two new units.
Wow, now that is impressive! Strong Magic (though a fair bit below Azel at this point), great Speed, Wind specialization (as I've mentioned before Wind is the best type of magic), Continue and Critical, and to top it all off major Holsety blood! If Levin had Pursuit and a horse he'd be perfect. While he won't always double, his high Spd and low weight Wind magic will give him high AS so he'll activate Continue often and with decently high Skl he'll activate Critical every now and then. Basically whether or not he'll kill enemies depends on whether or not a skill activates. He has a fairly low Mag growth so he won't get much more power, but that's somewhat offset by him joining with a stronger tome than Azel, and he has a fantastic Spd growth thanks to his Holsety blood. Speaking of which, major blood means he might have something special in store for him in the future. His Bard class is unique to him, and this game is one of the few games where Bard is not just a male version of a Dancer. Speaking of Dancer's, let's get to Sylvia. But first, as a side note, Levin is the only pair-able male (i.e. male that's not Sigurd or Cuan) that has a canon lover and children. Or at least the only one that's supported through both the canon of the games and outside word of god. And no, his lover isn't Sylvia. Speaking of which
Sylvia's stats are less than impressive. Hell, they're less than unimpressive. Hell, they're worse than Dew's stats. And her growths and stat caps aren't any better. But that's ok, Sylvia doesn't need good stats to do her job. And that job is dancing. Those familiar with the series will know that dancers have a very unique role: They refresh other units. That is, they allow units that have already moved this turn to move again. Now in most of the games released outside of Japan dancers have only been able to refresh one unit per turn, however in this game they can refresh up to four! That's right, Sylvia will refresh any and all units adjacent to her (excluding diagonals) when she ends her turn! This is pretty fantastic! Now Dancers are sort of a controversial class. A lot of people would rather use a different unit entirely than have a Dancer allow a unit to have a second turn, but it can't be denied that they certainly can help to speed up play and lower turn counts, if you're into that sort of thing. And in this game where you can deploy everybody there's no cost in using Dancers so there's really no reason not to use her! It's just a shame that she can't keep up with the mounted units to refresh them.
As for Sylvia herself, she has an odd skill set. She has Dance which is the class skill for Dancers that, well, allows them to dance and refresh units. She also has Prayer and Continue. Unfortunately she's too frail for Prayer to make much of a difference and she won't be fighting much so Continue doesn't really help her out. They're both moderately helpful in the arena, but she doesn't really need to gain levels since she doesn't need better stats for anything. She will of course gain EXP through dancing much like Dew does through giving money to others. Lastly she has minor Blagi blood. Hmm, didn't we hear about someone else with Blagi blood earlier? Well anyway, let's have a quick refresher about where our units are.
And of course Levin and Sylvia are in the forest.
Let's have Levin protect that village we were oh so worried about.
Personally I love the Bard battle animation. And you can kinda make out Levin's is that a scarf on his head? Well anyway, you can make out his scarf there. Unfortunately we got no skill activations so it looks like that bandit will get another turn to attack that village. Or will he?
Yea, why don't we have Sylvia do that dancing thing I spent a paragraph explaining?
Dancers do a cool little dance animation and then get some EXP from it. This tune, Supporting Dancer, plays whenever she dance.
She also has her own unique battle them, that plays whenever she's in combat (excluding the arena). And then we see Levin get an extra turn!
Let's have him finish off that bandit then!
Levin attacks and kills the bandit, village saved, hurrah!
Let's take a look at our foot units now.
Since they're done cleaning up that army that was here before, we'll have them retreat to Nodion. They don't have any chance of seeing combat at Anphony so there's no point in having them head there.
However Ardan is still moving west. Remember, there was a specific, non-combat related reason as to why we deployed him.
Now if you remember our mounted units were pretty beat up after taking Heirhein, so we're going to be moving slowly.
After many resettings and careful manipulations I determined this was the best way to kill enemies while ensuring survival of my units. Let's end our turn now.
Voltz and his crew slowly advance.
Let's hope we can get a lead in town on Prince Levin's whereabouts.
Prince Levin? Interesting, it seems that he's not all that he appears to be
Oh great. A neutral party is going to see Shagaal to find out information about our army. This can only end badly. Well then, back on Player Phase let's take a look at the bosses we're about to face.
Macbeth drops a Shield Ring which could help someone out, but Voltz drops the much more important Elite Ring. Our goal for that fight will be to set up Lachesis for the kill so that she can promote ASAP (remember, we're still trying to do that!).
Offscreen on Enemy Phase that other bandit moved up to attack the village some more and cost us more money. Let's kill him right quick.
Levin gets a lucky crit and manages to wipe him out in one shot! I'm not sure if the animation is any different for a Bard crit, but it seemed like it was at the time so here's a picture that's maybe slightly different than his normal attack one!
Sylvia dances for Levin and he goes to attack the next bandit (no kill this time sadly).
Our foot units head northeast and Ardan starts heading for that little peninsula through the forest. Now that we have the simple stuff out of the way, let's look at the combat with our horse troops.
Lex weakens the miniboss for Alec to kill so he can get some much needed EXP. Though honestly we'll probably end up dropping him and Noish by the end of the chapter.
We then move him forward a bit, but not so far that he'll attract much attention.
Cuan and Midir then tag team the next aggressor so Midir can get some EXP (unlike Alec and Noish we will be keeping him in play, so he needs a bit of a boost right now).
Noish and Fin kill off the last remaining troop and move up.
We make a defensive wall like so and have Ethlin do some more healing. We're going to spend a few turns readjusting this wall and healing while we wait for Voltz to reach us. No point in moving out of our chokepoint and allowing ourselves to be flanked by Voltz and Macbeth.
So Voltz moves forward and that village takes another hit. It's really taking some damage, let's hope that Levin can get there in time! Now for the next few turns we're just doing more of the same. Making a wall with our mounted units and moving our unmounted ones towards what will inevitably be our next target while Levin clears out bandits and Ardan moves toward the peninsula. One thing to note is that I've been moving Fin and Lachesis together like so.
Yes I am having them become lovers. This game's sequel states them as a canon pairing, though some potentially vague language and word of god makes that a bit questionable. However I really like this pairing. It works out well for a lot of people, though their relationship builds a bit slowly so it can be difficult getting the pairing in time, especially if you want Fin to get some kills with the Hero Lance. However it's well worth it if you pull it off.
Now then, several turns later Levin saves that village at the last possible turn. I got very unlucky with crits and Continues. Not a single one past that one on the second bandit. But it all worked out, all villages saved though none visited yet. We'll want Sylvia to visit them since she won't be able to get money in the arena very easily. Now then, let's check in on Ardan.
So in another event like Lex's Hero Axe, we get a scene with Ardan where this music plays. This is essentially Ardan's theme since as far as I know if only plays in two scenes, both of which are monologues by Ardan (we won't be seeing the second as it requires Ardan to have a lover). And it's quite a fitting theme for him. Tubas and fat people go hand in hand.
If only I could repeated attack like Alec... that'd give me the edge I need. Maybe I could even find me a girlie then. Ahh... it's tough being a guy! Hm? What's this ol' ring doing here... Looks magical or something. Let's try 'er on. Ooooooo! What's going on!? ...... The Power of Pursuit!
Well that was certainly odd. Very Japanese with that "The Power of Pursuit" line. But poor Ardan, all he wants is a lover and yet tragically he'll never get one.
So yea as you can imagine, it gives the Pursuit skill to whoever wears it. No, poor Ardan won't be keeping it, there's somebody else who can make much better use of it.
Voltz finally reaches our army and we've finally got our wall units set up. We've got our three tanky units in the front to take some hits and Lex takes the position on the road since he won't be dodging these sword users anyway.
Naturally these sword users will gang up and Lex, and naturally they'll all be hitting him. Of course this isn't actually a problem because they all do one damage to him. Of course when Voltz attacks
He'll take a fair bit more. Though still not enough to kill him. And he dishes out more to Voltz in return!
Now then, Sylvia starts visiting these villages.
Nice bracelet, huh? Wear it at the shops for a little discount, ok?
So we actually get a pretty good reward for saving that village. if you don't remember, Bargain halves the costs of buying and repairing things. Sylvia will need that for a bit, but Aideen might want to buy it soon so that it's cheaper to repair her staves.
Anyway, naturally we'll have Ethlin heal Lex since he almost died last turn.
We're actually going to play a bit more defense here. We're gonna expose Lachesis to some kills to get her some EXP this turn.
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFffffffffffffffffff! Those stupid Paladin Triplets! They are no doubt going to get themselves killed sooner or later!
So only a few people attack Lachesis since so many are busy attacking the Paladins, and they don't do too much damage so that's good.
And eventually we are confronted by Beowulf. Remember him? That guy who was with Voltz? Yea you remember. Anyway, when fighting him, this track plays. I don't think I've mentioned this before but whenever you fight an enemy that can be recruited that track plays. So yea, we can recruit Beowulf. And him being a mercenary, what better way to get him to join us than with gold! Speaking of which, this is a nice little touch that they put in this game that they actually took out of future games. In Fire Emblem 6 through 8 there are enemies you can recruit by giving them gold. However once they join you I guess they keep their gold to themselves and don't share it with the army since that money just disappears. Let's see how that pans out in this game though.
So let's take a look at Beowulf's gold and Noish's gold.
Now let's have Noish and Beowulf have a little chat. By the way anybody at all can talk to Beowulf.
Okay, it's a deal. You'll get your money's worth outta me.
And now Noish is out 10,000 gold, but Beowulf has gained 10,000! See, you're money doesn't just disappear in this game. So now let's take a full look at Beowulf.
Beowulf is essentially a better Alec/Noish with a better class. He has more Str and comparable Spd to start, but he has great growths and quickly surpasses them. He's a bit like Makalov in FE9. Mediocre when you get him, but with some work he's great. Now really much to say about him aside from that. On to the combat!
Fin grabs an easy kill here. I will be favoring him for a bit for a few reasons, one because the Hero Lance could use a head start getting 50 kills on it to gain the Critical skill, and two because it's important for Fin to be promoted by the end of Chapter 3. Of course this is difficult because it's also important to get him to fall in love with Lachesis by the end of Chapter 3. Anyway
Sigurd goes to weaken Voltz so that Lachesis can get the kill. This part did require a bit of RNG manipulation in order to get Sigurd to land exactly one hit and to get Lachesis to land her hit. Which is why you'll see instead of having Lachesis attack Voltz right away
We have Beowulf grab a kill. We'll be trying to get him to snipe some kills early on so that he puts his good growths to use quickly.
So now we get Lachesis to attack Voltz. That 54% hit is a bit annoying, but the odds are in our favor still at least.
And there we go, this will help Lachesis greatly. She'll get great EXP for getting kills and decent EXP for healing now. This is really unlikely, but if possible I'll be trying to get her promoted by mid-Chapter 3. Now then
Alec does some cleanup, Ethlin heals one of the Paladins, and the rest of the gang moves up to try to stop the Paladins from getting too aggressive. Of course this plan inevitably fails because the Paladins are stupid as hell and have no problems rushing to their deaths.
These morons rush forward and get themselves pretty wounded before the enemy can even move to attack.
And by the end of the enemy assault Eva is down to 19 HP. Naturally. So this will be a tricky situation to navigate ourselves out of. This turn really was difficult to get through with no deaths.
So we have Lex and Fin try to clear the way for other units while Lachesis heals.
Then Cuan charges forward and hides in the forest to try and draw enemy attention away from the Paladins and sets Beowulf up for the kill. Unfortunately Beowulf's not durable enough yet to serve as a great distraction, so we have him retreat and Ethlin heal him. Sigurd then follows Cuan's lead and we end up with our units positioned as you see above. This actually ends up as an adequate distraction and everybody survives. Well everybody on our side survives. Several enemies end up dying. Like so
Now let's start some cleanup here.
Cuan sets up Lachesis for another kill.
Sigurd wounds the southern armor for Ethlin to kill with the Light Sword while Fin and Lex snag kills of their own with their Hero weapons.
Midir, Alec, and Noish are all unable to kill the last remaining armor so they start retreating. Now things are a little risky here because it's possible that the armor could kill someone at low HP if he hits, so we'll just have to hope that he misses.
Oh look, Eve does something useful for once! Threat neutralized.
And we start out the next turn with Sylvia grabbing another village, making sure to keep Levin away from her. As I said earlier, we're pairing him with someone else. The thing is he has a very fast love growth with Sylvia so if we leave them adjacent to one another for even a few turns we could inadvertently make them fall in love.
I wish he were dead!
Well your wish will soon be granted if all goes well. Speaking of which
It can't be... What do those mercenaries think I'm paying them for!? Ooh... It looks like I'll have to settle this myself!!
Alright, with four attacks Fin should be able to do some pretty good damage here! We'll have him about a third down after this one attack!
DAMMIT! Big Shield strikes again! If you've forgotten (or if I forgot to mention before), all promoted armors (i.e. the vast majority of bosses in this game) have a skill called Big Shield. It has a [Level]% chance to negate all damage from an attack. So that activates twice on Fin so we only do about 10 damage.
Sigurd then weakens Macbeth. Unfortunately there's no way we'll be able to get Lachesis to grab this kill, so instead we have her heal Ethlin who heals Cuan who weakens Macbeth further for Lex to finish off.
That ring really could've been better used on someone else, but I couldn't get the kill off that turn any other way and frankly if I could've I was too frustrated with RNG manipulation due to the resets required saving the Paladin trio. I'll just have Lex sell it next chapter and have someone else buy it.
Beowulf being unable to do anything starts heading south. Since Sigurd already attacked we'll have to wait until next turn to seize.
Wouldn't ya say King Eltshan and th' princess are a wee bit too cosy for siblings? Oh, how I love t'gossip! Eh? I've too much free time, ya say? Well, I'll shut mah mouth!
So here's some of the incest I was talking about earlier. This conversation (as well as Lachesis' dialogue at the start of the chapter) implies that she's in love with her brother. If you read the manga, their relationship is much more fleshed out. It's shown to go both ways and it's more than just hinted at. It's pretty explicitly stated.
So we move south and have Sigurd seize.
Wow they just trample right over our units. How rude.
Ok they made up for it by trampling the Paladins as well.
Sir Sigurd, looks like we've reached full-scale war with Agustria. What's the prognosis?
We seem to be holding up alright, but it's been no easy fight.
Incidentally, I've come with a bit of bad news.
There's been some nasty rumours making the rounds in the Royal Court. It's going around that Prince Cuan of Lenster, King Eltshan of Nodion, and yourself are conspiring against His Majesty. They say that explains why you're hiding the Prince of Isaac.
That's absurd! Who could've started such a story!?
Duke Reptor and Lord Langobart.
(Brief reminder that Langobart is the head of Dozel and Lex's father. Reptor is the head of Freege.)
I see... Those two have had it in for my father for some time, but this has gone far enough.
I believe they're put off by the way Prince Kurth goes to Lord Byron for everything. Once the prince ascends the throne, those two are sure to be ousted from their posts, and that has them worried. At any rate, I'd watch your back.
Thanks, I'll do that. Tell me, how are we faring in the Isaacian conflict?
We expect Prince Kurth and your father's triumphant return any day now.
I'm glad to hear His Highness made it through alright. My father sure worries about his safety. He fears the Royal Family's blood would be lost forever if anything were to happen to him.
Indeed. We've been trying to hasten his search for a bride as of late.
Huh? Is there any special reason for that?
Er... Well, only a select few at the Royal Court know this but... It seems His Highness is having problems letting go of a love from his past.
Really? Any reason the two never married?
Oh, I may as well tell you the whole story. This all took place nearly 20 years ago.
Now the duke of Velthomer was a reputed womanizer and had several lovers. The prince, however, was a straight arrow. Initially, the prince merely sympathized with the duchess, but then one day the two fell deeply in love. Now the duke lost his head. After writing a letter denouncing the two, he committed suicide. The duchess, clearly perplexed, disappeared without a trace. I believe her name was Sigyn.
Sigyn, isn't that a name we've heard before?
Geez... I never knew. The duchess would have been Lord Alvis' mother, correct?
Precisely. Oh, what a pity... To lose both parents like that at the age of seven...
Poor Prince Kurth... and the duchess.
Oh, I'm sorry to run on and on. Soldiers like yourself have no time for Royal Court gossip. Just forget I said anything. I'm sure this conflict is keeping you plenty busy. Sir Sigurd, we anxiously await your return to the homeland!
So this Sigyn woman was Alvis' mother and then disappeared without a trace. This probably isn't important at all and should promptly be forgotten. Have you forgotten about it yet? Good, let's move past this insignificant detail. Meanwhile...
We've no choice but to fight. Get the ballistas in position. The Grandbell army must not reach Agusty!
Er, really we were gonna stop there. We didn't have any big plans to subdue the rest of the country. But if you insist
Oh yea, she showed up some time ago, didn't she?
King Shagaal, how long do you intend to keep me waiting? I must find Prince Levin as soon as possible! I'm only here because I heard you knew his whereabouts.
Prince Levin's been captured by the Grandbell army... the very army that's currently invading Agustria. My sources tell me they are executing anybody and everybody they run across. The prince is being held at their base in Evans and, word is, is about to be executed.
What? Wait no that's not true at all. He's working together with us! Well really he hasn't met any of our army yet so he's just being controlled by us and doing his own thing. But still!
Oh no! I must rescue the prince! We'll leave for Evans at once. Queen Lahna of Silesia warned me to keep out of combat, but this might be unavoidable. If I come across any Grandbell troops, I will engage them.
Uhh... Hopefully it won't come to that. May your mission be a success.
All right. We're off!
Oh great, they're enemies now. How peachy.
And wow, he has quite an army. Well this should be an interesting assault. And I suppose we'll have to defend Evans from Fury while we're at it. Ugh, this is going to be a whole ordeal, isn't it?