Part 16: Chapter 15
Ugh...the desert stage. This is where FEGirls bares its fangs, in case you were wondering where the difficulty went. It really spikes here.
But first, we give Lute a little HP boost, because 39 is too low for her.
As far as hidden items go, I'm taking what I get but I won't actually search for all the items, because there is, to my knowledge, no map showing where they all are. Apparently a few new items got added in to the stuff from vanilla FE8, though. For enemies, we see our first enemy Berserkers, some Valkyrie, and a swarm of Falcoknights. The enemies here are much stronger than the previous chapters, and with Lyn still unable to promote, this could get ugly. Oh, and Eirika rejoins us with the same stats and inventory, so she's even more vulnerable, although she and her new buddies should be able to defend themselves.
Louise is pretty good, having a White Gem, Silver Bow and +1 range due to the Sniper's skill.
Nino and Lilina are with them, and these two aren't as bad as you'd think - they have A ranks in Anima, Lilina has Aircalibur and what I believe is supposed to be Tornado, and Nino has Thunder, Dimebolt and Bolting, as well as a Guiding Ring if you think promoting them now will make surviving a little easier. That vendor has some decent equipment if you do, and of course they instantly have access to our mountain of gold despite being miles away from us.
Clarine starts by removing one of the enemies set to go after Eirika. This is to reduce their workload so surviving without promoting isn't nearly as luck-driven.
On the very next turn the AI decides to attack directly and risk death by counterattack.
The Sage gets the worst possible outcome, netting us a free Physic.
Behold the greatest invention of mankind: Siege tomes, namely, Purge.
The other Valkyrie decides Berserking a doll is a good idea.
Clarine takes out another one while she has the chance.
A single Great Knight is set to attack us from turn 1, though a Silver Blade is rather threatening.
Oh wonderful. Time to waste someone's turn curing it.
Oh, and there's Wyvern spam now too, one Knight and one Lord.
The Great Knight drops her Silver Blade...
...and we get to the Berserkers. This one has a Devil Axe, which is A-ranked and unliftable if it's equipped, but thankfully the computer prefers ranged attacks over direct ones if they're available, so we can get her to equip the Short Axe, then steal it, which makes the Devil Axe droppable since it's at the end of her item list. Not that there's any real reason to pick it up aside from collecting items - why add yet another element of luck to this?
The other Berserker has a Tomahawk and Dragon Axe. The Tomahawk is A-ranked so you have to steal it before she equips it if you want it.
Or just kill her and take it since it drops. Also notice the Berserker animation has some of the worst-drawn busts in pixel art history. They even jiggle during the battle animation. Let's avoid jokes about Lyn being jealous of this and deciding to jiggle her busts in her promoted battle animation...though it's probably too late now.
The Druids don't move until someone is in range, which Fiora is, so she'll need a ranged spear to counter them. Note to Druids: Luna is still bad.
Well what else was she going to get?
One Druid, however, keeps still and snipes with Eclipse. This one has items we want to lift, so getting close will be annoying.
Especially due to the sudden reinforcements. Of note: do NOT let the Wyvern stray close to Eirika's group, they're too appealing to avoid and catching one of the mages off guard while she's using Bolting is an instant loss.
Meanwhile, Ninian caps her level, RES and MAG all in one go.
Aircalibur does wonders on the Wyverns, and since this one carries two weapon types it's hard to exploit the triangle advantage.
The Warriors aren't really that notable.
Meanwhile, Clarine pulls this from tossing a spear at the Valkyrie with Purge.
I still think it was silly to make CON not affect attack speed, because that means it's only good for Rescue and the Colossus skill now.
It's not even a real solution to the weight issue since you can reduce the AS loss by 15 at most (stats cap at 31 at most, 31 STR and 31 SKL divided by 4 is 15.5)
Hm. With that in mind maybe a Secret Book for Echidna isn't a bad idea.
Meanwhile Nino gets very lucky with the Bolting spell. Based on what happened with Lilina in the next fight I'd say her luck was being stolen.
Oh good grief.
This is the defense I've set up: Lyn and Limstella are currently rescued, and the wall stops the magic enemies from hitting Wendy.
Nino was able to pick up a little something that kind of helps.
Isadora also pulls off some amazing dodges herself.
We live through that turn and now get to see how powerful the Garm is. I never thought I'd see a number above 30 there. The fact that it can't double hardly matters in this instance.
This caps her DEF I believe.
Karla nails the Valkyrie and takes her Recover staff. This and Restore are C-ranked and work the same regardless of the user's MAG stat, so Limstella's able to use them to great effect.
This is risky on Ninian's part. Keep in mind Staves have weight now, so I hope she has Mend or something light equipped!
A Wyvern managed to stray towards the upper half of the map, but Lilina gets a very lucky dodge.
FUCKING HELL. Mage Knights? You needed to add a surprise Mage Knight swarm?! They aren't even impeded because there's no sand on this part of the map!
Well, as long as the levels are good I suspect we'll pull through.
Although guess who forgot to give the dodge tank an Elixer?
Now this is more like it.
I forget if it's been mentioned yet, but there is in fact a hard cap of 50 enemy units. The game simply refuses to load more than that, and abusing this to keep enemy numbers low is actually viable in a few spots.
Shame there's little to persuade me into using either of the two Est-like Mages, as I don't intend to tower grind.
Ninian comes very close to dying due to a few unlucky hits, but as it turns out, she has Prayer, which drastically increases the dodge chance at low HP.
And THIS is for spamming Mage Knights in vanilla FE8!
This frees Ninian and pretty much ends the toughest part of the chapter.
Capped speed means nothing if it's Limstella.
As helpful as she ever was.
Eirika's group is nearly totally safe. Notice Eirika's abysmal damage. This illustrates a serious issue FEGirls has: Often, new characters aren't really ready for the challenges present in the level they're recruited in.
Though sometimes you just get unlucky.
Almost thought they were on a Strength spree there.
With that overwith the significantly more boring phase of the chapter starts: routing all the stationary units.
Come to think of it...was Lilina's mouth always open in her portrait?
One healing later Limstella still refuses to gain MAG, although she doesn't need it since Recover is a full healing.
A lucky crit gets this enemy down to the point where we can score a free Silver Sword.
Not a good start to Isadora's career I'd say.
There's also another enemy with a Short Spear for us.
Now THAT has to be the DEF cap.
Elsewhere, we've picked up another Luna.
Unfortunately, I sent her down there, which means she can't lift anything off the Falcoknights: one of them has a Brave Lance.
Now, I wanted to steal this Druid's White Gem, but of course a Sage with Physic had to get in the way of that.
That should let her use more swords without penalty.
I also found out Druids have Flare, which is like Pierce, but for RES. However, this Druid is using Eclipse, which inflicts fixed damage anyways, so the Flare activation is pointless.
Valter as a Falcoknight...I guess he was meant to look flamboyant or something, but sadly the price of that is there is no longer a risk of him activating Pierce.
Shame he didn't decide to take his fleet after Eirika or something. But then that'd be impossible for her to survive.
I dunno, I guess I want the boss fight to be a little more climactic. We get a Fili Shield, which means Clarine is now even more unkillable.
And now for Echidna to wander the sands and hopefully pick up something nice.
The Sage gets lucky but we ultimately steal her items.
And for risking Limstella's neck she finally gets MAG.
Echidna randomly picks up the Metis Tome. No I'm not using it.
I'll be taking THOSE as well.
Please do better.
Silver can't be stolen, so the Sniper is killed for another decent level including MAG.
And now we get a White Gem from the Druid finally. That tome is Fenrir, which is A-ranked. Can't steal it.
The village has a Knight Crown. Guess where that's going!
We also find the Boots. These also have 3 uses, granting one point of Move each.
We pick up a Wyrmslayer while taking down a Swordmaster. (Swordmistress?)
Speaking of which, he has a Runesword, but he always equips it to attack, and it's A-ranked. Oh well, grab the Silver Sword I guess.
The level is bad, too.
Also, this chapter has a weird bug in it: If Autoend is enabled, and you move everyone but Eirika, the game ends your turn without letting you move her as if she weren't there. So be sure to turn that option off if your strategy needs her to move last.
Those are nice levels. I guess.
Now there's a Runesword I can definitely steal.
Now she can steal from anyone.
Finally, we have Caellach. Hm. I wonder if he and Fa would have a conversation here...
Anyways, we kill him by luring him into using his Tomahawk to attack, hit him with swords, and take his Hoplon Guard.
The chapter ends, and we pick up Audhulma and Excalibur. These, I can definitely use.
Jehanna's secret shop is also opened up on the world map. It carries a series of weapons that have no might and one use. These are essentially Arms Scrolls: using one gives enough WEXP to guarantee a rank up. Although there doesn't appear to be a version for Staves. Hm.
Coming up next: More beginner's traps than Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake! It's the siege of Renais!
Mag: 65% (Really...)