Part 5: Bald is BeautifulThis is going up a little earlier than expected because I might have a busy week, and wanted to get this up.
Part 4: Bald Is Beautiful
Last time on Fire Emblem 12, we had a skirmish with the future queen of the country, and set her on fire before plunging an arrow into her gut.
She then decided to be our best friend. Anyway...
Luke, you aren't supposed to say "sigh" out loud, you idiot.
: What's wrong, Luke?
: Don't you think it's a crying shame that there aren't any cute and caring clerics around?
: Wh-what do you mean?
Ryan, step away from the fantasizing weirdo.
: Hey, Steve the Timid, if we had a cleric like that with us, I bet we'd all fight twice as hard!
Blinking Luke, keep your hands where I can see them .
:But it would make our lives easier if we had a healer on our side. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any healers around, Luke.
It's times like this I envy Steve's blindness.
You get no points for guessing what the good news is.
This is not blinking Wrys. That's his default expression.
I think this image sums up this update pretty well.
Steve mumbles her inner monologue into her mask, I assume.
: Pay no heed to Luke; we're all fine. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Wrys.
One quick scene change later...
Yikes. That's a step up in the number of units.
Meet Athena. Athena was the first of the bonus characters to appear in Shadow Dragon (if you don't count Norne, who you only got by letting 2 or more people die in the prologue), and thus the one most players were most likely to see. She also turned out pretty solid.
Athena has a gimmick. Can you figure it out in this screenshot?
Katarina on point with the tips today. This is actually super important. She can kill Steve in a single round of combat.
So, I'll keep that in mind as the map starts. Let's take a look at our new allies.
Caeda here isn't the powerhouse destroyer of worlds she was in Shadow Dragon, but she's still probably our best unit right now. She still can't double Athena, but she won't be hit twice herself.
Wrys is a Curate who uses staves. Staves are a special kind of weapon that does no damage, but provides utility. The Heal stave heals you, with a bonus provided by the user's Magic stat. Wrys is god awful. But look at that head. He's also apparently sort of a meme in Japan, to the point where Satoru Iwata was gushing about him in the Iwata Asks for Shadow Dragon. Anyone remember those?
Anyway, that green area represents the ends of his healing range, just like red does for attack range. It's a nice touch.
I know I don't normally leave the bottom screen in on these battle shots, but I wanted to show what I'm doing here. Luke and Rody are going to form a makeshift wall to keep the enemies from coming down the chokepoint. But Luke is injured. Luckily, we have some help.
Luke finally gets to live out his steamy healing fantasy. With Wrys.
Steve could zap this guy down to 1 HP, but note that I also didn't have Rody attack his soldier. This is because I didn't want him to eat the counterattack with Wrys' turn spent.
For the same reason, I'm not using Steve to hit the soldier. If I get him too weak, he'll die to the counterattack on his turn, freeing up his spot on the map for one of those other units to come in and take a shot at Luke.
Instead, I have her chip away at the soldier Rody didn't attack, because Steve fears no counters.
This is just a habit of mine. I highlight all the bow units on the map, so I know where not to send my fliers, like Caeda.
That damn archer shoots an arrow into Rody...
And the soldier takes a shot too.
On his turn, he is not pleased.
I am, though. Nice level.
You'll see Luke and Rody start to diverge more here. Rody gets more Skill and Speed on average, while Luke is slanted towards Strength and Defense.
Wrys patches up Rody, but this is still kind of a bad situation. Lots of units at the chokepoint, and if you noticed, Athena actually moves towards us before we enter her range.
I need to mitigate the damage they can do, and that means the archer needs to go.
Thankfully, Caeda can double him down to 2 HP.
And I noticed that Ryan, right now, is about as solid a tank as Luke, despite being an archer, so I feel safe moving him into a blocking position. Finishing off the archer is important too.
Can you see how disappointing this is? 1 more Magic point and this would be a kill. Steve
Oh. Well that was nice of you! Seriously, this is a great level.
Pictured: Ryan tanking a spear with his face. Also preventing this guy from dying too quick and leaving his spot open.
Without the archer around, Caeda is in a much better position. So I don't mind too much that the boss rushed her. After all, she's one of the few people that can't be doubled by Athena.
This is how things look at the start of turn 3. I want Athena gone, and fast.
Ryan does what he does best, chip damage at a safe distance.
Caeda could use a little patching up as well, if she's going to continue tanking.
Meanwhile, poor 1 HP soldier gets completely overkilled by Steve, who I worry is starting to develop sociopathic tendencies.
Caeda brings Athena down to 7 HP. (Probably should have waited to heal her until after she took Athena's counter here. Whoops.)
And Luke returns from his brief exile to the southwest of the action to finish off the boss.
This is what I like to see. Keep doing this, game.
The remaining two enemies rushed Luke. This attack actually brought him down to 8 HP. Why bring this up?
Because this happened and it was terrifying.
The rest of the crew clean up (and Luke gets another soothing back massage from his buddy Wrys. That does actually give experience. I also like to torment Luke.)
Ryan caps things off with a decent level. I think he has more defense than the cavaliers now.
: Especially you. Vat is your name?
Shaken, not stirred.
: Steve. Ve vill remember that.
Hop in, I could use as many people as I can get. Also, what are those orange things under your eyes? I just noticed those.
Oh god, it was a test the whole time!
I thought this was "mock combat". Cain, are you hiding something from us?
: A-Amazing! We did it! We did it, Steve! It's all thanks to you, Steve!
: But don't let your guard down. Placing first doesn't give you an excuse to start slacking off.
What was that Cain? While you were saying that I think Luke started using Ryan as a bludgeon again.
Steve, haven't you been here for like 2 days? Oh, right. Blind.
Ah! An assassin!
Oh. Or it's just Elice. Don't remember her from Shadow Dragon? She was in like 3 chapters and the prologue. Spent most of the game kidnapped by Gharnef.
: It's alright, Steve. I think it's very admirable that you've come to help Marth.
: It is an honor to serve Prince Marth, the Hero King.
Geez. He saved you from the evil wizard guy and killed a giant dragon. The least you could have said was "more like Zero-King" and ran away giggling. This is just uncalled for.
: Prince Marth is weak?
: Yes. Of course, he was the hero who triumphed in the battle against the Shadow Dragon. However, behind his heroic face, Marth is an idealistic child who firmly clings on to his beliefs. And as you too must know, the real world... cannot be saved with just ideals.
: Yes, that's true...
: Even as we speak, somewhere unknown to us, our peoples' lives are being lost...
: But Marth cannot do that... He truly thinks that he can save everyone.
He is in the wrong series.
:In this cruel world, it will become increasingly difficult for him to continue to hold those ideals... Steve, if some day you should achieve knighthood...
Well that was...sobering. Does she have this conversation with every Junior Knight? She's lucky she didn't run into Luke.
I'll admit, the first time reading this bit in English (I'm a big dork who owns a Japanese hard copy of the game ) confused me. It's the first time we see anyone doubt Marth or point out a flaw in him. He was the invincible hero in Shadow Dragon once the prologue ended, so this is new ground for him. We'll see if it goes anywhere.
Anyway, next time we run into an old staple of the series in Part 5, The First Bandit Chapter.