Part 24: Prep: Samurai SteveUpdate 16: Samurai Steve (Prep)
Oh hey, it's Chapter 5 time. Last time around everything went to shit as Caeda revealed to us that Hardin had betrayed us and taken over Altea while Marth was off dicking around halfway across the continent.
But before we can deal with that, Marth kinda has to go free the country he accidentally helped the villains conquer. Whoops.
TURBAN IS BACK
Narrator: Hardin was once not only a comrade-in-arms,
but a trusted confidant and irreplaceable friend.
"Yet... why attack Altea? What have I done wrong?"
Filled with frustration, Marth hurried his return to his homeland,
but the first barrier stood in his way:
Olbern Keep, headquarters of the Grustian Occupation Army led by the evil General Lang...
also known as the "Nest of Evil."
Little on the nose with the name there. But we don't quite get the Prep screen yet...
: Archanea will not be an easy opponent. They have one of the most powerful militaries on the continent.
Well they are named after the continent.
: We're ready to face anything, sir. Although... we still lack experience, I admit. We have to grow stronger...
: Indeed. Steve, are you aware of the "drill grounds" that operate across the continent?
: Drill grounds, sir?
Metal G-ehhhh, not worth it.
: It costs a bit of money, but if you go practice in one, you can get stronger. It might be a good idea to let our more inexperienced men have a go.
For those of you who were wondering where the arenas were in this one, well, here's one!
The Drill Grounds can be accessed now at any time from the prep screen.
This lovely fellow owns it.
Any character that uses a weapon can use them (So no clerics/curates)
And you can see the combat forecast here. Note that you have to pay to fight here, which makes them less profitable than previous games' arenas, which treated the entrance money as a wager. You don't get any money back here.
You can press B to preemptively stop the match, but it won't end until a turn of combat goes by, so no cheating if you miss or something.
Warren does not have any problems.
And he gets a level out of it. Drill Grounds levels are a little different than normal. They're more fixed, so you have less chances of getting RNG screwed, but less of getting really lucky level ups. According to some posts on Serenes, this is based on the units Base Stat Growths.
So, for example, if you add up all of Warren's base stat growths, you get 215%. That 200 guarantees 2 Stat Ups, and there's a 15% chance of getting a 3rd stat. But, since he's a Hunter, you can add 75% to that, so there's a 90% chance of 3 stats.
Note that a lot of this seems to be mostly educated guesswork, because I couldn't find it proven anywhere. This game doesn't have as much info out there as some of the others due to its JP only release.
Drill Grounds are a good way of leveling characters that are struggling a bit and have good growths, but they can drain your money really quick, so if you like to forge weapons or buy a lot of them, use them sparingly.
You can also chain fights together to increase your max number of fights won in a row. I'm not sure if this does anything, but eh.
I went ahead and gave Julian a bit of a boost. (His total is 370%, so that theory is looking pretty solid)
And now it's time for...well, I didn't want to do this. Mage Steve was fun. It was also horribly depressing. Steve, I'm sorry. But it's better this way. We can actually use you.
And with that Steve has already hit the cap for Speed. Damn.
But I will not forget her roots.
Fucking growth rates. Here's the map.
We start in the bottom right corner There's a short way around this river that leads to the fort, and a long way with a village in it, so much like Chapter 3, at least Marth will have to go the long way. Directly north of us we see two familiar faces, though...
And...oh. Cowlick II, Son of Cowlick.
Also a SILVER BOW SNIPER SQUAD This is not as scary as it looks. For reasons.
And here's the boss on the SW island. He's got a fucking Ballista
Lots of Base Conversations today.
: Ohhh... I-I don't believe it. I give up...
: The way you move your pieces is lacking in composure. Also, if you had focused on setting up a strong defense, it wouldn't have crumbled so easily.
: I see...
: You need to be more composed when observing the whole situation. Reading your opponent's movements, and focusing your attacks on what pieces you've lured... These are the basics of tactics.
Really the basics of tactics for you guys are "STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ARROWS", but that works.
: ...You're right. Perhaps I was too impatient...
: Is there something on your mind?
Maybe the horrible war going on and your sister being missing in action in an occupied country? I dunno, spitballing here.
: It hurts but you can't do anything about it, so you act recklessly as if running from that pain... That's how I see it.
: I'm no match for you, Palla... How did you figure out that much?
: Well... I didn't really...
: Alright, I'll make an effort to observe things with more composure. Something might change if I do... Thank you, Sister.
I don't think they outright say it in game, but Catria has a thing for Marth. He is both engaged and far too dense to notice, so nothing comes of it.
Steve Sniffs Stuff
: Princess Caeda, you've been cooking?
: Yes. I do hope Marth enjoys what I've made.
: Oh, that is nice of you. Then, if you'll allow me... Ah! It's delicious! It tastes really good.
: I'm glad you like it. Do you think Marth will like it too?
: Without a shadow of a doubt. It's delicious, after all. Though you're the princess of Talys, you're awfully skilled at cooking...
: Well, I may be a princess, but my motherland Talys is just a small island nation surrounded by the sea. I played around outside a lot during my childhood days. I hear they often called me a tomboy.
: I see... I never would have guessed. Oh, by the way...
: Some time ago, you were our opponent during our training, Princess. I could scarcely believe a princess would fight us... I still remember my amazement at the time.
Damn, yeah, that was like Prologue 3.
: Oh yes. That time, everyone begged me to quit, but... I suppose I truly am a tomboy, after all?
The Death Of Steve
Steve, swords are heavy, you can't use them like-
: Guh... Did I... go too far...? I'm feeling... dizzy...
Well, that was Fire Emblem 12. Hope you liked it.
: Steve!? A-are you all right?
: Dame Palla... I-I'm okay. Sorry you had to see that..
: You look unsteady. This isn't like you... What were you doing?
: The truth is... I thought I wasn't... training hard enough. So I decided to train five times harder...
: How sudden... Then it's no wonder you collapsed.
: I-it's okay. "When training is hard, train even harder." My grandfather taught me that.
Well, the guy was friends with Jagen.
: That'll do you no good. You're pushing yourself too hard...! Here, sit down. Let's take a break.
: No, I can still...
: Let's. Take. A. Break.
: ...Yes ma'am.
: Yes, that's more like it. You won't get strong if you force yourself to train too hard. You need to understand your limits. Here's some water. Please have some.
: T-thank you...
: I'll get more if you need it, just ask. But that's enough training for now. Do you hear me?
She's pretty good at that.
: If we consider the speed of this invasion, the Grustian expedition and the rebellion in Macedon were no doubt traps. Make no mistake of it, the Archanean army is now our enemy. We will be returning to Altea. After going through the stronghold of Lang's occupation army, that is... We cannot let Lang be, especially after he ensnared our kingdom and tormented the people of Grust.
I would ask why Jagen didn't tell Marth Hardin might be betraying him, but knowing Jagen he probably suspects everyone of betraying them.
Axe-ing Ogma a Question
: Sir Ogma, is something troubling you?
: Yes, I am indeed troubled. About a former subordinate of mine... A man named Barst.
: Sir Barst... was it? When you say subordinate, you mean from Talys?
Steve just jams a "Sir" in front of everyone's name. Except Luke. For reasons.
: Yes, he used to be a mercenary fighting for King Talys and Princess Caeda, just like me. After the previous war was over, it seems he had an idea and left for Archanea.
"He had an idea" is like the vaguest possible thing.
: Then he's with the enemy?
: No, it seems he did join the Archanean army, but left it because he tired of fighting. If you happen to meet Barst... I'll talk to him. Leave it to me.
: If I'm not mistaken, my pal lives around here.
: Your pal?
: Yeah, a thief called Rickard. I've washed my hands of thievery, but I hear Rickard continues his thievin' ways. If you see him, leave him to me. I'll persuade him to quit that shady business.
I'd rather you didn't, thieves are pretty useful.
Wrapping things up with a How's Everyone.
Thought you were taking a break with Steve, Palla
Raking in that Bath EXP
Another shitty sword. Thoroughly "meh".
Starting to wish I had killed you.
And that's it for this time. Hope everyone enjoyed mounds of dull dialogue!