Part 52: Battle: Homecoming KingUpdate 30: Homecoming King (Battle)
Alright, time to storm the Altean countryside and take back our country from this asshole Turbanless Emperor.
Just FYI, this is a giant fucking update (183 images right now, might end up cutting a few as I write it), so if you want a summary, I'm putting one in spoilers below.
Dolph walks up and recruits himself at the start of the map, he's a General who is pretty lackluster but does an okay job at just being a wall. Abel has betrayed us because they have his girlfriend, Est, hostage. We save Est, who has amazing growth rates/is a Peg Knight, but she's level 5 so training her is needlessly difficult (especially while Catria exists). Est recruits Abel, who used to be amazing in Shadow Dragon but is just a subpar Paladin now. I manage to Arena Abuse Julian to Level 11 and Marth to 12, but eventually the battles become too difficult for Julian, so I just have Catria generate a bunch of money so I can Drill Grounds Julian. Next chapter we actually fight inside Castle Altea.
Anyway, time for some How's Everyone.
Caeda is going Cavalier for this map because fuck Ballistas.
And as soon as the map starts...
Not really, I'm gonna blame these guys who are on screen in a second.
Buddy, you clearly have no idea how lax this army's standards are.
(abel will be a complete non-factor in this battle aside from one little annoying bit if you don't want to murder him)
Oh hey, it's Dolph. He is not that other guy.
: Oh! Dolph! You're a general of Archanea, though; why would you come to my side?
: I've given up my position and have left Emperor Hardin's side. There is no justice left in Archanea. But justice lies in your Altea. And that's why I've come to you.
: I see. Then Dolph, will you fight with us?
: Indeed I shall. Let this battle be a testament to my faith in you.
And we've got Dolph now. He's...I mean, he's okay? He's got solid growths in HP, Strength, Skill, and Defense, which is good for a General, but his base stats are on the low side, and his Speed is going to make him a liability against quick moving enemies. Not a bad wall though, especially for this chapter.
We're on an invisible timer from minute 1 if you want to get those villages, so I need to have Luke and Marth veer off left ASAP.
Meanwhile, Barst's water walking abilities make him an ideal candidate for dealing with those Ballistas.
"But Hippoman," you ask, as if you were interested, "Why not have him just beat the shit out of those healing guys immediately afterwards?"
Well, Abel is over there, and he will attack. If Abel comes within 15 feet of Barst, he will be immediately obliterated. So I need to hover slightly out of his range.
So let's play it safe.
This is an acceptable reward for playing it safe.
So here's the initial challenge of this map, this enormous pack of mounted fuckers who want to murder you immediately.
Julain, hide in the corner and read.
So, here's how I've got everyone set up, mostly clumped so they can't get ganged up on (except for Catria, I am not remotely worried about Catria) and just barely in range.
Oh, this is worth mentioning, you have control of Est for this entire map. If you try to recruit Abel with Marth, you can...but this General will one shot her. We're gonna have to get creative.
Knights are guarding the villages, so Luke's Armorslayer keeps them at bay.
Someday the forces of the Archanean Empire will know not to fuck with Barst the homeless pirate. That day is not today.
Pretend I said the same thing about Catria.
Oh shit I didn't remember there was a Ridersbane guy there. Thankfully Sirius can eat a hit from him.
Yeah, these Paladins actually hit fairly hard. This section can be pretty tricky, using the trees for defense bonuses isn't a bad strategy either if you can avoid getting ganged up on.
My hubris. My hubris is about to kill Catria.
Physic guy does this. Get used to this.
I just wanted to point out that Catria has already hit the maximum for Skill and Speed. Since she's promoted, she will never be able to get above those stats again in this class. All the classes have different caps for stats, so even if I were to change her to a class with a higher cap and get her above these stats, they would go down when/if I swapped back to Falcoknight.
Caeda's exclusive weapon comes in handy.
Merric wrecks a guy too, and oh my god he got Mag, it happened, the dream is real. Why does this feel so familiar?
Nevermore, that's a HORSE, not a WYRM, silly goose.
He's hit cap, and we don't get another Master Seal yet. Fuck (One will come soon enough)
Well, might as well chug this.
Noone here knows what a damn Wyrm is. Actually I'm doing this to try and get him to 1 HP so Julian can get the kill.
Foiled by Crits again.
Well, that was the last of the mounted onslaught, but this guy is approaching the villages, fast. I need to get a move on with Marth.
Malicia heals up Luke so he can...not die.
It works splendidly.
Imagine those ACTION LINES symbolize how much I hate this damn ballista.
Nothing can symbolize it for this healer, though.
Well, it didn't help much, actually.
I love how Marth's animations look like he's just gingerly poking the enemy.
Malicia is really on healing duty this map.
And now we can start moving everyone west.
But...we are a turn too late. Thankfully the vote came out even, so, I mean, guess we'll have to go for Right now.
Villager: There's always been bad blood between our village and the next one over. They'll have closed the gates to you the moment they saw you come here. No need to worry, though. We've got better offerings than them!
They are also ALL DEAD
Both villages say the same thing, if you were wondering.
And the other one has a Dracoshield.
This is a good level.
Amid the ruins of this village, Luke enacts HOLY VENGEANCE.
Oh hey nice. Holy vengeance was worth it.
There is another thief right behind that last one. Sirius plays Welcome Committee.
Let's all just hover awkwardly outside enemy range. Except for Marth.
These are some pretty ballsy bandits, just trying to straight up murder the Prince.
Also the Archanean Bishops are such dicks they're just going to heal them to help out in this regicide.
It didn't work out.
Why would a thief be carrying this? I mean, I'll take it. But I will complain.
So now that everyone is nice and grouped up, let's start the next "fuck you" portion of this map.
Step too far out here?
Welcome to reinforcement town, population all these guys.
It sure is a good thing I was kinda aware of this and didn't have anybody squishy too close to the top there, where I would lose characters and have to reset the map... (fuckin hard mode reinforcement cheese)
Not a great level, but I like both those stats, so it's okay.
Wing Spear is just enough to knock him down to 3. 3 is the magic number.
Because of this.
Pretty good level here.
When Marth holds his sword vertically, someone is going to get dead.
It was that cav. That Cav is pretty dead.
This poor mage.
Well, I no longer feel bad.
Oh, and we aren't getting away that easy. Next turn...this. The other reinforcements came back too. (But those Thieves are now Horsemen)
Elfire dents Luke pretty hard.
Marth looks pretty calm for being...impaled.
Malicia is even more chill. Look at that dodge animation.
And now she resorts to VIOLENCE.
Don't let the 1 fool you, HP is still ticking down.
Eh. I'll take the speed.
All those previous reinforcements are still coming, by the way.
So, uh, it just dawned on me how easy these chokepoints are to use. Oops.
Because we have one more wave!
Fire does not effect Dolph. Dolph is an Ifrit.
Steve, you weren't part of the chokepoint! Oh, you mischevious scamp!
All done with the northern guys, now to wait for the rest to make their way around.
Malicia hates Paladins.
So does Barst.
About the same result for that last one.
Back to the great Malicia levels. GOOD.
You know, I probably should have used not-Barst here, because he's already gorged on EXP.
Getting some value on that Poleax.
Finally, A-Rank. Barst can now use every axe in the game.
You might call it
an all axess pass
(Radiant Dawn goes up to S and SS and it's ridiculous, but that game also had Tier 3 promotions because it was super long)
Stunning gymnast Ogma.
One left. Initiate Pro-Bait-Tactics.
It worked. Barst was there. It was a poor choice on their part.
One of them had this. This is going to come in handy in just a bit.
I mean, this will too, but in a different way.
And that's the end of...pretty much all the enemies on the map but the castle guards and a few leftover stragglers. Nice.
And there's this great little group of shops over here...detour time.
Oh, we should probably also help Est.
I totally forgot about these guys, they were with the mounted assault at the beginning, but they never moved. And they are now pretty much free XP.
And now, let's save Abel.
So, first we need to get Est out, although this Swarm Bishop is guarding the door.
I brought everybody over for a jailbreak. I don't need them, but, I mean, it's the principle of the thing.
EST GET THE FUCK OUTTA THERE!
Est is a member of a frequent FE character archetype called the...Ests. She's a character who comes late at a low level (That's 5 unpromoted!), but has great growth rates.
I don't like Ests. It's a lot of work for what Catria is pretty much doing right now. This game has a lot of units that will end up around as good as her anyway.
So, now that I've dequipped Dolph, he's going to wade in and pull Abel.
Abel please. Look, it's your girlfriend.
No, I don't want you. Get out of here.
She's like 5 feet from you Abel. Please.
Abel this is just sad.
Here we go. (You can do this with Marth too, although it will make the General he just killed hostile to Est.)
: Est! Thank heavens you're safe.
: Yeah, Prince Marth saved me. You don't have to fight anymore. It's okay now. I'm safe.
: I see. Those blasted Archaneans! How can I possibly make it up to Prince Marth...?
: I'm so sorry, Abel... It's all my fault.
: No, Est! That's not true! It was those Archaneans-- I won't forgive them... I'll show them the true meaning of pain!
Hold your horses, Abel. You were one of the first characters in Shadow Dragon, and you were a really great one too. You uh...aren't anymore.
His growths aren't bad, they hover around a 60-40% in all but Res (5), Magic (0), and HP (100), but his bases are pretty embarassing if you sit him next to someone like Luke, a trained Rody or Sirius, or other comparable Paladins. He's a pretty subpar unit in an already bloated archetype, and he's really not a good unit in this game, sadly for my favorite character of SD
Sorry Abel. I know this is pretty embarrassing.
Oh, and I wanted to pop those EXP bags. Barst slowly wades out of the water.
Meanwhile Sirius gives the same treatment to the Bishops behind the Castle.
No fortify though, sadly.
Ow. What a dick.
And that'll do it.
They...aren't? Only you are.
Well, that's the end of the normal update. But we aren't done. Oh no. It's time for.
If you aren't familiar with FE Arena Abuse, here's your crash course. Step 1, find a unit who needs levels. Like this guy.
In the Arena, you wager gold, and unlike at the drill grounds, it's actually a wager, you get double your money back if you win.
Step 2 is to have a healer on hand to patch up your unit after each run in the Arena. If you see a fight they can't win, immediately quit out. If they die, this whole thing is pointless. Save States are viable too if you're using a version that lets you do that.
This went on.
For a while.
Even for Malicia!
But there's an issue. Eventually, since Julian is a thief, and locked to Iron Swords in the arena, I started running into only fights I could not win, with a winnable fight once every like 20 draws. Even then, those usually relied on me getting like a 3% crit. The Drill Grounds is much easier. So this Arena Abuse was not as gamebreakingly effective as it can be. Instead, I thought of another cheap way to get Julian up to par.
First I let Marth take care of the last few points of XP he needed to hit 20.
Then I brought in the instant win machine to make MAD GOLD
I kept it up until that happened. Those proceeds are going to Julian Drill Grounds levels and making him a good forge. Kind of a roundabout way to do it, but we should have him usable in the next map.
This is not needed...but not unappreciated.
I started with about 5k and tripled my money. Nice.
Now then, on turn...115.
: There's no need for concern, sire. Everybody has eagerly awaited this day.
: Sir Jagen speaks truly. We've been fighting for this day-- the day we reclaim our homeland.
: Yet, because of Archanea's actions, so many innocent lives have been lost. How can I face them...? I've caused them great sorrow. Because I was too weak... Was I presumptuous in believing I could protect my homeland?
: Sire... Do you remember, sire? The words you said to us on the very first day of our training?
Steve will not allow this existential crisis bullshit to end the chapter on.
: Steve...... Of course. I could never forget......
: Upon hearing your words, I decided that I would work hard, so that I could be of assistance to you, sire. I want to become like you. There is no need for you to shoulder everything on your own. Your pain, and your suffering... They are not yours to bear alone. I will always be by your side.
: Sire, chin up!
Jagen too, is sick of the moping. Also Chrome keeps wanting me to correct Jagen to "Jagger" and that is a pretty great alternate canon idea.
: We must still recapture Altea Castle. I believe that our enemies are well prepared for us, but it is our castle. We know it better than they do. Sire, give us the command! We will fight to recover our home!!
We aren't done yet. Next map is pretty hard. But before that...
What about it?
: Did it work? Did you feel the, er, legendary power?
: No, I didn't feel any different.
: As I suspected... Steve, I believe Xane pulled a fast one on you.
: I-is that so...?
Marth. Marth. You don't get it. Steve will wear ANYTHING.
: No, thank you. Maybe it just takes a while for the legendary power to manifest.
Any day now.
: You, um, still believe Xane...? Well, if that's what you really want, I suppose I shan't persuade you further.
Well, let's wrap this up. Next time, Altea Castle.
Update 31: Homebound on the As-tram