Part 12: Chapter 9 - Preamble
What is it? I'm listening.
Our expenses, our ability to fight... The current status of our troops... These are all things that you must know.
I see. Having a grasp of that is part of the commander's job, too, right? Understood. Let me hear it.
I call bullshit on this. Unless maybe killing the boss counts for a lot? I always thought MVP was just done by straight up killcount.
Anyway, the important thing is that this is probably the fourth time in the entire game where you get an interesting dialogue change if someone died in the last chapter;
And that's it.
Ike? Is something wrong?
Even though I was aware of the numbers, hearing it in a report like this is... hard.
Do you mean the casualites and refugees?
Death and destruction are all part of war. My father said that a lot. "The first casualties of war are those without strength and those without luck." "And there's nothing you can do about it. Live with bravery, be daring and fearless. Live for those who have died." And yet... I can't help but think f I were more powerful... I could save more people. Couldn't I?
Forgive me. I got carried away.
No, not at all... Um, perhaps I should...
Thank you for the report. I will need more of the same from here on. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Commander. I will do my best. But if I have your leave, I must be going.
Instead, we just get this:
... That's it.
I think I've got most of it.
I'll give you a report before each battle. I hope that it helps.
I'm sure it will. Thank you. I'm relying on you for all the details. Keep up the good work.
And with that, we are dumped straight into the base.
Well, let's go through the motions, shall we?
Yes, everything's ready.
You have only a few robes and musty books. I'm taking a bit less, but it looks as though you travel light as well.
The burden of unnecessary items is something I detest.
Me too. We're alike in that, aren't we?
What is it? You've got that worried look again.
Everyone's really slow, aren't they? Shall I go and see what's taking them?
Soren... Don't worry about it.
I'm alive. I have trustworthy friends. That's how I know I can go on. I just hope I'm not... fooling myself.
No, you're not! You're not.
Well then, it's business as usual. I know we'll have troubles, but let us set our shoulders straight and get on with it.
Ah, Ike... Good morning.
If I said I were, I'd be lying. But I'm doing my best. Yesterday, I was so confused. Then, I awoke this morning and saw the blue sky, felt the sun on my face... And I thought, I'm alive. The sunlight was so warm. I mean, it's always warm, but... for some reason, it made me want to cry.
It's up to us. We must live the fullest lives we can. We have to live for Mother and for Father. We mustn't dishonor their memory. So... um... I may think about them, and I may cry every now and then, but I'll carry on!
You're right... Everything you said is right. We will carry on together.
Right! Oh! Sorry, I have to hurry and get ready! I'll see you later,
It's always nice to see writers understanding that there are subtle ways to portray blood relations.
Hi, Oscar. Yeah, I'm sore all over. Every muscle in my body hurts. Hopefully, I'll feel better after I move around for a while.
I hope for the same. When I woke up, it was all I could do to get out of bed. We're truly lucky to be alive. If those two beast fighters hadn't arrived when they did, we might have all been wiped out.
Ike, I can't say I know what you're going through or how you feel. But you should try to remember all that happened last night. The men we fought were professionals. Well trained and under the command of a cunning tactician... but not invincible.
... You're saying they follow certain rules? Specific patterns?
It's funny because Fire Emblem AI.
For an instant there, looking at you was like looking at Commander Greil.
I'm his son. I'm supposed to look like him, aren't I?
It wasn't that. And it wasn't an aura or a hunch or anything like that. I don't know what to call it. It was more like the core of your character... It felt the same as his.
Ha ha. Sorry. That must've sounded pretty stupid.
From now on, when I practice, would you join me? I would be more familiar with the fighting style of knights.
Of course! If there's anything I can do to help, you need only to ask.
Oh, Boss! Morning!
All set! It doesn't matter how late I go to sleep, I'm always awake before the sun rises! I can leave whenever!
... Um, I'm sorry. You know, for everything that's happened. It's all so sudden.
Oh, it's nothing. But it's been rough on you, hasn't it?
I could say the same to you. It can't have been easy joining a band of wanted mercenaries and fighting every day.
Oh, it's not so bad...
You were forced to join us by the whims of fate, not by choice. I know my father said you had a debt to repay, but he's not here anymore. If you want to leave, I won't stop you.
Oooh! Times... Times like this... I never have any idea of what I'm supposed to say. None! Uh, darn! Hold on. Yesterday... in the middle of that giant mess, you didn't give up, Boss. And I knew. That is how a true man lives! So now I have to follow you. You see?
I... think so.
That's my story, Boss. So do me a favor and don't tell me to get lost. I'm good to have around. You'll see!
If that's how you feel, I guess I understand. I'm counting on you. Don't let me down.
Never! I wouldn't know how!
Ike. Are you prepared? Can we depart soon?
I see. Then I will talk with you as we wait. Grr... My words, are they well? Can you understand them?
Sure, no problem. I understand you.
That is good. Mordecai is not so good with this language.
What language do you normally use?
With others of my tribe, I need no words. I say all that I must with gestures and with... how do you say... growls?
That sounds convenient.
Yes. But our tongue does not let us talk to other tribes. That is not good. That is why we learn these modern words.
I would think that would be enough, being able to speak with only your friends, wouldn't it?
It is not. If there is danger or conflict... We can use words to avoid a fighting that need not be. So using words that many can hear is good.
Hmm... Using words to avoid unnecessary fighting... That's one way to think about it.
Let's also showcase two more supports (don't worry, the volume will be increasing as we go):
(Light/Fire: Atk +0.5, Hit +5, Def +0.5)
Ninety-eight... Ninety-nine... One hundred! Done! Bleh. What's the point in swinging an axe by myself? I should probably try to find Ike... But maybe a quick nap first--
Where do you think you're going? Are you blowing off your training again?
No! I'm not slacking, I swear! I was just... uh... going to work out with Ike! You know me--I'm all about the fighting!
Boyd. I know that training is tough. But if you make light of it, you're closer to death than you ever want to be. You're a mercenary. When you're confused or exhausted during a long battle, instincts make all the difference.
But, Titania... I just can't get into training when I don't have a partner.
Can't get into it? Boyd? Don't make me chew you out again.
Joking! I-I'm just joking! What I just said? All a joke! Ha ha! Ha? Haaaaa... Oh, I'm just dying to do some practice swings! Hyaaa! Boy, training is so much fun! Isn't that right, Titania? Whooo! I loooove training!
Darn it, Boyd, why are you so lazy? You're a natural fighter, you know that? You could even be a better fighter than me if you just put your mind to it. Anyway... keep practicing.
(Earth/Dark: Atk +0.5, Avo +7.5)
So that's how much we spent... Supplies are running low. We need dried meat, fresh fruit... Ike? Are you listening?
Huh? Oh, sorry. I wasn't paying attention.
I would have never guessed.
Sorry, Soren. Look, could you run the report by me again?
You're tired, Ike. You need rest. Go find a cot somewhere.
You can tell?
Of course. When you're not feeling well, your left eye twitches.
That's... odd. I never noticed.
Get some sleep. I can manage things for a few hours.
Well, I am pretty beat...
You know, Soren? You're not nearly as insensitive as the others say. Deep down, you're a big softie.
Oh, nothing. I'm going.
Mmm. Don't let the bedbugs bite.
Bonus EXP is great when a unit finishes a chapter close to levelling up.
But sometimes it's not so great anyway.
Ilyana demonstrates how to get the absolute most out of only having two growths in a level.
And now we're marginally richer! We buy a round of Steel Lances to celebrate. Well, what I mean is Oscar buys himself a Steel Lance. Also, we buy a Wind tome - not for Soren, but for Ilyana, because her speed still ain't all that.
If you could carefully check my inventory at this point, you'd see that Soren has inexplicably decided to steal an Iron Bow and the Archer Band. But you can't, so you don't actually know that.
We're done here.
Titania, have you been to Gallia before?
A long time ago... When I was still a knight of Crimea. I volunteered for a military officer exchange program and spent some time studying at Gallia's royal palace.
I get it now... That's why you weren't surprised when we saw the laguz.
That's right. Ah, I've missed the sea. When the setting sun strikes the water, it's almost as though the horizon itself is on fire.
He sure acted like someone who'd been to Gallia before. Was he here with you?
Mm-hm. And we weren't the only ones. You've been here, too, Ike.
It's Mordecai. You'd better answer him.
We can finish our talk later, after we've reached the castle.
I'unno. Sounded pretty clear cut to me. "You've been here too, Ike". Only so many ways to interpret that...
Do you tire? Should we rest here?
No, I think we're all right.
Beorc are such a weak species. A distance like this is nothing. Any laguz worth his claws could cross it in a single bound.
Hmph! It is the truth!
If you persist in this way, you will shame the king. You sound like a fool.
Hsss! You are my subordinate! Never speak to me in such a way!
What's wrong is wrong. You are a fierce warrior, Lethe, but when it comes to the beorc, you are far too stubborn.
What did you say?!
Come on now, both of you... Let's calm down.
What is it?
That smell on the wind... It's iron. The smell of beorc. Heavily armored. Well armed.
Are you sure?
General Kotaff! The Crimean mercenaries have entered our area of operations!
Ha! They're trapped! Call every last man. Ready for battle! We stop the enemy here!
Fuck. There're soldiers, some mercenaries, and... they've even hired a fucking pirate.
No, seriously, the map screen lists his affiliation as "Pirate".
Daein Commanders. Assholes.
You're saying that some of the invasion force is still around?
Daein worms... They strut about the Gallian forests as though they own them. I won't stand for it!
Grrr... The castle to the south.Many beorc are inside. They carry iron weapons. I smell them.
Not good... Titania! Gather everyone together!
What do you mean?
If you hope to crush the worms, you'd do well to capture the ruins in the south. Since you probably want to flee, there is an escape route...
We're going to fight.
There are times when running has its advantages, but I don't think we'll lose here.[
... I see.
I will also fight.
Good. We could use the help.
Ike! Everyone's here!
All right, let's go!
We're counting on you. Be careful!
Everyone who can fight, grab a weapon! Greil Mercenaries... Move out!
As you can see, we have been granted some Guest Star Party Members. We'll be ignoring both them and their stats until the next mission, primarily because they're a pain to use in this fight (we'll get to that) and because they can't gain EXP.
Alright, let's b-
Mist! You and Rolf clear out of here! Stay back, no matter what!
No, Ike! We're going to fight with you--both of us.
What? No. That's not going to happen. Be serious, Mist... The two of you can't even wield weapons.
Yeah! I made Rhys teach me how to use it. I can heal injuries! I mean, just little ones, but still...
Little ones? No. There's no way I'm letting you on this battlefield... Huh?
I'm going to fight, too! I'm good with a bow!
Really? That's news to me. Is that the best lie you could come up with?
It's no lie!
That's right! He's not lying.
Of course he is!
What are you talking about, Mist?
Rolf's always practicing with his bow. And he's really good! Aren't you?!
I sure am!
Stop lying, you booger-eating brat! You can't just pick up a weapon and start firing away! Someone has to teach you the basics!
Well, maybe I'm just a prodigy, cause I learned it all myself!
You don't know anything, Boyd!
This is ridiculous!
No! We don't want to! All Rolf and I do is sit and wait and worry about all of you. We're tired of waiting! We want to fight by your side!
Is that so?
How about it, Rolf? Is that how you feel, too?
Uh-huh. No doubt, we'd rather be with you.
What now, Commander?
And at least if they're nearby, they'll be easier to protect.
Are you serious?!
Yes! You won't regret this, Ike! I promise!
I hope not.
Incidentally, once again, we see Rolf being the only character who seems to be affected by the death of other characters; he's got both the "standard" response if Boyd is dead (and Oscar is yelling at him instead):
How about you, Rolf? Is that how you feel, too?
Uh-huh. Boyd... He went off to fight, and he never came back. If something happened to you, Oscar, I'd be all alone... I... Rolf...
...and if both Oscar and Boyd are dead, well:
Please take Mist and me with you. I, um, I can use this bow to watch over her.
Rolf? When... When did you learn to wield a bow?
Rolf's been practicing a lot And you're really good! Aren't you!?
I have some skill, yes. But I want to do something brave to honor my brothers' memory. So please let us go with you, sir.
I understand, but...
...and once again I find myself completely void of snark.
Um. Right. The battle!