Part 13: Chapter 9 - Mission
Let's see what these kids can do.
Mist is like Rhys, only not. She's functionally the same - for now - although she's already faster than him, so that's something. Her low starting Magic is going to be a bit of a problem, but a few levels will sort that out. Mist is a common solution to the problem of "what the fuck do I do with all my BEXP".
She comes with the skill Miracle, which I guess is fortunate, because she sure as fuck doesn't have the stats to survive a round of combat. Of course, it's only got a 6% activation chance for now, so it's probably better to stick with the original plan - the one that says you've already got a Moral Game Over if Mist ever sees the business end of a weapon.
Bit of a disappointment after Shinon, no? Oh well. Rolf has not only learned to shoot a bow, but some mysterious person, doubtless the Invisible Game Designer, has gone and made him a unique weapon, too. Rolf's Bow is a tad stronger than an Iron Bow and a lot lighter, too. At the very least, we can actually feed kills to Rolf, while Mist is stuck scraping 11 EXP at a time from healing scratches. I'm not really sure why, but I have a feeling that we can expect great things from Rolf.
Now, do you see that bandit/pirate in the back there? That guy caused me to restart this mission twice (by destroying a building, see), and might have done it a third time had I not suddenly remembered something that the game doesn't even tell you is possible for another 15 chapters or so. We'll get to that later, but for now, let's just say that the better part of the effort here is going to be storming the beach.
Thank you, Soren's Foresight.
Mia, Ike, Soren, Ilyana and Rhys are going to rush the beach and will be in all-out assault mode until that fucking Bandit is dead. I'd send Titania as a nuclear option, but sadly mounted units get their movement cut in half in sand, and the fucker would just outrun her.
Therefore, she, Oscar, Boyd and the children are going south to hold off the minor enemy force down there. Eventually, everyone will meet up and take the objective (oh, by the way, this is a Seize map).
Anyway, as I said earlier, Lethe and Mordecai are joining us for this mission... sort of. They're "Partner" units, so we can't control them like ordinary allied units.
When I actually use these two in a mission (and control them), I'll properly explain how their transformation mechanics work (because, y'know, they're pretty goddamn crucial to how laguz units work), but for now, all you need to know is that laguz units are forced to transform and untransform at certain times, are quite powerful when transformed, and less powerful when not.
They run ahead of us. That's great.
I suddenly have a vivid and terrifying vision of a Fire Emblem AI that understands when to not attack.
Oscar's having fun, too.
At this point, Mordecai and Lethe are just another couple of crutches.
They're quite powerful, you see.
Time is ticking.
What is it?
If there is some special task you would ask of us, we are willing to listen.
What are you talking about?
Bah! Open your ears! If you wish it, we shall... follow your orders. Hssss! But you must Direct us.
Really? You're willing to take orders from me?
This is a beorc fight. If you don't Direct us, then we have no reason for being here. So spoke our king.
But last night, you...
THAT... That was an... emergency.
We thought you were in danger.
You thought correctly. We were in danger. I thank you. We were greatly aided by your arrival.
You are welcome.
Very well. Let us fight together. If you choose not to Direct us, we shall do as we please. Do you find this acceptable?
Of course. Well then, good fortune to us all.
Lethe kindly explains how to stop her from getting in the way. We'll get right on that in just a second.
There's a guy with a Poleax on the beach. Just in case there weren't already enough incentives to not bring cavaliers. Ike, Soren, and Ilyana all move in and Poleax-guy is the only one left standing.
Oscar, meanwhile, has discovered the Lens Flare Filter for the first time. He's having fun with it.
End of turn 2.
We'll let Lethe kill one more guy before calling her off.
As you can imagine, Ilyana does not let this stand.
Even when untransformed, Mordecai is a wall.
Mia's resistance remains a sticking point. It'll go on to make the rest of this chapter much more exciting than it needs to be.
Argh, he's getting away...
I mentioned in passing a while back that Magic has its own Weapon Triangle going on. It used to be Anima -> Light -> Dark -> Anima, but Dark magic has taken a hike in Path of Radiance, Light has been made neutral (and very rare), while Anima has been split into Wind (swordlike), Thunder (axelike) and Fire (lancelike), and their triangular relationship works exactly how you expect it to given that. Note that despite this, Soren is still tanking his advantaged opponent here.
Also, Soren activates Adept and leaves the guy on 1HP.
Mia catches up to the Bandit, but he takes at least two attacks to go down. We'll have to get him again next turn.
Note his weapon. The Venin Axe (and indeed all Venin weapons) is weak and not very accurate, but will inflict Poison on a successful hit, causing the afflicted unit to lose some HP every turn. Not sure exactly what determines how much, but it's usually about 3.
Ike has a couple of new options. Order will change the standing orders of our army - when you select End Turn, anyone who hasn't been manually moved by the player will be moved by the AI according to your choice here. There are four options; Halt (the default, which just makes them do nothing), Rally (which makes them gather around Ike), Target (which makes them move to a grid square of your choosing) and Avoid (which makes them run away from enemies). Direct will allow you to do the same for the Partner army, except that their default behaviour is Roam (attack enemies freely), which replaces Rally.
We tell them to keep out of trouble.
Boyd can talk to Rolf.
You got it!
Hold a minute. That was too easy. What's going on?
Nothing. But if I'm close to you, I can protect you. So you have no need to worry.
What? Hey, that's my line!
Oscar softens up a Soldier so Rolf can experience his first kill. You're a man now, Rolf!
Surprise, everyone rushes Mia.
For some reason, the Mages target Ike instead of Mia, despite him having double her Resistance.
Well, one of them targets her, but fails.
Fuck. He's getting away again! Mia, after h-
Alright, Soren clears a guy out of the way. Now, where were we? Ah. Yes. Mia! After h-
-OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME.
Yeah, apparently, two of those tiles are actually Sea tiles (which non-bandit foot units cannot cross) despite there being identical looking tiles classified as Sand. And come on, it's, like, ankle deep in there! Alright, guess we'll have to use Ike to clear out the other-
Fucking FUCK. Welp, that's another reset then.
In about another 10 or 15 chapters, there's going to be a two-star Info dialogue explaining a thing that you can do that most people probably wouldn't have thought to even try in general combat situations, because it's only really useful in missions like the one which IntSys felt deserved a preamble in which it's explicitly stated that you can do this thing and that it might be useful in the upcoming mission. But it's a thing! The enemy we face is, sadly, impossible for Ike to kill in one round of combat (we've got Mia, but we need her to kill the Bandit), but Ike is heavier than him. And that means...
Outta the way, asshole!
Speaking of choices that appear in menus, "Talk" appears in Oscar's when he's next to Rolf.
I'm... I'm sorry!
Huh Why are you apologizing?
What? But... Aren't you here to yell at me?
Why? Did you do something to make me mad?
I thought maybe my whole decision to fight and stuff... I made that on my own. I thought that it might upset you.
I won't complain about the commander's decisions.
So, you're all right with it?
I suppose. But I want you to stay close, so I can watch out for you.
That's no answer. Rolf! Blast! I told you to stay close!
Incidentally, this dialogue continues the trend of things being different if people are dead. If Boyd is dead, the entire above conversation is cut, and replaced with this:
Rolf, do not leave my sight. Do you understand?
Yes, I understand.
I can't let you die. When Boyd... When we lost Boyd... I don't... I don't ever want to feel that kind of pain again.
Anyway, we continue drawing out the Soldiers, and that's turn 4.
One disadvantage of our mad rush to kill the Bandit is that our Mages are very much in harm's way.
Of course, Soren activating Adept puts this silly Myrmidon even more in harm's way.
Sadly, there's another one.
Soren gets another perfectly selected two-stat level.
Mia and Ike get Thunder'd again, although Ike dodges his.
Down south, the bait succeeds.
A bit too well. We'll live, though.
This time around, Marcia has an actual agenda. Y'know, other than standing there and getting attacked by pirates. She'll fly directly for Ike and try to talk to him. That's helpful, because it means Ike is free to keep doing other things without having to go chasing after Marcia.
Oh, speak of the devil!
Yar har ho!
Yo ho har!
Scallywags of the sea are we!
We fight like beasts, an' men do flee!
Har! Over there, Nedata! Fix yer eyes on that. Do ye sees what I sees?
Oh ho ho! What's this, then? Humans battling humans here in Gallia? What in the briny beard of Shanty Pete is going on?
Oy! Do ya think they may be the king's curs out to capture us and claim the bounty?
Gahar har har!
Shall we unfurl the mainsail and steer for calmer waters?
Bite yer tongue, ye kelp-brained idjit! We're pirates! We don't turn tail from government scum!
Aarrr! Let's see what we can see then!
Yar! Me axe is sharp, and me spirit is bold!
Yar har ho!
Yo ho har!
This lot are also a threat to the houses, but we've got time to get set up to repel them.
Ike, Soren and Ilyana all kill a target, but Mia has to heal, since the Mage might kill her otherwise.
Boyd is being surprisingly competent again.
Oscar softens up an archer and proceeds to help Titania pen in a Knight.
All to feed Rolf another kill!
So long, turn 5.
Pirates shuffle forward, Mage keeps picking on Mia.
Also another Archer pesters Oscar.
Marcia finally gets within shouting distance of Ike.
That's right. It's me! Marcia! As promised, I'm here to pay my debt... I'm going to join your group!
Join us? But I thought you were one of the holy pegasus knights of Begnion...
Pfff! I resigned! So what do you say? Are you going to let me in or what? Come on!
Are you sure about this? I mean, I'll be honest with you. We're a destitute band of mercenaries. Your wages will be a pittance compared to what you're used to.
So, what? Are you saying no?
No, I'm simply pointing out that you'll be losing almost all of...
Pfff! I won't lose out on anything! Plus, I'll work twice as hard as anyone else. C'mon, please let me join? PLEEEEASE!
Well, if that's what you want, I guess we'll give it a shot. We're shorthanded though, so you're going to be busy.
Huzzah! That's great! Just tell me what needs doing!
Here's our newest recruit. As a Pegasus Knight, Marcia is quite mobile, decently fast, and resistant to magic, but also not terribly strong, not that durable, and deathly allergic to bows and wind magic, being susceptible to bonus damage from either. Her Pegasus Band boosts Luck and Resistance growths, and yes that is identical to the Priest Band.
Somehow, I can't help but think that Marcia is going to be disappointing even if she turns out OK.
Also sad is that Marcia isn't particularly well suited to this map. All the enemies left near her are Pirates who she can't really hurt, and the enemies near the boss are a bit out of her league too. What she needs is a bit of BEXP and particularly some Strength, and an Iron Lance wouldn't hurt.
Mia gets to dismantling this mage, disregarding the 1 HP she is left on.
One thing Marcia can do for us is carry Rhys around - we need him over by the houses.
Ilyana clears out the last Mercenary.
...again? Little variety'd be nice, y'know?
Oscar helps Rolf rack up another kill on another archer.
Wow, Rolf, you too?
Annoyingly, it's going to take a while to get the beach group back up to the castle, and in the meantime we've got to fend off the Pirates. I kinda put so much effort into dealing with that one fucking Bandit at the start, I may have forgotten to plan the rest of the map. Oh well.
Soren helpfully doesn't get hit by this Hand Axe and Fires the guy in the face.
We should be able to get Soren to bait one Pirate while staying out of Nedata's range. Nedata is Actually Dangerous.
Remember that Knight Oscar and Titania were blocking in? He finally failed to hit Oscar for the last time.
Speed, Defence, nice! Magic, not so much, but whatever.
Marcia helps Mia and Rhys get in position.
Let's finally visit these houses, shall we?
Urk! Urk! Ahhh... Oh, come on! You are so rude! If you can't tell, I'm playing dead. So go away! Huh? Why? Because my mother told me, "If you ever meet a beorc, play dead, and it will leave you be." It's not true, is it? Hsss! I knew it wasn't true! I knew it! Well then, take this, and get out of here! Quickly! I HATE humans! I don't want to talk to you! Hsss! SHOO!!
Well, the crazy cat lady gives us a Restore staff; this will remove status conditions (such as Poison) from a target. Could be handy.
Once again, we move up and end turn.
Hand Axe Pirate does not disappoint. Neither does Soren.
The Venin Axe crowd have hit odds of like 10% against Mia. And don't forget, Path of Radiance has True Hit in effect.
Nedata chases after Soren. More worryingly...
Four Myrmidons and two Soldiers appear from the castle.
If Nedata wants to play, he can damn well play with Ike.
After Mia's string of levels last time, it's going to be hard for her to not disappoint. Still, though, her Strength is coming along nicely.
Soren gets the hell out of the way.
Rolf has both of his brothers at his side, and they all have Bonds with eachother, so each of them is giving him +10 Crit.
Sadly, this comes to nothing.
Well, I guess we're just going to have to dig in and counterkill them.
Yo ho ha!
What a ragged bunch.
Scallywags of the sea are we! We'll not lose to the likes of thee!
I love these guys so much.
And not least because they can't hit for shit.
Thanks for that!
Oh come on! The odds on this are infinitesimal!
Over south, we stand firm and counterkill.
Well, actually, none of the enemies die, which is kinda weak on our part, but that's about to change!
Ike and Mia continue doing their thing.
Suddenly Mia's in the sea now. Sure.
Oscar, Rolf and Ilyana help move us forward, and Titania forms the wall. Note the perspective dick move here; from the default camera angle, it can be quite hard to see the row of tiles right after the treeline, and you can get the impression that you've got a wall when actually the enemy can walk right past. Nasty!
Farewell, you glorious bastard.
The Myrmidons are still defending.
Well, not any more they aren't.
Mia finishes off the last Pirate, Rhys visits the remaining house.
I'm a warrior of the beast tribe. Lord Ranulf spoke of you. Doubtless you have noticed that Fort Tatana has been taken by Daein forces. Watch your step around that bunch. There's a dangerous mage with them. We of the beast tribe find magic, and especially fire magic, particularly threatening. I am waiting for friends and cannot take leave of this house, but... I would give you this. If you use it, your magical resistance will increase. It will help you fight that mage. Take care.
He gives us a Talisman, the stat up for... well, you're all smart people, I'm sure you can figure it out.
Marcia grabs Ike and carts him south.
Oscar somehow gets another crit and a decent level, while Rolf and Ilyana back him up.
This isn't going anywhere near as fast as I'd've liked.
Literally nothing of any import happens in the enemy phase.
Soren manages to Adept this guy through a tree, that's pretty great.
Rolf finally crits a guy - who was on 4 health.
Let's dismantle the boss's flunkies, shall we?
Although Mist is technically in the boss's range, he won't be moving off of that square, so we're good to end turn.
During all this, Mia has been taking poison damage. Poison is the best thing that can happen to the friend of someone trying to grind EXP from healing.
While Ilyana, Oscar and Soren dismantle the Knight and the other mage, Titania goes to warm up the boss. Note his Knight Killer - it's probably not a great idea to engage him at melee range with a cavalier.
Death to the rogues who defy Daein! Defend our brethren! Erase their shame!
Alright. One more turn.
Thaaat's right. Use your Javelin.
Annoyingly, he can now counterattack our mages to great effect, but that's going to be small comfort to him when he's dead.
Oscar contributes a p-
Fuck. I wanted to feed him to Rolf. Oh well. I've got no real choice here...
Titania takes the kill.
Arrgh... urr... urg... In the name... of the empire... Cleanse... my shame...
He drops an Arms Scroll, which will grant one unit a free rank in whatever weapon they're holding at the time.
Incidentally, the three units we refused to attack Kotaff with are the ones that get dialogue with him:
Bah! So the sub-humans have come crawling out of their dens, eh?
Beorc maggot! Those who call us by that hateful name shall earn a swift and merciless death!
At last we meet, sub-human! I will exterminate you with my own two hands! My HUMAN hands!
Sub... Sub-human? Grrraaaaaa!
So, you are the new commander... Tell me, boy, what cowardly tactics did you employ to fell our brothers? You must have deceived them. There's no way rabble like you could defeat Daein troops in a fair fight.
From the very beginning, every last one of you has underestimated us. Will you never learn? Your refusal to recognize our strength will forever keep victory at arm's length.
Silence! Silence, you idiot child!
You're right. No more talk.
We are so through with this map.
I wonder if Daein is planning to invade Gallia. Perhaps Crimea was only a stone on which to whet their blades.
Under such circumstances, hostilities between Daein and Gallia could break out at any time.
So, it's war... Again.
If war erupts between the beorc and laguz, it's only a matter of time before other nations become involved. Could Daein truly mean to set the land aflame in a blaze of war? If that happens, many of our citizens will be sacrificed on the altar of their ambition.
We, too, need to choose which way to move, whose side to take...
Whose side? We shall never support Daein! Unthinkable!
Captain Titania, we are human. Would you truly have us side with sub--with laguz against other humans? THAT is unthinkable.
Beorc and laguz...
Mordecai? Lethe? What do you think? Will it come to war?
Our claws are sharp. If Daein invades Gallia, we are ready for battle. If our king wills it, war will come.
I like it not... War brings pain. Sorrow.
This is troubling...
Enough. We have lost much time. Let us make for the palace. We must reach tonight's camp before the sun sets.
Is the palace still far?
On your skinny beorc legs, it is very far. But we will do as we can.
I heard about... Commander Greil. I... I don't know what to say.
Don't worry. We're all right. We're getting by... somehow.
... Oh, Ike...
My thoughts exactly.
These are the Greil Mercenaries. I am Ike, their commander.
You have been raised well, young pup. I didn't recognize you.
Is that you, Titania? It's good to see you.
The pleasure is all mine, Your Majesty.
The two of you are friends? How... How does the king know me?
Mm. I have something I must tell you about your father, Greil...
Prepare rooms, so our guests may have a place to rest and heal their wounds.
At once, my lord!
No, Princess. I would have you stay. And this one also will stay.
This is Giffca, my shadow. Pay him no more heed than you would the air.
Understood. I would have Titania and Soren stay with me, as well.
"I want to see if you're stupid enough to call this guy a Sub-Human."
So be it. Now then, where to begin? Titania? How much did Greil tell his son?
Is that so? Then it is best for me to tell him all that I know. ... Although that is not much.
That's all right. Whatever you can tell me would be much appreciated. I want to know more of my father.
Hmm... You have good eyes. Honest and brave.I see your father in them. Long ago, Greil... your father... worked as a mercenary for Gallia. We forged a strong bond, he and I.
Princess Elincia's father, King Ramon, and his brother, Lord Renning, are also of a different kind. All are... or were... exceptional men. Men in whom one could put his trust.
Oh ho! Titania! You are an exception as well! Among beorc females, you are unique.
You are most gracious, Your Majesty.
My father was a mercenary for Gallia...?
Correct. And you and your sister? You were both born here in Gallia. You stayed only for a short time, but part of your childhood was spent within these borders.
Mist and I were born here? Is that so? I don't remember any of this at all.
Someone was hunting them, I'm sure of it. Once, over ten years ago... and after your mother had been slain... Your father chose to leave Gallia. Before he left, I went to him and asked him to share his tale. I asked him, "Why are you being chased? Is there anything I can do to help?" But I was unable to loosen his tongue. And then I heard he had returned to Gallia, and I thought I had another chance to hear his tale. His fate was black indeed. If I had been faster, if I had hastened my steps, perhaps things would be different.
Wait! Now I understand. The voice I heard... That was you, wasn't it?
His wound was fatal. I could do nothing. I thought it best not to interfere in his final moments, so I remained hidden. Tell me, Ike... At his last, did he confess anything to you?
The Black Knight? No. I don't know who he was. My father entrusted me with his command, told me to trust King Caineghis and to live peacefully in Gallia. He said to forget everything else.
Is that so? Well then, let me do as I can. If any of your mercenaries desire to live here, I will so arrange it. I will vouchsafe them homes and land.
Your kindness is truly appreciated. But, speaking for myself, I couldn't live here in peace. Not now. I will avenge my father. I cannot so quickly forget the past... Or the Black Knight.
I know. I'm not... I'm not strong enough. An opponent who could defeat my father is well beyond my reach... But that's why I've devoted myself to growing stronger. I will lead my father's mercenaries and prepare for the day when my chance for revenge arrives.
A prudent course of action. You look as one who would be more impulsive, but you are Greil's son after all.
Ha! You've matured, Ike. It seems like yesterday that you were merely a child.
And now, I would ask a boon of you.
Are you serious?
Gallia and Crimea are allied nations, that cannot be denied. However, this alliance in reality binds only the royal families. It is not respected by our citizenry.
The people of Gallia are seldom seen in Crimea, are they? Even though our nations are friends, the people of Crimea have little real understanding of the laguz. Many of our people still use that undignified name, "sub-human," when they speak of the laguz...
... My father's heart was filled with shame and sorrow over what you describe.
Perhaps that is why Daein targeted him. Their hatred of the laguz is well known.
Could it be...?
In my heart of hearts, I would like to take guardianship of Princess Elincia and assist in the rebuilding of Crimea. However, anti-beorc sentiment is running high here in Gallia. If we were to offer safe harbor to Elincia, I feel many of our elder statesmen would protest. They would say that we are giving Daein an ideal excuse to attack.
Which means Gallia can't offer Princess Elincia any relief at all... Is that it?
Unfortunately, it is true.
My lord Ike, King Caineghis has advised me to turn to the Begnion Theocracy for aid in Crimea's restoration. He says we should make of Begnion a formal request and gain the support of their shields.
Passage to Begnion will require several months at sea. An escort will be necessary...
As you know, we lack the numbers to serve as a complete mercenary army. So, if the princess were willing to hire us as an escort, it would be an offer beyond our expectations.
It's what you want, right, Commander? Well then, it's our job to follow you.
However you wish to proceed is fine. I will do all in my power to ensure that our road leads to success.
Understood. As of now, the Greil Mercenaries shall assume the honor of serving as escort to the princess of Crimea.
Princess Elincia, our journey together will undoubtedly be a long one. May we serve you well.
Oh, thank you very much! I only pray that I, in turn, may be worthy of your service!
A whole 100 BEXP lost for dawdling. At least we got our time's worth from those pirates!
Lv 1 Cleric
HP: 16 (50%) Spd: 7 (40%)
Str: 1 (35%) Lck: 6 (60%)
Mag: 4 (50%) Def: 2 (15%)
Skl: 4 (25%) Res: 7 (40%)
Move: 5 Con: 5 Wt: 5
Equip: Staves (E)
What Mist lacks in numerical healing capability she'll be making up for with plenty of Avoid as her level increases. You'll need to put in a bit of effort - or a lot of BEXP - to get Mist into something really worthy of a spot in your team, but Mist is pretty good, really, once she gets going. One way or another, you won't regret sticking with her. Especially not since... well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Needless to say, you should not rely on her Miracle skill, ever. Hell, the chances are, even when it activates, she's still fucked.
Lv 1 Archer
HP: 18 (60%) Spd: 6 (50%)
Str: 5 (40%) Lck: 4 (40%)
Mag: 0 (20%) Def: 6 (30%)
Skl: 8 (45%) Res: 2 (25%)
Move: 6 Con: 4 Wt: 4
Equip: Bows (E)
Rolf is our "real" first archer. He packs just about enough of a punch to take the odd fed kill to begin with, and once his Strength and Speed growths (which are not insignificant) get rolling, he might just start becoming awesome. Rolf has a lot of potential, but at the same time, it takes a bit of work to actualize that, and, as is the case with many low-level-starters, he will live or die by how much Strength and Speed he happens to get.
Lv 5 Pegasus Knight
HP: 20 (55%) Spd: 11 (55%)
Str: 8 (40%) Lck: 4 (40%)
Mag: 0 (20%) Def: 8 (25%)
Skl: 7 (50%) Res: 6 (30%)
Move: 8 Con: 6 Wt: 22
Equip: Lances (D)
Like so many other Pegasus Knights throughout the series, Marcia will, if you can get her some early levels, probably turn into a very fast and reasonably powerful flyer who can dodge in and out of enemy lines, most probably assassinating Myrmidons. Just keep her the hell away from archers. Contrary to the archetypal Pegasus Knight, her base Defence is quite high, and her base Resistance is less high - and her Resistance growth isn't spectacular. Marcia might, on this account, turn into a bit of a glass cannon - no less awesome, but you'll have to be a bit more careful.
Next Time: Ike? Ike?! IIIIIIIIKE!