Part 32: Chapter 17 - Part 3Oh boy. I always wondered if it'd come to this.
The votes have spoken, and it is apparently time for Boyd's glorious comeback.
Also, Titania. We've reached the point where Titania can be treated as equal to the rest of the team, rather than being a pre-promote, so that's nice too.
So, to business. The first somewhat important thing to consider...
...is that Ike is somewhat inhibited for the time being, seeing as he's presently carrying our new heron friend. That means half speed and half accuracy, as well as much less avoid.
Speaking of said heron friend...
She has stats! Don't worry, though, we're never going to see them again.
Now, our objective is to survive for ten turns, and the bulk of the opposition will be coming from the south, but our immediate concern is the enemies around us. So...
Hmm... I wonder?
Good ol' Ike!
Soren braves a possible Venin Arrow in the face (which he dodges awesomely) for the sake of killing an Archer.
It pays to keep an eye on terrain in this mission; it slows the enemy down just as much as you, and there are plenty of nice safe spots that wouldn't be there if these were plains.
Astrid, for her part, is quite well suited to standing around distracting enemies and absorbing damage. She's doing quite well defensively, you know. She attacks a Hammer-bearing Fighter on the way, and...
...Volke finishes the job.
Nephenee, Marcia and Jill also join Astrid in slowing down the northern group of enemies.
Meanwhile, Oscar and Rolf will poke around and see what the enemy does.
Turn one over, and already this is looking up!
Mia gets in a little scrap...
...and two Mages come after Jill.
...yeah, good luck with that one. (He misses.)
OK, you know what? I think I'll just pull Oscar, Rolf and Muarim back. This doesn't look worth the bother right now.
Also, quite a few reinforcements show up, but what's a few more enemies among the horde?
Let's get to work.
This mission is a nice little playground for Mages like Soren whose resistance growths have been paying off.
They can tank the hell out of the enemy Mages, and, through the providence of forges, overwhelm them with sheer numbers.
Also, other people crit. Astrid picks this moment to attain B-Rank in bows.
Nephenee gets a rather awesome level out of poking a guy.
Volke continues to be rather adept at Mage-killing despite the beating he takes while doing so.
He also seems to keep getting this exact level.
Well, the northern guys will be occupied for this turn.
Also, this. This is more in line with most people's expectations of Mist.
So, Oscar and Rolf fall back. There's a nice little spot to chokepoint-abuse at, so we'll set up our wall there.
This is the most threatening thing that happens this Enemy Phase.
Well, okay, there's the advancing horde of enemies, but that's something we can deal with later.
Oh, joy. Boyd's here!
He's just barely able to make himself useful.
Volke is still doing his Mage thing. Anyway, we clean up the guys in the north. We leave the Priest though, so Volke can nab us another Mend staff.
Oscar stays just a bit outside our hypothetical defensive line and throws Spears at this Fighter. One misses, but so does the enemy.
End of turn 3. Bring it.
This ends about as well as you'd expect.
Soren is beyond thunder tomes. No, literally, he can't be damaged by them at this point.
There's a Longbow Asshole among the enemy, but I don't really mind.
This I might have got a bit annoyed at if it had hit, but it didn't, so great.
Come on now. Into the grinder...
Back to our turn, and...
Honestly, I'm only doing this out of habit. I think we've got enough Mend staves to last through the rest of the game now, especially when you consider Physic's escalating usefulness as the game goes on.
Naturally, Boyd still isn't doubling anyone. But at least he's hitting.
Rolf shows Longbow Asshole a thing or two about archery.
Astrid helps us take out a mage.
Thank you Astrid.
Now, our immediate concern is the enemy mages. They can gang up and kill our less resistant units. Now, we could form a defence against them...
Or we could just run up and kill them. That works too.
Jill helps by continuing to dodge far more reliably than her statistics would imply.
And hey, look, Titania's caught up!
Now we send Oscar charging into the enemy.
We're another turn down and looking good.
These guys aren't getting beyond Soren.
Okay, this hurt a bit, but we're still good!
Aaaand cue the Asshole Reinforcements.
Let's send Astrid to tank them! Jill comes to help, too. Boyd runs the hell away, and Volke finishes off the Priest.
Marcia is here primarily to protect Volke because he's still on 4 HP.
There is much pushing south, including this timely attack from Muarim.
When it's all done, this is how we look.
No, Oscar isn't at any risk, what are you on about?
(No, seriously, he isn't, even though that Myrmidon has 3 more Atk than Oscar has Defence. Thank god for the Weapon Triangle!)
Also not at any risk is Astrid.
And Rolf. Well, not so much Rolf but he survived, so it's all good!
That's that sorted out. Now then...
Astrid and Jill soften up the two leftover Asshole Reinforcements (Jill getting B-Rank in Lances in so doing). Marcia finishes off one, and Volke takes another (still on 4 HP!).
Marcia gets a fairly awesome level out of it. She also gets the honor of being our first unit to reach a stat cap (Speed at 20. It's almost always 20 at first tier).
So does Rolf!
Not Mia, though.
So, anyway. End of turn 6, and it's looking pretty decisive.
Really don't care.
Now I think about it, I probably should've equipped Oscar with a Javelin for this. Oh well.
Christ, you guys just don't give up!
Oscar takes out this Mage (eating the damage in the meantime).
Speaking of the damage Oscar's taken, we've got a secret weapon for dealing with that.
It's that time. Oscar has hit Level Twenty-One.
This is pretty much the most amazing use of music in this entire game, I won't lie. It is the Theme Of Awwww Jeah, Shit Is About To Go Down And Numbers Up. It matches exactly how you feel during the events for which it plays.
Fuckin' Sweet. His horse changes colour, just because. That's not the best part, though.
This is the best part. Promotions are an amazing source of numbers; pretty much everything except luck goes up, including Cn (and therefore Wt by association) and Move. The gains vary by class, but are set; you don't get blessed or screwed here. Also, all of the unit's caps increase, too, so that's nice as well.
And there's more!
Several classes get a choice of new weapon specializations at promotion (which will begin at E-Rank, sadly); Paladins can have their pick of any physical weapon they couldn't already use as a Cavalier. Oscar will continue to get good mileage out of lances at both melee and... ranged... range, so I go with Bows just so that he can maybe fuck up a flyer's shit sometime.
if I could give this image alt-text, it would read "don't get your hopes up"
Also, this aspect of the promotion music doesn't come across so well in screenshots, but the climax of the first part is timed to coincide exactly with the reveal of the unit's new look, and the second part starts exactly in time with the stats screen. It's pretty damn awesome.
To top it all off, the Sage drops his Elfire tome. We'll maybe give this to Soren sometime. Or not. He's got a pretty good Fire tome already.
Back to somewhat more mundane concerns; Volke runs the hell away while Astrid takes out the more threatening of the Mage reinforcements.
Actually, sod it. I had a plan, but I'm just gonna have Jill take out the other mage and fly away, and Astrid can handle that corner by herself.
Jill: still somehow dodging everything.
This sure is the end of a turn.
That, my friend, was a mistake.
Like, you really didn't want to do that.
What I'm saying is, you seriously should not have just done that.
Do you have any idea what you've just done?
Presenting; the highest Defence score on our team. Astrid, ladies and gentlemen. And, like before, it gets better. Astrid gets to pick her choice of melee weapon, with which she might put that frankly obscene Defence to use.
Did you even have to ask? There are a couple of reasons why Axes are hands down the best choice. For one, their raw damage output, combined with the fact that Astrid has the Skill and Strength to wield them properly. For another, there's the fact that we really need more axe users. Thirdly, and arguably most importantly, is the fact that of all four physical weapon types, Axes are the only type whose Steel variant is rated as E-Rank. That means Astrid can get straight to awesome levels of damage and gain valuable Weapon EXP at a faster rate so she can move onto bigger and better axes.
Enjoy being able to not be countered while you still can, guys.
Because you're not gonna have that privilege much longer.
Related; these guys are, for the next half-second, still alive.
Now they are no longer alive.
More assholes, but something tells me Astrid's got this.
Oh, I'm sorry, did I forget to screencap Titania handing her Steel Axe to Astrid? Silly me.
Meanwhile, Volke finally gets healed, and-
(no, I'm not going to stop linking that, and you shouldn't stop listening to it at the appropriate times)
Hang on, is that-
Mist... how did you do that?
Also, how did you do...
...this?! Seriously. Okay, I can understand the move - perks of (somehow) being on a horse and all. But... +3 Defence? +3 Speed? And +2 Strength? The hell are you gonna do with strength? Seriously liking that magic stat, though.
Well, whatever. For what it's worth, Mist now has 62 base avoid. That's something.
In any case, this is rapidly becoming even more of a foregone conclusion than it already was.
Oh, the irony! Astrid can't counter because they're attacking at range!
Come on. She'll take you all. See if she won't.
It's underwhelming, but it's Strength.
Let's at least try and get Nephenee another kill before we're done here.
...man, this just never stops being amazing. Astrid is our tank.
oh no nephenee has been poisoned whatever will we do
Murder everyone, that's what.
Thank you Jill.
And end on a high note.
Or, at least, we would if we didn't have to wait until turn 10 to finish.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but... there's another white heron! Re-retreat! Leave them their prize!
Ike? Perhaps trying to fight with that heron on your back is not the wisest of ideas. Why don't we take her to the apostle before moving on?
We've finally got Duke Tanas on the run! I don't intend to stop until we've captured or killed that monster!
I understand, but shouldn't we at least let someone else carry the heron?
Truth be told, she's unbelievably light. I barely know she's there.
Is... Is that so?
What are you grinning about, Boyd?
Oh, nothing... I'm just amazed... Did you know you're two times heavier than she is!? I'm glad I don't have to carry you around! It'd be like wearing an extra suit of armor!
You... You pig! You're the worst!
Ahahaha Mist kicked the shit out of Boyd. Not that that's much of an accomplishment at this point, but come on.
All right, maybe I exaggerated a bit. But she's still lighter than you.
Well, what do you expect? She's a bird!!!
This dialogue is, of course, conditional on Mist, Boyd and Soren being present. If Boyd isn't around, you get this:
I think she weighs... Oh, I'd say about half as much as Mist.
Huh? You're kidding, right?
Mmm... I see.
You see? What's that supposed to mean, Soren? You know that Ike's making fun of me, don't you? He's just a big jerk!!
And if they're not here, you get nothing, instead heading directly to...
Since Titania's here, she gets to take over nagging duties from Nasir.
Nealuchi told us everything.
Oh... Allow me to apologize. I left on my own without a word to you, and this is what happened.
As long as you're unharmed, all is well. Let's go home.
Please, give me a little time. I cannot allow these humans to remain in the forest.
I understand how you feel, but we're completely outnumbered. Let us wait for another day--
Once I stand at the altar, I can take care of them. Every one of them.
Are you mad?! You mustn't! I can't allow it!
With permission or without, I do what I must! It is retribution for genocide! Retribution for this forest!
Reyson! You must not let yourself be ruled by despair!
The humans were drunk with joy. They laughed! They sang! ... And then they slaughtered us like livestock. My mother, my brother, my elder sisters... Even my infant sister, Leanne! All killed in a single night.
I know. This thing I intend to do brings dishonor to my house. And yet... I cannot forgive. And as if their past actions weren't enough; now, they violate the sanctity of the forest without a trace of regret! Accursed humans... I will never forgive them!
Don't you think we understand that?
That's right! Prince Reyson, there's no need for you to reject your honor based on the likes of them!
The tragedy of the herons... The horror and pain of that night... lives on in all of us.
Let's return to Phoenicis, and think of a plan. You are right. This will not stand. The full power of the hawk nation is behind you. The humans will pay.
...As you wish...
Grrrrrr... No! Never! I'm not giving up! I'm not finished yet! Out of my way, penniless wretches! Your very existence is an insult to all that is beautiful! All you really want is my wealth and beauty! Miserable curs... You reek of poverty and envy! Oh, but I understand your emotions... Yes, I do. How could you sad vagabonds not want to be me?
... That's the last thing in the world--
Silence! I am not one to be daunted by mean beggars such as you. Oh ho ho ho!
To arms! To arms! Defend me with all the strength you possess!
Here they come! Combat formation, everyone!
Here we go! Are you ready? It's One More Extra Voting Time!
This is the last battle of this chapter, and, for the occasion, we get to bring two more units, who will catch up to us at the start of the third turn.
Choose from Rhys, Ilyana, Lethe, Mordecai, Kieran, Brom, Zihark, Sothe, Gatrie, Makalov, Stefan, Tormod, Devdan.
Forty Eight Hours! Use them well!