Part 37: Chapter 18 - Mission
Since Tanith and the Birds were nice enough to join us before the start of battle, we can take them back to the base. This can be profitable if you've already got Mist up to B-Swords and want to give her the Sonic Sword right away, but we can wait a while for that.
To tide her over in the meantime, here's a Steel Sword with +5 Mt and +10 Hit.
It is coloured red to coordinate with her outfit. And the blood of her enemies.
Before we set out, we've got a treat for Soren;
Since he's at Lv 20 and 13 EXP, he's got very little to lose from using a Master Seal. So he uses one!
Doing so grants him a much classier set of robes.
And, of course, a whole lot of numbers. Precious Strength!
Sages can choose to branch out into either Staves or Knives.
If you choose Knives, I really don't know what to tell you.
I mean, Mages tend to have the lowest Strength growths out of any units. Knives are the weakest weapons in the game. Even Ilyana, who has the most Strength growth of anyone in our team, would need to be ridiculously blessed to have a chance of being able to accomplish anything with Knives.
Staves, on the other hand, let you heal (and do other stuff). They run off of Magic, which is probably already good if you're promoting to Sage. They also allow us to have a backup healer other than Rhys. So, yeah, this is not an agonizing choice.
BEXP! Marcia's is dull, but, Defence!
Now this is more like it.
This is much more like it.
Alright. Here goes.
The main body of the Kilvas army will wait atop the western summit. A small unit will remain here and cooperate with you. This is correct, is it not?
Mm, it is.
Why does Daein ally herself with some backwater sub-human nation?
... I don't know. There's no way we can expect to understand the supreme thoughts of the king. All we can do is perform the tasks set before us by His Highness. That is everything.
Yes, of course!
Bah! What vermin... What does that untrained group of vagabonds think they can do? I don't care how talented he is. Their commander is nothing more than a young mercenary with delusions of grandeur. We've nothing to fear.
We'll show them what real war is like! And... the Kilvas ravens? How should we deal with them?
Those sub-human freaks! Let's use them as bait. We can sacrifice them and reduce our own human casualties.
A fantastic idea!
Make sure that the men are thoroughly instructed.
Yes, that's a great idea! Let's play the treachery game with Kilvas. Genius!
He's got a lot of nerve, hasn't he? Is he one of yours?
Yes, sir! He's a new recruit who was only assigned to me today. Please accept my apologies for his lack of any training or manners whatsoever.
If he's good, I can overlook almost any character flaw. Go and kill as many Crimeans as you can! Help my name be remembered with honor and glory.
A new Plot Act means new battle music, and this one delivers! This track was featured in Brawl as "Crimean Army Sortie", which is... also technically correct, I guess. It's a pretty good track!
This time around, there are some Asshole Reinforcements already on the map! These Wyvern Riders will be in our hair in a few turns time - but that just means we can get nice and comfortable in the fortress by the time they get here. So that's nice.
In the meantime, we charge! Janaff starts off transformed, and he's holding the Beorcguard, so we can use him as a shock trooper.
The hawks are pretty badass, yes.
The cutaway battle music in these parts is also kinda decent too.
I'd like to charge right in with Ike, but he starts a bit far away... Hmm.
Reyson! You're up!
Remember all that crap back in Chapter 17 about Heron Galdrar being able to inspire one man to do the work of two? Well, they weren't kidding. That's right; Reyson is this game's incarnation of the Bard/Dancer class, only he's even more useful because he can fly, and he can - well, you'll see.
Now filled with inspiration, Ike rushes forward to deliver a beatdown.
Ike's new class comes with a very nifty set of new animations, only some of which translate to screenshots.
In any case, he kicks the shit out of this Soldier.
Everyone else moves on up and we end turn.
Ike's a bit beefier now that he's post-promotion, but he's still a bit behind what's expected of his Defence at this point, so we don't want to push his luck too far.
I love how they're all keeping their distance? I wonder if they know...
A more sensible enemy goes after Janaff but still gets destroyed for his trouble.
Hrm. They're meleeing Ike now. I guess they don't know.
They don't know at all.
Well, I guess we'd better inform them then.
This is the first hit of Aether. Aside from all the sword-throwing and somersaulting, it's pretty unremarkable... except the bit where it heals Ike for the amount of damage inflicted. And who said Up+B moves had no offensive applications?
This is the second hit of Aether. For this hit, the enemy's Defence stat is cut in half. This makes Aether a bit more interesting than your regular critical hit, but the upshot of all this is; it hurts the enemy a lot and will probably kill them, given Ike generally.
Aether's activation rate is equal to Ike's Skill as a percentage. This means that, for the most part, you'll be seeing more Aethers from Ike than crits.
Are you excited to see Lord Ike in action now? Good. The game is working.
This is a Rout map, by the way, so naturally the majority of the enemies will stay put. This is annoying for several reasons that I'll get to in time. The Wyvern Riders, however, charge us.
As badass as Hawks are, they still don't take too kindly to Archers, so these should be priority targets.
Volke gets a kill in, too.
Even Mist gets to charge!
And Soren gets to heal! Man, this feels weird.
Now. Our first Problem:
This mission gives us two Bolting Assholes and a Blizzard Asshole (Blizzard is the Wind siege tome). The second Bolting Asshole is exclusive to Hard Mode, and also that Blizzard Asshole can be problematic to our flyers. But he's not our problem yet.
Another turn over.
Wyvern Riders move up, the rest of the army does nothing.
Mist gets angry.
Mist gets competent when she gets angry.
This guy here is a Warrior - what Boyd would've been by now if he wasn't such a massive disappointment - and he's got a Bow in backup. This makes him another Priority Target.
Marcia's being a bit disappointing herself.
Well, whatever. Janaff's tough, and he's got the Beorcguard anyway. He'll be fine.
Especially since the silly "Warrior" runs away to heal.
His buddy, despite having a Hand Axe, chooses to attack Mist at melee range anyway. Fine by me.
Marcia has wandered into Bolting range, and despite the supposed high Resistance of Pegasus Knights, gets hurt rather a lot.
Meanwhile, the Wyvern Riders have finally caught up with Nephenee.
They're reasonably tough, but we can take them. Nephenee gets another rank in Lances from this battle.
Marcia gets healed, and goes to redeem herself.
Rolf lends a hand with the Wyvern infestation.
Meanwhile, Volke gets to looting. Recover is the next level of healing staff - it will fully restore HP to one target. It's handy for those units who somehow have a B-Rank in staves while having a crap enough magic stat that they can't fully heal someone with Mend. Y'know all those units like that, right?
Even in cases other than where the enemy is weighed down by heavy tomes, Mist is, at this point, a really good magekiller, what with her quite decent (physical) attack power, and mage-like resistance.
The next Bolting Asshole is still outside our Problem Range, however.
Another turn gone!
Jill is still doing her usual act, I see.
Meanwhile, Nephenee is a hair away from Wrath territory. This is actually not too great a thing; it means she's in the most danger she can be in without having any advantage resulting from it. Wrath is kinda hard to use deliberately!
Meanwhile, some Ravens show up.
Hey, hey! What are those stupid crows doing here?
They're siding with Daein? Unbelievable!
Ravens! They betray not only me, but all laguz! Naesala, you dastard...
Janaff and Ulki are a lot like Lethe and Mordecai, in that their transformation times are exactly synced so that one can tag in as the other runs out of TP. It's quite handy... except for how we won't really be able to do much with Ulki for a while.
Also, Reyson transforms!
The Wyvern Defence continues...
It's redundant, but damn it's satisfying.
I debate pulling Mist back to heal Nephenee, but I determine that Nephenee's got enough defence to take one more hit, and besides, I have a plan...
Anyway. Now that Reyson's shifted, he can...
He can chant to multiple people at once! Specifically, he can boost four units around him. He also gets some stat boosts and a big boost to Move, as is tradition for Laguz.
Bring on the Enemy Phase.
Interesting. This is our first real encounter with Light Magic (besides Oliver), which is wielded exclusively by Bishops (ie, promoted Priests). It exists outside the Magic Triangle, and is accurate if not terribly strong - and also, for some reason, quite heavy.
Ike dodges it. Of course.
Marcia's not falling for that again.
Oh boy. The Blizzard Asshole has spotted Janaff. Fortunately, he's holding the Beorcguard, so this hurts much less than it might have.
The first phase of my plan re: Nephenee goes about as well as I could've hoped.
Second phase, not so much.
Well, I don't have time to keep people moving between two fronts, so Nephenee retreats a little and waits for the enemy to chase her.
Mist keeps on doing her thing.
Marcia has inherited Oscar's old lance and uses it to deal with this silly Light guy.
This is bleh, but Defence is nice. Defence, as we all know, is the backbone of the God-Unit (even if Marcia's not actually one of those).
We need Rolf up front, so we have him use some Pure Water to keep him safe from the two Assholes.
Protip: Soren =/= good target for siege tomes.
Weird. I'm getting deja vu here. Why's that happening? Ike's never encountered Knight Killers before...
And now some actual Asshole Reinforcements show up.
By all means, let's have Nephenee continue playing.
This Knight Killer thing, by the way, is a lance that's effective against Cavaliers - and not, of course, against Knights. I hate Fire Emblem's class names sometimes.
Said Knight Killer gets dropped and sent to our Convoy.
There's a very good reason, by the way, for us not charging blindly forward.
Oh man. It looks like Shinon's caught sight of Rolf.
Shinon! It is you!
Look at you. You've grown so much... You actually look like an archer.
Really? Ha ha!
You always did have what it takes. It's just like I told you--you train the right way, and you'll surpass both your brothers.
I had a good teacher!
Hah. "Picked it up naturally" my ass.
Ha ha ha! Um... Shinon?
Are you... with the enemy?
Stop that. I told you things like this happen. Did you forget?
... But... it's... not... It's not... fair... Sniff...
Ready your bow. It's time for the pupil to face his master.
And then... nothing happens.
Speaking of nothing happening, Mist becomes the target of Blizzard.
The cavaliers move in on Nephenee, and some more show up. Hmm...
Well, I've had quite enough of this. Neph's on just barely <50% HP. Let's do this.
Now with... less shield, more skirt? I don't get how this helps at all!
This, on the other hand, I can see being useful. And... god damn, I've just noticed how blessed she is in Magic. I mean... seriously. Why couldn't that have gone to Strength instead?
So. I can't help but notice that Shinon is still not on our team.
Rolf appears to have exhausted his conversational options... and Ike doesn't seem to even have any.
Worse still, Shinon's carrying a very decent bow that's listed as droppable. Note that his stats are exactly as they were when we left him.
It looks like we're out of options.
It is not, really, a very trying battle.
Don't move. You'll tear the wound wide open.
What're you planning? D-do it... now... Finish me.
... Ha... Idiot...
Uh oh. Did we go too far?
Well, this is pretty sweet in any case. We'll talk more about this later.
Rolf distracts himself by murdering the second Bolting Asshole.
This was the one added for Hard Mode, and he carries a Shade scroll. That's potentially handy!
Hmm... I like Nephenee's chances, but I don't want her getting swarmed... can we slow these guys down at all...
Well, holy shit. I said these guys weren't that handy, but... their stats! Capped Speed at Lv 10! Decent Strength and Skill!
Marcia got gipped.
Their leader is something else. She's very well armed and decently survivable, too.
Tanith's troops get straight to work.
They're good at their job.
Between them, they take down the most dangerous reinforcement.
On the enemy turn, Mia dodges a Blizzard...
And the Holy Guard distracts the enemy quite effectively.
There is only so much they can take, however.
Your sacrifice will be remembered.
It occurs to me at this point that Neph is still hauling around the Gandhichan lance, which is, essentially, just a more accurate Steel Lance with not much continued justification. She gets to using up its remaining uses.
There's a Laguz Lance-toting General hanging around, so Soren and Marcia take care of him.
Fortunately for us, Tanith's reinforcements are Partner units and not Other units, and that means Ike can still give them orders (despite his earlier suggestion that they should take orders from Tanith). So, when we want them out of the way, we can just tell them to get out of the way.
Ike: Still Ike.
Mist advances further into the realm of combat viability.
The Pegasus Knights duly get out of the way.
The ravens from earlier have reached the front lines - we should probably be ready to deal with them.
Another Bishop decides to go after Ike, despite Ike being probably the most Resistance-blessed unit on our team.
What about this could possibly have seemed like a good idea?!
There goes the last Blizzard. Now the guy's just a regular Asshole (with a Wind tome).
Neph, meanwhile, is doing a much better job of holding the fort than those other Soldiers ever did.
Our turn once more, and Volke has reached the next set of chests. This one contains a Silence staff. Like Physic, it has a range of 1-[Magic / 2] squares, and has a chance to prevent enemy mages from using magic. Potentially handy.
Mist hits the front lines once more.
I've missed being able to level Ike.
Also, Reyson gets a level (he gets 10 EXP from chanting). Reyson has very little use for stats (except magic, for a reason that will eventually be explained), since he doesn't fight and shouldn't be getting attacked (although he can tank magic pretty well!). He does, however, have a decent amount of avoid when transformed, so that's something. That doesn't mean more stats aren't welcome, though.
More Light use against Ike.
The Ravens have reached us, and attack Mist.
Mist is annoyed.
I believe I have already spoken on the subject of what happens when Mist gets annoyed.
The next one can't even hit her.
Also holding our front line together is Ike, of course.
Nephenee keeps holding down the entrance.
Our turn again. Time to counterattack hard.
I'm happy with Rolf's Speed progress, but I could be happier.
This... less happy with.
Ike has a special surprise for the enemy Bishop;
Cool people don't look at dead enemies.
Thanks to Reyson, we're not done yet!
Ike's going to have a little word with the boss. Note his Tornado tome - it's the next step up from Elwind.
Well, actually, it was, just not in the way you're thinking.
But you'll need more than luck to get over this wall.
But then, so does a sword in the face.
Ike, ladies and gents. We take that Tornado tome for ourselves.
The final chest contains a Wrath scroll. At some point we're going to have a lot of fun discussing skill configurations.
Marcia's taking effective damage from this guy, but it's a Wind tome, and therefore only one extra damage. We've got this.
...Except, she misses the second attack so we have to have Rolf clean up for her.
This means we have to have Janaff and Mist clean up the last guy-
Tanith pitches in with a very timely Javelin.
Sadly, however, this one last guy over here is still alive...
And there are a few more Ravens left too. It doesn't matter that we have literally taken over the fortress, we've got to kill everyone.
Too much to hope for a counterkill.
That was dumb.
There's one other interesting ability Reyson has, besides Chanting...
At the beginning of each turn, everyone adjacent to him gets healed for [Reyson's Magic] HP. That's pretty nifty, although it's a bit tricky to use since it requires people to end their turns adjacent to Reyson, and Reyson's whole thing is helping people who end turns adjacent to him to move. Still though, it can be situationally quite handy.
Rolf and Marcia take out a Raven.
Soren blows a second away.
The last one is untransformed, and as such is easy prey for Mist.
Ah! You're still alive! I wondered!
Ha! And I can't believe that the one who defeats me is little lord Ikie. Looks like I've lost my edge. I'm ready, boy. Go on. Finish what you started.
Come back to the company.
I don't think so.
You've never liked me. As far back as I can remember, you have never liked me.
That's right. Still don't.
You... You called me a weakling. Said I was nothing without the help of my father. That's what you said, right? That's why you hated me.
... Sounds like me.
Don't you get it? I just beat you. So your reasons don't hold water anymore, do they?
Pah! It's enough you beat me, now you gotta talk me to death?
I'll say it once more. Come back to the company.
... Let's have another go around. I win, and I'm commander. Agreed?
I win, and you fall in line. Agreed?
Don't worry, boy. I'll make it quick.
The game leaves the outcome of this fight to our imaginations. Not that there's a whole lot of room for uncertainty here.
So, yeah, recruiting Shinon, huh? Stefan was pretty obscure to find, but Shinon takes the cake for dumb recruitments. Why? Because he violates the most deeply held principle Fire Emblem has to offer re recruiting enemies; don't kill them. In order to recruit Shinon, you have to talk to him with Rolf (or have him talk to Rolf on his own, which he'll do instead of attacking), and then "kill" him with Ike, at which point he will appear to die, despite dialogue to the contrary.
What the hell, IntSys?
Anyway, Shinon, like Gatrie before him, has enough potential conversations to warrant a full-blown Bonus Update, so that will come in time. For now, though...
Oh, right. Understood.
I beg your leave.
Nasir. What's going on? We haven't seen much of you lately.
I've been a bit busy. In order to leave Begnion, I had to sell my ship and dismiss the crew... There was a lot to take care of.
Is that so? Heh. It looks like you've been caught up in our struggle after all. Are you all right with that? I mean, I know you've got a lot of your own matters to handle.
It's not like I've abandoned my own interests to join up with the Crimean army. For me, I've judged that there's value in traveling with you. So, don't worry about it overly much.
If you say so. You're a fairly knowledgable fellow, so it's nice having you around.
Ha! I think that's mutual. Now then, I've got some good news.
What is it?
Until now, they've been content to take a defensive stance and wait it out, but... It appears this neverending stalemate has exhausted their patience. Ike, this victory here today was a very important thing. It may prove to be a decisive first step in breaking Daein's power. News of it will spread like wildfire over the entire continent and give countries confidence to speak out against Daein. With Crimea as a rallying point, Gallia may well be moved to join this war.
History will be made... Could Daein truly fall at our hands? Can I make that happen? Me?
Use what you've been given, and great things will happen. You have it in you to lead, Ike. For now, it's merely one portion of the bird tribes, but... your relationship is established. It's because you resolved to gain their trust, and then made it happen.
It's all due to my father... If my actions prove to be the right ones, it will be due to the way my father raised me. "If you treat others in good faith, they will follow you of their own volition." That's what he taught me.
He was a magnificent man, wasn't he?
When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to be as strong as my father. And then I wanted to surpass him... Now, that is a goal I'll never achieve.
Everyone was defeated. Not only the Daein troops, but our brigade as well. Cut down like wheat in a field.
Huh! Well, that was impressively done. Er, for a band of sellswords, that is. There's nothing else to do. Send a message to the Daein command and tell them the enemy is stronger than expected.
Send a Daein human instead. I don't care which one. Just don't use any of our troops.
But a wingless human will take such a long time to--
General Petrine commands the next front. She's a very... temperamental woman... But go if you like! Tell her that the Kilvas ravens have been defeated... She'll roast you like a chicken and use your bones for stock!
Un-understood! I will find a human!
Soren? What are you doing here?
What are you planning?
Where did that come from? I've no idea what you're talking about.
Don't play dumb with me. We're past that. Gallia's decision to join in this war was based on some new information they received, wasn't it?
Cat got your tongue? Fine. I'll tell you what you've been doing here...
And--regardless of whether she got that assistance or not--to judge if she was worthy of laguz support. Am I wrong?
If you've figured all of this out, why remain silent?
Because your actions were beneficial to Princess Crimea. I determined that even if left to your own devices, you would not harm the princess.
It sounds like you don't think that's the case anymore.
I don't have to explain myself to you.
That's true only until I reveal your purpose to Ike.
...I don't know what you mean.
Oh, I trust that we understand each other. The army rises early tomorrow. I suggest we turn in.
The enemy knew we were coming today.
And you think I'm responsible?
My, oh, my... You really ARE suspicious, aren't you? Good night, Soren.
Uh oh... what does Nasir have on Soren?
90 BEXP lost for going 3 turns over the limit (10), but that's not really a problem considering that the reinforcements that showed up in those extra turns provided enough combat EXP to make up for it.
Lv 10 Falcon Knight
HP: 32 (60%) Spd: 24 (40%)
Str: 16 (40%) Lck: 18 (30%)
Mag: 10 (35%) Def: 15 (25%)
Skl: 18 (70%) Res: 13 (30%)
Move: 9 Con: 8 Wt: 25
Equip: Swords (A), Lances (B)
Tanith's stats are, at least, in line with her level, so when your team starts catching up to her (which won't take long), she'll fit right in. On top of that, her growths are pretty decent - and if it wasn't for Mist, she'd be a pretty good bet to bear the Sonic Sword, what with her Magic growth. Her Defence and Resistance growths aren't all that, but she's fast and packs a punch. She's also definitely worth considering if your Marcia hasn't turned out.
Her Reinforce skill has its uses, although it's not something you want to be relying on too much. Her troops can do some damage, and I've certainly got no complaints about having Silver Lance bearing Falcon Knights on tap, but they're best used for slowing the enemy down rather than advancing on them. If that's what you need done, though, then Reinforce away!
Lv 8 Bird Tribe (Hawk)
HP: 39 (130%) Spd: 17 (65%)
Str: 13 (55%) Lck: 16 (40%)
Mag: 5 (10%) Def: 11 (30%)
Skl: 15 (70%) Res: 10 (25%)
Move: 6 Con: 6 Wt: 6
Initial TP: 16
Transformation Bonus: Str +6, Skl +5, Spd +3, Def +4 Res +2, Move +2, Wt +10
Equip: Beak (7 Mt, 90 Hit)
Janaff's pretty great. He's the faster of the two Hawks by quite a margin, but he still packs a hell of a punch when transformed. He can also get straight to murdering what with being able to start each battle transformed. With his speed, he'll also be quite good at dodging stuff, which will help when he's faced with Archers and Wind Mages.
His Insight skill gives him a free +20 to Hit, which is pretty nice, and comes in handy when dealing with dodgy enemies like Myrmidons and Pegasus Knights. The really neat thing about Insight is that it doesn't take up any Capacity, so you can pile on other skills on top of it, if you like.
Lv 7 Bird Tribe (Hawk)
HP: 41 (140%) Spd: 12 (60%)
Str: 15 (60%) Lck: 10 (35%)
Mag: 4 (10%) Def: 14 (35%)
Skl: 14 (65%) Res: 9 (25%)
Move: 6 Con: 10 Wt: 10
Initial TP: 5
Transformation Bonus: Str +6, Skl +5, Spd +3, Def +4 Res +2, Move +2, Wt +10
Equip: Beak (7 Mt, 90 Hit)
Ulki is - try not to pass out from shock - slower, stronger and tougher (and heavier) than Janaff. The thing is, though, he's quite a bit slower than Janaff, but only a little bit stronger and tougher, so make of this tradeoff what you will. He also doesn't get to start the battle transformed - although he does start off with a bit of TP already in the meter, like Muarim.
His Vigilance skill grants him a free +20 avoid, which is all sorts of useful, since it means he can still dodge quite well even if he can't double quite as liberally as Janaff can. Like Janaff's Insight, Vigilance doesn't take up Capacity, so that's nice too.
Lv 3 Bird Tribe (Heron)
HP: 22 (65%) Spd: 14 (50%)
Str: 1 (5%) Lck: 15 (60%)
Mag: 10 (40%) Def: 2 (15%)
Skl: 11 (50%) Res: 20 (50%)
Move: 5 Con: 5 Wt: 5
Initial TP: 0
Transformation Bonus: Mag +5, Skl +3, Spd +4, Def +1 Res +5, Move +3, Wt +6
Skill: Canto, Blessing
Putting Reyson in your team means you're down a combatant, but while he himself isn't much use in a fight he'll be helping the rest of your team out by inspiring them to superhuman feats (read: moving twice in a turn and occasionally restoring some HP). When Reyson really gets going, you can have up to four combat units (and/or healers) working at double the usual efficiency, and that's nothing to sneeze at. I'm not kidding about him not fighting, by the way - with his stats, he'll be lucky to survive even a single good melee hit, although he at least has the capacity to dodge (although do you really want to test this?).
His skills (Canto, which enables his Chanting, and Blessing, which restores HP to adjacent units) take up the entirety of his Capacity, so don't get any ideas about adding to them. Not that there's really much to be gained from doing so, but still.
And, finally, because it's been so long since we've seen him:
Lv 1 Sniper
HP: 32 (75%) Spd: 13 (65%)
Str: 9 (65%) Lck: 9 (35%)
Mag: 6 (20%) Def: 9 (50%)
Skl: 15 (70%) Res: 6 (40%)
Move: 7 Con: 9 Wt: 10
Equip: Bows (A)
Oh, man, not looking so great now, is he? Yes, Shinon has spectacular growths, but his bases were just barely good back in Chapter Three, and now they're just outright garbage. Perhaps Shinon is supposed to be an Est (or, to use a more contemporary term, a Nino); a unit with low bases but high growths and lots of room? If those growths pay off, Shinon can be quite, quite decent, but, well... compare Rolf's stats to Shinon's, and remember that Rolf isn't even promoted yet.
Next Time: We do some things and then a lot of stuff happens!