Part 47: Chapter 21 - Mission
Let's backtrack to the Forge and trick out a Steel Lance.
Should we give it an awesome name?
Oh. Well, have it your way.
I always seriously underestimate the impact that the availability of Bands has on the decision of what to do with the Knight Ring - you can't have more than one accessory equipped at a time, you see. I usually find that those precious few percentage points win out in the end. In this case, I'm putting it on Reyson, so he can chant-and-run. It's actually a lot more useful than it might seem.
If Sothe is coming with us, he's getting a level. Sadly, he only gets five +1s. That's disappointing for someone with Blossom.
Muarim shows Sothe how it's done. Hell yes.
Alright. Let's get going.
The bosses are one thing, but they're not this mission's Obligatory Dick Move. This guy, and two other guys like him, are going to be filling that role.
They have Sleep staves. They can just select any unit within eight squares and take them out of commission for five motherfucking turns. Worse, Soren's not able to use Restore staves yet, so Mist is the only one who can cure Sleep. That's not nice. However, if we're careful, we'll be able to minimize the damage.
Astoundingly little of interest happens on the first turn. We can't even get anyone in violence range of the enemy.
Fortunately, the enemy obliges.
So, in proper fashion, Rolf leads the charge.
Followed by Mist.
Mia helps out by actually getting a timely crit for once.
And Oscar takes up the weapon that was ambiguously named but really "secretly" actually meant for him.
We move up, and Neph goes to bait the next line forward. The two myrmidons up there have a Laguzslayer and a Longsword respectively.
The other guys all advance, and on our turn, Sothe gets to opening a door. What horrors lurk beyond?
One guy? I'm disappointed, Fire Emblem.
Rolf and Volke deal with him.
Like Ike, Assassin-Volke is too cool to look at dead enemies after crits.
Ike and Astrid forge ahead.
Everyone's just being denied.
No, no, no.
With excellent timing, Muarim transforms. Now, our loot...
Nice! This here is the ultimate Knife, which is admittedly something of a limited praise, but c'mon. It's got 8 Mt, and that's on par with a Steel Sword. It could be worse!
Parity is a situational skill that lets you negate both your and an enemy's skills, terrain boosts and supports for one battle.
Good to know Rolf is still getting use out of that Longbow.
Speaking of Longbows, this guy's Longbow doesn't help him against Mia.
The knights here all tend to have capped defence and are quite tough, but Muarim can survive for another turn. He's pretty survivable himself.
Or maybe he'll bring the crits at an opportune time. That too.
This next knight up here has a Javelin, so Astrid takes up her old bow and goes to lure him out.
On the turns go.
Muarim is put to sleep.
When you're asleep, your avoid is reduced to zero. As you can imagine, that's pretty annoying. Also, this ain't no sissy JRPG sleep where physical attacks wake you up, either. You'll just sit there getting wailed on until five turns pass or someone uses a Restore stave. Or you die.
Of course, this is a problem for some units and less of a problem for others.
Astrid's little plan works.
Right. Let's get Muarim awake again.
One of this game's little mercies is that units can move immediately after they are cured of sleep, so Muarim gets right on to maiming the guy who afflicted him. Mia does for his Longbowman friend.
The newly transformed Reyson is a big help for getting our thieves to catch up with the group.
You know, if Reyson could actually attack (with magic), he wouldn't be half bad as a fighter.
And, yes, that Knight Ring is pretty handy on him.
More denial from Nephenee.
These two guys won't really get anywhere near us for ages, but Jill's got nothing better to do than kill them now. For some reason, the mage has much higher stats than the sage. Jill uses the Javelin so she can counterkill the next one on the enemy phase.
We're making pretty good time here.
It's like fish in a barrel, except the fish jump out of the barrel and construct an elaborate autofire mechanism for the gun and then jump back in the barrel, thus saving you the bother of having to actually shoot the fish in the barrel.
Mia takes a hit, but that's okay.
And our local friendly sub-boss comes over to chat with Ike.
We must defeat the Crimean army and bring His Majesty back to us.
Yes, yes, no surrender and such. We can work with that.
That Brave Lance means we'll just have to dodge him twice.
Not that it would've mattered if Ike took any damage.
Now he understands.
Ah, did you think there wouldn't be Asshole Reinforcements? Guess again.
Let's clean up over here.
With help from Reyson, Sothe unlocks the next door, and reveals... one sage. Not exactly big on security here... although to be fair, I guess Daein has bigger concerns right now.
Nephenee promptly dispatches him and gains this quite acceptable level.
Meanwhile, Jill pushes ahead and does indeed produce a crit here.
Along with this somewhat less acceptable level. Then again, speed.
About halfway through the map, it suddenly dawns on most players how few enemies there really are here.
For all its ability to do maths, the AI never was any good at designating high value targets. Sothe is a status magnet solely because he has like one resistance. I'm fine with this, because it means I can continue charging at full power and obliterate the asshole with the Sleep staff.
Oh, but since Volke's right there and all...
...we'll nab one for ourselves. Might come in handy.
Sothe is also promptly cured and proceeds to nab us a free Energy Drop.
The silly bishop is promptly Rolf'd.
As much as I like Mia, she's been having a bit of a hard time lately...
...although that could change.
On we go.
A mage misses Ike...
...the Assholes continue chasing us...
...and more of them show up.
Wow, Daein must be really understaffed. There's no one guarding this room!
Mage obliterated, moving up.
Ranged staves are not, sadly, bound by petty concerns like walls and line of sight.
Also, Oscar is in Earth range of Ike, so he's not getting hit by a damn thing.
More surprise Muarim crits.
And some disappointment.
I guess not every level can be godly.
Though sometimes they sure can seem amazing despite their lack of substance.
Curiosity: Note that Jill isn't getting chanted to despite being a square away from Reyson. You might recall that this game can be weird about spaces with height differences.
Oh, now, this is new. Someone's taking this treasure seriously.
We can kill one of them straight up...
But the rest... go on, Mia. You can do this.
We end turn.
Thankfully, this actually misses.
The Assholes have caught up.
Oh, wow. That could've gone badly.
Alright, Mia. Shine.
Come on... you can do better than this...
Can we get two out of three?
We sure can.
Good work, Mia.
And sweet loot. Although Soren may never be able to use this. Calill might.
Time to conscript an Asshole Patrol. Rolf's up for it.
Very much so.
I don't like Soren being a meatshield, but it'll do as a strategy. He can take hits from both guys if he has to.
Jill's got the other band of assholes all taken care of.
And there's a nice comfy chokepoint for Oscar to sit in, too.
Gettin' close now.
Oh for fuck's sake-
Uh. Figured he'd attack Soren.
No matter. I'm cool with this.
Oh, come on. Squishy mage, right there, what's wrong with you?
Due to Oscar's placement, only one of these guys can attack him. So that's something.
Crap. I can't get Mist to Oscar.
Oh well. Backup plan, then.
I like this plan better, actually.
Now here's a nice skill. Corrosion will, upon activation, remove a number of uses from the enemy's weapon equal to your level (with promoted units counting as 20+). A hit from most of our guys right now would dissolve most Killer or Silver weapons instantly, and it doesn't take much to start vaporizing the hardier weapons, either.
We clean up the asshole reinforcements, in any case.
This is alright.
Jill prepares to choke the next batch.
After this, we move on the boss (and those last two chests).
Damn. Just short of a one round KO.
Well, that was unpleasant.
He pays for it, of course.
With his Sleep staff depleted, the asshole in the middle is falling back on Physic.
Right. Let's waste these fools.
Oh, and we finally cure Oscar.
Owww. And that was with the Earth support and everything.
Fortunately, the next guy has more traditional luck.
First thing's first.
Your swordsmanship is familiar... Who taught you to fight in this way? To the best of my knowledge, that style was used by only one man-- an old friend of mine.
My father. He taught me to use a sword.
Is that so? Then you are Gawain's son...
Wait! Are you a friend of my father's?
We were good friends... long ago. How is the old goat?
A knight encased in black armor.
The Black Knight, eh? I did not know his strength had grown so much... Interesting.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Smart man. I wouldn't fight anyone allied with Mist either.
The world must not lose Gawain's style of swordsmanship. I surrender. You may lock me away or execute me or what you will. I care not.
Are you sane?
Very much so. I had already decided that I would die in this place. I have served this country for many years-- since the time of the previous king. But the current regent... He rules through fear and wants nothing but war. I can abide it no longer.
If you plan on dying anyway, join us. We have need of strength such as yours.
You would take a former Daein general? I cannot. Your fellow Crimeans would resist. They would never accept it.
Our army does not have the luxury of being so picky. Please... Lend us your strength.
... As you will. I've already thrown my life away. If it can serve you somehow, you may use it as you see fit.
And we can still attack!
The new guy helps out, too.
He suuure does.
Oscar and Astrid press the offensive.
Volke gets on the last door...
And Jill completes our pincer formation.
Helpfully, the knights split up in response.
Well, that was a short enemy phase.
Ike finally gets line of sight into the throne room.
Huh? A Goldoan dragon?
I've been waiting for you. You are General Ike, are you not?
How did... Who are you?
My name is Ena. By the orders of the king, I am the protector of this capital.
Withdraw. I've no desire to fight a useless battle with you. It's Ashnard I'm after.
I regret to inform you that the king is not here.
... I share your desire to see this conflict end. So rather than see you travel to Crimea to fight Ashnard, I felt it would be much faster for me to defeat you and your army here. Don't you agree?
That's one way to look at it. The problem is that I'll never let you do as you please with Crimea!
We cannot have it both ways. We both want what is in our own interest, and that is why we have conflict. If neither one of us will yield, our conflict will continue until only the stronger of us remains. I have my own reasons for fighting... And I will see you fall.
The really nice thing about the Stiletto is that it does bonus damage against armour.
That said, Volke is strong enough to make do with a Dagger.
A largely ineffectual enemy phase later...
This is Vendor trash at this point. Maybe a surprise last minute promotion? Who knows.
A quick Reyson later...
Well, yes, there's this, but more importantly...
Mia's going to have a field day with this.
Now. Let's murder.
Ike gets to do something he hasn't done in a while...
He busts out the Regal Sword.
Oscar and Astrid neutralize the last knight.
Wow. There were a few really good ones, but my levels today are just plain bad.
It's just Ena and one bishop now.
You've been very helpful.
Jill gets a tolerable level out of murdering him.
And now for the main event.
This is definitely going to be a team effort.
Astrid fares a bit better.
But still, though. Dragon.
Even Ike can only do so much damage.
He is... my everything. That is why I must defeat you, or... I... I...
Goddamnit. 5 more HP, and the only unit we have left is the healer...
She can also heal in reverse.
When we ran into trouble in the southern sea, the dragon prince rescued us! I don't want to fight you! D-do I... have to?
You have met Prince Kurthnaga? I've no desire to steal the life of one who received his aid.
I fucking knew it. That little flash over Ena's HP means she's activated Miracle. I'm pretty sure Ena cheats at Miracle.
We're so done here.
That I cannot do.
I... I must go to him...
Nasir! What are you doing?
Someone's been giving information to the enemy. Was that you, too? And... Mist's medallion?
Are you telling me you've been working for Daein this whole time? But you're a laguz! Why? Talk to me! Ah, this is useless. Get him out of here! His traitorous face is making me ill!
Until this has been cleared up, you'll be held in custody.
What did you say?
It doesn't matter how well you train an army--if they don't fight, they become weak. What's the life of a soldier without a steady diet of war? Blood and pain are the foods of a true warrior!
Suh-speaking of soldiers, Your Highness... The majority of our forces have been moved here--
I left more than enough soldiers! And yet they could not prevail... I may have overestimated Ena. Even if she is a dragon, I suppose that was the best she could do.
But the important thing is the Black Knight. Where's he gotten to? Did you see him in the capital?
I did. He bid me present this to Your Majesty...
Ah! It's found its way back to my hands at long last. Unwrap it! Quickly! Unwrap it and show it to me...
H-here it is, Y-Your Majesty...
Behold... Ah, how wonderful! See how it reacts to the war I have brought to this pathetic land?
Th-this is Lehran's Medallion?
Yes. And inside... inside is a dark god of immeasurable power and cruelty. It once caused a flood so great that all continents save Tellius were submerged in a watery tomb.
That... blue light...
You... Me... Even this very castle itself... We all radiate various forms of chaotic energy, and the dark god is pure chaos!
Aha! It's not just any silly plot trinket!
Heee! Heee har har! Look how you tremble! This light has the power to bewitch the human soul, you know? It calls to our chaotic impulses--like the urge to slaughter every living thing in sight... Do you feel its invitation? The permission to act on any base emotion that resides in your heart, no matter how unspeakable?
I... My report... is not... finished...
Heee har har! Ah, Petrine... Guard!
Wrap the medallion and place it in the vault.
O-of course... Yes... As Your Majesty ordered, the Black Knight moves to capture Princess Serenes. At last report, he was on his way to Phoenicis.
I see. So he's decided on the princess and not the prince, eh? Did he give any reasons?
Yes, Your Highness. It was based on the findings of a group of scholars. Because the princess was isolated for over twenty years, they feel her magic will be stronger than her brother's.
Yet... Can the Black Knight outwit the hawk king of Phoenicis and steal her away?
The hawk king is not always at her side. Plus, as you know, the Black Knight is in possession of warp powder. If someone of his might has the ability to appear and disappear at will, it may be that he is without equal...
Ahaha. She's terrified. I'd sympathize, but... it's Petrine.
Ha ha. I will have to test that someday... But not today. It's not often that one finds a tool as useful as he is.
Well spoken, Your Majesty.
If you wish to remain in my service, you must show me results. Unless you, too, wish to become food for Rajaion here?
Y-Your Majesty! I will redouble my efforts! I won't... I won't let you down again!
You can be a general or you can be dinner. I don't really care which... But do try to show a little initiative, won't you?
Yes, Your Highness... B-by your leave...
According to all reports, she escaped. Her current location is unknown. However... This is Ena we're speaking of. She will return to Your Majesty, will she not?
I've no further use for her. Oh, but if it's too much for you to kill her outright... Use her trust and stab her in the back.
As... as you wish...
Nice! The limit is 18 turns - about right given how this mission can drag sometimes. Using both thieves and Reyson (with the Knight Ring) was a great help staying inside the limit.
Lv 14 General
HP: 48 (60%) Spd: 13 (30%)
Str: 22 (55%) Lck: 14 (15%)
Mag: 11 (5%) Def: 22 (60%)
Skl: 18 (50%) Res: 14 (40%)
Move: 6 Con: 10 Wt: 15
Equip: Swords (A), Lances (A)
Given up on Brom and Gatrie? Well, here's Tauroneo. He's big, slow, and something of a wall, he can use the best weapons you've got right out of the box, and while he's only six levels away from the cap that won't stop him from accomplishing the purpose you need him to accomplish. He is, however, not exactly the world's fastest unit, so you'll find, as with any General, that he's more use blocking up a chokepoint than charging the enemy.
His big selling point is the Resolve skill, because holy shit, you do not want to be in his vicinity when his HP dips below 50%. His strength, skill and speed will all go up by half again; he'll have some of the highest base strength in the game, he'll never miss a damn thing, and his speed will actually become respectable. Did I mention you can optionally pair it with Wrath? Because you totally can.
Next Time: Do you like Shoving?