Part 50: Chapter 22 - Mission
These numbers should be quite familiar by now.
I decided to go with a lance simply because I figured it's the most likely to see use, both now and later. For now, Tauroneo can have it. Don't worry; our next forge will probably be a little more exciting.
Maybe some BEXP before we go?
Hello, speed cap.
Tauroneo's also taking up the Knight Ward for this mission, since he's going to be on his own for a while (and Nephenee's doing OK defence-wise, too).
So, then. Our immediate priority is heading left; there's a thief already in the treasure room and we don't want him getting too carried away with himself in there. The right and middle can wait - and we're going to send Tauroneo right straight away and Nephenee and Mist straight right now. On reflection, I might have worded that last sentence poorly. No matter.
In any case, it would serve us well to attend to the middle in some respect from the very beginning, since it'll take some time for us to properly work our way up there (since we're going to be nice and spare all the priests).
Oh, and let's just say that some of the priests will not be entirely co-operative.
We probably ought to exercise some caution around this guy, if only because of all those Killer weapons.
Also because of this. It's not that worrying (the damage increase is 1.25x), but I don't like numbers that can change on me (unless they're my numbers and they're going up).
Astrid and Soren open the festivities by clearing out the forward-most hostiles on the left side.
Once they're out of the way...
Mordecai applies his most tactical Smite yet to open a shortcut for us.
Volke takes advantage, and busts out his newest toy.
Thank you, Volke.
Muarim uses a less impressive, but equally tactical Shove on Nephenee.
This allows Nephenee to walk far enough north to Shove Tomenami back a space. This action will make our journey north a bit harder than it has to be, but it also grants us a marvelous opportunity...
...to have Mist immediately eliminate the Bolting Asshole, who might otherwise have been able to ORKO Mordecai or Sothe.
We also recover his Bolting tome for ourselves.
This guy is actually a (very slight) threat to Tauroneo.
I warned him what happens to people who (very slightly) threaten Tauroneo.
Now I think about it, though, I don't think he was literate enough to comprehend onomatopoeia. More fool him.
Finally, with a little help from Reyson, Ike comes up to join Nephenee and Mist.
Sothe is just fine where he is.
There are a couple of enemy archers scattered among the priests in the north. They spot Mist. "Good", I think. "That'll clog up that space".
Of course, that's not how it ends up.
The only thing I never taught her was how to not murder people.
So Mist goes on a little spree.
They can't hit Mist, but they can hit Ike.
There are Longbowmen, too, but, well, no.
Now here's the annoying part, and also the part that can trip you the hell up. You could say it's this mission's spectacular dick move. A few of the priests in the middle, most notably Tonenami himself (pictured), are equipped with Light magic, and while they won't move, they will attack any valid target in their range. They're not that powerful, so they're not really a threat, but if they attack someone who can counter, then they will get countered, and possibly die as a result. The AI is as counter-cautious as ever, but if you leave them no choice, they'll gladly get themselves killed.
Moral: Don't leave melee users next to them, and don't leave ranged users not-quite-next to them. And just keep mages the fuck away.
Oh for the love of-
Also annoying is the fact that many of these guys over here won't move, so we can't really get a Tauroneo Counterkill Rampage going. We'll just have to be patient (and wait until backup arrives).
Also, in case you forgot, Tauroneo is slow, so the lack of counterkills is a really annoying thing.
Lastly, the thief gets to thieving things. Don't worry, he won't be at it long.
Enemy thieves will always drop at most one of their stolen items (the most recently acquired). So long as you get to them before they swipe more than one item, you're OK to just kill them and you won't lose anything. After that, though, you have to steal the stuff off of them, which can be tricky depending on terrain and troop placement. It might also come down to stats - recall that to steal, you need to have more speed than the enemy and enough strength to carry the item (if the item has Wt) - so there's that to worry about, too.
In our case, though...
...matters are a touch simpler. Yoink!
Mordecai with the Shove (we can't Smite due to there being an enemy in the way). You don't strictly speaking need Mordecai to shove the enemies here (they're quite light), but it simplifies matters to have a dedicated shoving unit (while he's untransformed, anyway), and the fact that he has Smite certainly doesn't hurt.
Anyway, Volke charges in and begins knifing, while Astrid gets healed (Soren is staff-training. We want him Physicing soon).
Meanwhile, in the middle, Mist is being herself.
Now, getting through the middle here is kind of a puzzle in and of itself. It doesn't help that a) there are more priests on Hard Mode and b) that we already shoved Tonemami up a square - that last one in particular makes this a good deal harder than it needs to be.
No matter, though. If you recall that everyone other than the priests will move of their own accord, you can probably puzzle out a solution for yourself, if you want. There are several.
Mine is by no means optimal, but it'll do - once those goddamn Longbowmen get out of the way. That's going to take up another turn, at least.
Meanwhile, Tauroneo continues having fun over there.
Finally, Soren (by way of Reyson) gets in one more kill.
That's all for turn two.
As expected, the Longbowmen stand in the worst possible place.
Well, at least their placement is the only thing about them that's really a concern.
Volke gets hurt a bit...
And then - oh shit, that's a Feral Tiger. Yeah, here come the Asshole Reinforcements.
Like a fool, I forgot to pack Soren's tricked out Fire tome, so instead I go for an Elthunder volley (it's actually stronger than Soren's most powerful forge, but a bit heavier) in the hopes that he'll Adept or Crit or something.
He does neither.
Volke finishes the job.
Astrid finishes off his Asshole Friend.
She sure does.
More fun with Tauroneo.
Now, this should be our next move in the middle, except for the fact that we're going to have to get those Longbow Assholes out of the way sometime.
So we pull back instead.
The ploy is a success.
Swordmaster attacks Soren, but we should be-
Well, guess what, asshole. Soren can crit too.
Critting isn't even supposed to be his whole thing either.
Still, though, wouldn't want to do that again if it can be avoided.
Muarim gets serious.
Volke gets more glorified money. This is our second one of these.
Soren profits somewhat from healing. Hey, speed's speed.
Something something Tauroneo.
Goodbye, Longbow Assholes.
Tauroneo's being too slow (surprise), so Mist comes over to help.
Astonishingly, she takes a hit in the process.
She's not done yet, though.
Muarim contributes a Shove...
...and Mist breaks out her other sword.
I warned you people before.
Mist gets competent when she's angry.
Another turn gone. We're actually making pretty decent time, all things considered.
Tomenami continues annoying Nephenee.
And a thief comes into the right hand room. Better get a move on, then!
Demonstrating more of the World's Best Timing, Reyson transforms.
Outta the way!
Wow this guy's slow.
Muarim helps too.
So does Reyson, in his own way.
I worry we may be overusing the Sonic Sword. Worth it, though.
Volke nabs himself something pretty damn worthwhile.
Oh. Y'know, I'd completely forgotten about these guys. This guy here (and another guy in an identical room on the opposite side) has a Silence staff and a range of about 8 spaces. It's not the biggest of deals, but it's an annoyance. Oh, and it's Hard mode only.
The puzzling continues.
And another turn passes.
Come on. You're just being silly now.
Have fun with that.
Another round of Assholes. This one has a Cat.
So does this one.
Ike and Nephenee have managed to outlast the poison, so that's one annoyance off our minds.
In any case, we've got work to do in this here room.
Magic cap, thank you, thank you.
These Feral Laguz aren't much good against Muarim.
Nice! I keep forgetting to actually use these things. I mean, the one thing Astrid is missing right now is even more power.
We're not done yet.
Tauroneo may be slow as fuck, but he can produce 90% hit odds against enemy thieves and kill them in one hit. That's something. Also something is the Bolganone tome we recover.
This, too, is a thing.
Fat good that Laguz Bow did you, huh?
Meanwhile, in the middle, Mordecai contributes another Tactical Smite, seeing as how we needed to shove this guy twice anyway.
And with this, the way is mostly clear!
Note the two somewhat different looking units in front of the boss. Those are bishops, and they're packing Light magic. Mind out for them.
I'm kinda at a loss for the best way to deal with them, and completely forget what a terrible position this is for Ike to stand in.
Abort, abort! Request immediate extraction!
Soren starts to think about helping out, too, and that's another turn.
Mordecai ain't afraid of your shiny sparkly magic.
Blah blah ineffective.
Even weighed down by Ike, Astrid can still dodge this and not get doubled.
I was rather hoping the cat would try and chase after Soren instead of Volke, but I guess you don't get everything you hope for.
And some more figurative smiting.
We set down Ike. Next turn, Schaeffer. Next motherfucking turn.
Black just makes everything better, doesn't it?
Now, Volke's in something of a tight spot right now.
Here's the numbers he can produce using the Stiletto. Go on then, armchair Fire Emblem Tacticians. What's the best approach here?
That's right/That's wrong! (delete as appropriate) The correct approach is to equip the Stiletto and wait, allowing us to combine our counter and next turn's followup to attack the cat three times in a row while only being hit once (and that's assuming we don't dodge or crit, either).
Those Silence Assholes are smart enough to only attack people who actually use magic. Of course, people who actually use magic tend to have rather high resistance, and as such tend to be able to shrug off Silence.
"Oh shit", you may be inclined to think. "We're fucked", you might reason. It's not hard to sympathize.
Do not worry, though. I have done the numbers on this.
Well, duh, of course Soren's fine, that's not really the concern here, is it?
Adept. Still fine.
Tomenami is, for all his faults, not wanting in resistance.
Now, of all fucking times, Soren pulls off a Double Adept.
Still fine, though.
Come on. Now you're just making me waste Black Elwind uses.
This one doesn't get Adepted. This is probably for the better.
Speaking of things working out for the better, Volke manages to dodge after all.
He also manages to crit.
I am starting to like Volke.
Easily overlooked fact: One of the priests has a Mend staff. This usually doesn't matter because he can't move, but he just so happens to be right next to Tomenami, so, yeah.
Alright, asshole. Let's do this.
You haven't allowed them to move, you moron. You could've at least given them some Physics for me to steal.
Anyway. Damage, etc.
One last minute kill to make.
Tell me, how many pathetic priests did you have to kill to get here? Come on, five? More? They're pretty scrawny... You could probably take ten or so without breakin' a sweat.
Cowardly cur! Time to stop hiding and fight like a man!
"Alternatively we can skip that step and I can just straight up kill you."
Hi there, strength cap. So soon?
There was no way we'd cut down innocent priests being forced to fight against their wills.
Father, we bear no ill will toward the kingdom of Daein itself. We wish only to reclaim the homeland which was unjustly taken from us. That is the reason we fight. We had no desire to invade this land. If nothing else, please believe that.
I beg your pardon. May I have the favor of your name?
Elincia Ridell Crimea. I'm the sole survivor of the Crimean royal family.
Oh! You... Let us give thanks that you are alive and well! And please, I beg your understanding as well. There are many Daeins who do not support the king's actions.
As thanks for saving our lives.
This is pretty much the Ultimate Staff. It will fully heal (and restore) all your units, regardless of location. That's pretty damn handy. Only three uses, though! Use 'em wisely!
Of course, if you let even one of the priests die, no Ashera Staff for you, asshole. You also get some almost identical dialogue (including a generic bishop saying Tomenami's lines).
Alternatively, if you (somehow) kill all the priests:
In the end, we were unable to save even one of them...
My lord Ike... I know that we bear no ill will toward the kingdom of Daein itself. We wish only to reclaim the homeland which was unjustly taken from us. That is the reason we fight. Yet... to this end... The sacrifices we have witnessed...
This is a battle of life and death. If we are attacked, we must act in kind or be killed--no matter the circumstances. That is the essence of war.
I will harden my heart and grow stronger. I am the defender of the realm. I am the daughter of House Crimea!
Yes. To gain something desired, there is always a price to be paid.
Are you ready for some plot?
(the dialogue from here to the end of the chapter has some extremely minor differences (the kind that aren't worth listing) if Reyson is "dead")
Sure, why not? Everyone's lending a--
Mist? I'm over here.
Ike! This way! Quickly! Reyson's in trouble!
What is all this?
Every wall has the same pattern on it.
It's not a pattern. It's an ancient language. All chants and spells in magic scrolls are written thusly.
Can you read it, Soren?
Some, but not all. Spells are simple, whereas this is a complex narrative. I think Prince Reyson could read it.
So Reyson is reading what's written on the walls?
It appears that way...
Shall we leave him be? There's a lot of writing here. This could take hours.
I think that's a good idea.
What is it?
From what I could gather, I think a person was locked in this room sometime in the past.
... You don't know who it was, do you?
(no, it isn't shown)
I think it may have belonged to whoever was imprisoned in this room.
Reyson, you don't look so good. Why don't you rest for a bit?
No, I'm fine. It's more important that we talk.
About the owner of this feather?
... Was it in that room?
Soren found it. Whose was it?
Will you tell us about it?
She was kidnapped twenty years ago, on the night of the Serenes Massacre. I... I thought that Lillia had been murdered along with my other brothers and sisters. I believed that until today...
Who took her?
The walls say only that he was a large human. She probably never knew who it was.
He exhorted her again and again, but to no avail. Lillia refused his request every time... because she did not possess that power.
Someone wanted to revive the dark god...
Shortly after she was brought here, Lillia fell ill and collapsed. I'm not surprised... it was a terrible time... She was imprisoned in that tiny room with no view of earth or sky...
I'm sorry... I just feel... so sad for Lillia... and for... for Reyson, too...
And her heart was unusually pure for a beorc. In time, Lillia and she came to be friends, and shared a mutual trust.
Lillia decided to entrust her hopes to the woman. They shared no common language, so it took some time. But eventually, the beorc woman understood what it was Lillia wanted... Which was to take the treasure and the song... and flee this temple.
Was there anything else written about this beorc woman? A name, perhaps...
Translated into your language, it was probably Elena.
I'll say this for the writers at IntSys. They had sense enough not to leave this thread hanging.
Our mother's name was Elena. Like me, her hair was blue... as were her eyes. Reyson, the object you refer to as your clan treasure was an aged, bronze medallion, wasn't it?
How... How did you know that?
The medallion became my mother's keepsake. The song, too... My parents both gave their lives to protect it.
The medallion was stolen. Probably by Daein.
It can't... This is... unbelievable. Can a thing like this be chance?
To be honest, I don't fully understand all that's happened. But... it all makes sense. It all comes together...
(yes, the game makes you listen to the whole thing. It's a tad annoying.)
Mist... That's the song that... But... the melody's a little different, isn't it?
It's similar to the song Reyson and Leanne sang in the forest. My mother used to sing it as a lullaby.
It is the song of release. The one Lillia entrusted to Elena.
B-but... I wore the medallion and sang that song almost every single night! And nothing ever happened.
The magical effect of the song is awakened by the power of the singer. ... It can't be unleashed by just anyone.
Lillia wanted your mother to take the melody to Altina and return the medallion to its rightful place in Serenes Forest.
Volke told me. He told me about my father's past, and the amulet, and the dark god, too.
So you know everything...
King Ashnard took Lillia, didn't he?
That would be the final piece of the puzzle. After all, the man who found my father was the king's henchman.
Ike! Are you saying you know who killed Commander Greil?
... I don't know. I never felt like talking about it.
He was a Daein soldier, wasn't he? Who was it? Who was the man who killed Commander Greil?
... Oh... Yes... Yes. Of course.
Up to this point, we've all been fighting for the liberation of Crimea. Even if we now add to that stopping the dark god from being released and punishing Commander Greil's killer... Our enemy remains unchanged. King Daein and his henchman are the ones we must defeat.
It's mysterious, isn't it? I mean, Reyson said the same thing earlier, but... Could all of this really be mere coincidence? The fall of Crimea... Ike's parents... The death of Reyson's sister... The fact that everything leads back to Daein...
If true, it changes the meaning behind this war... The treatment of Lillia is one thing but... The assassination of the former apostle? The framing and destruction of my nation? If it was all part of Daein's plan to steal the medallion and the song, then I... I... The reason I fight...
Careful, Ike. You're starting to slip back into traditional JRPG protagonist mode there.
Anyway, BEXP fucking get. We're so very well inside the 12 turn limit, plus we've grabbed 20 BEXP for each of the 21 priests we didn't kill. One day, I'm actually going to spend all this BEXP. Just you wait.