Part 62: Chapter 26 - Mission
Now here's a nice powerful bow. Rolf or Astrid can have some serious fun with this.
Consider us even. Thanks for continuing to suffer through Maniac Mode for us!
This thing's done wonders for Astrid and Nephenee; let's see what it can do for Oscar. He'll also like those defence boosts what with his comparatively low level and everything.
Speaking of comparatively low levels, let's throw some BEXP from our stockpile around.
Good, good! Defences are nice, and Elincia profits a whole lot from strength gains - not only do they let her actually deal damage with Amiti, but she also needs to reach 12 strength to be able to wield the damn thing without being slowed down.
Rolf's doing OK too.
Well... at least the Knight Ward is helping, right?
... Your orders, sir?
One of the Four Riders? So he's on par with that woman we fought earlier, General Petrine?
...That's not necessarily so. The name Four Riders is given to the four persons of highest ability among the king's advisors.
So the members can change, is that it? Who are the current Four Riders?
First, there was General Petrine, whom we defeated at Riven Bridge. Then the man we face today, General Bertram. Next is General Bryce, who served the previous king. And finally, the enigmatic general known as the Black Knight. Those are the four.
This is the same Black Knight who murdered Commander Greil?
Of that, there appears to be little doubt.
So he's a man of no mean ability.
Like the Black Knight, he always wears his armor and never shows his face unhelmed. Some say he's not even in his armor, but that it's inhabited by an ancient spectre or a demonic creature. It's all just superstition and rumor designed to heighten fear of the man.
It's not important. Once we cross swords, we'll know the truth. Then we can discover for ourselves if he's just a loudmouthed braggart or truly a monster. As long as our blades can wound him, I care not either way. Let's go!
New map music! I guess shit is officially really real now.
Now, this here is our immediate concern; a group of warriors near our starting location, one of whom is hiding a Steel Bow in reserve. We want this guy kept far away from Elincia.
And so our first turn is spent bunching up and bracing for impact.
The amusing thing here is that there was also a Hammer guy in range of Tauroneo, but this guy moved first and blocked him off.
A formation of paladins charges us from the north. Some mages are also hanging out near them.
It's been a while since we've seen Oscar, but in case anyone's forgotten, he's presently in a B-Rank support with Ike (to be strengthened if Oscar remains with us), giving both of them +20 avoid when near eachother. Even at B-Rank, there's not a lot that can actually hit Oscar right now.
Another formation of mixed units comes at us from the west. This is going to be a fun mission.
(Hey, at least there aren't any ballistae. And only one Siege Asshole.)
Tauroneo softens a guy up...
And Elincia takes her first swing at a foe. She's best used against low defence foes, against whom her ability to strike twice is not invalidated by negligible damage. Also don't forget that, since Amiti is basically a Brave Sword, her two strikes are being delivered consecutively.
And now Elincia's killed a man. Welcome to the team!
(Also that pegasus appears to be wearing thigh-length boots. I don't even.)
Let's clear out the rest of these chucklefucks. Jill goes straight for the Problem One.
Mia fails twice to crit another, so Stefan cleans him up instead.
Once again, Stefan produces the worlds least perfectly timed Astra.
Largo will not suffer pretenders.
This is how you use a Killer Axe.
Ike goes east to deal with the swordmasters and prepare to meet the advancing foes.
Oscar joins him.
Tanith and Volke clear out another warrior.
Meanwhile, Rolf goes schooling people in archery again.
Thanks to Reyson, Elincia is able to rack up another kill.
And Astrid stomps a mage.
Some of those paladins up there are archers, so Ranulf shoves Elincia back a space to keep her from getting shot.
That was a productive turn!
For all the impressions I get that we're supposed to consider untransformed laguz weak, Ranulf is pretty damn good at being a wall even without any of his buffs.
This is, of course, assuming that he's even getting hit. Which is a dangerous assumption.
I mean, god damn.
Times like this really make you consider that maybe this whole game is a little unbalanced in favour of speed/avoid. I mean, if you can dodge attacks, any and all threats - like, say, Longswords to a cavalier - are rendered completely irrelevant.
So, yeah, one of the mages to the north was packing a Meteor tome. That's annoying.
Well, once again, let's clean some guys out.
A big advantage of lances and axes over swords is that because "effective" weapons like the Knight Killer have higher base damage than their sword equivalents, the amount of bonus damage is accordingly higher. As a result, well...
Yeah. They also look totally ridiculous.
Here's Elincia taking on someone with some actual defence. Better get working on that strength...
Oh. Yes. Like that. That will do.
Meteor me, will you.
Haar and Tauroneo continue their work.
Now, we should probably do something about this lot. Ike doesn't really need the Armorslayer here, but I've got nothing better to do with it.
Mist comes along to help too.
Largo contributes a crit as well.
Jill flies in to eliminate a halberdier.
Fuuuuuuuck. Nothing kills a good mood like an empty level.
In addition, here's Oscar.
Finally, here's Tanith followed by Volke.
Hmm. Looks like we missed a spot. Haar!
Looking good. We've almost completely eradicated the charging enemies.
The ones that remain busy themselves with not really bothering Largo.
Seriously, he's gotten good at not taking damage.
I do not regret bringing him along.
Oh look. Asshole reinforcements. What a shock.
Well, let's get on with it.
Everyone basically picks a dude and gets murdering.
Mist takes a hit...
But she just steals those HP right back.
Let's get on with the advance. Those wyverns will catch up to us eventually.
No sense drawing this thing out.
Someone actually hits Oscar. Gasp.
Largo's dodge streak finally runs out as well.
More guys up here too.
So, as before; cleaning up, heading on forward. Here's Volke and Elincia killing an archer.
Here's Mist dealing effective damage to wyverns. God I love the Sonic Sword.
Tanith and Oscar deal with another.
Reyson has shifted, so we can seriously catch our rearguard up now.
Don't worry. Those wyverns aren't going anywhere.
Oscar avoid-tanks a few units...
And gets a fine level.
Usual story. Enemy advancing, not really threatening.
Well, here we are again. Is it bad that I'm desensitized to the sight of Mist dealing 30+ damage? I think it might be bad.
Mia braves the odds to kill a, er, Brave Sword guy.
Largo does his thing.
Since the wyverns decided to fly into Rolf's range, who are we to deny them?
Here! Have another!
Tauroneo moves in to keep Reyson out of trouble (although I think, at this point, Reyson could actually survive a hit from the wyvern, what with those levels I keep giving him).
I do love a well timed Brave weapon deployment.
Now it's Bastian's turn...
...to feed Elincia.
Soren and Ike deal with a tiger...
...while Nephenee breaks out the Knight Killer again.
Seriously this thing is not a weapon for footsoldiers.
Astrid has an anticavalry weapon too!
Alright. Getting close now.
Don't think so.
Ranulf emerges the better off from this exchange.
Yeah, this guy's going to die next turn.
And, just when we're getting complacent, a couple of total assholes emerge. There's a Longswordmaster, along with three sages, two of whom are packing siege tomes and one of whom has Physic.
(the priest in the top right of this shot also has Physic, which we'll nab)
For some reason, the Hammer is just the most satisfying option to select from a menu.
Amazingly, Largo crits someone.
Rolf finishes off the last wyvern...
And Elincia finds an undefended archer to murder.
Soren obliterates a general...
And Oscar takes out one of the Siege Assholes.
Right. One more push should do it...
Here's Thoron. Despite the animation,it completely misses.
Also, here's Meteor missing Ranulf. (Don't worry, he had the Beorcguard equipped)
One last round of clearing...
We're ready to take on the boss.
Oh come on. I forgot that guy had a Sleep staff. Well, I didn't bring any Restore staves and fucked if I'm waiting five turns for Volke to wake up, so I guess we'll just have to make do without another Physic staff.
Joy. More reinforcements.
Alright. Let's talk about Bertram.
Besides his generally unsettling demeanour, the guy is quite resilient. He's got a lot of health and very decent defences.
He's also got a Runesword.
Let's talk about the Runesword.
It's a magic sword, like the Sonic Sword, and it leeches health.
It is something of a problem. It means you can't chip away at the guy unless you're also outdamaging him at the same time.
So, in general, you want to send people who can stand up to magic.
Soren finally manages to kill the bugger.
He's got some dialogue, incidentally;
...... Gu... guuoo...
... Gu... oo... OOO...
... Perissssh... Perissssh...
So you're Bertram, are you? Sorry, but I can't perish right now.
... Me... Kill...
Kill... me...... KILL... M-ME...
What's going on? Are you mad?
... Gu, gu... GUAAAA!
...he drops that Runesword. Guess who's going to wield it now!
We can finish any time we want, so let's try and wring out the last few kills.
We are outta here.
Well then, send the rest of our troops to Castle Nados as reinforcements. Put General Hafedd in charge and let him exchange blows with them.
Yet, that would leave the capital protected by only the Imperial Guard.
You forget yourself, knight. I will be here as well. If they defeat Hafedd and make it all the way here, then they are worthy to cross swords with me.
It's as if you were--
As if I were...? What? Go on.
It's as if you desire the Crimean army to continue winning and make its way here to you.
Are you saying... that you desire Daein's defeat?
No, I am not. If you think through it clearly, Daein will not lose. We had many plans when we started this war. We went through many scenarios, many predictions... But, as you know, our predictions have been completely overturned by this gang of rabble. Was that luck? Or was it the gap in skill between the individual soldiers?
I... do not understand.
Nothing raises my spirits like war! Come, Crimea! Let me be the one to consume your noble hearts!
It's a 13 turn limit before you start losing BEXP, and we did it in 10. Not a bad haul, either!
No, wait, that's not right... How about something a tad more recent...
There you go.
Lv 1 Princess Crimea
HP: 27 (60%) Spd: 18 (40%)
Str: 9 (30%) Lck: 15 (60%)
Mag: 12 (80%) Def: 11 (25%)
Skl: 16 (45%) Res: 15 (35%)
Move: 9 Con: 6 Wt: 23
Equip: Swords (D), Staves (A)
As it turns out, a Princess Crimea is a lot like a Valkyrie; ostensibly able to use swords, but primarily a healer. With that strength growth, Elincia probably won't be among your heavy hitters, but she's far from useless in a fight - especially if you didn't let Bastian, Lucia or Geoffrey die, in which case she'll have her own personal Infinite Brave Sword That Also Gives Her Three Defence And Resistance. A few good levels from her and she can happily chop up archers and mages and myrmidons and such, and her magic will almost certainly skyrocket to the point where she can keep pace with Mist and Soren in the healing department. And, with that sword, she's actually - dare I say it - almost survivable. Her Renewal skill is a talking point, but - let's face it - it's two or three HP back per turn. It's nice, but it's not going to be much of a tide-turner.
You don't have to use Elincia - and there's a case for not doing such - but even the slightest investment and she'll be pulling her weight and more in no time. And let's be fair - it's about time the lady got to murder her some Daeins. She's earned it.
Next Time: One hell of a boss fight.