Part 75: Endgame - Part 2
Bright light... Change of clothes... yep. He just classed the fuck up.
Oh, look, he got a sprite change too.
... It... feels... so... GOOOOOOD...
He's touching the medallion! But he's still sane...
...seriously, Ike? This is sane by your standards?
So, yeah, this is Hard Mode's big change. In Normal mode, you get to call a buddy in the second turn, rampage through the map, murder Ashnard, and be done with it. On Hard, however, you get to deal with his second form, and only now do you get to call for help.
I don't know why you even get an option to not call anyone, but there you go. You're a moron if you don't call anyone. Hell, just ask Nasir:
What?! Are you crazy?... Well... All right. If this is how you want to proceed, I won't second-guess you.... I believe in you.
Anyway, you all seem to approve of Lions, so let's call on Giffca.
What is that thing? So... Ashnard tried to use the medallion, did he?... Fool...
Giffca gets straight to business.
Awwww Jeeeah. Motherfucking lions, bitch. They are rather good at their job, their job being to be a solid wall of numbers. The big deal here is that Giffca can outdamage Ike, and that's no mean feat. He also comes with the Roar skill (the Beast Tribe's Occult skill), a command that lets you stun an enemy for one turn (but is ineffective against "certain enemies" - like Ashnard). And, of course, he's got that handy Laguz Band that lets him stay permanently transformed. Oh, and yes, he can damage Ashnard because apparently his fangs are blessed. Ooookay.
Now, as I was saying, Ashnard has classed up, and, as we all know, the benefits of classing up include new clothes, a new sprite (in certain cases), and, of course...
...stat boosts. Holy Fucking Shit, we are not fucking around down here. He's gained another 5 strength and boosts to, most notably, skill (for less missing Ike) and HP (so now he restores 8 HP a turn instead of 6).
So, anyway, Giffca gets running up the middle (Reyson helps), while Ike gets started on Ashnard again.
So, yeah, he hurts more now, and probably won't be missing again soon (especially when you consider True Hit).
And, yeah, this is going to be a problem.
Well, let's keep chipping away, I guess.
Oh you have got to be kidding me.
What we have here are four paladins, most of whom are not worth bothering with and one of whom has a Brave Lance and the Guard skill. More worryingly, there's a Physic priest.
Speaking of Physicing, Soren decides now is a great time to get an empty level.
Right. I guess this means we'd better get on the stairs.
Giffca follows, but damned if I'm sending Reyson any further forward.
And incurs an Aether.
That's a nice chunk of damage there.
Miraculously, the Physic priest elects not to act on his job description for the time being.
One nice consequence of moving Ashnard to the sides is that these here flowerbeds (which, for some reason, can't be flown over) create a nice hidey-hole into which we can put Elincia, Mist and Soren so they can heal Ike and Giffca as needed.
Ike can safely ignore the paladins. They're really not the problem here.
So, Ike is healed, Giffca moves up, healers get in position.
Well, it didn't seem likely that he'd just stand there all mission, did it?
Ike takes his usual turn of pain...
And also some guys miss him with some attacks that I guess didn't really register because we've spent the last few turns being hit with a 20 Mt weapon.
In fact, they help quite a bit more than they hurt.
Oh, and one of them attacks Giffca.
That might've been a mistake on his part. Well, if he wasn't using a ranged weapon, anyway. Actually, given that, it was quite sensible, given that Ike was the alternative.
In any case, this doesn't really register.
Brave Lance Moron gives Ike nearly all of his health back.
Right. Let's deal with you.
And let's have Giffca get to work. Giffca's going to be a big help; he's essentially doubling our damage output. You can beat Ashnard with just Ike, but it'll take time and you'll grind through maybe two entire Physic staves in the process, unless you get lucky with Aethers. And that's assuming your Ike is operating at full power.
What are you doing so far from your body, shadow? Am I so terrible that your king hides in fear?
Your strength, King of Daein, even with your medallion, is not sufficient. That is why I am here. If I fail to stop you today, then your next opponent will be our king. But first, this imposter will measure your fighting prowess.
What impudence! Are you prepared become a pile of bones for your king? You'll make a fine snack!
So, yeah, Giffca kicks ass.
Ashnard has eyes only for Ike, though.
Ah, yes, I believe I was talking about Aethers and luck earlier?
Well, this is what I meant.
Oh, stop insulting me.
Well. Here we go.
More... more, I say! At this time of ascension, it's not enough... not enough...
And that's how you beat the game.
King Daein's mount is Ena's... mate?
( Say, Brother...)
Leanne? What is it?
(That dragon with the big wings...)
A laguz... No, it can't be. Ashnard's mount was a wyvern... Wasn't it?
(I can't tell for sure.)
(If he is a laguz...)
(Then let us sing...)
What are you doing?
Be patient, please. There's something we want to try.
Leanne told me that dragon's true form had been warped. So we sang the galdr of rebirth...
Ra... Rajai... on...
... Rajaion? D-do you know who I am?
... E... Ena?
Yes... Yes! You recognize me!
... Ena... Let's return to Goldoa. The two of us... together.
I will go anywhere, my love, as long as it is with you.
Ena... from this day forward... Forever......
...sniff... Ah, Rajaion...
He was one of the dragon tribe?
That's right. He and Ena were engaged to be married... And then, he was driven mad by King Daein, and his form warped.
... I see.
Can I just take a little time-out here to talk about localization errors? It may be jarring, but the alternative is not knowing that Rajaion just died in that scene. Doesn't exactly come across very clearly, does it? I am told it is much clearer in the original Japanese version, but was made ambigious in the localization (due, among other things, to a highly increased ellipsis count). Whether the localizers had any idea what they were doing, or whether they thought it was supposed to be ambiguous and were not yet aware that the issue would be "retconned" in the sequel, we just don't know. But seriously, you'd be forgiven for interpreting this scene, and some upcoming scenes, as Rajaion being extracted alive. But no. He's quite dead. Commence sympathy now.
Ah! Here it is!
What is it, Mist? Did you find something?
The medallion, Ike! The medallion! I finally... have it back...
(Hm? What is it, Mist?)
The medallion belongs in Serenes Forest. My mother... was only holding it for Lillia.
... Leanne, you take it.
(Thank you, little Mist.)
In the memory of my departed sister... I accept the medallion from you.
Lv 20 Beast Tribe (Lion)
HP: 68 (160%) Spd: 25 (60%)
Str: 32 (75%) Lck: 22 (50%)
Mag: 10 (5%) Def: 25 (50%)
Skl: 28 (70%) Res: 16 (30%)
Move: 7 Con: 17 Wt: 37
Initial TP: 16
Transformation Bonus: Str +8, Skl +4, Spd +4, Def +5, Res +3, Wt +15, Mv +2
Equip: Claw (10 Mt, 95 Hit)
Jesus Christ it's a Lion! And Giffca is without a doubt worthy of several various vain exclamations. He commands 50 Atk and 30 defence - not much resistance, but did you see any mages in this last map? He's got pretty awesome growths, for all the good that does him at Lv 20. Anyway, yeah. Lions. Badass. Don't fuck with them.
Incidentally, remember how everyone keeps saying that Giffca isn't as strong as King Caineghis? Think about that. Hell, Giffca could probably take the Black Knight in a fight as it is; it's starting to become apparent why the king was able to chase off the Black Knight...
Lv 17 Bird Tribe (Raven)
HP: 57 (135%) Spd: 31 (75%)
Str: 25 (60%) Lck: 19 (20%)
Mag: 15 (40%) Def: 21 (55%)
Skl: 26 (70%) Res: 16 (35%)
Move: 6 Con: 11 Wt: 10
Initial TP: 16
Transformation Bonus: Str +6, Mag +2, Skl +4, Spd +3, Def +3, Res +3, Wt +7, Mv +2
Equip: Beak (8 Mt, 95 Hit)
Skill: Vantage, Vortex
It's about time we saw an opportunity to get Naesala on our side! He's not nearly as absurdly powerful as Giffca (39 Atk compared to 50), but he makes up for it by being fast as fuck. Naesala is, bar none, the fastest unit in the game, and pretty much nothing will hit him (maybe Ashnard, which will hurt, but whatever). He is, crucially, fast enough to double the aforementioned Ashnard, which plays a big role in making Naesala not completely useless in said fight. And, if there's anyone left by the time he arrives, he can even gain a level or two.
He's also got the unique ability to cast a spell that's basically Elwind, for all the good that does. It's ranged, which is something, but it won't help much. He's also got Vantage - not that he needs it, but whatever.
... Yeah, yeah, I'm here... What's everyone so worked up abou--Holy goddess above!!! Is that thing... King Daein? H-he's a monster! Wait... You want me to fight THAT? Are you insane?! I think you've got the wrong bird! Blast... This is going to get worse before it gets better...
Lv 18 Bird Tribe (Hawk)
HP: 63 (145%) Spd: 24 (65%)
Str: 30 (70%) Lck: 24 (50%)
Mag: 11 (5%) Def: 26 (60%)
Skl: 31 (70%) Res: 19 (25%)
Move: 6 Con: 14 Wt: 14
Initial TP: 16
Transformation Bonus: Str +7, Mag +1 Skl +5, Spd +3, Def +3, Res +1, Wt +8, Mv +2
Equip: Beak (8 Mt, 95 Hit)
Skill: Cancel, Savior
Tibarn is your middle ground. He lacks Giffca's raw power, but he packs more of a punch than Naesala (albeit not as many punches as Naesala). He's also got the handy ability to maybe not take damage from hits, which could be handy in a drawn out fight with Ashnard. There's... surprisingly little else to say, really.
Sorry to have kept you waiting... Is that King Daein?! He's become a monster! The medallion's chaotic energy is overflowing from his body.... No matter. Leave him to me. I promise you this! Ashnard will fall at my hands.
Next Time: The Epilogue.