Part 81: Trial Maps - Hillside BattleLet's get the Bonus Content started, shall we?
The post-game begins, in true Fire Emblem Tradition, with random bandits equipped with an implausibly abundant supply of plate armour and weapons. To unlock this map, simply complete the game once on any difficulty.
Let's meet our (mostly) new team!
Most of the time, getting Rolf up to 20/20 is just a formality. He was pretty awesome at his previous level, but now he's got those all important Glowing Green Numbers to show for it all, so I guess that's nice!
Oscar's definitely happier here, however. He's capped speed and skill, and also gained respectable stores of strength. We actually won't be abusing his Earth Pair with Ike much in this map, but Oscar's got his little job to do here and he's going to be just fine.
Oh, boy. Don't even try to pretend you weren't dying to know how Boyd turned out since the minute I said he'd be available for the Trial Maps. Well, here you go. ~25 levels later, and he's gone from utter shit to... OK, I guess. Nice that he capped Skill and HP, and that's some nice strength, but he's a bit slow. Still, though, this is the easiest of the Trial Maps, and he's got his brothers for backup, so Boyd will be nice and capable. Phew!
20/20 Marcia is nice and fast and dodgy, and still strong enough to put the hurt on those enemies that call for hurting. Her defences turned out good too. Smiles all around.
36 levels gained and not a single point of strength - Rhys, ladies and gentlemen. Still, though, Rhys has decent-ish speed, and there are plenty of slow enemies around, and let's not forget about his nice high magic stat. I've procured some nice Light magic tomes for him to play with, so he should be fine.
Oh, here's a Thing we haven't really seen (what with Rhys being the only usable Bishop in the main game, and us not using him); Bishops get the innate skill Lumina, which allows them to use Light Magic and ties such to their staff rank - which is great because it allows you to use Arms Scrolls to get staff ranks, something no other unit in the game can do. So that's nice too.
Zihark is sadly behind in strength, although he's a bit tougher than Mia and he's not without his ways - and by ways I mean he's got his Adept skill handy.
And, introducing Mystery Guest #1:
Give a big hand to Oliver, Duke of Tanas, folks. He's the first of PoR's Trial Map Bonus Characters; if you've completed three playthroughs, you'll find him hanging out very quietly at the end of your unit list when you boot up Trial Maps mode (and don't even think about just reloading a save at Endgame and playing the map over and over again; these have to be New-Game-To-Endgame playthroughs).
This is great, except... well, Oliver's a bit shit. He's 18 levels behind the rest of our guys, and, well, his stats are just bad. Hell, he can just barely Physic as far as Rolf can shoot. He's slow as fuck on top of that. But don't worry, though. There's a perfect use for him.
Alright, enough introductions, let's do this thing.
This lovely little tune will be our constant companion in Trial Maps mode. I like it! It's very... sidequest-in-a-strategy-RPG-ish. My sources tell me it's an orchestral arrangement of a track from Fire Emblem 4.
First thing about this map; nearly Every Goddamn Enemy has a ranged weapon. Second thing; dotted around are these generals, who have quite good defence, but less resistance and shit speed. So that means...
Rhys, you're up.
Marcia, being a flyer, can cut around the path and entertain the guys up here for a little while.
One of the things I did while preparing for Trial Maps was to get everyone's weapon ranks up with flagrant Arms Scroll abuse; every unit will be in as good a state as if I'd been using them the whole game. And that means; competent archer Boyd.
Annoying thing; this map is (like the last hillside-with-rolling-rocks map) covered in the "Trail" terrain type, which hinders cavaliers and generals.
Let's just leave Zihark over here and see what happens.
Oh, and don't forget Ike. (and seriously, these guys have high defence; note how Ike can't ORKO them.)
As for Oliver...
I still have one spare Arms Scroll kicking around, which he busts out presently.
Do your worst.
Well, some of them do.
Seeing as there are a lot of ranged weapon carriers out here, Zihark - being the sole strictly-melee unit on my team, gets targeted quite a bit.
Also, Oscar and Boyd get hit by a rock. Whatever.
For that matter, Marcia's using a melee weapon too, so she becomes popular as well.
Oh, and yes, there are two Siege Assholes.
At long last, someone attacks Zihark at counterable range.
Also some shuffling around up here.
Right, let's clean up some of this trash, yes?
I never really found a good time to break out the Vague Katti before, but since there's no penalty anymore, let's go nuts. It's basically the Wo Dao from the GBA games; ie, critty as fuck.
And, now that we're playing a game where weapons have models, we can appreciate how different it looks from other swords.
Oh, hey, where did you find that, Oscar?
And Ike begins the offensive.
Marcia's also going to be drawing people out; she and Ike are going to be doing the bulk of the work up here.
Now, since Oliver's now a S-Rank staff user...
We can bust out the Ashera staff, which works completely independently of its user's stats, allowing Oliver to be quite useful while freeing Rhys up for murdering things.
Oh... and... getting hit... but... details.
More rocks. Very threatening.
Marcia's work begins.
Astoundingly, this guy dodges two hits.
But she makes up for it.
Oh, and don't worry, she's got a Full Guard.
When Marcia gets completely surrounded, they go for Ike. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
Oh, and those two rocks up there can roll around corners. That's a neat trick.
Aaaand there's the second Siege Asshole.
There are a few rounds of reinforcements on this mission, which is a bit weird for reasons I'll explain later.
Oh, look, more S-Rank weapons. I wonder where these are all coming from?
It turns out that Rexaura...
Is a tad more impressive when it actually hits.
Oh, now here's something interesting.
This bow is unused in the actual game for whatever reason. It's a magic weapon like the Sonic Sword et al, and uses the Light element. It's notable because it's the only bow in the game that can attack at melee range (which might by why it wasn't used).
So, yeah, that's pretty cool. Except for how Rolf's magic is rubbish, so there's generally not much point in using this.
Marcia and Ike continue their push.
And, what the hell, have another Full Cure.
That's it, run away, prolong the invitable.
Not so lucky this time, eh?
Oh, come on. Don't be boring.
Bah. More rocks. At least we've probably seen the last of these.
Anyway, there's some herd thinning and it's over to us once more.
Now, this guy here is basically the boss of this map. You can tell because his name is "General" while everyone else is "Private". Also, he's a General. Funny.
Anyway, stats, yada yada yada.
So we nuke him from across the map. Thanks, Rhys.
This is called Playing The Numbers. Four hits, each with 23% crit chance, and two 29% chances to add two additional hits (in PoR, Adept is applied before the Brave Effect. Interestingly, this was reversed for Radiant Dawn).
Goddamnit. Still, that was fun to watch. Marcia takes the kill.
Ike moves ever forwards.
They pick on Rhys too. That's nice.
They try to pick on Ike. It fails.
Lots of enemies vanish.
And here we are. Asshole Reinforcements! That there sage has a Blizzard tome, too. Asshole.
Boyd obliterates said sage while Oscar gets to work on the general.
One of the really nifty perks of using all three brothers is, when Rolf is side by side with both of them...
He gets a quite alarming boost to his crit rate. He's getting 15 from his skill stat, another 15 from being a Sniper, and 10 each from being adjacent to both his brothers. We could add another 30 to that by using a Killer Bow, if we wanted. Not that we need it.
You took HP from me.
You will return them now.
Zihark and Marcia clean up the middle...
And Marcia comes down to help the Brothers.
Ike is fine where he is, though.
Oh, c'mon, asshole. You were supposed to attack Marcia.
The usual parade of morons try to kill Ike and get murdered for their trouble.
More of them!
Can you take a hint, enemy general? Huh? Can you?
Rhys has the Fortify staff. It's not quite the Ashera Staff, but with Rhys's magic score it might as well be.
You people just would not let this go, so here it is. For The Motherfucking Record, I will now demonstrate...
The time is now! Triangle attack!
And it's a Corrosion hit too.
And that's all for this turn.
Blah blah morons suicide on Ike blah blah.
And there's more.
Remove this guy, and...
Were you not paying attention the first time? Shall I do it again?
As you wish.
The enemy sage is boxed in, so he fruitlessly tries to hit Boyd.
Right. This round of reinforcements is our cue to wrap this up. Why? Explain later, promise.
In any case, Ike charges.
Boyd elects to end his comeback on a high note.
All four of these assholes do their thing and attack Ike.
All four meet their end.
And we are outta here.
So, these ranks are pretty straightforward; here's the criteria, courtesy of Serenes Forest:
But here's the problem - at least for this map. There are only 31 enemies on the map total, so in order to get the highest rank in Battle, you actually need to stall until enough reinforcements have arrived. Why they didn't just calculate the Battle rank Advance Wars style (ie, for top marks, kill [some percentage] of the enemy team in a single turn) - given that these criteria are outwardly the same criteria used in Advance Wars - is beyond me. Well, whatever.
Rank A B C D Criteria Tactician 12 14 16 18 ...or less Turns taken Survival 0 1 2 3 ...or less player-controlled characters died Battle 45 40 35 30 ...or more enemies KO'd
Here's the second Trial Map, Lonely Isle. It is exactly what it appears to be; a clusterfuck of wyverns and ravens. The objective is to defend for 8 turns.
There are 10 spots for Ike's friends. One is reserved for Mystery Guest #2, and one is reserved for Super Special Mystery Guest #1. That leaves 8 spots for you all to vote on.
Units still available: Titania, Shinon, Gatrie, Soren, Mia, Ilyana, Mist, Lethe, Mordecai, Volke, Kieran, Brom, Nephenee, Jill, Sothe, Astrid, Makalov, Stefan, Muarim, Tormod, Devdan, Tanith, Reyson, Janaff, Ulki, Calill, Tauroneo, Ranulf, Haar, Lucia, Bastian, Geoffrey, Largo, Elincia, Nasir, Giffca, Tibarn, Naesala.
Sharp readers will spot that we have welcomed Tibarn into the ranks of the Available; I also do hereby decree that Tormod and Ilyana are now considered staff users (but not Calill and Bastian).
Reminder of the rules:
- Once a unit is voted in one one map, they may not be used again
- Only one unit of any given class per map
- At most two laguz per map
- Only one staff user per map (Rhys, Soren, Ilyana, Mist, Tormod, Elincia)
- You don't strictly speaking have to apply these rules to your votes (ie, you may vote for two units of one class if you want), but they will be enforced after counting.
You've got... ah, sod it. Just vote, and we'll worry about the details later.