Part 86: Trial Maps - Trapped
Right. Pirates. Whatever. Unlock this map by linking a GBA with a copy of FE8: The Sacred Stones inserted.
Let's meet the people helping us sort this out:
Nasir: Now With More Stats. He's not even transformed, and yet he can still wall like a boss.
OK, so maybe he *still* has trouble with heavy tomes, but Soren's got the speed to eat the penalties, and the stats to make even a single hit count.
Nephenee: Still amazing.
We're at the stage where Volke might be a bit of a liability; his ability to take a hit is lacking to say the least, and his sole asset is the one with roughly a 10% chance per fight of activating. Still though, he can surprise us yet.
God Mist makes her glorious return! She's not all that defensively, but she can dodge like hell, and failing that, there's always the Runesword to make up the difference.
Remember Giffca? I thought so.
He's joined by Tibarn, however. We can expect great things from this alliance.
Astrid actually turned out a tad disappointing given how she started, but she'll always have her respectable defence.
Ranulf finally got his speed up a bit, and he's still uncharacteristically tanky for a cat.
Bastian is just... not so great. His magic is way behind all the other mages, and his speed is low, so even with all that strength, Soren will still be better at siege tomes than him.
Introducing Mystery Guest #5:
It's fuckin' Ashnard, in all his ridiculous, ridiculous glory. Ashnard is your reward for being enough of a persistent motherfucker to clear the game fifteen times, and he's as broken as is appropriate for the silly requirements for using him. Just look at those stats. Incidentally, remember how Ashnard had blessed armour that only Ragnell et al could pierce? Well, he's still got it. Not that any enemy here can damage him anyway, but seriously. Damn.
And he's not even the best thing.
This one is the best thing.
That's right motherfuckers. Super Special Mystery Guest #3 is none other than...
The Black Motherfucking Knight.
OK, so he's statistically not quite as awesome as Ashnard, but who the hell cares? He's the Black Motherfucking Knight. And besides, he's 9% more likely to crit, and he's got a 30% chance to Luna your ass. Plus, of course, he too has the whole "technically invincible" thing going on.
So. Here's the overview. It's a bit of a clusterfuck; four of those five bishops have Sleep staves, plus there are some siege assholes on the middle boat, and there isn't really any particularly safe place for weaker units to hang out, since each potential chokepoint has two entrances and only two units can start near each one. Solving this problem is a matter of careful target selection and good placement; like the last time we saw this map in the campaign, it will be won or lost almost entirely on the first turn.
Ike is the only one taking care of the objective, but at the same time, there's one of those Sleep Assholes nearby. Dilemma!
You know, I've been horribly neglecting the Knight Ring up until this point. That ends now!
The last time we got to use Giffca, we had somewhat more pressing matters to attend to and were thus distracted from his ability to effortlessly rend foes.
That ends now as well. Giffca hits like a train carrying a cargo of other trains.
Tibarn doesn't his quite as hard as Giffca but he dodges and finishes his job all the same.
Ranulf's going to transform next turn anyway, so instead of using a Laguz Stone he uses Bryce's spare Speedwing on himself.
Nasir, however, is fine as is. So to speak.
Nephenee takes out another Asshole.
Seriously, it's like this thing was designed with her in mind.
Astrid borrows a different S-Rank weapon to dispose of a third.
Its distinctive shape makes it seem strange with certain animations, but it fits the Axe-Paladin ones quite well, I think.
Let's set Ashnard loose.
A thing I've neglected to mention about these Trial Map Bonus Units is that they have the same battle themes as they did when we fought them in the campaign. That means, Oliver and Shiharam get the formerly-standard boss theme, Petrine and Bryce get a different boss theme, and Ashnard gets his own theme.
So that's something.
Ashnard's not the only one here with Theme Music, though.
That's right. He works for us now.
Now, this bottom ship represents our Problem for this turn. Our biggest liabilities are down here; Bastian and Volke are not really up on their hit-taking abilities. Mist can defend herself quite adequately, and the Black Knight obviously has no trouble, but I couldn't get him in front of the chokepoint without getting him to leave that bishop alive, so... yeah.
Bastian's speed is, as I said, a bit of a problem. Anyway, Volke and Mist will do their best to keep him from harm.
Finally, here's the last of the unobtainable S-Rank weapons, the Wind tome Rexcalibur.
Goes a bit beyond Wind, no? Factoid; Rexcalibur is referred to in the game's code as Fimbulvetr, and Rexflame as Forblaze. Fancy that!
Anyway, here's the end of turn 1. The only real uncertainty is Volke, who the enemies will undoubtedly rush at given half a chance.
First, though, Silence Asshole has a go at Bastian. It fails.
After that, a Sniper actually hits Tibarn.
Ranulf; dodgetanking in style.
Nasir, meanwhile, is just shrugging everything off.
And to think, Ranulf is supposed to be slow.
And Tibarn's supposed to be fast! What's going on here?!
Astrid isn't as dodgy as she once was, but she can take a good few hits.
Nephenee is very much as dodgy as ever.
I guess Ranulf's gonna transform now then.
Oh, right. Ike is in the middle of all this.
He'll be fine, though.
Astrid's actually having trouble finishing enemies. Damn her strength.
Volke is a concern, but his avoid is not insignificant.
Plus he's got that whole assassin thing going.
Mist takes a hit...
But she heals herself, after a fashion.
Another attack on Volke. This one manages to not get assassinated.
This guy not only gets Runesword'd, he gets Sol'd. With the Runesword. Damn.
Attacking Tibarn. At melee range. This can't stand.
Astrid's looking a bit worse for wear, but she'll be fine.
Oh. This'll end well.
Right. Second turn. Let's see if Bastian can't redeem himself somewhat by dodging this attack.
Volke finishes the halberdier...
...and the Black Knight steps forth.
This guy has enough defence to last a full round - that's impressive.
Mist comes over to show Bastian how it's done.
Good work there, Mist.
Back to regular murderduty in the middle.
Ranulf can't quite finish this guy but does get a double Guard activation.
Ike does his part too.
On the top ship, Soren produces one of his very timely Adepts to avoid a counterattack.
A second general falls to Nephenee.
And Ashnard seems to be having fun up there.
This is actually the first time we've seen Ashnard employing his ranged attack. His campaign self was always fond of attacking Ike at melee range.
Astrid plays it safe.
Tibarn and Giffca have no need for such, however.
Turn 2. Already things are looking up!
Don't think so.
Oh for the love of-
Eat spectacular overkill.
Several of Astrid's friends don't seem to grasp that they aren't on full health anymore.
Same with Ike.
And just as Astrid runs out of friends, four swordmasters emerge from the stairs.
They may be too fast to double, but Ashnard can kill them in one hit.
Astrid departs to entertain a general instead.
So does Nasir.
Now, let's finish up in the middle here.
Bastian manages to dodge this time, and so is able to kill the bishop.
Mist disposes of the last remaining guy on the lower ship.
Now to clear the way north.
Giffca's obscene strength is a big help.
End of turn 3, and it's practically a wrap already.
This is what the last guy left in the middle decides is the most productive thing he can do.
General decides to play with Nasir, gets burned.
This guy decides to step to Giffca. Giffca does exactly enough damage to kill him.
The next guy has a few more HP and so survives.
Oh? Wyverns, is it?
Bastian's got nothing better to do than fling Boltings around, so he does that.
But Tibarn takes the kill anyway.
Some more poking around up here...
Oh. Hey. Surprise crit. Nice.
Deal with you, and...
Everyone else moves towards the wyverns. End of turn 4.
One gets in range of Nephenee and promptly gets Wishblade'd.
Make that two.
The rest move up uselessly.
And more spawn in.
Ranulf is taking over guard duty so Ike can go murder stuff.
And now, cleanup.
Ah, this whole dance again. This game is weird sometimes.
You call that a wyvern rider? Well, OK, I guess technically we now know Ashnard's not really a wyvern rider but details.
Tibarn and Nephenee take out the last one.
For want of anything better to do this turn, Mist busts out the Ashera Staff.
Let's see what the next lot decide to do. End of turn 5.
Oh. Great plan there.
The others move up uselessly.
Oh. Great. Siege Assholes.
I've got the remedy to that.
Yes. I. Do.
You're a disgrace to the Bolting tome you have in backup.
Gotta love bringing the Sonic Sword against wyverns.
Tibarn brings a very well timed crit here and scores an OHKO.
Ashnard does his regular thing.
By the end of turn 6, we've routed the enemy, so there's no real enemy phase to speak of. We do, however, get a few fresh swordmasters for our trouble.
And more wyverns.
Let's have Ashnard just hang here and deal with them.
Well, of course Ashnard has a crit animation, it's just that there's no player out there who's dumb enough to ever see it in the campaign. It would require sending someone other than Ike, Nasir/Ena or Naesala/Giffca/Tibarn to deal with Ashnard. But he has one.
Tibarn just leaves Ashnard to it.
Random detail: Tibarn's Savior skill actually shows up as a menu option replacing Rescue. I thought it was neat.
Bastian activates Corrosion on a swordmaster, but...
As I said all that time ago, it's not very useful.
Soren finishes the job.
Astrid, Giffca and Nepehenee all make dents in the swordmasters...
And Mist brings the mass heals again, with Fortify this time.
End of turn 7.
The five remaining wyvern riders obediently suicide on Ashnard.
Except this one, who gives Soren a nasty scrape.
They may have mastered the sword, but brainy these guys are not.
Here we go again, then. Once again, Neph, Giffca and Astrid bring the damage.
Damage Soren, will ya?
And Ashnard keeps busy.
End of turn 8.
Plenty of suicide-by-Ashnard.
Plus a guy tries to murder Nasir, with marginal success.
This is just going through the motions by this point.
The Siege Assholes should probably be priority. Guess which three units take 'em out?
Another tough guy, eh?
There's a solution to that.
It's called crits.
Ashnard gets started on the wyverns.
End of turn 9.
Ike entertains one of them.
The Black Knight another.
Astrid distracts one swordmaster...
Causing the rest to target Nepehnee.
Nephenee reacts accordingly.
Another wyvern attacks Nasir, prompting a transformation, and the rest all suicide on Ashnard.
Somewhat unbelievably, despite this being the final Player Phase on the final Trial Map, there are no reinforcements.
So all we need do is clean up.
There is no tenth Enemy Phase.
This map is actually not that unreasonable for A-ranking. Since it's a Defend map, you don't have to worry about turn count or early routing, and there are 84 total enemies for you to kill (of which 16 enter on turn 8). As long as you keep people on that northeast staircase and are diligent about cleaning up the wyverns as they come in, you're fairly likely to rack up 70 kills without going to any special effort. And, if in doubt, just kill everyone.
Rank A B C D Criteria Tactician 10 - - - ...or less Turns taken Survival 0 1 2 3 ...or less player-controlled characters died Battle 70 60 50 40 ...or more enemies KO'd
Anyway, this has been Trial Maps Mode. Six maps, six triple A-ranks. Thank you very much.
Stay tuned for one final update in which we showcase a variety of fun things we can do with flagrant AR hax.