Part 26: This Map Gave Me A Kidney Stone (Battle)Chapter 11: This Map Gave Me A Kidney Stone (Battle)
Once I overcame my crippling fear of this level, I made this update. Please try your best to enjoy it.
Two things here, one is that Nyna clearly doesnt give a fuck.
Secondly, due to sprite limitations, Marth and Nyna cant look north here without constantly jogging in place during this entire conversation. So just keep that in mind.
: Nyna, soon the palace will be in sight. I know this cant be easy for you.
: When the palace fell, many, many good Archaneans were killed.
Jesus, Shadow Dragon.
: I cannot unpaint that vivid picture, of my parents grotesquely changed I feel as though I should cry, Marth; or scream. But no tears come, and I cannot chase away the sadness and rage I cannot change the past. I can only shape the future. Lead the way, Marth. I am ready. Take me home.
So now that Nynas soliloquy there is done, lets get on with this shit.
Its nice that Marth decided to run all the way back before the map started.
Id recommend hitting X as you do the approach bit of this map, because theres a lot of Ballista coverage going on here, and you dont want to take that unnecessary damage, do you?
Oh, by the way, theres a thief running for the village here. Either that or a Thief and Ballistician are fusing to become the Absolute Worst Unit Type Ever.
Minorly annoying here are the Pegasus Knights that descend from the castle to bother your team. They only have 14 attack, so theyd only be an issue to a very squishy healer or something.
...fuck knorda market.
No, I said Squishy Healer. Old Man Wendell is 90% Beef, 10% Wizard.
Minerva is a very protective older sibling. She couldnt one-shot this Pegasus Knight, even with Hauteclere, though...which is worrisome.
While those few units stick behind to deal with the two attacking Pegasus Knights, the rest of the team is rushing forward, and Cord stumbles into Mercenary range! Oh no!
Never mind, were good, false alarm.
Oh, also heres a Ballista in action.
Wolf could not care less.
Abel couldnt double these mercenaries, unfortunately. But it does at least leave them as free, experience stuffed, sitting ducks.
Side note, go away, Thief.
So, Caeda has now maxed out Speed. While she remains a Pegasus Knight, shell never gain another point of it.
She is at half her max level for the class. Caeda is so good.
These Mercenaries really arent a threat. Ours are better.
Theres also a convenient chokepoint right here. So, yknow...not a threat.
Especially if youve got sick dodges like Abel.
Ill spare you the details of watching identical enemies smash their faces into the team five times.
I will show Wob Leets though.
You guys I dont know if Draugs working out.
Unfortunately you cant use Staves on yourself, so Marias patching Wendell up a bit.
Weve also got a village to get to. But first, shopping.
Bought a few of these. Never hurts to have a Mend Staff on hand.
Everybody else is just going to sorta hang back out of Ballista range for a bit. Abels actually in range to swoop inside the Thunderbolt guys blind spot, but I dont want to go just yet.
Ruffian! Its been too long!
: I hear you are holding some Archaneans here against their will. Release them at once!
: Theres something so...familiar about this.
: Ruffian has many names.
: Is everyone all right? I know youve been through a lot. Go home to your families
It was a hood! Thats pretty gender neutral, Marth!
: I donned mens garb to escape Gharnef, but no sooner was I away when those ruffians grabbed me.
: So youre Linde! Im glad youre safe. Princess Nyna was worried about you, you know! Well, were all together now. I promise to keep you out of danger.
Nyna is not worried enough to show up in this conversation, or ever speak to Linde for the rest of the game.
: No! Let me fight. With Princess Nynas blessing, and the tome my father left me, I can wield Aura magic. Let me use it to avenge him. I want to destroy Gharnef myself!
So weve got Linde now, and...oof. That joining level. Yeah, thats straight up a 1. On one hand, shes got a ton of room to grow. And with her Growth rates, thats good. Shell never not be a glass cannon, but shes packing pretty solid growths in everything that will ever matter to a mage, including the best Magic growth in the entire game. She also comes with exclusive early access to Aura, which has EIGHTEEN MIGHT, DAMN.
Still, shes got an especially rocky start. Im going to try and use her this run, because theres something here that can help her out (you can see it in this screenshot). Also Im angry at Draug.
Also yeah, Arena leveling. Keep in mind that as a mage, Linde kinda naturally sucks at the Arena, and Level 1 only compounds that. So save beforehand, only go for low wagers, or maybe just dont try this at home because Merric/Cord are good anyway.
That said, heres a crit.
Im also sending Maria down to be the Arena healer. That way I can get both our new team members up to speed in one fellish swoop.
Now Abel can get to the bastilla busting.
But first Im going to save. Im going to save right in his damn face.
On the next turn, the enemy Horseman got pulled over. Thankfully, with the help of the Fort, Abel can tank it easily.
Okay, now things are getting dicier. Killer Bows are horrifying.
Also Abel missed again. Time for the patented-
CAVALIER VULNERARY HAIL MARY
Things went well!
And then I got impatient.
While we wait on Maria, Lindes going to do some shopping. A backup Rapier is nice, and reminds me I should be leveling Marth more. Also were getting people into Silver Weapon range!
Heres what Thunderbolt looks like. Thanks Draug.
Also Abel just crit this guy, after he missed, making the CAVALIER VULNERARY HAIL MARY an UNECESSARY CAVALIER VULNERARY HAIL MARY.
I mean, Ill take this. Maybe Cord can use it. Thats +2 Magic, permanently.
Speaking of Cord, Ballisticians have Knight level Defense, but they, much like roughly everything else, have shit for Resistance.
Yeah, that Magic could use a lift.
And now comes the hard part, pulling the enemies out of this little area. At least those forts dont spit out reinforcements! This time!
Just getting into Stonehoist range was enough to get the Cavaliers running for the team, which is enough for me.
KNOCK KNOCK ITS BARST
So, in a mechanic that is...only in this chapter, for some reason, theres actually an important gameplay reason to visit this house right to the left of the lake.
A cameo character? Does it count as a cameo if this is her first appearance? Future cameo character.
: Take my sweetheart, Jake. Hes got a heart of gold, that one. If you see him, tell him Annas worried sick about him. Course, my Jake wont talk to no-one but women! Thats just the way he is.
If you dont trigger this conversation, you cant recruit Jake.
This is another pretty interesting house.
: Parthia, the bow of flame; Gradivus, the lance that pierces stone; and Mercurius, the spectral sword. Only those blessed by the gods may lay hands on them- or so it goes.
By Blessed by the gods he means A Rank.
BARST FEARS NO STONE.
He also, unfortunately, cant double here. Weve lost a lot of our constant doubles lately.
Thankfully the rest of the team can run cleanup just fine.
So, the rub here is that Khozens range lines up perfectly with Jakes range. That means that whoever steps in there to lure him is going to be in range of two ballistas and a boss.
Wolf could do that, but I like living dangerously (and I just saved).
I also snuck Caesar into range, as a decoy Ogma, which fooled the Stonehoist into wasting a rock on him.
: I just hope Annas OK.
Jake isnt fooled.
Still, Ogma dodges. Which is good, because if he didnt, hed be in perfect range of a Khozen death. Living dangerously, it pays off.
Speaking of Khozen
He does a lot of damage, but hes slow. And with Wyrmslayer on hand, hes no match for an Ogma double.
Dammit, you were so cool like 20 seconds ago!
This is a permanent +2 for Strength. Thats extremely handy.
Now comes the final part of the stage that matters. Dealing with the ballista.
These three should be enough to deal with the Stonehoist. Caesar and Abel are on Forts.
Barst just eats the rock.
So, yeah, these things have way too much defense.
Abels crit makes it a non-issue, though.
What is an issue? Getting Caeda to Jake. She cant get to him without being in his range to get shot at...which will one shot her. So, how to overcome this dilemma? We could bank on Jakes low accuracy. I could restart the map and reclass Caeda.
Or Wendell could use the all-purpose Shadow Dragon problem solver, the Warp Staff.
You get that Luck up, buddy, you deserve it.
Sorry, I just wanted to use that again.
: I am Caeda of Talys. An Archanean woman by the name of Anna told me about you.
: Really? Anna mentioned me? ...In a good way, right?
I dont think this is a healthy relationship.
: Shes very worried about you. She wants to know why such a good man is fighting for the wrong side.
: Wrong side? Hmm Well, I have to admit, Im not too keen on kicking Archanea while theyre down
: Then why not fight for Archanea instead? Help us defeat Grust and Dolhr, and set the world right.
I wonder if Minerva would be upset she forgot Macedon in her list of bad guy countries.
: Well...I dont know. I dont think its that simple Hmm
: Anna would love you for it, Im sure.
: She would? Hmmm All right, you win. But Im doin it for Anna- just to be clear!
Well go over Jake in a bit, first I want to toss Javelins at the boss.
Its...hard to judge Jake as a character. Ballisticians are such a weird class. They have utility, but...only sometimes? They often just get stuck at the start of the map and cant do shit. Jakes growths are decent, but its his class that will make or break him for you. I personally dont like Ballisticians, but if the idea of a turret type character appeals to you, he makes a decent choice. Just remember that ballistas, like Dragonstones, are in limited supply. He also cannot Reclass.
He also has a conversation with Marth that might shed some light on the games second or third dumbest mechanic.
: Are you the Altean prince? The names Jake. I just joined up.
: Many thanks, Jake.
: You know, Ive been to Altea once.
: The what?
: The secret shop! Didnt you know there are secret shops hidden all over the continent? Well, theres one in Altea too.
: Oh, really? Where exactly?
: If I told you, it wouldnt be much of a secret, now would it? The entrance is disguised so you cant find it.
: And they dont let anybody in without a VIP card. So dont expect to waltz through the door by accident.
: But how do they stay in business?
: Who knows! Last I heard, they were desperate for customers.
: Then maybe they should reopen as a tell your friends shop.
: Ha! Very clever. Anyway, you should drop by when youre in the neighborhood.
: But I dont know...Ugh, never mind.
I echo Marths sentiments.
Anyway, Cain takes out the boss pretty easily.
Really not much to say about that. But this whole time I was grinding Maria and Linde, and I also decided to wheel Jake all the way to Annas house. To my surprise
Theres special dialogue!
: Oh, so youve decided to fight for the Archanean League now? No, no, I wont stop you. Sure, I wish youd just stay put for a change, but I know you wouldnt fight unless it were for a fine cause indeed. Go get em, honeycomb!
The effort pockets are well hidden in this game.
Anyway, were already up to way too many Screenshots, so I didnt show all the Maria and Linde leveling. I do, however, have their final totals.
Linde is coming out pretty solid. Her obvious weakness is her poor defense and HP, but shes beating Cord easily on magic, and Aura gives her the equivalent of a small nuclear device in her hands.
Marias stats arent as good, but shes doing better than Lena! And 13 Resistance is nothing to scoff at.
They both also have Cs in their respective weapon categories.
Anyway, time to leave Knorda behind. Forever. And ever.
: Then... weve won!
: Not quite yet. We can enter the palace, but Dolhr still holds strong inside her walls. Also, a number of knights are being held captive inside.
: Loyal soldiers who fought for their kingdom and their people...Marth, I wish to free them as soon as possible.
: I understand. We should strike now, then, before enemy reinforcements can arrive. I believe we have a good chance.
: Thank you, Marth. As always, I am counting on you. Worry no more.
Another indoor map next time. A map void of ballista.
The Successor of Aura, Linde
Speaking of Linde, heres her remake art for good measure: