Part 35: Chapter 16 Hard ModeChapter 16: We've all been waiting for this
The usual cast is mixed up a little with the additions of Alan and Percival. Alan is coming because we just got a shiny Knight's Crest, and Percival is coming because he outperforms both of them by a mile.
Roy picks up some of our loot. One thing that I don't think Artix mentioned is that, in addition to being the usual item storage and guy who buys things, Merlinus also has a small shop you can buy from in between chapters. He sells low quality, over priced shit, like Iron swords, fire tomes and vulneraries. It's kinda neat, and handy if you're running low on supplies and just need to throw a low level weapon in somebody's hand.
The problem is that this store is disabled in hard mode. At first I figured this was only a minor inconvenience, since I didn't get a mini-store in HHM either, and I got through that fine. Then I realized that the store is where Merlinus buys your stuff, too. You followin' me camera guy?
Basically The only place in hard mode you can sell stuff is at shops on the map. This means that if I want to clear out my storage of garbage weapons or valuables, I have to either destroy them and lose that money, or load up all my units with it and cart them one at a time over to a store to dump it off. It is tedious as it sounds.
Okay, sound off: bolting assholes,
Killer edge assholes,
Killer axe assholes,
And purge assholes.
Hugh is chillin' in the corner as usual.
And Narshen is hanging out on his throne with some goodies.
Narshen may be a terrible character plot-wise, but he's a damn good Dragon Lord. Granted Miledy is outperforming him in pretty much every stat, but still.
Douglas and Zeiss are playing cards in the far corner. It's really awkward with Zeiss behind a wall, but they manage.
By the way, here are the stats for the killer edge guy. Yeah, that's 20 skill on a killer edge enemy. Thanks IS.
Anyway, we get the party started with Alan. He's still behind Percival by a mile, and a little behind Lance too.
Anyway, we split into two teams and march up.
Douglas slowly power walks over towards us.
As does Hugh.
Ayup, stellar progress. Now do you see why I don't use Generals?
: Come with me if you want to live!
Hugh is alright. He gets no hard mode bonuses despite starting as an enemy, and his base HP is pretty hilarious. Still he has decent growths, and if Lou were turning out like shit I'd probably give him a whirl.
Hmm, looks like a dangerous situation.
Go get em', Astol!
Miledy and Shin murder a dragon, but Miledy takes some bumps.
Fuck off, Douglas.
Douglas also doesn't get hard mode bonuses. I have a theory that both his and Hugh's bonuses got siphoned off to fuel another character's, but we'll get to that soon.
Miledy hangs around with Astol so that she can evac him the moment he's done looting.
Anyway, with Douglas asleep we move up to-
Let him run straight up to Ellen and get two lightnings to the face.
GO TO SLEEP.
So guess who got to give these guys any form of unlocking ability!
Into the breach!
God, Roy is horrible. I am so looking forward to turning him into a god, just to spite this game.
Here's Ray at 20. He could be doing better, but a speed wing will fix him up.
Shit, Douglas is awake again. How am I going to distract him now?
Gonzales, give me all your axes!
: G-Give axes? Why-?
: No time to explain! Take this elfire tome and go kill that giant armored guy walking towards us!
: B-But Gonzales no use ma-
: You have to believe Gonzales! DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!?
: I-I do?
: Then go get em!
And that's the story of how Roy convinced Gonzales to run unarmed into Douglas's range.
Astol does what he does best and frees my units.
Shin also proves that snipers are terrible in this game.
Gonzales might not be able to use magic, but he can deflect axes with his bare chest.
Miledy flies off to rescue her brother from behind the wall.
And Gonzales pulls Douglas further out, so that I can get into the throne room unmolested.
Yeah yeah, "I now realize Bern is evil", etc.
Welcome to the team and all tha-... wait, 25 attack with a fucking Javelin? How in the-?
So yeah, Zeiss. Level 7 and already packing 19 str, 15 def, and 37 HP. Sure his res is pretty terrible, but... I mean holy shit, look at those numbers. He has 13 levels left to get 9 speed, 7 skill, and 5 defense. We like Zeiss. Oh, and did I mention he can support Miledy? So yeah, two hard mode bonus wielding, flying, A-supported powerhouses. Welcome. To. The. Team.
We're getting ready for the final show down here.
Hugh goes shopping.
I have been waiting so damn long for this.
I pick up a hero crest, a few guiding rings, and two angelic robes. Hey, you never know, right?
Zeiss grabs the loot to be immediately distributed.
And distributed it is. Clarine is doing her usual thing of having no magic, but that 20 speed and a mount makes it all better.
Druid promotion gains are pretty great. +2 in pretty much everything, topped with +4 magic.
Gonzales comes back to fulfill his destiny.
Looks good, but first-
Why are wyverns so tiny? Alan is taller than this guy on a normal horse.
Anyway, time to wrap this up... after one final thought.
Hugh: While both Lilina and Lou have sort of a gambling aspect to raising them (Magic for Lou, Speed/Skill for Lilina), Hugh is the safe bet. He comes in okay, and he'll leave okay. His bases are average, his growths are average, and his joining time is excusable since you just got a pile of guiding rings and can promote him within a chapter or two with a little babying. Hugh is kind of like the Noah and Treck of mages: he's here if your early units got screwed.
Next time: The return of level up screens!