Part 62: Bonus 8 - Chapter 20Ax: The Frozen SpearBonus 8 - Chapter 20Ax: The Frozen Spear
...located on the outskirts of the land. Here, another Divine Weapon lay sleeping in the frozen wastes.
Wait, are they frozen wastes or ancient ruins? Decide!
There is no need to panic. These ruins are surrounded by thick walls; they won't be able to come in so easily.
But the enemy has defeated both the Ilian troops and our own one after another! We can't win...!
The walls are admittedly a bit more durable than those soldiers, but theyre unarmed!
We do not have to win. Lord Murdock said that all we must do is defend this place. We must hold out until the enemy gives up and leaves.
Elphin, have you heard about this place?
Yes. I believe that the Maltet*, the Frozen Spear, in hidden in these ruins.
The Frozen Spear...
Barigan the Faithful used it during the Scouring.
Barigan? I used to hear a lot about him during my studies. He is the finest example of knighthood. ...This building seems to have walls everywhere. Is there a path leading inside?
The remaining forces of Bern probably destroyed the pathways to defend themselves.
Then they must not have had much time to do it... Maybe the walls are weak in certain places.
That is possible.
All right. Let's do what we can.
*The game likes to call it Marte. Or Martre. Or Malte. Consistency may not be a thing, but at least this one was moderately close to the actual name this time.
And with one little map design choice, everything goes straight to hell. The walls themselves are nothing to write home about - there's a lot of them, but they've got 40 HP a piece and you really only have to carve one path for each team. The enemies also aren't too dangerous, though there are a pair of Brave weapons and some Killer weapons floating around.
Oh. So much for the walls being durable then.
No, the real problem with this level are these motherfuckers right here. The left has Berserk, the right Sleep, with 19 magic a piece. Which gives them an effective range of...
...I dunno, somewhere around there? Even ignoring enemies, we have to pass through a minimum of four walls just to reach the center where we can carve up these assholes, which means a minimum of four turns - more, more likely than not. Once we get in range, we can try silencing them, but Niime is hardly the most durable person around, and we don't have three people worth using with Staves-C for the Restore staff so one group is either on their own or can't advance at all lest they attract the attention of our friends here. And the kicker is that this is all dependent on your staff person of choice not getting sleep'd/berserked themselves.
Almost a decade later, someone in IntSys would have the idea of maybe allowing Restore staves to passively cure their wielders.
And that brings us to this guy. He's very important for making our lives easier. See, he has a longbow, and once we liberally apply some Bolting to the archer and myrmidon, that druid will be the lowest-defense unit in his range. Assuming his first shot lands, he should ignore the shamans right above the druids since he's just strong enough to 2HKO the Berserk druid. Admittedly, this plan relies on the AI doing what it's supposed to, but if there's one thing you can count on the AI doing, it's going after kills. Let's hope they're as bloodthirsty among themselves as they are against the player.
Well... actually, the one thing you can rely on the AI doing is inconveniencing the player. Well just have to see whether or not its capable of handling its own Berserked units as consistently as it handles the Players.
For the corner teams, turn 1 is mostly setup and staying out of the Danger Zone. Lugh will be running in to drop a lightning bolt or two, but Lance has just enough movement to rescue him and get the hell out.
So far as I can tell, this is about the only real use Eclipse has. Usually it'd be a lot more appealing, but since these walls only have 40 HP instead of 100, it's not even that much of a time saver. Geese actually cracks the wall open and stands guard this turn.
Thats right. IntSys have found a way to annoy you by making an obstacle less resilient. Youve really gotta hand it to them.
Lugh sets the stage for our grand plan.
Hey look at that. If you got a few more of these, maybe people would use Gonzales less.
Let's get to work, son.
If there's one thing classier than arrow-spinning, it's bow-spinning, and Bartre picks up some more speed for the effort.
Berserk-bro, you're alright. The myrmidon has lower defense than the druid, so the sniper should have gone after him instead, but it seems like he has his priorities straight. The berserk druid must be that guy at the office everyone hates.
Its also possible that sometimes the AI does take hit odds into account. Who knows, man?
Thany briefly slips into the Danger Zone, but she's not having any of his shit. She's in a position where there's only one space that can target her, so this guy blew it for both status ailments.
Unfortunately for him, that put him in Silence range.
No sleep for you, asshole.
Staff-Assholery can basically only be cured with other Staff-Assholery. Its a vicious cycle.
The Brave Sword is kind of heavy, but come on, this is goddamn embarrassing. Doubling with a 96% accurate Elfire against a swordmaster? With Lilina? Gotta step up your game, Bern.
With our berserk friend not quite dead yet, Fa and Elphin are the only ones who can safely brave the Danger Zone.
The murderchicken is happy to oblige.
never gets old
And of course, I forget that Niime was also in the Danger Zone. That could have been really bad.
Someone get that man a medal.
Its actually a little sad that hes going to die despite his service to our cause.
With our berserk friend gone and the sleep guy out of commission, the corner teams are free to get to work.
From here on out, it's basically just murdering our way to the center. Not the most exciting course of events.
This solves our second problem for good, so all that's left to do is get to and kill the boss.
I don't recall saying we were done with you.
His buddy has something to say about that, but he can't hit anything. Geese encourages him to reconsider by putting an axe in his head.
In one of those "Just because I can" moments, I also berserk the Killing Edge swordmaster right next to the boss.
Oh now thats just excessive.
If it's worth anything, I'd be really confused too, Teck.
How did you come through those walls?
Frankly, Im astounded that, given some of the mechanical details attended to in later Fire Emblems, IntSys dont have any dialogue, even generic dialogue, that acknowledges Berserked enemies turning on their fellow soldiers.
I...may have helped her along a bit, but look at those numbers. Look at them!
Still gotta watch out for
Sorry to interrupt, but I can't have you stealing my kill.
Teck is a joke. With the exception of his Res, Roartz was better in basically every way.
Now, I think we can all agree that there's only one way to appropriately send off our side trip into Ilia.
That is, of course, to have Thany solo the boss. My only regret is that I never got her any supports. Just imagine how much more terrifying she could, nay, should be!
Take us home, sister.
you keep on flappin that sword, Thany.
And know Bern's true power...
And so, the tale of Thany the Magnificent comes to a close.
...This is Barigan's spear, Maltet... It's beautiful, as if it's made of crystal and ice.
Master Roy, Bern's troops are escaping.
Oh. All right.
All right? We must give chase.
No, they're fleeing. They have no will to fight.
They have families as well. There's no need to fight more than necessary.
Two to go!
So hey, remember that "plot" thing? How Guinevere was telling us why the hell all this is happening in the first place? Let's get the conclusion to that story.
So may I ask...
...The rest of the story.
King Zephiel was an outstanding pupil in his studies, he was skilled in warcraft... He grew to be the perfect heir for the king.
That is correct.
But still, the former king did not look kindly at him.
In fact... Our father began to hate Zephiel because he grew to become such a brilliant and worthy youth.
What...is that supposed to mean...?
Our father was a man of ordinary skill and intellect. Therefore, Zephiel's outstanding skill made our father cold towards him.
And then one day, our father told Zephiel that 'the next heir to Bern would be Guinevere's husband.'
What! That's awful!
But Zephiel was very patient. He said that he did not mind even if he could not gain the throne. But the people around us, who were looking forward to Zephiel's ability to be a good king, would not allow anyone else to be the heir. Pressured by the public, our father lost his patience at last, and...
Decided to kill King Zephiel...?
And that was the first and last cup that Zephiel took from our father. After returning to his room, Zephiel started to get sick. For ten days and nights, Zephiel lingered between life and death. But Murdock, Zephiel's teacher and loyal general, saved his life.
...The former king never did anything after that?
No... But I have heard that he had plans to get rid of Murdock and Zephiel's mother as traitors. He was scheming to murder them all along with Zephiel. After hearing that, Zephiel acted as if he was dead. Our father then checked the coffin to confirm Zephiel's death. At that moment, Zephiel rose up from the coffin and...with his sword...
I was but a child then, so naturally I could not have understood what was going on. All I knew is that after our father died, Zephiel never smiled again. Until then, he was strict at times, but he was always a kind and loving brother to me. So...
So I... At the bottom of my heart, I trust that Zephiel can change, that he can become that loving brother again. I...had to take action.
...But now, my brother is in a place where my words cannot reach him. Roy, please... Please stop him. Please stop him from inflicting pain and suffering to the people of Bern...and the rest of Elibe.
Even if it may resolve to the blade?
...I made my resolve when I entrusted this task to you.
The word resolve can be employed in a great variety of contexts. The two lines above are none of these.
I see. You have my word and loyalty, Princess Guinevere. I swear to the Fire Emblem that I will stop King Zephiel!
Next time: Bern at last. The Shrine of Seals awaits!