Part 68: The Neverending Dream (feat. Cake Attack)Chapter 22: The Neverending Dream (feat. Cake Attack)
...keep, where King Zephiel was waiting. Zephiel, the man responsible for starting this war...
Inside the castle, Zephiel awaited with his personal guards by his side. Roy prepared to charge the castle. To end this war, and to bring peace to Elibe again...
...I am sorry.
...Where is the Etrurian Army?
They have captured the Shrine of Seals. They are currently headed this way.
I see... Then we shall face them inside this castle.
Yes. I will protect you to the death, your Majesty.
No. Brenya, I have a very important task for you.
Idoun. Where is Idoun?
I will stay here and defend the castle from the Etrurian Army. Idoun, you must escape and hide until this battle is over.
If his Majesty wishes.
Brenya, I want you to escape as well. Protect Idoun.
What!? Please! Let me fight by your side!
No. ...This will be a harsh battle. I cannot afford to lose Idoun now. If Idoun were lost...this whole war would be meaningless.
But! I, I...!
Enough, Brenya! This is an order. Are you telling me that you cannot follow your king's commands?
No... I'm not saying that...
Idoun, even if I fall... I trust you understand.
Yes... I will free the world, as you commanded.
Right. I will not give up my dream now.
Master Roy, Zephiel is waiting in the throne room at the center of the castle. However, there seem to be some special devices that protect the throne room when invaders appear.
What kind of devices?
One of the captives said that at the west end of the castle, there are switches that need to pulled before one can access the throne room.
It'll be a long detour...
There is more. After hitting the switches, you must hold the 'Gem' in front of the throne room door to make it open.
Gem? Is it the Fire Emblem?
I have that with me. So I should head to the throne room while leaving the switches to the others...
That would be the shortest way.
...But would the captives leak that kind of information so easily? Perhaps it's a trap...
I doubt it, Master Roy. The captive also said, 'The switches and the door are all defended by Bern's most powerful warriors. You wouldn't be able to get to the throne room even if you knew how.'
We need to try, even if we're going up against powerful enemies. We've gotten strong as well. We won't lose!
Seriously, the contrivance is astounding. Theyre not even trying to justify it.
Welcome to Bern Keep. Zephiel awaits us on the throne, but we have to get to him first. As Merlinus indicated, we need to hit the two switches in both of the far north corners, and then have Roy stand in front of the door. The enemies outside are the standard fare, but nothing to write home about. What makes our journey in particular difficult is how I have to go about things in order to do the Flame Stone glitch.
See, here's the deal with the glitch. Dragonstones are unique in that they're considered both items and weapons at the same time. This is why we can't just walk up and steal them (can't steal weapons) and also why we can't Hammerne Fa's stone (can't fix items). However, if you play your cards right, the AI will steal one for you.
The key is this guy right here. We need to silence him as soon as the chapter starts for this to go off without a hitch. For whatever reason, a berserked thief can bypass the stealing lock on the dragonstone. The problem with this map, as you might have seen, is that there are no manaketes until you open the throne room. This complicates our task, as we have to go all the way up to the corners to pop open the throne room and clear things out so Astol doesn't get gibbed by a Hero/Berserker/Druid standing right next to the manakete without killing the two manaketes (there are no manakete reinforcements) before we run out of Silence charges. It should go without saying that there are any number of ways that this could go wrong, like the druid berserking Rutger instead of Astol, or having Astol attack Fa or some other dumb shit instead of stealing the Flame Stone.
I could buy it. Astol gets so angry that he forgets the rules about stealing.
...also the idea of Berserk driving a thief to steal unthinkingly is just hilarious.
To put it in simpler terms, we have 14 turns to open the throne room and provide Astol with a safe environment to actually steal the thing, assuming the AI even decides to play nice in the first place.
Before we get too far into the chapter, let's talk about Roy for a second. Now that he's gotten his promotion we can talk about his actual caps, and it's not going to be positive talk. Roy's final caps are 25 across the board, but he's never going to hit his Def/Res caps so really we're looking at 25 Str/25 Skill/25 Speed. To his credit, even a completely average Roy will usually cap Skill, probably cap Speed, and have 22 or 23 Str, even if it is mostly thanks to his promotion gains. The big problem is that these are among the worst caps of any lord in the series.
Ignoring FE5 Leaf due to the all-20 caps for everyone, Sigurd/Celice are the only lords who have overall lower caps in the entire series, and Sigurd/Celice have the benefit of being in FE4 and not really giving a fuck about caps due to insane bonuses from legendary weapons. Even compared to Eliwood (and Ephraim, who has the same caps), the only thing Roy really has over him is 1 speed and 2 defense, to say nothing of the fact that dad got a horse and a second weapon type. In fact, every lord who has lower caps than Roy gets a horse to make up for it. The only person you can really make a case for is Micaiah before her third tier, and even then she's a magic user who can staffbot, giving her infinitely more utility than Roy could ever dream of. Despite all this, I'm still inclined to rank Roy over Leaf.
No love for the Leaf? ...Okay yeah, he doesn't really deserve any. It's kind of funny how IntSys managed to go from Sigurd/Celice to Leaf and Roy. And by funny I mean sad.
Micaiah also has her characteristically batshit luck, and exists in a game with the New Bonus EXP System AKA the Cap Every Stat System. God that was fun.
Her luck isnt an undisputed point in her favor, since Roy more or less has the same deal (or at least hes supposed to, our Roy is a full 3 or 4 points behind in luck). Magic and the FE10 Bonus Exp system are much bigger points in Mickys favor.
That would be because of this motherfucker. It may not have much on the insanity that FE4 and FE5 were throwing around, but as far as any modern Fire Emblems are concerned, this shit is positively broken. Remember Ragnell? Ike's super-awesome infinite use sword? Well start with its base stats and effects. Now add 15 Hit. And 5 Crit. And +5 Res from equipping it. And make it so that you can burn one use to have Roy recover 30 HP. That's the Sword of Seals. Assuming you can keep it fixed up, it single-handedly turns Roy into a one-man wrecking crew.
Well to be fair, Ike probably has more than 5 crit, 15 hit, and 5 res on Roy. Let's not give the kid too much credit.
Actually, not really. Ikes skill cap is 27, giving him an extra point in crit and 4 Hit, but Roy can make much better use of his supports. Supports dont boost crit in FE9 at all, and because Ike is an Earth affinity, hes reliant on his support partner to contribute any additional accuracy. Roys by default include at least 2.5 hit and 2.5 crit.
Ike also has the ability to murder and heal at the same time.
Tate levels up weakening a merc so Roy can try out his new toy.
And try it out he does. As mentioned in the general thread chat, Roy does not actually get a new sprite for his promotion, so using the SoS is the only way to see him not lunge at a guy's throat.
So... much... superfluous... flourishing...
Shin abuses his longbow privilege to get around Fenrir druids.
Ray gets the honor of busting out our first Divine weapon. It has the same effect as Durandal, giving it an effective 23 Mt, but it's heavy as shit, and you really don't want to be eating any counterattacks.
Fortunately, that's generally not a problem with Apocalypse.
Gonzales and Percy are headed to the NW switch, which the rest of the west team is heading south to meet up with Roy's team.
Even the mighty Berserker can no longer even scratch Bors.
Bors missed once, so Roy gets to show off the other nifty thing about the Sword of Seals - its ranged attack.
God, you guys have been using Roy wrong in Melee for years, charge B is his ranged attack, no wonder you can't hit anybody with it.
Im actually a little disappointed that this attack doesnt have a chance to backfire. It just seems so... fitting... for Roy.
Oh wow, it's been so long that I almost forgot how this whole "Roy" thing works. Good to have you back, son.
The east side treasures also have a Wyrmslayer and Dragonshield.
What is this bullshit, young man?
OFS is going to be so disappointed.
Hugh picks off a Sniper trapped in with the silenced druid for a pretty awful level.
An empty level rears its head. First of the LP? Maybe?
Id forgotten how funny these are.
Quite the popular level, it seems.
Maybe you can start blaming TenaCrane for these now?
Echidna makes up for missing the bishop by effortlessly killing the berserker.
While Percy heads for the switch itself, Gonzales deals with the northern heroes.
That Brave Axe would be a lot more dangerous if he ever moved off the switch. As is, Shin effortlessly picks him off.
One of three down.
Not getting away this time, Silence man. I don't know why, but he didn't even attempt to silence Ray or Hugh.
Oy, you're not on the clock yet.
I'd like to point out our favorite axe-magnet is +5 Defense. All of us in the thread believed in you Fir
Bors and Shin are just chilling out for the moment, since they've already hit the switch.
Stop getting hit by stupid shit!
It must be his magnetism playing up.
Oh hey, that's almost a decent level. A few more of those and we just might still be in business.
It seriously can't be overstated how great of a magic tank Fa is. These druids are pushing 40 Mt with Fenrir. Plus her ridiculous luck means she is the most adorable dodge tank.
After smiting the druid, Roy has arrived at the throne room. Now we're just waiting for Percy to do his thing.
The general was nice enough to move out of the way for Percy, so he gets to work on the hero. Gonzales isn't far behind to deal with the general.
The hero suicides for what might as well be a perfect level for Percy, and we'll be ready to open the throne room next turn.
There's number two. It's showtime.
Here we go, let's do this.
Hmph...how ironic. A child, stepping in my path.
not really ironic
Zephiel...King of Bern... I will ask you this. Why did you start this war?
...I wish to end the age of men.
Humans... Humans are filthy. They flock to those with power and would not think twice about betraying trusted allies to obtain more power. You must have witnessed numerous traitors in your travels. Am I right?
Jealousy. Hate. Greed. Friends, even family members are driven to kill by such ludicrous emotions. Such emotions create fathers who try to kill their own sons to save their own flesh. As long as humans control, as long as humans dictate, as long as humans exist...this madness will never end.
But look at what you are doing! You are one of those humans who control others!
...You know how the Scouring ended.
The Dark Dragon was defeated by Hartmut...
Mankind should not have won. Just because the humans came out victorious, this world came under their control, and transformed into a world of madness and evil, driven by accursed emotions!
Mistakes must be fixed with haste. I will give the world back to the Dragons. I will free the world from the evil grasp of men. History must be redone from the beginning to save this world from everlasting evil!
Then...it is true that you resurrected the Dark Dragon.
You may see that for yourself.
You said you would give the world to the Dragons. Then rule by humans would just be replaced by similar rule by Dragons!
The Dragons you see now are weapons for battle. They have no 'self.' They have no cruel emotions to be driven by, unlike foolish humans. The world under the Dragons' control would be fair and peaceful.
I cannot agree that such a world would be for the better good! It is true that humans have many evil emotions and do terrible things, but it has always been us humans who have corrected such wrongdoings!
Hmph...you are indeed naive.
I have faith in mankind. I will not lose to a man who has lost faith in his people and even in himself!
Aside from all the friends Zeph has in the throne room, the game also immediately spawns a sniper, druid and pair of heroes back where we started on both sides of the castle. Also, we finally have some manaketes, but there's no goddamn way Astol will be surviving a turn in that mess, so we're going to have to burn our last silence charge to buy some time to clear out the area, seeing as everyone in there is about to charge us. Including the manaketes, who we can't kill for obvious reasons.
Welp, here goes nothing.
Looks like... its time to go loud.
Echidna, Rutger, Hugh, and Ray form up as the rear guard. The last thing we need to be harrassed from behind when we're dealing with the throne room idiots.
We have the advantage of boots, so we can outrun the troops from the throne room, but Roy is still stuck here for this turn. Fa and Lilina give him a little backup.
Tate and Miledy are lined up to try and pick off our magic-wielding friends.
Bors and Shin are rushing back to the SE starting position, but Saul has to bail and move north for now.
Oh yeah, and there are reinforcements from the throne room too. Every three turns until turn 45, it spits out a Fenrir druid, Silver Bow sniper, Silver Sword hero, and Hammer berserker.
Roy puts up a somewhat impressive showing in "not dying," and even stays above the danger zone of potentially fatal hits! My little boy has grown up so much.
We're so proud. Roy really is our boy.
I have never been so glad to not have my unit kill someone.
Okay, fine. Fuck you too buddy.
The grand plan is pretty simple. Since the manaketes are coming to us, we can't hang around because they'll end up killing themselves. However, since they only have 5 movement, everyone else can outpace them. We run away, the guys we actually want to kill pull ahead, and we can safely kill them off without touching the manaketes.
Bors has arrived in the SW corner and gets to work.
Saul patches up Miledy and gets an empty level to max out. They sure picked a good time to start showing up.
Yep. Definitely TenaCrane.
The sensible thing would be to back off, but Tate's not strong enough to kill the sniper. If I don't kill the bishop, he's going to keep fixing up the snipers and we're never going to get anywhere here. While I'm never a fan of throwing units into potentially fatal situations, both the sniper and bishop have a 50% hit chance or less, so this is a relatively safe move. Relatively. RNG willing. Oh god, she's totally fucked.
The unfortunate thing about these LPs is that it's obvious she survived, or else why would you be making the update? Unless it's Shadow Dragon, of course.
New reinforcements - Silence on the left, sleep on the right, Physic and Divine with both. Fortunately, their physic range is one square shy of Zephiel, so I can more or less ignore them entirely.
These druids prove to be an unfortunate pain in my ass. At least the only other unit who can even hurt him in the group is the sniper doing 2 damage.
Fa and Astol split south, leading into the final stage of my grand plan.
After a quick patch-up, Bors is ready to get up close and personal with our druid friend.
They may not be able to heal Zeph, but that doesn't make their Physics any less annoying, so Tate moves in to at least knock out the sleep one.
Berserker: 0, Murderchicken: 1
Lilina proves far more effective at cleaning out the druids and snipers than Miledy's wall-piercing javelins.
Welp, so much for that.
Lilina patches up Miledy yet again and picks up another level.
Bors and Shin polish off the last of the SW troops, so that side of the map is entirely done now.
This is the turn the berserk druid wakes up, so the south team is as far west as possible. I want to give Fa and Astol as much room as I can in case he berserks Rutger instead of Astol.
Now we get to play a little positioning game. I need at least one manakete to go south, but I don't want both of them to do so - that would end up getting Astol killed. The sniper and druid are a non-issue - they'll attack Bors and Shin and either die or come close to it. By moving Fir lower, Fa and Astol are closer to the south manakete (meaning he'll keep going that way), but the other will head north instead.
Nothing quite like some AI manipulation in the morning.
AI manipulation is, like, the cornerstone of good Fire Emblem playing. Especially in LPs.
So far so good. Now, the point where either everything completely falls apart or goes exactly to plan.
Ray and Rutger pick up levels taking out the trash in the southwest corner.
With the Berserk druid active again, I try to proactively mitigate the damage. He's almost certainly going to go for Echidna and Rutger next so I swap out inventories, rendering them harmless if they go berserk.
That was way too much effort for a simple glitch, but it is oh so worth it.
It should go without saying, but the Sword of Seals is also a goddamn dragon-slaying machine. That would have one-shot the manakete, even at full health.
And victim number two is...Hugh? Well, I guess he was the only one of them left with a weapon down there.
Manakete didn't have a goddamn clue what hit him.
You're lucky your caps are so low, because these one-stat levels would really do a number on your viability. Assuming I didn't have a giant stash of stat-ups with Merlinus, of course.
Astol. Astol what are you doing.
Berserk guy burns his last charge missing Ray, so with the glitch already done, there's nothing to do but charge the throne room and put an end to all of this.
I completely forgot about this guy, and he ends up looting all of the west side treasures. I really don't give a shit about the Nosferatu tome, but I really wanted the White Gem and Sleep Staff.
What are you doing? Reset, get them, and do the glitch again
Youre missing items? In a Fire Emblem LP?
More murderin'. It's just Roy and Lilina leading the charge, there's really nothing to say.
Oh look, you're done being stupid. Now we can really start having some fun.
The Fire Stone is, on the whole, inferior to the Divine Stone. It's not effective against anything, its bonuses are slightly weaker in Str/Skill (and it has lower Mt, in total it comes out to 5 less Atk), and it swaps the +15/+20 Def/Res for +20/+5. On anyone else that would be a pretty shitty trade, but Fa's great Res growth means it patches the very obvious hole in her defenses and lets her growths take care of the rest.
Now that we have the bulk of the army actually near the throne room, we can be more proactive in dealing with the reinforcements. As the army filters in, they take up positions around the various spawn points, and I milk this shit all the way until turn 45. It's an easy way to catch up Roy, and everyone appreciates the extra experience.
Before jumping into the level dump though, let's take Fa's new toy for a spin.
The restriction on the Flame Stone means any manakete can use it, but since you normally can't get one, they didn't write up an animation for Fa using it. The enemy glitches out while she changes, and a disembodied dragon head attacks them. Doesn't crash the game or anything, it's just a silly little thing.
oh god that's scary bring back murderchicken please.
I find the disparity pretty endearing, myself.
I missed Fa's L16, but otherwise nothing too notable; another empty level, Miledy maxes Str, Fa maxes Luck, Roy maxes skill, and Shin and Bors are a point off of their Spd/Def caps respectively.
Maybe I'm just jaded, but Roy seems to have done pretty respectably.
With our grinding out of the way, let's finish this.
Zephiel and Murdock were evidently hitting the gym together, because they both have the same crippling flaw of awful speed. That said, Zeph is anything but a slouch. With his throne factored in, you're staring down a 70 HP/25 Def/29 Res general with an infinite use sword that can strike at range with almost 40 Mt. Plus, even with his low speed he still has 73 avoid, which isn't exactly a guarantee of landing.
And he has a Hero's Crest. Why the fuck would you bother stealing a Hero's Crest at this point?
What do you mean, a level 1 Hero is sure to turn the tides of any battle!
With the rather substantial amount of grinding I put Roy through, he can actually do some serious damage to Zeph if I wanted to eat through the Sword of Seals. But for obvious reasons, we're not doing that. Instead, Zephiel will face the greatest challenge he has ever known as king.
A little girl.
I smell a sitcom! Or a kids movie. Vin Diesel as Zephiel.
A child stepping in my path indeed.
Uh...Zeph, you okay there? As I mentioned earlier, the game isn't really sure what to do when you use the Flame Stone with Fa, so the battle sprites can get a little weird.
After wearing him down, Fa tags out and Roy comes in to finish this personally.
But remember... My dream shall never die... As long as...humans retain control...madness will persist...
Zephiel official art.