Part 1: Prologue Part 1 and 2Prologue 1 and 2: Did I leave the stove on?
As I mentioned in the thread, I'll just be paraphrasing this, and thank goodness for that, as this goes on for at least half a dozen pages.
Long ago, humans and dragons had a big fight in the land of Blaine, and humans got whacked but good. Magus, a mage (creative, huh?), along with six other heroes, used the power of Ether, this game's super energy whatsit, to relocate the people of Blaine to the continent of Solum, where they splintered off and formed their own nations. They also renamed Solum to Blaine, because of nostalgia, I guess.
Magus, with his usual brand of imagination, called his nation Magnus, and it eventually became an Empire, which pretty much doomed it to become evil right from the get-go.
Pictured here is the land of Aegis, in the process of being conquered. Magnus is adopting the time-honored tactic of invading every land at once, and it's working.
And here is Emperor Louis and a guy we won't care about for a long time. He's explaining that in addition to having a whole lot of troops and mages, he's also got a prodigy magician with the ability to teleport troops wherever he wants. More on that later.
We now cut to a random village, currently under attack.
By a Batta reskin, no less. It's pretty well done, too, so good on you, Blazer, I guess.
Meet Shon and Siegfried, our two protagonists for this first act. Siegfried's an ex-soldier with a plot injury and a bit of a harsh streak, and Shon's his meek son who desperately wants to prove himself to his father.
Like so. This hints towards the map's gimmick, that you have to let Shon kill everyone without any help from his father, not even tanking, if you want to unlock an additional map.
Sounds fun, right? Let's get started.
Siegfried's a Knight-Errant, a promoted class, which will give him some problems with leveling up. Still, he can use both swords and lances, and once you see his growths, you'll find that he's got quite a bit of potential to him. Notice that vulnerary, by the way? Blazer upped their uses to five. Very handy.
Shon's got some problems, not the least of which is that 7 constitution. He can use lances like his dad, but they'll weigh him down if he tries. He comes with the Piercing Sword, this game's version of the Rapier, and he'll need the boost it gives him.
Byron is a decent knight, but he's going to be victimized by his vulnerability to Shon. Note that elixir. It'll be important soon.
First, let's get Siegfried out of the way. There's a secret in the village that he needs to investigate.
Apparently, our protags were so preoccupied with fighting the invaders that they left a few things in the house.
An Iron Sword, Vulnerary, and 1000 Gold. Not a bad haul, though why would you think to do that? We'll be asking this question a lot in our exploration of this game.
Meanwhile, Shon will be parking his horse in this forest and waiting for the enemies to come. If he's taking them on himself, he'll need the forest's boost to avoid.
Picture this for a few turns. Getting unlucky can be pretty terrible, but the odds are in your favor.
After the first fighter goes down, the way the enemy priority works makes the second fighter immediately jump in, sparing Shon from the soldier for now.
All this back and forth eventually becomes enough to give Shon his first level of the game.
Expect to see this sort of thing a lot. Shon's growths aren't exactly the best. However, strength is just what he needs, because...
It's just enough for him to double the soldier and kill him in one turn.
Same with this soldier. Having an extra point of strength really helps Shon in this map and the next.
Taking advantage of the vulnerary, Shon waits next to Byron.
Going from alliteration to rhyme, eh? I can dig it.
Sadly, even with the boosted power of the Piercing Sword, Shon can't quite one-round him.
Feeling a little nervous about Shon's chances, I heal him up a bit, but that's a problem.
If I was actually thinking about this, I'd have started with the Iron Sword and then waited with the Piercing Sword, but nope, time to wait for another counterattack.
You can see why I'm a little concerned about that though. I've missed on worse chances.
Knight in training, actually. But thanks for the compliment.
Slow, slow training. Also, we get his elixir.
Following the fight, Siegfried announces that he has to go to fight Magnus. Shon wants to come too, but he tells him to just stay and train with his friend, Corben.
Which leads us to our hidden chapter, accessed by the aforementioned condition of having Siegfried not participate in the fighting at all.
Shon's friend Corben, who you can tell is cooler because he's wearing earrings, wants to follow Siegfried's advice and stay in the village, but Shon wants to go and fight. Corben eventually agrees, under the condition that Shon shows his strength by defeating him in a duel.
Heaven or Hell! Let's rock!
Corben might have a bit of an advantage on Shon, just due to his equipment selection. He actually has lances, for one, and he actually has the constitution to use them.
Fortunately, Corben starts with his sword, so we can get an early hit in on him before things go pear-shaped.
Have you figured out Shon's main character trait yet?
Here's the problem with dueling Corben:
Because of the AI's propensity for always fighting from a safe distance, Corben will toss javelins at us until doomsday. We can just run at him again with the Piercing Sword, but there's a safer way to do it.
And that's to run into this forest tile and start mainlining vulneraries.
Corben will still be tossing javelins at us, mind you, but with the defense boost and the evasion from the forest, Shon has a chance to bring his HP back up.
Theoretically, you could just wait until he misses, but I got impatient here. Besides, the skill and strength I got from Shon's levels gave me the edge I needed.
Hyper Combo Finish!
You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
Convinced by the power of a good beating, Corben agrees to let Shon go, on the condition that he also comes along. Two inexperienced cavaliers on a world-spanning journey? What could possibly go wrong?
Next Time: A new enemy type, and we're still all horsemen. Where's the player variety?
Class: Knight-Errant (a promoted cavalier able to use a special sword)
Weapon Ranks: S in swords, B in lances
HP: 28 (120%) Lck: 4 (40%)
Str: 7 (70%) Def: 6 (60%)
Skl: 9 (90%) Res: 3 (40%)
Spd: 10 (90%) Con: 12
Siegfried falls pretty clearly into the Oifey archetype of prepromotes. If you can get him some levels, he'll be able to keep up with the party no problem, and he can use pretty much any weapon he wants for a long, long time. The big problem he has, however, is his weak bases, so he won't be anything special, except with a lot of work.
Class: Gallant (a cavalier that can use special swords)
Weapon Ranks: D in swords, E in lances
HP: 17 (70%) Lck: 7 (35%)
Str: 5 (40%) Def: 5 (25%)
Skl: 6 (50%) Res: 2 (25%)
Spd: 7 (45%) Con: 7
Shon's not that bad a character, really. With luck, he could get some decent stats. The constitution's the real issue. He's basically locked to swords, and not especially good ones, unless you want him to tank his speed. Still, there's a reward for him down the line that might make up for his underwhelming beginnings, assuming you know what to do to get it.