Part 7: Chapter 5x
I'll say. We've been waiting forever to meet this guy.
: We should rest here while we have the chance.
: Alright...Shall I set up camp?
: Yes. Tell everyone we're stopping here for the night.
Suddenly, Storm comes riding up.
: Storm, you seem hurried. Is something amidst?
No, they're still a distance away. They'll be amidst in two turns.
: I spotted a group of knights and shaman heading this way. They bear the flag of Magnus.
: ...Could it be...the Golden Spear? Where are they coming from? Do you think they've spotted us?
: ...They're a short distance north of here, stationed on a cliff. I doubt they are aware of our presence so far, however...
: If it truly is such an odd mixture of horseback and shaman, I think it may indeed be the Golden Spear in pursuit of us. He may seem foolish, but he and his forces are both very strong. I'm doubtful we could take them the way we are now. However, escaping seems just as risky a feat as fighting. We've only just stopped here, and everyone is tired...
: It is your decision, Sir Siegfried.
Our decision is simple.
Next Time: ...Alright, fine. Let's do this stupid thing.
: Will you be joining us in this fight, Storm?
: Yes. We're in quite the tight moment right now, and it's for moments like these that the Chief sent me with you. I will alert everybody immediately and prepare to fight.
: If we can hold out a while, perhaps they'll tire and retreat. The terrain here might help us limit how many of them can attack us at once. We'll definitely have to use every little advantage we can get to win this one. But that's enough of that...Everyone, to arms!
To arms indeed.
As Siegfried said, we're going to want to set up chokepoints quickly. The enemy forces don't seem too numerous now, but rest assured, they quickly become too much to handle all at once.
Take note of the generals blocking the way to Cid himself.
They're protecting us from him. I don't know how you're supposed to get those boots. I don't even think it's possible without blitzing the map as Siegfried, and even then, you're looking at a lot of enemies to get through. Blazer certainly doesn't seem to think it's possible, since this is Cid's combat quote:
: Hmph. I won't pretend to know how you got here...but you're stupider than I thought to challenge me.
That's some serious contempt for the player there.
Storm's also officially joined the party as well. He's got a full suite of bows, plus his own personal bow, which raises his speed by 2 while it's equipped. That'll come in handy.
In gaidens like these, Blazer typically seeds the map with treasures of some kind. For instance, this fellow with a Killer Lance. This hopefully makes up for the fact that they tend to also be more painful than the regular maps.
To start, we're going to send Shuuda over to these ruins here, where another treasure is housed.
Corben's also getting the Talisman right away, since he's the weakest to magic right now. Considering the savings on headaches, it's better to use these early than later.
In short order, the enemy has reached our lines.
A major frustration I have with this map is the amount of cavaliers with javelins about. There is no real way to make a solid chokepoint when most of the enemy forces are simply chucking spears at your back line. And we haven't even got to the shamans yet.
: Your orders are to crush them the moment they're sighted!
I don't know, given how all the characters talk about how odd Cid is, I really expected some sort of wacky miniboss with some sort of clever gimmick. As it is, the guy's all business and actually kind of nasty.
Regardless, it's time for a treasure and a cameo.
: These ruins aren't your typical ruins. The ether in the air here is extremely concentrated. It's like poison to most people. You should leave.
You seem to be talking pretty well for a guy breathing poisonous...magical radiation? gas?
And we get a Killing Edge for doing that. Okay.
I gotta say, this chapter was a lot harder on me than it usually is. Reason why?
Because my guys kept missing on reasonable chances.
Not all the time, mind, just enough so that I couldn't actually clear out the enemy forces each turn, so I'd also have people roaming around and taking potshots at defenseless cavaliers.
Still, liberating the Killer Lance went easily enough, so that's a lot of stress alleviated there.
And now the shamans arrive. Man, do I hate these guys. And the worst part? Some of them have Nosferatu. We're talking 15 damage a pop from these guys. Compared to the nice relaxing spellcasters of just last chapter, these guys are a pain.
Doing a quick takedown of a cavalier brings Corben...
You know, he did so much better on my practice run.
But this is about on par for Inanna.
Then the misery happens. For whatever reason, the RNG really didn't want me to avoid getting hit at times. Take a look at this next hit.
Yeah, that's a one-round death right there, just barely avoided.
Seriously, look at this. I know that gaidens are supposed to be extra challenging, but the only possible way for my group to get around is to either hope for a miss or just deal with it using Nothung.
Arthur might not be ready for direct combat, but at least he can fire from cover.
Speed's nice, I guess, but where's the 65% magic?
Ah, I see now.
Get off my battlefield!
Don't worry about the guys charging Storm.
He's got it covered.
Second near-death experience of the day. Siegfried dodged a javelin in there, so it was close.
One thing I forgot to mention is that the enemies in this chapter spawn in at the start of the enemy phase. On some turns, they show up at the end, and sometimes at both the start and the end. You know, because double reinforcements is a great idea.
You can tell how difficult this map is that I actually had to pop an Elixir. I don't tend to use those.
Seems that the AI has the same thing on their mind.
Shuuda was a real help though, despite not having the ability to fight lances, just because he's so darn fast.
Dang, this map is even sapping Siegfried's growths.
: Not worthy of me coming there and impaling them myself, that is.
And to be frank, I'm grateful. We'll get another shot at this guy anyway.
This is so tragic, but I can't stop laughing. Her entire face is broken.
Oh well, Arthur's got it.
I'd be disappointed, but she actually got double digit speed, so I'm cool.
Okay, time to redeem yourse-
I should mention that the general in the middle has a Spear, so we need to tread lightly around him. Let's see how long it takes for me to forget that.
Didn't take long at all, actually. At least Kevin's on a forest, but I still want to kick the Me of the past in the teeth.
I guess I was mostly concerned about Arthur here. I didn't want him to be out in the open. But he did okay.
Kevin, on the other hand...
Needless to say, I vacated that spot like it was covered in lice.
See, if you're standing in that spot, you need the Lancereaver out.
Makes things a little easier.
Boy, isn't this a fun situation for the last turn.
Fortunately, Shuuda's ready to pitch in.
In a manner of speaking. Still, that's some mad luck.
Everyone's in a critting mood today.
Although that 65% growth still goes unattended.
Due to all the crits, I actually have time to send Shon through that arena to the side.
At least I got the money.
And with one shaman left alive, we conclude.
: They're pretty tough for a bunch of scumbags... If we stay here any longer, we risk getting into a fight with the nomads... Men, retreat for now! We're not fighting any longer!
And that's the chapter. With the exception of Tamiko, that was mostly a wash, level-wise, but we've got two Killer weapons, some extra cash, and at any rate, at least the rest of Act 1 couldn't be possibly any worse.
Next Time: We get our thief, but there's something unusual about him. Something...compelling.
Weapon Ranks: C in bows
HP: 24 (70%) Lck: 2 (40%)
Str: 7 (50%) Def: 5 (25%)
Skl: 7 (50%) Res: 1 (20%)
Spd: 9 (60%) Con: 7
Storm's an okay archer, which is good, because he's the only bow user you'll have for a little bit. Yet another product of Blazer's time-honored system of starting people low, he'll perhaps become useful, but he might also be a big hindrance, archers being archers. At least he has the Short Bow to help him out a little.