Let's pretend that last chapter never happened, alright?
As the title implied, we're in the city of Sark, and it's time for another lengthy conversation in front of enemies.
: Commander Siegfried, according to some villagers from a nearby hovel, there's a thief near Sark who lends her services like a mercenary would. Perhaps we could find her and just open up the gate.
: I'd rather not get civilians into this conflict, Storm. Besides, I bet some of the guards have keys. We could take them out and open up the gate that way.
: Well, what matters is liberating Sark from Magnus, correct? How we go about that is ultimately your decision. I'm just throwing out an option for you.
: Yes, thank you. I'll keep it in mind. I just hope that if it comes to that, the girl you speak of is still around.
: Uh... Father? I don't think we've the time to seek out anyone just yet.
Well, duh! They've been ready to fight you for the last minute or so.
: And so they are. Hmm... it doesn't look like the civilians are out...I don't like fighting in cities, but we'll just have to make this quick! Let's prepare for battle!
Elsewhere, inside a fort...
: Instruct the main guard to advance immediately.
: Pardon me, but wouldn't that be risky? If we lose the main guard, then...
: While fighting with the main guard the rebels will become weak and tired! Then the mercenaries I hired will come from behind and finish them off! Next time, don't question me, so I don't have to explain! Now give the order already!
: Right away, sir.
: -is pretty official, right? After all, it's Chief's orders...So there'll be no turning back. I'm giving this everything I've got. And that's okay with you, right, Commander Siegfried?
: Of course. I'd expect nothing less from one of Chief Haas's finest men!
Considering that we used him heavily last chapter, I'd hope he'd officially joined us.
The premise of this map is simple. Find a way into the base, kill the boss, and maybe do some shopping while we're at it. There is one twist to this level, but it's so telegraphed that it's not a big issue at all.
Shinshou is basically all attack with nothing else. He'll knock whoever tries to hit him into next week, but he won't be able to take much of a beating in return.
So let's get started on clearing out the starting area.
Shuuda's an obvious candidate to deal with all these fighters.
Would you look at all that speed. Kid's on fire.
Shon fills in the gap so that Shuuda's not exposed too heavily. Even with the sword on axe advantage, he can still fall prey to an unlucky hit.
And with Inanna clearing out a unit in the way, Kevin surges forward to tackle all these soldiers.
Meanwhile, Tamiko's making ready to visit the magic shop. She's down to one half-broken Heal staff from her original two.
During the enemy phase, one of the soldiers goes off to take a stab at Shuuda.
It doesn't end well for him.
And our means of entrance makes himself known.
: Kelik and Tekun were supposed to be here by now...
Well, one of those names sounds familiar enough.
Given how swimmingly our attempt to recruit Kelik went, this one should be even easier.
: Are you by some chance a thief?
: What? That's not very polite. And I'm more of a...mercenary with nimble hands.
: Ah, well... we need someone like you at the moment. To be honest, we heard a rumor of a female thief, but anyone will do.
This is a red herring, so far as I can tell, since a female thief doesn't actually show up in this chapter.
: This is kind of sudden...What do you want from me?
: I'm the leader of the rebellion...Have you heard of it?
: Actually, yeah, I have...Meh, this'll be a way to spend some time. I'm guessing you want me to open up that front gate, right?
: That's the one. We're trying to take out the Magnian leader here and liberate the city.
: Alright, alright...I'll take it out. By the way, have you seen a couple of swordsmen walking around? I'm supposed to meet with a couple mercenaries here.
: I'm sorry, but we haven't seen anyone like that yet. We only just got here.
: ...Damn. Hopefully they'll come soon. Anyways, I'm called Althares. You're Sieg, right?
: The name's "Siegfried." I'm glad we found you, Althares.
As am I. For reasons I'm rather unsure about, Blazer has decided to give Althares a natural +15 to crit, and yes, that does transfer over to his career as an assassin. Otherwise, he's got good growths, good starting bases, and is, overall, an excellent unit.
Certainly better than some I could mention.
Cleanup continues, and Arthur demonstrates why I'm rather fond of light magic.
Sure, it's weaker and heavier than anima magic, but when almost every light tome has a crit chance attached, it's got its place in the trio.
And with that, the starting area is almost completely clear.
Using the Blue Gem, we can easily afford to restock both Arthur and Tamiko's weapon uses and have plenty left over for the Armory.
You know, I'm really not too fond of the first enemy phase song in this hack. It sounds a little too much like the classic song that always plays during emergency news bulletins. Something like:
This just in: sullen knight gains good level.
Pegasus knight most powerful member of team. Stay tuned for further reports.
Oh yeah, I should mention that this hack doesn't always follow the rules. We saw that with Corben's little secret in Chapter 2 as well.
: Oh, how glad I am! We're all in full support of the rebellion. Please, help us, and watch your back. Actually, if you use this little rune in the right place, you might be able to stop people from chasing your back at all...Please, go ahead and take it.
Yup! Yellow houses and red houses can both hide prizes for the player. It's good to check everything, just to be sure.
Also, this Light Rune has three uses, so it might actually see some use in a later map, assuming I remember it's there.
Also also, I won't be using Blazer's recolors for villagers, since it's really not that important.
: There's a battle here? Oh no, I have to tell mom! Um, you can have this. It should make you feel better. (Get an Elixir)
For instance, that girl was supposed to have pink hair instead of brown.
: There's a local mercenary here who does the services of a thief...Unfortunately she isn't here right now, so she can't open the gate. Maybe somebody else will show up to help. But just in case that doesn't happen, go ahead and take this. (Get a door key)
I guess this is supposed to be if you somehow managed to get Althares killed somehow.
Good job, Arthur?
By the way, you know how we need to open this door here? That's the whole point of the map and all?
Congratulations on using fences instead of walls, Blazer. There's a bit of a difference.
50% chances seem to be a bit more accurate than you'd think. Or maybe the RNG dislikes me.
With the right weapon, you don't have to depend on chance.
Last little bonus. Let's have a look-see.
: You're the rebels, correct? We've heard about you. We'll close our gates. Please, take this. It's a spear crafted by a local blacksmith. It's a spear meant to fight axe-users with. Take it.
And that's why you check everything.
Using Kevin to coax in the archers brings them within Inanna range.
Could be better, girl.
Forget Arthur. Tamiko's the magic tank around here.
Time to get some giant slabs of metal with which to smash my foes.
Getting rid of the Killer Bow archer, just in case.
Whoa. That is all his life.
I better fix that.
I love Shinshou. I really do.
This line, by the way, is a hint that there's a group of enemies coming. They're not too dangerous though.
We can chip away at the boss pretty well, considering his lack of skill.
What? No vocal tick, eh?
Oh yeah, the mercenaries are start of enemy phase reinforcements, so they will move when they arrive.
For all the good it does them.
I don't know how many turns it takes before the mercs run out, since I only waited for two.
It was worth it.
And Althares for the finish.
: Althares, you really helped us out there.
: Oh yeah, I suppose this is where we depart, huh.
: Maybe, or maybe not. I took care of my business just now, while you were wrapping things up with the battle around here.
: You mean you found those mercenaries you mentioned?
: Yeah, we talked for a minute, and they left. Anyway, would you care to keep my services for further use? This one's free of charge, if you consent. Leader's orders.
: Hm...Well...Your skills are undoubtedly useful...So welcome to the rebellion, Althares.
: Well, that was quick. Nice to be here, Commander Sieg.
: Welcome to Sark, Sir Siegfried. It is a blessing that you saved us from those soldiers. Is there anything we can do in return?
: You don't have to help us, kind man. Now that Magnus's last base in Atheya is gone, we can continue to Valencia.
: That eases our hearts. All of Sark had pledged support to the rebels since we heard of your existence. You should at least stay the night.
: ...Alright, we'll make camp around the walls. Will that work?
: No, that won't do. We've several empty rooms at the town hall. You and your soldiers may stay there. We shall provide any provisions we can offer to you.
: Thank you, Sir. To be honest, we're low on food and sleep both, and it's hurting us. This will aid us greatly.
: I am glad. Sark is more than happy to help the rebels in any way possible.
: Hm? It's nothing, Shon.
: Stop lying, Father. Your eyes quiver when you lie, like right now.
: ...You're a smart boy, Shon.
: ...Thanks, I guess. Uh... we're going to Yulia first, right?
: ...Yeah. We'll be attacking Yulia Castle and then hopefully use it as a foothold to take the rest of Valencia. Since we're coming from the north, we should be able to make it there rather quickly, and without encountering the other territories, I'd think...
: Alright...But then what's the problem?
: Well... the rebellion is building up more and more every day...We gained several new recruits from Sark...And the greater we become, the more dangerous it is. So...
: What?! Father, don't talk that way!
: A father is supposed to protect his son, even to the death. I don't say this as your commander, but as a parent.
Count all the ellipses in this conversation. I present them to you, entirely unaltered.
: Son, do you remember your mother?
: Dad, you've asked me this several times already...All I remember is that her hair is blonde, like mine.
: Yes... that's right. She was a beautiful woman...If she were still around...I...I don't know what she'd think of what I'm doing, honestly...
: Ah.........Father, are you...Are you ever going to tell me...how Mom died...?
: You told me that, but...what kind of illness?
: Now's not the time for that, Shon. We have things to do. We have to prepare. The battle to pass through Valencia will be our toughest one yet. But one day, I'll tell you everything...
That strikes me as something that may be important in the future.
Next Time: Hooray for speed requirements AND hidden objectives. This gaiden is going to be fun to get.
Weapon Ranks: D in swords
HP: 20 (75%) Lck: 4 (45%)
Str: 6 (40%) Def: 5 (25%)
Skl: 6 (45%) Res: 2 (15%)
Spd: 12 (70%) Con: 7
Althares's +15 crit, combined with his decent skill growth and support affinities, is going to make him a critting machine. And when he becomes an assassin, he's going to be using Lethality on a fairly regular basis. After a certain point, being able to insta-kill enemies is going to be very helpful. If only he could use the Wo Dao, he'd be ridiculously amazing.