Ooh! I pick Game and Watch!
: Of course, our real destination is Valencia, past Focal Mountain...
: Ah, Valencia. So many memories that land holds... It's hard to believe it was only ten years ago I was fleeing it half-alive. I just hope things don't end up in a repeat of the last time I fought here...
Still not over your daddy worship, eh Shon?
Meanwhile, Corben and Storm are scouting ahead. I like these little vignettes with the other members of the party. MK404 also tried to get other characters involved in the story besides the main protagonist, but the difference is that Blazer's characters actually do stuff pertaining to their role in the story, rather than just talking.
: Stay still and out of sight.
Meet Seigram, of the silly name. He doesn't have any funny verbal tics, so I don't like him.
: Yes, Captain Seigram. The rest of the tribe will be fighting alongside us. Furthermore, we have Lorraine guarding the passage through the Focal Mountains. Should we be defeated and forced to retreat, they will...
: We will not be defeated! We will not retreat! What's more important, our honor or our lives? I would rather keep both and annihilate this rebellion!
: Y-Yes, Captain Seigram. Orders, sir?
: Have the Atheyans attack first. They'll prove good bait. Then, we Yulian knights can attack while our enemy is preoccupied with our distraction. Won't Count Pellenore be glad to minimize our casualties like so?
: Of course, Sir. Who should lead the attack with the Atheyans?
: The real chief of Taos was killed by his own tribe, and now nothing but some brute warrior leads his little savages in battle. And these Atheyans are as stubborn as mules and dense as rocks. Even if we gave them orders, they wouldn't even understand. However... they shall make a perfect shield. When we charge, ensure that they are all in front of our soldiers.
: Quiet! I am Seigram, Blood Knight of Yulia! Would you doubt my strategy?
: Never, Captain! I-it didn't even cross my mind!
This soldier, on the other hand, I love, just because you can feel the sarcasm in his words.
: Good! Otherwise, I'd have to kill you myself. Count Pellenore doesn't accept those who doubt. I swear by my sword, we'll not be defeated!
: They don't look like the Magnians we fought before.
: No, their horses are different, and they're not wearing armor...
: No, it can't be...The Taos warriors are here...! We have to warn Siegfried!
As I said, I like the side characters. The main characters thus far are an idiotic jerk, a spineless twerp, and a guy trying too hard to be cool, but the supporting cast is pretty interesting.
: What is it?
: Storm and I were scouting out a path ahead and we noticed a Magnian regiment. But the Magnians had some of the Taos nomads fighting alongside them.
: Why are the Taos here? If anything, the remnants of their tribe should be fighting Chief Haas... I know they are large in number, but this is uncalled for...
: Perhaps they still think that they can win, with Magnus's help... Not only that, but there's something that's been bothering me... I think the nomads have poisoned some of their weapons. I could smell it, even from a distance...
: Well, we'll have to do our best to not get hit. Let's just finish this quick. Everyone, battle formation!
And we find ourselves at our first prep screen. Still no merchant, but we can at least swap stuff around now.
Our army's fully deployed, so there's no issue there. In future updates, I'll probably be deploying troops at my own discretion.
Taking a look at the map, we can immediately see a problem with our starting position. We'll have to tread lightly and thin out those nomads before we can send most of our guys forward.
Note also the areas I highlighted in red. These are hidden objectives in the chapter. In order to reach the optional chapter, 7x, we need to win in 17 turns and visit every house. Or perhaps not, since this gaiden requirement is bugged. More on that later.
So where does the red square in the bottom right factor into all this? That's...something different. You'll see.
As mentioned, the new chief of the Taos is also going to be fighting today. That's right, this chapter has two bosses. The other one, of course, is Seigram himself.
Not bad. Not bad at all. This boss will be a pain for all but a select few members of our army. Inanna isn't one of those select few.
Also, there's a troubadour on the map with a
Sudden recruitment theme!
: Sorry to intrude, but... I was hoping I could join the rebellion...
: Hm? A young girl... Why would you wish to join us in battle?
: I'm a mage, silly! And I want to fight, why else?
: We're not studying library books. People's lives are on the line.
: Don't worry, I'll roast the enemies with my magic! Trust me! I'm prepared to join. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be here.
: Heh... You're quite the perky lass. But I suppose there's no harm in your inclusion. Welcome to Solum's Rebellion, Cia. We're in the midst of a battle, so I hope you're ready.
: I'm as ready as ever! I won't let you down, Sir Siegfried!
I don't know. This girl seems just a little too happy about the prospect of cooking people alive.
: That is so. We're quite rag-tag--perhaps that's what brings people to us? To be honest, not everyone here is experienced in fighting... While we do attract quite a variety, only a few of us actually have the skill to fight on the front lines, in major battles like these.
: Yeah, I think you're right. It's quite odd... I mean, I never knew these people before, yet... I feel close to them.
Show, don't tell, Blazer! If you want to demonstrate how close Shon is to the army, have him chum it up with them every now and then.
: Our army is pretty small, so we know each other better. Remember when it was just us and Corben? It was such a short while ago, but it feels like years. I feel quite close to everyone as well, son.
: Yeah. I'm starting to feel older, too... This is war, isn't it?
: Yes. But be sure not to push yourself too much, Shon. You may be growing into a fine adult, but you are still a boy. Enjoy your youth while you can.
: Because always being called "the rebellion" is just silly. We have to stand for something more than just fighting against Magnus.
: Hmm... "Solum's Rebellion"... It sounds a little arrogant, like we're the only rebellion across the entire continent of Solum...
: I wouldn't be surprised if that were true, Shon. Blaine may still be in this fight, but Magnus has won the others. It's true that we've helped Atheya, but its too late for it to be unified. The land of eternal winters, Alicia, has been seized by Magnus as well, and we know all too well just why we're going to Valencia...
: When you put it that way... I guess this really is the continent's only rebellion... And we do have a rather diverse group of people from all over. Heh, sorry I doubted you, Father.
: It's quite alright. But now... Solum's Rebellion versus Taos and the Empire...Who will come out on top?
: Only one way to find out!
Player Phase (this one might seem a little familiar):
Cia's bases are quite good for a Level 1 character. Her HP's a little questionable, but you may have already noticed a means by which we can fix that.
And as Storm said, a lot of the enemies are armed with poison weapons. The good news is that those do little damage. The bad news is that we don't have Antitoxin or Restore staves.
First things first. Let's get a defensive position up with Javelins. These nomads will be much easier to deal with when they've been softened a tad.
Of course, that does mean inviting poison on ourselves, but what can you do? It's not like it's exactly the most dangerous thing.
All the countering brings Kevin a little more power. Not really what I was hoping for.
You can see my gripe with Cia's HP. She's got decent defense to start with, but she can't take more than two hits comfortably.
Also, that Nomad Trooper boss has a Longbow, so he's guaranteed to move from the start.
Honestly, not as big a problem as it sounds.
And the poison damage commences. Joy.
See, the boss isn't really that awesome. In fact, he's a bit of a pushover.
Good source of experience though, what with being a promoted boss and all.
No reason why we can't take advantage of that. Siegfried's experience was near-empty before killing him.
And the Angelic Robe the boss was holding is now ours. They only raise your HP by 5 in this hack, not 7, but it's still okay.
It says a lot about that extra 10 experience per cast when Tamiko is easily outleveling everyone else.
This enemy phase, the fun happens.
For a certain interpretation of the word.
Seriously, all the rolls this phase went completely dry. How do you even miss a 70% strength and 90% skill growth?
I mean, I know it's all random numbers, but this is just...
...I don't even know.
And the poison damage just adds insult to injury.
Oh well, guess we just bump right back at them.
This guy. This freakin' guy killed two of my attempts at this map. This game didn't want me to complete this map, and if something could go wrong...
But that's fine. I'm a patient man.
Pretty much have to be patient in this line of work.
Thought we were done with this idea in Chapter 4? Not a chance.
Good thing that Poison Bows have very low might.
Look who decided to make a try for us.
Heh, no. Even my luck has its limits.
We've got nomads coming from the top of the map, but they're easily kept down.
Easiest status staff I've ever nabbed, and the best part is that it rejuvenates its uses when we get it.
Not a bad level either. Keep pumping that crit, my friend.
While everyone else is actually doing stuff, Shon's gone down to this little patch of land completely divorced from the action. Why would we do such an inane thing?
Why, secrets, of course.
: I mean, people are paying me to babysit their little children... But honestly, nothing ever happens! It's just vile. Very, very, very vile.
: I see. You know, the rebellion is around here. They should be engaging Magnus right about now...
: You already told me that. That's why we're here, man. I'm going to join, have some fun, and see what happens. I gotta spread my benevolence all over, you know? Can't keep it in one place or it goes to waste, right?
: Yup, that sounds like quite an idea there.
: You bet! It's time for the benevolent mercenary Noah to show his greatness!
I'm glad that they decided to discuss the thing that they already agreed on.
Noah here will automatically run over to Shon and recruit himself, or we can bring Shuuda over. It seems like a lot of Blazer's secrets require the player to investigate anything out of the ordinary, and I guess I'm okay with that.
More reinforcements to stomp. Hooray!
You can say one thing for the Magnian army: at least they're equal-opportunity.
Okay, Inanna! Do your thing!
That's not your thing.
Let's get this recruitment thing going. Same theme as before.
: Stay back!
: Woah, woah, little man. I'm on your side.
: I'm a mercenary. I want to join the rebellion.
: ...What's the catch?
: Well aren't you the smart one? I'm looking for a good fight. I'm not worried about pay until I show you what I'm worth.
: Sounds good enough. If you betray us, you're a dead man. Be warned.
Shon's picked up his father's flair for diplomacy, I see. As I mentioned, Shuuda can also recruit Noah. Have a look-see.
: Hey, you!
: What? Who are you? You look like a mercenary.
: A good eye. I am a mercenary.
: ...Mercenaries can tell what mercenaries look like, I suppose.
: I see.
: You have some business? It's not typical to chat during battle.
: Oh, yeah. I wish to take part in your little rebellion.
: I see. The commander probably won't care, as long as you're honorable. Price?
: I'll wait for that until the time comes.
: Fair enough... wages can wait until after we beat Magnus. Welcome, uh...
: Noah. Noah, the benevolent mercenary. Don't forget it!
These are okay bases, I guess, but they're very much a prepromote's bases.
Also, say hi to our only axe user for all of Act 1. Blazer doesn't seem to be very fond of them.
I hope you don't mind if I cut the houses. Most of them are kinda dull and fairly longwinded, and they don't give us anything.
Although this one did make me chuckle the first time.
Get that thing out of here.
Finally getting some use out of that 65%, are we?
And Cia's first level is...
Well, if you had to pick one stat...
More visitations, but with the Lancereaver equipped.
For obvious reasons.
Inanna's reached the ideal level of speed where being slowed down a slight bit matters not a whit.
And she's only getting better. A little on the fragile side, but she IS a Pegasus Knight.
Gee, a lance useful against cavaliers. I wonder who that might have been useful for fighting, Past Me.
Jeez, I wonder what I'm thinking sometimes.
In lieu of any sort of weapon that would be effective against Seigram, I'm having Noah get into position to pelt him with hand axes.
You're lucky that your prior levels were so good, Shuuda.
Well, you're stupid.
I said I wouldn't show these off, but there is one special character in one of the houses. She's the Real Estate Lady, and her schtick is that she moves a lot. That's comedy, all right.
Another thing: Noah's partner there is an allied unit with a droppable Iron Blade. How, precisely, does that work?
Not very well, apparently. If there's a way to actually grab that, I'd love to know.
In the meantime, Noah gets his revenge...
Tamiko earns a spot of redemption...
And there's only one person who could possibly bring this home.
That's right, Arthur.
Drink it in, folks.
So as I mentioned before, there's a problem with the gaiden requirement for this chapter. You see, the check for whether we met the requirement is searching for whether an event ID was triggered for each house. If they all trigger, we get the gaiden.
One of the houses doesn't have an event ID. I had to actually flip the switch in the game's code manually to get it to recognize it. Good job, Blazer.
(After the battle)
: Father, I'm worried. Their leader seemed so vicious...
: Yeah, he acted as if though Magnus had succeeded, and they won... Yet most of them were defeated, and the rest taken prisoner.
: It's really odd. The Taos tribesmen were arrogant and thought they would easily kill us all, yet the Magnian soldiers seemed prepared for defeat.
: Perhaps that's just how they are.
: If there's opposition, we'll do what we have to in order to triumph. Even if that means killing more people... We won't hold back.
Well, we've gotten this far by killing indiscriminately. Why stop now?
If we met the gaiden requirement, there's this extra snatch of dialogue.
: Dad, I've found another route! See this pass on the map... we could go straight through the Focal Mountains. It would be much faster than going our previous route around it.
: Very good work, Shon. This is definitely a more efficient path. Soldiers and rebels! We've a change of plans! We're heading west, then southwest, through a path in the Focal Mountains!
Next Time: A nice, slow, peaceful slog through the rain. What could be more pleasant?
Weapon Ranks: D in anima magic
HP: 16 (55%) Lck: 7 (45%)
Mag: 7 (50%) Def: 4 (15%)
Skl: 5 (40%) Res: 5 (35%)
Spd: 9 (65%) Con: 5
Much like Shuuda, Cia is a magic user heavily on the attacking side and not so much on the defending end. She'll be able to just fire out spell after spell, but don't expect her to be able to receive hits in return.
Weapon Ranks: B in swords and axes
HP: 29 (110%) Lck: 13 (40%)
Str: 12 (60%) Def: 13 (30%)
Skl: 16 (45%) Res: 7 (25%)
Spd: 15 (45%) Con: 10
Growth-wise, Noah is better than Shuuda in almost everything. This is probably intended to make up for the larger number of levels that Shuuda has on Noah. Regardless, he's a very solid character for this stage of the game, and has the ability to sustain his position in the team if he gets lucky.