This is such a misleading title.
: This fortress was built to guard Yulia from Magnus. Now it's just here to slow us down...
: This isn't good. I doubt we can just bypass here, but attacking is going to cost us valuable time and soldiers.
: Anakin, this is the final line of defense for Yulia, correct?
: Well, you took a very... unique route to get here. Coming from the north and then traveling west around Yulia... You managed to avoid the heart of Valencia, really, so yeah. After you take this, it should be an easy path back north to Yulia.
: So if we seized this fortress... We could use it as a staging area for the attack on Yulia.
: That is correct. And if the initial strike on the castle fails, we would be able to retreat here and fortify our position. Now, I think the best plan to take this fort is-
: Yeah, that's our plan. It hasn't failed us yet.
Besides, if we tried to do a sneaky assault, it'd be something like that prison stealth mission in FE9, and I don't think we want to see Blazer try one of those.
: Anakin, I want you to take Ace and Eduardo and go to Regalia. It's the most isolated city, and thus the farthest from Magnus. In other words, Magnian occupational forces should be much weaker. There, I want you to recruit new fighters to our cause. Despite your appearances, you speak with dignity, and I can see a lot of potential in you--both in mind and body. I know that you can be successful if you put yourself to it.
: Father, is this really the smartest thing to do? If we lose soldiers we just gained... We'll be much worse off for this fight.
: He does have a point. It would be better to wait until after the gate is taken.
: No, we can't do that. You have to already be out of here by the time we take the gate. Currently the Magnians in this region only view us as a minor nuisance. Taking this gate will likely get Magnus off its feet and on our tail. You must make way to Regalia before that happens, my friend. Once we conquer the gate the Magnian Army will crack down on the civilians, and they will get rid of any potential opposition. Once they see us as a threat, they'll take much stronger measures. If that happens, you will never make it through without being imprisoned.
: Tsk...Alright. I'll take Ace, Eduardo, and some others with me to Regalia. We'll evade the Magnians and get people to join our cause. It'll be my own little mission... that sound okay, Sir Siegfried?
: Yes. I'm trusting you with this and know you can handle it. And I believe a man of your speaking talent is ideal to put at the lead of a recruitment operation.
: Heh... Alright then. I'll be off. Best of luck to you.
So as I said, Anakin, Ace and Eduardo haven't even been a chapter in our party before they leave. Good thing we stole their gear.
As can be seen, this chapter involves traversing a mountain in perhaps the longest way possible. We could just fly units over, but there are archers in the way. There's also one last gimmick that'll stretch out this map even farther, and we'll see that shortly.
This Liquid fellow is a bit intimidating, but he's highly susceptible to magic. Theoretically, we could use our Paralyze staff to lock him down and then nuke him with Arthur and Cia, but there's another way to get rid of him.
As we begin the fight, an old friend comes in to chat.
: Haas? How did you make it here so quickly?
: Well, the Atheyan front has ended wonderfully. We were able to halt Magnian forces and make Taos and Kashaya surrender. Now, our lives are yours to command.
: Thank you. If I may ask, where are your men?
: Half of my warriors are keeping order in Atheya, and the rest are close by, preventing reinforcements. I hope you are pleased?
: That's excellent, Haas. Our combined forces will easily overwhelm the enemy.
: And one more thing...
: I had been planning to come here to fight earlier, but the Taos tribe delayed my progress more than I expected. However, with your help at the battle on the border, I was finally able to put an end to their interference. Now I, too, shall put my life on the line for this cause.
: Your help would be greatly appreciated, Chief Haas. On behalf of Solum's Rebellion, we grant you a warm welcome. You are a friend, leader, and warrior of great honor, and I feel at ease knowing that you will be here to aid us.
: Thank you. I hope I do not let you down.
: We should advance fast while the rain does not impede us.
: Oh, you're right. I hadn't noticed myself. Let us press on, then!
I've got a bad feeling about this.
Well, the rest of Act 1 just got invalidated. Haas is your panic button for this map and the next, so I try to not use him if I can help it. Same with Noah, really.
While everyone else is going the long way, Inanna's going to be clearing out the brigands on the mountain, using the Axereaver.
Enemy phase, a conversation takes place.
: Looks like everything is moving in plan. Heh heh...
: Count Pelleno'...you leavin' so soon?
: Yes, Liquid. Siegfried's rebels are coming rather fast. It'd be a real shame if I were to die here.
Whoa! What the...
Yes, for whatever reason, Liquid here has two portraits, and the second is just freakin' ridiculous.
: That's how it's going. Now that you know, what shall you do, Liquid? Remember, I saved you from those bandits. Your father... What an atrocious man, no? Anyway, just consider this part of paying back that debt, Liquid.
: Oh... Okay...Ngh...
: Ah, but still, try your hardest out there. If you can stop our enemy's march, you will be out of debt.
: Out o' debt...
: Yes, Liquid. Oh, and all those villages your father plundered... I'll restore them to their former glory for you... In the name of Liquid!
: Golly, that'd be wonderful.
: Count Pellenore, I'll stop em'! All of em' will be destroyed!
: Heh heh... Well then, I'm returning to Yulia. Just take em' out and come back for your prize!
Have you figured out the secret way of getting rid of him yet?
You're kidding me.
Althares is taking our new sword for a spin. It's quite good for him, since the extra damage serves him well.
Arthur missed once, too.
This nonsense again?
Bring on the rain. It's not like it's taking too long to get around this mountain anyway.
I hope you don't mind me cutting most of the travel and fighting. None of the enemies are especially dangerous, and because of the rain, they tend to come one at a time. Exciting.
This level though? Pretty awesome!
Here too, though I wish he'd gain some strength.
Start of enemy phase reinforcements. Thanks, Blazer.
There's a house here, but, well...
It's not very informative.
Nor is the armory's selection that great, though having a bow for Storm that isn't unique and precious is always good.
Thank goodness for something other than skill finally.
Rain goes off. Don't get used to it.
At this point, I decided to use Haas as a body block, but there's a problem with that.
Specifically, most of these units have ranged options.
Looks like I may have healed too quickly. Oh well, once the rings start dropping, she'll be ready.
Rain on! Joy of joys.
Look at us. We're halfway there.
It's kind of dull, actually.
: It's a shame our Count will allow this corruption with warfare. If he had worked together with the rest of Valencia, instead of selling out and abandoning his fellow territories, Magnus might have never been able to conquer Valencia the way it has. If he can be stopped, I believe Solum's Rebellion can do it. In fact, this whole village... we've all made a new resolve. We will help the rebellion in anyway possible, for the sake of everlasting peace. Please, take this payment... Make use of it. End Count Pellenore's tyrannical reign for us.
That's a lot of words to say, "Here, have some money."
Ooh, poison weapons. The extra five seconds at the start of every turn would have been even more fun.
Excellent! Let's get this man assassinating.
This is just getting old.
Magic shop! A new powerful tome for Arthur is always great.
Hey, are you guys ready for disappointment?
How do you even miss those growths? Twice, even.
Having finished off the brigands, Inanna sets her sight on clearing out the area around the castle.
Keep this pace up, girl!
Having run out of Axereaver, Inanna has to go for the more risky weapons. She's still good for them.
Hmm...let's keep going until we absolutely have to promote. I was going to do it at Level 15, but perhaps there's potential.
Before we can reach Liquid, we've got a Warrior to deal with.
Not really that imposing of a one. Even Inanna can deal with him.
The first time I figured this one out, I was just sending in Haas to soften Liquid up.
: Yes, I recognize you.
: I never thanked you. So, how shall I repay you?
: When ye're finished with these guys...take out my pa. It'll end the sufferin' of many.
: So you...plan to die here?
: I...don't have no choice.
: You can still escape this battle! I can help you, consider it-
: No, I owe my debts, an' I gotta pay 'em back.
Thought that was a lot of words? Well, we're just getting started.
: But... my pa's crimes... An' I still got debts to pay to Pellenore.
: I don't care what you say, Chief! If you defeat me, I...I won' hold a grudge. But otherwise, I have to...
: Liquid... You and your father are very different people. You're a good person who cares about others... There is no reason for you to atone for your father's sins.
: But I owe the Count, and he promised me that...
: I don't know what promise you speak of, however... These people are tainted by Magnus's ways. They're only using you.
: An' how I know you ain't usin' me too, Chief?
: ...I owe you for everything you have done to help the Phora. My repayment is helping you escape the grasp of Magnus.
: I am right! Now go, escape! If you go now, you won't be caught!
: Chief Haas, I... I never been meant for this to happ'n. You... showed mercy towards me, an enemy. Thank you.
: Liquid... you're a good person, and yet... You've simply been following the wrong path. I can only hope it doesn't continue. Take care... Liquid.
And Liquid just flees the battle. I don't know how you'd know that you needed to attack him with Haas in particular, but as I said, I happened on it completely by accident, so it's possible that someone could consider using him to wear Liquid down and then have that occur. Always a possibility.
This guy's going to cap his speed easily before he hits Level 20.
And boy, am I glad to see the end of this one. What a dull concept for a map.
: How were you able to persuade their leader to flee the battle? What kind of relation do you have with a Magnian commander...?
: ...His name was Liquid. Son of the leader of a well-known group of bandits. He... he hated the life of a bandit. One day, he appeared to our tribe, and we accepted him as our own, as a brother. He spent his days aiding us by fighting off thieves and brigands. But one day...he suddenly disappeared. He came here. He said he had debts to repay...
: Is that so...
: I tried to persuade him to stop, yet... He was hesitant, and fearful of what would happen if he betrayed the person he was indebted to. I owed him, for everything he had done to help my tribe, and so I told him to escape. I don't know where he is now, but I hope he is alive...
: I too hope he lived. I don't wish to kill innocents.
: Liquid... he's gone through a lot in his life. Everyone deserves a chance at having mercy, Siegfried.
: Even the Generals of Magnus? You're wrong, Haas. Not everyone.
: No, Siegfried... I'm afraid that you are wrong. It is those kinds of feelings that lead to war. So long as people don't attempt to truly understand one another, war will thrive. If we judge their actions based off of their actions alone, then we're no better than any of the Magnians... Even the Atheyan tribes and the rebels are at fault for war. We all are.
I like Haas's characterization, really. He's patient, understanding, tries for the diplomatic solution, and overall seems like a man actually qualified to be a leader. Yet another character I've rather see as the protagonist instead of Sieg here.
Oh, and if you kill Liquid, there's obviously a different dialogue:
: Haas... did you know that boy? Their leader?
: His name was Liquid. Son of the leader of a well-known group of bandits. He... he hated the life of a bandit. One day, he appeared to our tribe, and we accepted him as our own, as a brother. He spent his days aiding us by fighting off thieves and brigands. But one day... he suddenly disappeared. So this is where he came...
: Is that so...
: We won this battle, but at the cost of a valiant and devoted youth. He should've led a long and fulfilling life, however... Destiny would not have it that way. If we were not enemies today...
: I'm sorry, Chief...If only we could have chosen...
: You're right Siegfried... Please excuse me. Liquid... needs a proper burial.
Depressing. Good thing we saved him, right? That means that he'll show up later. Will we want him in the party when he does? Well...let's just wait and see.
Next Time: The Act 1 finale, and there's a hidden victory condition. Would you expect anything less?
Class: Nomad Trooper
Weapon Ranks: B in swords, A in bows
HP: 48 (110%) Lck: 20 (35%)
Str: 17 (40%) Def: 15 (20%)
Skl: 15 (25%) Res: 10 (20%)
Spd: 15 (25%) Con: 12
Outstanding! Haas is a prepromote in the traditional sense when it comes to growths, but just look at those bases. He's strong enough to deal with a number of things that come his way, but his use will taper off as the game progresses. But that's fine, since we'll have more prepromotes by then.