We've reached the end of the first act of the game. And appropriately, it's time for a lot of talking.
: Yes. Being here brings back so many memories. Both good and bad.
: How ironic. When I was a child I could have never envisioned I...I would be approaching Yulia with hopes of conquering it.
: Father, you were a knight of Regalia weren't you?
: Yes, but as I told you before, I was born in Yulia. I transferred to Regalia when I was older... I remember the day I was to be knighted... It was in this area... The path my father led me down to my trials.
: My grandfather?
: What kind of man was he?
The kind that doesn't appear in this game.
: He was brave and kind. He had given his body and soul to this nation. He was a true knight, much unlike me.
: Father! Don't say that! You have given your life to something greater than a country. You fight for people's freedom! On all of Solum!
: Shon... Thank you. You have really grown through these experiences. Before we embarked on this journey you were a boy... But now you are a man. In fact... Shon, let this battle be your test. If we are victorious, you will have proven your worth...As a knight.
This is a hint about this map's hidden condition. As you might expect, whiny boy here takes center stage.
But enough about them. Let's check in with our villains.
: We do not have much time to meet with their impending challenge!
: A failure 'til the end.
: How should we meet with the rebels?
: Urgh... General Howard has not returned from Aegis, however... He should arrive in a few hours with a good part of his legion of men. So have all troops deploy. I'll guard the gate myself.
: Milord, if you were to fall, who will rule-
: I'm your leader, do not question me! I really wouldn't mind dying, as long as I see that man... Siegfried, die with me! Now follow your orders!
: Yes, Sir.
: This is our last hope. I wonder... should I have defected to Magnus? Hm...No, I must not speak that way! This will give me the chance for revenge! Ah yes, Siegfried... He is a miserable dastard! He must die! Even if it costs me my life, I'll get my revenge!
Suddenly, a secret character appears.
: Look at everything you've obtained from Magnus. Wealth, power, and much more. You shall claim revenge on Siegfried, and soon after...all of Valencia shall be yours.
: What? All... all of Valencia? Yet Count Perry of Devisio...We've formed an alliance with Devisio. Yulia and Devisio are to have split dominance over Valencia.
: Count Perry is not needed...we shall dispose of him.
: That isn't what we agreed on! I cannot murder my compatriot! This is not acceptable!
: Oh? Yet what of Aegis?
: Neither of us care for that! The damned place can burn to ash!
: If that is what you will, then Count Perry shall live. We shall... find a purpose for him to warrant life.
I like how Pellenore is characterized. He seems very loyal to his friends, but incredibly vengeful towards people that offend him. He's obviously a villain, but at the same time, he's got traits that humanize him a little.
: ...I am fearful that Siegfried's rabble may break through our lines. They've taken down Atheya's occupational forces and now... They've even passed through our defenses. The knights I sent are scattered and routed. When are General Howard's soldiers arriving?!
Shocker! It's that guy...that guy...you know, the one who...back in Chapter 4...Okay, he's not that memorable.
: Your soldiers are to distract the enemies, drawing them closer to the castle. General Howard will come from the south by this afternoon. He'll take his soldiers and attack their weak spot for massive damage. They'll be surrounded and completely destroyed. I assure you, there will be no flaws.
Ah, tired internet memes. Believe it or not, this won't be the last time we encounter one of these.
: You are sure this will work? Because if it doesn't...I fear the worst.
: Count Pellenore, there will be no mistakes. Siegfried will die, and the rebellion crushed. In any case, this matter is not what I have been charged with, so I'm afraid I can't help you, Count Pellenore. But just remember this: Victory is only a breath away.
: Still... that boy...He's so... strange. His presence alone makes me want to drop to my knees... tsk...I can practically feel the ether around him...
Ah, that would explain it. You really shouldn't inhale too much of that stuff. It'll knock you right out.
Map time! As you can see, we've got everyone out for this chapter. Not one person is sitting out for this festive occasion, unless you want them to. What that means in general terms is that we've got two overpowered prepromotes (for this part of the game) who can pretty much solo the map by themselves. But there wouldn't be much experience in that.
Pellenore's got a decent setup here and he's flanked by two decently strong generals. He is, however, quite susceptible to magic, and he's not fast enough to really be able to compete.
Oh, and did you know that you can check shops from the prep screen?
Doing so, we discover that Blazer's given us a means by which we can spend our money. It's all going away after this chapter, so we might as well invest it in a resource that lasts: stats.
And you know that we weren't getting away without one of these sequences.
(Siegfried addresses the troops)
: Count Pellenore himself is said to guard Yulia Castle's gate. I've known him for many years, so let me tell you this: He is a more cruel and determined man than any we have faced in battle thus far. Despite being its ruler, he has sided with the Empire, and I cannot forgive him. Resistance will be fierce, but I'm not stepping back. However, if anyone else wishes to leave, do it now!
: We've all gone too far to just quit!
And now, the customary pithy sayings. Starting from the top!
: I'll be by your side, sir.
: There will be injuries. I shall remain to heal those in need.
: You paid our wages, thus we stay.
: Of course. I will not abandon my employer, regardless of the situation!
: ...There's no where else for me to go... I'll stay till' death.
: Heheh... I'm pretty confident my magic will come in handy here.
: If Chief Haas bids me to stay, then I stay. My Phoran shooting technique will pierce these guys like lightning!
: I have to stay. I can't abandon my friends.
: Siegfried, you have come so far. I just want you to know, I've got your back!
: You've come a long way, Commander Sieg. Oh, by the way, I have to go somewhere once we seize the gate... But it's not like I'm much of a fighter anyway, right?
Don't sell yourself short, kid.
: This is the most fun I've had in a long while. Count me in!
: I see that my companions...No, my family, have their minds set. I'm quite pleased.
Yes, loyal. Loyal...and expendable.
As this is a final chapter of sorts, it's time for an appropriate selection.
Check out this mage right in front of the group. He's got a renamed Bolting, and he didn't think to start somewhere where we can't just waste him in turn one?
Like so. This is the last chapter for Inanna as a Pegasus Knight, so we're going to need to beef her up as much as possible.
Or we could just hold off on the promotion and do it when she rejoins, since there'll be new promotion items then. But that's a waste of a Whip.
Shon, you may be on the road to becoming a man, but you can't hit worth beans.
End of first turn, and we're already practically on Pellenore's doorstep. This is a quick map.
Hello. What do we have here?
+10 Might and 20 Crit? Blazer, you may not know how to write, but you know how to make weapons worth using. Too bad we can't grab this, but only Noah could use it anyway.
It's the final battle for all these weapons. Nothing's being held back.
Except Shon, but that isn't news.
It's a tank on hooves! That's why I like Corben.
Lotta good those knights did you, eh?
I think they helped me more than you.
Noah and Haas aren't getting much use in this map, but they're excellent loggers.
These shamans aren't half as annoying as the ones in 5x. That's partly because there's only two of them, but also...
We're a lot stronger.
This warrior is hardly an issue. With Althares, the only way he could lay a hand on him is if...
The game hates me.
But we shouldn't let that get us down. It's shopping time.
We pick up three, and I've got an idea of who needs them.
Cia for one, but she seems to be doing okay for herself.
Lady, if Kevin is doubling you, that tome might be too heavy.
Well, it's strength.
Blazer's not content to just stick with the tried and true weapons. This one, for instance, is a middle ground between Steel and Silver, giving sword fighters something they can use until they hit their A Rank.
You ready guys? It's time for a recurring character!
Yes, it's this wailing harpy again, having bought yet another house in the middle of a war zone. I don't know, there's just something about this lady that I don't like.
For one thing, a mortgage is a loan paid off in multiple installments. I get what Blazer's trying to say here, but he could have definitely worded it better.
The droppable items in this map are just off the charts in how useless they are.
Here's a fascinating item: a Brave anima tome.
Just uses the Fire animation, but a tome that hits twice is an interesting idea. And it's not even the most fascinating of Blazer's new weapons.
But not before we net our future assassin a bit more power. He won't need it if he's insta-killing people, but it never hurts.
Right, Cia, let's make you stupid.
And speaking of that, what do you have for us, Inanna?
Shuuda, you're tough, but you can't take a hit. Put on a robe, son.
And Shon, you need all the help you can get.
These generals are ridiculous experience for Siegfried. Just one fight alone gave him a quarter of a level.
The only reinforcements on this map are these cavaliers, and they make for fun punching bags.
Valuable ones at that.
Seeing as it's the end of Act 1 and all, why save our Paralyze staff? It's better served turning this general into a helpless target.
Siegfried certainly doesn't mind.
And cia certainly approves of her 30+ HP.
Why not snag some more while we're at it?
But enough fooling around. We've got a dude to deal with.
: Ah, Siegfried! It's been such a long time, eh?
: That's enough of the pleasantries. You're a reasonable man. Drop your weapons and call off the attack.
: Ha, why should I? Everything is falling in place so well. After all, we of Yulia always... desired more. Aegis and Regalia treated us as inferiors, and tore apart our ideals. How could you, the formerly esteemed Knight Commander of Regalia, known for your ideals, advocate this?!
: Is... is this what this is all about? I knew you held a grudge against me back then. And yet even after what happened, you still...
: Why, of course. You're guilty of crimes against Yulia and all of Valencia! I, Pellenore, will avenge my land!
: You've said far too much now. ...It's time that I get MY vengeance!
As Siegfried shows Pellenore what for, I should mention that there are two others who also get lines with the dear Count.
(Althares vs. Pellenore)
: You! You're part of that gang...
: The Legend Mercenaries? It has a name, after all.
: You've caused a lot of trouble for me... I'm sure you're aware.
: You've only to blame yourself for your hardships. I hate traitors like you.
: You dare speak to me like that? Do you know who I am?! I am Count Pellenore! You cannot defeat me! You have no chance! NO CHANCE!
(Haas vs. Pellenore)
: Count Pellenore. We finally meet.
: And you are, you insolent fool?
: Chief Haas, of the Phora.
: You... You're the same type of man as Siegfried! I won't let you live!
Yeah, Pellenore's a little nuts.
Doesn't matter if you can go fast if you can't hurt anybody.
Shuuda's sitting pretty on 30 HP himself. Always handy.
Sorry, I meant 31, because he filled the entire left column. That's our Shuuda!
You can try.
And that's it for the Generals.
Looking back, I realize that I could have probably grinded out the remainder of the levels by attacking Pellenore and letting him heal up, but I decided that this level was probably enough.
Besides, it's time for Shon to fulfill another part of his destiny.
: So you're Siegfried's son...
: You... you don't have to do this!
: You wouldn't know... But I do have to do this. Vengeance... I will obtain it, even at the cost of my life!
: Curse you... and your son... Siegfried... you... bastard...
Well, at any rate, he's gaining strength.
Soloing the Prologue and finishing off Pellenore are the hardest parts of Shon's sidequest. The last requirement will be a lot easier, assuming he levels okay.
At any rate, it's time to promote.
I'm always surprised about FE7's promotion gains. They're not bad, but they're not exceptional either. Inanna's going to have a rough time ahead of her in regards to defensive stats, and she's probably not going to come close to capping her stuff. This might present an issue for her, going further.
Selling all my stuff for another Angelic Robe...
And Act 1 is over.
: Yeah... I know what you mean. It's that hollow feeling... like we haven't really won...
: Well, regardless, you've done well, Shon. You even had the finishing blow on Count Pellenore... You've really matured as a fighter and as a man. You are no longer my apprentice, you are my peer... Sir Shon.
: Father, I'm still your kid... You... don't have to call me that... It's not like it's going to help us restore Valencia, right?
: Shon... is that your dream?
: Well, yeah. It might be a long shot, but...
: It is a noble one indeed. However you'll find that it won't be that easy.
I'll be showing the ending for if you don't finish Pellenore in a separate update. It's more than just altered dialogue, let me tell you that.
: I don't think I can do it alone, but...That's what friends are for, right? And even then, that's why I have to get stronger. I need more strength... enough that I can do what I need to do, without anyone stopping me, or getting in my way.
: Ah... but before you can make positive changes to the world... You have to reverse all of the negative changes.
: Once we fulfill that goal you can work on yours.
: Alright. And in the mean time, I'll get even stronger... I'll prove my worth, as the son of the man who took back Yulia.
Suddenly, Howard happens.
: ...Count Pellenore... it appears you have failed...
: What?! Who are you?
: I am called... Howard, General of Magnus. You must be Commander Siegfried...
: Hmph, one of Magnus's tools, eh? This battle is over. Retreat your men.
: ...Such small numbers conquering so much... His Majesty, the Emperor, wishes for you to be disposed of. But...you look exhausted. It is dishonorable to fight a weakened foe...
: General, do you truly believe that any of this is honorable?! Look around at what your empire has done! Invading and destroying lands, killing innocent people and treating non-Magnians like trash! Would a true knight advocate this murder?
: ...I do as His will desires...
: So you just listen to your Emperor without ever thinking for yourself? That's... ridiculous. How could you be so irresponsible?
: Shon, stay out of this. This man is dangerous!
That mean poopyface!
Howard doesn't even strike back. He's just awestruck at the stupidity.
: This is your son, Sir Siegfried? He may be bold, but he's out of his league... Now, if you wish to die, then I will not refuse you...
: Shon! Don't be so reckless! Are you trying to throw away your life?
Uh oh! Mages? If only we had a sword that killed them in one shot.
: Enemy mages just came in from the north! We're completely surrounded!
: No... this can't be. There isn't enough time...! Our best chances are to break through the mages and retreat to Atheya. Okay... Corben, let's make our way to Shuuda and Inanna. They should be nearby.
: Got it.
: Kevin, send the order for a full-scatter of the rebellion. We can't win this battle the way we are now... All we can do is hope to regroup later. You should head for Regalia yourself. Anakin should be there as well. And as soon as you can, I'd like you to send a message to Kelik. Request his help. I'll take the defense of Yulia for now.
: ...Is this for the best? Should we scatter, Magnus can eliminate us easily...
Kevin has a good point, but for some reason, that doesn't happen.
: Kevin, please listen to these orders. I don't know how long I can last in here in this corridor, nor is there enough time to mount a proper defense. Remember Kevin, what I said before this battle? We are all family. I won't allow my family to just die. We'll survive, you'll see. It just takes a little willpower.
: ...Yes, I understand. We'll return for you, Siegfried.
: Looks like this is the end for me...
Hooray! Wait, we're supposed to feel sad about that.
Speaking of Kelik, look who's having a sulk party.
: I was just thinking. And you accidentally called me "Master" again, Levion...
: My apologies. But what is amiss, Kelik?
: Nothing really. I just feel like this war is going to... pick up again, and real soon. Call it a sixth sense.
And he's not the only one worried.
: I thought you were asleep.
: I was. I had a dream... There was a dark cloud gathering over Yulia Castle. I can't help but feel my dream is significant. They've been tellers of good and bad fortune alike in the past...
: You're right. I have that strange feeling in my gut. Something big has just happened...
: ...I hope Commander Siegfried and everyone else are okay...
And since this segment is short enough, let's just lump it in.
: Howard has successfully captured the rebels.
: Oh, so he's proven himself useful once again...
: Even if he is not very strong, he is still smart. And take it as you will, but Count Pellenore was killed. We'll have to keep someone else in charge of Yulia now.
: Hmph. No matter. I shall make arrangements for someone myself. The other Imperial Generals have already been charted off to the islands. Why don't you join them? You need a break, after all.
: If that is your wish, then I shall oblige.
: Good, good. After one month, we shall resume our plans to dominate Blaine. As for Atheya, I wouldn't worry about it anymore, now that the rebels that stirred up trouble there have been defeated. This war shall soon be over, and peace shall finally reign.
: Yes... indeed.
Why yes, that IS another character with someone important in their life. Can you feel the sympathy?
: We are ready to engage the foe on the plateau to the northwest.
: Good. Hold off the enemy as you can, and minimize casualties. Don't take any unnecessary risks, General Zane.
: As you wish...
Okay, that was random. But now...
Corben, Loyal Cavalier: Corben follows his friends and is trapped alongside them. Not once has he regretted his choice to help Siegfried and Shon, rather than save his own skin.
Shon, His Father's Son: Shon was captured by Magnus and imprisoned in Yulia with his father. This new experience proves to be Shon's most trying tribulation yet.
Inanna, Soaring Mercenary: Inanna's loyalty stood strong as she was captured by Magnus. Imprisoned by Yulia, Inanna longs for the return of her dear Pegasus.
Shuuda, Arrogant Swordsman: Shuuda was captured during the last battle. He put up a long fight, but in the end couldn't go on forever. His cell was one filled with foul words and moans of hunger.
Kevin, The Silent Knight: Kevin left to convey the message about their situation to Anakin. Siegfried trusted Kevin with a task best suited to one as quiet yet skilled as himself.
Tamiko, Thoughtful Healer: Tamiko left after the initial capture of Yulia. Although her whereabouts are unknown, she is likely nearby, waiting for the chance to rejoin her captured comrades at Yulia.
Arthur, Valiant Monk: Arthur just barely escaped the final battle. He joined with Chief Haas to retreat back to Atheya, though he hopes to use his magic on the front lines once more.
Storm, The Special Bowman: Storm rode away after the party's final victory-and loss. He continues to perfect his bow-wielding skills while traveling with Chief Haas, knowing he will need them for the future.
Althares, The Enigmatic Thief: Althares vanishes after the battle at Yulia. It's possible he has returned to his group, the Legend Mercenaries.
Noah, Benevolent Mercenary: Amidst the encounter with Howard at Yulia, Noah fled with those others who could. He searches desperately for something to keep himself busy until he can one day rejoin the rebellion.
Cia, Eccentric Mage: Cia scattered with the other rebels after the collision with Howard. Her whereabouts remain unknown.
Haas, the Noble Chief: Haas leads Kevin and his group in the escape of Yulia. After the group scatters, he returns to Atheya, waiting for his chance to once again strike back at Magnus's empire.
Siegfried, Rebellious Knight: Siegfried was captured by the Magnian Army and imprisoned in Yulia with his son. While isolated in his cell, he continues to keep hope in the rest of his comrades, scattered through the continent of Solum.
How I would love to say no.
Next Time: A new main character, a new story.