Part 16: Chapter 13a
Now that we've got Kelik's chapter out of the way, it's time to return to Team Anakin.
Or we can stare at a guy in a big empty field.
: What's changed? What am I waiting for? Soon... I'll return back to the battlefield soon... A coyote must prepare itself before searching for prey...
Meet Asch. You wouldn't know that was his name if you didn't check his character page, since everyone just calls him The Coyote.
I really can't mention enough how empty this whole place is.
: I'm almost there... Just a little further...
: What happened? We weren't supposed to ambush from here!
: They figured me out and tailed me all the way here...
: Then, they're in pursuit of you, coming here?
: That's right. Let Commander Zekiel know and tell any troops in the area to get into position and clear out the enemy.
: I'll sound the battle call, but it'll take time. The Commander is west of here. He assumed everything would work out...
: I'll lead the forces here for the time being, then. Just do what you can, they're coming!
: Yes sir!
This whole conversation is going to seem really weird once we tackle the other end. You'll see what I mean.
: Everyone, let's keep moving forward! Let's find out who their boss is and what's going on! That Logan guy is suspicious, and he looked strong... So be ready for anything!
Oh come now, we're more than ready for...
Looks like we're in for a slow, dull hike.
Our friend Logan gets a bit of a boost when he's not on our side. His strength isn't much, but that hardly matters when he's toting around these suckers.
As opposed to our regular weapons, which we just use for gardening.
All joking aside, the Shadow Sword is quite dangerous, especially since, much like the Flamberge, it's not actually a dark magic sword. And even with the excess weight, Logan's got so much speed that he could actually double some of our folks with it. Nasty.
Honestly, when I said this was the "right" choice, I didn't mean that I felt that you got a better character out of it. Asch's stats are okay, I guess, but when you consider that he only has half the time that a guy like Shuuda has for developing his stats, it doesn't look so great for him.
On the plus side, we get axes in a sane amount of time, rather than having to wait until Chapter 17.
The Chainsaw is a painfully underwhelming novelty. On the plus side, it's got an absurd amount of crit, but on the not-so-positive side, it's as powerful as a Hand Axe.
We'll have time to worry about that later. In the meantime, let's have a look at these two abodes.
: They'd come from the village down south and visit the waterfall. There was an old man, and his two grandkids, a girl and a boy... And you know, they'd rarely ever talk to others, but it did my heart good to see them looking so happy, staring down the waterfall, smiling, and enjoying themselves... I really miss that family now... I wonder what happened... I guess with Magnus expanding its influence more and more, the world is running out of happy people, isn't it?
So that puts this game a bit of a while before FE7, eh? Interesting attempt at merging this game with canon, but I'm not sure it really works for me.
And with a bit of motivation, Karina can take the village too.
: Your radiant dawns,
and cooling nights,
you give us sight,
and make the world so bright,
oh how I love to sing,
of your soothing lights~
: Ah! Did you hear me? Oh, please, don't mind me, I, uh... Could you just take this tome and keep this a secret?
That'd be nicer if Anakin wasn't still an E rank in Light.
: Today might be the day I finally make my move.
Well, I hope SOMEBODY will.
There we go. This map's gimmick is that all the enemies are reinforcements.
Not especially inspiring though. Still, now that they're here, the map can begin in earnest.
Player Phase (for real this time):
Although this is probably a bit overkill.
Our next contestants are cavaliers, and they are...
A little more dangerous. Time to fall back, I'm thinking.
Karina may have low constitution, but that's good for the rescue formula, since it's 20-constitution for female mounted units. She and Inanna are probably the best rescuers right now.
Otherwise, it's time for Kevin to hold the line again, since these units are a bit too tough for the rest of my crew.
But not to worry, Kevin. Backup is on the way.
: What if I am?
: I've heard stories about you. I've even told stories about you. You're strong, aren't you? You're not with Magnus, right? Please, join us! We need someone strong... We need someone with experience, to help the rebellion. Please!
: I'm sorry, but you have the wrong guy. I'm not the type to help a bunch of inexperienced, wannabe rebels. Go find someone else to babysit you runts.
: Urgh... maybe someone else can persuade him...
And I bet we can guess who that someone else is. The general theme of this chapter is going to be people dumping on Anakin, and it gets old fast.
In the meantime, Asch will satisfy himself by stealing my kills.
And wouldn't you know it, here's our font of negativity.
: Are we going to join in?
: Well, I was hoping I wouldn't have to come back here, but...
: Don't want to face that kid again, huh?
: I'm just not a fan of having to babysit little kids...
: Nor am I, but maybe he can help out.
Don't worry if you're confused about this little kid discussion. That's coming up.
: In any case, what's the plan, Kelik?
: Wipe out anyone who looks like an enemy. If you see a drunk-looking guy in blue robes, just ignore him.
: Ouch, didn't that guy have a name? What was it again? Anakid or something?
: Does it really matter? Let's do this.
Like I said, this chapter is just full of jabs at Anakin's expense. Matter of fact, if you have Anakin and Kelik talk:
: You're Kelik, ri-
: Fight now, talk later!
Yeah. In a series where characters pride themselves on having longwinded conversations in the middle of battle, Kelik can't even spare the time for a chat.
As it's plain to see who needs to recruit Asch, it's time for our courier service to take flight once more.
Eduardo can barely put a scratch in the cavaliers, but he can deal with these pirates just fine. I didn't take a look at the numbers, but something about that tells me that the cavs might have their stats or levels set too high for this stage of the game.
As can be seen, our two cocky mercs come with the stuff they picked up in Chapter 12, including the White Gem.
And conveniently, the two stores are right next to their starting location.
But first, let's see what's in the village.
: Oh! Sir Kelik! You're back! Does... does this mean I can come now?
: I, uh... err... Say, your name is Itsuke, right?
: Yes, I'm Itsuke, and I'm a mage.
: A mage, huh? So you can use some magic, can you?
He's actually more of a pinball wizard.
: Yes, my Grandfather taught me. I'm really good at fire magic!
: Hm... say, what's your story anyway? Why do you want to join so badly?
: If it's too much for you to even tell me, I think you're better off staying here, where it's a lot safer than with mercenaries.
: I'm sorry to hear that...
: It's okay. If I can fight now, and get back at Magnus, then... Please, Sir Kelik... just let me tag along. I won't be a nuisance, I promise!
: Fine, fine! It's not like I could say no to you after you said all that anyway, or I'd be worse than Magnus... Just don't call me "Sir Kelik", it makes me sound like a knight. Just "Kelik" is fine. Please.
: Alright! Thanks so much, Kelik! (Watch me now, sister...)
I really need to keep track of how many characters do asides to loved ones. It seems to be a common theme in this game.
Naturally, Itsuke has a conversation with anyone else.
: Are you with the rebellion? You're fighting right now? Please, take me with you! Magnus killed my sister, and... Magnus is my enemy as well. I know how to use magic, so I'll support you from behind. (Watch me, sister... I'll avenge you now!)
It's okay. It hits all the high notes while staying somewhat succinct.
Well, Itsuke knows how to immediately ingratiate himself to me. Solid bases and an excellent present means that he's more than welcome.
Otherwise, Kevin does what he always does.
And we get some new friends.
They're easy enough to handle, even with Althares at a disadvantage.
I'm a bit of a distance away, but I know enough about the AI that it isn't a problem.
Sheesh, seriously. I suppose we could just have Karina and Kevin handle these guys, but this amount of defense is still ridiculous.
Still, Ace has the upper hand.
Just as I thought, Asch can't control his murderous urges, putting him right in recruitment range.
You know, we still haven't left the starting area. I think I like this sort of pressure. It's fun to deal with.
And we've got mercenaries. However, due to Kevin weakening them to critical, most of these cavs are hogging the forts and preventing new reinforcements in a bid for healing.
Can't say I like that. Less killing that way.
: Hmph, what do you want with me?
: Experience... knowledge... strength... you have it, don't you?
: Yeah, what would you know about it?
: I'm going to join the rebellion. They might have guts, but... That's not enough.
: ...You're right. I'm no fan of Magnus either, but the problem is, are you rebels truly willing to learn how to wage war? I can only share my experience with people who try and gain from it.
: We'll do it. We have to, if we want to win.
: Haha, well said. You're different from the rest. I can see that much. I need to exact vengeance on Magnus one way or another, so I'll join up with you and your rebels and help you along the way. No problems, right?
: The same way? What do you mean?
: ...It's a long story, but... a friend of mine also needs to be avenged.
: Hmph. So you've had it tough. I can see that you've used that experience to your advantage. That's right--we can USE those memories of our friends--to crush our enemies!
Add two more to the pile of characters with offscreen friends/loved ones. I told you that it comes up often.
Well, at least this one can be scratched a little better.
Evidently, Ace shares my frustrations.
And Kevin gets a level off of taking all the hits. Much as I appreciate the double digit everything, I wish he'd work on his defense a little more.
Eduardo knows what he wants, and what he wants is to Charge all the time.
Fine with me, buddy.
I like it, but I already used my Angelic Robes on one mage.
I wish I had more to hand around, because that's terrible.
At least one person's not disappointing.
For the most part, reinforcements have dried up on the east side. Now they're all in the west.
It's easy when you have a mage.
Matter of fact, why don't you have those too?
Before you go yelling at me, let me explain my thought process. Anakin is a main character, you see, and a bard as well. Now bards, by virtue of their job, tend to stay behind in order to help the slow characters get to the fight faster. What that means is that they eventually start lagging behind as well. But if a bard has cavalier speed, he can zip around the battlefield as he likes, refreshing pretty much anyone he needs to.
In short, boots make Anakin a lot more versatile.
The skill levels! They're spreading!
As the rest of the group catches up with Kelik's bunch, it occurs to me that some sort of other boss was supposed to show up, but he never did. What is up with this game promising that bosses will arrive, then never having them arrive? I want to get horribly massacred, dangit!
Oh well, let's get started on this boss.
: But I'm not going to back down! I'll do whatever it takes to get back my girlfriend!
Why do you need to fight to get back your girl? By the way the soldiers were acting, you're practically a Magnian officer.
Maybe Anakin can shed some light on this.
: I can't believe you followed me this far!
: We just wanted to find out who your boss is... We didn't mean to make such a large detour ourselves. It's too bad it's come to this, isn't it?
: You can quit acting all regretful! Because I'm going to make you regret you ever got in the way of me and my girlfriend, Anakin!
Nope, evidently not. Guess we're just going to have to wait until Side B for it to make any sense.
Let's just nip this potential problem in the bud first, shall we?
We've reached maximum thief, folks. Hopefully Althares can get more damage by the time he promotes.
As I said, it's just a sword doing a fancy effect. Ironically then, the person most suited to fighting that thing is probably Kevin.
Meanwhile, we're fighting knights.
And the skill just keeps on coming.
On the plus side, we've got the most accurate team in town.
Even if he critted, which he didn't, it wouldn't have mattered in this case.
You know what, doing reckless and stupid things when you're on the edge of victory is right in character for Eduardo.
He's validated in the end.
That poor girl who we'll never see.
: Hey, you. Open your eyes. We have to talk.
: You... what is it?
: The battle is over. We have things to talk about.
: ...Sigh. You're right. I suppose we should introduce ourselves, huh? I'm Anakin.
: Kelik Zenair, leader of the Legend Mercenaries.
We're going to get along just nicely.
: Figures. Siegfried apparently had a little plan set up, right before he got captured by General Howard.
: Wait... what?! Siegfried was captured?! That's impossible, last I heard he had captured Yulia, not been captured! Siegfried is too powerful... a former Knight Commander... A great and fearless leader... don't lie! He can't have lost!
While I would criticize Anakin for these bouts of naivety, at least he gets called out on it. To whit:
: Calm down! You're losing your cool! Honestly, this isn't any new news. And how are you supposed to control and lead an army when you can't even control your own feelings?!
: ...Whatever! More importantly, are you sure about what you've told me?
: A messenger sought me out to relay this news to me. I haven't confirmed anything, but given that I haven't heard anything to contradict what's been said, it's pretty safe to assume that it's true after all.
: ...I see... This is terrible...
: It's a bit troublesome, yeah. That's why I've come to help you guys out. We're going to regroup in Atheya and rebuild our forces. Got it?
: Apparently, you don't get it.
: We're already in Valencian territory, and they won't expect a force to free Siegfried so soon after he and the others have been captured. It's our best chance, maybe our only chance!
: Urgh... it's beyond me how Siegfried left you in charge of anything... Even if Siegfried isn't even that great himself...
There's an understatement.
: Yeah, well, you'll get used to it if you stick around long enough. I'm tired. We'll decide how we're going to approach this tomorrow. We still have to worry about any leftover forces around here, and we'll never make it to Yulia without first conquering Alexia. I don't doubt that Devisio will get in our way either...
: What now?
: Nothing. I'm glad you've decided to help the rebellion.
: I'm not doing this for you or anyone else.
You know, I don't think I'd know how to respond to "peachy preachy" either. But let's call it at this point. They'll have plenty of bickering to do in the morning. In the meantime:
Next Time: We figure out what that whole girlfriend thing is about.
Weapon Ranks: D in swords, B in axes
HP: 35 (115%) Lck: 4 (120%)
Str: 17 (55%) Def: 11 (35%)
Skl: 15 (50%) Res: 5 (25%)
Spd: 12 (50%) Con: 12
Why yes, that IS a 100%+ luck growth, and boy will he need it. Asch doesn't have the best bases for a Hero, and in fact, I daresay he might be worse off than Noah, depending on what you're looking for in a prepromote. So why is this the right path? No reason, other than giving Anakin a funny scene with Logan. I would consider Logan to be the stronger of the two choices, and we'll see why shortly.
Oh yeah, spoilers, I guess: you recruit Logan if you choose to trust him. It'll make sense in context.
Weapon Ranks: D in anima magic
HP: 18 (60%) Lck: 7 (30%)
Mag: 7 (55%) Def: 5 (25%)
Skl: 7 (50%) Res: 7 (35%)
Spd: 9 (40%) Con: 5
Think of Itsuke as a replacement Cia if she goes absolutely terrible on you. They've got equivalent bases, though Itsuke has a bit more defensive growths and a significantly worse speed growth. I could recommend running them side by side if you're in the mood, since anima users are in short supply, but I personally get better results out of Cia instead of him.