We've got a lot to do in this update, so let's hit the ground running.
: Huh? What's going on now?
: Don't honestly expect me to believe that you were sleeping.
Why not? It's not like it isn't his major character trait or something.
: Enough said. Here's the gist of my plan. We need to secure another Valencian castle and quickly. Considering our position against Magnus's position, our best choice right now would be Alexia. It's not guarded nearly as well as some of the others, and Magnus probably isn't considering us much of a threat right now. They have to deal with Blaine and reconquering Atheya.
: I think it's a wise plan. At first sight, I thought you were just a fighter. But you've surprised me.
: Judging someone before you know them is prejudice. Such prejudice is no better than the Magnian's discrimination against other people of Solum.
Dude! He was giving you a freaking compliment! You mind actually paying attention before you call people bigots?
: I wonder what causes him to think like that.... *yawn*...
But Anakin, as usual, just takes it in stride.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the map:
: The rebel army has defeated the bandits in combat and is presently headed this way! What are we to do?
: What are your orde-...?! Wait...!
: ...Those rebels will arrive soon. It is time to take my leave...
: S-Sir, your orders?
: Deploy the troops and prepare for assault! What else would I have you do?
: He was supposed to escort our little bargaining chip...
Green is good. Guess this guy's headed our way.
: Who are you? To whose group do you belong?
: Pardon me, sir. I am part of the Alexia militia...
: Excuse the swordsman. We are indeed the rebel army. You have good timing... Could you tell us about how the castle was sieged?
: Y-yes. It was a strange phenomenon... The enemies suddenly came, and... a dark figure... they were...
: Only a few made it out alive...
: I guess you're one of them, then?
: What?! No, no! Uh.... I'm only wearing this for protection.....
: That's such an obvious lie! What have you been doing after the attack, just lying about in fear all this time?!
: No, I...
: You're path-
: I'm sorry, knight... I must ask though. Would you be willing to fight alongside us?
: I-I'm sorry, I can't battle anymo-
: If you can't battle then stay with the civilians.
: I-I... I'm sorry...
Truer words have never been spoken.
: He's obviously traumatized by what's happened.
: ...Nothing, Althares. So what have you found?
: Let me fill you guys in...
One fade to exposition later...
: I see... so they've yet to show their magical ranks. More Magnian knights and cavaliers for us... Out of all the armies, Magnus's is the most diverse. We'll need an equally diverse group to maximize our chances of winning.
: How troublesome...
: That aside, you know what, Althares? You're a great example of showing that fighting isn't the only thing that one can do to help.
: Yeah! I prefer to motivate you guys extra hard to do my part. It takes less effort on my part, but helps more than if I took the front lines all the time, you know?
And with that odd segue, that scene will never be mentioned again. Anakin's right about Kelik, by the way, and the fact that we're going to have to sympathize with him later is turning my stomach just to think about.
Even though it's the first prep screen, we can take our whole gang. The map seems pretty simple, albeit a little dangerously full of archers. We'd better do something about that.
And right here is our answer, plus a slight spoiler about the kind of unit that we're getting this chapter. Lena might be protected against her major weakness, but that's easily snatched away.
: But I don't have much need for material things like money. I figure you guys might as well have it and use it for the rebellion. Let's try and spend it on something we're sure we need, alright?
You do realize what a mercenary is, right Kelik? If you don't care for money, then why are you in a business that specifically fights for money?
Whatever. We've got work to do.
Eduardo, we've been getting hit on 40-50% chances for as long as I can remember, and you can't land a 75?
Good thing it can work in reverse, too.
The huge threat about our initial position is getting sniped over the river by these guys.
Assuming you're not Kevin, of course.
Given the cramped space, Karina's ability to swoop down on whoever she pleases is really helpful.
And a big fat +1 goes to that skill. Strength coupled with any other stat works fine for me.
Case in point.
Let's nip these problems in the bud right now, shall we?
Relax! I've still got 20 uses in this thing.
I should flambe people more often.
Initial position: captured.
And now it's time to take cover on this fort for wave two.
: ...The greatest swordsman...
: I will convey my message: "General Howard must force the enemy surrender. Executing the captive rebel should heavily demoralize them. Afterwards, return to Aegis and report to the Mage General. The other Imperial Generals and Senators will all be there, along with His Majesty." Senator Leon spoke with much less...integrity, however...
: Commander Roarik, that is murder... And of such a young girl. Truly I cannot-
: That man His Majesty entrusted here... I don't trust him. He's elevated here through power and greed alone.
: Yet orders are orders...
: Yes. To obey orders... that is the life of a soldier. Lena will finish off the rebels, rest assured. Good luck with the completion of your mission, General.
Good luck? As described, that sounds like he's saying "I hope you succeed at killing a defenseless girl."
Also, the way they're hyping up this Leon guy, he'd better be the end boss or something. Anything else would just be disappointing.
: Travel safely back to Yulia, Commander Roarik.
: You mustn't... for my sake...
Take a shot.
Clearing out the upper right area is a little difficult for Eduardo.
But with his special lance in hand, he can do anything, except avoid taking a hit.
And the assault from below begins in earnest.
But it's Kelik. What were you expecting?
With assistance from Karina, Eduardo finishes off the rest of the resistance up top, meaning that they can focus on helping the folks down there.
Good thing too, because it's time for the javelins to come out.
For all the good that they do.
That lower speed growth isn't doing Itsuke any favors, but boy, is he loading up on the power.
Good job in joining the resistance club, Eduardo. Now would you actually proc your 40% speed growth?
Time for something awesome.
: That's quite good of you. Your deeds warrant recognition. Unfortunately the Magnians here do not bother to tend to the locals... I myself do not agree with such indecency from Magnus. Alas, there is still much sin to be wrought before the war is over. And little to be done about it... Hm... I must go now, but I know we'll meet again. As a parting gift, take this tome. I will say nothing more.
Don't know who that was, but in the space of two chapters, we've gotten two light tomes for Anakin for absolutely nothing.
Subbing in for Kelik to deal with the javelins, Kevin flings his way into a level.
I could ask for nothing more. Well, except speed.
Regardless, as Kevin is wont to do, he can just lay right into the enemy forces without worry.
He has the most odd luck when it comes to hits. It's like the opposite of Eduardo.
Who knew that giving people pep talks was so profitable?
: Get more troops out there right this moment! Block the pathway past the village so they can't get through!
: Yes ma'am!
Now there's a welcome old face.
: Huh? Just me? Madness!
: Madness? You work for Magnus, girl, and unless you're asking for a quick death, you'll get out there now!
: Sending me out there is almost as sure a death as staying here!
Heh, like I'd actually try to fight that. We can't recruit Cia for the moment, so she'll have to stay put. Fortunately for us, she'll hold her position and not actively hunt us down, because she could do some serious damage.
The support rates in this game seem to be heavily accelerated compared to FE7 proper, which is fine by me. What this means is that I can start interspersing support updates with my regular updates.
: One of... Siegfried's soldiers.
: Huh? No, I...
: ...Go quickly. Take the path over there. Meet up with the rebels... they'll take you with them. That is why you joined with the Magnian garrison, correct? I won't hurt you. Go on, quickly...Farewell...
Remember the fact that Howard set Cia free. This will be important later. In the meantime, after another turn of combat...
: The enemy won't wait.
: I know that... but what better can we do?
It's party time, chumps!
: We won't cower in fear... This is for everyone who sacrificed their lives!
: No Tamiko, you can't risk being struck down. While we have nothing to lose, you barely escaped Yulia alive. You should go and join the rebel army.
: Hmm... Kevin might be with them... along with the others, too... If you don't mind, I'll stay with you for now. I'll just heal anyone nearby, so don't worry about me.
: Alright. We're part of the Alexia territory militia, so... We won't be joining up with the rebellion. But we all wish the best of luck to you and the rebels.
: Thank you so much. I won't forget you.
Why yes, it's our overleveled healer, back to keep us topped off once more. She and Kevin actually have a conversation together if you have them meet.
: Tamiko. It's been a while...
: Yeah... I heard Commander Siegfried was defeated at Yulia. I almost didn't make it out, but then I made way here. Siegfried ordered me to travel with you, but all those soldiers... it was too much...
: It's alright, Tamiko.
: What are you doing now?
: I travel with Lord Anakin and a mercenary.
: Hmm... They are leading the new rebellion, right?
: I see... Well, it's best I rejoin and help out as much as possible. We need to save the Commander!
: Yes. Your healing powers are quite useful.
: Thank you, Kevin.
Notice the lack of sniping at one another over stupid inconsequential things. The side characters are so much more tolerable than the main cast.
And since our new friends arrived right next to Cia, let's get her in our party too.
: Oh, Tamiko, it's been a while. I've missed you! What happened, Tamiko?
: Well, I found my way here, but was imprisoned in Alexia castle. I managed to break free and joined up with some of the knights... But now that the rebels are here, I can join with them again. What about you? You don't seem to be on our side...
: I-I've been working for Magnus. They found me and forced me to fight with them here. Then some man told me to escape, and I... Magnus... I... I'm sorry!
: Cia... Please stop crying.
: I'm sorry...
: Why don't you join with us? You're not actually with Magnus, right? We could really use your magic.
: Of course not! I'd love to join! But Magnus is...
: Don't worry about Magnus. Siegfried's friends will take care of them. Be brave Cia!
: I... alright. Thank you, Tamiko.
I actually like this whole idea of having the party scatter and meet up later. It's rather akin to what happens in FE4, minus the part where almost everyone dies.
Spoilers, I guess.
Now Kevin can ignore the people trying in vain to hurt him even more.
Ace wishes he could do the same, taking a fusillade of javelins that leaves him dangerously low.
Boosted with the power of boots, Anakin is able to quickly weave his way over to the Alexian commander.
: Yes... I don't want to watch as others take part on the battlefield any longer. I sincerely want to help, and...
: You don't need to explain yourself. Your actions say enough.
: Thank you. Before we march off, I'd like to notify you. Two soldiers joined our group for the time being. They said they wanted to join the rebellion.
: and I've a certain... dislike for Magnus. If you'll let me, I'd like to join the rebellion for good. I need to... mature my bow, and if I can strengthen myself while fighting for a greater cause, then I would gladly do so.
: I see. That's enough for me. We're glad to have you join.
: I hope my bow serves you well...
: I suppose you could say that.
: My name is Lirin. I'm a Pegasus Knight of Alicia...
: Yes, I can see.
: Yes...The woman guarding the castle, Lena Yahona, is also a Pegasus Knight rider. I once rode with her... but... the Alician group... They were forced to join Magnus's forces against their will.
Wait, the random one-off boss has a last name? Does everyone have a last name in this game, but they're just not willing to mention it?
: I betrayed them, and yet...
: Tell me if I'm wrong, but you have a good intention. You want to join the rebellion, right?
: Yes, please... I... Maybe I can set Lena right. If not, then at least... Perhaps I can make up for the mistakes our winged battalion has made...
: You've no reason to make up for the mistakes of others. Just join our group and you'll redeem yourself by helping others.
: Yeah... I guess... Thank you, Anakin. You're as just as the rumors say...
Aww, the little guy's embarrassed.
Let's hope that Zach turns out good. He's the only archer we get. Everyone else of the bow-using persuasion is either promoted or Storm.
Notice the weapons he's got, by the way. In a further attempt to make archers worth something, Blazer added Rifle Bows. They're like longbows.
Except their hit rate is terrible, they weigh too much, and their only redeeming value is their crit rate.
Considering how terribly Inanna turned out, Lirin might be our only hope for a competent Pegasus Knight, assuming we can get her a slightly more focused weapon. Axereavers are fine and all, but they're heavy.
He'll still probably cap everything.
And honestly, the only other thing I could ask for would be skill.
Living dangerously gets you some good levels, apparently.
Now then, it's time for Asch, as our designated axe guy, to show his ability for dodging.
It's hard being chained to a gate, I know. If bosses could actually move around and pick off people, Magnus would probably have a considerably lower loss of troops.
We've still got enemies exploding out of these forts.
Stomping them back down pays off considerably.
Now at first when you see this, you're probably going to want to snap it up. Don't. The next Secret Shop isn't for a while, and we'll get a Member Card for free. Save your money for weapons.
They try. They really do.
Now then, before we deal with Lena, we'll want to snag this for our own fliers. Lirin just became a whole lot deadlier.
And wouldn't you know it, but Zach scored a hit with a rifle. Don't expect to see that happen often.
So let's see what that whole deal with Lirin and Lena was about.
: You are betraying us of your own will, correct?
: ...Y-yes. I am.
: Well then... As your former commander it's my job to punish betrayal.
: Lena... It's Magnus who took us over and forced this conflict! Our group... They killed off everyone but us... Can't you understand? Can't you see the wrong? I refuse to fight alongside my true enemies...!
: Your resolution eases me. However, our fight is inevitable.
Yeah, when it comes to Pegasus Knights, they're pretty much doomed to all go out this way.
: Because of your bravery...I can finally...feel at ease.
Aww man, Roarik doesn't even get a final mention. That's gotta burn.
I've got a good feeling about our friend here.
: We're almost done here...
: Thankfully so. I was getting tired... There were too many soldiers. Too much bloodshed for one day.
: ...Odd hearing that from you.
: I'm not an assassin, Anakin. I don't live to kill everyone.
Except for the part just last chapter, depending on the route, where you killed a guy and called it a warmup.
: ...In any case, the militia and knights helped out, huh.
: Yeah, they were a good distraction...
: You're such a jerk.
: Hahaha. My job here is done.
And here I thought that Siegfried sounded like a villain.
: ...Whatever. More importantly, maybe we should figure out what to do next...
: We should probably go west past Devisio and straight into Yulia. There's little option in the matter. We don't have time to take any detours.
: Alright. I suppose the optimal choice would be passing through Devisio... They shouldn't bother us much on the way there. There's still something left to do here though.
: Yes, we're managing. All injured are currently getting medical attention. It doesn't look like there are any fatalities.
Except for the couple of guys who strayed a little too close to Lena's Short Spear, but there's no reward for saving them, so it's no big deal.
: Good to hear. Would you guys be able to hold this castle for the time being?
: Yes. I am sure there are more knights trapped in the prisons. We can take care of Alexia, sire. Rest assured.
: Alright... We're moving out tomorrow then. Anyone who wants to join our forces can do so by morning. Best of luck to you.
: Yes... Thank you.
Next Time: Absurd plot powers and screwy animations. Eyebrows will be rising.
Weapon Ranks: C in bows
HP: 28 (85%) Lck: 5 (40%)
Str: 8 (45%) Def: 5 (30%)
Skl: 7 (50%) Res: 4 (15%)
Spd: 12 (45%) Con: 8
While I was complaining before about the weight of Rifles, Zach's constitution is actually suited to it. He's well-rounded for growths, he starts with good bases, and he'll be able to support pretty much whatever we want him to wield, bow-wise. If we build him up well, he'll be an excellent Sniper.
Class: Pegasus Knight
Weapon Ranks: C in lances
HP: 25 (75%) Lck: 10 (25%)
Str: 10 (45%) Def: 6 (25%)
Skl: 9 (40%) Res: 10 (30%)
Spd: 10 (40%) Con: 6
It's a shame that Inanna didn't turn out well, because Lirin's growths are a little iffy, especially with speed. She's rather like the Itsuke to Inanna's Cia, sacrificing speed for potentially more power. I just worry that the growths might not support her well enough in the long run, even with those excellent bases. We'll have to wait and see.