So off we go from Blaine to...some tower.
: Once they reach the top of the tower, surprise them from behind and wipe them out.
: We're allowed to kill, for once?
: Please do.
: Heheh. Good. I like your style, Galagar.
: ...I'm leaving. Take care of things here.
Seems like having hair over one eye is a prerequisite for an assassin.
: What? Since when do we do the right thing? What nonsense are you talking about?
: ...Sorry. I'm losing it.
: Of course you are. You're getting less sane by the day. We're here to kill. That's what an elite group of ours is for.
: Yeah, of course. Let's go hide. The rebels should be here soon.
What I don't get is whether they're supposed to be a group of professional killers or a bunch of murderous maniacs. The game isn't very consistent on that.
: Yeah. Once we get there, we should find the Heaven Seal and the legendary sword.
: Hey, Anakin...
: Do you think I'll be able to use the heaven seal?
: I think so. After all, you're Siegfried's son. And, well, you get your hair from your Mother.
: Hahah. I hope so. I'd hate to disappoint my Dad...
It's always about your father, isn't it, Shon?
: Hey, we'll never know until we get there.
: You're right. Let's go.
Unlike Blazer, I'm going to spare you the long run up to the top of the tower.
: Here's the sword, Silvans, the partner to Sylmeria. It was used by Arbiter's friend, Silvos. Centuries later, it's still so magnificent...
: Wow. I've never seen you act like that, Shon. I mean, I didn't even know you knew so much about Silvans. I guess it's pretty great, but Arbiter's sword must be even greater. After all, he's one of the Seven Heroes. It beats some friend of his.
So Shon's personal sword was wielded by a hero's sidekick, eh? That's thematically appropriate, at least.
: There's the heaven seal, behind the throne!
: Alright, we got what we needed. Let's get out of here.
: I'm right behind you, Anakin.
Fun fact: There's actually a midi version of the Star Wolf theme in the game's sound test. I admire Blazer's restraint in not unleashing that on us at the same time.
: Did they follow us in after the tower?
: No, that can't be it... My Dad's waiting outside for us. He would have seen somebody enter.
: Then how'd they find us? Are you saying they somehow got into here before we did?
: I don't know, Anakin, I don't know! What do we do? There are so many, and we didn't bring in many people here... Kelik and my Dad aren't here, and...
: Calm down, Shon. We can do this. They're below us and have to cross the stairs to get to us. If we can block them from coming up here, they'll be worn down. When they are, we can storm them and head out.
: You're right... I need to think clearly and calmly. What would my Dad do...?
: That's a good question, but I don't want to find out in words.
: Right. A knight speaks with his sword, not his tongue. I... I can do this, Anakin!
What would Siegfried do? He'd probably insult Cero's hairstyle.
You've had to go up a tower before, but how many times has a level required you to go down? As Anakin and Shon hinted, Siegfried and Kelik are unavailable to us, and we only have eight other party member slots, so this is going to be tight.
I won't be using Itsuke this level, because Cia's better for speed, but let's get him promoted anyway.
So here's the gimmick of this level: every enemy is an assassin. They may look like other classes, but if they crit, you're looking at a 50% chance of having to reset.
Especially this guy! I can't tell you how many runs I've had to scrap because of a crit from the Wo Dao swordmaster. It's stupid, is what it is.
You could tell by the way he's questioning orders, but Shadow here is a recruitable character, and sadly not the kind who keeps an awesome dog with him. To recruit him, we simply have to leave him alone, not hard when he doesn't move from his starting location.
Finally the head honcho himself. He's got something that Althares has been wanting for a while. Guy's been on the sidelines forever because he can't advance any further, and I really want to get all three of the Legend Mercenaries together for maximum hilarity.
Combat-wise, Cero isn't really that scary. His Shadow Sword has a bit of a crit chance to it, but its hit rate is rather bad and it weighs him down by 7 speed.
Thanks to that handy notification, we know that we accomplished all the steps of Shon's journey to become less of a whiner. We'll see how well that stuck in future chapters.
Now it's time for the good stuff.
No, not the music. I'm referring to:
This sucker! Silvans grants Shon 3 Strength, Speed, and Defense, and it hits like a truck. Downside of course is that Shon's going to absolutely tank his speed when he uses it. That gain of +3 speed is actually a net of -8, enough to allow every enemy in this army to get two free and easy hits on him.
Interestingly enough, this weapon changes if Shon's completed his sidequest. Normally, it'd only have 13 might, but it would also only have 16 weight. Guess that additional power's weighing it down.
As suggested, for the first few turns, we should mostly hang back and let the enemy come to us.
Some characters can amaze and disappoint me simultaneously, but others might have trouble taking on enemies 1-to-1.
Just to prove that I am not, in fact, crazy, it's Liquid insta-killing a guy he would have insta-killed anyway.
Here's the beautiful truth about Shon's sword. It's got a Brave effect. Probably one of its most redeeming features, since Shon's a sitting duck if he tries to use it.
Better than some of his levels, but it's still not great.
Killing that assassin gets us Mark's promotion item. Too bad we've got Liquid.
Curiously, this chapter's pretty light on the crit weapons. Not saying that every enemy should be a possible instant death, but for an elite group of assassins, their crit chance isn't that high.
That's what I like to see from a General.
While I could just sit here on the top floor and let people come to me gradually, that's boring.
After all, such "talent" as this deserves to be shown off to the fullest.
And with assistance from Anakin, Shon can quickly double back and earn his promotion.
Eliwood reskin or not, I'll take those numbers. The kid desperately needs them.
You see how much of a chance this guy had to crit? The fact that he didn't this run is all a matter of luck.
Luck that he apparently siphoned from Cia's growths.
While Anakin and Liquid make a perimeter down at the bottom...
The little guys all make their own little dents in the enemy army.
Not a bad way to round out a bunch of leveling.
That's a lot of dudes. As the game emphasized, you really don't want to rush out too far.
I'm bringing Storm with me today in a hopeful effort to give Liquid a support buddy.
But before we get him leveling, let's deal with Ace here, shall we?
Behold! The Iron Halberdier!
Seems a shame to waste such a fine weapon.
But if it helps this guy level, then I'm for it.
Barding is always profitable.
We're wearing them down pretty heavily at this point, now that we have promotes on either side.
Really having to help Storm with his leveling. I fear for the future.
Though perhaps...not quite as much.
As we finally make our way down, our next obstacle is this guy.
Theoretically, if we somehow got him to switch back to his Thunder tome before he used up all his uses of
Reaching the bottom of the stairs prompts Cero to start coming at us, but he's no real threat, since he'll still take three turns to arrive, at least.
If you're curious about what Silvans looks like, it's just Durandel. Though that does explain why it's so heavy.
Wait a minute...that's a good level.
Oh, I see. Took it from Tekun, although he's still the most oddly defensive myrmidon I've seen.
Being a speedy, yet strong lance user is serving Ace well.
Following Cero, these two assassins also spawn.
One weapon's great, the other I could do without.
This level may seem minimalistic, but bear in mind that she's already capped her speed.
In order to get those weapons without running into Cero first, I'm going around the right side. He's going around the left, so we're going to be playing Tag with one another.
I don't think this guy hit me once.
Not your most stellar level, Kevin.
Just according to plan.
Does he want to be a knight or something?
I'm just glad that Yue's actually gaining some magic power. And with that, the two bonus weapons are ours.
And with a bit of motivation from Anakin...
Liquid can run down Cero, who for some reason decided to go chasing after Storm.
It's just like Shon said:
True warriors speak with actions, not words, hence why Shon has a conversation with Cero.
: The Zeros...You're even more sinister than the rumors say...But that won't stop me from fighting you!
: Do your worst, kid.
What, no beloved friend or family member you want to namedrop at the last minute? No tired, tragic backstory?
I think you're one of my favorite villains, Cero.
: Yeah. That was tough. I've never fought such quick and strong people before. Fighting assassins really isn't your conventional battle...
: We should go tell Dad what happened.
: Mhm. He must be worried. That, and we have to get a move on it. The rest of the soldiers should be ready to march again. We don't want to hold them back.
That makes me wonder...exactly what did the battle sound like from the outside? Did they think that Shon was just taking practice swings or something?
: It must be someone who didn't flee from the battle.
: What do you want with us?
: Let me join your group.
: What? Are you crazy? You just tried to kill us!
: No, I didn't. I stood my ground. I never chased you once, did I?
You can see why his recruitment wouldn't make sense if we actually attacked him.
: You have a point, but, why would you even want to join us?
: ...I've been trained to be an assassin. But I wasn't raised one. As much as I try to shove down my doubts, I can't help but think I'm doing the wrong thing. Like I'm fighting the wrong people, for the wrong people. That, and the Zeros were going down the drain. I need a new place to stay--somewhere my skills can be put to use.
: And by skills, you mean assassinating?
: Hey, don't make it sound so bad.
: Corrupt nobles, bandits, we'd even be hired as mercenaries once in a while. Besides, it's not like you guys aren't killing people. Death is how we shut someone up. You guys want to shut up Magnus, and I'm a professional at silencing people. I'm not asking for anything in return. Just let me stay.
: ...It's hard to face, but... I think some of what you're saying is true. Even if we don't want to kill, people can't seem to solve their problems any other way...
: See? You understand. So let me join. You can keep a close eye on me if it helps you.
: You're not like them, are you? The rest of the Zeros.
: We'll talk to our General on your behalf. I think he'll let you join. What's your name?
: I realize it sounds sort of stupid, but there's a reason why I don't want people calling me Thanatos.
Because it's a silly name?
: You put enough trust in us to tell us something you don't like telling. We'll try and repay that trust by keeping it a secret. Just don't do anything stupid. We have people in our group who can be scarier than assassins.
: ...I'll keep that in mind.
For instance, that guy over there with the crazy face.
You notice something about that chapter though? Nobody was sniping at one another or calling each other names. It's like the instant you take Siegfried and Kelik out of the equation, suddenly everyone becomes civil. Unfortunately, we won't have a lot more Anakin and Shon shenanigans, because we're about to reunite with our negative forces right about...
: I was about to come in with some more soldiers. But I'm not surprised you made it back in one piece.
: I'm sorry. We ran into the Zeros. We managed to beat them though. They shouldn't bother us anymore.
: I see... That was unexpected,
"I figured you would have been turned into hamburger."
: but at least you're safe. And it's good to know that we won't have to see any more of their assassins. Even for Magnus, it's a low act...
: Oh, by the way... I found the Heaven Seal, as well as the sword, Silvans.
: That's great. I knew you could do it, Shon. I'm sure Silvos won't mind if we use them with good intentions.
: Magnus surrendered pretty quickly. But unfortunately, they didn't have many supplies. It's like Magnus has given up on their fortholds on the outskirts of Blaine... We haven't seen any of their Generals since Galagar on the southern fields. Anyway, is everything done on your end, Sieg?
: Yes. Tell the soldiers we're leaving soon. We'll have many stops before we get there, but our next destination is the Land in the Snow, Alicia. We'll travel along the border of Atheya until we reach there... And our battles will only become tougher... We must brace ourselves--for heated battles, on cold ground.
: (And all I can think about... is that I must stay focused...)
Ooh, title namedrop! That strikes me as somewhat important.
You know, you could be fighting as well, Emperor Louis. What, is your keister glued to that chair?
: They are the only force stopping me from achieving my dream... And they're so persistent! They rescued that worthless King, killed my elite soldiers, the Zeros, and now they plan on helping Alicia? As it is, Alicia hasn't been cooperating in the least... Soon they'll be at our very doorsteps...
: Your Majesty, I can take care of them. They are no match for me. Just give me the order.
: Fenix... You've done well so far. Everything I've asked of you, you've done for me, just as I have done everything you and that Lahar have asked of me. Please, don't let me down. We can't let them have their way. If people like the rebels succeed in their plans, more people will continue to die in vain.
: Indeed... But there is nothing to worry about with me.
: I give you permission to destroy them however you see fit. You are the Slayer who once killed a hundred men alone. Your attacks are powerful enough to slash through even my armor. I know of your strength. And I believe you can do it.
: Of course.
: Good luck, Fenix. I believe in you.
Ah, that's nice. Real camaraderie taking place here. Say what you will about Emperor Louis, but he knows how to make his subordinates feel loved.
Next Time: Siegfried goes even farther off the deep end. Or perhaps it's just as far, only people are beginning to notice.
Shadow doesn't join until the next chapter, but I figured I'd write him up now, since he doesn't get a fancy intro.
Weapon Ranks: A in swords
HP: 34 (65%) Lck: 10 (35%)
Str: 15 (25%) Def: 13 (30%)
Skl: 22 (50%) Res: 9 (20%)
Spd: 21 (45%) Con: 8
Shadow's a good assassin, but he's not fantastic. For one thing, his support options are a little more limited, and he doesn't start with Althares's natural boost to crit. Stats-wise, he starts out quite well, and he's likely to gain his important assassin stats, but Althares has a significantly better chance of landing those Lethality shots.