The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

by Blastinus

Part 39: Chapter 11B: Phantom Ship

Chapter 11B: Phantom Ship

The product of Grado's research into the dark arts, the Dark Stone possesses power far beyond that of the Sacred Stones.

According to the rumors swirling about, Vigarde's descent into madness coincides with the creation of the Dark Stone.

Ephraim must confirm the existence of the Dark Stone. He decides to travel to Grado by sea.

Midway through their passage, however, an eerie fog begins to form...

Don't ever make a drinking game around the words "Dark Stone." It might just kill you.

: Selena... You coward. Why did you not execute Duessel?

: Forgive me... It was that Valter...

: Selena. Duessel has betrayed us. He has bent his knee to Ephraim. Are you a traitor, too?

: Never! I am Your Majesty's vassal. I am yours, body and soul! Your Majesty, please, another chance, I beg you! Any order you see fit to issue, I will complete!

: ...

: If I may, Father?

: Yes.

: What is it, Prince Lyon?

: I want you to go to Za'albul Marsh and retrieve something for me. It is a dragonstone, a very special kind of rock.

: A dragonstone?

: That's right. It's very rare. There are only two in the entire world. I've heard rumors of a collector there who has one for sale. It looks like nothing but a common gemstone. I need it for my research. If I have that Urg...gaa...

: My prince, are you all right?

: I'm fine. Don't worry about me. Now, please, find me the dragonstone. Will you approve my request, Father?

: Yes. Do as my son asks.

: Yes, understood. Your Majesty, I...would like to renew my oath of service to you here today. I pledge that I shall never again falter in my duty to you or to Grado. I beg your leave, my lord.

: ...

You know, these things look a lot bigger from close up.

: Yes. It's so blue, so vast.

: It is at that. You know, this is my first passage on a ship. I've never appreciated just how enormous the sea is.

: Really? I'd never have guessed you hadn't sailed before. You seem so calm.

: If I'm to lead us, I can't allow any weakness to show through. I must appear as competent and capable at all times, you understand?

: Ephraim... Um...

: Excuse me, Myrrh. We'll have to continue this later.

: Ah, all right.

Ephraim's interactions with Myrrh are rather irritating. If this was a game in the "Tales of" series, she'd probably be harboring some sort of secret assassination plot, but here...well, let's just leave it for later.

: There's a ship following us, just on the edge of the fog. Should I ready the company for battle?

: Is it a Grado vessel?

: It's hard to say. The fog makes it difficult to see clearly. However, her crew seems not to be...human.

That's not a nice thing to say about Riev, Seth.

: Rise and rage, my precious children of darkness. Ruin the wood and ride the sea! Drown your foes, and devour their flesh! Come celebrate the glorious rebirth of your lord and master, the Demon King! Heh, heh, heh.

No, we won't be fighting Riev three times in Ephraim's route, but he does like to seed monsters in our path.

Not a lot to do in the first turn, since the boat is still all the way over there.

Still, we can send Vanessa north with some Pure Water. Why are we doing that?

Because we've got Mogalls just hanging up north. This is a rout map, like most monster maps tend to be, so we're going to have to get rid of these guys.

And to the south of us, Cormag attracts over some gargoyles. Get used to these two enemy types. They'll make up the bulk of this chapter's annoyance.

They can't do much to Cormag, but that's because he's a tank with wings.

Meanwhile, Vanessa, aided by the resistance boost, takes absolutely no damage from these Mogalls. Keep that in mind for later.

: There! The enemy is closing. Prepare for battle!

That's a...lot of enemies. Note that there are a couple entombed and a wight among the rabble, so it's not all cannon fodder.

But since we can't get to them right now, we just need to clear out the fliers nearby. The less of them around, the better.

Neimi might have been a real liability in runs previous, but I'll make her into something useful.

: That's fine--it'll bring 'em within reach of my lance. Push them back! Board their ship and seize the blasted thing!

That's the spirit.

In addition to the planks extending, two Mogalls spawn from the bottom left and top left, but they don't do anything. Yet.

For now, our main concern is stopping the inevitable horde.

I was originally using Colm for this map, but contact with anything broke the child in half. I doubt the levels would have been different, anyway.

And Cormag is still...well, Cormag.

My strategy for this map is simple in its complexity. It's called:

Duessel and Seth wreck everything.

One's too sturdy to care about hits, and the other's both sturdy and quick, and they're both ridiculously strong. Together, they fight zombies.

Good preparation for your future career.

Once again though, by the end of the enemy phase, there's a lot of enemies that don't move. That's not a good thing, since we've got to hurry onto the enemy boat before turn five.

And there are more enemies spawning in at both the upper right and lower right corners. If you don't use fliers this map, you're really up a creek.

Now then, if the enemies won't come to us, we'll have to come to them.

Well, at least one of them is improving.

Artur impressed me this chapter, at least in terms of landing crits.

The Entombed are basically just giant sacks of HP and strength at this point. Still pretty valuable.

By the way, you notice that bundle of ropes next to the archer? That's actually a barrier of sorts. The masts are too. That's why this upper area makes a good staging point.

Surprise gargoyles are a real bother this chapter. Before I learned where the reinforcements came from, I'd be losing folks to random gargoyles flying out of the fog.

Ephraim's got other problems right now.

But a bad level isn't one.

This Wight was a real pest too, but it's actually more easily managed than the gargoyles. At least I can double it.

: Stay calm, everyone! We take the fight to them!

No, it's not monsters, Ephraim. It's worse.

: Know that I, L’Arachel, have arrived! Now, I shall purge the seas of this vile vessel of villainy!

: Gwah ha ha! Nice alliteration, Princess L’Arachel!

: ... Hm? I didn’t hear Rennac's voice. How very odd. Dozla, where has Rennac run off to this time?

: Hmmm... He was with us at mealtime before we boarded, but...

: That man can be such a distraction. ...Oh well, never mind! Let's get started destroying these agents of chaos!

: Gwah ha ha! Leave it to me!

Turn five is when things can really go south. You've got a whole cadre of gargoyles, lead by a deathgoyle, which we can't see yet...

A couple of reinforcement bonewalkers, two Mogalls from the top and bottom of the enemy ship, and a real load to take care.

Her stats are quite good, of course, but when you've got creatures flying around that can gobble up most of her health in one strike, she loses a bit of her charm.

Dozla can take care of himself though, and at the time of this screenshot, he was doing so with flying colors.

Incidentally, it's a well-known fact that the AI cheats in fog of war, but if you want a bald-faced demonstration, look no further than ally characters. This is from a failed run, but I thought it was interesting.

Good news though: after turn five, the only reinforcements we have to worry about are two more bonewalkers next turn, so we can start cleaning up.

I had a good feeling about you, Neimi.

While Artur crushed my expectations, despite critting.

This gargoyle here has messed up a couple runs. He can't seem to choose between crushing Neimi, Natasha, or L'Arachel.

I went for "None of the above."

Tana's a little wounded here, so she gets to demonstrate what I like to call "Booster Blindness," for lack of a name that doesn't suck.

On the enemy phase, some bonewalkers lunge out of the dark. They die.

And some gargoyles try their luck against Dozla. Bad idea.

So what I was getting at before is that enemies don't seem to notice when a stat's been boosted by artificial means. They only appear to care about the base amount.

That's the only explanation I can give for why four Mogalls would all fight someone capable of countering them when they would do no damage in return.

The AI in this game is pretty good about prioritizing targets, but there are certain blind spots that you can exploit.

For a very nice payoff.

Also, you remember those Mogalls we ignored before? They're on the move now.

It's nice having a berserker on our side.

At this point, I'm just grateful to have survived the eyeball assault, so I let Duessel and Seth have fun. No point taking risks and all.

Even so, one still manages to slip by me.

Thank goodness for all that luck.

That's fine. He's still Seth.

Oh, and look, it's the boss.

Not so tough when your lance is being countered with a weapon that reverses the fundamental law of the universe, are you?

Not much left to go. Cormag takes a swing...

Ooh, that's foul.

Doubling gargoyles? Oh Neimi, how far you've come.

And she's getting better.

Before I shove his face into the dirt, let's look at this boss. He's got respectable stats, certainly enough to weather an assault from two angry prepromotes.

But can he stand up to...THIS?


Putting Lute so close to the front lines was risky, but she's a big girl.

Certainly got more potential than our bearded friend.

Yeah, she could have died, and I've lost on worse odds, but I really believed that if somebody could beat the odds, it'd be Lute.

Now that I look at it, her resistance is not that great. Huh.

So now, there are only two Mogalls, and Duessel wastes one of them, so I take the time to go back and get the conversations with L'Arachel and Dozla. Might as well, after all.

: Fear not, O weary traveler, for I am here to save you! I grant you the favor of my divine aid.

: Who are you? What are you doing here?

: Ah! Can it be? Do you not know the tales of my deeds? Have you not heard of the beauteous young woman traveling to defeat evil?

: No, I haven’t.

: What is it?

: It's nothing... Please pay me no mind. I just feel a bit like being alone and weeping for a while.

: What? No, you can't... This is no place for crying. I'm sure you've noticed, but we're under attack by monsters. If you can do anything to help, we would appreciate it.

: That's a good idea! I'll do it. Now, I want you to observe closely my graceful actions!

: Yes? What is it, Princess L’Arachel?

: We're going to be working together with those people. I want you to stay close by. Are you ready?

: Gwah ha ha! Ready as always!


Artur, take us home.

There might be hope for you yet.

: And once again, the forces of righteousness prevail!

: Thank you. We owe our victory to you.

: Don't mention it. My name is L’Arachel. I'm on a never-ending quest to defeat evil in the name of virtue and order. Wait... Your face has a certain familiarity. I recently met a young woman who greatly resembles you.

: Do you mean, Eirika? She's my sister.

: Eirika? Isn't that the name of the princess of Renais. And you have a very regal air about you yourself, don't you?

: My name is Ephraim, Prince of Renais. We're fighting to end Grado's invasion. To be honest...

Fade to exposition...

: In that case, I must accompany you.

: Do you understand that we alone are facing all the armies of Grado? We face untold numbers, and our odds of success are embarrassingly small.

: You clearly do not know who I am. Do not be startled by what I'm about to disclose to you... I am the princess of Rausten, theocracy of the righteous!

: You're the princess of Rausten? Hm. You certainly don't have the bearing of a commoner, but...

: Ah, of course. My natural nobility gives me away every time. Truth to tell, dire circumstances have led me to begin this journey in secret. Prince Ephraim of Renais, please be assured that Rausten is your ally. Let us stand together against the villainous Grado Empire!

Ephraim chooses to say nothing, but I imagine that he's wondering what exactly he's got himself into.

: We will now be traveling with Ephraim and his companions.

: Gwah ha ha! Understood! For you, Princess L’Arachel, I would dive headlong into a sea of evil! Why, I'd even tie myself up with ropes and chains first!

: Such fabulous devotion! You are truly my most loyal attendant. Let us be off then.

: Gwah ha ha!

Such a devoted servant.

Next Time: More monsters, but some people too. It's Chapter 12: Landing at Taizel!

Total Resets: 23+9=32