The Let's Play Archive

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

by Blastinus

Part 40: Chapter 12B: Landing at Taizel

So we had a chapter where we boarded a ship, then we had a chapter where we got attacked on the ship, and now we have a chapter where we're disembarking from a ship. Right about now, Eirika would already be rescuing at least three nobles and getting a lengthy lecture from an aged wise woman.

I think I like it better this way.

: There’s no sign of enemy troops at this time.

Someone should make a montage of every single time Seth opens a conversation with "Here we are in this location." It seems to come up almost every chapter.

: Understood. Let's move quickly and prepare to go ashore. We've a straight road to the capital from here, but we'll be fighting for every step.

: Yes, and the fighting will only grow fiercer as we near the capital. If I may, my lord, I'd like to make a suggestion.

Meanwhile, with a familiar pair of spellcasters...

: Yep. Thanks a lot, Teacher. This is where Marisa is supposed to be. I have to tell her what's going on, or she'll end up working for free.

: What happened? I heard there was some mistake, but...

: Yeah, the mercenary guild got Marisa mixed up with someone else. I don't know where she was supposed to go, but they sent her here instead. I figured I'd better let her know about the mix-up, right? So what are you going to do now?

: I'm heading back to the village. I've looked near and far, but I haven’t been able to locate the Lord Dragon. I must report my findings.

: Oh, I see...

: I'll be going now. Remember what I told you, Ewan...

: I know, I know. Don't be reckless with magic.

: That looks like a good place to start asking around.

: I cannot approve of sending reservists to the front lines.

: But... The Grado army outnumbers our own by a tremendous amount. We have talented soldiers, but that counts for nothing against those numbers. Currently, we have some ready reservists in the rear, protecting our supply convoy. What good is defending our convoy if it comes at the cost of losing the front? We must abandon our rear guard and strengthen the van, or we've already lost.

: This is enemy territory. We cannot surrender the convoy!

: But, Prince Ephraim...

: Seth, I know you only want to improve the odds of our success. And I know you make these suggestions in part to protect me from harm. However, I have no intention of changing my mind in this. I--

: Oh, I-I... It's nothing.

Naturally, Myrrh doesn't just wait until the conversation is over before bringing up what she wants to say. Oh, what a tragedy.

: Myrrh...

: The city's crawling with Grado men! We're under attack!

: Prince Ephraim.

: All troops prepare to fight! To arms!

Short and simple. Just how I like it.

Chapter 12's difficulty lies mostly in the first few turns when you're just getting off the docks. If you can make it into the town proper, things slow down considerably, almost to a lethargic level.

Caellach's here, but we don't care. He'll be gone by the end of the enemy phase anyway.

Marisa might be a larger concern. As the opening sequence suggested, we have to give her a talking-to with Ewan, and she doesn't move unless someone's within attack range. And considering how she'll willingly take a swing at Gerik, I doubt she'll hold back for Ewan.

One thing at a time though: Our first priority is getting off this boat. There'd be less resistance going off the west side,'ll see.

: Fort Rigwald? You lost it! Your General Duessel? A traitor! Where is the honor of the Grado Imperial Army? It wallows in filth and mud. Is this the ending you envisioned? Is this how you would be remembered? Will you let the bards sing of how you fell to the renegade Ephraim? I think not! Now get up and fight! Kill them all! And bring me Ephraim's head!

For a guy who only cares about himself, Caellach is quite the motivational speaker.

Pirates and fighters can be quite the little problem if you're trying to create a bottleneck. They'll just walk right past you and leave a hole for their landlubber cousins.

But that's all that happens this turn, other than this.

Similarly to the Seth montage above, Riev's tendency to open conversations with "Heh, heh, heh," could make another fun montage.

: Caellach. Interesting. What are you doing here? You were ordered to loose your dogs of war on Jehanna, were you not?

: Keep silent, you decrepit fool. I told you, Jehanna's under control. My plan is in full effect. All we need do now is wait. You see, Jehanna is an overripe fruit. It's being devoured by worms from within. We can pluck it anytime we wish.

: Heh heh heh... Oh, how your plans seem to have gone awry. Even now, Eirika makes her way toward Jehanna. Your perfect fruit has turned to rot while you did nothing. It's time. You will return to the capital with me.

: What?! Are you truly serious, you old goat? Glen... No, it's that black-hearted Valter... What's he playing at now?

: There's no call for that sort of talk. That one has his uses after all. You can leave the defeat of Ephraim to your subordinates. Oh yes, and you can use the troops I brought with me as well. It will, no doubt, be an interesting battle. Heh heh heh... Let's go now, Caellach. You wouldn't want to hurt a certain someone's feelings, would you?

: Bah. What else can I do?

And just like that, we've got monsters. A cyclops, some Mauthe Doogs, bonewalkers, an entombed...

Baels from the sides, and more as reinforcements...

And a trio of gargoyles too.

: More of those fiends? What's going on? Their movements... It's... It's as though those creatures are cooperating with Grado's army...

That makes me think that it might be interesting to see two enemy factions on the field at once, both of which could fight you, but were also fighting each other. How practical would that be to implement, I wonder?

With Caellach gone, our new objective is to kill this big fella. He may be huge and tough and durable, but he won't move, and that will be his undoing. Plus we'll get the Swordslayer once he's dead, and that will be a handy axe to have around.

By the way, being the sole axe user on this map is giving Garcia lots of options. He's got an A rank and enough constitution to wield them all. A guy this strong using a Swordslayer...that'll be beautiful.

I was considering using Joshua for the purposes of this barricade, but he has his own destiny.

Besides, Forde needs the training.

Why do Luna users always seem to only have 8 magic? Kind of a waste of potential.

I'll tell you who isn't wasting her potential...

The reason why it's so hard to get off the docks is because, unlike the last chapter, pretty much everything's coming at you at once. You've got to be ready to weather a fairly nasty assault.

Luck also factors into it a little, but Joshua's got the aid of a B support.

The archer here has a Short Bow, which is terrible. It's weaker than an Iron Bow, has half the uses, and only provides +10 to crit. I wouldn't use it, but we get it anyway.

Like I said, you're going to get swarmed in the first few turns of this chapter. It's only inevitable.

Too bad that the spiders are essentially the brigands of the monster family. Really powerful, can cross mountains, but can't hit a blasted thing.

This guy here took me by surprise the first time I did this level. His target? Tana. That was a sad reset.

The only human reinforcements on this map are a merc and an archer on the ship. Not really that impressive.

I'll take it.

Ah, the old "Trap an archer behind environmental obstacles so he can't do a blessed thing" trick. Works every time.

Meanwhile, Joshua performs a superfluous crit on a spider to gain...

...You know, someone in the thread suggested that I bench Joshua to give Marisa more time to shine. It's tempting.

One of the perks of being Ephraim is being able to snatch healing items out of a bag whenever you want one. It's great being the king.

Since it's almost required at this point:

It's your The-RNG-Hates-Me Moment of the day!

This cavalier has a sword, but he can't use it, because of enemy priority. For whatever reason, the gargoyles have a higher priority than the cavalier, possibly because they're flying units. As a result, while the fellow would love to use his sword, there's always someone in the way.

One new quirk of the enemy AI: they can't see supports. I'm guessing that this would normally do one damage, but thanks to Natasha's support with Joshua, that mage just wasted a turn.

Regardless, I'm glad that the eastern boat is locked down at this point, because that's a lot of enemies.

Artur disappointed me this chapter. After all I've done for him, too.

I'm glad that one of my mages is still okay, though.

This gargoyle with a Horseslayer killed another one of my runs, swooping around to take out L'Arachel in a single shot. She doesn't die, of course, since she's important to the plot, but she doesn't fight again, regardless.

That poor cavalier just wants to fight, and since he won't move, that shaman can't fight either. Stupid greedy gargoyles...

Don't worry, buddy. we'll help you out.

Jeez, that's terrible.

That trapped archer finally meets his end.

No...not again!

And the other boat is now clear too. We're home free, so long as we can get past...

A bunch of cheating spiders.

Joshua gets his revenge.

We've also got a Killer Bow archer...

And a Killing Edge mercenary. Fortunately, neither of them go off, but we don't get the weapons either. That's sad.

And so are these levels.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Some of our other members are still doing okay.

Though some of them seem to be going out of their way to avoid strength.

This ought to be handy for Lute. The mage drops the Elfire tome when he's finished frying Joshua with it.

Nothing to see in the fancy building except a guy pining for Tethys, but if we go in here...

: I need to find a woman by the name of Marisa. I don't know where she's done. If you'll help me find her, I'll gladly travel with you. I'm a useful guy to know. In a pinch, I can use the magic I've learned so far. So what do you say? Do we have a deal?

Note that Ewan's offering this time is a Dragonshield, not an Energy Ring. Otherwise, I wouldn't try to train this kid up naturally in hard mode. All you'll get is an ulcer.

Having tired of churning out spiders, the game is now producing bonewalkers out of the top of the map. They're ridiculously weak and toting iron weapons, so who cares?

You may have noticed, but there's an arena in town. I'm not going to use it much. I've learned my lesson from the first time.

Better pick up the pace, Natasha.

No reason why we can't have two healers, is there?

Plinking the cannon fodder skeletons to death improves Neimi some more.

But I'm afraid that this may be Artur's last chapter.

Now then, clearing out the shamen. Once we're past them, all we have to worry about are the folks surrounding Marisa.

It's not much, but it's strength.

Also, the guy had a Guiding Ring on him. That'll be useful for the pupil and monk that we're sending to the bench.

And there's always room on that bench, Josh, my lad.

Don't think that you're exempt either, Neimi. Lots of people would love to replace you with Innes.

And besides luck, is there anything you can do that Franz can't do better, Forde?

All things considered, Tana's lucky that her main competitor is doing so poorly.

There's an entombed flanking the boss, but he's nothing special.

And when I think about, having a lot more luck is probably a good thing when you have to do things like this.

: Ewan? What are you doing here?

: Marisa, the mercenary guild sent you here, didn't they? They assigned you to fight under Commander Gerik, right?

: That's right. But the chief’s not here.

: I know. It was all a mistake. Your commander's over there, working on another job. He wants you to join him.

: Really? He said that?

: Yep.

: I'm on my way.

: Hey, wait! Wait! Take me with you! This group's headed east, too. Let's stick with them for now.

: Very well.

Garcia needed that. All of that.

Since Marisa starts out at such a low level, we'd better get going on her training right away.

Not the best beginning.

As I mentioned, the boss doesn't ever move, so it's very easy to just beat on him as we please.

We can even use lances if we like. It's all cool.

Cormag doesn't care what he's hitting, so long as he can do it better next time.

In retrospect, I should have given this one to Seth.

But it could have been worse.

I'm hoping he means "our wounded," because I'm getting a rather different mental picture.

: Understood. We'll rest in this city until we're prepared to advance. Replenish supplies and rest the troops. Remind every soldier that anyone who breaks the city's laws will be severely punished. Anything else?

: We should prepare defenses along the east in case of assault. The capital's not far, and fresh troops could be here at any time.

: Good point. All right, set up three rotating watches. Then--

You probably knew this was coming with all the large hints that Myrrh kept giving.

You should have paid more attention to the little (1000+ year old) girl, Ephraim.

: Yes, she's been missing since this morning. There are no signs of a struggle. I feel she left of her own accord.

: Where did she go? Didn't anyone see her?

: One of the guards reports having seen a young lady heading east. He said she seemed unsteady on her feet. It may have been her.

: Prepare to move out. We head east.

: Prince Ephraim...

: I'm not just acting on emotion, Seth. The capital lies to the east as well.

: ...

: Listen, I know what you said is true. I am king in all but title now. I know I must place my duty as commander above my life as a man. And once I am crowned, I most certainly will do exactly that. However, I am not ready to divorce myself from my compassion just yet. I will find the balance somehow, the means to save my country and her people. That is the king I wish to become, and so that is the man I must be. I need your help in this, Seth.

: ...I understand, Prince Ephraim. If that is your decision, then I will do my best to assist you.

: I'm counting on it. Please be safe, Myrrh.

I like Seth and Ephraim's dynamic, especially contrasted with how he treats Eirika. Rather than agreeing with everything Eirika says, Seth actively protests Ephraim's strategies, and they often disagree with one another. In that way, Seth becomes more of a character, and less of a bland advisor.

Next Time: The game forces us to approach a character with long range magic via a long, winding path. Joy. It's Chapter 13: Fluorspar's Oath.