Part 49: Final Chapter: Sacred Stone
Last chapter, but not the end. The end of the story, perhaps, but we've got a bit more ahead of us.
One and a half years ago was the last time Ephraim had seen Lyon, half a year before Emperor Vigarde died. Apparently, he'd just forgotten to write a letter during that time or something.
: We'll see each other again. All three of us--you, me, and Eirika.
: Yeah... I know. But when we get older, when we each take the reigns of our nations, we probably won't meet again... Not like this, I mean. Not as friends.
: What's that got to do with anything? Kings are humans, too. Emperors need not be friendless, you know.
: I suppose you're right. You have a knack for cutting to the heart of things. But becoming a king or an emperor is not something you can take lightly. I really dont think we'll be the same people we are right now... What if Renais and Grado went to war? What if we were forced to fight?
: Don't be ridiculous. That would never happen.
: If... If it did... We'd still be friends, wouldn't we?
: Even if that happens, yes.
: Hm... All right, Ephraim. Then I will see you again.
: You came after all, Ephraim. I'm glad.
: Lyon. Is this... Is this my fault? Am I responsible for how much you've changed? I havent seen you for two years now... Have you..hated me that entire time?
: No, Ephraim. I was never dishonest. I liked you both. I still do. But I was envious of you, too. That's why I...desired this. You may not believe me when I tell you this, but... Even now, after all this, I still consider you a friend.
: Lyon... You know that I do, too. I spoke the truth to you... I truly thought that we would always be friends. That's why I... I have to stop you.
: Of course. I know... You are Ephraim, after all. You could do no less, my friend. Well, come then, Ephraim. Try and stop me. I will defeat you, and then I will save the people of Grado. No one... No one will stand in my way.
It'd be easier to do the whole "saving the people of Grado" thing if you at least collapsed the walkways or something. Maybe posted archers along the entire edge so that I couldn't fly units over...you know, some basic precautions.
By the way, regarding this map, it's mirrored horizontally from Eirika's version, right down to the enemy locations and, as we'll see, the reinforcements. It's an interesting gimmick, but ultimately kind of pointless.
The Dracozombies are somewhat nastier than they were in Normal. Some of them have so much HP that it's listed as ?? in battle. However, they're still just fixed damage, and kinda slow at that. They shouldn't pose too much of a threat.
Lyon, on the other hand, can't even be approached by more than four or five of our guys without killing them instantly. Even Eirika, Ephraim's buddy in crime, will be useless for fighting him. Good thing we don't have to trigger any conversations with her this time.
As our opening move, Knoll whips out the Eclipse tome. It's not that great, as per usual, but he needs to train up his dark magic in a hurry.
I mentioned in the normal run that it's probably a bad idea to split the party, but Ephraim, Gerik, and Garcia are a party in themselves, especially when one of them has a bag full of elixirs.
Besides, the Wights may be more powerful than in normal, but they're still basic cannon fodder.
Pretty valuable cannon fodder though.
For Garcia, it's the end of the game, and he's got a monopoly on axes.
He may only thwack once, but it'll be a good thwack.
As per usual, the enemy will sometimes try to be clever with their weapon choices.
Doesn't help them much.
No remedies for stone in this crowd, so I just do what Garcia does best. I plan on actually looting these chests this time around.
I don't have any fast-running crazy axe-wielding madmen in the other crowd, so I send a minion to draw the Gorgon's fire.
It's happening again.
Since Dracozombies are usually not the fastest sorts, here's their dodge animation, also known as tilting their head slightly to the side. Hey, if it works for Swordmasters...
By a wide margin, Innes got the bulk of the stat booster vote, so I'll be putting him to use.
And for good reason too.
Oh, and Gerik got critted by a Wight with a sword. Check it out!
Looks kind of silly, but a sinister laugh followed by a quick blade flourish is an okay animation for a monster.
That's right. For one of the last treasures in the story mode, they give you a promotion item. A little late for that, wouldn't you say?
I should have remembered that this thing was here. I would have included it in the vote. Oh well...
In retrospect, I should have probably just brought Marisa instead of Myrrh, since she's full up on levels, but she makes a decent distraction for...
Oh, Lute. You never fail to impress.
The Phantom continues to star in Die Hard 2: Die Hardly.
Gerik had the unfortunate task of starting the job that Ephraim and Garcia finished.
Thank goodness for elixirs, aye?
You see, the reason why this is happening is because the Phantom always uses axes, and he's facing a creature with a javelin. Even so, it's funny to watch.
You know what, when it comes to being a dancer, this is probably the perfect level.
And the amount of strength Eirika's been gaining this run through is kind of hilarious when you consider that normal mode Eirika had to slip on an Energy Ring to even compare.
And the amount of defense Lute keeps getting is just absurd for her growth.
Yeah, nice try, buddy.
And storming both sides at once brings predictable results. Notice what I'm talking about with everything being mirrored?
The Arch Mogalls used to be on this side.
Garcia is happy to have spear users to whack.
And Gerik...never mind about Gerik.
I have to admit, I'm rather disappointed. What can a bunch of tough guys with steel lances do to these hard dudes?
More than Knoll, presumably. Fortunately, you gain weapon experience whether you hit or miss.
And aside from a bit of mild discomfort relating to the Arch Mogalls...
The group's able to clear them out okay.
And Knoll's finally able to reach S Rank on this poor archer.
Although I'm beginning to think that his little buddy might be more effective.
Remember, kids: check every enemy.
No worries, still got elixirs.
With the exterior guard mostly dealt with, it's time to get past their defensive line. I'll be going around the sides this time, so as to make my life easier, but first, I need to defuse the Shadowshots.
While I wait for the Phantom to clear out the problem for me, Tana demonstrates why she's so scary. That's only an iron sword, after all.
Not even the Gorgons can touch her.
That's a strength cap. Nothing's stopping her now.
And after we fast forward a few turns, we begin our assault.
Hilariously, that front line of wights doesn't move from their post for anything. That means that the Gorgons have no choice but to fend for themselves.
That goes as well as you'd think.
Unfortunately, the Phantom couldn't take part in the fun, because he got himself stoned again.
By the by, you remember how absurdly powerful Gleipnir was in normal mode? That's due to Moulder, not the tome itself. Gleipnir is the one Sacred Twin weapon that doesn't do effective damage against monsters, so the only way to make it effective is to have a Bishop cart it around. That's why a Dark Bishop is so hilariously fun.
No point waiting for reinforcements. Let's just take on Lyon right now.
Well done, prince.
: I know nothing of human frailty. I am supreme...
I considered it appropriate that Knoll should get a shot at Lyon, since he had a personal hand in bringing the Demon King to pass. Unfortunately, Gleipnir weighs him down too much for him to double, but that's fine, since we've got a couple more dudes who want a piece of him.
: The last time we dueled, I was too weak to test you. Why, I was so weak, I even lost to Eirika...
: I've sacrificed the lives of many good people. I've committed many unforgivable sins. The caring heart I once possessed died long ago. And I've grown stronger because of it. I've grown strong enough to defeat even you, Ephraim.
: ...No, you haven't. You're still no match for me. You were never one for combat. It's not in you. You should never have chosen this path.
: ...Here I come, Lyon.
Why yes, Ephraim just engaged in a bit of smack talk with the endgame boss. The guy is fearless to a fault.
And as Knoll makes me question why I use him for anything other than deploying strangely popular minions...
Ephraim helps me to fulfill a request from people in the thread. Much like Seth in the last run, there's a character in this run who people idolized to an odd degree.
That's right, Innes, take the last shot. Your fans demand it.
: Where... Where did I go wrong...
Though I can't imagine why.
: I've always... admired...
: You know, Ephraim... I always wanted to be you. I wanted to be strong and handsome... With Eirika always at my side... That's what I wanted to be. I had... I had nothing...
: Don't be ridiculous, Lyon. Who was it that taught me history? Who covered for me when I stumbled? Didn't you see how I looked up to you? I admired your compassion, your wisdom, your thoughtfulness....
: Oh, yeah... That seems so long ago... I did keep you out of trouble, didn't I? Thanks for remembering. See? You're thoughtful, too...
: Lyon... Wait! Don't close your eyes! I'm going to save you! I'll find a way! I...
Casual to the end.
: It was all my fault... Don't look so sad. C'mon, Ephraim, smile. Like you used to...
And like before, Lyon's lifeless body is spirited away.
: What?! This...
: Brother! Lyon's body! It's...
: ...The time has come...My resurrection is at hand...
: The sacrifice of your flesh and the sum of your efforts... They were all for naught. Grado's disaster cannot be averted. All this time, you imagined yourself in possession of your own free will, but it was I who planted the seed from which your ambitions grew. My deceit made you my puppet, and oh, how you danced at the end of my strings. You could never have been saved. It's a shame, isn't it, Lyon?
So that confirms it. Lyon's supposed victory over the Demon King's possession, fueled by the power of friendship, was all a trick, designed to make him think that he was in control. But he never was. I like this interpretation of the Demon King's control, since it makes him more subtle a villain, rather than the cackling idiot that he was in Eirika's route.
: And now I... I am reborn.
: Lyon... My friend... You're the one...
: Brother... This power... It's different.
: I know. This power is greater than anything we've ever faced.... But none of that matters. I've learned so much... My lance is stronger than ever. That thing deceived and murdered my friend... No matter what happens, I'm going to destroy it!
And here's the team that'll help us make it happen.
: LArachel! It's time to use it. Prepare the last Sacred Stone! We have to use its power on that beast, like in the legends!
: You must listen to me, Ephraim. The stories are true: the stone does hold the power to stop the Demon King. However, the source of its power is human will, the desire for peace within our hearts.
: In our hearts...
: Yes, that's right. We need not pray for the Sacred Stone to aid us now. No, we need only focus ourselves and concentrate on a better future.
: I understand.
: This is the final battle. If we can defeat this thing, it's over. We face the king of demons, the monster that once ruled all Magvel. He's more powerful than any one of us here. But we have something that beast will never have. We have community, friendship, love... We have all the virtues of humanity. That is our weapon. That is our strength.
Man, these two quotes in conjunction with one another makes the group sound really battle-scarred.
: No... I'll do it. I have no intention of seeing anyone else die!
The Demon King may have 120 health, but he's actually weaker than Lyon was. There's a bit of a strategy to facing him in hard mode. You see...
Ha ha, just kidding.
Indeed, in just two hits, Ephraim's already drawn back the veil of mystery surrounding Fomortiis's health bar.
Supported by her brother, Eirika can provide some help too.
And now it's time to get fancy. With a shot of Warp...
And an okay level...
Followed up with some encouragement from Tethys (and you folks wondered why I was bringing her)...
Garcia can cut the Demon King down to size...
And Innes can bring this fight to a close.
That's how you beat a final boss in one turn.
: Now we ride for home!