Part 8: UPDATE 4: First AssignmentUpdate 4: First Assignment
On this day, the group of indomitable champions that would become the most elite fighting force on the continent received its now immortal name, which lives to this day in the hearts of the just and the nightmares of douchebags the world over.
You don't know valor, you don't know strength, and you don't know fear until you have faced the Generic Army. And on that day, may God have mercy on your soul.
: "We must strive to do our best and be true to our name."
not really sure what that means in this context but okay
This is a weird line. Recall that the default battalion name is Blue Knights. This line doesn't even really work with that. "Let's all try to be as blue as possible, guys!"
Anyway, new business concluded, it's briefing time. Let's see that inexplicable fantasy PowerPoint!
: "Let's get started..."
: "Our destination is Fort Tuatha, located a day northwest of headquarters. Our objective is to liberate the fort from the rebels. There are two possible routes you can take to get there."
: "According to our reconnaissance, troops were dispatched to both routes. So we should divide our troops, and destroy the troops on both routes."
god please stop saying troops
the word's lost all meaning
: "If you clear both paths, the rest of the operation will go smoothly. Regroup your troops and attack Fort Tuatha with your full force. ...That's probably the best."
"If you kill all the enemy units everything should go pretty well. Then attacking the HQ would be a pretty good idea." Thanks for the sage advice, Hugo!
: "...Then shall we go?"
I BELIEVE WE SHALL
First order of business: We receive a new unit, led by Leia. Unlike Dio, Leia doesn't have any spillover lackeys in their own units. It's just her, two Amazons, and two Valkyries. Her movement type is Forest -- Amazons get the Forest movement type, which is higher on the totem pole than the basic Plain type, but lower than the Snow type that Leia and her Valkyries get. What's a Valkyrie, you ask? GOOD QUESTION
The other female frontliner class besides Dragon Tamer, Valkyries have slightly better armor options but slightly worse stat growth (and no Dragon bonus). When placed in the back row, they use a magic attack (always Lightning, regardless of innate element) if that's your thing (it's not mine). Very well-rounded class; questionable choice of headwear. Two stabs in the front, one in the middle. One Lightning in the back.
Leia, as a Blaze Knight (), is basically a Valkyrie with her own sprite but without the option to ever change to anything else. I switch her to the front row because she's much better at stabbing things than she is at electrocuting them.
To start the mission off, I'm sending Ivory north to Movae, a roughly Neutral stronghold, and Swift west to Kiefer.
Kiefer is a slightly more Chaotic stronghold, so Dio gets to actually do something for the first time in forever--after Swift drives out the enemy forces, Dio gets to sweep in and liberate the place.
After moving forward far enough, I discover that the rebels are actually sending units to attack me, and order my advancing troops to hold steady and let them come. It's always a better idea to let attackers come to you, because while they're walking they're burning Fatigue (and you're not). Easiest way to cancel a move order is to give the unit a new direction to face (which by the way can be the direction they're already facing).
Our attackers aren't a whole lot to worry about. In the west, we have Edgar, a Berserker and his pet Golem. In the north, Dyson and his lady friends. Let's talk Golems and Sorceresses.
Huge animated clay man from Hebrew mythology. In OB64, Golems are best described as "big palooka." They're quite resistant to being hit or stabbed with things. Their weaknesses include magic (particularly Lightning) and being blocked due to their low Dex. This last one is lessened slightly by being placed in a unit led by a Doll Master, which makes them worth using. 3 attacks in the front row; 2 in the middle; 1 in the back.
The basic female offensive chaotic spellcaster. Gets two magic attacks (determined by innate element) in the back row and one everywhere else. Slightly more defensively oriented in stat growth than their male counterparts, and more visually interesting due to being less cliched. I think her collar is popped all the way off her body.
Since Edgar is not a Doll Master, he's easily defeated by Swift. While tracking him down in an effort to catch up before he can heal, Swift finds a Plumed Headband on the ground. These are required to make Valkyries, which would be relevant had we not just received two of them for free (and they brought their own hats).
Unfortunately Swift is not quite swift enough to make it there and instead gets caught up in a battle with Zemekis (the RNG usually isn't this bad at giving enemies names that aren't the same as the ones my soldiers have, although in its defense Zemeckis DID have a C added). Zemekis is a Beast Tamer with a pet Griffin -- the Griffin gets a bonus from being led by him, but not enough of one to make it an actually good unit.
Man, I keep forgetting to replace that Soldier Swift lost before. That's bad because the rest of them will get promoted more slowly. Hope that doesn't come back to haunt me!
As you can see, Swift does pretty well for himself despite not being able to actually kill any leaders his first try. Meanwhile, in the upper right there you can see Ivory's imminent clash with Dyson about to go down.
Without any meatshields, Dyson's all-mage unit kind of sucks (). He gets Marty'd pretty fast.
Meanwhile, Swift manages to kill off Edgar, and immediately afterward he points his formation in the direction of the wandering Golem. This would be a great idea were it not for Zemekis still hanging out right next to him.
If your unit is facing the wrong way when the battle starts, their formation will get screwed up just the same as an enemy's would. This can gimp your damage output, which can lead to losing battles, which can lead to losing precious soldier promotion EXP.
Meanwhile, Doreauxgard is about to clash with Tina, the Dragon Tamer, and her ninja allies. Let me tell you about Ninjas.
The stat requirements for being a Ninja are pretty low, and they're the only human class other than Fighters and Amazons (and undead ) that are incapable of leading a unit. This might fool many players (myself included) into thinking that they are basically a slightly faster Fighter. Thing is, in terms of stat growth they're actually roughly equivalent to the Knight, just with less HP and more AGI. This makes them a perfectly serviceable Chaotic frontliner (their weapons, Claws, are pretty rare but that's about the only problem). Just find someone else to actually lead your unit.
Doreauxgard's victory over Tina is enough to promote him another Fighter. I call him off so Ivory can catch up and do some promoting of her own.
Swift's re-rematch with Zemekis goes slightly better than the last one, but it's not enough for him to promote another Soldier. C'mon, c'mon.
Meanwhile, Dio finds a stray dog. Neutral Encounters (random encounters with monsters) are your main method for recruiting any character that isn't a Human. You'll find the monster (or golem, or dragon, etc) on the map, and the Battle Strategy interrupt action is replaced with Talk. Talk gives you a chance to recruit the enemy, but also a chance for it to get a bonus attack and a chance for it to flee. Kill the enemy and you get a bonus item. Let it get away and you get bupkis. I was able to convince this Hellhound to join me (nice doggy!) which is great because I love these things.
In the process of finishing off Tina, Ivory also promotes a Soldier. She gets a Rapier as a reward -- this would be my first one if I hadn't gotten Ivory at game start. Also she finally takes Movae.
Meanwhile, Dio finally makes it all the way to Kiefer, where I have him buy a pretty dress. The Witch's Dress is required not only for Witches but also for Sorceresses (which is why I'm bothering with it).
Swift finishes off everyone in the southwest quadrant. Still no promotions. <>
At this point I sent him all the way back to HQ to replenish his Soldiers, then all the way back to the front. I was willing to make some sacrifices for the sake of getting him to finally promote someone. How preciously naive of me.
Meanwhile the northwestern stronghold of Boolem is guarded by a very unintimidating unit led by a fellow named Dude. In the Northeast, Carnot is guarded by a Knight named Knox and the game's first Mature Dragon.
Yet another Large frontliner character. These things get different sprites and back-row attacks based on their innate element (or alignment if it's extreme in one direction or the other). Two bites in the front row, one in the middle, and a <Element> Breath attack in the rear. Get a bonus if led by a Dragon Tamer. They're ok for now, but they start getting awesome in their next iteration.
For some reason Dude gets a cutscene where he yells at you a little. I dunno why, but just imagine this line being spoken by Jeff Bridges and you won't mind.
: "We will not succumb for our kingdom... for our freedom!"
Swift didn't lose (of course), but I lost another Soldier and again did not promote anyone. Starting to be a real pain in the ass.
While fighting Knox, Ivory took a crit from the dragon, so as a precaution I shuffled the formation and put her behind Marty. With a meatshield in front and a magicshield behind, she's now safe from any (single-target) attack, but she only gets one attack of her own in the middle row.
Boolem was pretty Chaotic; I'm honestly surprised Dio could liberate it. Good going, kid.
Claris here will attack you if you take a forward stronghold. I took Boolem first, and she was headed over there before suddenly deciding Carnot was more important. She's got a Gremlin. Sigh.
I hate these things. Small, annoying, chaotic, hard to hit. In the front two rows, they attack with Blow Kiss, which gives a Power Down debuff, making them even HARDER to hit. In the back row, they get an Abyss attack, which has a chance to put targets to sleep. None of this has any damage output to speak of, making them kind of useless in your own units, but killing them is a HUGE pain in the ass.
Doreauxgard polishes her off. I call Swift over to the east side of the stage, thinking that SURELY wiping out her unit would give him the victories he needs to promote a soldier. Surely, THIS time.
Unfortunately, after chasing them all the way up here, all he gets to show for it is another Plumed Headband. Sigh. Good question, Swift.
The area boss, Efeminette, is the first enemy unit to actually have a full complement of 5 characters. Luckily, (a) they're all fighters/amazons, (b) she's an easy target due to being alone in the center column, and (c) she doesn't have the foresight to turn around when the guy you sent to the north end of the map to kill an annoying-as-hell Gremlin comes sneaking up behind her. Like most bosses, she gets a monologue.
: "I believe you belong to the Southern Division? We were brought together by Sir Frederick Raskin... to guide this kingdom in the right direction. From this day on, we will be known as the Palatinean Revolutionary Army."
This is something like day 6 or 7 of this mission. Dunno why they waited for this day in particular, but okay! Wonder what she would have had to talk about if I'd shown up yesterday.
(NOTE: the day they become the Revolutionary Army is ALWAYS whatever day you first fight Efeminette.)
: "Revolutionary Army!?"
Swift is not impressed. He's heard more creative names in his day. Like Generic Army.
: "That is correct. The time is over, for the royal family, the nobles and the upper class to live comfortably. ...It is now our turn."
Those of you who had been waiting with bated breath to see Ogre Battle 64's stance on the Oxford/serial comma, you now have your answer! (I almost added one myself, but that would be misrepresenting the game!)
: "So you resort to violence? You involve innocent people in your dispute!? Don't you think there are more peaceful approaches?"
: "It is for the revolution. Sacrifices must be made. Besides, no person is unaffected. They just feign ignorance. ...My apologies for wasting precious time. Now, would you mind if I kill you?"
well since you asked so politely
Thanks to a timely crit, she goes down in the first fight. Swift still doesn't get to promote anyone.
: "You... have a pure... noble heart... Be careful... Do not... be discouraged... be true to your heart..."
Well THAT's the nicest thing anyone's ever said about Swift with their dying words! She is AWARE she's not speaking to Freddie, right?
Nice payday there. Efeminette's spear isn't required for any class we'll be getting any time soon, but it's better than the base spear. It's going on Leia as soon as the battle's over.
Freddie is busy staring at the front door of the fort when Hugo comes with new information.
: "Freddie, we have new orders... Actually, there are two of them. The first is to escort Prince Yumil through Mylesia, to the northwest... and the second is to go south and sweep the Zenobian border of the Revolutionary Army. In both cases, we're going alone. Everyone else has their hands full."
I guess making sure that the prince of Palatinus doesn't get killed by highwaymen isn't particularly high on the priority list of the Southern Division? I mean, it's no big deal. I'm just that good.
You can tell he's having EMOTIONS right now because he's looking downward.
: "They formed the Revolutionary Army because they were dissatisfied with their treatment, right? Is their discontent... Is their anger that strong? So strong that they risk their own lives...?"
: "To tell you the truth... I believe so. I knew they weren't satisfied with their current status, but I didn't expect it would turn out like this."
There you have it. Our two next possible destinations: Mylesia and the Zenobian Border. First a couple of organizational things:
Marty-san is finally ready to embrace his true destiny as a warrior of the night. I'm giving Cucka the same treatment Marty got before: he's becoming a Berserker not because it's what I had in mind for him, but because it's better than Fighter. He'll change again soon.
NEXT TIME: BRANCHING GAMEPLAY CHOICES