Part 10: UPDATE 6: The Path DivergesAfter a little training I'm ready to take some of my troops TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
Meister follows in the footsteps of his idol Doreauxgard and becomes a Knight.
Revealing my intentions for Swift's unit to be Chaotic (since I really do need one of those that isn't Dio), Cucka and Guy become Ninjas.
Finally, Freddie's unit becomes almost complete as Robert takes on the mantle of knighthood and Reynolds finally graduates.
Update 6: The Path Diverges
So, last time, when the path diverged () we went south, to the Zenobian border. Tonight, we're going west, to Mylesia, where Yumil needs some help running a blockade of some sort.
Before we do all that, it's time for ANOTHER SEPIA-TONED FLASHBACK
Like many flashbacks, this one begins with Freddie getting knocked on his ass by some douchenozzle with a knife.
We are saved at the last minute by a distinguished armored gentleman running in and hitting the assassin in the nuts with a Blessed Sword.
This act is apparently frowned upon by the gentleman's social circle.
"I was always suspicious..."
"Get out! You..."
: "Why do you keep quiet? Why don't you tell the truth...? Aren't you... mad at... them? ...........Da.....d....."
The full story of Freddie's daddy issues become clear! I'm sure choosing not to defend himself against the murder rap for whatever political reasons he had was a huge sacrifice on his part and he probably had Freddie's best interests in mind, but Freddie's dumb little 12-year-old whiny-rich-kid brain could not process this idea, so he ran off to... join the officers' corps and follow in his dad's footsteps?
Freddie's just not very good at rebellion.
Back in the present, I guess Freddie just sort of dozed off in the middle of a briefing.
To be fair, Hugo is REALLY boring.
: "...Wake up! We don't have time for daydreaming! I will now start the briefing. ...Understood? Our objective is to escort Prince Yumil and his party through this area, to reach the Western Region safely."
sorry, I just kind of lost focus somewhere around the word... "escort." Urp. Just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Yes, our mission this time around is to keep an AI-controlled Yumil safe. Still, the guy's a prince, he must have had SOME training, I'm sure it won't be that
Yeah this might be a challenge.
...man, Yumil really is the epitome of here. Just slap a pure white 90's Shawn Hunter 'do on that yellow guy and it's a spitting image.
: "The Revolutionary Army seized this opportunity and took over the castle held by the Western Division. ...Therefore, our goal is to defeat the Revolutionary Army residing in the area and regain the control of the castle. Now, take a look at this. Let's get started..."
: "Our objective is Castle Burgund, located a day and a half west. We must escort Prince Yumil and liberate Castle Burgund, to secure a path to Wentinus. Prince Yumil's units will wander a bit before heading to Burgund, so watch out for him."
man I WISH. The thing about this mission is that Yumil is an impatient jerk. He's got a destination in mind and he wants to be there YESTERDAY. He won't wait for you if you dawdle. He won't stop to rest or heal himself, even. The trick is to always keep moving so you can take out most of the threat before he gets there.
: "This area is very wide, so you will spend lots of time marching. Don't let your men get too tired."
: "...Don't get caught off guard. Stay focused on your objective. Keep in mind... The longer the battle, the more casualties we'll suffer."
Hugo, Hugo, Hugo. No faith in me.
: "Do you want to pay a visit to the prince?"
: "Since this is an escort mission, it's necessary for us to go first and take care of any problems... There's not much time left. I'll pay a visit to the prince after the mission has been accomplished."
: "Prince Yumil wanted to see you, but... If you say so. Well then, shall we go? I'll be waiting outside."
well now that there are absolutely no questions and nothing we need to resolve i guess i'll also just be
: "Freddie! Hey Freddie, wait! Tell me who you really are. How are you related to that prince guy?"
: "......... He's a childhood friend."
lookit that pose
those theatre classes dio took are really paying off
: "Hey! Come back here, Freddie!"
DIO WANTS GOSSIP
Not one line from Leia. I guess she didn't have a reason not to be present if Dio was there. vv
Okay anyway we've got a mission to do. As you can see, our first target stronghold is on the Chaotic side. Dio, yer up.
As you might be able to see, Yumil's unit doesn't waste any time leaving the HQ -- I was only able to get my units barely in front of him by hitting Pause as soon as the mission started and giving orders before letting time start up at all. His unit is actually pretty competently put together -- he's surrounded on all sides by Black Knights. I'm not going to describe those just yet, since they're only SORT of relevant here and we won't see them again for a while. They get two actions wherever they are, though, which ensures that no matter which angle Yumil gets attacked from, his unit will perform exactly the same. They've also got a healthy supply of healing items. His AI still acts pretty stupidly sometime, but he's not exactly Natalya.
Guarding the first stronghold is
The basic Flying character class: ignores terrain, flies over rivers, goes really fast, gets tired really fast. Not great stats-wise, and can't lead its own unit, but can change into better classes that neither of those apply to. Not a whole lot else to say about them. Two attacks in the front, one everywhere else.
Yumil's unit has enough sense to hang back a minute whilst I deal with the rabble. This is the only time this will happen.
Herp derp dead. Pictured: Dead Dick; I receive approximately jack shit for wiping out Pai Long's unit.
Slightly out of our way is the Neutral town of Elgorea. There's a shop there. I send Ivory on a solo mission to liberate the north.
Well look who did something right!
Whoa, I better start killing rebels -- Yumil's on the move. Approaching my position from the south is Hilda, an Archer with a penchant for putting her meatshields in the back for some reason.
If the Knight can be seen as an upgraded Fighter, the Archer is an upgraded Amazon. Ranged physical attacks are excellent for harassing enemy mages and clerics, and the Archer line is the only place to get them! In addition to being stronger, faster, tougher, and all around better than the Amazon, the Archer gets two attacks in the middle row and is unique in that she's actually strongest there -- physical attacks always get stronger the further forward you are, although of course the Archer only gets one attack in the front row. Put her in the middle and shoot fools full of holes.
A run-in with Leia is enough to send Hilda running for shelter, although she's far enough off the road that I can cut her off.
From behind, Hilda's unit is stronger than before. Braving arrows, swords, axes, and mysterious graphical disturbances, Leia takes her out, but sustains enough damage in the process that I just stop her right where she is while everyone else catches up. Have to keep moving, gotta stay ahead of Yumil.
Meanwhile, up North, Ivory has a brief run-in with the late Cleric Eva.
This epic duel of Dragon Tamers also ends about how you'd expect.
No sooner does Ivory take Elgorea than she is accosted by some kid.
: "I watched you fight those guys. Wow... You're so strong! ...Do you mind if I tag along? Oh, please? I promise I won't cause any trouble. I wanna become strong, just like you!"
I DO love being strong
: "...Who are you?"
: "My name's Troi, and I'm from Elgorea."
"pleeeeeeeeease can I join your army"
"i LOVE stomping rebels"
"i'll be your best friend"
Good enough for me!
: "...(Sigh) Okay, okay. Let's go."
: "Thanks! Trust me, you won't regret it!"
I won't at that! Troi is our first optional special character. He gets a unique sprite as long as he stays in his natural class, his own dialogue portrait, and unique lines for events that happen on the field map (not really in cutscenes, I believe). Oh, and he's a Phalanx. We haven't seen any others.
The tankiest of tanks. A neutral, Spear-wielding, shield-carrying, heavy-armor-wearing melee attacker with good defense and fair-to-middling offensive capability. They're pretty good at not dying, but then ideally ALL your characters should be. Generally it's more important for your units to be good at cracking heads than it is for them to be able to take a beatin', but Phalanxes have their uses.
While she's in Elgorea, I have Ivory buy a Leather Hat and a Great Bow, both of which are required to train my own Archers.
In the south, the Lawful-tending stronghold of Lehoboth is guarded by Juliette the Witch.
She can't be bothered to turn toward my attacking column, which turns out pretty good for her as her unit is actually slightly more optimal from the side than it is from the front.
As a Water-element Witch, Juliette puts things to Sleep. This won't win her any battles, but it does keep her alive for now.
While catching up with the rest of the column, Leia found a Hawkman and press-ganged the fuck out of him. Hawkmen are the only characters that you find via Neutral Encounters that can change class normally like humans.
Doreaxugard takes Lehoboth; Swift kills off Hilda's unit, blah blah blah
Juliette gets killed, and her unit and Dick's unit, which is still kickin' around, get knocked way the hell out of my way. In order to mop them up I'm gonna have to spread out, and my Yumil-protection squad is gonna get stretched pretty thin.
Meanwhile in the Northern theater, Ivory cleans up the greater Elgorea area and promotes her final Soldier! Wasn't that one of Santa's reindeer or something?
While chasing down Juliette's soldiers, Doreauxgard has a run-in with Obannon, who leads around a bunch of androgynous identical homunculi that he has quite understandably mistaken for dolls. While he's in the area he takes Harraive.
Well lookie here! This means that Swift (of course) is the only one left in the Generic Army that still has any soldiers around. Everyone else can be managed through Training!
Speaking of Swift, the man himself is currently failing to keep up with Yumil, who apparently got bored of waiting for my units to do things like "defeat enemy troops" and "clear a path" and decided to make a move himself. Up on the chopping block is Brakke, who is finding that Red Dragon oddly unresponsive to being whipped. See, the problem is he's not wearing its skull.
Pictured: the difference between Yumil's subordinates and Yumil himself. Let's face it, the dude is pretty ineffectual.
As a reward for finally tracking down and wiping out Dick's unit, Dio receives the satisfaction of a job well done.
Dammit Yumil! At LEAST leave something behind for Swift to get Soldier Exp from! The guy is pretty much STARVING for it!
Ivory's making good progress in the North. Of the two Wizards shown here, one of them is the boss and the other one eventually Retreats rather than face the mighty Yumil in battle. I don't even know.
This is what I was talking about earlier. The guy is just CHARGING. He didn't even stop to regain any Stamina after taking that stronghold! Our boss today is Zhontac, a local nutcase. His formation makes him child's play for any unit using the Attack Leader strategy. Guess what Yumil's not using!
HERE WE GOOOOO
Oh look, the PRINCE of the entire goddamn KINGDOM has just run the hell away from his army escort and charged headlong into the non-Euclidean castle of Zhontac The Unstable and the Crazy Patrol!
: "For the future of this kingdom, for the revolution, and for the people... Die!!"
Zhontac must be loving this shit. It's like Christmas for him.
: "Why resort to violence? There must be a peaceful solution..."
: "Peaceful solution my ass! Who resorted to violence in the first place!? Are you telling me that what you've done to us was peaceful? ...Bah!"
to be fair though those wild beasts back in tenne plains were pretty scary
: "Are you saying... that it's our fault?"
: "You understand nothing. What do you think are the duties of the king and his nobles? Those who think only of themselves can be called upper class?"
if they're rich enough, sure
try a dictionary, zhontac
: "Are they worthy of being called noble!? The only way for you to become truly noble is to sacrifice your life for us!!"
This must have been what Saradin was talking about with some of the revolutionaries being "difficult to control" or whatever. This guy's just a whackjob.
Yumil does OKAY, but not GREAT especially considering that wizard is totally not hiding behind either of his meatshields. This is why Attack Leader is the best strategy.
For sending in our OWN guys, we get ANOTHER cutscene.
: "We'll just kill the prince right here. This will be a significant step forward for the revolution!"
yeah see the nobles will still be in power and everything, but this way we'll have killed a pretty-boy
Did you SEE those BOOTS? Crime against fashion!
: "You call that a step forward? You expect people to accept such a brutal act!?"
: "You have absolutely no idea how we feel. All we have is anger... hatred... That's what pushed us to our feet."
By "we" Zhontac of course means him and his giant dog.
: "We don't need acceptance, just those willing to fight for us."
yeah that's pretty much my reaction too
: "...What's the matter? Lost your nerve? See for yourself what pursuing your ideals can do! ...Prepare!!"
Moral of the story: don't write checks your ass can't cash. And for God's sake if you have a Hellhound, stand BEHIND it.
: "I... couldn't even kill... a prince? What a... sha.....me..."
What sort of dark, terrible past could Zhontac be alluding to here? A tragic backstory like this is sure to be a deep, profound, and above all plot-critical story arc, and furthermore
oh wait, he's dead, nevermind
Our reward: more soldiers, more money (henceforth known as the Training Fund), and some kind of fancy stick that crazy guy was waving around.
And now a cutscene inside some sort of crazy discontinuity castle with a cliff in it.
: "I can't thank you enough for what you've done for me, Freddie."
allow me to provide some mood music for this scene
: "I'm glad you're unharmed... my lord."
: "You... don't treat me the way you did when we were young..."
: "Why... why did you enlist in the Southern Division? With your skills, you could have easily been accepted by the Central Division as an officer... Why didn't you come back after graduating from the military academy? ...Why!?"
: "I wanted to see the world with my own eyes. ...I wanted to know myself. I was tired of life in the Central Region, the environment I was in... Nothing more."
: "Freddie... Why don't you come with me?"
: "May I ask what you mean by that?"
: "I... I thought I knew my kingdom, and how my people felt. Even though they were strict with me, I thought my father and my brother ruled the land with dignity. I... didn't imagine... that the people were treated so cruelly. I didn't know how much they hated me... and the nobles."
: "I want power! The power to change the kingdom... Freddie, lend me your strength."
: "My lord... What can you do?"
: "What could you have done... at the mine? Yumil, tell me what we could have done! We... We couldn't have done anything... I don't know what's right or wrong any more... Yumil, I... I have no clue what I want to do. What should I do? I don't even know... if I should go with you, if your beliefs are right..."
: "...Maybe I can't do anything... And maybe I'm completely wrong... I may be powerless right now... But! I will change this kingdom! I will change this kingdom... the entire world! I will do it, even if I'll be called a traitor... Even if I have to fight against my father and brother! I will do anything to bring peace... Not only to this kingdom, but to all the people in the world!!"
: "When that time comes... Freddie, I want you to be by my side. I want you to... be my knight......"
THERE'D BE NO SUN IN MY SKY
THERE'D BE NO LOVE IN MY LIFE
THERE'D BE NO WOOOOORLD LEFT FOR ME
Oh wait, scene's over. Back to Hugo music. Guess this means Freddie's answer was a firm (if flattered!) negative. A little person with a nice hat comes up to give us a message.
: "Are you Freddie? I have a message from General Godeslas."
: "From the general?"
: "Yes. You are requested to return to Akka Castle immediately."
: "Return to the castle...? Hmm, I wonder what this is about."
: "I don't know the details, but I heard that's where they're planning the next operation. That is the message. ...Now if you excuse me, I must get back to my duty."
Whatever could General Godeslas want to speak with us about??? ALL THIS AND MORE NEXT TIME ON OGRE BATTLE.