Part 33: UPDATE 28: The Rebel
I don't know if it's been mentioned before in this thread or if everyone already knows, but you get some nifty little quips if you try to change the names of the main and special characters. I especially liked the one for Destin Faroda, as he acknowledges you might have named him differently in the first game.
I liked Freddie's -- something along the lines of "You picked it yourself, now you've got to live with it!" Anyway update time!
Let me just preface this by saying that the following is a crazy hack, a wild gambit, and I have absolutely no idea whether it's going to work.
That said, when I opened up my Organize Screen to get this update ready, Saradin and Aisha looked... a little bit off for some reason.
Yeah I couldn't really put my finger on it. That's nothing compared to what I found when I went looking for Ankiseth, though.
Well we don't have time for this, so whoever this lady is, she's in charge of Ankiseth's unit now. Mazel tov.
That said, I of course had a number of other, more boring stuff to do in preparation for this next mission.
For example, a couple of totally metal axes for a couple of totally metal soldiers.
You may recall me being somewhat elated to find a Ring of Eloquence. This thing goes in the Accessory slot, and is the first thing to go there more interesting than the default Amulet. It gives a substantial boost to INT while sapping STR a little bit -- basically any mage you give this to will become even more deadly at the cost of being even more squishy. I haven't a fuck to give.
After a brief session of passing out pointy objects like cheap cigars, it's time to go!
As a refresher, we are currently attacking Capitrium, a strategically important area in the Eastern Region. And wondering why exactly we can't seem to find any actual Easterners. LET'S-A GO!
Update 28: The Rebel
This mission name seems a bit redundant in a game about a revolution, so just imagine every character as James Dean and it should make some more sense.
: "Let's get started..."
: "The purpose of this operation is to capture the castle."
I'm not sure why Hugo feels the need to remind me that the object of the game is to capture the enemy HQ every single briefing. I mean, yeah, theoretically the mission objective could be something else, but I think that's only happened once so far (in the Prologue, when the objective was to find Yumil) and I can't recall whether it ever does again. Mostly I'm just mad because the presence of that one line always keeps me from being able to cover an entire briefing in two screenshots.
: "Our scouts report that monsters and demons are lurking in the area. The evil beings... ...the so-called undead. We don't know why they're here. Unless... they were commanded here by their summoner. An area with such religious roots is no home for the undead."
okay Hugo my reaction here is going to STRONGLY correlate with whether you meant demons or undead, because you said both of those things. You of all people should know that they are NOT equivalent.
: "They will assume that anyone who invades their territory to be an enemy."
uh, I don't think that noun clause had a main verb
: "They must know our intention to take Eundel, and will try to ambush us. Where could they be hiding...? Keep an eye out at night, and in the shadows. Do not be overcome by the darkness."
okay though seriously skeletons and zombies are NOT that scary in this game, hugo, you're trying too hard
: "We knew that the enemy would anticipate this... This is the entrance to the Eastern Orthodox Church."
so THIS area is the entrance, and not any of the numerous other places we've been so far this chapter? Where were we then?
: "We're likely to encounter some powerful units."
haha not with undead in them
Oh good. More snow. I love snow.
First off: Let's shop.
WAR IS HARD LET'S GO SHOPPING
Y'know what, I'm probably not going to actually need these fancy whips and greatswords. I just CAN'T STOP SPENDING MONEY.
This mission immediately greets us with two creepsters sitting on top of a mountain staring at us. I don't know if they plan on attacking me anytime soon, but they're kind of freaking me out a little bit, so they're as good as dead.
Well it's about TIME this game showed me some Zombies! It's really quite odd how much later in the game Zombies show up than Skeletons or Ghosts because they are by far the most useless undead. Let's discuss Zombies.
This right here is why you want to be conscientious about resurrecting all your dead human characters. If someone is still dead when you finish a mission, and that character has a poor Luck rating, there is a chance he or she will turn into a Zombie for no particular reason. Non-human characters have no danger of this happening to them, and I don't think it happens to anyone with a unique sprite either, although I could be wrong on that. You don't want this because Zombies are pretty horrible, and no other undead class is very good. If one of your characters gets Zombified, your two best options are (a) load an old save or (b) arrange to have them set on fire as soon as possible, because then they will turn into a Skeleton, which makes them (slightly) less useless. Two Bite attacks in the front, one everywhere else.
Well, it's pretty good timing that we just so happened to get Europea right before an Undead-heavy mission because she finds a pretty good niche as a vampire-hunter, what with herself and her two Paladins sporting Blessed Swords by default. If I were REALLY smart I'd turn her Freyas into Dianas for an all-Holy unit, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here because (keep in mind) we're not even sure yet if the reality wherein I recruited her will keep existing past this update.
First off: this. Sheen's got a LOT of flying ahead of him this mission, let me tell you.
At first I thought it was just an incredibly infuriating stroke of bad luck that nothing actually died permanently in this battle despite Europea's unit being more than half Holy. Then I realized the damn thing came set to Attack Strongest for some reason. Dammit Europea, this is NOT the time for pacifism!
THIS is the time for pacifism. man I am seriously just ass deep in dragons right now
man what is it with this mission and weirdos hanging out on mountain summits with a bunch of ghosts
Y'know, Montana, you could probably do your job a LITTLE better if you went down and guarded that Stronghold instead of being all creepy and stuff, just sayin!
GAH OKAY ENOUGH ALREADY
I GET it, dragons! You love revolution! Okay sure me too but will you PLEASE leave me alone long enough to seize a little territory!?
Europea had to chase Rivaldi all the way up to this previously unattended Stronghold before finally being able to cut him down, but it was totally worth it.
Observe: the only way for an OB64 character to suffer a true and final death. And also Freyas comboing with each other. Both very interesting.
I'm beginning to see a trend here in the number of oddly unoccupied Strongholds. It's almost like they're... ghost towns! WHOA I see what they did there
Oh, and see Sheen chasing around that dead Raven unit near the top of that screenshot?
Here's how far he had to chase that damn thing before finally catching it. And he's a flyer! Imagine how long it would have taken me on foot!
Well, if these Strongholds are traps, there's not much left we can do except set them off. HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT, CAPITRIUM.
Oh, so THIS is what it took to get Montana to come down off his mountain. Well, fine by me, that just means I won't have to climb it. Protip: Ambushes are much more effective when you don't stand there out in the open trying to look ominous beforehand.
Man when this screenshot happened Dio was asleep like three times over. If you should ever be taken by extreme madness and/or senility and try to make a unit 4/5ths made up of status-causing characters, it's probably a bad idea to leave them on Target Leader because they'll just do shit like that and then sooner or later everyone's dead and I have a brand-new Prox to throw on the big pile out back.
Meanwhile in the Southeast, Asnabel takes another empty stronghold to find that 1 out of 2 enemies in the area is any good at ambushing! That's better than the average so far!
Ugh. Everything about this unit is annoying. All flyers means it'll be hard to track down once the leader's dead, a Cockatrice in the front row means it'll be dangerous to keep fighting after the leader's dead, and two Gremlins are there just to be an all-around pain in the ass pretty much constantly.
Meanwhile Leinus shows the same kind of good decision-making with his formation that drove him to wait in ambush without bothering to hide first. Seriously dude just like switch places with that Skeleton or something!
Guenther manages to run away to that stronghold in the North; Guy has no chance of catching him in that snowy forest so I just let him go. The center group will deal with him when they go east. The battle with Leinus proved somewhat more successful.
Meanwhile, the center group deals with Guenther as they go east.
Oh hey, another ambush. Let's see what we've got.
No undead; nothing particularly interesting going on other than that Cerberus all set up to use his inexplicable hypnotism powers.
Yawn. Let's see what the West group is up to.
Well, THAT's annoying. One of these ambush units just happened to pop up directly next to where I'd parked Sheen and immediately triggered a sideways battle with him.
I was almost worried! Yeah, making units entirely out of frontliners means it'll never be as good as an optimized one, but sometimes (like this time) it pays off. If this had happened to Meredia or Troi I might have had to make a run for it.
In addition to THAT ambush unit we have these other two, one of whom had been previously visible for some reason. I'm really disappointed upon this replay of how repetitive AI flying units are. I feel like they ran out of new ones a while ago.
Still fun to kill them, though.
Oh hey, look at that. Well I doubt I'll use it, but a Skeleton could be good for comedy value or
Look at this cool rag I found! damn untimely criticals
OH HEY FUN FACT
If you're chasing a leaderless unit all over the damn map and its path just happens to take it over an unoccupied friendly stronghold, it'll take some initiative and capture the damn place right back! WHAT A USEFUL AND FUN GAME MECHANIC.
Oh shut up Meredia.
I think this spear is technically worse than the Volcaetus and I don't recall ever really having a use for this accessory, but here they are. We'll discuss it in an Organize Screen section if applicable, though, because right now I'd rather talk about how much I still hate chasing down leaderless flying units.
Sheen was in the upper-left corner of the map. He is now in the lower-right corner of the map.
He's not as bad off as Katreda, though. Where is she? I HAVE NO IDEA. She's in Lodis or something by now.
This is our new best 1H Axe. Destined for Sheen.
Oh wow, look at this completely unguarded stronghold way out in the middle of nowhere! Nobody's here, I guess I'll just let myself in~~~
Oh my!!! An ambush, how horrible!
Well, it's totally thriller night up in here, but really, Amazons? I mean, you're already using Zombies, it's not like you needed to handicap yourself MORE.
Oh, wow. This one might be trouble. I don't have anything with healing in the area -- Freddie's over in the west, and Leia's guarding the base. One more ambush unit...
...Okay, credit where it's due: This is pretty much the best vampire name I've ever seen.
Vampires have an interesting gimmick: their attack deals moderate Bane damage and then heals them for the same amount. This is kind of a cool idea, but there are a few problems with them. One is that once you go Vampire, you never go back. You're stuck with your curse for all eternity; go be angsty and creep on some teenaged girls 'cause you're gonna be stuck that way for a while (and everyone will call it romantic for some reason anyway). Another is that Vampires are the only undead who don't do the whole coming-back-to-life-every-battle thing. The last problem I'll illustrate in a little while.
Oh hey. While I was busy looking over those ambush units, Freddie got in a fight with one of those two Freyas guarding the HQ. Never got a chance to look at those things, I wonder what
Unfortunately by the time I could end this fight, Reynolds was already Stoned. Only one out of two Cockatrices had managed to attack, but I could NOT stick around long enough to let the other one go, because if it chose to target the Paladin on the left (Robert, I think), it could also hit Freddie with splash Petrification damage, which could potentially end my game instantly. I'm not entirely sure if Freddie can even GET petrified, but I don't wanna take that chance. Yeah, time to get the fuck out of Dodge.
Anyway. Like I was SAYING before I was so rudely and potentially-game-endingly interrupted, Vampires have an additional gimmick: During the day, they're stuck inside their coffins and can't move. While this is going on, your Vampire will not make any attacks, but its Defense will go through the roof because the coffin is made out of some kind of undead superwood or something. More interestingly than that, though, the Unit's terrain type will change to IMM. Which means that you can't go ordering it around, but it also won't move ever unless it gets wiped out, which is highly unlikely with that vampire in coffin-armor. This makes Vampires pretty useful as HQ guards... about half the time. At night they're no better at that task than anyone else would be.
Right now, though, it means Little John is too busy getting his shuteye to attack me and I'm free to deal with the other two ambush units without worrying about him. Naturally this one is trivial.
This one might be a little bit harder. Okay here goes.
(Two criticals in a row, awesome )
don't care don't care don't care get out of the waaaaaay
(zombie got hit with Fire, immediately turned into a Skeleton)
Aaaaaaaand FUCK OFF. WHOO. Okay, threat dealt with. Good job, Meredia. Go rest for like two days straight.
Really just a formality at this point, but it had to be done!
Oh yeah, THIS awesome whip. THIS is why I knew I shouldn't be buying fancy whips at the Shop earlier. (Well, that and I don't actually have any Beast Tamers right now)
Welcome to the party, Goth Lil Jon! Better late than never!
Life Drain does look pretty cool, and 40 damage with all of it immediately going toward healing the Vampire isn't too bad at all. The thing is that planning around the whole coffin thing is annoying as hell. Plus you need to do some sidequest stuff to even make a vampire in the first place. But we'll get there eventually.
At any rate, Meredia wasn't supposed to be the one fighting Little John, and she's ill-equipped to handle the task, what with no one in her unit holding a Virtue weapon and Meredia herself still being kind of battered from fighting those Pumpkinheads. Let's let the professionals finish this job.
Yeah, I'd call that a sufficiently awesome way for a Vampire to die.
So. Before I think about storming the castle I've got to get rid of these guard Freyas. One of them is a Cockatrice unit we've already seen. The other one looks like this. My plan is to have the Eastern group come in, kill off Zhou, and then let Troi deal with the death-chickens.
First things, first, though: I had to bring Sheen back from his trip to the southeastern corner of the map, because he is the only unit currently carrying a Revive Stone and the shop is just SO FAR AWAY right now. (i really should get around to distributing items to everyone else at some point)
There we go. Welcome back to the land of the living, Reynolds!
Now then. Step one...
...aaaaand step two. That's what you get for maybe almost giving me a Game Over!
Now then, it would appear our boss for today is a fellow named Biske! What a healthy head of hair he has! I wonder what his deal is? Let's just go in and
FUCK YOU CHICKEN
*AHEM* Let's just go in and take a look, shall we!
Biske the BEAST? That seems a little harsh! Sure he could use a haircut, but he hardly seems beastly!
: "You said you belong to the Revolutionary Army!? I don't know why you're here, but... Thanks. They released me because you were approaching. But, they'll send me back if I don't kill you. Sorry, this is business!"
Oh my! This gentleman is a convict! I wonder what he could have gotten locked away for! Well, we simply MUST administer justice! The long arm of the law reaches everyone, even in the far reaches of the North!
You might notice that Biske is not a generic unit. He has a couple of interesting things about him. For example, anyone he attacks immediately falls asleep due to his cool unique sword.
Before I get to the other thing, I'm currently choosing to run away from this confrontation for no particular reason.
Now that that's over with, I'm just going to send Freddie in to... hey wait. I can't quite see around that obnoxious speech bubble, but something doesn't look quite the same about Biske...
Oh. OH. Yeah, that makes sense.
Biske is a Lycanthrope! He's human during the day and a werewolf at night! He is vastly more powerful as a werewolf! LET'S KILL HIM!
Well, I mean, you WERE wearing a mesh shirt or something, I guess that implied you were a little Twilighty, but I've already FOUGHT a vampire on this map and he was the old-school kind with the fluffy collar and stuff!
: "Darkness grants me power beyond human... You think you can handle me?"
The LIMITS? I dunno man. I've seen Twilight.
yes really, don't ask
Even though he's not technically holding his sword at present, Biske's fursona here still puts people to sleep upon attacking them. So, y'know, watch out for that.
Yeah, Twilight was WAY worse than this.
Our reward for delving into the depths of terrible teen romance horror is the Evil Blade, which is the secret to Biske's sleepy-time slash. This is a pretty awesome sword, let me tell you.
Now we get to see if hacking paid dividends!
: "Can't believe I got beat twice."
: "There's nothing else that binds you to this world. ...Rest in peace."
no no no NO NO NO SHIT
YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH, GALLANT
: "You'd better save this kingdom... or else..."
NO. STOP. NO DYING.
No you're not! You are the picture of youth! Get back up and start hitting people with your sword! You're even still holding it for some reason!
See, Biske will join your army if you go there without having recruited Ankiseth (because Ankiseth is the guy who first captured him apparently) or any of the Zenobians (because he's xenophobic or something???); otherwise he dies because that's how game logic works. I had been hoping that if I forcibly removed Ankiseth, Aisha, and Saradin from my army by turning them into other people I'd be able to get around this -- GameShark codes for tinkering with one's army are readily available all across the Internet, but I was not able to find any to change the event flags that determine whether characters like Biske are willing to join you. This sucks because among other things that's one less ending I'll be able to show off , but there's no changing it unless some genius hacker is able to come up with the codes (incidentally, if there are any among my readers, please feel free to present yourselves!). You can't hit 'em all out of the park.
Of course, now that I've established that it's possible to hack your characters, I could hack someone INTO Biske, but that hardly seems sporting!
IN THAT PLACE I DIDN'T GO BEFORE
: "...Let go of me, now!"
Maybe I should have gone there.
This Templar pulls out a mysterious red object. Yeah there are very few things that could be.
(These guys sure play the whole "being in the presence of foreign royalty" thing fast and loose!)
: "......Uh... Ugh... AAAAAHHH!!"\
maybe they should have given him a chaser or something
And yeah, here we go with the firey purples, always with the
Oh hey. That's new.
In a flash of white light and mysterious computery text, two of the Templars are sent flying!
: "What the...!?"
: "...No... NOOOOO!"
Man, getting Yumil to eat his vegetables as a kid must have been TORTURE.
: "What's...... happening...... ...No... Ugh........."
: "I'm here with you. Please get a hold of yourself..."
: "What... What is happening to me? The hatred... rage... flows within me..."
: "...No, I'm Yumil!! ......? ...Power? Yes! ...Grant me power!"
: "Yes, my lord... Accept it...... That is your power... This world... everything is within your grasp..."
Well. That certainly was a thing. Unfortunately, Freddie has no idea the previous scene just occurred, so he has no reason not to press onward, directly to Celesis, the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, we DO know about it, so next time, in an alternate reality, we're going straight to Tremos Mountains!