The Let's Play Archive

Rondo of Swords

by Einander

Part 57: For Whose Sake?

Chapter 24: For Whose Sake?
(Or, "Any Excuse To Use Margus")

Do we really have no alternative to fighting...?
They leave us no choice. They have sided with the Empire. If we don't fight, we will all be slaughtered.

Unlike Route B, "send me" means "talk to character in-level," not "send character on Errands." You can send either Margus or Kay but not both. Margus will be the one I send on the "real" run... But I'll have to send both as well as not sending anyone, because additional dialogue. I had to do this level and the next one a total of three times, though I only did screenshots for one run.

Hey, it means I get to use Margus. At level 16, he has roughly twice Sasha's health, a decent bit more attack, and 1/3 more defense. Admittedly, the Margus I have now is really badass for a level 16 unit, thanks to Training -- he's gotten about +40 HP, +4 attack, and +4 defense. (So has Kay, for that matter.) That's about eight levels of stuff! He also gets the Black Ring and my spare Amulets.

Seals are now showing up in Quests. The Order for this party is

Igraine -> Owl -> Sasha -> Selmer -> Arios -> Yumiluna -> Route A Character -> Simon -> Galahad.

I'm going to ignore it, as stated earlier. If a character's level 30 before I get their Seal, then whatever! They're promoting anyway.

The boss of this stage is a Guardian.

The layout is the same as last time, but there are more enemies. A lot more enemies.

80% of the enemies have no skills. The Mages have, from top, Flame Raid, White Dust, and Spark Edge. The High Priest has Cure Drop. The Guardian has ZOC and Magic Guard, and both Armors have ZOC. Isn't this a little late in the game to have so much unskilled fodder?

If we were fighting Cale, I'd make a joke about Kay's skill list, but... Then again, Margus was from that place too. I guess it's just that Margus had nothing to teach a person on a horse.

There's two standard conversations in addition to the sending conversations with Margus and Kay.

Sasha and Ansom

I didn't miss a dialogue box here; this conversation simply starts with both of them on-screen, something that doesn't normally happen.
Well, he is softhearted. Although I don't remember him being this way...
Isn't it a change for the better?
It's no bad thing to believe in humanity. But it's a difficult road to hoe.
But it's no less wonderful for that, is it? I believe in you, Young Master.
How did we end up on this subject?

Yes, Young Master.

Another weird character variation between the routes: Ansom seems oblivious to Sasha's feelings in Route B, while this suggests that he's just not big on public displays. Did they become a couple off-screen or something?

It's also notable that (as I recall) no one in route B ever says that Serdic is acting unusually. (Igraine doesn't count -- she knows who he really is.) ??? is acting out of character in Route A, but Serdic's cold, decisive behavior in Route B fits their expectations of the Prince. Of course, it's also possible that they're making exceptions for the circumstances, but... I think this is our first real glimpse of Prince Serdic's personality outside of chapter 1.

??? and Alhambra

I am sorry. It's all because I wasn't acknowledged as king...
Whoa, whoa, I'm not blaming you. They're the ones who joined up with the Empire. C'mon, don't look so down.

I'll smack you every time I see you making that face! Hoo hoo hoo!

Echoes of the chapter 22B conversation between Serdic and Alhambra, where she also smacked him for looking mopey. Alhambra is the best in every reality.

??? and Margus

Margus, was it true before, what you said about Cale?
Hm? You mean that Kay and the governor are friendly? It's quite true, Your Highness. In spite of himself...
N-No... Not that. The bit afterwards.

Stuttering again.
Ahhhm... Oh, the part about recruiting them as potential allies?

The Margus and Kay conversations are the only (non-gate related) dialogue choices in the game.

>No... never mind.

I can't argue with that.

> Yes, I'd like you to go to Cale.
Then I'll be off right away.

You're not leaving until I get to abuse ZOC, mister.


??? and Kay

Would you rather I had sent you as an ambassador to Cale?
No, Your Highness. It would have been tactically questionable to divide our forces that way. I abide by your judgement [sic], Your Highness.

> ......
Your Highness?
...It's nothing. Let's concentrate on the battle at hand.
Yes, Sir.

> Will you go to Cale for me?
Not at the moment, of course. We have a battle to win.
I really would prefer not to fight unnecessary battles. Then, too...

Your Highness...
Take care of Cale for me, Kay.
Yes, Sir!

Now for the map!

No one's in range of anyone else first turn.

The enemies are fairly aggressive this map -- all of the enemies outside of the rear-most group are already active and attacking.

Izuna weakens, ??? kills, Margus moves to shield them.

I completely forget about the Archers while moving Selmer and Marie. I have no idea what their AI settings are, so this was absurdly risky.

Okay, so they're set to high MC (Izuna's at 58, Serdic's at 52,), all is good.

Sasha is countered by the second enemy and returned to her starting position, which is a massive pain the ass.

This is a back attack, but still. Izuna hits really damn hard!

I've really missed having a character that I can just throw in the middle of things and be very sure he'll come out okay.

Selmer cleans up.

Izuna is positioned to lure down the Armor at the top there. She has level 3 OB, and frankly I'd really just rather not deal with him.

Accordingly, everyone else gets out of the way to ensure he goes for the bait.

Marie hasn't healed once yet. She hasn't had to, thanks to Margus.

Plan successful!

Margus has really, really good bases. It's not until around the two-thirds mark that his lack of attack skills catches up with him, and we're not there yet.

Cleaning up the threats.

Prince and Arch Paladin can lure enemies in to use OB, much like Izuna; the linear range of Brave Ray can pose similar problems to Blade Blast's 1 range when you're trying to hit one particular target. That said, any enemy immediately adjacent to you is always a valid target.

Lure successful! ...and it doesn't kill.

It does let Izuna finish the job, at least.

Margus and Sasha kill the last Attacker nearby, Selmer positions to use his OB on Izuna and Sasha. That'll let them approach and kill the three Mages.

Oh, right, it covers Serdic too. Bonus!

Discovery: It affects enemy units in range too.

Not that this matters in this team, what with late-game Marie Oratoriorae being our only other same-turn method of magical offense.

Sasha uses a level 2 OB on the enemy Guardian. It doesn't kill, but it does take a hefty chunk out. I consider my options, and ultimately...

...decide it's safest to end this now. (After getting a bit more experience for Marie and Izuna, of course.)

It's over. Now I have to surrender Margus again.

They give you a lot of +OB gems in the late game. I'm probably going to start pawning them for Amulet money soon.

One would hope, but... The feudal lords have already turned on you once. I don't think it will be quite so easy. Please be careful, elder brother.
Well... if you insist, Marie, then I will take caution.

"You know, it hadn't occurred to me until now, but maybe defeating these guys didn't magically make them more trustworthy. Good thing you brought that up!"
I did promise to protect you, after all.

Following this, you'll get an additional scene depending on who you send. This is the scene if you sent Margus to Cale:

Rest easy, Your Highness.
...Margus? What are you doing here? We must prepare for the next battle.
Ah, Kay. Good timing.
I'm headed out for a while, to convince a certain hard-headed young lady to join us.
You're... going to Cale?

Th-That's not funny!
Hah! I was going to offer to let you go instead, but seeing you so flustered has changed my mind.

Hahahah! Look after the Prince while I'm away!

This is the scene if you sent Kay:

I'm counting on you. Godspeed.
Hmm? Hey, Kay, where are you going?
Oh, errr, on a minor errand...
A-ha... You're going to Cale, aren't you?

Good luck, Kay!
Risk is part of life. We'll take care of things here, so head forth without worry.
I-I think you all misunderstand...


There's no special dialogue for not sending anyone.

Resets so far since chapter 20: 3 (+0)

Next time:
The Lords' Trap

Einander posted:

I'm headed out for a while, to convince a certain head-headed young lady to join us.

Manatee Cannon posted:

Think you meant hot-headed there.

Orange Fluffy Sheep posted:

: She has a head for a head, you know what I mean?
: ...No?