The Let's Play Archive

Rondo of Swords

by Einander

Part 66: Diversion

Chapter 33: Diversion
(Or, "Another Escape Map, But...")

Guardian: If we can rout them here, then we can name our own reward! Fight like you mean it, men!

All right, we'll form a diverisonary force and repel them.

Another double success after I've just about run out of things to buy... I'll buy more amulets, I guess. No real reason not to!

This is another "anyone but your protagonist" map. Despite what you'd expect, characters you send out as a diversion will map will be perfectly capable of fighting in the next one. Which is great! It'd be really annoying to have yet another Route A map where you can't use your team.

Sasha learns Invoke Might 4. No other changes.

Owl's back for this map. Errands aren't available again (because they hate you).

You may recognize this map from tutorial 9. Clockwise from top-left:

The group around the Guardian won't move until turn 8. The Jousters are more aggressive. The "designated point" is the lower-left bottom edge of the map.

You've now seen every enemy of note in the stage! Yay.

Both Routes get kind of dull after Bretwalde. The difference is that the "kind of dull" maps in Route A happen while you're building up to a big confrontation with one of your nemeses rather than when you're moving across the map.

There's no conversations this map either. (There is a grand total of one non-screenshot portrait in this update post, and you've already seen it.)

The rear two groups of Jousters don't move on turn 1. The front group decides to present themselves for the slaughter.

They start to move at the end of turn 2. The team's presented themselves so that only one Jouster can attack them on turn 1.

The rest of them, meanwhile, are perfectly happy to just ram themselves into the enemy defensive line.

One for four on criticals. And this damage is with hitting Rear Blow on three of the four. Oh, Owl.

The sooner Alicia gets to level 42 the better. With that skill set, though, having her high level is good on general principle.

On one hand, it'll be really funny if they line up and Selmer can blow them all to hell. It's nice to have Yumil Magna's AOE matter.

On the other hand, that's kind of a waste of experience...

I said Izuna wasn't very good in stage 19, which I think officially ranks as the most embarrassing mistake of the LP. She's pretty fantastic.

Alicia and Selmer finish most of them.

I'd like to pretend that Owl can do this but he really, really can't, even with a critical. Sadly, Sasha is just barely too far away to finish this Jouster.

The Jouster hits Alicia and runs away, completely ignoring Izuna.

Everyone ignores him and moves south. The Jouster is apparently mortally offended at this snub and runs up right next to Alicia.

I say "mortally" because this gets him killed.

Everyone runs up to the southern edge.

Guardian: Belay that! We'll show them the Empire's true might!

You may see this and think, "Oh, cool, another escape chapter! That always means there's some other cool way to do this!"

No, there isn't. To my knowledge, Diversion is the only "escape" map in the game where you're given no other option. You see...

...every time you kill a Guardian, these enemies spawn in these locations (the upper-right Armor and War Mage excepted; they're from the original Guardian's group). There's another Guardian up in the upper-right corner of this formation, and that Guardian's death will trigger the same set of reinforcements in the same places. I don't believe this ever ends. The enemies pursue you, so you can abuse Yumil Magna, naturally, but... There's really no point.

I really, really don't like this. The game's large number of early-game escape maps are tolerable largely because there is always, always something you can do to smash the superior enemy force sent at you; you just need to be clever and determined. Not here. The story wants you to do this, and by god you'll do it. That's lame and boring! Sure, you didn't get anything for killing the Darkness Armors in the stage you recruited Igraine, but didn't that feel awesome? Let the player break your stupid scenario!

So I escape, because I really don't have any other choice. Then this badly-scripted dialogue appears:

They made the first Armor disappear, but he still talks and the other still does the light up/dim routine.

Infantry Scout: We're being lead away from the main force!

Guardian: Wha... Are you saying we've fallen for their feint!?

They don't move turn 1, so if you escape on turn 9, this conversation becomes very goofy. "We're being lead away! Despite not having moved at all."

I'm pretty sure you need to escape on turn 8 for a Complete Victory -- that is, you need to have all characters aleady on valid exit points. I'm pretty sure there aren't six available slots (Owl wasn't taken out of the stage at the end of turn 8, despite being on the bottom of the stage), so a Complete Victory requires you to take an incomplete team.

No end of stage dialogue.

Resets since chapter 20: 4 (+0)

Next time:
By The Holy Blade