Part 9: CH9: ReturnCH9: Return
: Asbel and Cheria were on their way back to Lhant, when...
: The monstrous eagle managed to actually land a wound on Asbel!
: And it brought friends.
This is around the point where I realized that, despite the game technically allowing me to purchase that sword and it not costing too much compared to my current funds, it was a bit too powerful for this point in the game, even on Evil. I really liked its CC bonus too.
I don't think we're really missing much with me being stupidly strong for this fight.
: What, that light from my hand?
: You're hurt.
: Oh, this? It's nothing. I'm fine.
: You won't be fine if it gets infected. Give it here.
: What the... Cheria?
You can do it, too?
: Yeah. It just...started happening recently. The doctor thinks that incident seven years ago might have unlocked some kind of unknown power.
: An unknown power.
: I'm pretty sure I know that power.
: There. All better.
: Uh, thanks.
Heh. Kinda funny to see little Cheria all grown up and healing people's wounds.
Remember that time I hurt my hand and you tried to bandage it up with a big old sock? ...Good times.
: It's been a long time, Asbel. People change.
: Also, I can fight for myself now. You don't have to save me from monsters anymore.
Cheria now joins us in fighting stuff!
I'm not sure if she's supposed to start with her first offensive spell or not, but it's not like it'll be a big deal to get.
Skit: An Unseasonable Chill
: How wonderful for you.
: Um, thanks.
: But if I'm not mistaken, wouldn't a king's knight have to stay in the capital?
: No, because I'm still technically a student. And besides, the captain wants my report on the situation in Lhant.
: I see...So you'll return to the capital when the matter is settled.
: Yeah, but I'll be in Lhant for a while yet. I'm worried about my mother.
: Then I guess we should get moving.
I asked Feinne to guess Cheria's weapon, and he guessed that since she had that talk about being strong, she now uses a giant axe or something.
Nope, it's throwing knives!
For one CC you get one knife.
Blessed Blades there fires a pair at once.
Steel Baptism fires a burst of 'em.
And finally Majestic Salvo fires a line.
She also casts a Nova-elemental lightning bolt. Nova = lightning + holy apparently. Holy Lance and Indignation are both Nova spells.
Oh, an important note. If a character doesn't have an Arte assigned to the neutral stick position, it defaults to "auto" which lets the AI pick when you hit the button. This isn't necessarily bad, since you could use it to avoid setting up shortcuts for status cures and res spells.
: They returned to town to find everyone in a panic.
: Cheria, come quickly! Frederic has been captured by the Fendelian army!
: Grandpa, no!
: Those curs have launched a full-scale invasion of Lhant!
Please forgive me! I was with Frederic at the time, but was unable to protect him.
When we are finished, I am prepared to accept full punishment for this failure! But first, we must attempt to rescue Frederic.
: Right. Where did you last see him?
: Near the main skirmish, between the border fortress and Lhant Hill.
: All right. I'll leave at once.
: I'm coming too.
: You too, Lord Asbel?
: We can't let those Fendelian brutes take Frederic. Come on, Cheria!
Before we go I loot the password chest in Aston's study. It contained an All-Divide.
: They arrived at the site of the battle.
This battle introduces a slight twist on the idea of ranged attacks, projectile attacks.
If I had really good timing, I could forward-step into that shot to send it back at the rifleman.
That would have hit me if I wasn't in the air.
The key to fights like this (later on there'll be one where I have to fight alone, although it's optional) is to get close enough to the ranged attackers that they run up to you.
Your attacks have a small area effect, after all!
Pixie Circle is Cheria's most basic aoe healing spell. It's pretty hard to hit more than one ally with it.
Overall challenge: low, even without the death-sword.
: Lord Asbel! I...I never dreamed to meet you here. I don't deserve your presence after what has happened.
: I know about my father, Frederic. You don't need to apologize.
: Lord Asbel...
Lhant Militiaman: Look! More Fendelian weapons!
: I don't know, but they're laying waste to our forces!
: Fendel's not messing around. The town's going to be in serious trouble if they get through. We have to stop them here.
: We've attempted numerous frontal assaults, but we simply lack the men to combat them.
: Then we'll have to get clever with the terrain. Maybe we could drop 'em off a cliff...
: A cliff?
: The meadow on Lhant Hill isn't far from here. I'll distract the enemy. You go ahead and lead our people to safety.
: What are you going to do?
: You'll see.
: Asbel came up with some dumb plans.
: If there are any warriors among you, let them step forward and face my blade!
That got their attention! Now I just have to lead them to the meadow...
: I'll be fine.
Honestly I have no idea what happens if they catch up to you.
: They chose to make a stand at the meadow where the flowers bloomed.
: Asbel Lhant, for the crime of celebrating too soon, you are sentenced to death.
: I think he forgot to count the number of tanks behind him or something.
: Oh no...
: Dammit... Not again...
: It seemed Asbel Lhant had failed for the final time.
: But something intervened.
: Is that...?
: No way...!
: She can't fight them alone!
: After that entrance I'm not so sure.
: Hey, you know that kind of thing isn't something you can just pull out whenever.
: Come on!!
So we're up against roughly 1/5 of the tank force that was sent at us and none of the infantry, and it's still a reasonably challenging fight.
In addition to just poking you a bit, the tank has three main attacks. The first one is to put its spinning arms together...
...and swing them apart. Note that a side-dodge WILL NOT CLEAR YOU of this.
The second is an electric death hug. It's unblockable.
The electric death hug ends with a throw.
I take back what I said about Nova being lightning earlier. "Para" or paralysis is sort of lightning too.
Blocking won't stop the electric death hug, but hitting it simultaneously will.
Oh, and it's last attack is of course its cannon.
You can get a pretty good combo going via Eleth Burst.
The cannon has decent area and damage.
I have to life bottle Sophie here.
And of course that means he knocks out Cheria immediately thereafter!
I can't revive her before the battle ends.
Pisses me off, she missed out on a TON of SP.
: It really is... Sophie.
: It can't be Sophie.
It's impossible. Sophie's gone. She's been dead for seven years.
: But...is it... Has she lost her memory too?
Follow me. There's something I want to show you.
: Seven years ago, me, Sophie, and Richard all came to this very spot and swore a pact of friendship.
Look here at this tree trunk.
Well? Do you remember anything?
: I don't know.
But just looking at this tree makes me... feel somehow strange.
It's like looking at something that's very precious to me.
: So, what does it mean?
: You can't be the real Sophie. I mean, it doesn't make any sense.
Even still... I can hardly imagine you as anyone else.
I mean, you look just like her.
Wow. So, what happens now? Do you want to come back to town with us?
I love this little mannerism.
: That would be best. It's really dangerous here.
: Okay. Then let's hurry back. I'm starting to get worried about the others.
: Yes. Let's go.
: Maybe... Sophie is watching over us after all...
It's worth noting that Sophie?'s skit portraits are slightly different from Sophie's, mostly in that the Sophie? portraits don't show quite as much of her, to make her look shorter in comparison to the adults.
Skit: Sophie's Sacrifice
: Hm? I don't understand what you're talking about? Who are you?
: It figures.
: No, I think this really is-
: Sophie died seven years ago! Face reality, stop seeing things how you wish they were.
: So what happened? How did this girl die?
: Well... That's...
: She died protecting us. She sacrificed herself because we were important to her. ...Because we were friends.