Part 7: BF7 - Elise, the Water Capital
Amid the chaos at Phelinas Lakeside, apart from the Undines' spite toward the Royal Army and bandits taking advantage of the confusion, an Imperial Army presence could be seen as well.
Would Embellia be an enemy or an ally? To ascertain Queen Emelone's true intentions, the Royal Army headed to the Aqua Palace to seek an audience.
However, Ishiene's unit was blocking the only bridge to Florand Island, the location Aqua Palace, located in the Water Capital of Elise.
As Ishience and her Undine forces drew their weapons, the Royal Army realized they had no choice but to fight.
How are we getting there? It's not like we can just swim...
Can we secure the bridge?
Looks like we'll have to...
Fie on them! Do they intend to pass through here...? Under no circumstances will we let them through! Queen Emelone is our last hope...
Durant is looking a little low on morale this map. He won't be seeing a lot of action, but I want him in better shape just in case.
He can have Imperial Warfare 1, for 3000 morale. I don't particularly like the Imperial Warfare series as equipment, and Durant can take full use of them for morale.
The first part of the level is straight forward. We have three Undines in the water, and Ishiene on the fort. Milanor will lead the attack as usual, and Nietzsche has an advantage against the Undines with her Void Ice. Durant can handle himself easily, and would be even better if he had the Fur Coat equipped.
Looking at our best opening, attacking the Southernmost Undine, we'll see one other Undine and Ishiene will join the fight, Ishiene being third. Her luck is low enough that both Milanor and Nietzsche can defeat her to take her Brave Ring, but I'd rather just steal it. Otherwise, her Morale Up ability might trigger and be a pain in my ass, and I can drop her stats early this way.
Since she's third, and Milanor has to Ace Steal, I can use one ally to fill in the second spot. If I brought both in, I wouldn't be able to line up Milanor vs. Ishiene. I could also solo this section with Milanor again, but I want to spread out the Exp.
If they go on the march, I send a warning signal to the town.
I also notify the vigilantes.
So are you here to cross over to the palace? Then, your only option is to lower the bridge. You'll never outswim Undines in full battle gear.
Milanor's fights will come as no suprise. The first Undine puts up a fight with her Water , but Ishiene doesn't have that luxury. Nietzsche looks like she's at a disadvantage, but she won't have any trouble at all.
The Undine's Water GEO keeps her in fighting strength, but her Rage bar is now at Rage. Nietzsche will have an easy time if she can't take combat damage.
First skill in the game, and Nietzsche shrugs it off. The enemy goes back to 0 Rage, so deals regular damage again. With a 6-3 lead, though, there'll be no problem.
Since I didn't use any of the skill bar going aggressive, Milanor nearly has enough to use Steal right off the bat. It takes a second of going passive to fill it the little it needs, but that's ok. Since Milanor's Tec is equal to Ishiene's Gen, Steal is successful.
The fight lasts long enough for her to blast Milanor with Diamond Dust, the Undine version of Blizzard. It deals two damage, but Ishiene will still fall.
She doesn't have the 50% Water GEO Defense her allies do, but a still formidable Fort bonus. It's a decent opening hit for us, and Steal granted us an additional 20% damage.
An effect of Undines using Blizzard is that all water tiles are now frozen. Anyone can walk on a water tile, but it's a -10% GEO to everyone. The Undines really screwed themselves with that.
Queen Emelone and Ishiene both take seperate turns, chewing away at the turn counter. We have 21 turns to get the Quick Clear bonus.
The Undines rearrange themselves to attack. All of them are on the Ice tiles, and non of them look very good this round. The first two kill themselves off no problem.
Because of Steal gaining power through defeating the Undines, by the time we fight the last Undine it has just enough Pow to take out an Undine at 100% morale. Her GEO -10% makes it possible. We'd normally do 1503 * 92% = 1383 damage, but with that extra 10% we do 1521.
All of Ishiene's forces were carrying medallions, and they're ours for the taking. Ishiene's had a bit of a stat hit since she lost her Brave Ring. She lost some small stars, but lost an entire level of Gen.
Shield Barrier has enough movement to get Milanor, Nietzsche and Durant all into this battle, and has an ability everyone can put to use. It's a good card vs. basically anything, so we'll try to take out Ishiene with it.
Outta the way!
The first two fights go as normal. Milanor ends it quick, but Nietzsche takes a bit of damage. She ignores Ishiene's Diamond Dust again, so comes out on top.
Durant uses Shield Barrier to block most of Ishiene's Rage attack, and keeps it up long enough to block another Diamond Dust. Ishiene is at 1083 morale after Durant is finished.
Milanor has no trouble at all, and Nietsche uses Shield Barrier for an easy win. While Ishiene can't deal damage during Rage, or with Diamond Dust, we can still use our card to block the damage from her normal attacks.
With Nietzsche's Atk up, she's now at 3 Atk.
It's fairly rare when we actually kill an adversary, especially this early in the game. Most characters keep retreating, hounding us in later levels.
We still haven't captured the bridge controls, so on our turn Nietzsche will advance as far as she can through the lake, and Yggdra will take the bridge. Durant will have some important work on this side, and as usual Milanor will lead the charge against the Undines.
Let us proceed!
Queen Emelone! The Royal Army has reached the sandbank!
Queen Emelone! I am Yggdra of Fantasinia! Please lay down your weapons! This battle is meaningless!
Princess Yggdra... I expected you would say that. You use justice as a shield to excuse your actions against us. But we Undines act according to our own sense of justice. Tell me... Is there anything that separates the two of us?
You slaughter the innocent! I seek only peace between us.
You humans stole our treasure. Our lifeblood... Our only means of survival... As royalty, you should understand full well. A leader has a duty, a sacred trust... ...to protect one's people, no matter the cost.
That child, Ishiene... Her only wish, as she told me... "I will save you... and everyone!"
Ishiene... You mean the one we just...?
She was a kind girl who thought of nothing but her own people. She is not the only one. I cannot let such people perish... It would be unjust.
... We have talked around the matter for too long. As Queen of the Undines, my decision is final.
So much for negotiations, huh? Looks like we've got no choice.
The Undines have everything to lose. They cannot surrender.
Is fighting... the only way...?
We, too, must fight for our survival, Princess. For the sake of the people of Paltina!
Here they come!
Emelone's first guards are a little stronger than Ishiene's, 1,2,2,2 vs 1,2,3,2. Emelone herself is quite strong, and is carrying a decent item. I could steal this one, but there will be a priority target showing up later, and we won't have our cards refresh again.
Stay away! This is our home... I beg of you, don't take away what little we have left! Please, leave!
Get outta the way!
Milanor will take first crack at the defenders again. It's not clear from the screenshots, but the first Undine talking is a resident of the town. The second is the one we're fighting.
And I use the rest of my movement to move Durant a little close to Yggdra. He'll be used as bait, later.
Milanor attacks, but they both survive, with just under 50% morale. They don't have the benefit of water, but all the land in this location is fort.
And round two goes the same. Both Undines fall.
The ice caused by Diamond Dust thaws every noon. If there was anyone that couldn't swim on the ice, they'd be taken out of battle as if they had 0 morale. This is a game over if Yggdra or Milanor are the victims.
I'm saving my big movement cards until later, so I move Milanor into place with Shield Barrier. He's face-to-face with Queen Emelone right now, and I plan on starting to chip away at her morale as I take out her guards. There are three items hidden in this corner, and Nietzsche is required to get two of them. The sooner I clear out Emelone's Undines, the faster Nietzsche's way is clear.
Whether you're a queen or a soldier, I won't hold back!
These two Undines are on water tiles, but their stats are also lower than the last two I cleared. These ones are only as strong as Ishiene's group. We've pretty much exhausted Embellia's real military at this point.
Emelone goes straight forward. The next Undine will be able to use Diamond Dust, so I'll need to prepare a Shield Barrier to avoid some losses.
Undine 1 goes down simply enough.
Undine 2 puts up a better fight, but I get Shield Barrier up. As you can see, the enemy has about 1/3 Rage when I start Shield Barrier, and when the Undine hits Max and begins to cast Diamond Dust, the barrier is still active. With this timing, I can avoid most of any enemy's Rage mode, and still absorb their card if required.
In any case, she goes down and ends up with 812 morale.
And of course, thanks to the Undines, they freeze up their lakes again.
Nietzsche can use up the rest of the movement to get closer, since she can almost get the items. She's also more than a match for Emelone, in case they need to fight it out.
The Queen puts up a fight, but the other two don't have their water GEO anymore, and are eliminated. Their turn is over.
Those aren't Imperial troops... Who the devil are they?
Sounds good to me! Come on!
This is what I've been waiting for. Mizer will show up repeatedly throughout the game, and generally at inopportune times. He also shows up in the day, and gets a surprise turn against you. Since he's a hunter, that makes him trouble.
His Thunderbolt card is also a pain in the ass. What used to be a regular damage card now adds Paralysis which drops the afflicted character's movement to 0. Since Mizer generally has more Tec than you can defend against, this can really hold you out of position.
Ok, so they wasted their ambush turn. Durant was in the position there to lure Mizer a little closer, so Milanor can get to him. He didn't take the bait.
Look at that whopping 4 Luk, damn. The only way to get Mizer's Winged Sandals is with Steal, assuming you haven't had a character just slamming down Luk MVPs. Mizer also carries a specific pattern of items, and you potentially need to get all of his items to unlock a new Card. What this means is I can't afford to miss this item.
Milanor uses 11 Mov from Steal just to get in position. He'll also need to stay passive for most of the fight just to fill the skill gauge.
Never mind me, who're you?
At least Durant can join this union. I need to do roughly 120% damage each clash to take out Mizer before his turn. With his 1 Gen it might be possible, otherwise I'll have to worry about Thunderbolt against Milanor.
Milanor starts off well, but between the passive encounter, and the charge time, he loses 2 units before he can use Steal. Still worth it.
Mizer goes down, and just in time. He almost hit Max. We deal 112% damage against him too, thanks to the Item-Steal bonus.
Durant starts of the clash in a dominating fashion.
Mizer does get his Thunderbolt off, but doesn't kill any of Durant's units. He is paralyzed though.
108% damage. Close.
Our remaining movement will get Nietzsche in range of Emelone. She might need to fight a few battles, but they're evenly matched.
I do not condemn you... If the path you walk requires you to defeat me... So be it.
Nietzsche will find that gem! I'm so sorry!
We can't do anything with her in this position this turn, but Emelone will target Nietzsche on her turn. We have a better Atk stat, as well as Void Ice.
Emelone's higher Gen and Tec give her an early lead, though.
And by the time her Rage bar fills once, she has an impressive lead.
But our defensive advantage is too high for Emelone to keep ahead.
There's no need to hold back, child... Always do your best.
Mizer's charge isn't too impressive, but we couldn't deal damage fast enough to finish him before he charged up.
Damnit. We'll still be able to finish off Mizer, but Milanor won't be able to get to Emelone for a while. This is turn 15 of 21 for Quick Clear, so Nietzsche might need to finish the queen off.
Here we can see Milianor is now paralyzed. Since we don't have Refreshment (not like it would do any good in this position) we'll just have to deal with it. Status recovery is natural, and based off luck somehow.
Mizer's goon had a medallion, but I didn't have time to fight if off of him.
Meanwhile, Nietzsche needs to collect the three items, located above. She'll also need to stay in combat with Emelone so I can finish her in a timely matter. Thankfully, next turn will be noon, and we can use her water again.
An Aquarius gem...
Mind Change has enough movement to get us one item, and get us back in range of Emelone. We can also use it against her, since we fit the gender / size requirement.
It's an even battle by the time I can use Mind Change.
Fuck. So while I realized that I could use it against her, I forgot to check on the stat requirements for success.
And there we have it. Nietzsche's Tec is too low (2) to break Emelone's 3 Gen. If I wasn't a dunce and this actually worked, Emelone would've been dropped to 3, and we'd have 5. A two Tec lead can easily nab us a 4-man advantage.
Either way, we win 3-0, and Emelone goes down to 1881. She'll attack us again next turn.
Nietzsche does better this time, since I don't waste any strength by going passive.
Well, that didn't take long. Both Durant and Milanor can move again. Milanor is still out in the middle of nowhere, though, and we need to use a large amount of movement to get the last two items.
*sniff* It smells good, too!
Revolution has enough, and more, so we get the items and bring Nietzsche back in combat. She's been doing well, and has water on her side now, so she might as well finish her off. We have next turn as well, if we need it.
Emelone puts up a good counterattack, but she can't overcome Void Ice and Water .
She didn't get to freeze the lake again, but we'll still have to deal with Emelone on her turn.
Which Nietzsche does.
Princess Yggdra.... We have injured so many humans... All... for what...?
But you and the Undines are not at fault!
Haha... You are so kind... So quick to forgive... Do not... let your kindness become a weakness... ...The weak are the first to perish...
Queen Emelone...! No...
I suppose... this solves the problem of the Undine attacks...
Yeah... It's a real winner of a solution.
...I was told as a child, and have believed ever since... Justice lies with the Holy Sword. But this... Is this justice?
Tec +2, not bad. This is enough to max out Milanor's Tec, now. All he needs is a Gen +2, and he'll end up with full stats. I overutilize Milanor a bit for a while, so he'll likely get that one soon. An Atk +2 can also come in handy, for later, even if it ultimately doesn't count.
Alright... Thank you.
So, where to next?
I had thought to go north over the Lenessey Mountains.
Right on the border of Paltina...
The mountains are known to be steep and very dangerous. Consequently, the Empire won't expect an attack on that front. Their defenses are sure to be insufficient to stop us.
Catch 'em off guard, huh?
The people of the Capital are waiting. To the north it is!
7 Medallions total.
Brave Ring: The morale Up it gives you can be pretty nice. If you drop below 50%, on the start up your turn you gain 10 or 20% of your morale back. This happens as long as you're weak, as long as the item is equipped. Can't complain with the stat ups, either.
Winged Sandals: Pretty bad, unless you need the luck. There are a few levels with Desert, and other -GEO tiles where it may come in handy, I guess. Just don't lose, and you don't need to worry about your GEO though. It might protect you from GEO skills, but I can't say for sure.
Gungnir: This allows double usage out of skills like Shield Barrier, or Banshee's Cry. The stats are nice, too.
Aquarius: Meh. It should allow you to cast Rockfall and other GEO cards whenever you're in the water. I doubt I'll be showing off any of those cards.
Elemina Mint: Can be eaten for a full Tec level, or can be traded for a new item and cut scene later on.
Pretty Shell: Doesn't do anything, but is traded for a new item later.
He who strikes like lightning... Let thunder roar from thy fingers. - Ruquion of the Heavens
Thunderbolt: Meh. We don't even get this Ace for a long time, and paralyzing your enemy isn't all that exciting. Only one unit is weak against lightning, and it's not very threatening to begin with.
There's really not a whole lot to say about this level. The biggest road bump might be Mizer, or more specifically, stealing his item. The game branches briefly soon, and depending on which branch you take you are locked out of a bunch of items. One of Mizer's final items will at least get you one of the important ones, but only if you take every single one of his shoes. If you miss one, he brings it along again, next time you see him.
He's never really a hard fight, but almost always an annoying one. Most of the time you can ignore him outright, if you feel like it.
As stated earlier, the Fur Coat really is tailor-made for Durant. It gives a slight (+4) bonus to Gen, but gives you Void Ice. He can equip it the fist time you fight Undines, and and it lasts until this level is finished. I didn't really show it off because I had other plans, which I decided against anyways. C'est la vie.
Ishiene and Emelone are push-overs, as Milanor and Nietzsche can both handle them solo.