Part 22: BF18 Machina Bridge
The Imperial Army suffered a crushing defeat at Paltina, their forces scattering in retreat. Among them was Emperor Gulcasa, seen retreating along the main road to Karona.
When Yggdra received word, she was overcome with rage and pursued him alone, Holy Sword in hand.
When Milanor and the others realized this, they left Durant to protect the castle and chased after the Princess.
Royal Messenger: His guards are escorting him... He seems to be injured!
Hey, where'd Yggdra go?
Er, the Princess seems to have stormed off after Gulcasa...
What!? By herself!? ...That idiot!
Esq. Milanor, what is the matter?
Yggdra just charged off to whack Gulcasa by herself!
I'm going after her! Durant, protect the castle!
You won't escape me!
Wait, Yggdra! It's too dangerous to go alone! Kylier, go ahead and cut her off!
No way! I'm done helping someone else get revenge! She's waging a war without even thinking of her friends...
People like her can do fine without people like me! We're leaving, Al!
We have no control over Yggdra right now.
She starts with High status, and charges straight towards Gulcasa.
Gulcasa! Halt right there!
...The enemy is gaining on us!
Quickly, over the bridge!
Her battle starts off as poorly as you'd expect.
In the end, however, she pulls out a victory.
Gulcasa continues to limp away.
But Yggdra continues the chase.
Yggdra chases Gulcasa all the way across the bridge, and finally finishes him off.
So, you've come... Princess Yggdra. You have been brave to come this far... Brave and foolish.
Gulcasa... Prepare yourself! For Mother and Father...!
You fell right into our trap. So predictable, Princess...
It was rash to lose yourself in anger. We have a very important use for you... You will help bring about the Empire's sublime glory...
Your Majesty, the girl's allies are drawing near.
Nessiah's men are at the ready. They should be able to annihilate our pursuers. We will withdraw to Karona!
Milanor... Everyone... Run...!
P-Princess Yggdra has been caught in their trap...!
No... That idiot...!
Milanor and the troops rush forward as far as possible, but it's no good. The cliffs are far too steep, let alone crossing the water.
Gulcasa moves in for the cout d'etat.
And Yggdra is easily taken down.
No... Princess Yggdra...
Dammit! We were too late...!
Master Milanor! There are Imperial forces behind us... They've cut off our route back to Paltina!
We'll never escape at this rate... We've got to break through somehow and return to Paltina!
Meet Nessiah, the Empire's fifth and final Dragon General.
His class is basically a super powered Necromancer. The Tome weapon acts like the Staff, except it is also good vs. Staves. In addition to the Necromancer's Warp and > Skeleton abilities, Nessiah never has a battle penalty, and is immune to status ailments. He won't be an easy fight. Regardless, we want to steal that item.
Milanor attempts to thin the ranks here. Even with his Battle Penalty he'll be able to fight the Knights. Mind Change will give us the advantage against the spell casters.
The first Knight goes down without a fight. Well, sorta. This is obviously a gimmick level.
The fight with Nessiah is real, though, and we start with the upper hand.
Unable to live, unable to die... Thy punishment is to repeat life eternally.
Nessiah pulls 7 new soldiers from the ranks of the dead. Reincarnation revives whatever unit is most effective against the opponent. In Milanor's case, Fencers are reborn.
A Mind Change later, and Milanor almost evens the score. But thanks to Nessiah's item, the Etherion, his Rage is maxed out in seconds and he's ready to cast Reincarnation again.
Milanor takes a loss, but manages to win his other clashes.
Nessiah's attack goes the same. All three Knights and the Necromancer lose, but Nessiah's power is overwhelming.
Now we have the chance to Steal. Mistel is second just to get some Exp out of the deal.
Milanor does take the Etherion from Nessiah, but still can't get past Reincarnation. He drops to 1861 morale.
Meanwhile, Gulcasa and his Valkyrie entourage follow the road and leave our sight.
Nessiah attacks Mistel and Nietzsche this time. They both lose their fights, but at least Milanor is spared another defeat.
Video Nessiah's Plan
Master Milanor! We'll never make it back at this rate! I-I'll gladly sacrifice my life to take theirs!
Don't lose heart! We're not giving up that easily!
You've put forth a splendid effort...
...Wh-What are you...!? No... Please! What!?
Wh-What the...!? The imperial soldiers... They're gone!
What the hell!? Soldiers don't just up and attack each other!
...There. I've removed those nuisances.
You did this...? What are you? Are you crazy!?
*chuckle* ...Don't worry your pretty little head about it. I intend to take responsibility for losing my men...
Hurry, royal soldiers. Your Princess will be chained up in Karona soon. Once they're done with her, I cannot guarantee her safety... Now then... Before they end her life... Do you understand? Is what I say clear to you? Good. Then, it's time I left this land as well.
Hey... He's got a sword! Planning to backstab us after all, huh!? Stay on your toes, everyone!
Wh-What the hell!? Did you just stab himself!?
...Hm, hmhmhm...! I look forward... t-to seeing... your progress...
...Huh!? H-Hey! He's dead...
This is so messed up... We'd better get back to Paltina!
What's this for?
Everyone heads to the waypoint, but Nietzsche picks up an item on the way.
Okay! Everyone, inside the walls!
Yggdra... Hold on!
The enemy said Yggdra's been hauled off to Karona. If we hurry, we can make it... We have to.
We'll gather all the men was can spare and head for Karona.
They're no time to rebuild Machina Bridge...
That's alright. I know this area well. There is a detour.
Good. Then let's get started. We're gonna save Yggdra!
Etherion: +1 to all stats, and your gauge fills within seconds? Yes please. You need 4 Tec to steal from Nessiah, otherwise you'll never get this item. If you can afford the morale damage, it's a bloody good item. Lasts one map.
Mirror of Truth: This opens up the Characters extra once you beat the game. It shows you the portraits and battle frames for all the characters and NPCs. Some characters can also use it for morale restoration.
As you probably gathered, this level is pretty heavily scripted. If you want to skip the Etherion to save morale, you can easily stand in the safe area on the top of the map. Once Gulcasa leaves the area, Nessiah enacts his plan regardless of whether you're fought him or not.
If you do chose to fight him, there's basically only two ways to successfully defeat him:
1- Critical Hit. Without Reincarnation he's merely difficult.
2- Mistel: Oblivious Dawn will lock out Reincarnation, of course. Mistel has another advantage against Nessiah, though. At worst, Scythes are neutral to Tomes. Since nothing in the game is good against Scythes however, Nessiah won't even use Reincarnation because he can't gain an advantage. It's unlikely Mistel is strong enough to fight him and win, but if you used her very heavily in the last 4 levels, gave her the Gold Dozeu and maybe some more food, and equipped a good item to fight Nessiah you might put up a fight.
Unable to live, unable to die... Thy punishment is to repeat life eternally the Nameless Angel
Reincarnation: Resurrects and replaces Nessiah's entire party with whatever basic small unit will have the greatest advantage. He can reincarnate either male or female characters. He won't use it against Scythe users, which may be an oversight.