Part 37: BF32 St. Meriata Diocese
After rescuing Pope Joachim, the Royal Army defeated Archbishop Mardym of Meria Parish, successfully liberating Lombardia.
Beyond there lay the sacred ground of the St. Meriata Diocese, where Cardinal Juvelon ruled over the St. Merata Church. Amareus' Elite Meriants and skeleton soldiers waited there to confront the Royal Army.
The Kingdom forces left Lombard Parish to liberate St. Meriata Church, while Cardinal Juvelon's Holy Cross unit advanced. The two armies clashed across the border of Lombardia.
And here we arrive at the final mission of this chapter, and one of my personal favourite maps in the game.
There's armed troops all over the place.
We must clean them out first...
Mardym's Holy Cross is at the forefront!
Is he trying to regain his honor? O, wayward son...
This battle is locked to Day. While the stats are worthless, the sun can come in handy.
Milanor has no need for stats, but the beehive offers a pretty unique ability. I've seen it activate maybe a handful of times ever, so it's nothing I'll depend on.
He also takes the old Ruby Staff. I'll have no need for its Fire Atk UP, but 5000 morale is a bare minimum I'll want the group at. It's almost not enough.
Mistel will take the Hero Badge here. I didn't get a chance to show off All Ace with Durant last time, but I'll make good use of it now. It also increases 3 of her stats. I'll be aiming to have Mistel take the MVP award as well.
Elena will take this Walnut Bread to alleviate her low Gen. She also takes two Medallions to bring her morale to 5600.
Beyond those four, we take Gordon and Kylier. This is probably the first time I've equipped an item to every active member, and I don't think I'm in any way over-prepared for this level.
Cardinal Juvelon! Joachim's forces are coming!
B-But, they have made it this far... Joachim has the Royal Army on his side, too...
They are but a makeshift army. How could such a loose alliance be a match for us? Don't forget, we have Amareus as well. Never mind God, Cardinal; trust in me.
A-Alright. I'll leave it in your hands.
( The Imperial Army is backing my efforts. My alliance with Juvelon is, I think, no longer needed. Soon, Lombardia will be mine...)
Again, Mardym isn't much of a threat. His Valkyries average in at 2 Stars, but the Skeletons have pretty decent Tec and Luk. Too bad for them that this map is locked to Day...
Cardinal Juvelon, also a Necromancer, is just odd. That Gen plus the fort he stands on make him quite resilient, and that Luk will make him throw the Critical hits out. It also limits to who can beat him and win his item to Milanor and Mistel. While the Meria Bible doesn't do much, it does protect him from being crushed by Banish, or Yggdra.
His Necromancer guards come in with 3's for average stats not bad.
Here's Amareus. Typical Assassin, with a pretty high Atk. We'll need to watch out for her.
Example one of why All Ace is awesome. Gravity Chaos will totally crush the Valkryies, and entirely neuter Mardym's strength. There's no way Milanor could have Aced this with such a large union on our end.
Regardless, both Valkryies eat it. So do the Skeletons.
And Milanor goes apeshit against Mardym. Not only did he take all 6600 of his morale, he had the potential to deal 7500 damage.
Whelp, Juvelon's turn. Both groups of enemies are really passive until you get right next to them. Since Juvelon has three immobile skeletons blocking the road, he'll be quiet for a while.
He also comes with Amareus' card Medusa Eye. If you're hit by it, your character is petrified. The battle immediately ends, and the character is unable to do anything, from moving to joining unions. There's no morale loss, and it's annoying as hell.
Mistel needs to catch up on that 6600 damage Milanor dealt, so she can win MVP. She'll move up and take these sleeping skeletons out one at a time, while Kylier heads south on item duty.
And one down for Kylier.
Might as well have Elena try that bread.
I'll try it...
Alchemist: I see you have some rather unusual items. Hand me that Four-Leaf Clover and those Glitter Ashes... I'll create a new item for you with these...
Alchemist: And it is done. There is no other material like this in the whole world. These blades can cut right through a boulder...! I should warn you, though it's a fragile weapon. Use it only when you must... But when you do... Ho! Absolute victory shall be yours.
Uh, what? This is actual the first I've found out about this item. It's PSP exclusive, due to needing the Glitter Ashes from Mistel's level.
That's, uh, two down for Kylier.
Alchemist: Ah, I see you have such rare goods with you today... Very interesting... This must be the work of Fate. Give me the Lost Material and Stardust Hourglass... I'll show you what I can do...
And without moving, this activates as well. This is what I was expecting all along, a bunch of dashes.
Alchemist: This substance alters its shape over time. Slowly, gradually, it will develop... Eventually, it will recover its true form and power. However, there's no guarantee what that might be. Only time will reveal its true nature, good or bad.
And three for Kylier.
And three for Mistel.
I was a little overconfident with Mistel's abilities at this point. I knew the Knight would counterattack, and bring the Necromancer's and Juvelon with him. Mistel barely pulls off the first three victories.
But Juvelon takes an early lead, thanks to Mistel's battle penalty.
She catches up, but it's not enough. I could have either brought in some reinforcements before I ended our turn, or used a better card to defeat the last Skeleton.
Oh well. I want to get Yggdra and Milanor in to support now, but I need to be careful. Yggdra is vulnerable to petrification. I was debating this formation, but it's likely that Yggdra would defeat the Necromancer too slowly, and he'd use Medusa Eye.
I switch to this, so Yggdra is the third encounter. That should buy me enough time.
Shit, Milanor killed him a little too fast. He'll be ready almost immediately.
Heh, or not. Death to the false gods, and all that, I guess.
Juvelon takes a crit too, though his high defenses keep him in good shape. Speaking of crits, though, it's a bad day to be a ranking official in a corrupt religious branch.
Milanor will end the turn by running in front of Mistel. I'm expecting Amareus to attack, and Milanor is both most capable of defending, and won't bring anyone else into his union.
As I expected, she comes forth to attack.
You seem like you know your way around a fight...
W-Why you...! I'll make you eat those words!
Wow. Pathetic. During the fight she tried to use Medusa Eye. Not only is Milanor's Gen too high to be affected, he's immune to stone anyways.
How do you like that!
Mistel and Milanor will finish her off.
No...! Amareus! Don't die! Don't leave me here alone!
Who the fuck were you again? You got less screen time than Dort, and some Villagers have more voiced roles than you.
And finally, Kylier collects all her items.
Mistel and Milanor head up to finish the Cardinal off with, fuckit, Shield Barrier. It doesn't actually have a lot of use to me at this point of the game, except for its monstrous damage potential. I don't want to deal with any crits from Juvelon, so I want to end him in one attack. Plus, it will come in handy very soon...
Mistel can't quite do it, so Milanor finishes the deed.
Saints be praised! Good work, everyone. Now, let us head to the Holy Land. I'll lead the way, Princess.
Hey Gordon, what're you guys going to do now?
We'll resume our guard posts in Lombardia. We've been remiss in our duties for too long.
Ahh... Well, take care, then.
Gordon! Give my regards to the others when you return. I am counting on you.
Yes, Your Eminence.
I'm outta here too, Milanor. I ain't the Princess' nursemaid.
Huh? You're the one who insisted on helping out...
Idiot! That's not the point at all! Let's go, Al!
Leave her alone. She's just being weird.
Princess Yggdra. Are you ready to proceed?
You misunderstand... Only myself and the royal family may enter. Everyone else must wait here until we return.
You gonna be okay, old man? Need to borrow a weapon?
Be not afraid. Evil beings cannot enter the Holy Land.
I'm going now, Milanor.
Alright, be careful. We'll be right outside.
They must be here for... His Eminence and the Princess! Lady Kylier!
Am I seeing this right? Is that the Imperial Army!? And... the Emperor is with them!
His Eminence and the Princess are in grave danger. Lady Kylier, please, go warn them of this threat!
B-But, what about you?
We'll stall them here. Now go! Quickly, Milady!
Alright, I'll be right back! Stay on your toes, Gordon!
Kylier? Weren't you just leaving?
Shut up, stupid! This is important! The Imperial Army... The Emperor is coming this way!
Where are the Temple Knights!?
They're holding 'em off, but... I don't think they'll last.
Yggdra, go! We'll handle this!
Come, Princess, this is no time to stand idly by. We must hurry if their efforts are not to go to waste.
Don't worry! If things look bad, we'll cut and run. Go!
She's all yours, old man!
...Indeed. Be careful, all of you. May God watch over you.
They're coming! Don't let them through here! Our main target is the Emperor, so stay focused!
You'll never lay hands on His Eminence!
I shall crush the life out of him, right after you!
This doesn't look too good. Gulcasa leads the 3 unit union, and each time they're overwhelmingly more powerful than Gordon.
Especially when this happens. A 2-sacrifice Genocide is damn near impossible to deal with at the best of times.
You will let us through... now.
That's... actually quite powerful. Thankfully we're now locked to evening, so his Day won't come into play. Regardless, he's got stats. His Imperial Knights are all 3,3,3,1, as well. Not too shabby.
Aegina? Yeah... Elena didn't really put her out of commission. That'd be easy.
I wanted to retreat Gordon to safety, but I forgot to pick up this item Mardym dropped. Gulcasa would take it as he ran by.
It's also on the sand, so Gordon's stuck this round...
Mistel will move into position to help on defense.
And this looks better. Gordon will still take a bad loss, but we have Dragon Killer on our side. Mistel, on the other hand, will just roll her opponent, and Gordon will deal with Aegina.
Dragon Killer helped, but not enough.
Even against Dragon Killer, though, the Imperial Knight dealt a lot of damage against Mistel.
I had the suspicion that Gordon dealt Holy damage during Aggressive. We stop doing that, and Aegina falls. She has High status, just like Gulcasa, so it won't matter.
Yggdra, go! Now!
Everyone... Hang on just a little longer...!
Hang in there, everyone! Hold out until Yggdra arrives at the Holy land.
Joachim and Yggdra are both on the map as NPCs now, heading through the gates.
They move one tile per turn, until they reach the flag. That gives us four turns to deal with the Imperial Army.
Turn one involves Gordon running to safety. We're using Oblivious Dawn to deal with Genocide. Mistel will be our defensive line.
A little seen ability of Dragon class units is that they can both pass through units, as mounted units, and also cross water. When planning defensive formations, it's useful to take note of that.
Gulcasa advances, but no aggressive action is taken.
And Joachim leads Yggdra another tile.
Our turn, so let's spring into action. We're going to try to Steal from Gulcasa now, because his item powers him up quite a bit.
Again, All Ace to the rescue. There's no way to have Milanor lead a good union in a horizontal hallway like this, and using Kylier can lead to an early defeat. Mistel is pretty much most qualified to fight the dragons, and makes an easy union.
We manage to steal Gulcasa's Burning Sun.
But it doesn't stop Genocide. He manages to sacrifice 1 Imperial Knight, and even that one unit will spell doom for Milanor at this point.
Mistel and Elena both eliminate their targets, though.
Milanor then backs up. There's little chance he'd be able to deal with Gulcasa without depending on Heavy Counters.
Was that injury an act...?
No problem. Aegina's not much of a threat compared to Gulcasa.
Oh dear! She's not budging!
Nothing you do can hurt me!
Gulcasa moves up, after his attack. The AI at work.
One more round out of the way. 2 to go.
We'll try to farm some Exp this round. We can't curse them, due to High status, but it should deal enough damage to tip the balance in our favour.
Milanor opens up with a strong charge, especially compared to Gulcasa's counter. We're technically up 7-5.
And Gravity Chaos puts us up 7-3.
Victory. Mistel and Elena both defeat Aegina, and drops her to one morale protect status.
Elena steps out of the way. Milanor should be fine on the defensive.
One more turn.
I pick Shield Barrier, and debate attacking. It's not worth it, though.
You have one god damn luck!
And you're just an asshole. That's even with a full Shield Barrier.
Master Milanor, they have safely reached the Holy Land!
Alright! Hang on, guys! ...Huh?
Y-You're Majesty! What's wrong!?
Your Majesty! Pull yourself together!
The recoil from the awakening... Did I overstrain myself...?
H-Huh!? What's going on!?
I don't know, but they quit attacking! Way to go, guys!
Now's out chance! Let's hit 'em right back!
Careful, Esq. Milanor... This could be an Imperial trap.
They don't look like they're faking to me... I'd say this is real panic! We can beat 'em now... Let's go!
They've both lost High status now, and we're fixed to Night.
First thing first, curse the two of them.
Or curse Gulcasa and just have Elena mess up Aegina. She's good at that.
Milanor runs up to loot this, and then returns to hide behind Mistel. Not like any of it mattered Gulcasa didn't move at all on his turn.
It's still night, so Bloody Claw will finish this. Thanks to All Ace again, Mistel leads the union, and Elena can use Bloody Claw. Man, All Ace rocks. It's too bad no one has it permanently...
Even cursed, Gulcasa almost powered enough to use Genocide.
But Elena deals with him before he has the chance.
C-Curses... Is this the end...!?
Your Majesty! Everyone, protect His Majesty at all costs!
It's the Scarlet Princess! General Emilia! His Majesty is...!
Emilia... You're here...
Are you okay, Brother!? I had a terrible feeling... I flew here as fast as I could!
Ha... Emilia... Your prediction was... correct...
Your Majesty!? He's out cold! General Emilia! Please take His Majesty away from here! We'll provide backup!
Follow him! Don't let him go!
Welheim, the Holy Land. Many trials await you here. Are you prepared, Princess?
Hey Milanor, how long you gonna wait here?
Until she comes out.
Tch... How long's that gonna be?
How should I know!? Could be half a day, could be a month...
I'm not gonna sit here and twiddle my thumbs for a month! I'm going home for now. Catch you later, Milanor. Let me know when she comes out, okay? C'mon, Al!
...As free-spirited as ever.
Alchemy Glass: +3 Exp for one map. This could work great to power level someone.
Banango: Luk UP. Just what we need.
Kalinka Berry: The stat you gain is random, but we have reset buttons to make sure you get what you want.
Meria Bible: Lasts 2 maps, and does pretty much nothing good. I guess you can use it if you're really, really having trouble with Valkryies...
Rosary of Taboo: Most items with Morale Down effects are actually good enough to consider, but I can't see this arrangement of stat effects worthwhile. 1 map.
Wind Cutter Blue: Not bad focus on Elena's strengths, with no side effects. No battle penalty is also pretty sweet. 2 maps.
Burning Sun: Pretending for a second that Milanor cares about stat increases, abilities are generally pretty good. There are a few more missions where we see sunlight, so it might be handy if I wasn't trying to avoid using Milanor all together.
Clover Light: This is actually the first time I've seen this item, and holy shit. It lasts for a mere 1 map, but damn that can cause some damage.
--------: Every mission one letter is revealed to spell out the name of this item. Most of the time it will turn into garbage, but if you pray to the right gods and sacrifice the right goats, you get an item that makes the Clover Light look like a child's toy.
O memories of sin faded by time... Let it end with this conviction of stone. - Luane the Condemned
Medusa Eye: Simple enough, isn't it? If your Tec is >= to your enemy's Gen, he's stone. What does that mean, exactly? Well the battle just ends, and you have an impassible, undamageable brick wall worth no Pow or Exp in your way until it wears off. 2550's looking a little low at this point of the game, but its 9 Mov is good.
Whee! That's pretty much one of my favourite maps. The first half isn't too exciting, up until you kill Juvelon, but fighting a full strength Gulcasa with actual tools to deal with him makes the map pretty exciting.
Phase 1: Mardym Something I didn't show in this map was that Mardym has two Griffon Riders waiting in the south. I eliminated him before they had a chance to move, though. Regardless, there's not much too him. Both of his skeletons are asleep, and will never wake up. Mardym with two Valkryies isn't a threat.
Phase 2: Juvelon and Amareus It will always take a few turns slowly clearing out skeletons, but don't sweat it. Use the free time to collect items with Kylier, and move your forces up to assist against the named units.
Once you kill the last skeleton, the Knight will move forward and attack with the 3 Necromancers. Anyone with 3 Tec or less will likely get petrified unless you take precautions. Void Ailment items and Shield Barrier are most obvious, but it shouldn't be difficult to raise anyone's Gen to at least 4, except for Elena and Pamela. Other than that, they're pretty useless.
You can rush ahead and block the Knight from moving, but then he'll attack with Amareus, which isn't good.
Amareus She's pretty close to rivaling Gulcasa in regards to stats, so she's no push over. She has all the same weaknesses you expect from Assassins, though, so hit her big before she can hit you, and watch out for her 5 Tec.
Juvelon He's built like a tank, and will take a while to take down between his 4 Gen and 40% Geo bonus. He's pretty harmless, though, except for a high critical hit rate.
Phase 3: Gulcasa This mission is already pretty long, so seeing the Imperial Army is not a welcome sight. You'll have to weather 6 attacks from his team before Yggdra makes it to Welheim, the first being solo with Gordon. There are a few general things you can do to make this smoother. First, Gordon can die with no penalty to you. Sure, it's a bit of a dick move, but make him stand ground to the death if you have to. It will buy you a couple turns, and by then Gulcasa might have to funnel small groups of easier to deal with Imperial Knights in to get you.
Blizzard, Mind Change, Dragon Killer, and Shield Barrier are all good cards to use, in descending order. Pretty much nothing Gordon can do will slow down Gulcasa, but with these the G-man should be able to deal with his Imperial Knights.
Assuming you're not a savage, or Gordon dies too quickly, Durant, Rosary and Mistel are all good choices to use. Durant can ace the same cards as Gordon, and the entire path on this map is road, for Road . Rosary, assuming she's been trained and is well fed, will deal with the enemy with few issues, by negating their Fire damage and Scythe advantage. Mistel merely negates the Scythe advantage, but is a powerful choice none the less. At these stat levels, Milanor has trouble bulldozering over everyone like he used to.
Aegina and Gulcasa both have High status, so when it comes down to them lay off the offense. Gulcasa's half-charged to Genocide right away, and even a 6-stat Milanor can deal 0 damage on a charge. Steal his weapon, and lay off for a while. You'll lose enough while they attack, anyways. Make the appropriate defensive unions, and dig in until ti's over. Until Yggdra reaches Welheim, there's really nothing you can do that will guarantee a victory in a clash against Gulcasa.
When High status wears off, though, that's another story. Curse him, Bloody Claw him, Kiss of Death him. It doesn't take much at this point, so just finish him.