Part 40: BF35 Canossa Road
Upon the coronation at the Nacht Altar, making Yggdra the 32nd monarch of Fantasinia, she took the deceased Joachim's words to heart and led her troops to the Imperial Capital of Flarewerk in order to stop Emperor Gulcasa's mad ambition.
At the Fantasinian border, where Canossa Road ends, lies the Fortress of Ishnad, protected by Baldus, the God of War. This impregnable fortress was an unavoidable barrier on the road into the Empire's territory.
Baldus sensed the Royal Army's movement and placed the Court Magician Eudy at the cannon. He led the elite Guardian Knights himself formed an indomitable formation before the fortress's main gates to await the Royal Army's arrival.
Princess, the Fortress of Ishnad is just past here.
Durant, she's not a princess anymore, remember? She's the Queen now.
It's alright. Please, continue to call me Princess.
Won't that set a weird example for the other soldiers...?
Only when the war is over, and true peace arrives... Only then can I call myself Sovereign of Fantasinia.
Well, if you say so. You're the QuI mean, Princess.
Imperial units are stationed in front of Ishnad! Baldus' Guardian Knights are protecting the castle gates!
The God of War! So, Bronquia's Shield has taken defense. The Guardian Knights are known far and wide as elite warriors.
Sheesh, we're off to a rough start...
So they've come... We must hold this gate. Stamp them out, men!
This will bring Yggdra's luck to a nice round 5 stars. From there, she'll max out reasonably fast.
Elena will eat this, and end up at 4,5,5,5. Atk and Tec will max quickly, but her luck is stationary and her Gen is slow. We can work on them regardless.
Milanor needs 6 Tec this map, so he might as well take the Beasterfang. Raw stats will be useless for him very soon, and this is a safe map to ignore the Archer weakness.
Durant still has his All Ace item equipped, so we'll use it.
We need some morale recovery, though. 4000 is probably a little low, but that's what I aim for. This level is a little painful, and by that I mean fucking stupid. We'll see why.
Dammit! There's a cannon mounted on the wall!
Those gates are the only way through! Charge!
Baldus really is a defensive monster. Max Gen, at 6, and he'll remain on a fort for the 40% GEO. His Mars Shield will protect him from charges, too. That is, until we steal it, which is why Milanor has 6 Tec now.
Baldus's Guardian Knights aren't anything to sneeze at, either. Not only do they have decent stats, they share Baldus' Guardian Knight class, giving them status immunity no Gravity Chaos for us... Each one is also on the road or a bridge, giving them combat advantage.
Should I try eating this?
Yggdra has a snack, and Durant moves in to lead an attack.
It looks like Mistel and Milanor will handle themselves. Durant will have trouble though. Thankfully, he has higher attack, and we'll make smarter use of our aggressive attack, to even out the combat strength.
Encounter one puts us in a slight lead.
We keep it right to the very end.
But this guy can eat a bag of dicks.
Even Mistel pulls out only a minor victory. Wow...
Milanor takes care of Baldus, and takes his shield. He also has time to charge up the skill gauge for Durant's second clash.
Which Durant manages to win, barely.
As does Mistel on her second attack.
So that wasn't too bad. Aside from the first clash, we leveraged what we could and came out ahead.
Oh, and then the Exp screen comes up, and we gain pretty much no experience for anything. We could be wailing on level 10 chumps, and gaining decent experience, but the bar barely moves this time...
Oh well, whatever. Elena will end the turn by eating.
I'll try this...
Baldus launches a counter-attack right back. It looks pretty similar to our attack, but Mistel has Triangle odds (medium) instead of her usual circle (high). Odd. Even if the terrain advantage evens out Mistel's weapon advantage, her stats are way ahead of her opponent.
Durant starts things off with a pretty commanding loss odd for having such a stat advantage.
Mistel brings in a slight victory in clash 2, same as Milanor. Since Steal is still active, though, and Durant Aced it, Milanor gets to steal a Medallion from the Knight. Aside form Baldus and his Mars Shield, all the Knights carry Medallions.
Now Durant loses to Baldus, which is a little less surprising.
And Mistel loses a fight. With superior stats and a full skill bar, to the enemy's empty bar, there's really no reason Mistel should have lost so badly, or at all. Especially not as consistently as my runs were going...
Oh, almost forgot about her.
Aim for the forces at the front gate! Fire! Wheee!
She proceeds to blast everyone but Pamela, who's really only there to take up a character slot.
Durant will start this turn item hunting, and then return to lead our next round of attacks. I want Durant to get MVP this map, and after that poor showing he needs another chance. We'll pull Milanor out, since he's way ahead, and bring in Yggdra. With Crusade, she's not likely to lose.
Isn't this somewhat dangerous?
Durant looks to have poor odds again, but Mistel claims her high odds again. It doesn't really matter with Yggdra, because of Crusade.
Durant takes a clean victory.
And Mistel wasn't happy about losing a round.
Yggdra follows suit, rendering Crusade useless. She'll be able to overpower the remaining Guardian Knights with no issue.
Durant takes another loss, after staying ahead the entire battle.
And Mistel stays in Fuck Off mode.
Not terrible, again, but another unfortunate loss with Durant.
Simliar thing happens in Baldus's turn.
Durant loses despite being in better form.
Mistel has a narrow victory, and knocks the Knight into protect status something is afoot.
Even with no Critical Hit, Yggdra takes no shit from Baldus.
Then Durant and Mistel both lose, again...
This level was a huge dick move in the GBA version. The head of each unit was invincible. It could die to a critical hit, or Crusade, but through normal combat you could not win. Milanor could charge and take out every unit but the head, dump a full rage bar into the fight, and still lose.
Now in the PSP version, instead of being invincible, they seem to be just plain stronger than they should be. They're beatable, obviously, but they're winning far more often then regular game mechanics should allow. Ultimately, these knights are badass.
It's no good, Yggdra! Their defenses are just too tight!
He's correct, Princess! We are outclassed here! I suggest we fall back to the hills and reorganize!
Good thinking... We're out of cannon range there. Retreat!
Fall back to the hills!
But first, ambushers, who do nothing of note.
They're not too powerful, but they give Durant a chance to redeem himself in getting the MVP bonus.
So he rushes forth with Gravity Chaos and easily wipes out the enemy union. With that 12000 morale damage, he's easily the MVP candidate.
However, since one of the Hunters was the faction leader, the entire group goes down with him. Oh well.
We spend a few turns getting away from the cannon, until next evening arrives.
I go wherever the mood takes me, unbound to any city. I see you have some interesting stuff there. Orihalcum, huh? Must've taken guts to find this stuff...
A little of this, a little of that, and hey, presto...
You look like you oughtta be able to handle this.
This blacksmith can supply 2 different weapons, but on one condition you must never use the retry function to redo a level. Now have Yggdra or Russell visit her in the evening, with the Orichalcum, and there you go. If you have Roswell, with the World Tree Branch, as well as the hidden item you need the Dowsing Rods for, and you'll get his best staff.
Well, a few turns later, and everyone reaches the exit point.
Yeah, we all made it. Alright, we should be safe here for a while.
Their defense is impenetrable... We need a plan.
Durant, call a meeting. We'll hear from everyone.
It won't be possible to simply force our way through...
We're dealing with Baldus here... the God of War. Also called the Shield of Bronquia, for obvious reasons. Any defense he's in charge of is guaranteed impregnable.
Even the great Pamela can't think of a way...! We're doomed.
If I only had the Ankh...
How 'bout attacking them at night? That's what we always did at Marduk Woods.
And you lost to god damn Mizer. Thanks for the help, B-teamers. Can we hear from the actual Tactician now, or maybe the Imperial traitor?
Some tacticians we are... You're pretty quiet there, Elena. Got any suggestions?
Mm... But I...
C'mon, you know the area, right? Any ideas?
A direct assault would be ineffective.
Tell us something we don't know...
But... there is one thing...
A river flows near the Fortress of Ishnad. A floodgate was built to contain the water level.
Then, how about we open those floodgates...? We'll wash out the whole fortress!
Is that possible?
I believe so. The rainy season has just ended... The water levels will be dangerously high.
That is an excellent idea. Grampa used that same tactic on the eastern barbarians... He said it's useful against forts and armored soldiers.
Durant, what do you think?
I suppose... it's worth a try.
Alright, we've got ourselves a plan!
Muddy Dud: Added to the dud collection. We're getting near the point where we cash in.
Mars Shield: Lasts one map. Not bad if you have a defensive strategy.
Excalibur: Can't go wrong with the stats, although the Holy power Up is a little lackluster. It's also worth a huge morale boost to Yggdra or Russell, and lasts 2 maps.
While I said the rest of the game was pretty consistently good, this level is excluded from that. You smash your face into the brick wall that is Baldus's Guardian Knights for a while, and then you run away with next to no morale. Whee! At least it's better now than the GBA version. Either way, though, you need to attack twice, and be attacked twice. Afterward, the situation changes and you can retreat.
The only things to watch out for are the dud that Durant or a mounted movement unit needs to get, and the Mars Shield, which needs to be stolen by a 6 Tec Milanor.
If you have issues, though, Yggdra can deal with a full round herself, with Crusade. Milanor with a No Battle Penalty item, or in a small union with someone like Mistel can also take care of battle.
Tune in next time for when Cruz saves the day. Seriously.