Part 45: BF40 Bardot Hill
Baldus, the God of War, had fallen, and the gates of Bronquia were opened. The Royal Army had finally entered Imperial territory.
The Imperial citizens were galvanized by a sense of patriotism, and the Anti-Paltas milita formed from a core of hot-tempered youths.
Canaan and Monica, the young leaders of the Anti-Paltas movement who learned of the Royal Army's arrival, concentrated their defense around two forts in the east and west to show their resistance.
Those people... Are they Imperial soldiers?
Hard to say... They don't look like a well-trained army.
Perhaps they're civilians... They do appear armed, however.
Are they being forced to fight? I don't wanna hurt 'em...
We'll explain we mean no harm, and ask them to surrender.
As you wish.
People of the Empire! We do not wish to fight you! Please, lay down your weapons!
Tch! We're not just gonna roll over for a bunch of invaders!
G-Get out of here, or our Emperor will crush you!
We do not want pointless bloodshed. Please surrender!
This is our home! We're not giving it up without a fight!
We're gonna protect this country with all we've got!
Can't you listen to reason?
If you want to pass, you'll do it over our dead bodies!
...These guys are serious. They're gonna fight to the end.
If we cannot sway them, we must attack. Perhaps then they'll realize the necessity of surrender.
This is pretty much the final level where I worry about who gets MVPs. As such, Durant will claim this one. After this, the gloves are off, and everything gets done quick and efficiently. First, he takes 2 medallions, to bring him up to around 5000.
Nietzsche has to come for item duty, so we let her take this. She's a weird kid.
Yggdra will deal with one boss, and while a loss is unlikely, crits happen. The Fairy Bell will bring her to a more acceptable 5500 morale.
Psst, Monica... We put up a good front, but can we beat them?
Yeah, we're not trained for this! A-Are we gonna be okay?
Don't worry guys. Canaan at Fort Genoma should have already gotten word. All we've gotta do it whittle them down... We can do it!
Here's Monica, coming in at level 9 (we're 14-15, on average), with stats we'd expect from a boss 15 battles ago. In a nice example of story and gameplay working together, these enemies are extremely amateur. Monica here is still a good ways stronger than every other enemy on the field...
Durant will lead the way, with Mistel and Yggdra providing some support. We even get to use the Bronquians' catapult...
It's not much of a battle.
With nothing around to counterattack, Monica stands her ground. Durant pushes forward again.
Stop this foolishness! You cannot defeat us!
Save it, Royal pawn! We won't know if we don't try!
These troops fare no better.
With Monica out of the way, we're free to capture the fort.
Princess, there's another stronghold up ahead...
Oh, excuse me. I was just a bit dazed.
Man, I feel low... That was no battle. It was more like a massacre. None of 'em knew how to fight.
Is this war, then?
...Yeah, I guess. Now I see what Kylier was trying to say.
I will never forgive you!
Here, too!? Please, stop this! I don't want to fight anymore!
It's too late to play the innocent, Princess! We were born and raised on this land! Would you just surrender your homeland to outsiders? Would you just sit and watch your countrymen suffer!? You killed them all... Monica... You monsters!
They have no intention of surrendering...
What are you supposed to do? We can't surrender, either!
Canaan is in the same boat as Monica. A completely trivial encounter at this point, but head and shoulders above his troops.
Durant clears the first wave.
Canaan tries to fight back, but can't muster the strength. A nice touch in this level comes with the in-battle voice acting. Most of the time when a unit is defeated, the head will say something. In general, it's like damn! or oomf or something fairly generic. The militiamen in this mission shout out We can do it! or Hang in there, any little bit of encouragement to keep up their morale in the face of impossible adversary. Canaan shouts Justice will be served! when he uses his card skill.
I'll avenge Monica's death, intruders!
Emelia shows up in the south west, and a full union charges at Durant. He systematically defeats each soldier, until the final Bandit attacks.
Finally, with a battle penalty of 2, and the weapon disadvantage, Durant looks vulnerable.
The Bronquian militiaman is able to defeat Durant, but barely. He deals a measly 300 damage.
It took 12 battles, but Durant finally gains the 10% or so Exp he needed to finish this level.
Emelia moves into range on her turn. She's looking pretty fierce, and has High status on her side.
...This looks important.
Nietzsche digs this out of the river on our turn, which is the only reason she came along.
Yggdra rushes towards Emelia with Crusade.
As expected, Emelia couldn't put up a fight. She'll still recover to full on her next round, though.
Canaan's forces rush Yggdra, which quite frankly, is a bad idea.
Ok, joke's on me.
Canaan, why do you have to be like that?
Oh well. Even with a crit the bandit would probably lose. He doesn't even do that, so Yggdra mangles him. She lost 2 battles, but only lost a couple hundred morale.
Emelia wants to try her luck, as well.
Still, to no avail.
Yggdra will move around Emelia, so Durant can step between Yggdra and Canaan's forces once Emelia's been dealt with.
Withdraw your soldiers!
Emelia's Gravity Chaos actually has a pretty decent power more than ours, even. Still, she won't win this fight.
Emelia flees, and Durant claims her old position.
Canaan's forces attack, but with no crits, and this small of a union, Durant eliminates both enemies.
No forces left, Canaan stands his ground at the fort. Durant meets him.
You cannot defeat trained soldiers...! Surrender now!
We'll never desert our country or our families!
Durant has no trouble clearing the fort.
One more item to collect before we capture Fort Genoma. Nietzsche visits a nearby village.
Are you here to take what's mine? Here, have this then!
That's all you'll get from me! Get out of here!
An apple from an old lady? Where did I see that before...
Cripes, aren't these guys afraid to die!?
No matter how many we kill, they refuse to surrender... The Empire must have some heavy-duty propaganda.
Yeah, no doubt. Whaddaya got over there? Anyone left?
Nope. They're probably all dead already...
Damn. War's hell, huh?
We defeated the aerial units and those inside the fort.
Are they all dead?
Yeah... No one would surrender. It was them or us. One side has to lose...
Of course, but... this is so merciless.
You saw their stronghold, right? Whoever built that thing had no idea what he was doing. It wouldn't have held against a strong breeze, let alone us. These guys aren't anything like real soldiers.
This... Is this war?
Yeah. You said before, we can't turn back now. You gotta go in resolved. This isn't for the faint of heart.
We're fighting for something we believe in too, right? Aren't we?
Blue Apple: It decreases one of your stats at random. Obviously, there are better items.
Cat Ears: Emelia finally redeems her terrible item choices, because this one is pretty good. Every step you take at night will recover some morale. 2 maps.
Engagement Ring: The 1-time revival would be pretty nice, especially since this one has no drawbacks. A few upcoming bosses have the capability of dealing a tremendous amount of damage, so it might come in handy. Lasts 2 maps, or until it's activated.
I always figured Canaan was planning on giving this to Monica, but threw it away after you take the first fort.
You can trade this for a new item in a village in this map, but it's not very good.
Lionheart: Not a bad item, especially if you want to force another MVP. Lasts 1 map.
Rosary of Hope: A decent spread of stats, and an ability that might work out nicely. But probably not. Lasts 2 maps.
-jollni- : Almost done. We can all guess what it's supposed to turn into, but will it?
The battle isn't really that important in this mission. Even the weakest characters in our roster can contribute, with Emelia being the only threatening target on the map.
This map, in my opinion, is more about contrasting two characters' ideologies, and Yggdra trying to fit in somewhere between them.
On one hand, you have Kylier. She avoided this part of the war all together just to avoid battles like this. She knew that attacking the people of Bronquia, even though Yggdra tries to avoid it, would only fuel the cycle of hatred that would continue between the two countries. For Kylier, spilling this blood and adding to the fire is too high a price for the chance of peace.
Gulcasa is on the other side of the arc. He has his goals, and will stop at nothing to complete them. This situation was completely reversed when he attacked Fantasinia, but he didn't let it stop him.
Yggdra is now torn between both ideologies. She feels very similar to Kylier, and would like nothing more than to lay down her sword and live in a world of peace. To achieve this peace, though, she knows she needs to stop Gulcasa. The initial war is over; a temporary peace could be achieved, but even the threat of Brongaa is too high to stay passive.
Kylier has the luxury of simply leaving, playing the hopeful pacifist. Gulcasa has the luxury of doing what he needs to do, without remorse. Yggdra needs to reconcile what she needs to do, be it either the defense of her Kingdom, or simply achieving justice against Gulcasa, with her peaceful ideals. Yggdra's first tool has always been discussion and diplomacy, yet they've failed at each turn. She repeatedly succumbs to Gulcasa's forceful methodology. And there's nothing more forceful than using your nation's sacred sword to lead your crusade.
There are a few other themes. It makes Yggdra question Justice lies with the Holy Sword, the mantra of Fantasinia since its founding by King Paltina, and shows that Bronquia isn't full of bloodthirsty monsters. Between Baldus and Emelia merely acting on defense of their people, to the squads of inexperienced teenagers taking up arms to repel the invaders, it shows the populace of Bronquia is just as innocent and human as the people of Fantasinia.