Part 47: BF42 Arc of Triumph
Combat through unfamiliar, marshy terrain against the volunteer citizen militia had taken its toll. Yggdra had doubts about the justice she fought for but continued nevertheless with the Holy Sword in hand. The Royal Army defeated an injured Crimson Princess Emelia to end the battle of Drominos Marsh.
Past there, the Imperial Capital of Flarewerk was a stone's throw away. The Royal Army advanced with all speed to hasten the end of the war.
The gigantic Arc of Triumph protecting the Imperial Capital was an impassable barrier that had stymied all invaders since the founding of the Empire. Gulcasa's elite Imperial Knights had fortified the front lines, and Court Magician Eudy provided backup from the top of the gate.
Imperial Messenger: Sh-She was killed in combat, Sir!
Imperial Messenger: She fought bravely... until the last...
...I understand. Please leave me.
Imperial Messenger: Y-Yessir!
...Forgive me, Emelia. I have failed as a brother if I could not save my own kin... Attendants! To me!
I am taking to the field. Gather my men.
Gulcasa... The Emperor of Carnage!
Princess Yggdra, I salute your making it here!
Hear me, Emperor! A world forged in blood only brings more suffering... We have seen enough sacrifice. Lay down your weapons. If you do, I swear that your people will not be harmed.
Hahaha... Is that all you came here to say? What an arduous journey for such a ridiculous request. Even were I to believe you, we would never accept your terms.
You doubt my words?
We razed your Kingdom, and you have responded in kind. How are we to extinguish our flames of hatred now? This fighting cannot end until one of us can fight no more!
Our resolve is as firm as yours! We will not yield! We have long since passed the point of no return, Princess.
So much for negotiation...
You tried, Princess, but we must prepare for battle now. Princess...?
Must we? Is there no other way? Is the sword the only means of carving a path? My sole aim is a peaceful world, free of borders.
But to tear down these borders, blood must be spilt. What is that?
Princess, compose yourself! You cannot falter now!
...Here they come!
Not a whole lot of game left, so no point in holding on to items. Let's see what we can do.
The Platinum Ornament ups 3 stats for Mistel, and gives us crucial fire protection. It also lasts 3 maps, which is exactly how long we want it.
She also takes this, for morale purposes. There's no point in going too high, morale wise, but it's good to get around 4-5000.
Elena takes the Nightmare. It lowers her Luk, which is unfortunate, but that Dark attack Up is going to be awesome. At worst, it makes her aggressive mode considerably stronger. At best, well, that will come into play next mission. She also takes a few medallions, reaching 5000
Durant's in a strange position. He gets a really good item next mission, and I'll want to use it right away. The Rosary of Hope will up 3 stats, and the ability isn't too bad, either. It will expire just in time, as well.
It drops his Gen, but 1 on 1 = Win can come in handy. It will last 2 maps, and Milanor will take a better item afterward.
All in all, everyone but Yggdra gets an item. Yggdra needs to equip one next mission, and we don't have any 1-map items laying around worth using. She should be ok this time without anything.
Prepare yourself, Princess Yggdra!
The gates are mostly guarded by these Imperial Knights. They're not too bad, but they do have High status.
We can't attack her yet, but Eudy is carrying a really nice item.
Hmm, wait. What's that... Doesn't quite look like one ankh. Kinda looks like two. Hmm...
Look, Princess. The Imperial Knights are guarding the Arc of Triumph.
Hmm. That's Gulcasa's personal cadre of warriors. If they've taken up positions there, that means... They will fight to the bitter end.
Yeah... This won't be easy.
My Imperial Knights are the strongest in all of Bronquia... Do not pretend that you will be passing by, Royal Army!
Whatever. First turn, we just move up.
This one's gonna sting! Hehehe... Ready! Aim! Fiiiire! Whee hee heeeeee!
Motherfucker. That shot deals 25% damage. Well, at least it can't kill anyone. Although it makes it imperative to wipe out these Imperial Knights ASAP, while we still have the morale to deal with a loss.
Dragon Killer should do nicely.
Mistel is immune to their fire damage, but still takes a beating from them. I mistime Dragon Killer, as well, so it ends before the final knight falls. He's taken to 3415 morale, but will regenerate that next turn.
Yggdra couldn't quite hold up against them, even with Dragon Killer activated.
Meanwhile, Durant has no issues. The Road overrides his weapon disadvantage, so his superior stats with the day.
Mistel rolls the Witch. She has protect status, but the Imperial Knights do not.
Round two looks the same, as the Imperial Forces attack us back.
Mistel deals with her opponent fine. He'll be withing finishing range on our turn.
Yggdra takes another bad loss.
As does Durant.
Eudy fires again, but by now most of our units are so weak it doesn't really matter. Yggdra and Durant are both on the brink of defeat anyways, so can't lose no matter what.
Yggdra's covered, by using Crusade. Milanor and Elena join the party too.
Mistel finishes the first Imperial Knight.
Durant claims a narrow victory.
And Yggdra ruins my Crusade plans by simply critical hitting.
Milanor deals with the Witch with no problems.
While fighting Aggressively, at night, with Dark UP, Elena fights with Red Star effectiveness.
She finishes the second enemy.
You said it yourself, Princess... You can't turn back now! You've got a responsibility to the people! I said there's no such thing as absolute justice, but... You have to believe that your justice is worth fighting for! If you don't, where do those who believe in you end up? The ones who lost their lives fighting for your cause?
Why hesitate now? I thought you'd take responsibility! Think about Milanor, and all the others here following you... They all believe in you.
Stop crying! Milanor and your men need a leader!
I'll pitch in this one last time, Milanor. You guys would fall apart without me.
...Thanks, I think. What brought you here, anyway?
I dunno... I just thought, better you than Gulcasa...
Huh? What'd you say?
Oh, nothing! It doesn't matter. C'mon, the enemy's coming!
Since Eudy's using the ankhs, instead of the regular cannons, she can fire at night. Yggdra's at less than 600 morale now...
Kylier slowly moves towards Eudy. We just need to weather the ankh for a few rounds, until Kylier can deal with her.
Everyone! Hold tight!
Dammit! Those Ankhs are a real nuisance! Bad enough when it was just one of 'em, but this is nuts!
(Milanor and the Princess will never last at this rate... ... If I could just take out those Ankhs somehow... Milanor would be able to get through!)
Before that happens, we clobber the last Imperial Knight.
Alright, my mind's made up! Milanor! Hang in there!
Huh? Sheesh, Kylier, you don't need to tell me... H-Huh...!? What are those tears for...?
I'm gonna clear the way for you!
Don't tell me you're... No! Don't do this, Kylier! Stop!
C'mon, Al! One last time!
No! She can't...!
That idiot... How could she...!? Tch... .........
The path is clear! All troops, advance!
Are you going to stand there and waste Kylier's sacrifice!? Don't look back! Go! Go!
Get it together, and let's go!
You're right... Advance!
The PSP version is considerate enough to grant our party High status. The upcoming fight isn't difficult, but it can go badly when you have a couple hundred morale remaining.
Here is the item Eudy was equipped with. It's the third item that's restricted if you do a Retry after losing a map, like the Excalibur. We can't pick it up, but we'll automatically collect it at the end of the mission.
A quick union will take care of all of them, except for the Gate Keeper. We need to collect items, first.
Durant claims the first hidden item.
She had something worth risking her life for...
Elena finds the second. It appears when the situation changes, so we need to move off the tile, and back on it.
Milanor moves beside the final Knight. He'll clear the map on the enemy's charge.
The gate has been breached!
Aaagh! It's all over!
Your Majesty! The Arc of Triumph has been--
Breached? I see... I'm not entirely surprised.
Ready the troops. We'll lure the enemy onto our ground!
Ankh Piece: Not bad, but nothing special at this point. 1 map.
Griffon Feather: Again, not bad. Morale restoring items can come in extremely handy in a bit, though. Lasts for one map.
Southern Cross: Pretty much the best item in the game that you can actually get some use out of. It's basically Up to all stats, and you deal 50% extra damage on top of what you're supposed to. Too bad it lasts one map, and we're not using any staff users.
Our Lost Material experiment is at a close, as well. Let's see what we got.
Mjolnil: Well, it failed. This is what you pretty much always get, and it's obviously terrible. It can turn into the Mjolnir, which is a UP all stats, with a chance for a 1-hit kill. Apparently it's not very reliable, but I've never gotten it, so... I tried save scumming that last mission for a while, about an hour and a half, but never got anything different. I'm not sure when the game decides what you'll get. Either way, this lasts 3 maps.
Time is really of the essence on this battle. In a round or two from the Ankh, fighting the Imperial Knights can be incredibly risky, as you'll be on the brink of defeat. However, Kylier only appears if you continually stay in combat. I could've sent Yggdra on the first turn with Crusade, and not a singly Imperial Knight would've survived. If I wanted to progress though, I'd have to beat on the invincible Witch, otherwise Kylier wouldn't show up.
I also never really quite felt the need for Kylier's suicide attack. In general you'll have the entire ground force cleaned up by the time Kylier shows up, which then makes standing there getting hit by a cannon an odd strategic play. The situation never really felt drastic enough, in my opinion. Now, if there was an ambush from the rear, or Aegina showed up, or something, then maybe. It may just be a case of gameplay not meeting plot, thanks to this game's weird late-game scaling, and the ground forces were supposed to be more of a threat.