Part 49: BF44 Castle Bronquia
The Royal Army defeated Luciana and Aegina, the Twin Valkyries, at the Imperial Capital of Flarewerk, at last granting them access to Castle Bronquia.
A long, uphill city stretched from the castle gates to Castle Bronquia proper, towering over the city. The jet-black spire known as the Obsidian Castle seemed to reach the heavens, as if to display the Bronquian Empire's majesty.
Emperor Gulcasa left the defenses of Castle Bronquia to his men, in order to lead a force through the capital city and meet the advancing Royal Army himself.
We'll occupy them until Aegina's unit can regroup!
We've got no shortage of Dragons in our way for the next two missions, so Milanor will put this to use. It doesn't do anything fancy, but always fighting with a Red Star will help greatly.
Durant will take this.
Completely changing his class. As was pointed out, this is more like Gulcasa's class than the regular Imperial Knights, as it lacks the Ice Weakness. Between his new Scythe and Fire immunity, Durant is in great shape for this map.
Yggdra, Mistel, and Elena still have their items.
Gulcasa, I'll ask one last time: lay down your weapons!
I've made my choice, Princess, and the decision is final. Now, come!
So we're graced with this map starting with Gulcasa's turn, and a cannon shot. It hits nearly everyone, but it's not a huge deal right now.
Since we didn't have a chance to pick a card yet, we use what we ended last mission with Crusade. Gulcasa's charge puts Yggdra up against Gulcasa himself, but by the third clash Gulcasa may be ready to use Genocide.
Milanor and Mistel eliminate both the Assassin and Fencer right away.
As predicted, the previous two battles took too long, and Gulcasa opens with Genocide.
With a sacrifice of two and no curse, Gulcasa's nearly unstoppable. Yggdra takes a decent chunk of damage, mitigated by her extra Fort Geo.
Durant is against Gulcasa for the last round, and the battle starts off evenly.
He'll have lots of time to catch up at this point. Gulcasa can do nothing but flail around harmlessly until his Rage bar is maxed.
The lead was enough for Durant, who walks out with a victory.
Now it's our turn, so we can check out the Emperor's stats. A little low on the Tec and Luk sides, but otherwise a fierce opponent. His Fire Attack is also boosted from the Ifrit Fling, which makes a good reason to stack Void Fire items.
This Necromancer moved up after Gulcasa's charge, and is blocking any meaningful counter attack. Elena will deal with him...
And allow Milanor to position a great defensive union, with Gravity Chaos.
Gulcasa opens with another cannon volley, but we're escaping its range now. He then charges Milanor, Durant, and Mistel.
Milanor easily defeats him with > Dragon, as well as a curse.
Durant fights through a Genocide again, and walks out with a unit to spare.
Mistel with Fire immunity, a scythe, and max stats just murders him.
I'm sorry to take so long! Stand back, Your Highness! The time has come to repay you for the kindness you've shown! Withdraw, and let me handle these intruders!
We'll attack with everything we have left! We must buy His Majesty time. Everyone, form on me! Princess Yggdra... Royal Army... This is for my sister!
This one's not afraid to die! Don't underestimate her!
We have no choice! Attack!
Hurry and prepare the cannon!
Very Valkyrie-like stats this time, and with Revolution it's easy for Aegina to sneak wins. Her sword, the End of Ages, is one of the best weapons in the game as well, dealing a 50% damage bonus.
If we had attacked and killed Aegina last mission, Luciana would be here with the Misilteinn a similar weapon but drains your opponent's morale on victory.
With the first cannon out of commission, we can safely hang back near the start location. Yggdra will rush forth to deal with the Valkryies.
It takes a second turn to reach her, but Yggdra runs past Aegina's small cannon range, and attacks with Crusade.
Yggdra has an overwhelming advantage here. Not a single unit aside from Aegina survives.
And Aegina loses about a third of her morale.
With those couple of turns out of the way, Gulcasa has regrouped with his Imperial Knights, and is ready for more action.
Show them the power of my personal Imperial Knights!
Gulcasa's coming back out! He's got his Imperial Knights with him this time, too.
He means to trap us from both sides. The valkyries are our first priority!
Alright, got it. Let's hurry and end this!
The first Imperial Knight rushes way further than I expected, bringing a 3 on 1 against Milanor, with no usable card.
Thanks to the Dragon Eater's > Dragon, Milanor pulls through.
Gulcasa V2 is a little more threatening this time, especially when he's on the defensive. His 6 Gen would normally make it hard to steal from, or curse him, but with our 6 Tec across the board we don't need to worry. His low Tec is offset by his Salamandora, which deals equal damage on his counter-attack.
It calculates this on damage done, not units destroyed. If Milanor deals 5 charge damage, killing 2 of Gulcasa's Units, Gulcasa will counter with 5 damage, killing 5 of Milanor's units.
Although they say the Valkyries are first priority, they really shouldn't be. Gulcasa's group of units can be a huge pain, and Aegina's next to useless against Yggdra anyways.
Milanor leads a Gravity Chaos charge against the Imperial force. Elena, with Dark UP, will face Gulcasa.
First unit is killed entirely.
Elena takes care of Gulcasa, effectively neutering him.
Mistel also finishes off her opponent. It will be Durant vs. Gulcasa again.
It starts evenly, of course. With our stats it's rare, but if you deal next to no damage on your charge, Gulcasa will still be stuck with it, dealing nothing himself.
Gulcasa has the chance to use Genocide right away, and sacrifices two units. Even cursed, this will be an issue.
Durant pulls through, though.
Gulcasa's turn comes before Aegina's, and he immediately charges Milanor. We look pretty good across the board, except round two Gulcasa vs. Elena.
Milanor has no issues against his opponent, but can't quite finish him off.
A weak charge by the Emperor, but still one Elena can't counter.
Not that it really matters.
Still, the fight drags on into a Genocide, but Elena is still able to defeat him. Gulcasa falls to about 800 morale.
Mistel finishes off the Imperial Knight that Milanor started with.
Again, it's up to Durant to deal with Gulcasa.
Durant fights through a Genocide again, but it's nothing he can't handle with that curse.
Regardless, we have to deal with Aegina before Gulcasa.
Aegina attacks Yggdra, but we still have Gravity Chaos on our side.
No problem, and Aegina's one round away from defeat.
With Steal's 12 Mov, Durant runs past to this tile.
Ah, an ancient tablet.
And we use this chance to steal Gulcasa's weapon. The Imperial Knight doesn't take a lot of damage, but Milanor comes out victorious on both fights, and steals from Gulcasa.
Durant doubles back to help in the defensive formation.
There's a reason I didn't finish off Aegina. Mostly, I want to lure Gulcasa in close, because the situation changes drastically when Aegina is defeated.
They attack Milanor, and both of these fights go in our favour. The Imperial Knight still survives, as does Gulcasa, obviously.
And Aegina attacks Yggdra.
Her opening attack leaves a lot to be desired. Yggdra's counter, however, dominates her.
Ugh...! Your Majesty... I've been honored to have been with you...
Annihilate the Kingdom... that forsook... us sisters...
And in case there was any doubt, Yggdra's full name is Yggdra Yuril Artwaltz.
Aegina... So I've lost you, too... But I cannot be defeated here! I will not let it end this way!
Gulcasa's backing off!
Follow him! Don't let him escape!
Night falls, and Elena's been a little left out. She can finish this.
The Imperial Knight goes down no problem.
The curse has worn off from Gulcasa, but Elena still has a huge lead.
It's down to just Gulcasa, seconds before he can use Genocide.
Gwaaaaahhh! *chuckle* So... This is it... This is what death feels like... My hour has come... I feel it... The beast is awakening...! The-The time is... hrrngh... n-near!
Ugh... What...? The pressure from his mere presence... It's tremendous...!
Is that Gulcasa!?
That definitely doesn't seem like the Gulcasa we know! I feel like he could crush me with just his aura...!
Is this the result of his metamorphosis? Have we awakened the sleeping dragon Brongaa...?
Brongaa? Do you know something we don't here?
Pope Joachim spoke of this before he passed away. Gulcasa awoke the Dragon of Purgatory, Brongaa... an ancient beast that spread darkness across the land. This was the true aim of the Ritual of Soul Unbinding.
So this is what that fortune teller was talking about!
If Brongaa fully awakens, its rage will be unstoppable. We must defeat Gulcasa before that happens. If we don't, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Is he a demon!? How is he still standing...?
Hahah... It's not over yet! *chuckle* Can you feel it? This power... It will consume everything!
What's with that aura!? I can feel it all the way over here!
He has been possessed by Brongaa's madness!
He sustained so many injuries, but look at his power...!
No! We mustn't let him escape!
Dammit! Where'd he get the energy to run off like that!?
What're we gonna do? You think we should go after him?
I believe he intends to sacrifice himself to Brongaa... And by doing so, he'll fully resurrect the dragon.
Ushering in a new age of darkness...?
We must stop him now... no matter the cost. Let's go! Not for our Kingom, but for a peaceful world!
End of Ages: Lasts one map, and decreases your Luk, but that Power 50% UP can be a lifesaver. If we had fought Luciana in this level, we'd have the Mistleteinn. Atk and Tec Up, Luk+4, Gen Dwn. Win = Drain Morale. Good on paper, but there aren't many upcoming where you need to drain morale.
Ifrit Fling: Meh. Fire Up at this point? Don't really care.
Salamandora: Again, not really a useful item. There aren't many situations where we'll be on the defensive, and our counters will likely be stronger than their charge anyways.
I forgot to screenshot it, but we also got Mesala's Tablet:
A tablet inscribed by the legendary prophet Mesala Ex. War Chronicles : It unlocks the chronicles section in the post-game extra content.
There's quite a bit that happens in this level, but for the most part it can be broken into 3, or 4, parts.
The initial phase is Gulcasa's charge on the first turn. Depending on how his formation goes, it can be a bit of a pain in the ass. If he keeps running units up against you, you won't be able to move and change your union. For the most part, though, the units are weak and shouldn't cause any issues. Gulcasa can be dealt with normally, as long as you watch out for his boosted fire damage. Steal, Gravity Chaos, Crusade, Void Fire, and > Dragon are all good.
The second phase involves Aegina's troop. I've always sent Yggdra solo to deal with her. Crusade will generally steal victory on the first round of attacks, and 1 on 1, Yggdra should dominate Aegina at this point. You could send other characters if you wanted to, but it's probably unnecessary.
Phase three is Gulcasa's return, and in general is the biggest obstacle. His Imperial Knights can put up a decent fight, and if you took the Ifrit Fling from Gulcasa earlier, he comes with a stronger weapon. Phase three ends as soon as you deal with Aegina. Depending on your party strength, it may be better to kill her fast to force Gulcasa's hand.
Phase four didn't really happen in this play through. When Aegina falls, Gulcasa decides to resurrect Brongaa. He'll retreat to his castle, and if he reaches it he'll torch the town and get a class change. We'll see what it is next mission, but it's a much harder fight than regular Gulcasa. If you stop Gulcasa before he can retreat, then all is well. He's the reason I stalled on Aegina so long it put me in position to immediately finish him. I'm pretty sure all other enemy units are removed from the map at this point, so if the Imperial Knights are being troublesome and you'd rather focus your assault on a solo target, it may be worthwhile to let Gulcasa retreat.