Chapter 8: Vortex of Strategy
Ah, at last we have entered Caelin. Lundgren has seized control of the territory in his brother's "illness," and has sent more assassins to intercept Lyn. The intro claims that the enemy possesses a special weapon, and that coupled with the chapter title has me hopeful for this chapter.
The team takes a moment to marvel at the distance we've traveled already, and Kent reckons a mere two days more before we reach the castle. Lyn is still anxious for her grandfather's life, but Florina urges her to show a strong face for the troops.
Suddenly, the Seer
siblings warn Lyn of approaching danger, stopping her just in time to avoid being hit by an arrow coming seemingly from nowhere. Kent realizes the shot came from a ballista (Ooh, so this game does
have artillery!), a special weapon that can only be used by Archers. Sain warns Florina to stay back, and Kent recommends letting someone with heavy armor draw the enemy's fire until they run out of ammo, but Lyn thinks about using the Ballista ourselves. Wil admits he's never used one before, but he's optimistic that he can figure it out
Matthew pops up at the prep screen to say that he has... something to do during this chapter. My money says it's something to do with exposing Serra
, but for now I need to take any gear I want off him before he leaves.
I get 9 units on this map, so I leave Florina out (she'd be an even bigger liability than usual against that ballista) and Rath (redundant with Wil, who I need if I'm going to capture the ballista myself).
My opposition is pretty varied, made up of Archers, Soldiers, Mercenaries, Cavaliers, Brigands, and a couple of spell-casters, with a Knight named Yogi for the boss. Interestingly, several of the enemies on this level, including the boss, are carrying Reaver weapons, which each claim to be strong against the weapon type they're normally weak to, meaning I should take them on with weapons of the same class as themselves.
Or so I thought. Reaching the village east of my starting point rewards me with a Lancereaver of my own. The old man giving it to me explains that rather than just being strong against its normal counter, a Reaver reverses the weapons triangle
outright, which makes sense if I'm actually going to have access to these weapons. A weapon with no weaknesses in the hands of my enemies would be challenging, but it my hands it would make this game even easier than it already is.
The ballista only had two shots left by the time I reached it, after firing three times. I spent one on a Brigand wielding a Swordslayer axe before I learned I wouldn't nee an axe to fight him, and decided to save the last one in case running out of ammo means I can't take the ballista with me, like in the earlier SS titles.
This map did give me a bit more challenge, though. For one thing, I had to use more of my units this time around. Sending both Kent and Sain south to clear the way for Wil to capture the ballista meant I had to use Dorcas and his Handaxe against the mage and shaman between my starting point and the village, and I opted to use Erk to do most of the damage against the boss.
Kent is troubled in the aftermath of the fighting, having recognized some of the enemy soldiers as his own comrades from Caelin's army, going as far back as boot camp. That in itself would be a horrible experience, but what really got to him was that those soldiers attacked without hesitation. Sain blows the issue off rather callously, but Kent's too disturbed to say much.
Lyn thanks the seer siblings for their warning again before Matthew shows up. Rather than investigating Serra, he went to gather information from a nearby village, and he claims to have some juicy dirt.
First off, Lyn's grandfather has been bedridden by the "illness" for nearly three months already, and everyone and their dog already knows that he's being poisoned by Lundgren, though no one's saying his name. This comes as news to Lyn and co., though obviously The Reveal
falls a little flat for me. Lyn is incensed that no one's doing anything about it if they all know. Kent explains that the people are afraid of Lundgren, and lack proof anyway, before Matthew adds that anyone loyal enough to the marquess to substantiate the rumors is disappeared.
Further, an impostor granddaughter has appeared and she's... Lyn? Yes, Lundgren has spread the story that Lyn is an impostor granddaughter
dug up by the treacherous knights Kent and Sain in an attempt to usurp the Caelin throne. Naturally Kent is outraged, but this is so ridiculous that even Sain's pissed off for once. Unfortunately, Lyn has as much proof of her lineage as the villagers have of Lundgren committing fratricide, despite Sain's claim that her face should be proof enough
Kent is more realistic about their situation. With no concrete proof of Lyn's lineage and his and Sain's words rendered worthless by their traitor brands, their only hope is to appeal to the marquess himself. Matthew is still concerned about getting to the castle in the first place, but Lyn believes accepting the aid Eliwood offered in chapter 7 will get them through, and so the troop turns back toward Khathelet.
Hope our new artillery weapon doesn't slow us down too much.
Ever play Searing Seal? When you capture an artillery piece (or any other large vehicle), you keep it from level to level as long as someone's driving it at the end of the mission, and it doesn't run out of fuel. This ballista appears to be this game's equivalent of artillery, so I should keep it as long as Wil's still riding it.
I don't know, but whoever does was doing it on this chapter. The ballista wasn't an immobile terrain feature, it was a fully functioning unit once an Archer took control of it, including being able to move.
Wait, so they went all the way to Caelin and now they're turning back? That's one hell of a detour.
Hell of a detour indeed. Granpa may die due to wastad time.
I have no idea who any of you are, but this is very entertaining. Hope it gets continued!