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Shield Of Doom

[table of contents]
Battlefield 1: Thieves' Stronghold (or: The Game's On Your Side for Once)
All right, the first thing to do before starting the game is make sure that the options are where I want them. In this case, I want tutorials off (because I already know everything) and Hyper Speed on (this is unlocked by beating the game and allows me to massively speed up fights so they only take a couple of seconds).

With that set up, I begin the game and am dropped into Chapter 1: The fugitive Bearing Hope.

At the southernmost tip of the continent is the land of Norn Valley.

Although this barren land of rocky mountains and red earth is Fantasinia Kingdom territory, it has become a haunt for thieves.

Through this wasteland runs a girl, kicking up a cloud of dust as she flees.

Battlefield 01: Thieves' Stronghold

Valley Entrance: Check Point!

Beyond the Cliff: Check Point!

Small Stronghold: Check Point!

(some soldiers appear near the girl's former location)

Valley Entrance: Check Point!

(A woman in armour appears at the valley entrance.)

Small Stronghold: Check Point!

Blaze! -The fire is lit!-

Burning Stronghold: Check Point!

High Road: Check Point!

(Two guys appear on the road.)

Victory condition:

Defeat condition:

After that cutscene, I'm immediately dropped into the preparation screen, where I can't really do much right now. I can look over my characters, check out the map of the area, and get incredibly irritated at the five-second loop that's playing this whole time.

At any rate, my forces currently consist of Flunky the Thief and Milanor the Stray Thief (that is the absolute worst class name I have ever encountered). Flunky is a guest, as shown by the fact that he can't gain any XP. They're both armed with what the game considers to be axes, though Milanor is equipped with one that's infuriatingly named after the second-best scythe in Riviera.

Also, take a good look at the weapon Milanor's carrying and tell me how that can be considered an axe.

Seriously, what the hell, Satoko Kiyuduki?

Anyway, there's nothing to do on the character select screen right now, so I just hit X to confirm my "selections" and...

...go to the card selection screen. You use cards to fight in this game, and you're going to need a lot of them. I start with five: Steal, Mind Change, Refreshment, Mirage, and Rockfall. Only two or maybe three of those are worth using into the endgame, but right now I need all the help I can get.

After selecting all of my cards (each mission has a card limit; this one coincides with the total number of cards I have), I head right into the battle...

...after one more cutscene!

I then get to choose a card to use for my first turn. Each card has four things of note: movement, power, a skill, and an Ace Type. You can ignore those last two for now. Movement is how far you can move your characters during your turn, and it's shared between all your characters. Power, meanwhile, is used to determine how much damage you do (obviously).

For now, I choose Steal, which has 12 movement and 1000 power. I then move Milanor to where the sword girl was in the intro cutscene, where he discovers...

Bumpy Road: Check Point!

Discovery! -What's this!?-

(Item get: Hair Band)

There's stuff hidden in the scenery of almost every map in the game, and you won't find half of it without a guide.

I then move Flunky to the nearest enemy, a Bandit. In order to attack this guy, I press Square while my cursor is on Flunky. I indicate the enemy I wish to attack, confirm my selection, and fight it out!

Battles work like so:

I'll explain this more thoroughly in a mechanics update later, but right now all you need to know is that Flunky won, the bandit died, and Steal gained 40 power.

I then use the remaining movement (4, for anyone wondering) to move Milanor to where the bandit was standing. There's another enemy right next to that particular square, and I want her to attack Milanor on the enemy turn.

Upon ending my turn, Milanor is attacked by the enemy I put him next to. She's an Assassin, and Assassins use bows. Bows can't be countered, which gives her enough of an advantage to bring Milanor's unit down to just him. However, for this map and this map only, Milanor is totally unkillable, and thus he wins and kills the assassin.

On my next turn, I choose Mind Change. This card has 6 movement and 1300 power. I move Milanor next to the last enemy on the map, the armoured lady from the intro cutscene. She's a Valkyrie, and they use swords.

Moving next to her also triggers a cutscene:

I attack her, and Milanor reduces her Morale from 1160 to 536.

I then suspend my game, because I want to savescum the results of this next turn, and for a very specific purpose.

The armoured woman attacks Milanor, and promptly bounces off his Plot Invincibility Shield. This defeats her, which naturally leads to a victory cutscene.

Fended off the enemy! -Milanor achieved his revenge!-

Pull Back! -Time to regroup!-

After the enemies retreat, I'm taken to the victory screen. It informs me that Milanor was the MVP for that battlefield, because he did the most damage. The MVP gains a point or two (depending on whether you finish the map in a certain amount of time or not) in a random stat.

In this case, I finished the map in a total of four turns (counting every turn by every side), and Milanor's bonus was added to his Luk. This is good, for reasons I'll explain later.

I also obtained the armoured woman's Iron Choker, and the card she was using, Revolution.Once I can use its skill, it'll be quite handy. It's still handy right now, though, because it has 10 movement and 1300 power.

Anyway, one more cutscene for the road.

Burnt Stronghold: Check Point!

(The girl leaves the former fort.)

Honestly, I don't mind card-based battle systems, but it's still ridiculous that military forces in this setting determine how far they move and how they fight using cards. It wouldn't be so hard to believe if they didn't tie movement range to the cards, but I guess if they think it's best...

I'm then given the chance to save my game. I do so, of course, because this has been going on for a stupidly long time already and I'm not about to add another overly long battle right now.
3rd Aug '11 8:37:39 PM flag for mods
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