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Battlefield 2: Jaws of the Wolf, or: Do you want to know how wrong things can go because of a random chance? I sure didn't.
Milanor and his men were able to drive off the invaders who attacked their fort. In the process, they saved the ousted Princess Yggdra from the Imperial Army, ensuring that from then on, their steps would be constantly hounded by the Imperial forces.
Milanor left the burnt husk of a fort and headed with Yggdra to the Orlando Plains, where the Royal Cavalry supposedly waited. At the Jaws of the Wolf, connecting Norn Valley and the Orlando Plains, mercenaries working for the Empire lay in wait for Milanor's gang of thieves.Battlefield 02: Jaws of the Wolf Behind a Big Rock: Check Point! This is the one "check point" message I always remember, simply because it's so ridiculous.
- Milanor: So, your main force is at the Orlando Plains?
- Yggdra: Yes. We tried using them as decoys to cover my escape... But it seems the Imperial Army saw through our ruse. Not exactly difficult when you took two out of three cavalry divisions with you while leaving the last one to lead the decoy unit.
- Milanor: So, they took out your guards and left you defenseless? You do stand out... I doubt they were fooled for a minute. It definitely would've helped to, I don't know, wear some sort of disguise.
- Yggdra: I see... Well, meeting up with the main army will help.
- Milanor: It'll be faster if we take the Jaws of the Wolf. As opposed to what? There's literally no other way from where you are to the Orlando Plains except back the way you came and around the mountain range!
- Yggdra: Jaws of the Wolf? Okay, I know that this works in Japanese, but it never! Does! In! English! Don't you supposedly English-fluent translators know that?
- Milanor: It's a tough route. Not many people go through there. Instead they take one of the other phantom paths through Norn Valley. That's why they won't be expecting us to do it.
- Mercenary (Bandit): Commander, there's a force coming our way!
- Inzaghi: What? Inzaghi's a comic relief character. He only decided to guard this particular position because he thought nobody would go through here. Oh, it's just the thieves we ran into yesterday... We're after a noblewoman and her troops... Not those dirty vagabonds. Forget 'em! You want another ass-whooping like yesterday?
- Mercenary (Bandit): But the ones following our girl were beaten by thieves...
- Mercenary (Fencer): Maybe they kidnapped the princess for the reward...?
- Inzaghi: Tch, fine then! I'm still sore from last time, but I guess we gotta do it... Alright, let's introduce ourselves! Don't let 'em get away!
- Defeat Inzaghi!
- If Yggdra or Milanor dies...
- If you use up all your cards...
For the moment, the mission objectives are very straightforward. After a while, though, they're going to become increasingly vague, and in a few cases they'll be outright lies. Really, this game has 'loads of mission objectives. Sometimes you have to defeat a certain unit, sometimes you have to defeat every unit, sometimes you need to put someone on a certain space... there are even a few stealth missions, if you can believe that. Anyway, let's take a look at the troops we've got. Milanor:
- Morale: 3150/3900
- Gen: 2.4
- Atk: 2.7
- Tec: 3.0
- Luk: 3.2
- Void Stone
- Wasteland Advantage
- No Battle Penalty (from equipment)
- Morale: 2800/3320
- Gen: 3.0
- Atk: 2.2
- Tec: 1.9
- Luk: 1.5
- Advantage against Golems
- Fort Advantage
- Void Holy
- Weak against Dark
- Block Counter (from equipment)
- Gen: 6
- Atk: 5
- Tec: 6
- Luk: 3
- Gen: 4
- Atk: 6
- Tec: 5
- Luk: 5
Behind a Big Rock: Check Point!
- Flunky: Boss, it's the enemy!
- Milanor: The Imperial Flag... Tch. How'd they get here first...?
- Yggdra: Those men... they're not of the regular army. They must be mercenaries working for Bronquia.
- Milanor: Mercenaries? Think it's the same ones me met yesterday? You'd think they'd have learned by now... Alright, let's thrash these guys and go on through.
- Yggdra: Huh!?
- Milanor: They're not paid enough to die for Bronquia. You'll see.
- Yggdra: Is that the way of things...?
- Milanor: Either way, we have to get through here.
- Yggdra: ............ Sorry! Can't help you!
- Milanor: Which means a fight whether they like it or not! Let's go!
For this map, my enemies are a couple of generic Fencers, two generic Bandits, and Inzaghi. Inzaghi himself is a Fencer with very slightly better stats than the generic ones (2 across the board) and a Leather Hat that I want him to drop. Yggdra could take him, but I need Milanor to get the hat (and I'd probably miss out on the Quick Clear bonus if I tried). Anyway, Inzaghi has 1010 Morale for me to carve through. As such, Yggdra will have to defeat three of the mooks in order to get MVP here. Fortunately, there are three mooks right in front of us. This map contains two paths: one south and one north. The north path has all the enemies in it, while the south one has a building I want to send Milanor to. The south route itself is guarded by a single Bandit. For the first turn, I choose Steal (get used to those words, because you'll be hearing them pretty much constantly until map 7). I then move Yggdra up to the aforementioned Bandit and have her attack him. As promised, this map introduces the skill gauge. I don't need it in this fight, though, because Yggdra is mechanically incapable of losing this fight, and the Bandit only has 290 Morale to hack through. After that, I send Milanor as far into the south path as I can with the remaining Movement. The mercenary force responds to my brilliant plan by... doing absolutely nothing, because enemies won't actively attack me until the next map. The second foe Yggdra must kill is a Fencer with 410 Morale. I choose Revolution for this job because it has 1300 power (more than enough) and 10 movement (likewise). This fight introduces the Rage gauge, so I take advantage of a little-known fact about the skill gauge: it fills faster than it empties. Yggdra takes less time in Passive to get it to 70% than she takes depleting that 70%. Of course, it didn't matter, because even alone Yggdra does enough damage to kill him. Meanwhile, Milanor heads to that building I mentioned...
Thieves' Den: Check Point!
- Thief (Bandit): Who the hell are you!?
- Milanor: ...A thieves' den, huh?
- Thief (Bandit): M-Milanor the Silver Wolf...!?
- Milanor: I think I'll take this while I'm here. Move it!
- '''Thief (Bandit): Aagh! (Item get: Fur)
I then proceed to move Milanor right up next to Inzaghi, because I have plenty of Movement left.
- Milanor: C'mon! I'll show you a real fight!
- Inzaghi: Finally, a rematch!
On the enemy turn, Inzaghi attacks Milanor and...wins. He doesn't do much damage, though.
- Inzaghi: I knew it! In the end, you're just a lousy thief!
- Milanor: Ergh... I've only just begun to fight!
- Inzaghi: Still think you can win? Keep dreaming, loser.
Really, Inzaghi just got lucky and cut down 4 of Milanor's guys with his charge. I proceed to choose Mind Change on my next turn, because of its awesome power and low Movement. I then send Yggdra to fight the last enemy in her way, a Fencer right next to Inzaghi. The battle goes in her favour, and she depletes his 410 Morale easily. Yggdra has now done 1110 Morale damage in this fight, so Milanor can safely fight Inzaghi without screwing up my MVP bonus. On the next turn, Inzaghi manages to get a critical hit off on Milanor. I, meanwhile, decide that this is getting ridiculous and restart the battle. Inzaghi's not supposed to be a threat, and he just cost me my Quick Clear bonus! His banhammer proves much less effective the second time around, and he takes a significant loss in his first attack against Milanor (my strategy is unchanged).
- Milanor: That's another one for me!
- Inzaghi: Don't let it go to your head, punk!
- Milanor: Big talk for someone I just thrashed again... As I said, Inzaghi just got lucky last time.
After that, I use the same tactics as before, though I make a battle save before ending my turn just in case. It proves unnecessary, though, because Inzaghi goes down the first time.
Fended off the enemy! -Inzaghi's mercenaries were annihilated!-
- Inzaghi: Damn... You're no ordinary thief!
- Milanor: You still wanna go at it?
- Inzaghi: I'll remember this, punk... You just wait! (Inzaghi and his last remaining Bandit retreat.)
- Milanor: Alright, let's hurry onward!
- Yggdra: O-Okay!
- Creepy Knight: Damn Inzaghi... Did he abandon his post again...? My God! It's Dogi the Wallcrusher's long-lost evil twin!
- Heavy Knight: It seems he was defeated by a pack of thieves. The scout said something about temporal anomalies, but I didn't really understand it.
- Creepy Knight: Ha! Some mercenary... You can't trust outsiders. Well, I guess we know what that means... It's time for Leon the Black Knight to get his hands dirty!
- Get everyone past the Jaws of the Wolf! (Move everyone to "Jaws of the Wolf")
- If Yggdra or Milanor dies...
- If you use up all your cards...
- Yggdrs: More of them...!
- Milanor: That's a big group. Fortunately, thanks to the game mechanics, that's actually a good thing for us. Leon's god seven men and his card has nine movement.
- Yggdra: That's... General Leon!? Milanor, they're Imperial Knights!
- Milanor: This is bad. There's way too many of them.
- Yggdra: Then, what shall we do...?
- Milanor: Everyone, head for the jaws! Move it!
Leon uses his surprise round to demonstrate my point about large groups of units. He tries to move as a group, and though he could reach Yggdra on his own and crush her, his attempt is foiled. That surprise round, incidentally, is why I needed to reset after two losses to Inzaghi. I need to win in 9 turns to get the Quick Clear bonus, it takes two wins to kill Inzaghi here, and Leon gets a free turn. In this map, Leon's forces are actually rather puny, but they happen to be invincible, so I have to run. Fortunately, due to the positioning of my troops it only takes 9 movement to get to the exit, when Steal has 12. I can use it again because that event restored all my cards (sometimes a situation change will do this and sometimes it won't). On my way out, I have Yggdra pick up Inzaghi's hat. I don't need to, but there's no reason not to because it's right in my way. I then move Milanor to the exit.
Breakthrough! -Successfully advanced!-
- Milanor: Here at last!
I make a battle save before having Yggdra escape, because I want to have that Quick Clear bonus go to Atk.
Breakthrough! -Successfully advanced!-
- Yggdra: We made it...
- Milanor: Right about here... Now! (A griffon rider appears.)
- Girl: Woo-ha! I've got your back, Milanor!
- Yggdra: Huh... W-What!?
- Girl: That should do it. (She disappears.)
- Leon: Gah! What in the—!? Sorry, Evil Dogi, but this just isn't your day.
- Heavy Knight: S-Sir Leon! The path has been blocked! We can't follow them!
- Leon: Dammit...! That rotten thief...
Exactly as planned. Yggdra gets MVP, which I try to savescum into her Atk. Midway through the process, though, I decide that it's getting too bering and settle for Luk. Yggdra's going to get plenty of MVP bonuses with which to get that last point of Atk. I also get Inzaghi's card, Banshee's Cry. It starts with 1050 power and 8 movement.
Closed Jaws: Check Point!
- Milanor: That was a close one, huh?
- Yggdra: That woman... The one on the griffon... Is she an acquaintance of yours?
- Milanor: Yeah, why? You'll be asking the same question eventually, I guarantee it. Come on, let's hurry and find your army.
- Yggdra: Ah... Yes, let us go.
Now, I feel I should have a section at the end of each update where I talk about the music that appeared in it, because there's honestly some pretty good stuff here. So, here you go: Music this update:
- To the Battlefield - Like this song? Because if you play this game for long enough you won't. It loops on the preparations screen.
- Milanor Thieves March - This plays during your turns on this map and the last one. I can't really say much about it.
- Imperial Army (Normal) - This played during Inzaghi's turns. It's good, but this game can do better.
- Imperial Army (Offense) - See? I told you they can do better. This was playing during Leon's one wasted turn.
- Yggdra Sortie - This plays when you have Yggdra attack someone. The GBA version of this song goes for a 16-bit organ-type sound that works on a different level. Both versions are good, though.
- Milanor Sortie - This rocks. That's all that needs to be said.
- Imperial Soldier Sortie - None of the generic soldiers survived long enough to attack on this map, so this song didn't play. It's too good to pass up, though.
- Imperial Commander Sortie - Meh. There's much better battle themes on the soundtrack.
LOVE Milanor and Yggdra Sortie.
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