I really don't have anything interesting to say here this time, so let's just get right to the battle.
After defeating the Ortega Brigands, the Royal Army continued climbing the mountain.
The mountain path gradually became steeper, and to make matters worse, a scout returned bearing bad news: a large Imperial force was lying in wait further up the path.
Though they were not yet aware of the Royal Army's presence, if the Fantasinians were found on such a thin and narrow mountain path, there would be no escape...
Battlefield 13: Lenessey Mountains
- Milanor: Well, there they are... The Empire's patrol units. Looks like they're smarter than we gave them credit for.
- Durant: There's quite a few of them. We'd be foolish to fight...
- Yggdra: We've come all this way... Isn't there something we can do? When did anyone say it was hopeless, Yggdra?
- Durant: ...I may have an idea.
- Milanor: Go, Durant! So what's the plan?
- Durant: The weather here varies greatly according to season. I've come to expect statements like this one from Durant. We are currently on the cusp of the misty season... The fog here can become very thick. Which means...
- Milanor: I getcha... Sneak through under the fog cover, right?
- Yggdra: Will that really work?
- Durant: This is unfamiliar territory for the Imperial Army. Most likely, none of them know how thick the fog can become. Better not get used to Durant being this competent. It is his moment, though.
- Milanor: So all we need to do is lay low until the mist comes out! I like this plan. It means a break from all that hiking... Hm!? Aw, man...
- Yggdra: ...Someone's coming! I'm actually glad they put this in, for reasons that will become apparent shortly.
(Enter a bunch of bandits.)
Reinforcements! -Help has arrived!-
- Brigand: There they are! Get 'em!
- Milanor: Ugh... Brigands again? Spoken in a tone you'd use to express your displeasure with your latest meal.
- Yggdra: What should we do? There's nowhere to run!
- Brigand (Fencer): We've got you now, Fantasinian dogs! This is for the Boss!
- Brigand (Bandit): You'll never leave this place alive!
- Milanor: It's the last few scraps of Ortega's gang... Hoo boy.
- Durant: Then, we shall accept their challenge!
- Wait until mist covers the area!
- If any of your units die...
Roswell gets the Healing Herb for morale purposes, because he was running a bit low. Yggdra, meanwhile, eats the Upola Statue just to be on the safe side.
Durant and Roswell get the call for this map, specifically in that order.
I have to select 15 cards, so I take:
- Bloody Claw
- Shield Barrier
- Necro Gate
- Banshee's Cry
- Poison Breath
- Doll Craft
- Item Break
If you're wondering about the number of high movement cards, well...
- Durant: Hold your positions until the mist appears!
All right, here we go. There are two Imperial divisions on the map, neither of which is very threatening. It's the leaders we've got to watch out for.
The division to the north is commanded by Aegina, who has a stupidly good 5 Tec. She's also got the Zolfy, a sword that gives her 1 on 1=win. Remember that Aegina's card is Revolution and you've got a recipe for disaster right there.
The south division is led by Baldus, who we haven't seen before. He's a Guardian Knight, which is a modified knight class that trades the forest disadvantage for Void Ailments. He's also statistically superior to my team, boasting 4 Gen and 4 Atk. The only saving grace is that his weapon, the Ipponki, stops him from using his skill.
Fortunately, I don't have to fight either of these foes. The enemies I need to worry about are comparatively weak bandits and assassins, along with a single fencer.
Anyway, Roswell's right next to the enemy, with Yggdra and nobody else in his union. I open with Shield Barrier to take advantage of this. Only one bandit falls, but the point was to make an opening for Yggdra to move into. I also take Durant out of her union.
Now, there are far more efficient ways to do this, but you might have noticed something. You see, for a long time Yggdra has been my worst character, unable to fight bosses without ruining my chances of getting their items.
I'm trying to get her an MVP bonus, which would then be savescummed into her Luk. Unfortunately, my plan leads to some losses against the enemy assassins, but my next turn goes significantly better. Both assassins are dead (to Yggdra and Durant) by the time the turn ends. Nothing to do about the losses Durant sustains, though.
My third turn involves using Bloody Claw to get Yggdra some bandit kills. This has the added bonus of giving her additional XP.
The enemy turn goes very well, because both the fencer and the bandit (the two remaining foes) lose to Yggdra. The fencer dies on the next turn, and the final bandit then commits suicide on Yggdra's sword.
All that's left now is to wait for the fog, which is due to arrive in a bit. Until then, I just get people in position. Yggdra, Milanor, and Durant get to the starting position, while Roswell moves east a bit for a reason you wouldn't guess without a guide.
Deep Mist! -Reduced visibility!-
- Yggdra: Look! The mist...!
Strategy Succeeded! -A dense fog fell over the mountains!-
- Milanor: Durant was right on the money!
- Milanor: Whoa... I've never seen mist this thick.
- Durant: Now's our chance! Let us advance at once!
- Get everyone through to the Mountain Pass! (Move everyone to "Towards Lunamina")
- If you use up all your cards...
- Durant: There are too many of them to defeat in open combat... If they suspect we're here, the battle is lost.
- Milanor: ...Got that? Don't let them notice us...!
Well, there's fog all over the place now. Thus begins the first of the game's really
ill-conceived ideas: the movement-only map. I could reveal the Imperial troops by moving someone in front of their locations, but that's generally a bad idea. As I said, they're exceptionally powerful. I can't possibly defeat them.
Anyway, I start off with Steal, which is used to move Roswell to where the bandit leader was.
Dump Site: Check Point!
- Roswell: What's this...? (Item get: Sealed Purse) ...If it doesn't open, I don't see the point.
I also start moving everyone else toward the top of the map.
Now, I hope I don't have to tell you exactly what cards I used on each turn or where everyone moved, because that would be boring. I can, however, say that Yggdra visited a village on the second movement turn.
Lenessey Mine: Check Point!
- Resident: Hm? You're from the Kingdom, aren't you? I hear a hermit around here was once from the Kingdom. His name is... Bly, was it? He's a grumpy old man.
- Durant: ...Bly!? Not so loud, Durant! Imperial troops everywhere, remember?
- Resident: If you want to meet him, take this side road. There's no guarantee he'll want to meet you, though...
Yggdra then moves a space east of the mine, in order to plunder another item.
Deep in the Mts.: Check Point!
- Yggdra: There's something here... (Item get: Ogrenium) What a unique stone.
Anyway, the next turn is interesting for a slightly different reason. You see, Roswell's still way back near the start of the map, and might be a liability. So, he breaks out his secret weapon: Warp movement. At night, necromancers teleport instead of moving normally. They can only move to even numbered tiles, but odd-numbered tiles can be anything up to and including empty space.
Yggdra also opens a path forward by ending her turn at the end of the path.
- Yggdra: Look! It's an exit...
- Milanor: Good eye. I bet we can get out of here through there... Let's move it before the Imperial Army finds us.
The last interesting thing on the map (save for a tile I'm not stepping on that would reveal Aegina's unit) is another village.
Spire Village: Check Point!
- Resident: I don't know where you're going, but be careful. There's a volcanic region up ahead. You know, I heard someone actually lives there... He's probably some hermit.
And with that, our next goal is unlocked.
Several boring movement turns later...
March On! -The Royal Army slipped through the fog!-
- Yggdra: We did it!
- Milanor: We sure put one over on those clowns!
- Durant: Keep going! We must leave, before the mist clears.
As expected, Yggdra wins MVP. It's kind of
important that she get some Luk right now, so I savescum it. Fortunately for my sanity, it doesn't take very long (though the quick clear bonus will go to waste because I plan to boost it right away).
- Milanor: A volcanic region, huh... What do you think, Durant? This bit of conversation only happens if you went to both the villages on the map. It might be a good place to shake off the Empire...
- Yggdra: But won't the area be... dangerous? These people are seriously overestimating the frequency of volcanic eruptions.
- Durant: ...Nevertheless, if what the townfolk say is true...
- Milanor: Huh? What's that? Weren't you paying attention to that shouting match earlier?
- Durant: The hermit is Sir Bly, the old tactician of Fantasinia.
- Yggdra: Is that so?
- Durant: Possibly. He served under your grandfather, King Belganathos. In the real world, that amount of age is a definite red flag. However, this is the wonderful world of fiction, where old people never lose their minds or die until the plot wants them to. Skilled in politics and war, he thwarted many an invasion. He is one of the best tacticians the Kingdom has ever known. Boy, are you ever setting yourself up for a disappointment when we actually meet Bly. I've never met him myself, but I believe it might be him...
- Milanor: Why is such a skilled guy living here? Because Ito couldn't think of anywhere else to insert him, of course. Was he fired or something?
- Durant: I do not know, but if he were alive he would be quite old...
- Yggdra: ...Durant, would he help us?
- Durant: Let's ask him.
- Milanor: But... he knows the Kingdom fell, right? And he didn't try to help? That seems a little odd...
- Yggdra: Maybe news hasn't reached him here yet.
- Durant: ...Perhaps this is so, but we cannot say for certain. Nothing would be more assuring than to have him join us. We should surely seek his guidance in freeing Paltina.
- Milanor: Well, we wouldn't want the Empire capturing him... It's settled, then! Let's go look for him.
- Ogrenium: The hardest metal in existence: found only in Lenessey.
- Cannot be equipped.
- Notes: Another trade item that may or may not be of any use at all.
- Sealed Purse: A stolen bag that the bandits failed to open.
- Stats: None
- Ability: None
- Duration: 2 maps
- Used by: Roswell
- Notes: Really more a glorified morale item than anything, and the only person in the world with bad enough fashion sense to be seen in public with it might be dead by the time you get it.
Soon enough, there will be nothing for Yggdra to worry about. Next time, we'll start on a PSP-only path.