We just found out what the big deal is with Mist’s necklace, so this is obviously the chapter where we lose it. Ugh. But hey, this is also the chapter where we make Jill incredibly sad and pick up a new character who joins with long-range fire magic already in their inventory (which will probably be given to Soren at some point), so it’s actually a pretty good one once you get past that bit of convenient timing.
But seriously, the timing of her medallion going missing is kind of ridiculous, and Ike doesn’t respond with quite as much urgency as you’d expect out of someone who just found out that the necklace has an evil god sealed inside of it that can drive otherwise decent people to start killing indiscriminately. Then again, he recognizes that Daein probably found a way to steal it, so it makes sense that there’s nothing that can be done except to continue marching in that direction.
Look who it is! Jill’s dad! While talking to Petrine (and being ordered to open some floodgates in order to slow down Ike’s army despite the fact that doing so will destroy the surrounding area and turn the civilians against them), it’s revealed that he and his men are from Begnion originally. Apparently they fled to Daein 18 years prior—right around the time Ashnard was coronated in a stunning bit of bad luck—because of the corruption of the Begnion senate, only to be forced to accept laguz hatred and miscellaneous atrocities like that. He’s actually a surprisingly sympathetic character.
Then again, he brought Jill into the world. Shiharam is a monster and must die.
In the last chapter, it turned out that Volke made up the 50,000 gold cost of his information to test Ike’s resourcefulness. That means that we had a pretty significant payday and can forge a new piece of gear every chapter until the end of the game if doing so becomes necessary. It’s not very likely that it will, though, because Ike and Boyd and Nephenee are absolutely unstoppable right now. Mia and Zihark are also developing fairly well (though Mia’s strength stat is well below where I’d like it to be), but they’re slightly less reliable because they can’t take much punishment.
One of the base conversations is with a random woman who turns out to be a self-absorbed mage named Calill (if she looks familiar, it’s because she gave Oscar a stat-boosting item something like 10 seconds into my chapter 14 video). She soon offers to join the group. Calill has a lot of fun dialogue and can be slightly useful in parts of the next game, but here she’s outclassed by Soren in every way despite being a higher level. Her only immediate upside is that she shows up with the “Meteor” spell, which is long-range fire magic. It only has five uses before it breaks, though, so I’ll probably wait for an especially tricky chapter before giving it to Soren.
The only other base conversation is with Reyson, where Ike starts to ask clumsily about Lehran and his medallion before changing his mind about broaching the topic, only for Reyson to explain that he should be more careful because herons are capable of reading thoughts. At least, in a calm environment. Amid the chaos and carnage of the army, it’s not possible. I honestly don’t remember how important this ends up being, but it’s at the very least an interesting ability to be aware of.
Speaking of interesting abilities, we find out that Janaff and Ulki have their own unique abilities (which have been hinted at before this point, but not really explicitly explained). Ulki has an absurdly powerful sense of hearing, while Janaff can see long distances. The army, recognizing that Daein has flooded the way to make it impassable, uses Janaff’s ability to find the open floodgates responsible so that they can shut them and wait for the ground to dry before moving on.
Naturally, Shiharam and his troops are keeping guard. Having failed to convince Petrine that flooding the area was a bad idea, he instructs everyone to end the fight as quickly as possible, recognizing that both success and failure will end in the floodgates being shut (which would spare the nearby citizens any further damage). Jill must take after her mother. Speaking of Jill, it’s an extraordinarily bad idea to have her try to engage her father during this chapter, because she’ll defect.
This is another fairly easy chapter. Boyd cleans up a large portion of the starting area (and some reinforcements that come in near that point), while Zihark, Mia, Ike, and Nephenee move forward. Zihark and Mia can’t take much punishment, though, and there are armored enemies to contend with, so Mist eventually has to move over and heal them. There’s also a mage who has long-range ice magic that stopped both of them from moving closer, but that wasn’t as big of a problem as I expected. As for Shiharam, he can take a surprising amount of punishment, but Ike got lucky and activated his Aether skill twice in a row, finishing him off in a single turn.
There’s a point (around 6:25) where Mia activates Adept to finish off an opponent she wouldn’t have killed otherwise. I definitely like the combination of Adept and Vantage (the latter of which you can see later on, though her first strike doesn’t finish off the opponent because of her low strength) better than Astra, which does a lot of damage but would have required losing Vantage and using up an Occult scroll.
Early in the stage, Shiharam sends Haar away to look after the survivors and their families, recognizing that he’s fighting a losing battle that can only end in his death. Haar doesn’t get away with many others, but it’s worth pointing out that he wasn’t around for this fight. He’ll show up later and get recruited by Jill in her last act of usefulness. That’s not an exaggeration; she won’t be a factor in Radiant Dawn.
Petrine and Ena talk a bit about how the next battle will be near or at the capital, and from the sound of things, Ashnard has relocated and is currently elsewhere. Instead, Petrine informs Ena that Ashnard has put her in command of the capital’s defense. The Black Knight then shows up and claims that a visitor has arrived for Ena with the medallion, and he tells Petrine that she’ll be in charge of delivering it to the king.
Our spy turns out to be none other than Nasir, as suspected by Soren. He hands over Lehran’s Medallion and asks if Ena can return to Ashnard’s side now, to which she reveals the news that she’s been put in charge of the capital’s defense. She then claims that she’ll return to “him,” even if she has to slaughter the entire Crimean army to do so, and tells Nasir that he doesn’t need to keep following Daein’s orders and to forget about her. Needless to say, things are getting complicated.