Remember when I said that I’d most likely wait for a tricky chapter to have Soren use the long-range Meteor spell? Yeah, welcome to that chapter. I’ve been mostly blowing through stages on my first attempt without any problems, but I totally forgot about the enemy staff-users who can cause units to fall asleep in this one. I had Ike and Nephenee rush into a group of enemies the first time I went through this stage, only to have Ike successfully put to sleep and finished off by an armored enemy after losing a ton of health to a unit with a Brave Lance (which allows them to attack twice in a row regardless of speed, or 4 times if they’d normally attack twice). Serves me right for forgetting to check enemy equipment before moving through the stage.
The guy on the left isn’t important beyond being a kind of secondary boss—he’s the jerk with the Brave Lance—also left behind to defend Daein’s capital. He and Ena are talking and she posits that Ashnard doesn’t actually care about Daein, instead considering wherever he is to be his kingdom (which at the moment is apparently Crimea), and that the goal of his seemingly careless war against Crimea and soon Gallia is to deliberately pull all of the continent’s nations into a large war.
Mia is proving to be a bit of a disappointment, at least as far as her strength stat is concerned, so I thought that I’d make up for this by crafting her a custom silver sword. This totally brilliant plan was undermined by the fact that her weapon proficiency isn’t yet high enough to use silver swords, meaning I crafted something she can’t actually use yet. It’s not entirely a waste, though—once she can use it, it’ll go a long way toward offsetting the relative weakness of her attacks.
After we murdered Jill’s dad, Ike ordered everyone to pass out some of their provisions to nearby villagers. Apparently that’s something they’ve continued doing all the way to the capital, and some of the more jingoistic civilians refuse the food in a base conversation while swearing revenge against Crimea for invading. Pot, meet kettle. It’s still interesting, though, and these kinds of differing perspectives will be explored more in depth in the sequel when we build up two separate armies on different sides of the same war and have to fend our own units off.
Rather than forcing the Crimean army to go through a lengthy siege, the gates are left open. It’s obviously a trap, but one that they walk into willingly anyway. Brave Lance guy is surprised by this, but that’s just Ike’s style. The trap is sprung when the gates close and Crimea’s forces become trapped inside, but they’re not split up in the process, leading Titania to surmise that Daein must have something they feel gives them an advantage against a large number of enemies in the coming battle.
That something turns out to be Ena, who reveals herself to be a Godoan dragon. Brave Lance guy is freaked out at first, but her presence serves to motivate Daein’s troops. For good reason, too; dragons can take an absurd amount of damage.
This is a bigger stage, and while that’s not a huge problem, the chests littered throughout (including some behind locked doors that ensure that you can’t tell how many chests there are total) can be a pain to reach. Using door and chest keys for this one would probably end up being even more tedious and annoying than just using Volke to grab everything, so he’s going to be a party member again.
Tauroneo is an enemy fighter who Ike can recruit, and he’s pretty easy to get. He can take a lot of damage, so there’s not much risk of him dying, and there’s no need to rush to him since he’s at the end of the stage near Ena (he’s the guy in the light blue/purple armor at the bottom-left of the previous shot) and will stay still until you start to move characters down around the sides toward his group.
There are some reinforcements throughout this stage, so while it’s important to split up into a couple different groups in order to open chests and engage different groups of enemies at the same time, you also have to be sure that each group is capable enough to take out a group of three axe-users or armored units (and maybe a bow-user or two) should they appear. I find it best to kill reinforcements before they get a turn, because you’ll inevitably leave an ally uncovered who they’ll beeline for.
I had originally planned to use Tanith’s reinforcements to distract the first guy who can put units to sleep, but realized that Marcia was in range and could finish him off. Huh. Speaking of Marcia, she finally got her class change. She’s still not great, but I think she’s found her calling dealing with pesky magic-users like that. The second guy who can put units to sleep got Zihark as some enemies were closing in (and you can’t counterattack when asleep, obviously), so I blocked them off with Nephenee and had Soren Meteor the crap out of him from afar. I was over it by that point.
Then there’s Ena. Dragon laguz are weak to thunder magic, and if I was smart I would have given Soren some of it before the stage started, but I didn’t. That meant slowly chipping away at her health (and she hits like a tank), eventually using Reyson to refresh units and get slightly more damage in. Even more frustrating is that she recovers 10 HP every turn and has an elixir with three charges that she can use whenever her health gets too low. This would be a great boss to grind on, giving Mist a ton of Mend staves and having units attack over and over before letting her recover in order to slowly gain levels, but as I mentioned before, that’s not fun.
Having lost the battle, Ena flees, only for Nasir to suddenly show up. Ike tells him to grab her, but he attacks Ike instead, proving that he was the traitor in the group. He doesn’t respond to any of Ike’s allegations, but it’s recognized that he probably stole Lehran’s Medallion in addition to being the one feeding information to Daein.
As he’s being taken away, he momentarily breaks his silence to tell Ike to “go to Palmeni Temple.” Because of course he has something enigmatic to say.
Ashnard hears that Ena lost the battle, but doesn’t seem to care much about losing Daein’s capital. He’s far more interested in Lehran’s Medallion, which Petrine presents to him. He explains that the dark god “of immeasurable power and cruelty” imprisoned within is in fact responsible for the great flood mentioned earlier, which basically destroyed all continents save for the one they’re on.
Petrine also reports that the Black Knight has chosen to kidnap Leanne instead of Reyson (because the king ordered him to obtain one of the herons and didn’t have a preference as to which one), as he suspects that her long period of isolation will cause her magic to be the stronger of the two. She explains that he should be able to kidnap her with relative ease despite being under Tibarn’s protection because he’s in possession of “warp powder,” which is incidentally how he escaped after killing Ike-dad. Then Ashnard switches topics to the fact that Petrine has failed him over and over again, threatening to feed her to “Rajaion” if she doesn’t produce results.
Finally, Ashnard asks about Ena, and Petrine explains that she managed to escape and will no doubt make her way back to him before long. He responds by telling her that she has no further use and to kill her. Petrine hesitates, but agrees to do so.