We’re officially done with the story recaps now that we’ve reached the multi-part endgame, and the same goes for the base menu. However, the advance menu gets fleshed out to be more like the base menu inside the tower, so we can read through base conversations (if any exist), dole out bonus experience, change the various items characters have equipped, and all of that stuff. This will actually be a shorter and easier chapter than most because it ends as soon as Ike defeats the Black Knight, but the next chapter will more than make up for that.
Yune tells everyone not to focus too much on the tower’s form because “true miracles can overwhelm and terrify mortal minds,” and goes off on a bit of a rant about how everyone should fight for the things they want and challenge their fates, even if it means dying in the process. Ike mentions that while Ashera doesn’t forgive people for their imperfections, Yune appears to enjoy people struggling and dealing with their good and evil natures in an equally extreme way. He then asks if there’s a goddess who strikes a balance between her and Ashera, and she starts to answer by suggesting that one existed long ago, but something ahead distracts her.
Yune tells everyone that someone who’s deeply tied to them is standing in their way, and Ike goes first because it doesn’t require a lot of guesswork to figure out who.
The Black Knight greets them all, and a bunch of Disciples of Order appear behind the group. Ike then runs ahead to fight the Black Knight on his own.
Tibarn also rushes forward to get revenge for the Phoenicis massacre Zelgius helped facilitate, but he asks him to wait his turn—Zelgius learned how to fight from Ike’s dad, and when Ike-dad left with Elena to take Lehran’s Medallion away, he was “crushed.” He was determined to find and challenge him again to see if he had surpassed the one who taught him swordplay, but Ike told him before their matchup that his father had severed the tendons in his sword hand after touching the medallion and killing Elena in a frenzy. Basically, Zelgius sees Ike (having now lived up to his potential) as an opportunity to vicariously challenge Ike’s dad, and Ike similarly wants to beat Zelgius’ face in by himself, so Tibarn has to back off.
There’s a barrier for this fight separating Ike and the Black Knight from the rest of the army. Everyone but Ike will fight Levail and a bunch of Disciples of Order while Ike and the Black Knight face off on the other side, and the stage ends as soon as the Black Knight is defeated. There really no reason to wait apart from getting the laguz some experience by throwing them up against a bunch of enemies, though Levail drops a really great lance that Nephenee could do great things with.
There’s no important story reason for including this shot, but I love the confidence.
Leanne and Naesala can be raised to a B-level support. I’ve never tried to get units to support while in the Tower of Guidance, so I’m hoping that there’s enough time to do so. It’s promising that they’re already so close to an A-level support, though.
There are no base conversations during this particular chapter, which makes perfect sense. Everyone is kind of busy dealing with stuff at the moment.
There was a chest in the last chapter that had a Matrona staff in it. Apparently it’s like a Physic staff, but one that restores all HP and changes a character’s biorhythm to its best point. I’ve never really gotten into biorhythm, but apparently characters have slight bonuses or penalties that cycle throughout stages. Or something like that. It’s not really important to know the details of beyond “this staff will heal 100% of a character’s health and also magically make them slightly better for that turn.” Micaiah can’t use it yet, though, having not used staves enough to have the required proficiency. Hopefully that’s something that can be remedied before the final endgame chapter, because it always sucks having items that can’t be used.
The very first thing I do is move Mia up against the barrier. Support bonuses still work, and since I have the Parity skill on Ike instead of Nihil, the Black Knight is able to hit with his Eclipse skill during his turn. That would be a very bad thing, so using the support bonus to make it difficult for him to hit Ike at all simplifies things quite a bit. The whole fight consists of the Black Knight missing attacks and Ike counterattacking for small bits of damage before using Parity to do more damage and finish him off. Meanwhile, everyone else but Mia (who’s near the barrier), Naesala (who’s protecting Leanne), and Leanne (who needs to stay far away from enemies) go down and engage enemies. I don’t usually put much of an emphasis on beating Levail since I’ve never used a powerful lance-user like Nephenee before in the tower, but his Wishblade is much better than any of her weapons, and we’re about to have our weapons blessed to be unbreakable. That could be handy.
Ike and Zelgius don’t really hate each other. It’s more like grudging respect. Anyway, they share a moment before Zelgius bites it, and then Yune experiences a memory of someone in the tower. It’s pretty obvious whose memory it is given all we know about Zelgius, but we’ll get to that in a later chapter. Anyway, the voice acting here is awful, but we find out that Zelgius is Branded (luckily for him, the brand is on his back) and that he rarely takes off his armor to hide his slowed aging.
Ike also takes Alondite after the fight. Remember, Ragnell and Alondite were dual-wielded by Altina back when she helped imprison Yune in Lehran’s Medallion. Obviously we won’t be doing that here since we can only equip one weapon at a time, but it’s a powerful weapon that can attack indirectly. Perfect for Mia.