Update 110: Master's Mend

♪ No music ♪

Where are you going?
It doesn't concern you.
It does.
Get out of my way. Now.
You're going to Enbarr, aren't you?
Do you really think that will appease the dead?
Silence. You have no idea what you're talking about. Death is the end.
No matter how much lingering regret a person has, after death, they are powerless. They cannot even wish for revenge, much less seek it out.
Hatred. Regret. Those burdens fall on the shoulders of those who are left behind.
And so I must continue down this path! I already told you as much! It is far too late to stop.
You're wrong.
Do not waste your breath with some nonsense about how I should move on with my life for their sake.
That is merely the logic of the living. It's meaningless.
Those who died with lingering regret... They will not loose their hold on me so easily.

♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

How do I silence their desperate pleas? How do I... How do I save them? Ever since that day nine years ago...I have lived only to avenge the fallen.
Even my time at the Officers Academy was all so that I could secure my revenge and clear away the regret of the dead.
It was the only thing that kept me alive... My only reason to keep moving forward...
You must forgive yourself.

Dimitri pauses for several seconds.

Live for what you believe in.
What I believe in...
Rodrigue said the same thing. But is it possible... I am a murderous monster. My hands are stained red. Could one such as I truly hope for such a life? As the sole survivor of that day, do I... Do I have the right to live for myself?


♪ No music ♪

If you didn't notice, Rodrigue's death marks the point where, as far as the game is concerned, Dimitri snaps out of the haze induced by his untreated PTSD. This is visually denoted by Dimitri losing the dark bags under his eyes.
♪ Three Crowns ♪

Following the death of Rodrigue, Dimitri begins to question his desire for revenge. His troubled mind turns to the Kingdom capital and how he might end the chaos plaguing Faerghus, once and for all.

All I'll say on this front is that Three Houses making Dedue surviving into Part 2 optional completely undermines whatever it'd been saying about how close Dimitri and Dedue are. Given that Dedue's survival wasn't what prompted Dimitri to stop seeking revenge, despite Dedue being one of the people he was haunted by, as mentioned in the reunion cutscene, it makes this whole sequence—Rodrigue's death—ring really hollow.

Even if they'd made Dedue always survive into Part 2, though, it wouldn't fix the whole "the death of this shitty white man is what brings Dimitri to his senses" thing as-is.

I really do like Three Houses, but godsdamn it has some serious flaws in the story writing.
♪ No music ♪

♪ Beyond the Crossroads ♪

However... Rodrigue's death has been difficult to bear. We've lost considerable military strength and resources.
Are there no lords we can rely on?
Unfortunately, with things as they are now, I don't think House Gautier has any resources to spare.
I'm sorry. I really wish we could help. If only House Galatea had anything to give...
If we split up the soldiers currently defending the monastery, we should have sufficient numbers to invade the Empire. But even then...

Your Highness! You should be resting. Your wounds are still healing...
I am well, I assure you. More importantly...may I have a moment of your time? Thank you.
I wish to apologize. To all of you. I have led you down this dark path with me, and have caused so much suffering along the way... I cannot tell you how sorry I am for my behavior. There is no apology I could offer that would be sufficient.
Hmph. And how do you intend to make up for my father's death?
Felix... I realize words alone are not enough to repent, but I fear they are all I have.
I'm not after more empty words. I want you to speak through your actions.
I know that no amount of regret can ever bring back the lives we have lost. I... I know that well.
It is like patching up a tear with a different material. Things can never be as they were. The best I can hope for is to make things whole again. I wish to do the right thing from now on. That is why I have made a decision...

♪ A Vow Remembered ♪

To follow my heart and do the right thing... That is the only way I can atone for my sins.
Your Highness... If we can win back Fhirdiad, it will give us the advantage in our war against the Empire. As one who has served the royal family for ages, know that your words bring me great joy. And pride. That said, I must point out that if we make for Fhirdiad, the emperor's head will slip further out of reach. Can you live with that?
I still hold hatred in my heart for her and for the ones responsible for the tragedy... That, I will carry with me until death.
But...my life is my own. It belongs to no one else, and it is high time that I started living for what I believe in. I will no longer allow the voices of the dead to bind me. This is something that I must do... No. Something that I am choosing to do. I will accomplish my aim, even if it means risking my life to do so.
Understood, Your Highness. So? Any objections?
Count me in.
You are correct. We cannot afford to die in vain by recklessly challenging the Empire.
I'm worried about Lady Rhea...but if this is the choice you've made, I support it.
I am at your command, Your Highness. I will follow you anywhere.
My sword is at your service, Your Highness.
I'll help too! The people in Fhirdiad need us!
Fine. I'll help you...in my father's stead. But in return, you must win. You know that, don't you...Dimitri?
I do. And I swear on my father's lance that we will prevail.
Then it is decided. It seems this war council has much to discuss. Our next stop is Fhirdiad, the Kingdom Capital. For the future of Faerghus!

Felix's dialogue during that scene differs based on if he and Dimitri have reached at least rank C in their support. In particular, his final lines, plus Dimitri's response, are missing if they are not at least at rank C.
♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Now that Dimitri has come to his senses, he's become available for both instruction and supports again. So let's go through the supports he had built up, shall we?

Dimitri/Dedue A.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

It does you no good to languish in pain. I will procure some medicine.
No, it is fine. They are still deep...these are from nine years ago. They do not hurt any longer.
Besides, it would be a shame if the scars I got from protecting you were to fade.
I bear these scars proudly. It makes me think that it was worthwhile that someone like me survived.
To hear you say such things...
Dedue, you say that I saved you, but do you know that you also saved me that day? If I had been unable to save anyone, I would have been the sole survivor. I would have had no reason to keep living. But I saved someone—saved you. That and that alone has always been my crutch.
When I stood before those soldiers and their swords that day, I was prepared to die. But then you suddenly appeared, and you shielded me.
I knew then that a savior's hand could reach into even the deepest darkness.
I still have not been able to repay that debt.
Have you not heard a word I've said? You have saved me in countless ways.
Five years ago, I did nothing but await my execution within my jail cell. Was it not you that saved me?
That was nothing more than my duty as your vassal.
Listen, Dedue... Perhaps you consider me to be someone special. But I think the same of you. You are irreplaceable. Cherished.
So stop saying that we cannot be friends. Stop saying such awful things.
Please...do not look at me that way.
You promised me you would build a Kingdom that is proud to boast of Duscur blood. In this Kingdom, where there is no distinction between the people of Duscur and the people of Fódlan... Will I finally, without reservation, be able to call you my friend?

Yes, you will call me your friend, again and again. No matter how many hardships I must endure...
I will do all I can to bring about that world as well.
To be your friend...is what I have always wanted.
Is that so? I...I am glad to hear it.
But until that time, we must allow no harm to befall you. So please call upon me when you walk alone at night. And even when you go out in the day, please tell me where you are going, and whom you are meeting.
In the end, I suppose there is no fixing your overprotectiveness, is there...
I suppose I can live with that.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

The unfortunate choice of "savior" for Dedue's description of Dimitri aside, I really like Dimitri/Dedue A. It's heartwarming to see Dedue be able to soften himself and call Dimitri by name.

Incidentally, Dedue blushing at Dimitri is one of the very few instances of men blushing at other men in Three Houses.

Dimitri/Sylvain B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Sorry! I need to...hide. In here. Just for a while. I'll have you know this is all your fault!
Hide? From who? Is it the Empire?!
No. It's, ugh... A girl.
I'm sorry... It's a what?
This is all because of your insistence that I go and ask a girl out!

Look, you kept true to your promise to improve your behavior. So I felt it was only right to make good on my side of the bargain too...
You invited a girl to dinner, and now she's chasing you around. What's the big deal?
Unless... Did you use one of my pick-up lines? Those words are dangerous in the wrong hands. With me, people know a line's a line and I'm joking. But you... Nobody's ever accused you of being funny.
I clearly underestimated the difficulty of the task. But...what do I do now?
Relax, Your Highness. Relax. I'll sort this whole thing out, real easy. All we have to do is figure out how to make this girl lose interest in you.
And making girls lose interest is what I'm best at! You just wait right there, and I'll fix everything.
It was my naiveté that brought this about. I cannot place this immense burden on your shoulders...
This is no job for an amateur. You need a professional's help. Trying to do everything yourself has never served you so well, so just leave this to the master. Even the dagger incident could have been avoided if you had just talked with me beforehand.
There wasn't time for consultation! I only learned she was leaving on the day of her departure.
Whatever you say. The point is you need to learn to rely on me for these types of things in future.
For now, I got this. And if I ever need help with...something you know how to help with, then maybe you can do the same for me.
Very well. When that time comes, I promise to help you as best I can. A knight of Faerghus never goes back on his word... Isn't that right?
You're a good man, Sylvain. I'm sorry to do this to you. Best of luck!
Please, Your Highness. I've spent years honing my skills for just this situation. Watch and learn.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

I really should've done that support back in Part 1. I appreciate the attempt to make it fit Part 2, but ultimately, it feels really strange. Plus, Sylvain mentioning Dimitri giving girls daggers is...I think the only real clue you have for guessing, during the ball, that the gift that Dimitri gave Edelgard was a dagger.

Dimitri/Mercedes B+.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Thank you! I have such a great time when you teach me that improving comes naturally!
It's all because of your own hard work. Compared to you, I...
You shouldn't be so disappointed in yourself. You're improving too, you just need to keep at it.
Well, I can hold a needle and thread without breaking anything now. That's...something.
That's a big step! When we started, you couldn't even hold a pair of scissors without twisting them apart.
True... I'm sorry for being such a burden.
You're no bother at all! I like sewing with you. It reminds me of when I was young and my mother taught me how to sew. My mother would sit with my brother and me and we'd all sew together.
Ah, I really miss it. Even though I was barely better than you when I started.
Did your mother like to sew, Dimitri?
My birth mother? From my father's accounts, she wasn't great at it either.
Oh, of course. I forgot that the queen of Faerghus passed away long ago.
Yes. I don't really remember what she was like. But I remember my stepmother...always sitting by the window, sewing away.
I'm sure she would have been happy to teach you if you had asked.
She always looked so lonely when she was sewing. So unreachable... She was kind to me, yes. But when she was like that, it was hard to talk to her. I'm not certain she would have wished to teach me.
I'm so sorry, Dimitri. I didn't mean to bring up such difficult memories.
Don't worry about it. If I don't talk about those things sometimes, I'll risk forgetting them altogether. And that would truly be a shame.
I see...
Ah, but now I'm just going on and on about myself. Why don't you tell me more about you?
More about me? Oh, goodness. I don't even know what to say.
It's hard to think of something on the spot, isn't it? You could speak of your family, I suppose.
You want to know more about my family? On that topic, I'm happy to oblige. In fact, I'm so glad you asked.
It's important to think about your past and share it every now and then.
This might take a while, but would you be willing to stay and listen?
Of course. I will listen for as long as you wish.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

I still find it extremely funny that the Crest of Blaiddyd makes it difficult for Dimitri to use basically anything that isn't a weapon.

Dimitri/Gilbert C.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Your Highness. I must deeply apologize for leaving the Kingdom without permission. I was...
There is no need to explain, old friend. I can guess at your reasons... The Tragedy of Duscur. You felt responsible for that incident, and sought respite in the goddess, abandoning your name, rank, and homeland in repentance. Am I right?
I have no excuses to offer. This... It was all I could think to do.
I always knew you for a pious man. And I figured that if you were to leave, this is where you would end up. You have changed much. Your face does not have the same resolve it once did.
If I may, Your Highness... You have changed as well.
I can't disagree.
It was my duty to protect His Majesty. Your father. Naturally, that also included Lady Patricia and yourself as well.
My father and mother are gone. No amount of regret will bring them back.
My dreams are haunted by the thought that, had I arrived at Duscur more swiftly...
You saved my life at Duscur. I have only gratitude for you, no blame to speak of. I wish for you to remain in the Kingdom, Gustave. Even after this conflict is over. I need your strength to help rebuild the ravaged land that Faerghus has become.
Please. I beg your forgiveness, but there is no place left for me in that land.
I see. Though much has changed, your stubbornness remains.
I have no desire to trouble you. If you do not wish to return, that is your choice to make.
But I do advise you to at least visit the place of your birth. If only for your family's sake.
Yes, Your Highness. Thank you. I appreciate your concern.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Parts of that scene differ significantly based on if you see it during Part 1 or Part 2. Here's the parts that are different in Part 1:
Here you are, Gilbert. Have you finished your prayers?
Ah! Your Highness! I... This...
Ah, but you and I are the only ones present, so I suppose I should not call you Gilbert. Gustave... It's been a while, hasn't it? Around three years, I believe?
You saved my life at Duscur. I have only gratitude for you, no blame to speak of. Return to the Kingdom, Gustave. I need your strength to help rebuild the rotten husk that Faerghus has become.
There's also one part that varies based on when in Part 2 you see this scene, but that edges into spoiler territory.

And now we're headed to the Kingdom? That sounds hard! Oh, really hard! Don't you think?!
It's going to be tough.
I knew you'd think so! I knew you— Ow! Oh, ow. Can't believe I tried to hug you through the door...
Man, it's been a while since we last saw new explore dialogue from Bernadetta.

Though it's a real shame that Lord Rodrigue passed away. It really is.
But now I think we're starting to see a sliver of hope for the future of Fódlan.

Oh, Professor! I didn't mean, ah... It's not that I'm looking forward to it or anything.
You don't have to hide it.
Ah! Please don't tease me like that!
It's just...when I think of us finally saving everyone in Fhirdiad, it makes me a little happy. OK, maybe a lot happy.
The Kingdom capital is under the tight control of Cornelia, who was ennobled by the Empire.
Judging by what we heard from Lord Rodrigue, it sounds like she's a tyrant.
But all of that ends soon. Let's get there quickly!

The soldiers from the church are going to set up a base at the Great Bridge of Myrddin.
They'll be able to keep up the search while we head for the Kingdom capital!

Fhirdiad is a city with a long history that goes back to before Faerghus gained its independence. I'd like to visit that place at least once before I die, but I'm afraid I have my own work to attend to. It's hard being so dedicated! Ah, well. I'll go there for some leisurely sightseeing once Fódlan knows peace!
Personally, I'd prefer a trip to Derdriu over Fhirdiad, but that's just me.

But if His Highness is owning up to his past, and trying to move forward...
I figure I can give him that chance. We've been friends since we were kids. I'm gonna be there for him all the way to the end.

I am also...eternally grateful to you. Now, it's time to go to the Kingdom capital. I hope that you will lend me your strength once again.

What he was until recently is what he had been for as long as I've known him. So tortured by his compassion for the fallen that it had driven him mad.
He has always been too kind to be king. He has always felt too much for the weak and the dead.
That is exactly why I look up to him.

Either way, I'm glad he's come around to the idea of retaking Fhirdiad. With our current troops, there's no way we could handle the Imperial capital. We wouldn't even get past Fort Merceus.

Oh, yeah, I should do this.

Adan/Dimitri A.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

What are you doing?
Sleep evades me, so I thought I'd get in some extra training. I was just about to finish.
Perhaps it is the gloomy weather, but I am feeling the sting of wounds that should have healed long ago...
What wounds?
The injury I got when that girl stabbed me after the battle at Gronder. Her eyes were filled with revenge...just as mine once were.
Who was she?
I don't know... But I have a guess... Ah, I suppose I haven't told you about that yet.
What are you talking about?
I was attacked inside the monastery the other day. It caused quite the uproar. The ones who attacked me...were some of the youths we taught swordsmanship to, once upon a time.
Are you OK?
Of course. I could capture the lot of them with my eyes closed. It seems they were raised by a group of thieves who we put down five years ago. I heard Lady Rhea took custody of them, claiming that the children were innocent.
I have taken so many lives...and with each one, I face hatred. During the last five years especially. My life was not so different from that of a wild beast... And that young girl's brother... At some point, I must have...
That is why I thought it only natural that someone would retaliate someday.
Because I hated, because I stole, and...because I killed.
But with those children, it's different... We drew our blades with the best of intentions, only to hurt them in the end. I suppose this is yet another thing we will just have to live with.
It's part of the job.
Yes... As one who chose to fight, it is my responsibility to confront this anguish and the true nature of war... Until the day my life comes to an end.
We can confront it together.
Thank you...
You know, Professor... There is something that I only recently realized.
I never knew it could be so...comforting to have someone standing by my side...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

That's a recurring theme with the lords, isn't it? Seteth excepted, I guess.

There wasn't time to do things properly. It pains me that I was unable to take him home to his territory. Once this war is over, I'd like to hold a proper funeral for him.
For now, we need to focus on taking back Fhirdiad. All will be well eventually. I know we can win.

Remember that awful business between him and my uncle Randolph? He just came by and said he was sorry for all of that. That was behind us as far as I was concerned, but even so...
It seems like he's changed for the better.
"Sorry" seems a bit inadequate for what happened to Randolph.

And here we are, preparing for the next battle, as if nothing happened the day before. It's almost easier to think about war as theater, with the stage an entire continent.
Though actors die, the show goes on?
Something like that. If an accident happens on stage, the next day's performance must be unaffected. Everyone just pretends like everything is fine...focusing on their role in the play.

Oh, this oughtta be good.

Adan/Gilbert A.
♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

However, acquiring supplies is still difficult. The people living here are struggling too. This conflict must be brought to an end soon.
I quite agree.
Yes. Let us seize victory together and build a new, more peaceful world. Still, I wonder what path my life should follow once we achieve our goals.
Aren't you going back to your family?
That has been my intent. But surely my daughter, Annette, must have her own path to follow. Perhaps she would be happier if our paths diverged. Of course, if she desires it, I will gladly return. But if she does not... Hmm... I wonder if I should ask my wife to join me here, to live out our days together at the monastery. That would not be so bad a choice either. Perhaps it is the fault of last night's drink that I am indulging in such dreams of the future today.
It's important to think about the future.
Yes. I've learned there is strength in focusing clearly on tomorrow and allowing yesterday to be done. Hmm.

Old fishing guy?
A short time ago, I instructed these children in the art of fishing.

Is that right? Be sure you share it with your families, now.

I did say something about that once, didn't I? I even told you to forget you ever saw me smile... But now, I would not ask that of you... Your words from when last we spoke have stayed with me. They bring to mind the king I first served. He told me not to dwell upon the dead. "The dead are dead, and those who live are not bound by them."
I intend to live my own life from now on.
That's a fine smile.
You have a fine smile as well. One that I could never have imagined when we first met.
No matter how our titles or positions change, I hope you will always remain yourself, Professor.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

It's a shame that this kind of character development, by nature of both Gilbert not being a main character, and the support system's nature, is locked behind an optional scene, and doesn't affect much outside of the scene itself.

Do you think it'll still be cold at this time of year? I can't even imagine.
We should prepare for the cold.
You're right. It's an important battle, so let's make sure we're ready for anything.

Though if my father could see Dimitri now, he'd be glad to have made the sacrifice.
Don't you dare tell anyone I said that.

The Leicester Alliance has really suffered a blow as well. Who knows what will become of them? From now on, we have to pay close attention to how the rest of Fódlan is doing.

This is all thanks to you and Lord Rodrigue.
This month, we will invade Fhirdiad by way of the Fraldarius domain. Leave the negotiations with House Fraldarius to me. You make ready for the actual battle.
It is a tricky business, but we are taking our first steps forward.

It may be a roundabout route, but I believe this path will still eventually take us to Rhea. Besides—saving the people of Faerghus is just what she would want us to do.

♪ The Forgotten ♪

He seems less rabid, but he's still too damn serious. It's depressing.
I challenged him to a brawl, hoping for a quick knockout. Didn't work out that way. We went at it for quite a while. He's a tough one.
You should have invited me.
True. The two of us could have taken him down, no problem. Between you and me...the man is stunning in battle! Nearly on par with myself! Bet the ladies can't get enough.
Dimitri could make a terrifying gauntlet user, yeah. He's got enough Spd to reliably 4x a lot of enemies, and if you can shove him through mastering War Monk, he'd have +40 Avo on top of his base when at full HP (+20 from Royal Lineage+, +20 from Brawl Avo +20). This is to say nothing of his raw Str.

It takes us closer to the Fhirdiad School of Sorcery, where I explored many branches of study.
This way, I can repay my debt to the teachers who gave me such invaluable guidance.
Take care that you don't meet them while the sun is out, Constance.


If we're going to the Kingdom capital, that means I'll run into the lady who... Well, you know.
You must be eager to face her.
No, I'm definitely not in a rush to confront that one.
We'll just have to see what happens when I meet her face-to-face.

But it's not like we have much choice. We don't have the numbers to face the Empire head on. So we've just gotta shut it and deal.
I guess Yuri is on the side of "the longer the war goes on, the more the people in Abyss will suffer."
♪ A Lonely Figure ♪

Another lucky week in the Holy Tomb. Leonie gets +2 Crit.

I don't know why I did this.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

True to my word, Dimitri is available for instruction again. He's got quite a bit of catching up to do.
♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Time to add another regalia weapon to my arsenal. Come to me, Mercurius.
♪ Learning Lesson ♪

Bernadetta maxes out her Bow skill, and is rewarded with equippable Bowfaire. Hell yeah. She'll have to sacrifice Hit +20 for it, but I think the trade is worth it.
♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

This is what peak Bernie-Bear performance looks like.

Oh yeah, Leonie also earned this.

Ashe/Gilbert B, by the way. This scene, in a rare move for a support chain that maxes out at B, is only available during Part 2.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

I'm sorry. Something's been bothering me.
Idle thoughts do hinder training. Tell me what bothers you.
You were sworn to protect the royal family.
But when we met five years ago, you weren't in the Kingdom capital. You were in Garreg Mach. What could have made a great knight like you abandon his vow?
That...is difficult to explain. You are aware of the Tragedy of Duscur? When the king's party was massacred nine years ago?
I am. It affected me too. My brother was suspected of being involved in the attack, and so the church... They...
Forgive me. That must be a difficult memory.
Why are you apologizing? It's not your fault.
I disagree. Had I been by His Majesty's side on that day, where I was sworn to be... Perhaps His Majesty would not have lost his life, and all would be different.
Is that why you left Faerghus?
Yes. You may laugh, but I feel I was responsible for everything.
I would never laugh at something like that.
But I do think you should have seen things through to the end.
Even if you had to endure dishonor for a while, you could have restored your name!
I'm sorry. That was inconsiderate of me. I got carried away by how much your situation resembles my own.
You were adopted by Lord Lonato, correct? I once told you that I wished to protect one thing other than my king...and that is my family. My wife and my daughter, both of whom I left behind in the Kingdom. Lord Lonato took up his sword for his son. Even if that meant turning his back on the goddess... As a father, I cannot condemn Lord Lonato for raising an army.
Yet, perhaps he too lost sight of what should be protected. Just as I did.
I don't understand what you mean. What should Lonato have protected?
You, Ashe. Because you are also his son.
You're right... I think I know what I need to protect now. It's been staring me in the face all this time. I don't know why I couldn't see it. I'm Lonato's son. His pride and his wishes are my inheritance. Those are what I should protect.
I see. Ashe, you will be an excellent knight.
It's too early to say that, but I'm willing to learn if you'll teach me!
It would be my pleasure to oversee the training of a new generation.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Honestly, I feel like Ashe/Gilbert should've gone up to an A rank, and that should've been the A rank scene.

I bought the goddess icon that Anna had in stock, and gave it to Leonie. Another +2 Crit.

I know how effective Lysithea as a gremory can be, so...let's try out dark knight Lysithea.

Also... Screw it, I've insulted it a lot, but let's give Mortal Savant a try by classing Adan into it.

With all those class changes, I'm very much ready to take back Fhirdiad.
♪ Three Crowns ♪

♪ No music ♪

♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

Five years ago, in fact. On the day before my execution, when Dedue helped me escape from prison. I killed soldiers from my homeland, stole weapons from their corpses, and made my escape, soaked in their blood... To think this is how I would return to the city of my birth, after all that has happened...
You have Rodrigue to thank.
Yes. Rodrigue gave his life to show me the way back to this path. You have risked much as well. I am glad to have you at my side. From the bottom of my heart...I am forever grateful. Let's win this, Professor. Let's all make it out alive and celebrate our victory.
Your Highness. The path to the castle has been cleared. We are making preparations to advance. Say the word, and we march.
Give the order.
Yes... Let us begin. Everyone! Listen well!

I give you but two commands—stay alive, and follow your heart. That is all I ask. The gates to the Kingdom capital are open. Join me! It is time to take back our home!

♪ Mask of Fire ♪

The people are rebelling? Ha! Let them do as they please.
Or are you saying you have enough soldiers to divide our forces? Quite bold of you, with our enemy's most elite soldiers at our doorstep.

Kill all who oppose us, even if they are members of the general populace. Go on now. You are needed out there.

Hmph. What an inconvenience the little princeling has turned out to be. And bringing that troublesome person along with him...
It would have been much better if he and his sweet little stepsister had been good little children and just killed each other.

So... I had to manually transcribe all of that! For unknown reasons, my text-extracting program just utterly blew up on this scene, and it's the only scene in the game that does this.

Not only that, this scene is host to a very intereseting set of lines that are impossible to see otherwise...
Are you coming, boar prince?
To think the day has finally come when we will cross swords...
Yep. These lines only show up if Felix is unrecruited—which, well, is impossible. Presumably, at one point, Felix (and Annette, I'll spoil that, Annette defecting also shows up in unused text during the battle proper) could've defected to the Faerghus Dukedom. Why this was scrapped is anyone's guess—for Felix, it'd make sense story-wise. Annette, too, could've had a fairly compelling reason—her family's territory was annexed by the Empire. It's not even in the Faerghus Dukedom, Dominic territory is just straight-up part of the Adrestian Empire now. With that in mind, she could've defected to the Empire in order to protect her uncle and mother.

Incidentally, this unused text does trigger properly in the final game if you modify your save so that Felix is flagged as not having been recruited in Part 1. Similarly, he and Annette do show up on the upcoming map if flagged as unrecruited, replacing two "Kingdom Generals."

I have a feeling this might've been scrapped primarily for gameplay reasons. Imagine Reunion at Dawn, but you're missing Annette and, more importantly, Felix. Deugh...
♪ As Fierce as Fire ♪

Best not to dwell on that terrifying thought.

Hey, been a while since we last saw a new map. Last time we saw one was the field we fought Nemesis on.

There's no differences in enemies between Hard and Maddening, so that's why I'm using the in-game map instead of a custom one.

Remember the Viskams from Shambhala? They're here, too.

Cornelia packs a metric shitload of Mag and Cha, as well as extremely high Def for a magic user. Easily the hardest boss we've faced in the route so far.

Agarthan Technology: Adjacent foes deal 3 less damage during combat.
Dark Magic Uses x2: Doubles the number of uses for dark magic.
Defense +2: Increases Def by 2.
Poison Strike: If unit initiates combat and lands a hit, targeted foe loses up to 20% of max HP after combat.
Defiant Mag: Grants Mag +8 when HP is ≤ 25%.
Unsealable Magic: Prevents unit from being silenced.

Interestingly, she also has a unique bit of equipment.

Asclepius: 1 Wt. +3 Prt. Restores 10% of the user's max HP every turn.

Nothing special, ultimately, just makes her a bit harder to take down. Apparently this thing first showed up in Tokyo Mirage Sessions, as something related to Tharja. I know nothing about TMS, so don't ask me if you've got any more questions about that.

As far as her weaponry, Cornelia's packing both Death Γ and Luna Λ, as you can see. Death Γ gives her the ability to attack at 1-3 range, and Luna Λ lets her lob an unresistable 67 damage at someone. No-one in my army but Dimitri can survive that.

The Titani from Shambhala return, this time with even more HP, and 65 Atk. Cool.

There's swordmasters dotted about the map, too.

This swordmaster would've been Felix, if that were possible. Look at this guy's stats...

This warlock would be Annette, if that were possible.

There's a falcon knight out here, too, ready to ruin your day. 54 Atk, 45 AS, 70 Avo. Too much, it's just too much.

For all the mean challenges this map throws at you, the game is at least courteous enough to let you field a full 12-unit roster, normally reserved for endgame maps.

Constance gets to take the march ring.

Lysithea gets the Caduceus staff.

Oh yeah, if you didn't notice, our deployment positions are split into three groups—three units to the west, three units to the east, and six units at the center.

I had Adan unlock Mortal Savant, but he's not actually going to use it yet.

Ingrid gets to take the Gradivus over Dimitri. I figured she could make better use of it, given her superior mobility.

Felix also gets the honor of taking Mercurius out for its initial sortie.

This is gonna be a rough but fair battle.
♪ No music ♪

Just how I like it.
♪ Those Who Sow Darkness ♪

Ready the Titanus in the streets! Let's give them a welcome to remember.

I have no idea who she's talking about when she says "my old master." Dimitri?
♪ The Long Road ♪

Stride comment here.

Quick Riposte may let you double, but it can't stop me from using brave weapons.

As you might've guessed from their stat screens, these swordmasters are super evasive. Bernadetta only has a 74 base Hit chance on them, even at 2 range.

A successful first turn for the center group.

There's a warlock manning a fire orb up there. These three don't stand any chance unless I get them out of the danger zone.

That's one advantage of being a dark knight: Lysithea could take that guy out from a ways away, and then run out of the danger zone with Canto.

No kill there, but it's the same principle.

Already making good use of Gradivus.

These things hurt like hell, ow.

And with that, I will switch Adan to Mortal Savant after this battle.

If there is magic in use, we should find the source and eliminate it.
What Dimitri and Gilbert mean here is "there is a lever to the northeast we need to pull." While that lever remains unpulled, most of the titani on the map gain huge stat buffs—+10 Str, +15 Dex, +10 Def, and +10 Res.

One mercy you get with the titani is that they can't move up or down stairs, so their attack ranges are limited.

Adan trades his evasion ring for the Chalice of Beginnings. I thought this would let him counterattack the fire orb user, but no, that's not how that works—ballista, onager, and fire orb attacks cannot be counterattacked.

The Sothis Shield will help him take the hit, at least.

Hapi and Constance team up to kill one of the units near the west group.

For all their super high stats, swordmasters are still very susceptible to gambits.


That'll help my push up west.

Hits. Note how Adan can't counterattack.

Oh, fuck you!
♪ The Dream is Over ♪

So, did you know that all of the snipers on this map have Deadeye?
♪ The Long Road ♪

Their attack range indicator gives no clue that they do.

I repositioned Dorothea. Oh, that sniper's gonna pay.

Might as well burn my last Stride to get this group moving faster.

Hello, friend.


Get outta my sight.

Atrocity is so useful.

That's the spirit!

That clears the way towards the warlock manning the fire orb.

Okay, I'm gonna do it!

Get the hell outta here.

Screw these swordmasters and their high Avo.

I'll end this quickly!


Okay, it didn't matter in the end.

I'm still mad, though.

That's the east side clear.

Constance pulled Mercedes towards her, so Mercedes would be a bit closer to everyone else.

Oh yeah, that guy had a tomahawk, by the way.

Rattles the sniper, breaks one of the titanus's armor tiles, and weakens the rest.

Leonie breaks two more...

And Felix comes in to finish off the last armor tile. Pavise sadly means he couldn't finish off the HP bar.

That's a lot of Agarthium. That'll be useful for repairing the scythe of Sariel.

Approaching this falcon knight would be hell without Lysithea having high Mv and Canto.

With those, though, and a dance from Annette, she's able to finish off the falcon knight, and get out of the remaining danger zone.

We've cleared all of the low-hanging fruit. Approaching the center is going to be hell with all of those Deadeye snipers and titani, though.

Hits. The Viskams aren't much more threatening on Maddening than they are on lower difficulties.

I like that Spd and +1 Crit.

One titanus down.

Hades Ω is good.

Prepare yourself!

Look at how much damage Annette's replacement could've done to Ingrid. Enemy spellcasters have stopped messing around.

Much like earlier, let's look at Annette's unused battle dialogue.
There's someone I must protect! I won't step aside... Even if it means fighting you, Professor.
Prepare yourself! I won't lose!
That was Adan/Abby vs. Annette.
Annette, throw down your arms! Would you really fight your father?
I can't do it, Father. I can't betray Mother and my uncle! If I have to defeat you, then so be it!
That confirms that Annette would've betrayed the Blue Lions for the sake of Baron Dominic and her mother, at least.
Can't you put an end to this nonsense and come home? I'll even bake some of your favorite treats!
I love your treats, Mercie. They taste great, and they're really good with piping hot tea... I would have liked to enjoy them one more time... But I'm sorry. I can't return home just yet.
This one is similar to the standard Mercedes vs. Annette conversation, but is still different.
I won't let you pass! No matter who you are!
VS. all other units.
Father, I beg you... Instead of me...help Mother...

Hits, but deals no damage. See what I mean?

Approaching these three would be hell with Dimitri's infantry movement, so Hapi just warps him up there.

I'm not that afraid of leaving Dimitri in melee range of Felix's replacement. Swordbreaker means he's super unlikely to actually land all four hits, which he'd need to do in order to kill Dimitri. Plus, Dimitri's very likely to kill him after the first two.

Oh, yeah, the dark bishops have Death Γ on them.

I had Leonie go for Felix's replacement. Either him or the dark bishop would've been fine.

With his death, might as well post Felix's unused battle dialogue.
I'll relish cutting you down. No need for chitchat. Come at me!
That's for Adan/Abby vs. Felix.
So, the old man's dead...
I'll cut you down. Prepare yourself, you damn boar!
Very well. Come at me, Felix!
Sylvain, stand aside. My blade thirsts for his blood, not yours.
If that's so, then you oughta stand down. I don't want to fight you either!
Fine. Then we're at an impasse.
Felix! Get a grip! We don't need to fight!
Out of my way, Ingrid. I must defeat him.
And then? What will become of you? You never have listened to reason!
Interestingly, these conversations are vastly different than the usual Felix vs. Sylvain and Felix vs. Ingrid conversations that are actually used elsewhere in the game.

Unrelatedly, holy shit Felix's JP voice is way deeper than his EN voice. I think the EN voice fits better.
Stand aside. There's something I must do.
VS. all other units.
It's over... I'm sorry, Father.
Oh, that's his death line.

One thing I noticed with all these unused battle conversations is that they don't use different expressions—they all just stick with the neutral expressions. This isn't just a localization thing, the JP version is like this too. Really weird that they would've gone to the effort of writing these lines and inserting them, but not bothering to use any expressions.

In the process of checking the JP version of the battle dialogue, I learned that JP Mercedes's equivalent of "Annie" is "Ann."

Still making good time.

Ingrid hits the lever, disabling the titani's stat buffs.

These strange devices and weapons... They are the Empire's? Unbelievable.
Did no-one fill you in on the whole Agarthans thing, Gilbert?

...Were you not filled in back in Part 1, when the Knights of Seiros bore very clear witness to Solon revealing himself at Remire Village?

Ingrid moves into bait position, thanks to Annette.

I do not like Pavise, Charlie.

Its smug aura mocks me.

It's evil, Charlie.


That's much better.

Rea like.

I can't finish it off this turn, but the titanus's inability to go up or down stairs means it can't touch me.

Seriously, that's a startingly big mechanical weakness, given how prevalent stairs are on this map.

Hits, but is reduced by Aegis.

Good lord, Adan. Almost 40 Str.

No crit...

However, killing the western titanus and the warlock on the fire orb, then entering the grappler's vicinity, causes this sniper to spawn in.

He's a speedy little bastard, but he's carrying something very interesting.

Tathlum Bow: Requires Bow rank A. 2 range. 13 Mt, 80 Hit, 10 Crit, 11 Wt, 30 durability. Restores 12%/20%/33% max HP every turn; amplified for holders of the Crest of Lamine. Requires Mythril x3 and 2500 gold to repair.

Basically a silver bow+ with slightly better Hit, and a bit of Crit. The Crest of Lamine association implies that Mercedes is meant to use it, but...no. Still, it's a unique weapon, and this is the only place in the game that you can get it. None of the other routes give you a way to obtain it.

Guess I've got to!

A fitting prize for Bernadetta.

Got a clear path up the western side now.

The titanus moves to intercept me, but...it can't. It's physically too big to fit between that gap.

Oh, that ain't gonna save you.

Lot of two-stat levels from Lysithea lately.

Gonna just one-shot that bishop.

Most of the enemies left by this point are just titani.

Using an axe on this thing immediately breaks open an armor tile.

Let's see you dodge this!

That's an HP bar.

That's the spirit!

Leonie is a crit monster.

Three activations of the Crest of Fraldarius in a row. Impressive.

I care more about breaking open the armor tile here than dealing damage.

I will destroy you!

Breaking open the armor tile lets Leonie come in and do her thing.

I've got rewinds to spare, might as well see if this will work.

♪ The Dream is Over ♪

♪ The Long Road ♪

Annette, in addition to being a dancer, still has Recover on hand, giving her some good burst healing capability.

Deadeye and a longbow? Really?

♪ The Dream is Over ♪

♪ The Long Road ♪

So this is how you're gonna play it?

I rewind and just position Lysithea further back.

You cocky-ass fools. You're gonna pay for that.

Step one.

Step two.

Man, Balthus has really slipped as Part 2 has gone on.

Step three.

Step four. Bye, assholes.

I will destroy you!

Pure grit!

She really just crits non-stop, huh?

No action on the enemy phase.

Lysithea warps Ingrid close to the bishop.

That's not gonna kill her this time.

Mercedes is so close to Gremory, which... Actually, she works better as a bishop on Maddening.

Two saving graces with Cornelia is that she's immobile, and lacks Counterattack. Unfortunately, she's on a stronghold, which gives her—among other things—30 Avo.

Oh, for— Get outta the way!

Break the armor tile.

She will not stop getting more powerful.

Good thing I've got plenty of umbral steel.

Let's see you dodge this!

+1 Crit, I guess.

I can't escape the Mag levels, can I?

Anyway, Cornelia's got no guards left.

Behold, Cornelia's extremely high Cha. Even Adan, with an A rank support bonus, can only get 40 Hit with Assault Troop.
♪ The Verge of Death ♪

It would be nice if we could catch up a little... But I'm afraid it's time for you to die.

Yeah, that was the likely outcome.

I will destroy you!

Well, uh.

That was easy.

Cornelia's got battle dialogue for Dimitri, Gilbert, and Hapi.
My, it's been a long time hasn't it, Your Highness? You've grown awfully strong.
How shameless. I bet it was you who killed my uncle and set me up. Am I right?
Hah! Too true! I'd already forgotten about all that loveliness.
I'll kill you, you monster! You will pay for all that you have done!
Ah, your face brings back memories... Still alive, are we, Gustave?
Prattle on, Cornelia. Faerghus will not be cowed by the likes of you.
How very dull...
So it is you. When I heard you were a court mage or whatever, I could hardly believe it.
Well, no point in standing around and chatting about old times. Let's get this over with.
Well, I say she has battle dialogue with Hapi, but it's more like Hapi has special dialogue for fighting her. I guess one or two extra lines for Cornelia vs. Hapi didn't justify bringing Cornelia's voice actress back into the recording studios for the DLC—both for her EN and JP voices.
♪ No music ♪

It's over, Cornelia. If you have any last words, now is the time.
Right you are. Very well... I have an old tale that I would like you to hear, if I may.
About something that happened ten years ago... Something Patricia said about how she wished to see her real daughter again, no matter who or what she had to sacrifice to do so...
And about how I made her wish come true, at the cost of the king's head...
The king's head? You mean Duscur... You monster!
You mean to say that my father...everyone...was killed by my stepmother?!
That's right. Her family meant everything to her... You certainly know that feeling, do you not?
Ah, poor little prince. Unloved by the only mother he ever knew... How pitiful.
How dare you!
There's nothing left for you now... Nothing but despair.

♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

She sold out Faerghus to the Empire, forcing our people to suffer their tyranny... But all of that ends today. No more blood will be needlessly spilled. Now that Cornelia has fallen, we will exert pressure on the nobles who were aligned with her. Perhaps we may yet find a connection to the tragic incident in Duscur. Once we do that, we will finally be able to prove the innocence of its people.
Your Highness...
I am certain that would make those of Duscur who lost their lives that day very happy. I am grateful. And I am proud to serve a man such as you.
Come, Your Highness. You still have some responsibilities that must be carried out. Your people have been patiently awaiting your return.
Do you mean... No. I can't bear to face them after all that I—
You must face them.
Professor... Right you are, as ever. I am their king, after all...

♪ Beneath the Banner ♪

Even though I turned my back on them, and fled the Kingdom in disgrace...
Even so...the spectacle before you does not lie. We are a Kingdom in need of a king. A hero to save the people from their long oppression.
Your Highness... It is truly a blessing that you have returned.
Do I really have the right to stand here? Will they accept me as their king?
Bloodstained as I am... Am I fit to be king?
Don't cry, Dimitri. This is a happy time.
These are happy tears, my friend.
I am finally home again... Faerghus... How I missed you...

♪ No music ♪

I was going to ask you the same.
It's not that I have grown weary...more that I find it difficult to be around everyone at the moment.

♪ Recollection and Regret ♪

I was always terribly afraid of going near there...
But I could not stay away forever. You have taught me something important, Professor.
That too, of course. But what I'm referring to is far more valuable. How should I put this... Perhaps it is most accurate to say that...you taught me how to live. If you and I had not reunited on that fateful day, I am certain I would have died a fruitless death on the battlefield. I would have foolishly challenged a horde of foes and, in doing so, needlessly sacrificed the lives of my friends and myself. But now, I have returned to my rightful place.
I struggle with what to say, when I know well that words are not enough to express my gratitude.
You saved me from the darkness...and guided me back to the light.
Thank you, Professor. With all that I am, I thank you.
Do you still wish for revenge?
Revenge was never something I wished for... It was an obligation I felt I had inherited from those who died. I believed my life belonged to those who lost their own in Duscur. But what I now seek is something else entirely... I can say that with confidence. But I digress... For tonight, our only focus should be to bask in our victory. After that, we must prepare for our battle with the Empire. To start, we must absorb the Kingdom knights taken by the Dukedom into our own forces and reshuffle our troops... The lords will need to help purge our territory of Imperial forces, and I will use my authority as king to gather forces from various regions... And we'll have to ask the merchants to lend us the funds we require... Oh, and we must request delivery of supplies at once...
That sounds like a lot of work.
Heh... Just thinking about it all makes my head spin.
There is much to do, but it is all critical work if we hope to stand a chance against the Empire.
Is there no way to coexist with the Empire?
Knowing Edelgard, I doubt there is a path that leads to our coexistence.
I believe we have spoken of this before... Everyone has something they simply cannot accept. As for Edelgard, I am certain she will never be able to accept the Church of Seiros. I believe that is why she seeks to destroy it. She is looking to revolutionize the world. In her mind, for the better.

I wish to end this war through acceptance, not annihilation.
Just as my people accepted me, I wish dearly to accept her. But I fear—

Ah, I am sorry for slipping away. Has something happened?

An express messenger? What in the world could Claude be after? I am on my way. Professor, please join me.

Phew, that was long. I underestimated how much text would follow after the battle.

Next time: what's happening to the Alliance?

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