Update 2: Battle of the Nestling and the Kitten

After finishing the scene we conclued the last update on, we get our first glimpse of the calendar. We joined the Officers Academy very late into the month, so we don't have much to do—in fact, we only have one exploration day, followed by the mock battle to close the month out.

Every time we start a new month, we'll get some funds from the Church of Seiros, dependent on our professor level. What's professor level? You'll see.

Sometimes, when advancing through the days, we'll be interrupted.

You don't know about Crests? Well, allow me to tell you everything—absolutely everything—about them. Is your calendar clear? This will take a while.
Crests are a fascinating topic, but before one can dive deeply into said topic, one must first understand what Crests are. They are power incarnate. They are said to have been bestowed upon humans by the goddess countless ages ago. They exist within the flesh, and are passed down through bloodlines. Those who carry Crests may excel at magic, display exceptional strength, or any number of boons.

And you believe I have a Crest?
I suspect as much, yes. But we won't know for sure unless I look into the matter. As I said, Crests are passed down through the blood. However, just because someone carries a Crest does not necessarily mean their descendants will inherit it as well. Only a scarce few descendants of a Crest's bloodline end up inheriting that Crest's power. Perhaps one of your ancestors bore a Crest, and you just happened to inherit it.

Do what you can to find out.

Now then, please go ahead and hold out your arm over this device here.

A pattern I've never seen before... Is it possible an as-yet undiscovered Crest has been detected?
To think there are still Crests out there that even I am unaware of! How thrilling!
Ahem... Pardon my unrestrained jubilation. I have much to consider. You may leave now. I have more research to do in regard to this Crest. Yes, so very much more research. But for now, your work here is done.

What in the world? Oh, I see... It may be connected to that, but to a greater degree than usual...

Don't judge, Abby.

Welcome to our first free day. Well, "free" isn't quite applicable today, since we only have the option to Explore.

I thought I heard a girl's voice...but I must have been imagining things.

Anyway, during exploration time, we walk around Garreg Mach, talk to everyone in the place, and then spend activity points to gain some mixture of support points, professor level experience, skill experience, inter-student support points, fish, plants, and some other things we can't do yet.

Commoner students also reside on the first floor, while the second is primarily for students of noble birth.
As a rule, we try to avoid discrimination based on social status here. But the nobility can be quite insistent when it comes to matters of propriety.
Speaking of, it would be best for you to avoid improper conduct. I expect you to set a good example for the students.
Wouldn't dream of it, even if I wanted to.

When we take the field, it would be best not to engage the both of them at once.
If we talk to Hubert again...
If you continue to insist on distracting me, I will have no choice but to get rid of you.
Joking, of course.
Hubert is voiced by Robbie Daymond, who has quite a resume—I mostly recognize him as Goro Akechi in Persona 5, and as Mike/Orbulon/Young Cricket in WarioWare Gold. I was legitimately surprised to learn he also voiced Hrothgar in Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold.

Still, we must do our best to prevail. You should take the time to learn each student's abilities. Perhaps some extra lessons and training sessions are in order?
We can't do anything like that during exploration time, and we don't get an instruction week before the mock battle, so welp.

[Caspar] I kinda thought he was gonna be the new professor assigned to our class. After that teacher ran away during our outdoor training, I figured Jeritza was a natural replacement. I was surprised when you were suddenly appointed professor instead.
Caspar and Lorenz are both voiced by Benjamin Diskin, who has been in a lot of stuff I recognize from both my childhood and adulthood. He was Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 2 in Codename: Kids Next Door, Young Xehanort in the Kingdom Hearts games, Daichi in the 3DS port of Devil Survivor 2, Mega Man in Mega Man 11, Haida in Aggretsuko, Joseph Joestar in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure... Lots of pretty big roles!

Not a chance.

If you have no business here, leave.
Wow, okay, fine, jerk.

Jeritza is voiced by Patrick Seitz, whose resume is incredibly big. He's a combination voice talent, voice director, and ADR script writer. He was also this game's voice director, in fact! The roles that stick out to me most are as John Titor and the ADR script writer for Steins;Gate, DIO and Star Platinum in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Endeavor in My Hero Academia, Basilio in Fire Emblem Awakening, Nekomaru Nidai in Danganronpa 2, and Monokid in Danganronpa V3, just to name a "few."

There's a sauna up the stairs from where Edelgard and Hubert are standing. It is never used for anything, although it is brought up a few times in dialogue. To be honest, I'm kind of glad Adan/Abby can't bathe with the students. That would be...strange.

I will make you a quality meal, as thanks for your service to His Highness.
Dedue's a good man. I'm sad we won't get to be with him this run.

He's voiced by Ben Lepley, who I recognize as Schezo in Puyo Puyo Tetris.

He's also how we open the greenhouse for business.

Goodness, listen to me. The thrill of competition has carried me away. I won't speak so formally of a class assignment in the future.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit concerned about facing an elite mercenary like you. Maybe take it easy on us, what do you say?

Me, I'm still not used to it. I'm not one for all this studying and training.
Hilda is voiced by Salli Saffioti, whose most prominent credits to me are Mistral in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Ysayle/Shiva in Final Fantasy XIV before Heavensward recast every character.

It may have been only for a short time, but I learned from the absolute best.
Leonie is voiced by Ratana, who I'm unfortunately unfamiliar with.

Hope you're OK with that, Professor!
Bernadetta is voiced by Erica Mendez, who also voiced Ryuko Matoi in Kill la Kill, Akko in Little Witch Academia, Maki Harukawa in Danganronpa V3, Arle in Puyo Puyo Tetris, and... Pac-Man in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.

You know, Professor, I think I'm going to like it at the Officers Academy. There are beautiful girls as far as the eye can see...
Sylvain is voiced by Joe Brogie, whose IMDB page is very short, but includes Donatello (the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) in Injustice 2.

Anyway, us women aren't here for you to ogle at, Sylvain.

We do need him to unlock the dining hall, though.

Now I'm feeling sleepy too...

Linhardt is voiced by Chris Patton, who hadn't done much video game work, but has a long filmography for anime dubbing, going all the way back to the late 90s.

I'd like to say his most recognizable role to me is as John "JC" Armack (I wonder if John Carmack ever knew that his name was used as the basis for such an annoying character) in SiN: The Movie, but in reality I mostly recognize him as Tatsuhiro Sato from Welcome to the NHK.

I can't believe Fire Emblem and SiN are connected by just a voice actor's degree of separation...

You seem well-informed on the subject.

You should try looking around the greenhouse sometime, if the mood strikes you. Maybe something will catch your eye!
Ashe is voiced by Shannon McKain, whose roles I am mostly unfamiliar with beyond a bit part in an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode.

Alright, let's plant the seed Dedue gave us.

Gardening is very simple. Just choose the seeds you want to plant, and confirm.

You can also choose to cultivate the crop with various methods, all but one of them costing gold. This first harvest will always be a 1x yield, though.

Can't we talk just a little?

Cyril is voiced by Griffin Burns, who I very distinctly remember as Akira in Devilman Crybaby.

I watched Devilman Crybaby over the span of a few all-nighters, all performed within a little over a week. Lemme tell you, watching Devilman Crybaby while sleep-deprived was...an experience.

Marianne is voiced by Xanthe Huynh, who you might know best as Haru Okumura in Persona 5.

That's a shame.

The monastery is kind enough to provide a sanctuary for my brother and I. He's the only family I have.
Flayn is voiced by Deva Marie Gregory, who I am unfamiliar with. She had some roles in World of Warcraft expansions and Hearthstone, as well as a small role in the old Sailor Moon dub.

It's meme time.

Once I actually go do fishing. Let's finish talking to some other people first.

I was hoping to spar with you.

Felix is voiced by Lucien Dodge, who I primarily recognize as Hifumi Yamada in Danganronpa, and Keebo in Danganronpa V3. He also voiced Andrew in Little Witch Academia.

Why can't the dining hall stay open all the time? I need to keep eating if I want to get stronger!
Raphael is voiced by Zachary T. Rice, who I...don't recognize.

If my ways of speak...of speech are causing a burden, I hope you will have forgiveness.
Petra is voiced by Faye Mata, who I mostly recognize as the voice of Firis in Atelier Firis. I know a little about Love Live! just by existing around people who do like it, so I also recognize her role as Rin Hoshizora in it.

Now it's meme time.

Fishing is very simple. Pick a bait...

And wait for a bite. The icon shows the general group of fish you'll get. This is the smallest one, and Flayn's bait will always result in this.

You can let two fish go without penalty, and wait for new ones to show up. There's a, I'd say, 50-50 chance of losing your bait if you let the third fish go. If you don't reel in the fourth fish, you are guaranteed to lose your bait.

The actual act of reeling in is a simple rhythm-ish minigame. Hitting A when the purple circle is within the gray area results in a Good, hitting it when it's in the inner purple circle will result in an Excellent, hitting it when it's anywhere else, or letting it go to the dead center, results in a Bad. Better results cause greater HP loss on the fish.

There's a very small amount of input lag when I look at the game through my recording software, so I mess this up more than I should.

I don't miss a beat on this one, though. Getting all Excellents on a fish results in a Perfect, missing an Excellent but still reeling the fish in results in a Good, and running out of "HP" before the fish done results in a Bad—aka, the fish gets away.

Perfects give better fish than Goods.

Our first fish is just a quest item that's taken away from us when we turn in the quest.

Fishing gives professor level experience. It's an important part of getting an early professor level A+. Reeling in "bigger" fish results in more professor level experience.

Fish can be used for sharing meals at the dining hall, cooking army stat buff foods, and as vendor trash.

I use all of the bait Flayn gave me, and get almost to professor level E+.

Now that I got some reel average catches, let's eat at the dining hall.

The dining hall offers a special once per week that consumes no ingredients in your storage. Besides that, you can also opt to cook any recipe that you can prepare with ingredients you have in storage.

When you opt to eat at the dining hall, you have to select two students/faculty to eat with you. Sharing a meal will build support points between Adan/Abby and both of the other participants, as well as between both of the other participants. It's an important part of building supports, and is generally the best way to burn activity points during exploration.

When dining with students/faculty that are in your house, their motivation will also increase. Motivation represents how many times you can instruct a student during the instruction week. It's a good idea to keep all of your students at maximum motivation, if you can help it—or, at the very least, enough students at maximum motivation to use all of your instruction activity points on maximum-motivation students.

I want to recruit Lysithea ASAP, and she has a support with Edelgard, so...

If both participants love the food (represented by blue arrows), you'll get 200 professor level experience.

Like I said, eating at the dining hall gives a lot of value for your activity points.

Incidentally, Lysithea is voiced by Janice Kawaye, who I mostly recognize as Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot, and Peko Pekoyama in Danganronpa 2.

Reaching professor level E+ gives us two activity points during exploration, and raises our monthly funding from the Church of Seiros to 2000 gold.

We've now used up all of our activity points for the day. From here, we can either opt to end the day and advance the calendar, or finish talking with students, as well as doing actions that don't consume activity points—right now, that includes gardening and fishing.

By the by, have you ever regretted a decision and wished you could go back and undo it? It's too bad there's no lesson for how to turn back the ol' clock, huh? But I suppose a bad decision isn't worth all that fuss anyhow!
Aw, dammit, I forgot to talk about the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper is a fan favorite character. He'll be with us for the entire game, and he provides very pure and encouraging commentary on the goings-on of the story. He's a friend.

He's voiced by Kyle McCarley, whose major roles include Alm in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and 9S in Nier: Automata. Fresher in my memory, though, is his role as Haruto Higurashi in Zanki Zero: Last Beginning.

...I can't look at him without thinking about 9S screaming in murderous rage at A2. Hell of a mental contrast.

Looking for someone?

Annette is voiced by Abby Trott, who you might also know as Pod 153 (9S's Pod) in Nier: Automata, and Maya Fey in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice.

I'm getting holy blood flashbacks.

You like reading?

That's where I met Annie! That's what I call Annette. Oh. I guess Lorenz was at the school of magic too?
But Annie was always just so nice to me, even though I was older. She's my best friend in the world.
Mercedes is voiced by Dorothy Elias-Fahn who also has an incredibly long history of anime dub work. I recognize her recently as Tsumugi Shirogane in Danganronpa V3.

Loog, the King of Lions, wore brilliantly blue garments. His chivalric exploits are recorded in multiple legends. The library holds various historical accounts regarding him and the Blue Lions. If you find time, you should read them. They're filled with insights.
Ingrid is voiced by Brittany Cox, who I'm unfamiliar with.

If you're not busy, would you like to join me on a little trip into town? If I'm cooped up in this dusty old monastery for too long, it drives me absolutely crazy.
Dorothea is voiced by Allegra Clark, who did voice work for the Sailor Moon dub back in the 90s, and recently also became the voice of Cynthia, champion of the Sinnoh region, in Pokémon Masters.

Too bad we won't see more of each other. I'm happy to learn from you, if the opportunity comes up!
Ignatz is voiced by Christian La Monte. Again, I'm unfortunately unfamiliar with his past work.

Golden Deer are sacred creatures said to have protected Leicester since time immemorial. All three of the houses have a meaning behind their name. You should feel free to ask around, if that sort of knowledge interests you.

The eagle, that refers to the twin-headed eagle on the Adrestian Empire's coat of arms. And black is the traditional color of the Empire's armor, hence, "Black Eagles."
Ferdinand is voiced by Billy Kametz, who also voices Blue in Pokémon Masters, that weird doctor dude in Persona 5 Royal, and Josuke goddamn Higashikata in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

With everyone talked to, it's time to move onto the mock battle.

We'll eventually be able to do an alternate thing on characters' birthdays, but for now...

We can spend 200 gold for some support points. Not that bad a trade.

Leave it to me.

So confident. This will be interesting.
Each of us has undergone strict training. We're prepared for anything that comes our way. That means there's no need to hold back. Show us what you're capable of.

Simply tell me your weaknesses, and you're welcome to stay. But is there enough time to cover them all?
Ah, so you can't win unless you know my weakness? Poor princess. You really should believe in yourself more.
I spare no effort when pursuing victory. As a master of schemes, I should think you would understand.
Schemes? Me? I have no idea what you're talking about! I plan to fight fair and square, as ever.
Hearing the words "fair and square" from Claude can only be a bad omen.
Your Highnesses haven't known me for very long, but you already have me figured out, don't you?
No need to poke fun. I will fight with honor. That said, I will fight to win.

I don't intend to lose.
If that is how you feel, then I will not hold back.

While I am pleased that you are taking the initiative to acquaint yourself with the students, I'm afraid it's about time for the faculty strategy meeting.
Ah, how time flies! In that case, I'll see you later.
Edelgard. Professor. Be careful out there.

And here we are, our first battle preparations menu.

Hm. We're only allowed five units. This is very low for Three Houses, and if my memory serves me well, this is the only time it's lower than 9.

I've chosen to deploy Ferdinand, Bernadetta, and Linhardt, in addition to our required deployments of Abby and Edelgard.

Ferdinand, Caspar, and Petra all serve similar purposes in the mock battle when playing Black Eagles: physical infantry. Petra can deal more damage, but Ferdinand's got a bit more bulk behind him. I can't access the armory right now, so Caspar can't get gauntlets, unfortunately.

Bernadetta is here instead of Hubert or Dorothea to provide ranged damage. Hubert and Dorothea can deal more damage than her, but they're stuck with starting class magic restrictions. I haven't explained it yet, but Noble/Commoner can use "some magic," which in reality means that their amount of magic charges are halved. For Dorothea, this means she only gets four uses of Thunder, and Hubert only gets five uses of Miasma Δ. Bernadetta, meanwhile, absolutely isn't going to run out of ammunition during the mock battle. Persecution Complex will make up for her lower innate damage, anyway.

Linhardt is here to provide easy healing. He's the only person in the Black Eagle House with access to Heal right out of the gate. It heals for 8 HP right now, but his Minor Crest of Cethleann can randomly bring it up to 16 on a...I wanna say it feels like a 33% chance.

That's...pretty much all the strategy behind battle preparations for the mock battle.

Let's deploy.

You bet I will. Losing on Chapter 1 would be humiliating...

Note that this is one of two battles where, on Classic mode, units being defeated will not result in them being permanently removed from the roster.

Right out of the gate, if we step into the enemy danger zone, we'll get attacked by Lorenz, and Ashe if you move whoever is drawing attacks onto the wrong tile.

Specifically, here are the danger areas that are within the space we can actually move to. Don't move melee units into these spaces.

So I end the turn with this formation. Lorenz will engage Abby, and Ashe will engage Bernadetta. She'll take a lot of damage, since he can double her, but she won't be dropped to 0 HP, she'll deal a bit of counterattack damage, and most importantly, activate Persecution Complex.

Me?! But I'm not ready!
Are you making light of our new professor? If you drop your guard, you're going to get hurt...

Got it, Your Highness! Leave it to me!
Once you've finished preparing, make your move, Dedue. Mercedes. Keep our enemy occupied until then.
I'm on it.
Oh my! We'll try our best!

Yep, ow. She survives, though.

That trade isn't very favorable to Lorenz.

Now, to get Bernadetta out of "can be defeated in one hit" zone—

...Exactly the wrong time for Linhardt's Crest to activate.

Hooray for redundant Crest activations.

Abby weakens Ashe so Bernadetta can—


Fine, Ignatz will do.

Could've been 14 damage were it not for that damn Minor Crest of Cethleann...

No-one moves on the enemy phase.

Next turn is spent just advancing.

Dedue is slow, but he packs a major punch. He's a good argument for deploying Dorothea or Hubert in place of Bernadetta.

Bernadetta would eat 15 damage from him, for example.

She won't die, though, and I'm desperate to get Persecution Complex active.

This is a good opportunity for us. Let's forge ahead!
The backline Golden Deer and Blue Lions unit start getting aggressive on us now.

They don't make advantage of their Mv, though.


Nosferatu kinda sucks, but it's a decent way of damaging Dedue.

Nosferatu restores half of the damage dealt, rounded down, to the user.

Abby drops Mercedes to low HP.

Edelgard does the same to Dedue.

And Bernie gets the kill.

Ferdinand moves up so that he can draw Dimitri's aggro.

A bad trade, but it's better than Dimitri defeating Bernadetta.

Again, a bad trade, but it's fine.

Bernadetta gets the win over Mercedes, and receives...

...A bad start. C'mon, Bernie, I'm one of the biggest champions for you as a unit, don't disappoint me.

Linhardt gets chip damage on Dimitri.

Ferdinand brings Dimitri close to defeat...

And Abby will get the victory over him.

Ugh. I mean, Spd is nice, but get other things too.

Edelgard draws the attention of Claude, while drinking a Vulnerary instead of just waiting.

Vulneraries are 3-use consumables that restore a maximum of 10 HP.

Careful, Claude. I'll win no matter what, but you're only making things harder for yourself.
Losing hasn't even crossed your mind, has it? Ooh, this'll be a bit of a shock, then.
To shock was your intention to begin with, was it not?

Ugh. This formation is bad. I'm not about to push into the danger zone without any capability of attacking on this turn, so...

I pull Edelgard back to this thicket.

Linhardt gets some healing EXP on Ferdinand.

Abby moves here so that—

Ferdinand can build a minor amount of support with her. He won't get any EXP, since he can't counterattack, though.

Oh, fuck, I didn't realize he'd get doubled by Claude...

Oh, yeah, Hilda has a Hand Axe. Hand Axes can attack at 1 - 2 range, but are heavy as shit and just a bit inaccurate.

Dang. Nice job, Ferdinand.

Abby weakens Manuela...

And Ferdinand literally could not screw it up.

The one time where Curved Shot's +1 Mt is significant.

Curved Shot: +1 Mt, +30 Hit, +0 Crit, 2 - 3 range, costs 3 durability.

And then there were two.

Nope. Bad idea.

A better use of Linhardt's turn.

Aw, fuck.


Ferdinand, dodge master, I guess.

Right, let's get Ferdinand out of the red HP zone.

And put Claude in it.


I think Ferdinand deserves the win over Claude.

I'd have even preferred Lck over Cha...

Hanneman doesn't move.

I put Bernadetta in Hanneman's attack range, since she can counterattack at range.

Alright, now, who do I give the final victory EXP to...

Bernadetta works.

And that's the battle.

Hanneman drops an Intermediate Seal upon defeat, which we can use to class change someone into a level 10 class.

The Black Eagle House!
Even though it was just a mock battle, we defeated both houses masterfully. Take pride in this victory, everyone!

An easy rout, even if the RNG did annoy me.

MVPs of major battles have their motivation set to 100. If Adan/Abby is the MVP, all of your units get +25 motivation.

It was easy.
Yes, it was. Further proof that you're well qualified to guide the Black Eagles.

We certainly did. We all tried our best, of course, but we couldn't have won without you.
I was curious what it would look like if you did not hold back. And you did not disappoint!
Hmph. I daresay we owe our victory to Lady Edelgard.
How so? For that battle, she was only a soldier following our professor's command. Sure, she was an incredibly powerful soldier...
Don't worry about it too much, Linhardt. All that matters is that we won!
I'm all done with being on the battlefield, OK? I'd rather stay back than pursue victory out there.

We only managed to win because we worked together.

Is it so odd, me talking about togetherness? If so, that perception must change. In fact, I'm canceling the festivities so we can discuss this topic further. I'm kidding, of course. Come on, everyone! We've earned this celebration.

And that should do for now! Next time: we enter our first real month of the game.

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