Update 4: CANYON.MID

♪ Tactics ♪

It seems they have them cornered. They are in Zanado, the Red Canyon.
I can't wait to get started! I'll strike down those heinous thieves before they know what hit them!
Charge ahead if you must, Caspar. Just do not put the rest of us in danger.
I'm going back. I won't be of any help anyway, and I don't want to get hurt...
Don't worry, Bern. It's just some bandits. We'll have no trouble at all.
Eh, don't get ahead of yourselves. Unfounded optimism isn't a great strategy. Let's just get this over with.

You seem excited to get out there.
It's time, Professor. Give us our orders, and let's move out.

Ready for our first actual battle? I know I am.

♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

I don't normally show tutorial text, but here's an important thing: Divine Pulse. Divine Pulse records every action that happens during a battle, and lets you rewind to before any of them individually. Basically, it's a way to fix mistakes in your tactics, or a way to restrategize if the RNG isn't on your side. You can only use Divine Pulse a certain number of times per battle, however, and we only get 3 charges to start.

Annoyingly, we only get 9 deployment slots for Red Canyon Dominance. I probably should've deployed Sylvain in place of Ferdinand, but it's not that big a deal. Philanderer makes Sylvain slightly better than Ferdinand at tanking hits, but not enough for deploying Ferdinand instead of Sylvain to be a major mistake.

Anyway, no-one needed to shuffle their inventories around, with one crucial exception that I missed at the time, and the automatically-generated deployment formation is good enough for me, so...
♪ Dark Clouds Gather ♪

The thieves must have been driven back. Be careful, or the cornered mice might bite us.

Shut your dumb mouth! Where would we go at this point? You can't be a thief if you fear death!

♪ Dwellings of the Ancient Gods ♪

Immediately, there's three enemies near us, one of whom is an Archer. Being an Archer means they have this innate skill:

Bowrange +1: Increases bow range by 1.

None of my units can counterattack this. That's annoying.

I clump my units together like this. I let Bernadetta get hit so she can get Persecution Complex.

Aw, Ferdie, how did you go from dodging 91 Hit to getting hit by 36?

Fuck, shit, no, oh god, I forgot to check his lance's durability.

Ferdinand gets hit by both, but he's alive.

However, annoyingly, this means Bernadetta doesn't get Persecution Complex activated.

So, when weapons break in Three Houses, instead of disappearing, they become broken weapons. Broken weapons weigh 20, inevitably tanking the unit's Effective Speed, have 0 Mt, 30 Hit, and 0 Crit. Do not let a unit have a broken weapon if they're within an enemy's attacking range.

At least patching up the injuries is easy.

Ferdinand gets a bit of damage on the Fighter in front of him, and levels up his battalion for his troubles.

Petra finishes off the Fighter in front of Edelgard.

Hubert finishes the other Fighter for an okay start. Sparse, but I'll never refuse a unit's primary offensive stat and Spd.

Intentionally taking a counterattack is another way to get Persecution Complex.

Caspar finishes off the Archer after Edelgard weakens them, and gets a...weird level.

Calm down, Caspar, you're killing real people here.

The enemy phase is spent on the three units at the top of the screen moving towards us.

Good, Linhardt, good, do more of that.

This is about the extent of the movement I can do on this turn, so let's move on.


You can see Dorothea's personal skill activating on Bernadetta here.

Please hit, Edelgard.

Thank you, Edelgard.


Don't try to excuse that bad level.

Oh, hey, there's our first example of Bernadetta's Minor Crest of Indech. It occasionally gives her an extra attack, and can activate with each normal attack she makes. It can't activate off itself, though. I think Adept in previous games follows the same rules?

Saves me a Thunder charge.

Eh. I'll take it, but I'd prefer more.

Linhardt gets the finishing blow wish his fancy new black magic.


Nothing happened aside from that Fighter moving up.

Caspar moves up to draw aggro from the enemies up there, and concludes the turn.

Oof... Kid's not fast enough to use that axe yet without getting doubled, if it wasn't already obvious.

Well, that's annoying. Advancing forward will get me attacked by the bandits, but I can't get the first strike on them.

Linhardt patches Caspar up so he can act as bait on the enemy phase.

Speaking of which.


Oh, right, enemies can use battalions and gambits too.

Sometimes they're really threatening! This was not one of those times.

Caspar's really taking a beating today.

Time for revenge.

First of all, uh, that needs to be fixed. Immediately.

One down.

Trading on Nosferatu users when you don't double them is difficult.

Hence why I just sic Abby on him.

Another one down.

1-2 range weapons are kinda bad early on, but they're ways to get some damage safely, I suppose.

And now Petra can finish this Fighter off.

And she even gets our first crit! Nice.

Good, I'll gladly take that.

Great move, random mook.

Please, Caspar, I beg of you, do not miss.

Thank you.


Linhardt masters Noble while weakening the nearby Archer.

Bernadetta finishes the job.

At least it has Str.

...See if you can spot my mistake.

It's this.

You think being left behind is unacceptable? Try triggering a defeat condition on chapter 2...

At least I have Divine Pulse.

Right, let's do that, but with an axe that won't break.

My man, do you realize just how dead you are?

I gave Hubert the kill.

I move Bernadetta to the left to end the player phase, splitting our forces in two, to take both avenues of approach to Kostas.

Damn iiiiiiiit.

Attention all enemy units: don't use gambits on me. You'll regret it.

This is certainly...some positioning from me.

No, please stay, I want you to get battalion experience!

Petra opens the chest, and we net a Large Bullion, which can be sold for 5000 gold.

I intentionally position Dorothea so she's not adjacent to Bernadetta. I don't want Songstress causing Persecution Complex to de-activate.

I won't kill the Archer on this turn, since Ferdinand and Edelgard need to drink Vulneraries, but I'll be able to do it easily on the next turn.

He takes one last potshot at Ferdinand, just to spite me.

While this one chunks Caspar's HP.

Caspar gets the last laugh, though.

As does Ferdie.

Bleh. Again, I won't say no to Spd, but get, like, Str or Def in addition to it.

...I feel like sending those four down the west side was a complete waste of time.

I can't wait until Ferdinand's Str is high enough that he can chunk enemies without them being able to counterattack.

Ugh, Hubert's out of Miasma Δ charges.

Abby moves up to not only hit the Archer, but block the Priest.

And Edelgard finishes off the nearby fighter.

Now that's a good level.

Good job, Caspar.

Even while Caspar's holding an Iron Axe, this Priest is too slow to double him.



Now that is what I wanna see, Caspar.

Kostas has no ranged weapon and doesn't move on Hard, so I could just, like. Plink at him with Curved Shot until he dies.

On Maddening, he does actually move, and is a significant threat because of it.
♪ Wrath Strike ♪

I think they might've overestimated you, honestly.

Annoyingly, the fact that Kostas doesn't move also means you won't be getting him off the Heal Tile, which restores 30% of his HP per turn.

And now, we kill him.

Well, that's bad.

And now to humiliate Kostas by killing him with a melee-range magic attack.

I'm not sure why you thought that weird masked person was anything but bad news.


In any case, something about this canyon feels...inexplicably strange.

♪ Gazing at Sirius ♪

I remember this being a peaceful place...

Hmm... I wonder why it is that you recall this place.

You must be weak of heart. Each time I speak, it scares you so.

I'm not scared.
Do you think you can lie to me? It saddens me to know you wish to hide such things from me. Well, anyhow... I am quite fascinated by this place.

Still, it feels familiar.
How very odd. I wonder if somehow, my memories have... Hmm.
I must admit I am unsure. Beyond the name and this strange feeling of familiarity, I can't seem to remember anything about this place.
And yet...a great depth of emotion is tied to that sense of familiarity. Like joy and sorrow. Pain and love. And all things in between... If I was somehow here before, I wonder what took place...

Oh, by the way. It seems you've earned my gratitude. The thieves who came here are no more.

Why are you grateful?
I am not sure myself, yet I am grateful all the same. In any case...
You must become accustomed to my voice! If you fall down with shock each time I speak, that just won't do. Oh... You think you're standing strong? Of course you are! It was a jest.

♪ Spiderweb ♪

I did.

Of course. I expected as much. The area was covered in ruins, each more curious than the last. They did not match the architectural style of any era or culture within the Empire. Or across all of Fódlan, for that matter. That can only mean one thing...

A culture long since perished.

Heh, it's possible they weren't even human.
Hmm, perhaps their remnants still influence this world...
...Hmm. I wonder.

♪ Guardian of Starlight ♪

But why did they target the students to begin with? We must further investigate the true cause of all that took place.

Of course.
Good. I have high expectations for you. By the way, how was your time in Zanado? Legend has it, in ancient times, a goddess alighted upon this world in that very canyon.

A goddess?

The goddess is always watching over Fódlan from her kingdom above. However, in ancient times, the goddess graced this world with her presence and offered salvation to the people here. She is the mother of all life, the arbiter of every soul.

My father never told me.
I see.
During your time here, I pray that you come to devote yourself to the teachings of Seiros.

As you wish. We shall continue our discussion when next we meet.

Oh, how bothersome! It is as though I know...and yet I don't. Perhaps Zanado was my home back when the goddess walked the land.

I don't know.
Hmm... No. That cannot be. I am most certainly alive. Of course, we also have the mystery of why I'm here with you. Is it somehow connected? Perhaps some past regret is stopping me from moving on, and now I'm forced to stay with you instead... No, that's not it! I can't believe in such a meaningless existence! I... I...

Poor Sothis.

Next time: Garland Moon.

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