Update 88: Cats Are Nice

♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Battle of the Eagle and Lion?
Have Lady Rhea and Seteth really not filled you in? Well, if that's the case, I'm happy to explain.
The Battle of the Eagle and Lion takes place every year during the Wyvern Moon. It can best be described as a mock battle between the three houses.
Much like the one we had during the Great Tree Moon. Do you remember, Professor?
Yes, I remember.
This battle will take place in Empire territory, at Gronder Field. In other words, far removed from the monastery. It's a mock battle between the three houses. The house that defeats the most opponents wins.
Your Highness, if the rumors are true, I believe Professor Manuela and Professor Hanneman will not be joining us.
Ah, yes, right you are. Given recent events, Professor Manuela has opted to sit this one out. Since she won't be present, Professor Hanneman has decided to skip this year as well.
What should I do?

Professor Manuela! Are you feeling better already?
Thanks to all of you. But I'd only be a burden out there. My students don't need to see me collapsed. Well, not on the battlefield, anyway.
In that case, perhaps it is best that you sit this one out.
Correct, we will not be participating. Regardless, do not expect victory to come easily. Or at all.
Well put. We've spent the past few months pushing our students to their limits. You can see me in the infirmary after they destroy you.
This doesn't seem fair...
Oh my, look at you. If you're as confident as all that, my students will walk all over you.
We have taught our students well. There is no need to hold back. Challenge them with everything you have!

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Dedue/Annette B+.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Hehe, it's fine! Honestly, it's pretty funny when you think about it.
I did not expect the horse to react so violently when I approached.
No kidding! And I didn't expect the two of us to get covered in hay.
Animals have never taken to me. It must be as you said—my face is the problem.
I have not honed my smile well enough. I deeply regret the trouble I've caused you.
Don't be ridiculous! And especially don't be sad. It's no trouble at all, I promise.
Everyone makes mistakes. Isn't that what you've been trying to teach me?
Yes, I suppose so.
It does look like this will take a while to clean up...
But if we work together, it'll be done in no time!
I am truly sorry.
Don't apologize. When it's your turn for stable duty, I'm happy to help.
Sure! And in return, you can help me out when I'm on kitchen duty.
Of course.
By the way, I tried out all that stuff you mentioned before. About how to not be a scatterbrain. I'm still pretty hopeless, but thanks to you, I'm making fewer mistakes. It's probably not a good idea for me to be left alone around knives and boiling water though.
That's why it'll be really nice knowing you have my back!
You have changed.
You no longer fear approaching me for help. You simply ask. And now, when the need arises, I will rely on you too.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Bernadetta/Leonie B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Hey, thanks! You've helped me a lot lately. I feel like I should be doing this stuff myself.
But ever since you patched up my sleeve, I've been really interested in your craft.
Craft? You mean my embroidery?
Yeah. When I saw what you were doing, I thought, "What the heck is that?" But it turned out to be a nice touch, once I was actually wearing it. Practical too. When you're embroidering, you patch up the torn parts with new cloth, right?
And that strengthens it, so the same part won't break as easily next time.
Uh, I'm glad you like it.
At first, I felt like you thought it was stupid. I was worried you secretly hated me or something. It made me pretty scared to show you my stitching.
Haha, sorry. I should have told you I liked it. Thanks, Bernadetta. I'm glad I asked for your help.
Oh, um. It's nothing.
What'd you make this time? A hornet, huh? You do like the scary critters, don't you?
It zips out from the trees and strikes—just like you!
I sting like a hornet, do I? Actually, I like that. You know, you ought to be more confident.
Um. What?
You're good enough at sewing that you could make a living out of it. You should take pride in that.
Oh, no-no-no-no. I could never do that. Trust me, I'm completely useless.
Your skills would be really useful to the war effort too. We're always needing equipment mended.
Useful? Oh, no-no-no. I'm completely useless, even more so on the battlefield.
That's not true at all. You've been a great help! Maybe I'm a better fighter, but I've got nowhere near the same skill at sewing.
We can help each other. Isn't that what friends do?
Friends? We're friends?
Hey, come on! I know you're not the most confident, but this is getting silly.
Of course we're friends. I completely trust you. Of course we're friends. I completely trust you.
Heh-heh! Leonie?
Get your clothes torn up as much as you want! I'll always be here to patch them right up!
Right—for sure. But I wasn't just talking about embroidery, you know.

♪ A Guide for the Future ♪

Oh, Black Market Scheme is available, huh...
♪ No music ♪

Things are going by real fast, I just skipped over the first exploration of the month.

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

I would be delighted.
Fantastic. Please think about what you'd like to eat. After all, such magnificent guidance must work up quite an appetite. I've studied swordsmanship for some time, but your mercenary skills are something else entirely.
Speaking of which, there's...another question I must ask you. Were you reconciled with the reality of battle from your first foray? With...the killing part, I mean.
No. It's never easy.
I see.
And you?
No... I do not carry that burden well. I doubt that will change, no matter how many years come and go. The first time I led on the battlefield, I was sent to quell a rebellion in the west.
It was not a difficult fight. The enemy was not well-trained and their morale was low. A swing of the lance, and your opponent falls. A flash of your blade, and a path opens up. That's the sort of battle it was. Easy...right?
What caused the rebellion?
The noble family from that area sought to seize the throne after my father's untimely death. The leader of the rebel army was defeated and the rebellion quelled. This was at the height of the post-war period. I recall coming across a dead soldier's body. He was clutching a locket. Inside was a lock of golden hair. I don't know to whom it belonged. His wife, his daughter...mother, lover... I'll never know.
He was a soldier. An enemy. Someone we had cut down without hesitation. But in that moment, I realized he was also a real person, just like the rest of us. Of course, we cannot stand idly by and allow anyone to commit senseless acts of violence. Yet in dispensing what we call justice, we take the lives of cherished family members. Beloved friends. Killing is part of the job, but even so... There are times when I'm chilled to the bone by the depravity of my own actions.
I've felt the same way.
That you feel the same way is more comforting than you could know. Professor? May I speak freely? When we first met, I thought of you as someone who felt no strong feelings about killing your enemies.
I could never trust someone who kills without batting an eye. My heart won't allow it.
But after speaking with you and getting to know you better, I can see you're not like that.
Now I know, with all my heart, that I can trust you. Thank you for that.

♪ No music ♪

...Kid's got some trauma from killing other people, huh?
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

I wonder just how many hours of my life I spent playing through exploration days that I just...completely skip over when writing these updates.

Dedue/Ingrid B.
♪ Calm Winds Over Gentle Waters ♪

Dedue. Saving the day again?
I'm the one who owes you an apology. You've saved my life how many times now? If I keep being so callous, I'll seem ungrateful.
No matter.
I'm accustomed to it.
I'm sorry, Dedue.
Because the way I speak to you is unnecessarily harsh. The truth of it is, I lost someone very dear to me in Duscur. The punishment came swift to your people, and when I heard of the slaughters...

But you? You're different. You seem nothing like the people of whom I speak. So why not speak back against how I and so many others feel? Why not question this unfair prejudice, and tell me I haven't the right to hold a grudge against you? If you'd just speak to me—if you'd tell me the truth about all of this...
I do not know the truth of it, myself. His Highness says the tragedy was not the fault of my people. But just like anywhere, there were many different people in Duscur. Some very good, and others very bad. It is not unimaginable that some may have conspired to take part in that wickedness. Perhaps we are merely victims. Or perhaps we are regicidal monsters.
Whatever the truth of it is, you are not to blame. The people I hate are the ones who are responsible for that whole mess. You...you just got caught up in all of it.
You've rushed to my side—you've saved me countless times. I am sorry for how I've treated you. Truly.
If you think of me as your ally, that will suffice. For me, that is enough.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

...Oof. That support scene is a...really clumsy way to show a character beginning to understand that their prejudices are, for lack of a better term, bad. "One of the good ones" is a phrase that comes to mind.
♪ Corridor of the Tempest ♪

I decided to clear out my quest battle backlog. My decision is well-rewarded, at least as far as this first level goes.

Never mind.

That's okay.

That is not.

Neither is that.

Much better.

Raph, please.

Bizarre to see Ingrid's Str so ahead of her Spd.

I'll take it. Spd and HP + Def is good for high-Str characters.


Ingrid's Str is high enough, for now, that I will accept this.

Thank you, Yuri.
♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

Three sets of auxiliary battles means quite a few supports built up!

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

Oh, there's no need for such humility. Thanks to all of your hard work, you're improving rapidly.
If you're going to praise me, it should at least be after I've won a match against you.
You know, Ingrid... I may be the victor when we cross spears on foot like this... But on horseback, your handling of a lance is far superior. Can't I be allowed to have my own area of expertise?
No, I cannot allow that. It's my duty to get stronger, to fight with all I have in defense of the Kingdom and its people.
Such high stakes. By the way, where did you learn that fierce jab of yours? I'm pretty sure the only other person I've seen perform that move is Glenn...
So, you recognized it? Yes, he shared much with me.
I thought as much. I never imagined I would be on the receiving end of one of his techniques again.
Glenn and I once studied under the same instructor. I've sparred with him more times than I can count.
Ah, yes—he was never short on praise for you!
"Lord Dimitri is incredible—such skill! There's no way I'll ever outmatch him!" Things of that sort.
Well now! He never said any of that to me.

That is true. We spent about as much time arguing as we did training.
I can't believe it's been four years since the Tragedy of Duscur... Since we lost Glenn, along with so many others.
So it has. Time moves quickly. Things have changed so much.
Despite the sorrow, I intend to become a powerful knight. A knight like yourself...and like Glenn. I will do so for the sake of my homeland, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and for all who have died protecting it. To that end...I hope you will spar with me again in the future, Your Highness.
It would be my pleasure. After all, I value our training sessions as much as you do.

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

So Glenn wasn't any more forthcoming with his feelings than Felix, eh?

Dedue/Flayn C. Ooh, I love this support chain.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪


Slow down. Your dinner is not going anywhere.
I am not sure it is your business to tell me how to consume my meal.
You must admit this food is absolutely delectable! I have not eaten something this tasty in ages!
Well, good.
I suppose my enthusiasm is a tad overwhelming. Do you happen to know who cooked this meal?
I did.
You are the chef?!
Today, yes.
I...I do not think I have ever been brought to tears by a meal... Dedue, you are a chef without peer! Why, that was truly more delicious than anything I have eaten in all my years!
I highly doubt that.
No need for modesty. I could certainly never make anything even remotely so delicious. Hmm, that gives me an idea.
Will you please teach me how to cook such delicacies as the one I ate just now?
You want me to teach you to cook?
Indeed! I have never been so emotional over cuisine—you must teach me your ways!
Very well. But only if you are serious and do not quit halfway through.
I would not dream of it! Thank you, Chef Dedue!

♪ Life at Garreg Mach Monastery ♪

How can you not enjoy Flayn's sincere devotion to wanting to learn how to cook after eating something delicious?

Brigand was absolutely the wrong choice for this Raphael, he really needs the extra Spd from being a brawler.

Brigand is the correct choice for Felix, though.

Annette becomes a priest, for whatever that matters.

Alright, let's do Sylvain's paralogue. This is gonna be...kinda brutal.

I'll be skipping over the story bits.
♪ As Swift as Wind ♪

The Forgotten is not as much of a jump up in difficulty as other paralogues are on Maddening, but it's still a jump.

For whatever reason, a brawler in the upper-right of the map was moved one tile to the right, hence the gray icon and the purple one right next to it. Otherwise, the important unit additions on Maddening are the extra armored knight and archer on the west and northwest, which make approaching the northwest thief more difficult.

I'll summarize the bosses' buffs here: anywhere from +4 to +7 to their damage stats, anywhere from +5 to +6 to their Spd, and significant buffs to their Def/Res. No additional abilities, though.

Here's the group I'm taking—some of our best units (Lysithea, Constance, Ingrid), and some middlers (Sylvain, Yuri, Caspar).
♪ No music ♪

This is, like, my fifth or sixth attempt at the map. Most of the adjustments I had to make after a failed attempt were shuffling battalions (and, by extension, gambits) around.

♪ Tempest of Seasons ♪

This clusterfuck is exactly as dense as it is on lower difficulties, just made harder due to the enemies having higher stats than normal.

This guy isn't very useful as a gambit target, so I have Hapi erase him.

Much better. The gambit, not the level.

That brawler is real dangerous, so I have Sylvain burn a use of Assault Troop to both lock him down, and kill that brigand.

Going north is also dangerous, what with the three archers, two of which you have no hope of touching on the first turn.


Good work.

That's the two northern blockers out of the way.

These four have a lot of ground to tread. So, Stride!

Unlikely? Yes. Still going for it.

Blaze is perfect for this bottom right group, especially on Maddening.

Why is this happening?!

Stylish crit, incredibly unstylish level.

That's the southern escape route blocked off, at least, which doesn't matter because none of the enemies will run to that unless you're real slow killing the enemies the eastern group starts next to, for whatever reason.

Physical units, even non-armored knights, are quite high on Def on this map, so levin swords are very useful for Adan.

Like, we're dealing with enemies whose levels are in the 20s. Our highest level is...maybe 14?

Damn, man, keep that up.

Really, really wanted a crit there, to the point that I was desperate enough to use Grounder entirely for its +5 Crit.

Whatevs, Caspar was able to exact-kill that archer.

Just the boss on the northwest, now.

...Jesus christ.

At least Bernie was able to kill the eastern mage.

Without Constance, Bernadetta would've been targeted by the mage on the enemy phase, and likely defeated.

Just to give you an idea of how dangerous enemy gauntlet users are on Maddening to anyone that isn't an armored knight.

Sylvain, unfortunately, misses Def, which would've been real helpful with that gauntlet user right there.

You asked for it!


The brawler misses two of his four hits, saving Adan 14 HP.

This mercenary's also a big threat.

We're making good time with the southern half of the map, but the northern map is still stuffed with enemies. The six thieves in the center are going to be troublesome.

Yuri put Caspar back to full HP, letting Caspar act as bait for that archer.

Take this!

No need to show off.

Without Uncanny Blow, Hapi would have 64 Hit against this guy. Gross.

Yep, you said it.

Enemy gauntlet users are real bastards to hit with Bolting.

[Berndetta-2] Get back!

Good, that's a good crit.

Good dodge! Saves, like, ~20 HP?

For all the hassle the bottom group of enemies gave me, the boss still gets torn to shreds by even the slightest hint of magic.

Caspar deals the opening blow to the northwestern boss.

Ugh. With a crit on that archer, Ingrid could've taken out the boss.

Instead, she has to finish off that archer.

Like I said, enemy gauntlet users are extremely hard-countered by armored knight units, or at least units with really high natural Def. Even for all of their problems, you could make a decent case for using one armored knight to draw out enemy gauntlet users on Maddening. Maybe.

...Screw it, why not try taking out the boss from long-range, shut off the escape point?

That's not gonna help this endeavor.

Ah, fuck, I didn't check to see if the boss had a gambit for attacking melee units.

And now the thieves in the center are starting to run.

Boss taken care of, excellent level acquired.

And that's all of the exits sealed off.


Aw, c'mon, that's just the level from earlier with Def, that's not any better.

And that's another tricky bit cleared.

For Dedue, that level is very good.

Just 10 enemies left, six of which are just thieves.

Adan is useful for softening up enemies, if nothing else...

Sylvain's got a lot of Str, but not much else.

Well, that's an abysmal level.

So many bad misses this map.

Smile for me!

Now you crit...

Fine, all is forgiven.

We're almost done.

Ahh, that feels good.

No crit, no problem.

Constance is here to clean up.

We're down to thief cleanup now, really.

Weird thing to say, I know, but I wish Adan would get Mag.

Stride'll let Constance and Bernadetta finish off thieves.

...I don't entirely remember why I went for this, but...

Well, it worked out, I guess.

And that's that.
♪ No music ♪

Gimme gimme gimme!

Since we already got the Lance of Ruin, that bit of the ending dialogue is just skipped over.

Next time: a paralogue that nearly broke me. Not "the paralogue." "A paralogue."

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