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Chapter 11 - Do You Want To Have A Sword Fight?

Quick Summary

After slaying Zaebos, Denim headed back toward Coritani to confront the Liberation Army. On the way he saves an idiot blind swordsman from certain suicide. Inside the castle, he battles Leonard in the ultimate stupid contest. Leonard reveals the Duke is meeting the dark knights in secret and that Denim must stop him. Denim's adviser advises him to take some mountain path toward Rime to surprise the Duke.

The Army

As of now we're all still level 20. At this point everyone is kind of flimsy and I have to be careful not to let anyone take more than a couple of hits, because more than that will result in death. One thing I did not account for is the Loyalty system. It's the one thing about this game I'm not thrilled about. Tactics Ogre has a hidden attribute for each unit called "Loyalty." It measures the unit's desire to fight for Denim or their Leader's cause. You can get a ballpark by selecting a unit and doing the descriptor cursor on their name, the phrase that appears gives an idea of what they think. Since we're on the chaos route and our army consists of mostly Walstanians, most everyone's loyalty is middling to low. Fortunately, this can be remedied by allowing units to level up during actual battles and scoring kills. Forcing a unit to kill an enemy of their own race lowers loyalty, making them wait without performing an action lowers loyalty, and certain dialogue choices made during the story can lower or raise loyalty for units of certain alignment. Killing certain races also lowers the starting loyalty of recruits from that race. If a unit is at a low enough loyalty, at the end of a battle they participate in the game will give a warning about their possible desertion. There's also this thing called Chaos Frame...but I'm not going to even get into that, other than say that we're probably not doing so well on that front. It doesn't matter, as it only applies in a very specific circumstance.

Unit Spotlight - Terror Knight
Of all the generic classes in the game, this is one of my favorites. A Terror Knight's unique ability is Terror, a 2-panel range buff, which lowers the attack power of enemies. It affects L-Aligned characters the most, N-aligned half of L, and does not affect C-aligned people. They have decent all around attribute growth and favor axes. There are battles in the game where you must fight  entire squads of them and if you have mostly N or L allies, they will be very difficult fights. Their sprites are also nice looking, though Ashley thought I was a weird lizard or frog. On the downside, it takes a lot of work to get one, they must be C-aligned and have at least 30 kills, which is ridiculous. In the PSP remake they get the sore treatment: the terror effect is replaced by "Lament the Dead" which is a skill that does kind of the same thing, but has a low hit rate. On the upside they get to use dark magic, but lose a lot of their usefulness as you can no longer build a character in that game. Our resident Terror Knights are Peter and Dylan.

Peter - Earth - Terror Knight
HP 226 MP 30 STR 134 VIT 110 INT 108 MEN 129 AGI 140 DEX 140 LUK 49
Equip: Phlanka Axe, Tower Shield, Balder Chest
Kills: 38
Achievements: Boss Blocks

You're still doing alright with your shield/axe combo. Whenever I deploy you, you're my front-line tank due to your handy Terror effect. I typically have two other beaters support you, since if you get swarmed you will die. Hopefully I get to William City soon so you have a new axe to play with.

Josh - Dragoon - Earth
HP 224 MP 28 STR 146 VIT 133 INT 107 MEN 129 AGI 129 DEX 155 LUK 53
Equip: Fafniel, Balder Shield, Balder Chest
Spells: Incubus
Kills: 10
Achievements: Early Riser, One Hit Wonder

You are now the proud owner of a Dragon Shield. I forget if it has any special properties, but it's currently the best shield obtainable at this point in the game. Enjoy.

Sagar - Berserker - Fire
HP 236 MP 48 STR 148 VIT 139 INT 101 MEN 145 AGI 123 DEX 140 LUK 50
Equip: Fire Sword, Power Gauntlet, Balder Chest
Kills: 7
Achievements: Cock Block

You did okay in Vahanna, but in Coritani you got stuck blocking the mage path and healing yourself. Your attributes make you tougher and stronger than the other berserker, so you can take a hit and deal it right back. Dealing damage on a counter is always a useful method of tanking.

Jon - Berserker - Water
HP 237 MP 53 STR 139 VIT 126 INT 109 MEN 143 AGI 131 DEX 147 LUK 50
Equip: Phlanka Axe, Power Gauntlet, Balder Chest
Kills: 9
Fortune favored you and you actually got to do some things, like dealing lots of damage to stuff. Still surprised to see you blocking with that power gauntlet, it saves me a hell of a lot of trouble and allows me to focus support on other dudes.

Gage - Knight - Fire
HP 218 MP 46 STR 151 VIT 123 INT 115 MEN 123 AGI 121 DEX 141 LUK 50
Equip: Fire Sword, Balder Shield, Balder Chest
Kills: 14
Achievements: Damsel In Distress, Stone of Shame
I haven't been paying much attention, but you're one of our highest strength non-monster units. You're slightly stronger than Josh and weaker than Brian, it's too bad your avoid rate is abysmal and I have to panic heal you all the time. Just block an attack once for me, just one time!

Velika - Witch - Earth
HP 193 MP 92 STR 114 VIT 111 INT 139 MEN 145 AGI 136 DEX 145 LUK 50
Equip: Gemini Crossbow, Mind Ring
Spells: Charm, Petrify, HealRain
Kills: 3
Achievements: Dragon Charmer, Stone Cold

I don't know why petrify hits more than any other spell you have, but you managed to petrify almost everyone you threw it at. You were Stone Cold.

Logan - Warlock - Fire
HP 200 MP 114 STR 110 VIT 116 INT 159 MEN 134 AGI 112 DEX 130 LUK 49
Equip: Balder Staff, Mind Ring
Spells: Melt, Stun, Charge
Kills: 4
Achievements: Here Comes The Stun
If it weren't for you, Velika would have had to cast petrify at least 2 more times to do what we did inside Coritani. You managed to stun half the enemy team, allowing her to stone the rest. You gained the achievement Here Comes The Stun, I pick that name because I always imagined your stun spell emulated a solar flare or something, and I always sing that song when bright sunlight shines directly in my face.

Brian - Lizard Man - Water
HP 248 MP 4 STR 163 VIT 143 INT 85 MEN 146 AGI 149 DEX 119 LUK 48
Equip: Aqua, Balder Shield, Balder Chest
Kills: 20
Achievements: Murder Hobo
Your Rambo days are over, as the damage enemies are dealing is so high that I can't leave you alone anymore. Still, it's not that easy to kill you and you have the rest of team Dragon Squad for support.

Rob - Golem - Wind
HP 147 MP 0 STR 201 VIT 146 INT 89 MEN 142 AGI 68 DEX 75 LUK 50
Kills: 2

People really weren't kidding when they said Golems are not great. They're not, but that isn't stopping me from using your skills as an item carrying wall to their full extent. You're the least of my troubles and still do an acceptable amount of damage when you connect a shot. There was one attempt where you dodged every single arrow fired at you, though that wasn't the one that made it in.

HP 186 MP 120 STR 121 VIT 105 INT 185 MEN 163 AGI 114 DEX 129 LUK 50
Equip: Balder Staff, Balder Staff, Mind Ring
Spells: Meteor, Acid, Pain
Kills: 10
Achievements: Bitchin

It was probably because your race is Gargastan (and we killed a lot of gargastans in chapter 1 and 2), but your loyalty score was so low that I was given a warning that you were considering deserting at the end of the Coritani Gate battle. I had to get you a level up and an MVP in the next battle just to get you to quit yer Bitchin. 

Jay - Octopus/Tiamat - Wind - Black Dragon
HP 248 MP 0 STR 216 VIT 138 INT 108 MEN 161 AGI 85 DEX 84 LUK 50
Kills: 37
Achievements: Charming, Quite Charming

Don't have much to say, in the last 2 battles you either were too slow or were stunned most of the time. You still tank well, but damage is ramping up. Hopefully we get to Tiamat soon.

Dylan - Terror Knight - Wind
HP 231 MP 36 STR 144 VIT 139 INT 108 MEN 139 AGI 132 DEX 139 LUK 50
Equip: Dragon Sword, Balder Chest
Kills: 32

Not entirely impressed with anything in particular, I'm not the most dexterous or the strongest or toughest, but I'm doing okay. Might want to mix in some ninja levels or something just to get the attributes up.

Battle 1 - Vahanna...Again
We're all well and good and OH SHIT! A battle on Vahanna? But it wasn't red! Oh, looks like this is a surprise story battle. Some dude is being chased by ninjas and being a complete badass. Wow! I bet he's going to destroy the enemy!

Turns out this guy is being chased by the Liberation Army and will fight with us. It's Haborym, the Sword Master. Remember from Chapter 1 where Balzepho was talking about this guy? Well here he is. He's supposed to be this blind, but awesome sword fighter right? WRONG! While in this cutscene he was blocking all strikes and cutting down fools like no one's business, he completely sucks in an actual battle. Haborym is a Swordmaster, which works almost like Ninja - where they're fast, but made of paper. In execution they should be staying at range and using support magic and bows, especially if they're built purely as ninja/swordmaster. Properly built, they would be fine in melee, but not this guy. His build is full retard.

Haborym is a huge fucking idiot and will stop at nothing to make sure he dies. With our current army build, saving this guy is almost mathematically impossible, sans the enemy making some weird choices or some act of one of the in game gods allowing him to block something. He will always attack the enemy in melee even if their counterattacks will bring him to critical HP, even if doing so puts him in range of the enemy's attacks, which WILL kill him.
Honestly I was going to just say "fuck it" and let the retarded, blind bastard die. I tried a few times and couldn't do it.

Now I said that it is nearly impossible with our current build, but I had a theory. If my characters were fast enough, in the right circumstances I could heal him with items. So I did the logical thing and made Denim a ninja, stripped him of his weapon and armor, leaving only an item on him and his stupid necklace. I gave Velika the "Quick" spell, just for this battle, because it was our only hope (Quick increases a unit's turn speed). When a character is at low enough HP where they'll die no matter what, they will retreat. Velika cast the quick spell on him and he ran to us. I had Denim use his Cure++ to get him back. All of our characters were the fastest ones, so no monsters. If the circumstances were any different we'd have lost this douchebag again, but by some weird shit and fucked up decisions on the AI's part, we saved him. He ran up the hill and couldn't do anything, but decided to jump back into the fray. Fucking hell, what the fuck, dude?! Logan got a stun in on one of the ninja. For some reason the next ninja chose to attack our guys, saving Habo again.

We managed to kill the enemy off, saving Haborym. I never thought it would happen. I'm pretty sure this battle is just an introduction to Swordmasters and how terrible they are.

Battle 2 - Coritani Gate AGAIN

This one was both easy and difficult. Right now everyone is very vulnerable, especially since the designers thought it was hilarious to give every single enemy a crossbow or greatbow or magic in every single encounter we've done so far. A small force of Denim, Dylan, Logan, and Gage took the bottom while Dragon Squad, Jeff, Velika, and Josh took the top. Velika's petrify spell helped a great deal, disabling the Dark Dragon so we wouldn't have to deal with charm and eventually disabling the archers. Jeff pelted anyone in range with Meteors and Acids, doing big damage they couldn't heal.

The enemy squad on the bottom had issues getting across the way; Logan was blockingthe only means across the upper portion and they refused to try the lower path. Logan kept them busy with stuns while Gage finished off the two lizard men. Dylan attempted to slay the dragon, but the huge counter damage was a threat. All in all the only problem was the archer, who stayed out of threat range.

There wasn't much else to it, just a systematic process of completely humiliating our opponents. Jeff seemed to have issues, but they were handled later.

Battle 3 - Inside Coritani

I'm pretty sure answering "So be it..." results in a 1v1 fight between Denim and Leonard, but our enemy's high base stats accompanied by a 2 level lead makes it a big NOPE. Just one melee attack is enough to chunk more than half of Denim's health, so we refused the duel and commenced the battle. I had to make a few attempts, because every enemy was packing some ranged weapon or spell and Leonard is a bastard. After coming up with a supreme tactic, I easily won the fight.
The key to victory was Logan and Velika disabling every single enemy aside from the leader. Gameplay Note: if an enemy is under the influence of a disabling spell such as sleep or stun, any spell that has a hit-rate will automatically land. So if I happen to, say, stun everyone and then cast petrify, they'll all be stone. That's just what we did, whomever was not petrified on the first go was definitely done in on the second shot following Logan's stun spell. I think the weather changed, because Heal Rain had a very small range this battle, unlike the last battle, but her petrify spell hit 13 panels. That's a lot of petrified units. The only tricky bit was managing Leonard's cannonball arm, but all in all it was an easy fight once the stun/petrify combo was accomplished.

As far as strategy goes, I had our beaters block the path, preventing the crossbow guys from doing any harm to our mages. The witch stunned our Golem and Dragon, so they were out for a while, and she kept dodging our disabling spells. Jeff got some big magic attacks and picked off several enemies, earning him/her an MVP. We did so much damage to the enemy that the Cleric spent her turns healing instead of Vitalizing the petrify away. The turning point occurs HERE where Velika got petrify to land on 5 enemies. The rest of the battle was shuffling our dudes around so Leonard did not one-shot the mages. Peter and Jon took care of the Wizard and others. Sagar went in for the killing blow, but was not strong enough and Ashley ended up stealing it. Ashley wasn't sure if yall know she's my girlfriend, so I'm letting you know that Ashley is my girlfriend. Just FYI.

The Story So Far
I was thinking the same thing

With Zaebos out of the picture we were free to pursue our dreams, which happened to be killing the Duke. Denim headed toward Coritani, because the Liberation Army took that place. In Vahanna he encounters a very suicidal Swordmaster named Haborym, who has Rafa Syndrome (In Final Fantasy Tactics, there is a battle where the player must save a character named Rafa. It isnt against many opponents, but two of them can OHKO and the other is very powerful. Rafa always preferred to attack directly instead of fleeing and using her ranged spells, resulting in her death and only by whacky coincidence would the player finish that battle.) Denim and friends slay the ninja attempting to take Habo's life and he joins the BADASS S army.

Well of course I am, we just had a battle - are you blind?

...fancy yacht in the harbor? Send a link to the Craigslist ad!

This game understands me on so many levels.

We break through the Coritani Gate and Denim faces Leonard once again, this time exchanging some words about Leonard's inability to think for himself and just doing the opposite thing Denim does. They fight and of course Leonard is mortally wounded, yet again quoting Star Wars telling our hero the Duke is about to sign a secret treaty with the Dark Knights. We must stop him at all cost and give Walsta its freedom it is will deserve now!  The only problem is the Duke is expecting us and has a lot of the paths blocked. Our adviser tells us the only way is through some mountains, which Denim balks at for some reason. Oh well, time for a hike!


Our leader, folks.