Let's Play Monster Quest part 16

So last time we did the hardest mission in the entire game.

Now it's time for one of the easiest missions in the game.

Jehanna Hall's pace is largely under the player's control, with only a handful of aggressive reinforcements, which are themselves one-dimensional and easily handled. The trickiest part of the map is probably breaching the rooms successfully, and even that isn't a big challenge. For a first-time player, the map can be aggravating, since you're having to prepare for rooms you can't see into -I seem to recall being unpleasantly surprised by the room full of magic users, for instance- but if you already know what's coming in a general sense, the map is basically just easy experience and easy loot.

Also recruiting Rennac, but whatever. I prefer Colm.


First things first: I bought an Unlock Staff.

... I barely used it in actuality, as it turns out Unlock is even more questionable than I'd realized, but I did buy it like I said I would in a previous update.




It's always annoyed me that the game insists Ismaire is only in charge because her husband the King made it his dying wish. In the first place Medieval European-style logic -among other cases in the world- dictates that Ismaire would be in charge by default, at least until her son came of age, so there's no special stipulation from the dying King needed. In the second place, why imply your distinct desert culture being ruled by a Queen isn't something interesting about Jehanna in general? It'd be an opportunity to do some subtle world building.

The plot-point with Carlyle is also painful, as there's really no reason why Carlyle couldn't be Ismaire's concubine with the King dead. Heck, royal and noble husband/wife combos often slept around on each other with the other's awareness and implicit -sometimes explicit!- permission. Carlyle could've asked, back when the king was alive. This entire thing with Carlyle betraying Jehanna so he can "be with Ismaire" is dumb. It's completely unnecessary, and there's nothing tragic about it -it's just Carlyle being an idiot and creating a problem for no reason at all.

Then there's the shenanigans with time dilation. In one of the longest missions in the game, we have Ismaire dragged off to be killed at the beginning of the mission, and apparently only dying after you've killed Carlyle. Carlyle would almost certainly either join Team Eirika or commit suicide or go run down Caellach to get revenge or something other than be a boss fight for us if he were to learn Caellach had killed Ismaire, but somehow time warps and twists itself into knots so that he dies right before Ismaire does. It's absurd.


Speaking of Carlyle, what the heck he's wielding Audhulma and it has unlimited uses and range 1-2.

Interestingly, Monster Quest has actually lowered his stats -he has a 2 less HP, 3 less Strength, 3 less Skill, 1 less Speed, and 5 less Defense. His Luck and base Resist are unchanged, but otherwise he's very much leaning on Audhulma being kind of horrifying to be a threat, compared to the unmodded game's version of Carlyle.

A point worth noting: Audhulma can crit at range. I didn't take any relevant screenshots, but yikes. Between hitting monsters super effectively, having range 1-2, and unlimited uses, this makes Carlyle a really dangerous nut to crack. Particularly nasty is that Eirika's Affinity -Light- doesn't actually provide crit avoid. As such, if I were to want Eirika set up to be able to totally ignore his crit chance, she'd need two supports -and L'arachel would have to be left out of the list, as she is also Light Affinity. (Eirika's only other Support option that lacks crit evade is Ephraim, with Fire, and you couldn't have more than one rank between the siblings by this point anyway)


There's also this jerk, though he's perfectly normal to this mission. Honestly, normally this guy is the only real hurdle to the mission, and he's easily trivialized with Tethys' assistance or just by using a really high Move unit like Seth if you want complete overkill.

Of course, in Monster Quest my units run slow, so it's going to be Tethys, period.


My choice of units and my starting setup.


First thing is working on clearing out this Soldier, netting L'arachel a meh level.



Marisa takes the kill and gets a much better level. Also the Soldier drops their Door Key. Eh.


Then general moving up happens.

And again with the black background to 'select a unit to refresh'. What is with that?



Turn 2, and no enemies moved at all. I open up by having Neimi kill this Soldier single-handedly, netting her the key, which I promptly send away to the convoy.


A bunch of moving up happens in preparation of opening the western door, and meanwhile over here Tethys uses Unlock to open this door.

This is the only time I use Unlock this mission. Also? I'd thought it had a range formula like a Status Staff, wherein range was higher the more Magic you have. Nope, it just has a range of 1-2. Done. Uuugh.


Ross rushes in to go for the critkill on this Knight.

He doesn't get it.



So Lute lands the kill, grabbing the dropped Chest Key and sending away her Vulnerary to make room.


Then L'arachel goes in and chips this Mercenary.

I checked the numbers and concluded L'arachel couldn't possibly die, even if both Mercenaries and the Shaman landed their hits. I was more concerned about Ross.





And I was totally right, except that I forgot about the Longbowmen.

Fortunately, L'arachel dodged the Longbow shot, so she yet lives, and the run is yet fine.


Opening the door on the left.

Hmm. Could've sworn I screenshotted the area after I opened it.


Marisa goes to finish off the Shaman and gets the crit she needs to instantly kill them. Nice.


L'arachel finishes off one of the Mercenaries instead of retreating while staying out of reach of the Longbows.


Ross breaks out the Swordslayer to finish off the other Mercenary, netting him a decent enough level.


Tethys heals L'arachel.


Artur weakens this Longbow guy, dodges their pathetic retaliation.



Oh, here we are back at the west. We open with Vanessa weakening the Knight, getting a great level and even dodging the retaliation.


Neimi finishes the Knight off with her Longbow.

I end turn.


First action of the enemy turn is the nearly-dead Longbow Archer taking a shot at Ross. They hit, but eh. Whatever.


Mage goes for Colm, lands his hit. That's fine, means less chance of people ganging up on Vanessa and killing her.




Like this. This could've ended in Vanessa's death if the Mage in front had attacked her instead... and she'd gotten hit consistently. Unlikely, but possible.


Some reinforcement Knights arrive now that I've opened the Mage room. Always found this kind of weird, as the Knights aren't actually aggressive. Why not have them just... start the mission there? It's not even going to substantially derail the player's plans. At most it might cost them turns as they shuffle in their anti-Knight units, and turn count affects... nothing. So yeah, no idea what's up with these Knights. One of them has an Axereaver, so maybe they found in playtesting that most people only check enemy items at the start of the battle?


Regardless, Lute opens the Chest and gets me my third Guiding Ring. Huzzah, one for L'arachel!


Speaking of L'arachel, I have her finish off the weakened Longbow Archer, and she gets a nice level out of it.




With Tethys' help, Ross kills this... Steel Bow Archer? Huh. Anyway, she gets another completely ridiculous level in the process, including +2 to Speed. If her Speed cap is a "mere" 30, she's definitely going to hit it.


Vanessa slaughters this Mage in front to open the way.


Amelia runs up, takes a pretty nasty hit, but kills the Shaman regardless.


Neimi comes in and takes out the other Mage, dodging their pathetic retaliation in the process. She's a beast.


Tana swoops in to kill a Shaman, dodges the retaliation. Nice.


I end turn, having decided to not risk Colm attacking the Shaman. Small chance of him dying, if he missed either of his hits and got hit by both the retaliation and their attack on their turn. Unlikely, but I didn't feel like making any more dumb mistakes.


First action of the enemy turn is a Knight successfully baited out by Artur. Does't even land his hit, in fact.


Back down in the Room Of Mages, the surviving Shaman attempts to maul Amelia, but misses.


Longbow guy goes for L'arachel. I went for a screenshot, but it's nothing but white -he landed his hit.


That was, incidentally, the last enemy action of the turn. Here's Ross mauling the Longbow guy and laughing at the idea of retaliation.



Followed by Tethys giving him another move so he can break his Hatchet (finally) on breaking the Archer's face.


L'arachel isn't in fantastic shape, as you can see, but in good enough condition. She kills the Knight Artur baited out.


Neimi finishes off this reinforcement Longbow Archer and -wait, did I forget to screenshot them arriving? Huh. I guess I did. Anyway, she dodges their retaliation and kills them.


Colm loots the first Chest, netting me a Dragonspear. I... have doubts I'll ever use this, but we'll see.


Amelia takes out the Shaman, this time taking damage in the process. Eh.


I end turn after more shuffling about, with Eirika in reach for this Knight to give Eirika free experience.


If I had infinite patience, I could get Eirika to level 20 promoted this way. It'd take hundreds of turns, but I could literally just End Turn over and over and over again, because non-magical attacks don't deduct uses on the weapon if it misses but you still get 1 experience on every fight, bare minimum.

Fire Emblem games are really exploitable, is what I'm saying.


Incidentally, that was the only enemy action, aside from some reinforcements.


Moving to meet the Cavaliers, priority given to Ross -none of those Cavaliers is carrying a Sword. Lances all the way!



Neimi continuing to kill Longbowmen as they come up the stairs. Gets a fantastic level out of it. Awesome.


Colm loots this chest, getting an Energy Ring. I consider having him use it, but decide nah. Fighting is a secondary role for him, and this trend of anti-Monster weapons on nasty foes is a strong argument to have Eirika as battle-ready as possible.


Tana moves to engage these Knights in the expectation that they won't move. Conveniently, she dodges the retaliation.



Vanessa joins in on the fun, killing the Knight, though taking a hit in turn. The Knight drops a Door Key, but Colm is over here, so it's not needed.


Turns out only the Axereaver Knight holds still! Whoops. Second time the run could've ended from me making a mistake.



Two of the three Cavaliers get themselves mauled by Ross. Annoyingly, they both land their hits.

... wait, why is the one standing on grass producing an indoors battle background?


Knight attacking Eirika again. Free experience point.


Lastly, the Cavalier carrying a Javelin goes for Ross and misses.


More reinforcement Cavaliers. Essentially identical to the first batch. Also another Archer coming up the stairs to die.


Neimi kills him, and takes an unlikely hit... for no damage. That's hilarious.


Tana takes out the Knight that tried to kill Vanessa, taking a hit in the process.


Back over with Ross And Friends, L'arachel kills one of the Cavaliers that Ross has weakened.


Marisa kills the other with a completely unnecessary crit.



Ross goes for the Javelin guy, mauling him and gaining a fantastic level in the process. I'm in part trying to ensure Ross is still the main guy in enemy reach.


Tethys gives Marisa another move so she can finish off the Javelin guy. I made sure to check the numbers -Marisa is not at risk of dying, period.

Nothing else happens on my turn.


First Cavalier... goes for Ross? Huh??? I mean, that's great for me, but why? They can get to Marisa from there.

... is this something about monster weapons not being properly accounted for by the AI? Because I really can't make sense of this otherwise.



Second Cavalier also goes for Ross. This one Ross can't double -I guess he generated with higher Speed than the others.


Another experience point for Eirika.


And continuing to boggle me, we have the last Cavalier use his ranged attack to provoke L'arachel. Not Tethys or Marisa? What is this?


Once more, reinforcements.


My turn, and I start by having Marisa take out the Cavalier Ross doubled. She gets a pretty great level out of it, with basically everything I want.


L'arachel weakens the Cavalier Ross couldn't double, and then accepts a heal from Tethys.

I also notice here that L'arachel's lower-front portion of her sprite has weird, greyed out blocky segments. That's... odd.


Botch the pre-battle screenshot, but Artur takes out the Javelin Cavalier that went for L'arachel.



Ross attempts to finish off the Cavalier he can't double... but misses. He's missed in turn, so that's not so bad.


Back over with Neimi, she kills the Archer with a gratuitous flourish.

Some moving around with Neimi's friends happens, but I don't bother to screenshot it.


First action of the enemy turn is the still-alive Cavalier missing Tethys. Thanks for the free experience point!


First of the reinforcement Cavaliers misses Ross, though I just barely missed the screenshot.



Now one of the Cavaliers goes for Marisa. She gets one crit, but not the second she'd need for a kill. She also takes a hit in the process.


Free experience point for Eirika.

I'm curious at this point about how the game's internal ordering actually works. I would've expected reinforcements to all be added to the end of the list or something of the sort, but it's consistently been the case that the melee-only Cavaliers charge and then this Knight takes his turn and then the Javelin-wielding Cavalier takes their turn. Odd.


Anyway, last action of the enemy turn is the Javelin Cavalier missing Marisa. About what I expected.


Ross does a good chunk of damage to the Cavalier guy, dodges their weak retaliation.




With Tethys' assistance, Marisa takes out two Cavaliers. I'd complain about the pointless crit, but she got a perfect level, taking into account that Speed is capped. I'll take it.


L'arachel joins the level fun, with a great level. Still rather physically frail, but overall I like her statline.


Artur finishes off the last Cavalier of the map.


Neimi crit-kills the Knight.

I'd... actually intended for her to soften them up so someone else could get experience...


Turns pass and I stop bothering to screenshot Eirika gaining a free point of experience. These folks are moving to attack the western building from behind once Colm cracks it open.


I finally get bored of Eirika's free experience points and send in Ross to start killing the Knight.



Then L'arachel kills the Knight with Tethys' assistance.


I have Eirika use the Door Key to open the door.

This ends my turn.


The only thing to happen on the enemy turn is this Knight charging Eirika and missing with his Javelin.



Ross promptly kills him and gets an extra move.


After another turn passes, I have Colm open the door to this western room. Two Mercenaries and a Fighter. Eh.


Ross rushes in and one-shots one Mercenary with his Swordslayer.



Lute and Artur soften up the other Mercenary so Marisa can grab the kill.


Then L'arachel and Amelia take out the Fighter.

Done! They didn't even get a turn, or an opportunity to retaliate for that matter.


Hurrying things along, healing people.


Colm looting 10,000 gold.


Moving up, healing people, setting up Ross to be attacked and retaliate.


Instead of the Sniper attacking Ross like  I wanted, we have this jerk Fighter run up and get a hit in on Ross.


Ross promptly kills him and gets a perfect level. Strength is capped, Speed is 1 away from cap. Awesome.


Then Tethys heals Colm for a fantastic level of her own. Only one +2, but she's still fine.



Enemy turn again, and this time we have Ross actually killing a Hand Axe Fighter, which in turn opens the way for the Sniper to come in and hurt Ross. Ross misses his retaliation, annoyingly.


Ross backs up and L'arachel comes in, because I don't like Ross' low hit odds. She even dodges their retaliation, which is convenient, though I was ready to have Tethys heal her if she'd gotten hit.



Instead Tethys gives her another move, and she kills the Sniper for an okay level.


Next turn we have moving up, with Tethys helping L'arachel get into a position to bait out some Archers you can't see in this shot.


First Archer baited out and barely left alive.


I have Amelia take the kill with her *Slim Lance, getting her an okay level, while L'arachel moves to bait out the other Archer.


More healing.


Also, I finally catch "wall being poisoned". Very silly.


Archer the second baited out, and L'arachel dodges this one. Nice.


With how packed the corridor is, I just have L'arachel take the kill.


Some turns later, I have Eirika punch her way into this room.



And here's Rennac.

First and foremost, he has 12 more HP. He also has 7 (!) more Strength, 4 more Skill, 4 more Speed, 12 more Luck (!!), 7 more Defense, and... well, his Resist, Move, and Constitution are all unmodified.

He's way more useful as a combat unit than in the base game, continuing Monster Quest's trend of turning pre-promotes into respectably good, or at least reasonably usable, units. Since Entombed also have +15 to crit, he's also pretty reliably going to have a chance of a crit on enemies -even at his current statline, only enemies with obscene Luck (Or a Hoplon Guard) will be completely outside of his ability to crit.


So L'arachel promptly recruits him.

You can have Eirika do it instead, but he'll charge a good chunk of change for the privilege. It's not like L'arachel is a big handicap to bring along, so unless you're playing some kind of challenge run -like an ironman one where L'arachel has already died- there's not really any reason to do that. In the regular game, Rennac is of limited use, so if you can't hire him for free I'd consider just killing him for the Member Card. He can be nice if you've decided to promote Colm into an Assassin, or if, again, you're running an ironman challenge and Colm has died, and I actually usually use him on a specific later mission just because it's time limited and there's two sets of chests placed far apart, but while money isn't super important he's still normally not worth just shy of 10,000 gold.


Anyway, Ross rushes in and, to my pleasant surprise, lands both of his hits, killing this Shaman. The Shaman lands their own hit, but eh.


Down south, Colm opens the door.



Annoyingly, I didn't bring the Heavy Spear, so Tana settles for trying to Killer Lance the Knight out of the way. She neither gets a crit nor dodges their retaliation. Ugh.



Over more northerly, Amelia handily slaughters one of the Fighters -this one carrying a Swordreaver he promptly drops. Since I already have a Swordslayer, this isn't very useful. To the convoy it goes.


Neimi breaks out the Longbow to weaken the other Fighter, since she can't move far enough to actually use a regular Bow.


With Tethys' assistance, Artur swoops in to finish off the Knight.


Marisa gets a completely gratuitous crit in finishing off the Fighter Amelia mauled earlier. Oh well.


It abruptly occurs to me -do Entombed behave like Rogues, and Rennac's Lockpick is gratuitous, or are Entombed restricted to standard Thief behavior?

They're restricted to standard Thief behavior. That's... unfortunate.

Sort of weird given that Monster Quest is giving me so many unlimited use weapons, and yet it's reversing Sacred Stones' "promoted Thieves don't burn money" piece. Oh well. Makes me feel better about how strong of a combat piece Rennac is, actually.


I once again have Eirika eat an Energy Ring. Maybe a bit poor of a choice? She might've hit her ultimate Strength cap without it, and she's been pretty decent at dealing out damage so far. Still... most of my party members either completely suck or have above-their-current-level Strength/Magic scores, so I'm not sure there's really a better choice. Colm is still the only obvious alternative, and Strength just isn't that important to his role.


Healing.

Then my units dogpile onto the door in preparation of opening it.


I open it, and this Myrmidon is the only unit worth noting -he has a Killing Edge, and will drop a Hero Crest on death. Excellent.


Once again, Ross steps up to the plate and one-shots a Sword-guy with his Swordslayer.


Tana is the first into the breach after that, taking her Axereaver to slaughter this Fighter. I'm not even sure why I screenshotted the battle... it was a foregone conclusion.



Vanessa's next, going after a Shaman... and neither of them accomplish anything. O...kay then.


Marisa comes along and makes it all better, even getting the first-strike crit I wanted.


Neimi goes to kill this guy, and somehow I manage to again just screenshot a white screen.


Moving up happens and Tethys heals Amelia because why not. She's going to need S Staff at some point...


Enemy turn opens with a Knight failing to do anything to L'arachel.


The Shaman takes a potshot at Tana, but she's still alive.



My turn, and I open up by having Marisa kill the Knight for a level. It lands a hit in retaliation, annoyingly, but that's a pretty great level given Skill and Speed are capped.


Colm easily destroys the Shaman, rendering this little area safe. He's actually one of the lower-level members of this team right now, I'm trying to correct that.


Healing.


Rennac looting a Spear.


I move a bunch of people up, with L'arachel ready to bait out this Shaman.


She dodges easily.


While working out who should attack the Shaman, I noticed that his crit chance was anomalously high. So I checked, and Luna has 10 crit chance in Monster Quest. That's... great. Thanks Monster Quest.

Oh well, at least it's not Rekka No Ken, where Luna has like 40 crit or something. 10 Crit plus poor Shaman Skill is possible to be immune to with Luck alone, as L'arachel just demonstrated.


Colm loots a Hammerne Staff. That's cool, though I almost never actually-


What.

Wh- why would you do that?? Now the only limit on weapon uses is how many turns I'm willing to spend on Hammerning everything back to perfect condition!

This is nuts.


Anyway, after some thought I decide to have L'arachel kill the Shaman after all.


More healing.


The Berserk Staff guy. How I loathe him.




... well, that was easy.

Technically you can actually get this guy's Berserk Staff for yourself, but you'd have to bait him into healing an ally and then kill him so he dropped it instead of the Mend Staff. I don't really consider it worth the effort.


Opening this door...


... and setting up to bait out a Knight with Ross.


I missed the screenshot of them targeting him, but Ross baited them out successfully.


Checking Tethys' Staff level. Want it S as soon as possible.


L'arachel takes the kill and gets a great level.


Healing, setting up for the next bait.


Baited.


Marisa grabs the kill, and though she gets no crits she also dodges the retaliation, so whatever.


To my surprise, at some point in approaching the Throne, these three Knights lined up in front of Carlyle started moving. That's... actually more convenient than if they stayed still in reach of the Monks, if I'm entirely honest. Weird. I didn't even remember them having this movement trigger.


Anyway, setting up to meet them.



Ross crit-kills the first one on his second hit. Eh. Unlimited use weapon, actually useful damage increase, enemy initiated the attack. Works for me.


Ross then weakens the next one on my turn.


Lute kills it, gets a Heavy Spear out of the kill. Okay.


Tethys gets another fantastic level out of giving Lute another move. She's guaranteed to cap Luck now.


Then I have Lute kill the Knight using the *Thunder tome. I want her promoted!


Some turns later I've baited out the first Monk with Eirika.

Note Marisa off to the west. She's doing something mildly important.


Ross takes the kill, accepting a decent-strength retaliation in the process.


He gets healed.


Eirika baits out the other Monk.


Reinforcement Shaman. As far as I can tell, these are triggered by approaching the Throne, which has always seemed like a weird decision to me.


Marisa reaches the Secret Shop!


I buy a Knight Crest and a Hero Crest.


Then Colm kills the Monk and gets healed.

Note Tana's position.


Enemy turn, and the first Shaman suicides on Tana without even landing his hit. She gets a solid level out of it.


The other Shaman went wandering North, unable to reach Tana, and two new Shaman showed up.


Tana runs down the one that went north, takes a hit this time. She's still fine.


I decide to have Neimi take a shot at Carlyle with the Longbow, having discovered his Sword has a crit chance even at range. She'd survive one effective hit, but only if it didn't crit. Not worth the risk. She misses, of course.



Tethys-assisted try 2 lands the hit this time.


Enemy turn, and one Shaman goes to die on Tana's Javelin.


The other one goes to let L'arachel rip off 2/3rds of his health.


She finishes him off on my turn.


Tethys heals Tana.


I continue to have Neimi waste turns on trying to hit Carlyle.




This continues for a bit, with her getting a pretty great level out of her efforts, given that two of her stats are capped.


There's a bunch more screenshots of Neimi taking potshots at Carlyle, but let's skip to: once he's down to 1 HP I take a dumb risk and give Marisa the kill even though her Accuracy is shaky and he could one-crit-kill her.


Looting ensues.

Well. The game pretends that Ismaire somehow had these hidden on her person and she gave them to us, but... really? Where? A sword is not easy to hide, even in voluminous robes, and frankly I'd expect people to be suspicious of books by default in any Fire Emblem setting. It honestly makes a lot more sense to imagine that our heroes looted these, and the bad guys just didn't care to grab them.

Anyway, fire ensues.

--------------------------

See you next mission.

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