With the Anya Kingdom route of Fire Emblem if done, I handed 2000 yen over to the Nintendo e-shop and downloaded the Byakuya Kingdom route. I'm leaving it on Normal since I just want to power through this route so that I can start on the third route ASAP. Last time my Kamui was male with Sorcerer as his secondary job, this time Kamui will be female with Samurai as her secondary. The game gives Kamui such a nice sword that keeps getting upgraded and I didn't get to use it at all last time, this time I'll put it to good use. As for looks, the default settings for fem Kamui are plenty cute so I just stuck with them. Again, I don't want to think too hard about this route, I'll save harder difficulties and decisions for the Invisible Kingdom route.
Skipping ahead to the decision point in Chapter 6, this time Kamui opts to side with Byakuya Kingdom at the battle with all the siblings. This decision made a hundred times more sense than last route, and Kamui didn't come off sounding like a moron in it either. When I sided with Anya last playthrough, Kamui was convinced that the whole 'being sent on a suicide mission with an exploding sword' thing was just a misunderstanding with Garon (Ryouma couldn't believe the stupidity), but this time Kamui herself points out to Marx that if Garon really cared about her, he wouldn't have tried to throw her life away like that. After chasing away the Anya siblings, our first mission is to help Sakura tend to the wounded. An Anya strike force led by Kamui's old childhood friend Silas interrupts us and attacks - we beat them down and force Silas to surrender, but Kamui realizes that he went easy on her forces. He couldn't bring himself to actually kill Kamui when the whole reason he became a knight was to meet her again. When he joined in the Anya route, Kamui couldn't remember anything about them being childhood friends, but this time Kamui remembers quickly about the knight's vow he made to protect her. I'm not sure if this difference is because of Byakuya/Anya difference or Kamui's gender, but it makes our relationship with Silas a lot less awkward than it was last time when Kamui couldn't even remember him.
We get word that Ryouma and Takumi have gone missing after the latest battle, so Sakura and the rest of us set off to find them, meeting up with Hinoka and her retainers on the way to join forces. Along the way through a neutral tribe's territory, we're attacked by wild Nosferatu, but when we strike them down they are actually warriors from the neutral tribe. It turns out that King Garon's right-hand man Macbeth put illusions on both our party and the neutral village's warriors to make us see each other as Nosferatu to make us fight. Fortunately we clear things up with the village elder Fuuga (the same village elder that we met much later in the game in the Anya path, once again he's very interested in Kamui's legendary sword) and he lets us pass. He also sends a kid named Tsukuyomi with us who has always wanted to travel outside the village. From the wiki earlier I know that this kid is the father of Syalla, so in order to gay-marry his daughter I'll be having him pair up with someone in my army ASAP. Isn't he like 13 or so? Maybe I'll pair him up with Orochi since they're both spellcasters. This would make Orochi quite the criminal since she's a proper adult, though. I think Tsukuyomi's time-travel-aged daughter is going to be older than he is. Sometimes it feels like this isn't a game, it's a twisted eugenics simulator.
Anyway, we're off to another neutral territory - the same one that we visited in Anya Kingdom route where an Anya impostor named Zoura disguised himself as the ruler before capturing the Byakuya royals. He's up to his same old tricks here, luring Kamui and Sakura into a room pretending like he's going to have his country's specially trained doctors tend to the party's wounds but actually attempting to execute them. Fortunately Hinoka saw through the ruse and counter-ambush him. He tries to run, but Leon stops by to execute him, telling him that he's a cowardly failure who doesn't deserve to return to Anya. Kamui stops Leon from executing him, and actually allows him to join her party when he begs to. I don't think this will end well, but we'll see.
Since two neutral territories in a row wasn't enough, we head through a third neutral territory full of ninjas on the way to search for Ryouma and Takumi. However, it turns out they have dropped their neutrality and sided with Anya Kingdom in exchange for being promised a lot of territory after the war is over, so a fight begins. Near the start of the battle, Takumi wanders into the battlefield and everyone is relived to see him, but he's possessed by some magic and shoots at Hinoka and everyone else, muttering about how nobody pays attention to him and everyone loves Kamui more than they love him, boo-hoo. If you bring Aqua next to him and talk, she can use her song's magic to dispel the magic controlling him and he'll join up, he's a real beast of a unit at this point thanks to his amazingly powerful bow. After the fight we make up with Takumi, who apologizes for being such an ass, and explains that during the last battle he actually fell down the endless chasm that divides the two countries, the same one that Kamui and Gunther fall down in Chapter 2. He doesn't remember anything between when he fell, and when Aqua dispelled his curse here. Hmm. Remember, in the Anya Kingdom route Takumi is the last boss and he's too far gone for Aqua's song to do anything but weaken him a bit by that point.
Next up we're headed to find Ryouma. So far I like the Byakuya route story more than Anya. It's nothing special yet, but it's also not offensively terrible yet like Anya was. Just standard JRPG stuff, which is fine. I like most of the characters who have joined up so far. Sakura's samurai retainer Kazahana is seriously sizzling, if I was playing male Kamui again this route I'd probably choose her for S-rank. I have a feeling I'm going to be overloaded on sword-users this run though between Kamui, Kazahana and Ryouma all using swords. I'm also terribly overloaded on ninjas, for now I'm just sticking with Saizou since I already had Suzukaze last route. Compared to the Anya Kingdom route, Byakuya route is full of infinite grinding and money-making opportunities with repeatable overworld battles. There's absolutely no stressing about characters 'hogging' experience because you can always just fix it later in free battles. If I was playing this route seriously I would reset and play on at least Hard, because there's absolutely no challenge on Normal, but I just want to get through to third route so I'm sticking with this.
Random JRPG blogging about the games I'm currently playing.