Slums of Zenobia

Hidden Cities - 3
Treasures - 5

This is your first "real" mission. In the first ones, you were just taking back the subjugated land of Zenobia. This is its capital. From this stage on, you'll be fighting outside your home turf and the Empire will get very serious. Debonair, the boss of this stage, is one of four renowned Imperial Generals, and belongs to a unique class.

The stage is tricky. There are numerous hidden goodies, two special characters waiting to be recruited, and the enemy base is surrounded by impregnable walls which can only be breached normally by flying units (and, if you use Canopus for scouting only like I do, they'll be absurdly weak).

First send a unit northwest of your base along the road to a Roshfallian Temple. If the enemy doesn't come at you then, send it even further northwest to the city of El Rangen. There most of the enemies will be intercepted. Send another unit west of your base and across the river to Pruzen, and west of there to Fillia, where there is a shop that sells Heal All items, which heal all of the members of a unit at once and are thus very useful. Send another unit to Anberg, the city directly southwest of El Rangen, and almost all of the enemy's advance routes will be dammed up. Now send a scout to the island north of Fillia to find a hidden Temple. There you will obtain the Termite item. When you use this item when standing near the walls around Zenobia, they'll come down, but don't storm the enemy base yet!

There is a hidden city (Palma No) near the mountains slightly north of your base. There's also a hidden city (Kal Robs) on the island just west of Zenobia, under the enemy's nose. And there is treasure all over the map (to find which you should consult the Maps section of the shrine).

Now for the two characters. One is a Beast Master named Lyon. When you enter Anberg he'll join you for 20,000 bucks. Pay it; the bonuses you earn at the end of the mission plus the tributes should more than compensate. The other is a very, very strong high-ALI Knight named Ashe. He is in the walled city of By'Roit. Liberate that city with a flying unit (since you don't want to waste your Termites and ground units can't get through walls). Definitely allow Ashe to join. His unit is extremely strong and will soon become one of your main attack units.

With all this done, you're free to storm Zenobia. If you use Ashe's unit he'll have a talk with Debonair prior to the fight. Either way you'll have a fight, and it won't be easy.

Boss: General Kaus Debonair
HP: 148 | STR: 116 | AGI: 122 | INT: 104 | CHA: 62 | ALI: 82 | LUK: 56
P: 53 | F: 37 | I: 43 | E: 39 | B: 29 | W: 72

debonair.GIF (23580 bytes)What you've seen up to this point is nothing. The Empire now begins to fight very seriously. General Debonair is part of a unique General class, a class with very few members (all of whom you will eventually fight). He totes a powerful sword and his defenses are extremely high, as are the defenses of those two Red Dragons. The Dragons' only attack is Bite, and it misses often, however, if they bother you, remove them with a Fool card (but then be sure to defeat the General or they'll be back the next round). As you can see from this screenshot, I had two Mages by this time (upgrade from Wizards). Mages are hard to get since they require a very narrow ALI range and very high CHA, but it's possible if you use them often so their ALI drops and you monitor it just as it falls into range. Their attack affects an entire enemy unit but if your Tactics are set to Leader then the attack will be of whatever element the enemy leader is weakest against. Debonair's weakness is Darkness, so the Mages will be casting Phantom (and Wizards will use Nightmare).

This battle may take two or even three tries. Area attack Tarot cards such as Magician may be even more useful than Fool and Lovers. Use one or two and hope that gives you enough leeway to bring Debonair down. If you still can't do it, put three Wizards in the back row.