Revenge of the Cipher Absentees is an RPG Maker VX Ace game, so install the appropriate RTP. Use the arrow keys to move, Z to select things, X to cancel out and open the menu, and hold Shift to run. This walkthrough will cover the whole game. Spoilers are present, so beware. When the game is first loaded, you will be given three choices: New Game, Continue, and Quit. Select New Game and let the adventure begin.
THE CIPHER ABSENTEES CLUB MEETING:
The year is 2020, and Cipher has been discontinued. Angry that he never got a trading card, Moulder made the journey to Thracia in order to demand answers. Almost everyone else from Magvel got one!
PURPLE DRAGON MOUNTAIN:
You gain control of Moulder in Dagda’s mountain town. A few NPCs are present and can be talked to. Moulder didn’t think to bring any money with him from Frelia, so there’s no point in visiting the item shop right now. Indeed, there are no items to be found in town, so head west and enter Dagda’s Mansion.
Navigating the mansion isn’t particularly difficult. The main hall has two treasure chests: 1,000 gold is in the left one, while a Vulnerary is within the right one. Step into the courtyard to find a hidden Pure Water, then return to the mansion and head up. There’s an empty throne, but ignore it for now and head left. This is where the meeting is being held.
Talk to everyone if you’re so inclined, but they all display general impatience. Step on the cushion and let the meeting begin. Every one of your future party members will give a brief description on how exactly they had been denied a Cipher card, and their motivations on joining the fight for a card. Once everyone is done, the mansion suddenly shakes. Go and investigate: the culprit soon makes himself apparent. Considering the party Imperial lapdogs, he attacks.
BOSS: GOMES THE INVINCIBLE
HP: 100, ATK: 30, DEF: 20, SPD: 15
EXP: 1000, GP: 500
Gomes has risen from the dead in order to be a nightmare to fight once again, and since Asvel got a card, he’s not going to help you. Thankfully, Gomes isn’t actually very strong here. All he can do is attack physically. Just about any combination of party members can bring him down with little issue.
Dagda notes his irritation at Gomes’s return, and makes a point to leave the mansion. At this point I must note something: there are no random encounters. All battles are boss battles. Money and experience is finite. If Gomes did limited damage, it would be wise to avoid visiting the inn. The shop’s wares are basic, too: everyone’s basic equipment is as strong as it.
Shop: Vulnerary, Iron Sword, Iron Lance, Iron Axe, Iron Bow
Once ready, depart Purple Dragon Mountain.
PICKING THE DANDELIONS:
The map of Jugdral greets you as you leave the mountain. Trying to leave Thracia leads only to a roadblock. Lenster Castle is also sealed off, with its guard talking about bandit activity in the Forest of Dakia. The justification for locking the city down is highly suspect, but the guard won’t move. Obey him and enter the forest, which appears as a house on the world map.
FOREST OF DAKIA:
Only one house is visible amongst the overgrowth, so make your way inside. Once inside, Trude will mumble about how he had been here before. Most of the treasure is already gone, but head out the side door to pick up a Steel Sword. Otherwise, make your way to the throne room. This throne is occupied. Talk to its occupant and she’ll be talking about Super Rare Plus cards. Trude knows who it is: it’s Tina. He’s angry that she got the highest rarity of all Cipher cards, so he attacks.
BOSS: THIEF CLERIC TINA
HP: 80, MAG: 15, DEF: 14, SPD: 25
EXP: 1000, GP: 5000
Thankfully, Tina can’t actually steal your things this time around. She’ll largely cast Fire, which should do little damage to anyone. She can cast Sleep once below half health, but she will likely succumb to any strong physical attacks.
Once Tina is defeated, Trude will mutter something. Moulder will then say to return to Lenster: do so.
LEAPING INTO LENSTER:
The guard blocking the way into Lenster will walk away once you talk to him. A few NPCs are wandering around stating their current opinions. A new shop and inn are also available. The main addition is that of the Leather Shield.
Shop: Vulnerary, Iron Sword, Iron Lance, Iron Axe, Iron Bow, Leather Shield, Antitoxin
Inside Lenster Castle isn’t much of anything. Two guards guard the side halls, but they will never move. Save your game and prepare for a fight. Talk to the man on the throne. Marty knows him: he’s Othin! He isn’t particularly hostile, but a mention of Cipher cards brings up orders for him: attack anyone who wants them.
BOSS: OTHIN THE PUGI MAN
HP: 120, ATK: 40, DEF: 20, SPD: 24
EXP: 1000, GP: 1500
Othin is a stronger Gomes. His two main attacks are the basic melee attack and the combat art Smash. Once he falls below 35% HP, he has a chance to activate Sol, bringing his health right back up. Its own HP cost is severe, so if he hits a tank such as Tomth with it he may only hurt himself.
Upon defeating the Pugi Man, he drops all hostility. The border guard to Miletos is changing, and he’ll deliberately forget to deploy the next one. Slip through the security hole.
MILETOS, THE FORGOTTEN LAND:
Before reaching the relative safety of Miletos town, the party wanders through the valley approaching it. Dagda takes the time to tell the story of the region’s decay. In King Azmure’s day, it was a wealthy district. Then various atrocities committed by figures such as Queen Hilda and the Lopt Sect sent it to ruin. It is now irrelevant, with Mana noting that Celice leaving it in this state is highly out of character for him.
Since everyone is taking a break, the party is reduced to just Moulder. He’ll refuse to leave the valley, so walk into the nearby hole. A bird is hiding inside, along with lots of gold. The bird in your own party knows him: it’s the nestling!
BOSS: NAESALA, PIRATE RAVEN
HP: 150, ATK: 25, DEF: 20, SPD: 40
EXP: 1000, GP: 10000
Your party in this encounter is forced to be only Moulder and Nealuchi. Thankfully, Naesala isn’t very powerful, meaning Moulder should be capable of surviving two hits. He can cast Seal Speed, but this is basically a free turn as both Moulder and Nealuchi are slower than him. His Elwind hits Nealuchi’s flyer weakness, but a poor 15 magic means Moulder has nothing to fear from it. Keep healed up and the King of Kilvas will fall.
Upon defeating Naesala, he’ll fly off, but not before warning about dragons. Leave the pit and sure enough, dragon knights. Zeiss is livid that his sister had arrived, Maltet in tow. Though Miledy isn’t too interested in a fight, Zeiss picks it anyway.
BOSS: MILEDY, MALTET WIELDER
HP: 180, ATK: 40, DEF: 30, SPD: 10
EXP: 1000, GP: 2000
Your party consists of Moulder, Zeiss, Warren, and Treck. Zeiss has more than enough strength to damage Miledy, while Warren can strike flyer weakness with his arrows. In addition to her standard melee attack, Miledy can hit harder with Glowing Ember, while Mistdancer will increase her abysmal resistance. She isn’t particularly difficult to take down.
Once Miledy falls, she’ll compliment your strength, before escaping with the Blizzard Spear. Her last piece of advice is to press on to Miletos. Walk north to return to the world map; all the party members return. The town is two steps away: enter.
Welcome to Miletos. By any definition, it’s seen better days. It’s not so poorly-off as to be in complete ruin, however. A few NPCs are present, generally lamenting the state their homeland has fallen into. The regular shops are also open for service.
Shop: Vulnerary, Steel Axe, Steel Lance, Steel Sword, Steel Bow, Leather Shield
The shops sell upgrades to steel weapons, so one could consider upgrading. However, better items will soon make themselves available, so hold off for now.
Head north from the town centre to enter the harbour. As it so happens, Leaf and Celice are talking about what Moulder and friends were up to. Though disappointed, they recover due to the strong revenue royalties from their Super Rare Plus cards. They then head into town to buy their wives souvenirs. Thankfully, they don’t notice the party.
A few people on the docks mutter about the “Cipher Cruise”. All the great and good with big Cipher cards gather there, so stow away on it. Just walk onto the nearby rowboat. The security guard notices, though…
BOSS: DAROS THE SAILOR
HP: 180, ATK: 45, DEF: 25, SPD: 12
EXP: 1000, GP: 2000
Daros is a simple boss to take down. His high attack is something to note, but his low speed means your healer can easily cure any wounds before he finishes off a party member. Along with the unremarkable Smash, he can use Deadeye to put anyone it hits to sleep at 75% chance of success. This is in contrast to his normally low accuracy. Armoured Strike also hits hard, should it connect. Keep alert and this pirate will be no threat.
Once Daros drowns, you’ll reach your next goal.
THE CIPHER CRUISE:
Upon landing on the liner, immediately turn south to find Anna. She’ll always find the most unusual places to set up shop. Chat to her; she’s got things to sell.
Secret Shop: Concoction, Steel Bow, Recover, Silver Sword, Power Ring
Recovery for 1000GP
This is the only place in the game to buy a Power Ring, giving 5 strength to anyone who equips it. Consider buying one for a physical unit. Sword users will also like the Silver Sword, but that can be found later on.
There are a lot of NPCs on the boat, from almost every Fire Emblem game. They don’t have their portraits, though. Talk to them if you want: they’ll generally be chasing a loved one’s Super Rare Plus.
Climb up the stairs to find one treasure chest: rob the Recover Staff from Mist’s room. Then climb up again: note Marth’s presence. The Emperor of Akaneia himself is here. Climb up the ladder onto the deck: prepare for a fight.
BOSS: MIDDLE SISTER KATUA
HP: 200, ATK: 30, DEF: 30, SPD: 30
EXP: 1000, GP: 3000
Katua can be dangerous if given the chance. Though low, she has the chance to use Luna, which completely pierces through any and all defences. Two hits from it can kill even the sturdiest of tanks. More importantly, her speed beats out most slow units. She is a flyer, so swap Warren in to strike her weakness. She might need a few uses of Break Shot to reduce her defence first, though.
Once she’s shot down, run east to the bridge. Inside the control room is a single lever: pull it down and take control of the ship. It’s time for a confrontation, and Moulder challenges Marth as he enters the room. Thracia’s starvation was intentional, and greater figures ran Cipher out of the market. Everyone else realises the connections between the bosses and themselves. Marth will then evacuate all the passengers off the ship, after setting the next destination for Moulder: Barhara. And then, the ship runs aground close to Chalphy.
CHALPHY, GATEWAY TO GRANDBELL:
After hijacking a tourist vessel, Moulder and company have made it to Grandbell. Public opinion on the current state of Grandbell is mixed: some support Celice, others oppose him. One NPC states that Lester of Jungby is growing suspicious of him: if Barhara comes close to falling, he may tell you something. Going to Jungby right now will accomplish nothing, however. Chalphy has new items to purchase in the shops:
Shop: Concoction, Silver Axe, Javelin, Silver Sword, Silver Bow, Silver Shield
Silver weapons are now freely purchasable. Feel free to purchase them: it will make the last few bosses easier to defeat. Once healed up and with any upgrades purchased, enter Chalphy Castle.
The two chests inside contain a Barrier Ring and a Killer Lance. Give them to whoever needs them the most. At the end of the hall, Lana will wait. She isn’t in the mood to attack, however. What she will do is call some mercenaries to slay the Cipher Absentees Club instead.
BOSS: NOAH, ILIAN KNIGHT
HP: 200, ATK: 35, DEF: 25, SPD: 25
EXP: 1000, GP: 2000
Do not bring any flying units to this battle: Noah uses Grounder frequently, dealing severe damage to them. His other techniques include Windsweep, which increases his evasion, and Charge, which does more damage the more health he has remaining. Keep healed and he should soon fall.
With Noah beaten, he advises Treck to head north to Barhara. Heed that advice.
BARHARA, IMPERIAL CAPITAL:
Barhara. The capital of Grandbell, and the ultimate goal of the Cipher Absentees. It’s time to get some answers out of Celice. Before that, however, is an encounter with the guard.
BOSS: BLACK KNIGHT CAMUS
HP: 250, ATK: 45, DEF: 25, SPD: 35
EXP: 1000, GP: 5000
Camus is blocking the way into Barhara. Bringing mounts is ill-advised: he knows Bolganone and is willing to use it to kill anyone on horseback. His Lance Jab art deals damage based off speed, and he can heal himself once he falls below half health. Camus also has fire weakness himself, so some casts of Fire from Mana will hurt him.
Once the gate is clear, the last town in the game opens up. Heal, save, and shop.
Shop: Concoction, Silver Axe, Javelin, Silver Sword, Silver Bow, Silver Shield
There are no differences between Barhara and Chalphy. After talking to the NPCs, enter Barhara Castle.
The castle also has a guard. Raddy foolishly picks a fight with him.
BOSS: OGUMA, BRAVE MERCENARY
HP: 250, ATK: 40, DEF: 20, SPD: 40
EXP: 1000, GP: 4000
Oguma has a Wing Clipper, and by that I mean he knows Grounder. Leave the flyers at home. He won’t use it until he falls below 75% HP, though. He also knows Sol, and will gladly drain your health away with his high attack and speed. His defence is low, so high-powered physical attacks will tear through his HP quickly. Watch out for the turn 8 Hexblade: this deals magical damage.
Upon killing Oguma, Barhara’s halls open up. They stretch endlessly. To get out of Barhara, keep going down until you see arrows leading out. The castle has no defenders left, so how about you pay Lester a visit?
Going to Jungby now will trigger a more receptive response. From the main hallway, go up, left, down, and left. This will bring you to the final rest point.
When you enter this room, Celice will warn you about proceeding any further. You could just turn around and go back to Purple Dragon Mountain, but that is not the way to do it. Proceed onwards. Anna beat you here, and she’s got items to sell.
Secret Shop: Elixir, Silver Bow, Fortify, Silver Sword, Magic Ring, Silver Axe, Silver Lance, Dragon Shield
Recovery for 1000GP
Silver Lances are available, along with the powerful Magic Ring (cuts MP consumption in half) and Dragon Shield. Once you are done shopping, step through the northern passage. Say yes to the are-you-sure prompt.
Once you step into the depths of Barhara, an object blocks any backtracking. The only way forward is to talk to Celice. Leaf and Lana are with him, and the three of them attempt to get the Cipher Absentees to stand down. But Moulder is having none of it. Knowing diplomacy is futile, Celice draws the Tyrfing.
BOSS: EMPEROR CELICE
HP: 500, ATK: 50, DEF: 30, SPD: 25
EXP: 2000, GP: 5000
HP: 300, ATK: 40, DEF: 30, SPD: 30
EXP: 1000, GP: 3
HP: 200, MAG: 40, DEF: 20, SPD: 30
EXP: 1000, GP: 1000
This battle is hopeless. There is no way to survive three extremely dangerous units. Celice has the most HP of the three, and will frequently use arts such as Grounder and Hexblade to destroy flying units and hit resistance, respectively. Once he falls below 33% HP, he will start using Physic.
Leaf also knows Hexblade, but his most dangerous art is Hunter’s Volley, along with the traditional Continue. Both allow for two strong hits, with Volley striking two random targets while Continue hits one target twice, almost certainly resulting in death. The one reprieve is that he is weak to fire-element attacks.
Lana is frail, but her magic is very powerful and annoying. She frequently uses Seal Strength to sap away the party’s power, along with casting Sleep to knock them all out. Her attack spells are also highly potent. Once she falls below 50% HP, Fortify will soon bring her back past that mark.
It is impossible to kill the Emperor and Empress of Grandbell, along with the King of Thracia, legitimately. There is only so much experience to go around due to the lack of random encounters. In addition, there is no ending. A few more battles were planned, but a self-imposed deadline meant Celice, Leaf, and Lana attack at once instead of apart.
Beyond, I’d probably have had a confrontation with Marth, along with a duel with Natasha, as Moulder’s counterpart. After that… Perhaps I’ll get to it at some point.