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  • Locked thread
Justin_Brett
Oct 23, 2012

GAMERDOME put down LOSER

Wing was kinda weird in Alpha 1, because of some of the other series in that game.

Ah, there we go.

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ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



Z2-1/Z2-2 give Wing more focus than it has really gotten before. It's shown up in other games but always in weird ways while here it's pretty central.

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011



ImpAtom posted:

Z2-1/Z2-2 give Wing more focus than it has really gotten before. It's shown up in other games but always in weird ways while here it's pretty central.

How exactly was it featured in Alpha, anyway? I was able to infer a bit from the Alpha Gaiden LP, but it'd be nice to hear some of the details - especially since this game seems to follow only the broadest strokes of the actual series.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




JamMasterJim posted:

Just a random question from me:
Was D the only other SRW that focused on the 1st season of Wing instead of Endless Waltz?

F and F Final covered the Wing TV series, there's even a boss where you fight Quatre in the Wing Zero. F and F Final were weirdly plotted overall though, and Banpresto wasn't very good at juggling all the series.

SRW64 makes the Wing TV series a major part of the plot, one of the major plot routes in 64 involves you joining up with Relena and the Sanc Kingdom. 64 is the only game where the Maganac corp are actually playable as well, though 64 has a really interesting selection of Mobile Suits overall. The game also had an interesting secret where if you fully upgraded the Gundams from the second half you can turn them into their Endless Waltz redesigns, it's a big buff for Heero and Wufei if I recall.

Shin Super Robot Wars includes Gundam Wing's TV series, by which I mean Heero and Zechs are sort of there but noone else. They were included apparently based on promotional materials, Wing doesn't actually have any plot-related stuff in Shin.

Alpha 1 includes Wing, but the first Alpha was sort of a mess and they weren't a major focus. Still Duo joins up early on the Real Robot route when your hero ends up in the AEUG, and the Wing boys all show up on the Macross after they fold out towards Pluto and join up after helping fend off Zentradi. They later get the redesigned Endless Waltz variations. @Gaiden has the Endless Waltz events and @2 and 3 are Endless Waltz as well, though @2 lets you unlock the Wing Gundam as a secret (it's good) and the Wing Boys are major characters in the UC plotline that @2 has.

Spiritus Nox posted:

How exactly was it featured in Alpha, anyway? I was able to infer a bit from the Alpha Gaiden LP, but it'd be nice to hear some of the details - especially since this game seems to follow only the broadest strokes of the actual series.

Well like I said above Duo shows up fairly early having joined up with the AEUG but leaves shortly thereafter. Heero and Zechs show up around mission 13 and the other wing boys show up as early bosses attacking Earth bases. OZ is depicted as independent and rivals to the Titans (who aren't very powerful yet), and the Wing Boys were sent to deal with both of them. That plot is put on the backburner during the arc of the game while you're out in space with the Macross, but it's revealed they stowed away on the Macross because they believed it was a danger to the Colonies. When you get back to the Earth Sphere and the various Gundam related stuff heats up you do many of the later Wing events. In the end Wing is a fairly important series in Alpha, but Alpha also juggles a lot of other series and makes them fairly important as well. There's a reason Alpha has nearly 150 total stages across all its possible route splits.

What Z2 does differently is that Wing is given a lot more attention. Wing is also very important to Alpha, but Wing in Z2 doesn't have to worry much about sharing the spotlight.

Omnicrom fucked around with this message at 19:29 on Oct 28, 2012

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE




The scene begins in the Dragon's Hive mess hall, where Crowe is deeply enjoying the fact that GOONZ feeds its members. If it hadn't, he'd have to replace half his meals with water. Well, that could be worse, as long as the other half is - what, they're sugar water? Ouch, Crowe.

Luca originally came to bring Crowe a call. He's guessing it's from the Chief, who had to be brought in on GOONZ' secret, and he asks Luca to put it up on the big screen so she can meet the cast.



Only to find that his caller is actually Carlos Axion Jr., who he didn't tell about GOONZ, but who found out anyway because he is the richest man in the world and keeps tabs on all Axion's employees. Crowe doesn't waste time reminding him that Traia's lab is his sponsor, not his employer - he's a free man. But even if he's not Carlos' underling, he's still his "new favorite toy," as long as he's in the cockpit of the machine with the VX system.

But lest we misunderstand, Carlos has given up on pulling Crowe off the Brasta. He's found a new game: watching Crowe lose. He's already got one point from when the machine was totaled by Rhinodamon MD. Crowe gets sick of his bullshit and hangs up the line. But everyone has to wonder, even for a dude with way too much money and time on his hands... what did he call for? Just to let us know that GOONZ is his own personal hot new reality show?



The S. M. S. gang are coming to realize just how screwed up this Earth is. And coming from a universe where the human species has been in a long struggle for survival, Alto can't imagine where these humans get off warring with each other. Michel supposes that they might be able to get together if they, too, were threatened with extinction, but as Crowe and Lockon cheerfully point out, we kind of already are.



Chirico has been listening silently this whole time, the way he does, looking like he's asleep. The crew chats about ATs a bit - all the tools of war and no more packed into a compact package, extremely cheap to mass-produce in vast quantities but with the durability of tissue. Even so, they're extremely dangerous in the hands of a skilled soldier. You know, like Chirico. "Forget the AT, he's the real killing machine here," attests Duo, but the operative word there might be "machine"...



Anyone remember the PMC Trust? No? They're a private military employing, among other things, floating Astragians, and in a little corner of the AEU, two of its higher-ups, Ali al-Sachez and Riemann, are discussing their gig: to scout out what kind of firepower GOONZ has. The employer is anonymous, but put up a high bounty. Riemann guesses it must be someone from one of the superpowers with a beef with the U. N. But Sachez is happy to say that the PMC Trust's mission statement is to raise any amount of hell for the right price.

And he's called for Riemann's help because it's going to be a very interesting mission. Because while the contract is just for information, the employer won't complain if he can take us out, and that's right up Sachez' alley. So Riemann is there to seal the deal - he was, after all, the captain of the most dangerous team in the Astragius Galaxy, the Red Shoulders. Riemann is on board, because there's something in GOONZ he's curious about too. He wants to take to the field personally, and Sachez can't let himself be outdone. He wants a taste of the Gundam's blood.

The client's already set them up by leaking the location of a WLF base to the U. N. It's only a matter of time before they send GOONZ after it, and that's when the PMC springs their trap. Riemann is a little disturbed by the way Sachez treats the mission as a game, a hunt, an excuse to get blood on his hands.


Chapter 15: A Shadow Over the World



Sure enough, the WPC took the bait, and the WLF assumes defensive positions.



Enemies are north and east. Outside of Setsuna, I'm taking all five Gundams, Chirico, and the Brasta for plot. The rest were chosen largely based on accuracy or presence of Strike/Sense, because this is going to be the first stage where super robots have to challenge bosses in real robots.

GOONZ didn't realize there was a WLF base here. No one did, not even Veda, until the U. N. got tipped. Something's fishy here, but they can't tell who the trap was for, the WLF or them. But it's good that it's in a secret location. With no one to see, Celestial Being and the Black Knights can go nuts.



But something's bothering Setsuna. The base is in northern Azadistan, his motherland.



As if to emphasize that we're fighting chump bait, the SR Point is to destroy all enemies within two ally phases. Note that it doesn't say to clear the map in that time.



Besides which, Sachez and Riemann are nowhere to be found.



The first order of business is delivering an Attack! order to the entire force.



Fwoosh!



Nine ranks in SP Up gives Musashi SP to cast Spirit with room to spare.



The chapter's guest stars take point.



Not only are the enemies few in number, they're also the dumb grunts we know from the WLF - cheap Axios, imbalanced sniper Tieren, and Genocidrons.



Now the mains (and Crowe) zip in.



Because the enemies are so awful, and thanks to a few points in Skill, Crowe's back in the double attacking game.



Most of these remaining enemies are wounded, a few severely.



By the time the turn rolls around again, it'll be a matter of cleanup.




This wasn't significant, I just like showing off giant damage numbers every so often.





Like this one.





I mean, the WLF is there to make GOONZ feel special, so let's revel in it.




Last one, honest.



The WLF are such lovely jobbers, but now they're clear.



Before we can feel proud of ourselves, of course, reinforcements pop up on the radar.



Those are no WLF machines. The Enacts may be AEU, but this is the PMC Trust of Moralia. And Chirico has noticed the Red Shoulder commander, Reimann, in the middle of the formation.



Sachez is in his own Enact Custom, and he's pretty impressed that GOONZ swept through the WLF so quickly. But that just means he expects us to be a fun match. Riemann, all business, orders his Shoulders to get it over with quickly.



The more mild-mannered GOONZ are apprehensive of this new development, but Ryoma and Kamina are willing to step up to the plate, and Zero considers this a perfect chance to be heroes.



So we're going to defend ourselves, or take out the bad guys, or however you want to think of it - there's no time limit and no restrictions.



Riemann's AT is midboss level, but his stats are excellent and his Skill rating is easily on par with Chirico's (one point higher, actually). He has Ignore Size, so he can do battle with any of our units with no difficulty.



Sachez is a little more boss-like. And don't let his HP fool you, he'll make up for it by draining the hell out of the SP of anyone near him through Strike, Alert, Sense, and Focus.



He's also an absolutely monstrous pilot, with stats over Riemann's already impressive numbers, and a skill list of Perfection, Break Will Limit, Ignore Size, Counter L5, and Prevail L7 (ugh).

This is the first time in Z2 that we've seen Perfection, a skill introduced in Alpha 3 and reprised in Z1, reserved only the most fearsome and powerful bosses. The mere fact that he has it is terrifying enough, putting him in the company of the final bosses of Alpha and Z, Gym Ginghanam, Dark Angel Toma, and the mad EVA-01, and I haven't told you what it does yet: it grants a free, constant +30% to his hit and dodge rates whenever he's at 130 or more Will. Where are Exhaust tanks when I need them?



Not that the Red Shoulders are slackers either, living up to Luca's earlier speech about being very dangerous in the right hands. These pilots may be unnamed, but they are still the Red Shoulders. Looks like Focus is going to be big.





On the other hand, Luca was right about another thing - if you can hit them, they can't withstand much. Looks like Strike is going to be big.



Crowe update: level 16, still no second Spirit.



Counter round!



The Shoulders are fragile, but they can still usually take a hit. Riemann stays put.





The Helions prove to actually be weaker than the ATs.



Crowe cuts through a whole squad of them. The Enacts stay put.



I'm not ready to challenge the bosses just yet, but I will have Zero order an Attack to help deal with those pesky ATs and Enacts.



Of course Dai-Guard has issues hitting.



But with Sumeragi's guidance, it's looking much better.




Go Akagi!



Using Command auras helps save SP for the bosses, but it's still going to be an uphill skirmish.



After a long slog through the Shoulders, I'm staring down Riemann and Sachez with my packed formation. (Don't worry, they can't Combo in this game.)



Let's see what they've got.



Riemann guns straight for Chirico.



Chirico doesn't have a bad bet, and Tieria has his back just in case. Not a bad deal.

Sergeant Chirico, I refuse to believe you survived!
Major Riemann, do you know what happened on Rid?
I have nothing to say to a man who is about to die!
Die, Chirico! Your continued survival disturbs him!








Riemann rants during the whole fight that Chirico should be dead and must die.



No one cares about these people.



Finally, Sachez attacks Setsuna, who is in a similar boat to Chirico, though Sachez is much deadlier and has his abilities at full power.

So you're a melee machine? I'm pretty good at that myself!
The way he moves... he's from the Kurzhisi KPSA...
Step it up, Gundam! This is going to be too easy!





He strikes, but Tieria completely blocks his attack.





Setsuna hits hard. But Sachez is only going to get stronger from here.



And it's time for a proper assault to begin.




First, Zero will tag both Sachez and Riemann with Analyze.



And then hit all of GOONZ with the Attack order.



First to strike will be Crowe, who will pin the Enact down with the Spiker to reduce its evasion.

That's the new Axion machine! If I capture that, it'll sell for a ton!
I can hear you, Mr. Mercenary. And my business is making money on my targets, not for them.
But now that you mention it, the combat data on your custom mech is going to make my payday!






But the repairs on the Brasta probably set Crowe back all that cash.

Ha ha ha! Another Gundam! It's a Gundam party in here!
Well, aren't you having fun.
It takes a real hardcore Reaper to make a party out of a fight.



A Colony Gundam. You think you can put up a challenge for me?
This man is ruled by his emotions...





You wanna do this, Gundam? I'll crumple that huge armor into scrap!
A Gundam Meister never fails his mission. I will defend the Gundams with my life!




drat it! He keeps moving irregularly, I can't get a lock on him!
What's the matter, sniper? Line me up!
In the meantime, I'm gonna take your head!




So you're the fast one. But my Enact's been turbocharged!
It's like he's moving by instinct!
I know someone else who fights like that. Someone who enjoys killing, just like this man!



As Sachez got lower and lower on HP, he got better and better at dodging... Tieria didn't have the SP to target for everyone, and many of the attackers lack Strike.



So it's up to Setsuna, who has both Strike and Alert. He gains a level and an EM Antenna, which charges up the equipped robot's EN at 10% per turn.



Sachez decides to pick up the party another time.



But Setsuna recognizes the pilot's technique and gives chase! Sachez shoots Exia down, intending to take it in for cash, and taunting Setsuna that the machine may be impressive but the pilot sucks. But for the first time, Setsuna hears his opponent's voice and is now sure that he recognizes the other man. He transmits a message to Sachez' mech to land and open up his cockpit.



Then Setsuna does the same, and Sachez is shocked to see that his opponent was a child. But it doesn't stop him from gleefully pulling his weapon on Exia's open hatch! Setsuna is much too far away for Lockon to cover him now...



But he doesn't need to - two new Gundams step in!



It's Quattre and Trowa! They've come to join GOONZ!



Sachez takes off for real, but tries to figure out who Setsuna was as he leaves. One of his child soldiers from back in Kurzhistan? Watching him go, Setsuna is positive he knows who that man was. Tieria takes this as evidence that Setsuna is not fit to be a Meister.



So anyway, we have Quattre and Trowa.



Let's exercise them.

Combat Log 0034. Log of Trowa Barton.
I've gotten used to calling myself that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HeMaUnn7fI

GOONZ... and they have Colony Gundams who are fighting our fight.
It would be truly wonderful if we could join forces with them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7jkII39CRE




Those were the last two soldiers. Now it's just Riemann.



This time, Riemann shrieks "You aren't human! You're not..."



Chirico wins another Muscle Cylinder.



He reflects that he hasn't, and perhaps never will escape from the nightmare that began on Rid...



Cathy asks if it's a good idea for the Quarter to continue its association with GOONZ if they're just going to get stuck in operations like this. Jeffrey replies poetically that any world and any universe with humans in it will have conflict. The Macross can't simply pretend they have no part in it. Besides, while they have enemies, they also have allies. And they will always have more allies as long as they follow the path of right.

And while we've gained some sweet new Gundams, as Crowe says, we've got some problems with the Gundams we already have. The appearance of Sachez has Setsuna rattled.



And Tieria is ready to shoot him down if he does something stupid again. "And lose the solar furnace?" shoots back Setsuna. "If it is to protect the Gundam's secret," replies Tieria evenly.



We turn to the royal capitol of Azadistan, on whose land we just fought a battle. Its queen, Marina Ishmail, is receiving word that the same battle has ended, but she doesn't much care for the outcome, or the fact that fighting happened at all. As queen, she refuses to take part in any conflict. It's a naive, idealistic policy, and her advisor Shirin knows it, and she knows it too. She thinks she just needs time to gather her courage, but that may be time her country doesn't have.



As the Ptolemy leaves the scene, Lockon punches Setsuna for showing his face to an enemy when the mere existence, let alone identity, of the Gundam Meisters is top secret. He demands at least a reason, but Setsuna refuses to talk. Tieria doesn't even care and points his gun at Setsuna, which is several steps past what Lockon was comfortable with.



As Tieria rants on about the integrity of the Plan and not allowing anything to endanger it, Setsuna pipes up to say he will not abandone Exia. He points his own gun back at Tieria, and Allelujah reminds Tieria that Setsuna was still selected by Veda. We're not doubting Veda's reasons, are we, Tieria? He wants to know what that reason could possibly be, and Setsuna says that his survival is reason enough.



The rest are trying to stay out of it, and Kouji mentions that Team D doesn't act like much of a team. They say it's because they were pretty much slapped together randomly, but Takeru points out that GOONZ itself is just a larger version of the same, and they seem to be coming to trust one another. Are you guys sure about that? Team D all say they couldn't care less and go to hole up in their individual quarters, but Takeru observes that they're syncing up, whether they like it or not.

Quattro and Trowa introduce themselves. The Colony Gundams' ultimate goal is to bring peace between the Colonies and the surface powers, so in a sense their ends line up with GOONZ' and the WPC's. Crowe is curious about the fifth pilot, who we met way back in chapter 1. Unfortunately, Quattre and Trowa can't say anything about the pilot or the Gundam.

And on the subject of Gundams, Heero's gone after Setsuna...

......
What do you want?
What were you thinking?
None of your business.
Answer the question.
I wasn't. My body did it by itself.
So you were ruled by your emotions.
......
I have learned that I cannot object to acting on emotion.
You...

Aww, they're making friends! I think. GOONZ very existence is causing ripples of change, both in the world and its own members; once again, the warriors realize that things have been set in motion that they won't be able to turn back. For better or for worse?



Back in the present, we're being called to the bridge. Chairman Roddick wants to talk to us about our next steps. He surely knows what happened today. What does he have up his sleeve?



And at OZ headquarters in Paris, Treize, Schneizel, and Alejandro (how many people are in cahoots here?) have to admit that Elgan's little army is a force to be reckoned with. Enough, maybe, to seriously challenge the three great powers, of which Britannia and the AEU are represented in this little conspiracy. They've got big plans cooking, and GOONZ might be a pawn in them sometime, but for now, they'll let us do as we will. And Alejandro is still cooking his own scheme, but for those, too, he can't let us fall.



COMING UP: Ohtsuka wants us to split up the party again. He hopes it'll throw our enemies off our scent, let us deal with more problems at once, and keep people from putting two and two together too quickly regarding the U. N. working with terrorists. Right now, the Beastmen are spreading across the ocean at an alarming rate, and new forms of DAMon are being sighted all over the place. Sumeragi has her own bad news: Veda is raising alarms about the WLF's movements. So basically, the Quarter and the Ptolemy are going separate ways.

Each commander realizes that this essentially means we're forming a public team, of the officially sanctioned soldiers and mercenaries who are working with the WPC, and a shadow team of all the terrorists and unsavory characters that we want to keep out of the public eye. Following those lines, the Quarter will house the public team of the S. M. S. squad, Mazinger, Dai-Guard, the Crushers, Trider, and Gurren-Lagann. Likewise, the Ptolemy will serve as the mothership for the shadow team of Celestial Being, Dancouga Nova, Getter Robo, the Colony Gundams, the Black Knights, and Chirico.

Crowe Brust, however, is a freelance mercenary. It doesn't really matter which team he joins, so he's free to choose. And by he, I mean you.



Crowe's chatting with Traia and Esther, and it really doesn't matter to him. No one has any idea where MD would show up, and both routes offer the prospect of money and danger. The scales waver back and forth, and Esther demands he choose already...

And while I'm here, here's another question: would you rather this path split be presented one after the other, or back and forth between stages?

See you next chapter.

Caphi fucked around with this message at 00:29 on Oct 29, 2012

JamMasterJim
Mar 27, 2010


One after the other and go with the Ptolemy

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011



JamMasterJim posted:

One after the other and go with the Ptolemy

I'll second this.

NotALizardman
Jun 5, 2011



Let's go with the Macross Public Team and do the routes one after the other.

NotALizardman fucked around with this message at 21:34 on Oct 28, 2012

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




One after the other and Do the Public Team First, I want the world to know the suffering of the next stage.

Nitpicking: You mistakenly referred to GOONZ as ZEXIS in your fourth paragraph. Also you actually undersold what Ali's pilot skill does, most places I've seen in translated as "Extreme", and along with providing 30% increases to hit and evasion it also increases Critical Hit rates by the same amount. Thankfully it's fairly rare in Z2.1, it's normally given to MAJOR antagonists so this isn't the last time we'll be meeting Ali al Saachez.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Omnicrom posted:

One after the other and Do the Public Team First, I want the world to know the suffering of the next stage.

This intrigues, so I'm also voting for this.

TwoPair
Mar 28, 2010

Pandamn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta


Grimey Drawer

Omnicrom posted:

One after the other and Do the Public Team First, I want the world to know the suffering of the next stage.

Another vote for this. I mean, a team with Mazinger and Gurren-Lagann. How ya gonna pass up that?

Son Ryo
Jun 13, 2007
Excuse me, do you know where Saiyans hang out?

JamMasterJim posted:

One after the other and go with the Ptolemy

I'll third this.

Einander
Sep 14, 2008

"Yeh've forged a magnificent sword."

"This one's only practice. The real sword I intend to forge will be three times longer."

"Can there really be a sword as monstrous as that in this world?"

"Yes. I can see that sword... Somewhere out there..."


JamMasterJim posted:

One after the other and go with the Ptolemy

Agreeing with this.

4 votes for each path (mine included), all eight for "one after the other".

Three Cookies
Apr 9, 2010



Gonna go with Ptolemy for Getter and Votoms.

TheLastRoboKy
May 2, 2009

Finishing the game with everyone else's continues


One after another and public team!

The Heero-Setsuna interactions in this game always cracked me up.

Justin_Brett
Oct 23, 2012

GAMERDOME put down LOSER

One after the other, and with Sumeragi, just to delay you some pain.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


Pretty sure the split format is decided at this point so don't worry about that one. I just wanted to pitch something to try.

Rolling Start
Jan 11, 2012


One after the other with the Public team. We need to see Dai-Guard being a badass, even if it is on one of the most annoying missions.

Monathin
Sep 1, 2011


Kouji, Akagi, Simon and Kamina? Sorry Team Getter, but the immediate choice is obvious.

Let's chill on the Macross for now.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



Go with Votoms. Always go with Votoms.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


The votes are even again. I'm impressed.

DrakePegasus
Jan 30, 2009

It was Plundersaurus Rex's dream to be the greatest pirate dragon ever.



Go Public!

JoaoLangston
Jul 23, 2006


Gonna go with Ptolemy No special reason.

Koops
Mar 27, 2010


I pick the one with Mazinger.

Ali al-Sachez posted:

It's a Gundam party in here!
This would be a good tagline for the series.

Materant
Jul 22, 2010

see, what you don't understand is he now has

THE MANLIEST MUSTACHE

it defies physics



Going with the Ptolomaios.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


The Macross, Mazinger AND TTGL? Public Team it is

Tobias Grant
May 16, 2009

Lucky for you, I'm a dog lover.


Public Party and One after another.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


So here are some notes from before the branch.



The Wing boys can freely exchange Gundams with each other. Don't worry about Chirico yet.



Second, we assign Submissions for after chapter 15. I'm not always going to mention these, but remember this one.



Crowe, by a single vote two votes (one last minute), chooses to stay on the right side of the law, but there's still the matter of his payment. Traia recognizes his work with a generous 200,000 G, bringing his debt down to 790,000. That's going to have Crowe in a good mood all day. Traia's expecting more good work from him in the future, but Crowe suggests that may not be a good idea. "I'm way too good at letting down the ladies," he says without a hint of shame.



If you're keeping track.



And check it out, after the path split you can do Suborders again. Especially sweet for wringing extra money out of all those top tier pilots.



We begin the worst mission in the game (it's not that bad after the first run, actually) as Crowe walks into the briefing room, only to find several of the GOONZ-ettes watching some video and angrily shushing him. He gets the bridge bunnies (a real thing in Macross) to explain to him that the ladies are having their own screening of Do You Remember Love, a hit movie from the Quarter's universe detailing the war between the Earth and the Zetraedi forces. They explain that the war was fought with music ("What, like a sonic weapon? Pew pewwww!") - that the warborn Zentraedi were won over not by explosions but by the humans showing them culture and art. At the center of this movement was the singer Lin Minmei, whose songs made the Zentraedi hesitate long enough for the humans to strike down their evil commander, and whose romance is a also major theme of the movie.



It certainly sounds like a chick flick to Crowe, but surprisingly, Minmei has won the hearts of some of the guys.



And some of... whatever Leeron is. ("I'm a woman and I love her!" "I'm not a man or a woman, and I love her!") In fact, pretty much the whole team is here (to learn about the Quarter crew's world and history), and not one of them is unmoved!

But Aoyama says he perfers more contemporary music, such as Sheryl Nome's new album that just came out, and amidst a lot of "oh my god was that today?!" Akagi has to have Sheryl explained to him. Galactic Fairy, super popular, was visiting the Frontier when it got transported, is now on fire across this Earth as well. It's impressive that she's taken her stranding this well and even taken advantage of it by making it her new stage. Aoyama is pressed into playing the new CD as soon as the movie is over (are they even watching that anymore?).



But as always, there's one wet blanket in the room. It does seem like Alto is just always that serious, but Michel spills the beans that Alto is... personal... friends with Sheryl ("A pretty girl and a pretty boy?!"). Alto, of course, panics and denies it, but he's still carrying that earring of hers that he never had a chance to give up.



Ozma rains on the parade with their next mission. Although maybe it'll be more fun than it sounds - they'll be working at the World Fair, helping to shoot a film...



At the filming site for "Bird-Human," GOONZ is being kept quite busy running set work. The movie is a story from the Macross 'verse's history, much like DYRL, set against the backdrop of their Earth 50 years prior. It's part of the World Fair as an effort to celebrate the joining of the fleet with the nations of Earth. Which is all well and good, but our guys were hoping they needed extras, not hired muscle.

That said, a member of GOONZ is going to star in the movie: the VF-25! It's going to play a body double for the VF-0 Phoenix prototype that's going to be featured in the movie, because its transformation is so similar and the skin will get fixed in post. In short, we were hired for our machine, and having bodies to put to work is just a bonus for the staff.



Carlos Axion Jr. pays a visit just to mock Crowe, who isn't even getting paid for this. Crowe, the world's unluckiest debtee, is stuck introducing the world's richest man again, explaining that he is Crowe's client, not his employer, as well as that he has fun mocking him, Crowe, and the Brasta. In his douchebag way, Carlos assures Crowe that it would cost him money Crowe can't even imagine to waste time just to mock Crowe for being poor. No, he's also here to check on Bird-Human, in which pie Axion has a finger or two.



And Aoyama barely gets a chance to say a word to a passing Shioni Regis before she blows him off. Her business is with the owner of Axion. But when Aoyama apologizes, she lays into him: "Are you sorry? Or are you just saying that to get away from the crazy lady?" She takes his stunned silence as a yes, and continues until Carlos stops her, refering to her as Foreign Minister Shioni, which blows the guys away, which angers her even more (because really, where do they get off treating her like that), and I'm getting the sense that she's a little unstable.

Anyway, you may remember she's the Limonesia's foreign minister to the U. N. It's a little republic that happens to be where they're holding this very fair, and gained political power in a hurry once a rare metal was found in the nation and nowhere else. Ohsugi manages to smooth things over, taking a weight off of rattled Aoyama's shoulders, which is good, because since Limonesia is a major sponsor of the film, in a sense she's our employer.

Uh oh.

Carlos manages to rein her in, but as she gets dragged off, she reminds us that this is Limonesia's future you guys have some respect. Everyone lets out a sigh of more or less masked relief as soon as she's gone. Ohsugi explains that rumors suggest the country's precious power-generating metal is being exhausted, so she's probably a bit on edge.



And on the set, Ozma just realized that Ranka is going to be in the movie, to his unpleasant surprise.



But Alto's got her back! Awwww. But seriously, Ozma's still mad that Ranka's got it in her head to be a musician, and Ranka puts on the "you can't control me, dad bro" face. But it's not just rebellion - she's serious, she's wanted to be a singer forever. He insists she's not ready, they fight, he stomps off.

The argument has her a bit down, but she still has a job to do. He manager explains that she's the female lead's little sister (upgraded from "Village Girl 1" after the original actress left), but he's sure that it's her stepping stone to stardom. She takes her leave to go study her lines.



After she leaves Alto standing alone, Sheryl pops up behind him. She's hawking her album at the fair, but came to say hi, and let him know that she knows why he has her earring. That it's because he was too busy fighting for her and all her fans. And just maybe, the lucky charm helped him get out in one piece. So she wants him to keep it.



The Bird-Human producer asks Alto if he wouldn't mind being in the movie. He knows Alto Saotome's history on stage (playing a literal princess in kabuki), but being reminded of his history puts Alto off and he excuses himself to go check on Ranka. Sheryl lets him know that Ranka goes to be alone up on the mountain to the north, and adds that "That wasn't for you. I'm just returning a favor."



As she sings to vent, Ranka reflects that she just wanted her brother to be proud of her.



Alto catches up to her and tries to assure her that Ozma is just worried about her, and isn't used to seeing her as not a little kid. She thanks him, "because you're always there when I need someone to tell me just what I need to hear. You're a..."

But before she can finish, both of them hear a high-pitched squeal, and Alto recognizes it as the sound before a Dimension Shock! The ensuing quake knocks Ranka almost over the edge of the mountain, but for Alto's quick reaction. Ranka begs Alto to let go of her before he falls too, but Alto snaps that he'll protect her.



A man appears below the cliff and jumps impossibly high to catch her, introduces himself as Brela Stern, and informs Alto that his teammates are deploying without him.


Chapter 16: Bird-Human
(public route)



Alto gets back to the Macross just in time. Ohsugi is getting everyone off the island, so it's safe to get in formation.



Leading with the super robots. Events are coming from the main characters (Crowe, Kouji, Kamina, Akagi, Takeru, Alto, and Watta). Crowe's an auto deploy. The rest is filled with the S. M. S. for support. Support will be important, yes.



So we're dealing with an unpleasant number of Bulldamons and our old friend Rhinodamon MD.



Crowe is ready to do his job for Esther, and he wills up his Will.



But this fucker is mumbling about it. "Now, will you advance or falter? Will your fulcrum break as you waver between your anger and your fear? Now is your test."

(If you've played Z, but not Z2 for some reason, this is your first clue.)



And now for the fun part: "Within four ally phases, defeat all other enemies, then defeat Rhinodamon MD."



You bet this is going to suck.



Crowe's Will was ratcheted up by 30, lest you think he wasn't serious.



Our advantage? Offensive Support. The trouble is taking advantage of it while advancing as aggressively as the map demands us to.



So the first step will be regrouping in the center of the map with all our supporters.



And then arranging the shock troopers around them. This sets up for a two-layered offensive line. As a bonus, Mazinger and Gurren-Lagann can probably range since they don't need support.



Now I just need them to approach me.




After the regular Damons move, Douchebag decides that he's not getting what he wanted out of this fight, and will need to step in personally.



A Dimension Shock occurs, and a mystery machine steps out!

...
The hell? Is he staring at me?
(the mecha charges)
That was fast!
Allow me to introduce myself.
It talked! That's not a Damon!
Goodness no, I am a Damon. A particular variety of Damon.
Crowe Brust, I will now take your life.
Nice of you to warn me. What the hell do you want?
To save the world.
What?
Look out, Crowe! He's focusing on you!
Are you serious? I dunno what's going on, but I guess I have to fight you.
Heh heh... ha ha ha...



The turn continues.



Finally, MD moves straight for Crowe.

Hey again, MD. I've been waiting to pay you back.
And not just for myself. I'm paying you back for someone else too.





Uh oh.



GOONZ is feeling the pressure from not only MD, but the not-a-Damon mecha. But Alto grits his teeth, determined to protect the shooting site...



So Brela Stern comes in with his own jet to help out! It's the same machine they saw back in the fight with the Vajra, which raises questions it's not the time to ask.



The bad news is that Brela is now a protected unit.



Oh, it's still the enemy's turn. And, uh, this is gonna hurt.

So we meet at last. Ha ha... I'm so glad.
Seriously, who are you? What did I ever do to you?
Ha ha ha. You are my brother.
Huh?
Ah, you moved. You waver well.
Was that a lie? Just to mess with my head?
Get out of my way. I don't have time for your games.

Okay, so the bad news (this level is full of it) about this video is, you finally get to see Crowe's ridiculously pointlessly long sniper animation. The good news is that you get to see it while listening to the best boss music in the game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUEb959eAeQ
Also, ow.



The other good news is that Crowe finally learned his second Spirit: Sense, which combines Strike and Alert.



And that ends the enemy phase on a whole set of problems.


VF-25γ Lucifer B/F (Brela Stern)
Skills
Predict
Spirit Block
E Save
Ignore Size
Offensive Support L3
Block
Spirits
Scan
Accel
Focus
Sense
Traits
Transform
Shield (Battleroid)
Weapons
(Battleroid)
Assault Knife (16 EN)
Micromissiles (8 ammo)
Beam Gunpod (8 EN)
Beam Gunpod Particle Reaction Gun (32 EN, 120 Will)
(Fighter)
25mm Beam Machine Gun (6 ammo)
35mm Heavy Machine Gun (8 ammo)
Beam Gunpod (8 ammo)
Ace Bonus: +3 Movement.

Here's problem #1. Brela's Lucifer is unupgraded and has little chance going head to head with the Damons, let alone Arietes (he's coming up) and MD. Mobile as all hell though.


Arietes (???)
Skills
???
Spirit Block
Counter L5
Genius
Guard
Morale
Spirits
Scan
Analyze
Confusion
Sense
Fury
Traits
HP Regen (S)
EN Regen (L)
Spirit Block
Shield
Hyper Jammer
Weapons
Malice Clod (45 EN, 120 Will, SP Drain, Ignore Size, MAP)
Bloody Vines (18 ammo, Pierce Barrier)
The End of Merciless (20 EN)
Ace Bonus: -

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

My god, he's overlevelled, his skill list is basically the SRW annoying boss checklist, and it's not even going to be the last of him by a very, very long shot. He's short on HP and he drops a Jammer, that's all the good you can say about him. And he's going to get worse. I'd say he's problem #2, but I think he qualifies as several.

And again, if you know what's up with Z, this also contained clue #2.



So we have three things here causing enormous pain: the Damons, Arietes, and Rhinodamon MD.



Crowe badly needs a couple of doses of Kamina's Trust. With the low low cost and his inflated SP pool, Kamina is an inspiration machine.






These two are a pretty good team.




Units not to scale.





And now we come to the second problem that isn't a huge liar: the reduced damage from supporting attacks is frequently stopped by the D. Fault.



But now that Canaria's supports are spent, she'll spend Michel's other support too...




And that one's about to go.



I'll put her where the other ground warriors (Kamina, Akagi) can use her next round.




I'm taking a couple out for Will purposes.



(Ibuki learns Guard.)







Kouji is my big gun, and Crowe is my big support gun.





Kamina and Simon are just big.



Antares 1, beginning mission.
...understood. I will do as ordered.







Brela tags the last healthy Bulldamon.




Luca supports. This is looking doable.



The Bulldamons are weakening, the Damons aren't a huge concern, so it's time to turn on Arietes, starting from Luca's Analyze Spirit.







Michel lands a tremendous critical, then moves to surround to give everyone else an extra bonus.







The rest of the S. M. S. squad follows up, letting Alto deliver the final blow enhanced by the Luck Spirit so he gives double money. Naturally, Arietes also coughs up the part and enough xp to vault amateur pilot Alto into the big leagues.

Well done. There may be hope for you yet.
Heh heh... in fact, you've piqued my interest. It seems I've found one at last.



He leaves, but Crowe has his sights set on MD.



But that's not where my sights are just yet.



Planted next to the Macross, he'll have a nice bonus to dodge MD and the benefit of Jeffrey's Defensive Support.



Only one Damon has the courtesy to die on the enemy phase.



MD attacks Crowe again, but Jeffrey takes it for him.



It's now player phase 3. I have two rounds (and one round of counters) to wrap this up.



B-listers take out a cluster of weakened Damons.



As the cleanup continues, Canaria learns the Faith Spirit, which is expensive but fully restores any ally unit's HP.



Soon, the non-mains have taken down all the Damons, apart from MD.

This is Ranka's big break and I won't let you ruin it for her!
I'll fight for her... and her dream!



!
What's this I feel? This Damon is different from all the others...



Let's go, Damon MD or CD or whatever! I'm gonna get you back for what you did to Crowe!
'cause we're the space handymen, and we do anything, even monster hunting!



A lot of people are working really hard down there to make a movie!
You are not going to mess up their work!



(Akagi is not a good pilot.)

What are we gonna do, bro? This one's way stronger than the other ones!
We sure don't whine about it! I figure it's just a pig mole, only way bigger, with horns, and way way stronger...
...that shoots fireballs, charges, and it's white!
That's not even close!
But what's important is guts! And if you can't beat him, what can you beat, huh?
But if we beat him, we know we can take on anything!
Bro!
So let's show 'em our manly spirits! That's how we roll in the Gurren Gang!




It's really powerful even for a Rhinodamon.
But Grandpa's Mazinger Z can even beat the strongest Damon ever!



And that's everyone, so it's up to Crowe to finish the job.








Crowe also gains a preposterous amount of xp.



Since it's turn 3, I got an SR Point.



But Crowe makes the classic anime mistake of asking "Did I beat it?" which virtually guarantees your enemy is still standing.



To no one's surprise, it vanishes. We don't have the resources to pursue it, but let's still count it as a win, since we did drive it away. Crowe figures that makes it one to one, and resolves to make their next meeting the deciding round. And there's still the matter of that unknown mecha. Who could it be, and why did he go after Crowe?



Speaking of mysterious agents, what's this guy's deal? He says to Alto "you don't deserve her," then leaves. Luca identifies his machine as a VF-27 from the Galaxy fleet, where Sheryl came from.



Also, CEO.



Alto's taking his role in the movie. "It's part of the mission," he says, but Michel can see it's because Ranka needed him.



Meanwhile, the execs-at-large have dug up a picture of pretty kabuki-ist Alto as Princess Sakura. The poor kid still has fans, to his dismay, and the photo is almost making new ones out of the Macross bridge crew. They grill him about why he gave it up for piloting, but he's silent. Michel has a better question: has he read the script for Bird-Human himself? Because they told him he'd be supplying piloting and stunt footage for the main character, but apparently, they didn't tell him about the underwater kiss scene. Between the pilot (or his stunt double) and the little sister, currently played by Ranka Lee.



Alto angrily says he'll do it because "come on, it's just a kiss." Sheryl, with precision timing, arrives to wonder just what he means by that, over the squeals of her fanboys and fangirls. But to their shock and bewilderment, she needs to speak with Alto alone. "Good luck, Alto," smirks Kouji. "We've gotta get back to the set, ya know."

Alto, with the stunning tact he's known for, asks after Ranka...



Who is having her hair done by Bobby, lest anyone say Macross bows to stereotypes. He (/she? How does it work for this one?) couldn't say no to Ozma's dear little sister. Bobby asks her how she feels about that kiss. Obviously, she has cold feet, not just about the kiss but the role in general. Her character, Mao, is in love with the love interest of her older sister, the female lead. She doesn't know if she can get into the character's head.

Bobby's advice: "It takes two to love. Think about the other side." That means understanding the hero, Shin, and Ranka goes to find Alto. Wait...



Alto is still talking to Sheryl about the sky. It was certainly as wide as he expected, but he doesn't like the artificial lines that people have drawn to cut it up. "The whole sky is one big sky. Why do people have to fight to carve it up?" But really, the fleet, and their own Earth for that matter, weren't so different. Guess it's just how humans are.

Sheryl's thought: "You think that's how birds feel when they're flying? They can't see those lines. Or maybe they just don't care. Birds just live to fly in the whole sky." Maybe that's the meaning of the movie titled Bird-Human, a story of people who learned to cast off their worries and live free like birds.

Speaking of worries, Alto maintains he's not too hung up on that kiss scene. Ranka, however...



Just walked in on something awkward.



And then Sheryl giggles at alto for getting so flustered, when he's the one that was all "just a kiss." Enraged Alto chases tittering Sheryl away, as Ranka stands in shock.



And at Limonesia's de facto capitol, Mishima is accepting a fairly generous helping of their own Fold Crystal from Shioni and Carlos. He certainly didn't expect any to be found in this universe, and Carlos explains that what they call Fold Crystal is Limonesia's unique precious metal itself - Dimension Energy Crystal, or DEC for short. Carlos is also letting Mishima use some Axion lab resources, which would have made him happy on its own, but getting his hands on DEC was beyond his wildest hopes.

Carlos is supposed to be getting something big in return. It's the plans for the Macross' Fold System, but Mishima doesn't have it just yet. Stealing one of those in secret is a bit of a job, and none of the conspirators can afford to be found out. But they're hoping to have it soon. Getting those plans will set Project Uzume forward tremendously. And it may have cost them quite a sum of DEC, but they still have more than enough to make it go. Once the project is online, DEC will no longer be an issue for Limonesia.

"I'm helping him because I'm curious," muses Carlos, "and you're with him for the future of Limonesia."



And them Him arrives, and Shioni gives him a name (reproduced with all possible groanworthy fidelity): "Ime Liard." Ime begins to give them their next instructions...



And as one secret meeting begins, so does another. Mishima is handing over some of that Fold Quartz he just took, in exchange for all of Grace's data on the Vajra. She doubts his army has taken out enough Vajra to have collected as much as he has, but he just says he has his ways. And both of them have taken a fancy to the new girl in the movie...



As Grace wonders if she can really make contact with the Galaxy using this Fold Quartz, Brela reports to her. She chews him out because he was ordered to protect Ranka without making contact with her. If this disobedience keeps this up, he'll never get his memories back...



Ranka and Ozma had a long talk last night, and now he's okay with her singing. "If you had cared about me that much..." begins Cathy, but Ozma stops her. It's ancient history now. Besides, the shoot's starting.



Alto gives Ranka some acting advice from his stage days that boils down to "don't think about anything, just get deep into the character."



She certainly gets deep into something. And that ends the chapter. We got a good one coming up though. Spoilers: it's about Dai-Guard.

Caphi fucked around with this message at 02:17 on Nov 11, 2012

Brunom1
Sep 4, 2011

Ask me about being the best dad ever.


Ah, I've been waiting for this route split.

Not because of whatever plot is going on but because of Aim/Ime's first showing.

This guy...well, he's something else. Until everything comes clear, just bask into his awesome theme:



Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


Brunom1 posted:

Ah, I've been waiting for this route split.

Not because of whatever plot is going on but because of Aim/Ime's first showing.

This guy...well, he's something else. Until everything comes clear, just bask into his awesome theme:





I'm gonna have Untrue Crystal stuck in my head all day after working on this chapter.

Materant
Jul 22, 2010

see, what you don't understand is he now has

THE MANLIEST MUSTACHE

it defies physics



gently caress Aim and the Arietes forever. gently caress this route split forever.

His theme can stay though, it's a shame it's stuck on such a bastard.

Tobias Grant
May 16, 2009

Lucky for you, I'm a dog lover.



The best theme. Right here. Also helps that Aym himself is awesome (Although he is a complete bastard).

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

There is no problem that cannot be solved through sufficient application of lasers and friendship.

I'm pretty sure Bobby identifies male, unlike Leron whom I'm not sure identifies as even having a gender.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


I just updated the hell out of the music catalogue and scrounged up some Youtube links to the ones that are OPs, fyi.

But I'm still humming Untrue Crystal.

アイム・ライアード is not very subtle so I decided the spelling should also be not very subtle, so it looks as much like "I'm a liar" as possible. He even lies in fight scenes, with lines like "this is for your own good" and "that barely tickled."

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011



Yeah, this mission can gently caress right off. Untrue Crystal is my loving jam though, no matter how much of a lord it plays for.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Yeah, Aim is basically the main villain of Z2. That mystery ability of his turns into the most dangerous Boss skill in the game if I recall, either that or Extreme which is merely incredibly unfair to fight against. Aim actually gets even worse later on, the poo poo the Arietes can drop on your head once Aim decides to run it at full power makes him a really brutal boss. The only upshot is that the Arietes never has a lot of HP or good defenses, You should totally go full force to kill him off just because of how nasty he can be if you let Aim run around.

Oh and if you didn't catch it from the "subtle" name pun and his dialogue through the stage Aim never tells the truth. Well actually it's slightly more complicated than that, but just assume that you can't trust a word he says.

Also this mission is way harder than Caphi made it look. The Macross units really don't have very strong weapons in general, so a BullDAMON sitting on a mountain range can use its D-Fault to basically become invulnerable to the attacks of all of your Valkyries. Let's not forget as well that the DAMON are horribly strong with dangerous status weapons and a wretched mix of both mobility and accuracy so even your fast mechs can easily be nailed and shot down. Also the Time Limit is incredibly stringent, you have to basically rush down the enemies and pray, Support attacks are absolutely necessary and luck plays an uncomfortable role.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


Omnicrom posted:

Yeah, Aim is basically the main villain of Z2. That mystery ability of his turns into the most dangerous Boss skill in the game if I recall, either that or Extreme which is merely incredibly unfair to fight against. Aim actually gets even worse later on, the poo poo the Arietes can drop on your head once Aim decides to run it at full power makes him a really brutal boss. The only upshot is that the Arietes never has a lot of HP or good defenses, You should totally go full force to kill him off just because of how nasty he can be if you let Aim run around.

Oh and if you didn't catch it from the "subtle" name pun and his dialogue through the stage Aim never tells the truth. Well actually it's slightly more complicated than that, but just assume that you can't trust a word he says.

Also this mission is way harder than Caphi made it look. The Macross units really don't have very strong weapons in general, so a BullDAMON sitting on a mountain range can use its D-Fault to basically become invulnerable to the attacks of all of your Valkyries. Let's not forget as well that the DAMON are horribly strong with dangerous status weapons and a wretched mix of both mobility and accuracy so even your fast mechs can easily be nailed and shot down. Also the Time Limit is incredibly stringent, you have to basically rush down the enemies and pray, Support attacks are absolutely necessary and luck plays an uncomfortable role.

I did mention, but this mission is ridiculously hard on a first run because money for upgrades is incredibly tight, and I did show getting blocked by the Fault a couple of times. Because I'm swimming in G, all my units are somewhat upgraded, so it's much easier to throw out about 5000 damage per action with proper use of Support (also, Kouji and Simon having a clue), as opposed to, like, 2-3000 because VFs aren't strong and supports get completely nullified. And even then, Ime and MD were serious threats (15 levels above the party and both loaded with annoying skills and regeneration).

I remember my first time through this mission, though. I must have reset the whole chapter a dozen times.

SITB
Nov 3, 2012


Can we vote that you will change Crowe's theme to Untrue Crystal?

KDavisJr
Jul 17, 2010

A real avatar never dies, even when it's replaced!


From the first time I saw Aim's face I knew he was a ginormous dickwad.

Glad(?) I was right.

He isn't even a cool recurring boss like Axel or Wodan, or an evil amoral one like Grims. He's just annoying fuckwad that...well no one likes.

SITB posted:

Can we vote that you will change Crowe's theme to Untrue Crystal?

I second this.

(I'm playing this theme as I type this. Not my all time favorite SRW theme, but it's pretty fuckin' boss.)

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Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Since it was mentioned in this chapter, I feel obliged to post Lin Minmei singing Do You Remember Love.

Obviously it contains spoilers for the original Macross, and is in parts because of gore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wckZcVFLU24

And while I'm at it, have also the version of Aimo that plays in this particular Macross Frontier episode (video is spoiler-free, but there's spoilers in related videos).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAXyxJmy-W4

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