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GilliamYaeger
Jan 10, 2012

Call Gespenst!


Well, I was going to post this video of Aim saying something utterly bizzare as a battle quote, but when I looked at the video again I realized it had some...rather major spoilers. Which means I'm going to have to wait another dozen or so levels before we get said spoiler on our team and I can show the video.

If you're curious to look it up yourself, said video is called 'Aim says wha...?'

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Justin_Brett
Oct 23, 2012

GAMERDOME put down LOSER

I'd take that bastard sitting in the mountains to it parking its rear end under the waterfall any day of the week.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



GilliamYaeger posted:

Well, I was going to post this video of Aim saying something utterly bizzare as a battle quote, but when I looked at the video again I realized it had some...rather major spoilers. Which means I'm going to have to wait another dozen or so levels before we get said spoiler on our team and I can show the video.

If you're curious to look it up yourself, said video is called 'Aim says wha...?'

I wouldn't look it up precisely. What is happening there is kind of a spoiler in and of itself.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Aim is everything I was expecting and so much more.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




My favorite part of Untrue Crystal is that it sounds like a Good Guy's theme. The trumpets, its uplifting piano theme, and those Jazzy chords all sound very positive and heroic. Aim's such a spectacular liar that even his theme song is deceptive.

TK-31 posted:

Aim is everything I was expecting and so much more.

You ain't seen nothing yet. It's going to be a LONG time before we see my favorite Aim bits.

HiKaizer
Feb 2, 2012

Yes!
I finally understand everything there is to know about axes!


Untrue Crystal is a pretty catchy and amazing song. A lot of the original music for this game is really enjoyable.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE




Back at Izu, Crowe tells Esther the tale. She's disappointed that MD got away, but she says she's mostly disappointed in herself. She only has to depend on Crowe to take MD out for her because she's powerless to do it on her own. Crowe just grins and assures her that he's taken the job and he's a professional.

Esther scoffs and tells him to get out there after MD if he's so confident. But Crowe is concerned about the freak who crashed the fight and asks Esther to get the boss to do some sniffing for him. He wants to know if Ime was put up to it by Ritchie Rich. (We know it's the other way around, but let's not quibble.)

As Crowe is ready to hang up, though...

Hold it right there!
What is it? You think of a parting shot to hit me with?
No... just... watch your back.
I will. Dying is the least classy way to get out of debt.



And elsewhere in camp, the Crushers are still talking about the movie, of which Ranka's special song, the only early memory she has, has turned into the theme song. Alto is happy for her, he guesses, but the others warn him to watch out for the shadow of her protective older brother. The Crushers feel he still has doubts about her fledgling music career, but Michel has his own theory: "I'm thinking it's about the kiss scene."



Akagi is just glad the Frontier crew is getting comfortable on Earth, but Ibuki and Aoyama seem to have other things on their minds.



And when Mrs. Myojin brings the team coffee, Crowe quips that his gynophobia melts before her aggressively motherly aura, which strikes a nerve in Aoyama. Akagi, of course, assumes Aoyama wants a piece of the coffee cake, if you know what I mean, but for once Aoyama is serious; he really does have something on his mind, and it might seriously force him to quit the company!

But he won't say why, just "they're my issues, and I'll deal with them by myself." As soon as he leaves, the entire Japan team gets into a furor about what it could all mean. Panicked, Akagi looks at Ibuki, but she assures him that she's not going anywhere, certainly not off Dai-Guard... but being in GOONZ' operations is another matter. She admits that she's only in it to handle the Heterodyne threat. Fighting terrorists and monsters is not what she signed up for.



Shirota arrives to give her his blessing. Japan has other solutions to the Heterodyne problem anyway. Akagi protests that the defense force doesn't have the resources to take on a Heterodyne...



"You always had a bad habit of getting ahead of yourself, Redpen."

It's Iizuka, Akagi's former giant robot piloting instructor in the defense corps! He always calls Akagi that because of the "red" in Akagi's name and the inevitable red failing marks all over Akagi's reports.

He remembers that Akagi was the only one who actually wanted to pilot a giant robot in a class that just wanted to pass and go. Now Akagi is a real giant robot pilot, but so is he, Iizuka. To Akagi's shock, the Defense Corps didn't forget that Dai-Guard was originally their project, and they've built a better robot on its specs.

The Corps machine's name is Kokubougar, which is exactly like naming your robot NatSecGar in Japanese. (Nakahara: "National Security Gar. What's the Gar for?" Tetsuo: "It's just how it works with giant robots." Irie: "'-on' and '-der' also work.") The point is that now that the Defense Corps have their own unit, Dai-Guard is unnecessary, Aoyama is free of obligation, and since KBG is mostly a Heterodyne response unit, they've got an opening for a navigator, Ibuki, if she wants, hint.

Akagi wants to know why the military doesn't just take on Dai-Guard, then - they may not actually need it, but it can't hurt. "Why can't salarymen fight for peace, anyway?" Iizuka proposes a challenge, then. The military can't accept lovely pilots, so let's have a test: Akagi vs. Iizuka, to make sure he hasn't forgotten everything about piloting a giant robot. In fact, he's so confident, he's going to test our civilian and private pilots too. Throw Kouji and Watta into the fight, he'll take them on three on one.



Soon, all three machines are there. Ibuki and Aoyama would sort of like to have their lives back, but they agree not to hold back because they want to lose.



Incidentally, Kouji overheard Aoyama on the phone after he left earlier. It sounded like someone was sick, maybe someone in Aoyama's family. But there's no time to talk...



because the guest of honor has arrived, in a machine that looks awfully similar to Dai-Guard itself.



Crowe is cheering them on from his safe perch, beer and hotdog in hand. Kamina supplies his own commentary: "This is a battle of guts! Let's see who burns hotter!" It's clear that Dai-Guard and Kokubougar have very similar specs, so this is a matter of Iizuka showing Akagi what fighting like a soldier really means. Ozma, however, suspects that the real battle may not be that simple - it's true that the experience gap is tremendous, but there's an odd chance that the kids can teach the old dog a new trick.




Incidentally, "fighting like a soldier" apparently means casting Strike and Guard on himself every round.



I suppose it's only fair to start with Dai-Guard.

You've learned a few moves, I see. But you've got a long way to go.
Instructor...
You're just a salaryman. Go back to filling out forms.
You're right, I'm a salaryman. But I'm not just piloting Dai-Guard because it's my job.
But this is a job.
If you think that, I can't let you beat me.
You can't even do your own job. What can you do against me?
Grr...









Ow!



At corporate HQ, Nishijima asks Ohkouchi what he plans to do if Dai-Guard fails and their company loses public face. Ohkouchi has faith in Dai-Guard, though.



You don't think that's a little big for you to play with, kiddo?
Trider's not a toy! He's a real super robot that fights for our company and the whole world!
You talk a good game, but you pilot like an amateur. What good are you?
Fine! I'll show you I'm not just playing around!
You're welcome to try, but you'd best show respect for your elders.










I am so hosed.



Okay, Kouji has no experience, but he's in a stupid good robot, right? He's certainly the muscle of this operation.


Absolutely pathetic. You're not using a fraction of that machine's power.
That's what the landlady said!
You've got some muscle, though. Join the Corps and I'll train you myself.
I may be new at this, but I'm not leaving Mazinger!
Let's do this, Kokubougar! I'll make up for my skills with force!
You're naive, kiddo. Whoever taught you was way out of date.







So that was turn 1. It really sucked.




Iizuka recasts his Spirits and goes for Mazinger.





Kouji lands a Rust Hurricane that will drop Kokubougar's armor.



Now we attack for real.



By the way, these two robots are indeed pretty similar. I'd guess they were near identical outside of upgrades.



Also, that fucker has my Knot Buster!



So anyway, we're going to surround this fucker, keep up our Invincibles, and do some hammering.





Surrounded and with reduced armor, this is about as good as it's going to get.





Dunno why Iizuka is so down on Kouji for having zero experience. He's been doing the best out of this whole team, and not just in raw damage - he's gotten countered less, too.



This is taking too long.



This time he goes for Akagi, and... oh my. Have a video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzNw5ZKUPB4
Seriously, that fucker has my Knot Buster.

Okay, he's down to like 2000. Let's show him what an actual Knot Buster does.








That's how it's done. He drops an A Adapter.




He gets back up, tells off Akagi for not realizing Kokubougar wasn't down yet, then smashes Dai-Guard's face in. Shirota calls the match in favor of not Dai-Guard, reminding everyone that his goal was just to show the fighters how long they have to go compared to a real soldier.

Iizuka gives Akagi an "A for effort" and asks what he's doing fighting so hard for a corporation. Akagi says again that he's not fighting for the company, but for the world. Is that so wrong for a salaryman?



Good news, then - the quake alarm just went off. There's something building in Shinjuku.



10 PP. Woo.


Chapter 17: Night Battle at Shinjuku
(public route)

Three days later, the quake happened and the Heterodyne emerged, all right, but it's just been sitting there, motionless.



It's huge, though. Since it's not doing anything, Shinjuku has simply been going through its normal life around it. That said, the GOONZ are watching the thing like a hawk while R&D whips up a piece of tech that can get into its Fractal Knot. Basically, if we can just break the core Knot, the Heterodyne problem will be over, so we're just standing by in case the Heterodyne goes on the move first.

The problem is that Dai-Guard has been in the garage ever since the battle. Luckily, Kokubougar is standing by with us in Dai-Guard's place, providing another unpleasant reminder for Akagi that no one really needs Dai-Guard anymore.



Watta's family visits, bringing gifts of food. Seeing his mom reminds Aoyama of something, and he slips away, claiming her food made him hungry and he has to go scrounge some up. Irie accuses him of going to phone a woman, and he replies, "something like that" before making his break.



Ibuki has a lot on her mind too. Like Aoyama, seeing Mrs. Takeo stirred some worrying thoughts - in her case, that Watta's father passed away. She hasn't had one either, since he was killed in the very first Heterodyne attack twelve years ago. And while both she and her mom moved on, she could never forget, and found her way to Dai-Guard hoping to fight Heterodynes for some sort of closure.

She only told Akagi because he kept badgering her about it, though (he asked like twice, come on), and tells him to keep it from the rest of the company. The point is, she does have her reasons, just like Aoyama has his reasons for not wanting to stay on Dai-Guard.



Shirota invites Akagi to come eat with him...



Meanwhile, Aoyama is on the phone. Demanding his mother tell him what the doctor said, and by the sound of it, not getting an answer. She sounds more worried about Aoyama than herself, and he hangs up in frustration.



Crowe was just passing by and couldn't help but overhear. Aoyama explains that she has a weak heart, but every time he calls to check on her, she insists she's fine. But that's why he was thinking about quitting the company, to take care of her. "Laugh if you want. Call me a mama's boy."

Crowe just smiles. "You're an idiot. What son doesn't look out for his mom, huh?" Still, Aoyama asks Crowe to keep it to himself. And, since he's going to her hospital now, if Crowe would cover for him out in GOONZ. Dai-Guard can't deploy anyway, so we've got their backs.



No sooner does Aoyama take off than this douchebag should approach Crowe. "He made the right choice," he murmurs. "It would be best for him to meet his mother as quickly as possible." You see, he's Mrs. Aoyama's doctor, and he says the woman won't last the night.



Horrified, Crowe asks why Aoyama didn't tell him, but Ime just laughs raucously and praises Crowe's excellent reaction. It was all a lie, which is good, but why? Mr. Liard claims he was testing Crowe's friendships, and that's when Crowe recognizes his voice - the pilot of the mysterious machine from Limonesia.

Ime Liard introduces himself properly, and claims to be "your lover, and together we swore an oath of everlasting love in a past life." Again he indulges in Crowe's surprise: "You may put up a cool facade, but your true feelings are plain to see." He adds that his job is to cause Crowe doubt.

Crowe finally breaks down and threatens to beat the truth out of him, and Ime says one more strange thing: "An excellent reaction. My words are making you waver, but truly, your fulcrum will not break. But fret not. I have much, much more doubt and suffering ready for you." Besides, he says, he doesn't care to settle things with violence. "My weapon of choice is..."

And he snaps his fingers, and a familiar squeal rings in Crowe's ears. "That's right," continues Ime. "My weapons are dimension shocks."



As Crowe confronts Ime Liard, Shirota has taken Akagi to his eatery of choice, but Akagi is still thinking about what would happen if 21st and GOONZ parted ways. Shirota tells him it's not his problem, but Akagi insists it is. Shirota says it's a military issue, not a civilian one, but Akagi points out that Kouji and Watta are in too. Shirota reminds Akagi that they're doing it because they want to, not because it's their job...



Kakekouji is loudly delivering a similar lecture to Kinoshita: "Just do the job we give you!" Shirota begins again with a "Doing a job means..." but Kakekouji obliviously takes the words out of his mouth again: "Doing a job means accepting what you can't do without help, no matter how hard you try!"

There's only one thing left for Shirota to say that Kakekouji hasn't. "Everyone does their job their own way, but there's one thing I can say: A soldier's job is protecting civilians. I can't let you get yourself into danger anymore." Akagi is about to say he still refuses to leave Dai-Guard, but that's when the dimension shock hits...



The usual spread of Damons, Bulldamons, and Rhinodamons materializes, and the Quarter attempts to scramble its troops with all haste.



With Dai-Guard out of commission, the Shuttle is out in case someone needs energy.



Crowe is trying to figure out if Ime was telling the truth about being able to cause shocks.



Iizuka is standing in for Akagi, since he's the one that broke "Redpen's precious machine" in the first place.



In other news, no bonus condition and an order to wipe out the Damons as quickly as possible. Kokubougar isn't allowed to fall.



The S. M. S. takes point.

So if Ime caused the shock... he basically summoned the Damons.
How does that work? Does he actually have the power to cause dimensional quakes?



One turn down.



The Damons move in.



The Rhinodamons are aggressive today. Elite enemies usually hang back for a turn.



Ouch.



Time to take out as much trash as possible and see if we can't trigger anything.






Am I surrounded by fools who can't land a kill?




Stacking Command is awesome, by the way.



Oh, and Kouji learns Guard. At 15 SP, it's a crazy cheap Guard, too, in case you thought Mazinger wasn't tanky enough.



Sure enough, all the violence gives causality a push. From his perch god knows where, Ime gloats that he did get Crowe... off balance. There's something he wants to try, and now seems like a good time.




He causes space to twist again, but this time, it becomes a spacetime quake and produces a new Heterodyne.



Busujima orders Iizuka to charge Kokubougar in. He chafes at the order, especially since it's a lot like "be Akagi," but he hasn't a choice.



Naturally, the Heterodyne overpowers him, then swallows Kokubougar whole, absorbing Iizuka and the mech's machinery. Thanks to Busujima, the Heterodyne is not only bigger and stronger, but our only Knot Buster is out of the game and we can't destroy the Heterodyne without killing Iizuka. Awesome. Ime, meanwhile, is enjoying the plot thickening...



Akagi is trying to assure the panicking citizens that GOONZ, the U. N. force for peace, will handle the Heterodyne, and there's nothing to fear. He's picked this place, around the hospital, because the sick need to evacuate as quickly as possible.



Ohsugi suggests to Shirota that maybe Akagi didn't care that much about Dai-Guard after all. Shirota objects, since Akagi fought so hard to stay with GOONZ, but Ohsugi reminds him that this doesn't necessarily mean piloting Dai-Guard. Akagi just wants to help people, and he sees GOONZ as the way to do it. Ohsugi guesses that Akagi would even stay on with GOONZ without Dai-Guard. He admits that while the rest of the department are good employees who keep the company at heart, Akagi and his devotion to heroics and justice might be growing on them.



Sure enough, the other members of PR Division 2 are helping Akagi with the evacuation effort, and ask Shirota to give them direction.



Even Aoyama's mom (!) helps calm down a crying child. She tells him that the nice man is actually Dai-Guard's pilot, and he'll be protecting them with the robot as soon as they're safe. She tells Akagi to give her son her regards. Akagi asks if she doesn't want to see him. "I'm sure he's hard at work. He's finally found a job he likes, and I don't want to bother him." As the evacuation finishes up, Ibuki and Aoyama are ready to go to work. And Dai-Guard's ready for work, too - with a new weapon on board! The whole cast is psyched up, so let's go save Iizuka!



Dai-Guard rolls out to a warm welcome from GOONZ, and ready to use its new Knot Punisher! Which is good, because according to Jeffrey's data, Iizuka is still alive, but he's got maybe five minutes.



Okay, so! The simple win condition is to take out the Heterodyne within five turns; the hard one is to take out every enemy, the Heterodyne last, in three. Either way, the finishing blow has to be delivered by the Knot Punisher.



Which, by the way, is a low-ammo, high(-ish) power midrange charge that punches through barriers. It's a lot like a stronger Knot Buster.



But enough about that for now. First, we have Damons to take down.



Oh, and hammer down the big guys, especially since this one is softened and soon to be surrounded.



At the end of Dai-Guard's first turn (remember, I have three), the Damon army is full of holes.



Most of them go after Crowe, who survives and takes the weaker ones down with him.

Come on, Heteroblob! Brace yourself!
Akagi, don't forget Iizuka's in there!
I know! But I know him, and he can take a little damage!
I never know where he gets that confidence from.
Wherever it is, we have to do something!
All right, all right. If we can't save Kokubougar, we've got no right to whine anyway.
As usual, we're getting dragged along in Akagi's wake.
Stay with me, Ibuki! Dai-Guard can't be strong without all three of us!









That's a lot of HP.



So I'm thinking, move in and wipe up the Damons this turn, focus on taking down the Heterodyne next turn?



Dai-Guard should regroup with the team. If I keep my units below that line (the Heterodyne's sniping range), it should be forced to move down to that same line (its movement range), right into my firepower.




And there's the matter of actually hurting the Damons.








Picking off the lesser ones goes quickly.






There's even time to turn around and shoot down a straggler.



Which brings us back to the small issue of the Rhinodamons. The super weak Damon will just kill itself within a turn.








Support should make that easy though.




Also, warships.





And that takes care of one of them.



Alto learns Sense.






Then we start on the second one.



You know what, Kakekouji can just put that last one out of its misery (for Will).



Kinue learns Cheer. Sweet.





So anyway the last Rhinodamon is out.



Now it's just me, the Heterodyne, and one turn left on the clock.



Well, that was boring.



As usual, we'll open with Luca's Analyze, hoping to counteract the cover from the woods.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! You can't just pop outta nowhere and start eating dudes!
It's no good talking, bro! That's not a person we're fighting!
That's not what this is about, Simon! Trash-talking is what you do to get yourself psyched up!
Plus we'll let that old man in there know we're here! It'll help him feel better!
Bro, you've actually thought this out, haven't you?
You bet! Now let's put a hole in this thing, Simon!
You can't do that! You haven't thought about this at all, have you?





This planet wasn't bad enough, they have these monsters here too?
drat it! I don't want to be the hero of a monster movie!





Okay, this thing is going down way faster than I hoped, mostly because it's a huge bag of HP with no interesting powers. I'm just gonna dump the rest of the conversations and skip to the part where it gets stabbed with a Punisher.

Mr. Iizuka, I owe you one, and I can't let you die before I pay it back!
So wait! I'm gonna pull this ballpit apart and get you out of there!

You big jerk! You're holding that man hostage!
Akagi, take him out with your new weapon!

I can feel Mr. Iizuka's life force fading... we have to act fast!
Hold on, Mr. Iizuka! Akagi will save you!

First Damons, now this thing. Those other dimensions are just full of bad news.
I make my living off them, but the citizens don't like them so much. Why can't you ever attack where people aren't, huh?

And here's the finale:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzvpweyrPmc



SR Point confirmed.



Kokubougar's safety also confirmed. Iizuka promises he'll do what he can to keep Akagi with us, and recognizes Kouji and Watta as well.



One more thing to do, though - Team Dai-Guard turns the Knot Punisher on the giant Heterodyne, and fires...



as the chapter comes to a close on the lovely smell of Kinue's cookies and some bonus PP.



Everyone's still coming down from that battle. Akagi is still worried about losing his partners, but Ibuki is staying. His hero craze is rubbing off on her, she guesses. She jokes, but she wants to make sure no one else has to go through her loss.



And hey, Aoyama's not quitting either. His mom convinced him to stay and do what he really wants to do, and Crowe adds her to the list of women he can stand. Besides, he's glad Aoyama's staying; otherwise, he'd be the only one on the public team drawing the short straw all the time.



Akagi maintains that if he had to choose between the company and GOONZ, he'd choose us (aww!), but Shirota says that won't be necessary. It's been decided that Kokubougar continue functioning as Japan's Heterodyne response system while 21st Century's agreement with GOONZ will stand. Apparently, Kokubougar's pilot testified that there was no one in the Defense Corps qualified to pilot Dai-Guard better than the three employees.

That said, Iizuka's report also said that the pilots of Mazinger Z and Trider G7 need to be trained in piloting, and Ozma is up to the job. He's already trained Alto up from scratch, and now he's going to "beat piloting into your skulls from the basics." Good luck, Kouji, Watta!



Finally, we meet the eccentric genius R&D head who's been making those weapons for Dai-Guard, Rika Domeki.



She asks Crowe for his Damon data. He's willing to pass it over, though of course, not for free. She says Ohkouchi will handle all of that - the CEO of 21st Century Security. What do they want with combat data on the Damons? Domeki says that since dimensional and spacetime quakes look so similar, they want to compare the data and look for patterns. Ibuki notices she's carrying her dad's research on dimensional instability. Meanwhile, Crowe is still thinking about Ime Liard's claim and the implications that he can summon Damons and Heterodynes at will.



Coming up: one of the greatest conversations in the game. Spoilers: it involves Kamina.

KDavisJr
Jul 17, 2010

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


Caphi posted:

Coming up: one of the greatest conversations in the game. Spoilers: it involves Kamina.

How many awesome moments in this game involve Kamina and/or Simon? Also it seems that Ester has a thing for Crowe. Not that far though.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Two for the price of one? I'm sure not complaining.

A lot of these stages look like they'd be painful to get the SR Points for during a first run. Particularly anything involving Dai-Guard, Macross, and the Originals.

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011



TK-31 posted:

Two for the price of one? I'm sure not complaining.

A lot of these stages look like they'd be painful to get the SR Points for during a first run. Particularly anything involving Dai-Guard, Macross, and the Originals.

Indeed, I've tried. I'm only about halfway through the game, but Aim's Debut on the Public Route? Hellish. Without the extra firepower you can afford on a second playthrough, your Valkyries need to use their strongest attacks just to scratch anything with a D-Fault, and their support attacks are rendered basically useless - I don't think a one got through. Combine all that with the Damons being deceptively agile and accurate, and things get really ugly really fast if you're trying to move quickly.

Aim really isn't THAT bad on a first runthrough, though - he doesn't have any kind of barrier so you're at least assured that any significant attack that hits him will do some damage. That makes it fairly simple for your hardest hitters to cast strike and maybe valor before laying into him for a round. No, the big problem is finding some way to let your Valkyries do anything to the Damons.

NotALizardman
Jun 5, 2011



Oh man Kokubogar, the finest of Giant Robots and the Knot Punisher.

Fun fact: Kokubogar and Dai-Guard never actually fight in the series. Instead, Iizuka challenges Akagi to the greatest test of piloting skill ever devised: transferring eggs from one carton to another using tiny manipulators in your giant robots fingers! And, done in front of media, government and public spectators!

Akagi loses, because he's sick with the anime flu, Aoyama and Ibuki are fighting and refuse to work together and because Dai-Guard is the worst at egg transferring.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




NotALizardman posted:

...because Dai-Guard is the worst...

That sums it up well. I love Dai-Guard mostly because it's a junky piece of crap.

In game it's pretty unwieldy, but spearing DAMONs with a giant phallic spear is an awesome way to kill them, right up there with Rock Music.

The GIG
Jun 28, 2011

Yeah, I say "Shit" a shit-ton of times. What of it, shithead?


There's just something unique about being the only unit to go " OH GOD EVERYTHING IS GOING WRONG WHY AREN'T WE MOVING poo poo!" when they get hit.

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011



I'm in a weird place with Dai-Guard. It's not quite powerful enough or enough fun to watch for me to gladly throw it out every mission like I do Gundams or either Guren, but at the same time it's too strong and too MUCH fun for me to feel good about just benching it. I'm sure this will drive me crazy later when ZEUTH dumps another dozen robots into our lap.

You know what really drives me crazy, though? loving Skull Squadron. Gorgeous animations, bitchin' music, friendship bonuses, and they almost all suck. They dodge well, but on a first run through when you're strapped for cash you'll never be able to afford enough weapons upgrades to keep more than a couple really battle-worthy without sacrificing the rest of the GOONZ firepower, to say nothing of how much my OCD hates having a 5 man squad on maps with only a 15ish deployment slots at most. They were probably the first point I really started to hate not having the Squad System any more, though Zero and the lesser Black Knights had already made its loss pretty apparent.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Spiritus Nox posted:

You know what really drives me crazy, though? loving Skull Squadron. Gorgeous animations, bitchin' music, friendship bonuses, and they almost all suck. They dodge well, but on a first run through when you're strapped for cash you'll never be able to afford enough weapons upgrades to keep more than a couple really battle-worthy without sacrificing the rest of the GOONZ firepower, to say nothing of how much my OCD hates having a 5 man squad on maps with only a 15ish deployment slots at most. They were probably the first point I really started to hate not having the Squad System any more, though Zero and the lesser Black Knights had already made its loss pretty apparent.

Going to Z2.1 from L was a huge drop in the quality of the SMS mecha. In L Alto and the gang were all great units, well worth using with good mobility and power. It was worth using basically all of them in your squads. Now part of it is that they're great squad filler in a Squad-based game, but even in a 1:1 comparison they're much worse in Z2.1. Well at least they're better in Z2.2, especially the YF-29

KDavisJr
Jul 17, 2010

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


If i'm not mistaken, Dai-Guard and Gurren Lagaan are the only mechs that move towards their opponent via walking/running and jumping.

I dunno why by I find that appealing. Especially Dai-Guard's

Justin_Brett
Oct 23, 2012

GAMERDOME put down LOSER

Not quite the only robots.

Silentman0
Jul 11, 2005

I have a new neighbor. Heard he comes from far away


KDavisJr posted:

If i'm not mistaken, Dai-Guard and Gurren Lagaan are the only mechs that move towards their opponent via walking/running and jumping.

I dunno why by I find that appealing. Especially Dai-Guard's

I assume you mean this game, because I have fond memories of Eva-01 sky-jogging in MX.

ImpAtom
May 24, 2007



KDavisJr posted:

If i'm not mistaken, Dai-Guard and Gurren Lagaan are the only mechs that move towards their opponent via walking/running and jumping.

I dunno why by I find that appealing. Especially Dai-Guard's

Oh no, there are certainly others.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Silentman0 posted:

I assume you mean this game, because I have fond memories of Eva-01 sky-jogging in MX.

Not even this game, there's a mecha we'll be getting later who walks up to enemies to punch them, with a very distinctive sound effect no less.

KDavisJr
Jul 17, 2010

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


Silentman0 posted:

I assume you mean this game, because I have fond memories of Eva-01 sky-jogging in MX.

I do mean this game.

And personally, Dai-Guard and GL's movement looks hella better.

Justin_Brett posted:

Not quite the only robots.

I guess I should have said I think.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE




With that Heterodyne out of the way, the World Fair is back on the program, and that means Ranka's film debut in Bird-Human as well as a concert from the one and only Galactic Fairy. Much of GOONZ is interested in that second thing, and they're not the only ones - as you can see, Sheryl's face is plastered all over town.



One person's not excited, though! Something about Sheryl is turning Kamina off. The others tell him to watch his back or he'll catch it from all the superfans in GOONZ, not to mention all over the world.



The real thing is enjoying the reminder of her ultimate power, knocking Kouji and Simon off their feet. She says she's incognito, so if we wouldn't mind keeping it down? She can stay to chat for a few, but no photos, and absolutely no touching. The boys are taken aback at her sudden coldness after meeting her back at the shoot. But that's a star's life - when she's in public, she has to keep up appearance, but right now she's trying to enjoy herself, if you don't mind.

...
Excuse me?
Hey!
What?!
Hey hey hey!
Mister, just who do you think I am?
Yeah? Well, who the hell do you think I am?
The Gurren Gang is feared through all of GOONZ! And this is the unbeatable, immortal Chief Badass with the roaring manly spirit!
His Awesomeness Kamina!
I'm Sheryl Nome! Do you have any idea what that means?

The other pilots are immediately reminded of when Kamina met another fiery soul that resonated, let's say, violently with his own. Luckily, those two turned out to be the best of friends. It's just, you know, how it goes with kindred souls of this sort run into each other.

What could I have in common with this big ape?
You sayin' I'm anything like this chick?

This should be fun.



Oh, and Ranka's with Sheryl, but as usual, invisible in her larger-than-life shadow until now. She's super worried that no one will like her song (the one that already made it to the theme song of a major movie release), so it's up to Alto to try to cheer her up. Sheryl butts into say that she doesn't depend on anyone, and if that makes her less cutesie, cool. "I carve my own fate with my own hands." That just gets Ranka even more down.

Yoko, ever sharp-eared, sees that when Ranka compares herself to Sheryl, she doesn't just mean music. But Simon knows what it's like to be constantly overshadowed by someone bigger and cooler.

Look, I didn't ask to spend my off time with an brute like him.
Then don't get right where I'm walkin'!
This is a public road! I don't have to take that from you!
Sorry, but all the roads end right here with me!
You're so stupid! This world revolves around me!



Eventually, Sheryl excuses herself and Ranka to get back to rehearsal. Alto assures them that GOONZ has their security covered.



Someone probably should have given GOONZ the message. After drawing straws, Akira and Akagi are saddled with the actual security work while everyone else enjoys the concert. Kouji jokes that the real loser was Crowe, who won the draw and promptly tried to hawk his seat to one of the losers, and Michel accuses Takeru of cheating the draw with his psychic powers.



Sheryl gives her speech about how music connects everyone across interstellar distances to wild cheers. Takeru believes that outside was the act and this is the real Sheryl. Even Kamina could have no objections to this performance.



But suddenly, the alert comes in - Beastmen, of all things! Ozma reports that they're moving straight for the concert. It's up to us to protect Sheryl and Ranka!



The Beastmen enter the concert with intent to KILL ALL HUMANS!

Excuse me! Just what do you think you're doing?
That's the one!
The female we were ordered by the Spiral King to kill!
You're ruining my concert! Get out of my sight, you beasts!
W-what?
Y-you aren't afraid of us?
Just who do you think I am?
I'm Sheryl Nome! They call me the Galactic Fairy!
You said it, snobby lady!



Suddenly, the lights go out in the concert hall. And when they turn back on...

Yo yo yo! Hey, Beastmen! Heaven may pardon your crimes, but Kamina never forgives!
You!
We may swear different oaths as we look up at the stars shining in Heaven, but the eyes that see them are the same!
I will defend them on my honor as a man! So says His Awesomeness Kamina, whose name resounds across the world!

The crowd goes loving wild, and on Kamina's instructions, Simon and Rossiu turn the spotlights on Kamina. Yoko wants to fire a warning shot across Kamina's ear to end this idiocy, but he's actually doing a good job of covering Sheryl. The Beastmen decide to fall back and return with their Ganmen.

All talk, those furballs.
You...
Don't say a word, snob chick.
Consider it my thanks for putting on a hell of a show.
Oh, you do have taste. I misjudged you.



Alto has Ranka, too. All that's left is dealing with that Ganmen problem.


Chapter 18: Opening Stage
(public route)



Beastmen are on all sides. Gurren-Lagann, an event deployment, is appearing front and center. 21st Century is evacuating the citizens, so we can sweep up the Ganmen with no worries.



Sheryl's contribution is a background music to our fight: 9 PM at Sagittarius.

(True story: the wiki I'm using to keep track of events and things outright says "You should probably set Sheryl's song as the team BGM" in the walkthrough. It's the default stage music, so this just avoids interrupting the song and keeping the BGM one continuous performance. Anyway, in turn, I recommend putting on your favorite version while reading, because it's a Macross stage. Sort of.)



Her song calms the panicking citizens.



And brings out the fighting spirit in GOONZ.



Clear the current round of enemies in 2 turns.



Easy! (This is a tiny, tiny stage.)

Hold on tight, Ranka! Your brother is looking out for your dreams!
I couldn't protect your family 11 years ago, but at least I can do that!




Sheryl! Ranka! If you say you live to sing, then I'll live to defend your songs!
As a pilot... as a member of GOONZ, I will protect you!





Having a Ganmen out of the way gives Kouji a clear path into the north end, where a unit is badly needed. Essentially, he and the fast VF jets are the charge team.



A really concrete benefit to Sheryl's song is that we can roll Godmars right out. Let's do that; Gaia's range leaves much to be desired.



And Crowe can cover this corner.






I don't get to attack twice enough. I should pump Crowe's Skill stat.



Soon, GOONZ is spread out (a bad idea? Maybe!) and the Ganmen are wounded.





In the carnage, just a reminder that Mazinger Z is so powerful it cannot be destroyed.








And on the next turn, GOONZ wipes out the Beastmen.



But the instant they're gone, the Gishin strike!



At their head is Baren, who was ordered by Emperor Zuul to investigate a strange energy signature, but never thought she'd be lucky enough to find Mars here as well. But Mars can come later - her priority is that energy source.



So of course, she opens fire on the concert. Wait, what? Thinking Sheryl dead, Baren turns her attention to Godmars. Takeru wants to know why she attacked Sheryl, but the Gishin won't talk, and the battle is on.



This time, we just have to defeat Baren's Vacuum (no, seriously, I'll explain in a sec) and the rest of the Gishin attack mecha will retreat.





But with no time limit, where's the fun in that?



It's up to Crowe and Takeru to hold out until the cavalry arrives.






Godmars gives absolutely no fucks about the Gishin jets. Why do they even send those, anyway?





Seriously, they do nothing.



By the time Baren makes her move, every single Gishin fighter has been blown out of the sky, and the mecha aren't looking good themselves.

You were a fool to disobey Emperor Zuul, Mars! Now die with your precious Earth!
Why? Why are you so loyal to Zuul?
You must know that if you destroy me and blow up the planet now, you won't survive the blast!
I have sworn my life to Emperor Zuul's will! I will gladly die here if you die with me!
Don't you see? How can he be worth serving if he throws away the lives of his servants like this?






Yes, its body is a fan, that's why it's called the Vacuum. Early giant robot shows were weird.



When Baren and Takeru cross swords, Mika detects another set of bogeys approaching...



It's Baron Ashura, his/her Talos warriors, and Mechabeast Tauros D7! S/he's come to crush Mazinger Z once and for all!

That's their commander?!
It's that half-man, half-woman villain we met in Area 11!
So it's...
Someone like us?

Ashura has been watching for a bit, and something about the "giant-faced demons" stirs memories deep within him/her, but for now, s/he's got his/her sights dead set on Kouji Kabuto and all who ally themselves with him. "By the will of my lord and master Dr. Hell, I will send all of you to your doom! Charge, army of Ashura!"




They do so, and Baren has no arguments with Ashura. Looks like we're caught between two forces that have no interest in fighting each other.



Simon's about to piss himself.



Grace just barely saved Sheryl, but she's still hurt. She insists she has to sing for everybody. Ranka thinks this is no time to sing, but Sheryl says this is exactly the time to sing. "Alto's team is putting their lives on the line. I have to do my part..."



So Ranka steps up in her place to keep the show going with "What 'bout my star."



As the soldiers and civilians again find themselves drawing strength from Ranka's song, Baren promptly notes a spike in that energy signature she's investigating.



And inspired by Ranka's courage, Simon has an idea of his own. He charges into the midst of the Talos, then causes the earth beneath them to crack and swallow them whole. Enraged, Ashura orders his/her Tauros to destroy Gurren-Lagann, but Kamina switches in for a new move of his own.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgVGLB3p83c
I have compiled both of them into a video. Enjoy.



Kamina says it's because Ranka lit Simon's soul, and Simon's fire lit Kamina's!



But despite everything, Tauros is still standing. Ozma orders all units to back up Gurren-Lagann, and like the Vacuum, Tauros will take all the Talos with it when it goes down again.



Tauros ignores Gurren-Lagann (a wise move, probably) to go after weaker prey.







He's crazy tough.



Good try, enemies. Let's get this over with.



Gurren-Lagann has unlocked both of its new attacks, but the MAP version is not nearly as good as advertised. It affects a very small area and doesn't work against flying enemies.



Let's just take down Baren first of all.







Eh, whatever. She's down next turn.



In the meantime, everyone else braces to drive off the Talos and take down D7.



Godmars wipes out most of the Gishin and takes out Baren.



She drops an Adrenaline Ampule, which slightly boosts a pilot's starting Will. Baren croaks out more about how foolish Mars is for betraying Emperor Zuul, causing Takeru to wonder why he and his forces think the Earth is so dangerous. And again, what does that have to do with Sheryl?



On the other side, most of the Talos simply can't reach GOONZ.



Finally, Tauros attacks Mazinger Z directly.

Baron Ashura! I thought I hadn't seen you for a while, but now you're back!
All is in the service of my lord and master Dr. Hell! I will eliminate all threats to his plan!
We'll see about that! Mazinger Z and I aren't the only ones against you!
GOONZ will never let your evil plans succeed!






This won't take long.

Be careful, Akagi! We're in serious trouble if that thing gores us!
Its only attack is charging straight in. Reminds me of someone we know...
Then I've gotta be better at it! We'll take it head on!
Guess that was tempting fate. This is gonna be dirty as usual...





Okay, bro! Let's take him down this time!
That's the spirit, Simon! That kid's song got you fired up, huh?
She's trying her best to be brave! I've gotta be brave too!
Perfect! Let's pay back those two singers! And show the Gurren Gang's power!






Man, there are a lot of different Mechabeasts. I'm pretty sure they're all unique.
Not that I mind getting a fresh batch of data to sell every time, but I wouldn't want to try and complete the set.






That's another dirty trick, attacking when we're all worn out from beastmen and Gishin!
This is war! And I would do anything if Dr. Hell ordered it!
Then go back and tell your boss to learn some manners already!





And finally...








Woo.



Tauros drops a Repair Kit. Loot is good!



Ashura takes the rest of his/her Tauros and escapes.



At the stage, both singers are relieved to see our victory. Sheryl tells Ranka she sang beautifully. Her debut is only a matter of time.



Grace chuckles to herself that by sheer luck, she managed to hear Ranka sing from the heart.



Once again, snacks and PP all around.



On Bardos Island, Dr. Hell is aware of Ashura's failure, and Count Blocken offers to take the next job.



But Dr. Hell is aware of someone else trying to hide in his domain. The intruder reveals himself as Zagul, servant of Emperor Zuul. He subdues Blocken and Viscount Pygman with his psychic powers (Pygman mistakes it for his own voodoo magic), and tells Dr. Hell that Zuul is willing to rethink his campaign of world destruction if Dr. Hell would join forces with him. In exchange, Zagul promises "power to fight the gods." As Emperor Zuul knew, that gets Dr. Hell listening...



Simultaneously, Zuul has sent a projection to the Spiral King in Teppelin. He introduces himself as the future ruler of all the universe, which Lordgenome isn't too interested in. Zuul addresses Lordgenome as the Spiral Warrior and says they both feel a great energy rising, the energy of life itself, and they both know what will happen when that energy overflows, and what place the Earth has in the galaxy. If they can harness the Earth's power, they could defeat even... who? An unknown enemy to us, but one Lordgenome never entertained the slightest hope of fighting. If the Spiral King would only help Zuul take the planet, that power could be his...

Lordgenome tells Zuul's projection to get out of his sight. He'll do things his way to the end. "You'll regret this, Lordgenome," growls Zuul. "Just like before."

When he's gone, Lordgenome identifies him as "one who has seen the End." And whatever he's doing, he has to hurry.



For his part, Zuul thinks Lordgenome has been a fool. And he's got his own spy to deal with. Who is it?



It's Marg! You might remember him from chapter 7, an innocent boy who happened to be wandering around Zuul's palace. Except wait, Zuul knows that Marg has it in for him for, um, killing his dad and exiling his brother to Earth. Turns out he's Takeru's biological brother, huh! Anyway, he's been spying on Zuul, which is why he keeps "wandering" around while Zuul's having sensitive discussions, except Zuul knew all along and now he's out of patience with the game. And he has just the punishment in mind. Marg hopes he can see his brother at least once before he meets the same fate as their father.



But our heroes know none of this plotting. Kamina and Sheryl have just come to respect each others' courage and passion.



Ranka's converted Simon over to her side, though. But Simon feels he has to apologize. "I... kinda thought... you were like me. Just looking up to someone from behind..." Ranka may have found her own song, but Simon fought for himself, too, and he was definitely a key to that battle. Anyway, they're buds now. Simon promises to be a good Ranka fan, and Ranka promises back to earn it.



The show must go on (what, was that not show enough), and Sheryl can see that Ranka's learned to look past her (Sheryl) and into her very own future. Aww. She thanks Alto for saving her, Alto thanks her back, and quietly, Yoko tells Ranka to give it her all at him, too. "It wouldn't be fair for us to take sides in this one."

When they leave, Yoko teases Simon that Ranka already has her eyes on a guy. "That's not it at all," protests Simon. Then, under his breath, he sighs, "Besides, I..."



GOONZ is headed out, so Kamina calls to Simon not to fall behind. The kid is all over it, and reminds himself that he can't just try to be Kamina, but to aim to surpass him, just like Ranka.



From New York, Elgan Roddick tells Ohtsuka that GOONZ' next mission will be to take out the WLF terrorist group once and for all. It seems they're based within HRL territory, so our assault will begin with their base in the Taklamakan desert. Both halves of GOONZ will rendezvous and take this operation together.



After Ohtsuka hangs up, Elgan speaks again to someone unseen. "I know. Those who have been following GOONZ' movements will not fail to take this chance. But this is a necessary sacrifice. And I believe they will be able to handle it." He pauses. "Yes, I'm fully aware. But this is the only way."



Oh, and we get more sweet loot - a Sheryl Disc. It is a hella sweet equipment that restores a pilot's SP by 10 each round. Don't be late!

Caphi fucked around with this message at 02:21 on Dec 4, 2012

StrifeHira
Nov 7, 2012

I'll remind you that I have a very large stick.

Caphi posted:

Everything involving Sheryl and Kamina

That's just wonderful. Getting characters to play off each other like this is one of the best parts of SRW.

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011



This stage is just absolutely wonderful. It's a fun romp through some enemies who provide just enough challenge to be satisfying without being any sort of real threat, and the writing is just a joy. All the characters bounce off each other and interact so seamlessly - none of the disjointedness that sometimes plagues SRW. I particularly enjoyed watching the Gurren Gang and the Macross characters bounce off each other - even well written SRWs usually keep most of the inter-series stuff between Real or Super series, it's fairly unusual to see a burning-hot Super Robot crew play off a Real Robot character. All in all, just a blast.

I particularly like the way the Zuul's being handled. I didn't know dick about God Mars before this game, and lesser SRWs often have villains seeming comically ineffectual in the face of the absurd firepower you always collect, but Zuul's always seemed like a badass, manipulating things from behind the scenes, striking deals with and intimidating other villains, hinting at Original stuff - it's rare for a copyrighted villain to really take charge and drive events in these games, but Zuul's having a good go at it.

Spiritus Nox fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Dec 3, 2012

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




That last bit with Lordgenome and Zuul is a great piece of foreshadowing, especially since I think it's a bait and switch. People who watched TTGL might be able to guess what ominous thing they're talking about, but in hindsight Zuul's dialogue is actually pointing to something different.

Also Zuul and Doctor Hell are made for each other, I mean they're scary megalomaniacal super-villains who strongly align Lawful Evil.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


Funny how the character parallels just suddenly became very clear. The uncertain junior behind the hot blooded as all heck senior. Every exchange is just gold between the series.

Caphi posted:

It's Baron Ashura, his/her Talos warriors, and Mechabeast Tauros D7! S/he's come to crush Mazinger Z once and for all!

That's their commander?!
It's that half-man, half-woman villain we met in Area 11!
So it's...
Someone like us?

I sure hope not. Ashura is in a league of his/her own.

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

It's not like there's any question as to what Bobby's gender is anyway, he's just *fabulous*

Hunter Noventa
Apr 21, 2010


These scenes are so much better now that I actually have an idea of what's going on.

Finlander
Feb 21, 2011


Caphi posted:

That's another dirty trick, attacking when we're all worn out from beastmen and Gishin!
This is war! And I would do anything if Dr. Hell ordered it!
Then go back tell your boss to learn some manners already!

Watta's kinda awesome, sometimes.

Giovanni_Sinclair
Apr 25, 2009

It was on this day that his greatest enemy defeated, the true lord of darkness arose. His name? MARIO.


StrifeHira posted:

That's just wonderful. Getting characters to play off each other like this is one of the best parts of SRW.

Stuff like that is why I love this series, also the stage was awesome.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



You know I'm usually wary of anything involving Kamina being awesome because of how overplayed he is, but that was pretty cool. And oh hey, three waves of grunts in the middle of a route split, the game isn't letting up either!

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE




The alternate Crowe decides that he doesn't particularly enjoy being in the light. But he still gets his money from Traia.



Treize persuades Zechs that the time has come to strike at GOONZ. Zechs objects that moving on GOONZ means moving against the Peacekeeping Council, but Treize informs him that GOONZ has divided into two separate operations, and there's nothing Elgan Roddick can do to support the shadow side.

On the other hand, GOONZ has already fought with the PMC Trust. Treize is certain that we know we have someone in power gunning for us, and Roddick isn't stupid enough to just leave half his forces sitting ducks. No, the shadow team is the surely the bait for a trap only the Chairman could cook up. But Treize and Zechs are perfectly willing to accept the invitation.



The teeth to the trap is GOONZ itself, still a formidable pack of firepower, so Treize has brought Zechs a second-in-command. Lucrezia Noin knew Zechs about a year ago and she's heard everything about the Lightning Baron since then. Zechs really dislikes having such a reputation - "It puts a target on my head, and it gets peoples' hopes up."

But what about Noin? Zechs seems to remember her being a spacebot pilot up at Victoria Base. But when the base was destroyed by the Colonies' Gundams, space stopped being the place for Noin. Now that those Gundams have been spotted in GOONZ' ranks, Noin plans to chase them as long as it takes. And she wants to fight by Zechs' side, too.

Treize adds that they're going to have company for this operation, but leaves the details for later.



As Zechs and Noin get ready to move out, Treize hopes that GOONZ will put up a fight. "If you can't handle my friend, you'll never change the world."



As the Ptolemy sails over the Pacific Ocean, Sumeragi explains that they don't have any particular orders from Chairman Roddick. That means Celestial Being is back in the war-trolling game. What's the Chairman up to? Does he have a reason for letting Celestial Being run loose on his watch?



Zero's guess is that the shadow team is bait to draw out whoever's got a bead on them from the U. N. and keep them from messing with the public team's projects. When the attack comes, it will be their team's job to engage the enemy and keep themselves and their officially sanctioned comrades in one piece.



Tieria's been checking on Veda, and it's been pinging about the WLF for weeks. Duo is curious about why Tieria, a pilot, is allowed a say in picking missions, so Sumeragi explains that Tieria is a proxy for Veda, the supercomputer that actually directs CB's strategy. For some reason, Tieria has been designated to have access to Veda's output.

This special treatment raises even more questions that the man himself refuses to answer. Zero points out that everyone on the team has their own secrets to keep, so they aren't that interested in prying into others' as long as they don't have to share their own. They may not trust each other, but they'll stick together as long as their goals align.

Tangent aside, hitting the WLF sounds like a good thing to do right now. Sumeragi, Zero, and Duo (speaking for the Colonies, since Heero won't) all agree, but Zero asks that they visit Area 11 at least once during the campaign. He doesn't hide that he wants to put on a good show for the Elevens. Sumeragi sighs, but agrees, and asks Tieria to look into WLF activity in Area 11. The pilots discuss how the WLF is a conglomeration of warmongers and bright-eyed idiots who don't know how to translate their good intentions into productive action. The problem is that the WLF has teeth, which makes it an actual serious problem for the world at large.



Ian comms in to say that something's going down in the briefing room...



It sounds like Setsuna called the Resistance's methods into question. Tamaki snaps back, "So Celestial Being is any better? Newsflash: they think you're terrorists too!"



Crowe's waiting for someone to make it stop. Allelujah is taking Tamaki's side, at least to the extent that Setsuna's the provocateur here. Musashi suggests Crowe stop them himself if he thinks it's necessary, but Crowe would find it wasted effort on something that wouldn't make him so much as a single G. "What if it was worth one G?" asks Musashi. "Hm," replies Crowe. "Then I'd do it and put my life down on it." But seriously, Team D reflects that normally he wouldn't go out and pick a fight like this, so he must have some powerful triggers no one knows about. And speaking of quiet types with potential triggers, there are a lot of those going around -



For example.



For example. Karen's probably known Chirico the longest out of anyone here, and she knows almost nothing about him. What is he fighting for?



Aoi is particularly curious (but, she quickly has to assure Karen, not like that). Most of the fighters here have a goal or a dream in mind, but Team D was just plucked out of nowhere and thrown in a robot. So she's been thinking about reasons to fight, and Chirico's is one big enigma. Ryoma suggests she go ask Gotho next time they rendezvous with the ship, but she claims she didn't care that much. Just curious, was all.



Ohgi arrives with news. They've already reached Area 11 and are about to engage the section of the WLF stationed there. That was fast! Karen is already to shoot justice all over Area 11, but it won't be too easy - they've got the Red Shoulders on their side.



Chirico suddenly speaks up to ask if Ohgi is absolutely sure, scaring the bejeezus out of everyone nearby.



"Area 11. The Red Shoulders. Those two words came together in my mind. It may only be a hunch, but if I follow the line connecting them, I should find what I'm looking for. So I chose to believe... "


Chapter 16: Contact
(shadow route)



As the curtain rises, the WLF has hurriedly scrambled their defense force. With the Red Shoulders behind them, they're ready to rout GOONZ - or try.



GOONZ comes in from the north side of the base. Also, apparently the full moon is out. Don't know why; there are two robots in the game that care, and neither of them is here right now.



Chirico deploys without prompting, which actually surprises everyone, and the battle is on. Crowe isn't expecting much cash, but for once is more concerned about smacking down the WLF.



SR Point: Take out all enemies within two turns.



Since we're dealing with fast ATs and tough Genoncidrons, Zero will give the order to Attack and take the lead.



Spirits like Strike, Sense, and Focus will also be extremely useful.






Did you miss Karen? I did.






The heavier robots can take the Axios and Genocidrons.




End of turn state.



The wounded ones start falling off.



Chirico even gets hit. Hooray!




Though the ones with longer range choose targets that can't fight back.





Beginning of turn 2 state.



Another order to Attack to begin with.





First we pick off the foot soldiers...




Then the snipers.



Before the Genocidrons, all that's left is



Okay. I guess the Genocidron has Defensive Support. That's cool, we'll just kill it first.






That was fast, Chirico.



Now there's just the tank Genocidron left.








Look at that, it's still turn 2.



But as always, there's no time to relax. The pink AT from the Shinjuku Ghetto zips in!



Against Zero's orders, Chirico follows the Phantom Lady. She leaves, and he gives chase, removing them both from the stage.



Before we can follow, a squad from the AEU - or more accurately, OZ, one of the AEU's special forces - catches up.



Britannian forces move in from the other side. Looks like the trap was on us all along!



Graham is thrilled to be working with the Lightning Baron, but more thrilled to get another chance to take on a Gundam. On the AEU side, Noin is surprised that Britannia let them into Area 11 at all, let alone sent a squad to fight with OZ. Zechs just says that Treize has some magic tricks up his sleeve. Both sides are keeping up the pretense that their meeting on this battlefield was pure happenstance, but it's clear that they're both gunning for us alone.



With the SR Point already obtained, the timer is gone and the only thing the game asks is to take down Zechs' Leo and Graham's Union Flag, though Noin, Daryl, and Howard are on the board as well.



Zechs' custom Leo is equipped with a High Performance Radar unit, extending the range of all his weapons by 1. Graham's Union Flag is wearing E-Carbon Armor, which increases his machine's HP and armor. Neither of them is in a particularly tough machine, but it's their piloting that would carry them through.



For our part, we'll regroup and absorb the first wave. The boss fights should come within a turn.



Like they said, let's take the bait.








OZ, at least, seems not to have brought their A game. These Aries are what pass for air mobile suits in the AEU.







Their Leos work scarcely better.



Noin and Zechs themselves bring up the rear.





The AEU's mobile suits aren't much good, but Britannia's Knightmares are even worse.



In a flash, every single Glasgow is reaped.



The Sutherlands rapidly follow.



With Graham's team late to the party, the turn rolls over.



Apparently, I put everyone on the wrong side. Celestial Being, Zero, and Karen need to fight Britannia, and the Colony Gundams are supposed to take Zechs and Noin on.

I don't see the Gundam that attacked Victoria Base!
But a Gundam started this, and Gundam can face the consequences! This is for all my students!








This is going to be really easy.



Time for the opening salvo against Zechs, but I'm sure he doesn't have enough HP to trigger all the conversations fair and square.

The Axion prototype from the orbital elevator? It's as good a machine as I suspected.
I'll let the Chief know the famous Lightning Baron likes her work. It'll make her happy.
Speaking of which, if I shoot you down I'm in for a bonus. Nothing personal, but I'm taking you out!






Oh, dear. KMFs belong to the Britannian Union, you know. You don't have the right to pilot one.
He's fast!
But I see you proudly walk the warrior's path. So I'll show you the respect you deserve!
I'll intercept him as soon as he swoops down to hit me... let's do it, Guren!





Likewise Graham, whose flying mech won't help him.



And who cares, let's get the subbosses out of the way.






Ryoma



This won't take much longer.




Noin goes for the Ptolemy, to no avail.

Gundam! You destroyed my men, and now I shall destroy you!
I fought him in Africa...
My machine may be inferior, but my skills will make up for that! I'll show you why they call me the Lightning Baron!







Wow, he actually survived.



Like his counterpart, Graham goes straight for his rival.



Who is kind of damaged, so he braces to dodge.

It's been a while, Gundam! You're looking good!
What is this man saying?
Let me introduce myself! I am Graham Aker, and you've smitten my heart!





Luckily, Setsuna blocks the attack with his shield.





Daryl tries to take down Getter. It works out great.



With the enemy almost gone, I'm just going to dump the conversations again.

There's the transforming robot. But my Flag is pretty good in the air too!
He's fast! And those are some tricky maneuvers he's doing!
I raised this Flag myself. It can take on anything, even a Gundam!

The Union unit's commander! Once we take this guy out, we win!
Hey, sniper Gundam! Can you follow my quick, flawless maneuvers?
drat it! Don't you dare mock my aim!

He has no chance when it comes to agility. I'll just approach from behind!
A Gundam Meister is not allowed to fail. I will demonstrate that personally!
I respect your pride. Allow me the honor of being your first failure!

Why, if it isn't the infamous Zero!
He's targetting me. It's the obvious strategy.
How predictable! All units, defend me and shoot down the enemy commander!
So the king's calling his knights to protect him. But breaking down the guard for a check is the fun part!
Black Knights, it's time to get you in checkmate!






I'll give Zero the final kill. He doesn't get to fight much and could use the experience whenever he gets a chance.



Graham tells the Gundam that absence will make the heart grow fonder when it comes to their love.

The Gundam with the jammer... but that doesn't matter if I can see you with my own eyes!
You know, I haven't made it all this way with just smoke and mirrors.
Now that you've seen the shadow of the Grim Reaper, you're taking a trip to the underworld!

He moves differently from the others in his squad. No time for precise attacks; I'll have to flood him.
It's the Gundam that crushes the enemy with extreme firepower. A worthy opponent!
I'll close the distance and eliminate you before you have a chance to use it!

This must be the leader. If we shoot him down, the OZ forces will retreat!
He's targetting me. So he knows that much tactics.
I'm fighting the heavy armor close quarters Gundam. I'll have to harry and overwhelm him!



Speaking of the OZ forces, Noin's was still here. Let's fix that.



Zechs tells her to retreat before she gets blown up. She objects, but he insists that he would rather have her alive for the many, many battles to come. She tells him not to do anything stupid, but he says to himself that he might not be able to win otherwise.



Anyway, Heero takes him out.



He learns Sense.



It's pretty clear to GOONZ that AEU forces - OZ, no less - being allowed into Area 11 means that this was a joint operation between the AEU and Britannia, no matter what they say. The pressing question is, who orchestrated this? Someone cunning and powerful, that's for sure. But Zero looks at this as a sign that the world is noticing us.



A few kilometers away, Chirico and the Phantom Lady are sizing each other up. Chirico is hoping that if he defeats the mysterious pilot, it'll yield a clue about the mystery that's followed him from Rid through Area 11.



Could it be a good idea to risk letting Chirico take some damage? Let's throw a shot to see how tough the Brutish Dog is.






Okay...








Round 2 goes great.





Anyway, Chirico wins quickly, scoring an equippable ISC.





But the pink AT is still moving, and disables the Scopedog. Cheater. But note that she carefully brought him to exactly 0 HP.



Instead of killing him, she opens up her AT and shows herself. Chirico is shocked to see that it's a woman.



As he tries to figure out what's going on, the Ptolemaios catches up to the two, and the lady exits stage right. GOONZ picks up Chirico, alive and well, and putting the puzzle pieces together quietly as his consciousness slips away from the damage.



As Zechs and Graham commiserate over their loss, Graham asks where that secret new OZ mech, the Taurus, is. They don't have one yet? He knows about it because of his engineer, Reif Eifman - mechanist, physicist, and weapons development pioneer. Graham is confident that this mech maker extraordinaire will use today's combat data to cook him up a beautiful Gundam-fighting machine.

And another thing Eifman told Graham - OZ has a Mobile Suit up its sleeve that's the stuff of history and legend, something so powerful it's dangerous even to pilot it. It had to be toned down to the Leo before it could be mass produced, and the good doctor says the Colony Gundams were also built from its specs. Graham says he hears it's called the Tallgeese.

With that, Graham says he hopes to meet Zechs on the field again. He'll keep giving it his all to defeat the Gundam, and so will Zechs (but they probably don't mean the same Gundams). Both soldiers are eager to get their hands on a new, more powerful weapon.



After Graham hangs up, Zechs orders his man Ottoni to find this "Tallgeese". He means to master its power and use it to take down the Gundam.



Chirico wakes up in the Ptolemy's sickbay. Gotho is delivering some supplies to the Black Knights, so Cocona's paying him a visit. So are Tamaki and Karen. Everyone's worried about him! But Chirico asks after his AT first of all. They sorrowfully admit it's completely totaled, but it's okay - Gotho's team is putting together a new Scopedog from the salvage. Chirico wants to get up and see, but Karen holds him down - he's injured, after all.



Zero demands to know what was the matter with him today, but Chirico has no reason to give. Zero continues questioning him, but Chirico simply clams up. He's now a threat as far as Zero's concerned, unwilling to take orders and prone to sudden outbursts and unexplainable acts. But Zero remembers that all that holds the shadow team together is an unspoken agreement not to pry into one anothers' secrets and doesn't press the issue. Still, he can't have Chirico endangering any missions or the safety of any of his men...



Chirico goes to the hangar to check on his AT, while Gotho and Vanilla marvel at his unkillability. They've brought some new weaponry for his AT, too. Chirico wants Gotho to figure out an arrangement that will let his AT hold a missile launcher, a cannon, and a gatling gun all at once. Ian reminds him that his speed and maneuverability will suffer as a result, but Chirico insists. At least the Scopedog itself is all ready, and as a bonus, painted the Scopedog's shoulder red. It does look somewhat like the Red Shoulder mark, but Chirico points out that his shoulder is lighter than the real thing and on the wrong side.

Thus it comes out that Chirico is a former Red Shoulder himself, and that his former commander tried to put a hit on him. In fact, to be precise, he was a member of an elite squad nicknamed the Bloodsuckers. The Black Knights ask why they never told him he used to be one of those, and he calmly replies that no one asked. But if he wants revenge, that's a good enough explanation for Zero why he's suddenly so aggressive when the Shoulders come up.

But Crowe knows just what it's like to have a past you don't want to talk about...



Chirico is glad he has a war to fight. It doesn't matter why, but as long as he's fighting, he can forget all his pain. And eventually...



Okay. We have a mod part now. I'll explain before I go.



Between stages (or at deployment), Chirico can have his regular Scopedog or attach the Red Shoulder Custom modification. As you can see, it weighs down the machine quite a lot, but adds several new weapons.



Many new weapons. Missiles, rockets, and two new guns, better (P) moves and better counter moves. With a plug-in ISC attached, the drawbacks are almost cancelled out. It's actually a fairly sweet deal. I'll keep this on for the moment.

Tobias Grant
May 16, 2009

Lucky for you, I'm a dog lover.


The RSC is a fantastic mod. It's pilot aside, it's pretty much the only thing that makes the Scopedog useful IMO. And the evasion hit isn't so bad since you want Chirico to be at low health as soon as possible.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Tobias Grant posted:

The RSC is a fantastic mod. It's pilot aside, it's pretty much the only thing that makes the Scopedog useful IMO. And the evasion hit isn't so bad since you want Chirico to be at low health as soon as possible.

Yep, the RSC has less movement and mobility but in most ways it's a straight upgrade to the Scopedog. There are some cases where you won't want to use it, and Chirico has a couple options by the endgame, but until the endgame the RSC pack is well worth using.

Anyways with the introduction of Noin that means we now have met all 7 of Gundam Wing's standard cast. For those following the SRW W thread the Wing characters that Brunom has are the standard issue gang who show up nearly every SRW where Wing is featured.

booksnake
May 4, 2009

we who are crowned with the crest of wisdom

Noin! Always in junk robots when you're such a competent character.

Also I will take this as a reminder to go watch Votoms.

Brunom1
Sep 4, 2011

Ask me about being the best dad ever.


Rrrrrgh...Noin in an even suckier mech...

booksnake posted:

Also I will take this as a reminder to go watch Votoms.

You SHOULD watch it. Do it right now.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




booksnake posted:

Noin! Always in junk robots when you're such a competent character.

Also I will take this as a reminder to go watch Votoms.

That's the best part of Gundam Wing in @2. Not only do they actually make it plot related again even after Endless Waltz but Noin can actually get a Gundam to call her own. Well sort of, but the point remains Noin can strut her stuff.

Caphi
Jan 6, 2012

INCREDIBLE


Actually, can I get this pushed to the next page?

Caphi fucked around with this message at 03:11 on Dec 17, 2012

Ardeem
Sep 16, 2010

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

Caphi posted:

Actually, can I get this pushed to the next page?

YES YOUR MAGEEEESTY!

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Mister Olympus
Oct 31, 2011

Buzzard, Who Steals From Dead Bodies


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5brR14OGWUU

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