Part 23: We Are The Ones Who Will Never Be BrokenPART 23 - We Are The Ones Who Will Never Be Broken
Let's do it! It's been a long time coming.
Welcome back, everyone! Today we're finally bringing the fight to Grit and thus bringing an end to the Blue Moon arc of the anime.
We've got lots to do today, so let's just get right into it.
Look at this absolute motherfuckery of a map. Three separate islands, with boats and the like in the midst, and of course Grit's got rockets and battleships galore. Actually, no, he's just got one of each, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Dave is absolutely silent as he stares at the waves, the rolling fog preventing him seeing anything beyond the vague, imposing shape of the Blue Moon HQ in the distance.
"Dave, are you alright?" asks Eddie. He's trying to contain his excitement at storm-chasing in the fog of war, because everyone can see that Dave is not quite himself. The man in question lifts his head and shoulders his gun.
"Dave Division, form up! Prepare to move out - nothing must go wrong today!"
"It's now or never." Gareth mutters to Eddie and some of the greener recruits. "Dave, and the rest of us, lost a friend early on in this war. His name was Craigsworth. Dave swore to avenge him, and now that day is upon us. If we take that HQ, Blue Moon will be completely defeated..."
"We're all ready." Tina says to Dave. She looks around. "Except Wilbert... did he not show up today?"
"He hasn't left his room in three days." Michael, his roommate, replies. "Spends his time sleeping and staring at the ceiling. I've tried to speak to him, but... nothing."
"...A battle this big would be a guaranteed promotion." Tina murmurs to herself. "Wilbert... why?"
"That can be dealt with later." Dave barks. "Right now, the enemy is poised to destroy us from the fog. We must not let ourselves be defeated! Move forward! Don't let anyone stop you!"
"Aye, 'ere comes Max." Lloyd says over the transceiver. "Let's get started, shall we, shipmates?"
"R-right." Selena says, gulping and trying to soothe her nerves. It's a pivotal battle coming up, and she knows she has a big role to play.
He's not wrong. This place is chock-full of hiding spots, and they are going to be pretty crucial to our success.
It's almost like this entire map was designed with him in mind.
But (and I may or may not be speaking from experience) all that happens is that he gets Snipe Attack off and utterly ruins you.
This, however, is also not the best advice. We're gonna do a mix of both.
Are you listening to me? Mix of both - here we go, troops!
Alright, let's talk strategy. The lower part of this map is kind of a false path, in a way - it's easier to avoid a lot of Olaf's naval units going round there, but he has rockets and artillery that completely prevent your infantry from getting anywhere close to his HQ. The upper route has more packed ground enemies and plenty of naval threats, but we can close in and defeat them more quickly, since most of our troops will be in range to fight next turn.
So, first, we need to find out where our enemies are. I move the Selena Set upwards and sink her. That should keep her safe; she has an important mission after this.
So, here's most of the fuckers. Tina can absolutely shred this entire unit, so they're not a massive threat. The only issue is the sub and the second artillery. Yeah, it's Grit, and there's trees - better believe he's got an artillery unit hidden there.
As usual, the Lloyd Lads are going to stick themselves somewhere and just keep fucking firing. The somewhere in question is this reef; he's in artillery range here, so we need to stay hidden.
I load the Rose Rank into- hang on, this isn't Balthazar!
"Oh, hey guyth." the girl sat at the front of the boat says, waving. "Um, I'm Rin, of the Rin Roundup. I'm pretty new, but I hope I can contribute to thith battle!"
"Oh my god sh-" smirks Omar. "She has a lisp, ahahahah!"
"Piss off, Omar." Tina says. "Welcome to the crew, Rin, lovely to have another gal with us. I'm Tina. We'll protect you all the way, so don't you worry!"
"Thankth, Tina!" Rin beams.
Anyway, yes. The Rose Rank are loaded into the Rin Roundup. I've got Plans for them.
I also load Gareth up.
"Sup, lil' lady." Gareth says. "Thanks for this. I wanna be there when the stronghold falls."
Rin smiles. "I underthtand."
You will be unsurprised to hear that I'm using the Balthazar Boat to bring the Barold Brigade and Dave Divison to the HQ.
And what about that other mech, you ask? You can't even remember his name. Absolutely disgusting.
Vladimir Volunteers are staying down here to guard our HQ. Just in case we get any nasty surprises in the fog. We'll introduce him properly later, don't worry.
And this is how things look on the first turn.
Oh, right, I ought to introduce our third sub.
"Pleased to meet you, gentlemen and ladies." a drawling male voice says over the transceiver. "I'm Marcus of the Marcus Men, and let me tell you... I put the dom in sub."
"Oh, god." winces Elvin, in his own submarine. "I'm sorry you had to hear that crass joke, Captain Lloyd. I, uh, want you to know that I'd never say that! Mostly because I am sub, sir..."
"What was that, Elvin?" asks Lloyd.
"Uh, n-nothing, Captain!" squeaks Elvin.
Hopefully on this turn, the enemy will advance enough that I can just set upon them. But first, let's see what our friend Grit has to say.
On your own? Goin' down the only road you've ever known?
Oh, good. Grit's maps where he brutally slaughtered several of my units were just him "foolin' around". Fucking excellent. Can't wait for a map where he's not holding back. This is gonna be a bloodbath, isn't it?
...Uh, too late there, friend.
You mean the ground troops that are currently on landers, heading towards your HQ? Those ones?
Here we go.
So, not much happened in this enemy phase, since everyone was either untargetable or out of range, but his troops slowly advanced as expected. His artillery didn't move in a stupid way, either, so now I KNOW he's serious.
One thing I just wanted to note here is that you can see the animation where a submarine sinks if it's nearby, so that's cool. You can't attack it, but at the very least you can count squares so you know what it can attack next turn.
Speaking of next turn, here we are.
Selena continues with her secret mission. We'll catch up with her later.
This cruiser is going to prove a real nuisance to my subs. Best for Lloyd to fire on this; he can also target some of the ground troops, but they're Grit's infantry and therefore hit like a piece of paper with the word "gun" written on it.
Good job, Lloyd Lads.
And just in case you think I'm being too competent at this map, here's me forgetting that cruisers can't fire on each other aaaaand...
I forget how many times I've done this now. I should've done a rundown of that for April Fool's.
Also, wow, I forgot how hard Tina hits with Max as CO. Destroy it!
It had no chance. The Tina Team craves blood.
Look at this! Even fuckin' Eddie is managing to do damage to things!
We've pretty much neutered this artillery now. It won't hit very hard at 4HP.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Olaf's School of Prioritising Capture Above All Else.
Class is now in session.
The Balthazar Boat is targeted. I'm sure he's shaking in his boots.
"...That wasn't as bad as I thought." mutters Balthazar. "I gotta stay focussed. But one of them is after me. Who..?"
"You talking to yourself there?" asks Barold. Balthazar jumps and turns.
"Thought I was alone."
"You said one of them is after you. Is someone in this army on your case?"
"Oh, no, no!" Balthazar lies, grinning. "Nah, it's nothing to worry about. Let's get on with it, shall we?"
This animation of the sub rising (in the middle of enemy territory for some ungodly reason) is really funny when it's not surrounded by ocean tiles.
Well, that sub's the first thing to go. Don't be an idiot and park it, un-submerged, Grit, and expect to get away with it.
I could fire on it with Lloyd, but it wouldn't quite kill... hm. Aren't cruisers supposed to be effective against subs?
Omar Outfit! Get over here.
HOO boy that is some damage. Yes, let's do that.
Not bad, Omar. That's more efficient, too - Omar couldn't fire on the enemy cruiser but Lloyd can, so I can get rid of both foes this turn. That helps.
First, though, let's find that annoying artillery. And to do that we need to get this joker out of the way.
Nice one, Eddie. Good job.
The Tina Team finds the offending enemy. This asshole has taken me by surprise enough times when I was attempting this map. I'm not even giving him a chance now.
Alright, Selena, let's continue your secret mission.
THERE HE IS.
This guy. This fuckin' guy. He screwed me over and killed several of my units on previous runs and I am unbelievably done with his obscene range and damage. That's why I moved out Selena ASAP. I have to get rid of this guy because his range of fire completely covers the enemy HQ, and he virtually one-shots infantry.
Alright, back to the matter at hand.
Nice job, Lloyd. Max using indirect combat to his advantage... who would have thought? Crazy.
...It occurs to me that this artillery is in range of a lot of my units if Grit gets his special off.
It was also about this point that I wondered if you could check special meters in the CO panel.
Good news, turns out you can do exactly that!
Bad news, he's got his special charged. Excellent.
Michael! Bait it out.
This was more by chance than by design, but even if this guy gets +2 range, nobody's in range. Pretty useful.
Come at me, Grit! I'm actually prepared for your CO power for once!
That was an underwhelming line.
I still love the little CO power jingle. I sing along to it every time it plays.
This goon did the thing and nobody cared.
Bait successfully taken. Well done, Michael; your sacrifice, as always, was necessary.
"Heh... I'm sticking around for this one." Michael grunts, smiling. "Wouldn't miss it for the world."
This tank reminds me that shoals exist and land units can go on them.
Luckily, for some bizarre reason, landers are just the Tankiest Fucking Things.
Oh god no Michael
Wait, never mind. I forgot it's Grit's infantry that we're dealing with. False alarm!
OK, I'm sick of everything being assholes. Let's start murdering the stuff, shall we?
I cannot think of a less practical use for Lloyd than to fire on a useless infantry.
So naturally, I went through with it.
The really important thing to do here, though, is finally delete this idiot.
"Alright, everything threatening has been taken care of here!" yells Tina. "Dave, Lloyd, how's the naval side of things looking?"
"We're en route to the HQ. Waiting on Selena's signal, and we've not received it yet." Dave replies.
"Everything else has also been taken care of, though!" Elvin pipes up. "Come on, Selena... don't fail us now..."
Selena will do nothing of the sort. Look at this solid damage!
The battleship is basically done at this point. I mean, I'm going to kill it, because any damage to infantry is another turn of capturing, but we're good to move in now, I think.
Selena's vision range does reveal this spanner in the works, though. In old runs, I encountered these tanks when I attempted to go by the south route. Looks like they're further north than I expected... dammit.
Wait, never mind. I forgot the Rose Rank existed. Rin drops her off.
"...Hm. I can take care of that." Rose says, observing the tank in the distance. "Tina, I trust you took care of everything else?"
"Of course I did!" Tina said.
Rose smiles. "Excellent. I'm very pleased to have you on our side."
"...Thanks?" Tina responds. "Rose, you alright?"
Rose falls silent. She has a task to focus on now.
The Elvin Entente, desperate to do something, goes for this lander and-
Wow, I love how much stuff Max-powered units can just one-shot casually.
This map is relatively light on units, actually. Especially considering I skipped one and a half parts of the map.
This nerd starts his capturing but it is evident that he isn't going to get anywhere. We'll put him out of his misery next turn.
The battleship goes for Rose. This could be troublesome; enough damage will prevent her from one-shotting the tank below.
...I don't know why I bother worrying about medium tanks. They just refuse to die.
Alright, my turn now. So close to running out of fuel... Selena, you've done amazing, honey.
One last shot. I'll skip the forecast
The Rose Rank can still utterly ruin this tank's day.
Rose turns back and see the Blue Moon HQ and the landers at the beach, then observes the fog quietly. "...My dude. It seems your tactics are improving. I will acquiesce to your will fully from now on. My apologies for my earlier demeanour."
Well, that's a turn-up for the books. I impressed the eight-year-old!
Meanwhile, Balthazar gets Dave and Barold to the shoals. The HQ is in sight!
"We're here..." says Barold. Dave is quiet.
"...Yeah." he replies eventually.
I send Eddie after that infantry. They were just kinda bugging me.
Here, I was about to check Grit's power meter, and mis-clicked.
Interesting. Looks like there's unique dialogue, either for different enemy COs... or maybe they're map-specific. I have no idea.
Either way, uh, we activated Max Force.
I eventually just ended my turn. I didn't really have that much I could've achieved using the power so late in the turn.
More blue infantry come crawling out of the darkness and use their last moments of life to capture more godforsaken cities.
And something from out of the darkness decides to bother Rose. Please don't hit too hard, not this close to victory...
OK, as much as I shouldn't worry about medium tanks, that was a heavy hit. I need to go on the retreat.
If Rose falls back, I should buy just enough turns to get the capture done unmolested. We'll see.
There's only one person who should capture the Blue Moon HQ. The Dave Division steps up.
"Get this place captured, stat!" Dave yells to his crew, who begin to run off. He marches into the headquarters, gun at the ready.
"They're resisting." Barold observes. "Dammit. Dave, do you need backup?"
"Absolutely not! I have to do this!" yells Dave. "Give me time... give me just a little more time!"
"We cannot afford much. My calculations suggest reinforcements are imminent... but we shall do what we can to prevent them reaching the headquarters." Rose says.
Barold and Rose guard the outskirts of the HQ. Everyone else wants in on the action, too.
We drop Gareth off so he can see it firsthand.
Michael and Tina drive to the edge of the shoals, where they can see the HQ in the distance.
"Come on, Dave!" yells Michael. "For Orange Star!"
"No." comes the reply.
"No?" Tina says. "What do you mean, 'no'?"
"Not for Orange Star, though they may be who we're working for." Dave says. Over the transceiver, the army can hear gunfire and yells from all around. There's an explosion from somewhere within the HQ.
"I am a loyal soldier of Orange Star, don't get me wrong." Dave's voice says, crackling into static as the battle continues to worsen. "But this... this is for Eric."
"This for Steve. This is for Alfred. This is for Colin. This is for everybody who has suffered under the hands of Blue Moon, and everyone else who has suffered trying to wrest control back! Everyone in this army who has given everything - including their lives. This is for them!"
"And most of all, this is just me keeping a promise. I swore I'd make this HQ fall and that I'd make Blue Moon pay."
There's a colossal explosion and the HQ begins to collapse into ruin. The army watch in awe as everything crumbles around them, and Blue Moon soldiers flee left and right. In the midst of the wreckage, there is a man, and he begins to walk out of the destroyed HQ, back to the battlefield. As he walks, more men, from his division, walk beside him.
The man's faced is harder, more edged. Blackened with burns and bullets, but very much alive.
"This... this was for Craigsworth." Dave says.
That is an immensely good question, actually. Can we finally find out some useful plot information?
Oh, shit, the whole family is here. Hey Nell! Nell! Hi..?
She's only got eyes for Grit. God dammit. There must be something important they need to discuss if she's made the effort to be here in person.
Exactly what I was wondering.
You talked, like, four missions ago. Piss off.
"You can stay, my dude, so the player can understand the plot."
Bye, Max. Don't worry, my man. You've been an absolute bro throughout all of this, and we wouldn't have won without you.
...Oh, great, now I'm the one third-wheeling.
why does this feel like awkward post-breakup small talk
hello, I'm here too
Wait, what? Did I miss someth-
oh, god, no-
(Amusingly, you could read that either as Max's feelings for Nell or Max's feelings for Grit. Doesn't help that Grit says we need to get things, uh, "straight" here.)
(Going with the first interpretation though. Because I am nothing if not a jealous fool.
I'd take care who you call "darlin'", Grit. I just decimated your army.
...Hm. I'm not sure about this guy. Nell might be onto something.
But Max? Come on! I know they had a bit of flirting earlier but come ON. How many guys are into Nell in this world?
I got her a necklace... and she said she'd treasure it.
That's... still true, right?
Yeah, get out of here. I don't want to see you for a long while yet.
...I need some air.
Goodb- oh, I see. You were talking to Grit.
Why is everybody here obsessed with Grit, my god. S-rank though!
Anyway, we won! And... huh, no casualties. Thank god - you'll be unsurprised to hear that this was my fourth attempt at this map. ...Don't even ask.
I ranked up. I'm an Ebon Rat now, so... yay?
And back on the map screen...
Oh, god, more people.
Wait, no, this is a good thing. I don't want to use Andy OR Max now I know what I know.
Max, man, I thought we were cool.
Oh, shit, somebody remembered I exist. It's been long enough.
My dude, at your service. And who are y-
ALRIGHT NEVER MIND, I'LL JUST STOP SPEAKING, SHALL I?
I thought Andy was the "Special" Forces commander?
Oh, I see, you're a commander of the special forces. Andy's a special commander of the forces.
Sami... I think you're right on time.
I could do with somebody I can actually bring myself to work with.
Interesting..! That could be fun.
I rescind my earlier statement. You were late and you would have been amazingly helpful in that property-capturing mission last time.
Did you hear that, Michael?! You're getting an upgrade!
I'm not hesitating in the slightest.
I like this girl. I mean, I'm not sure she's ready for war considering how get-up-and-go she is, but hey, nice to have somebody that's competent, not into Nell, and friendly.
No it isn't. He's an idiot, Sami. Come hang out with the cool kids, i.e. me and my army.
Are you gonna do a Nell and give us bad news, or..?
I don't know if that's good or bad, knowing virtually nothing about Yellow Comet. But Olaf's on the run, so I guess that's good?
Let's do it! I'm fired up now!
I'M CALLING IT, IT'S EAGLE.
I haven't even seen the terrain yet, Sami, but I'll take your word for it.
Well, next time, we fight Eagle! (If it's not Eagle, this is going to look really dumb, but eh, I'm pretty confident.)
Thanks for joining us once again - and now we have our third CO. I'll put it up to a vote, whether you want Eliwood But Annoying, Hector But With Tanks or Lyn But Good(?). Who will we be using next time? Up to you as per.
The Barracks: Tina and Wilbert 3
Im coming in. Tinas muffled voice says. Wilbert doesnt even move from his bed as the door to his room opens and Tina walks in. She sits beside him on the bed.
Great. Wilbert replies.
Why werent you there, Wilbert? Winning that battle couldve been your key to promotion. You wanna pay for your dads treatment, right?
Wilbert is silent for a moment, then sits up and draws his legs into his chest. He tosses a letter at Tina. After a curt nod, she opens it and begins to read.
dear Wilbert we regret to inform she says, falling quiet. Oh, god, Wilbert, Im so sorry. I had no idea your father had already passed away.
I was too late. Wilbert croaked. Not good enough. Not promoted fast enough. Not enough money to save his life. I wasn't even there when he passed."
Wilbert Tina whispers. She reaches out and takes his hand.
I have nowhere to go. Wilbert says. When the war is done, I dont have a home. No family. No nothing.
I understand that. I havent got a family of my own either, not really. Tina explains. But
Wilbert looks up at her.
But you can stay here for now. This army is your family.
I know. Wilbert says. And Im very thankful for them all.
Tina nods. She isnt quite sure how to continue, and goes to stand up. Ill, um, leave you with your thoughts.
No, wait. Wilbert pleads. Stay. Please.
Oh of course. Tina replies. She sits down and looks into Wilberts eyes; she sees the sorrow in them.
Not just now. Wilbert mutters.
What do you mean?
When the war is done I dont really know what Ill do or where I go. But I want to stay with you. I have grown really fond of you.
Tina smiles, almost blushing. Wilbert. Id be happy to stay with you. We can go adventuring together and do whatever we like.
Great. Wilbert says. A faint smile touches his lips.
And Ill stay with you now, too. Ive been waiting a very long time to hear you say those words to me.
I need you more than ever now. Wilbert says. Tina thank you. For everything.
The pair continue to hold hands, sat together on the bed, as the sun begins to set. Everything is quiet, and everything is serene, just for a moment.