Part 11: Interview 6 - "Sami's Secret Agenda" (Or, "Mother Fucking Planes")Interview 6 - Samis Secret Agenda (Or, Mother Fucking Planes)
Welcome back, Commander. Fair warning - horrible sight incoming.
oh jesus fuck
They're going to talk for a bit. I wanted to ask a few questions - you say Nell proposed?
So Nell proposes, then almost immediately, you disappear for a year? And the only public showing was Dudecon? Why?
Why? Because I said yes.
My dude, I'm not following you.
Alright, you want my alibi? I was with Celestrian for a whole year. I decided that I wanted to spend my life with Nell. But I didn't want to divide my time between the world of Advance Wars and all the different my dudes in the omniverse. Remember, I said that I was some sort of leader.
But I wanted to turn my back on all that, and forget my past, and just forge a new life with Nell in Wars World. But someone has to arrange Dudecon, and lead the my dudes, and that could no longer be me.
...Ah. Celestrian was your protege.
Yeah. I spent a year teaching him the ins and outs of organising Dudecon and all that, with the intention of returning in time for the wedding, which is... pretty soon, actually.
I see. That makes sense. One last year off before the wedding, and so Dudecon was effectively your stag night.
Yeah, though I didn't vocalise that. Persona is quite forward about how much he admires me. If he'd found out that I'd picked Celestrian to replace me instead of him, it would have ruined the night. So I kept quiet.
I'll accept this for now. It fits in with what else I know - but you'd best continue telling me about the events of the night. You might have seen something that incriminates the real killer. But... if I'm honest, I was never confident that it was you.
It's completely allowed, surely? Sturm was basically doing that. He had a personal vendetta against the entire world.
Flak really is quite similar to Max.
They're both built like refrigerators, I suppose.
"Who cares about rules? Except the rule that me and the enemy always take turns in battle, because that's rooted in the very fabric of our existence."
On second glance, all of these mission names sound like you named them.
Oh, come on, my mission names would be way funnier than this.
Hm. Small map, lots of planes, this isn't great. Admittedly, four fucking anti-airs and missiles are probably a bit overkill. My main concern is that bro copter there.
Let's let everyone talk before I explain.
A Flak attack, you might say.
A FLAK ATTACK, YOU MIGHT SAY.
This is most definitely an air assault. And not a particularly friendly one. I've been led to believe that bombers and fighter jets are somewhat strong.
Yeah, that's an understatement...
Sami has also recognised the threat. I'm not sure why she's here though. This is Max's mission, after all.
You all use the same troops or at least that's how LPAW1 was written, stop ruining the illusion, Sami
No kidding. A mech on a mountain only barely survives a bomber. This is certainly not going to be a fun map.
With how small the battlefield is, though, it may well be a short map.
Max has the exact right amount of confidence for somebody with four anti-airs. Oh, speaking of, I should give you the rundown of this map, shouldn't I?
Personality: Freelance photography expert.
Proficiencies: Recon, Anti-Air, Missiles
Personality: Avid bug collector.
Proficiencies: Transport Copter, Battle Copter, Bomber
Fleur, Transport Copter
Von Panzer, Battle Copter
Harvey, Battle Copter
Oh, I see. Sami's taking over Nell's role as the person who drowns us in tutorials.
I'm not sure this map needs much tutorialisation, but they certainly like to be thorough.
"Planes are overpowered, always have missiles and anti-airs on hand." That's all they need to say.
Are planes overpowered?
Yeah, of course! No movement penalties, huge movement, and irresponsibly high attack power. Between them, fighters and bombers cover almost every kind of threat in the game, and do enough damage to those threats to either outright kill, or completely neuter, whatever it is.
It was bombers and fighters that won me the final battle against Sturm, honestly. Well, that and a million medium tanks.
Maps where bombers and fighters have overlapping range are the most annoying. Bombers can't fire on planes, and fighters can't fire on vehicles, so you can counter them easily but just having planes in a bomber's range, or vehicles in a fighter's range.
Except when their range overlaps.
"Hi, guys! Pleasure to rejoin you all." Gordon says, manning an anti-air alongside his comrades.
"Welcome back, Herr Gordon." replies Von Panzer. "It is good to have you back."
"Indeed it is! Looks like we need a heavy anti-air presence, so everyone better be ready for this!" Lloyd announces.
In the middle of the anti-air deployments, Carter is manning the missiles, staring at the oncoming planes in the sky. He gulps. "I'll do my best too. I... I defer to your judgement, everyone."
Dave's eyes widen, and he turns to look at Alfonse. "Looks like my little rant actually got through to the kid a bit."
"We'll have to talk to him after the battle." Alfonse replies. "For now, though, let's just focus on getting through this safely."
Gosh, colour me surprised. Can't we skip this, Ruin?
Are you not enthused by all the conversations?
I like character development as much as the next guy, but it is painfully clear that this is just exposition. And I already know it.
I suppose Max has mentioned his love of direct combat a few times.
When you say "a few", you mean "constantly", right?
Of course, my dude.
GOSH THAT'S INTERESTING SAMI
Alright, let's just get on with the battle.
What was your concern with the bro cop- uh, battle copter?
It's in the middle of the battlefield, right next to that fighter. Ordinarily, to protect planes from fighters, you surround them with vehicles. But you can't do that here - it doesn't have the movement to get all the way to safety, and anything that blocks the fighter will be in range of that first bomber.
How very astute.
Oh, god, he's still talking. Why do they always talk?
Says you, my dude, who never shuts up.
Yeah, but everything I say is witty or important! This is neither.
Well, the soldiers seem more than happy to listen to Max. Though I suppose they're all a bunch of meatheads when you get right down to it.
Except Rin and Lucy.
...Except Rin and Lucy. And Fliss, come to think of it.
God, this army has so many sweet and adorable girls. I wonder why the hell most of them even signed up to go to war?
Regardless, the map begins properly now. Carter opens up the offence by targeting that rather poorly-placed battle copter.
Instantly reduced to dust. Missiles are, for the most part, an incredibly good solution to planes and copters.
There's a sense of desperation about the movement here - I think Harvey, fleeing south, is well aware that this is not going to end well. The other anti-airs are trying their best to get into position for a counterattack though.
And Alfonse begins capturing another useless property.
Useless, hm? Wait and see, my dude.
Harvey heads south, meanwhile.
I am REALLY not liking his chances.
The soldiers arrange themselves like so, waiting for the planes to begin their assault.
Oh god oh god oh god
Aha... I see! This is a tutorial map, after all, so that dialogue suggests that the bombers and fighters aren't going to attack. There was a map like this in my last campaign, where it seemed to be impossible to do without getting murderfucked by planes, but then they all blow up because they're low on fuel. Phew. For a minute I was worried.
...Uh, yes, sure. Just a tutorial...
Flak really doesn't seem to be good at following orders that are more complicated than "crush".
To be fair, having no soldiers trained to use them is a valid argument.
Oh god Ruin is he about to tutorialise
What? That's not even right! For fuck's sake, Nell might talk my ear off, but at least the information she gives is fucking accurate.
We'll skip the rest of it for the sake of your sanity. Now then, the map.
Wait, no. Where's the dialogue about not using the bombers and fighters?
I'm sorry, Commander.
God damn it, Max, I leave for ONE year and you let this kind of shit happen.
"Mayday! Going down!" yells Harvey as his copter begins to explode under fighter jet fire. The ground units look up in horror.
"Harvey!" screams Fleur, but the copter begins the horrible descent downwards, spiralling out of the sky. A shaky message comes through just before impact.
"Set all my bugs free, and uh, apologise to my mother. And to all of you, I'm so sorr-"
The explosion is loud, but the silence right after it is far more deafening. Fliss and Carter, the newcomers, are especially thrown, staring at the wreckage, unable to vocalise the strange pit in their stomachs. Fear? Sorrow? Or something in between?
The rest of the planes advance.
"Alright." says a voice over the transceiver. Everyone looks around, but it soon becomes clear who's speaking as Dave faces the planes descending upon the battlefield. "These bastards never seem to learn that we don't take kindly to one of our own being killed. Everyone on the field right now, I want you to remind them, as painfully as possible. Shoot every last one of 'em out of the fucking sky!"
"Way ahead of you!" shouts Lloyd. "Lads, prepare a nice volley of anti-air rounds!"
"Yes... I will not let them take any more lives today." Carl hisses. "Harvey treated me with kindness."
Fliss is rooted to the spot, but she stammers into the transceiver. "I'll... I... I'll do my b-best... to fight. They..."
"You can do this, Fliss." says Carter, seemingly quite calm. "Hold nothing back."
Dave sighs. "I wish my dude were here. He wouldn't have let this happen..."
Fred opens fire on the tank coming down.
I don't even know why they bothered with this one tank. It's clear that the focus of this battle is, you know, the air units.
And sheesh, even with Max's indirects being terrible, he was still in range and still did loads of damage. Nice job, tank.
Carter, meanwhile, prepares to open the assault on the planes.
There's a hell of a lot of them, that's for sure. I'm not sure the anti-airs are in range to kill them all, either. This could be awkward.
Either way, Carter hits one of them with missiles so hard that it stops existing out of embarrassment.
GAH what is with this game and text just popping up when I least expect it?!
Ruin, what the hell is this about?
I'll let Sami explain. It'll be more expedient.
Commander, just pay attention and stop saying "what" to everything.
Sorry, I just have no idea what this is about. I don't recall anything about secret enemy labs.
Well, they exist.
"Black Hole Labs! Now developing EVEN BIGGER TANKS!"
Actually, you're... not far off.
What was that?
And Green Earth, Max, don't forget. There's only four countries, how did you forget one?
As usual, Sami is the most sensible character in the room when Nell's not around.
Why would Black Hole leave maps to their labs in the cities of their enemy's countries? Why are their labs in their enemy's countries?
I think this is one of those things you're just not supposed to think about.
Oh god does that mean we just unlocked another map.
...We just unlocked another map.
Secret labs aside, there's still plenty of planes around. Lloyd opens fire first, on the nearest bomber.
Well, it IS the biggest threat to the ground units. Not any longer, though.
This also grants access to Max's CO Power.
Ooh, I always like hitting things harder, that's always been WHEN THE FUCK DID IT INCREASE MOVEMENT
This isn't even the most ridiculous CO Power.
No, but it's really strong, holy shit. I assume it gets used?
What kind of CO would Max be if he didn't immediately use his power upon getting it?
It's an old joke.
Well, anyway, this gives Fliss enough movement to come over here, and enough attack power to completely destroy it. All in all, a good use of the power.
I'll say. That is a hell of a buff. And that's only the tiny CO Power!
Carl, meanwhile, decides to go for the fighter jet.
And so he should! That asshole killed Harvey!
Carl, your revenge would have been more effective if you'd actually killed it. Goddamn, for anti-air units, they are terrible at one-shotting air units.
The other bro cop- battle copter, Von Panzer, decides that he wants some hot copter-on-copter action.
Pfft, alright, that got a laugh out of me.
You're an awful influence, you know that?
Oh, I know.
The final anti-air, Gordon, also attacks.
Holy shit, an anti-air attacked a copter in its range. I can't believe this. How shocking.
It won, anyway. Unsurprisingly.
Well, that went pretty well, everything's been pretty much destroyed. I mean, we did so much damage in funds, it's ridiculou-
Commander? You've gone white.
If there's anything I've learned about doing shit-tons of damage to bombers in one turn, it's to expect a max-strength CO power the next turn.
Very good, Commander. It is, indeed, time for Flak's power.
The barbaric blow is not to be feared.
Hey, they might be on 1 HP, but they can still-
oh never mind
The trend of Black Hole SCOPs being ineffectual continues.
Yeah, wow, this is kind of embarrassing.
The tank didn't even attack Alfonse? Huh.
Indeed. And Flak hasn't learnt anything, because he leaves some infantry in range of Fred.
It takes a special kind of crapout to leave units in range of units that have reduced range.
Ooh, crapout, that's a good word.
I heard it a lot from my superiors when I was training to join the Omniversal Police.
Alfonse, now done with finding the secret lab map, turns his attention to his other favourite thing to do besides capturing.
Destroying tanks like a boss.
Dave would be proud.
Speaking of Dave, he's range to finish off that luckless infantry.
All that's left is those planes, all on 1 HP and completely ineffectual. I think this battle's pretty much over.
Indeed. Carter's missiles are a swift and deadly answer to the question "what murders the hell out of planes?"
See, now you're really getting into the flow of telling this story.
It's actually sort of fun.
Lloyd doesn't need telling twice to destroy the nearest plane.
Four anti-airs really was overkill.
And that's Carl taking out the last one?
Ah, I was right. Nice job, Carl. The battle's done!
Indeed. It was a swift victory once the planes moved into the army's range.
HARVEY DIED, MAX
Sami also seems to realise that it's the troops who might be in more disarray.
But Max seems to have a curious blind spot for the tragic death of an Orange Star soldier.
God damn it.
"My SCOP is next to useless when everything I have is on 1 HP!"
Would that not be the case for every CO besides, say, Dipshit?
...Well, yeah, I guess.
See, some people might read that as an ominous silence, but to me, it just looks like Flak's brain is buffering.
Please god, give it up, Flak. I want to fight someone else.
In that case, the rest of this campaign is going to sorely disappoint.
Max has apparently never heard the old adage of "lose the battle, win the war".
Black Hole are the most ineffectual invaders ever. Admittedly, I have a horrible theory...
Sorry, I'll tell you about that in a second. Girlfriend? Either Flak doesn't know about Sami's crush on Eagle or he's just trying to goad them.
If he was trying to goad them, it's working.
I suppose so. Anyway, right, my theory.
What's the difference between this campaign and the last one?
Well, I'm not too familiar with the last one, but I'm led to understand that there are more enemy COs and more powerful weaponry this time around.
Yeah, but what's the biggest, most noticeable difference? Why would Sturm choose to attack at that very point in time? He can mobilise his army in six months, easy. So why did he wait eighteen months before attacking Wars World again?
...I'm not quite seeing it. Why would he wait so long..?
Come on, you're a detective. Think like a tactician, they're very similar thought processes. What's his motive? What went wrong last time?
Yeah. Sturm curbstomped the combined forces of Orange Star, Blue Moon and Green Earth last time. It was only thanks to my expert strategies that we won the day. And if Sturm can mobilise his army in six months... perhaps that explains why exactly six months after I vanished...
...he invaded. Oh my god.
There's my horrible theory. They know I can beat them; so they invaded whilst I was away. My disappearance is the direct cause of this campaign.
But I don't think I need to worry. Seems like these guys have been taking tips from me, and I have every confidence that they'll win this campaign.
Well, actually, they-
Hey, no spoilers. I'll find out how it all ends eventually. For now, let's keep going in chronological order.
Right you are, my dude. Well, chronologically, I believe it's about your turn to tell me more about the events of Dudecon.
Ah, right. Where was I..?
Part 6 Additional