The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars 2

by cosmicPostman

Part 72: Interview 36 - “Flight Over The Ocean” (Or, “There Is No Problem Six Bombers Cannot Solve”)

Interview 36 - “Flight Over The Ocean” (Or, “There Is No Problem Six Bombers Cannot Solve")

Gooooooood morning, Ruin!

It's kind of impressive that even after so many interviews, being handcuffed to this table in this room the whole time, that you're still in such a good mood.

Hey, I get fed and there's good company. Plus, we're pretty close to the end, right?

...That's true, yes. I fear that I will miss our interviews once they are no longer necessary.

Anyway, today we've got quite an interesting map - the sea fortress.

Yes. We’re proceeding without delays.

And the minicannons?

Oh god, more cannons.

All 8 of them have been constructed on the sites you selected.

This is like that Yellow Comet mission, then? Destroying the 8 cannons around the fortress?

Yes, though it’s certainly a step up from that one. Well…


On the one hand, the map is harder. On the other hand, it’s Eagle doing it today.

Then all is well.

Tempting fate in 3… 2… 1...

BH Soldier: Commander!

Hee hee.

BH Soldier: We’ve reports of a large Green Earth force heading this way!

I estimated they’d be appearing about this time.

Does nothing surprise this man? He’d probably show up to his surprise birthday party and be like ‘Yes, I had predicted that you were going to throw a party. I have already prepared refreshments.’

That was a decent Hawke impression.

'Thank you. I try.’

They’re all air units?

Sounds like Eagle to me.

BH Soldier: Hold on… Er… I think so, sir. Nothing but air units, sir.

How predictable. Deploy our troops immediately.

BH Soldier: Yes, sir.

Oh boy.

This is going to be a rough map, isn't it?

See for yourself.

Ooh, an entirely horizontal map. And... wow, that's quite a lot of anti-air deployments.

Petra: Oh no! Hold on, sir! This is no good! There are anti-aircraft units everywhere!

Yeah, Hawke came prepared.

What?! They knew we were coming… (What should I do?)

Eagle’s having a bit of trouble. He’s not as decisive a strategist as, say, Rose or Sonja.

(If we allow them to complete that factory, Green Earth will suffer. If we press our attack, we might win, but the casualties will be enormous.)

Bold of you to assume I’ll let you allow your soldiers to die.

My dude, need I remind you that this battle already happened?

…Ruin, how many planes die?

Petra: Commander! Let’s continue with the attack.


Petra: We’re Green Earth’s strongest force. We cannot lose. That’s what you always tell us, isn’t it?

Howard: She’s right, sir. We won’t be beaten by the likes of those Black Hole thugs. And we can’t sit by and let them complete that fortress! We can’t!

Wallace: Let’s hit ‘em, Commander!

Mulligan: C’mon, sir!

My soldiers… All right, we proceed as planned. Aim for the heart of their offensive power, the minicannons. Let’s give them a show of power they won’t soon forget!

You’re quiet. I expected some sarcastic comments.

Oh, no, no, I wanted to just enjoy that. Probably my favourite opening mission dialogue in the game, besides maybe Grit and Adder’s back in Blue Moon.

Very true. Well, I suppose I’ll run through the deployments quickly then. There’s plenty of planes.

Lorelei, Battle Copter
Petra, Battle Copter
Gilbert, Battle Copter
Harlow, Battle Copter
Albert, Battle Copter
Carson, Battle Copter
Randolph, Battle Copter
Quincy, Battle Copter
Wallace, Bomber
Frederick, Bomber
Matilda, Bomber
Amarah, Bomber
Johanna, Bomber
Mina, Bomber
Mulligan, Fighter
Howard, Fighter
Otis, Fighter
Edgar, Fighter

Age: 44
Personality: Abelard’s lifelong rival.
Proficiencies: Infantry, Battle Copter, Battleship

Age: 20
Personality: Always working hard.
Proficiencies: Mech, Battle Copter, Cruiser

Age: 33
Personality: Likes using buzzwords.
Proficiencies: Tank, Submarine, Battle Copter

Age: 26
Personality: Cheeky, quite unpredictable.
Proficiencies: Tank, Battleship, Battle Copter

Age: 51
Personality: Eagle’s old teacher.
Proficiencies: Transport Copter, Battle Copter, Fighter

"Hang on," says Petra, turning around with excitement. "Did someone say Edgar's here? My teacher?"

"Good day, Petra." Edgar says calmly, speaking to all the soldiers through the transceiver. "Please accept my profuse apologies for being so delayed in joining you all. I've been made aware that the Old Guard of Green Earth is present and accounted for - Wallace, Abelard, Lorelei... it's a pleasure to be serving with you again. For those of you who don't know who I am, do not assume that my age is any form of weakness."

The assorted soldiers fall quiet as Edgar addresses them.

"I am one of the longest-serving pilots in Green Earth. I fought under Eagle's father, and following his unfortunate passing, I trained his son in the ways of aerial combat, and watched him turn into an incredible CO. Through my guidance, I intend to turn all of you into soldiers that Green Earth can be proud of. They once called me the Jet Emperor: I am Edgar C. Fortunado, and whilst I fly with you, have no fear of defeat. We cannot lose."

Howard raises an eyebrow. "This guy knows his stuff, huh?"

"Oh, Edgar's been a legend amongst the recruits for years. Back when I trained with Cassandra, we used to hear about Edgar's exploits in the past." Mulligan replies. "It'll be a pleasure to fight alongside him! And... Howard, it's a pleasure to fly with you, as well."

Howard almost blushes, but fights down the urge. "Ah, c'mon, Mulligan. We're just soldiers doing a job. ...Still, it should be nice, provided we don't get blown out of the sky..."

Alright, let's get started. First, Eagle arranges his troops like so. He doesn't want to move them too far forward just yet - he's luring Hawke's fighters into his range.

A risky play, but let's hope it works out.

Hawke's troops come in waves, really. The first 'wave' is these two fighters and their associated copters...

...with the second 'wave' being these fighters, copters and the two cruisers.

That's quite a hectic opening, even with the shitloads of planes that Eagle's got.

Correct, but luring the planes forward should help.

Ah, interesting. They actually managed to get everyone out of the way.

Yes, Eagle divides his troops like so, and waits for the fighters to advance.

Let's just hope their fuel holds out - taking things slow is all well and good, but take it too slow and these planes are going to have problems.

Hawke's fighters have blundered right into range - though the other two fighters from the second wave are catching up soon.

...Come to think of it, if Eagle attacks those bro copters, whatever copters or fighters he uses are going to be in range of the second wave fighters. But at the same time, he can't just leave four enemy bro copters unattended, can he?

Edgar begins the assault and lands the first blow on this fighter.

Alright, here we go! Eagle vs Hawke, hot plane-on-plane action!

Do you ever think about the words you say?

Anyway, Mulligan finishes off the lower fighter.

Same thing up at the top, I'm guessing?

Exactly. Otis weakens the enemy fighter...

And Howard finishes it off.

Right, but what about the bro copters? They're gonna go harass Eagle's copters if given the chance.

The solution is obvious, then - don't give them a chance.

The bombers are able to organise themselves in such a way that the enemy copters can't get at any of Eagle's copters; since battle copters can't fire on fighters or bombers, there's nothing they can do.

...Not bad, Eagle. Not bad at all.

The second wave is starting to catch up now - you'll note that one of the fighters didn't advance quite as far, though.

Yeah, fighters can be tricky like that sometimes. They'll sit right on the edge of your range and wait for you to come to them, and then the enfuckening begins.

If that was the intention, Hawke didn't plan it out too well; the upper fighter can easily be taken out without getting any units into range of the lower fighter.

Oh, nice. Fucking crush it, lads.

And crush it they will. Howard lands the first blow, making sure to attack it from one of the safe sides.

And Otis finishes it off. Or crushes it, as you may say.

Down here, Mulligan can take out this battle copter that was up in his face for some reason.

They're obviously confused because there's nothing around that they can actually shoot.

Then, however, it's time for an interesting new formation.

Oh, nice! The copters are completely protected from the enemy bro copters with that formation. Can they do the same thing up top?

Well, thanks to the way that they approached the upper fighter, actually, they can...

Not bad at all. So now one fighter is coming up, and there's four fighters available to delete it. Should be easy to wipe out the copters after that!

It has to be done carefully, though, as cruisers are on the way too. Plus, there's an additional challenge next turn...


Well, there's the last fighter in range. But yes, the additional challenge. You see, three fighters are quite expensive.

...His SCOP.

You're catching on. Once that last fighter goes down, Hawke will have his Super CO Power; as such, in order to avoid taking powerful counterattacks...

Everything has to die this turn. Even that one copter all the way over there...

Precisely. So, let's see if Eagle manages it. If even a single one of these units remains alive, there's a very good chance Black Storm will even the odds enough that one of Eagle's units will die.

On the plus side, Eagle's bombers hit like trucks, so the cruisers are not much of an issue. Wallace absolutely deletes this one.

"Mulligan!" Howard says. "Everything alright down there?"

"Could be better." Mulligan says, wincing. "This fighter's getting too close to us!"

Howard wrenches his fighter around and speeds south.

"I'm on my way!"

Edgar gives an amused smile. "Those two are very fond of each other, I take it?"

"They're Green Earth's best power couple!" Petra replies with a grin. "Assistant Commanding Officer Edgar, what should be do?"

"No need to be so formal, Petra. We'll do what we always do - eliminate the foes that stand in the way of our superiority."

Well, Edgar's certainly blasting that poor fighter out of the sky. And with that, the worst threats are gone!

Yes, fighters are quite horrible. Thankfully they're all gone now - but more threats remain, and relatively dangerous ones too.

Yeah, the missiles over by the fortress seem really annoyingly placed. Can't wait to spend like twenty turns fucking about with those.

Also, in case you were worried about that one copter all the way over there... you forgot to account for fighters and their extraordinary range of movement. Mulligan deletes it without breaking a sweat.

And Otis is making a start on the copters up there. This is looking relatively likely... keep it up, Eagle.

Mina is on hand down below to finish off the other cruiser, too.

Fuck you, cruisers! The most niche unit in the game!

And then comes the more fun part - the copters descend upon the enemy copters and ravage them. Lorelei begins the assault on this first copter.

And Petra finishes it off.

"Hey, Edgar! Did you see that shot?!" Petra cries, watching the wreckage of the enemy copter plunging into the broiling ocean below.

"I did, yes." Edgar replies, nodding. "Well done, Petra - stay focussed, though. The battle isn't over yet."

"O-oh! Right! I'm focussed, I'm focussed!"

This mission is very mirrored - what happens above, happens below.

Yes, indeed. One of our new recruits, Quincy, assaults this copter. She's quite pleased with herself.

"Hee hee! That was pretty fun! Now then, what's coming up next, folks?"

"Is that you, Quincy?" says Harlow into the transceiver.

"Yuperino, it's me! Hi, Harlow!"

"Heya, Quince. Focus, aight? We've got a huge fortress ahead of us - ready?"

"Oh," Quincy replies, grinning and licking her lips as she looks at the minicannons around the fortress. "I was born ready."

And who's this finishing off the enemy bro copter?

Another new recruit, Randolph. Why do you call them 'bro copters', anyway?

I... to be honest with you, I don't even remember now. There was context, I'm sure.

With you, there is never context. Anyway, Albert attacks the last copter here

And thanks to Carson, it is destroyed. Eagle's done it - the first part of this map has been done without a single loss, and without causing Hawke to use his Super CO Power at maximum efficiency.

I mean, he had Lightning Strike, right? So it wasn't a huge rush, really.

Yeeeees... but the issue is, he couldn't have used it. He needs Lightning Strike later in the map, and it's almost crucial to his success. So effectively, he had to act as if he didn't have it.

Oh. Fun. I'm curious as to when he intends to use his Super CO Power, then...

When you say "he", you mean Hawke, right? Because he has his Super CO Power now.

But as you said, it's not at maximum efficiency. He's only getting the 2 damage on all of Eagle's units; he's not getting any healing because all of his attacking force is dead, besides the ground units.

To be fair, losing 2HP on every unit is still annoying. But at least it can't kill any units outright.

It's not even a black storm. It's quite evidently red.

Red with the blood of his enemies

Stop being an idiot.

Ignore the strangeness of the visuals here. Let's focus on the next half of the battle: the actual assault on the sea fortress.

This should be good.

Frederick engages the first of the minicannons.

Oh wow, I forgot just how hard bombers can hit, even weakened.

Indeed, Wallace can overkill it quite thoroughly.

...That's not ideal.

Not particularly, no. The minicannons do 3 damage, as you know. That'll start to add up.

The lower bombers stay out of the cannon's range. But they'll be able to eliminate it next turn.

Oof. Hang in there, Frederick!

Back to Team Eagle, then.

Personally I'm Team Nell, but I must admit I do like Lightning Strike...

What, romantically?

I'm not sexually attracted to good CO Powers. That would be ridiculous.

...Anyway, Mina engages the first minicannon to the south.

Johanna is able to eliminate it - though, like Frederick, she's also about to take a cannon to the face.

Welp, the forces are gathered. Hawke's absolutely boned - but those missiles aren't going to be easy to deal with. Their overlapping ranges are such a nightmare.

The planes have more movement than the missiles have range, though. It should be fine.

Oop. More cannons to the face.

They'll live.

Now this is a rather decisive day. Eagle's got big plans, you see?

Big plans? Consider me visibly excited.

I won't consider it, thank you.

So, these missiles need to go, and this is why bombers exist. Amarah opens fire on the first of the missiles to the south.

The same thing happens up here, too, continuing to mirror the map - Frederick engages the missiles, though his lower HP means he does a bit less damage.

More importantly, those two are in range of the other missiles, though. ...Oh! Wait! I see now!

Patience, my dude. It's coming.

Wallace crushes the missiles.

hee hoo poke

Indeed, Harlow pokes the next minicannon for a bit of damage.

At least they're attacking the cannon from above. Coming from the left, they'd be right in the range of the anti-airs down there.

Johanna can finish off the missiles down below, too, whilst the rest of the troops advance.


Sigh. Yes, it is time.

Oh, what a badass line. Don't even give them time for regret, goddamn.

And now, Lightning Strike. This is why he needed it - those missiles would have been such a problem otherwise. They're on cities, so they heal every turn, and Hawke's CO Power heals them too - with the cannons around weakening Eagle's units, there's almost no way to approach them safely without risking losing several units.

Yeah, two turns is exactly what he needed - just that extra push.

Since the bombers are better off targeting the minicannons, it's up to the copters to take care of the remaining set of missiles. As such, down below, Randolph makes a start.

With the damage boost from Lightning Strike, the copters have juuuust enough damage to take out the missiles on their own - Albert takes them out.

Up top, second verse, same as the first?

Exactly right. Lorelei lands the first blow this time...

And Petra finishes it off. Not bad, ladies.

Meanwhile, this happens when Wallace goes to attack the rightmost minicannons.

Oh my god, that's brutal.

It's certainly annoying, but it's also useful, in a way. It means that Eagle's bombers can set up minicannons to be destroyed on the next turn. And since destroying the central island's minicannons will open up pathways for the anti-airs to move around, they all need to be destroyed on the same turn - as such, some setup will be required.

Ah, I see. How intriguing.

Matilda can erase it without much worry. Three minicannons down, five to go.

Harlow continues poking this one minicannon. I suppose it's helping set it up?

Mina goes for the minicannon on the other side, though again, she'll need someone else to get that tiny last bit of damage.

That's so stupid. One damage short, and it costs Eagle like, an entire extra day.

I... yes. Yes, that's how games and numbers work. You only get the kill if you do all the damage.

Speaking of, it happens again here. Amarah manages to set up this cannon to be destroyed - and in this case, we don't want to destroy it yet, because the anti-airs would come to harass Amarah and probably kill her.

Hm. A compelling argument.

This cannon can quite happily be wrecked, though, it's not keeping any anti-airs in check. Johanna does the honours.

Quincy does a bit of damage to the other cannon. It's going to take a stronger hit to take it out, though.

Well, yeah, this is why bombers were invented.

Still, you can't deny that was an excellent and destructive use of Lightning Strike.

God, yeah. Hawke is absolutely fucked now, he can't do anything about this. All those anti-airs can do is watch like the little bitches they are.

The minicannons can be more proactive, though.

Yeah, proactive at flailing uselessly against Eagle's superior air force.

I hate it when you say something that sounds like a playground insult and yet is completely correct.

A lot of people say that to me. Or a variation of that, anyway.

I wish I could say I'm surprised.

Anyway, let's watch the end, shall we?

Wait, are we done here?

Wallace targets this cannon first, though he doesn't quite kill it.

"Alright, here we go!" Petra says, readying her copter's strongest missiles. "This is for all of Green Earth, for the freedom of our people! We're casting off the tyrannical yoke of Black Hole, and this is how we'll do it! Kaboom!"

The minicannon explodes violently, leaving nothing but a blasted shell where it used to stand; Lash's inventions cannot stand up to the firepower of Eagle. Petra cheers and spins her copter around in a small victory lap, whilst the rest of the troops prepare to assault the remaining three minicannons.

Quincy observes Petra and licks her lips. "Oh, she is just delightful. I want twelve of her."

"She's seven years younger than you. Don't you dare." Harlow replies, sighing.

"Ah, true. Still, I'm definitely gonna go befriend her." Quincy says. "I mean, my only friend right now is a creepy dude/girl who wears a mask and gloves 24/7. You ever gonna tell me what gender you are, Harlow?"

"Hey, guess what's none of your business? That." Harlow says. "I'm just Harlow. Anyway, d'you think we should help out?"

"Eh, they've probably got it covered. Though I do want to blow up something before we finish here!"

Matilda can almost take out this last one up north, but she'll need a hand.

Oh, Harlow has got it fuckin' covered, nice. Just two more to go!

And with how much firepower Eagle is packing, taking them out is basically just a formality.

Firstly, Amarah heads back over here to start work on this minicannon, since it's still got plenty of HP.

Not enough, though. But to be fair, what has the HP to survive an Eagle bomber, besides, like, three Neotanks tied together?

Please don't give Black Hole any ideas.

Anyway, Mina's on hand to deal the final point of damage, and take out the last of the eight minicannons guarding this fortress.

And with that... it's done. No planes died!

I just wanted to mess with you. But yes, nobody died. And thank goodness, really.

They’ve been destroyed? That’s it then. We shall withdraw.

Yeah, fuck you and your missiles too.

Petra: Look at that! The enemy’s abandoning the fortress!

It appears that we’ve won.

Petra: Shall we launch a pursuit, sir?

No, we deal with the fortress first.

Petra: Yes, sir.

You have my gratitude. It was your bravery that led me… …led US to victory.


Mulligan: Thank you, sir. We appreciate that.

The war has just begun. The road before us will be long and hard.

Mulligan: No problem, sir. As long as you’re in command, we can’t lose!

The soldiers were certainly endearing this time around.

Yeah, no kidding. Edgar completely destroyed the fighters, and then Petra and the bomber/copter squad took out those minicannons like they weren't no thing. What a map!

It seems Eagle's superiors agreed - a high rank for the mission.

Aw, just shy of a perfect score. Still, everyone's alive, and that's the real S-rank in my heart.

You really did impress upon the COs just how important the foot soldiers are, didn't you?

I didn't think I'd had much of an impact on them, but... seems like it. Every soldier is important. Keeping them alive should be prized over almost everything else.

That's very different to Hawke and Black Hole's method - soldiers are a means to an end.

But that doesn't work, as we've just proved in this map. If it's possible to win a battle without loses, even if strategically it's more difficult, it should be done. No ifs, no buts.

Mm, I suppose so. Still, we've more maps to go before we reach the end of Green Earth. So...

More Boats,

the Romance Sub-Plot,

or An Actual Volcano?

Hm. A tough decision, that... lemme think for a second.


Part 36 Additional