The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 53: Chapter 53 (Battle) - I’m Here To Break Crystals And Save The Director, And I’m All Out Of Director

Update 53 (Battle) - I’m Here To Break Crystals And Save The Director, And I'm All Out Of Director

Whilst I'm organising the soldiers for the battle ahead, there's a knock on my office door.

"Come in."

Selena enters. She looks at me nervously. "Um, my dude... I... would like to be deployed as an APC for this battle."

"An APC? Are you sure?" I say.

But she nods. She's often nervous, but today, she looks certain about what she's doing.

"I am. I have to show Lena that I'm not here to fight her. I refuse to point a weapon at her."

"Alright, if you're sure. I'll make the changes. And... Selena?"

Selena turns back to me.

"Good luck." I say. There's not much else to say.


Hello, and welcome back to Advance Wars: Dual Strike! We have a hell of a map today, but hey, I've had a hell of a grinding session. So, as suggested by readers, I played the last map quite a few times to get more ranks on the COs, and uh... it went well. Our current ranks:

Jake - Rank 6
Rachel - Rank 6
Max - Rank 5
Colin - Rank 6
Sasha - Rank 9
Jess - Rank 6
Javier - Rank 6
Sensei - Rank 6
Grimm - Rank 6

And uh, since Hawke and Lash are force-deployed in that map, they got the points from every single run, so they're, uh.

Hawke - Rank 24
Lash - Rank 24

Yeah. I did this map a lot.

Still, it'll give us more skills to work with in future, so let's show them off! For this map, we're going with Jess/Javier as the orange team, and Hawke/Lash as the blue team.

And they have some skills!

For Jess, we're just doubling down on her brute strength. Prairie Dog is also very useful - we need rockets in places, and moving them across plains is painful otherwise.

Javier's mostly playing support, boosting Jess' offenses. I've also taken Star Power on both of them - we need a tag before Black Hole gets one, and this may help put things in our favour.

Hawke can take some even spicier options, being such a high rank - +20% attack in a sandstorm is fantastic, so we may as well abuse that on this map.

Like Javier, Lash is supporting Hawke, though she has more options to do so. I've also taken a defensive skill on her, just in case I need to switch to her to utilise her big defensive bonuses.

Without further ado, let's get started!

Today’s Deployments
Orange Team
Howard, Infantry
Wallace, Mech
Kiran, APC
Lorelei, Recon
Petra, Anti-Air
Mulligan, Tank
Cassandra, Medium Tank
Rose, Neotank
Dimitri, Megatank
Vanessa, Artillery
Kurtz, Rockets

Blue Team
Alfonse, Mech
Dave, Mech
Selena, APC
Fliss, Anti-Air
Ingo, Rockets
Harlow, Missiles
Raynald, Fighter
Lucy, Bomber
Julian, Stealth Fighter
Von Panzer, Battle Copter
Fleur, Transport Copter

All for the chocolaty treasures within!

I fucking love Javier's lines, have I mentioned?

This time I'm with you 100 percent, Javier.

So, the orange and blue teams have very different goals on this map. Generally they'll both be smashing crystals, but in particular the orange team is going to push north to break the upper crystals, whilst the blue team handles Madam Director - who, if you'll recall, is in the Neotank in the centre of the map there. How do we keep her alive when she's going to be Neotanking our face off every turn? I guess try and prevent her from healing up. Let's see what we can do about that!

We're going to play very aggressively on this first turn. The enemy outnumber us by quite some margin, so we need to close the gap somehow. Rose blasts this infantry.

That opens the way for Dimitri, in the megatank, to destroy the first crystal.

Booyah! The crystal blows up. Just five more to go.

There's a few foes that would be seriously bad news if they healed up - like this fighter here. He's gotta go, so Petra slaughterises him.

"Got a comm tower, almost..." Howard says, eyeing the battlefield. "Urgh. All those half-dead machines out there... I hate it. Like some kind of military graveyard."

"Let's just hope it's not our graveyard." Mulligan replies. "Keep working on that comm tower, Howard!"

"Well, I will - but there's an artillery nearby, and it might, uh, fire on..."

Howard trails off as a medium tank rumbles past him and obliterates the artillery. Cassandra lifts the transceiver victoriously.

"What artillery? Don't worry, Howard - me and Mull have your back."

"Man, you guys are the best. Thanks."

We also need to deal with the things down here - Lorelei, in a recon, lands this very spicy kill on the tank.

Our rockety friend Kurtz can finish off the recon. Reduced range is annoying, but rockets' range is so massive that you barely notice most of the time. It's more noticeable with artilleries.

Finally, Howard deals with this thing, just because I hate ranged units. Enemy ranged units, that is. Fuckin' love artilleries, as you well know.

And that's about it for the orange team this turn! The enemy will probably descend upon us viciously next time, but I'm hoping they don't hit too hard. We'll see how it goes. Over to the blue team!

You're gonna eat what you dished out, only a hundred times worse!

Don't forget about me, Kindle. It's time for some payback.

And hey, Madam Director! You've gotta stop working for these clowns as soon as you can! Why are you still listening to them?!


All right! Time for Operation-

Oh, THIS ought to be good. What silly operation name have you come up with this time?

…Actually, I’m not in a joking mood today. Operation Save Lena is go.

That’s...surprisingly mature of you. Alright, let’s do it then! Operation Save Lena! Move out!

My dude? What are you smirking about?

OK, you CANNOT tell Rachel this, but I actually called it Operation Hey Soul Sister.

Dave heads up to capture a comm tower - if they're going to give them to me, I'm going to use them.

"Do I... seriously have to wear this spacesuit?" Dave grumbles.

"Aw, you look kind of cute in it!" Rin replies, beaming. "Guess Hawke and Lash have a different uniform than the rest of the countries!"

"But why does it look like this?" Alfonse sighs.

Once again, we need to open the way to the crystals, so Fliss takes out this battle copter with an absolutely preposterous amount of damage.

Julian, in the stealth fighter, needs no support to take out a crystal on his own. Goddamn, I love stealth fighters. And also high-rank skills. I don't think rank 1 Hawke can pull this off.

This crystal needs a two-shot, so Ingo sets it up with a rocket attack...

Which lets our battle copter, Von Panzer, take it out. I could've sent Lucy in the bomber to one-tap it, but I'd rather send Von Panzer since he can reliably survive everything with 1HP, regardless of what happens.

(OK, mechanically, I don't actually remember why I did this. I think I wanted Lucy to conserve her HP for something?)

Alfonse takes out another enemy. If they're going to sit around with 1HP, I'm going to punish them for it. Besides, we can't waste time - after four days, the back group will be practically back up to full, and there's a lot of nasty units up there.

Lucy takes out this artillery to protect Dave, just like we did on the other side. I know they're on 1HP, but I don't want my infantry to take chip damage and then be unable to capture the comm towers on day 2.

There's so many god damn anti-airs around. I'm nervous. Still, this is the end of our first turn, so let's see how it goes.

Do your worst, Kindle.

The crystals flash, and heal up all the units around them. It's not... super threatening? I mean, fuck, Dipshit can do a better AoE heal than that.

It does put us on a time limit to finish the map though, so let's not waste time.

Oh, shut up, you old hag.

This absolutely suicidal fucking mech tries to fight Dimitri, and gets utterly deleted for his trouble.

This is a bit nastier - this medium tank goes all in on poor Petra. Thankfully, she survives, but it's a heavy blow.

And despite me blocking off this fucking anti-air with Selena in the APC, I somehow miscounted the anti-air's movement range and it gets a free shot in on Raynald of Châtillon. Fuck.

All the weakened anti-airs start charging for Julian. He takes out the first one, and I was like "hell yeah!"

...before I realised that meant another one could take its place and get a second shot on him.

Thankfully, he was weakened enough that he was unable to take this one out, so he survives the turn. But still, that was... troublesome.

Still worth it to not have to deal with the crystal though. Meanwhile, a bro copter shoots Von Panzer and is very ineffective.

This fighter jet goes for Lucy, which is annoying, but on the other hand, it's moved itself into the open where I can kill it more easily.

And then Kindle makes the mistake of switching to Jugger, who is generally worse than she is. I'm really not complaining about that.

Admittedly there's not many cities around for Kindle to utilise, but Jugger's chance of less damage is really, really harmful to him.

Let's maintain this momentum, then. If we keep playing aggressively, we can fight the enemy whilst they're still weakened and sneakily destroy the last few crystals.

And hey, Howard got the comm tower! Slight damage increase, that'll help.

Mulligan heads up to bail out poor Julian.

"Thanks, my friend." Julian replies silkily. "I wasn't expecting the enemy to be so lively, considering what poor shape all these things are in."

"They're getting more repaired by the minute. Those crystals are terrifying." Mulligan says. "Look after yourself, uh, Julian, right?"

"Quite. We will - you just focus on breaking the crystals. We'll handle the Director."

I move Dimitri down to take out this medium tank and holy fuck that's a lot of damage. A smarter play might have been to move Dimitri up to tank hits from the enemy next turn, and use Rose to delete this guy, but eh, this works.

That's about it for the orange team, so let's see what the blue team are up to.

Dave nabs the comm tower for the blue team. Also useful!

Lucy gets rid of this annoying fucker before he can harass any more of my planes.

And thanks to the laws of equivalent exchange, I use Fliss to harass the enemy's planes. It's fine when I do it.

Moving forward here would be a bit risky, so I just arrange everyone like this and leave it for now. The orange team are the ones that need to concern themselves with pushing north; the blue team don't need to worry so much.

Now, I'm just hoping...


This is actually really good for us. Jugger's CO Power isn't super strong, and he's not really in range to attack very many of my units - so he's effectively wasting his CO meter on this weak attack, which buys us even MORE time to charge our tag before they get theirs.

This mech attacks Mulligan and gets murdered for his trouble.

The copter is slightly more threatening, and does a ton of damage. Mulligan's fine, though.

And, uh... yeah! Nothing else was in range, or nothing else that wanted to attack, anyway. Nice work on that CO Power, Jugger.

Let's punish them for their hubris.

Now, I'd like some silos very soon, so Howard hops into Kiran's APC, bound south.

"Hey there! I made some snacks, if you want something to eat on the way." Kiran says, gesturing to some nibbles on the seat next to him. Howard sits down and take a bite.

"Mm! Not bad at all... I could get used to an APC like this."

"I cook when I'm stressed, so I've always got tons of food to go around before a big battle like this." Kiran replies as he drives. Howard nods.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. Battles like this are always stressful."

After Kiran drops Howard off, I move the indirects, Vanessa and Kurtz, south to break these pipe seams. The more silos I can access, the better. I need to undo the healing the enemy units are getting every turn.

Petra bitchslaps this bro copter out of existence. They're the only real threat to my tank domination, so I'd like them all gone as soon as possible. I can see another one lurking in the top right, you bastard.

I form a defensive wall like so - Petra is open, but I'm gonna shore up the defensive wall with some of the blue team units, so don't panic. I'm hoping the bigger, scarier stuff will suicide into Dimitri so I don't have to deal with it.

"Still can't see the Director yet..." Dimitri mutters. "There's a ton of tanks on the way, though. Ready, troops?"

"Absolutely. Whatever comes, we'll take it on. There's no room for error." Cassandra replies.

Rose nods. "Our victory is assured. We are almost in place to wipe out the enemy in one fell swoop - just keep moving forwards and follow my orders."

The blue team are also ready to roll.

We need these missiles to go - not because they're a threat, but because I want Lucy to smash that pipe seam.

Fleur drops off Alfonse - he'll be doing the same thing as Howard, which is chucking missiles at everything up north until they stop being pricks.

This defensive wall isn't just to protect my weaker units, though - it also gives me an opening to slip Ingo down here (the Prairie Dog skill continues to kick ass) and get himself in position to start firing on the next crystal.

The rest of the blue team just move forward and get themselves into position. Selena, in the APC, shivers.

"I know she's here somewhere. Are we... really going to be able to hold her back?"

"We're all here with you, Selena." Lucy replies. "We won't let you do this alone!"

Selena nods. "...Thank you, Lucy. You're right. We've come this far."

Now let's see if I pulled this off properly.

The units get healed up to 7HP now. Damn, they're actually getting back up to decent HP, and more concerningly, decent damage.

Not decent enough, though! This medium tank tries to hit Dimitri and is smashed in the fucking face for it.

A second medium tank attempts to fight instead, and-

"Machine guns?" says Cassandra. "That's not going to do anything against the tanks!"

"I... yeah! I only had three of those cannon shots! You seen how big this ammo is? I can't fit more than three in here!" Dimitri replies. "Where's Kiran?"

"Still down south, sorry!" Kiran yelps in fear. "I'm on my way up - hold out, Dimitri!"

"I'm in no danger of being destroyed, but I can't damage these ol' tanks for shit now!" Dimitri replies. "God, I wish Diana was here..."

"Hang tight, Dimitri. I accounted for your ammo loss - it's more important for you to maintain the defensive presence. We'll deal with the tanks afterwards." Rose says, glaring at the battlefield with determined eyes.

Another tank decides to take advantage of Dimitri having no ammo and shoots him. I seem to remember some vague mentions from commenters that enemies prioritise units that are low on ammo... I wonder if Rose is using that to lure out all the tanks? Was it actually a genius-level move?

The last bro copter gets lured out, too, which means I can kill it with Fliss next turn, beautiful.

The bomber goes for Cassandra, but thankfully, it doesn't hit super hard. Just enough to be concerning, but we can deal with that, no problem.

A Neotank rolls out from behind the crystal and guns towards the army, locking sight on Rose's own Neotank.

"Selena..? Is that you?"

The Director opens fire on Rose.

"No, it's not!" she growls. "Where's Selena?! I have no quarrel with you!"

"If you have no quarrel," Rose says icily. "Then why are you working with the people who are planning to blot out life on this planet?"

The Director remains silent, staring at Rose in fury.

Director located! Strike team, prepare to move in! Selena, you ready?

I'm ready. It's time.

Right, things are getting interesting now. Let's keep it up! First-

...Ooh, the sandstorm's stopped. I wasn't expecting that.

Rose lifts her transceiver. "The sandstorm has stopped, as expected. It usually dies down around this time of day - I've been keeping an eye on weather patterns."

"You... really go above and beyond, don't you, Rose?" breathes Vanessa.

"I used to be a detective. Noticing small details is part of the role." Rose says. "More importantly, Vanessa, Kurtz, your visibility should have improved. Can you make the shot on the seams near Howard?"

"Yeah, I think I can." Kurtz says, eyeing the target.

"I see it! I'll make the shot!" Vanessa replies.

Kiran, meanwhile, fucking RACES north to go refuel Dimitri as soon as possible.

And Howard helps out with some missiley goodness.

These fuckers need to go - primarily the medium tank, but with in case I can't take out the tank, I want to make sure it doesn't hit very hard.

BOOM! Get fucked, land vehicles and also a bomber!

Speaking of the bomber, Petra removes it. That's another major threat gone.

And Wallace can take out this tank, leaving my other tanks available to do other cool things.

Vanessa makes the first shot on the seam - I was initially going to take out the seam to the right of my indirects, and then spend a few turns moving Howard around, but now the sandstorm's cleared up, I can take out this seam instead and get Howard to the silos within just two turns.

And just like that, Kurtz opens the way for Howard! Beautiful!

Now to get Kurtz back up north so he can shoot some crystals. Again, thank fucking god for Prairie Dog.

Cassandra, even weakened, can take out the enemy medium tank. That's most of the major irritations dealt with now.

And, with that being the case, Rose decides to sneak in and land a big hit on the crystal, setting it up for Ingo to take it out later.

It might look a bit risky, with the enemy rockets over there, but I'm gonna switch to Javier for the ranged defence and to get his CO meter charged more quickly.

Plus, we get to hear more of his lines. Love you, Javier.

Right, with that done, it's onto the blue team...

...who have the job of trying to corral a fucking Neotank.

And, before I forget, breaking this crystal. Ingo takes the shot, destroying the fourth of six crystals! We're almost there!

"Wonderful shooting, Ingo!" Lucy says, crying out with delight as she watches from her bomber on high.

"Ah, thanks." Ingo replies. "We're making progress now - orange team, are you going to be able to handle the final two?"

"Oh, without a doubt." Dimitri says, grinning. "Once I get refuelled, they're not gonna last long."

Von Panzer moves in to take out this infantry - more importantly, though, he's blocking off Lena. We're going to surround her with a) planes she can't fire on and b) units she doesn't do very much damage to, and we'll hopefully have the map done before she kills anybody.

We can move Julian in to take out this infantry too, and also block off Lena.

Raynald crusades over to fill the third space, and then Selena moves in, face to face with her sister.

Fliss removes this asshole bro copter, and I can finally breathe easy. Copters in great numbers are seriously irritating to deal with.

There is a bomber hanging around though, and I'm nervous it might try and move in, so I shift Harlow to cover virtually all the bases; either it stays the fuck away from me, or it attacks and gets missilinated for its trouble. Either way, it's dealt with.

Just to further protect myself, I figure I'll get Alfonse silo the hell out of them.

Yes. Perfect.

Now that's going to set them back a bit! Although... I wonder if I can do more. My units are a bit weakened, and the enemy's still got a fair amount of HP...

Whilst I muse, Lucy attacks this pipe seam.

Hm. You know what, you're right. I've decided!

Oh, yeah, it's time.

Lesson #15 of the My Dude School of Military Tactics:

Black Wave Is Only Fair And Balanced When I Get To Use It

Damn, that's satisfying. The enemies around the crystals will heal 2HP, but the ones around that rightmost crystal TOOK 4HP in damage, so net loss either way. Excellent work.

Man, that was satisfying.

OK, OK, I'm done now. Let's hope nothing goes too terribly wrong.

They're getting closer to their tag power, but they haven't quite got it yet. I just need to get more CO meter charge than Jugger does...

The black crystal heals up the enemies, but eh, it's not gonna matter.

This, too, doesn't matter. Rose tanks it no problem.

"Now time for my retreat..." Rose mutters.

"Retreat? Your tank's in good shape, Rose, what are you..." Vanessa starts, but then pauses. "Oh."

An enemy tank charges for poor Petra. I swear, Petra and Fliss have been having a rough time in the anti-airs today. Every time I think they're safe, something pops up to harass them.

"No, no, no! I'm not going to go down! Not this close to victory!" Petra shouts, holding firm against the tank's attack.

"Petra, my dear! You OK?" Lorelei says, fretting.

Petra nods. "I'm... alright! Just need... a bit of help over here!"

"Thank goodness... Eagle would have my head if anything happened to you. Hang in there, Petra!" Mulligan replies.

The Director turns her Neotank towards the defenceless APC in front of her.


You’ve come with no weapons? No tank? Are you trying to mock me? I’m going to…I’m going to kill you!

Do it. I deserve it.


I was trying to help you, but...I messed up. I wanted to disobey my parents. I wanted to do something so drastically unlike me that it would cause them to turn to you instead, and treat you like they'd always treated me. I…hoped they would show you love if I proved myself a failure. But I now know better; I was running away from my responsibilities. I should have been there for you.

Yes, you should! They put so much on my shoulders after you left! All their fury at you, that went to me!

The first shot rings through, slamming into Selena's APC, but Selena can tell that her sister is holding back.

And the one person who…the one person who didn’t…the one person who didn’t care that I was a screw-up had left. She’d gone!

I know. I can never forgive myself for that.

Rose was right to make her exit when she did - a bomber comes and blows up the Neotank that she left behind.

This must've been part of her plan too. Still, we'll deal with that next turn.

"As calculated." Rose says, on her way back to HQ. "I'll command from HQ for now - keep following Jess and Javier's orders. They know what I plan to do, and they're almost ready to execute that plan."

Dimitri salutes. "Yes, Rose. Ready and waiting!"

Right, then. Let's get back at it! It's a race between Javier and Jugger's CO meters now - we cannot let them get their tag off, but we also need to do juuuuust enough damage to get our tag. It's going to be a risky turn.

Firstly, Kiran resupplies Dimitri, and thank fucking god for that.

"That's a hell of a relief. I'm back to full capacity!" Dimitri shouts.

"Which is what, again? Three measly shots?" Cassandra replies.

"Hey, three shots capable of takin' on virtually anything!" Dimitri says, chuckling. "Come on, Morningstar. Let's get on with taking out those last crystals!"

"Right behind you, Meteor." Cassandra answers, gearing up her medium tank and preparing to move onwards.

Dimitri charges ahead - this might look like absolutely insane behaviour, but here's the best place for him - it's within the rocket range, so they can't fire on him, and he's bulky enough to survive virtually anything Kindle and Jugger throw at us now. We need him in position to start smashing things.

Cassandra helps out Petra with her little tank problem, so I don't have to worry about this, at least.

Howard moves into this little area to access these secret silos, whilst the indirects head north. I'm gonna need Kurtz for something later on. However, this turn is mostly setup, so that's all for now.

Let's see how the blue team's doing.

Lucy's able to smash the seam on this side...

And then Alfonse hops into Fleur...

Which allows Fleur to carry Alfonse inside. This is just insurance in case things go wrong next turn - planning for every eventuality is how you win. Rose taught me that.

Now let's get rid of this last threatening thing with Fliss, and finally breathe a sigh of relief. Bombers are fucking scary, even weakened ones.

I'm a little nervous about Fliss getting hit by the enemy rockets, though, so I move Ingo in - he'll either take a hit from the rockets or kill them next turn, so either way it works out.

The rest of the blue team is busy preventing the Director from murdering everything around her.

Speaking of, it is Jugger's turn. We didn't quite get our meter charged, so here's hoping Jugger attacks us a bunch of times!

We did leave a nice shiny megatank for him to poke.

The rockets take the Ingo-bait and do a remarkable amount of damage to him. The important thing is that he's not dead, though!

Give me one reason, then--one reason why I shouldn’t kill you where you stand!

I can’t give you a reason. But I can make a request.

Lena opens fire once more, and this time, it hits harder. Selena winces. Is it… already too late to convince her?

I’m not going to be swayed! You already had your chance! I’m…I’ve already come too far. You understand? There’s no going back for me!

There’s ALWAYS a chance to go back! You don’t have to stay on this path!

The Director’s Neotank seems to tremble, and a rumbling from within tells Selena that it’s primed and ready to fire again. She stands up and hops out of her APC, landing on the hard, dusty ground below. Standing up, she walks forwards, until she’s eye-to-eye with the cannon of the Neotank.

Selena throws her arms wide, leaving herself open to the tank, and lets out a final impassioned cry.

Lena! Don’t you get it? I gave up everything just to stand in the way of my parents, because I didn’t want to dance for them any longer! Now I’m here, and I have a new family, and…more than anything, I want you to be a part of it. Three years ago I lost my sister, and all I’ve wanted since then is to get her back.

So if you’ve seen her, tell me - because I want to say sorry to her.

I don’t…I don’t understand! Asking for MY forgiveness after how I treated you? I should be the one apologising -- I drove you away! How? How can you still love me after all that?

Because love doesn’t need to be EARNED, Lena!


You don’t need to be or do something for me to love you. Just having you as my sister was enough. And I’m sorry that my parents convinced you otherwise.

But I…you…you really still love me? After I betrayed everyone and everything?

Would anyone have done any differently in your position? If you really believe that this world is better being destroyed, then carry on. Take the shot.

But I know you. And I know you’ve always hoped, always believed, that there’s a world that loves you. And I’ve been fighting every day…to build that world for you.


Step out of the tank. We can make this right. You don’t have to be the Director any more. I friends will be here for you. I’ll be here for you.


What was that?

Lena stands up, the mask of Sturm falling away from her face and landing on the ground beside her Neotank. She gets on top of the tank and jumps down, walking up to Selena so that she can hear the sentence as clearly as possible.

I said…you’d better be right about this, Selena…

Selena pulls her into an embrace, fighting back tears, and Lena reciprocates, sobbing into Selena’s shoulder.

Jugger doesn't take the Dimitri bait (which is probably good considering his low ammo), and instead fires on Cassandra, giving us some of that sweet sweet CO meter charge.

Almost, almost... is this it?!

Nope, not quite... but then the recon decides to suicide on Dimitri...

And THERE IT IS! Jugger's sealed Black Hole's fate - we've got this down!

Operation Hey Soul Sister was a rousing success, and hey, I'm bored of this map, so let's beat it in six days.

Tag Power, my beloved

They sure fuckin' will, Javier! Do... do Black Hole COs have wives and children, though..?

Either way, we're ready! We've got more than enough firepower to pull this off, so all we have to do is get everything into position.

And hey, y'know what, may as well bully them with a missile in the meantime.

yeah that sounds fun

BOOM! Watching piperunners take damage is, like, so good for my mental health, you don't even know.

So, first, we move Ingo into position.

And Cassandra lands a bit of chip damage on the black crystal.

May as well kill everything else too. Wallace finishes off one of the anti-airs.

You'll notice in the top right, we've moved Dimitri in to attack the other crystal. He can't one-shot it with Javier, but Jess' SCOP is like, absurdly good for vehicles.

Hell yeah, here we go!

Javier was just the setup... THIS is the damage.

"Your crystals won't drain the life from this land any longer! I refuse to allow it! Your ambitions... THEY END HERE!" Dimitri roars, opening fire and obliterating the black crystal in a single, unbelievable shot.

"Once, my dearest love freed our world from the grip of Black Hole, and ever since then... I've been looking to do the same. So take this! Ingo Easford-Martin, ready to fire! This shot will put an end to your Tower of Rebirth!" Ingo shouts, releasing a blast from his rockets. It aims true, and slams into the crystal, and thanks to Cassandra's setup, it is totally destroyed.

Black crystals report fatal error. System not responding. Director not responding. Repair impossible.

We can't use them any more, can we? I was going to finish the allies off here, but now I've changed my mind.

And, Madam Director? You think you can swap sides just like that? Here's a promise: I'll be waiting for you. Aha ha ha ha!

Wait right there! You are NOT getting away this time!

She escaped through a passage leading deeper into the fortress. Move quickly.

Um, Hawke...

Save it. You made the right choice. Now move.

Right! Let's roll!

Another S-rank for us! And you'll never guess what - this was my first attempt at this map. Absolutely nailed it, I'm far too pleased with myself. The Director's been saved!

Our COs also promote, putting Javier and Jess at rank 7 and Hawke and Lash at fucking 25. I didn't even think it went that high. You stop getting stuff after rank 10.

Still, can't argue with that! Now let's see what the next map's got in store...

Oh god, more fucking Kindle. Can we see the end of this woman already?

The black obelisk. That's what they called it. It's what they're using to drain the energy from this land.

So this is how they're doing it? That thing is going down.

My apologies, but we're still using it. You can look, but you can't touch!

You know nothing of the black obelisk's power, yet you plan on destroying it? You're even more naive than I thought.

Yeah? Well, I hope you're ready, because your madness ends here.

Aha ha ha. I bet you want a treat for making it this far. Bravo, cheerleader. Aha ha! Look around you. Gaze upon the glorious spectacle of Black Hole's power!

It's sickening.

I know you can feel the overwhelming might of our military machine. Face it, you're outclassed and outgunned.

She's so evil...but she's right. There are so many of them.

This is looking grim.


Chill, people. It's all good. We've got this covered. We might be outgunned--but we have my dude and Rose Kuroda rollin' with us. We're not even close to being outclassed.

What did you say, boy?

What you guys are's whack. Trashing the land for your own profit? That's just sick. All of the people who live here have got our backs.

Factory workers, scientists, bakers... even gals who may have joined the wrong side at first. They're all with us. We won't lose.


Aha ha ha. You mean the rabble?! A ton of garbage is still garbage. Let me introduce you to reality. Reality is what you see above you... THAT is reality!

Above us..?

Oh. Shit.

What you see is more than 22,000 miles above us, in outer space. That glistening ebon star you see is Black Hole's ultimate weapon. Tremble before our magnificent battle satellite, Black Onyx!

Holy shit, what?

Satellite? Black Onyx?

Aha ha ha! Not even your delicate little commander knew of its existence! Black Onyx is the black obelisk's guardian angel.

In a mere...fifty minutes from now, its barrier field will be operational. Once it's in place, the black obelisk will be safe for all eternity!

That's why they've been hiding the location of this base and stalling us as much as they can. They've been buying time whilst Black Onyx charges the barrier field.

We made it in just enough time, at least!

Do I need to spell this out for you fools? You don't have a chance! You never did.

You keep telling yourself that, Kindle! We're going to win, no matter the odds. All right, everybody! This is the final battle! Let's work together and obliterate the black obelisk!

Final battle? We haven't even fought Von Bolt yet. I don't buy it.

My dude, are you alright? You're muttering to yourself again.

Sorry, right! Let's crush this fucking obelisk and then go home. This isn't going to take long.

I'm glad, considering we only have fifty minutes...

So, uh, yeah! Here's the map, and it's a goddamn big one.

Neotanks, cannons, silos, oozium, pipes... yeah, there's a lot going on here. On the plus side, we get three groups, so a total of 6 COs! Feel free to place your votes, and any other advice on strategies or what skills to give units would be excellent. I'll see you all next time!


Update 54 (Intermission) - Orange Star’s Heart