Part 10: Master of Arena - Chapter 2: Further ModificationsOne thing I did not get to showing last time was what all had been added to the parts shop since starting the game. At the end of Project Phantasma I had more than enough credits to buy out every weapon and part that there was and had about 2 million left over.
With that in mind, there is only one new part in Master of Arena that is immediately available for purchase, and it's a new core.
The XXL-D0 is the second heaviest core in the game, only behind the XCH-01 which we used in the very first game. It also has the most total defense points of any core, with energy defense being equal to that of the XCL-01, a lightweight core used by Nine-Ball.
The only real downside is that it has the least amount of extension slots, meaning our choice in option parts is limited severely. Regardless, I buy it anyway as keeping up appearances in this LP series is something I strive for.
With new parts significantly changing the overall look of the AC, that also includes modifying the paint job once again. This time though, I think I've landed on something that still keeps with the blue and white/grey color scheme while switching it up in meaningful places. The arms were also swapped out for the AN-201, but I've had to sacrifice the back radar as a result. At least the HD-G780 has one built in anyway, we'll just have the range significantly reduced as a result.
Now, spending time in the garage ain't gonna get us closer to Nine-Ball, so let's get some working goin.
The mission requester is PROGTECH. Their Weapon Factory's Maintenance Computer
has malfunctioned, and the Combat MTs produced there are out of control.
The computer continues to produce the faulty MTs, and the situation is worsening.
Thankfully the problem has not spread outside the facility, but it is only a matter of time.
Your mission is to restore the situation at the factory. As long as the computer is operating,
it will continue to produce MTs. Destroy the computer, then combat the MTs.
So we've got ourselves a new corporation in the series and we've got to solve a factory problem.
Even though it wasn't one of the first missions we could take, I feel like these sorts of things are the "kill sewer rat" RPG quest equivalent for this series. Gotta start somewhere, right?
Safety level gradually decreases the more missions we take in the game. Pretty much all be telling what kind of difficulty it has.
The missions starts us off in the factory's extremely spacious parking garage and we're required to break our way into the factory below.
Below this grate is where the fuckers all come in. Killing them this early is ill advised as the mission briefing clearly stated the computer is continuing to produce more. And there are no special additions earned from blowing these things up so it's important to ignore the lot in this room.
Instead, move to both ends of the room to find some door locking mechanisms that prevent us from moving into the rest of the factory.
Destroy both of these and the big door in the center of the room will be open for us to continue onward.
Destroying any of the MTs beyond that first we dropped into is totally fine as they don't respawn. That area is one we have to return to at the end once the computer is shut down.
The path to the factory computer is through a door on the left side of the big hallway we just entered. However, within this hallway, a detour to the left is necessary.
Because within this room is one of three hidden mission parts. But there is a catch with this one.
This room is designed as a sort of maze with the walls consisting of easily destroyed shipping containers. In order to get the part we need to navigate around the crates to the bottom left corner where it's hidden. Why not just blow up all the crates you might say? Well, because the developers at From Soft just love to be such cruel bastards, shooting any one of the crates sets off a chain reaction that destroys them all ALONG WITH THE AC PART. This head is apparently quite fragile since none of the hidden parts in AC1 could be destroyed by the player or environment.
Though maybe that just solidifies how god like of a weapon the KARASAWA is considering it was able to withstand several explosions from the various chemical tanks that surrounded it in the mission we retrieved it in. Still, this is the only time such a hidden part can be easily lost in the game, and thankfully there are no enemies that try and fuck things up for you.
Continuing back on the main path, this big room is where the factory computer is housed. Like everything else in this game that requires shutting it down, the most effective solution is blowing it the hell up.
And now we can move on to our last objective which is mopping up the remaining rogue MTs.
Next stop is the door right across the one we entered in the big hallway.
And here I proceed to get screwed by camera and lock on shit as I end up wasting several shots from my rifle trying to kill this one MT. Unfortunate.
Regardless, last group of MTs on this side of the factory are dealt with inside this spacious room. Some were even generous enough to blow themselves up.
Back in the main hallway, heading down the ramp leads to a single room with yet even more MTs. Almost done here.
Lastly, we return to the main production area and mop up the remnants, then the mission is complete.
Nice little detail with the Income and Expense Report screen is that the background changes depending on the mission. In the first one we had Nine-Ball in the background because he had appeared at the end. Since Nine-Ball didn't show up again, we've just got a generic AC in its place.
Now this is the part we got in the last mission, the HD-HELM. One of the new head parts added to Master of Arena, and it weights considerably less than we last had. Compared to the G780, the radar range is 300 points short and lacks both a noise canceler and bio sensor. But the reduced weight means we have a couple hundred more weight points to put more stuff on our AC.
So we've equipped the HD-HELM and we re equipped the RZ-Fw2 radar. I feel like the new head contributes very nicely to the current color scheme.
Now then, back to the missions at hand.
The requester is R&G Industries. This mission pertains to the anticipated
impact of a meteor with our planet.
The meteor's existence has long been known, but it wasn't until just recently
that a discovery was made indicating that the meteor may contain rare minerals.
R&G Industries would like to recover the meteor, but there is a problem.
Several of their competitors also want possession of it and are willing to fight for ownership.
Your mission objective is to eliminate any units, sent by R&G's competitors, intent on retrieving the
meteor. You must not allow it to fall into their hands.
The name is slightly different here, but if you remembered the locations from the first Armored Core, Heaven's Rock is the location where we guarded that freight train from Wildcat as it refueled at the depot. Kinda nice being back in these familiar locations after our exploits in Amber Crown.
...I highly doubt waiting for a meteor to land by standing as close to it as possible is smart, even if you're just out of the range of the crater it would create as a result.
Whatever, let's just get this done with.
This mission throws five MTs at us called Kafarus. For whatever reason I ended up missing way more of my shots than normal, despite having them in my aim window most of the time. Aiming at them either at close range or when they aren't moving to the side. Either way, I ended up wasting more KARASAWA shots than I felt comfortable with.
But it's not over yet though.
Surprise! We have to fight an enemy AC in order to complete the mission. This is going to be a commonly occurring thing, and killing ACs mid mission actually will remove them from the Arena ladder they're currently in. I like this aspect of the game as not only does the Nest stress its neutrality in resolving disputes for whoever can pay the money necessary, but there is nothing that stops Ravens from fighting each other due to taking conflicting missions. Alliances don't matter to a skilled Raven, only the money.
Anyway, Regulon, piloting the AC Inky, uses a back mounted chain gun as his primary means of attack, hence Lana's description about its "rapid fire capability." However, he isn't a Human PLUS so using the cannon makes him a sitting duck.
But two can play at that game, and as it turns out, my blow dryer plasma cannon beats the shit out of his pitiful chain gun. So that's that.
It's weird listening to Lana speak during missions as it's not just too the point but it's like she's saying all she needs to without catching a breath in between. Makes her sound a bit lifeless and robotic, though this particular voice actor would get a bit better at pacing herself as the operators in later games (yes, she does all the operator voices for as long as Agetec has been publishing these games).
Anyway, one more mission for this update, and this one's gonna be very quick.
Izumo Materials' research group was just attacked and top-secret files stolen.
The attacker escaped through the city's Underground Passage and is still at large.
Security forces have been deployed, but our assistance has also been requested.
Find and destroy the Armored Car that the thief has commandeered.
The Armored Car is highly visible, and the thief can't run forever.
He must have planned an alternate means of escape.
Your target is the Armored Car. Ignore all other enemies you may encounter.
We've got ourselves a chase mission, though there isn't a time limit to inform you off how long you have, so don't stop for anything.
Note that the safety level doesn't always decrease in a gradual manner. Last mission was at level 45, and now it's back up to 73.
This first area of the mission has us going through tunnels and these big MTs called Scars blocking our path. They our huge because they use the size of their hit box to impede your every turn. But we aren't going to waste a single shot on these as we have a armored car to catch.
This second area has a water filled tunnel that's occupied by floating mines. Worse being that there are two mine dispensers at the far end that continually release more of them. I blew up one and took a bit of damage from some mines, but we aren't getting slowed down here.
Eventually we reach a room with an elevator console. The elevator is actually at the top and blocks the way out to the airport on the surface.
With the last obstruction out of the way, we fly on up to the surface and finish things.
You don't have to go to far to find the car once you're up top, and a few KARASAWA shots ends it quickly. One thing you did not get to seeing though was a fight with another AC. That floating green thing in the background is Lucky Hopper in the AC Frog Man. That missile that was fired at us but barely missed was from that guy, and he likes to hop around a lot (living up to his namesake).
Regardless, the car was killed so fast that Lana didn't even have time to tell us who the AC was. But since he's still alive after this, he's still gonna be competing in the sub arena.
Speaking of the Arena, we got ourselves a new email, and it's a good sign we've been making progress.
Sender: Lana Nielsen
A corporation has extended an offer
to sponsor you in the Arena. The
sponsor is [PROGTECH], one of the
companies operating the Arena.
There is one condition though, you
must defeat all Ravens currently
associated with the Arena.
The company wants to see what you're
capable of. I've done some research
and it doesn't matter who you fight.
But remember, they're all Ravens,
just like you. That is all.
There is some slight inaccuracies in this message as we need to defeat only one raven in a mission so we can take his/her spot in the Sub Arena, which is different from the main Arena where Nine-Ball is. But it's still progress though.
However, we're now given a choice of one of three missions. All of these have no payout, but the end result is the same. Complete one by killing the opposing Raven, and then we're in the competition.
Because of this, I'm turning to you all to decide which mission I will take at this junction. I'll give you the briefing for each mission and just vote on the one you want by saying the name. Note that only one of these three missions has a hidden part. But I'm not gonna say which and let you all guess what it might be. I can hold off on getting it until the post game if need be.
Rumor has it, that a group of enemies have infiltrated the Cavern in the SE sector of the city.
According to our information, the Cavern is being used by a company to store important minerals.
We think the enemy forces that entered the Cavern are after these minerals.
The target is a Raven AC hired as an escort. Ignore all other enemies. Seek out and destroy the AC, then escape.
I've sent out a mission request to all Ravens on the NEST network.
The request I sent out, was for the removal of MTs attacking the Construction Site East of
the city. The real objective is for you to crush any ACs that take the bait.
Goldy, from the Sub-Arena, has already accepted the mission. MTs are easy targets for Ravens,
so she probably won't be ready for you. Take her when she least expects it.
Your target is a Raven recently hired by Chrome, Isaac City's largest corporation. The Raven is Hercules, a member of the Sub-Arena.
He has signed a long-term contract with Chrome as a guard at their Corporate HQ.
Chrome already has a complex security system in place, the Raven has been hired to put
additional pressure on anyone attempting to breach their HQ.
I can take care of the security system, but not the Raven. We have three minutes tops, you must
destroy him within that time frame.
So there you have it, our three missions of choice. Do you want the ARC III to fight an AC in a complex series of caverns, ambush another AC mid mission, or fight a corporate hired AC within a given time limit? You decide!