The Let's Play Archive

Live a Live

by Xander77

Part 25: Robot - Update # 6 - Captain Square

Robot Chapter, Part 6
In Which It's Captain Square!!


In the previous chapter, Rachel had been persuaded to go open an airlock by reading an email from her boyfriend, Kirk. The same Kirk, coincidentally, who was slowly decomposing in a bed right next to her. It's a good indication of her rapidly deteriorating mental state that she found nothing odd about this in the slightest.

The other crew members, more than slightly concerned about Rachel's well-being, run off in close pursuit. As for us...

We've been putting this off for far too long, and there's no better time than the present.

For some reason, as the captain spirals in towards the screen, his approach is angled to give us a big close-up of his clenched teeth before we're just dumped right into the game.

Now, it's never specified what the plot of Captain Square is, but it apparently has something to do with the solar system, as each battle is supposed to represent one of the planets in the Milky Way (and Pluto), proceeding outwards from the sun.

We start off with Mercury, represented by what appears to be a quartet of robots called Clicker Rock. Clicker Rock is an absolute pushover, with only a few close-range attacks to its name. Therefore, we can pretty much use any of our techniques to deal with them.

Just look at that selection! Captain Square has one of the most varied sets of techniques in the entire game, and I'll describe them as we go. Rest assured that each technique has a use, though some are much more useful than others. As for the captain himself, he has 240 HP max, and that never improves, so you might as well make good use of it.

Tachyon Sword is our basic melee attack, and usually does around 20-50 damage, depending on the enemy. That is pretty weak, admittedly, but its advantage is that it comes out instantly, which can only be said for 3 out of 8 techniques in Square's repertoire.

The true strength of this technique, however, is that it heals you for the amount of damage that it inflicts. While most enemies in this gauntlet will be capable of hurting us faster than we can drain from them, Clicker Rock isn't one of them.

We could theoretically go through Mercury by just spamming Tachyon Sword, but for variety's sake, let's check out Captain Square's next technique. We won't be making much use of Spinning Star, and I'll tell you why.

While it is nice that the ability knocks enemies back a space and does decent damage (about the same amount as Tachyon Sword), this will only be useful on one specific enemy about a third of the way through, as most of the other enemies that we'd love to keep our distance from either have a range of three spaces or more or have a nasty ability that strikes vertically or horizontally.

Well, that was boring. On to the next stage.

These are the first enemies that ought to really get on your nerves. Heading Bird and other creatures that share its appearance have an ability known as Tope Suicide, which goes horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, has a range of three spaces in all directions, does a decent amount of damage, and knocks the captain backwards, disrupting any moves that require a charge time (aka most of Captain Square's moveset).

Despite the name of the technique, however, there is no death involved on the enemy's part. That's reserved for its other jerkish move called Exploding, which it does if you stay at close range for too long. While this move does kill the enemy, it will probably kill you too if you're not close to full health. And even then, there's no guarantee that its buddies won't headbutt you into submission when you attempt to recover your health back.

In summary: I really hate these guys.

Naturally, ranged combat will be key to destroying these guys. There are two main tools in Captain Square's arsenal that will be useful for this. Plasma Ball is the first of these, and is going to be your bread and butter for most of this game.

While it can only fire diagonally, Plasma Ball has infinite range, a very short charge time, fantastic damage (ranging from 60-120), and it turns the space that it hits into an electric field, which does around 25 damage to anyone who stands in it for a while, unless they're half of the monsters in this game, in which case it actually heals them.

Pi Meson Shot has a slightly longer charge, but hits a wide area, making it a very useful crowd control technique.

This technique is the second most powerful one in Captain Square's arsenal, and the charge time is more than three times as fast as his strongest ability. It's a keeper!

Yeah...of all the ways to represent Earth, I would not have expected Fire and blue fire, which is actually supposed to be Water. Now, the Water enemies are ridiculously weak. One hit from pretty much anything will be enough to take them down.

Fire won't be as easy. All of Captain Square's attacks will either do 0 or 1 damage to it. This should be a big hint that the way to defeat it lies not in brute force, but in tricking the enemies to kill one another.

Water has only one attack, which is a fiery explosion of water (try not to think too hard about it) that leaves a 3x3 water field in the surrounding area. Naturally, the water field hurts Captain Square a little and heals Water, but as for Fire...

Need I say more?

Alternatively, you can take advantage of the fact that the game always allows Tachyon Sword to drain damage, and chip it down 1 HP at a time. However, that puts you in range of Fire's attack, and it's a doozy.

As the name implies, Petriflare turns you to stone, and it always works. However, it is a quick way to lose, so if you accidentally killed all the Water, at least you won't be puttering around helplessly for a long while.

This fight is very different, in that the enemies won't make much of an active effort to hurt us at all. The gray ones are called Happy Tail, and the purple one is Mother Tail, and much like Fire and Water, they have their own special quirk.

Namely, when you try to hurt the Happy Tails, they counter with a fairly powerful healing technique. Mother Tail has the same ability, but with a twist.

Every time she does her ability, she gets damaged the same amount that she heals, meaning that she'll never get her health back, but her subordinates will. No points for guessing who you should be targeting.

Since the Tail Family doesn't do a whole lot, I figured that it was the perfect time to try out Quark Sword. It's Captain Square's most powerful technique by far, but by the time you actually get it charged up, the enemy you're aiming at is usually on the other end of the arena and/or beating the crap out of you.

Still, if you can pull it off, it's almost always a one-hit kill.

And after we've killed their mommy, the Happy Tails obligingly fade into nothingness. How polite of them.

This battle is very simple. The Cosmo Strollers don't have a great deal of health, and their one attack doesn't do much damage. So what is so special about them?

Other than the fact that electric fields heal them and their one attack fills two whole rows with nothing but electric fields, not a whole lot. These guys are really nothing but pests, but they do provide a nice demonstration for another one of the captain's techniques.

Supernova turns a 5x5 area into fire fields and does a fair amount of damage. More importantly, it kills these things in no time at all, given that they're one of the few enemies who are vulnerable to fire field damage.

Moving right along...

These are the first enemies that should give you some cause to worry. Gem Parapets have a fairly powerful attack if you get within a certain range, but their real threat... in their counterattack. SiO2 is known better as Silica, a material used in the production of glass. I don't know how that translates to a combat technique either. Whatever the case, one shot of it will take Captain Square down to critical, and Gem Parapet always counterattacks if it's able to do so. So how do we beat them?

Plasma Ball will be the answer to this problem, as the enemy's excessive size provides us with quite a few blind spots where it can't counter us, but we can still hit it. Two shots of Plasma will be enough to take care of each of them, and the rest is history.

No, we shan't be probing it, so don't even ask.

So, what are we looking at here? Well, there's a small robot called Electric Mirage, and it's hiding underneath one of these electric field lookalikes known as Pimuri. This is, to my knowledge, the only time that the game actually layers enemies on top of one another, but that's not all that's weird about this fight.

The Pimuri also multiply themselves, another first (and only) for this game. Complicating matters is that Pimuri only have one attack, which creates a 5x5 section of actual electric fields that masks their movements while simultaneously healing them, which means that single target attacks are completely out of the question.

Once you've finally revealed Electric Mirage, the next challenge is killing it. It's got the same super armor that Fire had, and electric fields heal it back to full. Fortunately, an earlier electricity-themed foe already taught us how to deal with problems such as these.


Following Electric Mirage's demise, the remaining Pimuri "break down," sparing us the tedium of hunting them down in that yellow mess.

These enemies are a bit of a bother. If you stay within melee range for too long, they'll hit with an attack that does around 150 damage, more than enough to kill Captain Square in two shots. They only have 1 HP though, so it's possible to just knock them all down with Tachyon Sword. However, there's a much MUCH easier way to resolve this problem.

See this guy here? He's the boss of the La Lu Brigade, and if we kill him, they all go at once. Knowing that makes this penultimate level a lot easier, which is good, because the last level is a beast.

There really isn't much of a surefire strategy for dealing with Heading Bird's more powerful relatives, but I would recommend dealing with the closest ones first, applying Plasma Ball in liberal quantities, and healing whenever the chance presents itself. Plasma Charge, the captain's healing tech, isn't much better than hitting the enemies with Tachyon Sword, but it gives Captain Square a few bonuses to various stats every time you use it, so try to use it whenever you can.

In my case, the battle ended when the last one of them walked me into a corner and then self-destructed. However, rather than spelling certain doom for me, something unusual happened...

...It missed. Whatever works, I suppose.

Much like there was no fanfare before the game began, we're also thrust into the credits without much warning. As the credits roll, the captain can be seen flying back and forth in the background, becoming gradually closer to the screen.

Well, that's it for this chapter. I'll be passing on the saves, and maybe we can see someone else go through the Caveman...

Oh right, we've still got this nonsense. Well, see you next time then. I'll be covering a few things about Captain Square that were edited out due to size constraints, and then we'll be continuing on with the ongoing drama of:

Part 7: Where We Get Chased by Blanka's Great-Grandson