Part 8: DINO POWER, RED TYRANNO RANGERSo last time, Geo lost most of his friends.
But since this game assumes you have the attention span of a goldfish, Geo has a nightmare where Sonia, Bud, and Zack vanish.
This causes him to wake up screaming. And check out that mugshot! In an excellent attention to detail (ripped straight from SF1), Geo has two sets of portraits. Smiling 24/7 doesn't really work when you're dealing with drama after all.
Not that it's good drama.
(I couldn' save them. I'm no hero...)
To the game's credit, it tries to builds up to this. It's a classic story: somebody does something heroic, people praise him, his ego swells, and in a fit of hubris he makes a terrible mistake.
Huh? What's wrong, Mega?
What's wrong? That's what I was going to ask you, kid! I've been trying to talk to you but you keep on ignoring me!
The problem here is that the game only does the first two steps; Geo neither grows an ego nor makes a mistake. He just had the misfortune of having to lose so Solo looks menacing.
What the game should have done is have Omega-Xis screw up. Not only would this give him a role in the story (he is seriously not going to do anything for the entire game but comment on crap), it would actually be fitting since he was getting pretty cocky. Eating the OOPArt would have been the perfect set-up to a tragic mistake too.
Before Geo can respond, he gets a phone call from Luna.
Who is being Luna.
What are you doing? You were supposed to come to my place!
Did you fall asleep? We're supposed to talk about what we're gonna do, remember?
You know, Luna is supposed to be a sympathetic character. You'd just never know it since the writers go out of their way to portray her as an asshole. What she could be doing here is apologizing for her role in the loss (hey everyone let's go watch MegaMan fight ), trying to console Geo (since she must know how Geo feels about this), or even suggesting what they should do (instead of doing it off-screen).
Get a hold of yourself! Everyone's disappeared! This is an emergency! We have to do something! Just get over here as soon as you can!
Instead she just screams at him because anime. She even hangs up before Geo can respond.
Mega tells Geo that if he doesn't move his feet fast, Luna will get even angrier. Geo melancholically agrees.
Hope doesn't seem to have realized Geo's fallen into a depression again.
Trying to go to Luna's house just results in the game railroading me to this guy.
The man appears worried, yet Geo doesn't immediately offer to help. Mega has to prod him into it.
Um... Is everything OK?
Huh? Well, I'm just here trying to fix this dog house.
Turns out this isn't your average doghouse; like in Battle Network, it's a security system.
I was called in to fix it, but I can't figure out what's wrong. I'm gonna be here all night at this rate... And I was planning on finishing up early today!
Why didn't you just ask for a day off?
Hey... I'll ask him to help!
You know! The blue hero, MegaMan! I'll call MegaMan!
The ramifications of the population counting on MegaMan to fix all of their problems a la Superman will never be discussed.
Mega jokes that it's time for a hero, but once again Geo is silent until Mega nags him for a bit.
I like how, even though Geo is six feet under the dumps, he hasn't taken that as an excuse to do nothing.
The Hertz is excited to see a hero, and exuberance like that is exactly what Geo doesn't want to deal with right now.
Yeah, anyway... Something appears to be wrong with the dog house...
I-I'M SORRY... THAT'S MY FAULT... RECENTLY I HAVEN'T BEEN FEELING SO GOOD. I JUST DON'T HAVE ANY ENERGY.
When I first played this, I was expecting the problem to be related to how Rogue and MegaMan clashed right next to the dog house. But nope, the Hertz is just tired.
And he needs this to get better.
COOL! NOW I CAN BRAG TO EVERYONE ABOUT HOW I MET YOU! I'LL USE IT RIGHT AWAY!
It doesn't do anything.
I'm sorry... I know you were happy to meet me and all... But I guess I'm not a good hero.
WHAT? NO, NO! DON'T THINK THAT! THIS ISN'T YOUR FAULT! THIS KIND OF STUFF JUST HAPPENS SOMETIMES!
DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. I'LL MANAGE SOMEHOW. THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP.
You know what, doghouse Hertz? You're alright.
Can't say the same for this guy.
Hey, MegaMan showed up.
What!? Are you sure?
Yeah, but he wasn't able to help.
What? No, you're wrong. If MegaMan really did show up here, then... then he would have fixed my problem.
You shouldn't expect so much of MegaMan. He'll let you down if you do...
Well, time to go get screamed at by Luna.
I can't wait around for you to take your sweet time showing up!
(Boosh! Called it!)
I-I wasn't taking my sweet time...
Forget it! Just listen!
All of the BBs are still intact, so everyone must still be alive.
But since no one's come back, they could be hurt or something. So you and I are going to find them!
What kind of reaction is that? wait, don't tell me...!
Well... N-No, I just...
I was right! You're worried that I could get hurt. I know that's how you think. But two heads are better than one, as they say!
How self-absorbed can you get?
Luna cheers that it's time to go find everyone.
Um, where...? That would be... H-How should I know!? That's why I need your help!
I'm not sure what kind of help I can be...
Aren't you forgetting about someone?
I want you to look at that picture for a bit. Stare at it, recognize the sheer absurdity of it, then realize that Luna is supposed to be one of Geo's closest friends.
With him by our side, I'm sure things will be OK!
Geo stares at Luna for a second, then flatly declares that MegaMan isn't a hero. This finally gets Luna to realize that maybe Geo's not feeling too great, and she asks if something's wrong.
I'm... I'm not the hero you all think I am. I just can't do it.
Not because you couldn't save your friends, but because you won't help them now! They need us... And you just say you can't do anything. How can you just give up so easily?
And suddenly Luna turns into a decent person. Like I said, she's supposed to be sympathetic, it's just that these moments are overshadowed by the other 90% of what she says.
(Try to ignore the hypocrisy of her separating Geo and MegaMan then turning around and admonishing Geo. The game certainly does.)
Is that the type of person you are? Your... Everyone's... Our Link... *Sniffle!*
*Sniffle...* I understand that...
I'd like to know how an ellipse in a sniffle is supposed to work.
That's not it. I'm not scared to fight... I'm really scared of...
Oh are you serious, you're not going to finish that sentence?
Luna doesn't chase after Geo. Really makes her look like an ass after that whole speech about how you shouldn't ignore friends in trouble.
Mega's more understanding about the whole thing. I haven't mentioned it yet, but pressing L on the overworld summons Mega to give a hint. Why is he visible even though Geo isn't wearing the Visualizer? Search me.
Also I guess that engineer skipped work.
Hope tells Geo he can always talk to her.
I know... I'm OK though.
Back in SF1, whenever Geo felt sad he'd go stargazing at Vista Point. That area was removed from this game, so now he just stares out the window.
Mega brings up how Geo was talking about what he really afraid of.
What'd you mean by that? Aren't you really scared of fighting?
I'm afraid I won't be able to live up to them.
On one hand, this is an honest issue that I'm sure everyone has experienced at some point.
You saw the look in Prez's eyes, right? I coud see in her eyes that she was expecting MegaMan to do something. I can't handle that pressure. I can't live up to expectations like that...
On the other hand, this comes completely out of nowhere. Geo was shown to be a little embarassed about his newfound reputation, but there was no indication that he was dreading it. If anything, he was starting to embrace it.
Just like last time...
But he loses once to Rogue and all of a sudden he just self-destructs. And while that's also something that happens IRL, nothing in Geo's character suggested he was that self-centered.
I get the feeling what the game is trying to do is cover the downsides of friendships, but it's so lazily written that it falls flat. Shoehorning in new, negative character traits in order to give the illusion of character development when you resolve those issues is just pathetic.
Don't think. Just follow your instincts and tear things up. That's how it should be.
By the way, am I the only one getting SF1 villain vibes from Mega's line here? Geo's even in a depression.
They've... all got it wrong. Being a hero isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Cut to a dream.
...ve me... body...
The OOPArt has stopped fucking around.
Geo starts to scream in pain...
and then he wakes up like nothing happened.
Come on game, the OOPArt is devouring Geo's soul. Show some side effects! You could even use it as an excuse for why Geo's acting so weird.
Mega's having one hell of a stomachache. Geo panics and wonders how he can help.
Then Geo's brain kicks in and he realizes that a hospital isn't equipped to deal with aliens. So he ponders taking Mega to the vet.
Hey now! You're not taking me to the vet! You got that?
I'm not making any of this dialogue up.
Mega's feeling better now, but he's really starting to regret eating the OOPArt.
It keeps saying, "Give me your body" this, "Tribe blah, blah, blah" that.
Geo mentions he had a dream like that too, and the two wonder what's going on. Because they're both idiots.
Skip to next morning, and after a quick confirmation that Mega really is okay, Geo wonders what he should do.
Unsurprisingly, a phone call interrupts him before he can make a decision.
Luna asks Geo to finish his sentence from yesterday, because clearly the best thing to do after a stressful conversation is to call the next morning and continue it.
I'll take your silence as a no. If you're gonna be like that, I'll just come over there and find out.
You'd better not leave your house! That's an order. Got it? You don't want to find out what happens when you disobey an order.
Geo is not in the mood for Luna's crap.
Especially when Hope's right here.
What happened? Talking about your problems will make you feel better.
Everyone expects too much of me. And when they do that I just let them down.
And I'm really scared of letting everyone down.
I guess caps lock is in the blood.
Music: Agonizing Wish
(Sentimental is what actually plays here, but I already linked that. Agonizing Wish is better anyways.)
Hope starts to laugh.
That's a pretty adult thing to be worried about. You're becoming a man and I hadn't even noticed.
It reminds me of something your father once said.
Hope explains that astronauts have to shoulder the dreams of the staff, the crew, and everyone else involved. And when she asked if he was ever afraid of failing them, Kelvin responded:
Whether I succeed or fail, it doesn't matter; it's whether I have the courage to try.
That's right... Courage to give everything your best shot.
Even if I should fail... My courage might inspire someone else to try. And even if that person fails, their courage will inspire the next one. Courage is what connects them all. And the bonds those people form give them great power.
Friendships aren't the only things that bond people.
(Having the courage to try...?)
Hope asks if Geo's feeling better now. Since he still runs away instead of facing Luna, I guess not!
Meanwhile, Luna only just now exits her house.
??: I require your talents for my next project.
The game had Geo rescue Luna just so that she could get kidnapped again. And if that weren't bad enough,
What's this? My heroine is... Yes, I'm certain! Heh, heh, heh! This is even better than I had imagined. This story keeps getting better and better...!
guess which SF1 boss is about to try and kill Geo again?
(He's been out of it for awhile now. He won't respond to anything I say...)
It looks like Geo was zoning out during that entire kidnapping. A phone call knocks him out of his trance, and Geo figures it's Luna agains. He decides to answer,
and immediately recognizes Hyde's voice.
What?! How do you know me!? That's impossible!! Who are you?
Hyde soon realizes that he's speaking to MegaMan. Presumably he was planning on following Solo's example in summoning MegaMan.
What have you done to Prez, Hyde!? Do you have her? Tell me!
Heh, heh, heh! I never imagined it would be you! This is unexpected! But it makes things even more interesting.
So you're after me!? Then let her go! She's not part of this! You hear me? You let her go!
Heh, heh, heh! I don't see a need for that just now. The script calls for you to meet her soon enough!
Oops... Did I forget to tell you? This time out the star of the production is you!
...I don't follow?
Hyde tells Geo to return to the movie theater.
Geo recalls his father's words.
Including some stuff he didn't say.
We're going. To save Prez.
You sure about this?
Not really, but...
And with that the cutscene ends.
Before I go meet Hyde, I restructure my folder. Now it's based around multiple-hit cards, with a ton of attack boosts so I can maximize damage.
I also throw in this. Each of the Tribes has a special card associated with it (though the cards can be used no matter what form MegaMan is in), and Ninja's is the Muramasa. Its damage is equal to the HP I've lost... or so you'd think, but it actually maxes out at 500 damage. Still pretty strong, and it's the main component of SF2's most powerful Best Combo.
Oh, and I never went over this did I? The folder Sonia gave me can be customized anyway I want, giving me the ability to switch between two strategies at any time. Cards can't be shared between folders though, so this is of limited use right now.
This guy's hanging out at the elevator now.
Hyde's blocked the main entrance to the theater,
so only MegaMan can go in.
The area's random encounters have been upgraded, incidentally. These level two viruses are tougher, and in return drop stronger cards.
Oh wow, he's standing at the exact same spot.
Heh, heh, heh. You're here at last. Now all our players are in place. Without further adieu, let the show begin!
Five strange humanoids are summoned.
Mega warns Geo that he's getting a strange frequency from them.
MegaMan! Try and reach me, if you dare! Heh, heh, heh!
Hold on, Prez!
Murians are interesting opponents.
Those shields they're carrying aren't for show: they can use it block MegaMan's attacks. And as you can see, they can also shoot giant laser beams. They can slash with their sword too, but that's not very impressive.
Murians don't drop cards.
Geo's exhausted by the time he reaches the last wave of Murians. Mega warns him to stay on his toes.
And then the OOPArt strikes.
Give me... your body!
N-No! Not again! It's them... My stomach's growling! This... isn't... good...!
The screen starts to tremble.
Our... Tribe was... destroyed...
The screen goes white,
and when it returns to normal all of the Murians have been blown away.
My body just started moving on its own. It was like I wasn't me anymore...
*Huff!* Just as I thought! It was the power of the OOPArt!
Mega groans that they're both doomed: the OOPArt is just too strong. There's no time to sit around and mope, though; Luna's just up ahead.
Geo demands Dark Phantom to give back Luna.
Ha-ha! I have no problem with that... But I wonder how she feels about that. Why don't you ask her?
Another EM body manifests.
And that's Queen Ophiuca, the physical manifestation of Luna's abandonment issues in SF1. In SF2, it's... just a thing she can turn into if someone throws the Evil switch?
What's that? You want to fight MegaMan? Heh, heh, heh!
Y-You did this! What did you do to her?
Nothing too serious. I found she had an interesting memory locked away... I merely unlocked it for her.
"Luna was going through the same stress that turned her into Queen Ophiuca in the first game, and I accelerated the process" would be much more sensible. But nope, Hyde can just do things like that.
Then it was you who turned Bud into Taurus Fire, wasn't it!?
I'm not sure... I don't recall any players by those names. Heh, heh, heh...
He probably did, but I much prefer the hamburger theory.
Mega's sick of Dark Phantom's cockiness, and meanwhile Geo tries to get through to Luna.
It's not working.
Poor Prez. Why is this happening to her?
Why... you ask? Heh, heh... Why, this is all your fault, MegaMan.
If you had played a better hero, perhaps the poor heroine wouldn't have wound up like this.
Well Geo did just twiddle his thumbs while Luna was getting kidnapped in eyesight.
Heh, heh... Ha-ha-ha!
Grr... I'm sorry... Prez. I'm worthless... This is all my fault...
Now, to battle! And to a heartrending finale!
Get ready, kid!
Come on, Prez! Please wake up!
And then Geo changed his mind and beat the shit out of Luna.
Why does Queen Ophiuca's veil turn her face black?
Her main attack is sending a wave of snakes out. These can be destroyed, but it's easier to block them.
On the other hand, when Ophiuca decides to go crawling you shouldn't block.
Same goes for the laser. It paralyzes too, so all the more reason to sidestep. She tends to do her tackle after a successful hit with this.
Queen Ophiuca is a very unremarkable boss. That's all I can say because I can't remember anything about her.
In the video, Dragon Sky GX did a whopping 900 damage instead of the normal 500. The reason why ties into why multiple-hit cards are so broken: each hit gets boosted. Dragon Sky GX hits ten times, normally for 50 damage, but I boosted each blow by +40 from the two Attack +10's as well as Ninja's natural +20. And had I gotten luckier with my card draw, I could have boosted it by +90 (Ninja boost, Wood +30, Attack +10, Attack +10, Attack +10, Attack Panel) to do 1400 damage. And if I really ed out and got five Wood +30's from my Brother cards, I could make it do 2000 damage.
tl;dr Multiple-hit cards can do crazy amounts of damage.
......Ooh... M...Mega... Man?
Luna gets up. Geo's incredibly relieved to see she's alright.
He's not doing too well though. I'd blame Muramasa, but on the retake I took for the pictures I didn't use that.
What happened to you? You're all beat up?
To tell you the truth, he got the wounds trying to save you! He tried to avoid hurting you, so he held back his true power in the fight! Isn't that so, MegaMan?
While Luna hustles over to check on MegaMan's wounds, Dark Phantom groans about how his script turned out.
He's still confident in victory though.
Stay back, Prez. I'm going to protect you this time!
But you're hurt...
Nothing Sillyman's Brother card won't fix.
I think this scene is the only part of the game that touches on Geo's actual character arc: surpassing his father.
I've always wanted to be like him. And I finally understand why... The reason is...
Dad was the true hero!
Geo shakily rises to his feet, and turns to face the Murians. He reassures Luna that he's got this.
(She says, backing away from MegaMan.)
P-Prez... You said that I was a hero. I don't know if I can ever be like my Dad, but everyone around me makes me feel like I can be brave!! This is... what my father would do!
And then the Murians dogpile MegaMan.
Dark Phantom laughs that everything is going as planned. Now he just needs the OOPArt.
??: ...to use this power.
While he laughs, Geo gets some unexpected help.
The OOPArt's aura engulfs MegaMan again. With its power, he once again blows away the Murians.
What... the...!? I've been defeated... But how!? What am I looking at here!?
Yeahhhhh! Go MegaMan!
Geo's gone mad with power. Dark Phantom regains composure and snickers that it's just like Vega said: the OOPArt consumes the mind of the weak.
You're not gonna.. fight me now!?
He cannot control it and is losing himself in the process. He cannot distinguish between friend or foe!
By the way, the same thing happens regardless of version. This makes sense for Saurian and Zerker, but I don't think ninjas were bloodthirsty monsters.
Luna backs away from MegaMan, and he starts to follow.
But then Geo fights back.
P... Prez... Please... get... out of here...
Get... out of... here... I can't... control... myself... I-I don't... want... to... hurt... you... Graaagh!!
I'm not leaving! Because... you showed me how to have courage!
S-So I'm going to be brave... for you.
The game cuts to Geo's mind.
Our tribe was destroyed by...
Geo's steadily getting pulled into the flames.
OK, this is bad! The power is going to consume him!
I-I can't... I can't hold on... It's too much for me...!
Then Luna's words start to sound through Geo's mind.
Or maybe she's actually there through the magic of Anime Friendship?
I'm not leaving. I'm going to be brave just like you! I'm going to fight with you till the end! I'm going to fight by your side!
Note: Luna never transforms into Queen Ophiuca again, and spends the rest of the trilogy on the sidelines.
But whatever, symbolism is happening.
Music: Moving Scene
(SF2 was too lazy to make its own heroic theme.)
Wha...! This isn't... part of my script!
And so, in order to protect Luna, Geo masters the power he gained with Sonia's he- wait a minute this is exactly what happened in SF1. God damn it writers.
Huh... huh... The OOPArt has calmed down.
And from now on will just be a Deus Ex Machina dispenser.
Geo thanks Luna for giving him the strength to control the artifact.
This is what real Link Power is!
Dark Phantom summons all of his remaining Murians to take MegaMan down.
What's important is being brave for others. And then your Link Power is even stronger! Now it's time to test this new power! The Link Power!
Cue a tutorial. I'm skipping this since I already went over Fire Saurian. If you're wondering why Mega knows anything, it's because the OOPArt is telling him.
Geo is amazed at the OOPArt's power.
I... I don't believe it. That form... That power! Can this really be the power of Saurian!? There's not a single line in my script about this!
(It's that voice... The one that tried to take control of my body. That voice is... It's Saurian!)
??: You're done here.
Dark Phantom's horrified that Hollow saw him fail.
You are done. He is dangerous.
...!! And how's that? You don't really think he's a Saurian...!?
The Saurian... They created the OOPArt which housed a terrible power. And they were destroyed by it. The power was beyond their control, and they were consumed by it.
But he is different. He has taken the power that destroyed the Saurian, and he has made it his own.
I think Hollow is supposed to be the one who helped Geo control the OOPArt.
Hollow observes that Geo was only able to accomplish such a feat thanks to Luna. Dark Phantom asks if he's saying that Link Power is real, and in response Hollow tells him to . Then he teleports out.
How can I face Lady Vega? Grrr!!
Dark Phantom follows suit.
(This is the last you'll ever see of Fire Saurian's overworld sprite.)
But this affront...! I will make you pay for it someday! Don't forget that!
......He... got away...
On the way back I realized something. The Link Power on my Star Carrier had gone up. And there was only one possible explanation... My bond with Prez had grown stronger. And that's why I was able to bring the OOPArt under control.
Dad... And my Dad's words also gave me courage. Thank you... Dad. I hope I can be as brave as you someday...
Concept art of Hope Stelar.
Line art of early Hope Stelar, along with some commentary.
Akiko Nakajima posted:
I drew Hope as an energetic and bright woman, the kind of person capable of supporting and guiding Geo's during his father's absence. The main focus of her fashion and hairstyle is mobility, as she needs to be able to go running off on a short notice. Despite this heavily practical side of her personality, I also gave her a faint layer of lipstick, as I'm sure she gives at least a little thought to her outward appearance.
Concept art of Queen Ophiuca. I like the snake scarf she had going on more than the snake twintails she'd end up getting.
Oh, and guys? I'm still open for new Brother Band submissions! Don't leave me with the same four people the entire LP.