The Let's Play Archive


by Moon Slayer

Part 45: Paradox

Previously …

Weakened by war, the New Empire collapsed from within in the Compact Revolution. A figure known only as VENICZAR ARCADIUS led the people against their Imperial oppressors. Following the New Empire's fall, Arcadius mysteriously vanished from public view.

Soon after, another entity claiming to be Arcadius returned and declared the formation of PACT. With the vast production base of the former New Empire, PACT invaded the Neutral Rim with the intent of striking the Solar Alliance.

Arcadius sought the hand of the Ryuvian princess for reasons unknown, but was thwarted by Captain Shields of the Cera Space Force.

He was further thwarted at the battle of Far Port, when Veniczar Cullen's blunder led to the destruction of the PACT invasion fleet by a much smaller Alliance vanguard fleet. What was envisioned by PACT leaders as a glorious invasion into the heart of Alliance space instead became a bloody foreign campaign fought in the undeveloped Neutral Rim.

With the Alliance Fleet approaching PACT space and their initial military goals now in tatters, VENICZAR FONTANA betrayed Arcadius in the Battle of Helion and took control of PACT.

Now unmasked, the truth of the entity claiming to be Veniczar Arcadius came to light …

That red bastard turned on Arcadius! The PACT lines are falling to chaos! We've just finished neutralizing the PACT Arcadius units here, but it looks like one of 'em's still alive. What should we do with it, captain?
Captain, this new revelation changes everything we've understood about the war. If we were to capture the last “prototype” alive, the intel we could gain ...
It... looked like her.
Take it alive.
Understood! Liberty, tow the disabled Arcadius unit back to the Sunrider!

Something like that … I'm the only one who survived ... Everyone else ...

We are one and the same, you and I.

Tsch, Arcadius!

W-whatever that thing is, it's our only chance at figuring out what's happening here.
Copy that, but the Liberty's-
Well, she’s doing a lot of screaming.
Bianca, tow the Arcadius unit back to the Sunrider!
Warning, new hostiles inbound! Pirate forces, on an intercept course!

Now, of all times? We don't have time for this! All units, belay previous orders. Regroup and engage the pirates.
Copy that, Sunrider!
You agaainn!? This is where it all ends!
It’s over, Cosette! PACT's defeated! We've got Arcadius!
I can still take you out!! EAAHH!

And just like that we’re back into battle. Still absent, the critically damaged Sunrider, adrift after her attack run on the superdreadnought Legion, her first officer presumed KIA. Backing up the Sunrider’s ryder squadron is a lone Alliance battleship and cruiser. Also many of the fancy upgrades I purchased for our ryders in the last game are now gone.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Havoc on the field.

Also gone, individual animations. While it makes battles move a bit faster, for my purposes I think it’s somewhat less visually interesting.

Some things stay the same, though, such as the pirate forces completely lacking shields.

Hey look! The PACT fleet's retreating!
Hah! They cower at the might of the Alliance Fleet!
Your luck has run out, Cosette! Now scamper back home with your tail tucked between your legs. A lil' chihuahua like ya's no match for all of us!
W-what did you call m!? It was all your fault ... All your fault ... All your fault I'm ... like this...! No retreat! Men, hold your ground! If Fontana doesn't have the balls to stand here, then we'll just kill them all ourselves!
Cosette, don't ...
WE'll NEVER SURRENDER TO YOU! You'll just have to kill every last one of us!
But your death would be meaningless!

This will be the final charge of Cosette Cosmos, the terror of the stars! History may paint us as the villains, but know that we stood here in defense of our home world! So that our children will not bear the horrors we did! So that no one but us will dirty their hands!

You cannot soothe your conscience with excuses.
Peh! What would a Ryuvian princess know of poverty!? What would she know of desperation!?
Irrelevant. Justice shall be done to all. No mitigation. No justifications. No claims to the greater good. Now meet your judge, evildoer. For I, the Sharr of Ryuvia, shall cast you into the eternal fire.

Cosette, stand down! Surrender to us, and I'll listen to what you have to say. You're not the only one fighting for the Neutral Rim.
Begone, demon!
Asaga, stop!

She's helpless now!
O-oh! W-what am I doin'? E-ehh!?!? W-what the hell happened to the Havoc! It's completely wrecked!
That was all your doing, ya dumbass!
All enemy units are disabled. What are your orders, captain?
Secure both the Havoc and the Arcadius unit. Prepare the hangar for two prisoners.

Even in its disarmed state, we cannot allow the Alliance Imperialists to seize control of the Paradox Core. No doubt they will seek to create Cores of their own if the means were made available to them. Have your crew made the preparations?

Good. Send the signal. The galaxy has no need for a weapon so devastating.
What's wrong!?

By who!? All the prototypes should have been destroyed!

That ship again ... He has interfered with our plans once more. Shields ... What have you done …