The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars L

by Brunom1

Part 3: Prologue 2 - Galaxy Chase - Part 1

And here we are, at the intermission menu. There’s plenty to do here, but since we’re still at the prologue, I’ll save it for later. Of note are the three characters at the upper screen – these are your Top Aces and they get a few bonuses.
While this game hasn’t Ace bonuses like others do, anyone who gets 50+ kills will get +5 to their starting morale. Your top 3rd and 2nd aces will get another +5, while your absolute highest scorer will get +10.
Ozma and Kenichi are currently tied at 17 kills, but since Kenichi has the higher level, he’s our top ace. Michel’s right there, though.

Off we go to another huge prologue.

We open up somewhat close to Earth, at the port of Armory One. Athrun Alex is wondering if Cagalli shouldn’t be switching into that dress she brought.
She figures her suit is more than good enough, though he argues that she needs to act and look appropriate to her position as Orb’s Representative. Not huffing and puffing like an idiot, of course, but at least like someone important.

Soon, she heads into a meeting with Gilbert Durandal, Chairman of the PLANTs’ Supreme Council. He apologizes for the current state of affairs forcing her to come over incognito but, really, it was Cagalli who first suggested the meeting so she won’t complain.
Which brings her to the reason why she’s here: she took a look at the preparations being made for the Minerva’s maiden voyage tomorrow and noticed it was loaded with some undocumented prototype Mobile Suits. Are those anti-Darius weapons? Durandal apologizes to the princess and admits to it (she asks him to drop that princess title – he doesn’t).
The PLANTs, as a member nation of the UN, signed an agreement of full disclosure regarding the development of any weapons made to fight the Darius. Durandal asks her to consider where they’re coming from: humanity, under the UN’s banner, has been constantly fighting the Darius and Mimetic Beasts, and the PLANTs, their armies exhausted after the battle with the Mechabeasts a year ago, have taken leave of the front lines.
Durandal’s also noticed a surge of antagonism towards the PLANTs lately and, thus, he figured it’d be wise for them to start their own, independent, production of anti-Darius weaponry. Cagalli sees that but it doesn’t explain the secrecy. Durandal argues that these are needed political measures and asks what’s worrying her about this.

He cites Orb’s founding principle of nonaggression to all nations and nonintervention in any nation’s conflicts… “Yet, wasn’t it you who proclaimed that Orb engaging in joint military operations with other countries against a common enemy of mankind didn’t run counter to that principle?”
Cagalli fires back that Durandal can’t well speak of cooperation if he can’t keep things transparent; and, in her case, she sees no need for “political measures”. Too much strength beckons nothing but conflict and Durandal’s poorly disguised military expansionism is headed just that way.
Still, Durandal says that strength IS needed as war is a constant in this world. Even if they managed to fully repel the invaders, eventually they’d have another conflict happening – Cagalli should know well that ideals can’t do much without strength to support them. She can’t think of a retort to that.

By Hangar #6, stuff is going down. Stella, Sting and Auel (blue) are blasting the local ZAFT soldiers and getting to work.

Durandal’s still going at it, saying that, in the past, the space colonies were heavily oppressed by Earth. Indeed, the people are very doubtful about the current state of things: quite a few don’t believe that the current peace will last or that the UN is capable of protecting them.
Thus, Durandal saw the need to bolster the PLANTs’ strength as a way to give those people some peace of mind. Still, Alex argues that Blue Cosmos’ anti-PLANTs rhetoric is gaining more and more traction with each day and this isn’t the sort of stuff that’d help; Durandal chuckles at Athrun’s lecturing tone… but he’s just Alex Dino, of course.
Cagalli apologizes for her bodyguard but, regardless, Durandal is willing to make arrangements for the release of the new MS data. This’ll all have to wait, though, as the alarms start blaring – someone’s jacked the prototypes!

It’s the three kids and they begin blasting their way out the colony. Durandal orders a ZAFT soldier to take Cagalli into shelter, request help from the Minerva and recover the stolen units.
Stray fire starts hitting over by Athrun (let’s be serious here) and Cagalli’s escape route, though they do spot a lone MS docked nearby. He calls her aboard as he sure as hell won’t let her die here.
As Athrun steps onto the field in a piddly ZAKU, Auel has a laugh at the lone guy apparently coming to fight them all. Indeed, Sting starts sniping him down and Athrun can’t do jack against them (Cagalli gets a bit scratched up but says it’s nothing). Things are looking really bad.

: What?!
: You bastards… You trying to start another war?! (His name’s Shinn.)

*Shinn charges after Stella!*

: Wh-What’s this thing?!
: The hell, another one?! Intel didn’t say anything about that…!
: Weren’t there supposed to be only three prototypes, Sting?!
: You’re asking me?!
: Haaaaaah!!

: Damn it…!

*Beep, beep!*

: Shinn, our orders are to recover them, understood?! They’re the army’s property! (Arthur)
: I know that! Whether we can actually pull it off is the question, though!
: And how the hell did this even happen?! How did they enemy jack the prototypes this easy?!
: We can wonder about that later! Focus on the problem at hand! (Talia)
: They can't leave here or it’ll be all over! Do whatever it takes to capture them before that! (Rey)
: Think you three’re going to walk all over us, huh? Well, think again! You’re not going anywhere! (Lunamaria)
: What’s the status on the three units? Report!
: Chairman, wait! It’s too dangerous for you to stay here – we’re detecting poison gas being released! Please head to the shelter!
: I’ll do no such thing! We still don’t know what’s going on!
: But… Then, please, at least board the Minerva!
: Hrm!

: What the?!
: We’re being attacked from the outside! They’ve hit the port?!
: Sting, those explosions…
: Yeah. Our ride’s here, I think.
: We’re running late; gonna miss our bus if we don’t hurry.
: Stella, we’re pulling out. Don’t want our chauffer getting mad.
: OK…

: Ah!
: Get back here!
: After them!

*Beep, beep!*

: Hold, you needn’t follow.
: What?! Are we just gonna let them run off?!
: The thieves likely have a battleship waiting outside. We’ll launch the Minerva and then pursue them. Return at once, you three.
: And I’ll be accompanying you on this.
: Chairman! I’m sorry, sir, but it is too dangerous – please disembark.
: Talia, this is hardly a situation where I could sit back and await a report.
: But…
: My authority comes with responsibility. I’m coming with you – please.
: …Understood.
: Thank you, Talia.
: (Gil… thank goodness you’re safe.)
: Shinn, Lunamaria, back to the Minerva.
: Roger that!
: Wait up; please let us come with you!
: Huh, who are you two? And you’re not with the army, so why are you in that MS?!
: She is Cagalli Yula Athha, Representative of the United Emirates of Orb. I’m Alex Dino, her assistant…
: Rep. Athha, from Orb…?
: …?! Did you say Athha…?!
: We were in the middle of a meeting with Chairman Durandal when hell broke loose. We couldn’t make it to a shelter, so we borrowed this unit.
: Please help! The Representative is wounded!
: So, what… Orb’s Rep decided to just stick her nose in other people’s battle? What happened to the family’s trademark idealism?
: No, we just took shelter inside this unit! We’ve no intention of fighting…
: Always with an excuse at the ready…! This is why neither the Athhas nor Orb can be trusted!
: Wha…!
: Pipe down, Shinn
: Rrgh…!

: What’s the matter with him…?
: Shinn’s an Orb emigrant. He lost his family during the last war…
: Huh…
: We beg your pardon, Rep. Athha. We’ll see that he’s disciplined later… Come. I’ll escort you into the Minerva.
: …

Cut back to the Quarter, way the hell out in the galaxy’s rim, and Alto’s having a hard time with the flight sim. Sakonji is putting him through the paces and orders the amateur to step outside.
This was Alto’s twenty-fifth crash and Sakonji asks if he’s not taking this seriously because it’s a sim. Of course he’s serious, Alto protests… in which case, should Sakonji assume that THAT is the best he can do? “You pitiful wretch… That’s exactly why others call you ‘princess’!” he yells, immediately triggering Alto. If he doesn’t like others calling him that, then he better grow the hell up into a man.
Sakonji tells Alto to give him twenty five laps around the hangar WITH his heavy-as-hell EX-Gear on. Begrudgingly, Alto starts running, fuming with each step.

Luca and Michel come over, wondering if Sakonji didn’t set the simulator’s difficulty a bit too high – no way Alto would stand a chance against that. As a matter of fact, it was Michel who suggested that, figuring it’d be good to take that arrogant kid down a peg or two.
Moreover, Sakonji also wanted to see the limits of Alto’s skill with the VF-25 – he knows that, were the sim running at the standard difficulty, he wouldn’t have had any problem. Despite it all, the guy’s a damn good pilot.
Either way, Gilliam’s left some big shoes to fill and Sakonji’s determined to get Alto in shape to do exactly that. Ippei doesn’t think Alto’ll be too happy once he realizes they’re intentionally setting him up to fail as an excuse for extra-tough training, but Michel’s sure he’ll understand that that’s how we show that we care!
If anything, Kenichi sees a bit of sense here: one needs actual power to be able to protect what’s dear to them. And the only way to get powerful is by putting in the effort. As he says that, the screaming mad Alto completes his first lap, stomping all over the floor.

And, at that, Kenichi has an idea: “We should go and join in too, Ippei, Michel. It’ll help him and us as well.” The hell? Ippei cries that they just finished their own training regimen... Still, there’s no such thing as putting in TOO much effort into something that’s worth it! Or did Ippei already break under the previous regimen?
Sakonji likes Kenichi’s spirit and commands: him, Ippei and Michel will also run twenty five laps around the hangar! Ippei groans at Kenichi and his big mouth and Michel’s forced to admit that the guy’s got it way worse in terms of team leader. As Sakonji starts yelling at them to quit yacking and starting running, off they go.

Some time later, they’ve finally finished their laps. While Ippei catches his breath, Michel wonders if Kenichi’s always like that and, indeed, he is. That said, Megumi and Hiyoshi admit that the guy’s lead them through hell and back, so they can’t complain.
Luca runs in right then with some news he heard from Nanase: apparently Ranka’s went on the Miss Macross contest. Alto inwardly figures that’s her making good on her previous words, as well as Sheryl’s prediction of chances presenting themselves.
Hiyoshi isn’t familiar with the Idol contest, so Luca explains that it’s something that was created by legendary singer Lynn Minmei herself – a tradition that’s carried on for decades now. So, how did Ranka do? Well, she made it through the qualifiers but, unfortunately, wasn’t crowned the winner.

With that in mind, Luca suggests Alto could give her a call or send her a message or something to cheer her up. This request is coming from Nanase, too, what with big impact Alto made on Ranka. “No, thanks. Why do I need to do any of that?” he sniffs. Regardless, Kenichi’s rather impressed with Ozma for giving Ranka the go-ahead to take part in a big contest like that, though Megumi figures he’d be glad to agree to his sister’s request.
Yeah, about that… Luca says that Ranka might not have told him about it. It’d be pretty bad for her if word of this reached Ozma’s ears, huh?

Which is why they quickly bite their tongues as the guy walks in, asking what they’re discussing about the contest. Ozma isn’t fan, as it turns out – tradition or not, it is so very vulgar and he’s no idea what drives so many girls to take part in it! R-Right, totally…
As everyone exchanges awkward glances, Ozma asks greenie how she’s settling in (well enough). He’s heard that Sakonji wanted to get him in proper flying shape and ready to take to the field ASAP. That’s gone on for a while now, so it’s time to see if he’s ready to become an official SMS member: Alto’s final test will be to face the Pixie Squad in a mock battle.
That’s Klan’s cue to enter the room and she hopes Alto isn’t expecting her to pull her punches simply because he’s friends with Michel and Luca. He easily sees he’s going up against a Zentradi giant – a tough opponent, indeed.

Cut to Nyan-Nyan, there’s cheering all around (except Michel, of course) as Alto’s passed his test! Kenichi had no doubt he’d succeed, though Sakonji tells him to be ready for the merciless training that awaits him now. What, was the training to this point supposed to be merciful? Yes and he suggests Alto go on making jokes while he still can.
A little girl also welcomes Alto aboard, though he wonders who the kid is. Oh, it’s actually Klan – same one from the mock battle. Klan, for some reason, turns into a little girl when she gets micronized to fit in human spaces.
Michel figures it’s some sort of genetic defect as all Zentrans look the same regardless of size. Klan doesn’t appreciate his glibness on the scant few moments where he gets to literally look down on her and moves to whoop his ass.
As Michel runs off, little girl in pursuit, Luca says the two are actually childhood friends (though, despite appearances, Klan’s a bit older).

Lalamia (red) and Nene are the other two Meltrans who make up the Pixie Squad with Klan, happy to fight with Alto in many battles to come. Ranka and Nagisa walk on over, bringing in the appetizers for the meal. The fried dragon chicken Nagisa serves is looking a bit odd for Alto, though Daijiro points out that a real man will eat whatever’s served without any complaints.
Alto relents and, surprisingly, the weird sauce served with the thing isn’t half bad. One thing both Nagisa and Kenichi noticed is how poised he looks even when eating everyday food – so lady-like. Alto groans that old habits die hard, despite how long he’s stopped playing women characters at the theater.
When Ranka asks, he reports that Ozma isn’t here – he’s gone somewhere with Jeffrey, apparently, due to some urgent summons from the SMS’ owner. His absence might actually be a good thing, as Ranka wants to tell Alto about something she did the other day. The Miss Macross thing? How did Alto find out about that?! Well, Nanase saw Ranka and she told Luca and he told Alto, so the cat’s way out of the bag.
But that’s not what’s important. Ranka tells him that she found the whole thing quite difficult – she was nervous the second she stepped on stage. Maybe this really is too crazy a dream for her…

Alto prods her to remember what he said before, about stuff really being impossible if she starts thinking she’s not good enough. She shouldn’t call it quits just because she failed once – wasn’t she the one who wanted everyone to know who she is?
Ranka immediately perks up at his words (Luca knew Alto really was worried about her) but is a bit curious on the news that he’s joined SMS; isn’t it a very difficult and dangerous job? It is but it is also his chance to make it to the skies. That’s a talk for another time, though, as Nagisa points out that the manager is glaring at them, so they need to get back to work.
Klan and Michel run over, still in their game of cat and mouse, but before Sakonji can take them both to task, they get a call. The SMS crew’s being ordered back to the ship and to get ready to deploy on the double.

Prologue 2 - Galaxy Chase

The Quarter detects a Fold signal up ahead, with a bevy of Vajra warping over. Two lone ships also come in, the Dulfim and Kaitos. They’re calling in mayday, saying they’re from the Macross Galaxy Fleet, which has come under attack and wrecked by the Vajra. They request our help in dealing with the pursuers.
There’s no time, though, as the Vajra home in on the Kaitos and destroy it. The Frontier Fleet’s at our rear, so Jeffrey puts in a call and tells that, after the Dulfim’s rescued, everyone needs to Fold straight out of here. Cathy is appalled, saying he needs presidential permission to Fold but Bobby tells her to shush. She may have been assigned here by the executive branch but that doesn’t meant she gets to drown us in red tape.
Jeffrey says that his top priority is the protection of the Frontier Fleet, so he tells Bobby to get to it. The Quarter flies close enough to the Dulfim and all ships Fold immediately.

Later, we De-Fold safely and Mina confirms that the Frontier Fleet has made it as well. As for the Dulfim, it’s safe and currently being dealt with by the Fleet. But, hey, what’s that over there?
An A-class habitable planet? No, Jeffrey quickly realizes something and asks Mina to confirm our position. They’ve just warped to Earth.
No time to gasp, though, as Monica immediately detects another Fold: the Vajra are coming after us. Jeffrey tells his crew to get ready for battle and sends the SMS Team out to fight.

As the units deploy, Cathy reminds Jeffrey that they’re under orders to gather as much data as possible on the Vajra – and he ought to consider this as an order from the president himself. The best he can tell her is that we’ll keep that in mind.
Ozma hails everyone and says that the NUNS troops will be hanging back to cover the Frontier Fleet, so it’s up to us to deal with these ones (collecting data, if possible). Furthermore, he wants Alto to hang back but, of course, the hotshot is certain he can handle jumping in the fray.
Fair enough, so Ozma tells him to get on his six and stay glued to him. Formation Planet Dance!

Kill everything, don’t lose the Quarter, Ozma, Alto or Luca. Still pretty easy, just keep your guys bunched up inside Ozma or Jeffrey’s command auras for some extra leeway.
And we’ve gotten some new unit, so let’s go over them quickly:

VB-6 König Monster (Canaria Berstein)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Resupply Module – same as Luca’s Repair Module, only it’ll restore the target’s EN and ammo at the expense of 10 morale. Mind you, it cannot be used after moving without a certain skill learned. Grants the squad 10% EN Regen.
Canaria’s Squad Bonus: HP+500, 1000 Barrier, Accuracy +5

Big, bulky artillery unit with two forms: the shuttle, up above, and the actual artillery form with all the big guns. The König Monster’s a pretty dang good squaddie for a Super Robot – especially more ranged-oriented ones. If you want to deploy it as the main unit, I’d say it’ll want to hang by long-range attackers provide support in artillery mode. Otherwise, you’ll likely want to keep it as the shuttle for the flight it provides.

Queadluun-Rhea (Klan Klang)
Pilot Skills:
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Counter (カウンター) – allows the pilot to attack first when the enemy targets the pilot. Activation % depends on Skill stat difference with enemy.
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Attack Combo L1
Spirit Commands:
Klan’s Squad Bonus: Crit ratio +10, Mobility +5, Exp earned +10%

Eeeh, she’s fine. Good range coverage and stats means you can definitely field her but she’ll likely only ever amount to a squaddie. And even then, she’ll have a lot of competition.

Macross Quarter (Jeffrey Wilder, Bobby Margot)
Pilot Skills:
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Commander L1
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands – Jeffrey:
Trust (信頼) – restores 30% HP of the target unit.
Spirit Commands – Bobby:
Mech Features:
Load - A battleship-exclusive ability that allows the ship to load an adjacent unit onto itself during its turn. Loaded units will have their HP and EN restored, at the cost of 10 morale for every turn inside.
Pinpoint Barrier
Jeffrey’s Squad Bonus: HP+500

Macross ships are always great and the Quarter is no exception. Resilient, strong and with a lot range means you can easily have it lead the offensive with our units. It’s large size means its accuracy will take a hit against smaller units but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed with upgrades and Strike.
The Quarter also has another trick which we’ll see later but, really, you’ll want to take good care of it. The plot will often force you to.

With that finally done, we’re going in.

Ozma’ll lead the offensive to get that command aura set up.

Everyone else moves forward.

Enemy Phase!

And Ozma gets swarmed, eating a couple of hits but downing two small Vajras.

Michel’s also a priority target, it seems.

No kills for him, though.

Player Phase!

Now it’s cleanup time, as folks start tearing through all the weakened Vajra. Canaria spots this big one just within range.

: I’ve to help treat the survivors, so this needs to get wrapped up on the double!
And the RNG’s a bit sassy today, as she whiffs an 87% hit. At least Klan was there.

This one’s all on me, though… as I didn’t see that Jeffrey’s hit % was 51% there.

: Don’t let the Vajra head after the Fleet. Fire at will and keep them at bay!
: OK, boss!

Jeffrey: “We’ll show the Vajra the full might of the SMS.”
… Whoops.

Fine. Screw you, then.

: A Zentran can’t well let a bunch of brainless monsters get the better of us!

With some backup from Michel, it’s an easy kill.

Enemy Phase!

And the two surviving Vajras kill themselves against Voltes.

No sooner do all enemies go down, Monica detects a much bigger De-Fold signal – it’s a huge Vajra and it starts spawning a bunch more of the little guys. Ozma realizes we’re dealing with something of a mothership type and Luca moves in to collect data on it.
Ozma yells that he’s going too far ahead but Luca’s appalled at the numbers he’s getting: it looks like the big Vajra’s being powered by Fold Reactors. But he doesn’t get to investigate further, as a little Vajra latches onto him.
His Valkyrie gets gobbled up by the big Vajra ship – at least it stands to reason that he’s alive in there. Kenichi and Hiyoshi want to go rescue him immediately, unwilling to lose another friend like Gilliam, but Alto tells them to wait: he’ll do it.

He argues that his VF-25 is a lot more nimble than the Voltes, so it’s better suited for this. Ozma and Kenichi tell him that’s too crazy a stunt for him to pull but Alto’s undaunted: “I can’t just sit back and watch as one of my friends gets kidnapped! And I’ve also had enough of seeing people die!”
Fine, fine, Ozma says that the Voltes will carve a path to the Vajra ship and Alto’ll use that opening to get in there and rescue Luca. Everyone else is to provide support.

These four marked spots are where we need to get Alto to and destroying the Knight-Class Vajra (the ship) is an instant game over.

The new Vajra move right in but failing to do much outside of getting zapped by Alto.

Player Phase!

Let’s go toy with them some and show off Klan’s strongest weapon: the Pixie Formation Attack.
After that, Alto, Ozma and Kenichi wreck a weakened bugger.

Take out enough enemies, though, and the ship spawns more. Kenichi isn’t intimidated, willing to take on as many as need be to win this. That said, Ozma tells Alto to hurry as the worse off we’ll be the longer we let this drag on.

Yeah, the Vajra will just keep coming. I don’t know if there’s a limit to the respawns, so you could farm them a bit for some extra cash (though they don’t yield much).

Enemy Phase!

Michel’s decided that he wants to be Top Ace, and goads a bevy of small Vajras to gun for him. That’s four kills.

Fast forward a turn of me getting Alto closer to the ship, with the Vajra failing to do any lasting damage.
I did show the König Monster’s strongest attack, though:

Player Phase!

Look at this guy, trying to block Alto’s passage.
Michel’s so dreamy, you guys.

And we’re in!

: Alright, I’m going in! Hold on, Luca!

: Huh…?
: Something happen?
: No. I thought I pinged something De-Folding but I guess it was nothing.
: OK, now we’ll start setting up for Alto’s escape. All units—


: We’ve new heat sources on approach!
: Damn it, more?!

: Are those NUNS troops? Wait, no, I don’t think so…
: Who’re they working with? They don’t look like Galaxy troops… you don’t think they’re with the Anti-Unification League, do you?
: We’ll try getting in touch with them. Stay on your toes in the meantime, Ozma.
: Roger that, Captain.
: C-Captain, that’s not Bogey One!
: I can see that. Meyrin, have we any data on them?
: None. The ship, the units and their affiliations are unknown!
: And there are these weird bug-looking things, too!
: Could they be Mimetic Beasts?
: No, they are not.
: No data found between those and the Mimetic Beasts. And, just in case, I’ve also compared them to the Mechabeast database and got no results.
: One of their mobile weapons kind of looks like the Combattler…
: It can’t be. The Combattler V is taking part in operations in Japan!
: Despite the similar design, our database search came back negative. That’s not the Combattler.
: So it’s a totally unknown group, huh?
: Some of their units are transformable… and incredibly mobile, while at it.
: Whose country are they from…? Have you anything to say, Chairman?
: I am not all-knowing, Rep. Athha. And, of course, these do not belong to the PLANTs.
: What do we do, Captain? We’re short on time as is…
: Indeed, we are. Our priority is giving chase to Bogey One. Relay this intel to the PLANTs and—
: Captain! Unknown units approaching at high speed!
: What?!

: The Minerva!
: Luna, Rey, cover them!
: Hold on, we’ve another unit incoming!
“No idea who these folks are but I can’t just let the Vajra take ‘em!”

: H-How the hell is he so fast…?!
: This is Cpt. Talia Gladys of the ZAFT battleship Minerva; our thanks for your help.
: LtCmdr. Ozma Lee, flight lead of SMS’ Skull Squadron. We were engaged by the Vajra immediately after we De-Folded.
: By Vajra, you mean those creatures you destroyed?
: Right. As far as we can tell, they’re living weapons.
: Captain, multiple unknown units on approach!

: Not good – they’ve got us surrounded!
: Talia, I don’t think we’ll be able to continue our pursuit for Bogey One.
: Hm. And while I’ve never heard of a group called SMS before, they at least don’t appear hostile. We don’t know how trustworthy they are but, looking at our situation, I believe we’ll need their help to get through this.
: Indeed, to say nothing of that fact that we’ve no idea the fire these embers could cause if ignored. We’ve to adjust our priorities.
: LtCmdr., could you get us in touch with your mothership?
: Alright. Hold on while I relay you.
: This is Jeffrey Wilder, captain of the SMS battleship Macross Quarter. We’re in the middle of a battle, so please make this quick.
: Cpt. Talia Gladys of the ZAFT battleship Minerva. We’ll provide support to your troops.
: Much appreciated, captain. One of our own is being kept inside the enemy ship and we’re executing a rescue operation right now. Be careful not to destroy that ship until they’re out, alright?
: Understood. Shinn, Rey, Lunamaria, did you get all that?
: Aye, aye! Let’s deal with these Mimetic Beast-looking things quick and get back to chasing Bogey One!
: Relay this to all SMS units: the new battleship’s called the Minerva and they’re friendlies! Work with them and repel the Vajra!
: Roger!
: Hurry up and get outta there, Alto. The role of a captured princess doesn’t really suit you…
: First things first: let’s go and get that Vajra ship disabled!

Now we need to get the Knight-Class Vajra under 30% HP. Before that, we’ve more new arrivals:

Force Impulse Gundam (Shinn Asuka)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Support Attack L1
Attack Combo L1
Spirit Commands:
Fighting Spirit (闘志) – guarantees that the next attack will be a critical hit.
Mech Features:
Anti-Beam Shield – triggering a shield defense against beam-type weapons will grant additional damage mitigation.
Variable Phase Shift (VPS) Armor – reduces non-beam damage by 2000.
Shinn’s Squad Bonus: Mobility and Accuracy +5

Shinn’s SEED Destiny’s protagonist (kinda) and is appropriately good all-around. The Impulse packs some nice firepower and is surprisingly resilient with all those defensive features. Unlike in Z1, you can’t switch frames outright but they’re still there in the form of attacks (the Cerberus blasters in particular cover the major weakness of the Force Impuse which was its range).
Shinn’s already good and he’ll only get better as we go along, so he gets an easy recommendation.

Gunner ZAKU Warrior (Lunamaria Hawke)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands
Mech Features:
Anti-Beam Shield
Luna’s Squad Bonus: Money earned +10%, HP+500, EN+50

Blaze ZAKU Phantom (Rey Za Burrel)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Sense (直感) – grants the effect of Strike and Alert
Mech Features:
Anti-Beam Shield
Rey’s Squad Bonus: Armor +100, EN+50, Crit ratio +10

Can you say squaddies? The ZAKUs are decent enough at this point of the game but they’re already being outclassed by the Valkyries. If you want one of them to lead, Rey is objectively the better pilot as Luna’s a notoriously bad shot (and most of the ZAKU’s weapons are ranged).
Regardless, those squad bonuses are nice.

Minerva (Talia Gladys, Arthur Trine)
Pilot Skills:
Shoot Down
Commander L1
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Attack L1
Spirit Commands – Talia:
Spirit Commands – Arthur:
Minerva’s Squad Bonus: Accuracy rate +5, ranged weapon power +100

Another pretty good battleship, though, for whatever reason, it’s lacking its Laminated Armor; so it won’t be quite as bulky as the Quarter. Still, it’s got some good offense going on and its big Tannhäuser cannon comes in both single-target and MAPW flavors.
Availability made Talia one of Doc’s top killers in Z1, so we’ll see if she’ll fly just as nicely over here.

Let’s get to work, then.

: Not once did I expect the Minerva’s first battle to be against foes like these… Keep your heads on a swivel, crew!

Pew, pew.

Ozma’s getting back to the Knight Vajra, weakening whatever’s close.

Let’s have the ZAFT folks hang by their ship, just to be safe.

: This world really can’t free itself from chaos… And, in that case, there’s only one thing for me to do!
And here’s Rey’s best attack while we’re at it.

Luna and Shinn’ll handle this one together.

: These things sure don’t look like Mimetic Beasts… Urgh, and I really don’t think it’ll be easy to land a hit on them!

: The Second Stage units get jacked and, right after, these things start showing up… What the hell is going on with this world?!


Enemy Phase!

The Voltes is getting a big dinged up but Klan’s nearby.

Klan, support defending: “It’s gunning for you, Voltes V!”
And that’s a cool 6.2k damage on the thing. The other nearby Vajra can’t do much more than explode, while the ones by ZAFT’s corner lose a chunk of their HP.

Player Phase!

Another V Slash comboed into Pixie Formation gets us where we need to be.