The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars L

by Brunom1

Part 33: Mission 12 - Prologue

We’re back, and our top aces aren’t looking too different: Ichitaka’s got a small lead, though Kenji and Quatre and trailing right behind.

On the upgrades’ side of things, I’m still playing catch-up with the SMS crew. At the very least the main units now have a pip in their weapons.

For squads, all the Linebarrel mechs and the EVA-01 are event deployments, so we shift a couple thing around. Ichitaka and Quatre team up, while Tetsuya Kouji gets stuck with Jun (it seemed appropriate). Everything else is the same:
Tetsuya Kouji/Jun

Off we go.

We open up in the Quarter, where Alice just checked Sheryl’s old room and found it so very dusty. Michel says they haven’t really had time to clean up since the girl left, but Alice isn’t having it: this must be cleaned!
The maid side of her AI’s flaring up, Quatre sees, and she wants to get started straight away. And, no, she needs no assistance! Well, alright, but Michel asks that she let us know if Sheryl forgot anything around here.
“OK! Now, let’s see… Disorderliness level, confirmed. Room, IDed… Engaging!” Alice proclaims and gets to work. Seems to Michel and Quatre that all the combat exposure is having an effect on her maid AI.

Later, by the dorms, Ichitaka’s running for his and Kouichi’s first return to school in a while. As the two rush out, Quatre will also be tagging along – not only did the paperwork for his “transfer” not get processed yet, Emi’ll also be attending the Misaki Middle School now. So, he’ll be following as her bodyguard.
It’ll be her first time going to school in this world, but Quatre’s certain she just needs to do as she did when getting together with LOTUS and she’ll get along with everyone quick. Shinji, however, won’t be coming with; he’s already moved to another school and, more importantly, he’ll be undergoing pilot training today. On that subject, Misato comes over to pick him up.

With him gone, Rachel confesses to be a bit worried about Shinji: while no one expects folks be 100% adapted to this from the get-go, something still seems off with him. Like he keeps this wall around himself.
Her train of thought’s interrupted when Alice arrives – she’s finished, and is so happy that she got to do some real cleaning after so long. That said, she DID find something in Sheryl’s room and is looking for Michel to hand it over. He’s likely at JUDA’s mall, Rachel figures, since he mentioned going shopping with the SMS crew.

And, indeed, they’ve just finished, though Ippei grumbles it would’ve been way faster if Megumi didn’t insist on browsing around some fancy stores. She was just looking, though, so shush: they still wrapped things up in time. And Klan suggests he accept the fact that some girls like window-shopping.
Michel has a laugh at Ippei getting schooled by her, though shifts his sights to Alto: what’s he doing on his phone? Just some pre-briefing stuff. Hmhmm… and here Michel was, so sure that he was trying to get in touch with Ranka.
Alto grunts that the girl’s too busy with her work to be easily reached on her cell. Why not send her an e-mail or something, then? Or would the content be too risqué? Something he wouldn’t want the army’s censors to see?

As Alto denies it loudly, Alice finally catches up to them. She has something she wants to give Michel (hint, hint). Klan’s mind immediately runs wild, and she demands an explanation – what exactly would he be “taking” of Alice’s?!
Calm down; it’s just about her cleaning the Quarter’s rooms. Klan breathes a sigh of relief, and hurries out along with Alto and the others. Now, Alice found something that she figured belongs to either Sheryl or Grace: a medicine capsule. Luca had told them that the girl was taking some meds, though the brand, “Witch Craft”, isn’t anything Michel’s seen at the Frontier.
From Alice’s professional opinion, the med looks rather strong to be commonplace stuff – maybe it’s a Macross Galaxy brand? Michel takes it and will see if he can’t run an analysis to see what it is. Alice appreciates it as, while it may be strange for an android to say this, she has a bad feeling about it.

: Stealth disengaged. We finally have a lead on them.
: Yeah…!
: The island ahead might be a vanguard base for the professor’s kidnappers. And even if it isn’t, we should find some sort of clue in there. Let’s get going.
: (I’d call it a win if we could at least figure our why they took gramps…)

: There’re plenty of them.
: And it makes no difference for the two of us.
: Right, no one can stand up to us and the Straybird... Engaging.

: We’ll deal with the remaining ones next.

*Beep, beep!*

: Hold on. I’m detecting something…

: … A new model?
: Still, nothing to make us falter.
: Hmhmm.
: Oh, now this is nice. The Imperial has just been completed and its debut battle is against him? Excellent.
: Take a look, Prof. Grife: you’ve front-row seats to the battle between your grandson and the unit your genius helped perfect.
: …
: Your Excellency, do you wish us to continue analyzing his brainwaves…?
: I believe we can skip that for today. This is such a special little show… we should let the Professor have the full experience, no?
: …
: We’ll start with the new one, then. Here we go.
: Roger…!

*Yuu gets tossed waaaay back.*

: Wh… What…?!
: It read us like an open book…?!
: Not just… That unit outguns us by a whole lot…!
: That’s harmonie préétablie at work. There was no other way for this to end.
: Can you hear me, little Yuu?
: …! You’re my grandfather’s kidnapper…?
: It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Please refer to me as “Mr. President”, if you would.
: Why did you take him…?
: I’m afraid that’s not for you to know. See, this bout just now proved that you two don’t amount to new “Potential”.
: Hmm… but if you still want answers, I more than welcome you to grow stronger and try again. Of course, do note that depending on your actions, you may as well consider the Professor’s life to be forfeit.
: Stop being cryptic and get to the point… What do you want…?!
: That’s all for you to think very hard and figure out.
: What will you do, then? Where, exactly, is the “Potential” that could save dear Prof. Grife, I wonder…?
: Urk…!

: Your Excellency, regarding the Imperial’s mass-production…
: We’ve run plenty of tests, and the results are quite excellent. I say you may go ahead with it. And now…

On the way to school, our folks run into a startled Risako – where have Kouichi and Ichitaka been? They haven’t come to school since Yajima’s funeral! Quatre tries getting her to calm down, but she was also worried about his absence. What happened? …And what about this girl that’s with them, the one who was shacked up with Kouichi?!
As Emi stutters a bit, and Risako lets out a deep sigh. The three of them vanish from school, and, when next she sees them, they’re bringing along Kouichi’s girl… she’s feeling SO left out, and now even Quatre’s taking part in it!
P-Please, she’s got it all wrong—

”Heey there, Risako! Lookin’ pretty cute today!” this guy yells and walks over… and, yo, this new girl’s pretty cute too. She a friend of hers? Risako stomps that she doesn’t know the girl and tells him to ask Kouichi.
And she runs off then and there. Oh, well! “Hey, there, miss! Mind telling me your name?” Emi Kizaki, and he is? “The guy with C- grades, A+ moves, and a master’s degree in love: Makoto Domyoji, at your service.”
Now, Kouichi hasn’t been around of late, but he was kicking all sorts of ass before, no? Domyoji’s heard how, from one day to the next, Kouichi got strong as all hell, and he couldn’t help but wonder: how strong exactly?

Crazy strong. Stronger than him? Damn straight – wanna see for himself? Absolutely. Kouichi asks Emi, Ichitaka and Quatre to hang back a bit (and not to help, in the latter’s case). Quatre’s not too keen on this, but it’ll be fine: Kouichi’ll just do enough to give this guy an idea of the extent of his strength.
Kouichi moves to punch him, and he’s pretty fast... NOT! Domyoji dodges, counters and knocks the kid to the ground. “It can’t be…! Kouichi’s a Factor…!” Emi gapes quietly, as Domyoji tells him to get back up – wasn’t he supposed to be strong?

As Kouichi tries and fails to connect a hit, Ichitaka turns to Quatre and asks what the hell. How’s he getting beat this badly? Well, Quatre’ll concede that Kouichi’s strength and speed are superhuman, but the way he attacks is…
Kouichi gets knocked on his ass again, and Ichitaka understands: Kouichi’s approach is all brute-force, and it’s blowing up in his face. Indeed, that makes him very easy to read, though Quatre’s still very impressed with the ease Domyoji manages to counter him.

Domyoji does concede that Kouichi’s pretty strong and quick, but he’s got no idea how to fight right. What a letdown. “In that case…” Kouichi grunts,” I’ll show you my real power! Come! LINEBARREL!”
Yes, he went there. The mech materializes right in the street, and Domyoji’s jaw hits the ground – he told him he was crazy strong! Someone who’s less-than impressed, however, is Emi: what is he thinking, calling the Linebarrel smack-dab in the middle of town?! Erm… he wasn’t really thinking there.
There’s one other thing, though:

: Yooo…! This is so awesome, Kouichi!
: Ah?
: This is that mech that’s been all over the news, right? The one who’s been protecting the whole world from terrorists…?
: And you’re the big-time hero piloting the thing? For real?!
: …
: I know that face – I’m right, right? Wow, I had you all wrong. I… no, wait, we are gonna be your support crew!
: “We”…? You don’t mean—
: Yeah, I do: me, Emi, you and the transfer student here – Quatre, right?
: (Me?!)
: (And me too…?!)
: Listen, I really wanna help. I consider it my responsibility as someone who knows what’s what now!
: Domyoji… You say that, but I get the feeling you actually want in just to have some fun.
: Not “some”! A whole LOT of fun!
: Hah… Alright, sounds good! You’re in, Domyoji!
: Nice! You can count on me, Kouichi!
: (Wh-What just happened?! They were at each other’s throats a second ago, and now they’re friends just like that?!)
: We’ll do whatever we can to help you out… We are the Hayase Corps!
: Well, hey, that actually sounds like fun! I’m in!
: And, of course, I’ll be the Corps’ glorious leader!
: Alright, then come along with me! P.E.’s up first, and we’re gonna tear it all up down there!
: Hell, yeah!
: Hold it right there, Kouichi!
: Huh?
: What about the Linebarrel? You’re the only one who can move it, and none of that explains what possessed you to call it here in the first place!
: O-Oh, I forgot about that…
: You… You’re positively despicable!

Cut to Kiriyama Heavy Industries, the boss himself is counting the enemy forces gunning for Earth – the Cthulhu, Darius, Jama Kingdom, Mimetic Beasts and the Katou Organization – and how humanity had to lay the duty of facing all those on LOTUS’ shoulders. He’d like to take this opportunity to thank our present representatives for our work.
But while he and his company do not doubt our capacity, it is simple fact that we cannot be everywhere at once – what would happen if the enemies attacked across the entire world? We couldn’t handle all that. And while the platoons of Armas that all nations deployed to face the Darius have been rather successful in their purpose, those are NOT strong enough to face the leaders of the Katou Organization or the Angels!
Ritsuko, also present, sniffs that he was the one who incited army to send Armas after the Angel, and wonders if it was to help him advocate the necessity of his prototype. Talk about shameless profiteering.

Regardless, even GREATER strength is necessary both to lift us from this dire situation and to protect the lives of the SDF soldiers on the field. It is with that ardent wish in his heart that he now unveils his new model – fruit of a wholly new design philosophy: the HFX-19 “Jinrai”!
Yamashita seems impressed, while Reiji watches in silence, and Kiriyama proclaims that he’s set up a mock battle with the current Arma models the SDF uses as a means to showcase their capacity. We’ll see just how HUGE the difference is between them.
And, indeed, the things tear the old Armas apart. Ishigami and Yotsuya see that Kiriyama's boasts are well founded.

Meanwhile, back at JUDA, Shinji’s running the simulator and wants Misato to up the difficulty a bit. Well, aren’t we eager today? Not really: “But I think this is what Kouichi and Ichitaka would do,” he says. Fair enough, and Misato won’t say no, as the sooner they can get Shinji acclimatized to the EVA, the better.
As he goes on, Noin ponders the new kid: there are a lot of unknowns surrounding him. Tetsuya (Tsurugi) agrees, noting how he’s only been into combat once, and how, when he beat the Angel, he’d lost consciousness.
Misato adds that piloting an EVA involves an extremely particular process. With that, she’d like to ask that the two drill instructors wait a bit before taking Shinji under their wing. Noin is very fine with that, as she couldn’t come up with a training regimen for someone who’s yet to grasp the basics.

Inwardly, though, Misato’s ill at ease: the abruptness of how the Third Child was chosen, the Angel’s attack happening around the same time – almost as if in sync – and the order to transfer the #01 to LOTUS despite the fact that another Angel’ll come soon… So much feels out of place here.
While Shinji, in the sim, recites “Target in the center, pull the switch”, another thing Misato didn’t expect is that he came up to her and willingly said he would pilot the EVA. Let’s just hope things will continue to go as smoothly.

Our group’s just returned from class, and Kouichi’s getting accosted by Rachel. What kind of idiot is he to summon the Linebarrel just because he lost a fight?! And she was in the middle of servicing the thing, too! Kouichi apologizes, though Shizuna has revised her opinion on his stupidity – for the worse.
Quatre chalks it up to the kid not liking to lose, and while Goh says that’s a good thing, he still ought to use his head a bit more. Kouichi apologizes more. Goh’s one to talk, Anna quips, reminding how often he goes ballistic if he’s backed against a wall when fighting… granted, now he can’t fight AT ALL.

Foot in her mouth, Anna says she’s sorry and silently kicks herself for not thinking before saying stuff, especially when she knows how much Goh’s hurting. Worse, the guy’s also silently drawing the conclusion that Anna wants Goh, the pilot.
When Miu asks, Quatre explains that while Emi came back with us, Yui called her up to work on some combat data. Rachel very much likes Emi’s work: it’s fast and it’s reliable, so it helps the mechanics keep our units perfectly tuned.

The door then opens: “Excuse me, I’d like to speak with Kouichi Hayase of LOTUS,” says Hisataka Katou (!) himself. As everyone flips out over the enemy boss turning around, he also introduces his comrades Masaki Sugawara and Wufei Chang, which he figures will make for quite the emotional reunion for Quatre.
As the Wing boys glare at each other, Kouichi demands to know what their enemy is doing here. Can he imagine the reason why, Katou wonders. How the hell could he make sense of whatever’s going on in their heads?! Well, that’s not good at all, thinks Katou, as the power of imagination is at the root of life itself.

Imagination allows one to predict outcomes, to figure out what is or isn’t within your capacity, to plan for the future. “Those who lack that capacity are no different from livestock in a pen.” Kouichi and Ichitaka yell out a “what are you on about” in unison, and Katou tells them to imagine. Indeed, only with imagination will one be able to survive the coming era.
Quatre turns to Wufei and asks if he shares in this guy’s vision – is that why he joined his Organization? Wufei says his views are the same they’ve ever been… this is a struggle for JUSTICE, and, moreover, he has not capitulated to the Katou Organization. What does he mean by that, Goh interjects, as the boss himself named him a comrade.

“Hmph… I’ve nothing to say to a man who won’t fight,” Wufei sniffs, and Anna quickly gets in his face. Who the hell does he think Goh is?! Wufei tells her to shush, though, as this isn’t the time or place for her man to speak his mind. If she’s a pilot, she should understand what that place is.
Back to Kouichi, he still doesn’t know what Katou’s here for. Did he sneak in just to make this insane speech? “No, I’m here for the Linebarrel, he says levelly. “Time and again we’ve tried to capture the Linebarrel. However, in the meantime, you have been developing as a Factor capable of unleashing its abilities… Which is why, as a sign of respect, I have come here to meet with you in person.”

Katou signals Masaki to give him “that”, bringing out a suitcase. A bomb?! Katou tells Shizuna that it is nothing so boorish – just a simple gift. The case is filled with Castella cakes! Oh, but would Kouichi and the others worry about eating something presented by the enemy? That’s fine, he’s more than willing to take a bite of one – it’s pretty good!
Psh, like hell Kouichi’s scared of anything! He grabs one to eat… “Hrk! Aah, it’s spicy! Is… Is this curry flavored?!” Anna also takes a bite and, indeed, they’re all curry flavored. Not exactly what Kouichi imagined, is it? While its outward appearance is of sweet pastry, the contents aren’t limited to what we see.
The moment one forgets to imagine, the world grinds to a halt. Kouichi ought to be more observant, more inquisitive, and more contemplative. And Katou shall provide him with the information he needs: “imagine, with your very own brain, what the future will look like.”

What the hell is wrong with these guys? What are they after?! “To conquer the world,” Katou immediately answers. Now pay attention: all of the Machinas, Linebarrel included, in the hands of JUDA or the Katou Organization, as well as the tech used to restore this planet’s dead oceans following the Second Impact, are all byproducts of Over Technology that simply does not exist in this word.
So where did it all come from? From a world in a different time and dimension. Our two worlds lie adjacent to one another, amid a recurring cycle of death and rebirth, each holding a unique history and never meant to interact. It is what we perceive as dark matter, and Katou and his peers call it the “Highly Probable World”. The high what now? Ichitaka can’t even wrap his head around the name.
Regardless, the Machinas were sent here from that other world with the purpose of invading and, ultimately, subjugating it. As a matter of fact, the Katou Organization is meant to be the vanguard of that invading force – Katou himself having come to this world to lead the effort. That is to say, from our point of view, Katou is a visitor from a different dimension.

Kouichi turns to Izuna and Shizuna – did they know about all this? They all did, and were expecting Ishigami to tell him about it before long. Katou wants to make one thing clear, though: HE is the only member of the Organization that came from the Highly Probable World. All others are from this side, who simply share in his ideals.
Shizuna sniffs that he likely tricked them into tagging along, prompting Wufei to scoff at her “woman’s rationalization”. “What’chu say, fivehead?! You wanna say that to my face and see what happens?!”
CARRYING ON, Katou notes that with the might of his world, conquering this one would’ve been an absolute walk in the park… but there are a few special circumstances, certain steps that need to be taken. What does he mean? “If you want to know more, then I ask that you join the Katou Organization.”

Shizuna asks if the guy’s trying to scout them, but no – his organization only needs Kouichi and the Linebarrel. Before any answer can be given, Rachel has a question for him first: what is the Linebarrel? It is clearly different from the other Machinas, in its D-S.O.I.L., its performance, abilities – everything.
Of course it is: unlike the other Machinas, which are simply weapons of invasion, the Linebarrel was designed to be special from even the planning stage. Indeed, it was designed and constructed by a scientist known far and wide as a true genius: Amagatsu Kizaki.

Wait, “Kizaki”? Indeed, Emi, who came to this world with the Linebarrel, is his daughter. In other words, she’s also a denizen of the Highly Probable World. That info hits everyone hard, and Kouichi has to ask: is she with Katou and his goons?
No, quite the contrary: Amagatsu opposed them, and Emi took up his dying wish and came here. Katou does wonder if someone being from the other world is all it takes for us to question their bona fides. What do we think about the Frontier Fleet, then? Because they’re ALSO all from the same world as Katuo… isn’t that right, Luca?

Luca steps out of hiding, and asks Katou to clarify as he only got here halfway through the conversation. Hmm, Katou expected him and the Frontier’s brass to have already realized that they all share the same origin – was he wrong? Or maybe keeping the sorry state of their homeworld under wraps is how things work on the Fleet?
Luca tries playing it cool, asking if he needs to answer that, but Katou quickly sees that he doesn’t really know what’s up. So he’ll give him a snippet of information to munch on: his group started taking action after the Frontier Fleed had already left Earth. When Masaki pokes him, though, he figures that’s all he’ll say.
That’s good, because Kouichi’s already satisfied with the knowledge that Emi and the Frontier folks aren’t the enemy. Moreover, he would never join an invader from another world – he’ll destroy Katou and his Organization as a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE! Katou has a laugh at that: what exactly is justice to someone like Kouichi?

“Shut your mouth! You killed Yajima, so what makes you think you’ve the right to speak of justice?!” Kouichi snaps, and him using the “J” word annoys Wufei. “Are you implying that you have that right, then?”
One way or another, Katou says this is good enough for today – they will be seeing each other eventually, though. What, does he think he can just walk away from this? Absolutely.

Masaki gets on the phone and says that the commander is heading back. Right then, a ton of Armas emerge all around the place to cover the guy’s exit – when did all these manage to get here?! Wufei says our vigilance was shoddy (even we could pull a stunt like this), but what Shizuna doesn’t understand is why none of the alarms were set off. “Kouichi Hayase, if you wish to know the actual meaning of justice, then you’ll come to the Katou Organization,” Katou says and takes off.
As Kouichi fumes, Goh confesses that he never imagined the enemy boss would come to JUDA in person – seems to Rachel that the power of their imagination is a whole lot higher than ours, then.
Still, Luca says that the silver-lining is we managed to attain some critical information and wonders if the Frontier government might know stuff about the Katou Organization’s background that we don’t. More importantly, says Ichitaka, if folks managed to come to this world from the Highly Probable one, then it’s likely there’s a way for Luca and co. to find their way back.
That’s a matter for another time, mind, as Kouichi wants to chase after Katou right the hell now!

The group that went to Kiriyama have just returned, and imagine Yamashita’s shock when he saw Katou Armas leaving the area. Reiji asks what they were here for, Miu and Goh telling him how Katou himself came to try and recruit Kouichi (Reiji goes silent upon hearing that).
Regardless, Luca wants to report all we heard to Jeffrey, Lulu and Ishigami, and Ichitaka asks him to note the glaring security cock-up that happened here. We need to figure out how they managed to slip in without anyone noticing. Reiji says he’ll go over it later, but, right now, he wants everyone ready to deploy.
Why the rush? Noin ponders that there might’ve been more to this “visit” than what we saw, and, right on cue, Yui sounds the alarm: the Katou Organization is attacking an Alliance base at Vladivostok.

Ishigami notes that the troops that left here were headed that way too. While we don’t know what they’re after, it’s possible both groups will join up there, so we need to head on over as well.
Izuna raises the point that the Alliance is kind of hostile to us, but Ishigami counters with the fact that our mission is to defend peace throughout the entire world. So even if the Alliance is the one being attacked, we have to prioritize pushing the Katou Organization back. Fair enough.

And I think that’s quite enough for today. Oof!

The rest of the mission should be up in a couple of days.

See you then!