The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars L

by Brunom1

Part 56: Mission 20 (Himika Route) - Contact With the Unknown - Part 1

Welcome to the Pursue Himika route, where Daiya’s really breathing down Ichitaka’s neck. The kid got a massive kill streak going in the Minerva path, but I’ll very likely be keeping this one, so he’ll have a tough race ahead. Iczer-1’s closing in on them, too, but the AI is less keen on going after her.

All the money I had went to excellent use: Alto got a pip in weapons, our Supers got a few boosts here and there, and I upped Gaiking’s stats as high as they’ll currently go.
Unfortunately, much to my disappointment, L doesn’t subscribe to the more recent games’ philosophy of counting weapons and stat upgrades separately. If you want the boosted Squad Bonus, you need to upgrade EVERYTHING to 50%, weapons included.

Iczer-1 and the Macross folk are auto-deploying, so we adapt accordingly:
Jack/Yagyuu (he needs someone to boost his space rating, or he’ll be going nowhere fast)

We’ve a much bigger mission here than on the other path, so let’s get to it.

Sheryl is STILL at Island 1’s hospital, with no indication of being discharged. She’s been getting plenty of “get well soon” gifts, but no one’s actually come to see her. She was pretty happy to get that video message from Ranka, Alto and everyone else, though. Speaking of Ranka, she’s up on TV right now – her career’s really taken off recently.
As the girl thanks all the fans who’ve come to her concert, Sheryl spots someone behind her: Grace.

Cut to the Cthulhu Fortress, Big Gold’s spawn is already up and about. She’s called Neos Gold, and has summoned forth her Four Generals: Golem (blue hair), Insect (blue skin), Bigro (red skin) and Fiber.
Big Gold, mother dearest, has fallen asleep after giving birth to Neos Gold, and plenty of time has passed since. Yet, she has yet to awaken once more. Neos Gold doesn’t know what the reason is, but isn’t about to sit on her hands: the five of them have a mission to look for a new partner for Iczer-2, destroying Iczer-1 along the way if possible.
As luck would have it, Neos Gold already has an idea of where they’ll find such a partner and commands Fiber and Insect to go after.

Back to the Quarter, Kenji asks if we managed to figure out where Himika went, but Ozma says not yet. She’s very likely using some unknown tech to camouflage herself and her group, and Emi figures they’re headed to where that ship, Langoon, is tucked away. Kenji fumes that that doesn’t really help us chase after, as we don’t know where the thing is either.
Shizuna tells him to calm down, remembering that the JUDA folk had to do plenty of waiting around when they were trying to capture the Linebarrel. Maybe all we can do now is also sit around until the Langoon pops out of hiding.

But, Ichitaka argues, that may be counterproductive, as Himika has the Bronze Bells and the huge power they have – if we take too long, it may be too late to stop them. True, true, there’s that...
Kenji also remembers what Kyo said about his and Tsubaki’s combined powers bringing forth a miracle – that’s got to be a clue for a way to beat Himika. Whatever the case, the fact remains that leaving the Bronze Bells in the Jama Kingdom’s hands means Hiroshi and Kenji are grounded, so our first priority should be getting them back.

While Kenji wrings his fists at Himika, Jeffrey calls in and says the Quarter and Daiku Maryu are going to head towards the Frontier. What for?! They’re going to be picking up some Reactive Weapons to use in their battle against the Jama Kingdom.
Michel’s very surprised to hear that the President’s Office has given them the go-ahead so quickly, but it IS just a matter of granting permission. Mishima himself, face the current crisis, moved to get things rolling ASAP – Ozma smells fish with how helpful Mushroom Head’s being.

Whatever the case, we’ll also be getting some help from Prof. Kentarou to figure out where Himika’s at; while the Valkyries are getting equipped with their new weapons, the pilots will get some time off in shifts.
Kenji isn’t too keen on taking it easy right now, though he knows we don’t have anything better to do. Hiroshi points out that being well-rested is also part of being a pilot, and the kid knows, figuring he’ll just look at it like he’s resting the day before a Grand Prix.

Out in Island 1, Nagisa’s very surprised to see a replica Japanese city inside a spaceship, but, as Luca explains, they wanted to recreate the Earth landscapes they’d left behind. Speaking of, Kouichi wonders if the sight of his helped Emi remember anything about what kind of town she lived in, but, no, unfortunately.
Yamashita suggests he just leave it at that, as we didn’t come here in hopes to restore her memories in the first place. Regardless, Nagisa thanks Alto for accompanying them, and it was no problem – he had to come this way to get to the SMS HQ anyway. The company’s owner called him over, and this’ll actually be Alto’s first time seeing the guy.

Maybe he wants to give him a raise for all his hard work, Nagisa wonders. That’d be fine with Alto, though he doesn’t see why he’d need to specifically summon him for that. Either way, it’s starting to rain, so Luca points out a restaurant for the group to chill out at.
Kouichi’s blown away that the Island even has artificial rain, but Yamashita tells him to quit gawking and get moving. Conventional Japanese wisdom says idiots don’t catch colds, but it’s best not to tempt fate, so he drags Kouichi away.

And at the SMS building, Alto is brought before Richard Birler: Zentran, huge train-set owner and his boss.
Birler congratulates him on his recently promotion, but what he is really interested in talking about is this: does Alto have a dream?

Alto’s convo with the guy took quite a long time: apparently the Vajra produce this ore, Fold Quartz, and with it one could establish a comm network unbound by Fold faults. While it’s obviously true that the Vajra can traverse between parallel worlds, this still sounds like a very farfetched dream… but, whatever the case, Alto’ll just keep on fighting as he has.
Also, damn, this rain isn’t letting up – he should’ve paid more attention to the weather forecast. He has it better than Sheryl, though, who stumbles out into his alleyway. What’s she doing here?!

She slowly grunts at him not to get any ideas – she didn’t come here to see him – and Alto figures she skipped out the hospital before she was fully healed. He wants to bring her back, but Sheryl begs him not to: “Don’t take me to the hospital, or to the hotel… I can’t stand being locked up like that anymore…”
The girl’s passing out, so, in that case, there’s only one option left…

Sheryl wakes up in Alto’s room, and immediately freaks out at him. What did he do to her?! Stop yelling and calm down, already – does she have any idea the pain it was to bring her here after she fainted?! Oh, dear, is that what happened? And here was Alto, all worried…
Sheryl’s slightly surprised to hear that he was worried for her, but how could he not?! Looking at her, Alto notices something: the earring she’s got looks just like the ore Birler showed him earlier. Is it Fold Quartz too?
Before Sheryl can question what he’s staring at, the door slides open: “You know, we might have some time off, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to bring chicks over to your room,” Michel enters and has a laugh. Alto stammers a denial – a woman like her?!

Sheryl doesn’t appreciate it: “‘a woman like her’, what, exactly?!” See? This is exactly what Alto meant. The levity is cut short by the alarm blaring: Vajra have been spotted close to the Frontier, so Cathy tells everyone to scramble. So much for resting.
Oh, and by the way, we’ll be escorting Ranka out there – they’ll be briefed in a bit. What the hell? Apparently, says Cathy, the Frontier Government wants to use this as an opportunity to test using her song as a new weapon against the buggers.
Well, Alto and Michel need to get going, but the former begs Sheryl to stay in – if folks find out she’s here, it’ll be a huge mess. “… Fine. Get to it, then. You call yourself a professional, right?” Sheryl huffs, Alto sighing at her sass and suggesting she get some rest.
As they leave, however, Sheryl sneaks right after – she’s worried about Ranka.

Ranka’s already arrived at the Quarter’s hangar (she hopes Ai-kun’s doing okay), and Grace asks if she’s not too keen on using her childhood memento song as a weapon against the Vajra. No, she says it’s fine – this is important work, right? Then Grace should go and get things ready; she’s sure everything’ll work just fine.
As the woman takes off, Brera asks why Ranka’s ill at ease. She’s surprised by this, but Brera says it’s his job as her bodyguard to pay attention to how she’s feeling. Sure, but what she wants to know is how he could tell she was ill at ease.

“I can tell after all the times I’ve listened to you sing. Your song makes me feel the universe around me,” Brera explains. “Usually I’m ripping through it, but when you sing, I feel cradled in the currents of the galaxy… and… Sorry, I can’t quite put it into words”.
But Ranka appreciates his insight nonetheless, and is inspired to go for it – this is what she can do to help everyone.

As you might expect, Ozma is not happy with this. Where’d they come up with this insane idea that Ranka’s song’ll work on the Vajra?! Mishima says it’s just a theory, which is why they’re going to put it to the test. Besides, his sister has already agreed to it, so his fuming won’t change anything.
Ozma sees that the only reason Mishima rushed our request to equip Reactive Weapons was to use us as part of this experiment, but the guy says more and more Vajra have been coming to this world. We’d do well to see them as a real threat, as while their numbers were initially few enough that the NUNS and ZAFT could deal with, the frequency of their spawns has been increasing daily. We cannot remain passive anymore.
Wishing us good luck escorting Ranka, Mishima signs off. The idea of driving off the Vajra through song sounds pretty crazy to Hiyoshi, and while Michel’s aware that many of the brass fancy the “Minmay Attack” strategy, he has to wonder if it’ll actually fly with these opponents.

Against the old Zentran and the Protodeviln, sure, but Klan isn’t even certain we’re dealing with intelligent life-forms here. Iczer-1 asks if this strategy worked in their old world, and Michel says it was less “driving off” and more like using song to bridge the gap between enemies.
There are plenty of videos about those battles, Ozma says, though events have obviously been dramatized some to make them more appealing to the general public. Daiya likes the idea of reconciliation through song – maybe this is proof that all people can reach an understanding with one another.
As for the Vajra, Luca figures, as living creatures, it stands to reason that they have SOME way of communicating. And if this experiment succeeds, it’ll make our battle against them much easier, too, so it’s well worth the effort. We’ll see, as Lulu tells everyone to deploy – we’re about to reach the Vajra flock.

Mission 20 (Himika Route) – Contact With the Unknown

The Vajra are right up ahead and Jeffrey’s surprised they had a warp point around here. Cathy says he shouldn’t, as the Vajra’s Folds aren’t limited by Fold Faults and gravitational fields like ours are.
It’s likely these are calling their friends from the other universe by way of some hitherto unknown means. When Bobby asks, Cathy says she knows that thanks to the newest research report handed by the President’s Office.
Now, Iczer-1 insisted on deploying by herself, and explains to Nagisa that she’s got a bad feeling (Daiya tells her not to say that or she’ll jinx us). Regardless, Monica pings the same Fold signal we saw at Diokia, and a bunch of Vajra warp right in – just like Cathy said.

Seems to Jeffrey that the Frontier’s research is on to something, so maybe it actually will be worth our while to give this experiment a chance. Ranka’s aboard Canaria’s Koenig Monster, and she’ll try her best to fly as gently as possible.
When Ozma asks, Ranka confirms that she wants to do this. Brera’s deployed for this as well, still acting as Ranka’s bodyguard, and going by his usual Antares 1 callsign. First order of business is to close the distance with the Vajra flock – initiate “Ranka Attack”!

Destroy everything, don’t lose Alto, Canaria, Iczer-1 or any ship. This one’s so much easier than the other path, I don’t even know what to say. While we don’t have Jeeg, we make up by having Brera on our side (who’s actually really dang strong) and, better still, there’s this:

The Valkyries have all received their special packs back now that we’re in space! Ozma, who’s pro, has his Armored Pack while everyone else has Super Packs. That’s a small stat boost, but, more importantly, they’ve all gained access to their Reactive Munitions: two shots (3 with B-Save) and it’ll hurt anything it touches.
Considering all the Valkyries have them, that’s another reason why they’re such great squaddies even if you don’t wanna lead with anyone.

Everyone moves forward.

: … Truth be told, I didn’t wanna let you come here. But if this is what you want…
: Ranka… I’ll protect both you and your dreams!!

Ozma’s the only one that gets in range, mind.

Enemy Phase!

I’m not sure if Brera’ll auto-heal if he dies, but he is very willing to charge head-first into the enemy. On the flip side, he auto-casts Focus and Accelerate.
Why does he get after-images, but not us?
The Vajra don’t appreciate Brera getting in their face, though, and a bunch swarm him (no kills).

Ozma and Iczer-1 also get attacked, to no avail:

: If these creatures have something akin to intelligence, then…
: Iczer-1, focus! The Vajras are dead ahead!
: !! How could I let my mind wander while on the battlefield…! Here I go!

That’s one kill for her.

Player Phase!

: Who goes there?! Don’t you know it’s strictly forbidden to enter the bridge when it’s in Condition 1?
: …
: Sheryl Nome…! Why are you here?! And what is security doing?!
: I don’t recall giving you permission to come aboard, Ms. Sheryl. Care for an explanation?
: I heard about this secret test you’re doing – what it entails, and what you’re after.
: Are you going to blackmail us with that knowledge?
: No, I won’t. Please, Mr. Wilder, I need to see all this with my own two eyes.
: Your curiosity at work, is it?
: My pride, rather…!
: Hah… Get her a seat, people.
: Thank you.
: Time to begin, Ranka.
: Alright…!

: Aimo, Aimo…♪
: (Emotional index +4.33, Fold Wave level at 3.2. Very good…)

: The Vajras’ movement has grown irregular! They’ve stopped attacking…!
: …
: Yak Deculture…!
: It’s true…!
: They’re listening to her song…?
: Well, I’ll be damned…
: This is Antares 1, the test is a confirmed success. Proceeding to eliminate.
: A-All units, engage the Vajra!
: (Ranka, you’re…)

And there we have it. Ranka’s song has rendered the Vajra passive and they’ll simply move around, never attacking or counterattacking. Do note that moving Canaria in any way will end the effect, so let her sit still wherever she’s at.
Let’s spread out and clear the flock.

: Ranka…! I’ll destroy any and all Vajra that’ve come to this world…!
: That’s how we, humanity, will survive!

: (She’s managed to hinder the Vajra’s movement so much… Now if we can get the mass-production of the new warhead underway, then…!)

: Things are looking up already…! With this trick on our side, the NUNS and ZAFT alone could deal with the Vajras even if a whole bunch of them turn up!
: You’re awesome, Ranka!

: Her song really made them all docile… guess this is another one of those mysteries of space, huh?
: Either way, it shouldn’t take long to wrap up this battle now! Here I come, Vajra!

: Ranka Lee’s song… It’s even made me feel at peace.
: Maybe this is what our people felt when their hearts were taken with Lynn Minmay’s song during the First Space War…
: But we can’t just sit here and take in the tunes. Our job in all this is to exterminate any Vajra that came to this world!

: I can kinda understand how Ozma’s feeling… No big bro would like seeing his baby sister stepping out into a battle zone.
: Maybe it’s impossible to take out every single Vajra, but I’m still gonna at least try to end this fight quick-like!

: Don’t get tunnel vision with the enemy. Our main mission here is to defend Ranka.
: I’m keeping a close eye on everything. And you, Kenichi, don’t get so hung up on the Koenig that you let the Vajra run off!
: Yeah, I got it!

: The Cthulhu?! What are they doing here…!
: Hohohohoh… My name is Neos Gold, and I have been looking forward for the chance to do battle with you all.
: That evil presence… Are you Big Gold’s—?!
: Ah, Iczer-1, the beautiful warrior that repelled Iczer-2… Though I believe your face would look even more beautiful devoid of life.
: What is she, Iczer-1?!
: Big Gold’s spawn, I think… Meaning we must defeat her!
: We cannot interrupt the “Ranka Attack”. Troops, repel the Cthulhu on the double!
: Hohohohoh… You shouldn’t assume it’ll all be so simple…

Well, darn. The Cthulhu are still plenty far away, though, so we’ll keep focusing on the Vajra – once the buggers are gone, we’ll worry about the rest. Just pull whatever units are hanging back closer to keep them from getting mobbed (though you still cannot move Canaria).

: I’ve no idea what’s going on through your heads, but if you’re trying to have your way with our world, then I’m not cutting you any slack!

Kill enough of the Vajra, and…

: … I see. One of them is sapping the bugs’ fighting spirit.
: And, in that case…!

: Go, Dilos! Put a stop to these odd dimensional waves!

*The Dilos charges after the Koenig Monster!*

: Ranka?!
: Hrk…!

: A-Aah…!
: Are you alright, Ranka?

: That’s… Captain, the Vajra have turned hostile again!
: Hrm…!
: Damn, I knew it was too good to be true!
: (Her emotional index has… She needs more training, just as I thought.)

No more passive Vajra, but there shouldn’t be many of them left for that to be a big issue. Just remember the Knight-Class’ frontal MAPW and clear out the rest while the Cthulhu are still moving in. And, of course, you can move Canaria again.

And here’s Brera’s best attack.

And here are our shiny new Reactive Munitions. Anyone Macross savvy can clarify if these are straight-up nukes or something different?

: There were more hanging around?!
: Just one, though. Let’s wrap this up and make it snappy!
: (The battle’s still going… I… I have to sing…)
: Aimo, Aimo…♪
: …

*The Vajra blasts off towards her!*

: Ranka…! I’ll get it!
: Move, Skull 4!

: Brera…!
: Brera, you…!
: I said it before: you don’t deserve her. I’ll keep Ranka safe…!
: Yo, what’s your problem?! Why’d you cut Alto off like that?!
: This really ain’t the time for a pissing match, ya know!
: …

So now we gotta go aaaall the way to the other side of the map. Considering a handful of our guys don’t have accelerate or are just too far, I’ve to load them onto our ships to cut travel time.

That’s not the case with Brera, whose auto-Accelerate allows him to immediately intercept the Cthulhu and start shaving off about 60-70% of their HP. So, you’ve about two turns before he starts killing stuff and, by three, he’ll likely have killed at least over half the Dilos due to their counterattacks.
Hurry on over, or there’ll go a bunch of your cash for this mission!

Thankfully, with his Valkyrie’s low HP, we just need to start bringing folks close enough and the AI’ll switch focus to us.
The Dilos are the same as ever and Neos Gold is hanging back (for now), so on the next turn, when the rest of our group arrives, they’ll fall in droves.

Neos Gold
Pilot Skills:
Ignore Size Difference
Commander L3
Prevail L3
Support Attack L2
Attack Combo L2

Neos Gold is exactly what you’d expect from an Iczer boss: she’s got a ton of stats where it matters and dodges like a motherfucker due to that S size. Her attacks’ accuracy modifiers ain’t all that, so she won’t get TOO big %s against you, but they sure pack a good punch and have very good range. That Command aura’ll give the Dilos quite the hefty bonus, so that’s another reason to kill them all sooner rather than later.
No MAPW attacks to worry about, thankfully, but do note that her strongest attack is also the one she can chain-attack with. Watch it.

Rare footage of the Daiku Maryu with its head on since Daiya’s currently hitching a ride towards his newest stomping grounds!

Kill enough of the Dilos and eventually the plot will pick up again.