Part 60: Mission 23 - The Warriors' Encounter - Part 1
Our teams back together, Daiya still resting cozily at #1 while Kenji and Ichitaka compete with one another. The Jeeg path gave a total of about 120k more money than the other, so thats what I kept.
Random upgrades everywhere, with Hyouma taking an extra pip in weapons since he was still at two.
The EVAs and Iczer-3 are deploying as event units, so we make a few changes. Do note that were not finally starting to run low on deployment slots the next mission only allows 16 so a few good peoplell need to start getting benched.
Off we go.
: Youre not getting away from me! TAAAH! (Mari)
: Urgh Damn, this hurts so bad !
: But its so much fun!
: Sorry we couldnt get you one of the newer suits in time. (Kaji)
: Yeah, I can barely breathe with how tight this is.
: To say nothing of the fact that we had to send you off into combat with the Provisional Unit, right? Apologies for that too.
: Forget about it. Im just happy to finally be piloting.
: Thats all on you, little firebrand. But good luck out there.
: Field, redeployed ! Oohoho, Im getting all tingly here!
: Yeesh, this thing moves like a rock ! Then were just gonna have to brute-force it!
: Times running out and the units not holding either. The spare arms werent synced right, so theyre not strong enough !
: Hrrgh, fine! You want this arm so bad, take it!
: Now hurry up and DIIIIIEEEEEEE!!
: Well, the #05s self-destruct program worked like a dream
: Still, its a shame we need to have these kids do our dirty work. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth
: Owowowow . Syncing with an EVA was even more brutal than advertised.
: But Im alive, so thats all that matters. Bon voyage, EVA-05. It was a real honor working with you
Time for the usual catch-up after a route split, but this one doesnt really have any amusing bits. Both sides end with Ichitaka asking where Iczer-3s at, and Nagisa says shes always waiting by the sleeping Nagisas side. Also, it feels really awkward for her to refer to someone with the same name as her.
Quatre surmises that Nagisa Kasumi was exhausted from piloting the Iczer Robo, and she confirms. Mind, Canaria said her condition was nowhere as bad as the first Nagisas, so she should be waking up soon.
: Haah, Haah Where Where am I ?!
: Ive no bindings around my feet today, Iczer-1 Ill destroy you with my own strength!
: Nagisa, we must summon the Iczer Robo as well!
: Right! Lets go, Iczer-1!
: Thats the Iczer Robo? And me ?
: No, its that girl Nagisa Kanou? And theyre fighting together
: Ah ?!
: A dream ? No those memories were
: Ah, Sleeping Beautys back with us?
: Michel and Iczer-3. Oh, thats right I was asleep
: Looks like your fatigues fully gone. Now were sorry to spring this on you so soon after youre awake, but weve something to talk with you about.
: Though Im not sure how to begin
: Do you mean how Alto and Michel have been fighting the Cthulhu? How theyre working with JUDA?
: It figures you wouldve put two and two together, I guess. We wanted to come clean some time but we still apologize for keeping quiet, Nagisa.
: The fact is Alto, Luca and I have teamed up with the ZAFT folk. Were mercenary pilots, a separate force from the NUNS.
: No, no, its fine I understand that you didnt want us to worry.
: Good to hear wait a minute, no, somethings off here! Arent you taking this way too well for someone whos been asleep all this time?!
: I suppose thats true. We were all expecting you to be dumbfounded and lash out over this bombastic revelation.
: I saw it in a dream How all of you, and Nagisa Kanou, were fighting these robots and monsters
: Thats far too detailed for a dream, I think.
: I dont really get whats going on, but maybe Ive been seeing parts of Nagisas memories as dreams ?
: Come to think of it, you did mention way back that youd been having those strangely real-looking dreams, right?
: Yeah. I wasnt sure what to make of them, but it kind of makes sense when I look at it that way.
: And here I thought Id seen so much occult business that nothing would surprise me again
: And with all that said, Im happy to be officially working with you guys.
: Listen, things may be calm now, but well likely get dragged into battle again. Arent you scared of that?
: Ive made up my mind on this I know its my destiny to fight with Iczer-3.
: Youre so strong unlike me.
: Not really; youre the only reason I managed to get strong in the first place. The pain you had to bear, how you feel for Iczer-1 all of it came to me.
: This is so weird How could my memories and experiences appear in your dreams?
: Woo-hoo! Nagisas all better, and Nagisa-1s doing good too! Im gonna keep this streak rolling in the next battle too!
: Hey, Iczer-3. You said the two of us are partners, right?
: Then I want you to make me a promise. That youll be more careful, and stop fighting so recklessly.
: Whaa?! But how am I gonna protect you, then?! Besides, fightings so much fun!
: And do you know how badly Id feel if you got hurt doing that?
: Being partners means being friends. And here on Earth, being friends means trusting and looking after each other.
: Thats right, Iczer-3. Youd feel bad if our LOTUS friends got hurt, wouldnt you?
: Sister Gray told me to listen to the Nagisas but Ooh, this is a toughie
: It might be tough for a kid to wrap her head around it, but youll get there.
Time for Alice to check in with the JUDA techs again. Have they figured out what happened to her body during the Straybird attack? From what Rachel imagines, having to personally control the Rushbirds energy flow overheated both the regular and combat-oriented sectors of her AI. The radical increase in irradiation and throughput lead to her organic parts being transformed temporarily.
Whatever the case, Maki chides them for doing something so crazy the Rushbirds dimensional interference capabilities havent even been thoroughly tested, havent they? Ichitaka apologizes, saying they werent really thinking of the dangers back then, and Rachel concedes that they were out of options.
HOWEVER, she now wants them to defer to Misatos judgement on whether or not to use that trick again if they screw it up, the out-of-control energy could level everything around them. Granted, seeing how Ichitaka absolutely cant handle that, and Alice has her own difficulties, he figures we cant really try it anyway.
With that in mind, Ichitaka asks Kosuke if there isnt any way he could make things easier for his partner, and the kid figures there is. Ichitaka can just take over some of the energy management responsibilities. Not something he could learn on the fly, of course, but Yamashita figures he could familiarize himself with it over the sim.
Ichitaka apologizes for having to impose on him again, having realized during the showdown with Himika/Mimetic Beasts that he still has a long way to go. Yamashita sas its all good, and he just needs to use that realization as motivation.
Kosuke and the group set out to reproduce the Rushbirds systems inside the simulator, leaving Rachel to ponder how much Ichitakas grown despite his young age. Yamashita himself seems to be getting over his dependency on Reiji, and she only wishes Kouichi could do the same. Maki disagrees: hes also growing. Little by little, sure, but its happening.
Truth enough. Rachels seen that Kouichis been, for instance, slowly acting more responsible as he tries to be THE SENIOR for Shinji. Speaking of, where is the kid? Hes supposed to be running some of his usual tests soon.
From what Makis heard, hes visiting his mothers grave.
Cut to the Cthulhu Fortress, Neos Gold is getting to work with the Iczelio. By using it, shell be capable of creating a new, powerful warrior to replace the still-recovering Iczer-2 in battle (and the disposed of Fiber and Insect, too). With a lightshow, Neos Gold commands the warrior born from the stolen Iczelio Atross to awaken!
Elsewhere, Golem passes the news along to Bigro. Neos isnt about to underestimate LOTUS again, and is ready to send in this new warrior if Bigro isnt confident in her ability to seize Nagisa Kasumi.
Bigro, of course, is insulted by that: she can get the job done without taking help from either Golem or this Atross. Fair enough, Golem tells her to remember that vow and leaves. Bigros heading out, too, sniffing at the thought of the new warrior. If the girl even so much as troubles her slightly, shell tear her to shreds!
: Its been three years since we came here together.
: I remember that I ran back then and I hadnt come since. It still doesnt feel real that moms buried here. I cant even picture her face anymore
: Its by forgetting that people live on. That said, there are some memories that must never be forgotten.
: Yui taught me so much things I could never replace if I tried. I come here precisely to remind myself of it all.
: Do you have no pictures of her?
: There are none left even this graves just a piece of décor. Nothing of her remains.
: You got rid of everything, huh? My teacher said you would.
: I still have it all, safely within my heart. That will do for now.
: Its time. Ill be heading back.
: Um Thank you for today. Im glad we could talk
: I see.
: See, Shinji? You were so worried about this, but you two spoke and nothing bad happened.
: Despite your reservations, it was good that you came here with him, right? I mean, this is your mothers grave.
: I only came here because you pretty much forced me to.
: Only because I knew that, deep down, you wanted to do this. You should be a bit more honest about how you feel.
: If I did, Id probably just be miserable.
: Come, now. You rose above and beyond everyones expectations during both Operation Yashima and the battle with the Mimetic Beasts.
: So believe in yourself. Im sure your father does.
: Katsuragi speaking.
: The 7th Angel has appeared at Sagami Bay! LOTUS has been asked to deploy right away!
: The SDF troops are trying to keep it pinned down, but conventional weapons are pretty much useless against it.
: Copy that. Im heading back to HQ with the #01s pilot. Can the #00 deploy?
: Neither can, actually: both units are still undergoing repairs. Well be finished soon, but they wont be deploying until then
: Trying to repair both at once to save time blew up on our faces Speed things up as much as you can. Well be there in a few!
: As you say. Well prioritize finishing up the #01 as quick as can be done.
: Of all the worst possible moments Weve to hurry, Shinji!
Mission 23 - The Warriors' Encounter
: Weve reconfirmed the Angels route: its headed directly towards NERV HQ in Neo Tokyo 3!
: Its shape might be different, but this ones still after the same as the others
: Are they being commanded by someone, or are they simply following an instinct ? Theres so much we dont know about them.
: Whatever the case, we cant let it get any further.
: All we can do is keep the thing stuck here. We gotta wait til Shinji and Rei make it over.
: !! Iczer-3 deployed?!
: Iczer-3! The captains havent given the green-light to deploy yet!
: Im getting a very bad feeling As in the Nagisas are gonna be in big danger kind of bad!
: Please, Uncle Arthur! Lemme deploy on this one!
: I ask the same. Somethings been bothering me for a bit, too.
: (Does she have some sort of precognitive abilities like Iczer-1 and Lulu ?)
: Alright. If you say so, Ill allow it.
: Thanks, Lulu!
: And deploy the rest of our units too!
Kill the Angel, dont lose any ships or Iczer-3. No, really, you need to do this without any mooks to help your guys build up morale.
Good news is that most of your Supers should be more than well-equipped to pop the A.T. Field even at base morale; bad news is that the target hits HARD. Dont go too crazy with SP, as theres more coming, only prioritizing defensive spirits. Support Attacks from your bigger hitters will also really help.
A.T. Field (Strong)
30% HP and EN regen
What, they replaced the cool Israfel fight with THIS? Please
Same deal as the other Angels: it hurts, its somewhat resilient but will fall quickly if you can reliably pop its barrier, and has a MAPW centered on himself.
Spend a turn to get your folks close enough, and swarm for a one-turn kill. Its strongest attack is range 1-3, so if you can outrange that, all the better.
: That clock-like bit its like its taunting us to attack.
: Oh, boy, look at him wanting us to rush the thing down. Way hes focusing on that red thing, he oughta be piloting an ox mech.
: Its all good, I say. Humanitys on the line here, so I say we psych ourselves up and sink our teeth into that Angel!
: Letting our instincts run loose has been feeling more and more natural nowadays, huh? And with that in mind
: Lets go wild!
Heres its best attack.
: Didja hear? I got possessed by this evil spirit and saw Hell with my own two eyes! Now its your turn, and Jeegll dunk you straight down there!
: We managed to get rid of even the Mimetic Beasts. Should only be a matter of time before the Angels go the same way
: And Ill carry on fighting until that day arrives! Me and all my teammates!
: This is the fourth time weve fought the Angels You gotta admire enemies that always cook up a different gimmick for every attack!
: Still, theres absolutely not gonna be a Third Impact while Im here to say anything about it!
: Hrk I cant even anticipate how its gonna attack by looking at it. What a pain in the ass
: Guess that leaves only closing in and shooting til it stops moving !
: How is this dippy bird-looking thing as dangerous as it is?! But, alright, here I come to toss you into the trash!
Iczer-3: Found a baddiiee!
: Its up to the seniors to make sure our undergrads have a bit of an easier time! Here we go, Linebarrel!
Get the Angel below 28k, and
: Look at how fast it regens !
: Why does it always feel like theres no way for us to beat these things?!
: Now whats going on there ? Guess the EVAs really are the only ones that can take on an Angel.
: Bah, missed the core ! (Asuka)
: A red Evangelion ?
: Youre not going to last long if you go at it like that, Asuka. Go and reconnect your cable! (Hilde)
: Thats the Death Scythe and a Taurus!
: Hey there, Quatre. We just came back from Germany and we brought gifts, too.
: Duo! What a relief to see you well!
: So you two were assigned to back up the EVA-02s tests, huh?
: A Preventer agents work is never done, ya know how it is. But never mind that now; can you folks handle the #02s cable?
: Of course. Pilot of the #02, step by the Daiku Maryu please!
: No need. I can easily drop that Angel before the battery runs out!
: Hey, now, dont be so full of yourself. Its not good for you! This is a real battle, so you know anything can happen, right, miss?
: ! Youre preaching to the choir, kid!
*Asuka moves by the Daiku Maryu.*
: There. Happy now?
: Whew that girl didnt even give Asukas crusty shtick a chance.
: Shes being a bit more watchful of her teammates, isnt she?
: Seems Nagisas words got through to her.
: Weve a way to dispatch the Angel now. Troops, support the EVA-02 and eliminate the target!
: Alright, lets get back to it! Ill show everyone the power of a real Evangelion!
Evangelion Unit #02 (Asuka Langley Shikinami)
Support Attack L2
Attack Combo L1
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons power +100, Crit ratio +10, exp gained +10%, Land terrain rating: A
Whyd they feel the need to change her surname? I liked Souryu better Also, is her hair darker?
Regardless, Asukas built pretty much the opposite of Shinji: shes melee-focused in attacks and stats, though her defenses arent as good, shes way more likely to crit, but her range is mediocre. The #02 IS somewhat weaker than the #01 as far as raw weapon power is concerned, but its morale and EN requirements are significantly lower.
All in all, the EVA-02 is still a fine unit and, as with MX, you can absolutely deploy Asuka for the rest of the game.
Gundam Death Scythe Hell (Duo Maxwell)
Support Attack L2
Attack Combo L2
Active Cloak reduces beam damage by 1000
Hyper Jammer over 130 morale, 40% chance to outright evade an incoming attack (mitigated by Skill difference)
Squad Bonus: crit rate +10, melee weapons power +100, Water terrain rating: A
Sure would have loved to have you WAY earlier in the game, Duo. As in, when I was drowning in water stages!
Duo, as always, is a reliable unit simply due to the Death Scythe knowing exactly what its supposed to do and being tailored towards it. Mind you, hes not as powerful as he was in W due to Ls penchant for giving melee attacks piddly range: his Beam Scissors only reaches up to 1-2, which isnt that great.
You can compare Duo against Quatre, only hes completely offense and dodge oriented, in contrast to the latters support spec. Quatre has the Magnac guys to give him a lot more reach, though. On the flip side, Duo DOES have a rather accurate MAPW that hits everything in a 1-3 range problem is, like in W, it is not post movement and will hit your guys as well. Sending him into a big group for set-up can be dangerous with Ls evasion decay, so watch it.
Still, hes got accelerate, water terrain and a melee boost, so we can certainly field him as someones squaddie.
Taurus (Hilde Schbeiker)
Support Attack L2
Support Defense L2
Attack Combo L1
Squad Bonus: Money earned +10%, armor +10%, 1000 Barrier, HP+500
If Reis the likely best defensive support, Ill say Hilde is the best pure supporter we have right now (I wont say forever, as later entries might change that). You mean Noin could be rocking THIS Taurus all along if she hadnt painted hers the Cinq Kingdoms colors?! Sheesh.
Im guessing someone at Banpresto really likes Hilde, because they pretty much gave her everything needed to secure a permanent spot as any Supers squadmade for the rest of the game. I am even seriously considering upgrading her straight to 50% to further boost that bonus. Having a Resupply Module for a constant 10% EN regen is just the cherry on top.
As a pilot, though, Hilde is pretty dang middling. Her stats are the worst of any Gundam Wing units, and if I could have Noin take her place in this Taurus, I would (why cant I, Banpresto?!). Still, you really should try to make it work simply due to how amazing the unit itself is.
Now, back to work.
: I gotta hit a slim target like that ? But, still, we cant let it push us back!
: Only thing thatll work for us is bashing that guy with the biggest hit we can manage. Pick us an easy-to-tag spot, Hyouma!
: You got it! Were going straight for its head!
: Is this really a living creature? Its whole bodys hollow !
: Common sense doesnt really apply to these Theyre like the Vajra in that way!
: I can handle Angels just fine by myself! Everyonell see that we dont need LOTUS for this!
: Thats gotta be its weak spot its core right up there!
: I see no problems with that assessment. The first two Angels we fought always had their cores exposed, so this ones likely the same.
: I dunno how much of this guys punishment the Rushbird can take, but well at least try and keep it stuck here!
: This sensation is Iczer-3, somethings coming!
: Let them! Well see whats been bugging us!
: I am Bigro, one of Neos Golds four generals, and I am here to claim Nagisa Kasumi!
: Damn it, not now!
: Iczer-3 Well see how much of your power remains once youre taken far from this battlefield. Therell be no one left to protect the girl after Im done.
: Were detecting an energy distortion around Iczer-3 and the Cthulhu!
: I see By doing that, theyll be able to fight to the death and no onell be able to do anything about it. Its something of a death match arena.
: No way out of this for me, huh, granny?
: Thats right. Come!
: Iczer-3 and the Cthulhu have both vanished from our sensors!
: Iczer-3 ! Luca, do we know where she went?!
: Ive got nothing ! It looked like she was warped somewhere else !
: Maybe its like when Nagisa and I were kidnapped ?
: But Iczer-1 came and saved us back then
: Oh, no ! Is there nothing I can do for her, then ?!
: Whats wrong, Iczer-3? Is that all you have?
: U-Urgh Why Why am I feeling so weak ?
: Accept your defeat. The source of your strength, your partner, is still in regular space, forever out of reach. And now youll die without so much as a parting word from her!
: Nagisa help ! NAGISAAA!
*Back in the real world.*
: (Nagisa help ! NAGISAAA!)
: What is it?
: She... Iczer-3s calling me! Shes begging me for help and I cant do anything
: Yes, you can. Focus, and call out to her.
: Distance means nothing to the bonds between partners. If you really want to help Iczer-3, then I know that wish will reach her.
: Alright. Ill try.
: (Stay strong, Iczer-3! Im there with you !)
: (Stay strong, Iczer-3! Im there with you !)
: Okay, Nagisa! Ill be strong!
: Curse you ! You still stand?!
: Ive Nagisa with me, and no onell beat me while shes there! Ever! Iczeeer BOOOMB!!
: Captain! Theres Iczer-3!
: Ooorgh ! It cant be !
: Howd you like THAT!
: Oh, thank god youre safe, Iczer-3!
: Kill me, then! Death is all that awaits me now that Ive failed !
: If you say so Consider it your punishment for trying to hurt my friends.
: Iczer-3, stop!
: Why, Nagisa? Shed make you and Nagisa-1 suffer so much if I hadnt beaten her!
: I know that. But she cant fight anymore, right?
: Please, Iczer-3.
: Fiiine I guess I can forgive you, granny.
: And listen maybe you dont need to go back to Neos Gold? Im sure you could find a nice, quiet place to live somewhere.
: You You mean to dishonor me further?!
: N-No, I I can still fight! Come and face me, Iczer-3! You and your humans!
: Hahahaha! Oh, I cant watch anymore! How can you call yourself one of Lady Neos warriors after that?
: If you want to die fighting this much, I can make that happen. Lady Neos told me that the weak had to be made an example of!
: Shes with the Cthulhu?! They killed their own friends again?!
: Who are you?! You look like me
: I am Atross, and I am here to kill you in Lady Neos name!
: Atross ? And whyd you have to go and kill Bigro?!
: Didnt she say she wanted to die? You were taking too long, so I decided to do it myself Actually, shouldnt you be thanking me for that?
: All units form up around the EVA-02 and prioritize destroying the Angel!
: We dont know how strong the new Cthulhu android is, though, so youll have to also back Iczer-3 up!
: Aah, come on! Were busy enough already!
: Just leave the Cthulhu to us, Asuka. You worry about the Angel!
: You say, like ignoring them would be that easy !
: Good luck, Iczer-3 !