The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars L

by Brunom1

Part 72: Mission 30 (Space Route) – Little Queen, Little Sister

Back in the Space Route, Ichitaka’s Vajra killing spree has pushed him father away from Kenji. And he’ll likely get a bunch more today, as we continue our trek through Macross land.

Now, before we get to upgrades, it should be noted that Klan herself comes with four upgrade bars, which is a ton more than I ever gave her Queadlunn. As such, I’ll likely keep her in this form not only for the survivability, but because I prefer the cash bonus.
We’ve a complicated mission ahead of us, and everyone’ll need to pull their weight. As such, all the cash I had went into giving boosts to our secondary folk – give them weapons, armor, EN, mobility, the works. Everyone needs to be able to hit reliably and for not insignificant damage.

Reason for that is because I’m deploying everyone, barring Rey and Yagyuu (safety net), as solo units. I also finally remembered to put Heine in the Gaia Gundam.
You’ll see why we’re going out like this in a bit.

By the Quarter, our people are getting reports that the number of Vajras around Island 1 is finally starting to decrease, but the protracted battle is starting to wear us down as well – we can’t repair and resupply our units fast enough. Even Iczer-3’s feeling beat up, and doesn’t understand what made the bugs so angry.
Unfortunately for her, Nagisa says she’ll have to head out again after a bit of a breather. And what Bobby wants to know is where Ozma and Cathy have run off to during this mess. The Bridge Bunnies have been trying, and failing, to get in touch with them, and Hilda fears the Vajra might’ve gotten them. Best not to go there, Ichitaka thinks.
But Jeffrey gets a call from Monica, saying ACTING PRESIDENT Leon Mishima has arrived.

Indeed, he’s taken up the President’s chair after Howard “unfortunately” met his demise at the hands of the Vajra. Talia is deeply saddened to hear that he died in such a way, and extends her condolences. That said, now isn’t the time for grieving: Leon has come to request LOTUS’ assistance with a mission.
The siege by the Vajra represents not only an unprecedented crisis for the Frontier Fleet, but it is also a knife at the throat of the PLANTs if left unchecked. They’ve got us severely outnumbered, Noin agrees, and that is why the Frontier’s thought up a plan. And the key to it all will be codename “Little Girl”.

What is it? A Fold Bomb developed by L.A.I., capable of destroying anything in a 50 kilometers radius. That sort of blast would engulf a chunk of the Fleet, Alto yells, which is why Mishima wants us to draw the Vajra elsewhere – then, they’ll detonate it.
As for how they’ll do that, Mishima notes the known fact that the bugs are drawn to Ranka’s song, so they’ll use that. “You want to use Ranka as bait for them?!” Alto isn’t happy, but the girl herself has agreed to it.

He has her escorted in to explain it all, and she confirms to Micchi that she really did agree to help with the operation. Hyouma asks if she’s actually okay with setting herself up as bait, and Mishima says it’s to avenge her late brother. It’s only natural for her to want this, no?
“Hey, hold on there, Mushroom Head!” Kenji protests. “It’s too dang soon for you to tag Ozma as having been killed by the buggers!” Oh, but news of his and Cathy’s disappearance almost coincided with the time the Vajra started tearing through the urban areas. Is it that absurd to take that they were among the many victims?
Maybe not, but Kenichi agrees with Kenji that the jury’s still out on that one; to say nothing of the fact that Ozma wouldn’t want Ranka to avenge him like that! But Ranka speaks up, and says it’s fine. This is a choice she made by herself.

Alto doesn’t like it, but Ranka figures if her song can help everyone – help Alto, in particular – then that is good enough for her. Jeffrey can see that we’re not changing her mind, so he asks where we’ll be gathering the Vajra. That’d be Island 3, and now it’s Klan’s turn to get mad: that’s one of the Zentradi’s.
Mishima understands that it’s an agricultural and sightseeing Island, but her people can easily be micronized and accommodated in the other ones. And there is simply not enough time to prep a different island for the operation. Once the Vajra have been drawn there by Ranka, they’ll blow them and the Island with the Little Girl.

Jeffrey’s a bit uneasy that they’d destroy an entire Island to exterminate the Vajra, but Mishima says it’s better than risking them causing even more damage. While we’ll need to wait for Lady Une to officially OK our participation in this Talia sees no problem in helping safeguard the Fleet from the things.
Mishima extends the gratitude of all of the Frontier’s populace, but inwardly he’s grinning like a motherfucker: “Heheheh… And, with this, we’ll be able to proceed to the next step of the plan. My turn is just around the corner…!”

Iczer-2 has fully recovered from her wounds and Neos Gold bids her welcome. Iczer-2 tags her as the spawn of mother Big Gold, and asks if it is true that she’s captured Nagisa Kanou. Indeed, thanks to the splendid work of her Four (one) Generals – they’re currently analyzing the girl in a bid to figure out the source of her unique powers.
Iczer-2 seems a bit disappointed that she can’t be put to actual combat yet, but, regardless, asks what of her sister. Currently hiding inbetween the dimensions along with the traitorous Sister Gray – she’s left Earth’s defense in the hands of Iczer-3.
3? Another warrior granted the Iczelio’s power, like Iczer-1. She could well be dubbed Iczer-2’s little sister. “My little sister? I care not for such nonsense. My target, my enemy, is Iczer-1 and no one else,” she answers quickly.

Well, Neos Gold figures destroying Iczer-3’ll be the quickest way to drawing Iczer-1 out into the open. Hearing that, 2 is now more than willing to “play” with her baby sister a bit. As she leaves, Golem wants to know why Neos entrusted that one with the destruction of Iczer-3.
Neos harrumphs at her, annoyed that she’d dare show her face again – surely she, as a commander in her troops, hasn’t forgotten that the price of failure is death. Golem begs for another chance, arguing that the Evangelions had never displayed teamwork of that level before.
Neos Gold calls her a fool, but, fine. She has ONE chance to redeem herself, and only if she successfully kills Iczer-3. There is no place for the weak among Neos’ generals! Golem confirms, and starts scheming: while Iczer-2 is the favorite warrior of Big Gold, she must obviously be weakened after all the time it took to recover…!

: This sensation… the tension ripping through the air… Ah, to be in the battlefield again…!
: Wait just bit, Iczer-3. I’m coming to end your life and drag my sister out of hiding!


: Stop right there!
: Hmph, what of you, weakling…? If you are here as my backup, tell Neos Gold that I don’t want any. You’ll just get in my way.
: “Get in your”…? Idiocy. I am the one who’ll destroy Iczer-3, and it is you who’s in the way!

*Blast! Warp!*

: … Impudent worm!


: I-I can’t be…! She’s too… stron…g…!


: This was the mightiest of her Four Generals? I’d laugh, if it wasn’t so pathetic. Now, where was I…?


: (That woman’s… so strong…! She’s going to crush Iczer-3! What should I do...?)

Mission 30 (Space Route) – Little Queen, Little Sister

: … The new president’s got a lot of nerve, cooking up a plan like this.
: Michel?! Weren’t you injured?!
: I couldn’t exactly stay in bed with all this going down… But I’m fine, and ready to go as usual.
: Well, don’t worry about watching my six anymore. And you better not make me cry again, or there’ll be hell to pay!
: Yes, ma’am… Any tears I get out of you will only be tears of joy, I promise.
: The Vajra are expected to start massing here as soon as Ranka starts singing. Once we’ve confirmation that they’re all here, we’ll detach Island 3. The Little Girl’ll be detonated right when the Island’s made it past the buffer zone.
: And I just have to keep singing until that moment?
: Right, and we’ll keep them all away from you. Once it’s time to go, we’ll get you out of here safely… So…
: So don’t worry about anything. Just sing.
: … Okay.
: We’re all counting on you, Ranka.
: And after this is finished, maybe you could put together another concert?
: Hmhmm. I’ll be happy to…
: … You don’t have to sing if you don’t want to, Ranka.
: !!
: Why… Why would you say something like that, Brera?
: Your song comes from your heart. It belongs to no one but yourself – that’s why.
: Thank you, Brera. But it’s fine…
: (I wanted my song to touch the heart of just one person… but I couldn’t. Still, this is that one person’s wish, so I…!)

: Aimo… Aimo… ♪
: (Come on…! I’m over here…!)

*Vajra spawns all around us!*

: Here they come!
: Sorry, Mr. Bugs, but I don’t want Nagisa and her friends to be sad…!
: Our objective today is to draw all the Vajras into Island 3. Don’t worry about shooting them down outright.
: Focus primarily on making sure none of them reach Ranka’s stage.
: According to our calculations, it’ll take about 8 minutes for all the Vajras to make it here. You must keep Ranka safe until then!

: 8 minutes, roger that!
: “That one person’s wish…” If making it real is your own wish, Ranka, then I…

Mission Objective: Protect Ranka for 8 turns.
Mission Failure: Any Vajra enters the target area, Alto or Iczer-3 shot down.

Oh, boy, this mission. I’ve heard plenty of talk about this being one of the hardest missions, and I can certainly see why.
You’ve a big area to defend that you simply can’t fully encircle even if you deploy everyone as solo units (there’ll be one spot open, and Brera’s AI controlled), there are enemies on all sides, and you’re kind of forced to rely even on folks you might not have been using too much. The Vajra are also very quick on their feet, and can easily blindside you. That’s why I don’t advise the aggressive approach, because all it takes is one breaking through your lines.

Still, there are a few things that can make your life easier. First and foremost, and probably THE most important piece of information for this: you should always prioritize the Small Vajras (the yellow ones, not the larvae). Their AI is hardwired to ALWAYS make a beeline for Ranka; the other ones are rather prone to attacking nearby enemies, but these are a lot more likely to just ignore you. And they’re also very fast. I’ve only seen the yellow Vajra ignore this rule if someone’s at their spawn.
Do note, however, that this doesn’t mean the other enemies’ll drop everything to attack your bait. They might still go after Ranka regardless (especially if they catch sight of a juicy target inside the target area), so be mindful of them. Oh, and the Red Vajras pairs are flier/walker twins, so, if you can take both out, get the flier first – the forest will really slow down the walker.

Resource management is the name of the game, as 8 turns is a lot and our stocks of SP aren’t too great. Provided you’ve been using the Nagahama bots, Kosuke and Megumi should already know Confuse, so use those to give your Reals two turns where they won’t need to cast Focus.
Ground whoever’s good on foot because Ranka’s stage area provides a decent boost to defense and evasion. Also keep an eye on your EN and Ammo, but don’t be stingy enough that you’ll leave a Vajra hanging close by: using an expensive weapon to quickly ease pressure on a side will allow you to shift attacks around more flexibly.

Now, I’m going for the defensive approach here. It’s what allowed me to beat this mission in one try, so I reckon it’s the safest bet. Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that you can check a target’s movement range like in any SRW. This is important, because it’ll let you know what you need to kill THIS turn, and what you can leave for the next.
You’ve two gaps to keep an eye at, so don’t hesitate to shift your people around to close an entryway if a Vajra’s too close and you can’t kill it. If you can only kill one of two targets, and one can be blocked off, but not the other, you know which one to pick. Again, check their movement ranges constantly to confirm which is which. New Vajras will arrive whenever you drop them under 12, so keep that in mind. All things considered, with this defensive approach, you should expect a new wave to be closing on your perimeter every 3 stages (but that’s not a hard rule).

Finally, don’t be afraid to send units out if you spot a nice chain attack (especially with guys that can oneshot both smaller Vajras), provided next turn they can get back in place. If you need to pop Valor to put a squad down quick, do it.
Take things slow, constantly check movement ranges, send people in and out as needed, and keep Duo and, especially, Rey’s MAPWs ready to use in a pinch. The first few turns are the hardest, but this’ll get progressively easier as your morale builds and you can reliably oneshot the enemy.

Brera’s AI will immediately cast Focus, Accel and Renew, and spawn camp at the north. He’ll be a fine distraction, drawing in enemies from N, NE and NW, and he can’t die, so I’m not too mad over the lost money.

The first turn’s a freebie, though, as all enemies, except the Vajra Larvae, will stay put.

: Seven minutes until the operation’s concluded!
: I’ll make you all pay for hurting Nanase!

And now the other Vajras start moving.

: Six minutes left! Keep Ranka safe, people!
: Yeah!

Since we’re running solo units, if you’re not comfortable using chain attacks, you’ll either have to make use of Support Attacks or Fury to bypass the Vajras’ support defense.

: I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger and kill you all if this boils down to only one of us getting to survive!


: Hrk…! Crap, the painkillers aren’t really cutting it by themselves, huh?
: Still, the pain’s keeping my eyes wide open, so I guess that helps. A sniper’s eyes are his life, after all!

: We’re letting you have one ship, but that’s it! You better never show your faces around here again!

: I swore that I’d keep Nanase safe…
: So you’ll have to forgive us, Island 3! If we let the Frontier take any more damage, it’ll be the end of our fleet!

: Five minutes left…! Where were these many Vajra hiding at…?!
: (Urk…! I’m hurting… inside…!)

As I said before, you can send folks out to weaken with chain attacks, provided they’re in range to plug the new opening they’re creating. Heine’s cheap, powerful Gryphon 2 does that nicely, and our remaining folks can pick off what’s left.

: The fate of the Frontier’s riding on this battle! We need to draw as many of them as we can!

: That guy, Leon’s, attitude really rubs me the wrong way… but we still need to work as hard as we can to help Ranka!

: Hm…? What am I feeling…?
: Is something wrong, Iczer-3? Are you sensing Atross?
: No… It’s something a whole lot weirder – and scarier. Eyes, hiding in the darkness… looking right at me.
: Then… Then maybe you should let the others handle the Vajra, Iczer-3!
: No, no, I don’t wanna be treated like a baby! I’ll fight them too!

Once the enemy’s turn four rolls around…

: Wah?!
: Iczer-3!
: That was close! Who did that?!

: It’s…!
: Watch out! That’s Iczer-2, your big sister!
: Whuh?!
: So you’re Iczer-3… the sorry creation of Sister Gray…
: Then how about I put you to the test? Prove yourself as my little sister… as one of the Iczer siblings.

*Iczer-2 rushes 3 down!*

: Oow! What the hell?!
: Listen to me, Iczer-3, because I’ll only say this once. We, Iczers, have no room for those that are weak. Much less a young sister who cannot measure up to her elders…
: Iczer-1… my big sis never said anything like that!
: And I am not her. Show me the depths of your strength!
: Why, you!!

: …! Is she stronger than she was before?!
: Hmph, you have raw power, at the very least. Unfortunately for you, battles aren’t won with just that!
: Whaat?!

*Iczer-2 warps all around 3!*

: Ah? Oh?! Awawawa!
: And your movements are too haphazard!

: Waaaaaaaaah!
: Iczer-3!
: What’s the matter? Your other sister was a far greater challenge than that, you know.
: I’m not done yet…! If I got beaten here, Nagisa… and the Earth would… Hrgh!
: Your end has come, Iczer-3!

: Hm?!

: You are…!
: Atross!
: You’re not killing her!
: That girl… Has she found a different path than fighting us…?
: … You are Neos’ servant, are you not? You’ll betray the Cthulhu?
: Lady Neos lied to me! I thought I was her daughter, but I’m not! So I won’t let you kill Iczer-3… I’ll stop you even if it costs me my life!

: Pfeh… I’ve lost my appetite now. When you find Iczer-1, relay a message for me: “I, and no one else, will be the one who’ll kill you.”

: Stop!
: Uh-Urrgh…
: …! Hang in there, Iczer-3!

*Atross moves after her.*

: Atros… Why did you…?
: I’ve tormented you and Nagisa so much… but I’m done.
: Nagisa, do you hear me?! I’m bringing Iczer-3 over to you! I want to make up for what I did!
: Thank you! Just follow my telepathy and you’ll find me!
: Understood, Nagisa.

: We’ve confirmation that Iczer-3’s made it out safely. The rest of us will carry on with the mission!
: Aye, aye!
: Keep at it, Ranka…!

And now we have a new gap in our defenses… I seriously hope you didn’t have any yellow Vajras being blocked on Iczer-3’s side, or you might simply be screwed here.

: Go to hell, Vajras! You can have Island 3, but leave and never return!

: There’re still so many flying around…! But we just need another four minutes! We need to keep things steady until then!

: Why are you attacking us?! What are you after?! If it’s bullets, then I’ll give you your fill!

: Just three minutes left… Stand firm, people! Psyche yourselves up and don’t give them an inch!
: (Hrk… It hurts…!)

: We will hold this line…! If we don’t, both the Frontier and the PLANTs will…!

: Couldn’t we just have used a bunch of bug lights or something? That way, we wouldn’t need to put Ranka through something as dangerous as this…!
: Hm, it’s a shame that the Rushbird can’t attract the Vajra. In which case, we’ll just have to do everything we can to make this go smoothly!

: They’re still not all in here…?! How much time left, Tsubaki?!
: Two minutes! Just a bit longer!

: Only 60 seconds until the mission is done! This is it, folks!

: It’s time! 2nd Lt. Alto, take Ranka and evac!
: Yes, sir!

*Alto flies to Ranka’s stage.*

: Come in, Ranka!
: Alto!
: Ranka’s secured!
: We’ve confirmation! Island 3 has been purged! T minus 1 minute until Little Girl is detonated!
: There it goes. All forces, full retreat!


: An excellent job, Little Queen. What a difference 11 years make, hm…?

We’ve made it out and Alto is very grateful to Ranka for everything she did. She nods, but inwardly wonders if it was the right thing to do. All those Vajra died because of her song, and she still doesn’t know what to make of that sharp pain she felt inside her as the bomb went off.
Her thoughts are interrupted when Mishima calls in to also thank her for leading the operation to success. However, today’s battle merely defeated the Vajra that invaded their fleet – this battle will not end until every single one of them has been destroyed. Ranka doesn’t like hearing that. Will she continue to sing for them, to ensure their victory and survival?
Ranka’s progressively growing frown soon gives way to an apology: “I’m sorry, but I… I can’t sing anymore!” And she runs off, leaving Mishima to wonder what happened. Rey notes that despite her being in battlefields before, she is still a civilian – the destruction that unfolded before her eyes has likely disturbed her plenty.

Kenichi sees his point, as being forced to sing as tons of dead Vajras fell all around you would scar anyone. Seems to Mishima that they’ll need to assign some mental care for the girl, to make sure nothing obstructs the success of future operations… and Grace will handle that job.
But, whatever the case, the Vajra threat has been repelled for now and the Frontier Fleet is safe. Mishima is certain Howard would’ve been overjoyed, and extends the fleet’s gratitude for our efforts. Now, he has to oversee preparations for the next offensives in his Vajra extermination campaign, so he signs off.

The thought of extermination leaves a bad taste in Kenichi’s mouth, and Kyo agrees: the new president’s way of thinking is a whole lot more extreme than the former’s. You can see that just from today’s operation.
Rey counters that extreme measures were necessary, as the rampaging Vajra even did damage to nearby PLANT colonies. Sure, but Alto still doesn’t agree with the guy’s idea of using Ranka as bait…

By Island 1, Ranka’s back a Griffith Park and isn’t happy: “I can’t do this anymore… Why me? Why does my song affect the Vajra…?” But she’s brought back when Ai-kun flies over.
Now where did the little guy go? She’s been worried sick! Never mind that, as Ai-kun starts glowing and transforming!

Oh, my god, it’s a Pokémon!

: I can’t go back to the Cthulhu anymore…
: And you don’t have to. You can just stay with us!
: …! I’m your enemy, remember? A warrior created to destroy you?
: No, you’re not, Atross. That’s why you saved Iczer-3!
: Right, and that makes us friends!
: “Friends”…? That’s insane! I’ve fought and hurt you and your friends as your enemy! How can you say I’m a friend now…?!
: Ah, don’t worry about that. Everyone screws up once or twice. What’s important is what you’re gonna do from here on out!
: That’s very well said… Who are you and what did you do to Kenji?
: Blah, gimme a break, Tsubaki.
: But if I hadn’t attacked you back then, Nagisa Kanou wouldn’t have been taken by Golem…
: I can’t even imagine what she’s going through at Lady Neos’ base… and it’s my fault…!
: If you feel that way, then come with us and help rescue her.
: Hmhmm, that’s how you can take responsibility for what happened.
: Speaking of, do you know where Neos Gold is hiding?
: Not really… the Cthulhu fortress hides itself between dimensions, and it’s already left the spot I knew of…
: I see…
: Chin up, Atross! The only way to move onwards is to look straight ahead, not at your feet!
: … I understand, and I’ll try my best!
: That’s the way!
: Thanks for everything you said, Nagisa. I really, really like you!
: Oh, Atross, you’re such a sweet girl…
: HEEEY! Nagisa’s my partner! You can’t hug her without clearing it with me first!

*Beep, boop.*

: Hm? A message from Ranka…?

Alto’s run up to Griffith Park, wanting to know what happened, why she’s not singing anymore. Ranka has a favor to ask of him, though, and waves Ai-kun over… and he looks very much like a Stage #2 Vajra larva! Alto flips out and draws a gun, but Ranka begs him not to shoot. Why?! It’s a Vajra – one of the things that’s brought so much pain to the people of the Frontier!
“But that’s not the case with him! He’s just shed his skin, so he hasn’t done anything wrong!” Ranka protests, but Alto isn’t budging. “So long as any Vajras are around, the sky’ll erupt into a battlefield again! The only way for us to survive is by killing them!” he says.

He tries pushing Ranka off the way, and earns himself a punch from the suddenly appearing Brera. He asks Ranka what she wants, and he’ll make it happen. Thinking a bit, she turns to Alto: “Alto… these past days, I’ve been slowly remembering things from my childhood. I’m kind of scared of what I’m going to find out, but… but it’s something I have to know. I just feel like I have to… and that’s why I need to go.”
Go where? “I want to at least bring him back to his friends,” she says. And Brera understands, immediately summoning his VF-27 and beckoning Ranka aboard.

: Alto…
: Ranka, please, this is insane! Don’t go!
: To be honest, I wanted to make this trip with you. I wanted to be with you forever.
: Ranka…!
: Alto… Goodbye… I loved you…!

*The VF-27 flies away.*

: Ranka! Don’t go! RANKAAAAAA!!

At President Mishima’s office, turns out this is all part of the plan. They’ve pinged Brera’s route and know that he’s headed to the Vajra Homeworld with the Little Queen in tow. The girl’s pet Vajra will lead them there… you see, the major influx of Vajras, and their constant cries, have beckoned their homeworld itself to Fold into this universe.
Now it is only a matter of following the Little Queen and they’ll find the planet in due time. Mishima is ecstatic, and figures he needs to make ready to head over there right away.

Grace inwardly sneers at how small he’s thinking: he’s so giddy over all the Fold Quartz lying in wait at the Vajra HomeWorld… “But, to me, the crown jewel of that planet is the being that managed to Fold the entire homeworld”.
Whatever the case, Mishima thinks they should cover their bases. He wants a substitute songstress readied for the eventuality they lose the Little Queen. Oh, Grace says he doesn’t need to worry one bit about that: “As it turns out, the fallen songstress has exceeded my expectations. I’m certain you’ll be pleased…Hmhmhmhm…”