Part 100: Post-mission 29 Intermission (Includes Unit Analysis #12 - "It's not fat, it's JUSTIFIED!" Edition) and Mission 30 - PrologueAah, its been a while since weve had an intermission. We finally have available units so we can spend the cash weve been hoarding for the past 3 missions to get some upgrading done.
For the sake of tradition, here are your top aces:
Of course, I use the term loosely seeing how Shihomi didnt inherit Bless kill count and Lowe has just joined.
Being a new pilot gives Shihomi a crapload of BP to spend and well follow the Standard Ship Captain Guidelines (SSCG): 18 points in Shooting, 10 points in Defense, 4 points in Accuracy.
Lowe is all about getting up close to an enemy. His Red Frame doesnt have his bread-and-butter weapons YET (well get it soon enough) but well still build him the same.
17 points in Melee, 5 in Shooting (I wont increase this much, its just for those odd moments when hes forced to use his gun), 4 points in Evasion and Accuracy.
Professor is the pilot of Home, a battleship. Ergo, SSCG: 16 in Shooting, 10 in Defense, 4 in Accuracy.
Ill be spending the majority of my cash on Astray Red Frame. Valguard already has a lot of upgrades from the first act of the game and Red Frames upgrades will pass along to the other units of the Gundam SEED ASTRAY series so its a good idea to give him a nice boost.
The last chunk of cash is used to get Home a little bit up to speed.
All parts have been reset, so I'm seeting the Valhawk/Valstork parts in similar fashion as before. Valhawk takes a Booster (Movement+1) and Pierrot's Mask (Crit Chance +20%); Valstork takes a Cobham Armor (HP+500, Armor+100) and EN Megachip (EN Consumption -20%).
Do note that these 4 parts count as Valguard's parts when they combine.
Astray Red Frame takes an Apogee Motor (Movement+1, Mobility+5) and Learning OS (Critical Chance +10%).
Shihomi is still one of our best supporters so SP Cost -5% is a good investment. Also, with the ability to attack with the Valhawk and combine with Valstork, she could get some good mileage off a Support Attack.
Valguards high power makes Break Morale Limit a no-brainer for Kazuma. He also takes one of each Infight and Gunfight.
Lowe only needs Infight. Well keep that other Gunfight around for someone else.
Now, we may have seen Valguard before but only now has he truly joined the team so, lets have a quick look at it:
As youd expect from something with that name, Valguard is VERY resilient. You can see there it has a crapload of HP (no other playable unit in the game save for battleships can even get close), its armor is on par with Mazinkaisers (though Kazuma doesnt have Koujis Defense stat) and it can prove surprisingly dodgy seeing how it took mobility upgrades from the Valhawk.
Sad thing is that Valguard is one of the units that suffers the most from the broken Size Modifiers; with 2L, it is soooo much bigger than nearly anything youll encounter which wouldve resulted in a massive damage bonus (imagine that thing hitting an SS-sized enemy like a Tekkaman or Detonator). Of course, this doesnt diminish its value.
Valguards weapons are quite powerful though not as much as some of our top attackers (Shin Getter, Kaiser, Gaogaigar), though I suspect thats to compensate for its large size (Goddamnit, Banpresto ).
It suffers from a lack of range with its post-movement attacks but with Horis Accelerate and Assail spirits, you can minimize your annoyance.
Conclusion: Valguard is not your biggest powerhouse but its certainly the most useful powerhouse youll get. It can do anything, be it attack, defend, support, MAP, substitute units or act as a battleship if units need to run in to resupply and repair.
Ive mentioned this in the thread but youre not locked to the Valguard, you can still split to use Valhawk/Valstork again and its actually a good idea. I often prefer to use Valhawk as a mook destroyer since it has a higher movement and attack range and the Valstork is still as capable as ever (though no one in there knows Fighting Spirit or Valor anymore).
Mind you, you can pull something akin to the Dragon Brothers trick in which you can have Kazuma attack and Shihomi can call for the combination, allowing you to still move with the Valguard. Do note that this only works with Shihomi, if she attacks and Kazuma call for the combination, Valguards movement will be spent.
Ill go over the Red Frame once it gets in proper shape as it is, right now, its more or less like a Mass Produced Gundam so theres nothing special to talk about.
With all that done, lets get the next missions prologue going:
Brigadier General Garcia welcomes Captain Ramius to Artemis, who requests help to keep the Archangel, and its cargo, safe.
Murrue is expecting the Zaft troops that attacked Heliopolis to follow them here but Garcia is very confident in the defense provided the Artemis Umbrella, and tells Murrue to rest easy for a while until the survivors from Heliopolis are sent to Orb.
Murrue is a bit surprised at Garcias helpfulness but he says that, even though she's from the Atlantic Union and he's from the Eurasia Union, they're both from the Federation, right?
One thing he does want to see, though, is this new Strike Gundam and its pilot...
Kazuma is back on the mic for the ship's log, half a year older and perhaps wiser.
He now has a better appreciation for his father's admonition to treasure his memories, and is determined to commit them to the log.
He's interrupted however when Flay comes in to tell him that dinner's ready.
He apologizes to her for all the non-high society stuff she's being made to help out with, though he suspects the experience will be good for her in the long run.
He also tells her she needn't speak overly formally to him, since they're close to the same age and all.
Over dinner, Kazuma gets filled on what's been happening in his absence.
Galeon and Mamoru have gone off to deep space to help out certain people in need, initially accompanied by the GoLion team who are returning to Altea.
Lowe, ever the adventurous spaceman, is impressed that the rumors of the Wärter using alien mecha were true.
Things are less rosy where Akito and Yurika are concerned: Horis slowly says that the two of them indeed got married, over Admiral Misumaru's objections... but there was an accident during their honeymoon, and both were killed.
Kazuma grimaces, and wonders if the goddess of fate herself was determined the two shouldn't be together.
Akane wants to say something at this point, but Horis whispers to her to keep it to herself; as though to add insult to injury, Ines was lost not long afterward, in a similar accident.
Kazuma supposes that the explanation-happy scientist and the two star-crossed lovers must be raising a ruckus in Heaven - enough to get the angels of love on their side.
Once again, Akane has to be restrained.
After the Nadesico's immobilization, its crew have been scattered to the winds, some entering the military, and some returning to civilian life.
D-Boy and Miyuki have also been MIA since the Holy Valentine Light incident, but the Radam are still here and still a major menace.
Aki's been researching ways to get rid of them, for whatever help that can offer.
Flay is amazed that all this could happen in a mere six months Akane figures the people of Heliopolis didnt care for what happened outside their colony; Kazuma stops her, saying Flay isnt to blame for all this.
Flay, however, concedes that she has a point: listening to all thats happening throughout the Earth Sphere, shes become aware of how the peaceful upbringing she's had in Heliopolis was a lie.
Kazuma just hopes that the shock of facing reality and the conflicts abroad doesn't set Flay down a bad path.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Flay's dad is none other than the vice-president of the Atlantic Union, and is personally involved in searching for his daughter.
Upon hearing this, Flay mutters that her father has always been extremely solicitous where she's been concerned, though everyone else congratulates her on having a family that loves her so much.
The Valstork gets ready to hurry to Artemis, where the Federation army ship has taken shelter after the fall of Heliopolis, but first everyone present has to somehow stomach Akane's feast of mayonnaise-flavored everything.
Back at Artemis, the Federation's fourth fleet's experimental battleship, Nadesico B, has just arrived - captained by none other than Ruri.
A rather hostile Garcia wants to know what she's doing here, and she repeats what he already know: several Eurasian military strongholds in space have been destroyed over the past few weeks.
Garcia has heard the stories of a ghost space robot, and Ruri says that the military takes this seriously enough to dispatch an investigative mission.
The Nadesico is supposed to patrol as part of that mission, but Garcia is none too happy with the idea of a genetically- engineered wench, little different from the Coordinators, at its controls.
Ruri plans to carry out her mission, whatever he may say, but he refuses to give her any of the Artemis' data.
He thinks he's ready for the ghost, and believes this investigative mission is actually a cover for spying on Eurasia's military strength, on behalf of the Atlantic Union.
Ruri tells him of her disinterest in internecine Federation politics, and in the interest of letting her save face, Garcia will allow her to perform a visual inspection of the base.
Ruri hesitates, and Garcia taunts the "Electric Fairy"'s hesitance to use her own legs and not her computer.
Ruri regards him with her golden eyes and says that she'll take him up on his offer, and conduct her investigation in her own way.
Garcia figures the Atlanteans were hoping to throw him off guard with a little girl emissary, and thinks he's not falling for it.
His second in command wonders if this show of hostility won't just arouse more suspicion, but Garcia is prepared to cover his ass - even if it means Ruri and the Nadesico have a little accident.
He figures the Nadesico will prove crucial to keeping the Eurasian Union viable, and that if the truth about his dealings with "them" become known, it would bring about the Eurasian Union's downfall.
The subordinate doesn't sound fully convinced, but Garcia figures that "they", plus the Nadesico, plus that little kid he just acquired, must surely equal victory, if not leadership over the entire Federation.
He has his subordinate stand ready to destroy the Nadesico if it gets anywhere near Docks 12-13, using their new guests in the effort if necessary.
The subordinate has also lured "that" ship with the civilian aboard to Artemis, making Garcia's dirty work that much easier.
Garcia is sure that his luck has changed after being held responsible for failing to capture a Whispered and being sent to the rear echelon.
Harry is getting antsy while Ruri conducts her inspection, saying that he should have accompanied the captain.
Saburouta (yes, its the same Saburouta and, yes, he has dyed his hair a mixture of blonde and red) slyly notes that Harry is worrying too much about his beloved captain, rather wrecking Harry's delusion that all Jovian soldiers were brave and morally upstanding men.
Saburouta's smile turns more serious as he says that a lot has happened of late, and tells Harry to concentrate on the job Ruri gave him.
That job is hacking into the base's computers and looking for whatever the base commander is hiding.
Suddenly, Harry sees something strange: evidence that someone besides him is hacking into the base's computers...
A message, OTIKA, is being broadcasted across all of the Nadesicos and Artemis systems.