Part 180: Post-mission 49 Intermission (Includes Unit Analysis #22 - "ULTIMATE" Edition) and Mission 49.5 - Route SplitIt always feels good to finish such an awesome mission.
Were just about at the final stretch of the game but, before we do anything, our top aces:
All is right once again and Gais lead has increased due to Kazuma staying out for almost all of last mission.
Kazumas new long range attacks make him a good fit for more Support Attacks.
Gai Murakumo takes a Gunfight.
And, finally, Kouji nabs the last Support Defend.
Valzacard probably doesnt need any more defensive upgrades but extra weapon power is always good.
Hiver was lagging a bit behind Blade and Aki, so she takes a point in EN, Mobility and Weapons.
Kira and Athrun will be seeing action soon, so they each get a boost to Weapons.
Sousuke maxes out Mobility and also gets more weapon power.
The last bit of cash is given to the Dragon Brothers, so they can spam those EN-hungry attacks.
Genesic Gaogaigar becomes MORE invincible by taking Super Alloy New Z Alpha (超合金ニューＺα), the strongest Armor part in the game, for HP +1500, Armor+300.
All of Valhawk and Valstorks parts were returned, so Valzacard takes it all back and then some: Super Alloy New Z, Megabooster, EN Megachip and, finally, Kanames Paper Fan (かなめのハリセン) for the extra +30% crit ratio.
Finally, J takes Gaogaigars old Super Alloy New Z plus a Power Extender for a big EN boost.
Before we end this, lets take one look at one of our new toys Valzacard differs a lot from Valguard, so I reckon it warrants a look:
From the massive stats alone you can see the Valzacard is a monster of a tank (even more so with Shihomis dirt-cheap Iron Wall, due to all those SP Consumption parts).
Its got nearly as much Armor as Mazinkaiser and more HP and EN than any of our ships.
On this aspect, the broken Size Modifers help as much as they hinder: theyll let it dodge reliably with that 110 Mobility but hell take more damage when hit.
Valzacard main boost of utility comes from the fact that he has SIX pilots (Kazuma, Mihiro, Akane, Shihomi, Horis, Aria) and their spirits are now so varied that he can cover any necessity.
If Valguard had a heavy focus on melee attacks, Valzacard is much more of a ranged attack unit.
Only his Dimension Breaker is post-movement/chainable but everything else has a nice long range (Horis Assail and Mihiro/Arias Snipe will compensate post-movement limitation somewhat).
There ARE some issues here, though, and this is where the broken size modifiers really harm the unit: its attack power was set with his massive 2L size working properly since it isnt, it doesnt get the damage boost that wouldve propelled it to the top attacker spot (that rank will remain safely in Genesic Gaogaigars hands, Im afraid).
Another thing to note is that Valzacards really likes to chug through EN (EXA Nova Shoot Over takes 50 EN, Hi-Proton Smasher takes 30), so if youre planning on sending it deep into enemy lines, youll do well to add an EN Megachip.
Arias spirits added some nice flexibility to the unit, too:
- Fighting Spirit
Conclusion: Valzacard is one of the absolute best units in the whole game and, while the broken size hurts it somewhat, it still offers so much that you can ignore that issue.
Having those four Parts Slots also allow you to boost it further and taking six pilots for the price of one great unit is just too good of a deal to pass.
With that finished, lets start this LONG prologue:
Federation missile fighters are headed for the Zaft Boaz Asteroid base, a front line defensive position guarding the Plant homeland.
The forward defenses have already been destroyed, under the power of whats assumed to be nuclear missiles.
The base commader immediately gets pissed at the Naturals for breaking their promise not to use the Neutron Jammer Cancelers to attack them; regardless, there are several incoming and the artillery isnt able to take them all out.
The missiles reach their target and are completely annihilating the Zaft troops; the commander tells his troops to stand their ground because if this base falls, only Jachin Due will be left to impede the march of the Federation forces from reaching Plant.
One trooper relates that the missiles arent nuclear warheads: they're Fermion-emitting anti-matter munitions!
The Commander says that there's no way the Feds should have the technology to build such things, but that's cold comfort as the Boaz base is obliterated in a massive conflagration...
At Orbit Base, Taiga requests Regulate to provide as much information about The Database as possible and she is more than happy to help.
She says that they and their autonomous recording plant are relics from the 5th planet of the 13th system in the Omega cluster, products of the Primordial Culture known as "Es".
Hyuuma imagines that this fifth planet must have been destroyed and Akane is quite surprised that he seems so relaxed when speaking with Regulate; Shihomi figures its due to her similarity to their mother, a known friend of Taiga and Hyuuma.
Either way, Regulate confirms that the planet was destroyed, saying that it shared the same fate as the "previous universe".
She elaborates, saying that the three founding cultures in the galaxy (Es, Leo and Ancient Solar cultures) actually used time-space travel to come here from another space-time: part of the grand cycle of death and rebirth of the universe itself.
Noal and Yumi have a hard time believing this but Ines knowledge from living in the Ancient Solar society and Horis own studies confirm that such travel was possible.
Akana doesnt understand and Horis thinks theres only one way to explain it
Time for Ines to launch Naze Nani Nadesico (much to Trowas happiness) and todays topic is the universes cycle of death and rebirth.
Ines explains that one of the three founding cultures once dwelt in this star system, leaving behind the Ruins on Mars and various other artifacts; their fingerprint can also be seen in the advanced technology of the Mycenae, which was probably based on them.
All investigations of these relics lead to one concept: a cycle of death and rebirth of the universe itself.
The founding cultures in fact dodged the moment of cosmic demolition using time travel, bringing such artifacts as Golion and Galeon along for the ride; of course, not everything made the trip they obviously couldnt transport something as big as planets, which explains the end of the Trinary Solar System.
Ines continues that the current universe is similar to the previous one, but certain details like the location of the stars have changed with the rebirth.
This explains why this universe's Altea saw no traces of the Trinary system's culture, despite the two sharing a common ancestor.
But what about the fact that Golion has been on Altea for eons? And that Mamoru and Kaidou were born like ten years ago? How could they be from such ancient, pan-dimensional cultures and still be in one piece, considering that nearly everything else is long gone?
Regulate will explain, and doesn't even have to stand in front of the backdrop to do it.
She tells that the Es, like us, were aware of the Death and Rebirth business, and furthermore figured out that the Death part was very close at hand.
They therefore built The Database as a means of carrying their knowledge forward into the next universe; the vessel, and the memories of the Es it carried, were borne away by the dimensional storm on the final day of the previous universe.
Just as the Leo culture and Solar culture's time capsules must have been, each one containing their relics.
J figures that the Zondar and Sol Lords mustve been carried by the same dimensional storm but that doesnt explain why the Sol Lords only waited until now to start the regeneration of the Trinary System why not before? Regulate says that it may be mere coincidence that the relics of all three cultures have met in this particular universe but their arrival times were radically different.
The Database has been here for about ten millennia; the Solar culture, a mere three.
The Leo culture made it to Altea around 4400 years ago, but the survivors of the Trinary system (Sol Lords, Zondar and Mamoru) only made it here around ten years back - it was then that the Sol Lords first ran into The Database.
J realizes that his memories of battling the Zondar are actually from the previous universe.
The real question to Kazuma is relating to what Applicant said: how the heck could it be that Bless is actually the one who made the Database if they're from the previous universe?
To answer that, Regulate calls for Carret and unlocks a sealed section of his memory.
Carret goes all R2-D2 with the holographic projection of Blessfield Ardygun, who says he's sending this message sealed within the Valstork to the next universe.
He believes the Valstork should reach his birth planet of Mars and make its way to his father, should things go as he planned.
He explains that on 2/14 of Space Calendar Year 100, right as his ship was getting destroyed by Inference, he Boson Jumped thanks to the Tulip Crystal he kept as a memento of the cargo that led him to his wife; this terrifying burst of luck saved his life back when, tossing him fully fifteen *billion* years into the past straight into the previous universe!
With only a few decades left until the Big Crunch, Bless was rescued by the kind but despairing residents of the fifth planet.
He eventually shared with them the Trailer maxim that "Memories are hard to exchange for anything, so they'll make you money", which sparked their building of The Database to preserve the entire knowledge of their culture into the next universe.
Bless was the one who created the three personalities which control the recording Plant: the first is the Recorder and leader, scribe of knowledge and information; one is the Critic, passing judgement on the Recorder's acts and one is the Regulator, designed to harmonize Recorder's edicts.
He specially granted Regulate with the thought patterns of his wife Kazuma gets a little miffed at this, creating a copy of their mother and then sending her into deep space (though Taiga says that Bless was always a romantic).
And to look after the three of them on their endless journey of knowledge, he copied himself in his entirety to create Applicant.
Bless did all this knowing full well that The Database would become the enemy of other cultures in his own universe, what he doesn't know is what triggered this change.
So, as a little insurance, he borrowed more of the fifth planet's technology to make a counter, for use in the event something goes wrong with one of the three personalities; that would be the Valstork, which explains why its tech didnt resemble anything on the Solar System.
Horis realizes that Bless was able to build the ship because he had foreknowledge of it, as he had already sent it into the future to himself!
Ines comments on what a huge time paradox this looks like...
Anyway, he couldn't bring himself to tell the fifth planet's inhabitants of the trouble brewing at the time he was thrown into the past.
The last thing they needed, after finding such a small glimmer of hope amidst such great darkness, was renewed cause for despair; instead, he kept the Valstork's true purpose secret, and under cover of discarding it, sent it towards the Solar System, to the place where he knew his father would find it.
He even built in the ability for the Valstork to join up with the Arm Arcus and Arm Storer to assume its true form, which was to happen if two of the personalities controlling The Database were to ever break down.
That we're listening to this message means that this worst-case scenario has already come to pass; he tells whoever is listening to this recording that he prays from the distant past for their success in stopping The Database.
And should they meet any member of the Ardygun clan, he asks them to remind that person of the terror of space, the weakness of the individual... and of the importance of life.
Kazuma and his sisters have a hard time wrapping their heads around all this information it all seems so impossible.
His predictions came to pass, though, as Regulate describes a time some 3862 years ago when Recorder renamed himself Inference and altered the purpose of the recording plant; from that moment forward, it switched to a destructive recording process though, until now, The Database has never even had to fire a shot.
Something or other has always eliminated the objects of their recordings for them.
Tessa explains this seemingly peculiar change in purpose not as a programming error but as being a very human failing: wanting to monopolize whatever one's specialty is.
If knowledge is said specialty, it would be human to desire being the only bearer of that knowledge; such was Inference and Critic's plan, and in fact some 3519 years ago they even tangled with Golion - leading to Raimon's warning about the Scribes of Knowledge.
What's more, some 3000 years ago, they even visited Mars and Earth to "record" the data on the ancient Solar Culture's arrival.
The Mycenae bear memories of that encounter with the enemies from "beyond", but The Database found all living traces of the ancient culture already destroyed by the time they arrived.
What ruins remained were protected by shields of immense power.
Even The Database was unable to penetrate these defenses quickly, and withdrew from the Solar System for a time; their return was prompted by the rise of the new Solar culture (ours), and the intended end is the destruction of everything in the system after the data was collected.
Luckily, Bless sent us the means to stop The Database.
Horis, now more than ever, is overcome by admiration for this man he first met many years ago during his Black Technology reReplace With Oz.
Originally an infiltrator of Bless' tiny band of Trailers to study the tech on the Valstork, Horis was asked about his affiliation around the time of Oz's dismantling by none other than Bless himself.
Though Horis had done nothing to harm the perceptive captain, it still wasn't a pleasant feeling revealing that a spy was on the Valstorks his crew; but rather than kick him out, Bless urged Horis to stay, which he did gladly and, out of habit perhaps, Horis continued gathering information on Black Technology.
Kazuma asks why he never told us and Horis says that he tried to tell Akane once, during the junk gathering session at Heliopolis, though she thought it was going to be a proposition.
Akane, realizing that she was waaaay off-mark on her assumptions, quickly starts calling him stupid Horis for letting her make a fool out of herself!
Mission 29 posted:
: Theres no one here to get in the way, so Akane, I--
: H-hold on! Please, wait a second If you're gonna say it, then I have to prepare my heart
: So, please
: Hm, it seems its not gonna happen right now.
: I know you're in here, so please come out.
He tells the furiously blushing girl that that will have to wait until this war is over.
: Lady Regulate what should I do...?
: That seems pretty clear to me. Youre gonna fight together with us!
: But, Applicant is my Papa
: Kazuma Aria was based off the memories Applicant had of you.
: In her memories, it is only natural that she would think of him as her father.
: That guy isnt Arias father!
: Stupid Kazuma
: And hes certainly not our father. Hes just some huge idiot that forgot his mission !
: However, Applicant inherited all that Blessfield Ardygun was.
: Hes the copy of your father no, his existence should be called a second coming of the man.
: Thats still wrong ! Our dad is a man who knew about the importance of life.
: This dad destroyed civilizations and hurt other people !
: Stupid Kazuma
: Listen, Aria. Even if some people arent related by blood, it doesnt mean they arent father and child
: Our case is the opposite. That other man is not our father !
: But hes the only family I have !
: In that case, Ill be your big brother!
: Are you really that stupid ?
: If that guy is my father and your father at the same time, then were all brothers and sisters..!
: What are you all smirking about?!
: You sure youre big brother material?
: Yeah. Mihiro may be younger but shes already much more reliable.
: In this case, shouldnt you actually be her younger brother?
: I think shed agree if it's like that.
: Wouldnt she already agree if Mihiro just called her sister?
: C-come on, this was supposed to be my time to shine !
: You just seem to be trying too hard not to be yourself.
: Yup. You should just be you.
: Eeeh, shut up! Im always cool like this!
: A-anyway, Aria! Starting today, youre part of our family! Welcome!
: Welcome, Aria wait - sister!
: Mihiro you called me sister !
: Yes were family, after all!
: We are! We totally are! Youre all my family!!
: Well then, itd be nice if you called me big brother.
: Stupid Kazuma! Youre not even older than me!
: Oi! Ive had it up here with that stupid of yours!
: Please stop fighting, you two.
As for the Valstork itself, it's still busted from the fighting at Jupiter and won't be suitable for independent use for some time to come.
Fortunately, the combined Valzacard works just fine, especially with Regulate and Carret managing its systems; Kazuma is pumped to put it to work and asks whats the next target: The Radam? The Eviluders?
Taiga says that the Radam are, indeed, an immediate target: their trees are projected to be only a week away from blossoming.
Since there's no way for Mike Sounders' Disc X to wipe all the trees out, your only recourse is an assault on the Master System on the moon.
And on the one controlling it: Tekkaman Omega.
Freeman points out that, luckily for us, Tekkaman Omega has just surfaced the Radam mothership on the lunar surface.
Destroying the monstrous vessel looks hard, but Waltfeld enters the room saying that there's a weapon that can do the job.
Anti-matter warheads, the ace up the Federation Army's sleeve that theyve just used to destroy Zafts Boaz Asteroid.
The fact they held this card explains why they didn't protest Rose's New Year speech, and renders the mess with the Neutron Jammer Cancelers effectively moot; Liger and Balzac dont understand how they couldve made such a massive technological leap this quickly but Tessa can think of only one person who could have helped Blue Cosmos weaponize the technology so fast
Waltfeld supposes that the army will indeed turn those Fermion Missiles on the Radam ship... but not until after they've annihilated Plant.
Or rather, that's "if" they annihilate Plant: turns out the Zaft have a decisive weapon of their own, which one of Waltfeld's subordinates (Dacosta) confirmed on a suicide infiltration mission.
The weapon: an immense gamma-ray laser, code-named Genesis; It is capable of incinerating, not just the Federation fleet, but the entire surface of the Earth itself.
Lacus states that both sides of this insane conflict must be stopped, and with its repairs complete you'll have the Eternal, with the Desert Tiger at the controls, to help.
Our forces will be split in two: one half to the Moon, and one half to Plant.
The former detachment will destroy the Radam mothership, while the latter must somehow halt the fighting between Plant and Earth; at worst, this may mean figuring out how to defeat both the Fermion Missiles and the Genesis weapon.
As always, Taiga gives Kazuma the decision on which mission to participate in.
Whichever way you go, Gai vows to his uncle to carry on his father's ideals and bravery.
Renée tells J in no uncertain terms that she's along for the ride with him too and he wouldn't have it any other way - she's proven herself as a true warrior and her help will be needed against the Radam.
Tessa tells Sousuke that she's heading back to Merida Island to help analysis on all the data you've gathered so far.
She certainly isn't going to let Kaname's sacrifice for the Earth's sake go unanswered.
Neither is Sousuke, and Tessa is prepared to forgive Sousuke disobeying her order to save Kaname instead; in return, she gives him new orders, which take precedence over all else: save Kaname at the next opportunity., which he gladly accepts.
As Kazuma leads Aria to practice their maneuvers before the dispatch, something unexpected happens.
Aria tentatively thanks her new brother before quickly running off ahead, and Kazuma realizes to his horror that she actually seemed cute for a second.
Regulate is on hand to confirm that that's a no-no, since she's effectively another "him".
He knows that without her even giving him the mother act, and shaking his head thinks to himself that his dad is the most underhanded, good-for-nothing dude in the universe... and he wouldn't have it any other way.
As the Hawkeye's son, he's going to give this fight everything he's got using the Valzacard that he gave us!
Here we are, folks the last route split of the game, so lets get this voting time going.
On one path, well deal with the Radam and on the other well deal with all things SEED.
Heres the series breakdown:
- Nadesico: Prince of Darkness
- Detonator Orgun
- Tekkaman Blade I & II
- Full Metal Panic
- Gaogaigar FINAL
- Gundam Wing
- Gundam SEED
- Gundam SEED Astray
- Shin Getter
Voting will remain open until Tuesday, when Ill post the prologue to the chosen route.
See you all then!