The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 2: Mission 1 (Rand) - Wandering Repairman

Before the title screen, the game treats you to an awesome cutscene to showcase all the series that are involved in the game:
Very nice, indeed.

With that done, welcome to the world of Rand Travis and his awesome Super Robot, Gunleon.
For those that are unfamiliar with the genre, a Super Robot is, essentially, any big, hulking power-based machine that carries ridiculous weapons – rocket punches, HUGE swords and planet-busting weapons are all a-given when you’re dealing with them.
It’s among the oldest genre in anime and notable examples include Mazinger Z (the first, true-to-form Super Robot), Getter Robo (the first combine-able Super Robot) and Gaogaigar (the first Super Robot).

No, Tetsujin was not a Super Robot. Go away!

Like most console SRW games, it gives you the option to choose the birthday and blood type of your chosen protagonist and, while this may seem like a purely aesthetic choice, it does have an impact on your gameplay.

You see, each different birthday/blood type permutation carries a list of Spirit Commands (“spells” that your character can cast during its turn), so you’d do well to choose one that would carry a list that offers good commands to your unit.
Because I’m cheap like that, I’m gonna pick the 11/11 B set; this is the spirit command of the SRW series’ director, Takenobu Terada, and almost always carries an exclusive set that has a bunch of powerful spirits at lowered costs.

You can set a different name for your main character, too, but I’ll keep it as is.
Now, let’s get this show going!


It is an age where the old civilizations and environs of Earth have faded, in which different lands have given rise to different societies, different cultures.
Though mankind has lost much throughout its history, it has always managed to build anew.

The privileged "Innocent" society, which controlled most of the largest continent in the Northern hemisphere, has been laid low by a new breed of humanity of their own making: the "Civilians". The United Nations Earth (UNE) of the rest of the globe, nearly eradicated fifteen years prior in the Seventh Space War, has nearly regained its strength. The same can be said for the UNE's opponent, the Space Revolutionary Army.
Their tribulations have also afforded the downtrodden "Moon Race" the chance to act.

As the world approaches a time of change, the people are consumed with the struggle for their daily bread, unaware of what their future, or their past, holds...

Location: The Land of Zora

Mel is chatting with a Breaker, who's gotten a rare bit of buried treasure: a very special camera from Siberian Rail.
This company's been busily unearthing pre-Cataclysm stuff in Siberia, repairing it, and selling it to the people. The Breaker reminds her that every so often they find something really hot, and although he won't say just how he came by this baby, he figured he'd offer it to her first before selling it at the bazaar.
He asks for 200 Blue Stones, or 20k gold, and says it’s a major bargain - Mel's been needing a camera anyway and figures she shouldn’t let this chance pass.

That is, until Rand shows up and yells at her to wait a second, asking what is it that she’s planning on wasting their hard-earned money on.
She says she’s not wasting it, she thought to use it to fill up her “memory notebook” with lots of pictures from their travels.

: Ehh, miss…who is he?
: Sorry! This is my husband!
: Who is your husband?!
: ACTUALLY, the name's Rand Travis. Wandering repairman and Beater Services’ vice-leader…
: People know me as THE HEAT!
: Beater Services…?! Then aren’t you actually The Cru-
: Hmmm?
: N-no! Never mind!
: Either way, show me this “bargain camera” of yours.
: I tell ya, this here’s a real treasure. Scout's honor!
: Hmph… You may be able to trick Mel but you ain’t gonna fool me. This guy’s a total crook!
: Huh?! What?!
: What’s up with this "Made in" brand? It’s written here as “SIBERIA”!
: Siberia is spelled “CIVELIA”! You oughta know better than that!

Rand’s mistake is due to the fact that, to the Japanese Katakana (the letters used in, among other things, the writing of international words), both Civelia and Siberia would be written the same way: シベリア.

: H-hold on, mister!
: You better get outta here right now or I'm gonna have my wrench do the rest of the talking!

*The Breaker runs away.*

: Heh…did I scare that crook so much that he forgot his camera?
: Mel, throw that piece of junk away already.
: Darling…
: What?
: It is spelled “SIBERIA”.
: Ah…!
: …
: …Oh, yeah! I found something I wanted to show you! Come on, Mel! This way!

*Rand Leaves*

: Oh, brother…He always brute-forces his way through everything…
: Sorry, Mr. Breaker… I promise I'll pay you for this camera the next time we meet. I might as well put it to use until then!

Location: Zora Bazaar – Meeting Grounds

At the bazaar, Garrod is busily drumming up interest in a large object draped in a sheet behind him – Geraba and his gang are having a look at it.
Its silhouette suggests a Walker Machine or Mobile Suit, and there's plenty of those rusting away on the American AMERIAN continent – nothing worth this much noise.
The fall of the Innocent has created a thriving trade in "pre-owned" mecha…


Information corner – Topic: Innocents –
A scientifically-advanced branch of humanity which lived in domed cities called "Points". The Innocent gave Walker Machines to the Civilians, and in return purchased the Blue Stones they excavated.
Their ancestors were humans who fled to space to escape the Cataclysm. Upon their eventual return, they found the desolated land Zora, whose very air was said to kill after a few short hours.

Their former home was now a place of limitless peril. Thus, they created a new species of Mankind better suited to the Zoran environment, the Civilians, to be inheritors of their civilization.
They successfully ingrained into the Civilians an economy based on worthless blue stones, and the notion of the Three Day Rule; fearing the loss of control over Zora, Kashim King (more on him later) decided to campaign against the Civilian resistance – until his eventual defeat.

Garrod freely admits to the “clever Breaker” that he's come from Ameria but his item is much more impressive: it’s a Gundam!
All the Breakers gasp at this, remembering how these were known as the strongest of all mobile suits: there are people that say a Gundam once defeated 12 lesser MSs in 3 minutes and moved so fast as to even cut missiles in half!
A Gundam is even suspected to be behind the pillar of fire that lit the southern skies fifteen years ago. Garrod is glad they’ve heard of them and Geraba asks for the price and Garrod tells them to make an offer – highest bid wins!

The opening bid is 2000 Blue Stones but Garrod says that’s hardly appropriate for a Gundam so the Breakers start offering cash: 300k, 330k, 400k…
That’s still no good for Garrod, who demands at least 600k for his unit and won’t lower it by a penny.
Geraba is quickly getting annoyed at the brat and a Breaker asks what they’ll do: Hola will be arriving soon and he won’t be happy with the current results...Geraba knows that and decides to take a different approach.
As they leave, Garrod is still calling for buyers: a Gundam for a measly 600000 bucks!

Rand then shows up and starts checking the machine over.
Garrod gets a bit startled, telling him to not touch his "GX". Rand sees that it is the genuine article, but in rather poor repair.
As such, he offers to buy it for 500 bucks and, while Garrod is not amused and continues to demand 600k, Rand is prepared to throw in maintenance AND to take Garrod under his wing.
Rand figured that Garrod has no friends or acquaintances in this area and, judging from his origins in another continent, figured he’s one of those people that got warped over here.
He’s in the middle of introducing himself when an explosion rocks the area.

Mel runs over, yelling that the Breakers are storming the place with their Walker Machines.
It seems they’ve decided to take the Gundam by force and Garrod is prepared to set out against them once Rand stops him. Watching the kid, he imagines it’s been two, three days since he’s eaten and it’s obvious that Garrod’s in no shape to fight.
Rand tells him to leave matters to him: the Wandering Repairman – THE HEAT!

Mission 1 (Rand) – Wandering Repairman

Geraba and his men are bombarding the Bazaar, thinking he can scare the brat into abandoning the Gundam.
Getting such a prize should earn him a major pat on the back from boss-man Hola.
Their attack is interrupted when someone has the gall to get up on the mic for the town PA system: that someone has a public service announcement for this amazing repair service – the Wandering Repairmen of the Beater Service!
They repair anything, from machines to landships, and adds that anyone who gets in their way will be politely beaten into teeny tiny little pieces by…

: By this Gunleon!
: Oh, no, bro! It's HIM!!
: What?! The guy’s famous or something?
: Heh…My name is Rand Travis. People know me as--
: It’s THE CRUSHER!! The biggest bad guy of them all!
: You…I really don’t care for that name, alright?
: W-what’re we gonna do if we're up against The Crusher?!
: For the second time, I really don’t like that name!
: Eek! The Crusher is getting angry!
: Stop saying that name, then!!
: I-it’s over…The Crusher is our enemy…
: I'm begging you…please, stop with that name…
: Aah…They don’t know. To my Darling, that name is--
: Damn it! I don’t give a crap about knowing crap about The Crusher! He gets in our way, he gets a whoopin'!
: Come on, The Crusher! I’m gonna get my hands on that Gundam once you're dealt with!
: How…how dare ya say that name seven times…!
: Wait, Darling! They said it eight times, I think!
: Hold on a sec there, girl! It was six times!
: Why are you even counting?!
: I don’t even care anymore. Y'all went and called me by that name, so Imma just…
: Dismantle all of you!

Z’s Skill Points are often named as some of the hardest in the PS2 era; still, I’ll be trying to get them all.
The only exception will be if focusing on the Skill Point would hinder a secret from being completed – in that case, I’ll prioritize the secret.

Now, before anything, let’s have a look at THE HEAT:

Gunleon (Rand Travis/Mel Beater)
Pilot Skills:
Spirit Commands:
Squad Leader Bonus: Debuffs are ineffective against the squadron.
Rand’s voice actor: Yoshihisa Kawahara (other known works: Kippei Tachibana in Prince of Tennis and Adams Tinel in Gundam AGE).
Mel’s voice actress: Mai Aizawa (other known works: Ayano Minegishi in Lucky Star and Mio Naganohara in Nichijou/Regular Life).

Gunleon is a Super Robot through and through: it’s bulky, has a lot of HP and Armor, can’t dodge worth a damn but packs a wallop with his weapons.
Its biggest weakness is that most of its weapons lack both range (highest being 1-5, his TRI attack) and accuracy (only the strongest attack, Riot Wrench, has a good-ish accuracy rating) but, having chosen the 11/11 B set, Attune can be used to cover that weakness a bit.
Also, as a true repair-bot, Gunleon is equipped with a Repair Module that gives its squadron a passive 10% HP Regen (at the start of the player’s phase) or can be used to heal a unit directly.

As I said, Gunleon isn’t the most accurate unit and, despite this being mission 1, you CAN easily lose this skill point if Rand gets too unlucky with his misses.
Thankfully, it’s a short mission, which means we can spam Attune on him throughout the entire thing.

Geraba is standing waaaay far back so, for now, let’s have Rand move forward and target the nearest Breaker.

: Let’s go, Gunleon! We’re gonna dismantle all of these thugs!
: Do it, darling! Go, go!
Of course, right as I say Rand can’t dodge worth a damn, he pulls it off.

Nothing else for us to do here, so we’ll end our turn.

Enemy Phase!

The Breakers start closing in and two Trads attack; Rand is hit by one but both of them get destroyed easily.
Once you kill two mooks or turn 2 comes around…

: The “Blazing Mobile Suit Pilot”, Garrod Ran, is here and ready to rock!

Geraba, of course, is a little surprised when the brat deploys in the same MS that he was trying to steal. When Rand asks if he’s OK to do that, Garrod tells the “old man” that his “wife” gave him some emergency rations – he’s all good to go.
Rand has two things to tell Garrod before they begin: 1) he's an adult man, not an "old guy", and 2) Mel isn't his "wife" (not yet, she says).

That's cool with Garrod, provided Rand doesn't refer to him as "kid" or "boy" either.
Garrod's plan starts with working off the price of the food he just ate, and with all the practice he's had taking out Vultures, he plans on giving the Breakers a taste of what he can do with this here Gundam.

All other Breakers start closing in but Geraba is staying put.

Player Phase!

Now, for some “strategizin’”: the Skill Point requires us to wrap things up by the end of turn three but most mooks are on Garrod’s side – this means Rand needs to start moving there NOW or we won’t take Geraba out in time.
Problem is, there’s still a mook on Rand’s side that needs killing; as such, we’re gonna scroll over the target and check his movement range, which is 5.

If you can’t be arsed to remember the limit of his range, you can press R3 over a square on the map to place a marker (pressing R3 over it again will remove it) – there’s a maximum of 6 markers you can place, I think.

You can’t always know what the AI will do but, since this is a small battle with only two units, it’s damn near certain that the Breaker will walk all the way forward to take a swing at Rand during his turn – once this happens, Rand will be in the clear to take him down.
The Breaker’s attack range is 2, though, so Rand needs to move only slightly forward lest he get out of range.

I might as well show this now: this button is your best friend as it leads to the Spirit Command Menu.

The Circle button will cast the selected spirit while the Square button will allow you to mark as many spirit commands as you want to cast and use them all in one go when you press circle (provided you've enough Spirit Points, SP, that is).
It’s a damn handy feature that started in the PS2 era and you WOULD miss it if you went back to the older games.

In any case, Garrod casts Invincible just to keep it as a safety net in case his lower-than-average evasion screws him over.

Before we move along, let’s take a look at our newest friend:

Gundam X Divider (Garrod Ran)
Pilot Skills:
Spirit Commands:
Squad Leader Bonus: Damage Taken -10%, Money Earned +20%
Garrod’s voice actor: Wataru Takagi (other known works: Fernando Albark in SRW OG Gaiden, Zangief, Sodom, Adon, Birdie in many Street Fighters, Tobi in Naruto and many others).

Garrod’s Gundam X Divider provides the Real Robot action on this mission; unlike Gunleon, it is way weaker but makes up for having longer-range, mobility and accuracy.
Garrod is a bit odd of a pilot, though, and is much less dodgy than you’d expect (as evidenced by the fact that he knows Prevail and Invincible); still, he can handle his own and the X Divider is a great mook destroyer with both a TRI and ALL attack (more on those once we start facing enemy squads).
It may get outclassed by much better real robots as the game goes along, though.

With that done, let’s have him go after a nearby Caprico with his Long Beam Saber.

: I've no idea what dragged me all the way here but I’m getting back to Tifa, whatever it takes!
: No way I'm getting dropped in a place like this!!

Capricos are made of sturdier stuff but they’re still not all that.

Enemy Phase!

Just as planned, Rand’s Dagger charges right at him; Rand gets a critical hit, taking it down in one shot.

Garrod is jumped by another nearby Dagger, whose successful hit is blocked by Invincible, and the other two Capricos; one of those manages to get a clean hit on Garrod, dealing some 250 damage (Walker Machines are HORRIBLE against flying targets, so they get a big damage penalty).
Sadly, even the weakened Caprico manages to hang on.

Geraba starts coming over.

Player Phase!

All weakened mooks can be killed during their turn but we NEED to deal some damage to Geraba now in order to get him to suicide against our troops (Garrod casts Invincible again, just to be safe).

: Hey, boy! If you know what’s good for you, you’ll hand over that Gundam right now!
: No way! This guy's what keeps me and Tifa together!
: But you were trying to sell it!
: Things are different now! I gotta get back to her, even if it means leaving the GX! But I would never hand it over to creeps like you, old man!!
Aye, that works nicely.

Quickly now, let’s take a look at Geraba and his Promeus:

Promeus (Geraba Geraba – yes, that’s his name)
Pilot Skills:
Squad Leader Bonus: +20% attack power during Support Attack
Geraba’s voice actor: Tomomichi Nishimura (other known works: Jamitov Hymem in Zeta Gundam (more on him in Setsuko’s route), Akuma and M. Bison in the Street Fighter series, Oonoki in Naruto and many others).

Rand positions himself exactly 6 tiles away from Geraba because, while the AI of most mooks was focusing on Garrod, Geraba will often charge straight after Rand.
His longest attack is range 1-5, which means, at this position, he’ll be forced to come closer (close enough to be hit with Rand’s strongest attack).
I’ll even take the time to open a clear path for Geraba to get in our face.

Enemy Phase!

As expected, both remaining mooks gun for Garrod, who takes them out.

Finally, Geraba takes my bait and charges straight at Rand, allow me to finish him off with Gunleon’s strongest attack: Riot Wrench.

: You can't afford the thing, so you decide to just pillage the place? Now you're a real bad egg, guy!
: Grr…The Crusher! I’m gonna make you regret poking your nose into our business!!
: I am THE HEAT! Stop wit that name!
: Shut it, The Crusher! You're in for a world o' hurt if you're set on messing with us!
: Wait…are you only using that name to get a rise outta me?
: Finally, you got it! Talk about a one-track mind!
: Huuh?! That’s really all it was?!
: You're just as stupid as he!
: It looks like an everyday dismantling would be letting ya off easy…!
: You’re gonna get my special BIG Dismantling! I’m gonna pick ya apart to the last screw!
Total loss.

Geraba gives us a Unit Part, Booster, and Rand gains a level – most levels are just stat increases, so I’ll just show them when there’s something big going on (like a new Skill or Spirit).

Also, completing Skill Points awards your entire group with 25 PP, which you can use to buy Pilot Skills.

Despite it all, Rand isn't inclined to actually finish off Geraba – he’s happy enough to just teach him a lesson.
Mel is fawning over how cool he is and Rand tries to keep her from fangirling so much that other women get scared away, but Mel says that’s not something a “married man” should be saying.

During their mirth, Geraba gathers himself and decides to, at least, destroy the town bazaar as a lesson to those who oppose Hola.

However, a mysterious unit shows up on a nearby hill and quickly takes aim.

This gives Rand an opening to finish wrecking Geraba's mech. Geraba asks what kind of "repairman" is Rand – before blowing up, he yells out that Rand is more of a demolition man…The Crusher!
Garrod is glad they put Geraba in his place but Rand is pissed that, even in defeat, the guy still had to insult him again. More importantly to Garrod, wonders about the sniper that helped us – someone so skilled to hit a bull’s-eye from such a distance.

The sniper is still hanging around and Mel seems to recognize him.
Rand agrees: an incredibly skilled sniper, atop a Silhouette Machine – it has to be the “Black Southern Cross”.

Mr. Southern Cross, a.k.a. Gain Bijou, receives a hearty thanks from Mel for protecting the Bazaar but he says he couldn’t just have allowed those hooligans to trash the only saloon in town – this already makes him cool in Rand’s book.
Rand introduces himself, and his nickname with the usual gusto, and Gain finds said nickname to be an appropriate match for Rand's stifling attitude.
Mel also introduces herself, as both the head of Beater Services and “her darling’s honey”, making Rand sigh that he’s starting to lose the will to keep denying her childish jokes – Gain confesses to be “jealous” of Rand getting so much attention from such a lovely lady, making Mel blush.

Gain brings the conversation back on topic, wondering about the Breakers we just fought. Rand says bandits like them aren't such a rarity: lots of people got unemployed when the Innocent fell.
Gain reckons that everywhere not controlled by Siberian Rail is in the same boat but, from that Rand heard, the Black Southern Cross has been very busy.
Garrod asks about that nickname and Rand explains that it comes from the shape formed by his extremely accurate shots – as demonstrated on Geraba’s walker machine.

Names aside, Rand wonders why Gain is here: is it about an Exodus?
Garrod doesn’t know what that is and his lack of knowledge about the custom, plus the Gundam, makes Gain figured he came from another continent – probably Ameria.
The deserts of South Ameria to be precise; when Mel asks how he got here from so far away, he seems hesitant to explain as it all sounds impossible.


Information Corner – Topic: Exodus
The act of leaving an area. During the construction of the residential units meant to protect the populace from the ravages of their environment, the people were forced into clusters of residential units, known as Domepoli.
Many people realized that this arrangement was somehow orchestrated by the Siberian Railroad to facilitate its monopolies on trade and transportation, and struck out with dreams of better lands before their eyes.

The Siberian Railroad formally forbade Exodus, and decreed death most foul on those so convicted. An industry known as "Exodus contracting" has sprung up around deceiving the Siberian Railroad guards and delivering willing passengers to their destination.

Garrod relates how he was in his GX in the desert one day, fighting, when he heard a strange ringing in his ears and watched the world begin to warp around him.
This seems to strike a chord with Rand and Mel, who ask if he’s seen anyone or heard anything about other such warpings but Garrod doesn’t know anything else. Still, he figured out that he was taken to the Galia continent and needed money for the long trip back: ergo, he decided to sell his Gundam.
Gain figured it was something like that, and is more than happy to lead Garrod close to his destination – provided Garrod agrees to lend a hand with a job or two, which he gladly does.
For that matter, he could really use someone handy with repairs...of course, both Rand and Mel know that, if it’s a job with the Black Southern Cross, there must be an Exodus involved.