The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 110: Mission 30 (Setsuko) - Where Sins Lie - Part 1

Setsuko Route Chapter 30 Part 1

Last time on Super Robot Wars Z: Kira Yamato is a dick. Also, I have free time again so back to watching me go through the game without powerful New Game+ Units.

Current Top Aces:

1. Setsuko - 78 Kills
2. Amuro - 68 Kills
3. Shinn - 63 Kills
4. Quattro - 61 Kills
5. Talia - 61 Kills

Talia's probably going to lose her spot on the Top Aces list soon, mostly because with the last stage and this one she's not going to get many kills at all.

Meanwhile holy crap look at that. It's a FAITH Badge, which increases a pilots starting Will by 10. I buy it and the Strategy Manual.

Shinn gets the FAITH Badge, now he and Athrun are in the same group! This is an upgrade over his old Tin-Plate Goldfish.

Kouji is handed said Goldfish.

Shinn's also given an Inertial Control System. Bright gets a Sensory Helmet. And finally, Tetsuya gets a Strategy Manual for this stage. I'll probably be swapping it between him and Kouji as they take turns leading the Double Burning Fire Squad.

Ray and Luna are Event deploys, so they get a bit of an upgrade.

I also give some of the more important Squadmate mechs (Read: units with Repair and Resupply modules) some extra upgrades as well.

Athrun gets Focused Attack. Might as well do more ALL Spamming.

So here's the Squads for this stage.

Kamille and Loran have swapped mechs today, and unfortunately I just don't have enough units to have all full squads. So Toshiya and Jun pair up because God Sigma needs a Resupply unit the least.

In western Galia, ORB army commander Todaka visits the Phantom Pain, along with Yuna himself, who is a bit disappointed at the Phantom Pain's difficulty considering they're supposed to be elite. Neo smoothly points out that they encountered some unexpected interference.
Ah yes, the Archangel - unforgivable that the former Representative is in their clutches, mugs Yuna (Ben tactfully refrains from pointing out that said kidnapping is ORB's own fault).
Anyway, with these two forces cooperating, Yuna is confident that nothing can stand in their way, be it ZEUTH or the Archangel.

A message comes in, and Ben passes it on to Neo: they've spotted ZEUTH activity. Not continuing to Gibraltar, though; a small team has broken off into Lodonia, and it looks like they're scouting for something.
Neo has a bad feeling about Lodonia...

Over there, ZEUTH has uncovered some kind of research lab. Luckily, they brought Prof. Kazami who suspected this might’ve been the case (Rey apologizes but Kazami doesn’t blame him, saying a scientist like him would be useful here).
The inside of the lab looks like an old battleground, and the explorers carefully advance, trying not to let the facility crumble beneath their feet...

Back in Port Tarkius, where the Minerva is docked, Kihel fills Loran in on the Ghingnham fleet - composed of the military arm of the Moon Race civilization the way the Diana Counter represents its citizens.
At their head is Gym Ghingnham himself, a man who does not seem to agree with the alliance with ZAFT.

Before she can elaborate on what she knows of Ghingnham, a soft-spoken young woman interrupts looking for guidance: she's lost and separated from her companions.
Kihel gladly offers her help, though she's not sure how much they'll be, since they're not from around here either.
Loran’s a bit suspicious of this pink-haired lady; he feels like he should know her, but can't quite put his finger on it...

And Teteth is still stalking Diana, of course. She doesn’t know why she’s traveling around incognito and away from the main group but it’ll be the end of her.
She tells the people of this area that, if they need to blame anyone for what’ll happen, to blame Diana.

In the meantime, Sting has dragged Four out on the town for a date. What? "Not with me, though."
It's a favor, in thanks; the Extended owe Four a lot, and in particular for how she's taken care of Stella, the child soldier in the awkward position of her "block word" being "death" - and having just seen Buran and Rosamia die before her eyes.
Besides, their lives aren't worth much - they'll either die in battle or be disposed of after the war - so it's a precious gift just for Four and Rosamia to have been Stella’s friends.
Four feels like she owes Stella just the same, and Rosamia too, but Sting's here to talk about the other person she's made a connection with; as it turns out, that ZEUTH boy’s in town and they set up a meeting between the two of them.
Auel snips that it was rather troublesome to bring him over but Sting shushes him and they both clear out quick.
They'll tell Neo she's scouting out the town, but she probably only has a couple hours...
After they leave, Kamille asks about those two and Four says they’re the same as Stella and Rosamia…her friends.
There seems to be a lot they need to talk about…

So naturally, we cut to Athrun, who's been contacted by Miriallia Haw (honestly) a full two years since they last saw each other (at the end of the great war).
But how did she know he was on the Minerva? Actually, she was asked to bring Athrun here on someone's behalf...

It's Kira and Cagalli! It seems like Miriallia contacted them for an interview (being a freelance photographer), but Kira asked her for a favor in return.
It's time for these two and Athrun to have a good long talk, starting with Cagalli, who was worried sick since the marriage and her being unable to contact Athrun; then, she has the unpleasant surprise that he’s back with ZAFT.
Athrun believes that's the best place for him to be right now, and that should be from ORB's point of view as well; on the other hand, what about Kira, who charged into a battle in progress, extended it for no reason, and was even responsible for the unnecessary loss of a life?

Kira has no answer, but Cagalli protests that our group was fighting against ORB’s troops and they were trying to stop it; that said, Athrun can't believe she ever thought the ORB forces would obediently pack up and leave.
Her going around sticking her nose into battlefields after ORB is already allied with the Federation is closing the door after the horses have charged out.

Now it's Kira's turn to question Athrun siding with ZAFT; Athrun is sticking by his view that all the problems are coming from the Federation, which is being steered by a few arrogant men who hate all from outside the planet, not just the Coordinators. And all this while aliens and angels besiege their world. The one with the most resources in trying to end all of this is Durandal.

"But is he?" asks Kira. Sure, ZEUTH has only the good of the world in mind, but does he really have that much faith in Durandal’s wish for peace? Athrun feels that he's proved that, but then what about the "Lacus" he has with him? And why did a Coordinator team try to assassinate the real Lacus?

This is actually news to Athrun - that Coordinators, in the guise of Federation soldiers, attacked them at ORB, forcing him to deploy in the Freedom to stop everyone from being killed.
PLANT may be trustworthy, but Kira can't assume that until he knows the truth behind those incidents. Athrun still won't pin that on the Chairman, and he intends to keep fighting as a member of FAITH and ZEUTH – not just against the Federation but against anyone else who does wrong.

Kira finally asks what's probably actually on his mind. "Including ORB, like before?"

Athrun can't afford to hesitate; if he has no choice, he'll fight ORB to stop the Titans and the Blue Cosmos. If they want to avoid battle with them, isn't the best course of action to cancel the treaty between ORB and the rest of the Federation? Then he'll have no reason to fight ORB, at least.

: But, Athrun...
: I mean, I know that, but... I don't want to fight against ORB either...
: Kira!
: Not just ORB, even. I don't want to have to kill anyone, ever again...
: !
: You think you're above the rest of us? Do you know how much blood you already have on your hands?
: That's why I... don't want to do it again...
: Kira...
: I don't want to kill. Don't make me...
: Fine. Then you should stop what you're doing and go back to ORB. Right?
: ...

Nearby, Joseph and Luna were ordered to tail Athrun, who snuck out of the Minerva without authorization, but never imagined they'd find him in contact with Rep. Athha and the Archangel crew.
Luna's confused; she and Joseph agree that they can't tell anyone in ZEUTH outside of ZAFT, but she might have to inform Captain Gladys.

But Joseph suddenly finds someone following them. She's a journalist, she claims - someone who finds the truth and brings it to light...

Kamille and Four had a good date, but their time is up.
Kamille urges her not to go, lest they have to fight again, but she still wants her memories above all. "I'm sure there'll be a lot of sad ones, but... I want to know that I lived.", she says.
He tries to stop her, but an explosion rocks the sky, and she runs.

The explosion was right by Loran and Kihel and he protects the girls as best he can.
But who set the bomb, and who was it for, wonders Loran?

Waltfeld catches up and outs the girl as Lacus to Loran and Kihel. He also explains that he saw the bomber but lost her - a woman with red hair in a bun (Loran quickly remembers Teteth).
At any rate, he thanks Loran for saving his charge, but also asks them to forget what they saw "for both our sakes." Kihel agrees, and Lacus asks both their names before Waltfeld takes her to safety.
Loran, of course, has the same questions re: the Lacus Clyne who they saw with Chairman Durandal, but Kihel intends to stick to her word and pretend this never happened.
Loran ponders that, if she was Lacus, it wouldn't be surprising that she had a target on her head - but if the assassin is who the man with the scar said it was, there's no doubt who this attempt was aimed at.

Kamille and Athrun arrive together, having (of course) heard the bomb go off.
Kamille decides it's a good time to ask Loran and Kihel what they’re hiding; it's pretty obvious that there's something suspicious about him and Kihel, and how they keep wandering off quietly on their own (it could be a private matter, yes, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case).
Loran won't say - he can't say - and Athrun finally steps in to say that it's not, in fact, a good time. Kihel's pretty sure he's got secrets of his own. (Doesn't everybody?)

Anyway, Athrun passes down the return order from the Captain.
It's not the Phantom Pain coming over, though; apparently, shit's going down at that facility Rey's team is investigating.

Back at Lodonia, we find Rey catatonic.
Julie and Shinn don’t know what caused it but he got like that almost as soon as they entered this room - a room full of dead children.()
Kazami takes one look at pronounces it a weapons factory: "Perhaps it's best described as a facility that makes weapons out of humans..."

Chapter 30: Where Sins Lie

As the Jins share the news, Gengoroh explains that those kids were "enhanced" to bring out their potential as tools of war, by any means necessary - brainwashing, drugs, and even physical modifications.
Hanae is horrified, but old Heizaemon and Umie know that they're in no position to judge. But it still doesn't feel too good.
Anyway, the Minerva and Argama have gone in to dig further, since the ships’ soldiers seem in no position to. In the meantime, the King Beal and the rest of ZEUTH is on watch, the Zaft team included.

Rey seems fine, and Shinn isn't suspicious of his reaction - it was a pretty gruesome scene.
He tells Rey to rest up, but Rey has a question for him: "Who is Stella?"

The briefing hardly prepared the captains to see it either, but they have some conclusions to share.
First, reports from outside suggest that this place was warped in a few days ago - something that was here before Break The World, was shoved out when it happened, and has now fallen back into reality.
Second, there's no damage outside the facility, meaning all the fighting took place between people within it. Kazami's guess is that the lab rats staged a revolt and Rie seems to sympathize, what with their existence being limited to waging war.
Just another way the Extended seem a lot like the Cyber-Newtypes from Bright's world.
The Naturals refused to genetically splice their soldiers, but it seemed they were willing to try everything else to win the war.

As usual, there's little time to reflect; Gengoroh's sighted what looks an awful lot like the Phantom Pain moving in to attack. But what if they're not coming after us but to wipe out the facility before the atrocities that occurred here get exposed and become a severe PR blow to the Federation?
The King Beal may be able to hold them off for a bit; Talia asks Kazami and Rie to save as much data as they can.

ZEUTH deploys, and Athrun has peeled off from whatever squad he would otherwise have been with; he says he intends to intercept the Archangel himself if it comes to that.
Luna did submit her report to Talia, but she's sure Athrun's not a spy for the Archangel or anything.
He certainly didn't look happy when he was talking to Kira. Still, Joseph feels like it's worth keeping an eye out.

Kappei can't wait to bang up the Phantom Pain, but something is, of course, getting Keiko down about it.
Uchuuta's about to tell him what, but she stops him. Kappei remains apathetically oblivious.

The Phantom Pain arrives en masse during the absence of the Minerva and Argama, only confirming how much they want to keep this place hidden.
Rey has deployed along with Shinn and Luna after all, and he asks if Stella’s piloting the Gaia.
He tells Shinn that they have to disable her on their own; they won't be able to count on ZEUTH's cooperation. Shinn wonders why Rey's helping, but appreciates it.

Luna asks what's going on; Shinn says it's "guy talk," and Rey just says their plan is to deal with the Second Stages themselves.
Shinn psyches himself to stop Stella.

Despite not actually being in a formation, Sting, Auel (who’s strangely silent), and Stella plan to use the formation moves that Buran trained them in.
Neo orders his men to break through ZEUTH and take the lab - if they can't claim it, destroy it.

This gets Auel up in a frenzy: he remembers the lab - the lab they grew up in - the lab his mother should be in. "ZAFT is gonna kill mother! I've gotta save her!", he yells.
When Four asks, Neo explains that there was a woman working at that lab who had a fondness for Auel, and treated him like her own child.
That's the trigger that imbalances Auel, it seems. Four begs Neo to recall Auel, but instead, Neo tells Auel that he has to destroy ZEUTH to save his mother; as the kid readily agrees, Stella and Sting also ready themselves to help.

Four isn’t happy but Neo says this is part of war and, if Four can't handle it, she's free to leave.
No, she says. She'll fight for the memories Auel treasures, even if they're a lie.

"Good-bye, Kamille... but I can't say I wish I'd never met you. The time I spent with you is one of my few, precious memories...", she thinks to him.

Kamille sees that she’s for real and, in that case, he won’t hold back either.

Gengoroh lays out the battle plan: the lab lies behind them.
If any enemies make it past this edge of the combat zone, they'll have a shot at that building and our captains within it. So don't let that happen!
Neo orders all troops forward to not only fulfil their mission but to get revenge for Buran and Rosamia.

So now we're at the main event itself. Thankfully this stage is a bit easier then the last one. It's a defense mission.

The objective is to defeat all the enemies while not allowing any enemy unit to reach the white line. If one does it's game over. The battle mastery is fairly simple. Defeat the Psyco Gundam within 5 turns. Naturally, this comes with some additional elements.

SECRET ALERT: Defeat the Psyco Gundam with Kamille, and then defeat Stella with Shinn.

Yes, in that order. The secrets involving Stella and Four are connected, if you were to defeat Stella first the result would be suboptimal.

I move everybody forward, but Athrun's the only one who gets in range this round.

He does pretty well.

Here's what the enemies will do. They'll move forward as much as possible, aiming to reach the west side of the map. They'll target anyone in range though, thankfully.

The Murasame's are in TRI formation, and will of course use Tri-Charges. Which hurt.

Granted, targeting Shinn probably wasn't the best idea. By this point our little ZAFT Squad is pretty untouchable and hits hard.

The Windams are in center formation, but usually use their ALL Attack.

And so Shinn's RNG luck runs out. Ow.

Fortunately, the Extended kids hang back this round.

Four will, of course, do her best to snipe Kamille.

: Disappear and get out of my head!
: Four, we just talked a few hours ago...
: I... I won't hesitate anymore! If you really want to fight...
: Then I'll meet you in battle and fight with all my might!

Luckily at that range she's not super accurate.

Let's see. Shinn's an Ace, so +5 starting Will, one of my five Top Aces, so another +5 Will, then he has the FAITH Badge equipped for +10 Will, and his Battle Spirit skill gave him +3 at the start of this round. So in total he only had to get 7 Will to hit the 130 Will threshold for SEED. He easily got that from dodging a few attacks.

This will not be the first Trust I cast to heal up.

Athrun leaves a single Windam on the brink of death behind.

Who is promptly finished off by Toshiya.

There's an Enemy Squad over there Setsuko.

Now there isn't, thanks.

Kouji wipes out another.

Kamille goes up in Wide Formation to soften up this squad and beat the leader.

There we go.

The King Beal's has yet to get enough Will for ALL attacks, so I'll just settle for further softening.

Miashey takes the lead for a round, so she can use her Tri. Sadly, still fails to wipe out the entire squad.

Quattro shows us how it's done.

: Come on! Let's show these jerks turning kids into weapons a thing or two!
: (You still haven't figured it out, Kappei?)
: (We've been trained for war in our sleep... we're just like them...)

Meanwhile Attack Again continues to be wonderful.

Here we see a mistake I made.

The mistake is that I was freely using the Impluse's attacks, because usually I can just drain it dry and then swap frames... except that this stage doesn't have the Minerva! Oops! '

The stragglers run forward on the enemy phase.

Lousy barrier...

Now the named pilots start moving up.

Even Four moves up to better hit Kamille.

: (Our memories... our pasts... they only brought Rosamia and Auel pain...)
: (But it can't all be bad! That's why I... I'll fight to protect yours, Auel!)

I knew Kamille could survive a hit from that, so I didn't dodge and instead got in some chip damage. On to the next turn!

Another casting of Trust to heal up Kamille after that round with Four.

I take down this Murasamae because next turn it could reach the edge.

It gets Apolly another level of Prevail.

Athrun does his thing.

So does Setsuko. Her TRI Attack having three ammo is great, that's more then the average. Which is two.

This gives Emma another level of Support Defense and teaches her Bless(60).

Darn it Toshiya! You had one job here!

Well, at least that kill got both him and Jun more Prevail.

So Quattro finishes the job, complete with unnecessary crit.

I swap Rey to the leader roll for his Hit&Away+Long Range TRI. (And to save some of Shinn's ammo.)
Some dialog translations in annotations

Flat out body blocking enemy squads in missions like this is useful.

Toga crits with one of them, leaving one dead and two crippled.

Man these spider mechs are bulky. On the plus side...

Kouji learns Valor(35) When you absolutely want something dead, for the foreseeable future I can just point Kouji at it.

As a bonus, Mazin Power starts up.

I have everyone in Kamille's squad use Focus, because Four is going to be trouble.

Kamille moves to finish off this thing, which is apparently called a Gells-Ghe. Whatever that means.

Great job there.

Let's take this Zamza-Zah down a notch.

I really dislike this barrier.

Kappei takes aim next, but it's not enough darn it.

That thing dies next round.

Team Gravion continues to be awesome.

Finally that annoying thing comes down.

That Asshimar squad tries to be sneaky and get past Rey, doesn't work.

Stella's in range to start shooting. Since Shinn isn't a Squad leader she won't instantly rush him. Luckily she only has a 30% hit rate on Setsuko.

: I'll protect... I'll protect them all! I'll protect Auel and Sting and Four and Neo and Shinn!

Setsuko's ability to only get hit on low rates continues to impress.

Auel moves up too, he has a 20% chance to hit.

: Mother... I'll save you!
: I swear I'll save you! I've been working hard so I can save you!

Uhhh OK...

Sting's sniping Toga...

: (Hold on, Auel! We'll crush these guys and save your memories of your mom!)

The RNG is not my friend today. The rest of the stage will be up by Tuesday.