The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 117: Mission 32 (Rand) - So I Can Be Myself - Part 1

Last mission, even more …Mel turned out to be kinda dead, it might’ve been Rand’s fault, Holland is going postal and we got stabbed in the back by our buddies…
Now, we pick ourselves up and see if we can’t start to put things back together.
We’ve 8 slots to use, with Rand deploying as an event, and there are two main things to note: Renton isn’t available today and Löwen has joined our crew for the time being!
So, we’re going with this:
Dyke’s sitting this one out as Burume is a wee bit better on the offensive (the Galapagos IS bulkier than the Government but it doesn’t have a post-movement TRI, so that’s no good).

Location: South Ameria – New Earth Federation’s Salta Base

The monk’s chanting proves successful and the Scub covering Eureka is quickly washed away with some of Vodarac’s holy water.
Holland asks what now and the monk explains that what befell Eureka matches the description of someone who went to the ends of the 8th Plane and was drawn back into this world, the 3rd Plane.
Gasping, Holland asks if Eureka has reached the End of the World, and the monk makes no answer: all he will say is that he's performed the rites as taught by Norb and that the guidance of Eureka's soul is now in Vodarac's hands.
Then, Schlan says it’s time for him to enter the custody of the Chimera Squad.

The monk seems uneasy but Schlan promises there’s nothing to fear as, while they ARE part of the Federation, they advocate different methods than their peers.
They're also interested in asking him about the Vodarac but, after it’s all done, they’ll move him to a safe location. The monk accepts and both him and Holland thank each other for their respective help and the man’s last bit of advice is that, in the event Eureka recovers, to keep her away from whatever caused her condition.

With that, Schlan leaves with him and points Holland towards the conference room, where Edel is waiting to meet him and our other leaders. Holland isn’t all too keen on meeting her but, out of gratitude for the Chimera’s help, he agrees and leaves Mischa to watch over Eureka.
He does make it a point to tell to remind Mischa not to let the “cause” of Eureka’s condition – Renton - get near but the doctor doesn’t seem that certain.

Edel is brought in by Löwen and, after dismissing him, formally introduces herself and says she’s heard much of our efforts.
Elchi seems a bit intimidated but Edel, calling her by name, tells her to relax. Elchi’s a bit surprised she knows who she is but Edel says knowing her cooperators’ names and faces is just common courtesy.
Holland, with his usual glare, cuts in and wonders if her attitude's just to make us lower our guard in order to get everyone arrested.

Edel’s quite aware of Holland’s distrust for government-types but she notes we needn’t worry as there isn’t a single guard present – she wanted it so as a sign of good faith and her commitment.
Truth be told, Holland and Jamil also know that she’s taking a major risk meeting with wanted men like us and it could well mean her life if word of this got back to the Federation. That’s precisely why she wanted to meet at this base, a place only used by the Chimera Squad.

Indeed, she went through a lot of trouble to set up this meeting and Shaia wonders if it’s got anything to do with Kei, the “so-called” Singularity.
While the Federation IS aware of the impending danger of a dimensional collapse, Edel says the Chimera Squad is doing some research of its own and, as such, they’ve no intention of antagonizing us and making a move on Kei.
Jamil then asks what her actual reason for meeting us is and Edel says she wanted to see with her own eyes whether we were all on the same page, ideology-wise.

Here, she says the same things she did on Setsuko’s mission 31: she understands how difficult it is for a new world order to be formed out of such different civilizations and cultures, and while she sees the necessity of a unified government, this one’s merely a tool in the hands of a small minority.

Edel wants to reform the Federation from the inside, which is what prompted her to, among other things, try to secretly negotiate with the Plants. Granted, she also saw the reports on what the other ZEUTH’s done with Zaft and can’t really fathom their intentions.
But, after this talk’s done, she’ll be off to eastern Galia for a meeting with Durandal and plans on ascertaining the truth behind Zaft and ZEUTH’s actions – depending on the answer, it could sour her entire negotiation attempts and, if it comes to that, she’s ready to fight against Zaft and Durandal.

With that in mind, Holland asks if she wants us fight for her if it comes to that. She'd obviously like that, yes, but she doesn’t want to forcefully add our troops to the Chimera Squad.
To Edel, our very existence has power in that we, acting independently and for our own beliefs, are symbols of freedom for the entire world and she’d like us to stay that way. Furthermore, our continuous protection of Kei, Tifa and Eureka is a fly in the ointment for various parties.
Jamil summarizes: she wants us to play decoy for her with those parties and, of course, she plans on compensating us for our assistance.

Holland appreciates her offer of mutual gain and finds it more trustworthy than most.
Truth be told, Edel would’ve preferred not to have to “use” others for the sake of world peace, and she does apologize for it, but none of our leaders will leave her hanging and agree to help out – starting today, they’ll have each other’s back!
Edel is very thankful and Jamil is marveling at seeing a Federation bigwig who still cares about the world – she actually does seem to be the real deal.

Back in the Iron Gear, the girls are trying to offer Mel some lunch – they even made her favorite, macaroni au gratin. Mel tries to refuse, saying she's not hungry, but her rumbly tummy quickly betrays her words.
Mel finds it quite strange that, despite not being a human anymore, she still gets hungry. She admits that she always thought there was something strange with her body – she’s 16 and as curvy as a yardstick - and while she expected to be sick with something, THIS certainly wasn't what she had in mind.

Garrod doesn’t really know what to say right now and Gainer simplifies: despite the situation, she’s still her. “Of course I am, silly! And you shouldn’t look so gloomy while saying that!” she says after quickly perking up.
Yes, it was a shock finding out that she’s no longer human but neither she nor anyone else noticed anything until now. So, there’s nothing stopping her from just going on living as a person, right?
Tifa agrees, and Mel says she’ll just go on being the same girl she’s been thus far. Her forward-facing attitude lifts everyone’s spirits and Kei admits to be taken with her.
Mel quips that just because she’s heart-broken, she’s not going to run into Kei’s arms that easily.

Indeed, despite it all, she still can’t bring herself to just forgive Rand for what he did to her and her dad – not to mention the fact that he took over the Beater Services and Gunleon, and tried to live all nice-and-easy.
Gainer says she’s wrong and Rand certainly isn’t the kind of man to pull something like that. Ryouma adds that Rand was willing to take responsibility for everything onto himself and Garrod remembers how desperately he searched for Mel while she was missing.

Granted, that doesn’t change the fact that he lied to her and that her dad’s gone but Gain stops her mid-yelling. No, he’s not taking anyone’s side, but says she oughta eat her food before it gets cold.
Actually, it already is, so Tonya scrambles to reheat it as, like she and Gain say, cold macaroni “au gratin” isn’t really “au gratin” – just like Rand isn’t THE HEAT if he grows cold. Gain won’t explain what he means, instead telling Mel to think about it while eating.
After all, it's not like her head stopped maturing all these years...

Have you been hanging out with Fudou, Gain?

In the hangar, Rand apologizes for having Theeh help out with maintenance and, while the old man doesn’t mind, he asks if Rand REALLY doesn’t want him to do his huge overhaul on the Gunleon.
Rand found the plan way too crazy for his liking, though: “Which part?! The 1000mm Cannon? The Pyramid Beam Rifle? Or the CITY-cleaving sword(How do you like that, Sänger!)?!”, he asks.
Sadly for him, Rand doesn’t wish to turn the Gunleon into some war machine and, despite Theeh’s claims that he’ll need to be more attack-focused for the battles ahead, Rand insists that he’s a repairman – not The Crusher.

Mind, he ponders a bit and think that this MIGHT be the time…for what? Cielo once told Rand that breaking and fixing things are two sides of the same coin and that Rand had, at that point, only been living on one side.
Cielo taught Rand how to live on the “fixing side" BUT he also conceded that there are times when, in order to fix something, you need to break it first. When that time arrives, Cielo said Rand was to go full-on The Crusher without hesitation.
Rand figures he’s rambling, though, and asks Theeh to forget he said anything.

Either way, remember those “sealed” components Renton’s grandpa found before? Those seals were placed by Cielo and Rand’s decided to remove them. That said, this is only a temporary measure, which is why he wants the Gunleon to remain the Beater Services’ repair mech.
Theeh smirks a bit, finding it rather weird that Rand would favor his own aesthetics over his giga-scale retrofit plan. Rand gets his Heat Smile going again, saying Theeh has everyone here beat when it comes to weirdness and the old man takes it as a compliment (”THANK YOU VERY MUCH!” he yells, in quality Engrish).

Still, Rand wonders if it’s alright for Theeh to be helping him here – wouldn’t it be simpler just to have the base’s mechanics lend a hand? Not really, as he would much rather do this than sit through the boring, incomprehensible bureaucratic discussion the leaders are indulging in.
Plus, the only things he knows how to do are research, research, and more research…Rand doesn’t really get the guy but figures he’s just dedicated to his craft.

Löwen arrives right then, having been looking for the good professor and annoyed to see him walking about without telling anyone where he was going.
When Rand asks, Löwen explains that he’s the Chimera’s own scientist and adds that, despite his personality being SLIGHTLY problematic, he is quite brilliant. Rand gets this flabbergasted look on his face, demanding to know how Theeh is only "slightly" problematic.
Indeed, even Theeh’s insulted that Löwen’s selling him short and, just to shut them both up, Löwen says he’s ENORMOUSLY problematic – both men approve and this duo is already proving to be way more than Löwen can endure.
Thankfully, Edel shows up looking for everyone and thanks Löwen for finding the professor.

: Hey, who’s this beauty here?
: Yaaaa! Watch the attitude, repairman!
: This magnificent lady’s the supreme commander of the Chimera Squad, BrigGen. Edel Bernal!
: Aaah…! How rude of me! I didn’t know—
: P-please, raise your head! You needn’t do this…!
: Hah, it's alright…I was just playing along with gramps’ little act!
: Oh, is that so? You’re quite kind.
: (Answering my Heat Smile with a Madonna Smile... Not bad, General…)
: BrigGen. Edel, this is Mr. Rand Travis of ZEUTH.
: Sorry, ma’am. I let gramps here lend a hand with some of my work.
: My word...! Prof. Theeh, you’ve been tinkering with other people’s mechs again…?!
: But, but… I was lonely~...! You went and left me all alone…
: Regardless, that’s no excuse to bother others...!
: I LOVE YOOOOOU! Then, please punish this pathetic old man!


: Ah...! My hand--
: Oi, gramps...are you alright? I mean it, are you REALLY alright?
: More…do it again! Harder, stronger, angrier! Hit me more!!
: (Wow…this guy’s crazy as hell…)
: P-please excuse me. Such an unsightly display is—
: Eh, forget about it. Sometimes you gotta give a slap or two to teach ‘em some manners.
: You…what?
: Heh…I had you pegged for some stiff jarhead, General, but you’re actually a pretty normal woman.
: Mind you, that’s a good thing!
: Thank you very much!
: …

Theeh notes that Löwen seems to be a bit dismayed at this actual Beauty and the Beast couple forming before our eyes (he denies it) but, before he can prod the guy about it some more, Schlan comes in looking for Rand.
It seems they’ve gotten an emergency transmission from Setsuko…

What did I say? Chicks dig THE HEAT.

Mission 32 (Rand) - So I Can Be Myself

: Argh…!
: What’s wrong, Setsuko Ohara? Is that all?
: You called THE HEAT, didn’t you? It seems your last ray of hope won’t make it in time.
: …
: Wallow in your powerlessness and bestow your tears unto me.
: Never…! I won’t do as you wish!
: Won't you, now? Well then…
: …!
: Hold it right there!!

: That’s enough outta you, Asakim! I ain’t gonna let you do your thing anymore!!
: Rand…! Where’s the Gunleon?!
: I kept it stashed for now!
: “For now”?!
: Yeah. I reckon it might be what buddy-boy there’s after, so bringing it over would’ve been playing right into his hands!
: Of course…I didn’t count on the only other mech available being a Dagger!
: You’ve read me well, THE HEAT…
: However, that’ll cost you dearly.
: Pfeh…you just dropped your “friendly” face and already went all “killer”? You shifty sumbitch!
: Well, I do have many faces.
: If that’s how you really are then I don’t need to hold back when kicking your ass!
: Get ready, Asakim! You’re dealing with THE CRUSHER today!!

: Rand!
: Tch…damn it…! When did I turn into such a crybaby?!
: That’s proof that something within you has crumbled to pieces.
: Your former endurance is no more. You can only cry out in pain now…
: Urgh…!
: However, with the Gunleon’s absence, your screams will not reach it.
: It’s a shame but I’ll have to deal with the Scarred Lion at a later juncture.
: GODDAMN IT! At least Imma make you explain what’s going on with Mel’s body before I’m done!
: Hmhmhm…how about “no”?
: Rand!

: Aah…!
: The hell are you doing?! You trying to get killed along with me?!
: I won’t let you die…! I swear it on my pride!
: What…
: This reincarnation’s also a failure…?
: Then, in the name of the next world, my Shurouga shall reap your souls.
: !

: Oh...? It appears your friends have arrived, THE HEAT.
: Oi, guys! Why are you here?!
: What do you mean “why”?! You ran off on your own! Again! And you’re supposed to be the smart old guy!
: Löwen told us that you found Asakim. And, if that’s the case, we want in too!
: This sneaky creep went and messed with our we’re gonna tear him a new one!
: Aw, folks…
: Forgive me, Rand… I know I promised to keep quiet about it but…
: But I couldn’t let you to act so rashly, either!
: What? You didn’t seem all that worried when you told me to take a frickin’ Dagger!
: Th-that’s—
: Tell me, then, do you have any idea how to pilot an MS?
: Nope!
: Wow, he’s not even embarrassed to admit it.
: That doesn’t bother you at all, old man?
: With that in mind, it seems your complaint about Löwen’s suggestion to use a Walker Machine is misplaced, no?
: I guess...
: If that’s done, then return at once. We’ll handle him.
: Right on! Come along, Setsuko!
: Y-yes!

*Rand and Setsuko run into the Iron Gear.*

: Alright then, “bud”. You’ll be dealing with us now.
: You didn’t just trick Rand but we as well…!
: Tell us who you are! What are you after?!
: Hmhmhm… Well…

: Sorry to keep you waiting, Asakim.
: It’s that woman again!
: Ziene, deal with them.

*Asakim moves all the way to the back.*

: Hey! Is he just gonna watch?!
: Hmph…ever so confident, huh?
: Then we’ll get rid of his mooks and force him over!
: But can you actually do it?
: We’re bringing our A-game here, so you’ll just have to wait and see!
: …
: What’s up, Garrod? Something worrying you?
: No but…I just noticed Renton ain't around…
: I guess he’s with Eureka. He can’t do much in battle, anyway.
: Hrm…the brat still hasn’t learned his lesson, eh?!
: Calm down, Holland. Just focus on the enemy in front.
: Grrr…
: ..
: Keep your wits about you, Löwen. It appears you’re facing AI-equipped Federation units.
: Understood! Whatever the cost, I’ll…unravel that man’s schemes!
: ZEUTH...have you the strength to stop me, the pilgrim to the Taiji?

Mission Objective: Shoot down the Shurouga
Mission Failure: Any allied battleship destroyed
Skill Point: Defeat all enemies, then defeat Asakim, within FOUR turns.

Another hard timer on our hands and, truth be told, it can be very difficult to get on a new game; you’ve enemies spread all over, a mix of Titan mooks, Logos’ Mobile Armors, Cornicus and the bosses.
The enemies are spread over a large area, so you need to split your team evenly to deal with both sides, be on constant movement and try to have pretty much everything killed by the start of turn 4 to give you some leeway to down both bosses.
You can’t afford to hold your ships back, either, because you need every attack you can get and always try to attack fresh targets – leave the weak ones to kill themselves on their attack.

Friendly warning: Asakim will jump right in the middle of your troops after some events, so don’t make a mad dash after him; just keep your ships close enough to your troops that you’re sure everyone can attack a boss (with a focus on the much-bulkier Asakim, of course).

Speak of the devil, let’s look at our former buddy who’s finally decided to get serious:

Shurouga (Asakim Dowin)
Pilot Skills:
Squad Leader Bonus: Platoon movement range +1, Evasion rate +10%
Asakim’s Voice Actor: Hikaru Midorikawa (other known works: Masaki Andou in several SRW games, Heero Yui in Gundam Wing, Li Xingke in Code Geass and a billion other roles)

Well, well…where were all those skills when you were “helping” us out? Asakim certainly is a step-up from pretty much any boss we’ve fought thus far.
Take Kashmir’s evasion and accuracy and pair it with Moroha’s high damage potential and this is about what you’ll get: Perfection, Prevail and Blocking pretty much guarantee that you’ll need to cast Strike to reliably hit this guy and probably a defensive measure, too, because he can do a number of anything we have (and he’s deadly accurate).
His Tragic Genocider and Ley Buster are ALL attacks, his stats are great across the board, of course, and he’ll recover about 5k HP every round – so, it’s no use attacking him before you’re ready to go for the kill.
Approach with care, swarm him and keep an eye out on his Prevail or it will hurt.

Once again, time to throw caution to the wind. Everyone casts Accelerate and Gain makes the first move, prepping his TRI attack.

Off to a decent start.

Apollo and Marin’s squads quickly dispatch a Marasai’s posse.

Everyone profits a level but Roybea learns Prevail L4.

Getter’s group will head the other way, with Hayato leading the charge.

And there goes the leader.

Jiron and Kei dispatch the rest of that group.

Gainer joins the northern group while Garrod takes the south.

Enemy Phase!

Kei draws the attention of a Wide group.

Not bad, not bad.

Gainer and Gain get harassed by, respectively, one and two squads – each kills one mook.

The other Fed mooks are closing in but the rest are standing still.

Player Phase!

Whatever survived our first round will either be killed in counterattacks or by our ships.

Like so.

Gainer moves ahead and TRIs one of the northern Gells-Ghe groups, leaving its squaddies nearly dead.

Jiron will go for the other one.

Pretty much the same result.

Here I reminded myself that I CAN use Analyze to speed this up, so both Zamza-Zah groups get tagged.

And it pays off nicely, allowing a combined Kei/Ryouma assault to destroy the entire northern squad.

On the southern side, there’s this one sturdy Marasai group.

There goes the leader and the Freeden takes one of the squaddies – the last will go when it attacks anything.

Baldios and Gain’s group leave the Zamza-Zah hanging by a thread.

And Matthew’s our first character to complete his command list, learning…Spirit.
A letdown, yes, but I shouldn’t expect anything else from a pure squaddie.

With the Zamza-Zah pretty much dead in the water, we turn our sights to the other nearby squads.

Good, good.

Löwen gets screwed by the RNG but the important thing to get weakened is the Gells-Ghe.

Finally, the Glomar fails to finish off a piss-weak Marasai…

Enemy Phase!

But that’s fine because it and his squad all get wrecked by Kei!
Also, Gain gets jumped by pretty much everything on his side, taking a hit due to sassy RNG, to scoring 6 kills.

This Gells-Geh group decides to get clever and TRI Ryouma’s group – too bad for him, I’m out of time and fucks to give.

The leader barely survives but not his squaddies; the other Gells-Ghe squad tries the same but, sadly, Ryouma has to contend with throwing his axes at the thing.

Ziene and the Cornicus are now coming our way.

The plot will kick in at this point but there's still plenty to do, so I reckon I’ll leave things on a nice cliffhanger. Sorry!

Expect the rest of the mission around Wednesday.

See you all then!