The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 119: Mission 32 (Setsuko) - The Power of Sorrow

Setsuko Route Chapter 32

Last time on Super Robot Wars Z: With the power of ~friendship~ Setsuko started to overcome her trauma. Hooray. Now Toby has called and wants to see us!

Current Top Aces:

1. Setsuko - 94 Kills
2. Amuro - 82 Kills
3. Quattro - 72 Kills
4. Shinn - 72 Kills
5. Kappei - 66 Kills

Kappei overtakes Kouji! Setsuko got a bunch of kills last stage. She's going to get a bunch more this one.

To reward him, he gets Will Limit Break. Maria meanwhile is taught Ignore Size Penalty.

Quattro's Skill slots are full. So it's time to start boosting other stats of his. Starting with Terrain Rankings. I up his Ground Rank to S.

The Chaos Leo is handed some accuracy boosts.

I remember that Gainer isn't going to need this Solar Panel, so the Virgola gets it.

And here's the squads!

Location: Galia – The New Earth Federation’s Tampagounda base – Factory

Buckle up, friends. It's time for Exposition Fun Time with Perfesser Theeh. ()

That's right, the inimitable Theeh fixed up the Virgola in just a day and even tuned up the joints, much to Amuro’s surprise; he's grateful for the helping hands of ZEUTH's engineers though. "Whaddya want? Autograph of the General? I wish I could get you a date or an ear cleaning, but..."
Kouji is happy just to have seen the genius at work. (Yolan and Vino, not so much – they would’ve appreciated a date with Edel.)

Either way, he’s got the Virgola equipped with his own VWFS wings which should really boost the mech’s mobility; he also took the time to tune the submotors and actuators, which’ll also lead to more natural movements.
Kazami’s truly impressed with the guy’s know-how and asks if he’s sure he'd never worked on the machine before – nope, this was the first time he saw the thing.
Anyway, Theeh suspects that a fresh look was exactly what the machine needed to divulge its secrets.
We already know the Virgola has is basically an average-performing mech, so why is its chassis engineered to withstand a theoretical output excess of over 200%?
Julie suggests that as a mass-production frame, it should be able to keep up with any pilot, but Theeh can't get even Amuro to admit he could push the Virgola that far. "So basically," he concludes, "it's not a soft allowance. It's gotta be a hard calculation, dunnit?"

So the question is, just what could produce the kind of power output that the Virgola is expected to tolerate? The mech comes from Amuro's universe, but he can't think of a technology it's meant to interface with.
To Theeh, and even to Kazami, the only explanation can be that the Virgola is equipped to channel an energy that is literally as yet unknown.

That brings Theeh to his second point of interest: the Virgola's weaponry.
The Gunnery Carver's design doesn't resemble anything else Theeh's seen, and it certainly isn't on-model for technology that comes from the UC 'verse either. And besides, the system won't interface with anything except the Virgola itself. So, does he think it's related to the Virgola's mysteriously high tolerances? "Right on the ball, Kazzy! You're the best!"

So basically, the theory is that the Virgola is specifically designed to manage a Gunnery Carver that is outputting at over twice its current performance. It's hard to believe that weapon could do that, but then again, it does contain black-box components that defy all analysis.
Still, it's a machine that responds to electrical signals, and its current output is well-calculated.
Theeh suggests messing with the inputs and seeing if the weapon responds. "You could try sending it 'I love you!' in Morse code!"

As everyone stands in a daze at the professor’s antics, Emma comes in looking for Setsuko. Truth be told, she hasn’t been seen by anyone since dusk.
She wouldn’t deploy alone again, would she…? Amuro scrambles everyone to check on the Virgola’s bay in the hangar – the thing’s not due for its test run yet!

Chapter 32: The Power of Sorrow

Indeed, Setsuko took the new Virgola and it and its new V Wing Flight System are working fine.
She’s very thankful for what Theeh’s done and glad she let him do his thing.
Now, more importantly, Toby's message said she should come meet him here alone...

But instead, it's this jerk who shows up, and he's come to stop some pest from stalking his bro around for good!
When Setsuko asks, Rand says he doesn’t anything about using Glory Star’s callsign - he's just got a bone to pick with his bro's little stalker! Also, no, he doesn’t know jack about any Toby Watson or where he could be.
What he does know is that she’s been bugging his friend and that’s good enough to make her an enemy!

: If you're with Asakim, just like Ziene...
: Then I won't let you defeat me!

: You finally ready to do this, little lady?
: No matter who you are, I...

*The Virgola starts powering down!*

: Huh...
: The Gunnery Carver won't turn on! Is it malfunctioning?
: I'll have to do this with the Ray Pistol...
: I hope you're ready for that shiny mech of yours to get trashed!
: I am Setsuko Ohara, Glory Star!
: I'll make you tell me what Asakim is after!
: Well, isn't that polite of you!
: Well, I'm Rand Travis, and people know me as THE HEAT!
: Nothing personal, little lady, but you're not getting anywhere near my bro!

And the stage starts up! We've got Setsuko vs a ton of crows and Rand! The crows are as non threatening as ever and Rand is as tanky as ever, but Setsuko's a lot stronger then she was last time!

The Virgola can fly now! That's pretty nice, water terrain is a problem of the past now.

Well, there is one complication in that we only have use of the Virgola's Ray Pistol. Ordinarily only used in her Tri attack. Plenty of ammo though.

Not much to do this first turn, just move Setsuko downwards so the crows will attack next turn.

If I had bothered to cast Focus I would not be hittable. Oh well.

Setsuko will be two shotting these things.

Rand gets closer, but not in range yet.

Now I cast Focus.

Setsuko heads closer, and the turn ends again.

The weakened ones die...

Rand gets up, normally I wouldn't be worried. But thanks to Setsuko dodging every single attack previous that he has a 60% hit rate against her. You see, there's a mechanic in this game commonly called "Evasion Decay". Every time a unit dodges an attack on the current turn, their evasion rate goes down a little bit. When the turn ends or the unit gets hit this penalty resets. It's given Rand an actual decent hit rate against a Focused Setsuko. So I evade.

: I'm not usually one for hitting a lady, but you messed with my bro!
: Who are you? How do you know Asakim?
: I owe him a big one, and this is how I can pay him back!
: You got that? Nothing against you myself, that's all!

Poor Rand, all that build up for a miss.

Now there's only two crows left, Evasion decay won't mess me up this time!

That's much better!

Come player phase and...

: Amazing…! I can move the Virgola almost like my own body!
: Damn, you're pretty good! I guess I was going easy on you because you're a girl!
: But I’m still THE HEAT! This ain't gonna scare me!
: Let's roll, Gunleon! Take 'er apart!
: Gh... I have to retreat...

: Aaah!!
: Heh! You thought you'd be safe in the air? I can swat you down like a fly!
: No! Even after the upgrades, he disabled the Virgola in one blow?
: Shame about your nice mech, but I'm shutting you down!
: But hey, if you join up with Asakim, I'll fix it back up on the house!
: Stay away from the Virgola! It's ours--... it's the pride of the Glory Star!
: Well, if you're gonna be like that, I'll just scrap it!
: Like hell you will!

: Stay away from her!

: Ghah!

: Ah...
: Looks like I'm just in time, Setsuko.
: Toby!
: Sorry for making you carry on the Glory Star by yourself.
: Not at all! I only made it this far because of you and the Chief...
: Because the Glory Star is our precious home.
: Well, thanks.
: And that's the new Virgola, huh? Sweet.
: I... I can't really use it to anywhere near its potential...
: You guys cut your flirting out and listen up!

: You are one rude dude!
: Pull out, Toby! I'll handle this!

: I'll draw out the Virgola's full power!

*Setsuko charges after Rand!*

: Toby…why would--?!
: Die.

: Toby, what...
: Toby? I don't see a Toby here.

: Asakim Dowin?!
: But how... where's Toby? Did he disappear with his mech?
: Oi! What's going on here, bro?!
: Just shift your phase a tiny bit and you can change how the world sees you.
: Not even I have the power to resurrect the dead, though.
: Where's Toby? What did you do to Toby?
: It was all an illusion. It was I with whom you exchanged all those sweet words.
: N...

: Hmhmhm…The very apex of grief. That will feed the Sphere's power.
: Now awaken... and Shurouga will reap your soul, banishing you from all the worlds.
: Uh, bro... this seems a little too far...
: I think I'm about done with you, Rand.
: Huh?!
: I have no use for Gunleon anymore. Mel Beater isn't here at the moment, but I can end her later.

: Guh!
: The Scarred Lion’s also quite pitiful. But, I’ll deal with you later...
: Until I deal with the foolish young woman who lived only to avenge her fellows.
: I...

: Glory Star...

: !
: The hell was that? Did that thing's weapon transform?
: No…it’s more like it got turned into something totally different!
: I'm sorry, Toby... I'm sorry, Chief...
: I'll never be able to forgive myself...
: (So you've awakened, Sorrowful Maiden. I've been waiting.)
: So I’ll fight... devoting all I am to the Virgola Glory...

*Warp noise!*

: Uh oh! Here we go again!
: Please leave…
: Hold on! I got a bone to pick with Asakim too--
: I…I don't want anyone else to get hurt…
: ...
: Fine. Don't die, lady.

: Hmhmhm…so you're finally at the next stage. It's time...

: Here I am, Asakim.
: Ziene, deal with her.
: Are you sure? Now that she's got you against the ropes, I can't afford to hold back.
: Do what you must. I just want ultimate despair.

: You got that, Setsuko? Kid gloves are off this time.

*No answer.*

: What, you're too sad to utter a word?
: Ziene Espio, are you telling me you threw our last battle?
: That's right. I had to raise your hopes so I could dash them later.
: And you were going on and on about your bonds. I almost couldn't keep myself from laughing.
: I'm sorry, Toby, Chief... I didn't know a thing...
: And all I can do now... is use my sorrow...
: Draw power from it and destroy my enemies...

And the Battle Mastery shows up. Defeat all enemies, then Ziene, within four turns.

Quite a few to deal with, and there's also a newly upgraded mech to play around with though...

Banpresto Originals
Setsuko Ohara - Virgola Glory
Voiced by Yukiko Takaguchi

* SP Regen - Gains 10 SP at the start of each turn.
* Support Attack (Level 3) - When Adjacent to an allied character before having attacked that turn, can perform a Support Attack after the ally attacks. The support attack will be slightly weaker then a regular attack.
* Focused Attack - The damage penalty for performing ALL attacks on multiple units is reduced.
* Will Limit Break - Maximum Will is increased to 170
* E Save - Reduces weapon energy costs by 20%
* SP UP (Level 6) - Increases Max SP by 5

Spirit Commands:
* Attune(10) - Grants one Ally the effect of the "Strike" Spirit command.
* Focus(10) - Increases hit and evasion rates by 30%
* Alert (10) - The caster gains 100% evasion rate for the next attack that targets the caster.
* Zeal(70) - Grants the caster's squad an extra action.

Squad Leader Bonus
* Ranged weapons receive a 10% bonus to Attack Power.

The Virgola Glory is a very substantial upgrade. It has an extra 30 EN, 10 Mobility, 5 Accuracy, and 200 Armor over the old Virgola Custom. Also, it's attacks are effectly new, having a substantial upgrade over their previous incarnations complete with new animation. The Jack Carver and Barley Scythe attacks have been consolidated into a single new attack; the Nautilus Carver. With it comes a brand new MAP attack, one of the few on a non battleship unit. Setsuko herself got some boosts, gaining +5 to all her stats, and that locked skill she'd had since the start of the game activating! SP Regen is incredibly powerful combined with Setsuko's Spirit list. She can cast Focus every turn without cost, or burn some SP on Zeal and still have enough later in the stage.

Unfortunately she can't get in range this turn so...

Enemy phase starts, nothing can touch her with Focus up.

Setsuko having 200 Will as part of an event this stage means she'll be doing a lot of damage by the way.

So close to being able to oneshot them with a crit on her PLA attack.

ZEUTH shows up and notice both Setsuko and Ziene, still up to no good. Kappei tells Setsuko not to worry now that they’re here, though.
Luna is the first to notice her new weapons and Setsuko has no idea why the Gunnery Carver suddenly transformed; Maria figures is Theeh’s doing but Kouji is pretty sure the old professor isn't responsible for whatever happened to it.
Either way, Quattro orders everyone to support Setsuko and eliminate the enemies.
Shinn does notice that something's up with Setsuko herself and begs Quattro to pull her back; Amuro tells Shinn to stop, though, seeing that her will to fight is the only thing that keeps Setsuko from collapsing right now.
Shinn doesn’t like it and Loran agrees that she shouldn’t fight in such a condition but Setsuko cuts in and says she wants to fight – her sorrow is now the only thing that gives her battles any meaning.
Kouji and Toshiya are pissed, demanding that Ziene tells them what they’ve done to her; Ziene coyly suggest they ask Setsuko as she was able to obtain this new power.
It’s the power born of Setsuko’s sorrow and she’ll embrace it even if it breaks her heart!

Uh... that's not sounding very good. Anyways! I see a fair amount of enemies lined up. Setsuko's MAP is fairly simple, it's a 8 square straight line. It's still incredibly handy, like any MAP is. Let's try it out!

Emma casts Bless. She's getting some SP-Ups as soon as possible.

I begin moving up my units. Softening up the mooks.

They don't need to be that damaged, but I did have to sacrifce one crow so that the other two could get blasted.

There we go! Everybody's ready, the enemies are softened up properly, let's do this!

: High Straight Turret, Fire!

Enemy phase comes, and I forgot to cast Focus. So Setsuko gets hit. Ow.

I don't like these odds, so I dodge.

: That's good, Setsuko. I can feel your negativity from here!
: ...
: Now sink into despair, and let Asakim take your power!
: Power from sorrow... I never wanted this.
: But I'll take it if it'll let me destroy all of you! With all I have!


Setsuko gets Trust cast on her, so she's not near death. Her getting shot down is a losing condition this stage.

I spend this turn getting people into position to take down Ziene the next.

This mostly involves putting everybody in a cluster for Support Attack abuse.

Thank you SEED for being so timely with your activation.

We want as many counter kills as possible so...

Somehow killing that crow made Quattro a better Commander.

Toshiya getting a counterkill triggers Maziz Power.

Everything's ready to finish this stage. Now, I should note that I made a mistake and thought it was just killing Ziene to get the Battle Mastery, though this mistake doesn't really cost me anything. You'll see why. On to the boss herself...

Banpresto Original
Ziene Espio - Eliphas
Voiced by Rie Saito

* Support Attack (Level 2) - When Adjacent to an allied character before having attacked that turn, can perform a Support Attack after the ally attacks. The support attack will be slightly weaker then a regular attack.
* Cooperative Attack - Whenever the pilot performs a Support Attack, that attack will automatically be a critical hit.
* Support Defend (Level 3) - If adjacent to an ally on the enemy phase, if an attack will hit the ally, the character will perform a Support Defense and the attack will hit the character at reduced damage instead. The number of times this can be performed depends on the skill's level.

Squad Leader Bonus
+10% Hit Rate, +10% Evasion Rate

Well, thank goodness no grunts decided to stay near her. Otherwise we would have had some problems. Anyways, she has twice the HP she did last stage and is a higher level. Luckily she doesn't have any really dangerous skills. Her extra hit and dodge rate is a little annoying, but I'll full of SP so time to just pound on her.

Thankfully she's focused on Setsuko, rather then blasting her MAP.

Let's start with the usual round of Analyze.

Heizaemon is my lowest leveled character here, so he's going to get the Cheer boosted boss kill today.

Trying out Zeal! Setsuko can now get in an oppening Salvo, and still Support Attack.

And look there. Setsuko can still move, on to the other poundings.

Setsuko has been to be stabbing Ziene a lot today.

I had forgotten just how fast I can burst damage down enemy HP.

So at this point I think "Hey, I got a bunch of free units, how about I get some more EXP and Cash?" Thus inadvertantly fulfilling the terms of the Battle Mastery without even trying.

Gavane gets another Support Attack.

Softening those grunts up lets Boss level up Prevail.

While killing the last grunt does the same for Talia.

Now I'm ready to finish her off.

Four Levels, with an upgrade to Support Attack

Ziene's defeated - for now - but Setsuko's Sphere has still awakened - it's not good enough for Asakim just yet, though.
Setsuko demands to know who Ziene is and why she’s working together with the guy: "The day of Break the World, he saved me from a horrible fate - from a memory of unending pain...", she says and leaves.
Setsuko can only think of this power that awakened the Gunnery Carver…it’s because of it that Denzel and Toby ended the way they did…

... isn't quite appropriate for the tone of this stage.

: All enemies are confirmed destroyed. No reinforcements are incoming, either.
: But, Setsuko is…

: Chief…Toby…

*Warp Noise!*

: This is--!
: Not good! We’ve a warp incoming!
: All units, retreat! Get as far away as possible!
: Let’s go, Setsuko!
: ...
: Pull yourself together, Setsuko!
: Get moving or this thing's gonna warp you who knows where!
: Setsuko! You're still going to fight, right?
: Didn't you say you'd fight to end your sorrow?
: Then don't stop now! Grieve and cry if you want, but take your fight to the end!
: Please keep on living, Setsuko! The war isn't over yet!
: Setsuko! Sis!!
: It's my mission to live... that's what the Chief told me...
: Keep fighting... that's what Toby taught me...

: It's Asakim's goon again!
: I'm real sorry, little lady! I didn't know what I was doing to you!
: So to start making it up to you, I'm not gonna let you die here!
: I have to live... to fight... it's my fate...

Elsewhere, Rand explains that he's been looking for his partner Mel, who got separated from him at the Break (and if we happen to be looking, she's a girl who looks about 12 or 13). That's when he met Asakim, who helped him look for her, and all with an "angelic smile" on his face.
Now that he thinks about it, though, Asakim must only have been helping him search because he wanted Mel for his own sinister designs. Now that Asakim's shown his true colors, Rand is sure there's nothing he'd stop at to do whatever it is he's trying to do, whether that involves Mel or Setsuko.

Anyway, Rand may have been duped, but he doesn't think that excuses what he did to Setsuko. If he ever crosses paths with Asakim again, he'll be sure to let her know. And he's going to keep after the bastard until he finds Mel. And Setsuko?

She's not sure. She's been after Asakim to avenge Toby and Denzel, and advancing the Virgola project was a means to that end. Now she's no longer sure that killing him will make the pain in her heart go away; she's not sure if anything will.
But that doesn't mean she's going to stop fighting. Her whole life since the war has been sorrow, but if she can't be rid of her own, she'll fight to keep others from going through the same sorrow.

But even if she's no longer interested in Asakim, Rand's pretty sure he'll be back for her. And Setsuko believes that when he does, she'll be ready for him with the power she gains from facing her sorrow head-on...

and Rand says something chilling: "If you do that, you'll change. Maybe into something inhuman."

Shinn, always running hot, demands he stop threatening her. He wasn't though. He just suspects that if the reason he thinks Asakim is after Mel is anything like what's happening to Setsuko...

Rand’s words gave her pause but Setsuko claims she's prepared for anything, because she has nothing left to lose; that said, he hopes she’ll take it easy as he’d like to see her again someday.
Now that everything's cleared up, Rand seems like a stand-up guy to Runa and the others. But he's got his own quest to be on, so he leaves Setsuko his info at the Beater Service and takes off.
In the meantime, Löwen's been ordered to accompany ZEUTH and assist us however he can, and he's only too glad to take on that mission, for Setsuko's sake. He's even coming with funds and supplies from the Brigadier General herself.
Reccoa and Jun remind her that she has the rest of ZEUTH by her side too.

Meanwhile, the engineering team starts thinking about what happened to the Gunnery Carver and what Theeh said earlier. The special input he hypothesized seems to have been fed into the black box, and that signal was Setsuko's sorrow.
Interesting to see a system that responds to the pilot's emotions, but not new; it resembles, in some way, the Psycommu. Which raises further questions: the Psycommu is a system that can only be used by a select few, so what's it, or something like it, doing on a production prototype?
And whatever it is about the machine that Asakim wants, he could have taken it - unless Setsuko herself is also involved. But how?

: (Chief, Toby... I have a new fight now...)
: (I'll keep fighting... with the pride of the Glory Star, the pride in my mission...)
: (And with the Virgola Glory...)


: Welcome back, Ziene.
: Thanks. …The power she unleashed...that's what you wanted?
: Ironic, isn't it? To break myself free from the chains of fate...
: I need to wield the very power that binds me.
: Asakim Dowin...
: Are you going to report this to your master?
: You're my only master. My body, my mind, and my fate are yours alone.
: The day the world ended, I was bound by those very chains and everything was taken from me...
: And only you, someone who shares my pain, can save me.
: Heh. Precious little Ziene.
: Just let me have her. Even if she's unlocked her power, I'll still finish her.
: You seem to have earned Ziene's wrath, Setsuko Ohara.
: We must pass judgment on her. Her sentence will dwarf the pain of the sorrow that has rent her heart.
: Then allow me to carry out my other mission while you make your preparations.
: The Chiram? Yes, they're foolish to try to open the way to the taiji by human hands.
: Don't worry. The New Federation is already set up to stop their meddling.
: If we tell them about the Chiram's dimensional restoration project, Project D, they'll be off in a flash.
: (And so the world will descend into chaos once more, and in that chaos, I will advance along my cursed path.)
(So I can be as I am, I will eradicate all in my likeness and reach the taiji at last.)

We get a hefty Clear Bonus from Edel. 50,000 bucks and 300 Blue Stones! The extra Minovsky Craft and barrier are nice bonuses too.