The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 16: Mission 5 (Rand) - Moon Riders

Mission 5 (Rand) - Moon Riders

Outside, Rand and Mel find all the snow gone from the ground... and no indication that it simply melted away.
Gunleon is also detecting some kind of unknown particles in the air inside this area, and Rand tells Mel to write down every last detail of what they're seeing in her notebook. Rand thinks that, unless he’s mistaken, the whole area they're looking at got warped from somewhere else.
There’s no time to think, though, as they hear another ringing sound signaling a new warp.

Several units are dropped into the area and, in the pink one, Holland is confused as the last thing he remembers was them busting into the "Coralian's Zone".
Matthew, in the orange unit, also notes that it went from day to night.

Holland asks Talho to determine their position and, while she’s trying to do so, she points out that some army troops are nearby.
Holland wonders if they were also moved here after chasing them through the Coralian. Meanwhile, the army commander wonders if this is the work of the Kute-class Coralian.
They quickly spot the Gekkostate units, members of an armed anti-government group, whom they have orders to capture, or if impossible, kill them.

Matthew is taken aback by the sudden attack but Stoner (yes, Stoner) was expecting it as they, the Gekkostate, have long been a thorn on the military’s side.
Hap figures one should strike while the iron’s hot but Hilda notices someone else in the battlefield…no one else recognizes that orange machine but they figure it doesn’t belong to the military.

: Darling! Those darker units are attacking them!
: Damn! The other warps didn’t bring over whole battles like this!
: Well, they attacked first, so it’s not like we have a choice!
: Oh, you heard me?
: Answer me. Who are you? What is this place?
: Do ya really got time to ask all that right now?

: What do we do, Holland? Do we run or fight back?!
: If we fled from the army, we'dd be disgracing the Gekkostate name!
: Sounds good.
: Hey, you! Them jarheads are gonna attack anything that moves so, if you don’t feel like dying, lend us a hand!
: Well, they DID start attacking out of nowhere, so that helps your case...Alright, I’ll help out.
: I’m the wandering repairman and vice-leader of the Beater Services, Rand Travis…
: People know me as: THE HEAT.
: "THE HEAT"? Talk about old-fashioned.
: Matthew! Is this really the place to chit-chat?!
: Sorry, honey!
: I’m Holland, leader of the Gekkostate. Nice to meet ya.
: Ditto! I'll fill you in on where this is once things have calmed down!
: If that’s settled, then, let’s get to it! Y'all ready, guys?
: Hap, Ken-goh! The Gekko Go's charging in, too!
: Eureka, can you do this?
: You don’t need to worry about me.
: Heh, I see…
: Alrighty, then! Let's get this moonlit party rolling!

: Some night-time Lifting, eh? I reckon this ain't too bad!
: Heh…what cool gang.
: Let’s go, you lot! Give this rotten army a show of our Lifting!

Victory Condition: All enemies shot down
Mission Failure: Any event unit shot down
Skill Point: Clear the mission by the end of turn 3

Yeeeaaaaaaaah, we’ve got the cool Gekkostate crew with us! Let’s take a look at our new friends:

Terminus 909, Terminus 606, Terminus 808 (Holland, Matthew/Stoner, Hilda)
Pilot Skills – Holland:
Spirit Commands – Holland
Pilot Skills – Matthew:
Spirit Commands – Matthew
Spirit Commands – Stoner
Pilot Skills – Hilda:
Spirit Commands – Hilda
Squad Leader Bonus – Holland: +20% damage against aerial enemies
Squad Leader Bonus – Matthew: +10% Evasion Rate
Squad Leader Bonus – Hilda: +20% Money Earned

Holland’s Voice Actor: Keiji Fujiwara (other known works: Ali Al-Saachez on Gundam 00, Axel in Kingdom Hearts, Dinobot () on the Beast Wars dub and a billion others)
Matthew’s Voice Actor: Akio Nakamura (other known works: Lei Wulong in the Tekken OAV and a few other minor parts.)
Stoner’s Voice Actor: Yasunori Matsumoto (other known works: Guy Cecil in Tales of the Abyss, Ed “The Ripper” Harrelson in Gundam SEED MSV Astray, Mellowlink in Armor Hunter Mellowlink and many others)
Hilda’s Voice Actress: Mayumi Asano (other known works: Gascogne in Vandread, Sprocket in Viewtiful Joe and several others)

All three Terminus units are squaddie material, with the biggest stand-out being Holland; while Matthew and, especially, Hilda are rather weak to be in the frontlines, Holland is right up there with Gain as a squaddie that has no problem taking to the frontlines and he’ll serve you well throughout the game.
Holland comes with an ALL and an ammo-based TRI attack, which makes him a great mook hunter (and he’ll, eventually, learn Boost!); Matthew has Accelerate and Stoner as a backup, which makes him a versatile squaddie with both decent offense and useful spirits.
Hilda is clearly the least useful of the three but, regardless, she’s still a squaddie with decent range, movement and flying, which already makes her stand-out a bit more (be prepared for her to take a hit every now and then, though).

The Terminus units are all worth a space in your squads but, if you insist on picking one, pick Holland.

Gekko Go (Talho Yuki/Hap/Ken-goh)
Pilot Skills:
Spirit Commands - Talho:
Spirit Commands - Hap:
Spirit Commands - Ken-goh:
Squad Leader Bonus: Adjacent Squads take 10% less damage

Talho’s Voice Actress: Michiko Neya (other known works: Ouka Nagisa in SRW OGs, Melissa Mao in Full Metal Panic, Natalia L.K. Lanvaldear in Tales of the Abyss and many, many others)
Hap’s Voice Actor: Tarô Yamaguchi (other known works: Kagemaru in Godannar, Borma in Ghost in the Shell and some others)
Ken-goh’s Voice Actor: Tamio Ohki (other known works: Captain Tashiro in Gunbuster, General Miwa in Daimos, Albert Schacht in Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO and many others)
Gidget's Voice Actress: Fumie Mizusawa (other known works: Erika Kurumi in Precure All Stars, Elise Schmitz in Freezing and several others)

The Gekko Go is pretty much a flying Iron Gear but trading the higher-powered attacks for added movement and mobility; Talho’s Lift Technique gives the ship added accuracy and survivability with the Double Image effect.
Like the Iron Gear, it has piss for armor which is somewhat mitigated by its 2L size but it still can’t take much of a pummeling. That's fine, of course, as the ship is clearly designed to hang back and attack from afar (despite Talho’s leader bonus).
Keep it out of harm’s way and it should work well enough but there are better ships in the game.

Nirvash (Eureka)
Pilot Skills:
Spirit Commands:
Squad Leader Bonus: Accuracy and Evasion Rate +10%

Eureka’s Voice Actress: Kaori Nazuka (other known works: Nunnally Vi Britannia in Code Geass, Shino and Subaru in the .hack series and many others)

You want to use the Nirvash. Don’t question it, just do it.
This thing is already pretty decent and Eureka is on par with Gainer as a pilot (plus, that leader bonus paired with a Focus that, effectively, costs 5 SP means she’ll hit and dodge everything forever) and the unit will only get stronger as the game goes along.
I won’t go too deep to avoid spoilers but just be sure that you’ll NEVER be disappointed with (the TV series’) Nirvash.

This is about the point where the game figures you’ve had enough of the training wheels and starts throwing harder Skill Points at you; three turns would be plenty if the enemies were closer or if it were just mooks but that battleship is surprisingly bulky.
You’ll need all those three turns to kill everyone and it’ll still be tight.

Also, yes, this area IS pitch-black.

No one can get into attack range, so everyone just moves forward.

Enemy Phase!

Rand quickly figures out that, whatever those particles in the air are, the Gekkostate crew are able to ride on them with their boards (they call them Trapar – Transparence Light Particle).
Mel has never heard anything about particles or boards like these and Rand wonders if they're from another world entirely, and not just from another part of this one.

Matthew draws the attention of three Mon-soono-10s; only two attack from inside his range, though.

: Stoner! You better be taking some good pictures of my Lifting!
: …
: What’s up? You didn't forget to put film in the camera, right?
: I can’t explain but I feel like something's off here…or, rather, with the air around here…
: Something off? How so?
: Matthew…we may have been taken somewhere unthinkable.
: Well, save it for later! We need to knock these jarheads out first!

Aha! See how he phased out there? That means Double Image was triggered.

One of the western-most Mon-soonos decides to try his luck with Holland.

: I dunno where this is but so long as I can feel the Trapar waves, I can still Lift!
: And I ain't about to get dropped by anyone!

Holland’s high Lift Technique means he gets a big boost to his crit ratio – these Mon-soonos are just bulky enough to avoid being oneshotted.

Another Mon-soono also gets in Eureka’s range – her strongest attack is her TRI but I believe her second strongest does have a dynamic finisher.
I’ll show it off by the end of this mission (even if I have to resort to the special disk).

: This place… This isn’t where we were…?

Eureka pulls some sick tricks. Much better than beamspam, no?

The eastern mooks all draw closer while the battleship and its escort of three upgraded Mon-soono-20s stay put.

Player Phase!

Here’s a quick look at the enemy’s (*breathe in*) Flying Battleship of the United Federation of Predgio Towers’ Army: it’s very bulky compared to everything else we’ve seen (much more than our two battleships, even) and, as such, is the real obstacle to getting the skill point.
Its attacks are both 2-6 and 2-7 range, so you’ll want to keep your troops out of that range in order to make it move towards us – if you don’t, you will NOT get the Skill Points because your troops won’t reach it in time.
It should be noted that the ship’s captain knows Commander L1, giving those Mon-soono-20s a bonus to accuracy/evasion, so approach them with caution.

We don’t have time to kill weakened enemies – our only option is to keep moving forward weakening all that we can and letting them kill themselves against us during a counterattack.
Most of Rand’s attacks don’t have very good ratings against airborne enemies, so he needs to Attune himself to hit reliable (miss too many attacks and you can kiss the skill point goodbye, too).

: Mel, you know anything about them?!
: No! There’s nothing about them in my notebook!
: Thought so… These folk might've come from some place we didn't even know existed…

At least they can’t do jack to Gunleon.

Matthew gets sent eastward to start weakening another full-HP Mon-soono; meanwhile, Holland weakens the last one of the western group and they should all die during the next turn.

Or, rather, we’ll take one of them out with Hilda because she can’t reach anything else.

: It must be SO tough being in the army…having to shoot first, ask questions later.
: Still, if that’s how you wanna play, I’ll play!


Eureka moves over to Matthew and leaves the last Mon-soono-10 primed to be killed.

FYI, the Gekko Go was moved to the frontlines with Strike cast in hopes of drawing the attention of the Mon-soono-20s around the battleship.

Enemy Phase!

The rest of the Iron Gear forces catch up, with Garrod and Jiron berating Rand for running on ahead, despite the fact that they were all helping look for info on Mel’s dad.
Rand apologizes, saying that once he realized that a warp was coming, he moved without thinking. Gain asks who the board-riding folk are and Mel introduces them, saying we’re helping them out of a jam.

The enemy troops figures we’re in with the Gekkostate and open fire upon the Iron Gear.
While Jiron is taken by surprise, Elchi figures that, if that’s the way it’s gonna be, we’ll just have to fight back. Gainer stops her, though, saying that these guys probably got warped here just like Garrod, so maybe we can talk to them and stop the battle.
Rand congratulates the kid on his quick-thinking, making Sara shake her head that he didn’t even consider that idea before starting to fight an unknown enemy…to which Rand says he didn’t have a whole lot of time to think while being shot at.
Regardless, Rand gets in touch with both Gekkostate and United Federation troops and proposes a cease-fire.

Holland asks Talho if they know their location yet and Gidget, the Gekko’s navigator, says neither the sensors nor the compass are working properly.
Hap notes that they’re not broken, though, and wonders what could be wrong. Plus, Holland remembers feeling a bit strange some time ago and asks Eureka if she has any idea what happened.
She doesn’t but she feels something odd about this situation and Holland figures they should take Rand up on his cease-fire request. The army troops are also willing to stop the fight in order to figure out where they’ve been taken to.

That is, until someone hidden nearby attacks the military.
Rand asks what the fuck, seeing how the negotiations were going well and everyone says they didn’t fire. It’s too late, though, as the Fed Captain now thinks the cease-fire talks were just a trap and gives the order to attack everyone.
Our troops can’t last under that heavy bombardment and have no choice but to fight back (Rand is very annoyed that someone screwed his negotiation). Holland calls Rand back, asking for their continued help if the Feds aren’t willing to stop and Rand, begrudgingly, agrees to do so.

All western Mon-soono-10s gun for Holland and Hilda, getting shot down one by one (Hilda does take a hit for 1400 damage, mind).

On the eastern front, both weakened mooks go after Matthew.

They’re also dispatched.

Now this is my bad: I didn’t check the range on these Mon-soono-20s and two of them snipe at Matthew from out of attack range; one of them does move closer but Matthew misses him.
Normally, this wouldn’t be too bad but this tight Skill Point offers less-than-usual leeway, so it is worrisome.

Thankfully, one of them goes after Holland who can fight back.
Radical, dude!

Also nice, the enemy Battleship moves closer but we’re not in the clear yet.

Player Phase!

Last turn and we still have a lot to do; first and foremost, the remaining Mon-soono-20s need to be weakened so they can be killed on their turn.
The Fed Captain’s command aura is boosting their dodge rates, so Rand needs to cast Attune on Matthew.

Talho also gets an attune and takes aim.

: Ken-goh! Prepare to attack!
: Leave it to me, Talho. You focus on piloting.
: Keep in mind that we’re almost flat broke. Don’t go wasting any ammo, you two.
: I don't need a reminder! Let's get in there!
: Do you really understand…?
And here’s our first instance of “the bounce”.
Also, yes, the Gekko can be surprisingly dodgy (for a battleship).

Hilda scores a perfectly-timed critical hit on the last full-health mook.

Rand takes a jab at the ship from as far as possible to avoid drawing the attention of the Mon-soonos.

One of the main problems with this Skill Point is how far your reinforcements comes from; if a squad doesn’t have Jiron and his Boost command, they’re not getting in range of anything.

: Damn, they're even faster than a Doran!
: And, in that case, all I can do is go with my gut!

Not a whole lot of damage but we need everything we can get.

Holland covers Hilda with his command aura and gets ready to hit the battleship with his strongest attack: Assault.

Even with a critical hit, Eureka isn’t strong enough to deal enough damage to a 2L sized enemy – we’ll need everything to play ball on the enemy phase and, if someone decides to snipe, we’re hosed.

Enemy Phase!

Holland and Matthew are attacked by, respectively, one and two Mon-soonos and they deal with them accordingly.

The absolutely biggest issue here was this one Mon-soono that attacked Hilda point-blank; this meant she couldn’t use her Long Range Laser Cannon and had to rely on her Boomerang Knife, which wasn’t strong enough to kill it if it didn’t crit.
Luckily, it did.

And, here’s the check-mate: the battleship attacks Hilda and she can wrap things up.


Now, before we wrap up the plot, here’s the dialogue for people who didn’t get in range and, also, Eureka’s dynamic finisher for her Cut-Back Drop Turn attack.

-Garrod Vs. Anything-
: What the hell?! The way they fly is all over the place! I can't keep up!
: These guys…are they surfing the air?!

-Gainer Vs. Anything-
: These machines are neither Overmen nor Walker Machines…!
: But I can't give in! If they’re more interested in attacking than talking, I’ve no choice but to fight back!

-Gain Vs. Anything-
: (The attack that screwed up the negotiations didn’t come from us…)
: (Who was it, then? And what was he after…?)

The problem is solved but every other member of our crew wonders about these new units, unlike anything they’ve seen before, and Garrod wonders if they’ve also been warped here.
Rand confirms and figures they should talk to, hopefully, straighten things out. Stoner thanks us, on behalf of the Gekkostate, for coming to their aid.
Matthew, however, finds Rand a bit weird: he said he’s a repairman but he figures he’s much more suited as a demolition man. Of course, Rand bristles at this but Mel stops him from doing anything.
Either way, Holland also wishes to speak with us to figure out where this is and who we are (Rand's also got stuff he wants to ask them).
He and his crew return to the Gekko Go to find a safe place to land it.

: It’s coming…
: What’s wrong, Eureka…?!

*Ringing noise!*

: W-what was that?! I heard something!
: That ringing…is it happening again?!
: Not good! Guys, get back into the Iron Gear!
: What’s going on, repairman?!
: Sorry! Ain't no time to explain! Y'all need to run, too!!
: Run?! Run where?! From what?!
: What is it?! What’s happening?!
: It’s a warp! This whole place is getting warped!
: It’s here…

: Urgh, damn it! Are we all getting warped?!

Location: The Continent of North Ameria – Country of Inglessa – Town of Vicinity, Heim Mine

This is our first Turn A Gundam BGM and, boy, is it nice; the game doesn’t play it often but it’s beautiful nonetheless.

Loran is gazing up at his former home, the Moon, a full two years since coming here. In this time, the master, mistresses, and Mr. Gwen have all been very kind to him.
Tomorrow will be his ceremonial passage into adulthood. He begins laughing in joy, crying to his long-lost countrymen that the Earth is a wonderful place after all and begs everyone to come back quickly.
He’s interrupted when he hears some ringing sound…

He sees something falling from the sky and the Iron Gear drops right nearby.