The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 21: Mission 6 (Setsuko) - The Incarnation of the God of Gravity

Chapter 6: The Incarnation of the God of Gravity

Alex Smith is among the soldiers deployed to intercept the invaders...

but the squad is destroyed almost instantly and only he survives to eject.

Quinstein and Tsukikage are shocked by the arrival of yet more new aliens, and according to Sandman, those are indeed the Zeravire.

Kappei arrives in the Zambird; his grandpa told him to see what was going on, but it looks like a miss. "Fool!" rumbles Heizaemon. They may not be the Zeravire, but they still threaten the Earth, and it's their duty to fight them!

The Dizer Team, of course, is also here to help, as are the Glory Star, who Denzel has decided would be more efficient flying in tight formation. By formation, of course, we mean Z's signature Formation system, in which a leader fights alongside two squadmates. Setsuko's been trained in formation maneuvers, of course.

Meanwhile, Toga is handing Eiji some new clothes and pushing him into some machine...

And we've hit objective for this stage, beat all the enemies in only two turns!

But, of course, there's something else here we need to look at first. Our first mission with squads. The Tri-Squad system is a signature part of Super Robot Wars Z. Squads, in general, are a way to have the large casts that a massive crossover of stories that Super Robot Wars requires while still keeping the number of playable units per stage a sane number. Each squad counts as a single playable unit in the stage. A squad consists of the squad leader and his or her support units. You can switch who the leader is ay any time, and with the character as a leader the squad gets their Squad Leader Bonus. There are three different formations a squad can take.

You select this option from the menu to rearrange the squad, selecting formation and leader.

The first formation is the Tri Formation. In the Tri-Formation only the Squad Leader attacks normally. However, being in Tri-Formation allows the usage of Tri-Charge attacks. These attacks, have some unique properties, in general they're considered a combination attack, so their power is based off all three members combined, it also pierces barriers. Tri attacks are very powerful, but typically have low ammo count/high energy cost. One final bonus of the Tri Formation is that the squad support members get an extra 20% evasion.

Next is the Center Formation. In the Center Formation, the support members use the Platoon(PLA) attacks against the enemy Squad Leader when attacking. Their PLA attacks do only 50% of their normal damage though. The Squad Leader gets a 20% bonus to accuracy. Finally, if any squad member is equipped with a barrier the barrier is spread across the entire squad.

Finally, there's Wide Formation. In the Wide Formation the support members use their PLA attacks against the enemy support members, doing 80% of their normal damage. One defensive downside is that, unlike the other two formations, the support members can not use Support Defense to take a hit for the leader. On the other hand, the big defensive boon of Wide Formation is that the entire squad takes 50% less damage from ALL Attacks and Tri Attacks.

That's the basics of the Tri-Squad system, since we're still only attacking single target enemies, I select Center Formation. I make Setsuko the leader because her Squad Leader bonus is really good, especially since Glory Star's PLA attacks are ranged.

One more thing about PLA attacks, it doesn't matter if they're normally not Post-Movement like the Virgola's are, they'll still be used by the support members.

Still, that's enough, it's time to move down to face the Zeravire!

Nothing else happens the first turn, so they just move up and start targeting our guys.

: They're obviously using technology beyond what this Earth has...
: Aliens again.. and they're trying to invade Earth!

And Duke Fleed pulls off a surprise dodge! If it isn't obvious, these things are kind of weak.

The next one targets Zambird.

: They aren't the Gaizock!
: But I'm sick of sitting around at the bottom of the ocean! I gotta move!

Then every other enemy that can get in goes for Kappei.

A couple of the smaller Zeravires blast through the formation, towards the hotel - and the evacuation is incomplete!

Then a ship rises out of the river, and Sandman shouts: "Fellows of the Gran Knights, go forth!"

The ship launches what looks like jets, a tank, and a robot - what Sandman calls the Gran Knights, "our only hope".

Eiji's found his way into one of the jets somehow and is not happy about it. Runa snaps that if he just doesn't touch anything, they'll handle his machine. "Pipe down! Be more like Toga."

Toga is in the machine known as the Gran Kaiser, and he's suddenly a different boy. Coldly, he orders the two jets - the G-Striker and G-Attacker - to defend the airspace over the hotel, and the G-Driller, with Runa and Eina in it, to intercept the enemies to the north. Mizuki tells Eiji to follow her lead.

Finally, Raven is pulling the Gran Fortress out of combat, leaving Toga to defend against the approaching forces.

On our end, we've got the remaining Zeravires to clean up while Toga holds the fort.

Right, Toga can handle those two.

One was already weakened, so we target the one at full health.

: ...

Super-Heavy God Gravion
Toga Tenkuuji - Gran Kaiser
Voiced by Jun Fukuyama (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)

* Counter (Level 2) - On the enemy phase, will sometimes attack before the enemy. Activation rate is determined by the skill stat.
* Will +(Hit) - The pilot gains 1 point of Will whenever they successfully hit an enemy.
* Predict - At 130 Will, hit, evasion and critical hit rate increase.

Spirit Commands
* Focus(15) - Increases hit and evasion rates by 30%

Squad Leader Bonus
*+10% Attack power during the Player Phase

It should be obvious, but Gran Kaiser is not the unit you'll be using Toga for. Let's put off full analysis until then.

I try to show off the power of Virgola 3's Tri Attack, which is pretty good, being post movement with 3 ammo.

: A-another strange enemy...
: This is no time to freak out, Setsuko! We've got alien invaders!
: He's right! If the Alliance can't handle these things, it's up to us!
: Of course! I'll fight as hard as I can!

Buttt I fail to notice that it has a B rank for Air, and is not near as powerful as it should be.

These things have pretty pathetic range, Setsuko was able to snipe it pretty easily at least.

Let's have Team Spazer finish this one off.

This is what squadmates doing PLA attacks look like. In all honesty, unless they get the kill I won't really bother to take screenshots of them. They're typically the least visually interesting attack a unit has.

Kappei took a beating last turn, so I use Guts to heal him.
With the last full health one gone, the rest kill themselves on the enemy phase, thank you counter attacks!

Another sweet victory.

Now that the city is safe, we'd better jet before things get awkward.

The Gran Divas, as they're collectively called, report success on their fronts - even Eiji managed to pull his own weight.

Unfortunately, we've got more trouble - including one that's much bigger! It's probably what passes for their leader.

Toga charges in, but the Gran Kaiser can't put a scratch on it.

The shadowy man asks if Sandman needs his help. "Your sun isn't ready yet," says Sandman. "And if I lose you here, we have little hope in the battles to come." Who is this man? Is he the friend Sandman mentioned, wonders Fitzgerald?

The Gran Knights will have to play their last card...

"Fellows of the Gran Knights, combine!"

...he says, but Eiji has no idea what's going on.

The lead Zeravire moves for him...

But a third jet swoops in to save him. Sandman says this is the G-Shadow, and with all five machines together, they can finally...

do this! Sandman names it "the final resort of Earthgertz, the spear and shield of Earth - God Gravion, master of gravity. Humanity's only hope, wielding power and beauty together."

Eiji is still very confused, but that's okay - the others tell him Toga's in control now. Sandman warns them that there's a drawback, though - the Divas can only withstand such a concentration of gravitons, and it'll take three minutes for it to build to that point. Once they reach their limit, God Gravion's combination will release automatically, and they won't be able to join again without returning to their base. To Toga, that just means he has to destroy that Zeravire within three minutes!

But who's in the G-Shadow? Mizuki has her suspicions - could it be Ayaka?

As for our little crew, we'll keep the others off of Gravion so they can focus on the leader. Kappei wants to see how cool the combined robot can be - and so does Duke, who can clearly see that Zambo Ace and the combiner are both not of Earthly origin.

So the objective is simple. Defeat the Zeravire boss within three turns. God Gravion can do this by itself, so the other guys will handle clean up.

It helps, of course, that the others were kind of thrown into the middle of it.

All this being shot at is shooting Kappei's Will up, pity it's just the Zambird for now.

I keep thinking I'm going to be able to show off Support Defending in Squads, but Setsuko keep dodging 60% hit chances.

Everyone keeps swarming Kappei.

Hey here we go! Toby bravely taking the hit for Setsuko.

Back up here, the Zeravire aims for Gravion.

: Toga, we're all set here! Go nuts!
: Hey, come on! At least tell me what this thing is first!
: Will you shut up about that already? I'll fill you in afterwards, so just do your job now!
: I'd listen to her, Eiji. We have to take that thing down first.
: F-fine! I'm not gonna die here, then!
: At your leisure, Master Toga!
: Roger.
:What's his deal, anyway? He gets in his robot and suddenly he's a rock.
: (And there's the pilot of the G-Shadow too. Who is that?)

OK now that it's our turn, let's take a look at God Gravion.

Super-Heavy God Gravion
Toga Tenkuuji - God Gravion
Voiced by Jun Fukuyama (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)
Eiji Shigure - God Gravion Subpilot
Voiced by Kenichi Suzumura(Japanese), Chris Patton (English)
Runa Gusuku - God Gravion Subpilot
Voiced by Haruna Ikezawa (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Mizuki Tachibana - God Gravion Subpilot
Voiced by Yu Asakawa (Japanese), Kira Vincent-Davis (English)
Eina - God Gravion Subpilot
Voiced by Mai Nakahara (Japanese), Jessica Boone (English)
??? - God Gravion Subpilot
Voiced by Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Allison Keith (English)

* Counter (Level 2) - On the enemy phase, will sometimes attack before the enemy. Activation rate is determined by the skill stat.
* Will +(Hit) - The pilot gains 1 point of Will whenever they successfully hit an enemy.
* Predict - At 130 Will, hit, evasion and critical hit rate increase.

Spirit Commands(Toga)
* Focus(15) - Increases hit and evasion rates by 30%

Spirit Commands(Eiji)
*Accel(20) - The Caster's squad gains a one use +2 to movement.

Spirit Commands(Runa)
* Strike(20) - The caster will have 100% Hit rate for that turn.
* Luck(40) - The Caster's Squad will gain double the amount of money from a defeated enemy, the effect fades after the next attack even if an enemy is not killed.

Spirit Commands(Mizuki)
* Scan(1) - Reveals an enemy squad's stats without having to fight them

Spirit Commands(Eina)
*Gain(20) - The caster's squad will gain double the Experience Points from the next attack

Spirit Commands(???)
*Guard(30) - The caster takes 1/4 damage from all attacks for one turn.
* Mercy(10) - If the pilot's skill stat is higher then the enemy's, then an attack that would normally defeat the enemy leaves them alive with 10 HP.

Squad Leader Bonus
*+10% Attack power during the Player Phase

God Gravion is absurd. On a basic level it's about as strong as Grendizer, more HP but less armor and an L size. However... It. Has. Six. Pilots. Once its pilots level up it'll just be able to blast through things. However, there's a catch. That three minute limit mentioned? That isn't just a plot excuse for this stage. Toga will deploy in the Gran Kaiser. Once he hits 130 Will however, a new option will appear in his menu. With it the Gran Kaiser can become the God Gravion, but only for three turns. Still, three turns is a long time in this game.

As a bit of extra info, when a skill is currently active on a character, it will flash green on their status screen.

Enough about that for now though, let's continue the process of wiping these mooks out.

This lets Toby not only gain a level of Support Defense, but also learn new Spirit command!

*Accel(15) - The Caster's squad gains a one use +2 to movement.

Kappei's out of SP for Guts, so he gets repaired instead because I just know a bunch of them are going to target him

I then promptly move him, forgetting to attack.

Finally, I move Toga a square back, God Gravion's best attack has a range of 2-6, so it can't be used against enemies right in its face. Since it's not post-movement, I need to set up its use the turn beforehand.

Onto the enemy phase!

Huh they attacked Team Spazer Maria is naturally good at counterattacking, but the Drill Spazer was just barely not enough. But don't worry, I have plans for her.

Kappei finishes that one off.

This one suicides against Grendizer, barely scratching its paint job.

Same here with Setsuko.

I could finish it off this turn, but I have one left and there's still some enemies I can get cash from.

Almost done.

Move Glory Star up to take out this one.
I did not know Zambo Ace's rifle attack had a ground to air animation until just now.

Eina casts Gain, because why not?

Look at all that sweet EXP.

Toga gets a new Spirit Command to boot!

*Spirit(20) - Increases the caster's Will by 10

Kappei's impressed by the robot, but Denzel says it's dangerous. Won't the army come for it?

Looks like they just did, or at least they're there for us. Sandman quickly says that this whole thing is the force of resistance he has prepared against the invaders, with God Gravion at its center. The events of the past few days have been a demonstration of their power, but soon, he'll make it official.

Gibril realizes that he invited all these figures here to orchestrate this and take control of the whole thing for himself. Well played, Sandman. But Gibril will only step up his recon efforts from here on out, and it's understandable why - who is this Klein Sandman?

Duke suggests we play along with Sandman; it'd be better than staying on the run. Besides, Denzel wants to know more about that blue machine. Kappei is glad shit finally isn't boring, and Eiji wants to know what Sandman knows about Ayaka.

Eiji is unceremoniously dumped out of his jet into San Germain Castle's sweet control room (?!), where a trio of young maids starts undressing him. I'm not going to get too deep into this. Mizuki, Runa, and Eina show up and introduce themselves.

So do Toga, back to his weird self, and Sandman. Eiji promptly accuses Sandman of forging a letter from his sister, Ayaka. "Where's Ayaka? Give me Ayaka back!"

Raven punches him.

But Sandman admits to it. Earthgertz, the organization dedicated to fighting the Zeravire threat, needed someone to pilot the G Attacker, and Eiji's strong concentration of something called the "G Factor" fits the bill. The G Factor, to make a long story short, is what enables human bodies to withstand high concentrations of gravitons, and it's necessary for anyone who fights with Gravion. Ayaka had it too, but Sandman's chosen Eiji for the G Attacker. That's why he forged that letter to draw Eiji to his castle. "It was not a beautiful act," he says. "For that, I apologize deeply."

"You're lying!" yells Eiji. He and Ayaka exchanged letters and she never said anything about any of this. Raven coolly says that everyone has their secrets. Mizuki admits the bigger problem: Ayaka was here, but she's missing. She mysteriously vanished during exercises and hasn't been seen since. They're worried about her too, in fact. Sandman invites Eiji to stay in the castle and investigate as he wishes; Toga pulls him, protesting, away to give him a tour.

With Eiji no longer making noise, the next question becomes the G-Shadow. Unfortunately, Sandman quickly says he has to attend to the guests and excuses himself. Dammit! Raven says he trusts that Sandman knows what he's doing.

We do appreciate being attended to; Sandman first apologizes for putting us on the spot. Kappei in particular - yes, he knows Kappei. "I know your family, you see." He's looked into the visitors from another world as well. This guy clearly isn't just a rich magnate, so Kouji decides to cut the bullshit. "We're grateful for the help, but if you think you can take advantage of us, we'll have something to say about that."

"True," murmurs Sandman. "The whole world isn't out of my grasp right now."

There's an awkward pause.

"...but my fellows and I have only one desire," he continues. "To protect this world and all its people from the claws of darkness."

We can't really argue with that - he's built Earthgertz and Gravion (the first time our team's heard the name) just for that. He doesn't expect us to believe everything he says so quickly, but he does trust that we're trying to avoid being taken in by the Alliance. He can give us that, and he promises to do what he can to help Kappei and his family get back to Suruga safe and sound.

That doesn't help the rest of us who have no home in this universe, though. Sandman is willing to keep us as guests in his castle, but guests nonetheless. We have nowhere to go in this world.

Setsuko wonders if she has a place to go at all. Daisuke, meanwhile, is a "visitor" to this planet in more ways than one, and he suspects that Sandman is as well...

But for now, we should take up Sandman's hospitality and get some rest. It's been a long day.

First, let's check on on Sandman and a girl who calls him "Uncle" who he keeps in his castle - he says he's kept her for some years since she lost her memory. And he's so sorry for putting her through more hardship. Not at all, she says...