Part 10: The Incredible Six Gods CombinationSorry for the delay.
Training pilots so I don't forget! First, these three get EN Save.
And these two get Supply Skill.
Also a little upgrade money heading Team Godmars' way. I'm not sure what the Cosmo Crusher really needs - it seems to be okay at everything, though quite on the Real side - so I just put a little bit into everything. It's cheap that way, too.
It's the next day, and all the Crushers are still abuzz about the "alien" forces they fought. They don't look like Earth technology, and all the terrestrial powers have denied all knowledge about them. The real question - why did they attack Japan, in particular? Akagi and Watta are on the same wavelength about it: who gives a crap, they're bad guys and let's beat the crap out of them.
Kakekouji encourages Aoyama and Ibuki not to pilot if they don't want to. "We salarymen must take pride in our own work," he says. What he means is that one should pursue a line of work they feel is right for them rather than one they think they have to do.
The one missing man, Crowe, is back from business and looking kind of glum. He sold off the combat data on the aliens, all right, but Traia was annoyed that he didn't have any Damon data with it and drove him a hard bargain. "They always show up when I don't need them, and they don't when I'm looking for them. Whatever's making them show up, it's gotta be stacked against me."
The pack starts talking about the alternate routes! I don't know if I should talk about these since we are going to be running through them, so let me know. To make it brief, Crowe summarizes, in rumor form, the main happenings going on with Celestial Being and in Area 11.
After that, the conversation turns back to Takeru, who you may remember has something very important to talk about with his dad. Naoto quips that maybe his dad is going to tell him he's not an Earthling! Mika is quick to admonish him for his terrible joke, but Naoto brings up Gaia in response. And if, in the worst case, Takeru were to turn out to be not just an alien, but a member of the invading alien species...
Well, bad news. The elder Myojin tells Takeru the story. One night, seventeen years ago, he was out late at night when he saw a meteor fall out of the sky. The impact created an island, which came to be called Myojin Reef, after Myojin himself. But that wasn't all - Myojin also discovered a capsule of some sort on the island. Inside that capsule was the baby Takeru.
That's all Myojin knows, but Takeru puts two and two together, and the second two is the dream he had where Emperor Zuul called him his son Mars.
With ideal timing, this blue-skinned, psychic fellow Gell fires a psychic shock blast at Takeru and parents! What's more, he's calling Takeru by the name "Mars." He introduces himself as a Gishin and declares that he will kill Mars, the traitor. Seventeen years ago, Mars was sent to Earth from Gishin for the purpose of destroying the planet, and with orders from the Emperor to do just that. He disobeyed that order and must die for his treachery! Not only that, but he actually turned his psychic fists upon a Gishin attack squadron.
Takeru considers the Earth his home, and refuses to destroy it, and what's more, will fight Zuul for ordering its destruction. That means he's just made an enemy of Emperor Zuul.
Gell shoots Mr. Myojin with a shock blast. This is either a threat to Takeru or an attempt to break his bonds with Earth, and I'm not convinced Gell really cares. He fires at Takeru's mom next, and Takeru absorbs the assault.
Then he turns gold (!) and fires his own blast back at the alien! (No but seriously Takeru, you did this like five times last chapter, this is not the time to be surprised.) Anyway, Gell doesn't think he can handle Mars, an A-Class psychic, in a duel of the psychic powers, and flees.
Myojin's time is running out, and he leaves Takeru with his final words: "Takeru, you are... the link between... Earth... and the universe... you must live..." But before Takeru has time to grieve or absorb those words, Gishin mecha fly in...
Chapter 7: The Incredible Six Gods Combination
Gell has come back with a robot force, and Takeru figures out that he can call Gaia to him if he wishes. He does so, so he can put up a fight and defend his mom. But Gell knows that he only needs to destroy Gaia and the antiproton bomb will go off and destroy the planet. In short, he intends to make Takeru finish his mission by force!
The win condition is to blow up Gell's Guldar. The SR Point condition is to do that within four turns, but take out the rest of his army first.
This is a small stage with a few enemies. The real fun part will be keeping Gaia alive. (Gell's machine is the weird-lookin' one in the third squad from the top.)
It's painfully obvious that something is going to happen in this stage, so I should play it safe. But the SR Point, like so many others, is to cause a lot of destruction in a short time frame, and you don't make that happen by running and waiting for deus ex machina.
p.s. Gaia still has awful mobile range. Nothing he can do this turn but approach.
Dad, I may have been born in space, but my heart belongs to the Earth.
And you're my dear father who raised me. I'll make them pay for taking you from me!
On the counter. I was kind of hoping he could take out a plane. Maybe at higher Will levels. If the melee shock blast won't take one out, the ranged beam-type blast sure won't.
I mean, it's not bad, but it's not exactly ripping the enemy apart.
Eventually, Gaia takes its first hit. With a few pips of extra armor and HP, it's not that bad.
Gaia can take out a Gishin jet on a critical.
But only with the melee shock blast. (I should mention that weapon pips, you'll remember, are expensive, and having even one would probably be exceptional at this stage on a first playthrough. Since this isn't a first playthrough, most of my fighters do have one, including Gaia.)
At last, the mecha start moving.
Takeru has been harassed by jets all round, and even though they failed to hit, the aftereffects have left his dodge chance much lower than it should be.
(The real danger with the mecha is mostly that they're pretty tough.)
It's round 2, and none of the mecha felt like moving (and only one attacked). My gut definitely says "try to wipe out those jets."
Bingo. One jet later, Gell taunts Mars, saying his one machine can't take on his entire squad by itself. (Funny, I thought it was doing pretty well.)
On cue, the Crushers arrive to help. Takeru tells them the Gishin are out to destroy the planet, which strikes them all as a hell of a lot more serious than just invading it. Naoto, of course, is suspicious that Takeru knows even that much about the enemy, but now's not the time for that!
Now that the tides are turning in Takeru's favor, Gell decides to cut the shit and cut down Gaia as quickly as possible, personally.
Takeru cries out in desperation, and five other robots appear to respond to his call.
Again, a mysterious voice inside Gaia speaks to him. It tells him to call "Six Gods Combination" (oldschool, right?) and form Godmars.
The five machines combine with Gaia into another, bigger robot! The voice tells him it's Godmars, his guardian.
Sadly, Takeru's guardian is spent for the turn.
I guess Godmars deserves a new exposition, since it's Takeru's really real robot.
Godmars (Takeru Myojin)
Hit (8 EN, 100 Will)
God Fire (16 EN, 110 Will)
Mars Flash (24 EN, 120 Will)
Final Godmars (64 EN, 135 Will)
Everything else is Takeru's.
I don't know why I haven't been putting up weapon data. Probably because I'm dumb. I'm going to start, and it's going to feature ammo/EN and Will and also special properties because those don't show up in list screenshots. Also note that the EN costs are all funky; this is because EN Save is discounting them by 20%.
By the way, the Will requirements on most of these weapons are mostly stupid and redundant, but to explain why I'm going to have to give a rundown on how Gaia/Godmars is going to work for the rest of the game. It's probably the right time for it anyway.
Takeru is going to deploy every chapter in Gaia. Gaia now has the Six Gods Combination trait/special command, which unlocks at 130 Will. Once that command is used, Gaia is replaced by Godmars for the rest of the stage.
I said "mostly" redundant because there are a couple ways to reduce Takeru's Will in Godmars to below 130. One of them is not enemy attacks, because Takeru's Spirit Block skill prevents, among other things, Will drain. One of the actual ways is spamming Supply, which takes 10 Will as payment, but there's no good reason for that to happen with Godmars.
The other way is the custom bonus Gaia gets at 100% upgrades, which enables it to SGC at any time and any Will. This might not come up until the end of a first playthrough or even a second (on the other hand, this is a third). Besides, even with the custom bonus, I like spending Gaia out before calling Godmars, because one of the cool things about SGC is that Godmars has its own HP/EN pools separate from Gaia's and always comes in fresh. By the time Gaia is out of HP and/or EN, Takeru usually has plenty of Will, custom bonus or no. Since Takeru starts at 105 Will with Ace and nothing else, though, Godmars would have attacking issues if I'd maxed him and then summoned him at the beginning of every stage, so there's that, I guess.
Will considerations aside, Godmars is basically big, beefy, and hard-hitting. Apart from being really powerful and heavy and dumb-looking, I don't have much else to say about him; he's a super robot and he does it well. (Oh, he does still have the Antiproton Bomb, but I doubt that's anything to worry about.)
So that's me blogging about Godmars. Back to the game!
Other than Gell butting in and Takeru repositioning, the rest of the stage is more or less as before, with the addition of the other Crushers at the top.
Let's begin with the attacker team.
I want to dispatch Kouji (and, if possible, Crowe) to the lower end as quickly as possible so they can engage the faraway enemies while Watta and Kenji deal with the nearer ones.
In the process, cleaning up the jets so I can spend the last turn or so focusing on the mecha.
Crowe might actually be in a better position to back up Takeru...
I'll send Dai-Guard with him. Less to attack, more so that I don't have to feel bad having Godmars throw all his EN at Gell.
Trider engages a mecha.
At this point, counterattacks are barely worth talking about unless they do serious damage or are beginning to add up. Properly upgraded robots will almost always either dodge or have the HP and defenses to absorb a few hits, and my Crushers are properly upgraded.
The stage ends after some more uneventful moving by Team Support.
Kouji and Kakekouji sweep up a couple of pairs. Even the Shuttle is pretty tough with a little armor.
The anti-mecha offensive is going well, too. They've even started moving.
Finally, the boss goes. Predictably, he attacks his personal foe. I like it when bosses chase down their nemeses; it saves me the trouble of making sure the hero is in position to cut down his villain if the villain is meeting me halfway.
Reminder: Boss class attack here.
God Fire is like, the worst attack to watch. You're not even missing much animation. (I think it's adorable that Godmars has a little "GM" logo on its belt that shoots a beam. This is even siller than Combattler's V Laser.)
The stage is nice and clean at the beginning of turn 3. Two turns to take out three mecha and Gell. Victory is all but assured.
These two are going to take, like, one attack each. Maybe.
In case you're following the Cosmo Crusher, Naoto learns Strike.
And with the third down, it's Takeru vs. Gell.
This sword is called the Mars Flash. I don't know why.
Thanks to Sense, Takeru dodges.
Anticipating that Gell will attack Godmars next turn, I'll have Sayaka cast Cheer on Takeru.
Surprise! Takeru's defeat of Gell using Godmars' finisher is worth a video, I think.
You thought I was kidding about that "no animation" thing, didn't you?
For defeating his assassin, Takeru gains two levels, which I'm pretty sure makes him my highest leveled pilot at the moment. He gains the Shout Spirit, which raises his Will by 10 points, and loots an Adrenaline Ampule, which is an equippable that raises the pilot's starting Will by 5 points. Since Takeru regenerates SP and doesn't use it all that much in the early stage, leading with Shout is good tactics.
With virtually a turn and a half on the clock, the SR Point is done.
Takeru is about to interrogate Gell about Zuul's plans...
But he's interrupted by a Dimension Shock!
Damons start piling out. Gell says something cryptic about them, then takes the chance to escape. He needs to tell his Emperor about Godmars. Takeru wants to go after him, but Crowe and Kenji convince him to stick around; the Damons are everyone's problem.
The new win condition is just to exterminate them. The SR Point entry will helpfully remind us that the SR Point is already scored and not to worry about it.
Most of the Damons only move during the remainder of the enemy turn. Two are close enough to attack...
Not who I wanted to see, but if you want to play, I'll bite.
Look alive, partner. This is your time to shine.
That Gishin knew something about the Damons.
Worry about that later! Focus on the immediate threat!
And the rest simply advance into range. Recall that the problem with Damons is that with no (P) attacks, they always either attack a target in range of 5 tiles or move towards the PCs, but never charge and attack like most enemies can.
Damons. There aren't many of them, and they're not very challenging.
Right when we beat the aliens, monsters show up? We don't get any breaks!
Either way, let's get this over with fast! I've got school tomorrow!
I was hoping the Crushers would get a line too. Guess not.
Mazinger can take you Damons on!
Come on! If you think you can beat Mazinger Z, come and get it!
Did he seriously just...
Yeah, he did. At least that one's dying on the counter.
They pushed us out at this hour and now they want us to fight Damons? We'd better get a bonus for this.
Oh, stop it. The rest of the division is working their butts off tracking data and evacuating the area.
Damons, Heterodynes, they're all the same! We'll stop them with Dai-Guard!
They're basically major disasters, just like Heterodynes. I'm with you there!
But be careful, Akagi! They're stronger than they look!
Got it! Here we go!
I want to show off the Drill Arm, so here's how that battle worked out:
The Drill Arm may be terrible and inefficient, but I like the pose at the end.
By the way, Damons really are pretty goddamn strong compared to their peers. For instance, these ones are basically just grunt enemies but their Skill is high enough to keep someone like Crowe from scoring double attacks without dumping PP into the stat.
I don't think Crowe is needed to help the likes of Takeru and Kouji (and if he is, he's got enough move and range not to worry about it). Let's send him up to help Dai-Guard, Trider, and the Crusher.
Godmars is a little scratched up. Takeru uses Guts to fix it.
Yeah Godmars his pretty hard.
Finally, Aphrodite heals the Shuttle...
which flies into a position ready to supply Godmars next round, so I can feel safe about dropping EN everywhere (Godmars was a little drained too). The healing wasn't strictly necessary, though, because the Damons can only attack enemies within 5 squares; if any of them wanted to attack the Shuttle, it would take them at least a turn.
Godmars kills a Damon by sticking his arm clean through its body.
Dai-Guard's Finger Net Arm. The net reduces the enemy's evasion.
I'm pretty sure the shot of the fist coming out the other end of the enemy is a kill thing. But I'll give it that it's pretty badass.
And the rest of them break themselves against Mazinger.
The single Damon left should go to Akagi, the lowest-leveled fighter on the roster at 7. First, a shot from Kenji weakens it.
Then Dai-Guard crushes it.
The Dai-Guard team going to level 8 means Aoyama gains Accel. He only has it effectively once per map, sure, but it should help Dai-Guard's movement woes a little bit.
After the fight, Sayaka mentions, incidentally, that Damons eventually disappear on their own. The exact reason is unknown, but it's hypothesized that their existence in whatever dimension they come from can't be transferred to this one fully stable. In any case, it was good we were here, because otherwise the surrounding areas wouldn't have been able to afford to wait.
Crowe is shocked to realize that the Damons from just now are far stronger in every way compared to the data stored in the Blaster. Are the Damons actually evolving, or are these ones simply on a different level from all the ones before? Either way sounds like trouble.
Godmars divides back into its six parts.
The voice from inside Gaia says that the other five robots plug into Gaia's antiproton energy. It names them - Uranus, Titan, Shin, Ra, and Sphinx. Finally, it tells him to use Godmars to fight for peace in the universe.
The other five robots leave as Takeru tries to figure out what all of this means. The Crushers want to know too, but Takeru has no answers for them. Just as our team is about to head back to base, Mika says that a message is being transmitted to the camp from space... and the sender claims to be Zuul, the Emperor of planet Gishin!
10 PP and a snack mark the official end of the stage. (I kept thinking I'd have to Supply Godmars, and it never happened. Funny how that works out.)
Apparently Zuul can't be bothered to send video. The gist of his message is that the Earth is somehow a danger to the universe at large, and so he has taken it upon himself to wipe it off the star charts. Ohtsuka resolves himself to tell Elgan Roddick...
Meanwhile, on Gishin, we finally get a look at Zuul himself, and - oh boy. (He's the robot one.) Anyway, his commander Wahl is passing him the message from Gell, the one about Mars' treachery. Zuul orders either Takeru's death or Gaia's destruction. Either of the two will detonate the antiproton bomb. But Wahl goes on to explain that Gaia is defended by five other robots that can combine with it into Godmars. Zuul seems to have an idea that the robots are related to someone named Idea...
A boy named Marg has stumbled into the room innocently looking for his pet bird. The other generals laugh him off as some loser good-for-nothing kid and tell him to piss off. Back to business - Wahl reports that Gell also confirmed "that thing" on Earth (the Damons?), and this only affirms Zuul's mission to blow up the planet. Curious...
Oh, and Gell died. This doesn't bother the Emperor at all, he has lots of soldiers to throw at the problem. He talks more about how the Earth needs to be destroyed because it's dangerous, and because something something he also wants to RULE THE GALAXY!!
This ends the chapter. See you next chapter.