The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z2: Destruction

by Caphi

Part 15: For Whom Would You Pull The Trigger?

Happy Fourth! I'm behind enough that I want to use my break to snap out an extra update or two, because I know someone's looking forward to the final arm of the path split and I personally am looking forward to what comes beyond it.

Getter gets upgraded!

Ryoma and Hayato badly need EN Save. I would like to put Dash on Hayato because he will be used a lot for charging with the Getter-2's high speed. (Dash is a new Z2 skill that adds one square of speed and a second one at 130 Will.)

Ryoma and Hayato both have reasonable Skills that would let them trigger Attack Again often, but not constantly.

Getter-2 now has a base speed of 9, as fast as Mazinger is with Accel.

Back in Area 11, Saji is trying really hard to make small talk with Setsuna. He asks why Setsuna is out of his room so much, and Setsuna just replies that he has "work." Saji presses on by commenting that he's going to be out for a while himself; he's gonna be doing some studying up in orbit.

By the way, I often skip the map displays, but here's one that shows all the geographical parts of the near-Earth system: the planet, the moon, the "dark moon," and two Lagrange points at which the Colonies are presumably placed.

The Ptolemaios, Celestial Being's mothership, is hanging out in high orbit. Sumeragi has just come back and dove straight into her beer. Allelujah, who came up with her as her bodyguard, chats with the Ptolemaios crew about the happenings down on Earth, which they've only heard about from their perch in space - the alliance with Dancouga and Getter and the appearance of the Invaders. Allelujah mentions that he doesn't like space because it's "too quiet," but Sumeragi thinks that's just a mask for something terrible out of his past.

Meanwhile, in an HRL base, Sergei is meeting his new subordinate, artificially augmented super-soldier Soma Pieris. Ms. Pieris was actually created from the genes up for the super soldier project, which Sergei seems a little surprised was still going on under the table. Anyway Sergei, quickly regaining his balance, asks her to test their new machine, the Tieren Tao-Tzu, in zero G's for him so he can see how good her reactions are. That Tieren is supposedly the HRL's new anti-Gundam weapon...

We cut back to Dragon's Hive, where Ru Riruri is trying to do her job as the Dragon's Hive site counselor. To that end, she's calling in each staff member for a one-on-one session. Aoi asks her about the previous patient, Tieria, and while Ru is bound by confidentiality, Aoi has some guesses. "'This is Celestial Being's Mission.' 'It is my duty as a Gundam Meister.' 'I will obey Veda.' Did I miss anything?"

So much for confidentiality; Aoi starts worming info out of the good doctor. Lockon and Allelujah were pretty pleasant, though she detected something bothering Allelujah. She didn't make any progress on Crowe's debt problems or his deep-seated mistrust of females of all stripes. As for the Getter Team... they refused. They all said they didn't need no head-shrinking. "Fair enough. No point trying to deal with beasts like them anyway."

But maybe it all went as planned? Ru now turns the conversation around and wonders why Aoi is suddenly curious about her teammates. Perhaps she... actually cares about them a little? It's a little bit of progress, but Aoi quickly excuses herself. Alone, Ru reflects that while none of Team D opened up to her, she still sensed a wild beast in each of them waiting to get out - maybe stronger than anyone on the Getter Team's.

The last patient, Setsuna arrives. Ru thinks he's the one whose mind she needs to get into most of all, but the scene fades to black.

And in the familiar command room, the Getter Team is fuming at all the secrets Celestial Being and Dancouga Nova are keeping from them (for example, where Sumeragi and Allelujah have gone and what the deal is with their base). But those three even turned down a chat with the counselor. Mollified, the Psychopath Team agrees not to pry, and it's not like they're going to be teamed up for very long anyway. The distant uneasy alliance of two has become a distant uneasy alliance of three.

Musashi offhandedly comments that the Getter Team's refusal to submit to counseling was really for the little girl's own good. Each of their past exploits is nothing that a child should hear.

Crowe's a little jealous of the wild bunch, prompting Ryoma to offer him lessons in "kicking them out of your way" and Hayato to extend a job offer with good pay "but it won't be clean or pretty." Crowe refuses. He pays off his debts square and on the up-and-up.

If only all the "heroes" here were so honorable. Tieria readily admits that he's only with the gang due to Veda's orders, but will gladly abandon us to, say, protect Celestial Being's secret space base, even if it he has to abandon, say, a fight to defend people from the Invaders. Ryoma and Hayato call that stupid - "What's the point of ending war again? Pretty sure it's for the people." Tieria considers these hypothetical people sacrifices for the greater good, and the argument heats up.

Lockon and Crowe, the cool kids, quiet down the storm, but in the quiet after, Aoi finally asks Tieria directly what's the deal with Celestial Being ending war worldwide, but Tieria refuses to answer. Kurara comes to the same conclusion Ru did, that it's not like the old Aoi to get into peoples' business like this. Sakuya points out that the same can be said about what Kurara just said to Aoi, and Johnny chimes in with the same about what Sakuya just said to Kurara. As the team gets properly flustered, Commander Tanaka beams and thinks that these kids might be the ones to open the door in Dancouga Nova.

Chapter 8: For Whom Would You Pull The Trigger?
(Celestial Being route)

The Tao-Tzu's mobility test is going great.

When a soldier admires super-soldier Pieris' abilities, Sergei replies with the odd line "But she is still a girl."

In a fit of bad luck, a private shuttle happens to pass through this secret military test zone. Sergei manages to keep his soldiers from shooting it down.

Which is for the best, because it's the shuttle carrying the students of that space training academy back down to Earth, including Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevy. The two have a cute moment admiring the planet and Orbital Ring.

Suddenly, Pieris cries that her head hurts, something is trying to get inside her, get it out, keep it out...

Back on the Ptolemaios, Allelujah is having the same headache.

A change comes over him, and he roars. "Who the hell are you? What're you doing in my head? I'll kill you!"

Chris calls him back to the bridge. Apparently, Invaders have appeared around an HRL test site and Sumeragi is making plans. But the changed Allelujah would rather get out there and kill 'em all.

The real Allelujah begs "Hallelujah" not to go, because there are civilians in danger there. That actually stops the crazy one for a moment.

Sergei orders his men to take the Tao-Tzu, but before they can, Invaders attack the entire zone and destroy the soldiers.

They're the ugly ones from before and a type we haven't seen before.

The shuttle's engine is damaged in the attack, and it begins to fall towards the planet.

The Invaders don't let up, and Pieris is in no condition to fight.

Kyrios enters the zone and moves to defend the shuttle.

But Pieris recognizes its pilot as the entity invading her mind and approaches it.

As she does, both of their headaches worsen.

Hallelujah takes over and promises Allelujah to destroy that ugly pink fucker and the monsters. He declares that he and Pieris are cut from the same cloth: "Our bodies are modified and our brains are scrambled! We're freaks!" Sergei takes off to gather reinforcements. In her addled state, Pieris has no mind for the Invaders and is focused only on Allelujah.

With only Hallelujah on the map, our job is to take out all the Invaders, with or without Pieris. The SR Point is to take out her and the Invaders and do it within five player phases (not turns).

Let's pay attention to Hallelujah's stats. Though he shares Allelujah's kill count, his Ace Bonus is reversed: Accuracy +20% instead of Allelujah's Evasion. His offenses and accuracy are very slightly better, as is his defense, while his skill and evasion are slightly worse. His Skills are the same, and his Spirits are different only in that Allelujah's Vigor (30% heal) has been upgraded to Hallelujah's Guts (full heal).

The Invaders evidently count as the third side. It's a good bet that they'll attack indiscriminately while Pieris focuses on Kyrios alone.

Oh yeah, this is a Space stage. Unlike terrestrial stages, where you could plausibly be in the air or on the ground or even under ground or water, space stages are ironically two-dimensional. There's only one plane you can be on, and that's the Space terrain.

Isn't this fun, Allelujah? All this power and no one to stop me!
(Stop it, Hallelujah!)
In case you forgot, I'm you. All I'm doing is what you can't do for you.
Just shut up and watch. You're too weak to fight like this yourself!

Keeping Hallelujah alive means grabbing every available advantage, including switching to the higher-maneuverability Flight Mode for that minor bump in evasion.

Now we just hope Hallelujah, who is much worse at not dying than Allelujah, doesn't die.

Gundam! I must destroy you!
(I can hear her voice!)
So it's a woman piloting that Mobile Suit.
Thanks for this stupid headache! You can pay me back with some fun before I kill you!
(Hallelujah, no!)
Why not? I'm doing this for you because you won't do it yourself.
Oh. Oh, okay. Fine, Allelujah. I can't argue with you.
Pffhahaha! Ha ha ha ha! You seriously thought I'd stop myself from killing?
(Why? Why, Hallelujah? Why do you love to kill so much? Is that how I really am deep down?)
(Am I... am I a monster?)
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Get ready, woman! To feel my blade in your flesh!

I know HP is all abstract and plotty and stuff, but Gundam bosses with tens of thousands are still weird.

A few Invaders get hit.

Most of them hold. The turn ends.

At the beginning of turn 2, Sumeragi flies in after Kyrios. She can tell that its pilot isn't Allelujah, but his crazy alter ego Hallelujah, though this is apparently her first time meeting him. Hallelujah is the second personality accidentally created inside Allelujah when he was a test subject of the HRL's super-soldier project - the same one that created the success of Soma Pieris.

A new lose condition is one we are going to get very very familiar with: "Allied mothership is destroyed." In fact, this is going to be a lose condition in literally any stage an allied mothership exists. Hey, let's talk about motherships.

Ptolemaios (Sumeragi Lee Noriega, Lasse Aeon, Lichtendahl Tsery, Christina Sierra, Feldt Grace)
Command L1
Share Parts
Repair Skill
GN Field (barrier)
Ace Bonus: :|

The Ptolemaios is in some ways a good example of a mothership and in other ways a bad one. It's huge, has a decent amount of HP but backs it up with a damage-reducing barrier, is packed with pilots that have support and survival Spirits (most ships have a Spirit pool for each member of the bridge crew), and projects a Command aura to encourage units to stick around it when they need a boost.

A mothership has another function: they have the ability to use the Recover command on an adjacent robot, or a robot can move into its square and use Dock. This removes the robot from the map and places it inside the ship, where it's protected from attacks, has its HP and EN slowly restored, and of course, moves along with the ship (this is sometimes useful for ferrying ground-bound robots across terrain).

As I was saying, a normal mothership would have more HP than the Ptolemy does, but it makes up for it with a powerful GN Field that completely blocks all damage below 2000 points. This means that any attack that does damage the ship will hit for a lot, but many attacks simply won't do damage at all.

Now, there's kind of an issue with the Ptolemy: it has no weapons. None at all. Can't attack, can't counterattack. This is kind of a serious issue, but there are two mitigating factors. First, with no attacks, the Ptolemy can merrily spend all of its counterattacks on the Defense action, which will make sure it takes no damage from almost everything thanks to its barrier. Second, it can spend its actual turns using Repair to keep other robots in passable condition rather than attacking, or even keep itself from dying.

(There are other ways to raise a pilot's kill count, though, and Sumeragi does have an Ace Bonus. )

Finally, Sumeragi has a skill that makes her an even better support unit by letting her use consumable parts equipped to the ship on adjacent robots rather than her own unit. These include repair kits, which are redundant because Ptolemaios can repair on its own, but also items that restore ammo, energy, and SP.

For now, let's get Hallelujah under Sumeragi's influence.

By being adjacent to her, his evasion has increased considerably. (So has his hit rate, but it doesn't really matter.)

Well, these are short turns.

Neither of these two are dying anytime soon. Whatever.

Oh no the Ptolemy!

Lichty, use the Ptolemaios to cover those civilians!
Yes, ma'am! Keep an eye on the GN Field's generator!
I don't know how long she'll hold out!
We're gonna fight? But we don't have any weapons...
Stay calm, Christina Sierra. We all knew this would happen sooner or later.
We will survive. We must all survive...
Feldt is right. We'll make it out alive, and we'll keep that shuttle alive too!

Thing to note about Barriers? They usually drain energy when they trigger. It's a small price to pay to keep Ptolemy alive, especially against Invaders that drain energy anyway.

Anyway back to real fights.

A couple of dead Invaders later, the planetary Celestial Being comes to save the day. Apparently, they got a message from someone explaining the whole situation, the transport shuttle and even the Ptolemy's presence. This person called himself Boatman, but refused to let Dragon's Hive say anything in return. Sumeragi wonders just who it could be, and Tanaka didn't know anything either.

Hallelujah butts in to say "cut the crap and let's go," prompting Johnny to wonder if the Getter Team's been a bad influence on Allelujah. Meanwhile, Tieria is mad that Sumeragi ordered the precious (and top-secret) Ptolemaios into the front line, but Ryoma is impressed that she'd put all that on the line to protect the innocent.

The Invaders go back to piling on Kyrios.

Luckily, some of them are peeling off to deal with the newcomers.

The worst thing about units entering on the enemy turn is no chance to raise defenses like Focus.

Luckily, Crowe dodges.

He's not so lucky with the next one. (All the Invaders that held back last turn are starting to move.)

The Star Invaders alone remain in position.

Yeah they actually look like this.

Oh, and while we're looking at enemies, it's about time to think seriously about taking down that Tao-Tzu.

Not only for the SR Point, or the experience, but because it has loot. The Thruster Module it's equipped with kicks a robot's Space rank to S, which fixes some otherwise good machines that can't function in space or have pilots that don't know how to work without G's.

Also, since someone asked, Invaders have 10% HP and EN regen.

With three turns and two counter turns left on the clock, I finally have some firepower, but the hard parts will be devoting resources to take down that Tao-Tzu, and rushing someone upwards to take out the tough Invaders hanging out in the corner of the map.

Getter-2's high natural speed (thanks to Dash - you're welcome) make it a good candidate to rush the Invaders. Plus, it's appropriate, because it's Getter.

High mobility and range let it tag an undamaged Invader.


Having Accelerate and a semi-disposable robot, Aoi will follow him.

She fares better.

Last is Crowe, who isn't quite as fast as the others but can definitely keep up. Actually...

He can get an enemy out of his way...

And then use Hit & Away to put himself in a better position.

Lockon only has one pre-move target. Seems like a little bit of a waste of GN Sniper Rifle ammo.

Oh well.

Virtue smash.

Actually let's place Ptolemy before the next move.

With Sumeragi's guidance, Setsuna's pre-Focus rates against Pieris (who is, after all, the stage boss) aren't bad at all.

This is going to take more Will.

Hallelujah sticks to Ptolemaios and attacks.

Shit, Hallelujah.

With a huge Will advantage over everyone else from two turns of battle, Hallelujah does a much better job.

Turn over...

A much better job.

Poor Ptolemy.

By the way, ew.

Units not to scale.

Some stuff happens.

I do not know when they gained a vomit attack.

Hayato uses his drill.

More Invaders refuse to die already goddamn.

The stars stay put again and the turn ticks over.

Hallelujah is going to finish this, for sentimental reasons more than anything, but I haven't shown Kyrios' beam saber and it's got some nice motion in it, so:


He moves.

He gains a level and a Thruster Module. Pieris "retreats."

With her gone, we are free to focus on the Invaders. Celestial Being will clean up the close ones while the advance team pushes the assault.

Lockon and Tieria start the cleanup operation.

Aoi takes a kill, setting her up to form Dancouga next round.

Musashi heals up Getter Robo.

Hayato finishes an Invader to build up some Will himself and not spend a lot of EN yet.

All that senseless killing had another purpose: Setsuna's joining the advance crew.

He has just enough Will to leapfrog into the anti-Star team.

He and Crowe finish off Star 1.

Turn over.

Hallelujah finishes the last minor Invader.

The final enemy finally makes a move and attacks Crowe.

Who crits for almost all its HP in one shot what the hell.

Last turn.

I have one player phase to finish all the enemies. I don't know if I can do it you guys. (I think I seriously overestimated how strong the starvaders were.)

I feel Hayato was the star of this week's Getter battle and deserves to finish off the last Invader in animated form.

I'm kidding, though. Since this path split is technically non-canon for this LP, experience is going to get redistributed in the end anyway, so here's the alternate Dancouga-based ending.

Actually, I think this path is going to get used for two more alternate chapters before getting discarded. I think I'll keep the Dancouga ending because the levels are more even.

Either way, the SR Point is in hand.

But we haven't much time to wonder about the Invaders when the HRL's reinforcements are here.

After Celestial Being retreats, Sergei wonders about them acting to save lives, but wonders more about the connection between his new super-soldier and the fast-flying Gundam.

Saji and Louise wonder what happened as well.

Back in Tokyo-11, one of Kinue's coworkers lets her know that the shuttle was safely recovered by the HRL.

Ace journalist Isabelle Cronkite, the one who wrote that thing about Dancouga, approaches Kinue, to the latter's surprise. Kinue is chasing Celestial Being, and Cronkite is investigating Dancouga. Since the two are working together, Cronkite says she wants to partner with Kinue as well. She deploys a turn of phrase Kinue's late father said: "Seek out information and piece it together, and you will find the truth."

Back on the Ptolemy, Tieria is taking Sumeragi to task for moving the ship. Sumeragi is taking it just fine, but Allelujah jumps in and claims responsibility for taking Kyrios out and forcing Sumeragi to back him up.

Both Ryoma and Aoi have found new respect for Allelujah's courage, putting himself on the line to protect the innocent. So has Crowe: "Money can be paid back, but you can't pay back a life once it's taken."

Tieria is still mad. Now he's even accusing Allelujah of being unfit as a Gundam Meister. Sumeragi asks if he thinks he is, and he storms out in disgust.

Sumeragi wants some time alone to think, so she tells Lockon to take everybody around the ship a bit. Since the cat's out of the bag, they might as well start using Ptolemy as a mothership and transport. As they leave, all the remaining pilots express their support for Sumeragi's decision.

After they leave, though, she turns out to have been hiding doubts all along. What would she have done if Hallelujah hadn't taken Kyrios and run? But she doesn't get very far into her depression before a transmission comes in - from Boatman!

Next chapter is going to be the third and final chapter 6. We'll go to Area 11 and say hi to rebels, disaffected nobles, the return of Chirico Cuvie, and a mysterious masked man for another four chapters. See you then.